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Old Comments:

2008-07-05 13:33:18
want the same vote mcShame.
2008-07-05 09:25:41
This is W. at a spelling bee, the word is TRUTH...
2008-04-29 10:22:43
Something about the body language and the way his hands are held in this picture reminds me of the way parents try to control a small child and keep him from further mischief...
2008-04-28 23:06:39
"our leader"? what? he ain't my leader, he's a piece of scum in the toilet.
2008-04-27 23:26:18
Yes, religion does sometimes serve useful social and humane functions. So does Hezbollah, that's why they're so popular. The questions are, One: do the positive effects outweigh the negative effects? I would argue that the answer is a resounding NO. Two: is there a better replacement which would have the same positive effects with less (or no) negative effects, and which is based on reality? I would argue that the answer is a resounding YES. So I see religion not only as ridiculous, childish, and everything I've said before, but also completely superfluous (and even hindering) in regards to its very few positive effects. .......... I agree, I often seriously overestimate the intellectual sophistication of most people. I guess I'm just hopeless in that regard. What am I supposed to do though? My estimations are constantly being lowered, but somehow I manage to raise them up again ..... I HAVE seen that video, but I have a lot of issues with it. I won't go into why, but I will say that even if that's 100% true, it's misleading that you bring it up. Clearly, those 67 who are unable to read wouldn't even know I exist. So would the 24 which have no electricity. Among the people who remain when you take those people out, the percentage of which have enough education to understand what I am saying should be a lot higher. It is in the ability of many of those to educate themselves about these kinds of issues. Again, I may be a college student but most (if not all) of what I've been talking about has been self-taught. If I can do it, so can anyone who is able to read what I have to say. ...... as for your last point.... I appreciate the suggestion, but my goal by engaging in these debates isn't to understand religion in an objective way. There are many aspects "of the ways of mankind", but that doesn't mean that they are all equally valid or should be allowed to exist. Like racism, ignorance, and social conservatism (lol), religion is just one of those "aspects of the ways of mankind" that HAVE to go- not just for the benefit of all mankind, but for the benefit of most macroscopic life on earth as well (well, ok. Technically not most, but you know what I mean). I'll leave the objective, scientific study of racism, ignorance, religion, etc. to the sociologists, I'm more concerned with getting rid of them.
2008-04-27 21:52:14
I believe you've summed up the difference in our perspectives on religion pretty well, Bob.. I have often thought that the world would be better off without religions, and that if we could just collectively forget about whether we were Methodists or Moslems, Buddists or Baptists, we might be able to get down to solving more serious problems...But I don't hate religion..in fact, I believe it often serves useful social and humane functions..Is the basic premise of Christianity and Islam and other Pie in the Sky Bye and Bye religions based on a falsehood? Probably so...do most humans have the strength and courage to face utter and eternal oblivion when they die? Probably not... One more point..I beleive you may be serously overestimating the level of education and intellectual sophistication of the inhabitants of this planet...I'm sure you've seen the graphic that reduces the population of the world to a village of a hundred people? How 80 of those people would live in substandard housing, 24 would have no electricity, half would be malnourished, 67 would be unable to read, and only 1 ( one) person would have a college education...I don't believe it's reasonable or realistic to expect people with that level of education to have the kind of outlook that you and I do...You're a real bright guy, Bob,and you seem to have a sense of fairness and decency. All I'm suggesting is that you not let your hatred of religion get in the way of understanding it in an objective way as simply another aspect of the ways of mankind.
2008-04-27 20:43:19
STAY PAGAN! STAY PROUD! YOUR ANCESTORS DIED FOR THEIR GODS, FOR YOUR GODS! SO YOU CAN TODAY ENJOY IN FOREIGN RELIGIONS!!!??? p.s. and Bush is an idiot!
2008-04-27 08:06:15
Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child
2008-04-27 08:02:43
I think you could legitimately argue the last point. A LOT of what bush believes is very much intertwined with his religious beliefs, and it is VERY hard to separate his stupidity from his religiousness.
2008-04-27 07:56:29
Absolute certainty? what exactly are you referring to by that? I never said that it was absolutely certain that... well, anything. For example, I specifically said that there were numerous hypotheses (key word, admitting that they aren't facts) for the origin of religion, and that my PERSONAL favorite was the one I mentioned. I also prefaced what I said about scholars and jesus by saying "from what I've heard", etc. As for the rest of what I've said, I think it is self-evident that I am simply stating my opinion, and that I am not claiming that it is an objective, absolute, scientific fact that (for example) religion is a primitive, outdated belief which shouldn't still exist in 2008. ... so I'm not sure exactly what you find "disturbing". ..... about not everyone being able to have my education- Ok, fine. To some extent you're right. However, most (if not all) of what I have been talking about in here has been self-taught. While I am a college student, I have never in my life been to a class about the origin of religion... or really ANYTHING having to do with religion (well, I did go to a catholic elementary school, but if anything, that further supports my point... PS: but unlike your friend, that's not why I hate religion). If people have enough food, money, and time to come here and vote for which pictures they like best, as well as to read and post comments, I would think that it is a very safe bet that they also have enough food/money/time/etc. to find the things I've found online. Trust me, I am cheaper than dust, and I don't even buy the very few books I've read on these kinds of subjects (and they are few. Maybe 2-3?)... I check them out of the library. If I know about these issues, so can anyone who is able to read what I say. ........ Having said that, I wouldn't call an old religious lady about to die "childish", "irrational", etc... but I honestly doubt that there are any such people around here, therefore your point is moot because I am NOT saying such things to their (metaphorical) face. There is no point in worrying about the exceptions if they aren't here. Besides, there are MUCH better ways of dealing with things than by praying to an invisible man in the sky or than being delusional. Dealing with harsh realities is part of the process of growing up, and a false belief with countless "warts" and negative effects should be pointed out as such- whether it is comforting or not. Would you be fine with a group of racist idiots just because the belief that other races are inferior brings them comfort? Maybe you wouldn't argue with a poor old lady about to die, but you'd be damned if you didn't argue against (even using strong language) racist people who you found here, right? Well, where do you draw the line? I think the difference between us is mainly just that I consider religion to be a lot more harmful than you do.
2008-04-27 07:01:34
And yes, I agree that it's spooky that the our fearless leader believes he's on a Holy Crusade of some sort..like when Ronald Reagan used to consult an astrologer...not sure which is worse..but Bush's main problem isn't his religious faith..it's that he just isnt very bright..
2008-04-27 06:56:52
Well, Bob..I guess what I find somewhat disturbing about your comments ( and let me say your arguments are very well thought-out, for the most part ) is the absolute certainty with which you hold your convictions..I expect you realize that only a very small percentage of people on earth have anything even remotely comparable to your level of education...and I just don't believe those of who have been fortunate enough to be among the 1 or 2 percent of the world's population who have college educations should be scornful of and condescending toward people whose educational experiences have been extremely limited if not nil...Also,there are people whose lives are so filled with tragedy and pain and misfortune that were it not for their religious faith they would have simply been destroyed...I know some of those people..religion, for all it's warts and faults ( and they are many ) at least holds out some hope to those whose situations appear to be, and sometimes are, hopeless...so who am I , and who are you, to tell them their faith is "absurd, irrational, childish and arrogant?" Who are we to snacth the crutch from them, if it is all that sustains them and enables them to bear their fate ? And who are we to look down on people who've not had the same level of educational opportunity you and I have had? Your comments about religion actually remind me very much of a very good friend of mine who has been, for as long as I've known him, virulently opposed to religion in all its forms and manifestations..we've had many a long and enthusiastic exchange..but I never really understood where he was coming from until he told me about his experiences as a child in a Catholic school...Jeeez, it was awful..a long, sad, sordid tale of torment, sadism, and emotional, psychological and physical abuse...I realized that had that been my early exposure to religion I might well feel the same way...
2008-04-27 02:57:56
"scholars"? what scholars? I've only heard that idea from books like the Da Vinci Code (which IS a great read). From what I've heard, there is just barely enough evidence to believe that jesus existed (and even that is debated), but any more than that is pure speculation. ..... About anthropologists- Anthropologists aren't biologists or evolutionary psychologists. They really don't know much about psychology or biology. While the idea that religion has some adaptive value is very popular among lay audiences, it really isn't all that popular among scientists in the relevant fields. Sure, there are some scholars who came to that conclusion, but you make it seem like there is a consensus that universal traits must be an evolutionary adaptation. While it may be true for some universal traits, this is fallacious thinking. As Daniel Dennett points out, the flu virus has also been a universal human trait, but that doesn't mean it a human adaptation. There are numerous hypotheses for the origin of religion which are FAR more compelling than the "oh, humans all over the world have it, therefore it's an evolutionary adaptation" argument. My personal favorite is a combination of two... I think that religion is a side-effect of real evolutionary adaptations, which were then taken over by "memes", or "mind viruses". For example, it is evolutionarily adaptive for children (who are ignorant/innocent) to blindly follow the authority of their parents or other adults. If an adult tells a child to not jump into a river, the children who blindly follow that advice will survive longer than the children who jump into the river and drown or get eaten by a crocodile (that's just one adaptation whose side-effects could be religion, there are dozens more- curiosity, self-awarness, empathy, sociability, etc.). After these tendencies have been selected for, memes/mind viruses could then take over. The thing about religions is that they are ideas which are self-replicating. They often have characteristics which make humans want to both believe them and transmit them to other people. For example, the threat of hellfire is a pretty big incentive for (most) people to believe in it, and the vast majority of religions incorporate some sort of way for the religion to propagate (missionaries, killing infidels, etc). There really is no need to postulate that religion is an evolutionary adaptation, and I think the facts indicate that this is not the case. Some things survive because the environment they reside in is conductive to their replication, and this can include beliefs. ..... as for my attitude being inconsistent with scientific objectivity- I'm not really sure how to reply... I never claimed that I was trying to study humans objectively and scientifically by engaging in debates about the supernatural (even then, pointing out that people's beliefs are stupid, childish, immature, and ridiculous SHOULD be a very important part of studying H. sapiens).
2008-04-27 00:54:43
Well Bob, there are actually some scholars who believe JC may have had a long-standing affair with Mary Magdalene....I've enjoyed most of your comments..they tend to be well-reasoned and logical..and let me say I'm not a religious person in any conventional sense...but it seems to me you're over-reacting a little bit in your condemnation of religion in general..sure, lots of people have done bad things in the name of religion...but when anthropologists look at a universal human trait ( something found in virtually all human groups ) they conclude it must have or has had some adaptive value..it may be difficult for you to appreciate it, but what we generally call religion has apparently had some adaptive value..and remember, most people in the world have not had the benefit of a scientific education, yet all humans seek meaning and a way to understand themselves and the world they live in..religion had provided that context of meaning for most people for most of history and pre-history... It's easy to look at people less well-informed than ourselves and be condescending toward their beliefs and values, but I personally don't think that's consistent with an attitude of scientific objectivity... homo sapiens is a fascinating study species, but if you really want to understand human behavior it helps to be as non-judgemental as you can manage...it ain't easy but I think it pays off in the longrun...
2008-04-27 00:25:56
O..k.... but JC is the son of god... but at the same time he IS god (?). Unless you think that god has multiple personality disorder and that each personality can be thought of as a separate god, my comment stands... Besides, JC wasn't a hippie either. He was a stupid cult leader, telling people to break off their relationships with their family, to hate them, saying that he wasn't here to destroy the old laws, only telling masters to beat their slaves LESS severely, etc. He never even had sex! what kind of hippie doesn't have sex? (nor did he do drugs, etc)
2008-04-27 00:16:02
I think duplicate was talking about JC, Bob...
2008-04-26 19:45:21
yes that invisible hippy that is better than all the other so called gods
2008-04-26 09:13:24
That;s what I meant
2008-04-26 06:41:55
If at his best you mean asleep, your right.
2008-04-26 06:29:29
faith? he looks like he's taking a crap
2008-04-26 06:24:31
but apparently expression of that faith is to some of the "people" here
2008-04-26 05:21:33
Faith in God is no joke.