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Was The End of Faith the Beginning?
Posted: 25 December 2008 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Giova - 25 December 2008 11:35 PM
teuchter - 25 December 2008 11:13 PM

I’m sorry.  I didn’t realize you were asking whether Harris was the first person to articulately criticize religion as of the date of the publication of Harris’ book.

Yeah. Realizing isn’t exactly your strong point.

All right.  I’ll spell it out for you.

You are a moron.

Your question is idiotic.

Please don’t short out your laptop by drooling on the keyboard.

Here is your idiotic question:

Giova - 25 December 2008 01:30 AM

I like to think that Sam Harris’s The End of Faith book in 2004 was really the start of this 21st century Atheist Revolution, call it what you may. Next came Dawkin’s God Delusion and Hitchens’s God Is Not Great. So did Harris’s book start it all? Can you remember any atheist books published before it that could be said to have started it?

Your assumption that atheism is a 21st century phenomenon is a figment of your limited imagination.  I pointed out a work 100 years old that addressed these issues and you whine that that doesn’t meet your criteria of ignoring everything written before 2001 to prove that atheism is some kind of 21st century phenomenon. 

Then you make the following staggeringly moronic statement:

Giova - 25 December 2008 01:30 AM

Would any of these books have been likely to have come out were it not for 9/11?

Yeah fuckhead, how about the one written in 1909?  Unless you mean, had there never been a 9/11/01, would any of these books been written?

The answer here is no, if the world had come to an end on 9/10/01, no books would have been written after that.

But from now on, please preface all posts with this message:

MY NAME IS GIOVA; PLEASE DON’T CONFUSE ME BY NOT GUESSING ALL ASSUMPTIONS THAT SUPPORT THE ANSWER I WANT.  PLEASE DO NOT MENTION ANY FACT WHICH DOES NOT SUPPORT MY IDIOTIC POST.  THANK YOU, GIOVA.

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“I am one of the few people I know who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.”  Sam Harris October 17, 2005

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Posted: 25 December 2008 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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teuchter - 25 December 2008 11:52 PM

[

The answer here is no, if the world had come to an end on 9/10/01, no books would have been written after that.

But from now on, please preface all posts with this message:

MY NAME IS GIOVA; PLEASE DON’T CONFUSE ME BY NOT GUESSING ALL ASSUMPTIONS THAT SUPPORT THE ANSWER I WANT.  PLEASE DO NOT MENTION ANY FACT WHICH DOES NOT SUPPORT MY IDIOTIC POST.  THANK YOU, GIOVA.

LOL


When I try to pronounce the name “Giova” it comes out sounding like “Jehovah”. But I think it Itie for “Jove”.

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INVEST in cynicism!

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Posted: 25 December 2008 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Well, my last post was intemperate, wasn’t it?

Perhaps I deserved your surly

Giova - 25 December 2008 11:35 PM

Yeah. Realizing isn’t exactly your strong point.

Maybe you’re just really, really smart, and understand things I don’t, or maybe your a woman in Bruce’s church, and are just really really frustrated.

Giova - 25 December 2008 01:30 AM

this 21st century Atheist Revolution, call it what you may.

Anyhow, please explain this 21st Century Atheist Revolution, and be sure to explain how this 21st Century Atheist Revolution marks a rupture with 20th Century Atheism and 19th Century Atheism.  For example, does Dennet’s 1991 book on Consciousness stand as the last gasp of the 20th century atheists, or is a harbinger of this revolution you speak of.

And these revolutionary 21st Century Atheists, do they still subscribe to Ludwig Feuerbach’s view that “Nothing exists outside nature and man, and the higher beings our religious fantasies have created are only the fantastic reflection of our own essence,” as Frederick Engels said in his 19th Century essay “Ludwig Feuerbach and The End of Classical?” German Philosophy?  Or is everything before Harris book regarded as hopelessly quaint by you 21st Century Atheist revolutionaries?

Go ahead and use big words if you have to.  I have access to a dictionary.

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“I am one of the few people I know who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.”  Sam Harris October 17, 2005

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Posted: 25 December 2008 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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teuchter, you misread me. I certainly didn’t mean that atheism is a 21st phenomenon or that there wasn’t atheist literature before then. I’m sorry the stuff in the beginning that smacked of jingoism or my comment “that realizing isn’t your strong point” (when I can see how the ambiguity in my post would lead anyone to read it that way) has led to the tone here. But if this is how fellow free thinkers treat each other in discussion on this site, by mocking them at the outset and resorting to a bitter flame war—all on account of a misunderstanding—I want no part in it.

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Posted: 25 December 2008 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Do you guys need me to mediate this dispute? My rates are reasonable.

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Posted: 25 December 2008 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 25 December 2008 10:42 PM
teuchter - 25 December 2008 08:49 PM

(quoting Mark Twain)
For instance, take this sample: he has imagined a heaven, and has left entirely out of it the supremest of all his delights, the one ecstasy that stands first and foremost in the heart of every individual of his race—and of ours—sexual intercourse!

