Frontier Former Editor

May 6, 2007

Appropriate reading for a Sunday . . .

I’ll admit rather readily that I’m an agnostic. I do believe that there is some central phenomenon that dictates how the world goes ’round, so to speak, but I’m not ready to accept that the Bible – such as it is – or the Torah or the Koran or the Book of Mormon or whatever ‘holy’ book  you choose is the explanation of it all. I certainly don’t accept baptism, transubstantiation, or any other religious or mystical rite as anything more than tradition, and I’ve seen religion cause more hate and discontent in my time than any single other cause.

Do you need a fairy tale to justify being a good, decent person?

Enjoy a little Christopher Hitchens while I struggle through Oracle homework . . .

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17 Comments »

  1. God thought the Hitchens book was crap.
    I am not sure whether I prefer a deity, even the vengeful and uptight one of the “People of the Book” to the professional atheists. Not much to choose between them.
    The Oracle relational database, however, is a real piece of overrated twaddle.

    Comment by Vicus Scurra — May 6, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

  2. and that’s why I think agnosticism is intellectually honest compared to the ends of that particular spectrum – at least it ultimately demands personal responsibility for the conduct of one’s life.

    Oracle, on the other hand, seems to be quite garbage-like based on the ‘high-quality’ text that I’m using right now – much like using a French text to learn Swahili

    Comment by Frontier Former Editor — May 7, 2007 @ 12:08 am

  3. well it’s no longer sunday here in the antipodes but I read it anyway.

    I think I fit the atheist criteria more than agnostic

    Comment by nursemyra — May 7, 2007 @ 9:08 am

  4. Dear Senor FFE

    …. but what if (per impossibile) the “Fairy Tale” is not just a Fairy Tale ….

    and agnosticism – how and/or why can it be that “… it ultimately demands personal responsibility for the conduct of one’s life”

    – how do you prevent it being ultimately allowing personal irresponsibility, where you choose to believe (or not believe) as much or aas little as you feel like

    Yr obedt servt etc

    GE

    Comment by G Eagle Esq — May 7, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

  5. because agnosticism, in its classical definition, does not reject belief in a system of belief. Rather, it questions the mysticism encrusting that system and strongly implies one’s desire to find the truth through layers of what essentially can be described as hocus pocus, fairy tale, tradition and tyranny-by-idiocy.

    Religious fervor, on the other hand, can be considered the worst sort of intellectual and ethical laziness when unquestioning faith and a lack of critical analysis of the written word handed down from a ‘god’ through the convenient vehicle of one’s fellow man. I submit the Crusades, the Arab onslaught to Spain and – quite possibly – many aspects of the various Arab-Israeli wars as examples to support this assertion.

    But that’s just me.

    Comment by Frontier Former Editor — May 7, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

  6. Dear FFE

    Vous avez un point, as usual !!!

    Kind regards

    G E

    Comment by G Eagle Esq — May 7, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  7. If Christopher Hitchens did not exist, then it would have been neccesary for Slate to invent him. He likes to sell you a dollar’s worth of verbiage to explain a ten-cent concept.

    “People of faith” need challenging at every opportunity in order to prevent them from making the world into their own personal dystopia. Witness the Glorious Leader in Washington.

    Besides, a faith unchallenged is surely not worth having?

    I believe that God made me atheist. The logic works thusly:

    A just and loving God supplies atheists to test His/Her/Its followers. It’s all part of the Plan.

    All I can do is play my part, for I, a mere atheist, cannot stand against the will of my Creator.

    Dan Gardner has more here.

    And I stole that link off Pharyngula.

    Comment by Metro — May 8, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

  8. Bonsoir, Monsieur Metro

    You are cautioned that you are not obliged to retort politely – but – it is a truth universally acknowledged that a young man in possession of a good comment [on FFE’s illustrious Blog] must not be in want of an audience across at least 3 continents and several oceans

    Why does the mysterious & occult spell “non sequitur’ keep springing to mind

    Surely it is the Veracity of a Faith that matters, not whether it is being challenged

    AND Why in the World’s greatest Consumer Republic is the Will of the People being denied by the Failure to Supply Pictures of the unDark Beef-Eater

    Es macht man denken, nee

    Das ist es, doch

    Alles Gut und

    Tot siens

    G Eagle

    Comment by G Eagle Esq — May 8, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

  9. More importantly, is it to one’s credit that one refers to Pharyngula as if he were a principled seeker, rather than a zealot of his own orthodoxy. I’ve been reading him for a year, and while he’s a very intelligent man, he is not what one would call open-minded.

    Also, he gives the linkie luv to thieving diggbaiters instead of the actual authors of the stuff he posts (after carefully cutting their watermark off).

    Comment by raincoaster — May 9, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

  10. hello

    thank god for some common sense

    tee hee

    with you on this one fronty – life is here and now – you just gotta try and do your best xx

    Comment by Ziggi — May 9, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

  11. @Meinheer EaGle:

    I honestly hope that while my views may be forcefully expressed, they are not mistaken for outright rudeness.

    By veracity do you mean having the correct faith?

    Or having a faith that follows its own tenets, accurately and honestly?

    @Raincoaster:
    Meyers says that civility has gotten civil society nowhere in the face of determined (and, I feel, successful) efforts to turn America toward theocracy.

    Whenever someone says “Well I think you’re wrong, but I suppose I have to accept your point of view,” they surrender another piece of the cultural landscape.

    Meyers simply says it’s high time to oppose these people on sound scientific grounds. To refuse to accept that someone should be allowed to make laws simply because they “feel” the truthiness.

    I’m not 100% behind him. I feel there are some damn good “fuzzy” reasons to make law. But I feel it’s safer to oppose people like Gingrich, Bush, and Robertson simply on principle. Being nice to them is to be Charlie Brown to their Lucy.

    Honestly, they’ll let you kick the football this time.

    Comment by Metro — May 9, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

  12. Bonsoir, M Metro

    Mon Ami, I was certainly not meaning to suggest that you are ever rude and I apologize unreservedly for expressing myself so badly as to give you or anyone else that impression

    In my half-witted way, I was trying to caricature the old English Police Caution

    I meant to use “veracity” as a synonym for “Truth”

    The test of any faith (or unfaith) is whether it is true, not whether I feel it is true or whether I follow its tenets accurately and honestly or whether I like it

    Kind regards &
    Alles Gute

    G Eagle

    Comment by G Eagle Esq — May 9, 2007 @ 9:18 pm

  13. You’re preachin to the choir on this one Fronty but the Hitch is a blustery walk in the woods ain’t he?
    You would probably make the world’s worst Mormon because you are a History Major.
    Exhibit A http://www.pbs.org/mormons/timeline

    Anyway, You don’t know and I don’t either.

    Comment by homo escapeons — May 10, 2007 @ 5:20 am

  14. Metro, seriously, the man stole a post from me. He’s a user, not a principled man. He’s scum.

    Comment by raincoaster — May 10, 2007 @ 8:40 pm

  15. Me?

    Comment by Frontier Former Editor — May 10, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

  16. Pharyngula. If YOU stole a post from me I’d just head over here and give you the old beat-down. Cuz we’re pals.

    Comment by raincoaster — May 11, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

  17. I was just f’in witya – any chance to be a smartass

    Comment by Frontier Former Editor — May 11, 2007 @ 7:18 pm


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