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Comments by Radesq

Go to: Religious Olympics

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 57 by Radesq

In the mental gymnastics categories I would expect:

  1. The Unbalanced Beam;
  2. The High Horse;
  3. The Floor Exorcises

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 01:32:40 UTC | #950138

Go to: Free Will

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 58 by Radesq

Seems like these free will discussions come up all the time. Is anyone's mind ever changed? I am tired of the topic going round and round -- and I for one am choosing not to participate in these discussions any further after this. Not that I could have chosen otherwise....

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 02:37:15 UTC | #923673

Go to: What leads some to never accept religion at all?

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Radesq

As to the title of this piece - my feeling is that parents are primarily responsible for whether or not children accept religion. Without parents to consistently reinforce religious beliefs they would as jel implies go the way of Jack Frost, the Tooth Fairy, etc....

In response to LaurieB, I think most children certainly seem curious -- constantly asking why and all. Skeptical? Not always perhaps, but I know that the answer "because I said so" was never a very satisfying answer for me as a child when said by a parent. Similarly, "because the Bible says so" also failed to impress.

If memory serves it was often possible to gain my compliance (if not acceptance) with "because I said so" by adding "or your grounded" and/or "or you will get the belt". I was fortunate to never get any parental threats of punishment (in this life or any afterlife) for not participating in or believing in religion, however.

There may well be an nature component to it -- but I think how much and how long you hold on to religion is more of a "nurture" issue.

Sun, 26 Feb 2012 23:55:32 UTC | #922271

Go to: Are humans bad or good?

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 50 by Radesq

Thanks for the topic Helga,

Am I understanding correctly that your argument is: "Human Nature" is not to be violent, aggressive, deceitful, manipulative… Machiavellian, greedy, and ecologically dimwitted?

You are not actually arguing whether or not that description is apt to the current state of human affairs? If that is an accurate depiction of the present human condition (it sometimes seems that way these days) -- it just can't be laid at the feet of our innately flawed humanity, correct?

If it isn't an accurate description, what would be? If it is, what is the cause (if not human nature), what is the cure? Take several paragraphs to solve that last bit about fixing the entire sorry state of human relations if you need to. ;-) Thanks

Thu, 10 Nov 2011 02:25:29 UTC | #889140

Go to: September 11, 2011

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by Radesq

Robert,

You are changing the rules now. There are many scenarios that would allow my parents to have done their thing at just the right time -- I'm not sure the location matters that much. I would be different sure, but I would be here. Heck if I had taken an extra year of Spanish in high school or asked out that girl I had a crush on 10th grade I would be a different person today.

But I won't belabor the point any further...I am here and you are here -- coo coo kachoo.

Sat, 10 Sep 2011 02:06:23 UTC | #869077

Go to: September 11, 2011

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by Radesq

Red Dog,

I think we agree on many of the points you make above. I do hold that narrow a view of what Atheism is however. Many Atheists may agree on other things scientific, political, or logical but those are not definitional to Atheism.

Yes there is always more to religious conflicts than the pure clash of religion. Al Queda attempts to justify their war on the West with a list of grievances that are not limited to being "infidels", as just one example.

However, the insertion of an all knowing, all powerful ally/general who is invisible, can never die or be defeated, and whom can never be escaped even after death, adds something to the admittedly similar "blind following" of earthly dictators like Stalin, Mao, Hitler (even if they would have liked people to believe them gods).

While I agree that Atheists can be "suckered" into following dangerous madmen. There is another level of irrationality where an Atheist fears to tread.

Sat, 10 Sep 2011 01:57:50 UTC | #869075

Go to: September 11, 2011

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by Radesq

@Comment 51 by Robert Howard

If the preceding 2000+ years had been different in any way, then your parents, grandparents, greatgrandparents etc etc would never have been born. It has nothing to do with Muhammed or Jesus's alleged divinity. It's all about the impact they had on the world and the chain of events which was set in motion by their actions.

Well, yes but actually no. Given the extraordinary number of permutations that could result from changes in 2000 years of history. You really can't say with any certainty that I or you would not be here, there likely would be millions of scenarios that would end up with us being here -- though perhaps many more that would result in us not. Secondly I don't accept the premise that Jesus and Muhammed committed any actual actions or set anything in motion. They may have existed or not -- they may be characters created by authors from an amalgam of other historical figures -- and may or may not rightly be credited with any claimed activities.

