Class Warfare Blog

June 12, 2018

Giving Too Much Away

Filed under: Culture,Philosophy,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 1:29 pm
Tags: , ,

I have been working my way through Jerry Coyne’s Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible (Penguin Publishing Group, Kindle Edition). This is quite exhaustive of the topic and very well written but last night I read something that gave me pause. here is the quote:

The second argument for faith is that it gives solace to the marginalized and destitute. And that’s no doubt true. When you see yourself as being without hope, there is consolation in thinking that God and Jesus are looking out for you (even if they’re not helping much), and in thinking that all will be set right in the next world.” (Emphasis added. SR)

I have read many comments like this but this time I realized that this is a concession I am no longer prepared to give. You see, this is just a part of the Big Con, the Big Lie, that is very prominent in Christianity. Your reward comes after you die, so just do your job, don’t complain, and don’t ask for a raise. Religions that don’t help coerce labor from the masses to serve the interests of the religious and secular elites just do not survive. Christianity has survived on this basis.

The consolation of having some false fairy tales to believe in is poor pay for all that was robbed of you throughout your life. I am not just talking about tithing or money given to churches in collection plates at services. I am talking about the billions of dollars not available to be spent on the poor or for education that go to tax breaks for religious orders and enterprises. I am talking about the wages one didn’t get or the abuse one suffered in the expectation of a heavenly reward after you die. If you had not that “consolation” while you were working, might you have gotten pissed off enough to demand higher wages? Might you have expected your governments, the collective “we,” to be more helpful than it has been?

I think we have to stop and think before we make such concessions to religion and faith. Often as not, even the innocuous offerings we might make are unsupportable.

I am not advocating that we disabuse dying elders on their death beds of their religious fantasies. That would be unkind. They have already made the bed they will go to sleep in. I do advocate disabusing young and the middle-aged people of their religious fantasies. Jerry Coyne does a quite good job of that in his book. Here are a couple more quotes to give you a taste of what he is offering so you can decide whether or not you want to read the book:

But consider how many questions religion once told us could never be answered—and were taken as evidence for God—and yet ultimately were solved by science. Evolution, infectious disease, mental illness, lightning, the stable orbits of planets: the list is long. Religious people often call for scientists to be “humble,” ignoring the beam in their own eyes, which see things like morality as forever inexplicable by science. How much more arrogant, and ignorant of history, to argue that our failures of understanding are somehow evidence for a god! And how much more egotistical to believe that that god is the god of your own religion!

In contrast, religion has never been right in its claims about the universe— at least not in a way that all rational people can accept. There is no reliable method to show that the Trinity exists, that God is loving and all-powerful, that we’ll meet our dead relatives in the afterlife, or that Brahma created the universe from a golden egg. Lacking a way to show its tenets are wrong, religion cannot show them to be right, even provisionally.

 

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59 Comments »

  1. Excellent observations, Steve and you are spot on.
    It is about time these shysters were told once and for all: Put up or Push off.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Arkenaten — June 12, 2018 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  2. “I am talking about the billions of dollars not available to be spent on the poor or for education that go to tax breaks for religious orders and enterprises.”
    I’ve never seen scientific evidence that indicates money should be spent on education or charity. My religious convictions tell me I should feed starving children. Would you advocate disabusing me of those “fantasies”?

    Like

    Comment by John Branyan — June 12, 2018 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

    • One of the benefits of constantly channeling money into education – building schools, training teachers etc, is how it invariably helps alleviate poverty.

      Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule and some people, no matter what you do, will unfortunately always remain ignorant – often willfully so.
      Exactly like you for example.

      Like

      Comment by Arkenaten — June 12, 2018 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  3. Belief is a powerful paliative tool for the poor.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by john zande — June 12, 2018 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

    • More so when wielded by religious manipulators who relish the opportunity to tweak, nudge, lie and corrupt an often already emotionally fragile individual.

      Like

      Comment by Arkenaten — June 12, 2018 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

      • Quite true, but I think many (if not most) adult faithers wilfully enter into (and maintain) the self-deception for deeply emotional reasons. In this sense, even though it’s all a big fat lie they’re telling themselves, there’s some rationality behind it.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by john zande — June 12, 2018 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

        • Oh, the rationality is “the wimmen, they likes them de religion.”

          On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 6:39 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — June 12, 2018 @ 9:14 pm | Reply

          • Or, “death scares the crap out of me, if I didn’t believe in Grand Daddy I wouldn’t be able to make it to the shops to buy milk”

            Like

            Comment by john zande — June 13, 2018 @ 3:37 am | Reply

        • Agreed, And I am certain we can all think of several such examples right here on WP.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Arkenaten — June 13, 2018 @ 4:28 am | Reply

    • Whatever you do don’t let them find the torches and pitchforks!

      On Tue, Jun 12, 2018 at 3:42 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — June 12, 2018 @ 9:12 pm | Reply

  4. @ JB..Are you nuts! “You’ve seen no scientific evidence that indicates money should be spent on education or charity.”

    Numerous studies show helping the poor or any charity the serves people in countless ways, not only helps them, but gives the helping individual a positive good feeling that aids in their happiness and self worth and makes them more inclined to want to do more good deeds.

    As for education, only a fool or a religious nut would think there is no benefit in a superior education to move the US forward in an ever changing world that is overwhelmingly science and technology based. And all this takes money and lots of it. Most of us in this country don’t want to remain in the dark ages of mythical fantasies that pose as reality.

    Grow up and get a life!

    Liked by 3 people

    Comment by maryplumbago — June 12, 2018 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

    • Thank you.
      However, your reply didn’t contain any science.

      Like

      Comment by John Branyan — June 12, 2018 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

      • Asserting that you are nothing but a giant obnoxious pig-ignorant Dickhead is a statement which contains little if any ”proper” science at all. However, based on your innumerable comments that are nothing but the inane drivel of a likely sociopath with evident mental health issues, it would be fair to say that normal people would probably agree with such an assessment.

        Liked by 2 people

        Comment by Arkenaten — June 12, 2018 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

    • Mary, despite everything in Nature and the Universe/Cosmos screaming otherwise, he (BrainYawn) isn’t interested in any sort of intelligent change and progress on Earth. LOL He is the popular poster-child of the osterich head permanently (or is it faithfully?) buried DEEP in the sand — with his rear-end up high representing ____________. (fill in the blank)

      But your comment is very accurate though Ma’am. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Professor Taboo — June 12, 2018 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

      • Your reply didn’t contain any science either.

        Like

        Comment by John Branyan — June 12, 2018 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

        • I know when not to waste my time and with who. Simple.

          Initially, many many months ago (over a year ago?), I tried to have BROAD civil discourse with you BrainYawn and you soon turned it into childish pompous sneering. If you haven’t noticed yet, I pay very very little attention to you. I do this so as to not waste your time or mine. You already know BrainYawn we have nothing to discuss — so move along to another school yard. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Professor Taboo — June 13, 2018 @ 11:10 am | Reply

          • No science yet.

            Like

            Comment by John Branyan — June 13, 2018 @ 11:12 am | Reply

            • The level of sheer stupidity you display in every comment you type can be empirically measured. The subsequent results can then be printed out, shredded, liquidized and fed right back to you via an enema, where they might at least produce one other measurable result – just how full of shit you are.
              There you go – science!

              Liked by 2 people

              Comment by Arkenaten — June 13, 2018 @ 11:44 am | Reply

              • Gentlemen, gentlemen, civility, please. As to science, which countries are the least religious? I would say the northern European countries. Which countries have the happiest citizens? Hmm, same answer. I wonder if there is a connection? Do you think?

                Actually if you look at human history from its beginnings about 3500 BCE to say 1600 CE, I’ll call it The Age of Religion, the vast majority (90+ %) of people on the planet existed in extreme poverty, a majority of humans were, in essence, slaves. Then, from 1600 until now, I’ll call it The Age of Reason, the human population has skyrocketed and poverty, well extreme poverty, the normal human condition in The Age of Religion, has fallen to about 10% of the population and may be eliminated in another 10-15 years.

                I hope all y’all theists are gonna get your “reward” in your nonexistent hereafter, because we are getting ours now, because … science.

                On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 11:44 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

                >

                Liked by 3 people

                Comment by Steve Ruis — June 13, 2018 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

              • ROFLMAO!!! 🤣 Now that rectal-science I KNOW BrainYawn can feel if not digest! 💊 😉

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by Professor Taboo — June 13, 2018 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

            • Your memory is pretty shotty, huh? You’re not thinking back far enough BrainYawn. Start at the point when you and I FIRST dialogued then go from there — 1-2 weeks further? — and you will see for yourself the (my) science, philosophy, logic, and (attempted) exchange of concepts with you. But you must first pull your head out of _____________ to reread it. Now, off you go forgetful boy.

              Like

              Comment by Professor Taboo — June 13, 2018 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

              • You didn’t offer science ever.
                I’ve never seen you offer anything but personal opinion.

                Like

                Comment by John Branyan — June 13, 2018 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

                • You could not be more wrong.

                  And you stole that phrase “personal opinion” from me commenting about you, CS, CT, insanitybytes, Leroy, SoM, et al. 😄

                  I’m not taking up anymore of Steve’s comment section. So long. 👋

                  Like

                  Comment by Professor Taboo — June 13, 2018 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

                  • Still no science.
                    So long!

                    Like

                    Comment by John Branyan — June 13, 2018 @ 2:02 pm | Reply

                    • Little Johnny B,
                      Desperately needs to pee,
                      Oh, how we shall miss his rants,
                      But what little Johnny B,
                      Simply failed to see,
                      He’d already gone in his pants.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Arkenaten — June 13, 2018 @ 2:50 pm

          • I actually feel sorry for him. He is so pathetic. Not being able to carry on an intelligent conversation with various ideas, views, resources about a variety of subjects, as I’m sure it’s not just religion that he would be so ill informed about. It does go rather hand in hand.

            Liked by 3 people

            Comment by maryplumbago — June 13, 2018 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

            • J. BrainYawn claims or tries to imply he is well-informed or well-educated, but his comments show the exact opposite. When I first tried to dialogue with him long time ago, one of the key components of understanding a person, a concept, a system or method is by asking SOME questions if not a lot of questions. JB asked maybe 1 or 2? Since then he never asks any questions. This is most likely why he can’t recognize sound science, logic, reasoning or possible/probable self-bias… because he has never been a student, a student of science, much less tried to understand science with all its interdisciplinary methods of peer-review and scrutiny. Can’t do ANY of that with his Christianity. THAT he IS familiar with! LOL 😉

              Like

              Comment by Professor Taboo — June 13, 2018 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

              • Are you ever going to show me the science that proves I should feed starving children? Right now, I do it for religious reasons. I’m interested in knowing the empirical scientific reason for doing so.

                Like

                Comment by John Branyan — June 13, 2018 @ 8:10 pm | Reply

                • Here is a long article about numerous scientific studies of doing good for other people, which would include feeding starving children and the benefits not only emotionally, but physiologically that are present because of how our brains function. This is science, not religion. It’s a long excellent and I hope you can manage just a wee bit of an open mind towards it.
                  Feeling good about doing a good deed has nothing at all to do with religion. You may do it for religious beliefs, but if it makes you feel good, it’s because of things that go on in your brain.

                  https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/science-good-deeds#1

                  Liked by 2 people

                  Comment by maryplumbago — June 13, 2018 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

                • Mary adequately answered and started you on your way of understanding the not-so-difficult concept and validity of science. But I will also teach it to you from another angle, by having you answer these two simple questions and you learning on your own. Notice it starts by asking questions, then more questions, never stopping. Here we go:

                  How do bats hunt moths and moths avoid being eaten by bats?

                  Why are there no more domestic/native N. American elephants today, but there are in Asia and Africa?

                  Like

                  Comment by Professor Taboo — June 13, 2018 @ 9:09 pm | Reply

                  • You’re not teaching me anything. You’re avoiding answering my question.

                    I saw some science that said the population is too large for our planet. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to let a billion people starve to save the Earth?

                    Like

                    Comment by John Branyan — June 13, 2018 @ 10:57 pm | Reply

                    • Hahaha… exactly what I anticipated from you. It was two very simple questions — for the sake of some intelligent progress past your density, just indulge us for 2-mins and answer.

                      But I bet I can already predict your next reply — Elvis has left the building again. Surprise surprise. If you answer the way I’m pretty sure you will, then all this with you, once again, is a waste of time for everyone. Now, try your best to answer the two simple questions…

                      Like

                      Comment by Professor Taboo — June 13, 2018 @ 11:08 pm

                    • Hahaha…exactly what I anticipated from you. It was two questions that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. I don’t know the answer to either question without Googling them.

                      So there you go: 1. I don’t know. 2. I don’t know.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — June 13, 2018 @ 11:15 pm

                    • So very little (if any) foresight or thought, huh? LOL No, the questions do have much to do with science and how it works, how it first develops hypotheses (questions) then proves or disproves them or creates more questions. Simple.

                      So there you go: 1. I don’t know. 2. I don’t know.

                      You can easily find the answers JB if you truly want to know, emphasis on “IF YOU TRULY WANT TO KNOW!” When you start being incessantly curious you will begin to understand science and its process of getting answers, many of them right. Now, have you checked your 4th century CE Bible for the answers? Don’t give up so easily. You can do it! 😉

                      Like

                      Comment by Professor Taboo — June 14, 2018 @ 9:44 am

                    • Exorbitant knowledge always replicates those hypothesis where the antecedent premise is promoted or relinquished by those presuppositions or proven theorems. That’s the power of open mindedness.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — June 14, 2018 @ 10:06 am

                    • So there you go: 1. I don’t know. 2. I don’t know.

                      And 4-days later STILL silent, still laziness or obstinant to employ brain-cells and pull his osterich head out of ________________ …

                      ——–

                      … A) the sand, or B) that other end. Come on JB, don’t be such a pouty quitter. Think! Try to answer those questions so you’ll have a basic understanding of how science works its brilliance. 🙂

                      Like

                      Comment by Professor Taboo — June 18, 2018 @ 8:42 pm

                    • These questions have been given the priority they rightly deserve. I am considering EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLE and ALL perspectives. I’m sure you agree that answering a question from my singular point of view is the height of arrogance and completely unscientific. History changes and science makes new discoveries constantly. Truth is relative and none of us really know anything.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — June 19, 2018 @ 6:48 am

                    • Stop squirming and expelling flatulence. Answer the easy questions.

                      Like

                      Comment by Professor Taboo — June 19, 2018 @ 8:37 am

                    • Not squirming. Examining closely all viewpoints and going deeper than just what 30-mins might provide or one or two media reports convey (or propagandize) is the way to eventually dig-up and decipher the REAL or PROBABLE/PLAUSIBLE truth and facts. In this day-n-age of MEGA-corporatization by the Right and their influence on and use of media institutions to a generally ignorant/impatient, poorly educated citizenry, getting multiple sources of broad information and higher degrees of impartiality in its presentation is harder to do. But I will keep trying!

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — June 19, 2018 @ 9:07 am

                    • Hmm. Right. (holds his nose)

                      I don’t think you know what plagiarism means either. Or originality.

                      Like

                      Comment by Professor Taboo — June 19, 2018 @ 9:41 am

                    • I thought you would congratulate me on my open-mindedness!

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — June 19, 2018 @ 9:45 am

                    • I do appreciate your helping me think, Professor. I wrote about it on my blog today.

                      I’ll keep exploring the infinite possible answers to your ‘simple’ questions. And I refuse to presume that any one of those answers is the only truth. Thanks!

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — June 19, 2018 @ 10:25 am

                    • As you believe and accept that your worldview required the blood sacrifice of a narrative construct and the tale of a resurrected corpse along with other patently absurd tales, exactly how would you of all people be able to even recognize … ”….REAL or PROBABLE/PLAUSIBLE truth and facts.” ?

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by Arkenaten — June 19, 2018 @ 9:43 am

                    • Oh my goodness, you don’t get this either. Letting a billion people starve would not only be cruel and inhumane, but it wouldn’t begin to solve the problem and it would just return. And they will starve anyway, as tens of thousands do every year, until man learns how to manage this planet and its resources. This includes food management and production and political atrocities in many of the very poorest countries that inflict this horror.

                      How old are you, if I may ask and have you ever seen much of the outside world or had any college education that was not in a religious school? What was your childhood like? I ask because you seem so hostile and full of sarcasm and anger and so hell bent on not learning a more complete picture of any subject, not just religion. I can only assume you have very incomplete and narrow views on political issues, other religious beliefs besides Christianity, biology, geology, psychology and history to name a few.

                      You really need to open your mind to the wonders of the world and expand your mind and get the most from life as you can. You only have this one chance, no matter what you believe.

                      Liked by 2 people

                      Comment by maryplumbago — June 14, 2018 @ 6:52 am

                    • Science doesn’t address cruelty or inhumanity. Those are religious concepts. Please stay on topic.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — June 14, 2018 @ 6:57 am

                    • Religion definitely addresses it, as it is full of abominable cruelty, revenge and inhumane treatment. And science does as well, but I see you couldn’t have read, much less digested, the links I and the professor sent you explaining the science of being humane to one another as it relates to the brain and the evolutionary process within the brain to insure the survival of our species.

                      I was really trying to get you to THINK, but sadly, I see that’s not to be. You are going to have a very unfulfilled petty life if you don’t open your mind, try to control your attack defense mechanisms and seriously grow up.

                      I’m done here for the day. A beautiful world out there awaits for me to take part in. You are missing so much and I am sorry for you.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by maryplumbago — June 14, 2018 @ 7:22 am

                    • Mary, you have just experienced J. Brainyawn’s DEEP thinking capabilities (*sarcasm*). You were smart to move on as it just gets deeper and deeper in that stuff you don’t want to step in.

                      Liked by 3 people

                      Comment by Nan — June 14, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

                • Right now, I do it for religious reasons.

                  You feed starving kids for religious reasons?
                  What sort of person are you that your motivation to alleviate the suffering of a starving child is because you are directed to do so because of your fucking religion?

                  Honestly Branyan you are one very sick puppy.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  Comment by Arkenaten — June 14, 2018 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

  5. I’ve been considering purchasing this book for sometime now. You may have just tipped the balance now Steve. 😉

    What I’ve argued for many years now with Faith-followers (Xian or otherwise) is that because of the Roman Emperors & Church Fathers and their TWENTY-ONE (21!) Ecumenical Councils, the first seven in particular, Christendom cannot adapt or flex or change due to evolving human intelligence (curiosity) over the passing of centuries and millenia. It is inevitable! Yet, by the 4th century CE Christianity had inadvertently and ignorantly dug themselves into the abyss of a Greco-Roman CLOSED-SYSTEM (trap) of Scriptures and subsequent Hellenistic theology (Revelations 22:18-19)! But Christian bishops still argued with each other for another 1,230+ years as to the “nature of Christ,” God, and the Holy Spirit. Hahahaha!

    I like in particular Jeffrey Tayler’s review of Coyne’s book:

    …by surveying the history of science and stating that both religion and science make claims about the universe, yet only science is open to the fact that it may be wrong.

    Yep, that’s because Science can flex, modify, refine, constantly improve, and most certainly tangibly show (in time) the true nature of this life, death, Universe/Cosmos, the human species (internally & externally!), other species, and beyond! Most monotheistic religions cannot even TOUCH that level of freedom and progress, or temporary set-backs! Christianity, on the other hand, absolutely cannot match it and thus will one day go extinct — unless of course a catastrophic event like illustrated in the acclaimed 2006 film Idiocracy actually takes place. Yikes! And there are certainly signs and symptoms among the masses this IS happening, ala The Death of Expertise by Thomas Nichols.

    Guess I’m going to have to get the book now Steve. Thanks! And great post btw. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Professor Taboo — June 12, 2018 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  6. Professor..Just looked on Amazon at The Death of Expertise….looks really good. Also looked at The Darkening Age by Nixey. Also looked good.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by maryplumbago — June 13, 2018 @ 7:06 am | Reply

    • Oooooo, yes Mary! I recommend both of those! Right now I’m finishing up The Concise Untold History of the United States by Peter Kuznick & Oliver Stone. Watched all 12-episodes of the Netflix series and thoroughly enjoyed it — and might I also humbly say…

      Many parts of the broader, unAmerican history-versions I’ve already blogged about, one specifically the invasion, occupation, and slaughtering by Israel, and the (blind) imperialistic U.S. support of Israel’s violation of U.N. laws and Human Rights. Ironically, “principles” the U.S. (mythically) brags about, but in her past has rarely mimicked or mimicks today in our current military global empire and near Police State domestically. :/

      You see, examining closely all viewpoints and going deeper than just what 30-mins might provide or one or two media reports convey (or propagandize) is the way to eventually dig-up and decipher the REAL or PROBABLE/PLAUSIBLE truth and facts. This is something many Americans (e.g. BrainYawn) cannot fathom. 🙄

      In this day-n-age of MEGA-corporatization by the Right and their influence on and use of media institutions to a generally ignorant/impatient, poorly educated citizenry, getting multiple sources of broad information and higher degrees of impartiality in its presentation is harder to do. For example, I use to watch Al-Jazeera America at least 2-3 per week. But guess what? They shut-down in April 2016. I was very disappointed. At least they’re still online in the U.S. …

      for now. 😬

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Professor Taboo — June 13, 2018 @ 4:35 pm | Reply


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