Agnostic.com
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I'm an atheist and anti-theist -- not an agnostic -- who has never believed in religion, despite being brought up in a Catholic family. I consider myself a natural born atheist. I reject mysticism, supernaturalism and magic-based thinking of all kinds. I dislike religion intensely -- the phony history, the appalling theology, and the repugnant practice of religion. I pull no punches with anyone about that. I identify with and support modern atheist activists, like Richard Dawkins and others, who take the fight to religion, call it out, and challenge it openly. I think this is the way 21st Century atheism should go. I also care no more for so-called ‘New Age’ religions than I do traditional mainstream religions. So, that kind of rubbish will get you nowhere with me

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And MANY more!
David1955 comments on Sep 8, 2018:
Great guy. If more politicians were like Bernie we might get somewhere. Reactionaries look down on idealism and passionate belief in ideals. They couldn't be more wrong. Look at Bernie.
What is your favorite place you've ever lived?
David1955 comments on Sep 8, 2018:
Chiang Mai, Thailand. I wish I was still there. Even when I return for visits it still feels like where my spirit wants to be. Hard to explain that, but is true.
Is it acceptable in this site to call your political opponents "mentally deranged"?
David1955 comments on Sep 8, 2018:
A comment like that tells me what kind of person this is, and that I would not engage with but avoid. It's not what I would want to see on this site.
We have to get religious people out of politics I think. They are the most dangerous inhumane group ...
David1955 comments on Sep 4, 2018:
You can't get religious people out of politics. Do we ban anyone who is religious? That would be discrimination. And what does religious mean anyway? What if their religion is about worshipping the universe or some such new age thing. So, we need to clearly separate state and religion, have political structures and parties that are based on philosophies and ideas, not religion, and neutralise religious influence so it remains a person's private belief that should not cross over to their politics. Not easy things to do. We need to get religion and its influence out of politics.
When to switch primarily identifying as an Agnostic to Atheist?
David1955 comments on Sep 3, 2018:
Remember that the difference between a theist, an atheist, and an agnostic is really over one God. The one God theists chose to believe in rejecting all the others. The one God agnostics choose to be agnostic over, the one they grew up with, while being functionally atheist about all the others they neither know nor care about. And finally the atheist who rejects all Gods as there is no evidence, including the one God theists choose to believe and the one God agnostics choose to be agnostic over. See, really just one God separating them. So, go the little extra step and reject that one last God and be an atheist. Your position will then be totally *consistent*.
Do you make the distinction between being skeptical vs. cynical?
David1955 comments on Sep 2, 2018:
Good question. I don't see a problem with either word. We should be skeptical of claims not based on proof, and we should be cynical about people who make such and similar claims and whose motivations we should distrust.
Just keeping optimistic.
David1955 comments on Sep 1, 2018:
Really, that's all it takes. A meaningless cliche and you feel better? Reality check - My eyes are worse. I can't run as well as I used to. Sleep is interrupted at best. Certain physiological reactions are not at spontaneous or sustained as they used to be (and I'll leave it at that). As the Beatles wrote, "you and I have memories longer than the road that stretches far ahead" But I'm getting better with age, apparently. What am I missing?
Winter is Over! Long live the spring. Yayyyyyyyyyyyy
David1955 comments on Sep 1, 2018:
Too bloody right! Another winter I've managed not to off myself due to winter blues. Getting harder every year though.
Of those who have read (or watched on YouTube) Richard Carrier's & Robert Prices' research into the ...
David1955 comments on Aug 31, 2018:
I've watched these and other debates with others like Bart Urhmann often, and read widely. I don't like your options, but I can say that I broadly fall into the mythicist camp on a historical Jesus question, while recognising that this is still a matter or research and investigation and debate. Price said in one debate that one authenticated contemporaneous primary source document or similar referring to the events about this person they call Jesus would settle the matter of historical existence. Just one document. There's not even one. Urhmann has agreed. A supposed huge historical figure, and not one primary source document, or artefact, or historical site. So, the debate continues. And this is just about if an actual person at the centre of the Jesus story existed. As for the Christ myth, well that's just beloney, based on faith, with means supernatural belief, and should be denounced as that.
IPhone or Android? Why?
David1955 comments on Aug 29, 2018:
I'm a mac guy and have been since the 80s. But I have Android. Reasons are: *iPhone is overpriced, lousy battery, behind in tech, and the phone calls aren't great. *IOS is a locked box, unless you do fancy tech stuff, and I do a lot of stuff with my Android that it's either difficult, limited, or impossible to do with IOS. Chromecast is one example. *iPhone users are like a religion. It's a cult. I don't like cults. They seemingly will pay any exorbitant price for Apple's gift from heaven. Apple has become a one trick pony since that damned iPhone came along. That's how they make their billions from this cult object. All its other products are an afterthought now. I loathe that. Well, they'd better hope people don't get sick of their one trick, that's all I can say.
Do people take "Here for community" seriously? Do people even look in profiles to see what the ...
David1955 comments on Aug 28, 2018:
I've always had the view that 'here for community' just means not actively looking for "love" or whatever, but that doesn't exclude making friends or connections with others. I think it would be mistake to assume that here for community-ers are secretly looking for a relationship or some affair of some kind. If they are looking for that why not just say so. As a here for community-er, if I were really looking for that I wouldn't conceal it.
These past few days have reminded me of the film "All the President's Men" when "Deep Throat" told ...
David1955 comments on Aug 26, 2018:
Start with "All the President's Men" and then add "The Godfather" and then a good dash of "The Manchurian Candidate" and you pretty much have the Trump Presidency.
The true costs of the War in Afghanistan
David1955 comments on Aug 24, 2018:
Let's give Osama Bin Laden his due. He was the most brilliant terrorist ever to attack the US. He baited the US to become involved in a protracted unwinable war in Afghanistan, like the Russians before them, and the English before them, and they fell for it, squandering their treasure and reputation, just as OBL wanted. The definition of madness is to repeat the same thing over and over and expect a different result. As long as the US continues to fool itself that the war there is about terrorism -- which is hasn't been since OBLs boys fled soon after the US arrived -- and acknowledge that it is a war of nationalism against a divided country, then the madness will continue. You would think Vietnam would have taught them this lesson. The US Establishment, which thinks it knows everything, seems to know nothing, including how to learn from the mistakes of history. I just feel terribly sorry for the innocents killed, and the US personnel killed or maimed, sacrificed on this altar of American obstinance.
