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cpwm17

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Name: Paul
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Mar 31, 2010, 02:20 PM
Number of posts: 3,221

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Definition of religion from Merriam Webster:

- the belief in a god or in a group of gods

- an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

- an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

There is zero evidence for any god and no reason to believe that such a critter is even remotely likely. A god is a huge step backwards from an answer for how we got here. Plus, all of the particular claims consistently made about this god are self-contradictory.

For life on this planet, evolution has allowed complex animated life to evolve from much simpler life forms which originally started from chemistry – the more complex comes from the less complex.

In religion it is the opposite: the less complex comes from the more complex – god creates everything. But where did this god come from and how does it poof everything into existence? How is this god an explanation for anything? God is no different than claiming everything came into existence by magic.

Let's think of all the potential starting points for all of existence. What would be far more likely? A large existence made with dumb matter and energy or the most complex thing imaginable: a god.

For the sake of argument, let's pretend that a god could potentially be possible. How many parameters would have to be set just right for this god to exist? For such amazing superpowers, it would have to be many. How did all those parameters get set just right?

We don't need to believe the impossible to get some understanding on how we got here. There is a huge or infinite existence out there in our Universe and very likely far more beyond our Universe. A lot is going to happen in such a large existence. It may all start with dumb matter and energy, but this dumb matter and energy plays a lot of lottery tickets and occasionally some really interesting things can happen – like life on this planet.



Thank you: it's good to see that many people can see Sam Harris for what he is.

I also found where Sam Harris blamed the Iraqis for the failure of the unprovoked war against them:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harris/bombing-our-illusions_b_8615.html

The war in Iraq, while it may be exacerbating the conflict between Islam and the West, is a red herring. However mixed or misguided American intentions were in launching this war, civilized human beings are now attempting, at considerable cost to themselves, to improve life for the Iraqi people. The terrible truth about our predicament in Iraq is that even if we had invaded with no other purpose than to remove Saddam Hussein from power and make Iraq a paradise on earth, we could still expect tomorrow’s paper to reveal that another jihadi has blown himself up for the sake of killing scores of innocent men, women, and children. The outrage that Muslims feel over U.S. and British foreign policy is primarily the product of theological concerns. Devout Muslims consider it a sacrilege for infidels to depose a Muslim tyrant and occupy Muslim lands—no matter how well intentioned the infidels or malevolent the tyrant. Because of what they believe about God and the afterlife and the divine provenance of the Koran, devout Muslims tend to reflexively side with other Muslims, no matter how sociopathic their behavior. This is solidarity born of religious delusion, and it must end—or a genuine clash of civilizations will be unavoidable.

Sam Harris is very much a right-wing neocon kook.

Sam Harris blames the Iraqis for the failure of the Iraq War, saying that they could not accept the great sacrifice America made to give them the gift of civilization.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Sam_Harris

Let's play "Harris or Malkin?"

"The only future devout Muslims can envisage — as Muslims — is one in which all infidels have been converted to Islam, politically subjugated, or killed."

"I am one of the few people I know of who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror."

"The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists. To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization."

"When I search my heart, I discover that I want to keep the barbarians beyond the city walls just as much as my conservative neighbors do, and I recognize that sacrifices of my own freedom may be warranted for this purpose. I expect that epiphanies of this sort could well multiply in the coming years"

"We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it."


Elsewhere he sees Islam as violent, anachronistic and opposed to important Western values, notably free speech. Harris accuses Western liberals of being more concerned with political correctness and with avoiding accusations of racism than with defending Western freedom. Given some statements Harris has made, even within the book, it's possible he may actually have some sort of bias, but he is surely not a bigot, because everyone is only taking his statements out of context! Statements like:

"We are at war with Islam. It may not serve our immediate foreign policy objectives for our political leaders to openly acknowledge this fact, but it is unambiguously so. It is not merely that we are at war with an otherwise peaceful religion that has been ‘hijacked’ by extremists. We are at war with precisely the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran."

And:

"We cannot let our qualms over collateral damage paralyze us because our enemies know no such qualms. Theirs is a kill-the-children-first approach to war, and we ignore the fundamental difference between their violence and our own at our peril. Given the proliferation of weaponry in our world, we no longer have the option of waging this war with swords. It seems certain that collateral damage, of various sorts, will be a part of our future for many years to come."

We have to be monsters because, writes Harris, we are fighting Islam, and thus fighting Muslim monsters. But, no doubt, it is unfair -- an exercise in political correctness -- to treat Harris's text as if plain words carry plain meaning.


The poor misunderstood Sam Harris

In a post titled The saga of Slippery Sam, PZ Myers derides Harris and his acolytes, writing: "Sam Harris has an amazing talent: he can say the most awful things, and a horde of helpful apologists will rise up in righteous fury and simultaneously insist that he didn’t really say that, and yeah, he said that, but it only makes sense." Myers also observes about the constant demand for a Talmudic approach to Harris, "you must parse his words very carefully, one by one, and yet also his words must be understood in their greater context."

