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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: 4172
Latest Activity: 21 hours ago

The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Discussion Forum

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Evolution is a FACT, not a theory.

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ORIGIN OF ATHEIST PRIDE

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Comment by Lemual Poot on February 21, 2015 at 10:42am

Comment by Lemual Poot on February 21, 2015 at 10:40am

"People say they want to be free and decide their own fate, but in reality, they want a strong, charismatic leader, in which they can put all their faith and destinies."

Adolf Hitler

Comment by Joseph P on February 20, 2015 at 7:46pm

That's what you have to watch out for in arguments in Christian apologetics, Lemual.  They switch definitions at will, often between step 1 and step 2 of an argument.

God is Love.  You feel love.  Therefore God exists.  And no, I'm not parodying a Christian argument to try to make it look stupid.  That is the argument, exactly as made by many Christians.  It's called an equivocation fallacy.

Comment by Susan Stanko on February 20, 2015 at 1:53pm

Nonetheless, it seems that it was a cerebral condition of a determined man that looks like wrecking our wish for a democratic world with its wonderful human rights charter of 1948.

Huh?

Comment by Lemual Poot on February 20, 2015 at 12:13pm

I like the way they switch around definitions to suit the situation.  Take the word myth for example.  We all know the entire whole story, from the talking snake to the disappearing corpse trick to be myth, but "they" define it as religion.  Better yet is the word, faith.  If I insisted that Harvey the giant, talking rabbit was real, and controlled every aspect of life, would their diagnosis be, “Strong, deep seated faith in Harvey?”

Comment by Joseph P on February 20, 2015 at 9:59am

@LadyWolf

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 lot of the important difference there is the difference between neurotic disorders and psychotic disorders, I think.  Generally (with fairly simplistic definitions), neurotic disorders are usually stress-induced, while psychotic disorders are usually genetic/chemical.  Both types can sometimes be treated with drugs, but the more important point is how that causal distinction applies to religion, as you're speaking on the subject.

Religion would usually be classed as a neurotic disorder, if you want to extend the mental illness metaphor to the breaking point.  It's the result of childhood brainwashing ... ie. stress-induction (not exactly stress, but we're working with metaphors here).  Now, you have some people who audibly hear Yahweh speaking back to them.  They're probably bringing along their own clinical psychosis, which reinforces the childhood indoctrination.  Some good anti-psychotics could probably make the voice of Yahweh go away, but you'd have to convince the psychotic religious person that that would be a good thing, first.

Then there's the perspective of rationality, as opposed to literal insanity.  We often consider rationality to be the antonym of insanity, but it really isn't, if we're talking about clinical insanity.  Believing that someone walked on water, because a storybook said so, when we've never seen anyone do it in real life, without the use of stage magic props, is irrational as hell.  But I don't think that comparing that to clinical insanity is necessarily fair.

This sort of thing is more a matter of an educational deficiency.  Our school system does a shit job of teaching students critical thinking and the scientific method, in most school districts (mine were great, but then I grew up in wealthy, suburban school-districts).  And now we have the various fundamentalist, religious leaders in this country actively trying to suppress critical thinking courses in grade schools, because ... well, of course they are; they know a threat when they see one.

I like to describe Pentecostals and other extreme religious sorts as being insane, when I'm in a pejorative sort of mood, but if we're really analyzing the situation, it isn't that simple.

Comment by Dr. Terence Meaden on February 20, 2015 at 8:26am

Correctly pointed out, Donna and Susan.

Nonetheless, it seems that it was a cerebral condition of a determined man that looks like wrecking our wish for a democratic world with its wonderful human rights charter of 1948.

Comment by Susan Stanko on February 20, 2015 at 7:57am

Nope, Neurological illness is not the same as mental illness.

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. 

 

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