2nd November 2012

“Belief in ancient myths joins with other negative forces in our society to keep most of the world from advancing scientifically, economically, and socially at a time when a rapid advancement in these areas is absolutely essential for the survival of humanity.”

Victor Stenger

14 Responses to “2nd November 2012”

  1. Capt'Z Says:

    They can, and do, try, but they won’t be successful. Science: It work’s, bitches. Science and scientific thought and processes will ultimately prevail simply because they work. And I’d argue that it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. 99.8% of human history had us bumbling around until we discovered, lost and then rediscovered the scientific method. It’s dizzying how fast and far we’ve come in, say, the past 200 years and faith has dropped at a precipitous rate.

  2. rj Says:

    CAPT Z……………………..

    i agree.

  3. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    Good one Victor S., I couldn’t have put it better. It remains to be seen whether myths and the other forces have already sunk us irretrievably.
    I like the noting that it’s a second discovery Capt. Z, we lost much time and momentum in it’s eclipse by myths while the other forces have evolved unabated.

  4. The Heretic Says:

    I agree with the first part. But I disagree that “rapid advancement in these areas is absolutely essential for the survival of humanity”. I think sometimes science advances faster than the ethics/morality does that is required for the advancement. In the immortal words of Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park “…your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Throttling back human advancement with myth can’t be any better than rapid advancement with reckless abandon. We have just to reflect on human history to know this is true.

    All the warring, disease, oppression, and crime that religion fosters surely is more detrimental to humanity than any scientific advancement.

    The Goldblum quote fed the fears of the non-scientific, it gave them a sense of correctness in their personal stances that religion has value, it helped to sell the movie, but it didn’t ring of truth.

    It would be foolish to think that the rapid advancement Mr. Stenger speaks of would be so narrow as to only include a minority. Rapid advancement might be better thought of as rapid adoption. Where rapidity is a democratizing side benefit.

  6. Kittie Says:

    Unfortunately most christians I know attribute scientific advancement to god. They don’t give scientists the credit for their in-vitro pregnancy they give god the credit for giving them a baby… yet conveniently forget that it was god who made them sterile in the first place… That they actually went around god’s wish for them NOT to procreate.

    It is all god’s will – they accept that a baby born with physical issues has been made “special” by god – yet refuse to believe that someone could be born gay. Don’t even bring up bi-sexuals as to them bi-sexuality is just proof that it is a choice. I ask them -could you choose to be bi-sexual? They say – no… but then think that their answer is because they are christian – not because of any programming on nature’s part… They wallow in their ignorance refusing to understand evolution and just spouting how there are still apes… so it isn’t real… And then you have the idiots writing books about their own near death experiences as proof of an afterlife. The most recent one by a doctor/scientist – so it must be true… Science and scientists better take off the kid gloves.

  7. Capt'Z Says:

    Kittie – You make a really fun point there. I’ve got an uber-con friend and we went ten rounds on the ‘being gay is a choice’ nonsense. I finally got him when I asked “So, how old were you when you decided you were heterosexual? Isn’t it possible you made the wrong choice?” When he had no recollection of his non-gay choice thought process, I came right down to the heart of the matter and called him what he was: a bigot. I think hearing it made him revise his thinking. Maybe, maybe not. But he’s been REAL quiet about the ‘gay agenda’ ever since. So I’ll call it a win.

  8. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Nature .vs Nurture: Since there has never been black and white, absolute definition as straight, bi, or gay it is likely some measure of both a person’s nature and nuturing that leads to orientation and that orientation doesn’t stand upon all that solid a foundation.

    As for a choice, as in waking up one day and saying “hey I want to be _____” I can’t imagine anyone arrives at their orientation in that matter.

    That no person is 100% gay or straight but rather at points between extremes makes for a more logical explanation.

    As for the value of “choice” we can all recall stories of a gay person, married with children and living heterosexually, who clearly at some point in their life had chosen to act straight.

    The reverse must also be true, even if it be rather unusual. A straight person living a gay life.

    What strikes me as odd is that it matters one way or the other. Whether or not it is in your nature or the product of your nurture, whether you make a choice of it, or if you can’t conceive of making a choice of it, it doesn’t matter.

