Author Topic: A small victory  (Read 1045 times)

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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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A small victory
« on: January 31, 2013, 02:27:23 PM »
Last night, I was hanging around after work with two of my coworkers discussing just how fucked-up the Sandy Hook shootings and other recent mass murders were.

Shaun... who is Christian... then made a statement that this "explosive incease" in violence was exactly what the Bible predicted would happen in Revelations.

I had made a promise to myself that I would not quietly keep my mouth shut for fear of offending someone's religious beliefs, so I challenged him by stating that not only was that kind of violence not not anything new, but our entire human history is chock-full of all sorts of horrors man has inflicted on his fellow man.

He protested by claiming that "this sort of violence" was happening with more and more frequency.

I then pointed out that this was a false perception based on the fact that we now live in an age where... through 24 hour news channels, the internet and almost everybody possessing a mobile phone/camera... that we have the capability to hear about these events around the world in real-time, as opposed to a century ago when for most people their only source of news was their local newspaper. And even then, you would never hear about the vast majority of acts of violence (unless they happened to be especially heinous or large scale) that occurred in other parts of the country or elsewhere.

I then added that he also needed to factor in individuals have access to superior firepower than our ancestors could ever dream of.

He remained quiet for a few seconds before finally replying "Yeah... you're right. That makes sense."

Like I said, it was a small victory but it sure felt good getting a theist to respond to reason.
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Offline Nick

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 03:04:43 PM »
Over 60 million being killed in WW2 was prob a little worse also.
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Online wright

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 03:54:48 PM »
Nothing wrong with small victories at all; each one builds confidence to tackle the next opportunity to confront such idiocy. You made an impression on him and perhaps the other person present as well.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 04:25:12 PM »
He remained quiet for a few seconds before finally replying "Yeah... you're right. That makes sense."

He wasn't talking to you.  He was talking to the jesus in his head who told him you are a heretic leading him to hell.
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Offline Quesi

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 04:54:00 PM »
I actually think that was a huge victory. 

The media, and access to increased fire power.  Yes. 

And he thought about it.  And he realized you were right.

That was a huge victory. 

Offline The Gawd

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 07:31:48 PM »
Well done!
Did you try to inch  a littl closer to questioning Revalation at all? I know at work its tough.

Online Graybeard

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 08:34:12 PM »
Shaun... who is Christian... then made a statement that this "explosive increase" in violence was exactly what the Bible predicted would happen in Revelations.

Well done - two more lessons in critical thinking and your friend might start to see the light.

I recommend a book called "Freakonimics" by Seven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner. The book is the work of an economist whose skills with statistics and ability to research gives new insights into cause and effect of popular but mistaken beliefs.

It contains this list of homicides per 100,000 of the population from the 13th and 14th centuries until the present:


.....................................................Belgium &.................................Germany &
.................................England.....Netherlands......Scandinavia......Switzerland
13th/14th c..............23.0...............47.......................n/a.....................37
15th.........................n/a.................45.......................46......................16
16th.........................7.0.................25.......................21......................11
17th.........................5.0.................7.5......................18......................7.0
18th.........................1.5.................5.5......................1.9......................7.5
19th.........................1.7.................1.6......................1.1......................2.8
1900- 1950..............0.8.................1.5......................0.7......................1.7
1951 - 1994.............0.9.................0.9......................0.9......................1.0

It looks like the chances of Armageddon have been decreasing the further we move from 0 AD
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 05:08:47 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 10:04:54 PM »
God is an Imaginary Friend for Grown-ups

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2013, 01:45:43 AM »
Nothing wrong with small victories at all; each one builds confidence to tackle the next opportunity to confront such idiocy. You made an impression on him and perhaps the other person present as well.

The funny thing is my other coworker, Brian, is also an atheist, but the big pussy kept his mouth shut during most of the conversation. :-X

He wasn't talking to you.  He was talking to the jesus in his head who told him you are a heretic leading him to hell.

Hmmmm... now that I think of it, his warding me off with his crucifix shoulda tipped me off....

Graybeard & Star Stuff: Thanks for the book recommendations. I checked out the reviews, and both titles sound like something both me and my gf would find extremely interesting... I pass by a Barnes & Noble on my route, so I can pop in and see if they're in stock or can be ordered.

Well done!
Did you try to inch  a littl closer to questioning Revalation at all? I know at work its tough.

Shaun already mentioned that he would enjoy talking about spiritual issues with me (he knows I'm an atheist), so I'll keep you all informed how that goes.

Thanks for all of the positive feedback, gang!
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 01:49:16 AM by Disciple of Sagan »
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

The only thing bigger than the universe is humanity's collective sense of self-importance.

Offline One Above All

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 10:14:52 AM »
Are you sure he wasn't being sarcastic or lying about it?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 12:51:51 PM »
Are you sure he wasn't being sarcastic or lying about it?

 He's stuck to his guns on other topics, so I'm pretty sure he was being sincere in this instance.
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

The only thing bigger than the universe is humanity's collective sense of self-importance.

Offline One Above All

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 01:16:51 PM »
He's stuck to his guns on other topics, so I'm pretty sure he was being sincere in this instance.

Well then, good job.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 01:33:06 PM »
Thanks  :)

On another note, I know of at least three other co-workers who are either openly agnostic or atheist. Hopefully, this is a sign of the times where rational thinkers no longer have to "hide in the closet".
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

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Offline screwtape

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 01:54:56 PM »
^ Lucky.  I'm up to my eyeballs with religious people.  Mostly stealth religious though.  I was at some training seminar and the question put to us was "If you could spend 24 hours with any 3 people, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?"  Almost every single person in the room included jesus H christ.  I would have never guessed.  I cannot tell if that is a good thing or not.  On the one had, bravo for keeping you stupid religious ideas hidden from the public at large.  As it should be.  On the other hand, I'd almost rather they wore their religion on their sleeves so it is obvious who is "challenged" and who is not.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 02:18:58 PM »
^Ouch. I can sympathize... when I first made it known I was a lesbian (same job, about 18 years ago), I was a bundle of nerves over having no way of knowing in advance which coworkers would be the problematic types. You know... the fans of Leviticus 18.

I was actually kind of shocked when the "worst" reaction I got was from a Born Again Christian woman who politely asked if I would be willing to read a pamphlet from her church. I politely declined, and she was ok with that.

So far, no one has even batted an eyelash at my atheism. At least not to my face. I did have one coworker about two years ago ask me what being an atheist meant. I basically answered that it was my opinion (I try to avoid using the word "believe"), based on a complete lack absence of evidence to the contrary, that gods do not exist. I then gave a few brief examples where parts of the Bible has been shown to false through scientific discoveries. He shrugged and thanked me for the information and never brought the subject up again.

I do have to be careful, though... my company has a policy of not posting or discussing possibly "inflammatory" topics such as politics and religion while on the clock.
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

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Offline Bluecolour

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2013, 10:05:19 PM »
Last night, I was hanging around after work with two of my coworkers discussing just how fucked-up the Sandy Hook shootings and other recent mass murders were.

Shaun... who is Christian... then made a statement that this "explosive incease" in violence was exactly what the Bible predicted would happen in Revelations.

Funny enough the bible doesn't actually say this.

Mark 13:7  'And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.'

This is the only verse I've heard that talks of violence before the end times[1]. And it's almost saying the opposite.
 1. the stuff in Revelation talks of events that take place after the rapture

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2013, 01:06:36 AM »

Funny enough the bible doesn't actually say this.

Mark 13:7  'And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.'

This is the only verse I've heard that talks of violence before the end times[1]. And it's almost saying the opposite.
 1. the stuff in Revelation talks of events that take place after the rapture

I'll keep this in mind if he brings the subject up again. Thanks
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2013, 03:29:49 AM »
I was at some training seminar and the question put to us was "If you could spend 24 hours with any 3 people, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?"  Almost every single person in the room included jesus H christ.  I would have never guessed.

Actually, I'd probably have him on my list as well.

If Jesus WAS god.....a great chance to ask all the questions I have.
If Jesus was NOT god, and just a man......then a chance to hear firsthand aboutwhat really happened.
And if indeed there was no man called Jesus at all......then I'd still like to talk to ANYONE from that era.

So even the atheists might have had good reasons to put JC down.  Apart frm anything else, remember those conversations would be a two-way street, not an interrogation!  We might want totalk to (say) Magellan about his life and works, but he'd be just as eager to quiz us about satnavs, airplanes, google earth, and so on.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline The Gawd

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2013, 08:54:52 AM »
Young Hova would probably be confused as hell as to why all these people from the future are bothering him...

Jeebus: Why do you rotten muthaf... keep showing up!?! Im trying to build a boat for Allah's sakes, sheesh. I got bills to pay people!

Visitor 2: But Mr Christ...

Jeebus: Christ!?! What in the blue hell are you talking about. Youre a delusional mess.

Visitor 2: But in the future, thats what they call you. Can you inspire me with your godly knowlegde?

Jeebus: Look here fella, as sure as the earth is flat and a bat is a bird, and those ants over there have only four legs, I am of no relation to this "Yahweh" of which you speak. Not to mention Zeus is going to be pissed. I'd advise you...

Visitor 2: Wait, Zeus? But he doesnt exist....

Jeebus: *ducks anticipated lightning bolt* WATCH YOUR MOUTH DUDE!! Look man, I'm just an ordinary dude, I build boats, my mom is a whore, I dont even know who my real pappy is. And all I want to do is put in my 40 hours and get off, smoke this doobie, eat some poppy seeds, and watch those little glowy things circle the earth... maybe score some leftover wine from a wedding. I dont know anything about this Christ talk...

Visitor 3: *approaches from afar* Hey, theres Jeebus!!

Jeebus: Oh fuck, I swear to Zeus wont you people just leave me ALONE!!! I'm tryin to build boat!!


I mean if this is how people want to spend their afternoons then be my guest. I'm kickin it with 2Pac or Lupe Fiasco, Edison, and Mila Kunis


Offline jynnan tonnix

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 11:28:34 AM »
I was at some training seminar and the question put to us was "If you could spend 24 hours with any 3 people, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?"  Almost every single person in the room included jesus H christ.  I would have never guessed.

Actually, I'd probably have him on my list as well.

If Jesus WAS god.....a great chance to ask all the questions I have.
If Jesus was NOT god, and just a man......then a chance to hear firsthand aboutwhat really happened.
And if indeed there was no man called Jesus at all......then I'd still like to talk to ANYONE from that era.

So even the atheists might have had good reasons to put JC down.  Apart frm anything else, remember those conversations would be a two-way street, not an interrogation!  We might want totalk to (say) Magellan about his life and works, but he'd be just as eager to quiz us about satnavs, airplanes, google earth, and so on.

On the other hand, the list, as stated by Screwtape, could also include fictional people. A fictional Jesus might be considerably less interesting.

I wonder how all these people, if they actually WERE able to spend time with the people on their lists, would feel if they discovered they were talking to a fictional character.

Offline screwtape

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2013, 02:43:05 PM »
Actually, I'd probably have him on my list as well.

Not me.  Mark Twain, Salma Hayek and Obi Wan Kenobi.  Any one of those three is a trillion times more interesting to me than some first century, loudmouth jew known mainly for dying horribly.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: A small victory
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2013, 03:46:47 PM »
For myself, Carl Sagan then Mila Kunis. A bi-curious Mila Kunis. :-*
The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

The only thing bigger than the universe is humanity's collective sense of self-importance.