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Poll
Does religion spoil everything?
Yes 11
No 9
Total Votes: 20
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Hitchen’s is seriously wrong… why religion doesn’t really poison everything.
Posted: 28 May 2010 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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“Still not sure what any of this babel has to do with the bees.”

People need to operate socially like a body, just like bees and other social animals.  Religion is good (or even great) at fostering that.  Atheists suck at building community.  I, for one, will be trying to change that.

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Posted: 28 May 2010 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Bees share 75% of their genes. That’s why they stick together and that’s why they don’t have sex—except for the queen, of course. If you want to make us more like the bees, I would be more interested in being able to fly than not having sex.  cheese

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Posted: 28 May 2010 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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atheists have not been good at offering a compelling alternative world view to counteract the very powerful hold of religion, and additionally have not been good at building communities and social structures with any backbone whatsoever when it comes to providing guidance and checks for interpersonal relationships.

bernie, i can see how one might justify the passages you posted as love is often made out to be of utmost importance within them, however i am surprised that simply because of context the concept of speaking in tongues, among other things, is given a free pass.  most of us here probably do not know what the act of “speaking in tongues” really entails, and one could do a study on how this act might be of some benefit to individuals, but again i worry about the misuse of a practice which might draw the mind away from a solid foundation.

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Posted: 28 May 2010 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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midnight.train said:
“...i am surprised that simply because of context the concept of speaking in tongues, among other things, is given a free pass.”

I wasn’t intending to be critical of every thought in the passage.  There’s not much to say about speaking in tongues because it is nonsense.  However, much of the stuff about the body is poetic and sublime… a good thing to harness and adapt.

George said:
“Bees share 75% of their genes. That’s why they stick together…”

I disagree.  I think they stick together because of the honey they make.  If you had to work with honey with your bare hands you’d be messy and sticky too.

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Posted: 28 May 2010 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Bernie_Dehler - 28 May 2010 11:59 AM

George said:
“Bees share 75% of their genes. That’s why they stick together…”

I disagree.  I think they stick together because of the honey they make.  If you had to work with honey with your bare hands you’d be messy and sticky too.

Unfortunately, bees don’t work with honey, they eat it. They work with nectar.

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Posted: 28 May 2010 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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“Unfortunately, bees don’t work with honey, they eat it. They work with nectar. “

Same thing… try eating honey with just your hands and mouth and see how messy that is!  (Or, you could just do a thought experiment on it.)

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Posted: 28 May 2010 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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midnight.train - 28 May 2010 11:49 AM

atheists have not been good at offering a compelling alternative world view to counteract the very powerful hold of religion, and additionally have not been good at building communities and social structures with any backbone whatsoever when it comes to providing guidance and checks for interpersonal relationships.

Of course atheists can offer all this, but they don’t do it in the name of “atheism.” Most scientists and artists who give meaning (not that meaning, the other one) and guidance to my life are atheists. (Not that I really care if they are atheists.)

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Posted: 28 May 2010 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Bernie_Dehler - 28 May 2010 12:08 PM

“Unfortunately, bees don’t work with honey, they eat it. They work with nectar. “

Same thing… try eating honey with just your hands and mouth and see how messy that is!  (Or, you could just do a thought experiment on it.)

Wow, I actually had no idea how bees make honey. (HERE.) They eat nectar, make honey in their “stomachs,” empty it back at the beehive—no idea how: vomit or the other way?—and dry it as they flap their wings. And then we steal it. Oh yes, and did I mention they get no sex?

Are you sure you want to use bees as a metaphor for whatever it is you’re after?

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Posted: 28 May 2010 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Still not sure what any of this babel has to do with the bees.

i hate to seem like i am jumping on this for no reason, but the parallel with bees in those passages was not hard to fathom.  the concept of many parts of one body working together, and the implications for, say, a church body or a hive, is a pretty apparent metaphor.  to dismiss it as “babel” instead of making that connection was kind of off-putting.

Of course atheists can offer all this, but they don’t do it in the name of “atheism.” Most scientists and artists who give meaning (not that meaning, the other one) and guidance to my life are atheists. (Not that I really care if they are atheists.)

agreed, i do respect and draw a great deal of meaning from atheist scientists, but i think that more atheists should take steps to offer nigh blatant alternatives to religious groups and teachings, and should focus on the very powerful concepts of human potential, vision, and imagination.  people need outlets in their lives to experience very deep and meaningful events and concepts, and to connect these events and concepts with their lives at large.  atheist groups often do not do enough to acknowledge these human needs.  granted, they are quite busy fighting the forces of ignorance, but the real secular turnaround in the grand scheme of things is going to come from nurturing these valuable characteristics of ours in a superstition-free context.

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Posted: 28 May 2010 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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midnight.train - 28 May 2010 12:33 PM

to dismiss it as “babel” instead of making that connection was kind of off-putting.

Well, I was referring to the Bible excerpts as babel. The whole beehive/church/community metaphor is not babel: it is nonsense.

midnight.train - 28 May 2010 12:33 PM

agreed, i do respect and draw a great deal of meaning from atheist scientists, but i think that more atheists should take steps to offer nigh blatant alternatives to religious groups and teachings, and should focus on the very powerful concepts of human potential, vision, and imagination.

I already told you that they do that. Just not in the name of atheism—which, once again, is completely fine with me.

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Posted: 28 May 2010 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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midnight.train - 28 May 2010 12:33 PM

agreed, i do respect and draw a great deal of meaning from atheist scientists, but i think that more atheists should take steps to offer nigh blatant alternatives to religious groups and teachings, and should focus on the very powerful concepts of human potential, vision, and imagination.  people need outlets in their lives to experience very deep and meaningful events and concepts, and to connect these events and concepts with their lives at large.  atheist groups often do not do enough to acknowledge these human needs.  granted, they are quite busy fighting the forces of ignorance, but the real secular turnaround in the grand scheme of things is going to come from nurturing these valuable characteristics of ours in a superstition-free context.

Well said, sir.

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Posted: 28 May 2010 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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George - 28 May 2010 12:47 PM

Well, I was referring to the Bible excerpts as babel. The whole beehive/church/community metaphor is not babel: it is nonsense.

ah.  yeah the bible can be pretty babelicious.  but part of the reason why it has so much sway over people is because there are some really powerful metaphors in it.  denying them and their depth in many cases, imho, is not something which will aid the atheist movement.  insofar as these metaphors are meaningful we should respect them, granted within a context of secular understanding.

George - 28 May 2010 12:47 PM

I already told you that they do that. Just not in the name of atheism—which, once again, is completely fine with me.

it is good that it is done at all, under or beyond the umbrella of atheism.  however, it would do the atheist movement good if more of this kind of work was recognized as the work of atheists.  it would also do people who are trapped within a harmful system of superstitious beliefs good to see this kind of work being done by atheists.

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Posted: 28 May 2010 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 28 May 2010 01:05 PM
midnight.train - 28 May 2010 12:33 PM

agreed, i do respect and draw a great deal of meaning from atheist scientists, but i think that more atheists should take steps to offer nigh blatant alternatives to religious groups and teachings, and should focus on the very powerful concepts of human potential, vision, and imagination.  people need outlets in their lives to experience very deep and meaningful events and concepts, and to connect these events and concepts with their lives at large.  atheist groups often do not do enough to acknowledge these human needs.  granted, they are quite busy fighting the forces of ignorance, but the real secular turnaround in the grand scheme of things is going to come from nurturing these valuable characteristics of ours in a superstition-free context.

Well said, sir.

Second that as well!

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Posted: 28 May 2010 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Axegrrl - 27 May 2010 12:14 AM

`
The Friendly Atheist had a post about this today…....and it’s sparked quite a lively debate/discussion (about 60 posts).  Check it out here:

Evolution Author Goes After Angry Atheists


For anyone who has never checked out The Friendly Atheist blog…......you really should.  You’ll find some of the most interesting, respectful and enlightening discussion-spaces anywhere on the web.


`

It’s been a while since I dropped onto his blog.  Very interesting post he made.

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Posted: 31 May 2010 09:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I think if atheists want to get people to see the benefits, they need to spell it out as a positive believe system.  This is what secular humanism does.  From what I can tell, people like Dawkins love to tear down religion or even declare war on religion, yet propose nothing positive to replace it with, which they should offer up as secular humanism for consideration as a replacement.

Yes- there are a lot of beautiful metaphors in the Bible that can be harnessed just as well for secular humanism.  It would be foolish to throw out the baby with the bathwater in just rejecting everything wholesale that is biblical.  The metaphor of the body is just one example of many.

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