Glenn Greenwald, in a livestream with Kyle Kulinski, noted that Harris is one of the only public intellectuals who does not own what he says. Rather, he publishes provocatively titled articles littered with equally provocative assertions and when people criticize him for it, he then insists not only that you didn't understand what he said, you're lying about it. Harris follows that up with "clarifications" that, according to Greenwald, are comparatively banal. Given that Harris is quite intelligent and must know what he's doing, it's reasonable to consider that he may be being intentionally controversial for the publicity.

Cenk Uygur has particularly received flak for his criticism of Harris, receiving a relentless barrage of negativity on Twitter and Youtube. Harris disciples accuse Uygur of not understanding Harris or, as some sort of personal vendetta, of intentionally misrepresenting him. When Uygur received word that Harris would honestly vote for "an imbecile" like Ben Carson rather than Noam Chomsky, and that he defended Ted Cruz's preferring Christian refugees over Muslim ones from Syria, Uygur completely took off the gloves.

He denounced Harris for packaging heinous arguments as "thought experiments," focusing specifically on Harris's vile proposal mere ponderings that the West's only option against certain Islamists "may be" a nuclear first strike that would, so sadly, entail killing "millions of innocent civilians in a single day." Uygur rhetorically inquired how this thought experiment would sound if those civilians were in the State of Florida or the city of Tel Aviv. After showing the moral depravity of Harris's "non-endorsement" of such a position, Uygur addressed the Harris fans who contact him every time he covers Harris and his views:

“Even though I’ve given you full context, tell me how the beloved Dr. Harris is once again misrepresented by his own words, and misunderstood by feeble minds like Noam Chomsky.”

So it is the liberals' and the Muslims' fault for Trump's popularity

and not American bigots and war-mongers? Yea, I'm sure Americans are really so concerned about woman in the Muslim world, such that it should be a major concern in US elections.

Who are the violent ones? US foreign policy proves who most supports violence in this world, and it is reflected in who values human life the least:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/157067/views-violence.aspx

While the majority of world citizens agree that military attacks targeting civilians are never justified, a decade after 9/11, there is a wide range in the level of support for this view. A clear majority in Asia and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) find military attacks against civilians unacceptable. This is not surprising considering the acute conflicts raging in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East.

In contrast, regionally, residents of the U.S. and Canada are most likely to say that military attacks against civilians are sometimes justified. Americans are the most likely population in the world (49%) to believe military attacks targeting civilians is sometimes justified, followed by residents of Haiti and Israel (43%).






Here's an excellent thread from Bolo Boffin proving Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin:

Bugliosi: 53 Reasons It Was Lee Harvey Oswald:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/11354552

World support for violence against civilians (the US leads):

http://www.gallup.com/poll/157067/views-violence.aspx

While the majority of world citizens agree that military attacks targeting civilians are never justified, a decade after 9/11, there is a wide range in the level of support for this view. A clear majority in Asia and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) find military attacks against civilians unacceptable. This is not surprising considering the acute conflicts raging in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East.

In contrast, regionally, residents of the U.S. and Canada are most likely to say that military attacks against civilians are sometimes justified. Americans are the most likely population in the world (49%) to believe military attacks targeting civilians is sometimes justified, followed by residents of Haiti and Israel (43%).




It's probably impossible for a non-conscious machine to ever behave as a human.

Conscious critters are feelings driven, which requires consciousness. Feelings cause brains to force themselves to think, do, learn, act as one, and remember. Probably this is why consciousness evolved. Complex animated life may be impossible without consciousness.

I doubt if it will be possible to ever create a conscious machine. If it ever happens, it will be a very long time in the future. Scientists would have to figure out a way to artificially evolve consciousness.

That's one big old straw man.

First thing, I'm an atheist. I specifically said I'm condeming "new atheists" which is a particular movement.

On DU, many of us don't like it when people engage in blanket hatred of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims. That's just plain old bigotry.



Examples of "new atheist" bigotry:

Here's professional liar, "new atheist" and neocon darling, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an employee at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI):

http://www.salon.com/2014/08/04/ayan_hirsi_ali_bibi_netanyahu_deserves_nobel_peace_prize_for_gaza_campaign/

During an interview published on Friday by Israel HaYom, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israeli daily, public intellectual and author Ayan Hirsi Ali claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for waging the ongoing military campaign by the IDF against Hamas militants in Gaza.

Asked whom she admired, Ali — who once called Islam a “nihilistic cult of death” — included Netanyahu on a list featuring her husband, Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, as well as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Princeton professor Bernard Lewis. Ali said she admired Netanyahu “because he is under so much pressure, from so many sources, and yet he does what is best for the people of Israel, he does his duty.”

“I really think he should get the Nobel Peace Prize,” Ali added. “In a fair world he would get it.”


Here's an interview of Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

https://reason.com/archives/2007/10/10/the-trouble-is-the-west/1

Reason: Should we acknowledge that organized religion has sometimes sparked precisely the kinds of emancipation movements that could lift Islam into modern times? Slavery in the United States ended in part because of opposition by prominent church members and the communities they galvanized. The Polish Catholic Church helped defeat the Jaruzelski puppet regime. Do you think Islam could bring about similar social and political changes?

Hirsi Ali: Only if Islam is defeated. Because right now, the political side of Islam, the power-hungry expansionist side of Islam, has become superior to the Sufis and the Ismailis and the peace-seeking Muslims.

Reason: Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?

Hirsi Ali: No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.

Reason: We have to crush the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims under our boot? In concrete terms, what does that mean, “defeat Islam”?

Hirsi Ali: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

Reason: Militarily?

Hirsi Ali: In all forms, and if you don’t do that, then you have to live with the consequence of being crushed.

Reason: Are we really heading toward anything so ominous?



While Sam Harris was interviewing openly racist and neocon promoter, Douglas Murray, on his podcast, Sam Harris said:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2015/11/24/jebus-sam-harris-again/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+freethoughtblogs%2Fpharyngula+%28FTB%3A+Pharyngula%29

"Given a choice between Noam Chomsky and Ben Carson, in terms of the totality of their understanding of what’s happening now in the world, I’d vote for Ben Carson every time. Ben Carson is a dangerously deluded religious imbecile, Ben Carson does not…the fact that he is a candidate for president is a scandal…but at the very least he can be counted on to sort of get this one right. He understands that jihadists are the enemy."


Sample of Sam Harris quotes:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Sam_Harris

Let's play "Harris or Malkin?":

"Islam, more than any other religion human beings have devised, has all the makings of a thoroughgoing cult of death."

"Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others. There is, in fact, no talking to some people. If they cannot be captured, and they often cannot, otherwise tolerant people may be justified in killing them in self-defense. This is what the United States attempted in Afghanistan, and it is what we and other Western powers are bound to attempt, at an even greater cost to ourselves and innocents abroad, elsewhere in the Muslim world. We will continue to spill blood in what is, at bottom, a war of ideas."

"I am one of the few people I know of who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror."

"The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists."

"To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization. We are at war with Islam. It may not serve our immediate foreign policy objectives for our political leaders to openly acknowledge this fact, but it is unambiguously so. It is not merely that we are at war with an otherwise peaceful religion that has been hijacked by extremists. We are at war with precisely the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran.”

"We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it."

"Unless liberals realize that there are tens of millions of people in the Muslim world who are far scarier than Dick Cheney, they will be unable to protect civilization from its genuine enemies."

"In their analyses of U.S. and Israeli foreign policy, liberals can be relied on to overlook the most basic moral distinctions. For instance, they ignore the fact that Muslims intentionally murder noncombatants, while we and the Israelis (as a rule) seek to avoid doing so (LIE). Muslims routinely use human shields, and this accounts for much of the collateral damage we and the Israelis cause; the political discourse throughout much of the Muslim world, especially with respect to Jews, is explicitly and unabashedly genocidal."

"We cannot let our qualms over collateral damage paralyze us because our enemies know no such qualms. Theirs is a kill-the-children-first approach to war, and we ignore the fundamental difference between their violence and our own at our peril. Given the proliferation of weaponry in our world, we no longer have the option of waging this war with swords. It seems certain that collateral damage, of various sorts, will be a part of our future for many years to come."

The US deliberately seeks out and arms the worst elements in the Middle East.

Most of the Middle East had been much more secular and peaceful.

The US armed the fundies to fight the commies. Most of the crazies were concentrated in US supported Saudi Arabia. The US very much helped spread the ideology. With the constant US brutalization of the entire region, that set up an environment where conservative religious views can much more easily spread.

The US also arms and supports the most brutal leaders, including supporting Saddam in his unprovoked war against Iran. The US helped in the creation of Iraq's chemical weapons program and supplied the intelligence on how to employ the chemical weapons against Iran, the very same Iran that the US had overthrown their secular leader and installed the brutal Shah.

The US helps in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and Israel's brutalization of all of Israel's neighbors.

http://www.loonwatch.com/2011/12/eye-opening-graphic-map-of-muslim-countries-that-the-u-s-and-israel-have-bombed/
This “three-decade war for domination of the Middle East” becomes apparent when we consider how many Muslim countries the peace-loving United States and her “stalwart ally” Israel have bombed:...

Under Barack Obama, the U.S. is currently bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. According to some reports (see here and here), we can add Iran to this ever-expanding list.

Thanks to American arms and funding, our “stalwart ally” Israel has bombed every single one of its neighbors, including Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Israel has also bombed Tunisia and Iraq (how many times can Americans and Israelis bomb this country?).

The total number of Muslim countries that America and Israel have bombed comes to fourteen: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iran, Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Tunisia.

This is something approaching genocide.

Selfishness is the source of all evil in this world.

It would be nice if some people would consider the rights of Americans to not be murdered so some selfish asses can have their stupid guns.

How can anybody support an activity that causes so much harm to the innocent? – pure selfishness.
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