Does rollerblading need God?

It’s that time of year again. You know, presents… red-nosed reindeer, eggnog. Oh, and depending on who you choose to believe, this month will mark the coming of everybody’s (well, some people’s) favorite son of God — Jesus. Oh, what a celebration.

Anyway, it got me thinking about bladers and their thoughts on religion and stuff, so I decided to talk to someone way more qualified than myself about religion and its role in modern society. So I did some digging and found Dr. Krauss.

Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss is a professor at the University of Arizona and is the lead at the university’s Origins Project.

Professor Krauss is the only living physicists to have received awards from all three major physicist societies, as well as countless other awards.

Professor Krauss is also very active within the atheist community, and encourages individuals to learn to think for themselves, which is why we have enlisted his services for this interview. (I know, I can’t believe he did this either.)

So here we go. Let’s find out together: Does rollerblading need god?

* * * *

Lawrence, why do you think we are starting to notice younger atheists who are artists, rollerbladers, musicians, kind of breaking the barriers of the typical atheist stereotypes?
Well, I don’t think it’s that difficult to understand — the group of people you’re talking about generally rebel against the sort of “standard” orthodox power structures, and the church is certainly a power structure. So I can see them rebelling against the constraints of being told what to do, right? Pushing the boundaries. Organized religion is all about NOT pushing the boundaries. It’s typically all about being told what not to do, not making your own choices but being told by someone else what is good and bad, and I suspect that a lot of what motivates the culture of the areas that you are talking about, are people who want to make their own decisions. They don’t want to be told what to do by anybody, political or religious.

So I think it’s more a reaction against the authority, especially the moral authority of the church, than an issue of what they think of the doctrine. At least initially, I can’t say I’m an expert in this particularly, but I was surprised when I got your email because I thought, “Well it’s the exact OPPOSITE in professional sports.” You know, in football and such you hear or see people praying all of the time, and in some respects it’s a central part of their sport. I think within professional sports it’s ingrained in the cultural norm, and Atheism for better or worse, is not ingrained in the cultural norm! I would say though that I suspect it is far more normal than what is reflected in the media. I think there are far more Atheists than people are willing to talk about because they are told that they are somehow “bad people” if they are Atheist.

Back to the main group of people you are talking about, I think they are far less concerned about what people think of them and being accepted as “normal.”

That is an interesting perspective! I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I would also like to get your thoughts on the artistic community. So many religious figures credit religion for giving us art, and that creating art WITHOUT religion is “impossible,” or not the same. However we are seeing amazing works of art from Atheists within the various communities. What do you think about that?
That’s such a facile argument though. In fact, all they are pointing out is that the only source of patronage for much of Western culture, was the church! It was the Rockefeller Foundation of the 15th Century. One of the only places you could get support for almost anything, so of course that was the source for art and music and many other things because the church was a source of wealth. It was either the church or the “crown” so to speak, so really it was just an accident of history. You can’t deny that it produced a lot of beautiful music and a lot of beautiful art, but that doesn’t make it anything other than what it was, and that was a source of power and wealth. You know it’s interesting the tie between artists, musicians and scientists though, and that is that we’re not afraid to go our own way, to make our own path.

So there is that cultural connection that I think people forget about, but maybe that is another reason “we” are seeing these people dismiss a deity or the Western God because we share that similarity. So it’s not unusual, I think. People defend the church on the basis of arguments that are really historical arguments, but not usually based on the substance of what the church is all about. In fact, if you think about it, the church has probably burned more books than it has published and banned more art, maybe. I’m not sure about it, but things that went against the church and its values were not printed or published. I’m less surprised now that I think about the nature of this interview, because what you are talking about are really alternative cultures, and I would bet that a lot of these rollerbladers or alternative sports enthusiasts are artists as well.

If you want to get down to it, any good sports person has to rely on empirical evidence otherwise they don’t last very long. You know they’re trained to question what will happen by pushing the boundaries, and also going against intuition. I mean intuition tells you not to slide down a rail, at least I wouldn’t, ha, but obviously what they have learned is the laws of physics allow you to do that! Relying on empirical evidence and going against intuition are in some ways the hallmarks of science.

