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albeto last won the day on June 3 2013

albeto had the most liked content!

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About albeto

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    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee
  1. Also, someone answer this post quickly please. I don't like seeing my avatar next to an athiest thread. I feel like after that, that's what I'll be known for. And that, Crimson Wife, is why some of us are "militant." To La Texican - best wishes in your homeschooling journey. :)
  2. Neurology explains it. The brain takes in information through its various sensory organs (eyes, ears, and skin are the organs we think of most often, but there are other sensory information our body picks up, like pressure and chemical changes internally). As Sam Harris, neurologist explains, "You are not aware of the electrochemical events occurring at each of the trillion synapses in your brain at this moment. But you are aware, however dimly, of sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts, and moods. At the level of your experience, you are not a body of cells, organelles, and atoms; you are consciousness and its ever-changing contents, passing through various stages of wakefulness and sleep, and from cradle to grave." That's a lot of information going on at any given time. The thing is, the brain can have "hiccups" like any other organ, and sometimes this "hiccup" feels like a memory when experiencing something for the first time. Sometimes, this "hiccup" feels like being aware of your body from a place outside your body. Sometimes this "hiccup" feels like being visited by a loving presence. Because all these "hiccups" happen in the organ of the brain, they are physical (natural) events. They are, in other words, real. Like any explanation of any event, however, not all explanations are equally plausible. Explanations that advocate supernatural premonitions, bilocation, and visiting heaven are not plausible in explaining the experience.
  3. Maybe you prefer this version:
  4. Sure. Coincidences happen all the time. The ones that are most unexpected stand out and catch our attention the most. What we don't do is pay attention to the many numbers of predictions that never do come to pass. We then think we have an uncanny ability to make predictions. The most logical way to address this is to keep a journal of every single prediction made, then analyze those predictions against the ones that come true. Check out Richard Dawkins' explanation here: Become familiar with how probability works here:
  5. I don't think anyone is suggesting the Jews, Christians, or Muslims invented slavery, war, or cruelty. My point was that there is reason to argue that the religious texts of the Abrahamic faiths do, in fact, "promote violence outside of self-defense." These may be taken out of context today, but clearly not for every faithful community. Further, they most assuredly were considered perfectly appropriate for most faithful communities for far longer than they have been considered inappropriate. The idea that "today we know better" is not an argument for a loving and caring religion, it's an argument for the ability of the religion to adapt to evolving social expectations.
  6. Respectfully, I disagree. The "cure" is only there after the "disease" has been sold. The bible is very complex indeed, but why are should we assume these unattractive aspects are merely "gotcha" quotes and not an accurate window into the history of the religion and the belief of the community?
  7. The old "rules" were in effect for centuries (arguably longer than Christianity). Your belief that certain rules were wiped away by the sacrifice of Jesus isn't a shared belief throughout Christendom. The fact that witches were killed specifically within the privilege of the law, because the bible presents God's opinion on such matters, as late as the 17th century, suggests your opinion is the relatively late player in the game. Further, children and women are still, currently, accused and punished for the "crime" of witchcraft by Christian believers throughout the world. Today. This is a gruesome, horrifying reality that has been lent credibility by the fact that most Christians believe, teach, and evangelize the idea that there is a supernatural reality that includes evil forces (Satan, demons, evil) that can and does affect people.
  8. Oh I truly understand. These can be powerful experiences, but a powerfully emotional experience isn't support of a supernatural reality. The emotional response to such an event - and let's be clear, these NDE are real experiences, in that, the brain really is perceiving certain stimuli - isn't a credible explanation because an emotional response is purely subjective. If, on the other hand, there was objective data to confirm what subjective interpretation suggests, that would be interesting. But it doesn't. Instead, we're learning more and more about how the brain works and it's effects on our perception. In turn, we're learning how our very sensory perception works. It's all fascinating, in my opinion, but not indicative of a supernatural reality "breaking through," for lack of better words, our natural reality. Or... Feeling joy and fearlessness after NDE is no more evidence of a supernatural reality than feeling joy and fearlessness after drinking to excess is evidence of the superior state of being drunk. ;)
  9. Thank you. It's been a pleasure to discuss this, and that has been in no small part to the contribution of you and people like you who are participating in an understandably emotionally rich topic in such a way as to maintain the topics at hand rather than respond emotionally and defensively. So I would like to take this time to thank you (and others). :)
  10. For my part, I'm no longer persuaded a "supernatural" exists. We may not have explanations for everything, and we likely never will, but that shouldn't be confused with a "supernatural." After all, we couldn't explain epilepsy a thousand years ago, but that doesn't mean it was demons. We do know cancer remissions happen spontaneously. We don't yet know under what conditions these remissions are likely to begin, but when we do, there will be medical advancements in that regard and the idea that "God heals" will go along the wayside like it did with epilepsy. You might find this video interesting in that it offers some insight into how researches explore what the organ of the brain can do under certain circumstances.
