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Old 06-02-2007, 04:05 AM   #181
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Mog wrote
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/27/AR2007052701056.html?hpid=topnews

This is the kind of thing I was trying to get at to Lily.

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The results were showing that when the volunteers placed the interests of others before their own, the generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.

Their 2006 finding that unselfishness can feel good lends scientific support to the admonitions of spiritual leaders such as Saint Francis of Assisi, who said, "For it is in giving that we receive." But it is also a dramatic example of the way neuroscience has begun to elbow its way into discussions about morality and has opened up a new window on what it means to be good.
You can see why this is the kind of research that could scare theologians. We have traits that we attribute to free will more attributable to brain chemistry.
Theologians have heard it all before, as have we who merely sit in pews. And no, it doesn't scare us in the least. Something still has to decide among all those pleasures-- or do you want to argue that it is six of one, half dozen of the other whether one has sex, eats a Hershey bar or helps an old lady across the street?
Like all physical pleasures, chocolate, drink, drugs, sex, entertainment, chocolate, and so-on, theists may now be expected to come out against altruism as a base and animal-like behavior to be shunned by the righteous. Meanwhile, atheists can just go on being their normal generous, caring, self-gratifying selves.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 06-02-2007, 04:21 AM   #182
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Lily wrote
Yes, we have heard it all before. This is exactly the sort of thing I was trying to convey to you. You see everything through the template of the mostly fictional, evil fundy. You really don't get it that there are seriously well educated Christians working in every branch of human knowledge. Some of them are even working in these particular areas, you are so interested in. They don't display any marked cognitive dissonance, either.

And I don't even know what to say to your last sentence. It is, at once, incredibly innocent and incredibly arrogant. You will not wipe out most of the world's evil with modern medicine, any more than you will with psychiatry, or any other means by which people with power "cure" (for their own good, of course) people who don't fit in. That is evil.
People who successfully compartmentalize their faith from the implications of their research, by definition have little or no cognitive dissonance no matter how contrary their knowledge is to their beliefs.

Only a theist would assume that a cure for a demonstrably damaged brain would automatically be forced on the unwilling. The reactionary attitude that you have expressed is common in theistic circles and obviously not a fiction.

It is slightly interesting that you suggest a reduction in the world's evil (even though non-coercive) is itself evil. Knowing that specific kinds of evil can be traced to specific brain configurations opens the possibility that, just as with smallpox, that particular kind of evil might be cured worldwide. It is sad that you reflexively reject this possibility. Are you harboring some hidden hope that evil cannot be diminished by inquiring, thinking and determined humanity?

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 06-02-2007, 04:41 AM   #183
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Now, I'm reasonable enough. You think its at least ethical to alter the brain chemistry of those diagnosed psychopaths that want their brain chemistry altered?
Actually, I am nothing like a fundy-- especially the caricature that you have in mind. But I am not much like the real thing either. I see that you really believe what you are saying but only a profound ignorance of history could lead you to so blindly grasp at "better living through medicine".

God does not create evil. If he did, you could not thwart his purposes. It is a silly argument that is ok, I suppose, while sitting around your dorm room at midnight solving the world's problems but it is meaningless in real life.

Are there really 50 million psychos in our midst? Somehow, I would have supposed I would have noticed...

As far as altering the the[sic] brain chemistry of psychopaths? It depends entirely on whether or not the person is a real psychopath and whether the limits on who can be treated can be so tightly drawn as to preclude altering the brain chemistry of people whose thoughts the powers that be don't like. Otherwise, the wise person remembers that hard cases make bad law.
Whether God does create evil or not (He admits doing it by the way), our vaunted free-will or any other ability on our part to disobey Him thwart His purposes by definition. Since God does create evil (even if it is only by drawing a behavioral line that we are not to cross, that line being the only reason that the act would be wrong) we are duty-bound to act as contrary to that evil as is possible.

