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Comment Re:Internet without evangelicals = Win (Score 0, Flamebait) 293

And live in separate communities and have separate schools, right?

Oh, how cute. You are trying to imply that evangelicals are like the minorities that were persecuted through history and suffered segregation. Right, those poor Christians. They are so defenseless, so persecuted. How dare other people not let them tell everyone how to live their lives.

Comment Re:Why would you want this? (Score 1) 178

Actually, I didn't make that statement. I made a statement saying that the withdraw can be opioid-like, and another saying that nicotine is one of the most addictive substances in existence. Let me clarify both, then.

The addictive level of a substance is not measured about how easy it is to quit, but about how easy it is to get addicted. I have no doubts quitting heroin is much harder.

Also, when I talk about withdraw being opioid-like, I'm speaking about it being possible (not mandatory or even the rule) to present with symptoms associated with opioid withdraw. Specifically crams and throwing up. However, while those symptoms are frequent and stronger with opioid, they still can happen, even if more rarely and in a milder form, for nicotine.

Another important thing to notice, in a more general way, is that "easier" is a very relative term. It is easier to survive being shot in the chest than being shot in the head. Doesn't mean you should feel safe in either case, or that either case is EASY.

Comment Re:Why would you want this? (Score 4, Insightful) 178

The numbers on people who try to quit and fail are scary. The numbers of people who quit and start smoking again within the first 2 years are also telling.

What I find even more strange is how many people I've known who knew full well that it was bad prior to even starting, and then started anyways. I've asked them why they did that, and the answers range from "it's so that you have something to do when you're with your friends" to "well I figured it would be good for me so long as I used a natural brand." (By natural, they mean those packs you can buy on the Indian reservations that are supposedly grown and made locally by the natives.)

You are absolutely correct. Even when I started smoking (1991-92), it was already a stupid decision. I knew all the problems. In my case, I was depressed at the time, and maybe (not sure) in a self destructive mood. I knew how stupid I was acting, but did it anyway.

It is scary how many people still make apologies for smoking, or say that this or that isn't "that bad" or "bad at all".

Comment Re:Why would you want this? (Score 1) 178

Some of what you say is very true, but you are wrong the withdraw will be bad, and I mean BAD with all capitals.

While I do grant that the withdraw will rarely be that BAD, it can be. Not only it happened to me, but there are other documented cases around, including some sort of scale for the level of addiction a given person has (mine was the highest).

But yeah, most cases won't be this bad, just like most cases won't be as simple as what happens to some people, that just quit and no big deal.

Comment Re:Why would you want this? (Score 4, Informative) 178

There is nothing wrong about it. Different people will have different levels of addiction. My case, when you get opioid-like withdraw syndrome (cramps and throwing up) is on the opposite end of the spectrum. My case is certainly not the rule, but neither is yours. I don't doubt for a second what you are describing, because it is known to happen. However, it is far from the norm.

Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. The numbers on people who try to quit and fail are scary. The numbers of people who quit and start smoking again within the first 2 years are also telling. I don't have those numbers at hand, but they are so widespread that you shouldn't have trouble finding them, if they interest you.

But yeah, it seems that, regarding nicotine addiction, I've got the short end of the stick, and you've were extremely lucky.

Comment Re:Why would you want this? (Score 5, Informative) 178

You'd still be an addict, just one who could never satisfy his cravings. This sounds more like some sort of torture that an aid to quitting.

You will always be an addict. I quit smoking over 3 years ago, and I'm still addicted.
After trying various ways of quitting, I ended up talking to a doctor and got Champix prescribed to be, which ended up helping a lot and making it possible for me to quit. When I did quit, the days I suffered the most were when my body was flushing the nicotine out. For this part, a vaccine like this would have been wonderful. Instead of having cramps and throwing up for 2 days (yes, this kind of abstinence syndrome can happen even with nicotine), and still suffering for several days afterwards, it would have made it much easier.

So yeah, I do wish this vaccine existed when I quit, 3 years ago, after smoking 2 packs/day for 20 years.

Comment Re:Dude, wait... (Score 1) 681

This should be interesting...

And second, regardless of intention, science IS anti-religion. Science is based on logic and rationality, which must reject religion, since religion is based on faith (believing without proof or despite proof of the contrary). People who say that science and religion can go together either don't understand science, religion, or is just trying to make a square peg fit a round hole.

I would suggest that it is you that doesn't understand science or religion.

The university system was instituted by the Catholic church, with the aim of studying the mechanisms of the universe (hence the name). Muslim scholars of old were pivotal in the further development of Greek mathematical thought and of Greek and Middle Eastern astronomy. For most of history, studying the physical world has been considered a sacred endeavour -- under the religious viewpoint, this is studying the works of $DEITY.

You are making a flawed assumption there. Just because religions founded schools and universities (and they did), that doesn't mean it is compatible. Because religion gets to decide what can be questioned and what can't. They get to discard things because they contradict their teachings. And, even more, religion is the opposite of the scientific method.

You see, religion says you must believe without proof, which is by definition anti-scientific. Even more, they say you must believe even if all evidence points in the contrary direction. You will see many scholars that had to add to the end of their works, after all proves and conclusion, things like "but since this contradicts religion, it can't be true, so further studies are necessary". How is that science?

It is like the people who say that the catholic church is a force for good in the world, and prove a single example of something good, while discarding all the evil it's done. You can't do that. Even that is unscientific. You have to take into account Mother Thereza refusing medicines to the sick, because suffering is beautiful in the eyes of god.

Science MUST be skeptic. If you can't prove, you should not believe it. It is NOT true. Otherwise it is not science. Just because religion likes to study stuff doesn't mean it is science, or even compatible with it.

As for logic and rationality, the basic concept of a supernatural deity sits outside of all repeatable observable evidence. You cannot make a logical conclusion either way without solid evidence.

That's both logical and rational.

All we have is a few documents purporting to record witness testimony from centuries past. The most likely explanation for this witness evidence is a mixture of schizophrenic disorders and hallucinogens (in particular the fungus ergot), in my opinion, but I cannot state that Moses didn't actually see a burning bush. Even if we can discount certain events (eg the Great Flood), that does not mean that the existence of the related deity (in this case the god of Judaism, Christianity and Islam).

There is a logical fallacy. You can't disprove Russell's teapot either. However, that is not reason to accept it as true, even as a promissory truth. It is logically impossible to prove a negative, so claiming god is a possibility because you can't prove it doesn't exist is a logical fallacy. You can't prove there isn't an invisible and intangible unicorn in the corner of my living room.

Also, by your logic, if not disproving is reason to accept it might be true, then you have to accept that ALL gods must be a possibility. Together, at the same time. So you end up, by that logic, with all gods or no gods. Because all gods, by that logic, are equally likely. But the existence of one god would disprove the existence of another, so the logic fails on itself, with the only logic deduction being that, since there is no proof of any of them, the only logical explanation is that there are none.

The only truly rational stance is agnosticism: I do not know, and cannot know, and because of this, that knowledge is irrelevant.

That is not rational. That is apologetic. Rationality demands much more than that, otherwise we end up in infinite regression.
During the ages, there were offered several "proves" of the existence of a deity. ALL of them were proven to be false. There comes a point when there is no further need for testing the hypothesis, and you can safely conclude there is no god, no supernatural. How many times does one have to show you THE SAME blank page for you to see there is nothing written in it? How many times THE SAME HYPOTHESIS must be tested for it to be shown as false?
Agnosticism, although superficially a valid and rational stand, is not, because for you to adopt it you either have to discard all previous tests for the hypothesis, or to state that anything will always be possible, where you end up with something that goes contrary to science and logic. Let me give you an example.
We know that two opposite charge will repel each other. this is testable. It is true everywhere on earth, and everywhere opposite charges were observed. However, by your logic, we can never claim it to be true, because we can't test it absolutely everywhere in the universe, in all of spacetime. However, that is a flawed logic. Once something was proved to scientific certainty, which involved repeatability, falsifiability and all other requisites for the scientific method, it is true, unless proven otherwise.

