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Metal Vendetta
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Post by Metal Vendetta » Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:51 pm

Karl wrote:I suppose what I would like to know is that given your opinions are based on faith as much as the next fellow as we explored above, what do you feel separates you from (say) Yaya, other than you have different answers to the same questions?
Wait, wait, I seem to have turned over two pages at once. Where did I agree that all my opinions are based on faith?
Karl wrote:If you'd said "I suspect Buddhism to be the same but I don't know" you would be on sturdier ground than "It's the same as the others, I just don't have the evidence yet."
Okay, I'll state it like this: Buddhism is a religion that espouses non-violence. Some Buddhists are violent. Therefore Buddhism is a bit useless as a religion. Which bit of that requires faith?
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Post by Kaylee » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:08 pm

Thank you for being patient and explaining yourself to me. You didn't have to, so I appreciate the time.

I have lots more questions. I don't want to wind you up though, and I think I am, which is my fault due to combatative questioning.

I'll try and phrase things less negatively next time.

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Post by Metal Vendetta » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:23 pm

Karl wrote:I have lots more questions. I don't want to wind you up though, and I think I am, which is my fault due to combatative questioning.
Not at all - I'm enjoying the debate. Bring it on :)
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Post by Kaylee » Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:33 pm

Sweet! :) I'll have a think and carry on with my endless questions!

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Post by Kaylee » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:16 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:
Karl wrote:I suppose what I would like to know is that given your opinions are based on faith as much as the next fellow as we explored above, what do you feel separates you from (say) Yaya, other than you have different answers to the same questions?
Wait, wait, I seem to have turned over two pages at once. Where did I agree that all my opinions are based on faith?
Well before you moved to a new position of Buddhism == useless, we were nattering about Buddhism == Evil.

I think your particular exhibits were Tibet and Mongolia.

However you didn't have any evidence for that assertion, however you believed it never the less.

I want to know if that is a type of faith, and if not why not :)
Karl wrote:If you'd said "I suspect Buddhism to be the same but I don't know" you would be on sturdier ground than "It's the same as the others, I just don't have the evidence yet."
Okay, I'll state it like this: Buddhism is a religion that espouses non-violence. Some Buddhists are violent. Therefore Buddhism is a bit useless as a religion. Which bit of that requires faith?
My question about faith was directed at your earlier position on the subject. I was unclear but hope I have put this in context above.

The question of a concept containing 'Good' ideas yet unable to physically enforce them in all circumstances (or even at all) is interesting.

The police as a concept don't stop all crimes.
Democracy as a concept can't prohibit bad people coming to power.

How would you feel about those two statements, in the context of our talk?

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Post by Best First » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:38 am

Rather liked tand concurred with the vast majority of this;

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... t-religion
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Post by Kaylee » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:33 pm

Yes: good article that. :up:

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Post by bumblemusprime » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:58 pm

Brilliant--although I wish she had put in a word about how religion mutilates male bodies as well. Circumcision is a rather nasty procedure, done with minimal anesthetic in most places, and removes a good amount of healthy sexual nerve tissue.

No offense, Yaya, but I wish your religion had left that part out. At least Muslims, AFAIK, usually circumcise adults and not infants.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Post by Kaylee » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:40 pm

I've had some interesting discussions about that before, with some American friends, in fact I've even been called unhygienic just because I've not been mutilated for Quasi-religious reasons!

My answer was simple though: I'm not unhygienic, in England we have these things called 'baths'. Made me very unpopular :D

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Post by Jack Cade » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:26 pm

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbvr0m_shortfilms

Not usually a big Fry fan but he's right on every count here - particularly (and this is relevant to the discussion with Yaya earlier) when he says that only anorexics and the morbidly obese are 'obsessed' with food, and when it comes to the equivalent in sex, it's religious institutions like the Catholic Church who fit the bill, not Western society in general. It's far more unnatural and sexually dysfunctional to be celibate than gay.

He also mentions something I didn't know - that Vatican City and various Middle Eastern countries (the most extreme) made a specific and obstructive international stand against women's rights.

But importantly, he shrugs off any 'fundamentalist atheist' tag by repeatedly making it clear that he respects and understands people's need for personal religious beliefs.
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Post by bumblemusprime » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:22 pm

Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Post by Yaya » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:45 pm

this just in from Texas:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100924/ap_ ... tion_islam

Ignore it Texas, and one of the largest groups of people on the planet will simply go away. :roll:

Yeeeeehaw!
"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Post by Shanti418 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:16 pm

Yaya wrote:this just in from Texas:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100924/ap_ ... tion_islam

Ignore it Texas, and one of the largest groups of people on the planet will simply go away. :roll:

Yeeeeehaw!
Considering they also want to ignore/distort civil rights leaders, unions and the New Deal, and even the role of Jefferson in the formation of the country, the idea that Islam would also get whitewashed is sadly not a surprise.
Best First wrote:I thought we could just meander between making well thought out points, being needlessly immature, provocative and generalist, then veer into caring about constructive debate and make a few valid points, act civil for a bit, then lower the tone again, then act offended when we get called on it, then dictate what it is and isn't worth debating, reinterpret a few of my own posts through a less offensive lens, then jaunt down whatever other path our seemingly volatile mood took us in.

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Post by Brendocon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:45 am


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Post by Best First » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:04 am

i like the way this has become generic religion thread.

On that note i have been meaning to ask Jack how you become 'more Athiest'?

Does it mean having a wank every time Richard Dawkines does or says anything?

Anyone watch the Scientology thing on Panorma last night? What a bunch of Kents.
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Post by Brendocon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:22 am

Best First wrote:On that note i have been meaning to ask Jack how you become 'more Athiest'?
Less belief! Believe less! Bring down the level of faith in your performance! Increase the amount of zero in your belief!

I feel like a **** George Lucas. Sorry, I feel like George Lucas.

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Post by Kaylee » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:04 am

Brendocon wrote:
Best First wrote:On that note i have been meaning to ask Jack how you become 'more Athiest'?
Less belief! Believe less! Bring down the level of faith in your performance! Increase the amount of zero in your belief!

I feel like a **** George Lucas. Sorry, I feel like George Lucas.
Dialog is too cryptic. Characters should just state how they feel/want.

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Post by Best First » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:49 am

Jedi are just ****ing Space Scientologists aren't they?
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Post by Professor Smooth » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:15 am

Best First wrote:
On that note i have been meaning to ask Jack how you become 'more Athiest'?

Does it mean having a wank every time Richard Dawkines does or says anything?
The scale goes from 1 to 5.

1: George Carlin: Doesn't believe in a higher power, because it seems silly to do so. Doesn't particular care for people who use religion to make themselves rich and powerful. But, then again, has no expectations that people are above such things.

2: Bill Maher: Doesn't believe in a higher power, uses it as an important part of a lot of his comedy and rhetoric.

3: Sam Harris: Doesn't believe in a higher power. Makes a case that a lot of the world's suffering is a result of people who do.

4: Richard Dawkins: Has a personal grudge against religious people because their beliefs hinder science in general and his work in particular. His disbelief is based on science that most of his supporters, ironically, take on faith.

5: Christopher Hitchens: The ultimate Atheist. Takes a little bit from all four of the previous and throws in absolute contempt. To him, anything associated with religion, no matter how benevolent or beneficial, is tainted by said association.

At the moment, I'm somewhere between Carlin and Maher. Down from a solid Hitchens a few years ago.

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Post by bumblemusprime » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:41 pm

I saw this (an actual article: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/09/28 ... their-own/ ). I would actually postulate that Mormons know so much because thickheaded born-again-Christians are always attacking justification for Mormon beliefs, so most Mormons I know make a habit out of being armchair religious anthropologists.

Jews, on the other hand, just recognize the value of college education.

You can take the quiz here: http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-re ... knowledge/?

I myself got a perfect score (blows on nails).
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Post by Yaya » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:56 pm

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/09

This is the scariest thing about war to me. That, in the name of freedom and nobility, a country can send it's basest, vilest citizens into a nation and expect them to be a force for justice.

And these are not even the Blackwater soldiers, who are beholden to none. What atrocities do they commit, one has to ask?

This is how you create terrorists out of simple village folk. By giving them reason to become that.

Human body part trophies. Very sad.
"But the Costa story featuring Starscream? Fantastic! This guy is "The One", I just know it, just from these few pages. "--Yaya, who is never wrong.

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Post by Best First » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:45 pm

Yaya wrote: And these are not even the Blackwater soldiers, who are beholden to none. What atrocities do they commit, one has to ask?
i believe they try and stitch up the A-Team. I saw a documentary about it.
This is how you create terrorists out of simple village folk. By giving them reason to become that.
One problem is that some people blanket refuse to accept that there is an element of cause and effect to terrorism.

That's not to say i think terrorism is good/justified or that the person committing the act is absolved of any responsibility. Which is what you will be often accused of for suggesting that maybe the actions of the West play a part in making people attack them.

And worse still governments endorse this with crap like "They hate us because we are free" so they and their investors can't be called to account.

