Sunday School

Sunday School July 12th 2020

This topic contains 27 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 3 weeks ago.

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  • #32235

    Now that President Trump has worn a mask in public, some Lovers of Jesus might try to love their neighbors a little more. Christians are still infecting each other in Church too.

    Evangelicals have embraced secular heroes because men unencumbered by traditional Christian virtue were those best suited to the militancy required to lead “Christian manhood.” I suspect this Evangelical support is being eroded by recent displays of weakness. Will they see his mask wearing as a sign of weakness rather than a sign of leadership?

    I think Project Blitz is going into overdrive because the Christians behind it see their “Unholy Alliance” with Trump coming to an end. Over the next 6 months they will continue to tear down the remaining blocks in the Wall of Separation between Church and State. They have given churches billions of dollars in coronavirus aid. It will take a good argument to convince me that the PPP “loans” are not just bribes. Many citizens have just lost their human right to access to contraceptive services. The Supreme Court stripped thousands of teachers of their civil rights. As for children’s education? Leave that to Betty DeVos and her schools consultant Tucker Carlson. I wonder if part of the Trump legacy will be that he turned the GOP into the GQP or could that keep him in the White House?

    White Supremacist ideas have historical roots in U.S. Christianity. The Satanic Temple plans to sue Mississippi if the State puts ‘In God We Trust’ on the new flag.

    I said a few months back that the pandemic would compel people to look at their beliefs without their regular doses of pulpit fiction blocking their use of reason. I really hope this will be the case. Here is a good article that looks at this idea.

    A Christian asked me during the week why I said I was “standing up against the ill treatment of Muslims” in China since I am an atheist. I think you have to be a theist to ask such a question.

    Irish President says that the teachings of Jesus are “intrinsically evil”.

    The five doctrines of ex-Mormonism.

    The Scottish government’s hate crime bill poses a threat to free speech on religion.

    A mandatory declaration of religion in Greece is a human rights violation.

    In Turkey the Hagia Sophia museum has been converted into a mosque.

    260,000 sign a petition to block film starring Paris Jackson as Jesus.

    Avast Ye to the rise of the FSM, all praise His noodly appendage!

    This weeks’ Woo: Anatomy of a COVID-19 conspiracy theory.

    Climate Crisis: The far-reaching consequences of Siberian wildfires.

    Four mysterious objects spotted in deep space are unlike anything ever seen.

    A new hypothesis argues that the universe simulates itself into existence.

    Human-Guided evolution is closer than you might think.

    Scientists make precise gene edits to mDNA for first time.

    No, Science will never make Philosophy or Religion obsolete?? Science and the necessity of awe.

    Srebrenica, 25 years later.

    Long Reads:  Voyager, the world’s greatest space mission. ‘Unholy‘ examines the alliance between white Evangelicals and Trump. The Kung Fu Nuns of Kathmandu. Thoughts on Longevity.

    This week I am ordering this book: Cynical Theories. (Helen Pluckrose was a member of TA).

    Some photographs taken last week.  In search of the American Dream on Paradise Road.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Coffee Break Video: An old “Darwin Debate” from the BBC.  Some psychological ideas to think about.

    #32237

    Have a great week everyone!

    All the phenomena upon which the god idea was originally built are now known to be susceptible to a radically different explanation. And if this is so, what other foundations have we on which to build a belief in God? There is none. There is only one plausible reason for the belief in God, and that is the reason advanced by the savage. When we get beyond that we are not dealing with reasons for holding the belief, but only with excuses for retaining it.

    Chapman Cohen.

    #32238

    Unseen
    Participant

    I took a look at that article about people changing their religion and noticed that while people self-identifying as Protestant have declined, Roman Catholicism and Islam have seen gains. Also among the losers, atheism and agnosticism. Foxhole conversions?

    #32239

    Yes, I found that at little curious myself. I think the RC and Islam numbers will go up because of increased birth rates and the fact that many agnostics identify as cultural Catholics, Jews and even Muslims. I know Muslims that never pray and even drink alcohol but still label themselves as Muslims. In my experience (and therefore somewhat subjective) I find the numbers of atheists growing. Among most younger people that I speak with, they will identify as non-religious but don’t use the term “atheist” because they have given religion almost no consideration and see atheism as a given, which to me is excellent.

    Atheists in Foxholes

    Atheists in foxholes, some say they are myths,
    Creations of the mind who just don’t exist.

    Yet, they answered the call to defend, with great pride.
    With reason their watchword, they bled and they died.

    They took Saratoga from the British crown,
    Secured America’s freedom at the Battle of Yorktown.

    From Sumter to Appomattox, fields flowed with their blood.
    When the cannons grew silent, the flag proudly stood.

    From the Marne to the Argonne, in trenches and tanks,
    They defeated the Germans — the whole world gave thanks.

    They were bombed at Pearl Harbor, fought on to Berlin.
    Many freethinking women served along with the men.

    Still war keeps erupting — Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo.
    Where is the peace that eludes people so?

    It is broken by tyrants who bear crosses and creeds,
    That overshadow reason with hate and cruel deeds.

    So atheists prevail until your work is complete.
    Mothers mourn, children cry, and bigots plan your defeat.

    By air, land, and sea, you answer freedom’s call.
    Without god or faith, you seek liberty for all.

    from Here.

    #32240

    Birthday wishes to Malala Yousafzai. I still have her name tattooed on my left elbow.

    #32241

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    This week I am ordering this book: Cynical Theories. (Helen Pluckrose was a member of TA).

    I think Helen is right in what she says, because I am sure I have seen real life examples to back it up.  I have heard people on the Left denying that these behaviours exist.

    #32242

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Yes, I found that at little curious myself. I think the RC and Islam numbers will go up because of increased birth rates and the fact that many agnostics identify as cultural Catholics, Jews and even Muslims. I know Muslims that never pray and even drink alcohol but still label themselves as Muslims. In my experience (and therefore somewhat subjective) I find the numbers of atheists growing. Among most younger people that I speak with, they will identify as non-religious but don’t use the term “atheist” because they have given religion almost no consideration and see atheism as a given, which to me is excellent. Atheists in Foxholes Atheists in foxholes, some say they are myths, Creations of the mind who just don’t exist. Yet, they answered the call to defend, with great pride. With reason their watchword, they bled and they died. They took Saratoga from the British crown, Secured America’s freedom at the Battle of Yorktown. From Sumter to Appomattox, fields flowed with their blood. When the cannons grew silent, the flag proudly stood. From the Marne to the Argonne, in trenches and tanks, They defeated the Germans — the whole world gave thanks. They were bombed at Pearl Harbor, fought on to Berlin. Many freethinking women served along with the men. Still war keeps erupting — Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Where is the peace that eludes people so? It is broken by tyrants who bear crosses and creeds, That overshadow reason with hate and cruel deeds. So atheists prevail until your work is complete. Mothers mourn, children cry, and bigots plan your defeat. By air, land, and sea, you answer freedom’s call. Without god or faith, you seek liberty for all. from Here.

    My own father was an atheist in a foxhole. Three years of gory combat, Korean War. He would say things that indicated he was a non-believer but he went along with ‘raising his family in the church’ thing. Eventually he flat out told me that it was the war that led to his non belief. As a draftee, he hated the ‘regular army’ and threw away his box of medals.

    #32243

    Strega
    Moderator

    Thanks, Reg!

    #32244

    @_Robert_ I suspect my own father was an atheist but he kept up appearances because back then (in Ireland) “everyone” was a Catholic. His children all arrived at atheism independently of each other. Turns out my 2 brothers are anti-theists and just as militant as I am.

    America has been at war for over 90% of the years since 1776. My brother (a US citizen) pointed out that he is among those of the first generation since then that has not been compelled to join up to the armed forces.

    #32246

    Unseen
    Participant

    My dad loved my mom and was as devoted as can be to her until her death some 30 years before his own. Even though you’d think he would welcome death as his chance to be reunited with the love of his life, he clearly found the thought of dying terrifying and in the end he raged, raged against the dying of the light. Was he then an agnostic or atheist?

    #32247

    Davis
    Participant

    My parents are both atheists though my mother does tend towards the “there is some greater meaning in the universe” though it is completely undefined and she has no position on an afterlife other than “hopefully it’s something nice”. My father believes we become dust. Which I think should be, really, the default position. Unlike a lot of religious families, the amount of time we spent discussing the afterlife was, perhaps, a total of an hour or so (honestly…what is there to talk about if you believe as my father and I do that we become dust or my mother who things eh…hopefuly something nice?). However we spent a lot more time talking about the footprints that we leave on Earth. Cause honestly, isn’t that a whole lot more meaningful than some ridiculous absurd afterlife? Would you rather the memories and footprints you left trail off, the way you’ve influenced people diffuse throughout the generations to come? Or spend an eternity (a trillion trillion years is just a blink of an eye) doing the same ole shit, or even worse, bobbing your head up and down praising an insecure God?

    #32248

    Strega
    Moderator

    I love that reply, @davis. Especially your mums position. That made me grin.

    #32249

    Gone with the Wind (1939) came up in conversation last week about the BLM movement and how appropriate it would be, or not be, to ban future screenings of it.

    I just did some research into it and found an article from last year about Olivia de Havilland. I thought she looked beautiful in the opening B&W photograph.

    Then I discovered that she had her birthday on July 1st and turned 104 and is living in Paris. As I lingered on her face some poetry by Yeats wandered in my mind.

    That nobleness made simple as a fire,

    With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind

    That is not natural in an age like this,

    Being high and solitary and most stern?

    Why, what could she have done, being what she is?

    Was there another Troy for her to burn?

    #32250

    _Robert_
    Participant

    As an 8 year old I thought ‘Gone with the Wind‘ was vastly overrated. Longest 8 hours in my young life. It is kinda like the ‘Freebird‘ of movies. Pretty good but no great desire to endure it again. As far as screening, nobody will mistake it for a recent film and it’s pretty easy to not watch a movie.

    #32251

    Yes, it reminds me of the time, years ago, when some woman from the Catholic Defense League rang a national radio show to complain about some mild sex scene under bed covers and in almost complete darkness. Apparently the “grunting” left nothing to the imagination. The second time she watched it she thought it was vile and would corrupt the morals of the youth…yada…yada.

    The host of the show said “Wow, you have got one powerful imagination”. She hung up.

     

    Hitchens on the topic of “offense” and Freedom of Speech:

    Dr. Samuel Johnson, the great lexicographer, compiler of the first dictionary of the English language.

    When it was complete, Dr. Johnson was waited upon by various delegations of people to congratulate him, of the nobility, of the quality, of the Commons, of the Lords  —  and also by a delegation of respectable ladies of London, who tended on him at his Fleet Street lodgings, and congratulated him.

    “Dr. Johnson,” they said, “we are delighted to find that you have not included any indecent or obscene words in your dictionary.”

    “Ladies,” said Dr. Johnson, “I congratulate you on being able to look them up.”

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