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Old 08-28-2012, 11:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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32: Godless

Comedian Myq Kaplan and Chemda's brother, President of Atheist United, Michael Khalili, talk about living with or without God.

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Last edited by MichaelApproved; 12-13-2012 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It was great being on the show with Chemda and Myq!

Here's a good link that talks about the number of scientists that don't believe in god: statistics - Are a high percentage of scientists atheist? - Skeptics
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I started life as a Roman Catholic and at 8 years old became a Baptist, now I am an atheist.

I think Chemda likes to simplify the role of God and the Church down to people in trouble and turning to belief. Throughout the episodes of KATG we can hear her state the same thing over and over about how you get in trouble and turn to asking god to save you but I think there is a lot more to it.
I think church starts as a place to bring your kids and reinforce the ethics you gave them at home. The ten commandments contain most of the essential ethics or morals you need to make it through life;
Honour thy father and thy mother
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife

The Church is a community, Micheal touched on this. Its like going to a VFW, Lions club or even the KATG forums. Like minded people meeting each other and enjoying a fellowship. When you enjoying something good happening or lementing a loss there is a group of people who are there every sunday help you. The church has historically been the welfare or a community. If your house burns down or you lose your job most people would turn to the church and get the helping hand they needed. This was one of the main reasons for the 10% tithe, you paid into the support organization and in times of need got it back.
One of the biggest reasons for following christian religions is also a need for help. As we know from the show and day to day life, self esteem is not high in most people. If your going through some shit, you look at the bible, see all of this is gods plan and god would never give you anything that you couldn't deal with then you don't have to worry about if you can handle it. You already know that you can handle it, god says so.

This doesn't excuse the problems that the major religions have caused, just some of the reason people join the church. Also most people don't see themselves as part of the Vatican or the 700 club, all they are concerned with is their local church and local community.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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In the early 80s, Saturday Night Live (when it was the full name, not SNL) had a skit of a Christmas party and there was one Jew invited to the party (as there always is). The party decided to sing Christmas carols and after a line or two everyone would mess up the words. "Silent night, holy night. All is caaaaa, all eeeeee bbbbbbbbbbb." Except for the Jew. The Jew knew all of the words.

I looked for the video of this skit online, but of course video from the early 80s is hard to find online. So no go.

Anyway, I was reminded of this skit when Chemda was talking about doing the Christmas album. Go for it Chemda!
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ssgtballard View Post
The ten commandments contain most of the essential ethics or morals you need to make it through life;
Honour thy father and thy mother
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife
I want to touch on this point you're making about the ethics of the 10 commandments and show that it's not as ethical as it seems.

Let's look at the first three commandments. They're all about worshiping God. Before any ethical lessons are handed down, God's big fat ego needs recognition. That doesn't seem like a good lesson to me.

1. Worship only the God who proved his power in Egypt.
2. Do not engrave or worship images of anything.
3. Do not swear by saying the word YHVH in vain.

"Honour thy father and thy mother" ... regardless of abuse? If your parents molest or beat you, you're still supposed to honour thy father and thy mother? Not very moral.

The Bible has so many atrocities and screwed up ethical guidelines that it's better to start from scratch and not use any examples from it. Sure you could cherry pick a handful of lessons but why try so hard to salvage those tainted stories when there are other sources for ethics and moral lessons.

I wouldn't want my child to use the Bible for guidance in any way.

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I looked for the video of this skit online, but of course video from the early 80s is hard to find online. So no go.
I never saw it but I tried looking too but couldn't find it.

Last edited by MichaelApproved; 08-29-2012 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I never saw it but I tried looking too but couldn't find it.
Yeah, too bad. I didn't even find it commented on.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just wanted to say that the Idiocracy nonsense about dumb people having kids is, well, nonsense. Beyond the fact that the Flynn Effect suggests the exact opposite trend is occurring, it's usually used as a coded way for "rational" people to break out the amateur eugenics without having to support their point with science. That the focal point of reference is a Luke Wilson movie would be comedic if it weren't so tragic that folks tend to believe the stuff they hock in this regard.

All of which seems to inform me that people are selectively rational when they feel it is in their interest to do so. Confirmation bias is a bitch, atheist or theist.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just wanted to say that the Idiocracy nonsense about dumb people having kids is, well, nonsense. Beyond the fact that the Flynn Effect suggests the exact opposite trend is occurring
It's true that I only have anecdotal information about how many children people are having but the Flynn Effect is a different subject.

From Wiki: The Flynn Effect is the name given to a substantial and long-sustained increase in intelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world.

The point the movie was making, and I was continuing, is that it seemed like "rational" people tend to talk themselves out of having children. They say to themselves "Now's not a good time to have a child." Which leads to them having few or no children.

I don't remember the show exactly but I probably made another argument that it seems the world is getting dumber. The Flynn Effect is an argument that counters my assertion so I'll accept that and revise.

Two ideas I'm considering
1) Perhaps, each year, the media is putting a larger spot light on more uneducated people in the world. If the number of uneducated people stays the same, while the attention they get grows, it may seem like it's a growing problem.

2) Perhaps the number of uneducated people is growing but it's being offset buy the intelligence of the more educated people. Much like the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.


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it's usually used as a coded way for "rational" people to break out the amateur eugenics without having to support their point with science.
From Wiki: Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually a human population.

Eugenics programs usually sterilize "undesirables" so they won't have babies. It's a terrible program and a disgusting notion.

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That the focal point of reference is a Luke Wilson movie would be comedic if it weren't so tragic that folks tend to believe the stuff they hock in this regard.
Nothing wrong with referencing a movie while making a point. It's pop culture reference that illustrates the point well. It's just like using an analogy. Now, if you disagree with the point, that's a different story, but there's nothing wrong with referencing a movie scene.

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All of which seems to inform me that people are selectively rational when they feel it is in their interest to do so.
It sounds like you're saying we were cherry picking information but that's not the case. I'm comfortable changing my views if you give a good argument for a different point of view.

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Confirmation bias is a bitch, atheist or theist.
It certainly is! No matter what you believe, it's hard to avoid. Open discussions like these go along way in preventing it.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is exactly the stupidity I'm talking about. The school is asking the student to change how he signs his name because it looks too much like a gun. Are these people getting dumber or is the media reporting on more dumb stories?

School says deaf boy's name sign looks too much like a gun - News Summarized on Skim That
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is exactly the stupidity I'm talking about. The school is asking the student to change how he signs his name because it looks too much like a gun. Are these people getting dumber or is the media reporting on more dumb stories?

School says deaf boy's name sign looks too much like a gun - News Summarized on Skim That
There are several ways to look at this story. The easiest, most satisfying way to look at this story is "people (obvious not me, my friends, or my family) are getting dumber".

It's also easy to look at this story and remember that for as long as the news has existed, it has told stories like this. We're not the first generation to have a lot of dummies in the news/

Alternatively, it's worth considering how litigious schools and parents are at the moment and how problematic even the hint of things related to guns are in schools. Moreover, regardless of the content of the story, the very nature of the controversy (sign language and its integration into mainstream schools) is itself an indicator of major progress for the disabled as a result of gains made in the last couple decades.

Even if the basic aspect of this story is dumb, rather than a school district going to absurd lengths to cover its ass, the underlying issue is a sign of how much progress has been made.

That's ultimately the issue with folks who worry about our society getting dumber. "Dumb" is a moving target. By continually holding ourselves to higher standards, the things that would not have been regarded as idiotic in the past become comparably worse.

As for folks getting more intelligent, the Flynn Effect correlates across standard deviations. It's not a rich get richer issue. People are becoming smarter writ large, at least as measured by IQ, as a result of better access to nutrition, healthcare, and education. And while smart folks talk themselves out of having kids, so do dumb people. Birth rates are down across the board, particularly as a result of the recession. However, even if dumb folks have more kids, the implication that their children will certainly be dumb simply isn't supportable.

As for eugenics, folks who bring up the Idiocracy argument often casually bandy about the whole "there should be a licensing process for the right to procreate", as if said process wouldn't by definition by anti-poor and anti-minority. It is disgusting, but discrimination is pretty disgusting on its own, and it's still really, really prevalent.

The Idiocracy argument bothers me a lot because it's not supported by science, it implies that intelligence is purely heritable, and it leads to subtle advocacy for programs to counter the (nonexistent) problem. It's also one of those acceptable ascientific positions that a lot of otherwise educated people hold, and it's rooted deeply in prejudice. Stephen Jay Gould's second edition of "The Mismeasure of Man", revised in opposition to "The Bell Curve", is a great takedown of the notion as well as of the conclusions drawn by many of its proponents.
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