Re: religion once more....
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 14:01:50 EDT

In a message dated 10/26/1999 10:09:53 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> Oh, I'm with you 100%. I make it a rule never to challenge religious people.

> It just makes enemies for you.
> I had no idea before John Grigg's post that any of the extropians were
> religious! I thought 'Spud', to whom I was replying, was just playing
> devil's advocate between us (the list subscribers) and our religious guest
> that started this thread.
> In fact, John's post made me feel pretty guilty! Sorry!
> Rob.

Well, first of all Rob, I guess I was playing devil's advocate; simply because I like when I see arguments open to opposition, sometimes I am just dumb enough to walk right in. My main point in responding to this religious thread is the most Atheists, I have encountered, seem to be in opposition to the ideas and the selling of Christianity, that the "Evangelists" are so in love with.

Religions seem to have the main character flaw (strength?) that they are self-validating. But the 95% of the Atheists appear to have been shaken lose from what I term "nominal Christian culture". The definition of this is that they are 'usually' of white, European genetic and cultural heritage; and are so ensconced in this "meta-culture" that they are oblivious to all other religions/cultures save what is presented on TV (that is before they flip the channel or drop the link). America is definitely this way and so is the UK. Or as the racist, bigot, industrialist, Henry Ford used to say; "You can have any color ya want, as long as its black."

This is, I attribute, an accident of being raised in a mono-culture. As far as God goes, tragedy and sorrow seems to be a faith breaker. But this applies to Atheists as well. The curious thing is that most Atheists (outside of a B.F Skinner or so)
seem to remain, pissed off at the human condition. The gerneralized "faith" that existence may continue, despite one's own mortality, seems to be an aspect of the religious; therefore is of some psycho-social, benefit-in a purely, paliative way.

I mean as Chucky Marx said, "religion is the opiate of the people." Which is to say that sometimes people need pain-relief. Einstein's famous letter of consolation to Wigner (was it Wigner?) over the passing of their mutual friend Michelle Besso wemt something like this:

"We must not more too much over the passing of Michelle; for as we know from the perspective of electrons, Michelle isn't really dead because electrons know neither present nor past." Now I dunno maybe Einstein was freakin whankers? Maybe, maybe not?

Heck, I also belong to a Many Worlds mailing list, and one of the Templeton Foundations Meta lists-so go figure. One of the things I shan't do is peddle "toast City" to ya if ya don't agree, cause ya don't! Thats an attribute of the Churchies, not me. Believe in me or its eternal suffering...Boo!

Spud, the holy hand-grenade of Antioch