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Wertbag

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Wertbag last won the day on November 26 2018

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About Wertbag

  • Rank
    Skeptic
  • Birthday 02/21/1977

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Auckland, NZ
  • Interests
    MMA, gaming
  • More About Me
    Married father of 2 from New Zealand

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No

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  1. One thought I've heard discussed was imagine if the effort, money, labour and dedication to building churches, cathedrals, temples, and religious statues had instead been focused on more practical endeavours. It doesn't matter which religion, if any, was actually correct, the majority of the world and everyone throughout history must be wrong. So the majority of works are dedicated to non-existent beings, from the giant Buddha statues to the temple of Zeus, imagine those people putting the same decades of work to building housing, hospitals, schools, or infrastructure. Imagine the wealth of the Catholic Church aimed at reducing poverty or preventable diseases. So sure, an individuals belief may not be harmful in itself but it does rob society of a resource that could achieve so much more.
  2. Anything called a "super" food. Any shop selling drinks in sizes Medium, Large and X-large. Food labelling as a whole. "look our product has no artificial colour, no added sugar and no msg! Nope, its just pure lard!"
  3. Random thought, what pet peeves do you have? A few that have come to my mind recently: people calling polygraph machines "lie detectors", theres a good reason they aren't allowed as evidence in court. Lens flare in video games and movies. You should never see lens flare in a first person shooter, its created by light hitting the lens of the camera, so unless you are playing as a cameraman that effect should not occur. People who get on buses, trains or elevators without waiting for those getting off to clear the way. Street preachers screaming fire and brimstone at people minding their own business. Who do they think will ever be convinced by ranting? Exploding cars in movies. With thousands of car crashes a year guess how many explosions there are. Martial arts movies where a spinning head kick that lands flush does little more than make the guy take a backwards step. Dog owners who have no control. Dragged down the road by a pulled leash, doesn't come when called, barking non-stop (for which yelling at them achieves nothing), just obvious who is in charge. Then the dog attacks someone and the owner says "he was always so good before, he never hurt anyone". Parents dropping kids at toy sections of shops to play while they go shopping. Carob, designed by the devil to ruin chocolates good name. Game of thrones book 6, now been waiting 7 years. Theres slow writing, then theres just taking the piss.
  4. I remember there was one study attempted but they found the scrutiny, equipment and nerves of the test subject stopped them from reacting as they normally would. They do say that such feelings occurred regardless of the religion. There have been several studies on stigmata which overlap with religious mania. The majority were found to be hoaxes but there were some which were self inflicted while in a dazed/hypnotic/unconscious state. People would scratch or hit the right spots enough to cause bruising or bleeding but were so out of their heads that they could not remember doing so. They could pass polygraph tests even when shown video of their self harm.
  5. There's a few possibilities and the answer is probably a combination of them. When people get themselves into an adrenaline fueled mania the body has a range of reactions from racing heart to blood pressure changes, such things can lead to flushed warm feelings or fainting. The second group are those convinced that they should feel a certain way. Whether it be a form of hypnosis, self delusion or just attributing any symptom to what you are hoping to feel, we are quite capable of tricking ourselves. The third group are those who don't feel anything but due to peer pressure will play along to fit in. Whether you want family or teacher approval, or simply don't want to be the odd one out, people will say whatever they know the group wants to hear.
  6. How much education on a subject would meet your requirement? Is a summary of religion enough? Maybe an hour on history? Or does it need to be days? Do you advocate the same time be spent on Islam, scientology and Christianity? Omission must occur simply because there is limited time in our lives. Whether you believe the amount of information given to a child is adequate is a very subjective question. Some people see no value in religion so will focus that limited education time on more real world subjects. Other parents will invest more time in the more common religions. I don't see any objective way to say which parts of education are more important or how much time each subject deserves.
  7. Dude, you have 8/10 of the worlds deadliest snakes and 7/10 of the worlds deadliest spiders. Giant crocs, breeding great whites, killer jellyfish and those terrifying drop bears. How do you not live in fear when your lizards are the size of dogs and your dogs steal babies?
  8. 1 - every empire ever 2 - there are thousands 3 - every empire ever 4 - what is? Their flag? Military uniform? Favourite house paint? 5 - every empire ever 6 - every empire ever Vague enough to relate to anyone. What about the Babylonian empire itself?
  9. Thats just silly. Religion is taught, being a car is not. That is the basic idea, no one comes to religion without being taught what it is, what it means and how you are meant to act. For example African tribesmen will never come to Christianity without missionaries teaching them. If Christianity was not taught for a generation it would cease to exist. So yes Christian families teach Christianity to their kids, while muslim families teach islam. This results in the regional split in religions that we see. God isn't converting muslims and Allah isn't converting Christians. If you don't teach any religion then people will by default end up atheist or agnostic. I see indoctrination as a form of teaching, where you tell someone facts about reality and convince them that it is true by showing it is the accepted answer to the group. When your parents, siblings, family, teachers and all friends and adults all say X is true, then we are wired to accept that as fact. No evidence required. If everyone tells you Zenu is the all powerful alien overlord and we need to devote our lives to stopping him, you will accept that. It then takes a reality wrenching change to be able to dislodge that idea. If someone tells you that you are wrong, what they are actually saying is your parents, family, teachers, friends and everyone you respect is wrong. That is a massive hurdle to overcome. Atheist indoctrination would be teaching your kids why religion is wrong and convincing them of that prior to them understanding reality. Some families will absolutely do that, but most go the other track and simply do not discuss religion at all. With no forced perspective you aren't Indoctrinating any idea. So yes atheists can but most don't. Like most questions its a non-binary answer.
  10. While philosophy brings up interesting questions and dilemmas, when it comes to the questions of religion I can't imagine the arguments ever being able to convince anyone of either viewpoint. Famously you have the Kalam argument which states "I imagine god, therefore god exists" and the ontological argument which says "we don't know how the universe started, therefore god did it". If you are already convinced then you may hold up such ideas as reasons, but they will not be the cause of your belief. There are big debates and many books written on free will, and yet whether the answer is none, some or all, it doesn't change anything and hence it is hard for the lay-person to care about. Same with morals, the question of whether they are objective or subjective doesn't change how we operate in the real world. We have laws and society has set standards to adhere to with punishment clearly outlined for breaching those. There is value in the debates around human rights and how those laws will be written and enacted, but those same real world effects aren't seen from religious philosophy. I see religious philosophy as a puzzle game to play but for which the outcome doesn't matter. Atheists generally want some convincing real world evidence and philosophy can never provide that.
  11. Reminds me of the old saying, Atheism is a religion like "off" is a TV channel.
  12. Then you are letting your anti-theist attitude endanger your loved ones. There are plenty of good Christians, plenty who are respectful and decent people. To fail to ask for help and instead rely on a known offender is a terrible decision to make. Even if you are worried about indoctrination, that takes months if not years of repetition to become fixed in a mind. Your child coming into connect with religion isn't like a disease they can catch.
  13. Sorry that really sounds like a Christian line not an atheist one. Atheists don't say "god haters" because we don't believe He exists. You don't hate the non-existent.
  14. If you can't divide the objects then you could divide their time.
  15. I would argue that is only true in a binary state system, if your system is tri-state, that is you have a neutral as well as either positive and negative then you can tell either change without the opposite being required.
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