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Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:03 PM

 

Religion is a way to project all kinds of feelings onto a thing – a vague ‘being’

http://www.bigissueground.com/atheistground/saldanha-religiousbelief.shtml

Religion and obsessive behaviour

Religion also satisfies human kind’s love of ritual, duty and repeated detail – all religions have stories, prayers, specialised vocabulary, texts, songs, solemn ritual, specialised behaviour, specific acts, specialised dress, hierarchies, special names, grand titles, duties and so on associated with them.

These all have to be mastered, repeated and repeated (then repeated) and used very carefully – these are merely constructions to satisfy the same human obsessional mental quirks, pattern seeking and loops of thought that lead to train spotting and egg collecting.

Religion and identity

Some so-called ‘spiritual’ people, believers in Allah, God or who ever, become enraged when their beliefs are questioned. Why is this? It is because their whole sense of identity (individual and tribal) has become fused with their beliefs and their daily rituals. To doubt their beliefs is to dismiss them and their tribe. So they become angry and aggressive. Once again, the human ego is never far away. It, after all, is real while Allah, God or whoever is not.

Religious belief is facile

Humans have always seen a causal link between real events and beings who ‘exist’ solely as fantasy. They have always felt the need to appeal to an all powerful being. Hence gods and cults of the sun, fertility, the sea, childbirth, the weather and so on.

Rational theory and investigation are much harder work. Science has gained strength only later in history, and cannot easily displace superstitious instincts and beliefs about causality long since fused with culture and sense of identity.

Egyptian and Roman gods have faded from human culture only to be succeeded by cults based on much the same levels of facile belief in supernatural beings. History shows that these recurring patterns of human thought are always served by successive invented systems of irrational belief and self-comfort.



If we are to have a discussion about religion, ALL religions are equally open to discussion. ALL religions must be examined under the same microscope of observation of human behavior. Neither Christianity, nor Judaism, nor Islam, nor any other of a thousand different religious ways of thinking in the last 5000 years, (a historical period we can observe and study and learn from), should escape such study, such rigorous examination of their constructs, nor what utility each served whatever group of human beings that did embrace or now embrace any such religious thinking human beings.

Examination of NON-belief systems of thought are equally open to observation and review, and will meet with equal scrutiny.

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Reply Religion is a way to project all kinds of feelings onto a thing – a vague ‘being’ (Original post)
Si MC Nov 2012 OP
Raster Nov 2012 #1
aletier_v Nov 2012 #5
Raster Nov 2012 #8
aletier_v Nov 2012 #11
Raster Nov 2012 #14
aletier_v Nov 2012 #16
Raster Nov 2012 #20
cprise Nov 2012 #24
cbayer Nov 2012 #36
cprise Nov 2012 #50
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #46
skepticscott Nov 2012 #31
rug Nov 2012 #2
Si MC Nov 2012 #3
rug Nov 2012 #4
cbayer Nov 2012 #7
Si MC Nov 2012 #10
cbayer Nov 2012 #12
Si MC Nov 2012 #15
cbayer Nov 2012 #18
Si MC Nov 2012 #19
skepticscott Nov 2012 #34
cbayer Nov 2012 #37
skepticscott Nov 2012 #42
skepticscott Nov 2012 #32
aletier_v Nov 2012 #13
cprise Nov 2012 #51
Si MC Nov 2012 #6
rug Nov 2012 #9
Si MC Nov 2012 #17
rug Nov 2012 #21
Si MC Nov 2012 #22
mr blur Nov 2012 #23
Si MC Nov 2012 #25
rug Nov 2012 #28
rug Nov 2012 #27
rug Nov 2012 #26
Si MC Nov 2012 #29
rug Nov 2012 #30
skepticscott Nov 2012 #33
rug Nov 2012 #35
skepticscott Nov 2012 #38
rug Nov 2012 #39
skepticscott Nov 2012 #40
rug Nov 2012 #41
skepticscott Nov 2012 #43
rug Nov 2012 #44
skepticscott Nov 2012 #47
rug Nov 2012 #48
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #45
Si MC Nov 2012 #49

Response to Si MC (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:13 PM

1. Religious belief is facile

There are no angels and there are no demons.
There is no heaven and there is no hell.
There is only our real, natural world all around us.
Religion is but myth and superstition.
Religious conviction hardens hearts.
Religious faith enslaves minds.

