Friday, February 22, 2008

My New Friends

Recently, an atheist who goes by the alias Kelly O’Connor wrote an article criticizing one of my articles.

My article denounces atheists as being irrational, selfish and self-indulgent.

Ms. O’Connor disagrees strongly with this. She apparently believes that atheists are highly rational, generous and live a healthy, moderate lifestyle as a general rule and she is incensed that I claim otherwise.

Ms. O’Connor is a stripper (see comment submitted by Sapient on February 19, 2008 - 3:24pm). She supports her live-in boyfriend Brian J. Cutler alias Brian Sapient (see this clip at 1 minute 25 second mark). Brian devotes all his time to fighting against belief in God. In other words, he is unemployed. In her one page article she uses obscenities three times. She smokes (see clip below).

Their website is full of appeals for funds.

As I understand it, the couple lives in Philadelphia and are former Catholics.

Here is a youtube video featuring Ms. O’Connor. Toward the very end you can see a little bit of Brian sitting on Kelly's right.



Here are two people, among the most extremely outspoken athiests in the United States, who are about thirty years old yet clearly have the maturity of seventeen year olds. Of course, that may just be a coincidence.

97 comments:

Josh said...

this wasted 6:35 of my life, luckily I was eating while half-watching

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Yes, maintaing a popular website as a livelihood is unemployment. In the state of MD, it's called being an independent contractor or self-employed, but who are you going to believe, objective law or a morally flexible blogger.

You do realize that swearing and smoking are not particularly evil right? Now, in your sheltered existence, the idea of people swearing is immoral. In other highly religious countries, like Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and most of the SFRY, swearing is not only acceptabled, but neccessary part of discourse. As is smoking.

Now, are all those religious god fearing people immoral? Maybe. it is more likely that JP is wrong about that. Now if JP could produce that universal moral code he keeps babbling about, we could answer this.

As for being a stripper, I can think of worse things, like running in Armani suits and lecturing people about immorality while children die from preventable diseases. but JP is cool with that.

James F. Elliott said...

Brian devotes all his time to fighting against belief in God. In other words, he is unemployed.

Is this conjecture, or do you have proof of this?

As far as I can tell, your argument is: I think atheists are all X,Y, and Z. Atheists 1 and 2 exhibit traits A, B, and C, which I think are indicative of X, Y, and Z. Therefore all atheists are X, Y, and Z.

I do not smoke or drink, am full-time employed as a clinical social worker for children with developmental disabilities like your son's, and am faithfully married to my first and only wife. In my spare time, I pursue philosophy and charity.

And I'm an atheist.

But I am prone to profanity from time to time, you got me there.

BTW, your post is an example of the logical fallacy known as the inductive argument.

jewish philosopher said...

I think Brian's "job" is similar to those guys in the movie Knocked Up who are working on a website.

He may in general be a lot like that.

natschuster said...

James F. Elliot:

What you do is very nice. But recently, Nov 2006, a book was published call "Who Really Cares." that showed that Religious people gave more money to charity, in total, as a percentage of income, and per capita than secular people. Religious people are also more likely to donate blood, and do voluteer work. So the numbers seem to be on the side of religious people. I know in the Orthodox Community Pre-school children aspire to become voluteer ambulance drivers.

natschuster said...

I have problem with strippers. It contributes to a very open attitude towrds sexuality. It is part and parcel with the pronography, and the stuff that is so easy to access on the internet. It has an effect on young people. My students think that promiscuity is desirable. The result is girls getting pregnant, and ruining there academic careers. The fathers are nowhere to be found. I see this every day.

James F. Elliott said...

"Who Really Cares"

That was a really good book. The John Stossel piece on it on one of those nighttime "newsmagazine" programs encouraged me to do more than I already was, and to encourage others. I don't deny that religion has its good results; that would be dishonest.

Speaking of dishonesty, I was providing a counterexample in order to illustrate JP's fallacious -- and I believe deliberately dishonest -- line of reasoning.

Would it surprise you that I have a "problem" -- though likely a tad different -- with strippers and pornography too?

Enigma HP said...

Yeah, those immoral atheists. It takes an upright godly person who worships a righteous god to kill their rebellious children, sell their daughter into marriage to her rapist for a few pieces of silver, or to enslave and murder the children of their enemies. Or do you not agree with the commandments of your god, Jacob? Are you willing to live by the laws of terror your religion teaches came from the mouth of your god? He would be the greatest villain of all time if he didn't have the one redeeming value of being imaginary.
You are a sad little man, whose intellect is stunted by the bloodthirsty and brain dead ancient atrocity you've hobbled yourself to. You make constant and elementary logical errors, and instead of arguments, you take the "high road" and try to insult your opponents.
Yes, I'll take those nasty atheists any day over the venomous poison you call the Torah.

Frank Walton Sucks! said...

Jacob might as well be a murderer.

Purposefully posting the real last name of someone who gets daily death threats, it's clear that Jacob Stein is one of the most detestable characters the world has to offer. A hypocrite to the highest degree he gleefully endagers the life of Mr Sapient, (nobody accept those who seek to have him harmed refer to him by his real last name) as the entirety of his response to Kelly's refutation was nothing more than an ad hominem attack... some philosopher.

Here are some Jacob Stein classics from the thread in which Kelly creamed him. Oh and go check the thread out for yourself, he got beat, and he had almost nothing except things like this to say...

This page halfway down.
"Let me guess. You are middle aged, lonely, unmarried and have a cat. You are depressed about your wasted life which you have spent pursuing rainbows. And now here I come, rubbing it in about how wrong you are. Instead of kicking yourself as you should you want to kick me. Am I right?" - Immoral Hypocrite Stein

From this page...
"Anyway, let me just say that I know how hard it can be to be an atheist. I know all about the addictions, the alcohol, the promiscuity, the crystal meth, the constant masturbation and porn. I know it's not easy to squeeze in a little time to think straight." - Immoral Hypocrite Stein

"So in twenty years she'll be lonely and have a cat. Whatever. Believe me I know what I'm talking about."- Immoral Hypocrite Stein

"I am the least ad hom person there is." - Bad Grammar and Dishonest Clueless Stein

"But look at North Korea - that's the real deal. Preach theism there and you'll be dead in about five minutes. Take Richard Dawkins with you." - Hypocrite Stein wishing harm on others

"the only reason anyone denies the existence of God is because he wants sex – promiscuous, irresponsible, unlimited sex without guilt. Atheists are a gang of sleazy scumbags." - Projection Rabbi Stein

On Brian Sapient the founder of the largest atheist website in the world: "Let me ask everybody - is there a bigger moron anywhere on the web? Is he on drugs or what? Can someone at least teach this guy how to read?" - Dishonest Immoral Hypocrite Stein

If you want more hypocrisy visit my blog about Frank Walton another guy who seeks to have Mr. Sapient killed. Just like Jacob Stein the disgustingly vile and immoral hypocrite.

natschuster said...

enigma hp:

When was the last time a Jewish person commited mass murder? Atheists are still at it as we speak in North Korea. When was the last time a Torah observer enslaved anyone? Not for centuries. Atheists have enslaved entire nations in recent memory, and are still at it.

natschuster said...

