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Comments by infinitum17

Go to: Conservatives Say 'Don't Ask' Repeal Would Hurt Military Chaplains

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by infinitum17

I know a military policy that is "at odds with the major tenets of the major religions represented in the armed services": KILLING PEOPLE.

They really do not understand that there are already gays in the military. What they SHOULD do is enact a RELIGIOUS DADT: Don't ask anybody what their religion is, don't tell anybody what yours is, keep your shit to yourself, and if you don't, you get kicked out. OK, maybe I don't mean that, but you get the picture.

Thu, 29 Apr 2010 13:19:00 UTC | #463922

Go to: Sometimes, it really is hard to tell faith from a mental illness

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 86 by infinitum17

Only in rural Texas it is like this.

And that machine translation of that phrase into Latin above was totally inaccurate.

Thu, 29 Apr 2010 03:13:00 UTC | #463827

Go to: Vatican told bishops to cover up sex abuse

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by infinitum17

They need a Latinist! Can't even spell crimen sollicitationis right (or translate it).

And yeah, this is old news.

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 02:57:00 UTC | #461206

Go to: Authors@Google: Sam Harris

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by infinitum17

Sam is wrong about there not being worldviews based upon something other than the well-being of sentient beings.

I have encountered many religious people who believe that morality is based solely upon the will of God, and that if it is God's will that we suffer, then that is what is moral.

Of course, these people also incorporate notions of flourishing into their moral understanding, and clearly they run two different moral systems in their head at the same time.

As a scientist, I'm surprised that he's not emphasizing the evolutionary aspect to all this. Everything about every living thing is the result of evolution by natural selection, and our moral instincts are no different. I actually think he recognizes this, but is willing to put that to the side and instead dissimulate that there is an objective moral truth, because he knows people won't listen to him if he comes out as a moral skeptic. He hints at it when he says that there can be different right answers to moral questions, though.

Mon, 29 Mar 2010 01:25:00 UTC | #453547

Go to: His fortune polishes atheists' reputation

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by infinitum17

It's so uplifting to know that there is a dynamic, (wealthy!), young man with ideas and purpose about where to take this movement with us.

I doubt you realize yet the magnitude of the support you have from the community, Todd. Please make use of us.

Wish: Hemant (the friendly atheist), P.Z. Myers, and others have been talking about the possibility of having a huge freethinker march on Washington D.C. in 2013, or sometime in the next few years at any rate. I think that would be an excellent way to advance your goal of making atheists a constituency politicians want to court. Please consider helping to organize this! We need more doers and leaders of action in this community!

Thank you so much for what you're doing.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 01:55:00 UTC | #450727

Go to: Caring for Pets Left Behind by the Rapture

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by infinitum17

On the spectrum of unethical things, this is barely unethical. Come on--it's barely any money, and if they believe it, why not let them give us their money?

Just think of it as natural selection in action.

Wed, 17 Feb 2010 01:01:00 UTC | #441868

Go to: Creating God in one's own image

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by infinitum17

"If God created man in his image, we have more than reciprocated." -Voltaire.

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 01:26:00 UTC | #419256

Go to: Website Survey

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by infinitum17

I frequently share/post articles from this site on Facebook, but that wasn't an option.

Thu, 12 Nov 2009 03:11:00 UTC | #412943

Go to: Angola: Final frontier for fossils

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by infinitum17

it's a moderately respectable university. although they recently got tagged to host the George W. Bush presidential library, after a huge internal battle.

They have a REALLY beautiful campus.

Tue, 01 Sep 2009 15:29:00 UTC | #393626

Go to: Extract from Chapter One of The Greatest Show on Earth

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by infinitum17

As a teacher of Roman history and the Latin language, I feel particularly strong resonance from this article.

I do not think Richard's comparison of the creationists to the Holocaust deniers is unwarranted. It's not a perfect parallel, but there are a great number of similarities. And yeah, strong emotions are evoked. To make the comparison that is made, though, is just to imply an opinion (which I agree with partly) that people should be as outraged by the words and actions of the creationists as they are about Holocaust-deniers'.

Mon, 24 Aug 2009 22:28:00 UTC | #391271

Go to: UT (University of Texas) prepares teachers for Bible classes

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by infinitum17

I am a Classics graduate student at UT, planning on teaching Latin in Texas public schools.

I obviously want to abolish this course, but if I can't do that, I will do all I can to teach this course. Two of my fellow grad students, both staunch atheists and future teachers (and one of whom is, of all my acquaintances, the one most knowledgeable about the Bible), feel the same way. We're going to try to get other atheist teachers to teach this course. It's the least we can do to counteract the hordes of fundamentalists that will be spreading their fundamentalism in classrooms in small towns across Texas.

By the way, Dr. White is one of the very small minority of Classics professors who is a theist. In fact, the preponderance of atheist Classics professors is so great that I am actually fearful to post this because I'm afraid that a UT Classics professor will read this and immediately know who I am. Dr. White's really good about teaching the Bible historically, though; he's the perfect guy to teach this training.

I think the real sin about this is that they're MANDATING a course be taught, but not providing any guidance or requiring any qualifications. Can you imagine the same for a course in psychology or philosophy?

Sun, 09 Aug 2009 04:00:00 UTC | #386349

Go to: The Strange Case of Francis Collins

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 149 by infinitum17

what an astoundingly superb essay!

for all the detractors, let me just say this: Even if this essay serves no immediate practical purpose (because Collins' confirmation is unavoidable), it is of utmost utility to have someone pointing these things out to us skeptics and to the scientific community at large, that they may be taken into consideration in the future, when considering future appointments and the like.

Thu, 06 Aug 2009 16:36:00 UTC | #385666

Go to: Science Is in the Details

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by infinitum17

“If the moral law is just a side effect of evolution, then there is no such thing as good or evil. It’s all an illusion. We’ve been hoodwinked. Are any of us, especially the strong atheists, really prepared to live our lives within that worldview?”

LULZ. Does Collins really not understand that there are millions of people, totally regular, happy people (like me, my wife, my dad, my brother, etc.) who live rather excellent lives within that worldview? It's amazing. Seriously, Collins, it's not bad at all. It's rather eye-opening, and liberating. He should really give it a try.

Mon, 27 Jul 2009 16:04:00 UTC | #382515

Go to: Daniel Radcliffe: a cool nerd

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by infinitum17

Getting the word out that prominent people that lots of religious people respect at atheist is one of the best ways of winning them over, i.e. having them hate us less and realize that we're decent people. If people realized that so many celebrities they admire are atheist, many would re-think their views about atheism.

I for one am ecstatic to hear that he's an atheist.

Mon, 06 Jul 2009 17:59:00 UTC | #376585

Go to: Atheism And Its Critics

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by infinitum17

man, listening to that first guy was like taking poison, but then listening to Richard was the antidote.

Sun, 31 May 2009 08:51:00 UTC | #366231

Go to: Animals can tell right from wrong

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 51 by infinitum17

I hate it when people talk about morals--even in scientific works--as though there were absolute morals, independent of animals. "Animals can tell right from wrong" my ass. Social structure determines morals. Living in societies is often evolutionarily advantageous, and in those situations, morals develop to allow animals to live together successfully. That's all there is to it. Morals are the innate constraints on behavior in all of us that were selected long ago to help us get along with each other. Different social structures demand different morals, but of course there are universals, and misfirings, too.

Thu, 28 May 2009 09:06:00 UTC | #365425

Go to: Discussion between Richard Dawkins and Paul Davies

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by infinitum17

We do have another weak piece of evidence that pertains to the question of the commonality of life: Life seems to have arisen very early in Earth's history, almost as soon as the conditions made it possible (as soon as it had cooled down enough), suggesting that the origin of life was more likely than some people would claim. This argument was first brought to my attention by Stephen Hawking, at TED a few years ago.

Mon, 18 May 2009 07:59:00 UTC | #361316

Go to: Reading, Writing, and Original Sin

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by infinitum17

I lost my best friend in kindergarten because of religion.

Wed, 13 May 2009 11:27:00 UTC | #359490

Go to: Another child sacrificing himself on the altar of irrational belief

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by infinitum17

a sad case of natural selection at work.

Mon, 11 May 2009 09:58:00 UTC | #358443

Go to: Texas is only 6000 years old

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by infinitum17

AAAARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!! I am a Texan, and people like this make we want to do horrible things to them!!!!

Sat, 09 May 2009 07:35:00 UTC | #357651

Go to: Atheists target UK schools

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by infinitum17

I heartily approve of this.
It's cat-herding time!

Sun, 26 Apr 2009 08:22:00 UTC | #353560

Go to: Texas School Standards: Age of the Universe Erased

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 70 by infinitum17

OK, I'm a Texan, and I want to make something very clear: I got a good public school education in Texas. This nonsense is reserved for the rural areas and the conservative urban areas of Texas. The cities are mostly good when it comes to education. It's not as bad as all this press is making it sound.

Fri, 17 Apr 2009 13:49:00 UTC | #349563

Go to: Religion of hatred: Why we should no longer be cowed by the chattering classes ruling Britain who sneer at Christianity

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by infinitum17

what utter inanity.

Sat, 11 Apr 2009 07:08:00 UTC | #346646

Go to: Preacher says atheist ad campaign backfired

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by infinitum17

well, it says how it backfired, but, predictably, offers absolutely no evidence to back up the claim.

Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:12:00 UTC | #346484

Go to: Bishop: Religion hampers gay civil rights

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by infinitum17

In my mind:
old atheist: somebody who didn't believe in God, but didn't talk about it very much, especially with believers.
new atheist: somebody who considers atheism/rationalism to be a significant part of their identity, keeps up with the latest developments in atheism (perhaps by perusing this very website), is part of this active, vocal, community.

Bishop Robinson is so reasonable. I wish he were just a bit more so.

Tue, 07 Apr 2009 15:46:00 UTC | #345403

Go to: Obama: U.S.Obama: U.S. Not A Christian Nation Or A Jewish Nation Or A Muslim Nation

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by infinitum17

seriously, how the hell does that idiot think that values like freedom of speech and freedom come religion come from the Judeo-Christian tradition? Quite the opposite!

Tue, 07 Apr 2009 04:55:00 UTC | #345043

Go to: Open-mindedness

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by infinitum17

wow, that as a GREAT video.

Wed, 01 Apr 2009 19:06:00 UTC | #342731

Go to: Women told: 'You have dishonoured your family, please kill yourself'

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 36 by infinitum17

HOLY SHIT, if you get my drift

Fri, 27 Mar 2009 09:43:00 UTC | #340460

Go to: Creationism in the classroom - Evolution is a scientific fact

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by infinitum17

as a Texan, this makes me want to cry.

Thu, 26 Mar 2009 13:49:00 UTC | #339945

Go to: Happy Birthday Richard Dawkins!

infinitum17's Avatar Jump to comment 209 by infinitum17

Dr. Dawkins,

When you came to Austin, TX, I asked a bad question and then bothered you about it later, both making me look stupid and irritating you. I want to take this opportunity to apologize.

You are one of the greatest inspirations in my life (perhaps the greatest), and your legacy will live on as long as humanity does in the changes you've made in my life and in the lives of millions of others. Thank you so much.

And happy birthday.


Thu, 26 Mar 2009 13:44:00 UTC | #339940