Sat, 10 Sep 2011 01:09:48 UTC | #869065

Go to: September 11, 2011

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 54 by Radesq

@Comment 50 by Red Dog

I actually don't think it is quite that simple. Stalin and Mao did not urge others to commit evil deeds in the furtherance of the aims of atheism. Atheism doesn't have tenets or aims as such. If the claim is that Stalin or Mao carried out their atrocities with a view to increasing the number of atheists in their respective societies. I would argue, as others here have, that the reason was not to promote atheism itself but to get rid of ideologies competing for their populations' attention and devotion - that rightly belonging to themselves of course.

Atheists certainly may have supported those leaders (atheism does not grant immunity to poor decision making or hatred for that matter) but given the numbers of followers -- so must many a believer have -- some willingly, some not -- some may have struggled with the need to hide their faith, some may have had few qualms of downplaying or hiding their religiosity to satisfy other goals under the new regimes.

What they followed however were not the dictates of Atheism - because there aren't any - other than not believing in gods.

One could argue that religious wars, persecution, etc... were not carried out in the furtherance of religion but rather in the furtherance of the interests of whatever, King, Pope, Caliph, Imam, General, etc.... But does that really ring true when examining the history of such conflicts or movements?

If you want to argue that Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islamism (whatever else you want to ism) are simply methods for dividing people into factions to aggregate power to a leader or group -- the same as Stalinism, Maoism, Nazism, Nationalism, Racism, etc.... You can; but I think the addition of an imprimatur of an almighty being qualitatively changes the equation.

Sat, 10 Sep 2011 00:58:24 UTC | #869064

Go to: September 11, 2011

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 47 by Radesq

@Comment 45 by Robert Howard

I kind of thought that was what you meant to say, but I still don't follow you. Why wouldn't I be here today if not for Jesus, Mohammed, et al? Kind of speculative isn't it?

~ edit, you said exist so I assume you don't mean here as in here at the RDF clear thinking oasis. I might concede that I would not be here if it were not for the concept of Jesus & Mohammed and such.

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 23:56:22 UTC | #869053

Go to: Sam Harris: Religions Are Failed Sciences

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 444 by Radesq

@Comment 442 by JHJEFFERY

If there was a "like" button next to comments a'la facebook I would have clicked it on yours. It made me chuckle. It also made me think -- if we all took for granted for a moment that the Bible was just a book written by men -- where would that leave Christians?

Well, they could still believe that certain prophets were able to communicate directly with god - but would they? Has anyone even been claiming this lately? Of those few who claim it is anybody buying it (short of some cults)? Do Catholics believe that the Pope is in regular contact with god? None that I know ever mention it (maybe they do when I'm not around - who knows?)

Whoever the head of the Mormon church is does he make such a claim? Would high profile Mormons like Romney and Huntsman in the USA admit to believing such a claim - do the majority of less publicly visible Mormons? I must admit that Michelle Bachmann supposedly claimed that god told her to run for President -- I haven't bothered to check if that claim is true -- but true or no she has paid a political price for the rumor of her claiming it.

Most of the time I hear a religious official speak of what god tells us -- they are speaking of what he supposedly told us 200 in the Mormon case (or more likely 2000) years ago. Why hasn't he come out with a new edition of the Bible for this millennium (and don't tell me it's perfect the way it is - reading a few contradictory passages can clear that thought up in a hurry)?

How come everybody who claims to communicate with god these days is thought to be mentally unbalanced -- but if the account appears in an old book in archaic language it is considered gospel? Maybe that's why the religious have to stick by their dusty old tomes -- without them they might simply appear to be mentally unbalanced.

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 23:51:48 UTC | #869051

Go to: September 11, 2011

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 38 by Radesq

Robert,

Yes you have already stated that guns don't kill people.... Religion is just another tool [to cause suffering, among other uses] Is your statement that humans cause suffering not a distinction without a difference?

Suffering can be felt by humans when there is no real human cause or infliction of it right? One can suffer when a loved one dies, or from the devastation caused by a natural disaster.

It's an undeniable fact that none of here would exist were it not for Jesus, Muhammed, Shiva and all the rest.

What? Aside from the odd use of "here" this seems like a rather bald assertion that I see no reason to agree with.

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 23:16:08 UTC | #869037

Go to: Sam Harris: Religions Are Failed Sciences

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 440 by Radesq

@Comment 439 by keith54

To follow through the argument - the evidence for the [bible as] inspiration comes from the historic dealings of God with man which culminates in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. God has thereby shown that he wishes to communicate with mankind and the long lasting means is through a written record of His dealings with man: the Bible

Is this not the same as saying that we can tell that the Bible is the inspired word of God because it says so right in the Bible?

