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Julia Sweeney





Bikerman
I've been going through my hard disks and having a bit of a cleanout. I came across something by a woman called Julia Sweeney (actress) which I'd been given a couple of years ago to cleanup (the audio quality was pretty bad, so I applied some filtering and EQ (and other tricks which would take too long to explain) and got a reasonable version that could at least be listened to without one's ears trying to escape.

When I'm working on audio I don't actually listen to the lyrics (or in this case the words, since it is speech). I find it distracts me from the stuff I need to do - getting the mix tight, spectrum and panoramic separation...and so on. So I hadn't actually listened to Sweeney when I remastered it - I guess I just thought it was some actress giving a talk.

I've just listened back to it before binning it, and I've decided not to bin it. It is a funny, sometimes moving account of her journey through religion - particularly her 'given' religion - Roman Catholicism (which, of course, resonates with me particularly).

Some may enjoy it, so here's a link to it's new home on one of my servers:

http://bikerman.co.uk/images/audio/Julia%20Sweeney%20-%20Letting%20go%20of%20God
Ankhanu
I had to look up who Julia Sweeney was, the name was familiar, but I couldn't place it... she was Pat!!

This was brilliant and hilarious. Thanks very much for sharing it. The part at the end where she's describing discussing death and heaven with her daughter is something that I've had to deal with somewhat myself... but haven't quite managed to deal with it properly, I think Razz
Bikerman
Glad you enjoyed it. The delivery is very good - one gets the impression that she has given this talk many times. She is obviously a smart lady - I love the part where she does the course in QM to examine the claims of Deepak Chopra and finds out he is full of **** Smile#
Ankhanu
Haha, I enjoyed that Smile "after just one class..."
IceCreamTruck
Honestly... I wish everyone would hear this! She does such a beautiful job of putting to words the irony that I see in religious people. Do we need to download this so we can keep it, or will it stay up there?

It's amazingly funny. If you can't laugh at the HUGE irony she spins on Biblical text and ideas, then you are too serious. Take Bill Hick's advice, and "kill yourself now."

Thanks for the contribution!
IceCreamTruck
Hey, I figured I would let you know that the second tract repeats a bit... at about 23:47 or so it starts a section that is repeated again at 26:47.... this should be fairly easy for you to clean up.

I really like these mp3s... thanks for making available!
Bikerman
Yes, that's my fault. The source material was given to me as 10-20 minute chunks and I must have lost count when assembling them into the larger parts. It is simple enough to chop-out the extra and I'll sort it later.

PS - I plan to leave it on my server. To be quite honest I have no idea about the legal status - the person who paid me to clean it up was not someone I know personally, so I don't know if they had the rights to the material or just came across it. Obviously, therefore, if I am contacted by someone who has copyright and told to take it down then I will comply, since my work on it doesn't give me any rights over the material itself.
IceCreamTruck
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, that's my fault. The source material was given to me as 10-20 minute chunks and I must have lost count when assembling them into the larger parts. It is simple enough to chop-out the extra and I'll sort it later.

PS - I plan to leave it on my server. To be quite honest I have no idea about the legal status - the person who paid me to clean it up was not someone I know personally, so I don't know if they had the rights to the material or just came across it. Obviously, therefore, if I am contacted by someone who has copyright and told to take it down then I will comply, since my work on it doesn't give me any rights over the material itself.


Agreed. You have to take it down if asked, but I doubt you will have to because it would require Julia to contact you directly because she owns it, and if she does then you should tell her that she needs to put up a website linking to all her material because it's great stuff! I've never heard this from her before now.

Tell her to come chat in the philosophy and religion forums! It needs a little laughter!
Indi
Didn't Julia Sweeney win some huge atheist award for Letting go of God? Like... huge atheist award? Like "atheist of the year"? i vaguely recall that the award had 3 female recipients: Sweeney, Hirsi Ali and Ann Whatshername ("Druyan?", anyway, Sagan's wife). This is the same award that Bill Maher got, where there was such a ruckus about it.
Bikerman
I missed that one Indi - though I have to say it wouldn't surprise me.
What did you think of it?
Ankhanu
Didn't know there were atheist awards Razz
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
I missed that one Indi - though I have to say it wouldn't surprise me.
What did you think of it?

Haven't seen it yet. But if you're looking for some neat little atheist videos by professional comics, i recommend Minchin's Storm (exceedingly hilarious), and a bit by Louis CK where he's trying to explain the universe to his daughter after she was kicked by a horse (or something like that).

Ankhanu wrote:
Didn't know there were atheist awards Razz

Oh yeah, and i'm pretty sure it's called the Richard Dawkins Award, because that was part of the issue with Maher getting it. Dawkins thinks Maher is a moron, yet Maher got the Richard Dawkins Award. From what i understand, Dawkins didn't know Maher from a hole in the ground at the time (he's apparently not up on American comedians, because he famously got punked by Ben Stein, too), then Maher was nominated (because of Religulous), and Dawkins only saw Religulous and assumed he was alright. Dawkins didn't choose Maher for the award, but the award people did check with Dawkins if he was okay, and Dawkins gave it the green light.

Then there was a big uproar because of Maher's anti-science stuff, and Dawkins and the award people said he was getting the award for his atheist work, not for his anti-science work. Funny thing, too: at the acceptance speech, Maher wisely decided not to bring up his anti-science crap, but Dawkins, in his intro speech, made... comments.... ^_^; You know, the kind of comments that only a stuffy British academic can make - comments that sound nice enough, but somehow still manage to skewer ruthlessly.

But all of this was a year or two ago, and i really wasn't all that interested in it at the time, so i may be misremembering what actually happened versus what was discussed.
Bikerman
Indi wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
I missed that one Indi - though I have to say it wouldn't surprise me.
What did you think of it?

Haven't seen it yet. But if you're looking for some neat little atheist videos by professional comics, i recommend Minchin's Storm (exceedingly hilarious), and a bit by Louis CK where he's trying to explain the universe to his daughter after she was kicked by a horse (or something like that).

The first I have bookmarked (and I agree) :
The second I will look out for.
Ankhanu
Storm was made as an animation too. It's pretty well done.
Louis CK's exploration of the Catholic Church is freakin' hilarious.

Not in ANY WAY safe for work; strong language/content
IceCreamTruck
I bet Julia's response to getting an "a-theist" award was pretty funny because she has said she doesn't think of herself in terms of religion like that label implies.

She calls herself a naturalist because to be "a-theist" is to accept the presents of God but to deny him. She does not accept the presents of God, and therefore doesn't deny him.
Indi
Ankhanu wrote:
Storm was made as an animation too. It's pretty well done.

i highly recommend the animation. The beat poem is funny, but the animation is the icing on the cake.

Ankhanu wrote:
Louis CK's exploration of the Catholic Church is freakin' hilarious.

This caught me so off guard, i almost did a spit-take at 0:49. ^_^; i've seen CK before, but in everything i've seen of him, from his sitcom to that video i mentioned about him talking about his daughter, he's done this very down-to-earth flavour of comedy; very blue-collar (not to be confused with that Blue Collar garbage Foxworthy, Engvall, White and that Cable Guy idiot shat onto screens), very everyman, very spartan, very real (famously, the primary set of his sitcom contained nothing but a dinner table and chairs, a fridge, a sink and a stove... that's it).

Yeah, i got totally punked by this - never dreamed CK was the type of comedian to set up so elaborate a joke. i HAVE to show this to the guys this weekend... if only for the scene with the training dummies.

Unfortunately, i looked up my original source for the CK stand up about his daughter... and it's been C&Ded. (i did stumble across one of the funnier opening sequences from his sitcom, where he and his daughter are having breakfast, and she starts playing the "why" game - continually asking "why" over and over... but Louis answers everything, going through - in 2 minutes - the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, his days smoking pot in high school, the state of the American economy and finally "because God's dead and we're alone" (at which point his daughter shrugs and says "okay").) Apparently the bit was from his Hilarious comedy show, and starts with his daughter being bitten by a pony in Italy - so if you ever happen to stumble on Hilarious (but i don't think i've seen it on TV), check it out.

IceCreamTruck wrote:
I bet Julia's response to getting an "a-theist" award was pretty funny because she has said she doesn't think of herself in terms of religion like that label implies.

She calls herself a naturalist because to be "a-theist" is to accept the presents of God but to deny him. She does not accept the presents of God, and therefore doesn't deny him.

What a fascinating story. Man, i really wish i had the ability to just make shit up and pass it off as fact, i really do.

Unfortunately, my gift is not making shit up and sounding like i know what i'm talking about, it's spotting bullshit. And, i didn't miss it here.

First, to Wikipedia, to check what year Sweeney won the award. See, it wouldn't be enough merely to show that she's quite clear about calling herself "atheist" now (she's coauthor of a 2011 book called The good atheist), because it could be the case that back then she didn't call herself "atheist". No, to really nail this bullshit down cold, i had to show that not only is she quite explicitly "atheist" now, she was then, too. So, to Wikipedia, to find out she won the award in 2006.

Next, to Julia Sweeney's own blog, because this is a question of self-identification, and who better to resolve it than Sweeney herself? Down to the archives of 2006. Pick some random posts... and...

In a post describing the books she read on her path from Catholic to atheist: I went from a liberally minded Catholic to an openly out atheist.

Oops.

Okay, okay, maybe not everything you said was bullshit. Maybe she does believe that "atheism" means "to accept the presents of God but to deny him" (what? to accept that God's giving you stuff but deny he exists?). So... what does she say the definition of atheist is? Luckily for us - for me, at least - Miss Sweeney is both articulate and outspoken, so she didn't leave us wondering.

In a post just after an interview with Craig Fergusson about her Letting go of God monologue, she talks about how she felt she flubbed the interview a bit (which i doubt is true), and she says: Craig started right off (after a brief mention of Pat and SNL) with asking me how I could know for absolute certainty that there was not a God. I said I didn’t know for sure (which got a laugh) but that I think the evidence for God was weak. And then I said that I describe myself as an “atheist” because I do not live my life under the assumption that there is a God. I am “a” theist. I’m not sure I was very clear about this. And then that started a longer defense of atheism. I spurted out the Carl Sagan analogy of the purple dragon in the garage and I think I sort of mangled that.

Oops, again. She's quite clear that despite calling herself an atheist, she does NOT deny that God exists, and that that's not what "atheist" means (which is what the atheists around here have said again and again and again and again). (i think she used bad punctuation with the quotes, but she was obviously trying to stress the privative "a" part of "atheist". Also, look up the Sagan purple dragon analogy - it's just Russell's teapot, really, but again it stresses lack of belief due to lack of evidence, not denial.)

And just to make the point doubly clear, there is a 2005 interview where she describes the process of coming to accept the term "atheist". In the interview she mentions that she thought - as most people do - that "atheist" meant some kind of rigid denial, so she called herself "agnostic", but: I just became a stronger agnostic, and then I started to realize that everyone who was saying they were agnostic really hadn't thought about it that much. Still, I went with agnosticism for a long, long time because I just hated to say I was an atheist -- being an atheist seemed so rigid. But the more I became comfortable with the word, and the more I read, it started to stick.

Anyway, who's keeping count? What's the score now on the number of times someone's claimed that atheism = denial of gods?
IceCreamTruck
Indi wrote:

IceCreamTruck wrote:
I bet Julia's response to getting an "a-theist" award was pretty funny because she has said she doesn't think of herself in terms of religion like that label implies.

She calls herself a naturalist because to be "a-theist" is to accept the presents of God but to deny him. She does not accept the presents of God, and therefore doesn't deny him.

What a fascinating story. Man, i really wish i had the ability to just make shit up and pass it off as fact, i really do.

Unfortunately, my gift is not making shit up and sounding like i know what i'm talking about, it's spotting bullshit. And, i didn't miss it here.


I'm just relaying to you words that came out of her mouth on a youtube video that I had just watched in followup to listening to all of the audio that was made available in this thread. I don't make anything up that I don't also clearly outline as speculation or fictional... I really do just repeat what I've heard, site sources, and do my best to support ideas with evidence. Because you are being so rude about it I am going to back track on youtube and see if I can find where she goes into detail about not being an atheist, and calling herself a naturalist, and in her funny way she calls christians "a-naturalists" more than she's an "a-theist". I can't deliver it like she can because it's HER material.

You are going to owe me the respect of only repeating what I feel to be valuable content that is relavent to the conversation, and I am going to continue to think that you are just being a jerk right now, and not very imaginative as you would like us to think. What did I do to deserve the hate?
Indi
IceCreamTruck wrote:
Indi wrote:

IceCreamTruck wrote:
I bet Julia's response to getting an "a-theist" award was pretty funny because she has said she doesn't think of herself in terms of religion like that label implies.

She calls herself a naturalist because to be "a-theist" is to accept the presents of God but to deny him. She does not accept the presents of God, and therefore doesn't deny him.

What a fascinating story. Man, i really wish i had the ability to just make shit up and pass it off as fact, i really do.

Unfortunately, my gift is not making shit up and sounding like i know what i'm talking about, it's spotting bullshit. And, i didn't miss it here.


I'm just relaying to you words that came out of her mouth on a youtube video that I had just watched in followup to listening to all of the audio that was made available in this thread. I don't make anything up that I don't also clearly outline as speculation or fictional... I really do just repeat what I've heard, site sources, and do my best to support ideas with evidence. Because you are being so rude about it I am going to back track on youtube and see if I can find where she goes into detail about not being an atheist, and calling herself a naturalist, and in her funny way she calls christians "a-naturalists" more than she's an "a-theist". I can't deliver it like she can because it's HER material.

You are going to owe me the respect of only repeating what I feel to be valuable content that is relavent to the conversation, and I am going to continue to think that you are just being a jerk right now, and not very imaginative as you would like us to think. What did I do to deserve the hate?

Whatever hate you see, you're putting there yourself.

You made statements - without providing sources (strike 1) - that could be proven false with a two minute Google search (strike 2), and repeated falsehoods that have been debunked here over and over and over and over and over without a single word of qualification (strike 3). Any single strike would have been forgivable, worthy of only a simple correction. You racked up three in one shot. Nope, not letting that pass without a stern correction.

And of course, now that i've corrected your falsehoods (including your repetition of a lie that has been repeated around here ad nauseum, and no, saying now that you were just repeating Sweeney's words doesn't excuse you (even if it's true, and if you're using the same source as me, it's not), because you didn't say you were doing that when you repeated the lie, you just let it roll off - not even with damn quotes!) - which you could have avoided with a two minute Google search (or, which, had you provided the source, we could easily see where you got it from and how you were mistaken) - is there any contrition on your part? Are you the least bit sorry at misrepresenting the woman's beliefs? Nope. Your only response: i'm a jerk for catching you, and correcting your nonsense.

Nope, there's no hate here. Just disappointment and exasperation. And, granted, you probably don't care that i'm disappointed at your lack of effort to find out the truth before posting it publicly as fact without qualification, but then i don't care whether you care or not. And you're probably pleased that i'm exasperated - after all, as you just said, you think i'm a jerk - but again, i don't really care about your opinion. What i do care about is getting people to put some damn effort into their posts, to try to find truth - which is really the point of philosophy and religion (allegedly), ultimately, after all - rather than just regurgitating whatever convenient opinions and beliefs they happen to have at the front of their brains at the moment. If i "hated" you, or anyone else here, i wouldn't bother booting you so hard to get you to be better philosophers - but you can do better, as can most everyone here, and if demanding that you at least try is what makes someone a "jerk", then so be it.

(For the record, in the recording i heard she never said she "calls herself a naturalist". She just said she liked the term better than "atheist" because "atheist" defines her in religious terms. In contrast, "naturalist" defines her in non-religious terms, and makes theists the ones who sound like they're abnormal (by calling them "anaturalists"). There was never any mention of "presents from God", or of denial (or the lack), and she said straight up that she was an atheist. (Part 4 of Bikerman's recordings, starting at 11:05.) If that was your source, you mucked it up completely. But don't worry, i'm not expecting any admission of error, nor any personal growth on your part so that you're less likely to make the same mistake next time; nope, i'm just expecting you to call me a name for having the unmitigated gall to call you out for being intellectually lazy, so just go ahead and get it over with.)
IceCreamTruck
Indi wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:
Indi wrote:

IceCreamTruck wrote:
I bet Julia's response to getting an "a-theist" award was pretty funny because she has said she doesn't think of herself in terms of religion like that label implies.

She calls herself a naturalist because to be "a-theist" is to accept the presents of God but to deny him. She does not accept the presents of God, and therefore doesn't deny him.

What a fascinating story. Man, i really wish i had the ability to just make shit up and pass it off as fact, i really do.

Unfortunately, my gift is not making shit up and sounding like i know what i'm talking about, it's spotting bullshit. And, i didn't miss it here.


I'm just relaying to you words that came out of her mouth on a youtube video that I had just watched in followup to listening to all of the audio that was made available in this thread. I don't make anything up that I don't also clearly outline as speculation or fictional... I really do just repeat what I've heard, site sources, and do my best to support ideas with evidence. Because you are being so rude about it I am going to back track on youtube and see if I can find where she goes into detail about not being an atheist, and calling herself a naturalist, and in her funny way she calls christians "a-naturalists" more than she's an "a-theist". I can't deliver it like she can because it's HER material.

You are going to owe me the respect of only repeating what I feel to be valuable content that is relavent to the conversation, and I am going to continue to think that you are just being a jerk right now, and not very imaginative as you would like us to think. What did I do to deserve the hate?

Whatever hate you see, you're putting there yourself.

You made statements - without providing sources (strike 1) - that could be proven false with a two minute Google search (strike 2), and repeated falsehoods that have been debunked here over and over and over and over and over without a single word of qualification (strike 3). Any single strike would have been forgivable, worthy of only a simple correction. You racked up three in one shot. Nope, not letting that pass without a stern correction.

And of course, now that i've corrected your falsehoods (including your repetition of a lie that has been repeated around here ad nauseum, and no, saying now that you were just repeating Sweeney's words doesn't excuse you (even if it's true, and if you're using the same source as me, it's not), because you didn't say you were doing that when you repeated the lie, you just let it roll off - not even with damn quotes!) - which you could have avoided with a two minute Google search (or, which, had you provided the source, we could easily see where you got it from and how you were mistaken) - is there any contrition on your part? Are you the least bit sorry at misrepresenting the woman's beliefs? Nope. Your only response: i'm a jerk for catching you, and correcting your nonsense.

Nope, there's no hate here. Just disappointment and exasperation. And, granted, you probably don't care that i'm disappointed at your lack of effort to find out the truth before posting it publicly as fact without qualification, but then i don't care whether you care or not. And you're probably pleased that i'm exasperated - after all, as you just said, you think i'm a jerk - but again, i don't really care about your opinion. What i do care about is getting people to put some damn effort into their posts, to try to find truth - which is really the point of philosophy and religion (allegedly), ultimately, after all - rather than just regurgitating whatever convenient opinions and beliefs they happen to have at the front of their brains at the moment. If i "hated" you, or anyone else here, i wouldn't bother booting you so hard to get you to be better philosophers - but you can do better, as can most everyone here, and if demanding that you at least try is what makes someone a "jerk", then so be it.

(For the record, in the recording i heard she never said she "calls herself a naturalist". She just said she liked the term better than "atheist" because "atheist" defines her in religious terms. In contrast, "naturalist" defines her in non-religious terms, and makes theists the ones who sound like they're abnormal (by calling them "anaturalists"). There was never any mention of "presents from God", or of denial (or the lack), and she said straight up that she was an atheist. (Part 4 of Bikerman's recordings, starting at 11:05.) If that was your source, you mucked it up completely. But don't worry, i'm not expecting any admission of error, nor any personal growth on your part so that you're less likely to make the same mistake next time; nope, i'm just expecting you to call me a name for having the unmitigated gall to call you out for being intellectually lazy, so just go ahead and get it over with.)


Honestly, what I spoke was the truth reference or not... and I did give credit where credit was due, but not the exact link that you wanted. Why should I do your homework if you really just want to discredit me -- you called my statement a lie and I will prove you wrong because you are the only one making assumptions here. My assumption: her response to the award would be funny. The rest was her material, but not an exact quote, so I didn't quote it.

She has maybe all of a hand-full of videos that I watched over a couple days, and I did look at my history, but I found that browsing around on frihost has already eliminated quick reference to the exact list of videos in which the quote can be found as my history limit hasn't been increased on this computer, and usually speaking someone's material is acceptable without quotation as long as it's readily apparent who it is, or if the name is given, especially in public forum as this is not a doctorate thesis.

Asking me politely where I read that would have been affable, even admirable, but calling my statements lies before you have even heard all of her material is ignorant. I am allowed to talk about her material all I want, or reference things she has spoken about all I want without reference if I so choose. Sure, some people may nicely ask me for reference, and some may critsize my method, or even point out conflicting statements from Julia as you did, but only ignorant people who say it's lies without proof. You have a reference to a conflicting statement she made, but no proof that what i said was a lie, so you are just as guilty of not citing references.

You can go watch the videos too... I'm not stopping you. They are all there, and there's nothing that will reveal my statements to be a lie, so knock yourself out! When what I say is pointed out to not be true then I admit it. Ask Bikerman.. it's his thread. He's has successfully called me out on some things, and it encouraged me to go on a knowledge quest to update what I thought was still common knowledge, but he made me aware of an inconsistency and I admitted it, and we picked up the conversation from there. I have nothing to fear when I'm wrong... it doesn't bother me, but when I share something that is fresh in my mind to contribute to a conversation, and someone calls it a lie, then I do go for resources, but my lack of that browsing history is lengthening the time it's taking to locate the info... that is all. You will eat crow shortly! Mark my words.
Bikerman
Ahem....if I might just interject for a moment....
a) this forum regularly sees assertions about the nature and meaning of the word 'atheist', and what being an atheist actually means. A favoured trick of some posters is to misrepresent or simply invent their own definition of the word to suit a particular viewpoint. Both myself and Indi have seen this time after time after time and one of us usually ends up having to explain the error and, once again, explain the actual meaning. This is sometimes irritating/exasperating, and I can totally understand why Indi's post reflects some of that.
b) I don't read any personal attack in Indi's posting. He doesn't pull-back from calling a spade a spade, but this is a forum for debate and debate can be quite robust sometimes.
c) The particular assertion in question is, I think, based on a section of the audio in which she describes her position. She is basically saying (from memory - I'll confirm this when I get home - the machine I'm currently using is in a crowded staff-room and turning the sound up would be impolitic) that she doesn't see why she SHOULD use the word atheist, because it defines her in a way which seems, to her, negative. She would prefer the positive category of 'naturalist'.
d) Indi normally posts 'to the point', as here. If I may be permitted a little digresson, I find a useful metaphor in the last two days at work.
I underwent a routine teaching observation yesterday (Our lessons are judged by other staff, using a 1-4 scale where 1 is outstanding, 2 is Good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is sub-standard).
I expected to get my normal '2' but in fact, in my debrief with the assessor, she gave me a 3. She explained why (largely failing to meet the needs of the most able student in the lesson through lack of sufficiently taxing extension exercises, and not directly addressing the fact that one of the students appeared to be dozing for about 10 mins. The second was done for a resason which I'm not going to go into here).
She was right, on reflection, and I accept the grade - even though it prompts a repeat observation next month. In the debrief she was clinical and pulled no punches. I am expected to deal professionally with such things, even if they wound a little, and I did so. After the debrief we shared a coffee and clicked back into sociable mode as if the meeting never took place.

That is how I would like posters to think about posting here. Don't expect ego-massage. Don';t even expect politeness. You CAN expect not to be personally attacked, 'ad-hominem', but that is about all. Anyone who has undergone a review ike I describe, or has published in a peer-review journal, will know that the process of 'frank exchange of information' not only involves, but demands, very hard scrutiny which can be hard on one's self-esteem. Don't take it personally is the advice I would give.
Ankhanu
And I shall interject some levity Razz

A brilliant take on Pascal's Wager:
IceCreamTruck
Bikerman wrote:
What a fascinating story. Man, i really wish i had the ability to just make shit up and pass it off as fact, i really do.


1) Cursing is against forum rules.

2) This statement is obtuse. It's also offensive, it may not exactly say I'm "making shit up, and passing it off as fact" but that's the implication, and since when is it ok to site no proof in an accusation? Last I checked proving your accusations is more important than remembering to quote or cite sources in general statements that are not directed at anyone in particular. Accusation without proof is called slander, and it's actually an illegal criminal offense, and it's unwarranted here.

3) Just because Indi can site some reference to Sweeney calling herself an atheist doesn't make these statements any less her material. You, of all people, should here her voice ringing through because you've heard how she speaks in detail, and you've also heard how I speak in detail.

4) I am only suffering a lack of browser history. My browser history only had one video from her, and it was not the one that contained the text that I basically summed up quite accurately. I'm not suffering from "making shit up".

5) I'm disappointed in you Bikerman for basically siding with a knowledge thug, who's actually forgetting how much they like knowledge, and taking cheap shots at me. I will get that exact quote, and once I do then I want you to accept that Indi's attack on me was not constructive criticism in any way. It was destructive criticism because even when I get her apology I still am not going to like her very much for this little unbridled outburst that is slanderous towards me. It would be silly of me to hate someone for criticizing me but having someone say i'm full of "shit" (I'm quoting Indi) for not citing references, and then having them supply other references, but no proof that I'm lying is REDICULOUS as it's even worse than what I am guilty of here, by far! In fact... it's illegal. The only thing that would hurt my case is that I'd have trouble proving damages, but that doesn't mean it did not damage anything. It surely damaged any friendship we could have had because it's a blatant attack, not any kind of constructive criticism. Your comments are fine, but I can't believe you missed that as slanderous.

6) Simply stating lots of people post things like this without citing references, and requesting that I cite references as Indi questions the validity of my statements because it's contrary to what Indi has heard from Sweeney IS a constructive criticism to which I would have instantly responded, and we may already have those sources if I didn't feel the need to defend myself against these statements, and have had to do so while I seek the evidence. The "making [stuff] up" accusation could have correctly come if I refused to cite references, which I have not. I'm merely having to listen to all the Sweeney videos yesterday and today that I have reviewed before so I will eventually come across that statement from her again.

Indi is directing previous aggression at me, that I'm not up to speed with. I haven't been here trying to get people to cite references forever, so I guess the whole lead up to this was missed by me, but I'm now dealing with Indi's misplaced aggression because I am willing to give my source, and I'll go a step further and give the exact times in the video just like I gave you to correct the Sweeney audio so there can be no doubt what I am quoting.

Bikerman, don't defend the inexcusable, as it makes you look bad, and so far your methods have been admirable, and you weren't always "nice" about showing people they are wrong. You are almost never slanderous in my opinion, as you give much proof to your accusations. Indi's source proves Sweeney called herself an atheist, which is something I don't deny at all (that she's called herself that many times that I have heard), but I was attempting to add my own commentary on the irony of her getting an atheist award after the material I heard her spin on the subject, and I'll bet all of her statements about atheism will now be flavored with this material she created. Indi's quote probably comes before she created the material I am quoting time wise -- just a guess, but I will investigate this speculation (look there... readily admit speculation... who'd have thought since I usually "make [stuff] up" as I have been accused).

Indi is being lazy, and taking the easy way out in saying I just make stuff up and that's a bold statement to make without doing your homework. She's not willing to prove it, so why say it. I'm willing to attempt to prove any statements I make, ESPECIALLY any accusations. It's only a handful of videos for Sweeney on youtube, and I've had to start from where Indi would have had to start since I don't have browsing history.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA... I did a quick search online on "a-naturalist" which hints at Sweeney's take on atheism that I mentioned, and it's quoted as being coined by her. She says "a-naturalist" fits christians better than atheist fits her (reference to come). That's urbandictionary.com for all those who'd rather slander me than prove me wrong, or to back up your statements that I'm a lier. Wow, that took two seconds to achieve, but hours to figure. I am willing to do my homework, however.
Ankhanu
IceCreamTruck wrote:
I'm willing to attempt to prove any statements I make, ESPECIALLY any accusations. It's only a handful of videos for Sweeney on youtube, and I've had to start from where Indi would have had to start since I don't have browsing history.


Not to be a bitch (bit it's established that I'm a jerk, so I'm working within established parameters Wink ), but while Indi's presentation might have been terse and somewhat sarcastic, the easiest way to shut him up and put him in his place is with the link to the video you referenced. Nothing else would even need to be said whatsoever, he'd be shown incorrect and put in his place. Long winded defenses could be dispensed with, and you'd even probably get an apology, or at least a concession.

It'd even look something like this:
IceCreamTruck wrote:

<VIDEO>

BAM!


Without the link, it's all wind. Like you said, there are only a handful of videos of her, and you have the advantage of having some idea of the exact search terms you'd previously used, or if you used something general (like just her name, for example), you're more likely to recognize the right thumbnail (this is how I've found some videos by Neil deGrasse Tyson, for example, containing the specific info I was looking for... and there are hundreds of videos of him talking on myriad topics).

Really, that link is your absolute best defense.
IceCreamTruck
Ankhanu wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:
I'm willing to attempt to prove any statements I make, ESPECIALLY any accusations. It's only a handful of videos for Sweeney on youtube, and I've had to start from where Indi would have had to start since I don't have browsing history.


Not to be a bitch (bit it's established that I'm a jerk, so I'm working within established parameters Wink ), but while Indi's presentation might have been terse and somewhat sarcastic, the easiest way to shut him up and put him in his place is with the link to the video you referenced. Nothing else would even need to be said whatsoever, he'd be shown incorrect and put in his place. Long winded defenses could be dispensed with, and you'd even probably get an apology, or at least a concession.

It'd even look something like this:
IceCreamTruck wrote:

<VIDEO>

BAM!


Without the link, it's all wind. Like you said, there are only a handful of videos of her, and you have the advantage of having some idea of the exact search terms you'd previously used, or if you used something general (like just her name, for example), you're more likely to recognize the right thumbnail (this is how I've found some videos by Neil deGrasse Tyson, for example, containing the specific info I was looking for... and there are hundreds of videos of him talking on myriad topics).

Really, that link is your absolute best defense.


I've explained that my browsing history is incomplete, and I'm reviewing all videos I've watched to get it, and I gave reference to urbandictionary.com as quoting her on coining "a-naturalist" which if anyone puts to and two together then that's enough evidence to back my statement, which I did originally give her credit for those thoughts... just excluded quotation marks that denote exact quote, and I also didn't think I needed to reference exactly where I got those comments from her because I gave her credit for the ideas. Indi just doesn't want to accept that I can be right.... that is all.

Ankhanu, you've been awesome lately. I've learned why dean likes you so much, and I thank you for the concession you've made in dealing with me, as it's apparent to me that you've stopped firing bullet like words my direction, and I appreciate that a lot as it has given me respect for you, and I can now enjoy your unique perspective. Indi has taken over the jerk position, but you have either intentionally or unintentionally improved our relations, and for that I thank you. Your statements here may be to rebuke me as well, but I find no fault with them because your advise is completely "constructive criticism". There's nothing destructive about it, and I'd be a fool to not listen to you when you take the time to speak like you are now. I completely agree with you, and I'm slowly retracing my steps to find the exact quote from Sweeney that will mean Indi was ignorant in his accusations, and will owe me an apology if there is one or not. That is all I care about... I'm not protecting any ego here, as I won't suffer any long term damage from the statements made in haste against me. Just have to spend more time to clear it up, and that's ok -- I will do Indi's homework for him.
Bikerman
IceCreamTruck wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What a fascinating story. Man, i really wish i had the ability to just make shit up and pass it off as fact, i really do.


1) Cursing is against forum rules.

2) This statement is obtuse. It's also offensive, it may not exactly say I'm "making shit up, and passing it off as fact" but that's the implication, and since when is it ok to site no proof in an accusation? Last I checked proving your accusations is more important than remembering to quote or cite sources in general statements that are not directed at anyone in particular. Accusation without proof is called slander, and it's actually an illegal criminal offense, and it's unwarranted here.
OK, firstly the use of 'shit' is something I've previously ruled on. I think it is, at worst, mildly offensive to those of a very sensitive disposition. I do not think that applies here and I think that any such pretense would be unworthy. Secondly, I didn't actually read that 'implication' into it. I read a more general statement about how rumours become established as fact. I don't know whether Indi meant to imply what you think or not, and I prefer to avoid second guessing meanings - it is something that people do with my postings all the time, and in nearly every case they are wrong.

As far as the law goes - i would urge all posters to avoid references to slander and libel since they generally add nothing to the debate and are not soundly based. I know something about both, and I can say, with some assurance, that there is nothing here that concerns me with regard to possible libellous comment. As for whether it was warranted - I still think it was a general comment, but I would not say that you made it up and if Indi WAS saying that, then I believe he was wrong. The thing is that I see much, in many postings, that I believe is wrong. If I were to pick up on every such comment than I'd be a poor starving ex-lecturer with repetitive strain injury affecting my hands and several million coins in credit.
Quote:
3) Just because Indi can site some reference to Sweeney calling herself an atheist doesn't make these statements any less her material. You, of all people, should here her voice ringing through because you've heard how she speaks in detail, and you've also heard how I speak in detail.
I agree. As I said above, I don't think you 'made up' the reference to atheism. I just think that you expressed her statements rather more strongly than she would, and extrapolated what she said to give an impression that I disagree with.

I'm not going to deal with the rest of the points individually - it would take too long. Suffice it to say that:
a) If Indi did imply that you had made up what you said then I disagree. HOWEVER, you did, i think, extend what she said into something which doesn't accurately portray what I know of her attitude to the use of the word 'atheism'.

b) My intervention was meant to point out that this disagreement is largely un-necessary and destructive of futher debate. I took no sides and you will find, if you check, that I try to avoid taking sides in any such situation unless absolutely necessary.

c) Indi has annoyed you. Welcome to the club. I can well remember an acrimonious exchange or two myself. Consider (and I mean really think about this) the message that your posting actually conveyed. To me it said that she was wary about calling herself an atheist - a message which will already have been noticed and filed-away by some readers I know, for future use.
In fact she isn't, and we shouldn't hold every comic or racounteur to every phrase they utter when performing.

d) I would also say that Indi should reflect on the wording of that first 'I wish...' section and see if it accurately conveys what he wished to say. If your interpretation is correct then I would take issue with that sentence, but I genuinely do not read it the same way.
IceCreamTruck
Bikerman wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
What a fascinating story. Man, i really wish i had the ability to just make shit up and pass it off as fact, i really do.


1) Cursing is against forum rules.

2) This statement is obtuse. It's also offensive, it may not exactly say I'm "making shit up, and passing it off as fact" but that's the implication, and since when is it ok to site no proof in an accusation? Last I checked proving your accusations is more important than remembering to quote or cite sources in general statements that are not directed at anyone in particular. Accusation without proof is called slander, and it's actually an illegal criminal offense, and it's unwarranted here.
OK, firstly the use of 'shit' is something I've previously ruled on. I think it is, at worst, mildly offensive to those of a very sensitive disposition. I do not think that applies here and I think that any such pretense would be unworthy. Secondly, I didn't actually read that 'implication' into it. I read a more general statement about how rumours become established as fact. I don't know whether Indi meant to imply what you think or not, and I prefer to avoid second guessing meanings - it is something that people do with my postings all the time, and in nearly every case they are wrong.

As far as the law goes - i would urge all posters to avoid references to slander and libel since they generally add nothing to the debate and are not soundly based. I know something about both, and I can say, with some assurance, that there is nothing here that concerns me with regard to possible libellous comment. As for whether it was warranted - I still think it was a general comment, but I would not say that you made it up and if Indi WAS saying that, then I believe he was wrong. The thing is that I see much, in many postings, that I believe is wrong. If I were to pick up on every such comment than I'd be a poor starving ex-lecturer with repetitive strain injury affecting my hands and several million coins in credit.
Quote:
3) Just because Indi can site some reference to Sweeney calling herself an atheist doesn't make these statements any less her material. You, of all people, should here her voice ringing through because you've heard how she speaks in detail, and you've also heard how I speak in detail.
I agree. As I said above, I don't think you 'made up' the reference to atheism. I just think that you expressed her statements rather more strongly than she would, and extrapolated what she said to give an impression that I disagree with.

I'm not going to deal with the rest of the points individually - it would take too long. Suffice it to say that:
a) If Indi did imply that you had made up what you said then I disagree. HOWEVER, you did, i think, extend what she said into something which doesn't accurately portray what I know of her attitude to the use of the word 'atheism'.

b) My intervention was meant to point out that this disagreement is largely un-necessary and destructive of futher debate. I took no sides and you will find, if you check, that I try to avoid taking sides in any such situation unless absolutely necessary.

c) Indi has annoyed you. Welcome to the club. I can well remember an acrimonious exchange or two myself. Consider (and I mean really think about this) the message that your posting actually conveyed. To me it said that she was wary about calling herself an atheist - a message which will already have been noticed and filed-away by some readers I know, for future use.
In fact she isn't, and we shouldn't hold every comic or racounteur to every phrase they utter when performing.

d) I would also say that Indi should reflect on the wording of that first 'I wish...' section and see if it accurately conveys what he wished to say. If your interpretation is correct then I would take issue with that sentence, but I genuinely do not read it the same way.


Thanks for your response... My bewilderment that you of all people seemed to be siding with Indi's definitely rash statements is much deminished by your followup, and I will shortly prove all of those statements are Julia's-- I've been at work all day wanting to fix this, but still haven't located it yet, but I am sure I will.

Once it's corrected you too can laugh at the irony of her words verses her getting an atheist award too, and I work to that end. I mentioned it because it is irony, and I like irony and often find humor in it.

Personally, I want to apologize for basically destroying your good thread. Sure, we can continue talking about Julia, but the moment is passing, and new people have a mountain of text to get over in order to join us on the other side "so to speak", and we could inadvertently have started WWIII, which others may carry the torch longer than Indi or Myself. Really, I am sorry to you, as this is a great post that is now largely Indi and me arguing. I'm still trying to fathom the best way back from here, so I'll find the quote and likely delete as much as I can without causing further damage to the thread. Thanks for your patients, Bikerman, as I am still learning how to interact better with frustrating people on frihost.

Once again, I really admire your self control, and you taking time to make yourself VERY clear. Bluedoll is wrong about you not being well spoken, so don't let that negatively impact your future statements or cause you to over think like I have been lately. I enjoy your brief, and informative posts, and the time you take to make the conversation your own. You're not perfect, but your posts are among the most consistently clear poster's threads and replies.
Bikerman
People's opinion of me doesn't change what I have to say - or I should say it rarely does. I am as human as the next person, and criticism sometimes cuts, but I have learned to ignore the cuts, and I relish being genuinely corrected in a point of fact (how else does one learn?).
If you have the time, you may wish to use the search facility to see what sort of response my postings generally provoke. You will see all sorts of accusations, implications, assertions and innuendo, mainly from theist posters and mainly on the topic of my 'bias'. Ocalhoun and myself are the two moderators who post more than other staff, and inevitably people sometimes confuse bikerman the poster with bikerman the moderator (though funnily enough I've never been at all confused about the two).

My role as poster is to defend that which I believe in (yes, I use the word 'belief', but I have, many times, explained my views on that word), and examine closely any assertions made to see if they have any philosophical merit. People, in general, are often not used to the latter, and perceive it as personal attack. You have already seen some instances of this, and that is just a tiny sample. I make no apologies for my personal 'beliefs' and will debate them with anyone. Accusations of bias towards Indi (usually based on the 'fact' that we often have a similar position) are routine. I think they are wrong, but I doubt I will change many minds by saying so, so I therefore generally don't bother to reply to them.
On the record I would say that Indi has contributed more, in terms of quality postings on philosophy, than any poster I can think of.

Accusations of general 'atheist' bias are misguided*. I enjoy a no-holds barred debate more than most, and I would be overjoyed to find any theist poster giving me a hard time in debate. Sadly this does not happen and what we get instead is whining and moaning about bias, often from theists whose knowledge of their own religion is often pathetically inadequate, and who's ability to discuss it rationally is basically missing.

I try to make my postings clear (without dumbing them down), and if required I will cover the same ground from slightly different angles to clarify further - if I think the questioner is worth the effort of doing so. I am certainly not perfect, but I like to think that I am rational and open to rational persuasion.
(I don't take much notice of criticism which is non-rational, so don't worry on that score).

My role as moderator is simply to enforce the TOS as I see them, and do routine stuff which all staff do (dealing with spam, dealing with user reports etc).

* I would, however, remind ALL posters that my decisions and postings are subject to the same peer-review as any other moderator and I make a point of discussing any potentially controversial decision with those same peers in the appropriate forum).
IceCreamTruck
Bikerman wrote:
People's opinion of me doesn't change what I have to say...


Good message.

I wanted to clarify one point that made me gasp as I read your post. When i listed point number one as Indi cursing please don't think I was offended, and I am CERTAINLY not trying to tell you how to moderate the forums. I wished no action be taken on Indi, but was merely pointing out that as one of many reasons the post was out of line, but the cursing was actually very low on my concerns list, but it made number one in the response, and you touched on it slightly which made me realize that you could have taken that as me telling you what to do with your responsibilities, and me pointing that out was not intended as such at all. That's one thing I'll never do, because it's your responsibility.

Dean was telling me you study religion. Which may sound a bit funny to people who you've shown to be unlearned on their own religion, but I am curious if this is an active pursuit or if you are at a place like me where you've basically found all religions lacking in doing the one thing they are supposed to do: explain the feeling that there is more to life than eat, sleep, breath, procreate, and die.

I studied lots of faiths, and generally I found that it takes a real moron to subscribe to most of them. Some are lighter than others, and I really like Julia's take on a lot of this, but they all pretty much have a lack of evidence in common. Most encourage behavior that I believe if practiced can seriously harm what little grip on reality some of us have. My experience is very similar to Julia's, and I'm curious how you take her material. She's not always the easiest to listen to, but I think at times she definitely shows why she's on stage doing stand up -- she makes me laugh hard!

One of my favorite parts in the Jesus and the fig tree material she does. BTW, I read that passage from the Bible again, and one point that may have not been in the bible she was reading, but it was in mine, was that it says "it was not the season of figs" (Matthew 21:18-19; 20-22 and Mark 11:12-14; 20-25.). I assume she would have used that had it been in her Bible, but she may have simply omitted it. Her way of calling Jesus a jerk is really funny though, and fairly sound reasoning.

Have you pursued any more of her material after your initial exposure?
Bikerman
I think she nails it pretty well.
Yes, I have studied religion - particularly Catholicism. I was brought up a strict Catholic. My entire schooling was conducted in single-sex Catholic schools - the secondary school was run by the Salesian Monks/Priests - much in the news recently for child abuse cases (no, I was not sexually abused, apart from having my shirt 'tucked in' by a kindly priest who used to wait outside the changing rooms after games to be 'helpful').
I studied religion because, rather like Sweeney, I began to question the basis of what I was being taught. This happened around 14 or 15. Like anyone capable of thinking, I quickly realised that the core dogma was so incredible that there had to be something more. I looked for the 'more'. I was convinced that there was some deeper secret that was only revealed to those who really studied the central 'mysteries', so I studied like a bastard (to use a phrase which I would have used then). I was, of course, getting the normal Jesuit indoctrination in RE and Theology lessons, but I also began some intensive personal study.
Three years later I could quote Aquinas, Hume, Thomas Moore and a host of other apologetics and I had found the answer I was seeking. No, there was nothing deeper and yes, it was a pile of crap.
Since those days (30 years ago) I have occasionally dipped back into study - more widely over the years, encompassing protestantism, methodism then Buddhism and a little on Islam. As regards Catholic theology then I am, in all modesty, as expert as most of the clergy I have met over the years. Of course, I don't regard theology as any sort of proper academic discipline, so I'm not really blowing my own trumpet that hard.
IceCreamTruck
Another person commenting on Julia Sweeney basically covers my point again, but I have been going through video after video and haven't found the quote I'm looking for yet. It is an accepted I idea that Julia denies the anti-religious meaning of the word atheist and prefers the term naturalist, from which she coined the term "a-naturalist" to more accurately describe those who believe in religion.

Citing another person gathering the same impression from Julia's work:
http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/06/call_me_a_naturalist wrote:

Yesterday I had this experience, with Julia Sweeney’s Letting Go of God, the red-headed actress’s one-woman show about turning from Catholic to atheist, though she prefers to call herself a “naturalist” (since it’s a word tied to the factual life of the world, not to religion).


It's all good cause Julia Sweeney is fun to listen to, and when I am done I will have moved from interest to expert on everything Julia Sweeney, and I've found too many references to the statement for it to remain hidden for that much longer.
Indi
Good grief. ^_^;

Anyway, i finally listened to the whole thing. It was fascinating to hear a perspective of disbelief so different from my own, described from start to finish. Unlike Sweeney, i never had a period where i believed, so i never had to "struggle" to get over bullshit. The bits about her "trying" life out without God a little bit at a time were really neat. i know intellectually what a parasite on the mind religion can be, but to hear the recovery played out step by step really made the analogy stark.

There were a few things that really stood out for me, though, because although i didn't follow the same path she did, obviously in my attempts to find truth my path paralleled hers sometimes. One thing that really struck me as familiar was the "sigh" she got from "Father Tom" after pointing out the fundamental fallacy in his "logic" about faith.
Quote:
Father Tom: "We all struggle with doubt, but we all come back. Just remember Proverbs 3:5: 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding'."

Sweeney: "So God gave us the gifts of intelligence and curiosity and rationality and then we're not supposed to use them?"

Father Tom: *sighs and blesses her*

What freethinker hasn't experienced that? That ****** condescending, feigned tolerance, followed by the implication that there's something wrong with us for taking the questioning so seriously - that we were usually invited and even encouraged to do - rather than just playing to the script. And no answer given, despite a perfectly valid question! i'll bet everyone here who has asked any serious questions about religion has run into the same thing, and when you're not confident about questioning it really scares you into submission and silence. i'm not really keen on talking to religious people - especially authorities - about religion, but if i had to point to just one thing about doing it that really infuriates me, it would be that damn sigh; that bloody sigh to tell me that they're summing up patience to deal with my intransigence and endless questions, when the reality is they just haven't answered any questions at all.

There was that, then there was that wicked, wicked little bit about Chopra that Bikerman mentioned. ^_^; That was classic. And so true! One single introductory course in QM, and Chopra's clearly visible as the lying idiot he is.

But i think that if there is one statement in the entire presentation that deserves highlighting - just one portion of it that could be taken out, put in a frame, and displayed as a synopsis fairly representing Sweeney's wisdom and insight - it would have to be this one:
Quote:
If I look over my life, every single step of maturing, for me - every single one - has had the exact same common denominator: and that was accepting what was true over what I wished were true.

It shouldn't be profound, but sadly it is. It should be plainly obvious to any thinking adult, but sadly it isn't. And it is, in one single, simple observation, the answer to any number of dozens of theist objections to atheism, including the "comfort" argument (belief in gods gives comfort), and the "god of the gaps" argument (we all wish we could explain every nook and cranny of the universe, but we have to accept that there are some we just don't know).
IceCreamTruck
Indi wrote:
Good grief. ^_^;

Anyway, i finally listened to the whole thing. It was fascinating to hear a perspective of disbelief so different from my own, described from start to finish. Unlike Sweeney, i never had a period where i believed, so i never had to "struggle" to get over bullshit. The bits about her "trying" life out without God a little bit at a time were really neat. i know intellectually what a parasite on the mind religion can be, but to hear the recovery played out step by step really made the analogy stark.

There were a few things that really stood out for me, though, because although i didn't follow the same path she did, obviously in my attempts to find truth my path paralleled hers sometimes. One thing that really struck me as familiar was the "sigh" she got from "Father Tom" after pointing out the fundamental fallacy in his "logic" about faith.
Quote:
Father Tom: "We all struggle with doubt, but we all come back. Just remember Proverbs 3:5: 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding'."

Sweeney: "So God gave us the gifts of intelligence and curiosity and rationality and then we're not supposed to use them?"

Father Tom: *sighs and blesses her*

What freethinker hasn't experienced that? That ****** condescending, feigned tolerance, followed by the implication that there's something wrong with us for taking the questioning so seriously - that we were usually invited and even encouraged to do - rather than just playing to the script. And no answer given, despite a perfectly valid question! i'll bet everyone here who has asked any serious questions about religion has run into the same thing, and when you're not confident about questioning it really scares you into submission and silence. i'm not really keen on talking to religious people - especially authorities - about religion, but if i had to point to just one thing about doing it that really infuriates me, it would be that damn sigh; that bloody sigh to tell me that they're summing up patience to deal with my intransigence and endless questions, when the reality is they just haven't answered any questions at all.

There was that, then there was that wicked, wicked little bit about Chopra that Bikerman mentioned. ^_^; That was classic. And so true! One single introductory course in QM, and Chopra's clearly visible as the lying idiot he is.

But i think that if there is one statement in the entire presentation that deserves highlighting - just one portion of it that could be taken out, put in a frame, and displayed as a synopsis fairly representing Sweeney's wisdom and insight - it would have to be this one:
Quote:
If I look over my life, every single step of maturing, for me - every single one - has had the exact same common denominator: and that was accepting what was true over what I wished were true.

It shouldn't be profound, but sadly it is. It should be plainly obvious to any thinking adult, but sadly it isn't. And it is, in one single, simple observation, the answer to any number of dozens of theist objections to atheism, including the "comfort" argument (belief in gods gives comfort), and the "god of the gaps" argument (we all wish we could explain every nook and cranny of the universe, but we have to accept that there are some we just don't know).


Why before you listened to the whole thing did you choose to say I'm full of it, in so many words? Honestly the point that I missed was how I generated such a response from you, when as far as I can tell there wasn't a reason for it. I find it hard to believe you misdirected anger because you are, from what I can tell, a fairly well thought out person.

Honestly, I'm dumbfounded in how much in common we have that is obscured by you chastising me for what was a relatively benign comment. Your post pleases me because rather than your distaste for lack of evidence in opinion or regurgitated facts we get to enjoy your perspective, which I have. Your experience ringing through her words, is basically exactly the same for me. Sure the circumstances are different for all of us, but the journey so relatively the same. Who'd have thunk it! Smile

Honestly, it was only ever my hope to prove that you were being a jerk, not to prove you were a jerk for all time. Honestly, after reading your last post you are too sensitive for that. Not the bad, I'm too sensitive to live kind, but the good, I'm aware of my environment, sensitivity. Your haste in calling me out before going on a Julia quest, like I just had, was your only mistake.

The quote I'm looking for has somehow become like a holy grail... I will find it! Smile I've been through every video on youtube... must have, looking for this quote, and I keep finding obscure references to it, like urbandictionary.com, but there is a specific part of her talk that I was originally quoting and I'm looking for that. Here's what I have researched and discovered... "Letting Go of God" comes before the thoughts I'm looking for and "God said, Ha!" is about the right time, but I still can't tell if I listened to the entire God Said Ha the second time around or not. Youtube is so frustrating... I wish it had a history of the videos one watched, but even if it does I don't often login to youtube.

I did find another quote where Julia says "I just hated to say I was an atheist -- being an atheist seemed so rigid." which can be found here "http://articles.sfgate.com/2005-08-15/news/17384089_1_religious-los-angeles-dear-god/3" on page three, but this is more of a "if you look then you will find it" kind of quote, and when I originally posted here I had just listened to, and was quoting her exact idea about why atheist didn't fit her. I continue to look but moving is definitely getting in the way.

Thanks for sharing, Indi. I can't help but notice how thick the irony of saying you are full of it would be after a fairly long winded defense of my own statements, and how much fun that would be to just be factitious about it, but alas... I cannot. Smile
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