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Thread: Atheism and Stephen Fry

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    Tart JoyW's Avatar
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    Atheism and Stephen Fry

    I recently saw this year-old interview:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo

    Stephen Fry says if there is a God, he/she is a selfish maniac. Do you agree or disagree with his assertions and arguments?
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    Let's take a trip to the stars Steffy's Avatar
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    I agree.

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    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
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    Well, it's the ideas that probably led him to conclude that which led me to not believe in a god. If there is one, I don't know that I'd characterize him/her as a selfish maniac. More like a completely disinterested entity unless enough people ask for help. And if that's the case, then what's the point?

    I've been following the Brendan Dassey case and I'm amazed at how often the family is thanking god for the overturned conviction. If god was so good, he shouldn't have been wrongly convicted and lost ten years of his life to begin with! The people to thank are the lawyers and legal aides who have been helping Brendan. The supporters who have been sending money, supplies, and letters. And his mother should absolutely take some credit for not giving up on her son.

    I believe in the power of people. I think that as a collective, we can lift each other up in our times of need. It gives hope to know you aren't alone and I do believe it has a psychological impact that can make a difference. If some people want to call that prayer, okay. If they want to give credit to a non-entity, okay as well. Whatever gets you through a day.

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    I disagree with him. His assertion is based on the erroneous assumption that human religious institutions are actually valid representations of who or what are Creator really is. Empirical evidence has shown that humans have free will to live their lives as they choose, which would make our Creator pretty laid back, I'd have to say, and quite the opposite of a "selfish maniac".
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    If you bring the monkey, I'm leaving puppylove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplekitty View Post
    Well, it's the ideas that probably led him to conclude that which led me to not believe in a god. If there is one, I don't know that I'd characterize him/her as a selfish maniac. More like a completely disinterested entity unless enough people ask for help. And if that's the case, then what's the point?

    I've been following the Brendan Dassey case and I'm amazed at how often the family is thanking god for the overturned conviction. If god was so good, he shouldn't have been wrongly convicted and lost ten years of his life to begin with! The people to thank are the lawyers and legal aides who have been helping Brendan. The supporters who have been sending money, supplies, and letters. And his mother should absolutely take some credit for not giving up on her son.

    I believe in the power of people. I think that as a collective, we can lift each other up in our times of need. It gives hope to know you aren't alone and I do believe it has a psychological impact that can make a difference. If some people want to call that prayer, okay. If they want to give credit to a non-entity, okay as well. Whatever gets you through a day.
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    Tart JoyW's Avatar
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    I agree with both Fry and PK. I think that there isn't a god, and if there were he would have to be a true asshole. But I also see that some people need to believe in a god to get them through their day. And that's okay. It's when they try to bring their beliefs into the political spectrum that I get huffy.
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    Non-praying member Mamapalooza's Avatar
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    I need to watch more of those Intelligence2 videos, he is a fantastic speaker on the subject, especially with Hitch beside him. Selfish maniac is not a term that I would choose but I agree. Senseless and cruel come more to mind for me. So very, very much of the world and universe is at odds with the concept of a loving and protective god. I don't know if it was this video or the one that played after it that he talked about the Greek and Roman gods who at least did not pretend to be perfect. They had human like flaws that made them at least interesting and somewhat more relatable.

    The next video discussed whether Catholicism was a force for good which was even better imo, but spoke to much of why I agree with him about god and religion in general. Then I watched the Bishop speak, then Hitch and then fell asleep on my phone. I need to get back and watch more of those.

    In general, I think it is not a coincidence that the world's nations most stable and desirable are those that are the least religious in their cultures. It served its purpose at a time before the world made sense in more scientific terms. And sometimes it just makes no sense at all.
    "Wherever in the world much poverty is found, much religion is found also"

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    Premier Sponsor Mare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplekitty View Post
    I believe in the power of people. I think that as a collective, we can lift each other up in our times of need. It gives hope to know you aren't alone and I do believe it has a psychological impact that can make a difference. If some people want to call that prayer, okay. If they want to give credit to a non-entity, okay as well. Whatever gets you through a day.
    I agree. I also think in some ways the way people can be so unbearably horrible and inhumane is what we refer to as evil or Satan. Our collective good is God, our collective evil is Satan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by purplekitty View Post
    If god was so good, he shouldn't have been wrongly convicted and lost ten years of his life to begin with!
    God allows suffering because it produces good.

    Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
    (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)

    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
    (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)

    The stories of Joseph and Job show how suffering can produce good results we can see in our lifetimes. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and then thrown into prison for something he didn't do. but as a result he had the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh's dream and save his family from starvation during a famine. Job lost all that he had and through his suffering he came to know and understand God better. Most of the time we don't understand the reasons for our suffering until after we leave this life but we can be certain that if we love God our suffering has a purpose.

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
    (Romans 8:28 ESV)
    I do not suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
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    Moderator purplekitty's Avatar
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    Mm hmm. Bullshit and convenient excuse.

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