The Flat-Earth Society Has Arisen Again

The Flat-Earth Society Has Arisen Again

Ever heard of geocentrism? It’s the belief that the Earth is at the center of the universe and that the sun - and everything else in creation - revolves around the Earth. It’s considered pretty stupid right now, given that Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler debunked it over 500 years ago. Nevertheless, stupid ideas can take on a new life if some idiot puts enough money behind them.

Case in point: what happened earlier this month to former “Star Trek” actress Kate Mulgrew. A couple of geocentrist whackjobs with a little bit of money hired her to narrate a documentary called The Principle without telling her what that documentary was about. That documentary claimed, in defiance of all modern science, that the sun revolves around the Earth, although Mulgrew didn’t realize this from the words that she read and what the producers told her about the movie.

As news of her role in the documentary started to make the rounds on the internet, Mulgrew decided to take action. In a statement posted to Facebook just a few days after new broke about the documentary she wrote that she was “not a geocentrist… nor in any way a proponent of geocentrism.” Mulgrew then clarified her reasons for helping out with the film, saying that she was a “voice for her hire, and a misinformed one.”

It really doesn’t take too much thinking to understand why Kate Mulgrew was so quick to separate herself from the documentary and its producers. Geocentrism was disproven 500 years ago, and the only people who still believe in it are fringe nuts and religious fundamentalists. Really, when it comes down to it, believing that the sun revolves around the Earth is about as sensible as believing in Bigfoot or the reptile Illuminati, and anyone, like Kate Mulgrew, who wants to be taken seriously as a modern, thinking person should reject the idea outright.

The same really is true of climate change denial. Over 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming is real and that human beings are causing it by burning fossil fuels. There is no debate. Climate change is a fact, just like the Earth revolving around the sun is a fact, and anyone who says otherwise should be treated like a crazy person.

But the opposite is true: in some circles, denying climate change is about as mainstream as it gets, and for Republicans it’s the default position. According to some estimates, around 58 percent of Congressional Republicans deny the existence of man-made climate change including 100 percent of last year’s freshman Republicans in the House of Representatives. That leads to some crazy things. Just yesterday, for example, all four Republican candidates for North Carolina’s Senate seat said “no” when asked by a debate moderator if climate change was a fact. One of them even went so far as to say “God controls the climate.”

That’s right. While people in the scientific community are debating whether or not human beings will go extinct within this century as a result of climate change, the only answer some people in the Republican Party have to the question of climate change is “God controls the climate.” This is ridiculous. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if all four Republican candidates for North Carolina’s senate seat said the sun revolves around the earth?

Of course, climate denialism in the Republican Party would be ridiculed without the help of the right wing media, led by Fox So-Called News. Not a day goes by without some Fox host laughing off climate change like it’s some kind of joke. This is exactly what happened on yesterday’s episode of The Five. When host Bob Beckel brought up a graph put together by NASA showing the sharp rise in carbon dioxide emissions over the past few decades, he was ridiculed by Eric Bolling and the rest of The Five team.

Comments

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 25 weeks 5 days ago
#1

I recommend "Years of Living Dangerously" to everyone. The series is on Showtime. The first episode is free for downloading. Unfortunately, the second episode is not. In the second episode a fundamentalist climate change scientist addresses the God issue. She points out that God gave us the responsibiltiy to take care of the earth. The parishners accept that position. Don Cheatle then talks to one of the fundamentalist parishners and he points out to him how hard it would be for him to accept the reality of climate change no matter how true he thought the fundamentalist climate change scientist was. The basic problem was that if he thought climate change was real he would have to vote for Obama.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 5 days ago
#2
Quote hartmann:Ever heard of geocentrism? It’s the belief that the Earth is at the center of the universe and that the sun - and everything else in creation - revolves around the Earth. It’s considered pretty stupid right now, given that Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler debunked it over 500 years ago. Nevertheless, stupid ideas can take on a new life if some idiot puts enough money behind them.
That's right, lots of people still believe in stupid ideas...like God...is a stupid idea. Devils..angels..demons..an afterlife..reincarnation....all very stupid ideas yet people still believe in them. People just cannot stop believing in magic and the supernatural. Some mothers have even murdered their children by trying to exorcise demons out of them. Very stupid ideas, indeed! If you fail to think critically about such nonsense, you may go insane and do something really stupid, like these women evidently did. There are lots of charlatans who put lots of money behind those stupid ideas and they manage to sucker lots of people by them....because many people are just not able to use critical thinking. There really isn't much difference between someone thinking he is receiving messages to do things from electrical hi-voltage towers and someone who thinks he can talk to some make believe "creator" in the sky. The people that talk to towers need psychological help and I believe that those who think they talk to God needs psychological help as well.

If people can believe in all of that other sanctioned superstitious nonsense, some of which is even printed on our dollar bills and included in our pledge of allegiance, then how can they condemn the flat earthers or geocentrists? Maybe it's just a case of: "my stupid beliefs are better than your stupid beliefs".

delster's picture
delster 25 weeks 5 days ago
#3

I just had an indepth discussion with Bigfoot the other day regarding evolution and he said that research validated the the human race was way behind in evolving as a species.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 25 weeks 5 days ago
#4
Quote Palindromedary:

That's right, lots of people still believe in stupid ideas...like God...is a stupid idea. Devils..angels..demons..an afterlife..reincarnation....all very stupid ideas yet people still believe in them. People just cannot stop believing in magic and the supernatural. Some mothers have even murdered their children by trying to exorcise demons out of them. Very stupid ideas, indeed! If you fail to think critically about such nonsense, you may go insane and do something really stupid, like these women evidently did. There are lots of charlatans who put lots of money behind those stupid ideas and they manage to sucker lots of people by them....because many people are just not able to use critical thinking. There really isn't much difference between someone thinking he is receiving messages to do things from electrical hi-voltage towers and someone who thinks he can talk to some make believe "creator" in the sky. The people that talk to towers need psychological help and I believe that those who think they talk to God needs psychological help as well.