    We are sexual beings first, then inclined to engage in sexual activity with persons of a specific gender secondarily or not in the case of the bisexual person. Maybe Jeff can speak to bi-sexual inclination as to whether he favors one over the other.

    That a person choose or not doesn’t make a person better or worse when it comes to the orientation they end up engaging in.

    That another person take issue with the choice, or lack there of, though that does matter. It is clearly a violation of a person’s individual liberty to be disadvantaged for their choice or lack thereof when it comes to personal relationships, sex, co-habitation and marriage.

    A person ought to be able to have their buddy pile drive them in the butt ferociously to see what they think about it, to gauge whether or not they want more or less of that in their life. They ought to be able to choose and no one should be giving them crap about it one way or the other. No one should have to live with a question mark over the matter.

  9. RJ Says:


    the scientists dont need to argue…….

    they’re human, and as open to speculation as

    anyone else……

    HOWEVER, if they choose to make statements that they

    believe are true,

    they will usually add the words ” AND I CAN PROVE IT.”

  10. RJ Says:

    kittie…..one other thing

    i think near -death experiences are a crock……no matter who

    has one.

    did you see the issue of newsweek with the cover reading

    ” heaven is real ?”

    some doctor (( MD )) had a NDE……and now he’s convinced

    there is reality beyond reality.

    that’s nice . and i hope he’s real happy. still, a crock.

  11. Kittie Says:

    RJ – I did see that – I think Sam Harris or Michael Shermer wrote an article I read on him… he should be debunked. He is using his position as a doctor to lend credibility to his afterlife experience when he should know better. And probably to sell books too. I like that Sam Harris is willing to wade into the area of morality without using an ancient holy book.

    Sinjin as always you write a great piece.

    Congratulations Captn on your win – or at least shutting him up for a while and making him think about it. That is a beginning. I have not heard back from my friend who went to ask her Church of Christ preacher who wrote the books of the bible… matthew, mark, luke and john… after I told her they don’t know who wrote them… I wonder what the good ol preacher told her… She also didn’t know that we don’t have a copy of the originals… only copies of copies…

    How do you claim to “believe” something as serious as they think it all is… and yet do absolutely no research on the subject? The new thing now on facebook is for everyone to write what they are thankful for everyday…I think it is the baptist church in town… great. Guess what they are all clamoring to be the first to be thankful for…. you know it.. Jesus being killed for them… sickos

  12. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    We are apes, it’s usually the creationists who are appalled at that idea. Their thing is that we ‘miraculously’ were the only ones given thought and free will but are born in and to sin, therefore need god’s salvation through kissing his mythical authoritarian barbaric butt instead of looking forward.

  13. Jeff Says:

    Just finished reading this thread (24 hours late, sorry).

    Sinjin, in answer to your nature vs nurture thoughts: It’s far more complicated that most in the “straight” world even imagine. If I was to fully describe myself in sexual terms I would say that I’m a Bi, Top, Dom with a Hetero bias. Man, I can tell you from my personal experience that what nature provides is that we are sexual beings. As to the rest, it’s all in experience. To translate that description, I walk both sides of Gay street, but, probably because I’m dominant, I most often the penetrating partner, and I’m most often with girls, probably because that’s the side of the street I started on. As to choice – every bit of it was a choice in my case. But for some, I’m not so sure, and as you pointed out, it’s not my place to care about what others are doing in their bedrooms (or in the kitchen, basement dungeon, living room, garage ceiling or any other place that’s not in front of my nose). Who cares, as long as they’re not doing it to kids, or by force? AND NOBODY has shown that either Gay or Bi folks are any more likely than Straights to go that way.

    As to your comments on discrimination based upon sexual orientation, go get ’em, brother.

  14. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    We’ve got to get serious people. Must 6 billion be killed to save the species? Do we need to assassinate Karl Rove, Exxon BP, Chevron execs, all the wall street bankers half of congress, and the Koch brothers to get on track for survival? Must we have endless wars for profit of a few and violent revolutions? Must 6 billion starve to death? Big changes are ahead for the young whether or not we know about it and effect humane change in time to avert catastrophic change. Are we smarter than yeast? http://rsrc.psychologytoday.com/files/imagecache/article-inline-full/blogs/54311/2011/11/78532-69179.gif