Profile

Cover photo
Giovanni E S
168,871 views
AboutPostsPhotos+1's

Stream

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Primero hay que ganar, hay que dejar de lado cualquier pequeño objetivo propio. No deben enfrascarse en debates viscerales que les permita a los republicanos ganarse las (pequeñas) mentes de unos votantes para nada sofisticados. Lo mejor fue en el minuto 4:07 ( https://youtu.be/HggNLz5fLFA?t=4m7s ), cuando dice quién maneja los problemas sociales, quién realmente puede cambiar percepciones. No sorprende a nadie, pero es bueno verlo dicho explicitamente.
 ·  Translate
1

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Lo que escribe tiene mucho sentido.

Y yo ya estoy esperando su siguiente artículo donde dice cuál cree que es el talón de Aquiles de Trump.
 ·  Translate
This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president.
2

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Esto sí es hardcore... creo que no estoy en edad
 ·  Translate
Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet.
1

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Y este artículo es de alguien que votó en contra... y no obstante sabe diferenciar las cosas y no se queda con la postura dogmática.
 ·  Translate
1

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Vaya, vaya. Los de esa comunidad que además quieren llamarse católicos, parece que comienzan a ver una luz al fondo del túnel. No creo que durante este papado, pero tal vez con el siguiente.
 ·  Translate
El Pontífice dijo que esta institución también debería buscar el perdón de otras personas a las que ha marginado, como las mujeres, los pobres y los niños.
2
Giovanni E S's profile photoMartin Ponce (kenami)'s profile photo
3 comments
 
umm, no sé, me parece difícil que alguien pueda organizar su propia quema en la hoguera. =(
 ·  Translate

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Para aquellos que puedan leer en inglés, el enlace es el primero que aparece cuando uno abre la publicación (que son más de 1060 líneas). Todavía no leo el libro, pero voy a tener que revisar.
 ·  Translate
 
Why God is not great, is an excellent book to be read by both Believers and Atheists.
Its now available for free in pdf form

Just click on the link below and download

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B09dKTRT89RDYTEyOTU3OGItODFjZC00N2E2LWEyNmMtY2Y3NTFiNTk3MDQw/view



Few, God Is Not Great Quotes
From
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3442838-god-is-not-great-how-religion-poisons-everything


Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.



Exceptional claims demand exceptional evidence.



Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.



Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.



The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.



What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.



One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think—though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one—that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.



Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience.



To 'choose' dogma and faith over doubt and experience is to throw out the ripening vintage and to reach greedily for the Kool-Aid.



Thus, though I dislike to differ with such a great man, Voltairewas simply ludicrous when he said that if god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him. The human invention of god is the problem to begin with.



God did not create man in his own image. Evidently, it was quite the other way about, which is the painless explanation for the profusion of gods and religions, and the fratricide both between and among faiths, that we see all about us and that has so retarded the development of civilization.



My own view is that this planet is used as a penal colony, lunatic asylum and dumping ground by a superior civilization, to get rid of the undesirable and unfit. I can't prove it, but you can't disprove it either.



Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation.



And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.



Nothing optional -- from homosexuality to adultery -- is ever made punishable unless those who do the prohibiting (and exact the fierce punishment) have a repressed desire to participate.



Philosophy begins where religion ends, just as by analogy chemistry begins where alchemy runs out, and astronomy takes the place of astrology.



Nothing proves the man-made character of religion as obviously as the sick mind that designed hell.



There are days when I miss my old convictions as if they were an amputated limb. But in general I feel better, and no less radical, and you will feel better too, I guarantee, once you leave hold of the doctrinaire and allow your chainless mind to do its own thinking.



Here is the point about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. 
We do not hold our convictions dogmatically. We believe with certainty that an ethical life can be lived without religion. And we know for a fact that the corollary holds true - that religion has caused innumerate people not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow.



I leave it to the faithful to burn each other's churches and mosques and synagogues, which they can be always relied upon to do



The most educated person in the world now has to admit-- I shall not say confess-- that he or she knows less and less but at least knows less and less about more and more.



it is interesting to find that people of faith now seek defensively to say that they are no worse than fascists or Nazis or Stalinists



Evolution has meant that our prefrontal lobes are too small, our adrenal glands are too big, and our reproductive organs apparently designed by committee; a recipe which, alone or in combination, is very certain to lead to some unhappiness and disorder.