If people can believe in all of that other sanctioned superstitious nonsense, some of which is even printed on our dollar bills and included in our pledge of allegiance, then how can they condemn the flat earthers or geocentrists? Maybe it's just a case of: "my stupid beliefs are better than your stupid beliefs".

And then there's atheist fundamentalism, equally illogical. The fundamentalists of belief and non belief are alike in the ways that matter - in their fanaticism. Each thinks that it has to be either all one way or all the other way with nothing in between. For this reason each misses an essential component of the truth.

If there is God then the Sun revolves around the Earth and there is no climate change. If the Earth revolves around the Sun there is no God, equally illogical.

You sure like to broad brush it Pali. You know you've become a fanatic when you no longer see any nuance.

Actually, I think Revelations predicts the World will end in fire - after first experiencing erratic weather conditions - as a result of human greed.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 5 days ago
#5

What is illogical about "there is no good reason to believe in any of these things" when there is no good reason to believe in any of these things? There is no proof that any of the superstitions that I mentioned, and all that I haven't mentioned, are real except in the minds of people who choose to believe them. Hearing messages from electrical towers is no different than hearing messages from "God". None of those things can be proven to exist in reality. None are scientifically falsifiable. They are all in the same category as believing in Thor, Zeus, and the Medusa. All products of man's imagination. And so are Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and Jesus walking on water...all are make-believe myths. People who have supernatural superstitions are illogical not those who don't have supernatural superstitions.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 25 weeks 5 days ago
#6

I think believing in a flat earth and the sun rotating around the earth is cute compared not to think that there is a greenhouse effect caused by man.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 25 weeks 5 days ago
#7

We been through this Pali, do we have to again? I think you should consult a psychiatrist about this, you are unnaturally obsessed - and illogical. There is, in fact, good reason to believe in the supernatural. There isn't "final" proof but there is some pretty strong evidence and I don't want to repeat everything from our previous conversation but your problem with the supernatural is obviously emotional not logical thus you are not credible. You are intellectually not honest and heavily biased. Your presumptions are not proven if they are indeed at all provable (just like those of the believing fanatic) you simply adhere to them because they are emotionally appealing to you (just like the believing fanatic).

There is good evidence of the supernatural and the rest of us on this blog proferred it to you but you stay in denial of it (just like a climate change denier).

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 5 days ago
#8

Is it no wonder those illogical superstitious people who rebel against science are the same ones who believe in "end-of-world-prophecy" heralding the second coming of Christ and will stop at nothing to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy? When 98% of scientists agree that global warming has been largely created by man, and none of the superstition-believing people believe it, what does that tell you about superstitious people? What about those superstitious people who believe in supernatural non-sense yet still believe in Global Warming? Are they picking and choosing, like they do when they read their contradictory and ambiguous holy books? They believe in science enough to believe that 98% of scientists are correct about Global Warming yet they disagree with science in relation to their superstitions? Doesn't it tell you something that science has always changed how people believe in their religious beliefs? It has dragged the Papacy into the 21st century...well, maybe the 18th century.

Perhaps, these religious nuts are trying to bring-it-on by stirring up old cold war tensions against Russia once again..in Ukraine? Perhaps, provoking a nuclear confrontation?

The US has sent in 600 troops to Poland and other countries around Ukraine and is not letting up on what they started in the first place when they helped to overthrow Ukraine to begin with. And then, they have the gall to accuse Russia of the same things the US was guilty of? What hypocrites!

The world may very well see a nuclear confrontation and any miscalculation would see many cities around the world turn to ashes.

Why wouldn't Russia feel justified in "protecting" or "controlling" Ukraine? Wouldn't the US do the same? They did in the Cuban Missile Crises, did they?

NATO countries have Russia surrounded and Ukraine is the penultimate domino. Russia, the last. And many of the US hegemonic jingoes, pushing for complete world domination, are largely backed by "end of world" religious fanatics. These crazy people are hoping and preying for the end of the world...thinking their Jesus will cum again...all they have to do is provoke it all. They are just about as crazy, maybe more so, than some of the fundamentalist Muslims who want to turn the whole world into one Muslim world..and they will kill many people to do it.

Why is it that the US has been involved in the overthrow of so many other countries. They have even supported Al Qaeda terrorists and now Nazis in Ukraine. They back the non-democratic monarchy of Saudi Arabia and overthrow democratically elected governments. What does that tell you about the US?

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 25 weeks 5 days ago
#9

You would think the days of Pope Urban VIII and his geocentrist beliefs were laughably behind us. Think again......in the 21st century creationism is being passed off as science by the Christian Extremists in Public Schools, and is every bit as shocking as belief in geocentrism.

The "God controls the climate" comment reminds me of something else I read today. It was about a regular guy hanging out with God and the regular guy looks at God and asks, if you love mankind so much, why is there starvation, poverty, war, greed, pollution, untreated illness etc.? God looked back at the regular guy and said, "I was just about to ask you the same thing."

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 5 days ago
#10

So, you believe in the Easter Bunny, ghosts, goblins, leprechauns, magic? What about the ancient gods and goddesses? What about witches that fly past the moon on broomsticks or werewolves? Satanic possession? Le Plume de ma tante, eh Dimme? Oh, you don't believe any of those things...you believe in other equally ridiculous things...like reincarnation?

Who is being illogical..people who believe in such things or scientific thinking people who are logical. Propositions, before they can be considered facts have to undergo rigid, falsifiable, testing and retesting and have those tests repeated by any of their peers around the world.

Supernatural beliefs cannot be proved or disproved...they are not falsifiable because they only exist in the minds of people who chose to believe in them. I might claim that the Easter bunny lives in another galaxy far, far away but has the uncanny ability to travel to the earth and put eggs and candy in every child's back yard all in an instant. There is no way for anyone to falsify that claim.

