Reblog: On Biblical Standards and Natural Understanding

A superb outline of bible teachings and their place in today’s society.

A Humanist's perspective

The Bible is a volume of writings which were hand selected (and in some cases hand edited) by the early Roman Church in the 4th CE, and subsequently deemed as the exclusive and sacred word of God. About a thousand years later, these same writings were divided and organized into chapters, verses, and into a two fold division of an “Old” and a “New” Testament. The earlier major section of these writings reflects the personal, social, and religious values of a relatively isolated, desert people of an era of some two millenniums past; whereas the latter section reflects the ethical values of the Greco-Roman era of a slightly later time. The latter section likewise seems to serve as the subtext for a 2nd CE struggle between two general factions of the then recently conceived religious movement known as Christianity.

Each of the two major sections of the Bible center upon…

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144 thoughts on “Reblog: On Biblical Standards and Natural Understanding

  1. Hi Nan. I read the article with interest.This is a typical dismissal of anything supernatural or inspired about Scripture, but I would expect that from a self-proclaimed humanist, so in that regard, he did well. And I do agree with the list of abuses in the name of serving God. But I see that coming from bad theology and anachronistic use of Scripture that would contradict the teachings of Jesus. And that’s the problem with free will. People will project their own dysfunction onto “God” and do all kinds of really evil things in His name.

    There is also honest debate about the nature of inspiration and its anthropological aspects by scholars, but it would be a major overstatement to just dismiss it as myth. Of course, that’s my personal view. 🙂

    The other question I would have is where does he get the idea of “natural understanding of right and wrong?” Is there some objective truth he’s pointing to? And where does that come from?

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    • HA! “Typical dismissal … from a self-proclaimed humanist”

      Not much different than your statement: But I see that coming from bad theology and anachronistic use of Scripture that would contradict the teachings of Jesus. coming from a self-proclaimed Christian.

      It didn’t seem to me that he made any particular claims about natural understanding, but rather was asking the question … Should we base our standards upon our own natural understanding of “right and wrong”, or shall we base such on ancient writings from harsh and somewhat barbaric cultures?

      Of course, as a humanist, he does choose to trust his own natural understanding which, to me, makes your question related to him pointing to “some objective truth” irrelevant.

      Thanks for stopping by. Always enjoy your input.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course I would be dismissive of his view, which is probably just as typical. I totally admit my own bias. 🙂

        My question was, where does “natural” understanding come from? It’s a very relevant question. He seems to be appealing to something bigger than his own personal notion of good and evil. Is this subjective to variation based on the latest cultural groupthink? And if he has no objective standard to appeal to, then why are the things he described as “evil,” evil? Who’s to say they aren’t good? I do agree with natural understanding. I just don’t believe people are really thinking it through when they say there can be some “natural” standard of right and wrong without appealing to something outside of themselves.

        Btw, I won’t be at my computer much in the next few days so I won’t have time to respond as I probably just stuck my head in the lion’s mouth with others, but thank you for being a such a gracious host, Nan.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Respond when you can. In the meantime … food for thought for you and any others who might want to join in.

          Why do you feel knowing the origin of natural understanding is relevant? To those who are not caught up in the choking vines of Christendom, natural understanding is, well, perfectly natural.

          Also, I don’t think he made any claims about right and wrong, but simply asked if the judgment of right and wrong should be based on our own natural understanding or upon ancient writings, i.e., the bible.

          Of course you would believe our understanding of life comes from something outside of ourselves. But there really is no basis for this thinking except if one believes in a supernatural source … which is essentially the crux of the matter. N’est ce pas?

          Liked by 3 people

        • Mel: “I won’t be at my computer much in the next few days so I won’t have time to respond”

          Mmm.

          I’ll not frustrate myself with your theological rope a dope on someone else’s blog, but I will point you to where you may find answers to your questions regarding subjective vs objective morality. Avail yourself of it as you want my friend. https://coelsblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/there-is-nothing-wrong-with-morality-being-subjective/ You will find no better discussion of the subject anywhere in my opinion. The comment thread is also a worthwhile read.

          Liked by 4 people

        • I apologize for another reply, but I wanted to unpack your statements systematically.

          So you seem to contradict your assertion about good, evil, and morality here.

          People will project their own dysfunction onto “God” and do all kinds of really evil things in His name.

          If people can project their own dysfunction onto “God” and do all sorts of evil things, but they can’t project their own good onto Good and do all sorts of really good things in His name. Either good and evil exist and we are only able to do these actions through supernatural forces working through us, or we have our own sense of right of wrong, and some people use religion to justify those behaviors. If it’s the former, then you are right, if it’s the latter then religion is an unnecessary and we are probably better figuring out how to help people navigate themselves away from bad actions and towards good actions from a humanist perspective since it is a human problem.

          Now you’ll find the post does not use the word evil in any way, so you need to be careful not to misrepresent the argument that was presented. Now the bigger question you ask about where a standard of right and wrong come from is one that many theists have, but this question is easily answered through an understanding of evolution and through a recognition that humanity is itself living an experiment in which it has tried to self correct over the course of history.

          Let’s first take a look about what evolution says about who we are as a species. Like many other primates we are a social species. One of the advantages of being a social species is that we have safety in numbers. But numbers in itself isn’t quite enough alone unless we are cooperating. One of the reasons we work so well together and are more powerful we cooperate is through emotional bonding. Whether it is with a mate, family member, or a friend. These attachment serve as motivators for continual cooperation. While coercion can also be used to force cooperation, it is ultimately self defeating and eventually leads to our downfall (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/13/science/no-time-for-bullies-baboons-retool-their-culture.html). Because it is simply unnecessary, and fear in of itself effects the brain in a way that will reduce the amount of decisions we make with higher executive functions. In the long term it leads to dysfunction in societies. Now if we evolved from some other species we might have a completely different morality. We may not have to worry so much about cooperation if instead we had 1000’s of off spring and simply needed a handful of them to survive to continue as a species. And that’s another reason why we are social and bond, and that is for the communal raising and protection of children which are relatively helpless compared to many other species. The imperatives of survival and the type of species we are dictates much of our morality, and you can simply see how we might view murder or theft as harmful simply because it sows distrust and fear in a society and breaks down our cooperative structure which has been our biggest evolutionary advantage. Now you may not agree with what I’m saying, but it is at the very least a valid explanation that explains as much as your supernatural one. The important difference being is mine has empirical evidence, and yours is a matter of faith in the divine. Maybe that difference isn’t important to you, but the computer to which you type your response could not function through faith.

          For more information on how societies can derive morality without the supernatural and through science I recommend watching this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7xt5LtgsxQ&t=549s

          Liked by 3 people

        • @Swarn. Thank you for your well-reasoned answer. I essentially don’t have a problem with what you’re saying in general. I only have a few minutes, so I will make brief comments on what you said.

          My position would be that since all good things come from God, including our ability to figure this stuff out, nothing you said necessarily negates a creator. When I say supernatural, I include natural forces that have been set in motion and framed by the world we don’t see. And since we know there’s at least 8 dimensions existing outside of time and space that we don’t see, the jury is still out on what we know about reality.

          And your position still doesn’t answer the ontological question but, rather, gives an existential view of what is “real.” We’re just here, spinning through space, figuring it all out as we go. This also is a type of faith, that everything we don’t know now will be figured out by science in the future, and there will be no “god” at the end of the trail. Good luck with that.

          When you say “empirical evidence” you’re defining that by what can be measured or tested in time and space. But, while I don’t necessarily doubt the findings, it’s still a bit like Hamlet analyzing his castle at a microscopic level and proving there is no Shakespeare.

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        • We’ll, considering that we’re called every derogatory name in the book by atheist “academics,” pretty mild by comparison. Got to love the double-standard. And my point was, we’ll see, which is true. Do with it what you want. The truth, whatever it turns out to be, won’t care one wit about our opinions.

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        • Indeed the jury is still out on what reality is, but even if what I said doesn’t negate the possibility of God, the onus still does not remain on me to demonstrate that there is one. The fact remains that even if there is a God, it may not be the Christian God. It may be the Hindu God or any one of many other religions. It may be that there are many Gods. It may be that there is no personal God, just a creator who has no interest in interacting with our universe. To demonstrate that the God you believe in exists, then you must have some idea about the nature of that God, and I think there is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that, that particular God doesn’t exist. The idea that there might be a supernatural conscience out there certainly is a possibility, but you have presented no evidence that it is the creator that you believe in.

          In addition I have presented a scientific explanation for goodness that requires no need for a creator. It’s all well and good to say that the only way I could divine this is because there is a creator, once again we are back at the same point. My worldview requires no final link to the supernatural, and yours does, and it’s not clear why I should accept that there even is a final step when I have a perfectly good explanation that can be measured and tested in time and space. And as I said, even if there is that final link, there is absolutely no reason provided why it has to be Yahweh.

          Finally I don’t argue that there is no God, I simply live my life as if there isn’t one, because no evidence has been provided. It may be after 1000’s or perhaps more years of investigation we find that there is one, and should that happen, should I somehow be alive to see it, I would accept it. I have no problem with that. And it could be of course that there isn’t one. We have many years of discovering things for which God plays a diminishing role as an explanation to what was a mystery before and is now understood. That’s a lot of historical evidence that the things we have attribute to God will continue to diminish and not expand. It requires no faith in me at all, but only the acknowledgement that the odds are actually in my favor of that being the case given history.

