The Four Horseman - Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennet, Harris 
CaNANDian | 23.VII.2012
- 5:35 Physicists are not offended .... have you seen Matthew Hunt?
HGL's F.B. writings : Matthew Hunt Demands Answers he Doesn't Like to Give
Four more with him:
HGL's F.B. writings : Matthew Hunt thought Attacking Kent Hovind was a Way to Vindicate Hawking
HGL's F.B. writings : Matthew Hunt Defending Carbon and Radiometric, Me Defending Carbon in Relative But Not Absolute Dates when Old
HGL's F.B. writings : Matthew Hunt Tries to Ban my Previous Post and Starts Explaining Michelson Morly
HGL's F.B. writings : Scientific methods, layers of fossils, and Matthew Hunt showing he has no Classic culture
14:15 As Sam Harris speaks on humility of scientists, see how Matthew Hunt behaves to Creationists. He is a scientist (that is one reason giving his name is important, bc that way I am giving his qualifications too). Since he does not consider Creationists as people of another speciality, he is not very humble to us at all. At least that is my impression, check out the dialogues, what is yours?
- 6:18 "have you ever considered the possibility you have wasted your life"
Why would that be a possibility from an atheist p o v?
From a Christian p o v, someone who isn't at all Christian or even following Christian ethics before he dies, has indeed wasted his life since he goes to Hell - when he could have gone to Heaven instead.
If there is no Heaven and Hell, what does "waste your life" even mean? If a Christian has spent life as he wants to, why would an atheist say it has been wasted?
Sovietic shrinks would for instance at times take a Christian into "custody" and "treat him" so as to try to save him from "wasting his life". The ones who are actively destroying the chances of happiness that Christian wanted wasn't he but they. So, who was wasting his life, then?
Oh, I get it. An atheist has to consider whether he is wasting his life. Hence, a Christian has to consider that too. Hence (?) an atheist has to bring it to the Christian ....
No, that is gratuitous offense, unless it is done in a lighthearted way that the Christian finds acceptable.
Christians also have to ask ourselves if we have wasted our lives, as in not securing our salvation or - a somewhat less important point - if we aren't as happy with going to Heaven as we should be. Do NOT push Christians into a position to ask ourselves "wait a minute, was I wrong to not punch that atheist's face? are we wasting our lives turning the other cheek umpteen times more than Christ demands"
Let's take my two maternal grandparents. Gramp was Agnostic. He would arguably not have too much considered I was wasting my life. Granny was at least on and off Atheist. She was telling me that ma was wasting her life and risked wasting mine. She wasted much of the time we spent with her and perhaps (by speaking to doctors and others - including home parents at a boarding school perhaps with me) much of the time we so far survived her (at least I have so far survived, a few days ago I heard my ma was dying). And she also wasted her life of her own on being bitter on our being "religious."
Use warm socks - and forget about God. Study - and don't believe all you read in the Bible / don't take the Bible literally. Help me with the cooking - and ... actually, when I did, she sometimes left the antireligious nagging off, she didn't want to spoil the occasion to get a meal done. But her antireligious nagging doubled a widow's normal dose of nagging on a grandchild and made the nagging which just might have been useful otherwise (not sure, she had a fairly overprudential outlook on some things) more resented than it would have been.
Btw, "forget about God" was not one of her phrases, that I recall, it's a paraphrase. "Religion is escapism from reality" was, though.
So? If true, so? Whether Atheism or Christianity or Buddhism or whatever other be ultimate reality well represented, MOST people on earth are escaping from considering it. As to everyday realities, NOT doing some degree of escapism and still being well is a fairly rare achievement. So, if she had been right, no use to nag on ma or on me about it.
It was rather a religious reaction, like that of a religious person concerned a child or grandchild was risking Hell.
- 7:35 Comparison with big pharma and oil is something else.
You consider Catholicism - not just Vatican II perversion, but Catholicism - a scam comparable to petrol companies increasing the number of people who have to spend two hours in car to get to and from job, so they can sell petrol.
Bring up the case.
It doesn't tell me I have wasted my life, it is part of what I spend my life on debunking.
7:49 Oil companies are making a product and selling it at a price, which varies with the market.
If you attack tax exemptions for people giving - to put it in secular terms while talking to you - a religious service, in a state where their confession is fully legal (not sure whether Lutheran pastors of Alsatia had tax exemption between Louis XIV and Louis XVI, but in that case their religious service was perhaps more like tolerated, depenalised, than fully legal), you can't have tax exemptions for libraries or for charities either. All these cases are about providing service you don't pay for when using it at any set price.
Btw, if you attack Churches charging Church tax, how can you sponsor libraries or charities with tax money?
8:05 Dawkins is very right historical process led to immunity of religion from tax, but not to a post factum immunisation.
The very earliest tax payers were paying tax TO kings AND TO temples. Temples were not paying tax and kings were not paying tax.
With Christianity, kings were paying tax to the Church. This is the reason we have tax payers paying for libraries, hospitals, schools, namely services provided by the Church all over the Middle Ages.
Btw, these services were not other than marginally provided by temples in ancient paganism. Sure, a temple of Asklepios would be kind of a hospital. Sure, the Mousaion (temple of nine Muses) did provide a library. A temple of Zeus provided neither, but it might provide a tribunal for a political candidate or a voting hall. A temple of Bacchus might provide wine if you were willing to get it during their Bacchanal on the terms of their Bacchanal.
We don't find any earlier written traces of tax paying than the ones where it already was like this, in Sumer, Akkad, Egypt, and as for Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, we haven't yet figured out the writing, so we can't tell what was tax records and what wasn't and especially who was paying tax and whom it was paid to.
- 10:01 "a neurology that is particularly labile"
Not by Dawkins here, but Dawkins has said so on occasions, and THAT is really and truly offensive.
I am giving an argument. Someone is trying to poke about my "experiences" and in a language suggesting - in his guess - they might be pathological and therefore liable to psychiatric forced treatment, like Soviets liked to do to Christians.
What is the level where such a suggestion is NOT offensive?
I mean, Christ on one occasion called Pharisees in a collective and non-personal plural "ye fools". But when it comes to walking up to someone and telling him "thou fool" to the face, He said if you do that, you risk Hell. References, Luke 11:40 and Matthew 5:22.
Now, what this ideology is doing here is suggesting that someone who has a "strong faith" or a "deep faith" maybe has had the kind of experience for which it is reasonable to get him in situations where the walls, beds and clothes, as well as the medications are telling him "thou fool".
So, how is that NOT offensive and NOT strident?
By the way.
BOTH of these, which some have constructed as a contradiction in NT have precedent in OT.
For the "ye fools" of Luke 11:40 - "Understand, ye senseless among the people: and, you fools, be wise at last." - Psalms 93:8
For the prohibition to go up to an individual man and tell him "thou fool" (Matthew 5:22):
"Speak not in the ears of fools: because they will despise the instruction of thy speech." - Proverbs 23:9
"Advise not with fools, for they cannot love but such things as please them." - Ecclesiasticus 8:20
If someone really is a fool, no use talking to him. If he isn't - well, no use using over the top language.
A search on "fools" in OT will reveal how "thou fool" is about as offensive as "you need a whipping". Precisely so, "labile mind / neurology" is as offensive as "you need a syringe of Cis Sordinol / Haldol / ..." - or "you need an electroshock".
- Before 11:23 Hitchens gave a good remark.
He wanted to distinguish "numinous" from "supernatural".
Nice. This trashes AronRa's somewhat amateur remark that all religions are "supernatural". Some atheist religions strictly speaking aren't. In Theravada Buddhism you can find things that are numinous. You can find things which a non-Buddhist whether Christian (believing the supernatural) or atheist (not believing it) would consider "supernatural if true". But you can't find a single thing which a Theravada Buddhist would himself consider supernatural, if you explained to him what that word meant.
Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : AronRa Trying to Grasp "Evolutionism is a Religion"
He then went on to give a bad one.
He wanted priesthoods not to annex pieces of us that are "not particularly useful in evolution" - as if :
- a secularism promoting (I think this goes for all four) family planning was at all useful in evolution;
- as if religion were not useful in what these guys were calling "social evolution".
It was temples that gave us "doctors" and hygiene, writing and libraries, stories that inculcate charity to those stricken by misfortune (most religions, perhaps not all) and a few more like that.
In Egypt, temples helped keeping boundaries between farmland redistributed after each flooding and in Medieval Europe Monks were the best agronomers, horticulturalists and whatever, whenever Christianity spread outside what had been Roman Empire (and in a sense still was) and some occasions inside it too. It is the horticultural tradition of monks which gave us Mendel's laws, because Mendel was discovering genetics (of which Darwin was ignorant, like Mendel was innocent of "common descent" theory) in this precise context.
I'd argue wine is better than ancient wines due to religious requirement of pure wine in the eucharist, and I think yellow cheese was first produced by Christians making fresh cheese during Lent but not eating it during Lent - by the time Easter night came and they could eat after midnight mass, some of the early Lent fresh cheese was already yellow cheese. Think of this next time you bite a delicious cheddar!
13:30 It's terrific - Hitchens said - to be humble about "the universe is all about me".
In Christianity, in a sense it is (God created earth to be inhabited and Christ opened pearly gates, and I am one of the candidates for either and both). In a sense it is not unless you add "as for every other image of God".
Atheism does not make any such staggering claim for men, but neither does it check any individual's arrogance against other men.
And a requirement of being humble before the universe, while as good an exercise in humility while not having Christian humility as it is to fast in Ramadan if you don't fast in Lent, really cannot stand on the presumed factual raw data of our existence. That presumed by atheists, that is.
Like many other decensies in decent atheists, it's a hangover from decencies in religious close forebears. Precisely as grandma's annoying part of atheism was an annoyance hanging over from a Pentecostal sometimes annoying to keep her close ones out of Hell. Ask Lemon Lee and she'll be able to deduce from this how annoying my atheist granny was. Not that that is all of her. Now, likewise, atheists may endorse humility, but atheism per se does not. Attenborough may endorse humility, but Evolution can as well or as ill for all it cares endorse pride and arrogance. After all, sometimes it's a mating behaviour with some chances of success, for instance.
13:45 Daniel Dennett suffers from a humility committee - and he also participates in one.