There was a long period in Human history when Religion ruled unquestioned over large Countries...
This would be the last memory of anyone opposing the Christians...
Each year millions of women and children are abused in America, but religion persists about Gays and Abortions, and birth control. And no one argues, because they can't, because their religious, and so on, and so on.
It is my experience that sight and hearing are perhaps the two senses that are most standardized among physically healthy people. But I have been always fascinated by the subtle differences. A friend insisted that schoolbuses (which practically define Yellow for me) are closer to Orange. My xgf and I had a running playful squabble about "is that blue or purple". But the place where I seem to be an outlier is: star colors. The reddest stars appear caramel-yellow to my eyes, and the white stars distinctly blue. Blue stars, of course, are like welding arcs, so marvelously plasma-blue. Most stars are blue to my eyes. To my ex, they were yellow. To my sister, green. This was my lesson in the variability of even the most standardized sensual experience.
Last edited by cannabineer; 06-11-2012 at 10:46 AM.
Insofar as the church situation goes, my experiences have been different. I guess it may be a denominational difference, I don't know.
Someone reads some scripture, someone else gives a current day example or interpretation. No fire and brimstone, even when I was a kid. *shrugs* If the passage happened to be on the more severe side, the interpretation was always clear in relaying the symbolism.
Heisenberg, I agree with this but I want to make perfectly clear that I was not attempting to insinuate a causative correlation between the acts committed by Hitler, Pol Pot, etc., and the fact that none of them believed in a God. I recognize that there are many theists who would want to go down that slippery slope without recognizing that it gets nowhere: Popes have committed heinous acts and atrocities, right?--they have, if any of you think this was a sarcastic remark, read some history.
My interest in this line of questioning is largely to reveal that the claim, made by some atheists here, "the world would be better without religion," is just plain old unprovable. I just don't like the reductive, puerile understanding that says, "world religions have been the cause of so much suffering, we'd be better off without them all" especially when the person making that statement has only the most cursory experience with only the slimmest cross-section of a particularly western religion. By the same token, they are being as provincial as someone who thinks that because hitler and pol pot called themselves atheists that the world would be a better place if everyone believed in God. I only advocate a diversity of perspectives, a respect for communication, and an honest attempt at peaceful coexistence. Skepticism, rational thought, and sophistication certainly are necessary for this, but I would like to just ask if we can remove the adjective "religious" from its appendage to dogma. Until we have a firm definition of what "religion" is to everyone, we need not to discuss it as if it is a broad and largely homogenous category.
I would also offer that anyone who looks at these lists could say that it is extremely dangerous to apply harsh rationale to insufficient understanding, as these men all did. Hitler was using a certain sense of logic when he decided that gregor mendel's work with genetics and darwin's work with evolution could be taken to mean that the perfection of man can be achieved through selective breeding; this would be an example of someone working from an incomplete understanding. It would, incidentally, be an iteration of a mythology intervening to inhibit that understanding as he was applying the Aryan myth to the Germanic peoples. I would argue that religious fervor which precipitates the same kind of fascist behavior is just another iteration of the same corruptibility of man. We can all point to people claiming to be Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist or atheist who have achieved both great good and great evil. I think the endgame here is to agree that we're all trying to figure out the best way for everyone to live as happily as possible. So those theists out there who see some Baptist fascistically advocating the harming of homosexuals, you need to stand up and say "no, this is wrong, Jesus loved everyone, blessed are the meek, fuck off you fascist preacher" and whenever an atheist hears another atheist saying something like "let's corral all these moron religious people into one area so we can get rid of them," it is the moral and ethical responsibility of the hearing atheist to correct his fascist cohort, and ensure him that the truth will win out and ignorance will be vanquished through peaceful and respectful communication and interaction.
Last edited by Dr.J20; 06-11-2012 at 11:36 AM. Reason: better typeface requested
"My philosophy is this: If you don't have a good sense of humor, you're better off dead." --Roger Rabbit
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