The religious right and "smart" people...

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remind remind's picture
The religious right and "smart" people...

Not sure about the thread title, but did not want to waste  further time on getting the nuance correct.

 

 

remind remind's picture

Anyhowwwwwwww.....had a evangelical snowbird relative, who just got back from Yuma, explain to me that "smart" people, such as myself, "are social misfits, and do not know what the majority of 'average' people want, and thus we smart people are trying to go against the majority of the people's wishes and that is not very democratic, now is it?".

 

And she knows so "because her pastor explained it all to them in their last sermon".

 

Has anyone else had this experience from their "religious" family members?

 

Was so shocked did not really know how to respond, and then when I was hastily assured that "she is close to any number of smart people (detailed lists were given of whom) and does not really think that we are so out of touch, just unable to follow social constructs the way 'average' people do and want them to be", I really did not know what to do other than laugh heartily.

Now on  24hr later thought, it seems to me, that it does need to be responded to, in some way, as such I thought perhaps someone here has a ready response to give?

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Well, you could always resort to violence, nothing too extreme, just a little poke to the nose. When asked why you did it, you then respond "Well I could explain it, but dumb people can't really follow the explanation."

Okay, it's a bad idea.

Works for some of the Zen masters though, or so I have been told.

Sineed

The more intelligent you are, the less likely it is you believe in God.

http://freethinker.co.uk/features/atheists-are-more-intelligent-than-rel...

Quote:
A survey of Royal Society fellows found that only 3.3 per cent believed in God – at a time when 68.5 percent of the general UK population described themselves as believers. A separate poll in the 90s found only seven percent of members of the American National Academy of Sciences believed in God.

More fun info to bring up at Christmas dinner:

Quote:
More intelligent people are statistically significantly more likely to exhibit social values and religious and political preferences that are novel to the human species in evolutionary history.  Specifically, liberalism and atheism, and for men (but not women), preference for sexual exclusivity correlate with higher intelligence, a new study finds.

snip

Similarly, religion is a byproduct of humans' tendency to perceive agency and intention as causes of events, to see "the hands of God" at work behind otherwise natural phenomena.  "Humans are evolutionarily designed to be paranoid, and they believe in God because they are paranoid," says Kanazawa.  This innate bias toward paranoia served humans well when self-preservation and protection of their families and clans depended on extreme vigilance to all potential dangers.  "So, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100224132655.htm

Sineed

I'm not clear what your relative wants.  What are smart people not giving "average" people?

RosaL

I have never heard that one before! The other day, though, I was at a meeting of what I might call "religious activists" - of the "left-leaning" variety. (It's probably safe to say they were all ndpers though I hasten to say that this is not an attack on the ndp!) And I realizied, when I got home, how 'out of it' I felt. 'Inferior' in a certain way. I don't come from the same circles. I don't move in the same circles. I'm not that kind of person. Not cultured. Or confident (in the way people with a certain kind of background are). They valued each other in all sorts of ways but I was an outsider and pretty much negligible. It's hard to explain. But I did think, "Ok, this is some of what these right-wingers are feeling" - though I think they're completely wrong to attribute any of this to these people's 'leftness'. (I being further left than any of them.) It probably has to do with class. I came home and basically wallowed in my unfashionablity, my weirdness, my lack of 'culture', etc. It made me defiant about certain things (my missing tooth, to invoke a somewhat trivial example!) In other ways, I despaired. (I don't know if I'll ever go back.)

I'm not criticizing here - just trying to explain (or understand) something. 

 

Red_and_Black Red_and_Black's picture

You could explain to her that while democracy should be applied in instances of subjectivity, differing outcome for differet groups, etc. It has no place in objective fact. For instance, the majority of people used to believe that the world was flat. That didn't make it so, and it was the duty of scientists to question it, no matter how much it went "against the "majority of the people's wishes" and how "undemocratic" it was. The world of science is no place for democracy, it is a battlefield where the weapons are evidence and logic.

Unionist

That post kind of left me stunned, Rosa. Sounds a bit like a chunk of my life (in much younger days though). Thank you sincerely for sharing that.

