Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Bit of GOOD News ...

It's not all gloom and doom. Paramount/Viacom had a banner year, no small thanks to Toonland:

... Nearly 70% of Par's overseas grosses came from distributing "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" ($469 million), "Kung Fu Panda" ($416 million), "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" ($283 million as of Sunday) and Marvel's "Iron Man" ...

As Mr. McNary says, Paramount was the only distributor to leap the two billion dollar barrier.

The returns on U.S.-produced cartoon features continues to be strong, so unless money totally freezes up and we're all plunged back into the Middle Ages, U.S.-based theatrical animation will continue.

Run down to your local church and light a candle for Up and Monsters Vs. Aliens. God will thank you for it. So too will the animation community.

63 comments:

religionisnonsense said...

Prayer doesn't accomplish anything (scientifically proven fact).

It's more helpfull to actually go the theater.

rufus

Anonymous said...

science cannot explain everything. scientifically proven fact.

and yes, going to the theater is important :)

Merry Christmas!

rufus said...

Eventually it will!

But you will be too stuborn to want to pay attention.

Remember when the bubonic plague was thought to be god's wrath? before the discovery of bacterium and germs?

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"- Carl Sagan.

Anonymous said...

Science does indeed explain everything, including theater, dance, installation art, sparklers, time, very tiny things, and very big explosions that are often mistaken as important messages from some person named God. It is currently hard at work explaining resource management to the near-extinct human population of Earth. The ability to listen to science is inversely proportional to the number of intelligent design textbooks you have on your bookshelf.

Happy New Revolution Around the Nearest Star

ping ping said...

A bit of bad news too.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2008/12/viacom-threaten.html

Spongebob Squarepants," "Dora the Explorer" and Jon Stewart soon might be pulled off Time Warner Cable systems in Los Angeles and around the country if the cable operator and Viacom Inc. cannot reach a new contract before midnight tomorrow. The move could knock Viacom's cable channels, which include Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central off nearly 2 million households in Los Angeles.


TWC can't be this dumb. Viacom/MTV Networks has so much leverage in this. Must we re-visit the Dish Network incident?

Science Saves said...

Science Saves.

Medicine has cured more lepers than anyone named Yeshua did or did not in the first century.

If, according to certain holy texts, the ability to make the lame to walk, the blind to see etc are the standards by which we humans are to judge the veracity of a "message", then the message has been sent, and it's loud and clear.

Science wins the test. Science feeds the masses, cures the sick, makes the lame to walk, the blind to see.

See, we didn't make the test. Religion did. Religion decided that curing people was the standard. Well, feeding a few dozen with some loaves and fish pales, absolutely pales next to the billions of lives saved by modern high-yield crops. Biologist Norman Borlaug is credited with saving over a billion lives as the father of the Green Revolution. His name should be revered as a savior of mankind, yet he's probably unknown to most people reading this.

There are some people out there actually trying to help people. And then there are some people lighting candles and incense. The candle lighters are free to do so, but they should get out of the way of those folks trying to do something to make the world better.

Anonymous said...

Science is wonderful stuff. Its growth through the ages has also been funded and promoted by religions(some more than others). That fact has gotten lost in the shuffle once a lot of dedicated fans of science began to claim that the mountain of knowledge we have acquired is enough to disprove the existence of God, but as Carl Sagan famously said about the matter:

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."


Actually, it is.


We have an absence of evidence for the existence of unicorns. We have an absence of evidence for the existence of a deployable WMD stockpile in Iraq. At some point, you really CAN call off the search until such time as a true believer actually *presents* some evidence.


The mere fact that you *acknowledge* that there IS an absence of evidence for an invisible brain in the sky talking to the Rick Warrens of the world tells me that you like to think that there is such a thing, without any evidence for it at all.

And that's what the hundred-billion-dollar religion industry thrives on. Getting people to give their money. Poor people, mostly. While handing out promises of a better life after they're dead and can't complain about the raw deal they were getting here on earth while being promised *LITERALLY* castles in the sky.

"Its growth through the ages has also been funded and promoted by religions"

Charity is a loss-leader for religion. They rake it in by the hundreds of billions, then hand out a few hundred million to the hospitals and the soup kitchens and say "look how good we are!"

Sure, the individual people do genuinely believe. And they do genuinely do it out of what they feel is the goodness of their hearts.

I just wish that the hucksters and snake oilmen at the front of the room weren't taking their cut off the top, to build ever larger and larger palaces from which they preach brotherhood among samethinkers, and hell for everyone else.

Peanut said...

While it is certainly true that science cannot prove that there is no god (or gods), it is also true that science has rendered such a god (or gods) unnecessary.

We can explain our creation with startling clarity without any supernatural creator involved. We can explain almost all facets of life--from climate, weather patterns, geological formations, genetics, biology, astronomy, etc., with no input from god.

At a certain point, the inclusion of god toward these processes becomes absurd and superfluous, like an unneeded ingredient in a recipe. To believe that that is how life began is to require a ridiculous logical contortion that defies believability.

