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RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

#35: Jan. - Mar. 2007 (Non-Fiction)
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Mr. P

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Re: RE: OK. What?

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Right on Frank...and in any event, I was addressing Mad's claims that some people stretch the meanings of words...to me, none do that better than religious folk.Mr. P. I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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D.H.: It is, in other words, crude reductionism. It makes his case airtight no doubt, but it also suffocates any real alternatives. There are real alternatives and I think that matters.I think the problem here, D.H., is the alternative you speak of, if I am not mistaken, requires belief in--or at least respect of the belief in--a deity. That requires those who do not believe in any kind of interested, world creating, superpower to respect the belief of those that do. And though it may be possible for me to respect just about every other belief that individual may hold, it would not be possible for me to respect that one belief in god. I don't think you will get theists to champion the less indoctrinating, more spiritual religions of the world, if those religions practice belief in the existence of any god. And, really, I don't think you can blame us. It would be hypocritical to respect a belief that I think is patently mistaken. You are welcomed to believe it, I just won't be a part of it, nor will I encourage it. Edited by: irishrosem at: 3/27/07 12:09 pm
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Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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I have to agree with Irishrosem on this one, I can respect the person but not their belief in god. Now if DH is saying that the alternatives are things such as communal activities, ritual and unification for a cause, that's another story, because I do think that these things are necessary. But these things can and often are accomplished without having to believe in imaginary beings.Later
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Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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Quote:HaloIn that way, I think Jesus set a really bad example. (Yes. I believe he existed.) Look the guy had some issues.I am curious as to why you believe that Jesus existed?Later Edited by: Frank 013 at: 3/27/07 1:53 pm
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Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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Here is an example of the way I think most atheists view religion, as well as the way many religions view each other. Imagine someone who believed that dragons exist and are a danger in today's day and age. It is simply ridiculous. But now add the element that they have built up an entire lifestyle based off of the fear that they might be burnt to a crisp or carried off and eaten by a giant scaly flying lizard.This lifestyle is handicapping and unhealthy in many respects but has offered some good common sense advice for dealing with fire and large animal attacks.So now do we all have to start believing in dragons to benefit from the few items of good advice offered by this nutty belief system? Of course not. The whole scenario is based off a false belief that is simply not worthy of respect. Some of the ideas have some merit but we can use those and dispense with the rest of the crap. This is no different than the way I see Christianity.Later
halofrisbeechamp

Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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Ire. You said.Where I won't remain silent is when ridicule of peoples' delusions turns to ridicule of a member's discussion about his social interests.That comment was not meant in a derisive way, as much in sincere incredulity. It's great to care about and care for people--but tirelessly, without rest with a sense of grand mission? I am concerned that such behavior is harmful to the person doing it, that fatigue never lends itself to efficiency or clarity, and that more people just walking around on the planet should just do more in little ways so that these messianic types don't end up doing it all--which of course, is IMPOSSIBLE, also my point.Whether you think impressions of people, after observing their behavior or symptoms counts for nothing, which leaves us with only being able to understand them in some thoretical sense, if I understand you?--since our human subjectivity would only hopelessly scew our interpretation of data? Is, that what you meant?You seem to assert that human happiness, the desire for it, the quest for it, our human need to feel good, do good, care for others, enjoy, create, --which is what a well nurtured human, a healthy human, just does 'naturally,' has nothing to do with the origin of 'religion' or any thoughts about something bigger or at least much smarter, than we, 'God,' in the first place?
halofrisbeechamp

Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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Ire,It wasn't ridicule. It was a kind of incredulity. Someone who 'won't rest' until all of the rights are right and all the wrongs are righted, and there are basically no more wrongs, whew!--helping people is good, but fatigue only causes less chance of efficiency and clarity, so why be so self sacrificing about it? I am concerned for that person's well being when I hear things like that. In that way, I think Jesus set a really bad example. (Yes. I believe he existed.) Look the guy had some issues.Oh, and, right, examining someone's behavior is too subjective to be real--one can only understand human beings theoretically,...is that what you meant? How is it that the notion, happiness, that, has nothing to do with religion?
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Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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:Quote:I've stayed away from these new threads in The God Delusion, thus far, because I'm not sure how productive they are, and I think they have very little to do with the text itself. I think these threads have everything to do with the book/text (especially this one since it was an interview with the author about related topics). I think the best conversations do stray from the literal reading and should inspire tangential conversation.More than any other book we have read, this book has done that. This is a large and all inclusive topic, the existence of god and the value of religion, so I think this is all relevant.Now back to being the best "wild irish rose" with you, ok?Mr. P. I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.What is all this shit about Angels? Have you heard this? 3 out of 4 people believe in Angels. Are you F****** STUPID? Has everybody lost their mind? - George CarlinI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy PiperEdited by: misterpessimistic  at: 3/27/07 3:14 pm
halofrisbeechamp

Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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DOH! Ok, the reason those two last posts were the same, basically, was that I thought I'd lost the first, etc..Frank, I think Jesus existed the way, we think Alexander the Great existed--a person, with historical reference found other places than the Bible.I think that Mark's gospel was the closest account of what he, Jesus, actually said, and that Mark, basically interviewed Paul, in Rome, when Paul was old--so it (the gospel) was his memory of things, and all that might imply. It's the one where the fig tree does not die of shame, for example, whereas it started doing that in, several, rewritings of that original account which were composed hundreds of years later by people on wheat mold or something; lead poisoning?--when many things got flourished right in to the bizarre. We just don't know if Paul's memory remained true, and if he was interested in preserving truth or not.Anyway, I think he (Jesus) was illegitimate, that he had connection to royalty, that he was a good speaker and teacher, that some of his teachings were good, and, that he became a victim of his own false beliefs at the end, by his adamant insistence. The point I was trying to make earlier, was that the belief that he could rise from the dead is, now, a delusion whereas it was either a common false belief then, or, the reference 'rise from the dead' actually meant, to them, rise in to heaven, as in your spirit, anyone's spirit, in which case, Jesus believing it actually could happen was a delusion, then.
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Re: RE: Dawkins' BBC Interview/church and 'happiness'

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Frank: What alternatives do you mean?I refer you to those religious communities and traditions that reflect a kind of agapic radicalism and green faith: a whole mess of folk devoted to loving creation and seeking justice. You wouldn't know they existed if all you read were folk like Dawkins or Harris or Dennett...but they are alive and well and active in their communities and across the planet. This might fill some with despair; it fills me with hope...enough so that I've decided to throw my lot in with them and join the struggle. I think this quotation from a recent Roger Gottlieb interview is useful here: Quote:These ( Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science, Beijing School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, American Nuns Sisters of the Earth, Pope John Paul II and US Council of Catholic Bishops, Buddhist monks against deforestation, Lutheran Evangelicals for Fair Trade, Evangelical Environmental Network, World Council of Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life) and literally thousands of other examples reveal some remarkable, and remarkably hopeful, patterns. For one thing, in a time when many of us wonder if religion should be limited to something done by consenting adults in private, religious environmentalism is an example of people of faith engaging in politics in ways that are humane, respectful of democracy, and in the best interests of humanity, indeed of life, as a whole. The movement is marked by intense civic concern, not bolstering the beliefs of one group against everyone else.Frank: No one is suggesting that we "escape" myth, not Dawkins and certainly not me, but why not accept it for what it is and dispense with the pedestal.Well, perhaps I've completely misread Dawkins and the lionshare of Booktalk commentary around the subject of Myth and its deleterious impact on human reason and society. Perhaps I should read a bit more carefully.Frank: If Myth is not unreal but not real either what is it?Excellent question. I don't think this is the thread to answer that question (if it is answerable).Frank: What of us that do not share this "hunger"? What of those of us that find religions offer us nothing that we don't already possess? And what of those of us that actually disagree or actively dislike what religions offer? Are we incapable of joy?I don't know if anyone is incapable of joy, but I have seen seriously depressed folk full of despair and intense pessimism...nihilists who see no reason to live, carry on, or bother with life's difficulties and dark corners. I think it is Joy that fires the heart to face the unacceptable world around us and demand something better...work for something better. I don't know how anyone can access this kind of Joy without some kind of faith...some kind of trust in an uncertain, unknown, inaccesable but incessant demand to act and resist despair. In other words, the lion's share of evidence points toward Dystopia and Devastation...to think otherwise, and act otherwise, is to engage in kind of trust and hope that is not simply reasonable nor purely logical...it is a radical trust and hope in the seemiingly impossible...a kind of faith.
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