* Posts by Stefan

7 posts • joined 27 Jul 2008

Turkish court bans Dawkins' website



@ Joe:

"Name me one major global terrorist group that aren't inspired by religion somewhere along the line."

Well exactly, there pretty much aren't any. And many of these groups have turned to terrorism because the modern world refuses to let them in unless they renounce their god and traditional/feudal way of life. They tried to give democracy to iraq but the country is too feudal and instead it became a power blood bath between hundreds of competing clans.

See the assumption is that religion makes people religious and stupid. But if all religions were magically disappeared tomorrow, most of the people of the next generation, would grow up inventing new religions. It fulfills a need. It is something atheists simply can't fathom. Try to remember how you saw the world when you were 4 years old. Really get it into your mind. You simply can't put yourself back into that state of mind. Even a child of 7, when shown a video of himself when he was younger, and saying silly things, will often not accept that that child is him.

I mean, I wish we could get rid of religion, but if you do, most of the world will be stuck at an even more primitive way of life. Tribes, witch doctors, clans, and so on. It is a stepping stone.

@Ash :

"The only other alternative, what you seem to advocate, is just letting them get on with it and hope it doesn't affect us atheists too negatively. But it does, and it has, and it's been too long that we have let them get away with changing society based on something that doesn't even exist, except in their imaginative, but weak-willed minds."

Yes, don't let them affect atheists too much. Don't let the government impose religious laws, absolutely. I agree. Dawkins just goes too far and turns it into a sort of hatred, and that is stupid. It is stupid because it makes the religious nuts feel attacked, and so then they WILL start trying to influence the government more and try to take power. And they outnumber us. So it is a stupid strategy.

And there is another aspect to this: many atheists grew up with religion, but through their own life experience, developed rational questioning. Don't overestimate the role of education and indoctrination. Religious people are religious at least 50% due to their own life and personal makeup. Have you tried "educating" a religious person to become a rational atheist? I'll bet you could talk to one for 5 years and never change their belief. So let's not blame it all on an evil nasty indoctrinating church. Some people just are religious, and some start out religious and then grow out of it. And if they don't have a God to join with, maybe they just become marxists or something. And take that as their gospel truth.

Dawkins doesn't convince any of atheism, he just aggravates the religious people.



@ David:

"Anyway, was Europe a haven of peace when it was all united under the Church of Rome?

Personally, I'd have thought that trade was a fairly significant factor uniting different tribes. When communities specialise in one or other form of production, perhaps initially for reasons of geography, and later by tradition, and they can mutually benefit by swapping objects, then they can become worth more to each other alive than dead."

World peace didn't happen under non-religious regimes either... the point is that we are slowly forming larger and larger social groups. Tribes were united by religion, then they formed nation states, which also proceeded to try to kill each other, major world wars, and so on, and now we are trying to unite nation states into some sort of planetary unity, the united nations being one of the first (and failing) attempts to do that. Would you say that we should abolish nation states because they have caused millions of dead in the space of a few years? No we recognise that the social grouping is large and allows industry and commerce on massive scales.

I'm not saying we're wrong to go beyond religion, just that for many parts of the world that are still feudal, like Pakistan, Darfur, and so on, religion is actually a step up for them, and guess what, religion is very popular in these places, because that's just what the people need and want. We as westerners have to be careful not to imagine that these parts of the world are just like us... I've lived in africa, so maybe it is easier to see.

For example, there was an interview with some women folk in a village in an african country that was about to get its first democratic vote. They asked her whom she would vote for to be president, and she said that her tribal king was the leader so he should be president. She would not accept as president any other tribe's king. We in the west are so far removed from that mentality, and our own history, that we find it hard to imagine how anyone would think that way--but just go there and find out. Likewise female circumcision. It's not something invented by religion, it is much earlier, it is a tribal thing. There are parts of africa where the christian missionaries complain that the locals are not rational enough, because they are still going to the witch doctor. Imagine that, a christian missionary complaining that the locals are not rational enough.

Trade is all very well once you have peace between tribes. As soon as difficulties arise, the tribal loyalty and blood lines resurface with a vengeance... Darfur was a massive tribal blood bath.

You need stable nation states united under one god before you can even begin to wonder about world peace between nations. Going back to Dawkins, he just doesn't know this stuff so he continues his anti-religious diatribes, sitting in the comforts of his safe British nation state, where we have government sanctioned tolerance between races and food on the shelves. It's fine to detest religion, once you are past needing it yourself. It is wrong to try to demolish it though, as it is a necessary step in many parts of the world. Demolish it and you just leave people at the tribal level, and that is closer to nature, and closer to the monkeys, who often kill each other's babies by bashing heads into rocks, to protect blood lines.

Sorry this is a long comment but it needs some examples to get across.


Atheist, but not ignorant.

@ Ash

"No-one is trying to convert you. Those rational enough to see through all the nonsense (no hyphen) also realise you're all too far gone to ever come back to the land of the thinking."

Then why does he bother? I'm not religious. If Dawkins just sits there and says religious people are stupid and/or insane, then what is the point? He's just poking them in the eye, for what, his own amusement? For the amusement of Atheists? So they religious people can feel threatened and start retaliating by banning the internet? What exactly is his strategy here? If they are beyond reason/help/enlightenment?


"Hate to burst your bubble, but no belief was around before belief. Someone had to come up with the idea of an outside force acting on them"

Before belief you will find thousands of years of tribal warfare. No gods were necessary, just the protection of blood lines. Your own family was OK and helped, and your own tribe was OK, but anyone else was fair game. Altheists often ignore that in human history, religion was the once force that could unite disparate tribes, under the symbol of an imaginary god, and allow them to come together as a larger social unit. When it is not strong enough, cultures remain tribal, feudal, and more violent. -- Now at this point, most Atheists just say "no way dude, I don't accept that". -- Fine. But notice you've just blanked it out.



If Dawkins is so smart, why does he aggravate the very people he's trying to convert?

We Atheists would do well to remember that in the world today, we are in the minority. If the major religions got their act together, they could sweep Atheism off the planet. If it really came to a cultural war, Religion would win. It has been around for much longer, it has been practicing the subtle art of indoctrination for thousands of years, and it continues to gain new converts throughout the Third World. Most people today, if they had to choose between a few technological trinkets, and a life that gave their tiny little egos a chance of "salvation" would go for the salvation.

Dawkins is an idiot.

Met Office: Global warming sceptics 'have heads in sand'

Paris Hilton


Scientists protect their reputations, just like businesses protect their profits.

I don't care whether temperatures go up or down a bit--what I care about is blind belief in computer fantasies.

It's a prediction about the future, so no one can prove you wrong!

It "predicts" natural variability, so no one can prove you wrong!

It is about saving the planet, so no one can prove you wrong without being labelled a greedy selfish ignorant criminal.

These are boomers who think their lives should be about ending famine, creating world peace, saving the environment. At least a businessman doesn't care what business they are in--nuclear, oil, or wind--as long as it is profitable. But boomer scientists need to feel that their cause is the most important. We have to act now!

Nobody is impressed. Paris because even she can be more honest about why she's doing it.

Paris Hilton


@ Andrew:

"why is climate change science an area where everyone can be their own expert?"

If a team of doctors tried a new drug on you that hadn't been tried on any human before, but assured you they knew with 95% confidence it would work, would you, despite being a layman, believe them? Or would you wonder that what they were saying, despite being experts, was nonsensical?

If a team of engineers designed a new material, and went ahead and used it in a real machine or building without testing it rigorously (in reality, not computer models) would you think they were acting wisely?

We are being told that the world as we know it will end unless we submit to the predictions of computer models--models that are making predictions about what will happen in 50 and 100 years. How can we sanely trust such models? They haven't predicted and tested (in the real sense of the word) anything so far.

So next time your doctor starts saying strange things, be sure to follow all his advice, will you?

Paris because even she has enough common sense.

Doctors: Third babies are the same as patio heaters

Thumb Up

Wear a condom!

How many greenies does it take to change a lightbulb and save the world?

The answer is far far fewer greenies than we have now. Most greenies are obsessed with token gestures that will make no difference whatsoever. Meanwhile they accuse everyone else of being "deniers".

If they believed that global warming was anywhere near as dangerous as they claim, they would stop having kids today. It is the simplest, most radically effective, and quickest way to see a real reduction in consumption.

But instead they want us to change lightbulb and fly a little less. Would you listen to a greenie who has 3 kids? How about 2? Find me a middle aged greenie who has no kids and then we can start to listen.

And no, I'm not funded by Durex.

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