This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comments by annabanana

Go to: Nate Phelps on growing up in 'the most hated family in America'

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by annabanana

Nate,

I agree that the "how" is a big question that needs to be answered. I don't think anything could happen overnight or that there would be some sort of revolution and everyone would just let go of religion and still care for one another. I'm guessing we just have to try to convince as many people as possible and over the generations the religion will fade until there's no more. At least that's what I envision. I could be completely off base. And I don't imagine I'll ever know as I don't foresee this happening in our lifetimes.

Mon, 29 Mar 2010 11:11:00 UTC | #453623

Go to: Nate Phelps on growing up in 'the most hated family in America'

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by annabanana

Nate Phelps,

Humans as a species are genetically coded to be at least somewhat altruistic towards one another. Do you think that if organized religion fell, we'd just stop helping one another? After all, being gregarious and altruistic organisms (aside from being toolmakers/users) are probably the biggest traits that have allowed all of the technological advances that we've made. Morals and altruistic behavior don't disappear along with religion. There are plenty of atheists who were formerly religious who are proof of that.

Additionally, do you really think that if organized religion were no more that people would lose all hope? Does religion have a monopoly on hope? I think that the mind is such a pliable thing that people like Elizabeth Smart could have come up with plenty of things to divert their minds that weren't religious.

Wed, 24 Mar 2010 19:59:00 UTC | #451911

Go to: Nate Phelps on growing up in 'the most hated family in America'

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by annabanana

Irat,

I hardly think calling his ideas "ridiculous" and telling him he "needs to lose Dumbo's feather" counts as constructive criticism. I'm not saying that Mr. Phelps shouldn't be encouraged, but that was definitely NOT the appropriate way to do it.

Tue, 23 Mar 2010 19:18:00 UTC | #451550

Go to: Nate Phelps on growing up in 'the most hated family in America'

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by annabanana

Every time I read about Mr. Phelps' childhood it hurts my heart. I just can't imagine. How terrible that people suffer like this at the hands of people who are clearly mentally disturbed, but are allowed to go on that way because of religion. No wonder he is confused and hasn't decided on anything. I can't imagine that he'd have an easy time deciding to do something that he feels might be the other end of extremism on the matter.

Psypro, I feel like your comments are a bit out of line. I think he and everyone is lucky that he made it this far. Some of the children still believe. It seems to me that he's come leaps and bounds from where he was and you're demanding more after all he's been through?

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 15:42:00 UTC | #451135

Go to: The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 155 by annabanana

The Janitor,

I don't "believe" in luck. Luck, to me, is just a more concise way of saying a series of occurrences that turned out favorably for the party in question. In other words it just so happened that it worked out this time, but not due to some sort of supernatural or unknown forces. I suppose I shouldn't assume that everyone's definition of luck is the same as mine.

Tue, 09 Feb 2010 20:49:00 UTC | #440120

Go to: The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 150 by annabanana

Christopher Davis,

I think that it is important for the biological father to be able to say what he thinks about the issue, but I think that the ultimate and legal decision should always be the woman's. It's ultimately her body that has to endure the pregnancy, so she should get the final say. If the father wants to say that he wants or doesn't want the baby, then he should be able to freely say so.

The Janitor,

Would the rest of her children have been thankful for her decision if she had died during the pregnancy and cost four other children their mother? Tim can thank good luck for being alive and that's about it. His mother may have listened to every other shred of medical advice and done a good job of taking care of herself during the high risk pregnancy, but luck is the biggest thing at work here.

Do you measure wisdom by statistics? Does the abstract, i.e., sacrifice, courage, or love fit under wisdom?

I don't think any of us believe in NOMA here.

Tue, 09 Feb 2010 17:37:00 UTC | #440050

Go to: The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 140 by annabanana

Quetz,

Well, I imagine that the "height" that one could achieve on the reaction range is probably somewhat fixed by a particular time in life, but I don't recall reading anything about that. This measure, though, as far as I remember, is purely based on IQ because this is the most quantitative means we have thus far of measuring intelligence. However, you are supposed to be able to raise your IQ by learning more words, etc. I have several friends getting their Ph.D.'s in experimental psychology and they are constantly talking about the plasticity of the brain, so I would imagine that you could improve within the range with sufficient enough diligence, but I would think that some of your reaction range would have to be permanently lost. All of this is me thinking out loud, of course. I don't have my psych book with me.

