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Donna M's Profile

Donna M's Avatar Joined about 3 years ago
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Go to: Evolutionary value of synaesthesia

Donna M's Avatar Jump to comment 71 by Donna M

Hi Soggymoggy,

I can't even begin to answer your question, but I'm a fellow "experiencer". In my case, I connect colours (automatically, with no deliberation) to people's names, days of the week and months of the year. Richard is dark blue, Dawkins is red, Donna is red and Soggymoggy is a kind of slushy brown!

Like you, I always assumed everyone did it, until I watched a Horizon programme about it and realised that I was comparatively rare....it's 1 in 2000 apparently.

I must say, yours sounds rather more interesting than mine - coloured music sounds wonderful. I do also experience another oddity, which I suspect may be somehow connected. Sometimes I feel as if the inside of my mouth and tongue have turned cube shaped. Yes, I know that sounds barking, and I have never heard of this happening to anyone else.

I can't imagine what evolutionary advantage it might confer, and my son has sadly not inherited it. I asked him what colour he thought Friday was a few years ago and he looked at me as if I'd suddenly started speaking Swahili.

Anyway, just thought I'd share :)

Wed, 20 Jul 2011 13:05:59 UTC | #851707

Go to: BBC Richard Dimbleby Lecture 1996 - Richard Dawkins

Donna M's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Donna M

But listening to the start of the lecture made me sad. The majority of us could not give a lecture to Aristotle, does not know of the relationship between Aristotle and a squid, could not give the number, even roughly, of the elements. If a typical person could lecture Aristotle then the world would without doubt be a far better place, and faith would have a much looser hold on us.

That's ridiculous. Few people could give him a full on scientific lecture, but most people could explain about the Earth orbiting the sun, that everything is made of atoms and that life evolved. Even if that's all someone could say, it would still be a darn sight more than he knew and would be fascinating to him. The point isn't that we're all scientific geniuses but that the knowledge we take for granted was simply not available to anyone living 2000+ years ago, no matter how clever they were.

Mon, 30 May 2011 11:29:49 UTC | #632330

Go to: Atheist Universe by David Mills

Donna M's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Donna M

Yes, I think it's an excellent book. It won't be of much interest to people who have read Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens/Dennett because there's nothing new there....but it's a superb starting point for anyone wanting to know the basics. David Mills, btw, is the chap referenced in TGD who tried to peacefully protest against a visiting faith healer but was threatened with violence & imprisonment by fundie police officers.

And no, I don't think the title is absurd. It's not claiming that the universe is atheist, but rather how the universe looks from an atheist point of view.....rather differently from the theistic one.

Mon, 30 May 2011 11:16:22 UTC | #632325

Go to: My flatmate's book

Donna M's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by Donna M

Hello Juliette,

Probably someone else has pointed this out, or will, but you know what...you are actually an atheist.

Yup.

You don't have a belief in a god. You may be unsure, or unsatisfied or whatever, but you do not actually possess a belief in a god...if you did, you'd be a theist.

Since you are not a theist, you are, by definition, an a-theist.

You're also an agnostic which, strictly speaking, everyone else on here (including RD) is too since none of us claim knowledge, we just lack belief.

It's weird how often I hear people say something like "Well, I don't really believe in God as such but I can't call myself an atheist because I can't be sure, and atheists seem so sure".

Just to be clear, I'm not attempting to claim that I know what you think...it's a matter of defintion, and the widespread misunderstanding of the term "atheist".

Anyway...hello :-)

Sun, 08 May 2011 18:30:42 UTC | #624640

Go to: [Update-YouTube] The Big Questions - Series 4 - Is the Bible Still Relevant?

Donna M's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Donna M

Comment 26 by the great teapot :

Daz365 Err what history?

There's no historical data demonstrating that Jesus existed. Not a single shred. Most Christians like to shriek about Tacitus, Josephus, Pliny the Younger etc.....but all any of them do is show us that early Christians existed, not that Jesus did (and of course, the Josephus passage is almost certainly a forgery).

But, most scholars do believe that Jesus the man existed, but this seems to be based on inference and knowledge of the times rather than evidence.

An example (one of many) that Bart Ehrman gives is this:

We know that Luke invented a census, that is without question. But why did he bother? If he was lying from start to finish, and it was all an invention, why include such an easily checkable false detail? The most likely explanation seems to be that Luke believed he was relating the story of a real person who he believed was The Messiah...and Luke knew (from Micah) that The Messiah was born in Bethlehem. But Luke is confused, because he knows his guy was born and lived in Nazareth, so he tries to come up with a reasonable explanation of how how his Jesus came to be born in Bethlehem after all....and thus the idea of the census was born.

I can't say I personally find such examples all that convincing (and this may not be the best one) but these are the kind of things that scholars talk about when discussing the historicity of Jesus.

But Bart Ehrman, much as I admire him, is not infallible. There's a clip I listened to on YouTube of him talking to an atheist interviewer and getting rather cross when the guy questioned whether Jesus existed. Prof. Ehrman retorted by claiming that, on that basis, there's no evidence that Julius Caesar existed either!

This stunned me...so I found Ehrman's website and emailed him, pointing out that since there's a wealth of evidence for Julius Caesar and none at all for Jesus then the comparison is ridiculous.

He replied (yay!) by agreeing, but saying that there's "other types" of evidence for Jesus - presumably referring to the type of example I've mentioned above.

Sun, 08 May 2011 17:55:13 UTC | #624618

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