@fullermingjractive 2 weeks, 3 days ago
Forum Replies Created
July 6, 2020 at 12:35 am #32139
@jakelafort, I’m sorry about the accident. I was on a very dark country road a number of years ago – no street lights and no moon and no stars! It was very dark, and I ran over an armadillo and felt terrible. When I read that, I had flashbacks!July 5, 2020 at 10:13 pm #32137
@jakelafort, Fair enough. My bad… one of the challenges with the hypothetical (including my elimination of religion in 2200 CE). At least we can evaluate if the logic is cogent. If I was born, say, in Iran to a typical Islamic family, does it follow that I would be a committed, practicing, faith-defending Muslim? Place of birth being random, sure… inductively, however, I would still cosider the conclusion from the argument weak. (I’m using these terms in a technical sense)
Jake, I have no problem drinking any water you lead me to, really. I have my presuppositions and you have yours. We can be honest about our biases but then work to not have them get in the way of our very entertaining and yet informative discussions!July 5, 2020 at 7:32 pm #32133
Hey Reg, @regthefronkeyfarmer,
I don’t know Perkins personally, but I’m no supporter. As I said in another post, it’s really bad when “evangelical types” syncretistically blend nationalism with theology.
You also talked about Catholics meeting in their church buildings and holding “Mass”, denying the reality of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Months ago when the pandemic really began to spread, Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “will people listen to the science“? (Sure, me and Tyson have our differences, but I really like the guy and would love to meet him personally – he’s funny, and he says the Star ship Enterprise would easily beat the Millennium Falcon in a head-to-head fight! I’m a big StarTrek TOS fan. I confess my evil way’s… I laughed at this video… but I digress, back to the topic)
Steven Pinker’s talk was indeed fascinating – thanks for sharing. Much of what he spoke about impacts much more than ancient or modern religion. For example, appealing to “family solidarity” through manipulation and the “appeal to peoples kinship psychology” runs way beyond religion from communities, military training, martial arts training, secular fraternities, all the way up to nation states, and thus it is clearly beyond a Judaeo-Christian domain. We are all but advanced sheep, right! (I need to buy Dawkins “Selfish Gene” book. I’ve read his book, “The Greatest Show on Earth”.)
Finally, I’ve been getting your “Sunday School” links for years, but I never really have had time (taken/made the time) to read/respond. Of course, recently (the last two weeks or so), I’ve been pretty active in the AtheistZone…. It seems that I’ve found some time to explore. Not sure when my time will run out, but I look forward to our other interactions. I really do learn a lot and as @jacklafort said to me in another thread, I better be careful or I might get de-converted!July 4, 2020 at 8:46 pm #32112
Ok folks – I’m going to go out on a limb here. Don’t crucify me – pun intended 😉 but do tell me where I’m wrong.
Let’s keep my assumption of no god going and in addition, get rid of religion, too. Imagine then, not John Lennon’s dream, but to imagine with regard to real human beings, that somehow our world became completely devoid of all religion; especially Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and all of their respective derivatives and off-shoots, all over the planet. Maybe it’s the year 2200 CE and religion is gone.
Ok then – given our shared, collective history (because that wouldn’t change – you can’t change the past), our current human nature (which hasn’t changed in 6 to 10 thousand years as best as the top anthropologist on the plant can tell, so it’s not likely to change in 200 years), our track-record of self defense and blame shifting, our passion for pleasure, safety and prosperity (hello Maslow), our aversion to guilt and shame, and our natural instinctive drive to protect those that belong to us – do you really think that rape, slavery, and racism would simply vanish? What part of the honest and accepted evolutionary framework, coupled with our current collective view of psychology, biology, medical science, and social science…. what part implies that such things would simply disappear?
Earlier, there was a discussion comparing us to ants and bees. Why not keep the analogy going? The animal kingdom is wild – beast killing beast, adults eating their young, all kinds of amazing things – and we’re related, right? Simon Paynton said that my assessment of the world if there was no god was generally accurate, but he wanted to remove the Nazi’s from the list of religious and philosophical systems. But why? Why wouldn’t our big brains, coupled with all that I think is accurate about our nature as described above… why wouldn’t some intelligent humans INVENT religion to control the sheep-like nature of most folks?
