Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 2.19

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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28 Comments

  1. I’m not really sure why the story of the man shooting himself in the church is here. I’m no fan of religion but this just seems to be another sad story of a person ending their own life, I don’t think it says anything about the church itself or religion in general.

  2. Hee hee, the Nerd Love segment was adorable. What would the equation they came up with (how many potential girlfriends for a physics nerd in the Boston area) be called?

    The suicide story is pretty awful, though.

  3. I’m seeing lots of stories about suicides lately.

    Most of the stories link the actions to financial difficulties. Are suicides going up due to the economic crisis? Or is the reporting of suicides going up due to the economic crisis? Or am I just paying more attention?

    It’s probably a little early to get the results of a true study. I’m just interested in opinions at this point.

  4. @Amanda: I hear ya. I’m not saying it shouldn’t be here, I just am uncomfortable with using instance of suicide to promote anything. Promote is not the right word but I’m at a loss right now.

    Reading the story I actually got the impression that he was there to die in a place he loved, not as a negative comment on the church. But that’s just my impression. The suicide prevention part is just coincidence IMO, in fact I applaud them for have a program in place. I think it would be unfair to claim this as a failure on their part.

    I’ve dealt with suicide too many times and in every case it’s a personal tragedy that has nothing (or little) to do with surrounding circumstances. It’s always been a result of clinical depression.

    I’m all for tearing televangelism a new one, I just feel that if it seems we are doing it over this story we’ll deserve whatever bad reaction we get. I think the topic deserves caution.

    Just my opinion.

  5. @durnett: I tend to think that statistics on suicide have always been there….but it used to be a little rule that suicides were never covered. That’s changed. And the commerical journalists are now making such connections to boost viewer-readership.My opinion.

    On Atheists…, I’m not…but I will fight to the last for the rights of those who don’t want to believe in a God. Further comments I found on the study:
    Those surveyed tended to view people who don’t believe in a god as the “ultimate self-interested actor who doesn’t care about anyone but themselves,” Edgell said.

    Cole Ries, the president of the Maranatha Christian Fellowship said he does not agree with that perception.

    “Atheists seem to be concerned with the human good,” he said. “Where I differ as a Christian is that I’m more concerned with God’s will than man’s will.”

    Still, Ries said, “I don’t believe that anybody is really an atheist. I believe that deep down everyone knows there is a god.”
    Great balls of fire! So are they saying that (God,Jehovah,Yeweh) aren’t concerned with human good? I mean isn’t that why they are supposed to be talking to humans in the first place?
    And…are all atheists just kids whistling in the dark…being stubborn and not believing what all the other kids believe …more self centered attention seeking? What alot of horse hockey….People have a right to believe as they will…and there was also a part in there about atheists being an acceptable group to hate…Now that’s just too damned much! Saying that gives permission to some of these pinheads to do “hateful” things to yet another “minority” group. I tend to believe that if we could do research we’d find that maybe more people are saying they believe in a God than really do. If they all believed some of the stupidity I see wouldn’t happen because they’d know better. One more thing. Some of the worse things I’ve ever seen in my little life have been executed by those who are believers…Americans, in this study tended to trust religious people more. I disagree. If a person has a principle…be it religion, science, or just plain integrity…allow them to prove their position before judging.
    Let me see the evidence.
    *steps off soapbox*

  6. @PrimevalKneival: I think the reason it’s here is the reasons mentioned above, plus it’s not the first time someone has committed suicide in front of that glass cross. There has been no discussion that I know of about why that would be so.

  7. @virginskepchick: The notion of serving “god’s will” instead of “man’s will” is not as contradictory as it sounds. The Christian view is that God is perfect and following his will always leads to the best outcome (although we are too puny to understand it). Following man’s will may lead to undesirable outcomes because man is flawed.
    Since you have stepped off your soapbox, may I use it a moment?
    I find I distrust deeply relgious people because they have abnegated their personal responsibility for their actions. They act according to god’s will and that seems to allow them to avoid owning their own decisions.
    Non-believers, on the other hand, are acutely aware that there is no Nuremburg defense for their actions. They cannot claim they were only following orders.
    I can’t trust someone who values obedience over ownership.
    (Disclaimer: most religous people are actually quasi-religous and fall somewhere in the middle. My distrust is reserved for the true whack-jobs).
    *the soapbox is free again*

