Also, from what I've observed in my lifetime, god is only created in the minds of the believers. Everyone creates their own and they are all different. Basically, we are all godless, but some people just don't believe that. I like to tell them that I don't have any invisible pretend friends. But I may have some real pretend friends. lol (so to speak)
Nov 6, 2012
Roy...you're right, it IS Barbara Walker. Mah brayne nawt wurkin 2dai. Sorry.
''Who made God?'' is a question asked by many and it doesn't make sense to me. "Who made lightning?" "Who made sunshine?" "Who made water and who makes it flow downslope?"
A concept that some might call god, to me, is a process; a process that made the universe out of nothing as far as astrophysicist can tell. Lightning comes from natural forces that include at least electro-magnetic forces and perhaps other energies as well. Sun is part of the process of energies in the universe and I have no idea how it works and why, but I don't think I need to know that, at least as a little old lady trying to work up enough energy to repot my violets. Water comes from elements forming molecules of hydrogen and oxygen but I can't make them myself, they just develop because of natural processes. Water running down hill is a little easier if the explanation of gravity proves to be true. A bee gets up in the morning and flies from flower to flower and in the process pollenates seed bearing plants. It doesn't intend to do so, it intends to feed its appetite, whatever that is. A bee with yellow pollen flying overloaded with cargo perform an impossible task with those tiny little wings. But bee doesn't know his wings are tiny; it is just what nature calls it to do.
Not a very sophisticated answer, indeed. I just know that I exist as a survivor of survivors who had children. My genetic code passes to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, for who knows how long. I am alive, I have sensing organs, a brain and the usual systems that everyone else has, from a heart that pumps blood through the cardio-vascular system, lungs that pump air and gases through my pulmonary system, an intake chamber and gastro-intestinal system with filters along the way and an outflow orifice. A system with intake and outflow are called "open systems". Several other system, of which I am unaware, like sweat glands, lymph nodes, and who knows how many other things exist and operate, not because I do anything, they just go about their work without any input from me.
Of these things I am very sure. I exist, I have work that needs to be done to survive (food, water, shelter, stuff like that). I belong to a community who loves me and whom I love. I have a mind that thinks and reasons and explores and experiments, and notices cause and effect, and I am capable of learning a great deal more. I see stars and constellation unaided, but can see other stars, universes in far distant space, taking more time than I have to visit them, or more equipment to successfully flourish if I go past the living zone of Earth.
There is no "purpose" for my life, nor for anyone else's life. I come into being by some spark of life through sperm meeting egg, I grow, live and die going back into the stuff of stars. Nothing has a plan for me. I simply have some things I am good at and enjoy, and can create a life that flourishes.
I exist as an inquisitive, curious, observing, happy human being, loving morning and rising to a new day, and going to rest after a day full of challenges that occasionally resolve satisfactorily. How could I ask for more?
sk8eycat, Susan Jacoby is a great read. She is also good at debate, doesn't stand still for nonsense and challenges with confidence and competence. I do little reading any more and there are many interviews on video or radio broadcasts to enjoy with eyes closed, a cup of tea in my lap, and a piece of chocolate to munch on.
Neal Schermerhorn, your statement makes as much sense as any I have run across.
"I like the theory that "god" is simply one's own self, playing "hide-and-seek" with itself, a sort of mild disassociative disorder if you will. Certainly explains why people fight over it so much."
Nov 7, 2012
Nov 8, 2012
I always thought that the definition of a regligion was that a religon was a set of beliefs that include and revolve around some supernatural component of life (particularly human life) that continues on after the death of the physical body.
Thank you Littlejohn Dellar, clear, concise, easy to understand. I reposted with attribution to you.
Religion is a consruct, as is politics and economics. They are notion developed in the minds of humans, taught through family and culture, added to, changed, adjusted as fits the times. Some reject constructs of the past because new information emerges, values change, unintended problems emerge and for other reasons.
The test is, How are constructs that influence your life working for you?
The Catholic church is a perfect example of a political organization hiding behind it's priestly robes.
Joan, I like your long post and especially the paragraph about there being no "purpose". It expresses my thoughts better than I can.
Spud, thanks for your note. As more of us come to realize there is nothing out there telling us what is right or good or fair or decent we have to come to terms with our own thoughts and actions. We can too easily blame or praise a delusion; "God said ..." or "The Devil made me ...".
But yes William Sams, exactly so.
In one word: fiction.
Nov 9, 2012
I think political and criminal can be interchangeable in many cases.
Beware the Religio-Industrial Complex
The "Prosperity Gospel" does not seem to understand, or chooses not to recognize, "To whom much is given,much is required".
How religion evolved, and the concept of God took Shape, what kind of of thoughts the pre-sprtualistic people had, is contained in the Indian Rgveda, this is the biggest literary proof we have. I am trying to bring the great atheistic literature and traditions and debates, which lasted for almost 2500 years
Nov 10, 2012
Brian Greene: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
Nov 30, 2012
Because if it was one of the ones that wasn't, we'd not be here to ask the question...
I was searching for a quote by Seneca the Elder/Younger on his view of believing in god.gods but I cannot locate it anywhere. Is anyone familiar with this ?
Dec 10, 2012
Have any more details for us? It's hard to do a Google search based upon just Seneca and something to do with belief in gods.
John Lynch, is this the one to which you refer?
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/lucius_annaeus_seneca.h...
I was looking for the wrong person for the quote. The following is the one I was think of. Sorry for the confusion.
"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones." -- Marcus Aurelius
Dec 11, 2012
John, this is excellent and a keeper! I am very glad you found it and shared it. I am reposting.
Laurel, one of my favorite quotes, and one well worth repeating. Thanks.
Dec 12, 2012
Love the quotes Joan.
I hope everyone is having a good day.
Dec 14, 2012
It has been 38 years since I decided I wanted to live without violence in my home and packed up three 10-year old children and drove 2,000 miles, bought a little patch of Earth where kids, cats, and cabbages could grow and develop into all they are created to be.
That year I planted a vegetable garden and neatly labeled all the rows according to the seed packs that were given to me by family. When seeds came up, a row came up beets but were labeled something else. That is a metaphor for my parenting style. Provide the proper conditions and the seed will come up according to its own kind and I don’t have to mold them into some imagined way of being.
All three grown children will be 49-years old by February 2013, and all have learned to live using good communication skills, able to solve problems and conflicts without violence, and know how to treat others, as they want to be treated. They learned how to assert themselves and to listen actively.
This festive Yule season I am spending with my daughter and son-in-law and their families. My daughter has 2 daughters, and I am blessed with 5 great grandchildren and their pets and I enjoy all the activity. They do not quarrel, nor fuss, nor whine. They act as though they belong as members of the same team, doing what needs to be done to make life productive and interesting and fun. They laugh so much, enjoy being with each other, cooperate doing daily chores, they like school and participate in all kinds of activities. They have horses and pets to care for, as well as the usual chores to be done on a rural place.
They live some miles away from a very small farming/lumber town in the middle of a large forest. Wild animals come and go creating risks for pets; Dominic, the large black Lab that we brought home from the pound on Dec. 24, 2011, keeps smaller threats away and warns when coyotes and cougars come through. He knows how to open and close latch doors and even takes care of Spaz, their tiny Chihuahua and Spice, a roly-poly cat.
Right now, we enjoy deep snow, and many forested hills on their property. The children start high on a hillside south of my daughter’s home, which runs more than a city block and slide down a curved gravel road to my granddaughter’s home. The two houses exist invisible to each other because of the forest density.
From deep in the forest of northeastern Washington state I send you best wishes for a new year. May you share the season with family and friends you love and who love you. May all your wishes come true, you have good health and cheer and are able to live nonviolently.
Dec 28, 2012
Thanks Joan, I love your view of a harmonious family! That's a real comfort - I hear far too much about broken families.
A happy New Year to you!
Dec 29, 2012
Joan, you are a role model for others. It is a pleasure that you share your story with us. To you and everyone I wish a Happy and a Healthy New Year.
Arrived home last night and my son who lives with me held down our hearth in great fashion. I took him out to lunch this afternoon as a great big "thank you" to him. Sitting in a booth about six booths away from us two men spoke so loudly about Christ, and the work they have been doing in the name of their savior, I could not hear Cary. So I got up, walked calmly over to their booth, sat down beside one of the men and told them they had very loud voices that disturbed us, not only because of them speaking so loudly, but because the things they discussed did not interest me nor my son. We are atheist and did not come out to a nice restaurant to have to listen to a Christian sermon. As I walked away, the dining room thanked me and applauded. The men thanked me and turned their volume down about 1 degree on a ten degree scale.
They responded by paying our bill; quite a pleasant surprise. We thanked them and they gave us their blessings. Religious people will have to get used to non-believers standing up against such thoughtless conduct because we are becoming legion! Have you noticed the increased enrollment in non-believing sites?
Jan 2, 2013
Congraaatulations Joan. I'll add my applause to those of the other diners.
Joan you are always the bearer of such positive, encouraging news.
Good for you Joan
I agree with Lillie.
Joan, I sincerely wish I had your confidence and ability to speak up for myself...but I know you have earned those skills. Thank you for sharing that story.
The process is very simple: "Be the cause in the action." If there is a problem or a conflict or something that bothers you, take the kind of action you would would want done to you. No name calling, blaming, accusing or criticizing. Just state your problem to the one offending you as clearly and honestly as you can; take the kind of action that will make your position clear and what you expect from them.This doesn't always stop the behavior, but it does make known to them how they intrude upon you, and you are not a victim. The funny thing about this episode, I am a little old lady, spoke quietly and politely and yet the dining room quieted when I approached their table, sat down and said what I had to say. What was that old commercial when a financial planner spoke in a restaurant and everyone quieted and listened? It was a scene kind of like that.
Jan 3, 2013
Most of the time I'm too cowardly, but I'll try to take a leaf out of your book, Joan.
Oh Paula and Chris, I know you both are strong, wise and compassionate; this is just an unfamiliar process for you.
I'll put my hands together for you also Joan. And I will remember your story the next time I'm in a position like that and it will give me extra courage.
Go Team! One for the Atheist Brigade! Powered by good sense, refusing to be a victim, standing up for ourselves and each other, strong, decisive, clear, specific, a backbone of steel and arms of velvet, confident, competent, and compassionate!
NO blaming, accusing, criticizing, nit-picking, name calling, slandering, apologizing, asking for permission or whining.
Just the facts.
Jan 5, 2013
No whining? Well, OK, I'll try :)
I like the go team smilies :)
Jan 6, 2013
The Venus Project Tour With Jacque Fresco Trailer
Jan 18, 2013
Jan 20, 2013
Jan 23, 2013
Something similar to the premise of Idiocracy, in other words.
Joan, thanks for the Big Think article. I'm not familiar with that site, but have added it to my Bookmarks.
Joseph, I've not seen Idiocracy. It has a very good premise, but sounds like it beats you over the head with it's moral. What did you think of it?
Jan 24, 2013
Its premise is over-exaggerated, even if it wasn't horribly flawed. And its premise is simplistic and flawed, in its treatment of the factors that contribute to intelligence.
You can translate the metaphor into other areas, though.
A more serious issue is the spread of memes, with nut-jobs like the Duggars pumping out 19 kids and passing on their fucked-up, fundie-Christian memes to their children. On our side, we have people like TNT666 not having any children, when I think she'd do a much better job of raising contributing members of society, were she so inclined.
The bright point in that is that we're siphoning off members of the religious community, into our number. The internet and the increased spread of scientific information is helping with that. We've got almost no attrition due to children from secular families becoming religious, later in life, since religiosity requires childhood indoctrination, which they're not getting.
Hell, we've got at least one of the Phelps clan who's gone secular, so maybe we can pick off a couple of the Duggar children, if they ever receive sufficient outside education ... although, I admit that's doubtful, considering that they're all home-schooled.
All that aside, Idiocracy is a fairly amusing movie. I wouldn't put it on any list of greats, but it's worth watching.