Monday, June 20, 2005

and while we're at it... yay religion! :-D

read it and weep. :)

UPDATE: I'm moving this post back to the top because it kind of got lost in the flurry of other bullshit over the past 36 hours or so. in case anyone else wanted to chime in, or watch the mutual frustration ensue. ;P


JStressman said...

sure, blame the symptoms, ignore the sickness. that's the right route!

there is a reason that there was a GROUP of people that did this. because they all shared this common belief etc.

without their ridiculous belief in religion and demons and whatnot, this wouldn't have happened.

there is a reason to try to correct ignorant superstition, and not only does my Richard Dawkins post touch on it, but this post, and a few others I've posted also touch on it.

JStressman said...

please don't put words into my mouth. my wish isn't just to "abolish religion", my wish is to teach people how to think... engendering an enlightened rational environment where religion in the sense of christianity, judaism, islam etc... becomes obsolete. "abolish" infers a forceful repression... and abolishing the symptom of an ignorant and superstitious irrational way of thinking, is not going to help the people to think any more clearly.

your myopic view of the problem is very clear in this post.

I personally like pretty much every christian I've ever met. generally they are very nice, caring, compassionate people. they do their best to do gods will, be good people etc.

the problems caused by their type of beliefs are much deeper and more complex. I have devoted MANY pages of posts, going into great detail and at great length trying to explain these issues and my views on them. perhaps you'd do me the favor of actually reading them before you assume to know my logic or views.


JStressman said...

it's like saying "don't blame the crack for the way the crack addict is acting. it's just a bad crack addict here and there that gives crack a bad name."

the crack is what fucks up their ability to think clearly etc. this is the same kind of thing that religion does. it is diametrically opposed to rational, critical thinking skills... objectivity, etc. because you have to suspend those parts of your brain in order to maintain belief, lest you suffer from cognitive dissonance. so you essentially train your brain to shut off whenever something comes up which would, in normal life, cause you to cry "BULLSHIT" so to speak.

I've literally sat down with my mother and had a 5 hour talk with her... at the beginning of the talk, outside of the context of religion, having her explain her views on things, explaining things to her, having her give me her opinions and agreeing on certain facts etc. then I went on to tell her that later on I would say certain things to her, and that before she would even think about it, she would respond with precisely certain statements... pre-programmed knee-jerk responses meant to head off the risk of cognitive dissonance... cut off the possibility of considering a point that might be contrary to her religious beliefs.

and every time she said exactly what I said she would, when I said what I told her I'd say... contrary to things that were already covered and agreed to as facts earlier in the conversation.

it's really not that difficult to understand the thought process once you actually consider it, take a look at it and actually attempt to understand it... rather than falling into the same mental trap that my mother did in an attempt to maintain your belief system.

food for thought.

JStressman said...

eliminate, sorry, had to correct that one for you.

I see how you could have seen it that way.

I think that religion, and the type of superstition, ignorance and obviously severe detachment from reality caused by it (in the extreme in this case), caused this. I cut to the root of the problem. ignorance, sure... but caused by what? this wasn't just a general lack of knowledge, it was an entirely flawed mindset centered VERY soundly on... *drumroll here* RELIGION that caused this.

and no, not everything can be explained by science, not as we now know it, but you need to start facing the facts when science starts rather firmly disproving the foundations of your religious belief. science is taking mankind forward, religion is holding us back. take a good look at history and try to argue that statement with me. I'm sure you can make an effort, we've chatted enough in the past to assure me of that. ;)

and for the record, I'm going to link to Existentialism here, as it's a very interesting topic that I hope readers will have a look at. I'm not sure quite how it fits into your sentence, as the basic tenets of it are more apt to fit a rather neutral blend between christianity, satanism and other religions from what I know of it. freedom to act... and understanding and taking the consequences for your own actions... that's more in the camp of satanism, not christianity... so it's odd to see you bring it up in a post somewhat in the defense of religious belief, considering that you seem to be more in the christian camp than in the satanist one.

although we touched on that before, and you insisted that free will was christian.

but I digress. :-/

I'm going to track down my copy of the satanic bible and post a few excerpts from it's preface. maybe they'll clear up my view on that. who knows, maybe I'll learn something in the process. :)

JStressman said...