  8. @SkepLit: re-claiming the box for a moment to add. I am disgusted that many of the Affinity Frauds I hear about are based on someone pushing the religious angle as a way to win people over. And I agree that the “true whack-jobs” TWJ
    if you will… are the ones who make the news…and the noise that is causing us to take steps backward in civilization.
    I see the point on “God’s will” and “man’s will”. I also see the point of “free will”. Yes we should own our actions. I agree as such that if a person believes that “perfect will ” is the goal…then great. I just don’t like it when we tell others how to believe.We can believe in something or nothing if we desire…I just don’t ever want atheists to become the new witches of the 21st century. The box is now free and thanks for your comments.

  9. How about God gives us light to see the world and rules to go by, but we are all responsible for our own acts?

    Someone who does, or proposes to do, something despicable and evil while claiming that God (whatever flavor or name you choose) told him or her to do it, is either a tyrant or a terrorist and not to be trusted. Clear enough?

  10. I am not convinced that any sane person really believes in the christian god. If they did believe it and did believe that the bible was the word of god then they would be forced to believe that there are a few men wandering around who are over 2000 years old. Also holding a job would be a sin because jesus told people not to hold jobs. God would take care of them the same way god takes care of flowers and birds. Owning property would be a sin. Jebus told his followers (christians) to give away everything they had to the poor and follow him. Even loving your children and your parents would be sinful. Jesus told his followers that if they didn’t hate their kids and parents then they didn’t love him enough. To actually read the bible and believe it is true and hold onto your sanity. I just don’t think it is possible. People are very careful to avoid reading and thinking about it. When a person truly leads a life as described by the bible they are homeless and we think of them as crazy.

  11. @Gabrielbrawley: My understanding is that the bible is based on *this is new for me too* Proto History…that much of it if not all was written thousands of years after the “fact” in some instances. Its not a book to be taken literally…as I understand it…it is supposed to address the “hearts and minds” of followers. Its also based on different religions. Consider that the first book is supposed to be based on story of the Jews. The second on the Testament of Jesus Christ.Muslims too, as I humbly understand, also claim some of the same accounts…all of these based on oral tradition in the many tribes called human. Yeah, so it would be impossible to follow every single verse and live it that way. It is supposed to be the “spirit” that is followed. Also, as I observe, each religion seems to have its own prophet as well. Abraham, Jesus, and Mohamed. *standing to be corrected by better informed if they are here*.
    Yep, its a mess…and when you try to get literal with lets say…the creation and make it the “factual account” and then try to make EVERYONE believe the same thing…well…its nuts…
    Now back to the scoops and the spaceships.

  12. @virginskepchick: Many christians claim that the bible is the literal, true and unquestionable word of god. My early post was that I find their claim to be unconvincing because they don’t live it. If you beleive something you live it. I believe that gravity attracts me to the surface of the earth so I don’t walk off of cliffs when I am hiking. I believe that I will lose my job if I stop showing up for work so I keep showing up. Etc. Other christians do speak of the allegorical nature of the bible so I am less critical of them. I just want to know which parts are allegorical and which parts are the irrefutable laws of god. It doesn’t make distinctions in the bible itself.

  13. @Gabrielbrawley: “Many christians claim that the bible is the literal, true and unquestionable word of god. My early post was that I find their claim to be unconvincing because they don’t live it.”
    I would also be curious as to which are literal and which aren’t…I’m not sure that I can find out. But trust that I will check what I can anyway. Those who are saying this is the literal…etc word…also. scare me. thx for your comments

  14. @Gabrielbrawley: Whichever ones you want to be, that’s why it’s so popular.

    I actually do understand why reasonable people believe. I have many occasions where I end up spending the day in either a church or a synagogue (weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs). I always pay attention and I always find some sort of meaning in what the “speaker of the house” is saying. I mean really, it’s so vague and open ended how can you not? But because I don’t recognize any divine power in these people and their books I’m able to think critically about what they say.

    Really it’s no different from a giant cold reading. If you understand how it works it’s just that, if you don’t it’s magical.

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