Author Topic: The Benefits of an Artificial God [#719]  (Read 546 times)

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Offline DL

The Benefits of an Artificial God [#719]
« on: November 24, 2008, 07:16:50 PM »
Hello folks, saw your 10 questions video on youtube.  Not bad, I think
you've used a bit of sophistry, but then if your audience is
intelligent, they won't be swayed by fallacious arguments - so no harm
done.

I'm a born-again Atheist and absolutely MUST share Douglas Adams'
amazing essay "Is there an Artificial God?".  The man was one of the
greatest Atheistic thinkers of the 20th Century.  Well worth a read:

Is there an Artificial God?

Enjoy, and keep up the good work.
[name]

Offline singlecrochet

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Re: The Benefits of an Artificial God [#719]
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2008, 07:17:56 PM »
"Born again Atheist"

Love it!
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
Thomas Paine

"P.S. I pray God sees to it that you get presents this year." - Deelvrd

Offline Hermes

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Re: The Benefits of an Artificial God [#719]
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008, 08:39:31 PM »
I'm a born-again Atheist and absolutely MUST share Douglas Adams'
amazing essay "Is there an Artificial God?".  The man was one of the
greatest Atheistic thinkers of the 20th Century.  Well worth a read:

Is there an Artificial God?

It's one of my favorites.  Especially this part;

Quote
This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in - an interesting hole I find myself in - fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there's plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that's a very dangerous thing to say. Look at what's supposed to be going to happen on the 1st of January 2000 - let's not pretend that we didn't have a warning that the century was going to end! I think that we need to take a larger perspective on who we are and what we are doing here if we are going to survive in the long term.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Buster Fixxitt

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Re: The Benefits of an Artificial God [#719]
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 11:22:32 PM »
Glad to see it was already known to some, Hermes.

Also nice to see Singlecrochet enjoying the terminology. ;D Funny thing is, the best description of my spiritual journey is Born-again Atheist.  I was agnostic, dabbled in Christianity, Lakota, came back to agnosticism, had a nervous breakdown in which I found myself praying for help to an artificial god, then I had my epiphany.

 My unborn daughter was diagnosed with alobar holoprosencephaly, which basically meant she was going to be less than a vegetable at best. It was likely that she would have self-aborted before reaching full term, IF she did make it to full-term she would likely not survive the birthing process, if she DID survive it she would likely die within 48 hours.  Essentially she had a brainstem but no higher brain. Ultimately, the best case scenario is that she would have been breathing, eating and excreting through tubes her entire life, she would be prone to infections, seizures and would never be able to look us in the eye, recognize us, not even smile or verbalize.  We would never be able to have any meaningful contact with her.  We decided to terminate, which involved a pre-term birth.  Zoe Mei Shanguang was born Sept 13, 2008. She was 12 inches long and weighed 1lb 7oz.  We thought she was stillborn until she surprised us with a yawn. She gave us two more yawns before she died. All in all, it was less than 5 minutes. I never got to hold my daughter while she was alive. She died in my wife's arms.  This was our first child, and I miss her with an ache in my chest that has literally driven me to my knees at times.  It was while the doctors were explaining her condition and prognosis that I discovered I had no anger about this situation, no guilt. It never once occurred to me to ask "Why me? Why us?"  There was no why. That my daughter developed HPE was not a judgement or punishment.  It's a statistical anomaly, a random occurrence caused by the very thing that fuels evolution - DNA's poor ability to accurately replicate itself. 

My daughter's death is the horrific proof of evolution.  It has left me with a clarity of belief. I know in my heart that there is not a god. And that thought has brought me more peace than any philosophy. 

So you see, I was born again into Atheism.
"When I was a child my mom put a picture up in my room of a chihuahua with big scary eyes, and I begged her to take it down. She said she couldn't, or the devil-clown under my bed would kill her." - Bug-Eyed Earl, Red Meat.

Offline singlecrochet

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Re: The Benefits of an Artificial God [#719]
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2008, 03:20:18 PM »
Wow.  Powerful story.

And, I am very sorry for your loss. 

I miscarried at 12 weeks.  I truly sympathize with your pain.
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."
Thomas Paine

"P.S. I pray God sees to it that you get presents this year." - Deelvrd