Beer Precedes the Big Bang - the Origin of God?
Posted: 05 July 2009 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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“. . . 120 million of us place the big bang 2,500 years after the Babylonians and Sumerians learned to brew beer.  If our polls are to be trusted, nearly 230 million Americans believe that a book showing neither unity of style nor internal consistency was authored by an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent deity.  A survey of Hindus, Muslims, and Jews around the world would surely yield similar results, revealing that we, as a species, have grown almost perfectly intoxicated by our myths.  How is it that, in this one area of our lives, we have convinced ourselves that our beliefs about the world can float entirely free of reason and evidence?”

above quote from Sam Harris’ - The End of Faith - Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason’ - chapter title, ‘Reason in Exile’

‘Perfectly intoxicated by our myths’ - I take this to mean that there is no hope of a rational conversation with the faithful?

Cure?  How to cure someone who has been hypnotized?  Snap them out of it?  In this area of their lives they are ‘floating entirely free of reason and evidence.’

Civilization and millions of non-human species are in mortal danger because of this mass hypnosis, and these ‘subjects’ can’t be awakened?  This is one of the conditions of their trance?  They’re programmed to hypnotize their children?  This is science fiction, right?  You say the Mormons believe that their prophet was able to translate unknown Egyption hieroglyphs because of three magic stones in his hat?  You say a Mormon might run for president next time?

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 05 July 2009 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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unsmoked - 05 July 2009 04:32 PM

‘Perfectly intoxicated by our myths’ - I take this to mean that there is no hope of a rational conversation with the faithful?

Cure?  How to cure someone who has been hypnotized?  Snap them out of it?  In this area of their lives they are ‘floating entirely free of reason and evidence.’

Religion is not a toxin or a hypnotic drug but a mental conditioning programming which creates a very peculiar pathology “Religion compulsive disorder”, a pretty much similar physiopathological disorder to that of obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD, in which reason is not part of the processing thought mechanism. So by definition there is no possible rational conversation with the faithful.

Cure? It is possible first we have to identify the disease and then help the faithful identify his own illness, once he (the faithful)recognizes his own pathological thinking process is only in the primitive brain and there is no reason behind, then and only then he may want to be healed.

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“Life is the COEXISTENCE of opposites values”
Love is Forgiveness
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“In the beginning Man created God according to his own image and understanding. Over the years as Men understanding of morality, violence and tolerance evolves, so evolves our understanding of a Loving God”.

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Posted: 06 July 2009 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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mammooth - 06 July 2009 01:50 AM

Cure? It is possible first we have to identify the disease and then help the faithful identify his own illness, once he (the faithful)recognizes his own pathological thinking process is only in the primitive brain and there is no reason behind, then and only then he may want to be healed.

Well people certainly can be cured of this; I’m living proof of this, having been deeply indoctrinated with fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity almost from birth, and having woken up out of it in my teens and twenties.  I’ve asked myself many times what caused me to break free of this mental conditioning when I may be the only one of my family to have done it—or I may not; I avoid church, despite my grandmother’s constant entreaties to come, but I’ve never confessed my unbelief, and this may apply to some of my cousins who no longer attend as well, but I’ve never asked them.

In my case, I think what did it was a combination of intelligence level (which, without false modesty, is above average), lively intellectual curiosity (which leads me to examine and question almost everything—not just religion—sometimes excessively), willingness to apply this questioning even to deeply held beliefs (which can be uncomfortable, and many, if not most people, seem unwilling to do), and education level (which again, is above average).  If even one of these four factors is lacking, I’m not sure if one can break free of deep conditioning.  Fortunately, most people are not as deeply conditioned as I was—my mother and especially my grandmother are ultra-religious, and they made sure I was constantly exposed to The Word of God.  Unfortunately, even people who are not as heavily indoctrinated seem little inclined to examine their religious beliefs critically.  Education is probably the key.  There’s not much one can do about other people’s native intelligence or intellectual curiosity, and there’s only a little more that one can do to force people to question their core beliefs, but it is possible to improve the quality of education (though given the current state of the American educational system, this will be a terrible battle as well).

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I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

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Posted: 08 July 2009 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Oh…look at all you smart atheists.  I feel privileged to be in your presence.  That must be it…religious people are just diseased stupid people.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

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“If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked.” -Epictetus

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Posted: 08 July 2009 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 08 July 2009 03:04 PM

Oh…look at all you smart atheists.  I feel privileged to be in your presence.  That must be it…religious people are just diseased stupid people.  Why didn’t I think of this before?