So agnosticism ends up being neither logical not rational.

That is my stance, and I do not think it shows any intellectual integrity to mock somebody for believing in something that is not demonstrably false.

It is demonstrably false, because every single piece of (so called) evidence provided for this hypothesis was proven to be false, to a point that the only argument left is what you are trying to do: shifting the burden of proof.

Consider the recent "discovery" of the phenomenon called the "rogue wave" -- people had been talking about it for centuries, but this testimony was discounted as the same sort of fantasy that made sailors come up with stories about giant squid... which also turned out to be true. But of course not all witnesses were reliable, and we can be pretty sure there was never such a thing as a mermaid.

Rogue waves were never considered false. They were only considered a not tested hypothesis. There was nothing contradicting the theory, except lack of evidence. You are again mixing things up trying to make an argument about shifting the burden of proof.

Many religions want their followers to question (ie critically appraise) their beliefs.

Freely question their beliefs? And accepting the results?
Name one!

But you cannot arm them with the tools to question their beliefs if you tell them the tool is a poison that will kill their beliefs.

You just disproved your previous assertion. What you mean here is that they can only question if that question will support their beliefs. Scientific questioning WILL kill their beliefs, because it already did so.
It is a special form of insanity expecting to keep trying the same thing and end up with different results.
There is no use sugarcoating it, and telling them otherwise would be lying to them. And I refuse to fight deception with deception.

It is because preachers and churches in general started noticing they had to impose a firmer grip, because they were losing the battle against reason.

(not bothering to reply to your other statements here, where you again did nothing but trying to shift the burden of proof)

Religion is evil, and should be extinguished. We should fight against it, the same way we fight against crime, slavery, child abuse and anything else that harm humanity.

The only difference between a religion and any other philosophy is the presence of a supernatural element. What do you call the fight against a philosophy, if not Macarthyism?

You are again wrong. Religion is not only philosophy, although there is a philosophical element to it. You are confusing philosophy with ideology, which are not the same. Also, religion is more than even ideology. It is lies and distortion (that philosophy doesn't embrace), control, power play and much more than that. Religion is a power structure based on ignorance and ideological belief that goes contrary to nature and science.

Comment Re: Kind of disappointed in him. (Score 1) 681

No, probably assuming he's Christian. Christian Fundies are just as bad as Muslim ones. Letting delusion rule your life is a massive fail.

Yup, was assuming he is a Christian. Not necessarily a fundie, tho. "Moderate" Christians are just as bad, albeit in a different way. They are, at least, condoning the evil done by others in the name of their religion.

"Oh, but they are not REAL Christians, they don't follow the REAL message". And who decides what is the real message? So many different bibles (including the oldest ones, that show how much they changed over the centuries). So many interpretations. So many contradictions. So many excuses, apologies and lies of convenience. So many parts that get ignored because they are less moral than the moral developed by society. It is all true. Except the parts you don't like. Those don't apply anymore. Or you are reading it wrong.

Comment Re:Dude, wait... (Score 1) 681

But when you talk about "zombie-Jesus", you are not merely offending those who were offended by the tweet - you are offending the vast majority of Christians' and at risk of supporting the notion that "science" is anti-religion.

Good. First, it is my intention to offend all religious people. And second, regardless of intention, science IS anti-religion. Science is based on logic and rationality, which must reject religion, since religion is based on faith (believing without proof or despite proof of the contrary). People who say that science and religion can go together either don't understand science, religion, or is just trying to make a square peg fit a round hole.

I personally believe that overly aggressive atheists have done more to harm science's standing within the religious community than the crazy fundamentalist preachers that nobody was listening to in many parts of the world many years ago.

You see, we disagree completely here. You seem to think that science keeping a good standing with religion is a good thing. I, on the other hand, think it is a very bad thing, because it can be used to lend validity to religion. Religion is mysticism, lies and control. It is (as proved by Ron Hubbard) a good way to get rich. It is a way to control people and to impose bronze age morals to a society much more evolved morally.

