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Posts posted by Memammal

  1. Well the thread is titled ramblings, am i not allowed to do that on a philosophy section? I just cannot fully understand why you feel the desire to give me advice, can you elaborate a bit on why you feel that is necessary?

    Uhmm, I am not sure that a philosophy section on a science forum gives one the freedom to contemplate untruths with the aim to question their validity (like geocentrism, which is scientifically flawed and somewhat outdated).


    i dont believe that any of them have the origin story of our creator correct.

    Yep, I agree with you on this one.

  2. Parents at my niece's school in North Carolina are complaining that 1984 is recommended reading. Apparently the theme is too adult. Not read it myself: is it too much for 13 year olds?

    I don't think it is the type of book that will appeal to that age. It may even do more harm than good in them avoiding Orwell all together.

  3. ^ Incumbent president François Hollande (Socialist Party) is eligible to run for a second term. The Socialist Party will formally nominate their candidate in January.​


    PS. Marine Le Pen (far-right National Front) is the third frontrunner in the presidential race.

  4. Paris - Francois Fillon won France's first-ever conservative presidential primary on Sunday after promising drastic free-market reforms and a crackdown on immigration and Islamic extremism, beating a more moderate rival who had warned of encroaching populism. Polls suggest the 62-year-old Fillon, prime minister from 2007-2012 under ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, would have a good chance of winning the French presidency in the April-May election. Fillon campaigned on promises of slashing public spending, capping immigration, support for traditional family values and friendlier ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Source: Associated Press)


    Sounds familiar..?

  5. @ Scotty99: There is a popular meme doing the rounds that wisdom is to be found where beliefs and facts unite with each other. Maybe best to start there. You have the facts at your disposal. Use that and discard those beliefs that contradict any facts; after all, why would one keep on believing in lies? That would still leave you with some possibilities in the form of uncertainties that you can cling onto and believe in. The next step will be to research the origins of religion, or any beliefs in the supernatural. Explore the path that our ancestors have followed i.t.o. forming their beliefs and superstitions (about who or what protected them, who or what provided thunder, food, love, what they believed would happen to the dead, etc). Open up your inquisitive mind and dig into the possible reasons as to why large, but diverse groups of humans still have strong alliances with specific organised religions (and those who firmly hold on to their indigenous superstitions), each associated with its own interpretation of a supernatural deity/spirit and why all of them seem to be convinced that their belief is the only one that works for them, the only truth, the only path to something better that await them in the afterlife. In doing this, ask yourself why said deities always seem to project a time/cultural-specific human construct and finally, if it is conceivable that nature might have created- and still sustain itself...which would make science even more interesting and more compelling, don't you think?

  6. It would be if I had actually said that.

    No..? You wrote:


    I do however argue that currently secularism has yet to find a way; brexit and Trump wouldn't happen in a content fearless society.

    ^ Statement was made on the back of you arguing that secularism (and/or atheism) has not been able to bring (the same) content and fearlessness (than religion)..? The truth is that Brexit and Trump have both occurred in statistically-speaking pro-religious societies, driven by pro-religious conservatives. Anyway, let us leave it at that.


    But then this, How are the various bibles not real?

    Uhmm, is this a rhetorical question..? I mean there are many very significant differences between the Bible, Talmud/Tanakh & Quran. One prime example: just have a look at how each of these treat the Jesus narrative. So which is true, which is false? How do you interpret the teachings of Jesus considering the uncertainty that surrounds the character, or do you just ignore the authenticity and focus on the teachings (that were pretty much universal in any event) as one would with any other book...even though Jesus might never have uttered them? You do realise that these religions have waged wars over matters such as these. Even today's Christian vs Muslim conflicts still do not recognise the other's god, or kill and maim in the name of its own. Furthermore, the Bible (especially the OT) contains fictitious stories, stories, events & characters that are historically and scientifically questionable; to be honest, very few that could actually be verified.


    But more importantly it proves my point, in that you dismiss any potential wisdom out of hand and insist we throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    We already discussed the subject of ancient wisdom that originated from different parts of the old world and that are contained in various ancient scriptures. I previously admitted that the Bible could thus be regarded as having served the purpose of preserving a specific collection of said historical teachings. I have questioned the relevance thereof in today's age though. The most important ancient teachings of wisdom, those that could be labelled as timeless, were mostly universal and had their origins in pre-Biblical literature. They have been entrenched in our various cultures for millennia and admittedly religion played a role, but if you really want to you can just google them. My problem lies with the bathwater. If said teachings are conveyed to today's new generations, how are they being conveyed? Against the backdrop of supernatural beings like gods, angels and devils that could determine one's immortal fate, or as ancient human wisdom..?

  7. I do however argue that currently secularism has yet to find a way; brexit and Trump wouldn't happen in a content fearless society.