James F. Elliot:

Am I to understand that it was learning about the good deeds doen by religious people that inspired you to become a better person? Interesting.

jewish philosopher said...

Dear Mr. Cutler, alias Sapient, alias Frank Walton Sucks!, I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree.

Enigma HP said...

When was the last time a Jewish person commited mass murder?
That's funny. I just read an article by a Jewish writer who notes the large percentage of Jewish people involved in the KGB and its predecessors in the Soviet Union.
Here it is, in case you haven't read it yet.
Atheists are still at it as we speak in North Korea. When was the last time a Torah observer enslaved anyone? Not for centuries. Atheists have enslaved entire nations in recent memory, and are still at it.
Every group on the planet, religious or otherwise, has blood on its hands, Jews included. I don't deny that mankind has immense capacities for cruelty under whatever socio-religious pretext they happen to operate under(bigotry,as well; just reference Jacob's spiel).
The singular point that makes Jews(and, by extension, Christians and Muslims as well) different is the fact that your god commands evil. You lay claim to some higher morality based on his supposed teachings, but they are vile, and you would lose any semblance of morality if you actually followed them. Would the world laud you if Jewish troops offered a city the choice of enslavement or the murder of the men and the plundering of the rest? Or maybe something smaller. Would you help kill a fellow Jew who picked up sticks on the Shabbot? Would you be considered moral if you behaved in any of the other depraved manners that your god is believed to have dictated, some of which I detailed above? Should I run through the Torah with you and point out the cruelty and mindless commandments your deity seems to delight in?
Humanity is having a hard enough time learning to live in peace. It will be virtually impossible as long as people continue to cling to codified tribal creeds that should have been buried centuries ago.
A few final notes.
1) I find it sad that the only argument I get in response boils down to this: "We haven't been bad for a long time, and look, you guys are bad, too!" Yes, well, those guys don't claim divine inspiration for their beliefs, either.
2) It's also sad that you equate Western atheists with North Koreans based on the lack of a single belief(and that being doubtful, as it is clear that most North Koreans deify their leader). The fact that I don't believe in a god doesn't tie me any closer to them than the fact that you do ties you to Hezbollah suicide bombers.

jewish philosopher said...

Enigma, I’m glad you mentioned peace. I actually have a plan for creating world peace.

Let’s face it – atheism is just a poor excuse for irresponsible sex. That’s why it primarily appeals to affluent (by global standards) young men.

Enigma HP said...

Enigma, I’m glad you mentioned peace. I actually have a plan for creating world peace.
The world has tried theism for millennia. It doesn't seem to work, does it? But, then, I've pointed out exactly the type of rules you suggest we follow and I, for one, can't stomach the immoral stupidity that that would require.
Let’s face it – atheism is just a poor excuse for irresponsible sex.
So, you didn't have one comment on what I said? You couldn't even come up with one defense of your god and his rules? Your picture doesn't look like that of a child, but your argumentation certainly suggests the mentality of one. Is this what 9 years of seminary training results in? The inability to face up to the nasty side of your Torah?
That’s why it primarily appeals to affluent (by global standards) young men.
It primarily appeals to people unafraid to ask questions, and with enough intelligence and chutzpah to accept the answers, even if they don't allow you to wrap yourself in ancient fairy tales and immoral excuses to avoid thinking.

jewish philosopher said...

Atheists have killed how many would you say in the past century - about 100 million. Orthodox Jews have killed how many? Maybe about five or ten? But of course atheists are morally superior.

You are obviously a brainless imbecile. Get lost.

Enigma HP said...

Atheists have killed how many would you say in the past century - about 100 million. Orthodox Jews have killed how many? Maybe about five or ten? But of course atheists are morally superior.
Shall we ignore all of the religiously motivated killings of history? Shall we ignore the methods prescribed by your god for warfare? Certainly. Wrap that security blanket a little tighter, Jacob.
You misinterpret me(not surprising). Atheism does not make one morally superior, nor inferior. The person defines their own morality, and is answerable to society for their own deeds. This is why I would never suggest that all Jews are prone to illogical and cowardly grandstanding(I happen to be friendly with every other Jew I've corresponded or met with, but then, they did not start off with asinine proclamations; that is usually a spot reserved for Mormons). My morality depends on me, and I look to no group, atheist or religious, to rubberstamp it. That's why I have no qualms critiquing the Soviets, the Chinese or the North Koreans(or any other socialist regimes that claim atheism). There isn't a "religion of atheism" that we both ascribe to. You see, my children are raised with the belief that it's not ok to murder, even if your state or your god demands it. They have grasped the point that you like to avoid: you cannot derive morality from blind authority.
Your faith, on the other hand, demands adherence to some particularly nasty beliefs. I would go so far as to say that your moral standing(such as it is) is in spite of your religion, not because of it. I certainly hope that your family will never truly be subjected the fullness of the Mosaic laws, for their sake.
You are obviously a brainless imbecile. Get lost
Fine, I will. It's your blog. I've obviously offended your feelings, and for that, I offer no apology. After all, you started this with a lame attempt to vilify atheists. I will, however, use you as an example in my writing(your posts are full of lots of examples of logical fallacies and your behavior exemplifies the depths a theist will sink to to avoid a real argument).
A final word: you can bury your head in the sand and preach to your friends here, but the fact that you never even attempted to really answer me is very telling(and completely expected). If you want a real conversation some time, look me up. If you ever wake up.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Jacob, go read about North Korea and their religious belief called Juche and their grand eternal leader. Grand Eternal Leader is abbv. God.

Let’s face it – atheism is just a poor excuse for irresponsible sex. That’s why it primarily appeals to affluent (by global standards) young men.

Jacob, dare I ask for a source?


Jacob, Moustached folks like yourself have killed how many would you say in the past century?

Yeah.

Actually, in the 20th century, the percentage of the population killed in warfare is probably an all time low. However, since the population levels are at all time highs, these equals big body counts.

Jacob, on page 100 of Michael Shermer's book The science of good and evil, it has a graph easy enough for you to understand.

jewish philosopher said...

Enigma, if you teach your children not to murder, you are not a good atheist. Atheists love murdering and in fact atheists do anything they want to do to gratify themselves so long they won't go to jail for it.

And I find your problem with North Korea very, shall we say, enigmatic. That is the one place where you and people like Brian Cutler, his bimbo girlfriend, Richard Dawkins, etc. will never have to deal with God believers. What could be a greater paradise? You will be surrounded the rest of your life by true kindred spirits, totally rational people. Be a real atheist. Send me a post card.

natschuster said...

Enigma HP:

What I menat by Jewish people are people who practice Judaism. The Jewish KGB people are of Jewish extraction, but were, in all probability atheists.

While all groups have done bad things, It looks like only atheists and Darwinist can rack up 8 digit numbers.

Enigma HP said...

Enigma,
For someone who wants me to "get lost," you seem to want to talk pretty bad.
if you teach your children not to murder, you are not a good atheist.
I am not a good atheist, nor a bad one. Perhaps that point would not be lost on you if you had more rabbinical training, though I suspect not.
I do take pride in the fact that I don't have to instill the fear of a boogeyman in my children to produce good behavior.
Atheists love murdering and in fact atheists do anything they want to do to gratify themselves so long they won't go to jail for it.
I am beginning to suspect that I'm really typing at a 15 year old. Or are you just projecting, Jacob? Are these things you would do if you were in my place? If so, I urge you to seek psychiatric help for your sociopathic tendencies. I would mock you, but you already sound like a caricature.
And I find your problem with North Korea very, shall we say, enigmatic.
Enigmatic? Are you sure you understand that word? My problem with North Korea is that it is ruled by a stupid ideology of mindless obedience and brutal stupidity. Nothing obscure about that. By coincidence, that is my problem with religions, too. Especially those based on your particular deity.
That is the one place where you and people like Brian Cutler, his bimbo girlfriend, Richard Dawkins, etc. will never have to deal with God believers. What could be a greater paradise? You will be surrounded the rest of your life by true kindred spirits, totally rational people. Be a real atheist. Send me a post card.
No, you're wrong. As I noted above, I would have to deal with another set of stupid ideologies. The US is bad enough, with the upsurge of blind nationalism and the rise in religious attacks on rational thought. But that's a whole other argument.
I am unsurprised that you still fail to address your faith. You keep trying to derail the discussion, and deride your opponents. I'm not going to bite, Jacob. Will you stand up and explain why your supposedly good god commanded evil, or will you continue in your cowardly grandstanding? Is there any substance to those 9 years of seminary training?

Enigma HP said...

What I menat by Jewish people are people who practice Judaism. The Jewish KGB people are of Jewish extraction, but were, in all probability atheists.
Perhaps. Be more specific next time.
While all groups have done bad things, It looks like only atheists and Darwinist can rack up 8 digit numbers.
Indeed. And every one of those regimes were driven by political ideologies. Or do you think religion is the only poisonous ideology I despise?
And, you avoid the central question as well. Do you think that selling a daughter to her rapist is a moral action? If not, why do you believe in a religion that teaches that your god commands just that?

jewish philosopher said...

Enigma, why should I explain Judaism to you when you won't do it anyway? Unlike some people, I have other things to do. If you really want to learn about what exactly Judaism teaches, buy some books.

And atheists need no god to tell them to kill. They are experts without that. And that's why you could never live in really atheistic community. Only in a society permeated by those damned
tribal, ancient, irrational Biblical morals do you stand a good chance of keeping your head attached to the rest of your body.

natschuster said...

Enigma:

No practising Jew has practised child marriage for 2000 years. Atheists are still killing people in wholesale numbers.

Enigma HP said...

Enigma, why should I explain Judaism to you when you won't do it anyway?
I already understand it, actually. Which is why I despise it. I wanted to see if you could actually defend it. I have my answer.
If you really want to learn about what exactly Judaism teaches, buy some books.
I've read the Torah. The central writings of your faith are enough to denounce it.
And atheists need no god to tell them to kill. They are experts without that. And that's why you could never live in really atheistic community. Only in a society permeated by those damned
tribal, ancient, irrational Biblical morals do you stand a good chance of keeping your head attached to the rest of your body.

Yes, because only those societies are anything but bloodbaths. Wait, no, it's abundantly clear from history that they were no more violent than those based on your religion. Odd. It's almost as if the principles of a rational society are in no way dependent on your religion.

Enigma HP said...

No practising Jew has practised child marriage for 2000 years. Atheists are still killing people in wholesale numbers.
Perhaps you are missing the point. Let me spell it out again. Your perfect god commanded it(and a lot of other fun things) in the Torah.
So, there are only a few options:
1) You god is not perfect, and made a mistake.
2) You religion did not accurately preserve the commands of your god, and is thus corrupt(the Muslims like this one).
3) Your god does not actually exist, and you beliefs are codified tribal rules, thus are subject to human prejudice and error.
Although, I suppose you can take the "doctrinal development" approach some Christians cling to, but that undermines the Torah, too, does it not?

Which is it? A simple question.

Enigma HP said...

Well, this is getting old, and will just end up as the same old theistic runaround. You win. I'm tired of asking a simple question and getting wholesale evasion. Jacob, I've given you and you friend ample time to answer a simple question, and you have both managed to run from it. You might be afraid to answer, but your silence has spoken volumes.
Ciao.

James F. Elliott said...

Am I to understand that it was learning about the good deeds doen by religious people that inspired you to become a better person?

No, Nat. It inspired me to do more than the substantial amount I was already doing. Just because I'm an atheist doesn't mean I don't think many religious people do good. Religion is only a part of people's lives, and people are capable of good, no matter their ideology.

Only a fanatic, like Jacob Stein, would vilify or seek to demean whole swaths of people for one facet of their life:

Atheists love murdering and in fact atheists do anything they want to do to gratify themselves so long they won't go to jail for it.

Really? Man, I've been doing it wrong lo these last four years!

I suspect you are in fact not an educated man. All the rabbis, priests, and pastors it has been my privilege to interact with have been intelligent, reasoned, and temperate. You're a boor and a hack. I'm done with you.

No loss to you, I'm sure, and certainly none to me.

jewish philosopher said...

The answer to Enigma's "question", which was really a sarcastic accusation and not a question at all, "do you not agree with the commandments of your god, Jacob?", is that I agree with the Talmudic definition of the commandments, which is far milder than the literal Biblical text.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

"I agree with the Talmudic definition of the commandments, which is far milder than the literal Biblical text."

Yet more proof that Jacob, like the common atheist, just makes up his morality as he goes along.

I'd love to see his rationalization for this.

See, what Jacob and other religious fanatics prove is, "With God all things are possible?" Books like the Talmud, the Koran, the Bible, and the are so convoluted and self-contradictory, that almost any position can be justified by them. Since the gods have never transmitted a proper interpretation of their writings, anyone is free to, like Jacob Stein, pick an interpretation that justifies their lifestyle, positions, or bigotry.

Thus armed with divine sanction, he sallies forth into the world.

Hey Nat, Did you know, despite WWI, WWII, the Cold War, Bosnia, (and the increase lethality of weapons) that only American and European 1% of males died from warfare related events and injures? A substantial decrease since the rise of secularization.

See Nat, like I told you before, Stalin and Hitler inflicted high body counts, not because they were more evil than early religious leaders, but because there were more people to kill.

Also, the murder rate has decline dramatically from the religious Dark Ages compared to the modern area? Again, despite the increase lethality of weapons.

Also nat, you know who have killed more people than atheists and evolutionary theory believers? Men with facial hair, particularly mustaches like Jacob. Stalin, Saddam, Hitler, Khomeini, Lenin, and only Lenin has believed in Darwinian theory.

natschuster said...

Hitler was a Darwinist. "Mein Kampf" has passages that echoand "The Descent of Man."

According to some accounts 100,000 Persian soldiers were killed in one day at the Battle of Guagamela. According to some accounts 40,000 Cannae in one day weer killed at the Battle of Cannae. Even if these figures are inflated, it shows that the ancients were capable of killing at the same rate or more than the Nazis. But it wasn't until atheists and Darwinists ran countries that the figures reached eight digits.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Nat, if you actually read Mein Kampf you'd know that Hitler was more a religious believer even a creationist:

"The undermining of the existence of human culture by the destruction of its bearer seems in the eyes of a folkish philosophy the most execrable crime. Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent Creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise"

"this planet will, as it did thousands of years ago, move through the ether devoid of men"

Thousands of years? Gee, that sounds like AIG to me.

Anyway, as you're clearly lying about reading Mein Kampf, you've probably never read The Descent of Man. But religious believers practice flexibile morality, and like Jacob prone to lying, self induglent behavior to satisfy their decadant ways.

jewish philosopher said...

Altar Boy, even other atheists are ashamed of morons like you and this Brian Cutler guy. Big worthess piles of crap poluting our beautiful country. Go to North Korea with the other killers.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

I noticed how you nuked your comment about me being a whore when I called you out. As an atheist, I'd have the decency to admit my error than move on.

But subterfuge is the religious way.

It's okay though JP. I get copies of posts to threads on your blog sent to my email. After all, you're morally flexible and with god all things are possible, even lying and deception.



As for North Korea, I am not allowed to go there. North Korea does not allowed US military members to visit. Nor are they willing to let researchers in to study their state religion of Juche. Juche with its Kim Jong ill's dad as a god is pretty interesting, kind of like the teachings of the Lithuanian rabbinical seminaries of the 1920s and 1930s, but less batshit crazy.

Keep dodging the questions Jacob, it's okay.

natschuster said...

Unmolested altar boy:

It is kind of hard to get a grip on exactly what Hitler's belief system was. He did believe in God. He also was intrigued by Nordic Mythology, and mysticism. However, his core belief system was Darwinism. This was what the whole master race thing and leibensraum was about.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Okay nat, if it is "kind of hard to get a grip on exactly what Hitler's belief system was" you cannot declare that

"his core belief system was Darwinism" particularly without citing any evidence. Reposting comments from other entries is not only lazy, but proof of nothing.

Enigma HP said...

The answer to Enigma's "question", which was really a sarcastic accusation and not a question at all, "do you not agree with the commandments of your god, Jacob?", is that I agree with the Talmudic definition of the commandments, which is far milder than the literal Biblical text.
Wow, truly, THANK YOU, JACOB!! You have the testicular fortitude to answer the question at last! I had almost given up on you.
This is the perfect line: far milder than the literal Biblical text.
Your god dictates, DICTATES, your Torah to Moses, and you have to rely on generations of rabbis to rewrite it to be palatable? That is an even more damning statement than I had proposed!
And what do you now cast as your ultimate authority? The Talmud! So, instead of relying on the purported words of a deity, you now rely on generations of guys arguing about how to interpret said words!
Aren't you embarrassed that your god can not even get his primary text out without hundreds of human interpreters? And I thought Protestant Christians were bad....

natschuster said...

Unmolested altar boy:

Hitler went to war because of his belief in Darwinism. HE was trying to create leibensraum for the master race. He built concentration camps to exterminate the imferior races. The belief he acted on, and went to war for, was
Darwinism.

natschuster said...

The core of the Talmud was dictated ro Moses by G-d as well as the Bible. It is the word of G-d as much as the Bible is.

natschuster said...

Chapter 11 of Mein Kampf reads just like a textbook on Darwinism, just with a racialist slant.

jewish philosopher said...

You know altar and enigma, I don't censor comments like Brian Cutler does on his blog. However this blog was not created as a forum for psycho ex-Christians to rant about how much they hate God believers. So do me a favor and get lost.

RaspK said...

There is no favour for any one of us in this world to do you, Jacob, apart from those we feel like doing and the ones you deserve. Believe it or not, you don't deserve such favours as us getting lost on the matter, because you cannot seem to understand that you cannot have both a whole pie and eat it too.

It's true most atheists have at some point in their lives been part of theist families or societies, but we are not "God-hating;" the main premise you do not understand is that, just like you won't back down on the existence of God unless convinced otherwise (which I'll deem impossible in your case, as it has been in the cases of many people anyway), so are we not going to back down on our disbelief, whether weak or strong, in the existence of any divine agent unless convinced otherwise.

The problem here is that, while we counter and refute your statements, you are using fallacious arguments, going in circles, and providing not a single piece of evidence to your claims (e.g. to prove that atheism invokes immorality, you must either prove that all atheists are immoral, or that it's impossible for an atheist to be moral, which you cannot do by merely preaching - you must use your logic to prove anything!).


For example, apart from my question on the origin of morality which you still have not answered (if morality is dictated by God, it's subjective; if it's merely revealed by God, then it's objective, but God is irrelevant; which is it?), explain to me how we know that the Torah is not a fictitious literary piece (note that you cannot, by definition, use the Torah as evidence to the factuality of what one reads in it).

jewish philosopher said...

A moral person in my opinion is someone who obeys God.

I have proof of Torah.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

"Hitler went to war because of his belief in Darwinism. HE was trying to create leibensraum for the master race."

Nat, given your inability to spell lebensraum, I am not ready to go against mainstream historigraphical thought on why Hitler went to war. Perhaps if you had a thing called evidence I'd would.

"ou know altar and enigma, I don't censor comments like Brian Cutler does on his blog."

That's a lie Jacob, you delete comments that make you look bad all the time. An example,

"Altar Boy, atheists like you are a bunch of perverts, killers and worn out old whores. Like that unemployed loser Brian Cutler and pea brained "girlfriend". Even other atheist are ashamed of you. "

When informed I never had sex, you delete this remark as it shows you bearing false witness.

Good definition of morality Jacob, it excludes all atheists, but not Hitler, Pavelic, Franco and history's other monsters.

jewish philosopher said...

I mean other peoples comments, moron.

Enigma HP said...

The core of the Talmud was dictated ro Moses by G-d as well as the Bible. It is the word of G-d as much as the Bible is.
Sure. Just like the Orthodox(Christians, in this case) and Catholics rely on their church fathers.
In both cases, you have your god dictating the laws. Then, you require a further authority to clean it up. The Catholics came up with papal infallibility. The Protestants came up with sola scriptura. The Greek Orthodox rely on a handful of councils and the aforementioned writings of the church fathers that they have all but canonized.
You have the Talmud. It serves the same purpose: make the words of your god less offensive to reason and common decency. In both cases, it makes your god into an inept lawgiver who couldn't clearly communicate his laws without help.

jewish philosopher said...

And why don't the Muslims care about common decency, you moron?

Enigma HP said...

However this blog was not created as a forum for psycho ex-Christians to rant about how much they hate God believers. So do me a favor and get lost.
I don't hate you, Jacob. I don't even hate your religion, or your god. I don't hate them anymore than I hate Zeus and Thor. I DO hate the mental blinders that such beliefs put on people. You write well enough that I charitably assume that since you have conformed your life to a certain set of beliefs, you simply have to cling to any shred of illogic to avoid admitting that there is a problem.
I hate any ideology that pits belief against reason, be it social(like racism), political(like communism) or religious(like...well, it's obvious). I am perfectly willing to admit my error when confronted with proof. That willingness to face up to reality is why I'm not a theist anymore.

Enigma HP said...

And why don't the Muslims care about common decency, you moron?
Because their religion demands a false morality, and they don't have a human agency to regulate the worst of their holy book, unlike the Christians and Jews. They pride themselves on relying on nothing but the qu'ran and following it as if it were the inalterable word of their god. Islam will be civilized only when the bulk of them are apostates to their own book.

natschuster said...

Unmolested Altar Boy:

Hilter built the camps to kill members of races he deemed inferior. Waht mroe evidence do you need? Hitler writes in Mein Kampf that the Aryan race will need to expand into slavic territory to provide leibesraum for the Aryan race.

natschuster said...

enigma hp:

The only thing G-d depende on humans for was to transmit the laws, the Torah and the Talmud that he gave to Moses.

jewish philosopher said...

"It takes an upright godly person who worships a righteous god to kill their rebellious children, sell their daughter into marriage to her rapist for a few pieces of silver, or to enslave and murder the children of their enemies."

This was the first statement you wrote on this blog. Very tolerant, psycho. It demonstrates a real curiosity to hear my point of view.

By the way, it takes an upright, moral atheist to murder a couple million Cambodians too.

And you don't know anything about Islam either, which is based primarily on the hadith, not the Koran.

Get lost idiot. Go back to Brian and the bimbo.

Enigma HP said...

I have proof of Torah.
I've read it. In fact, I've read it many times, because it's a compilation of old fallacies. I suggest you don't understand evolutionary theory if you think that punctuated equilibrium presents a problem. Extreme gradualism is a straw man.
Your "anti-conspiracy proof misses the point, too. When the incident in question is only supported by your religious book, there is no reason to suspect it is anything but codified tribal stories, embellished over time. I don't have to believe that 10,000 Jews were conspiring. I do not even have proof that 10,000 Jews reported any such thing, aside from passages in the very book that is attempting to enlist this as proof.
Finally, you use the first failed proof as proof that god exists, and thus that your claims are the ordinary ones.
None of this is novel. It's almost completely rehashed Christian polemics.
You god is reported to have performed astounding miracles in ancient history. It is a pity that he runs and hides now that we have the ability to separate fraud and natural processes from supposed miracles.

jewish philosopher said...

"I do not even have proof that 10,000 Jews reported any such thing"

Jews never believed in Judaism. In fact, just like God, Jews never existed at all.

Keep smoking those joints, man. Keep inhaling.

Enigma HP said...

This was the first statement you wrote on this blog. Very tolerant, psycho. It demonstrates a real curiosity to hear my point of view.
It's not tolerant. I would never presume to tolerate such a belief. It is patently despicable, and yet you claim that it was dictated by your god.
By the way, it takes an upright, moral atheist to murder a couple million Cambodians too.
You still grasp at that straw man. Keep it up!
And you don't know anything about Islam either, which is based primarily on the hadith, not the Koran.
And here I will demonstrate something I don't think you are capable: you are correct. I was wrong, I forgot about the hadith. So, I amend my former statement: the Muslims do in fact have a supplemental authority. It just doesn't seem to have the same moderating effect.

Enigma HP said...

Jews never believed in Judaism. In fact, just like God, Jews never existed at all.
Oh, Jacob, now you are putting words in my mouth. I never said Jews didn't exist. I said:
I do not even have proof that 10,000 Jews reported any such thing, aside from passages in the very book that is attempting to enlist this as proof.
I was pointing out that you are attempting a circular argument. Let me work it out for you:
1) The Torah is true because 10,000 people wouldn't join a conspiracy.
2) We know that 10,000 people in fact believed this because it is written in the Torah.
3) Thus, the Torah is the authority relied on to prove the Torah.
A nice, textbook example of a circular argument. Heck, I could prove that Jesus was the Messiah if that logic were valid.

jewish philosopher said...

"We know that 10,000 people in fact believed this because it is written in the Torah."

How about this:

We know that 10,000 people in fact believed this because it's a historical fact that tens of thousands of believing Jews existed in the ancient Middle East.

Enigma HP said...

We know that 10,000 people in fact believed this because it's a historical fact that tens of thousands of believing Jews existed in the ancient Middle East.
And those Jews also all personally witnessed, and reported, the events as written in the Torah? This is very similar to the Christian argument, which points to thousands of reported conversions and witnesses to the resurrection. Except that these references only exist in the writings that they are used to support. If you expect that to stand as proof, you'd better have more evidence than the Christians.
The more likely scenario is that the Torah developed over time from oral traditions handed down, as the Jews came into being as a separate group from their neighbors. Much like the stories of Jesus developed, except that the Jesus myth obviously was fleshed out much quicker.

natschuster said...

raspk:

If morality is subjective, so what? We still have to be moral. According to Atheists morality is by definition subjective. Does that mean atehists don't have to be moral. And if morality is objective, then G-d is relevent because He teaches us what is moral. He is relevent just like teachers are relevent.

jewish philosopher said...

"the Torah developed over time from oral traditions handed down, as the Jews came into being as a separate group from their neighbors"

And therefore there must have been many different versions of what happened. Where did they all go? Why did all those Jews 2,300 believe in one Torah text which we have today? Think a little.

Enigma HP said...

And therefore there must have been many different versions of what happened. Where did they all go? Why did all those Jews 2,300 believe in one Torah text which we have today? Think a little.
Sure, there are lots of versions. You apparently don't recognize them, because they don't support your Torah.
Take, for example, the Flood. There are clear antecedents to this story in the many flood myths of the region, perhaps the most striking being the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was composed about 1000 years before the Torah. It includes many elements in common with parts of the Torah, up to and including the loss of something(paradise and immortality) to a serpent.
The Torah is simply one particular grouping of some general stories combined with an embellished history of the particular tribe which synthesized it and a codified system of tribal behavior. You see similar developments in the various beliefs of Native American tribal beliefs, with separate rituals and histories that intertwine with common story elements.

jewish philosopher said...

There were no other versions of the Exodus story because the one version we have is the one true one.

Many versions of the Flood story and creation story survived, somewhat garbled, because all men remembered them.

Enigma HP said...

If morality is subjective, so what? We still have to be moral. According to Atheists morality is by definition subjective. Does that mean atehists don't have to be moral. And if morality is objective, then G-d is relevent because He teaches us what is moral. He is relevent just like teachers are relevent.
No, it means that morality is reached by consensus and rationality, and not unquestioning appeals to various scriptures. It means that we who don't depend on dogma take what works, and discard what doesn't.
A belief in a religion muddles the issue, since you are obligated to defend the bad with the good, since it all is believed to come from a perfect source. Hence my issues with the Torah(and other religious texts). The moment "my god says X" enters into the debate, the positions are solidified, as Jacob's reactions to these challenges demonstrates.

Enigma HP said...

There were no other versions of the Exodus story because the one version we have is the one true one.
Well, yes, that is exactly what I would expect you to declare, being religiously bound to support that idea. If you feel free to offer independent proof, go for it. Bald declarations do not constitute proof.
Many versions of the Flood story and creation story survived, somewhat garbled, because all men remembered them.
Again, got proof?

jewish philosopher said...

The only variant manuscripts of the Pentateuch ever discovered of which I am aware are the Masoretic Text, the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint, all of which are 99% identical.

We would expect all mankind to remember to some degree the Deluge and the creation of Adam from earth by a god, and indeed most do. Of course, the non-Jewish traditions are imperfect.

jewish philosopher said...

Falsifying my beliefs is really very simple:

Present one example of a machine which we have witnessed come into existence spontaneously, without any intelligent designer.

Present one example of a successful conspiracy of 10,000 people who knowingly all told the same lie, which was later somehow discovered to be a lie.

natschuster said...

Enigma:

The consensus of opinion in Nazi Germany was that all Jews should be killed. The consensus of opinion in the Ante-bellum South was that slavery was moral. How do ypu define consensus.

RaspK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RaspK said...

I am not going to answer to the sophist on this blog: too little substance, too much repetition.


If morality is subjective, so what? We still have to be moral. According to Atheists morality is by definition subjective. Does that mean atehists don't have to be moral. And if morality is objective, then G-d is relevent because He teaches us what is moral. He is relevent just like teachers are relevent.

You are missing my point entirely. If what is good is so because it is dictated, then it's not good per se, and thus not a universal truth. If, on the other hand, what is good is a universal truth, then there is no need for a divine agent or anything else to dictate it. This means that either the divine agent or morality itself is irrelevant, and thus an atheist can be quite as moral as anyone else will ever possibly be.

Enigma HP said...

The only variant manuscripts of the Pentateuch ever discovered of which I am aware are the Masoretic Text, the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint, all of which are 99% identical.

We would expect all mankind to remember to some degree the Deluge and the creation of Adam from earth by a god, and indeed most do. Of course, the non-Jewish traditions are imperfect.

We would expect Jewish authors to absorb the regional myths of their neighbors and relatives. Of course, the Jewish traditions would be reworked to present the myths as their own.
See how that works? Assumptions without proof are useless. Show me actual proof, not biased conjecture.

Enigma HP said...

Present one example of a machine which we have witnessed come into existence spontaneously, without any intelligent designer.
Well, I am one. You are another, along with my cats, the bacteria in my gut, and every other living and non-living natural process in the universe.

Present one example of a successful conspiracy of 10,000 people who knowingly all told the same lie, which was later somehow discovered to be a lie.
Really, are you being deliberately obtuse, or just missing what I'm saying. Prove to me that there were 10,000 witnesses to the events of your Torah.

There were supposedly lots of witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. Do you buy that? There were supposedly 100,000 witnesses to the miracle of Fatima. Do you believe in that? Even to this day, the Greek Orthodox claim that their god lights the easter candles(look up holy fire). Several thousand a year claim to witness that. Do you believe that? Unless you think your god is encouraging a lot of non-Jews in their beliefs, then you have a plethora of examples of groups of people attesting to falsehoods. And those are just the ones off the top of my head.

There are many possibilities beyond conspiracy or not. There is the one I consider likely, that the Exodus and the attendant miracles were embellishments on a smaller migration, that over time took on religious significance. But there are also mass delusions, redefining memories to please the group, etc.

Enigma HP said...

The consensus of opinion in Nazi Germany was that all Jews should be killed. The consensus of opinion in the Ante-bellum South was that slavery was moral. How do ypu define consensus.
A good question.
In the first case, we had an upsurge of nationalism and scapegoating(which bore all the marks of being religiously driven, I might add). Both dangerous, unthinking ideological constructs. A society with a morality based on rational thought would have had a fighting chance to overcome those factors. As history sadly shows, the religious German people were easily manipulated. I have made no secret of the fact that I oppose ALL such ideologies. Religion is just one.

Slavery is another interesting point. It was largely economically driven, and supported by religious arguments, some of which was drawn from the Torah, I might add. Additionally, a lot of slave owners actually believed they were doing the work of their god by forcing the slaves to convert to the slavemaster's religion. Again, if the society was more rationalistic, I think it would have been easier to defeat.

Both tragedies occurred in religious societies, and were at least partially motivated by religion. And they demonstrate that herd mentalities are very dangerous.

natschuster said...

But they were based on consensus. What else is consensus but herd mentality, anyway? We just all agree that we should do things this way.

natschuster said...

There were prominent scientists who were card carrying nazis during WWII. There was Konrad Lorentz, who invented the study of animal behavior. He used his scientific expertise to bolster Nazi racial theories. There was Werner Heisenberg, who developed the most widely accepted understanding of how subatomic particles behave. WE spent the war years trying to develop an atomic bomb for Hitler. So this would seem to indicate that there was some rational thought involved. It wasn't just everyone blindly following the leader.

jewish philosopher said...

Enigma, you have never witnessed a living thing come into existence spontaneously, therefore that example is invalid. Seeing a photocopier print something is not called seeing a document written spontaneously.

We know that about a million Jews, all believing in the Torah, existed in the ancient Greco-Roman world. Where did they come from without a successful mass conspiracy at some point, which is incredible?

Enigma HP said...

Ahh, I get back from a business trip, and find this. Well, since I've gone this far....
But they were based on consensus. What else is consensus but herd mentality, anyway? We just all agree that we should do things this way.
Actually, no. Consensus is about debate and compromise. It is about attacking the problem intelligently, and coming up with a solution.
Herd mentality is the polar opposite. A herd is led. The beliefs are dictated from on high. An authority, in other words, manufactures your morality. That authority may be religious or political. In many cases, it is both.

Enigma HP said...

There were prominent scientists who were card carrying nazis during WWII. There was Konrad Lorentz, who invented the study of animal behavior. He used his scientific expertise to bolster Nazi racial theories. There was Werner Heisenberg, who developed the most widely accepted understanding of how subatomic particles behave. WE spent the war years trying to develop an atomic bomb for Hitler. So this would seem to indicate that there was some rational thought involved. It wasn't just everyone blindly following the leader.
Smart people can be irrational, too. How is this a new thing?

Enigma HP said...

Enigma, you have never witnessed a living thing come into existence spontaneously, therefore that example is invalid. Seeing a photocopier print something is not called seeing a document written spontaneously.
And you have never seen a deity create a species. All we can rely on is evidence, which all points to a process of development we call evolution.

We know that about a million Jews, all believing in the Torah, existed in the ancient Greco-Roman world. Where did they come from without a successful mass conspiracy at some point, which is incredible?
Wow. This is still going over your head? Ok, let me try to break it down for you with examples.
There were millions of people who believed in Ra, the sun god. How did this occur without a successful mass conspiracy?
There are millions of Christians who today believe in the miracles of Jesus Christ. How did this occur without a successful mass conspiracy?
There are millions of followers of all sorts of religions, with a myriad of beliefs. How many mass conspiracies are you willing to postulate?

Of course, I think that your beliefs, like theirs, developed over time. No conspiracy, just the development and accretion of myths. It's not unique to the Jewish people, as much as that might bother you.

jewish philosopher said...

"All we can rely on is evidence, which all points to a process of development we call evolution."

Which is not true, since nothing points to evolution. And in any case evolution does not explain how life began. Judaism does.

"There were millions of people who believed in Ra, the sun god. How did this occur without a successful mass conspiracy?"

One guy made up a story. A bunch of self deluded suckers believed it. Like evolution.

Could Judaism have begun that way? Please give details.

natschuster said...

Enigma:

The consensus of opinion in th antebellum South was that Slavery should be legal. The consensus of opinion in ninetheenth century America was that the Native Amrecans should be forced to surrender their ancestral lands to the European settlers. Throughout most of human history the consensus was that slavery should be legal. Cna you give me one example of consensus producing a good result?

Enigma HP said...

Which is not true, since nothing points to evolution. And in any case evolution does not explain how life began. Judaism does.
First off, Judaism explains nothing. It offers an unsubstantiated supposition. That's all. Your story is no more compelling than saying that Zeus did it(and I offer it the same respect as other creation myths). And, while evolution does not speak directly to abiogenesis, it does tie in nicely to the current field of possibilities. And the concept of limited resources and undirected competition does play a part in it.
Second, your link demonstrates your ignorance in this field, like your comparison to of a Great Dane and an elephant. For one, it has taken thousands of years of breeding to create the relatively small step from wild canines to modern dogs. The different breeds took centuries of concentrated breeding programs to create. And, yes, random mutations helped. Look at the Munchkin Cat, for a modern and well documented example. A normally harmful mutation caused people to like them, and through that caused an increase in the population. You apparently don't understand that untold billions of lives and mutations throughout billions of years are the grist for this process.
Third, you don't understand the concept of a transitional species. The simple fact is that every species is a transitional species. We are all under competition for resources, and the gradient of survivability dictates that some variations will be more successful. As such, we are all gradually changing. The human spine and pelvis are good examples. They work excellently for quadrupeds, with the spine in a horizontal position. When we began to evolve into bipeds, our spines had to adapt to compressive forces. Hence, we have trouble with the fact that the cartilage deteriorates under that pressure. And the pelvis had to swivel, which causes problems with birthing(no, there is a real reason for it, not that some vindictive deity decided to punish women for all time). There are no such thing as species with half implemented features. If a development does not convey an advantage, it will not be selected for. So, to expect that you will find such things is a strawman.

One guy made up a story. A bunch of self deluded suckers believed it. Like evolution. Could Judaism have begun that way? Please give details.
Well, first, I doubt it was as simple as "one guy" making up a story. Doubtlessly, the myths evolved over time, as they passed from generation to generation of tribal storytellers. Since you and I seem to agree that every other countless time this happened, it was the spread of a falsehood, please give me some compelling evidence that this is not the same situation with your myth of choice. So far, I've seen nothing but the same self important posturing that Christians and Muslims perform.

Enigma HP said...

The consensus of opinion in th antebellum South was that Slavery should be legal. The consensus of opinion in ninetheenth century America was that the Native Amrecans should be forced to surrender their ancestral lands to the European settlers. Throughout most of human history the consensus was that slavery should be legal. Cna you give me one example of consensus producing a good result?
Again, in each of those cases, you had religious doctrines(including much that was drawn from the Torah you hold so dear) and socio- political dogma supporting the practices. When rational debate finally occurred, the practices were squashed. I would point out that they held out longest where the religious underpinnings were strongest.
I would also point to the fact that violence and disease decrease when a population embraces organic atheism(as opposed to the idea of forcing atheism as an ideology upon an unwilling population, the difference in which you and Jacob can't seem to grasp). It's not that atheism is a magic cure. It is that people who get educated and have the freedom to step beyond old tribal creeds have the ability to advance the common good. They no longer need to cling to sacrificial dogmas to make meaning out of their lives.

jewish philosopher said...

enigma, as I mention in my post about the proof of Judaism:

THE EXISTENCE OF A SINGLE NATURAL OBJECT EXHIBITING COMPLEX PURPOSEFULNESS IS PROOF THAT GOD EXISTS.

THE FACT THAT JUDAISM COULD NOT HAVE ORIGINATED VIA A FRAUD, DELUSION OR HALLUCINATION IS PROOF THAT GOD WROTE THE TORAH.

Which part don't you understand?

Responding "life evolved" and "Judaism is a myth" is not detailed enough. Those are just meaningless slogans.

Enigma HP said...

Which part don't you understand?
Apparently the part where
TYPING GROUNDLESS SUPPOSITIONS IN ALL CAPS WITH NO REAL PROOF CONSTITUTES THE TRUTH!

You are right. I do not understand the mental gymnastics that some people go through to cling to old myths.

Responding "life evolved" and "Judaism is a myth" is not detailed enough. Those are just meaningless slogans.
Making specific note of where you are wrong, and including examples, is not simply stating "life evolved." Pointing out that your myths follow the same pattern as every other two bit god and pony show and challenging you to offer up something other than a morass of circular logic is not simply saying "Judaism is a myth." You post tripe about atheists, then you fail to back anything up with actual proof.
But, then, your criteria for proof is pretty screwed up, anyway. It would be funny, if I weren't conversing with an adult. It's just sad. I could point out reams of information which reinforce evolution, but I have no doubt you are too scared to actually openly consider it. After all, the big scary sky monster might come down and smite you. Well, I am not scared of your imaginary friend, and I am not impressed by vapid, specious logic and empty bravado.

natschuster said...

enigma hp:

Can you give me one example of people arriving at the right conclusion via consensus and rational debate? I'm not sure that modern Europe is a good example. I understand that the crime rate in Europe is going way up. Scandanavia has a very high suicide rate.

jewish philosopher said...

enigma, what would prove to you that the Torah is of divine origin?

Enigma HP said...

Can you give me one example of people arriving at the right conclusion via consensus and rational debate?
One? It happens all the time, at all levels of government. From international treaties on nuclear weapons and testing(now being undermined by reemerging political ideologies, I might add) and changes in policies to avoid environmental destruction(just two international examples, off the top of my head) down to local and state actions. It's not uncommon.

I'm not sure that modern Europe is a good example. I understand that the crime rate in Europe is going way up. Scandanavia has a very high suicide rate.
The crime rate in Europe is going up, and it's a complex problem. From the wide variety of things I've read, it looks like a combination of an influx of various groups(the former Soviet bloc countries and a growing problem with Muslim immigrants who are trying to remake those countries under Sharia laws), along with ineffective centralized police forces, the effect of public ownership of firearms, etc. I would also note that this effect is fairly uniform regardless of the relative level of national religiosity, which suggests that religion and the lack thereof have little impact.
You are correct that, while organically atheistic countries score far higher on virtually all indicators of social health than their more religious counterparts, they do have a higher rate of suicide. This is likely because they are not bound by anti-suicide precepts. There are other components being studied as well, such as the relationship between IQ, education level and suicide rates. It is a problem that those nations have to face. It may well turn out that there is a certain percentage of people who are incapable of social integration, who will always commit suicide in the absence of a religious indoctrination. It may be a tragedy, but the truth is not always pretty.
We do not yet know the answers to these problems, but embracing an irrational ideology out of fear is no answer. If we are going to assume supernatural claims, perhaps we should suggest that they start offering the human sacrifices to Odin again.

Enigma HP said...

enigma, what would prove to you that the Torah is of divine origin?
Now that is a good question. I would say that is would be exactly the same as any other religion: the empirical proof of a supernatural event that is tied unambiguously to your particular deity. In short, a independently verifiable miracle pointing to your god. In the face of actual evidence, I would be forced to reconsider my beliefs about the Torah.
This could consist of something like finding the Ark and demonstrating its supernatural properties, finding the garden of Eden still guarded by a flaming sword, etc. Of course, you would have to be careful there, since the Christians would likely claim your proof as theirs, too.
Ask yourself this: what would convince you to change your religion? Would your logic sway you coming from the mouth of a Mormon or a Baptist? If our positions were reversed, and I was asking you about what proof it would take for you to believe in the Christian bible, how would you answer me?

natschuster said...

Enigma HP:

i was under the impression that Scandanavia was a secular society, not an atheistic one. Religion still exists.

Soem countries do better on various indicators of health because of factors like natural resources, a healthful climate, access to navigable water ways, etc.


I think the the Orthodox Jewish community has worked out the problems you mentioned fairly well.
We aren't completely immune, but its been my experience we are doing pretty well.

Enigma HP said...

i was under the impression that Scandanavia was a secular society, not an atheistic one. Religion still exists.
Studies have shown that most of the population are religious in name alone. Even some religious leaders openly admit to being atheistic, and it does not affect their standing in their church.

Soem countries do better on various indicators of health because of factors like natural resources, a healthful climate, access to navigable water ways, etc
Indeed, this is what is suggested as the reason the USA and Ireland continue to rate well in such statistics.

I think the the Orthodox Jewish community has worked out the problems you mentioned fairly well.
We aren't completely immune, but its been my experience we are doing pretty well.

That is great(and I am not saying that sarcastically; I mean that I am glad that your community is doing well). In such an insulated community, dogmatic assertions may well work to maintain social cohesion. This does not mean that your religion is true. If it did not have the ability to create social cohesion, it would have failed a long time ago. This is the same with Christianity and Islam.

natschuster said...

Its not just the social cohesion. There is so much charitable giving in so many forms. And it is not just directed at the members of the community. Orhtodox Jewish pre-school children aspire to become voluteer ambulance drivers.

Enigma HP said...

Its not just the social cohesion. There is so much charitable giving in so many forms. And it is not just directed at the members of the community. Orhtodox Jewish pre-school children aspire to become voluteer ambulance drivers.
Do you think that this is unique to your group? I have personally witnessed this type of outlook from many different groups, some religious and some atheistic. Two of my children want to be doctors, because they see family members in the hospital, and want to help like those people do. They also raise money for the poor in the area, and perform a lot of giving acts. I teach them that helping others makes society better, and thus, makes everyones' lives better. Doing good does not require a divine origin to be useful.

natschuster said...

If you go into a jewsih preschool, and ask the children whaty they want to be when they grow up, maybe 40% will say that they want to be volunteer ambulance drivers. I know because I've done it. Its very nice what your children are doing, but I don't think you'll get the same response if you ask children in a non-Jewish preschool.

There was a book published in Nov. 2006 called "Who Really Cares" that said that religious people give more money to charity, in total, as a percentage of income and per capita than secular people. They also are more likely to voluteer, and donate blood.

Enigma HP said...

I know because I've done it. Its very nice what your children are doing, but I don't think you'll get the same response if you ask children in a non-Jewish preschool.
Have you tried it? If you want to make this anecdote into a serious argument, then we should subject it to research. I propose that we select a series of 20 randomly selected preschools, half Jewish, half non-Jewish. Then, we interview children from the selected schools, with a neutral series of questions asked by a neutral third party. We should find some way of removing ourselves from the school selection and question asking, to eliminate the possibility of the kids being coached.
While it would not be definitive, such a brief study would still be more useful than a single unsubstantiated anecdote. From my own experience, I would bet that a large portion of children would pick helpful professions.
In fact, given that in your case the children had such a large, uniform answer, I would say that there was some form of suggestion. Perhaps the class had been recently introduced to the concept, or had been told about a driver. Unless such an intrusion was ruled out, the statement itself is of little value beyond engendering a warm fuzzy feeling.

There was a book published in Nov. 2006 called "Who Really Cares" that said that religious people give more money to charity, in total, as a percentage of income and per capita than secular people. They also are more likely to voluteer, and donate blood.
I am aware of the book, and have taken a cursory look at the data(I haven't had a chance to read it yet). The author makes some big assumptions at the beginning, and skews the numbers a bit. In his blog, he doesn't deny that he had a target in mind when he wrote it, and as such, it cannot be taken as unbiased. I would like to see his study defended in a peer reviewed setting, so we can see his methodology and numbers. If humanists can be doing more socially, this would be a powerful tool in helping to change that. I am completely in favor of embracing change for the betterment of society.

For the sake of argument, however, let us assume that it is true. This is, again, an appeal to consequence. Even if the claim is absolutely true, it has no bearing on whether a deity exists. The fact that my kids are kind does not prove atheism, and the fact that Jewish children are kind does not prove Judaism.

natschuster said...

I have tried the experiment in jewish preschools. I used to be an intinerant preschool therapist. So many children talk about being volunteer ambulance drivers not just when asked.

The author of the book was actually trying to prove that it was politically ocnsevative people who wer more generous. Rhar was his bias. But an examination of the data showed it was real breakdown was religious vs secular. The auhtors bias was not towards religion.

Enigma HP said...

I have tried the experiment in jewish preschools. I used to be an intinerant preschool therapist. So many children talk about being volunteer ambulance drivers not just when asked.
An anecdote with no control group and no safeguards against suggestion is not an experiment.

The author of the book was actually trying to prove that it was politically ocnsevative people who wer more generous. Rhar was his bias. But an examination of the data showed it was real breakdown was religious vs secular. The auhtors bias was not towards religion.
If his numbers stand up to critique, then we have something to discuss.

natschuster said...

I read reviews numerous reviews of the book by many people, including one by Schwermer, a professional skeptic. No one questioned the numbers.