Along with interviewing rollerbladers and sports figures, I’ve been abel to interview musicians as well, and a lot of them say the same thing which is “It just doesn’t make sense.”
Well, they’re right! It doesn’t make sense because the only way it does make sense, is to give up rationality. In some cases being so influenced by your surroundings that you just stop thinking for yourself. The minute you start thinking and questioning things for yourself, well hold on. I don’t want to suggest that religious people are stupid, because that’s not true. They are however heavily influenced by various “norms” within these religions that impact how they think, but when you start thinking rationally about the World’s religions they all fall apart.

What do you think of these people who call their new investments or cultures, their new religion? You know, the idea that music or rollerblading is now their religion?
I think it’s great because it’s improvised community, and that’s the other thing that religion does. People go once or twice a week because it gives them a sense of community, a support group — it gives them those things and that’s another reason why it survives so well. It requires community in some sense to survive because I think it’s that community that continues to propagate the willingness to believe in things that are silly. So if you can find other communities, whether it’s concerts or skeptic communities, or even these rollerblading communities, it’s great! I don’t think it’s fair to call it a religion though, but people typically call it that because they feel it gives them a sort of “spiritual” fulfillment, but I would distinguish that from religion.

So these people are finding that they can in fact fill those gaps in their lives with other things. Being around likeminded people, which can be just as fulfilling and rewarding as anything religion claims to provide, and I think that’s great! I say let’s replace religion all together with these types of communities and just do away with it.

Let’s plug the new movie now, shall we? “The Unbelievers.” Where can people either purchase it or see it in theaters?
Well, the movie actually just had its premier in L.A and will only be running for about a week, then it’s in New York from December 13th through the 19th. They’re limited runs to make it “Oscar eligible,” which doesn’t guarantee anything, of course, but you know, it’s out there. The world wide release is sometime in 2014, but where it will be available depends on how these first two runs go. Whether they will be available online or in theater I’m not quite sure yet. We do have deals with content media to be able to release it through places like Amazon, Itunes, Netflix and some TV.

Unfortunately right now, if you want to see the movie, you would have to check with local film festivals, or be in New York or L.A. We will be doing some showings at major universities as well, so encourage your schools to show the film at your University if you want to see it.

Being that you travel so often, do you ever feel like you are on vacation once you are home?
In some ways, yes, because I don’t have to wake up with someone else’s agenda, but when I am home I do have to work pretty intensely to get things done. I run an institute here at the University (Arizona), so when I’m here I have the pleasure of making my own schedule which is definitely a vacation in its own right, but as I said it is a pretty intense schedule. It always feels good to be home though, I’m here for two weeks and it’s great.

Any debates coming up?
No, no debates. I do have an event coming up in Canberra, Australia with a skeptics group though. I try not to do so many debates, but I have a lot of people who want me to be on their podcasts, so I’ll be doing a lot of those for the next week or two, to help promote the movie as well. After Australia though I am going to try and hide out for a month or so — I’m actually getting married in January!

The next event we have will be “Is the Universe Necessary?” here at my university (Arizona), and that’s probably when I will resurface.

Is it fair to say that William Lane Craig, is a ‘jackass?’
Oh, I’d say it’s very fair. He may be a fine father and husband, he could be a pleasant person to go duck hunting with, I don’t know, but in terms of what he writes and the way he and his group carry on what they’re doing, it’s disingenuous and blind-headed ignorance. I’m glad you said that actually, because people think that I debate aggressively, but I was in Minnesota recently speaking with my friend George Coyne and he is obviously a priest and we disagree on things, but it’s different because he’s honest and genuine. People who are scam artists and try to distort things to prove their point (lookin’ at you, Ray Comfort) have to be publicly be called out for it.

You know, I talk to these sort of people very rarely. I did that William Lane Craig thing for some reason, I’ve done something with an Islamic “clone” of his in London, but I try not to debate so much. I get called a lot more often after our friend Christopher Hitchens passed, that’s probably the reason why you see me doing more of them now than I did before.

Well Professor, we really appreciate your time and thank you for your perspective!
Any time, take care!

* * * *

So now we turn to you, dear blader. Does it matter whether artists or action sports persons are into God or not? Should we stop categorizing our selves as a sport all together, and call ourselves a community of artists?