It becomes clear that continued belief in god and other supernatural phenomena is simply wishful thinking. You desire a being that is "guiding" your life, thinking that without it, your life would have no purpose. You don't want to accept that death is actually death, desiring a mythical eternal afterlife.

But life absolutely does have meaning beyond anything a mythological creator can give us. And once a person accepts death for what it is--simply the end of consciousness (and therefore existence)--it becomes nothing to fear.

rufus said...

Not to mention the irony that it is thanks to scientific advance (the computer, internets)),that some people are able to disceminate bronze age worldviews.

rufus.

Ghost of Christmas Present said...

I hope all you hard-nosed materialists went to work on Christmas Day . It would be such hypocrisy to take the day off to celebrate the holiday of Christ's Mass if you don't believe in all that rot .

As the un-reformed Scrooge said : taking Christmas day off from work is ''a poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every 25th of December.''

Anonymous said...

Hey, GoCP, for the most part Chrstmas (despite the Greek name) is a secular holiday in this country and most others.
But I hope that since you're so religious you spent the necessary time at mass celebrating what is basically a holiday culled from many of the Pagan religions.

Anonymous said...

I took the 25th off as I always do. To celebrate family and togetherness.

It's scrooges like you who assert that people who belive differently from you don't deserve a day off, nor have something special worth celebrating.

That's exactly the religious point of view I'm talking about. Brotherhood only for the in group, everyone else can go to he'll. Literally!

Religion teaches people to divide themselves from their fellow man. I say "no more"!

You are my brothers and sisters no matter what you believe! Merry whatever you celebrate, in the name of all you love and cherish.

rufus said...

I just really hope next year is a better one for everybody!


"Mr. Jefferson: build up that wall!"_Christopher Hitchens


rufus.

Anonymous said...

Gone are the days when I would enjoy a discussion with a secular humanist. Now all that is left is angry(and ignorant) atheists.

I like how an anonymous poster above disputes a quote by Carl Sagan. Only an anonymous poster with a fractured argument and a big chip on his shoulder here in the animation guild forums could one find that!

*Should I even bother to mention that the Big Bang theory was first proposed by Georges Lema... a roman catholic priest.

Ghost of Christmas Present said...

"basically a holiday culled from many of the Pagan religions."

Whatever you say. Enjoy your bliss.

Peanut said...

For some reason, you seem to think it matters when someone who discovers a scientific principle is religious. What an odd point of view. Scientific facts are true regardless of who happened to discover them.

Furthermore, you seem to be incredulous that many of what are considered "Christmas traditions" are, in fact, pagan in origin.

Have you never stopped to think what is Christian about decorated trees? Where do you suppose that tradition came from? Feel free to look it up yourself, but I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version:

When the Roman Empire set about spreading Christianity throughout pagan Europe (England, France, Germany, etc.), the local populaces incorporated their pagan customs and traditions into the new Christian worship, melding the Winter Solstice festival into the birth of Christ. And the Spring Equinox into his death and resurrection--hence bunnies for Easter.

These are nice man-made traditions, and their modern-day celebrations are mostly secular, bearing little resemblance to how they used to be celebrated just 200 years ago. Just as all religions are man-made, so are their holidays and festivals.

Enjoy!

rufus said...

gee, I wonder why we atheists are angry...

the inquisition, witchhunts, 9/11, Gaza/Israel, David Koresh,Heaven's Gate,Jonestown,pedophile priests, an irrelenvant Pope, the Creation "museum", George Bush, the assasination of Theo Van Gogh, Muhammed, Moses, Joseph Smith...and the hate and discrimination of atheists by religious peeps.

Believe whatever you want to believe, just don't try to impose your views onto the rest of us.

Cheers to the separation of church and state!!

R.

Jesus Christ, you here again? said...

There are a lot of confused people here. The worst confusion is to mistake logic for truth. Then there is confusing organizations, dogma and superstition for religion. Then there is the confusion of ritual with faith. Finally, the one many of you are referring to, confusing God with Santa Claus or a Sears Roebuck catalog.

I don't know if there is a God as we thing of him, her or it, but there is something out there?in here and it is as good an excuse as any to inform our actions and decisions with compassion. We have seen the catastrophic alternatives throughout history.

Anonymous said...

Rufufs's little laundry list is kind of silly when compared to the hundreds of millions of people killed and dumped into ditches in the name of a godless, atheist state. Stalin? Pol Pot?
Look em up bro.

Peanut said...

Actually, the list of murders, crusades, wars between differing religions, wars within factions of religions, "sacrificial" religious killings, murders due to violations of "religious law," and religious genocide, through the thousands of religions that mankind has invented in the many thousands of years since the dawn of our species, would vastly dwarf the examples you gave.

But that sort of pissing contest is silly. First off, Stalin, Pot Pol, etc. didn't kill because they were atheists--they killed in their relentless pursuit of power.

Meanwhile, the same motive was largely behind the aforementioned religious killings I just mentioned. Wouldn't the piety of faith and belief in god of the religious preclude such killings? Apparently not. They are just as power-hungry, territorial, amoral, and base in their human desires. Faith in god does not make a person more moral, or less likely to attack another.

