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Thread: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Session

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by 0bserver92 View Post
    It's not a real religion just a cult.
    Matter of opinion. I could say the same for most religions.

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    The difference between a religion and a cult? The numbers. You may argue the reasoning, but in the end, Christianity is no different than those that believed in the greek Gods. All religion is based on faith and no religion is more "credible" than any other.
    Well considering Scientology tries to scam you and real religions do not, I would say it is a cult.

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by 0bserver92 View Post
    Well considering Scientology tries to scam you and real religions do not, I would say it is a cult.
    "Real" religion? What makes "real" religion? BTW Mormons being required to give 10% of their earnings to the church can be considered a scam.

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNextEra View Post
    "Real" religion? What makes "real" religion? BTW Mormons being required to give 10% of their earnings to the church can be considered a scam.
    Well other religions open up to all their scripture no matter who you are meanwhile Scientology is pay walled and tries extort people for money. Scientology is for profit.

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by 0bserver92 View Post
    Well other religions open up to all their scripture no matter who you are meanwhile Scientology is pay walled and tries extort people for money. Scientology is for profit.
    Like I said, Mormons require a 10% of your earnings to be considered "Mormon". How is that any different? And as far as "real" religion goes, does believing in greek gods make a "real" religion in your books? If not, why not?

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    I suppose the difference then lies in notions of absolute truth. We don't know any 100% absolute truths. That is part of science and really an unalterable (though just shy of 100%) truth. Functionally, there is no difference between our two positions. I'm just using slightly stronger language and not adding the "for all practical purposes" clause, because I think it is redundant to add that to all assertions of fact. I am typing on a computer right now. I am not for all practical purposes typing on a computer right now. I get what you're saying, but it is very much a semantic difference and unworthy of putting us into divergent camps.


    I am glad to hear that you are not a wallflower. When it comes to the notion of proselytizing, I take exception to the idea that atheists do that. The proposition that god does or does not exist is a factual assertion, the same as an assertion that the moon does or does not exist. Asserting a factual position is not proselytizing. It ought to be subject to scrutiny and rejected if there is no evidence, but that's what we're talking about above. Proselytizing is more about lifestyle. It's saying "you should live the way I do", but again, it only really applies to religions. Anti-drug campaigns aren't proselytizing, are they? They're asserting that we should live drug-less lives. But even they have a few facts to back that up. Speed really can kill you, heroin is very addictive, and a smoking habit can be very expensive in the long run. Proselytizing, to me, seems like a call to "join our religion because it is better, and it is better merely because we say it is." I don't think that any equivalent activity is proselytizing without the religious aspect or the arbitrariness of the assertion.

    However, given the importance of the social issues involved, like civil rights, violence, education, science, and war, can you really blame people for taking a stand about their position? Let's take Dawkins as an example. There's at least one thread around right now about hating on Dawkins. His big deal is about education for kids. He gets really mad about kids being taught to fear hell so that they'll submit to religious teachings, and about kids being told demonstrable falsehoods as science. We've all seen this notorious creationist test, haven't we?

    Attachment 67147909

    Teaching kids that, and then teaching them that they'll be burned forever if they ever question it, is a pretty cruel thing to do to a kid. Shouldn't a passionate science teacher, as Dawkins is, devote his passion and energy to stopping that? And doesn't the fact that he has evidence and truth on his side make him more righteous than his opponents?

    When it comes to this sort of discussion and the assertion that atheists should be more "respectful" of theists' beliefs, I always come back to the flat-earthers. Should the rest of us respect their belief, or tell them to buy a globe and stop being dumb? Or explain to them how the appearance of the tops of objects over the horizon as you approach would not happen if the world were flat? Should anyone ever be faulted for telling people the verifiable truth?
    The only problem here is the assumption that people are rooted in their beliefs due to some misplaced sense of rationality, when that is actually a smaller part of it. The attraction to religion is the sense of community and belonging that it provides. Islam for example, puts everyone as equal despite race, tribe and nationality (just go with it -- when the Quran was written no one knew that Muslims would split into Shi-ite and Sunni), and communities in the Midwest and South are strongly based in their churches. I don't think it's any coincidence that when someone splits from their church or faith, it's so often at the time they split with their community. It's also like why people stick with their sports team despite how much they might suck. So whenever you challenge a person's faith you're really challenging their entire community, which is exactly why debates with religion at the center involve debaters that are completely polarized and perfectly entrenched at all costs: you're not arguing with one religious zealout, you're arguing with all of them, and when you question their beliefs they hear you saying that their friends and family members and neighbors are wrong . I'm not at all saying that this necessarily justifies the beliefs they hold, just that when you question those beliefs you're opening a gigantic can of worms.

    There's a reason why it's called a "Culture war," and not a "polite and tempered discussion on culture."
    Last edited by Cardinal; 05-26-13 at 02:18 AM.

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    The only problem here is the assumption that people are rooted in their beliefs due to some misplaced sense rationality, when that is actually a smaller part of it. The attraction to religion is the sense of community and belonging that it provides. Islam for example, puts everyone as equal despite race, tribe and nationality (just go with it -- when the Quran was written no one knew that Muslims would split into Shi-ite and Sunni), and communities in the Midwest and South are strongly based in their churches. I don't think it's any coincidence that when someone splits from their church or faith, it's so often at the time they split with their community. It's also like why people stick with their sports team despite how much they might suck. So whenever you challenge a person's faith you're really challenging their entire community, which is exactly why debates with religion at the center involve debaters that are completely polarized and perfectly entrenched at all costs: you're not arguing with one religious zealout, you're arguing with all of them, and when you question their beliefs they hear you saying that their friends and family members and neighbors are wrong . I'm not at all saying that this necessarily justifies the beliefs they hold, just that when you question those beliefs you're opening a gigantic can of worms.

    There's a reason why it's called a "Culture war," and not a "polite and tempered discussion on culture."


    People are basically "joiners"......................

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville View Post
    Surprising that this happened in Arizona
    Who asked an atheist to deliver the opening prayer? Sounds like a staged thing to me.
    Worked, though, didn't it. Got some discussion happening.

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by hfd View Post
    Speaking of making things up. Now let's try it again. Please provide tangible evidence that a God does not exist. And you still haven't told us if you understand that the state rep in discussion is simply attempting to impose his religious beliefs on others. Try and discuss these things without telling me I'm full of ***8, that is, if you are capable of doing so.

    BTW: Please point out where I have said a God exists. I haven't, simply a useless page filler on your part in a discussion you are weak in. I've stated my religious position, that of agnosticism. Again, I don't presume to know of the existence or non existence of a Supreme Being. I'm waiting on you to provide the evidence that proves beyound a doubt that God does not exist. So far you have failed to do so.
    I don't have to provide evidence, because I have made no positive claims and haven't proposed any theories. Lack of evidence implies lack of existence. Just as I postulated there was an invisible unicorn raping you right now, you could not provide evidence that there wasn't. The real world however assumes there is no unicorn raping you until it is shown otherwise.

    The natural state of a claim is of non-existance. I can't claim that I can cure cancer until I actually prove it. If evidence for god is presented, I will change my viewpoint. Until then, I will file it under the same category as your unicorn lover and my cancer healing abilities: completelly fabricated.

    So, seeing as how you're making a positive claim, I will now accept your undeniable evidence that god exists. If you can't or won't provide that, I will also accept any evidence showing you are not being raped by a unicorn, or that I can not cure cancer.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0bserver92 View Post
    Well other religions open up to all their scripture no matter who you are meanwhile Scientology is pay walled and tries extort people for money. Scientology is for profit.
    So is christianity, especially catholicism in a lot of places in europe. In Germany for instance, your tithe is deducted by the state automatically from your paycheck if you're registered with a religion. If you aren't registered, you're not allowed to go to church.

    Effectively, "Pay us or go to hell."

    Most religion is for-profit.
    Last edited by RabidAlpaca; 05-26-13 at 05:03 AM.

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    Re: Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Ses

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrylek View Post
    Why is it surprising? Arizona never was an especially pious place. Maybe at the times when Mormons were building first houses of Mesa and Snowflake. It's not New Hampshire, but neither it is a part of the Bible Belt. If you look at the Arizonans that are/were prominent in politics and around - Barry Goldwater, John McCain, Sandra Day O'Connor, Carl Hayden et al - none of them could be considered social conservatives. I think a few years ago there was a Pew survey, and Arizona had about a quarter of its population "unaffiliated" with any religion - about as many as Roman Catholics, and by far more than the Evangelicals usually associated with the "religious right".
    You're probably right about that.

    I guess that today I associate Arizona with far-right folks like Arapaio and Brewer and SB 1070. It seems the religious right is usually closely allied with them, but I'm sure there are some exceptions.

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