RE: virus: A few opening statements from a newcomer

carlw (
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 15:57:40 -0600

I don’t plan on getting into a slanging match, but here are a few things that may be worth considering.

>> Also, if a new religion is DESIGNED, than
>> it must have so many facts for a self-respecting God-seeker that it
>> would have to go above and beyond anything that could be
>> created of the human imagination.

All the religions I have looked at to date seem to be vastly inferior to that demanded by modern ethics. What would you be looking for "above and beyond anything that could be created of the human imagination" and what makes you imagine that if you were to be presented with a new religion that you will recognize it as such or understand it? In any case, you seem to be an adherent to your faith and prepared to sing its praises in public while in possession of remarkably few facts yourself. What is a "self-respecting God-seeker"? To me it appears to be an oxymoron. If you respect yourself, there should be no need for a god.


> What's up with atheism anyhow? Think of how much time you've invested in
fighting something you don't believe in.

Very little. Far less time than most Christians waste expounding on their borrowed religious ideas*. Atheists in most parts of the world don't find it necessary to spend much time on religious twaddle, but because the religious, and particularly Christian religious people in the USA are so "in your face", the atheists of America tend to be more visible too. Many atheists, being intelligent, are very aware of the threat that believers, especially Christian believers pose to them, and judge it well worthwhile spend a little time in monitoring and when possible refuting the more obnoxious lies of the faith filled.

*Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind dying, came to a transmigrated life in the theology and liturgy of the Church; the Greek language, having reigned for centuries over philosophy, became the vehicle of Christian literature and ritual; the Greek mysteries passed down into the impressive mystery of the Mass. Other pagan cultures contributed to the syncretist result. From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity, the Last Judgment, and a personal immortality of reward and punishment; from Egypt the adoration of the Mother and Child, and the mystic theosophy that made Neoplatonicism and Gnosticism, and obscured the Christian creed; there, too, Christian monasticism would find its exemplars and its source. From Phygia came the worship of the Great Mother; from Syria the resurrection drama of Adonis; from Thrace, perhaps the cult of Dionysus, the dying and saving god. From Persia came millenarianism, the ages of the world, the final conflagration, the dualism of Satan and God, of Darkness and Light; already in the Forth Gospel Christ is the Light shining in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. The Mithraic ritual so closely resembled the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass that Christian fathers charged the Devil with inventing these similarities to mislead frail minds. Christianity was the last great creation of the ancient pagan world. [Will and Ariel Durant, _The Story of Civilization_]

> Logic can be applied to these things, but most of the
> time, people
> are working off incomplete knowledge. It's like asking a 6th
> grader who
> plans on becoming a physicist to prove gravity. It just
> isn't likely.
> Any Bible related questions, I will do my best to answer, but pardon
> me-- I don't know everything.

Logic <> Reason

> Now, I can't prove to you what's been proven to me. I
> I doubt I can e-mail you proof. However, I can tell you I had
> hydrocephilus, I was supposed to be a retard, but my IQ
> scores tend to
> disagree. It is therefore, impossible for me to believe that
> nothing is
> out there.

Hydrocephalus is an increase in the intracerebral ventricular size ( those spaces within the brain substance that are filled with cerebrospinal fluid CSF). This maybe due to congenital abnormalities of the brain structure causing obstruction to the normal outflow of the CSF. It can also result as a complication of head injury with an inside bleed or , meningitis , a serious infection of the brain coverings , all of which you don't need to worry about in a healthy , normally developed person. The main indicator for hydrocephalus would be a large head ( head circumference >95% ) , but in most cases , there will be a subtle or substantial delay in developmental milestones , spasticity , hyperactive reflexes , occasionally a sacral dimple or a hemangioma. On the other hand, the most common cause of large heads in infants is what's called familial macrocephaly (the family has a genetic tendency to big heads). There are other conditions (include a subarachnoid cyst ( a sac full of fluid ) , or a cystic hygroma) that may present with a large head , but again, the normal developmental milestones would usually be affected . Taking your statements about your IQ at face value, I would say that Hydrocephalus cannot be diagnosed from the presentation - it most certainly does not form grounds for belief in fairies. Or any other imaginary friends.

> My parents said to me, "We're Christians. We'd
> suggest the
> same for you, but first, look at everything else. Be equally
> critical
> with every belief system." I see more flaws in over
> meme-complexes than
> with Christianity.

Might I suggest that you examine Christianity more skeptically than any other religion as you probably have an environmental predisposition to accept its ideas? Its fundamental flaws are many, the injuries caused to people in its name numerous and its claims to any form of uniqueness or authority dubious.

> I've read the Bible 8 times, (working on 9) and I
> see flaws, but then I take the time to investigate. That's
> the piece of
> the scientific theory that this list seems to be missing. If
> something
> LOOKS wrong, it's automatically invalid, along with
> everything else in
> the meme-complex.

So you are saying that because the bible looks wrong, it is automatically invalid? That is a refreshing attitude. Although I fail to understand why you are spending so much time rereading it. It is certainly not worth it from the perspectives of history, literature or ethics.

> >> response to your trust vs. faith discussion,
> >> I'd like to pose a completely different comparison, faith vs.
> religion.
> >
> >I think that would be a valuable reframing of the debate, as much of
> the
> >evidence concerning the destructive nature of faith that
> gets presented
> >in this discussion is actually a list of crimes committed by
> >religio-political organizations. As the Catholic church played a role
> >that was a close to that of a modern government as to the modern
> >comception of a chuch durring the crusades and the
> inquisition, citing
> >examples of the atrocities committed durring these periods
> is as much
> an
> >indictment of citizenship as it is of faith.

The destructive nature of faith has more to do with the violence that it does to a person's ability to think rationally and care for others without splitting them into "us" and "them" - something which "faith" - any faith - seems to do quite well. Religions simply allow you to identify the "us" and "them" more easily. And anyone citing the Catholics more than other groups probably just doesn't know enough about the history of the other groups to cite the people the other groups have persecuted.


> Get this- there are two kind of people in every church organization-
> the religious, and the faithful. One says what there church
> says, plays
> mirror for some set of memes that mean nothing. The other
> examines their
> faith, looks for why it is true, makes sure that they haven't been
> douped.

While I have seen "faithful" people suffused with doubts, I think that churches as a whole exist to reinforce their own brands of memes. Certainly "looks for why it is true, makes sure that they haven't been douped." is not a part of belief. Faith is belief without evidence or even belief in spite of evidence. Not acceptance of something proven to be true. The Christians are especially strong on this idea. "Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." and "James 1:6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

> I'm not quite sure where, but Paul encourages believers in one of his
> letters to check his words against the scpirtures. The
> religious have
> no faith, they just attend, do the ceremonies, talk the talk
> etc. They
> have no faith, or blind faith. Blind faith isn't really faith, it's
> stupidity. "It's right because the priest said so."

A great many things are attributed to Paul. As somebody who has studied the bible so carefully I am surprised you can't identify the passage you are thinking of. Of course, given the amount of editing of that book that has happened, and the lack of any corroborating evidence, this is probably an exercise in futility. On the other hand, they missed so many blatant contradictions and errors that if it does say that, you would have to discard everything said… Take your choice. Maybe you were thinking of 1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. But then you should certainly look at the proximal exhortations to believe without questioning and wonder which of the these was really meant. Of course, even if you do believe without questioning, there is always the danger "2 Thessalonians 2:11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie" will get you.

TheHermit <grimacing>