The Raving Theist

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Born Again

May 22, 2005 | 91 Comments

Took the week off to establish my new blog at The Evangelical Atheist.

Actually, he’s not me and I was just busy, but the blog looks promising. So go take a look while I power up for the coming week.

Question: Do you think T.E.A. is right that “religion was essential to the development of human society”?

Comments

91 Responses to “Born Again”

  1. Marc
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 2:41 pm

    No.

  2. Lucy Muff
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 2:51 pm

    OF course. Otherwise how can you explain that EVERY society in history has had religon of some kind. There are no success story’s of past peoples what did not have gods sp that is proof that god is needed for development. Later all peoples will know Jesus and war and hunger will end forever. I hope that day is soon.

  3. eric bloodaxe
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 3:17 pm

    god knows.

  4. Xianghong
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 3:18 pm

    Not essential, but more of an inevitable, unsavory byproduct. Kinda like crap.

  5. norbizness
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 4:00 pm

    God help me, I’m with Lucy through the first two sentences. However, using universal desire for societal control and universal fear of death as a way of establishing the objective truth behind the lunatic claims of religion is where we, sadly, part ways.

  6. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 4:21 pm

    EVERY successful society in history had murderers and thieves, therefore murderers and thieves are essential to the development of human society. How else would you explain it?

  7. boywonder
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

    Yes, I do believe religion was unavoidable in helping to maintain a ‘healthy’ society in primative cultures. That is the very reason why almost all civilizations have a long standing religious history. Religion, whether right or wrong, served as the first laws for many societies. Religion controlled (and still does unfortunately) our moral and ethical development by providing guidelines for what is “normal” or “acceptable” behavior. Over thousands of years, dogma has evolved, based on what standards have gone in and out of fashion. Religion today offers little else but morality (helping the poor- which never seems to affect genuine change to the poor- as an example) that is central to man’s needs. Also, comfort for death has been a key factor in the survival of religion. Redemption for sin is finally going out of fashion. Could primative cultures have developed without religion? Perhaps. I still think that since we know almost every civilization developed with some sort of religion or basic philosophy, that it was necessary to explain death and suffering, and offered control over populations by a minority.

  8. Lucy Muff
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

    It is true, evil in society is necessary so as to make love of god (jesus) free will and more important. Bad peoples like murders and thieves are unfortunate necessity but eventually they pay in hell and goods people are in heaven laughing at them and enjoying loveof god.

  9. Lundie
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 4:30 pm

    Yes, it is. However it is merely a phase that the human race had to go through on the way to scientific enlightenment, although it was not so much religion wot done it as the curiosity and questions that gave rise to religion.

  10. boywonder
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 4:39 pm

    Lundie, that’s a good point. Religion was the only viable explanation for the curiosity and questions of a primative culture with no other means for answers. Religion was also a quick way to power or dominance in a group. I suppose that is somewhat true today. People invest as much time and effort in the opinions of their preachers as they do their stockbrokers.

  11. Lucy Muff
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 4:41 pm

    Religon is still now only viable explanation for where univiverse comes from. Science cannot answer genesis question, but it is right there in start of bible!!!

  12. The Evangelical Atheist
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 4:56 pm

    Religion inhibits the negative behaviors (like murder or spitting on the sidewalk) that put a strain on the social contract. I think belief is the only way for a leader to bootstrap authority and create a civilization out of nothing. I’m going to be doing a six (I think) part series on my thoughts about the origin of religion. The first part went up a little while ago. Thank you, R.A., for your support.

  13. boywonder
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 5:16 pm

    Evangelical Atheist, good luck with your blog. We need a few thousand more people like you to help even out the sickening number of religious sites. I am extremely interested in your premise. Most of my research into religion revovles around many of its origins. This is also a very hard subject considering most conclusions have to be made with very little evidence. There simply isn’t a wealth of aercheological (sp) evidence available to confirm or deny many a hypothysis. And origins are further confused by religious banter. I think that is why there isn’t already more info on the subject. Paleoanthropolgy is as close as we get, but it’s a good starting point.

  14. Delta
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 5:18 pm

    I don’t think that it was necessary. I think people might have been able to begin to explain things with the scientific method rather than relying on some BS that someone KNEW they were making up. Of course, they wouldn’t have known much about the world since science would have been so primitive (but then again what does religion tell you?). It’s better to say “I don’t know” than “the unicorn did it after it flew over the rainbow”.

  15. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 5:18 pm

    It is true, evil in society is necessary so as to make love of god (jesus) free will and more important. Bad peoples like murders and thieves are unfortunate necessity but eventually they pay in hell and goods people are in heaven laughing at them and enjoying loveof god.

    But no sane person would argue that we should therefore encourage murder and theft in order to promote society. You ignore the possibilty that religion is itself an evil that should be overcome. (And, for the record, I don’t wish religious people to suffer for all eternity for their evil while I laugh at them. That’s just evil.)

    Religion inhibits the negative behaviors (like murder or spitting on the sidewalk) that put a strain on the social contract

    While religion may inhibit some negative behaviors (although they could just as well be inhibited by other means), it also provides unquestioning justification for other negative behaviors, often ones involving murder and maybe even sidewalk spitting. How is the social contract unstrained by unresolvable arguments over whose God is more righteous or condamnation of those who do not share one religion’s pet peeves about buttsex or dancing on sundays? Absolutism based on private revelation, which is what religion always degrades to, is the antithesis of a social contract.

  16. Lucy Muff
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 5:26 pm

    there is no need to encourage bads peoples like murders and theives because the lord has given us free will and some people choose unwisely, but god knows all of them and so for them who makes right choice and then gets to heaven we look better and are saved. when nobody chooses the evil path and ignores gods will will be hasppy day because that is when all go to heaven! Religon to be evil is counterdiction since god is good by fact as define.

  17. boywonder
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 5:39 pm

    Delta, scientific inquiry could not yet have been developed by primative cultures. I am certainly no expert, and someone here will undoubtedly correct me if I’m wrong, but we started to evolve in a relatively structured way. We went from roving groups on the plains of South Africa (if you subscribe to the ‘out of africa theory’ as I do) to clans competing for food and hence teritory. Eventually many of these clans became stable enough (while others kept migrating) to understand manipulation of the land (agriculture). This was a big turning point in our history. This enabled other pursutes to flourish. Art, tool-making, math, language, astronomy(and astrology), etc. begin to become common. But for these pursutes to be achieved, these clans at the very least had to be safe enough for most to survive long enough to learn and expand these subjects. This is where religion served multiple roles. Local religious rules or laws let members know what was acceptable. Religous rites ‘helped’ cure the sick and give comfort to those who lost family (as I imagine was all too common in a harsh environment like that). This process continued up to the present. It’s just now everything is much more refined and complex.

  18. Lucy Muff
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 6:12 pm

    is true, even with the massive changes of modern life god is still here with us, and needed ever more with many complications in life. PEople are still clever enough to see the true need for god in life today except evil doers who are for hell anyways.

  19. The Evangelical Atheist
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 6:38 pm

    How is the social contract unstrained by unresolvable arguments over whose God is more righteous or condamnation of those who do not share one religion’s pet peeves about buttsex or dancing on sundays?