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 23:23:00 UTC | #439841

Go to: The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 138 by annabanana

Ah, now that I think about it, I remember studying what is called a reaction range in my psychology class. This is the range of IQ that a person has and depending on environmental factors, the person ends up somewhere along that range. This being the case, there are a myriad of factors influencing where a person will end up along that range. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that a woman is guilted into having a baby by some pro-life group, but she really doesn't want to have the child. As a result, she doesn't take very good care of herself during the pregnancy, and endures a lot of stress and depression. Once the baby is born, she is resentful of it, and as result, doesn't take very good care of the child. The child's genetic reaction range was such that he or she could have been a genius given the right environment, however, due to the way the mother reacted, the child ends up at the lower end of his or her reaction range. This also deprives the world of a genius, but it certainly isn't prohibited by any laws.

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 23:07:00 UTC | #439835

Go to: The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 135 by annabanana

gimlibengloin,

You seem to be implying that these are the only arguments Richard has as to why abortion should be legal. He was responding to a particular question asked by the Washington Post and since the point of the commercial is clearly the same point as that of the Beethoven "story", he's responding to that.

In the case of aborting a child who is a ‘genius’ though unknown you will in fact deprive the world of a genius.

You seem to imply here that being a genius in one regard or another is purely genetic. I'm not certain if any evidence exists one way or the other on this matter, but I would imagine that how and in what environment one is raised has a lot to do with whether or not they turn out to be a genius or not. In essence, aborting a cluster of cells that hasn't been raised into its potential genius deprives the world of a genius no less than not copulating and producing the combination of sperm and egg that could also potentially render a genius. You put the onus on Steve Zara to demonstrate that a fetus is not a human life, yet you fail to fully demonstrate how an undeveloped fetus is a genius and how we could ever verify that without it ever having lived outside of a uterus.

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 22:35:00 UTC | #439826

Go to: The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 130 by annabanana

The Janitor,

You clearly did not read the article that I linked to, otherwise, you never would have said that she did not throw science under the bus because the statistics are clear. I agree that patients should take a proactive role in their medical care and research the options, but you have done nothing to show that in this instance she was wise to do what she did. Outcomes are not necessarily a good measure of whether a decision was a good one or not. I'm sure you can think of personal examples where something worked out, but you knew that the decision that led to that was a poor one.

Also, what evidence do you have that "women are exploited and heavily persuaded to terminate the life of their child when other options are not presented"??? First of all, several states have arcane laws that require you to either wait a certain amount of time before getting an abortion or to have a sonogram of the baby (presumably to guilt you into having it), so I would argue that the opposite is the case of what you contend. Not only that, you are CLEARLY not a woman. I have never been pregnant, but I can tell you that if I were to become pregnant the choice would be mine and I would not be "exploited" or persuaded to terminate or keep the pregnancy except in the case of scientific evidence that it would be prudent to terminate. I would wager that this wouldn't be a choice that would be taken lightly by any female and that it would be hers and hers alone.

There is also the issue of you saying that "other options are not presented". What might those other options be? If the majority of pregnancies that experience some sort of problem end in either the death of the fetus and/or the mother, isn't the best option going to be to terminate the pregnancy?

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 17:48:00 UTC | #439757

Go to: The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 124 by annabanana

Thanks Quetz.

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 13:41:00 UTC | #439689

Go to: The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 122 by annabanana

The Janitor,

The key is that the physician suggested an abortion but only wise persons would consider beyond what the physician said.

How is it wise to ignore the advice of a trained professional who has many more years of education and experience than you in a given area? Do you generally ignore your physician's advice on other matters? If your doctor told you that you needed to lower your sodium intake in order to better control your blood pressure so that you don't have a stroke, would you question his advice then? Why should it be any different for pregnancy?

Here's a link to an article about the the type of problem Tebow's mother experienced which includes statistics of death rates, etc.

http://www.slate.com/id/2243218/

Do you think that, being that Tebow's mother had other children, it was noble to risk her life and Tebow's? If she had died, so would Tim and the rest of her children would have been motherless? Do you think this is responsible parenting?

