My emancipation from the Bible cult

Sent in by Nick

My first doubts began when I was 8 or 9, wondering why I never saw the god I was learning about in Sunday School, while he seemed to put in so many appearances in biblical times. Was he really watching our every action from up there in the sky and jotting it all down to be used against us on Judgment Day?

Though I was "confirmed" at the age of 18, mainly to please my parents, I was never a religious person, and Christianity never formed a big part of my life, until my 8-month-old daughter died. I received kind, moral support from my Seventh Day Adventist neighbors and this period in my life was the closest I ever got to becoming involved in church activities.

But I gradually drifted away, mainly over the requirement to literally believe everything contained in the Bible, though much, obviously, stretched one's imagination.

So my doubts grew, though to be quite honest, I really didn't give it all that much thought, nevertheless, I guess you could call me a dormant fence-straddler for want of a better term.

Then came my epiphany! December 26, 2004. The SE Asia tsunami, which took the lives of almost a quarter of a million people. An article in a newspaper headlined "How can religious people explain something like this?" caught my eye and registered. It simply ended any doubts I had had over the years, especially over the non-appearance of the biblical god in roughly 2,000 years.

First, being a former Christian, I decided to read the Bible in its entirety so that I would be able to reply to any who questioned me, though obviously I cannot remember all that I read. I can only say that my close examination of the Bible revealed that it is nothing less than a book of horrors, which I never read in Sunday School. Obviously, I was never taught about the violence and cruelty and killings at Sunday School; I remember, like everyone else, the nice, beautiful verses, which I later realized had been carefully selected to lull us into a false sense of comfort, while the "bad" verses were deliberately hidden from our view.

It took me over a year to complete my reading, which naturally brought me in touch with other religions, all of which required one to go back to olden times when people believed in myths, legends and superstitions.

My studies became in depth, full-fledged research covering Christianity in its various forms, Judaism and Islam. I quickly realized that Judaism, from which Christianity had sprung, was itself formed from Hinduism, which is replete with thousands of gods. I could, of course, go into much deeper detail regarding my discoveries, but suffice it to say that I became convinced beyond any doubt whatsoever that religion is simply a form of belief in a supernatural being, a savior, that primitive man created to alleviate his fear of the unknown, especially that of death. That form of belief later morphed into unadulterated mind control.

Religion is another word for cult, for that is what ALL religions are, without exception.

Well, perhaps there is one exception, Islam, which is nothing more than a terrorist organization, started by a band of robbers around the year 610. It began as such, and continues as such today.

Some cults appear harmless and benign; some are decidedly evil and malignant; ALL are unnecessary, and only serve to hold man back from even greater endeavors in this world.

That, in a nutshell, was my emancipation!

45 comments:

Ranman87 said...

Great read, but I need to point out a VERY inaccurate historical position you took. Judaism had absolutely nothing to do with Hinduism. Hinduism had more far-reaching affects in towards China than it did the Middle East.

history teacher said...

Have to disagree. The Adventists are no cult!

http://adventistsnotcult.blogspot.com/

Rich said...

Thank you for your post. Your experience corroborates what another poster wrote a short time ago. His name is Bill and he has established himself as a counselor for people that leave the faith. In his post he said that people who leave always do so after an emotional event, a death in the family, a divorce, or some life altering misfortune.

I am a freelance writer working on a book project that partially involves the personal cost of entanglements with religion. With your permission I would like to collect your post for my anecdote file. If I publish any part of it I will not give your name of course.

my new blog is:
http://endhereditaryreligion.blogspot.com

writcheyC@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Yes, Nick, you are 100% right...all religions are a cult.. bar none! From the history I've read most of the old testament fables come from Egyption antiquity. A very good post!! Erich

Telmi said...

Nick,

Congrats on your deconversion.

And kudos to you for writing in. It's a great post where I am concerned.

AtheistToothFairy said...

history teacher wrote:
"Have to disagree. The Adventists are no cult!"

Sure looks like just another brain-killing xtian cult to me

ATF

darthwonka said...

Welcome to the real world.

Anita said...

Hello Nick,
I completely agree that all religions are cults, created by primitive man to alleviate his fear of the unknown. Like you, as a rational thinking child I was quite certain it was all bullshit. But it wasn't until first year university, when I took a "Literature of the Bible" course and actually read the Bible from cover to cover, did I become a "born again atheist."

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

All in all, a shitful article. It's cool to put down religions for being silly, far-out non-reality-recognizant superstitions. It's another thing to equate islam with terrorism.

Terrorism:
a) has nothing to do with islam (there are christian terrorists , too! but because islam is primarily a non-anglo religion, it has been extremely easy for hollywood and the US propaganda machine to paint it that way. Do you realise that the text books the taliban leaders learnt from, glorifying guns, tanks and violence - were sent there by Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, back in the day? Terrorism's heart is america: the US spread the ideals of terrorism, supported it in it's early days, then decided to declare war on it. Hope it goes better for them than the WAR ON DRUGS (a fine losing battle) and I hope iraq goes over better than vietnam. BTW - thanks for blowing up those ancient artifacts you fucks: you really made archaeology proud)

b) is a political tool. when words have no effect and diplomacy is rejected, people, states, and organisations will resort to violent means. so then, what's wrong with it? EVERYTHING. But all the same things are what makes war wrong.

I would have to agree with ranman87 in his assessment that judaism has nothing to do with hinduism. If anything, it grew out of the mystery religions of Babylon, Uruk, Ur, Sumeria etc (as in all those stories in the first part of the OT are taken from things like the Epic of Gilgamesh). Throw in some zoroastrianism and you begin to see where monotheism came into play.

I really don't want to defend jizlam - but you damn yankees keep painting it as being worse than xianity. It is not. The moslems in fact gave us many things we cherish today: Alcohol (from Al Kohl), Algebra (you guessed it, from Al Gebra), the number and the concept of zero (hell, all of our numerals!) and perhaps most shiningly of all, from persia in the 12th century: Scientific Method.

And for the Anonymous poster posing that OT tales come from Egypt - pish bloody posh! The jews (who are just snobby arabs, in my eyes*) were never even in egypt. If they were, then surely there would be some archaeological record of it (in a society where even the amount of cats owned by an ordinary peasant was recorded for posterity, surely an entire race of slaves would turn up SOMEWHERE IN THE BLOODY RECORD)

*I say snobby arabs because they look the same, their languages are almost indistinguishable, and their situation reminds me of the catholics in ireland - same root belief system with more continuity and less change, and major persecution because of it. Some major persecution they do to the arabs as well though. Before anyone accuses me of racism, I would just like to point out that my father is an Arab-Israeli (atheist) and my mother is an english-descendant Australian Catholic (nonbeliever).

Anonymous said...

"but you damn yankees keep painting it as being worse than xianity."

I am definitely a proud NON-YANKEE. And most surely not a Christian. But I have to say that Christians don't go around blowing themselves up in public places with the purpose of killing as many as possible.

I don't know where you are from, but I certainly disagree with you regarding ISLAM.

Phant said...

Nand Gate Fetishist Said:
"but you damn yankees keep painting it as being worse than xianity."

Lorena Said:
"I have to say that Christians don't go around blowing themselves up in public places with the purpose of killing as many as possible"

I have to agree with Lorena.

I too hate christianity, however I have no love for Islam either. Both are nothing more than mind cults that do nothing but cause others to live in fear. Both christianity and Islam are all about mind control, manipulation, and threatening people who do not subscribe to the beliefs of your Gods.

As far as I'm concerned Jesus and Allah can both go fuck themselves, or they can fuck each other up the ass.

Just like Christianity, Islam also fucking sucks.

Phant said...

Fuck all Christians and Muslims both along with your stupid ass Gods.

Matter as fact why don't you Muslims and Christians do the rest of the world a favor and kill each other off?

AtheistToothFairy said...

NAND Gate Fetishist wrote:
Terrorism:
a) has nothing to do with islam (there are christian terrorists , too! but because islam is primarily a non-anglo religion, it has been extremely easy for hollywood and the US propaganda machine to paint it that way

----
Nand,

While you did make some interesting points, I have to take Lorena's stance here about Islam.
While both Christianity and Islam have a long history of violence, Islam wins hands-down in the teaching of deep hatred and carrying out of violent tactics to make their point known.

Perhaps you should read the history of the Islam religion before you assume it's evil roots and present day activities, are the just the product of US propaganda.

I'm sure you'll discover that many more followers of Islam will gladly blow themselves up in the name of screwing 72 virgins, than you'll find xtians who'll do the same just to get to heaven.
Islam brainwashing is inherently more dangerous to the world than Christianity, and believe me, I hold no favoritism towards any religion, as to me, they are all worthless BS.


ATF (Who thinks all religion sucks)

redtail said...

Nand, that's a ridiculous statement. Islam does absolutely have to do with terrorism. They teach hatred, which is at the very heart of terrorism. Not that they have a complete monopoly on the subject but, come on!!
Also, history teacher, ALL religions are cults. EVERY SINGLE DAMN ONE! Sheesh....

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

I'm telling you, Ronald Reagan was just as bad as "Usama" (and actually moreso): in the amount of actual civilian lives he destroyed. He funded the sandinistas ffs! Does nobody remember the bloodied killing fields of Nicaragua, the blood-stained rice fields?

The carpet bombing of Vietnam (napalm, ffs!), the incursion into Cambodia? The Bay of Pigs? When it comes to war-mongering, hatred-preaching (dad: "hate communists, good patriotic son!" son: "good advice dad! while I'm at it i'll hate them atheists and those dirty gays too! and let's give some niggers what-for!" dad: "i'm so proud of you son, a chip off the old block, hah hah!"), intolerance-tolerating, environment-destroying, thought-discarding... well I think you get the point.

I am in no way defending terrorists, I just happen to think you shouldn't apply double-standards. In other words, without applying to ourselves those standards we set out as guidelines for others, those standards become meaningless as analytical tools.

I hate the terrorists, in all their shapes and forms. I hate al qaeda, the IRA, Sinn Fein, the confederate south, Silhoutee, the NSF, the KKK, the Nazi Party, the CIA the Mafia and the J'amal Islamia. But I also hate the USA... like most people in the world, really. And well, when it comes to judging the islamicists... they did attack those buildings early in the morning right? That was when it went down, as far as I know... and there could have been 7000 more people in those buildings. If they'd just waited an hour or so. On the other hand, the US supported Suharto who wiped out all opposition in his country (killing 100,000 members of the PKK, the popular peasant party comprised not of the wealthy elite but of ordinary farmers and such) then brutalised East Timor for decades, committing there what essentially equals genocide (about 2/3 of their population was killed... with american made implements of destruction, by soldiers who were trained by americans... sometimes led by american generals...).

But why do I need to say all this? You guys have probably read books like Silent Spring, The Power Elites, 1984 and some Noam Chomsky tomes, in your time, right?

I really don't care for talking about this stuff, it's far more interesting to read than to discuss. Don't you all agree our time would have better been spent discussing archaeology or philosophy, particularly as relates to this article, rather than the ins and outs of international politics? Science always fascinates me far more than politics, and there are some major errors in the article that have gone largely un-commented upon.

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

Also, to the ATF. Any moslem with a background of studying arabic will tell you that the Koran is written in an archaic and outdated form of arabic. The meaning of the word in ancient arabic would look (in context) like this: "72 raisins of crystal clarity". With the changing meanings of words and spelling over time there has been some concern because it appears to say virgins (in modern arabic). I've never been to a mosque, but I assume that they would teach it correctly there. Who would want 72 virgins anyway? It doesn't make sense: virgins are shit in bed. Everyone knows that! Just the thought of virgins turns me OFF man, in this life or the fantasy of a next-one. Give me a woman with a bit of experience under her belt, that's what makes me a happy chappy. Noone would want 72 virgins! That's just stupid.

Anonymous said...

"...I was never a religious person..."

"...being a former Christian..."

???

Dave8 said...

NAND: "...I just happen to think you shouldn't apply double-standards."

Interesting; you seem capable of discerning terrorism from Islam, but seem to lack that capacity when suggesting the entirety of the USA as a "collective" is responsible for global terrorism.

And, although I could identify with a lot of what you are suggesting; I am not as ready to associate the atrocities of individual people, to entire nations. In other words, I don't hate modern Germany, because Hitler was a psychopath.

Albeit I am under impressed at the attempt of the citizenry to have stood up and made open protest; like the open protesting that went on throughout the USA during the Vietnam War.

Why don't you make the distinction between individual actors, and the citizens who likely had "no idea" of the atrocities being committed?

Do you hate all Iraqi citizens because of Saddam, as well?

Just curious, what country are you from?

Dave8 said...

NAND: "On the other hand, the US supported Suharto who wiped out all opposition in his country (killing 100,000 members of the PKK, the popular peasant party comprised not of the wealthy elite but of ordinary farmers and such)"

NAND, your profile suggests you are from NSW, Australia.

If so, should the collective USA associate you with Keating, and his mate Suharto?

Dave8 said...

NAND: "Who would want 72 virgins anyway?"

Who would want chilled or white raisins for martyrdom?

By the way, the newer ancient translation provided, (in context), is derivative of ancient Syrian meaning, moving away from pure Arabic, and is under scholarly review.

Nonetheless, I fail to see how Islam is somehow different in their requirement of "blind obedience" than other religions. Their indoctrination program is much more robust; praying five times a day, total isolation, etc., than let’s say, other religious programs.

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

Should I specifically say: I hate the power elites, the arms manafacturers and the setters of foreign policies? I thought it would be implied that I don't hate every single citizen of the US nation. (Like wanting to sleep with virgins:) that would be stupid.

Look, I lived in sydney for two years, over the course of which I met many, many moslems. In every case, I happened to get along with them better than I would hindus and christians. They simply weren't as annoying, and they accepted my criticism of their religion with alot more peace and respect than christians do, when I mock and ridicule their beliefs.

Most of them, much like the catholics of this country, didn't even believe their holy scriptures to be the infallible truth (in fact not once did I come across this belief!). Not once did I come across the belief that Shatamwe is a real entity. And when I made fun of how "Allah" sounds like "Eloh" and "salaam" sounds like "shalom": boy you better believe these people took it alot better than the jews I pointed this out to did. One old jewish lady physically attacked me, just for being a larrikin and having shits and giggles! And of course I have been assaulted by many christians over the course of my life. The moslems however - never attempted to get violent with me, rarely defended their faith against me, and were just generally more respectful and peaceful. Their religion will be easier to wipe out than christinsanity will... so I suggest we concentrate on the xians first (ie: take out your biggest opponent first). That way, when we move onto jizzlam, we'll have alot more atheists by our side, and hopefully by then we'll have figured out some way to distance ourselves from the racists who simply want to give arabs a hard time / wipe them out.

"As far as I'm concerned Jesus and Allah can both go fuck themselves, or they can fuck each other up the ass.

Just like Christianity, Islam also fucking sucks." --- AGREED!

Btw: paul keating, brilliant politician; awful, awful man. But he's not the one who gave suharto the guns, the orders, the training, the military support.

I think it was on these boards I saw the best prayer ever:
"Dear Jesus,
Get Fucked.
Amen"
well,
"Dear Allah,
Fuck you.
Salaam, homeboy"

That's my position and I'm sticking to it (because those fuzzy-faced people have a hard enough time getting by and staying alive, without us kicking shit in their faces. Let's do them a favour and make them feel loved for once. Then when they're close to us, we can tear apart their beliefs with reason and logic and it won't seem so hostile, so we'll be more likely to win)

Anonymous said...

"...I was never a religious person..."

"...being a former Christian..."

???


Was so shocking about those statements, anonymous? Haven't you noticed that most Christians aren't really religious?

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

ALSO, Saddam Hussein, as much of a bogeyman as he may have been, was much better than any US president since Lincoln.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200710300002

In 1991, Unilaterally destroyed his NBC Weapons stockpile, while the US continues to produce those sorts of weapons, and maintains its' old stockpiles...

On top of that, before the second Gulf War began, he offered to personally fight Gerog W. Bush in a sword-duel, to prevent the suffering and misery a war would surely visit upon his people. That is humane, brave and honourable.

Using white phosphorous rockets on civilian buildings in Lebanon (I know, it was the Israelis not the US who did this - but those rockets weren't made in Israel they were provided by Lockheed-Martin etc) = decidedly not honourable. Decidedly cowardly, misanthropic and dastardly. You guys know what a WP rocket does to human flesh, right? Do a google image search if you want to find out who the real terrorists are.

Anonymous said...

I'M GLAD YOU WROTE THIS!
when I left CHRISTIANITY I wondered if athiesm is too simple, since the saying "there are no athiests in foxholes" ( said in WW2 dealing with men who were about to die in combat). I wondered what would happen to me if something tragic were to happen and I have no mental or moral support to turn to. Hearing that you lost your child and still choose to not believe Christianity helps to answer my question and atheism and personal tragedy ( although you did get suckered in abit). Thanks for your story.

Phant said...

Nand Gate Fetishist said: "ALSO, Saddam Hussein, as much of a bogeyman as he may have been, was much better than any US president since Lincoln."

Are you really that fucking stupid?

Shut the fuck up you stupid goddamn Muslim Asshole.

Dave8 said...

NAND, is that short for the "not and" logic gate, just curious. I found little I disagreed with on the first post, however, on the second; there are some things I am not sure about.

NAND: "ALSO, Saddam Hussein, as much of a bogeyman as he may have been, was much better than any US president since Lincoln."

Of course, the word "better" involves a value judgment. If we were to suggest that a measure of political leadership is the standard by which to measure "better", I am not sure we will find him even close to many other US Presidents. After all, his list of political blunders consists at a minimum of the following;

-Lost his country
-Hanged for crimes against humanity
-Failed to politically maneuver himself to prevent war @ the UN
-Failed to achieve domestic cohesion for a unified military effort against invasion

Saddam, by far failed as a political leader to unite his nation, and defend it by seeking international support effectively.

The only two countries who declined support of the invasion; were the two making money under the table in Iraq, while an international embargo was in place - France, and Russia.

NAND: "In 1991, Unilaterally destroyed his NBC Weapons stockpile, while the US continues to produce those sorts of weapons, and maintains its' old stockpiles..."

Quite honestly, I believe he received help in the destruction of most of his "weapons" and industrial military complex by military forces during the first campaign.

Whether or not he attempted to rebuild his complex becomes the question. In the end, it didn't matter; he lost his temper, kicked out inspectors and gave the proverbial middle digit to the international community in defiance, knowing that such an act would trigger international resolve. Whoever profiled him, likely put; he's a bully, with a bad temper, just nudge him a little and he'll rebel.

While that may seem something that a lot of us would do, if we felt threatened... most of us, would think twice if we were concerned that our children, family or nation would have to pay in the destruction of our homes, etc. He chose his personal ego, over his citizenry that lost him a country – his “J-O-B” was to prevent such fallout.

NAND: "On top of that, before the second Gulf War began, he offered to personally fight Gerog W. Bush in a sword-duel, to prevent the suffering and misery a war would surely visit upon his people. That is humane, brave and honourable."

Again, politically speaking, why would GW give up the advantage; that makes no sense - for some macho move with a dictator? The international community was behind the effort.

Saddam was already approving the torture of his citizens, by the minority religious sect. His death was in reality, meaningless, because that same sect of fanatics continues to torture the moderate Iraqi population. The gesture of dueling was nothing short of macho pride, and "not" in the best interest of his citizens.

NAND: "Using white phosphorous rockets on civilian buildings in Lebanon (I know, it was the Israelis not the US who did this - but those rockets weren't made in Israel they were provided by Lockheed-Martin etc) = decidedly not honourable."

Using technology to decrease collateral damage is not honorable? The use of disinformation, like posting "Baby Milk Factory" on buildings that were used to create weapons, was/is a common strategy used by the Iraqi military to prevent direct engagement.

As well, it’s cowardly for an oppositional leader, to surround themselves with innocent civilians, to ward off an attack because “other” nations have laws that prevent the unbridled attack opportunity of a civilian population.

While I agree, that technology has increased the efficiency of attack that is "not" to say, that some other form of attack wouldn't have occurred, having a much greater casualty rate.

Marching in with a battalion of soldiers, where there is a large hostage situation because an oppositional leader surrounds themselves with innocent civilians is likely "much worse" in the outcome, than a precision strike, during off-peak hours at a specific location.

If we are going to start discussing the science of combat and military operations, I think it would be an interesting endeavor.

Can we start with the cowardly act, of the Beirut bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, in 1983, where 220 US Marines, and 21 other service members, carrying out a "peace-keeping mission", were killed with a "truck" loaded with 12K lbs of TNT while "sleeping".

Hezbollah, or translated, "Party of God", was planted in southern Lebanon by Iranian Revolutionary Guards to export Iran's radical Shiite revolution. The peace-keeping force that was sent there was murdered because these radicals, don't want peace - they want control over the region.

Far be it for me, to suggest the most "humane" way to kill a terrorist, but, I think it more appropriate to limit the casualty rate and that requires precision strikes, and that means "technology". If it requires WP/Ph, SABO, etc., to get through hardened bunkers, etc., then so be it.

Quite frankly, I'm willing to pitch money into the pot, to pay our allies to engage terrorists off of our shores, so that I don't end up being sent to some country that is surrounded by fanatics. No "peace-keeping" operation, that I am aware of, has ended up with good reviews, certainly not Vietnam.

No matter how the game is played, the US is going to take some lip service by someone internationally. If we get involved, in international affairs abroad, we are considered "busy-bodies", putting our noses where they don't belong.

If we don't get involved, then we are plastered as isolationist pigs, who don't care about anyone else on the planet except for ourselves, and that the only reason we engage anyone else on the planet is for "global domination", in order to feed our "over-consuming", resource fetish.

If you have a "solution" to that problem, by all means, elaborate.

NAND: "Decidedly cowardly, misanthropic and dastardly. You guys know what a WP rocket does to human flesh, right? Do a google image search if you want to find out who the real terrorists are."

The effects of war are what they are. A building of concrete crushing a sleeping soldier, is no less – polite and pristine.

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

Don't call me a moslem, ass face. I'm an atheist through and through, born with no religion, never indoctrinated into one. I abhor all religions, especially the abrahamic ones. Well, actually I don't hate buddhism, as some of their writings actually make sense. I would say it is you who is the stupid one. Did you actually read the rest of the post? What could be more noble than offering to sacrifice your own life to save your people? When has any president outside of Saddam offered to do such a thing?

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

That last comment I made was at phant.

Dave8, you make some good points. The value judgment was that of a human being, not a political being. The duel could easily have resulted in the loss of Saddam's life or health, the terms of defeat would have entailed surrender and dethronement. However, overall, you make a very strong, very reasonable argument that is somewhat difficult to disagree with.

But you must agree, the killing of civilians is worse than the killing of soldiers. Everybody knows what the U.S. was doing in Lebanon in 1981 - as one soldier there put it: "We're here to protect the rich from the poor". Soldiers are trained killers (another word for killer is MURDERER); thus, having signed up to take the lives of others, we should not care when/if their lives are lost - they have signed away the free will that the rest of us enjoy, and become less than human. I say this in regard to all soldiers, from every country in this world. This applies to paramilitaries, freedom fighters, terrorists et al. I don't advocate the killing of these people (soldiers, etc), I just don't grieve for them, or care about their deaths. Innocent bystanders, on the other hand, I have more regard for. Those people in israel who get hit by rockets, I feel bad for those dudes. The same for those palestinians who are facing genocide at their hands. I'm not one-sided about this: The innocent africans in sudan being killed by moslem death squads make me feel just as awful as the palestinians do (in sudan, it is another case of genocide, just like east timor).

But the solution is not military dominance, the solution is not genocide - the solution is to put an end to arms manafacturing, and certainly arms distribution. Another part of the solution is destroying religion, and equalising wealth distribution. "When a man shouts, you must learn to whisper." - Prince

Yes, NAND gates are the king of all logic gates, because they can be used in specific structures to produce the result obtainable by any other logic gate. It may not be always elegant, but I still find it fascinating.

And if anyone wants to call me, a strongly stated atheist, a fucking moslem again, I will request that a moderator ban their IP adress from posting. Noone, least of all somebody as arrogant as phant, has the right to put untrue, unjustified labels upon me.

Dave8 said...

NAND, you suggest your father is an Arab-Israeli atheist. Does this mean, your father was an Arab, who was caught living in the geographic location now known as Israel when it received state status in 1948?

Not all Arabs are religious, but many are. There are some sects that prevent any discussion of their sect/belief, especially some who await the Mahdi – who would apparently seem atheist. Just curious, it seems we all have relatives that stretch back to a common ancestry given enough time.

Dave8 said...

NAND: "But you must agree, the killing of civilians is worse than the killing of soldiers."

Killing is killing in my opinion. When a person is threatened with deadly force, I'm not sure there is a distinction between soldier or civilian, IMHO.

However, I'll grant you that the loss of innocent civilian life is considered far more tragic than the loss of military life.

I suppose, the loss of life, is somehow different, because the military members are expected to shoulder the occupational hazard of death - it's why they make so much money.

NAND: "Everybody knows what the U.S. was doing in Lebanon in 1981 - as one soldier there put it: "We're here to protect the rich from the poor".

That is the cliché of "all" wars. It would be more accurate to suggest that the Military was there for peace-keeping, because it was widely believed that if the majority of people in the area were allowed to establish their personal form of government - it would be democratic.

NAND: "Soldiers are trained killers (another word for killer is MURDERER);"

Do you call doctors who perform abortions, trained "murderers"? It would seem, any skill in ending life, would be the test for "murderer".

NAND: "thus, having signed up to take the lives of others, we should not care when/if their lives are lost - they have signed away the free will that the rest of us enjoy, and become less than human."

That's an interesting approach to the topic. Would you consider all the people who were settled in the New World of America to "all" be "murderers" as well? Every male was considered a soldier for all practical purposes during the Revolutionary War between the New World colonies and England, just curious.

As well, many countries, have a mandatory military service period of two years immediately following secondary school; Germany, etc.. Would you consider them all to be "murderers" as well?

The Israeli IDF (Tzahal), is comprised of conscription service, where males must serve 3 years once they turn 18, and women 2 years. As well, after serving the mandatory period, men may be called for reserve service of up to one month annually, until the age of 43-45 (reservists may volunteer after this age), and may be called for active duty immediately in times of crisis.

It would seem Israel does nothing but, produce murderers. Of course, Israel can opt to become a higher life form, by opting to remove its military forces, thereby committing national suicide.

And then, of course, we have trained "police officers" and "law enforcement". These artisans, are trained killers as well, do we need to lump these folks in with all of those other lower life forms? How about security guards?

I know it's tempting to suggest that people ponder their occupation of choice, and think - "you know what, I think I want to be a professional murderer".

I can conceive of many people, finding themselves in a position, by birth, where survival requires them to become proficient in survival skills - to become efficient in protecting themselves, their family, and ultimately their nation, even if it requires them to learn skills that enable them to physically incapacitate a threat.

Do you believe people are lower life forms, because they found themselves born in a country that didn't allow them the advantage of dominant physical force, internationally?

NAND: "I say this in regard to all soldiers, from every country in this world. This applies to paramilitaries, freedom fighters, terrorists et al. I don't advocate the killing of these people (soldiers, etc), I just don't grieve for them, or care about their deaths."

So, we should expect that if you are attacked by a terrorist, that you would not retaliate or defend yourself, right.

NAND: "Innocent bystanders, on the other hand, I have more regard for. Those people in israel who get hit by rockets, I feel bad for those dudes."

Is there such a thing as an innocent Israeli, even if they serve in the IDF?

NAND: "The same for those palestinians who are facing genocide at their hands."

We all know what happened, when the US and international peace-keeping force attempted to help them with that continuous issue.

NAND: "I'm not one-sided about this: The innocent africans in sudan being killed by moslem death squads make me feel just as awful as the palestinians do (in sudan, it is another case of genocide, just like east timor)."

So, if another country, sent its military forces into Africa, lets say "Somalia" to render food and medical aid, and they were killed for the attempt, do you consider those military members to be low-life murderers as well?

NAND: "But the solution is not military dominance, the solution is not genocide - the solution is to put an end to arms manafacturing, and certainly arms distribution."

That's an interesting theory. Since, you seem to enjoy logic, do you know about game theory?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner%27s_dilemma

"In deciding what to do in strategic situations, it is normally important to predict what others will do. This is not the case here. If you knew the other prisoner would stay silent, your best move is to betray as you then walk free instead of receiving the minor sentence. If you knew the other prisoner would betray, your best move is still to betray, as you receive a lesser sentence than by silence. Betraying is a dominant strategy. The other prisoner reasons similarly, and therefore also chooses to betray.

Yet by both defecting they get a lower payoff than they would get by staying silent. So rational self-interested play results in each prisoner being worse off than if they had stayed silent. In more technical language, this demonstrates very elegantly that in a non-zero sum game a Nash Equilibrium need not be a Pareto optimum.

Note that the paradox of the situation lies in that the prisoners are not defecting in hope that the other will not. Even when they both know the other to be rational and selfish, they will both play defect. Defect is what they will play no matter what, even though they know fully well that the other player is playing defect as well and that they will both be better off with a different result."

What is interesting about this, is that entire political positions could be seen to engage in some form of game theory, hoping to maximize self-interest, and not because, of "greed" outright, but because, if one doesn't engage in some form of self-interest, they will be the one holding the bag per se.

And, while prescribing a solution to the problem of international self-interest, what seems to be missing is... the history of the world and the position we are currently in. Billy Joel has a song about that one.

Enjoy:
http://yeli.us/Flash/Fire.html

NAND: "Another part of the solution is destroying religion, and equalising wealth distribution. "When a man shouts, you must learn to whisper." - Prince"

Increase education of history, logic and reason, and religions become extinct, except for the young and those unable to mentally protect themselves - but then, such protection would require some type of "organized force".

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

Ffs, I DON'T want to discuss politics or morality, and yet that seems to be all I am doing here. I enjoy your posts dave8, and you make me realise that I have further thinking and research to do. I will read up on game theory one of these bloody days, but right now I am studying programming full time so I don't have the time. I retain my pacifistic stance, and I remain more keenly impressed by the writings of Noam Chomsky than by your arguments and points. But yes, I regard those members of international peace-keeping forces as murderers. If you've got a gun, you're a murderer. Hey! Why not huh? The prevailing logic of the day seems to be that if you formulate a plan of terrorist attack, even with no intention of carrying it out, you're a terrorist. I know it's Orwellian, but these days you might as well just accept that thoughtcrime is in effect, and carry it through to it's illogical conclusion.

Now please, if anybody wants to discuss the serious history and scientific errors of the article, I'm keen for discussion.

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

As to your question about my father: I don't know much about him, I've only spoken to him a few times, all prior to 2000, when I was 14 years old. I learnt this much: he was from a christian palestinian family who fled from Israel-Palestine some decades ago. I recall that he was surprised to learn he had ANOTHER son named Anthony, and that he was proud of my academic success (I was a gifted student). I was interested in religion at the time, and he advised reading some Bertrand Russel (which I still haven't gotten around to, d'oh!). Currently, I have no idea how to get in touch with him, or even if he is still alive. I'm usually so busy that I just kind of forget about him most of the time.

However, you never forget that your heritage is middle eastern, because you receive second-class citizen status, second-class treatment from other citizens, have racist slurs yelled at you from people driving by in cars every other week, get called "lebo" alot (whether or not you're lebanese!), and are eyed suspiciously by anglos in public. This is not so bad in Sydney, where people tend to be more well-educated and mature, but where I live I can't even go to the pub (my home away from home!) for fear of somebody singling me out as "looking different" or "being a moslem/terrorist".

I had a dumb, irrate, anglo step-father to deal with and as such took the strongest women in my life for role-models (sister, mother, friends, teachers doctors). The kind of pointless, non-creative conflicts we involve ourselves in... War is destruction, destruction of people, destruction of resources, destruction of peace. I prefer to participate in constructive/creative endeavours, like writing music, shitty poetry, reading good books, programming, or even critical analysis.

Can we maybe agree that if men stopped being the power players - in fact, were barred from positions of power and influence, then the world would in better shape?

Now, I'm going to watch buffy the vampire slayer; please remember, I'm only interested in talking about science and history, not politics. I will not engage in very much further political debate (because it is the worst kind of debate, impossible to remove bias from)

Anonymous said...

NAND Gate wrote: "ALSO, Saddam Hussein, as much of a bogeyman as he may have been, was much better than any US president since Lincoln."

Ever notice how royalty and priesthoods make strange but happy bedfellows, keeping you from asking questions, not free to observe and conclude what your own intelligence helps to observe and conclude and most importantly keeping their flock of sheep OBEDIENT and SACRIFICING....
Belief in Lincoln's greatness is as much a load of crap as belief in Moses' greatness. They both demanded blind obedience under severe penalty. I used to believe in greatness of Lincoln much as I believed in the Bible . Heck I remember doing book reports on him in grade school and high school and read extensively on the Civil War. I was born and raised on the winning side, a true blue Yankee. It was at some point of studying the battles and the horrific carnage that I STARTED TO QUESTION THE LINCOLN STORY JUST LIKE I QUESTIONED THE BIBLE'S STORIES.
He is responsible for the draft, your life is not your own, it is sacrificable for a greater good of someone else's choosing.
Income tax was created during his presidency, he suspended habeas corpus , He was the champion of central banking that lets the elite print worthless money. He demanded that honest decent men should leave their content life on their farms to march to horrible and gruesomely slow painful death on the battlefields by way of the draft. The empire he was creating was for his own glory.
He was known to use holy scripture in his speeches for political gain even though historians consider him an atheist or close to it.
Like all Dear Great Fearless Leaders , there are monuments to him and testimonies of how he fearlessly and dearly and greatly saved us. Oh how greatly we should sacrifice our life for his vision, for he like an only begotten son is truly a savior, or so you must believe , just as you must believe in Moses and Jesus. Belief in Lincoln's greatness benefits the players and not the played.

Ever notice how generous and altruistic people are with someone else's life? Someone else's money. Many believe that the draft was necessary to end slavery but a sovereign free man that was forced by way of Lincoln's draft to go off to a foreign land to bleed , was himself made a slave. Slavery and brutality are going on all over the world today and yet how many of Lincoln's cheerleaders would put down the bag of food they are eating in front of their computer and go off to a foreign land to get shot and killed to end slavery for example in the Africa or the Middle East.
Why expand on Lincoln on an exchristian site? Because the players at the top use noble altruistic scripture inspired language to manipulate and control the sheep from asking questions. It keeps the Holy and the Royalty winking and nodding at each other while the masses sacrifice for some imaginary greater good, a greater good that serves their masters.

Dave8 said...

NAND: "Can we maybe agree that if men stopped being the power players - in fact, were barred from positions of power and influence, then the world would in better shape?"

A situation without a power structure is called anarchy. A situation with a power structure is called a governing body.

I have met my share of female Israeli and American soldiers, to know, that gender is not a factor in regard to "self-preservation" or "self-interest".

NAND: "I retain my pacifistic stance, and I remain more keenly impressed by the writings of Noam Chomsky than by your arguments and points."

Of course, I have done nothing but merely offer alternatives to a single dimensional view of the topic of war. What is it about Noam that impresses you? I'm not asking in jest, I have read some of Noam Chomsky and have a few writings on my bookshelf.

NAND: "But yes, I regard those members of international peace-keeping forces as murderers."

"Pacifism - Pacifism is the belief that war of any kind is morally unacceptable and/or pragmatically not worth the cost. Pacifists extend humanitarian concern not just to enemy civilians but also to combatants, especially conscripts."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_War

Most pacifists, in my experience, are consistent in their humanity. I just find your position thus far, to be... selective, which is not something I would expect.

"Moral absolutism is the belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, devoid of the context of the act. "Absolutism" is often philosophically contrasted with moral relativism, which is a belief that moral truths are relative to social, cultural, historical or personal references, and to situational ethics, which holds that the morality of an act depends on the context of the act."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_absolutism

When I was young, I perceived reality as I wanted it to be in "Absolute" terms. As I matured, and gained new experience, I found life didn't seem to work that way... that any Absolute moral code, or theory, prevented the flexibility to extend contextual judgment and ultimately justice.

Absolutist views destroy any system of justice, within a dynamic Nature/Reality, or at least, any that I have contemplated.

Let's say, that you Absolutely value "life". And, then, let's say you value the Absolute principle of pacifism. Those two Absolute values are not compatible. If you were attacked, you would not be able to "protect" your valued "life", unless you contradicted your Absolute principle of pacifism.

What I am presenting, is a logical analysis between competing theories of survival and moral justice. No politics involved; purely analytic philosophy. In science, the point is to find some sense of objective evidence. It would seem that logical foundations, for any analytic endeavor would be a good place to start an inquiry.

If you don't want to carry this discussion further, then, no worries.

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

So call me a selective-pacifist moral-relativist.

As for Noam, the father of modern linguistics, I find him unflawed in argument, and so largely ignored by the mainstream as to see him as unchallengeable. For now. He is also rather brave to voice his dissent in a region of the world where it is unseemly to do so.

Look, I'm tired, I have glandular fever, I really can't deal with going through point for point with you right now. But, I never suggested anarchy, I merely posited that women are more awesome than men, and should be in charge. If you have a problem with this sort of soft-core misandry, you should at least acknowledge that it is a nice change of pace to hear from a matriarchially-minded arab.

For mr. anonymous. I have read such things about Lincoln, too, primarily, I believe, within Chomsky tomes. The truth was, I couldn't think of a single decent human being that was ever the president of the united states. Kennedy sure as shit didn't cut the mustard, the only thing Eisenhower cut was maybe the cheese. So I used pres. Lincoln, because at least I could agree with one thing he said -

"Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON DUDES!" - Abe Lincoln.

Dave8 said...

Anony: "Why expand on Lincoln on an exchristian site? Because the players at the top use noble altruistic scripture inspired language to manipulate and control the sheep from asking questions."

While I agree on the premise, I am content with understanding the situation Lincoln was faced with.

The diverse "values" between the slave states, and non-slave states forged the fertile grounds of a Civil War.

The right to “individual freedoms” was not "extended" to slave citizens in non-slave states. In order to bring some semblance of unity under the US Constitution, there had to be conformity to common "values". Lincoln challenged State Rights, or the right of States to remain self-governed, ultimately leading to a "civil" (civilization/values) war.

One could make the argument, that "slaves" were "victims", based on non-slave state values within a sovereign nation.

The "Ideal" in Lincoln's venture, was based on "Individual Freedoms", and that such freedoms should be held by all citizens equally under the Constitution - yes, it did bring war.

However, if he didn't lead the nation, to some sense of value conformity, which people were more than willing to "die" over, then he'd be referred today as a loser, who turned a blind eye to slavery - which was supported by religious intolerance.

Anony: "It keeps the Holy and the Royalty winking and nodding at each other while the masses sacrifice for some imaginary greater good, a greater good that serves their masters."

While I agree that this is wholly possible, with the religious especially, I find it more difficult to get away with in government.

For instance, I am quite certain, that everyone that participated in the civil war, knew "exactly" why they were fighting... the North fought to unite America under a federal system, overseeing and regulating the states, and the South who found to remain independent and free from federal regulation and oversight.

While it may take a lot of effort to figure out political objectives, it's impossible with a religious leader who suggests they have a personal audience with an invisible deity.

Any time you enter "trust" in "any" situation, you enter "vulnerability".

It would appear that we have a few choices, we can "trust" and be "exposed", or "shut out" everyone from our lives, in order to not be manipulated or used. I am more of the cautious, "trust", type, who has learned the value of using strong BS filters - however, it took me many years and in adverse conditions to come to terms with that principle.

Dave8 said...

NAND: "So call me a selective-pacifist moral-relativist."

Well, at least you know where you stand.

NAND: "As for Noam, the father of modern linguistics, I find him unflawed in argument, and so largely ignored by the mainstream as to see him as unchallengeable. For now. He is also rather brave to voice his dissent in a region of the world where it is unseemly to do so."

Nothing wrong with churning up intellectual dialogue.

NAND: "But, I never suggested anarchy, I merely posited that women are more awesome than men, and should be in charge. If you have a problem with this sort of soft-core misandry, you should at least acknowledge that it is a nice change of pace to hear from a matriarchially-minded arab."

Once again, you know your position. That's about as good as it gets I suppose. I have no misgivings about women or the Arabs, who dote on them.

Personally, I'd dote more often if I weren't married. However, in a job interview, capabilities beat genitalia - personal preference.

NAND: "So I used pres. Lincoln, because at least I could agree with one thing he said - "Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON DUDES!" - Abe Lincoln."

:-) Well, this has surely been an adventure - party on.

Phant (No Apologies) said...

NAND Gate Fetishist said:
"Don't call me a moslem, ass face."

Reagan was the best goddamn president ever, and I am a huge supporter of the IRA.

So you can just kiss my ass.

Phant said...

just for the record, I don't give a shit if you are an atheist.

I support the NRA, and Reagan was a damn good president even if he was a goddamn christian. I liked the Gipper, and for anyone else who disagrees with me you can just kiss my ass.

He saved this country from turning into Nuclear Dust. The 80's were the greatest Time period ever, unlike these sucky assed times.

People bitch and complain about the 80's being a decade of greed. That's BULLSHIT!!!!!

People today are more fucking greedy than what they ever were in the 80's plus the 80's was a more friendlier time period and you didn't have all of this gangsta rap by these idiot rappers who don't have the talent of a jackass. The music that is played on the radio today fucking sucks, and kids back then didn't wear trashy clothes and holey jeans like kids do today.

We were a hell of a lot better off back then than what we are now. Anyone who doesn't think so is a crack head.

Phant said...

Who the fuck is this "Nand Gate Fetishist" person anyway?

Where in the hell did this asshole come from?

I don't care if this person is Mouslim, Christian, Atheist, or Agnostic. They don't want to piss off old Phant.

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

Nice rant, phant. Dave8 thanks for the discussion, man - I enjoyed it!

"Who the hell is this nand gate fetishist person anyway?

Where in the hell did this asshole come from?"

- that's my favourite quote from this whole thread lol

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

Awesome! I just realised how much that guy totally dug the eighties! Not like these sucky arse times!

The Real Phant said...

To the poster known as NAND Gate Fetishist:

I am not the one who has been leaving you those hateful messages. I do not have a quarrel with you, nor do I have anything against you.

Someone else has been mocking me by posting under my name and insulting you. Although this person is copying a lot of my behavior, I go after christians on here, not other atheists.

For some reason, I have a feeling that the poster known as "Trollman" is the one who is behind this Bullshit. There has been a few other instances on here recently where someone else has been posting under other people's screen names on here.

NAND Gate Fetishist said...

Thanks for clearing that up.

So we have to ask ourselves: what is behind this type of behaviour? Is it merely immaturity, or some sort of social disorder that goes beyond that?

The Real Phant said...

Nand Gate Fetishist Said:
"Thanks for clearing that up."

You're welcome. Glad I was able to clear it up. I post on here quiet a bit, and like I mentioned to you in my other post I do a lot of ranting, fussing, and cussing on here, however it's always at other christians never other atheists. I am one who hates christianity with a passion, and I have been deeply wounded by the mind cult called christianity.

Nand Gate Fetishist Said:
"So we have to ask ourselves: what is behind this type of behaviour? Is it merely immaturity, or some sort of social disorder that goes beyond that?"

Perhaps so, or some troll who has no life with too much time on their hands who feels the need to stir up shit between some of us on here.

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