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Comments by ZenDruid

Go to: Talking to people works!

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by ZenDruid

Quine, I'll see your Joe Pesci, and raise you Bettie Page.

I'm not ashamed to admit that the callow pubescent lad I once was, ahem, worshiped Ms Page. I mention this because it seems not only germane, but also more wholesome and normal than worshiping a zombie Jewish carpenter.

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 08:23:26 UTC | #950991

Go to: Talking to people works!

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by ZenDruid

@The Next Billy Graham:

First, it is axiomatic among us faith-killers that religionists have no respect whatsoever for their own language.

Second, that good feeling you got was possibly a dopamine surge, similar to what happens when a guy ejaculates.

Third, "Billy Graham"!? You want to become obscenely rich by selling the rubes a false bill of goods? How much more of that nonsense can the market bear?

Yours truly,

The Next Robert G Ingersoll ;)

Sat, 18 Aug 2012 05:12:37 UTC | #950988

Go to: Simply ... should I read the bible?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by ZenDruid

I lack the discipline to approach the thing on anything more than a piecemeal basis. Congratulations to those who could slog through it.

Fri, 17 Aug 2012 16:59:59 UTC | #950962

Go to: A lawsuit too far?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by ZenDruid

I think there is good cause if all of the music in the program is religious in nature.

Thu, 16 Aug 2012 16:59:22 UTC | #950898

Go to: Manila floods an expression of God's wrath?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by ZenDruid

Memo to g0d:

Population control, you're doing it wrong. Not only wrong, but inefficient and wasteful as well.

Mon, 13 Aug 2012 18:58:02 UTC | #950753

Go to: Translating the British

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by ZenDruid

I tallied the medals for all the states of the former Soviet Union. 120. Not bad.

Sat, 11 Aug 2012 18:43:26 UTC | #950687

Go to: Rise of religion in Russia

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by ZenDruid

Good point, Modesti.

Religion gives the illusion to its participants that they are automatically shielded from the consequences of crime and politics (redundant), but they don't understand that they are played for suckers every day, and when in thrall to a competent priest they are easily transformed into a rabid mob.

Mon, 30 Jul 2012 19:34:35 UTC | #950318

Go to: Against All Gods

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 86 by ZenDruid

Comment 84 by QuestioningKat :

Fred, Bob, Kevin...such blatant misogyny. You have all fallen victim to lies perpetuated by men who want to maintain power and control. Everyone knows...It was Sophia! Who else could give BIRTH to this universe? It also says so in the Bible, at least the original version before a bunch of men in dresses removed it.

I like it how Apocryphon of John and Hypostasis of the Archons totally debunk Genesis. (A glossary here is helpful)

Sophia had to create the carpet so that she could sweep her mistake under it, the mistake being the aborted half-thing that said "You shall have no other gods before me."

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 22:56:21 UTC | #950296

Go to: Against All Gods

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 72 by ZenDruid

Comment 71 by maria melo :

My previous comment was meant to entangle more the discussion between Maariya, blitz442

and other commenters:

as it is still learning things already known by religion.

What is science still learning that religion already knew? Do tell.

There is dry land and bodies of water; the sun is 'up' during daytime; there are little lights in the sky when the sun is not 'up'....

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 23:27:50 UTC | #950257

Go to: Against All Gods

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by ZenDruid

The name Michael Behe and the phrase "breathtaking inanity" are indissolubly linked, ever since Kitzmiller v. Dover.

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 16:58:09 UTC | #950165

Go to: Against All Gods

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by ZenDruid

God was last seen hiding in the quanta.

Thus, Quantum Theology! Do Craig and Plantinga know about this?

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 22:21:10 UTC | #950130

Go to: Against All Gods

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by ZenDruid

I feel sorry for the gods. First, they were evicted from the mountaintops, then from the clouds, then the Moon, then the outer planets. There's no haven for the Ineffable Sacred when science is on the move.

Religion is a closed system, eh? What does the Second Law say about closed systems, eh?

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 21:49:41 UTC | #950128

Go to: e-petitions - UK death penalty to return?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by ZenDruid

What do you good people think about amputating a mass murderer's right hand?

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 16:42:15 UTC | #950111

Go to: Scapegoat for Catholic evils?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by ZenDruid

It's the institutional code of silence among the hierarchy that chaps my hide.

Maybe they should accept the inevitable, cut their losses, and offer up a scapegoat from every diocese and parish. Only then would I be inclined to believe any positive motion on their part in regard to child abuse.

Wed, 25 Jul 2012 15:45:53 UTC | #950061

Go to: Religious Olympics

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 33 by ZenDruid

There's gotta be some sort of championship challenge with the 72 virgins.

Tue, 24 Jul 2012 05:48:34 UTC | #949969

Go to: Do we need objective morals?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by ZenDruid

My gut reaction is that "objective morality" is an artifact by which hypocrites give themselves license to judge other people.

Morality is intrinsically subjective and situational. That's how we're wired to interact as a social species.

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 20:57:18 UTC | #949922

Go to: Effect of the concept of hell on children

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by ZenDruid

I'll expose my prejudice right away: Catholic mothers.

I remember occasions as a weekend house guest to various friends as a youth. What stands out in my memory are those friends' families who are Catholic. When Sunday morning rolled around, their mother would demand my participation in church. Not invite, but demand. My friends would quietly and earnestly ask me to play along, with no regard to my own preferences, just to make Mother happy and keep the peace.

What is it with these women? My conjecture is that their priests have managed to blackmail them into a very non-nurturing, indeed non-motherly, role. My guess, puff of logic, is that your mother has habitually threatened to disown you if you fail to play the game.

The Vatican Sexually Deviant Narcissistic Boys' Club have over the centuries become experts at enslaving children by forcing fear, guilt and shame onto them, and to further this end they have found ways of poisoning the most elemental and essential family relationship: the mother's care for the child.

So then, Catholic mothers, What Is The Deal? How did that sexually deviant narcissist manage to twist your sensibilities to that extent?

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 18:46:15 UTC | #949910

Go to: Anti-Dawkins legislation

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by ZenDruid

Comment 11 by InYourFaceNewYorker :

It wouldn't have surprised me if something like this really did happen.

2/3/1931, the Arkansas legislature passed a motion to pray for the soul of H. L. Mencken. One of Mencken's Laws was "Nature abhors a moron," and one of his favorite pastimes was to attack the South; upon finding itself elevated to "the apex of moronia," Arkansas had apparently had enough....

Sat, 21 Jul 2012 03:32:11 UTC | #949715

Go to: The raw deal of determinism and reductionism

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 154 by ZenDruid

I've thrown my brain at Heidegger's Dasein question for a while, and it occurs to me that he was going about it wrong all along, that is from a top-down perspective.

For the awareness and consciousness concepts I offer a simple 'input-output executive' model. We share that functionality with houseflies for example, while understanding that the number and scale of our inputs (senses) obviously exceed the capabilities of Musca. Likewise the outputs, to include those fascinating precision tools on the ends of our forelimbs. When we consider that it takes an average of a year for the human to learn to coordinate the 'I-O exec' at even a basic level, it is certainly not trivial.

So who looks out from behind those eyes? What is the 'I'?

A main feature of the I-O exec is its ability to respond to the moment, adjusting output to maintain balance as the body moves, and on the cognitive level, recognizing that outputs engender yet more inputs in continuing sequences. It requires a modest level of continued conscious attention to keep the body on track, yet as Coordination becomes second nature, the attention can encompass the intricacies of Communication, another I-O function, and Context, where the concepts of worldview and identity have their root.

At any rate, the I-O exec holds a central role. Dress it up with a homemade ego, and that's a fair enough working model for the concept of self.

Thu, 19 Jul 2012 18:07:30 UTC | #949595

Go to: Refuting supernatural

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 142 by ZenDruid

First, Schro, define 'definition' please.

Wed, 18 Jul 2012 18:05:16 UTC | #949509

Go to: Why do we find mountains beautiful?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by ZenDruid

I lived in an alpine valley when I 'fledged', being 5-7 years old, and my instinct was to wander uphill to obtain a grander perspective of my environment. The alpine skyline also provided a comforting visual border to my world, a sense of being embraced by the planet instead of simply being 'on' it, as I perceive the flatlanders' experience to be.

I believe that the sense of humor developed chiefly as an antidote to the instinctive fear reflex, as it plays out in everyday experience.

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 18:07:52 UTC | #948859

Go to: Leafy Sea Dragon Fish

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by ZenDruid

So that's where Dr Seuss got his artistic inspiration! Amazing, incredible and beautiful... the red and white stripes on the body, which I think damage the camouflage effect, are warning signals to would-be predators, iirc.

Tue, 10 Jul 2012 17:43:06 UTC | #948857

Go to: Prayer at a working lunch?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by ZenDruid

Comment 37 by xmaseveeve

at brunch: 'Gladly the croissant I'd bear'

Mon, 09 Jul 2012 15:25:02 UTC | #948805

Go to: Prayer at a working lunch?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by ZenDruid

My habit when eating out is to discreetly thank the servers with a decent gratuity instead of loudly thanking someone or something which had absolutely nothing to do with my meal.

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 05:14:15 UTC | #948671

Go to: How to overcome indoctrination

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by ZenDruid

Comment 2 by irate_atheist :

Have a beer and say bollocks to the lot of 'em. Does wonders for you.

I endorse that. I give credit to beer for all the epiphanies I have had.

Thu, 05 Jul 2012 16:26:41 UTC | #948621

Go to: Anyone Heard Of Sparlock, The New Ex-Jehovah's Witness Meme?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by ZenDruid

Hi Eve, thank you!

I haven't heard of Sarah Maitland, but I like the eccentric bit. I myself am vocationally eccentric, so I'll claim affinity anyway.

From the Eternal Child's Book of Deepities:

  1. If you judge a grownup to be an idiot, you may trust your judgment.

  2. Understanding the above, if you grow up to be an idiot, there's no fucking excuse. Expect the Spanish Inquisition.

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 09:40:41 UTC | #948450

Go to: Anyone Heard Of Sparlock, The New Ex-Jehovah's Witness Meme?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by ZenDruid

The Eternal Child in its pristine incarnation is not a sexual being, but sensual.

Consider the notion of playing naked under the sun. I daresay, even with the most bitter old puritan, the idea elicits a glimmer of joy, at least until guilt, shame and fear shut it down. I recently betook myself to a clothing-optional resort to investigate whether the real life experience resonates similarly. It does. I also discovered that the child can speak coherent Duck without too much effort.

There's an inherent gold mine of anecdotal mythology here, and since we, the purveyors of cool new religions, are better storytellers than the twisted bastards of old, a wide range of stories are just waiting to be accepted into the canon.

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 07:57:30 UTC | #948446

Go to: Anyone Heard Of Sparlock, The New Ex-Jehovah's Witness Meme?

ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by ZenDruid


Religions began as entertainment, imo. Storytellers were important figures in their villages, and could reasonably be expected to have answers to many questions. When they encountered the essential meta-questions on origin, purpose and destiny, the storytelling just got weird. No surprise there.

I'm happy to expound the eternal child meme. It is all-inclusive in an important humanist sense, a stipulated transcendent essence of consciousness which can be applied to every newborn.

The Eternal Child as deity has enough moxie, motivation, and self-respect to write Eir* imperishable Word directly into the native human brain, obviating the need for any ancient snuff porn, or the babbling weirdo storytellers who push it.

The rational analogue to this premise would be a set of universal instinctive behaviors which have evolved along with the species, and are at least latent at birth.

  • We really need a formal androgynous or gender-neutral third person singular pronoun. I advocate using they, them, their without the initial th-, and with singular verb conjugation. Thus, "Ey has em on eir schedule" is how this gender-neutral usage would look.
  • Mon, 02 Jul 2012 06:44:23 UTC | #948439

    Go to: Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

    ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 235 by ZenDruid

    Zeuglodon, I confess that I didn't read your entire post [234], but I think your summary points are quite good.

    It's obvious that those people who propound some objective moral standard are more interested in playing the part of a divine judge than in personally behaving in a positive moral/ethical fashion.

    Mon, 18 Jun 2012 18:50:37 UTC | #947808

    Go to: Why smart people are stupid

    ZenDruid's Avatar Jump to comment 70 by ZenDruid

    You're doing Occam's Razor wrong.


    Sat, 16 Jun 2012 02:26:18 UTC | #947655