  11. But the faith has, since its inception, been a promoter of violence in war/killing people of other faiths. Consider the Crusades (all of them), the Spanish Inquisition, the kidnapping of Native American children to be forced to adopt the culture and religion of their conquerors, Mother Teresa gathering millions upon millions of dollars in donations and yet refusing to help a single, addressable medical issue. People suffered and died for her faith, the sense of divine approval she felt for allowing (allowing, as if it was a gift!) people to suffer because that's pleasing to the god of the her faith. Orthodox Jews are becoming more and more aggressive towards non Orthodox Jews in Israel, and are allowed to practice barbaric, unhealthy ritualistic behaviors that have a history of killing infants. Your own religion is responsible for the mind set that convinces people, who by all accounts are otherwise loyal to their families and societies, that it pleases your god to take out as many infidels as possible. I totally understand what your likely response is to all this - these are examples of people who practice their faith "wrong," or take it to a violent extreme. To which I would remind you that there exists no measure of the "right" way to practice any of these faiths. This "compass" does not exist. One is convinced by virtue of personal faith (subjective emotional cues) that they are pleasing and honoring their gods. Because there is no "right" way to practice the faith, there is no "wrong way to practice the faith. For the same reason you dismiss them as missing the real point of your faith, they accuse you of the same. Does that make sense?
  12. Respectfully, I disagree. The Jewish and Christian scriptures contain all kinds of references to the legal application of capital punishment (death) for certain "crimes." Please note, these "crimes," are things we would consider light (like disrespect to parents), or emotionally painful (like adultery), and certainly victimless (like blasphemy). These behaviors were absolutely responded to with capital punishment, and the entire society thought that was only right and just (by evidenced by the fact the society not only participated, but taught their children to do the same for generations upon generations, for centuries and centuries). The Jewish and Christian scriptures include death sentence for for people who don't listen to church authority (Deuteronomy 17:12); witches (Exodus 22:17); homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13;Romans 1:24-32); fortunetellers (Leviticus 20:27) kids who hit their dads (Exodus 21:15); kids who curse their parents (Proverbs 20:20; Leviticus 20:9); adulterers (Leviticus 20:10); non-Christians (Exodus 22:19; Deuteronomy 13:7-12; Deuteronomy 17:2-5;Romans 1:24-32); atheists (2 Chronicles 15:12-13); false prophets (Zechariah 13:3); the entire town of one who worships another god (Deuteronomy 13:13-19); non-virgin brides (Deuteronomy 22:20-21); and blasphemers (Leviticus 24:10-16). Note, please, there are no (as in none, not one) scriptures that address punishment for child rape, although formal laws that address selling a child as a bride, under what condition beating a slave to death is an innocent act, and the systematic rape of women victims after battle, can be found in various places. These are not benign beliefs. That people don't take them literally today doesn't change the fact that they have been taken literally for centuries, and that they are still considered "divinely inspired." That is, this is the "mind" of the god you suggest doesn't promote violence. I'm sure with a little time I could find similar examples in the Qu'ran, but I think my point has been made. I would not consider Buddhism a peaceful religion for these very reasons. This is one reason I identify as an anti-theist and not just anti-Christian, or even anti-Abrahamic religion. I think people (here at least, if not in the United States in general), identify Buddhism with pacifism simply because that's the version we see today. It's part of the Buddhist tradition, but not the whole part. Self-sacrifice and care for the vulnerable is part of the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions, but not the whole part. Theist belief, in my opinion, opens up the floodgates of justifying violence in the name of belief that must be ultimately accepted by faith. There's no justification for that, in my own opinion, given the knowledge we have today.
  13. The anti-theists and outspoken atheists you hear likely speak English. Statistically speaking, Christianity is far more likely to be better known and personally familiar to those in your society than Islam, Hindu, etc. If, for example, Pagans began to collect into a political force and demand (with success!) their superstitious beliefs be taught along side actual science, you can be assured those of us outspoken anti-theists will not be quiet about it. ;)
  14. Maybe it is, I'm not aware of any statistics that suggest this. In any case, atheists simply don't find arguments for the existence of any god/s persuasive. The character and personality of said god would make no difference if the plausibility of that god's existence is non existent.
  15. I think you mean anti-theists and not atheists. Atheists have only one similarity between them - a lack of belief in god/s. Not all atheists are critical of religion, and of those who are, not all are vocal. Personally, I am critical of any belief system that encourages a person to embrace ignorance and obedience for the sake of the good of an unknowable, mythological character or a superstitious belief. Having said that, I just don't know that much about Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism, or any other religious beliefs. I can only address that to which I am familiar. Also, it doesn't come up here so much because this community is visited by mostly Christians, so the context of religion is naturally going to reflect that.
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