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Name: Paul
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Mar 31, 2010, 03:20 PM
Number of posts: 3,612

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What is this free will that you speak of?

We are the products of our genetics and environment, neither of which we have any choice at birth. After that, we think and act based on how our brains have developed in our environment. We don't design our own brains, so our conscious selves don't ultimately control our actions and thoughts. If you believe in a god, then this god is responsible for who we are.

Free will is an illusion. We don't understand how our brains work or how they come to their conclusions. Our heads are black boxes.

We experience inputs into our brains and we experience outputs from our brains. What our brains actually do, we can't know. We experience feelings associated with our thoughts and action. This gives us the illusion that our conscious selves actually made the decision. But our feelings only drive our thoughts and actions by forcing our (outside of conscious) brains to act.

Even when you use sequential logic, ultimately your thoughts come out of your black box.

There is no free will. That is just an excuse for this imaginary god for not being able to see the future and the flaws in creation. God says, the buck don't stop here.

It's not a crazy conspiracy theory,

it's just the basic corruption that dominates Washington DC. (I don't do crazy: Oswald did it, I support GMO's, truthers are kooks, an invisible man in the sky doesn't control the Universe, etc)

Most politicians don't care about any particular agenda. Most of them do at any particular moment what they believe will get them reelected. In the Bush administration, the Neocons set the agenda, with their targets of Iraq, Syria, Libya. and Iran, all nations that are enemies of the terrorists that committed 9-11. Neocons are open about their agenda to destroy those nations for the benefit of Israel. It's not a secret.

9-11 was a fortuitous gift to the Neocons, though a major terrorist attack was highly predictable due to US human rights abuses and atrocities in the ME that we had been committing for decades. I wasn't the least bit surprised on 9-11.

The Neocons are conspiracy kooks, and US foreign policy is what you get when conspiracy kooks get power in government. They were able to scam the US public to support an unprovoked attack against a random Muslim majority nation because they are part of a nefarious "axis of evil." Iraq was part of some great Muslim conspiracy.

The Neocons set the agenda, and now that they got the predictable results, most politicians are now doing what they think needs to be done with the current facts on the ground, which gives us permanent war.

Many politicians are also open about their threats against Iran for the benefit of Israel. We are supporting the terrorists against Syria because the Israel supporters care more about weakening Assad's power than the kooks that want to create a theocracy in Syria and Al Qaeda that attacked the US.

Washington DC is much more complicated than I can write in a few paragraphs, since there are so many agendas, but this is an important element of our war agenda.

Your god pushes the question of the beginning infinitely back in time with a magical being,

unless you believe your god had a creator. Then where did your god's creator come from?

You have the same problem of original creation, and you've created a much worse problem: how did this almost infinitely purposefully-complex critter get here?

My starting point is dumb matter and energy. Your starting point is an almost infinitely purposefully-complex critter with magical powers. We also have no evidence for your invisible magic-critter – or however you define your god.

No matter what view of reality you believe in, whether scientific or not, there is a reality that exists that didn't create itself. The scientific view is to simplify things down to their basic processes going back in time: the more complex comes from the less complex. The religious view is the complex is explained by the even more complex, which is explained by magic.

good links

US Airstrike Leaves At Least 73 Civilians Dead In Syria

The Neocon goal has been to systematically destroy the nations of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran because they want to determine who is most powerful in the region. Their goals are being achieved so far and there is a good chance that things will get much worse.

The US has deliberately created a disaster area in much of the Middle East. It isn't a mistake. The Iraq War wasn't a mistake. We didn't starve the people in Iraq by mistake, which cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. We didn't help murder Qaddafi by mistake. The US Government hasn't supported the fundies against various secular governments by mistake. We're not supporting Saudi Arabia's slaughter against Yemen by mistake, etc.

At some level of the US Government this is all deliberate and these results are the goal. The rest of the politicians just play along, because they believe that's what their job demands, even if they just think they are just fighting those dirty terrorists.

We are far more collectively guilty for this disaster in the Middle East than Muslims are guilty for most of these terrorist attacks that we've been hearing about lately, since our Government officials act in our name (even though our government is corrupt and we as individuals have little power to stop any of this). Most Muslims have nothing to do with any of this crap.

War is the ultimate evil.

Nothing is worse. War is the worst manifestation of bigotry.

The US deliberately seeks out and arms the worst elements in the Middle East. Much of the Middle East had been much more secular and peaceful. Look at the history of the 20th century and who were the most violent then.

The US very much helped spread the ideology. The US armed the fundies to fight the commies. The US overthrew Saddam and helped overthrow Qaddafi. The US is currently supporting the fundies against Assad.

Most of the crazies were concentrated in US supported Saudi Arabia. With the constant US brutalization of the entire region, that set up an environment where conservative religious views can much more easily spread.

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.

These very same people that the US has so badly abused are now being condemned on DU for being inferior. With this attitude that is so prevalent in the US, it should not be surprising that the US is the number one war mongering nation in the world.

War beget$ more war.

Such a war is guaranteed to be permanent since much of the terrorism would have never happened if we weren't conducting the wars in the first place, regardless of the ultimate reasons for the terrorist acts.

The bozo (Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens) who wrote the linked piece wrote about his support for the Iraq War (the world's worst crime this century) in 2005, well after only the worst war-mongers still supported that unprovoked disaster.

Without previous US atrocities in the ME by the US, 9-11 would have never happened. Osama made this fact clear.

Without US war-mongering since 9-11, most current Muslim terrorism would have never happened. With just one single terrorist operation on 9-11, the US used that as an excuse to obliterated much of the ME. It didn't take much to radicalize the US public.

With thousands of attacks against the ME over many decades, much of the ME is not surprisingly a disaster area, and many bad elements have taken control.

During the Vietnam War, the US obliterated much of Cambodia, massacring men, women and children. Ultimately the Khmer Rouge took power and they continued the slaughter. (The US then supported the Khmer Rouge when Vietnam intervened, like the US now supports some of the Jihadists against Assad.)

The alleged war on terror is driven by special interests with their own selfish agendas. The neocons have long desired the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran for obvious reasons. Various war profiteers latch on to the neocons, since any war will do.

We should worry about our own behavior, since that is what we have control over, instead of looking down our noses at and interfering in any other nation's business. Inevitably we make things much worse.

Some people seem to enjoy watching the disaster that is the ME, since they like that fact that they can feel superior to the barbarians over there, and it makes some of them feel good about supporting more war. They have bad people over there and everywhere, but we should worry about the bad people over here.

Of all the major issues facing us, why are so many people so concerned about magic DNA?

The US is engaging in endless wars that are destroying the lives of so many people in this world, with no end in sight. Corruption is widespread in Washington DC, where the economic future of many low and middle income Americans are systematically being destroyed. But so many people are worked-up by this non-issue.

What's destroying the health of so many Americans is the quantity of pure junk they put in their shopping carts, not the method of DNA change. Science and logic is clear on this fact.

People want to take short cuts and ignore what science says on this issue. They think they know more than those with the intelligence, work ethic, and ability to produce science that passes peer review.

The fall-back for those that don't believe the science, whether it's evolution, global warming, or the safety of GMO's, is conspiracy. They all use the same argument.

Mass murdering dictators is just one of a number of potential measures

comparing the morality of believers and non-believers. Of course the relative numbers of non-believers and believers would be considered.

In practice, this measure would be difficult. But the attempt would show that there are a lot of assholes from people of all religious and non-religious persuasions.

Religions do often have the problem of at times actually promoting bad behavior (lots of bad behavior promotion is in the religious texts which can't be ignored) and of being objectively not true, but still, non-believers can find their own excuses for engaging in bad behavior.

I don't completely agree with some in this thread that bad behavior by atheists should always be disregarded since atheism itself is not a philosophy and is only a non-belief in any gods. It's true that atheism isn't a philosophy, but still, theists claim that their religions do some good also. Atheism is neutral on such issues. If bad behavior by atheists does not count, by definition, then theists have no chance of looking good by comparison. That comparison would be rigged from the start.

I'm biased for atheists to some extent, but I still don't want to exaggerate the problems caused by believers. Morality is innate, with some learning involved. Regardless of religious belief, people will find their own excuses for their own selfish behavior, which is the cause of all evil in this world.

Anyone that is so full of oneself, such that

he is willing to harm someone else, for whatever reason, is selfish (unless, perhaps, he is profoundly mentally ill. But then he is sick and not necessarily evil.) That should be self-evident.

People have minds of their own. Anyone that claims their imaginary god told them to murder is only murdering someone out of their own desire to murder. Murderers put themselves above those that they murder.

There's nothing magical about religion, such that, religion makes evil acts not selfish. There's nothing magical about religion, such that, a person murdered in the name of religion is any more dead than someone murdered for any other alleged reason. Evil is evil.
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