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Are we atheistic Humanists able to predict the Next religious tradition?
Posted: 01 December 2012 08:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 30 November 2012 05:46 PM
That’s signaler’s side BTW. Damned IPad, every time I miss a letter it substitutes what it thinks is the word you want.

Auto-correct can be handy sometimes, but at others it is a pain in the posterior.


Don’t get me wrong, I do like the function especially when it offers the correct spelling but as I have to actually look at the keyboard when typing I often miss this feature. Should have learned how to type in school but I had to take an additional math class instead.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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George - 01 December 2012 07:25 AM

Now that Stephen J. Gould is dead and Richard Lewontin is losing his mind,
I think the worst of the PC danger in science is behind us.
There are obviously enough people today who still derive “is” out of “ought,”
but the evidence is strong enough against their PC ideology not to allow them
to spread their nonsense as effectively as it was possible for
Gould and Lewontin in the seventies.


George
you are an optimist. I guess it is good to be positive
but my gut feeling is that if none at that conference spoke up
for EP that show that it is totally taboo to support it. Too bad!

But thanks for your support.

Thanks Tim, good text on human values you wrote there.

What made me feel so sad about what Rebecca Watson did
where the way she used a conference to follow the group think
for to be one-sided against EP by using the bad examples.

It would be a totally other thing of she had listed all the researchers
she find okay in her opinion and then listed and giving examples
of the few bad apples she wish would shape up to not give EP
a bad name. As I get it she did her best to say that all of EP is bad.

I where not there and only read what others report on it.

I feel too vulnerable to out any energy on it. Only if somebody
else say they have found those that defended EP at the conference
then I will read that text. Took me several days to get back to normal
after reading Rebecca Watson text. I felt too sad.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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I’m sorry that you felt bad. But I really think that it is an issue of over-focusing on the negatives.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Re my title
Are we atheistic Humanists
able to predict the Next
religious tradition?

I think it is not reasonable to expect that to happen.
Let us go back some 2012 - 1948 = 60 + years.
Julian Huxley who corresponded with many that
would set up Secular Humanism together.

Julian expected his Trans Humanism to take off.
Him and others thought religion would decline
rather fast. It does decline in some parts of the
world but it rise in other parts and his TransHumanism
are only a few enthusiasts in each country.

I think we need to be realistic that it is much more
difficult than what we expect to guess how humans act
in even the near future.

Now why do I care about the Next religious tradition? at all?

Because I have a personal need for a religion
that does not include faith in super-natural gods.

Such religion is very difficult to set up because most
believers need their God to be supernatural because
logically that is the only way a God can assure us eternal life.

Okay one maybe can set up a working
religious tradition that has no god?

Some Buddhism see itself as atheistic
but instead they have a “practice” that
are very detailed with what they should do.

Sitting meditation is preferably with straight back.
Very many of the Buddhists refuse to sit in ergonomic chairs.
They chant instead of sing. They chant in the original language.
They read the texts in the original language. They idealize Buddha.

To me that is even worse than believing in a supernatural God.

The practice itself is more like a Military Service with Hierarchy
of Teachers that have all the answers.

Compare with Abrahamic faith. We have ex-jews, ex-christians
we have ex-muslims. Try to find ex-buddhists. AFAIK we have
only three known such that have dared to tell about it in public.

The Buddhist faith are so good at persuading their believers
that they are forever changed and can not leave it ever.

When one ask the Buddhists about this phenomena they say
that those that leave it just move on to other things.

To me that is what a destructive sect would also say
to do damage control to keep up the good reputation.

I know I only have wishful thinking but some day in the future
I hope some clever person will come up with a way of life
that works like a religion in that it help the individual psychologically
and the group of believers in it socially and that it politically work
in a cooperative way to work for a good life for everybody.

Suppose I only have 5 years more to live. Statistically that is
not unrealistic. If I would be optimistic I would opt for 10 to 15 years
but that would be very lucky and surprising.

Those 5 or even 15 years are a too short time for to expect
that somebody does come up with that future faith.

But I long for it already now. Because I have that personal need.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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TimB - 01 December 2012 01:57 PM

I’m sorry that you felt bad. But I really think that it is an issue of over-focusing on the negatives.

You could be right, I am a very pessimistic personality.
Life is almost always much more bad/worse than
even my worst expectations. I lack the imagination obviously.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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It is clear to me that the field of Environmental Psychology is not in any dire straits, and not at risk of dying out, as it seems to be founded on some pretty basic (rationally) undisputable principles.
http://eeb.bio.utk.edu/darwin/images/Handout_Evol_Human_Behavior.pdf
It is simply a developing field. (Though, personally, I would prefer that the field be titled “The Study of Evolution and Human Behavior”.)

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Posted: 01 December 2012 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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FredW - 01 December 2012 02:00 PM

...
I know I only have wishful thinking but some day in the future
I hope some clever person will come up with a way of life
that works like a religion in that it help the individual psychologically
and the group of believers in it socially and that it politically work
in a cooperative way to work for a good life for everybody.
...

Perhaps you can take some solace in the thought that your functionally discriminative thinking in this area, and your taking part in discussions such as this, may help, in some way, to move us in that direction.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 12:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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Very friendly take on it there.
Most atheist just dismiss it as BS.

What surprises me mighty or very much is the fact
that there are billions of people and even if one
take the individuality and diversity into consideration
it still baffles me that I am alone having this need.

Either the others are so ashamed being that way
that they keep a very low profile but then they would
write to me anonymously and say yes me too but
it is taboo to talk about among atheist so I can not speak up.

Or they would tell me BTDTTBNT something.
Been there done that But thank no thanks!

A few have told me it is a bad idea too close to woo.
I am fully aware of this that is why I link to this idea
of an open placebo awareness and metaphoric faith.

I guess I would have to study Market Strategy or
something to know more how to sell an idea smile

My intuitive feeling is that it most likely should work
like going to the Movie. One suspend the disbelieve
for a while because it is entertaining. One know them
act and that it is not a documentary and still one get
moved by the actions if they are good actors and
the plot is interesting and so on.

I’m rambling I will travel today so I get back some 6 hours from now

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Posted: 02 December 2012 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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That’s an interesting idea, FredW.  I wonder if what you’re suggesting is a little like reading good fiction, or even mythology.  One may escape into a good story, or be deeply intrigued by the myths, may learn a great deal, or come to some significant realization, (epiphany, if you will), based on the reading experience, without believing the stories are real.  Still, it seems a fine line between believing and suspending disbelief, one that should be approached with caution.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Jeciron - 02 December 2012 05:52 AM

That’s an interesting idea, FredW.  I wonder if what you’re suggesting is a little like reading good fiction, or even mythology.  One may escape into a good story, or be deeply intrigued by the myths, may learn a great deal, or come to some significant realization, (epiphany, if you will), based on the reading experience, without believing the stories are real.  Still, it seems a fine line between believing and suspending disbelief, one that should be approached with caution.

it seems a fine line between believing and suspending disbelief,
one that should be approached with caution.

Yes I agree. Think of the “Live” role player. I guess that they have rules
for what they are allowed to do when playing the roles but many meet
on friday sat and sunday so they have plenty of time to get into the role
of being a Cop or Criminal or Peasant or King or Solder whatever.

Suppose they are a man with ppwer. Send some unruly type to be
cast in iron on the town square to be harassed by the populace?

I mean easy to get too deep into the role there smile

What do you think of this idea they had for testing “open placebo”?
placebo may work even when one know it is fake.

Harvard Medical School associate professor of medicine Ted Kaptchuk and his team conducted a three-week trial of 80 patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

They were divided into two groups, with one group given no pills, and the other given pills honestly described as “like sugar pills”. They were told to take the pills twice daily.

Nearly twice as many patients treated with the placebos reported adequate symptom relief (59 per cent) compared with the group taking no pills (35 per cent), according to the study.

The study claimed patients taking the placebo doubled their rates of improvement to a degree roughly equivalent to the effects of the most powerful irritable bowel syndrome medications.

“Not only did we make it absolutely clear that these pills had no active ingredient
and were made from inert substances, but we actually had ‘placebo’ printed on the bottle,”
ssociate Professor Kaptchuk said in a statement.

“We told the patients they didn’t have to even believe in the placebo effect – just take the pills.”

Although the study was limited in scope and would need to be confirmed by further research, he said the findings suggested there “may be significant benefit to the very performance of medical ritual”.

Senior study author Anthony Lembo, of the Harvard Medical School, said he was surprised with the results.

“I didn’t think it would work,” he said.

“I felt awkward asking patients to literally take a placebo.
But to my surprise, it seemed to work for many of them.”

Maybe those that it work for have a good talent for make believe
them deep into creative imagination or something?

Is it not very surprising. Can it be the “Motivator being friendly”
those that worked acting very empathic and selling it?
But they did not think it would work so that is surprising too.
Usually something will only work if both involved believe in it?

That is why the Doctor should not know that it is a placebo faked pill
Here both knew so that is more like a miracle smile

[ Edited: 02 December 2012 06:15 AM by FredW ]
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Posted: 02 December 2012 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Although the study was limited in scope and would need to be confirmed by further research, he said the findings suggested there “may be significant benefit to the very performance of medical ritual”.

That is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?  Can we benefit from ritual, whether we “believe” in it or not?  Secondly, is it worth practicing ritual in some organized way?  Regarding the first question, I suspect many of us in the nontheistic community might enjoy and benefit from some type of experience which helped us feel connected and, in some undefinable way, satisfied, in the same way that religious ritual works for many people.  But, from what I read, it would be very complicated to come up with a functional model.  For many of us, there isn’t a large enough population of declared non believers near us to organize in a physical location.  And, as a group, we seem to share a strong disrespect for authority, a valid trait for any real skeptic, but one which makes us a contentious group to organize.  Perhaps, something like this forum is the best we can achieve.  Still, I certainly long for a more human contact.  I can’t imagine anything more fun than hanging out with the people who post here, finding out who you are in the real world.  Throw in a few appropriate libations and some good food and I bet we could have a hell of a good party.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Why do we Atheists have to think or follow any tradition?  Many callers on CSPAN are confused about how to recognize the holidays.  Several callers are offended at trying to mass everyone in a single “Merry Something or other” when it comes to December 25th.  I became a member of Secular Humanists to get away from any organized recognition of any date.  I put up lights on outside of my house because I like the sight of twinkling lights that seem to draw others to do the same thing.  I put lights inside and outside my book store to attract the people who visited our village between Thanksgiving and the first of the year.  I owned the building and even had speakers outside where my tapes of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio could be heard on the street.  I had a friend who played the bagpipe and would march down Main Street and end up in front of “Thistle Books” at 10 am every Sunday morning.  It caught on and we had a lovely black mare who led a fancy carriage with lots of bells and would ride up and down Main Street on the weekends.  That is all gone at this time.  Christmas is now nothing more than an increase in income but without the effort to attract the tourists.  All the fun of Christmas is gone because people would rather watch television than get out of their easy chairs and join the fun of involvement.  My store closed years ago due to lack of customers.  I was foolish enough to believe that everyone read books as I had done for so many years.  I was just plain stupid and lost a great deal of money trying to sell those precious things called books. 

I didn’t need a God to celebrate.  I can celebrate the beauty of the season with the music written for any occasion.  I feel sorry for those CSPAN callers who need to be directed on how and what to decorate their lives for any time of the year. 

Religion is a choice.  We can celebrate or mourn any damn thing we choose. 

This morning I realized that the terrible hatred of the Muslim Brotherhood is just another version of the Religious Right’s attempt to label America as a contrast to other nations.  Join hands with the Brotherhood, open a cold keg of beer and sing something beautiful and fun.  I will be delighted to light your candles and dance with you.  I danced with other girls at Stonehenge in England years ago knowing I would probably never get another chance to do it.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Thanks Sandy for sharing your experiences there.
Yes I’ve seen such on TV how you guys celebrate in US
and it is starting to come here too. Now when there are
LED lights that are less vulnerable to burn out it become
rather popular. I only have a “Star” in my kitchen window
and nothing else.
Loudspeakers with Classic music? That would make you
famous in the neighborhood I guess.

Now my “religious ritual” needs are not something I need
to force upon others at all. I even don’t go to Human Lights ceremony.

To me it is a private need although I don’t mind and would be happy
if others that have the same need would share their practice.

Think about atheistic Buddhism with all the Buddhist part stripped off
so totally there is absolutely not a single iota of Buddhism left. smile

Not easy and maybe the Buddhist would accuse me of stealing
their tradition and rebranding it something.

Anyway. Brotherhood and Beer don’t mix well I trust them officially
never drink even non-alcoholic beer or Cider?

As atheist I don’t drink alco either but that has to do with me not
having any way to stop me from becoming dependent on it.

I am dependent on Music and the Internet so that is way too much already
without doing any chemical thing too add disaster to misery whatever.

But I do love the effect of alco so if there where some way to use it
without becoming dependent on it. I have only tested it once way back
in 1977 or so and it worked so good I did not dare to try it again.

Back to my theme. Suppose the experiment at the Harvard Medical School
would be/gets done at other labs too and confirm
that to openly tell something is placebo
and that it still would work. I would love that.

I would set up such where I live and invite people
to do placebo rituals with me each week.

Sure one need to find ethical ways to do it and to not promise something
with side effects.

[ Edited: 02 December 2012 09:56 AM by FredW ]
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Posted: 02 December 2012 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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I opened my store in 1982 in a village on the Central Coast of California.  It was a retirement community many of whom were artists, motion picture people and musicians.  I had a lovely elderly couple wander into the store and listened to my assortment of Mozart and Bach tapes and asked me if I would consider joining the San Luis Obispo Symphony Board of Directors.  I was new to the community and was delighted to be asked.  I immediately asked for tapes of the orchestra so I could market some of their music.  We immediately arranged for the concerts to be taped live and I had brought my baby grand piano into the store because the hone I had bought was not designed for 7 square feet of black piano.  I featured chamber music on weekends and many of the musicians wanted to play more and were thrilled at the venue.  It turned out to be an original and popular use of the store.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Sandy, it sounds like you have had a life full of many rich experiences.

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