The insanity must end
Posted: 21 December 2004 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I enjoyed the book by Mr. Harris.  His arguments are sound, but I felt he did not go far enough in the physical world or rather universe.

There are between 300 to 400 billion stars in our MilkyWay Galaxy. Two other Galaxies are close by, Andromeda and the Spiral Galaxy. The Andromeda has 90 billion stars and the Spiral another 50 billion. That is all in our little spot in the universe. So with roughly 500 billion stars in our little neighborhood, the supreme being has chosen our Earth circling a small rather insignificant star upon which to create the race of man and apparently everything else. We even know what our supreme being looks like because he created man in his own image.

How egotistical can we possibly be?

The Planet earth is 8000 miles in diameter. All life as we know it exists in a 20 mile liquid/gaseous zone on the surface of this planet. From this we can derive that mankind is not the scum of the Earth. We are actually a biological infestation that inhabits the scum of the Planet Earth.

If someone suffers an accident and incurs damage to the brain, or if they suffer from Alzheimer's or any of dozens of other afflictions that affect the brain they can begin to lose their memories, even their very identities. Somehow when that body dies and that brain turns to dust, we will travel to heaven and find all of are loved ones. For some reason we will remember who we are and recognize others from our lives. You would think that the almighty immortal soul would hold up a little better while we were still in our bodies

Religion is such a sweet and easy addiction to fail into. We have had 2 thousand years to fine tune it so we can answer all the questions, all it takes is blind faith.

Maybe that is why SETI has never found anything. Would not any sentient species develop a religion to explain the mystery of life? Would not this religion eventually schism and become a dividing influence? Maybe most races destroy themselves in a tribute to the glory of their God.

I believe any sentient race stumbling across this Planet would decide that our religions are a clear danger signal. They would want to keep us unaware of them. That is of course the best scenario. If people want to pray for something they should pray that we never meet a race who has a true single religion. Mankind would never survive such an encounter.

Well I will now get down off my soap box.

Thanks for the book Mr. Harris, maybe someday I will write one of my own.

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Posted: 21 December 2004 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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When man’s world was only as far as the “I” could see, he egotistically thought it was flat; that the heavens revolved around him, and that he was the center of the universe.
It’s only logical that he would be the apple of his true god’s eye.
The next, logical conclusion is that everyone else is a blind idiot, idolater, infidel…
Fill in the blank.
Now my powerful country is heading down this road. The school systems/evolution; the religious right’s political influence growing…
Scary.
What event/catastrophe will make this pendulum swing back towards sanity?

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Posted: 21 December 2004 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“Sweeney”]When man’s world was only as far as the “I” could see, he egotistically thought it was flat; that the heavens revolved around him, and that he was the center of the universe.
It’s only logical that he would be the apple of his true god’s eye.
The next, logical conclusion is that everyone else is a blind idiot, idolater, infidel…
Fill in the blank.
Now my powerful country is heading down this road. The school systems/evolution; the religious right’s political influence growing…
Scary.
What event/catastrophe will make this pendulum swing back towards sanity?

***
Why a meteorite impact, of course (i.e. the “2nd” coming of Christ).

JL

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Posted: 22 December 2004 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I am starting to think that the phenomenon of religion (or any supernatural belief system) is simply a part of the evolutionary process, a booby trap & natural defense mechanism against lesser minded (but still sentient) beings who have the ability to manipulate their surroundings and thus, access to the awesome powers of the universe (electricity, atom splitting, space exploration, nanotechnology and who knows what else), but are still unproven in terms of living harmoniously and finding that natural balance with one’s surroundings (resource management, respect for other living creatures –all flora and fauna as well as other human civilizations) which is fundamental to, and necessary for, sustainable existence.

In other words, if the species hasn’t mastered & isn’t able to manage its conflicts, he can only evolve so far until he blows himself (and up to everything else on his moisture-covered, mossy rock - but no more) up with the technology he is discovering. 

If I were an advanced, peaceful & sustainable civilization on another planet, I’d probably want to remain hidden from earth’s telescopes too… at least obscured from this edition of ambitious, entreprenurial and primarily violent explorers and their profiteers…

Imagine the kind of universal damage and havoc a species like ours could wreak if we knew how to conjure black holes or expedite supernovas…

“No thanks, fellas… go ahead & blow yourselves up… we’re just going to chill out here behind Vega… perhaps wait for your next batch on Earth or check in with that colony over by Alpha Centauri… maybe they’ll be a little less insecure…”

Andrew

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Posted: 22 December 2004 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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It is important to put these things into perspective, I agree.  We are but matter in the universe.  But that very implication is too much for some people.  They want to be important.  Their egos cannot withstand the concepts of infinity, mortality, change.

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Posted: 22 December 2004 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I think our need for religion has 2 levels.
1) When man can’t explain the unknown he finds the “flux capacitor” and prays to it. Lazy/Stupid and too egocentric to admit it.
2) For 5-700,000 years man, as a hunter gatherer, walked this planet without much need for organized religion. Then came farming, and when you need people to toil in the field (whether you’re a village elder or warlord chief), you need to convince people that at the end of the day (death), you have a better reward.
You’ve got to sell the unhappy, that you have a better day coming, if you want them to work their lives away in a field, or strap a bomb on their waste.
Number 2 is the old opiate for the masses arguement, with a socio-archeological Daniel Quin spin.

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Posted: 22 December 2004 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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A Canadian priest of the Anglican persuasion has published a study he calls The Pagan Christ. His name is Tom Harpur. It’s worth a read. He avers that Christianity today is based on a fraud over 1500 years old; that Christ has origins in Egyptian mythology thousands of years before the Christian era. He’s convincing enough, and his sources seem viable. If there is a difficulty with the book it’s that Harpur can’t seem to stop reassuring us and himself that his “faith” is not undone by his dicoveries, but is indeed reinforced. I wish he had just not gone on so much about it. Something more detached would have been in order. I got to Harris’ book some months after Harpur’s. Now there’s detachment (for the most part).

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Posted: 22 December 2004 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I’m probably the only person on this site who hasn’t read Harris’ book!

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Posted: 22 December 2004 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“Uncle Tom”]A Canadian priest of the Anglican persuasion has published a study he calls The Pagan Christ. His name is Tom Harpur. It’s worth a read. He avers that Christianity today is based on a fraud over 1500 years old; that Christ has origins in Egyptian mythology thousands of years before the Christian era. He’s convincing enough, and his sources seem viable. If there is a difficulty with the book it’s that Harpur can’t seem to stop reassuring us and himself that his “faith” is not undone by his dicoveries, but is indeed reinforced. I wish he had just not gone on so much about it. Something more detached would have been in order. I got to Harris’ book some months after Harpur’s. Now there’s detachment (for the most part).

***
He was a guest of the month (a few months ago) author over at Graham Hancock’s website.

See my other thread about new OT god interpretation by Alan Alford.

http://www.grahamhancock.com

JL

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Posted: 08 January 2005 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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I agree with you Don. Religion is a form of insanity because it is an irrational belief not verifiable through observation or testing.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of humans fall into that easy trap of religion that you referred to. No matter how much reason, logic and intellect that we throw at religious believers, we will not be successful in convincing them of their folly. Their minds are incapable of thinking in a rational manner with regards to religion.

The same is true of Schizophrenics. It doesn’t matter how much reason you throw at them, they will continue to believe that the voices they hear are real. Religion has virtually the same effect on the masses. No amount of logic and reason will convince them to not believe in their God(s).

The goal should be to understand why humans think the way they do. Or as I see it, humans stop thinking, when it comes to religion. If you could understand that, you would really have something meaningful.

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