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Response to Raster (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:40 PM

5. We are limited, our senses and intellectual grasp are defined by our immediate environment

Anything outside that environment is, by definition, incomprehensible,
and so it will always take on the role of the supernatural.

Angels do exist, and demons, to explain what we can't ever understand.

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:43 PM

8. Well put, almost poetic.

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Response to Raster (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:53 PM

11. I've spent a lot of time rethinking many things

over the past few years.

I'm not sure if God exists
but I know that events happen
which are beyond our understanding.

The easy phrase is "events of synchronicity".

Our perception of cause-n-effect is very limited,
but marginally higher/lower in each of us
though genetic variation and life experience.

It would be possible, in theory, for one person to possess
an unusual depth of causation, and he might
seem like a magician to the rest of us.

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:55 PM

14. lovely.

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Response to Raster (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 06:01 PM

16. Romney & Money for instance

But the world is finite
and excessive endowment in one area
is always at the expense of other areas.

Unlike most people, I've never suffered much from envy
I do not envy Romney

I almost see him as a tragic figure
And he most certainly should not be elected.

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 06:31 PM

20. almost haiku

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:03 PM

24. Our strong social instincts also affect our grasp

The need to fit into a social setting and cope with other people is so strong that our subconscious minds are always trying to find the intent or "who" in every stimulus before considering other explanations. It's much the same reason why we tend to see faces in random patterns like clouds, and human voices in noise.

Most people will start out in childhood expecting someone's intentions to be behind everything and then learn through experience about more and more things just happening without another person being involved. But the religious see those experiences as a growing list of exceptions to be filed under "God's will" (whereas others will come to terms with nature as the default explanation and intent as a body of exceptions that grows larger the closer one gets to human society).

Most of the "who" the subconscious appraises isn't a strong enough signal to get through to our conscious mind. Yet the more mentally exhausted or stressed or depressed a person is, the more they will experience signs that someone else is present even if what they're sensing is just background noise while they are alone.

A relative of mine (who is very religious) used to have a very hard time getting enough sleep. Adding to that was the stress of dealing with a (now grown) child who was very troubled: anti-social, mean and vindictive. She would for years wake in the middle of the night screaming from nightmares, and while this was happening she would "hear" voices numerous times per day, often thinking that other family members were talking to her from the next room when we weren't. She would keep saying "what?" or try to answer what she thought she heard us say. Now that she has sleeping pills and pain meds (for a painful back condition) and the child has moved out, she is less stressed and gets much better rest. She is also much less obsessed with (and pushy about) religion.

I myself have experienced stressful periods where nominally subpar sleep was pushed into sleep deprivation where I got less than 3 hours a day. This was usually due to poor work habits and a propensity for biting off more than I could chew. During these bad sleep / no sleep episodes I would hear definite human voices if I was near a strong source of noise (like running water or a windy day or radio static). There were even a few times when I was alone but could swear that someone else was near me in the back seat of my car or sitting behind me in the room, etc. Turning around dispelled the feeling.

So I see religion as growing out of those situations where the social part of our brain takes the lead in responding to great stress ...and doesn't let go.

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Response to cprise (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 10:07 AM

36. Great post. I think that you are correct in your linking times of stress

(both emotional and physical, like sleep deprivation), being factors in people having what they might describe as supernatural experiences.

But I sometimes wonder if that is not always the cause.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 01:43 AM

50. I am positive there is no single cause

other than the subconscious imperative to identify animals or people behind events. Stress seems to cause this tendency to err on the side of caution more than usual. Religious people who live rather stress-free lives may tend to prefer religion more because they can manipulate people with it (they need it because it is useful but not really feel it).

There are other factors that contribute like gullibility, fear of death, and the social advantages enjoyed by the high clerics -- being able to cut short critical inquiry about almost anything, esp. things that work in their favor.

And then there is the fact that religions often trace back to astrological traditions. Being able to predict the right times to catch or grow food would have set people's expectations that astrologers could also predict or explain other things. That kind of power would become central to just about any pre-enlightenment culture where food was not incredibly plentiful, and the tendency to

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Response to cprise (Reply #24)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 04:30 PM

46. When the "who" thing goes haywire, Schizophrenia happens.

On the flip side, many of us on the Autism spectrum mainly think in terms of "what" and "how", not "who".

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Response to aletier_v (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:23 PM

31. Funny how things like that

can't be perceived or understood, except when they can. All very convenient...

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Response to Si MC (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:13 PM

2. The obvious question then is: what happens to this when nonbelief reigns?

Religion also satisfies human kind’s love of ritual, duty and repeated detail – all religions have stories, prayers, specialised vocabulary, texts, songs, solemn ritual, specialised behaviour, specific acts, specialised dress, hierarchies, special names, grand titles, duties and so on associated with them.

These all have to be mastered, repeated and repeated (then repeated) and used very carefully – these are merely constructions to satisfy the same human obsessional mental quirks, pattern seeking and loops of thought that lead to train spotting and egg collecting.


Assuming of course that this is fact-based and not rhetoric.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:21 PM

3. If you are an Atheist, or an agnostic, perhaps you can answer

 

Is there an Atheist's Christmas Tree? An Atheist's Star of David?

Those symbols hold meaning for religious folks. Are you saying that Atheists need those as well? Does being human require symbols and rituals? If so, is there research that shows this to be necessary for human beings? Or is it a well-ingrained habit from childhood that most humans continue, just as most humans drink milk or eat cheese because it was introduced to them as children?

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Response to Si MC (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:36 PM

4. But your post posits that the nonsense of religious trappings stems from long-standing human desires

So, if true, what becomes of these human desires when belief is triumphantly eliminated.

Your post has more to do with humanity than religion.

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Response to Si MC (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:42 PM

7. ...







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Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:48 PM

10. Very astute observation!

 

What is the difference between a cross and one of these symbols?

By the way, how can a new person here assemble so many symbols (as you did) and post them here?

Do any of those pictures of symbols equate to the cross on which Jesus died? Are they as universally recognized?

I would think less than 25% of Americans, maybe 40% of Democrats would know any of those symbols as having to do with Atheism.

I bet 99.9% of DU members recognize a cross as a symbol of Christian beliefs, a star of David as something about Jewish beliefs.

Does any atheist bow to any one of your symbols? Were any of those symbols around 20 years ago?

Is there any ritual or repetition involved with any of those "brand name" kinds of symbols?

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Response to Si MC (Reply #10)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:54 PM

12. I don't think any of those questions matter. You said there were no symbols, and there

clearly are.


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Response to cbayer (Reply #12)


Response to Si MC (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 06:06 PM

18. Not a problem, but I'm not putting you on ignore...

if you catch my drift.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 06:18 PM

19. I will give you ONE MORE CHANCE to

 

answer my questions. Of course, you don't need to.

I am a member of a faith that is quite in line with many people who post here.

I am NOT an Atheist, but I am beginning to explore other ways of thinking about faith. Those ways are appealing to me, as ways of challenging the concept of faith, and confronting our core values with observations about how similar ALL faiths are. If one is a follower of Islam, are they at all different from followers of Christianity?

I thought discussions of faith would be welcome here, but I found your posts rather confrontational, not enlightening. Indeed, is your purpose here to provoke or to enlighten. Your first post, which I complimented, was provocative. But now I'm not sure what your purpose is here. Is it to convince us that belief in a faith, or any one faith is more reasonable compared to the rest? If so, why?

I have no investment in one faith over another, and I see the value of belief over non-belief, primary and secondary gains from any belief system. But what is your agenda here? To make sure people of no belief system are made fools of? I have read about 100 posts of yours in the last 10 days, there seems to be an agenda there. Perhaps I am totally wrong, if so, tell me.

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Response to Si MC (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:43 PM

34. You're not talking about those "other ways of knowing"

are you?

But why is "faith" a virtue? Why would you take something on "faith" if you didn't have to? Is deluded happiness concerning an overarching worldview ever preferable?

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Response to Si MC (Reply #19)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 10:13 AM

37. I have no interest in convincing anyone that one faith is better or more reasonable than another.

In fact, I don't have any interest in convincing anyone that having faith at all is better than not having it.

I do have an interest in promoting tolerance, which may come across to the intolerant as confrontational. I would challenge you to produce any evidence that I am making sure that people of no belief are made fools of. Quite the contrary. I do, on the other hand, have no problem with bright lights being shown on bigotry.

What's your agenda?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #37)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 03:12 PM

42. So how does calling creationists

"a bunch of dumbasses" promote "tolerance" (whatever your misguided definition of that word might be)?

This isn't going away...not until you apologize for your intolerance and hypocrisy...I hope you know that.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:31 PM

32. You're lying...he never said that and you know it

He asked if there was an Atheist's Christmas tree or Star of David (i.e. sacred symbols). None of what you responded with even came close.

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Response to Si MC (Reply #10)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:54 PM

13. Is the Star of David about judiasm

or is it the combination of two opposing triangles,
male and female pagan symbols
and conscripted by judiasm?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 5, 2012, 02:03 AM

51. You left out secular humanism

Most Americans would these days, which I think is tragic. A more fleshed-out world view and sense of common ground has a lot more to offer than simply disbelief in the supernatural does.

A really large proportion of Americans I've met who identify only as atheist are really big a-holes. They have a concept of religion interfering with gratification (it cramps their "style") and that's where their thinking stops. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of them become Mars Hill Christians.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:41 PM

6. You doubt that there is hierarchy and special dress?

 

You see no patterns in religions? You find this NOT "fact-based"?

I think part of Atheism and Agnosticism has to do with NOT having patterns, special dress, hierarchy, symbolism.

I don't know any Atheist or Agnostic symbols or rituals, I have come to know hundreds of those in religious practices.

So, no, I don't see "rhetoric", I see "fact-based" observation.

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Response to Si MC (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 05:44 PM

9. I doubt your premise that religion is an artifice of human needs and desires.

You got any links on that?

Whether you realize it or not, the question is not whether there is ritual, organization and dress, but why.

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Response to rug (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 06:05 PM

17. Religion is OBVIOUSLY HUMAN!!

 

We don't see apes, chimps, dogs, cats, any other species needing to come together every seven days to talk about the supernatural, now, do we?

If you have ANOTHER species that is involved in making stuff up and worshiping it, let me know. In my few years on this planet, I have only found humans to be in need of religion, but I have a few cats and dogs that need to be fed a few times a day or once a day, or want to go outside and relieve themselves. Humans, they eat 3 times a day, they go to church once a week or more, but they don't piss on trees like dogs do.

Is there a dog-tree religion?

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Response to Si MC (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 06:48 PM

21. Oh, I see. It's obvious. Thanks for the link.

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Response to rug (Reply #21)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 07:35 PM

22. If you don't see the relationship between humans and religions

 

I guess evidence doesn't impress you much.

I'd love to see any species becoming reverent over made-up stuff as humans do.

So humans are the ONLY species I know about. Religious thoughts, got another species that does this?

Not sure what your point is, does it have something to do with your superiority over other species? Most religions talk about that a LOT!

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Response to Si MC (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 07:57 PM

23. He doesn't really have a point, never does,

merely the desire to put unbelievers down. it gets very boring.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #23)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:06 PM

25. Okay, as a believer in facts, I hate people who

 

put me down, for no reason and no facts to support their argument.

I can withstand Republicans who put me down in belief in equality for all.
I can withstand people saying my logic is flawed, (it can be!), and want to correct me.

I don't take nicely to people who have no evidence, no facts, but yet they feel so superior, and say so!

I don't take nicely to anything other than facts and points about how my logical thinking is flawed.

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Response to Si MC (Reply #25)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:11 PM

28. Lol

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Response to mr blur (Reply #23)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:10 PM

27. Does this post have a point?

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Response to Si MC (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:09 PM

26. You have yet to answer the question.

If religious ritual is the result of human needs and desires, what happens to those desires and needs when you eliminate religion. I recognoze you antireligious stance, along with the excalamation points and all caps, but why don't you answer the question.

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Response to rug (Reply #26)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:42 PM

29. What a totally defensive response!

 

I ask questions about human behavior, (as observed over the last 5-7 thousand years).

And someone responde with the defensive post that religions are "human" experiences, (and, somehow therefore VALID?)

So this person who defends religious activity on the basis that it is HUMAN activity, should be equally defensive about ALL gods ever created in the human mind?

So, tell me again, why modern religious thinking and the wealth and influence acquired by modern religions in so many civiliizations is something we need to talk about as somehow VALID human experience, other than significant for "HISTORICAL" reasons?

According to defenders of religious thinking as being just a HUMAN phenomenon, We could just as well be Muslims as Christians, it makes no difference, does it? That's the argument that religion is just a HUMAN thing, nothing more, nothing less. Any and all belief systems work, as long as you are human. Right? that's the argument?

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Response to Si MC (Reply #29)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:46 PM

30. What a totally bullshit answer.

Your premise is flawed.

Your manner is hostile.

Your exclamation points (and all caps) are annoying.

Your former name is . . . . ?

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Response to Si MC (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:33 PM

33. Ruggie thinks that all knowledge and wisdom

Have to be verified by a link. One of his many blind spots.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #33)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 11:29 PM

35. Really? Why don't you list the others?

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Response to rug (Reply #35)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 10:49 AM

38. Thinking that every exposure

of the inadequacies of your posts is a "personal attack" (which seems to be contagious among the religionists here).

Calling other people's posts "derivative" and "shallow" when half of what YOU post is cut and pasted from other people's original writing, and the other half is lame, passive aggressive, content-free snark.

Too many others to list, but I'm sure you'll do a fine job of demonstrating them to everyone who doesn't already know.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #38)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 12:10 PM

39. "One of his many blind spots." How could anyone possibly think that was a personal attack?

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Response to rug (Reply #39)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 03:07 PM

40. Blind spots are gaps in your thinking and understanding

which are directly reflected in your posts and so-called arguments here. The attempt to imply that because a statement doesn't have an internet link, it shouldn't be taken seriously, or that if it does, it should be taken more seriously ("unlinked drivel") is simply one example.

You haven't been called names, you haven't been personally pistol-whipped, so grow up and get a thicker skin. This was no more a "personal attack" than calling someone "derivative, bitter and shallow", and we all know that wasn't a personal attack, don't we?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 03:11 PM

41. Ok, scottie

BTW, learn the difference betwen an implication and an inference and the diffrerence between a fact and an uniformed, biased opinion.

Take care, scottie.

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Response to rug (Reply #41)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 03:16 PM

43. It's not a mystery to me

though the difference between a "personal attack" and an attack on claims, arguments and ways of thinking and posting seems to be one to you. But take heart...you're not alone in that respect here. There are plenty of folk you can commiserate with about being "personally attacked".

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #43)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 03:20 PM

44. Then you should not confuse your inferences with anyone elses's implications, scottie.

And my ability to discern a personal attack is as good as my ability to smell horseshit covered in disingenous phrases.

There are other groups where you can take solace and make all the personal attacks you want without fear of being called on it.

Take care, scottie.

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Response to rug (Reply #44)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 06:21 PM

47. Yes, I'm quite sure you know a personal attack

when you make one. The scent clings to you.

But in no other group I've posted has there been such weeping and gnashing of teeth about "personal attacks", in cases where they never happened. If I didn't know better, I'd think the religious believers here feel like their views and claims should have unqualified immunity from criticism and critical examination, and that any criticism of their claims equates to a deep personal insult. Good thing THAT'S not the case...the group would really suck, then.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #47)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 06:32 PM

48. Oh, I think you're weeping and gnashing because your post was hidden

It's cowardly to hide petty personal hostility behind the banner of criticism.

You were busted this time, that's all.

Take care, scottie.

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Response to Si MC (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 04:26 PM

45. People's "gods" all seem to have the same beliefs as the believer. I wonder why?

Maybe because "God" is nothing but a giant psychological projection?

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #45)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 07:30 PM

49. DING DING DING.. we have a winner!

 

Nothing more, no matter which religion one favors. They all come out the same, except when they defend SOME Democrats here and try to make OTHER Democrats look silly for not going along with THEIR OWN belief system.

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