This is why democratic socialism is on the rise
David1955 comments on Aug 24, 2018:
There aren't any and have never been any Marxist regimes. He means Communism which is a different thing which exploited Marxist philosophy but had little to do with it. Typical right wing conflation of democratic socialism and communism to use that bogey man to frighten those who don know better. Yes, progressive socio-economic ideas on the rise, due to failure of right wing economics foisted on us especially in a putrid form since the 1980s. Expect a huge reactionary fight by the forces of right wing hard line conservatism. We are seeing it in Australia now. They would rather destroy and change and improve.
Kellyanne Conway makes Joseph Geobbels look like an amateur. She's shameless.
David1955 comments on Aug 24, 2018:
That girl is less convincing that Baghdad Bob, that poor Iraqi Govt sap who stood in front of the cameras saying the Iraqis were vanquishing the Americans while US tanks poured into the city behind him. These Trump spin doctors don't seem to realise that the spin has to be at least plausibly possible to be effective. Pathetic.
So we have a new Prime Minister. He has only been in parliament for eleven years. Right-wing and ...
David1955 comments on Aug 24, 2018:
And a Hillsong evangelical moralising spineless ass kisser, spineless unless torturing refugees and welfare recipients, always the soft targets. I'll tell you the truth. I spent the better part of a decade living and working in Thailand. Despite frustrations I was never happier. I'd be back there now, but my circumstances won't allow it. Should I win the lottery, you'll be reading my posts from there, very f-ing quickly. Part of my pleasure there was that it was not Australia, not our smug, self-satisfied, thinly disguised white supremacist culture. Somehow I manage to actually live here, but I'm not really here at all, at least in a sense of consciousness. Everything I do is abroad. The TV I watch, the income I earn, the interests I have. I manage to block out Australia to an extent that even amazes me. And then we have this shit today with the so-called Liberal Party and the right wing Christian loonies behind it, and the right wing loonies in the media behind them, and I'm dragged back to the brainlessness that is modern Australia. They'll probably win the next election. Even if they don't, we'll have right wing Bill Shorten and his right wing so-called Labor Government. How exciting. My lottery win can't come soon enough.
I came across this yesterday on Facebook and I found it interesting in light of the legal problems ...
David1955 comments on Aug 22, 2018:
I would simply state the old saying that an animal is never more dangerous than when cornered. Trump is becoming a dangerous cornered animal with each passing day. Once he is finally discredited and removed I think his martyrdom will not last long, even amongst his core rump people. He will be a "loser" and they will walk away, like when Nixon left in 1974. But until then the danger he poses in office everyday cannot be underestimated. He capacity to deflect and divert attention away is beyond doubt, no matter the cost. His allegiance to Russia is also beyond doubt and very probably more insidious than we know. We still don't know what he and Putin agreed on and discussed. He is a clear and present danger to the US and the western alliance, and his removal cannot come soon enough. As regards the Christian Right, they dropped Nixon as soon as he was finished. Same with Trump.
COHEN CREDIBILITY...for those of you who are faced with allegations that Michael Cohen has no ...
David1955 comments on Aug 22, 2018:
The final act in the play about the unravelling of Agent Orange, the Siberian Candidate, the US Benedict Arnold of the modern era, has begun. It will not be pretty, but may it be righteous.
Are you a dog person or a cat person? (I'm a cat person)
David1955 comments on Aug 21, 2018:
Only cats. Truthfully, I don't like dogs. They are either big and nasty or small and stupid. Having been threatened by enough of them while jogging ( never threatened them) I am positively jaundiced about them. At family gatherings they all have these costly King Charles Cavalier terrier mungrels, which are as silly as wheels, and I give them the cold shoulder, and yet they try to suck up to me and want me to be their friend! Family members shake their heads. Can't understand it. I can. They are dumb. Only cats. Last one went to cat heaven a few years ago, sadly missed. Would like a black cat (what else?) but they are a tie, aren't they. Miss not having one though.
For Americans, this is our president. For non Americans, this is what we are dealing with. For ...
David1955 comments on Aug 21, 2018:
I'm still keeping hope alive that Frank Sinatra will turn up and take Trump out, one way or another, and we will all cheer.
Why do people believe in reincarnation?
David1955 comments on Aug 20, 2018:
Reincarnation, another unproven belief, is where philosophy and religion and quasi-science kind of meet. You can be officially not-religious and belief in reincarnation, and throw around words like 'energy' and 'consciousness' and it sounds kind of cool, but it is no more proven than heaven or the afterlife. Some people who are too big for 'ordinary' religions but still want to believe there is 'something' after death, tend to gravitate to this kind of thing. One of my first experiences when I first went to Thailand decades ago, was when I asked a Thai Buddhist woman why they didn't care about the poor wretches you see on the streets, she said that they had bad karma and that was how reincarnation worked. I've never thought well of such concepts since.
Hi all, Is there anyone here that is a member of the A.F.A. ?
David1955 comments on Aug 20, 2018:
I feel like this is something I should be aligned with, but have not had the motivation to do so.
When will we see an Atheist US president? I wonder at the silliness that gets bandied around ...
David1955 comments on Aug 16, 2018:
You've already got one. Agent Orange, AKA Donald Trump. The only god he worships is himself.
I am 64. Would enjoy chatting with folks who remember the world before the Internet, cell phones, ...
David1955 comments on Aug 15, 2018:
I also remember a world before the fundamentalists took over. Religious fundamentalists, economic fundamentalists, right wing fundamentalists, and the rest. Still fighting the culture wars they believed they lost in the 1960s. The technology I like; the reactionaries I do not. But there it is.
I find that most people who classify themselves as agnostics or atheists still have issues with ...
David1955 comments on Aug 15, 2018:
Curious that you say agnostics/atheists *still* have issues with Christianity, to me suggesting it is surprising in some way. Many of us have a great many issues with all religions, and particularly the Abrahamic monotheistic religions as they are appalling. No serious minded non-religious person bases their life on a negative. He or she states the negative that is religion, but looks to the positives in reason and evidence based thinking, and for many of us, also progressive social and economic thinking. Reason is a methodology, but the goal should be fair and just societies. Religion is, and always has been, a blockage to achieving that goal.
There are a number of cosmology enthusiasts on Agnostic.com, some of whom enjoy speculating about ...
David1955 comments on Aug 12, 2018:
Duly noted and will follow up. Agree with your last comments. The line between science and science- fiction is an important one to observe. A lot of universe fantasy feeds the brain with feel good chemicals in the same way as religion.
Was becoming atheist difficult?
David1955 comments on Aug 11, 2018:
Naah.. Learnt to speak and my words allegedly were, "I don't believe in all this God crap." Big disappointment to my family, fortunately. Some of us are just born not believing in all this God crap and that's just how it is. I truly feel sorry for people who have a weakness or predisposition towards religion. Who needs that monkey on your back? Life's hard enough as it is without religion's layer of nonsense and guilt wrapped around you.
Star Trek fans, here are all the Star Trek Captain's. Which one is your favorite?
David1955 comments on Aug 10, 2018:
I always say this. The TOS ST succeeded because Shatner bounded into that role, from his first scene, absolutely the captain, and he made you believe that he commanded this ship exploring the galaxy. Other characters were great, but he was the glue that held that illusion together. The pilot episode captain, Jeffrey Hunter, fine actor, but couldn't do it. Shatner grasped that role, and had he not, the series might have fizzled out quickly. The rest of the ST mythology might never have happened. Others will disagree, but in my humble opinion Shatner's Kirk deserves the credit and gets the prize.
I am 100% against circumcision it's a form of religious child abuse no different to FGM. This needs ...
David1955 comments on Aug 8, 2018:
Quite agree. Cutting baby boys for some weird religious-cultural ritual in the 21st century is absurd. As for the female equivalent, well there's no reason even to debate it, cultural tolerance be damned.
I'm sure this will bring the people I'm talking about out of the woodwork but I have to say that I'm...
David1955 comments on Aug 7, 2018:
I do think it pays to have a bit of a thick skin here sometimes, and not take things too personally. Of course there may be extreme cases. Take the rough with the smooth here, is my motto. Damned if I can find a community of broadly like-minded 'souls' in the so-called real world. If people get a bit snarky sometimes, assume they're having a bad day. I have 'em myself.
Fellow agnostics, how do you feel about believers joining?
David1955 comments on Aug 4, 2018:
I'm on record several times here saying that I don't think this is a site for believers, but I respect the site policy. I do think there is a difference between believers who perhaps wish to engage here intelligently, and preaching types intent on saving souls and so on. The latter are not welcomed. I don't think there are many like that here, thankfully. The other problem is definitional. What is a believer? Are Buddhists, new age spiritual types, secular religionists, non supernatural religionists, and others like that by definition believers? Is it just abrahamic religionists we call believers? When I joined I thought the demarcation was clear. But now it is murkier.
There is no agnostic vs. atheist! The peeve I have...
David1955 comments on Aug 4, 2018:
We've been down this road before, and often, so I'm not going to say much. But do notice how often people say God, singular, especially the agnostic position that there is no way to know if there's a god or not. Always or very often the singular. Agnostics are indeed welcome to hold the agnostic position. I merely humbly ask that they say that they are equally agnostic about *all* gods, ancient and modern, and always use the plural, and really mean that they are as agnostic about the God Apollo, for example, as they are about the Christian God. Like Bertrand Russell, I don't think they are, in practise. I certainly could never say that and truly mean it. Now, as an atheist, I'm happy to shout from the rooftops that I am equally atheist about all gods, every one of them. Indeed, I say so regularly.
Now level 7 yea! Actually don't care, but I am the guy that wears atheist t shirts whenever I go to ...
David1955 comments on Aug 4, 2018:
David, atheist David to atheist David, when you finally get that friggen T-shirt, which you so little want, I hereby demand to see a pic of you wearing it! Not too much to ask. When I get mine I will do the same, though I warn you by then we will have colonized the solar system, so don't hold your breath. :-)
Only Two-Thirds Of American Millennials Believe The Earth Is Round
David1955 comments on Aug 4, 2018:
"Religious beliefs appear to be correlated with one's likelihood to subscribe to a flat Earth. YouGov found that 52 percent of flat earthers consider themselves "very religious." Now that's a key finding, don't you think?
Only Two-Thirds Of American Millennials Believe The Earth Is Round
David1955 comments on Aug 3, 2018:
That is truly concerning. As an educationalist I have long thought that education these days is too much about "training" people with "vocational skills" for that job and career, and not enough on critical thinking, knowledge and learning skills. It may explain why there are so many who are "qualified" but ignorant as sin, in my view. Education shouldn't be about creating the qualified gullible and ignorant. Education has been sacrificed on the alter of the exigencies of capitalism over recent decades, sadly, in my view.
Recent update for ios app seems to have broken the ability to edit comments. It opens the new ...
David1955 comments on Aug 3, 2018:
I still have my Samsung Note 3 running the latest version of android it can take, and I keep updating the Agnostic App, and still it won't connect with my google account. Who says I'm not a person of faith? I'm keeping up the prayers. :-)
My lack of belief in a Supreme Being has resulted in there being a whole lot of gods I don't believe...
David1955 comments on Aug 2, 2018:
Well, I'm just content to say I'm an atheist about every and all imagined Gods, and leave it there. I'm a simple soul I guess. At least your agnosticism embraces a recognition that agnostics need to be agnostic about all gods, and not just the one they grew up with, though in truth, as Bertrand Russell noted, many agnostics are agnostic about their own cultural God but functionally atheist about all the others they neither know nor care about.
What is your absolute favorite TV show of all time?
David1955 comments on Aug 2, 2018:
You have to identify genres. Comedy - Frazier Sci Fi - Star Trek TOS 66-69 Mystery - Twilight Zone Adventure - Game of Thrones Spy - Man from Uncle Drama - Brideshead Revisted.
This poll is inspired by this article: The venomous ideology of religious intolerance ...
David1955 comments on Aug 1, 2018:
I admit to being intolerant towards religion, though tolerant of people's right to believe in any nonsense they wish, providing it doesn't become hateful or legally actionable. I am also intolerant of - - racists, bigots and white supremacists. - right wing fanatics who pursue an oligarchic world. - people who work for dictators and their ilk, openly or covertly. (Hello Donald). - reactionary conservatives who seek to thwart social progress.. - fascists, nazis, and similar groups. And I could go on. Point? Intolerance is not by definition a bad thing. It depends what you are intolerant of. I am happy to be a person intolerant of religion in this world. I seek a world free of religion. In the past, and still now, people were intolerant of slavery. They sought a world free of it.
New Atheism, Worse Than You Think
David1955 comments on Aug 1, 2018:
Another attack in the long line of ongoing attacks against atheism. Almost every day I come across another article or some book denouncing atheism, especially their new bogeyman "new atheism". I'm not even going to bother to comment in detail. I'm bored doing it. All I can say I say is, so-called new Atheism and its activists must be working, otherwise this ongoing assault from the Right and religious apologists, both over and covert, wouldn't continue. What really counts is the growth in non religious people in census data for western countries, and the ongoing secularisation of the west, despite religious attempts to thwart it. That's the real and big issue here -- these trends away from religion that scares the religious greatly -- and the "new atheist" bogeymen (intended to be gender neutral here) are the perfect recipients for their sublimated anger.
LOYALTY SIGNALING IN POLITICS My impression is that our political behavior is driven largely by ...
David1955 comments on Aug 1, 2018:
I think what you have said used to be more true in the past than now. Political identification is fracturing, and it is a global phenomenon. Political systems are in more turmoil because of it. Whether you think this is good or bad depends on where you stand on traditional political structures. The indisputable fact is that politics has become more volatile and less predictable.
Jeff Sessions announces new religious liberty task force to combat “dangerous” secularism - Vox
David1955 comments on Aug 1, 2018:
Saw this. Appalling. I do believe that the fight against religion is a struggle that we need to be 100% commited to, no accomodations, excuses, polite courtesies, or obligatory phoney respect. They will take any opportunity to entrench their dangerous memes and to hold back progress. Their beliefs are in the past, and so is their social thinking.
"The modern age has witnessed the rise of a number of new natural-law religions, such as liberalism,...
David1955 comments on Jul 31, 2018:
Sounds like a dangerous form of false equivalence to me, full of assumptions, like liberalism (the philosophy) is a "creed". Also religions are based on a *supernatural power*, not superhuman order. It's the kind of quote that seeks to sound clever but isn't. It's true that some political movements take on a kind of distorted secular religion, like Trumpism, but that comes from faith based belief, like religions, and a rejection of evidence based thinking.
People don't need RELIGION, religion needs people. Religion doesn't make people better rather, ...
David1955 comments on Jul 30, 2018:
Totally agree. Religions and churches are religious business models. They sell a service and a product like any business. The product is feel good nonsense. Businesses need customers. Religions need people, like you said. They need customers to turn up, give them money, and have repeat customers. When businesses stop getting enough customers, they go out of business. Same with religions. History is full of dead religions; they ran out of customers. Businesses give money to worthy causes. It might do good, but it's about encouraging people to think well about the business. Same with religions. It's about image, an image to promote the product, which is feel good nonsense. The individuals involved might be good people, but the bigger purpose is to promote the religious business and its product. If more people started to think about religions and churches in the same way as they think about businesses and corporations, they might see the bigger picture and reality of it.
If you have depression, did atheism contribute to it?
David1955 comments on Jul 29, 2018:
Religions make me depressed. Antiquated social and economic and political theory depresses me. The continuing scourge of racism, overt and otherwise, depresses me. The inexcusable greed of some elites depresses me. The inevitable elevation of scum to the highest levels of business and politics depresses me. The continuation of nonsense from the Bronze Age and people's belief in it depresses me. All these things and more make me depressed. But my atheism? No.
Why can't you go faster than light? - YouTube
David1955 comments on Jul 29, 2018:
I just wish scientists would say, we can't go faster than the speed of light, *from what we know now* and from what we can speculate at the present time. As science expands, who knows what we might discover. I also humbly suggest that the speed of light isn't the real question. To me the question is: might it ever be possible to travel the universe? Speed of light is a means to an end, not the end itself. Who knows, there might be wormholes and other things that might exist. Very likely the dream of travelling to the stars will never happen. We'll probably destroy ourselves or our planet in any case before getting that advanced. But maybe some species out there in the cosmos have done it, and the speed of light didn't stop them.
Who gets your vote for the best TV father?
David1955 comments on Jul 28, 2018:
Herman Munster, The Munsters, 1960s. :-)
Have you ever seen a movie that you wished you never seen?
David1955 comments on Jul 28, 2018:
The last Blade Runner movie. Unnecessary. Sometimes Follywood should just leave perfection the hell alone. Had Follywood been around in Shakespeare's time they'd have said, "OK Will, we want you to do a sequel for us. We'll call it 'Hamlet Rides Again'. It'll be a smash!" Changing your question slightly, I can say which movie I wish I *would never see*, and it's Tarantino's forthcoming bad idea movie about 1969', Manson and Sharon Tate. Bad idea Ripley. My instincts for bad movies are usually pretty good, and this movie already stinks, and they're still making it.
When I downloaded this app about a couple of weeks ago I definitely categorized myself as agnostic ...
David1955 comments on Jul 28, 2018:
Interesting. Which arguments or discussion points influenced you the most on this issue? I find that people don't usually articulate why they change on positions like this.
It is amazing how many folks on agnostic.com are locked in to some form of belief in ...
David1955 comments on Jul 28, 2018:
Just to add that I do take some comfort, for want of a better word, knowing that the matter that has comprised me over my life will eventually be recycled and reformed into other combinations, just as it once formed the inside of stars and has been recycled over and over. I know that sounds a bit lame, but it's the truth of the physics of it, as I understand it, and I think it's the best we can expect. Of course, the human desire for afterlife is rooted in the idea that our consciousness will go on, but that's an illusion, and as an atheist I am 100% over it.
It is amazing how many folks on agnostic.com are locked in to some form of belief in ...
David1955 comments on Jul 27, 2018:
You are right, but you can exclude this atheist from this delusion.
Let’s talk about economic justice! I know where I stand in this theme. How many of you feel that ...
David1955 comments on Jul 27, 2018:
I have always been a democratic socialist, even when surrounded in my youth by idealistic but naive Marxist-Leninists and others like that. I still believe that a mixed economy of private enterprise balanced with a well run public sector, with a balance of taxation, public services, and social equity measures, and regulation, works to achieve a balance between private and public interests. It's not perfect. It needs review, refinement, revision and change. But looking at the disasters of communism on the one hand, and the rancid form of weaponized, crony, oligarchic capitalism that has been pursued ruthlessly from the political Right since the 1980s, which indeed seeks to reduce most people to a debt ridden form of disguised slavery, I will take it every time. The tragedy is that corrupted political parties on the so-called Left are no longer able to extoll economic reform that they can convey to their populations. The triumph of the oligarchies and their apologists over the political debate, and over political processes, has been total. I fear only total economic collapse and mass mobilization against this new order will change it.
Trump administration is rewriting the official hisorical record in a very Orwellian way
David1955 comments on Jul 27, 2018:
Though we say Orwellian it is of course the way of undemocratic regimes and always has been. I remember as a young history student at university in the 1970s, listening to a visiting Soviet Union professor of history giving a lecture. When asked about his country's history he explained that there was at any one time an official history which was recognized and taught. Just one official history. When challenged he said that when that official history needed to be changed, it was changed. This, he added, made it clear for everyone. Wonderful. Russia hasn't changed, and sadly President Chump in the US would have this too. Look at authoritarian countries around the world and they always control the media and official history.
Expats and former expats usually prefer to date people who have lived abroad. If you have lived ...
David1955 comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Absolutely. You know I lived in Thailand for years. Even returning for visits I look for expats. The mindset is permanent. I don't think non expats could ever really understand this.
How convinced are you?
David1955 comments on Jul 26, 2018:
How convinced am I that one of the thousands of gods that millions and billions of people believed in, in the past, and do believe in now, might be true while all the other gods are wrong? Not at all.
Why are there so many people who are lonely? Why is it so hard for people to make real connections ...
David1955 comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Yes, it's very evident, including on this site. It's the paradox of the modern world: the more connected we become, the more isolated we start to feel. As capitalism had reduced people more and more to economic units in a dehumanised society, the more alienation people feel. I read Karl Marx on this 40 years ago, but believe it now more than ever.
Husband is Catholic I am me. We are going to pick up his new Harley tomorrow. I will be riding my ...
David1955 comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Those candlelight dinners over a good bottle of wine must be truly interesting. :-) Good luck to you. They say opposites attract. I guess it's true. No advice on the bike; I'm sure you use your best judgement. Having ridden a bike myself, and in Thailand, no less, one of the most dangerous places to ride, any protection, divine or otherwise, real or imagined, can't hurt. :-)
If you could bring back one atheist who and why me bertrand russell such a nice guy no malice in ...
David1955 comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Carl Sagan, technically an agnostic, but certainly a person who rejected mainstream religion. The reasons why are obvious; a great great man. I agree with you about Bertrand Russell, a great mind and great man.
That was then. This is now. The Law of Unintended Consequences.
David1955 comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Big subject, interesting post. As a student of history I'm also aware of the folly of thinking that past solutions can be applied simply. History doesn't repeat itself but cycles do apply. Your post seems to relate to the current crises in capitalism, specifically US capitalism. We are now in a period where neo-liberal conservative economics have been discredited, or at the very least have been shown to be simplistic - deregulation, so-called free markets, small government and the rest -- though conservatives cling to this secular economics religion. If you are suggesting that Keynesian pump-priming economics can no longer be applied as solutions as in the past, you are right, and I don't think Mr. Sanders simplistically believes that as well. Capitalism has evolved, and also moved geographically with the emergence of developing countries. Still, some broad principles apply: the consensus in economics in the post WW2 period of a mixed economy of public and private interest, government role in protecting the public interest, a real safety net against poverty, and *fair taxation* including on those who can afford to pay it, has been lost, actually attacked and ruthlessly so from the right of politics, a direct assault on the equality gains in the period 1950s - 1970s. Politicians like Sanders are not suggesting that they have all the answers, but practical measures, like public protection regulation, infrastructure investment, social and economic safety net, democratizing of political processes and alike, are a good start. The challenge to the left, not only in the US but also in other western countries like mine, is to translate these issues into a credible political platform. Problem is, left of centre political parties since the 1980s have been hopelessly corrupted by neo-liberal economics and seem unable to transcend them.
I think it's funny when me, the atheist, defends the Pope to people of his own religion. I'm finding...
David1955 comments on Jul 23, 2018:
I advise that you not be fooled by this Pope and his trickery. He is not reforming anything. His public utterances about gay people or atheists etc are carefully worded to mean nothing. They have no legitimacy as church policy, and he knows it. Moreover his apparatchiks walk back what he almost doesn't say when the mainstream media aren't looking. His so-called struggle against the traditionalists in the church is pure papal spin; he is 'playing' the kitchen Catholics and so-called liberal Catholics who are desperate for any excuse to stay in this church, more for reasons of ritual and identity than serious belief. Dig deeper into the church and you will find oppression of those to seek to seriously reform this church, at ground level. No committed atheist should want to defend this pope and church.
A few questions for Atheists out there.
David1955 comments on Jul 22, 2018:
Born a nonbeliever. Have a family of kitchen Catholics. Told them, they don't approve and I couldn't care less. What's it like? Liberating.
Et Tu Bernie? [ghionjournal.com]
David1955 comments on Jul 21, 2018:
Yes, Mr Sanders needs to stay focused on the big picture. The progressive forces that want to reform the Democratic Party to the left, or create a movement transcending the DP have been saying not to be sidelined by the Russia story. It's true that countries do this stuff, the US as much as anyone. Having said that, Trump is a traitor, he is looking to promote Russian interests, to destroy NATO, inpair US governance, to weaken the US and support world dictators, and he must be exposed, removed, charged and not pardoned, and the Republican Party shamed for their acquiescence. Do that and pursue the bigger progressive political campaign as well. Unfortunately your Democratic Party is hopelessly corrupt, due to the likes of the Clintons and their ilk.
If many Christians believe in transubstantiation, (wine & cracker transform into body & blood of ...
David1955 comments on Jul 21, 2018:
Well, let's face it, ya'll, if you can believe that God turned up in the Bronze Age, impregnated himself into woman, got himself born, was illiterate, worked as a labourer, performed miracles, was happy to be tortured and then killed, and then came back from the dead, then, quite frankly, you'll have no problem believing he's happy to be eaten and drunk by those who consider him as their saviour. Simple really.
Forty-nine years ago today (July 20) marks the first manned landing on the Moon. Neil Armstrong ...
David1955 comments on Jul 20, 2018:
I was 14, so no celebratory sex, but I remember like it was yesterday. Here in Australia it was July 21st and Monday and during the day. It's wasn't a holiday, but what kid was going to school while dudes walked on the moon? I thought the world was going to be like 2001 A Space Oddessy, instead the world has turned into the shit-fest we live in. And just two weeks later Manson and his cult of morons went a-slaughtering, a portent of the real future ahead of us, as I look back. But, I've never forgotten the thrill of that day, and what we as a species can do when we follow our better natures and science. Of course, what they might have discovered on the moon over Apollos 11 to 17, and never told us, well that's something else again. Sadly, back then as a kid, I thought NASA was the most amazing organization in the world. These days it's Never A Straight Answer NASA and I barely believe a word they say about anything. Loss of youthful idealism indeed.
What is happening to our Community? I hope this doesn't turn into a rant... I just want to express ...
David1955 comments on Jul 20, 2018:
I think your comments are interesting and I'm going to reflect on them and about how the site is evolving. But for now, I'm going to say two things which might not be popular: I don't think the groups function has been a great success, with the best of intentions. I think they have fractured the community. I remember back in 2017 when it was just one communal discussion place. I know that omelette can't be unscrambled now, but it's how I feel. The blocking function, which I think was meant as a last resort, has become too much of a focus, when ignoring in most cases would suffice. Some thickening of skins around here wouldn't go astray. Also, it feels less like a truly global non religious community than it seemed back then. These are some initial impressions anyway.
Does anyone ever wish Aliens would come down and just shut up every theist. Like hey, fuckers! We ...
David1955 comments on Jul 18, 2018:
We want to avoid a pseudo alien-religion thinking, as Carl Sagan said, but the idea that aliens might arrive and raise our consciousness is a nice fantasy. However it seems to me that if aliens arrive they might - - kill us, eat us. (Thank you Rod Serling) - rule us. - convert us into a new species. - educate and inspire us to improve. Personally I think if they arrived we, or some of us, like reactionary conservatives and religionists, would turn against them when they challenged our stupid ideas, like religion. They probably are smart enough to know this and have wisely decided to steer clear. I don't expect them to arrive any time soon, even if they do exist.
How can we as a nation accuse Russia, China and numerous other countries of being an aggresser? We ...
David1955 comments on Jul 17, 2018:
If the world collapses into the calamity of universal false moral equivalence, as suggested here, then we are indeed truly screwed. And BTW, I live in a country which, had it not been for US support in WW2, would have been invaded by Japan. If we are going to criticize the US, let's look at both sides of the history ledger.
A GOP-Backed Law Would Punish States That Don’t Fund Anti-Gay Adoption Agencies – Friendly ...
David1955 comments on Jul 17, 2018:
I don't believe in Hell, but if there is one, I hope there is a special place in it for your Republican Party.
I know that some of you pioneer users miss the good ol’ heady days, the first months of ...
David1955 comments on Jul 17, 2018:
I'll never think of the humble cow in the same way again. Can I add Never Cow Tow to Donald Trump? (No, it's not funny. Skip it.) :-)
Every time I scroll through comment sections on this site, I feel joy. I don't think I've ever been ...
David1955 comments on Jul 17, 2018:
Yeah, it's kind of special, isn't it.
Trump Summit Betrays His Country For Russia In Plain Sight
David1955 comments on Jul 16, 2018:
As an Australian it's terrible to watch. As a patriotic American it must be beyond appalling for all of you.
James Comey on Twitter: "This was the day an American president stood on foreign soil next to a ...
David1955 comments on Jul 16, 2018:
Whatever one think about Mr Colmey and his political judgement, he's right. I wrote a post last week humourously predicting the asset trump and handler Putin meeting, and I think I was spot on.
Theists and believers
David1955 comments on Jul 16, 2018:
They can, wish they wouldn't, but that's just me. There's enough of 'em in the real world without having them here. Some think that exposure here might change them. Never going to happen.
Love Letters to Richard Dawkins I laugh every time I watch it. [youtu.be]
David1955 comments on Jul 16, 2018:
My favourite letter, don't know if it's this video or another, is from one nut case lady who writes in detail about how God and Jesus are going to get Dawkins and then signs it Daughter of a loving Christ. Lovely.
New study casts doubt on the existence of alien life in our galaxy. So... let's not ruin the planet ...
David1955 comments on Jul 16, 2018:
I read that they even doubt life anywhere in the universe other than earth. I mean really? We've been seriously studying the universe in species time for about 20 seconds and they speculate that we are probably alone. Okay fellas, keep up the good work. The rest of us might assume that any speculation at this point might be highly tentative at best, fancy algorithms not withstanding. Garbage in garbage out. I've got this funny thought that there might be aliens out there in spaceships studying us, reading the report and laughing their asses off (or whatever they have behind them). Perhaps they've got stand up comics back at their home planet doing whole routines based on us. I don't think this kind of stuff does much to enhance the reputation of science.
I was a real Republican. I don't recognize my party now, or what it stands for.
David1955 comments on Jul 16, 2018:
With all due respect to people who claim the Republican Party was somehow wonderful in the past but has lost its way under Trump and now they can't identify with it, might a reality check be in order. This was a party that * didn't help the progressive measures on racial tolerance or social welfare in the past, indeed they thwarted where possible. * was the party of Nixon, and only did the right thing when the writing was on the wall. * maintained an attack on Clinton, whatever his shortcomings, putting party before country, displaying the kind of phoney moral hypocrisy and utter ruthless disregard for the people collateral damage they caused. * rig electoral boundaries wherever possible in their favour, disenfranchising people with scant regard to the meaning of democracy. * used such dirty electoral tricks to bluster there way to the Bush Jr presidency, a biased Supreme Court they created doing their bidding. The Bush Jr presidency responsible for the 9/11 attacks which their incompetence did not prevent, not to mention the cluster-fucks (pardon my French) that STILL are Afghanistan and Iraq, and the almost total collapse of American capitalism in 2008 due to a major degree to republican 'economic' reform, and the colossal national debt which still ails the US. * has allowed the worst kind of rancid reactionary conservative moralistic anti-modernist Christian fundamentalism to infect the national debate in America. Just to name a few. This is party of the core ruling class of America. It cares for nothing but its class. Always has, always will. A party of pirates and crooks, devoid of true patriotism or political philosophy. Anyone who says that this party used to be a great party before.....etc is delusional and doesn't know about its history.
I am curious if anyone ever wonders how can this really smart person believe in God? I consider ...
David1955 comments on Jul 15, 2018:
Some of the smartest people I've ever met were religious, but as soon as I engaged them on religion they were less smart. So, I've come to believe that belief in religion doesn't come from the rational part of the brain but the emotional child-residue part. I'm sure it's complicated, but essentially that's what it is.
As I am trying let people know about community, I always get the question/comment of how theists ...
David1955 comments on Jul 15, 2018:
Not excluded, as long as they play nice, is the rule. Ok, admin rules apply. My personal view is that should the site descend into a mire of God botherers telling us how sinful we are and how God loves us and his zombie son died, or rather didn't, for our sins, then that would be the end of it. Fortunately I don't think that will happen. The other point in my view is that theists and pseudo theists don't add anything to the site, as far as I can see. In any debate they are outclassed and soon realise it.
Godless conservatives?
David1955 comments on Jul 13, 2018:
It beats me too. They never really explain the link between right wing thinking and a rejection of religion. Conservatism is inextricably linked to religion, and any fool can see that. On the other hand I can easily forge a link between rejection of religion, belief in science and reason, humanism, and progressive social and economic thinking. I don't have to deal with any cognitive dissonance to do that. Worse than that, modern conservatism has mutated into a form of reactionary anti modernism, with "faith" in strong leaders, so-called "free markets" (an illusion) and a rancid form of screw-you individualism. It still has more in common with religion than reason. The answer, as always, is human compartmentalising of beliefs in the brain. Anything can be reconciled with a total lack of serious thinking.
NASA X-Files
David1955 comments on Jul 13, 2018:
You can believe everything Never A Straight Answer tells you, all you have to be is totally gullible. It amazes me that NASA thinks anyone believes anything they say, but then I watch something NASAish on mainstream media, buying it hook, line and cover story, and I realise how it still works in mainstream land.
My gym update ! So I went online last night after coming on here complaining about the annoying ...
David1955 comments on Jul 13, 2018:
Ask them if you can play some Islamic music, or some Hindu chants or some Buddhist songs and when they react in horror ask them why exercisers should then have to listen to their damn Christian death cult tunes.
Do you consider Barack Obama a Super Hero? He was always Presidential and professional. He was ...
David1955 comments on Jul 12, 2018:
A decent man, but in the end a Chicago democrat who gave great speeches but couldn't follow up. As the late Gore Vidal said in 2007 about Obama, yes 2007, Chicago democrats always give great speeches but never stand for anything. He forsaw what we couldn't see then. Nothing will remain of his presidency ultimately other than the memory of lost opportunity to attempt real change, a failure that lead to Trump. Sorry to say.
What kind of Atheist are you?
David1955 comments on Jul 12, 2018:
I prefer atheist activist. Militant atheism was actually invented by theists to attack us. I'm defiantly an assertive atheist, anti theist, not agnostic, anti theist, anti religion, with no buts about it, with values drawn from humanism and progressive politics, economics and social justice.
A/Gnostic A/Theist. (Apologies if re-post)
David1955 comments on Jul 11, 2018:
I'm a simple soul, I'll just take atheist, thanks. :-<
How do you feel about religious music being played in a gym?
David1955 comments on Jul 11, 2018:
Ask for a refund and look for a new one.
"I cannot believe in God when there is no scientific evidence for the existence of a supreme being ...
David1955 comments on Jul 11, 2018:
I just hope Jodie doesn't run into some agnostics who will attempt to drown her with stuff like, "you have to prove a negative, you have to prove that there is no God or you are dogmatic" and "gods can't be proven or disproven so you have to be an agnostic" and "God might be everywhere and nowhere so science doesn't apply, so play safe and be agnostic" and "don't be an arrogant atheist but adopt the "nuanced" position of an agnostic.." and stuff like that. Hope she doesn't.
I'm tired of being punished, ostracised, or mistreated in one way or another because I don't buy ...
David1955 comments on Jul 11, 2018:
Always remember that they are on the wrong side of history, but you are not. Knowledge of that has always sustained me. I sometimes imagine myself walking around ancient Rome and saying "All these gods we have are bullshit, guys" and probably being stoned to death, but I'd be right wouldn't I. Who would stone me to death now for saying that? No one. Right side of history. I'll take it anytime.
‘For the first time since Reagan began stacking the court with originalists like the late justice ...
David1955 comments on Jul 11, 2018:
And in the US this is called an independent judicial system? I laugh when I hear about the "brilliant" legal minds that are placed on your Supreme Court. Apparently being a brilliant legal mind means making legal judgments based on personal politics and party leanings, and then finding arguments to justify the ruling. Doesn't sound that brilliant to me. Even to a non legally trained mind like mine I have this idea that legal judgments should be purely based on independent legal argument, not a person's religion or politics. Of course, the rest of the world does not see this crap going on in the US. No, not at all. Right.
The humbling of the atheists: How religion survived the progress of science "Not so long ago, ...
David1955 comments on Jul 10, 2018:
I saw this. Everyday I come across a new article in the mainstream media and elsewhere putting the boot into atheism. The recurrent themes are: Atheism is waning. The atheist activists, Dawkins et.al. are no longer relevant. Atheists are kicking the shit out each other these days. Atheism is hopelessly divided and dying. Atheism no longer knows what it wants. Atheism no longer knows what it stands for. Atheists eat more babies for breakfast than they ever have. Everyday some new article appears on my iPad magazine with some story about how atheism's time has come and gone. It's unrelenting, and so obvious from religious apologists and their sycophants. Have we got them that worried? I've thought about posting on this but I guess those of you who are genuine nonbelievers already know. I hope they keep it up. It means we are getting somewhere.
How many of you still use the phrases "Oh thank god" or "Dear lord" or something else that ...
David1955 comments on Jul 10, 2018:
Forgot to mention I've recently picked up James Colmey's "Oh Lordy!" Just like it.
Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians ...
David1955 comments on Jul 9, 2018:
I've always wondered, if we are meant to eat meat, why do we have to cook it first? Does your cat or dog need a steak cooked medium to well done? Nope.
How many of you still use the phrases "Oh thank god" or "Dear lord" or something else that ...
David1955 comments on Jul 9, 2018:
Not really, but I have picked up Luke Cage's "Sweet Christmas!"
"The American people are a welcoming and generous people. But those who enter our country illegally,...
David1955 comments on Jul 9, 2018:
Some comments have been made here about US intrusions into other countries and the damage caused by US foreign policy. I totally agree. With great respect to the people in America, there is indeed a need for some balance to this ledger. US invasions, interference in other countries and their politics, unimaginable deaths and injuries, propping up always right wing regimes, and on it goes, all carefully crafted by mainstream media and political parties to conform to the "we're the good guys" image. On the big scale of things you are the good guys, but you are betrayed by the ruling military industrial corporate class who rule over the people of America with the same distain that they show the rest of us. The American outrage over Russian meddling into its politics is hypocrisy writ large. You wrote the rule book, now used against you. Intrusions into your sovereignty and borders? The borders of other countries mean little to you when it suits you. Americans need to take Morpheus' pill and wake up and see the matrix being fed to you. You need a reality check more than a border wall.
Would you be interested in a PAID affiliate program for Agnostic.com? While we appreciate members ...
David1955 comments on Jul 8, 2018:
I truly confess I do not understand the economics of this site, and I say that with the greatest respect to the site administration and with appreciation of its existence, and would like a definitive explanation of how it operates, including this issue of advertising that is being discussed here. The site is well established now and many of us have shown our loyalty to it, so surely this is reasonable.
Did anyone else catch the news about the 8 Republicans that went to Russia for the 4th of July? No ...
David1955 comments on Jul 8, 2018:
Seems to be the treason season in the Republican Party these days. Do they still hang traitors in the US?
Star Trek vs. Star Wars I’m just curious to see which series people on here like better so I ...
David1955 comments on Jul 8, 2018:
ST for when I want to feel sanguine about our future, well at least the old ST. SW for when I want some escapism from our miserable present.
Revolution around the corner? With the groundswell of discontent increasing around the world about ...
David1955 comments on Jul 8, 2018:
I believe in the dialectic of history, the momentum of change and progression by conflict and resolution by negation of contradictions, producing new states which result in further contradictions and conflict and so on. We focus on the multitude of issues that surround us, but the bigger picture I believe is the decline of the west and western values, partly through the emergence of the next stage in the Industrial Resolution, which is both moving away from and transforming the west negatively, and also the pursuit in the west of anti-progressive politico-economic policies which are fostering inequality, internal conflict and internal decline. I suspect this broad momentum was probably inevitable due to the historical forces at work now in this century. I also think this will result in conflict, as in class and power conflict, revolutions possibly in one form or another, when consciousness evolves to that point. Add to this the inevitable impact that planetary damage will produce in the near future, climate change etc, and the middle and later stages of this century will, I suspect, be every bit as catastrophic as the science fiction writers have prophesied in the past. I for one give thanks for having spent my youth and younger days in the decades 60s-90s which I think will be written up as the high point decades of the west after the defeat of military fascism in the 1940s. Going forward I can only feel negative about the future of liberty and freedom in the world and the strengthening of fascism in the world. Just for the record, I do not think fascism was defeated in the past, just set back. It has just evolved into new and even more dangerous variants. We can no doubt expect religions to be of no help in the struggle against it, in fact quite the opposite as always.
Collective Identity of Non-theists
David1955 comments on Jul 7, 2018:
I think this kind of broad definition does apply to a large group, indeed the largest group within the non believer community including globally. Indeed these characteristics should apply to non believers, in my humble. But we are all aware that the herding cats analogy does apply, with many exceptions, including reactionary conservative non believers who care little for humanistic or social and equity issues, secular religionists who seem to believe in religion in a thinly disguised secular form, new age types who consider themselves non religious but peddle pseudo religious-science mumbo jumbo, and so on. Despite this the existence of a major and global and I think growing group, of which I am one, with the characteristics you have attributed is important to recognize and hopefully build on.
Jim Bakker: God Personally Told Me He Sent Donald Trump to Delay the End Times – Friendly Atheist
David1955 comments on Jul 6, 2018:
This is Jim Bakker the evangelist crook, right? Well, birds of a feather hypocrite together.
Hello everybody.
David1955 comments on Jul 5, 2018:
Welcome fellow Adelaidian. Good to have you.
Atheist, Humanist, Secularist, Skeptic, Freethinker
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