Sunday School

Sunday School April 28th 2019

This topic contains 22 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer 1 year ago.

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    The Satanic Temple now has tax-exempt status which should help it fight against the evils of religion.

    In Poland a gay atheist plots to save his Catholic country. I wonder if the Catholic Chaplin to the House of Representatives will say a prayer for him. Maybe Catholics should listen to the words of the gospel and simply pray in private.

    Rep. Matt Shea is doing his part for God and the Far Right.

    Texas may be set to lose billions if it allows discrimination against American citizens it deems to be less equal before the law.

    Atheist Ireland show that Catholic indoctrinators are happy to show children cartoons of young boys being tortured.

    How religion influences attitudes towards domestic violence.

    Can you spot the fallacies and flaws in this argument?

    This weeks’ Woo: Reiki is still a thing. I bet you just knew that I would post something about Psychics again.

    Climate Change: A look at the teaching of climate change in schools.

    Secular Humanism is not a religion by Jerry Coyne.

    For some the idea of alien life now seems inevitable and possibly imminent. How would religions react if we were to make contact with extra-terrestrials?

    What the shifting status of cultural symbols reveal about us.

    What ISIS did to my village.

    I am so “woke” to idiots that I need a safe space to keep them away from me. Yes, I did call them that and no I don’t care who might be offended by my comments.

    This brings us to the idea that we are facing or approaching a crisis of meaning in the modern Western worldDoes it really? Why did nobody else tell me?

    April 25th was DNA Day so lets take a look at the first ever simulation of an entire gene and what it looks like to “turn on” one?

    A footprint found in Chile is ‘oldest’ in Americas.

    No one, to paraphrase Feynman, understands Quantum Mechanics but that does not make it any less compelling a subject.  Maybe that is because its theories are falsifiable.

    My bookshelf is not a graveyard of good intentions.

    This week I am reading this book: The Human Swarm.

    Some photographs taken last week. Some more from 50 years ago.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil…..

    Coffee Break Video: TED: The new science of generosity. Dr. Hector Garcia—How Evolutionary Science makes sense of our Political Divide. Mrs Betty Bower, my favorite Christian.


    Have a great week everyone!!

    To early man, the gods were real in the same sense that the mountains, forests, or waterfalls which were thought to be their homes were real. For a long time the spirits that lived in drugs or wines and made them potent were believed to be of the same order of fact as the potency itself. But the human creature is curious and curiosity is bold. Hence, the discovery that a reported god may be a myth.

    Max Carl Otto.



    Thanks, Reg!


    Simon Paynton

    This week I am reading this book: The Human Swarm.

    This sounds interesting.  You might like to read this, about the self-domestication of the human race.  Also check out the Stone Tools hypothesis just before.



    re:Can you spot the fallacies and flaws in this argument?

    Who made you, Mr. Atheist? Perhaps the answer has something to do with random molecules colliding and, presto! There you are, with a body, intelligence, and free will.

    This particular sarcastic priest is pretending to have a conversation with Dawkins and presents perhaps the weakest case I have ever read. I wanted to leave a comment “Dawkins was born of human parents, numb-nuts.” but they want money to sign up.


    but they want money to sign up.

    What?? Catholics expecting money for free? That is so unlike their Church.



    What is your purpose in life, Mr. Atheist? Since you define yourself by your denial of the existence of God, you must believe that you exist—let us guess—to “feel good about yourself without God.”

    That line alone shows how impoverished his intellectual capacity is. Seven years in some divinity school to come up with that clanger.


    Simon Paynton

    I guess that atheism isn’t as important to an atheist, as religion is to a religious person.  It’s not like we pray to Richard Dawkins every night.



    I guess that atheism isn’t as important to an atheist, as religion is to a religious person. It’s not like we pray to Richard Dawkins every night.

    “Atheism” is an unfortunate word. It isn’t an “ism” at all. It tells you one thing and one thing only. What is important to me is that a theocracy never becomes my governance. I am not an “anti-theist” either. I don’t care what you do as long as your practice does not hinder my life. This is at odds with the Islamic texts. Islam has no universal interpreter of their texts. It is left to local authorities. Until every one of those authorities issues instructions that infidels and their governments are to be left alone, Islam is a threat.

    If a person asserts that atheism is some sort of philosophy, or even worse, a religion, there is no point in further discussion.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  _Robert_.

    Simon Paynton

    There can be atheistic philosophies, or Humanism, which possibly has grounds for being called a religion (see previous Sunday School).  As for atheism itself, there is curiously not much to it in itself.  But I still maintain it’s a world view.


    One does not need to be an atheist to be a Humanist. Granted the majority of the Humanists I know are indeed atheists but others express views that are often deistic in nature (no bad pun intended) and sometimes entirely theistic.

    I don’t consider atheism a worldview. Theists construct their worldview based upon the faith they grow up with or as adults come to believe in. What they hold to be true is derived from faith and from an authority whose diktats and dogmas they accept as being true. No subjective evidence is required.

    I have formed my worldview using reason and rationality as my tools of discovery. I have reached various understandings about the world I inhabit, the Universe it exists in, how we came to be and what will happen when I die. My lack of belief in any god existing has no bearing on the deductions I have reached or on any philosophical implications I deduce from them about “the meaning of life”. Gods never even enter my mind when I think about the bigger questions in life because I absolutely do not give the idea of them any kudos whatsoever. My lack of belief in gods or in vampires plays no part in my reasoning. Therefore my atheism, my unbelief or lack of belief in gods has no impact on the construction of my worldview.

    It is only theists who see atheism as a denial of their gods’ existence that consider it a worldview. Why do some Christians get so worked up about atheists and their worldview? I never hear them complain about the one billion plus Hindus who also don’t believe in their gods’ existence or share their Christian worldview. I, along with Hindus, give no mental consideration to Yahweh when I consider my worldview. I, like one billion plus Christians, give no consideration to Brahma or the other 30 million or so Hindu Gods when I consider my worldview.  Atheism is not a worldview.



    Atheism is NOT a world view but a default position, a lack of belief. I don’t know why we keep going round and round this topic talking about atheism as though it is more than an absence of belief. We are born atheists and some people (certainly not all people) are force-fed crazy supernatural explanations for stuff that is usually easily explained rationally. Those who grew up atheists (hundreds of millions around the world) never had to bother with it or managed to resist the seductive nature of it, often don’t think much about their non-belief. Especially if you don’t have crazy religious people saying crazy stuff to you or trying to limit your life and freedom.

    As a default position (we are all born not believing in God) it is absurd to say it is a belief system or world view. A baby is an atheist and certainly doesn’t have a world view. 2 atheists can have (and often have) radically different takes on the world, how it works and how things should be. Those world views can (and often are) entirely independent of them not ever having or having stopped believing in God. If God belief has never informed your morality or how you view politics and human interaction, then other forces helped determine your world view. Non-belief is an empty shell and just about any world view short of a supernatural deity in the sky, can fit into that shell. So saying if atheism is important or not to an atheist doesn’t make sense.

    A certain brand of atheist may communicate a certain form of pride, that they haven’t given into the absurdity of religious delusion (though this is not atheism but a form of skepticism). They might also be anti-theist (which is not atheism but anti-theism). They might see the world as a cold mechanical empirical universe (materialism and other isms) or they may believe in some pretty cookey stuff (spiritualism, some forms of animism). All of these -isms are world views, except for atheism which is non-belief, where you are before crazy religious stuff is introduced to you.

    I think some of the confusion comes from Anglo-saxon countries where many vocal atheists are also humanists. Where if someone says they don’t believe in God that it is likely they are also rational empiricists skeptics and to some extent progressive. That is a major major error as it is certainly not the case that being an atheist means your are a humanist (and as Reg said some theists are humanists) but in other countries like most of continental Europe when someone reveals they don’t believe in God very little of their world view is assumed (nor should it be assumed). In China, where hundreds of millions of atheists live, good luck finding humanists…especially people who are rational empiricists skeptical and somewhat progressive minded. You’ll find some but it is certainly not the norm.

    It always feels like you are bashing your head against the wall listening to people constantly referring to atheism as more than a lack of belief. And many Anglo-saxon atheists (especially North Americans) also add more to atheism than what it is (a default position). You’re in a sticky place when some fellow atheists hold flawed definitions (or views) of what atheism is. And it is usually a narrow one, a view of atheism solely through the lens of people in a democratic country with religious interference in a political system and public life with vocal non-believers aggressively fighting against religion interfering in civil life. This is NOT the case for most of the world and its atheists. Not even close. I cannot remember the last time I faced religious stupidity or any remote tension or grief because of religion here in Spain, and the very few people who admit they are religious or bring it up, usually have a very similar world view as mine. It could not be more simple, the only thing you have to think about or say is: “it’s a lack of belief” and repeat that in your mind until for you atheism=non-belief and nothing else at all whatsoever nada zilch zip.



    It could not be more simple, the only thing you have to think about or say is: “it’s a lack of belief” and repeat that in your mind until for you atheism=non-belief and nothing else at all whatsoever nada zilch zip.

    Says you, and I respect that. Meanwhile, here in USA (as you correctly allude to), the word in typical conversations means more than just a “default” position. At an emotional level, it even means different things to different people. At a grammar nazi level… I actually dunno if there’s an agreed upon standard definition. But derogatory intentions in its use are common and thinly veiled.

    I think–and again I can’t be sure for which grammar experts I am speaking, I’m technically an agnostic and not a pure atheist, because a real and humble scientist will not declare outright that there is no God. However, I’ll help fly some flags of atheism and name myself an atheist, in protest of theism, with priority consideration against its severest and most dangerous purveyors, e.g. Saudi Arabia and other supremely theocratic countries, plus I feel more obligated here at home to criticize all aspiring religious conservatives and their empowering minions/sheep and electorate.

    I suppose that’s a long way of saying that as a flag-waving atheist, my world view is that humanity needs to learn how to immunize itself against theocracies and other intolerant religionists, and mitigate the spread of their religious diseases. Atheism is a vehicle for immunization against a deadly pathogen.



    here in USA (as you correctly allude to), the word in typical conversations means more than just a “default” position

    If thats the case then Americans have once again co-opted a word and added meaning to it which already has it’s own word (humanism or “new atheism”) which leads to great confusion in the Anglo-Saxon world and outside (atheist means non-belief in every other language I know). I can imagine people being very confused when watching youtube videos. It’s a very big disservice to atheism and likely gives anti-atheists a weapon in fighting against secularism (as they can blame atheism as a force for social change and secularism rather than what it actually is, a lack of belief). It’s all the more irritating when you consider what a small percentage of Atheists Americans make up. Thanks guys!



    If thats the case then Americans have once again co-opted a word

    Spain spreads murder, Catholicism and communism all over the “New World”, thanks guys.

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