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Comments by Dhamma

Go to: Stone-Throwing Chimp Thinks Ahead

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Dhamma

He seems to progress rapidly. I just hope they won't find a homemade nuclear reactor next time they look under his hay.

Tue, 15 May 2012 01:30:46 UTC | #941511

Go to: Is Richard Dawkins an ape?

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Dhamma

What bothers me is not his idiotic article, but why Washington Post has given him a respectable platform to spew it out.

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 13:23:49 UTC | #928285

Go to: The "So" meme

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Dhamma

I wouldn't say it's completely unnecessary. Much like "hello", "howdy", and "yo" may be synonymous, they're hardly completely interchangeable, and therefore serve different purposes.

"So..." adds a less formal tone. Whether one approves of it, or not; it serves a purpose.

Far worse in my ears has always been the overuse of "y' know".

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 00:58:43 UTC | #924215

Go to: Atheist group targets Muslims, Jews with ‘myth’ billboards in Arabic and Hebrew

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by Dhamma

I fear these campaigns will have a counter-effect. I believe it's pointless to say "you're wrong - we're right" because it's not an argument. I think it generates anger rather than igniting a challenging thought process.

Of course, putting forth challenging arguments on a billboard isn't an easy task. Presenting atheism in a good light rather than as an attack on religion might, however, lower their guards.

The thought provoking quote attributed to Epicurus that's been all over the internet lately should be great, albeit a bit long:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 18:53:53 UTC | #923814

Go to: Writing a new code for life?

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Dhamma

crusader234,

I personally believe there's an absolute abundance of life out there. Even intelligent. Given that there are ~200-400 billion stars in our galaxy alone, with at least 50 billion planets, of which 10 billion are in a habitable zone from its star, I'd find it immensely unlikely we are such a rare event. Add to that that there are probably more than 200 billion galaxies.

I have little personal wish either way, but I find it unfathomably unlikely there is no life elsewhere.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 09:06:44 UTC | #920971

Go to: Richard Dawkins in ‘single-celled ancestor’ shock

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by Dhamma

Just wait till they get the news his recent ancestors were christians. Then he'll have to be accountable for the crusades... and SLAVERY!

Tue, 21 Feb 2012 18:56:47 UTC | #920463

Go to: 12 Visualizations That Will Change the Way You View Scale in Your World

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Dhamma

Feels odd to say I had never before encountered that first video. Given its age, I found it remarkably well made. I wonder how they created it?

I showed the scale of the universe to a christian friend a couple of months ago, and he was blown away. Now, it didn't change his opinion on christianity, but it's the simplest way to put humanity in perspective, and it demands you to ask questions.

What strikes me is the ignorance. He is 26 years old, yet had no idea our solar system belonged to a galaxy. Though he thinks I'm ignorant for not seeing the world was obviously created by his deity.

Sun, 12 Feb 2012 17:22:57 UTC | #916924

Go to: ARCHBISHOP TAKES ON ATHEIST DAWKINS

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 48 by Dhamma

The only reason I like debates is because it generates a greater audience; not solely preaching to the choir. On the other hand I find debates less suitable for spreading science, as it's far more concentrated on who is the best rhetorician (which is why I think W.L Craig would "win" over Dawkins). Debates are a forum where science is reduced to a matter of opinion, where gods pop into existence if the wrong side "wins".

No, I much prefer lectures. But of course, without debates, how else are we supposed to reach them?

Sat, 11 Feb 2012 02:07:51 UTC | #916499

Go to: Is there hope? Even after religion?

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Dhamma

Swedish atheism comes not from rational thinking, but from a sound welfare system. When you have no need for a supernatural safety to hold your hand through life, the silliness in religion becomes crystal clear. You don't need to be a mathematician to know 4+4 is not 9, much like you don't need to think rationally to see the ludicrousness in religion. All you need is genuine safety. None of my friends knew the word 'atheism', they only knew they didn't believe in gods. They are not aware of any arguments for or against deities; they simply do not care, and what is left is non belief in deities. Some take comfort in that. I don't because it leaves them open to everything else in pseudoscience.

My friend is dead sure he got an apartment simply because he was thinking positively, yet he would laugh at someone who claims to have spoken with god. My gf believed in ghosts, but would laugh if someone claimed to have spoken with god. Skeptical reasoning is the ultimate shield against pseudoscience. It should be on the curriculum, as I couldn't imagine a more useful tool in adulthood.

