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Go to: Benefits for young atheists?

brighterstill's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by brighterstill

I admit first that I am idealizing you a bit, in that I can't help but see you as a lone warrior for reason and sanity in a cruel grinding system of self-righteous corruption. I would like to believe that if I were in your place, I would put their religious criterion to shame by volunteering with a secular charity - and declare so proudly on the applications - considering a dollar donated to Doctors Without Borders does more good than a decade spent in Mass. Realistically, you are a human being with goals and aspirations which are limited by the society you've been born into. It may turn out that you can do more good for the world by telling them what they want to hear, if that is the only way to open the doors to success where you live. If you can dismiss such small hypocrisy (or lesser evil, as they say) then you might get easily to where you're going. If that's the sort of thing that keeps you up at night, however, then you're a better person than most. I would love to tell you that this is the sort of world where the kind of noble honesty is rewarded, but in my experience it isn't and you may find that you've shot yourself in the foot. I wish I knew enough about exactly your circumstances to predict which choice would result in the optimum outcome, but I was extremely lucky to grow up where religion was a hobby rather than a matter of public record. So in the end, while I would love you forever if you chose to stand up to their nonsense and declare your dismissal of all supernatural mumbo-jumbo, and while it would substantially restore my faith in America if you were rewarded for that declaration, I have a feeling that right now it would hurt you more than help you and I would rather see you regret the little lie, knowing it was a step to get you to bigger and better things, than regret telling the truth if it meant holding you back from your dreams.

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 03:15:35 UTC | #949964

Go to: The Dawkins Challenge

brighterstill's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by brighterstill

Here in Canada we unfortunately have Catholic schools which take from the public purse for funding alongside secular public schools. Recently there was a minor piece of legislation which got passed in the House of Commons preventing these schools from banning extracurricular student clubs from naming themselves "Gay-Straight Alliances" - support groups for kids being bullied for their sexual orientation. The Catholic school board's objections to the legislation (they wanted to continue to ban GSAs) brought a lot of attention to the fact that public money funds Catholic schools - with many people suggesting they should not be funded at all - and "freedom of conscience" was vomited up more than once.

I remarked to a Catholic apologist that I was personally disgusted that my tax dollars - earned through hard science - were going to teach impressionable children that transubstantiation was real and not fiction. A long drawn out discussion ensued during which he made some pretty impressive mental backflips in order to convince himself that belief in deities was rational. He finally stated that he took "the wonder of the universe as evidence for a divine creator." I suggested he had a different definition of "evidence" than I and he agreed.

I now realize that faith is just code for giving yourself licence to redefine words to your heart's content.

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 19:44:07 UTC | #947614

Go to: The Dawkins Challenge

brighterstill's Avatar Jump to comment 75 by brighterstill

Article summed up:

"Dawkins' and Krauss' axioms are invalid. As evidence I will ask you to assume the following: Dawkins' and Krauss' axioms are invalid."

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 19:27:44 UTC | #947612

Go to: From the Edge of Faith to the Embrace of Reason

brighterstill's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by brighterstill

Tremendous courage!

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 19:34:14 UTC | #945939

Go to: Unsung Heroes, Obscure Scientists

brighterstill's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by brighterstill

William Smith, who first noticed continuity of geologic strata and produced the first geological map of Britain and paved the way for stratigraphy and paleontology.

Wed, 06 Jun 2012 17:38:38 UTC | #945922

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