Scientists may claim that there is no way that could happen because nothing can travel faster than the speed of light...except neutrinos* and it would take Mr Easter Bunny an extraordinary amount of energy to reach speeds necessary to even attain the speed of light...except that that galaxy far, far, away is many, many light years away. So what then? Maybe Mr. Bunny found a "worm hole" in space and once entered, can appear on our world in a flash. So, since there is no way to falsify the existence of Mr. Easter Bunny...you can neither prove or disprove his existence. But the burden of proof in such extraordinary claims are upon those who make them. And unless you can prove God exists, for example, there is no good reason to believe there that God exists. That's logical. Not: "I believe it... ergo..God exists". That's illogical!

True, it is not only the Vatican that has to change with changing scientific knowledge, even science, especially science, is constantly changing to modify what it understands our universe is all about. But one difference between religion and science is that religion fosters rigid dogmas and never questions the official dogma....whereas science would cease to exist if it were not for continually being challenged with newer and better models of the universe. Some people may claim they do not belong to any particular religion but they still have religious beliefs...religious beliefs entailing irrational superstitious beliefs in supernatural ideas. It is they who are illogical!

* http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44629271/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/n...

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 5 days ago
#11

Or, if "God controls the climate" and if he was suppose to be a magnanimous and loving God then why is he causing Global Warming that will soon destroy us all. Why did he create a global flood killing all mankind except Russell Crowe (who I think looks an awful lot like Utnapishtim of Epic of Gilgamesh Fame) and Jennifer Connelly and their three sons, Shep and Curly, and Moe, along with a girl who they picked up, who had an injury making her sterile who was later made able to be pregnant with a daughter. And we were supposed to believe that that infant daughter would be what started mankind all over again. But who would make her pregnant? And then, there is the matter of Curly who was pissed because he didn't have a mate so in the end, he went off into the wilderness and mated with??? Everything else is supposed to be dead...even all the sheep and apes. So the line of people that was supposed to be created by Curly must have been created by Curly who was a hermaphodite who got him/herself pregnant. But then what? And....Rock Monsters? I think Aronofsky was smoking some really strong dope when he made that movie!

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 25 weeks 5 days ago
#12

The Earth and the Sun revolve around each other, and the Moon chaperons the dance.

The Earth is NOT flat; the Earth is NOT round; the Earth is concave!!! And the universe is dimensionally screwed up.

The foundation for a new religion has now been laid - any joiners?

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 25 weeks 5 days ago
#13
Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 5 days ago
#14

chuckle8: Thanks for that link to Years of Living Dangerously I watched it. Very scarey! Very informative! I might even have to subscribe to Showtime to watch the other sequels. Thanks, chuckle8!

"Don Cheatle then talks to one of the fundamentalist parishners and he points out to him how hard it would be for him to accept the reality of climate change no matter how true he thought the fundamentalist climate change scientist was." --chuckle8

I think that is called "cognitive dissonance" when you say you wouldn't believe in something even if it were true.

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 25 weeks 4 days ago
#15

So the regular guy like you me better take responsibility or its game over .Great comment so true and the higher the blasphemy the greater the truth.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 25 weeks 4 days ago
#16

Palindromedary you are not well, tell it to your shrink. You are a man obsessed. Pointing to all the places the supernatural is not in evidence says nothing about where it is. You have not proven anyhing, you are accepting on faith that there is no God, despite evidence to the contrary. The cognitive dissonance is yours. Of course, on some level you know this and for this reason are so belligerently defensive.

You are, in fact, a reiligious fanatic albeit nihilistic in your religiosity's nature. You are obsessed with your beliefs despite - perhaps because of - their shaky foundation.

2950-10K, Pope Urban VII may not have been good on the astronomy but he, like the ancients and others not technologically advanced, was very spiritually advanced and developed. Westerners of current times have been called "technically competent barbarians" and it is a basic truism that the technically advanced people are inwardly lacking while the technicly primitive are more highly developed personally and, if you will, spiritually. I would caution you from falling into the Western cultural bigotry and supremicism that presumes the superiority of our way of life and thinking.

Remember the more essential part of our discussion, the effect of unguarded technology. We could've done well to have retained the harmony with nature that the more "primitive" peoples maintain. Technology may be greatly overrated. It's good for enabling conquest but the cultural dominance that resulted from that will soon lead to our extinction.

humanitys team's picture
humanitys team 25 weeks 4 days ago
#17

God controls the climate.

Hummm let me think about that . This answer is of somebody not willing to take responsibility for all of us ? This denial of truth like the Earth going around the sun is still the main problem Humanity faces .

Beliefs create behaviours and this creates your on the ground experience .If we want the world to change we can only do this at the level of belief.

First belief we can change is our own power in believing we can change. We are life and life is just another name for god so who holds the responsibility ,we do !

Humanity is stuck because of its beliefs .How can we evolve when the most powerfull country in the world is still being run by organised religion ,spirituality is our politics demonstrated that is where the work must be done.This is now so obvious and if humanity does not alter its most basic beliefs about itself and start being responsible for the human family we can kiss a brighter future goodbye .

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 25 weeks 4 days ago
#18

Reading Thom's introductory post about the flat-earthers, I thought to myself: uh-oh here it comes; more of Palin's long-winded, religion-bashing diatribes, and another debate about the supernatural! Gee I must be psychic.

Palin, I'm no more a fan of religion than you. Given the second-class status most (if not all) religions have assigned my gender, I have as much reason to reject religion as you do, aside from the silliness of the beliefs religious folks subscribe to, at least from my perspective. But I can't dismiss the concept of reincarnation so readily… Sorry buddy! And if that makes me an uncritical thinker in your estimation, so be it. But pleeeeeez spare us the footlong diatribes!! We've heard it all before.

Mark, just a friendly suggestion: Give it a rest. You are fighting a losing battle with Palin. His mind's made up and he's as stubborn as they come. You've made excellent points here on this issue but they'll never have any impact on ole PD. You're only setting yourself up for more frustration.

