OpinionReligion is a waste product of the human intellect.
      – Iamme, 2008-09-13 at 06:35:03   (16 comments)

On 2008-09-13 at 10:36:09, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Religion is many things, notably a self-perpetuating system promoting an irrational belief system. It's belief in a god that's more difficult to understand - although there's a neurological basis for it, why is it so widespread?
On 2008-09-19 at 03:56:44, Wonkobox wrote...
religion has inspired and provided support for some of the greatest art (visual or otherwise) we know. it has provided comfort and solace to billions of people that you look down on. somehow i think it's your intellect that's being wasted. if you are capable of more profound thinking then you should let go of your disdain for those that are different than you.
On 2008-09-19 at 04:02:22, Baslisks wrote...
@Wonkobox: profound.
On 2008-09-19 at 11:39:37, BorgClown wrote...
@Wonkobox: If religion didn't provide lots of fear and brainwashing, I wouldn't mind it. My problem with it is that it seeks to increase its ranks with the more defenseless people, children and the needed. Let the childs grow enough to embrace it voluntarily, and help the needed without demanding adherence in return.
On 2008-09-19 at 11:45:14, BorgClown wrote...
@Wonkobox: I completely concur that most of the world's most beautiful art and architecture, and many of the biggest projects in humankind are a consequence of religions, and that makes me joyful when I see them, but a little sad because it shows that money is the new religion today. Almost all the modern marvels are done for profit nowadays.
On 2008-09-19 at 13:08:23, Wonkobox wrote...
@BorgClown: by that notion, communism, and its requisite atheism is more dangerous.
On 2008-09-19 at 13:11:56, BorgClown wrote...
@Wonkobox: Yes, communism is ugly too. It's socialism misunderstood. Anything dependent on extensive brain washing is inherently bad in my opinion, even if it's atheism.
On 2008-09-25 at 10:48:30, Iamme wrote...
@Wonkobox: As a bright atheist, I'm capable of much more profound thinking than a person with a mind clouded by primitive religious superstition.
On 2008-09-25 at 19:58:21, BorgClown wrote...
@Iamme: An atheist can be as clouded as a religious man. there are plenty of superstitions and pseudoscience scams to choose besides religion: Acupuncture, extraterrestrial UFOs, ghosts, psychics, "health" fads, marketing, media manipulation, etc... We would have to be Vulcans to be completely immune to all of that crap.
On 2008-09-25 at 20:08:33, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The Vulcans are spiritual. They had the benefit of the teachings of Surak, who gave them a philosophy of rationalism with emotional mastery - packaged much like Buddhist spirituality, but without the quackery. Vulcan society was historically savage and brutal - they aren't born logical.
On 2008-09-25 at 20:17:44, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: According to canon, their distinct biology allows them to be very logical or extremely emotional by nature. Humans are compared to them as more balanced, in the sense that we live in the middle and can be as logical/illogical/civilized/savage as we please. Almost all aliens in Star Trek have been stereotyped some way or another, only humans retain the full range of possibilities.
On 2008-09-25 at 20:25:36, Lee J Haywood wrote...
The canon is fairly sketchy on details, but it was fairly well established that the Romulans and Vulcans are basically the same species - the Romulans continued to be emotional and Surak's teachings took effect on the Vulcans after the split. Wikipedia has plenty of references to Vulcan savagery... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surak What's the reference for them having a distinct biology?
On 2008-09-25 at 20:45:25, BorgClown wrote...
The distinct biology is evident, apart from the spiked ears: Long life-span, superhuman strength, seven-year reproductive cycles, green blood, etc. But you got me looking up the Romulan article on Memory Alpha. It sates that Romulans are genetic "cousins" of Vulcans, and that they split around the third century. Two thousand years is not enough for evolution to make them completely different species, but they are very different: http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Romulan#Physiology Ah, but sketchy details mostly come from plot devices than actual planning. We could rationalize the plot holes forever.
On 2008-09-25 at 20:46:05, BorgClown wrote...
Uh, the split was in the fourth century.
On 2008-09-25 at 20:53:26, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I meant that the details are sketchy when compared with the non-canon stuff - such as the novels I've read, which go into much greater detail about the history of Vulcan and the influence of Surak. Of course, the Vulcan philosophy wouldn't really work that well in practice, because "emotions [are] to be controlled and repressed". If you ignore your emotions for long enough, they end up making you physically sick - depending on your circumstances. On the other hand, it's almost impossible to be spiritual if you've made yourself rational, so we have happy people that make stupid decisions and unhappy people who are part of the intellectual elite. And not enough exceptions...
On 2008-09-25 at 21:09:15, BorgClown wrote...
Very true. A truly logical approach to humanity's (or even our own) purpose/nature would yield "perpetuator of genes". And yet, who hasn't meditated about a different answer to it?