Debate:Things we may or may not believe in

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Seriously, that's enough. Lets all calm down and relax for moment

What do you believe in? Sign your name below anything you have a positive belief in. Feel free to add more (phrenology, alchemy, scientology, what have you), but try to keep snark to a minimum, I'm actually curious about this. DickTurpis 00:41, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

This needs splitting off into its own page, like that liberal beliefs one a few weeks back. Totnesmartin 14:55, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

I agree. What does it have to do with CP?--Bobbing up 11:54, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

It kind of went off at a tangent from the previous (now archived) thread. Totnesmartin 12:01, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

Note for the committed sceptics: There is a "None of the above" option towards the bottom which could save you some time.

God (Judeo/Christian/Islamic)[edit]

  1. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. Unsure (leaning towards No) SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 01:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. No --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. No Totnesmartin
  5. No 05:32, 20 September 2008 (EDT) Matt oblong 05:34, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No Lardashe
  7. Yes, but I'm not a fundy, I swear. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. No.--Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. Yes I think they're all the same Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)`
  10. No --SpinyNorman 12:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. Yes -- And they are the same, Muslims believe in the God of Abraham, the same as "The Father" for Christians. Stile4aly 13:26, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. No. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  13. Yes, I do believe there is a God (but I don't let it melt my brain!) ĴάΛäšςǍ₰ No comment
  14. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. No. Of course not.--Bobbing up 11:56, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. No. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 12:29, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. no 13:15, 21 September 2008 (EDT) - Carptrash 13:19, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. Don't know, dont' care. care about as much as i do proving leprichauns exist.--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 19:53, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  19. Nope. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:00, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  20. Nope. May I burn for all eternity in hell if I'm wrong... oh, wait... --JeevesMkII 21:17, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

Judeo/Christian (not the same as Islamic, which is a lie some people tell themselves)[edit]

  1. Yes --CPAdmin1 09:36, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. No --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. No --SpinyNorman 12:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. No, no, no. That's for the trinity - and just who decided to make a splinter group for this? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  5. No, of course not.--Bobbing up 11:56, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No. Cause I don't think it's a lie. --Wren 15:30, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. Nope. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:00, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, I worded that in a funny way. I meant "not the same as Islamic" is a falsehood, not the other way around. --Kels 16:08, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

just who decided to make a splinter group for this? Someone who knows little about the very religion he claims to practice. PFoster 13:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

I knew that. The question was a rhetorical put down. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 14:06, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
I knew that. I was just piling on the fact that it's an incredibly stupid thing to do.PFoster 15:07, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
And what makes you think that I know very little about about the religion I claim to practice? Just because Muslim and Christian beliefs both include Abraham does not make the religions have the same God. --CPAdmin1 20:15, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Hell of a coincidence don't you think that the cast of characters (Abraham right throught to the angel Gabriel and Jesus himself) is the same in both religions. Also odd that Mohammad believed that he was perfecting and finalizing the word of God that had occurred in the Old Testaments followed by the Jews and the new Testament followed by the Christians. If their prophet says it's the same god as yours then it is.--DamoHi 21:18, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Jesus, I thought CPAdmin1 was one of the reasonable Conservapedians. Turns out not so much. Deal with it boy-tomorrow when you get on your knees at church, you'll be prayin' to ALLAH, too. Any religious scholar who isn't ideologically blind/have her head stuck up her ass/a complete moron would tell you. PFoster 21:29, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
I believe that the Bible is the word of God, and Jesus Christ is the only Way. The Islamic God is not the same. He does not match the God of the Bible at all. Just because some of the stories are the same does not make them the same God. Only one exists anyway. If you want to start talking about rational positions you have to be fair. You don't believe that one religion is true, and another is false. To you there isn't really a difference. The Idea of God is probably irrational from your point of view. Therefore, if some of the stories line up, and some of the characters are same, then it is the same. Now try looking from my point of view. There is a God. One God, not many. There is one religion that is true (Christianity) and all others are not. If you start from there, it is perfectly rational to conclude that the Islamic God is not the same. --CPAdmin1 22:11, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
The Muslims are worshipping the same god as you, and you as they, full stop. I'm right and you're wrong and there's no point in discussing it further. I'm more intrigued by why you're so eager to obscure that fact but not so eager to obscure the fact that it is also the same god that the Jews worship(you did write "Judeo/Christian (not the same as Islamic))--even when the Muslims make a place for your Christ figure in their cosmogony while the Jews don't.PFoster 22:16, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Mmm, I dunno PFoster...Muslims accept neither the Trinity nor the divinity of Jesus, both of which are kind of important in the (mainstream) Christian concept of God. I wouldn't call the God of Christianity the same as the God of Islam, nor would I equate it with the God of Judaism. That said, I don't see why a separate category is really necessary, since it seems obvious to me that the intent of the original category was to poll belief in any of the three Abrahamic faiths.--Bayes 22:29, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
CPAdmin's position is at best ignorant and at worst islamophobic. It's not just that some of the stories overlap, its that the prophet Mohammed believed that he was talking to the Christian/Jewish God. Therefore, the religion he founded uses the same God as the Christian God. Forget it CPAdmin please, for the sake of your own credibility.--DamoHi 22:34, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
What Damo said.PFoster 22:41, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
I will concede the Idea that muslims believe that they are worshiping the same God. This however does not make it the same. God is not based on Abraham. Apart from Jesus Christ, no one can come to God. Sorry if I offend you. --CPAdmin1 23:09, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Null set = null set. Case closed. (IMHO). ħumanUser talk:Human 03:29, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Good on you. No I am not easily offended. Remember that I am not saying that the religions are the same, merely that they both have at their head belief in the god that spoke to Abraham and led the Jews out of Egypt. Do you subscribe to the epilepsy theory of Mohammed's visions, or that he just made the whole thing up?--DamoHi 23:33, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

(undent) I am not denying the fact that both Christianity and Islam believe in a God that spoke to Abraham etc. What I am saying is that that does not make it the same God. The nature of the God of Christianity, and the nature of the God of Islam are extremely at odds to each other, and that is far more important of a point than the fact that both religions point back to Abraham. I believe that Islam is false. It doesn't make a difference to me how Mohammed came up with the Idea. The fact that the story of Abraham already existed explains the fact that it is included in Islam. Much easier to borrow a story from someone else than to make up your own. --CPAdmin1 23:57, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

So you're saying that two Gods spoke to Abraham then? (Which one did he listen to then, to lead the people out of Egypt?) And if you read the Old Testament, which most Christians seem to conveniently ignore, there is very little difference between God and Allah. Both carried a long whip and had a short temper. And why are Christians closer to the Jewish faith which rejects the idea of Jesus as the messiah, whereas Islam at least sees him as a prophet? Maybe you'd care to explain why the God of the Old Testament is so different to that of the New Testament - after all, there's not a single smite in the NT. Could it be... a third God? --PsyGremlinWhut? 01:25, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
This exemplifies the whole wackiness of organised religion. It's obvious to anyone with an inkling of religious history that it's the same god in all three faiths. It's just mankind's different interpretation of him and how to respond which is at issue. And while the faiths might demarcate the big differences, the nature of God is different even across Christianity. So expressly excluding Allah is Islamophobic. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 03:23, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Psy- interestingly, the idea that there is the old, mean God and the new, nice God was one of the competing (but obviously unsuccessful) early Christian ideologies. And there was a smiting in the NT- Acts 4:32-5:10. CorryYou can always tell a Milford man. 10:51, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Ah yes, thanks for that Corry. --PsyGremlinWhut? 12:51, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
CPAdmin, the problem with your argument is that there is at least as much difference between the Jewish and the Christian perception of God as there is between either and the Muslim perception. In Christianity, this difference is usually explained through the idea of the New Covenant which changes the relationship between God and Man. However, the problem here is that the Muslims believe in essentially the same thing, namely that the Qur'an established a new, third pact between God and Man because the earlier ones had been misinterpreted.
Of course, you're entirely free to disagree as much as you like with the nature of the Muslim covenant. But it's pretty bad theology to claim that on the one hand, the Christian redefinition of the covenant is valid, but that on the other hand, the completely equivalent Muslim redefinition is not. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 10:21, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
I'm amazed that there was such disagreement over this point. Christians believe in a God who was incarnated as Jesus. Muslims believe in a God who was not. Therefore, Muslims and Christians do not believe in the same god. And similarly for all the other mutually exclusive doctrines. --Johann 17:02, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
And I can't believe they let you out of the house on your own. Christians believe that God came back to Earth as Christ. Muslims believe that Christ was a prophet of that same god, but was not divine. PFoster 17:11, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
There's no need to take that attitude. If Christians believe that Jesus was God incarnate, and Muslims believe that he was a non-divine prophet, those two beliefs are mutually exclusive. It's fine if you want to say something like "there is only one true God, and the three Abrahamic faiths have imperfect understandings of him", because then the contradiction can be reconciled. But God as defined by Christianity is not the same as God defined by Islam. Johann 17:19, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
I'm sorry about the attitude-really. But that's so far from "right" it isn't even wrong--and there are important political/racial concepts at stake here. Christians who go around trying to rationalise the historically false belief that "God" and "Allah" aren't the same deity make it even easier to justify the marginalisation of Muslims/Arabs from the realm of what they consider to be the "civilised world""--a world that has the Judeo-Christian belief system at its heart. Christians, in the eyes of Islam, have, because of their notion that Jesus was divine, a corrupted understanding of God. But at the end of the day, IT'S THE SAME GOD. You and CPAdmin can keep lying about that fact, but it won't make you any closer to correct. PFoster 17:25, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
I am not lying about anything. I may well be mistaken; it is quite possible that somebody will show me the error in what I said, and I will be glad to be corrected. But I am not lying, and I have no personal religious stake in the matter. I am unaffiliated with either religion. If what I wrote above is wrong, please point it out. Don't just assert it to be true.

How is it that, if a Christian defines their God as having attribute X but not Y, and a Muslim defines their God as having attribute Y but not X, that they can be said to believe in the same God? And no personal attacks this time, please. Johann 17:33, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

If I see a girl walking down the street and I say she's about 5'6" with light brown hair and you say she's more like 5'7" with dirty blonde hair, are we talking about the same girl? If she's driving driving a Porsche and I tell you it's a 1998 model and you tell me it's a 1996, is she driving the same car? If her stereo is blaring and I say it's the Stones and you say it's the Kinks, are we hearing the same song? See where I'm going here? If I say God had a son who was divine and you say he didn't, can we be talking about the same God? Yes. We may have profound disagreements about the nature of that God, but, like the girl, those disagreements don't cause the God to divide itself up to fit our respective belief systems. PFoster 17:40, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Thank you for the analogy. I was about to propose something similar. I think our disagreement is primarily over the words we use. When I say that Christians and Muslims do not believe in the same God, I intend that as meaning that their beliefs, their conceptions, their definitions of God are not the same. By analogy, if I believed I had seen a 5'7" girl with blonde hair, and you believed you had seen a 5'6" girl with brown hair, it would mean that our beliefs about who we had seen were subtly different. Therefore, we would believe we had seen different people, surprising as that may seem. Of course, in the above case, there was only one girl. I am talking about the beliefs, not the girl. Johann 18:20, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Given that both of them have a God with the attributes X, Y, Z and maybe even Z-prime to be sure, and only vary in how they interpret those points, it's pretty easy to call it the same God. Basically, up until Jesus shows up, it's the same guy, and the Muslims even agree Jesus was a real guy, just not what his role was. About the same difference from the Christian God as the Jewish God is. But I guess Jews aren't so "icky", so there's less desire to distance the two. --Kels 17:36, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Nobody denies the considerable overlap in how each Abrahamic religion describes its deity. Omnipotent, omniscient, creator of the universe, perfectly good, cares about humans, listens to prayers, inspires sacred books, etc. However, to say that they agree on most of the basics (while it is a true observation) is to miss the point. The definition of God differs slightly for each religion. Therefore, the adherents of those faiths believe in slightly different gods. If I may ask a question in return: how much do two religions need to differ on their definition of God, before we can say that they do not believe in the same God? Johann 17:55, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Obviously, there are no "right" or "wrong" answers in this case - this is a question of beliefs, after all. However, there are certain answers that lead to a more satisfying and well thought out theology than others. Seen from the Christian perspective, as I mentioned above, the central point is that Islam defines itself as belonging to the same tradition as Christianity and Judaism does, just like Christianity on its side defines itself as as descendant from the Jewiswh tradition; and that Islam does so in essentially the same way as Christianity does. If we want to avoid some serious contradictions, we only have two choices: Either we accept that Islam worships the same deity, although in a considerably different manner, or we assert that they do not and draw the logical conclusion - that the Christian and the Jewish deities are not the same either. This second choice is of course impossible, because Christianity is so intertwined with Judaism, so in fact we only have the one choice. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:19, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
I'm still not convinced. If someone says a prayer to Allah, is that the same as praying to Jesus? Or vice versa? I don't think so. The very concept of a trinitarian God is not compatible with Islam, as it denies the "oneness" of God that is so important to Muslims. Personally, unless I'm shown why it is impossible, I'd go with your second option AK, since Jews today do not worship the same God that Christians do. To be sure,the Judaic God and the Christian God are intertwined historically and scripturally, but I doubt (though I will be gladly corrected if I'm wrong) that today's adherents to either religion would say that they worship the same entity.--Bayes 18:36, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