The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species.



In order to be a part of the totalitarian mind-set, it is not necessary to wear a uniform or carry a club or a whip. It is only necessary to wish for your own subjection, and to delight in the subjection of others.



Past and present religious atrocities have occured not because we are evil, but because it is a fact of nature that the human species is, biologically, only partly rational. Evolution has meant that our prefrontal lobes are too small, our adrenal glands are too big, and our reproductive organs apparently designed by committee; a recipe which, alone or in combination, is very certain to lead to some unhappiness and disorder.



The essential principle of totalitarianism is to make laws that are impossible to obey.



Evolution is, as well as smarter than we are, infinitely more callous and cruel, and also capricious.



There but for the grace of God,' said John Bradford in the sixteenth century, on seeing wretches led to execution, 'go I.' What this apparently compassionate observation really means-not that it really 'means' anything-is, 'There by the grace of God goes someone else.



In the very recent past, we have seen the Church of Rome befouled by its complicity with the unpardonable sin of child rape, or, as it might be phrased in Latin form, "no child's behind left.



The idea of a utopian state on earth, perhaps modeled on some heavenly ideal, is very hard to efface and has led people to commit terrible crimes in the name of the ideal.



We are not immune to the lure of wonder and mystery and awe: we have music and art and literature, and find that the serious ethical dilemmas are better handled by Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Schiller and Dostoyevsky and George Eliot than in the mythical morality tales of the holy books.



As Shakespeare put it in 'King Lear,' the policeman who lashes the whore has a hot need to use her for the very offense for which he plies the lash.



We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free
inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
We do not hold our convictions dogmatically: the disagreement between
Professor Stephen Jay Gould and Professor Richard Dawkins,
concerning “punctuated evolution” and the unfilled gaps in post
Darwinian theory, is quite wide as well as quite deep, but we shall
resolve it by evidence and reasoning and not by mutual excommunication.



The North Korean state was born at about the same time that Nineteen Eighty-Four was published, and one could almost believe that the holy father of the state, Kim Il Sung, was given a copy of the novel and asked if he could make it work in practice. Yet even Orwell did not dare to have it said that "Big Brother's" birth was attended by miraculous signs and portents - such as birds hailing the glorious event by singing in human words.



In The Future of an Illusion, Freud made the obvious point that religion suffered from one incurable deficiency: it was too clearly derived from our own desire to escape from or survive death. This critique of wish-thinking is strong and unanswerable,



People keep saying, "God is in the details". He isn't in ours, unless his yokel creationist fans wish to take credit for his clumsiness, failure, and incompetence.



My little ankle-strap sandals curled with embarrassment for her.



There still remain four irreducible objections to religious faith: that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking.



[T]o believe in a god is in one way to express a willingness to believe in anything. Whereas to reject the belief is by no means to profess belief in nothing.




When the bones of prehistoric animals began to be discovered and scrutinized in the nineteenth century, there were those who said that the fossils had been placed in the rock by god, in order to test our faith. This cannot be disproved. Nor can my own pet theory that, from the patterns of behavior that are observable, we may infer a design that makes planet earth, all unknown to us, a prison colony and lunatic asylum that is employed as a dumping ground by far-off and superior civilizations. However, I was educated by Sir Karl Popper to believe that a theory that is unfalsifiable is to that extent a weak one.



How much vanity must be concealed – not too effectively at that – in order to pretend that one is the personal object of a divine plan?



The holy book in the longest continuous use—the Talmud—commands the observant one to thank his maker every day that he was not born a woman.



On the other hand, and as if by way of compensation, religion teaches people to be extremely self-centered and conceited. It assures them that god cares for them individually, and it claims that the cosmos was created with them specifically in mind. This explains the supercilious expression on the faces of those who practice religion ostentatiously: pray excuse my modesty and humility but I happen to be busy on an errand for god.



In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in a pitch-black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind old men as guides. —HEINRICH HEINE, GEDANKEN UND EINFALLE



I am so made that I cannot believe.



