I just got 200 comments and counting on my local atheist group when I posted this:
"On a matter of self reflection as a group I would like to discuss the idea of us calling anyone inferior or superior based on religion, race, gender, sexual orientation - as there all share the same medal of racism.
I realise that XXX may see this as the promotion of political correctness. I don't support political correctness as a means to an end. I do support freedom of speech. And I like the idea that we are free here to discuss opening about our attitudes.
What concerns me is that in the atheist community (on the many forums and you tubes that I've seen) I have observed what looked to me like, arrogance, prejudice, superiority and dismissive attitudes.
I realise that we all have our own nature - but I do support the idea that we can all try to act on science and reason - and not perpetrate racism or other harmful attitudes based on false beliefs about superiority. And think it important that we become more self aware of these issues and come up with effective methods that deal with it.
Preferably compassionate - based on the principles of Naturalism, rather than regressive aggression against it."
Is this a very contentious issue?
I would suggest you do not include in your category religion, it endangers the credibility of your other topics. Irrationality may be very or most common but, it is most definitely inferior to rationality.
thanks for the tip....
So believe that religion is inferior to rationality - my instinct is to agree, but I'd like to think it through, so I can be sure I agree :)
1. lower in station, rank, degree, or grade (often followed by to ): a rank inferior to colonel.
2. lower in place or position; closer to the bottom or base: descending into the inferior regions of the earth.
3. of comparatively low grade; poor in quality; substandard: an inferior product.
4. less important, valuable, or worthy: B+ bonds are inferior to AAA bonds.
5. acting or performing in a way that is comparatively poor or mediocre: an inferior observer of human nature.
Alice, James makes a good point also made by Sam Harris: when is it unreasonable for people to require that extraordinary claims be backed by extraordinary evidence...or, as Hitchens put it, what can be asserted without evidence can be rejected without evidence. So rationality is better than irrationality - even if it is best to not act superior about it.
Greg - good points - thank you for reinforcing.
I don't think religion is inferior to rationality, I think they are separate domains and should be treated as such. Yes, one can pray and feel comforted, or more powerful, or more hopeful, or more resigned. If one wants to be the cause of healthier, happier, more just, more compassionate living, then one does the thing that brings that about. I don't think religion performs that end. It is the means for a prayer to gain calm, not solutions.
Joan, maybe an example would help you understand my viewpoint on this, which probably matches that of some atheists. You probably wouldn't want your surgeon or aircraft pilot or educator to take significant, decisive action unless supported by facts or, in some emergencies, trained estimates based upon the best available information however limited. It wouldn't make sense to say that it doesn't matter if they act rationally or according to their unsubstantiated beliefs, right? So from this viewpoint, it would be non-sensical to believe or act in this manner. I'm not saying that you agree with this thinking, only trying to describe the starting point and thought process to get to 'rationality is superior to unsubstantiated belief.' Add in the elements of compulsion, hatred, violence, exclusion and isolation, and more caused by religion and that is at least part of why some of us are unwilling to cede anything to religion under any circumstance - we treat it as something to be removed from humanity just as cancer is removed from a body to improve the health of the person. Please realize that I'm both simplifying and overstating, without any cautions, or add'l statements, to concisely answer.
according to supernatural belief - when you die you go to heaven to be with your family - but you don't see christian's jumping in front of buses do you?
no matter what they 'say' they believe - they act rationally like the rest of us.
Alice, you say
...no matter what they 'say' they believe - they act rationally like the rest of us.
I beg to disagree. Many irrational acts over the centuries have been carried out on the basis of religious beliefs. Have you forgotten the Salem Witch trials, The Inquisition?
yes I agree - my point is that even though people have supernatural belief - they still act quite rationally when it comes to every day stuff.....
Alice, this is long. I'll delete it after you all cry and laugh at how rational the religious are about every day stuff - like losing SD cards.
and must be found!
God and the saints do not 'wheel and deal' with us for favors, but it is a good practice to do something to thank St. Anthony for his intercession (such as saying a rosary or donating money to your church or a charity). After all, if a friend does something for you, it is only natural to thank him or her. POSTED BY PASTEURELLA PESTIS
Anonymous said..St. Anthony pray that We find our lost cat. He is a friend and companion to our daughter and she is going through a hard time with this loss!
