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
Members: 4136
Latest Activity: 2 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

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Comment by Marc Draco on January 24, 2009 at 12:05pm
I don't know much about what Benedict thinks XVI, but he's obviously mistaken - as are you, Claudia. It's I and not Alex who posted the remark about Humanism being the ultimate evolution.

Clearly anyone who relies on there being a god (or the appearance of one) for their income is hardly likely to find anything else- you tend to find what you seek especially if you start with the blinkers of unreason firmly glued to your optic nerve.

So far as I am aware, Professor Dawkin's claim for the non-existence of "god" is absolute and unshaken.
Comment by Marc Draco on January 24, 2009 at 9:44am
"I said they were primarily deists."

Which is a fairly accurate description. Given the day, it's hard to imagine any non-deists among their number. I think it's more a matter of how extreme their ideas were.
Comment by chris on January 24, 2009 at 4:18am
i love this shit dude
Comment by Alex Donovan on January 23, 2009 at 10:16am
"Not so, Alex: the Founders were not all Deists"

Would you kindly point out where I said that they were 'all Deists'?

"...and they did allow State religions; just not an official and mandated National religion."

Define 'State religion.' To my understanding, a 'state religion' IS a 'mandated national religion.'

"Finally, Alex: being nice to each other is pretty simplistic if not put in the right context: I'm sure the Kmehr Rouge comrades were quite nice to each other as they cheerfully put plastic bags over the heads of 1/3 of the Cambodian population, ie their fellow citizens."

I can't decide if you're being deliberately obtuse or deliberately disengenuous with this one. Obviously, putting a bag on someone's head is not 'being nice.' The admonishment to 'be nice' must apply to ALL people equally.

"And PS: they gave atheism a bad name ( just as the Inquisition gave Catholics a bad name). "

Their actions had nothing to do with a philosophy of atheism. Their actions were motivated by a Communist ideology, which was as bad as a religious delusion, because it stifled critical thinking.
Comment by Marc Draco on January 22, 2009 at 5:01pm
"Mr. Draco, would you agree that if the ASA agrees the BHA is not in breach, than neither should be the Baptists, the Wikkans, or the Voodoo-ites?"

Sorry Marcus, I'm not quite sure I understand your question. Evangelical Christians ran an advert for the Alpha course some months ago and no one batted an eyelid.

The ASA (as per my post) and blog entry has made it perfectly clear that the BHA advert it not in breach.

All that's necessary is that an ad is honest and neither offensive nor misleading. The BHA ads run against the Alpha ads but neither one is misleading or inaccurate so far as I am aware. Anyone, even the Church of Scientology can advertise on a London bus (or TV come to that) provided the play within the very clear rules.

I think your point on Obama is right on the money. Christian values are good - if we remove the supernatural element - we've essentially got Humanism. Perhaps the altruism of Humanism has been subsumed by Christianity but I doubt that - recognition of altruism is a more modern concept. Perhaps one day, after we're all long since dead and gone, everyone will be Humanists.
Comment by Marcus Tullius Cicero on January 22, 2009 at 3:00pm
You're right, Don, if we were born into a Muslim nation we'd be Muslims. But if we were somehow otherwise, and professed our Christianity or Atheism, etc, we would indeed submit or lose our heads. Thankfully it has not come to that in the "battle' between Atheists and Christians, though I fear there are proponents on each side who would not be remiss to use the sword! Zealots come in all flavors. And so does hubris. That is why, over my many many years, I have stressed the need to abjure the jejune and the anecdotal. Ad hominum attacks and ranting, seen at times among both theists and atheists and, unfortunately more often than we should in this forum, are to me signs that one's belief conclusions are rooted in emotion and ignorance rather than intellectual analyses.

Vis-a-vis Obama's mother, where did she get the values she taught him? Let concede that in America thus far, milieu is definitely "Christianesque", and will remain so until secularism has grown more.

Mr. Draco, would you agree that if the ASA agrees the BHA is not in breach, than neither should be the Baptists, the Wikkans, or the Voodoo-ites?

Not so, Alex: the Founders were not all Deists, and they did allow State religions; just not an official and mandated National religion. Most people forget that the early U S was essentially a federation of almost autonomous states, and that the term state at that period in history connoted a national and political entity similar to Germany or Italy today. But you are right... moot point now.
Finally, Alex: being nice to each other is pretty simplistic if not put in the right context: I'm sure the Kmehr Rouge comrades were quite nice to each other as they cheerfully put plastic bags over the heads of 1/3 of the Cambodian population, ie their fellow citizens. And PS: they gave atheism a bad name ( just as the Inquisition gave Catholics a bad name).
Comment by Alex Donovan on January 21, 2009 at 11:14am
"I see Humanism as the ultimate evolution of Christianity because when you discard the supernatural, being nice to each other is a pretty good concept to live by. "

I see humanism as having roots that precede Christianity by far...in the ancient Greeks and even some Eastern beliefs (Buddism, Taoism, etc.)
Comment by Marc Draco on January 21, 2009 at 9:21am
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has concluded that the “There’s probably no God” bus ad campaign by the British Humanist Association is not in breach of the advertising code. The ASA will therefore not launch an investigation and the case is now closed.

The ASA carefully assessed the 326 complaints it received. Some complained that the ad was offensive and denigratory to people of faith. Others challenged whether the ad was misleading because the advertiser would not be able to substantiate its claim that God “probably” does not exist.

The ASA Council concluded that the ad was an expression of the advertiser’s opinion and that the claims in it were not capable of objective substantiation. Although the ASA acknowledges that the content of the ad would be at odds with the beliefs of many, it concluded that it was unlikely to mislead or to cause serious or widespread offence.
Comment by Marc Draco on January 21, 2009 at 8:47am
Lucky for me, I was born into a secular nation that has Christianity at its heart but has enough sense to largely dismiss the supernatural and embrace the better bits. Many ex-pat founding fathers didn't like the way Britain was headed and took their beliefs with them to the new continent. I see Humanism as the ultimate evolution of Christianity because when you discard the supernatural, being nice to each other is a pretty good concept to live by.
Comment by Marc Draco on January 21, 2009 at 5:48am
"And PS: Before the Reverend Wright fiasco, B O was a frequent church goer who to all appearances looked like a Christian to me."

Perhaps that's what he needed to "see the light!" ;-)
 

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