    It does seem to have blinded you and tantitump to the possibility that some people, millions in fact, do find a purpose and contentment in their religions.

    Maybe you should read the last two paragraphs of my post #118 (again)..? Brexit & Trump being slumped on secularism...now that is a stretch.

  8. So you want to march cheerfully into this utopia by denying the personal solace that belief brings to millions of innocents and demand your idea is better than theirs?


    But before you do that answer this:


    when a religion is well understood, and the people are content, fear has no place and no one is afraid of the consequences, but when it isn't well understood and no-one is content fear is everywhere and no one is safe.

    How does atheism provide the former and avoid the latter?

    You may not like the concept of religion, but don't let secular dogma blind you to the potential that the bible may contain something, that atheism doesn't understand, otherwise you're just creating a new religion with none of the wisdom.

    @ dimreepr: You are stuck on this perception of yours, which is a fallacy. You somehow argue and condone the fact that religion, which AFAIK you previously acknowledged to be based on false & flawed premises, is the only way to bring contentment and avoid being fearful. I think it was previously argued to be the only way to find purpose in life. You are further implying that "secular dogma" and/or atheism seemingly:

    - Are the only alternatives to religious dogma and therefore have to fill a particular void;

    - But cannot provide contentment, or take away fear, or give purpose in life;

    - And may blind people to the potential that the Bible may contain something.


    This line of reasoning is utterly absurd, as if it is perfectly OK for religious people to live in a 2,000 year old fantasy world and succumb to religious brain washing in order to ensure contentment, lack of fear and a purpose in life; as if there is nothing else to fill said void.


    Just so that we are clear:

    Secularism is asserting the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, or, in a state declared to be neutral on matters of belief, from the imposition by government of religion or religious practices upon its people. Another manifestation of secularism is the view that public activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be uninfluenced by religious beliefs and/or practices.

    Atheism is, in the broadest sense, the absence of belief in the existence of deities. Less broadly, atheism is the rejection of belief that any deities exist. In an even narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.

    Nobody here (I think) is insisting that religion has to be washed from the earth in one sweeping move. What I personally would like to see is for organised religion and its huge influence to be scaled down and for its stronghold on governments and societies (especially i.t.o. education) to be brought down to size. Organised religion should preferably, with time, be transformed to a personal religion/spirituality opposed to be paraded around in the public sphere where it only serves to strengthen an environmental influence that is far too perilous for the advancement of society...an "utopian" society in which humans will be free to find contentment, purpose and wisdom on their own terms. After all, it is said that wisdom is to be found where belief and facts meet each other. There cannot be wisdom in a false reality.

  9. If Stein has requested recounts then Clinton doesn't have to. So not acting immediately may have been a waiting game for this very reason — Hillary doesn't have to rock the boat, which would have a stronger effect on peoples' perceptions of the legitimacy of the election.

    Jill Stein filed a petition Friday with the state’s Election Commission, the first of three states where she has promised to contest the election result.

    The move from Stein, who raised millions since her Wednesday announcement that she would seek recounts of Donald Trump’s apparent election victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, came just 90 minutes before Wisconsin’s 5 p.m. Friday deadline to file a petition. Now it will keep some hope alive for many Hillary Clinton supporters for another few weeks while Wisconsin recounts ballots before a Dec. 13 deadline.

    Trump scored upset victories in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and seems on the path to declare a victory in Michigan as well, though the result of the election in that state will not be certified officially until Monday. Had Clinton won those three states, previously seen as part of the Democrats’ “firewall,” she would have secured enough electoral votes to win the election.



    Interesting development and should answer a few lingering questions and resolve some conspiracy theories one way or the other.

  10. I do believe there is good in Christianity - if it causes people to soul search and repent from wrongdoing then that can't be bad

    Only I am not convinced that there is a correlation between Christianity and an improvement in the values or morals (by committing less crime) within societies. On the contrary, conservative religious people are more inclined to support corporal punishment, homophobic legislation, death penalties among others, while at the same time not care much about global warming or large scale pandemics (e.g. HIV/Aids).


    Which one?

    Magical Mystery Tour.

  11. I am he as you are he as you are me

    And we are all together

    See how they run like pigs from a gun

    See how they fly

    I'm crying

    I Am The Walrus - The Beatles. Now that is gospel ;)


    @ Prometheus: I like the last paragraph of your last post above. One observation:

    The problem with many religious people is that they have been brought up to revere holy books as a literal truth rather than allegory.

    The problem does not really lie with the many religious people, but with their religions, their churches, their pastors, their parents, et al. The essence of the good gospel is flawed and those spreading it feel obliged to do so as the stakes are too high. A vicious circle repeating itself with every generation as the perils and guilt of original sin are being passed on.

  12. Oh ok, I accept your explanation although I am still somewhat intrigued by your high admiration for the Bible in particular. I am trying to gauge why you would deem the Biblical canon to be unique when it comes to wisdom, moral teachings and/or providing a sense of purpose in life. Most of the Old Testament was written during Babylonian and Persian exile. It was hugely influenced by the oral and written folklore, ethics and traditions of these more advanced civilisations. Earlier in the thread I referred to the Neo-Sumerian Empire, the origin of two of the oldest examples of written laws that predated Mosaic law and much of the OT by quite a stretch and later gave rise to the Babylonian civilisation. The Book of Proverbs, for example, could well be described as a source of great ancient wisdom. It is important to acknowledge the fact that said book cannot only be accredit to King Solomon (and his alleged mythical wisdom), but that it ended up being a collection of various middle-Eastern scriptures of wisdom spanning an entire millennium. Similarly you could perhaps point to Jesus' Sermon On The Mount as a good example of wise moral teachings, perhaps also selected parts of Paul's epistles. However, upon closer examination of the Sermon On The Mount as well as some of Paul's writings it becomes apparent that a lot of that were also borrowed from contemporary literature of the time (The Dead Sea Scrolls contain large parts of Jesus' sermon, but were written approx. a century before the alleged sermon). Some of these teachings were also very similar to what Confucius and the Buddha taught 500 years earlier.


    So if you were implying that the Bible remains to be an important historical document in view of the fact that it managed to merge and preserve a collection of wide-ranging ancient teachings and folklore, I would agree with you. If, however, it was your contention that the authors of the Bible were uniquely gifted in their ability to convey a sort of wisdom that is both timeless and that could still provide us with a sense of purpose, well of that I am not convinced.

  13. @ dimreepr: I am trying to follow, but you are speaking in tongues. It is much easier and it makes a lot more sense to just accept our shortcomings as part of our evolved nature than to be burdened by the guilt thereof...as if only humans have the unique ability to sin in the eye of some omnipresent god. It would seem as if you exalt the Bible above its religious interpretation and dogma, as if first Paul, then Irenaeus, then Augustine and finally the church fathers who formalised the Nicene Creed, have all misunderstood something. As if you consider the Bible to be the actual word of God misinterpreted by men. You do know when and by who the various parts of the Bible were written and compiled, of its cultural history, how it came to its present canon, no? You are implying that "secular dogma" (?) blinds us to the possibility that the Bible may contain something. What could possible be contained in a collection of 2,000 - 3,000 year old scriptures that may give us a sense of purpose in our modern-day lives? I have grown up with the Bible, I have read it front to back, many times. There really is not much in it to hold dear, something that is somehow unique or special from other similar ancient teachings. It is totally over-rated, it has become useless.


    Why is it always assumed that every bit of criticism levelled against (organised) religion and/or its various sacred scriptures must be coming from atheists? So one is either in that little box or outside of it and labelled accordingly..?


    I suggest that you read (at least sections 2 & 3 of) that Julia Kristeva lecture that I linked earlier (it is not that long). Perhaps it would encourage you to explore the psychology of religion a bit further..?

  14. ^ Well whether you like it or not, it happened and it is referred to as such. I am also not sure why you seemingly want to rely on any organisation or movement to "inspire a real life long sense of purpose for most"..? As in creating a false sense of being a preferred religious worshipper, as in being born sinful, feeling the burden of guilt and remorse for your entire life and having to repent for your sins in order to stand a chance to be saved from eternal damnation by the grace of an imaginary deity? We have it in ourselves to find- and to pursue said sense of purpose in our lives, there is no need to rely on superstitions (or on external organisations/movements).

  15. If there is any evidence to suggest that the elections were rigged and possibly that the Russians were behind it, should Americans just sit back and accept their fate? I would think not. Recount and make absolutely sure! This is way too important, don't you think?

  16. MonDie's post appears to have just touched the surface of a much deeper subject. That post seemed to address some of the factors that may motivate certain personalities to participate in religious activities, while other critical- and/or analytical thinking individuals may turn away from it. There is much more to it than just that though. Of course our behaviour is largely influence by the interaction between our genes and our environments. Religious activity most probably has its origin in either a spandrel of evolution or a meme and remains to be strongly linked to one's cultural ancestry. As such the gene/environment interaction plays an important role in strengthening alliances to any particular religion which makes it extremely difficult to shed. An interesting topic to research is the impact of the Age Of Enlightenment and how it effectively got entire populations to reconsider the merits of so-called organised religions and the roles that these religions play in society. Another even more disturbing subject relates to the so-called toxic nature of Abrahamic religions and how it has impacted on humanity's psyche. Julia Kristeva dealt with it in the publication Psychoanalysis, Monotheism and Morality and she also covered it, as well as influence of the Age Of Enlightenment & Baroque era's, in a presentation entitled The Forces Of Monotheism Confronting The Need To Believe (http://www.kristeva.fr/the_forces.html).

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