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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:58 am 
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You know me well enough to make that statement?

I don't have to know you. I only have to know about the Christian religion. I used to be one, and I have read the bible cover to cover, some parts multiple times. There are things in the bible that contradict each other. This is to say they are mutually exclusive. Therefore it is logically impossible not to cherry pick.

I do know you well enough to know you don't approve of genocide, murder, having a bear maul some kids that made fun of a bald guy (2 Kings), and all that sort of thing. It goes both ways, atheists who say religious people must approve of all those things because they follow that religion, are quite mistaken, for the exact same reason. It's impossible not to cherry pick. By definition two mutually exclusive things cannot both be simultaneously held as an ideal.

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This is balderdash. How do you know such a thing? What archaeological, genetic or historical evidence is there? None. This is an unfounded assertion.

There are whole books about it. We were just talking about Shermer's book. He is a science historian, and he has references.
As far as genetics, as I mentioned, we observe this sort of behavior in other animals. They call it "superstitious behavior". With a random reward experiment you can get many different animals to start performng rituals, because over time, they begin to think certain things they do, cause the reward. In a more sophisticated animal, such as people, we can put a lot more into seeing these patterns, and religion cannot happen without that.

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Since the entire argument begins by asserting what it looks to prove, it's not worth bothering with, but let's have some fun debunking it.

I would not make such an elementary mistake. I may state my conclusion before and after, but that is just showing what I am going to be talking about. If you read it, it's clearly NOT a premise. Furthermore, the line you quote there, is obviously true. Homo erectus did NOT have the intelligence to have full blown religion. They had some of the things that later led to religion, but not religion itself. They simply were not capable. There is loads of evidence about their intelligence level by the way.

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Humorous-Sarcastic Method: The two candidates for "Patient Zero" of the "All Religion Bad" meme complex are Frederick Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Most agree the infection in its full contagious form began with Freud, as it replaced all atheistic thought that came before it and all current atheistic thought in the West is pure re-hashed Freud. There, you have a meme too! (Or should we just say "idea" and not try to sound smart by making up a new word?)

Uh..ok... I said every idea is a meme... So of course that's a meme.

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when some sociopath cooked up religion

That is a straw man. I said no such thing. In fact I said quite the contrary. Nothing complex like that just gets "cooked up". That is impossible.

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Actual Logic: Ok, more seriously, it is not possible for humans to exhibit a trait, simple or complex, that did not arise from evolution. There is no other known mechanism for acquiring traits. Therefore, if all human societies ever encountered have been religious, it must be an evolved trait of homo sapiens to think this way, and that it is a positive survival trait.


Your premises are good, however your conclusion does not follow from them. This is analogous to the "irreducible complexity" argument. Religion in total is not a simple trait, nor does it, in total, evolve. It is actually all the things that make these ideas very common for people to have that evolved. This is a wide array of traits too. These traits also had survival value for reasons other than what role they later played in religion. Also as I said, the species we evolved from could not think anywhere near as abstract as we can. They may have seen patterns in things, even if they aren't there, but the rest of what became religion evolved as our brains did.

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So I'm done with this conversation

Wow, you are taking this VERY personally. I thought you could handle a discussion like this. It was also you that wanted to talk about that. It's not like I cornered you, and forced you to talk about all this.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:11 am 
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Well actually theres lots of evidence to suggest that religion came, I'd say before a million years ago, atleast.
http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/media/On% ... cience.pdf

Maybe the precursors to religion, but not religion itself. We did not exist then, and no other species is capable of that sort of abstract thought. Anthropological evidence also shows no evidence of religion until around 13,000 BCE. There is evidence as far back as 25,000 BCE that indicates some religion-like beliefs might have existed. To me it stands to reason that it kind of evolved slowly over those 12K years. That's how various other aspects of cultures came to be.

It's really not until the early 10th millennium BCE that we start to see evidence of the emergence of organized religion.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:25 am 
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Ironman wrote:
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You know me well enough to make that statement?

