Aristopus - I get the underlying sentiment you’re trying to express. The way I express it, when I express it, is “religion is the root of most evil”. Much of western culture is rooted in Christianity, so much so that most people don’t even realize it, and the damage it’s done. And you’ll always run up against folks like George who will use the old “it’s not religion that’s bad, it’s the people who use it for bad purposes.” Folks like that, and almost all religious folks will never respond to reasoning and writing, etc. It’s an emotional, psychological dependence they have. I realized this way back in college. I had a roommate who was the valedictorian, was being sought out for his work in economics even as an undergrad, etc. And yet when we talked about religion you couldn’t tell him apart from the sorriest dumbass redneck you ever met. He clung to his religion for emotional reasons, not logical ones. And that was that.
So personally I gave up trying to convert or convince “believers” long ago. IMHO you just have to be a good example yourself, and really rise above religion in a way, to realize if it’s what it takes for some to get by, then help them along in that regard. The hard part too is to realize religion IS wrong in the sense that astrology is, it’s just that because there’s such an emotional aspect to it, and the world is still so barbaric, it’s just going to take many generations and technological advances before it goes the way of astrology.
You shouldn’t hold your breath, astrology is still believed in by many people - even well educated people.
Hey all. Been a while since I posted, but figured I’d chime in.
A couple of warning signs I observed from the thread title and the OP’s posts.
Seeing “Religion is Abomination” struck me as odd because it is simply a reversal of a common western Christian trope. As thinking, critical, skeptical people, I think it is our duty to not only criticize silly ideas, but to be wary of mirroring the methods by which they were created and are continually defended. However, I also appreciate irony, so I clicked the link. I went on to read what essentially constitutes a rant (by the author’s own admission) rather than a cogent argument. It sounds suspiciously like the rants often espoused in religious groups re: the secular world…lacking nuance, understanding, sensitivity, or very much connection with the reality of its subject matter. Painting religion with a wide brush is succumbing to the same harmful heuristic that makes many of the folks in groups like CFI so frustrated with religion in the first place. Not that I don’t appreciate a good rant, but I usually enjoy ones that are funny and involve specific stories of ridiculousness, rather than overt generalization. That’s just…boring.
I also have to call out the claims of threat receipt. Not that there aren’t some crazy folks on the internet, but over the past 10 years I’ve participated in a lot of pretty heated internet discussions in a variety of different forums, and never received any type of threat. I’ve gotten banned from a few Christian websites (which I’ve always counted victory), but never threatened. As a matter of fact, more often than not I’ve gotten very well-intentioned, if misguided, attempts to connect and (ostensibly) be evangelized. Maybe this is just me being naive or ignorant, but I doubt the veracity of the OP’s claims. Even if they are true, they don’t add any clout to the post.
George, I appreciate the succinctness of your replies, and you and Occam for maintaining critical standards, regardless of the conclusions of the poster. It’s easy to affirm someone just because we agree or sympathize with what they’re saying, but that obviously violates some of the most fundamental tenets of scientific thinking.
Again, there is a strong correlation between lower fertility and education, but it’s far from being clear what exactly is causing what here. The funny thing is, though, that those with the very high socio-economic status often have more children than everybody else. But the very rich are an abnormality, so it makes a little difference.
I finally figured out why Romney looks ‘familiar’ to me! He reminds me a of a young Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster).
I looked it up: “...First, the garment provides the member “a constant reminder” of the covenants they made in the temple. Second, the garment “when properly worn…provides protection against temptation and evil”. Wearing the garment is also “an outward expression of an inward commitment” to follow Jesus Christ. General authority Carlos E. Asay adds that the garment “strengthens the wearer to resist temptation, fend off evil influences, and stand firmly for the right.”
...virtually all wearers expressed a belief that wearing the garment provided “spiritual protection” and encouraged them to keep their covenants. Some ... “asserted that the garment also provided physical protection, while others seemed less certain of any physical aspect to protection.” In Mormon folklore, tales are told of Latter-day Saints who credit their temple garments with helping them survive car wrecks, fires, and natural disasters.”
A pair of queen Elizabeth’s panties just sold for $40,000. Must be something magical about them.
Hopefully the money went to a good cause. Otherwise what is outside the realm of rationale explanation (aka, magical) is that there exists someone with so much money that they would spend $40,000 on a pair of the Queen Mum’s knickers.