 

remind remind's picture

Save my punches to the face for sexist remarks, bagkitty.... :D.

 

And the funny thing is she is not so dumb herself, she speaks/writes fluent Latin, and she is not even Catholic. ;) And she is on her 4th husband, she is so socially skilled....

 

Ha...cross posted with Sineed.

 

Not really sure what she was asking for Sineed, but we have had issues between us in the past about racism, and other isms... and how whacked out religious people are. Wish I woulda asked her about the whole sermon, instead of being shocked.

 

Oh...and she noted 'smart' people never pay attention to whether their words might upset another, which also shocked me, given the nature of her and her husbands racist remarks and the whole ugly nature of the religious right.

remind remind's picture

why is it safe to say they were all NDPers Rosa?

 

do you know for sure or were/are you guessing?

RP.

Sure she didn't mean people who think they're smarter than everyone else?

RosaL

remind wrote:

why is it safe to say they were all NDPers Rosa?

 

do you know for sure or were/are you guessing?

 

Local knowledge Wink (But I don't think the ndp connection is really important.)

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

RosaL: I recognize exactly what you are speaking about... I have always attributed it to smugness (the kissin' cousin of arrogance). You walk away and only later do you realize that their motivations for their activism are actually "charitable" (and that this is a good thing to them given what the word actually means to them). At least that is how I have come to understand them.

remind remind's picture

RP. wrote:
Sure she didn't mean people who think they're smarter than everyone else?

 

No she meant smart people, in particular those well above average and geniuses.

 

We even had a long discussion about a Dr we both worked with who was a genius and very much a loner in his personal life.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

re Rosa's remarks: I've felt myself to be in the presence of veteran activists, even life-long activists, who don't want their time to be wasted. Every aspiring activist should feel that at least once, just to learn respect for veteran "combatants". It's the same in war with soldiers.

Class antagonisms towards ordinary people , however, is a characteristic of a right-wing, status quo organization. Are you sure you want to be there, Rosa? Is there a better, perhaps rival, organization?

Tommy_Paine

 

I think in left wing groups there's a kind of one upmanship going on when it comes to cultural references etc.  It's a kind of feeling out process, taking measure, mixed with some competitiveness all in order to determine some kind of pecking order.    

 

I also think this happens in every group, according to it's fashion.

Unionist

Even in the union, Tommy? I agree with you about political or community organizations, buÞ I've always felt a different dynamic in the union.

RosaL

To clarify, this wasn't my first engagement with political or activist groupings. And it hasn't been my experience in all contexts, by any means. 

RosaL

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 

I think in left wing groups there's a kind of one upmanship going on when it comes to cultural references etc.  It's a kind of feeling out process, taking measure, mixed with some competitiveness all in order to determine some kind of pecking order.    

 

I also think this happens in every group, according to it's fashion.

I know what you're talking about, Tommy (if by 'culture' you mean the culture of a certain political movement or group) but that's not what I was talking about. If you mean 'culture' more generally, then, no, I don't think all groups do it. 

I wouldn't call it class "antagonism" either (that's not really the right word), though that is much closer to what I experienced than what you are describing. 

remind remind's picture

rosal "local knowlege" goes a long way....  ;)

Tommy_Paine

 

 

Rosa, it becomes unfriendly-- exclusionary in intent-- if the talk is so archane or specialized it's like an inside joke.    It can be that way sometimes, and certain types of people do this and they are not particular to a political, social or religious philosophy.   I think we're all victims of it from time to time.    It happened to me a few months ago.    

 

Unionist, when I was active in the CAW, certainly this stuff went on.  Trading "war stories"  about this strike or that issue is a great place to learn and trade ideas and information, but it's also a great place to brag, impress, one up, yadda yadda yadda.

 

 

 

 

absentia

Whu-whu-whu... aaaand-breathe-OUT!

Okay. This is not silly or marginal. This is a big, big, universal, perennial set of social problems.

Problem One. 'Smart' (clever, sophisticated, crafty.... or intelligent, reasoning, informed) vs 'average' (down-to-earth, common-sense, practical... or stupid, ignorant, brainwashed ) What each of us means by each of those terms determines how we will respond to a person of the other category. 

