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Prieten's Profile

Prieten's Avatar Joined about 7 years ago
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Go to: Bill O'Reilly vs. David Silverman: You Know They're All Scams

Prieten's Avatar Jump to comment 109 by Prieten

For me the clearest evidence there is no god is the great number of colliding galaxies in the universe. What possible purpose can there be for making galaxies and then making them disappear and doing so in far off places where god's chosen couldn't even see it if they weren't lucky enough to have a telescope? What is the purpose for an omnipotent, all-knowing and all-seeing god to waste all this effort?

My Catholic friend's rejoinder: "Well, do you know any better how to make a universe? Maybe smashing galaxies is an important part of making the universe inhabitable for humans."

My answer: "Yes, if I were omnipotent, I could make an inhabitable universe much more easily."

Fri, 07 Jan 2011 01:36:47 UTC | #574345

Go to: Bill O'Reilly vs. David Silverman: You Know They're All Scams

Prieten's Avatar Jump to comment 90 by Prieten

I remember I once told a Catholic friend that religion was a fraud, that religious officials promise people pie in the sky if they give lots of money. As far as I know a fraud and a scam are the same thing. My friend's response (he is a lawyer) was that fleecing people of their money was only a fraud if the perpetrator KNEW that the benefit he was promising for the money was non-existent. I complained that every fraudster tries to claim he sincerely believed he could deliver the benefit he promised. My Catholic lawyer friend answered that usually factual evidence could be introduced that the fraudster knew he was committing a fraud. However, religious officials SINCERELY BELIEVE in an afterlife so it was okay for them to demand money to get there, and in any event, there can never be any factual evidence introduced that there is no afterlife. Maybe religion is the perfect fraud/scam!

Thu, 06 Jan 2011 07:01:01 UTC | #573948

Go to: Trouble in Amish Paradise - TV documentary

Prieten's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Prieten

Shunning means exactly that: you are cut off from everyone you have known up to that point, your parents, siblings, neighbors, etc. No one is supposed to talk to you again, ever. I don't think there is much to praise in this religious cult.

Tue, 30 Nov 2010 04:12:55 UTC | #555795

Go to: Firing the Koran: Two points of view

Prieten's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by Prieten

I read both comments and it seemed to me PZ Meyers defended the right of the pastor to burn his Qurans and Jerry Coyne just isn't sure. All the comments on Jerry Coyne's blog appear to be defending the Quran burning as legitimate free speech. Clearly, burning a Quran is not the same as "screaming fire in a theater." As one comment pointed out, this was all settled in the Skokie vs. Nazi Party of America case. Those who might be offended by Nazis marching in Skokie should avert their gaze, hold their ears closed or scream back at the marching Nazis. Deciding to engage in violence to stop the march IS a crime. The hysterical reaction by our politicians and military leaders against the Quran burning only proves things have gotten to the point where Islamic extremism even trumps the US Supreme Court. A sad day for America.

Fri, 10 Sep 2010 05:24:12 UTC | #515192

Go to: Comer loses appeal

Prieten's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Prieten

I'm an American who has lived in Japan for the last seven years and for six years in Europe before that. While living in America, I was a Ronald Reagan-loving, government-hating, free enterprise-loving, national health care-hating Republican (but I was an atheist!). I think there is something to the adage that you have to go abroad to see your own country as it really is.

America IS destroying this planet. Most of Western Europe and certainly Japan have a much better way of life. The schools are better, the health care is better/cheaper, there is less crime and violence. The biggest reason for this difference seems to be the religious fanaticism in America vs. Europe/Japan. American individualism and our worship of material wealth are deeply rooted in the Protestant ethic which so dominates American society.

I wish one could say the stupidity was just limited to Texas and Texan courts. It isn't. The most recent legal disaster has to be the Supreme Court striking down the Chicago gun control law. There's just one bodyblow after another coming out of the USA.

Thu, 08 Jul 2010 10:05:53 UTC | #487252

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