what brought you to non-belief? November 25, 2005 6:50 PM   Subscribe

There has been a number of religion oriented threads recently. In these threads it becomes apparent that, compared to the population at large, Metafilter has a higher frequency of non-believers. Inspired by this thread* at another website, what brought you to non-belief?

* it starts a little shallow, but more indepth stories come eventually
posted by jsonic to MetaFilter-Related at 6:50 PM (346 comments total)

Why is this in metatalk?
posted by rdr at 6:54 PM on November 25, 2005


See this AskMe and others with the religion tag.
posted by klarck at 6:54 PM on November 25, 2005


Believers brought me to non-belief.
posted by Rothko at 6:57 PM on November 25, 2005


I assumed this was too much of a chat question for AskMe.
posted by jsonic at 6:58 PM on November 25, 2005


I can't believe it's not butter.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:10 PM on November 25, 2005


Non-believers in what?
posted by mendel at 7:11 PM on November 25, 2005


I can't believe this thread.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:14 PM on November 25, 2005


I have never had any problem looking at the evidence of the world around me, and seeing that a traditionally-defined God does not exist. The strongest argument for belief is Pascal's wager, and even that is fatally flawed; if we are to choose to be religious in order to attempt to please a theoretically possible God, which of the myriad contradictory religions shall we choose, and how can we be confident that choosing the wrong one will not make this God more angry than being atheist would?
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 7:15 PM on November 25, 2005


JFC! Do we have to beat this horse?
posted by mds35 at 7:17 PM on November 25, 2005


"what brought you to non-belief?"

This presumes belief in the first place, however we are all born as atheists.
posted by mischief at 7:19 PM on November 25, 2005


That's true if you define atheism as "not knowing", but I'd say agnosticism is a more accurate term.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 7:20 PM on November 25, 2005


Ants. They're born, they work, they make more ants, they die.
This at the age of 5 was more than enough to rule out a cosmic designer.
posted by signal at 7:23 PM on November 25, 2005


For people who claim not to believe in God there certainly seems to be a lot of energy expended obsessing about it.

Oh, and this definitely does not belong in meta.
posted by konolia at 7:25 PM on November 25, 2005


For people who claim not to believe in God there certainly seems to be a lot of energy expended obsessing about it.

I am obsessed with the truth, as I'm sure you are.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 7:26 PM on November 25, 2005


Man, I second Rothko. Right on.
posted by nevercalm at 7:27 PM on November 25, 2005


For people who claim not to believe in God there certainly seems to be a lot of energy expended obsessing about it.

Yeah, we really believe, we're just to stubborn to admit it, right?
posted by jsonic at 7:29 PM on November 25, 2005


While Rothko's comment is biting in that "right on" way, I think it's sad to let people you look down on determine your belief or lack thereof for you.
posted by scarabic at 7:31 PM on November 25, 2005


I very much doubt it's true.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 7:32 PM on November 25, 2005


I think I became agnostic the moment I heard about other gods.
posted by dhruva at 7:32 PM on November 25, 2005


I can't believe this thread is still here.
posted by loquacious at 7:34 PM on November 25, 2005


*shrug*
posted by cmonkey at 7:40 PM on November 25, 2005


I think it's sad to let people you look down on determine your belief or lack thereof for you.

Wow, beg the question much?
posted by Rothko at 7:43 PM on November 25, 2005


I'm not asking people to re-argue the existence of gods.

I'm just interested in what brought Metafilter users who don't believe to their current state. All joking aside, I think that what draws me, and many others, to Metafilter is the lucidity of user's comments. Especially compared to other types of sites with commenting.

That's why I'm interested in Metafilter users experience with coming to non-belief. People here usually have a higher-than-normal ability to cogently comment on issues. And since this is specifically about Metafilter, I put this question in MetaTalk.
posted by jsonic at 7:44 PM on November 25, 2005


I, too, can't believe that this thread is still here. Jsonic, search for "Miguel Cardoso" among MeTa threads. Hint: some folks created "MetaChat".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:48 PM on November 25, 2005


The fact that this thread is still here is proof there is no god.
posted by justgary at 7:51 PM on November 25, 2005


While Rothko's comment is biting in that "right on" way, I think it's sad to let people you look down on determine your belief or lack thereof for you.

Exactly. Now pardon me while I drill a hole in my head.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:00 PM on November 25, 2005


Increasingly I am struck by how many believers are fascinated with my disbelief. What's up with that?
posted by mds35 at 8:02 PM on November 25, 2005


They can't imagine you're stupid enough to want to burn in Hell for eternity?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:04 PM on November 25, 2005


Must be something like that. Poor dears. I wish they wouldn't worry over me so.
posted by mds35 at 8:12 PM on November 25, 2005


I am of no fixed opinion in regards to the topic. As this post--it sucks. Major.
posted by y2karl at 8:16 PM on November 25, 2005


The one thing that MetaFilter has taught me is that smugness about one's beliefs is not limited to the believers. It appears to be universal. However, the first step towards wisdom is realizing how much you have yet to learn.
posted by caddis at 8:17 PM on November 25, 2005


I believe the children are our future. I belive in coyotes and time as an abstract. I believe in my mum and my dad. And I'm sailing on a wave of nostalgia for an age yet to come (and Robitussin, lots of Robitussin).
posted by mds35 at 8:30 PM on November 25, 2005


Lots of Robitussin? Isn't that what they use to make meth?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:36 PM on November 25, 2005


Isn't that what they use to make meth?

I think you're thinking of guano (batshit).
posted by mds35 at 8:41 PM on November 25, 2005


Ah, the tussin, the tussin. Pukin' and rushin'.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 8:42 PM on November 25, 2005


I can't believe it's not butter.
posted by mr_crash_davis


We all know what you do believe, of course.
posted by donpedro at 8:44 PM on November 25, 2005


Isn't that what they use to make meth?

I think you're thinking of guano (batshit).


I think you're thinking of Ephedrine or Pseudo-Ephedrine.

Robotussin DM, AKA DXM.
posted by loquacious at 8:48 PM on November 25, 2005


This thread sucks. Kiss the rings, bitch.
posted by scarabic at 8:54 PM on November 25, 2005




I can't believe it's not 'tussin!
posted by atrazine at 8:57 PM on November 25, 2005


There are no atheists at the bottom of a robo-binge.
posted by bardic at 9:01 PM on November 25, 2005


Wheeeee!!!! On to the Drambuie, then.
posted by mds35 at 9:02 PM on November 25, 2005


you're fucking up my christmas
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:04 PM on November 25, 2005


Rothko brought me to God.
posted by quonsar at 9:07 PM on November 25, 2005


seriously, i think that just as each individual who does believe, believes differently, then each who doesn't also does it differently. (or--we're all special snowflakes)

altho, more of us do believe than you'd think.
posted by amberglow at 9:22 PM on November 25, 2005


I actually brought Quonsar a little Chihuahua. He's just dyslexic.
posted by Rothko at 9:43 PM on November 25, 2005


i believe Rothko thought that was funny.
posted by quonsar at 9:50 PM on November 25, 2005


I can't figure out if the yapping is Quonsar or the Chihuahua. Meh.
posted by Rothko at 9:56 PM on November 25, 2005


i saw her face
now im a believer.
posted by keswick at 10:05 PM on November 25, 2005


No offense, but the last place I would chat about my faith would be on a place like Metafilter.

A room full of cynics are great for certain topics but belief in God? Ha.
posted by tsarfan at 10:27 PM on November 25, 2005


You did not just bust out MC Chris in a god thread! Heathens.
posted by amery at 10:34 PM on November 25, 2005


How many light bulbs does it take to change a roomful of cynics?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:34 PM on November 25, 2005


Hey, I have a good idea... let's talk about atheism some more.
posted by odinsdream at 10:40 PM on November 25, 2005


what brought you to non-belief?

I started there.
posted by homunculus at 11:39 PM on November 25, 2005


Believers brought me to non-belief.

There's all kinds of believers, my friend. And, the old joke holds true: Jesus I like, it's his fan club I can't take. But I can't really blame you based on circumstances.

Douglas Coupland said that human beings are born wth religious impulses. ome channel them into religion, some into politics, some into science, some into art. The ones who thik that any of the four alone account for the universe worry me a bit, but not much. I once told my athiest girlfriend that maybe God made her athiest because she needed to be to accomplish whatever her mission is on this planet, even if her mission is merely survival. because any God worth believing in wouldn't care much about your belief in him, if that makes any sense.

But I fell out of organized religion for the usual reasons: hypocrisy (the priest who baptized my sister wasousted as a pedophile, another got drunk and burned down the rectory with a cigarette) disagreements with church doctrine on sexuality, etc. But I still have ingrained respect for the Church on a genetic level. I still say "Good Morning, father," if I pass a priest on the street. Plus, it's part of my cultural identity in the same way a non-practicing jew is still jewish.

As of now, I'm still seeking, but I do envy the sense of community churchgoers of all faiths seem to have, but I may be too much of a contrarian crank to ever be ablr to savor that. my loss.
posted by jonmc at 12:50 AM on November 26, 2005


I never got belief in the first place.

You're an American, aren't you? Have you considered that Metafilter has a sizable minority of non-Americans? Your perception of "the population" may be quite wrong, and merely reflect the relative impiety of the wider English-speaking world.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:02 AM on November 26, 2005


mds35: So guanoloco means batshitinsane?
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:29 AM on November 26, 2005


There's all kinds of believers, my friend. And, the old joke holds true: Jesus I like, it's his fan club I can't take. But I can't really blame you based on circumstances.

It's becoming less the fan club and more what the fan club is doing to the culture I live in. I don't mind religious people, I don't mind what they believe in, I mind the things they're doing in the name of their faith that affect me and those I care about. I suppose that means I'm "looking down" on them, but I prefer to think about it in different, more personal terms.
posted by Rothko at 2:06 AM on November 26, 2005


Isn't that what they use to make meth?

I think you're thinking of guano (batshit).


No, bat guano was used to make that other mind-altering substance, gunpowder.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:26 AM on November 26, 2005


Jesus. It's not enough MeFi has to suffer through endless rounds of "ha ha I'm smart because I don't believe in God—suck it, dum believers!" on the front page, now we have to do it in MeTa as well? With all due respect, why don't you start your own ihategod.com site and do it 24/7 to your hearts' content? Seriously, you're taking advantage of the fact that it's Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and Matt's not at his most vigilant. Shame on you.

I assumed this was too much of a chat question for AskMe.

Oh, so that's how it works! My next MeTa post: "Do you prefer the toilet paper to come over the top or up from the bottom of the roll? Because I like it the first way, and anybody who thinks differently is a poopyhead."

No, wait, wait, I've got it: "Metafilter has a higher frequency of over-the-top TP users, which makes it ever so much smarter than those other websites. What brought you to over-the-topness?
posted by languagehat at 6:22 AM on November 26, 2005


Actually I mount my TP vertically. Anybody who doesn't is obviously an idiot.
posted by Justin Case at 6:51 AM on November 26, 2005


toilet paper?
posted by yhbc at 7:05 AM on November 26, 2005


Actually I mount my TP vertically.

you're in desperate need of a girlfriend, then

as for the subject at hand, i think it's been done to death around here and most of the links offered have been mediocre
posted by pyramid termite at 7:10 AM on November 26, 2005


When my god spread his behind asunder, I stared into the gaping miasma and began to not believe.

What sealed the deal was when Nick and Jessica split.
posted by tpl1212 at 7:26 AM on November 26, 2005


Here is a photo of my pet my cat's testicle, fished from its hiding place in his abdomen and removed yesterday afternoon. Gaze upon the intricacy of that and tell me that the universe just happened, atheist retards.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:27 AM on November 26, 2005


I am a Believer.... well, a subscriber, at least.

Wow, languagehat, I had a huge argument in college many years ago when I told the a literature class I was in that believing in god was about the same as having a strong preference for how toilet paper was hanged. Man, the class jumped all over my ass. OK, carry on.
posted by terrapin at 7:37 AM on November 26, 2005


I believe!

*clap*
posted by aaronetc at 9:34 AM on November 26, 2005


I'm glad to know that my atheism oppresses so many mefites. Anyone up for the Atheist Inquisition?
posted by bardic at 9:55 AM on November 26, 2005


Gaze upon the intricacy of that and tell me that the universe just happened, atheist retards.

fear the Forceps of God.
posted by quonsar at 11:15 AM on November 26, 2005


100 years from now we will all be in agreement on the topic.


Can somebody drag Matt away from the leftovers long enough to delete this monstrosity?
posted by konolia at 11:54 AM on November 26, 2005


fear the Forceps of God.

Brought to you by Robotussin DM.

Upon review:

Oh, the inanity !
posted by y2karl at 11:57 AM on November 26, 2005


One hundred years from this day will the people still feel this way,
Still say the things that they're saying right now?
Everyone said I'd hurt you, they said that I'd desert you;
If I go away, you know I'm gonna get back somehow.
Nobody knows what kind of trouble we're in,
Nobody seems to think it'll all might happen again...
posted by languagehat at 12:30 PM on November 26, 2005


100 years from now we will all be in agreement on the topic.

You can't just say something like that and not explain what you mean! Please be specific.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 1:48 PM on November 26, 2005


languagehat writes "No, wait, wait, I've got it: 'Metafilter has a higher frequency of over-the-top TP users ...'"

