ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
Members: 4182
Latest Activity: Nov 17

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

Neanderthals, Denisovans and ancestor X

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Aug 7. 3 Replies

The evolution of work

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jul 12. 61 Replies

Has man evolved?

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by John Elder Jun 18. 5 Replies

The Probability Of Being

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by John Elder Jun 11. 4 Replies

Johns Hopkins Receives $125,000,000 to Fight Cancer

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by John Jubinsky Apr 1. 2 Replies

A new theory explaining the origins of life?

Started by Donald L. Engel. Last reply by Donald L. Engel Mar 31. 5 Replies

Map of Archaic Ancestry

Started by Qiana-Maieev. Last reply by Joseph P Mar 29. 5 Replies

Homo Erectus food processing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 19. 1 Reply

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Comment by Joseph P on February 17, 2015 at 2:13pm

@Quinton (again)

I expect most are just grossly ignorant of what evolution actually is and have too much invested in their ignorance to question it.

There are some who remain willfully ignorant of it, sure.  I'm sure that Ray Comfort hasn't allowed it to soak in, no matter how many times he's had it explained to him.  I think he just shuts his ears off and waits for his next turn to preach, when any evolution proponent is speaking.

Others, I'm not so sure, though.  They know that they have to reject the theory of evolution, because if they lose the Doctrine of Original Sin from a literal Garden of Eden, then the whole house of cards leading up to Jesus's redemption of mankind falls apart.

It's similar to the situation of some preachers who are fully aware of the fact that the Gospels are hearsay stories, passed around for decades before being collected and written down by anonymous scribes who weren't the apostles.  They've had formal education with real literary analysis of the Bible, not the unthinking adherence of a fundamentalist seminary.

Yet, those preachers don't mention to their flock all of the damning things that they learned in seminary, because the flock isn't spiritually ready to hear it, or some similarly flimsy excuse.  Likewise, I'm sure that some young-earth creationists have had enough of the actual details of evolution filtered into their brains, but they know that they can't admit those details to their flock and represent evolution honestly, because there will be those in their flock who aren't sufficiently spiritually fortified and will go astray.  So, they continue to lie and straw-man.

I think we're most likely to go astray when trying to guess any given Christian's understanding and motivation, except with the most blatant ones, like Ray Comfort.  There's such a wide variety of samples.

Still, it's fun to muse, as long as you don't try to use your musings to paint someone unfairly.

I know however the Jehovah Witnesses have the Theocratic War Strategy, which essentially means if it will help them in an argument they should lie.

I hadn't specifically heard of that in regards to the Jehovah's Witnesses, but I've heard similar from other quarters.  I think Sye Ten Bruggencate has said, at various times, that he doesn't have to deal honestly with anyone who isn't saved.  Also, he'll only debate theology with someone who has accepted a literal, fundamentalist reading of the Bible.

The guy's mind must be a bag full of cats.

The religious who knowingly lie will sometime justify it with the idea that if it saves a person from damnation it's for the greater good; this was the same justification I believe the Spanish Inquisition had for burning people alive - when morality is based on the well being of people's supposed afterlife instead their well being here and now, it is possible for anything to become permissible.

As someone who largely adopts an ends-justify-the-means mentality, this sort of thing is particularly troubling.  They're leaving out the second part of the process.  If the ends justify the means, then the means also have to justify the ends.  Otherwise, you end up with a grossly imbalanced equation.

To put it another way, if you're having to go to horrific, morally abhorrent means in order to accomplish your ends, you should really go back and take a look at what that says about your goals.

Comment by Joseph P on February 17, 2015 at 1:06pm

@Quinton

The religious talk about their religion giving them meaning or purpose, but does anyone actually know what they mean by that?

The most coherent I've ever heard out of them is that somehow, forever = meaningful.

There's a similar, fucked-up correlation between infinity and value, in their propaganda.  It's the opposite of reality, of course.  If a resource is freely available in almost limitless quantity, then it's value drops off to almost nothing.  Considering how the the conservative, religiously-owned party here in the US claims to have a solid grasp of financial matters, they don't understand a damned thing about economics, in reality.

If you ask them why groveling at the feet of their holy master, praising him for eternity, gives their life meaning ... well, no, I've never heard a coherent explanation.

Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on February 17, 2015 at 12:53pm

Memories of reading it all at school.

Richard Le Gallienne's version included

Look not above, there is no answer there;
Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer;
Near is as near to God as any Far,
And Here is just the same deceit as There.
(#78, on p. 44)

Comment by Donald L. Engel on February 17, 2015 at 12:40pm

"I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that
After-life to spell:
And by and by my Soul return'd to me,

And answer'd "I Myself am Heav'n and Hell:"

Joan, I just read lyour last entry, and it reminded me of the above quote.

It is from "The Rubyait", by Omar Khayyam.  If there is anyone out there that hasn't read it, I think you will find it interesting.  You can read it if you google it.

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 17, 2015 at 11:43am

Don, thank you for this very important exchange that occurs very often in my life. That question seems to haunt people to the point of despair. Once one grasps the concept of living here and now and paying attention to those around us, life becomes so much richer. No hope of a paradise, no fear of hell. Paradise and hell exist right here, right now. 

By the way, I recommend your books to all my family with children. Some love them, some not. That is the way it is. At least, we will never have to wonder if people have books to help them understand. You books make it possible for adults to contemplate your message. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on February 17, 2015 at 11:43am

I think one of the sheep's purposes is to praise god forever.  

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 17, 2015 at 11:35am

I understand that they think their god is the cause of everything, but I had assumed that they mean "purpose" as in "goal". I'm not sure though what is meant by god being the goal or the meaning of everything means. Do you have any idea? If so can you explain it to me?

Comment by Plinius on February 17, 2015 at 9:42am

In the years in my fundie family's church I never came close to an answer. I guess that, since they believe that their god is the purpose and meaning of everything, they no longer have to make a personal purpose and meaning. Which means an empty life.

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 17, 2015 at 9:37am

@JosephP

"Creationists are either dishonest as hell or grossly ignorant of what evolution actually is."

I expect most are just grossly ignorant of what evolution actually is and have too much invested in their ignorance to question it. I know however the Jehovah Witnesses have the Theocratic War Strategy, which essentially means if it will help them in an argument they should lie. The religious who knowingly lie will sometime justify it with the idea that if it saves a person from damnation it's for the greater good; this was the same justification I believe the Spanish Inquisition had for burning people alive - when morality is based on the well being of people's supposed afterlife instead their well being here and now, it is possible for anything to become permissible.

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 17, 2015 at 8:55am

The religious talk about their religion giving them meaning or purpose, but does anyone actually know what they mean by that? What is the purpose or meaning to their life they think they gain specifically from their religion? Has anyone actually defined it?

 

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