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About yarvin

  • Birthday 07/12/1985

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    Glencoe, AL

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  1. Let me respond by listing some (as in, I'm sure I'll miss some) bands I've gotten hooked on, past or present: 3 Doors Down -- Rock Emilie Autumn -- Gothic Rock/"Victoriandustrial" (her word) Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne -- Classic Metal Michelle Branch -- Pop Creed -- Hard Rock Disturbed -- Metal Edenbridge -- Symphonic Gothic Metal Enya -- New Age Foo Fighters -- Rock Green Day -- Pop-Punk Kansas - Classic Rock La Primavera -- Renaissance Led Zeppelin -- Classic Rock/Metal Linkin Park -- Metal Rap Nickelback -- Hard Rock Nightwish -- Symphonic Gothic Metal Rise Against -- Pop(?)-Punk Rock Savage Garden -- Soft Rock Styx -- Classic Pop/Rock The Walkingbirds -- Folk The Wallflowers -- Pop/Rock Trip Wamsley -- Bass Soloist (so, Jazz?) Weezer -- Pop/Rock Dar Williams -- Folk/Pop Within Temptation -- Symphonic Gothic Metal I'm also really liking Revel Moon, a (pagan) folk band.
  2. Fair enough. Like I said, I actually agree that dogma is a bad thing. Yes and no. Are those flavors of Taoism, Buddhism, and Paganism that lack gods atheistic? What about non-realist Christians who don't literally believe in God but use the idea as a symbol? You could certainly call a religion without gods "atheistic," but I think a lot of atheists wouldn't consider their followers as fellow atheists.
  3. I'm not quite sure how this changes things. Modern technology has given religious (and political) zealots better weapons, but it's given government even better weapons, so I don't expect religious violence to exceed war in terms of harm any time soon. Plus, the terrorists have to live somewhere and buy their weapons somewhere, so the governments of various nations are involved in the issue. They can, and I hope they are, taking reasonable measures to stop the terrorists, or they can turn a blind eye, or they can even actively support the zealots. Again, I'm not quite sure I understand your objection. If you'll clarify, I'll be happy to respond. I actually think we're saying pretty close to the same thing here. I just focused on the application (authoritarianism) while you focused on the ammunition (dogma). I have no love of dogmatism, and think that religion should always allow question and dissent. At the same time, dogmatism is not inherently harmful -- it only becomes harmful in the way it's applied. And, as Sam Harris has pointed out, Jain dogma leads Jains to be less violent. I'm not sure how you got this from what I said. I just made a few assumptions for the sake of argument, to avoid having to address objections like, "What if someone is only in a religion because of fear of damnation?", which I do think is a bad reason to be religious. I also don't understand why you set up a contrast between "current world religions" and "theist" religions. I thought most world religions were theistic? I agree with just about everything you said here. That's why I asked the question with the stipulation that untruth was the only thing wrong with Ismism, and said that I would disapprove if it supported immoral things like violence or hatred.
  4. OK, just some (longish) comments on the first two. I like how he compares religions and politics to the two components of gunpowder. This has been my argument against those who accuse religion of killing more people than anything else: it's always required the state to do so on any large scale. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch burnings, etc. were carried out with the support or at least permission of the political authorities. I dislike how he assumes that getting rid of religion is the answer, though. What he thinks will require secularism, I think will require only pluralism -- the understanding that one's religious beliefs are non-rational and therefore should not be forced upon others. (Of course, pluralism may prove unstable and we end up with secularism. That's fine. I just don't want to jump to such a radical conclusions as anti-theists do.) And why get rid of religion instead of politics? (And before you answer that politics can't be gotten rid of, I invite you to read up on anarchism. You may not agree with it -- and I'm not sure I do -- but I think you'll see my point.) Thirdly, he completely ignores the purely political ideologies (fascism, Stalinism, etc.) that inspire religious-style zealotry that lead to the deaths of tens of millions of people in the 20th century. Most anti-theists I have seen have responded by simply calling them secular religions. They're right, but that's an evasion. The root cause of problems in both religion and politics is, in my opinion, authoritarianism. It's the tendency to think that because we're so obviously right, it's OK to abuse people who disagree with us or stand in our way. Which leads me to my final complaint. The authoritarians are the ones causing the problems, but also the least likely to be influenced by anti-theistic rants. The people the anti-theists are most likely to convert are the moderates and liberals, most of whom are already on their side, just as pluralists instead of secularists. I don't usually get offended at things (I wasn't offended by the last video; I just strongly disagreed with it), but I found this mildly offensive. The idea over and over again seemed to be that best thing he could say about religion was that it's not as bad as it could be. Some compliment. At any rate, I want to focus on his insistence that "the purpose of religion is the suck all the pleasure out of life." I understand that many atheists feel that religion wasted their time, and I sympathize with them and wish them all the best. But at the same time, I think it should be understand that many religious people see atheism as a waste of a life. Let's assume for the sake of argument that atheists are right and there is no God, and in particular no afterlife. Now let's imagine that no religion teaches any belief in supernatural (or institutional) punishment/reward so that that cannot be an influencing factor in a person's decisions; that is, any benefit of being religious is intrinsic, pays off in this world only, and is not based on fear of punishment by the religious authorities. Now let's imagine a person, Terry, finds that a religion, Ismism, gives him/her hope, purpose, and in general improve his/her life. My question here is, is it inherently wrong for Terry to be an Ismist? Certainly I would disapprove if Ismism advocated racism, hatred, or violence. But would it be wrong if Ismism's only flaw was that its claims were untrue? Here is where I think anti-theism can become life-denying and harmful. If it objects to religion merely on the basis of it being untrue, then it is placing truth as being more important than quality of life. (I have seriously seen an atheist, on YouTube, say that he wouldn't encourage a friend to be religious even if it would keep him from killing himself.) It is, in fact, guilty of one of the same crimes that it accuses religion of. It is made all the more life-denying by the fact that it does this despite asserting that people get only one life, with no reward for being right or punishment for being wrong.
  5. In Azathoth's Name behold the old ones black goat with a thousand young blood flows from her stone Chris lies on the floor bullet cure for sanity you would do the same all hope ends tonight we have seen the gods' hunger love was not enough
  6. Do let us know how you like it. I noticed some of the complaints about its factual basis were fairly serious, like this one: I also find such a claim dubious, so if it's in the book, I would not want to waste my time on it.
  7. A friend of mine had been ordained through the Monastery since about a year and a half ago. A half-year after my fallout with the Mormon church, I started thinking about getting ordained, and we started talking about it again. I found out about the situation between the Monastery and the ULC, and he got re-ordained through ULC.net. I hesitated, but I decided to go ahead and get ordained, too. Reading this forum helped me to decide. My ordination has come to mean to me that I am free to follow my own path, and don't need anyone to tell me what to believe. I'm a minister, too, afterall.