Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Religion and Survival‏... And Ham radio

Ferfal,

I purchased your book and read your blog "religiously" (so to speak) and I had to chime in on the religion topic.

First of all, I consider myself to be a radical, gun toting atheist.

I think you may be regretting the topic has come up at all, it's one of those things that seldom draws rational responses from anywhere. First of all, the nonsense about "you must have religion to have ethics" is just utter nonsense. One of the most poorly thought out arguments ever conceived. Especially when you consider how many of those who *have* religion have no ethics. Crime rates aren't any higher amongst atheists than theists, etc.

I might suggest an approach for you in handling the blog. It's just a suggestion that you may take or leave.
When people try to drag religion into any debate, you may just want to reply with, "we won't go down the religion road. Bring me science."

In other words, whenever the R word is brought up, come right back (in a friendly way) and ask them to please provide Science instead. Following that path will lead to much more constructive, intelligent and well thought out responses/posts/etc.

Just my friendly advice.

Thanks.

p.s., Get that Ham Radio license yet?

-Ray


Hi Ray, thanks for your email, you’ve approached the issue respectfully and for that I am thankful. No, no regrets man, I do as my heart says. :-)

As I said on the post, I’m worried that there’s an attack on Christianity and Catholicism in a deliberate attempt to destroy traditional family values. There are of course good people out there that are not either one, that doesn’t change the premise though.

Keep in mind that not everyone totting the “I’m the best Christian ever” mantra actually follows that. Seems there’s more than enough survivalist or otherwise crazy cults out there, specially in USA, and they all claim to be true Christians themselves. That’s why I like Catholicism in spite of all its problems, it sort of gives you a standard of what to expect from people. You go to a supposedly Christian survivalist gathering and you end up finding a weirdo going “yes, we’re all Christian here… and I’m His true prophet…” … ok… and you walk away slowly… :-)
Not even want to get into all the families destroyed by cultist brainwashing, only to pluck them clean of their money and property.
“When people try to drag religion into any debate, you may just want to reply with, "we won't go down the religion road. Bring me science."”

That’s what most bloggers do, or they just don’t allow any form of debate regarding these issues. Even bloggers that claim to be very Christian, they wouldn’t even allow such a discussion to take place, never really break a spear for what they supposedly believe in. (heck, they don’t even allow comments of any kind)
I’m never going to say that, because given what I believe in, it would be cowardly to hide behind that only to stay in a safe spot where I know I’d never “upset” anyone.
The right marketing strategy to get the most readers is to never discuss politics or religion. If you do it you risk losing some readers, but again, that’s just not me.
About politics, we discuss more often and its important to fight socialism and totalitarianism every possible way. If you think it doesn’t affect your life just read the couple older posts about just that and how its affecting schools in Spain.
About religion, it’s the first time in as long as I can remember that we touch this issue, talking about this once a year isn’t exactly a lot. I said everything I had to say, so did the opposing views, so we’re not going to be discussing this again any time soon.
This blog is about survival and preparedness, and that’s what we’ll go back to talking about until I feel discussing others things are relevant again for whatever reason.
As a matter of fact I have like three pages of mails and several other posts that I need to upload.

p.s., Get that Ham Radio license yet?

Ha, there you go already. No, not Ham Radio yet. I did buy a Handheld Scanner (400.000Mhz to 470.000Mhz ) and I like it a lot. I found the local 911 dispatcher, Ministry of Security and a couple local PD. It was nice to listen for a while to all the stuff that never gets shown on TV, but at the same time it got pretty grim after a few days to notice the lack of empathy with which they talked about people that had been shot, corpses they find, and so. I knew the situation was worse than reported, but it does you no good to listen to it all day.
It is a valuable tool though to gather information about what’s going on when the TV channels aren’t reporting the truth. With the new K media law passed, I can see how this will happen soon. Those media channels that aren’t playing along with the K government, they’ll just get censored.

FerFAL

14 comments:

Idahoser said...

Both religious and athiest like to say they "know" things that are un-knowable. For the religious, your own instructions tell you you MUST have 'faith'. Knowledge would remove the faith, you don't need to 'believe' in something that you 'know'. And for the athiest, you can't prove a negative.
This means, therefore, that neither of you can prove your position. So why bother having the argument? Now, I have no problem if you want to try to PERSUADE me to believe what you do, you're welcome to pose theories and tell me about why you believe as you do. There, the religious person has an upper hand over the athiest- his only recourse is asking you (or if he's a liberal, DEMANDING) that you not expose him to your beliefs. I can't say he's wrong in his belief, but he is most definitely wrong in what he wants from me.

Anonymous said...

Good on you Ferfal - bought your book this morning as a tiny show of support! I really am glad to see someone with some backbone.

For the sender of the email quoted above - science is not the only way of knowing things, it's not the only source of truth, and it's not capable of proving or disproving some things.

Anonymous said...

To prove love exists, while some say it does not.

Nice ham radio link, I like it.
I may have to get one too.

Anonymous said...

Regarding hand-held scanners: I listened to a bit of radio chatter once when a cop stopped by the shop for a visit - a guy had called 911 because his baby was unconscious - he had gotten frustrated and shaken his baby to get it to stop crying. I heard the siren on the ambulance, and then the ambulance was canceled - the baby was dead. (The father was later sent to prison for "child abuse resulting in death")

I felt terrible - nauseous. I lost sleep over it that night - all over people who were total strangers to me.

I decided that listening to police scanners was not the hobby for me. People die every day, and a steady diet of emergency radio news would drive me to depression.

I knew people who thought that it was cool to get the "news" first hand, but for me, the downside was worse than the upside.

On the other hand, I wouldn't mind having one around for an emergency, to keep tabs on what was happening when other media was off the air.

Dan said...

Ray said:"First of all, the nonsense about "you must have religion to have ethics" is just utter nonsense. One of the most poorly thought out arguments ever conceived. Especially when you consider how many of those who *have* religion have no ethics. Crime rates aren't any higher amongst atheists than theists, etc."
Yes, atheists can HAVE ethics, the problem is they have no rational basis FOR those ethics. If we are all just evolved pond scum, then the only ethic that makes rational sense is "Whatever benfits me alone is what I should do." (Which is what we see society turning to). Any other "ethics" we see from secular society are co-opted from theology.

Idahoser said...

to Anonymous-
I'm not the one who sent the letter, but I want to address your choice of words.. yes, actually, science IS the only way of knowing things. As I stated in my first comment, you can say you "know" but it's against the rule for that to be true. If you were magically given proof that your belief was true, it would no longer BE faith and you'd be breaking your own religious belief. Use the words as they are meant to be used, not how you'd like them to be. Science does not mean it's pronounced from on high by some certified expert, it can be as simple as the 4 year old's observations. It is observing, forming hypotheses, then testing them. That is what science IS. Anybody who can say "the science is settled" with a straight face is, of course, NOT a scientist.

Nolan said...

As somebody trained in science for several years and now teaching science I can safely say that science does not allow us to "know" anything. Science is probabilistic, even in the more "hard" varieties. Science gives us a most likely scenario (theory) given our current understanding of the variables that have an affect on the scenario (facts).

What science allows us to do is determine the relationships between variables with the hope of forming some type of equation that allows us to predict a future occurrence of whatever phenomenon we are analyzing.

People often know things without being able to empirically demonstrate them. Science is one way to understand the world around us but it is not the only way.

But on this we already agree: no scientist will ever be able to honestly say that "the science is settled." However, this means that science only allows a "best guess" rather than "knowing."

risa said...

I think of ethics as something with an internal source -- from me. I think of morals as something coming from outside - others telling me what my ethics should be. I experience most religiosity as invasive accordingly. This is no reflection on actual spirituality, though, which remains for me an open question.

Anonymous said...

"What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!" - Robert Heinlein. I think he has it right.

Dan says that atheists have no "rational basis for ethics"... I would, personally, say that faith as a basis for ethics is, by definition "irrational". I also fundamentally disagree with the assertion that it's all co-opted from religion. I think, on the contrary, that religion just simply co-opted (and codified) human nature. Which is, to quote Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure, "Be excellent to each other." Aint that hard, and it's human nature. It's a trait found in nature in other gregarious species on the planet who have no organized religion at all.

livefree said...

Oh boy...Bring me science?
How's that worked out for us so far?

Dan said...

@Anonymous:"I think, on the contrary, that religion just simply co-opted (and codified) human nature. Which is, to quote Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure, "Be excellent to each other." Aint that hard, and it's human nature."

That is observably and demonstratively false. If it were true, there would be no need for laws at all, codified or otherwise.
Observe small children, who have had limited time to absorb the ethics of their culture, and you find them to be naturally selfish. Remove from adults the bounds of law and morality and you get true human nature: savagery and viciousness. Observe the behavior of people in riots where they think no one will hold them accountable: are they "excellent to each other"?
No, humans are by nature selfish. Any gregarious behavior they display naturally is to fulfill their own desires for companionship, protection, food and gratification. It's not to fill the needs of others.

Anonymous said...

A scanner comment...if you're getting a handheld, make sure it is simple to program. I bot a scanner at Radio Shack but couldn't get to it for a while. Later, when I tried to read the manual to program it, it was absolutely impossible. I took it back to Radio shack for help and they told me that none of them knew how to program it, that only one older employee knew how and he was out for several weeks. This was a $200. scanner, one of the worst "investments" I made.

Anonymous said...

"No, humans are by nature selfish. Any gregarious behavior they display naturally is to fulfill their own desires for companionship, protection, food and gratification. It's not to fill the needs of others."

Some will sacrifice themselves for others or an idea, yet the majority are heathens at heart. Americans have become ignorant, spoiled brats, they have lost their way, and but for a few, it is likely they will loose their country.

a

Anonymous said...

All this brings to mind, Lord of the Flies.