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@ Huxley: What Is Your Gain?

Just being curious, since you're against 'religionism' and you are so bent on 'converting' people to ya belief. Okay, just these 3 questions for now:

1. What do you gain from that? Like you work for an agency, or what?

2. What would you do when you find out that you were wrong on the Judgment Day? [Notice: I said 'when' not 'if']

3. How many converts do you have so far?

I'd like you to answer these. Safe

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Faith, is one thing, but religion is a system. Christianity seems to be one of the more limiting of these systems since it's text is riddled with so many contradictions that it can be molded to say almost anything, depending on who you are and what your agenda is. Slave masters were able to use it against slaves, AA's were able to use it against fear, Europeans were able to use it against Africans and now Africans are now using it against each other. I'm not saying that Christianity is the only religion that has been used against people, but in terms of Nigeria, it is surely doing more than it's share of damage.

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Not even I could have said it better. (Pardon my little jibe) This summarises just how you have succeeded in coming through the dark periods of religious despair and are striding forward with springs on your steps. Great - no superstitions to constrain you. Isn't that liberating?

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@wirinet

Point of correction,i am not a religious fanatic as you tried to suggest i am only searching for the truth as my pay off line says. To me there is no controversy about the existence of God even though i agree that controversy is consistent with the various religions/ belief systems. Also i don't belong to the religion versus science divide, i believe there is a bridge between religion and science and mankind is already half way down that bridge we are only yet to reach the final destination. (By using the term religion here, i am refering to the existence of a supreme being/ creator and not to any religious belief). If you had bothered to read my post with an open mind and also the link i provided, you would have seen reason in what i posted. I think you need to maintain an open mind for you to be able to acquire knowledge. I suggest you read and digest the link i provided with an open mind, i would then like to hear your comments after.

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I do not understand the first part of your post, but one think i can tell you is that YOUR DESTINY IS IN YOUR HANDS. All individuals and societies that are progressing today are those that take their destinies into their hands. Religion led Europe into the dark ages, they were only able to progress after they started questioning religion.

Believing death is the end would make up make the best of the little time we have on earth here. It will make us appreciate each day we live because it would be lost forever. Each life would learn to make its mark with this one chance at life.

We do not need the incentive of everlasting enjoyment to live a fulfilled life on earth, Living right and positively impacting our offspings, families and society is enough incentive.

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Many thanks for obliging. If you drop me your postal address on therationalist@yahoo.com, I shall forward a couple of books to you.

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Wirinet

But why see this as a problem in the species rather than an attribute that has differentiated us from all other living things. This same "inability" has been the driving force that has sustained us so long. Religion is accepting an end to this existence in an effort to participate in a new one. Science has answered many questions that have been able to allow us not to meet that inevitable end prematurely in many instances.

Many peoples lives have been prolonged because science has refused to accept the notion that our destiny is the hands of a divine plan. The evolution of our minds has been a remarkable step in just a short span of time and the abilities of the brain have barely been tapped into or studied.

I understand the obsession of many societies in trying to deal with Life and death but I am curious to know why this very attribute or "mutation" or what ever you want to call it is a problem.  If all humans simply believe death is the end then what? What incentive is there to want to discover more. What purpose would there be to want to do this if not mere curiousity.The very "problem" that is inherent in our species is what is taking us to greater heights  and religion for better or worse is an ingredient that makes up that mutation of the mind or so i call it.

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Huxley,

I have never read any of Richard Dawkins book, i will not mind you sending me one.

You cannot blame people here for wearing religion on their sleeves, it is due to the hopeless condition in which we live due to poverty, injustice and oppression. People need hope, any kind of hope. It also makes injustice and oppression more bearable by promising eternal punishment for your oppressors since you feel powerless against them

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Thanks for the recommendation. I shall get a copy of Dragons of Eden. Have you read any of Richard Dawkins's books. He is great. You should read him.

How is it like living in a country that wears its religion on its sleeves. Is there a lot of god talk around you and how do you cope?

Please, allow me to send you some books. I ensure sharing books with people who like reading and I have got tonnes of books.

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Kunle

You do the samething all religious fanatics trying to debunk proven scientific facts do, i call it intellectual scavenging. You scavenge for information on the web to attack evolution without having an idea of what the subject matter is. You just lift false information and suppositions.

Do you know what DNA is and what the constituents are?

First, it is not a language like a computer software, a computer software is binary (on and off), DNA code is made up of four different proteins arranged in an infinite number of combinations.

Scientists are not trying to unravel, the complexity of the DNA, the already have. The complete Human Genome was completed about 5 years ago.

You religionists are damn parasitic in nature, you wait for scientist to do decade of hard work, when they make important discoveries, you will come along and claim credit, that it support your own postulations as contained in your holy book. Now you are claiming DNA. Will you people ever do any hard work of your own?

Well i regard myself as a Saganite, I adore Carl Sagan. I have a several books by Carl Sagan, but my favourite is Dragons of Eden, It follows the evolutionary progress of intelligence, it is brilliant. Read it and it will blow your mind

I am Based in Lagos, Nigeria

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Now that our resident atheist have mentioned DNA which is scientifically proven, do you know that DNA is one of the scientific evidence of the existence of a creator? And if there is a creator, he must have created us for a purpose. According to scientist (who are still trying to unravel the complexity of the DNA) the DNA is definitely a written language just like a language used in writing softwares for our computers, the only differences is that it is far more advanced and the information it carries is infinite. According to scientist accidents like this don't happen in nature, it was definitely written by a highly intelligent and advanced being. All of the DNA in an adult human body could fit inside one ice cube, but if unwound, stretched out and joined end to end, it would reach from the earth to the sun and back again more than 400 times.  Scientists estimate that they could fill a 1,000-volume encyclopedia with the coded instructions in the DNA of a single human cell if the instructions could be translated to English.

You can check out this link to know more about DNA and why it proves the existence of a supreme being. http://s8int.com/dna1.html

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Wirinet,

Awesome story and also inspirational. You a fan of Carl Sagan? He was a great educator. If only I could have 1% of his abilities. I just order one of his books (Demon haunted World) and can't wait to read it.

Whereabouts in the world are you based?

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Morpheus

I am very happy we are able to exchange thoughts and ideas. I am impressed by your assessments of life and its meaning, it makes me appreciate the time i spend on Nairaland, to know that i can impact knowledge on other and at the same time learn from others.

Yes the purpose of life is to survive and survive well. That purpose in entrenched in the DNA, and once the DNA has learnt to duplicate, it does all it can to ensure continuity of the duplication process. Then the individual's (be it plant or animal) purpose is to make sure it also duplicates and propagate its genes. Also a family/ society/race makes sure it survives by duplication although on a more complex level.

But one problem the homo species have had from time immemorial is the inability to accept an end to its existence (death).

We love the idea of existing forever, ancient societies went to great lengths and ceremonies to preserve the dead. Egyptians built great pyramids and got buried with lots of valuables and slaves, so that kings can live as kings in the "after Life", so it was with all ancient civilization.

So societies say you would come back as another person or another animal.

But science tells us that anything that is created will eventually be destroyed. The Sun and the earth will be destroyed when the fuel driving the sun burns out in the next 5 billion or so years. Our Galaxy will eventually be destroyed. The universe also will one day be destroyed. So nothing and i say nothing can last forever and homo sapiens sapiens better come to terms with that reality, the sooner the better for us.

But let me add that the material for making a living thing is not destroyed with the death of the individual, it is only recycled. The body of a person is eaten byplants, bacteria, ants, worms, which in turn is eaten by goats,birds, fish, etc, which is eventually eaten back by man.

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Wirinet

In my own research and continued search. I have discovered that the most powerful attribute as well as what can be defined as the purpose of life is the instinct to survive, to live, if not for longer then forever. Almost all living matter strive to survive in one way shape or form. be it replication, reproduction, faith in an everlasting afterlife. Life always wants to breed new life from the HIV virus that replicates in its host body to the drive for human or animal to want to reproduce itself. Its a unifying constant that prevails in every living form.

Which is why I cannot rule out the possibilty of life after death though not scientifically verifiable yet still plausible because of the above statement. In an earlier post I stated that energy can never be destroyed but "transcends" its form in ways we are barely discovering today. I believe the purpose of life is not to extinguish itself and I still hold out to the possibilty that when one dies, his life force is not distinguished. I am not for certain what happens but I do know the complexity of life leads me to believe in the notion that what ever mechanism created us be it the elements of evolution, chance, choice or divine is pushing us to the path of continued existence. What form that takes well its left to us to define as we go along.

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Huxley

Thanks for you appreciation, i appreciate it more.

I left Christianity, because the whole concept did not make sense to me. I was born with a very inquisitive mind, and i was not comfortable with the "attribute any thing you do not understand (mystery) to God" approach as adopted by man since the dawn of history, even as a kid. I went out of my way to find the essence of things.

By 15 i had studied astronomy and Understand exactly what the sun, galaxy and the observable universe is made up of.

I used to Watch Carl Sagan's program (The Cosmos) in the early 80's and watched it over and over again.

After that I wanted to Know what the term "God" really means, is it a man/ woman/ thing/spirit, what is a spirit?. So I read extensively on comparative religion and Spiritualism. I read Buddhism, Confusionism, Islam, etc. i also practice spiritualism like astral travel, Clairvoyance, etc. At the end of the day i did not see the use. I also went into the extensive study of Biblical history.

After that then i went searching for the answer to the ultimate question What is Life and What is the purpose of Life.

That is why i tell you that once you leave your religion, your life would seem purposeless and meaningless, and the feeling is terrible. I was disoriented in my teen years.

This took me to study Evolution and Geology and physics. I bought and read every book i could find on evolution and the evolutionary path of Man.

It was not until i was in my thirties before i was able to answer the ultimate question and found the meaning and purpose of life. And i have been living joyfully since then.

About the meaning and purpose of life.

Science does not tell us what life is, much less the purpose. Biology only tries to describe the properties of Life, and is very silent on the purpose. Religion comes in and tries to fill the Gap, but does a horrible Job of it, By telling you that the purpose of life is to go to heaven and worship God forever (torture to me, i would say). It is only a concise and deep understanding of evolution that can answer the ultimate question.

Now about the comment of Jesus destroying the temple and why it was included in the bible, you have to read Biblical History. it will tell you why the early councils added certain phrases or books and why they removed others. The addition of the Trinity clause was very incisive and interesting, it was finally decided by putting the matter to vote in one of the councils of Rome. this was because Judaism believes in one God while Roman religion believes in three Gods, and since the new religion (Christianity) is a combination of the two a compromise had to be reached.

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I appreciate your view and it is obvious that you approach issues with a lot of thought - which is what i like best.

May I ask - why did you leave Christianity?

I like you conciliatory manner of approaching these issues and yes - different tactic for different people. I find the most fundamentalist and bible literalists have to be confronted head-on because they uniquely refuse to engage their minds.

For those open to looking at the evidence, a conciliatory tone is more suitable.

I was struck by this comment. Why should they not have added it in the bible. On what basis should things be added in the bible?

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Huxley, these quotes are brilliant, it is incredible that these quotes were directed at so called spiritual leaders of two thousand years ago. You would think that it is spoken directly to our present day Pastors, G.O's, Evangelists, Reverend's etc.

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Look at Jesus's technique;

"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in,

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these things ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, " (Matthew 23:13, 23:23-26)

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Huxley, although i have left Christianity a long time ago, that does not mean i do not appreciate the finer points of Christianity or of the personality of Jesus Christ.

Christ's method of changing people's views were exemplary and non comfrontational.

1. The supreme authority of the time was Caesar and Christ never attacked or confronted Caesar.

2. Christ conformed to the Judaism he met and did not attack any of the prophets in the Torah.

3. Christ was able to turn over the tables at the temple without getting into trouble with the temple priest because it was against Judaism to trade in the temple ( because it is a sacred place)

4. That Christ was going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days is not confrontational and besides it seems silly to me. I wonder why Bible writer added that bit.

5. Jesus Christ called the people Hypocrites because that is the truth, Just like Nigerian Christian leaders. He attacked the persons and not their beliefs.

Jesus cooperated more with his opponents, His best friends were not followers, he eat and slept in non believer's house (opponents).

I hope you appreciate my arguments.

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wirinet

He still don't get it. However I am aware Huxley is intelligent enough to know controversy sparks more responses and is using that to his advantage.

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Good post, but we have two points of difference. You say other peoples' views should be respected. I say views are not deserving of respect, but people are.

If your general premise was that views should be respected, then the Nigerian tribe that abandoned its twins in the forest should have had their views and beliefs respected by the Christianising evangelist, correct?

The various tribes in the world that practises cannibalism should have their views respected?

Tribes that practise ritual genital mutilation should have this vile belief respected.

Basically, no beliefs or practice should be condemned? On that basis how would humans make progress?

How would you persuade someone to change their view if you do not show them that their current view is wrong? If their existing beliefs and the new beliefs are equally valid, what is the motivation for abandoning the existing beliefs.

I disagree with you views about the methods of Jesus.

Was it not JEsus who entered into the temple and turned over tables?

Was it not Jesus who said he was going to destroy and recreate in three days?

Was it not Jesus who called his opponents hypocrites?

Where do we see Jesus working cooperatively with his opponents?

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Huxley,

I still believe firmly, that other people's views, ideas and culture should be respected. And i say if you do not then you are making the same religious fundamentalists are doing, putting yourself on a higher moral, social or intellectual pedestal than your audience. It does not work that way.

Even in the biblical story of Jesus, he did not confront the people or the establishment, he worked within it. He only brough together people of like minds to propagate his views. Same goes for Mohammad, he did not confront Christianity and Judaism that was already establish, he worked within it.

They way to achieve anything is not through your confrontational attitude, you will only breed only anger, resistance and resentment. To make any impact you will need to institutionalize your methods.

By attacking other people's beliefs You are not impacting any knowledge, and you will not gain anything.

As i always say, you should concentrate more educating people about your beliefs and views than concentrating on attacking that of others. Those that would listen would listen and there is nothing you can do for those that will not listen. Even in the scientific community attacking the views of others without expounding your own is frowned at.

Also, it is not possible for people to throw away what they believe from childhood just like that, because Huxley said so. Their lives/ thoughts/dress code/food revolves around their religion, if you take that away without substituting it with an alternative, they would become disoriented, which would be a worse position than when they were a religious fanatic, you might as well kill the person.

Religion is like a very addictive drug, if you suddenly withdraw a drug from someone who has been addicted since childhood, you will kill the individual. You can only withdraw the drug by substituting it with a less harmful drug, before gradually withdrawing it altogether. It takes time, patience and perseverance.

Let me give you an example.

Instead of attacking Pataki, Correct the wrong impression he has about moses writing the book of Genesis, and encourage him to read biblical history. The Author of the book of Genesis (or any other book for that matter is UNKNOWN). Furthermore according to critical analysis, the book of genesis could not have been written by one author due to at least three different writing styles contained in genesis. Also if moses was the author of Genesis, he could not have recorded his own death and post death events.

So you try to educate

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According to the Bible God is almighty so it would not be a problem to watch out for his word.

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You would like to be left in your delusion, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, because we all live in an interconnected world, having delusional people affects all of us. Even worse where they form the majority in a democratic country, cus they would sheepishly just follow what their pastors tell them. Thus possibly electing a candidate who favours their views, thus affecting everyone else.

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Let us think this thru methodically, as it appears you have not given this statement any thought whatsoever.

All scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God,,

How does god transfer the thoughts in his mind into the minds of the bible writers? Having transfered his thoughts into the minds of the writers how would god ensure that it is exactly his thoughts that are put down on paper (patchment)?

Are god's thoughts transfer thru voice, vision, trance, hallucination, telepathy etc? If one is inspired by god, is the inspiration only momentarily or is it a life-long process?

Supposing it is true that good really did inspire the bible, what quality and standards of truth would you expect to find therein? Would you expect the following;

1) Contradictions

2) Falsehood

3) Distortions and corruption

4) God ordering massacres, genocide, killing of the innocent

If Satan inspired a book could it be worst than the bible?

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Why dosnt this Huxley just go on educating and leave Christianity out of his curriculum

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I'm Sorry that I did not answer that,

2.Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God,,

That is how I know the Bible was Inspired by God, and not Santa Clause

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I like Huxley's thought process. He acknowledges that Nigerians don't think, not just critically, but at all when it comes to issues of religion. Leaving many gullible and without sense when making decisions.

Religion is a tool of oppression.

God on the other hand, I believe, is as Real as Real gets. I strongly believe in the existence of a higher power which has nothing to do with the Religion.

I don't fall for HUGE CORPORATIONS WHO CALL THEMSELVES "CHURCHES."

Religion is another social institution used to oppress and suppress people to make them dependent on so called self appointed leaders who only seek to make a profit for thier personal benefit and gain.

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I asked, "how do you come to know that it was the Holy ghost that inspired the writers"?

Suppose I say, ah, it was not the holy ghost but Santa Clause, how do we get to know who is right?

Turn to Leviticus 27: 29, where god talks about human sacrifice. Are you saying that this is god's word?

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And in Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and other books in the Bible we see were God or Jesus speaks.

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No, he did not write it Himself. He used Humans to do that, but the Holy Ghost was the one who gave those Humans what to write.

God is almighty and with this power he was able to bring together what he needed for is Book or his word.

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CAn you tell me how you come to know that the bible is the word of god. Could god have written a better book?

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huxley

I agree with you that a lot of people have died because of Religion, I am not a friend of Religion, but I have the faith that the Bible teaches us to have, not Religion, faith.

About the verse you quoted:"THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE." You must understand the reason for that verse.

The Bible teaches that Magic is from Satan, and its users are Worshipers of Satan. And were Satan is lord there can only be Death and destruction. But Yes many have been killed because people who say thy fallow Christ have misused tha verse to kill innocent people.

But now we (fallowers of christ) are to find those who have went the wrong way and bring them back to the Fold.

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1) My gain is that I help eliminate superstition from our civilization. Take for instance the passage from the bible,

Exodus 22:18, "THOU SHALT NOT SUFFER A WITCH TO LIVE."

Tens of thousands of people died at the hands of Christian witch hunters in the Middle Ages as a direct inspiration of this passage.

Do you think if slavery had been explicitly condemned by the bible it would have had the direct support of the Christian churches.

This is what motivates me - the lack of critical thinking. It is difficult living in a world with people whose minds are set in bronze-age thinking.

2) Does our minds survive death?

3) Unlike you guys, I am not looking for converts. I am interested in educating.

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Please answer Huxley!!

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We would have lost nothing, if. . .

But you on the other hand would lose Everything if viceversa

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Huxley's approach is wrong in that he is trying to convince people of his view point in the wrong forum. While his threads do spark conversations and deep thought based on certain provable facts and logic, the underlying problem is that he is facing a crowd who base most of their reasoning on the subject matter on "faith"

Its like going to the famous white supremacist website stormfront and trying to convinve them that they are the same as black people. It just is not going to work. You might spark the curiousity of one or two people but eventually if that is not the goal, then the effort is pointless.

My advice to Huxley, argue the logic and bring people to the understanding.

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@ poster

what will you do when you find out that there is no judgement day when you die?

Notice i said when not if. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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