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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 16,500

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It's really refreshing to see where DU as a whole actually stands.

39 rec's in one day, and positive comments from those who normally don't participate in the Other group.

When it comes to the growing trend of non-belief and making society more secular, reason is winning.

Huzzah! my fellow heathens. Have a great weekend! I love you all.

On being offended...

I'll place this here for future use. It was needed today in the Other group, for the usual, nonsensical reasons.

That thread was well recieved, highly rec'ed, and noticeable absent were the usual suspects.

A Really Good Thing: Why we should celebrate the rise of atheism and secularity

Yes, the growth of atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, humanism, and other various manifestations of secularity in both the USA and around the world over the past 25 years is a decidedly good thing, for the following reasons:

1. We need more humans guided by reason rather than faith. Weíre facing serious problems in the world today: global warming, increasing inequality, growing forms of fundamentalism, extensive human enslavement, international sex trafficking, impending genocide in places like the Central African Republic, corporation-led corrosion of democracy, violence against women, depletion of the rain forest, human rights violations, etc., etc. ó and all of these problems can only be solved through rational understandings of their causes, solutions based on unbiased data and empirically-sound mechanisms, human creativity and compassion, international cooperation and willpower, and smartness, ingenuity, and know-how.

Ten million people praying ten millions hours wonít do shit. Pleading to magic deities and invisible gods, or beseeching the spirits of dead ancestors, or fondling rosaries and misbaha, or anointing with oil and lighting candles, or performing exorcisms and slitting the throats of goats, or driving away the devil and ostracizing witches wonít help at all. Not one bit. So the more people we have who live their lives without such notions or entanglements, the better.

We need a humanity that relies most readily and most heavily upon scientific understanding, rigorous/critical thinking, and utterly sound reasoning, not faith. Now donít get me wrong: religious faith has its place; it comforts many who have nothing else to rely upon, and it infuses the world with a mystical, spiritual, or, at least, quaint vibe. But it doesnít help address social problems. For that, we need clear thinkers who donít look to imaginary gods for assistance.


As a direct product of human culture, human psychology, and human experience, religion contains much that is noble, altruistic, just, and inspiring. It reflects many of humanityís best aspirations and hopes. And the rituals, music, holidays, social bonding, family traditions, and all around heritage that one finds within religion are often wonderful, enriching, and enjoyable. But the actual tenets of faith of most religions ó the supernatural beliefs, the gods, the messiahs, the prophets, the miracles ó the sooner these wither and fade, the better. And so the fact that we see this happening today, in varying degrees, is a really good thing.



Dad, What Religion Are We?

Cartoon: Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations




Appreciation thread for the Trash This Thread feature.

Determining the Attributes and Effects of Gods

Found this to be an interesting read. Thought you might too.

How can we know we are looking at a god if we donít know any of godís actual attributes? I donít think we can. But thatís not because Iím being circular or difficult. Itís because we lack a referent in reality to allow us to tell the difference between true and untrue claims about attributes of god. This situation, created by theists, who cannot agree on a metric to differentiate true claims from false claims about gods, is not a problem that can be laid at the feet of atheists. When someone asks me ďwhat evidence would convince you?,Ē they have already invented a situation where itís all but impossible to answer, because I donít know what a god is. There are some vague notions, but nothing specific and agreed upon to the point of usefulness. But bring me your external referent, and then start making your claims, and at that point you and I can compare your claims to a real god and make some determinations about their truth values. Without that, though, itís claims predicated on claims, predicated on more claims, with no way of determining what is trueófor thousands of years, as we have already seen.


Pastor, church members plead guilty to beating 13-year-old boy

The pastor and two members of a Corona church pleaded guilty Monday to state charges of beating and threatening the life of a 13-year-old boy, who was forced to dig his own grave, authorities said.

Lonny Lee Remmers, 56, Nicholas James Craig, 24, and Darryll Duane Jeter Jr., 30, tortured the boy in the church-run group home where he lived, according to a witness report in affidavits for search warrants.


The March 2012 incidents included Craig and Jeter driving the victim to the desert and forcing him to dig his own grave. They then made him get in and threw dirt on him. They were responding to Remmers' instruction to "scare" the boy, according to the affidavits.

While the boy was showering, one of the men rubbed salt into the cuts on his back, according to Steven Larkey, who lived in the group home and provided the witness report in the affidavit. He told investigators he could hear the boy screaming and saw blood all over the shower the next day. The victim was later tied to a chair with zip ties and placed in the shower. Mace was sprayed on his face, causing it to bleed, and he was not allowed to rinse off for about 30 minutes, according to the victim's account in the affidavit.

At a Bible study later that evening at Remmers' home, Remmers asked the boy to sit in the middle of the group and then squeezed his nipple with pliers. The boy, his mother and sister were members of Remmers' church. His mother and sister lived in a women's group home, but the boy said he had been moved to the men's home as a disciplinary action.


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