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Why make the battle just over religion? - Comments

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 1 by DocWebster

The main focus of my atheism isn't about disproving another person's beliefs or even questioning them, My focus is on making damn sure that their beliefs don't dictate the scope of my life experience. Esoteric discussions about reason versus faith are useless for the most part as those who think reasonably are the only ones who can see that the faithful aren't thinking at all. It is literally shouting at the ocean, while a hurricane is blowing, during an earthquake, with a ball-gag in your mouth to argue logically against faith so the goal should be to curb the adoption of faith and favor the adoption of reason right at the time when most of the faithful acquire their faith, childhood. The easiest way to do that, of course, is to enact laws to ban children from religious indoctrination until they reach the age of majority. We can allow for that to be any age but, whatever age gets picked becomes the legal voting age. If a kid is old enough to get religion thrust upon him or her, they are old enough to vote and help decide who runs the country.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 19:27:21 UTC | #945326

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 2 by VrijVlinder

@Comment 1 by DocWebster The easiest way to do that, of course, is to enact laws to ban children from religious indoctrination until they reach the age of majority. We can allow for that to be any age but, whatever age gets picked becomes the legal voting age. If a kid is old enough to get religion thrust upon him or her, they are old enough to vote and help decide who runs the country.

I agree totally. But the religions do not agree because they want the children. They are easiest to indoctrinate with whatever . Because they are still developing their brain. So the religions want to get the brain young when it is vulnerable to creating new pathways. This alone should be enough to make it a crime to indoctrinate children.

This is not a battle over religion per say , It is a battle against religion dictating the scope of people's life experience.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 20:05:06 UTC | #945337

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 3 by Jos Gibbons

I criticise nonsense wherever I find out. On richarddawkins.net alone I have decried religion and group selection, and have defended evolution, climate change and thermodynamics. I am far from alone among us in my broad view of what to criticise. Between us we have defended plenty of other scientific and ethical core ideas, critiqued historical revisionism, and so on.

It might be said that it is only in our capacity as critics of religion that our status of atheists is discussed, and that it is only in our capacity as atheists that we criticise religion. This does not mean, however, that in our capacity as people we're cherry-picking what nonsense to critique. On the contrary; it has been argued (and I think it's right) that criticism of religion is noticed more because it's traditionally less common and less tolerated.

What is more, at least one reason to be especially concerned about religion can be found: it is the one form of irrationality of which society makes a positive virtue. Religious faith is erroneously correlated with ethics; being convinced of astrology or the existence of the Loch Ness Monster is not.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 20:56:17 UTC | #945351

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 4 by Alan4discussion

My questions are these. Should we concern ourselves with not so much the topic of whether gods or devils exist, but, with man overcoming his natural propensity to be irrational and unreasonable?

These are not mutually exclusive alternatives. Frequently the belief in gods and devils is the basis of irrationality and unreasonable behaviour to others.

Also, since intelligence can be measured and distributed along a bell curve, is it possible that some people are not capable of the critical thinking needed to think reasonably and rationally?

There are perhaps a few at the very bottom end of the scale where any form of coherent thinking is a struggle, but for most it is nurture (indoctrination and copying poor thinking habits) which inhibits learning critical thinking. Knowing-it-all from stock theist answers, inhibits further enquiry, the acquisition of objective knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Is expecting all people to think and behave in a rational/reasonable way only setting ourselves up for disappointment?

Poor targets result in poor standards. They provide a self-fulfilling prophesy!

Should we not lower our expectations of people so that we are not bothered so much by their lack of making sense?

We should aspire for the best for people. It is the sheeple-herders and right-wing dictators, who choose dumb unthinking obedience while keeping propaganda-fed masses ignorant.

To me, it seems the reasonable and rational thing to do.

Eh!!! Accepting irrationality and nonsensical thinking is the rational thing to do???????

Perhaps you could explain how this is reasonable or rational, beyond being merely an irrational assertion of rationality!

Should the root goal of all people, atheists and theists, be to hold reason as an absolute guide to understanding and action?

Only if it is based on evidence as a starting point for the reasoning, and then political and ethical objectives would have to be looked at.

It seems to me that if this were the real goal of all people we would find a lot more peace and harmony in the world.

I think you would have to explain how this would resolve the various conflicting views, before there could be "peace, harmony" and agreement! - Particularly when talking to people, where "you are not bothered about their lack of making sense"!