Also, I have heard, but I haven't verified it, that it was illegal to have an abortion in the Philippines at the time that Tebow's mother was there so she would have had to have traveled elsewhere for an abortion.

Mon, 08 Feb 2010 13:17:00 UTC | #439681

Go to: Atheism as extremism

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by annabanana

Oh please. Plenty of atheists were of a religion before deciding that they were atheists, including myself...

Ack, I'm caught between responding to the rubbish and refuting it and just throwing in the towel because it's been refuted so many times before.

Mon, 25 Jan 2010 17:51:00 UTC | #435111

Go to: The Evolution of Richard Dawkins, the Rock Star of Neo-Atheism

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by annabanana

Yikes. I need to read what I'm writing more before I submit. The implications of SOME of the tenets of religion not being true are ominous, like having eternal life and being loved. Some tenets obviously are arguably much worse than none of it being true. I think dying and there being nothing is much preferable to the idea of hell. Ack.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 15:52:00 UTC | #422519

Go to: The Evolution of Richard Dawkins, the Rock Star of Neo-Atheism

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 41 by annabanana

Tyler,

When I asked my mom about Santa and said that I didn't think he existed anymore she said something very nice to the effect of "well, the idea of Santa is real" and "we can still pretend for as long as you want". My point is, she didn't say, "Santa isn't real. You lose. Get over it, immediately."

At any rate, I think it's difficult to compare the Santa thing with the religion thing sometimes because the religion thing is so much more encompassing of people's lives. The implications of God not being real and the tenets of religion being untrue are much more ominous than Santa not being real (well, maybe not to an 8 year old).

I don't know what the answer is. :(

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 15:48:00 UTC | #422518

Go to: The Evolution of Richard Dawkins, the Rock Star of Neo-Atheism

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by annabanana

I agree with Lendear. Surely if we can find something comforting (but true and rational!) to offer immediately after tearing down theists' superstitions and irrationality, maybe we'd have a better chance of convincing people.

Sometimes, though, it seems as if certain people's minds are incapable of letting go of the religion, etc. that they were indoctrinated with as children.

Fri, 11 Dec 2009 14:23:00 UTC | #422504

Go to: Bad design: a theological or a scientific argument?

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by annabanana

Don't you people know? It's all part of God's plan...yes, fucked up knees and all. ;)

Thu, 10 Dec 2009 20:57:00 UTC | #422356

Go to: The Anti-God Squad

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 71 by annabanana

Lendear,

Ok, but still, dont you like the irony of so many apparantly frightened deists like Wright using a word with religious derivation to complain about unorganized individually motivated atheists?

I would find it humorous, except that the people using it don't really find it ironic and I think in some cases are doing it purposefully to try to link us with religious fundamentalists, a practice which I abhor since it couldn't be farther from the truth.

I did read the second meaning of crusade, but I would still hesitate to use it because of the aforementioned reasons.

Quetz,

I think it may be best to take a deep breath and leave the razor-bound copy of TGD at home. Just a suggestion. ;)

Colwyn,

I still like Paperback Christians best.

Wed, 09 Dec 2009 16:48:00 UTC | #421802

Go to: The Anti-God Squad

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by annabanana

Lendear,

We're on a crusade?? I disagree with your choice of wording since the etiology of the word is clearly religious (from the Latin cruc or crux, which both mean cross). And anyway, it's not like it's an organized movement.

At any rate, you don't think there were atheists before now who tried to convince those around them that their religiosity was just superstition and poor logic?

Tue, 08 Dec 2009 16:38:00 UTC | #421462

Go to: The Anti-God Squad

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by annabanana

Haha, good one Colwyn!

Heh, Quetz, now, no stereotyping! ;)

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 17:34:00 UTC | #421053

Go to: The Anti-God Squad

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by annabanana

How do so many different people in different places consistently write the same article over and over and over and over again, ad nauseum?? How are there so many of these articles? Are these people really that out of touch that they haven't read about a bazillion of these already?

Though the New Atheists claim to be a progressive force, they often abet fundamentalists and reactionaries, from the heartland of America to the Middle East.

I just loved that sentence. That's a bold claim to make, especially when it isn't backed up at all! There are not even any supporting sentences, let alone evidence to make the case for this.

Also, last time I checked, I just identify myself as an atheist, not a "New" atheist. Let's make up a new name for Christians and their annoying apologists and see how they like it.

Mon, 07 Dec 2009 17:17:00 UTC | #421040

Go to: The Upside of Feeling Down

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by annabanana

Quetz,

Perhaps then the aberration lies not in the depression, but in the amount of time that the person suffers the depression and whether or not the depression actually rectifies anything and the DSM-IV should be changed to reflect that?

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:11:00 UTC | #411146

Go to: The Upside of Feeling Down

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by annabanana

So depression focuses thinking in a way that allows people to overcome being depressed? That doesn't exactly sound advantageous. Why not avoid being depressed in the first place?

I think the point is to better focus attention not in order to overcome the depression, but to solve the problem that triggered the depression in the first place. If more neurons are dedicated to solving the problem, it will get solved faster than if a person were not depressed.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 16:49:00 UTC | #411136

Go to: The Upside of Feeling Down

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by annabanana

Sciam had a much better article very similar to this one. I found the sciam article to be much more convincing. Check it out here:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=depressions-evolutionary

The most convincing part of it to me was that according to the current diagnostic criteria, at any given time, 30-50% of the population is suffering from depression. If "depression" as it is currently defined is such an aberration in our species, why does such a significant portion of the population have it?

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 16:46:00 UTC | #411134

Go to: Morality: no gods required

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by annabanana

It's a positive, life-affirming philosophy. That's what I like about it.

Oh yes, indeed.

Although how we can simultaneously behave morally because of God and yet also ignore his existence so we can sin/act immorally is an interesting contradiction.


This also presents the problem of his omnipotence. How, if he is all-powerful, could we ever escape his grips to act immorally or sinful whether by our own volition or the devil's?

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 14:50:00 UTC | #411111

Go to: Morality: no gods required

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 76 by annabanana

There are plenty of atheists in the world and plenty of them have morals. If these people have morals and morals are only in existence because of some deity, does that mean that some god is controlling them extraneously while they are busy denying its existence?

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 14:23:00 UTC | #411107

Go to: Atheist speaker draws crowd

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by annabanana

Thanks, epeeist!

I'm going to make more of an effort to be around more, but it's a little difficult to keep up sometimes! :)

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 12:39:00 UTC | #405651

Go to: Atheist speaker draws crowd

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by annabanana

Gregg,

My giant turtle was on vacation, unfortunately, so I had to make my own bipedal entrance. :)

Thu, 15 Oct 2009 12:07:00 UTC | #405645

Go to: Atheist speaker draws crowd

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by annabanana

Yes, I attended last night and this article is strangely written, indeed. Richard didn't use any of his own figures as he hasn't conducted any such surveys. The "figures" being referred to were either Pew or Gallup poll (can't remember which as I wasn't taking notes) numbers which Richard cited, but apparently the person who wrote this article paid no attention to that.

At any rate, this article was clearly intended to be provocative at which it has succeeded. Unfortunately, this was at the cost of proper context in which the quotations were taken from.

The quotation at the beginning of the article was taken from when Richard was answering a question from someone who wanted suggestions on how to deal with teaching children whose parents are creationists or are opposed to evolution. Richard acknowledged that there are two approaches to teaching such children. One was that you can say something like, "well, of course your parents are very wise, but let's try thinking about it this way". The other approach is to say that your parents are talking "utter rubbish" and this is the way it is. He also acknowledged that the second route was perhaps not the best and that it arises out of lack of patience.

Aside from all of this nonsense, I was very heartened to see so many people attending when I've sometimes felt so alone in my non-belief here. Everyone who is a non-believer is so afraid to be vocal about it. There were no protesters, and aside from one idiotic question, everyone was very polite.

I was delighted to have my copy of The Greatest Show on Earth signed and I think Richard may have recognized me when I said I was annabanana. :)

Wed, 14 Oct 2009 14:14:00 UTC | #405507

Go to: Unbelievable: From Atheism to Christian Faith

annabanana's Avatar Jump to comment 319 by annabanana

Thanks everyone for sticking up for me!!! I have no idea why that particular comment got trolled. I feel like the subsequent comment would have been more damning.

Fri, 18 Sep 2009 00:16:00 UTC | #398462