Sunday School

Sunday School 3rd January 2021

This topic contains 71 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 5 days, 14 hours ago.

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  • #35788

     

    I always make a New Year resolution to continue to blaspheme as many gods as possible. It was great to see the Irish national broadcaster call the Christian god a rapist and arrested for assaulting a young migrant girl and then given a two-year jail term with the last 24 months suspended. The Catholics are going crazier than normal. An archbishop is outraged.

    The Cuddly One wants everyone to be vaccinated if praying has not worked out for them. Some Christians will be fine though as they are covered in the blood of Jesus.

    A quarter of British children are still suffering from the God Delusion.

    The LDS church is sued for alleged role in the sexual abuse of children.

    A county in Florida has decided to revert to religious invocations at its meetings after being threatened by a member of the public with Christian torture devices.

    A Christian hate preacher tells us that there were surfing monkeys 34 million years ago. After reading that I am going for a drink in the Crown and Thistle where Satan, Hail to His name, keeps the beer cold. They only have one song on the jukebox though.

    An easy one to start the new year with – Can you spot the flaws in this apologetic article?

    Apparently, the Bible is OK with tattooing so long as it is only to brand your slaves, which the Bible is OK with.

    This weeks’ Woo: Too many people believe conspiracy theories.

    Climate Crisis: Human-made materials now weigh as much as all living biomass.

    Some of my other new year resolutions to continue with this year.

    Should professional medical advice be considered free speech under the First Amendment?

    Christian Nationalism is about Dominance.

    Reason and Faith in the Age of Trump.

    8 examples of convergent evolution.

    Natural herd immunity, the worst idea of 2020.

    The 10 biggest physics stories of 2020.

    A very short history of Western Atheism.

    A recent research article challenges the “man-the-hunter hypothesis”. Synopsis here.

    I am not sure if I am happy or sad after reading this article on atheism and emotional suppression.

    Long Reads:  White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has some skeletons in his closet. Happy countries don’t elect Donald Trump… desperate ones do. China – The factories in the camps, (part 1 of 4, all parts linked on page one). The book “The boy who came back from Heaven” is a load of malarkey. When Nikki Addimando shot her abusive partner, she thought she had enough proof it was self-defense.

    This week I will read this book: Vesper Flights, a different type of book to start the year with.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Coffee Break Video:  There is no algorithm for Truth. What is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle? (5-minute TedTalk).  Do you love me now that I can dance? Alexa says she loves me.

    #35790

    Have a great week everyone and a Happy New Year!

    #35791

    Strega
    Moderator

    Thanks, Reg!

    #35792

    A schoolteacher from El Paso, Zelene Blancas, 35, died of complications from Covid-19, after spending more than two months in the hospital battling the virus. She will be missed by her students and parents and remembered for allowing this type of behavior to happen in school.

    #35793

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Can you spot the flaws in this apologetic article?

    I think this is a typical round-up of Christian arguments for the existence of God.  This is interesting:

    a question one might fire back at our atheist friends concerns this very point: how does the atheist avoid nihilism, the view that life is meaningless, pointless, and nothing really matters. The question for the nihilist becomes “Why not suicide”?

    This is a reasonable point I think, that shows up a big difference between atheism and religious thinking.  For the religious, it’s easy to point to the answers to these questions: it’s basically “God”.  Atheists have to work a bit harder, and, let’s face it, nobody wants to end up like “doomer“, since nihilism is a danger in this alienated modern world, for atheists.

    The problem for nihilists (cynical depressed people) is that they don’t have goals, and therefore, don’t have meaning in their lives.  If we have goals, then hey presto, we have meaning.  The more transcendent or important the goals, the greater the meaning.

    #35794

    I think this is a typical round-up of Christian arguments for the existence of God.

    Yes, I would agree. The issue I have with the arguments of apologists is that they have nothing new to offer. The standard arguments they use have all been shown to be flawed. They were debunked generations ago but are still being pushed as valid and reasoned when in fact they are no better than well-worn cliches. New apologists arrive on the scene to debate them as if we had never heard them before. They never have any supporting evidence because they think these arguments are actually evidence. Then we find that the god they say they believe in is the god that they are arguing for. When the mental strain becomes too much, we hear the refrain “Ah, but you atheists cannot prove there is NO god, so gotcha!” It is intellectually pathetic.

    “Why not suicide”?

    That is a line I have sometimes used to get a philosophical conversation going. Something like this;

    Ok, we could discuss the meaning of life or we could all go outside and kill ourselves right now.

    What?? that is just being silly!

    Why so?

    A long time ago I came to understand that we are not the center of the Universe and are basically just another surviving species, related to all other species on Earth, both living and extinct. We do so on a small planet, one of several billion, in a small galaxy which in turn is one among countless billions of other galaxies. Unlike the theist, I have no delusions of grandeur about being specially created by a divine entity or the arrogance to claim I can communicate with this entity and, with a straight face, tell other people that I am to become an immortal like this entity when I die.

    No, such beliefs are nonsense and such claims are immature. Atheism is the more mature position because we, by the very nature of holding this position, are compelled to contemplate our own mortality without equivocation. When we accept that this is our one and only life, we just get on with it. Death is inevitable but who cares? I don’t. Yes, we could kill ourselves now and it would not matter in a hundred years’ time. We could also live our lives as best we can and then die and that too won’t matter in a hundred years’ time. We are fortunate to be alive so let’s make the most of it while we are here.

    Once we get to this point, we can then embrace this reality and we can embrace this one life.  It is about the meaning we want to give life. That can be anything we want it to be. Whatever we enjoy doing and gives us pleasure and satisfaction. The best way to accomplish that is by wanting everyone else to have the same.

    We have evolved because we can think freely and this is how society has progressed. Religious ideas have gone stale and need to be fully evicted from our collective consciousness (Yes, Freedom Evolves😊). They are keeping too many of us chained to the dark ages.  We need to keep challenging these apologists until they can see what is wrong with their own arguments. That will benefit the entire human species.

    I tend to avoid nihilists as they keep very nasty pets.

    #35795

    Davis
    Moderator

    how does the atheist avoid nihilism, the view that life is meaningless, pointless, and nothing really matters

    Ehm. Nihilism does not infer that “nothing really matters”. That is an over generalisation. For some nihilists…indeed nothing really matters but that can also be the case for non-nihilists where there is inherent and/or divine meaning for them but still “nothing really matters”. Nihilism just refers to there being no inherent meaning and that the universe doesn’t care what happens because the universe has no qualities that makes it capable of caring. And that is NOT a problem. Millions of atheists find meaning in the world every day without being drawing on divine or force-fed “meaning”.

    People committing suicide because they feel “nothing really matters” is about depression. World views (full of divine meaning or not) can lead to and/or not prevent people from killing themselves because they feel “nothing really matters”. In any case it is a problem that should be dealt with by a psychologist and not a holy person or religious/spiritual motivational speaker.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by  Davis.
    #35798

    Kristina
    Participant

    Should professional medical advice be considered free speech under the First Amendment?

    I think the trick in America is if you want to do something negligent or harmful, find a way to characterize it as speech. Robbed a bank and murdered three people in the process? Just make sure you do it artistically so you can claim it’s a performance piece.

    #35799

    Unseen
    Participant

    People committing suicide because they feel “nothing really matters” is about depression. World views (full of divine meaning or not) can lead to and/or not prevent people from killing themselves because they feel “nothing really matters”. In any case it is a problem that should be dealt with by a psychologist and not a holy person or religious/spiritual motivational speaker.

    People commit suicide for many reasons. Often, it’s because of physical pain that can’t be managed and has become unbearable. Sometimes, it’s revenge on a partner who left them. This isn’t depression, it’s anger and an attempt to have the last word. Some people commit suicide because they are in an untenable financial position or in order to provide for loved ones through insurance.

    This notion that it’s all nihilism and/or depression is very simplistic. Here is an article ticking off various reasons for suicide.

    #35804

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I love this, from the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (referring to the male):

    Since he has no compassion or ability to empathize or identify, proving his manhood is worth an endless amount of mutilation and suffering and an endless number of lives, including his own — his own life being worthless, he would rather go out in a blaze of glory than to plod grimly on for fifty more years.

    #35805

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Nihilism just refers to there being no inherent meaning and that the universe doesn’t care what happens because the universe has no qualities that makes it capable of caring. And that is NOT a problem. Millions of atheists find meaning in the world every day without being drawing on divine or force-fed “meaning”.

    Isn’t that existentialism?

    #35808

    _Robert_
    Participant

    As Davis says Nihilism as I use the word, implies no inherent meaning and the universe doesn’t care what happens. Yet on my deathbed I would probably do it all over again if I could, because I elect to give meaning to my life. That is all we need and it would serve society well I think, if we stopped pretending that some overlord, slave master is required to give us purpose.

    #35809

    Davis
    Moderator

    Almost all existentialists are Nihilists but not all Nihilists are existentialists and existentialism includes a whole lot more than just nihilism. Existentialism is more about individual agency, freedom and will.

    That being said the issue can be confused by some fictional portrayals of nihilists as “I don’t give a shit about nothing” or black clothes wearing subversives such as in the film “The Big Lewbowsky”. That is a fictionalisation and is an idiosyncratic and dubious portrayal of nihilism (as hilarious as it is).

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  Davis.
    #35811

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    With the best will in the world, a lot of people have trouble finding meaning in life.

    #35812

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Davis,

    A gentle correction: The film you alluded to was The Big Lebowski. 

    By contrast, the Big Monica Lewinski and President Bill Clinton definitely had a purpose in mind.🍆👄 🤣

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