Richard Dawkins

I don't think he needs a description :)

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Comment by Randy Reed on December 1, 2010 at 9:47am
Agreed, I really like that Joan and a splendid simple way of addressing "meaning".
Comment by Joan Denoo on December 1, 2010 at 9:41am
Thank you.
Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on December 1, 2010 at 5:15am
@Joan Denoo
You have put together that piece about 'being' so very beautifully.
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 30, 2010 at 10:46pm
Hi Paula: meaning is a tricky thing to think about because it can so easily get caught up in notions of existence for others. I like knowing I exist! Period! That is enough! I don't have to do anything ... my mother and father put the chemistry together, I came into the world with valuable traits and I learned others along the way.

A bee doesn't get up in the morning, rub its limbs together and say, "I must go and do the work of the lord!" It flies to a flower that smells good and is pretty to it, wallows in it for a moment, goes to the next, and on and on; When the apple tree finishes it's task of blooming beautiful, fragrant blossoms, the bee finishes it's task of pollinating the orchard, then in their time, apples appear. It is a natural process.

You and I are like that; we awaken each morning, do what we need to do and a natural process completes our cycles of life. Our mandate is not to go out and save souls, it is to be.
Comment by Paula T. on November 30, 2010 at 6:05pm
Thank you, Joan. I can't explain why, but events, even small ones, seem so much more meaningful now. Perhaps I can appreciate the little things for what they are, rather than see everything as a means to an end. I hold a door open to be nice, not to get into heaven. I don't fret over swearing anymore, when I used to fear going to hell for that infraction.

I've seen a number of your posts as I've explored the forum and I've enjoyed every one. Eloquent, to the point, and a joy to read. Thank you for sharing :)
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 28, 2010 at 6:39pm
Paula, your response makes very good sense to me. There is so much more to celebrate, having access to all our senses to see, hear, smell, taste, feel, and realize that you and I are part of all this splendid universe. We are not under some obligation other than to see our earth and all its aspects as part of this wonder. I especially love looking at the stars and seeing how gigantic it all is, or looking through a microscope and seeing how small it is. Gigantic/small and you and I have the great gift of being able to be a part of it.

I realize I do not own it, I participate in it. I am not under an obligation to obey it, I enjoy it. I am not required to sacrifice myself for it, I breath it, drink it, eat from it. I grow a splendid garden, but I do not grow flowers, I grow soil ... it is the caring for the soil and the microbes in it, that I receive the delicious and beautiful bounty.
Comment by Paula T. on November 28, 2010 at 2:09pm
Personally, I have found great fulfillment since leaving the Roman Catholic church.

I'm much more willing to listen to someone who knows more about the world of science, rather than a man who has not lived any type of secular life, has not had any scientific study/instruction, has not had any type of intimate relationship with a women, only has knowledge of religious life. Rational? Not very.
Comment by Hugh Kramer on November 28, 2010 at 1:55pm
Have you heard yet? Atheism is irrational?

Walter Brandmuller is a newly-minted cardinal. The former president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences in Rome only received his red hat on Nov. 20th but he's already in the news thanks to his just-published book "Ateismo? No grazie! Credere è ragionevole" (Atheism? No Thanks! To Believe is Rational). In it, the 81 year old cardinal addresses the irrationality of atheism by pointing out that only in God can people find fulfilment.

He also takes on Richard Dawkins.

More here.

Comment by Paula T. on November 19, 2010 at 6:35pm
That's quite interesting! I wonder if Game Theory, in some form, was a required class in high schools or universities, if it would somehow change our collective actions in any way. Thank you for sharing that story, Joan.
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 19, 2010 at 6:17pm
In my graduate studies, Game Theory helped us experience power and conflict by the way the games were structures. For example, one game was to divide our class into three groups. The strong women, as the Upper Class, had access to all the resources, including food, blankets, firewood, and determined who could come and go or do what was needed. The Middle Class was all the other women. The Lower Class were all the men and they had to relinquish their shoes, jackets, writing materials, everything except the clothes on their backs. It was a two week exercise in the middle of winter at an isolated camp site. In effect, the Lower Class were "bare-foot and pregnant." The task was to see how the game would play out with the differences in personalities and classes and methods used to get food and resources to the lower class. The men decided, on their own, they would not use physical force to get resources they needed. It very quickly dissolved into the kind of experiment Stanley Milgrim had with prisoners and guards. The Upper Class would relinquish nothing, the Lower Class became helpless and hopeless and the Middle Class blamed everyone for not communicating or negotiating. During the debrief, we looked at individual and group behaviors and ways we could have solved the problems of basic needs for the Lower Class.

A powerful way to learn about power and conflict.

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