wrong. faith is belief without questioning.

have a look. do you see anything about the continual questioning and requestioning of your beliefs in there? quite the contrary actually.

you're obviously rather blind to all that religion does to prevent the progress of science. has pretty much throughout all of recorded history. especially in the Dark Ages and such. all of which I believe I have posted about before, with links to reference material etc.

just as christianity was used to justify the genocide of entire peoples, slavery, sexual discrimination... sure. it brought about different ways of thinking. so did many other beliefs and religions. and many beliefs outside of religion altogether. you are going WAY out in left field inferring that Christianity is somehow mainly to thank for the evolution of society. obviously SOME of the original ideas were influential to people of the area at the time. but you're ignoring the flip side of the coin to a fault. society had evolved thousands of years before christianity, and continued on much as it had before for centuries afterward. when real strides were finally made against sexual discrimination and slavery etc... it was only within the last 200 years. and we're still suffering the effects today.

something to keep in mind, JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT, DOESN'T MEAN GOD DID IT. this argument has been used for centuries, and almost every other case has been disproven by the advance of science... this is one of the main reasons relgion has fought the advance of science throughout history. it is a threat to it's belief system which is built on FAITH, not FACT.


I've covered so much of this before in my posts. christianity is NOT the basis for morality... christianity is NOT the basis for human compassion... christianity is NOT the only explanation that people have come up with for the unexplained, to make themselves feel better. there were other religions long before, and since then that people believe just as firmly... or that have just as much proof as christianity (or lack thereof).

you should try reading Richard Dawkins for a bit. I read literature both pro and con to my beliefs to try to understand both sides, and correct my views, or flesh out my understanding where possible. you should try reading Dawkins and see what you think.

(and no, I haven't read "Finding Darwins God" to answer your question)

read those.. also, I've studied Thomas Aquinas... who was actually not in good favor with the church due to his studies to try to "prove the existance of god". as the church believed that faith was requisite, and that needing or having proof would therefor make faith unnecessary, which would in essence obsolete or disprove religion. a bit of circular reasoning there... I have somewhere a link to a debate on the subject on slashdot.. I may have even posted about that very debate previously.

ah yes, here it is.

anyway... maybe you should read that stuff. even Aquinas said that while everything pointed to the existance of a god in his mind, it certainly did NOT point to that god being a fatherly man in white robes. that being could have been a unicorn, a giant rock... anything really. it also fails to take into account where the first cause came from... a previous first cause created god? the existance of god was no more plausible or final answer than not having an answer. etc.

please go do some reading and some more thinking... and consider the flip side of the coin. your responses bely an ignorance of the subject matter at hand and a bias towards your own beliefs as a result. (you can easily turn that statement around, and say that you have an ignorance of the subject matter as a result of your confirmation bias as well.)

sorry if that end sounds insulting, it's not meant to be.

JStressman said...

oh, and good night to you as well. :) it's 7:06am here... and I'm exhausted myself... but I've been trying to wrap up these posts before I go to bed. otherwise I have a very hard time falling asleep... insomniac. :-/ I'd just lay there thinking of all this stuff... if I just get it out of my head for the most part, then I can fall asleep easier.

sweet dreams. :)

JStressman said...

so you missed the whole point of doubting Thomas obviously.


THAT'S STILL GOING ON TODAY. stem cell research, cloning... these things get too close to allowing the manipulation of life. which is too close to "gods" area. while I realize that there are valid reasons to be cautious in these areas... the religious stonewalling is frustrating and is just more of the same. quit acting like religion just stopped having a problem with science lately. or how about ID and Creationist agendas lately? how hard they're pushing to either debunk evolution, or to force Creationist teaching into schools with EQUAL veracity etc? HELLO... your religious belief is SURE AS SHIT NOT SCIENTIFIC FACT. and actually flies in the fucking face of it. just because you pay taxes doesn't give you any more right to spout your bullshit nonsense in schools as it does the KKK or Raelians or anyone else. we teach FACTS in school for a fucking REASON.


there is more proof against Christianity's biblical version of the formation of the universe and life as we know it, and the death and ressurection of the Christ etc... than there is for it. BY FAR.

when I say you can't disprove god, I mean that you can't disprove god. it doesn't mean that most of christianity is not pretty obviously a crock of BULLSHIT... it means that you can't prove or disprove god. and the more we focus on reality and scientific progress etc.. the more we CONTINUE to disprove religious and superstitious bullshit.. the paranormal, etc.


you infer my dear. you infer.

your comment inferred that christianity was the foundation of the ideals of freedom and equality and compassion etc etc. it was not.
these things are arbitrary ideas invented by man based on emotions and feelings inherent in us as part of our evolution and survival.