The true value of a man is not determined by his possession, supposed or real, of Truth, but rather by his sincere exertion to get to the Truth. It is not possession of the Truth, but rather the pursuit of Truth by which he extends his powers and in which his ever-growing perfectibility is to be found. Possession makes one passive, indolent, and proud. If God were to hold all Truth concealed in his right hand, and in his left only the steady and diligent drive for Truth, albeit with the proviso that I would always and forever err in the process, and to offer me the choice, I would with all humility take the left hand. —GOTTHOLD LESSING, ANTI-GOEZE (1778)



What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. This is even more true when the “evidence” eventually offered is so shoddy and self-interested.




The human species is an animal species without very much variation within it, and it is idle and futile to imagine that a voyage to Tibet, say, will discover an entirely different harmony with nature or eternity.



James Madison, the author of the First Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting any law respecting an establishment of religion, was also an author of Article VI, which states unambiguously that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust.” His later Detached Memoranda make it very plain that he opposed the government appointment of chaplains in the first place, either in the armed forces or at the opening ceremonies of Congress. “The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles.



I leave it to the faithful to burn each other’s churches and mosques and synagogues, which they can always be relied upon to do.



The drops (polio vaccine) were designed,said these believers. Their intention and effect was genocidal. Nobody was to swallow them, or administer them to infants. Within months, polio was back...



(An astrologer of a London tabloid was once fired by means of a letter from his editor which began, “As you will no doubt have foreseen.”)



The suspicion that a calamity might also be a punishment is further useful in that it allows an infinity of speculation. After New Orleans, which suffered from a lethal combination of being built below sea level and neglected by the Bush administration, I learned from a senior rabbi in Israel that it was revenge for the evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, and from the mayor of New Orleans (who had not performed his own job with exceptional prowess) that it was god’s verdict on the invasion of Iraq. You can nominate your own favorite sin here, as did the “reverends” Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell after the immolation of the World Trade Center. In that instance, the proximate cause was to be sought and found in America’s surrender to homosexuality and abortion. (Some ancient Egyptians believed that sodomy was the cause of earthquakes: I expect this interpretation to revive with especial force when the San Andreas Fault next gives a shudder under the Gomorrah of San Francisco.)



Thus , dear reader, if you have come this far and found your own faith undermined—as I hope—I am willing to say that to some extent I know what you are going through. There are days when I miss my own convictions as if they were an amputated limb. But in general I feel better, and no less radical, and you will feel better too, I guarantee, once you leave hold of the doctrinaire and allow your chainless mind to do its own thinking.



It is a tragic and potentially lethal irony that those who most despise science and the method of free inquiry should have been able to pilfer from it and annex its sophisticated products to their sick dreams.



Christian reformism arose originally from the ability of its advocates to contrast the Old Testament with the New. The cobbled-together ancient Jewish books had an ill-tempered and implacable and bloody and provincial god, who was probably more frightening when he was in a good mood (the classic attribute of the dictator). Whereas the cobbled-together books of the last two thousand years contained handholds for the hopeful, and references to meekness, forgiveness, lambs and sheep, and so forth. This distinction is more apparent than real, since it is only in the reported observations of Jesus that we find any mention of hell and eternal punishment. The god of Moses would brusquely call for other tribes, including his favorite one, to suffer massacre and plague and even extirpation, but when the grave closed over his victims he was essentially finished with them unless he remembered to curse their succeeding progeny. Not until the advent of the Prince of Peace do we hear of the ghastly idea of further punishing and torturing the dead. First presaged by the rantings of John the Baptist, the son of god is revealed as one who, if his milder words are not accepted straightaway, will condemn the inattentive to everlasting fire. This has provided texts for clerical sadists ever since, and features very lip-smackingly in the tirades of Islam.



The suspicion that a calamity might also be a punishment is further useful in that it allows an infinity of speculation. After New Orleans, which suffered from a lethal combination of being built below sea level and neglected by the Bush administration, I learned from a senior rabbi in Israel that it was revenge for the evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, and from the mayor of New Orleans (who had not performed his own job with exceptional prowess) that it was god’s verdict on the invasion of Iraq. You can nominate your own favorite sin here, as did the “reverends” Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell after the immolation of the World Trade Center. In that instance, the proximate cause was to be sought and found in America’s surrender to homosexuality and abortion. (Some ancient Egyptians believed that sodomy was the cause of earthquakes: I expect this interpretation to revive with especial force when the San Andreas Fault next gives a shudder under the Gomorrah of San Francisco.) When the debris had eventually settled on Ground Zero, it was found that two pieces of mangled girder still stood in the shape of a cross, and much wondering comment resulted. Since all architecture has always involved crossbeams, it would be surprising only if such a feature did not emerge. I admit that I would have been impressed if the wreckage had formed itself into a Star of David or a star and crescent, but there is no record of this ever having occurred anywhere, even in places where local people might be impressed by it. And remember, miracles are supposed to occur at the behest of a being who is omnipotent as well as omniscient and omnipresent. One might hope for more magnificent performances than ever seem to occur.



