From the TDWTF Google+ feed




  • A person with crazy religious views? Well I never!



  • How about this entry on the TDWTF Google+ feed?

    [spoiler][/spoiler]





  • So what's the joke here?

    EDIT: Oh, People for the American Way. Yeah, those guys are ridiculous.





  • Do I have to sacrifice my first-Bourne script?



  • Life begins at fork()



  • I'm just waiting for the .Clone() wars.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no Eval()



  • OBDO:

    <Pongball> Religion is like a penis.
    <Pongball> It's fine to have one.
    <Pongball> It's fine to be proud of it.
    <Pongball> But please don't whip it out in public and start waving it around.
    <Pongball> And PLEASE don't try to shove it down children's throats.


  • @Keith said:

    <Pongball> And PLEASE don't try to shove it down children's throats.

    I always wonder about these people (the anti-religious, not the pedophiles) and if they think it's OK to shove stuff like reading skills "down a child's throat." Or, like, saying please and thank you.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I always wonder about these people (the anti-religious, not the pedophiles) and if they think it's OK to shove stuff like reading skills "down a child's throat." Or, like, saying please and thank you.

    I'd argue that teaching life skills is very different to indoctrinating a child into beliefs based on pure faith when they're too young to realise that they can question them. Naturally, as a consequence of this, I recommend killing off Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.


  • area_deu

    That reminds me of a game I want to showcase ...



  • @Keith said:

    I'd argue that teaching life skills is very different to indoctrinating a child into beliefs based on pure faith when they're too young to realise that they can question them.

    Maybe. But then, if you believe something is as important as religions tend to think about their theology, why would you want to do the disservice of keeping the child away from it? I think the anti-religious knee jerk ignores human nature by rejecting the religious impulse and the benefits it provides as far as setting up a moral framework.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @boomzilla said:

    setting up a moral framework

    I think that's orthogonal to religion. There is an implied moral framework within most religions but plenty of people ignore or cherry pick, and it's certainly possible to be a moral atheist.

    I kind of agree with your main point though, if a parent genuinely believes in something that's a big part of their life, it's asking a lot for them to ignore that or act like it's not important. I do think it's important to not give children the impression that the viewpoint they're raised in is the only valid one though, even if they're taught it's the only true one.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    I think that's orthogonal to religion. There is an implied moral framework within most religions but plenty of people ignore or cherry pick, and it's certainly possible to be a moral atheist.

    I'm not saying it isn't orthogonal, but that you have a framework and a whole institution already there for helping you (as a parent) instill it in your children.

    @Jaloopa said:

    I do think it's important to not give children the impression that the viewpoint they're raised in is the only valid one though, even if they're taught it's the only true one.

    I agree in that it's important to teach your kids to respect other people's beliefs and not to think less of them, unless they think their religion tells them to kill infidels or something.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    I think that's orthogonal to religion. There is an implied moral framework within most religions but plenty of people ignore or cherry pick, and it's certainly possible to be a moral atheist.

    I totally agree with that. I've never been religious, but have always had strong empathy and moral values. Religion really isn't required at all. In fact, if your morality is based purely on your religious beliefs, you're not acting morally at all, but acting because of fear of repercussions.

    EDIT: Also, I'm bowing out of the discussion here, as nothing good ever came from debating religion on the internet. I'd much rather watch a good Blakeyrant from a distance than be involved.

    Yes, I'm a :chicken:.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Keith said:

    nothing good ever came from debating religion on the internet

    Better than another bloody climate change debate


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @boomzilla said:

    you have a framework and a whole institution already there for helping you (as a parent) instill it in your children

    Don't you have that with any society or community?



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Don't you have that with any society or community?

    Definitely one where your church is part of the community.

    There are certainly other institutions that can provide that stuff.

    @Keith said:

    Religion really isn't required at all for me.

    FTFY. As I said above, there are other institutions that can do all of this, but a moral framework is only one of the things that religion provides, and different people obviously are different.

    @Keith said:

    In fact, if your morality is based purely on your religious beliefs, you're not acting morally at all, but acting because of fear of repercussions.

    Bullshit. And so what if you do? I guess this is the No True Morality argument? Are you really a better person if you kill lots of people because you think it's in their best interest than another (nonviolent) person who volunteers at a local soup kitchen because he's afraid of hell fire?

    @Keith said:

    nothing good ever came from debating religion on the internet

    But it's fun!

    @Jaloopa said:

    Better than another bloody climate change debate

    You know, I think a lot people think I start this stuff, and maybe occasionally I do, but I think that mostly I just don't let people get away with posting stuff that I find to be bullshit. Often on topics where many don't get much of a dissenting view.



  • @Keith said:

    nothing good ever came from debating religion on the internet.

    FTFY.


  • sockdevs

    @Keith said:

    <Pongball> And PLEASE don't try to shove it down children's throats.

    hmm... yes, okay but

    @boomzilla said:

    I always wonder about these people (the anti-religious, not the pedophiles) and if they think it's OK to shove stuff like reading skills "down a child's throat."

    oh nevermind, @boomzilla's got this one.

    @Keith said:

    Naturally, as a consequence of this, I recommend killing off Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

    what? no! You no can kill santa! he's the only one that can stop the rise of satan!

    @boomzilla said:

    I think the anti-religious knee jerk ignores human nature by rejecting the religious impulse and the benefits it provides as far as setting up a moral framework.

    here we go. that sounds sane. I don't think religion should be taught as "this is the truth and the only truth because you'll go to hell if you don't believe it" rather it should be taught as "hey, this is stuff that happened (probably) and this is why it was good/bad and that's why we should learn from it. And hey this is what i believe about it and the lessons it teaches us. what do you think about it?"

    make it a dialog not dogma.

    @Jaloopa said:

    I kind of agree with your main point though, if a parent genuinely believes in something that's a big part of their life, it's asking a lot for them to ignore that or act like it's not important. I do think it's important to not give children the impression that the viewpoint they're raised in is the only valid one though, even if they're taught it's the only true one.

    @boomzilla said:
    I agree in that it's important to teach your kids to respect other people's beliefs and not to think less of them, unless they think their religion tells them to kill infidels or something.

    QFT

    @Jaloopa said:

    Better than another bloody climate change debate

    what? no! not climate change debates!

    at least wait until i finish making the popcorn!



  • @accalia said:

    dogma

    Dogma gets a bad rap. People who argue against dogma are usually just arguing for a different dogma.

    @accalia said:

    I don't think religion should be taught as "this is the truth and the only truth because you'll go to hell if you don't believe it" rather it should be taught as "hey, this is stuff that happened (probably) and this is why it was good/bad and that's why we should learn from it.

    There are many approaches, and each has it's pros and cons. The approach I grew up with was more like, "This is what we believe." Even the priests (Catholic) talked a lot about "the mystery of faith," which to me seems very consistent with a lot of what you're saying.


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla said:

    Dogma gets a bad rap. People who argue against dogma are usually just arguing for a different dogma.

    hmm... Unthinking Dogma them?

    I mean I consider myself... well it would be hard to put a name to it.

    I was raised Catholic so I have that as a moral background but when i reached the age of majority i stopped practicing the faith because i could not continue to support some of the practices of the church. I looked for a long time for a replacement religion to practice before settling on.... well "Atheist with options"?

    there isn't a label for it, really.

    but i do know that if there is a god (i never really believed there was even when i was practicing) it is definitely a She, not a He.

    of course either way she would be a being of supreme being of power immeasurable. Gender would probably not factor heavily there...

    @boomzilla said:

    The approach I grew up with was more like, "This is what we believe." Even the priests (Catholic) talked a lot about "the mystery of faith," which to me seems very consistent with a lot of what you're saying

    it's pretty similar to the method i was suggesting. the important part is making sure that the dialog is there and it isn't "you will believe this because i said so"


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    People who argue against dogma are usually just arguing for a different dogma.

    QFT. There are few people more dogmatic than Internet Atheists.



  • Is it OK to teach the children that gases are made of countless tiny molecules randomly bouncing around?
    Is it OK to teach the children that the Earth is hollow and inside live mythical creatures like centaurs and unicorns?

    Why one but not the other? Or should we let them decide for themselves on each?

    Now, is it OK to teach the children that God (as described in the Bible) exists, created everything and is out there listening to your prayers?



  • Is this a real question or a poorly thought up example?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I would say the most important thing to teach them in this arena is to think for themselves. If they come to the conclusion that Christianity is true, then fine. Same with Islam, Sikhism, Paganism, Atheism etc.

    When I have kids, I just hope that whatever they believe is what they've concluded makes sense, not what Daddy/a teacher/some guy on TV said was unquestionable truth.

    On a slightly related note, I've been thinking about the oft referenced "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" thing. Atheists tend to wheel it out with the idea that God is obviously the extraordinary claim and that this instantly puts theists on the back foot but in this sense it's pretty much begging the question. If your whole life has been filled with "look what God did, isn't He[1] amazing", then the extraordinary claim is obviously that there is no Creator and that the complexity we see around us arose naturally. Logically, "God is silly, show me some proof" is on the same level as "The creation is proof of a creator"

    [1]or She, for the benefit of @accalia


  • sockdevs

    @Jaloopa said:

    [1]or She, for the benefit of @accalia

    :-D thanks!

    @Jaloopa said:

    When I have kids, I just hope that whatever they believe is what they've concluded makes sense, not what Daddy/a teacher/some guy on TV said was unquestionable truth.

    Critical Thinking is too undervalued in today's society. :frowning:

    @Jaloopa said:

    I've been thinking about the oft referenced "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" thing.

    hmm... true. I'll say that i have no strong belief one way or another about the existence of a god (or gods) but i will say that if they expect me to worship them I would like the benefit of .. say a five minute conversation with them first. ;-)


  • mod

    @Keith said:

    I recommend killing off Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

    Murder.

    Of course, it might have prevented one experience from my childhood. I figured out when I was five that Santa wasn't real. My parents told me that I was right. A few days later, my parents got a call from my school. I had made my entire class cry by telling them that Santa was dead (not sure how I made that leap).


  • mod

    @Keith said:

    not acting morally at all, but acting because of fear of repercussions.

    Not necessarily. You might be acting out of hope for a reward. Or simply because you want to. Having a religion around your moral framework doesn't dictate your reasons for doing good.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Atheists tend to wheel it out with the idea that God is obviously the extraordinary claim and that this instantly puts theists on the back foot but in this sense it's pretty much begging the question.

    There has, in fact, been a lot of thought put into this by theists. Most people (on either side) are never exposed to, let alone comprehend these.



  • @abarker said:

    Having a religion around your moral framework doesn't dictate your reasons for doing good.

    And like I already asked, is it better to do good or to want to do good?



  • Is it better to:

    • Do good because you'll be rewarded
    • Do good because you'll be punished if you don't
    • Do good because you're not a dick

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    This argument normally comes up in response to the "without religion people would go around raping and killing anyone they want" in my experience. In those situations it's the theist who's suggesting that there's no such thing as wanting to do good and that it all stems from wanting reward/not wanting punishment


  • sockdevs

    @ben_lubar said:

    Is it better to:

    • Do good because you'll be rewarded
    • Do good because you'll be punished if you don't
    • Do good because you're not a dick

    E_NOT_A_POLL



  • I'd say it doesn't matter. Anything that gets people to play nicely is a good thing, it's not really up to me to decipher and understand their motives.


  • mod

    I think the preferred order goes something like this*:

    1. Do good because you want to.
    2. Do good for a reward.
    3. Do good to avoid punishment.

    My problem is the @keith seems to be implying that theists all fall into 3. But that isn't the case.

    * This only contemplates the specific scenarios you mentioned. I think it's probably more of a sliding scale since motivation is a complicated thing, and people can have multiple motivations. Someone might do something because it is the right thing to do and to avoid a punishment. That doesn't really fit nicely into the list that you provided.



  • @ben_lubar said:

    Is it better to:

    Define better. I do good for all three reasons at different times. But your question misses the point (which I assume was your point).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Keith said:

    I totally agree with that. I've never been religious, but have always had strong empathy and moral values. Religion really isn't required at all.

    True.

    @Keith said:

    In fact, if your morality is based purely on your religious beliefs, you're not acting morally at all, but acting because of fear of repercussions.

    lolwut

    Seriously, though, think about this very old question: Does God command that good things be done because they are good, or are good things good because God commands them?



  • @antiquarian said:

    Seriously, though, think about this very old question: Does God command that good things be done because they are good, or are good things good because God commands them?

    If you answer with "the latter" I would be quite worried for your mental health.



  • @ben_lubar said:

    If you answer with "the latter" I would be quite worried for your mental health.

    If you answer too quickly then I would think that you aren't being intellectually honest and/or curious.



  • @ben_lubar said:

    If you answer with "the latter" I would be quite worried for your mental health.

    It would quickly rule out some answers to the "what faith is this person?" though as many polytheist faiths have different deities working on opposing sides of different issues.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    If you answer too quickly then I would think that you aren't being intellectually honest and/or curious.

    What about people who answer "Both"?



  • @antiquarian said:

    What about people who answer "Both"?

    I'd ask them to show their work and make a judgment based on that. I'm not certain what my answer would be, BTW.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    I'd ask them to show their work and make a judgment based on that. I'm not certain what my answer would be, BTW.

    My opinion is that they're trying to dodge the question as it puts them in a bind. If the answer is the former, then good things have objective value and God isn't needed. If the latter, then ethics is just a matter of following orders.

    I don't have a good answer to the question either, and given that people have been trying to answer it for thousands of years, I suspect there isn't a good answer, which means that maybe there really is something wrong with the question. I figured I'd throw it out there since we've gotten all philosophical.



  • @antiquarian said:

    If the latter, then ethics is just a matter of following orders.

    Kinda. The orders don't need to flow from an individual though, they can also come from a philosophic school or other framework. Ethics != morals, but they are closely related so the difference is something you need to be careful about in a discussion like this.



  • If God created the universe, we're assuming He created stuff like the laws of physics. We'd probably all agree that physics are objectively physics, no matter who created them. Maybe He created the laws of morality, too.

    @antiquarian said:

    I suspect there isn't a good answer

    Yes, I think it's something for which all sides can come up with good arguments without proving any of them. It's like...you have to take it on faith or something. :smile:



  • @boomzilla said:

    Maybe He created the laws of morality, too.

    Physics and morality are very different. Morality doesn't exist except as a concept, whereas physics is the thing that explains why we can think about concepts in the first place.


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