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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment Wall


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Comment by Donna Darko on February 20, 2015 at 7:42am

The book "The God Gene" shows that some religious propensity is due to genetic influence.

@ Dr. Meaden: Not to prop up Mohammed, but I don't think epilepsy is classified as a mental illness.

Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on February 20, 2015 at 4:52am

Mohammed was one such mentally ill person---an epileptic---and look what that led to very quickly . . . and what the consequences are some 14 centuries later. 

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 20, 2015 at 4:32am

I guess the difference is that someone who suffers from an actual mental illness, their delusion stems from a chemical imbalance and the delusion comes from within. Whereas a religious person's delusion is a learnt bias, they have been brainwashed by others outside themselves.

You might find this interesting

Comment by LadyWolf on February 20, 2015 at 12:29am

I have always thought it rather ironic that we as a society administer anti-psychotic drugs to those people who have trouble differentiating between actual reality and their own self-created world (i.e., Schizophrenia), yet we in no way consider those who pray to and believe in supernatural entities to have any form of mental illness. A person of "faith" can say that a man walked on water, or that an ark housed every currently-existing animal on earth for an entire year (without the boat having been the size of North America), and yet no one hauls that person off to a padded room. These people can be confronted with one scientific fact after another, and will still refuse to let go of their fantasies. Is this
not the very definition of a mental illness?

Comment by LadyWolf on February 19, 2015 at 2:52am

@Donald L. Engel

Wiccan, is an excerpt from the Witches Creed by Doreen Valiente.

Comment by Donald L. Engel on February 18, 2015 at 8:26pm

Sounds like Wicken to me.

Comment by Lemual Poot on February 18, 2015 at 6:52pm

'Thirteen silver moons in a year are, 
Thirteen is the coven's array.
Thirteen times at Esbat make merry,
For each golden year and a day.'

Now!  That's old-time religion!

Comment by Quinton Llewellyn on February 18, 2015 at 10:03am

@Joseph P

I have no problem with the desire for a longer life. Although I understand that there is the philosophical weight of existentialism behind the idea that it is that we have a finite life that allows us to value it, if someone offer me a pill that was known to cause the body to maintain the physical age somewhere in the mid-twenties indefinitely, I would totally take it. However, after taking it, I don't see how I would experience a change my life's value or meaning. Of course there are also situations that I can imagine being where I would welcome oblivion, "groveling at the feet of (a) holy master, (condemned to spend my time) praising him for eternity" would be one of them! :)
Still I always got from the whole meaning to life thing that there would be some effect from it, like "a greater reason to life". So for example if you see someone laying down pipes it isn't done so that in the future they can continue to lay down pipes, it's so they can direct water for drinking, cooking and washing to a certain location, or move sewage or something beyond just laying pipes. But it seems, as you say, that the religious folk's reason for worship is so they can carry on worshiping, that has to be the shittest reward ever!

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 18, 2015 at 12:51am

@Dr. Terence Meaden  thanks for the wonderful poem. I am passing it on. 

Richard Le Gallienne's version included

Look not above, there is no answer there;
Pray not, for no one listens to your prayer;
Near is as near to God as any Far,
And Here is just the same deceit as There.

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam 

(#78, on p. 44)

Comment by Joan Denoo on February 17, 2015 at 4:25pm

Joseph, I like this concept you present, making it possible to reframe the concept and then rebut the statement with clarity and power. 

To think that forever translates into something meaningless, maintains no value, no worth. What good is an individual living with god and all his sycophants when it becomes eternal submission? It grows even more unsavory to my appetite. 

To correlate infinity with value ...

Let's discuss economics for a minute. 

"If a resource is freely available in almost limitless quantity, then it's value drops off to almost nothing."

"New Oxfam report says half of global wealth held by the 1%"

"Considering how the  conservative, religiously-owned party here in the US claims to have a solid grasp of financial matters, they don't understand a damned thing about economics, in reality."

"If you ask them why groveling at the feet of their holy master, praising him for eternity, gives their life meaning ... well, no, I've never heard a coherent explanation."

thanks for calling this to my attention Joseph. 


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