We Are At War

I guess I personally take this more seriously than others, and maybe I’m at fault for doing so.

I’m not sure how many people have read Sam Harris’ book, or watched his interview, but I strongly feel they should, and that we should discuss it here.

I’m hoping somebody will show some compassion, watch these, and have a cordial discourse about the subject matter.


Please don’t throw this to the wayside, our future depends on it. :cry:

D0rky, at this point I strongly advise you to evaluate what it is you dislike about theism, write it down, and then see if the title of this thread is related to any of those points.

No good will come of a change from theism to atheism if atheism becomes theism.

Any discourse on this subject matter is utterly futile.

Any claim that can be made against religious fundamentalism, can be shown to find its conversely positioned twin in the empirical fundamentalist realm.

Bottom line: avarice is the foundation of all human aberrance. It is the most fundamental flaw, and is never afforded the punishment due.

As usual, person’s who seek to “avail humanity” of their blindness in religiosity, are the exact same failure, in mirrored reflection.

No amount of utterances, symbology, structured ontological or tautological discourses will change this scenario. Humanity is as it ever was, ever will be.

Welcome to the status quo. Enjoy the chaos, it makes for fine entertainment.

You use a lot of big words, Mastriani, and I like that. Unfortunately I don’t understand them, and I hope that doesn’t affect my evaluation of the above statement.

If every human being held this position throughout time, however, it’s obvious that we never would progress through discourse and discussion. That seemingly isn’t the case, however, as can be shown through the evolution of religion itself in every belief structure.

I’m also fairly confident that this was covered in Sam Harris’ speech, Mastriani. I hardly feel that the position of Islam has a twin in other fundamentalist belief systems. The example he uses is Janes (sp?) who’s fundamental belief system is nonviolence. The more outrageously fundamental a Jane becomes, the less violent they get. The result is not blowing themselves up in groups of children, or in crowded city markets.

If your above statement were true:

then my claim that religious fundamentalists use empirical evidence to support their beliefs would be true. It’s obvious this isn’t the case. Perhaps this isn’t what you meant. If not, please provide more clarification.

We are at war with fundamental faith-based belief systems. Not a war involving missiles, bombs, or airplanes flying into buildings, and I am hoping that atheists would never resort to such methods to convince others. I am confident that this is extremely unlikely.

Well the dude can’t speak, and he can’t give an argument until he gives a good defense from the other side.

But yeah were at war, with Iraq, with each other, with ourselves, and so on. If ID is such a bad argument, I’m a bit confused as why Harris see’s it as a hindrance on Science, the prestige of science anyway.

Because it pits the general population, who isn’t qualified to make a decision regarding its validity, against science. It tarnishes science’s reputation in the eye of the public. Considering the evaluation of empirical evidence is what our educational system is based upon, I would consider this detrimental.

I would submit that Dawkins and Sam Harris are doing that much better than the intelligent design community. As long as the first, most popular claim of science is that religion is bull, science will be held at a distance from the majority of people who know better. Is the predominant negative stereotype of scientists that they are flakes who believe in things like Intelligent Design and Creationism, or is it that they are emotionless cynics who deny anything they can't measure?

Science’s reputation? I don’t guess I understand. From what I know it is religion who has the bad reputation first off. Secondly, since all science is supposed to be based of empirical evidence, I don’t see how you can tarnish science’s prestige. Did you mention Harris saying 40 percent of scientists believe in God? So maybe scientists are tarnishing themselves? If there is any embarrasement I know of it’s, “Heck No I didn’t come from no monkey, that’s stupid”, that’s Darwins fault. It may be perfectly true, that we did come from monkeys, but if so it needs to be taught accurately and be taught beyond reasonable doubt. And as of right now, without Religion, that’s the best guess we have, and it’s a really strong one. But I don’t see how religion has any affect on anything with scientific prestige.

Dorky, if you want to read from a Christian Scientist, search for John Polkinghorne. You may find him convincing. Not asking you to, just letting you know if you are curious.

unbelievable third grade semantics lowballing at the dogmatic beliefs that almost no one fully believes every part of. Which invalidates everything he claims IMO. Pair that together with the constant connection many here (and everywhere) try to make with God to this based on writings by man makes this whole idea one of the most fallacious ideas I’ve ever heard.

Put 100 Christians into a room away from their church and ask them what they honestly believe one on one, and I promise it won’t represent the silly survey numbers he uses to found his hatred for religion on.

This IMO, is a mirror for the thoughts of most Atheist and a show of their extreme bias and hatred for their fellow man who is flawed the same as they are, and how this ugly attitude is cast out in ignorance and arrogance as if they are better or more enlightened with truth that they claim is purely relative anyway.

Proof that man wants to be God, which is why we lie.

I think Harris overestimates the extent to which anyone is rational in everyday life and how coherent anyone’s beliefs are. This leads him to overestimate the extent to which religious motives underly people’s actions. Of course one’s religion has an important effect: suicide bombers are an extreme, and true, example. However, do the majority of American Christians bear their religion consciously in mind when they decide how to act? I think its just one of a huge amount of influences on one’s moral character – including the examples of peers and role models, in an extremely complicated manner. I think Harris would no doubt agree with this, but he tends to portray them like the hyperrational actors of economic game theory which is a gross simplification.

Perhaps I am one of his “moderates” that doesn’t really know what it’s like to truly believe in eternal paradise, even though in the past I might have ticked the box Christian in the census.

Generally, though, I agree with him.

You might all like to watch the following videos where both Harris and Dawkins receive a less welcome reception from an informed audience of scientists: http://beyondbelief2006.org/Watch/

In some ways it’s the extent to which this is true which is the issue. You seem to suggest it’s so few as to be negligible, that it should be disregarded. Harris probably overstates it because of the problems with polls – I think you are correct about talking to religious people individually revealing a different picture. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between: there exist dogmatic religious beliefs, such as literal readings of the bible lead to, and he is right to criticise them.

Edit: typo

Are you talking about the bible? It’s the religious folk that connect it with God, not atheists.

If he is not talking about your God when he quotes from the bible, then that’s fantastic. Good for you. It’s unfortunate there is one word to encompass so many personal meanings in this emotive topic.

This is something we can agree on.

I mean that most Atheist that are pissed off at religion are so because they think a book written fallaciously by man is any proof to Gods true personality and completely disregarding all other objective evidence and logic as to what God is really like. Talk about hypocrisy. The only writings I find that logically connect with the observable evidence is the teachings of Jesus, Atheist should use this next time they try and tear down God. I promise they wont get far and it would be impossible to hate God for what Jesus reveled him to be.

Any Atheist here care to take that challenge?

No, those atheists are pissed off at religion because religious people “think a book written fallaciously by man is any proof to Gods true personality and completely disregarding all other objective evidence and logic as to what God is really like.”

Please give us the observable evidence that tells us “what God is really like” and how this connects with the teachings of Jesus.

I’m certainly not pissed, but I guess my only question is, if the Bible isn’t any proof to God’s true personality, then what is the entire Christian religion based upon? What is the purpose of the Bible if it’s not proof of God’s true personality?

You missed the part I said about Jesus’ teachings; much of that is part of many bibles.

First off as I have stated many times before, a book is not logically needed if God is the source of all life ( The Absolute) since his life source/force would be in all living things and this would make a direct connection to this God and his intelligence (if he is intelligent).

So to skip a bit and sum up, I conclude that you must prove any writings with the evidence felt in a properly prepared heart (no ego) added with logical observation of cause and affect, if it stands up to this master reference then it is true. God gives physical evidence to all laws and truths; he fully supports his design, purpose and personality in the physical and this is easily visible once you have the primer, which is obtainable to anyone regardless of intellect or physical condition.

Preparing the heart is the problem and to explain what it feels like is kind of like Plato’s cave analogy, so I won’t bother. Anyway I really am not here to preach salvation, but I do happen to believe that I know precisely and absolutely what it is, and can and will back it up with great continuity.

Atheists have resorted to these methods. The secular soldiers of Britain, fighting not for God but for Queen and Country, have been bombings Iraq with white phosphorous, using armour piercing shells tipped with depleted uranium, have stripped prisoners naked, covered them in shit and terrorised them with dogs, have dressed up as Arabs and gone out and committed acts of terrorism.

I think that your understanding of this war is exceptionally one dimensional.

And Iraq will not be a democracy. The best we can hope for is a reasonably peaceful partitioning of the country, or a theocratic Republic.

Britain actually has a state religion. So don’t be obtuse enough to call them atheists. Crack a book once in awhile. :wink: