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Links With Your Coffee - Tuesday

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If you value freedom, you should flee from religion as the antelope flees the lion. Religion is the very antithesis of freedom, insisting on our complete subjugation to the unachievable demands of an invisible but supremely powerful overlord.

But I must point out that this is an epidemiological, not experimental, study. So the children were not randomized to different diets. The researchers controlled for the obvious confounding factors, like socio-economic group and breast feeding, but there are potentially many other confounding factors that were not controlled for. For example - parents who rely on processed food might do so because they have little time to cook or prepare better meals. These same parent may spend less quality time with their children. Or parents who allow their kids to eat mainly processed foods may be more permissive in general. I wonder, for example, if they controlled for television watching or video-game playing.

Given the small size of the effect in this study and the observational, rather than experimental, design of the study I don't think we can draw any firm conclusions from the results. At best the results are interesting and require further study.



The southpark guys are way more complimentary towards Mormanism than I would have expected.

I wonder if they are already wondering what the angry mob will be like.

Sometimes the nice guys who believe goofy things and want to play board games instead of watch TV aren't so nice after the company goes home.

re:Holy Terrors

can hardly wait. Team America was just sooo bad. So bad I had to see it twice just to be sure....

re: Religion: the ultimate tyranny

Thanks for the link. Paula Kirby is so right and she writes so well!

re: Processed Foods and IQ "I don't think we can draw any firm conclusions from the results."

Yea, well, I conclude that nutrition is pretty important for early brain development. I conclude it's important to kinfolk and country that we produce and provide the best nutrition we can to our children. I find no reasonable doubt remaining that processed foods aren't that.

re: the ultimate tyranny:

i certainly understand these sentiments, especially from an "ex-christian" (they're like ex smokers, you know- prone to hyperbole) and the author makes some good and telling points, ALL of which have been gone over here and elsewhere ad infinitum since the enlightement (yawn). nothing to see here, folks, just keep moving...

but even she, in one sentance, admits the ridiculous claim of the headline to her article and it's point: "the ultimate tyranny"? bullshit. here she is glossing over the truth while at the same time admitting it:

True freedom requires us to liberate ourselves from the tyranny of religion as well as from the tyranny of brutal earthly regimes.

ahh, brutal earthly regimes. she doesn't even mention them in the article except in this one throw-away line. she wants to say religion is the cause of, or the worst form of human tyranny, and by god :) she's going to stick to that point.

and the use of religious principles to free people from ignorance and tyranny, something at least as common (and effective) as "brutal earthly regimes", don't exist in her world- the world of the convert, the "ex-smoker", the blindered "student" of history who has only one agenda and one explanation for the evils of human history- namely, the one she freed herself from, and wants her "victory" to be vindicated and lauded and seen as the cure for human evil itself. she wants her struggle and sacrifice to be HEARD and applauded and applied as a cure-all to the rest of us.

THIS is tyranny of the mind. what's good for me is what's good for everyone. like stalin, lennin, hitler (?), mao, pol pot- you know, all those religious tyrants.

people like this become their own worst enemies without even realizing it. they subconciously take on the characteristics of the very "enemy" they defeated. and their words can be very compelling- "words that come from the heart penetrate the hearts of others".

listen: tyranny, like sexism, is built into human character and society. the desire to be a tyrant, and also the desire to HAVE one. it's a two way street, and religion is on that street, too, in a big way- i don't deny this.

but religion being the major CAUSE of tyranny (even of the mind), rather than a RESULT of human character which includes ALL aspects of our relationship with tyrants- being one, submitting to one, and also (this is the biggie that people who think like this ignore as she does here) REFUSING to submit to them?

this i don't buy. and no freethinker should.

WE decide who and what a tyrant is, and which is the one causing the most problems for us right now. (for some, it's smoking, and the potential list is endless) and the author of this article did so, mazel tov :) and now wants to tell the rest of us that HER tyrant (which was her tyrant because of her own character, not because of anything "tyrannical" built into the concept of religion itself- she could "leave" anytime, and eventually did, again, mazel tov) is the WORST form of tyranny, of all the myriad forms plagueing and available to us humans?

this i don't buy, and see as a form of "tyranny of thought" in itself.

religious principles to free people from ignorance

This isn't so common, methinks.

tim, as one of the people here capable of taking the longer historical view perhaps you may be able to see some merit in this point:

without in any way denying the evils and misery brought about by religion: if your own ancestors (obviously hypothetical) had somehow managed to separate themselves from the entire human race, forming a small, distinct clan that somehow managed to remain entirely free of any religious influence whatever, (see? i told you- VERY hypothetical :) you yourself probably wouldn't be able to read or write.

of course you could point out how much smarter and more learned you would be today if those ancestors had "thrown off the shackles" say, 1500 years ago and created a society of atheists- but this too would be entirely hypothetical. the truth would be more like: at SOME point they were/became religious (or members of a religiously based/organized society/culture), and probably learned to read and write as a direct result of that (along with all the attendant brainwashing, etc.)

i don't want to be forced into being an apologist for "religion", much less so the "church". i'll play apologist for the jews only, and as a heretic myself i don't know if i'm exactly what they had in mind.

but the complete unwillingness of many atheists to give credit where it's due can be ALMOST as maddening as the "we take all credit and deny all blame" attitudes of many religious people.


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