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Re: Bill Moyers: There is no tomorrow

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  • kerri miller
    ... Last time I was home in New England, a rather enlightened and liberal place, free of most of the trappings of religiosity, I wandered past a couple
    Message 1 of 79 , Feb 1, 2005
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      --- Nick Arnett <narnett@...> wrote:

      > Horn, John wrote:
      >
      > > This is one of the most terrifying things I have read in a long,
      > > long, LONG time.
      >
      > Me too. Especially coming from Bill Moyers. The statistics really
      > stopped me.
      >
      > I'm religious, but I know the difference (I think) between what is
      > irrational and what is non-rational. I'm deeply disturbed, even
      > frightened, by the growth and seeming acceptance of irrationality in our
      > culture. Irrationality seems increasingly confused with the
      > non-rational.

      Last time I was home in New England, a rather enlightened and liberal
      place, free of most of the trappings of religiosity, I wandered past a
      couple debating whether Jesus would be upset with them for buying Easter
      egg coloring kits.

      > I ask myself, what provokes widespread irrational beliefs -- what are
      > these people reacting to? Some sort of vast sense of helplessness?

      Your questions remind me that I need to read "What's the matter with
      Kansas?"

      -k-

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    • Warren Ockrassa
      ... From the perspective of the microorganisms? Certainly from the human point of view such things are pestilence. But from a survival, life-over-all
      Message 79 of 79 , Apr 19, 2005
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        On Apr 19, 2005, at 12:03 AM, KZK wrote:

        > Nick Arnett wrote:
        >> Warren Ockrassa wrote:
        >>> That's a good point. I'd ask you to think about something else,
        >>> though -- why do you consider yourself religious? I mean, if you
        >>> have some kind of faith, *why* do you have that faith?
        >> Well, there's the question. An honest answer has to include, "I
        >> don't know." I choose to regard it as an undeserved gift. A
        >> self-centered answer is, "I'm happier." A non-rational answer is,
        >> "It feels true."
        >
        >> A quasi-evidentiary answer is that it has survived the millenia.
        >
        > So has malaria and the clap. Are they forces of "good" too?

        From the perspective of the microorganisms?

        Certainly from the human point of view such things are pestilence. But
        from a survival, life-over-all perspective, they're working.

        I think it was Carl Sagan who commented that yeast has been very
        successful over the millennia -- it's taught the apex predators on
        Earth how to replicate itself for myriad purposes, some of which
        include intimate infections, some of which we regard as beneficent,
        some of which are of debatable value.

        Alfred Nobel was forever torn over his invention. Dynamite was -- and
        is -- good for lots of positive applications, as well as more than a
        few negative ones. Does that mean that dynamite was and is
        incontrovertibly evil, or even arguably so? Or is it safer to suggest
        that it's the human capacity for finding a cloud in virtually every
        silver lining that's really to blame?

        I can be very harsh on religion; I know that. But I also recognize that
        *faith* -- not necessarily religion -- has been a source of solace for
        untold millions, possibly billions, has given meaning to lives that
        otherwise might have seemed unnecessarily nasty, short and brutish.

        Nick and I have traded a few Buddhist ideas. I'm not officially
        Buddhist -- never taken a refuge vow -- but I do like some of the
        philosophies of the system; I like how it's non-theist and doesn't have
        a specific doctrine of a soul. One of its major adherents has said more
        than once that to the extent science uncovers new realities about the
        world, it is Buddhism that will have to change to suit itself to our
        increased understandings.

        The reason I bring it up is that a core tenet of Buddhism is that
        suffering should be reduced. If someone's faith in a deity reduces that
        person's suffering *and* does not contribute to the suffering of
        others, I find it hard to see that faith as invalid, worthy of mockery
        or something that needs to be "outgrown" or discarded.

        Scientific findings have also been used to great evil over the
        centuries. Should we argue for discarding the scientific method and its
        fruits? In order to be consistent with the message that religion is a
        source of evil and should be cast aside, that question becomes very
        important, doesn't it?


        --
        Warren Ockrassa, Publisher/Editor, nightwares Books
        http://books.nightwares.com/
        Current work in progress "The Seven-Year Mirror"
        http://www.nightwares.com/books/ockrassa/Flat_Out.pdf

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