I'm coming in a bit late here, but as an atheist this whole argument seems sort of silly. To me it's an argument over whether the imaginary thing worshiped by one group is the same as the imaginary thing worshiped by another. They're supposed to be the same god, but are they really the same? To Muslims, yes, while Christians would probably argue that while Muslins may they think it's the same guy, but it's all wrong. If Jews deny that the New Testament is anything more than a story, it is perfectly reasonable to think that the New Testament God is different from their God. Their personalities are different enough that they're practically unrecognizable anyway. Christians believe Jesus is God, Jews don't, so they're really not talking about the same guy. If I decide that God is pretty much as described in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Koran, but decide that sometime around the year 700 he opened a gay roller disco, became a heroin addict, got himself pregnant and gave birth to 5 or 6 other gods, are we really talking about the same guy? I may say so, but any practicing Jew, Christian, or Muslim would say "fuck no! That ain't him!" Since it's all made up shit the question is sort of silly. Perhaps it would be best to have 4 god categories: God as described in the Old Testament, God as described in the New Testament, God as described in the Koran, and other God (presumably Jews would say yes to #1, Christians to #1 and #2, and Muslims to all 3). However, when I wrote the category, I didn't care what religion you believe in, only if you were the type who believes that there is some sort of being that can only be described as "god" even if you reject religion as being able to reveal any truth about him/her/it. Since that's the only god I could really consider believing in, I took an interest in it as a separate entity, as opposed to the others. DickTurpis 18:25, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

Flying Spaghetti Monster and Invisible Pink Unicorn[edit]

Following on from the above: Is the Flying Spaghetti Monster really the same god as the Invisible Pink Unicorn? They obviously have many things in common - but are they the same being?--Bobbing up 17:05, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

Don't forget Ceiling Cat. Totnesmartin 18:30, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
If these are the children of the one eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater, then yes, I think that I believe in them. it on;y stands to reason. Carptrash 00:18, 23 September 2008 (EDT)

God (other)[edit]

  1. Yes. Please vote. I'm awfully lonely in this cold, depopulated poll :(New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 00:46, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  3. Same as above SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 01:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. Only at times when I think things like "If there was a Big Bang, where did that 1 proton come from?" and "What was before the big bang?". It helps to think that before "nothing" became "everything", there was Bob (or the Great Green Arklseizure or something). It can be neatly plastered over the bits science can't answer yet. --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. Well, believing doesn't hurt. I'm in! Etc 04:50, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. Yes. Totnesmartin 05:10, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. No - not the old sky-daddy kind. Matt oblong 05:35, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. No Lardashe
  9. No --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. First define this non-Judeo/Christian "god". After that, no. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. Kinda, more in a "personalization of natural forces" sort of way, but knowing they're not actual people. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. I strongly doubt it, but can't claim to know that as a fact. --SpinyNorman 12:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. Maybe if someone named their child "God", but they wouldn't have any significant powers. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 13:31, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. Only Robbie Fowler in his prime. All others are false. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  15. Maybe. -- Refugee 20:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. No. My word, so many versions of God not to believe in.--Bobbing up 11:58, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. yes - tho it would take many words (perhaps more than there are) to describe/invent her/him/it. User:|]] 13:17, 21 September 2008 (EDT) - Carptrash 13:20, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  19. YAWN. can anyone say 13 trillion dollar bail out? Endless war? 9-5 job I hate, SPORE to play, husbands to do ...well, husband things with. unless god fixed that, what is the point?--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 19:55, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
    You want god to fix your husband? Like the vet fixed my dog? Interesting. Carptrash 19:59, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
    I'm a 40 year old peri-menapause woman who would love god to fix my hubby so i didn't have to take drugs each day. ;-) --Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 12:14, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
    Have you asked him? I got fixxxed years ago under somewhat similar conditions. Ask and you will receive. Knock and . ....... Carptrash 12:17, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  20. Nope. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:01, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  21. Nope. All your sky daddies are equally non-existent. --JeevesMkII 21:18, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  22. Maybe. (talk) 18:52, 30 May 2015 (UTC)


  1. I reckon that ghosts can be explained by electromagnetic activity. Our brains run on electricity, the earth itsself has an electromagnetic field. When someone dies a vicious death, their brain is working overtime, neurons are firing and the whole brain is active. That leaves an imprint on the electromagnetic field of the earth. Then, when the field is charged (say during a lighting storm - explaining the cliche of ghosts appearing during a stormy night) the imprint is revealed. Also, pyschics cant communicate with the dead but they are more intune with the electric feild than others may be. I am just saying...Ace McWicked55.3 million page views! 00:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
    You are kidding, right? Please?--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 02:23, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
    I never kid, I am just not that funny. Ace McWicked55.3 million page views! 07:07, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  3. Slight possiblity SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 01:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. I don't, but I'm not willing to write them off just yet either. --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. Yes, but not as some remnant of what keeps us alive - more like a recording onto the surroundings. Totnesmartin 05:12, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No - Someone would have got a convincing picture by now. Matt oblong 05:36, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. No Lardashe
  8. Unsure, leaning towards yes. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. No. I don't believe we have non-corporeal parts which can linger after death.--Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. Doubt it, but I dunno for sure. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. Yes, in the sense of spirits. Not to haunt people, unless they [the spirits of dead people] become demons. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. I think there are phenomena beyond our five senses' ability to directly perceive (if we were born deaf does that mean sounds don't exist around us anyway? I think "Ghosts" are one description of a phenomena we describe in human terms because we don't understand it well enough yet. --SpinyNorman 13:02, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. Only in the sense that human eyes and ears are easily tricked. But there are no real ghosts. Stile4aly 13:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. The only spirits worth believing in are distilled. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  15. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. No. Can this be serious?--Bobbing up 11:59, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. yes. Seriously. People are all energy and vibration and stuff. Which can not (according to some) be created or destroyed. So . . .What happens to it all when we die? Carptrash 13:22, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  19. Nope. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:03, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Energy can not be created/destroyed (in the classical sense) but it can change forms. Our "consciousness" is not rooted in the fact that we are made up of "energy" but rather the very specific arrangement of that energy into very specific matter with very specific orientations and physical structures. In turn there is a very specific connective structure to these physical structures, and out of all that and many other layers of complexity the "I" emerges. When all that "energy" is converted from the interconnected mass of our body into chemical and heat energy we don't become "ghosts" because there is nothing left to form consciousness. tmtoulouse irritate 13:31, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
As is typical of the True Believer you present your opinions as if they are fact. Very interesting, but . . .. what does it mean? Carptrash 18:31, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Wait, what was non-factual in that post? Johann 18:35, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

How about, "we don't become "ghosts" because there is nothing left to form consciousness" - You, either one of you, knows this fact because . . . .............. ? This is just an opinion. In my opinion, anyway. Carptrash

I was mostly addressing the fact that you pretended to have some sort of scientific rational for "ghosts" based on an application of conservation of energy. I pointed out how point A does not lead to point B. Instead you have to postulate a magical missing ingredient for your idea of ghost to work. Now that you are safely out of the realm of "science" there is only so much that can even be discussed. Occam's razor eliminates the need to postulate anything beyond basic chemical, electrical circuitry of the nervous system for consciousness and the complete lack of evidence for anything "else" or for the existence of ghosts is just icing on the cake. tmtoulouse irritate 21:34, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
"there is only so much that can even be discussed." Well this is sort of a conversation killer, but I will ignore it and go on anyway. i lived in a house with a ghost for about 3 years. We, the three of us living there, knew who it was - another story. So one day he (it?) got pissed off and started breaking things in the kitchen. We were in the living room with a visitor. And we were all trying to ignore the first crash or two but by three, four and five it was tough. So, Eric, the guest - a Christian from Goa in India, finally asked what was going on and when told, "It's a ghost who's annoyed, when, "Oh well that explains it.' and we went on with our visit. Not science because it can't be repeated. But i was there and I really have no reason to lie to you all. Carptrash 00:28, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. Er, No. --JeevesMkII 21:19, 24 September 2008 (EDT)


  1. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. No--PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. No Totnesmartin
  4. No - And if it was true I don't believe the nut-balls-goat-spongers who pedal this crap are the least bit qualified to do it. Matt oblong 05:37, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. No Lardashe
  6. No, but it does make for good conversation when all else fails. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. NO.
  8. Not really, makes good shorthand for talking about personality types, but not for predicting anything. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. Not sure what this is, but I'm pretty sure I hate it. Anything I haven't tried, I instinctively hate. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. My Magic 8-ball says "no" --SpinyNorman 13:04, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. Astrology is just superstition, but then again we Aries are skeptical. Stile4aly 13:28, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. No. The paperweight on my desk exerts a bigger influence on me than Jupiter. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  13. No. Astrology is a fig-leaf for natural intuition -- the method itself has no merit. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. Yes. Not the "astrology" that you find in the newpaper (today will be your good luck day, etc) not that type of thing, but personal characteristics based on allignment of planets, seasons, and so forth at the time of your birth, I believe there may be something to that. (I realize I'm the lone dissenter, don't all jump on me at once please, lol) --Refugee 21:03, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. No --CPAdmin1 23:10, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. No. More humour?--Bobbing up 12:00, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. yes. If the moon, for example, can create 20 foot high tides (or what ever) it likely (opinion) will also effect us 90% (you do the math) water beings. Carptrash 13:23, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  19. Nope. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:04, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Ohhh, so the next time my girlfriend complains about bloating I can blame it on it just being hightide? tmtoulouse irritate 13:27, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
After checking the stars very carefully, I would not recommend that. Carptrash 19:23, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. funny to read... but *belive* in? get real, get a life. cold reading anyone?--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 19:57, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
I once saw a natal chart cast for a statue that was - to me - truly amazing, but it would take at least an hour to write it all out and . . . for what? No, I think that I shall stick with carping. But, okay. A few days ago we get a phone call. A fellow that we barely know is showing up at our place with a Swami (really, that's how he introduced himself. 'I'm Swami") in one hour. Who turned out to be a short, stout Nepalese who runs a temple somewhere in Colorado. He was also (we were told) an amazing astrologer and palm reader. So at some point (after VV gave him the amlah plant, I think) he writes down my birthday, takes my hand and proceeds to more or less describe me pretty much "right on." (as we used to say). i was quite impressed, and no doubt all of you are too. Carptrash 00:44, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
That is one of the most unoriginal anecdotes I have ever heard in support of astrology. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:52, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
Happened to you too? Carptrash 01:04, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. Of course! The transit of Venus in to Uranus totally affects my day to day life. For those with learning disabilities that prevent them from understanding heavy handed sarcasm, that means "No." --JeevesMkII 21:21, 24 September 2008 (EDT)


  1. To some extent, yes, but only when it comes to my password. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Nope. --SpinyNorman 13:05, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. No. Even though my lucky number is 84309453. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  4. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. No. --Refugee 21:07, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. Only when it comes to 22. For obvious reasons... --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 23:37, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. No, but it's fun to play with (and I thought it was 42?) --PsyGremlinWhut? 01:29, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Depends on who you read.--IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 03:05, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Don't you go pushing your liberal, atheist, baby-murdering POV here, you follower of 22. 42 is the one true number. --PsyGremlinWhut? 06:20, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
I won't even deign to respond to such an insubstantial, anti-22 edit. Godspeed. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 12:32, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. Only inasfar as you can prove anything with statistics :) Totnesmartin 06:23, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. No. these just keep getting funnier.--Bobbing up 12:01, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. so-so, - a definite maybe, but surely all the scientists and math majors here can appreciate the power of numbers? Carptrash 13:25, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. No. --JeevesMkII 21:22, 24 September 2008 (EDT)


  1. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. No (ditto Loch Ness et al) --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Probably not. Totnesmartin
  4. No. Lardashe
  5. No. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. Not an impossibility. But I think we would have some better evidence for them if they were real. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. I have a hard enough time buying shoes as it is! --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. I have small feet. So my answer is: sort of. I'm sure there's someone out there with just one big foot. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. I don't discount the possibility of cryptids, after all living coelacanths were only discovered quite recently. However, for any particular specimen: show me the evidence first. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  10. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:46, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. No. --Refugee 21:08, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. I had a co-worker who came close, but no. --SpinyNorman 21:59, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. is size 15 big enough? --CPAdmin1 23:11, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. No, but I was really shocked when those hicks in Georgia turned out to be putting on a hoax! CorryYou can always tell a Milford man. 10:45, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. Could be. I believe that there is still a lot wandering around on this Earth that we do not know about. Carptrash 13:26, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. I suppose it's possible, but until there is scientific evidence, it doesn't really matter. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:05, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. No. As I am not aware of any convincing evidence I am an abigfootist.--Bobbing up 14:40, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  19. Not ruling it out, but definitely in the category of the fen tiger until such time as some yank twat in blaze orange shoots and stuffs one. Probably a "no" once again. --JeevesMkII 21:24, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

Psychic powers[edit]

  1. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. This one is complicated... Ask me on my user page if you're really interested, it'll take awhile to explain SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 01:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Not explicitly, but there do seem to be cases where people have 'some' kind of power. Like SirChuck said, this one is complicated. --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. Yes. Totnesmartin 05:15, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. No Lardashe
  6. Yes, but in far fewer people than claim to have them. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. No. I'm with James Randi on this one. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. Doubt it. Gimme some evidence and I'll change my mind, though. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. Yes, if you count discernment. My mother has that power and can tell when people are guilty/lying. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. Nothing more than conscious or unconscious observation. More Sherlock Holmes than Doris Stokes. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  11. Agree with Genghis. By no means a useless faculty, though. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:47, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. Yes, with reservations: A few people, to varying degrees. But never the "psychics" that advertise for money, those are fakes. Well, we don't know everything about the mind-body connection or ourselves yet, do we? --Refugee 21:10, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. See my answer for "Ghosts" --SpinyNorman 22:00, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. No. Farcical idea.--Bobbing up 12:02, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. For sure - tho this does cover a lot of ground - much of which is swampy at best and quicksand at worst. Carptrash 13:28, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. No, unfortunately not. It would be cool though. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:06, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. Nope, not naturally anyway. I can see there might come a time when it'll become commonplace to have radio devices wired to our brain. A sort of brain bluetooth as it were. In the mean time, we're confined to our own skulls. --JeevesMkII 21:26, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

The ability to communicate with the dead[edit]

  1. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. No --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. No Totnesmartin 05:15, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. No Lardashe
  5. Yes, but only if they're ghosts tapping on the pipes or some such. And then anyone can do it... if the ghost is willing to tap morse code. 8^P --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No. The dead cannot communicate: they're dead.--Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. Nope. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. Again, to some extent... but only really in dreams. If the spirits willingly contact you. XKix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. No, they're dead. We have enough difficulty communicating with the living. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  10. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:47, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. Same answer as for "Ghosts" --SpinyNorman 22:02, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. No. More mumbo jumbo.--Bobbing up 12:03, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. Sure, if/when they want it. Happens all the time around here. Carptrash 13:29, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. no. godot
  16. Nope. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:07, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. No. Since I don't believe in an afterlife, what the hell would they say to me? They'd be all like "Wow, this eternity without sensory input of any kind is beginning to be a real drag man." Even if they could speak to us, we wouldn't listen. --JeevesMkII 21:28, 24 September 2008 (EDT)


  1. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. Yes, but it's under the wrong name. SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 01:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. If SirChuck is referring to Crust Displacement, then I'm with him. It's not Atlantis, it's Antarctica. --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. Yes, but it's under the wrong sea. Etc 04:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. No Totnesmartin 05:16, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No, but it'd be cool! Lardashe
  7. Possibly. Might be under Antarctica. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. Not an impossibility, but likely to be mythical. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. Yes, but just a regular island with people on it, probably somewhere else, as above. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. Not on this planet, and not with people. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. Who knows? If it was in Antarctica then any remains will have been glaciated away. It's a myth until we have evidence to the contrary. (Crustal displacement theory is interesting though.) Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  13. Nope. Probably a re-telling of a true but small-scale incident that grew into a legend over time, like Flood Myths. --SpinyNorman 22:04, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. Yes, but minus all the science fiction crap. I've heard a fairly good argument that Plato was simply referring to this, and got his numbers wrong because of Greco-Egyptian numerical confusion. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 23:33, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. No. I'm getting tired. Are there no sensible questions?--Bobbing up 12:04, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. yes. strong academic evidence to suggest that things like the "amazons" and "atlantis" were not "made up", but were infact just different cities, islands, ect encountered then mythyolgized by the greeks. "fell into the ocean" is not unheard of at all for islands in highly volatile areas of the world.--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 20:00, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. I believe that there might have been advanced civilizations that we know nothing about. A rose by any other name? Carptrash 13:30, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
We are about to do everything we can to destroy our "civilized" world in less than 100 years of "real" scientific technology. I've always wondered if there havn't been other civilizations that become transparent to history simply because of the nature of a "throw away" society that blazes so fast. Or, i just read too much sci-fi. ;-)--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 12:16, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. If you mean it as a possible reference to the Minoans, then yes. Otherwise no. Though I am with the "re-telling getting blown out of proportion" hypothesis. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:10, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Nope. The non-existent gods have more style than to go around drowning arrogant islanders. --JeevesMkII 21:30, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Yes. Beneth the Black sea. 04:29, 28 December 2008 (EST)
  4. Well, I did sink it, soooooo........107Ag47 18:05, 30 May 2015 (UTC)


  1. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. No (and not even Conan-Doyle can convince me) --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Sadly, the bottom of my garden contains mostly slugs. Totnesmartin 05:17, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. No Lardashe
  5. I Do Believe in Faries! I Do Believe in Faries! *Claps Hands.* --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No. And Doreen Virtue, "PhD", makes my blood boil. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. Nope. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. The tooth faerie.. some fat guy with a hairy chest prancing around in your room stealing the virginity of your baby teeth? Nope. Lies! Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. Yes. I was in New Orleans during a Gay Pride parade. No. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  11. No. (Bought the damn book anyway when I was a teen, though)--SpinyNorman 22:06, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. No.--Bobbing up 12:05, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. Yes, especially if you include nagas and other earth spirits and such. Carptrash 13:32, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. no--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 20:00, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. Nope. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:10, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. Nope, I even refuse to believe in tinkerbell at the panto. She never dies though. --JeevesMkII 21:34, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. I killed them all. 107Ag47 18:06, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
  19. Yes! Somewhere out there in the vastness of the universe (or multiverse, if you will). Though they're not magical, strictly speaking. (talk) 18:57, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Witches (not Wiccans)[edit]

  1. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. I believe in the power of belief in witchcraft, which also has nothing to do with Wicca (strange distinction made in the heading, I think.) There are people who believe they are witches, or witchdoctors, or sangomas, or tonton macoute (sp?) and there are people who believe in the powers of those people and that is what gives them their power. make sense? --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. If you mean cackling old women flying around on broomsticks and turning people into frogs, then no. If you mean non-cackling old women making herbal remedies and potions which may or may not work, then yes, I've got some on my phone. Totnesmartin 05:21, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. No. Regardless of the existence of those who claim themselves witches, they hold no real power that would make them 'witches' Lardashe
  5. Um... no. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. There are plenty of people claiming to be, but I don't believe that any of them have any magical powers, or that their spells and potions have any effect other than the placebo effect. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. Nope. I've never seen anyone with enough power to hex a dandelion (mind you, dandelions are pretty tenacious buggers). --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. Salem Witch Trials. Modern day? Communists. Capitalism mutates into Communism.. umm, no I don't believe in spells. But Sabrina was rather cute. So was Paigefrom Charmed
    But, I'm pretty sure it says in the Bible somewhere about practicing witchcraft and satanic rituals. So, umm, magic might exist... uhh. I have to read more.. haha. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. Nothing beyond the application of suggestion. Witchcraft is mainly in the minds of others. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  11. No. --SpinyNorman 22:06, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. This question is badly phrased. Do I believe there are people who call themselves witches? Of course. Do believe they are anything other than misguided loons? No.--Bobbing up 12:08, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. yes. Witches, (in my universe) were/are mostly women who were plant people and healers and all and who were prosecuted and persecuted by the patriarchy (and people such as most of you - many not males) for their beliefs, abilities and actions. And more. Carptrash 13:35, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. yes. pwomen practicing "magic" and healing have been part of human culture since we started lighting fires.--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 20:01, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. Nope. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:11, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. Well, not if you mean witches who can do actual, real magic. But certainly I believe there have been groups of people calling themselves witches since time immemorial. --JeevesMkII 21:36, 24 September 2008 (EDT)


  1. If by this you mean "life from other planets that might conceivably have swung within eyeball distance of the Earth at some point in history" PFoster 00:49, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. noSusanG  ContribsTalk
  3. If you mean aliens, probably not. But there are many unidentified objects still awaiting explanation SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 01:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. I find it hard to believe that given the size of this universe, we are alone, but I find it equally hard to believe that they would be so technologically far ahead of us. So, if the question is UFOs only, then no. --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. There is some kind of atmospheric phenomenon which science hasn't got round to explaining yet (and probably is shy of looking at because of all the crankery) - no evidence that it's aliens from Zeta Reticuli though. Totnesmartin 05:24, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No - though in the strictest sense of the acronym, yes. In the sense of aliens visiting our planet, no. Lardashe
  7. Maybe. Call me if they land. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. Once again, it's a possibility. But the manner in which they get reported is so similar to the reporting of fairies and ghosts that I don't believe aliens have visited us yet. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. Doubtful, but within the outer range of possibility. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. Weather balloons or people on drugs. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:49, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. In the sense of green-skinned alens in flying-saucers, no. Unexplained aerial phenomena? Possibly. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  13. UFO's = Unidentified Flying Objects? Those are reported all the time, I've seen some myself.. hey, look at that thing in the sky, what is that? :p lol. So yes. But probably not anything from another planet - just miscellaneous space debris/meteorite/unknown military aircraft testing, etc... --Refugee 21:17, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. Possible, but not in the flying-saucer sense. I believe that there's intelligent life out there besides us, but if any happened upon us by chance they'd be observing without revealing themselves. --SpinyNorman 22:09, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. No. Anal probes, disecting cows and doodling in cornfields? If life is ever found from other planets im sure it's something weird but to fly lightyears to do that... Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. UFO = Unidentified Flying Object. I am pretty sure that there are objects that are (were) flying that are (were) unidentified. therefore Yes. If you mean Alien Life/Flying Saucers, No. --CPAdmin1 23:13, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. This question if badly phrased. If you are asking "Have people ever seen things in the air which have not been subsequently identified?" then the answer is, pretty clearly, yes. That is why they are called Unidentified Flying Objects. If the question asks about little green men visiting us to obtain information by means of anal probing then the answer is "No".--Bobbing up 12:14, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. yes - I have seen, interacted with one. it was clearly (to me) NOT a weather balloon. Carptrash 13:36, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  19. Not likely (especially in a 1950s sense). --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:13, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  20. No. Are we seriously expected to believe that supa advanced aliens come to our world, presumably to do covert and nefarious X-Files stuff, and yet they're dumb enough to let people see them sometimes? Then there's this: [1] — Unsigned, by: JeevesMkII / talk / contribs
  21. Do I think some of them may be real and are some type of genuinely weird phenomenon? Possibly. Do I think they're space crafts piloted by extraterrestrials? Nah. (talk) 19:12, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Spring Heeled Jack (not the ska band)[edit]

  1. Much like the Monkey Man of India, spring heel jack was probably the result of hysteria Ace McWicked55.3 million page views! 00:51, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Does that mean you're not voting for it being true? New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 00:52, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. No, there were murders (I think) and thy were around the time of JtR (again, I think) so witness's descriptions were probably blown up out of proportion. --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Yes, it was the work of a prctical joker (the Marquis of Waterford IIRC). Totnesmartin 05:25, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Huh? --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. Never heard of it. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. Definitely not. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. Who? Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. No. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:49, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. No. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
  9. Nope. --SpinyNorman 22:09, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. No. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. eh?--Bobbing up 12:15, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. Missed ot. Or it missed me.Carptrash 13:37, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. No idea what that is. I believe in Ska though. Most strongly. --JeevesMkII 21:45, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. Aye, used to be a good friend of mine. 107Ag47 18:07, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

That there is something "paranormal"[edit]

It cannot be explained by science (or has not been adequately explained) (you should probably clarify what you actually believe here; interpret as you will)

  1. I'm sort of open to this, though I can't say I believe in anything specifically. I have seen some things I am at a loss to explain. DickTurpis 00:43, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Dark matter. (Note: that would be "isn't" rather than "cannot be explained by science...) New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 00:51, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Several things, but a more accurate explanation is cannot be verified by science for the moment) SirChuckBWhatever happened to Skip It? 01:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. There is still much that isn't explained by science (go back to my Big Bang musings), but that doesn't imply I'll immediately substitute woo for that. Science will get there eventually - flight was still woo 150 years ago. --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. I've had personal experience of a poltergeist, so i find it hard to dismiss witness evidence if it's consistent, independent and honestly reported. This fails scientic method, and there's the danger of woo, but there seems to be stuff that science hasn't got to yet, and might not in our lifetimes. Totnesmartin 05:30, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No. That which cannot be explained just can't be explained yet. Lardashe
  7. I'm sure there's SOMETHING. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. You'd need to define "paranormal" first. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. Too vague a question, sorry. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. Yes, Kels answered it. This question is too paranormal. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  11. If it can be shown to be real and repeatable, and cannot be explained by science then there just hasn't been enough research. If there's no evidence other than eye-witness reports and which cannot be explained away by suggestibility then it's woo. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.
    You're all right. This is way too vague. Sorry. Couldn't really capture what I was going for. DickTurpis 16:59, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. Same answer as for "Ghosts". --SpinyNorman 22:10, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. Allso think that this is too vague to answer. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. This question is too vague to deserve a simple yes or no. Furthermore, if something cannot (yet) be explained by science does that make it paranormal? The list of things which science cannot yet explain is probably infinitely greater than the list things which science can explain. Science exists in large part to investigate things it cannot yet explain.--Bobbing up 12:21, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. Absolutely. It is where I live. Much of the time. Carptrash 13:38, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. No. I'm reasonably sure everything is quite normal. --JeevesMkII 21:46, 24 September 2008 (EDT)


  1. yes SusanG  ContribsTalk
  2. Yay! New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 01:38, 20 September 2008 (EDT
  3. Well, yeah, but this one isn't terribly controversial (disregarding Assfly's "atheistic substitution for love" bullshit or whatever it was). I also believe in sandwiches, but I'm not going to create an entry for that. Oh, and should we be numbering these if people are going to post "no"? I will throw off the count and make the final numbers meaningless. DickTurpis 02:02, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. Yes. But what is it doing in such a list as this?--Tom Moorefiat justitia ruat coelum 02:23, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. Wee! This is much more fun than the other things. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 03:50, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. Love is 40 years' of marriage. Or 3 minutes of squelching noises. Your call. --PsyGremlinWhut? 04:45, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. Yes - as I can't disagree with Susan. Editor at CPLiar at RP! 04:57, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. Yes! Totnesmartin 05:32, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. I have the most beautiful girlfriend. Love. Ace McWicked55.3 million page views! 07:09, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. Yes. But it's not as mystical as it's been made out to be. Lardashe
  11. Yes, but don't confuse passion for love. The fires of passion dim in time, but the embers of love, well tended will continue to keep you warm. God that's cheesy... did I lift that from someplace? I can't have just made that up. --Wren 08:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  12. But of course! --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  13. Hell, yeah! --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  14. (see the above answer from Kels) Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  15. No. It's either just another word for lust or it's friendship taken to extremes. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 14:03, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  16. Yes --CPAdmin1 20:17, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  17. Yes, and I'm thankful every day for being able to say that. --SpinyNorman 22:11, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  18. Nope, it's just a biological reaction that occurs to make sure our genes get passed on. ĴάΛäšςǍ₰ No comment
  19. Mayby, debends how one defines it. Timppeli 22:53, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  20. "Is that the love between a man and a woman, or the love of a man for a fine Cuban cigar?" PFoster 23:00, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Bahahahaha, thanks Dr. Hibbert! Ace McWickedSubstansive comments only 23:04, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. Definitions would be nice.--Bobbing up 12:22, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Yes. Pretty much in any use of the word excepting Love of money, power, pain, etc. Carptrash 13:39, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. In what context, Charlie? Love exists to the extent that we decide someone or something is worth putting extra effort into. but "love at first sight?" of our children maybe. "ever lasting love" isn't not that simple. love is a term for an attitude, a preceptin, a behavior, a perspective. not some "thing" we try to "find", which in and of itself is anything.Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 20:04, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. I believe in a thing called love, but only if Hayseed Dixie sing about it. --JeevesMkII 21:47, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. I am the source of all love in the universe. I love love. 107Ag47 18:08, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Out-of-body experiences[edit]

  1. Possibly. Refugee 19:45, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. no--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 20:04, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Yes, I have seen some alarming things in my Cog Sci class, including evidence for OOB experiences. Ask me on my talk page, it's a bit of a story. ĴάΛäšςǍ₰ No comment
  4. I certainly believe people have them, but I don't believe they actually travel outside their bodies. --JeevesMkII 21:47, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. No. What Jeeves said.--Bobbing up 02:17, 25 September 2008 (EDT)


  1. Perhaps. Refugee 19:45, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. no. we are not transcendant from our bodies. other than in the sense that "we are all one - my electrons, elements, cells move from me to the rock, the tree, the animal"--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 20:06, 21 September 2008 (EDT) (put another way, no soul, nothing to reincarnate.)
  3. Yes, and Gidget, you said the same thing last life time - so , no progress, yet. Carptrash 20:48, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. I told you last time. Totnesmartin 06:35, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. No. The concept is stupid. If we're reincarnated on this earth, either a) You'd remember and say something about it or, b) You don't have any memories of your past life so you're in no real sense yourself anymore. I suppose we could be reincarnated with our memories on a different plane of existence or something, but it seems highly unlikely. --JeevesMkII 21:49, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No.--Bobbing up 02:18, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. I have been recurring throughout history to make a difference. I have been King Nyarlathotep, Hypatia of Alexandria, King Gilgamesh, Apollo's Oracle, King Gustavus Adolphus, Charles Habsburg V, Zheng He, Leon Trotsky, Thomas Jefferson, Dmitri Mendeleev, Saint Alessia, and many others. 107Ag47 18:14, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Body Thetans and Clusters (as per Scientology)[edit]


  1. Yes. NorsemanWassail! 09:47, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. fer sure - tho she and I have disagreed on 19 of the last 20 (you count 'em) points. Carptrash 13:41, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Yes, I believe she exists, and in more than one form. lol. Refugee 19:49, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. Yay! ^_^ New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 19:53, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. Teh Susan invited me to RW, but as that's an anecdote it can't stand as evidence. There is no direct proof of Susan. Totnesmartin 06:38, 23 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. The alleged Susan, if that is her real name, is most likely a myth. --JeevesMkII 21:51, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

Homer Simpson[edit]

  1. The Simpsons is a reality show, everyone knows that. Etc 05:05, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. I don't believe anything I see on television, but I do believe DickTurpis has got bored by now Totnesmartin 05:33, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Northern Kentucky is where they live... I think they're dead by now though. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 22:32, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. I prefer King of the Hill Refugee 19:51, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. If there's porn of it, it probably exists. --JeevesMkII 21:52, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Oh, about #34, I've never seen Ed Poor porn yet ... Etc 12:56, 26 September 2008 (EDT)

DickTurpis has got bored by now[edit]

  1. No. Etc 09:04, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Me too. I'd rather discuss any of the above than merely have us all state our opinions. --Johann 09:27, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Homer lives in the land of erotic cakes. --Kels 09:58, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. Who? Kix, they're not just for kids~ 10:56, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. Not bored so much as wondering what part of "Sign your name below anything you have a positive belief in" is so hard to understand. DickTurpis 16:28, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
You expect us lot to do as we're told? We see a debate and dive in. Instructions are for wimps! Totnesmartin 16:35, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

I have always understood that folks get bored because they are boring. Still pretty much feel that way. Carptrash 20:50, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

  1. By this stage, almost certainly yes. --JeevesMkII 21:53, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
    Five days later and the debate raging stronger than ever? Yes. Yes I have. DickTurpis 10:54, 26 September 2008 (EDT)


  1. No. Barikada 02:13, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Yes. I also believe it was Reverend Green, in the Library. --JeevesMkII 21:54, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

None of the above[edit]

(note:Love added afte Damo's contrib)

(further note: many more oddities added after human's entry)

  1. --DamoHi 00:47, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
    1. Well I do believe in love, not that I think there is anything intrinsically mysterious about it. I imagine it can be explained scientifically through chemical reactions etc.
On reflection I have changed my mind. I don't really believe in love. I think there are hormones and instincts that create feelings of lust and concern and desire for companionship, but this is hardly anything amazing. Just chemicals in the brain.DamoHi 16:00, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. ħumanUser talk:Human
  2. Perhaps there should be a note at the top explaining that this option exists? It would have saved me some time.--Bobbing up 12:24, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. tmtoulouse irritate 12:44, 21 September 2008 (EDT) With the caveat that I would be willing to change my mind about any of them if presented adequate evidence, remember extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. As for love you can buy that for about $100 in the visage of oxytocin nasal spray.

