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The New Atheists' Narrow Worldview

January 25 2011 at 10:58 PM

  (Premier Login Oscar50)
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January 21, 2011
The New Atheists' Narrow Worldview
By Stephen T. Asma

With tongues in cheeks, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett are embracing their reputation as the "Four Horsemen." Lampooning the anxieties of evangelicals, these bestselling atheists are embracing their "dangerous" status and daring believers to match their formidable philosophical acumen.

According to these soldiers of reason, the time for religion is over. It clings like a bad gene replicating in the population, but its usefulness is played out. Sam Harris's most recent book, The Moral Landscape (Free Press, 2010), is the latest in the continuing battle. As an agnostic, I find much of the horsemen's critiques to be healthy.

But most friends and even enemies of the new atheism have not yet noticed the provincialism of the current debate. If the horsemen left their world of books, conferences, classrooms, and computers to travel more in the developing world for a year, they would find some unfamiliar religious arenas.

Having lived in Cambodia and China, and traveled in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Africa, I have come to appreciate how religion functions quite differently in the developing worldwhere the majority of believers actually live. The Four Horsemen, their fans, and their enemies all fail to factor in their own prosperity when they think about the uses and abuses of religion.

Harris and his colleagues think that religion is mostly concerned with two jobsexplaining nature and guiding morality. Their suggestion that science does these jobs better is pretty convincing. As Harris puts it, "I am arguing that science can, in principle, help us understand what we should do and should wantand, therefore, what other people should do and should want in order to live the best lives possible." I agree with Harris here and even spilled significant ink myself, back in 2001, to show that Stephen Jay Gould's popular science/religion diplomacy of "nonoverlapping magisteria" (what many call the fact/value distinction) is incoherent. The horsemen's mistake is not their claim that science can guide morality. Rather, they're wrong in imagining that the primary job of religion is morality. Like cosmology, ethics is barely relevant in nonWestern religions. It is certainly not the main function or lure of devotional life. Science could take over the "morality job" tomorrow in the developing world, and very few religious practitioners would even notice.

Buddhism, for example, is about finding a form of psychological happiness that goes beyond the usual pursuit of fleeting pleasures. With introspection and discipline, Buddhism and other contemplative traditions attempt to find a state of wellbeing that is outside the usual game of desire fulfillment. Buddhism aligns metaphysically with the new atheism and psychologically with the humanistic traditions. Many of the new atheists have recognized that Buddhism doesn't quite belong with the other religious targets, and they reserve a vague respect for its philosophical core. I'm glad. They're right to do so. But two days in any Buddhist country will painfully demonstrate to its Western fans that Buddhism is an elaborate, supernatural, devotional religion as well.

Those who argue that we must do away with all religion to set humanity on the true path generally accept some formulation of Marx's famous argument: "Religion is the opiate of the masses." It is the superstitious aspect of religion that usually warrants the drug metaphor. But the zealous attempt, on the part of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Red Guard in China, to root out this "opiate" also rooted out all the good stuff about Buddhism that I've labeled "psychological." The attempt to do away with all gods or religions always throws the baby out with the bath water. There is much good "medicine" in Buddhism (just as there is much good in other religions), but if the Asian Communists found you practicing it in the 1970s, you were as good as dead. And that form of militant atheism should ring a cautionary note: Religion is not the only ideology with blood on its hands.

But I'd advance a much more radical argument as well. Not only should the more rational and therapeutic elements be distilled from the opiate of religion. But the wacky, superstitious, cloudcuckooland forms of religion, too, should be cherished and preserved, for those forms of religion sometimes do great good for our emotional lives, even when they compromise our morerational lives.

The new debates about the moral value of religion assume monotheism as a central premise. Harris and the other horsemen are wringing their hands primarily about Islam and Christianity, which they think constitute our main combatants in a "zerosum conflict" with science. So far I've mentioned one major alternative religion (nonmonotheistic) by inserting Buddhism into the discussion. So why not veer further from the developed Western perspective and look at the lesserdeveloped world and the variations of animism? It is, after all, the world's biggest religion.

Animistic beliefs dominate the everyday lives of Southeast Asians. Local spirits, called neak ta in Cambodia, inhabit almost every farm, home, river, road, and large tree. The Thais usually refer to these spirits as phii, and the Burmese as nats. Even the shortest visit to this part of the world will make one familiar with the everpresent "spirit houses" that serve these tutelary spirits. When people build a home or open a business, for example, they must make offerings to the local spirits; otherwise these beings may cause misfortune for the humans. The next time you visit a Thai restaurant, notice the spirit house near the cash register or kitchen.

The ubiquitous spirit houses often contain miniature carved people who act as servants to the spirits who take up residence there. The offerings can be incense or flowers or fruit or anything valuable and precious, but the spirits are particularly pleased by shot glasses of whiskey or other liquors. The offerings are designed to please neak ta and phii, but also to distract and pull mischievous spirits into the minihomes, thereby sparing the real homes from malady and misfortune. The mix of animism with Buddhism is so complete in Asia that monks frequently make offerings to these spirits, and Buddhist pagodas actually have spirit shrines built into one corner. The Buddhist religion is built on top of this much older animistic system. Animism was never supplanted by modern beliefs.

The belief that nature is loaded with invisible spirits that live in local flora, fauna, and environmental landmarks is generally characterized by Westerners as "primitive" and highly irrational. Even religious devotees of monotheism in the developed West look down their noses at animism. Animism is the Rodney Dangerfield of religions. But most of the world is made up of animists. The West is naïve when it imagines that the major options are monotheistic. In actual numbers and geographic spread, belief in nature spirits trounces the OneGodders. Almost all of Africa, Southeast Asia, rural China, Tibet, Japan, rural Central and South America, indigenous Pacific Islandspretty much everywhere except Western Europe, the Middle East, and North Americais dominated by animistic beliefs.

Even places where later religions like Buddhism and Roman Catholicism enjoy formal recognition as national faiths, much older forms of animism constitute the daily concerns and rituals of the people. The welltraveled Charles Darwin noted the universality of animism in The Descent of Man, when he wrote: "I am aware that the assumed instinctive belief in God has been used by many persons as an argument for His existence. But this is a rash argument, as we should thus be compelled to believe in the existence of many cruel and malignant spirits, only a little more powerful than man; for the belief in them is far more general than belief in a beneficent Deity."

Most Westerners think that animists are just uneducated and unscientific, and that eventually they will "evolve" (according to theists) toward our scientific view of one Goda rational God of natural laws (who is also omniscient and omnipotent). And eventually (according to the new atheists) these primitives will join the march beyond even monotheism, to the impersonal, secular laws of nature. We all previously believed that storms, floods, bad crops, and diseases were caused by irritated local spirits (invisible persons who were angry with us for one reason or another), but now we know that weather and microbes behave according to predictable laws, with no "intentions" behind them. The view of nature as "lawful" and "predictable" has given those of us in the developed world power, freedom, choice, and selfdetermination. This power is real, and I am sincerely thankful to benefit from dentistry, cell theory, antibiotics, birth control, and anesthesia. I love science.

But here's a radical suggestion: Contrary to the progressbased story the West tells itself, animistic explanations of one's daily experience may be every bit as empirical and rational as Western science, if we take a closer look at life in the developing world.

Consider animism in context. An indirect way to see the geographical distribution of animism is to look at the UN's map of the Human Development Indexa composite statistic for each country that contains data on percapita GDP, life expectancy, and education. There is a striking correlation between animism and the indexes for countries designated "developing" and "underdeveloped."

Animism can be defined as the belief that there are many kinds of persons in this world, only some of whom are human. Your job, as an animist, is to placate and honor these spiritpersons. But it's important to remember that the daily lives of people in the developing world are not filled with the kinds of independence, predictability, and freedom that we in the developed world enjoy. You do not often choose your spouse, your work, your number of childrenin fact, you don't choose much of anything when you are very poor and tied to the survival of your family.

When I lived in Cambodia, some of my college students at the Buddhist Institute, in Phnom Penh, didn't even have homes; they slept at a humble local temple. I regularly watched children on the streets raising their little siblings, while their necessarily absent parents slaved for pittance wages. Many of the kids, like their parents before them, will not get formal educations. Many will not have clean drinking water. Many will die from simple, almost trivially treatable illnesses, or perhaps from landmine explosions. Add the myriad barriers to opportunity, the omnipresence of local corruption, and unpredictable violent political upheavals.

In that world, where life is particularly capricious and more out of individuals' control than it is in the developed world, animism seems quite reasonable. It makes more sense to say that a spiteful spirit is bringing one misery, or that a benevolent ghost is granting favor, than to say that seamless neutral and predictable laws of nature are unfolding according to some invisible logic. Unless you could demonstrate the real advantages of an impersonal, lawful view of nature (e.g., by having a longterm, wellfinanced medical facility in the village), you will never have the experiential data to overcome animism. Our firstworld claim about neutral, predictable laws will be an inferior causal theory for explaining the chaos of everyday thirdworld life. In the developing world, animism literally makes more sense. The new atheists, like Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins, and Dennett have failed to notice that their mechanistic view of nature is in part a product (as well as a cause) of prosperity and stability.

Is animism a mere "opiate," as the atheists argue? Well, yes, but don't underestimate opiates. They can be highly inspirational and consoling. After all, a drunken man is usually a little happier than a sober one. In fact, to continue the metaphor, opposing religion is a lot like prohibitionists' opposing drinka rather cruel project in my view. I'd gladly give my copies of Mao's Little Red Book, and Dawkins's The God Delusion for a sixpack of Grolsch. But if all that is too offensive, we might replace the word "opiate" with "analgesic," and my point may be more agreeable.

Religion, even the wacky, superstitious stuff, is an analgesic survival mechanism and sanctuary in the developing world. Religion provides some order, coherence, respite, peace, and traction against the fates. Perhaps most important, it quells the emotional distress of human vulnerability. I'm an agnostic and a citizen of a wealthy nation, but when my own son was in the emergency room with an illness, I prayed spontaneously. I'm not naïveI don't think it did a damn thing to heal him. But when people have their backs against the wall, when they are truly helpless and hopeless, then groveling and negotiating with anything more powerful than themselves is a very human response. It is a response that will not go away, and that should not go away if it provides some genuine relief for anxiety and agony. As Roger Scruton says, "The consolation of imaginary things is not imaginary consolation."

Religion is not really a path to morality, nor can it substitute for a scientific understanding of nature. Its chief virtue is as a "coping mechanism" for our troubles. Powerless people turn to religion and find a sense of relief, which helps them psychologically to stay afloat. Those who wish to abolish religion seek to pull away the life preserver, mistakenly blaming the device for the drowning.

I am not simply rehearsing the adage "reason for the few, magic for the many." Harris, in The Moral Landscape, thinks he sees my argument coming. "Because there are no easy remedies for social inequality," he states, "many scientists and public intellectuals also believe that the great masses of humanity are best kept sedated by pious delusions. Many assert that, while they can get along just fine without an imaginary friend, most human beings will always need to believe in God." He considers this liveandletlive position to be "condescending" and "pessimistic." His disdain is driven by his characterization of monotheism, which he sees as divisive and exclusionarya bad belief obstructing a good belief.

But unlike Western fundamentalism, animism is not locked in a zerosum battle with science (nor, for that matter, are moderate Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). Instead of being exclusionary, animism is highly syncretic, adopting any and all spiritual beliefs and practices as complementary rather than competing options. The more the merrier is how we might characterize animism's promiscuous attitude toward beliefs and rituals. There's not much concern for, or history of, orthodoxy in animism, a trait that can potentially render it liberal and tolerant toward alternatives, including science.

More important, my argumentthat religion soothes emotional vulnerabilitycan't be "condescending" if I'm also applying it to myself. Like Sam Harris, I know a fair share of neuroscience, but that didn't alleviate my anguish and desperation in the emergency room with my son. The old saw "there are no atheists in foxholes" obviously doesn't prove that there is a God. It just proves that highly emotional beings (i.e., humans) are also highly vulnerable beings. Our emotional limbic system seeks homeostasisit tries to reset to calmer functional defaults when it's been riled up. I suspect there are aspects of religion (and art) that go straight into the limbic system and quell the adrenalinbased metabolic overdrive of stress.

So how do we discriminate between dangerous and benign religions? That is the more fruitful question, because it invites the other world religions into the discussion. Both the developed and the developing worlds can profitably examine their unique belief systems in light of larger human values. Like Harris et al., I agree that we should employ the usual criteria of experience to make the necessary discriminations. Religious ideas that encourage dehumanization, violence, and factionalism should be reformed or diminished, while those that humanize, console, and inspire should be fostered.

In 2009, in Brazil, the archbishop excommunicated doctors for performing an abortion on a 9yearold girl who had been repeatedly raped by her stepfather. The stepfather had impregnated her with twins. The girl's mother, too, was kicked out of the church, but the rapist was not. That is the kind of dehumanizing and dogmatic religion that should be eliminated. Catholics deserve a better religion than that. But there are still aspects of Catholicism that are humanizing, consoling, and inspirational. Whether it is Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, or animism, the virtues can be retained while the vices are moderated. In short, the reduction of human suffering should be the standard by which we measure every religion.

The Four Horsemen and other new atheists are members of liberal democracies, and they have not appeared to be interested in the socialengineering agendas of the earlier, Communist atheists. With impressive arts of persuasion, the new atheistic proponents just want to talk, debate, and exchange ideas, and of course they should do so. No harm, no foul.

But Sam Harris's new book may be a subtle turning point toward a more normative social agenda. If public policy is eventually expected to flow from atheism, then its proponents need to have a more nuanced and global understanding of religion.


Stephen T. Asma is a professor of philosophy and a fellow of the Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture at Columbia College Chicago. His latest book is "Why I Am a Buddhist" (Hampton Roads, 2010).


 
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AuthorReply
Seoc Colla
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Re: The New Atheists' Narrow Worldview

January 26 2011, 4:31 AM 

Our world is as it is.

The contrasts it offers for our growth are often diminished by assorted groups of religionistas, monarchs, advertising gurus and political wannabes - all of whom would like you to see, act and think according to their desires.
Guess who would be the beneficiaries were that to be the case?

Whatever natural intelligence lies behind it all, the net result is always the same - no matter how powerful in numerical, political or financial terms, all of these empires carry within them the seeds of their own destruction. A look back into history will confirm this, with many 'powerful' empires of one kind or another vanishing without trace.
And yet, our world goes on unphased.

Now, if only a fraction of all the efforts at control had been used to help the less fortunate, would we be further along the evolutionary road?

Probably not.

 
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Jackie
(Login BlueJudah)

The trouble with Dickie (and co?) is they ain't go no spirit!

January 26 2011, 7:14 AM 

As far as Hitchens goes, Stephen Hoeller gets it right, imo. While Chris is telling us God is not great, well, what God, Chris?

God is just a (un)convenience label for a Something where (possibly) ALL came.

Now my idea of God is universes apart from, let's say, hmmmmm - Nuccy's!

But then I am pretty loathe to use the word God at all, and when I do, I think, g or capital G? That's how sticky I find that particular word, maybe for the same reasons that Hitchens does.

Religion / spirtuality, not necessarily the same thing.

I had to come to terms with my own anti-catholocism, which I believe Chris was once accused of being. I am not sure I am all there yet (as they say happy.gif) but I try to be objective these days. Smile - hmmmm.

Dickie D I have often spoke of, I love him, I kinda want to slap him (happy.gif)...


Oooh, Daniel Dennett? New name to me.

Ah....."Darwin's idea of natural selection makes people uncomfortable because it reverses the direction of tradition.

A Dickie like thinker. Some of Darwinian thought, of which even Charles was iffy about, is certainly being challenged at this time. Watch that space!

"1.The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight -- that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether."

Yes, I can see that God as a myth. And I am not alone in seeing A Source in that way. More as an energy experiencing, evolving. He does say, 'That God', though.

No time for Mr. Nasty OT god, me or Daniel. happy.gif


Sam? Well. Sam is Sam! I have a bit of time for this guy. But I also think he need not worry much. The New Physics / Science is already understanding about the connectiveness of the ALL, the Unification of the Ether that makes wave connect with wave, which shiuld gradually,a s it is doing, maing the masses aware of the infectiousness of the few, how love can spread as well as hate. And WHY!

The Enlightened Christians are sharing with instead of preaching at, their fellow human beings, and this sharing is compassion and indeed interaction of all with all despite beliefs or non beliefs as far as religions go.

Persoanlly, I have long had a soft spot for Buddhism. It ahd to be some sort of unconscious rebellion against the few teachings I ever got to hear concerning God and Christianty, mainly from school. This nasty piece of work, yet also this kinda nice being. Turn your cheek yet eye for an eye.

Like Sheldrake, I could have looked nearer to home, but that was not so much of a rebellion, I guess. Of course, coming into Catholicism in my teen years via the 'Irish Conflict', that did not help much either.

Dangerous and benign religions, as dangerous and benigh anyhting else speak for themselves quite clearly. I heard on a video yesterday, or did I read it, once you realise how subliminal messages work on the telly, once you are pointed out this little critter, you never miss it again.

Once you get the knack, stuff no longer need to be pointed out, they speak for themselves.


Mondo! happy.gif

A really neat article. Thanks

Love
Sis...
happy.gifhappy.gif XX


[linked image]

Rupert Sheldrake

" I'm a Christian, I'm an Anglican, and I'd probably be classed as a liberal Anglican with strong ecumenical persuasions. I do meditation, I do yoga, I lived for years in India and I'm very interested in other spiritual traditions, but I feel it's important to be rooted in my own."


I will post as a response a little something I have by Sheldrake talking about Dawkins.

Wink.....wink.gifwink.gif









"Not everything that is true need necessarily be divulged to all men."

 
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Jackie
(Login BlueJudah)

Richard Dawkins comes to call

January 26 2011, 7:20 AM 

A crusading atheist and author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins is Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is a Fellow of CSI (The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, formerly CSICOP) and a strong supporter of James Randi. His earlier books were on evolutionary biology, the best known being The Selfish Gene. In 2007, he visited Rupert to interview him for his TV series Enemies of Reason:



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Richard Dawkins is a man with a mission the eradication of religion and superstition, and their total replacement with science and reason. Channel 4 TV has repeatedly provided him with a pulpit. His two-part polemic in August 2007, called Enemies of Reason, was a sequel to his 2006 diatribe against religion, The Root of All Evil?

Soon before Enemies of Reason was filmed, the production company, IWC Media, told me that Richard Dawkins wanted to visit me to discuss my research on unexplained abilities of people and animals. I was reluctant to take part, but the companys representative assured me that this documentary, at Channel 4s insistence, will be an entirely more balanced affair than The Root of All Evil was. She added, We are very keen for it to be a discussion between two scientists, about scientific modes of enquiry. So I agreed and we fixed a date. I was still not sure what to expect. Was Richard Dawkins going to be dogmatic, with a mental firewall that blocked out any evidence that went against his beliefs? Or would he be open-minded, and fun to talk to?

The Director asked us to stand facing each other; we were filmed with a hand-held camera. Richard began by saying that he thought we probably agreed about many things, But what worries me about you is that you are prepared to believe almost anything. Science should be based on the minimum number of beliefs.

I agreed that we had a lot in common, But what worries me about you is that you come across as dogmatic, giving people a bad impression of science.

He then said that in a romantic spirit he himself would like to believe in telepathy, but there just wasnt any evidence for it. He dismissed all research on the subject out of hand. He compared the lack of acceptance of telepathy by scientists such as himself with the way in which the echo-location system had been discovered in bats, followed by its rapid acceptance within the scientific community in the 1940s. In fact, as I later discovered, Lazzaro Spallanzani had shown in 1793 that bats rely on hearing to find their way around, but sceptical opponents dismissed his experiments as flawed, and helped set back research for well over a century. However, Richard recognized that telepathy posed a more radical challenge than echo-location. He said that if it really occurred, it would turn the laws of physics upside down, and added, Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

This depends on what you regard as extraordinary, I replied. Most people say they have experienced telepathy, especially in connection with telephone calls. In that sense, telepathy is ordinary. The claim that most people are deluded about their own experience is extraordinary. Where is the extraordinary evidence for that?

He produced no evidence at all, apart from generic arguments about the fallibility of human judgment. He assumed that people want to believe in the paranormal because of wishful thinking.

We then agreed that controlled experiments were necessary. I said that this was why I had actually been doing such experiments, including tests to find out if people really could tell who was calling them on the telephone when the caller was selected at random. The results were far above the chance level.

The previous week I had sent Richard copies of some of my papers, published in peer-reviewed journals, so that he could look at the data.

Richard seemed uneasy and said, Im dont want to discuss evidence. Why not? I asked. There isnt time. Its too complicated. And thats not what this programme is about. The camera stopped.

The Director, Russell Barnes, confirmed that he too was not interested in evidence. The film he was making was another Dawkins polemic.

I said to Russell, If youre treating telepathy as an irrational belief, surely evidence about whether it exists or not is essential for the discussion. If telepathy occurs, its not irrational to believe in it. I thought thats what we were going to talk about. I made it clear from the outset that I wasnt interested in taking part in another low grade debunking exercise.

Richard said, Its not a low grade debunking exercise; its a high grade debunking exercise.

In that case, I replied, there had been a serious misunderstanding, because I had been led to believe that this was to be a balanced scientific discussion about evidence. Russell Barnes asked to see the emails I had received from his assistant. He read them with obvious dismay, and said the assurances she had given me were wrong. The team packed up and left.

Richard Dawkins has long proclaimed his conviction that The paranormal is bunk. Those who try to sell it to us are fakes and charlatans. Enemies of Reason was intended to popularize this belief. But does his crusade really promote the public understanding of science, of which he is the professor at Oxford? Should science be a vehicle of prejudice, a kind of fundamentalist belief-system? Or should it be a method of enquiry into the unknown?


http://www.sheldrake.org/D&C/controversies/Dawkins.html


Ohhhhh! Don't ya just want to SQUEEZE some spirit into Dickie???

happy.gif

[linked image]

Dickie in sexy pose...happy.gif



[linked image]






"Not everything that is true need necessarily be divulged to all men."

 
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Pope Reverend I, BV
(Login PRev1)
Von Klumpen

Not sure I understand the author's point.

January 26 2011, 1:46 PM 


Is he claiming that...
Since the people in "developing" or "underdeveloped" countries...
Have little else...
-- Beyond the superstitious belief in animist "spirits"...
To give them solice and comfort...
That...
They should be allowed to continue in ignorance...
Like children who aren't ready to learn the truth...
About Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny...?

Because...
If that's the case...
-- It's a very condescending position.

Or...
Is he pointing to "global" occurances of animistic beliefs...
-- In "developing" and "underdeveloped" countries...
As "evidence" for the actual existence of "spiritual" phenomena...
Such as... "God"...?

Because, to me...
It looks far more like evidence that Knowledge...
Frees us from the bonds of "spiritual" superstitions.
-- From Animism to Zoroastrianism...
-- And everything in between.

Either way...
I'd have to say...
-- Dawkins (and Co.) presents a much stronger case.

-PRev1-




President Barrack Hussein Obama
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
-- Nobel Peace Prize, 2009 --
"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
-- George Orwell, "1984" --


 
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Tim
(no login)

Re: Not sure I understand the author's point.

January 26 2011, 11:32 PM 

I think the plot of it is to show Buddhism as a social and personal healing aid.
As well as other religious beliefs, accept Orthodox. And I would have to agree to be honest.

But no Christianity was brought into the article accept Catholicism but I don't consider that Christianity and nether does the Bible.

But I think it was a very impelling article, with many good points.
I've never heard a presentation quite that realistic on considering the good most all religions do for society.


 
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Pope Reverend I, BV
(Login PRev1)
Von Klumpen

The author's point is best summarized...

January 27 2011, 6:02 AM 


In this quote from the article...
Not only should the more rational and therapeutic elements be distilled from the opiate of religion. But the wacky, superstitious, cloudcuckooland forms of religion, too, should be cherished and preserved, for those forms of religion sometimes do great good for our emotional lives, even when they compromise our morerational lives.
The "therapeutic" elements of religion...
-- Fringe or Mainstream...
Are, as the author agrees, psychological...
Buddhism, for example, is about finding a form of psychological happiness that goes beyond the usual pursuit of fleeting pleasures.
People can learn how to play beneficial mind games...
-- Without the crutch of Religion.

From Fringe to Mainstream...
Religous Leaders Know this.
-- Knowledge is power.
-- Ignorance is bliss.

And, so...
They prefer their followers Remain...
In the Blissful State of...
-- Ignorance.

Christianity...
-- Which never would have survived...
-- Without the Catholic Church...
Is a Prime Example of...
-- The Cult of Ignorance.

-PRev1-




President Barrack Hussein Obama
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
-- Nobel Peace Prize, 2009 --
"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
-- George Orwell, "1984" --


 
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8-DJ
(Login JVH)

God wanted it that way

January 27 2011, 11:21 PM 

 

You don't consider Catholicism Christianity, yet without the Catholic Church, Christianity wouldn't have survived.

Apparently, God wanted it that way. You thus disagree with God.




-it's not what you know that matters, it's what you can show true that does - truth is demonstrably fact and fact is demonstrably true - everything else ... mere opinion-

New!! Improved!! Now With T-Formula!!
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Tim
(no login)

Re: God wanted it that way

January 29 2011, 4:11 AM 

You don't consider Catholicism Christianity, yet without the Catholic Church, Christianity wouldn't have survived.
Apparently, God wanted it that way. You thus disagree with God.
---------------------------------------------------------

Hi 8-DJ.
Catholics are not Christians and never were.
Catholics are the Babylonian worshipers of today.
Its that simple 8-DJ, but don't count on the Vatican to disclose that.
But if you study the Vatican archives you will see for yourself.

"Now from heaven, where the Queen of the angels and saints is crowned, the Mother of God and of the Church"

"May Mary extend the comfort of her motherly protection to every heart and every home."

"I renew the entrustment to Mary's heavenly protection of the entire Order of the Mother of God and of the people who daily visit this church dedicated to her."

"church dedicated to her"

"Appointed by the Lord as Queen of heaven and earth, raised above all the choirs of angels and the whole celestial hierarchy of saints"

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/audiences/1997/documents/hf_jp-ii_aud_23071997_en.html

8-DJ the Book of Jeremiah was written between 630 and 580 B.C.
And the LORD said to Jeremiah;
Jeremiah 7:16
16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the "queen of heaven", and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.

Do you see 8-DJ? The same Babylonian Queen of Heaven worship system in 620 BC is the same Vatican today.

What amazes me is how easy this is to find, and yet people never find it.
I guess I'm a real Sherlock Homes wink.gif


 
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