OK Mr. Burleson, here is your answer from a female.  Although, intercourse is one of the most pleasurable events my husband and I share, it is not “first and foremost” in my heaven.  I am sure that my husband has the same view as Mr. Twain, though.  Women are into building relationships, emotions, feeling love (not physical first), and then the physical.  Men are first physical, then try to meet the others needs.  If I were to create my own heaven, sexual intercourse would have a place, but not first in line.  I enjoy my husband, and he enjoys me to the point we each make sure our “needs” have been met before leaving the moment.  IMHO ~ Mr. Twain’s statement was bias to the male point of view.

Hope this satisfies your curiosity, sir.

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Posted: 26 December 2008 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 26 December 2008 01:17 AM

Do you guys need me to mediate this dispute? My rates are reasonable.

I’ve gotten into fights with believers before. Never thought I’d see the day when I’d go mano a mano with a fellow skeptic LOL

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Posted: 26 December 2008 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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The timing of the second bombing of the World Trade Center assured a revival of atheism at the beginning of the century. The attack seems to have inspired a lot of antireligious attitude. Many past events inspired atheistic attitude, as well, and I suspect that many more such unfortunate events await the world before the antireligionist side wins, if it does.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 26 December 2008 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 26 December 2008 01:17 AM

Do you guys need me to mediate this dispute? My rates are reasonable.

Look at Bruce ... he found his girl (presumably) ... so get to the sex part.

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Posted: 26 December 2008 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Giova - 26 December 2008 08:30 PM
Bruce Burleson - 26 December 2008 01:17 AM

Do you guys need me to mediate this dispute? My rates are reasonable.

I’ve gotten into fights with believers before. Never thought I’d see the day when I’d go mano a mano with a fellow skeptic LOL

If you came here for hugs and kisses, you came to the wrong site, here it’s a slap and a tickle.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Pope Song (rated NC17).

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Posted: 26 December 2008 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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The question as I see it is not if Sam Harris’ books were the “first” antitheist books in the 21st century; they were not.  They may be something of landmarks, but they exist as points in a continuum of such viewpoints for hundreds of years.

The question to me is: is the non-theist movement increasing and becoming more of society’s culture, and I think that can be argued.  The data is not crystal clear, but I’ve the impression most of the western world is moving further away from religion as a dominant social force or political influence.  For whatever reasons, in the U.S. we seem maybe(?) more politically involved with religious influences than seems, by reports, to be the case in much of western Europe. 

Dennis

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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 26 December 2008 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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GAD - 26 December 2008 11:08 PM

If you came here for hugs and kisses, you came to the wrong site, here it’s a slap and a tickle.

There’s no tickling but lots of slapping going on that’s for sure. One minute you think you’re reveling in the spirit (oh- oh!) of comraderie, the next, everyone is pouncing on you with whips and chains.

You’re pretty much on your own and what you want to call yourself is ok with me. Chances are there isn’t another one around anyhow.

Catchy OP Title though, In the beginning there was the End of Faith ... Got that Brucie? That’s Bruce’s favorite book, next to the Bible of course.

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Posted: 26 December 2008 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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GGD,

Most of us have learned to crap after we remove our pants; some do not and wear the results with pride.  Ah, well,  suppose my toilet training experiences were too harsh.  There does seem to be an increase in civility and, to me, enjoyable exchanges, when there’s some effort made not to insult someone at the first small sign of disagreement or difference of opinion or viewpoints. 

Excuse me, I’ve got to go and wash off my saintly white robe. 

Dennis

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Truth, especially “moral truth,” is that elusive human creation whose exclusive apprehension is claimed by many, who then sanctimoniously condemn anyone else who does not agree with their particular apprehension, while denying that any question can be posed about their own apprehension.  I will try to avoid that tendency.  DEC

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Posted: 26 December 2008 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Dennis Campbell - 26 December 2008 11:13 PM

The question as I see it is not if Sam Harris’ books were the “first” antitheist books in the 21st century; they were not.  They may be something of landmarks, but they exist as points in a continuum of such viewpoints for hundreds of years.

The question to me is: is the non-theist movement increasing and becoming more of society’s culture, and I think that can be argued.  The data is not crystal clear, but I’ve the impression most of the western world is moving further away from religion as a dominant social force or political influence.  For whatever reasons, in the U.S. we seem maybe(?) more politically involved with religious influences than seems, by reports, to be the case in much of western Europe. 

Dennis

Just six months ago I would perhaps had been inclined to disagree. That organized religion is on retreat I think is definately the case, in the United States too. But atleast over here, a significant fall of religion was followed by a rise of relativism and an almost obnoxious tolerance for the craziest of ideas.
I think the heavy burden of world war 2 is still having a very powerful psychological effect on Europeans, and the fear of nationalism and racism is probably the anchor which have rendered most of us unable to mount an effective defense against relativism.

