As a non-believer, I make no claims or assertions about the world or the universe, other than to ask for believers to present evidence that their beliefs actually exist in reality and not just in their imaginations.
As religious believers, of whatever flavor or stripe, it is assumed that you actually believe in something "supernatural", meaning it exists outside of the natural world we inhabit.
If this is the case, then how is is that you can convince us non-believers that your beliefs merit any more consideration or respect than say Fred Phelps, or Pat Robertson, or ANY other believer, if you are unable to convince us that your beliefs have any basis in reality at all?
I'm the end, from our perspective, your beliefs, whatever they may be, if not supported by reality and evidence, are just as nonsensical as any other, including the beliefs that YOU find nonsensical.
This, IMO, is where the first discussion MUST take place, for this is about where the line is drawn between reality and imagination. Until we have THIS discussion, how can you expect is to give anything else you have to say that is based on your beliefs, any consideration?
They have served honorably for several months now and have all done a great job, so let's give them a break and elect a new crop of hosts. Otherwise, we run the risk of having them become like career politicians, where maintaining the office is more important than doing the job they were elected to do. I suggest that we have term limits as well, and some fresh blood in the seats just may do this group some good.
Changing the hosts will also allow other DU members a look at the inner workings of DU, something we should ALL be privy to one time or another.
No one that regularly posts here should be excluded from consideration, and I think we should keep the lead host as a non-partisan, non-group regular participant. (I would be ok with keeping Renew Deal as lead host).
Now, no one will have an excuse.
As a humanist, I would not bat an eye if the nation's churches privately banded together to promote a non-governmental National Day of Prayer. If the country's evangelical leaders, Catholic bishops, and other clerics - without using the machinery of government - felt that a nationwide interfaith event encouraging prayer would be somehow beneficial, they would have my very secular blessing. Enjoy your day of prayer, folks. Knock yourselves out.
But the religious activists behind the National Day of Prayer are not content with their religious freedom. Instead, they have a compelling need to see their government (which also happens to be mine and yours) sponsor the annual prayer event and issue proclamations, preferably accompanied by grandiose ceremonies, validating their supernatural theological beliefs.
To an inattentive observer the NDOP may seem like a broadly inclusive event that pays respect to the beliefs of all theistic religions Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, etc. but in practice such ecumenical goals are absent. In fact, the NDOP is driven by a narrow fundamentalist Christian cartel that sees the entire affair as a means of promoting its worldview.
When we look at those behind the NDOP, we see not a broad interfaith coalition but a tight-knit roster of Religious Right figures. The NDOP Task Force readily concedes that it exists to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for Americas leaders and its families, and it cites numerous New Testament passages to support its mission. Religious liberals who see the NDOP as benign should realize that the event's most visible backers have an underlying agenda of attacking science, rewriting history, denying rights to women, tearing down the wall of separation between church and state, and opposing LGBT equality.
Q: If a baseball and bat cost $110, and the bat costs $100 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?
A: If you answered $10 you are inclined to believe in religion. If you answered $5 you are inclined to disbelieve.
Why? Because, according to new research reported in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science, the $10 answer indicates that you are an intuitive thinker, and the $5 answer indicates that you solve problems analytically, rather than following your gut instinct.
Psychologists William Gervais and Ara Norenzayan, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, predicted that people who were more analytic in thinking would tend not to believe in religion, whereas people who approach problems more intuitively would tend to be believers. Their study confirmed the hypothesis and the findings illuminate the mysterious cognitive process by which we reach decisions about our beliefs.
Cognitive theory of decision making supports the hypothesis that there are two independent processes involved in decision making. The first process is based on gut instinct, and this process is shared by other animals. The second cognitive process is an evolutionarily recent development, exclusive to humans, which utilizes logical reasoning to make decisions. Their study of 179 Canadian undergraduate students showed that people who tend to solve problems more analytically also tended to be religious disbelievers. This was demonstrated by giving the students a series of questions like the one above and then scoring them on the basis of whether they used intuition or analytic logic to reach the answers. Afterward, the researchers surveyed the students on whether or not they held religious beliefs. The results showed that the intuitive thinkers were much more likely to believe in religion.
To test whether there is a causative basis for this correlation, the researchers then used various subtle manipulations to promote analytic reasoning in test subjects. Prior research in psychology has shown that priming stimuli that subconsciously suggest analytical thinking will tend to increase analytic reasoning measured on a subsequent test. For example, if subjects are shown a picture of Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker" (seated head-in-hand pondering) they score higher in measures of analytic thinking in tests given immediately afterward. Their studies confirmed this effect but also showed that those subjects who showed increased analytic thinking also were significantly more likely to be disbelievers in religion when surveyed immediately after the test.
According to this, I'm a believer! Who knew?
A woman starved to death after embarking on a spiritual journey which involved giving up food and water and attempting to exist on nothing but sunlight. The Swiss woman, who was in her fifties, apparently got the idea after watching the documentary film 'In the Beginning, There Was Light' which features an Indian guru who claims to not have eaten anything in 70 years. The Zurich newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported Wednesday that the unnamed woman decided to follow the radical fast in 2010
The prosecutors' office in the Swiss canton of Aargau confirmed Wednesday that the woman died in January 2011 in the town of Wolfhalden in eastern Switzerland. Spokeswoman Jennifer Rissi says prosecutors haven't opened a criminal investigation over the woman's death.
Followers of the cult Breatharianism believe that the energy they save on digesting food and drink can be transformed into physical, emotional and spiritual energy. Excerpts from her diary showed she was refusing to eat or drink in the belief it would 'spiritually cleanse' her body and 'recharge her both physically and mentally'.
In a separate incident a woman died in an Australian hospital after attempting a 21-day fast.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135324/Woman-starves-death-spiritual-journey-trying-live-sunlight-alone.html#ixzz1tC2NHiwd
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