And it seems possible, moving to the psychological arena, that people can be better off believing in something than in nothing, however untrue that something may be.



Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.


Actually, the “leap of faith”—to give it the memorable name that Soren Kierkegaard bestowed upon it—is an imposture. As he himself pointed out, it is not a “leap” that can be made once and for all. It is a leap that has to go on and on being performed, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary. This effort is actually too much for the human mind, and leads to delusions and manias. Religion understands perfectly well that the “leap” is subject to sharply diminishing returns, which is why it often doesn’t in fact rely on “faith” at all but instead corrupts faith and insults reason by offering evidence and pointing to confected “proofs.” This evidence and these proofs include arguments from design, revelations, punishments, and miracles. Now that religion’s monopoly has been broken, it is within the compass of any human being to see these evidences and proofs as the feeble-minded inventions that they are.



I shall simply say that those who offer false consolation are false friends.



And we know for a fact that the corollary holds true—that religion has caused innumerable people not just to conduct themselves no better than others, but to award themselves permission to behave in ways that would make a brothel-keeper or an ethnic cleanser raise an eyebrow.



If you will devote a little time to studying the staggering photographs taken by the Hubble telescope, you will be scrutinizing things that are far more awesome and mysterious and beautiful—and more chaotic and overwhelming and forbidding—than any creation or “end of days” story. If you read Hawking on the “event horizon,” that theoretical lip of the “black hole” over which one could in theory plunge and see the past and the future (except that one would, regrettably and by definition, not have enough “time”), I shall be surprised if you can still go on gaping at Moses and his unimpressive “burning bush.



In some cases—most notably the Christian—one revelation is apparently not sufficient, and needs to be reinforced by successive apparitions, with the promise of a further but ultimate one to come. In other cases, the opposite difficulty occurs and the divine instruction is delivered, only once, and for the final time, to an obscure personage whose lightest word then becomes law. Since all of these revelations, many of them hopelessly inconsistent, cannot by definition be simultaneously true, it must follow that some of them are false and illusory. It could also follow that only one of them is authentic, but in the first place this seems dubious and in the second place it appears to necessitate religious war in order to decide whose revelation is the true one.


Above all, we are in need of a renewed Enlightenment, which will base itself on the proposition that the proper study of mankind is man, and woman. This Enlightenment will not need to depend, like its predecessors, on the heroic breakthroughs of a few gifted and exceptionally courageous people. It is within the compass of the average person. The study of literature and poetry, both for its own sake and for the eternal ethical questions with which it deals, can now easily depose the scrutiny of sacred texts that have been found to be corrupt and confected. The pursuit of unfettered scientific inquiry, and the availability of new findings to masses of people by easy electronic means, will revolutionize our concepts of research and development. Very importantly, the divorce between the sexual life and fear, and the sexual life and disease, and the sexual life and tyranny, can now at last be attempted, on the sole condition that we banish all religions from the discourse. And all this and more is, for the first time in our history, within the reach if not the grasp of everyone. However, only the most naive utopian can believe that this new humane civilization will develop, like some dream of “progress,” in a straight line. We have first to transcend our prehistory, and escape the gnarled hands which reach out to drag us back to the catacombs and the reeking altars and the guilty pleasures of subjection and abjection. “Know yourself,” said the Greeks, gently suggesting the consolations of philosophy. To clear the mind for this project, it has become necessary to know the enemy, and to prepare to fight it.


The level of intensity fluctuates according to time and place, but it can be stated as a truth that religion does not, and in the long run cannot, be content with its own marvelous claims and sublime assurances. It must seek to interfere with the lives of nonbelievers, or heretics, or adherents of other faiths. It may speak about the bliss of the next world, but it wants power in this one.