In fact, religious belief often simply feeds a greater tribal aggressiveness which prompts greater war and bloodshed. Throughout human history, the greatest number of wars have been religion-based.

Anonymous said...

"I like how an anonymous poster above disputes a quote by Carl Sagan. Only an anonymous poster with a fractured argument and a big chip on his shoulder here in the animation guild forums could one find that!"

Why? Was Sagan some sort of god who was never wrong?

I'm not sure that Sagan ever said anything so simple-minded and logically fallacious as that, but if he did, he missed the fallacy.

Absence of evidence isn't PROOF of absence, but it is EVIDENCE of absence. Very, very good evidence. In fact, it's the best evidence we have for the absence of something.

Now, the phrase does trip off the tongue, and it has a little bit of a rhyme to it that makes it fun to say. But it is false.

The best evidence we have for the absence of unicorns IS the absence of evidence *for* them. Does it mean that there are no unicorns? No. But it points in a direction. Similarly, 2000+ years of missed prophecies, broken promises, outright mistakes, contradictions goofs and a complete and utter lack of positive evidence points in a direction as well. I'm not saying there isn't an invisible brain whispering into the ear of the pope, but I highly doubt it.

Georges LemaƮtre was the mathematician's name, btw. Using Einstein's theories.

Yeah, and Einstein was an atheist. So what? It bears not on who's right on the question of the existence of gods.

Merry New Year.

Ghost of Christmas Present said...

"I'll give you the Cliff's Notes version:

When the Roman Empire set about spreading Christianity throughout pagan Europe (England, France, Germany, etc.), the local populaces incorporated their pagan customs and traditions into the new Christian worship, melding the Winter Solstice festival into the birth of Christ. And the Spring Equinox into his death and resurrection--hence bunnies for Easter."


Totally wrong. you have no idea what you are talking about .

This is a popular bit of "conventional wisdom" spread about by 19th century German Protestants giddy with their Comparative Religions theories (now discredited) . You need to get out more . Less Cliff's Notes , more real scholarship.

Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Science is like a hammer. It is neither good or bad. We can use it to build houses, furniture, etc or we can use it to break someone's head open.

Believing that something is true despite the lack or absence of material evidence is called Faith.

some have faith in science, others have faith in God.

Happy New Year Everyone!

And God Bless You :)

Anonymous said...

rufus said
"Believe whatever you want to believe, just don't try to impose your views onto the rest of us."

Aren't you also trying to impose your atheist views as well?

Jesus Christ, you here again? said...

Einstein was Jewish, not an atheist. Just because he didn't run around wearing a Yarmulkah doesn't mean he didn't believe in God.

The implication, of course, is that smart is the opposite of religious. Sometimes the contrary is true; the discovery of an element of logic in the universe makes everything look more purposeful like the result of some kind of higher consciousness, AKA God.

Once again, you are confusing the corruption and misbehavior of religious institutions with the validity of faith- two completely different things.

Anonymous said...

JC,

Einstein was culturally a Jew, but he didn't believe in God.

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them." -Albert Einstein

Einstein was pretty clear about his beliefs. He was a Jew, but he wasn't Jewish. He was a non-theist. He called himself an agnostic, for he viewed atheism as a reactionary position that people took to shake themselves of their religious upbringing, and he felt no need to react. He certainly wasn't Jewish.

"The implication, of course, is that smart is the opposite of religious"

No, the implication is that it matters not whether the Big Bang was discovered by a believer or an atheist. Neither sheds light on which one is right in his beliefs about religion.


Now to anon just above:

"Believing that something is true despite the lack or absence of material evidence is called Faith.

"some have faith in science, others have faith in God."

Sorry, but if that's your definition of "faith", I don't have faith in science. Because the *trust* I place in science is NOT in the absence of material evidence. I have ABUNDANT material evidence bolstering my trust in science. I am alive today because of science, as are many of my friends. Science split the atom. Science brought us to the moon. Science actually *does stuff*, not just promises stuff.

I have trust in science, because science saves the human lives of me and people I love.

I have no faith in religion, because religion's promises all come due after you're dead. Funny, nobody ever asked for their money back.

JCYHA, again:

"Once again, you are confusing the corruption and misbehavior of religious institutions with the validity of faith- two completely different things."

I don't think so. I'm complaining about people believing things that *divide* humanity, and nobody could give me a single reason except to say that I can't PROOOOVE there isn't a god.

Alls I'm saying is, it ain't worth wrecking the world over. People are firing rockets and bombs at each other this holiday season over who gets to keep what land their god told them was theirs. What the fuck, people??!? If you're still acting like the legends of bronze-age goatherders are true, you REALLY REALLY shouldn't be allowed rockets, or jet planes, or anything more advanced than a trebuchet.

Now you may say "yeah, but no matter how much people suck at being religious, there may still be a God." But I say, "the sheer AMOUNT of suckage starts to begin to be evidence in the other direction, you know?"