When I was younger, these extreme sects were restricted mostly to certain states of the US, and also parts of West Africa. They have spread alarmingly quickly. Why? Why did people turn away from the mainstream churches and turn fringe beliefs into something approaching a new orthodoxy? The preachers are getting a receptive flock from the get-go because secular media has already told them that science isn't for the religious.

It is because preachers and churches in general started noticing they had to impose a firmer grip, because they were losing the battle against reason. Also, religion is big business. International business. Brazil is a country that is particularly good in exporting evangelical churches based on the "prosperity theology". Give to god and the church, and you will get rich.

I can see where you are coming from, relating the aggressiveness of atheism with people turning to more ortodox and fundamentalist forms or religion. But that is definitively not the case. What we see is not a backlash against atheism, but a backlash against science, because science is disproving religion every day. Up to a couple centuries ago (heck, even 1 century ago) religion still had a firm control over science. What could be researched, what could be published. But the cat is out of the box now, and believing in the supernatural is becoming more and more silly in face of the advances in science, philosophy, history and archeology. When we compare ancient bibles with the modern ones, we can see how much was changed. When we compare the way these old books describe the world with what we can test through science, we see them for the lie they are. We can now show that the gospel of john was written by several different people, and not one. We can show that all gospels were written much better than they were supposed to.

I'm perfectly fine admitting I'm anti-theist, and not only atheist. I am openly against religion, the same way I'm openly against slavery. Exactly the same way.

Religion is evil, and should be extinguished. We should fight against it, the same way we fight against crime, slavery, child abuse and anything else that harm humanity.

Comment Re:Dude, wait... (Score 1) 681

You seem to be assuming I'm a religious person. But when you assume, you make an ass of U and... U alone. I did not once claim that the tweet was offensive. But clearly some folk think it is, and if you want to convince them otherwise, being deliberately offensive is not a particularly good strategy. If on the other hand, all you want to do is feel smug and superior...

"Ass of U"... "Ass of U"? Please. I'm sure you can do better than that.

I can't say if I was assuming you were a religious person or not. My offending religion and religious people is in not way a personal thing. When I'm being offensive toward religious people, I'm being offensive toward the religion itself. The person I'm talking to is just the one representing the religion in that particular case.

About feeling smug and superior... Superior, maybe. But smug? I don't think any of my comments could lead anyone to feel smug, even if in a misguided way. Definitively aggressive and lashing back. I never claimed otherwise. I gave up trying to use rational arguments against people who hold irrational ideas. It is just incompatible. Right now, I'm settling to letting religious people know that if they push, me and others like me will push back. Hard. So yeah, you are right it is not a good strategy to convince them otherwise. But, again, I'm not trying.

I also don't believe people have a right not to be offended. However, it is one thing to be offended by a direct attack, like I do. Or even Ricky Gervais. But to feel offended by what Neil posted is a whole different issue, taking ignorance to a whole new level, and showing the person is most likely immune to logic or rational arguments.

Comment Re:For fuck's sake people... (Score 1) 681

Actually, Libertarianism, which is not 1 model but several, including the Anarco-Capitalism of Rothbard, is quite different than Lockean Liberalism.

If you did use in the sense (or misuse) you mentioned above, then you are in fact using it in the same sense of the Liberal Party, which you said I was wrong when mentioned. So, in all, you are not making any sense.

Also, not once I complained about your grammar. I'm complaining about you saying things that are bullshit. Because, even in the sense you say you meant, it has absolutely no relation. Racism and liberalism are two completely different issues. Both real. And sticking your head under the sand, or using ad hominem replies is only further proof that you are unable to fundament any of your positions, making them no better than opinions. And opinions, although dear to whoever express them, aren't worth shit.

So, either you keep your ignorant bigotry to yourself, study a little bit before saying stupid unfundamented stuff, or people will mock you for your lack of knowledge. The choice, however, is all up to you.

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen