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Author Topic:   Why does Richard Dawkins sing Christmas carols?
Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 241 of 301 (443223)
12-24-2007 1:33 AM
Reply to: Message 240 by Taz
12-24-2007 12:53 AM


Re: My two cents
Funny enough, we find homosexual individuals throughout the animal kingdom. The species of birds that form life-long monogomous relationships, we also find homosexual members pairing with each other for life. I think you might have better luck arguing that extra-solar planets don't exist than trying to convince us that gay people don't exist.
Gay people do exist. So do people who get off by eating feces. Wouldn't call either normalcy though.
quote:
That's it! Sue me!
Funny enough, this came across my mind some weeks ago. Not you, personally, but people like you. I had a thought that I could file a class action lawsuit against people like you for thwarting social progress for the better in every generation.
Except that it kind of goes against that whole freedom of speech thingy.
quote:
Is there really anything that you or Dawkins fundamentally disagrees with Jesus about?
To Thomas: "Blessed are those who have not seen but believe."
Seriously, what kind of bullshit is that? Hey, I know there's no evidence for Hank's existence, but you're just going to have to take my word for it that he'll kick your ass if you don't kiss his.[/qs]
I think you misunderstood my premise. Supposing even Jesus was not an actual historical figure, the "character" or "protagonist" of the gospels was still a concept in some people's minds. Is there anything actually horrible about what Jesus taught, even supposing His words come from a playwrite?
Even many secularists say that Jesus (though he was just a man) was a great moral teacher. Could you come to a similar agreement?
First of all, us atheists don't claim that there is no god.
Actually, by definition, you do. A (negative) theos (God) = there is no God in plain Greek.
All we are saying is that there ain't no evidence for god's existence. Would you believe in the tooth fairy? How about immaterial pink unicorns? What about Zeus and Apollo? Would you even be agnostic about those things?
Well that's fine with me. Don't believe in God. You are more than welcome to your thoughts and feelings on the matter. I'm coming to you from a perspective of it being inconsequential. Supposing there is no actual God, are the tenets espoused in the gospels really so horrible? Is it vastly different from Buddhists who learned from Buddha? Why not rail against Buddha or Buddhism for the same reasons you deride the Judeo-Christian ethic? Heck, there are seven hells in Buddhism, each worse than the first.
We are railing against religion because in every generation religion always comes up with new ways to make people's lives miserable. But more importantly, religion continue to impede social and technological progress by hammering faith (unsupported beliefs) into the minds of children.
Now, when you say "progress," what exactly are you aspiring towards, that would help me understand what it is exactly that impedes that very progress? In a worldview with no definitive purpose or hope beyond the material, what difference does it all really make?
In that worldview, wouldn't humility be weakness? Wouldn't philanthropy be weakness? Wouldn't selfishness epitomize the virtues of the worldview you actually espouse?
By the way, have I mentioned that I've always considered teaching your children religion a form of child abuse?
No, you've never mentioned that to me. So I guess you are fundamentally against the First Amendment. Cool. Now I know where you stand.
Here is a more obvious example of this form of child abuse.
What exactly makes you any better than these brainwashed little girls? After all, you clearly want to eradicate religion, as if there couldn't possibly be ANY redeeming qualities in it.
You could make a better argument about how a person or a group is hijacking a religion and manipulating it, rather than coming down on the religion itself. Did you even think about that?
What precisely makes your moralizing any greater than anyone else's?
Edited by Nemesis Juggernaut, : typos

“First dentistry was painless, then bicycles were chainless, and carriages were horseless, and many laws enforceless. Next cookery was fireless, telegraphy was wireless, cigars were nicotineless, and coffee caffeineless. Soon oranges were seedless, the putting green was weedless, the college boy was hatless, the proper diet -- fatless. New motor roads are dustless, the latest steel is rustless, our tennis courts are sodless, our new religion -- Godless” -Arthur Guiterman

This message is a reply to:
 Message 240 by Taz, posted 12-24-2007 12:53 AM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 242 by Modulous, posted 12-24-2007 2:16 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied
 Message 245 by Taz, posted 12-24-2007 10:27 AM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 257 by Rrhain, posted 12-25-2007 7:17 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied

Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 242 of 301 (443227)
12-24-2007 2:16 AM
Reply to: Message 241 by Hyroglyphx
12-24-2007 1:33 AM


Atheists for Jesus
Even many secularists say that Jesus (though he was just a man) was a great moral teacher.
To tie this string back into the topic:
quote:
I am no memetic engineer, and I have very little idea how to increase the numbers of the super nice and spread their memes through the meme pool. The best I can offer is what I hope may be a catchy slogan. 'Atheists for Jesus' would grace a T-shirt. There is no strong reason to choose Jesus as icon, rather than some other role model from the ranks of the super nice such as Mahatma Gandhi (not the odiously self-righteous Mother Teresa, heavens no). I think we owe Jesus the honour of separating his genuinely original and radical ethics from the supernatural nonsense which he inevitably espoused as a man of his time. And perhaps the oxymoronic impact of 'Atheists for Jesus' might be just what is needed to kick start the meme of super niceness in a post-Christian society. If we play our cards right - could we lead society away from the nether regions of its Darwinian origins into kinder and more compassionate uplands of post-singularity enlightenment?
I think a reborn Jesus would wear the T-shirt. It has become a commonplace that, were he to return today, he would be appalled at what is being done in his name, by Christians ranging from the Catholic Church to the fundamentalist Religious Right. Less obviously but still plausibly, in the light of modern scientific knowledge I think he would see through supernaturalist obscurantism. But of course, modesty would compel him to turn his T-shirt around: Jesus for Atheists. -- Richard Dawkins

This message is a reply to:
 Message 241 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-24-2007 1:33 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied

riVeRraT
Member (Idle past 499 days)
Posts: 5788
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004


Message 243 of 301 (443228)
12-24-2007 2:26 AM
Reply to: Message 228 by Granny Magda
12-23-2007 1:50 PM


Re: Crash, in my heart ...
"Atheist" is simply the best way of describing Dawkins' (and my own) beliefs, in a single word. It instantly gives people the right general idea about where we stand on the issue.
Yea sure, but my main point was that whether a theist or a atheist, your there by a leap of faith, no matter what size the leap is. Being scientific, should make you technically open minded to anything, and therefor agnostic. And that is a good thing for both sides, as Christians can use that view to improve their faith, and question it, whole an atheist still would have a chance at meeting God.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 228 by Granny Magda, posted 12-23-2007 1:50 PM Granny Magda has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 246 by Taz, posted 12-24-2007 10:34 AM riVeRraT has replied
 Message 249 by Granny Magda, posted 12-24-2007 11:48 AM riVeRraT has replied

Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 244 of 301 (443235)
12-24-2007 4:16 AM
Reply to: Message 239 by Silent H
12-24-2007 12:43 AM


Re: On the Hypocrisy of Dawkins and his supporters...
..and we both agree that he does not feel that their rituals are harmful (though I will point out when it serves his interests he explains how certain stories are wicked and unethical).
I'm not sure about what his counterarguments to the claim that "The Bible is the source of morality" have anything to do with singing Christmas carols or engaging in other rituals with pagan or Christian origins. Should he avoid Easter too, in case people get the wrong idea?
Or perhaps he should say "Hey guys, look you're not total idiots. There are some things of value and I'm not so much of a curmudgeon that I can't see that. Look we agree on this and that but where we differ is on this critical point...".
If he can pick out what isn't harmful from what is harmful, why can't they claim the same thing? If he is not empowering them by sharing certain practices, how can they be empowering fanatics by sharing certain practices.
They can pick out what is unethical from what is ethical, that's largely Dawkins' point. That's why religious texts can be said not to be sources of morality, but an old tool used to justify moral positions. Dawkins on the other hand is decrying a culture where not only believing certain propositions without any evidence is considered virtuous, but that the stronger you believe the harder to believe things the more you should be looked up to.
And I would find both rather silly. Western cultural is such an amalgam, an Atheist ought not be identifying himself as a Xian just because of his upbringing within that society.
Well they might be silly, but they serve some purpose at least. It's not like he goes around saying "Hi, I'm a cultural Christian" all the time. He has other terms he prefers to use to describe himself which are more inline with what you are saying. In explanation as to why he engages in Christmas carols he explains that he has adopted some of the rituals that he has grown up with which have a Christian association.
He raises the point that many people that engage in caroling don't believe any of the words behind what they sing anymore a soprano might believe she is imploring the gods of vengeance to hear her 'mother's vow'.
Heck isn't that the exact thing he is arguing about children?
No. His point on children is that adults shouldn't
a) indoctrinate them into one faith (rather: we should teach them about many faiths and teach them that many more exist, and allow the children to make up their own mind in their own time.)
b) label them as belonging to one faith before they can reasonably be said to have made any considered choice in the matter.
Adults labelling themselves is an entirely different issue.
That's what I'm saying.
So whatever Dawkins does he's going to end up, in some people's minds, endorsing the things he decries. Why not simply accept that is true, and try to minimize the confusion by using clear language to explain ones self? "Yes I do X, to me it is an entertaining fiction much like Wuthering Heights.". Maybe one day, "Away in a manger", might be a little like the possible origins of the Hokey Cokey (hoc enim est corpus meum ).
Yes, seriously, though I do find him funny that way. Watching him wax on about some parts of Xianity while raving about others. And so concerned about theists, so so concerned. He's an evangelist through and through, in a love/hate relationship with his brethren.
So basically what you are saying is that passionate public criticism of a social issue and the championing of an alternative is the same as evangelism. If that is it, why the silly story about jealousy of priests and retaining the semblance of the church? You made it sound like the plot of a South Park double-episode.
He doesn't just do carols, that's why I posted the video link (and by the way I hope you watch the whole 2 hour video, its in two links from molbio and in my reply to her).
I haven't watched it yet (as you might anticipate, I've been wanting to for some time - I keep an eye on richarddawkins.net because there are a lot of interesting articles and videos that get posted there), the time of year is busy. I am still wading through the 16-20 hours or so of Beyond Belief 2007. As soon as I get time I will be watching them.
Its amazing how much of what he appreciates I don't have time for because I am doing so many other things with no relation to Xianity.
And I have little time for most of them either. It's a matter of taste really; it is probably significant that I wasn't born in the 1940s, that I did not go to public school and that I am definitely not from a middle-class background.
For example, I find no thought crime in raising one's children Xian.
There is a difference between mental abuse and thought-crime. And it's not like Dawkins wants to criminalize the behaviour. Whenever I have seen him talk about this I've always seen him make it clear he wants to raise people's awareness of the situation. If we all went around saying "Oh look, there's Tommy aged six. He's a Marxist", we might find that odd or even creepy. He wants people to consider that this might be the way to think about the parallels with saying "There is Mohammad aged six. He's a Muslim".
I got the joke. The problem is that doesn't play in the stix. Wouldn't you agree that might be lost on the very people they are trying to convert away from sloppy thinking?
It might. Then again I think "The God Delusion" or "Why religion poisons everything" or "Christianity is a mind virus" are far worse, at least this shows that they have a sense of humour, and aren't dark and evil humourless bastards.
At this point though, their goals aren't to convert the, shall we say, critically-ill sufferers of the 'mind virus'. Only to help raise the consciousness of those with mild variants of the virus. To get people talking about something that they might have otherwise talked about rarely if at all.
They need to get a grip on what their goals are and what makes sense in light of those goals.
Of course they do - and the wonderful thing is that such things are spoken about. Dawkins has often been asked if his no-holds barred approach to discussing this issue might be alienating moderate believers and might be doing harm to his goals rather than assisting them. He has conceded that he might be making a mistake in a political sense, but that he is aiming for the on-the-fencers not those that are entrenched and he has had some successes with some of those on the fence. His goal seems to be more about consciousness raising of issues, not in forging a post-religious utopia.
Sam Harris in some later speeches (elsewhere) starts to recognize and rip into that kind of behavior.
And Sam Harris - perhaps because of his relative youth, is beginning to look into the long term. He is discussing strategy whereas Dawkins doesn't really have as much care for strategy, except in cases where the strategy seems to be wrong.
Harris wants to opt for the covert individual person-to-person mocking of silly superstitions that people dress up in the gilded clothes of the emperor and call it religion.
I think that the slap in the face that the past 18 months have been in the wake of the publishing of the unholy trinity, the triumvirate, the post-religionists, the horsemen of the apocalypse, the four evangelists, whatever has opened the topic up for public discussion allowing fertile grounds for those individuals to do some 'groundwork'. I think both tactics have merit, and listening to both sides of the debate on this issue - as well as those that think they are both wrong, is illuminating. This is why I'm watching Beyond Belief as a priority...30% of the people there at least have positions I disagree with.
It's kind of odd though. On the one had you say that Dawkins should not engage in rituals with Christian origins, and on the other you say he needs to play the game tactically or with political savvy.
So which role is it?
a) The grumpy Oxford professor atheist curmudgeon that says "baa humbug" to everything - and even neglects to say 'Bless you' for fear people might think him endorsing religion.
b) The genial Oxford professor who accepts that ritual is important to humans, and who engages in some rituals he inherited from his culture which has a Christian history. "Hey guys, it's not that I'm against anything with the name Christ attached to it out of principle. It is only certain things that I take issue with such as..."
Should he be the over-literal unpopular Git who alienates everyone by telling them that they shouldn't exclaim "God Alimghty!", when they stump their toe, or should he try and present the image of a passionate critic of a certain epistemology/moral-reasoning, with the moderate acceptance of essentially benign rituals?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 239 by Silent H, posted 12-24-2007 12:43 AM Silent H has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by Silent H, posted 12-25-2007 9:15 PM Modulous has replied

Taz
Member (Idle past 3375 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 245 of 301 (443287)
12-24-2007 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 241 by Hyroglyphx
12-24-2007 1:33 AM


Re: My two cents
Nem writes:
Gay people do exist. So do people who get off by eating feces. Wouldn't call either normalcy though.
See, I don't even know why I bother with you. Out of a myriad things you could compare gay people to like left-handedness and figure skating etc. you have to pick the most vile, most tabooed things you could imagine like murder and rape and bestiality and necrophilia and now eating feces.
If Jesus was really a good man, he would have at least said something about comparing decent people with murderers and rapists and people who commit bestiality and people who eat feces.
I don't know, Nem, it looks like your christian values, which you guys always claim to be a superior moral standard, aren't doing much to help you see what's decent and what's not decent.
Except that it kind of goes against that whole freedom of speech thingy.
Have I ever mentioned that deep down I don't believe in democracy? You know why? Because a human right is a human right. It's not up for debate, it's not up for compromise, and it's certainly not up for people like you to decide to ignore it.
I think you misunderstood my premise. Supposing even Jesus was not an actual historical figure, the "character" or "protagonist" of the gospels was still a concept in some people's minds. Is there anything actually horrible about what Jesus taught, even supposing His words come from a playwrite?
Ok, here's one. He never taught you how to be kind toward other people. He never taught you not to compare decent people with murderers, rapists, bestialiacs (if that's a word?), and people who eat feces. It's like a father who never taught his kids to call not call black people "niggers".
Even many secularists say that Jesus (though he was just a man) was a great moral teacher. Could you come to a similar agreement?
Would a great moral teacher not teach you to not compare decent law abiding citizens to murderers, rapists, bestialiacs, and people who eat feces?
It seems to me like Jesus never had the foresight to help you bigots understand common human decency. I don't know about the great teacher thing.
Actually, by definition, you do. A (negative) theos (God) = there is no God in plain Greek.
Um... no. Nobody is arguing the semantic with you. I don't care where the word originated. I'm telling you, us atheists don't actually claim that there is no god.
It's sort of like the big bang theory. It wasn't actually an explosion. It was more of an expansion. So, you see, looking up the word "big" and then "bang" won't make you anymore of a scientist than if you look up the word "atheist" in greek and thinking you're now an expert on atheism.
You are more than welcome to your thoughts and feelings on the matter.
Is this why you won't stop comparing gay people to murderers, rapists, bestialiacs, and people who eat feces? We're all welcome to our own thoughts and feelings, I guess.
Now, when you say "progress," what exactly are you aspiring towards, that would help me understand what it is exactly that impedes that very progress? In a worldview with no definitive purpose or hope beyond the material, what difference does it all really make?
Child labor laws, abolition of slavery, civil rights, women suffrage, gay rights, etc.
In a worldview with no definitive purpose beyond the physical world, it makes every difference for us to try to make the world a better place. But I'm sure this is beyond your grasp. So, if comparing decent law abiding citizens to murderers, rapists, bestialiacs, and people who eat feces buy you a ticket into heaven after death, by all means continue. I'm more worried about trying to make this world a better place.
No, you've never mentioned that to me. So I guess you are fundamentally against the First Amendment. Cool. Now I know where you stand.
Again, deep down I don't believe in democracy. I used to. But people like you made me doubt the effectiveness of democracy.
What exactly makes you any better than these brainwashed little girls? After all, you clearly want to eradicate religion, as if there couldn't possibly be ANY redeeming qualities in it.
Um, no, I don't want to eradicate religion. There's a difference between wanting to eradicate it and wanting to see it go belly up.
Here is a more obvious example. I'm counting the days til you die of old age. A gay friend of mine once taught me that. About the only thing we can do is wait for you people to die of old age.
There's a big difference between that and actually going out slaughtering you people.
You could make a better argument about how a person or a group is hijacking a religion and manipulating it, rather than coming down on the religion itself. Did you even think about that?
Are you saying you're one of these hijackers or you represent what christianity is really about? If the latter, my original point stands.
What precisely makes your moralizing any greater than anyone else's?
Um... I don't compare decent law abiding citizens to murderers, rapists, bestialiacs, and people who eat feces?

Owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have occasionally used the academic jargon generator to produce phrases that even I don't fully understand. The jargons are not meant to offend anyone or to insult anyone's intelligence!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 241 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-24-2007 1:33 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 247 by Modulous, posted 12-24-2007 10:35 AM Taz has replied
 Message 252 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-24-2007 9:44 PM Taz has not replied

Taz
Member (Idle past 3375 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 246 of 301 (443289)
12-24-2007 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 243 by riVeRraT
12-24-2007 2:26 AM


Re: Crash, in my heart ...
riverrat writes:
Being scientific, should make you technically open minded to anything, and therefor agnostic.
This is nonsense. Should we be open minded to Zeus, Apollo, tooth faries, and the Monkey King?

Owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have occasionally used the academic jargon generator to produce phrases that even I don't fully understand. The jargons are not meant to offend anyone or to insult anyone's intelligence!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 243 by riVeRraT, posted 12-24-2007 2:26 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 277 by riVeRraT, posted 01-03-2008 7:57 AM Taz has not replied

Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 247 of 301 (443290)
12-24-2007 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 245 by Taz
12-24-2007 10:27 AM


Re: My two cents
Out of a myriad things you could compare gay people to like left-handedness and figure skating etc. you have to pick the most vile, most tabooed things you could imagine like murder and rape and bestiality and necrophilia and now eating feces.
But we do consider left-handedness and figure skating normal so choosing something non-taboo wouldn't really make any sense would it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by Taz, posted 12-24-2007 10:27 AM Taz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 248 by Taz, posted 12-24-2007 11:47 AM Modulous has replied

Taz
Member (Idle past 3375 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 248 of 301 (443303)
12-24-2007 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 247 by Modulous
12-24-2007 10:35 AM


Re: My two cents
Left-handedness is not normal. Most people are right handed. As a matter of fact, in the past many cultures have tabooed left-handedness so much that school children who were natural left-handers had their left arm bounded. My left-handed asian friends have told me that back in their country their left hands were beaten by the teacher using a ruler everytime they were caught using their left hands to write, draw, or eat. If you go to the middle east and eat with your left hand, everybody there will be so disgusted at the very sight that they would vomit.
Figure skating is not normal. Just how many figure staters do you personally know? I know only 1, and she's my 9 year old niece.
The point shouldn't be choosing the things that are taboo. Taboo changes over time. And trying to change a particular taboo is exactly the point we are talking about.
The point N_J should be making is normalcy. He's trying to make the argument that since gay people aren't normal they shouldn't be allowed to get married. N_J has been specifically trying to convince us that he's not comparing gay people to the most vile and tabooed things in society just to gross us out as an emotive argument. If so, why the hell won't he compare them to left-handed people? They're not normal. Why continue to choose necrophilia and bestiality and murder and rape when referring to gay people?
I call N_J's argument bullshit. His argument is almost the same as the argument against letting black people to vote. "Would you let a monkey vote?" "Hey, don't call black people, monkey." "I'm not, I'm just making a moral relativity argument." BULLSHIT.

Owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have occasionally used the academic jargon generator to produce phrases that even I don't fully understand. The jargons are not meant to offend anyone or to insult anyone's intelligence!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 247 by Modulous, posted 12-24-2007 10:35 AM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by Modulous, posted 12-24-2007 7:17 PM Taz has not replied

Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 121 days)
Posts: 2462
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 249 of 301 (443304)
12-24-2007 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 243 by riVeRraT
12-24-2007 2:26 AM


Re: Crash, in my heart ...
Arrgh! You're just chasing your own tail, pursuing a circular argument. In message 131, you said;
riVerRaT writes:
A belief, is just that, a belief. We are entitled to it, or should be anyway. I can't prove God to anyone, so I just believe.
But you won't allow Dawkins to have any beliefs because of your misunderstanding of scientific tentativity. To suggest that scientists should have no beliefs is absurd. Should Dawkins be agnostic about gravity or electro-magnetism? You seem to be arguing that tentativity=agnosticism, and that is just nonsense.

Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 243 by riVeRraT, posted 12-24-2007 2:26 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 278 by riVeRraT, posted 01-03-2008 8:04 AM Granny Magda has replied

Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 3681 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 250 of 301 (443307)
12-24-2007 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Kitsune
12-15-2007 7:15 AM


Why a Taoist sings carols
Mr Dawkins can answer for himself. But, leaving aside the cultural and aesthetic considerations, I can tell you why a Taoist sings carols.
New birth in the midst of winter darkness. It's a potent symbol.
Christians know this, of course, but they have never been the only people who do. The image possessed 'deep meaning' centuries before Christianity existed. It's a Taoist idea, too, and a Buddhist one, and a Jewish one, and a Hindu one. It should come as a surprise to no one to discover that the symbol retains power in our own time, inviting contemplation beyond all lines drawn by dogma.
No one can copyright an insight.
Speaking of which, Linda: December 25 just arrived in my time zone.

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish, pain, and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.
Peace and good tidings to all.
_________
Edited by Archer Opterix, : html.

Archer
All species are transitional.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Kitsune, posted 12-15-2007 7:15 AM Kitsune has not replied

Modulous
Member
Posts: 7801
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 251 of 301 (443379)
12-24-2007 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 248 by Taz
12-24-2007 11:47 AM


Neither you nor I would consider left-handedness or figure skating as abnormal even if it isn't common right here and right now. So it wouldn't really work. To be honest, I don't consider eating shit to be abnormal necessarily. I'm sure more people have done it than people who have done anything resembling figure skating.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Taz, posted 12-24-2007 11:47 AM Taz has not replied

Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 252 of 301 (443412)
12-24-2007 9:44 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by Taz
12-24-2007 10:27 AM


Re: My two cents
See, I don't even know why I bother with you. Out of a myriad things you could compare gay people to like left-handedness and figure skating etc. you have to pick the most vile, most tabooed things you could imagine like murder and rape and bestiality and necrophilia and now eating feces.
I had to pick some obviously vile to say that while it exists, it doesn't somehow mean that its existence is inherently good. Left-handedness and figure skating is generally not viewed as repugnant. I mean, you can't just do away with thousands of years of people being weirded-out by homosexuality in one episode of Ellen.
If Jesus was really a good man, he would have at least said something about comparing decent people with murderers and rapists and people who commit bestiality and people who eat feces.
The comparison was not saying that homosexuals eat feces. The comparison is that something that exists does not necessitate the goodness of it.
Please stop trying to undermine what I say. If I honestly thought that homosexuals were "feces-eaters" I would have said so. Moreover, my mentioning of homosexuals juxtaposed by people who eat feces would have been a redundancy if I had really coalesced the two.
I don't know, Nem, it looks like your christian values, which you guys always claim to be a superior moral standard, aren't doing much to help you see what's decent and what's not decent.
Why is that?
Have I ever mentioned that deep down I don't believe in democracy?
No, but you've certainly piqued my interest.
a human right is a human right. It's not up for debate, it's not up for compromise, and it's certainly not up for people like you to decide to ignore it.
Then you obviously don't know what a Democracy is. Holy cow man, does the Preamble ring a bell?
He never taught you how to be kind toward other people. He never taught you not to compare decent people with murderers, rapists, bestialiacs (if that's a word?), and people who eat feces. It's like a father who never taught his kids to call not call black people "niggers".
...............?
When someone asked him what the greatest command was, he first said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and that the second was like it-- to love your neighbor as yourself. In so doing, you would sum up the entire law in two commands.
Would a great moral teacher not teach you to not compare decent law abiding citizens to murderers, rapists, bestialiacs, and people who eat feces?
A good moral teacher would instruct you in ways that would not corrupt you. He provided that, while still loving the person caught up in sin. You honestly believe that I hate homosexuals don't you? Are you aware of how many I know, and how many I get along famously with? I am no better than they.
It seems to me like Jesus never had the foresight to help you bigots understand common human decency. I don't know about the great teacher thing.
Then you don't know Jesus.
I'm telling you, us atheists don't actually claim that there is no god.
That may be so for you, but you don't speak for the rest of them. Crash, not even a week ago, told me that God does not exist. And if there is only the matter of not believing in God, then where precisely is the differentiation between atheists and agnostics?
It's sort of like the big bang theory. It wasn't actually an explosion. It was more of an expansion. So, you see, looking up the word "big" and then "bang" won't make you anymore of a scientist than if you look up the word "atheist" in greek and thinking you're now an expert on atheism.
It doesn't take a genius to know a person's motives.
quote:
You are more than welcome to your thoughts and feelings on the matter.
Is this why you won't stop comparing gay people to murderers, rapists, bestialiacs, and people who eat feces? We're all welcome to our own thoughts and feelings, I guess.
Yes.... We are all entitled to our private beliefs. I find it particularly interesting that you rail against theocracy's, and yet, you are a complete totalitarian. That sir is just unAmerican.
In a worldview with no definitive purpose beyond the physical world, it makes every difference for us to try to make the world a better place.
I do you that when it presupposes a definite? The words "better" and "progress" are indicative of something beyond the here and the now. You aren't so obtuse that you haven't realized that, are you?
But I'm sure this is beyond your grasp.
Clearly.....
So, if comparing decent law abiding citizens to murderers, rapists, bestialiacs, and people who eat feces buy you a ticket into heaven after death, by all means continue. I'm more worried about trying to make this world a better place.
You have a fundamental misunderstanding about all of it, which probably accounts for your cynicism.
Again, deep down I don't believe in democracy. I used to. But people like you made me doubt the effectiveness of democracy.
Then you are a totalitarian. Because unless everyone lives under your view of perfection, we all have to go away. How very progressive of you, comrade.
I'm counting the days til you die of old age. A gay friend of mine once taught me that. About the only thing we can do is wait for you people to die of old age.
Well, I pray that your soul will never die, or your gay friend.
Are you saying you're one of these hijackers or you represent what christianity is really about? If the latter, my original point stands.
Obviously no one thinks that they are the one that is in the wrong, (otherwise, why would anyone purposely maintain a wrong outlook)? So it certainly is possible that I am all wrong, halfway wrong, or partially wrong. One thing is for sure. I am wrong about some things because I am an imperfect, fallible being.
I don't compare decent law abiding citizens to murderers, rapists, bestialiacs, and people who eat feces?
Neither do I, which has been pointed out to a million times.

“First dentistry was painless, then bicycles were chainless, and carriages were horseless, and many laws enforceless. Next cookery was fireless, telegraphy was wireless, cigars were nicotineless, and coffee caffeineless. Soon oranges were seedless, the putting green was weedless, the college boy was hatless, the proper diet -- fatless. New motor roads are dustless, the latest steel is rustless, our tennis courts are sodless, our new religion -- Godless” -Arthur Guiterman

This message is a reply to:
 Message 245 by Taz, posted 12-24-2007 10:27 AM Taz has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 253 by Omnivorous, posted 12-24-2007 10:04 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 258 by Rrhain, posted 12-25-2007 7:22 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied
 Message 259 by NosyNed, posted 12-25-2007 11:14 AM Hyroglyphx has not replied

Omnivorous
Member
Posts: 4001
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 253 of 301 (443416)
12-24-2007 10:04 PM
Reply to: Message 252 by Hyroglyphx
12-24-2007 9:44 PM


Sinister thoughts
NJ writes:
I had to pick some obviously vile to say that while it exists, it doesn't somehow mean that its existence is inherently good. Left-handedness and figure skating is generally not viewed as repugnant.
Actually, left-handedness is an excellent example.
[Let me pause to say that by picking something "obviously vile", you make your argument circular, beg the question, and appeal to emotion: I encourage you to continue these revealing fallacies.]
The Christian church aided in the persecution of left-handed peoples for millennia. It is only in recent years that being left-handed is no longer associated with being sinister. In fact, left-handed children are still frequently punished for their natural behavior and forced to use their right hand instead.
Left-handedness is perfectly natural but was reviled by the superstitious/religious for thousands of years. People who differed from the majority only by being born with a different innate preference have suffered from prejudice and persecution.
Sounds like an excellent analogy to homosexuality to me, much better than behaviors that are clearly destructive to oneself or others, or acts that are manifestly pathologies.
Like figure skating.

Real things always push back.
-William James
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 252 by Hyroglyphx, posted 12-24-2007 9:44 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 254 by Archer Opteryx, posted 12-25-2007 3:57 AM Omnivorous has replied
 Message 264 by Taz, posted 12-25-2007 7:38 PM Omnivorous has replied
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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 3681 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 254 of 301 (443452)
12-25-2007 3:57 AM
Reply to: Message 253 by Omnivorous
12-24-2007 10:04 PM


Re: Sinister thoughts
Omni:
Sounds like an excellent analogy to homosexuality to me, much better than behaviors that are clearly destructive to oneself or others, or acts that are manifestly pathologies.
Like figure skating.
Hey. Michelle Kuan is a genius.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by Omnivorous, posted 12-24-2007 10:04 PM Omnivorous has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 260 by Omnivorous, posted 12-25-2007 12:18 PM Archer Opteryx has replied

Rrhain
Member (Idle past 91 days)
Posts: 6351
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 255 of 301 (443456)
12-25-2007 5:15 AM
Reply to: Message 238 by Silent H
12-24-2007 12:10 AM


Re: On the Hypocrisy of Dawkins and his supporters...
Silent H responds to me:
quote:
My only counter to what you said is that there are plenty of secular holiday festivities, including songs, and plenty of great secular works of art he could enjoy.
So? The culture in which we live is overwhelmingly sectarian. Again, pretty much everybody in Europe, the Americas, and Australia are going to have Tuesday off. Why fight it?
quote:
Where is he arguing or actually changing the meme within the art?
By being an atheist who engages in ritual on a particular day. Since he doesn't believe in god, he is not venerating god. Instead, he has another point to make with regard to the ritual.
quote:
but then I think he should start having sympathy with moderates if he's going to continue enjoying their works.
Why? The moderates are always going to be pulling for the sectarian message. He needs to get them on his side so that the fundamentalists are all alone.
quote:
He's pulling down the priests (and their teachings), so he can take his place at the pulpit.
It's hard to do that when the entire gist of your position is that there is no pulpit.
quote:
While he can pull a Martin Luther if he wants, it is a bit hypocritical.
Who said Martin Luther? I wasn't talking about him. I was talking about the shift from pagan to Christian imagery. Dawkins doesn't have a problem with the concept of ritual. And he doesn't even have a problem with the larger form of the ritual. He's just changing the point.
quote:
It shows too much interest, or reliance, on the very structure he lambastes.
Huh? He's surrounded by theists. How can he get to the place where he would like to be when there is nowhere he can go to escape? Four continents are going to be taking the same day off. You don't fight that by trying to replace it wholesale. Instead, you co-opt it.
It worked before. Why not do it again?

Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by Silent H, posted 12-24-2007 12:10 AM Silent H has not replied

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