Sunday School

Sunday School April 8th 2018

This topic contains 24 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 5 years, 10 months ago.

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    China is not too keen on allowing the Vatican any control over religion. Good.

    Iraqi courts are seeking out atheists for prosecution even though their constitution protects “freedom of belief”.

    The YouTube shooter was also not an atheist.

    I disagree with the premise of this article but that is no reason not to publish it because I want my biases to be challenged, not confirmed.

    This weeks’ Woo:  Cell phones and the fear mongering about cancer.

    Climate Change: Why white Evangelicals do not care about it even with Scott Pruitt in charge.

    Easter, a time of cognitive dissonance for many Christians. (See also coffee break video). This year it fell on April 1st, the same day as “Atheist Day”.

    The psychological effects of losing your religion. Oh, the agony of faith.

    As an ordained minister in the Church of the FSM, I am getting a bit annoyed that it could be turning into a cult and I want to put an end to some of the fake news about our pasta being bad for you. Ramen!

    Once again, as a Capricorn I do not believe in Astrology!!

    Here is a free Debunking Handbook.

    Is the placebo effect genetic?

    Answer before you click – do you weigh more at the Equator or at the North Pole?

    Our hominoid ancestors may not have always buried their dead.

    How did the first people get to Australia?

    This star is the farthest away we have ever seen.

    What would we learn if the natural sciences were to merge with quantum physics?

    Some photographs taken last week.

    We pause to remember….George and Shirley Brickenden.

    This week I am (re)reading this book.

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

    If coffee needs a cancer warning then houses need a ghost warning so yes, you can watch the videos below while drinking one.

    Coffee Break Video:  Some people don’t understand what Atheism is. A crash course in Cognitive Dissonance and how to become more aware of some of them.


    Have a great week everyone!!

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church.

    Thomas Paine.



    Thanks, Reg!


    Daniel W.

    Thank you Reg.

    The story of George and Shirley Brickenden just about moved me to tears.

    Lately I’ve been making a spicy hot peanut sauce for my pasta noodles and serving it cold.  Peanut butter, coconut milk, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, Sambal Oelek.  It’s good stuff, but would FSM approve?

    The study on leaving religion was in Hong Kong.  We know that there are cultural differences in psychology, so I don’t know if the results can be extrapolated to Western countries.  From the linked article, though, interesting conclusion “The findings strongly suggest that changes in beliefs and values might have begun long before the actual faith exit, whereas personality change, if any, might take a long time after the transition. Changes in psychological symptoms after faith exit can be multitrajectory. ” which makes sense to me.  My own exit from faith took many years.  Can’t speak to my own personality changes – life has felt like a Frodo Baggins like epic, with many twists and turns.

    As for white evangelicals and climate change, or white evangelicals and anything else – I’m so sick of them!  The most narcissistic, obnoxious, hateful, power crazed, unethical, self righteous, mendacious, lying, cheating, hate-filled,  tribalistic, racist cult in America (elsewhere, I guess there’s the Taliban, or ISIS, or whatever).  Jesus-Christ-on-a-biscuit, when are people going to quit giving them more power?





    @daniel – I agree with you on their end of life story. There can be moments of beauty to be found in times of sadness. One of the most important benefits of having the legal right to have the “Right to die” is that it can bring peace of mind and greatly improve one’s quality of life – even if they never avail of this right. Not just to the person looking for the right put also for their loved ones who may be assisting them without having to worry about the law. It think Hawaii are moving in that direction. I will allow Michael Nugent, Chair of Atheist Ireland, to explain it better. See also this as mentioned in the video.

    I also use smooth PB in some of my Thai or Malaysian cooking. The FSM stance would be to enjoy the pasta as you see fit and that if you are dining with beer that it is served cold. I think this helps in living a good life. You can also enjoy it with red or white wine as long as it has not turned to blood. Whether or not you wear full pirate regalia while dining is not mandatory. Ramen!


    Tom Sarbeck

    Regarding the premise:

    Religion offers social capital and atheism doesn’t?

    Atheism doesn’t require masochism; religion does.

    ’Nuf said.





    Simon Paynton

    In what way does religion require masochism?



    @tom, I agree. A problem many people have, including some atheists, is thinking that atheism is the opposite of religion or that atheism should offer a replacement to religion.

    Getting rid of religion is a reward in itself. No replacement needed. Oh poor me, I ditched my religion and now all that is on offer is reality.



    Regarding the article on Pasta being OK to eat.

    As a diabetic with a continuous glucose monitor, I can assure you that eating any kind of Pasta will spike my blood sugars for hours.  The claim that it is a low glycemic food is disingenuous at best.

    ALSO, of significance, is the fact that when I decided to lose weight to help with my glucose control, the method that worked for me was abstaining from pasta, rice, breads, and grains.  I lost 60 pounds by mostly avoiding these foods.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  Jim. Reason: added info about weight loss by avoiding pasta

    @jim, I think the article should read “lower by comparison to certain other foods” rather than just stating it as “low”. I eat very little “white” food –  bread, rice, pasta etc. Ramen would have a high GI. That is a fantastic weight loss. It is about 36% of my total weight!

    Thanks for the info.



    In what way does religion require masochism?

    Wow. Where to start. Let’s first go with Judaism, Islam and some Christians: chopping off foreskins and for some of the above a religious/cultural propensity for carving out girls vaginas with a knife. Though to be honest this is more a case of child abuse than masochism. Very few children ask if they can be butchered…pretty please. This is but one example. One of the worst forms of massochism that come from these religions (all of them) is the shame one feels…for simply being a human being. Shame for doing things that are natural and hurt no one. Shame for being born. Shame for things your ancestors and other humans did centuries ago. And for Christianity/Islam: the fear of a burning hell. The life long dread of a place of eternal agony. When in reality…it can easily be dismissed as total nonsense…if people would (or could do so without being penalised) explore their religion with some neutral point of view.

    Bhuddism: lots of fasts (that are NOT good for the body). Giving up significant percentages of income (including extremely poor people) so that monks can eat well and have things the poor donors do not have (beds, warm blankets, rice every day). Myanmar is one of the worst examples.

    Hinduism: Massochistic? Accepting horrible suffering and stagnating in an unchanging misery because you accept that this is how things have been ordained or because you did bad things in some other life/being. I have personally witnessed this in India numerous times. The unwillingness to make even modest improvements or changes…is so systemic and ingrained…very few people have the courage (or perhaps the energy) to try. While riding my motorcycle on a two lane hiway where everyone drove in whatever lane they wanted swerving around animals and garbage and pedestrians and potholes everywhere…I had to turn hard to get off the road before getting hit by a bus (that had 50 people riding on top). I basically had to break HARD to avoid running over a pedestrian. I was milimeters away from hitting him. He didn’t even flinch. I said sorry…he dismissed my appology like it wasn’t necesary and just walked away calmy. He was in the face of possible death…and he didn’t care.

    Cult religions: Massochism is a way of life for people in cults.

    Animistic religions: Often involve sacraficing valuable things to a greedy god/spirit. Mutilating the body. Fear of bad spirits. Avoiding eating perfectly good food. Making important life decisions (including ones that are very detrimental to your life) based on someone’s interpretation of casting stones. Many massochistic elements there.

    And then there are the religious conflicts which amplify the massochism. Israel and Palestine. Both being held back from development, safety and stability. All losing out to an improved quality life and instead daily fear and for some…daily misery.

    Same goes for Bhuddists and Hindus in Sri Lanka.

    Bhuddists and Muslims in Myanmar

    Christians and Muslims in Lebanon

    Muslims and atheists in Bangladesh (though to be honest…the atheists only make the fatal error of posting a harmless sentence on facebook).

    Jainism: Sweeping away the path in front of you to avoid stepping on insects. Wearing masks to avoid breathing them in. Accepting your lot in life. Donating tons of money you cannot afford to lose to temples.



    @davis and more specifically masochistic – the practice of self flagellation.


    @simon – I knew if I replied that I would be typing for hours and that would feel rather mass-o-christic in itself. In this case the picture painted (in red) a thousand words.


    Simon Paynton

    I’ve heard of people wanting to emulate the suffering of Christ.  Why would they do that?  I guess, in solidarity.

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