SCIENCE VS RELIGION

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:13 am

The similarity didn't hit me at the time I wrote the post about open mind, Dawkins, and abortion, but it's very much like the joke that comes late in Woody Allen's "Love and Death" . . . I never want to be married; I just want to get a divorce.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Duane
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Postby Duane » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:48 am

Lori, people here do a pretty good job of separating bonafide Christians (i.e., followers of Christ) from those who excuse their horrific behaviors with a verse or two taken out of context from the Bible, and as a fellow Christian I appreciate that.

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Postby robochrist » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:13 pm

A another and recent example of Duane's descriptive:

Last night a ceo (or the such) representing the mining company whose workers are trapped 1500 feet underground told news people, "if they've been killed by the cave-in they're in God's hands".

But what you never hear is the accountability of the company on the issue of safety measures (which, btw, Canadian companies DO cover):

Government mine inspectors issued 325 citations against the mine since 2004, 116 being what the government considered “significant and substantial,” meaning they are likely to cause injury.

As yet, no one in the company seems to express concern about this point.

I guess because it's all in "God's hands".

It's one of the ways I've always resented religion, as used to relinquish one's accountability or conscience.

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Postby LarryF » Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:12 am

Lori,

I try not to "lump all Christians together," as I know they're all over the map politically and morally. In my message to Ezra, for example, I wrote, "What's scary about these brass-bedecked boneheads is not so much that they're Christians, but that they're fundamentalist Christians."

When one says "fundamentalist Christian" I think immediately of such as Pat Robertson, D. James Kennedy, the late Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson. An unsavory lot, you'll have to admit. Fundamentalists like these would gladly turn our ailing democracy into a full-fledged theocracy.

As for what others believe, I think a quote from Thomas Jefferson sums up my view very well: "It matters not if my neighbor believes in one god or in twenty; it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." (Okay, I'm just quoting from memory, so please excuse if it's not verbatim.) My take on that quip is, "I don't care if you believe in the risen Jesus or the risen Elvis, so long as you don't try to force your beliefs on me, we're cool." Unfortunately, fundamentalist Christians want to use the force of law to impose their religious views on the rest of us. That's what I object to.

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Lori Koonce
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Postby Lori Koonce » Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:39 am

I can like you again LarryF! :D

You've got a great attitude, and are TOTALLY right about the people you mentioned.

Just to clear things up a bit for those who may need it. I think of fundanmetalism as trying to get down to the brass tacks of a religion.
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Postby FrankChurch » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:29 pm

Yes, Larry is a happy radical, like me; you don't see that much in our realm.

I'm still shocked that Hitchens sold so many books.

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Aug 09, 2007 3:25 pm

OK too much lovey dovey, that's my signal to step in...

Words have meaning friends, words that are used to mean anything wind up meaning nothing.

Religious Fundamentalism is not just simply the religious belief of anyone we find obnoxious in their habits and practice.

Christian fundies, for example, are people who believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God, that Adam and Eve were real breathing human beings, that Jesus literally rose from the dead, and that most of the human race is destined to spend eternity being tortured in a literal Hell.

They are not just a small fanatic fringe minority to be sneered at by us enlightened folk who've left all that behind. They are 99% of the Christians who have ever lived.


Frank have you read Hitchen's book? It's dang good. The best of the recent "atheist" screeds in fact.
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Postby Moderator » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:29 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote: Religious Fundamentalism is not just simply the religious belief of anyone we find obnoxious in their habits and practice.


Very true. The term Fundamentalist, whether applies to Christianity, Islam, Judaism or other, indicates a specific approach to theological doctrine. It indicates a strong belief in the basics of their religion and how it should be applied in a daily life. And, unfortunately, it pretty much is synonymous with inflexibility and intolerance towards other beliefs. The fundamentalist friend of mine I've referred to previously often demonstrates his "tolerance" by engaging others in religious discussion -- pointing out that it's unfortunate that the other person isn't a "believer" and therefore is consigned to Hell. He is intensely curious about other faiths only in the search to use them solely to reinforce his own...

Ezra Lb. wrote:Christian fundies, for example, are people who believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God, that Adam and Eve were real breathing human beings, that Jesus literally rose from the dead, and that most of the human race is destined to spend eternity being tortured in a literal Hell.


Exactly true. I've recounted such a discussion with my buddy before. Almost point by point.

Ezra Lb. wrote:They are not just a small fanatic fringe minority to be sneered at by us enlightened folk who've left all that behind. They are 99% of the Christians who have ever lived.


Okay, Ezra, here we part company. Christian Fundamentalists are a minority of Christians -- but they happen to be very vocal and intense about it while most Christians simply go about their day. As, I might point out, Islamic Fundamentalists and Judaic Fundamentlists relate to their everyday brethren (and sistren).

The dilemma is that the vast majority of Americans tend to shy away and not confront them -- a tactic which is being used exactly against us by the "Fundies". In a way, it's not unlike the vocal bully in the schoolyard who insists that he's right and will pound anyone who disagrees. It doesn't change anyone's mind, but it does keep a lot of people from expressing a contrary opinion. In our "enlightenment" we're told to live and let live -- in their viewpoint, that simply makes us ripe for conversion lest we rot in Hell.