Theist refusals to accept scientific evidence and insistence on complying with their specific dogmas, along with assertion of political selfish vested interests, are prime causes of disharmony and conflict in societies!

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 22:39:13 UTC | #945362

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 5 by VrijVlinder

The Battle is with the seemingly consistent insistence that "The Bible/s" are prophecy in any way shape or form .

Example of the bizarre information out there , UFO's were described in the book/s Now it is difficult to believe that jesus WAS described in the books without his description, but now claims of biblical UFO sightings and/or premonitions .It is crucial to proper understanding of the verses Just like Nostradamus . Now why are people not driven to decipher his writing? I mean his predictions have happened in a very coincidental way as to make one think he had something. But "Proper understanding" is just another way of saying "Apply your own meaning"

Flying Vehicles and Advanced Technology in the Bible

     **This section of the work deals with the physical and flight characteristics of the flying vehicles in the Bible**. It is important to understand that, since many of these descriptions occur in a place called "heaven", learning what the word means is crucial to proper understanding of the verses, in which, it appears. In the obscure language the translators used, heaven meant the sky.  The word "sky" or "skies" only appears a dozen times in the entire Bible, although most of the events occur outside.  The words "fly" and "flying" occurs 38 times; the word flight is not included as it meant "to flee" in every instance. This reveals examples of "godly" flight but, though these flights are described, in some instances, as being in the sky, they also flew in "heaven".  The word "heaven" or "heavens" is translated from Hebrew and Greek words that mean "the sky", or directly related to the sky, in 99.7%, or all but 2, of the 730 times it appears, in both the Old and New Testaments.  The vehicles described in the Bible are flying in the sky.  The research on this concept can be found here. Heaven Is The Sky

This is more than religion it is about superstitional thinking, which needs to be replaced by critical thinking. That many believe the same thing does not make their belief become true. It just says that many people have been duped by an ancient trick of sly hand. And they remain duped to save face because they fear to be ridiculed or something else.

Can humans be able to live without fantasy? Without pageantry ? Without ritual ? Even without a god people still need some fantasy time. It is ok to do so if it helps. But one must always be aware of the difference between fantasy and reality. It is not hard to grasp the concept.

But the fake consolation prizes that religion gives out to gather the flock for the fleecing should really be a crime. Anyone who asks for money and promises the impossible is committing fraud.

Why is Santa Claus not in jail!! Because he is a fictional character who can't be found even in the North Pole. People came to accept that. They should be able to not accept the rest of the fraudulent practices that superstition has to offer.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 00:46:15 UTC | #945376

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 6 by Premiseless

Great question in many respects.

Religion and its foundation; superstition by emotional attachment to selective situations, material or texts - is a mutant of logic and reason. It is an holistic system of emotion to thought networking designed to be flawed till unrecognisable, to its host. It's host becomes unaware there are flaws, or at least what exactly the flaws are and how to unravel their emotional allegiances. This presents problems for the host and probably those who might learn any sense of holistic life logic from them; how to think foremost but more especially how to assert emotions to what can be thought in rational and equitable ways.

This juncture is a controversial one since it relates to a moral stance; which essentially becomes a wild assertion, of theistic sensibilities, about whether one human can be legitimate in wishing ill will or forgiveness per se respecting another human. We enter the territory of hatreds and altruism. The animal kingdom seems to instinctively apply one or the other, as evolved responses to survival. Humans have the relative luxury to select which way to think and feel dependent upon subjective circumstances , which equally may be logical - or completely ill logical, as with superstitious claims or similar. Examples of this lie in how one person might be so intellectually dishonest as to suggest another person made them feel bad or did them some great mischief, totally out of balance with the action they cite and now feel the negative desire to do ill will in response to the extent of their magnified emotions. Examples of extremes include genocides and atrocities where absolute unknowns become "ill reasoned validated targets". The way of thinking and feeling has been corrupted in the host to an extent they secure negatives against a "logically undeserving target".

The reverse can also seem to be the case, where it may seem one person forgives another despite repeated ill will being directed toward them. In this sense the host repeatedly responds with positives toward a negative source, rather than reply with like for like. We see how there is now a fundamental moral stance at play. Humanitarian secularists are often of the position to forgive to resolve the inequalities of the past is our golden rule. This is a very powerful tool for furtherance of equality and potential mass promotion of exponential positives, or inclusivity of feel goods. However it is also a potentially weak position, inviting the threat of applied negatives absent threat of reprisals, to a perpetrator of negatives. In this sense, evolutionarily; forgiveness is an invitation to a self harm, net loss, from the entropy around them. This is likely more real where a person lives in relative isolation of any support group.

