Even Atheism Has Its Heretics

Meet Larry Darby. The founder of the Atheist Law Center, he’s an outspoken atheist who’s running for Attorney General of Alabama as a Democrat. Oh, and he’s also a Holocaust denier and a white supremacist.

According to an article in Newsday,

Democratic candidate for Alabama attorney general denies the Holocaust occurred and said Friday he will speak this weekend in New Jersey to a “pro-white” organization that is widely viewed as being racist.

Larry Darby concedes his views are radical, but he said they should help him win wide support among Alabama voters as he tries to “reawaken white racial awareness” with his campaign against Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson.

Of course, the fact that Darby is an atheist almost guarantees the fact that he will not be elected into office, seeing how atheists are the most hated group in the country. I suppose that in this case America’s anti-atheist bigotry will incur a positive outcome. Still, the case of Larry Darby raises some interesting questions. Can one fairly and accurately make generalizations about atheists? Is it right to assume that all or even most atheists hold similar political beliefs? Darby may be running on the Democratic ticket, but he sure as hell isn’t what I would call a liberal. Hence the intentionally ironic title of this post, which treats atheism as a religion—the truth is that the only thing that unites atheists is a lack of belief in god(s).

I am not an atheist, but I am a liberal. Many atheists are liberals, but the link is not as strong as some might assume. I personally believe that political orientation is influenced by many different factors, including one’s upbringing and life experiences, and not merely one’s religious beliefs. Look at The Raving Atheist, for example. This is an individual who is very outspoken about his lack of belief in god(s), yet he holds some very socially conservative views (particularly on the topic of abortion).

In conclusion, Larry Darby is a good example of how generalizations regarding a lack of religious convictions (or generalizations people who are religious) do not always mirror reality. As stated above, the one thing that all atheists have in common is a lack of religious belief.

68 thoughts on “Even Atheism Has Its Heretics

  1. I certainly don’t fit the atheist political stereotype. In fact, even I have a hard time finding a political label for myself. When talking to liberals, I often call myself conservative, when talking to conservatives I call myself liberal. Maybe what I really am is just plain contrary (sp? – it’s late).

    I really hate the need to label people when it comes to politics. It’s just not that damn simple. My opinion on abortion is liberal. My opinion on gun control, conservative. Gay rights? Liberal. Death Penalty? Conservative.

    Sometimes I peg myself as Libertarian, but even that takes a shoehorn to force me into it.

    Maybe I’ll just call myself a Rationalist and be done with it.

  2. Democrat + Racist + Atheist = AL Attorney General bid From my recollection of Southern history AL is both anti-democrat and anti-atheist enough to make it unlikely he’ll succeed.  Let’s just hope they’ve become anti-racist enough since the civil rights movement to shut him out completely.  I don’t think I’d ever step foot in the South again if that quack got elected.  I honestly hope you all don’t get stereotyped for this guy.  It’s not fun.  Trust me.  I know.  I’m a Christian. tongue wink

    Sorry to bring this up again for possible thread derailment (what fun would a thread be if it had boundaries? wink ), but I have a hard time understanding how someone can confront an issue, make some sort of intellectual pursuit to reach a conclusion and form an opinion that counts as a “lack of belief.”  When it comes to God or any other dialectic for that matter, it seems the only way to have a true lack of belief is to be apathetic to the issue.  Of course, this would make many of you atheists believers of NO God then which might then take the “Is atheism a religion?” debate to a different level.

    An atheist gnostic not only believes that there is no God but believes that he knows there is no God.  An atheist agnostic, which I think most of you are, believes there is no God and that we can’t know whether or not God exists.  A theist can be an agnostic as well and I think many of them are or at least far more of them are than are credited to us by the atheists.  A theist agnostic believes there is a God, but doesn’t think s/he can know for sure.  And, of course, the last category is the theist gnostic, my brand of theism.  They believe that God exists and His existence is knowable.  All of these have a belief about a God and no belief is lacking.

    It seems to me that this shouldn’t be much different than political issues, I either (1) believe an action should be taken or (2) I believe another action should be taken or (3) I am apathetic to the issue and would thus properly lack a belief either way.  Of course there is always the possibility I should wait to take my logic course before trying to do analytic divisions.  Are there holes in my reasoning or did I burst some bubbles? cheese

  3. I think it’s safe to assume that if a person with some combination of political and religious views could exist, then they likely do.

