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I'm a rather unusual atheist (at least on this platform), since I not only do not hate religions - I'm positively fascinated by them: On the one hand religions seem to be absurd, but on the other hand they are an integral feature of human nature, like music or language. And like almost all features of human life and culture, they have their bright and their dark aspects. I refuse to put on blinkers to see only one side.

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Clive James is an Australian author, critic, broadcaster, poet, translator and memoirist. He has ...
Matias comments on Mar 5, 2019:
Since God was not produced and is not for sale, religion can't be an advertising campaign for a product.
The Individual vs. Tyranny - YouTube
Matias comments on Mar 5, 2019:
I do not like it when someone presents a topic in a simplistic black-or-white manner. It's either rugged individualism or tyranny à la Stalin or Mao`? Homo sapiens conquered the world not as a species of lone wolves but as an ultrasocial species. Our capacity for *collective intentionality* is it what gives us the advantage over other primates. Our intelligence is less personal than social. That has nothing to do with communism
Satire Mississippi Passes Anti-Richard Dawkins Law FEBRUARY 12, 2019 BY ANDREW HALL ...
Matias comments on Mar 5, 2019:
That is the way conspiracy theories get started. People believe what they want to believe @mooredolezal be careful with satire like this. Irony rarely works on the internet
“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”...
Matias comments on Mar 5, 2019:
Homo sapiens is the "storytelling animal". We have to invent stories and all kinds of things in order to cope with reality. That is why myth and religion and imagination comes so natural to us, and why science, when it tries to get rid of all those narrative and myths, is so unnatural and takes so much training.
God created humankind. Hmm... Who created God?
Matias comments on Mar 4, 2019:
We are made of dust. Where does it come from? From exploding stars. Who created those stars? The Big Bang, natural laws... Who created the Big Bang and the laws of nature? - ? - When you start asking questions like these, you sooner or later hit a wall of unknowability. What is behind this wall? Some call it "nature", others call it "god"
There was this philosopher for the life of me I forget his name, anyway he stated: "Religion reveals...
Matias comments on Mar 4, 2019:
If that is your conclusion, you haven't read widely on the topic.
A prayer after the kill
Matias comments on Mar 4, 2019:
"Silly, Random & Fun"
When outside forces are too negative... The safest escape is inside. Allow your energy to turn ...
Matias comments on Mar 4, 2019:
How can I fill my soul with love when I turn inside? Or do you mean self-love? Generally, to turn inside in times of trouble is the male way. Women's strategy is "tend and befriend"
True words. Im the evil in many way...
Matias comments on Mar 4, 2019:
No, I don't think so. There may be a lot of people who do not like me, but no sane person can call me evil. Not even a theist...
Our Culture of Contempt - The New York Times
Matias comments on Mar 4, 2019:
Smart guy, the author. But I think that there is more than just "ideas" that is behind the rift that goes right through the middle of modern Western societies. It is the difference between what David Goodhart called the "somewheres" vs "anywheres" divide.
Does god change his mind?
Matias comments on Mar 2, 2019:
Memes, memes, memes....
Says it all
Matias comments on Mar 2, 2019:
"Silly, Random & Fun"
Waiting for an answer. Waiting... waiting...
Matias comments on Mar 2, 2019:
How many times have I seen that meme on this site ?
Debunked: "Socialism Has Never Worked" - YouTube
Matias comments on Mar 2, 2019:
The upshot of the video seems to be: you can define socialism in a way it suits you and then it works or worked. My observation, apart from semantic quibbles, is that all those regimes or governments that *claimed* to be socialist, that called themselves socialist, had/have two main features: 1. they violate basic human rights (freedom of expression, freedom of movement...) 2. They do or did not work in the long run. I still think it is quite useful to use the distinction that is common in Europe: on the one side socialism (based on the ieal or idea that means of production should be owned by "society" - it does not work), on the other side "social democracy" (center left) which worked and aims at a well endowed welfare state (like in Sweden or Germany) (BTW: Socialism does work, but only at a small scale , where people know and control each other (cooperatives or kibbuzim)
I know I posted this quite a while back. But to me, Neils retort to the question is one of those ...