But my real point is that nobody ever, *ever* has any actual evidence. They just keep arguing over why they don't need to produce any. Sorry, but that gambit doesn't work. See this cartoon:

http://www.blacksunjournal.com/religion/1410_proof-burden-shifting_2008.html

Absence of evidence is not proof, but it is very, very strong evidence that the emperor has no clothes.


Here's a quote from Richard Dawkins that says it all:

"If you live in America, the chances are good that your next door neighbours believe the following: the Inventor of the laws of physics and the Programmer of the DNA code decided to enter the uterus of a Jewish virgin, got himself born, then deliberately had himself tortured and executed because he couldn't think of a better way to forgive the theft of an apple, committed at the instigation of a talking snake.

...

[A]nd they can vote."


Merry New Year

Peanut said...

quote: Totally wrong. you have no idea what you are talking about. This is a popular bit of "conventional wisdom" spread about by 19th century German Protestants giddy with their Comparative Religions theories (now discredited) .



Mr. Ghost, I guess being wrong is habit-forming for you.

From Encylopedia Britannica:

The precise origin of assigning December 25 as the birth date of Jesus is unclear. The New Testament provides no clues in this regard. December 25 was first identified as the date of Jesus’ birth by Sextus Julius Africanus in 221 and later became the universally accepted date. One widespread explanation of the origin of this date is that December 25 was the Christianizing of the dies solis invicti nati (“day of the birth of the unconquered sun”), a popular holiday in the Roman Empire that celebrated the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun, the casting away of winter and the heralding of the rebirth of spring and summer. Indeed, after December 25 had become widely accepted as the date of Jesus’ birth, Christian writers frequently made the connection between the rebirth of the sun and the birth of the Son.


From religioustolerance.org:

In Europe, Pagans in the past did not cut down evergreen trees, bring them into their homes and decorate them. That would have been far too destructive of nature. But during the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, Pagans did decorate their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs. They also decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of their God, Bacchus. Tertullian (circa 160 - 230), an early Christian leader and a prolific writer, complained that too many fellow-Christians had copied the Pagan practice of adorning their houses with lamps and with wreathes of laurel at Christmas time. 8,9,10,11



Wikipedia:

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti means "the birthday of the unconquered Sun." The use of the title Sol Invictus allowed several solar deities to be worshipped collectively, including Elah-Gabal, a Syrian sun god; Sol, the god of Emperor Aurelian; and Mithras, a soldiers' god of Persian origin.[16] Emperor Elagabalus (218–222) introduced the festival, and it reached the height of its popularity under Aurelian, who promoted it as an empire-wide holiday.[17] This day had held no significance in the Roman festive calendar until it was introduced in the third century.[18]
The festival was placed on the date of the solstice because this was on this day that the Sun reversed its southward retreat and proved itself to be "unconquered." Several early Christian writers connected the rebirth of the sun to the birth of Jesus.[3] "O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born...Christ should be born", Cyprian wrote.[3] John Chrysostom also commented on the connection: "They call it the 'Birthday of the Unconquered'. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord . . .?"[3]


And this was just skimming the surface. The sources I found supporting this historical fact were numerous and overwhelming. In fact, the only articles I found disputing this fact were not from historians or scholarly sources, but from Christian apologists, desperately trying to spin and rewrite history because they didn't want it to be true. Just like they do with all matters of history and science.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating discussion!! I recently got back from a holiday break in the "heartland" and it was astonishing how deep rooted blind-christianity still is there. From my observations, it seemed more like people grip those religious beliefs like a 2 year old grips a security blanket, and any contradicting opinions or philosophies were vehemently (albeit illogically) put down.

Personally Im an agnostic, and actually find comfort in not knowing what it all means or where it comes from.

rufus said...

hmmm, to air our grievances as atheists is not the same as trying to impose our/my views. Separation of church and state has nothing to do with impossing atheist views.

It is through acts by people such as Moses, who killed those who did not accept his religion (Hittites), to the overturning the right to marriage to people who happen to be gay, that you are imposing your values.

On another note, the Holocaust does indeed sicken me, but for very different reasons.

"Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, The Netherlands, Denmark, and the UK are the least religious societies on earth. According to the United Nations' Human Development Report (2005), they are also the healthiest, as indicated by life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educatinal attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality."_ Sam Harris

Doent look to me like these secular societies are running amock...

Also notice how it is the theists who are engaging in ad hominen atacks. So far, I'm an ignorant, confused, silly...gee,insults, is that what Jesus would do??


rufus

Anonymous said...

Truth be told the REAL historic Jesus (not Paul's made up fantasy version) would've been disgusted with almost all Chrisitanity and found abhorrant.
Most scholars agree that he was a extremely observant conservative Jew.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure that Sagan ever said anything so simple-minded and logically fallacious as that"

He did INDEED say that and you are welcome to look it up. I urge you if you want to expand your knowledge because the hackneyed deductions about unicorns that you have twice spouted off about in here are ludicrous.

Your argument works on a giant assumption, that the process of gathering evidence is infallible and that is hardly ever the case. Talk to a statistician or a real researcher and they can count the thousands upon thousands of instances in science where the absence of evidence(the evidence that the times were capable of collecting) was clearly NOT evidence of absence.

By you reasoning, genetically designed food is perfectly safe for the world. There is absolutely no evidence of any harm being present and yet we are still wary. This is because humans are fallible creatures and in being such so are our methods of research.

Again, a huge assumption you never even thought to consider. I'll quote Mr Sagan again:
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Anonymous said...

Peanut stated:
"But that sort of pissing contest is silly. First off, Stalin, Pot Pol, etc. didn't kill because they were atheists--they killed in their relentless pursuit of power."

Wrong. Its astounding that you have typed so much in here with knowing so very little. Pol Pot and Stalin were adherent in their atheism and ANY religious faith was seen as a threat to their rule. Is their any other way that atheism guides the killing of those whom are religious? No - those are the parameters.

You can delve back as long as you want in a desperate attempt to find an enlightened viewpoint over religion, but the telling facts is that in the modern world(since the age of enlightenment) those whom have murdered hundreds of millions of mankind were atheists whose sworn enemy was religion.

Stalin and Pol Pot were both adherent believers in communism and that was their belief system in the same way that if you are an atheism, that is your belief system. To say you have no belief system is just laughable. its like stating that you don't belong to the human race. you don't suffer the same hardships of the human condition,. In a way, atheism is your religion. you make decisions every single day based on the tenets of atheism.

My favorite is when atheists try to separate themselves from the rest of humanity with their grandiose statements that they are free of questions regarding the world around them. its nonsense and warrants an end to the discussion right there. it demonstrates that they have never studied art, spirituality or aesthetics of any kind and also that they are most probably not that smart. one thing always follows the kind of dismissals of faith that Peanut promotes; an angry demeanor.

Peanut said...

It's odd that you think my demeanor is "angry" when you come across so hostile. I don't believe I've displayed any anger at all.

But to your point, the idea that only atheists were responsible for the greatest atrocities since the Enlightenment is quickly and easily refuted. I need only point out the most evil mass murderer of all in the 20th century (and perhaps of all time), Adolph Hitler. You've probably heard that he was an atheist, right?

Wrong. Raised a Catholic, and never renounced his faith.

Here's a few quotes from his book, Mein Kampf:

"I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord." (Mein Kampf)

"Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise." (Mein Kampf)


and this:

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.

-Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)



Also, that other Axis power, the Japanese, who committed mass murder throughout Asia including China and the Philipines were certainly not atheists.

And of course, you are conveniently forgetting the horrible ethnic genocide in the Balkins during the 90's, where the bulk of the atrocities were committed by Christians against Muslims, along religious and ethnic lines (remember mass murderer Milosevic? Christian).

And you are also conveniently forgetting the terrible war between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland for much of the 20th century.

And these are just the easily remembered ones off the tip of my head. If I really wanted to check, I have little doubt I could find many, many others since the Enlightenment.

My conclusion is that neither religion or atheism bears any obstacle to atrocity, for individuals intent upon gaining power, territory, and money through any means.

rufus said...

Well said, Peanut! Let's not forget that the church in the time of the inquisition did not have the modern weaponry available that the nazis had. Otherwise the death toll would have been phenomenal!

The basic difference here is, that I am perfectly capable of accepting the possibility that there is no answer to the question 'Why are we here?'(we, meaning, the collective), and I have empowered myself to bring meaning to my own life, without an outside entity. You seem to need an outside entity to bring meaning to your life. Fine. What you do in the privacy of your church does not at all bother me.

You see, a couple of friends of mine, as a joke, handed me one of those pamphlets given out by the mormons. Of course it had things like, 'God has a plan for you', 'You'll be rewarded with eternal life in paradise', etc. How do they know this? Do they have the evidence to back up their claims? How come I have'nt heard of this plan from the planner himself? Did I miss the memo?
Can you see how alien these ideas really are? Isn't it convenient that Moses had no witnesses when he had that conversation whit this divinity? Same goes for Muhammed and Joseph Smith, btw. Not all religions are the same of course, some are more tolerant than others,some are completely intolerant. So the question is: Should we tolerate the intolerant?

Oh, and I can't let this one go, "faith in science"? Are you kidding me? Gravity will subject it's influence regardless of wether you understand the law of gravity or not. There's no believing in gravity, gravity "IS". Thanks to guys like Issac Newton and Galileo, we understand it better.

JCYHA said...

Hitler, a Christian poster boy? You've GOT to be kidding!

First, without fear of contradiction, Hitler was insane. His religion was his ego. He was the patron saint of narcissism on crack.

Do you actually think he went to church? Do you think he prayed. Are there any films or photos of him kneeling or crossing himself? Did anyone take his confession? (I'd like to meet that priest. He would be a billionaire by now).