No kidding. Just because someone uses toilet paper does not give them the right to lord it over us as if they were superior or something. Even if the non-toilet-paper-using crowd is less hygenic, at least they have some humility.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:52 PM on November 26, 2005


we'll all be dead? (100 years from now)
posted by andrew cooke at 2:05 PM on November 26, 2005


Thank you LH. The smug materialism of the responses to that awful FPP (a single link to a slight and silly op-ed by Penn Jillette-- oh please) was enough to do me in on the topic for a long time, I think.
posted by jokeefe at 2:14 PM on November 26, 2005


For people who claim not to believe in God there certainly seems to be a lot of energy expended obsessing about it.
posted by konolia at 7:25 PM PST on November 25


Probably because we have to deal with people like you who claim to follow a Prince of Peace yet glorify war, ruin, and death.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:35 PM on November 26, 2005


P.S. For people who claim not to be gay you certainly seem to expend a lot of energy obsessing about homosexuals.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:43 PM on November 26, 2005


Optimus Chyme, I have never seen konolia make a single remark which might lead me to believe that she glorifies war, ruin, and death. You can make your point without attacking her personally.
posted by jokeefe at 2:43 PM on November 26, 2005


What jokeefe said.
posted by caddis at 2:49 PM on November 26, 2005


Optimus Chyme, I have never seen konolia make a single remark which might lead me to believe that she glorifies war, ruin, and death. You can make your point without attacking her personally.
posted by jokeefe at 2:43 PM PST on November 26


My remarks stem from personal correspondence between myself and konolia, in which she advocated total trust in the Bush government, ignored the dozen or so dictators who are our allies, and said "there is a time for war and a time for peace."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:35 PM on November 26, 2005


I would prefer direct quotes from my emails, if you are insistent on dragging them into this. Equally impolite but at least totally accurate.

(to the rest of you, he just likes dogging me. Feel free to simply ignore. )
posted by konolia at 3:58 PM on November 26, 2005


OC is just pissed because he's not God, and has absolutely no chance of ever becoming God. nyah-nyah!
posted by quonsar at 4:00 PM on November 26, 2005


he dogs you too?!?!?!
posted by quonsar at 4:01 PM on November 26, 2005


what brought you to non-belief?

If there was a god quonsar wouldn't have lost teh funny & languagehat wouldn't have turned into mrbitchypants.
posted by zarah at 4:02 PM on November 26, 2005


There are many kinds of peace these days. There is the ‘cold war’ kind of peace which means the absence of blatant aggression of warfare. This exists within nations and is characteristic of many marriages. Someone has described these marriages as ‘unholy deadlock.’ There is the peace of apathy and acquiescence. This is what might be called ‘peace at any cost.’ This is the peace of those who say, “Better Red than dead.”

But this is not the kind of peace of which our Lord speaks. Those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ as their sin-bearer and Savior have experienced peace with God. This peace spoke of our reconciliation with God, but it also involves the reconciliation of man with man (cf. Ephesians 2). Those who have experienced this peace will prove to be reconcilers of men (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

Although we are to be peacemakers, we are not appeasers of men. We do not seek peace at any price, but we seek to share the peace achieved through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. In spite of our efforts to pursue the path of peace (cf. Romans 12:18) our faith will inevitably bring reaction, persecution, and conflict. The disciples were foretold by our Lord that such was to be the result of His ministry also:

“Do not think that I come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-inlaw against her mother-in-law” (Matthew 10:34,35).

The proclamation of the gospel, combined with a life lived in accordance with the Word of God confronts men with a choice. They will either joyfully accept it, or vehemently reject it. Such are the natural (though not intentioned) consequences of Christian discipleship.
>

posted by konolia at 4:03 PM on November 26, 2005


better to have teh funny and lose it than never to have been funny at all.

*awaits the entrance of rothko*
posted by quonsar at 4:04 PM on November 26, 2005


leading with the chin will get you nowhere, konolia dear. pearls before swine, etc...
posted by quonsar at 4:05 PM on November 26, 2005


In spite of our efforts to pursue the path of peace (cf. Romans 12:18) our faith will inevitably bring reaction, persecution, and conflict.

Yeah, I remember when the Iraqi tanks were rolling through Des Moines and we were forced - forced! - to bomb the shit out of civilians so we could know peace.

I would prefer direct quotes from my emails, if you are insistent on dragging them into this.

I'm not going to import drama; the reason I mentioned our correspondence is because some thought I attacked you for no reason.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:10 PM on November 26, 2005


My remarks stem from personal correspondence between myself and konolia

then they were totally inappropriate
posted by pyramid termite at 4:11 PM on November 26, 2005


then they were totally inappropriate
posted by pyramid termite at 4:11 PM PST on November 26


Why? I didn't explicitly mention them until I was asked to justify the personal attack, which, truth be told is a small thing compared to the belief that everyone not of her theology burns for all eternity (v. "100 years from now we will all be in agreement on the topic").
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:15 PM on November 26, 2005


Optimus I am going to say this one more time, and sloooooowllllly.....just because YOU believe we should not be in Iraq does NOT MAKE THAT the default totally Christian position on it. Again, and publically, I repeat that neither you nor I have all the total facts at hand to truly know what the true moral high ground is. You have an opinion, as do I. Let us simply leave it at that.
posted by konolia at 4:16 PM on November 26, 2005


Why?

because it is bad manners
posted by pyramid termite at 4:18 PM on November 26, 2005


Again, and publically, I repeat that neither you nor I have all the total facts at hand to truly know what the true moral high ground is.

We should probably have had at least some facts at hand before we decided to start killing people, like, uh, the fact that Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction.

I know that it is terribly hard to wait for those boring old weapons inspectors because murder by proxy is like Christmas morning for some people, what with getting to feel all righteous and badass because your country bought a whole shitload of ordnance and you gotta use it on someone, because otherwise what good is it? So a few thousand kids died? Pshaw. We're spreading freedom!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:26 PM on November 26, 2005


Man, this is like watching someone beating up on someone in a coma. Have you no shame, sir, have you no shame ?
posted by y2karl at 4:35 PM on November 26, 2005


OR maybe Saddam Hussein was evil enough that he needed to be taken down period.


Look, I am not arguing with you about this anymore. Just so you know, we lost someone we know a couple of weeks ago in Iraq-a roadside bomb.


Just once. Just once I would like to see you and your ilk condemn those who are murdering civilians AND soldiers just because they either used to work for Saddam or like the idea of Iraq being a nest of terrorist extremists instead of a free democracy.

Then maybe I would believe you when you said you were for peace.
posted by konolia at 4:35 PM on November 26, 2005


Just once. Just once I would like to see you and your ilk condemn those who are murdering civilians AND soldiers

Sorry, konolia, my friend, but I'm certain if you pulled your head out of your butt, you'd see such condemnation just as often as we all do. It's a little sad to hear you (or anyone here) repeat verbatim the kind of empty getinline rhetoric Joe Loudmouth down at the corner store offers to his dimwit buddies.

Speaking of rectal head-lodging, your interlocuter's not far ahead of the game either, for what it's worth.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:50 PM on November 26, 2005


Optimus I am going to say this one more time, and sloooooowllllly.....just because YOU believe we should not be in Iraq does NOT MAKE THAT the default totally Christian position on it.

Konolia, you know how many self-identified Christians voted for Bush, right? The people in your religion can't pick and choose which policies you identify with and conveniently ignore the consequences of the rest. Or perhaps they can, and do, but they maybe they shouldn't. What would Jesus do, and all that.
posted by Rothko at 4:58 PM on November 26, 2005


*awaits the entrance of rothko*

Nah, your comment was weak. Troll Try again next time.
posted by Rothko at 5:05 PM on November 26, 2005


My point is that people assume they KNOW what Jesus would do. Would Jesus stand by and let Saddam torture innocents? As much as war sucks, as much as it sucks that innocents die in wars, as much as it is true that politicians can and do have their own agendas, can we say there is no such thing as a just (if imperfect) war?

I don't KNOW whether Iraq started out just or unjust. All I know is Saddam was a sadistic SOB who I believe was perfectly capable of funneling funds to people who would like to do a replay of 9/11. But to me the fact he was a danger to his own neighbors, gassed the Kurds, and tortured and murdered his own citizens was enough for me to think something needed to be done about him.

Optimus, if you had a time machine, would you take in troops to liberate concentration camps, or would Jesus want us to mind our own business while Hitler had the Jews exterminated?
posted by konolia at 5:07 PM on November 26, 2005


konolia, you didn't respond to me. Please explain what you mean by everyone being in agreement in a century.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 5:08 PM on November 26, 2005


the trouble with some people here, it seems to me (since you all asked) is that they keep forgetting that everyone is someone. an individual. not just a label, like "christian" or "stupid fuck that voted republican".

for what it's worth.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:10 PM on November 26, 2005


Just so you know, we lost someone we know a couple of weeks ago in Iraq-a roadside bomb.

I'm sorry to hear that. It's a goddamn tragedy when Iraqis kill Americans, and it's a goddamn tragedy when Americans kill Iraqis. It's a goddamn tragedy that young American men and women pay the price for the foolishness and bloodthirstiness of their elected representatives back home, and it's a goddamn tragedy that young Iraqi men and women pay the price for the foolishness, hubris, and coldheartedness of their former dictator. I'm sorry that there are Iraqis who feel it's their right to kill Americans to send a message, and I'm sorry that there are Americans who torture Iraqis to do the same.

I want the American soldiers to come home now. There's nothing else for us to do in Iraq but kill or be killed. Most of the Iraqi populace doesn't want us there, and I'm certain that most American servicemembers would rather be home with their families rather than thinking about how each day could be their last.

I don't know why you want them to stay there. I don't know how it could be any worse in Iraq than it is now. I don't think we can convince the Iraqi people that we have their best interests in mind because I'm pretty sure that we never did. I accused you of glorying in war, ruin, and death because I can't for the life of me imagine any other reason for us to stay in Iraq.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:20 PM on November 26, 2005


Finally: Would Jesus stand by and let Saddam torture innocents?

He not only would, he did.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:29 PM on November 26, 2005


Most of the Iraqi populace doesn't want us there

Could you link to that poll, please? I haven't seen it.


I think the absolute cruelest thing we could do at this point is leave. You do realize that it would be a total bloodbath if we left, and a total breaking of faith with the Iraqi citizens who voted, who are serving as local leaders, and who are working as hard as they can work to have their own democracy? Do you give a crap about THEM?

Or does it only matter that no more of OUR people die?

Optimus, you simply are letting your hatred for the present administration blind you. I still haven't heard YOU condemn the suicide bombers over there. You know, the ones who are doing the actual killing of civilians.
posted by konolia at 5:39 PM on November 26, 2005


Sorry, in your last post you did condemn the suicide bombers.

Personally, if they would just quit, I think the rest could be easily untangled.
posted by konolia at 5:40 PM on November 26, 2005


In October the Daily Telegraph reported that a British Ministry of Defense poll found that "up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country."
  • Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;
  • 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;
  • less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;
  • 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;
  • 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;
  • 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.
There have been more polls with similar results.

Earlier this week Iraqi leaders called for a timetable for the withdrawl of coalition forces.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:05 PM on November 26, 2005


The final communique, hammered out at the end of three days of negotiations at a preparatory reconciliation conference under the auspices of the Arab League, condemned terrorism, but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens.
The participants in Cairo agreed on ``calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces ... control the borders and the security situation' and end terror attacks.



From the last link.

None of us wants to be there forever. If the legitimate new government wants a timetable, that is their right to ask for it, and should be our pleasure to give it to them.
posted by konolia at 6:19 PM on November 26, 2005


Thanks for the corroborating evidence, kirkaracha.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:21 PM on November 26, 2005


By the way, this is the most damning evidence of all: less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security.

Hearts and minds, folks.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:22 PM on November 26, 2005


konolia, why are you ignoring me? Am I asking something unreasonable here? Why on earth did you make your statement if you don't want to explain what you meant by it?
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 6:23 PM on November 26, 2005


So, optimus, would you be willing to be patient and withdraw on the Iraqi gov timetable, or do you want everyone home day after tomorrow?
posted by konolia at 6:24 PM on November 26, 2005


ab'd, I didn't want to insult your intelligence. Indeed, in one hundred years we will all be dead, and we will all KNOW that God exists.

No more complicated than that.
posted by konolia at 6:25 PM on November 26, 2005


Thank you for responding at last. Personally, I intend to be alive in a hundred years, thanks to the benefits that rational thought and the scientific method continue to bring us.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 6:31 PM on November 26, 2005


I'm so tired of the argument that Iraqis would be worse off without a US military presence. Extend that twisted logic--are all brown people incapable of governing themselves?

Turn into a bloodbath? What the hell would you call it now?

Weird how Christians have to have their faith explained to them. Frequently.
posted by bardic at 6:36 PM on November 26, 2005


all brown people incapable of governing themselves?

Do these particular brown people have the resources, the weapons, the trained army, etc that they need right this minute?

And yes, bardic, I think that it could be a lot worse. Frankly in some spots Iraq is doing much better than you give it credit. Not all, of course.

Hey, it's been fun, all, but I gotta get back on writing this paper on immutability. Hope everyone had fun judging me.
posted by konolia at 6:41 PM on November 26, 2005


Hey, it's been fun seeing you flail around with no evidence to support anything you've said.

Have fun at the rapture.
posted by bardic at 6:42 PM on November 26, 2005


I don't believe in the rapture.Pretrib rapture, anyhow.
posted by konolia at 6:43 PM on November 26, 2005


Jesus. It's not enough MeFi has to suffer through endless rounds of "ha ha I'm smart because I don't believe in God—suck it, dum believers!" on the front page, now we have to do it in MeTa as well? With all due respect, why don't you start your own ihategod.com site and do it 24/7 to your hearts' content?

Dude, relax. I asked a question about how MeFi users came to non-belief. Exactly how is this an attack on your belief system? It's as if the mere existence of non-believers makes you feel like they are after you.

Seriously, you're taking advantage of the fact that it's Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and Matt's not at his most vigilant. Shame on you.

Or maybe it's just a question on a message board, and you project to much.

If I'd know that MetaChat was the official place for such a post I would have put it there.
posted by jsonic at 6:43 PM on November 26, 2005


And BTW, if the US military is doing such good things, why don't you join? Seriously. What could possibly be going on in your life that compares to the greatness of this effort? I'm just worried you might be wasting your life away.
posted by bardic at 6:45 PM on November 26, 2005


Can you paste your immutability essay when you're done? Thanks.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 6:48 PM on November 26, 2005


I was brought to nonbelief by a combination of realising how severely I had been brainwashed by Christianity from an early age and a fair amount of LSD. The process began as simply as questioning how people could purport to know so thoroughly the desires and expectations of an unfathomnably infinite being. Now I wouldn't call myself an atheist, but a pretty pure agnostic. I don't know whether or not there is some sort of god, and it doesn't really matter much to me. I do pray, on occassion, but it's irrelevant to me that I may merely be talking to myself.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:49 PM on November 26, 2005


Bardic, I'll be forty-seven next week so my shelf life is expired as far as the Army is concerned. But don't fret, my son is at a service academy right now and will be making the military his career. That good enough for you?

ab'd, I doubt anyone really wants to read five doublespaced pages on the topic of God being unchangeable. Not exactly the most scintillating material.