Matias comments on Mar 1, 2019:
My body is made of the debris of collapsed stars. I am made of star dust. Why should it be more uplifting than the usual "From dust you are made..." ?
At what age did you realize that most adults were complete idiots?
Matias comments on Mar 1, 2019:
If most adults were idiots (not metaphorically, but real idiots), civilization would not exist. I guess humanity would have long ago gone the way of the dodo. Maybe humanity will go the way of the dodo in the future, but in this case it is because we are too intelligent to behave just like any other species
Why renewables can’t save the planet. [quillette.com]
Matias comments on Mar 1, 2019:
Renewables certainly cannot save the planet alone, but if we do not replace energy based on fossil fuels by renewable forms of energy, there is zero hope that humanity will avoid a desaster
Alan Watts
Matias comments on Mar 1, 2019:
That is the myth of the "true self". There is no such thing as a "self", let alone a true self. Whatever I might call my "true self" is always an imagination
"The Bible" ?
Matias comments on Feb 28, 2019:
"Un bon mot ne prouve rien." (Le dîner du comte de Boulainvilliers (1767): Deuxième Entretien)
The surprising science of alpha males
Matias comments on Feb 28, 2019:
I think it is enough to take a look at history (of H. sapiens, not of chimps) to know that a lot of human alpha males are and have been bullies. Often enough it is not a single bully but a band of bullies that dominate a society. There is certainly no shortage of dictators, tyrants, warlords and autocrats of all varieties in the annals... If it were different, then democracy would not be so fragile, it would be the default form of government, which clearly is not the case.
It’s fortunate we’re not required to actually declare our trust in God in order to use money. ...
Matias comments on Feb 28, 2019:
To a lot of people today, money is their god, they believe in it and they trust in it. Money and god, both have in common: they are invisible and exist only if and when enough people believe that it exists. And this shared belief creates its own kind of reality - and it works!
There is no such thing as good people who fail to act, good people are the ones by definition who do...
Matias comments on Feb 28, 2019:
That's trivial. because all living people act in some way (except of course those asleep or in in a comatose state). Just as it is impossible not to communicate, it is impossible not to act. Even the refusal to act in a certain situation is a kind of action. If your claim is that motivation is totally irrelevant and that the result of action is all that counts, we should punish a cold-blooded murderer in the same way as someone who unintentionally killed another person (e.g. in a car accident) Moral intuition of most people and our legal system agree that motivation is an important aspect.
You can choose to live your life like the first row, the second row, or the third row.
Matias comments on Feb 28, 2019:
Choose? When did a cheerful, optimistic and extroverted person choose to have such a positive character? And when did all those melancholic people *choose* to spend their life ill-tempered?
Undeniably true imho.
Matias comments on Feb 27, 2019:
This sounds as if the "Universe" were a kind of agent - which is undeniably mythological thinking
Just a fantastic debater, changed my mind on more than one issue(please ignore the rude title) ...
Matias comments on Feb 26, 2019:
Has nothing to do with philosophy. Should have been posted in the category "Silly, Random and Fun"
I got a fun Theory. There is no such thing as a Christian or a Muslim they are all confused Jews. A ...
Matias comments on Feb 26, 2019:
Jesus was a Jew and taught to other Jews. It was not his intention to convert "heathens" to Judaism or to found a new religion. The man who "invented" Christianity was St Paul And who told you that Mohammed was a Christian? He was an Arab pagan and drew some inspriration from Judaism and Christianity when he "invented" Islam
“There is no Wealth but Life. Life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration. ...
Matias comments on Feb 26, 2019:
A capitalist society as we have it today is the outcome if you let things evolve bottom-up. People with a slight advantage will use what they've got to gain an even bigger advantage, and so on in a positive feedback loop.
I propose an experiment. Let's try to live a day without beliefs. Before we can do that, we need to...
Matias comments on Feb 26, 2019:
A day without beliefs is possible: you just stay in bed and solve sudokus and crossword puzzles. But if you leave the house and go shopping you have to believe that the money in your pocket has some value (or if you pay by credit card: that the figures on your bank account represent some value). Without this belief in money (and the trust that other people share your belief !) it would be difficult for you to survive
William Lane Craig: God Is The Best Explanation For Objective Moral Values: My Comments. This ...