I think the CFH is wet. Whose turn is it to change him?

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 08 July 2009 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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SkepticX - 08 July 2009 03:16 PM
clayforHim648 - 08 July 2009 03:04 PM

Oh…look at all you smart atheists.  I feel privileged to be in your presence.  That must be it…religious people are just diseased stupid people.  Why didn’t I think of this before?


I think the CFH is wet. Whose turn is it to change him?

Changing Clay

It came to pass that an angel came down from heaven and said to Clay, “Today you will read from Ecclesiastes, to help the poor souls on the Sam Harris Forum. 

Ecclesiastes n : A book of the Bible, containing maxims for the cultivation of wisdom.

And Clay obeyed the bidding of the angel and read:

“For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of the beasts is the same.  As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity.”

And when Clay finished reading he gnashed his teeth and upbraided the angel, saying, “Why did you have me read such outdated material to the infidels?  Did not the Lord Jesus Christ say otherwise?  Why repeat such things as fact when we clearly have new information?

Then the angel smiled and said, “Lo!  Clay has been changed.”

(discussion for today’s lesson:  What fooled the angel?  Why wasn’t Clay changed?  Why did God decide to switch to Pampers?)

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 08 July 2009 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 08 July 2009 03:04 PM

  That must be it…religious people are just diseased stupid people.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

Cause you’re too stupid!

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- Jos. Campbell

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Posted: 09 July 2009 03:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 08 July 2009 03:04 PM

Why didn’t I think of this before?

Because you can’t, it is part of the disease process that you suffer to reject any idea that involves reasoning when it comes to question dogmas of faith.

Religion is a ingrained very early in life program in your brain which disable your brain to use the reason when it comes to question of religion. It creates re-entrance pathways of thinking in the primitive brain so automatic dogmatic responses pop when the faith is in question with no reason what so ever.

I don’t expect you to understand any of this because by definition, from your prespective this is wrong. But take this statement for what is worth, from someone who has recovered from 50 years of religious beliefs. I am also a physician with some understanding of the pathophysiology of OCD, and I can analyze myself and see the similarity for a Religion Compulsive Disorder.

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“Life is the COEXISTENCE of opposites values”
Love is Forgiveness
Peace is Tolerance
“In the beginning Man created God according to his own image and understanding. Over the years as Men understanding of morality, violence and tolerance evolves, so evolves our understanding of a Loving God”.

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Posted: 21 July 2009 02:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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mammooth - 09 July 2009 07:53 AM

I am also a physician with some understanding of the pathophysiology of OCD, and I can analyze myself and see the similarity for a Religion Compulsive Disorder.

Mammooth, I’m also very interested in the psychology of belief, although I look at it mostly from a Jungian perspective. It seems to me - and tell me if you disagree - that it may be about different levels of mind activity.

When we are asleep and dreaming, things happen in our minds that make no sense to our waking consciousness, though they can be emotionally powerful. Sleeping emotions occupy the same part of the brain as waking emotions. This means that something that makes no sense can have a powerful emotional effect on the ordinary conscious mind.

Here is a good example. Politicians routinely talk about things that make no sense, but have a powerful emotional effect. The War on Terror. The National Interest. Progress. Change (yes, Obama is guilty too). Rebuilding America (has it fallen down?).

Religious people use this what I call ‘unconscious language’ all the time (makes no sense whatsoever, but has a powerful emotional effect): We are fallen creatures. Jesus died to pay the price of our sins. Let Jesus into your heart. There is no God but God. Hear O Israel, the Lord is One.

So what I think is that there is a level of mind which Jung called the Unconscious, where we access myths, legends, folk tales, religiosity, patriotism, dreams. Does this explain religious belief? I think so. Why else would ordinary intelligent people subscribe to it?

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Posted: 21 July 2009 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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I think the comparison of religion and OCD behaviors is way off base.

OCD patients who are religious are often quite obsessive about aspects of the religion.  Ignatius of Loyola and perhaps Martin Luther could be seen as fitting the bill here.  There are however plenty of nonreligious people with OCD and plenty of religious people who do not meet criteria for any sort of OCD.

Personality disorders are cognitive “phenotypes” whose effects pervade all aspects of affected individuals’ interactions with their surroundings. 

“Religions” are belief systems.  They can be assimilated by people with any personality type.  And the manifestations will be different.

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