Jesus, it is true, shows no personal interest in gain, but he does speak of treasure in heaven and even of “mansions” as an inducement to follow him. Is it not further true that all religions down the ages have shown a keen interest in the amassment of material goods in the real world?


Philosophy begins where religion ends, just as by analogy chemistry begins where alchemy runs out, and astonomy takes the place of astrology.


How much vanity must be concealed-not too effectively at that in order to pretend that one is the personal object of a divine plan?


Porcophilia can also be used for oppressive and repressive purposes. In medieval Spain, where Jews and Muslims were compelled on pain of death and torture to convert to Christianity, the religious authorities quite rightly suspected that many of the conversions were not sincere. Indeed, the Inquisition arose partly from the holy dread that secret infidels were attending Mass—where of course, and even more disgustingly, they were pretending to eat human flesh and drink human blood, in the person of Christ himself. Among the customs that arose in consequence was the offering, at most events formal and informal, of a plate of charcuterie. Those who have been fortunate enough to visit Spain, or any good Spanish restaurant, will be familiar with the gesture of hospitality: literally dozens of pieces of differently cured, differently sliced pig. But the grim origin of this lies in a constant effort to sniff out heresy, and to be unsmilingly watchful for giveaway expressions of distaste. In the hands of eager Christian fa-natics, even the toothsome jamón Ibérico could be pressed into service as a form of torture.


God did not create man in his own image. Evidently, it was the other way about, which is the painless explanation for the profusion of gods and religions, and the fratricide both between and among faiths, that we see all about us and that has so retarded the development of civilization.


The Christians and Jews eat defiled pig meat and swill poisonous alcohol. Buddhist and Muslim Sri Lankans blamed the wine-oriented Christmas celebrations of 2004 for the immediately following tsunami. Catholics are dirty and have too many children. Muslims breed like rabbits and wipe their bottoms with the wrong hand. Jews have lice in their beards and seek the blood of Christian children to add flavor and zest to their Passover matzos. And



people can be better off believing in something than in nothing, however untrue that something may be.



In the immortal children's Christmas pantomime Peter Pan, there comes a climactic moment when the little angel Tinkerbell seems to be dying. The glowing light that represents her on the stage begins to dim, and there is only one possible way to save the dire situation. An actor steps up to the front of the house and asks all the children, "Do you believe in fairies?" If they keep confidently answering "YES!" then the tiny light will start to brighten again. Who can object to this ? One wants not to spoil children's belief in magic—there will be plenty of time later for disillusionment—and nobody is waiting at the exit asking them hoarsely to contribute their piggy banks to the Tinkerbell Salvation Church.



The god of Moses would brusquely call for other tribes, including his favorite one, to suffer massacre and plague and even extirpation, but when the grave closed over his victims he was essentially finished with them unless he remembered to curse their succeeding progeny. Not until the advent of the Prince of Peace do we hear of the ghastly idea of further punishing and torturing the dead. First presaged by the rantings of John the Baptist, the son of god is revealed as one who, if his milder words are not accepted straightaway, will condemn the inattentive to everlasting fire.



Moreover, the context is oppressively confined and local. None of these provincials, or their deity, seems to have any idea of a world beyond the desert, the flocks and herds, and the imperatives of nomadic subsistence. This is forgivable on the part of the provincial yokels, obviously, but then what of their supreme guide and wrathful tyrant? Perhaps he was made in their image, even if not graven?



Even the great Thomas Paine, a friend to Franklin and Jefferson, repudiated the charge of atheism that he was not afraid to invite. Indeed, he set out to expose the crimes and horrors of the Old Testament, as well as the foolish myths of the New, as part of a vindication of god. No grand and noble deity, he asserted, should have such atrocities and stupidities laid to his charge. Paine’s Age of Reason marks almost the first time that frank contempt for organized religion was openly expressed. It had a tremendous worldwide effect. His American friends and contemporaries, partly inspired by him to declare independence from the Hanoverian usurpers and their private Anglican Church, meanwhile achieved an extraordinary and unprecedented thing: the writing of a democratic and republican constitution that made no mention of god and that mentioned religion only when guaranteeing that it would always be separated from the state.



The human species is an animal species without very much variation within it, and it is idle and futile to imagine that a voyage to Tibet, say, will discover an entirely different harmony with nature or eternity. The Dalai Lama, for example, is entirely and easily recognizable to a secularist. In exactly the same way as a medieval princeling, he makes the claim not just that Tibet should be independent of Chinese hegemony—a “perfectly good” demand, if I may render it into everyday English—but that he himself is a hereditary king appointed by heaven itself. How convenient! Dissenting sects within his faith are persecuted; his one-man rule in an Indian enclave is absolute; he makes absurd pronouncements about sex and diet and, when on his trips to Hollywood fund-raisers, anoints major donors like Steven Segal and Richard Gere as holy. (Indeed, even Mr. Gere was moved to whine a bit when Mr. Segal was invested as a tulku, or person of high enlightenment. It must be annoying to be outbid at such a spiritual auction.) I will admit that the current “Dalai” or supreme lama is a man of some charm and presence, as I will admit that the present queen of England is a person of more integrity than most of her predecessors, but this does not invalidate the critique of hereditary monarchy, and the first foreign visitors to Tibet were downright appalled at the feudal domination, and hideous punishments, that kept the population in permanent serfdom to a parasitic monastic elite.


The “evidence” for faith, then, seems to leave faith looking even weaker than it would if it stood, alone and unsupported, all by itself. What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. This is even more true when the “evidence” eventually offered is so shoddy and self-interested.



Those who naively credit Gandhi with a conscientious or consistent pacifism might wish to ask if this did not amount to letting the Japanese imperialists do his fighting for him.


must be said for the “Latter-day Saints” (these conceited words were added to Smith’s original “Church of Jesus Christ” in 1833) that they have squarely faced one of the great difficulties of revealed religion. This is the problem of what to do about those who were born before the exclusive “revelation,” or who died without ever having the opportunity to share in its wonders. Christians used to resolve this problem by saying that Jesus descended into hell after his crucifixion, where it is thought that he saved or converted the dead. There is indeed a fine passage in Dante’s Inferno where he comes to rescue the spirits of great men like Aristotle, who had presumably been boiling away for centuries until he got around to them. (In another less ecumenical scene from the same book, the Prophet Muhammad is found being disemboweled in revolting detail.) The Mormons have improved on this rather backdated solution with something very literal-minded. They have assembled a gigantic genealogical database at a huge repository in Utah, and are busy filling it with the names of all people whose births, marriages, and deaths have been tabulated since records began. This is very useful if you want to look up your own family tree, and as long as you do not object to having your ancestors becoming Mormons. Every week, at special ceremonies in Mormon temples, the congregations meet and are given a certain quota of names of the departed to “pray in” to their church. This retrospective baptism of the dead seems harmless enough to me, but the American Jewish Committee became incensed when it was discovered that the Mormons had acquired the records of the Nazi “final solution,” and were industriously baptizing what for once could truly be called a “lost tribe”: the murdered Jews of Europe. For all its touching inefficacy, this exercise seemed in poor taste. I sympathize with the American Jewish Committee, but I nonetheless think that the followers of Mr. Smith should be congratulated for hitting upon even the most simpleminded technological solution to a problem that has defied solution ever since man first invented religion.


When my father died and was buried in a chapel overlooking Portsmouth—the same chapel in which General Eisenhower had prayed for success the night before D-Day in 1944—I gave the address from the pulpit and selected as my text a verse from the epistle of Saul of Tarsus, later to be claimed as “Saint Paul,” to the Philippians (chapter 4, verse 8): Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. I chose this because of its haunting and elusive character, which will be with me at the last hour, and for its essentially secular injunction, and because it shone out from the wasteland of rant and complaint and nonsense and bullying which surrounds it.



If one must have faith in order to believe something, or believe in something, then the likelihood of that something having any truth or value is considerably diminished. The harder work of inquiry, proof, and demonstration is infinitely more rewarding, and has confronted us with findings far more "miraculous" and "transcendent" than any theology. Actually, the "leap of faith"—to give it the memorable name that Soren Kierkegaard bestowed upon it—is an imposture. As he himself pointed out, it is not a "leap" that can be made once and for all. It is a leap that has to go on and on being performed, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary. This effort is actually too much for the human mind, and leads to delusions and manias. Religion understands perfectly well that the "leap" is subject to sharply diminishing returns, which is why it often doesn't in fact rely on "faith" at all but instead corrupts faith and insults reason by offering evidence and pointing to confected "proofs." This evidence and these proofs include arguments from design, revelations, punishments, and miracles. Now that religion's monopoly has been broken, it is within the compass of any human being to see these evidences and proofs as the feeble-minded inventions that they are.


