I'm hoping that the standing wave of electrical energy in my brain that makes me "me" will persist in the quantum sea or foam or whatever and that the "me" part will go on to something different. I don't actually believe it will but it's a nice thought to have.
That was nicely said. I personally believe that there is a 'me' identity that persists, but that we can't really understand its nature, any more than we can truly understand ourselves (a lifelong struggle, that). I certainly can't prove such a thing and accept I could be wrong. But it feels right to me.
And I hope y'all would accept me at the beer table. Cheers.
However, "Christian" and "Psychotic" do imply certain very specific things that are generally agreed upon. I don't think the same can really be said of the term "atheist".
When I think of atheist -- meaning, "there are no deities" -- that seems fairly specific to me. Unless you include being open to other possibilities (higher consciousness extant in any form, but not deified) as part of atheism. Now we're straying into philosophical semantics!
I don't know whether it's right to say religious ideology or national ideology are more to blame for rises of violent opposition. Maybe there's a study somewhere. In any case, I agree it's all madness. I think we're living in a time where religious ideology is about to explode in many forms. What will the Christian right's response to this be? How will this effect the presidential election? Interesting times, to put it mildly.
Isn't the belief against an idea just as dogmatic as the belief in the idea?
And it's the same way with atheism- it's a single specific data point, and that's all it is.
I hear your anger at those with a fanatical agenda. I feel that way too. Makes me want to kick religion in the nuts. But you can also say that "Christian" is a data point. "Psychotic" and "Bald" are data points. I hope you don't take my comments as against Atheism. But if I begin to separate others based on a perceived polar opposition to myself ("Muslim" means anti-Christian, "Sane" means anti-psychotic, "Haired" means anti-bald, "Religious" means anti-Atheist, or anti-rational), then the capacity for violence exists. You as an atheist are just as likely to be a thoughtful, reasoned, compassionate person as a Christian or Muslim. And any atheist can be just as likely to be a fanatical violent criminal as any religious fanatic.
My original point is that religious fanaticism thrives in extremely violent conditions because of the deep trauma created by those conditions. Plus without a stable societal structure to educate its people and deal with those who are mentally unstable, the broken and corrupted more easily arise as leaders with a violent agenda. What some of these people have been through, whether it's Western bombs, Assad's biological weapons, or ISIS's abject cruelty, they have little left to lose. Long seething rage plus hatred plus a perceived cause to fight for will equal deadly outbursts every time.
Yes, it's this too, but without the shared delusion of religion and a supposed afterlife, no one would be so keen to machine gun groups of complete strangers, would they?
Pretty sure Hitler, Stalin and Mao didn't use religion as an excuse to create massive violence. Doesn't matter if religion is in the picture, when hate is stirred up it will find a vehicle to express itself. Religion is an offshoot of dogma, or an attachment to a belief to create a sense of security. Atheism is also a dogma and can produce just as much violence.
While those of us who don't follow or practice any religion look on in horror at what fanatical religious beliefs produce.
I think it's too easy to say that this kind of violence is simply the consequence of religious fanaticism. It's not the religion that produces the violence, it's the extreme violence that these people have lived under that produces traumatized, unstable minds that are prone to becoming fanatic via whatever dominant fervor surrounds them. Whether it's Islam or some kind of state nationalism or some kind of philosophical ideal, whatever it is that gives them a clear conscience to kill those who have harmed them, that's the banner they carry.
The challenge to humanity is to break away from the "us vs them" mentality. Those we call terrorists are still humans like us. None of us can say how we would react if we were brought up surrounded by the horrors that these folks have. That is not an apology, only a perspective. Healing can only come when we truly understand the reasons why these events are happening and not write it all off to religious fanaticism.
fierce resistance from hard-liners in the intelligence community
Meaning, a hateful violent response from people whose sense of power is threatened by the truth.
Another Reason...not to live in Chicago
I live in Chicago. East Rogers Park, at the most northeast end of the city. I live on a Lake Michigan beach and have gorgeous views of water (east) and coastline (south). The building I live in has charm, character and a generous community. I pay a modest rent for a spacious one bedroom place. Best of all, it's quiet.
On a hot July day like today, I look out my window and see beach goers, kayaks, sailboats, catamarans, and the like. It's like living on a resort.
During the winters, the snow and ice over the lake is breathtaking, and the sun rises are magnificent.
I've lived in parts of the city I wouldn't ever want to visit again. But there are areas of Chicago that are real gems. It's not all greedy politicians (fuck Rahm) and pollution and crime.
The parking meter disaster was Daley's fuckup. Now Rahm has contributed to the blood-squeeze of the citizenry. Chicago's not a perfect place and I would have been long gone had I not found the place where I live now. But Chicago still has some of the best music, food, and ethnic diversity you'll find anywhere. Don't go by the headlines to find out what Chicago has to offer. Dig a little deeper.
And there just isn't much economic demand for lots of engineers and scientists and artists....Wages are going to crash, then what?
Maybe humanity will finally be motivated to figure out that mass economic stability and security comes from serving each other instead of rigidly serving the self, because serving others is enlightened self interest.
One can hope.
PLUG IT IN!!!