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 22:59:42 UTC | #869030

Go to: Transcendental artistry can unite even Dawkins and the pope

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 59 by Radesq

@Comment 58 by QuestioningKat

One does not have to be an astronomer to feel a sense of awe when looking at the sky on a starry night. Having additional knowledge of what you are looking at can be useful and interesting - but the experience can still be a rich one even for the untrained eye.

by the way what would constitute properly (as opposed to poorly) executed folk art of cats? The addition of eyeglasses purrhaps? ;-)

Fri, 09 Sep 2011 01:10:55 UTC | #868773

Go to: The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Radesq

Perhaps these two stories might help explain the difference between 2008 and 2010. Young people are markedly less religious and also less likely to vote (usually). What it means for 2012 I can't yet predict (or at least can't bring myself to).

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7513343&page=1link text

http://www.thenation.com/blog/156470/young-voter-turnout-fell-60-2008-2010-dems-wont-win-2012-if-trend-continueslink text

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 22:07:25 UTC | #867638

Go to: The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Radesq

Quine,

Where were these folks you speak of during the 2010 US elections?

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 21:36:48 UTC | #867625

Go to: Why Dolphins Wear Sponges

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Radesq

It certainly isn't fashionable so it stands to reason there must be some porpoise behind it

Sun, 24 Jul 2011 20:28:15 UTC | #853601

Go to: Religion Running Scared

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by Radesq

I liked this thread better when it was called

Nihilism, absurdism, consciousness and free will

not the same thread...sorry, my mistake

Sun, 24 Jul 2011 20:25:11 UTC | #853600

Go to: A worthless and dangerous report

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Radesq

@Comment 13 by Marc Country

I like your idea --

"...if you're talking about Yahweh, then call him that in conversation and debate. If your interlocutor prefers to speak about Jehovah, then so be it (amen). if it was Islam, you change gears, and speak of Allah, or Jesus Christ if it's an Evangelical Baptist nut-job."

But first can you explain the difference to me -- so that i can explain it to the "believer" after I bring it up. In my experience after mentioning JC he/she is likely to think I have just pressed two para Espanol.

Slightly on topic...is there a College or University that will perform a study that can blame my penchant for plaid shirts on the "Grunge" period of the 1990s even though I was "grunge" both before and after it was fashionable?

Wed, 25 May 2011 22:48:35 UTC | #630942

Go to: U.S. Rep. Pete Stark Sponsors National Darwin Day Resolution

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Radesq

@Comment 45 by Agrajag

I think you would have been better off with the other Joe Walsh. Here's another nugget from a fool of a US politician...who thinks he could/should be President.

(AP) WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum says "America belongs to God" and liberals and progressives are trying to change its divine footing.

Santorum, who is weighing a White House run, told a conservative conference Thursday that U.S. citizens are mere stewards of God's gift. Santorum says he disagrees with critics of the United States who say the country is imperfect.

Santorum also strongly criticized President Barack Obama, his potential rival for the White House in two years. He told Conservative Political Action Conference participants they must not give up their opposition to abortion, gay rights - or Obama.

Santorum lost a bruising 2006 Senate re-election bid in Pennsylvania.

Fri, 11 Feb 2011 02:41:08 UTC | #590732

Go to: Richard Dawkins, the Protestant atheist

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 114 by Radesq

@Comment 12 by Paula Kirby

Dawkins may be Acheesist but he definitely has a certain whey about him. Any way you slice it Jack -- wheel have to admit it's a feta compli "have art he"!

Wed, 09 Feb 2011 02:50:36 UTC | #589832

Go to: The Million Dollar Sex Challenge

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 154 by Radesq

My comments are as follows: 1)I am not surprised that this topic garnered many comments rapidly; 2)I haven't read all of the comments; 3) "bone of contention" ha ha very funny; 4)I would take that bet every time if I could tell my prospective "female" partner that I would win $100,000.00 if she had sex with me (and yes I would split it with her -- and no I did not misprint the dollar amount, as far as she knows); 5) I would win the bet every time, and rightly so.

Wed, 09 Feb 2011 02:27:46 UTC | #589828

Go to: Christianity: a faith for the simple

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 71 by Radesq

Religion is the refuge of the weak, the stupid and the intellectually lazy IMHO.

Therefore, it is no surprise that my country (USA) excels at Religion as compared to other Western Countries. I think that any explanation of the cause/effect aspect of Religion in America that goes beyond this basic premise is probably over thinking the matter.

Using Occam's Razor, the simplest implication is that since most Americans are religious -- they therefore must be stupid and/or weak and/or intellectually lazy.

Is my premise flawed? My conclusion? Or are we just to polite to say that this is the crux of the matter?