However, just over the past year I have started to see a shift in the zeitgeist. Interestingly enough Islam in particular is taking some very heavy punches at the moment, and most of the damage done to it is due to some incredible strategical failures.

In the last year here in Sweden it is as if the last drop just made the cup spill over, and many many people just dropped that face of tolerance and apologetic speak that has kept any religious debate neatly silenced.

The first mistake was that the government wrote a law to legalize Halal slaughter. The method of slaughtering animals in Islam in order for the meat to be considered pure. Its a gruesome method of slaughter and the lawmakers really misjudged the weight animal rights issues carry among the population. The outrage were swift and most of it were channeled at the muslim faith, as well as into the question of separation of church and state.

This was followed then in the summer by the next strategical blunder when public television broadcasted an eight episode series called halal tv. The format were to be three muslim women talking about social and contemporary issues from a muslim perspective.
Again, even before the show went on air the criticism was sour. People were not happy about the way such a show legitimizes one particular ideology. The question was raised why there were no shows depicting contemporary issues from a communist perspective, a nazi perspective, a christian perspective etc.
Then it was discovered that one of the three women leading the show were a muslim scholar who had in appeared on a documentary a few years earlier defending the execution of a woman who got pregnant out of marriage by saying that islamic law is above state law.

Then a few petty culture clashes within the shows caused even more argument.

And then again when the series was over and the debate was again starting to tone down a series of violent events erupted in the suburb of Rosengard in southern sweden.
This coming at a time when the image of islam was not all that warm did not help much, especially as the causes for these riots were revealed. It turned out that the people who were causing the riots were young people who hired a couple of rooms in a building to have as a mosque, and had so for a few years. The contract expired and the owner of the building then
signed a new contract with someone else.
The owners of the mosque refused to accept not getting an extended contract and it took two years of court battles before they were ordered to move their stuff out. A number of young muslims then proceeded to occupy the building and refused to leave, leading to the police going in and forcing them out. When the owner of the building then barricaded the entrance to keep anyone from going back in, violent riots broke out, cars were set on fire, buildings damaged and police were attacked and forced to respond with more force.

Then to top it all off, a debate was held on public tv over the events leading up to the riots in which again the people owning this particular mosque made complete fools out of themselves and really failed to bring any kind of sympathy for themselves. They basically asserted that the owner of the building had no right to not let them stay there, ignoring national law, they claimed the police started the riots baiting them to attack by blocking the entrance and they essentially claimed it to be racism if they did not get to keep the lokale.
Finally it was revealed on the same debate that affiliates with the Mosque were very radical muslims who openly preaches that 9/11 was the work of Jews and on live national tv the imam of this mosque refused to condemn the actions of Bin Laden when pressured by the debate moderator.

The above chain of events is just an amazing example of how the proponents of a faith can absolutely destroy their own image with no help from outside at all, by showing really poor judgement at the worst of timing.

Basically, the number of people who will openly admit that they got a problem with how many parts of Islam is demanding attention is hugely larger than the number would had been just a year ago, and all of this without a single move from the atheist side. It has all been completely self inflicted.

Obviously the pope then finished off a wonderful year of waking up to the religious alarm clock with his christmas speech.

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Posted: 26 December 2008 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Unbeliever - 26 December 2008 11:45 PM
Dennis Campbell - 26 December 2008 11:13 PM

The question to me is: is the non-theist movement increasing and becoming more of society’s culture, and I think that can be argued.  The data is not crystal clear, but I’ve the impression most of the western world is moving further away from religion as a dominant social force or political influence.  For whatever reasons, in the U.S. we seem maybe(?) more politically involved with religious influences than seems, by reports, to be the case in much of western Europe. 

Dennis

Just six months ago I would perhaps had been inclined to disagree. That organized religion is on retreat I think is definately the case, in the United States too. But atleast over here, a significant fall of religion was followed by a rise of relativism and an almost obnoxious tolerance for the craziest of ideas.
I think the heavy burden of world war 2 is still having a very powerful psychological effect on Europeans, and the fear of nationalism and racism is probably the anchor which have rendered most of us unable to mount an effective defense against relativism.

Interesting observations. Welcome back unbeliever, long time no see. It does seem that non-theism has come a long way in gaining a legitimate voice with more respectful recognition in the public sphere. I don’t know that I would speak in terms of numbers, but as unbeliever provides in his examples, perhaps the harder the theists fight, the greater our victories in the end. The theists end up shooting themselves in the foot, and the pervading sense of what is right with respect to justice, decency and human rights doesn’t seem to favor the faithful as well as it has in the past. I think their hypocrisy is greater exposed.

As far as the books, I can’t say. But the four who seem to be the more prominent now certainly seem to be generating a lot of interest in what might have seemed taboo not that long ago. Of course, the advent of the internet has promoted wider communication and avenues for expression of similar ideas. I suppose I should be more appreciative that Sam Harris set this thing up for a place to meet and discuss.

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