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Brilliant Article on Secularism vs Religion - Page 3

post #81 of 258
Quote:
Um, right, no doctrine, no legacy, no philosphical pedigree, either.

Atheism has no legacy? Weren't you just arguing that its legacy is that of Stalinism and Nazism?

And while you're busy retreating, let's see if I can get this answered: Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?

Quote:
You're wasting my time.

I am not wasting your time, I am actively debunking the lies you are telling about the books and authors being discussed. There is a difference. If being so obviously and painfully wrong is so irksome then, in future, make an effort to deal more faithfully with others
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post #82 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Then just go with the lower numbers, 90-100 million.

Very quickly...and this cannot be disputed...

The tactics used, mass starvation, purges, denouncements, etc., were SOP for communist countries, they still are. It was the same for the French revolution. Over, and over, and over, when you banish 'religion' from society you see the state take over all things societal, followed by the unraveling of otherwise normal cultures. Every time this has been tried it ends horribly. Dawkins and Hitchens are just whistling past that graveyard.

The 90-100 M figure (not counting war deaths) is a mean, not a low estimate, and some (perhaps most) scholars consider that a high value for the mean estimate.

And one must consider regional death rates not absolute numbers in ever increasing populations.

And who here is arguing for totalitarian states, dictatorships, etceteras?

You seem to be under some preconceived notion that civilizations would NOT have "advanced" (scientifically, technologically, morally) in the absence of religious dogmas (or other orthodoxes).
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #83 of 258
Lies are the foundation of all religions.
People who believe these lies can be driven to do unthinkable atrocities in the name of "spiderman" or whatever they call their "deity".
All deities are outfitted with human atributes plus a few which are superhuman, like spiderman.

These guys can produce lightnings but are unable to create an asshole that doesn't get hemmrhoids. At least spiderman can squirt stuff from his wrist.
post #84 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

Atheism has no legacy? Weren't you just arguing that its legacy is that of Stalinism and Nazism?

And while you're busy retreating, let's see if I can get this answered: Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?

You're kidding, right?

The titles in question are The God Delusion and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

No groverat -- this is how I'm supposed to accept the 'new dialogue?' Wait, while I'm swallowing the 'new tone' let me get Kim Jong-il on the phone to see where I stack up. Can't go there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

I am not wasting your time, I am actively debunking the lies you are telling about the books and authors being discussed. There is a difference. If being so obviously and painfully wrong is so irksome then, in future, make an effort to deal more faithfully with others

There are two ways you lovely lefties deal with these sorts of issues: deny, deny, deny -- or deny the context -- this time this it's manifesting itself as a quick over-the-wall leap into "gosh, how could you possibly put atheism and communism into the same ideological category?"

It's crazy, I love you to death, but I'm still not going to play a philosophical game of "let's pretend" with you. This is Earth, we are prone to act in certain ways -- it gets downright repetitive.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #85 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

And who here is arguing for totalitarian states, dictatorships, etceteras?

I'm sorry, I just can't do it franksargent, pick up a copy of The Gulag Archipelago I. Seriously.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #86 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

I'm sorry, I just can't do it franksargent, pick up a copy of The Gulag Archipelago I. Seriously.

Then I guess we don't need to talk about American slavery or discrimination!

How many people were killed in the name of slavery, no less lifetime servitude?

I guess we also don't need to discuss nearly wiping out native Americans either, or placing them on "reservations" (nee "concentration" camps).

Or Leopold II of Belgium

Quote:
n Belgian domestic politics, Leopold emphasized military defense as the basis of neutrality, but he was unable to obtain a universal conscription law until on his death bed. He died on December 17, 1909, and was interred in the Royal vault at the Church of Our Lady, Laeken Cemetery, Brussels, Belgium.

Privatization

Quote:
Reports of outrageous exploitation and widespread human rights abuses (including enslavement and mutilation of the native population), especially in the rubber industry, led to an international protest movement in the early 1900s. Forced labor was extorted from the natives. Estimates of the death toll range from 2 to 15 million (for further detail, see Congo Free State ([1]) and many historians consider the atrocities to have constituted a genocide.

And you want me to read a novel?
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #87 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

And you want me to read a novel?

You heard it here first, folks.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #88 of 258
Quote:
You're kidding, right?
The titles in question are The God Delusion and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

Yes... ?

Quote:
No groverat -- this is how I'm supposed to accept the 'new dialogue?' Wait, while I'm swallowing the 'new tone' let me get Kim Jong-il on the phone to see where I stack up. Can't go there.

Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?

Quote:
There are two ways you lovely lefties deal with these sorts of issues: deny, deny, deny -- or deny the context -- this time this it's manifesting itself as a quick over-the-wall leap into "gosh, how could you possibly put atheism and communism into the same ideological category?"

The two things are absolutely nothing alike; at all. You merely associate them because the worst of all communists was an atheist. It is like me saying that any book promoting Christianity promotes Inquisition against non-Christians because the Popes are Christian.

Quote:
It's crazy, I love you to death, but I'm still not going to play a philosophical game of "let's pretend" with you. This is Earth, we are prone to act in certain ways -- it gets downright repetitive.

Do you sincerely believe you can play such a ridiculous game when I actually quote the authors disputing exactly the assertion you are making?

I guess I'll have to keep asking until I get an answer:
Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?
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post #89 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

You heard it here first, folks.

Quote:
The Gulag Archipelago is a novel based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

The Gulag Archipelago

I'm not denying that major atrocities were committed in the name of "Communism."

But I am questioning the estimates of total deaths, and that those deaths need to be normalized by the regional populations (per capita death rates), to have any significance in ever increasing population demographics.

That the atrocities committed in the Western Hemisphere and Africa pretty much overwhelm the 20th century death tolls on a per capita basis. And that most of those atrocities were committed by so called "christian" nations.
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #90 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

I guess I'll have to keep asking until I get an answer:
Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?

The question is a false path. Is either author calling for a final solution to the 'religion problem?'

...and let's be clear, you've sidestepped the entire question over 'religion' -- as slavish belief to historical documents -- in contrast to your epistemological Switzerland...

If you were as canny as you could be, you'd know both authors are too intelligent to go there explicitly, or that, even if they did, that's hardly at issue. I don't know if you are playing fast-and-loose with history, philosophy, the history of philosophy, or all three. I keep pointing at the moon and you keep smelling my finger.

Look, you're unwilling to deal with the history of Marx, atheism's implications, etc., that leaves you free to obsess over canards -- so I have to take it in the shorts -- all I get is a crust of: 'well, Hitchens doesn't advocate death camps, mass starvation, or the Great Leap Forward, so he has nothing to do with the social implications of abandoning 'religion'...

I'll have to at least get suspension of disbelief before we can argue further.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #91 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

The Gulag Archipelago

Oh no, franksargent, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was "just a novel," 20th century Communism had nothing to do with the enlightenment's children, who didn't suffer a major self-inflicted dogmatic wound, that didn't make a ripe tomato on the humanity's windshield.

Honestly

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #92 of 258
Quote:
The question is a false path.

The answer to the question highlights your tremendous intellectual and moral dishonesty, that is the only reason you will not answer it. It is a simple question, and I will ask it yet again: Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?

Quote:
Is either author calling for a final solution to the 'religion problem?'

I do not even know what the question means, but after reading all of these books (sometimes more than once) the answer is clearly "no". The goal of the books is explicit, it is to convince each person that reads the book to abandon religion.

Any step down y our paranoid slippery slope argument must be dealt with individually. You cannot criticize Dawkins or Hitchens or Harris for what others might then say after reading their books. Unless these authors advocate the forcible banishment of religion from society, they cannot be accused of attempting to banish religion from society.

Quote:
If you were as canny as you could be, you'd know both authors are too intelligent to go there explicitly, or that, even if they did, that's hardly at issue.

You are asking me to buy into the idea that they secretly want Soviet Russia back but are being coy about it. I do not buy that and I think that notion is the product of a deluded mind.

Quote:
Look, you're unwilling to deal with the history of Marx, atheism's implications, etc., that leaves you free to obsess over canards -- so I have to take it in the shorts -- all I get is a crust of: 'well, Hitchens doesn't advocate death camps, mass starvation, or the Great Leap Forward, so he has nothing to do with the social implications of abandoning 'religion'...

I am perfectly willing to deal with the history of Marx. I do not give a shit about it, because it has nothing to do with anything. I am not a communist. Dawkins is not a communist. Hitchens is not a communist. Harris is not a communist. Dennett is not a communist. And you accuse me of obsessing over "canards"?

As far as "atheism's implications", I would love to discuss that. Let's discuss it. Do you think you can have an actual discussion without making false accusations and avoiding direct, simple questions? Do you think you can discuss atheism without bringing up completely unrelated ideologies? I do not think you can, I have absolutely no faith in your ability to participate in an honest, straightforward dialogue, but I am happy to give you the chance.
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post #93 of 258
Suspension of disbelief

(hint, acknowledge the context exists)

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #94 of 258
Was that a response to my post?

Is there a reason that you do not engage in direct conversation, and always hide behind obscure (and often completely meaningless or at least misleading) cultural references? Do you fancy yourself a character from Reality Bites or some other 1990s Gen-X coolkid movie?

The Dennis Miller scatterbrain act wore out in 1995. It would be nice to see you actually answer questions and talk like a grown human adult. Perhaps such clarity would betray a distinct lack of substance, who can possibly know with you flitting about the way you do?
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post #95 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Oh no, franksargent, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was "just a novel," 20th century Communism had nothing to do with enlightenment's children, who didn't suffer a major self-inflicted dogmatic wound, that didn't make a ripe tomato on humanity's windshield.

Honestly

As opposed to all the rotten tomatoes that religious dogmas have thrown at humanity's windshield!

Good point!
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #96 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Suspension of disbelief

(hint, acknowledge the context exists)

Forty-two!
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #97 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Forty-two!

Did you know that 6 x 9 does in fact equal 42... in base-13 arithmetic? Coincidence? I think not!
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #98 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

hint, acknowledge the context exists)

How about this? I'll acknowledge "context" as soon as you acknowledge something with a vague resemblance to reality. Deal?
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #99 of 258
I had no idea Christopher Hitchens had a brother, Peter, who writes a bit.

He partially echos the post that started this thread.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #100 of 258
Continuing to bring those empty intellectual calories, I see.

As long as you are participating (sort of), I'll keep asking the questions I'd like answers to:
Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?
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post #101 of 258
You went away and left long time ago
Now your knocking on my door
I hear you knocking
But you can't come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you been

I begged you not to go but you said goodbye
Now your telling me all your lies
I hear you knocking
But you can't come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you been

You better get back to your used to be
'Cause your kind of love ain't good for me
I hear you knocking
But you can't come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you been

I told you way back in '52
That I would never go with you
I hear you knocking
But you can't come in
I hear you knocking
Go back where you been

-D.E., P.K.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #102 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

-D.E., P.K.

Um, Wrong.

That should be D.B., P.K.

D.E. sang it some 15 years after it was written.
eye
bee
BEE
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bee
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post #103 of 258
Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?
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post #104 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerLurker View Post

Um, Wrong.

That should be D.B., P.K.

D.E. sang it some 15 years after it was written.

Blast. I actually looked that up before I posted, but still managed to hose it up.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #105 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

Which of these authors advocates banishing religion from society?

I would say they all do. Of course they have not explicitly claimed this (and they are very careful never to do so - but then again, no BNP Cro-Magnon will claim he hates Jews. Not in public anyway) so you can call me a liar. But then as I say, no criminal will ever claim publically his intentions so I suppose in yoru view that makes them not guilty until they specifically outline their plans.

Whatever. It is irrelevant.

I have been researching this aptly named Harris character since you pointed me in the direction of the audiobook. Of course the initial bias and rhetoric of the 'suicide bomber meme' is straight out of the Neocon playbook - and I do believe there is a strong connection and anti-Islam right-wing animus in the works of Harris and Hitchens. Dawkins is innocent of this imo and I would not lay thaty charge at his door at least but those two certainly; their agenda overlaps strongly with the 'WOT' agenda and is essentially a right-wing view.

Harris, however is actually interesting. I agree with much of what he has to say - of course you will say I understand it wrongly but that is what fundies do so I will not be surprised.

He seems to me to be verging on a mystical perception and as such his views are quite insightful. Unfortunately he seems to fail to understand that mysticism and religion are intertwined and essentially the same thing seen from different angles.

Take this example:

Quote:
While this is not a treatise on Eastern spirituality, it does not seem out of place to briefly examine the differences between the Eastern and Western canons, for they are genuinely startling. To illustrate this point, I have selected a passage at random from a shelf of Buddhist literature. The following text was found with closed eyes, on the first attempt from among scores of books. I invite the reader to find anything even remotely like this in the Bible or the Koran.

And in the present moment, when (your mind) remains in its own condition without constructing anything, awareness, at that moment, in itself is quite ordinary.

And when you look into yourself in this way nakedly (without any discursive thoughts),

Since there is only this pure observing, there will be found a lucid clarity without anyone being there who is the observer;
only a naked manifest awareness is present.

(This awareness) is empty and immaculately pure, not being created by anything whatsoever.

It is authentic and unadulterated, without any duality of clarity and emptiness.

It is not permanent and yet it is not created by anything.
However, it is not a mere nothingness or something annihilated because it is lucid and present.

It does not exist as a single entity because it is present and clear in terms of being many.

(On the other hand) it is not created as a multiplicity of things because it is inseparable and of a single flavor.

This inherent self-awareness does not derive from anything outside itself.

This is the real introduction to the actual condition of things. –Padmasambhava


One could live an eon as a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew and never encounter any teachings like this about the nature of consciousness. (The End of Faith, p.215-216. Emphasis added.)

This is evidence of the most amazing ignorance and arrogance also I think. There are literally hundreds of equivalent examples from the Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions.

So the question arises: why does he not know this? And not knowing such data that are fundamental to the issue he proclaims on, whay is he qualifed to do so?

Or perhaps he is lying? Or at least selectively arguing and selecting to push an agenda?

Perhaps he has never heard of the Jewish Hassidic mystics or the Kabbalists? If so then this would be incredible. Perhaps he does not see the similarities to his quote? that would be even more so.

Perhaps he has never heard of Sufism? A way of thought that derives originally almost entirely from the Qur'an and which has a world-view very similar to that of Padmasambhava and which is essentially identical with Vedanta and which experts now believe is the origin of Zen.

Again, this is very poor scholarship if so - or else (in your time-honoured phraseology) outright lying.

In any event it is rank hypocrisy - you can't get more mystical or spiritual than that quote and so if he differentiates it from religion then he should cite evidence.

But he can't. Nor can Dawkins or Hitchens. Sure they can cite evidence of distorted religion - the Spanish Inquisition, suicide bombers, Haggard, the Taleban (not Bush though strangely....) and they can STATE that these things ARE religion...but they lie.

They cannot show that Jesus taught this hatred. They cannot show that Muhammad did and they do not even try.....

Because they know it is easy to show that Sufism and Jewish and Christian mysticism derive not from teaching like those of the Church or the Taleban but from the founders of the religion themselves. ANd it can be shown that these mystical traditions are exactly the same as the Buddhist ones he cites as 'rational' against 'religion's' irrational.

It's an insane argument.

But the yes-men in the massed ranks singing 'onward atheist soldiers' are not capable of realizing that. How could be when the 'leaders' and 'heroes' who do their thinking for them are not even capable of it?

Or maybe they are the liars and that's why they throw that term at others before it gets applied to themselves.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #106 of 258
segovius:

Quote:
I would say they all do. Of course they have not explicitly claimed this (and they are very careful never to do so - but then again, no BNP Cro-Magnon will claim he hates Jews. Not in public anyway) so you can call me a liar. But then as I say, no criminal will ever claim publically his intentions so I suppose in yoru view that makes them not guilty until they specifically outline their plans.

It is not only the fact that they have not "outlined their plans" that makes them not guilty, but that they have all very openly denounced those previous attempts to banish religion that are so eagerly brought up here by believers. So when Hitchens writes an entire chapter excoriating utopian dreams like those of Stalinist Russia, it is quite delusional and paranoid to claim that Hitchens, therefore, endorses Stalinism.

Of course, you have not actually read anything we're discussing here, so that brings up huge problems of its own.

Quote:
I have been researching this aptly named Harris character since you pointed me in the direction of the audiobook. Of course the initial bias and rhetoric of the 'suicide bomber meme' is straight out of the Neocon playbook - and I do believe there is a strong connection and anti-Islam right-wing animus in the works of Harris and Hitchens. Dawkins is innocent of this imo and I would not lay thaty charge at his door at least but those two certainly; their agenda overlaps strongly with the 'WOT' agenda and is essentially a right-wing view.

Thanks for staying on topic.

Quote:
He seems to me to be verging on a mystical perception and as such his views are quite insightful. Unfortunately he seems to fail to understand that mysticism and religion are intertwined and essentially the same thing seen from different angles.

Where does the Bible say that it is a mystical record? It presents itself as a historical record.
Where does the Qu'ran discuss the mystical nature of Muhammad's revelation? It does not, it presents it as factual.

Mystical movements have sprouted in each of the major religions specifically because the literal case for each has fallen apart, not because they started as mystical and the literalist branches are the offshoots.

Quote:
This is evidence of the most amazing ignorance and arrogance also I think. There are literally hundreds of equivalent examples from the Islamic, Jewish and Christian traditions.

You should know the difference between the word "could" and the word "must".

He said one could live an eon as a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew and never encounter any teachings like this about the nature of consciousness. He did not say that they are unavailable to Christians, Muslims, and Jews. And he is perfectly right. Religions do not require (and most do not endorse) any kind of deep understanding of our nature, they require only faith and obedience.

But even if he were making the argument you say he is, he is not very wrong, and you point this out very well. In every single case (Kabbalah, Sufism, etc) you have to go outside the mainstream of each faith. That is Harris's entire point.

Quote:
But he can't. Nor can Dawkins or Hitchens. Sure they can cite evidence of distorted religion - the Spanish Inquisition, suicide bombers, Haggard, the Taleban (not Bush though strangely....) and they can STATE that these things ARE religion...but they lie.

Who determines what is "distorted religion" and what is not "distorted religion"?
(As usual, this is something all three discuss in their books. But you would not know that, since you have not read them.)

Quote:
They cannot show that Jesus taught this hatred.

Why do you think you speak so authoritatively and definitively on what these books say when you haven't even read them?!

Again, one needn't even read the books to know this is wrong. Chapter 8 of God Is Not Great is called "The New Testament Exceeds the Evil of the Old One".

Quote:
Or maybe they are the liars and that's why they throw that term at others before it gets applied to themselves.

How can you call them liars when you do not know what they say, and when you do read what they say you mischaracterize it? I do not even have to quote text to show how dishonest you are, just chapter titles.
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post #107 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

I would say they all do...

I wouldn't go there, segovius. Señor groverat in his epistemological Switzerland, and the history of the world started this morning.

He's not going anywhere real soon.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #108 of 258
History tells me that asking you questions gets nowhere, but I am going to keep trying.

If one can damn atheism via Stalinism, can one also damn Christianity via the Inquisition?

also

If one can insist that the advocacy of atheism necessarily advocates the legal enforcement of an atheism-only society, can one also insist that the advocacy of Christianity necessarily advocates the legal enforcement of a Christianity-only society?

I just want to see how consistent you are with your thinking.
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #109 of 258
Germany: 100% christian country: 80% Lutheran 20% Catholic kills 5 million Jews in 7 years. Altogether 12,000,000 people died in WW2 including some members of my family. All SS officers were christians. Pastors acted as spys for Hitler (born and raised catholic).

A lot of love in the air....
post #110 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

It is not only the fact that they have not "outlined their plans" that makes them not guilty, but that they have all very openly denounced those previous attempts to banish religion that are so eagerly brought up here by believers. So when Hitchens writes an entire chapter excoriating utopian dreams like those of Stalinist Russia, it is quite delusional and paranoid to claim that Hitchens, therefore, endorses Stalinism.

When Hitches writes an entire chapter excoriating utopian dreams like those of Stalinist Russia he is merely trying to exorcize his own previous endorsments of those very beliefs.

He is - as George Galloway, a far more lucid and sincere thinker - so brilliantly out it: "a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay".

Quote:
Of course, you have not actually read anything we're discussing here, so that brings up huge problems of its own.

Perhaps. But they would merely be an equivalence of the problems you face in not having read the Qur'an, al-Ghazali, The Church Fathers or a hundred other relevant sources on the 'God side' of the argument.

But then you have different rules that apply to you don't you? I have lost count of the number of prostletysing fundies who have attempted to argue this point with me and not applied it to themselves.

But there's always room for one more isn't there?

Quote:
Thanks for staying on topic.

Thanks for dismissing my observation out of hand.

Maybe next time you suggest someone listens to something in order to promote your view you should check that the first statements of the item in question are what you regard as 'on topic' or not.

Or maybe not. That way you can use it as ammo if someone brings t up as a reference.

Quote:
Where does the Bible say that it is a mystical record? It presents itself as a historical record.

Ok - it's the 'explicitly stated claim' argument again. I think I've got a handle on it now: where does it say it isn't?

Actually it does no such thing. In places it claims to be historical recording but in no place does it claim this in entirety.

And of course it does not claim to be a coherent whole as the New Testament does actually claim to be just that: NEW and superceding the old law.

Numerous passages in the BIble are clearly mystical - as are a great many of jesus sayings. In fact Jesus actually DOES claim that the parables are not literal and not a historical record but are susceptible to a deeper understanding by those who have mystical insight.

Quote:
Where does the Qu'ran discuss the mystical nature of Muhammad's revelation? It does not, it presents it as factual.

Well, as you haven't read it - and certainly not in Arabic - (hey - I'm good at this, or is it merely contagious?) you wouldn't know.

I do however so I can enlighten you. And then you can continue to ignore.

Sufism meditation and dhikr uses solely Qur'anic verses. The vesrses themselves are believed - and this is an orthodox Islamic view - to be based on certain SOUNDS that affect the consciousness in a way similar to the mantra. These sounds are the sounds of the verses which are in fact breathing exercises.

There is a specific way to breath while reciting them and it is essentially a chant - the 'breath marks' are written in the Qur'an itself.

More than that, the Qur'an is actually an encoded document written around the number 19.

But the actual content itself is mystical also: The 'Light Verse' states that it is an allegory and is clearly mystical in intent. Muhhamad himself stated that each verse has seven meanings.

So you are wrong. The Qur'an DOES claim to be allegorical in places:

Quote:
He it is who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except God. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.

(Sura 3:7 [4])

Quote:
Mystical movements have sprouted in each of the major religions specifically because the literal case for each has fallen apart, not because they started as mystical and the literalist branches are the offshoots.

Wrong.

The founders of the religions were ALWAYS mystics who rejected society and found 'enlightenment'.

Later on the mystic vision degenerated. You will not be able to find one example against this argument but I hope you do try to venture one.

I wouldn't try Islam as it is on record that Muhammad was taught by Christian mystics and that the Sufis existed at the same time as his teaching mission. In fact, one Sufi - Uways al-Qarni - was a contemporary of Muhammad and is believed to have been taught by him telepathically though they never met.

Ditto with Jesus. I think you'll find his teaching were initially mystical ideas derived from the Essene community and have very little in common with the Church.

Quote:
You should know the difference between the word "could" and the word "must".

Yes, I have a vague idea.

It is the 'could' I disagree with. One COULD NOT exist for eons as a Christian or a Muslim and never encounter such teachings. They are an integral part of everyday Muslim life and, to a lesser extent, Christian. And 'eons' is a long, long time....

Quote:
He said one could live an eon as a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew and never encounter any teachings like this about the nature of consciousness. He did not say that they are unavailable to Christians, Muslims, and Jews. And he is perfectly right. Religions do not require (and most do not endorse) any kind of deep understanding of our nature, they require only faith and obedience.

If you mean by 'religion' the Church and current Muslim/Jewish representatives then you are correct. And so is Harris.

My point is that these are not the same as the beliefs of the original founders. So one is 'not religion' and is false. Harris - and you - fail to make this distinction. Obviously because it does not suit your agenda but it revolves just the same.

Quote:
But even if he were making the argument you say he is, he is not very wrong, and you point this out very well. In every single case (Kabbalah, Sufism, etc) you have to go outside the mainstream of each faith. That is Harris's entire point.

I disagree. You have to go outside 'what is claimed to be the faith' by the established authority structures. That does not mean they are valid.

Suaids claim to be original Islam for example. So do the Taleban. They lie. Ditto the Catholic Church.

You should be wary of accepting their own claims for themselves, it is a potential flaw in the argument. That's all I'm saying.

Quote:
Who determines what is "distorted religion" and what is not "distorted religion"?

Facts and objective academic research establish this. It is the rationalist approach. You should understand that.

Quote:
(As usual, this is something all three discuss in their books. But you would not know that, since you have not read them.)

Even if I had read them that does not mean I would agree. I have read passages - are you saying I need to read every word?

If you write a book on God I will not need to read it to know you will not say "God exists". ANd as I am talking to you and as you are quite clear on what you feel to be 'Gospel Truth' I also know quite a large amount about what these books do and do not contain.

Quote:
Why do you think you speak so authoritatively and definitively on what these books say when you haven't even read them?!

Because YOU have read them. All I have to do is read you instead.

Quote:
Again, one needn't even read the books to know this is wrong. Chapter 8 of God Is Not Great is called "The New Testament Exceeds the Evil of the Old One".



Quote:
How can you call them liars when you do not know what they say, and when you do read what they say you mischaracterize it? I do not even have to quote text to show how dishonest you are, just chapter titles.

Because I am referring to something that I know they do say.

Hitchens for example says "God is not Great". I know this. I do not need to read the book to know he thinks this.

So I can call him a liar because I also know he denies God's existence. I do not need to read his book to know this.

He is a liar because he does not believe in God and claims he does not exist but then makes a statement about something as though it DOES exist. In order to be truthful he should have called it "If God existed then in the opinion of this human being he would not be great".

But he is not honest enough for that and you are not honest enough to see it.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #111 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

History tells me that asking you questions gets nowhere, but I am going to keep trying.

If one can damn atheism via Stalinism, can one also damn Christianity via the Inquisition?

also

If one can insist that the advocacy of atheism necessarily advocates the legal enforcement of an atheism-only society, can one also insist that the advocacy of Christianity necessarily advocates the legal enforcement of a Christianity-only society?

I just want to see how consistent you are with your thinking.

One cannot damn atheist via Stalinism but to attempt to do so is in fact an exact equivalence of what Dawkins, Hitchens et al are doing.

And there lies the stupidity...err, forgot the rules, of course I mean lying....

And of course the Inquisition has nothing to do with Christianity if one means by that the teachings of Christ. It may well be in line with the teachings of the Church but it seems most atheists of the fundie persuasion can't or won't make the distinction.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #112 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

One cannot damn atheist via Stalinism but to attempt to do so is in fact an exact equivalence of what Dawkins, Hitchens et al are doing.

And there lies the stupidity...err, forgot the rules, of course I mean lying....

And of course the Inquisition has nothing to do with Christianity if one means by that the teachings of Christ. It may well be in line with the teachings of the Church but it seems most atheists of the fundie persuasion can't or won't make the distinction.

I haven't read Hitchens yet, nor the others, except Dawkins. Please, find a copy of Dawkins' Delusion and read the first few chapters. While I'm sure D wouldn't care for your version of original religion, his book isn't about that. Most of his book is in opposition to popular christianity. Its the popular form which indoctrinates young children en masse; its the popular form which teaches faith as a virtue; the popular form lead to the inquisition; the popular form gave us president gwb; and the popular form is so resistant to change, that it must simultaneously endorse and reject teachings in its own damned book, leading misguided folk to literally interpret the wrong words and commit horrible acts. The teachings of christ which most people are familiar with are in the bible. They are combined with tales of rape, incest, slavery and all kinds of bigotry; and theres no explicit guidelines for which stories are allegory, which are complete bunk, and which are to be taken literally.
post #113 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by thuh Freak View Post

I haven't read Hitchens yet, nor the others, except Dawkins. Please, find a copy of Dawkins' Delusion and read the first few chapters. While I'm sure D wouldn't care for your version of original religion, his book isn't about that. Most of his book is in opposition to popular christianity. Its the popular form which indoctrinates young children en masse; its the popular form which teaches faith as a virtue; the popular form lead to the inquisition; the popular form gave us president gwb; and the popular form is so resistant to change, that it must simultaneously endorse and reject teachings in its own damned book, leading misguided folk to literally interpret the wrong words and commit horrible acts. The teachings of christ which most people are familiar with are in the bible. They are combined with tales of rape, incest, slavery and all kinds of bigotry; and theres no explicit guidelines for which stories are allegory, which are complete bunk, and which are to be taken literally.

That's factually incorrect. All mainstream Christians denominations have fleshed out/vetted the Bible, and have arrived at doctrinal positions that are essentially the same. Some are more literal than others, but those positions never stray into any form of nastiness, stoning gays, etc., except in a tiny fraction of believers.

But let's be clear here, I'm not, and neither is any other Christian bound to what people like Fred Phelps think. Any attempt to cite what .0002% of Christians think is off in argumentative outer space. Also, I did your side a huge favor by allowing the Inquisition into the conversation, something that happened 500 years ago, and doesn't remotely represent what Christians believe today.

You lovely lefties seem to want play games, that somehow Atheism is a tabla rasa, that it comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Atheism isn't a lack of belief, Peter Hitchens mentions that the article that I linked to earlier, and there is a continuing cloud around the philosophies that inform it -- today, not some speculative, "might," but right this minute, and with a horrific body count.

Above all, your approach dithers between ignorance and poor form.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #114 of 258
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

You lovely lefties seem to want play games, that somehow Atheism is a tabla rasa, that it comes from nowhere and goes nowhere.

But Hitchens is RIGHT-WING (and so I am pretty damn sure is this Harris character) and all the momentum of the current 'militant atheism' is purely a product of the post 911 environment and is both feeding into, informed by and a product of, the spurious 'WOT'.

If you don't believe me then take a step back and look at issues over hijab. mosques, immigration - all a right-wing agenda. All driven by right-wing leaders to feed a right-wing agenda.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #115 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

But Hitchens is RIGHT-WING (and so I am pretty damn sure is this Harris character) and all the momentum of the current 'militant atheism' is purely a product of the post 911 environment and is both feeding into, informed by and a product of, the spurious 'WOT'.

If you don't believe me then take a step back and look at issues over hijab. mosques, immigration - all a right-wing agenda. All driven by right-wing leaders to feed a right-wing agenda.

That is interesting, Peter takes Christopher to task on that.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #116 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

That's factually incorrect. All mainstream Christians denominations have fleshed out/vetted the Bible, and have arrived at doctrinal positions that are essentially the same. Some are more literal than others, but those positions never stray into any form of nastiness, stoning gays, etc., except in a tiny fraction of believers.

But let's be clear here, I'm not, and neither is any other Christian is bound to what people like Fred Phelps think. Any attempt to cite what .0002% of Christians think is off in argumentative outer space. Also, I did your side a huge favor by allowing the Inquisition into the conversation, something that happened 500 years ago, hardly relevant to what any Christian believes today.

Is it all explicit and clear, dmz? It never was to me, growing up in catholic school, but I s'pose I was a less than stellar student. Much of the OT was thrown out with Jesus, but which parts? Many of them stay in the book, but aren't supposed to be literal, or even allegory anymore. One thing I remember was a priest talking down to me after I did a report on the last book of the bible; i think it was something like, "actually, lil guy, we try to downplay revelations these days; the whole book looks like it was written by a crazy." he did a sermon about it too. How come parts which are completely shitty are kept in the fold? (Dawkins uses the example of Lot offering his daughter to a group of rapists, who proceed to rape her to death.) Part of my problem with religion is the bible itself refuses to be edited; modern, mainstream christianity won't throw out the tales that everyone can agree are no good. There is no updating it to the times.

Quote:
You lovely lefties seem to want play games, that somehow Atheism is a tabla rasa, that it comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Atheism isn't a lack of belief, Peter Hitchens mentions that the article that I linked to earlier, and there is a continuing cloud around the philosophies that inform it -- today, not some speculative, "might," but right this minute.

Above all, the whole approach dithers between ignorance and poor form.

I think you are confusing atheism and antitheism, and militants forms of either. Atheism is the absence of a belief in god. its really just that simple. There are no further doctrines to it. Antitheism is a form of atheism, which has the added characteristic of being explicitly opposed to the belief in god.

Can you elaborate on the cloud surrounding the philosophies contributing to atheism?
post #117 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by thuh Freak View Post

Can you elaborate on the cloud surrounding the philosophies contributing to atheism?

Not without missing a deadline!


more later

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #118 of 258
segovius:

Quote:
When Hitches writes an entire chapter excoriating utopian dreams like those of Stalinist Russia he is merely trying to exorcize his own previous endorsments of those very beliefs.

That is certainly part of it, and he is quite open about that. (Again, actually reading the books in question is good practice.)

Quote:
Perhaps. But they would merely be an equivalence of the problems you face in not having read the Qur'an, al-Ghazali, The Church Fathers or a hundred other relevant sources on the 'God side' of the argument.

I have read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Qur'an, large portions of the Bhagavad Gita, and a lot of other religious texts. I read a whole lot of religious stuff, it is not as if these books were my first introduction to religion.

Quote:
But then you have different rules that apply to you don't you?

Absolutely not. Once I attack a book I have not read let me know. Once I accuse a writer

Quote:
Maybe next time you suggest someone listens to something in order to promote your view you should check that the first statements of the item in question are what you regard as 'on topic' or not.

Neo-con politics have absolutely nothing to do with the topic, which is why I happily dismiss it.

Quote:
The founders of the religions were ALWAYS mystics who rejected society and found 'enlightenment'.

The founders could be the most disconnected mystics in the world, but as the religion comes to ascendancy it is literalist and dogmatic. The mainstream sects of these religions are not mystical at all, and they are certainly dogmatic.

Quote:
If you mean by 'religion' the Church and current Muslim/Jewish representatives then you are correct. And so is Harris.

That is what they are addressing because that is their topic. You can claim, "Well, if they would only go out to the fringes..." but that is not their point. Their point is that mainstream religious understanding and practice are harmful.

And even more than that (especially Dawkins), the fundamental beliefs are exceedingly improbable.

Quote:
My point is that these are not the same as the beliefs of the original founders. So one is 'not religion' and is false. Harris - and you - fail to make this distinction. Obviously because it does not suit your agenda but it revolves just the same.

What does it really matter, though?

Quote:
Facts and objective academic research establish this. It is the rationalist approach. You should understand that.

Facts? We are talking about religion here.

Quote:
Even if I had read them that does not mean I would agree. I have read passages - are you saying I need to read every word?

It is not a matter of your agreement being necessary, it is a matter of whether or not you even know what their arguments are. I can disagree with the Pope about Christ's divinity, but I cannot say that the Pope argues that Christ is not divine.

Quote:
He is a liar because he does not believe in God and claims he does not exist but then makes a statement about something as though it DOES exist. In order to be truthful he should have called it "If God existed then in the opinion of this human being he would not be great".

God is a character in fiction and a cultural entity.

Quote:
One cannot damn atheist via Stalinism but to attempt to do so is in fact an exact equivalence of what Dawkins, Hitchens et al are doing.

Nonsense. Dawkins, especially, pulls straight out of the Bible. Cutting up concubines

Quote:
Also, I did your side a huge favor by allowing the Inquisition into the conversation, something that happened 500 years ago, and doesn't remotely represent what Christians believe today.

The very fact that Christians believed it then but do not anymore is the entire point of these books.

Quote:
You lovely lefties seem to want play games, that somehow Atheism is a tabla rasa, that it comes from nowhere and goes nowhere. Atheism isn't a lack of belief, Peter Hitchens mentions that the article that I linked to earlier, and there is a continuing cloud around the philosophies that inform it -- today, not some speculative, "might," but right this minute, and with a horrific body count.

Where, then, does atheism come from?
Where, then, does atheism go?
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #119 of 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Blast. I actually looked that up before I posted, but still managed to hose it up.

I knew it was an old New Orleans R & B standard, and was pretty sure D.E. was wrong when I saw it - but had to look up to confirm authorship by The Usual Suspect, Dave Bartholomew.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Bartholomew

Nice song - have a listen - "as covered by New Orleans' greatest band", AKA the World's Greatest Live Rock Bank, AKA The Radiators:

http://ia340927.us.archive.org/3/ite...d2t05_64kb.mp3

from this show:

http://www.archive.org/details/Rad2007-01-11.flac
eye
bee
BEE
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eye
bee
BEE
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post #120 of 258
Peter Hitchens reviews his brother's book. Just read it. Don't know if it was linked here or not, but here it is. Probably will be more firewood for this flame war...

One thing:

Quote:
My claims, you see, are much milder than his. When I skulk in the pew of a nearly-empty church, repeating the lovely, poetic formulas of the Church of England, I do not imagine that I am saved for all eternity.

For all I know, Christopher is absolutely right – my prayers are pointless and a meaningless oblivion awaits. But if he is right, what a dispiriting, lowering truth it is.

Uh, well why do you "skulk in the pew of a nearly-empty church, repeating the lovely, poetic formulas of the Church of England", go out and do something more affirming. Take yourself or your family out to the park, museum, library or a movie? You might just enjoy it (life) a little better before it ends, harrumph.

/.02
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