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How do we slay the dragon?
#1
How do we slay the dragon?
Bertrand Russell--whom I am currently reading and falling in love with (yes I'm late to the party)--says at the close of his essay, "Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization":

"It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion."

I agree with that sentiment and that is the frustrating situation we still find ourselves in. Here we are, facing this monster, the rational among us realizing that physical threat or coercion would only strengthen the monster and fuse ourselves to it, yet at the same time, realizing that the dragon is completely immune to reasoned argument. Or is it just very stubborn, and will reasoned argument eventually slay the dragon? I can't see that happening. Human beings are generally too dumb.

How do we slay the dragon?

Btw, these are a few of the many quotes in his writings I have had to underline. It is a pleasure to find someone who can summarize truths in such a succinct manner:

"A habit of basing conviction upon evidence, and of giving to them only that degree of certainty which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure most of the ills from which the world is suffering."

"I should wish to see a world in which education aimed at mental freedom rather than at impoverishing the minds of the young in a rigid armor of dogma calculated to protect them through life against the shafts of impartial evidence."

"At all times, from the age of Constantine to the end of the seventeenth century, Christians were far more fiercely persecuted by other Christians than they ever were by the Roman emperors... It is true that the modern Christian is less robust but that is not thanks to Christianity; it is thanks to the generations of freethinkers, who, from the Renaissance to the present day, have made Christians ashamed of many of their traditional beliefs. It is amusing to hear the modern Christian telling you how mild and rationalistic Christianity really is and ignoring the fact that all its mildness and rationalism is due to the teaching of men who in their own day were persecuted by all orthodox Christians."
He who loves God cannot endeavour that God should love him in return - Baruch Spinoza
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#2
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
You won't, history is against your quest.
Besides that, just look at China, the religion of Mao (with his face plastered all over that nation) is gone and it is projected there will be more Christians there than in the US in a couple of decades.
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#3
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
That will drag the fuckers back to the stone age, won't it?
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#4
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
(June 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm)professor Wrote: it is projected there will be more Christians there than in the US in a couple of decades.

Where do you get that from?
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#5
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
Americans are getting smarter and the old xtian fuckheads are dying off.

That gives the Chinese an opportunity. Maybe they'll let the catholics in so their kids can get their assholes stretched, too?
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#6
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
Time, information, education and most of all patience is the only real choice we have, sadly.
Kuusi palaa, ja on viimeinen kerta kun annan vaimoni laittaa jouluvalot!
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#7
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
I have several suggestions:

1) Better science education in the public schools. Fundamentalist are quite right to feel threatened by it. If you really study evolution you can't help but conclude that it exists. If you really study geology, you can't help but believe in an ancient earth. The list goes on.

2) Teach comparative religion classes as part of history or social studies. Nothing like knowing about all the other options in the salad bar that is theism to inoculate you against any particular one. Teaching one of the dead ones we know something about like the Ancient Egyptian's beliefs wouldn't hurt either. The multiplicity of choices shows up the arbitrariness of any particular choice.

3) Teach meditation. It provides much of what many people get from prayer without the god part.

4) Provide the same tax breaks for charitable social groups that provide a church like sense of community as we do for churches. Alternatively and better, take away the tax exempt status of churches.
If there is a god, I want to believe that there is a god.  If there is not a god, I want to believe that there is no god.
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#8
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
(June 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm)Jenny A Wrote: I have several suggestions:

1) Better science education in the public schools. Fundamentalist are quite right to feel threatened by it. If you really study evolution you can't help but conclude that it exists. If you really study geology, you can't help but believe in an ancient earth. The list goes on.

2) Teach comparative religion classes as part of history or social studies. Nothing like knowing about all the other options in the salad bar that is theism to inoculate you against any particular one. Teaching one of the dead ones we know something about like the Ancient Egyptian's beliefs wouldn't hurt either. The multiplicity of choices shows up the arbitrariness of any particular choice.

3) Teach meditation. It provides much of what many people get from prayer without the god part.

4) Provide the same tax breaks for charitable social groups that provide a church like sense of community as we do for churches. Alternatively and better, take away the tax exempt status of churches.
Excellent post, Jenny! These are great suggestions, but what about on a more practical, individual level? What can I do? (Not being in a position of recognized "teacher" or "expert" on anything.)
He who loves God cannot endeavour that God should love him in return - Baruch Spinoza
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#9
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
It is hard to see how the human race will ever get smarter. The advances in science are carried out by extreme specialists. Lay people become more and more estranged from the technical expertise of its experts. Popular culture doesn't value academics or reflection. I see very little reason for hope. Certainly there is no evolutionary vehicle for selecting for smarter. We're fucked.

(June 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm)max-greece Wrote: Time, information, education and most of all patience is the only real choice we have, sadly.

Agreed. Coercion would not be effective. But who knows, maybe we'll surprise us.

(June 22, 2014 at 4:06 pm)max-greece Wrote: Time, information, education and most of all patience is the only real choice we have, sadly.

Agreed. Coercion would not be effective. But who knows, maybe we'll surprise us.

Not sure why this post hiccupped.
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#10
RE: How do we slay the dragon?
(June 22, 2014 at 4:11 pm)Jenny A Wrote: I have several suggestions:

1) Better science education in the public schools. Fundamentalist are quite right to feel threatened by it. If you really study evolution you can't help but conclude that it exists. If you really study geology, you can't help but believe in an ancient earth. The list goes on.

2) Teach comparative religion classes as part of history or social studies. Nothing like knowing about all the other options in the salad bar that is theism to inoculate you against any particular one. Teaching one of the dead ones we know something about like the Ancient Egyptian's beliefs wouldn't hurt either. The multiplicity of choices shows up the arbitrariness of any particular choice.

3) Teach meditation. It provides much of what many people get from prayer without the god part.

4) Provide the same tax breaks for charitable social groups that provide a church like sense of community as we do for churches. Alternatively and better, take away the tax exempt status of churches.

I was going to suggest global genocide, but Jenny's suggestions work, too . . .

Angel
Dying to live, living to die.
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