I'm going to post a link to a .pdf file about the nature of emotions and their evolutionary functions etc. maybe it will help you understand where that point is coming from.

I made it clear that christianity has done some good things... pretty much ALL religions have. the point is, these things were done before those religions, outside those religions and will be done after those religions if they ever fade.

ok, this is getting frustrating and I got dragged into a fast paced chat with Lisa, her husband, Venessa and someone else that just left... Steve somebody. completely lost my train of thought on this comment. I'll get back to you.

(I need to cool off obviously anyway) :-/


Anonymous said...

Phreadom, your fatal flaw seems to be your belief that no one understands your points because they aren't smart enough to grasp what you're saying. Have you ever thought that maybe you're just not smart enough to clearly explain your position?

JStressman said...

yes. I have. :)

however, what I've been referring to lately is that I've already covered a lot of the topics before that are being brought up now, so I'm forced to repeat myself. and trying to cover in a short comment something that took me 7 pages to cover even remotely sufficiently... it's frustrating.

I'm not exactly eloquent.

oh, and that's not exactly a fatal flaw for the record. it's simply a frustrating hidrance that I am already aware of... and which is one of the main reasons I constantly point people to read what I've read to get the information from a better source and put it together for themselves.

if you weren't just trying to troll me here and had actually read my posts and thought about it, you'd probably have figured that out yourself.

(I'm not a fan of anonymous posters, so I'm inherently hostile towards them, aside from the fact that your comment was flamebait)

JStressman said...

god damnit. I had typed out a response to this and lost it (clicked the comment link on my page to check something, and it reloaded this and lost what I'd typed). I'll try to sum it up.


I've read it before and many other related articles. I fail to see how my lack of making it into a hyperlink in my comment equates to my inability to comprehend it. maybe YOU should read it? pay close attention to the words used. thanks.

as for Thomas Aquinas, allow me to sum this up. I didn't even infer that he questioned his belief in god. I said that he was trying to PROVE the EXISTANCE of god, which would have had the unintended effect of negating faith. and while this did jeopardize the role of the Catholic Church then, which maintained massive power as the sole route to salvation through supression of literacy and dissent through means such as torture and even death, I saw no evidence of this being his primary goal. I'd appreciate some links to information to the contary if I'm mistaken here.

on to my next point.
tr.v. a·bol·ished, a·bol·ish·ing, a·bol·ish·es
1. To do away with; annul.
2. To destroy completely.
1. No longer in use: an obsolete word.
2. Outmoded in design, style, or construction: an obsolete locomotive.
3. Biology. Vestigial or imperfectly developed, especially in comparison with other individuals or related species; not clearly marked or seen; indistinct. Used of an organ or other part of an animal or plant.

tr.v. ob·so·let·ed, ob·so·let·ing, ob·so·letes
To cause to become obsolete.


now certainly you can see the difference between those two, right? one infers actual forceful destruction, the other implies simply making something no longer useful. it's like the difference between shooting the horse and burning the carriage, rather than simply teaching a person how to drive a car.

I really hoped that such an illustration would not have been necessary.

as for my dislike of Christianity, yes, I've openly stated that it is my least favorite religion. but I honestly dislike them all, and simply reference others to make points. having actually studied the effects and uses of religions in social groups in cultural anthropology and other places, as well as the beliefs of different religions etc, that knowledge comes in handy sometimes to help make a point about Christianity. Christianity simply happens to be the predominant religions here in the US, and therefor the biggest pain in my ass personally.

also, some religions, such as Buddhism, some flavors of which have beliefs similar to that of existentialism, atheism etc... don't really bother me that much. others, such as Sikhism and Hinduism, I haven't studied as much due to a lack of effect on my life... so I've focused mainly on the Abrahamic Religions, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. most others rate little more as petty cults etc, and as such don't generally play into my discussions.

as for my correction of Lisa's spelling, I'd like you to point out how many other times I've actually done that... especially in PC's case, who spells worse than a 5 year old. generally if I correct someones spelling, such as I did with Lisa, it's because they are intelligent individuals who generally do not make spelling mistakes. it was a friendly gesture and slightly as a poke of fun. as much as I might seem hostile in these discussions, when someone such as Lisa actually makes an effort to maintain a level head and convey her beliefs to me and try to defend those beliefs, rather than simply attacking me more directly as you've done, I actually enjoy the effort and respect it.

as for your last paragraph there... not only is it very difficult to decipher... (I won't pick on your spelling or puncuation or whatnot...) but actually contains some things which seem contrary to what I actually said. I've already covered my response above, but you should note to watch what you type and how you type it. I had to break that paragraph up and make a number of corrections in notepad just to figure out what the heck you were trying to say.

also, I don't see the parallels with Luthers direct disputes with the church. perhaps I haven't studied Aquinas' work enough, but from what I know of them both, they were for vastly different reasons. and Luther was well over 200 years later.

please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I'll look more deeply into it in the meantime. however, I only see your attack as being partially incorrect, off base, and diversionary. as I only brought the matter of Aquinas up at all to demonstrate the flaw in the idea of "first cause", which wasn't even Aquinas idea in the first place! it was Aristotles.

I guess it boils down to something like this... the only real proof of god he really had was that there needed to be a start, and god solved that problem. this is the assumption that there needed to BE a start. he creates a problem and uses god as the solution. deus ex machina.

I was simply making a general reference to illustrate an idea. I left the details of digging deeper as an exercise to the reader as I didn't seem them as directly relevant to the point at hand.


now, if I've been off base here, I apologize. but as far as I know, I wasn't... and your post comes across as much more of an attack directly on me, a lack of understanding or even a knowledge of any of my previous posts, and diversionary even from the points that Lisa and I were discussing.

if you'd like to actually have a constructive part in this discussion, I'd ask that you actually stick to your facts and points and refrain from trying to attack me personally. if you disagree with something I've said, try to explain why and show me where I'm mistaken. I'd appreciate it. for starters, even though I feel it wasn't relevant to Lisa and I's discussion, I'm curious about your claims of Aquinas' motivations being the same as Luther's, and being as essentially an attack on the Catholic Church's political power structure rather than as a matter of theistic and philosophical investigation and scholarly writing etc. this is contrary to my knowledge of both people.

thanks for your effort.

JStressman said...

Lisa: look into where the stem cells in question came from and more of the reasons behind why the opponents acted the way they did, and who was involved. you'll see what I'm talking about. (it wasn't a moral issue... the stock was already available, and not a questionable issue. the whole issue of morality etc was based on misinformation and religious pressure etc. that's just off the top of my head, as I can't find the sources at the moment. but if you'd like me to, I'll try to hunt them down for you.)

and sorry, yes, I meant that rhetorically. :( sorry.

I don't think I'm missing something about your Christian beliefs or whatnot... I was one. I think you fail to understand that I've been there and moved on and experienced wholly different religions and schools of thought etc in the following decade plus.

that's not to say that I don't still have things to learn, but I think it's wrong to say that just because I don't agree with your ideas doesn't mean I don't understand them. there is such a thing as knowing something, learning more and changing your initial ideas based on the additional information etc.


again Lisa, I apologize for losing my temper. my discussion came in the middle of my heated fight over on PC's blog, so my blood pressure was up. I'm sorry. (hopefully you can understand the circumstances)

thank you for pointing out where I was losing my temper. I'd appreciate the continued discussion if you'd oblige me.

thanks. :(

Anonymous said...

I've taken over 30 theology courses in my lifetime, and I have to say that a lot of the stuff you are claiming as fact is totally off base. Throwing up a link to Wikipedia does not make you an expert. I would gladly get in an intellectual debate with you on a number of these points, but your level of knowledge is so rudimentary that it would be a waste of my time. No hard feelings though, I'm sure you can relate.