And if I don't get off Metachat it'll be the middle of the night before I get it done, anyway.
posted by konolia at 7:03 PM on November 26, 2005


I've been an atheist since before I knew of the term or could articulate any reasons for my beliefs or lack thereof. "Hey look at me!" atheists annoy me, but not half as much as fucking self-righteous braindead uneducated hypocritical fundies of every faith.

And Konolia, if you're so disgusted by this thread don't comment in it fifteeen times. And save the patronizing crap.
posted by Devils Slide at 7:21 PM on November 26, 2005


And Konolia, if you're so disgusted by this thread don't comment in it fifteeen times.

Yep konolia, you gotta go with the flow. You're either with us or against us. No room for disagreement here. Didn't you get the memo?

(and why is this thread still up?)
posted by justgary at 7:27 PM on November 26, 2005


Yep konolia, you gotta go with the flow. You're either with us or against us. No room for disagreement here. Didn't you get the memo?

Hey, if the question was "Are you a theist or an atheist? Please explain how you reached your decision.", then Konolia would be justified in rambling on and giving us all the Bible quotes she wanted, but that isn't the question, is it? Furthermore, she's obviously very perturbed by this thread, so why must she comment so many times? If I don't like a thread or an FPP I might mention it, but not 10-15 times.
posted by Devils Slide at 7:38 PM on November 26, 2005


If I'd know that MetaChat was the official place for such a post I would have put it there.

You've been a member for three and half years, for the love of zod. No-one's asking you to recite chapter and verse, captain, but paying a modicum of attention to the ebb and flow is not an unreasonable expectation, I'd think.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:41 PM on November 26, 2005


The fact that I could miss such a thing after being here for 3 1/2 years says at least one of the following is true:

1. I'm a complete imbecile
2. Metafilter has a usability issue with respect to the numerous subtle rules it needs in order to function properly.
posted by jsonic at 7:58 PM on November 26, 2005


This author supports the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the long-term commitment to rebuild that country that must follow.

an objectivist who believes the iraq war is right

aren't objectivists atheists?

"As Christian ethicists we share a common moral presumption against a preemptive war on Iraq by the United States."

conclusion - a person's religious beliefs are not a reliable prediction of where he stands on the issue of war with iraq

conclusion 2 - this has been a ridiculous conversation
posted by pyramid termite at 8:18 PM on November 26, 2005


Optimus Chyme, I have never seen konolia make a single remark which might lead me to believe that she glorifies war, ruin, and death. You can make your point without attacking her personally.

After reading konolia's responses in this thread, including the religious quote, I'm going to have to retract that by about 50%. Maybe more.
posted by jokeefe at 8:19 PM on November 26, 2005


aren't objectivists atheists?

I would presume that all objectivists are atheists or agnostics; however, not all agnostics and atheists are objectivists, myself included.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:30 PM on November 26, 2005


jokeefe, that is why I don't like to talk about the war. My views are really not all that clear cut and are easily misinterpreted. In fact, I'm not totally solid on what I do think about it all. But all I have to do around here to get into trouble is not be totally against our guys being in Iraq.
posted by konolia at 8:35 PM on November 26, 2005


Poor fucking baby.
posted by bardic at 8:58 PM on November 26, 2005


If we cannot even be nice to each other in a thread what makes us think we can live in a world without war?

Think about it.
posted by konolia at 8:59 PM on November 26, 2005


*thinks*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:01 PM on November 26, 2005


does... not... compute...
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 9:06 PM on November 26, 2005


Why should I be nice to someone who believes in a vengeful sky-god that will send me to hell for not accepting his dead son as the savior?

Think about it.
posted by bardic at 9:25 PM on November 26, 2005


Ergo, you should be an asshole. Your logic is flawless.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:34 PM on November 26, 2005


Metafilter has a usability issue with respect to the numerous subtle rules it needs in order to function properly

The rules are not subtle. You knew that this was inappropiate for an AskMe thread or an FPP so you decided to throw a grenade into metatalk.
posted by rdr at 10:43 PM on November 26, 2005


Konolia brought me to non-belief.

Just kidding. As far back as I can remember, I've always considered all religion to be absurd and a sign of intellectual weakness, and in addition most forms of organized religion to be a severe danger to society. And on this, I ain't kidding.

You might say it runs in the family (though my parents are a whole lot more ambivalent on religion than I am), and that would bring us to the point that parents have the freedom of dictating religion upon their children, which to me is one of the most infurating aspects of it.
posted by azazello at 10:47 PM on November 26, 2005


I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:38 PM on November 26, 2005


I'll be forty-seven next week so my shelf life is expired as far as the Army is concerned.

Twenty-eight Americans aged 47 or older have been killed in Iraq.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:46 PM on November 26, 2005


Kirkaracha has succeeded where so many others have failed! Except for the Lee Harvey Oswald bit, His is the One True Religion. Submit, O Unbelievers, Submit to the deep, soft, wet kisses of the Great God Kirkaracha!
posted by zaelic at 2:09 AM on November 27, 2005


Why should I be nice to someone who believes in a vengeful sky-god that will send me to hell for not accepting his dead son as the savior?

Think about it.


I am, and I don't get why you SHOULDN'T be nice to them.

Why should I be nice to someone who believes that smoking cigarettes will give me cancer? Because that person clearly cares about my well-being. I'm an atheist, so I don't believe in God. But if I did believe (in a Christian God), I WOULD be worried about my atheist friends.

If you're looking for someone to be mean to, how about the Christian who doesn't care what you believe. He thinks your atheism will land you in hell, but he doesn't care.
posted by grumblebee at 3:25 AM on November 27, 2005


Wow, we've gone from the zillionth rehash of "Christianity: stupid or evil?" to the zillionth rehash of "Iraq: just how evil are we?" I hope you're proud of yourself, jsonic. This truly is the Best of Meta.

Dude, relax. I asked a question about how MeFi users came to non-belief.

So you'd be totally cool with a MeTa question about toilet paper use? I think I'll go with 1 for $500, Alex.
posted by languagehat at 4:28 AM on November 27, 2005


If the rules are too subtle, jsonic, let me make it simple. Don't enter one of the few decent religion threads, get your ass flamed by people who've actually put thought into their atheist beliefs then start a self-gratifying MetaTalk thread for those who simply take the absence of God on faith.

(All the really good religion threads seem have one poster in common: Gyan)
posted by klarck at 5:40 AM on November 27, 2005


I wonder if the relatively large number of atheists on Metafilter has to do with age. I'd love to know the average age of MeFi members (because I could be very wrong about the following). I get the impression that it's in the 20s. Many young people become atheists in a reaction/rebellion against a constraining religious upbringing.

As a 40-year-old atheist, I'd like to believe that atheism always stems from calm reasoning, but I know that's not the case (for many people). And as my atheist friends age, I see more and more of them transforming to theists. In fact, my closest friend (in his mid-40s) -- the guy who helped me clarify my atheistic stance -- is now a Christian. Many of these older folks seem to find faith after they gain a comfortable distance from their parents -- after they stop caring what their parents think.

Whether this thread is misplaced or not, if Metafilter is still around in 20 years (and if most people here are still using it), let's repost the question and see if the results differ.
posted by grumblebee at 6:55 AM on November 27, 2005


Kirkaracha has succeeded where so many others have failed!
Well, actually all I succeeded in was quoting Kevin Costner.

posted by kirkaracha at 8:36 AM on November 27, 2005


What brought me to unbelief? Ummm... being born, I suppose. I didn't believe in Santa then, either.

Oh... you mean what brought me back to unbelief after years of indoctrination by my dumb parents and their church? See response in the thread klarck linked way up top there.
posted by Decani at 9:28 AM on November 27, 2005


For people who claim not to believe in God there certainly seems to be a lot of energy expended obsessing about it.

No. Most atheists who have reached their atheism in a considered way no longer obsess about the countless arguments which support our position because we've done that, and we know that there isn't a single pro-God argument that holds water. What we obsess about are the dangerous, irrational creatures who do believe in the obvious bullshit of religion. Because they're dangerous; because they retard human progress and because they do a huge amount of damage to the world. Oh, and because their inherent irrationality and lack of critical thought enables them to make lazy, inaccurate statements about atheists, such as the above. Which irritates us, a lot.
posted by Decani at 9:34 AM on November 27, 2005


I don't believe in religions; they're a positive social and cultural function at best, a nightmare of self-righteous cruelty and sadism at worst. I do believe in mystery, and possibility, and the written word as a record of human experience that can make me feel and even understand what somebody thousands of years ago felt, and was moved to record. I believe in human frailty, and the burden of the big questions, and the necessity to be good to, and take care of, each other, as much as we are able. I believe in the rational, and the intellectual, and science, and also in the glimmering possibility that the universe is bigger and less pointless that it may seem.

Of course, I was raised Unitarian, which means that I have no issues that entangle a rejection of religion with the rejection of my parents, something which so many people seem scarred by. Everything I learned in Unitarian Sunday School ('War is bad. Racism is bad. We are all part of the brotherhood of Man") made sense to me then, and makes sense to me now.

Of course, looking over the border at America, I understand just how charged this argument can be. It's not in the public sphere in Canada the way it is down South, and the stakes seem much less high.
posted by jokeefe at 10:52 AM on November 27, 2005


what brought you to non-belief?

Nothing brought me to non-belief. I started with non-belief and never acquired belief, despite years of inquiry into dozens of religions.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:08 AM on November 27, 2005


Are we at Bingo yet?
posted by brownpau at 11:09 AM on November 27, 2005


Because they're dangerous; because they retard human progress and because they do a huge amount of damage to the world.

which is why the mostly religious people of the united states found their progress slipping way behind the officially atheist soviet union

human beings are dangerous, period ... your assertion that human progress has been retarded by the religious majority simply isn't provable, especially seeing as progress has happened with religion being prevalent ... and people can be damaging to the world without religion coming into it

in short, this strikes me as a rather lazy, inaccurate statement ... especially seeing as you're unable to set up an experiment with repeatable results to actually prove this to us
posted by pyramid termite at 11:11 AM on November 27, 2005


Indeed, in one hundred years we will all be dead, and we will all KNOW that God exists. [...] Hope everyone had fun judging me.

My ironymeter just hit the red and exploded.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:16 AM on November 27, 2005


Brownpau, I don't think we've even hit one of the squares on that card.

Interestingly, there are so many more religious strawmen and other fallacies directed against the atheist side of the debate (a couple of orders of magnitude more) that one could print enough such cards that the crowd at Thursday night bingo on the reservation could have a decent game.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:24 AM on November 27, 2005


I would just like to draw attention to this AskMe comment, which I thought was lovely and very well-put.
posted by Gator at 11:26 AM on November 27, 2005


That is a great comment. Too bad 90% of the Proud and Belligerent Atheists in the room will just smirk and fling feces.
posted by languagehat at 11:44 AM on November 27, 2005


For someone who wants to see an end to discussion about atheism and religion you sure seem to post to an awful lot of these threads, hat.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:50 AM on November 27, 2005


I don't think that's quite what languagehat wants.
posted by Gator at 11:51 AM on November 27, 2005


He overtly claims that he wants an end to "religion is dumb, atheists are smart" threads, but since there have been no such threads and the vast, vast majority of atheists who have posted to such debate threads do not denigrate religion in any way, I have come to the conclusion that what he claims he wants is not what he actually wants, since what he claims he wants is what we already have.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:59 AM on November 27, 2005


He overtly claims that he wants an end to "religion is dumb, atheists are smart" threads, but since there have been no such threads and the vast, vast majority of atheists who have posted to such debate threads do not denigrate religion in any way

I don't know what site you're thinking of, but it's not MetaFilter. And I don't know whose comments you're thinking of, but they're not yours.

Gator is right: I'd love seeing religion threads that were actually about religion instead of how stupid religion and religious people are. Maybe the latest y2karl thread will become one. But probably not if certain posters (names omitted to protect the sensitive) get involved in it.
posted by languagehat at 12:07 PM on November 27, 2005


And I don't know whose comments you're thinking of, but they're not yours.

Yes, please show me one place, anywhere, where I have denigrated religion in any way. I have as yet spent nearly all of my time in those threads trying to convince people that their definitions of 'atheist' and 'agnostic' are incorrect.

You are frankly delusional.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:09 PM on November 27, 2005


...since there have been no such threads and the vast, vast majority of atheists who have posted to such debate threads do not denigrate religion in any way...

How do I get to these civil debate threads? I am using Firefox 1.0.1, TIA.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:03 PM on November 27, 2005


On lack of preview, already mentioned above.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:04 PM on November 27, 2005


I never said that they were civil. I said that languagehat's interpretation that they are somehow all or mostly "religion is dumb" threads or that all or most comments by atheists have been in the "atheists are dumb" vein is incorrect.

I have seen more atheist-bashing ("religion is dumm") on the part of languagehat than I have seen religion-bashing by all other users combined. My ironymeter already exploded, so hat couldn't make it explode again.

That he would claim that my posts have been anti-religion merely bolsters my qualified and compelling opinion that he's full of shit, delusional, paranoid, or all of the above.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:13 PM on November 27, 2005


I believe in a thing called love
Just listen to the rhythm of my heart
There's a chance we could make it now
We'll be rocking 'til the sun goes down
I believe in a thing called love
Ooh! Guitar!
posted by darukaru at 1:15 PM on November 27, 2005


I have seen more atheist-bashing ("religion is dumm") on the part of languagehat than I have seen religion-bashing by all other users combined.

