A single atheist can exist. A group of atheists, will argue theology until the cows come home.
Same with any other fundamentalist.
"Dude, aren't religious rules derived from the holy book/word of god?"
Somebody had to write that book. Long before it was in a book, it was oral tradition. Long before it was oral tradition, it was bedtime stories for kids by parents trying to impart wisdom to the next generation.
Most religions existed long before their scriptures were written. Scriptures are only necessary if you get more than four generations from the founder without the cult collapsing.
"Hunter/gatherers also needed a surplus before some voodoo priest can claim that his magically connection to God helped them find food."
Few hunter/gatherer societies ever achieved a surplus of food- every single day was spent hunting/gathering- and yet they still had priests (who were also hunters/gatherers, you're right as far as a priestly class goes, but the professional priest is a rather recent addition and even today isn't entirely true, every priest I know has side interests and side jobs).
We were better off then because we had the three noble virtues:
We were happier back then.
Slavery to lust is still slavery.
I'm saying being faster, like thinking that we've slayed the horseman of plauge, may just be illusionary progress.
Technology solves everything. Teach your children to think outside the box- and not only will they build a safer world for their kids and grandkids, they'll also make a ton of money off of fearful people in full panic trying to survive.
Myself, I'm thinking that if we start to see sea rise in feet rather than inches, it's time to invest in houseboats.
I'm more of a doubter than a denier- but this could explain men's fashion choices over the last three centuries, which has often baffled me (in that I see all of them as dressing far too warmly for normal room temperatures).
+1 Insightful, if I had mod points.
Exactly my thought. If I was building in Louisiana after 2005, my house would be a houseboat, on dry land, with pylons, and the back of the garage would have a boat in it.
No, this is Bill Nye the Climate Change Guy, where what you had for breakfast is due to CLIMATE CHANGE
Haven't been back to the moon in over a generation. We've recently found out that horseman is back from the dead, in the form of antibiotic resistant disease, because you can't defeat evolutiohn. The internet is no different than the pony express, only faster, and could have just as easily been done with semaphore towers as routers.
"Free free to do so. As I said to MH42, the great thing about freedom is that you are free to do what you want, including nurturing your own spirit."
Tell that to the Democrats- they've been rather busy suing the pants off of people nurturing their own spirits lately.
"Empirically not true. The "human race" wasn't and isn't a single monolith. Societies across the globe developed independently, each gaining and passing down wisdom while having different or even no religion."
There is no human society greater than a single individual that does not include religion- AT ALL.
Those "arbitrary rules" actually evolve into place, and fit the way human beings survive in a place. You'd do far better to listen than to dismiss out of hand those rules.
"At the worse of times Christianity was partially responsible for the downfall of ancient Rome/Byzantine"
Actually,the rules of Christianity are what they are *because* of the downfall of ancient Rome. And it was Islam that killed the Byzantine empire, which shows how much you know about history.
" There had to be an agricultural surplus first before the voodoo priests can claim they have a special connection to the Gods that helps them magically make the harvest better. "
No, because hunter/gatherer cultures also had religion. You really are ignorant about human evolution, aren't you?
"stagnant in one spot, with little to no advancement."
Prove that what you have is actually advancement, instead of destruction.
"Feel free to elaborate on those ways."
Sustainable happiness for one.
"And if you think being more advanced in those ways makes the Good Old Days better than what we have here, feel free to disconnect yourself from this Internet and the rest our current civilization, gather like minded people, venture into the wilderness, and start your own little simulation of a feudal kingdom."
Anybody who tries that ends up with the federal troops shooting up the place.
"See, that's the great thing about freedom: you're FREE to go and retry the old ways yourself. You just can't force the rest of us to go with you."
Some freedom you have there. The freedom to be a slave.
"Best at what?"
At allowing the human race to pass down hard won wisdom to the next generation.
" Human development was more or less the same in the last tens of thousands (since the agricultural revolution, which predated religion)"
Actually, oddly enough, no. From the Fertile Crescent (the Garden of Eden) to the Water Goddess of Bali, it is religion that enabled and sustained the agricultural revolution.
"Human progress exploded in those last few centuries."
Depends how you define progress. Those agarian feudal kingdoms were significantly more advanced in some ways than we are today.
Also, sinificantly less focused on material wealth. Sometimes unemployment does us some ood.
Interesting, you just grew in stature several points in my eyes. And you make a very good point.
I was thinking more of how *Stalin* treated religious people.
There is a good reason for religious ruling over all- it really is the best model. Freedom and Liberty, as far as I'm concerned, lead only to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump- the freest country in human history, electing two "above the law" elite liberal genocidal maniacs to try to run the place.
Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's? -- P.J. Plauger