  4. I have a hard time understanding how someone can confront an issue, make some sort of intellectual pursuit to reach a conclusion and form an opinion that counts as a “lack of belief.

  5. I honestly hope you all don’t get stereotyped for this guy.  It’s not fun.  Trust me.  I know.  I’m a Christian.

    Given the ascendancy of Christians in American politics, it’s likely, but perhaps not inevitable, that we atheists will get stereotyped for this guy, theo.  As far as it not being fun to be stereotyped as a Christian goes, all you have to do is avoid the 5% or so of us who are atheists- no big deal.  But thanks for the kind thoughts.

    When it comes to God or any other dialectic for that matter, it seems the only way to have a true lack of belief is to be apathetic to the issue.  Of course, this would make many of you atheists believers of NO God then which might then take the “Is atheism a religion?

  6. “It’s time to stop pushing down the white man. We’ve been discriminated against too long,” Darby said in the interview. Darby also has publicly advocated legalizing drugs and shooting all illegal immigrants. LOLLOL:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    Wow. What a … ah, fuck it, fuckwit will do, only coz I disagree with most of what he espouses and I can’t fit him into any of my OTHER boxes.
    I mean, how many dope-smoking, white-supremist, atheists are there?

    Theo: Are there holes in my reasoning or did I burst some bubbles?

    Yes and No.
    I may have missed it but, you didn’t have a file marked ‘spiritual atheism’ – a sort of cosmic consciousness that I almost slot myself into. http://www.spiritualatheism.com/
    I think theists have hijacked the term GOD to mean something they can conceptualise or directionalise (that’s not a word, is it..) their understanding towards because they remember that bit about us being made in his image, AND egotistically, they desire for there to be point to their existence.
    They think he meant physically – I think IT meant consciousness.
    KISS – energy, ethereal ‘dust to dust’ stuff.
    I don’t think whatever IT is, is anything personal at all, at all.
    I think the day I figure it out is the day I die.

    Gee, that beer was nice – I think I’ll have another.
    I have In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida playing rather loudly.
    By the way – happy birthday Theo. smile

  7. I mean, how many dope-smoking, white-supremist, atheists are there?

    Well, John, I’m a dope-smoking white atheist- is that close? LOL
    Happy Belated Birthday from me too, theo!  My daughter Rozzle has the same birthday.

  8. Well, John, I’m a dope-smoking white atheist- is that close?

    Ditto and NO.
    As you know, the supremists bit, based on skin colour only, is the bit that throws us from HIS reality.
    My mate and I provide 50 hours (well about 10 but the contract specifies 50) care/attention/supervision to a mental retard (28 going on 12 … too much information – classifications are often incomplete pictures) per week.
    Due to programming he’s a racist.
    Programming? It’s really a desire to feel superior to someone coz they’re small-minded in themselves in all ways.
    Jim and I always try to re-programme him by saying something along the lines of: Arse’oles come in all shapes and sizes AND colours.
    I know we’re having an impact coz he often says it to stir me up, knowing my response. He’s not a total retard. LOL

  9. Geise: “I think it’s safe to assume that if a person with some combination of political and religious views could exist, then they likely do.”

    Good one.  You can find an anecdote to ‘support’ any stereotype, no matter how off-base. Heck, Bill O’Reilly does it every day.

    The question is: “How many people agree with ‘x’ and how much political pull do they have?”  Thus the problem with evangelical Christianity.  The answer is “A whole lot, and a whole lot.”

  10. LuckyJohnny: I have In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida playing rather loudly.

    Ah, yes. Oh, won’t you come with me, indeed. John does the opening guitar riffs pretty well. Wish I could play the guitar…  smile

    For what it’s worth, I’m a white, Pagan/Wiccan agnostic pot-smoker. Just like Bob Dylan said, everybody must get stoned.

  11. Theo: I would be aZeusian (as opposed to Zeusian believing in Zeus), not apathetic (i.e. lacking in a belief of Zeus).

    I think the point Geekmom was trying to make (and spank me if I’m wrong, GM wink ) is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to be completely apathetic about religion in a society that wears it on its sleeve. Were our society not so heavily Christian, most atheists would regard Christianity (like all religion) and “god” with total apathy.

  12. Theo: I would not have brought this tangent about if the atheists would not have participated in the “hijacking

  13. Sexy Sadie:
    I think the point Geekmom was trying to make (and spank me if I’m wrong, GM wink ) is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to be completely apathetic about religion in a society that wears it on its sleeve. Were our society not so heavily Christian, most atheists would regard Christianity (like all religion) and “god

  14. if I read the existence of the quotations right I believe was aimed at biting spiritual atheists just as much as traditional theists LuckyJohn forgive me if it’s not tho

    I’m not that smart. I fell in my own hole. I wish I was comfortable with lies. LOL

  15. zilch:
    That’s fine with me, theo, as long as we call the beliefs in the nonexistence of Zeus, Santa, and the Easter Bunny “theological views

  16. I didn’t realize leprechauns, unicorns, Santa nad the Easter bunny and reached deity status.

    Gods, demigods, divinely sent or inspired beasts and beings- you may be able to draw neat lines with your fundamentalist ruler, but from my vantage point they all blend together… tongue rolleye

    Percentage only seems to be a measure of willingness to change from one view to another based on an expectation for a perceived subjective amount of evidence.

    You may be willing to put a number on your future willingness to change from one view to another, theo, but I’m not.  As I said, I can’t predict what I would do in such situations in any meaningful way, so to assign a percentage likelihood to a particular reaction is unmotivated.  I guess I’m agnostic about my future atheism, with no numbers attached.

    You called yourself a “gnostic theist”, and said that means you believe 100% that God exists and that you can “know” that He exists.  What if you wake up in a vat tomorrow- what does your 100% certainty mean then?  You were 100% wrong.  I prefer not to put numbers on stuff like this.  The situation is different for repeatable outcomes, such as, say, the likelihood of heads or tails, or of rain tomorrow.  There I’m perfectly willing to grant the utility of predicting likelihoods.  But for me to say that I believe 100% in God, or no God, is like saying I believe 100% that I will like, or dislike, an exotic dish I’ve never eaten.  Sure, I can make that pronouncement.  But it’s meaningless.

    And that is the problem with trying to cram everything into dialectics.

  17. Zilch writes…

    You can spank me too, GM, if we’re presuming.

    Suddenly I feel like SEB has turned in S&B. All this spanking and such going on. Damn. You’re a horny bunch.

  18. Theo: “I think one can only lack belief if you are distracted by more pressing issues like the issues faced by the impoverished.”

    Theo, you’d be amazed.  If it isn’t being shoved down my throat, I can lack belief by being distracted by more pressing issues like breakfast.  Like Zilch said, all the myths look pretty much the same.

    There’s a particular rock in the middle of a dry creekbed in Utah.  It’s a nondescript rock, about 50cm in diameter, weighing about 9kg, and tan in color.  There are thousands of similar rocks nearby. 

    How often do you think about that rock?  What distracts you from thinking about it?  Shouldn’t you be thinking about the rock?  Think about the rock!  It’s a divine rock!  You’ll go to hell if you don’t think about that rock!!!

    Oh, wait… House is on tonight.  Nevermind.

  19. Damn. You’re a horny bunch.

    Not our fault, Les.  It’s our Designer Genes…

    Oh, wait… House is on tonight.  Nevermind.

    Damn.  We’re Houseless in Austria, DoF…

  20. Damn it, now I’m thinking about the rock.  While riding to work I realized the diameter I made up for the divine rock would give a density somewhere near styrofoam.  The correct diameter for the rock (if it were sandstone) would be about 18cm.

    Oh well, rock works in mysterious ways.

  21. Bumblesnoz, anybody? (I have no idea who to credit for it)

    Only one slight problem.  In any other relationship, the other person is already known to exist.  This is not the case here.

    As an analogy, suppose I tell you about Bumblesnoz, a small furry invisible creature from the planet Koozbain who lives on my shoulder. Understandably, you are skeptical that there is actually a Koozbainian living on my shoulder, and ask to see him.

    “But he’s invisible”, I say. You ask to hold him.

    “You can’t, he’s extradimensional and therefore can’t be physically touched by normal humans.”

    You ask him to give you the complete factorization of the number 2^(2^20)+1, thinking this would be easy for the advanced Koozbainian race.

    “Sorry, that’s not really his speciality, and in any event Koozbainians don’t like jumping through hoops just to satisfy human curiousity.”

    You ask him to say the words “Galleo Hoop Hoop”.

    “He doesn’t have a voice—he uses telepathy.”

    You ask him to send you a telepathic message.

    “Sorry—Koozbainian telepathy is neutralized by skepticism.”

    After debating with yourself for a few minutes over whether or not to slug me in the jaw, you decide against it and instead ask how I know there’s a Koozbainian on my shoulder if he can’t be seen, felt, heard or otherwise detected.

    I answer, “The best way to learn about Bumblesnoz is to start a relationship with him.  Try talking to Bumblesnoz sometime.  Ask him for advice when you’re confused.  Ask him for comfort when you’re hurting.  Share your joys and sorrows with him.  The reason I came to believe in Bumblesnoz was not a rational argument, but through my relation-ship with him.”

    Would this convince you that Bumblesnoz did indeed exist?  Or would it convince you that you should have slugged me in the jaw when you had the chance?

  22. While riding to work I realized the diameter I made up for the divine rock would give a density somewhere near styrofoam.

    What I thought is that it must be one damn flat thin rock, DoF, probably a downed flying saucer from Koozbain… LOL

  23. Zilch, do you know why Christian apologists have such a hard time with the semantic difference between “I do not believe X to be true” and “I believe X to be false”? I sure don’t and it almost looks like they are deliberately obtuse.

    For that matter, do you know of a good reason why one can’t be dismissive of and indifferent to Christian theology, and at the same time be anything but apathetic towards True Believers?

  24. No and no, elwed.  You might try asking theo, though…  rolleyes

    One common sticking point in discussions like this is that believers don’t want leprechauns and unicorns sharing the same definitions or occupying the same logical place in the argument as the “true” God.  It seems to boil down to a matter of size, sort of like in the Ontological Argument:  the “true” God is too big, or too powerful, to be successfully imagined not to exist.

    But maybe that’s a bizarre distortion of the believer’s position.  How about it, theo: are you just as certain that the Invisible Pink Unicorn doesn’t exist as you are that God does exist?  If so, how do you justify your certainty-  you presumably haven’t searched the Universe and not seen Her Pinkness everywhere, have you?

  25. zilch:
    Gods, demigods, divinely sent or inspired beasts and beings- you may be able to draw neat lines with your fundamentalist ruler, but from my vantage point they all blend together…

    DOF:
    Like Zilch said, all the myths look pretty much the same.

    Now this shows apathy.  You win.  You do “lack belief.”

    zilch:
    What if you wake up in a vat tomorrow- what does your 100% certainty mean then?

    Why aren’t you a solipsist?  Maybe because there are at least a few things you believe in through small reasonable steps of “faith.”  Your skepticism has ends only explained by something you took in faith as being true otherwise you would be a solipsist.

    DOF:
    There’s a particular rock in the middle of a dry creekbed in Utah.  It’s a nondescript rock, about 50cm in diameter, weighing about 9kg, and tan in color.  There are thousands of similar rocks nearby.

    How often do you think about that rock?  What distracts you from thinking about it?  Shouldn’t you be thinking about the rock?  Think about the rock!  It’s a divine rock!  You’ll go to hell if you don’t think about that rock!!!

    I can’t imagine many of you have much appreciation for art ether?  It’s all just paint on a surface.  There’s really not much difference between Michaelangelo and Jackson Pollock. rolleyes

    The distinctions are always what you make it.  Many religions have many things in common.  In this way they are similar.  All the world’s religions can hardly be likened to one or even a few art movements.  Engineers and scientists are no different than any other profession.  They all sit in desks and push papers from 9-5, go home, eat, watch tv, screw their wives and go to bed.  All of existence is bland if you let it be.

  26. Somehow, however, I don’t think that even very advanced genetic engineering, or even superior alien technology, could put together a God, what with all His omnithises and omnithats.

    But anything advanced enough to manipulate our sensory inputs could convincingly fake one wink

  27. Theo: “The distinctions are always what you make it…All of existence is bland if you let it be. “

    OK, you’re a postmodernist then, I get it.  Religions do have differences, but particulars, like the specific shape of my divine rock.  It has a little chip on one side and is slightly flattened at one end.  See how it’s SO much better than all the other rocks that don’t have that exact combination of features?  But if you step back twenty feet, good luck picking it out in the streambed.

    A painting is an image.  Other than being a real painting, no one claims the painting IS reality.  The claim made for Christianity is that it is an accurate description of reality.  Other religions make the same claim.  Those claims are what’s rock-like, if it makes you feel better. 

    I don’t know what ‘knowledge’ is inside your head.  Maybe you know Dog exists in some way that I couldn’t possibly know.  Good on you, then.

