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TotalBiscuit
Sep 17, 2007

Pip-Bloody-Pip.


This is a repost from my rant forum on my site and since I'm interested only in it being read, rather than advertising or shilling it out for hits, I'm going to just repost it here. Before I do let me give you a quick introduction.

I finally registered on the SA forums a week or so ago having been a loyal reader for a couple of years. I don't like the new design of the site, I want to kill it with fire, I liked my good-old Web1.0 scrolly site, give it back please.

I'm posting this here because you lot are smart, and as such, I have no issues with you telling me that you think I'm wrong with this pseudo-rant. This may also be preaching to the choir a bit and for that I sincerely apologize. I hope at least you get some enjoyment out of this. If you're one of those fellows who likes to Digg, the article also has a Digg page, do with it as you see fit - http://digg.com/general_sciences/At...you_intelligent

With that said and done, here goes.

"It's novello time, and it's about religion, so unless you're ready to deal with some views you may not agree with, switch off now. In the words of Illidan "You are not prepared".

Let's get this out here right now. I'm a 23 year old law graduate with an IQ of 155. My political beliefs are liberal and leftist, I listen to Metal and I enjoy violent movies, books and videogames, and I've been a Christian since birth. Baptised, confirmed of my own free will, son of a priest (who are pretty notorious for rebelling against their father's religious beliefs just for the sake of it). I'm part of the Anglican Church of England, which is pretty much the result of Henry the 8th getting pissed off with the catholics not allowing him to divorce his wife(s). We're the state religion of the UK, if you could even say the UK has one, we're pretty liberal about most things, women priests, gay priests, homosexuals in general, sex before marriage, contraception, we take the modern, reasonable way of looking at all of them. At the end of the day, the Bible taught us about forgiveness and being excellent to one another. It had a bit of a round-about way of doing it but what do you expect for a 2000 year old book written entirely by clerical males? It's gonna be a bit out of date, you've gotta read it in context.

I have no problems with anyone's beliefs. Be whatever you want, as long as you believe (or don't believe) for a good reason. But here's what I really don't like, trend-atheism/trend-theism (also referred to as e-atheism, since it seems to be most prevelant in the domain of anonymous blogspammers and Digg-users).

In my late teens, I spent a long time thinking. Yeah, just sitting around and thinking, thinking about faith. Thinking about what it is that I believe in. Rationalizing the various conflicts and contradictions that faith presents us with, looking at the viewpoints of other faiths, or those with no faith at all, taking into account the new things we discover every day and factoring in the influence of science. Some people would claim that, if I had indeed done that, I'd have come to the conclusion, as an intellectual, rational thinker, that God does not exist. They would of course, be wrong.

My beliefs center around several factors. Firstly, it is important for us as human-beings to realize our own limits, and the limits of our understanding. Centuries ago we believed the world was flat. "The Bible told us so!", would be the first cry. Wrong, it really didn't. In the Old Testament, Job 26:7 explains that the earth is suspended in space, the obvious comparison being with the spherical sun and moon. The Old Testament, you remember that one? The one with the fiery bushes, the pillar's of salt, the cool plagues and such? Even that managed to get it right. There's a few more references as well to the 'round' earth (and before you say anything, flat is not a shape, it could have been a flat octagon for all they knew) but I'm not going to go into that yet. We've had computers for less than a century, powered flight for just over a century and of course our amazing horseless carriages. Genetics, electricity, nuclear-bombs, toaster-strudel, the world is in the palm of our hands! And it didn't take us too long did it?

Reality-check, we're still primitives. In the great scheme of things this technology is a mere blip on the historical radar. We've got an awful long way to go before we're able to dissect and understand the mysteries of the universe. We haven't even put a man on Mars yet, let alone left our solar system to find out what exactly is out there. How can it be that we have suddenly, so recently, become so arrogant as to believe we know more than we really do? The Laws of Science are written by man, based on our understanding of how things work. They are theories that, while prove true today, may be debunked by another amazing discovery tomorrow. Which leads onto my next point.

Name this quote "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Arthur C Clarke, physicist and author, smart fellow. It also hilights the point I'm making. Our understanding of the universe is peerless only amongst ourselves. We are not as smart as we think we are. Just as fire wowed the neanderthals, what would it take to wow us? What would make our jaws drop and our minds boggle? Well, any sufficiently advanced technology of course. And what is technology after-all? Man-made machines. The concept of technology is a human concept, a concept that may, in other parts of the universe, not even exist, replaced by something even more advanced than that, so advanced that we cannot comprehend it. Not surprising really as we mammals only use 10% of our brains.

So where am I going with this? Simple really, take yourself off of your high-horse, you, and the human race, is not as smart as it thinks it is. Now, open your mind a little, and let's explore some possibilities.



The definition of a God. Let us turn to the good book.

Wikipedia.

"God most commonly refers to the deity worshipped by followers of monotheistic and monolatrist religions, whom they believe to be the creator and ruler of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the various conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, perfect goodness, divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence. God has also been conceived as being incorporeal, a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the "greatest conceivable existent"

Hmm, a tall order one might think. Could such a being exist? Some argue that logically, he could not, however, there is very little logic in denying the possibility that a being or beings of such power and advancement exist that they could indeed, be considered 'God' within our definition. That's not to say that God is a small green alien with a flying saucer and a phaser though that would give some of the overzealous fundamentalists something to sweat over, much to our amusement. But what is this God? A creator? Sure, we create. We create technology, we're getting to the stage of being able to create life in one form or another, using the basic building blocks of nature. Could it not be surmised therefore that it is entirely within the realms of possibility that someone or something created those building blocks? Like a programmer creates a new program, someone must have also created the coding language in which he created it. We scramble for answers. We come up with theories. Some believe in the beginning there was nothing, which exploded. Some believe a man in the sky created it everything in 6 days and then mooched around on the 7th. Which is valid?

Neither, and both. They attempt to apply meaning to something where meaning may, or may not exist. Creationism and the Big Bang are in that sense, as bad as each other. They are both merely attempts for us to explain the unexplainable. The Big Bang contradicts our laws of physics (something most catalyse an explosion, therefore something must have been there in the first place, where did that come from, at which point your brain melts). The Creation Story contradicts our laws of physics (Same reasons, who created God after all?). Everything we've so far managed to come up with, from the sublime to the ridiculous, the complex to the simplistic, it's an exercise in desperate straw-clutching. At the end of the day, we don't know jack.

And that's ok. Someone once said that the journey matters more than the destination, it's not the winning, it's the taking part, at least ya tried sport. These explanations of where it all comes from, be they ancient or modern all boil down to the same need. To know. Who'd have thunk it, we've got brains for a reason, and they rather like being used. Those neurons like to be fired, the little grey matter likes a little exercise every once in a while. Just as the Creation Story was a way to explain an unexplainable concept, so is the Big Bang theory. If one were to compare the human mind to a computer, try feeding the Big Bang theory to the medieval man, and it's like trying to shove Bioshock into a Commodore Vic20. Good luck. And what will our children's children's children's grandchildren's children think of our Big Bang theory? My money's on exactly the same thing.

So what am I trying to tell you, stop asking questions, stop looking for answers and just believe whatever the hell suits ya? Absolutely not. Believe whatever suits you, but question it, never stop thinking, never stop asking or learning. In this day and age it seems people are way too willing to believe, or not believe. Belief, or non-belief should be a life-long arduous process and it should end involuntarily, when you fall over dead. Someone (there's a lot of talkative someone's aren't there?) once said 'Never stop believing', I say, "Never stop asking yourself what you believe, and why".

It's time to criticize, so let me load port and starboard cannon and fire a volley at both atheists and theists alike. Believing, or not believing, does not make you intelligent. Smart people do not come to a conclusion on the basis of insubstantial evidence. Smart people do not mindlessly attack other people's beliefs just because they don't conform to their own. Smart people do not assume that their own rigid, poorly formed definitions of logic and faith, reason and belief are mutually exclusive and that if one exists, the other cannot. Smart people think outside the box, not pick fights with those poor souls trapped in it.

What makes you intelligent, is knowing why you believe what you believe. Knowing that you are but one mind, and knowing that at any time you could be proven wrong, only for that person to be proven wrong ad infinitum as we as a race advance.

I suppose you're waiting for my personal beliefs, waiting for this to be some kind of sermon, preaching why my God is better than your God, or non-God. You'll be waiting a long time, because it's not coming. My personal beliefs are just that, personal, they're mine, they belong to me. You cannot take them away from me, only I can. What I can give you though, are my opinions.

Right now shots are being fired. They're not physical shots, they're bullets and shells of ignorance and bigottry. And it's no one-sided battle let me tell you that much. Factionalized camps everywhere you can imagine. Atheists, Theists, Satanists, Christians, Republicans, Democrats, Capitalists, Communists, every group you can imagine, all shouting 'Your God/Non-God sucks, mine is better!'. These days, the internet's become their battleground. So much for sharing knowledge, we're sharing ignorance.

The bigottry and the condemnation has to stop. The sad thing is, I'm having to condemn the condemners. Isn't it lowsy how you generally have to be a hypocrite in order to make a point these days? Food for thought. We can look at the extremes and see the simplistic, secular vs sacred, trend-atheists vs fundamentalist evangelical christians, the most common stereotypes. But in reality, it's so much more complicated than that. It's this stereotyping and narrow-minded attitude that prevents us as a race from achieving the greatness we can. I could make as many decrees as I wanted till I was blue in the face, and I'm going to just to let off a little steam mind you,

"Trend-atheist Digg users, shove your agendas where the sun don't shine, refusing the possibility of a supreme-being does not make you a genius or a radical thinker, it makes you a bloody sheep hiding behind a cloak of anonymity"

"Evangelical Fundamentalist morons, get your overly simplistic, judgmental, dogmatic Crayola God out of my face, you have about as much understanding of the universe as a wet lettuce. That does not make you holy, pure, or guaranteed a private booth at the big game in the sky, it makes you a bloody sheep hiding behind a cloak of propaganda that you only believe because you're told to"

Wow, that feels good, I can understand why you internet-bound condemners like it so much. Gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling doesn't it? What, I'm not allowed to indulge in such a guilty pleasure every once in a while? Play fair Wink

Where's my conclusion? Hell if I know. Did you have the mistaken impression this was some carefully constructed plea for tolerance? Absolutely not, it's an angry slap in the face to my peers. Wake the hell up and use your brain, because my God/Non-god/Explosion/Man-in-the-sky/Vic20 gave you it for a reason.

TB.

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

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The Remote Viewer
Jul 9, 2001


TotalBiscuit posted:

Let's get this out here right now. I'm a 23 year old law graduate with an IQ of 155.

I got to here before I decided this was going to be a trainwreck.

GD_American
Jul 21, 2004

SCHWÄRTZESTES HERZ
IN ALEMANIA


Ahahhaha apparently that sky-high IQ told you not to read any of the forum rules, subforum rules, or any existing threads to see what kind of place this is

Woozy
Jan 3, 2006
I WAS TOO BUSY SWALLOWING GOVERNMENT COCK TO NOTICE THE IRONY OF CRITICIZING CAPITALISM, WHEN ASKING THE GAMES FORUM ABOUT ORDERING THE GAME, CAPITALISM, WITH MY WELFARE CHECK.

I AM GLAD "SOMEONE ELSE" PAID FOR THIS TITLE. AH WELL, BACK TO WORK. *SLURP**GULP*


Philosophy departments hate law students. You're why.

Foggy
May 17, 2004



The Remote Viewer posted:

I got to here before I decided this was going to be a trainwreck.

I didn't get to that because I stopped at the thing about Illidan immediately prior.

Grimoire
Jul 9, 2003

(Not Buddhist)

You did something wrong. When you can explain what you've done wrong, you can stop lurking.

Concerned Citizen
Jul 22, 2007

delightfully concerned


TotalBiscuit posted:


Where's my conclusion? Hell if I know. Did you have the mistaken impression this was some carefully constructed plea for tolerance? Absolutely not, it's an angry slap in the face to my peers. Wake the hell up and use your brain, because my God/Non-god/Explosion/Man-in-the-sky/Vic20 gave you it for a reason.

How provocative. Consider me provoked.

TB.

peenworm
Aug 27, 2002


The Remote Viewer posted:

I got to here before I decided this was going to be a trainwreck.

You mean you got past "my rant forum on my site," "kill it with fire," digg and the "hi im new here?"

You have an overabundance of altruism.

Justice Caterson
Oct 4, 2003

Fiat Justitia


The Remote Viewer posted:

I got to here before I decided this was going to be a trainwreck.

Really? That far? Illidan quotations in a discussion about the nature of God didn't tip you off?

TotalBiscuit posted:

We are not as smart as we think we are.

Ain't that the truth.

Woozy
Jan 3, 2006
I WAS TOO BUSY SWALLOWING GOVERNMENT COCK TO NOTICE THE IRONY OF CRITICIZING CAPITALISM, WHEN ASKING THE GAMES FORUM ABOUT ORDERING THE GAME, CAPITALISM, WITH MY WELFARE CHECK.

I AM GLAD "SOMEONE ELSE" PAID FOR THIS TITLE. AH WELL, BACK TO WORK. *SLURP**GULP*


Count down to "just criticize my arguments no ad hominems please guys!"

Slippery
May 16, 2004



Whoa, 155...too bad the average IQ here is 155.5 ... moron.

Bass Concert Hall
May 9, 2005

They complain the air is thin and half smog; they complain you never quite get the red dust out of your hair or your boots. I don't care. I'm finally home.


I'd like all of you to refer to me as Bass "I'm a 23 year old law graduate with an IQ of 155" Concert Hall from now on, tia

Grimoire
Jul 9, 2003

(Not Buddhist)

Woozy posted:

Count down to "just criticize my arguments no ad hominems please guys!"

I counted a couple Argumentum Ad ADD-ums mixed with some Appeal to Videogames and a Post Hoc Ergo Dickwave.

Ialdabaoth
Nov 3, 2006

East side, west side,
All around the block,
The Bootlegger's
rushin' bizness
At all hours
of the clock.


What I don't like about religious folk is mainly that they want to project their silly ways of thinking onto me. It irks me, cosmically, that there are people to pray for me. In the same fashion, when you say that your god is my creator, TB, I feel maligned.

Woozy
Jan 3, 2006
I WAS TOO BUSY SWALLOWING GOVERNMENT COCK TO NOTICE THE IRONY OF CRITICIZING CAPITALISM, WHEN ASKING THE GAMES FORUM ABOUT ORDERING THE GAME, CAPITALISM, WITH MY WELFARE CHECK.

I AM GLAD "SOMEONE ELSE" PAID FOR THIS TITLE. AH WELL, BACK TO WORK. *SLURP**GULP*


Grimoire posted:

I counted a couple Argumentum Ad ADD-ums mixed with some Appeal to Videogames and a Post Hoc Ergo Dickwave.

The Illidan quote was nothing, though. Its too bad everyone stopped there because he quotes Bill & Ted in like the next paragraph.

Slippery
May 16, 2004



TotalBiscuit posted:

Did you have the mistaken impression this was some carefully constructed plea for tolerance? Absolutely not, it's an angry slap in the face to my peers.

Wherever your peers are, they certainly aren't here.

Also: glad to see someone can pass Intro to Comparative Religion!

TotalBiscuit
Sep 17, 2007

Pip-Bloody-Pip.


Woozy posted:

Count down to "just criticize my arguments no ad hominems please guys!"

I think you misunderstand my conception of what kind of a place this is. I knew full well what was going to be said before I posted this

TB.

Concerned Citizen
Jul 22, 2007

delightfully concerned


TotalBiscuit posted:

I think you misunderstand my conception of what kind of a place this is. I knew full well what was going to be said before I posted this

TB.

So you spent six hours constructing a long winded rant about everything and nothing with no point or conclusion just so everyone would poo poo up your lovely thread? Awesome, dude.


TB.

Slippery
May 16, 2004



TotalBiscuit posted:

I think you misunderstand my conception of what kind of a place this is. I knew full well what was going to be said before I posted this

TB.

Oh poo poo, puppet master sighted!

The Remote Viewer
Jul 9, 2001


TotalBiscuit posted:

I think you misunderstand my conception of what kind of a place this is. I knew full well what was going to be said before I posted this

TB.

I don't think you did.

TB.

Ej
Apr 13, 2005



TotalBiscuit posted:

I think you misunderstand my conception of what kind of a place this is. I knew full well what was going to be said before I posted this

TB.

In the words of Mario, "It's a me! Mario!"

TB

Sweaty Head
Jul 22, 2007



maybe you should try putting this in one of your WoW podcasts instead, your guild might need something to listen to while they prepare for illidan

-OZ

Woozy
Jan 3, 2006
I WAS TOO BUSY SWALLOWING GOVERNMENT COCK TO NOTICE THE IRONY OF CRITICIZING CAPITALISM, WHEN ASKING THE GAMES FORUM ABOUT ORDERING THE GAME, CAPITALISM, WITH MY WELFARE CHECK.

I AM GLAD "SOMEONE ELSE" PAID FOR THIS TITLE. AH WELL, BACK TO WORK. *SLURP**GULP*


TotalBiscuit posted:

I think you misunderstand my conception of what kind of a place this is. I knew full well what was going to be said before I posted this

TB.

And I played right into your hand! Curses!

Bass Concert Hall
May 9, 2005

They complain the air is thin and half smog; they complain you never quite get the red dust out of your hair or your boots. I don't care. I'm finally home.


I hope you contract and are killed by an extensively multi-drug resistant strain of

TB.

Whine E. McLiberal
Oct 30, 2005

by Fragmaster


TotalBiscuit posted:

I think you misunderstand my conception of what kind of a place this is. I knew full well what was going to be said before I posted this

TB.
tuberculosis

The Remote Viewer
Jul 9, 2001


Woozy posted:

And I played right into your hand! Curses!

He feeds off this poo poo.

TotalBiscuit
Sep 17, 2007

Pip-Bloody-Pip.


Slippery posted:

Oh poo poo, puppet master sighted!

Pfft, do me a favour, there's no internet Ming-the-Merciless 'Oooh look at me, I'm manipulating you all with my clever scheme' BS. I just wanted you to read it. Some of you did, that's good enough for me.

TB.

Atom
Apr 6, 2005

by Y Kant Ozma Post


While I too am upset by the trend of people like Richard Dawkins wanting to turn atheism into a true prosthelytizing religion, you're still a douche.

edit: TB.

Bass Concert Hall
May 9, 2005

They complain the air is thin and half smog; they complain you never quite get the red dust out of your hair or your boots. I don't care. I'm finally home.


Whine E. McLiberal posted:

tuberculosis

ho ho, you'll need more than your measly IQ of 154 to keep up with me

WhiskeyJuvenile
Feb 15, 2002

SIC SEMPER TYRANNOSAURUS


i dugg this thread

edit: TB.

TotalBiscuit
Sep 17, 2007

Pip-Bloody-Pip.


The Remote Viewer posted:

I don't think you did.

TB.

That would imply I couldn't read, a fallacy at best.

That aside, it's 4am, I'm going to leave this here and let you have your fun, and enjoy reading it in the morning, good-night

TB.

Eripsa
Jan 13, 2002

by Y Kant Ozma Post


Grimoire posted:

You did something wrong. When you can explain what you've done wrong, you can stop lurking.

It doesn't matter that he did something wrong. He's questioning it. Don't you see? Or did you just stop using your brain?

Svaha
Oct 4, 2005



TotalBiscuit posted:

Not surprising really as we mammals only use 10% of our brains.
Question what you think you know.

This is one of the most annoying yet persistent tidbits of conventional wisdom out there. Where did it come from in the first place?

-Tracheal Bronchitis

Yiggy
Sep 12, 2004

"Imagination is not enough. You have to have knowledge too, and an experience of the oddity of life."


Well as an e-atheist hrum hrum hrum...

peenworm
Aug 27, 2002


TotalBiscuit posted:

I think you misunderstand my conception of what kind of a place this is. I knew full well what was going to be said before I posted this

TB.

Oh good. What are people going to say next? Let's put your supersmart prescience to the test.

TB.

Aetilus
May 8, 2005

by Lowtax


we are all so smart!

Heresiarch
Oct 6, 2005

Whosoever would undertake some atrocious enterprise should act as if it were already accomplished, should impose upon himself a future as irrevocable as the past.


Snow Job
May 24, 2006



How many weeks should the topic poster be probated? Let us debate and discuss this in detail.

The Remote Viewer
Jul 9, 2001


TotalBiscuit posted:

That aside, it's 4am, I'm going to leave this here and let you have your fun, and enjoy reading it in the morning, good-night

Ah, posting an inflammatory thread and then going to bed for the night...the last refuge of the scoundrel.

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Ialdabaoth
Nov 3, 2006

East side, west side,
All around the block,
The Bootlegger's
rushin' bizness
At all hours
of the clock.


TotalBiscuit posted:

That would imply I couldn't read, a fallacy at best.

That aside, it's 4am, I'm going to leave this here and let you have your fun, and enjoy reading it in the morning, good-night

TB.

Be a sport and stick around for just a while more.

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