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.
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  • Jimmy McCann

    No argument here, although the important part of belief is: from whence it came. all religions throughout history have imposed beliefs more often through violent repression, a societal construct manufactured from fictional constructs. The US was born out of mass emigration from repressive European religions and then constructed their very own versions, Mormonism is a perfect example. 

  • Chris Dodds

    I always thought that the definition of a regligion was that a religon was a set of beliefs that include and revolve around some supernatural component of life (particularly human life) that continues on after the death of the physical body.

  • Jimmy McCann

    Sorry Chris, but that like saying politics is about kissing babies and shaking hands. Of course the central message of most religions do revolve around the 'threat and promise' but that is only the propaganda of the organisations behind religion.  

  • Joan Denoo

    Thank you Littlejohn Dellar, clear, concise, easy to understand. I reposted with attribution to you. 

  • Joan Denoo

     Religion is a consruct, as is politics and economics. They are notion developed in the minds of humans, taught through family and culture, added to, changed, adjusted as fits the times. Some reject constructs of the past because new information emerges, values change, unintended problems emerge and for other reasons.

    The test is, How are constructs that influence your life working for you?

  • John Lynch

    The Catholic church is a perfect example of a political organization hiding behind it's priestly robes.

  • Idaho Spud

    Joan, I like your long post and especially the paragraph about there being no "purpose". It expresses my thoughts better than I can.

  • Joan Denoo

    Spud, thanks for your note. As more of us come to realize there is nothing out there telling us what is right or good or fair or decent we have to come to terms with our own thoughts and actions. We can too easily blame or praise a delusion; "God said ..." or "The Devil made me ...". 

  • Meddlesome

    The Catholic church is a perfect example of a political criminal organization hiding behind it's priestly robes.

    FTFY.

    :)

  • Dr. Terence Meaden

    But yes William Sams, exactly so.

    In one word: fiction. 

  • John Lynch

    I think political and criminal can be interchangeable in many cases.

  • Joan Denoo

    Beware the Religio-Industrial Complex

    The "Prosperity Gospel" does not seem to understand, or chooses not to recognize,  "To whom much is given,much is required".

  • Bipin

    How  religion evolved, and the concept of God took Shape, what kind of of thoughts the pre-sprtualistic people had, is contained in the Indian Rgveda, this is the biggest literary proof we have.  I am trying to bring the great atheistic literature and traditions and debates, which lasted for almost 2500 years

    http://schoolsofthoughtofindia.wordpress.com/

  • Bipin

    How  religion evolved, and the concept of God took Shape, what kind of of thoughts the pre-sprtualistic people had, is contained in the Indian Rgveda, this is the biggest literary proof we have.  I am trying to bring the great atheistic literature and traditions and debates, which lasted for almost 2500 years

    http://schoolsofthoughtofindia.wordpress.com/

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

    Les Athées Napoléonienne

           Atheist Thugs*

  • Joan Denoo

  • Littlejohn Dellar

    Because if it was one of the ones that wasn't, we'd not be here to ask the question...

  • John Lynch

    I was searching for a quote by Seneca the Elder/Younger on his view of believing in god.gods but I cannot locate it anywhere. Is anyone familiar with this ?

  • Joseph P

    Have any more details for us?  It's hard to do a Google search based upon just Seneca and something to do with belief in gods.

  • Joan Denoo

    John Lynch, is this the one to which you refer? 

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    Lucius Annaeus Seneca


    Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/lucius_annaeus_seneca.h...

  • Joan Denoo

  • John Lynch

    I was looking for the wrong person for the quote. The following is the one I was think of. Sorry for the confusion.

    "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."
    -- Marcus Aurelius

  • Joan Denoo

    John, this is excellent and a keeper! I am very glad you found it and shared it. I am reposting. 

  • Joan Denoo

    Laurel, one of my favorite quotes, and one well worth repeating. Thanks. 

  • Steph S.