I don't have to know you. I only have to know about the Christian religion.


Wow.

I said I was done with the conversation for these reasons:

1) I was originally curious about your statements of dismissal of religious people. Not wanting to project my experience of others onto you, I asked a few questions to find out more of your position. My curiosity is satisfied and I have no more questions.

2) You have no questions for me.

So since I'm the only one asking any questions, and I have no more, I'm done with the conversation.

Nothing personal.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:43 am 
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My dismissal of religious people? Where are you getting that? It sounds like you are projecting.

Your responses indicate that what I am saying, and what you are hearing, are two completely different things.

You're responses indicate you are taking this quite personally. I have had this conversation so many times, I couldn't even guess at a number. This is one of the ways people react.

I didn't ask any questions for 3 reasons.
1) This was more your opportunity to find out whatever you want to know, and I must be able gives reasons for the philosophical positions I hold.

2) I am intimately familiar with Christianity. I was one for years, a lot of my family is, the vast majority of apologetics experts I have talked to are, I've studied the bible... It's something I know a lot about.

3) I like to avoid analyzing and deconstructing any specific beliefs. Because if anything is going to offend someone.... that's it.

That conversation is over, as you say, but I don't want you to come away from this all hurt and angry. I didn't do any of what you're accusing me of. The bottom line is, we are just two people that disagree on a few things, and there's nothing wrong with that. Really if you think about it, we probably agree on considerably more topics than we disagree.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:35 pm 
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Kick 'em when they're down:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/ ... employment


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:04 am 
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Wow, that's pretty shady. It's kind of like the internship programs here, except they force you. That's really like slave labor. Here I thought only America was turning into a fascist dictatorship. It's kind of like the US has 4 unofficial states collectively known as the UK.

We go to Iraq, they go to Iraq. Kind of as if to say "Hey, we were imperialist douchebags hundreds of years before you even existed!". Now they're like, "Ooh look, those damn yanks think they're going beat us at the race to become a fascist dictatorship! Hell no, we'll see your internships, and raise you legalized slavery!" Then they say "You think you're xenophobic with your KKK, and Nazi party, we got the BNP and the EDL, so nah!" They seem to be trying to be better at being America, than America.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:42 pm 
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People like Chris Hitchens, RIP, are the reason I'm a Christian today.

When I see a drunken swaggering f**k of a man like that, all I can think is, "There but for the grace of God go I."

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:31 pm 
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KenDowns wrote:
People like Chris Hitchens, RIP, are the reason I'm a Christian today.

When I see a drunken swaggering f**k of a man like that, all I can think is, "There but for the grace of God go I."

He is a brilliant debater, author and journalist. People just rip on him because he was sometimes rude, and usually very blunt.

Allowing the rudness of someone to impact a belief doesn't seem very wise.

” That atheist is rude, therefore I am right.”
That makes no sense to me.

Terrorists and the Catholic church sex scandals, affect only my thoughts on some aspects of religion, and have no bearing on my lack of belief.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Ironman wrote:
” That atheist is rude, therefore I am right.”
That makes no sense to me.


I agree. :cheers:

KenDowns wrote:
When I see a drunken swaggering f**k of a man like that


Now that's not very Christian :tongue:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:01 am 
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He was what he was, a drunken swaggering f*ck whose supposed intelligence could only impress an imbecile. Hedges said it better than I can:

http://www.cbc.ca/day6/2011/12/16/chris ... -hitchens/

and here when they debated:

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/he ... 201112161/

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:53 am 
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KPj wrote:
KenDowns wrote:
When I see a drunken swaggering f**k of a man like that


Now that's not very Christian :tongue:


Actually it is. Christians distinguish between the necessary ability to perceive the truth, for which our jargon term is discernment from the base desire to seek vengeance and inflict suffering, for which our jargon term is judgment.

Example 1
Discernment: The Boston Strangler must never be allowed to return to society, lest his proven desire to murder the innocent result in even one more death.