Another way in which religion betrays itself, and attempts to escape mere reliance on faith and instead offer “evidence” in the sense normally understood, is by the argument from revelation. On certain very special occasions, it is asserted, the divine will was made known by direct contact with randomly selected human beings, who were supposedly vouchsafed unalterable laws that could then be passed on to those less favored.


To all those who I do not know, and who live in the worlds where superstition and barbarism are still dominant, and into whose hands I hope this little book may fall, I offer the modest encouragement of an older wisdom. It is in fact this, and not any arrogant preaching that come to us out of the whirlwind: "Die stimme der vernunft ist leise". Yes, The voice of reason is very soft, but it is very persistent. 
In this, and in the lives and minds of combatants known and unknown, we repose our chief hope.


The prophet died in the year 632 of our own approximate calendar. The first account of his life was set down a full hundred and twenty years later by Ibn Ishaq, whose original was lost and can only be consulted through its reworked form, authored by Ibn Hisham, who died in 834. Adding to this hearsay and obscurity, there is no agreed-upon account of how the Prophet’s followers assembled the Koran, or of how his various sayings (some of them written down by secretaries) became codified. And this familiar problem is further complicated—even more than in the Christian case—by the matter of succession. Unlike Jesus, who apparently undertook to return to earth very soon and who (pace the absurd Dan Brown) left no known descendants, Muhammad was a general and a politician and—though unlike Alexander of Macedonia a prolific father—left no instruction as to who was to take up his mantle. Quarrels over the leadership began almost as soon as he died, and so Islam had its first major schism—between the Sunni and the Shia—before it had even established itself as a system. We need take no side in the schism, except to point out that one at least of the schools of interpretation must be quite mistaken. And the initial identification of Islam with an earthly caliphate, made up of disputatious contenders for the said mantle, marked it from the very beginning as man-made.


"I leave it to the faithful to burn each other’s churches and mosques and synagogues, which they can always be relied upon to do. When I go to the mosque, I take off my shoes. When I go to the synagogue, I cover my head. I once even observed the etiquette of an ashram in India, though this was a trial to me".

#Christopher #Hitchens#God #Is #Not #Great: #How #Religion #Poisons #Everything #Must #read #believers #hakuna #matata #memes #share


1

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Estoy seguro que en buena parte la diferencia en desarrollo entre EEUU y los demás países independizados por esas fechas es la calidad de sus fundadores: en México dos fueron parte de la iglesia católica (yo sí dudo de sus credenciales desde ahí), y el movimiento independentista no fue uno de reforma, sino de contra-reforma, para nada alineado a la Ilustración como en varios momentos alguien me lo ha planteado.
 ·  Translate
 
In honor of our presidents and our nation's founding, here are 35 quotes from the Founding Fathers that prove they did NOT found a 'Christian' nation.
View original post
1

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
"La Alemania nazi tenía "DIOS CON NOSOTROS" grabada en los cinturones de los soldados nazis.
"Dime de nuevo cómo es que los nazis eran ateos".
 ·  Translate
1
Tejon N.L.'s profile photoGiovanni E S's profile photo
2 comments
 
¿Qué hiciste con el verdadero +Tejon N.L.? ¿Le hackeaste la cuenta?
XD
 ·  Translate

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Esto sí da esperanza.
 ·  Translate
 
ICYMI: In what is being called a "surprise discovery," researchers have found they may be able to boost energy conversion rates in one type of solar module by as much as 40%.
View original post
1

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Y se estaban tardando estos pelmazos del pri (y los del prd, acurrucados con el pan, tan callados los imbéciles). O se callan, o que se revoque lo que les restituyeron durante el gobierno de Salinas.
 ·  Translate
 
Aguascalientes. Ponerle alto al clero. | El Financiero http://bitly.com/29v8nks
 ·  Translate
Si la elección de Colima tuvo que repetirse porque un funcionario de medio pelo se fue de la boca, la elección en Aguascalientes tiene que ser anulada por culpa del clero. Esa es la convicción en el equipo de Lorena Cuellar y la dirigencia
View original post
1

Giovanni E S

Shared publicly  - 
 
Suscribo completamente.
 ·  Translate
 
Linux is absolutely user friendly :)
View original post
1
People
Collections Giovanni is following
Links
Contributor to
Story
Tagline
La respuesta es un espejo de la pregunta
Introduction
Estudié actuaría y economía (así, con minúsculas). Me interesan diversos temas pero ninguno realmente de modo apasionante: idiomas, informática, correr.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Looking for
Friends, Networking
Relationship
Single
Giovanni E S's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Alien life on most exoplanets likely dies young
phys.org

Astronomers have found a plethora of planets around nearby stars. And it appears that Earth-sized planets in habitable zones are probably co

20 Lines Discovered for 4,000-Year-Old 'Gilgamesh' | Laserfiche
www.laserfiche.com

The Epic of Gilgamesh, more than 4,000 years old, is so well known and universal that Star Trek used it. Researchers have learned it has 20

Why both I and me can be right
www.economist.com

"I'M TALL, but my brother is taller than __" How do you complete this sentence? There are at least three ways. But only one is uncontroversi

CommitStrip
plus.google.com

Welcome on CommitStrip, the blog relating the daily life of coders in web agencies!

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, December 16, 1988 Via @GoComics
www.gocomics.com

One of the many great comics you can read for free at GoComics.com! Follow us for giveaways & giggles.

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, January 06, 1988 Via @GoComics
www.gocomics.com

One of the many great comics you can read for free at GoComics.com! Follow us for giveaways & giggles.

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, December 23, 1987 Via @GoComics
www.gocomics.com

One of the many great comics you can read for free at GoComics.com! Follow us for giveaways & giggles.

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, December 21, 1987 Via @GoComics
www.gocomics.com

One of the many great comics you can read for free at GoComics.com! Follow us for giveaways & giggles.

A history of the New Zealand rugby haka
www.economist.com

Everyone in rugby seems to savour the haka

Deveríamos nos preparar para um colapso dos Estados Unidos ao estilo sov...
cartamaior.com.br

Deveríamos nos preparar para um colapso dos Estados Unidos ao estilo soviético? A resposta, por diversas razões, é sim.

Misplaced ire toward Ubuntu and Canonical is hurting Linux
www.techrepublic.com

Canonical and Ubuntu continue to suffer the slings and arrows of the Linux community. Jack Wallen believes the infighting carries a hefty co

Y China se convirtió en potencia mundial | ZaiChina
www.zaichina.net

Un "breve" análisis histórico del (re)surgimiento de China en la escena internacional

Receta de Boston Clam Chowder (Estados Unidos)
www.hogarutil.com

Receta de Bruno Oteiza de Boston Clam Chowder, una sopa de almejas con bacon y verduras tradicional de la cocina estadounidense, concretamen

Soccer is no longer America’s sport of the future | Al Jazeera America
alj.am

Soccer has finally made it in the US, and it is here to stay

The parable of Argentina
www.economist.com

A CENTURY ago, when Harrods decided to set up its first overseas emporium, it chose Buenos Aires. In 1914 Argentina stood out as the country

Reglas de otros deportes que ayudarían al futbol
www.record.com.mx

El futbol es, sin duda, el deporte más popular del mundo. El más visto, el más jugado y, junto con el rugby, una de las actividades deportiv

Muere Nelson Mandela
www.milenio.com

El presidente de Sudáfrica, Jacob Zuma, anunció la muerte de Nelson Mandela, después de varios meses de enfermedad.

Springblade by Adidas
www.esquirelat.com

Conserva el estilo experimentando la energía explosiva del nuevo calzado de alta tecnología.

The Navy’s newest warship is powered by Linux
arstechnica.com

The USS Zumwalt will be a floating data center—armed with missiles and robot guns.

Garbarino - TABLET GALAXY 3 10
www.garbarino.com

Características Generales: Tamaño de Pantalla: 10" Tipo de Pantalla: TFT Resolución Máxima: 1280 x 800 Memoria Ram (T): 1GB Memoria Interna: