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A natural born non-believer and ANTI - THEIST thank you. Born in

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The Historicity of Jesus?
David1955 comments on Mar 22, 2018:
Yes this topic has come up before and I've said before that I have read and watched him and like his work a lot. He is attacked quite a lot and on two fronts; obviously by Christians, by more stridently, it seems to me, by non religious historicists who believe there was a historical preacher that grew into the Jesus story. Authors like Bart Erhmann fall into this category. They attack the mythicist movement, I suppose not surprisingly since they write books telling us about the 'real Jesus' and along comes a movement by writers like Carrier who say the premise of their work is arguably wrong. Carrier is often characterised as saying that there was no historical figure at the centre of the Jesus story, but in fact what he says is there may be, but the evidence is so slight that in his opinion there wasn't. As a student of history I like the fact that Carrier applies the strictest historical method to his work, he places the Jesus story so well within the prophecy, history, theology and mythology of the period from which it derives, and in debate he does a great job of neutralising phoney Christian claims, allegations, false history, and assumptions. He's also funny and entertaining, which is important if you want to teach history to general audiences, holding their interest.
The thing that bothers me about christianity is that most of it is centered around the afterlife. ...
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
I agree with you, but this is true of all religions, including Buddhism which goes on about reincarnation and reaching nirvana. They're all the same: pay now, die later and reach heaven, or equivalent. In so doing they distract us from being the best we could be here, and I mean as a species.
I have finally watched Black Panther, I have failed to see the hype it received, the whole movie to ...
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
I've long since ceased to understand why some movies are huge, since clearly they are not that good. Like the Wonder Woman movie last that made billions. What a yawn movie! I haven't seen this yet. But superhero movies have worn their welcome out with me.
It might have been only in the UK but yesterday was Atheist Pride Day. As I look after my works ...
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
Great idea. We need a global atheist pride day, just like they have with other pride days now. Bet the mainstream media wouldn't cover it. The atheist rallies they had in Washington drew very large numbers, virtually ignored by media.
What is your favorite response when people say "god bless you", "have a blessed day", and/or "I will...
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
The only one I will clearly react to is "I will pray for you". It's patronising and condescending and I will tell them why. One reply of mine was, don't pray for me, I don't want or need it. Pray for all the people your religion has hurt, or better yet, don't pray, do something about it. I make my anti theist position quite clear. Too bad if they are offended. I'm well beyond that.
Any teachers out there?
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
On line English instructor, with adult business people. There is reference to it in employment group here. Taught history as well in the past. Only ever worked in adult education. Also worked in support fields of adult education, curriculum review, HR, policy and planning. A humble instructor these days.
So of all the captains in all the Star trek series... Which was the best and why?
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
Captain Kirk. Because he was bigger than life; he made you believe that the crew of the Enterprise would follow him anywhere, as great Captains do; because we believed the illusion of that ship and that mythology. Had ST TOS failed, Star Trek would have disappeared without trace. The other characters were very important and great, but he was the glue that made it work. Shatner should be recognized for this. The later Captains, all very good. But Kirk was the model. And the best Klingon captain was Christopher Lloyd, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock , as Kruge. Really great.
Today's atheists are bullies -- and they are doing their best to intimidate the rest of us into ...
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
Just to add to this, I just happened to catch a few minutes of Fox (alleged) News streamed live on Youtube recently (I don’t watch Fox, I was flipping through channels) and it was a discussion about how Christians are being victimized and attacked and suppressed in the USA, and how terrible it all was, and the anchor and the guest fell over each other with tales about the suppressed Christians there and how they have to fight back etc. And I thought, if aliens were watching this in their spaceship in space, from this, they would have thought that there was this terrible country on Earth called USA where poor Christians were being persecuted and ostracized for their religion and it is just terrible. Pure Christian martyrdom and fantasy. White Christians form a large part of the US military industrial cooperate elite who run the country and have the power.
Describe your love life in one word.
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
Intermittent
What is the how and why of cognitive dissonance?
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
It seems to me that cognitive dissonance occurs when people suppress a very important part of a healthy functioning human brain: Doubt. From my observation of people, when the emotional part of the brain holds on to a belief, but the rational part raises doubt, and that doubt is suppressed, then a contradiction follows that cannot be resolved until the doubt is either reconciled or the belief modified. On the subject of religion, I have known people like this, and you can observe the discord when they justify their religions with arguments that even they know are inadequate.
Hi Everyone. I have just joined this group and I am not sure it is the right place for me. I seems...
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
Hopefully you don't believe in religion as well. That's one really good reason to be here. If only we could have some background Vivaldi playing, it would be perfect here. Yes, the site is more American in membership than other, but the diversity of membership is growing.
No longer an anti thiest I must admit when I first heard the phrase, and so eloquently argued by ...
David1955 comments on Mar 21, 2018:
So your point here is what exactly? Is it that we should more tolerant of religions and religious practices, and less critical of them, and not be anti theists? I respectfully disagree. Just because things got us through the past doesn't mean we shouldn't oppose them now if we believe they are wrong. If you feel you personally are less anti religion now than previously, well that's a personal position and I respect that. Personally, I believe we should be more strident in dealing with religions, anti theists if you like, and I hope more people will start to think this way, especially younger people who are the future. Past generations using imaginary gods and afterlives to cope with tough times doesn't dissuade from that view.
Today's atheists are bullies -- and they are doing their best to intimidate the rest of us into ...
David1955 comments on Mar 20, 2018:
I read this article online and thought about posting it as well. Glad you did. This writer is, to pardon my language, a complete dick, and this article is typical of the shrill nonsense that gets published today by the pro religion media about atheism. All it does is show the fear that religionists have about a growing nonreligious movement and trend in the western world. It reflects on them, not atheists.
I call myself agnostic for a few reasons. I'm scientifically minded and believe that we must ...
David1955 comments on Mar 20, 2018:
So, you mention ghosts and how they might be based on reality though haven't been proven to exist, suggesting an agnostic view on that. Well, what about leprechauns, dragons, fairies, visitors from other dimensions, aliens amongst us, and so on, that have neither been proven or disproven by science. For consistency, don't you have to be equally agnostic about these and anything else not definitively disproved by science, just as God or Gods haven't? And by the way, the great Bertrand Russell wrote highly regarded essays on atheism compared to agnosticism, was an atheist himself, and I don't think anyone would seriously suggest he didn't have 'a nuanced mind'.