God might hypothetically say "henceforth, until the world passeth away, thou shalt not stare cross-eyed at the bark of the yew tree". That would be the creation of evil by God, where it hadn't existed before. Real examples of this kind of evil abound. If an act is wrong "just because God says it is wrong", that act is a God-created evil.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 06-02-2007, 04:58 AM   #184
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Choobus wrote
so that's why they can't decide if they have one or three gods......
Not to mention that they have a bunch of entities that they refuse to call gods, but have godlike powers: Lucifer, Mary, the Arch-angels, the numerous saints, etc.
This is hopelessly ignorant drivel which is why it is not worth actually responding to you. You simply don't have the faintest idea what you are talking about. It also makes it less likely that you are credible when talking about subjects I am not well informed on. Maybe we could discuss the weather ...
If god is that which is worthy of worship and people worship Mary, angels and saints, those people are making gods. They happily, blissfully break the very first commandment with ample help from the visual aids of a broken second commandment.

Let's match credibility when you indirectly claim that people neither pray to Mary nor attribute supernatural powers, just short of God's own, to Lucifer. And, you speak of "ignorant drivel"!

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 06-02-2007, 05:02 AM   #185
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I wonder why someone wrapped an otherwise nice cow painting around a cactus plant.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 06-02-2007, 05:40 AM   #186
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Just Us Chickens wrote
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Irreligious wrote
Is nobody here going to define that cryptic phrase: Grace builds upon nature? Is this just a poetic way of saying "Godidit?"
I think it means that god works through natural mediums so finding natural explanations shouldn’t be surprising
Absolutely! Well said JUC.

If one is familiar with Thomism, this is really the point being made. It's funny, because I just yesterday read a fascinating article discussing how many folks in the Protestant community are upset that Catholics, and in particular Thomists, aren't getting on board with Intelligent design.

The reason boils down in it's simplest terms to what JUC just said, and in Thomistic terms, it's because fundamentally Intelligent Design is built on a fallacy (Cosmogonical Fallacy).

Anyone even moderately interested in such things can find the article here.

What is God’s Finger Doing in My Pre-Biotic Soup?
Sure xians are all cool with saying gawd all-smitey hooked up the dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area so they would project via the median forebrain bundle to the nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex just so’s we could feel warm fuzzies from doing good stuff.

But why aren’t these mighty theologians equally nonchalant about the ultimate mad neuroscientist hooking up the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the pre-optic area, the 3rd interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus, the splenium corpus callosum, the anterior commissure, the bed nucleus stria terminalis and the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus differently in homosexual males compared to heterosexual males?

Nah, that homosexual thing is just an evil pleasure that some people choose to indulge in by their own free willy.
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:00 AM   #187
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Let's hear it for cranial nerve zero!
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:31 AM   #188
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Mog wrote
Spotted Steve G stating this back in page 3. Missed quite a bit of nonsense, when I was away for a few hours after starting this thread.

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...It's a paradox to be sure, that I readily admit, but reality is rife with paradoxes whether we are believer or non-believer.
The big question that Steve G should be asking, is are there any paradoxes that we confront as a non-believer that is resolved as a believer? If there aren't, this statement is what we can derisively deride as "rationalizing" the irrational.

Ah well, at least Steve G is willing to admit that his beliefs can be paradoxical. Try to get Lily to admit it.
Mog, it isn't the least bit hard for me or any other Christian to admit that our theology contains paradoxes. Why would it be? Keep in mind that a paradox is a statement that seems contradictory but is, nevertheless, true (or may be true). What is to worry about that?

From what I have seen here, I am guessing that you were brought up in an atheist home? It is hard for me otherwise to understand how unfamiliar basic Christian beliefs are to you.
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Old 06-02-2007, 06:57 AM   #189
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Today, I posted because I become disgusted for about the hundredth time at the treatment Lily gets.
A fine example of selective attention and confirmation bias.
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:47 AM   #190
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PC, I think you just can't see it any longer because you are immune to what's going on here.
No Steve, YOU can't see what's going on here. Because you don't want to.

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SteveG wrote
Go back and read this thread and see how it went down. Mog and Lily were going at it, and it was a bit 'tense', but nothing really that bad. Then the 'fucking moron', Jeetard, and cow pictures started, and then it went down hill as usual. That's almost always the way it goes down.

Do you realize that when your (figurative your) common speech/writing comes to the point where usage of Jeetard, Christ Psychotic, Godidiot, cunt, twat, idiot and the rest becomes the norm when referring to believers, the negativity has already begun before Lily makes a single post.
When lilly first deigned to grace us with his/her/their presence, I ignored the posts. I don't care to mix it up with theists because I'm not interested in discussing the merits of various fictional accounts of an ancient comic book superhero. But there I was, minding my own when out of the blue your innocent little buddy posts this as his first ever post directed to me personally:

http://ravingatheists.com/forum/view...d=99498#p99498

OK, you say, what's so bad about that? Well, if it had been posted to you, you might have felt that your integrity and intelligence and ethics were being disparaged. And maybe being a person of such high moral character, you would have come back with something like "oh well yes, I suppose I am a bad person and don't have a right to say what I think as an atheist on an open forum for atheists. Gee, you're so right lilly, can I be your best pal and agree with whatever you say???" I, however, did not feel so inclined.

Your xian pal lilly enjoys being nasty. This is a place where he can indulge in his natural snarky crapulence without having to confess it in the closet with the priest on sunday, in fact, being nasty to people here gives him a little woody from feeling so much holier than we.

You may not like how some people express themselves here, but a personal perspective is no less valid for being stated with colorful language. Nor is a personal perspective any MORE valid for being stated in sunday school language.

You want to maintain and nurture your personal perspective when it comes to religion because to not do so would be scary and uncomfortable and would likely cause you social difficulties. Maintaining that perspective, however, is increasingly difficult to do when you can't help but see logic in alternative arguments, which you must for as long as you have been hanging around here. So the only thing left for you to do when the message can't be denied is to criticize the messenger and the mode of expression.

BTW, the "fucking moron" comment was not just an accurate representation of my contempt for your pal's character and methods of social interaction; it was also referential humor for the entertainment of the people here who get it. I'm sorry to hear that you felt the need to internalize my comment to such an extent.
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:58 AM   #191
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Quote:
Lily wrote
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Mog wrote
Spotted Steve G stating this back in page 3. Missed quite a bit of nonsense, when I was away for a few hours after starting this thread.

Quote:
...It's a paradox to be sure, that I readily admit, but reality is rife with paradoxes whether we are believer or non-believer.
The big question that Steve G should be asking, is are there any paradoxes that we confront as a non-believer that is resolved as a believer? If there aren't, this statement is what we can derisively deride as "rationalizing" the irrational.

Ah well, at least Steve G is willing to admit that his beliefs can be paradoxical. Try to get Lily to admit it.
Mog, it isn't the least bit hard for me or any other Christian to admit that our theology contains paradoxes. Why would it be? Keep in mind that a paradox is a statement that seems contradictory but is, nevertheless, true (or may be true). What is to worry about that?

From what I have seen here, I am guessing that you were brought up in an atheist home? It is hard for me otherwise to understand how unfamiliar basic Christian beliefs are to you.
Steve was pointing out as a paradox:

"God's will holds all things in existence and therefore is the ultimate cause for all our circumstance, AND we have the freedom to affect those circumstances as well."

That's only a paradox if you accept both sides of the equasion with equal validity. I fully expect that both Steve and Lily see:

"God's will holds all things in existence and therefore is the ultimate cause for all our circumstance."

There is no paradox there. The way I see it, and this is only my opinion... I am not "putting words in someone's mouth" what Steve really meant was:

"God's will holds all things in existence and therefore is the majority cause for all our circumstance, if you play ball, you are with grace. If you buck the circumstance as set up by god, either by choice or by god's will, you will be eternally punished"

Note that god's contribution to the 'circumstance' as put forward in the paradox is unchanged whether grace or damnation are manifested.

The obvious flaw (Obvious to me, not to Steve) is that there is no rational basis to accept the first part of the paradox. As such, that is the part you must discard.

Reconstructing the phrase to eliminate the paradox is the work of a non compartmentalized mind, Once you hold that a paradox can be left standing because of an automatic 'true', your thinking becomes compartmentalized and irrrational.

I, of course, would not stop there. Once I have the new statement:

"God's will holds all things in existence and therefore is the majority cause for all our circumstance, if you play ball, you are with grace. If you buck the circumstance as set up by god, either by choice or by god's will, you will be eternally punished"

I would have to question the validity of a deity that dishes out eternal torment on a whim. Since there is no evidential basis for this, I have to discard the entire statement as bullshit.
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:05 AM   #192
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PC, I think you just can't see it any longer because you are immune to what's going on here.
No Steve, YOU can't see what's going on here. Because you don't want to.

Quote:
SteveG wrote
Go back and read this thread and see how it went down. Mog and Lily were going at it, and it was a bit 'tense', but nothing really that bad. Then the 'fucking moron', Jeetard, and cow pictures started, and then it went down hill as usual. That's almost always the way it goes down.

Do you realize that when your (figurative your) common speech/writing comes to the point where usage of Jeetard, Christ Psychotic, Godidiot, cunt, twat, idiot and the rest becomes the norm when referring to believers, the negativity has already begun before Lily makes a single post.
When lilly first deigned to grace us with his/her/their presence, I ignored the posts. I don't care to mix it up with theists because I'm not interested in discussing the merits of various fictional accounts of an ancient comic book superhero. But there I was, minding my own when out of the blue your innocent little buddy posts this as his first ever post directed to me personally:

http://ravingatheists.com/forum/view...d=99498#p99498

OK, you say, what's so bad about that? Well, if it had been posted to you, you might have felt that your integrity and intelligence and ethics were being disparaged. And maybe being a person of such high moral character, you would have come back with something like "oh well yes, I suppose I am a bad person and don't have a right to say what I think as an atheist on an open forum for atheists. Gee, you're so right lilly, can I be your best pal and agree with whatever you say???" I, however, did not feel so inclined.

Your xian pal lilly enjoys being nasty. This is a place where he can indulge in his natural snarky crapulence without having to confess it in the closet with the priest on sunday, in fact, being nasty to people here gives him a little woody from feeling so much holier than we.

You may not like how some people express themselves here, but a personal perspective is no less valid for being stated with colorful language. Nor is a personal perspective any MORE valid for being stated in sunday school language.

You want to maintain and nurture your personal perspective when it comes to religion because to not do so would be scary and uncomfortable and would likely cause you social difficulties. Maintaining that perspective, however, is increasingly difficult to do when you can't help but see logic in alternative arguments, which you must for as long as you have been hanging around here. So the only thing left for you to do when the message can't be denied is to criticize the messenger and the mode of expression.

BTW, the "fucking moron" comment was not just an accurate representation of my contempt for your pal's character and methods of social interaction; it was also referential humor for the entertainment of the people here who get it. I'm sorry to hear that you felt the need to internalize my comment to such an extent.
Hear, hear! Right on, Gnosital! I personally equate the pushing of theism around here with:
http://choobus.blogspot.com/2007/05/...e-sunrise.html
Which is why I don't debate theists. I stay away from the loony FilthyHobos as well.
The only difference between that and the religious filth (OK, superstitious Iron-age goat-herder musings) pushed is that here "Sunday School Manners®" are usually the "accepted" mode of discourse.

SteveG, do you think you are going to convert anybody here? I doubt that will happen.

How long does an atheist posting on a religious website get, before being banned? I personally consider every loss in your court to be deprogramming from a cult.

If you don't like the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

You are also likely aware that people have a much freer style on the nets, mainly, I think from a fair amount of anonymity. So, they may say things that are more outrageous than usual for them. Scolding someone, the way the lilytard does is just asking for it....and s/he got it. lily is only here to vent vitriol, and what goes around comes around.
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:13 AM   #193
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Quote:
SteveG wrote
Quote:
Mog wrote
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/27/AR2007052701056.html?hpid=topnews

This is the kind of thing I was trying to get at to Lily.

Quote:
The results were showing that when the volunteers placed the interests of others before their own, the generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.

Their 2006 finding that unselfishness can feel good lends scientific support to the admonitions of spiritual leaders such as Saint Francis of Assisi, who said, "For it is in giving that we receive." But it is also a dramatic example of the way neuroscience has begun to elbow its way into discussions about morality and has opened up a new window on what it means to be good.
You can see why this is the kind of research that could scare theologians. We have traits that we attribute to free will more attributable to brain chemistry.
Mog et. al., Lily is dead on.

This is far from anything that is 'scary' in the least. As she's already pointed out, this at most might bother the fundy caricature that too many of you sadly hold as real. For most believers (including theologians) this is akin to saying that water is wet. A favorite blogger of mine said it perfectly...

It turns out that when you do the right thing, it is natural to feel good about it. There's something very odd about Science News trumpeting as a discovery something known by kindergartners and then saying "Such research 'has opened up a new window on what it means to be good,' although many philosophers over recorded history have suggested similar things."

You really do make yourself look like someone who actually knows very little about faith when you make the claim that this will be frightening to believers.

The vast majority of Christians are either Catholic or Orthodox (though in the U.S. that's often easy to forget), and both of those groups hold to the belief that grace builds upon nature. In other words, this is exactly what a person should expect to find…that the brain is wired in a way that sheds light on what we already know by showing us how the mechanics of things work.

Interesting to say the least, but far from anything new (in a theological sense), and very far from anything frightening.
Misunderstood and staunchly ignored by "fundy caricatures" is that every smidgen of natural, physical explanation eliminates an equal amount of spiritual speculation. The mechanics of faith itself, if known in sufficient detail (and we steam toward that happy state daily) would leave no wiggle room for God's influence in yet another attribute of nature.

"grace builds upon nature" is a move of desperation in the face of reality bearing relentlessly down on the paralyzed believer. It is akin to lame excuses like: "xxx may be evil but I just know in my heart that God probably did it for some undisclosed greater good".

You can't blame them, really. Their forebears built a cathedral of straw which they must defend, but which has been picked nearly bare by the searchers for reality. It won't last much longer and then their longing hearts will find new straw with which to build a new and equally fragile edifice for their offspring to defend.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:33 AM   #194
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Is nobody here going to define that cryptic phrase: Grace builds upon nature? Is this just a poetic way of saying "Godidit?"
It is a way of saying that the natural condition of humanity is a foundation component for grace.

The phrase is used whenever discovery of the details of reality rubs the believer's nose in the diminished relevance and actuality of grace itself. Fear of further discovery of reality would be a reasonable reaction from ignorance.

Before anything was known about the functioning of the brain, grace was the whole story. Grace has become like a handful of bungee cords trying to keep a load of furniture together in the back of a pickup on a bumpy road.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 06-02-2007, 08:36 AM   #195
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RenaissanceMan wrote
This is standard theistic bullshit. 'There are billions of us! And we all believe as I do! Therefore we are right." When in reality, the zealots, like you and Lily, are a tiny minority of "All Christians"
Steve isn’t a zealot and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with Lily
You are right. I for one do not often express how much more I respect Steve than Lily. Why, compared to her, he is an ivory castle overlooking a quicksand pit.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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