          You speak of my worldview with your Hamlet analogy, but I could also make the same analogy towards your world view. To claim to understand any being capable of creating the universe would be so far beyond our ken that to write a book even now with some assumption about how that being created the universe, what that being wants, and how it wants us to live our lives would be the height of conceit and hubris. And yet theists like yourself not only want people to accept that there is a God, but that it’s a very particular God and that the rules are written down for us without even the faintest scientific understanding that we have now, just seems ludicrous to me. You speak of not knowing what reality really is, and that may be true, but we have a closer understanding to what reality is than we did 2000 years ago. So at the very least we should be writing a new book about God and creation and giving that a go for awhile, until we realize how outdated that is, and we come to some better understanding. Yet that’s not what religion asks us to do. You can’t criticize empiricism by saying things are far grander than we can comprehend, and then at the same time adhere to a religion that claims to understand that same grandness.

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        • ” To claim to understand any being capable of creating the universe would be so far beyond our ken that to write a book even now with some assumption about how that being created the universe, what that being wants, and how it wants us to live our lives would be the height of conceit and hubris. And yet theists like yourself not only want people to accept that there is a God, but that it’s a very particular God and that the rules are written down for us without even the faintest scientific understanding that we have now, just seems ludicrous to me.”

          This.^

          Liked by 3 people

        • Hi, Mel.
          Are you going to un-moderate my-comment/s regarding Following Jesus on your blog>?
          I really would like to see if you can provide specific details on the things one must do according to the apparent instructions from the character Jesus of Nazareth?
          And maybe the folks here would be interested in reading your take as well?

          Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Nan. I read the article with interest.This is a typical dismissal of anything supernatural or inspired about Scripture,

      That’s because any normal person, like Humanist, Nan and myself and most others who visit Nan’s blog would ask for evidence of any claims of supernatural or inspired. And rightly so. But then if there was evidence they wouldn’t be supernatural would they?
      You obviously don’t see this as a problem.
      As I said …. normal person.

      🙂

      Liked by 5 people

        • Remember that post I published a while back comparing Christianity to wisteria? Nan nailed it in her reply to Mel when she wrote: “To those who are not caught up in the choking vines of Christendom, natural understanding is, well, perfectly natural.”

          Liked by 5 people

        • Much like this?:
          ”Don’t you tell me Santa ain’t real! I seen him with all those other kids. And then I sat on his knee, too, an’ he gave me a toy train. You can’t that ain’t real!”
          ”Yes, Mel but you’re over fifty . Maybe it’s time we had a little chat, eh?”

          Liked by 4 people

        • Well, I think Santa Claus is a good comparison. He got/gets all the credit, and the parents, zip, notta. The same can be said for Christians who give their god all the credit for good, and humans, zip, notta.

          Gally, gee, do you think these elephants read the bible, and have a “personal” relationship with Jesus?

          Liked by 5 people

    • But I see that coming from bad theology and anachronistic use of Scripture that would contradict the teachings of Jesus.

      This is all to common an argument. It boils down to a No True Scotsman fallacy. You say others aren’t following the Bible. They would disagree. Now perhaps you’re right and their wrong, but one has to acknowledge that for a majority of the history of Christianity, your interpretation would be in the minority. Thus it raises the question, why isn’t the word of God more clear? In response to another comment I linked the tenets of secular humanism (https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/12). This is a much shorter book, but you have to admit quite clear. We could throw in a few parables or fables to demonstrate these principles, add in some definitions, and voila we have ourselves something that is without contradiction and gives us guidance on how we might live our lives in a meaningful way. Furthermore if there is disagreement about these principles, the principles themselves give us guidance on how to deal with disagreements. We have no need to jail or kill “heretics”. Anyone of these points is up for debate and could modified or eliminated if evidence and reason justified it. The principles themselves also indicate that we may not have figured everything out already and that we can add to it. I would be much kinder about the Bible if it was truly a living document. One that could be made clearer, one where we said…you know what…all that stuff about stoning adulterers, God commanding his followers to rape women and cut babies out of their bellies after the battle, that stuff really doesn’t need to be in there anymore in terms of how to live our lives. We can preserve old copies for historical purposes, but here are the good parts that are more fitting for life in society today. But we don’t do that. It’s still a mess of contradictions where people take what they want to justify their behavior and enjoy the rest. Or the reinterpret passages in a more favorable way, even if those same passages were not interpreted in that way in the past.

      During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumb-screws, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood.

      Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry…..There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.

      – Mark Twain, “Bible Teaching and Religious Practice,” Europe and Elsewhere

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Posted this on the original, so I’ll post it here as well.

    It’s worth considering that the metastasis of Secular Humanism through humanity has been accompanied by increasingly horrific destruction and mounting danger not only to civilization, but to all life on this planet. Say what you will about other worldviews, but they are not remotely as destructive as the one you espouse.

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    • ?!
      Hi Seth~ I’m wondering if you could unpack your hyperbole with a specific example of how secular humanism has had a deleterious effect on civilization.

      “Consider, for instance, the latest special report just put out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (and recently summarized on the website 24/7wallstreet.com), which lists the ten states with the worst/best quality of life. According to this multivariate analysis which takes into account a plethora of indicators of societal well-being, those states in America with the worst quality of life tend to be among the most God-loving/most religious (such as Mississippi and Alabama), while those states with the best quality of life tend to among the least God-loving/least religious (such as Vermont and New Hampshire).

      If you are curious as to which states are the most/least religious, simply check out the Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape Survey. It’s all there. And then you can go ahead and check out how the various states are faring in terms of societal well-being. The correlation is clear and strong: the more secular tend to fare better than the more religious on a vast host of measures, including homicide and violent crime rates, poverty rates, obesity and diabetes rates, child abuse rates, educational attainment levels, income levels, unemployment rates, rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy, etc. You name it: on nearly every sociological measure of well-being, you’re most likely to find the more secular states with the lowest levels of faith in God and the lowest rates of church attendance faring the best and the most religious states with the highest levels of faith in God and rates of church attendance faring the worst.

      The Save the Children Foundation publishes an annual “Mother’s Index,” wherein they rank the best and worst places on earth in which to be a mother. And the best are almost always among the most secular nations on earth, while the worst are among the most devout. The non-profit organization called Vision of Humanity publishes an annual “Global Peace Index.” And according to their rankings, the most peaceful nations on earth are almost all among the most secular, while the least peaceful are almost all among the most religious. According to the United Nations 2011 Global Study on Homicide, of the top-10 nations with the highest intentional homicide rates, all are very religious/theistic nations, but of those at bottom of the list – the nations on earth with the lowest homicide rates — nearly all are very secular nations.”

      Excerpted from:

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-secular-life/201410/secular-societies-fare-better-religious-societies

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      • First, you’re using Secular Humanist sources to aggrandize Secular Humanism. That’s like quoting the Southern Baptist Convention to support Southern Baptists.

        Second, you’re overlooking the fact that it has generally been the case in human history that the most well off have secured their position by dent of exploitation. And again, it’s from this exploitative class that these reports of their own virtue are born. Of course it’s better, questions of morality aside, to be born into that privilege, but there are in fact questions of morality.

        Third, you’re ignoring the fact that those religiously inclined citizens of the USA are required to subvert their own views in favor of legally sanctioned Secular Humanism. The less assimilated they are the less favorably they’re treated, and the more vulnerable they are to the predations of their Humanist governors. Don’t forget, either, that those paragon nations of Humanism are also places of stark ethnic purity. That should be deeply troubling to those who espouse that philosophy.

        As for the dangers, they are clear and present. Nuclear holocaust and catastrophic environmental degradation are the two gravest. Destruction of cultural diversity and technological colonialism are among the others. These are phenomena for which Secular Humanism can be held entirely responsible. They could not have arisen as a result of any other worldview. It is becoming more and more clear that the society founded on Secular Humanist views is going to destroy the world as we know it. I pray that people begin to see the threat.

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        • So, no specific examples then? The nuclear holocaust for example where and when did it happen and how specifically did secular humanism cause it?
          The article cites 5 independent studies all of which are easily verified for their accuracy with a little research. I’d be interested in countervailing factual studies if you have them. Much like if an arsonist told me my house were ablaze, the claim is easily testable regardless of the source of information.
          I’m open to be persuaded, given information that isn’t overblown vague generalizations of xenophobic rhetoric.

          Liked by 4 people

        • Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan. August 6 & 9, 1945. At least 130,000 dead on orders from a Secular Humanist State. That’s so far. Are you suggesting there is no threat of global nuclear war? Are you suggesting that climate change is not occurring? If so, I’ll track down a few studies to authenticate the dangers.

          Those studies you point out may be independent of one another, but they’re hardly independent of Humanist influence. In fact, they’re products of it. I’m sure the Koch brothers can drum up a handful of independent studies as well.

          If you want a countervailing view, just ask the Native American tribes; those that survived the invasion of this Humanist State, that is. Or consult the history of kidnapped Africans on whose backs it was built. How about the third world laborers who are exploited to provide cheap goods for this nation. Or the poor whose welfare is sacrificed to its wealthy owners. I assume these humans are factual enough for you.

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        • The USA is a Secular Humanist State. It developed nuclear weapons and used them. It maintains an arsenal of them and reserves the right to use them. In fact, almost all of the nations that stockpile nuclear weapons are Secular Humanist States. The worlds major contributors to climate change are explicitly Secular Humanist. The technologies that drive global warming come from these same cultures. And this doesn’t even address the wholesale slaughter from the conventional, but still incredibly lethal arms created by these collectives. Let me know if I need to connect any more dots.