Judgment: The Boston Strangler should have his hands and feet cut off and be thrown into a pit of starving wolves.

The first is required, the second is forbidden.

Example 2
Discernment: Christopher Hitchens was a drunken (true) swaggering (true) f*ck (ok I'm editorializing) of a man. Or more politely, this man displayed no single character trait that I find admirable or worth emulating, and moreover I would actively seek the opposite type of person to emulate.

Judgment: Christopher Hitchens deserves to burn in hell forever!!!

The first is required, the second is forbidden.

Just sayin' is all.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:33 am 
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KenDowns wrote:
He was what he was, a drunken swaggering f*ck whose supposed intelligence could only impress an imbecile. Hedges said it better than I can:

http://www.cbc.ca/day6/2011/12/16/chris ... -hitchens/

and here when they debated:

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/he ... 201112161/


A baseless assertion by someone he debated is what you are going to base this on? That is utterly asinine.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:07 am 
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Actually it is. Christians distinguish between the necessary ability to perceive the truth, for which our jargon term is discernment from the base desire to seek vengeance and inflict suffering, for which our jargon term is judgment.


Wrong, Christians believe Jesus is the son of god, and in his teachings. What you are describing is in no way a core Christian belief. It sounds more like pseudo-philosophical bull$h1t.

Quote:
Discernment: Christopher Hitchens was a drunken (true)

"Drunken" cannot be true or false as it is a periodic state of being. What he is known for was done overwhelmingly in a sober state rather than drunk. So what you are doing here is taking his reputation for enjoying alcohol and using it as an ad hominem attack. That's bull$h1t and you know it.

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swaggering (true) f*ck (ok I'm editorializing) of a man.


"Swaggering" is a very relative term very much subject to opinion. It's validity is impossible to ascertain with anything even remotely resembling objectivity. It's relevance isn't just questionable, but suspect. This looks more like the sour grapes of a butt-hurt believer, than anything warranting any sort of serious reply. I respond only because of who it's coming from, whereas normally I would find this sort of fatuous nonsense unworthy of even a quick flippant reply.

I have little regard for most customary norms myself, other than how they are regarded by others. However someone such as yourself, who does appear to hold to such traditional cultural mores, comes off as quite crass speaking in such a way of a dead man, so soon after his death; particularly in light of it being caused by a terrible disease such a as cancer. This is extremely ironic, considering what you have to say about the him.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:21 am 
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Ironman wrote:
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Actually it is. Christians distinguish between the necessary ability to perceive the truth, for which our jargon term is discernment from the base desire to seek vengeance and inflict suffering, for which our jargon term is judgment.


Wrong, Christians believe Jesus is the son of god, and in his teachings. What you are describing is in no way a core Christian belief. It sounds more like pseudo-philosophical bull$h1t.

...


I don't know why I'm getting involved but being able to discern right from wrong is a basic part of being Christian. It is what Jesus taught.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Christian-Dis ... id=1359823
http://www.acts17-11.com/discern.html

1 Thes 5:21 (Phi) "By all means use your judgment, and hold on to whatever is good."

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:34 am 
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About that jobseeker article from the Guardian:

The "slaves" arent working without pay, they are working for less money than their colleagues. They continue to receive their jobseekers allowance ([1 million dollars] a week?) whilst developing "employable skills". They can leave "slavery" at a time of their choosing but they will lose their tax funded allowance.

We have an awful lot of bums in our country who think that the state should pay their way - we also have issues whereby a graduate or similarly qualified individual struggles to find work. We need to find a solution to both issues but occasionally these issues overlap. We can't keep handing out tax payers money for job seekers as this just stimulates the attitude we are suffering from - if annoying the s*** out of them by getting them to stack beans in Wal Mart for 30 hours a week works in encouraging them to find a job... damn, I'm all for it! We have plenty of vacancies in our call centre and will pay much more than their current [1 million dollars] quid a week should they choose to apply.


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