PollHow many times do you think of religion?
      – Baslisks, 2009-03-02 at 06:07:31   (26 comments)

On 2009-03-02 at 06:08:09, Baslisks wrote...
I don't. I literally don't think about god or religion till it hits me in the face. and foolishly I forgot to add a zero choice... shit.
On 2009-03-02 at 11:00:28, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I think against religion almost every day, once or twice. It's very rare for me to actually encounter religious people, but I've been following Dawkins for a few years and learning the full set arguments against religion. Indeed, you can see my atheism bookmarks on this very site... http://discussionator.com/bookmarks.html Dawkin's documentary 'Root of all evil' is on YouTube and worth watching, although it's in parts and occasionally gets deleted / re-uploaded. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=dawkins+root+of+all+evil @Baslisks: Fixed that for you - although you also neglected to say 'per day', which I guess is what you mean.
On 2009-03-02 at 11:13:44, Thelevellers wrote...
I would agree with Lee here, I think against it everytime I pick up a book at the moment - I have The Extended Phenotype on the reading pile - and have 'Atheism' as an interest on stumbleupon... :) Root of all Evil is a good watch, as is a newer one 'Enemies of Reason', in which he looks at 'alternative' medicine and the like...
On 2009-03-02 at 11:19:24, Lee J Haywood wrote...
'The root of all evil' was where I first heard Dawkins point out that whilst we tolerate religions, and are even expected to respect them, our acceptance of their 'harmless rituals' means that we give unintentional support to the idea that 'faith' is a valid system of reasoning. But it's not, and it's the same 'reasoning' that fundamentalists use. @Thelevellers: The Extended Phenotype is a bit long-winded - it's mostly one idea which could have been described with far, far fewer words. But I'm sure you'll like it anyway.
On 2009-03-02 at 18:28:34, Baslisks wrote...
I've seen it and watched it a few times. I used to stumble everyday but I've been trying not to as it consumes hours. I just don't think about religion at all. It's scary for me to think about people who thank god everyday for every action and thought... Why?
On 2009-03-02 at 18:34:36, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Gosh, well that's a question that requires a whole essay to respond to. Some people believe in a god, some have to subscribe to a religion because their community demands it. In some cases, the problem is due to lack of knowledge (not a lack of intelligence, though) and in most there's a failure in evidence-based rationality. I keep thinking that questions and responses about religion out to be automated somewhere - a kind of 'why this aspect of your religion makes no sense' flowchart - but it's a huge subject and just getting started is a problem. The latest Atheist Eve sums things up nicely. http://www.atheist-community.org/atheisteve/?id=54
On 2009-03-02 at 21:02:15, Thelevellers wrote...
I am finding The Extended Phenotype a bit long winded, but I'm persevering with it in the hope it will expand on the little snippet on the same idea at the end of the new version of The Selfish Gene... I am (very!) slowly working my way through his back catalogue, as even though there is obviously a large amount of overlap, I actually like that, as it makes me think it through again, and I understand a lot of it a bit better each time... I think the most important view Dawkins pointed out recently is that we shouldn't think of children as 'christian' or 'muslim' until they are old enough to think about it for themselves. As he quotes some religious school (or similar): "Give me the child, and I'll give you the man". Terrifying.
On 2009-03-02 at 21:06:48, Lee J Haywood wrote...
So long as people get to raise their own children, the labelling issue is the fault of the parents more than society as a whole - i.e. not labelling them won't stop their parents from indoctrinating them. It's the adults that claim to have converted without previously being religious that I still cannot fathom. I never intended to read The Extended Phenotype, but someone gave it me as a gift knowing that I'd read The Selfish Gene. Both books have important ideas in them, I just wish they didn't have to be padded out with mindless rambling... The second book is worst of all - he switches subjects for almost every sentence.
On 2009-03-04 at 19:54:12, Baslisks wrote...
Since writing this discussion, I have thought a lot more about religion. Mostly because this put it in my head... I just don't know what to say about it.
On 2009-03-04 at 20:41:56, Lee J Haywood wrote...
All you can really say is that it brings a lot of benefits to those who go along with it, and arguing for/against it (and faith) is usually a waste of time. It's not going away any time soon. Having said that, there's a lot of atheists/agnostics out there - a large minority, who ought to be organised into a powerful lobby (in the US at least). And high-profile advocates like Dawkins et al are almost certainly making some difference.
On 2009-03-05 at 03:33:14, Baslisks wrote...
all those benefits are definitely not anything special or exclusive to that group. If only you could make your own group.
On 2009-03-05 at 09:53:19, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I see what you mean, although the reason religious communities are strong is that they have (mostly social) penalties for leaving them and a 'them and us' mentality which persecutes non-members. On the other hand, an atheist/agnostic community could be strongly tied by a shared thought process... but only if they could actually think of things to do and say to each other - as a group, they don't have any rituals as yet. That's something that needs looking into - maybe setting aside a day of the week... oh, I don't know, say Sunday?
On 2009-03-05 at 18:20:34, Baslisks wrote...
Create a nice little atheist club where all the members pay dues. Not 10% of your income but enough for the upkeep of a grill and maybe some hamburgers, hot dogs, and the vegetarian variety. Hire speakers of philosophy, science, and other relevant topics of interest. Nice little thing.
On 2009-03-05 at 18:26:57, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Well it's a social club, but it needs to be some sort of franchise - I'm hardly likely to be in the same room as you at any time, and you're not going to visit the rest of your country either. The social club I'm in has groups in around 50 cities, so it's a standardised format but with plenty of variation. But usually they're geared towards activities, not activism.
On 2009-03-06 at 17:40:47, Baslisks wrote...
We had an amazing punk rock scene that was the home of people of intellect and intrigue. We played music and talked of high ideals, then people started getting high.... It went down real quick. It's still festering in the small town i left. Dead a shell of its greatness.
On 2009-03-06 at 19:42:25, Baslisks wrote...
sorry, I miss the glory days of music. Only way to start is to start.
On 2009-03-06 at 20:01:51, Thelevellers wrote...
That's a sad story (of the music scene you mentioned), sounds like it was a very cool thing to begin with... I hate when something stupid like drink/drugs ruins something (or indeed someone) good. I like the idea of an Atheist social group, there is thinkatheist on the web, like facebook but with an atheist persuasion. It's pretty small, but the members seem pretty active. I'm a bit nonplussed by it at the moment, as it's too like facebook (which I've given up on) for me to get into.
On 2009-03-08 at 01:58:06, BorgClown wrote...
I can't avoid thinking about it several times a week. Too many religious drones around for my liking. The kind of drones who think atheist means non-catholic. That's why I like Internet drones, they're much more open minded.
On 2009-03-08 at 05:20:16, Baslisks wrote...
@Thelevellers: Meh, trying to build things back up on my own with some people. I am decent on acting as network flux. @BorgClown: Is that the mexican catholic thing hitting you there?
On 2009-03-08 at 09:36:17, BorgClown wrote...
Yeah, but Mexican Catholicism is nearly the Vatican's vanilla Catholicism, "customized" to accommodate preconquest customs and gods to ease the assimilation. What I loathe most about religious people here is that many of them think religion means a variant of Bible worshiping. And consequently atheism means just non-Bible worshiper. Opening their eyes to bigger and older religions is a sure way of upsetting them, no matter how tactful you discuss it.
On 2009-03-08 at 09:36:56, BorgClown wrote...
Effing brain-washed faith drones
On 2009-03-08 at 19:11:19, Baslisks wrote...
but I love the ancient religions of those areas. Well actually more South America but it did exist somewhat there. Jaguars and such.
On 2009-03-08 at 22:28:48, BorgClown wrote...
I've visited Mayan ruins, it is disheartening to see the old cities walled. A few wealthy or powerful people living inside the walls, and the populace outside. The cities are very small for all to live inside, granted, but still, the exploitation of the masses is evident. And religion had to do a lot with it.
On 2009-03-08 at 23:12:58, Baslisks wrote...
Still happening today...
On 2009-03-08 at 23:22:21, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Baslisks: Discussionator will do that to you.
On 2009-03-09 at 02:35:14, Baslisks wrote...
mmm, and naturally paranoid.... sooooo yeah...