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 03:07:28 UTC | #586829

Go to: USAFA Faculty Members Join Religion Based Lawsuit Group Protesting National Day Of Prayer Event

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Radesq

As-Salamu Alaykum Mr. Camel. It is just your nose that is cold right?

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 02:43:50 UTC | #586825

Go to: In the Blink of Bird’s Eye, a Model for Quantum Navigation

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Radesq

What is lesser known is that Klaus Schulten originally got the idea in the early 1970s from the Carpenters song They long to be, Close to You

"Why do birds suddenly appear - every time - you are near

Just like me - they long to be - close to you"

The concepts of a magnetic personality or animal magnetism had, of course, existed for a long time. But what if there was something to it, could you attract birds to you through some kind of magnetic field that they could sense? Many years of research later...turns out maybe you can.

Sat, 29 Jan 2011 19:51:26 UTC | #585704

Go to: Christopher Hitchens "All Of Life Is A Wager"

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 73 by Radesq

@Comment 72 by The Plc

News flash -- Christopher Hitchens is not infallible. He is a powerful and persuasive debater on topics of religion. He is charismatic, eloquent and interesting...and (I agree with you) wrong about the Iraq war. I probably would disagree with some other views he holds as well. I don't follow his every word and thought so I can't really say. Nobody is perfect, I thought that went without saying. If not, I'll say it - if it makes you feel better.

Fri, 28 Jan 2011 04:27:11 UTC | #585103

Go to: Brian Greene on Parallel Universes and the Cosmos

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Radesq

When I try to think about freewill and determinism -- and the effect of time as another dimension...I wonder about string theory and other universes. Recently I thought that if you could view the universe from outside the dimension of time what would it look like? I imagine it as as big ball of clear jello with everything in it looking like a string or a worm tunneling through the jello -- and it is just a point on the "line" that makes up the string at any particular point in time.

Therefore, outside of time -- everything would be predetermined and there goes freewill. Or you could have alternate universes where the shapes and lengths of the strings are always different. Another way of looking at it occurred to me while reading a discussion here about the "orbits" of electrons.

Maybe you don't need a multi-verse if the uncertainty principle applies to viewing us in 4 or more dimensions. That is to say that if you could view the 3 dimensional universe from beginning to end all at once -- but you could only state that any entity within that universe would be in a certain place at a certain time as a matter of probability rather than a certainty...well, then you might salvage freewill without needing an infinite number of alternate universes to explain it.

This message brought to you by Budweiser "the King of Beers".

Fri, 28 Jan 2011 03:19:03 UTC | #585093

Go to: 'Life chemicals' may have formed around far-flung star

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Radesq

The earth was created from essentially the same stuff as asteroids and comets wasn't it? In the big disc of dust gas and ice that eventually transformed into the solar system?

This seems unnecessarily complex to me. Why does life have to come from comets or meteorites? Occam's razor and all that. Now if scientists want to come out and say that the Earth got too hot in its forming and would have destroyed the compounds that lead to life -- or give some other reason why organic molecules on a small bit of rock, dust and ice flying through space are more likely than on a moderately larger blob of rock, dust and ice flying through space (with liquid water I might add) then I am willing to consider it. Maybe I just haven't heard of it - if so it is wildly under reported.

At present this comet/meteorite theory seems superfluous to me and comes off as an attempt to sexy up the science for no particularly good reason. Can someone clear this up for me?

Fri, 28 Jan 2011 02:39:43 UTC | #585088

Go to: Science Under Attack

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Radesq

So true Ash,

And don't forget the vast amounts of Methane in the permafrost and the ocean floor that might be released under warming conditions and only aggravate the problem. That's the part that really gets up my nose, if you know what I mean.

Thu, 27 Jan 2011 04:30:19 UTC | #584636

Go to: Science Under Attack

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by Radesq

@Comment 31 by Steve Zara

And the movie trailer would go something like...

"It is the year thirty eleven -- the planet Earth faces a fate of certain annihilation, but it is a fate the politicians, the corporations, and the churches refuse to acknowledge. And everywhere the common people go about their daily routines pretending nothing's wrong. In a world on the brink of destruction - one man - must save the planet by saving humanity from its own apathy and denial. That man is...the Astronomer!"

~ Opens May 21, 2011 ~

Thu, 27 Jan 2011 02:56:40 UTC | #584630

Go to: Human Savages

Radesq's Avatar Jump to comment 52 by Radesq

xmaseveeve

'There's a sign on the wall but you've got to be sure, cause you know sometimes words have two meanings...'

"devlove erom?"

Tue, 25 Jan 2011 04:20:59 UTC | #583807