Granted, this is all speculation and it may not be worth the binary storage that it is now occupying. (It’s the stuff of our best dystopian science-fiction). Yet for the last 6 to 10 thousand years of recorded human history – long before the hated Christianity and Islam came on the scene – we have constantly fought for land, food, women (i.e. to control reproduction), power on every continent, every nation, every family. Why, then, would the eradication of religion change anything? If, indeed, there is no god, then religion is made up anyway, used to alleviate the sheep like fears and triggered emotional responses that “evolved” in the prehistoric Serengeti!
This seems more like reality – and, believe it or not, I’m an optimist!
July 4, 2020 at 5:14 pm #32104
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by fullermingjr.
If I follow, @jakelafort, you are accusing all theistic faiths with the promotion and support of slavery, rape, and racism. Am I following your line of argument?
Assuming no god then, why not categorize such human practices, along with our currently embraced systems that support such practices (specifically the man made religious systems that allow and/or support these terrible practices) as normal and natural phases of human cultural evolutionary development? After all, if there is no god, then rape, racism, and slavery (along with religion, totalitarianism, nazism, and other philosophical systems that “support” such behavior)- would just be unpleasant side effects of our individual and tribal survival mechanism. Such instincts would be side effects of evolution, right?
I may be way out of my league here, since I am not an atheist, but if there is no god, this at least seems plausible.July 4, 2020 at 3:21 pm #32101
@jakelafort – the term “genetic fallacy” is simply the name of the fallacy. In checking the internet a little, it apparently came from a 1934 text entitled, “An Introduction to Logic and Scientific Method”. It’s just a name. Also, standing adamantly against slavery, drunk drivers, rapists, racists is different than standing adamantly against, say, a form of government (monarchy, pure democracy, constitutional monarchy, representative democracy, empire, etc) or a religious or philosophical system. An individuals intensity may be the same but these are radically different issues.July 4, 2020 at 11:23 am #32097
@jakelafort, Jake, you are funny! Please continue to use your colorful adjectives- it’s what you believe… woops… KNOW to be true. Like you, I am an “atheist” too, right? Regarding Osiris, Marduke, Apsu, Tiamat, Enlil, Ahura Mazda, Gilgamesh’s supreme God Anu, as well as Zeus, Apollo, and all the rest… if I met someone who seriously worshiped any of these (especially Apsu and Tiamat since other gods killed them), I would consider them beyond foolish and incredibly deluded, right? So please continue.
I know I reacted a few days ago to your strong and condemning language and I do apologize although I was not so much offended as surpised by your level of animus. I know it is not personal. (I still think you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar).
Finally, I am assuming you are convinced that if you were raised by devout Hindus, Catholics, Muslims, etc then you would be a devout whatever and it is truly an “accident of your geography”. You do realize that your line of thinking is a logical fallacy, a genetic fallacy based on the source. Logically, such background (a) may or may not have relevance to a given individual and more importantly (b) it has no bearing on the truthfulness of any religious or philosophical system.July 4, 2020 at 2:55 am #32092
@jakelafort, Yes I was raised in church. Not sure how much you know about black church culture, but I was in a small church outside of Washington DC. As a high school student (way back before the Internet) I had questions and so I did something novel – I went to the library and looked things up! I wouldn’t have put it this way back then, but I figured, as an adult, if I was going to believe in a metaphysical reality, I better be sure about “which one”. To make a long story short, my questioning and checking things out took a few years, worried my mother, and led me down some interesting paths, but in the end – in my early 20’s, I landed on Christianity. If I had grown up in say, Saudi Arabia, or Iran – I don’t know; I guess I would grown up in an Islamic community as a Muslim, and my “investigation phase” may have had me land on Islam. Maybe in a parallel universe I would be a Muslim – I have no idea. I will say that the during my “studies” the history of how Islam began with Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdullāh around 570 CE was very different than a bunch of no-named Jewish fisherman, turned preachers a little over 500 years earlier.