Matias comments on Feb 25, 2019:
The proposition "you can’t have morals without god" can easily be refuted by pointing to all those atheists with moral convictions. What religious people who make this claim really want to say is : The morality of atheists is unfounded, it is based on whims, situations and social conventions that change constantly and can be revoked on short notice, whereas the religious morality is based on a divine order, promulgated and supervised by the Supreme Being. The religious stance on morality put in a sentence: the atheistic morality is bottom-up, shifting and subjective - the religious morality is top-down, stable and objective. (Believe it or not...)
A perfectly reasonable scenario
Matias comments on Feb 25, 2019:
There seems to be a kind of competition going on among some atheists: Who can write the most absurd summary of religion in general or Christianity in particular. Honestly that's like shooting fish in a barrel. More demanding - and interesting - would be: to explain why so many people, some of them really smart and educated, continue to believe these absurdities. Many of the explanations offered are quite absurd too...
If you are new to the idea of an ethical atheistic philosophy, this free class might be perfect for ...
Matias comments on Feb 25, 2019:
"Theist religions focus on the worship of gods. Humanist religions worship humanity, or more correctly, Homo sapiens. Humanism is a belief that Homo sapiens has a unique and sacred nature, which is fundamentally different from the nature of all other animals and of all other phenomena. Humanists believe that the unique nature of Homo sapiens is the most important thing in the world, and it determines the meaning of everything that happens in the universe. The supreme good is the good of Homo sapiens. The rest of the world and all other beings exist solely for the benefit of this species. The belief of liberal humanism in the free and sacred nature of each individual is a direct legacy of the traditional Christian belief in free and eternal individual souls. Without recourse to eternal souls and a Creator God, it becomes embarrassingly difficult for liberals to explain what is so special about individual Sapiens." **(from: Yuval Harari: SAPIENS)**
Believability
Matias comments on Feb 25, 2019:
Because people behave more prosocially when watched (that is not my opinion but the result of scientific studies) Therefore it is logical to assume that those people who believe that God is always watching them behave in a more moral way than those who think that they can act selfishly and can get away with it because no one is watching.
From Edge.org, an insightful essay from the brilliant Freeman Dyson discussing biological and ...
Matias comments on Feb 23, 2019:
The idea that humanity was on its way towards three different species is unfounded, because there has always been a lot of interbreeding between the "races". There have always been zones of the world where people migrated and procreated outside their own ethnic group (often enough it was forced migration as in the case of slavery). Just look at places like India where you can find all shades of skin color. Or the Americas where many white racists inseminated their black slaves...
If I create a website atheist.com would you join?
Matias comments on Feb 23, 2019:
There are already enough of them. agnostic.com is one and several others can be found on reddit (though I don't use them anymore because they are infested with trolls)
I read so much right now about the savage environmental damage we are wreaking on this planet - with...
Matias comments on Feb 23, 2019:
We are all part of this mess, some more, some less (if everybody emulated the American way of life, humanity would need five (!) planets to be "sustainable" (we Europeans only need three planets...) It is like driving with your car from A to B on a freeway. Suddenly there are more cars than the road can cope with, resulting in a spontaneous traffic jam. Are you responsable for this traffic jam? Yes and No. You and your car are physically part of it, but the truth is that all x-thousand drivers and their cars cause the traffic jam although no one intended to cause one. The traffic jam is just the unpleasant unintended consequence of intentional behavior (driving from A to B). The same logic can be applied to the looming environmental collapse. If a few million people pursue well-being and happiness, no real damage is caused. If 7 billion people do the same, the whole system is bound to collapse sooner or later
Don't say I haven't been trying to warn you about the dire future that awaits us. Always pay ...
Matias comments on Feb 23, 2019:
I am a great fan of doomsday narratives myself, but I am rather confident that our civilization will not collapse until after my death
You gotta respect everyone’s beliefs.
Matias comments on Feb 22, 2019:
Welcome in a world where people shout obscenities at each other It is like farting: it feels good, but afterwards the air smells bad
"In an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness. But the pursuit of...
Matias comments on Feb 22, 2019:
So, are we all mad? After all, Mister Bellow seems to have been untouched by madness, because no mad person knows that he/she is mad...
Anyone familiar with the Chinese Room argument against strong AI? I think that a fundamental flaw ...
Matias comments on Feb 22, 2019:
I don't understand your objection. What difference does it make whether consciousness is localized or an emergent property of the whole brain? In a sense, consciousness *is* localized becuase it is restricted to the neocortex. And even if it were a property of , say, the prefrontal cortex only, would that change the meaning of Searle's thought experiment? As I see it - it all hinges on what we mean by "to understand". Does understanding require consciousness or is there something like unconscious understanding?
The Dean of a University was asked to rank the departments. Physics came in last, he said because ...
Matias comments on Feb 22, 2019:
As a repentant ex-philosopher I totally agree
BBC - Future - Are we on the road to civilisation collapse?
Matias comments on Feb 22, 2019:
It is funny that some very intelligent people like Matt Ridley, Steven Pinker or Hans Rosling would say that all this is just scare-mongering. They look at the development of the last 100 or 200 years and then they extrapolate this into the future. What they fail to acknowledge is that trends can be reversed when the basis on which they were built starts to crumble. I thnk it will be the *combination* of overpopulation, pollution, soil degradation, depletion of resources and societal factors like rising inequality that will form a toxic mixture during the second half of this century.
For those of us who get it.
Matias comments on Feb 21, 2019:
This "trick" would not work if the "people" weren't so prepared, even eager to be divided, guided, deceived and distracted. Or who is *forcing* 350 millions of Americans to do all the nonsense? The "rich", dictators, con men... can only press buttons that exist.
I was asked a question once upon a time and it had me thinking. The question was that if the finest ...
Matias comments on Feb 21, 2019:
I would not survive the process because my immune system would reject the foreign cells. But this process happens to all of us, because our cells die and are replaced, not from the body of another person but by cell division of stem cells. The whole cycle is finished after about seven years. After seven years, every atom of "my" body has been changed, "my" body (and "I") are completely new. Am I the same person after those seven years?
What piece of advice would you give the next generation?
Matias comments on Feb 21, 2019:
Live simply and Be satisfied with few things - because unfettered consumerism is going to kill this planet
Lecture by Nero Scientist, Robert Sapolsky, which covers a lot of our issues surrounding our ...
Matias comments on Feb 21, 2019:
Thank you! Sapolsky's book "Behave" is one of my favorites. Anybody interested in the huge topic of "What is the nature of Homo sapiens?" should read the book. It's a big book but an easy and enjoyable read
Religious Arguments
Matias comments on Feb 20, 2019:
The Second Law of thermodynamics proves that evolution is false because order can never come out of disorder. Therefore the order of nature proves there must be a Creator
Can’t wait until we arrive at this point.
Matias comments on Feb 20, 2019:
That science can "destroy" religion is nothing but wishful thinking Science can refute statements like "God created the universe 6000 years ago", but most religious tenets cannot be refuted. Science can only show that there is no positive evidence in favor of them, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
Write a statement that cannot be refuted.
Matias comments on Feb 20, 2019:
*God exists* /There is zero evidence in favor of this statement, but it cannot be refuted, because you cannot prove the non-existence of something
Will our earth get better, or are we all going to die in roughly 20 years?
Matias comments on Feb 20, 2019:
The best predictions I know of say that if we do not manage to change course, conditions will get really rough during the second half of this century, when climate change + overpopulation + loss of biodiversity + pollution + depletion of natural resources + some other factors will combine to form a really ugly mix I do not envy the toddlers of today...
Absolutely
Matias comments on Feb 20, 2019:
In the 50s and 60s the maximum income tax in the USA was above 60% (up to 80%). Were the US a socialist country back then? No, that was the time Trump followers have in mind when they are thinking of Making America great AGAIN!
New here, and not usually greatly into Eastern philosophies, but have embarked on a long-term ...
Matias comments on Feb 20, 2019:
Can you give me the first lines of chap. 5 - and I can tell you if it is a good translation at least IMHO :-)
The Left Must Finally Break With the Democrats | Black Agenda Report
Matias comments on Feb 20, 2019:
If the Left creates its own party it will get maybe 10 to 15 % of votes in elections (and I am being optimistic!). In Europe we have a lot of experience with multi-party politics and history tells us that the Left is weak when it is fragmented into Social Democrats + Left + Ultra-Left - whereas the Right stands united because all they want is POWER
Bernie’s in!
Matias comments on Feb 19, 2019:
You really think that is a good idea? Isn't the majority of the other candidates from the left wing of the Democratic party? What would you say if Hillary too tried to get a second chance?
Creationists... utter bollocks.
Matias comments on Feb 19, 2019:
So what? Of course, 6000 years ago God created the oil and gas and buried it deep in the ground, together with all the dino's bones to tease the infidels and test the believers :-)
Go out and lose your mind once in awhile... It's good for you....
Matias comments on Feb 19, 2019:
In German, we even have a word for this state of mind: *Waldeinsamkeit* (literally: forest-loneliness)... romantic soul-searching while being alone in a deep forest
Apparently 60% of the UK public believe one conspiracy theory or another. Doesn’t that blow your ...
Matias comments on Feb 19, 2019:
Is that 60% a piece of "alternative facts", or do you have some evidence for it? Link?
Think about the different kind of people you meet while living your life.
Matias comments on Feb 19, 2019:
I have to admit that I do not like it when rather bland fortune cookie wisdom is ascribed to Buddha
Why are most people religious, not agnostic?
Matias comments on Feb 18, 2019:
"Some theories of religion consider its grounds to be ignorance, superstition, and fear. Aspects of these can indeed be found in religions, sometimes in abundance. But they are not the roots of religion." "The regular operation of ordinary human perceptions, the human brain, and common human cognitive processes work together to make religion a natural and fairly effortless way for people to think about and live in the world." "Religion actually comes quite naturally, it turns out, given human neurobiology, cognition, and psychology." "...given the way human minds operate, religion is a natural part of the larger fabric of human life." "Religion, in this sense, is natural to, in being grounded in, the human constitution and condition." (**From: Christian Smith: "Religion - What it is, How it works, and Why it matters"**)
Why Misinformation Is About Who You Trust, Not What You Think - Nautilus
Matias comments on Feb 18, 2019:
Very interesting! Thank you for sharing. One of the sentences I like most: *The memes we see on Twitter or on Facebook don’t really say anything, they conjure up an emotion—an emotion associated with an ideology or belief you might have.* That is also true of the memes on *agnostic.com*
Four Ways to Become a Less Biased Version of Yourself 1. Embrace cognitive diversity 2. Cultivate ...
Matias comments on Feb 17, 2019:
That is how it ought to be. But... In most cases "reasoning" functions as follows. 1. confronted with a question or problem, person "P" has an intuition. 2. "P" immediately identifies with that intuition ("This is *my* opinion, therefore it must be a *good and smart* opinion, because I am a good and smart person") 3. Reason is activated in order to find data and arguments that flesh out and support the intuition. 4. "P" argues that anybody who does not agree with his/her opinion must be stupid, deluded, misguided or on the payroll of [insert the name of an organization or company you dislike]
Faith and Foolishness: When Religious Beliefs Become Dangerous - Scientific American
Matias comments on Feb 17, 2019:
If religious leaders should be held accountable when their irrational ideas turn harmful, then scientists should be held accountable when their rational ideas turn harmful too. Just as science and technology have (intended or unintended) harmful consequences, so does religion
Wouldn't you like to have a t-shirt like this?
Matias comments on Feb 17, 2019:
This planet is threatened by pollution, overpopulation, waste, loss of biodiversity, climate change and so on... None of these problems is attributable to religion (but to "progress" and technology running wild)
One may not always be but should be.
Matias comments on Feb 17, 2019:
Are these the "Seven Commandments" for narcissists? See: "The Narcissism Epidemic:Living in the Age of Entitlement" by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell Everybody is talking about being entitled to A, B, C.... Z Nobody is talking anymore about obligations, duties.. all those things I owe to other people
Interesting interview with Sam Harris [theguardian.com] I have a love/hate thing going on with...
Matias comments on Feb 17, 2019:
I totally agree with what you said about Harris, especially the lack of nuance. (But maybe you simply have to paint black and white with a broad brush to be heard above the noise) My attitude towards him is also very ambivalent.
Why, when it comes to the belief in god(s), is there a term (atheist) for people who require ...
Matias comments on Feb 16, 2019:
Since the beginning of human civilisations, being religious was the default (I would claim that this still is the case in most societies). People who were not religious were considered freaks, just as those who still believe that the earth is flat are freaks (today). If religiosity is historically the normal state, it stands to reason that those you are not religious get labelled as the odd ones out.
see how you change
Matias comments on Feb 16, 2019:
Sure. But you can also change for the worse. That's what a lot of people do when they get older.
I feel that a majority of the populous is actually devolving. Anyone else share this sentiment?
Matias comments on Feb 16, 2019:
The way you use the word "devolving" seems to indicate that you treat "evolution" as a synonym for "progress"" - which is a common misconception. Even if organisms loose some features or faculties, that is *evolution*, not "devolution"
Interesting opinion piece, written by an American author, about a clash of ideologies in the EU. ...
Matias comments on Feb 15, 2019:
Those right-wing idiots really love George Soros: he is the perfect scapegoat: a super-rich, liberal Jew. What would they do if he died tomorrow? Whom will they choose to serve as a figurehead for the Jewish world conspiracy?
Passing an old man on the way to the shop this morning, he said, "Have a blessed day." I asked him...
Matias comments on Feb 15, 2019:
I guess he just wanted to be nice. I wonder why some people feel the urge to make such a fuss about an innocuous gesture.
What do you hope to see happen in your lifetime?
Matias comments on Feb 15, 2019:
Homo sapiens on Mars? It is difficult to imagine something less useful... There is not a single important question for us Earthlings whose answer can be found on Mars. It is just this *male striving for greatness*: "To boldly go ..."
Interesting opinion piece, written by an American author, about a clash of ideologies in the EU. ...
Matias comments on Feb 15, 2019:
The usual Russia Today propaganda balderdash
Atheism does only mean lack of belief in gods. Humanism means a philosophical stance that focuses on...
Matias comments on Feb 14, 2019:
"Theist religions focus on the worship of gods. Humanist religions worship humanity, or more correctly, Homo sapiens. Humanism is a belief that Homo sapiens has a unique and sacred nature, which is fundamentally different from the nature of all other animals and of all other phenomena. Humanists believe that the unique nature of Homo sapiens is the most important thing in the world, and it determines the meaning of everything that happens in the universe. The supreme good is the good of Homo sapiens. The rest of the world and all other beings exist solely for the benefit of this species. The belief of liberal humanism in the free and sacred nature of each individual is a direct legacy of the traditional Christian belief in free and eternal individual souls. Without recourse to eternal souls and a Creator God, it becomes embarrassingly difficult for liberals to explain what is so special about individual Sapiens." **(from: Yuval Harari: SAPIENS)**
Does anyone ever go out of their way to try to convince people that religion is silly? I sure do.
Matias comments on Feb 14, 2019:
Does anyone ever go out of their way to try to convince people that American Football is silly?
Man sues parents for giving birth to him
Matias comments on Feb 14, 2019:
Good luck to him! IMO we should abandon this obsolete practice of putting innocent babies into a world that is going to hell within their lifetime
Pre-birth briefing:
Matias comments on Feb 14, 2019:
The most important lesson is missing: You are a member of a community on which you depend from your first day of your life till you die
darn buddhists!!
Matias comments on Feb 14, 2019:
There are dozens of yogis in India who claim to be able to levitate or keep alive without food or similar feats. Who is upholding these claims? The yogis and their disciples. It is the same with "past life regression": some people just want it to be true, some of them even have some kind of advantage if others believe it to be true, so they spread the stories, and the rest is due to gullibility and confirmation bias. If you really want something to be true, you (consciously or not) cook the facts. That is why Christians believe that the tomb was empty and Muslims believe that Mohammed was illiterate when he received the Quran. and so on...
Morality-as-Cooperation a study testing in 60 Societies
Matias comments on Feb 13, 2019:
Very interesting, thank you for sharing! But I think that a crucial aspect is missing in this picture: cultural group selection IMO that is the basic mechanism behind morality as cooperation
Hi! So all my adult children have rejected organized religion. My two sons have embraced paganism....
Matias comments on Feb 13, 2019:
From Wikipedia: "Modern Paganism, or Neopaganism, includes reconstructed religions such as Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism, Hellenism, Slavic Native Faith, Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, or Heathenry, as well as modern eclectic traditions such as Wicca and its many offshoots, Neo-Druidism, and Discordianism." Even if it is not "organized religion", it still is religion I cannot see any advantage over common Christian forms of religiosity.
Ladies gentleman and gender fluidity I present you Norway's gender paradox. [youtu.be] Does ...
Matias comments on Feb 13, 2019:
The best scientific explanation for "The Gender Equality Paradox" I found in the book "Is there anything good about men?" by social psychologist Roy Baumeister. The title sounds rather silly but Baumeister is a serious researcher and he offers a quite straightforward explanation
The god delusion
Matias comments on Feb 12, 2019:
Question: If atheists are really as smart as they often claim to be: why do they keep creating stupid memes ?
In honor of Darwin Day!
Matias comments on Feb 12, 2019:
Not necessarily. A species only has to change if the environment changes too. Some species - called "living fossils" - have not or barely changed for millions of years
Is Heaven and Hell real? Yes because both are a state of mind.
Matias comments on Feb 12, 2019:
Instead of asking Is Heaven and Hell real? it would have been better to ask "Do heaven and hell exist? because "reality" usually is reserved for things that exist independently of subjective states. Hell exists in the mind of those who believe in it and who are experiencing it
Listen, Listen, Listen...
Matias comments on Feb 12, 2019:
That may be true in times where one side is the Nazis or any other oppressor, but in a liberal society like ours this advice leads to tribalism and hate speech and other effects that threaten the society itself. Just image all those militia guys practicing for the upcoming civil war in the mountains of Montana thinking that "Washington" is the oppressor. Or the radical Left thinking that "Capitalists" are the oppressors.
Did the moon landing really happen?
Matias comments on Feb 12, 2019:
Given that there is no academic or scientific discussion about that conspiracy theory, this question is for the category "Silly, random, fun"
Maslow went beyond self actualization... [youtu.be]
Matias comments on Feb 11, 2019:
I do not understand that: Is love and belonging not a kind of "self-transcendence" too? Whenever I participate in something that is larger than me, I reach beyond my self and (try to) transcend it. Compare somebody who just works for the money (no transcendence) with someone else whose job is a kind of vocation (with transcendence) I think it would be misleading to link transcendence only to the sphere of the religious or spiritual.
Arguing with religious people is like this: “Never play chess with a pigeon. The pigeon ...
Matias comments on Feb 10, 2019:
You *can* discuss and argue with religious people, but not if they are extremists or fundamentalists. BUt it is useless to argue and discuss with *all* extremists, be they religious or political or whatever. It is not religion but extremism that we should fight against
Do you support the idea that we are all created equal as stated in the constitution? Or have times ...
Matias comments on Feb 9, 2019:
"So here is that line from the American Declaration of Independence translated into biological terms: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved differently, that they are born with certain mutable characteristics, and that among these are life and the pursuit of pleasure." From "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah Harari
The humbling psychology of being a mere bit of data in the Matrix
Matias comments on Feb 8, 2019:
Most parts of human civilization have not been *designed* but evolved.
Do you think this way?
Matias comments on Feb 8, 2019:
"Atheists" exist in different varieties: - people who just do not believe in God (but who do not hate or despise religion as such) ; - people for whom atheism is a (post-)modern ersatz religion, like vegetarianism, which is for some much more than just not-eating-meat (atheism as a lifestyle) - people who think that believing in God is a dangerous mental disorder and who campaign or fight to eradicate this disease (= activist atheists)
I have to disagree with those people on this site who (in the Profile Questions) say that they are ...
Matias comments on Feb 8, 2019:
Of course, God(s) exist in the minds of those you believe in him/them, as shared *collective ideas*. But when I say, that I am sure that God does not exist, I mean "not out there", in the same way as planets or viruses exist. God is an entity of subjective or *intersubjective reality*, but not of objective reality, which exists independently of what subjects believe or think or feel.
Just wanted to share this- I get to hear Daniel Dennett speak tonight at ETSU's Darwin Days. His ...
Matias comments on Feb 8, 2019:
One of my favorite contemporary philosophers. A few months ago, I read his new book "From bacteria to Bach and back", which I enjoyed a lot. I love him because he is one of the last men standing still carrying the torch of meme theory
Consciousness... Can it be measured objectively?
Matias comments on Feb 7, 2019:
Consciousness is the "inside" of being. When viewed from the outside, we call something an "object". We have no idea if a stone or a tree has a "view from the inside", we only know them from the outside , as objects. The only thing we know from the inside is a human brain - more precisely: my brain. But other brains have their "view form the inside" too, therefore they have consciousness, even if we'll never know what it is to be the inside of the brain of animal X.
Just had a weird conversation with a co-worker. He said atheism is a religion. I said the same way ...
Matias comments on Feb 7, 2019:
Atheism is not a religion, but for some it can become an ideology In my opinion there are basically three types of atheists: - people who just do not believe in God (but who do not hate or despise religion as such) ; - people for whom atheism is a (post-)modern ersatz religion, like vegetarianism, which is for some much more than just not-eating-meat (atheism as a lifestyle) - people who think that believing in God is a dangerous mental disorder and who campaign or fight to eradicate this disease (= activist atheists)
What do you think of this research suggesting religious and spiritual belief are protective against ...
Matias comments on Feb 6, 2019:
I think that there is some reliable evidence that religion (except some fundamentalist varieties) has an overall beneficial effect on mental health Harold Koenig, one of the leading experts on this field, gives a good overview: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2012/278730/
My Life Motto! True Story, Folks!
Matias comments on Feb 6, 2019:
That's kind of narcissistic. The secret of the extraordinary success of Homo sapiens: it is the most *social* species among all vertebrates (it is true- go ask any biologist). Everything humans have achieved, they did it *together*. The independent and strong loner is a figure of the modern, industrial era. A few hundreds years ago (and in many parts of the world it still is), to be a loner, to be ostracized by your fellow humans, was a severe *punishment*. So we can pose as strong loners today because our ancestors prepared the stage for us, and they did not do it alone, but as teams, as societies...
People always say they would go back in time and kill Hitler... I've thought about it a lot, and I ...
Matias comments on Feb 6, 2019:
If someone went back and killed Hitler, I would not have been born, because Hitler caused the war, which caused my mother to flee from her home as a child to a distant part of Germany, so without the war she never would have met my father... Whoever kills Hitler would kill me too.
Do you really want to be locked in a room with me?😉😊😎
Matias comments on Feb 6, 2019:
I do not think that America has a problem with too much "victim mentality". After all there *are* a lot of bullies out there, and they produce a lot of victims
Does anyone know a person who might have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Matias comments on Feb 6, 2019:
If we take seriously the evidence accumulated by Jean Twenge and W. Keith Cambell, there is a "narcissism epidemic" going on (that is the title of their book. Subtitle: Living in the age of entitlement.) If they are correct - and I think they are - people like Trump are just a symptom, just like a pimple is just a symptom of an inflammation in the tissue below. Trump with his yellow head may be such a pimple...
What would you say to someone who already lost the motivation to finish the race?
Matias comments on Feb 4, 2019:
There's no point in continuing a pointless race.
Fundamentalist Religion Will Destroy The World
Matias comments on Feb 4, 2019:
Fundamentalist Religion has been with us for thousands of years. If there is a *real* threat, it is **progress** running out of control: climate warming, pollution, waste, loss of arable land, loss of biodiversity, overpopulation...

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Atheist, Secularist
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