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Re: "Religious Wars"

I'm not sure what the author of that article means by "more thoughtful" books coming out now, instead of combative ones. He cites Karen freaking Armstrong and her "ineffable" bullshit. How is that "thoughtful" instead of, you know, the exact opposite, I don't know. Unless there's something actually thoughtful in her book that all the reviewers have missed or that she hasn't expressed in other writings of hers that I've read. I'm not sure if she or anyone that falls for that, realizes that "ineffable" is a favorite weasel word with the catholics too, and they can be pretty specific in the BS they believe.

Also the article says as if it was a great revelation that she posits that "religion is not meant to regrow lost limbs, but that it may help some amputees come to terms with their losses". Bullshit. Everybody knows that. Even Dawkins and Harris in their years-old books mention it.

It seems almost as if these sorts of people aren't interested in what's true at all, only what makes people feel good. The guy even admits it in the article pretty explicitly. So how exactly does this not contradict scientific principles, when people say religion and science aren't at odds? Even the most "ineffable" religious crap violates fundamental scientific principles.

"Also the article says as if it was a great revelation that she posits that "religion is not meant to regrow lost limbs, but that it may help some amputees come to terms with their losses". Bullshit. Everybody knows that. Even Dawkins and Harris in their years-old books mention it."

And Marx and Nietzsche knew it. Their worry was more that it would help the poor, the enslaved and the exploited 'come to terms' with their lot in life rather than striving to change and improve it. As much as religion, and the idea that things happen according to 'God's plan', can salve the loss of a limb, remember that so too can it salve the loss of freedom on the same grounds, and that is a terrible thing. False consolation is a terrible thing, and those who defend it are saying that falsehoods may be promulgated because those who receive them simply can't handle the truth. It's patronizing. It's wrong.

"The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."

Oh I don't know about that. Blah blah blah.

You say that religion is keeping people from being free because it comforts them.

Prove it. Show me ANY evidence of this.

True, Religion comforts people in emotional distress (in many ways better than 'scientific' therapies or any logic) but just look at the Civil Rights movement in the 60's and the instrumental role churches and religious leaders played in that.

Hell, old slave spiritual songs had rebellious intent: "The seemingly innocent spirituals, as the slave songs came to be known, were more than simple hymns of endurance and a belief in a better afterlife. As sung by slaves and their descendants, the spirituals allowed the slaves to communicate secret messages and information to each other about the Underground Railroad." http://www.osblackhistory.com/songs.php

So, I call bullshit unless you prove it to me otherwise.

The only example supporting your case (I can think of) is the Roman Catholic Church and its evil antics. But it mostly kept individuals from creative thinking or action, but not whole societies from 'freedom', and that was its stroke of genius. As the Roman Empire fell, they retained income and control by governing the religion peoples, while freeing themselves of the day to day upkeep.

Often though, spiritual beliefs inspired freedom, and fueled the irrational belief that things can get better. To act selflessly and irrationally, exhibiting irrational self-sacrifice to inflict wounds upon repressive forces. Take suicide bombers, or monks lighting themselves on fire, or taking a beating, or boycotting bus systems.

Yep, bullshit.

You say: "And Marx and Nietzsche knew it. Their worry was more that it would help the poor, the enslaved and the exploited 'come to terms' with their lot in life rather than striving to change and improve it."

I disagree because I live in an evidence based world.

You say that religion is keeping people from being free because it comforts them.

Prove it. Show me ANY evidence of this.

What sort of evidence do you want? Every woman with a Burke? Every Mormon woman in a compound in Texas? Every kid that can't read a banned book? Every closeted gay that goes to church on Sunday?

Why don't those people leave their church and take their liberty?

Marx lived in an evidence based world where he was seeing the results of hundreds of years of religion backed dictators/kings.

The examples you list are exceptions, not the rule.
People can make religion into whatever they want.

re: "converting religious people to atheists"- i have many specific objections to specific points which i won't bore you with. just wanted to thank you for posting the article which was very interesting. i like her, she's spunky. :) and i agree with her point about atheist activism- it's nothing to be ashamed of. if you've got it, flaunt it. the marketplace of ideas will survive.

But I don't think literate people read the books Michael Woolf is talking about...so, literate people would be boycotting the other kinds of books and the "auto"biographies would still be selling...

I understand what he is saying, though, and I don't know why they stopped putting "as told to." If you want that type of bio, I don't see why you would care.

I've yet to hear a single person whose intellect I've any respect for say they were going to read "Palin's" book. And is there really anyone without shit for brains who thinks that a woman like Sarah Palin, who doesn't read books, really wrote one?

I think what has made her so popular with the shit-for-brains is having so many otherwise smart people resort to using such mature vocabulary. People want to know what it is about this woman that can make a man with a PhD act like a fifth grade drop-out.

She's really not that interesting, but the left's reaction to her very existence has made her a rock star.

a phd playing fifth-grader is ok. a fifth grader playing phd is not. i realize palin isn't playing phd, but she is playing educated/informed, when she is far, far from either of these things.

My big problem with electing Palin to high office is simple:

1) She went to four colleges over five years to get a degree in TV Journalism.

2) She can't even do that very well.

So you wouldn't have a problem with her if she graduated in four years at the same university? Bull

To quote Richard Dawkins, "I gratefully accept your rebuke." Further, "Just to show you I'm not the worst in this regard.", let me assure you that I've heard much worse from members of the National Academy. We scientists are often a rather "informal" lot, though I'm the first to admit that it doesn't strengthen our hand.

oh I dunno. Money can turn a catholic school girl into a porn star. It could also turn Palin into a English Lit major. ;)

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