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rivetheretic's Avatar Joined about 6 years ago
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Go to: Real debates about faith are drowned by the New Atheists' foghorn voices

rivetheretic's Avatar Jump to comment 116 by rivetheretic

Anyone noting that these kind of beliefs grade deeply or shallowly into many believers minds, according to the new GOKA is to be dismissed as "egotistical and arrogant." It is very good indeed that the GOKA has been unearthed from a massive ancient bronze age latrine ditch. Truly eyes may now be opened by this wonderful tome.


When she was on Bill Moyers (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/03132009/watch.html) a short time back, she said that it was up to believers to reinterpret the troublesome passages.

I really recommend reading her stuff and catching her appearances when you can. She has well informed and insightful and honest opinions. I've found her key to understanding what religion is. But, man do I disagree with her a lot.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 12:04:00 UTC | #344780

Go to: Real debates about faith are drowned by the New Atheists' foghorn voices

rivetheretic's Avatar Jump to comment 115 by rivetheretic

By junking the Christian myths, the danger is that the replacements are "cruder, less tested, less instructive". At times of crisis - such as the economic recession - the brittleness of a value system built on wealth and a particular conception of autonomy becomes all too apparent, leaving people without the sustaining reserves of a faith to fall back on.


First off, back in the early days of Christianity, this was one of the main criticisms of Christianity. It borrowed heavily from earlier myths and many thought and think (including me) that it was and is a more degenerate formulation of these myths. I don't see them as having a leg to stand on with this.

Next, I don't see why Karen Armstrong keeps complaining about Dawkins and the New Atheists. First, Dawkins just about comes out and says that he isn't talking about her and those like her at the beginning of "The God Delusion". He says that he is talking about literalists and just criticizes the metaphorically religious as muddying the water by using the same terms. Armstrong could contribute a lot to the debate by saying why she thinks this isn't valid, but for some reason she chooses to call Dawkins arrogant instead.

Also, Sam Harris goes to great lengths to not throw the baby out with the bath water. He spends a big part of "The End of Faith" talking about what I would have though that Armstrong would call spirituality.

And finally, Armstrong spends a good deal of time criticizing literalists as well. Much of "A History of God" doesn't sound all that different from "The God Delusion" to me. The main difference is that Armstrong thinks the best antidote to literalist religion is metaphorical religion. Dawkins thinks the best antidote is rationality.

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 11:52:00 UTC | #344776

Go to: Atheists should be allowed to argue their case

rivetheretic's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by rivetheretic

Maybe the new atheists are arrogant, but so far, no one has been burned at the stake for apostasy from reason.


Has anybody else struggled with how to come to terms with the French Revolution? The Terror seems to have, at least partially, been carried out in the name of Enlightenment ideas and rationality.

Thu, 02 Apr 2009 16:36:00 UTC | #343120

Go to: Audiobook Review: On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, read by Richard Dawkins

rivetheretic's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by rivetheretic

Too bad it's abridged.

Mon, 09 Feb 2009 17:49:00 UTC | #322125

Go to: The Mind-Altering Role of Incense in Religion

rivetheretic's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by rivetheretic

Altered head spaces are a big part of what is going on with religion. Some of them use drugs to achieve this (think shamanic spirit walks). There are other methods: meditation, praying the rosary, reciting the 99 names of God, chanting the koans, physical movements as with tai chi, etc.

One of the things that I think Sam Harris is trying to get across is that he thinks that these head spaces are important, but you don't need to believe nonsense to get there.

It isn't surprising to me that incense could be psychoactive.

Tue, 27 May 2008 06:54:00 UTC | #175797

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