    Ah, but the idea was for everyone to have the same god(s), at least in a given area. You didn’t run into the problem of competing belief systems until later, when people started interacting with each other over longer distances. And, by that point, it was convenient as motivation for war against the “others” to seize territory and/or resources. Even in the Old Testament, it was expected that you would worship the local gods if you went from one place to another.

    As for buttsex and Sunday dancing, prohibited behaviors were prohibited because the founders of the religions thought they were undesirable. In a young civilization, order is more important than freedom. You can argue about what should or should not have been prohibited, but that doesn’t make a difference when trying to decide if religion was necessary.

  20. simbol
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 7:21 pm

    You can sustain this assertion only if you can demonstrate that religion was indispensable for create an ethics leading to impede killing and massmurder and supporting freedom and knowledge. Since what can be demonstrated it is exactly the opposite, how can this be sustained?. I would like to know the answer.

    If development means a state where you are in the best position for reducing your fear of being killed, of poverty and repression, what pushed development was:

    1) agriculture, the wheel, steel, oil, discovery of microbian life, peniciline, evolution, navigation, printing, explanation of basic economics mechanisms, and a long etc, which can be summarized as direct pplication of knowledge. And

    2) a long and painful process of discovery that nature can be explained by science (today catholics admit this – JPII dixit 1992) and that not natural or divine derivated authorithy exists in the political field over the individual human being.

    I dont remember anything done by religions tu push this two points, excluding the recently manifesto of the Vatican, related to the Galileo case, whereby Catholicism admits that science is suited for explaining the natural universe (but not the spiritual one whatever spiritual means and that science holds accountability of unintended consequences of its works – atomic bomb kill and cloning poses many questions). Maybe judaism can stress the point that its religion proclaimed long time ago before christianism, the inviolability of human life. For me this only means that jewish religion and their christians heirs misinterpreted Yaveh since the latter did’t blink one second(in heavenly terms) for killing all the people except the Noah family. One should recognize that in this point, islamism is more sincere or at least more coherent.

    Jewish adherents can also point that their religion in some way supports individualism and a stance against authoritarianism and showing as a proof modern israel. Problem is that when Jews were given the opportunity to create a state, they produced a theocracy. A soft one yes, but theocracy at the end. A state based on a theological ideology cannot avoid this outcome. This occurred with Jesuits in Paraguay, calvinists in Geneva, christian’s in Savonarola’s Firenze, no to mention Christian Rome and some christian colonies in north america and modern Iran and Saudi Arabia. What varies among them is the degree of intolerance against the other faiths and atheists.
    There is no way to avoid imposition of religion and restriction of intelectual freedom in a theocracy. Smuggling antisemitism? It depends on the definition: I’m anticatholic, antiislamic, antiprotestant, anti voodoo and yes anti judaism as a religious faith.
    To jews I can make a special concession: I’ve read that there are some jewish militant people who accept Atheist judaism, what as far as Iknow is somehing like this: You can accept that god doesn’t exists as long as you accept the Jewish ethics, customs and obligations no related to the existence of god. How this works, if it works?, I don’t know. But if it works, is a step in the right direction.

    Very soft against catholics? relatively, yes. Why relatively? because I have not the strong bias against catholicism that are present in those living in countries, like England, Usa and Germany where there are a protestant majority whereby their religious antipapist stance have been nurtured by generations. My bias is the same for all religions except with islamism.
    Why specially hard on islamism? I cannot swallow sendig to death a 12 year old child lined with bombs to kill infidels or political enemies.

    So why aren’t you seemingly hard on the pedophilic catholic priests?
    No catholic priest preaches pedophilia but islamic mullahs preaches use of children for bombings, they call it “martyrdom” a this is paid back handsomely in the muslim heaven.

    This all said, and going back to the question posed by TRA:

    From my viewpoint, the sentence must be rephrased this way:

    Religion has been essential for hampering the development of human society.

    Since I’m very skeptical about the “inherent goodness of human nature” for me is not difficut to admit invent of religion as a inevitable step in the evolution of society (coercion, explanation, afterlife). Is the same with armies, these were and maybe are inevitable for the foreseable future of mankind but it is difficult to admit that armies are essential for the development of human societies. Quite the contrary.

    Very long? yeah. Please remember I’m learning to write english and this is my homework. Feel free to correct errors (but only about writing!!)

  21. Lucy Muff
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 7:31 pm

    all your problems are belong to jesus if you only can accept Him. Otherwise you get what you deserve

  22. leon
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 8:20 pm

    No, imagine were we would be scientifically if religion never existed. Religion was never needed.

  23. Lucy Muff
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 8:31 pm

    Leon is fool because without religon science is lame. Einstien say that and he know the most about science than anyone before he is dead. This is great proof that religon is needed, and can’t be doing without it.

  24. Christopher Rhoades D
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

    Most of these comments, and the EA him- or herself, miss a key fact. There have been and are many forms of supernatural belief, but it is much more precisely descriptive to discuss what most us know as “religion” with the term “patriarchal monotheism.” This means that it involves a tendency over time to imagine god as a single unit. This is a gradual process, as we can see from the evolution from the triune god of Catholicism to the less triune one of some protestantisms, to the single one of Unitarianism. Also patriarchal monotheism implies that he is masculine and paternal. A great deal comes with this.

    Moreover, it is crucial to know that patriarchal monotheism is relatively new. Yes it has ancient roots, but, for example, Christianity didn’t really gain ideological hegemony over the ruling feudal

  25. Christopher Rhoades D
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

    Most of these comments, and the EA him- or herself, miss a key fact. There have been and are many forms of supernatural belief, but it is much more precisely descriptive to discuss what most us know as “religion” with the term “patriarchal monotheism.” This means that it involves a tendency over time to imagine god as a single unit. This is a gradual process, as we can see from the evolution from the triune god of Catholicism to the less triune one of some protestantisms, to the single one of Unitarianism. Also patriarchal monotheism implies that he is masculine and paternal. A great deal comes with this.

    Moreover, it is crucial to know that patriarchal monotheism is relatively new. Yes it has ancient roots, but, for example, Christianity didn’t really gain ideological hegemony over the ruling feudal

  26. Christopher Rhoades D
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

    Most of these comments, and the EA him- or herself, miss a key fact. There have been and are many forms of supernatural belief, but it is much more precisely descriptive to discuss what most us know as “religion” with the term “patriarchal monotheism.” This means that it involves a tendency over time to imagine god as a single unit. This is a gradual process, as we can see from the evolution from the triune god of Catholicism to the less triune one of some protestantisms, to the single one of Unitarianism. Also patriarchal monotheism implies that he is masculine and paternal. A great deal comes with this.

    Moreover, it is crucial to know that patriarchal monotheism is relatively new. Yes it has ancient roots, but, for example, Christianity didn’t really gain ideological hegemony over the ruling feudal

  27. Christopher Rhoades D
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

    Most of these comments, and the EA him- or herself, miss a key fact. There have been and are many forms of supernatural belief, but it is much more precisely descriptive to discuss what most us know as “religion” with the term “patriarchal monotheism.” This means that it involves a tendency over time to imagine god as a single unit. This is a gradual process, as we can see from the evolution from the triune god of Catholicism to the less triune one of some protestantisms, to the single one of Unitarianism. Also patriarchal monotheism implies that he is masculine and paternal. A great deal comes with this.

    Moreover, it is crucial to know that patriarchal monotheism is relatively new. Yes it has ancient roots, but, for example, Christianity didn’t really gain ideological hegemony over the ruling feudal

  28. Christopher Rhoades D
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 8:41 pm

    Most of these comments, and the EA him- or herself, miss a key fact. There have been and are many forms of supernatural belief, but it is much more precisely descriptive to discuss what most us know as “religion” with the term “patriarchal monotheism.” This means that it involves a tendency over time to imagine god as a single unit. This is a gradual process, as we can see from the evolution from the triune god of Catholicism to the less triune one of some protestantisms, to the single one of Unitarianism. Also patriarchal monotheism implies that he is masculine and paternal. A great deal comes with this.

    Moreover, it is crucial to know that patriarchal monotheism is relatively new. Yes it has ancient roots, but, for example, Christianity didn’t really gain ideological hegemony over the ruling feudal

  29. simbol
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 10:30 pm

    Christofer (he who carries christ)

    One thing is explaining history and historical “necessity” of religion and another one is answering the question under discussion.

    What about a scenario where christian religion hadn’t been taken ideological control of the Roman Empire?

    A world without Augustine, without adoption of greek philosophy taken as unchangeable by christian church and preached as sacred by its accordance with biblical explanation which freezed for 1000 years physics, cosmogony, geography, geology, biology and medicine in western europe?

    What about the christian and muslim economic ideas about “just price” and interest rate which hampered trade and economic growth?

    What about muslims no destroying the Alexandrian Library?

    What about religion not sanctioning the divine origin of the kings’ power?

    Some times I think that politeism had been better for humankind. At least under politheism flourished Thales, Archymede, Pythagoras and Aristotle, roman engineering, Babilonian Astronomy, Indian mathematics. etc. A monopolistic religion alway becomes polictical powerful and controls thinking and political correctness of knowledge. In politheism gods are weaker because of competition and one ever can find or invent some nice god and correponding priest who protects those who create, discover and invent against the mainstream thinking and if this god becomes dogmatic you can go to the competitor. What about a god of math, other of geology and a goddes of biology or some lesser god who protects horse racing which in turn helps statistic and game theory to develop? Of course one can find some good god for pretecting us smokers against this stupid god of healthyness who mandates no to smoke or eat bacon or drinking a good beer. Please don’t remember me Socrates. If you read the small letter, he commited suicide.

  30. The Evangelical Atheist
    May 22nd, 2005 @ 11:59 pm

    Christopher, your point about science arising from religion is well taken, and supports the necessity of religion in the development of man.

    On a popular level, most of our European ancestors were peasants and persisted in paganism with an overlay of Christianity (Anthropologists call this kind of thing syncretism) for centuries. And by centuries I mean that there were people in countries like France who were more or less pagan until about 1914.

    I would argue that modern Christianity throughout the world is still sprinkled with European paganism. The fastest way for the church to gain acceptance among pagans was go make certain concessions and incorporate things they liked about their old faith. Do you remember a Christmas tree or Easter egg in the Bible? These are pagan symbols repurposed. Christ wasn’t born on December 22. Christmas is then because it was close to the winter solstice. I could go on with this for pages, but you get the point.

    Most of these comments, and the EA him- or herself, miss a key fact. There have been and are many forms of supernatural belief, but it is much more precisely descriptive to discuss what most us know as “religion” with the term “patriarchal monotheism.”

    I don’t feel that my comments were in any way limited to a monotheistic system. My argument is simply that religion creates motivation for certain types of behavior. This is true in every system. This can be manipulated by the strong-minded to lead people in a given direction. The best examples are religions that require an intermediary between the individual and the divine (like Catholicism). I’m a him, by the way.

  31. baric
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 12:12 am

    So guys, I own the domain to militantatheist.com. Should we create the evil atheist blog trifecta?

  32. simbol
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 1:26 am

    Why is south korea advancing in research on stem cells? would it be a coincidence in that country there is not a catholic, protestant,muslim o jewish powerful church?

  33. Mookie
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 5:44 am

    #17 boywonder

    “Delta, scientific inquiry could not yet have been developed by primative cultures.”

    That’s flat out wrong. Scientific inquiry was around back then, its not a matter of the tools at hand, its a matter of logic. Humans were good at that long ago, and it would therefore make sense that “primitive” cultures had a lot of the same methodology we have now. Sure, they probably didn’t call it science, didn’t formalize it; but the concept is still there, the underpinnings of reason existed. Our species may be pretty fucked up much of the time, but there are some qualities we just can’t shake, no matter how hard we try. I believe that people that have found their way to atheism do more to credit humanity than mere theists. We have used logic and reason to reach a conclusion, instead of superstition and rumour. Yes, that is something we have been doing for a long, long time.

    Now, as far as religion being necessary for civilization… if religion is simply the belief in supernatural powers, then no. But if it is the idea of an unseen force (gravity, wind) acting on objects, then yes, religion was necessary. But here is where it gets sticky: when and where did a force become supernatural, more than just what it is objectively? When did an idea get so overblown that it took on meaning it really didn’t need? Probably around the time people learned that they could scare people and thus lord over them in a more controlling manner. Was religion necessary to create this power structure? It helped, but there are better ways. Did the power of ancient kings rely on religion? Sure. Didn’t make it right then, and certainly doesn’t make it right now. There are better ways.

  34. ocmpoma
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 8:02 am

    I wouldn’t say ‘necessary’ – rather, inevitable given the social nature of mankind and our natural propensity to both wonder ‘why’ and to imagine.

  35. SteveR
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 8:42 am

    The only way for early humans to explain the natural world AND ‘extend’ their existence beyond the grave was to embrace religion. Therefore, it was necessary because it was the only way to accomplish these things, thus satisfying powerful internal needs.

  36. Tushar
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 9:09 am

    hmmm…yes definitely…I think it was, though you forget that these so-called “primitive” cultures included ancient China and ancient India and so did Greece…religion as u r talking about it only springs from monotheistic death cults…no this is not to say that polytheism is true…but merely that polytheistic traditions have shown tremendous intellectual spirit and that must be respected.

  37. DawnsDone
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 9:28 am

    Lucy Muff said:
    there is no need to encourage bads peoples like murders and theives because the lord has given us free will and some people choose unwisely, but god knows all of them and so for them who makes right choice and then gets to heaven we look better and are saved. when nobody chooses the evil path and ignores gods will will be hasppy day because that is when all go to heaven! Religon to be evil is counterdiction since god is good by fact as define.

    Does this very text prove that religion stems from the uneducated?

  38. Viole
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 10:02 am

    Emphatic no… just because you cannot imagine a scenario where a civilization arose without religion does not make it impossible. It’s quite possible that the scientific culture which began to form in ancient Greece might have flourished, and thus someone to say to the early christians, “Do you actually have any evidence that this guy existed?”

    Perhaps polytheism is inevitable–not necessary–but has already been pointed out, it is not dogmatic to the same extent as monotheism. I would suggest even it isn’t inevitable, but I don’t have any alternatives to offer.

  39. simbol
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 10:43 am

    ocpoma,

    one of the meanings of “necessary”, especially when used in historical an philosofical contexts, is “inevitable” (inavoidable, determinded by previous circumstances)

  40. AK
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 12:11 pm

    Religion is most absolutely NOT required for a society to develop in the early stages.

    Sam Harris expressed this eloquently in his book “The End of Faith”. In it, he proposes how, without religion, we may have travelled to the moon 1000 years sooner than with religion, among other things.

    Religion is a wet blanket on progress. Period. Progress can happen in SPITE of religion, but never because of it. Religion did nothing to help the behavior or progress of society, even in the early years.

    For those that think religion did some good early on, you must support your assertion by describing an example of religion helping humanity in the primitive days in such a way that a secular humane society (or maybe buddhist) society could not have benefitted from.

    Here is the problem: Religion has no advantage over a godless humane society NOW, so what was different in the past that would actually have made religion advantageous over a godless humane society in the PAST?

  41. AK
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 12:18 pm

    Im sick of Lucy Muff’s retarded and unsupported assertions. Look at this:

    “Leon is fool because without religon science is lame. Einstien say that and he know the most about science than anyone before he is dead. This is great proof that religon is needed, and can’t be doing without it.”

    Lucy, what is it exactly that Einstein said? (You have no idea what you are talking about). Einstein didnt believe in any theistic God. Einstein didnt believe in the afterlife. Einstein believed that morals were a purely human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.

    So yes, we should all listen to Einstein, ESPECIALLY YOU, and stop believing in a supernatural God and a silly afterlife. As far as your Christian ass is concerned Lucy, Einstein was an INFIDEL. In other words, an unbeliever.

    Science doesnt need religion for shit. Every time science progresses, it takes a big wet sloppy bite out of religions ass. Religion withers and melts like the wicked witch of the west every time science moves forward. Science needs religion like religion needs science. In other words, they are like fire and ice, like oil and water.

    Lucy, if you want to claim that science needs religion, you are going to have to support that assertion. Describe why it is so. Otherwise shut up, because if you really do support Einstein like you claim, then you should ditch your theism and stop believing in the afterlife, because Einstein believed in neither.

  42. jahrta
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 2:18 pm

    LucyMuff said this a while back in #21:

    “all your problems are belong to jesus if you only can accept Him. Otherwise you get what you deserve”

    Is that anything like “all your base are belong to us?”

    SOMEone’s been playing too much old school nintendo, or watching reruns of futurama on adult swim

    besides, i’m far too civilized to unload my bullshit problems on anyone, even if it is the supposed son of god. i think people of all creeds, colors and religions become far stronger individuals if they take ownership of their problems, but then again that is antithetical to religion’s message (well, catholicism, at any rate) – because how better to lure someone to your cult than by saying “you’ll burn in hell forever for what you’ve done unless you talk to our god and let him forgive you”?

  43. GeneralZod
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 2:33 pm

    Lucy Muff is not serious. He/she is messing with everyone.

  44. simbol
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 2:47 pm

    AK

    At some point, in this blog, Teabag hit me with a baseball bat because I had some doubts about the true belief of Einstein in matters of god.

    Einstein said:

    ….”I do not believe in a personal god…”

    …..” Icannot conceive of a god who rewards or punishes his creatures……. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death…”

    My doubts remain because I don’t know what exactly means “personal god” as Einsten called the god he didn’t believe in. I have read this noun several times here and in other places (personal god) and until now I cannot catch the exact meaning. Is there a IMPERSONAL god?, a collective god?, a fait neant god? a hot dog eater god?

    In the second quote hi is rejecting the jewish and christian gods, but I can do the same and believe in some god

    There are a lot of quotes of Einstein about god, pro and con and this maybe what shows is an evolution in Einstein thinking about the issue.

    Anyway I wonder why Einstein ever didn’t affirm plainly and definitely he was an atheist?

    If he was it at the later stage of his life, and almost surely he was it, he used a lot of words more than the four that is needed.

  45. AK
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

    Most people consider Einstein to be either a deist or agnostic. Which, as far as Christianity (or any Abrahamic religion) is concerned, makes him an unbeliever or infidel.

    “Personal God” refers to a theistic God that has super-control over everything and is involved in regular affairs of humans. an “Impersonal God” refers to a deistic God, which would have created everything but is either uncaring of regular day to day activities or is no longer around to notice it.

    The Founding Fathers of America were mostly all deists. Einstein may fall into this category, although his pro-materialistic stance makes many consider him more of an agnostic.

    Regardless, Einstein was definitely no friend of religion.

  46. St. Teabag
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 3:04 pm

    Simbol, I did not hit anyone with anything

  47. Lundie
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 3:33 pm

    I think that religion was perhaps essential to the development of human society, not least because it provides the philosophical basis upon which our own concept of morality is formed.

    One of the distinguishing features of human intellect is the ability to rationalise and invent specific tools to facilitate the advancement of our race. And in the absence of proper scientific methods and explanations for the world around them, our forefathers invented mythology to act as a rationalisation for otherwise inexplicable phenomena.

    In their primitive minds, fire is a wondrous and magical property that can only be a gift from the gods or a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, for what do they know about exothermic oxidisation processes? Likewise, death is explained as that of a soul leaving the body to ascend to heaven, but what did they know about the theory of entropy, and that according to that theory all things must have an end?

    I believe that religion had performed an essential function in the development of human society by allowing our pre-scientific ancestors the freedom to concentrate on the advancement of their civilisation as opposed to expending their collective energy in trying to explain the unexplainable. Indeed, in the absence of science, religion had ofttimes provided the very impetus for the advancement of ancient civilisations.

    But of course, scientific advancement has rendered many of these primitive mythologies redundant. These gap-fillers of knowledge now serve no useful function in the development of our society and indeed proves to be an obstacle in the pursuit of scientific advancement.

    The laws of thermodynamics dictate that there can only be so much energy that can exist at any one point, so why waste so much of our limited energy for in the pursuit of an afterlife? Just imagine what we can achieve today if all the priests, nuns, bishops, sunday services, prayers etc. were dedicated to the improvement of the temporal world rather than to the appeasement of unproven and possibly fictitious gods.

    With the advent of science, religion is now merely a tool that has outgrown its utility.

  48. simbol
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 3:45 pm

    AK

    Thanks

    You were very clear. It also means that “personal god” is a very dark and imprecise noun. Personal is what pertains to a person. So, a personal god is whom yo takes as YOUR god, no matter wether or not he cares about you. I’m fan of the Marlins but this team is a fait neant god most of the times. Better expression than “personal god” is a “micromanaging god”.

    And about Einstein you post was very illustrative. I hope St.Teabag is nearby.

    Please hit back to Teabag in my behalf. Hit the hardest you can.

  49. simbol
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 4:15 pm

    Teabag

    You called me ignorant on the issue about Einstein, because I gave my opinion that maybe Einstein was agnostic. This happened some weeks ago. Ignorant is a heavy word, unless you are masochist, and more when is unfair because I have read a lot about Einstein. Your memory is short but my vengeance is long. And Ihave not finished. You will pay dear. A fatwa has been put on your head by a mullah who is frend of mine. No place to hide. Be prepared to deliver your soul to Allah!!

  50. St. Teabag
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 4:33 pm

    Well, if I called you ignorant then that must indeed be the case, for I am as infallible as the pope (although I do not recall the exchange)

    I welcome your fatwa. Why not throw in a couple of jihads while you’re at it.

  51. jahrta
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 4:48 pm

    generalzod – yeah i know Lucy girl isn’t really a fundie – “she” just likes to come here and stir up the occasional shitstorm :)

    my comment was meant to be more general than directed at “her” in particular

  52. simbol
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 7:06 pm

    Teabag

    I know you are worried behind the curtain of your funny attitude.

    But Allah is merciful.

    I got a deal for you: If you commit sincerely an publicly to Allah, you make your trip to Mecca and give one million bucks to muslim charities (10% for osama), the fatwa can be annulled.
    I also got that the two initial condition be waived sending an affidavit very easy to fill. The third condition is final. I made my best effort but I couldn’t get something better because as you know this is a very serious matter for the mullahs.

    The offer last only 72 hour. Don’t lose this opportunity for save your life and join the true faith at a very competitive price. Christians and Protestans charge a lot more. Jews offer some discounts but don’t believe on it, the trick is in the small letter. As an example: no competitor in the market carries polygamy. Real an unlimited polygamy not that limited crap offered by mormons. No hassle divorce, and a heaven where you can see simultaneously the navels of 70 virgins instead of watching eternally the boss’ navel as in the christian heaven. And there is something you must know, islam prohibits booze and pork on earth but not beyond (remember mead? it ferments). Competitors always hide this point. Our offer also includes for free a personally customized flying carpet with a very low fuel comsumption. Nobody has been able to beat us in this offer. Christian and Jew heavens don’t include movies. We have a wide variety even of XXX films. Watch the movies chosen by JPII (mainly Lollobrigida’s) while in earth.Other interesting bonus is that we are working a treaty we expect be signed very soon (lawyers don’t die) with the Budhist heaven whereby inhabitants of musmlim heaven can travel for vacation to Nirvana which it is said to be very peaceful and resting. The treaty has no been signed because budhists are very tough on the quantity of virgins available for them in the exchange when they go to the muslim heaven. As you kow Huries are not available in Nirvana and they are very exited at the prospect and are asking a lot but we are very positive about the outcome. It will take tons of mead to close the treaty but you know Allah is wise enough. We will maintain you informed.

    So hurry up.

  53. boywonder
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 7:09 pm

    I can’t recall any civilization that evolved independently of either poly or monotheism. If there are any, let me know. It seems like too much of a coincidence that nearly EVERY civilization had developed a religion or comparable philosophy in its early growth and INDEPENDENT of one another on top of it. You can only allow for so many variables before it seems more likely that there is something to needing religion in our youth as a civilization. By variables I mean contact with other civilizations by other types of religious people and communication, etc. I am NOT saying religion has to have a positive influence on a society to work. The present is a good example of that. Religion just needs the APPEARANCE of being good and beneficial.

  54. St. Teabag
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 8:57 pm

    Simbol,

    that’s St. Teabag. I didn’t spend all those years in saint school to be plain old teabag. As a bona fide saint I am immune to all fatwas, so I am not afraid.

    Islam? Is lame more like it.

  55. boywonder
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 9:09 pm

    By the way, since there is only 10 to 20 %(depending on your poll) of self-described atheist/agnostic or non-theists in the world, it is reasonable, in light of recent neurobiological research, to suggest there is a neurobiological center in the frontal lobe of the brain that acts as a center for perceived spiritual activities. This a universal genetic trait in current homosapiens and indicates a genetic need for coping with death and suffering. Google Dr. Michael Persinger for more info.

  56. boywonder
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 10:13 pm

    I get the feeling some people here think that by saying religion was an unavoidable step in our progress, that we are admitting religion is something we can’t or at least couldn’t do without. This certainly is not the case. Religion is as necessary as a pancreas is now. We used to need it (probably when we were developing religion! Ha!) but now we don’t. There is no shame in admitting something served a purpose at some point.

  57. simon
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 10:50 pm

    you mean as a teabag used and out of the kettle?

  58. PhalsePhrophet
    May 23rd, 2005 @ 11:30 pm

    No, although religion tries to make itself essential. Religion is more of a by-product of the development. Religion in some form came early. Light of day = safer, better hunting, warmer

  59. GeneralZod
    May 24th, 2005 @ 8:56 am

    “Religion is as necessary as a pancreas is now.”
    That is much too generous. I’d say more like the appendix, or at least the spleen!

  60. jahrta
    May 24th, 2005 @ 10:12 am

    the only reason every burgeoning society had some sort of religion was to scare people into pulling their own weight and doing what was needed of them. if they didn’t, they’d anger their gods and the proverbial shit would hit the fan, either in this life or the next. the same thing goes for murder and crime in general (unless of course it’s murder, rape or theft committed against a rival culture or religion – they’re mostly cool with that).

    As these civilizations grow and mature, there is a general understanding that “the law” supercedes religious superstitious bullshit and that it is to be respected as a governing force, replacing the childish retarditaire religious boogey-man mythos that kept people in line in the past. people who DON’T move away from the religious dogma of the past are clinging on to a powerful, but obsolete and ultimately false formative structure of their civilization’s past, and as such are not part of the driving force committed to furthering the progress and evolution of mankind as a whole (see also: god idiots who seek to undermine stem cell research)

    Any questions?

  61. AK
    May 24th, 2005 @ 11:40 am

    Let me spell it out for all of you nice and clear with an “ANALOGY”.

    Every civilization on Earth began with the belief that the Earth was flat. EVERY civilization began with this belief, and only science corrected it in a very relatively short time ago. So the homo sapien species has spent the majority of its existence thinking the Earth was flat.

    Now, every civilization ALSO grew up thinking that there was a God or gods. Without exception. And only in very recent times have we developed knowledge to simply understand that Gods dont exist. The vast majority of human existence involved such high levels of ignorance that we attributed our existence to other conscious beings.

    Now, this does not mean that beleif in God or belief in a flat earth is necessary or helpful to humanity. Why would it be?

    Belief in a creator God is no more helpful than belief in a flat earth. WRONG beliefs are never GOOD, for ANY reason.

    Religions incite hatred and inhumne behavior. They incite atrocities against ones fellow man. They never helped anything. Religion is a wet blanket on progress, both technological and social. As we lose our religion worldwide, our progress grows exponentially.

    Religion is not, nor was it ever, essential or useful to the PROGRESS and GROWTH of mankind.

  62. jahrta
    May 24th, 2005 @ 12:06 pm

    just about the only good thing I have to say about religion is that without it we wouldn’t have had the cathedrals of europe to show for it. of course, the construction of these buildings left countless dead as they would collapse every now and then (these people lacked a true, formal training in architecture for the most part). they left even more people poor and indigant, as they were heavily taxed to support the cathedral construction, as well as the hefty salary demanded of the town by the bishops who moved in to “care” for their spiritual needs.

    andAK, in a primitive world wherein death lies around every corner and seems to strike at random, while your neighbor prospers for uncertain reasons, it is not without some degree of understanding that those people embraced the promise of a better exsistence in the “afterlife” that religion offered them, even if it was totally bogus. Without this threat/reward system, there would have been little in the primitive world to keep people from killing each other for control of land, money and power. I mean, that happened anyway, and ironically more often than not either directly or indirectly BECAUSE of religion (crusades, anyone?) but the fact remains that at the simplest level, it was supposed to be the great opiate of the masses. nowadays, though – i’ll agree with you – we have absolutely no need for religion whatsoever, and it does far more damage than good, especially now that we know a great deal more about the world today than we did when we penned the scriptures of every major world-wide religion as primitive tribesmen.

  63. Viole
    May 24th, 2005 @ 1:16 pm

    I seriously doubt that religion began with belief in gods. Think about it.

    Consider; you know very little about the world around you, not from ignorance, but simply because that knowledge has not had time to accumulate. So, what makes things work? Well, you decide, a conscious entity. Humans are the only conscious entity you know about, and since live humans aren’t doing the controlling, it must be dead ones. When you die, you will become a spirit, with the power over the fate of living people.

    The earliest forms of religion are ancestor worship.

    So what sparks the change from ancestors to gods? Well, that humans haven’t always existed would not be inherently obvious. At the time, we had little effect on the terrain, probably little more than the occasional burial site. Eventually this question must get raised, however; where did the first humans come from? Obviously, ancestors aren’t the answer. We’re not up to an omni-type being yet, merely a powerful and immortal human-like being, whose creation is often a product of the sky and the earth. Add a few more, because one human, no matter how powerful, can’t control everything, and you’ve now got polytheism.

    It is not until monotheism that god becomes a moral entity. Look at Zues; is he a role model? Adultery, rape, incest and patricide are merely some of the crimes he is guilty of. Is Hades–the god, not the place–evil? Even the afterlife has yet to become a true place of punishment.

    The next stage is more difficult, because it requires an inhuman god, one who is all good. This means he must be the creator of everything, because he cannot usurp power as gods like Zues did. So the old gods are replaced with what is essentially a moral authority–and this is where god finally become the embodiment of law. Laws existed before monotheism–religion merely usurped them.

  64. Tenspace
    May 24th, 2005 @ 2:16 pm

    Religion was the bootstraps that pulled civilization out of the mire. Now it is the chains that hold us back.

  65. AK
    May 24th, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

    Viole, those are some very good insights.

    Everyone think about what viole said regarding role model gods. Is there one example of a God who is a true “role model” in his/her actions and serves as a blueprint for how humans should live?

    The Christian God/Jesus is certainly out. He is a terrible role model. Genocide and slavery and subjugation of women make him straight up evil. He has a total “do as I say not as I do” method. And Jesus is no better, mostly because its the same entity (Trinity anyone?) Not to mention that Jesus demanded putting ones fellow man as #2 on the priority list while Jesus was #1 priority. Also, Jesus taught against accumulation of wealth and material progress, something which is indesputably beneficial to mankind.

    In fact I think all Abrahamic Gods are out of the lineup.

    Viole mentioned the Greek/Roman Gods such as Zeus. Well all of them are out because they all got involved in soap-opera style bickering and double crossing.

    What about Buddha? Hes out IMHO although many would disagree. But even then, I dont consider most sects of Buddhism to even BE religions in the strict sense of the word. But Buddha taught that desire causes unhappiness, while I disagree with that in the strongest terms. Buddha teaches that everything is temporal except for the spirit, so we shouldnt pursue temporal material things. I disagree in that I believe that human spirits are also temporal, and their lifetimes (on Earth) are temporal, indeed everything is temporal, so its perfectly acceptable to pursue such temporal things for “temporalness” is the realm in which we reside. Buddhism, if followed, wont allow for much material progress in humanity.

    I wonder what Hinduism would amount to as far as a role model is concerned? I dont know much about that religion so Im not going to pass an opinion or judgement on it, but I think it involves reincarnation, and reincarnation beliefs tend not to serve moral behavior ideals, due to having condemnations or praises showered on someone for a different life than the one they are actually living.

    I cant think of any religion that would provide good role models. Can anyone else chime in on this?

  66. AK
    May 24th, 2005 @ 3:02 pm

    Tenspace, can you provide an example of how religion once pulled us up by the bootstraps?

    I contend that religion always was, and always will be, nothing more than the chains that hold us back. Religion always held us back, for every piece of human progress came not through religious observance, but through an attempt to understand a material reality through material means. Every time humans progressed, it was at the EXPENSE of religion. Think “god of the gaps”

  67. Viole
    May 24th, 2005 @ 3:38 pm

    Religion(and I’ll include Buddhism here, for lack of a better term) is about satisfying the spiritual needs of people. Desire is the root of all unhappiness; if you don’t want anything, you’ve nothing to be unhappy about. Note, I’m not claiming desire is wrong, merely that conquering desire is, arguably, one way of finding happiness.

  68. Viole
    May 24th, 2005 @ 3:40 pm

    Oh, and for the record, I’m not certain that spiritual needs are anything more than our need to belong and to understand the world.

  69. Lucy Muff
    May 24th, 2005 @ 4:45 pm

    Evidence for you is simple but maybe to cvomplicated. Look at people with love for jesus, and see how happy they is. Then look at atheist and see unhappy life for most. This is so obvious and direct evidence that Jesus is Love that to not see it is probably deliberate unseeing.

  70. AK
    May 24th, 2005 @ 4:56 pm

    Yes Lucy Muff, look at all the happy Jesus followers! Yea right!

    Prisons and mental institutions are full ofe Jesus lovers. Mothers that kill their babies cite Jesus. Christianity is spreading like wildfire in Africe, where everyone is so happy down there! (sarcasm).

    Lets see, in Europe, (the official happiest place on earth according to every recent poll and study performed) is losing its religion! People over there live superior lives and they do it while being the most atheistic population ever!

    Lucy Muff, I challenge you to provide an example to support your assertion, for I can provide many examples that show the opposite.

  71. Lucy Muff
    May 24th, 2005 @ 5:10 pm

    AK, evidence is open for all to see in church. Watch people coming out with love of jesus and happy faces. Then watch atheists come out of movie theater or death metal concert, and see sadness on their faces. Can’t be clearer than that!

  72. Lucy Muff
    May 24th, 2005 @ 5:31 pm

    1 Timothy 1:12-16 12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

    Now you get it ak?

  73. AK
    May 24th, 2005 @ 6:34 pm

    Lucy Muff, I disagree completely.

    People fall asleep in church, especially little kids. People never fall asleep at a rock concert. And banging your head to thrash metal will make you feel just as alive as you will feel when singing songs of Godly praise. I know because Ive done both.

    And what makes you think atheists flock to rock shows? In my Christian Youth Group when I was a teenager, all my fellow Christians listened to Type O Negative, Nine Inch Nails, and other such artists/groups.

    Here is a better example. A society-wide example: America has the highest crime and murder rates of any developed nation. America has relatively high infant mortality rates and low life expectancies compared to other developed nations. America has more morality legislation than most other developed nations. America is also much more religious than most developed nations.

    Europe, by contrast, has the most atheistic population in the world. Europe also has extremely low crime rates. They have very high life expectancies, and very low infant mortality rates. Europe has LESS morality legislation than America, but ironically they also have LESS substance abuse and illicit activity than America. European cities kick the crap out of American cities in every quality of life measurement except for per-capita-income.

    All of these things prove that religion does nothing to better a society.

    And the best places in America are the LEAST RELIGIOUS places. The coastlines to be exact. American cities on the East and West coasts are less religious than the rest of the nation, but they also have happier people who are better off in virtually every regard. Lower divorce rates, less teen pregnancy, etc…

    Prison populations have more religious fervor than the general population. But the academic community (those with PhDs) are LESS religious than the general population. Insane asylums have the highest percentage of religious people who claim all sorts of connections and conversations with their God.

    And in regards to charity: Godless Europe contributes TEN TIMES the amount of development-aid per capita than Godly America does. It seems that the tithings that Americans give to their churches dont go to help society, but to help the pockets of the Church. Godless Europe is undeniably superior to Godly America in moral and pro-human behavior.

    The worlds greatest minds: Einstein, Hawkings, Gallileo, etc… all have progressed humanity in ways that contradict or go against Church teachings. Yet it was these individuals, and not the Churches who opposed them, that contributed to the betterment of society.

    And your spaming of worthless Bible verses does nothing to help your argument. Your Bible describes multiple instances of justified genocide, as well as insistences that if one loves ones family members more than Jesus, then they are not worthy of heaven. Your Bible is completely inhumane, and it endorses (even praises) crimes against humanity page after bloody page.

    And heres the final kicker: Crime rates in America have been dropping since 1992. And between 1990 and 2003, the “nonreligious” percentage of Americans doubled from 8% to 16%. That makes “nonreligious” the fastest growing belief system in America today! And it coincides with a reduction in crime, as well as an increase in life expectancy.

    Religion is proven through measurable and quantifiable data to do NOTHING to improve a society. In fact, we can show a correlation between increased godlessness and increased social happiness/progress.

    Now you get it Lucy Muff?

  74. Lucy Muff
    May 24th, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

    Religons you speak of are not the true Jesus so the bad statistics you quote are not making sense because if you can break them down to real jesus and phony jesus you will see right away that true loveof jesus makes happier and will have more money, less teen pregnants and far more inner peace. All good scientists from past have been religious. NEwton was big believer, and even galileo (for who JP2 said sorry to house arrest, again proving that he was classy guy and should get respect). Also newton tried to do alchemy: so maybe you think alchemy is good too!
    America is biggest charity donations in world so what you say before is nonsense, and most of charity comes from churchs, again proving that I am right.

    As well, europe is not godly. Just go to vatican and pay respects to new pope to see evidence of another misgnomer on your parts. Biggest religiositys are in europe from many hunbdreds of years of strong religon.

  75. simbol
    May 24th, 2005 @ 7:16 pm

    lucy muff

    your rol as agent provocateur is very effective because the answer of Ak is world class.

    Anyway, Ak be careful and don’t go very far in your correlations because there was a URSS where godlesness didn’t translated automatically into happiness. Some conditions apply to western Europe like a reasonable dose of social-democracy, better education, higher valuation of free time vs. work time. Productivity in usa usa is 30% higher than in Europe. You, americans, work more and enjoy less. Try to find an european working in August, most sure he will be in Orlando.

  76. AK
    May 24th, 2005 @ 7:27 pm

    simbol,

    I understand where youre coming from. But you forget one thing about the USSR. Its evil or unhinging factor was COLLECTIVISM and dictatorialism (is that a word?). The USSR never did anything bad in the name of godlessness. It was always in the name of collectivism, which incidentally, Jesus and the Bible are proponents of.

    And Lucy,

    What are you talking about “phony” and “real” Jesus? I contend that its ALL phony. How can anyone differentiate between real and phony Jesus? I contend that the “real” Jesus attitude you speak of is nonexistant, for there is no example of it for any given society, measured by continent, country, or even city.

    And your assertions of America giving the most aid is bullshit. Im talking about per-capita development aid, in which Europe most definitely contributes 10 times as much as America does. I even have a source to reference: T. R. Reid’s book “The United States of Europe”. So there.

    I am going to request from you a source for your assertion about charity. And until you provide one, I am going to maintain that you are either guilty of ignorance or wilfull fraud.

  77. AK
    May 24th, 2005 @ 7:31 pm

    Another thing to note about the USSR is that before they adopted godless communism, they were much WORSE off than after they underwent the revolution. From before the communist revolution up to the collapse of the USSR, the quality of life for the average Russian improved. Although they werent as well off as America or Western Europe, they definitely industrialized, got better employment, more godds and services, and became a world power. So actually, their lot improved after they adopted atheism as the official religion. Interestingly enough though, religion itself was still popular among the people, and still is today in Russia.

    And yes, Lucy Muff is an excellent provocateur LOL and I enjoy taking swings even if its just for fun. Im honing my reasoning skills for moderated debate.

  78. Lucy Muff
    May 24th, 2005 @ 7:40 pm

    Alright AK, where are atheist hospitals? I bet you when you need blood transfusion you will be very happy to go to St Mary’s or other christian hospital for aid. Is you saying that it is mere coincidense that many many hospitals are christian?

    Have you ever been to soup kitchen on Christmas to help poor? I have with many other christians. We don’t see atheists doing these works of kindly christian. Missionaries all over world are helping poor and needy. Why do you think there are so many south american christians? I tell you, it is because of all the charity work we do there, what helps natives to know food and water as well as jesus and love.

    We do agree about russia being worse of when they are godless. As you say, this is no doubt truth. Therefore it is agreed that loss of god makes russia worse off, then QED god must be good and better for you.

  79. Lundie
    May 24th, 2005 @ 8:35 pm

    Well, in Muslim countries they have hospitals named after Mohammedan saints and in China they have a large number of hospitals named after Mao. Would you say that naming hospitals after Mao Zedong makes Maoism a force for charity and goodwill?

    So you’ve probably helped out in a soup kitchen on Xmas. Decent of you to do so, considering that you’ve probably ignored the bums you saw on the way to church the rest of the year. Does that little exercise designed to salve your conscience once a year make up for the endless suffering wrought by religious dogma throughout the millennias?

    South America? Have you ever been there mate? I have. It’s a seriously f*cked up continent, however enjoyable though my time there had been. And for some odd reason you don’t see many Incas or Aztecs left in Peru and Mexico. Oh yeah, the Xians killed them off. But that’s okay because Jesus loves them so they’re probably in sitting on his lap right now.

    The Soviet Union wasn’t worse off because they were godless. The Soviet Union was worse off because they lived under an overbearing, oppressive, dictatorial and other -orials Marxist-Leninist system. And Marxism-Leninism is a quasi-religious system all by itself, did’ya know that? Also, pre-communist Russia was probably the most religious and god-fearing Orthodox society in Eastern Europe, and also the most backward and dictatorial state where famine was rife and people died by the cartloads from hunger every day, so according to your logic god must be bad for you.

  80. Lundie
    May 24th, 2005 @ 8:39 pm

    And I know Mexico ain’t in South America so don’t you start.

  81. Lucy Muff
    May 24th, 2005 @ 8:44 pm

    No lundie you have it backwards. God is good for me (and for you, if you can only just let him into your heart), and nop god is bad for all because then people do what they want, and many times what they want is to be raping killing and stealing.
    As has already been prooved many times in this thread, without god society cannot work so QED god is needed in any social developsment. I never been to south america so if it is “messed” up as you said then that probably means that peoples there are not giving enough respect and love to god and jesus. However I do know from good mexican friend that for most part south america is good place and many many good christians are living there.
    I still agree with you and AK that soviets had hard time with no god to help keep society stable. If you need more proof compare ronald reagan to old russian with beast mark on head. Look who won in the end?? Of course, reagan, who is well known to love jesus (and america). Again, this is QED proove that jesus is good for society and much needed, especially now. Therefore, pope should get more respewct, and maaybe be head of UN because his holyness is above stupid politics and has only love of god and goodwill to all men as agenda, which you must agree is pretty good agenda for UN

  82. Lundie
    May 24th, 2005 @ 9:30 pm

    I didn’t say it was ‘messed up’, I said it was seriously f*cked up.

    If there’s one thing I know for sure mate its that South America is the last bastion of Catholic orthodoxy in the world, the Vatican nonwithstanding of course. And the only reason that this is the case is because the Catholic Spanish and Portuguese managed to wipe out the local Amerindian civilisations several hundred years ago. Oh yeah, these devout catholics also managed their fair share of raping and stealing, last I heard they carted off tons of gold from what’s left of the Inca cities to plaster the walls of their cathedrals and their crucifixes.

    Like I said, the Soviet Union didn’t fail because they were godless. The Soviet Union failed because of its disastrous and unrealistic socio-economic policies. Reagan was a senile old fool who just happened to back the winning horse, nothing more.

    Wipe the damn sand off your eyes man! And get some spelling lessons while you’re at it.

  83. Lucy Muff
    May 24th, 2005 @ 10:14 pm

    I choose not to use profanity. It is vulgar and serves no point.

    What is past is past, and inca gold mostly mythical anyway as you likely knowe already. Point is that now manny good catholics are living in south america and spreading theword, which is very good thing. Specially good because billion catholics can do much good in the world.

    Reagan was a hero who saved us from WW3. You should be grateful and respect his memory. Reagan and JP2 are both big heroes who did plenty against the communism. Even atheists should be grateful for that and give reagan and pope JP2 big respect. Would yo ulike to live in communist russia or be dead by world war? Of course not.

  84. Lundie
    May 24th, 2005 @ 10:36 pm

    There is nothing ‘mytical’ about Inca gold, my friend. If you’d been to Spain and gaped at the opulence of the major cathedrals there you’ll know what ‘plunder’ means.

    I don’t usually resort to profanity and name-calling but your brand of ‘logic’ proves exasperating.

  85. Lundie
    May 24th, 2005 @ 10:43 pm

    Reagan did not ‘save’ us from WW3. In fact, he brought us to the brink of it. The Soviet Union was collapsing internally throughout the late 70’s and Reagan’s blustering and blatant provocations only prolonged the process. And his maniacal posturings and chest-thumping nearly provoked a last-ditch attempt by the Soviet Union to militarily salvage its position with potentially disastrous consequences for the world. I reiterate, he was a senile republican fool who happened to back the winning horse, nothing more.

  86. Lucy Muff
    May 25th, 2005 @ 4:38 am

    As if!

    Reagan stopped russia by bankrubbiing them until they run out of all monies and can no longer threaten the world. Everyone has said this after Reagan died so now it is too late to deny the obvious truth. In a same manner, pope JP2 has spoken out against the communism on many occasions and is also credited with helping bring down russians global domination plans. Once again I have prooved that Reagan and JP2 must get big respect from all who like freedom and not being communist (even atheists, unless they want to be in cold siberia before they go to hot hot hell). It is sign of unknowing to say Reagan is not a hero of free world. For use of your analogy, reagan was riding the winning horse. With no rider there can be no winning: ergo reagan is to be praised for great works. I hope you can now underastand what I have been telling you all along

  87. Lundie
    May 25th, 2005 @ 6:46 am

    You did not ‘prove’ anything mate. All you did was say something and then cited your own words as ‘proof’. That’s like me saying that Hitler was just widely misunderstood thereby ‘proving’ that he’s such a bad person after all!

    And how did Reagan go about ‘bankrubbing’ them? Did you know that the US and Argentina has been virtually FEEDING the Soviet Union through cheap grain exports ever since the late-60s? You don’t need to be a political-analyst to see that the Soviet system was rotten to the core if they can’t even manage to feed their own citizens despite having some 30% of the population involved in agriculture!

    In the late 70s-80s the Soviet economy was failing, the price of crude oil upon which their economy depended upon heavily was at an all time low, their conventional military was impotent as shown by their performance in the Afghan war, the various Soviet Republics were increasingly restless and separatist, in short the Soviet Union was collapsing internally on its own.

    At the same time Reagan initiated a vast build-up of the American military and provoked, yes PROVOKED the Soviet Union as if he was playing a game of dare writ large. The man should have been shot for risking the lives of countless millions when there was no valid reason to!

    But we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this point.

  88. Lundie
    May 25th, 2005 @ 8:35 am

    correction: please insert ‘not’ between the words he’s and such in the second sentence of the first paragraph.

  89. DamnRight
    May 25th, 2005 @ 8:44 am

    I read an interesting article lately… I believe it was by Michael Shermer (of eSkeptic fame)… I feel it bears on this subject… it had to do with our propensity to see correlations that don’t exist… I believe this to be the basis for religion (i.e. superstition)

  90. jahrta
    May 25th, 2005 @ 9:48 am

    Anyone still wasting time and energy debating LucyMuff should know that s/he is just here to bait the atheists, and is not in actual fact a real fundie.

    That having been said, it is sobering to pause for a second under the realization that many of us at one point in time or another thought that s/he was the genuine article.

    There are people in the world who actually think this way, if indeed the term “think” can be applied to those who lack the capacity to inquire, reason or grow intellectually in the slightest.

    99% of the time when someone comes here to engage the atheists on our home turf, they sound and act just like LucyMuff, proving once and for all just how much damage this religion stuff does – it’s worse than TV at rotting your brain.

  91. Rob
    May 26th, 2005 @ 12:17 am

    Anyone hear William F. Buckley’s diatribe about God on NPR? Try this.

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