Second, as anyone capable of separating themselves from antiquated Christian dogma knows, Jesus was not only Jewish, and his followers were all Jewish for generations after his death. He was no more capable of seeing himself as being something other or apart from or having a general opinion about Judaism than a fish is capable of having an opinion about water. He spoke out against hypocrisy and self-righteousness, according to the gospels, but never Judaism itself. If anyone can find a quote attributed to Jesus that demonizes Judaism I'd like to see it.

The idea of opening up Christianity to Gentiles was indeed started by Paul. The condemnation of Jews as enemies of Christianity being collectively guilty of deicide was promoted and institutionalized by the Roman emperor Constantine.

As everyone knows, this idea became part of church dogma and led to centuries of European persecution of Jews culminating in the Holocaust. In Germany, in particular, Jew killing became an historical tradition. The German crusaders, on their way to the Holy Land, slaughtered every Jew they could find in,(what is now)Germany.

Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in prison, seeking to enroll supporters and followers. To seduce the Germans who considered themselves religious, he exploited these old prejudices, (like "wedge" issues?).

His actual rational for killing the Jews died with Hitler. When anyone who was introduced to Hitler tried to press him for an explanation, he would change the subject. For sure, it wasn't religious in nature.

To the 11:36 poster. It is a fantasy of mine to travel back in time and tell Jesus that in the future, his followers will celebrate his birthday by roasting a ham!

Anonymous said...

"There's no believing in gravity, gravity "IS". Thanks to guys like Issac Newton and Galileo, we understand it better."

And doesn't this quote by Rufus prove the point of the thread?

That religion plays not only a large role in our understanding of the world, but that it is often essential. Isaac Newton, like many great minds before him and after him who were integral parts of the development of the sciences, was a deeply religious man who actually wrote more about religion and God during his lifetime than he did about science.

Its this irrefutable example that demonstrates knowledge and faith are not mutually exclusive. To portray those who are religious as being ignorant is to only prove yourself to be a moron.

Now Rufus, you may continue dedicating more poorly spelled posts that prove this point.

Peanut said...

Facts are stubborn things. I have no idea how Hitler practiced his Catholicism, or when he went to confession, or what his religious rationalizations were, but we do have his words in black and white, showing that he indeed considered himself to be a believer in god, and not an atheist.

You have nothing to dispute that.

I keep showing you these inconvenient facts--the fact that some Christmas traditions have their origin in paganism, and the fact that some of the worst atrocities of both distant and recent history have been committed by theists/Christians. And I directly quote my sources.

And each time, instead of presenting any scholarly material from unbiased, objective sources to refute my evidence, you just stamp your feet and announce "Nope! Nope! Nope!" Or you engage in ad hominem attacks suggesting that I'm "not very smart," that I've never studied art and aesthetics, and that I'm "angry".

No, the problem is the evidence doesn't support your point of view.

JCYHA said...

Peanut,

Please read my post again. Just because it was in "black and white" doesn't mean it was the truth or what he actually believed. He was a con artist, a manipulator and a paranoid egomaniac. He lived in a self created fantasy world. How can you be so naive? It served his purposes for people to think he had religious motivations. If you look further you will find quotes in which he praises pre-christian Germans, like the ones in Wagner's Ring, for living life more authentically and essentially German than after everything got spoiled by the infusion of "Jewish morality." Logically, he played both sides of the fence when it suited him.

No God-fearing individual could do what he did. Nazism is the ultimate evidence of the consequences of Godlessness. Without God, there is no morality all that's left is ego and self.

On the other hand, I believe there is a special place in hell reserved for those who kill in the name of God. The human bombs who are expecting 72 virgins are in for a huge surprise.

Peanut is sleepy said...

JCYHA-
I did read your post. The problem is that you post no evidence for your conjecture.

The German people who Hitler was appealing to? Indeed, as you say, they were Christians. The same Christians who then carried out his wishes and policies. Far from being "godless," most Nazis, like most Germans, were Christian, as were their axis compatriots in Catholic Italy, alongside Vatican City (which mostly looked the other way).

You are trying to suggest that "God-fearing Christians" simply wouldn't engage in such genocide. And yet, to say that is to deny the reality of the holocaust. It happened, and it happened at the hands of many, many religious people, whether you like that fact or not. And in some ways, it happened because of the tribalism of religion.

In Poland, which is hardcore Catholic, (and historically very anti-semitic), the natives perpetrated some of the most vicious and extreme atrocities on Jews, surprising even the Nazis. Yes, God-fearing Christians have indeed engaged in exactly those kinds of killings, by the thousands and millions.

I already mentioned the Christian Serbs, who engaged in similar roundups of innocent Muslim civilians, executed them, and threw them in mass graves. It happened--and recently.

I'm not trying to say that Christians are bad people, or that it leads to genocide. But history does show that religion's hands are just as bloody as atheism, if not more so. I have never seen any difference in moral behavior from my Christian evangelical friends than my atheist friends--people are just people, with their various faults, values, mistakes, and virtues.

If you think religion/Christianity is some bulwark against evil behavior, think again.

Anonymous said...

has anyone ever wondered where they get the strange words used for word verification?

like the word FIEDUS, which i'm supposed to type in to post this "comment". it looks like a strange obscure word that no one uses anymore but is most probably non-existent.

:)

Have a Peaceful New Year!

rufus said...

"That religion plays not only a large role in our understanding of the world, but that it is often essential. Isaac Newton, like many great minds before him and after him who were" bla bla bla

You're just proving that you have deluded yourself into thinking that Newton must have had divine inspiration. Never mind that he was a brilliant mathematician, physicist, astronomer, who worked hard at it, no, it must have been divine intervention. BULL! There's no question that he was religious, there's no question he was very smart, in fact, a genius. Of course gravity and the rest of his great work posse no threat to christian dogma. But Copernicus' heliocentric model was deemed a threat, which landed people like Galileo convictions of 'herecy'.
Ever heard of the blasphemy law?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_the_United_Kingdom

How about this little gem:

http://i38.tinypic.com/dwz1xc.jpg

is that what you call tolerant?

You're also easily offended by my spelling...well, you seem happy with a president that says "nukelar"...

rufus

Anonymous said...

Atheists=the new Puritans. Out to destroy anyone's enjoyment of Christmas, especially if displayed n a public place.

Evolution=flawed theory. Not enough evidence of the process at species level. (Where are the interim species, for instance, between Eohippus and a Tarpan horse? Why has the Missing Link been faked so many times?)

Anybody who thinks a bug that resembles a bird dropping thought that up all by itself - and then made it happen - is more credulous than a child who believes in Santa - or God, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who thinks a bug that resembles a bird dropping thought that up all by itself - and then made it happen - is more credulous than a child who believes in Santa - or God, for that matter.


And with that statement, you reveal a total ignorance of how evolution claims to work. Until you understand the basics of its mechanisms, your opinions on the matter are about as valid as mine on astrophysics.

One illustration of your lack of education about evolution is your belief that transitional fossils have not been found. In fact, many have been. This webpage has a nice list of the many transitional fossils that have been found:

http://www.holysmoke.org/tran-icr.htm


Why have there been fossil hoaxes? For the same reason there have been so many religious artifact hoaxes--because there are people who delight in fooling others. But I guess according to you, the fact that so many people have claimed to see the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast is powerful evidence for the falsity of Christianity.

I'm an atheist who just enjoyed Christmas, complete with a tree, gift-giving, turkey dinner, and listening to Christmas carols. All this, despite your best efforts to slime those of us who don't believe in your man-made mythology.

god said...

American Far Right= fascists!

Anonymous said...

Technically, if you think about it, EVERYTHING is a transitional species. Even us humans. In 250 thousands years, we'll be a pretty significantly different biological organism. (if we arent extinct) And you can see evolution at work constantly if you study viruses. They are evolving faster than the science can keep up with watching them.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I think our species is a dead end on the evolutionary tree.

Anonymous said...

**And with that statement, you reveal a total ignorance of how evolution claims to work. Until you understand the basics of its mechanisms, your opinions on the matter are about as valid as mine on astrophysics**

So explain it, bright boy. Tell me how a bug manages to shape itself so as to resemble a bird dropping, even though, according to SCIENCE, it hasn't the brain capacity to know what the hell a bird, or dropping, is. Or why resembling a bird dropping would be beneficial. Do enlighten this poor deluded agnostic on this matter! And BTW, how ever could you possess a Christmas tree, invented as it was by ignorant idol-worshipping religious folk? And speaking of ignorant, it's nice to know that atheists can be as bamboozled over hoaxes as Christians over false relics. It shows that despite our differences, we're just one big deluded dumb ignorant fanatical family!

Anonymous said...

Lots of things resemble bird droppings.

Peanut said...

Fundamental to your misunderstanding of how evolution works is your incorrect assumption that the insect itself consciously "decides" anything.

Rather, it either gets eaten, or it doesn't. Those that are easily seen get eaten by predators, and as a result, never get a chance to reproduce. Therefore, over time, their variety will eventually disappear from the earth.

Those that were fortunate to happen to be born with colors or features that make it "blend in" with its environment will survive long enough to reproduce, and their offspring will inherit the genetic code that successfully "camoflaged" them.

Most such colorations and features are unsuccessful! They all died, because they were seen, eaten, and their "kind" died out. You are looking at the "success" and yelling 'impossible!' But you are, of course, ignoring the thousands (millions?) of genetic coloration attempts that didn't camoflage the bug well enough--because they're not around anymore.

Here is the very simplified example:

The red caterpillars that lived on green plants were easily eaten. Same with the purple ones. Same with the pink ones. But the green ones lived, because they blended in and couldn't be easily seen. You would claim that the caterpillar "decided" to be green. But no, that was initially just genetic random mutation. But the fact that it lived, meant that it could reproduce, a portion of its offspring would also be green, they will also survive, and on and on. The same was apparently true for the colors that looked similar enough to be mistaken for something else (bird poop).