We’d love to see your comments below!

And here’s the trailer for “The Unbelievers”:

Leave A Comment

Erik Burrow - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Damn this and the go pro interview were awesome. Thanks guys

Chris Duke - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Much appreciated Erik!

Otto BG - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Atheist people are just as annoying as religious fanatics, what is the problem of believing in something or someone? or not believing at all? We are all individual beings, capable of understanding between good or wrong and it doesnt have anything to do with Religion neither atheism but Consciousness.

I Believe From an Artistic perspective, every human being has something to do with art, or something to express through any kind of art, the believing of lacking talent or missing skills is only a limitation of the mind.

I believe that is nothing better than let people think free and let them become what they want to be while they walk through their lives on earth so please stop pulling people out of god, and stop pulling people to his side.

let it be.

Otto BG

Chris Duke - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

I totally understand your frustration Otto.

I think a lot of us however feel strongly that religion is a huge source of oppression through out the world and history, which is why we are so passionate about removing it or weakening it’s affect on governments and countries.

Does that make sense?

JoeKen - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

In response to Otto BG’s comment.

Some Atheist people are annoying, I’ll give you that. Just as annoying as religious fanatics? Well, that’s a stretch.

Here in the USA our government and politicians have been hijacked by Christian religious fanatics. From our local mayors, school board directors, chiefs of police, judges, all the way through state senators and house of representatives, political leaders across the nation proudly proclaim the USA is a Christian nation. They tireless enact and implement laws based on what they believe to be inspired by God. This is simply not true and wrong.

The United States is a secular nation. We split from the United Kingdom primarily because of religion and now we find ourselves fighting again, simply trying to maintain our secular values.

Next time you talk to an annoying Atheist, find out why he’s annoyed. I bet you a free skate board you’ll be glad you asked!

Frank Stoner - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

To dovetail with JoeKen’s comment (above), take note that the Texas State Constitution denies atheists the right to hold an elected public office in Article 1, Section 4:

“No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

To my knowledge this statue has never been challenged, but I, like many others, simply assume that the law–at minimum–requires politicians to pay lip service to a belief in a supreme being as a hurdle in the election process.

If I’m not mistaken, 6 or 7 other states have similar statutes on the books.

Otto BG - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Thankyou everyone, peace and Love. Bye bye 😉

Me dumb - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Rollerblading and athiesm go together skinny jeans and rollerblading I’m sure some asshole will make them fit.

Bob - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Keep your religious belief or lack there of out of my favorite activity.

Conic - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Congrats on landing an interview with one of the greatest minds on our planet. I am a big fan of Professor Krauss.
In response to JoeKen’s comment… Amen brother.

Snowy Smith - Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Riveting as the topic is, and as much as we can debate whether it would be better or not to have God involved, I really don’t think it matters. Personally, I say that belief in a God is part of being human and Atheists are missing out, but I haven’t tried life as an Atheist so I can’t rightly assert that as a fact.

Some people believe, some people don’t. Some people also rollerblade, and that’s what I really care about.
I will agree with the comments about our law and order being twisted by religion though. The episode of Family Guy where Jesus tells George Bush he’s wrong and knows nothing of his work springs to mind.

That’s my two pennies worth. Great article by the way 🙂

Kyle G - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

First of all, I appreciate that an article on this topic has been written. Days could be spent discussing, philosophizing, and even arguing over the existence of God, the origin of good and evil, and the importance of grabbing your tricks.

The important thing is that you think for yourself, and it is my concern that many atheists have come to their conclusions the very same way many “religious fanatics” have came to theirs; not by thinking for themselves, but by placing their trust (or should I say faith?) in what someone else says.

There is evidence in favor of Dr. Krauss’ beliefs, but there is also a remarkable amount of evidence against them. It is your privilege, and responsibility as a human being, to come to your own conclusions, and you cannot displace that responsibility onto someone else, regardless of how many physicist awards they’ve received.

Jesus didn’t come to give a whole bunch of rules to live by and tote around with a holier-than-thou mentality. He actually opposed self-righteous religious people and spent his time with ordinary, “sinful” people. Something like rollerblading was given to us as a gift to experience what love and passion is like. True love is God himself, and he loves every person, regardless of religious affiliation.

For those of you curious about the Ray Comfort reference, I believe they are referring to this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ

If you are interested in doing more research, read the book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by Norman Geisler, or listen to people like Todd White, Bill Johnson, or Louie Giglio.

“Thank God for Skating”

james - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Thanks for doing this interview, it’s time to take over the term ‘religion’ let it mean brother and sisterhood roughing out them tricks…

Elena - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

@Kyle G:
“There is evidence in favor of Dr. Krauss’ beliefs, but there is also a remarkable amount of evidence against them.”

Care to elaborate on that statement a bit? First and foremost: what do you mean by Dr. Krauss’ “beliefs”? He is an atheist, meaning: he *lacks* belief.
Secondly, if you were to call his lack of belief a “kind of belief” (which would obviously be quite silly), what “evidence” can there be against a lack of belief?

You are right about the “not displacing the responsibility” part, which would be called the “Appeal to authority fallacy”. Luckily, I don’t think many atheists would fall for this fallacy (at least: I can’t think of anyone ever having said “I’m an atheist because Dr. Krauss is one”).
You may be confusing someone reading critical pieces about religion (perhaps written by an atheist) and because of that starting to have doubts about their religion (that piece of writing may for instance point out a couple of the thousands of discrepancies and contradictions within their own religion, with scientific reality or between the many different religions of the world) with “displacing the responsibility”.
Unfortunately many people grow up with a cherry picked (by authority figures like parents, priests, teachers, …) bits and pieces of the bible, koran, vedas – or whatever your preferred fantasy-based book of belief is – meaning they may not even know exactly what their religion is based on.

People like Dr. Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennet try to teach people about those parts – for instance, they remember the statements of slave owners justifying what they did by quoting from the bible – and they try to show people how baseless the claims of the many religions are (you only have to take a look at all the different ones saying “we are the right one” to realize just how little sense it all makes). I don’t appeal to the authority of those so called “four horsemen” when I state “organised religion is bad and personal not-evidence-based beliefs are silly”, but I may use some of the arguments they used when debating theists (which is only natural, since the arguments they used are based on logic, so even without reading the arguments people can get to the same conclusions though most probably can’t express their conclusions as clearly and eloquently as they did).
This in great contrast to arguments of Banana-Man Ray btw 😉

Don’t stop searching!

Elena

laura - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

“Atheist people are just as annoying as religious fanatics”
Well, Otto, the important thing is you’ve found a way to feel superior to both.

dk - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Great read. The rollerblading as religion aspect of the interview was terrific.

JRDNSMTH - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Religious is a misused word. Then again who am I to say what it means. It has multiple definitions. Often times though I see it used to classify those with faith in a supreme being. That is obviously fair. It has another definition though that is synonymous with the word devotion. So it is then fair to say that a devoted, or religious Christian is the same as a devoted or religious atheist. Each one dedicates portions of their life to their cause. That devotion is a function in Christianity called worship. Worship is not specific to what happens in church on Sundays but breaks down into every day things like eating right, relationships, career, and it is all impossibly difficult for the Christian. In other words the Christian is always striving but never perfect at worship. Likewise, the same can be said about the atheist. His worship is to his god or gods of his religion. You might say he doesn’t have a god or he is not worshiping, but I argue that even though he is not a theist, he is still a-theist. Everyone seeks purpose, some find it in God, others in causes or things.

So when I hear people make the statement that religious people are a problem, or annoying, or the cause of our government being garbage, I agree. Not completely though, because it is generally pointing specifically to Christians. The imperfect whipping boy of religious faith in the west. The imperfect people holding tightly to their agenda in government and our culture is not limited to Christians, but also to devout atheist. Basically, anyone to set on their own ideals that they feel they must fit a square peg in a round hole.

With that said, I know that Christians were the majority historically, whether they were true believers or religious fanatics. Either way “Christians” were responsible for a lot of ignorant and shameful things. As a Christian, I’d like to apologize on behalf of our mistakes as a people. Not that it will make anything better but rather to simply air the shared opinion of the people in my faith that we are sorry we are idiots. We know we are not perfect and we know this because it is foundational to our faith. It is not an excuse. We can’t make it right.

