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Old 25th October 2017, 10:56 AM   #41
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I agree that Maher was "preaching to the choir" but isn't that what we're really doing here on a skeptics' forum?
I usually engage in debate with people I disagree with, or add to conversations where I think I have knowledge or experience which is relevant. I don't see the point in things which exist purely to give people orgasms by saying you're part of the same club. Not only is that pointless, it's the antithesis of critical thinking and scepticism - it is, instead, reinforcing already-held beliefs, making people more entrenched and less likely to examine their own views critically.

I'm as certain as I am about anything that there is no God. I don't need my views parroted back at me, and can't understand what anybody would get out of such a thing.

Quote:
IMO the best case scenario is that we might be able to convince someone who's sitting on the fence to just open their eyes and acknowledge reality. I think that was likely the goal of Religulous...
He shouldn't have filled the film full of crap arguments, then.
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Old 25th October 2017, 11:24 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Myself, I have no problem with my mortality. I have long ago realized something that was pointed out in the video from the OP. Spending an 'eternity' anywhere would be absolutely maddening.

Imagine every twitch, blink, fart or burp being repeated an infinite number of times. Everything that could ever possibly happen will happen over and over again repeatedly for an eternity.

I used to imagine 'Heaven' or paradise as spending an eternity with Jennifer Aniston. Even Brad Pitt couldn't deal with that after only a couple of years.
That's because you're limiting yourself to one concept of afterlife. I've got a few far more interesting ones that I wouldn't mind exploring for a few billion years.
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Old 25th October 2017, 12:54 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Myself, I have no problem with my mortality. I have long ago realized something that was pointed out in the video from the OP. Spending an 'eternity' anywhere would be absolutely maddening.

Imagine every twitch, blink, fart or burp being repeated an infinite number of times. Everything that could ever possibly happen will happen over and over again repeatedly for an eternity.

I used to imagine 'Heaven' or paradise as spending an eternity with Jennifer Aniston. Even Brad Pitt couldn't deal with that after only a couple of years.

I think that people who find the notion of existing for an eternity appealing haven't really thought about what it really means..
IMV, Spending eternity in the Christian heaven would be akin to working in the Trump White House. Imagine spending forever 24 hours a day sucking up to an insecure a-hole with anger management issues.
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Old 25th October 2017, 01:09 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I usually engage in debate with people I disagree with, or add to conversations where I think I have knowledge or experience which is relevant. I don't see the point in things which exist purely to give people orgasms by saying you're part of the same club. Not only is that pointless, it's the antithesis of critical thinking and scepticism -
I've pretty much given up on any hope of every swaying the 'true believer'. For me, this now seems pointless. Consider that when debating Theists, you're engaging someone who is unable, or simply refuses, to acknowledge reality. IMO that's somewhat less than an ideal starting point for any sort of productive discourse.

In any case, I enjoy the type of videos I linked to because I want to try and figure out what it is that the 'believer' just isn't getting. It's like the believer has some sort of impermeability to rational thought, logic or reason. I want to try and understand why there are so many people who believe in things that just aren't so...
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Old 25th October 2017, 01:09 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I agree. Religulous was overall very funny. It had moments that bored me. But overall, it shined a big light on the ridiculousness of religion and enough funny moments to make it worthwhile.



I thought Religulous was good too and can't understand those who say in such a self assured manner, that this or that would not convince a religious person of anything. If just a seed of doubt is planted it may be vital in the long run.
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Old 25th October 2017, 01:15 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've pretty much given up on any hope of every swaying the 'true believer'. For me, this now seems pointless. Consider that when debating Theists, you're engaging someone who is unable, or simply refuses, to acknowledge reality. IMO that's somewhat less than an ideal starting point for any sort of productive discourse.

In any case, I enjoy the type of videos I linked to because I want to try and figure out what it is that the 'believer' just isn't getting. It's like the believer has some sort of impermeability to ration, logic or reason. I want to try and understand why there are so many people who believe in things that just aren't so...

I wouldn't be so pessimistic about it. Something is happening in the West to overturn religious belief, the statistics show this clearly. I have heard Richard Dawkins claim of receiving fan mail from those who have rejected belief in God after reading him.
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Old 25th October 2017, 01:33 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That's because you're limiting yourself to one concept of afterlife. I've got a few far more interesting ones that I wouldn't mind exploring for a few billion years.
Well now you've got me curious. Is this afterlife you're wanting to explore an eternity? What could you imagine yourself doing for a few billion years that you would consider appealing?

On a lighter note reference the afterlife, you could check out this video. It's the 'Twilight Zone -A Nice Place to Visit'...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kycEDM-gW08
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Old 25th October 2017, 01:39 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post


I thought Religulous was good too and can't understand those who say in such a self assured manner, that this or that would not convince a religious person of anything. If just a seed of doubt is planted it may be vital in the long run.
This stuff happens over time. I've been an atheist for decades, but a closet atheist. I'm convinced the number of non-believers is double the number of people that declare themselves atheists. People are afraid of not fitting in. It's like being gay. Over time, people just stopped caring whether their neighbor was gay. I saw a poll taken a few years ago in the US where people who said they were Christian was asked if they believed in the virgin birth or transubstantiation or the trinity or Noah's Ark and other parts of the Bible. Few did.
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Old 25th October 2017, 01:51 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I wouldn't be so pessimistic about it. Something is happening in the West to overturn religious belief, the statistics show this clearly. I have heard Richard Dawkins claim of receiving fan mail from those who have rejected belief in God after reading him.
I admit that I might have a somewhat pessimistic attitude but I'm just not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. The accumulated knowledge of mankind has today advanced far past the point of needing a 'god' to explain anything.

We may not know everything, and we likely never will, but we now know enough not to be attributing anything to magic or "god did it".

I'm not seeing any improvement for Westerner either. Here in Canada, they elected a national leader who promised to promote and advance the Islamification of the country. And he's doing it too...
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Old 25th October 2017, 02:24 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've pretty much given up on any hope of every swaying the 'true believer'. For me, this now seems pointless. Consider that when debating Theists, you're engaging someone who is unable, or simply refuses, to acknowledge reality. IMO that's somewhat less than an ideal starting point for any sort of productive discourse.
Firstly, it's always wise to assume that there are people reading even if they're not replying. If your goal is to convert people, it may well be those who are just reading who are the more "in between" people that you claim Religuous was probably aimed it.

Secondly, I don't think that engaging people who you disagree with need be about trying to prove to them - or anybody - that you're right. A far more useful thing is to use it as a way to interrogate and test your own opinions.

Quote:
In any case, I enjoy the type of videos I linked to because I want to try and figure out what it is that the 'believer' just isn't getting. It's like the believer has some sort of impermeability to rational thought, logic or reason. I want to try and understand why there are so many people who believe in things that just aren't so...
And you think the best way to accomplish this is to watch circle-jerks from people you agree with, rather than speaking to the believers you claim you want to "figure out"?
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Old 25th October 2017, 02:35 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I watched it thinking that someone else might forward the link on to a Theist that they know. After watching it, I have a hard time understanding why we still have Theism. I just can't seem to wrap my head around it...
We're herd animals.

Religion is very comforting to some folks, an opportunity to shear the sheep to others, and an angle towards achieving fame and/or fortune to people not talented enough to go into legit acting or contemporary music.

For some it's a high horse to ride while passing judgement on others.

For some it provides rationalization for to getting out their killing tools.
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Old 25th October 2017, 02:39 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I admit that I might have a somewhat pessimistic attitude but I'm just not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. The accumulated knowledge of mankind has today advanced far past the point of needing a 'god' to explain anything.

We may not know everything, and we likely never will, but we now know enough not to be attributing anything to magic or "god did it".

I'm not seeing any improvement for Westerner either. Here in Canada, they elected a national leader who promised to promote and advance the Islamification of the country. And he's doing it too...
I feel the opposite is true. I think more and more people are either atheist or just nonreligious than I can ever remember. It takes generations.

I am afraid that the West does need to slow immigration from Islamic nations.
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Old 25th October 2017, 03:28 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I feel the opposite is true. I think more and more people are either atheist or just nonreligious than I can ever remember. It takes generations.

I am afraid that the West does need to slow immigration from Islamic nations.

My observation also. In Australia today the non religious are the largest single group. I don't have any religious friends - only family.
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Old 25th October 2017, 04:10 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
My observation also. In Australia today the non religious are the largest single group. I don't have any religious friends - only family.
I went to Sweden 2 years ago. It seemed as if nobody believes in God in the Nordic countries. Except the immigrants.
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Old 25th October 2017, 04:22 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
And you think the best way to accomplish this is to watch circle-jerks from people you agree with, rather than speaking to the believers you claim you want to "figure out"?
Well I look at the arguments and rationality for Atheism and I want to see if there's something about them that doesn't make any sense. I want to try and figure out what it is about them that the Theist would reject and try to understand why. So far I've been drawing a blank.