Problem Two. Popular wisdom (what the 'average' and/or 'common-sense' person believes at the moment, and will forget as soon as the fashion changes) vs Democracy (rulers chosen by the majority, to affect the most possible benefit to the largest possible number of citizens). It's easy to forget that having a 1/300,000,000th share in the choice of a ruler, which is equal to the share of a bricklayer or musician or oncologist, doesn't mean that your opinion on mortar, harmony and tumours is as valid as theirs.

 Anyone remember the movie Contact? When Jodie Foster's character was asked whether she believes in God, and then disqualified from representing the human race to aliens, because the vast majority of humans do belive? Why didn't she answer: "When you all agree on a religion, I'll be happy to represent it."  

Maybe not very helpful, but, i hope, a start in formulating the problem and a possible response.

RosaL

Tommy_Paine wrote:

 

 

Rosa, it becomes unfriendly-- exclusionary in intent-- if the talk is so archane or specialized it's like an inside joke.    It can be that way sometimes, and certain types of people do this and they are not particular to a political, social or religious philosophy.   I think we're all victims of it from time to time.    It happened to me a few months ago.  

I can understand why you would think that was what I was talking about but - really - that's not what happened. 

 

 

Tommy_Paine

I can understand why you would think that was what I was talking about but - really - that's not what happened. 

 

You know what?  I've been up since 2:15 this morning, worked a strenuous twelve hours and should really come back to this tomorrow.  I don't think my brain is working right.  Sorry for prattling on, Rosa.

 

 

RosaL

Tommy_Paine wrote:

I can understand why you would think that was what I was talking about but - really - that's not what happened. 

 

You know what?  I've been up since 2:15 this morning, worked a strenuous twelve hours and should really come back to this tomorrow.  I don't think my brain is working right.  Sorry for prattling on, Rosa.

No problem at all Smile I hope you sleep well!

Fidel

Sineed wrote:

The more intelligent you are, the less likely it is you believe in God.

http://freethinker.co.uk/features/atheists-are-more-intelligent-than-rel...

Quote:
A survey of Royal Society fellows found that only 3.3 per cent believed in God – at a time when 68.5 percent of the general UK population described themselves as believers. A separate poll in the 90s found only seven percent of members of the American National Academy of Sciences believed in God.

Those 3.3 percent must be the ones who realize that atheism is an extremist point of view as far as science is concerned.

absentia

Quote:
Those 3.3 percent must be the ones who realize that atheism is an extremist point of view as far as science is concerned.

But, science isn't concerned! Science doesn't have moderate or extremist points of view: it only has areas of enquiry. If science were
concerned with the subject of god/s, it would formulate hypotheses and conduct experiments to prove/disprove those hypotheses. It has not done so. At least, not so's there's a record.
One can't help but wonder whether that's because scientists, like everyone else, keep the god question sequestered in a seperate compartment of their mind, away from the scientific parts, unexamined and untouchable.

Sineed

Fidel wrote:

Those 3.3 percent must be the ones who realize that atheism is an extremist point of view as far as science is concerned.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPJQw-x-xho

Fidel

Sineed wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Those 3.3 percent must be the ones who realize that atheism is an extremist point of view as far as science is concerned.

">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPJQw-x-xho

He stammers a lot to find the words. But I do agree with him that our view of a Judeo-Christian God is not universal. However, there are cultures around the world who generally believe that we have some connection with the stars and that there is an afterlife beyond the grave. The new science generally supports this view as being plausible moreso than old world Newtonian views of science.

What if the six or seven world religions are generally right and Richard Dawkins is generally wrong?

RosaL

 

I always thought that was a pretty good response to "Pascal's wager". (I encountered it first in William James' "The Will to Believe".) But I don't think it settles the issue overall Wink

Fidel

I agree with very many atheists on certain generally understood scientific facts. I believe in evolution. But then again, so have the two main branches of the Church accepted Darwinian evolution. And I agree with physicist and rabid atheist Larry Krauss when he says we are all made from star dust.

6079_Smith_W

well first of all, remind, that is one f'd up fearful sermon your relative told you about. I would have been interested to sit through it.

And RosaL, I am sorry to hear about your experience. I hope it was just feeling out-of-place in a new group of people, and not them putting you down.

But at the mention of Dawkins my ears perked up, because I think the question of whether there is a supernatural realm or not doesn't matter at all. We are never going to know the answer to that while we are alive (and personally, I suspect there is not one). THe question of whether religion should exist or not is also ridiculous because it exists, and I think it is here to stay. Even without organized religion people will always find some new thing to believe in. We are just wired that way.

The real question is good teachings that helps you be a better person and make the world a better place, or hateful belief, which oppresses, and teaches you to submit your will to some authority. Whether there is a god or not is actually irrelevant.

Just to take the bible as an example, It is a big collection of books, and I think both ways of thinking - uplifting and oppressive -  are in there. Those who want to follow it to the letter, and those who want to throw it in the trash bin are equally mistaken. because like it or not it is part of who we are.

Fidel

Religion may be outdated, but its principles and teachings contributed to forming modern society. We don't generally accept murder and other crimes as societal norms, and mainly because of old religious dictums that have endured through time.

RP.

Your relative makes no sense to me...  For crying out loud, clergy are amongst the most well-educated and intelligent people I know of (as a class, many exceptions of course)  ...  As my kids would say, this whole conversation, on all sides, is red herring-o-mania.

RosaL

Looking more closely at the original post: The gospels portray Jesus as 'smart' (and distinctly argumentative, at least with the religious authorities!) And he was certainly a social misfit! It's an odd critique, there's no denying it. 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

remind wrote:
Save my punches to the face for sexist remarks, bagkitty.... :D.

 

 

I wasn't suggesting a full-blown punch, just a little poke to the nose. Alternatively, a little open handed slap to the back of the head (which has an added benefit... you can tell them they will end up with a bald spot if they make you have to do it too often).Wink

absentia

remind wrote:

"smart" people, such as myself, "are social misfits, and do not know what the majority of 'average' people want, and thus we smart people are trying to go against the majority of the people's wishes and that is not very democratic, now is it?".

And she knows so "because her pastor explained it all to them in their last sermon"....

 ....I thought perhaps someone here has a ready response to give?

I think you do have to respond, when someone confronts you with this misconception. It's fairly prevelant, since the pastors spread it - and they spread it, thickly, because they do not want their flocks listening to smart relatives, neighbours, shop-stewards, political candidates or commentators. So they tell the faithful: "Those people may mean well, but they're out of touch. They don't know what you want. Only I know what you want."

Well, in fact, that's a big fat lie, because we know exactly what they want: the same things we all want - prosperity, security, community (and just maybe a little sense of moral superiority?) What we disagree on is how to get those things, and at whose expense. The political right arranges society so that everything, from laws through paychecks and status to redemption, is handed down from above. This falls in very nicely with the religious awe of super beings: the ruling class - king, priest, governor, CEO - the boss - simply takes up a position half-way between the believer and hir god/s. This works great for the boss, and reasonably well for the believers... until the boss, and his growing coterie of contractors, inevitably becomes too greedy; leaves less and less for the hungry sheep.

What 'smart' people try to do is interpose themselves between the flock and the boss: teach the believer to doubt and question and assert hemself. Bosses and their designated dumber-downers don't like this.

So the believer comes into a conversation with a smart person, already on guard, perhaps even hostile. To return hostility, or dismissal or contempt, will only harden their suspicion - and the pastor's hold. Better to show and interest, ask questions. Like: What do you want? Take a single issue they care about and patiently lead them through their own opinions and desires on that issue. They may discover, without any prompting (or gloating!!) that what they've been told is inconsistent, both internally and with their needs and wishes. It's a slow, slow, painful process, but i don't see any shortcuts.

Tommy_Paine

 

After a hot bath in epson salts followed by a cool shower and fastidious attention to detail with an exfoliation cloth, and nine hours sleep (bed time, 8:30 pm on a friday) I have amazed at how the trappings of old age afix themselves to you like moss on a stone.

 

Anyway, Rosa, could what you experienced be summed up by calling it snobbery?   Snobs are no strangers to the NDP or left organizations.

I guess because it's in the NDP, it's all the more jarring because you'd think that would be the last place you'd find it.   But, it's my experience that working class people don't feel welcome in what should be "their" party.  (Remember, my experience is dated, though a member I have not been active for some time.)

 

Oh Fidel.

Those 3.3 percent must be the ones who realize that atheism is an extremist point of view as far as science is concerned.

 

Atheism is not an extremist point of view in the realm of science nor is it an extremist view in rational thinking.  In fact, the invocation of some devine spirit to explain what we don't know, or to concoct a supposition that there's an after life, unsported by evidence is the extremist point of view.

 

"New science" if there is such a thing sheds no light on these questions.  Conjecture in particle physics has opened up new fields of ignorance, and as usual, the "god of the gaps" makes his appearance, after being chased away from pushing the planets around on cyrstal spheres by Newton, Brache and Kepler.   And, as yet unamed scientists will chase the god of the gaps from particle physics one day too.

 

After having read Dawkins I am assured what makes him an "extremist" isn't what he is saying-- there is nothing extreme in his views-- but that he is saying it.  Standing up to the bullying and lies propagated about athiests for generations by, frankly, the deluded and the fraud artists earns one this label, in an attempt to silence.

It reminds me of the late Andrea Dworkin, who was a simlar lightning rod.  An "extremist" for the right wing to hang around the necks of feminists.  But when one takes the time to ACTUALLY read Dworkin, and not just relly on the straw man interpretations of her works by right wing nut jobs, one finds that she was hardly the fire breathing dragon she was popularly made out to be.

 

But, Fidel, do go on.  Say what you say over and over again in your attempt to make what you want to believe true.

6079_Smith_W

@ Tommy_Paine

I agree there isn't anything controversial about Dawkin's beliefs; atheism isn't all that uncommon, and I agree with him that most ot the worst evils in the world have been done through religious institutions.

I think he is extreme (and mistaken) in his belief that moderate beliefs are almost as bad as the extreme ones, because they open the door to belief in God. I don't buy that ridiculous scare tactic about marijuana. and I don't buy it from him either.

I might disagree with religious people about the existence of god (though not all of them are sure either), but belief systems are a bit more complex than just a cheering section for the almighty.

Some of those superstitious people were among the first to put themselves on the line for some radical ideas - nonviolence and pacifism, and freedom of the press. Religious fundamentalists were the ones who organized the campaign to end slavery in the modern era. I don't care what their motivation was; I only care that they did it. If we had to wait for enough right-minded people to get together to do the job we might still be waiting.

So yeah, I agree with you that his criticisms are for the most part spot on. It is just on that point (and I assume the presumption that religion is going away anytime soon) that I disagree with him.

remind remind's picture

absentia wrote:
To return hostility, or dismissal or contempt, will only harden their suspicion - and the pastor's hold. Better to show and interest, ask questions. Like: What do you want? Take a single issue they care about and patiently lead them through their own opinions and desires on that issue. They may discover, without any prompting (or gloating!!) that what they've been told is inconsistent, both internally and with their needs and wishes. It's a slow, slow, painful process, but i don't see any shortcuts.

 

Really do not know if I want to be bothered to waste anymore time on her (aka dismissal) the rational disconnect makes my head hurt. However, having said that, I recognize if she is spouting this to me, of all people, then the pastors out there, in lala land, must be really going nuts. And i do not believe it is something that should be ignored by those they are speaking about. Really think to do so would be at our own peril.

 

So again the questions remains, what to do, we no longer have years to de-indoctrinate.

RosaL

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Anyway, Rosa, could what you experienced be summed up by calling it snobbery?   Snobs are no strangers to the NDP or left organizations.

I guess because it's in the NDP, it's all the more jarring because you'd think that would be the last place you'd find it.   But, it's my experience that working class people don't feel welcome in what should be "their" party.  (Remember, my experience is dated, though a member I have not been active for some time.)

Yeah, 'snobbery' might be a good way to describe it, if the snobbery is entirely unconscious. Anyway, thank-you. It helps that you know what I'm talking about and that you've experienced it. (Unionist, too: what you said helped a lot.)

(I think I'd better not involve myself in the rest of the discussion, though it looks interesting. I need to get to work!)

6079_Smith_W

remind wrote:

So again the questions remains, what to do, we no longer have years to de-indoctrinate.

You could always rent a devil outfit to wear next time she invites you to supper. 

And on the bigger question, I wouldn't even engage that front. There are people in all camps who are are going to believe what they want to believe no matter what you say - especially if they are taught that rational argument is just part of your crafty and devilish ways

Fidel

 

Tommy_Paine wrote:
Oh Fidel.

Those 3.3 percent must be the ones who realize that atheism is an extremist point of view as far as science is concerned.

Atheism is not an extremist point of view in the realm of science nor is it an extremist view in rational thinking.  In fact, the invocation of some devine spirit to explain what we don't know, or to concoct a supposition that there's an after life, unsported by evidence is the extremist point of view.

 Scientists aren't in the business of disproving something that is technologically impossible for us at this point in human evolution. As Arthur C. Clarke said about the possibility of highly evolved beings somewhere out there, and pick any direction, that any sufficiently advanced technology would seem to be indistinguishable from magic for us here on this blue dot. Our own technically advanced civilization has existed for a couple of hundred years. We've only had space ships for a few decades. We've existed as a species for a few million years. That's a really tiny slice of time in comparison with the age of this universe, and real scientists like Kaku have suggested there may be more than one universe out there. How do we travel inter-dimensionally? Do we know of any laws of physics or math that declare inter-dimensional or time travel impossible? No we don't. Therefore, I can't get behind atheists who hold such extreme points of view.

NY Times news writers once declared that air travel was an impossibility. They had to write a retraction when the Wright bros flew into the air at Kitty Hawk. They had to write another retraction about the impossibility of space travel by rockets when men landed on the moon. If you read about evolution, you come to a general conclusion that life evolves and sometimes relatively rapidly under the right conditions.

Tommy Paine wrote:
"New science" if there is such a thing sheds no light on these questions.  Conjecture in particle physics has opened up new fields of ignorance, and as usual, the "god of the gaps" makes his appearance, after being chased away from pushing the planets around on cyrstal spheres by Newton, Brache and Kepler.   And, as yet unamed scientists will chase the god of the gaps from particle physics one day too.

Lord Bertrand Russell wrote the most mournful dictum on the human soul in an essay entitled, Why I am not a Christian. Russel was an agnostic by the way. He wrote, All the evidence goes to show that what we regard as our mental life is bound up with brain structure and organized bodily energy. Therefore it is rational to suppose that mental life ceases when body life ceases"

Biologist Thomas Huxley wrote similarly, "The thoughts to which I give utterance and your thoughts regarding them are the expression of molecular exchanges." What we are is the result of wild chance, "the outcome of accidental colocations of atoms."  And, "Only on the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built."

There's only one problem with this klnd of scientific view of human consciousness and an afterlife. It's based on a scientific view of reality thathas been radically reformed and changed since Bohr, Rutherford, Einstein and Heisenberg. Those who still argue this point of view that the mind is a product of mechanical brain, or that atomic matter - hard, impenetrable, indestructible, uncuttable and indivisible(matter, space and time are the key ingredients for Newtonian old world view of reality), are completely out of touch with modern science. No longer is the scientific observer apart from the world of physics he observes. The new science since Einstein says that scientist as observer is now part of the world he observes, and some say even a participant. "Einstein showed that space-time and the laws of motion can be defined only by a reference to an observer and his physical conditions."(Augros and Stanciu, The New Story of Science).

Science experienced another revolution in the area of particle physics. Ernest Rutherford's established that atomic matter is not hard, impenetrable and indestructible matter but  consisting of a nucleus and invisible electrons in orbit. This led to the eventual overthrow of Newtonial atomic theory.The Newtonian view of scientist as unobserved observer had to be scrapped with the discovery of a new branch of physics - quantum mechanics. Augros and Stanciu wrote that "in some strange sense, this is a participatory universe." With the Newtonian model, the human mind played no significant role in the physical conditions of the universe. With relativity and quantum theory, the human mind is part of the whole.

Tommy_Paine

I think, 6079 Smith W, that the religion ended slavery argument a bit of a tautology, since religious social activism was the only permissable social activism at the time.  If there were secular venues for such activism existant at the time, who knows?  maybe slavery would have ended sooner.  One could easily argue that religion extended the life span of slavery, too.  In the decades leading up to the Civil War in the States, preachers on both sides of the issue used the good book to back their opinions, pro or anti.

 

From memory, I think Dawkins point about moderate beliefs being almost as bad was also linked to the point that these moderate believers are there holding the coats of extremist fundamentalists, and not calling them to task.   A point I concur with, but also will add that there are examples of moderates doing just that.   Finally.

But, separated from that connection, I would agree with your take on the point you brought up.

 

Fidel, Fidel, Fidel.

 

I love your spirit in other issues.  I think you are one of the sharper knives in the babble drawer on many subjects.  But on this one, and in particular the post above, it looks like you purposefully design your opinions to include as many fallacious arguments as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Tommy_Paine

 

Actually I was talking about the British abolitionist movement moreso than the American. And if we say that religions were the only avenues for good works, then we also absolve them of their crimes. I get your point, but it is a dissection that is kind of moot.

And reformers have been challenging oppressive religion throughout history. They just don't attract as much attention since we in the west stopped torturing and burning them to death around the time of Voltaire.

But likewise... I appreciate your interesting post, and don't take my difference of opinion as an invalidation of your belief.

Tommy_Paine

 

lol, don't worry about that.

absentia

remind wrote:

Really do not know if I want to be bothered to waste anymore time on her ....

 

Oh, i can see that! We do become impatient, especially when a believer is so - - un-f'ing-believably - - obtuse that you can't imagine any hope of reaching them.

Quote:
... the pastors out there, in lala land, must be really going nuts. And i do not believe it is something that should be ignored by those they are speaking about. Really think to do so would be at our own peril.

Well, that's the problem. Those pastors are wielding an enormous amount of power. They always did, but lately, with redoubled efforts and a political climate very much inclined their way, they have gained far more ground than just la-la land. They've been growing frighteningly arrogant in their demands. And governments cave. We know this, don't we? Given a confident and loud enough interest-group, politicians invariably give in - to ignorance, intolerance, meanness, racism, sexism... everything they purportedly ran against.   

 

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So again the questions remains, what to do, we no longer have years to de-indoctrinate.

Even if we did, the same thing would probably happen again. In the 1930's through '70's, we had a golden age of science. Looked like we were heading for a mumbo-jumbo-free Europe and North America. In Europe, it may have taken better; i don't know. In America, fundamentalist Christian backlash. Back to Go; start over. No shortcuts. Sorry.  

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

Fidel, you put a lot of effort into this.  Are you struggling with the question of whether there is a supernatural?  Well, there's no evidence for it. Sorry.

6079_Smith_W

@ hsfreethinkers

There is no proof to be sure, but there is plenty of evidence. The realm of what we don't know is pretty big - from god to premonitions and a whole lot in between. Personally I think most of it is untrue, but I wouldn't rule out all of it.

remind remind's picture

Issac Newton thought otherwise and so do many many others today.......

absentia

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ hsfreethinkers

There is no proof to be sure, but there is plenty of evidence. The realm of what we don't know is pretty big - from god to premonitions and a whole lot in between. Personally I think most of it is untrue, but I wouldn't rule out all of it.

I have yet to see evidence of any kind for a god of any kind, let alone the ones described in major religions. Spooky things do happen; some are difficult to explain; some, we can't explain at all. But none of the spooky, inexplicable events have, as far as i know, clearly demonstrated a Jehova, Kali or Amon-Re. Spooky things may not wish to be known, but law-giving, punishing, interfering gods, it seems to me, should be less coy. 

So, okay, if there is something supernatural, let's study it and discover whether it's truly super-natural, or merely obscure-natural, and start describing it in our modern languages, rather than relying on multi-thousand-year-old terminology. And maybe put a moratorium on mutilating children's bodies and minds, and gay-bashing and overruling other people's personal medical choices - just till we know for sure whether the gods really want that.  

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