C'mon guys, give peace a chance! Peace, love an' grooviness! - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 25 weeks 4 days ago
#19

Humanitys team -- I assume you have heard about the concept of "single issue voters". I think the 1% use spirituality as one of those single issues. Based on that correlation I think movetoamend.org could eliminate spirituality in politics.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 4 days ago
#20

Actually, I had entertained the idea that someone would say something like that even before I started writing my "long diatribes". I certainly don't think that makes me "psychic", though. One can anticipate how someone might respond...which doesn't make it "psychic". Just as you anticipated how I would respond to Hartmann's bringing up the Flat Earthers subject. I suppose that other similar beliefs as that of the Flat Earthers and geocentrists, like all other religions and beliefs in the supernatural, all tend to dismiss and dispel the superstitious beliefs of others while totally believing in their own.

So-called "psychics" are just another part of the "paranormal" flim-flam that some people get suckered into believing. It's all hog wash! And the reason why some people get away with convincing others that they have "psychic" ability is by a number of tricks...including suggestions that are so broad and ambiguous that the "believers", who want to believe in the first place, get fooled into believing that the "psychic" has been successful in proving his/her "psychic" abilities. Some "psychic" people are very good at picking up little clues that can steer them into what to say to convince their subjects that they are for real. It's all trickery and deceit.

Why can't people dismiss the idea of reincarnation? Is it because they fear death and that they can't bear the idea of "that's all there is"? That's about the same reason why so many people believe in heaven...an afterlife. Surely you haven't been taken in by those reincarnation flim-flammers have you? What proof do they have that reincarnation is real? Of course, they have all their stories, just like the heaven's gate (you know...pearly gates and streets paved with gold) crowd, too. There is just no hard evidence that reincarnation is real. There is no hard evidence that Heaven or Hell or God or Satan are for real. They are just as valid myths as the ancient ones of Attis, Adonis, Isis, Ahura Mazda, or Ahriman. If there is any evidence, then show me. The burden of proof lies upon those who make extraordinary claims. And all claims of supernatural, superstitious beliefs requires proof of their reality.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 4 days ago
#21

"Pointing to all the places the supernatural is not in evidence says nothing about where it is. You have not proven anything, you are accepting on faith that there is no God, despite evidence to the contrary."

Pointing to all the places the Easter Bunny is not in evidence says nothing about where it is. You have not proven anything, you are accepting on faith that there is no Easter Bunny, despite evidence to the contrary.

Pointing to all the places the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not in evidence says nothing about where it is. You have not proven anything, you are accepting on faith that there is no Flying Spaghetti Monster, despite evidence to the contrary.

Talk about logical fallacies....!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 4 days ago
#22

"Palindromedary you are not well, tell it to your shrink."
Now who is the one being belligerent? Huh?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 25 weeks 4 days ago
#23

AIW was being funny.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 4 days ago
#24

chuckle8: yes, I got a good laugh out of it too! I was trying to be funny as well. Didn't you catch that? ;-}

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 25 weeks 4 days ago
#25

Pal -- Sorry I didn't catch it. I guess AIW is just a better comedian.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 4 days ago
#26

Did you know that Saudi Arabia has made it a crime punishable by death for being an atheist? They call atheists terrorists. That's right, if you openly say that you don't believe in god, they can put you to death. See, that's where irrational beliefs can drive you into doing horrible, irrational things. And once they get rid of all the atheists, they'll start on the Budhists, then the Taoists, then the Mormons, then the Catholics..pretty soon there will be no on left but one scared stiff congregation of Dogmatists of only one world wide denomination ruled by one chief witch doctor priest who claims to be God herself.

I guess I was lucky that I didn't get my head chopped off when I went there...although I didn't openly say anything about my being atheist, knowing that it was not prudent to do so when surrounded by religious extremists when I was there...and that was a long time ago.

Where do you think the US will be in the future if we let the fundamentalist religious types or purveyors of superstition take over our country? And it all starts with people who will believe in nonsense like reincarnation or magic or angels or demons or esp or ......

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 4 days ago
#27

chuckle8: that's probably it! ;-}

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 25 weeks 4 days ago
#28

humanitys team....you got it....My comment was directly aimed at those who would shield the Carbon Barons by blaming climate change on "God"!......in other words refusing all responsibility to reverse the "game over"...which looms near.

chuckle 8 is correct...The 1 % uses God, guns, and gays, to mislead massive numbers of single issue voters into voting for more misery and poverty for the vast majority.

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 25 weeks 4 days ago
#29

Beauty and synchronicity are just happenstance. No meaning there.

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 25 weeks 4 days ago
#30

;-)

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 25 weeks 4 days ago
#31

Palin says "One can anticipate how someone might respond... which doesn't make it 'psychic'" and "So-called 'psychics' are just another part of the 'paranormal' flim-flam..." Geez Palin, have you no sense of humor?! I was only kidding!

If an anti-religious, athiestic person like me can push your buttons, PD, you've REALLY got a problem. C'mon now, ole buddy, it''s not worth having a heart attack over!

I refuse to dismiss reincarnation because, unlike you, I don't claim to know the answers to these age-old questions. That doesn't make me a believer. At any rate, this reminds me of one of my favorite bumper sticker quotes: "A mind is like an umbrella, it works best when open." - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. Thanks, Chuck. I answered Palin before I'd finished reading all the posts.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 25 weeks 4 days ago
#32

Mark: Reference to Pope Urban VIII is based on Galileo having been forced to appear before and placed under arrest by the inquisition in Rome. I consider Galileo to be the first modern scientist. He reaffirmed the Copernican concept off the universe established almost 100 years before him........ No excuse by the 1630's for Pope Urban's ignorance!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 25 weeks 4 days ago
#33

Yeah 2950-10K, Pope Urban was probably a bad example to use - but, maybe not. He may've been some kinda spiritually advanced but didn't understand people not like him, people more scientifically developed and so he persecuted them - much like,say, the Soviets, who were a scientifically based atheist government, persecuted the believers - or, like Pali's intolerance of believers mirrors many believers' intolerance of non believers.