    Love the quotes Joan.

    I hope everyone is having a good day.

  • Joan Denoo

    It has been 38 years since I decided I wanted to live without violence in my home and packed up three 10-year old children and drove 2,000 miles, bought a little patch of Earth where kids, cats, and cabbages could grow and develop into all they are created to be.

     

    That year I planted a vegetable garden and neatly labeled all the rows according to the seed packs that were given to me by family. When seeds came up, a row came up beets but were labeled something else. That is a metaphor for my parenting style. Provide the proper conditions and the seed will come up according to its own kind and I don’t have to mold them into some imagined way of being.

     

    All three grown children will be 49-years old by February 2013, and all have learned to live using good communication skills, able to solve problems and conflicts without violence, and know how to treat others, as they want to be treated. They learned how to assert themselves and to listen actively. 

     

    This festive Yule season I am spending with my daughter and son-in-law and their families. My daughter has 2 daughters, and I am blessed with 5 great grandchildren and their pets and I enjoy all the activity. They do not quarrel, nor fuss, nor whine. They act as though they belong as members of the same team, doing what needs to be done to make life productive and interesting and fun. They laugh so much, enjoy being with each other, cooperate doing daily chores, they like school and participate in all kinds of activities. They have horses and pets to care for, as well as the usual chores to be done on a rural place.

     

    They live some miles away from a very small farming/lumber town in the middle of a large forest. Wild animals come and go creating risks for pets; Dominic, the large black Lab that we brought home from the pound on Dec. 24, 2011, keeps smaller threats away and warns when coyotes and cougars come through. He knows how to open and close latch doors and even takes care of Spaz, their tiny Chihuahua and Spice, a roly-poly cat.

     

    Right now, we enjoy deep snow, and many forested hills on their property. The children start high on a hillside south of my daughter’s home, which runs more than a city block and slide down a curved gravel road to my granddaughter’s home. The two houses exist invisible to each other because of the forest density.

     

    From deep in the forest of northeastern Washington state I send you best wishes for a new year. May you share the season with family and friends you love and who love you. May all your wishes come true, you have good health and cheer and are able to live nonviolently.

    Fondly,

    Joan 

  • Steph S.

    How wonderful Joan! You know how to parent. You have a wonderful family. I hope you have a wonderful New Years!
  • Joan Denoo

    Thanks, Steph, you provide such interesting and stimulating ideas and your gentle nature delights me. Have a great holiday!
  • Plinius

    Thanks Joan, I love your view of a harmonious family! That's a real comfort - I hear far too much about broken families.

    A happy New Year to you!

  • Dr. Terence Meaden

    Joan, you are a role model for others. It is a pleasure that you share your story with us. To you and everyone I wish a Happy and a Healthy New Year.  

  • Joan Denoo

    Arrived home last night and my son who lives with me held down our hearth in great fashion. I took him out to lunch this afternoon as a great big "thank you" to him. Sitting in a booth about six booths away from us two men spoke so loudly about Christ, and the work they have been doing in the name of their savior, I could not hear Cary. So I got up, walked calmly over to their booth, sat down beside one of the men and told them they had very loud voices that disturbed us, not only because of them speaking so loudly, but because the things they discussed did not interest me nor my son. We are atheist and did not come out to a nice restaurant to have to listen to a Christian sermon. As I walked away, the dining room thanked me and applauded. The men thanked me and turned their volume down about 1 degree on a ten degree scale. 


    They responded by paying our bill; quite a pleasant surprise. We thanked them and they gave us their blessings. Religious people will have to get used to non-believers standing up against such thoughtless conduct because we are becoming legion! Have you noticed the increased enrollment in non-believing sites? 

  • Dr. Terence Meaden

    Congraaatulations Joan. I'll add my applause to those of the other diners. 

  • Lillie

    Joan you are always the bearer of such positive, encouraging news. 

  • John Lynch

    Good for you Joan

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Paula T.

    I agree with Lillie.

    Joan, I sincerely wish I had your confidence and ability to speak up for myself...but I know you have earned those skills.  Thank you for sharing that story.

  • Joan Denoo

    The process is very simple: "Be the cause in the action."
    If there is a problem or a conflict or something that bothers you, take the kind of action you would would want done to you. No name calling, blaming, accusing or criticizing. Just state your problem to the one offending you as clearly and honestly as you can; take the kind of action that will make your position clear and what you expect from them.

    This doesn't always stop the behavior, but it does make known to them  how they intrude upon you, and you are not a victim. The funny thing about this episode, I am a little old lady, spoke quietly and politely and yet the dining room quieted when I approached their table, sat down and said what I had to say. What was that old commercial when a financial planner spoke in a restaurant and everyone quieted and listened? It was a scene kind of like that. 

  • Plinius

    Most of the time I'm too cowardly, but I'll try to take a leaf out of your book, Joan.

  • Joan Denoo

    Oh Paula and Chris, I know you both are strong, wise and compassionate; this is just an unfamiliar process for you. 

  • Idaho Spud

    I'll put my hands together for you also Joan.  And I will remember your story the next time I'm in a position like that and it will give me extra courage.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte

    '....was that as good for you as it was for me ?'

  • Joan Denoo

    Go Team! One for the Atheist Brigade! Powered by good sense, refusing to be a victim, standing up for ourselves and each other, strong, decisive, clear, specific, a backbone of steel and arms of velvet, confident, competent, and compassionate!


    NO blaming, accusing, criticizing, nit-picking, name calling, slandering, apologizing,  asking for permission or whining.

    Just the facts.

  • Idaho Spud

    No whining?  Well, OK, I'll try :)

    I like the go team smilies :)

  • Justin Brunk

    Thanks for the invite into the group! :)
  • Joan Denoo

  • Joan Denoo

    Madhukar, I have been reading your writings and I highly recommend them for a good solid background on atheism and its roots. Your quotes accurately reflect the authors' intent, and your organization makes reading flow ... indeed you are creating a "page turner".
  • Joan Denoo

    Science writer Matt Ridley and Douglas Kenrick, worry that reproductive patterns favor greater population growth among those “…who harness the human capacity for superstition and panic.” In essence, the dumb, who can’t reason as well, are outbreeding the smart, threatening “…the triumph of faith over reason.”
    http://bigthink.com/risk-reason-and-reality/edge-big-thinkers-miss-...
  • Joseph P

    Something similar to the premise of Idiocracy, in other words.

  • Idaho Spud

    Joan, thanks for the Big Think article.  I'm not familiar with that site, but have added it to my Bookmarks.

    Joseph, I've not seen Idiocracy.  It has a very good premise, but sounds like it beats you over the head with it's moral.  What did you think of it?

  • Joseph P

    Its premise is over-exaggerated, even if it wasn't horribly flawed.  And its premise is simplistic and flawed, in its treatment of the factors that contribute to intelligence.

    You can translate the metaphor into other areas, though.

    A more serious issue is the spread of memes, with nut-jobs like the Duggars pumping out 19 kids and passing on their fucked-up, fundie-Christian memes to their children.  On our side, we have people like TNT666 not having any children, when I think she'd do a much better job of raising contributing members of society, were she so inclined.

    The bright point in that is that we're siphoning off members of the religious community, into our number.  The internet and the increased spread of scientific information is helping with that.  We've got almost no attrition due to children from secular families becoming religious, later in life, since religiosity requires childhood indoctrination, which they're not getting.

    Hell, we've got at least one of the Phelps clan who's gone secular, so maybe we can pick off a couple of the Duggar children, if they ever receive sufficient outside education ... although, I admit that's doubtful, considering that they're all home-schooled.

    All that aside, Idiocracy is a fairly amusing movie.  I wouldn't put it on any list of greats, but it's worth watching.