Now, just to feed a little into your comment about faith being irrational – I would like to think that if I was meant to be what I am, then “fate” would have played out in such a way that I would be who and what I am. NOW, of course, the question is really irrelevant in respect to me because there is no way you or I could hypothesize a different reality for me. (I’m an old Star Trek, TOS fan and I love they way Gene Roddenberry played with time travel as well as the parallel universe in the episode, Mirror Mirror from 1967) I was born here, in the USA, in one of the few hospitals that black folk could be born in back then in the Washington DC area (the legacy of segregation in the US). I had the parents I had, and I am what I am. I guess time and chance happens to us all!July 3, 2020 at 11:28 pm #32085
Greetings Reg, @regthefronkeyfarmer, Yes – I’m human!
You said, “…my main thing is debating with theists of all or any Faiths.” Interesting. Hey, I’m game. Is there a thread you want to start here on the AtheistZone.com, or do you want to do this via email one-on-one? Either way, I’m game. I’m confident I would learn something and who knows, maybe I could actually be “deconverted”. I promise to do my best to be open minded (which is why I joined this web community in the first place!)
I have many questions based on your main thing:
- Were you ever a believer? Of what ilk? When did you stop believing?
- What is your current situation? Are you retired? Still working? Teach philosophy at a University?
- Why is “debating with theists of all or any Faiths” your main thing? What led up to this practice?
- Have you ever interacted with someone like Dr. Francis Collins – one of the scientist that helped to map the human genome, but is also a theist. Dr. Collins fully embraces what many in the Christian community would call Theistic Evolution? Aside from your overt disagreement with such an idea, did said person at least seem reasonable to you? Again, putting aside your overt non-belief, did they at least seem reasonable?
That’s it for now. I’ll send you a private message, too!July 3, 2020 at 9:06 pm #32081
@davis, I too despise the “poison of religion”, and some of what you meant by that phrase I would agree with wholeheartedly but obviously not all. Also, I really don’t care if a bicycle riding Mormon missionary, a Jehovah’s Witness, or a Hare Krishna devote accost me at a mall or on the street or even knocks on my door… I just say, “no thank you, I’m not interested”. If they persist, I stop, look them in the eye, and firmly but respectfully say it again. (I admit that sometimes I do talk… its fascinating what I discover about their particular faith systems). I do the same with pesky sales people!
But I do have a question, assuming you are from Western Europe as implied… Are you saying that in some Western European areas, forced separation of church and state is legislated by law? Please excuse my ignorance of Western Europe.July 3, 2020 at 6:54 pm #32076
…when you say “faith”, do you include Hinduism or Wiccan in our public square and if so, what would be the point of it all?
Excellent question @robert. I did not include those other faith systems. In the context of this thread and the context of my response, specifically referring to Robert Jeffress – a mega-church Baptist Pastor who supported and continues to support President Trump, the word “faith” referrers to the general beliefs of those that can be classified in some way as “evangelical Christian”. This is especially true of those that seem to be politically engaged, regardless of my own disparagement of some of what they represent. (I really do consider myself a Christian, really).
However, your question is a really fair one in that I used the term “pluralistic”. Thus, I would not be opposed to Wiccans, Hindus, Muslims, or anyone else presenting or representing – in appropriate and acceptable ways – various aspects of their faith in the public square and in the marketplace of ideas. But “ay, there’s the rub”… how do we define “appropriate” and how do we define “acceptable”? This falls in the purview of the various levels of legislatures (local, state, federal) and then of the courts to interpret.
It’s fascinating to me how this has been done over the past 300 years or so, first by the American colonies and then by the states and the federal government. With regard to the colonies there were fines in Williamsburg Virginia for not giving to the church, and we all know about what happened in Salem Mass. and vicinity between February 1692 and May 1693… both inappropriate and unacceptable! Over time, the “court of public opinion” influences the government to the point of making laws that address such definitions. It all falls under the establishment clause and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Thus, I would include all the other belief systems, worldviews, etc., and I think the first Amendment was written to allow this in our pluralistic society. But things must be done in a fitting and amiable manner.
Finally, what’s the point? Why freedom, of course – especially freedom of thought. At Trump’s recent Tulsa Oklahoma rally, he said that burning the flag should be illegal and subject to an immediate one year sentence in jail. This goes against the very nature of what the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights represents. Let ideas stand or fall on their own – put them out there and let people decide. To be sure, the public square and the marketplace of ideas need some kind of policing but let the ideas and belief systems speak for themselves. Sure, there are plenty of uncritical folks out here (and you may even consider me one of them 😉) but like Wikipedia, and the balance of power in our three co-equal branches of government, the competition of ideas will also, I think, seek an appropriate level of civility. Maybe this is “sociocultural evolution” at its best! Your thoughts?July 3, 2020 at 11:50 am #32067
Greetings Anth Dee – @infjempath. No, your introduction was not too long. By the way, I happen to NOT be an Atheist but a theist of the christian verity, and I’m black, African American, or whatever were called now days. I’m very happy that you failed at your attempt! Of course, @simonpaynton said, “Religious people can be unspeakably cruel to apostates” but as you know first hand, they can be “unspeakably cruel” to the faithful, as well!
Believe it or not, I do take my faith seriously and I’m heavily involved in the life of a small church. However, I consider myself a “Christian Skeptic” meaning, I tend to question what religious people claim – especially in the real of performing miracles and such, but I also question a great deal of theology that doesn’t seem to fit the spirit of my current principle-centered understanding of the “sacred texts”. So, I’m very comfortable here in the “Atheist Zone” and even though sometime harsh words are shared with regard to theist, it’s okay – I’m the interloper here!July 3, 2020 at 11:31 am #32064
Ivy – @asianne, I really don’t know. I have participated in presidential elections since Ronald Reagan vs President Jimmy Carter. However, this is truly the first time I am voting for the proverbial “lesser of two evils”, and that would be Joe Biden. Yet, I don’t really know. The electorate have already shocked the pollster over and over again in history, and definitely in 2016. Like @jakelafort, I would lean toward Biden wining because (a) Trump lost the popular vote in 2016; (b) Trump has proven to be one of the most divisive presidents in history; (c) the media does lean left which continues to promote Mr. Trumps faux pas and beguiling statements; (d) the Trump Administration’s mishandling and poor leadership regarding the coronavirus… I could add more. But like I said, the electorate continues to surprise us all, so my predictions mean nothing – We will know for sure on Wednesday, November 4th!
July 3, 2020 at 11:07 am #32059
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by fullermingjr.
Greetings – @robert. I was browsing around and found your comment about Robert Jeffress. Back in the summer of 2016, he did what he called his “Tour for America”. Me, being a “good” Christian was curious. I had not paid much attention to Jeffress but since he was coming to my city and the event was free, I figured – hey, why not. But I told my wife, if he tells me to vote for Trump, I’m leaving. (As a black man and a Christian, I’m convinced evangelicals supported Trump out of a major misunderstanding of the faith… more on that later).
I went to the arena in my area. I have no idea what it cost this man and his donors to rent the arena, but it wasn’t cheap. The music was fine – in fact, from a Christian perspective, it was great. But then, Jeffrees came out to speak. I wasn’t sure where he was going, but eventually he said it – indirectly, of course, to keep his tax-exempt status for his organization, but after a bunch of proviso’s and caveats, he said something like, “I can’t tell you who to vote for, but my vote will be based on the future selection of supreme court nominees”. I walked out.
As a theist of the Christian verity, I have concluded that a proper understanding of the text held as sacred does support many ethical principles and guidelines you would probably strongly oppose. (There are also many you would strongly support – like our shared desire to end human slavery on the planet). However, the flaw in the mind and heart of so many southern white evangelicals is that they are trying to make heaven on earth. Regardless of what you think of our text, there is no way to parse the writings and teachings historically and contextually, since the birth of Jesus, to justify any attempt to create a theocracy – none!
It drives me crazy when I hear Pastors promote such things and make inappropriate and theologically unsound connections to nationalism. I’m an American and I love my country as much as the next man, with all of our ugly past and potential for good. I don’t fully agree that faith should be removed from our pluralistic public square. Yet, I am convinced that many evangelical Pastors, opinion leaders, and radio personalities get this wrong, theologically speaking.
Maybe I will start a thread on the related topic of Utopian Society and see what else I can learn from the different perspectives of those in this Atheist Zone.July 1, 2020 at 11:43 pm #32041
@robert you wrote,
I was surprised how many of my fellow musicians/friends revealed their ignorance because of the pandemic coupled with the Floyd murder. I can’t even talk with them about any of this, they loose their minds
I also can’t easily have conversations with some of my black friends and definitely some of my white evangelical friends regarding this topic or tRump. (Ok, I shouldn’t have done that, but Robert, it was pretty funny)