Friday, October 06, 2006

An unreasoned world

Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers - New York Times: "At an unusual series of leadership meetings in 44 cities this fall, more than 6,000 pastors are hearing dire forecasts from some of the biggest names in the conservative evangelical movement.

Their alarm has been stoked by a highly suspect claim that if current trends continue, only 4 percent of teenagers will be "“Bible-believing Christians"” as adults. That would be a sharp decline compared with 35 percent of the current generation of baby boomers, and before that, 65 percent of the World War II generation."
I can honestly think of no better "future for faith" than the above... Unless you consider the possibility of zero percent of our society growing up to be "bible-believe'n Christians".

Faith entails believing things about reality (e.g. - the origin of the earth and mankind, what happens to you after you die and -- more importantly -- what you need to do with your life to be "worthy" of god and his rewards) and the vast majority of these beliefs are simply rubbish.

Moreover, such beliefs are harmful to civil society. To understand this we have to look no further than Islam -- which pollutes the minds of its adherents with an otherwise unimaginable amount of non-sense. We see the results of this irrationality each day in the newspaper.

Christianity is almost as ridiculous as it fosters an outright contempt for science and honest inquiry. Question the beliefs of a christian to see what I mean: ask him how he really knows that Jesus was "raised from the dead"... Ask how this "belief" squares with anything else the person knows about the universe we live in.... and how the written account of such and event can be used as conclusive proof of it's 'truth'.

Anytime a group that bases it world-view on something other than reasoned, demostrable conclusions is a group that is ready to be corrupted. E.g.- if you can believe that Adam and Eve inhabited the garden of Eden some 6000 years ago simply because some middle eastern tribesmen wrote it down -- and said "god told them to" you are part of a group that is regressing intellectually.

The world needs more "reasonableness" -- not less.


skip sievert said...

Right on. I get a kick out of the people that think our culture represents modernity.

An interesting divining time seems to be approaching. Some tough choices.

If we make some good choices we may end up with a good society.
If we make choices like the current ones to run our society , we will destroy ourselves in a flurry of class warfare, and economic collapse, that leads to an even worse horror version of the present dumbed down society we have.
What will we do.?
I know that I will be doing what you are doing, trying to alert people, to rouse them, to break the spell , and at least, get some information out to the ones that are capable of processing it.

It may be that one or two people will change this world for the better. Alerting people to the facts is the most revolutionary thing one can do.
The current situation is headed for disaster. Lets change.

skip sievert said...

Btw, when I first glanced at the post picture here , I thought maybe it was an advert for a Zombie movie. As a Zombie movie fan I was thinking , Mmmm cool.

Then I saw that it was just a bunch of religious nuts. Ha,~!~

Intellectual Insurgent said...

I must take issue with one statement in your post. You says "Christianity is almost as ridiculous [as Islam]".

Not so. They are both on equal footing.

skip sievert said...

I agree Insurgent , and it escaped me to point this out. Thank you.

They are on the same lopsided footing. One foot on the curb, and the other in the gutter.

They both think they are walking normaly though. Religion has poisoned the minds of people. Bigotry and religion same footing.

Reign of Reason said...

I disagree II...

They are on exactly the same intellectual footing, but one philosophy (christianity) doesn't seem to be spawning suicide bombers (islam). There seems to be a lot more willingness to die and kill for islam than there does christianity.

For instance, Lebanon is inhabited by both Muslims and Christians -- yet who were the ones blowing themselves up to kill a few Jews?

mrsleep said...

ROR. Christians don't blow themselves up, they just put 1,000 lb bombs in planes and go blow people up from a distance, so they can sleep at night, since they don't have to see the carnage first hand.

I have no problem at all with people of faith. I have problems with extremists though in any respect.

skip sievert said...

True enough Mrsleep, People are very equal in their barbarity. Different methods though. Remember our civil war. We burned each others towns to the ground. How about those darned Spanish when they toasted the Indians.?
Belief is the culprit. People will do almost any thing if they trick themselves into it.
Maybe we could get rid of that word and use the word opinion.
That might make people think more.
Suicide bombers might think twice if they are told it is someones opinion, they should blow themselves up , instead of confusing it with religion or belief.

skip sievert said...

Another point.
The sign up bonus to go back to Iraq is 20,000 dollars.

Saddam paid suicide bomber families 25,000 dollars. Many of the people who sign up for more Iraq duty do so because they are poor.
Many are Christian soldiers fighting in Iraq for money and false nationalism. Sadly.
In some unfortunate situations the 20,000 dollars , will go to the next of kin. See my point.
We live in a terribly corrupt society. Most religions are prison bars which keep belief systems in a cage with us.

Reign of Reason said...

True enough... EVERYTHING would be better without blind-faith in ridiculous propositions about god.

Re-enlistment bonuses are now that high? Amazing... we're bankrupting our country to ensure Iraq is an close ally of our "friends" in Iran: that's the most likely outcome of this endeavor.

skip sievert said...

The country is already bankrupt. We just haven`t figured it out yet. That should happen shortly.

Za said...

Sorry R, gonna have to disagree with you on this. Evangelicals don't match up with the majority of Christians, just like fanatical Muslims don't match up with the majority of Muslims.

And there are just as crazy atheists as well.

More often than not religious fanatics were corrupted through politics.

And it's worth pointing out that about half of all scientists are religious too. In fact, most of science's origins come from devout people who wanted to learn more about their deity's creation.

Reign of Reason said...

True – most scientists are/were religious. That doesn’t mean the beliefs they hold are reasonable or even rational. They have simply been indoctrinated into our current myths from childhood.

Just because Darwin and others where “men of faith” doesn’t mean this rubbish is true.

Observation, hypothosis and test appears to be the best method of determining truth that mankind has come up with. Religious belief short-circuits the entire quest for truth by going right to the end-state: religious people “simply know”.

Sorry, the Islamic faith – as is most “faith” – is irrational and harmful to civil society. The idea that you can believe unsupported propositions about the nature of the universe (e.g. – god exists, he had a book written, you must believe certain things to get to heaven, god dislikes certain behaviors) fosters tyranny.

What’s the difference between having “faith” in communism or any other ideology unsupported by reason & demonstrable facts and religion? There is no difference. And therein lays the problem: anytime you can convince a large group of people that something is “true” without DEMONSTRATING it, you’ve laid the foundation for tyranny.

Please tell me about “moderate muslim” belief. Their guide-book -- from the parts I’ve read -- is simply a call to arms to either convert or subjugate the masses. It calls for brutal treatment for minor offenses…it subjugates and demeans women… all this the outcome of a mandated religious law imposed on the state.

ALL these things are antithetical to what we’ve learned about morals over the last couple thousand years. But religious people don’t want “progress” – they want adherence to dogma.

The sooner we get rid of it all the better off the world will be.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

They are on exactly the same intellectual footing, but one philosophy (christianity) doesn't seem to be spawning suicide bombers (islam). There seems to be a lot more willingness to die and kill for islam than there does christianity.

No, Christianity just spawns death squads in South America, an out-of-control military that is the only nation that has ever dropped an atomic bomb and 12-year-old kids who go bonkers at their schools. Wow, that's so much better.

Reign of Reason said...

You forgot the catholics and protestents that like to bomb each other in N. Ireland.


Intellectual Insurgent said...

So have you backed off your false distinction?

Reign of Reason said...

No, not completely.

The foundation of "belief in revealed truth" is likely to result in this type of behavior.

However, the book Muslims believe to be inspired by god seems to be less ambiguous about the use of violence than the one christians follow. At least some of the new testaments teaching are "good" ... I haven't read the Koran in its entirety, but from what I have seen, it seems wholly immoral and violent (except for a few isolated passages).

skip sievert said...

A good society has freedom of and from belief. A good society would not use any beliefs to delegate itself.
A good society would not use a corrupted political system.
It would not employ twisted religious people as spokes people.
Zahaqiel has a point. There are many people of any religious stripe that want peace , and are open and not afraid of belief or opinion.
We are caught in a tragic trap right now.
Belief or opinion should not be used in any way to make critical choices for a society. Only facts.
Belief should be relegated to where it belongs. As a free will thing that the individual can make what he wants with.
A good educational system would work wonders in this regard. Do we have one.? Hardly. Just a machine to turn out consumer robots. Uh oh, big trouble coming.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

But the Old Testament is not?

skip sievert said...

Both these dumb ass religions are trouble. People are stupid. I know because I am a person. The whole idea is to not be as stupid . Ha Ha.~!~
As long as the politicians are in control using religion to rile people up there is going to be big trouble ahead.
Relgion and bigotry are blood brothers.

Reign of Reason said...

Skip, I agree with you comment above: a "good" society should afford its members freedom of and from beleif.

However, my larger point is that belief in undemonstrable "truths" is not a healthy intellectual pursuit. In fact, when large numbers of citizens start to think it "normal" to believe in fantastical statements about the nature of the universe (e.g. - god exists and he's interested in animal sacrifices) you have put society on the road to tyranny.

How hard is it to convince such a populace that there earthly problems are due to some race, color or creed of people? Not hard...

Government must respect freedom of belief, but it should foster rationality.

Reign of Reason said...

II - the whole testiment is wholly evil: it paints a picture of a vindictive, cruel god who is more interested in animal sacrifices than teaching people to care about one another.

However, at least some christians are tempered by the new testiment: and the words of Jesus in particular. I can find almost no fault in his teachings.

Don't get me wrong -- we agree on the bigger point: both religions -- in fact most -- are morally bankrupt.

Reign of Reason said...

"Relgion and bigotry are blood brothers."


Intellectual Insurgent said...

However, at least some christians are tempered by the new testiment: and the words of Jesus in particular. I can find almost no fault in his teachings.

I don't have the bible in front of me, but Jesus says that a man who divorces a woman causes her to commit adultery. In the OT, the punishment for adultery is death by stoning, if I remember correctly.

Jesus said that he came not to bring peace, but to bring the sword. To divide father from son, wife from husband.

The only thing "Christians" are tempered by is money, which is not in abundance in the Islamic world. If Christians were in the same impoverished colonized state as Muslims, Christianity would take on a barbaric flare of its own - one need only read up on history both in this country and in Europe to know that is true.

Reign of Reason said...

Jesus did say those things... along with a handful of other stuff that could be taken as violent.

But Jesus' main msg was "forgive and let god worry about judging" ... (i.e. - don't try to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye while you have a log in your own eye). The vast majority of his teachings point the reader this way… I’m talking like 95%. :)

Anyway, I agree in principle – Christianity and Islam are a mess as a way to understand the world and as moral guide… but its a matter of degree. Islam would seem (from my limited reading) to espouse a far more violent philosophy -- and consistently so -- than Jesus' teachings.

Intellectual Insurgent said...

I agree that the NT is a lot more positive than Judaism and Islam, but considering that the OT is part of the Bible, then you cannot divorce its influence on Christianity. The OT is equally, if not more, depraved and hideous than the Quran and to the extent that Christians do not repudiate it, they have shit to say about Islam.

skip sievert said...

Well well, we are all in agreement.

Religion is the bane of mankind.
R.O.R. I will make the comment that government must respect rationality, as you say, will not happen in a political systen.
That is why a political system must be gotten rid of in order to have a good society.
I am biased toward Technocracy , seeing as how we, in this movement are the only ones with a viable plan for the future.

Belief should be a non issue in a good society.
In a bad society belief rules descisions about nearly everything.
People should be free to believe , any old nonsense.
When that is transferred into a government, there is nothing but doom and gloom in the forecaste.

Reign of Reason said...

Religion is a good tool for politicians... as a wedge and as a form of control.

On another note, I just realized I've been "banned" from jarheadjohn2's blog... Interesting: I was having a civil exchange with one of his commenters: nothing derogatory.

I guess right-leaning folks simply cannot stand having their positions questioned. The ego of it all... it's precisely what's wrong with conservatism.

skip sievert said...

Ha ha.~!~ Banned, tsk tsk, I am sure that your heart is not broken. Funny really, the way you discribe the situation.

jj said...

ROR- Please tell me about “moderate muslim” belief. Their guide-book -- from the parts I’ve read -- is simply a call to arms to either convert or subjugate the masses. It calls for brutal treatment for minor offenses…it subjugates and demeans women… all this the outcome of a mandated religious law imposed on the state.

Christianity has evolved where Islam is stuck in the past. A thousand years ago that could desicribe Christianity. I agree with you all and Slip I like the Most religions are prison bars which keep belief systems in a cage with us. Its about power and control always has been always will be. Christianity has evovled which is why the "christian world" (the west) has prospered more than the Islamic world which is stuck in the past.

Yes all religions are relics of the past when man could not explain even the simplest of questions regarding the physical make up of the universe and "why" we are here but to ultimatly survive religions must evovle over time, other wise education suffers and those beleivers just look even more ignorant than... well.

Here is my thought for the the day
"Man created God, yet man may be destroyed with Gods help"

skip sievert said...

God is Dog spelled backwards and thats a son of a bitch. And that is what we are, sons of bitch`s. Human animals.

Reign of Reason said...

Christianity has ONLY "evolved" because it was forced to.

After the enlightenment people began to realize the hypocrisy of believing in revealed truth (esp. after seeing its devastating effects first hand). To survive, religion (Christianity) had to modernize some of its doctrines. It did the minimum and went "forward" kicking and screaming.

The problem is religion purports to have absolute truth -- and therefore it is loath to incorporate new “truth” – even when it is obvious doctrine is ridiculous. Religion is the opposite of science.

skip sievert said...

Religion is the opposite of Science.
Fantasy versus fact.
We are being run by fantasy. That ends in disaster. WE must change.