Lost in Texas
Dear St. Anthony Please help me find my wallet. I need my drivers license and tickets to get to and from work and Starbucks card.. I do not have a lot of money
Anonymous said...St. Anthony, I pray that you help me find the Barry Manilow Tickets. I need them for tomorrow night.
MER said...St. Anthony please help me find my wallet and bring it back to me, it has everything in it that identifies that I exists, plus medallions of saints near and dear to me.
my digital camera's lost and cant'be found
i pray this in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
7:14 PM Anonymous said..Tony , Tony, turn around. Something's lost and must be found. Dear St. Anthony, I pray bring it (my boyfriend) back, without delay. Thanks in advance. D.
Anonymous said...Please St Anthony , help me find my Grandmother's car keys as i have to take my kids to school in the morning ! St anthony I have faith you can help me where i cannot help myself! Amen
Anonymous said...St.Anthony please help me find my MP3 player charger I got your prayer and I will pray it.
Anonymous said...St. Anthony please help me find my piccolo which i need for a rehersal Monday night.
michelle_b_2000 said..My blessings to St. Anthony. I found them within minutes of posting my prayer. I was not a believer, but I am now.
Anonymous said...St. Anthony turn around. I lost my i-phone and must be found. If I find it I will say the rosary for 10 consecutive days. St. anthony turn around . i lost my i-phone and must be found.
11:50 AM Anonymous said...St. Anthony please help me find my iPod. My father bought and it was very expensive, and I am stricken with grief. I feel so guilty. Please help me find it. I will be more careful with it. Lost in New York.
Also, please help the victims of the earthquake in China be found.
3:00 PM Sarah said... St Anthony, please help my daughter find her laptop. OK, so she's Jewish. But I grew up praying to you and we still light candles every time we're in a church. I know you have a heart for all children and she is truly hurting. Thank you.
Anonymous said...Tony Tony look around an envelope was lost and must be found. It contains a check to a theme park for 104 students that I teach to attend and learn math and science. Thank you. This means a lot to these children.
10:16 AM Anonymous said...Dear St. Anthony ,I believe in you and the comuion,of Saints!I am a new catholic struggling with my Faith?However I Do Believe,Please ask God to help my find my medical prescriptions,so I don't go off Balence any futher!Bring back Mostly may almost 3years of decation of Daily Mass and ROSARY GROUP!? What happened to Me?Shelley
8:49 PM Anonymous said...st.Anthony please pray for me to get a better paid job than the one they took from me and pray that my child get back her phone and my son get out off jail and find his good life back
Anonymous said...Oh St. Anthony of Padua please help me find my necklace. It is very special to me. It has a cross and a miraculous medal hanging with it. Oh please St. Anthony of Padua please help me find it. Thankyou.
12:46 PM Anonymous said...St. Anthony please help me find Elizabeth's lost glasses. It is my fault they are gone and I am scared to tell her father. Please. I will make a donation to Catholic church if they are found. praise God.
Veronica said..St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around. I lost my car key and they need to be found. Sige na po tulungan nyo ako na mahanap na po agad ung susi ko.
6:24 AM Anonymous said..St. Anthony, I lost something important and must find it. I will have a mass said for souls in Purgatory whether I find it or not.
9:50 PM Christina said... St. Anthony, St. Anthony look around. Our family cat "Mooch" is lost and must be found! We miss him tremendously. 6/20/08 5:21pm
3:25 PM Anonymous said...Please St. Anthony, come around, an SD card must be found. It belongs to a friend who entrusted it to me, so that I could take some pictures from it. Most of the photos are hers and irreplacable. Please help me find it - I've looked everywhere I can think of. I'm sorry I was so irresponsible.
6:05 AM Anonymous said...dear st.anthony
please help me find my camara
i l;ost it and it cannot be found
please come down from heaven and help my poor soul out....
i love you from the bottom of my heart and pray you halp me out
i know i ask for way to much so please halp me out
PLEASE LPEASSEPLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
i promiss to pray every night to you
i love you please help me
you can take anything away from me just please help me
oh sweet dear lord wisper to my ear the way my camra is and bring it near so i can hind it
i love i love you i love you
De Los Estrada said...Tony, Tony Look around
Precious old photos of my relatives cannot be found.
I pray that those in Heaven join you as they know how precious they are to me and my family.
Thanks for this posting. I love being a Catholic joining others to adore St. Anthony. God Bless you in your searches!
5:02 PM Anonymous said... St Anthony I pray you help me find my USB FLASH STICK it is extremely important I need the information from it. Thank-you in advance so much! Mary
5:20 PM Anonymous said...St. Anthony please look around, my kitty is lost and needs to be found.
3:55 PM Anonymous said...St. Anthony pray that I may get back my hard drive and camera. Pray especially for the ones that took these from me while I was doing them a good deed.
Anonymous said...Saint anthony is a miracle. He helped me find an 18k gold tiffany ring. I felt silly saying this at first, but he has worked in the past for me. I try not to use him very often because I'm not a real confirmed catholic. Try saint anthony, he is a miracle, he works. He will turn any heart to him with his gifts and blessings. Saint anthony never fails.
Anonymous said...St. Anthony THANK YOU! I found my keys this morning! After praying the Novena last night, I had a vision of the exact place where my keys would be. Thank you!!!! I'll continue to pray for all the people who are still missing lost articles!!! THANK YOU!!!
4:46 AM Anonymous said...St.Anthony, St.Anthony look around something 's lost & must be found.
Please help me to find the differences in my report. Please help me. thanks
8:33 AM Bill said...St. Anthony, even though she is not Catholic, please help Diane find her music reading glasses so she can read the music for Les Miserables without squinting and asking to change places with me every other page of the music.
Susan said...St Anthony please help me find my Retainer
Anonymous said...St. Anthony we pray for the special jewels that we are missing. And for mom's brain to return to normal.
1:37 PM Anonymous said...St. Anthony
Please pray for me... please find me the Tau cross necklace.
7:32 PM Anonymous said...St. ANthony, please help me im in great distress . i lost my friend's book " Twilight" and i know the reason why- I have stopped praying, i have a bf and i been lying and receinving communion unworthily coz i wanted to steal money and plus TIWLIGHT is a book of vampires/demons . i promise i wnt read any more of it if u help me find it before the week ends. ASAP plzzzzzzz.
tony look around
please bring back my wedding ring
i promise to donate $5 to you
so you are saying that their 'prayers' are ridiculous?
and it seems to you as though they are quite 'insane' - which is highly amusing?
I know what you mean. Comedians use humour in this way also. It is, I think, a form of ridicule or mocking.
I haven't studied science much - or psychology - or philosophy - so I can't claim that I know. I would though like to respond by saying that the anxiety produced by loosing things can cause great upset in a person. If that person has a belief that another can help them. The placebo effect can take place - which has been measured. Also, they may feel much comfort from that believe that another being is out their barracking for their side - especially someone with power and authority. Whether this belief is mislead or not - it has some benefits to the short term sense of distressed caused by loss. Which may be long enough - for all our 'small' brains to get distracted on something else - and forget our distress regarding the loss.
My point being that they find benefit in doing what they do. It isn't harming others necessarily, it is simply an emotional management scheme. That is effective in the short term for them - or can be applied on demand. A band aid solution.
So it may not be as irrational as others might perceive. It is in fact a very useful tool - albeit a false one.
Alice, it isn't the "Please, St. Anthony," that troubles me.
It is the admonition that women should submit to their husbands, not because it is a fair and just thing to do, and will bring harmony into the home, but that men are more equal than women.
It is because of the imperative to serve others in a sacrificial way, even if serving may cause more harm than good.
It is because of the strict prohibition of contraceptives or of having an abortion by some who think they have the right to dictate morals and ethics to others (Oh! My goodness! what are we to make of the sexual abuse of men religious?)
It is because the poor become tools for exploiting and manipulating others for the gain of their church communities.
It is because self-denial becomes a way of living from birth to death, even as it creates depression, anxiety, stress, helplessness and feelings of self-hatred.
It is because "success" becomes evidence of god being on their side, or god favoring one team over another, or god blessing one nation over another.