...aaaand this would be the point where I no longer consider your opinions on this subject credible. I don't know if you're consciously or subconsciously unreceptive to religion bashing here, but it really doesn't matter in the end.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:21 PM on November 27, 2005


He overtly claims that he wants an end to "religion is dumb, atheists are smart"

Well, if we even that up and say "religion is dumb and atheISM is smart", perhaps it'd be less provocative. Not least because it's patently true.
posted by Decani at 2:11 PM on November 27, 2005


...aaaand this would be the point where I no longer consider your opinions on this subject credible.

I could spend the time to prove my point by doing a survey of such posts (and Decani's comment would be one of the few data points to weaken my argument), but you would almost certainly choose to ignore it. It's the truth, and the truth is always credible to reasonable men.

You and Hat are the ones who are unreceptive to the tone of the debate, not I. Oblivious might even be a better word.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:23 PM on November 27, 2005


Bravo. Zinging religion and LH's word choice in one line. Decani, your posts in religion threads do nothing but lower the level of discourse as you try to pass off junior high rhetoric as cogent argument. But then, why shouldn't you? We're all born knowing nothing (or atheists or whatever), right? If you haven't changed your beliefs since age 12, at least update your rationale. It just stinks up these threads.
posted by klarck at 3:34 PM on November 27, 2005


That is a great comment. Too bad 90% of the Proud and Belligerent Atheists in the room will just smirk and fling feces.

no, it wasn't a great comment. it was sweet, because a user told us about his love for his own kids. but it wasn't great -- see, maybe that cafeteria girl felt also that gravity didn't really exist. she felt it in her heart. good luck jumping out of the window -- maybe she'd go up instead of down, if she feels that strongly enough. should we all be in awe because she truly felt in her heart, that gravity -- like evolution -- doesn't really exist? I don't think so. mythology doesn't work anymore, even if it's sweet.

in 2005, what reasonable believers and non-believers alike have a problem with, is the fundies, Christian or Muslim or whatever. those who keep arguing for a mythology that just doesn't work anymore. Darwin killed the Genesis narrative, DNA killed the Virgin Mary story, etc. The first century CE Palestinian sky-God is untenable in 2005. that's why less dogmatic believers have a more realistic view of religion. of course one is free to believe in God. what one is not really free to do -- unless she or he wants to be laughed at -- is to still think as first century minds thought. that just doesn't work.

most reasonable people, believers or not, realize that the old "God as a person", "God as a guy who lives in the sky and can help me if I pray hard enough", "Jesus' corpse came back from the dead and flew upwards in front of many witnesses", reasonable people realize that that stuff doesn't work anymore, not in 2005 -- they realize that religion has always had a strong mythical component, and that doesn't work anymore. that you can of course still reasonably believe in God but you cannot reasonably argue that a young girl got impregnated by a ray of light -- in 2005, if you don't want to look ridiculous, you must admit that scripture has been written by men of their time, with minds much different from the modern, scientific mind. fictions can still convey spiritual truths -- just like parables, ironically.

to believe that scripture is the inerrant word of God, as fundies do, means that you just don't know textual criticism 101, or that you choose to ignore that we don't have the originals of the Gospels but copies of copies of copies of copies, and not to mention that the scribes kept changing the original text, for their own agendas, for centuries. so, it cannot be inerrant because we just don't know what the evangelists did write in the second half of the first century or in the early years of the second. thousands of textual variations demonstrate that scripture just isn't inerrant. the konolias of the world, for all their fervor, cannot produce an original , inspired-by-God manuscript. they have the same documents we have -- full of textual variations and mistakes -- actual mistakes. mistakes about quotations, geography, language. about almost everything.

so much for the inerrant word of God.
and this is just an example.


will just smirk and fling feces

do you realize that, your superiority complex notwithstanding, you fling shit like the best (or worst) of us shit-flingers here, right? you fucking like to verbally bash people's skulls in, L-Hat -- you have a taste for it, reread your comments for, ahem, God's sake. and I'm OK with that. it's the "I'll play the super partes scold" part that, at this point, doesn't really work anymore for you. sorry.
posted by matteo at 4:10 PM on November 27, 2005


On the perhaps flawed assumption that anyone participating in this thread still cares about the original reason it was posted...

I don't think I've ever been a believer. I think I just finally admitted it to myself. I was about 10 when that happened; the catalyst was an unholy brew of Velikovsky and Van Daniken (I cringe to remember), fueled by voracious consumption history, science, and science fiction.

But I hadn't read any of that stuff when I was 6 years old and in the throes of a prolonged asthma attack. I was convinced that I'd die if I went to sleep. So I spent a good deal of time thinking about what would happen if I did. I thought about heaven and hell and god and jesus, and decided that I didn't have any good reason to believe that any of that was true.

I concluded that if I died, I'd probably just stop. But that in any case, the only way I could find out would be for it to happen. And be wrong.

It would make a great story if I said that left me at peace, but it didn't -- it left me more or less as scared as before, albeit a little more in control of my situation by virtue of having thought it through. Nevertheless, like any severely tired 6 year old boy, I did eventually go to sleep. And I didn't die, so I don't know the answer to this day. But I also don't have any better reason to believe that I won't just turn off when I die...
posted by lodurr at 4:12 PM on November 27, 2005


W.r.t what the discussion seems to now actually be about:

This could have been a simple, clear, clean discussion, entered into only by people who cared about the question. But folks had to shit in the thread by pre-emptively calling it out for religion-bashing.

language_hat et al: We weren't angry until you made us that way. We don't care if you pray to your god. We do care that you seem so passionately interested in our non-belief.

Get over it. It's no more any of your damn business than yours is of ours.
posted by lodurr at 4:16 PM on November 27, 2005


Actually, that comment is rather silly. It's what I like to call the "faith in the gaps" argument. Just because you can't prove something does make it unreal, in fact. That's how proof works. Statements about the world, eg "Australia is real," must be proven or else they are not statements about the world.

Anyways, it's too bad we can't have serious discussions in the gray. On the plus side, I was surprised to see this thread didn't get overrun with pictures.
posted by nixerman at 4:24 PM on November 27, 2005


I know there is a God, He talks to me, I talk to Him, we interact, He has answered prayers of mine. He is also God and gets to do what He wants and is not beholden to any of us to explain Himself any further than He wants to. He will not lower Himself to prove Himself to anyone. He demands faith. If you do not have it and do not wish to have it, do not expect to see Him.

I just don't understand how anyone could be an atheist. I can understand agnosticism, but I don't know how you could logically be sure there is no God seeing as there is no way for you to scientifically prove it. As for me I don't worship science.

(and I am really surprised this thread is still going on-my paper is done including bibliography and y'all are still at it.)
posted by konolia at 4:30 PM on November 27, 2005


I just don't understand how anyone could be an atheist. I can understand agnosticism, but I don't know how you could logically be sure there is no God seeing as there is no way for you to scientifically prove it.

I know that it's been explained to you, but I'll do it again: atheism does not require proof. It doesn't require logical surety. It requires only, minimally, a lack of belief in the existence of gods.

Further, there is an atheist position that holds that since the existential default position is always "X does not exist", that it is rational to hold that no gods exist. This is different from both the 'weak atheist' position ("I lack any belief in gods") and the 'strong atheist' position ("I believe that there are no gods.")

Your undertanding of agnosticism is the popular understanding of agnosticism, but not the correct understanding; agnosticism is the philosophy that the existence of gods is unknowable/unprovable. It is orthogonal to theism. One can be a theist and an agnostic, for example.

You say that you don't understand how anyone could be an atheist, but in truth you only do not understand how anyone could be one particular kind of atheist. Thing is, you are dismissing the strong atheist position for the same reason that others would dismiss your position: there may be no way to prove that there are no gods, but there may also be no way to prove that there are. Your personal experience is anecdotal evidence only, and can never be used to justify it to others.

And all that being said, I do not even agree that the strong atheist position is irrational, because no gods (as understood or described by anyone) are logically possible. Omnipotence, omnibenevolence and omniscience are incompatible in any entity, in the same way that an object cannot be both all red and all green. If one makes the claims that human logic and the laws of physics to do not apply to an entity or that the entity exists outside this universe, then any discourse about that entity is pointless. And thus, it is rational to assert that there are no gods from the strong atheist position.

And I'm just not going to touch "He talks to me...we interact." I hope that nobody else does, either.
posted by solid-one-love at 4:53 PM on November 27, 2005


Sorry, quick follow-up. I just want to make it clear that my conclusion that theism (and by extension, religion) is irrational does not imply that theists are irrational or that "religion is dumm". Everyone holds some irrational beliefs. That doesn't make everyone irrational. This isn't religion-bashing, or bashing of the religious. Some would disagree. But they're wrong. And those people I am happy to bash.
posted by solid-one-love at 4:57 PM on November 27, 2005


I know there is a God

the thing is that if people don't have experiences like the ones you've listed, it's very hard for them to believe it can be real for anyone

but then a race of aliens who worked as beings with highly developed instincts and unconscious mental routines would have a hard time believing our claim that we are conscious beings who are aware of our own minds ... in fact, they might not even be able to conceive of it

we certainly couldn't prove it to them

I just don't understand how anyone could be an atheist.

it's the product of the rational mind disconnecting itself from all else and riding herd on the whole person ... it's the same kind of disconnect that causes "rational" scientists to invest such "useful" things as atom bombs and nerve gas ... decani can say what he likes about religion, but it took science to figure out a way the human race might be destroyed

i should also say that such disconnects can be found in fundamentalists, also, in different ways ... in some the emotional mind disconnects itself from all else and goes crazy with it
posted by pyramid termite at 4:59 PM on November 27, 2005


it's the product of the rational mind disconnecting itself from all else

For fuck's sakes. You assert, and assert, and assert and never back up your bullshit with any actual argument. If you have evidence of the existence of gods, please, by all means, tell us what it is. There's almost certainly a Nobel Prize in it for you, because you will have done something that no other human in the history of the world has been able to do.

To suggest even remotely that it is irrational to not believe in things for which there is no evidence is laughable at best and batshit fucking insane at worst.
posted by solid-one-love at 5:04 PM on November 27, 2005


To suggest even remotely that it is irrational to not believe in things

what i actually said was that it was rationality disconnecting itself from the whole person

please read more carefully next time ... oh, and by the way, your last comment kind of destroys that "i never indulge in religion bashing" thing you've been going on about, doesn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:11 PM on November 27, 2005


I know there is a God, He talks to me, I talk to Him, we interact, He has answered prayers of mine. He is also God and gets to do what He wants and is not beholden to any of us to explain Himself any further than He wants to. He will not lower Himself to prove Himself to anyone. He demands faith. If you do not have it and do not wish to have it, do not expect to see Him.

He demands faith? You know you are following the orders of an invisible fascist in the sky, right? You and everyone else should ignore him and he would simply stop making unreasonable demands. Or is he essentially a child with Legos and if we don't feed His megalomania he will just destroy us and start over?

Is that how it works? Because if it does, fuck you God and your gaybaby Jesus Christ. Shove your demands up your heavenly anus. And stop talking in Konolia's ear because when she says that you talk to her it makes her sound schizo-affective.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:17 PM on November 27, 2005


what i actually said was that it was rationality disconnecting itself from the whole person

That's right. You have claimed that it is irrational.

oh, and by the way, your last comment kind of destroys that "i never indulge in religion bashing" thing you've been going on about, doesn't it?

It does no such thing. I said that your suggestion that atheism was irrational was somewhere between laughable and insane. Where's the bash against religion? Anyone? Bueller?

I'm bashing you, because you cannot engage in reasoned debate, and I am thus treating you las you deserve to be treated.

You need to read more carefully. I misunderstood nothing you have written. You constantly misunderstand everything that everyone has written. Shut. Up.
posted by solid-one-love at 5:19 PM on November 27, 2005


Sorry, quick follow-up. I just want to make it clear that my conclusion that theism (and by extension, religion) is irrational does not imply that theists are irrational or that "religion is dumm". Everyone holds some irrational beliefs. That doesn't make everyone irrational.

Interesting point. I actually draw the opposite conclusion: that it does make everyone irrational, and that our belief that we behave rationally to any great extent is itself more evidence of irrationality.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:20 PM on November 27, 2005


it's the product of the rational mind disconnecting itself from all else and riding herd on the whole person...should also say that such disconnects can be found in fundamentalists, also, in different ways ... in some the emotional mind disconnects itself from all else and goes crazy with it

I lack a belief in your god-assertion because you've produced no support for it. How is this position an example of an 'emotional mind disconnecting itself and going crazy'?

(And for the benefit of languagehat, the preceeding comment is not an attack on you personally, and it does not call religion 'dumm', despite how much you wish it did)
posted by jsonic at 5:28 PM on November 27, 2005


But, Stavros, if we're all irrational, there's no point in discussing anything. To engage in reasoned debate, I think that there are certain things that have to be taken for granted: that the participants are rational and that they agree to the semantics.

You can't have a reasoned debate with an irrational person. And you can't have a reaoned debate with someone who will not accept that a word means the same thing as others do (like when someone refuses to budge from the position that 'disbelief' means 'the denial of' and does not include 'the lack of belief in').

I, for example, believe that there is extraterrestrial intelligence. This is an irrational belief; there is no evidence for it. When I look at the math, it's probable, but there's no evidence. This means only that I hold an irrational belief. It doesn't mean that I'm irrational.

Of course, the salient difference between my irrational belief and the irrational belief in gods is that you don't see SETI proponents demanding tax-free status for their libraries, publications or meeting places, nor do you see us trying to get SETI-proponents elected to office to change the laws to discriminate against non-SETI-proponents, nor go to war againstgroups that primarily consist of people who believe in a slightly different proposition that there is extraterrestrial life. ;-)
posted by solid-one-love at 5:30 PM on November 27, 2005


Remember that the only normal people you know, are the ones that you don't know very well.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:35 PM on November 27, 2005


We weren't angry until you made us that way.

Bullshit. Go back and read threads from before I was even a member. It took a long time for me to get fed up enough to start calling the jerks on their behavior. At least the more honest among you are willing to admit your anger, even if you try to justify it by lying about religious people.

We don't care if you pray to your god
.

Surprise! I don't have one!

We do care that you seem so passionately interested in our non-belief.


Surprise! I don't give a rat's ass about your belief or lack thereof! What I care about is good discourse on MetaFilter, and those of you who insist on ruining every discussion of religion with tedious rehashes of the same tired arguments and quick resort to personal attacks are trashing the place. I'm going to keep calling you on it, so you might as well get used to it.

I'm bashing you, because you cannot engage in reasoned debate, and I am thus treating you las you deserve to be treated.
You need to read more carefully. I misunderstood nothing you have written. You constantly misunderstand everything that everyone has written. Shut. Up.
posted by solid-one-love


Ah, now I see what you meant about being sensitive to the tone of the debate! I stand corrected!

I, for example, believe that there is extraterrestrial intelligence.

OK, that's just too easy, I'm going to let it go right on by.
posted by languagehat at 5:41 PM on November 27, 2005


Also, your belief in the possibility of extra terrestrial life includes a concrete example that life is possible in the universe: humans. Religious belief has no such example.
posted by jsonic at 5:42 PM on November 27, 2005


Ah, now I see what you meant about being sensitive to the tone of the debate! I stand corrected

Yes, you do. Clearly your facility with languages doesn't extend to the god-damned English language. This is not a bash against religion. It is a bash against YOU. My previous comments to Termite were not a bash against religion. It was a bash against HIM.

OK, that's just too easy, I'm going to let it go right on by.

Bullshit. You know deep in your heart that any comment you make will be replied to by me in the light of reason -- a light that you yourself do not and never have possessed.

You do not care about good dsiscourse on MetaFilter. You are the worst example of trolldom that this site has ever seen; you are worse than twits like ParisParamus because he at least makes no pretense towards advancing the discussion.

Take a fuckin' walk.
posted by solid-one-love at 5:48 PM on November 27, 2005


What I care about is good discourse on MetaFilter, and those of you who insist on ruining every discussion of religion with tedious rehashes of the same tired arguments and quick resort to personal attacks are trashing the place. I'm going to keep calling you on it, so you might as well get used to it.

You're the one who keeps shitting on threads with the same tired argument that criticizing the logical foundations of religious belief is the same as claiming that religious people are 'dumm' and atheists are superior.

You're the epitome of what you so vociferously attack.
posted by jsonic at 5:50 PM on November 27, 2005


solid-one-love: I know languagehat and I've seen enough of you to know that your nothing but a smartassed little shit and a keyboard tough guy. So, why don't you STFU.
posted by jonmc at 6:13 PM on November 27, 2005


I just read your user page. Grow the fuck up.
posted by jonmc at 6:16 PM on November 27, 2005


And I'm still more than you will ever be in your wildest dreams.

I'm smartassed, yes, but I'm also smart -- and you aren't. I may be a keyboard tough guy, but I'm tough -- and you're not.

Fuck you, too.

Whatcha go to my user page for, hm? Want to look me up to dig dirt about me because I've bitchslapped your close personal fwiend?

You're pathetic.
posted by solid-one-love at 6:19 PM on November 27, 2005


But, Stavros, if we're all irrational, there's no point in discussing anything.

Word.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:21 PM on November 27, 2005


you know, i had a reply to both of your comments all ready when my isp conked out for a little bit

coming back and reading the rational, disinterested and objective discussion you two are having makes me realize that i clearly have no business debating intellectual giants like yourselves

just think - if i wasn't one of those stupid fairy tale believers i could express myself as gracefully and cogently as you do ... it's a shame, isn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:25 PM on November 27, 2005


You're pathetic.

Project much, you narcissistic little shit?

I don't even have a dog in this fight, but forgive me if I don't have much respect for people who toss stink bombs into conversations and then take people complaining about the smell as persecution.
posted by jonmc at 6:27 PM on November 27, 2005


forgive me if I don't have much respect for people who toss stink bombs into conversations

Oh, the fucking irony. You call me out for that, when it's really your bosom buddy Hat who's been doing it, constantly, in this thread and others.

I take it back. You're not pathetic. That would imply that you could inspire pity. Like anyone who would defend his bullshit troll antics, you're a nothing. Thank goodness for greasemonkey killfiles.
posted by solid-one-love at 6:30 PM on November 27, 2005


go masturbate to your image in the mirror. or chuckle to yourself that you said "pee-pee," and "poo-poo," in public.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on November 27, 2005


I don't even have a dog in this fight, but forgive me if I don't have much respect for people who toss stink bombs into conversations and then take people complaining about the smell as persecution.
posted by jonmc at 6:27 PM PST on November 27


Jon, I like languagehat and I think he is a good guy, but come on: "It's not enough MeFi has to suffer through endless rounds of "ha ha I'm smart because I don't believe in God—suck it, dum believers!" on the front page, now we have to do it in MeTa as well? With all due respect, why don't you start your own ihategod.com site and do it 24/7 to your hearts' content?"

How is that not a "stink bomb"?

Here was jsonic's statement expanded: "I'm not asking people to re-argue the existence of gods.

I'm just interested in what brought Metafilter users who don't believe to their current state. All joking aside, I think that what draws me, and many others, to Metafilter is the lucidity of user's comments. Especially compared to other types of sites with commenting."

Why is this so bad as to deserve the vitriol from languagehat or anyone else?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:44 PM on November 27, 2005


I'm smartassed, yes, but I'm also smart -- and you aren't. I may be a keyboard tough guy, but I'm tough -- and you're not.

Your actions would show otherwise.
posted by Dreamghost at 6:46 PM on November 27, 2005


I disagree with solid-one-love's name calling, but he does have a point, jonmc, about languagehat's antics. As an example, read languagehat's first comment in this thread. This thread, mis-placed as it may be, was simply asking about how Mefi users came to non-belief.

Languagehat somehow takes this as another example of calling religious people 'dumm' and claiming that atheists are superior. Recently, languagehat is resorting to this non-argument in any thread where religion is criticized. It's hard to have a rational discussion when languagehat keeps shitting on threads.
posted by jsonic at 6:46 PM on November 27, 2005


Beaten by Optimus.
posted by jsonic at 6:48 PM on November 27, 2005


jsonic, optimus: languagehat overreacted a bit. But he's contributed enough cogent, decent discourse to the site over the years that maybe we could cut him a little slack. S-O-L have never contributed anything but hostility and insults, so his contributions should be veiwed the same way one would view pungent flatulence on a windy day.
posted by jonmc at 6:51 PM on November 27, 2005


also, arguments about religion are generally pointless in my experience since nobody's ever convinced of anything one way or the other and nothing is ever gained except hard feelings.
posted by jonmc at 6:52 PM on November 27, 2005


languagehat overreacted a bit. But he's contributed enough cogent, decent discourse to the site over the years that maybe we could cut him a little slack.

Well, yeah. But let's not pretend that he's an innocent here.

S-O-L have never contributed anything but hostility and insults, so his contributions should be veiwed the same way one would view pungent flatulence on a windy day.


No, he's good, too.

arguments about religion are generally pointless in my experience since nobody's ever convinced of anything one way or the other and nothing is ever gained except hard feelings

This thread wouldn't have been an "argument about religion" if people had responded to the topic like grown-ups, instead of shit like "For people who claim not to believe in God there certainly seems to be a lot of energy expended obsessing about it" (konolia), "It's not enough MeFi has to suffer through endless rounds of "ha ha I'm smart because I don't believe in God—suck it, dum believers!" on the front page, now we have to do it in MeTa as well?" (languagehat), and "100 years from now we will all be in agreement on the topic [presumably because we will be dead and judged by God. -ed.]" (konolia).

Shit, jon, you yourself had an interesting an on-topic post that accurately and respectfully answered the question in the original post. It bothers me that people tried and succeeded to fuck the thread.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:59 PM on November 27, 2005


Your actions would show otherwise

I have consistently backed up my statements with reason. Then I have been attacked for it. When attacked, I respond not merely in kind, but with escalation.

You have contributed nothing to this thread to make such a statement. Your opinion means less than nothing. Thanks for coming into the thread at the behest of your buddy and taking a big dump, again, like your buddy. Defending one's friends when they're fucktards is not admirable in any way.

Take a walk.
posted by solid-one-love at 6:59 PM on November 27, 2005


yeah, we'll all take a walk, and then you'll be here listening to your own voice, which should send you into orgasmic fits of pleasure. Quit trying to compensate for playground ass-kickings here, there's other places for that.

Well, yeah. But let's not pretend that he's an innocent here.

No, but any readers of this site should have seen enough evidence of his essential decency to give him at least some of the benefit of the doubt. SOL, not so much. This is a man, who in my initial encounter with him diagnosed me as a "sociopath," so I'm kind of disinclined to take anything he says seriously.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
posted by jonmc at 7:05 PM on November 27, 2005


You have contributed nothing to this thread to make such a statement. Your opinion means less than nothing. Thanks for coming into the thread at the behest of your buddy and taking a big dump, again, like your buddy. Defending one's friends when they're fucktards is not admirable in any way.

Thanks for proving me right. Dummy

Take a walk.


Naw, I think ill stay and watch the rest of your flameout. Should be good for a cheap laugh or two.
posted by Dreamghost at 7:14 PM on November 27, 2005


Good times.
posted by Gator at 7:16 PM on November 27, 2005


Bullshit. You know deep in your heart that any comment you make will be replied to by me in the light of reason -- a light that you yourself do not and never have possessed.

Apparently this "light of reason" manifests itself in mouth-frothing ranting laced with elementary school insults. The more you know.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:17 PM on November 27, 2005


I know there is a God, He talks to me, I talk to Him, we interact, He has answered prayers of mine.

In that case konolia, I don't understand why you aren't being a lot more specific about exactly what God has said to you and exactly how he has answered your prayers. Since you have spoken to God directly, you really do have proof of his existence and no longer have or require blind faith. Are you reluctant to share your experiences because you fear being mocked? If it was me, that fear would be overwhelmed by the desire to spread the truth and to save people. Not sharing those experiences would seem selfish in the extreme. So tell us.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 7:22 PM on November 27, 2005


Guys, guys, calm down. Go get some ice cream or something. Sheesh.


Meanwhile, to all the atheists in this thread-not all is science. Life is full of mysteries, and maybe it's time to admit that not everything is measurable or provable.

Whether you choose to believe in God or not, it's okay to admit you don't know everything there is to know about existence. I don't. That's okay too.

And for heaven's sakes-or spaghetti's, if you prefer-it ain't worth throwing poop at each other, regarding our various and sundry opinions on the metaphysical. As I used to tell my kids when they were toddlers-Be Sweet.
posted by konolia at 7:22 PM on November 27, 2005


Only a fool defends a fool. And only a fool sticks around fighting a battle of wits with a throng of half-wits.

Gator, I was right then, too. And that's when I went anonymous, too; I started getting threats during that particular Grey. That you have decided that it is in the community interests to siphon through my history to dig for dirt indicates to me that it's a good thing that I did remove my contact info.

Into the killscript with the lot of you.
posted by solid-one-love at 7:24 PM on November 27, 2005


Meanwhile, to all the atheists in this thread-not all is science. Life is full of mysteries, and maybe it's time to admit that not everything is measurable or provable.

What is the relevance of this? Nobody is making those claims.

Whether you choose to believe in God or not, it's okay to admit you don't know everything there is to know about existence.

What is the relevance of this? Nobody is making that claim, either.
posted by solid-one-love at 7:27 PM on November 27, 2005


Umm, earlier in this thread you condemned all non-believers to hell. Why don't you practice what you preach?

I'll cop to over-reacting last night, but looking at it again you're exactly the type of Christian who bothers me the most. You blithely assert an eschatology that you're now backing away from. abd has a point--if you talk to God, I'd sure as hell like to know what she has to say. I've heard tell he/she/it says plenty of things to homicide bombers as well. How do you differentiate the message? What makes you so damn special? You've laid your cards on the table, and then beg for the type of decency that secular humanists have spent centuries trying to establish. You don't deserve to have it both ways.
posted by bardic at 7:27 PM on November 27, 2005


ab'd, I have, and I'm pretty sure I have done it on Mefi. The thing is, when people choose not to believe, they don't even believe what I tell them, even when the stories are pretty wild. From having an ulcer immediately healed, to telling me ahead of time what would happen in certain work situations, to miraculously providing money at just the right time, etc etc etc....multiply that by the stories of the people I know who have experienced the same.
Plus I personally know a woman who was raised from the dead. Physician confirmed. Come down here and I can introduce you.

But if someone doesn't want to believe none of that would matter. Just the way it is.

And of course faith is still required. No burning bushes in the living room or anything. But God has been very, very good to me.
posted by konolia at 7:28 PM on November 27, 2005


maybe it's time to admit that not everything is measurable or provable.

Irony of ironies, this statement requires proof that will never come.
posted by Rothko at 7:29 PM on November 27, 2005


Into the killscript with the lot of you.

well, there goes my nights sleep.
posted by jonmc at 7:29 PM on November 27, 2005


wow.

hey, solid-one-love: jonmc slapped your mum around after she tried to charge him last night.

jonmc: solid-one-love's got your sister hooked on crack and has been pimping her out for $20 a ride.

this is better than those two drunk tramps that beat each other up.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:31 PM on November 27, 2005




No burning bushes in the living room or anything.

But... but you said he talked to you. That's considerably better proof than inflammable foliage. Does He talk to you or not? If so, what did you hear Him say?
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 7:36 PM on November 27, 2005


Into the killscript with the lot of you.

Truth Hurts.
posted by Dreamghost at 7:36 PM on November 27, 2005


bardic, there is nothing I could say to you to make you happy. And you know perfectly well I don't send anyone to hell. If you think I am believing a fairy tale why would you care what I believe on the topic? To me it sounds like you do believe and are pissed off that hell exists.

If there is a God-and I affirm there is-He has the right to judge His creation whether we like it or not. Whether we "approve" or not. The only reason I am not going straight to hell myself-without passing Go or collecting 200 dollars-is that Jesus paid for my sin and gave me His life. He did for me what I could not do for myself. What none of us could do for ourselves. That being live a life holy enough to be worthy of heaven.

None of us are worthy. We all deserve eternal damnation. God actually would be within his rights to destroy every last one of us and still be a just God.

Be mad if you like. What does that change?
posted by konolia at 7:37 PM on November 27, 2005


Plus I personally know a woman who was raised from the dead. Physician confirmed. Come down here and I can introduce you.

I think the real question were wondering here.

Did Netcraft confirm it?
posted by Dreamghost at 7:39 PM on November 27, 2005


God actually would be within his rights to destroy every last one of us and still be a just God.

Jonmc, this is mainly why believers have brought me to non-belief. These crazy people are happy to kill the rest of us along with themselves, in the name of their beliefs.
posted by Rothko at 7:40 PM on November 27, 2005


Rothko, how did you get there from what I said? That makes no sense whatsoever. I expect better from you.
posted by konolia at 7:42 PM on November 27, 2005


hey, solid-one-love: jonmc slapped your mum around after she tried to charge him last night.

That'd be a neat trick. She's in a green metal box about seven inches on each side and sitting on top of the mantle.

God actually would be within his rights to destroy every last one of us and still be a just God.

Konolia, please, you're not helping your side at all. If people think I'm beyond the pale, I guarantee that you're making them walk away slowly while not breaking eye contact, figuratively speaking.
posted by solid-one-love at 7:42 PM on November 27, 2005


konolia: If man is incapable of redeeming himself, then why do our actions matter? Doesn't it imply that we have limited, or no free will?
posted by Krrrlson at 7:43 PM on November 27, 2005


solid, that statement came directly from my theology 101 class. Just sayin'.
posted by konolia at 7:43 PM on November 27, 2005


Jonmc, this is mainly why believers have brought me to non-belief.

Understood. And konolia (whom I consider a cyber-friend in the same sense as you) and I have had a lot of philosophical back and forth on this topic over the past for years. But there's a lot of terrirory covered by religion. I reccomended she read Bruce Bawer's Stealing Jesus and and some other books to broaden her perspective. I'd recommend you read 'em, too if you're so inclined.
posted by jonmc at 7:45 PM on November 27, 2005


konolia, what I'm asking is for you to describe the manner in which God talks to you. Do you hear His voice directly?
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 7:46 PM on November 27, 2005


four years.

*looks at bottle, sings "Whiskey, You're the Devil"*
posted by jonmc at 7:46 PM on November 27, 2005


Krrrlson, that is why God sent Jesus. Grace is" Him doing for us what we should have done for ourselves but were unable to. " (quote from my pastor.)
posted by konolia at 7:47 PM on November 27, 2005


Whether you choose to believe in God or not, it's okay to admit you don't know everything there is to know about existence.

Way to attack things no one ever said, konolia.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:49 PM on November 27, 2005


Plus I personally know a woman who was raised from the dead. Physician confirmed.


posted by spinoza at 7:49 PM on November 27, 2005


ab'd, mostly I hear Him in my heart. There has been a time or two when it has been...a bit more direct.

This is a conversation I would rather not have here on this thread, honestly. I do understand you are asking honest questions. But I and a majority of my church friends do hear from Him, are directed by Him, and are provided for in various ways by Him. If you read the New Testament, this is normative Christianity. (Read Acts.)
posted by konolia at 7:50 PM on November 27, 2005


solid, that statement came directly from my theology 101 class. Just sayin'.

And I'm just sayin' that the idea that the creator can destroy the created at will and still be a just entity is, in the vernacular, guanoloco. Can parents kill their children, then? If not, why not? Why does God get a free pass?

These are rhetorical questions, of course, because I hold to the opinion that destroying all of humanity and being omnibenevloent are mutually exclusive, without any room for debate.

Not all religions agree with your belief that it is possible to be both a genocidal destroyer and a just god. I would, then, consider those religions more valid and palatable than yours.

But, again, this is only relatively speaking, as I find no religions valid or palatable. ;-)
posted by solid-one-love at 7:50 PM on November 27, 2005


Krrrlson, that is why God sent Jesus. Grace is" Him doing for us what we should have done for ourselves but were unable to. " (quote from my pastor.)

Okay, but my question about free will stands. Does this mean human beings ultimately do not have control over their actions?
posted by Krrrlson at 7:50 PM on November 27, 2005


For the record, I'd like to state that konolia's beliefs are not representative of all Christians, just the batshitinsane ones who won't shut up about it.

fyi.
posted by dersins at 7:51 PM on November 27, 2005


Well, all I can say, krrrlson, is we are held responsible for our actions. To me that implies free will, at least to some point.

Adam as the federal head of the human race, sinned. His sin was imputed to the rest of humanity. That seems unfair until you understand that this makes it possible for us to receive an imputed righteousness when we are born again (by virtue of the fact Jesus lived a sinless life and then died to pay for our sins.)

I said all that in order to make the point that sinful beings are unable on their own to become righteous. Fortunately we don't have to be on our own.
posted by konolia at 7:55 PM on November 27, 2005


I bet God's voice sounds like Don LaFontaine's. Am I right or what, konolia?
posted by Azhruwi at 7:55 PM on November 27, 2005


I never heard of Don LaFontaine, so I couldn't say. ;-)
posted by konolia at 7:56 PM on November 27, 2005


So were we ever capable of self-redemption? Or did we lose that option after the coming of Jesus? If we never had it at all, then there is no real way to hold us responsible for being sinful, is there? And in that case, what is the point of creating inherently sinful creatures?
posted by Krrrlson at 7:57 PM on November 27, 2005


konolia, I think you're a loon. But you are also friends with Nikki Sixx, so I've got to give you some credit.

And PS--most of us have learned lots of things in 101-type classes. Please don't believe all of them.

(Hell, I've taught a few--I hope no one was taking me that seriously.)
posted by bardic at 7:57 PM on November 27, 2005


THE SECOND COMING OF MOIFT IS NEAR; REPENT NOW!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:08 PM on November 27, 2005


moift talks to me via spiderman walkie talkie.
posted by Dreamghost at 8:09 PM on November 27, 2005


Adam as the federal head of the human race, sinned. His sin was imputed to the rest of humanity.

Konolia, it makes no sense to punish Adam (and everyone else) for doing something that he could not know was wrong. How could he know that disobeying Yahweh was wrong before he ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Right and Wrong?

This story makes no sense.
posted by jsonic at 9:57 PM on November 27, 2005


the Word of God confronts men with a choice. They will either joyfully accept it, or vehemently reject it.

I dunno, konolia. I have seen people vehemently accept it and others joyfully reject it. Is this splitting hairs? I'm not sure.
posted by scarabic at 11:11 PM on November 27, 2005


THE SECOND COMING OF MOIFT IS NEAR; REPENT NOW!

what the hell?

*pshhft* dreamghost come in
*pshhft* what the hell, over?
posted by moift at 11:59 PM on November 27, 2005


konolia writes "None of us are worthy. We all deserve eternal damnation. God actually would be within his rights to destroy every last one of us and still be a just God."

You must throw great parties.
posted by brundlefly at 3:41 AM on November 28, 2005


This thread makes me hate every motherfucking one you. Except konolia, languagehat, and jonmc.

Why is this thread here, exactly? And we're not going to see a solid-one-love flameout? Damn.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:01 AM on November 28, 2005


konolia rules, Bligh talks too much and is slowly disintegrating IIRC.
posted by moift at 4:11 AM on November 28, 2005


This thread makes me hate every motherfucking one you. Except konolia, languagehat, and jonmc.

That post reminds me that Ethereal Bligh is a giant, unloveable cock.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:33 AM on November 28, 2005


That post reminds me that Ethereal Bligh is a giant, unloveable cock.

So what your saying is he loves the feel of himself in his mouth?

::ponders::
posted by Dreamghost at 5:00 AM on November 28, 2005


Somebody needs to let Matt know that moift's listed homepage goes direct to porn-naked guy parts. Surely that has to be a violation?

I really didn't need to see that before chapel, ya know?
posted by konolia at 5:09 AM on November 28, 2005


http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/10152
posted by moift at 5:23 AM on November 28, 2005


Konolia, please, you're not helping your side at all. If people think I'm beyond the pale, I guarantee that you're making them walk away slowly while not breaking eye contact, figuratively speaking.

Actually, I suspect she's helping her side quite a bit. She's always polite and willing to respond seriously to even the most derisive questions (and people keep posing the same derisive questions over the years, as if they were the first ones to think of them and now that they've posed them she'll surely cave in and admit the superiority of their point of view). I have tremendous respect for konolia. For you, not so much. And yet on the issues I agree with you and not her! How can that be? The world is full of mysteries.

I'm starting to be glad this thread was posted, though, because it's more fun than a barrel of monkeys. (Wait a minute, it is a barrel of monkeys...)
posted by languagehat at 5:38 AM on November 28, 2005


Actually, I suspect she's helping her side quite a bit.

Plus I personally know a woman who was raised from the dead. Physician confirmed. Come down here and I can introduce you.

Polite or not, LH, this is not normal. Why did the physician not write it up for a medical journal? How can konolia post to MetaFilter with the rest of us mundanes when she has seen and heard things that refute the very laws of the universe? I know for a fact that if I saw successful necromantic rituals and heard the Voice of God I wouldn't spend one more goddammn minute here with you guys. As fun as you are, you can't possibly measure up to this kind of thing.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:53 AM on November 28, 2005


This thread makes me hate every motherfucking one you.

Possible new catchphrase???
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:54 AM on November 28, 2005


she'll surely cave in and admit the superiority of their point of view

Hey, another languagehat post about non-believers and superiority complexes, imagine that! That non-argument never gets old!
posted by jsonic at 6:13 AM on November 28, 2005


Don't people pretty routinely die by various medical definitions and then get 'resurrected'? I think there was even a documentary about it.
posted by moift at 6:15 AM on November 28, 2005


Some people have been pronounced clinically dead, then "recover", and it wouldn't be surprising that among the times that this has happened in some of those cases people happened to praying over the "dead" person at the same time.

And I also hear "voices in my head" sometimes... usually just before falling asleep (though if it's god, he/she has a much better sense of humor than I ever suspected!). So, I don't think Konolia is a nut job... Or at least not any more than most people. Yeah, according to her beliefs, I'm going to hell, even though I'm probably a lot nicer/more honest/caring/generous/pacifist than whole swathes of churchy folks who've followed all fine print on the saving contract, but I don't dislike her because she believes this. If I had to worry about hating all the people whose closely held beliefs put me outside their circle of individuals who've "seen the light" about, well... anything - I wouldn't have time for anything but anger.

Anyway, in answer to the posted question, it began very early with me, when I started reading mythology as a child. All those wacky gods and their zany exploits! It wasn't much of a leap in logic.
posted by taz at 6:28 AM on November 28, 2005


What moift & taz said.
posted by Dreamghost at 6:53 AM on November 28, 2005


Hey, another languagehat post about non-believers and superiority complexes, imagine that! That non-argument never gets old!

Hey, there's an easy way to shut me up: stop posting the same old crap about how stupid religion is! Here's a sterling example:
Am I the only one who wants to grab these people by the neck and shake them while yelling YO GUYS IT WAS NOT ALLAH THAT DID THIS. THE BABY JEEBUS DID NOT SEND HURRICANE KATRINA. LORD VISHNU DID NOT SEND THE EARTHQUAKE IN PAKISTAN. WE WERE JUST IN THE WRONG FUCKING PLACE AT THE WRONG FUCKING TIME.
No, you're not the only one, MeFi is full of them, and they never get tired of yelling. Not even in a thread about a terrible disaster that has nothing to do with religion except that the poor people involved happen to be religious, like the great majority of the world's population—and for that they must be mocked! Classy, and really shows off the superiority of the Atheist Point of View.
posted by languagehat at 6:53 AM on November 28, 2005


Hey, there's an easy way to shut me up: stop posting the same old crap about how stupid religion is!

I'm going to try to explain this in a way that even a child could understand.

To some people, it's not the same old crap. Even if it is, it's still contributing to the discussion. Your constant derails do *not* contribute to the discussion. And your derails are, absolutely, the Same Old Crap.

We've explained it politely to you. We've mocked you. We've flamed you. And you keep doing it. Fucking stop it.
posted by solid-one-love at 6:59 AM on November 28, 2005


Whatever happened to that handy-dandy killscript of yours, s-o-l?
posted by Gator at 7:04 AM on November 28, 2005


Wow. Still going on.

konolia, you are, among other things, a complete coward. If your faith is so strong, why not try to respond to some of the issues/questions raised in this thread? If babyjesus is on your side, what do you have to fear? C'mon. You've condemned non-believers to hell, the least you can do is admit that you're sweetness and light game is an pathetic front for your hatred. Walk into the light, sweetie. You hate a majority of the world.

languagehat, why don't you try the same thing? Why don't you logically respond to some of us damn atheists? What are you afraid of, other than your own ignorance?
posted by bardic at 7:37 AM on November 28, 2005


*your*
posted by bardic at 7:37 AM on November 28, 2005


We've explained it politely to you. We've mocked you. We've flamed you. And you keep doing it. Fucking stop it.

There you go, languagehat -- Matt has spoken!

Oh, whoops, I guess it wasn't Matt. I just assumed from the condescension and arrogance in the comment that the person writing it must own the site.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:45 AM on November 28, 2005


We've explained it politely to you. We've mocked you. We've flamed you.

What you mean "we," paleface?
posted by jonmc at 7:47 AM on November 28, 2005


bardic, have you actually read the thread? konolia has been responding to questions, and languagehat is himself an atheist. Pay attention.
posted by Gator at 7:49 AM on November 28, 2005


The only thing more annoying than a christian who tries to convert people to their beliefs is an athiest who does the same. At least admit agnosticism, you can't know there's not a god anymore than konolia can know there is. And this 'defend your personal beliefs or you're a coward' shit, what gives? Give me some logical reasons why you're so sure there is no god or you're an asshole. I get to ignore any reasons that I don't feel mesh with my preestablished and arbitrary views about what constitutes truth.

