Oh dear...

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Clifford
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Oh dear...

Postby Clifford » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:14 am

It seems there's a creationist ranter who's put up shop in the streets of my local town ... brothers and sisters, I may have to say hello

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DavidH
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby DavidH » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:46 am

David's method:
Invent a dummy religion (mine is St Postula and her Screeves). Get the details pretty much straight in your mind. You can even prepare some leaflets.
As soon as they approach, get in first with "Are you adequately saved? You may think you're saved, but unless you ......"
Don't give 'em a break to get a word in.
They will go.

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Clifford
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby Clifford » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:52 am

I quite like the lack of avatar, I always thought red crosses in white boxes were most hansome. Alas nothing can be done about the mad ranter, I had to move to Cambridge the following day ...

parmesan
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby parmesan » Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:50 pm

I like to think that religious people can be saved from their religion, so if I am approached and have time, I do like to try and save them. They were coming to try and save me, so I return the compliment.

Jehovah's Witnesses are the usual ones who need saving. I can't help but feel a little sorry for them. Imagine actually believing that? It must be like suffering from a severe mental illness. I invite them in and offer them a hot drink, and then ask them to explain to me exactly how they ended up believing in their thing, who it was that introduced them, why they haven't managed to get out of it, etc.

These days I can't help but laugh when they approach, and the ones that know turn around and skedaddle.

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Re: Oh dear...

Postby parmesan » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:09 pm

Just to follow up, I think I have contributed to the saving of a few of them over the years. I can't be certain, and never had the chance to verify.
But also... I suspect that some people are better off perhaps with their belief. Especially if they have been convinced of it for a long time and are adapted to it. Losing their faith might be really upsetting for them.

And, while I do not believe in any god, nor even actually in the possibility, I like to think that if the evidence was overwhelming (eg, say God appeared before me and proved to me that he/it was God, and also that I wasn't mad/crazy or trapped inside a pre-death brain-haemorrhaging fantasy, and he/it spent some time and actually made a bit of an effort) then I would be open-minded enough to change my views.

Oh shit, hang on - by ANY god, I mean EXCEPT The FSM, blessed be his Noodliness!

Phew.

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daftbeaker
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby daftbeaker » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:22 pm

parmesan wrote:I suspect that some people are better off perhaps with their belief. Especially if they have been convinced of it for a long time and are adapted to it. Losing their faith might be really upsetting for them.

Bertrand Russell wrote:It seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity is to hold a belief because you think it's useful and not because you think it's true.


parmesan wrote:And, while I do not believe in any god, nor even actually in the possibility, I like to think that if the evidence was overwhelming (eg, say God appeared before me and proved to me that he/it was God, and also that I wasn't mad/crazy or trapped inside a pre-death brain-haemorrhaging fantasy, and he/it spent some time and actually made a bit of an effort) then I would be open-minded enough to change my views.

I think all of us would. It would be insane to be otherwise :wink:

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PKMKII
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby PKMKII » Thu Sep 02, 2010 5:49 pm

daftbeaker wrote:
parmesan wrote:I suspect that some people are better off perhaps with their belief. Especially if they have been convinced of it for a long time and are adapted to it. Losing their faith might be really upsetting for them.

Bertrand Russell wrote:It seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity is to hold a belief because you think it's useful and not because you think it's true.


I dunno, I knew a guy who was just a little weird when he was a Christian, but become completely bats%@t insane when he lost his faith. Also knew a guy who stopped abusing drugs and got himself together after converting (there was also the issue of his smokin' hot Christian girlfriend).

I'm not saying that being Christian (or any other religion) is necessarily a good thing, but sometimes it is the lesser of two evils.

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Re: Oh dear...

Postby Tigger_the_Wing » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:54 am

Clifford wrote:I quite like the lack of avatar, I always thought red crosses in white boxes were most hansome.


Not for those of us on Macs. I see a white question mark in a blue box!

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Re: Oh dear...

Postby parmesan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:14 am

PKMKII wrote:[
I'm not saying that being Christian (or any other religion) is necessarily a good thing, but sometimes it is the lesser of two evils.


Yes I agree with that. I used to be more on the side of Bertrand Russell, but it seems to me that our perceptions of reality are soft enough that it is better to be kind sometimes - better that someone is happy with a harmless delusion, than sad without it.

For similar reasons, I like to believe that I am kind and generous and good-hearted, even though my wife assures me that the reality is I am a selfish self-indulgent greedy bastard obsessed with sex.

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Re: Oh dear...

Postby parmesan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:22 pm

Roy Hunter wrote:My grandfather used to invite all sorts of proselytisers into the house, take their books and tracts, hear what they had to say; and when the mormons came back, he'd try to convert them to being Jehova's Witnesses; when the Jehova's Witnesses came back he'd try and convert them to Hare Krishna; and so on. Played a mean game of chess, did my grandfather. You had to be on your toes when you were dealing with him.


LOL, that is brilliant, what a great man!
I really like that idea, if I get the chance I will see if I can do it with a straight face :)

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Cardinal Fang
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby Cardinal Fang » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:49 am

We used to get a group of Xtian fundies ranting about evolution and how it didn't exist in Cornmarket St in Oxford. A few of us spent 2 or 3 Saturdays set up across the street from them preaching the word of the FSM and just basically copying all the stuff they said (including the anti-evolution stuff - after all we all know that the FSM created the world and all the evidence for evolution is His Noodliness just inventing it...).

They didn't seem to like we got bigger crowds then them - especially when we led the FSM version of the lords prayer.

We've not seen them recently...

CF

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DavidH
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby DavidH » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:49 am

Hey, CF, I didn't know you are/were at Oxford. I was at Hertford from 1965; in those days we didn't have the blessed knowledge of the FSM to throw at the OICCU and other religious loonies, of which we had far too many. :lol:

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Cardinal Fang
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby Cardinal Fang » Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:31 am

DavidH wrote:Hey, CF, I didn't know you are/were at Oxford. I was at Hertford from 1965; in those days we didn't have the blessed knowledge of the FSM to throw at the OICCU and other religious loonies, of which we had far too many. :lol:


Still there - and town not gown BTW

CF

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Corax
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby Corax » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:31 pm

parmesan wrote:I like to think that religious people can be saved from their religion, so if I am approached and have time, I do like to try and save them. They were coming to try and save me, so I return the compliment.

Jehovah's Witnesses are the usual ones who need saving. I can't help but feel a little sorry for them. Imagine actually believing that? It must be like suffering from a severe mental illness. I invite them in and offer them a hot drink, and then ask them to explain to me exactly how they ended up believing in their thing, who it was that introduced them, why they haven't managed to get out of it, etc.

These days I can't help but laugh when they approach, and the ones that know turn around and skedaddle.



I have the same opinion of those trying to persuade me to join their religion.

There's a nice JW that drops by every month or so (more often and with his son and wife, when the weather is nice, and he's even brought his visiting father too) that I have long chats with. He's almost convinced me to have a Bible study with him. The only stumbling block I can see is that I require equal air-time for the deal to go through, and he might not be used to that. Being able to have a monopoly on what the topic of conversation is makes it easy for them, so him knowing that I won't just sit there and nod might scare him away from such a formal agreement. We'll see.

So much of what he says is just plain childish and ignorant, that I have problems pretending we have any common ground to stand on when we talk. I have not hedged on the fact that I'm a strong atheist and think that the Bible is bunk, but I treat him with respect and we both enjoy the mental exercise.

I know that they (just like suicide bombers) are deluded and think that they're doing what's right. If I believed what they did, I'd do the same thing, so I find it hard to condemn them personally. The fact that the world, especially an educated, wealthy society like ours (Canada), still has people that believe that crap is what I have a problem with. I fight the root problem, not the individuals that are trapped in it.

At my last work place there was a JW and a Mormon, and when I quit, they both gave me their respective Bibles. They were both really great guys and I still have their Bibles. Since they both knew my thoughts on religion it was cool that they both independently thought that their last chance to 'save' me was to give me the word of their gods. It's the thought that counts- that's why my kid's 'art' is on my office walls and not Audubon or Bateman.

My love of sarcasm :haha: and eye-rolling :roll: still gets me in trouble with my family and friends when this topic comes up, but they soon learn that's it's nothing personal.

Keep up the good fight dude- it's for a good cause and it's fun. (Although sometimes the desire to do this... :facewall:, is not so much fun.)


Cheers

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Arkaeon
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Re: Oh dear...

Postby Arkaeon » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:44 pm

As a former practitioner of theology, I've had several missionaries from various faiths admit openly that they liked talking to / studying with me as a way of improving their game. Domestic missionaries often work on a sort of quota system from their church, so hours spent with me were credited to their efforts and improved their chances of working with others. I may have actually made things "worse" in the rationalist/objectivist sense overall as a result, but it was fun for me to play with them, and they enjoyed the exercise. Hopefully, I helped them see that their efforts were more of a political nature than a holy one, but, if not, I don't actually care so much. My lack of sympathy in general overrides any concern I might otherwise have that someone else may have been led into a wacky belief system as a secondary result. In religion above all else, "let the buyer beware." My own spiritual conclusions are so far out of the box that I don't know if anyone could embrace them, which is why I don't help start another church. FSM will do just nicely for now.

Curiously, since I embraced a sort of naturalist-shamanism philosophy and started "openly" accepting the accompaniment of ancestral and biotome spirits as "companions" to my "spiritual" presence, not one missionary has tried to talk to me about their religion, although I do nothing to suggest that I would be unreceptive to their message. I have actually tried to engage the local revolving door of mormon missionaries in positive conversation on more than one occasion. Street thugs turn away from me like I'm carrying the plague (I walk around town alone at night regularly). It's almost like they can sense the little platoon of imaginary friends that surround and protect me. It's so uncanny, it almost acts as proof that some kind of spiritual forces do indeed exist, and that I have tapped some mighty allies at last, even though they don't actually exist. I recently sent 2 "warrior elves" (I have 4 of these on tap) to drive away haunting spirits from a friend's house in the Netherlands, and the "ghosts" disappeared as soon as my nonexistent friends arrived to attack them. Maybe its just the Noodly Appendage clearing the way. Yes, I both believe and disbelieve in the spirit world at the same time. This is only a problem if one insists that reality and comprehension make coherent sense as we currently understand science, and I have given up that particular notion quite a while ago.

I think maybe the spirit world is actually a representation of a complex of electrodynamic-magnetospheric interactions similar to Tesla's idea of storing/transmitting power and information on the energy-envelope of the planet. These dynamics are almost always hopelessly misinterpreted by people who think they have received religious inspiration of some kind, giving rise to all manner of nonsensical belief systems even farther removed from the original misinterpretation.

The rule that seems to apply: "Like against like, and a monster knows its own kind."

Oh dear...
In case you didn't realize it, I DO have a sense of humor. How about you?
"I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer... I will face my fear. I will let it pass over and through me, and when it has gone, only I will remain." --The Bene Gesserit
"Time is a spiral. Space is a curve. I know you get dizzy, but try not to lose your nerve." -- Neil Peart
"I'm not in the ship. I am the ship." -- River Tam
"The truth is simple. It's the lies that get complicated." -- me
"No matter where you go, there you are." --Buckaroo Banzai


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