JStressman said...

there you go. a much better post. I agree with what you've said. :)

and actually, I don't recall the part about the Kings being descended from Adam, just the thing about the Popes being the descendants of (Saint) Peter.

just to clarify a little ambiguity in your comment, primogeniture has nothing to do with the succession from adam specifically, but is simply the matter of inheritence by the eldest child. what you're referring to would be a very specific subset of that, and NOT one that "held sway over the history of the earth", being as that it was by definition obviously confined to Christianity.

if you'd like to point me in the direction of some literature so that I can read up on it, I'd appreciate it. :)


JStressman said...

it's spelled "primogeniture" for the record. it's starting to nag at me seeing you keep typing it that way, sorry. :( not trying to be a prick.

um... dude? why are you going off on a wild tangent, completely unrelated to what we were talking about? are you trying to prove something? I know what primogeniture is, I simply didn't see any point in spelling it out here when it had nothing to do with what we were talking about.

I also didn't say that primogeniture was a christian concept, I clarified that it was NOT one... I think I spelled that out rather clearly, correcting your inference to the contrary.
which also does not fit what you inferred that it meant for the record. either you, or your source seems to have misinterpreted it, either intentionally or simply out of a lack of understanding.
again, absolutely no mention of your particular little flavor. ANYWHERE that I could find for that matter. I've simply never heard of it.

at this point I'm really starting to think that you're not half as smart as you're trying to come across as. you can't spell most things correctly, you constantly COMPLETELY misunderstand what I've said, and can't even clearly or correctly state what YOU're trying to say.

now, I appreciate the effort at conversation here, but a few points need to be made... first off, you've strayed WAY WAY WAY off the course of what Lisa and I were discussing in what is seeming a rather blatant attempt at proving your own knowledge, completely oblivious to what's actually going on. secondly, you don't seem to me making even a cursory attempt at validating what you're talking about, or providing any links to further information.

I've read a lot on royalty and religion etc... and frankly I've never heard of this lineage of adam as a justification for royal power... EVER. and I've even had another look today and asked around, and you know what? NOBODY has. so I'm not sure if you were just reading some quack hypotheses or what... but what I'd really appreciate, rather than pointing to some book that I don't have access to... is any reference anywhere online that I might see that would even make me put enough credence in your claim to want to track down one of those books you mentioned to look further into the matter.

like I said, I'm humoring you right now because the subject matter is interesting, but you are seriously way off the point of what we were talking about, and it's making your own personal motivations etc look a bit suspect.

try to stay on track and try to provide some kind of further reading for points you make, both at my request, and for the sake of my readers. thanks.

JStressman said...

yes, I have read some of St. Augustine's writings, but mostly on the nature of original sin. honestly I wasn't aware that was who you were talking about. I was thinking modern authors. :) my mistake.

I don't mind a general discussion that leads off into who knows where. it makes for interesting conversation. it just seemed poor timing, as I was trying to make a particular point to Lisa about the effect that religious thinking has on cognitive abilities, and this really pulled the conversation off into another direction completely and left that point unresolved. (not that it would have likely been resolved either way, but at least it would have remained on topic and been hammered out some more)

and yes, I read your point. you just repeated what I said essentially, which made me think that maybe you didn't read what I said... if that wasn't the case, I guess I didn't see the need to reiterate what I'd just said to clarify your point. sorry for the confusion.

honestly I generally don't maintain a running bibliography in my head. I take the ideas from what I've read and weigh them against others in a constant revision of what I know... refining, updating, expanding etc.

I pick things up wherever I find them, and start reading. I generally don't bother to try to memorize the title and the author, much less to try to match what I've just read to the author and title etc.

anywhere from magazine articles, to history channel specials, to bible study books, to online articles etc. not to mention that this information is cross referenced with my college courses in cultural anthropology, my other studies in religion, psychology etc. it's an expansive mesh of information which all ties in together.

sorry, that's just the way I work. I guess I'm just selfish. it's always been of primary importance to me for ME to understand things... and secondarily to try to get other people to share that understanding. and yes, it does get frustrating when someone wants to know where I read some particular bit of information, because I can't for the life of me remember usually.

also, in case you couldn't guess, my primary sources of information are generally secular ones. religious sources to me are by definition biased. :) I only start reading religious texts when it's theological information that I'm after. I don't read the bible to find out about nuclear fission.

and please, watch your attitude, or I won't bother continuing a civil discourse with you. I have a limit to my patience when people start insulting me, and it's only because you're actually making interesting conversation and pointing me in some new directions for new things to research, that I'm tolerating it.