See why this argument never really gets anywhere? It's bad enough to keep carrying on when it's obvious everyone involved is fundamentally misunderstanding eachother's position, but you don't have to start calling people names because you can't stand to see someone who doesn't subscribe to your particular and equally arbitrary views.
posted by moift at 7:51 AM on November 28, 2005


Actualy I've been thinking of asking this same question in AskMe, but havn't gotten around to it.
posted by delmoi at 8:04 AM on November 28, 2005


At least admit agnosticism, you can't know there's not a god anymore than konolia can know there is. [...] See why this argument never really gets anywhere?

It often never gets anywhere because people don't understand the difference between atheism and agnosticism despite how many times it is explained to them.

Gator: I'm at work now and don't have Firefox, but languagehat wasn't in my greasemonkey killscript; only the people who jumped in without any actual interest in the subject to try and fail to bait me. You and they are merely being nuisances to me and thus can be safely ignored; languagehat is on a concerted campaign to destroy any thread where the religion/atheism debate pops up, and that should not be ignored.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:04 AM on November 28, 2005


No, she hasn't. When she realizes that she condones a hateful ideology, she pulls the "can't we all get along" canard. Because she can't deal with the ramifications of her own thinking. That's annoying.

I think that if you buy into a way of thought, it's your moral obligation to carry it through to whatever good or bad ends it entails. If you are a Christian, you believe that accepting Jesus as savior is necessary for salvation. Those who don't are condemned to hell.

Among other things, that's just kind of rude. And pathetic. And a conversation stopper. God forbid we actually try to solve some of the many problems facing us, rather than passing the buck to invisible nothings.
posted by bardic at 8:04 AM on November 28, 2005


languagehat is on a concerted campaign to destroy any thread where the religion/atheism debate pops up, and that should not be ignored.

or perhaps he's a bit frustrated that any mention of religion seems to lead to the same tiresome religion/atheism debate. Can't say I blame him.

NTM, you're getting awfully didactic, did somebody subtract 17918 from your user number while we weren't looking?
posted by jonmc at 8:09 AM on November 28, 2005


s o l - I'm going to try to explain this in a way that even a child could understand.

it's always best to communicate on the level you feel most comfortable with

bardic - If your faith is so strong, why not try to respond to some of the issues/questions raised in this thread?

people for the most part aren't interested in discussing it with her, they're just interested in attacking her ... she'd have to be a masochist to continue this conversation

it must be that famous liberal tolerance i keep hearing about ... the kind that causes people to swear at you, deliberately misquote and distort what you say and tell you to take a walk

who needs it?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:13 AM on November 28, 2005


ag·nos·ti·cism (g-nst-szm)
n.
1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.
3. Eat a dick, solid-one-love.
posted by moift at 8:15 AM on November 28, 2005


Where have I said that people who disagree with me will burn in hell forever? That's what Christians do every single day.

This ain't about vanilla or chocolate. I'm happy to converse in a civil manner about taste. But when you pull the Jesus card, you're telling me and many of the people I love that we are condemned. That's annoying. That's sociopathic, in the truest sense of the term. I'm so tired of people telling me, as an atheist, to cool my heels and let it rest, while at the same time religious perverts castigate me for trying to live a good and decent life.

Fine. Let's keep it to ourselves. But if you play the skygod card, be prepared to take the piss. And don't run away and hide when you are challenged for your foolishness.

And please, please don't call me an agnostic. That's the religious equivalent of bisexual.
posted by bardic at 8:25 AM on November 28, 2005


The only thing more annoying than a christian who tries to convert people to their beliefs is an athiest who does the same. At least admit agnosticism, you can't know there's not a god anymore than konolia can know there is. [snip] See why this argument never really gets anywhere?

I think this argument never gets anywhere because you've apparently ignored the eighty thousand explanations of weak atheism versus strong atheism.

Also, since we're giving konolia all sorts of hugs for her politeness, let's not forget this gem: Just once. Just once I would like to see you and your ilk condemn those who are murdering civilians AND soldiers just because they either used to work for Saddam or like the idea of Iraq being a nest of terrorist extremists instead of a free democracy.

So all of you pro-konolia, anti-war leftists, don't forget that just like ParisParamus and his buddies, she considers you a terrorist sympathizer.

Also: Optimus, if you had a time machine, would you take in troops to liberate concentration camps, or would Jesus want us to mind our own business while Hitler had the Jews exterminated?

If you're against the war, you're just like Hitler!

This thread didn't have to be a flamefest. Jsonic merely asked "what brought you to non-belief?" That topic is apparently so horrific that it cannot be discussed.

Honestly: if it weren't for theists, I would spend literally no time at all thinking about their various gods. I've done my reading and my research and I'm pretty set on the matter until new evidence comes to light. I don't actively try to deconvert Christians. I keep to my own. But that's not good enough. Every day I get email forwards that say I should be thankful that I'm even allowed to live in this country, and that making a fuss about government sponsored religious events and programs is tantamount to treason. People like Pat Robertson get on TV and say that my heresy is why the towers fell and why Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf. Should I be slient about that, too?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:29 AM on November 28, 2005


she considers you a terrorist sympathizer.

funny, she didn't mention that on the Christmas card.
posted by jonmc at 8:30 AM on November 28, 2005


Should I be slient about that, too?

No, but I also wonder why you'd waste your breath. It's only a tiny (but loud) minority of people who take anything he says seriously.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 AM on November 28, 2005


Moift, you implied an equity of some form between atheism and agnosticism; they are orthogonal. Advising an atheist to "at least admit agnosticism" is like advising a watchmaker to at least admit the existence of automobiles. This indicates to me that you don't fully understand what agnosticism is. If this offends you so much that you're going to tell me to 'eat a dick', you need to grow a skin.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:33 AM on November 28, 2005


Thanks for correcting bardic, Gator. I know how hard it is for some people to wrap their minds around the concept that someone can both be an atheist and think there are interesting things to say about religion other than how stupid it is, but this is a strange world.

Anyway, since you saved me the trouble, I'll just share this bit from Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines I came upon a few minutes ago. The narrator is taking a tramp to lunch in exchange for the tramp's telling him about his experiences:
I knew that tramps are systematic in their methods of scavenging, and will return again and again to a favourite set of dustbins. What, I asked him, was his method with the London clubs?

He thought for a moment and said the best bet was always the Athenaeum. There were still religious gentlemen among its members.

'Yes,' he ruminated. 'You can usually bum a bob off a Bishop.'
(Note: Chatwin is propagandizing for nomadism, not religion.)
posted by languagehat at 8:34 AM on November 28, 2005


you're telling someone to "grow a skin," SoL?

Pot, meet kettle. Talk amongst yourselves.
posted by jonmc at 8:35 AM on November 28, 2005


On non-preview:

Jsonic merely asked "what brought you to non-belief?" That topic is apparently so horrific that it cannot be discussed.

No, it's a fine topic. It's just a piss-poor excuse for a MetaTalk post.
posted by languagehat at 8:36 AM on November 28, 2005


Wow languagehat. Shouldn't matt give him a medal or something for correcting me? God forbid I should speak for myself.
posted by bardic at 8:36 AM on November 28, 2005


No, it's a fine topic. It's just a piss-poor excuse for a MetaTalk post.
posted by languagehat at 8:36 AM PST on November 28


Okay, you think that and that's fine and part of me even agrees with you. But the practice of making non-great threads into super shitty flamefests with "eat a dick"s flying around everywhere is even worse. I would not have even posted in this thread were it not for a poster's insinuation that all atheists are "obsessed" with god, among other bizarre detritus.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:40 AM on November 28, 2005


I think this argument never gets anywhere because you've apparently ignored the eighty thousand explanations of weak atheism versus strong atheism.

I sure have, please repeat them for me.

The part you snipped was the part that goes with the last sentence, by the way. I was saying the argument doesn't get anywhere because religious people and atheists will refuse to parse eachother's avenues of reasoning on the subject and end up calling eachother names in frustration.

Please do enlighten me about the various flavors of athiesm though, that's something I was really planning to look into giving a shit about when I had time. Honestly.
posted by moift at 8:41 AM on November 28, 2005


That's sociopathic, in the truest sense of the term.

Careful. Calling people out as sociopaths is a good way to get yourself stalked by the ones who really are.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:44 AM on November 28, 2005


Please do enlighten me about the various flavors of athiesm though, that's something I was really planning to look into giving a shit about when I had time.

If you don't care to learn, then at least do us the favor of not talking about it as if you know the difference.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:46 AM on November 28, 2005


MetaTalk: This thread makes Keith M. Ellis hate every motherfucking one you.
posted by Rothko at 8:46 AM on November 28, 2005


Don't let it interrupt your dick eating, but

ag·nos·ti·cism
n.
1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.
3. Eat a dick, solid-one-love.

a·the·ism
n.
1. a.Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
b.The doctrine that there is no God or gods.
2. Godlessness; immorality.

How are agnosticism 2 and atheism 1a not directly relateable and likewise agnosticism 1 and atheism 1b? How was asking him to substitute his lack of belief in god for a lack of belief in knowledge thereof out of bounds?
posted by moift at 8:53 AM on November 28, 2005


Man, this thread just keeps on giving, doesn't it.....

jonmc and language_hat, consider this: If you stopped enabling, the threads you hate would die.

So stop enabling, already. Put your money where your mouths are.
posted by lodurr at 8:56 AM on November 28, 2005


If you don't care to learn, then at least do us the favor of not talking about it as if you know the difference.

Well, I didn't. I even fessed up to having missed all 8,000,000 arguments about it.
posted by moift at 9:00 AM on November 28, 2005


moift: Then it's like asking a watchmaker to admit the existence of sundials. So what?
posted by lodurr at 9:01 AM on November 28, 2005


I don't see how it equates to the watchmaker thing because denial of the existence of god and denial of the possibility of knowing if there's a god are mutually exclusive. If I say there isn't a god I must have knowledge of such, right? If I say it's impossible to know I can't base a denial on anything. I guess I'm missing something, this isn't my area. Got any metaphors that don't involve watchmaking, maybe?
posted by moift at 9:10 AM on November 28, 2005


If I had told you that the twin towers were about to fall and that you needed to flee out of them to save your life, would that have made me a hatemonger?

I think all it makes me is someone who doesn't want to see you die.

In this thread, it would apparently make me a terrorist.

Sheesh.
posted by konolia at 9:21 AM on November 28, 2005


In this thread, it would apparently make me a terrorist.

Please quote the person who called you a terrorist or compared you to one.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:23 AM on November 28, 2005


I don't see how it equates to the watchmaker thing because denial of the existence of god and denial of the possibility of knowing if there's a god are mutually exclusive.

No, this isn't true. One can believe a thing to be true while also holding that what they believe is unprovable. When Thomas Huxley coined and defined the term 'agnosticism', he was both a theist and an agnostic, for example.

In addition, one may hold the 'weak atheist' position, which does not have any belief -- merely a lack of belief in gods -- and be an agnostic. In fact, most atheists are agnostic.

They're orthogonal.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:25 AM on November 28, 2005


Optimus, you are overthinking my analogy, but since I have to explain it-I said terrorist because according to the analogy, the towers fell because of a terrorist. Apparently believing there is a hell to flee is tantamount to creating and/or wanting to toss people in it.

Who are you and why do you care what my opinions are, anyway?
posted by konolia at 9:27 AM on November 28, 2005


Optimus, you are overthinking my analogy, but since I have to explain it-I said terrorist because according to the analogy, the towers fell because of a terrorist. Apparently believing there is a hell to flee is tantamount to creating and/or wanting to toss people in it.

Uh okay I missed that please link me to it.

Who are you and why do you care what my opinions are, anyway?

I am a MetaFilter member and I care what your opinions are for the same reason I care about languagehat's opinions or those of OmieWise or jonmc or mathowie or even dios. There are a lot of smart people here who have a lot of interesting things to say. Sometimes, when discussing a topic - one of the reasons we're all here, otherwise it'd just be a page of links - people say things that I vehemently disagree with. "For people who claim not to believe in God there certainly seems to be a lot of energy expended obsessing about it" is one of them. If no one cared what anyone else here said it would be a weird and lonely place.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:32 AM on November 28, 2005


denial of the existence of god and denial of the possibility of knowing if there's a god are mutually exclusive.

Fine point, but: No, they're not. They are inconsistent; but they're not mutually exclusive.

People believe inconsistent things all the time. In fact, it's sometimes necessary to accept inconsistencies in order to proceed.

Anyway, your reasoning is a little problematic. There are lots of things I don't have any way of knowing -- like the validity of the map or directions that I use to get somewhere. Yet, if I want to get there, I use the map as though it's accurate. Starting to see the problem with that line of argument?

I don't think I have any way of knowing whether or not there's a god. (And in fact I have some pretty good, sound arguments against the existence of anything resembling the traditional semitic [christian/islamic/judaic] god, but that's another story.) I choose to function as though there isn't one. That seems to me to be the most logical course of action.

Aside: Any token arguments for the existence of "higher powers" are really not relevant to the central question. E.g., whether or not konolia really knows someone who "came back from the dead" is basically irrelevant to whether or not there's a god in any traditional sense. Just ask Horatio.
posted by lodurr at 9:35 AM on November 28, 2005


Uh okay I missed that please link me to it.

Optimus, bardic has twice accused konolia of "condemning non-believers to hell" in this thread, which I'm pretty sure she hasn't. The only thing close to it was when she said, "None of us are worthy. We all deserve eternal damnation," by which she means everyone, believers and non-believers alike, as I understand it.
posted by Gator at 9:42 AM on November 28, 2005


Makes sense, thanks.
posted by moift at 9:43 AM on November 28, 2005


I think this is true of languagehat, but it's certainly true of me: I didn't recently come to be an atheist, I've been an atheist for more than twenty years. I am not a soft atheist, I have no doubt whatsoever that God doesn't exist and I don't hesitate to say that God doesn't exist. I think that religious belief is miscomprehending the uiniverse and that bad things arise from it. I also think that many a scoundrel has hid behind their religion to do bad things.