I propose grace and forgiveness. Yes it is naive but it is also necessary. Think about it as open mindedness. Each person has the responsibility to hear where the other person is coming from before making assumptions and arguing on behalf of their own ignorance. If we took the attitudes of showing grace and apologizing for our mistakes then we could make solid efforts to reconcile the messiness of previous transgressions. Because when you try to fix a mess you are going to get dirty, and step on toes. But, it is better to make those strides and expect those things, than to get butt hurt every time someone differs from you.

Volker - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

@JRDNSMTH – Mostly in reference to your first paragraph:
Talk of misusing the words “religious” and “religion” !?!?
We are not usually confused by small, simple multiple-meaning words, such as “nail”, “head”, “class” . . . etc. More complex abstract nouns or verbs however can be used to obfuscate rather than clarify. In that vein, following your runaway train of logic, because I am having intercourse with you (i.e. social intercourse cum communication), I am having intercourse with you ( i.e. intercourse cum cum). Come, come … that’s intercoursing with people’s heads (cephalic, not penile extremities), and the thousands of years of hammering away about god and gods has yet to hit a nail on the head.

Because words have multiple meanings does not mean they are synonymous. When both theists and atheists speak about religion, either having a religion or no religion, the former refers to a belief and, usually a”devotion” to and “worship” of a god or gods, while the later simply refers to a LACK of belief due to lack of evidence in such being or beings.
To say that rollerblading,or politics, or food, or “fill in the blank” is my religion is obviously speaking metaphorically. To say that one’s religion is Christianity/Islam/Judaism/Hinduism/… , or that one is a devoutly religious Christian/Muslim/Jew/Hindu …, regardless of whatever sectarian flavour one worships cannot be even loosely equated with being “a devoutly religious atheist”. Thus, it is not fair, nor even minimally meaningful, to say that “a devoted, or religious Christian is the same as a devoted or religious atheist”. An “a-theist” is a non-theist, i.e. is someone that has no belief in any deity or deities. One cannot be devoutly atheistic. There is nothing to “worship”, whatever that word might mean. There is no Atheist Church. There is no Atheist Bible. There is nothing to be devoted to.

Perhaps, within a particular sectarian and even a uniquely personal version of Christianity one can be imperfect in one’s worship by not adhering to or not understanding the (inherently confusing?) tenets of such a belief system. I wish you luck in your attempt to worship your version of a deity perfectly. I suppose if the message were perfectly clear, you would be able to do so. Atheists cannot be imperfect in their worship of not worshiping. In other words, to not worship is not to worship.

I hear where you are coming from. My butt is not in pain. My mind is open and I have heard a zillion arguments for the existence of a plethora of gods, but sadly they all sound silly to me. Strange that this omnipotent, omniscient creator you believe/have “faith” in cannot speak to us clearly, but rather leaves us stumbling about on this tiny “blue dot” in an incomprehensibly huge and ancient universe with our imperfect knowledge and language, so that we can keep creating new revised versions of the same old same old god(s), while having a great time arguing with , or killing each other in defense of our truly true particular version.

Jan Eric Welch - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

what?

JRDNSMTH - Thursday, December 5th, 2013

@Volker I like the “runaway train of logic” bit. And as for your main point good job. Yes we are having an internet argument about religion. You mad. Smart. Mad tho.

You did catch me on the contradiction I made. Something about synonyms and language. So I will direct you back to my main point.

Atheists and theists are both religious. Both devote. Both seek to attain. So what and how should we worship? Is rollerblading a cult? A religion? What’s the difference?

You say that comparing a devout Christian to a devout atheist is because it is illogical due to the LACK of God. I am simply arguing that the God a Christian trusts in is replaced with the attainment, or ascension, of other things. I imply that to be atheist, metaphorically is religious and ironic. Yes your definition of atheist is true. I’m here to challenge the value of this word.

For example you point out “There is no Atheist Church. There is no Atheist Bible. There is nothing to be devoted to.”.

There are atheist churches first of all. Google it. You are correct, there are no atheist Bibles, but maybe I will write and publish one. Or maybe there are plenty of atheist devotionals to attend. There are definitely preachers of atheisms. At time people fill mega church like auditoriums and convention halls to spread the good news of atheism. And yes you are devoted. To proving me wrong. To trusting in yourself. In ___ we trust.

God is something indescribable, yet we all seem to have an opinion on it. Think about this. You are God. i.e. playing Rollercoaster Tycoon. The God of Rollercoaster Tycoon. Your subjects are in a two dimensional computer screen. So you crereate your own character to go down there and tell them about you. Because they need to know how awesome you are. You want the best for them and the best for them means giving you glory in everything they do. Riding rides, eating cotton candy, not drowning in the lakes. You play your character to do super rad stuff and even die, come back to life, and freak people out. Some of them choose to believe, some of them don’t. You had your little 2D character tell them that to live forever al they had to do was trust and worship you. Some of them couldn’t believe but you knew that they never would because in this analogy you programmed the game. Then some of them knew. So when you were done playing you saved the characters that believed to a hard drive and plugged it into a hard drive that … Runaway train here reminding me to stop with this. Really flawed analogy. But I think you get my point. Also wreck it Ralph is satan or something.

T.J. Roberts - Friday, December 6th, 2013

Many scientists have said that Richard Dawkins hinders a lot of scientific areas rather than helping; that they don’t like him for that. He doesn’t have a great degree… Just talks a lot about things and no god. Not all scientists are atheist. Not all christians, or muslims or jews. etc., are against science. Science can be useful. Science and God aren’t opposites, but people sure want them to be… geez. And people celebrating CHRISTmas every year, but not claiming Jesus… what if someone came to YOUR b-day party and celebrated without knowing you. You’d be happy i guess.. yeah but a bit confused even if you were glad they were there. If they didn’t at least come and meet ya before leaving … then it wouldn’t be cool. It’d be more like,”who was eating all the chips and soda and didn’t acknowledge me, let alone know me?” Cheap . . . But at least they stood in line for two days to buy a gift for someone else to celebrate it.

Diego Squires - Friday, December 6th, 2013

What did I just walk into?

Volker, may I have sloppy seconds (I am referring to the sloppy arguments of the two above me after having crossed paths with yours)?

I suppose it is difficult for an infected/enslaved mind to comprehend the concept of self determination, a.k.a. sovereignty. It is possible to not devote oneself to anything. One can work towards a goal or endeavor, integrate something into ones life, identify with something, enjoy something, etc. etc., but to devote oneself to something is another matter entirely. Atheists are simply people who have taken off the yoke of God so that they may enjoy the freedom to choose how to live and how to think for themselves. If an atheist decides to put the yoke back on and devote him/her self to something then that is a personal choice.

In fact, the only things that an atheist is compelled to do (I suppose you could think of this as a form of ‘devotion’, but that term is misleading even here) is to ensure the survival and propagation of his/her genes.

I don’t want to get into the heady science stuff though, as it will likely confuse the topic (but may illustrate some stark contrasts between the world through the eyes of science versus the world through the eyes of religious doctrine).

JRDNSMTH: I liked your analogy. It was appropriate because it used a child’s video game as a basis for reality.

TJ: Christmas was originally a pagan holiday celebrating the Winter Solstice and was hijacked by the church to form the celebration of a fabricated birthday of a mythical 1st century Jew. Christianity has hijacked a lot of things from the cultures that it assimilated or stamped out. Satan is an example of this (formerly known as Pan, the pagan male fertility god). That’s how the missionaries do it – destroy a culture’s traditions and warp them into a degraded representation of evil, then impose the Good Book and the Word onto them in preparation for a life of servitude.

And are you familiar with the work that Dawkins has done in the field of evolutionary biology? Oxford has not been known to hand out tenured positions and roles of faculty leadership to dead weight (with the exception of the theology department). I recommend reading ‘the Selfish Gene’ for an example of the kind of contributions that Dawkins has made to his field.

Have you even bothered to read any of his books?

Anyways, whats up with this whole rollerblading thing? How often do you guys visit the ER? Now THAT’s devotion!

Dave - Friday, December 6th, 2013

“I am h ving intercourse with you (i.e. social intercourse cum communication), I am having intercourse with you ( i.e. intercourse cum cum). Come, come … that’s intercoursing with people’s heads (cephalic, not penile extremities)”

LOL!!!!!!
Best thing I’ve read in ages!

Too bad jrdnsmth completely missed the broader point, oh well

Rodrigo - Friday, December 6th, 2013

this is just awesome
very interesting
would love to see more perspectives from people inside and outside the rollerblading community

great interview

thanks

Elena - Friday, December 6th, 2013

@Volker:
That was a brilliant reply, but as Dave said, it went completely over jrdnsmth’s head, I’m afraid.

@JRDNSMTH:
Let me make it a bit easier for you by giving you the real definition of religion as it stands in a dictionary (instead of what you make of it):
“A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

=> Can we agree on this definition?

Now another one; atheism:
“Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.”

=> Can we agree on this one?

They are pretty much mutually exclusive (“set of beliefs” vs “lack of belief”). QED: Atheism is not a religion. Glad I could help you understand the difference, and no worries you’re very welcome.

Everything else you said was pretty much ridiculous when you think of it as in real life, but when you are talking about the god you believe in it comes pretty close. He/she/it (whatever particular version you enjoy) likes to play with humans (give them free will, but punish them eternally when they don’t do what he/she/it wants) and drowning them (the big flood in that lovely little story you guys like to read before bedtime) as well. Have fun believing that, if it makes you feel good to be the plaything of something that writes pretty confusing and contradicting books, hates, punishes, rapes (how else did Mary get to be the mother of his/her/its son?) and endorses slavery.

Luckily there is no proof in any way that there is this kind of monster watching over us or I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night any more.

Also: Ralph was a pretty great guy. A bit clumsy, but what an example when it comes to self-sacrifice and courage. Beat that, Jebus.

Elena

@JRDNSMTH - Friday, December 6th, 2013

@Volker I blame you for @Elena.

Cynically laughing through my straight face at Elena and Dave who think they have figured me out. @Volker these are your true believers

props to @Diego Squires for playing in the big leagues.

Anyway. Elena, Dave. I got the joke. Only there wasn’t much to get so I moved on. Don’t let that confuse you. And since my argument was over your head, you are now, I would guess, a little put off. You may not follow my train of logic because you don’t play that way.

Basically. There are definitions. I am asking to take them apart and play a game. Build something else that more aptly functions.

The whole time I am trying to reinvent the wheel you are telling me no.

@Elena you are smug but I am better at smug. I will also add that you confuse, perfect with nice, in regards to God. That makes you angry and illogical. This makes you angry. Eventually if you let it subside you might get where I am coming from but it will take more work from you than it would from someone like Diego.
Also you are under the popular opinion that the Bible endorses slavery. That is incorrect.

Elena - Friday, December 6th, 2013

@Volker:
Try not to feel too guilty for the blame JRDNSMTH put on you ^_^

@JRDNSMTH:
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all angry (and I am pretty sure everything I mentioned was quite logical, but please: enlighten me where I went “off the rails” 😉 and I’m sorry if I came across that way. Really not sure why you would think that though since I was obviously completely making fun of what you said, ridiculing everything you believe in (how that makes me a believer or confused, I’m not really sure) and having fun while doing that.

Sure, you were playing with definitions (it was pretty obvious what you were trying to do and honestly: hard to follow? Who is being the smug one now?), but it’s misleading and a simple trick many religious apologists use to manipulate and confuse people. Watch more of Ray (Banana) Comfort if you want more examples of this. If you basically re-invent definitions of words in an argument/debate, how can anything you say make any sense? You can just change the meaning of the words as you move along. It’s pointless, meaningless, cheap and indeed very easy to “figure out”.

Also, read the bible again, would you please? And not just the pretty parts?
Try not to ignore the parts where your god kills people because they don’t agree with him, and where it stipulates how to treat your slaves and that they should obey their masters (Ephesians 6:5 NLT for instance).
This means the only actual “argument” you made against what I said (I’m not counting your simple ad hominem attacks) is completely falsified by the bible (which also commands you not to lie btw).

Elena

Categories

Archives