  28. zilch:
    I have the feeling, theo (please correct me if I’m wrong) that when you say that something is “true

  29. Missed this.

    elwed:
    For that matter, do you know of a good reason why one can’t be dismissive of and indifferent to Christian theology, and at the same time be anything but apathetic towards True Believers?

    ap·a·thy n.

      1. Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.
      2. Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness.
    Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=apathy

    It looks to me that indifference and dismissiveness defines apathy.  Would you like to redefine apathy? tongue wink

  30. Theo, you are aware of the difference between denotation and connotation, are you not?

    If it helps, I have grown dismissive of your opinions as well as indifferent to them. To say that I’m apathetic towards them doesn’t quite convey the same message, does it?

  31. Theo: Oh, right, I forgot.  You’re the one who took his philosophy classes WAY too seriously.

    My example was just a way of saying, they’re all made out of sandstone.  Grind them to powder and it’s the same stuff. Your religion could be thought of as a painting if you prefer paintings to rocks, but that doesn’t make it synonymous with reality.

    As I once said to a Muslim fellow, “All religions are equally valid to me”.  For a moment he seemed to think it was some kind of new-age warm-fuzzy, until he figured out what I meant.

  32. elwed:
    Theo, you are aware of the difference between denotation and connotation, are you not?

    If it helps, I have grown dismissive of your opinions as well as indifferent to them. To say that I’m apathetic towards them doesn’t quite convey the same message, does it?

    Connotation has no place in rational inquiry.  Connotation exists for enhancing emotional drama.  In rational inquiry connotation must be denoted early on or else the inquiry will be obfuscated by language.  And it’s never fun to bring language philosophers into the picture. wink

  33. Theo: Connotation has no place in rational inquiry.  Connotation exists for enhancing emotional drama.

    Ironically, the exact same could be said about theology.

  34. Theo- Consider Krishna, worshiped by approx 1bn Hindus- approx 16% of the world’s population.  In what way is Hinduism less valid than Christianity.  For every story you can quote re Christs divinity, I am sure a Hindu could quote one about Krishna.  What arguments could you advance that your belief is more valid (please don’t make them here unless anyone knows a Hindu who can quote back).  The only real difference appears to be Christianity has approx twice the number of followers (to which I would say still outnumbered 2:1 by non christians)

    We are all athiests, some of us choose to go one god further

    Richard Dawkins

    PS- Sadie, fancy coming round my place and being wrong?

    PPS My little word to be submitted was John79.  Rather boringly this turned out to be ‘So saying, he remained in Galilee’.  I was hoping for something relevant

  35. Sexy Sadie:
    Ironically, the exact same could be said about theology.

    Except of course in the rational inquiry we just had about theological perspectives. tongue rolleye

    Last Hussar:
    Theo- Consider Krishna, worshiped by approx 1bn Hindus- approx 16% of the world’s population.  In what way is Hinduism less valid than Christianity.

    Tell me why I would want to get into this.  My tangent was to make a last attempt at the atheism as religion debate which seems to be finished now.  I’m done.

  36. PS- Sadie, fancy coming round my place and being wrong?

    Is that a proposition? Whoops, I’m being horny again.  smile

    Speaking of Krishna (and with George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” firmly entrenched in my head), I have always found Hinduism to be a fascinating religion. It’s a whole helluva lot cooler than Christianity, and the gods/goddesses are so intriguing. I’m sure it’s the hippie in me. I actually flirted with the idea of becoming a Hare Krishna ten years ago, but I ultimately decided against it. Probably a good idea.

  37. Theo: Except of course in the rational inquiry we just had about theological perspectives

    Could say, Theo, not necessarily implying that it would be politic to do so.

  38. Sexy Sadie:
    Could say, Theo, not necessarily implying that it would be politic to do so.

    Sorry, should have caught that particular nuance. red face

  39. Sadie: … but I ultimately decided against it. Probably a good idea.

    The Hare Krishna ‘laws’ were:
    1. No meat fish or eggs.
    2. No gambling.
    3. No illicit sex (outside of marriage).
    4. Can’t remember, but it would have been another No … it coulda been No mind altering substances.
    I was a straight vegetarian for a most of the 80s.
    Women and Gambling were (still are?) my weakness.
    Bacon ultimately brought me undone.

    Much of what the Krishnas preached/believed was much more logical and easily acceptable than any philosophy, and I use the word loosely, xianity preaches.
    ‘Philosophy without Religion is speculation; Religion without Philosophy is mere sentimentality’ was one of their favourites.
    They put xianity into the second basket.
    The thing that was totally illogical to me was the Krishnas’ constant reference to eaters of bovine products coming back in the next life, and the next, etc. as a cow, only to re-experience a thousand deaths which to my mind was illogical.
    If re-incarnation exists, the purpose would be to grow through the lives’ experiences to eventually go back to godhead or as the Buddhists say; Nirvana … or something along those lines.
    Logically, if a god exists, to give us each but ONE life experience, to make the grade or not, is completely unfair. Even my earthly father has given me many chances. Xianity says we all have but one chance to get ‘there’.
    Considering the different societies one can be born into, with family disadvantages many have to endure, it’s a rather elitist club, which therefore has, to my mind, NO logic.
    The one thing I did like was the: it matters not which road man takes for all roads lead to me. Very Roman.
    Reincarnation is a fairly easy concept to come to terms with, even if it’s just the knowing that we are just recycled dust, cosmically speaking.
    The Krishnas as with Buddhism were both spawned from Hinduism much like Catholicism spawned the myriad sects of xianity.
    Also, Hinduism has NO sexual hang-ups (although, I’m lead to believe, the people do) as their architecture shows.
    Now you know as much as I do. Not much, is it? LOL

  40. Personally, I think it’d be wonderful if reincarnation were a reality. I’ve been told that my past lives included, among others, those of a twelth-century Mongolian warrior, an eighteenth-century French peasant woman, and a sixties hippie (obviously my most recent incarnation). Awesome if it were true!

  41. Elwed:

    But anything advanced enough to manipulate our sensory inputs could convincingly fake one [a God]

    Morpheus:

    The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, … You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. …

    Theo:

    This is sufficient.

    Do you mean that I’ve sufficiently defined my position, or that you’ve simply had enough?  I hope I haven’t offended you, because I think you are probably a nice guy.  I just happen to disagree with you about this God stuff, but also (and more interestingly for me) about the utility of dialectics to get at useful truths.

    A problem I think you are not realizing is that you can’t step twenty feet away from the streambed.  You are buried in the streambed because that is the state of reality.  Your Humean view of objectivity has long since been recognized as obsolete.

    We’re all buried in the streambed, theo- theists, atheists, Humeans, and Humans- just humus, temporarily awakened to the dance.  Who can step twenty feet from the streambed?  And what’s obsolete about Humean objectivity?

    About the Hare Krishnas- don’t know what they’re up to nowadays, but I knew them in Berkeley in the seventies.  All the men in front, the women behind, singing ecstatically, they were a constant presence on Telegraph Avenue, and seemed to be joyfully expressing love of the world.  Alas, it turns out that they had a disturbing tendency to molest children and cache arms.  Oh well- no one’s perfect.

  42. Whoops, I’m being horny again.

    That reminds me- a bit off topic, but did all of you know that Brittany Spears’ hit “Oops, I did it again” is by Louie Armstrong?  I sure didn’t.  Here’s an mp3 of the original 1932 recording.  More to my taste than Brittany’s bubblegum version.

  43. Zilch: We’re all buried in the streambed, theo- theists, atheists, Humeans, and Humans- just humus, temporarily awakened to the dance.  Who can step twenty feet from the streambed?  And what’s obsolete about Humean objectivity?

    Oh, Dog, don’t get him started again.  Nice poetic language, though.

    LuckyJohn19: Logically, if a god exists, to give us each but ONE life experience, to make the grade or not, is completely unfair…

    Exactly. Stephen Bachelor (Buddhism Without Beliefs) says it’s a puzzle to Buddhists and Hindus that Westerners find the doctrine of reincarnation comforting.  The bible sez “It is appointed unto a man once to die, and then the judgment” (Heb. 9:27)  And you can go to eternal torment even for having the wrong flavor of Xianity.  Under that doctrine, a few more chances to get it right sounds pretty good.

    It’s all ‘angels dancing on the head of a pin’, though – we’re only awakened temporarily to our own dance.

  44. Nice poetic language, though.

    Why thank you, DoF.  It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing, is my motto.

  45. DoF: Westerners find the doctrine of reincarnation comforting.

    Am being picky if I suggest they DON’T – it’s so far from the pinnacle of their belief system?
    OR did I misunderstand?

    It’s all ‘angels dancing on the head of a pin’, though – we’re only awakened temporarily to our own dance.

    It’s all in the way you hold your mouth = The Phantom = oz saying.

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