because I can’t for the life of me understand the theist’s argument!

Check out this dialogue between Sam Harris (one of my secular heroes [swoon]) and Dennis Prager, a radio talk show host and advocate of the Judeo-Christian flavor of religions. It’s pretty short, should only take about twenty minutes to read (okay, maybe that’s not short, but if you’re interested, it’s worth it).

So much argumentum ad hominem goes on in this between both parties. But at the same time, Prager just goes on and on about how the Judeo-Christian god has to be the right one. And he also talks about how immoral atheists are. Here’s an example quote:

My argument is that unlike Judeo-Christian America, secular societies—generally meaning those of Western Europe—lose their will to survive (by not reproducing), and stand for nothing (they were largely morally worthless in the Cold War against Communism and are worthless or worse in helping to keep Israel alive against Muslims who vow to exterminate the Jewish state.) When people realize this, they may conclude that something that is necessary for society to survive—belief in the God of Israel—may in fact exist.

No, they don’t lose their will to survive. They just realize that maybe, just maybe, quantity does not equal quality, especially in a finite world with finite resources. Then, earlier, he asserted that maybe they were just too “selfish” to have more than one child. Double what? Too selfish to have too many children. This guy really has the complete reverse of any of the values I have.

You’ll have to read the entire correspondence to understand my confusion. And if you do read it and aren’t confused by Prager’s argument, please explain it to me.

And I’m being completely honest and sincere here. If someone could explain why he thinks the way he does (other than the obvious developmental perspective that he’s at the lower, mythic stage of development while Harris is at the rational stage), I’d be greatly obliged.

Because, honest, just three years ago, I believed much more strongly in a “god” than I do now. But even then, it was a more deist, distant god, and most certainly NOT a specific flavor of god.

I don’t think this has added anything to the conversation, but at least it gave me a crack at using my writing skills.

I hope everyone has a great Friday. TGIF (ironic, I know). :)

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In the name of science…

November 29, 2006

Memes away!!!

Quotation

November 28, 2006

When one understands that one’s enemies are held under a powerful influence of their own ignorance and aggression, that they are trapped by their habits, it is easier to forgive them for their irritating behavior and actions. Similarly, if someone from the insane asylum insults you, there is no point in getting angry.

– From What Makes You Not a Buddhist by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse

Quotation

November 28, 2006

“… when it is not in our power to determine what is true, we ought to act according to what is most probably.”

– Descartes from A Discourse on Method


This Descartes guy knows what he’s talking about! We’ve finally gotten to something in CIE (other than the Gita) that I find useful. Go figure it’s the last thing we’re going to read this semester.

Though, yeah, that whole “cogito ergo sum” thing is baloney. If there’s one thing that we shouldn’t base our life philosophy on, it’s thought!

Leave it to South Park…

November 28, 2006

Check out this South Park skit about Mormonism.

Too funny. Now if they only did one about regular Christianity: “There was a carpenter who said he was God… dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb… he told us all to eat him… dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.”

Maybe I should leave the witty lyrics up to the masters. :)

Quotation

November 28, 2006

Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going ahead with it on your own. That got you A’s. Originality on the other hand could get you anything-from A to F. The whole grading system cautioned against it.

– From Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

Quotation

November 28, 2006

Enlightenment is not an attainment, Dan. It is a realization. When you wake up, everything changes and nothing changes. If a blind man realizes he can see, has the world changed?

– From Way of the Peaceful Warrior

I thought you might like this: a meat cake.

And I thought it couldn’t be done.

Looks disgusting to me, but maybe I should get a less biased opinion. What do you think?

November 27, 2006

“Make an outline of the proof of the existence of God.”

Only in CIE.

I love you guys…

November 26, 2006

Tonight completely absolved me of all my fears about “wasting” break. Thank you guys.