Thursday, August 27, 2009

I keep saying good things in obscure places...

To rectify this injustice, I shall, like a mouse bringing you a half dead lizard that you neither want nor asked for, repost my brilliance here to be evaluated and praised (or perhaps validly critiqued allowing for personal growth).

you blame the idea of religion instead of human being nature of exsistance lol fun stuff. the idea of religion is to bring a group of people with common interest together, and have them follow a higher power its human being who use the idea of religion as a weapon just like a gun/sword/rock/words whatever you can use to convince the other person into believing your right...

I don't blame human nature for anything. By and large, human nature is a positive force for good. Humans, when they aren't feeling threatened, are some of the most lovely and interesting animals in all of nature. My point is that religion isn't suppose to bring together a group of people with common interests. That is the domain of knitting circles and book clubs. Religions are beliefs in things unseen, without evidence, on the word of people you don't know for reasons you cannot fathom.

Religion seems to be largely a product of the human proclivity towards confabulation with regard to agency. Humans will make things up and believe them with the slightest impulse to do so. If we see something in reality that we do not understand, we make up stories. Whether it's Apollo riding across the sky on his fiery chariot, God punishing snakes by taking away their legs, or Odin making man out of driftwood. Humans are remarkable story tellers. The problems arise when these stories are enforced by inquisition, defended by crusade, and protected by rejecting basic science.

Saying that it's humans faults for defending their false myths and lies too vigorously is simply wrong. The fault lies in epistemology. How do we know what we know? Is that a good reason to accept that belief? Could you be wrong about that? -- The only valid epistemology we've ever encountered is that of science. Rather than depending on what we think might be the case or what we are told, we test our ideas against reality, we test our hypothesis against the actual world, we check our theories about the universe within the universe.

There in is the problem of God. There's no good reason to accept it. If we were to accept God on such reasons we should equally accept werewolves and vampires. So long as the evidence of goblins, fairies, and werewolves is on par with the evidence of gods E.G. none... we should be atheists. If religion were just a hobby and the only problems were believing those lies and defending them with violence, then your comments would be apt. However, the better way of knowing and the way we should be if we want to believe the most true things and the fewest false things is to accept those things that we have reasons to accept. To remain open to evidence and argument and allow for a real battle of ideas... in this arena religions tend to lose. Perhaps they are just very unlucky, but more aptly they are just untrue.


Sparrowhawk said...

Yikes, I dunno if I'd have even responded to that kid. I get really irked when I read all-lower-case 9th-grader style writing with no punctuation and rampant "your/you're" errors in it.

Anyway, good job.

Tatarize said...

You must live in a sheltered corner of the internet. That's actually more on the good side as far as grammar goes. You haven't seen anything until you see a 500 word brick without a period in it.

Mike Messerli said...

Tatarize, your response was very well written, but I would disagree with this comment (several others too, but let me just mention this one): "To remain open to evidence and argument and allow for a real battle of ideas... in this arena religions tend to lose."

If I may, I would say two simple things, 1. For most religions of the world I would agree, but if there is one that has evidence, that has valid arguments, does that change the discussion? and, 2. I would ask, are you open to evidence and arguments or are you, as many I have read, a "setter"* and not a searcher? *setter- someone set in his ways regardless of the facts.

Again, you're a very good writer. I enjoy your thoughts. Thanks.

Sparrowhawk said...


Of course we are open to evidence and arguments.

I for one, would love to hear you make a positive case for the existence of any gods you believe in.

However, I think it's fair that I warn you not to make these arguments by refuting other things. I don't want to hear about why other religions are wrong...I don't want to hear about why you may or may not think science/evolution is mistaken.

Make a clear, concise case for your beliefs if you want to, but bear in mind this is something we do a lot and we won't hesitate to call you out on any logical fallacies you use, etc.

I, for one, eagerly await.

Mike Messerli said...


Thanks for the invitation. I know quite clearly that you guys are passionate about your "beliefs" (may I say that without too much criticizm? But I think you know what I mean.) I would love such a visit, but am sadly and honestly quite overwhelmed with my work right now. May I kindly decline for the moment, but come back to discuss these isssues with you at a later time? And, I would totally agree with your criteria, I would ask the same from you. All I look for is honesty and openess to evidence...the same thing you are looking for. Thanks for letting me participate in this brief way. I'm not avoiding your invitation, but I do know the time it demands, so please give me grace at this time. Thanks for letting me "play".

Sparrowhawk said...

>I know quite clearly that you guys are passionate about your "beliefs" (may I say that without too much criticizm? But I think you know what I mean.)

If you mean we're passionate about "atheism", then...I'm afraid I don't know what you mean. I can no more "passionately" lack belief in deities than I can passionately lack hair or a ferrari.

If you mean our beliefs in the importance of skepticism, reason, logic and science, then yes...I'll own up to the fact that I'm passionate about that.

Tatarize said...

1. If some religion has evidence, I'd like to know. I know a lot of religions and I've seen no evidence.

2. I change my mind on issues as readily as they are proved wrong. In fact, many of my beliefs are the result of myself being open to evidence and argument.