I have as much, or more, claim to "atheism" as anyone here. And I think the incessant "religious people are stupid and crazy" threads and comments are stupid, bigoted, needlesslly provocative, and unwarranted. I also think that for the majority of people who participate in them, it's not about a "reasonable discussion" it's about expressing contempt and anger, just as if MeFi was discussing Republicanism. Contempt and anger. That's all it is. Except you get to really pick on konolia, too.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:48 AM on November 28, 2005


True of me too, and it's nice to see a fellow atheist with some sense.

If you stopped enabling, the threads you hate would die.

You've got to be kidding.
posted by languagehat at 9:53 AM on November 28, 2005


I also think that for the majority of people who participate in them, it's not about a "reasonable discussion" it's about expressing contempt and anger... Contempt and anger. That's all it is. Except you get to really pick on konolia, too.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:48 AM PST on November 28 [!]

This thread makes me hate every motherfucking one you. (sic)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:01 AM PST on November 28 [!]

posted by Rothko at 9:53 AM on November 28, 2005


"MetaTalk: This thread makes Keith M. Ellis hate every motherfucking one you."

*checks to see if I was ever infamously known at metafilter as "Keith M. Ellis"*

Nope.

I think that if I had been the #1 contributer to metafilter for months, known infamously as the username "Alex Reynolds", then was banned, then paid $5 to be "Rothko", I'd understand why people think of me as "Alex Reynolds". By the way, my name is, in fact, "Keith M. Ellis", but it's not my username and has never been my user name.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:58 AM on November 28, 2005


It's anwering contempt and anger with contempt and anger.

Why's this thread here, again?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:59 AM on November 28, 2005


if people were to discuss this like eb and mr hat do, these conversations would be a lot better

but that's too much to ask of some
posted by pyramid termite at 9:59 AM on November 28, 2005


No, languagehat, I'm not kidding.

Don't take it from their hand, and where does it go?

Do what you preach: Don't preach.
posted by lodurr at 10:00 AM on November 28, 2005


I think that if I had been the #1 contributer to metafilter for months, known infamously as the username "Alex Reynolds", then was banned, then paid $5 to be "Rothko", I'd understand why people think of me as "Alex Reynolds". By the way, my name is, in fact, "Keith M. Ellis", but it's not my username and has never been my user name.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:58 AM PST on November 28 [!]


Keith M. Ellis, honey, you're a hypocrite. Otherwise, your anger and bitterness even makes someone like me blush.
posted by Rothko at 10:02 AM on November 28, 2005


It's anwering contempt and anger with contempt and anger.

So, to be clear: You're endorsing that?

I mean, since you're defending what languagehat's on about, here, which as far as I can see is basically "anwering contempt and anger with contempt and anger."
posted by lodurr at 10:03 AM on November 28, 2005


Since you're a wonderful person, Keith M. Ellis, I feel it's important to repost your insightful contribution to this thread:

I also think that for the majority of people who participate in them, it's not about a "reasonable discussion" it's about expressing contempt and anger... Contempt and anger. That's all it is. Except you get to really pick on konolia, too.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:48 AM PST on November 28 [!]

This thread makes me hate every motherfucking one you. (sic)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:01 AM PST on November 28 [!]

posted by Rothko at 10:07 AM on November 28, 2005


Rothko, it's rude to use his real name. I don't care what your excuse is.
posted by konolia at 10:09 AM on November 28, 2005


Rothko, it's rude to use his real name. I don't care what your excuse is.

Konolia, on this issue I agree with you completely. Some people, however — including Keith M. Ellis — believe that is it okay to be rude in this way, despite repeated requests to knock it off.
posted by Rothko at 10:12 AM on November 28, 2005


Hey Rothko please uh quit with the Keith M Ellis thing or get a new account and don't tell anyone who you are or something because honestly despite EB's totally hilarious "hate every motherfucking one you" your posts in this thread are pretty annoying.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:14 AM on November 28, 2005


rothko, no one cares about your personal vendetta, ok?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:14 AM on November 28, 2005


What? I thought Ethereal Bligh was his real name.

You people lied to me!
posted by jonmc at 10:15 AM on November 28, 2005


Also Rothko he hasn't called you Alex in this thread so what's the deal?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:17 AM on November 28, 2005


rothko, no one cares about your personal vendetta, ok?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:14 AM PST on November 28


This is true, p.t., but you forget the elipses here I brought you some from home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:18 AM on November 28, 2005


Rothko, if you would quit reminding us we would forget what your real name is.

My own real name was thrown around here awhile back. But I made no issue of it, and now nobody knows and nobody cares.

Not trying to be snippy here, truly, but your bringing it up all the time is counterproductive-plus, *switches to momma mode*-two wrongs don't make a right. *switches off momma mode*
posted by konolia at 10:19 AM on November 28, 2005


konolia, amen, using the "real name" is aggressive behavior. Sock puppets aside, the issue isn't usually whether or not the person being "called" wants his/her name to be used; it's transgressive, because when people choose a handle for themselves, they're implicitly choosing how they want to be called. It's quite a bit like that guy at the office who keeps calling you "Jack" even through you keep telling everyone your name is John.

It's a trivial way to count coup against someone.

When you do it in retaliation, you're fighting on their terms. Some people believe that's appropriate and effective. My own experience teaches me that it's not effective -- at least, not for anythign more than getting a small sense of satisfaction. Some people are into that, though.
posted by lodurr at 10:20 AM on November 28, 2005


I agree with what Ethereal Bligh just said.

I haven't checked the site in about a week, but I am amazed to see the discussion in the blue brought up here.... and then left here. I think my last comment in the thread in the blue applies here as well:

The irony never ceases to amaze me that people, who accept their atheism as a matter of personal truism yell and shout at other people who accept their beliefs as a matter of personal truism, and in defense of such uncouth behavior, they argue "it is justified yelling at them because they are trying to impose their beliefs on me!" As if the two points of view were any different. Radical atheists are just as bad as radical believers: they both appear to have so much invested in the rightness of their personal belief that they demand others agree with them as an act of vindication. I find both extremes to be revolting to the free mind.
posted by dios at 1:02 PM CST on November 21


I think this thread is a perfect example of that behavior that recurs in every thread on this topic.

Nothing new is ever advanced in these threads because the participants are self-selecting. The atheist participants who are heavily invested in the topic can't let even tangential topics go by without shouting their personal view and insulting people with different beliefs. And most of the time, the strident atheists behave themselves in the same manner as the people of faith they purport to loathe: they dogmatically argue that their personal beliefs are the way things are; they argue there is something flawed and in need of reformation in those who believe the opposite; they demand universality of their personal views as a means of vindication of their beliefs by mass approval. These are all characteristics that preachy fundamentalists and preachy atheists share. They are equally contemptible and equally an anathema to constructive dialogue. What's worse is that those who are wont to argue against religion are often incapable of defending their position without bringing in political issues as if certain political policies are inseparable from the issue of faith. The result is we have to suffer through the same redundant argument writ large.

Any discussion of this topic is painfully redundant and a disgrace to this website because of the signal sent by the loudest members.

The world (and level of discussion) would be better off if preachy believers and preachy atheists would realize that personal beliefs (or, rather, The Most Personal Belief) should be kept personal and not attempt to convince others of the correctness of their view.
posted by dios at 10:21 AM on November 28, 2005


Also Rothko he hasn't called you Alex in this thread so what's the deal?

The deal is that Keith is shitting in this thread. Maybe he could perhaps, you know, answer jsonic's question or shut the fuck up if he can't do anything else but derail.
posted by Rothko at 10:22 AM on November 28, 2005


Rothko, I said NO EXCUSES. Or would you prefer I call you Alex? (darn, now you have ME doing it.)
posted by konolia at 10:26 AM on November 28, 2005


I'm pretty sure there are better ways to get him to answer the question than calling him Keith, though.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:26 AM on November 28, 2005


As for the obsession that AlexReynolds/Rothko has with his name thing, let me offer this possible explanation: his issue is not that people know or use his name. If that were the case, he wouldn't have named himself that to begin with. His issue is that he was so embarassed with the AlexReynolds handle, that he wants to be distanced from it. Every time that there is a reminder that Rothko=AlexReynolds, it makes it harder from him to escape his past. Now, that is just a theory, really. The one stumbling block I see in it as a theory is that the Rothko handle has been subject to some pretty embarrasing partial flame-outs itself. But, it's at least a better explanation than someone saying "I don't want people to use my name despite the fact that I used it before."
posted by dios at 10:28 AM on November 28, 2005


Sometimes I think Rothko does this on purpose so that everyone stops being mad at each other and starts getting mad at him. For Alex so loved MetaFilter that he gave his only begotten account so that whoever flames him might not be banned but have everlasting posting rights.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:28 AM on November 28, 2005


Poltroon
posted by sciurus at 10:29 AM on November 28, 2005


the previous comment was directed at no one in particular. can we bring in the animated gifs yet?
posted by sciurus at 10:29 AM on November 28, 2005


But he put his name as Alex Reynolds on his Rothko user page, dios.
posted by Gator at 10:30 AM on November 28, 2005


As for the obsession that AlexReynolds/Rothko has with his name thing, let me offer this possible explanation...
posted by dios at 10:28 AM PST on November 28


I thought you agreed to stop trolling, Dios? Or are you breaking your word?
posted by Rothko at 10:32 AM on November 28, 2005


I would just like to draw attention to this AskMe comment, which I thought was lovely and very well-put.
posted by Gator at 11:26 AM PST on November 27


There is a great policy contained in that comment. Would that everyone would understand that about their personal beliefs.
posted by dios at 10:32 AM on November 28, 2005


Languagehat - I know you think you're fighting the good fight here, and I don't entirely disagree with your premises, but you have to realize that you're going about it poorly. Yes, the issue that you're complaining about does exist on this website, but you frequently seem to perceive it where it doesn't exist, and you only make things worse by drawing attention to it in those cases.

Your first post in this thread:

Jesus. It's not enough MeFi has to suffer through endless rounds of "ha ha I'm smart because I don't believe in God—suck it, dum believers!" on the front page, now we have to do it in MeTa as well? With all due respect, why don't you start your own ihategod.com site and do it 24/7 to your hearts' content?

You seem to feel justified in making these comments because you feel that they speak to the general tenor of religious discussion on MeFi, which they very well might. But the fact is that this thread was not believer-bashing before you came in and made that comment. The poster's intentions were explicit, inoffensive, and in no way warranted your response. In the context of this thread, your first comment was a complete straw man.

The same goes for your similar outburst in the recent AskMe thread with regard to the Harry Potter film. Responding to the fact that someone refused to let go of an irrational belief about the film's intent in spite of contrary evidence, many posters offered that she sounded rather irrational and that the poster might be better off moving on. You replied that you couldn't believe people were saying he should stop going out with her because she believes in God. Again you were responding indignantly to something that no one said.

Please try to keep your comments relevant to the thread in which you're commenting, regardless of your feelings about how a subject tends to be treated on the site in general.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:40 AM on November 28, 2005


dios, I agree with much of what you've said, but i think you missed a category of participant: Those who are so strenuous and zealous in the belief that Religion Threads Are Bad that they'll invest a shitload of time, energy, and karma in derailing them.

In most of the religion threads I've seen over the past year, those are the people who really provide the juice to keep the thread going -- or the impetus for it to turn negative in the first place. They goad both sides in the name of righteousness. this thread would have peetered out a hundred-fifty comments ago if not for that kind of investment.

As for whether the discussion is redundant or disgraceful: It didn't have to be. To make it so was a choice made by the participants. (One I feel obliged to point out that you did not make.) I'm personally opposed to suppressing discussion simply because a topic might be divisive, for the simple reason that (most) topics don't have to be divisive, if people don't choose to make them so.

The Penn Jillette thread from the other day eventually devolved into a theological discussion, after some airing of heat and light. People who cared about such pedantry stuck around and had a discussion after the "religion is dumm" and "evangelistic atheists are hippocrits" crowd (mostly) went home. The talk was tough but it was mostly fair. But if you're not interested in that kind of thing -- or if you've got a chip on your shoulder of some kind -- then you won't care.

Aside: I've got as much "claim" to atheism as probably anyone in this thread. I've admitted that I'm an atheist for something over thirty years. I went through an evangelistic phase, but grew out of it. I've had the battles over whether it's right to hate religionists, and whether there's any common ground to be had. I know as well as any of you and better than most what the costs can be of publicly admitting that you're a non-believer in America, even up here in the "godless" northeast. So yes, I have a lot of sympathy for the "religion is dumm" crowd. lhat and EB may be sick of the fighting, or they may have displaced their religious impulses onto the Holy MeFi. I don't know. I am as sure as I can be that this thread has gone on as long as it has and has gotten as vicious as it has because of that third category of over-zealous defenders of the peace.

Lhat and EB: It's not my problem if you hate yourselves for being atheists. Just deal with it. And practice what you preach.
posted by lodurr at 10:42 AM on November 28, 2005


... and I'll add: Everyone else? Don't effing derail onto the Iraq war and sling mud. You didn't have to help the derail. The disaster that is this thread was not one or two persons' doing, but the doing of a bunch of persons.
posted by lodurr at 10:47 AM on November 28, 2005


I post a comment in this thread at 8 or so, and in two hours it's become a Dios/Rothko flameout thread. Well, mostly Rothko, but whatever.
posted by delmoi at 11:01 AM on November 28, 2005


wait another 6 hours and they'll be arguing about fat people
posted by pyramid termite at 11:12 AM on November 28, 2005


Let's be fair: Dios was hardly involved. Even Rothko didn't do much but snipe a bit now and then, until the end.
posted by lodurr at 11:13 AM on November 28, 2005


I suppose we should mention mushrooms while we are at it.
posted by konolia at 11:18 AM on November 28, 2005


and badgers ... you can get fat from eating too many mushrooms and badgers
posted by pyramid termite at 11:26 AM on November 28, 2005


Mushrooms, bah! I prefer pickled eggs, anyone know where I can find some (jarred) in NYC?

I'm not kidding, I've been asking everybody.
posted by jonmc at 11:26 AM on November 28, 2005


I think this topic has run its course so I'm going to close it to keep the personality wars out of it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:27 AM on November 28, 2005


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