Which again is not to say that terrorist leaders are not ideological monsters who genuniely believe a load of religous tripe about it being justified to kill because they percieve a group as immoral, but you have to look at why these ****ers are getting support as well as how they are then manipulating it (which again where religion does play a role)

And if you don't look at this and don't take some degree of responsibility for the way you act and have acted in the wider world, then you are not doing everything you can to combat terror.

Oh, but apparently not acting like a c-unit on the international stage is appeasment, so we can't have that.

*Pour drink on someone
*Do it again
*Do it again
*Get hit
*Declare that violence is wrong
*Recieve suggestion of stopping pouring drink on someone
*State you don't respond to violence
*Pour drink on someone

On another note if you invested the amount of money we do in blowing each other up in a roof, utilities, food and a big ****ing TV for everyone, preferrably with rolling sports channels, i suggest that the amount of terrorism in the world would drop dramatically.
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Post by Metal Vendetta » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:00 pm

Sorry I got massively distracted from this thread by the Pope's visit and the opportunities it invoked for winding up a much larger audience on the Guardian forums. Apparently if you protest the pope it's because you're a typical Brit, always trying to oppress the Irish. I could hear arteries hardening in Cork as I typed. Anyway...
Karl wrote:Well before you moved to a new position of Buddhism == useless, we were nattering about Buddhism == Evil.

I think your particular exhibits were Tibet and Mongolia.

However you didn't have any evidence for that assertion, however you believed it never the less.

I want to know if that is a type of faith, and if not why not :)
Fair enough, it's a decent question. As an answer I'd point to the oft-quoted Steve Weinberg: "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil. But for good people to do evil -- that takes religion." Or, perhaps more generously, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

So when I read that Lamaist Buddhism used to practice ritual mutilations and human sacrifices, I think, well, hell if that's what they're like when they're in charge I don't want to be around if they ever get into power again. If a religious doctrine can permit human sacrifice, it's obviously not a force for good.

The Mongolian Empire likewise was a pretty horrible place where dissenters were killed by being boiled alive. While this was going on, Buddhism was their official religion. If Buddhists can stand by while people are being boiled alive then if the religion is not actively evil then it can be at least passively evil.

*shrugs*

Take your pick, as I see it the options are A) useless or B) evil. Either Buddhism is compatible with torture and murder as Tibet seems to suggest, in which case it's evil, or more generously, it's not able to prevent it, in which case it's useless.

I still don't see how this is a faith-based position.
The question of a concept containing 'Good' ideas yet unable to physically enforce them in all circumstances (or even at all) is interesting.

The police as a concept don't stop all crimes.
Democracy as a concept can't prohibit bad people coming to power.

How would you feel about those two statements, in the context of our talk?
Well paraphrasing what Stephen Fry said to Anne Widdecombe during the Intelligence Squared debate on Catholicism, if a religion can't prevent atrocities, what good is it? Her defence over the child rape scandals was that the same levels of abuse were reported in non-Catholic institutions at the time, but if religion empirically doesn't make you a better person then one has to question what the point of it is in the first place. If Buddhists can stand by chanting Hare Rama as another human being is being boiled alive, as has happened in history, then what how can it possibly teach someone to be a better person?

But to address your points, I don't believe the police intend to stop crimes - if they did they'd be out of a job. The police keep crime at a level sufficient to justify their existence. I saw a documentary about a police helicopter the other week, and it was obvious that the money they got from busting marijuana grow-houses was enough to pay for the helicopter so they take the helicopter up and bust a couple of grow-houses. It's bread-and-butter for them, but if they ran out of grow-houses to bust there would be no more money to pay for the helicopter, so there's an incentive there to keep people growing marijuana, or at least not "thin the herd" too much. In short, I think the police has become an industry, one which knows it can get away literally with murder because it's "too big to fail".

I also have grave doubts about the concept of democracy. Our own particular approximation is terrible because it's been co-opted by the party system and within those parties, electoral systems that allow the **** to rise to the top. Sadly though, I don't really see an alternative - sadly, I predict "true democracy" in this country would mean that the public would vote for Simon Cowell or Jordan. The system of politics - rotten to the core as it is - at present provides a safe buffer zone away from those horrors but honestly it's so entrenched I don't see it shifting. And yes, it does allow evil (but charismatic) people to lead.
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Post by Best First » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:55 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:Sorry I got massively distracted from this thread by the Pope's visit and the opportunities it invoked for winding up a much larger audience on the Guardian forums.
i hate to break it to you but everyone on there is one of Brend's alt ids.
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Post by Jack Cade » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:25 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:If Buddhists can stand by chanting Hare Rama as another human being is being boiled alive, as has happened in history, then what how can it possibly teach someone to be a better person?
Your whole argument is just way too reductive. Some guys stood by while someone else was boiled alive. Centuries later, in completely different social, cultural, economic circumstances, some other guy puts his whole life into doing good. But because the religion he follows has the same name and is essentially a hand-me-down from those other guys, who were useless and passive, that religion can't possibly be a factor in his doing good. He would have done the same thing, somehow, under any other circumstances.

It's just like when the local Muslims told me (rightly) that British society was full of greed and crime and corruption, concluding (wrongly) that this meant liberal secularism 'doesn't work'.

Now, I happen to think liberal secularism makes for a heck of an improvement on any strictly religious society, but that doesn't change a fundamental rule: some things work for some people some of the time. That includes religion as well. And while I'm not sure Christianity and Islam work very well at all for most of the people who get indoctrinated into them, Buddhism seems to be doing all right for itself at the moment. I don't see why we should give a **** about what some other Buddhists did in completely different global circumstances in a different age as long as what they're doing now is decent enough.
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Post by bumblemusprime » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:43 pm

Yaya wrote:http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/09

This is the scariest thing about war to me. That, in the name of freedom and nobility, a country can send it's basest, vilest citizens into a nation and expect them to be a force for justice.

And these are not even the Blackwater soldiers, who are beholden to none. What atrocities do they commit, one has to ask?

This is how you create terrorists out of simple village folk. By giving them reason to become that.

Human body part trophies. Very sad.
Think the sadder than sad is the prevalence of human body-part trophies throughout all of history. Hence the collection of Philistine foreskins in the Bible, the necklaces of ears in name-the-war, etc.
Best First wrote:I didn't like it. They don't have mums, or dads, or children. And they turn into stuff. And they don't eat Monster Munch or watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Or do one big poo in the morning and another one in the afternoon. I bet they weren't even excited by and then subsequently disappointed by Star Wars Prequels. Or have a glass full of spare change near their beds. That they don't have.

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Post by Metal Vendetta » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:00 pm

Besty wrote:i hate to break it to you but everyone on there is one of Brend's alt ids.
There are times I suspect that they're Yaya's.
Jack Cade wrote:Your whole argument is just way too reductive.
Maybe. I don't actually care much one way or the other, to be honest. So you've got a boner for Buddhism? Good for you!

Myself I question the wisdom of keeping alive a belief system that has previously presided, smiling, over bloody torture and is of really questionable benefit, but there you go.
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Post by Kaylee » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:19 pm

Maybe. I don't actually care much one way or the other, to be honest. So you've got a boner for Buddhism? Good for you!

Myself I question the wisdom of keeping alive a belief system that has previously presided, smiling, over bloody torture and is of really questionable benefit, but there you go.
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iPhone posting, ahoy!

I'm interested in the nihilistic point of view you're coming from (or such is my interpretation, which is probably wrong):

If a concept cannot physically sprout legs and stop people doing bad things, despite those same people identifying as subscribers to that concept, then the concept is worthless/evil. I think we established that as your outlook?

If that is so, can you name me a concept which does not satisfy your own definition of worthless/evil?

Or are all things worthless/evil?

On an unrelated note, I did wonder what happened to you or if you'd just got bored :)

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Post by Metal Vendetta » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:56 am

Karl wrote:I'm interested in the nihilistic point of view you're coming from (or such is my interpretation, which is probably wrong):

If a concept cannot physically sprout legs and stop people doing bad things, despite those same people identifying as subscribers to that concept, then the concept is worthless/evil. I think we established that as your outlook?
Well, not physically sprout legs, I'm not sure quite how that would work, but if believers in a concept aren't quantifiably "better" people than non-believers, then what is the point? If that concept has been co-opted to endorse evil deeds, again, what is the point?
Karl wrote:If that is so, can you name me a concept which does not satisfy your own definition of worthless/evil?
I dunno...certain philosophical concepts like the "Golden rule" would be useful if everyone took them seriously, but there's little evidence of that, considering the golden rule is supposed to be a part of most religions. Plus religions bring with them a whole host of other evils such as a tribalistic "us-and-them" mentality, evangelism etc.
Karl wrote:Or are all things worthless/evil?

If by "things" you mean "religions", sure. If you mean "people", maybe.
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Post by Kaylee » Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:56 am

I'd go along with most of that. The only difference I'd probably make is that, objectively, I'd call all things worthless. They have only the conceptual worth we assign to them (in a Descartes sort of way).

So on that landing, religion has exactly the worth an individual assigns to it.

I like that, very neat and tidy :)

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