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Christianity &Islam &Rationals Thomas on 24 Feb 2010 12:39 am

Understanding the religious mind by looking at the mind of a flat-earther

As the following article demonstrates, there are delusional people who believe the earth is flat:

The Earth is flat? What planet is he on?

And the amazing thing is that they sound EXACTLY like those delusional people who follow religion. Where have you heard this logic before:

“I haven’t taken this position just to be difficult. To look around, the world does appear to be flat, so I think it is ­incumbent on others to prove ­decisively that it isn’t. And I don’t think that burden of proof has been met yet.”

If we substitute two words, we have religious babble:

“I haven’t taken this position just to be difficult. To look around, the world life does appear to be flat designed, so I think it is ­incumbent on others to prove ­decisively that it isn’t. And I don’t think that burden of proof has been met yet.”

The problem is that, in the same way there is a gigantic, insurmountable amount of evidence showing that the planet is a sphere, there is a gigantic, insurmountable amount of evidence showing that life has evolved. The only way to believe in intelligent design, or a flat earth, is to ignore and deny all of the evidence.

Understand the delusion:

20 Responses to “Understanding the religious mind by looking at the mind of a flat-earther”

  1. on 25 Feb 2010 at 4:13 am 1.Observer said …

    It is interesting that the flat-earther in the Guardian article is from Virginia, USA. It makes sense. Thomas Jefferson, who was from Virginia, really didn’t have much use for most Virginians- pretty unsophisticated thinkers.

  2. on 25 Feb 2010 at 11:39 am 2.Morris said …

    So you are judging a whole state as unsophisticated? How so very elitist of you. Jefferson was a sorry dad and a turncoat against George Washington. Maybe a little more time as dad and friend and less time having sex with his slaves and thinking.

  3. on 25 Feb 2010 at 9:09 pm 3.Observer said …

    Jefferson was a bit of an elitist. So what? When did elite become a pejorative? Idiocracy be damned! Didn’t anybody read and understand “Harrison Bergeron”?

    Turncoat against Washington? That was Benedict Arnold.

    All Christians should f*ck (protected so as not to make more Christians) and think more. Maybe they will cease to be Christians.

  4. on 26 Feb 2010 at 12:54 am 4.Morris said …

    Observer I cannot thank you enough. You are a shining example of why I would never ever want to be an atheist. To have that kind of hate for other human beings is sad. The next time I read about a senseless shooting, I’ll think of you. Get well.

    Jefferson turned on Washington while in his cabinet, rather covertly with Madison. Read your history. Washington despised the elitist snot from that point. I’ll take character and humility.

  5. on 26 Feb 2010 at 8:24 am 5.Severin said …

    Morris 4
    Typical how believers do not recognize humor!
    The point was not on “f*ck*”, but on “think”, as I understood it, and I do not see hate in it.
    Believers always attribute their own hate to others.

    Atheists can not accumulate as much hate for the next 2000 years as believers and organized churches spread during last milleniums.

  6. on 10 Mar 2010 at 8:14 am 6.A real-ist said …

    Wasn’t there a time when everyone thought the earth was flat? Do you think that when it was first discovered that the earth was round that everyone agreed right away? Athiests are just people that discover the realistic truth and want to show the ones that live in the past before modern science existed the realistic view of life. Can you imagine if there are still people out there that believe the earth is still flat?
    Now picture a kid who just found out Santa Claus isn’t real from their parents, but didn’t believe the kids at school that he isn’t real. Religion is just the same thing except in this case there is no parent to tell the kid who is now an adult that God isn’t real because the parent also still believes in “Santa Claus” and that person thinks the Athiests are the kids at school. –Just because you want to believe something is true doesn’t make it true.–

  7. on 10 Mar 2010 at 2:41 pm 7.Biff said …

    “Athiests are just people that discover the realistic truth and want to show the ones that live in the past before modern science existed the realistic view of life.”

