6th September 2011

“The trouble with religious faith is that it encourages people from a young age to accept rather than challenge, ordering them to place blind trust in an authoritative teacher, parent or priest.”

Martin Robbins

14 Responses to “6th September 2011”

  1. R J Says:

    and then, if they DO place that trust…………..actually

    MIS-place would be more accurate, they’re left wide

    open for some great mind screwing.

    hah-lee-loo-ya !!!!!!!

    PRAISE DE LAWD !!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Dan Says:

    The resulting general lack of critical thinking in the world is a travesty.

  3. Atheist MC Says:

    Meh! I’m not sure we can lay the lack of critical thinking skills solely at the door of religion. The education system is poor (definitely in the UK) at telling people how to think about and examine evidence. I have long felt that every child should be taught the scientific method, and the point of it at an early stage, maybe 11 years old or so. As it is I didn’t even know there was such a thing until A levels at 17 ish and I met people at University who were still scientific “stamp collectors” reciting facts and formulae, but couldn’t design an experiment to save their lives.

  4. archaeopteryx Says:

    All authority should have to justify itself regularly. The power to eject bad people and incompetents is vital to democracy. It doesn’t always work, and career politicians try to manage it, but it’s the best we have got at present.

    Can anyone name a democratic religion?

  5. Dan Says:

    Can anyone name a democratic religion?

    Arguably the Quakers, aka Society of Friends, or at least the “unprogrammed” versions of Quaker worship (which according to the wiki, if that’s reliable, is about 11% of Quaker congregations). But whether they’re truly democratic is uncertain to me.

  6. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Both abortion and gay marriage are political issues as a direct result of blind acceptance of religious authority. Neither issue is debated on the right on the basis of logic and rational thought.

    I spoke to a man at a party on Sunday. He explained that his objection to gay marriage was on the basis of the word “marriage”. He explained that the word has traditionally been a religious word and that the legal contract commonly known and also known as marriage should not be able to supercede the religious use of the word.

    I asked, “what if when the legal contract named marriage was another word, say “civil union, would that fix everything?” He said “yes.”

    So as far as the legal contract, bizarre that we even need such a contract, named something else, makes it perfectly clear for any person to enter into, but call it marriage, use the word marriage, and it is wrong. Just for use of the word?

    I asked about the use of other words of a religious nature or that have been hijacked by religion, are those safe to use for non-religious purpose. Like is it ok to worship your wife, or to give your blessing to your child’s plans, is it OK to give a non-religious speech at a pulpit, is it OK to take sanctuary in a local hotel, and so on. He seemed fine with this.

    So basically the word marriage as a religious institution takes precedence of the word marriage as a legal contract. Any use of the word marriage outside the religious use must pass a religious litmus test where the legal rights of people are subordinated to the religious expectations of certain select other people?

    For this man all of this non-sense was an important issue. Like what difference can it make to the future of mankind? It didn’t seem to matter.

    I’m sorry but I can’t create the space necessary for abortion and gay marriage to rise to the level of actually political issue of the day. I lack the ability to put abortion and gay marriage ahead of issues like cancer research, patent office reform, et cetera.

    Foreign policy, economic policy, international trade for me all seem more important things to spend my time thinking about. But that is me and who says I know anything.

    Maybe the future of America, the future of our children, the future of mankind all hinge on moral policy as dictated by ancient tribal people of the Middle East. Seems odd to me, maybe I just don’t get it.

  7. R j Says:


    interesting stuff.

    i want to ask you a question about paragraph 7.

    ” For this man, all of this nonsense was an

    important issue. ”

    what i want to ask you is WHY do you think it

    was important to him? i mean, i know it’s

    nothing………and YOU know it’s nothing…..

    but to this guy, with his limited scope, it was

    a serious big deal. i run into this weak thinking

    constantly………..and as much as it entertains me,

    i still wind up wondering how people can screw up

    their focus so badly. (dumb ? slow ? insane ? )

    anyway, i’d be interested in your words

  8. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    R j that’s a great question and I’m not sure I can answer it. I’m on record as having said “I’m not trying to be a conspiracy theorist” but in answering your question I can’t help but to be exactly that.

    I think that “the church”, and by that I mean all faith, senses a threat. To counter that threat it plays upon the fears of the masses of the uninformed.

    I’m at a loss for my supporting material on this statement:
    There is a correlation between higher intelligence and homosexuality. Not that it takes homosexuality to be intelligent, just that the distribution of higher IQs is more common among gay than straight people. There are plenty of intelligent heterosexual people, but as a proportion of their overall population fewer than in gay populations.

    Same is true of women.

    The threat to a paternalistic faith, one where both men and women might be equal, one where men and women might receive penetration, relegates men to women status. In Judaism, Christianty, and Islam the religion, as well as the family, is headed by men. Blade and Challice. Male superiority.

    Religious men want to be the penetrators, in charge, and for women to be the penetrated, submissive.

    So it is explained by church leaders to the masses of the uninformed that anything that portrays men as equal to women is a threat to them. That if gay people marry then straight peoples marriages will be changed. That being a man will be changed. That men will no longer be superior.

    Anything that threatens the church, and that is knowledge and wisdom, needs to be transferred by the church to the flock.

    The facts having been coming in for more than a decade and we now know that in countries where the population has higher IQs the numbers of non-believers reach and exceed 50% of the population. That is a threat to the church.

    You see it in the American South.

    Keeping people ignorant is about keeping the pews full on Sunday. Scaring the ignorant is about keeping the ignorant out of politics and power.

    Inciting hatred among the faithful is about diversion.

    So as a position on a issue I think he was reacting to a narrative programmed into his head by the church, a narrative reinforced on Sundays with fellow parishoners, and at parties, sporting events, threater, and everywhere the person goes.

    I think the place he visits on a regular basis, where gay marriage is talked about, is nearly always the church. I think he never thinks about these issues, never examines them critically outside of the church, that on some level even thinking about gay marriage is uncomfortable.

    So lacking any other narrative, or one that is repeated to him as often, he has simply accepted that gay marriage defiles his marriage.

    Limited Worldview: He reacts to protect the religious institution of marriage because for him it all began 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. He doesn’t know that humans have been co-habitating for 60,000 years, long before there was a Judaism, Christianty, and Islam. That before humans neanderthals co-habitated.

    For practical purposes, marriage before their were religious ceremonies to celebrate them, existed in the form of common law marriages and in an environment of fire, spears, and caves.

    Basically I think he wasn’t using the brain he would say god gave him when speaking to the issue.

    In that natural environment, purer than the garden of Eden, there were most certainly same sex marriages.

  9. holysmokes Says:

    Much to my surprise Mr. Bond …errr I mean Mr. Smythe, I can see the point made by your opponent in your conversation regarding the word,”marriage.”

    Although I do not know the facts regarding this, but IF the word marriage did indeed originate from the world of religion, then it is easy to see why he thinks like that. I have noticed that humans, although tribal, typically appear to have a single mate, regardless of the tribes they originate from. I have watched several documentaries over the years showing this to be mostly true for several primitive cultures around the world. The question is, when they mate up for life, does this mean “marriage” in a religious context? I’d have to say that it does not appear so, however they do seem to share their material wealth. It would seem that the emphasis is on earthly goods, not religious ones. As such, the expression, “civil union” does seem more appropriate. Oddly enough, I think the same can be said for the majority of us. I do not look at my marriage as though it is a religious thing. Perhaps I should call it something else. Eternal hell comes to mind ….just kidding.

    I make a motion that we rename marriage for the majority of us who do not like the religious connotations that come along with it. Let’s let the religious fools, errr I mean people, have their word back. In fact, I think that when the religious get, “married” it is in the name of their religion only. No part of a “civil union” should apply, nor any legal bindings what so ever. Doing so would mix church and state …nay, nay, nay! It would be interesting to see just how many so-called faithful would stand for that.

  10. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    holysmokes Says:
    “I can see the point made by your opponent …”marriage.” OK that isn’t hard to do. I think I’ve given the devil his due.

    To the validity of the man’s specific Christian claim to the word “marriage”:

    Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry First Known Use: 14th century

    Middle English marien, from Anglo-French marier, from Latin maritare, from maritus married
    First Known Use: 14th century

    Latin maritare, union blessed by the Goddess Aphrodite-Mari.

    So for the record, the Judeo-Christian use of the word is for having hijacked it in the first place and not in creating it. After you review my links perhaps you agree on the origin of the word? And that the man’s thoughts on the matter aren’t rooted in facts and the question “does this mean “marriage” in a religious context?” is invalid as the religious context is founded upon fallacy.

    I don’t think it necessary to draw up a legal contract to co-habitate (though I did do that) and as an atheist find it absurd to bear witness before god my vows to a wife. All of this is between my wife and I and I’d be happier to have it that way.

    I really don’t think that making much of the matter is warranted. I don’t care if it is called “marriage” any more than were it to be called “catfish”. If I’m fishing and I catch a catfish I’m reasonably sure I won’t confuse that with co-habitating with my wife. So not only is marriage not religions word, at least in the Judeo-Christian sense, it isn’t worth debate. It is “thee” prototypical non-starter if there ever was one.

    The point remains, there isn’t really any logic or rational thought to validate the man’s view.

  11. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    The dolphin-crowned Sea Goddess (Aphrodite-Mari) of seafarers, the fertility goddess, would bless unions. The blessing was for them to have good fortune in procreating, not for finding a life partner.

    Why was it so important was what R j had asked. That the man had it programmed into him from child hood, had a limited input of information of the subject, and that he has a limited world view is my answer.

  12. R J Says:


    thank you both………….lotsa interesting stuff !!

    sinjin….you used ” prototypical ” which is one of the all-time

    GREAT words !!!! i like it so much that i wish you would

    refer to me as ” Prototypical R J ” from now on.

    ALSO sinjin, i know you’re a politcal animal……so, i’d like

    to share with you one of my fondest fanasies for 2012……….

    i would like to see one of the parties ( ANY party) run

    two full-bore post-op transsexuals for pres and vice-pres.!!!!!


    wouldnt that be FANTASTIC !!!!! THINK of the campaign

    possibilities !!! it just warms my heart !!

    since i always enjoy reading your opinions, let me know

    what you think !!

    prototypical r j

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