What I've concluded is that Atheism vs Theism type arguments are an 'apples-n-oranges' type of discussion. It's like playing a game of chess against an opponent who's playing 'Dungeons-n-Dragons'. It's rationality vs magical thinking. Logic or reason will never defeat a 'cause god is magic type argument.

I once had a Theist tell me that religion "doesn't need to make any sense". I'd say that that pretty much ends the discussion. What chance does the Atheist have when our arguments are limited by logic, rationality, reason and reality? For the Atheist it will always be a no-win situation because the Theist argument isn't handicapped or restricted by such constraints.

The Theist will also play both sides of the fence. They will do back flips trying to rationalize an issue and when that is impossible they will claim that "god is magic, mysterious or beyond human comprehension". That's their default joker. It's their universal wild card. What point is there in having a discussion with someone who's playing by those types of rules???
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Old 25th October 2017, 04:42 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I went to Sweden 2 years ago. It seemed as if nobody believes in God in the Nordic countries. Except the immigrants.

True enough.

I was born in Sweden and have many relatives there I keep in touch with. The folk there just aren't interested in religion but are reluctant to call themselves atheist. Atheism implies a sense of militancy it seems, a militancy they don't have as they are just not interested.

My suspicion is the reason for the lack of interest, is because of the lack of influence religion has now. For them the battle has been won.
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Old 25th October 2017, 04:47 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I went to Sweden 2 years ago. It seemed as if nobody believes in God in the Nordic countries. Except the immigrants.
Using Sweden as an indication of where Western society is heading I'm afraid does not inspire much hope that things will eventually improve...
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Old 25th October 2017, 05:06 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Using Sweden as an indication of where Western society is heading I'm afraid does not inspire much hope that things will eventually improve...

Don't be so glum Autolite:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Import...ion_by_country

As you can see even in your own country religiosity is falling. We are beating you in Australia though.
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Old 25th October 2017, 06:11 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Well I look at the arguments and rationality for Atheism and I want to see if there's something about them that doesn't make any sense. I want to try and figure out what it is about them that the Theist would reject and try to understand why. So far I've been drawing a blank.

What I've concluded is that Atheism vs Theism type arguments are an 'apples-n-oranges' type of discussion. It's like playing a game of chess against an opponent who's playing 'Dungeons-n-Dragons'. It's rationality vs magical thinking. Logic or reason will never defeat a 'cause god is magic type argument.

I once had a Theist tell me that religion "doesn't need to make any sense". I'd say that that pretty much ends the discussion. What chance does the Atheist have when our arguments are limited by logic, rationality, reason and reality? For the Atheist it will always be a no-win situation because the Theist argument isn't handicapped or restricted by such constraints.

The Theist will also play both sides of the fence. They will do back flips trying to rationalize an issue and when that is impossible they will claim that "god is magic, mysterious or beyond human comprehension". That's their default joker. It's their universal wild card. What point is there in having a discussion with someone who's playing by those types of rules???
This reads more like you've already made your mind up than that you're trying to understand.
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Old 25th October 2017, 07:00 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Don't be so glum Autolite:

As you can see even in your own country religiosity is falling. We are beating you in Australia though.
Maybe it's what I see happening in Canada politically that has gotten me dispirited. The current ruling Canadian Federal Liberal government has appointed a Sikh as Minister of National Defense and a Muslim as Minister of Immigration. The Federal Canadian NDP has just recently elected as their leader a Sikh also.

The Canadian Federal Liberal government has also recently passed motion M-103 to combat perceived anti-Islamophobia. I'm just not seeing here a huge swing toward secularism...
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Old 25th October 2017, 07:12 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
This reads more like you've already made your mind up than that you're trying to understand.
Well I'm trying to figure out why and how Theists can buy into and be proponents of something that is such obvious B.S.

I'm beginning to think that I will not receive an answer that, to me, will make any sense...
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Old 25th October 2017, 08:03 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Maybe it's what I see happening in Canada politically that has gotten me dispirited. The current ruling Canadian Federal Liberal government has appointed a Sikh as Minister of National Defense and a Muslim as Minister of Immigration. The Federal Canadian NDP has just recently elected as their leader a Sikh also.

The Canadian Federal Liberal government has also recently passed motion M-103 to combat perceived anti-Islamophobia. I'm just not seeing here a huge swing toward secularism...

I just don't see a big problem with this Autolite. If those Sikhs and Muslims are qualified for the jobs they should not be discriminated against. As long as they are not getting some dis-proportionate representation for some devious reason.

As far as the second paragraph is concerned, ( and I think you meant to say Islamophobia not ant-Islamophobia), I agree we should be free to criticise Islam as much as we like, but not target Muslims. We must remember that Muslims are the greatest victims of this vile religion.

We need a softly, softly approach to tackling Islam in our Western societies. There must be no public funding of Islamic schools, (and this means no funding for any other religious schools also), and kids should be taught critical thinking .... big time.
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Old 26th October 2017, 12:50 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I just don't see a big problem with this Autolite. If those Sikhs and Muslims are qualified for the jobs they should not be discriminated against.
IMO, the Trudeau government is clearly practicing reverse discrimination. They seem to be giving these jobs to people precisely because they have a highly visible non-western cultural/religious profile.

The Canadian Minister of National Defense is a prime example. Harjit Sajjan is an ex-military member of the Canadian Armed Forces (Reserve). The number of Canadian Armed Forces members who are Sikh is comparatively infinitesimally small. Are we really suppose to assume that the absolute best person for the job just happened by coincidence to be a be a Sikh?

And competent he isn't. He has already made a serious blunder reference an unjustified claim about his previous military service. If this had happened under a Conservative federal government he would have been asked by the public to step down.


Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
and I think you meant to say Islamophobia not ant-Islamophobia
Yes, my mistake...
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:05 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
We need a softly, softly approach to tackling Islam in our Western societies. There must be no public funding of Islamic schools, (and this means no funding for any other religious schools also), and kids should be taught critical thinking .... big time.
And yet we're seeing the opposite happening in Canada. There was a recent dust-up in Ontario Canada where one of the local public school boards (Peel County) was fighting to preserve Islamic prayer service in their schools...

https://www.mississauga.com/news-sto...board-meeting/
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:33 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
I usually engage in debate with people I disagree with, or add to conversations where I think I have knowledge or experience which is relevant. I don't see the point in things which exist purely to give people orgasms by saying you're part of the same club. Not only is that pointless, it's the antithesis of critical thinking and scepticism - it is, instead, reinforcing already-held beliefs, making people more entrenched and less likely to examine their own views critically.
I've been recently watching YouTube videos about the evolution of man and learning about the various species of humans and pre-humans that once existed.

Reference the discovery of fossils and the determination of their ages, the Christian might claim that fossils were deliberately created and planted by Satan in order to intentionally confuse us about our 'true' origins. I know this to be fact as it is what my bible-thumping Grandfather told us kids very many years ago.

Where do you go with the discussion when an argument like that is presented? I would be at a loss. It's an absolutely ludicrous claim but pointing that out will only get you bashed for being disrespectful of one's religious beliefs...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9Wx6-c8VSo
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:47 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I agree we should be free to criticise Islam as much as we like, but not target Muslims. We must remember that Muslims are the greatest victims of this vile religion.
Are you aware of the recent attack in Edmonton Alberta?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-FVITyTG_I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdyjRLoThd0

There was an ISIS flag found in the perp's vehicle...
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:56 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Well I'm trying to figure out why and how Theists can buy into and be proponents of something that is such obvious B.S.

I'm beginning to think that I will not receive an answer that, to me, will make any sense...
Again, perhaps you'd be better served in this endeavour by talking to the people you're trying to psychoanalyse, rather than listening to people who agree with you parroting your own opinions back at you.
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Old 26th October 2017, 01:59 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Where do you go with the discussion when an argument like that is presented?
It depends on what your aim in having the discussion is. If you want to understand how and why the other person thinks, then some probing questions seems like a good way to go.
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Old 26th October 2017, 03:31 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Well now you've got me curious. Is this afterlife you're wanting to explore an eternity? What could you imagine yourself doing for a few billion years that you would consider appealing?
If you want some options, I recommend reading Sum by David Eagleman.
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Old 26th October 2017, 03:36 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Maybe it's what I see happening in Canada politically that has gotten me dispirited. The current ruling Canadian Federal Liberal government has appointed a Sikh as Minister of National Defense and a Muslim as Minister of Immigration. The Federal Canadian NDP has just recently elected as their leader a Sikh also.