Fri, 10 Feb 2012 02:47:34 UTC | #916089

Go to: Dawkins made it to my Sociology class

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Dhamma

While reading the comments may be disheartening, without the internet and globalization, what exposure to atheism/skepticism would they have in the first place? It may take a very long time, but with the sudden influx of new ideas; atheism will make an impact.

I believe it's worth pouring out our views ad nauseam in order to aware people it's not a fringe idea. Much like homosexuality grew acceptance through awareness, by removing FUD, we should too.

Tue, 07 Feb 2012 18:30:44 UTC | #915327

Go to: South African church billboard banned following atheist complaint

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 62 by Dhamma

Like Paula suggests, it is a double-edged sword. On one hand we don't want to fall to their low, but I actually think it is more powerful to play it by their rules, since it takes the edge of the whole offence card.

I think it's great to demonstrate that if you asked for privileged rules not to be offended, you must accept it goes both ways. The religious offence card was designed to protect them from us horrible heathens, so if we use it in the opposite direction it was intended, shouldn't it diminish it altogether?

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 05:28:26 UTC | #910073

Go to: South African church billboard banned following atheist complaint

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Dhamma

Instead of preaching their own messages they go for a full front attack on their 'enemies'. Is this a common approach?

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:27:38 UTC | #909890

Go to: The atheist who tried to steal Christmas

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Dhamma

Shouldn't Richard be thanked for providing an alternative view? A view most people will never encounter in the forest of Santa, Thor and Yahweh that penetrates every aspect of society.

Science evolved despite the disease of religion, not because of it. This article is wrong on so many levels. Religion poisons everything.

Tue, 27 Dec 2011 19:57:54 UTC | #903068

Go to: Wrong sort of people

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Dhamma

Who's the redditor?

I'm not so sure he's making a joke. Perhaps he fears that once the church is established, they will do their best to take his brothel down?

Sat, 03 Dec 2011 18:18:22 UTC | #895353

Go to: Rev

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by Dhamma

Some wonder what atheists will debate when there are no theists around. I now know the answer - the correct plural form of dwarfs. At least they exist.

Fri, 02 Dec 2011 05:26:08 UTC | #894938

Go to: Lego bible too racy for Sam's Club

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Dhamma

"..complaints had been made by Sam's Club customers that the book is vulgar and violent, and that the author is an atheist."

Somehow I think they really complained in this order, "..complaints had been made by Sam's Club customers that the author is an atheist and the book is vulgar and violent."

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 03:55:08 UTC | #893754

Go to: UPDATED: Muslim medical students boycotting lectures on evolution... because it 'clashes with the Koran'

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Dhamma

"Religion is completely compatible with science".

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 03:40:25 UTC | #893748

Go to: The Unbelievers

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Dhamma

Comment 6 by maxmousedll :

Again with special groups for black people... seriously, why is that needed?!

Was that a Poe?

It's not a different branch of atheism, they won't preach that black atheists are superior to any other atheist. Some people have never heard of black atheists, and here they clearly show they indeed exist, which could be comforting for others in a similar position.

Sun, 27 Nov 2011 17:26:38 UTC | #893643

Go to: If only more people took this approach.

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Dhamma

If only religious people took this approach I wouldn't need to be an active atheist. I wish I eventually could tone down my criticism of religion, but so long as they want to spew out hatred towards homosexuality, halt scientific processes and wage wars in the name of their god, I'm obligated to keep criticizing them.

I'm tired, so very tired of religion. In my view, religion is a road bump to every serious issue humanity needs to deal with, and we can't afford to waste precious energy to a field where there are no answers, when beyond that road bump science at least tries to tackle them.

Sun, 27 Nov 2011 17:11:43 UTC | #893634

Go to: Psychopaths: Born evil or with a diseased brain?

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 104 by Dhamma

Each mind is precious beyond measure. Only those of us who accept a naturalistic view of the world can understand what an astonishing thing a mind is, a thing of such power, such richness, such complexity.

Before I read up on psychopathy, I shared this view. I naively believed there was goodness within everyone, that a rough background could explain most atrocities. That no one was truly beyond redemption. Then I read Robert Hare, and realized I had been a wishful thinker; much like the religious.

There is nothing precious about a mind like Mao's, Stalin's, Pol Pot's, Hitler's, Idi Amin's, Breivik's, Ivan the terrible's etc. A mind 'designed' to deceive, to take advantage of every situation only to benefit oneself at the cost of others. There is nothing precious in that.

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 19:35:04 UTC | #890803

Go to: Psychopaths: Born evil or with a diseased brain?

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by Dhamma

Heck, even I could be a psychopath and not even realize it. Although I recognize that I have certain characteristics (not just positive ones) that make it highly improbable.

Essi Viding said something in this vein: If you read about psychopathic traits and feel genuinely concerned you might be one; then you're not.

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 16:07:04 UTC | #890750

Go to: Psychopaths: Born evil or with a diseased brain?

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 74 by Dhamma

There is no problem calling anyone with limited intellect stupid, but somehow it's more problematic calling someone with a psychopathic disorder evil. If we keep referring psychopaths to people with just another disability, like ADHD, we're doing society a great disservice, because we all face psychopaths, but most are unable to tell, and it could have disastrous effects.

It matters little that they haven't chosen the disorder, the effects psychopathy displays can only be described as evil.

/Eagerly awaits philosophical definition of 'evil'

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 14:25:19 UTC | #890728

Go to: Transworld on developing The Magic of Reality app

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Dhamma

I'm also waiting for an Android app, but I'd have to congratulate Dawkins in adapting his work to his surroundings. Almost every child is a scientist, and therefore naturally technology friendly; making this book perfectly suited as an app.

However, I assume far more children have Android devices, since they're cheap and 'cool'.

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 23:15:52 UTC | #889119

Go to: PRESS RELEASE: Big news for the online atheist community

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 15 by Dhamma

Yes, Reddit is very addictive. While many would consider it too shallow, one should remember that religion is shallow and doesn't deserve to be taken too seriously. Deep discussions about Bigfoot's existence is rather unnecessary and would give it more credit than it deserves.

Reddit bombards you with logical inconsistencies, and several people have claimed they turned atheist, or at least began questioning their faith via Reddit. Occasionally it is too aggressive, and probably counter-productive, but still more than worthwhile.

Thu, 03 Nov 2011 13:12:56 UTC | #886833

Go to: Are atheists the new Jews?

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Dhamma

"The horrors of the concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence."

God's absence has had a terrific effect on my country. I'm an atheist; my countrymen are not. Religion is simply not an issue worth spending ones time with. And not only are we not more criminal than most "morally superior" countries, but far less, which is odd, given that we live where God is absent. So if he explained the concentration camps due to an absence of God, then how does he explain why Swedes are not morally inferior?

Oh my, I think we have a logical fallacy... from a theist!

Tue, 01 Nov 2011 22:23:49 UTC | #886160

Go to: [UPDATE - 24-Oct] - audio of interview with PZ] - Pluggin’

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 40 by Dhamma

njwong,

Absolutely, it's a deplorable show. It's not only very disrespectful to its guests but also its listeners. People might support you if you don't shove it down their throats, Slate.

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 11:00:28 UTC | #883913

Go to: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 124 by Dhamma

yeoberry,

Yeah, I'll take you seriously when he debates my cat. What is he afraid of?

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 19:34:45 UTC | #882541

Go to: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 111 by Dhamma

bendigeidfran,

Craiggy-boy should like his opponent. They share a trait. Cat's about to meow his ass.

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 18:05:14 UTC | #882516

Go to: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 102 by Dhamma

Interesting turn of events: my cat just announced he felt ready to debate Craig. In one weeks time he asked me to set up a comfy chair in the living room. If he doesn't turn up it could get very embarrassing indeed.

Why don't you dare to debate my cat, Craig? He has earned a lot of respect in the streets lately. So don't try to escape by saying he's not well respected. I've got scars to prove it. What are you afraid of? Comfy chair. Waiting... Could be embarrassing.

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:12:47 UTC | #882500

Go to: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

Dhamma's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by Dhamma

As a reply I think Richard should put up an extra chair in whichever his next debate might be, and say "I invited God, but it seems he never dared to show up".

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 14:07:54 UTC | #882427