RE: The Extropian Religious War--thank you

From: Miriam English (
Date: Thu Jul 12 2001 - 07:05:18 MDT

At 10:17 PM 11/07/2001 -0700, Lee wrote:
>J. R. Malloy writes
> > An example of someone who affirms religious belief while not being a liar
> > or a fool is... someone who feels personally benefitted by religiosity.


> > Therefore, I'd amend my previous statement such
> > that anyone who truly believes in religiosity is
> > a liar, a fool, or a psychological cripple.
>:-) Nobody can call you mealy-mouthed. I still think
>that it's also possible that they
>(1) are intellectually crippled by lack of skeptical ability
> (and would therefore be easy marks for other scams)
> but this may not be so different from your "psychological
> cripple" on re-reading
>(2) so convinced of religion's benefit to all peoples and
> nations that it clouds their judgment. They're not
> consciously lying, but don't have open minds, either

> > Or, as Jessie Ventura reportedly said, "Religion is for
> > weak-minded people" (which statement ignores liars and
> > categorical idiots).


> > If religiosity provides the cognitive crutch that some people need in
> > order to do their best, then that's fine. Debunking religiosity doesn't
> > require us to demean those who need and use religion in private.
>Why not? Yes, if people are going to entertain false beliefs,
>I'd of course prefer that they do it in solitude. But it still
>has to be stated that not only is what they believe false, but
>that there is something very wrong with how they think.

There is a big difference between debunking religion and making personal
attacks upon those who are religious. I have to pull myself back from that
tempting treat constantly ("don't tease the christian, Miriam").

I have a number of friends who are very religious. Most of them were
indoctrinated at an early age. One in particular is one of the sharpest
minds I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He is a lovely, gentle
person and totally honest. When we were very young I used to try to get him
to question his religion, but after a time I realised that he is too busy
doing other cool stuff to spend time questioning his religion. He never
rams it down anybody else's throat, so I stopped hassling about it. His
work on computers may well benefit the extropians.

We should probably avoid being bigotted about religious people... on the
whole they have historically provided a terrific example of the ills of

As I say, I am a common offender in tending to dump on religion and the
people who succumb to it, and have great trouble holding myself back... but
hold ourselves back, I think we should. Perhaps we should concentrate on
tactics to defuse the religious indoctrination of young minds. :-/


         - Miriam

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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