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cleanhippie

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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 19,705

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Heresy

An Atheist, a Theist, and an Agnostic walk into a bar...

Religious opposition to the table fork

Back in Biblical times people ate with their fingers, typically from a shared pot. Jesus states during his Last Passover Supper that he thinks one of the Twelve disciples has betrayed him to the Romans. He only says it’s someone dipping into the pot with him, which they were all doing. In retrospect, Judas is identified and blamed.

Still today in the Arab world people eat with their fingers and share food from a common pot. This is why Arabs are so much more scrupulous than Westerners about washing their hands before they eat. It’s also why they have the convention a clean (right) hand for writing, shaking hands and eating, and the left hand for, you know, wiping. Which also increases the punishment of having a hand cut off for theft. Then what? Would you want to have someone share a meal with you, if they’ve only got one hand – for everything?

So the medieval invention of the small fork for use at the table would seem like a good idea. (Industrial-size ones for cooking had been used by the Romans and others for centuries.) But you know what religious people are like when someone wants to introduce any sort of change – “It’s not sanctioned by Scripture! It’s the work of the Devil!”

Here’s an excerpt from an interesting article,“The Uncommon Origins of the Common Fork“:

Forks for dining only started to appear in the noble courts of the Middle East and the Byzantine Empire in about the 7th century and became common among wealthy families of the regions by the 10th century. Elsewhere, including Europe, where the favored implements were the knife and the hand, the fork was conspicuously absent.

Imagine the astonishment then when in 1004 Maria Argyropoulina, Greek niece of Byzantine Emperor Basil II, showed up in Venice for her marriage to Giovanni, son of the Pietro Orseolo II, the Doge of Venice, with a case of golden forks—and then proceeded to use them at the wedding feast. They weren’t exactly a hit. She was roundly condemned by the local clergy for her decadence, with one going so far as to say, “God in His wisdom has provided man with natural forks—his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metal forks for them when eating.”

When Argyropoulina died of the plague two years later, Saint Peter Damian, with ill-concealed satisfaction, suggested that it was God’s punishment for her lavish ways. “Nor did she deign to touch her food with her fingers, but would command her eunuchs to cut it up into small pieces, which she would impale on a certain golden instrument with two prongs and thus carry to her mouth. . . . this woman’s vanity was hateful to Almighty God; and so, unmistakably, did He take his revenge. For He raised over her the sword of His divine justice, so that her whole body did putrefy and all her limbs began to wither.”


And still today Christian fundamentalists think that gay marriage is causing hurricanes in the US, and Muslim fundamentalists think that women’s clothing is causing earthquakes in Iran, and it’s all caused by the Devil. And do you ever see the Devil with a hurricane or an earthquake? No! (But you see him with a fork…)

http://robinhl.com/2012/12/02/religious-opposition-to-the-table-fork/

No God? ...No Problem!

You Don't Need To Believe In...

Merry Christimas. I Got You The Truth

Being Toto

The Wizard of Oz is a secular humanist parable.

I’m not the first to point this out. But the eye roll I got from my 17-year-old son when I said it at dinner the other night could have cleared the dishes from the table. He’s currently soldiering through an AP Lit class in which the teacher earnestly insists that no cigar is ever, ever just a cigar. When one of the short stories they read described a red ovarian cyst in a jar, the teacher looked searchingly at the ceiling. “Red,” she said, drawing out the syllable and shaping her next thought with her hands. “Passion.”

“OR,” said my boy in the exasperated retelling, “red — the color of an ovarian cyst!!”

So I knew I was in for it when I claimed that The Wizard of Oz isn’t just a story about a girl and her weird dream.

But it isn’t.

Frank Baum (who wrote the book) was a religious skeptic and Ethical Culturist. Yip Harburg (who wrote the screenplay and songs) was an atheist. That doesn’t mean a thing by itself, of course. But it takes very little ceiling-gazing and hand-gesturing to see the Oz story as a direct reflection of a humanistic worldview.

Dorothy and her friends have deep, yearning human needs — for home, knowledge, heart and courage. When they express these needs, they’re told that only the omnipotent Wizard of Oz can fulfill them. They seek an audience with the Wizard, tremble in fear and awe, then are unexpectedly ordered to do battle with Sata… sorry, the Witch, who turns out pretty feeble in the end. (Water, seriously?) When they return, having confronted their fears, the Wizard dissembles, and Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal a mere human behind all the smoke and holograms — at which point they learn that all the brains, courage, heart, and home they sought from the Wizard had always been right in their own hands.

It’s really not much of a stretch to see the whole thing as a direct debunk of religion and a celebration of humanistic self-reliance. And as a bonus, Connor actually granted me the point.

http://parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog/?p=8363

Did you know that the Admins are "biased gun nuts themselves who hate dissenting voices"?

Wow.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1172&pid=89564

Nothing Fails Like Prayer

The claim that God answers prayer is contrary to reality. Outside of the obvious, glaring reality that there is no God, coincidence plays a major role in the believer’s lack of understanding about how the world works. Let’s take the scenario of someone locking themselves out of their apartment. They utter a prayer for help and a few minutes later the Superintendent shows up. Normally, this would be viewed as a coincidence. But according to the praying Christian, it was the hand of God that made the Super show up “just at that moment” to unlock their door.”

Consider, though, that in third-world countries there are faithful believers who are praying to God because they’re starving to death or are succumbing to diseases that can be cured with modern medicine that isn't available to them for a variety of reasons, usually associated with money. Speaking of money, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their jobs and are praying for God to give them another one, and to provide for their sustenance and health while they are unemployed.

It would seem that God is behaving like quite the jerk by ignoring all those sick, starving children and allowing entire families to be put out on the street, but chooses to send an apartment manager to unlock the door of an inconvenienced resident.

--snip--

When a group of people prays about fixing up an old woman’s dilapidated house, and then people show up with hammers, it's not an act of their God. It’s just a group of well-meaning people who made a choice to help out someone in need. Nothing wrong with that, except for the whole “God led me to do it” part. Chances are pretty good that if the group were ardent atheists, they’d have done it anyhow.

As Steven Weinberg has so eloquently stated,

“With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”


http://www.goddiscussion.com/104770/nothing-fails-like-prayer-2/
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