ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by George on September 27, 2011 at 7:51am

http://www.celebatheists.com/wiki/Bill_Gates

Gates: I'm not somebody who goes to church on a regular basis. The specific elements of Christianity are not something I'm a huge believer in. There's a lot of merit in the moral aspects of religion. I think it can have a very very positive impact.

Comment by Hania Uscka-Wehlou on September 27, 2011 at 7:37am
Cool.
Comment by Joseph P on September 27, 2011 at 7:35am
He is.  He's come out and said it.  I don't know that he's used the A-word, but he's declared disbelief in any kind of deity.
Comment by Hania Uscka-Wehlou on September 27, 2011 at 7:28am
Cane, do you know that Bill Gates is an atheist or you just believe it?
Comment by AtheistTech on September 27, 2011 at 7:23am
I wholeheartedly agree with Fil when he says that religion needs to be gotten rid of. But I do not see anyone with money funding studies that would prove that religion is false. The complex society we live in would rebel and cause a war. We could ask Bill Gates to fund it, but if he did, he would lose his billions if not his life. I strongly feel and know that religion must go out to the trash heap, but since religion deals with the feelings of people, it will not be an easy task. If you feel you are right and do not accept any form of reason to change your feeling, then won't you defend your feeling with all you got?
Comment by AtheistTech on September 26, 2011 at 11:52pm

@Allie Kumar

 

Are you saying race=ethnic background and not skin color?

I think we are talking about the definition of hate as defined by the ones practicing bigotry which in my experience does not only include race and ethnic background, but gender as well.

Comment by Allie Kumar on September 26, 2011 at 11:27pm

Race aint skin color and skin color aint race. I'm of Indian descent (India) and many of us South Indians are darker than Blacks but are a completely different culture than African Americans.

I know to stay out of the deep South cuz the white would kill me for looking black and the blacks would kill me for 'acting white'.

Comment by AtheistTech on September 26, 2011 at 10:42pm

@Craigart14

 

The racial component is not only in the South, it is here in the Detroit area as well and quite possibly in the whole of the US in varying degrees.  It is a big problem. Why educate the poor because the poor is mainly made up of blacks, latinos, and white trash? If there is anything to hate it is bigotry.

You say that you think “that theists often are against many freedoms”. I would ask the question, why are theists against many freedoms? Can you even guess? I will venture a guess. If you are the majority and you want to be the privileged class, just hate the under-privileged class and keep them down. That will ensure your power over them. How do you fight the opinion that the theists spread about themselves to their flock: We are God’s chosen people and we can do no wrong with God on our side, so let me tell you what God wants.

Science keeps showing how all humans are the same. The skin color is only a response to environmental conditions a people endured for eons causing their skin to change color.

You asked “What does it mean to live a Christ-like life?” I put to you that it means whatever your pastor says it means. Ambiguity is a tool that religion has perfected its use of. What is Love? Hate? Evil? Good? Bad? Like?  They are all ambiguous and can be explained to mean anything the theist wants it to mean. You hinted on this idea when you asked: “…who gets to define evil?”

Comment by Craigart14 on September 26, 2011 at 8:12pm

@trekjunky

 

It's been my experience that theists work against public education while funding religious schools.  Here in the South, there is also a racial component, given that the proliferation of private schools occurred as a response to forced integration.  Separating the races used to be a major issue for evangelicals, but since Brown v. Board of Education--or actually, a few years after it--segregation wasn't flying very well, so they picked up abortion as a banner issue.

 

I think, too, that theists often are against many freedoms.  The Christian Right, now allied with the GOP and big business, argues that big, progressive government restricts our freedoms, and in a way, it does.  Corporations shouldn't be free to exploit workers or provide unsafe work environments or dumb toxic waste into the water because these actions cause actual harm to other people and to mutually held assets, such as the air we breathe and the water we drink.  The Right, while it champions freedom for the wealthy to destroy our rights and our environment in pursuit of short-term profit, would like to restrict freedoms that do not hurt other people or damage mutually held assets, such as sex, drugs, entertainment, gay rights--you name it--because "sin" is another word for "victimless crime."  Big progressive government funds public education, highway systems, public parks, health care, wilderness areas, public transportation, etc.  Did the interstate highway system make us more free?  Yes.  Do the subway systems in New York, Boston, and Atlanta make people more free?  Yes.  Would government managed health care make us more free?  Yes.  I once lived apart from my family for three years because my daughter's heart condition made it impossible to change insurance companies, and my new job was 200 miles from home.  Parks and wilderness areas make it possible for ordinary folk to enjoy public land, whereas a hundred years ago only the rich could see Yellowstone or the Adirondacks.

 

What does it mean to live a Christ-like life?  To castigate gays, though Jesus never even mentioned them?  To reject government assistance to the poor?  To root out illegal immigrants?  To keep women from receiving quality health care?  To build enormous mega-churches with ATMs in the lobby?  (Jesus would probably have a hard time kicking an ATM out of the temple.  Those suckers are bolted down.)

 

As for driving out evil, who gets to define evil?  Muslims who won't eat pork, or Hindus who won't eat beef?  Should all of our lives be governed by clerics' conjectures about divinity, conjectures they claim are based on "sacred" texts written by semi-literate goatherds, nomads, and camel drivers?  The books that tells us that the other guy is an infidel, which makes him fair game?  The books that tell us the soul is immortal, so it's ok to kill the body?  (That's the basic point of the Baghavad Gita.)  Ancient superstition is no foundation for a fair and just society.

Comment by Hania Uscka-Wehlou on September 26, 2011 at 12:36pm

While I can't prove it, I would suggest that the reason for this is that they actually approve of any practise that can even remotely be considered 'catholic' while, in their silence, distancing themselves from the barbarism of much of it.

 

Sounds possible.

 

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