Poll saturation[edit]

This place is turning into PollWiki - every day hour a new one - boring! SusanG  ContribsTalk 02:09, 20 September 2008 (EDT)



  1. You can't fight satire. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 02:15, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

Robin Hood[edit]

  1. NightFlarei haz a talk page. 05:36, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Wrong! It's actually Sir Angus of the Prune disguised as Robin Hood disguised as Sir Angus of the Prune. --JeevesMkII 07:48, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
Wow, Jeeves! Score mega points for the ISIRTA reference. Silver Sloth 06:15, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

The undisputed eminence of Goats[edit]

  1. They beat the ferrets pretty convincingly. The damn mice are next. tmtoulouse irritate 13:44, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Pah. We mowses shall crush you. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 19:34, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Thanks for reminding me, 'tis the season to start setting out "mowse treats" on a special platter involving a powerful spring and trigger plate. Or maybe I oughtta just get another friggin' cat... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:30, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. We fear no felines. --IN SOVIET CANUCKISTAN, BEAVER DAMS YOU!!!YossarianThe Man from the USSR 11:47, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. Not at all. Sheep. It's about sheep. RAMS to be precise. Carptrash 12:12, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. Jerboabites, Jerboabites, one day we'll rule you all.
  7. Llamas and their siblings trump all. Kix, they're not just for kids~ 14:46, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

That the world would magically be turned into a much better place if religion disappeared and all people started behaving strictly "rational" all the time[edit]

  1. No. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 12:02, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. It brings to mind the old argument about whether the world would be a better or a worse place if everyone else in the world was just like you. Rationally, I suppose, you get a "Yes", but I say "No". Carptrash 12:15, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. No. Nice section here, AK. I'm sure this won't cause any friction at all ^_^ New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 12:17, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  4. No. but it would be a fair site better if religious leaders disappeared, or if religions really turned to empowering their believers, instead of berating them with fear of hell, persuction, etc. Also, "we are teh only ones with truth" gets a bit old, and causes LOTS of wars. that would be nice to see go away.--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 12:20, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  5. This is the sort of false premise that I would expect to find promulgated on Conservapedia as it does not follow that the elimination of religion would automatically cause people to act rationally. In fact if everybody acted rationally it would be pretty boring, much like Sweden. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 13:02, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
    I think you're misreading the point. I'm not saying that the disappearance of religion would necessarily lead to rational behaviour. I'm raising the question of what would happen IF religion disappeared AND IF people started behaving "rationally". --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 13:46, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  6. No. There will always be Ken's and Andy's in this world. tmtoulouse 13:06, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  7. There are two propositions here: (a) The world would be a better place if all religion disappeared. (b) The world would be a better place if all people started acting rationally. As far as (a) is concerned - Is all religion always a bad thing? Perhaps, perhaps not. As far as part (c) is concerned, if everybody started to act completely rationally we would probably cease to be human. That doesn't mean that we should not try to act rationally however.--Bobbing up 13:51, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  8. I think there is a happy medium here that is not being explored. My opinion is that the world would be a better place if religions were stripped of their absolutist aspects (we're right, you're wrong), but maintained their good philosophy for living aspects. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 14:18, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  9. I prodly (dis)agree: NO. Religion does not make people crazy, people make religion crazy. Etc 05:33, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  10. I can't help but buck the trend and say yes. I also believe the latter statement implies the former. Anyone thinking rationally would have to conduct a thorough survey of religious belief before choosing one, and would almost certainly conclude there's insufficient evidence for belief in any religion. The world would probably be quite boring, but I'm fairly sure we'd all get along better. --JeevesMkII 21:59, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

That mankind needed religions, and that their overall contribution in human history is positive[edit]

  1. Yes (as I wrote it). Expanded for tmt: I argue that mankind needed religions at the beginning of civilization (and very few populations have avoided having Gods). I also argue that overall having had religions in our history has led to more culture & art, more civilization, more science (gulp!), less violence perhaps too. Editor at CPSig(h)! 12:34, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
But I think you are blurring "needs Religion" with "inevitably will create religion." I think their are various elements of human cognition such as signal processing and pattern recognition that lend them selves to hypotheses of gods and religion. So the repeated creation of these things is not evidence of "need" but rather contingency. As for "net positive" I don't think any ideological framework at the level of "religion" does much one way or another. Our ability to create technology and explore the universe and the way people fight against these things are framed in terms of Religion but if there was not Religion it would just be another ideology facilitating and fighting. Same with violence. There will always be Newtons that come up with great ideas, no matter what their muses, and always be Kens and Andys that fight against them no matter what their hang up. tmtoulouse 13:32, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Different religious settings have given completely different results. For example, Protestant countries have seen a different progress than Catholic, while on the other hand we must thank the Catholic worldview for the masterpieces of Renaissance. If differences between religions have so marked effects, I have no doubt that presence or not of religion has had deep effects too. Editor at CPSig(h)! 13:37, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Protestant vs. Catholic adds a huge confound in that you are also dealing with a temporal dimension. Historical contingency factors for massive geographic differences would also be a confound. What you need to prove your point are two separate religions that emerged around the same time and location, and that the cultures under these religions created two very different sets of "cultural products." tmtoulouse 13:41, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Absolutely right and no proofs. But on the other hand (only based on my very sparse historical readings), I am convinced that Luther's Reform and the Catholic Counterreform played a decisive role in the different societies and cultures developed in different parts of Europe. Editor at CPSig(h)! 13:44, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
I agree that they did. But what I am suggesting is that doesn't really tell us about the need for Religion per say. Oxygen is a good analogy. Would you say that oxygen is needed by life? Has it generally been a positive thing to have around? The answer to that might be "yes" but it is not really true. Oxygen was a deadly poison, and when it was introduced it lead to one of the largest extinction events in the history of life. Evolution responded and found a way to use it for ATP synthesis and now we need it. If oxygen hadn't been created things would have gone differently, maybe very differently, maybe not, and whatever gas happened to be used for metabolism we would sit there and think that was needed. This seems to be a form of Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. What I am saying is that if it wasn't one thing, it would have been another and that the forces that really shape what is going on are outside of control for whatever culturally constructed metaphysics is popular at the time. tmtoulouse 14:09, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Sure, we are bound to fall into that fallacy. But your approach is almost nichilistic (?). Oxygen and Carbon have some very interesting properties, and it is difficult if say that some other element could have taken oxygen's place. Analogously, some happenings, people, cultures, social constructions have had important effects on history. And we can subjectively attribute values to these effects. Editor at CPSig(h)! 15:15, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
As far as oxygen, it's not a matter of its "existence as an element", it's a matter of the release and build up of free oxygen in the atmosphere (and oceans) by plants. Free oxygen, which is basically plant poop, is a highly reactive, corrosive chemical. If plants (or anything) had never started releasing ("fixing"?) it, life would be very different, but perhaps still as "complex" as what we see now. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:30, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Not nihilistic at all, I am advocating that certain things have a very strong "meaning" and "effect" on the world, but that these things are operating at a level that is "below" (above?) random perturbations in cultural constructs of the preferred metaphysics. It is the social/cognitive structures of human psychology shaped by several million years of random mutation, natural selection and contingency that shape what we do and how we do it. Whatever framework exist in the background is relatively inconsequential. Fundamentally different religious beliefs do not create fundamentally different developments. tmtoulouse 16:18, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
I understand your points, Human and tmtoulouse, but don't completely agree with them. Let's agree to disagree? Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 17:11, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. No. I can't agree with "mankind needed religions". The "overall contribution is positive" part is fine by me, though. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 12:40, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. WTF is positive supposed to mean? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 13:03, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Up to you, Genghis. For example that we are better off today having had all these religions than if everybody in history was Atheist. Editor at CPSig(h)! 13:05, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, religion has left behind interesting stuff, like the pyramids, Acropolis, Stonehenge, European Cathedrals, the Crusades etc. but I can't help thinking that we would be more advanced without it. So we may be better off in some ways but at the expense of our cultures. That's not to say that there wouldn't have been other stuff it's just is that is what we have got. Would I have been better off if I had married someone else? I might have had sprogs but then I would never have had the opportunity to see the world. Sometimes you have to accept things the way they are and proceed from that rather than going back and what-iffing. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 13:28, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Here, I would have to totally disagree. until the last 500 or at most 1000 years, religion and spirituality have been THE drive for all things scientific, all things of knowledge, and most things of philosophy. Religions and spirituality are not great boogie men, nor do they "hold us back" in most instances. It only becomes a really serious issue when the single biggest religion becomes a world power, and when science (which arguably existed as part and parcel to most religions) truly separates from any 'religion" (though not spirituality per say) as somehow antagonistic to eachother. Culture is not "held back" by religion, simply because throughout the world and throughout history, again until the last 500, maybe 1000 years, religion simply IS culture adn vice versa. --Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 13:35, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
OK, we're at cross purposes here. I'm saying that religion has given us our culture, but for Christianity it has been mainly in the arts while science has been held back at many times. Although under early Islam science actually progressed. The problem is that doctrine and dogma have often overridden the science. Many of the early Greeks were non theists and managed to produce great scientific, artistic and philosophical advances. But my point was that in the past religion was part and parcel of everyday life, because there wan't a scientific world-view alternative. So trying to say whether religion was positive at that time is pointless. Religion didn't drive the quest for knowledge, it was human curiosity. Religion had a role to play in the early stages of civilization as it had a moderating effect on people's behaviour. However, our social structures no longer require religion there are other controls. Asking whether religion has had a positive effect is like asking whether the stone age had a positive effect. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 15:06, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
That is not entirely correct, Genghis. Firstly, not that many of the Greeks were non-theists, and those that were often religious in other ways. One example as the Pythagoreans who even ascribed a religious role to mathematics itself, viewing it as a mystical way to gain insights about the nature of the universe. It's also not correct to say that "Religion didn't drive the quest for knowledge" - most of the scholastics of the Middle Ages, for instance, were motivated by an essentially religiously-founded desire to study and understand the Creation better. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:18, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. No, if I don't need it why would anyone need it? I suppose if one were completely cynical you could say that there are many people out there that would be raping children and shooting up malls but that "God" tells them not to keeps them in Church. While the Tony Alamos of the world serve as evidence....meh.....I don't really get the premise. tmtoulouse 13:09, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
I kinda agree that as stated, it's not really a good point to argue from, and it's way too speculative about what mankind could have been "in someone else's reality". Historically, however, there is no doubt that it is religion AND teh belife in gods, spirits, sacred things (which is NOT the same as religion) that have held people together, provided "best answers" before scientific thought existed, and given framework for societies to mold themselves into/unto/onto. --Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot"To-morrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of to-day?" 13:27, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

Am I to understand from the past tense "needed" that the implication is that religions are no longer needed? Also "needed" how? To explain the world when there were no other explanations? Possibly in that sense. Overall positive? I'm not sure, I personally doubt it, but as there is no atheist history to compare it with I'm not sure how we would know.--Bobbing up 14:06, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

  1. Yes. Religion is an important part of every culture in the world, and generally, religion seems to make people happy and do nice things to each other. Even most Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses are sensible people, it's the few that are kookoo that stand out and gives religion a bad name. Etc 05:39, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. Humans (opinion) need explanations for things or they feel uncomfortable. So they invent answers and call them religion. New problems pop up, so new religions are created. Science is just another of those religions. It's sacrament, the scientific method is no less sacred, and no less demanding on its adherents than the Ten Commandments. It has its reverand elders, Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins etc. Science IS just another religion and its benefits to mankind (another opinion) is about on a par with those from the other major religions, and well behind several minor ones. Carptrash 16:13, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Science is just another religion! That's fighting words around here pardner! The enormous difference between science and religion, the thing that makes it not a religion, is the lack of any supernatural force or entity. Silver Sloth 16:20, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Indeed. Did you say that just to piss people off, or did you really mean it? Because it sounds an awful lot like what that total wanker Ray Comfort says all the time, and if you ever find yourself in agreement with that little prick on anything you're almost certainly wrong. --JeevesMkII 16:25, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
I would comment on Carpies' bizarre comment, but after he makes his assertion (science = a religion) he wanders off in to the desert mumbling things that don't have anything to do with it. "Reverend elders"?? Science is "well behind" several minor religions in benefits to humankind??? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:27, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. No. I am completely at a loss to see any purpose to religion that can't be fulfilled better by secular organisations. That is. other than the worship of the divine in which, of course, I don't believe. The best thing I can possibly say about religion is that in the days of feudalism and a rigorous caste system the church allowed certain bright men (and, of course I mean only the masculine) a place where they could conduct their studies free from the burden of subsistence which might otherwise have been their lot. I can't help but wonder, though, if feudalism might have been rejected far earlier if it weren't for the church counselling surrender and acceptance to the peons. --JeevesMkII 22:06, 24 September 2008 (EDT)


Sure, we all know people that drink blood, but does that really make them vampires?

There are a lot of lawyers that are blood-suckers, so are they vampires?

Like ghosts, i don't think you can snap their picture. Well DEFINITELY not in the mirror as everybody knows. Just to be safe tho, we should probably sleep with a wooden stake, a hammer, and an anatomy book under the bed. You know, like the SCUBA gear we keep handy while we sleep for those 23-foot higher tides that Al Gore and John McCain have promised us.

-- RemBeau 14:05, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

If vampires don't reflect in mirrors, how come they have really great hair? Totnesmartin 14:24, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
You reflect, think, analyze, ponder. In other words you overheat your brain. That's why you lose your hair. Vampires instead don't reflect. In front of the mirror they prefer to comb their hair and use gel: the recipe for really great hair. Editor at CPLiar at RP! 16:27, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Actually, I haven't lost my hair! :) Totnesmartin 16:38, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
You, vampire! Editor at CPLiar at RP! 17:10, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Curses! you're too clever for me. And I suppose you have a cross about your person too. (The after)life's no fun. Totnesmartin 17:35, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Even a Liberal Vampire like you should know that only us True Conservatives are clever. AND all True Conservatives are fundies deeply devote, always carrying their crosses. Editor at CPLiar at RP! 17:58, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
just as I thought. But atheist blood just doesn't taste the same. Totnesmartin 18:34, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Vampires, in my parlance, are folks who live off (sort of) the energy -rather than the blood- of others. We all know them. They are needy and frequently devious about it and when they are do with you you feel exhausted. It's 'cause they sucked your energy and converted it into energy for themselves. They usually feel fine after such a session, thank you. Carptrash 19:29, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
It really depends how hungry we were to start with Nods.gif New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 19:33, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
Carpy, we used to call those people "emotional vampires", and the process doesn't involve any magic "energies" or "vibrations" - just a suitable host personality to latch onto. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:35, 21 September 2008 (EDT):

And my feeling is that there is an actual transference of energy that takes place at these moments. Which is why the host feels drained after such an occurrence. There is a position, a sort of assume the stance posture that I (or anyone) can go into when I detect energy vampirism at play that locks my energy up, making it not available to the parasite. It is a small thing, but useful. Carptrash 11:03, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

  1. Ho ho, no.--Bobbing up 14:08, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
  2. I'm going to go against my own earlier porn edict and say no. Maybe Count Duckula. --JeevesMkII 22:08, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
  3. Well, cannibalism is quite enjoyable...


The new title of this page suggests that there would be some debating going on. But there isn't much, really. Is it possible to have one, or would the wiki format create a messy free-for-all? Johann 17:09, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

the whole of RationalWiki is a messy free-for-all, as far as I've been able to make out! Actually, it was the best thing I could think of in a hurry. Totnesmartin 17:37, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

The closest to debate I've seen is showing up on my User:Page. I don't mind doing it here, but there is okay too. Carptrash 19:31, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

Martin is correct. And Debate was an appropriate space, and even though there is little "debate" on here, people are in some cases making arguments for their positions. And I'm sure they aren't done yet, either... Oh, and Johann, if you want to start a debate on RW, all you usually have to do is state an opinion. The innertubes do the rest as if by magic! ħumanUser talk:Human 21:37, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
This topic is way too broad for debate. If you are interested in a particular aspect of it then start a new debate concentrating on one thing only. Don't worry though, it will still veer away from the original theme at some point. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 13:16, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

I must point out that people seem to be surprisingly much in agreement over these "debates". Just the occasional polite argument for and against, and virtually no belief-bashing at all except for obviously ironic ones. I had a fear that at least some of us would turn out to be religion-hating bible-bashers, but it seems we really do live up to the name "rational". Etc 05:46, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

I'm saying nothing. ... Well alright then - just a bit: Religion and superstition has always been, and is still, used to control the less rational masses (replace "rational" with "unindoctrinated" probably) - It's a hangover from the ignorance of stone age man seeking reasons for the sunrise and death. We should be over it by now but that's humanity. (BTW I don't believe in Susan either). SusanG  ContribsTalk 22:28, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Originally, I was going to just sigh and move on to reading something else, but, to my considerable surprise, I actually have a non-controversial question about this...
How is superstition used to control anyone? New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 22:42, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Religion=superstition. SusanG  ContribsTalk 22:45, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
You know, the bit that says if you don't do as I say the big juju says you'll be tortured for all eternity. --JeevesMkII 22:46, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
(EC) Actually, you're rather amusingly wrong. Authoritarian visions of the afterlife are to religion what Stalin is to communism.
But no, seriously, how do real superstitions (salt over your shoulder, saying "Macbeth") fit this category? New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 22:52, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Don't understand your amusing bit, but: Superstitions about salt date back to biblical times when salt was a highly prized commodity. It was expensive, crucial in preserving food, and was often used in lieu of currency. So spilling salt was considered an almost sacrilegious offence, and left one perilously exposed to the devil's machinations. from first googled site connects salt with religion. SusanG  ContribsTalk 11:37, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Throwing salt over your shoulder is akin to blessing someone after they've sneezed -- it's a way of keeping the devil at bay while you're in an especially vulnerable moment. Depending on your interpretation, the salt is either intended to blind the devil so he can't witness your error, or keep him from sneaking up on you while you're cleaning up your mess.

Should perhaps expand a little: "one man's religion is another man's superstition & vice versa" SusanG  ContribsTalk 22:49, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Did I mention how unlucky it is to edit conflict a mowse? New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 22:52, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Two things here: Firstly, this is a dismayingly simplistic attitude. Personally, I like to think of religion as a fairly complex social force. Religion is something that motivates people to do things. Can this force be used to "control" people? Certainly, and it has. But can it also be used to liberate people? Certainly, and it has. Consider, for instance, the various Central and South American dictatorships during the mid-20th century. Being a priest, not to mention a bishop there could be a pretty risky business, especially if you went around talking about certain Christian concepts such as charity or the fundamental dignity of humanity. The death rate was fairly high in certain parts. Or consider Bulgaria during WW2 when Metropolitan Stefan of Sofia was instrumental in preventing the deportation of 50,000 Bulgarian Jews to the death camps in Poland.
Secondly, I'm curious about this use of the word "control". Are we to imagine a Lockesian society here, in which all people would walk around in blissful freedom if only there were no evil social forces, such as religion, trying to "control" them? Of course this has nothing to do with reality. Human society is basically one big network of social forces working with and against each other. The police and the courts are also used to "control" people. So is advertising, political communication, the media, academic research, economic forces, etc., each in their own way. Are these bad things? Should we abolish these as well? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 12:15, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
RE:South America. I assume you're talking about "liberation theology" AKjeldsen. But wasn't that officially stepped on by the Catholic Church?--Bobbing up 13:18, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
As we're talking about religion in general rather than just Catholicism, such distinctions are not that important. But mainstream Catholicism has been involved as well, for instance during the dictatorships in El Salvador and Guatemala. Just to name a few cases, Bishop Enrique Angelelli in Argentina was murdered in 1977, Fr. Alfonso Navarro in El Salvador in 1979, Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980, Fr. Stanley Rother in 1981, Ignacio Martín-Baró in 1989, Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera in 1998, and so forth. All of these and many others were murdered by military regimes or their supporters because of their work to promote human rights. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:33, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I see. And their activities are officially condoned, sanctioned and approved of by the church?--Bobbing up 14:38, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I assume so. Romero for one is well on his way to canonization, so... Not that I really see what that has to do with the question of religion in general acting as a liberating force. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:44, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Re: control. Never said it WORKED but that's been the intent of many societies' religions. Re: liberation. Couldn't these peoople, assuming motivation, have done exactly the same thing without religion? SusanG  ContribsTalk 12:05, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Ah. "Intent". Now there's a word one shouldn't throw around lightly.
I don't know if they could. The point is that religion in many cases created precisely that motivation. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 12:15, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Break 01[edit]

Well, religion may be just fairy tales and superstition but how about this: Religion is natural for humans - it has existed in every culture since the stone age, for explaining things like sunrises, and death, just like Susan said above. Humans are extremely curious and seek explanations for everything - therefore, we need religion and superstition as a kind of "mental padding" to explain the unexplainable or else we would go insane.
We may no longer need arcane religious explanation for sunsets, or how life started on this planet (or why gays should be stoned to death - I'll have to get back to you on that one), but we do still need religion for explaining the infinitely big unanswerable questions, such as why we are here. Etc 11:25, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Does there have to be a why? Is life any less wonderful if it's all just by chance? Silver Sloth 11:29, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Beat me to it Silver, I was gonna say: " err ... Bollocks?" SusanG  ContribsTalk 11:31, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Etc., you seem to be confusing giving a valid "explanation" with just making stuff up to convince others that you know more than them, also known as bullshitting. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. 11:51, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Not to mention that if we do use mainstream religion to answer this question we come up with some pretty unpalatable answers. Namely that we're here at the will, and for the entertainment of a being infinitely more powerful than us from whose sweaty clutches we can't hope to escape in this life or the next. --JeevesMkII 12:23, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Religion is as valid an explanation as "by chance". Religion is not science, and science is not religion. Therefore I stand with Etc. And Jeeves, I wish you to study religions a bit more. Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 12:53, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
No it isn't - we know chance works for all sorts of things, there's NO evidence for religion at all. If I were Jeeves I'd be inclined to say that religion is as worthy of study as ... say ... Alice in Wonderland. SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:11, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Why shouldn't Alice in Wonderland be worthy of study? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 13:15, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
You read things into my words AKj, I love Alice and have read it many times - but it's fiction with real world applications just like religion. SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:24, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
As long as it's not the crappy TV version I saw. And to Susan, why evidence? Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 13:17, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Why evidence? Because it's a good reason for believing things exist?--Bobbing up 13:21, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
You need evidence to be able to believe that things exist? Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 13:24, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Err ... yes? SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:25, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I think you need more evidence to say that things don't exist. You exist. don't you think so? Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 13:26, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
? SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:30, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I think this may have been a bad avenue to go down, Ed. And, anyway, why are we talking about religion again? We don't even have a particularly original argument going here... New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:33, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
That is just (opinion) your opinion. -Sρΐяαl.Дгсђıτέςτstand up and shout 13:36, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Editor: You need evidence that things don't exist? !! An example please!!--Bobbing up 13:38, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

See, a much better argument would have been that not all evidence must be scientific to be meaningful. This negative evidence stuff is, I must unfortunately point out, rather silly. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:43, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Sorry Bob & Susan (& Pink). My English is at fault again (I have been using that excuse too often lately). I understood you saying that "we need evidence to say that everything (me, you, the universe) exists". So I take back my words about evidence. But not about religion. You get your "evidence" from your Church of choice, with the aid of history, books, priests, etc. etc. But religion and science don't overlap in this issue. Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 13:45, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Bows out in face of FAITH SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:50, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Mouse: Could you give me an example of this non-scientific meaningful evidence?--Bobbing up 13:51, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Human intuition. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:52, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I'll give you it's non-scientific. I guess it's as meaningful as you imagine it it be.--Bobbing up 13:54, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
And now I think about it some more is it evidence?--Bobbing up 13:55, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
(TWO edit conflicts aaaaaaaaaaaarghhhhh)You can have evidence for something not existing, if it needs certain conditions for existence which are not met. For example, one can argue against the Loch Ness monster on the grounds that there are not enough fish for a creature that big to sustain itself. Totnesmartin 13:56, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I would agree that that is evidence against it existing. But such evidence can never be of the same order as positive evidence for it's existence. A true believer might still argue it has a very slow metabolism or something of that nature. On the other hand a live specimen would be pretty irrefutable positive evidence.--Bobbing up 14:05, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Bob: Evidence on a personal level, certainly. I suppose "experience" might have been a (slightly) better choice of word. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 13:59, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I certainly can't argue about the existence of your personal experiences or their reality to you. But that's not really the type of "evidence" I was thinking of, or that I think we were discussing. I'm talking about objective empirical evidence. Hard evidence.--Bobbing up 14:04, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Great. I'm not. My point was that some experiences can impart meaningful insight without being objective or empirical. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 14:06, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
And your example of this is "intuition"?--Bobbing up 14:14, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 14:18, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
But you've moved away from calling this evidence?--Bobbing up 14:20, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I suppose I have. You'll notice I first used the word when Editor@CP was making a very odd point about evidence, and I used it only to show a better point I thought he could have made.
Again, I apologize. With my bad English, I completely misunderstood Bob: I thought he was makind a sweeping philosophical statement. You know "Cogito, ergo sum". I took his words as "There is evidence, ergo sum". Please forget my "very odd points"! Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 15:12, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
But I don't see why I shouldn't call it evidence -- it isn't exactly a technical term. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 14:28, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, I think it's a pretty crucial word actually. The most common reason that I am aware of for people expressing atheistic beliefs is the fact that there is no evidence for the existence of God. And by evidence they mean hard evidence. Objective, empirical evidence. I'm not at all sure that emotions, thoughts, feelings and intuitions are "evidence". I think they are just emotions, thoughts, feelings and intuitions.--Bobbing up 14:34, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
(EC) Crucial, perhaps, but it isn't always used in such a strict meaning as that. In fact, if it was, we'd probably need a new word for all the non-empirical evidence ^_^
And as to your second point, there is quite a lot you can believe in based on feelings and intuitions. Not scientific, but some distance from superstitious or irrational, I think. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 14:46, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
  1. A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment: The broken window was evidence that a burglary had taken place. Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis.
  2. Something indicative; an outward sign: evidence of grief on a mourner's face.
  3. Law The documentary or oral statements and the material objects admissible as testimony in a court of law. SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:42, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
No intuition then?--Bobbing up 14:45, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Your point being? The first meaning suits my usage of the word perfectly, and the second is intuition. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 14:49, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I disagree. The example of a "thing helpful in forming a conclusion" is a broken window. External evidence. Not intuition. Weighing the evidence means giving objective values to items of external evidence. Scientists don't (or at least shouldn't) use intuition when weighing evidence.--Bobbing up 14:53, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I'm afraid have no idea what "a broken window" is intended to mean. The first definition fails completely to specify a scientific or empirical nature to the evidence in question. And yes, scientists should not conduct science based on intuition. But, luckily, I'm not actually talking about them; I'm talking about philosophies that individuals may entertain without asserting them as objective fact. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 14:58, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
"based on feelings and intuitions." - almost a definition of irrational, I'd have thought. SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:52, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Only if by irrational you mean unscientific. Susan, you can't seriously be telling me that you think anything based on emotion is irrational? New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 14:54, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes! -not that it's necessarily bad for that reason - but certainly irrational. SusanG  ContribsTalk 15:09, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Alright, then I agree with you. I thought we were going with a different definition of "irrational", here. ^_^ New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 15:12, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
And while we're at it: "without asserting them as objective fact." This presupposes that there's such a thing as a "subjective fact" - news to me! SusanG  ContribsTalk 15:19, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
You should listen to music more often, then :P New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 15:31, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
It's news to me that there was such a thing as an objective fact. But then I was always a post-modernist. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:19, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
(Sounds like the "facts" Schlafly concocts his liberal facts out of.) SusanG  ContribsTalk
(Got to bow out - duty calls)--Bobbing up 14:56, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Alright. Will be edit conflicted by you later :) New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 15:00, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Break 02[edit]

People at this website. We've had this non-sensical discussion about "evidence" roughly 9000 million times already, and like every time before, it is getting us absolutely nowhere. Might I perhaps suggest that we instead continue the, in my opinion, much more interesting discussion above of religion's role as a social force? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:38, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Said the Catholic to the Gnostic :P
No, you may not! This branch is far more interesting! New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 14:46, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I assume you mean that branch, because this branch is clearly not very interesting.
Maybe I'll just discuss with myself, then. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:10, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Discussion of spiritual experience versus discussion of the role of the Church in society?? It's like you're being deliberately allegorical! Confess, I say! New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 15:15, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I hadn't actually thought of that, but I guess you have a point there. Not that there isn't spiritualism in the Catholic Church. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:17, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Who cares of spirituality? Let's discuss the role of Church in history and society instead. Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 15:19, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
To go way back to your earlier point, before this tangent. Re. religion being one of many forms of social control alongside courts and suchlike. There is a vital difference. These other forms of control are flexible and move with the times. There is a clear idea that these are operated with best interests of the people in mind. Courts sentence potentially dangerous individuals to prison, economics tries to achieve a state where everyone has enough to eat, that kind of thing. However, when it comes to religion who exactly is the beneficiary of the control it exercises? If we focus on Christianity, who benefits from prohibiting contraception or abortion? Who benefits from making homosexuals second class citizens? Sure, there are the bits about not killing people or lying, but those are redundant since there are other, stronger influences that for the most part prevent these things. Sure, a certain amount of social control is necessary in society but it has to server the society not the supposed will of some nebulous entity. --JeevesMkII 15:30, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
What a delightfully Marxist interpretation. Who benefits from the extensive church-funded initiatives to increase literacy in the third world? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:35, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Why, the same people who benefit from UNESCO's extensive literacy programmes. If the church didn't exist, kids in the third world would still learn to read. You might want to try addressing the point. --JeevesMkII 15:41, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
(edit conflict) Jeeves, your use of language is Epic Fail. In the case you describe, religion would only be "redundant" if a religion-sponsored NGO and government organization(s) both taught the same set of children how to read. They do not. In the case you describe, religion greatly increases the amount of aid received by the impoverished. It may not be the primary channel for aid, but it is an invaluable afterburner. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:02, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
The church is only a source of aid to the third world because there is a church. Do you think that the church is somehow exempt from the mathematics of the cost of living? Do you believe somehow if the church didn't exist, all that money people today donate to it wouldn't end up by one route or other as foreign aid? As donations to secular charity, or as taxes and national aid budgets. I've heard this so many times before, and it really doesn't work at all. --JeevesMkII 16:12, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
You might want to be a little more specific about who precisely this "nebulous entity" is. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:43, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
"Be more specific about the entity you've just described as vague and ill defined." Oy vey. Let me lay it down for you. The social control practised by the Christian church is either redundant or against the interests of the people. --JeevesMkII 15:48, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Of "the people"? I see! And who are "the people", then? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:54, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Collectively, the members of a society. To quote Spock, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." It is trivial to justify, for example, depriving a murderer of their right to freedom to protect the right to life of many others. --JeevesMkII 16:01, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Okay! So I take it that by extension, the members of this "nebulous entity" that controls religion and exploits "the people" are not members of society? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:10, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Seems to hear certain gentlemen who used to wear red scarfs. They cared for the people, didn't they? If they also knew the meaning of compassion, and cared of every single human being's well-being, this would be a better world. Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 16:12, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Erm, yes. Presumably heaven is some sort of tax haven, because God certainly doesn't pay income tax in the UK. --JeevesMkII 16:14, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Or perhaps the Anglican (?) Church has a deal with your government. Don't worry, no mainstream Church gets rich, on the contrary. Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 16:17, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, the Church of Scientology does. But I guess that you'd argue that they are either not mainstream or not a church (or both).--Bobbing up 16:47, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Exactly. And I don't think (but I may be wrong) that it is strong in the UK. Finally, I don't think Jeeves was referring to Scientology. Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 04:44, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
It's certainly not as strong as it used to. Also, Jeeves's argument here that "God certainly doesn't pay income tax" is somewhat specious, because if I remember correctly, all recognized charitable organizations in Britain are tax exempt, whether they're religious or not. On the other hand, a religious organization not recognized as a charity have to pay tax like any other business. Scientology is a good example, having been rejected as a charity a couple of times already. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 05:06, 26 September 2008 (EDT)

Fuck your rationalism[edit]

About my brother:

I have more respect for my brother than anyone else in the world. He is profoundly religious. He "talks to God" and firmly believes in God. And he is a more profoundly good person than anyone I have ever met. For him, his religion and his good works necessitate and reinforce each other, and both are an integral part of his identity. Yet he is more rational than anyone on this website; while all of us are sitting on our asses editing this wiki, my brother is building a path for peace and human rights in Palestine.

So to anyone who says that religion and those who believe in God are irrational, I say, Fuck you. I will gladly take my brother's "irrationalism" over your rationalism any damn day. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:11, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Well said. I don't know if he is more rational than us. But there is a good probability that he is better than us (and you). Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 16:14, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Can we calm down slightly, please? New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 16:15, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I'll calm down when Jeeves stops demanding that others conform to his vision of intellectual purity. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:21, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Er, what? Have I demanded anything? --JeevesMkII 16:21, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Your words and actions bespeak this demand. It is the implicit end goal of your collected arguments against religion. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:23, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
(EC) Ah, I see. Implicit. So implicit that I hadn't even thought of it myself! You're getting angry about motives you yourself are inventing to apply to me. I think you need to step away from the keyboard. --JeevesMkII 16:28, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Stop sign.svg

This conversation is about to go badly downhill, inevitably ending in comparisons to Hitler, and hurt feelings all around.
Stop now. Step away from the keyboard.
Go pet a jerboa, or milk a goat.

New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 16:25, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Moving on[edit]

Could we stay on topic, please, because I'm very interested in this. Jeeves, I conclude from what you say above that the members of this "nebulous entity" that controls religion and exploits "the people" are not members of society. Is this correct? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:30, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Yes. --JeevesMkII 16:32, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Right. See, the thing I'm a little bit confused about is that, since I assume every person is a member of society at birth, when exactly does a priest stop being a member of society and join this nebulous entity? In the seminary? At the time of ordination? Or maybe at some specific level in the hierarchy? But then what about religions that don't have a hierarchy? And what about the different religions - do they each have their own entity and compete with one another over control of the unwashed masses, or do they all join together in one big entity, or what? I'm really interested in the mechanics of this, since I've never heard of it before. Also, when and how did you learn that this was happening? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:37, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
We're not talking about priests. They (at least today) don't define religious law, they merely interpret it. Depending on your view the law by which a religion operates is either sourced from God, or from its founders some number of years ago. The law giver here in Christianity is not a member of any of today's human society, nor does it have any human society's interests in mind. --JeevesMkII 16:42, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
See, now I'm really confused, because if these nebulous entities aren't even around anymore, how are they able to "benefit" at the cost of "the people"? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:45, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
(Leaving aside the obvious error in assuming that priests "don't define religious law". Ever heard of e.g. the Second Vatican Council or the 1985 Code of Canon Law? Or the Chicago Declaration?) --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:46, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
(EC) And that's my point. Religious law is enforced for the benefit of an entity which is not around. We're led to believe that certain actions are required of us that have a cost, like not working on the Sabbath for example. The cost is paid, but nobody benefits. The needs of the many are being sacrificed for the needs of the none. --JeevesMkII 16:49, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Jeeves, your perception of how these things work is so utterly removed from mine that I must admit I am honestly at a loss of how to meaningfully continue this discussion. Do you really think that religion is just a question of "enforcing laws"? That those laws that do exist never change? And have you in fact heard of the Second Vatican Council or the 1985 Code of Canon Law? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:24, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Let us say that I certainly believe that at base the Abrahamic religions are about enforcing laws, certainly. My reading of the Bible, and I have heard many Christians assert, that God handed down the law to us and we are to follow it. Enforcement is as often with the carrot as with the stick, if you follow the law faithfully you get everlasting life. I suppose you think me woefully ignorant that I hadn't in fact heard of either the 1985 Code of Canon Law or Second Vatican Council. However, would my five second skimming of these things be correct in that they mainly concern arrangements for liturgy and organised worship? Really, I'm not in the least concerned about these things. How a closed group organises itself to achieve whatever aims it has in none of my business, I'm concerned only when those aims spill over to people who aren't members of the group (e.g., me.) It might help me if you'd actually tell me something about what you think religion is actually about, especially your own. Why is it you believe in the Christian God, and what do you get out of it either now or in the future? I'm not sure I've ever seen you describe it. --JeevesMkII 17:38, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, when you assert such knowledge of how religions work, I would certainly also expect a certain insight in the details of those religions. But never mind that.
I prefer not to go too much into my own beliefs, both because they are essentially my own business, and because I don't think they have much value as an argument anyway. But if you insist, then; a few bits and pieces from something that can hardly be put in words. Christianity is about loving God with all your heart and your soul, and loving your neighbour as yourself (Matt 22:36-40). It is about faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love (1 Cor 13:13). It is about not being afraid (passim). It is about walking through the valley of the shadow of death and yet fearing no evil (Psalms 23) and of crying out of the depths to the Lord (Psalm 130). And it is about the community of belief (Matt 18:19-20) in the risen and victorious Christ who will bring us salvation.
And why do I believe? Following Kierkegaard, I believe because it is wonderfully absurd. Following St. Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas, because it is wonderfully rational. I'm not sure what else to tell you. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 18:14, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
I expect we'd end up arguing at cross purposes if I attempted to press the issue of religious law so I won't bother. What I will say however is that this is all very well and good for the insider. I have no issue with you loving God, taking comfort in the promises given of salvation, loving your neighbour and so forth. But I'm sure you have the insight to realise this is not the experience of those who aren't on the inside, especially of those who are not so made that they can believe. These are largely intangible things, and if that was all there was to the Church then I'd say live and let live. However, in my own country what I see is the Catholic church meddling in areas of public policy from gay rights and adoption through to scientific research and education. Where I see acts of charity here, I also see they go hand in glove with proselytisation. Now, these things aren't in your creed and you may not support them, but I'm not sure it's possible to deny these things are the fruits of the Catholic church in the UK at least. They're on their damn website. Personally, I think your stated creed is very selective. I think whether you choose to admit it or not, there are rules that your own religion and others attempt to inflict on society at large and regardless of whether they succeed such an effort is to the detriment of society. --JeevesMkII 19:14, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

Well, the difference of course is that they don't believe that these rules are to the detriment of society, they believe it will help society. You're free to disagree, but you're removing yourself too far from reality with these elaborate ideas about "entities" benefiting at the cost of "the people". The fact of the matter is that the Catholic Church, or any other religious community for that matter, is just as much a part of society as anyone else, and naturally they try to shape it according to their ideals. Your job as a hopefully enlightened democratic citizen is to work to promote your own ideals, not to demonize the opposition and generalize about their motives. That never led to anything good. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 19:37, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

I think we differ greatly on this point. Democracy is not at all about shaping society. Society is self-correcting. I have no need to do any work to mould society to my ideals. That way lies revolution, bloodshed and madness. I merely have to live my ideals, and society will normalise around me. Of course I have to stay within the bounds of the law, but that leaves me significant latitude for self expression. Politicians don't change society, society changes politicians. Either in place, or bodily as needs must. I have a deep suspicion of any group or person looking to force change upon society. Those who would interrupt the gradual, evolutionary change to reforge society in their own image. Politicians are supposed to be public servants, not elected tyrants. I don't care that my local MP believes almost the exact opposite of what I do on many issues, I still write to him if I feel strongly about an issue and I hope he weighs my opinions with those of his other constituents who write to him when he considers where to stand.
That's where we come back to the church. The church literally cannot believe as I believe. It needs to interfere in society, it is required to attempt to punch above its weight. To live in the image of Jesus isn't enough, they have to make others do so to save them from hell. I don't think I'm "demonising" the church by saying this, I think it's demonstrably true. I have to believe a line must be drawn. Organise with others, do what you will, but push me and you'd better believe I'm going to push back. You want to change the world? Fine. Go invent the longer lasting light bulb, go help out at your local animal shelter. I know what I'm working on will change the world, in a small way and I hope the company I founded and my name will be remembered for it. That's the nearest I've got to immortality to look forward to. I don't need to cajole, to persuade, to threaten or to use the instruments of state to make my mark. If the catholic church wishes to be part of society as you say, let it adopt the norms of society. Until such time as it is willing to abide by our collective will, rather than attempting to make others abide by its, I can have no truck with it. --JeevesMkII 20:36, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
At the risk of kicking a sleeping dog, Bravo Jeeves!--Bobbing up 03:09, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Wow. Can I just make a list of things in that speech that are glaringly untrue? Let's start with "Society is self-correcting" -- that one's worth it's weight in gold. Have you ever seen society? You realise your ideas of this perfect self-regulating society are actually opinion and not logical fact, right?
And actually, democracy is about shaping society -- the idea is that all members of society assert their opinions and the consensus is therefore seen as a morally justifiable compromise. The unbreakable stasis and stagnation of modern democracy is only a wonderful, wonderful side-effect. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 03:24, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Tell me, where did I say or even imply "perfect"? Surely you've noticed that political changes in any given developed country graph like foxes and rabbits? A party comes to power on a wave of popular support that gradually decays until such time as their polar opposites are elected and cycle begins again. How can you possibly think this is a process that in any way shapes society? No. Look rather to what happens gradually over time within a party. Their policy positions subtly change with the demands of the electorate. In fact, this process has been going on long enough now that we're actually starting seeing some sort of convergence in many countries with every party converging on a sort of centre right position. The influence of leadership here is the far weaker tide compared to the influence of society. --JeevesMkII 10:43, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Regarding my use of the word "perfect" -- it's just a hyperbole. I really have no idea why you think flux between left and right politics (I presume that's what you meant by the "foxes and rabbits" thing) doesn't affect anything. Do you think the US would have invaded Iraq if it weren't for the leadership of George W Bush? And look at Russia -- supposedly a democracy, but at the same time, clearly being nudged closer and closer to dictatorship under the guidance of one charismatic politician. New3.pngPink(Astronomy Domine) 11:31, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Look at it another way. What do you think would have happened if Dubya had decided to invade, say, France instead of Iraq as the next step in his war on terror? As commander in chief, technically he has the power and the right to order it. However, what you'd quickly find is that his power is nothing more than an illusion. It consists of no more than the co-operation he can extract from the army, from the congress and from the people at large. If he'd decided to invade France, the army would mutiny, the people would be up in arms and Dubya would have found himself very quickly in dole queue. We know that the Republican inner circle had wanted to invade Iraq since before they even came to power, but they had to wait until external events swayed public opinion such that they could get away with it. So much for the power of the president.
Then, think of the Iraq war. In what way has it changed American society? Oh, there's no doubt it has remodelled Iraq, military power is of course a very strong influence when it is wielded. However, back home, what changes has it wrought? People are infinitesimally more weary of foreign entanglements perhaps, less inclined to trust the Republicans. However, ultimately it isn't more than a foot note in the development of the USA. --JeevesMkII 12:34, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
You know, it's very interesting, because this actually started out as a discussion the role of religion as a force in society. Apparently, now it's a discussion about the Catholic Church in society. In any case, I see you're a conservative - nothing wrong with that, although I most definitely disagree. I don't think there is any such thing as a "collective will" in society that anyone needs to "abide" by, except as expressed through the laws. In other words, as long as you follow the laws, you can do whatever you want to. In my opinion, to claim otherwise leads to oppression and a loss of diversity. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 04:34, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Hrm, well. It was you who brought Catholicism into it. I'm just as happy to discuss Muslims, Sikhs or Protestants (Though I might struggle with Hindus, quite frankly I've never seen a Hindu in the UK do anything that could possibly be seen as an attempt to force their way of life on others.) The Catholic church in the UK does make a great test case though. It's haemorrhaging members faster than any other religious denomination, yet it still holds undue access to power and influence over public policy.
Do you really see no other way that society expresses itself except as through law and public policy? I certainly do. I see what Richard Dawkins calls the "Moral Zeitgeist." Look at smoking for example. Was smoking becoming unacceptable in public places cause or effect of laws to that effect? Personally, I see the moral zeitgeist leading the law by some considerable margin on this, and many other far more important social issues. As for religion, well, society is voting with its feet on this issue. The church must change or die. Personally, I can't summon up much sympathy for the Catholic church's decision to die, especially when I see that pentecostal churches are growing (as annoying as that fact may be.) --JeevesMkII 10:36, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
No, I don't. Society is not a unified entity, and cannot express itself in any meaningful way except through what comes out of the elected parliament (and even that is rarely a consensus, only a majority). Anything other than that is, if I may wax poetical for a moment, a cacophonous choir of subcultures, political parties, interest groups, and various other discrete entities, some of which work together and some of which oppose each other. The idea that you can try to fit all these diverse entities into the mould of single, unified "society" which can speak with a single voicce is... well, it's just so 19th century, much like the idea of a Zeitgeist, incidentally. But I guess that's what you get when a biologist tries to do political science. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 11:10, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
What you seem to be proposing here is an entirely frictionless model where each and every subculture does its own thing under the umbrella of the law, and has no influence on those surrounding it. The way I see it is that, yes society is composed of groups which overlapping and conflicting interests, but that these influences sum to form an overall vector for society at large. If I can draw a rather crude analogy, it's rather like the motion of molecules in a fluid. Don't mistake me, I don't propose this as any sort of top down process where as you say society speaks with one voice. Rather, what I'm saying is that the direction of society is chiefly influenced by the overall vector, and where two subcultures collide it will tend to be those moving in this direction that end up dominant. --JeevesMkII 11:44, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Firstly, I never said it was frictionless, quite the opposite: "entities, some of which work together and some of which oppose each other". Secondly, the problem is that water doesn't move by itself, it needs external forces such as gravity or pressure. What is the equivalent of these external forces in your model? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 12:04, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, I did say it was rather a crude analogy. The motive power in society is always provided by the individual and their choices. --JeevesMkII 12:43, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
To bring some parity here (see Bob above), Bravo AKj! Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 04:49, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Just knew I shouldn't have kicked that dog. Ohmy.gif. (Actually I was looking for a dog kicking smiley but I couldn't find one.)--Bobbing up 05:40, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
You should ask Waiting for Godot. She has/had a signature in French, along the lines of "I want to be the shadow of your dog". I didn't get the reference though. Editor at CPOh, Finland! Why? 05:45, 26 September 2008 (EDT)

Break 05[edit]

AK: // Your job as a hopefully enlightened democratic citizen is to work to promote your own ideals, not to demonize the opposition and generalize about their motives.

I like it -- a lot.

And i would like to include citizens of a Republic.

Jeeves: // Politicians don't change society, society changes politicians.

Is this something you actually believe? I don't. I do believe that leaders, whether they be pols or not, have the ability to profoundly change society.

// Politicians are supposed to be public servants, not elected tyrants.

Now there's an ideal. The real-world problem is power -- most pols have way too much of it, and it is corrupting. And few there are that realize they are being corrupted.

My Libertarian ideal would be that pols would have no power over the rest of us. That of course is impossible, so an achievable goal would be that pols only have those powers considered essential.

A lobbyist for the advancement of widgets couldn't corrupt a pol that is powerless to affect widgetry.

-- RemBeau 08:50, 26 September 2008 (EDT)

There was an awesome B-movie about power abuse, etc, with James Spader (Law school, became judge), and I think that guy from fight club (name?) who became a "compromised" congressman. You might like it. I go look at my movie collection to see if I can give you the title. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:20, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Details: True Colors, starring James Spader and John Cusack - I got the wrong "that guy". You might like it. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:27, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
I might indeed. I have added it to my list -- i like Cusack -- also the guy you were thinking of that's not in this film: Ed Norton. He was great in Primal Fear -- that's a film not to miss. I've seen it twice.
-- RemBeau 01:20, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, Norton. He is great in so many things (American History X?). And so is John C's sister Joan. Anyway, True Colors ought to be worth a cheap rent sometime. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:09, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, Rem, what has this to do with the role of religion in society (which I believe is what we're debating)? Silver Sloth 09:03, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
You mean as compared to the comments of others above?
I don't see Bob's, "At the risk of kicking a sleeping dog, Bravo Jeeves" as much different from my, "I like it -- a lot" in reference to AK's post.
And i think the rest of my post is similar in style and content to many of the posts of AK and Jeeves above, some of them making no reference to the "role of religion in society".
In any case, the section was titled, "Debate?" ... NOT the "role of religion in society", and the subsection was titled, "Moving on".
You will be pleased to know, however, that i intend in due course to make some comments specifically regarding the "role of religion in society". You may consider this premature admission to be the result of your expressed concern for the fitness of my prose, and the unspoken thirst you have for my opinions.
Could the problem be you don't care for my POV? Perhaps you resent my natural good looks?
-- RemBeau 00:11, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
You don't expect him to stick to the subject, do you? A nice prolix (what a word) comment totally off subject is Rem's style. SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:08, 26 September 2008 (EDT)