In the end, it doesn't matter if you accept this reality or not. We can see these very kinds of processes in plants, in any greenhouse. We can see these processes with bacteria in a petri dish, or with any number of species in their natural environment. It happens, we can see it, and with fossils, we can see it over the course of millions of years. There is a mountain of evidence for it, vs. your biblical creationist beliefs, for which there is not a shred of evidence. Zero, zip, nada.

Anonymous said...

No matter how much magical water you pour over a rock it will never make a brain or an eyeball. you can sit there for eternity and the mystical made up goo will never create you (a person) or anything else.

there is a designer at work whether you choose to believe it or not

signed,
common sense, truth and scientific fact.

Peanut said...

there is a designer at work whether you choose to believe it or not

Well, gee, if you say so, then it must be true, right?

Instead of providing any evidence for creationism, or making any cogent arguments, all you creationists have done this entire thread is stamp your feet and yell "Nope! Nope! Not listening!" Seriously, that's the best you could do?

You claimed that atheism was responsible for modern atrocities. I showed that Christians/theists have been just as bloody, every step of the way. I was able to point to actual, reputable sources that prove that some Christmas traditions have pagan roots. You claimed there were no transitional fossils. I showed there are many. You claimed evolution can't account for camouflage. I showed that, in fact, camouflage is central to evolution.

But it's understandable. You have no evidence to give. You can't point to observation, the way that evolution can. All you can point to is a flawed, superstitious book of mythology with no evidence backing it up. Purely magical thinking.

You can continue stamping your feet all you want, but the common sense, observable, evidence-based, provable fact remains:

Food chain + genetics + time = evolution

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation Peanut, I agree with you.

Religion will eventually die off over time, even IT isnt immune to Darwinism

Anonymous said...

From someone that has been there, I understand the struggle. There is so much scientific evidence for a young Earth that it is completely overwhelming. I did my home work on it almost 20 years ago. From the cataclysmic global flood evidence to no missing links to less than an inch and half of dust on the moon. Anyone that has seriously looked into it would be here for days outlining the facts that this world and life in general is no accident. That is the beauty of free will you can choose to seek out and see the facts or believe in Darwins theory. Its not about religion its about a designer.

I wish you well on your journey.

Anonymous said...

Moon-dust argument debunked, from numerous, numerous sources:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/dave_matson/young-earth/specific_arguments/moon_dust.html

rufus said...

How did we get into discussing evolution?
There's plenty of transitional fossils

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_cetaceans

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeopteryx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik

But then disproving Neo-Darwinism does not mean that creationism is true by default.
This is an debate that has gone for ages. Here's a good few examples of recent debates:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDUBfRSf63w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pm9FC1S3Xs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnb_pmRDpqU

rufus

Anonymous said...

Wow, there's actually somebody alive who still believes that Noah collected two of every animal and put them on his boat. Even most creationists have given up on that one. Can i have your autograph?

Anonymous said...

"You're just proving that you have deluded yourself into thinking that Newton must have had divine inspiration."

I never said that at all. I said it is ignorant to equate the religious with the unintelligent. Newton was VERY religious and very intelligent.

Learn to read Rufus before you counter a post. you are concocting a phantom argument with yourself and, again proving that no matter how many posts you rattle off, you remain a simpleton

Anonymous said...

I agree with you guys, till the end of time there will always be those that will see signs of a designer at work and the science that supports it. And there will always be those that have the greatest leap of science fiction faith to believe that a boulder will eventually form a brain.

Good to see a healthy discussion on it.

Anonymous said...

It has certainly been an entertaining thread, and a fun discussion.

And thankfully, evolutionists don't have to take any leaps of faith regarding boulders into brains, because they know that's not how evolution claims to work. Only in fairy tales do objects magically transform into something else--such as water into wine. Or a staff into a snake. Thank goodness nobody actually believes such silliness!

Anonymous said...

You'll never win an argument with anyone who believes in a talking snake.

You can show them thousands and thousands of fossils, mountains and mountains of evidence... you can show them the dna they share with chimps, and fish, and every other living thing on the planet, and they will not see it.

But they'll believe in a talking snake because a book in the nightstand of a seedy motel sez so.


Ain't no amount of evidence that can change the mind of a talking snaker. There just ain't.

Anonymous said...

What I'm always amazed at is that the religion responsible for the Old Testament pretty much accept the fact that this book is a book of fiction with some history thrown in. Most Jews (not the Chasids or the Ultra-Orthordox - not amajority of Jews at all)understand that the Torah was written by Rabbis during the Diaspora in Babylon as a way to retain their religion when thewy were no longer able to practice their sacrificial worship in the Temple. Sort of Aesop's Fables and was gleamed from multiple mythologies of the day and changed to suit their perspective.
But the Christians (the majority of them) believe in absolutely every word that is written - especially in the poorly translated versions, while most Jews believe absolutely in evolution and science. They are able to balance religion and science without too many problems (though there is probably a high rate of Jews - including rabbis -that are agnostic)

Anonymous said...

That's because Jewish culture places a high value on education.

There is a very measurable correlation between those who believe in a literal, creationist, fundamentalist interpretation of the bible, and a lack of higher education.

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