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Offline Doug2017

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Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« on: May 28, 2006, 03:36:28 PM »
Hi guys, and gals,

I just wanted some place for us non-believers to talk.  In a world where every turn is filled to capacity with religion, it is nice to have a small corner of our own to express our thoughts and feelings.

BBM is a wonderful movie, whose ending I wished was a little more positive, but then again, it would not have had near the impact.

This film has a tremendous amount of symbolism in it, from the fear of Ennis to the strength of Jack.   There is a whole lot of reality in this movie. 

When I first saw this movie I was devastated because it drug up a lot of old memories of mine from times when I struggled so very hard against the hatred that seems to come from every quarter.  That is my problem, not anyone elses. 

I have seen this movie a number of times now, and have come to realize that I would not have put up with Ennis like Jack does.  Jack was not listening to Ennis, Ennis was telling him over and over that was not going to be the way Jack wanted it.  Jack should have moved on long before the end scene.  While it is really beautiful to see someone hold on that hard, and heartbreaking when it does not get returned, it is a fact of life that when you love, you may not get loved back, and you can waste a lifetime waiting for it to happen.

There is deep reality to this movie in that it does not see magical turnarounds in the characters.  Artificial magical happenings that have no bearing on real life. 

I do think a lot of Ennis's fear is based up what his father did to him as a child.  His father went out of his way to damage his kids ability to love another human being, this is evident with the wife, where he is only having sex to have children.  If she did not want to have more children, then he left her alone, or did I misinterpret that one? 

The fear of being found out is ever most to the front of both of these gents minds, and it colors all they think of and do.  Jack is willing to risk it, Ennis is not.  I know this struggle well, I have been on both sides of it.  I was out for a long time, when I had someone to be with, and share with.  Now that my loved one has passed on, I find myself back to where I was before.  I also find myself back in a part of the country where it is not really that safe to be out.

Then with the current mainstream of religious happenings it is even more so now than it was just 10 or 15 years ago, at least in the more rural areas. 

So, I guess I am putting this link out there in hopes that I am not the only atheist who watched BBM and was moved.  I would seriously like to talk about religion, but I do not think it is appropriate to get into the face of the many christians who come here in support.  This is much like cutting ones nose off to spite their face. 

With love, respect, and humility (yeah, we atheists have those things too...)

Doug
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

Gonzo

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2006, 07:33:32 PM »
I'm checking my email real quick and I haven't had time to read the entire post.  I just want to say thanks for having the bravery to start this thread.  I will read it later and rest assured I will visit this thread often.  Thanks.

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2006, 08:15:45 PM »
I'm checking my email real quick and I haven't had time to read the entire post.  I just want to say thanks for having the bravery to start this thread.  I will read it later and rest assured I will visit this thread often.  Thanks.

Hahaha! Me brave?  Not really, just I really wanted to talk to people who actually make sense to me.  And my thought was that if we can create a nice thread that believers can read, maybe, just maybe we can all understand each other a little bit better.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2006, 09:33:46 PM »
I was thinking about some of the misconceptions that I keep hearing about non-believers. 

a.) They have no morality.

This is absolutely not true, the difference is their morality is based upon reason rather than laws handed down by authority.  The golden rule is a very biggie for atheists, as is not harming others.  Non initiation of force is another.

b.) They do not believe in anything, as the common misuse of this word means.

Again, not true, we believe in reality, we believe that existence exists, and all else flows from strictly from cause and effect.  Here "belief" is know.  Nothing magical, nothing outside of nature.  Contradiction does not exist, anything perceived as contradictory has one or more of three causes.  1.) Too little information  2.) A premise is wrong or 3.) the least likely, something is perceived wrong.  Reality can only be known by resolving the contradictions.  It is ok to not know and say so, instead of making up something to explain it.

c.)  Atheists can not love.

So wrong, atheist are capable of the highest love, because they know that love is the highest value, just under one's consciousness.  They can see the reality, and either accept it or pass on it.  There is much less chance of them being deluded into a poor relationship.   However, one also has to be prepared for the hate, pain, and destruction placed onto one constantly from the outside world of believers.  Most well meaning, but deluded into to believing things that if they were conscious would shock them to their very foundations.   

As I think of other things I will put them up... sleep well
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sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2006, 12:29:19 AM »
Doug,

Thanks for posting this thread.  You’re not the only atheist here at all.  Back in January there were a number of us who posted to the Religious thread at that time.  Those early threads aren’t even archived.