    You are not new. You are not fresh. Atheism is as old as theism. Your analogy is flawed and lame. In order to have the “TRUTH” you would need proof. The fact I don’t have an apple in my hand does not mean apples do not exist.

    Please…

  8. on 10 Mar 2010 at 5:05 pm 8.Observer said …

    I have not been minding this thread, but here we go…

    Morris4- Your perception of Jefferson as “turning” on Washington is quite telling. What would be termed a difference of opinion between statesmen, you interpret as a dramatic betrayal; he was not seeking Washington’s head, freedom, or property. By taking this point of view, you show preference for suborning one’s own intellect and ideals, to fealty. This bias toward fealty though goes far to reveal your psychology and why you would limit yourself by not doing the work to educate yourself, learn, and liberate yourself from barbaric superstitions.

    I would hate to tarnish Washington with the petty egotistic shortcomings you ascribe to him, but would prefer to think his disputes with Jefferson and Madison were being conflated for dramatic effect by the author you are referring. I would have hoped Washington was above such pettiness. His unwillingness to be crowned king supports this.

    I am at a bit of a loss how you get hatred from my earlier posting. If you suspect I would never choose to associate with you or your ilk, that is correct; you would no doubt be a tedious dinner guest. To assume I would exert the energy to hate you is delusional self-aggrandizement.

    To the appropriately named Biff- Is this a reference to the novel “Lamb” and not a nickname for an air-head WASPy male? Regardless, your paragraph is nonsense. I commend you on the ability to muster the intellect required to deduce that not having an apple in one’s hand does not prove apples do not exist. Epistemology is notoriously slippery, and rightly so. Regardless, barring some sort of unknown and unexpected domestic disaster, I could walk into my kitchen, and on the counter are some nice organically grown Pink Lady apples. This I would construe as proof that apples exist. Should my kitchen have been destroyed by a meteorite, I would go back to Whole Foods and look for further proof of apples, etc.

    We can define what an apple is, search for it, and verify its existence. You cannot do the same for the Abrahamic God. This is the reason so many pre-Enlightenment minds were wasted on theology, all coming to the same conclusion that the existence of God was unprovable. What is worse, as knowledge has grown, there is virtually no need for a god, particularly not the Abrahamic version.

    As for “Lamb: The Gospel of Jesus’ buddy Biff( or whatever the exact title is)”, it is a funny book. I found it especially gratifying in that it captures the zeitgeist of doubt and disbelief in today. In much the same way Christianity is a dumbed-down and very liberal version of Judaism, the fictional account of Jesus’ life and philosophy in Biff is, if possible, an even more stripped-down and accommodating theology than Christianity. But, in that there is a bit of genius. If one looks beyond the angels and other God-humbug, you get a moral humanism.

    That is where we are heading- Twilight of the Idols time. Mainline Christianity has been shedding the idiocy of biblical literalism which evangelicals and fundamentalists cling to for decades.

    Throughout history, societies have gone backwards and failed. Folks such as myself hope that will not be the case for my society. Hence I waste the occasional half-hour here, donating money to causes trying to conserve the liberal society my country (USA) was founded on. My hope here is that someone may read this thread and step further away from the evil of religion, particularly fundamental Christianity and as a bonus, Islam.

    One final note, if you have not seen the unedited version of Dawkins talking to Wendy Wright, it is a must on YouTube. This should be shown in every classroom in America. Dawkins as usual is the polite articulate and obviously intelligent Oxford don of stereotype. Wright, to my delight, manages to make Sarah Palin seem intelligent. This is petty ( and ad hominem ( insert emoticon here )) , but Wright looks revoltingly cheap; she has a bad bottle blond hair color, too much foundation or too much time in a tanning booth, and the most vacuous stare ever. She makes frequent reference to severely mentally handicapped people, she no doubt feels a special kinship. She, as a fitting representative of conservative Christians, is unable to maintain a coherent train of thought, construct an argument, or generate speech beyond repeating the same phrases over and over. She appears brainwashed, dumb, or most likely, both. It is splendid. I saw it on YouTube.

  9. on 10 Mar 2010 at 7:15 pm 9.Rostam said …

    Yawn! Is he quite through?

    The man-crush on Dawkins was mirthful!

    His sexist comments on women are poignant. :(

    His view on history is just silly even naive:|

    His “my country” comment is elitist :}

    His dinner table is rather lonely.

    The end.

  10. on 10 Mar 2010 at 7:54 pm 10.Severin said …

    7 Biff
    „In order to have the “TRUTH” you would need proof. The fact I don’t have an apple in my hand does not mean apples do not exist.“

    You were first to claim god(s) exist(s), and did not offer any proofs for your claims thousands of years.
    Can we expect some proof soon, please? Otherwise, we are sic and tired of your stupid empty claims, and kindly expect you not to spread bullshits publically without proofs. It is not a time of Inquisition any more.
    Proofs, please, then we can talk further.

    „Atheism is as old as theism.“
    Technically it could be so, if there were atheists to opose religions.
    I would only like you to tell us how many atheists existed at dawn of religions, to make such a claim true.
    Atheism could not exist without atheists!

  11. on 10 Mar 2010 at 9:34 pm 11.Bishop said …

    “Atheism could not exist without atheists!”

    Well, you can’t argue with that logic.

  12. on 10 Mar 2010 at 9:36 pm 12.Bishop said …

    Observer might want to consider multiple post for ease of reading.

  13. on 11 Mar 2010 at 2:16 am 13.A real-ist said …

    If something isn’t proven to exist, don’t we all agree that the odds tip in the favor that it doesn’t really exist?

    There are many many reasons why people in the past wanted to create a god or gods that can’t be proven to exist until you die. They also had a lot of free time since tv and computers didn’t exist, so they could spend the time writing the bible so peolpe stopped killing each other. And the thing is when you die and become only dirt in the ground it is kind of difficult to come back and say, “hey, guess what, you were right, there is no god!”

  14. on 11 Mar 2010 at 2:48 am 14.Scott said …

    You no longer need to deny the existence. Follow the logic.

    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/

  15. on 11 Mar 2010 at 2:58 am 15.A real-ist said …

    That is the main reason why so many people are tricked into believing god exists. When you make something up and say you can’t prove it wrong because we will only know the truth when we die is the biggest escape of reality. So if I say that I become god when I die you can’t argue it isn’t true because you won’t really konw until you die if I became god. That is why religion is the biggest lie of all time.

  16. on 11 Mar 2010 at 4:29 pm 16.Severin said …

    14 Scott
    http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/
    This “proof” is a “tricky proof” , probably conveniant to make apes believe something, but not intelligent and educated people.
    It confuses „apples“ and „pears“ equaling them to be the same.
    When you click an item they do not like you to click, they just turn you back to repeat choosing between SAME possibilities, to MAKE you to come to THEIR conclusions.

    The main „catch“ is in equaling „absolute scientific truth“ with „absolute moral truth“.

    Scientific truths exist, are universal, and ARE PROOVABLE by using laws of mathematics, chemistry, physics…
    But there is NO absolute scientific truth! Every scientific truth is TEMPORARY: it fits present knowledge for some time, then new scientific achievments come to fill the “gaps”, to complete (sometimes even to destroy) old “scientific truths”.

    Absolute MORAL „truth“ does not exist!
    For me, and for many other people, it is totally immoral to blame and to punish descendats for „sins“ of their ancestors. How and why would be a newly-born baby be „guilty“ for her ancestor’s sins? For christians, it is NOT immoral!
    For me, as an atheist, it is totally immoral someone to send his own son to be crucified for some „sins“ DONE against him (god – Jesus), for christians it is quite normal.
    For me it is immoral to temptate someone’s beliefs by ordering him to slaughter his own son, for christians it is not immoral.
    For me it is immoral to make suicide to kill thousands of innocent peoples in name of „faith“ (9/11), for muslims it is NOT immoral.

    If you extend „morality“ broader, you will se that very different „moral rules“ are valid for a lion and for a gazelle.

    They are making you fool in this Site, by equaling uncomparable concepts.
    My brother’s son (15) after several rtials on this site understood the problem and his comment was: do they think I am stupid, or what?
    Yes, they do think you are stupid, and prefere to keep you stupid! They carefully (but not too carefully, they are transparent!)IMPOSE you (typically) how to think, and make conclusions on THEIR OWN (imposed) “arguments”, disabling you to have your own opinion or to develop your own idea.

  17. on 11 Mar 2010 at 4:36 pm 17.Severin said …

    Bishop 11
    ““Atheism could not exist without atheists!”

    Funny?
    Ask Biff how is it possible anyway. He claimed atheism is as old as theism, I did not.

  18. on 11 Mar 2010 at 5:18 pm 18.Observer said …

    Bishop- Point well taken

  19. on 11 Mar 2010 at 5:57 pm 19.Observer said …

    14 Scott- Are you an idiot?

    First, Laws of Logic. What are they? First, folks in that business would call them axioms. Basically, we have moved from Aristotilian contradiction and “excluded middle” to Identity only at this point thanks to the Polish School. At logic’s loosest, we admit contradiction and identity, with the “excluded middle” a theorem (Whitehead and Russell in the Principia).

    Laws of Mathematics? Huh? The dolts you cite for this amazing proof that has eluded some of the finest minds to have existed quote the “laws” from a website dedicated to teaching remedial math up to a 4th grade level. One of the laws cited in this proof as transcendental is addition. Please note the aforementioned Whitehead and Russell proved that 1+1=2 after VolumeI in VolII after around 90 pages. The Sinner Ministries seem to mean they are an affront to education and intelligence.

    Laws of Science? OK. Conservation appears to be a Law when the scope is large enough to encompass more than one category at once, e.g. mass and energy via relativity. But the use of Law is misleading if one’s intent is to show something immutable. The example would be thermodynamics. No one outside a Bible college or stone-age village would dispute the “Laws” of thermodynamics. Nevertheless, they can all be alternatively derived using statistical mechanics. This is a theoretical construct that is verifiable experimentally.

    But now we are at science, we get to the whole conjecture and refutation crux. These “Laws” are abstractions of observed phenomena in nature that both explain and predict. IF THEY FAIL TO EXPLAIN OR PREDICT ACCURATELY, THEY WILL BE ABANDONED FOR THE BETTER MODEL.

    Also, ironically, the Sinners choose gravity as their example for a law of science. Well, Newton’s Laws famously failed, and we still have no idea that gravity is, despite being able to model it very precisely.

    Moral Law? Well, if not committing rape were a “Law” in the sense that we are talking about with the previous categories of “Law”, it would be impossible for rape to occur! Pedophilia, murder, theft, you name any human evil, IT COULD NOT OCCUR. It would be in the same category of conservation of mass in a chemistry experiment. Conservation laws do not fail. “Moral Laws” seem always to fail. There are plenty of societies, Hebrew and Christian societies where rape was A-OK. What are being called “Moral Laws” are humanistic values.

    I was tricked on the “immaterial” bit taking its common usage, and the one usually applied to laws, as “not important” rather than “non corporeal”. They then make the jump that something non-corporeal is universal.

    Once the Sinners have, perhaps for the first time in their lives, identified an abstraction, they run amok with a cascade of indefensible conclusions, the keystone of which is “Universal, immaterial, unchanging laws cannot be accounted for if the universe was random or only material in nature.” Why is that? Well, of course, it is due to their reading of the “Principia Universalis”, or more accurately, “Cuz duh Biaybul sayez SO!”

    Or in their own words, likely violating the law of the excluded middle via this tautological construct “The proof that God exists is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything.”

    The god exists argument here would not get an F in an intro philosophy if there were a lower grade.

  20. on 11 Mar 2010 at 5:57 pm 20.Observer said …

    Sorry Bishop.

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