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        • Those are unsupported correlations. I could as easily say the US has men, women, and children as citizens, therefore all men, women and children are responsible for Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Are all Catholics child molesters?
          So for the last time, what beyond general misleading inference do you have to support secular humanism being responsible for societal ills?

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        • What I’m pointing out is that your Secular Humanist society is anything but civil. You’re just technologically advanced savages who exploit those who submit and annihilate those who don’t. Then you commission studies to reinforce the narrative of your own goodness. How else would you arrive at the conclusion that your society has never done wrong?

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        • This has all been a lovely session of whatboutery. We haven’t yet managed to put our finger on exactly what mechanism secular humanism employs to lessen civility. We both know there aren’t any utopian societies in all of world history. Some have been on average better than others. My position is that secularism does more to mitigate harm than others. What country can you point to that exemplifies whatever it is you think should be the norm? As for the US the 80% or so of the religious would be hard pressed to agree with the claim we’re a secular nation and as we’re the only one to have dropped the bomb, of all the secular societies the US would be the outlier, not the norm.

          Liked by 2 people

        • If we cannot judge a worldview by the fruits of those societies founded on its principles, then what method would you suggest. And the USA is explicitly, constitutionally a Secular Humanist republic. The fact is ensconced in its most fundamental laws, whether those 80% recognize it or not.

          While the USA has been the only Secular Humanist nation to use nuclear weapons, it is hardly an outlier when it comes to stockpiling them. In fact, this danger is an overwhelmingly Secular preoccupation.

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        • Now we’re back to unsupported generalizations again. You should be complaining to the religious, [not the atheists,] as they~ being in the majority are the problem, using your reasoning. It’s all their fault.
          I’ll leave it to the readers to decide who makes the more compelling argument. Where you’re just repeating the same empty rhetoric over and over, I’ll find other things to do.
          Thanks for the convo.

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        • You’re welcome. I hope you do take some time to genuinely consider what I’ve posted. Thanks for your time.

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        • @ Seth.

          I pray that people begin to see the threat.

          Criticize Secular Humanism by all means, and much of what you write against it may have some merit at some level.

          However, to then utter this line of absolute nonsensical garbage, just makes you comes across as a Religiously Indoctrinated Giant Nob.

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        • Not in the least! Are you suggesting that the biggest threat is not likely to come from either an Islamic nation or Islamic terrorists?

          Are you suggesting that a last percentage of global warming deniers are not right-wingers/republican who are, by and large Christian leaning, or wholly Christian?
          Did you see that in Turkey evolution has now been removed from the school curriculum?

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        • Of course I don’t think the greatest danger to life here is either an Islamic nation or Islamic terrorists. They just don’t have the capacity for destruction that Secular Humanist nations have. Not even close.

          And acceptance or denial are irrelevant. It’s whether or not you’re willing to do anything meaningful to impact the situation. On that score, Christians and Humanists appear to be on equally wrong footing.

          I’m not sure why it matters if Turkey teaches your particular creation narrative or not.

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        • So what do you think would prompt a nuclear holocaust between secular nations, and which nations do you believe would instigate/be involved?

          I’ll ignore the Creationist aspect silliness of your reply for now, but I’d be wary of going down that path if you wish to try to maintain even a smidgen of credibility.

          Liked by 2 people

        • As it’s madness to stockpile nuclear weapons, it’s difficult to say what will trigger such a war. Are you suggesting that none of these nations could possibly do so? As to which nation will instigate the catastrophe, it would be difficult to say. If you agree that nuclear weapons are a threat, though, you have to agree that those nations that stockpile them are the key part of that threat. The weapons don’t make or launch themselves.

          Oh no. I’d hate to lose credibility with the thought police. Don’t know how I could go on.

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        • No I am not suggesting. that a nuclear holocaust could never happen.
          However, evidence suggests that none of these nations would likely launch a nuclear strike as this would trigger a nuclear war and you might as well kiss you arse goodbye.
          And we could speculate that there is as much chance of a global chemical weapons war.
          Even during the heightened era of the Cold-War common sense prevailed, and we were told we were ”this close” to nuclear holocaust.
          There is little motivation at present to initiate a global nuclear event. In fact, was there ever, really?
          North Korea are probably the most likely nation to be responsible for any nuclear strike and I somehow doubt they will be allowed to develop such a capability. And they would then be wiped out el pronto – something dear Kim might not want as then he would no longer be leader.
          https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2497570/nuclear-weapons-north-korea-kim-jong-un-war-missile-attack/
          So, you have to provide a motivation first that would flatly outweigh any considerations to the contrary.
          It seems you are hedging in an attempt to further your argument against Secular Humanists.

          Currently, Islamic fundamentalists/terrorists would be the Prime Suspect should they manage to get their hands on a weapon.

          Oh no. I’d hate to lose credibility with the thought police. Don’t know how I could go on.

          And there you go …… confirmation that you are little more than an Indoctrinated Creationist Nob.

          Liked by 3 people

        • So, these nations are just stockpiling nuclear weapons as a hobby? You make it sound like no big deal. If you consider the Cold War to be a time of common sense, though, then we’re pretty far apart on the meaning of the term.

          Speaking of motivations, what do you suppose motivates these nations to keep nuclear arsenals?

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        • You see, I get the impression you are either misreading on purpose or simply not paying attention.
          I said Common-Sense prevailed .
          Look the word up in a dictionary and then read it again.

          As for stockpiling.
          Here’s an interesting article about the decrease in nuclear weapons in the US and Russia (former Soviet Union) And the general state of affairs worldwide.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_nuclear_weapons_stockpiles_and_nuclear_tests_by_country

          I don’t doubt that even with this continued reduction there are plenty enough to destroy most life on the planet should a war be enacted.
          But at least the trend is moving toward nuclear disarmament, albeit slowly and not uniformly.
          You will probably find that in the not-too -distant-future nuclear weapons will become mostly obsolete and other, more deadly but ”cleaner” weapons will be developed – if they haven’t already!
          We do seem to enjoy killing each other don’t we?
          Even your god had a go on several occasions – globally too, right? (just kidding … no one truly believes all that Old Testament nonsense, right? Course not.
          Anyway, as far as the ”west”goes, and similar cultures, we are mostly consumer-driven. Would seem silly to make the place completely uninhabitable because of radiation.

          Speaking of motivations, what do you suppose motivates these nations to keep nuclear arsenals?

          Well, at the beginning of the ”Arms Race”
          it was all about the Commies Vs the West,wasn’t it?
          These days, who knows? Of course defense will be cited.
          The India/Pakistan issue is a bit of a concern.
          Religion involved there again, I’m afraid. You god- botherers don’t know when you’ve had enough do you?
          But as there is a steady decline in the larger nuclear arsenals I would venture that one of the big concerns is going to be how to dismantle and dispose of them safely.
          I do not know enough about nuclear physics to give a more accurate answer.

          However, secular humanism and the eventual dwindling of religion will go a fair way to reducing division among many nations, Arabs – Israelies, India-Pakistan etc.
          And that can only be a good thing.

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        • You’re trying to have it both ways. You’re saying on one hand that nuclear weapons are a threat. On the other hand you’re saying they’re not. Which is it? Are nuclear weapons a threat? If so, then the threat comes from those nations that maintain stockpiles, most of which are Secular Humanist in principle. If you don’t think nuclear weapons are a threat, then I believe you’re naive.

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        • You know what Seth? I think it’s time you defined Secular Humanism — because when I do some Googling, I don’t find any of the traits you have consistently attached to this worldview. Unless, of course, I read the descriptions offered by Christian websites as opposed to the definition provided by the Council for Secular Humanism — which seems to me would be the most accurate description since “they are one.”

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        • Purely mundane view of the world, ignoring the possibility of any non-material phenomena, a belief that the scientific method has an unlimited range of inquiry, and that morality is shaped by consensus. Not sure how that differs from my presentation of Secular Humanism. And those principles can be seen as the foundation of modern Western culture. Would you agree to that point?

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        • I am not in any way saying that nuclear weapons are not a threat.
          Where on earth do you think I said this?

          So , if we dismantle states governed by Secular Humanism and install theocracies what religion would you like to see our countries governed by/based upon?
          Please be specific.

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        • I addressed this in a response to your comment on my blog, and would be glad to continue the discussion there. In short, I believe Christianity would best serve the needs of humanity, though probably not in the way you might imagine. It would require us to give up certain things, but that’s true of any way of life. In return, we would learn to be a self-organizing and life affirming society. I don’t know if it’s likely for that to happen, but it is possible. And it’s worth pursuing.

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        • No brand, though I’m currently attending services in an independent Baptist congregation. My faith tends toward the migratory.

          Not Buddhism because I feel that the it describes the divine from an earthly perspective, rather than the earthly from the divine. There are other reasons, but that’s a good touchstone. Not Voodoo, because it strikes me as coming from a place of darkness rather than light.

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        • Why would you say voodooism comes from a place of darkness? Is that not ethnocentric? Thinking your belief must be the best and imbued with light!
          What would be the problem with an earthly conception? Our abode is the earth. Our knowledge is earthly. Our love is for things earthly.

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        • Like I said, it strikes me as coming from a place of darkness. I’m willing to hear you out, though. Are you a practitioner of that faith? If not, do you feel as though you’ve spent enough time with its practitioners to speak on their behalf?

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        • You ask me if I am a practioneer to be able to speak on their behalf while you who are not a practioneer thinks it comes from a place of darkness and do not see the double standard.
          No I am not a practioneer. I don’t think any group would adopt a religious practice if it didn’t answer their existential questions. It answers to their place in the universe, meaning and whatever other function religion does in people’s lives. To dismiss it with a hand wave is not scholarly nor good manners

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        • I asked you that question because it’s important to understand where you’re coming from. And I’m not being dismissive. I told you I’m willing to listen, but you’re just trying to make cheap points off of things about which even you admit you’re ignorant.

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        • Are you telling me there are people who in conceiving their religion and attendant rituals would choose something that is dark, whatever you mean by darkness?

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        • Which African traditional religion? I’m open to the possibility, if you want to present one.

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        • Okay. Are you a practitioner, or do you have enough experience with its adherents to speak on their behalf?

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        • So now that your argument against states trying to uphold Secular Humanism has been soundly trashed you hand-wave it away and address … or actually don’t address the second issue other than to try and drag others over to your blog.
          Answer it here an let others decided if they wish to visit.

          It seems your your Head In The Clouds theological based beliefs have more holes in them than a Galilean fisherman’s net.

          Maybe you should sit down in a quiet place and try to think carefully before you write your next comment?

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        • Very nice victory declaration. A bit presumptive, but nice try. And I actually did address the second point, as well as point out that I have more on my blog. Shocking, I know.

          By the way, a net without holes won’t catch any fish. Assuming catching fish is the goal, you’re describing a feature rather than a bug.

          And it’s hard to miss the tone of cultural supremacy when you assume anybody who disagrees with you just isn’t thinking the right way.

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        • Yes, a net without holes won’t catch fish, but you seem to have missed the point, so … what’s the point?
          Cultural Supremacy? … Not at all.What a silly thing to say.
          Surely you are not one to sulk when you have your arse handed to you on a plate?
          However, anyone -like you for example – who bases their thought process largely on the presuppositional belief of the veracity of Religious Doctrine, and in your case Christianity needs to rethink their whole approach.

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        • Or yours was just a poor metaphor.

          And it is cultural supremacy you’re putting out. You think that people who disagree with you do so because they’re just not smart enough to understand. It’s in your language over and over. You say you hope I’m bright enough to see things the way you see them; that “normal people” share your worldview. Those aren’t statements of someone who believes they have a difference of opinion, but of someone who thinks they are superior in some faculty. They’re the statements of a supremacist.

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        • Or yours was just a poor metaphor.

          Really? You are pushing a Christian agenda and I use a Christian symbol as a metaphor to demonstrate how untenable your agenda is. Maybe you just have a limited sense of humour?
          Ask the host her opinion?

          No. You are either suffering from severe indoctrination or are willfully ignorant.
          While I might accept there is merit to your claim over willful ignorance but not severe indoctrination.
          If you are not happy with either of those two examples then tell me which ”camp” you fall into?
          Supremacist? Me!?
          Hilarious. Well, I have been called a few things in my time but Supremacist is not one of them. Nice one. I shall mark it on the list, shall I?
          I might argue you just sound hard done by and are just whining.
          If you want respect, earn it.
          Make a valid case and we I’ll listen.
          So far you are simply flaunting your god belief. Your hubris is as blatant as your ignorance.
          Practically everyone here is a religious deconvert, yet here you are like some sort of Rookie Reborn Waving your I Am A Sunbeam for Jesus flag.
          I can assure you … over here, as on most blogs hosted by Christian Deconverts it’s a case of Been There Done That and FTS thanks very much. Atheism is like a breath of fresh air, I assure you.
          So, I’d be careful if I were you, Mr Sunbeam For Jesus or someone might just tell you where to stick your Flag.

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        • If you don’t want to hear other ideas, you should probably make a members only blog. Or at least mention that you’ve already made up your mind, and fall quickly to ridicule if someone doesn’t conform to your way of thinking.

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        • It’s not my blog. ( and I don’t run a members only blog either…. so when I do a religious post feel free to pop over.
          You will have to discuss the ”Members Only” thing with Nan, I’m afraid.
          And I have explored all this stuff – for years – and so have all the others here. It is crap. That’s why they deconverted. They made up their mind after studying the evidence and realised it was all hokum. Maybe you will too?
          I hope so …
          As I am sure does everyone else here.

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        • First, you’re using Secular Humanist sources to aggrandize Secular Humanism. That’s like quoting the Southern Baptist Convention to support Southern Baptists.

          This argument is a genetic fallacy.

          As for your other claims purely fallacious on the grounds that correlation does not equal causation while providing no specific evidence to your claims. Thus you are also guilty of the false cause fallacy.

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        • You seem to be confused on the meaning of genetic fallacy. It has to do with ignoring current context in favor of the historical. That’s not related to the quote you provided from my post.

          Keep building up that firewall of fallacies to immunize your worldview from criticism, though. I’m sure future generations will appreciate the logical precision while they’re choking on the fumes left by this society.

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        • Well given that everything you’ve said up to this point has been filled with logical fallacies, you could try making an argument that is not. Instead you simply criticize my requirement that you not commit logical fallacies. LOL

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        • Right. I bet you’ve got a list of logical fallacies longer than your leg. How often do you find yourself yammering about logical fallacies? Do you assume that every conversation is an exercise in formal logic? That formal logic is the only meaningful method of discourse? If so, what in the world are you doing on this website?

          All that aside, you still didn’t provide a possible demonstration. That suggests your not even aware of what that might entail; that what you mean by logical is just those things that agree with your way of thinking, and logical fallacy is just another term for things with which you disagree.

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        • You see logic and mathematics are one and the same. I can demand that you use logic to have a debate, because not doing so means that honest dialogue is not possible. I have absolutely had rational and logical discussion with people I have disagreed with, and have changed my mind as a result. The fact that you can’t do the math is your own shortcoming. Logic is the language of science, and this is how truth is derived, as we go back forth we find errors in thinking and we march closer to a better understanding. The fact that you cannot prove your claims through logical argumentation, and that you refuse to attempt to do so, means that you A) Simply choose to be intellectually dishonest B) Don’t understand logic, or C) Haven’t the humility to reform your views when an error in your logic is pointed out. Thus no such fruitful conversation is possible. There is a large list of logical fallacies…you should learn them, and then try not to commit them. Maybe then you’ll be on a real journey towards understanding. If you aren’t interested in understanding I’d ask you what you are doing on this website other than to spout off your beliefs without listening to anybody else? If you’ve no need to learn and read, then there is nothing to be gained by criticizing others without having the intellectual weight to back up your own arguments. Unless you simply get off on criticizing others and listening to the sound of your own voice.

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        • Even if logic and mathematics are one and the same (which bega the question of why there are different words), the universe is still an entirely separate matter. And there’s no proof available that all phenomena can be explained mathematically. In fact, incompleteness theory powerfully states otherwise. And that’s within the field itself. So, limit yourself to only logically explained phenomena if you like, but you’re missing out on a much bigger picture.

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        • They are different words because logic doesn’t require any specific language, math is a much more specific language. And just because something can’t be expressed mathematically doesn’t mean that it’s irrational, or illogical, or that we might not be able to express it mathematically in the future. Incompleteness is not the same as irrational. In fact Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem was in fact derived by logic.

          From Rational Wiki:

          However, Gödel’s theorem has a precise mathematical formulation, and so do the mathematical concepts of logical truth and provability; to even consider the truth or provability of a statement, it first needs to be formalized in the language of mathematical logic. “God”, as an idea grounded in our imprecise maps of the real world, is clearly not a well-defined logical formula whose truth or falsehood is even meaningful to consider as a consequence of purely mathematical theories. This argument falls into “not even wrong” territory.

          And here’s a link to the “not even wrong” fallacy for you. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong

          So yes if you are interested in describing reality, you actually have to apply the logic to it. The Incompleteness Theorem describes reality. So if God is real, you actually have to make a series of logical arguments to conclude that there is God.

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        • If we cannot judge a worldview by the fruits of those societies founded on its principles, then what method would you suggest. And the USA is explicitly, constitutionally a Secular Humanist republic. The fact is ensconced in its most fundamental laws, whether those 80% recognize it or not.

          See to have any intellectual merit, you’ll need to unpack this in some sort of meaningful way. Can you outline the tenets of secular humanism and describe how they support or encourage the use of violence as a means for solving problems?

          You also use the logical fallacy of composition here in making your claims. If secular humanism is a founding principle of the USA, then it must be using secular humanism for every decision it makes. This is a fallacy. We know of course this to be untrue. The U.S. had not abolished slavery in it’s founding. Certainly this is not a practice supported by secular humanism. We had segregation, genocide of native populations, denying of equal rights to women, and to homosexuals. I think you’ll find all these things were roundly justified by biblical passages, not through somebody preaching secular humanist values. So if you want to be taken seriously in any meaningful way you are going to hsbr actual demonstrate that you understand how scholarly work is done and be specific about it. I’ll even make it easy for you and link you the set of principles that secular humanism believes in, and let you show how these principles lead to the destruction and horror they claim. And yes, I’ll continue to count your logical fallacies. Although this list is not exhaustive, it’s a good place to start: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/. Get familiar with these and come back and play when you can have a more rational discussion.

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        • You’ll just keep plugging your ears and humming the logical fallacy tune. But the world isn’t an entirely rational place. If you don’t believe that, then Xeno is waving to you from outside the room you’ll never escape.

          The real issue is that the underlying principle of Humanism is enlightened self-interest. Of course it’s only the self-interest that plays out, since enlightenment never comes from the pursuit of one’s own desires. Which leaves us with just self-interest as a guiding principle. It’s not too hard to draw a connection from there to the violence and destruction and exploitation of the societies founded on Secular Humanist ideology. Unless you just want to remain willfully ignorant, that is.

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        • Actually the universe is rational… Just people trying to understand it aren’t. If you want to try to convince me that you understand it better than me, you actually do have to demonstrate a more robust logic not built on unprovable premises. More importantly you have to be able to actually provide evidence for your own assertions and actually deal directly with someone else’s arguments. The fact that you obfuscate truth using ambiguous claims demonstrate you as nothing more than a charlatan rather than anybody who should be taken seriously. Granted you’ve discovered that people do fall for charlatans you’ll have a following. I think it’s pretty clear who will spend their life absorbed in their own self interest. Lol

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        • Given the amount of time you spend proving your assertions I refuse to waste anymore time until you take the value of proof seriously. The fact that you ask for things that you cannot provide yourself demonstrates the dishonesty of your character.

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        • You asked for proof, but you have not provided any evidence for your own claims. You simply asserted them without giving evidence. You have not taken any proclaimed tenets of secular humanism and linked them to any horrific historical events. You’ve made up tenets of secular humanism. Really good job there.

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        • But my worldview readily accepts that it works by faith. It’s you folk that act like you have proof for everything you believe. All I did was ask you to support your viewpoint from its own perspective, which you can’t do.

          What, then, would you say are the tenets of Secular Humanism?

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        • I linked you the tenets of secular humanism. And if your worldview is that faith defines reality in any way, there is no point to further discussion, because belief does not determine reality. I can defend my perspective of a rational universe that is defined by physical laws, but I see no point in going into detail if in the end you are going to stand your faith defined reality up against one that functions based on evidence and rational explanation. Using faith to define reality is only possible through delusions of grandeur. You can dress it up, but in the end it is no different than Thor, Enki, or the Flying Spaghetti monster. You are free to live in that delusion and define reality that way, but I have no desire to bring you out of that delusion unless. People have to want to get help first.

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        • You actually didn’t, but it won’t really matter if you’ve prejudged every faith to be delusional. And if you really think that every belief system other than your own os pretty much the same thing, which shows a stunning lack of sophistication. There’s no getting into a closed mind.

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        • You’re right about something I forgot the link. Far be it from me to google things for you, because apparently you lack that skill. So here you go. https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/12

          I don’t have a belief system. I might have a beliefs, but it’s not a system. And any belief I might have may change depending on evidence, and for many beliefs I actively seek evidence before I get too attached to them. I’m interested in the idea of truth, and am interested in utilizing the best tools we have out there to derive truth and that’s not faith. Faith cannot make things true. You are not interested in providing evidence. You have not provided any evidence for any claim you have made thus far. And until you do, you are nothing more than a charlatan. Or have a stunning lack of sophistication when it comes to intelligence.

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        • @ makagutu Hey if they are cheap, which I seriously doubt, I could afford some. I need all the points I can get. If they are really good ones, slightly used you should have a blogside sale. Get a few of the others Like Nan, victoria , Professor Taboo, persedeplume. I would include Ark in the list but I have heard from Colorstorm and GodsManForever not to mention S.O.M. that Arks points come at a high cost, usually from their hides as they are so often not so humanely put down by him. Ah well, I will sit in the shade here and watch and pick up what pointers I can as they fall from the lead table for the rest to scrounge. 🙂 Be well. Oh I thought the question you posed on your blog was gand. Hugs

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    • Purely mundane view of the world

      This is not secular humanism…this is your opinion of how secular humanists view the world. I can say in my case and numerous friends of mine who share the same views, that we actually find the world far from mundane.

      ignoring the possibility of any non-material phenomena

      What does this even men. Energy is non-material, we certainly don’t ignore that. But if you mean the supernatural, we simply expect evidence of such phenomena. If there is a God that does indeed interact with this universe which is material, then we should at least be able find evidence of it. But we do not. And if you think there is evidence, what makes you think it’s Yahweh and not Brahma, or Zeus, or any of the other 1000’s of deities in human history?

      a belief that the scientific method has an unlimited range of inquiry Again this is not a precept of secular humanism, at least not the way you have phrased it. We would say that the scientific method is the best tool we have for making inquiry. We don’t know it’s limits, we just know that it works better than any other method of inquiry. Perhaps another method of inquiry will replace the scientific method sometime. If you propose another method for discovering truth, please demonstrate how it’s effectiveness.

      and that morality is shaped by consensus

      Not sure where you got that from, but no where do secular humanists claim this, in fact that would strictly be counter to the scientific method, not to mention, you guessed it a logical fallacy. I really feel like you should know these by know. It’s called appeal to popularity. Popularity does not make an action moral. Despite support for slavery in this country’s founding, that did not make slavery moral. In the founding of this country there were certainly numerous founders who dissented against the practice of slavery. It was certainly not secular humanism that proclaimed slavery to be an ethical or moral practice.

      So let’s review. You don’t know what secular humanism is. You identify Western Culture as being completely founded on secular humanism, when we can demonstrate that it often doesn’t practice it’s tenets, not to mention that culture does not just change in a day. So even if a country is founded on an ideal, that does not mean in anyway, that ideal becomes practice. The government of India has officially abolished the caste system. Guess what, the caste system still exists.

      It’s clear someone has given you a sword and some armor and also clear that you have no idea how to fight. You blame the ills on the world on something you clearly don’t understand.

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      • Mundane means not spiritual. Energy is a material phenomenon. It really seems like you haven’t put much thought into this. Perhaps you should develop a system.

        As for morality by consensus, let’s take a look at that. From a Secular Humanist standpoint, why is slavery wrong?

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        • Mundane also means ordinary much like your agreements. Material primarily means made of matter. Energy is not made of matter. Perhaps you should be clearer when you make an assertion. Your use of ambiguous words tends to add to your inability to make rational arguments.

          Slavery is wrong because it denies certain people rights that you personally feel you should have. It treats people as property. It limits a person’s freedom to self determine. If I feel I deserve those freedoms then I have no justification for denying others that same freedom. It seems fairly obvious. It seems like you have not put a lot of thought into this.

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        • I encourage you to seek out a physicist you trust and ask them if energy is a material phenomenon. Or pick out a reference source you trust on such things and query the issue. I’m serious about that. And I was clarifying my use of mundane regarding this topic. Given that, are we in agreement over the idea that Secular Humanism holds an exclusively mundane view of the universe? Or do you contend that it allows for spiritual phenomena?

          Why is it wrong to deny certain people rights? Why should you have to justify your actions? The answers to these questions are not obvious. Just ask Descartes or Hume, et al.

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        • I’m saying it wasn’t clear what definition of the words you were using were. Now that I do, I agree. I wouldn’t use the word material for describing energy, I would use physical. Your use of words was ambiguous.

          Actions that cause harm are detrimental to society as a whole. If you build a society that says certain rights are okay for you and not okay for others this allows for oppression. Oppression leads to things like revolt, distrust, a devaluing of humanity in general, which society could then decide you are next. Recognizing the humanity of all ensures a greater chance of survival for all. Again this is pretty obvious.

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        • Why is survival important? And if it is, then couldn’t a case be made that society is a danger to the species? All species at this point?

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        • I am not sure why survival is important, other than we live in a universe where life is a statistical possibility, and it is an imperative of life to survive. When you look at the variety of species that’s what they seem to do, and they evolve over time to try and overcome the obstacles that threaten their survival, whether it is changing environmental conditions or predators, viruses, parasites etc.

          And yes it does appear that some of our practices as they stand threaten the survival of this entire planet, but this can be explained also through the lens of evolution. Evolution does not prepare us for quick or sudden changes. Evolution also does not program us to save all other species, only ourselves. This can sometimes have negative consequences. A wolf and rabbit population will vary over time and not live in perfect harmony with each other at steady population levels. Nature, in general does not attempt to live sustainably. A wolf population may eat too many rabbits while the wolf population prospers, only to find a shortage of rabbits causing part of the species to die off from starvation.

          But there are only certain aspects of society that are dangerous to survival. There are also aspects of society that are beneficial to survival. Certainly in the short term, but perhaps in the long term as well. We can see that life expectancy of our species has risen, infant mortality has decreased over time, women dying during child birth has decreased. I can point to a lot of aspects of society that have caused things to get better. And we are a social species, our ability to cooperate is our strength.

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        • Okay, so survival is fundamentally important. Now, survival in an Evolutionary model means that some of members the species have to die for the rest to go on. Who gets to make that choice?

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        • Since mutations are random. Those mutations which are an advantage in the environment are passed on because those members of the species have a better chance at surviving until a reproductive age. It’s not a choice in any way, shape, or form.

          Also it’s not correct to say that some have to die for the rest to go on. All could live should genetic mutations not impact survival in any serious way and conditions in the environment are relatively stable.

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        • I am interested in another subject you brought up. You say that Evolution programs, yet programming is an intentional act. Is that how you see Evolution working?

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        • No we are not programmed, but evolution is a process which bears some analogy to a program. I haven’t the literary skills to describe it more appropriately perhaps. We know for instance that evolution is divergent and not convergent, there is no ultimate solution to it. Just because a trait has an evolutionary advantage does not guarantee that it will develop, since mutations happen randomly.

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        • Before we go any further into this topic, I wanted to ask if it’s an area of professional study for you. Or would you consider yourself a layman?

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        • So, you’ve never performed any of the experiments or confirmed any of the results on your own? In essence, you’re taking the word of others, or a group of others, as truth?

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        • No, I’m somebody who understand the process of science and how truth is derived through the repeatability of results. I understand the value of anonymous peer review and that no counter evidence to the theory of evolution exists. I can evaluate sound methodology from poor methodology. I understand the difference between inductive reasoning and deductive reasoning. I understand the difference between independent studies corroborating findings as opposed to anecdotal evidence and personal experience. No I do not have faith in evolution. I do not need personal experience to determine truth. In fact personal experience tends to be a very poor way to determine truth.

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        • So, you know beyond any doubt that Evolution is absolutely the way life operates. Not because of your lived experience, but because you read it in books written by people who have devoted their lives to the same way of viewing the world as you have. And you claim that this is so much the unvarnished truth that everyone in the world would be best served to stop trying to think in any other terms, or develop any other perspective on how the world operates. All despite the fact that no human being has ever witnessed life’s beginning, experienced an occurrence of evolution, or been able to replicate the phenomenon in a laboratory setting. Does that about sum it up?

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        • So, you know beyond any doubt that Evolution is absolutely the way life operates. Not because of your lived experience, but because you read it in books written by people who have devoted their lives to the same way of viewing the world as you have. And you claim that this is so much the unvarnished truth that everyone in the world would be best served to stop trying to think in any other terms, or develop any other perspective on how the world operates. All despite the fact that no human being has ever witnessed life’s beginning, experienced an occurrence of evolution, or been able to replicate the phenomenon in a laboratory setting. Does that about sum it up?

          It’s interesting that this is your summation of what I’ve said. It would seem that I understand religion better than you understand science, and I was thinking to myself, shouldn’t you understand science better, or at least be more inquisitive instead of assuming you understand science in entering this discussion, but then I realized that was silly of me to think that. If you actually understood how science worked, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. If you were inquisitive you would recognize that there were things about science you didn’t understand yet. Clearly the only answer left is that you think you understand science, but you don’t. You have tried so carefully to lead me into a trap, and through your ignorance have fallen into it yourself. That’s unfortunate for you. Nothing you’ve said is accurate about my views, or anybody who understands science. So no, doesn’t sum it up at all.

          I do not know beyond a doubt that evolution is absolutely the way life operates. What I do know is that all the evidence we are aware of, at this point in time, leads one to the conclusion that evolution is the way life operates. Should new evidence be found that does not fit the theory of evolution, a new explanation would need to be found. For instance, if a rabbit fossil was found from the Paleozoic era, well then we’d have some problems with the theory of evolution. Until then, I shall stick with what works best based on existing evidence.

          And that’s an important point. Science works. It’s not that I’ve read books by people who have devoted their lives to the same way of viewing the world, it’s that I’ve read books, and papers and journal articles by those who understand how science works and that it does work as a way of discovering how things works and implementing them into usable technology and building a foundation of knowledge for which further knowledge can be built upon. It is not an adherence to a belief system, it is the empirical observation that things work through a particular way of thinking about the world, and thus inferring that things will continue to work through that same process of thinking. They might have a passion for their field of study and thus devoted time to that field of study, but the value they put into the scientific study is not devotion, it is a conclusion on its validity based on the observation that it works.

          Nobody has observed how life began, this is true, but neither have you observed how life began. This doesn’t make God therefore a better explanation. At best any other explanation to how life began is on equal footing with yours. Of course, since life began there is no need for God to be included in the explanation at all. So given the odds that for 4 billion years God was not needed, I am going to bank on that moment that life began for God to be also not needed then. But even if I granted you that God was a reasonable replacement for “we don’t know”, it still does not in any way point to Yahweh being that God. A supernatural consciousness could fit one of many religions throughout human history or one that we haven’t thought of yet.

          You are also wrong that humans haven’t experienced evolution. First of all we’ve observed evolution happening. It’s why you still get the flu as just one of numerous examples. Next we have the fact that humans themselves do experience mutations. Many of them are diseases, several of them could have some advantages. Fortunately, we live in a society where such mutations don’t matter as much because we are a social species. So for instance. if am not very strong, but someone in my community is, we can specialize to complete different tasks to complete cooperative projects. We can demonstrate how evolution works through unnatural selection, and selectively breed. Dogs are a great example of that.

          The next thing you misunderstand about science is what a theory is. It’s not just that we have lots of evidence for it, better theories are more predictive. There is a reason why the geocentric theory as proposed by the Greeks gave way to the Copernican view of the solar system. His theory explained the facts better. Then Kepler replaced his view, because he got the orbital shape right and it became more predictive. The Newtonian view of the solar system improved upon that through the law of gravitation and became even more predictable, and we still use it today. The theory of evolution is as powerful as it is, because it’s predictive. It tells me that if I have a cucumber plant and I want to get bigger cucumbers, I can breed cucumbers bigger and bigger by specifically selected the seeds from the biggest cucumber each year. The theory of evolution accurately predicts what will happen each time. Now if I kept getting smaller and smaller cucumbers each generation given the same climatic and soil conditions, again we’d have to rethink the theory of evolution. That doesn’t happen.

          Finally your claim that I believe evolution is such the unvarnished truth that everybody should give up thinking about any other perspective on how the world operates is a load of shit and a strawman argument (yes another logical fallacy you’ve committed). If science works at all it is because people keep asking questions and coming up with new ideas for how the universe might work. I welcome anybody and all to do that. But coming up with a new idea how things might work doesn’t excuse you from having to demonstrate that your new idea works better than the old idea. In essence, your new idea has to be demonstrable with empirical evidence, it has to be repeatable by other people independently, and it has to be more predictive. So for instance, if we check men over 40 every day for prostate cancer for a year, and you and a medical doctor are side by side and you try your method of chatting with your omniscient Creator and he does it by probing a finger up their ass, while I agree yours might be less awkward, I am going to bank on the doctor having a higher success rate at diagnosing patients with enlarged prostates over you. Our knowledge about prostate cancer symptoms makes his method predictive, and your method a waste of time.

          Any other misunderstanding of yours I can clear up? Even though you yourself have never proved a single assertion you’ve made about how things work, including your original unsubstantiated claim between secular humanism and the horrors of human history.

          Liked by 3 people

        • You’re taking the Science’s limited capacity for prediction and vastly over-inflating it. You take several decades of sampling, project it out to cover a span of hundreds of billions of years, and call that truth. It’s like seeing that sticking your finger in your ass has some medical benefit, so you try to get your whole head in there. To get there you ignore any evidence, such as testimonial, that doesn’t fit within your box. And in so doing you reduce the universe to a meaningless series of accidents devoid of value. You even render your own consciousness a biochemical side effect. This flies in the face of all human intuition and experience; yet more things you reject in the name of your narrative. It’s no wonder children have to be subjected to so many years of operant conditioning in order to get them to accept such a proposition.

          Like

        • Several decades of sampling? We have fossils of creatures dated over several billions of years. 100’s of billions of years? The earth is only 4.5 billion years old, and the known universe around 14 billion. We see the mechanism of evolution working not only today but over long expanses of geologic time.

          Please tell me the value of testimonial evidence? We already know the unreliability of people’s memories, the unreliability of eye witness testimony. We know about cognitive biases that change people’s perceptions of reality. We know that physiological conditions can create hallucinatory effects. Please tell me how valuable personal experience is in determining truth about how the universe actually works? Give some concrete examples and if those personal experiences represent truth they should also be verifiable by science. And one person’s personal experience should disagree with another person’s personal experience, please tell me how we should resolve such issues.

          And in so doing you reduce the universe to a meaningless series of accidents devoid of value. You even render your own consciousness a biochemical side effect. This flies in the face of all human intuition and experience;

          It is a meaningless set of accidents. I have no problem with that. The fact that you do is due to your own aesthetic and what you value. Just because you value chocolate more than vanilla ice cream does not make chocolate a better flavor. Personally I think it’s absolute amazing that I am the product of 14 billion years of these meaningless accidents. The fact that there was no intent, and yet here I am, able to comprehend the series of events that led me to this moment in time is absolutely mind blowing. You are the one that needs it all to have some supernatural purpose. I do not. I can make my own purpose, and I can help others appreciate the wonder of this universe as I do. So just because my consciousness is a biochemical side effect, just because random events produced life and even a creature with the intelligence to comprehend the universe, I think it’s all bloody amazing. You are choosing to find no value in that. The fact that truth can fly in the face of human experience also amazes me. Because why shouldn’t it? We are limited creatures and so the way we perceive the world should not always be correct given that through evolution are survival was only dependent on being able to see through limited range in the electromagnetic spectrum and through a limited audio range, in small part of the Earth. We are absolutely going to get it wrong, and we have. And even if we are wrong about evolution I am okay with that, but to say that evolution is wrong, but one particular religion is right, is the no less the height of conceit and even moreso. One is demonstrably true, one requires belief to be made true. And since we know believing in a thing does not make something exist, again I am going to take evolution over the supernatural. It seems a better explanation than magic.

          It’s no wonder children have to be subjected to so many years of operant conditioning in order to get them to accept such a proposition.

          Some things are just complicated to understand. This seems obvious. Whereas indoctrinating a young developing mind with a bunch of religious nonsense is easy, because there is no complexity. It’s a made up story.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry. Meant hundreds of millions. Even if the universe is that old, human beings haven’t been sampling the whole time. That’s only been going on for a matter of decades, centuries at most. And the only way you can say you see evolution occurring today is to say that what’s happening today is evolution; by entering into circular logic. Or maybe we’re talking about different phenomenon. What do you mean when you say evolution?

          You appear to have a similar view on Science. You say that if something is true, then it must be verifiable by Science, which implies that all truth is Scientific. Is this a testable, falsifiable hypothesis?

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        • One doesn’t need to sample the whole time. I am not sure why you even have that notion. If you are suggesting the laws of physics behaved differently at different points in the history of the universe you would actually have to prove that.

          Please explain the circular logic you describe. I see no such circular logic. If we can observe a natural process happening today I see no reason why that same process wasn’t working in the past? I don’t have to see a ball rolling down an incline the whole time to be able to describe it. Provided I know the angle of the incline and the friction of the surface I can observe only the middle portion and no properties of it’s motion at the beginning, and extrapolate to the end. And we verify that assumption, by running the experiment over and seeing if we were right. So unless you have some evidence that nature operates differently across time and space, then you will have to provide that evidence. Once again, I won’t hold me breath.

          Is there another theory of evolution? If so I’m not familiar.

          Once again, I am only saying that science so far is the best tool we have for determining truth. We can test this, because the things we discover through science simply wouldn’t work. The computer you are typing on right now exists because of the scientific method.
          It would not work simply based on faith.
          Please share me your alternative for determining truth. You mentioned before testimonial evidence, but as usual you provided no explanation for how this is more valid.

          A Hindu’s testimonial on God, what God wants, spirituality, and how the afterlife operates will be different than yours. So by what method shall we determine who is right? Do you purport that both are equally valid?

          Liked by 1 person

        • If you are suggesting the laws of physics behaved differently at different points in the history of the universe you would actually have to prove that.

          But that’s good all the way around. If you’re suggesting that the laws of physics have remained constant for billions of years, don’t you have a similar burden of proof? You’ve provided no more evidence for your claim than I have for mine. Why the double standard?

          From my understanding, evolution is the explanatory mechanism for one life form transforming into a different one, or species differentiation. What you seem to be suggesting is that any adaptation to environmental conditions is evolution. Perhaps that’s our difference.

          As for testimonial evidence, it happens to be the only method we have to process some of the most important aspects of life. Things such as consciousness, love, art, etc. These are things that cannot be reproduced in a lab. Dismiss it if you want, but that just reduces your scope of understanding to those phenomena crude enough to be easily repeatable.

          And yes, this approach does freely admit the validity of every testimony. I don’t discount the testimony of Buddhists or Hindus or Secular Humanists. Their views are often informative, and I’ve spent a lot of time listening to various viewpoints. My life has been greatly enriched by opening myself to viewpoints that are alien to my own experience.

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        • I do not have the same burden of proof as you do. If I can demonstrate that time is not a variable to how the laws of physics operate, then for you to make the claim they were different at a different time, this should be a provable premise. Not only that, those physical laws should have time as a variable. The law of gravitation, the first and second law of thermodynamics, just as examples are not functions of time. And again since these physical principles are predictive, meaning that we can use them to predict what will happen at a time that has not occurred yet. So again, the burden of proof actually does lie on you to demonstrate that time is a variable to how these physical principles operate. Until you can do that, against science gives us the best guess at how the universe works until someone proves that it is incorrect.

          Actually science has quite a lot to say about love. Science can tell us why we love, science can tell us the physiological changes we experience when we love. Chemical changes, areas activated in the brain. So not sure what you are getting at there.

          Art? That’s a strange example. Art is an aesthetic. The fact that everybody experiences art in a personal way doesn’t make it testimonial. Insofar that we all have slightly different genetics and have nurtured in a slightly different way it makes sense that we would have different reactions to any one piece of art, or that we might create something differently than the person next to us. Science actually has quite a lot to say about why we make art, and why we value it.

          Consciousness is a problem for science. There is no question. Although there are some scientists making some headway here, but of course we can’t get inside someone’s head to consciously experience things the way we do it. We also don’t know how to create consciousness. But we know we have it, and there is a good evidence that all life may have consciousness to a certain degree. We know what part of the brain activates when we become conscious of something, and we know that there is a delay between let’s say when we make a decision and when we become conscious of that decision. So to say that science hasn’t anything to say would again be incorrect. Testimonial evidence also doesn’t give us any more information about how consciousness works. It only demonstrates that conscience experiences vary from life form to life form. And again, given our unique make up through nature and nurture, this should be expected.

          I also have learned a lot listen to diverse points of view. Especially when it comes to morality and ethics. I think those things have value. In fact it is listening to people from different religions talking about how their specific dogma and creation stories that has made me an atheist. When you compare those points of view one cannot help but conclude that religion is a human invention. A method for trying to explain the world that it sees before having any systematic tool of investigation. And certainly it captured a lot of truths along the way because certainly there is a lot that is ingrained in religion that is part of observation. And religion, as an invention of humans, gives us a lot of insight in how we think and how living in an uncertain world can make us fearful and be desperate for creating order of chaos. The fact that we invent stories to relieve anxiety doesn’t make those stories true. Religion is a great measure of our fallibility, our propensity to make errors in false patternicity. It is listening to these different points of view from differently religions that quite clearly we have created God and not the other way around.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes if environmental conditions change this often leads to genetic changes. After enough genetic changes occur it becomes a different species. There is no reason for a species to become another species unless something about it’s environment has changed (different climate, new predators, lack of available nutrition, etc). As a result some species have remained relatively unchanged for millions of years. Some mollusks and starfish are a good example of that.

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        • And how do you figure that? How has science advocated for the extinguishing of all life on the planet? Please explain. Humans have done a pretty good job on their own ravaging their own territory and waging war against others before the scientific method. The fact that we are 7 billion people and have progressed technologically just means we can do it better. And just for the record I don’t expect you to provide any sort of evidence for your claims, You haven’t thus far. But a person can always dream. lol

          Liked by 1 person

        • Science doesn’t have to advocate for the destruction any more than fire has to advocate its fuel’s consumption. It’s simply a function of the phenomenon. And sure humanity has always been destructive, but nowhere close to the current scale. Can you honestly offer a scenario in which humanity could potentially destroy so much without Science as a catalyst? If not, couldn’t that serve as a sort of first approximation for the problem we all face?

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        • I can also demonstrate how science has reduced human suffering. We live longer, have more leisure time, have cured numerous diseases, reduced maternal and infant deaths during births, the list goes on. Some scientific discoveries can be used to great detriment it’s true, but also to great benefit. It’s a two sided coin. But now you are asking questions of ethics. That is not the fault of science, Science does not have intent. People do.

          Also please help me understand how religion was doing a better job serving people. I mean the book of Leviticus describes solving skin lesions by seeing your local priest.

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        • I’m afraid I’ve simply become tired of our discussion. This id for many reasons. One is you’ve said nothing I haven’t heard before. But mostly because you haven’t the depth of knowledge to neither attack anything I’ve said, nor the depth of knowledge to back up any of your claims. You simply expect your own personal view to represent truth about the universe. It represents only your personal truth. There are many personal truths we all have. How we feel about a piece of art work, what paint color we like best for our bedroom, what food we like to eat the most. My son is cuter than anybody else’s. And all those things are fine. I do not deny that there are personal truths, but that doesn’t make them universal truths. You like your religious beliefs and they make you happy, they drive you to do good things and make the world a better place, that’s terrific. But if you are trying to convince anybody that they are truths we should all accept, and that they are universal, then you have to adhere to some sort of norm of truth finding. The scientific method is the best tool we have for that. I have asked you several times to provide an alternative that is superior in determining universal truths and you have failed to do so. You maintain that personal truths is a way of doing that, and this is demonstrable false. The examples are endless. Quite simple two different stories of creation cannot be true. Only one can, or both are false. And the only way to differentiate between the two is some sort of evidence that supports one story more than the other. Lacking any evidence at all, and depending entirely on the faith of one story is meaningless other than its personal value to you. So enjoy that personal value and if you want to share what makes you personally happy with others then that’s great, but you started this conversation by denigrating someone else’s point of view without having any evidence to support that critique or provide a better alternative.
          In the end what’s most shocking is the complete hypocrisy to which elevate your version of the truth over others. You recently said science would destroy the world, and yet the very Creator you espouse tried to do it once already (apparently only to a small group of people in a small portion of the world however) and if you believe scripture as truth has guaranteed to destroy the world again. So maybe our scientific achievement will be wielded by less than savory characters and destroy the world, but it would seem that fate awaits us with old Yahweh in charge anyway. You see it’s not only on scientific grounds that I reject Christianity. It’s on moral and even aesthetic grounds. If I were to choose a more fun religion, it would probably be Hinduism. I like getting more chance to live again. Even if it’s as an ant. Because hey would be cool for blades of grass to seem so huge, and live in a matriarchal society for a change of pace, even if an eventual foot stomping on me is my demise. I like all the many Gods with their many personalities. A much better reflection of humanity and its complexity. Or there is Buddhism which is less focused on the supernatural and promotes peace and a personal spiritual journey for truth. Christianity is horrible. It has a God that if he were a person would be a psychopath and we’d lock him up. He promotes raping, kills children, slavery. He punishes you for eternity while creating a world seemingly full of evidence that can make you doubt His very existence. And if you do spend your days following is often contradictory set of rules, you will get to go to heaven and spend the rest of your days floating around letting him know how awesome He is. This is narcissism at best. The text about this God was written by men, and most books of the bible cannot even be verified to be written by the person who was supposed to have written it. It’s been translated countless times and has had things added into it. Books to make up the bible were chosen by a group of men, leaving out other things that they found to be counter to the message They wanted the bible to portray. And not a single author in the New Testament can be demonstrated to have even witnessed Jesus Christ personally. For someone who is so big on testimonials, none of the Gospels are direct testimonials by people who knew this supposed divine son of God.