Are you aware of other GLBT atheist forums on the net?  The one or two I’ve seen are not actively managed and so don’t attract participants.   Sure, I know plenty of national organizations, but I was wondering specifically about GLBT forums?

It seems as though the national GLBT organizations have moved to at least sounding more religious along with the rest of the pundits.  So now we have for example The Institute for Welcoming Resources sponsored by NGLTF.  And the HRC is working on their own “Out In Scripture” nondenominational outreach program.  I’ll leave the fighting-them-in-the-pews to folks who care about theology.  I was raised atheist by atheist parents.  Was I lucky!

Do you have some local support?  My city has a gay friendly atheist news group that meets for pizza.  I just wish they’d use forum software other than the Yahoo group they’ve got.  I hate those banner ads!  But then my city has seven or eight independent free thinking, humanist, and/or atheist organizations, so there’s plenty to choose from.  One local couple has started a group known as The Brights.  Maybe you’ve heard of them?  Some folks just sort of cringe a little at the name, but they have a healthy international following.

I have to agree with the reservations you mentioned in your first post regarding BB.  In my very first post I said we don’t have to own these characters.  At that time there was quite a bit of back and forth as to whether the characters were gay or bi.  I said I preferred my gay men to be honest forthright and courageous.  I can’t claim to be any paragon of courage, so it’s not hard to understand, but I still find it frustrating to watch Ennis frozen to the ground out of fear and ignorance.

Again, thanks for the thread,

Pete

helen_uk

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2006, 02:05:32 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread, Doug.  :)

I want to raise my hand and can be counted amongst those who don't rely on the supernatural to live their lives.

I get quite frustrated when it's implied that I can't live a good life, and be kind and generous to others, because I don't believe in a god or gods.  That somehow it is some higher being that gives us the capacity for these things.  And who also keeps us from doing bad things.


:)


Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2006, 08:39:02 AM »
Doug,

Thanks for posting this thread.  You’re not the only atheist here at all.  Back in January there were a number of us who posted to the Religious thread at that time.  Those early threads aren’t even archived.

Man I wished I had known...  I live way out in the boonies, so I had to wait for BBM to be on satellite before I could see it.  Here, none of the movies that would be interesting to see are ever allowed to be displayed.  I am still waiting to see Fahrenheit 911, someday.

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Are you aware of other GLBT atheist forums on the net?  The one or two I’ve seen are not actively managed and so don’t attract participants.   Sure, I know plenty of national organizations, but I was wondering specifically about GLBT forums?


I am not aware of any, I have looked from time to time only to find that the last post was in 2003 or something.  It is like the atheists are being wiped off the planet.  Sure does not help my feelings of isolation I can tell you that... <wink>

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It seems as though the national GLBT organizations have moved to at least sounding more religious along with the rest of the pundits.  So now we have for example The Institute for Welcoming Resources sponsored by NGLTF.  And the HRC is working on their own “Out In Scripture” nondenominational outreach program.  I’ll leave the fighting-them-in-the-pews to folks who care about theology.  I was raised atheist by atheist parents.  Was I lucky!
 

Yes, you was very lucky.  Your parents did not infect you with the mind disease meme of religion.  I assume you know what a meme is, but just in case, a meme is something like a mind virus, it gets past our minds defences, and becomes an unquestioned fact.  I do not know how old you are, but this is a minor one " I'd walk a mile for a ... "  Everyone in my age group would know that is "camel".  No thought, no question, just know and would fight you on any other answer, yet, any answer it just as valid.  Religion is the same, that is also why the one they where infected with is the one they fight for. Very few change that. Anyway,  I was lucky too, while my parents confessed religion, they did not participate or make me after I rejected sunday school, oh so many years ago.  They are atheists too for the most part, though they still struggle with some of it. 

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Do you have some local support? 
 

Absolutely none.  I talk to no one, socialize with no one.  I did meet with one other gay guy here a few years ago, but he was so messed up by religion that I could not really deal with him.  He soon moved to Seattle.  I do not know of any others, but I have no doubt that many exist like Ennis, like me, who go on day by day, looking and acting like we fit in.  Because we are hidden in plain sight, we can not even pick out our own like minded people, it would not surprise me if there an maybe a few dozen like me in this vast area, if only we could find a way to reach each other.  I know the folks told me many years ago that if the neighbors ever find out that I am gay, they would kill me.  I have little doubt they would do major damage to me, but I can not risk the damage they would do to the rest of the family.  Yeah, I could move away again, but to what advantage?  To live in a place that does not fit me in every other way, but sexual... naw, been there, done that, have the shirt to prove it.  I miss my gay bowling league the most, it was a lot of fun.

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My city has a gay friendly atheist news group that meets for pizza.  I just wish they’d use forum software other than the Yahoo group they’ve got.  I hate those banner ads!  But then my city has seven or eight independent free thinking, humanist, and/or atheist organizations, so there’s plenty to choose from.  One local couple has started a group known as The Brights.  Maybe you’ve heard of them?  Some folks just sort of cringe a little at the name, but they have a healthy international following.
 

When I am through typing here I will definitely be looking them up. No, I have not heard of them.  At this point, I just want to have intelligent conversation, I do not care if it is with people from mars...  When I lived in the city, which I hated because of all the noise, and never ending traffic, I did not find atheist organizations then either, but I guess I did not know where or how to look.  My atheistism is mostly of my own thinking.  I had a very profound event happen that showed me how to dispel the illusions.  I was working in a retail store, and was getting overwhelmed, I guess.  Anyway, I would get up, drive to work, work, come home, sleep, and start over.  But then a strange thing began to happen, when I went to sleep, I was back at work again.  It got to the point I could not tell if I was awake and actually at work, or if I was asleep and dreaming it.  I had this one guy come in and order a part.  I wrote it down on the order sheet, noted it on the specials sheet, it was ordered.  A week later it came in, I marked it has being there, put his name on the box. And I called him that his order was in.  He came in, and said he had never ordered a part...  Of course he did, so I went to the original order sheet, it was not there, I went to the special orders sheet, it was not there either.  So I looked for the box, there was no box.  Insanity had taken over, how was I going to tell the difference between reality and illusion?  The only thing I had, was the contradictions and resolving them.  No order, no box, I did not order it, and just dreamed it.  So, I quit that job, and I have never had that happen to me again.  The manager of that store was the first encounter I had of an extreme religious nut, he was really insane.  He would come in and fire you, call you all sorts of names, then huff out, but the assistant manager would then say just keep doing your job, it will be ok.  And sure enough, it was like he never said anything until the next time.  He had many a boy crying in the back after one of his outbursts, most walked away never to return, not that I blame them.  Even then I was Ennis, I could not afford to quit, so had to endure it. 

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I have to agree with the reservations you mentioned in your first post regarding BB.  In my very first post I said we don’t have to own these characters.  At that time there was quite a bit of back and forth as to whether the characters were gay or bi.  I said I preferred my gay men to be honest forthright and courageous.  I can’t claim to be any paragon of courage, so it’s not hard to understand, but I still find it frustrating to watch Ennis frozen to the ground out of fear and ignorance.
 

I agree.  We do not have to become these characters, yet I did find the last scene to be really too close to home.  I have been right there where Ennis is standing, tears in my eyes, missing my friend, while clutching his cloths.  So this movie hit me like a ton of bricks.  However, in other parts of the movie I identified with Jack as well.  And I totally agree with your frustration with Ennis being so afraid and ignorant, yet I do really understand him, and have met him in person a number of times, mainly in other people, but once in awhile he stairs back at me from the mirror.  As I have gotten older, I have lost some of my fire to fight it all.

Actually, now that I have seen the movie a number of times, it is Jack that I think should be questioned, not Ennis.  Ennis, from the very first told Jack that this was not going to work.  Jack did not listen.  Jack really needed to move on, take his occasional times with Ennis as just that, and find someone he could really love, and find satisfying love back.  Ennis is damaged goods, not that such do not deserve love, they do, but they cause so much pain as well... believe me I know first hand... 

While the more religious go on and on about how wonderful Jacks love is and how this is a story about love conquers all.  I do not see it that way, I see it as more of a story about how to waste your life trying to change someone else, instead of changing yourself.  Wasting your life denying the reality in front of you, because you would rather believe in a fairy tail. 

Ennis, I love you, I wished I could give him a big hug and hold him. Yet, we all know that he would not be comfortable doing that, for he has it ingrained that any of that will get him killed.  He is just damaged, not beyond hope, but he will have to work on it and only he can do that.  I really think by the way he looks at the last scene that he maybe realizes that to not have someone like Jack is just as bad, if not worse, than death itself.

Then another thing I kept thinking about on Jack, if he truly wanted more with Ennis, why do it by living in Texas? And driving for 14 hours every other month?   Get your shit together Jack and move back to within 20 or 30 minutes of Ennis, it ismuch easier to for a friend to drop by, spend some time, and still maintain the illusion of being separate.  I used to know two or three couples that maintained their own homes, but spent time together at one or the others as they felt they wanted.  Jack could have easily bought the cow and calf ranch he wanted, and hired a top ranch hand, Ennis, and it been legit in all ways, if he would have wanted to have Ennis more in his life, though that may have been more painful, or may have allowed Ennis his illusion, and given Jack more of what he wanted.  Anyway a few thoughts...

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Again, thanks for the thread,

Pete


You are very welcome, I guess it always bugs me that the only the religious ones get any support, any compassion, and etc.  I guess that is the problem of being a minority within a minority, it is such a double whammy.  It isolates one even more, I feel much more isolated by the religion, than by gender preference.  But, again, that is me.

Thanks for responding, I look forward to getting to know you better.
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2006, 09:08:46 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread, Doug.  :)

I want to raise my hand and can be counted amongst those who don't rely on the supernatural to live their lives.

Hey, Helen, welcome my friend!  You are so counted... <wink> 

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I get quite frustrated when it's implied that I can't live a good life, and be kind and generous to others, because I don't believe in a god or gods.  That somehow it is some higher being that gives us the capacity for these things.  And who also keeps us from doing bad things.

Yes, agree, is it not insane to believe that one is damned from birth to be evil?  That one can not be loving, caring, passionate, and down right good, without an authority figure threatening their life to be so?  Agghhh, I am good because I actaully know right from wrong, and do not need threats to act in my best interest or others best interest.  I know how to think, so I do not need rules to behave, I actually understand the cause and effect of my choices.  As an old friend used to say, "I want to do what is right even when no one is looking." 

I look forward to getting to know you better. 
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2006, 03:10:02 PM »
I want to raise my hand and can be counted amongst those who don't rely on the supernatural to live their lives.

Thanks for joining in, Helen.

In one of my first posts on the original religion thread, I tried to solicit people’s thoughts on what religion does for people emotionally or socially and what forms a non-theistic “religion” might take that would provide the same things.  A religion which is has no supernatural.  I thought, with a collection of creative folks here, there might be a few who hold to interesting alternative cosmologies or metaphysics.  But I probably didn’t explain myself very well.  And we did have a few interesting posts on Buddhism.

I see Humanism as still waging an intellectual’s debate about the limitations of theology.  The ID debate shows that we (in the US) still haven’t moved far from the Scopes trial of 1925.  I don’t see a conflict between Science and Religion, but I’m in the minority there.

However, when you’re expecting a second coming in your lifetime, reliance on the supernatural allows you to ignore your environmental impact.  Over Memorial Day, I heard a commentary about the Iraq war on the radio.  The writer’s final statement was about praying for peace.  I could only think that religious fundamentalism on all sides played a part in getting us into that mess.  I also hoped that we do more than pray to stop it.

sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2006, 06:18:01 PM »
Man I wished I had known...  I live way out in the boonies,…

Doug, there used to be a real friendly on line forum and chat place called www.ruralgay.com.   Unfortunately the guy who ran it took it off line several years ago.  There’s still a place holding page at the domain with a few links to remnants of their community: an IRC channel and Yahoo news group.  For example, its where I found out about the GTA, and they had great resources on friendly, supportive businesses all through the West.   My point is that those people are still out there.  For example, you might be interested in High Mountain Ranch.

I spent 22 years of my life on 5 acres in a house I build myself.  But we weren’t out in the boonies.  More like in a rural suburb.  But there was enough isolation involved for me to know exactly what you’re talking about.

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Anyway,  I was lucky too, while my parents confessed religion, they did not participate or make me after I rejected sunday school, oh so many years ago.  They are atheists too for the most part, though they still struggle with some of it.

After reading your other posts, it sounds as though that in spite of your luck, you’ve still read the Bible quite a bit.  I may be interested in Christianity for political or cultural reasons, or I may express an interest in philosophical or metaphysical issues, but I’ve not read much beyond the Gospels.  I own a couple of Bibles (New Jerusalem), but they’re for reference only. 


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My atheistism is mostly of my own thinking.  I had a very profound event happen that showed me how to dispel the illusions.

That’s quite a story.  And it is admirable of you to use it to grow into your own philosophy of life. 

I’ve had a Free Thinker tell me that I couldn’t be a true Free Thinker since I still agreed with my parent’s atheism.  I guess that in spite of having atheist parents, I could have found a religion.  My sister has spent a good deal of time attending church.  She goes to a Unity congregation.  And we have never discussed her beliefs. 

But at a pretty young age, I discovered archeology and Greek and Roman mythologies.  I just liked the stories!  I found a book of comparative mythologies from cultures all over the planet.  Again I enjoyed the magical qualities of the story telling.  But the effect is that I see the Bible as only another mythology.  In High School, I found Twain’s “Letters From the Earth” which is satirical skepticism at its best.

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Then another thing I kept thinking about on Jack, if he truly wanted more with Ennis, why do it by living in Texas? And driving for 14 hours every other month?   Get your shit together Jack and move back to within 20 or 30 minutes of Ennis, it ismuch easier to for a friend to drop by, spend some time, and still maintain the illusion of being separate.  I used to know two or three couples that maintained their own homes, but spent time together at one or the others as they felt they wanted.

That’s a possibility that I haven’t seen discussed before.  Seems like a reasonable expectation.  I’ve certainly known partners who lived is separate homes.  Ah, but there were so many possibilities that Annie Proulx did not let her characters consider.



Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2006, 08:57:00 PM »

In one of my first posts on the original religion thread, I tried to solicit people’s thoughts on what religion does for people emotionally or socially and what forms a non-theistic “religion” might take that would provide the same things.  A religion which is has no supernatural.  I thought, with a collection of creative folks here, there might be a few who hold to interesting alternative cosmologies or metaphysics.  But I probably didn’t explain myself very well.  And we did have a few interesting posts on Buddhism.

Yes, I too think one of the biggest falls of non-believers society is not having a "church" to go to and socialize, be emotionally supported.  One form a non-theistic "religion' might take, or at least I would like to see it, is on biological immortality.  I think there is a lot going on in this area that is not being discussed.  For example the effect of telemerace on lengthening the "shoe string tips" of DNA is very interesting.  How that cells in the test tube can be made any age by adding or taking the end sequence away.   

I also read on a stem cell test on using a monkey and monkey stems cells they added them to the blood of an older female monkey.  They found no adverse effects after 3 months, and then decided to find out what the stem cells had done.  Upon examination, they fould the stem cells had become young cells through out the body, lining the blood vessels, and in nearly all organs, making them younger from the inside out.  How did they know which cells came from the stem cells?  The stem cells were male.  Very interesting.  Perhaps someday one will be able to take adult stem cells make them young with telemerace, multiply them and put them back into the host making him younger from the inside out as the younger cells divide and grow at a much faster rate than older ones.  Interesting...

Then on top of that it would be wonderful to have educational lectures, ie surmons if you will, on how things work, on what is actual fact.  There is a whole world of facts that are being manipulated into something evil. We are being lied to in nearly every turn of life.  Another, take a look in politics, there nearly everything is an illusion.

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I see Humanism as still waging an intellectual’s debate about the limitations of theology.  The ID debate shows that we (in the US) still haven’t moved far from the Scopes trial of 1925.  I don’t see a conflict between Science and Religion, but I’m in the minority there.[/qutoe]

Yes, agree, we are actually even slipping backwards here to 1925 if the powers that be get their way. 

The conflict between science and religion is that they are based two totally different viewpoints of reality. 

Science has it that reality is independent of belief, it exists just as it is. A rock on a far distant planet exists even if it is never seen or know by mankind.  Existence has natural occurring rules, such as that matter is neither created nor destroyed in normal conditions, in nuclear conditions it is same, but they can be converted from the solid matter directly into massive energy.  Reality is made of space, time, matter and energy.  An effect always comes after the cause. Cause and effect runs the show, even if we do not always know all the variables in that show. To resolve the variables, science proposes a hypothesis, an educated guess, then runs experiments to see what will either support or not support the hypothesis. Then a new hypothesis comes from that, that will include the support, and not the contradictory, and new tests will be run.  Repeating until such a time as the results always support the hypothesis, without contradiction,  then it becomes a theory.  A theory will be modified if at a later time evidence is found that is contradictory to the original theory, but that usually is quite rare.  The new theory then has to incorporate the new evidence, and all the old without contradiction.  A theory that does not have new evidence against it for a long time is fact.  Gravity is fact, evolution is fact, chemistry of microchips is fact.  This is knowledge, with knowledge we can build computers, technology, new machines, new medicines, and even extend life.

Religion is the viewpoint that belief is reality.  Reality is malleable to the will of belief.  If you believe then it is real.  Nothing can be known using belief, because belief can not be used to forge new computers, technology, new medicines or extend life.  No new technology has ever come from religion, or just belief.  The best it can hope for is to stumble upon sound scientific principle and use it as ritual.  Therefore we see the useful rituals of not eating pork, or shellfish in a time of no refrigeration.  We see the rituals of careful sex in a time when disease could only be understood as a wrath of an angry god.  That lightening, hail, wild fires, and floods could only be understood as god's punishment for something, pity the poor sole who it got blamed on.  As with any really insidious illusion, it has a great many truths based on reality to make swallowing the lies so easy.  But even great food mixed with a little poison is still poison. 

Religion should not be taught as a science substitute because it has nothing to do with science.  Science by its very nature can not disprove the negative.  It can not prove that an rock on the far side of the moon has a whiskey spring flowing from it that if drank will give one eternal youth, and love from his Ennis or Jack, does not exist.  For where ever one looks, even if it is not there, it could be someplace else.  The assumption has to be that until credit evidence is provided, it does not exist. There can be people who imagine it is real and feel it's presence, even benefit from it's uplifting image.  However, that does not mean it exists.   For science if one has to believe first to experience then that is very strong evidence of non-existence in reality. 

Religion does the opposite, it says that god and all exist despite the total lack of evidence.  Belief is reality.

If science was going to make a guess, a hypothesis that god exists, then it would be forced to come up with experiments to support or not support that.  It would look into statistics, to see if one could see the work of god there.  At every turn there is no difference between the death rates of believers and non-believers when all factors are taken in.  Just as many die from floods, volcanoes, tornadoes, earthquakes, disease, famine, etc.  What the statistics shows us is if there is a god his intervention is exactly the same as if he was not there.  Prayers are answered in exactly the same ratios as one would suspect random reality to work.  I do not see any other choice but to conclude there is not a god at work.  Or surely his chosen, he beloved, would not have the same stats as the lowly non-believer.    Surely there would be a marked difference in outcomes of an intervening god of his chosen over another groups heathen god, yet we do not see it.

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However, when you’re expecting a second coming in your lifetime, reliance on the supernatural allows you to ignore your environmental impact. 

Back in 1982 I became a part of a group that sincerely believed the second coming was Dec 12th, 1982.  They sold their homes and gave away the vast majority of it, because they where going to be taken up.  At the time I was young, and did not know what to think.  I was so very frightened the night of Dec 11th, thinking that all was going to end, most people were going to be left behind to suffer great sorrow.  Maybe even me, because I could not quite shake the thought that this was all their own making.   Dec 12th arrived as a clear, cold day nothing happened.  The people of that church dissolved into utter financial ruin.  They had gave away everything, then did not have the money to pay the mortgages, so lost their ranches.  Some of them 20 some years later still have not recoved, but, by god, they go to church every chance they get and believe with everything they have.  They did not learn a thing...

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Over Memorial Day, I heard a commentary about the Iraq war on the radio.  The writer’s final statement was about praying for peace.  I could only think that religious fundamentalism on all sides played a part in getting us into that mess.  I also hoped that we do more than pray to stop it.

If the prayers on both sides had been answered in the first place there would not have been war.  The common people on both sides knew that it was going to kill their beloved children, destroy their homes, and lives.  This war is a direct example of how belief standing for reality works.  Our government believed with all its heart that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, never mind the inspectors did not find any, never mind that a lot of intelligence stated that they had been destroyed, never mind the facts about yellow cake in Niger, or what aluminum tubes really have to be like to be used to make enriched uranium.  Do not bother to resolve the contradictions to your belief, because they are wrong... belief creates reality.  Yet, true reality will show at some point, it has to.  Belief will not make weapons appear, nor make yellow cake real, or transform aluminum tubes into something usable for uranium enrichment. 

However, It can be kept hidden by lies for a long time, especially if the powers that be have the power to keep one from being able to check.  This is where our "fourth" branch of government failed us, that fourth branch is the media whose job it is to keep the government honest.  I can only hope we wake up soon as a nation, it maybe too late already. 

Take Care my friends,
Doug
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2006, 10:20:47 PM »
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The conflict between science and religion is that they are based two totally different viewpoints of reality.

I understand what you're saying here.  I meant that there doesn't have to be an inherent conflict, because they are apples and oranges.  That is we don't rely on religion to answer a scientific hypothesis - or we shouldn't.  And we don't often rely on science to supply answers to ethical dilemas.  We consult our sense of emphathy for that. 

There are plenty of scientists who hold religious beliefs.  But they've separated their religious from scientific beliefs.  In their mind, there is no conflict.  They just don't take Genesis literally, for example.  Or they may blink when their pastor talks about miracles.  And there are also religious sects who allow for the scientific reality of evolution for example.  The conflict arises when you believe in Biblical inerrancy or when you hold the Bible to be literally true.

I love John Brockman's The Edge.  Every year he does a big "World Question" and invites short answers from a lot of cutting edge scientists.  Last Year's Question was "WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?"
It's great reading:  http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_print.html
« Last Edit: May 30, 2006, 10:34:35 PM by sactopete »

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2006, 10:31:03 PM »
Can anyone give some perspective on Brokeback Mountain?  For example, IMO neither Jack nor Ennis care much about religion, except they are from uneducated people and religion is part of their culture.  But don't forget the religion is made in the image of the believers, not the other way around, so Jack and Ennis seemed to have bigger problems with society's expectations, wrapped up in economics, lack of education and homophobia.

I'm not passionate about non-belief, I'm more disinterested like Jack or Ennis.  I see religion as a by product of culture.  So I'm curious what non-belief means to you in connection with Brokeback Mountain.
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2006, 11:23:33 PM »
The only reference to a specific denomination is Jack's mother's Pentacostalism.  But he never mentions her speaking in tongues, nor does he even know what the Pentacost is, so how much of an influence was it?

Ennis has nothing much to say about religion, except that he won't go to the church socials with Alma.  I see Ennis as simply being in the dark, uneducated and cowed to the point that he'll take anything offered by any perceived moral authority as Truth.

Given this, it doesn't matter that they don't care much for religion.  They're still living under its sway.  They're not disinterested if they're in fact letting homophobia engendered by religious belief rule their lives. 

Religion is certainly part of their culture, but I'm not sure what you mean by it's "made in the image of the believers, not the other way around".   I've always found it odd that Christianity is pretty much anything anyone wants to make it.  Some charismatic speaker comes along with a new angle, and you've got a new sect.  Small primitive churchs are aborning all the time.  Why some stick and others fall off the wall is anyone's guess.

The flip side of the "True Christian" problem is you would think some of its incarnations would just scare off the masses.  Wouldn't Fred Phelps cause more than a few people to loose their religion?  Wouldn't George Bush?   They're Christians, right?

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2006, 11:37:33 PM »

Doug, there used to be a real friendly on line forum and chat place called www.ruralgay.com.   Unfortunately the guy who ran it took it off line several years ago.  There’s still a place holding page at the domain with a few links to remnants of their community: an IRC channel and Yahoo news group.  For example, its where I found out about the GTA, and they had great resources on friendly, supportive businesses all through the West.   My point is that those people are still out there.  For example, you might be interested in High Mountain Ranch.[/qutoe]

Yes, I remember ruralgay.com.  I read on it a fair amount, and tried to meet a couple of people from it.  It never worked out, but hey, one has to try...

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I spent 22 years of my life on 5 acres in a house I build myself.  But we weren’t out in the boonies.  More like in a rural suburb.  But there was enough isolation involved for me to know exactly what you’re talking about.


Sounds real nice.  I used to live in the burbs myself, not rural though.  I had an old rural house, a few lots that had an old apple orchard on it, and I had a big garden area.  I could not live in the city without some trees and a garden...

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After reading your other posts, it sounds as though that in spite of your luck, you’ve still read the Bible quite a bit.  I may be interested in Christianity for political or cultural reasons, or I may express an interest in philosophical or metaphysical issues, but I’ve not read much beyond the Gospels.  I own a couple of Bibles (New Jerusalem), but they’re for reference only. 


Well, lets just say I have read parts of it.  I tried to get through it a couple of times, but it is so mind numbing that I just can not.  So, I research for the contradictions to what is being held up as fact.  There are hundreds if not thousands...  I really liked the Secret Gospel of Mark, but even though it matches everything else that was put in the bible, time wise, writer, paper etc,  it was kept out because it dared to suggest that Jesus had sex with a boy he raised from the dead.  People do not seem to realize that there was hundreds of writings in that time period that would all have been valid for the bible, but a group of men sat down, threw out most, kept what they thought was important, or which would give them the most control, burned most of the other, and made a bible.  It is sort of like taking all the information for  an encyclopedia set, and throwing away 90% and calling it the encyclopedia. 


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That’s quite a story.  And it is admirable of you to use it to grow into your own philosophy of life. 

I’ve had a Free Thinker tell me that I couldn’t be a true Free Thinker since I still agreed with my parent’s atheism. 


He is an idiot.  It has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing with parents or anyone else. It has everything to do with aligning your subjective reality with objective reality.  No one can truly know objective reality it is vastly too large and too small.  So, we all build internal models of reality so we can function.  The closer one builds that model to reflect objective reality the freer thinker he is, because he can understand cause and effect.  Those who build a model from beliefs, have to have mysticism to explain their model, magic, gods, etc, because they have no way to understand cause and effect.  How can you understand cause and effect if belief has causeless effects, or effects happening before causes?   

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I guess that in spite of having atheist parents, I could have found a religion.  My sister has spent a good deal of time attending church.  She goes to a Unity congregation.  And we have never discussed her beliefs. 


Yes, you could have.  But I suspect that your internal map of reality would have had a very major time accepting the obvious contradictions it would have had to take. 

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But at a pretty young age, I discovered archeology and Greek and Roman mythologies.  I just liked the stories!  I found a book of comparative mythologies from cultures all over the planet.  Again I enjoyed the magical qualities of the story telling.  But the effect is that I see the Bible as only another mythology.  In High School, I found Twain’s “Letters From the Earth” which is satirical skepticism at its best.

Yes, this is why I think it is very important that religion be taught in school as a comparative study of mythologies.  It would be enlightening for people to see at an early age their religion is not the only one, and that their creation story is the only one, or any better than any other.  I like the aboriginal Australian story of how god hatched from a cosmic egg, and that man came from a boil on his knee.  They believe just as strongly as the christians do, and have just as much evidence for it as the christians do.  Yes, kids should study the top ten religions their similarities and their differences.  They should be taught to think, not believe.

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Then another thing I kept thinking about on Jack, if he truly wanted more with Ennis, why do it by living in Texas? And driving for 14 hours every other month?   Get your shit together Jack and move back to within 20 or 30 minutes of Ennis, it ismuch easier to for a friend to drop by, spend some time, and still maintain the illusion of being separate.  I used to know two or three couples that maintained their own homes, but spent time together at one or the others as they felt they wanted.

That’s a possibility that I haven’t seen discussed before.  Seems like a reasonable expectation.  I’ve certainly known partners who lived is separate homes.  Ah, but there were so many possibilities that Annie Proulx did not let her characters consider.

My thinking on Jack is he just was not listening to Ennis.  On all the threads it seems like they think Jack was doing right.  But, no, I do not think so.  Ennis was up front with his need to be hidden, was up front that he was not going to move in, was up front his fears.  Jack knew them, saw them, experienced them.  Jack also knew Ennis would meet him at least half way, this he saw when Ennis came to Jack on the second night, when Ennis nailed a kiss on Jack first after four years, Ennis gave up jobs to be with Jack, and Ennis mailed Jack back after the big fight.  If Jack wanted more of Ennis he had to provide the protection that Ennis required to feel safe.  We all have to feel safe to love freely.  Jack could have rented a nearby ranch and hired Ennis a ranch hand.  Obviously Ennis would work for anyone to make ends meet, and given the excuse as to why people may see him and Jack around together at the same time it would have worked.  Of course, Jack would have to be more careful so that his reputation did not interfer with Ennis's safe feelings.  Anyway... tis all just a movie...

Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.