Hopefully you can now see, by comparing situations arising, in the above contexts, how it is that healthy logic and healthy emotional networking to such logic, has far more potential to resolve community positives where the irrational component of forgiveness is an overriding logic bias. However, in a market economy, this goes against the grain, since those who win do not forgive but only reward pillage, so to speak. The evolutionary equivalent of guaranteeing net gains, rather than forgiving debts. The benefactors predominantly are from the class of non-forgiving, and likelier, proactive inflictors of financial ruin. If this were done in the historical contexts of war, it would be synonymous with all the negatives of fights for survival and dominance. However, these days it has more often become more disguised and sophisticated - along the lines of delusional theism - misleading the rank and file into life long servitude to a financial indebtedness, that the perpetrators enjoy the spoils of in the here and now.

So, and I'll prematurely draw to a conclusion due the lengthiness of my post, we can see how religious thinking is fundamentally a corruption of facts - networked to being emotionally stubborn, absent rational debate. "I believe therefore it is true etc." Also how this can delude the believer into tricking themselves that out group thinkers are "bad" period. An irrational intellectual evil per se. Further we can see how this type of think me belief is also used in financial markets ( as well as other areas of life per se), as if again it is a valid and equitable system of servitude, often absent the sufferers awareness or abilities to reason it otherwise. Anti religious think, is not just about hating intellectual genocide (memocide = self torture thinking and feeling) but also about liberating all humans to a far more equitable position of independent thought and awareness of higher rank thinking, rather than the enslaved position most live out their lives unaware they are subject to, and worse still promoting this intellectual servitude onto loved ones. In a way it is about: less servitude; less tolerance and forgiveness of received injustice; less confusion about when and why to defend ones position and how to empower ones own mind as to the way the world truly is.

The line in the sand remains a controversial one! The world still, largely, is an unforgiving one. Still, largely, the best amongst us (as I measure humans) are likelier to be crucified than to succeed and prosper. Other's (many atheists and the religious included) would laugh at my position on this due it NOT guaranteeing financial and lifetime gains - as with the ruthless, net balance, personas. However, to me, they have chosen a position of justified inequality - synonymous with theistic enterprise, aka religion, down the ages. In this sense the question you asked is about more than religion and always has been. Religion is a major tool in the arsenal of tolerated injustices, which is why many fear the uprisings that may ensue, were the masses more aware of themselves. In this sense religion, and its ways of thinking, is the ultimate chain on the minds of the masses, which any rebellion against is usually absorbed within the lower, already net-suffering ranks, long before it reaches the corridors of higher rank. These injustices are historically cemented into position long before next generations are aware of it! ENTER - the trump of all reason - Joker in the pack - Inherited lifestyles! The next excuse to repeat the injustices of previous generations absent debate of alternatives: one must by default take seriously the forgiveness of all pasts to make legitimate the injustices as they presently stand. So when do the lowly get their shot at the big time? In another NONE EXISTENT life? But that's another story.........

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 05:33:50 UTC | #945403

Roedy's Avatar Comment 7 by Roedy

Religion is more dangerous than other forms of craziness. Consider astrology. At one point I learned the mathematics of spherical astronomy so that I could plot the motions of the planets and moon to write an astrology computer program. Initially I thought there might be something in it, though everything in me screamed that was nuts. I am a very typical aquarius. This could be just a fluke, or it could come from a lifetime of people projecting their aquarian expectations onto me.

However, nobody is going to threaten to kill me for believing in or rejecting astrology. People disagree on whether Pluto is significant astrologically, but I have never heard of anyone going to blows over it. Christians and Moslems go apoplectic over the most minor variations in dogma. (Big and Little endian). For example, for a period of years, Christians phoned me an average of 350 times a day to berate me and 3 times a day to threaten to kill me because I did not agree with them on the wickedness of gay people (and because I was one.)

Consider the global-warming deniers. Some are just conspiracy nuts who love the idea of a giant secret conspiracy of all the world's scientists to create terabytes of fake data and papers to fool everyone into believing Fourier and Arrhenius were right back in the 1800s. The Christians who deny for some religious reason are afraid to be argued out of belief because they imagine the god Jehovah will punish them. They are much more intractable and fanatical. Because Jehovah commands it, all ordinary rules of right conduct are suspended.

"What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church... a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.

~ Martin Luther 1483-11-10 1546-02-18

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 07:18:44 UTC | #945413

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 8 by mordacious1

This is The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, not the RDF for Atheists. Atheism is just one subset of rational thinking. Many atheists are not rational thinkers. We had one woman who used to post here as an atheist, who ran a homeopathic store or something. She was always spouting nonsense about homeopathic universities and practitioners and what wonderful work they do. Every time she'd start up, Tyler Durden and I would pounce on her. I think she finally left.

My point is, atheism is just a lack of belief in deities. That's it. Hopefully, if you're smart enough to be an atheist, you're also going to try to approach other topics with a rational mindset. Sadly, it doesn't always work that way.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 07:37:16 UTC | #945414

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 9 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 5 by VrijVlinder

This is more than religion it is about superstitional thinking, which needs to be replaced by critical thinking. That many believe the same thing does not make their belief become true. It just says that many people have been duped by an ancient trick of sly hand. And they remain duped to save face because they fear to be ridiculed or something else.

This is where I fall out with a lot of people......and it's over something I consider to be crucial to this sort of argument.

There is absolutely nothing irrational about supposing that aliens visited our planet in the past.....or that ancient manuscripts record it. I do wish people would stop arguing as if it were the hypothesis that were irrational......when the hypothesis clearly represents something that is 'possible'.

The true irrationality is not with the hypothesis.....but with those who unquestioningly believe in it without any evidence. Thus we should not be deriding 'ancient aliens' per se as a hypothesis.....I believe that to do so would be unscientific......but deriding those who leap on this hypothesis and attempt to expand and wholeheartedly believe in it on the basis of zero evidence.

That distinction is crucial to how we define where irrationality actually lies.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 10:37:24 UTC | #945442

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 10 by SaganTheCat

belief and reason are pole opposites, you can't make a case for reason without making one against religious belief

[insert Gregory House quote]

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 14:54:32 UTC | #945481

DaisyD's Avatar Comment 11 by DaisyD

Should we concern ourselves with not so much the topic of whether gods or devils exist, but, with man overcoming his natural propensity to be irrational and unreasonable?

Debating whether gods and devils exist is one way of exercising logic and reason. It so happened that religion is capable of wielding massive damage and actually shaping people's minds to be very receptive to irrational beliefs.

Also, since intelligence can be measured and distributed along a bell curve, is it possible that some people are not capable of the critical thinking needed to think reasonably and rationally? Is expecting all people to think and behave in a rational/reasonable way only setting ourselves up for disappointment? Should we not lower our expectations of people so that we are not bothered so much by their lack of making sense?

Theoretically, the bell curve can shift upwards, meaning that the average measure of intelligence can be higher but the individual scores be just as varied as before. No, we shouldn't lower our expectations, not if we really value reason. All the intelligence measures say is that there are people who are better at it and some who are worse at it, but it doesn't mean that there are people who are not at all capable of critical thinking.

Should the root goal of all people, atheists and theists, be to hold reason as an absolute guide to understanding and action?

Definitely. And if everyone is guided by reason, there wouldn't be any more theists. Unless someone in the future comes up with scientific evidence for an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent god, which is very very very unlikely.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 15:32:56 UTC | #945489

Aguazul's Avatar Comment 12 by Aguazul

Reason can never be the answer to everything because you need something to reason about and that is perception. So you have to understand perception as well, or else your reason will be working with woolly data. So from my point of view, understanding perception, i.e. our interface with the outside world, is much more important. Your talk of hallucinations being things which "aren't real" is already showing signs of naivity and there is a risk of circular reasoning. How do you determine that it isn't real? Are you reasoning from first principles, or are you supposing that what convention establishes is real can determine what is real and what isn't? But you have already abandoned first principles, then, and are effectively basing your reasoning on hearsay. Not a good start. To me all perception is real. It is first hand. Everything beyond that is clouded by judgement, possibly imperfect judgement. Perception is the most direct data that we have. Taking that as a basis, then you get somewhere quite interesting, and quite different from what we would consider the traditional Western-scientific world-view, which is based on a lot of inherited assumptions and pre-filtering of perception -- not just reason. [Link to own blog removed by moderator]

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 16:53:33 UTC | #945505

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 13 by All About Meme

Comment 12 by Aguazul

Interesting comment. I took the time to read your blog, and here is an excerpt:

The human as an instrument of perception outputs hard data even when influenced by emotion or intoxication or illness. You cannot discard any of these data points. However you can use the knowledge of the situation as part of the subsequent explanation. For example: subject A, under influence of morphine, perceived guru standing beside bed and providing solace. This is a hard data point. It actually happened -- we cannot say that the subject did not perceive this -- the perception was real. This is a fact, as close to reality as we can measure. Whether the guru was real or not is up for debate. Was it a projection of the patient? Did the guru extend his influence? Was it merely a hallucination due to the morphine? Now we are in the process of forming a theory to explain the observed fact. Any of these explanations might be a valid approach.

Imagine placing a digital videocamera on a tripod next to subject A during his morphine trip. The camera doesn’t record the “guru” standing beside his bed.

Why?

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 17:12:56 UTC | #945510

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 14 by VrijVlinder

@Comment 9 by Schrodinger's Cat

This is where I fall out with a lot of people......and it's over something I consider to be crucial to this sort of argument. There is absolutely nothing irrational about supposing that aliens visited our planet in the past.....or that ancient manuscripts record it. I do wish people would stop arguing as if it were the hypothesis that were irrational......when the hypothesis clearly represents something that is 'possible'.

I with agree with this 100% . What I do not agree with is the claim that there are verses in the bibles which describe UFO visitation...

If one has to fit a meaning into a writing, the actual meaning is lost if it ever existed. Like reading obscure poetry that makes no sense. Interpretations of what was written is where problems arise.

In short, I have an easier time thinking there have been space alien visitations in the history of earth, than thinking it has any connections with human's deities and superstition. This site I posted clearly is trying to make a "Biblical Connection" with space Alien visitation. And giving it a god twist as they like to do.

So if god created everything he also created space aliens to visit us. This of course leads to a million questions as well. When did he create these high tech aliens? How often d they visit? Do they believe in a god? Are they gods?

Religion has a quick and simple way to silence the questions by giving up the scapegoat.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:23:58 UTC | #945536

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 15 by VrijVlinder

@Comment 12 by Aguazul: Perception is the most direct data that we have.

May be direct but it's accuracy depends on how the brain complies perception. The senses give us sensory information with which we "perceive" the world. However the data may be erroneous in some cases. Like brain damage due to stroke or aneurism and tumors. Or hormonal fluctuations can have a big impact on how we perceive .

Your talk of hallucinations being things which "aren't real" is already showing signs of naivity and there is a risk of circular reasoning. How do you determine that it isn't real?

Hallucinations seem real to the one hallucinating. If someone is hallucinating and tells me "I can see jesus" and I clearly don't and neither does any one else, then it is not real. For something to qualify as real,it would also have to leave quantifiable evidence behind. If there is no evidence then there is only imagination subsequently it is not real.

To me all perception is real. It is first hand.

Even if you are tripping on acid or peyote? Just remember humans can't fly ;)

Taking that as a basis, then you get somewhere quite interesting, and quite different from what we would consider the traditional Western-scientific world-view, which is based on a lot of inherited assumptions and pre-filtering of perception -- not just reason.

Yes you enter the realm of imagination and superstition. Scientific views are not based on assumptions, they are based on cold hard evidence. What you refer to as pre filtering of perception is nothing more than approaching a subject with a clear impartial mind. If there are any assumptions , they are based on previous evidence which has already been qualified as accurate and correct.

I don't see imagination as a bad thing. In fact it is what leads to discovery and innovation, but it can't be determined as something to guide your progress because then it would become assumptions based only on perception which may be wrong due to the way the brain compiles information from the senses.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:44:11 UTC | #945542

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 16 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 14 by VrijVlinder

@Comment 9 by Schrodinger's Cat

There is absolutely nothing irrational about supposing that aliens visited our planet in the past.....

On the RD 0-7 probability scale where would you place aliens having visited our planet in the past? I'm just slightly less than my 7 for gods.....probably 6.99 recurring they've not.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:44:13 UTC | #945543

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 17 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 14 by VrijVlinder

What I do not agree with is the claim that there are verses in the bibles which describe UFO visitation...

Well...highly pertinent to this thread......last week I watched an hour long video given by a MUFON ( Mutual UFO Network ) maverick, also a Christian, detailing how UFOs are demonic beings.....and the Bible says so. These people are jumping right on the alien abduction, etc bandwaggon in an attempt to update bronze age beliefs to have contemporary relevance.

It's a mark of desperation. If they can't get Ray Comfort to damn people to eternal roasting, try the demonic aliens approach, or if that fails......hey, the aliens are our 'space brothers' and Jesus is really a long haired Nordic hippy from the planet Mescalin.

I imagine this is what happens when religions just fall apart. For example I don't think one day people just suddenly stopped believing in Zeus........I suspect every attempt was made by the old guard to try and keep Zeus relevant, but ironically that just diluted the religion so much that in the end nothing coherent was left.

I think the victory of rationality will come more through the complete internal collapse of organised religion itself....than through any momentous battle and victory. Sort of like the fall of the GDR.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:47:28 UTC | #945546

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 18 by VrijVlinder

Amos where have you been hiding?

It is possible that there are advanced worlds out there with capabilities to travel through space. Consider what we know already and we are so un advanced. The aliens would have to have 100 times more advanced technology. It is possible.

It is not possible however that they were mentioned in the bibles. And even if you could fit the meaning to state there were aliens visiting, what does that matter anyway??

If they have not made contact and there is no evidence they crash landed here at any point in time, except for conspiracy theories of area 51, they did not come to visit. But it is fun to fantasize they have they will visit. It would be great if they came and said "we are searching for god" and people said "We thought he was with you!"

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:54:19 UTC | #945548

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 19 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 16 by Ignorant Amos

On the RD 0-7 probability scale where would you place aliens having visited our planet in the past? I'm just slightly less than my 7 for gods.....probably 6.99 recurring they've not.

I've no idea.......my point was it's not the notion itself that is crazy, but the belief in it in the absence of any evidence. All I can say its it's mighty suspicious no archaeologist has ever found a screwdriver made on Zeta Reticuli or a lost Bank Of Alpha Centauri credit card.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:54:50 UTC | #945549

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 20 by Schrodinger's Cat

Is expecting all people to think and behave in a rational/reasonable way only setting ourselves up for disappointment? Should we not lower our expectations of people so that we are not bothered so much by their lack of making sense? To me, it seems the reasonable and rational thing to do.

I think you are confusing two seperate things. Lots of people, atheists included, do things that don't make sense and are maybe even irrational. That is part of being human......and nobody wants us to all end up as Vulcans. The real issue is that of people making decisons, lifestyle choices, and effects on the lives of others, based on wilfully believing things that rationality and science say are not true.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:01:56 UTC | #945551

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 21 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 19 by Schrodinger's Cat

I've no idea.......my point was it's not the notion itself that is crazy, but the belief in it in the absence of any evidence. All I can say its it's mighty suspicious no archaeologist has ever found a screwdriver made on Zeta Reticuli or a lost Bank Of Alpha Centauri credit card.

Agreed...it is an extremely remote possibility. Just like belief in gods, there are those that believe there is strong evidence of close encounters of the third kind here on Earth in the past.

Ancient astronauts

And these visits may well be the precursor to the origins of religions.

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.Genesis 6:1–4

But the problems with the hypotheses are, should I say it, astronomical.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:07:48 UTC | #945553

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 22 by Alan4discussion

Comment 16 by Ignorant Amos

On the RD 0-7 probability scale where would you place aliens having visited our planet in the past? I'm just slightly less than my 7 for gods.....probably 6.99 recurring they've not.

What!? ! ?! Have you not seen the video evidence of the visit in biblical times?

Unexpected is the intervention of an abduction by grotesque aliens and a brief battle in outer space,

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:08:36 UTC | #945554

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 23 by VrijVlinder

. These people are jumping right on the alien abduction, etc bandwaggon in an attempt to update bronze age beliefs to have contemporary relevance.

Exactly!! like with rock music. It was the devil's music and now it is the most powerful indoctrinating tool they have. They should also update the image of jesus. Give him a shave and some better clothes and shoes. And a bath. People rarely bathed in those days ugh!

I do hope it is a sign of them falling apart and grasping at straws. I am so fed up with the nonsense the sole thought of it gives me high blood pressure. I stay away from these people but it still affects my health. They can't say other people's belief don't affect one. They do and adversely .

I am a fan of greek mythology it has the best stories and characters. And the gods were humanoids. Made no effort to hide their arrogance.

The aztecs etc. had multiple gods. For the sun, moon, rain, harvest, fertility. Who had time in the day to pray to all of them. How would the people turned out to be if they had not been christianized?

There are a couple ancient indigenous tribes left who live like they have for thousands of years. They are not christians. But are close to being thanks to the missionaries. Modern day subjugators hiding in benefactor clothing.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:09:18 UTC | #945555

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 24 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 18 by VrijVlinder

Amos where have you been hiding?

Been away on holiday for 3 weeks.

But it is fun to fantasize they have they will visit. It would be great if they came and said "we are searching for god" and people said "We thought he was with you!"

It certainly is. There are folk that do a lot more than fantasize. In fact, on the face of it, their 'evidence' is exponentially more convincing than the holy rollers, at least at first glance.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:13:58 UTC | #945557

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 25 by VrijVlinder

Amos, Your absence was noticed.

In fact, on the face of it, their 'evidence' is exponentially more convincing than the holy rollers, at least at first glance.

Yes and for some reason science fiction is easier to buy into than religious fiction. Maybe because we are technology driven. Much of science fiction ( Asimov) has become reality. Jules Verne another example of scientific imagination pushing reality.

The religious fiction is reverse advancement. It makes people think in ancient terms. It keeps people stuck in bronze age times mentally speaking.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:21:39 UTC | #945560

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 26 by VrijVlinder

@Comment 21 by Ignorant Amos: The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. — Genesis 6:1–4

If we did not have some great science fiction writers and had no technology to travel to space and back, would we still find the same meaning to that verse?

Where does it mean that aliens visited from space? I read it as "there are not enough people so it's ok to have incestuous relationships with your daughters and their daughters. "

Nephilim:"Nephilim" (נְפִילִים) probably derives from the Hebrew root npl (נָפַל), "to fall" which also includes "to cause to fall" and "to kill, to ruin".

Some say it means fallen angels. But as with all the bibles writings the translation steals the meaning away . Nofel means fallen. But fallen from where? The sky? Why does it not say fallen from the sky?

I have a problem with reading more than there is into something so ancient that people could not imagine the technology we were to achieve a few thousand years later. But it reminds me of the show Fringe. Based on what we know about space and time, quantum, multiple universes existing in other dimensions , maybe these were not really aliens from another solar system, but maybe people who were able to travel from one dimension to another. That may be more plausible than coming all the way from Alpha Centauri.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 20:38:04 UTC | #945566

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 27 by Alan4discussion

Comment 26 by VrijVlinder

I have a problem with reading more than there is into something so ancient that people could not imagine the technology we were to achieve a few thousand years later. But it reminds me of the show Fringe. Based on what we know about space and time, quantum, multiple universes existing in other dimensions , maybe these were not really aliens from another solar system, but maybe people who were able to travel from one dimension to another. That may be more plausible than coming all the way from Alpha Centauri

.. Or maybe a couple of kingdoms up the road or across the sea! (Rather like the view of some Inca and Aztec tribes' views of "White Spanish gods" riding mythical steeds!) Bronze-age people's exaggerated views of "great" kings, "great" kingdoms and "great" distances, tend to look more parochial in the light of archaeology!

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 21:02:06 UTC | #945571

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 28 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 26 by VrijVlinder

You know as well as I about the ambiguity in the the bible.

Everything in the silly book is addressed by the lunatics with the benefit of hindsight and millennia of scientific advancements.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 21:22:23 UTC | #945575

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 29 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 27 by Alan4discussion

.. Or maybe a couple of kingdoms up the road or across the sea! (Rather like the view of some Inca and Aztec tribes' views of "White Spanish gods" riding mythical steeds!) Bronze-age people's exaggerated views of "great" kings, "great" kingdoms and "great" distances, tend to look more parochial in the light of archaeology!

Or more recently....the god John Frumm and the cargo cult religions.

Or the divinity of Prince Philip and the Duke of Edinburgh Movement.....

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 21:27:27 UTC | #945577

Roedy's Avatar Comment 30 by Roedy

On the RD 0-7 probability scale where would you place aliens having visited our planet in the past? I'm >just slightly less than my 7 for gods.....probably 6.99 recurring they've not.

To put this in perspective, let's say you were to take some summaries of quantum mechanics, genetics, cosmology, computer science, Einstein and present them via time travel magic to some highly learned folks living around 1880, what do you you think they would give as odds they were correct? I think they would dismiss you as nuts. This was 20 years after Darwin's Origin of Species.

All it would take would be one radio signal to completely change attitudes towards von Daniken and friends. Their imaginings would suddenly become serious hypotheses.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 22:11:03 UTC | #945587