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Was The End of Faith the Beginning?

 
hmmm
 
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hmmm
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25 December 2008 20:58
 
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.

 
Giova
 
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Giova
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26 December 2008 15:30
 
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

 
nv
 
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nv
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26 December 2008 16:21
 

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.

 
 
goodgraydrab
 
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goodgraydrab
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26 December 2008 17:09
 
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.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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26 December 2008 18:08
 
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.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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26 December 2008 18:13
 

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

 
 
goodgraydrab
 
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goodgraydrab
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26 December 2008 18:21
 
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.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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26 December 2008 18:30
 

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

 
 
Unbeliever
 
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Unbeliever
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26 December 2008 18:45
 
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.

 
 
goodgraydrab
 
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goodgraydrab
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26 December 2008 19:36
 
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.

 
 
Dennis Campbell
 
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Dennis Campbell
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27 December 2008 08:04
 

UB,

Welcome back, interesting post.  We have not as far as I know had these kinds of Islamic demonstrations here.

Dennis

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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27 December 2008 08:24
 

I think it only obvious that the events of 9-11 caused a ‘spike’ if you will, among secular/atheist writings and the publicity/popularity of them.

 
 
M is for Malapert
 
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M is for Malapert
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29 December 2008 12:52
 
Bruce Burleson - 25 December 2008 11:08 PM

I ask for female comment, and all I get are those who piss against the wall.

Probably because most of us, of the few who are here, know you are the kind of person who refers to us as “gals, babes, chickipoos”. 

As for “anyone with estrogen”?  You have estrogen.  In cyclically varying amounts, too.

More important, though, you begged the question.  You already have your mind made up, so why answer.

 
 
Lapin Diabolique
 
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Lapin Diabolique
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02 January 2009 16:09
 
Giova - 25 December 2008 01:30 AM

it makes me proud to know that an American began .......


Thank Buddha.
What good fortune that Mr. T sniffed this foul-smelling mental eructation before I did.
Otherwise I would have failed miserably, after not even 48 hours, in my new-year’s resolution to stop calling people dumb-ass fuckwits.

Lucky Giova, lucky me.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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02 January 2009 16:47
 
M is for Malapert - 29 December 2008 05:52 PM
Bruce Burleson - 25 December 2008 11:08 PM

I ask for female comment, and all I get are those who piss against the wall.

Probably because most of us, of the few who are here, know you are the kind of person who refers to us as “gals, babes, chickipoos”. 

As for “anyone with estrogen”?  You have estrogen.  In cyclically varying amounts, too.

More important, though, you begged the question.  You already have your mind made up, so why answer.

Come on now, M.  Tune up your funny bone.

 
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