I have noticed that theists seem to more readily accept "I'm a nonbeliever" than "I'm an atheist." ...
David1955 comments on Mar 20, 2018:
Yes, the word itself, to some, conjures up a kind of extremism, a sort of fundamentalism, not to mention negative personal attributes. Nonbeliever and even agnostic seems more neutral and acceptable to many, which is simply silly. But that's how it goes. And if an atheist is quite upfront, clear and assertive about their atheism, then it worries them even more. Part of the so called new atheist movement over the past decade has been to address that, and focus on an awareness that atheists are just like anybody else except we take a clear position on religion.
When did you become Atheist/Agnostic
David1955 comments on Mar 20, 2018:
Natural born nonbeliever. By my teens I had already starting reading about the facts of religion to co firm what I suspected.
Hypatia [m.ranker.com]
David1955 comments on Mar 19, 2018:
Hypatia is both an atheist martyr and feminist symbol and her story should be even better known than it is. A mythical Jesus died on the cross for our sins, whatever the hell that means, but a very real Hypatia (confirmed in multiple primary historical sources) died for Christian zealotry and ignorance, which they then foisted on the West for Millenia.
What kind of post do you like to see most on this site?
David1955 comments on Mar 19, 2018:
I confess I lean towards the subjects of atheism and how to promote it, and history, debates about the atheist movement, how to deal with religions, religious hypocrisy and themes like this, as well as science and technology. A lot of posts on personal, relationship, sex and so on really pass by me. I don't think I'm a good commentator on these subjects, so I generally don't, and I'm not into social media generally apart from this site. I'm quite surprised how some people share their personal problems here. I do like posts from clearly stated atheists and anti-theists. I like transparency in that sense. That's what I'd hope to find here. It occurred to me that if all posters were like me it would be a far more boring site. So, it's good that it has diversity.
Which do you prefer, books or ereading? Why?
David1955 comments on Mar 18, 2018:
I'm 99% ebook now. I'm collecting a very big library. I can read across several devices, carry as many books with me as I want, and even store on the cloud. I understand some people prefer books, but some arguments against ebooks are just silly. It's bad on your eyes! I've heard. Oh yeah, well turn the text size up. Anyway, you want hard to read, try those novels you buy with tiny text. Ruin your eyes. It doesn't feel real unless it's paper in my hand! Another claim. Oh come on. It's symbols going into your brain. How is irrelevant. I can imagine that back when they invented the printing press there were people going around and saying, 'No, unless it's a scroll, handwritten by monks in monasteries, it's just not the same!' Ooookayyy. Wow! I'm shocked by all you book huggers here. And I thought you were all progressive types. :-)
Do theists understand the historical context of their ancient texts?
David1955 comments on Mar 18, 2018:
The odd thing about this that because they are ancient theists are more likely to believe they are true. It's an inversion of logic that's difficult to get them to question. Sam Harris once in debate said to some theists that if they were given some story about a religious guru in India who, according to his followers, performs miracles and brings people from the dead (apparently they exist) then they, Christians, would scoff and dismiss it. A natural sense of skepticism applies. But read the same stories from ancient texts from thousands of years ago, then that can be believed. No sense of skepticism applies. It's the nature of religion to do this to human thinking, to corrupt it.
The Bible Says The World Is Going To End On June 24, 2018
David1955 comments on Mar 18, 2018:
Ah, the day before I have pay my monthly internet bill. That's convenient. If the world would obligingly end just a few days before I wouldn't have to pay my monthly mobile as well. Mustn't be greedy I suppose. :-) One of these days the world will end as predicted by some whackos, and we'll all think, 'Holy S--t, they were right!"
Just let you know that the iPhone/Android app now supports Facebook login (Google login coming next ...
David1955 comments on Mar 18, 2018:
Yes, my phone downloaded it automatically. Looking forward to the Google log on now in next upgrade. Thanks.
Sam Harris' Thoughts on the Controversy Surrounding Lawrence Krauss [youtube.com]
David1955 comments on Mar 18, 2018:
A fair assessment by Sam Harris of this situation, and the wider issues. Thanks for uploading.
Obey zombie Jesus
David1955 comments on Mar 18, 2018:
Jesus wasn't a zombie. He was a reconstituted ghost. In the Bronze Age there was a big difference. :-)
Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0 | TED Talks
David1955 comments on Mar 18, 2018:
I've heard this speech, and I've read him on this, and I still don't know what he really means. He's a typical philosopher: good luck pinning him down on anything. His gentler kinder atheism sounds a lot like 20th Century appeasement atheism to me, the kind I abandoned early in the 21century when monotheistic religions became rancid and weaponised, a testimony to the failure of 20th century nice guy atheism. De Botton seems sincere, if waffly, but I don't buy him. He's a soft-sell critic of what people call New Atheism, but I find him backward looking,
Pope Francis. Bad or Good?
David1955 comments on Mar 18, 2018:
Honestly, and I agree with many comments here, if you look below the surface of this Pope and this Church, it's the same old, same old, same old. Family planning, contraception, recognition of same sex attracted people, financial transparency, dealing with child abuse obviously, all of these and much more, the church's archaic polices continue.
With regards to some agnostics who defend the utility of religion; I don't quite understand. One ...
David1955 comments on Mar 16, 2018:
I think this is a very interesting question. It's not a simple matter, but I have come to think that sometimes a religious person will become an agnostic because they can't really believe their religion anymore, and yet they haven't fully outgrown it or let it go. This is sometimes evidenced by comments like "religion still does some good" or "the Catholic Church is changing" and what seems to me to be defensive views about, as you said, the utility of religion. As an atheist who see religions as nothing but a drag on the evolution of humanity I find this unacceptable. When a person is completely and honestly detached from religion, and there is no residue in their thinking and values from religion, it evaporates for them into the wrong side of history, where it belongs.
I am somewhere left of Marx and Leinien in my politics. That being said, I am happy to govern from ...
