Author Topic: Let's brainstorm on God for realz  (Read 2089 times)

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Offline Jag

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #58 on: February 15, 2018, 12:06:10 PM »
Hey all you non-believin' mofo's!

Can we generate any serious challenges we face that would invoke the need for a god? Knowing what we know, as well as what we likely do not know in a rational, thinking world, where does a god fit in today?

Is a god required to comfort peoples anxiety over death?
Is a god required to explain the origin of everything?

Where must the answer be "God" as a best explanation of anything?

Anyway...

Getting back to jetson's OP, I keep coming back around the the idea that someone born in the relatively recent past if not introduced to the idea of a god of any sort would be HIGHLY unlikely to hypothesize such an entity past a certain age - roughy the same time that kids let go of their imaginary friends[1]. They would take for granted that people have provided the means and outcomes of production of all kinds, and the explanations provided by the scientific method wouldn't be in contradiction to a personal belief system.

I can't imagine an environment like that in current existence - fiction of any sort would eventually bring the idea to the surface, so even technically 'atheist' cultures would still have exposure to the concepts.

And I could be completely wrong. The need to create a 'higher power' may be inherent in the human psyche. Maye those of us who lack the belief mechanism necessary really are an adaptation, an example of evolution in the making ;)
 1. not even being sarcastic about that, it would be the reasonable correlation to expect simply due to the way the brain develops over time
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Offline Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #59 on: February 15, 2018, 12:27:37 PM »
I can appreciate forgiving yourself. Humans make mistakes.

But you can't appreciate forgiving others, because humans make mistakes?

Vengeance my dear, not justice. You're talking about vengeance.

Heya Jag  8)

Have to say I'm just a tad confused here. Junebug didn't long mention this:

Quote
Vengeance is more personal. You hurt me I hurt you back. That's not the same as seeking justice through legal means.

I am assuming that she means reporting the thief to the police. If somebody broke into her house and stole her stuff, what would make doing this a vengeance action rather than a justice related action?

Appreciating that there could well be something here I'm not seeing. It's just that, right now, it's not obvious to me as to what it is!

Quote
But you can't appreciate forgiving others, because humans make mistakes?

I do see what you mean here.

I won't take the topic any further off the main subject than this I promise.

Offline Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #60 on: February 15, 2018, 12:31:49 PM »
And I could be completely wrong. The need to create a 'higher power' may be inherent in the human psyche. Maye those of us who lack the belief mechanism necessary really are an adaptation, an example of evolution in the making ;)

Very interesting point! I never thought about such a possibility before.

Offline wright

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #61 on: February 15, 2018, 12:37:04 PM »
And I could be completely wrong. The need to create a 'higher power' may be inherent in the human psyche. Maye those of us who lack the belief mechanism necessary really are an adaptation, an example of evolution in the making ;)

I think the tendency for most people to assign agency even to events with no obvious cause (weather, the phases of the moon, seasons) points to that being an almost instinctive reaction. Secular societies are a relatively recent development, arising from enough people having the leisure to question such reflexive ways of thinking (technology and infrastructure that spread ideas around rapidly is also a big factor). So probably some form of "magic" thinking will persist even if secular philosophy really gets an upper hand.
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 Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2018, 12:54:35 PM »
So probably some form of "magic" thinking will persist even if secular philosophy really gets an upper hand.

Imho, if critical thinking was taught much more widely in schools, this would at least help. I have to wonder why it isn't now!

Offline Jag

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2018, 01:03:41 PM »
I can appreciate forgiving yourself. Humans make mistakes.

But you can't appreciate forgiving others, because humans make mistakes?

Vengeance my dear, not justice. You're talking about vengeance.

Heya Jag  8)

Have to say I'm just a tad confused here. Junebug didn't long mention this:

Quote
Vengeance is more personal. You hurt me I hurt you back. That's not the same as seeking justice through legal means.

I am assuming that she means reporting the thief to the police. If somebody broke into her house and stole her stuff, what would make doing this a vengeance action rather than a justice related action?

Appreciating that there could well be something here I'm not seeing. It's just that, right now, it's not obvious to me as to what it is!

Quote
But you can't appreciate forgiving others, because humans make mistakes?

I do see what you mean here.

I won't take the topic any further off the main subject than this I promise.

It was a more comprehensive response than just to a single post.
"Tell people that there's an invisible man in the sky that created the entire universe and the majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure." ~George Carlin

Offline junebug72

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #64 on: February 15, 2018, 03:03:05 PM »
Quote from: Jag

It was a more comprehensive response than just to a single post.

Classic dodge.

Emma please don't accept this lame excuse without evidence. Thanks.

It's hard to accept when critical thinking skills are applied. I know YOU have them.
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Offline YouCantHandleTheTruth

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #65 on: February 15, 2018, 03:49:31 PM »
I want to speak a bit further about forgiveness. Christians do seem to be forgiving. They forgave Jimmy Swaggert for committing adultery with prostitutes. His ministry is booming. They forgave Jim Baker for embezzling their charitable donations. They forgive Trump with all his unrighteousness.

Jesus mandates forgiveness in the buy-bull.

There is no reason for an atheist to forgive.


If Jesus actually existed (and honestly, I don't think it's really that important whether he did or not), I think there's a good reason why he would mandate forgiveness.  If everyone turns their back on a "sinner" of the highest order (murder, rape, etc) then a couple of things happen.  One, that murderer/rapist feels hopeless - there is no chance for heaven, and if that's the case, that person becomes more despondent and may be more likely to commit further murders and rapes, further endangering society. Second thing that happens is all of the people who haven't been caught yet start believing in their hearts that there is no hope for them either, and they also fall away from the faith, and/or commit further crimes secretly.

If Jesus existed, my suspicion is he took all this into account, and was trying to trick people into good behavior.  The Old Testament threats like Zechariah 14 (believe in God or all the women in your village will be raped and the land pillaged) and Hosea 13 (the Samarians bear guilt for their lack of belief, therefore pregnant women's bellies will be ripped open) were not working.  People that didn't believe in God weren't having these things happen to them.  So you have to make a threat that no one can disprove - bad things happening to you after you die.  But, also, great things happening to you after you die if you believe and behave.  Just as these terrible things discussed in the Old Testament weren't happening to non-believers, we know that great things didn't necessarily happen to believers (as we see today with prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen, who seem to insist that they will happen.)  But just as we see through people like that today, people saw through people like that then.

So, I think as others have pointed out, the basis of this forgiveness is built on a shaky foundation, and it's not really sincere.  That's the problem - the forgiveness is an illusion, meant to try to appease a God out of fear.  If the forgiveness is not sincere, then it doesn't really serve any good purpose.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 03:53:23 PM by YouCantHandleTheTruth »

Offline velkyn

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #66 on: February 15, 2018, 03:55:31 PM »
I think the tendency for most people to assign agency even to events with no obvious cause (weather, the phases of the moon, seasons) points to that being an almost instinctive reaction. Secular societies are a relatively recent development, arising from enough people having the leisure to question such reflexive ways of thinking (technology and infrastructure that spread ideas around rapidly is also a big factor). So probably some form of "magic" thinking will persist even if secular philosophy really gets an upper hand.

the only way I can see belief in magic/god continuing for much longer is that it would have to be handed down to a willfully ignorance populace.
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Offline wright

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #67 on: February 15, 2018, 04:53:04 PM »
^^^Oh, sure. Barring some great setback like a global war or other civilization-damaging catastrophe, I think superstition will be increasingly marginalized in favor of the overall greater peace and prosperity of tolerant secularism. It's just that religion and other magical thinking is so easy and so pervasive that I doubt it will ever entirely disappear.
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 Jag

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2018, 06:07:41 PM »
Since junebug is unsatisfied with my previous response to Emma, I'll give her just a bit more to consider.

junebug - please use the word literally to mean what it actually means. I 'literally' said what I said. You added some nonsense then said that I literally said what YOU said. no, I didn't. You are abusing the word literally.

And the fact that you're spite smiting me because I said you are talking about vengeance, not justice, well that's just too fucking funny to ignore. You miss the irony completely, while demonstrating exactly what I said.

Carry on with your conversation. I don't have any interest in continuing this with you.
******

So back to the topic of the thread:
I hope for a decreasing in superstitious thinking, and expect that wright and velkyn are both making solid points. Increasing access to the incredible stores of global knowledge will certainly help.
"Tell people that there's an invisible man in the sky that created the entire universe and the majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure." ~George Carlin

Offline junebug72

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2018, 08:41:14 PM »
Jag you took this thread off topic with your forgiveness link.

Are those people atheist?

If not, I think I've explained damn well why I agree with Screwtape and albeto that forgiveness is overrated.

I gave a valid argument for acceptance to "move on".

I'll say again without the religious belief in divine justice, as an atheist I want my justice in the here and fucking now.

Justice not vengeance. Loud and clear.

Once you accept the universe, the planet and/or the sun gives no shits about you or anything else, it changes perspectives.

I don't know why your panties are in a wad. You should really get over it.

I'm not spite smiting you. My reasons are valid, unlike yours.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #70 on: February 15, 2018, 08:52:28 PM »
If Jesus actually existed (and honestly, I don't think it's really that important whether he did or not), I think there's a good reason why he would mandate forgiveness.  If everyone turns their back on a "sinner" of the highest order (murder, rape, etc) then a couple of things happen.  One, that murderer/rapist feels hopeless - there is no chance for heaven, and if that's the case, that person becomes more despondent and may be more likely to commit further murders and rapes, further endangering society. Second thing that happens is all of the people who haven't been caught yet start believing in their hearts that there is no hope for them either, and they also fall away from the faith, and/or commit further crimes secretly.

If Jesus existed, my suspicion is he took all this into account, and was trying to trick people into good behavior.  The Old Testament threats like Zechariah 14 (believe in God or all the women in your village will be raped and the land pillaged) and Hosea 13 (the Samarians bear guilt for their lack of belief, therefore pregnant women's bellies will be ripped open) were not working.  People that didn't believe in God weren't having these things happen to them.  So you have to make a threat that no one can disprove - bad things happening to you after you die.  But, also, great things happening to you after you die if you believe and behave.  Just as these terrible things discussed in the Old Testament weren't happening to non-believers, we know that great things didn't necessarily happen to believers (as we see today with prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen, who seem to insist that they will happen.)  But just as we see through people like that today, people saw through people like that then.

So, I think as others have pointed out, the basis of this forgiveness is built on a shaky foundation, and it's not really sincere.  That's the problem - the forgiveness is an illusion, meant to try to appease a God out of fear.  If the forgiveness is not sincere, then it doesn't really serve any good purpose.

I think I've argued that point quite well ever since Screwtape pointed it out.

I think my argument for acceptance rather than forgiveness to "move on" is on solid ground.

I did allow Jag to persuade me that forgiving yourself for some things has value. I also let her persuade me to include family and friends. That's because it fits into TOE's  survival skills quite nicely.
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Offline Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #71 on: February 17, 2018, 09:43:31 AM »
Quote from: Jag

It was a more comprehensive response than just to a single post.

Classic dodge.

Emma please don't accept this lame excuse without evidence. Thanks.

It's hard to accept when critical thinking skills are applied. I know YOU have them.

If I talk about this subject any further here, JB, I'm going against my promise not to take this thread further off topic!

If you want to start a new one, I'm happy to talk on this further there.

Offline Jag

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #72 on: February 17, 2018, 09:59:30 AM »
I can clear this up easily enough.

I have junebug on ignore and intend to leave her there. I realized in a conversation with someone else that I deliberately have limited interactions with the few hyper-reactive people I know IRL. I see no reason to do this anymore with her - it's been YEARS, and she is STILL the most reactive human being I've ever encountered. It's just not worth it.

She's welcome to keep on smiting me (karmas and smites from junebug are so much 'just a thing' she does no one really cares anymore) and making snippy comments - unless someone quotes her, I won't have a clue what she's arguing about anymore. I'm taking my own advice to her, and blocking her posts.

So, whatever remaining questions she thinks she's entitled to answers about, well, tough shit. She can't force me to continue explaining shit to her.

Like Mick said, you can't always get what you want.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #73 on: February 17, 2018, 12:00:11 PM »
I hope for a decreasing in superstitious thinking, and expect that wright and velkyn are both making solid points. Increasing access to the incredible stores of global knowledge will certainly help.

This is why I find it so important to counter as many theists as I have time for.   I just announced myself as an atheist to my direct boss on Ash Wednesday, since the subject came up with all of the people with the smudges on their foreheads.  She's a catholic, but didn't seem to be phased much. 
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #74 on: February 17, 2018, 04:00:00 PM »
I am confused, do you need God to forgive OR is forgiveness overrated?

I'm going with overrated, because as I pointed out so logically before, acceptance is a better path to "move on".
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Offline Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #75 on: February 17, 2018, 06:11:37 PM »
I hope for a decreasing in superstitious thinking, and expect that wright and velkyn are both making solid points. Increasing access to the incredible stores of global knowledge will certainly help.

This is why I find it so important to counter as many theists as I have time for.   I just announced myself as an atheist to my direct boss on Ash Wednesday, since the subject came up with all of the people with the smudges on their foreheads.  She's a catholic, but didn't seem to be phased much.

Certainly does strike me that some theists are a fair bit more liberal towards non believers than others. That’s good that she accepted it.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 06:19:56 PM by Emma286 »

Offline junebug72

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #76 on: February 17, 2018, 08:27:31 PM »
Certainly don't need gods
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 08:46:16 PM by junebug72 »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2018, 03:13:42 PM »
 :)
I hope for a decreasing in superstitious thinking, and expect that wright and velkyn are both making solid points. Increasing access to the incredible stores of global knowledge will certainly help.

This is why I find it so important to counter as many theists as I have time for.   I just announced myself as an atheist to my direct boss on Ash Wednesday, since the subject came up with all of the people with the smudges on their foreheads.  She's a catholic, but didn't seem to be phased much.

Certainly does strike me that some theists are a fair bit more liberal towards non believers than others. That’s good that she accepted it.

I'M pretty pleased that she took well.  Or just is ignoring it
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #78 on: February 19, 2018, 06:51:11 AM »
Being atheist doesn't make you better than others.

You don't need theism to dehumanize others or participate in ableism.

There is good and bad in everybody. That includes atheists.
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Offline Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #79 on: February 19, 2018, 07:33:06 AM »
:)
I hope for a decreasing in superstitious thinking, and expect that wright and velkyn are both making solid points. Increasing access to the incredible stores of global knowledge will certainly help.

This is why I find it so important to counter as many theists as I have time for.   I just announced myself as an atheist to my direct boss on Ash Wednesday, since the subject came up with all of the people with the smudges on their foreheads.  She's a catholic, but didn't seem to be phased much.

Certainly does strike me that some theists are a fair bit more liberal towards non believers than others. That’s good that she accepted it.

I'M pretty pleased that she took well.  Or just is ignoring it

Surprisingly enough, a boss I work with in one of my voluntary jobs (as much as she’s really not a great boss in other ways) has shown a very tolerant towards this in volunteers. Still, given that the charity have been regularly short on volunteers ever since I joined I do seriously wonder if it’s because the management there know that if they’re not seen to be tolerant they’re going to have an even harder time attracting and keeping people. I can’t know this for sure, but do think it’s a likely possibility at this point.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 07:38:58 AM by Emma286 »

Offline junebug72

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #80 on: February 19, 2018, 07:54:19 AM »
You also don't need gods to derail a thread.
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Offline Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #81 on: February 19, 2018, 08:45:18 AM »
Hey all you non-believin' mofo's!

Can we generate any serious challenges we face that would invoke the need for a god? Knowing what we know, as well as what we likely do not know in a rational, thinking world, where does a god fit in today?

Is a god required to comfort peoples anxiety over death?
Is a god required to explain the origin of everything?

Where must the answer be "God" as a best explanation of anything?

Coming back to this, going to mention something else.

So far as I know, people don’t tend to be allowed (by law) anywhere to be given any kind of assisted mercy death when they re living with one or more conditions that take any sense of a decent quality of life away from them (doesn’t necessarily have to include terminal conditions but can do).

I know that Dignitas is one exception:

http://www.dignitas.ch/?lang=en

Although they only provide this kind of help to those suffering from a terminal illness.

I am inclined to think, for at least some people, that because they know (right now) they generally can’t rely on other people to give them that kind of aid should it ever be needed/if it is currently needed then this could contribute to forming the view that a god is needed to provide feelings of relief regarding anxiety/fear over the physical experience of dying.

Am interested to hear what others think on this.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #82 on: February 19, 2018, 08:59:55 AM »
I think that definitely could be a factor, but it gets a little convoluted since that belief in god also usually includes the claim that they shouldn't be afraid of death/dying because of that god. 
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #83 on: February 19, 2018, 10:07:37 AM »
Hey all you non-believin' mofo's!

Can we generate any serious challenges we face that would invoke the need for a god? Knowing what we know, as well as what we likely do not know in a rational, thinking world, where does a god fit in today?

Is a god required to comfort peoples anxiety over death?
Is a god required to explain the origin of everything?

Where must the answer be "God" as a best explanation of anything?

Coming back to this, going to mention something else.

So far as I know, people don’t tend to be allowed (by law) anywhere to be given any kind of assisted mercy death when they re living with one or more conditions that take any sense of a decent quality of life away from them (doesn’t necessarily have to include terminal conditions but can do).

I know that Dignitas is one exception:

http://www.dignitas.ch/?lang=en

Although they only provide this kind of help to those suffering from a terminal illness.

I am inclined to think, for at least some people, that because they know (right now) they generally can’t rely on other people to give them that kind of aid should it ever be needed/if it is currently needed then this could contribute to forming the view that a god is needed to provide feelings of relief regarding anxiety/fear over the physical experience of dying.

Am interested to hear what others think on this.

You seem to be promoting ableism.

Please give some examples of a non-terminal disability that should allow euthanizing.

Before Hitler starting murdering Jews he practiced on people with disabilities.

https://www.ushmm.org/collections/bibliography/people-with-disabilities
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 10:12:04 AM by junebug72 »
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Offline Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #84 on: February 19, 2018, 10:51:26 AM »
I think that definitely could be a factor, but it gets a little convoluted since that belief in god also usually includes the claim that they shouldn't be afraid of death/dying because of that god.

Fair point Velkyn. I guess this kind of thing depends on different individuals to a point!

Offline Jag

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #85 on: February 19, 2018, 11:02:29 AM »

So far as I know, people don’t tend to be allowed (by law) anywhere to be given any kind of assisted mercy death when they re living with one or more conditions that take any sense of a decent quality of life away from them (doesn’t necessarily have to include terminal conditions but can do).
In the US, the state of Oregon has created a legal framework that allows for PAS, under very strict guidelines: https://righttodie.uslegal.com/physician-assisted-suicide/. I fully support the right to die with dignity, on one's own terms, and have instructed my family to get my ass to Oregon if I develop a terminal illness.

I can't recall where I read the statistics, but the numbers are interesting. It turns out that a significant portion (the VAST majority) of the people who request the option never actually use it. It's thought that simply knowing that they have the choice and can take it at whatever point they decide that they are ready to go is enough to let them continue living with the progression and to die without any intervention, despite it's immediate access.[1]

The most common alternative to a legal chosen death, is for the patient to refuse treatment, or refuse nutrients. The only choices are to die without the meds, or to starve to death. In most cases, treatment for pain continues as long as the patient agrees.

It's based ENTIRELY on the theistic position of only a god being "allowed" to end a life. The idea that suffering is valued by a god. That it somehow helps people DESERVE a happy afterlife. It's fucking appalling and barbaric.

 1. I know that at least the idea of a similar law has come up in a few other states, I think Wyoming, and Washington maybe? It's been a long time since I researched this topic, so I'm digging deep into my faulty memory for this post.
"Tell people that there's an invisible man in the sky that created the entire universe and the majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure." ~George Carlin

Offline Emma286

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Re: Let's brainstorm on God for realz
« Reply #86 on: February 19, 2018, 11:09:04 AM »
You seem to be promoting ableism.

I'm sorry that that's the way you interpreted what I said. I'm not. Suggest you reread my above post in full.

To try to make things a bit clearer, when asking people to share what they thought this was regarding/considering what Jetson said earlier here:

Quote
Can we generate any serious challenges we face that would invoke the need for a god?

Is a god required to comfort peoples anxiety over death?

Ableism/the question of whether or not assisted suicide is right or wrong are different subjects. Of course, you're free to make separate threads about these if you would like.