Fortunately for me, my friend now understands that we disagree intensely and while we can freely discuss it, he has to be prepared I'm going to be as unwaveringly convinced he's been brainwashed and led astray of Christ's teachings, as he is of my eventual journey to Hell.

(You outta hear Jim howl when I point out Christ would revile Bush, the War in Iraq, Tax Cuts, and clearly vote Democrat -- an argument, I might point out, that he has been very hard pressed to refute...)
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Postby paul » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:01 am

Ezra Lb. wrote:Frank have you read Hitchen's book? It's dang good. The best of the recent "atheist" screeds in fact.


I really like Sam Harris' Letter To A Christian Nation. Give it as a gift for birthdays.
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Postby David Loftus » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:20 am

There's a book coming out this season that's intended as a riposte to Harris, Dawkins, and Dennett.

It's called The Irrational Atheist: Discovering the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris, by Vox Day (hyuk, hyuk!), published by BenBella Books.

I told the editor of the California Literary Review to have a copy sent to me, but it was at the very bottom of my list, and if anyone else in his stable of writers expressed interest in this one, to let 'em have it. I was mainly interested in it as an excuse and encouragement to read the books that inspired it.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby paul » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:43 am

Wait, wait- the woman-hating, libertarian 'christian-science', WorldNetDaily, Vox? Zat one?
Oh, hohohoho. This is gonna be great!

Sorry, Steve. It appears the Webderland Forums Sarcastic-O-Meter has shorted out. My bad. I'll pony up for the repairs.
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Postby David Loftus » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:51 am

I was not aware of the existence of this person. Odds are, it's the same guy. Fill us in, huh?
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby David Loftus » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:53 am

The book may not even have been his idea. There's a good chance some publisher approached him with the concept, under the notion of what Harlan called -- somewhere in the Edge in My Voice columns -- "let's you and him fight."
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby paul » Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:09 pm

David, getting ready to go to work, but here's a couple of quick, links for research i found. I am assuming it's the same guy. I did a quick look around on the book title, and all evidence seems to point this way.

Vox Day- A.K.A. Theodore Beale
his blog~ http://voxday.blogspot.com/
home~ http://voxday.net/

One can also find World Net archives of his work, and audio interviews as well. Up to and including his love of video games.

I cannot read him; in the dictionary, next to 'Paralogical', one would find his picture.

He holds with some Libertarian standpoints, but with his own little twists. Against the Iraq war, not fond of Bush, but believer in Creation and the Plan of the Almighty and that women should stay in the kitchen and mind their manners, seen and not heard, most especially if they're married.

A fast excrement:
"One reason that career women are so shocked to hear of their lack of desirability to men is that their comparatively high incomes mean that they are bringing something to the marriage table, in effect a form of modern dowry. But they tend to forget that in addition to their salaries one must assess their sexual values, which can be computed thanks to data collected on average American sexual practices which state that the average sexual encounter lasts 28 minutes and Americans average 58 such encounters per year.
Therefore, the sexual value of a woman can be computed according to the formula (P*(E/60)*(N*12), wherein P = price per hour, E = length of average sexual encounter in minutes and N = number of monthly encounters. Assuming realistic maximums, this value can be expected to range between 0 and $1.67 million on an annual basis. However, if one assumes that P for the average woman is one-third the overnight rate of a pretty, but non-elite 20-year-old call girl, the sexual value of the average American woman works out to only $1,353.33 per annum.
So, the problem faced by career women, then, is that while they do bring their modern dowry to the table in the form of a salary and a health insurance package, they bring little else, and money does not buy happiness. However high their original sexual value, their time commitments and job stresses tend to reduce it, while they are at a disadvantage with regards to other relationship aspects valued by men, such as providing children, child care and various household services."


I do not believe this is presented tongue-in-cheek.

Congrats on the Holmes work, and as I am a huge reader and applicator of the canon, I look forward to your reading.
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Postby Lori Koonce » Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:14 pm

Ezra

I was trying to find some information to despute your statement on Fundie Christians and this is the best I could come up with. It's a paragraph from the Berkley Daily Planet, the student run paper for UC Berkeley. The article was published

"According to the May 10 Gallup Poll 86 percent of Americans believe in God—only 6 percent “don’t believe.” Our religious terrain is dominated by Christians: the most recent Gallup Poll indicated that 75 percent describe Christianity as their “religious preference”—only 11 percent say they have “none.” A large percentage of U.S. Christians profess fundamentalist beliefs: 43 percent of Protestants describe themselves as “born-again or evangelical” Christians. Typically, they have dogmatic, conservative beliefs: the Bible is literally true; the end times are coming soon; and the United States must become a Christian?"

This article was written July 10th of this year. 43 precent of ANY pouplation dosen't make a majority. They just SEEM that way because they have the ear of those in power.
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