[extropy-chat] Putting God to Rest

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Tue Apr 24 05:07:10 UTC 2007

Anna Taylor wrote:
> I apologize if the post is too long.  I have a
> distinct feeling the thread will not last too long
> before meta arrives:) Here are my main points:
> Robert wrote:
>> The goal before transhumanists is to displace "belief
>> in fantasy" with "belief in science". It is a simple
>> transformation of "We can never go to the moon." >to
> "We have walked on the moon.".
> I agree but simply saying Religion and the existence
> of God is bullshit will not convince people of faith. 
> The main point of my post was to imply that I don't
> believe in judgement and that I respect other people's
> choice of belief.  
Is it our job to convince them?  I don't think it is.  Are they more 
likely to find the truth if we do not state the truth we have found 
without beating clearly and strongly?  I don't think so.

>> However when presenting it to others one must
>> recognize that one is presenting "facts not in
>> evidence" and that "followers" are acting on faith in
>> ones interpretation. 
> I understand religion very well. I have read theology
> as much as I have read philosophy.  I am in no way
> promoting religion but merely the fact that everybody
> has a right to there beliefs. If on this list you can
> say that "God doesn't exist" then a religious person
> has the exact same right to dispute it. You need proof
> but the next right beside you doesn't! They just
> believe.  I don't see the point in debating who's
> right or wrong.   

Actually everyone has a right to believe whatever they wish but they 
have no right whatsoever to respect or kind treatment for believing 
pernicious nonsense.  The nonsense itself has no "rights" at all.   
There is no "debate" implied or required here.

> John Clark wrote:
>> Not in ANY way? I'm curious, are there any other
>> great lies you think should never be challenged, any
>> other great evil? That statement is quite simply
>> ridicules. 
> I don't believe Religion is evil, I believe that the
> humans that run Religious orders can/may/will be evil.

I have had many bouts of spirituality/religiosity in my life.  While 
there were many positives at some of these times overall I would that I 
had not become entangled in it so.  A great number of years were, as I 
see it now, wasted and my own understanding and integration in life 
without myths took a great deal longer.  I thought for some time that 
the power of religion in human beings could be used for the good, for 
transhumanist ends.  But the more I thought on those lines the more 
certain I became that religion itself is very strongly in the way of 
such ends. 

> I find that statement rather humorous.  My mother is a
>  dioceses in a Protestant church, we spend much of our
> time debating the none religious versus the religious,
> I being the none religious.  I would gladly challenge
> many of the stories that religion tells.  Just the
> other day we had a debate about cryonics.  My clever
> story was that "if Jesus was considered human, and he
> was resurected, why would God object to all humans
> being resurected?"  My point was not about whether God
> and Religion is right or wrong but about the respect
> for other peoples beliefs.      
What, by debating how many angels can dance on a nanobot?   How does 
that help anyone?  As a non-believer how does it help you or other 
non-believers to frame conversations in terms of belief?  What business 
do you have speaking about God and what God might object to?  You know 
you are talking nonsense yet you condescendingly talk religious baby 
talk to them to try to get your point across to those who believe.  This 
is dishonest and perhaps cowardly.  Are you ashamed to be an atheist?
>> I am not stomping on anyone, I'm just making what I
>> believe is an objective statement when I say
>> religious ideas are asinine. 
> I don't feel that you are making an objective
> statement, I feel you are giving me your opinion.  I
> just don't agree with the opinion.  
You don't?  Then why aren't you a believer?

>> Well Ok, I suppose you could say I stomped on them
>> metaphorically, but the trouble is all too often
>> religious people stomp on people with ideas like mine
> That's exactly my point.  The tug of war seems futile
> to me.  I can't change my mother's mind about God, I
> don't even try, though I try and change the way she
> looks at Religion. 
You may do something worse than not try.  You seem to sort of pretend to 
take her side. 

>> They are perfectly free to call me asinine in return
>> if they wish. Well Ok, I suppose you could say I
>> stomped on them metaphorically, but the trouble is
>> all too often religious people stomp on people with
>> ideas like mine LITERALLY. 
> Does that mean that I have to choose who is right or
> wrong to be on this list?  
Who said that?  Where does that sort of question come from?

> Stathis:
> It's one thing for scientists to simply regard
> religion as irrelevant to their work, but when they
> start to talk about transcending biology and living
> forever, that might sound to a believer like a rerun
> of Satan's rebellion against God. 
If God exists and is as the majority of Christians believe then I would 
most certainly be on the "other side".  Such a Being would be 
monstrously evil.   

> Jeff Albright wrote:
>> We discuss here a wide range of thinking and beliefs
> (and thinking and beliefs about thinking and beliefs)
> but for most of us Theism had been exposed as highly
> irrational (making highly improbable claims
> unsupported by observation) long before we found this
> list. 
> I agree. I'm not saying that religion is rational, I
> am saying that it exists and that I respect people
> beliefs.  I don't see what's wrong with that?
Do you see what is wrong with telling many of us here that we must 
"respect their beliefs" in a similar fashion to what you choose to do or 
we aren't reasonable people?   Thank you for your opinion but it is 
certainly not binding on me.

> Keith wrote:
> We might be as little as 5 years or perhaps even less
> from understanding where, why and how such feelings
> arise. There is a *lot* of money being spend on autism
> and I suspect from what Tooby and Boyer said last week
> that the path to understanding autism will also give
> us an answer to why humans have religions at all. 
> I have no problem with religion, I have a problem with
> the mentality that's running it. If this study can
> examine why people need religion then I am all for it
> and interested.  
Then I do not believe you are through learning about religion.  If you 
knew it better you would have a problem with it.

> Eliezer:
> You're feeling frustrated because you're on the wrong
> mailing list. There are dozens of forums in the world
> that will not create this feeling of utter frustration
> in you. Find one. 
> This list doesn't cause me frustration in the least. 
> I find the posts fascinating, pleasant, educational,
> respectful and all together a progress to my growth. I
> have tried to find other lists that have captivated my
> attention but none have compared.  
> This thread caused an utter frustration.
What for?  What is it about a group of people who are more shut of 
religion saying what they think of it that bothers you so much?  You 
grant religious folks room to believe and practice all manner of zany 
and even dangerous things and respect them doing so and don't go out 
your way to challenge them.  Yet a few things set by atheists here and 
you feel utter frustration and get upset?  Why? I think you may need to 
examine what is going on in you more deeply.

- samantha

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