Living in an functionally atheistics society
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05-05-2013, 01:30 PM
Living in an functionally atheistics society
Such as Sweden I would be interested in sharing my experiences with people from more religiously coloured parts of the word. No, you don't need god to create a moral, working society, there are other more productive ways :-).

If you are curious, just send the questions :-)

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07-05-2013, 11:29 AM (This post was last modified: 07-05-2013 11:34 AM by JAH.)
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
For some reason your above post has been ignored. Perhaps it is in the wrong forum. I might have suggested the casual coffee house instead.

I will bite with the warning that my maternal forebears are Norwegian by way of Iceland and you are therefore my enemy.

In the US the christian church holds far to much power. Not in the direct sense but in subtle sense in that so many of us are corrupted by belief that it is difficult to get people to accept their collectiveness. To the extent I know the scandanavian countries are better at that. I will also state that it is not entirely the belief in god. It is also the misbegotten belief in the individual. John Wayne riding in on his horse and killing multiple people is proof of the power of the individual, not proof that law at the end of a gun is wrong. It is simple belief rather more than religions that poison our politics. Belief reinforced by complacent media. Religion plays a large role in it but it is a belief in individualism and a rejection of the collective that plays a larger role.

Sweden has its own problems, is the state not still trying to extradite Julian Assange, an apparent colossal asshole but not someone deserving of prosecution for what seems to be consensual sex.
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08-05-2013, 06:56 AM
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
(07-05-2013 11:29 AM)JAH Wrote:  For some reason your above post has been ignored. Perhaps it is in the wrong forum. I might have suggested the casual coffee house instead.

I will bite with the warning that my maternal forebears are Norwegian by way of Iceland and you are therefore my enemy.

In the US the christian church holds far to much power. Not in the direct sense but in subtle sense in that so many of us are corrupted by belief that it is difficult to get people to accept their collectiveness. To the extent I know the scandanavian countries are better at that. I will also state that it is not entirely the belief in god. It is also the misbegotten belief in the individual. John Wayne riding in on his horse and killing multiple people is proof of the power of the individual, not proof that law at the end of a gun is wrong. It is simple belief rather more than religions that poison our politics. Belief reinforced by complacent media. Religion plays a large role in it but it is a belief in individualism and a rejection of the collective that plays a larger role.

Sweden has its own problems, is the state not still trying to extradite Julian Assange, an apparent colossal asshole but not someone deserving of prosecution for what seems to be consensual sex.
Perhaps you where right that this should belong to the coffe house discussion rather than the theist-atheist thread. Lets chalk it up to my ignorance of this forum so far. And yes your my blood enemy (isn't it always like that, the love hate relationship between countries of the same ancestry?). After all, we almost got to the point of a war back then (in 1905 if I remember correctly).

Europe, and Sweden, for that matter, have many problems of varying types and degrees, I am not in any sense saying they are perfect societies. I am just pointing out that they are different. I am not a believer in utopia. After all; what you consider perfect will most likely be different from my or a third parties take on the same concept. So this isn't a discussion where I would beat someone over the head with 'my country/philosophy is better than yours'. BTW, I agree with you wholeheartedly about your take on the Assange business. I find it disgraceful and frankly not in character with what I came to expect from my government, and I am really disappointed.

You mention individuality and collectiveness, and it is an interesting observation. In order to be an free individual you have to have a strong collective. After all, when you think of it, your dependent, on all levels, on other peoples collective work effort to live your life independently. Maybe, as we can see in the European culture where religion plays a significantly lesser role (as it seems), this has forced this realisation on the individuals.

In a godless state, you cant rely on a imaginary sky entity to take care of you. And you cant count on an eternal life in bliss after your death. You have to have the support of the collective to free yourself as an individual, and to live an overall satisfying life, you need the collective to get childcare for your children (freeing your time to do work), education (which btw is completely free of charge, even at university level), healthcare, judicial systems, infrastructure and so on. All of this needs to be available for me to be able to live a full life. Sure, there are a number of ways we can organise this, but it is an illusion that you would be able to live your life on your own. At the same time we don't want a communist society where the individual is strangled by the collective. At times this can be a tight rope to walk. Europe has been blamed for it's high taxation, but what most people forget is that there are two sides of the coin, and if you actually get things done for your taxes the taxation level doesn't necessarily translate in to a problem.
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08-05-2013, 10:01 AM
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
It is not just godless states that understand collective responsibility. Iceland who I know quite well has one of the most egalitarian societies I know of and it also has a state religion. I do believe the fact that all Icelanders know they are all related to each other does have something to do with this. I do also know that they have an inherent distrust of the other. I got along quite well there as a visitor but the fact of my lineage helped. They still are angry these many years later at the US/British occupation during WW 2.

You are correct about blood enemies, continued sunni/shia strife in the arab world confirms that. I assume you understand that my comment was made in jest.
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08-05-2013, 10:28 AM
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
My main issue with living In "god fearing" parts is that I am forced to listen to a lot of dribble, and engaging in conversation about it is totally pointless.

The hopeful part is that today's youth is increasingly non-religious and in a couple generations this won't be a god fearing place anymore.

Too bad I won't be around to see it.

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08-05-2013, 11:07 AM
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
A few points to consider...

Collectives are naturally created by individuals pursuing their own self interest. When that pursuit is rational, the collective that emerges is beneficial to all people. However, when the pursuit of self interest is irrational, such as when nation states are created, the collective becomes harmful to the individual because the individual's interests are no longer considered valid. Instead, the welfare of the collective is said to be the highest goal and, that is true in both religion and statism.

The foundational error in pursuing the welfare of the collective is that there is no such thing as the welfare of the collective. There is only the welfare of individuals and when we focus on the collective we do so to the detriment of the individual.

Bill Gates didn't buy MSDOS because he wanted to help the collective. He bought it because he wanted to become wealthy. Likewise with any politician... they don't become rulers because they care about the collective, they become rulers to satisfy their individual desires for wealth and power. The former is the rational pursuit of self interest while the latter is the irrational (and destructive) pursuit of self interest. Why is it destructive? Which entire group of people has Bill Gates sworn as his enemy? How many wars has Bill Gates started? How many non violent men and women has Bill Gates imprisoned because they were carrying the wrong sort of vegetation in their pockets?

Statism, whether communism, socialism, monarchy, democracy, republic or any combination thereof is exactly like religion with respect to the worship of the collective. It is the scar tissue left from the family, where the parent's will is always the most important and the child is always subjugated to it... regardless the harm it does to the child.

Once humans begin to raise their children with respect and non violence, religion and statism will be as foreign a language to people as Mandarin is to a child born in Mobile Alabama.

And at that point, there will be no more holy wars... no more drug wars... no more wars on poverty, wars on the rich, wars on every conceivable concept that evil human beings can devise. In the end, there are no wars on concepts. There are only wars on individuals... waged by the self-righteous of collectives.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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12-05-2013, 11:32 PM
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
(08-05-2013 11:07 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  A few points to consider...

Collectives are naturally created by individuals pursuing their own self interest. When that pursuit is rational, the collective that emerges is beneficial to all people. However, when the pursuit of self interest is irrational, such as when nation states are created, the collective becomes harmful to the individual because the individual's interests are no longer considered valid. Instead, the welfare of the collective is said to be the highest goal and, that is true in both religion and statism.

The foundational error in pursuing the welfare of the collective is that there is no such thing as the welfare of the collective. There is only the welfare of individuals and when we focus on the collective we do so to the detriment of the individual.

Bill Gates didn't buy MSDOS because he wanted to help the collective. He bought it because he wanted to become wealthy. Likewise with any politician... they don't become rulers because they care about the collective, they become rulers to satisfy their individual desires for wealth and power. The former is the rational pursuit of self interest while the latter is the irrational (and destructive) pursuit of self interest. Why is it destructive? Which entire group of people has Bill Gates sworn as his enemy? How many wars has Bill Gates started? How many non violent men and women has Bill Gates imprisoned because they were carrying the wrong sort of vegetation in their pockets?

Statism, whether communism, socialism, monarchy, democracy, republic or any combination thereof is exactly like religion with respect to the worship of the collective. It is the scar tissue left from the family, where the parent's will is always the most important and the child is always subjugated to it... regardless the harm it does to the child.

Once humans begin to raise their children with respect and non violence, religion and statism will be as foreign a language to people as Mandarin is to a child born in Mobile Alabama.

And at that point, there will be no more holy wars... no more drug wars... no more wars on poverty, wars on the rich, wars on every conceivable concept that evil human beings can devise. In the end, there are no wars on concepts. There are only wars on individuals... waged by the self-righteous of collectives.
With all respect, I would say that your take on this is a tad bit simplistic. The psychological/neurological variations alone among the population would ensure that you have the mix of sociopaths, psychopaths, overly sensitive and irritated individuals to contend with even at the best of times. What we call state and government is far more important to us than most of us realise, it is the fundamental organisation that for good or worse allows us to live our lifes in relative comfort. Yes, as all other things states can be good or bad, but it is a much needed component to allow cooperation between us...
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13-05-2013, 08:35 AM (This post was last modified: 13-05-2013 08:38 AM by bbeljefe.)
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
(12-05-2013 11:32 PM)fmanh2 Wrote:  With all respect, I would say that your take on this is a tad bit simplistic.
I understand that, if all you know of my take is what I wrote above.


Quote:The psychological/neurological variations alone among the population would ensure that you have the mix of sociopaths, psychopaths, overly sensitive and irritated individuals to contend with even at the best of times.
What evidence do we have to suggest mental injury, to the degree we see it now, is merely an inalterable genetic phenomenon, not unlike red hair or green eyes? And while I agree that the mentally injured must be contended with, they aren't contended with by "the state". The state is a concept. Troubled people are contented with by other people... most of whom call themselves the state.


Quote: What we call state and government is far more important to us than most of us realise, it is the fundamental organisation that for good or worse allows us to live our lifes in relative comfort. Yes, as all other things states can be good or bad, but it is a much needed component to allow cooperation between us...

Technology and trade allow us to live in relative comfort. Although I understand how one could look at the prison population in any given country and think to himself "wow, there are a lot of bad people the state protects us from". However, if we examine the actual crimes of the individuals in any random prison, we see that a plurality of those people are locked up for non violent crimes. When we accept that those non violent prisoners represent individual human beings who lost jobs & spouses, left children in broken homes and whom moved from the productive class to the parasitical class through no fault of their own, we can begin to see the massive level of human destruction we cause through the use of government and it's arbitrary, opinion based laws and punitive, vengeful punishments.

Moreover, the state neither encourages nor facilitates cooperation. It impedes it... by design. Through regulatory and criminal legislation, copyright & IP laws, corporate protections, war, trade sanctions and compulsory taxation, nation states stand in the way of billions upon billions of dollars worth of innovation, production & free trade.... effectively stifling cooperation between people.

I would agree though, that the state is very important to us. Like cancer, it causes far too much death and misery to be otherwise. And also like cancer, it can't be good.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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13-05-2013, 09:05 AM
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
(13-05-2013 08:35 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(12-05-2013 11:32 PM)fmanh2 Wrote:  With all respect, I would say that your take on this is a tad bit simplistic.
I understand that, if all you know of my take is what I wrote above.


Quote:The psychological/neurological variations alone among the population would ensure that you have the mix of sociopaths, psychopaths, overly sensitive and irritated individuals to contend with even at the best of times.
What evidence do we have to suggest mental injury, to the degree we see it now, is merely an inalterable genetic phenomenon, not unlike red hair or green eyes? And while I agree that the mentally injured must be contended with, they aren't contended with by "the state". The state is a concept. Troubled people are contented with by other people... most of whom call themselves the state.


Quote: What we call state and government is far more important to us than most of us realise, it is the fundamental organisation that for good or worse allows us to live our lifes in relative comfort. Yes, as all other things states can be good or bad, but it is a much needed component to allow cooperation between us...

Technology and trade allow us to live in relative comfort. Although I understand how one could look at the prison population in any given country and think to himself "wow, there are a lot of bad people the state protects us from". However, if we examine the actual crimes of the individuals in any random prison, we see that a plurality of those people are locked up for non violent crimes. When we accept that those non violent prisoners represent individual human beings who lost jobs & spouses, left children in broken homes and whom moved from the productive class to the parasitical class through no fault of their own, we can begin to see the massive level of human destruction we cause through the use of government and it's arbitrary, opinion based laws and punitive, vengeful punishments.

Moreover, the state neither encourages nor facilitates cooperation. It impedes it... by design. Through regulatory and criminal legislation, copyright & IP laws, corporate protections, war, trade sanctions and compulsory taxation, nation states stand in the way of billions upon billions of dollars worth of innovation, production & free trade.... effectively stifling cooperation between people.

I would agree though, that the state is very important to us. Like cancer, it causes far too much death and misery to be otherwise. And also like cancer, it can't be good.

I'm tired of your ideological rants. You have nothing constructive to offer us, just the same tired state-is-violent-family-is-evil bullshit.

Got a plan? Not a someday plan, but a plan to improve things in the here and now?

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13-05-2013, 09:10 AM
RE: Living in an functionally atheistics society
(13-05-2013 09:05 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(13-05-2013 08:35 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  I understand that, if all you know of my take is what I wrote above.


What evidence do we have to suggest mental injury, to the degree we see it now, is merely an inalterable genetic phenomenon, not unlike red hair or green eyes? And while I agree that the mentally injured must be contended with, they aren't contended with by "the state". The state is a concept. Troubled people are contented with by other people... most of whom call themselves the state.



Technology and trade allow us to live in relative comfort. Although I understand how one could look at the prison population in any given country and think to himself "wow, there are a lot of bad people the state protects us from". However, if we examine the actual crimes of the individuals in any random prison, we see that a plurality of those people are locked up for non violent crimes. When we accept that those non violent prisoners represent individual human beings who lost jobs & spouses, left children in broken homes and whom moved from the productive class to the parasitical class through no fault of their own, we can begin to see the massive level of human destruction we cause through the use of government and it's arbitrary, opinion based laws and punitive, vengeful punishments.

Moreover, the state neither encourages nor facilitates cooperation. It impedes it... by design. Through regulatory and criminal legislation, copyright & IP laws, corporate protections, war, trade sanctions and compulsory taxation, nation states stand in the way of billions upon billions of dollars worth of innovation, production & free trade.... effectively stifling cooperation between people.

I would agree though, that the state is very important to us. Like cancer, it causes far too much death and misery to be otherwise. And also like cancer, it can't be good.

I'm tired of your ideological rants. You have nothing constructive to offer us, just the same tired state-is-violent-family-is-evil bullshit.

Got a plan? Not a someday plan, but a plan to improve things in the here and now?

Why do you think it is that you get so enraged as to mischaracterize my positions?

I have a plan, which I have shared and which is based on empirical evidence. That it makes you uncomfortable does not change that fact.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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