          There are few humans in this world who could be said to be less moral than Yahweh. A deity that is supposed to omniscient and omnipotent yet allows children to die of cancer, starve to death regularly, and many other unnecessary horrors. So if it’s all true, I can genuinely say that as horrible as the fires of hell might be, I’d rather end up there than spend one minute worshipping such a horrible and cruel deity. This beautiful Christian harmony that is supposed to be the ultimate goal is on the backs of the pain, suffering, and deaths of innocents, and I would reject it entirely even if I knew no science at all. It’s morally repulsive to me. I refuse to be a pawn in someone deity’s game of self-gratification. Science or secular humanism may have flaws, but at least it’s trying to self-correct and improve over time. Maybe we will destroy ourselves before that enlightenment happens, but we gave it our best shot. The universe is an infinitely more beautiful place without Yahweh in it in my opinion. So there’s my testimonial.

          Liked by 5 people

  3. Hello. I also posted this on the other site. As we do not live in the mode and style of those isolated desert people of 2,000 years ago why should we live by their values and morals? I would like to expand on it and to address right and wrong, good and bad.

    First as I use the advantages of the time I live in, I should also take advantage of the growth in intellect and understanding. I not only see no reason to limit myself to the horrid conditions and limitations of those 2000 years ago, I also see no reason to base my morals and ideals on those similar limitations.

    I think the bible was written by the people at that time for the people at that time and it needs to be regulated to museums and displays where we put other old outdated stuff. If you can’t see the common sense to this, you have given up critical thinking. IF you must have a deity to worship or be a slave to a greater being, start one new and up today morally and emotionally. Build in a means to change as society grows. Don’t give me the old saw God doesn’t change, so we can’t. Your god is not a living breathing mortal being, you are. Living breathing mortal beings grow and learn and develop better ways.

    I would like to address the right and wrong idea. What we know about right and wrong evolved as we did. We learned it was better to work together to survive. We learned it was better not to do things that interfered with that working together as we evolved. Sort of along the lines or If I kill you, steal your things or mate, or mistreat you, you may not help me or defend me when I need you to. It is in my best interest to to the right things. Then as we lived in communities and evolved more we started to have more empathy as we were not always starving or running from death. We found we did not like to feel hurt and emotional pain. IF we did not like it, the rest of our fellows don’t either. So we started to feel for each other and do things to bring us closer and bond better. In time we developed rules to live by. Those became laws. Different ideas of culture developed as people when greater distances from each other and their rules and laws reflected that. As we grew and evolved we refined our rules, our laws, our cultures and our morals.

    There was no need for anything supernatural. It is all explained naturally. It doesn’t need ghosts, goblins, or gods. It needed us and it needed time. if you doubt how natural it is, even different animal species show signs of empathy, team work, community caring, assisting in child care, and so much more. We got the short straw and got the large brain which we used to create a bunch of deities to pound each other over the head with. I notice the straight penguins don’t ostracize the gay penguins saying the great Penguin in the sky ocean told them to. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

  4. And we must also remember that it was all those dastardly Secular Humanists after attending S.H. Church and reading the S.H. Bible that slaughtered all them damn Injuns …ye haw … And what’s another genocide? After all they wurs just savages, right? Damn redskins! Thank God for Secular Humanists, I say!

    Later,the Secular Humanists were then able to justify Slavery ( and Apartheid where I live). So they sailed to Africa and grabbed all those damn N*****S and sailed back t’the Land of the Brave and Free ( for some) and made lots of cotton and tobacco … an’ stuff.
    But thanks be t’ Jeezus, they Realized the Error of Their Ways … eventually, and after a war – allowed all the Chrisjuns to emancipate the N******S and made ’em all Free Men so we could all simply be racist and discriminate with clear consciences.

    Hot Dang, Myrtle, I just hate them damn Secular Humanists!

    Liked by 4 people

    • We must stop the SHs wherever we see them and whenever they show up. How could they use the bible to defend slavery?
      And then they went to Japan dropped bombs!
      And now they are throwing gays off buildings. I sure hate secular humanists

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m not in any way a “scholar,” so I can’t/won’t be joining in on the intricacies of Secular Humanism. However, this statement: You’re just technologically advanced savages who exploit those who submit and annihilate those who don’t really set me off.

    Besides the fact it’s bordering on one of my blog posting rules by using the pronoun “you,” it is an extremely harsh statement. Further, it’s simply not true. The history of Christianity includes far more instances of “savages” who have annihilated those who don’t agree or follow the tenets of the “faith” than those who claim the title of secular humanist.

    Even more to the point, generalizations never work. Humans embrace a wide segment of philosophical viewpoints and it is to the detriment of the individual that chooses to encompass an entire group under one descriptive statement.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Nan, thank you for sharing/reblogging! Mr. Henderson did an excellent job assessing and summarizing the canonical biblical ‘narratives’ that many MANY more faith-followers should at least consider. Wishful thinking? :/

    Nonetheless, this was my comment to him and the post:

    A great assessment, Mr. Henderson, of the biblical ‘narratives‘ that I hope many many more would at least consider. Sadly, most faith-followers simply are not curious, do not ask questions (MANY questions), but instead seem to be fine with the canonical Bible being dropped from the heavens — in exactly the format and state it is currently in — perfectly dictated onto paper (papyrus) from one single invisible being. About 2-3 years ago I read a completed survey report (similar to the U.S. Census Bureau’s results) about WHY people choose their beliefs, faith, church, etc. The vast majority of the answers were either A) family/parental beliefs/reasons born into, or B) how does my choice benefit me and/or hurt me?

    Bottom-line? On a personal individual level, it all has very little to do with “truth” or compelling plausible evidence or even popularity! Hahaha. Also, I’d say beyond individual preferences it has A WHOLE LOT to do with the Placebo-effect.

    Thanks again Nan! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Seth, you offered your description of Secular Humanism and asked if I thought it was the foundation of Western culture. My answer: Not as you described it. You used several words (bolded) that demonstrated your obvious prejudice against SH.

    Purely mundane view of the world, ignoring the possibility of any non-material phenomena, a belief that the scientific method has an unlimited range of inquiry, and that morality is shaped by consensus.

    But leaving that aside, following is the principle that I think sums up SH perfectly (from the link Swarn provided):

    We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

    In answer to the second part of your question, and based on the above quote, I would most definitely like to think SH is the foundation of Western culture. Unfortunately, there are those who prefer the negative aspects, i.e., pessimism, despair, dogma truth, ignorance, guilt, sin, fear, hatred, etc. and that disallows SH to be dominant.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I was simply paraphrasing the principles of the site you referenced. Call that prejudiced if you like, but remember that I was once a Secular Humanist. I’m not speaking from ignorance here.

      As for your principle, it really does sound wonderful. Of course, it’s not actually Secular Humanism. It’s really just a wishlist that whitewashes the depth of human experience.

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      • Yes, perhaps it is a wishlist. But it is one I prefer to aspire to over that which Christianity pushes.

        P.S. I find it puzzling that you say it’s not actually Secular Humanism when it’s clearly noted on the SH website. Could it be that you simply don’t like their interpretation?

        Liked by 2 people

        • It’s a small part of what is on their website, but most faiths will say they want all those things. They usually say they want a better world; a utopia of one sort or the other. The distinctions are in how they propose to make that happen. I’d be glad to discuss the dangers of utopian ideology, though, if you prefer.

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  8. @Seth
    I’d like to share some observations about your time here that you might be offended by, but I offer them as sincere advice for you in the future.
    You’re clearly very intelligent and articulate. You want to see your viewpoint be ascendant. I get that. Where you go afield is when you let your desire to persuade get in the way of honest discussion. Sophistry may get you some “wins” in an argument, but obvious bullshitting won’t change beliefs. Ever. So if your goal is to win the hearts and minds of atheists you’ll have to be honest and let your arguments win based on their evidence and merit, something that’s been markedly absent in your visit here. This is particularly important since the beliefs you promote value honesty and truth.

    All the best~

    P

    Liked by 5 people

    • The idea of attempting to win hearts and minds will never succeed as the main thrust of Christianity is to demonstrate :

      1 Eternal life is available: …. Pass.
      2 One has to admit to being a sinner and will never quite be good enough . …. Pass.
      3 Have to acknowledge that some character in a book is the creator of the universe and deserves to be worshiped. I’ve read that book. It’s crap, and that god wiped out humanity just because he got pissed off, so … no thanks. Pass.

      There are others but as this god sounds like such a Nob I won’t bother with the rest of the reasons.

      Liked by 5 people

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