David1955 comments on Mar 15, 2018:
I'm not being pedantic, but I'm not sure what left of Marx and Lenin means. Could you explain that? My own thinking is much influenced by my early life studies of Marxism and other philosophies in socialism and related, and that continues to today. Lenin is not an influence on me. I'm a democratic socialist, if I have to choose a political philosophy position.
How many people have had the experience of having to deal with an AYA (Angry Young Atheist). The ...
David1955 comments on Mar 15, 2018:
More power to them. Angry young atheists is what we need for the future. You want polite atheism? Lots of that in the 20th century, when religion went from strength to strength, and became weaponised by Islam and Christianity particularly. Yeah, that really worked. Anyway, what you mean by angry is open to question. Dawkins and others get called angry too. Be forthright about your atheism and in some eyes you are 'angry'. And deferential politeness towards religion is definitely a waste.
Non-Religious Church?
David1955 comments on Mar 15, 2018:
The word 'Church' is a religious term. Can we please not use this term in relation to non religious communities. I understand the intent here and the idea behind it, people coming together with a common view. But I would never associate with a nonreligious group who called themselves a church. Not only that, it plays into the hands of religionists who attempt to call atheism a 'religion' as a way to suggest we are the same as them. This question has come up before, I think more than once, and I've said this before. Kind of repetitive.
Could a Star Trek future happen?
David1955 comments on Mar 13, 2018:
When I was a kid growing up with ST Original Series I thought so. Not exactly like ST, even as a kid I knew it was TV fiction. But something like it. I wouldn't live to see it, the 23rd century. (Kinda of pissed me off then that I wouldn't live to see it. ) But we were going to the moon and it seemed like the right path. But now, I know I'm not going to miss anything, except seeing our species sink into oblivion. So, no, Star Trek is wonderful fantasy, like King Arthur. But it's not going to happen. What's so damn annoying is we could make it happen. We lack nothing to achieve it except the will to rise above our antiquated economic systems, our foolish prejudices, and our attachment to mysticism, supernaturalism and magic based thinking. Sad.
Will Artificial Intelligence bring with it Artificial Idiocy? Will Artificial Intelligence ...
David1955 comments on Mar 13, 2018:
For those who don't know or may be interested Sam Harris gave what I thought was an excellent TED talk on this subject a year or two ago. (Easy to find it). It was alarming but thoughtful and provocative, imploring us to think about when AI is expected to reach and then exceed, and possibly proceed exponentially after that, within 50 years, I think he said. Seems a long time, but isn't, and may be sooner. The impact on society, employment, industry, and human activity is potentially beyond serious. There was a lot in this talk, but one big take away for me was when he said that when AI reaches that level, they/it may not hate us or want to do us harm out of malice, but simply find us in the way, a nuisance, like when we kill billions of bugs and insects, not out of personal hate, but because we've got things to do. Likewise, we'd be in AI's way, stopping them from becoming, so we've got to go. It kind of took the fantasy out of fighting killer robots etc like in Hollywood movies. So, Human IQ equivalent AI going exponential in the not too distant future might neither think of us as parents or fellow beings but a pest to be eliminated, just like we spray insects. Harris's point was we need seriously to think about this now, and we aren't. (Big surprise). It's like the atom bomb. 1945 after huge effort, just a couple of bombs. A few years later, there were so many they could destroy the world. I don't understand why this issue about AI isn't a huge topic of discussion. I guess 50 years seems like a long time. It's not. One optimistic hope: maybe we'll produce AI that's better than us. More ethical, honest, and not prone to utter greed and selfishness. Wouldn't that be ironic. We produce AI that wants to make us a better species, rather than want to kill us. Let's just hope AI doesn't believe in bloody religions. That's all we need.
Nowdays, with some much critisicm and disrespect against humanity...
David1955 comments on Mar 13, 2018:
Is that the Thomas Moore of Henry 8th period? I guess old Henry wasn't impressed by this quote, I mean the execution and everything. :-)
The religionists are getting scared. Want to fight back. Good. Bring it on. Unmasking Atheism as ...
David1955 comments on Mar 12, 2018:
Although this article is crap journalism of the worst kind, there's something reflected in it of the underlining fear that many religionists do feel as they sense this trend of secularism in the western world. I've read this kind of thing elsewhere, but this piece just perfectly expressed this hit religious nerve. I've always thought the struggle against religion is a momentum issue, pulling on the train and slowly the momentum builds.
The Ku Klux Klan is slowly rising again | New York Post
David1955 comments on Mar 12, 2018:
I suppose with that current nit wit in the Oval Office it's to be expected, unfortunately.
How reliable is the study of history?
David1955 comments on Mar 11, 2018:
It's important to remember that nothing human beings do is ever totally objective. Even in science, applying the most rigorous scientific method, there is bias, the fact of where, who, why and how it is done involves subjectivity. But scientific objectivity and evidence based outcomes is applied as well as possible, at least in good science. In history, a social science, it is the same, the application of the historical method, rigorous research based on all sources, primary and secondary, and understanding context, veracity and validity. In the modern age we do have the notion of separation of historical fact from mythology. People often forget that in ancient times this separation of myth from fact was often not understood. Early Christians, for example, had little or no notion of this, something Dr Richard Carrier, in his research on the historical Jesus has emphasised. It worries me that in this age of 'relative truths' and fake news, that we are beginning to lose this essential notion of separation of fact and fiction. History is always biased, because people are biased. But good history strives for accuracy, is open to reassessment and evaluation, but based on new evidence and thinking, not Orwellian political expediency. Modern history that looks back from the perspective of women or racial relations, with corrective thinking, is an example of this. In that sense good history is ultimately the final judge of human actions. Importantly, religious history, written by religious apologists, *never* conforms to what I would call good or 'objective history'; it conforms more to mythology. In other words, there is good and bad history, just like good and bad science, or anything else.
What are the three worst things about America?
David1955 comments on Mar 11, 2018:
For me, the three worst things about America, are : The Republican Party The Republcan Party The Republican Party
Stormy Daniels is an opportunist - so there's something wrong with that?
David1955 comments on Mar 11, 2018:
So my question is: if Trump core supporters weren't offended by his womanising evidenced before the election, and weren't offended by his tape boasting about groping women with or without their consent, and his walking into a dressing room of disrobed young women at the Miss Universe contest, not to mention the other women who came forward with claims about his predatory behaviour, why would anyone expect that these same supporters would be offended by him having an affair with a porn actress and giving her some money to keep quiet about it? If a mountain didn't break the camel's back, why would a straw? So he's a womaniser, a liar and a creep. They knew that before, and still voted for him. Even the seedy business with the lawyer and the payment is hardly likely, in my humble opinion, to resonate with them. I do not think this stuff will ever harm Trump with his Trump religion followers, based on past experience. Only thing that can get him is if the Mueller investigation can link him to treasonous actions. I do not think that will be easy. Realistically, and unfortunately, that's how I see it.
Why do people hate very nice people like atheists?
David1955 comments on Mar 10, 2018:
Is the question just about atheists specifically, or about nonbelievers in religion generally? Some of the comments seem like a backhander at atheists specifically. What I will say is that people who make unflattering comments and generalisations about nonreligious people don't distinguish between atheists, agnostics, or any other variant of religious nonbelievers. If you're not religious they think you're one of the disreputable, whatever you might call yourself.
Do you "collect" anything? What is it, and do you display your collection?
David1955 comments on Mar 10, 2018:
Physical things, I collect antique drinking glasses, hand made. Haven't had the money to do that much in recent years, but I like what I have. They are on display. Also quite a lot of coins, many very old. Don't add to that now. Some might be valuable, but I haven't looked at them for years. I collect a lot digital content now, on people I like, including photos, archive material and movies and TV. I'm quite assiduous on some people I especially like. Also books.
Sorry, but I've got to say this about Trump and North Korea. The Russians have played him. The ...
David1955 comments on Mar 9, 2018:
Just read that Trump got his wires crossed about this meeting with NK, so it's not what it seems. What an amateur President he his. It's like having the island run by Gilligan.
The parable of the ATM A theist went up to an ATM to check their bank account. Upon reaching the ...
David1955 comments on Mar 8, 2018:
So, why wouldn't an atheist do what the agnostic did? The parable I suppose is a theist sees the glass half full; an atheist sees the glass half empty; but an agnostic ignores the glass altogether. No, I actually think the agnostic would spent a lot of time speculating that the existence of the glass is unknowable. Sorry, I don't think much of the parable.
Who are your athiest/agnostic heros?
David1955 comments on Mar 8, 2018:
Bertrand Russell, philosopher; Carl Sagan, scientist, humanist; Richard Feynman, atheist, scientist; ; Dawkin's, atheist, scientist, activist; Sam Harris, likewise; Richard Carrier, atheist, historian; Dave Allen, atheist, humourist; There are others, like Stephen Fry, and George Carlin. These all come to mind.
Tough question here! Why are so many people absolutely certain the bible has NO truth in it if they ...
David1955 comments on Mar 8, 2018:
The question is what do you mean by "truth"? You can look for moral truths and so on, but as far as I'm concerned truth in the bible should mean historical truth. And the bible is peddled by Christians for its history, especially about the historical and mythological person they call Christ. But it's not a book of history, it's a book of fables.
Who are your people?
David1955 comments on Mar 8, 2018:
Iconoclasts. A few of those here, but in the real world they don't congregate, it seems.
I’m always curious of people who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. It appears ...
David1955 comments on Mar 8, 2018:
This question about being spiritual comes up here quite often, so I won't repeat what I have written before, except to say I refuse to use the term, or allow others to snow me with it. A search on this subject here reveals various threads on it.
For those who have tried the app, what do you think??
David1955 comments on Mar 8, 2018:
Still looking forward to using it when Google log on works. All good things come to.....
What's your opinion on Marx' theory of alienation
David1955 comments on Mar 8, 2018:
Marx's theory of alienation, more broadly the alienation from self in a structured class based society, is more directly relevant to the class structure of 19th century capitalism, but I see your point, and like a lot of philosophical Marxism still has relevance to the modern day. There are aspects of Marxism, from a philosophical and economic perspective, that have influenced me since my young days studying political philosophy. The dehumanising of people in capitalist economies, though less obvious than in Marx's day, still resonates to a sense of alienation many feel in unchallenging jobs where they never seem to get ahead. It is interesting that in the post so-called GFC analysis that aspects of Marxism have become current again and in discussion. It is good when people separate their negative notions about Communism from philosophical and economic Marxism which has had an impact of the modern world impossible to overestimate.
Life on other planets: if life on other planets is found--especially if that life is more advanced ...
David1955 comments on Mar 8, 2018:
I think religious leaders live in great fear that we will make contact with an alien species. Anything that might question the archaic mindset upon which religions are based is a threat. However, I fear most believers would not change much, no matter what we might learn from an alien species, or how parochial our outlook would be in a universal context. They would do what they have always done: say it's not us but them. They would turn against them. I can hear the words infidels and godless unbelievers already. If religionists are immune to modern thinking and logic, why would they take any notice of what aliens had to say? Anybody thought about a worse scenario: What if aliens turned up with their religions and Gods and wanted to convert us? Yikes! I just have to think that beings with faster than light speed spaceships and technology just had to have outgrown religious BS a long time ago.
OMG!!! Who else is super proud and thinks it's super cute that a U.S. "President" is getting sued by...
David1955 comments on Mar 7, 2018:
Couldn't happen to a 'nicer' Commander and Creep. I wonder what his handlers in Russia are thinking? Doubt this was part of the infiltrate and corrupt plan. Maybe it was.
Vatican trains exorcists as demonic possession claims rise
David1955 comments on Mar 7, 2018:
The point really is, and I've made this before, is that behind this Pope's used car salesman's smile and charm, the same old crap goes on in the Catholic Church, behind the scenes, at ground level,particularly in developing countries, the church continues to pursue its archaic policies. That includes dealing with anyone foolish enough in the church to be progressive. The Pope is not a reformist but a spin doctor, and the media fall for it. I read about the subject of this post, and the Pope is quite supportive of it.
Would the world be a better place without religion?
David1955 comments on Mar 7, 2018:
I vote yes. The question asked "would be" so that's the present and future. But, as Gene Roddenberry believed about our future, we need a fair economic system, a fair social justice system, and relinquishing of religion to be a better species. I agree with him. I fear we will always have some religion, however. Some people's brains are just hard wired for it, sadly.
Hyde Hk jf Edit: yep, that was me. Forgot to delete this post when was trying to debug some ...
David1955 comments on Mar 6, 2018:
Is admin having a Donald Trump moment? It'll be "cofeve" or something next. :-)
When will Donald Trump leave or be forced from office?
David1955 comments on Mar 6, 2018:
I was so delighted today watching CNN when someone referred to Trump as 'The Manchurian Candidate'. I've been calling him this for months, including here. You can always smell a rat, right? If Old Blue Eyes were here, I bet he'd say it. Nice to see that connection finally start to enter the debate. As for when he'll go, well, he won't go dignified like Nixon. At least Nixon did that. No, Trump will bring down the edifice, if he can. His Russian handlers will be so pleased. I can't decide if Trump is America's Greek Tragedy, or Roman Farce. It gives me no pleasure to say that.
Would you accept a job or position within a company that was built around religious beliefs?
David1955 comments on Mar 6, 2018:
Hate to sound like one of the choir, but absolutely not. I take my views on religion very seriously. I remember reading that the late actor Burt Lancaster, who was a lifelong seriously minded nonreligious person, would not take parts in movies that had religious themes. You have to take a stand on some things.
Newt Gingirch is claiming that athiests pose a bigger threat to American than does ISIS. What a ...
David1955 comments on Mar 6, 2018:
The Republican Party is the biggest threat to the US, and the world.
We just released iPhone and Android apps for Agnostic.com! We're really excited to annouce ...
David1955 comments on Mar 6, 2018:
@admin. Can you connect with a Google email address and password? I cannot. It just says log on, not with google account. Also just tried in install on my iPad 2. Not compatible. So, not having much luck here.
We just released iPhone and Android apps for Agnostic.com! We're really excited to annouce ...
David1955 comments on Mar 6, 2018:
I can install on my android phone running system 5. Guess my older android tablet running 4.1.1 will miss out.( Damn Android tardiness in system updates. )Thanks Admin.
America was (mostly) founded and populated by religious groups escaping persecution in their home ...
David1955 comments on Mar 5, 2018:
Australia was not mostly populated by criminals through transportation. Yes, there was deportation in a couple of states for a period, but the greatest means of white settlement was carried through free settlers and alike who came to Australia from the early 1800s. A greater number of Australian states had nothing whatever to do with criminal transportation. My own ancestors came out from the 1850s and they were farming and other folk. Both the US and Australia were largely settled by population movements from Anglo European countries. The criminal deportation aspect of early white Australian history is a colourful initial part of that but only statistically a small part.
Did you grow up with religion?
David1955 comments on Mar 5, 2018:
Yes, but it didn't grow up with me. In fact I outgrew it even before it had a chance to grow on me. I could say I never looked back but there was nothing ever to look back on.
Anybody here see the parallels between believing in and and obeying an all-powerful god, and ...
David1955 comments on Mar 5, 2018:
What about all powerful media barons, all powerful corporations, rich elites, financial aristocrats, and alike who really exercise the power over the big bad government? Any parallels, or unlike big bad government are they not presented to us as all powerful things to be feared?
Please indulge me in one more question about Karma
David1955 comments on Mar 4, 2018:
Despite the eastern religion vibes attached to it, karma is unproven and in practice dangerous, as it too easily succumbs to subjective thinking about just desserts, and retribution, and reward and punishment. In polly waffle thinking it sounds good, but there's not a scrap of evidence for it, save for human subjective cause and effect thinking, and I've expunged it from my own thinking as yet another religious and pseudo religious nonsense concept from the Bronze Age. Even in human subjective thinking and observation, where do you see it? Little children die in cancer wards in hospitals. Rich greedy assholes live long lives and die in beds of luxury. Where's the karma folks?
If you could make a law, what would it be? I, personally would introduce a maximum wage law, so ...
David1955 comments on Mar 4, 2018:
I agree with your proposal. I would make it illegal for any individual to be a billionaire. The maximum personal wealth of any individual would be fixed at 500 million. If they can't live on that, there are just not trying. Or they have to economise. Surplus wealth to be applied to socially desirable outcomes. For billionaires who claim they wouldn't have any motivation, I say, wait a minute, you always say you don't do it for the money, right? It's always the challenge, you say. So, here's your chance to prove it.
When traveling what are your thoughts on visiting religious sites?
David1955 comments on Mar 4, 2018:
I dislike Christian places of worship intensely. Crucifixion depictions and all the rest of it, the whole symbolism and imagery of the Bronze Age death cult just offends me. So when I travel I have no interest in this. One exception might be Gaudi's cathedral in Barcelona, if I ever get there, because of the architecture of the place. But I do have a favourite Buddhist temple in Thailand I always visit when I visit the city of Chiang Mai, which I do when I can. I used to live nearby, years ago, and I always think of it as my favourite temple. It's not the religion, it's just the place, the age and beauty of it, and it brings back memories. Always an exception, even for the most fervent non religious person.
Are most agnostics intelligent and left-leaning?
David1955 comments on Mar 3, 2018:
I find that accordingly to Pew Research in the US on stats and nonbelievers, that Republicans make up 15% and Democratic/ independent 69%. Conservative 10%. Liberal 56%. Moderate 29% The data is included here. http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/religious-family/atheist/ Make of it as you will. I suspect the figures here on this site would be similar, on US members. Personally, I find agnostics and atheists and alike lean more to the progressive side of politics and on social and equity issues.
Is anyone else losing hair over this nutjob in the W.H from stress?..seriously, I wake up stressed ...
David1955 comments on Feb 28, 2018:
The whole civilised world loses sleep over this nut job. As I see it, Trump is a compromised asset of Russia. Putin, or one of his minions, is his handler. At the moment, this asset is paying off to Russia; sanctions aren't being applied, chaos is being created in Russia's 'enemy', the US. That usefulness will come to an end. At some point that political handgrenade in Putin's hand, the details of a compromised Trump, will be lobbed into the American body politic. Even after Trump's gone, the fall out will be huge. The invective hurled by the US at Russia will have little effect. They are already global competitors, and the US has no capacity to control Russia. The only hope is that the stench will be hung around the Republican Party's neck, for they put him there. Trouble is, the US political system is designed to allow parties to detach themselves from their catastrophes. Presidents leave, clean slate. Like Bush after the catastrophe of his Presidency. Nixon after Watergate. I fear the same here. A resurgent progressive political movement in the US would also be a good outcome. But again, the US political structure, the ruling elite, militates against it.
Any Doctor Who fans?
David1955 comments on Feb 28, 2018:
I used to be, going back to the days of Tom Baker and other doctors in the 70s. At first I liked the reboot, but now I've gone cold on it. The last doctor is a terrific actor, but the themes bored me. He seemed constrained in the role, not being himself. Too much phoney action and political correctness. And now he will be a woman? What about when he got love sick over that blond girl three doctors ago? Now he's a she. Suppose she will pick up young men and spin around the universe. OK. No problem with woman time lords. Had those back in the 70s, Mary Tamm, for example. And they were his equals too. I think they've trampled over the mythology mistaking political correctness with innovation. I'm kind of done with it. I think it needs to have another recess and reboot in the future.
Is there anyone here who has ever seen a UFO? And, if so, what do you believe you were witnessing?
David1955 comments on Feb 27, 2018:
My vote is for a category you don't have: I have never seen a UFO, but I concede there is a possibility that some UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin, but clear evidence would be needed to make that judgement.
Are you in favour of a revolution?
David1955 comments on Feb 27, 2018:
Of course revolution and violence never solve anything, and reason and logic are the keys to a better tomorrow, and lots of meetings where people say things like, "Well, I see where you're coming from, now let me tell you where I'm coming from" and in this way we progress to a peaceful prosperous future......... Oh Jeez, who the F do I think I'm fooling.... Look, this is how I think it will roughly go. Western civilisation is broadly in decline, with the age Age of Liberal Democracies, like our countries, part of that decline. The growth of a global economic aristocracy, which will continue its destructive concentration of wealth and power, together with the progress of the industrial revolution away from the west, along with the AI transformation of societies and economies (and let's throw in climate change which will start to be so obvious even reactionary conservatives won't be able to deny) will produce a crunch time, I'd say around the 2030 -2040 mark. When that happens, and the contradictions of Capitalism can no longer be ignored, due to mass inequality and political alienation, people will no longer believe the one thing that makes the system hold together. Ideology. My guess is the S will really hit the fan, and it won't be nice and it won't be pretty. All the ingredients for revolution. Collapse into chaos, civil wars, internal terrorism, right wing fundamentalism and dictatorship, or, transformation towards a social, economic democracy, with new patterns of work, income distribution and equity and participation? Frankly, I have no earthly idea. But the truth is for most of human history people have lived in tyranny, of varying degrees. For the powerful, it's their default setting. It took to 1914 for the contradictions and historical forces of the 19th Century to collapse in the 20th Century. My guess is that the contradictions and forces of the 20th Century will take a little longer to implode in this century. But the third or fourth decade should do it. For those around then, hold on to your hats boys and girls. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.
So, if you're Agnostic what causes you to "sit on the fence?". Why are you not an Atheist?
David1955 comments on Feb 27, 2018:
As Bertrand Russell in his essays pointed out, in effect agnostics are atheist about the thousands of gods that have been dreamt up by people that they don't know, don't care out, or didn't grow up with, and it's usually the one God that they did grow up with that they remain "on the fence" about. As Russell said, realistically agnostics don't go around seriously thinking they are agnostic about ancient gods, like Apollo. Generally I find agnostics say they are agnostic about "God" (singular). In practice, the only difference between an agnostic and atheist is that one God; they agree on the 99.9% of the other Gods. The irony is that monotheists are also atheists about all the Gods they reject, like 99.9% of them, apart from the one God they affirm is true. So, for monotheists, atheists and agnostics, when you get right down to it, it's a difference over one God in thousands.
Do you think there are more men than woman Athiests or are women more covert about it?
David1955 comments on Feb 26, 2018:
The higher percentage of males identified as atheist being much higher than females is well known. According to the Atheist Census.com the figure for the US. Approx 66% male, 34% female. https://www.atheistcensus.com/country Since this site has a higher proportion of US members compared to other, this is a figure to compare with this site. There is a lot of speculation about why that is. This includes that women are less likely to come out as atheist. I think there are a lot of reasons. I'm doing some research on this at the moment.
I cannot call myself a theist, atheist or agnostic. I call myself a theological noncognitivist. I ...
David1955 comments on Feb 26, 2018:
Okay so theological noncognitivism, or Ignosticism is the idea that the question of the existence of a God is meaningless because the term "god" has no coherent and unambiguous definition. Well that's interesting as a philosophical position, but where does such a position leave the holder with respect to religions in the world, the impact of religion, or the struggle that many of us here see against religion in making the world a better place without mysticism, supernaturalism and magic based thinking? Where do you stand on these things, or are you just concerned about the philosophy of language?
Why We May Soon Be Living in Alexa’s World - The New York Times
David1955 comments on Feb 26, 2018:
I already have 2 Google assistants. Guess I'm living in a google assistant world. I wanted Alexa but Amazon were too slow getting off the mark here in Australia. I might get an Alexa some time. It's amazing how you adapt to these things, talking to it and asking it to do things. But it is really important to check all the privacy settings and so on with the host, Amazon or google, and manage them. I would never say to it anything I would not put in a Google search, or say publicly, you know anything that might be construed as legally questionable. I think the AI in the house trend is inexorable. But I am not unaware of the downside of it.
For those without a degree... Do you ever wish that you had one or had finished one? Sometimes I ...
David1955 comments on Feb 26, 2018:
I have degrees too and a lot of experience, but these things don't necessarily translate into well paid satisfying jobs. You add ageism now in western countries and that's a further problem. In the past experience was respected, but now it's youth, seemingly, that is wanted. But time passes quickly and younger people will face a similar challenge, unless work patterns and structures change greatly. Also, it's having degrees in demand areas that really counts, like technology related fields where seemingly young people get paid huge salaries, or in finance, where large salaries are paid to people for frankly I don't know what benefit to the world except looking at numbers on a computer screen and regularly collapsing capitalism.
Need help defending my lack of faith in Christianity
David1955 comments on Feb 26, 2018:
Which ancient historians do they rely on? Or do they mean the gospel writers? These were not historians Good luck finding respected historians who attest to the Christian mythology, tell them. Don't know why you'd want to try to convince them, but I were you I'd simply say The bible is proof of nothing and is a collection of fables. There is not a single validated primary contemporaneous historical source to affirm the Christ story; There is not a single validated archeological site related to the Jesus story, no matter what the tourist touts might tell you there; There is not a single validated artefact in support of the Jesus story, including the shroud, and all the many spears of Longinus. Tell them their religion is based on a foundation of hot air and hand me down stories over centuries by people in the Bronze Age. You don't have to counter their arguments; they have to prove to you why they, in the 21st Century, believe in a story from a time of slaves, gladiators, chariots, and shades, lemurs, and crucifixion. If all they've got is the bible, then they've got nothing.
What do you mean by "Spiritual"?
David1955 comments on Feb 26, 2018:
I never use the word myself. I don't take any notice of people who use it. I have words to describe people I admire like brilliant, inspiring, motivating, and intellectual greats, but not spiritual as there is not a meaning I accept, and too many people used it falsely, including about themselves, to mean, as a boast, "I'm on a higher plane than you (so there!)," and I know that bollocks. Pray I never go to India; I would surely offend every jumped up two bit guru in the country, and probably be thrown out.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
David1955 comments on Feb 26, 2018:
Someone said false dichotomy. False comparison might be how I would see it. SW is space opera and space fiction. Like us but not us in another galaxy. ST is science fiction, an idealised better more evolved version of us engaging in space exploration in a future many of would like to see, a least something like that. When I want space opera to help me escape, I take the force. When I want to indulge in a fiction of a brighter tomorrow of us in space, then beam me up (Scotty). BTW don't you think it's strange that we say Star this and Star that? The wars in SW are between planets, not stars. It's Planet Wars. Captain Kirk and co are not trekking to stars, but to planets. It's a Planet Trek. I guess it's just cooler to say Star --- :-)
I have faith and believes in God but not in religion. Would that be possible?
David1955 comments on Feb 25, 2018:
I don't wish to disrespect you and you seem sincere, but your position doesn't make a lot of sense to me. You are saying you are a theist, and that you believe in non rationale thinking - faith. Not all religions have a single God. But belief in a God and faith is a belief in religion, however loosely you define that term. So I see a contradiction. However, we don't know which God you mean, or what you mean by God, or what the word faith means to you. Perhaps, I don't know, you are in a period where your thinking is evolving or changing on these matters.
I still miss Carl Sagan immensely after all these years. Thoughts of George Carlin gone still brings...
David1955 comments on Feb 25, 2018:
I think that while there are many individuals who are rightly admired in the non religious and pro science communities, Carl Sagan might be the true "Saint". I'm aware of the irony of using the term, but in my view he's just in a class of his own. I never saw him act in a way that was patronising, condescending, arrogant or self important. His influence is immense. Greatly missed, as you said.
What books are you all reading right now?
David1955 comments on Feb 25, 2018:
A new Star Trek Discovery novel, Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward. Just finished David Baldacci's latest. Also rereading some of Bertrand Russell's essays, partly as a result of some discussions here.
If you could have a dinner party with 4 people from history (whom are no longer alive) who would ...
David1955 comments on Feb 25, 2018:
I have entertained a similar question in my own mind. I call it "A Dinner Party for the Dearly Departed". 4 would hardly make a dinner party, so a couple more. Bertrand Russell - philosophy. Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman - science. Dave Allen - humour, human observational genius. David Niven (raconteur, dinner wit and charm) and Sharon Tate (Goddess, to be worshipped by me over dinner) and Frank Sinatra (Gotta have the Chairman of the Board)
Being respectful
David1955 comments on Feb 23, 2018:
No. It is important to separate respect of people's right of belief from respect of the belief itself. The world is full of people who "believe" in nonsense of every kind, including religious beliefs. We are not obliged to respect all the rubbish they may care to believe in. We are obliged as part of free speech, and under philosophical liberalism -- the tenet which broadly underpins free and democratic societies - to respect people's rights to their views, as long as those views do not breach acceptable free speech, such as advocacy of hatred, racism, bigotry and so on. If you choose to respect someone's religion, or their belief that aliens built the pyramids, or anything else, then fine, but respect is neither obligatory or "due" because they hold that view. Similarly, they are not obliged to be respectful of your belief, only your right to hold it. I would just add that this is often a mistaken comment from religionists. "You should respect people's religions!" Wrong. However an absence of respect does not mean intentionally showing disrespect.
Well, will be leaving for the Harris/Dillahunty talk soon, on the news was a report that Lawrence ...
David1955 comments on Feb 23, 2018:
Everyday it's someone else. Without end.
God was looking out for me this morning. I have just driven back through my local mountains, we ...
David1955 comments on Feb 23, 2018:
First time I've actually heard of God stopping by in Australia. What makes you so special?
Are we living in a computer simulation? Some serious thinkers like Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson...
David1955 comments on Feb 23, 2018:
This is where science meets philosophy. It has long been speculated in philosophy that there is no way to determine what is real, that reality comes down to senses data, and that is subjective. Now this has become part of modern 'science' and science fiction thinking. I think The Matrix movies bought it full into the public domain, drawing upon long established ideas, applied to the modern world.
Conspiracy Theories - Do you believe in any?
David1955 comments on Feb 23, 2018:
Here's the thing. If you mention the phrase Conspiracy Theory around here, or in progressive circles, people will around you will declare No! No! No! It's very uncool to believe in conspiracy theories. Loonies and non rational people only believe in CTs, it is thought. The phrase has been brilliantly orchestrated by power to equate to fringe, crazy speculation. But, ask people if they believe their governments tell them the truth, and now people will reply, well not really. So, what about big corporations? No, they lie. Then how about the military? The military? Can't believe a word they say. The big media? They're just playing us. And so on. So, no, cool folks don't believe in CTs. At the same time they seldom if ever believe they are really told the truth by power. So, my question is, when you don't believe power tells you the truth, and there's more to the story than you are told, what would you call what's going on? Huh? And when you discover that the military conspired with politicians to facilitate US involvement in the Vietnam War (The Pentagon Papers) what was that? And when Woodward and Berstein discovered that the Nixon Admin conspired to conceal the truth about its activities (Watergate) what was that? But of course these got leaked and proven, didn't they, so it cool to believe in these now. Right?
I mean this in the nicest way possible. Paragraphs-- please use them. Even if you don't know where...
David1955 comments on Feb 22, 2018:
Honestly I'm amazed that there has been this amount of discussion, almost bickering, over what was a simple reasonable request. It's something admin might have brought to our attention. I don't why my newspaper reference caused a response. Any written text is enhanced by breaks. Over and out.
I find it odd that there aren't a bunch of religious people on here trying to convert us to ...
David1955 comments on Feb 22, 2018:
It's not odd to me, and I'll tell you why. First, I am on record as saying that I think this site should be exclusively for nonbelievers. Other places religionists and nonbelievers can get it on, including every opportunity in the real world, but not here, if it were up to me. It isn't, and I respect the site admin right to run it as they wish. Why so few evangelisers? Well, truth is in the real world, like here, the last thing they want is to do battle with committed nonbelievers. People who know history, philosophy, science, Christian history, Christology, and many other areas, and look believers in the eye, literally or figuratively, are the LAST thing religionists want. They do not like or want to be challenged. They want soft targets, people who may be vulnerable to their virus, where they can sting, make their mark, rope them in. They want people who will just believe them. Ever answered the door to evangees and told them you're a committed atheist? They are gone, ASA f'n P. If they do engage, it's largely perfunctorily, and then goodbye. We are not the market they're after. The damaged, the young, the gullible, the vulnerable, the intellectually unchallenging...that's their market. No, there haven't been many believers here, certainly not mainstream dogmatic religious types. I would very surprised if that changed. There are a few New Age types here, but they bang to a different drum. With them, the problem is to pin them down to anything specific. And they know better than to overtly preach.
So, with some of the debates that I've seen, I thought I might pass these along. In some of the more...
David1955 comments on Feb 22, 2018:
And what about you and your fallacious? I've come across you a few times and your statements. I can't say you've impressed me, frankly. Do you consider yourself a role model in logical argument and fallacy avoidance? What's your self-assessment?
Why is a cult so successful?
David1955 comments on Feb 22, 2018:
Good answers here. The psychology of cults is complex and has been studied a lot. Some people are susceptible to cults, or can be susceptible in some situations. I've studied in detail the Charles Manson cult (let's not say Family) and the complex bag of tricks he used, some drawn from pimps he knew who peddled women, through to pop psychology he picked up, and it's amazing how some people like him can 'reality distort' and in effect corrupt those around them. Not always as disastrously or criminally as Manson, but to some degree certainly. I would also add the obvious point I've made before, that cults belong in the spectrum we call religion. A cult is a small unpopular religion, and a religion is a large popular cult. When I say the word religion, I mean the spectrum that ranges from two bit fruitcake cults, right through the big mainstream religions. It's a total spectrum I reject.
Just watching CNN reporting the death of Billy Graham. What a lot of wailing about his great ...
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
It good to see reporting in the media about the negative aspects Mr Graham's efforts. Not the mainstream media though, of course. They always support religion, unless obliged to report things that can't be ignored, like sexual abuse. Even then it's usually "rotten apples"
Fellow conservatives and gun rights supporters! I have started a group called conservative atheists....
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
I think that's an excellent idea. In fact I almost suggested it to you myself. I very much look toward to not going anywhere near it. That's what groups are for.
I mean this in the nicest way possible. Paragraphs-- please use them. Even if you don't know where...
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
Absolutely. These long paragraph-less posts are to be avoided. I was going to make the same point in a post myself but thought it might put some noses out of joint. Thanks.
The difference between dogs and cats - all you need to know
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
Cats are great. Dogs are not. The end. (Hope I didn't go too fast for you. :-). )
Did god play a big role in your life growing up?
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
Nope. But he did sure waste of family time around me, while I watched on indifferently, like the fool on the hill.
Billy Graham, dead today at 99. Estimated net worth: $25 million His son, Franklin Graham: ...
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
Focusing on this guy and money is not the real issue here. All religions are about money. All of them. They all want your hand on your heart, while your head's up your arse, and their hand is in your pocket. As I said in my own post on this, it's his, and others like him, influence on evangelicalism, political evangelicalism, the corruption of American conservatism by religious reactionary conservatives, and you can draw a line right up to Trumpism. When the history is fully written about him, it won't be the money issue that sticks. That's a side issue. It's the corruption by Christian reactionaries, like him, of politics and governance. That was my point in my post on this.
Theater vs home movie?
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
I go to the movies less and less. The movies are not worth the money. Also the quality of the projection is just not as good as it used to be. Digitized projection is just not good as I remember old projection back in they day. People are annoying at cinemas too. I've got a pretty big TV and I have to pay for internet, which in Australia, like everything else is expensive, so I put the money there and into streaming. I suspect cinemas might be on a slow path to extinction.
How many meals a day do you need. ? I'm living on one
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
I think the adage eat 3 meals a day is obsolete. Add lack of exercise, fatty food, and other things like sugary drinks and snacks, and many people are eating the equivalent of 4 + meals a day. Big surprise obesity is a problem these days.
I've been gone for a while from the site, has there been any drama I've missed?
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
A few crazy gun owners, some unhappy Trump supporters, the odd miffed Republican voter, the occasional defiant agnostic, one or two New Age "It's the universe baby" announcers, and here and there a few cries for someone to marry them, but apart from that business as usual. Dirt under the carpet. You'll never find the bodies. Have a better one!
If you could just pick up and move today where would you move to?
David1955 comments on Feb 21, 2018:
Thailand, where I once lived.

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