BTW, did you know that all those early astronomers, Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler were astrologers? Isaac Newton is reported o have said to his friend, Edmund Halley (who discovered Halley's Comet), when he said something incredulous of astrology, "I, sir have studied he matter and you have not!"

I subscribe to Marxism, largely - though I've become more libertarian in my socialism recently - and I subscribe to Marxist social scientific thinking (although there's good reason to think that many anarchists are right to claim that Marx stole a lot of their scientific political economic and sociological thinking and took credit for it) and to what Alice said about patriarchal religion, patriarchal religion was a creation of patriarchal society not vice versa, a case of "man creating God in his own image", if you will, which always happens. Religion is always a reflection of the society that created it and patriarchal religion is the religion of civilization, i.e., of a society that has long domesticated plants and animals (and, by then, other people, as well), is agricultural and sedentary. The animisms of preagricultural societies, like those of the Native Americans, West African Yorubans (Santeria), and ancient Europeans (Wiccanism) are not patriarchal and are a reflection of their social ordrer.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 25 weeks 4 days ago
#34

There are and have been, in fact, many very credible psychics, also studied and observed by scientists - and many charlatans, although I think that would be harder to fake to scientists and more scientifically oriented people.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 25 weeks 4 days ago
#35

Hey Palin, go to the April 24 thread ("Poverty is killing us"), pan down to MichaelMoore's post #20 and click on the youtube link he has there. Then on the sidebar click on George Carlin's monologue "Religion Is Bullshit". I think you'll appreciate that, if you haven't heard it already. - AIW

Jesselebby's picture
Jesselebby 25 weeks 3 days ago
#36

I beieve both Phil and Mark are using cognitive dissonance incorrectly. From Wikipedia it refers to the stress one feels when confronted with contradictions they are aware off. Actually I've spent a lot of time around Theists my whole life and was one at one time. True believers don't feel this stress. They see no contradictions here. Hence, people like them keep incorrectly calling an acceptance of the natural world over magical thinking a faith in itself. This incorrect misapproparation of faith has been throughly trashed by a Darkins, Sam Harris, Hitchens, Dennet etc.

6 month transistion. Once fully Atheist, I've never had another case of cognitive dissonance. It would never happen again because my world view is now based on evidence and rational thinking. I know Theists think they are thinking rationally, because I was on both sides of that fence. At one time, I could not understand how people could be so stupid to not believe in god. I know now that I was just foolish and ignorant. I feel sympathy for those still stuck in belief. I realise not everyone has the potential to make the deductive leap.

Jesselebby's picture
Jesselebby 25 weeks 3 days ago
#37

I can see why a few people are attaching Palindromedary because he is trying so damned hard to make the blind see. I don't fault him for it however. Mark's response saying he needs mental help just because he is trying hard to make Mark see his errors tells me alot about Mark's attitudes. He's mounted up on the high horse for sure.

Phil, my advise to you is to not waste so much of you time writting long forum messages trying to convince magical thinkers the error in their thinking. Unless they come about on it on their own, like I did, you words are only bouncing right off their theistic cognitive mental armor. You would not understand it unless you were yourself a faith head at one time. If you were, then try and put yourself back in those shoes.

I've been reading some books about politics and the social science behind it. Two come to mind. Conservatives without Conscience, and The Republican Brain. What I learned about the conservative mind is that it is expert in entrenching, and making up their own facts to support their world view. They have a real problem with any facts that have an emotional connection to them. Things like 2+2=4 they have no problem with, but tell them we evolved from Apes and all of a sudden all rational thought shuts down. They dismis the evidence, saying it must be wrong, and then stretch for anything that keeps their world view in tact. I found this to be a spot on revelation about the right, and it explains so much about everything from their politics, to their denial of science, to their love of imaginary odd things like supernatural crap, aliens constructing the pyramids, giants human bones, reptile Illuminati, love of crazy conspiracy theories etc. Conservatives give odd ball stuff like this life because undernearth it all they are magical thinkers at heart.

When you confront them with facts Phil, a conservative Theist will just entrench. You're seeing it here as evidence. Conservative theists for the reasons social science has exposed, are almost imposible to reach with reason. I was different. I was a liberal theist at one time. Which explains why, on my own, and with little scientific reading, started to have doubt, then quickly accepted there is no god. Liberals are uniquely equiped to connect the dots. To embrance rational thought and dismiss faith. This explains why the university professors are so heavily liberal. Especially in science programs. Econ and business depts are full of conservatives for another reason. They love money, and love to tell people what to do. If you ever run across a liberal christian and befriend him, then by all means use persuasion to make them see the error of their world view. It would have worked on me if we had meet. If I had a mentor, my conversion from magical thinking to rational thinking could have been speed up a few years.

In summary, my advise to you Phil, is learn to walk away from those you suspect have no ability to connect the dots. Basically that means consevatives in general. A liberal theist can be reached. The level they would entrech is minimal, because liberals have very open minds. They can turn a 180 like I did and happily embrace the truth. In fact, they would be very thankful to have any of their errors in thought pointed out. You hear Thom say it all the time. He says please show me why I may be wrong. That's a halmark of a superior mind. A broken mind is one that entreches on holds firm to untruths. I feel some day we may find a cure for conservatism in its worst form, but until then you are wasting your time on trying to get them to see the light. Their shield of faith is to strong.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 25 weeks 3 days ago
#38

Jessel, who's Phil?

I think your observations about what distinguishes liberals from conservatives is spot-on.