The Canadian Federal Liberal government has also recently passed motion M-103 to combat perceived anti-Islamophobia. I'm just not seeing here a huge swing toward secularism...
What do you mean by secularism? If they're getting those jobs because they are Sikhs, then, yes, that's not secularism. But if they are getting them because they are good enough, and being a Sikh is irrelevant, that sounds like secularism to me.
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Old 26th October 2017, 04:21 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
Well now you've got me curious. Is this afterlife you're wanting to explore an eternity? What could you imagine yourself doing for a few billion years that you would consider appealing?
Keeping a modicrum of my memory and experience as I reincarnate into successive people in various alternate realities with different physical laws and histories, for example.
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Old 26th October 2017, 04:23 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I just don't see a big problem with this Autolite. If those Sikhs and Muslims are qualified for the jobs they should not be discriminated against. As long as they are not getting some dis-proportionate representation for some devious reason.
Why do you think it'd be a problem if too many of them were in government?
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Old 26th October 2017, 07:47 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
What do you mean by secularism? If they're getting those jobs because they are Sikhs, then, yes, that's not secularism.
The Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau is adamant about promoting 'diversity' in a Western society and he openly told the Canadian electorate (predominately Western) that their culture "does not exist".

What does this tell you???
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Old 26th October 2017, 07:53 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
It depends on what your aim in having the discussion is. If you want to understand how and why the other person thinks,then some probing questions seems like a good way to go.
If a person tells you that "Satan planted fossils to deliberately deceive us", I'm just not expecting any sort of rational explanation for that claim.

If you were me, what sort of question would you ask that person???
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Old 26th October 2017, 08:07 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Keeping a modicrum of my memory and experience as I reincarnate into successive people in various alternate realities with different physical laws and histories, for example.
So rather than one long continuous stretch of eternity, you'd prefer perpetual reincarnation while retaining memories of previous lives?

I think I would go for that too! I've sometimes wondered what life would be like if we could do a 'reset' starting out all over again yet retaining what we know and have already learned.

That kinda sounds like fun for maybe the first couple hundred of years anyway. After that it would likely feel like the movie "GroundHog Day"...
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Old 26th October 2017, 08:12 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
So rather than one long continuous stretch of eternity, you'd prefer perpetual reincarnation while retaining memories of previous lives?
That'd probably be my favourite version, yes.

Quote:
I think I would go for that too! I've sometimes wondered what life would be like if we could do a 'reset' starting out all over again yet retaining what we know and have already learned.

That kinda sounds like fun for maybe the first couple hundred of years anyway. After that it would likely feel like the movie "GroundHog Day"...
I don't know. There are infinite permutations. Imagine! You could be an alien Sherlock Holmes in a world with no gravity!
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Old 26th October 2017, 08:18 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That'd probably be my favourite version, yes.



I don't know. There are infinite permutations. Imagine! You could be an alien Sherlock Holmes in a world with no gravity!
Or a bottle of Pepsi that controls the universe from within a refrigerator! That would be awesome!
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Old 26th October 2017, 11:24 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
I've pretty much given up on any hope of every swaying the 'true believer'. For me, this now seems pointless. Consider that when debating Theists, you're engaging someone who is unable, or simply refuses, to acknowledge reality. IMO that's somewhat less than an ideal starting point for any sort of productive discourse.

In any case, I enjoy the type of videos I linked to because I want to try and figure out what it is that the 'believer' just isn't getting. It's like the believer has some sort of impermeability to rational thought, logic or reason.
And no matter how many times you tell them they're stupid and ignorant for denying reality, they remain unconvinced. What sheeple, amirite?

Quote:
I want to try and understand why there are so many people who believe in things that just aren't so...
I told you why. Most people would rather feel right than be right. If the process of becoming right involves them not feeling like they're right, even momentarily, it doesn't happen. You're wasting your time trying to convince them they're wrong. They'll never admit it, even to themselves.
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Old 26th October 2017, 11:40 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Autolite View Post
So rather than one long continuous stretch of eternity, you'd prefer perpetual reincarnation while retaining memories of previous lives?

I think I would go for that too! I've sometimes wondered what life would be like if we could do a 'reset' starting out all over again yet retaining what we know and have already learned.

That kinda sounds like fun for maybe the first couple hundred of years anyway. After that it would likely feel like the movie "GroundHog Day"...
You are getting quite the grilling here, and I am unsure why that is. I know plenty who have taken a long time to reach rational atheism.

It seems to me that you are describing your journey, however long it took and whatever route it took. No two accounts are the same.

Since you have apparently arrived by whatever route at the same place, I am at a loss why you are getting a hard time. The critique seems to be based on the route, not the destination.

Whatever, for one, I am glad you have taken that journey, I am glad that you have arrived, and I will happily discuss and debate whatever doubts may linger, because I have been that soldier long ago.
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Old 26th October 2017, 11:44 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
You are getting quite the grilling here, and I am unsure why that is. I know plenty who have taken a long time to reach rational atheism.
Hopefully you don't think my exchange with him there was a grilling.
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