I think we've established here that I wasn't aware of this whole lineage of Adam thing. I believe that alone invalidates a few of your earlier insults, as well as agreeing with other points you made etc. if you were trying to prove some point, it's proven. you can hold your own in a conversation with me. :) now watch your tongue please.

PS: a curious note... it sounds rather like Robert Filmer came up with the idea of lineage of Adam himself... and he lived over 300 years after Aquinas... how did his ideas affect a man dead for over 3 centuries before his birth? I'm not trying to be offensive, but as much as I'm impressed by the amount of information you seem to be able to remember, you seem to have trouble actually putting it together and doing anything useful with it. this isn't the first time I've run into such a person. the last was incredibly well read and much more articulate and intelligent, but still failed to be able to think for himself... we came out of a serious of long and rather heated debates with a mutual respect for one another in the end though. we agreed to disagree in the end. his shortcoming was that as much as he could quote authors, and state ideas verbatim from particular books while citing their titles and authors etc... he COULD NOT for the LIFE OF HIM answer a direction question as to what HE HIMSELF thought of any of a group of specific questions I asked him. he simply could not answer them. he could only recite what other people had said... and if he hadn't read what someone else had said about it, he couldn't give you any opinion because he couldn't put together information from a mass of disparate sources and piece together his own ideas and conclusions empirically.

now, admittedly, I have a horrible memory, and tend to ramble when I write and not explain myself well, but hopefully I'm not terribly far off base here. just attempting to clarify the situation.

JStressman said...

markaville: I guess what I'm trying to say, is that I enjoy the conversation and food for thought, but it's not going to do either of us good if you get pissy with me. it just makes me get even pissier, and then there's no longer much of an intellectual discussion going on. that makes me unhappy. :) and probably doesn't make you terribly thrilled either.

it's in my nature to be condescending when someone insults my intelligence. (and possibly in your case as well, given the nature of our exchanges) ;)

let's try to keep the less mature portions of my character under wraps. ;)

if, as Lisa says, she's going to continue this discussion with me in e-mail, I see no reason why we can't continue our merry discourse here on whatever topics we end up leading into.

fine with me. fine with you? :)

JStressman said...

ok, now that makes a lot more sense. thanks for the explanation. :)

yeah, one of my friends (who reads this blog actually), proc, is a very intelligent and very smart Jew... he's been teaching me a lot about it lately, and that's one of the points he was talking about.

Christianity and religious belief in general... in order to say for instance that a man could die for 3 days, return from the dead... or walk on water.... or fix blindness, cure leprosy, raise the dead... to set aside all that we know about science and medicine and believe such things, in light of the fact of background understanding of group psychology and cold readings and prestidigitation etc etc... how memory works, the history of the bible... the history of other religions and on and on and on...

if I told you that someone today was walking down the street miraculously raising the dead, walking on water, curing AIDS etc... you would cry BULLSHIT... but when you read it in a book from 2,000 years ago, you take it as the ABSOLUTE UNQUESTIONABLE TRUTH?

or that a man lives in the clouds and created the earth in 7 days, created man from mud in 1 day and created woman from his rib? or that the earth was originally populated by all the animals that just happened to be from the exact time when the bible was written... etc? or that other religions had their own stories that are interestingly enough written in the same manner, contemporarily?

there are so many things in religion that are superstitious, ignorant fairy tales that people created to explain the unknown etc.. or to embellish tales of great figures, as greek mythology did with it's heros etc. things like Zeus casting down lighting bolts from the clouds onto people who angered him. as humans advanced their knowledge and understanding of the world around us, we started to realize that these stories were just fairy tales made up to explain the unexplained to give us order and comfort.

you should know all this.

(and I was guessing at the etymology of your name as soon as I saw it... was I right then to assume that it's a play off of your own name and that of Machiavelli? also, I wonder if you stumbled across my blog purely by chance search because I mentioned Aquinas, who seems to fall inside your area of interest, or because someone sent you here? I have a lot of people who are pointed to my blog to either come be pissed off by what I write, or to come here and try to argue with me in the stead of those who lack the means. just curious.)