While I've never been a theist, I think it would be arrogant to carry on like my world view is more accurate than someone else's, even if I happen to believe it is so. Why should athiests be acting like missionaries? I think other people's world view is best left alone. Live and let live. - AIW

Jesselebby's picture
Jesselebby 25 weeks 3 days ago
#39

Sorry I was reffering to Palindromedary as Phil instead of Palin for short. Reading the war or words these two were having prompted me to comment. I seen Palin trying really hard to get through and in response see Mark retaliating with utter nonsense about Palin needing mental help. Of the two it's Mark that seems to have a problem with logical debate. A halmark of the conservative mind. A few other things he said about ooparts( Out-of-place artifact )confirmed to me he believes in utter nonsense. Another halmart of the conservative mind. Highly gullible. I bet he is a Chariots of the Gods fan. I find time and again, now that I learned what to look for, that this problem with connecting the dots correctly is a defect of the conservative and libertarian mind. Not much difference between a libertarian and a conservative other than a libertarian wants to be left alone to have sex or drugs as they want. In other words freedom of choice there, but in all other ways unable to connect the dots and accept facts of life. Liberals and libertarians both agree the goverment should stay out of the bedroom. But the common ground pretty much ends there. I was just trying to tell Palin that he is spinning his wheels trying to get through to someone who has admitted to giving ooparts a legitimate place in historical studies. It's all the evidence I need to realize words are wasted on people like that. For a while now I've called them "smart idiots" I found it funny that the author of The Republican Brain used the exact phrase to descibe these kinds of people. So I guess I didn't coin it or did I?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 3 days ago
#40

Jesselebby:

Have you ever heard of Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-presidents of FFRF(Freedom From Religion Foundation)? They have their own web site and radio program at www.ffrf.org

Dan Barker was also a very devout young man who went around trying to convert people to his religion. He became a preacher and and very talented song writer and pianist who wrote many religious songs that are still being sung by religious people today. He eventually realized that his religious beliefs were wrong and finally became an atheist. He and his atheist wife founded the ffrf organization and they frequently highlight, and have on their show, very famous atheists. Like Jack London was an atheist. And so is Julia Sweeney, an actor and very funny comedienne who often appears on the ffrf radio show and has several appearances on NPR and TedTalks. Her recent get together with Jill Sobule (guitarist and singer) has produced the Jill and Julia Show on NPR.
http://www.npr.org/event/music/241601710/the-jill-julia-show-on-mountain...

Quote wikipedia:
An early version of cognitive dissonance theory appeared in Leon Festinger's 1956 book, When Prophecy Fails. This book gives an account of the deepening of cult members' faith following the failure of a cult's prophecy that a UFO landing was imminent. The believers met at a pre-determined place and time, believing they alone would survive the Earth's destruction. The appointed time came and passed without incident. They faced acute cognitive dissonance: had they been the victim of a hoax? Had they donated their worldly possessions in vain? Most members chose to believe something less dissonant to resolve reality not meeting their expectations: they believed that the aliens had given Earth a second chance, and the group was now empowered to spread the word that earth-spoiling must stop. The group dramatically increased their proselytism despite the failed prophecy.

This story reminds me of the many times throughout history where other people afflicted with "cognitive dissonance", not to mention extreme gullibility, have listened to some preacher, or other end-of-the-worlders, who convinced others that the end of the world would come at a certain date. In one case they all hid down in caves just to eventually come out when their "prophecy" did not come true. And did they come to realize that their prophet was full of it? No, they went right back to their cognitive dissonance with some excuse why they were off in their dates. They were still convinced that the end of the world would still come heralding in the second coming of Jesus Christ. But what would a Jesus Christ do with a burned out cinder of a world with no survivors if it really was the end of the world?

It also reminds me, when I used to listen to the Art Bell show, when this guy, Major Ed Dames, would come on the show and, with an alarming squeaky voice, would claim that the earth would be hit by a mega-strong sun flare that would fry the earth killing everyone on that side of the earth facing the sun at the time. He even moved to Tahiti believing that Tahiti would be on the far side of the sun flare. Well, that was quite a few years ago and Ed Dames eventually came crawling out of his "cave" to continue freaking people out with other alarmist scare stories. Even before the Sun flare scare story he had some wild story about the earth being attacked by extraterrestrial aliens that would land in Arizona. People even went out to the peak where they were supposed to land to witness their landing.

And the Marshall Applewhite Heaven's Gate people, and the Jim Jones People's Temple people, and the David Koresh Branch Davidian people and the Rajneeshi people...and one could go on a long time naming all of the foolish people who believed in nonsense that got many of themselves killed or left with all their worldly goods donated to these flam-flammers. It is a whole lot safer to stick with natural beliefs rather than supernatural ones.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 3 days ago
#41

As Julia Sweeney said in one of her monologues: She was invited to attend, and give a talk at, a government sponsored program to support dying cancer patients. And she was warned not to mention, in her talk, that she was an atheist. After emphasizing this several times saying "after all, it is a government function". So she shows up and all she could see were people wearing crosses...some diamond encrusted. And when the nun gets up to start off the function she says: "And now, before we start, let's all bow our heads for a 'non-denominational' prayer"....."Our father who art in heaven.." ..or something like that. It got lots of laughs!

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 25 weeks 3 days ago
#42
Quote Palindromedary:

"Palindromedary you are not well, tell it to your shrink."
Now who is the one being belligerent? Huh?

Is belligerence your exclusive privilege? I dare say, after all the pages of venom you spewed accusing me and everybody who thinks like me of the same thing, you asked for and well deserved that little bit.

Anyway, it's not your belief but your fanatical obsession and absolutely venomous and bellicose intolerance I consider unwell.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 25 weeks 3 days ago
#43

Mark, I just want you to know, I'm with you and Albert Einstein on this issue. As a non-evangelical athiest, I feel no need to bully or belittle others whose world view differs from my own.

Jesselebby, as a newcomer on this blog, you do not know Mark well enough to determine whether he is of a "conservative mind", or whatever box you might think he fits into. I happen to like Palin and enjoy conversing with him on most topics; just not this one, despite the fact that our views about God and religion are very similar. And I must clarify that it is not Palin's athiesm Mark has a problem with. It's his dogmatism, his aggressiveness and lack of diplomacy. This is a problem I have had with many religious people as well, and it is a huge turn-off.

I think you guys need to lighten up and climb down from your sanctimonious little pedestals. Like I said earlier, minds work best when open. If you'd rather remain rigid in your thinking, that's fine; it's your prerogative. But please, can't we just live and let live, and leave it at that? - Aliceinwonderland

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 25 weeks 3 days ago
#44

Jesselebby, you got a lot of nerve saying Mark S. is on a high horse when you and Phil are doing nothing but saying that anyone who doesn't accept, what I consider to be, your very unperspicacious views on life and existence is crazy. My (and, therefore, Mark's - as Mark Saulys is my other username) only problem with Phil is not his atheism, he's certainly welcome to that. Hell, I was one - when I was a kid. My problem with him, as I have said many times and as regular users of this forum well know, is his religious intolerance and his personal invective, closed mindedness and his high horse, i.e., his need to talk trash at and about everybody who doesn't share his beliefs in what is clearly a belligerent defensiveness and insecurity about them.

If your atheism works for you that's fine, I don't have a need to have everybody think like me, unlike evangelical theists - or evangelical atheists. I do think, however, that you ought consider that there are things beyond your experience.

In general, my purpose is to crack the religious intolerance of the evangelical and more or less fanatical atheist and try to get them to see that, for all intents and purposes, atheism is a religion - It looks like one, walks like one and quacks like one - and that there is much evidence for the existance of the supernatural - that's why I'm not an atheist anymore - and that atheists are just accepting their belief, on faith, simply because it pleases them or makes them feel good - just as they accuse the believers of doing. I am basicly trying to get them - just as I do every bit as vociferously with intolerant theists - to see that their opinion (belief) is only their opinion, not better than anyone else's and although it seems to them to be the God given truth, if you will, everyone else's opinions seem so to them, as well and that others don't have to accept or live by their opinions any more than they have to accept or live by everyone else's. Tolerance and open minded, fair discussion is what I'm after.

I leave you with Einstein in what are well known to be of my favorite quotes,

"I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."

- Albert Einstein, letter to Guy H. Raner Jr., Sept. 28, 1949, quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic, Vol. 5, No. 2

"The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer."

- Albert Einstein, quoted in: Einstein's God - Albert Einstein's Quest as a Scientist and as a Jew to Replace a Forsaken God(1997)

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 3 days ago
#45

Anarchist cop out: Mark Saulys, why are you using your other on-line name now? Anarchist cop out is Mark Saulys, as I remember. Did you get banned again under your real name?

When I make comments, I make general comments referring to some people in general but I don't directly call anyone names. I go by the principle...if the shoe fits.... I haven't accused you, specifically, of anything.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 3 days ago
#46

Aliceinwonderland:
Remember how this started out?

Quote Hartmann:Ever heard of geocentrism? It’s the belief that the Earth is at the center of the universe and that the sun - and everything else in creation - revolves around the Earth. It’s considered pretty stupid right now, given that Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler debunked it over 500 years ago. Nevertheless, stupid ideas can take on a new life if some idiot puts enough money behind them.

Are you equally as turned off by what Hartmann said?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 25 weeks 3 days ago
#47

No Palin, I'm not. Because it's not personal; it's a general statement; "some idiot" could be anybody. And Mark is no geocentrist. He's not propping up some crackpot ideology (one that's already been scientifically debunked eons ago) with financial support.

I think I've made my position clear enough. I've already pointed out, PD, that I too am an athiest. Our views regarding religion are very similar. I'm just saying you need to lighten up and not be so (as Mark put it) bombastic. Not everyone shares your views on the supernatural either. It's a fact of life that people have different beliefs, different takes on reality, and it's nothing to get lathered up over. That's all I'm saying. Nobody is trying to force their point of view on you, so you've no reason to be defensive.

Far as geocentrism is concerned, it's was scientifically disproven 500 years ago. This is why Thom says it's stupid to try reintroducing geocentrism as a viable concept. On the other hand, reincarnation has been neither proven nor disproven, so I prefer to remain openminded on that. If you've already decided it's another bogus fairytale, that's fine, but I see no point in arguing about it into oblivion.

Can't we just.... get along? - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 3 days ago
#48

Ok, anarchist cop out, I have just read number 45 and I guess you do make it clear that you and Mark Saulys are the same person. You say I am religious intolerant but I say that I am no more intolerant of religion than you, or other people who believe in the supernatural, are intolerant of people who don't believe in religion, God, or the supernatural.

What? I can't disagree with you without you getting upset enough to say things like I need to see a psychiatrist? You said about me that "Palindromedary you are not well, tell it to your shrink." I've never said that about you. In fact I haven't called YOU any names.

Atheism is the lack of belief in a Supreme Being, or a Creator of the Universe, or a God. Most dictionaries have always, until recently in some dictionaries probably due to pressure by those who want atheism classified as a religion, specifically says that religion's chief characteristic is the belief in God. Theism...the belief in God. A-theism... the lack of belief in God. Atheists are atheists because they do not think that there is any good evidence to support the existence of God.

Most of us also do not believe in the supernatural because there is no good evidence to support the existence of the supernatural as it is believed to exist by believers in such things. There have been so many charlatans trying to rip people off, by convincing gullible people in the supernatural, that they have earned a just reputation for chicanery.

Most atheists believe there are no ghosts, no afterlife, and that souls are merely in the same just-pretend category as God or gods or devils. Now if you can provide proof that evidence exists for any of these things then maybe I would believe them....if your evidence stands up under scrutiny of the scientific method. But most scientists do not believe these things for very good reasons.

Since atheists have always been persecuted by "believers" for many thousands of years...even burned to the stake.... I think it is high time that we speak out about our views. Believers sure don't like it...but that's really too bad, isn't it. They come knocking at my door trying to proselytize me. They try to proselytize us with "In God We Trust" on our money and "under God" in our "Pledge of Allegiance". They even drop little suggestions in blogs about their religious or supernatural predilections and expect others not to rebuff them in any way. Sorry, but I can't let that pass. I have just as much right to say how I feel about those things as anyone else.

Many of us here, have no problem in saying what they think of the "rabid right". Many of us have shown indignance at those who dare mention their conservative ideas here. Why should any other topic be taboo? Why should people dance around the subject of religion. You don't care that you may be hurting the feelings of right wingers. Why do you get so uppity over religious topics? After all, religion has bullied people for thousands of years...and they still do bully people with their constant proselytizing.

You said: "Tolerance and open minded, fair discussion is what I'm after." Really? By saying I need to see a shrink? Now if you had only said "atheists need to see shrinks" then that is not specifically directed at me. If the shoe fits, wear it!

You know most shrinks are atheists, too! Now, why do you suppose that is. Maybe the same reason why many priests become atheists. Yes, many are. But they keep up their charade for various reasons...others just drop out. The more they learn, the more they realize that it is just not all very true. I think it must be like Scientology where they collect all kinds of personal data about you as well as a lot of your worldly goods (ie: money) to take all those "courses" so that they can reach various levels of "knowledge". When you finally get to the top and paid them big bucks, and they have all kinds of sensitive, personal information about you, you realize that their top "secret" is a crock. But by that time, if you are not already totally brainwashed, you realize that you've been made a fool by giving them so much of your time and money that you dare not rebel. Besides they have enough personal data on you that you might feel that they will try to black mail you. Some people have run from that organization just to be tailed and harassed constantly.

But, I think that many fallen priests just go along with the program because they think that the "little uneducated masses" need them. What they really need is to realize the truth! And if they realized the truth there wouldn't be very many believers anymore. By the way, I understand that the believer populations have actually shrunk...no doubt due to a better education through the tools of technology and science. It's harder for them to stay shielded in their dogma when confronted by so much enlightening information.

And yes, I am familiar with what Einstein said..he said lots of things..being tugged from both sides...and often misquoted by both sides. He basically just wanted to be left alone on that matter.

We actually agree on many things, obviously not on a few things. We can agree to disagree. That's fine. And in the future, if anyone brings up the subject of religion, superstition, supernatural then I may very well challenge them on it. I have just as much right to do so.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 25 weeks 3 days ago
#49
Quote Aliceinwonderland:No Palin, I'm not. Because it's not personal; it's a general statement; "some idiot" could be anybody.
But, I have always spoke in terms of generalities. I never directly called anyone here anything. I spoke in terms of generalities. However, Mark was more direct and specific (ie: personal): "Palindromedary you are not well, tell it to your shrink." I also think that you may have called other people on this blog some very direct names...maybe I'm not remembering that specifically right now. But, your remarks have indicated to me that you may have lost your cool more than a few times. I guess it is ok to lose your cool against some people but not others? It is very obvious when people are hopping mad...they lose their cool and start calling the people names, in their face...so to speak.

Sure, we can all agree to just drop it and all get along...does that include everyone on this blog? Until the next time, maybe!

My mentioning the quote several times does not mean that I am terribly offended or upset over it. I am really not. I am just pointing it out to drive the point home that some people tend to lose their cool...or become more irrational than they were before...it's not healthy to get too upset over anything that any of us say here. Especially if you have ganged up on other people with other, perhaps unpopular, opinions...not that I am totally without sin. But at least, I don't throw personal epithets, ie: name calling, to specific people on this blog. That would be showing a certain amount of immaturity and hot headedness if I did that. So, I only use generalities....like Thom did in his first opening paragraph.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 25 weeks 3 days ago
#50

Okay Palin, maybe it was out-of-line for Mark to say you need a shrink. He's not here to speak for himself; I can only share my interpretation of what happened. I think your general intolerance of other beliefs systems is what triggered him, not your atheism.

I know I get triggered too, and yes I plead guilty to name calling. You've seen me go off on people occasionally, over issues I'm passionate about. I too have stepped over that line. But the issues that trigger me have to do with policies & conditions affecting our daily lives, and how we treat one another. Of course it can be argued, with some merit, that religion has had a significant impact on such things.

What sticks in my craw are any attempts at justifying a status quo that is toxic to so many of us, in so many ways. The latest example was "David in Vegas", that Republican guy, questioning people's right to extended unemployment benefits while at the same time, ignoring the devastating impact "free trade" and outsourcing has had on the availability of jobs. Dave's comments came across as condescending, paternalistic and judgmental. He was voicing an ideology I used to hear constantly on the boob tube, back in the days when I still had cable TV, and I've heard my fill of it. It's an ideology that has permeated our society and its institutions, that has left tens of thousands of us literally in ruins, destitute or dead. ("Soft genocide", as Marc calls it…) But as to whether "Dave in Vegas" believes in God or reincarnation or whatever… why should I care? Long as that belief system isn't oppressing or killing anyone, it's of no consequence to me.

Mark may have stepped over the line, questioning your mental stability. But I still think he was making a good point about religious intolerance, about atheists being as prone to this as anyone else. While I detect no personal attacks launched by you on this particular thread, I've previously observed you making judgmental remarks about people who you perceive to be gullible or delusional. You've even accused me of being "unquestioning" or "uncritical" (or something like that), just for my refusal to dismiss the possibility of reincarnation. I couldn't even make a joke about being "psychic" without you taking it literally!

I happen to view people's religious beliefs (or lack thereof) as their private affair. But should anyone try justifying creationism taught in a high school biology class, I'd go freakin' ballistic.

Anyway Palin, I concede, you've made some valid points. I plead guilty for bad behavior on occasion. I too have my triggers. I think you and I both are "Type A" personalities, intense and high strung and easily provoked. Maybe we both need to lighten up. I know; easier said than done! - Aliceinwonderland

From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall