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A peek at the future of science, SJW-style

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Abstract: This article addresses questions in human geography and the geographies of sexuality by drawing upon one year of embedded in situ observations of dogs and their human companions at three public dog parks in Portland, Oregon. The purpose of this research is to uncover emerging themes in human and canine interactive behavioral patterns in urban dog parks to better understand human a-/moral decision-making in public spaces and uncover bias and emergent assumptions around gender, race, and sexuality. Specifically, and in order of priority, I examine the following questions: (1) How do human companions manage, contribute, and respond to violence in dogs? (2) What issues surround queer performativity and human reaction to homosexual sex between and among dogs? and (3) Do dogs suffer oppression based upon (perceived) gender? It concludes by applying Black feminist criminology categories through which my observations can be understood and by inferring from lessons relevant to human and dog interactions to suggest practical applications that disrupts hegemonic masculinities and improves access to emancipatory spaces. – Helen Wilson, Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon, Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography Received 27 Nov 2017, Accepted 19 Feb 2018, Published online: 22 May 2018 https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2018.1475346

Maybe Bret Weinstein’s former students could get a job doing this kind of research? Better this than teaching, health care, or cancer research.

One hopes this will turn out to be a hoax or that they are kidding. One fears not.

In other news, Big Science frets about Ken Ham’s Creation Museum, as if it could possibly have the same cultural impact as their tacit acceptance that this stuff above is science.

See also: Weasel words about teaching students to think like scientists. “Likewise, STEM majors’ college experience must be integrated into a broader model of liberal education to prepare them to think critically and imaginatively about the world and to understand different viewpoints.” Realistically, today, that would mean valuing witchcraft and astrology to the same extent as science.

Algebra is not racist.

and

The war on freedom is rotting our intellectual life: Intersectionality

62 Replies to “A peek at the future of science, SJW-style

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Off topic:

    Anthony Bourdain (June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018), a man who was paid handsomely to try to find as much happiness in this world as he could, was apparently left empty in that quest and ended up committing suicide. If there is any lesson to be learned in his tragic death it is that all the pleasures of this world will not bring us true fulfillment and that we must look ‘higher’ than this temporal realm in order to find true happiness:

    Matthew: 31-33
    So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
    http://godlessmom.com/wp-conte.....urdain.png

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    If you are seeking to ‘scientifically’ structure your sex life around the sexual behavior of dogs, might I suggest you have completely missed the boat as far as the romantic love between a man and a woman is concerned?

    Roberta Flack ft. Donny Hathaway – The Closer I Get To You
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jhYENBxRVo

    Verse:

    Matthew 19: 4-6
    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

  3. 3
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77@1, that has to be one of the most insensitive, crass things that I have read here. It is quite obvious that you have never watched any of his shows. What happened to that spirit of Christian love and forgiveness?

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    AK, you are projecting feelings onto me that I do not possess. I was moved to write my observations about his life precisely because I was so saddened by his tragic death.

    Atheists, such as you and Bourdain, can try to pretend that the hopeless nihilism inherent within atheism does not negatively effect your life, but, as Bourdain’s suicide itself testifies, humans without the real hope that is in God, and Jesus Christ’s victory over death, are just fooling themselves. The hopeless nihilism is ever present draining your life of any real meaning and purpose.

    Numerous studies back this ‘hopeless nihilism’ observation up.

    Of snakebites and suicide – February 18, 2014
    RESULTS: Religiously unaffiliated subjects had significantly more lifetime suicide attempts and more first-degree relatives who committed suicide than subjects who endorsed a religious affiliation.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....d-suicide/

    Knowledge of the afterlife deters suicide. Lessons From the Light by Kenneth Ring and Evelyn Elsaesser p.257-258:
    As far as I know, the first clinician to make use of NDE material in this context was a New York psychologist named John McDonagh. In 1979, he presented a paper at a psychological convention that described his success with several suicidal patients using a device he called “NDE bibliotherapy.” His “technique” was actually little more than having his patients read some relevant passages from Raymond Moody’s book, Reflections on Life after Life, after which the therapist and his patient would discuss its implications for the latter’s own situation. McDonagh reports that such an approach was generally quite successful not only in reducing suicidal thoughts but also in preventing the deed altogether.

    Since McDonagh’s pioneering efforts, other clinicians knowledgeable about the NDE who have had the opportunity to counsel suicidal patients have also reported similar success. Perhaps the most notable of these therapists is Bruce Greyson, a psychiatrist now at the University of Virginia, whose specialty as a clinician has been suicidology. He is also the author of a classic paper on NDEs and suicide which the specialist may wish to consult for its therapeutic implications. (14)
    Quite apart from the clinicians who have developed this form of what we might call “NDE-assisted therapy,” I can draw upon my own personal experience here to provide additional evidence of how the NDE has helped to deter suicide. The following case,,,
    http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/201.....lains.html

    Can attending church really help you live longer? This study says yes – June 1, 2017
    Excerpt: Specifically, the study says those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by 55%. The Plos One journal published the “Church Attendance, Allostatic Load and Mortality in Middle Aged Adults” study May 16.
    “For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/02/can-attending-church-really-help-you-live-longer-study-says-yes/364375001/

    Atheism and health
    A meta-analysis of all studies, both published and unpublished, relating to religious involvement and longevity was carried out in 2000. Forty-two studies were included, involving some 126,000 subjects. Active religious involvement increased the chance of living longer by some 29%, and participation in public religious practices, such as church attendance, increased the chance of living longer by 43%.[4][5]
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_health

    “I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

    And to repeat what I have said many times before, besides the overwhelming evidence that life is Intelligent Designed, Atheists should become Christians for the simple, practical, even logical and rational, reason that their lives, on average, will be significantly better than their lives currently are as atheists.

  5. 5
    Bob O'H says:

    ba77 – using someone’s death to proselytise for your religion is pretty crass. If you were genuinely saddened by his death, then presumably you would appreciate that others are too, and probably won’t appreciate a response that ignores their sadness, and instead criticises (whether implicitly or explicitly) the person who’s passing they are sad about. To then use it as a reason to advertise your own point of view (when there is no indication that it is relevant in this instance) is surely crass.

    Please, show some compassion.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob (and weave) O’Hara implores me to “show some compassion”.

    And that is precisely the point. Exactly where is this compassion to be found within the atheist’s nihilistic worldview? To have real compassion, Bob must steal compassion from Christianity because the only thing his nihilistic worldview has to offer is ‘blind, pitiless, indifference’:

    “If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
    – Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

    It truly would be incompassionate, even morally negligent, of me if I were to just let people wallow away in such hopeless misery without at least trying to offer a little light of real hope and real compassion into their lives that trusting in the living God offers.

    Bob’s supposed compassion amounts to completely ignoring the atheistic source of the misery.

    Yet no matter how much Bob may want to ignore it, or in Boudain’s case, drink and drug it away, the nihilism is forever in the background of the atheists worldview and, like the proverbial elephant in the room, refuses to go away.

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Mary Neal’s (Near Death Experience) – Choosing to Trust
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdH_glI11Z0
    Mary Neal, an orthopedic surgeon, drowned in a kayak accident while pinned at the bottom of a waterfall in a remote region of Chile. With the help of her kayaking companions Mary was pulled from the river, resuscitated and has since recounted her remarkable journey to the other side in her recent book, “To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story”.

  7. 7

    BA77 @ 4: You nailed it. The entire a/mat worldview can be summed up with one phrase… hopeless nihilism.

  8. 8
    Bob O'H says:

    bs77 –

    Bob (and weave) O’Hara implores me to “show some compassion”.

    And that is precisely the point.

    Indeed, that you don’t show any compassion: you would rather lecture other people on their perceived shortcomings that treat them as people. If you want to show the compassion of Christianity, don’t proselytise, be compassionate. I respect Christianity precisely because I have met Christians who are compassionate and respectful.

  9. 9
    Allan Keith says:

    It truly is sad that two atheists show more “Christian” compassion than the self-proclaimed Bornagain Christian.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “Indeed, that you don’t show any compassion: you would rather lecture other people on their perceived shortcomings than treat them as people.”

    Not that I am not already showing compassion, but should not you adopt the Christian worldview that grounds human exceptionalism, instead of holding onto your insane materialistic worldview that denies you are even a person in the first place??,, I mean if you truly want to be treated as a real person??? ,,, Not to ‘lecture’ you on your ‘shortcomings’, but not being a real person does tend to stick out! 🙂

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – 39:45 minute mark
    https://youtu.be/8rzw0JkuKuQ?t=2387
    Excerpt: Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God.
    Bottom line, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    Paper with references for each claim page; Page 34:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pAYmZpUWFEi3hu45FbQZEvGKsZ9GULzh8KM0CpqdePk/edit

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  11. 11
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The posts about Anthony Bourdain have troubled me – indeed, I found the event horrifying and terrible. I have watched him for years – admiring much, and always hoping he would mature and find God. I also found his lifestyle to be appalling, and I had adopted his cultural mindset for a time in my life when I was younger (I am his age) – so I know his worldview, ambitions, tastes and ethos – at least as a product of his culture. He contributed to, and shaped our culture strongly as all celebrities do. Even if he claimed to be an outsider to the world of tv celebrities – that was his life. His worldview, beliefs, atheism, Epicureanism — these are all the hallmarks of our cultural heroes today.

    Bob

    Indeed, that you don’t show any compassion: you would rather lecture other people on their perceived shortcomings that treat them as people. If you want to show the compassion of Christianity, don’t proselytise, be compassionate. I respect Christianity precisely because I have met Christians who are compassionate and respectful.

    I thought a lot about this and there is much to appreciate. I will say though, that your comment is reducible to one term: “compassion”. In fact, you repeat it four times.

    Compassion is one of those virtues (and it is a virtue) like “tolerance” (which I don’t think is a virtue actually) which has been elevated to a supreme position. This term has a certain meaning, and even (especially) religious leaders use this term to characterize Christianity. There was a time (I think George W Bush) when people used the term “compassionate conservative”, because everybody needed to proclaim that they are compassionate, and again – that is the supreme virtue.

    So, it is believed that Christians must be, above all things, “compassionate people”.

    First of all, where does this idea come from? Who said that Christianity is mainly something that is “compassionate”? Ok, yes – many contemporary religious teachers say that, so I can forgive atheists for believing it.

    But really, if you want to understand Christianity – it’s best to look at the life of Jesus. Look at what He taught and what He did. What you do not find is that Compassion as the highest virtue above all else. You can read the Beatitudes “Blessed are the …” and none of them say “blessed are the compassionate” or “blessed are the tolerant”. You might see “peacemakers” as being that sort of thing, but even there it does not stand alone.

    Compassion today in the secular sense, means something like ‘indulgence’ – giving in, pleasing others. To be compassionate means, never making someone uncomfortable. Never correcting someone’s errors. Never pointing out where something is wrong. Never calling something a sin. Never saying than anyone actually did something evil (with some exceptions which are contradictory). Celebrities, for example, deserve all sorts of compassion because they make us feel good. I guess Harvey Weinstein is an exception. Everybody in Hollywood knew what he was doing for years. They had ‘compassion’ on him by not saying anything. But then, someone revealed his sins and now they don’t need to be compassionate any more.

    Anthony Bourdain leaves people in a difficult situation. Of course, as said – whenever someone is sad because a celebrity died, Christians must be compassionate and never say anything. Plus, if a Christian actually tries to express his faith, that is seen as rude and not-compassionate and as proselytizing. So, the good Christians are the ones who never say anything about their faith, never speak about manifest evils and always make people feel comfortable.

    A man kills himself, leaving behind a young daughter and others. The supposed compassionate response is to say nothing, or to say “this is sad”. The Christian is not permitted to say that the man committed a very evil action.

    The failure to condemn such a thing, however, is not compassionate. It is a failure to tell the truth about Jesus’ teachings.

    Thinking that Jesus was “compassionate” in the celebrity-secular sense of that world is to imagine that Jesus never let anyone feel uncomfortable, that he would prefer not to tell the truth rather than see someone sad, that he was very tolerant of evil actions because he didn’t want to say anything about it.

    This is very clearly false. Again, just look at His words and teachings. Look at what he said to the Jews who rejected Him. No, for the Christian Faith, the highest virtue is not compassion but to act with wisdom and give the best to God, and others, at times to seek justice, other times to give mercy.

  12. 12
    Bob O'H says:

    But really, if you want to understand Christianity – it’s best to look at the life of Jesus. Look at what He taught and what He did. What you do not find is that Compassion as the highest virtue above all else. You can read the Beatitudes “Blessed are the …” and none of them say “blessed are the compassionate” or “blessed are the tolerant”. You might see “peacemakers” as being that sort of thing, but even there it does not stand alone.

    No, it stands alongside “Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted”. I don’t see how it is comforting to be told that the person you are mourning committed a “very evil act” when they tried to find a way out of their pain.

    FWIW, I wouldn’t want to say that Christians (or members of any other religion) shouldn’t prosetylise, or tell people that they are wrong. Just that there is a time and place, and surely when people are mourning isn’t the time. Is it really un-Christian to be sensitive to other people’s feelings?

    Incidentally, what were Jesus’ teachings on suicide?

  13. 13
    Silver Asiatic says:

    No, it stands alongside “Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted”. I don’t see how it is comforting to be told that the person you are mourning committed a “very evil act” when they tried to find a way out of their pain.

    Certainly, you’re right. When we encounter someone in sorrow, that is the time to be compassionate (as Jesus always was).

    FWIW, I wouldn’t want to say that Christians (or members of any other religion) shouldn’t prosetylise, or tell people that they are wrong. Just that there is a time and place, and surely when people are mourning isn’t the time. Is it really un-Christian to be sensitive to other people’s feelings?

    As above, I fully agree. Being sensitive to others’ feelings is important. I do not think that gloating or ridicule of a man, even an enemy of God, is right or a good Christian attitude. Jesus did not rejoice over Judas’ condemnation – although He did not spare his feelings and said that it was evil.

    A compassionate response needs to look at both a response of mercy and of justice. To ignore a person’s feelings is, as you said before, crass. But however, to never point out the error or problem, that is not being truthful or compassionate.

    The conversations here often turn to questions about atheism – “why should an atheist be sad about Anthony Bourdain’s death”? You might say that’s an inhuman sort of question. But we (I do anyway) have the impression that atheism really is inhuman. It is anti-human. Just as suicide is. Mr. Bourdain chose to kill himself. Would atheists praise his personal decision and freedom to do whatever he wants? Would he be honored for boldly taking his life, in the way and at the time that he chose to do it? So, we wonder why there is sadness in that respect. Anthony didn’t think it mattered, apparently, if anyone cared about him – so why do we? I understand these are insensitive questions, but I think they’re important.

    Incidentally, what were Jesus’ teachings on suicide?

    Directly, he did not say anything. So, we have to interpret his teachings from other sources. I am a Catholic so we believe that Jesus communicated His teachings not only in the written Gospel but also orally to the apostles and expressed through the early church (fathers of the church).

    But even going just by the Gospel, the commandment is that murder is a serious sin. In fact, even a sin of anger (rash hatred) against our neighbor is a sin which makes a person to “be in danger of the fire of hell.”

    So, Jesus condemned murder. Suicide is a person who murders himself. So, a man who commits suicide is a murderer. He killed an innocent person.

    This is a sensitive topic, however, because a person must be fully conscious and rational in making this decision to murder. We can’t simply condemn everyone who kills themself. People are mentally ill and do things.

    Was Anthony Bourdain mentally ill? I don’t know. I hope he was not clear and rational in his thought, making a cold decision to kill himself.

    But even for a man who kills his wife in a fit of passion, or in mental illness – we can say it was a very evil thing to do. The man may not be fully to blame. But it was bad.

    The same is true for suicide. A compassionate response should not assign blame or hatred against a man who does such a thing, but also should not excuse it or pretend that it is not an evil action to murder one’s own self.

    Our life is a gift from God – given to use to use well and to develop. It’s a gift that is meant for a destiny (to return to God) and also to be helpful to others.

    The key theme we return to very often here is “what would an atheist do”? This makes a very big difference on the topic of suicide. People suffer many things in life – oppression, illness, poverty, hostility, depression, pain – and they endure all of this until the end because they hope in God. Even when there is no hope for a cure. Because they look to God as the final end of their journey of life – and they know that God has given life to them. It is not their own to take or kill when they want.

    This is radically different in the atheist view.

    Why endure all of that pain? Why be a burden on others? If there is no God, what would be wrong with suicide when life is so painful?

    For the believer, it’s not only that we are not permitted to kill ourself — but it is the belief and knowledge that God will sustain and help us, guide us and comfort us, even in very difficult times of pain.

    We see that with Jesus dying on the cross. His followers are sad about His death, but also happy because it had profound meaning.

  14. 14
    Allan Keith says:

    All this talk about Bourdain but nobody addresses the fact that suicide is often the result of an underlying mental illness. All BA77’s thoughtless statement did was to turn back the clock to the times when people with mental illnesses were labeled as being crazy or insane.

    And his citing a paper that finds a correlation between religious belief and suicide is not helping the issue. As was pointed out to me recently, correlation is not causation. How does BA77 explain the fact that in east Asia being religious comes with an increase suicide rate?

    In contrast, in East Asia, where residents are reportedly more secular, higher levels of religious involvement are connected to higher suicide rates.
    http://dc.medill.northwestern......9b31m.dpbs

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    AK, from your paper:

    Unlike Christians, who “go to services together and meet people afterward,” practitioners of Buddhism, Shintoism and Taoism in East Asia are more “individualized,” she said.

    so your study found that Eastern Mysticism increased suicide rates. Not so surprising since, at least how I understand it, one of Eastern Mysticism’s core teachings is to ‘detach’ oneself from the world in order to try achieve Nirvana so as to escape suffering and continual rebirth. That type of belief system literally has suicide written all over it!

    Whilst Christianity, where Jesus Christ is held to have conquered death, is found to decrease suicidal tendencies and increase life satisfaction.

    i.e. Death not having the final say is certainly a recipe for extinguishing nihilism and increasing happiness!

    Go figure.

    Thanks for plugging Christianity AK. You are a gem!

    As to addressing the ‘mental aspect’, I reiterate this:

    “I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100
    https://books.google.com/books?id=PREdCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA100#v=onepage&q&f=false

    It seems AK is the one who wants to ‘turn back the clock’ and not address the fact that atheism is basically a mental disease.

  16. 16
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Whilst Christianity, where Jesus Christ is held to have conquered death, is found to decrease suicidal tendencies and increase life satisfaction.

    I guess you forgot to read this part.

    Hsieh found that although religion is linked to lower suicide rates in Latin America, eastern Europe, northern Europe, and English-speaking countries, it is associated with higher suicide rates in East Asia, western Europe and southern Europe.

    I wasn’t aware that eastern mysticism was big in Europe.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    The religions attended are not mentioned for Western and Southern Europe. Only this:

    “Unlike Christians, who “go to services together and meet people afterward,” practitioners of Buddhism, Shintoism and Taoism in East Asia are more “individualized,” she said.”

    Seems apparent that the author is directly noting the suicidal differences between the two religions

  18. 18
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    The religions attended are not mentioned for Western and Southern Europe.

    Nice try. Your hyper skepticism is showing.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    No, no ‘hyper-skepticism’ at all. Just the facts. The author did not mention which religions of Eastern and Southern Europe were ‘increasing’. The one allusion to specific religions she did make in the article, as I pointed out, supported my position not yours.

    In fact Christianity is known to be declining in Eastern and Southern Europe. Whereas Islam is growing.

    Quo Vadis? The Philosophical, Spiritual Floundering of Europe in 2017
    By GARLAND TUCKER – October 21, 2017
    “Non-believers outnumber the faithful by widest margin yet.” This fall has been driven primarily by young people. Of those between 18 and 24 years old, 62 percent have no religion.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/10/europe-christianity-non-believers-cultural-identity-crisis-immigration-assimilation/

    Will Islam Conquer Europe?
    Analysts estimate that in Britain, for example, Islamic mosques host more worshippers each week than the Church of England! Filling the void of traditional Christianity is a robust, energetic and youthful movement afoot in Europe. If this continues at the present rate, cathedrals will appear as vestiges of a civilization of times past. The great national cultures of Italians, French, Germans and others may be replaced by a new transnational Muslim identity.
    https://rcg.org/realtruth/articles/253-wice.html

    Three countries in Southeastern Europe have Muslim majorities.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Europe

    Thus it is very likely that the ‘increased suicide rate’ is attributable to the increasing religion of Islam in Western and Southern Europe.

    Again, your study mentioned

    “Unlike Christians, who “go to services together and meet people afterward,” practitioners of Buddhism, Shintoism and Taoism in East Asia are more “individualized,” she said.”

    And “Socialization” instead “individualization” matches studies such as these

    ABC News – The Science Behind the Healing Power of Love – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1p-PwGgE4

    Social isolation and its health implications January 2012
    Excerpt: Studies show that social isolation and/or loneliness predict morbidity and mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and a host of other diseases. In fact, the body perceives loneliness as a threat. Research from the University of California suggests that loneliness or lack of social support could triple the odds of being diagnosed with a heart condition. Redford Williams and his colleagues at Duke University directed a study in 1992 on heart patients and their relationships. They discovered that 50% of patients with heart disease who did not have a spouse or someone to confide in died within five years, while only 17% of those who did have a confidante died in the same time period.12
    http://www.how-to-be-healthy.o.....lications/

    The Secret to Living Longer may be Socialization – TED video
    https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_pinker_the_secret_to_living_longer_may_be_your_social_life/transcript?language=en

    What Makes a Good (long) Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness | Robert Waldinger | TED Talks (Good Relationships lead to long life) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI

    Verse:

    Hebrews 10:25
    Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

  20. 20
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    In fact Christianity is known to be declining in Eastern and Southern Europe. Whereas Islam is growing.

    Are you claiming that belief in your god is what results in lower suicide rates? Belief in other gods isn’t sufficient?

  21. 21
    Bob O'H says:

    sd @ 13 – Murder is usually seen as killing another person – I certainly don’t know of anyone charged with attempted murder after a failed suicide, and suicide isn’t really a sin of anger or (directly) against a neighbour. So from what you’ve written, to me it looks like one could also argue that suicide isn’t a sin.

    You are also quick to condemn people for committing suicide, but have you thought about what pain someone must be going through to want to end their life? I just find this apparent lack of compassion interesting.

    ba77 – for Western and Southern Europe, the religions would mainly be Christianity. This is true regardless of whether they are mentioned in that piece. And, of course, Islam worships the same god that you do.

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    AK, you were the one trying to say Christianity did not decrease suicide rates. I merely pointed out the facts that contradicted your claim. Of further note to Islam and suicide:

    Muslim countries have highest rates of suicide, murder, rape and mental health problems
    A lost generation and grim future awaits if the Middle East is not stabilised, according to 25-year study of countries stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. – August 8, 2017
    Suicide, murder, rape and mental health conditions are skyrocketing in a stretch of Muslim-majority countries from Morocco to Pakistan, many of which have been wracked by violence and conflict.

    A major study covering data from the last 25 years shows soaring rates of death by suicide or at the hands of others.,,,
    The countries studied are: Afghanistan, Egypt, Bahrain, Djibouti, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and the UAE.
    https://www.thenational.ae/world/muslim-countries-have-highest-rates-of-suicide-murder-rape-and-mental-health-problems-1.618038

    Also of note, you accused me of ‘ hyper skepticism’. I find that accusation coming from a Darwinist to be especially rich. Darwinists are infamous for having a extreme ‘hyper skeptical’ attitude concerning the belief that life is designed even though life overwhelmingly gives the appearance of being brilliantly designed.

    For example AK, do you believe that your brain is the product of Intelligent Design or do you insanely believe it is the product of unguided, Mindless, processes?

    The Half-Truths of Materialist Evolution – DONALD DeMARCO – 02/06/2015
    Excerpt: but I would like to direct attention to the unsupportable notion that the human brain, to focus on a single phenomenon, could possibly have evolved by sheer chance. One of the great stumbling blocks for Darwin and other chance evolutionists is explaining how a multitude of factors simultaneously coalesce to form a unified, functioning system. The human brain could not have evolved as a result of the addition of one factor at a time. Its unity and phantasmagorical complexity defies any explanation that relies on pure chance. It would be an underestimation of the first magnitude to say that today’s neurophysiologists know more about the structure and workings of the brain than did Darwin and his associates.
    Scientists in the field of brain research now inform us that a single human brain contains more molecular-scale switches than all the computers, routers and Internet connections on the entire planet! According to Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the brain’s complexity is staggering, beyond anything his team of researchers had ever imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief. In the cerebral cortex alone, each neuron has between 1,000 to 10,000 synapses that result, roughly, in a total of 125 trillion synapses, which is about how many stars fill 1,500 Milky Way galaxies!
    A single synapse may contain 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A synapse, simply stated, is the place where a nerve impulse passes from one nerve cell to another.
    Phantasmagorical as this level of unified complexity is, it places us merely at the doorway of the brain’s even deeper mind-boggling organization. Glial cells in the brain assist in neuron speed. These cells outnumber neurons 10 times over, with 860 billion cells. All of this activity is monitored by microglia cells that not only clean up damaged cells but also prune dendrites, forming part of the learning process. The cortex alone contains 100,000 miles of myelin-covered, insulated nerve fibers.
    The process of mapping the brain would indeed be time-consuming. It would entail identifying every synaptic neuron. If it took a mere second to identify each neuron, it would require four billion years to complete the project.
    http://www.ncregister.com/dail.....evolution/

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    The Human Brain Is ‘Beyond Belief’ by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D. * – 2017
    Excerpt: The human brain,, is an engineering marvel that evokes comments from researchers like “beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief”1 and “a world we had never imagined.”2,,,
    Perfect Optimization
    The scientists found that at multiple hierarchical levels in the whole brain, nerve cell clusters (ganglion), and even at the individual cell level, the positioning of neural units achieved a goal that human engineers strive for but find difficult to achieve—the perfect minimizing of connection costs among all the system’s components.,,,
    Vast Computational Power
    Researchers discovered that a single synapse is like a computer’s microprocessor containing both memory-storage and information-processing features.,,, Just one synapse alone can contain about 1,000 molecular-scale microprocessor units acting in a quantum computing environment. An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses. To put this in perspective, one of the researchers revealed that the study’s results showed a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers, and Internet connections on Earth.1,,,
    Phenomenal Processing Speed
    the processing speed of the brain had been greatly underrated. In a new research study, scientists found the brain is 10 times more active than previously believed.6,7,,,
    The large number of dendritic spikes also means the brain has more than 100 times the computational capabilities than was previously believed.,,,
    Petabyte-Level Memory Capacity
    Our new measurements of the brain’s memory capacity increase conservative estimates by a factor of 10 to at least a petabyte, in the same ballpark as the World Wide Web.9,,,
    Optimal Energy Efficiency
    Stanford scientist who is helping develop computer brains for robots calculated that a computer processor functioning with the computational capacity of the human brain would require at least 10 megawatts to operate properly. This is comparable to the output of a small hydroelectric power plant. As amazing as it may seem, the human brain requires only about 10 watts to function.11 ,,,
    Multidimensional Processing
    It is as if the brain reacts to a stimulus by building then razing a tower of multi-dimensional blocks, starting with rods (1D), then planks (2D), then cubes (3D), and then more complex geometries with 4D, 5D, etc. The progression of activity through the brain resembles a multi-dimensional sandcastle that materializes out of the sand and then disintegrates.13
    He also said:
    We found a world that we had never imagined. There are tens of millions of these objects even in a small speck of the brain, up through seven dimensions. In some networks, we even found structures with up to eleven dimensions.13,,,
    Biophoton Brain Communication
    Neurons contain many light-sensitive molecules such as porphyrin rings, flavinic, pyridinic rings, lipid chromophores, and aromatic amino acids. Even the mitochondria machines that produce energy inside cells contain several different light-responsive molecules called chromophores. This research suggests that light channeled by filamentous cellular structures called microtubules plays an important role in helping to coordinate activities in different regions of the brain.,,,
    https://www.icr.org/article/10186

    Design or accident, what say ye AK?

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Bob, “for Western and Southern Europe, the religions would mainly be Christianity. This is true regardless of whether they are mentioned in that piece. And, of course, Islam worships the same god that you do.”

    That is precisely the fault in the article. She, like you, did not properly differentiate religions. You, like the article, are extremely biased in your attempt to lump all religions together.

    The differences between the world’s religions, that were glossed over in the article and in your flippant comment, are certainly major differences, not minor differences.

    Moreover, this slip-shod article does not negate, from much more rigorous studies, the consistently higher suicide rates for atheists that were found, on average, because of their nihilistic worldview:

    Atheism Has a Suicide Problem – 12/08/2017
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/atheism-has-a-suicide-problem_us_5a2a902ee4b022ec613b812b

    “CONCLUSIONS: Religious affiliation is associated with less suicidal behavior in depressed inpatients. After other factors were controlled, it was found that greater moral objections to suicide and lower aggression level in religiously affiliated subjects may function as protective factors against suicide attempts.”

    Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt
    https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-more-atheists-commit-suicide-than-people-with-faith-in-God

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob @ 21

    I would hope to have compassion on all my fellow human beings. We all are tempted to sin at times, we all have moral failings – sometimes bigger sometimes smaller, but we are fellow sinners and I know it is not easy for anyone to reach a high level of moral goodness.

    My concern is that if suicide is not a sin, then what is wrong with it? Anthony Bourdain decided to kill himself and it didn’t seem like he was insane (innocent by reason of insanity), but we don’t know. Yes, people suffer pains of all sorts but usually they seek a remedy before just killing themselves. If your foot hurts, don’t cut off your leg. If you have interior pain – seek some healing.

    But I have always found atheism, as a belief-system or worldview, to be compatible with suicide. The reasons for this should be obvious.

    I think it is incontrovertable that suicide is the killing of a person. Does the person deserve to be killed? In the Christian view, we should not hurt ourselves because our lives belong to God.

    It is certainly possible that a person who committed suicide is not fully guilty of a sin – yes. And a person can even repent of the action before death. So, we do not know how God will judge the individual act. We shouldn’t say that a person is necessarily in Hell – we don’t know for certain.

    But, objectively speaking – suicide is a sinful action like murder. God gives life, and only God can take it back. We don’t have the right to do that to ourselves.

  25. 25
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AK

    Are you claiming that belief in your god is what results in lower suicide rates? Belief in other gods isn’t sufficient?

    Of course, different theological views can have different moral systems. In Shinto thought, Kamakazi pilots were acting heroically in committing suicide for the Emperor (who was believed to be a divine being). We know the same is true among some variants of Islam.

  26. 26
    Seversky says:

    bornagain77 @ 6

    Mary Neal’s (Near Death Experience) – Choosing to Trust
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdH_glI11Z0
    Mary Neal, an orthopedic surgeon, drowned in a kayak accident while pinned at the bottom of a waterfall in a remote region of Chile. With the help of her kayaking companions Mary was pulled from the river, resuscitated and has since recounted her remarkable journey to the other side in her recent book, “To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story”.

    That’s one story. Here’s another:

    A Boy’s Long Brush With Death; A Toddler Survives After Hours Without Oxygen or a Pulse

    Though still in critical condition, Jesus is a lucky 3-year-old — lucky that it was a chilly April day and the tap water in the apartment was cold. So while most abused children who are dunked in the bath for punishment are scalded with hot water, Jesus was nearly frozen. And doctors say that is probably why he lived — apparently without brain damage — despite the fact that he was not breathing and his heart had not been pumping for hours.

    When the body is cooled rapidly and stays very cold, the heart stops beating. But the body’s metabolism also comes to a near standstill, sharply reducing the vital organs’ need for blood and oxygen. At a body temperature below 80 degrees, a person can survive for a number of hours in a sort of suspended animation — not measurably alive, yet not technically dead.

    I don’t doubt the doctor had the experience she reported but I seriously doubt she was ever brain dead since that, by definition, is irreversible. Like other NDEs it’s an intriguing anecdote but it is not persuasive evidence for life after death and disembodied consciousness.

  27. 27
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    AK, you were the one trying to say Christianity did not decrease suicide rates.

    No. I said that it wasn’t as mindlessly simple as that. Which it isn’t. Even your links, as well as others, say the same thing.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith, actually it is fairly simple. Atheism entails a hopeless nihilism that drains life of any real meaning and purpose.

    Existential nihilism is the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning or value.

    Atheists, self admittedly, make up illusory meanings and purposes for their lives since the nihilism inherent in their atheism is just too much to for them to bear honestly (R. Weikart).

    Yet, as Bourdain’s suicide itself testifies, the atheist’s attempt to fill his life with illusory meaning and purpose ultimately fails. i,e, The nihilistic elephant in the room refuses to go away!

    This is VERY sad, especially since the atheist’s worldview is grievously false through and through.

    Yet, for whatever severely misguided reason, the vast majority of internet atheists would rather believe a pack of blatant lies than ever believe that they were purposely created by God.
    For example AK, you yourself refused to honestly address the question posed to you in post 22. (i.e. Is you ‘beyond belief’ brain designed or an accident?)

    As Jesus’s victory over death testifies, death IS NOT the end of our lives.

    This is VERY GOOD news!

    Life really does have true meaning and purpose. You need not wallow away in the nihilistic lies of your atheistic worldview.

    Only Christianity offers this guarantee over death. The founder of every other religion has a burial site. Not Jesus!. Jesus rose from the grave. That is the simple reason why Christians are basically more joyful than atheists are, and, from as far as I can presently tell, more joyful than the people of the other religions of the world. i.e. Only in Christianity is the hopeless nihilism of death soundly defeated!

    1 Corinthians 15:54-55
    When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

    Rend Collective – Joy Of The Lord (Lyrics And Chords)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3gLeCiMJqI

  30. 30
    Bob O'H says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 24 –

    My concern is that if suicide is not a sin, then what is wrong with it?

    Indeed, I think that’s a very important question. I’m actually not sure suicide itself has to be morally wrong, but that’s not to say that I think suicide is a good thing.

    Yes, people suffer pains of all sorts but usually they seek a remedy before just killing themselves.

    I suspect, from reading this, you’ve never suffered from depression. It can actually be very difficult to reach out for help (this has been discussed quite a bit on twitter in the last week or so): for some people who are severely depressed it is difficult to even get out of bed. It’s easy to say that if you’re depressed you should seek help, but the very nature of depression makes it difficult to actually look for help.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: This is why depression needs to be seen as the health and safety crisis it is (and it may be among the biggest, I have suspicions about a lot of “accidental” deaths). There is need for education about depression and provision of readily accessible help. BA77 is right that most people seek help short of suicide attempts, but in many cases that is not understood for what it is, a serious warning. We have also committed the folly of promoting a culture of moral numbness, amorality, nihilism and death in many forms. It is to a point where I see people talking about HOW to kill yourself in social media, laying out and indicating techniques that are allegedly painless. In the old days, suicide was spoken of as cowardice and as a point of no return sin — big, culturally accessible warning flags [though I think certain drinking problems were slow suicide by bottle]; which many today would jump on as lacking sensitivity etc, but we need a better solution than enabling suicide by a misguided redefinition of “compassion.” We need serious reform, and yes, a worldview and culture that treasures life is pivotal to breaking the stranglehold of the spirit of death that haunts our civilisation. As I keep saying, the ongoing warping of our civilisation to sustain holocaust of living posterity in the womb has consequences that spread out far and wide. KF

  32. 32
    Bob O'H says:

    here is need for education about depression and provision of readily accessible help.

    I agree, but I think stigmatising it, and stigmatising suicide is not the answer – that’s more likely to lead to people not seeking help as they don’t want to admit to thinking about committing a sin.

  33. 33
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Allan Keith, actually it is fairly simple. Atheism entails a hopeless nihilism that drains life of any real meaning and purpose.

    You misunderstand what being an atheist is. The only difference between you and me is that I do not require the existence of a non-existant mythical being to derive meaning for my life, or tell me how to lead my life. If you want to call that nihilism, that’s fine. A more accurate description would be realism.

  34. 34
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob @ 30

    I’m actually not sure suicide itself has to be morally wrong, but that’s not to say that I think suicide is a good thing.

    It’s not clear what you’re saying here. Could you explain?

    It’s easy to say that if you’re depressed you should seek help, but the very nature of depression makes it difficult to actually look for help.

    I’m not trying to minimize the suffering that people encounter. But it’s also true that people do not become entirely irrational even when suffering depression. Maintaining and building good mental health is a daily, on-going effort. It’s not just something you do when you’re out of control.
    Attending church, being part of a faith community, regular prayer and a growing relationship with God – these are all good mental health habits aside from the religious aspects.

    We know that Jesus suffered extreme depression during the crucifixion (and in his prayer in the garden) “My God, why have you forsaken me?”

    I will agree that we can’t just run to a doctor every time we have anxiety or fear or despondency. In many cases the doctor cannot fix it anyway — but God can (and does) heal. So, it’s really a matter of turning to God for help in those times of despair. It is seeing the purpose and direction of one’s life as being within God’s plan.

  35. 35
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The only difference between you and me is that I do not require the existence of a non-existant mythical being to derive meaning for my life, or tell me how to lead my life.

    Charles Darwin does not exist (in a material sense). You rely on him to derive meaning.

  36. 36
    bornagain77 says:

    Allan Keith, too funny. You state:

    You misunderstand what being an atheist is. The only difference between you and me is that I do not require the existence of a non-existant mythical being to derive meaning for my life, or tell me how to lead my life. If you want to call that nihilism, that’s fine. A more accurate description would be realism.

    You have the actual situation completely backwards. If anything, in your dogmatic refusal to ever accept any evidence for the reality of God, you have not chosen ‘realism’ but have in fact chosen a perverse form of ‘anti-realism’ where everything in your atheistic worldview, things that common people regard as being real and concrete, dissolves into flights of fantasy and imagination.

    Perhaps the most humorous thing about militant atheists claiming that God does not really exist, is that they, in their denial of the reality of God, also end up denying that they really exist as real ‘persons’. That is to say, if God is an illusion then the atheist himself becomes an illusion.

    Ross Douthat Is On Another Erroneous Rampage Against Secularism – Jerry Coyne – December 26, 2013
    Excerpt: “many (but not all) of us accept the notion that our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.”
    Jerry Coyne – Professor of Evolutionary Biology – Atheist
    https://newrepublic.com/article/116047/ross-douthat-wrong-about-secularism-and-ethics

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

    “There is no self in, around, or as part of anyone’s body. There can’t be. So there really isn’t any enduring self that ever could wake up morning after morning worrying about why it should bother getting out of bed. The self is just another illusion, like the illusion that thought is about stuff or that we carry around plans and purposes that give meaning to what our body does. Every morning’s introspectively fantasized self is a new one, remarkably similar to the one that consciousness ceased fantasizing when we fell sleep sometime the night before. Whatever purpose yesterday’s self thought it contrived to set the alarm last night, today’s newly fictionalized self is not identical to yesterday’s. It’s on its own, having to deal with the whole problem of why to bother getting out of bed all over again.”
    – A.Rosenberg, The Atheist’s Guide to Reality, ch.10

    The Consciousness Deniers – Galen Strawson – March 13, 2018
    Excerpt: What is the silliest claim ever made? The competition is fierce, but I think the answer is easy. Some people have denied the existence of consciousness: conscious experience, the subjective character of experience, the “what-it-is-like” of experience.,,,
    Who are the Deniers?,,, Few have been fully explicit in their denial, but among those who have been, we find Brian Farrell, Paul Feyerabend, Richard Rorty, and the generally admirable Daniel Dennett.,,,
    http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2.....s-deniers/

    “that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.”
    Francis Crick – “The Astonishing Hypothesis” 1994

    The Brain: The Mystery of Consciousness
    By STEVEN PINKER – Monday, Jan. 29, 2007
    Part II THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL
    Another startling conclusion from the science of consciousness is that the intuitive feeling we have that there’s an executive “I” that sits in a control room of our brain, scanning the screens of the senses and pushing the buttons of the muscles, is an illusion.
    http://www.academia.edu/279485.....sciousness

    “(Daniel) Dennett concludes, ‘nobody is conscious … we are all zombies’.”
    J.W. SCHOOLER & C.A. SCHREIBER – Experience, Meta-consciousness, and the Paradox of Introspection – 2004
    https://www.scribd.com/document/183053947/Experience-Meta-consciousness-and-the-Paradox-of-Introspection

    “I have argued patiently against the prevailing form of naturalism, a reductive materialism that purports to capture life and mind through its neo-Darwinian extension.” “…, I find this view antecedently unbelievable—a heroic triumph of ideological theory over common sense”.
    Thomas Nagel – “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False” – pg.128

    Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
    Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
    http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/pro.....9919758.do

    “We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
    Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

    Of course, since the most certain thing we can possibly know about reality is the fact that we really do exist as real persons, (Descartes, Chalmers), many militant Atheists try to ignore this fatal ‘illusory’ implication of their worldview and falsely claim that Atheistic Materialism can ground personhood. But that ‘knee jerk’ reactionary claim is false. Atheistic materialism simply cannot ground the abstract, “immaterial”, concept of personhood.

    Atheistic Materialism – Does Richard Dawkins Exist? – video 37:51 minute mark
    Quote: “It turns out that if every part of you, down to sub-atomic parts, are still what they were when they weren’t in you, in other words every ion,,, every single atom that was in the universe,, that has now become part of your living body, is still what is was originally. It hasn’t undergone what metaphysicians call a ‘substantial change’. So you aren’t Richard Dawkins. You are just carbon and neon and sulfur and oxygen and all these individual atoms still.
    You can spout a philosophy that says scientific materialism, but there aren’t any scientific materialists to pronounce it.,,, That’s why I think they find it kind of embarrassing to talk that way. Nobody wants to stand up there and say, “You know, I’m not really here”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVCnzq2yTCg&t=37m51s

  37. 37
    Allan Keith says:

    SA,

    I will agree that we can’t just run to a doctor every time we have anxiety or fear or despondency. In many cases the doctor cannot fix it anyway — but God can (and does) heal. So, it’s really a matter of turning to God for help in those times of despair. It is seeing the purpose and direction of one’s life as being within God’s plan.

    I don’t agree that believing in god is what causes lower suicide rates. I suspect that the lower suicide rate for religious people has more to do with the support system that is inherent in any frequent social interaction. And given that atheists do not attend church, they have one less social support system than people who attend church do.

    I think that it is also associated with the general social acceptance of religious practices in the individual countries and regions. South America has the greatest difference in suicide rate of religious people, the difference in the US is lower and the difference in Europe goes the other way (higher suicide rate for religious people). The correlation between the overall social acceptance of religion and the suicide rate of its practitioners is very interesting.

    And to dispel BA77’s nonsense about Christianity having the lowest suicide rates of any religion, I direct him towards the suicide rates of Israel (5.4/100000), United Arab Emirates (2.8/100000) and Brazil (6/100000).

    What would be of interest would be to examine the suicide rates of atheists with few and weak family connections, those with strong supportive family connections and those with strong supportive family connections and active non-family social interactions (e.g., Legions, Lions Club, etc.). It would surprise me if we did not see a gradation of suicide rates along these categories.

  38. 38
    Allan Keith says:

    SA,

    Charles Darwin does not exist (in a material sense). You rely on him to derive meaning.

    How do I rely on him to derive meaning? Atheists long predate Darwin. All he did was to propose a theory by which life changed over time. An interesting subject of research, but nothing more.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    cont. from 36, And it gets worse from there on out for the Atheistic materialist.

    The Atheistic Materialist is also forced to claim that free will is an illusion, and as such undermines any claim that he is making a logically coherent argument in the first place:

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    Moreover, even if free will were not ‘illusory’ in the Atheist’s materialistic worldview, is Darwinian evolution were actually true, the Darwinists still could not trust if his beliefs about reality were actually true.

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    Moreover, even if his beliefs about reality were reliable, the atheistic materialist’s perceptions of reality would still be illusory:

    Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is? – Video – 9:59 minute mark
    Quote: “fitness does depend on reality as it is, yes.,,, Fitness is not the same thing as reality as it is, and it is fitness, and not reality as it is, that figures centrally in the equations of evolution. So, in my lab, we have run hundreds of thousands of evolutionary game simulations with lots of different randomly chosen worlds and organisms that compete for resources in those worlds. Some of the organisms see all of the reality. Others see just part of the reality. And some see none of the reality. Only fitness. Who wins? Well I hate to break it to you but perception of reality goes extinct. In almost every simulation, organisms that see none of reality, but are just tuned to fitness, drive to extinction that perceive reality as it is. So the bottom line is, evolution does not favor veridical, or accurate perceptions. Those (accurate) perceptions of reality go extinct. Now this is a bit stunning. How can it be that not seeing the world accurately gives us a survival advantage?”
    https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY?t=601

    Moreover, since atheists have no real time evidence supporting their claims for Darwinian evolution, they must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins),

    Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530

    “… another common misuse of evolutionary ideas: namely, the idea that some trait must have evolved merely because we can imagine a scenario under which possession of that trait would have been advantageous to fitness… Such forays into evolutionary explanation amount ultimately to storytelling… it is not enough to construct a story about how the trait might have evolved in response to a given selection pressure; rather, one must provide some sort of evidence that it really did so evolve. This is a very tall order.…”
    — Austin L. Hughes, The Folly of Scientism – The New Atlantis, Fall 2012

    Darwin’s greatest discovery: Design without designer – Francisco J. Ayala – May 15, 2007
    Excerpt: “Darwin’s theory of natural selection accounts for the ‘design’ of organisms, and for their wondrous diversity, as the result of natural processes,”,,,
    Darwin’s Explanation of Design
    Darwin’s focus in The Origin was the explanation of design, with evolution playing the subsidiary role of supporting evidence.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/suppl_1/8567.full

    Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker impress us with the illusion of design and planning.
    – Richard Dawkins – The Bilnd Watchmaker – pg. 21
    https://books.google.com/books?id=sPpaZnZMDG0C&pg=PA21

    “Darwinism provided an explanation for the appearance of design, and argued that there is no Designer — or, if you will, the designer is natural selection. If that’s out of the way — if that (natural selection) just does not explain the evidence — then the flip side of that is, well, things appear designed because they are designed.”
    Richard Sternberg – Living Waters documentary
    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpt from Living Waters video)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0csd3M4bc0Q

    “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose”
    – Richard Dawkins – The Blind Watchmaker – pg. 1, 1986

    “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 138 (1990)

    living organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”
    Richard C. Lewontin – Adaptation,” Scientific American, and Scientific American book ‘Evolution’ (September 1978)

    “This appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature…. Accounting for this apparent purposefulness is a basic problem for any system of philosophy or of science.”
    George Gaylord Simpson – “The Problem of Plan and Purpose in Nature” – 1947

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    and finally, the Atheistic Materialist must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the reality of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is (apparently) too much for him to bear (Weikart),

    Study: Atheists Find Meaning In Life By Inventing Fairy Tales – Richard Weikart
    MARCH 29, 2018
    Excerpt: However, there is a problem with this finding. The survey admitted the meaning that atheists and non-religious people found in their lives is entirely self-invented. According to the survey, they embraced the position: “Life is only meaningful if you provide the meaning yourself.”
    Thus, when religious people say non-religious people have no basis for finding meaning in life, and when non-religious people object, saying they do indeed find meaning in life, they are not talking about the same thing. If one can find meaning in life by creating one’s own meaning, then one is only “finding” the product of one’s own imagination. One has complete freedom to invent whatever meaning one wants.
    This makes “meaning” on par with myths and fairy tales. It may make the non-religious person feel good, but it has no objective existence.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/.....iry-tales/

    Moreover, the Atheistic Materialist must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God.

    Morality: Objective and Real or Subjective and Illusory? – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnrrIvz8mSE

    Stealing from God: Atheists Presuppose God for Morality – Frank Turek, PhD – 2015 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWxBxDMTzjM

    If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists: – Peter Kreeft – Prager University – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xliyujhwhNM

    Bottom line in their rejection of God, nothing is real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    In fact, when examined in critical detail, it is found that Darwinian evolution does not even qualify as a testable science but is more properly classified, at least how Darwinists treat it, as a untestable, unfalsifiable, pseudo-science.

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    Matthew 7:24-27
    “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    Per AK at 37 in his attempt to tease out some good news for the depressing stats on the Atheist’s suicide rate, he might want to look at this study

    Highly religious people say they’re happier, too, survey finds
    April 12, 2016
    Look around. Three in 10 people you see claim they are pretty satisfied with life, happy, healthy and moral, too.

    They’re the “highly religious,” 30 percent of U.S. adults who say they pray daily and attend church at least once a week.

    “Religion in Everyday Life,” a new survey from Pew Research released Tuesday (April 12), teases out the particular ways they differ from the majority of U.S. Christians who are less observant and from non-Christians, including the “nones” who claim no religious identity.
    https://religionnews.com/2016/04/12/happiness-christians-nones-pew-research/

  42. 42
    Allan Keith says:

    BA77,

    Highly religious people say they’re happier, too, survey finds

    Based on a survey? Have you ever thought that atheists might simply be more honest with their feelings? Or less delusional?

    A proposal to classify happiness as a psychiatric disorder
    http://jme.bmj.com/content/med.....4.full.pdf

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    Before you jump all over this, the article is satire.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    AK asks:

    “Have you ever thought that atheists might simply be more honest with their feelings? Or less delusional?”

    I find atheists, especially militant internet atheists, to be the most intellectually dishonest group of people I have ever met. EVER!!!

    As to your claim that atheists are ‘less delusional’ than Christian Theists, (and to piggy back on posts 36, 39 and 40), even leading Atheists will often admit that it is impossible for them to live as if Atheistic Materialism were actually true.

    Darwin’s Robots: When Evolutionary Materialists Admit that Their Own Worldview Fails – Nancy Pearcey – April 23, 2015
    Excerpt: Even materialists often admit that, in practice, it is impossible for humans to live any other way. One philosopher jokes that if people deny free will, then when ordering at a restaurant they should say, “Just bring me whatever the laws of nature have determined I will get.”
    An especially clear example is Galen Strawson, a philosopher who states with great bravado, “The impossibility of free will … can be proved with complete certainty.” Yet in an interview, Strawson admits that, in practice, no one accepts his deterministic view. “To be honest, I can’t really accept it myself,” he says. “I can’t really live with this fact from day to day. Can you, really?”,,,
    In What Science Offers the Humanities, Edward Slingerland, identifies himself as an unabashed materialist and reductionist. Slingerland argues that Darwinian materialism leads logically to the conclusion that humans are robots — that our sense of having a will or self or consciousness is an illusion. Yet, he admits, it is an illusion we find impossible to shake. No one “can help acting like and at some level really feeling that he or she is free.” We are “constitutionally incapable of experiencing ourselves and other conspecifics [humans] as robots.”
    One section in his book is even titled “We Are Robots Designed Not to Believe That We Are Robots.”,,,
    When I teach these concepts in the classroom, an example my students find especially poignant is Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus at MIT. Brooks writes that a human being is nothing but a machine — a “big bag of skin full of biomolecules” interacting by the laws of physics and chemistry. In ordinary life, of course, it is difficult to actually see people that way. But, he says, “When I look at my children, I can, when I force myself, … see that they are machines.”
    Is that how he treats them, though? Of course not: “That is not how I treat them…. I interact with them on an entirely different level. They have my unconditional love, the furthest one might be able to get from rational analysis.” Certainly if what counts as “rational” is a materialist worldview in which humans are machines, then loving your children is irrational. It has no basis
    within Brooks’s worldview. It sticks out of his box.
    How does he reconcile such a heart-wrenching cognitive dissonance? He doesn’t. Brooks ends by saying, “I maintain two sets of inconsistent beliefs.” He has given up on any attempt to reconcile his theory with his experience. He has abandoned all hope for a unified, logically consistent worldview.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....95451.html

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt:,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....tml?page=3

    Richard Dawkins, Mr. God Delusion himself, admitted that it would be ‘intolerable’ for him to live his life as if atheistic materialism were actually true

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    In what should be needless to say, if it is impossible for you to live as if your worldview were actually true then your worldview cannot possibly reflect reality as it really is but your worldview must instead be based on a delusion.

    Existential Argument against Atheism – November 1, 2013 by Jason Petersen
    1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.
    2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.
    3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.
    4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.
    5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.
    Conclusion: Atheism is false.
    http://answersforhope.com/exis.....t-atheism/

  44. 44
    Silver Asiatic says:

    How do I rely on him to derive meaning?

    Darwin explains your origin, why you exist. Whatever meaning you create for yourself must be tied-back to Darwin’s teaching that you are the product of accidental, random changes. You share the same meaning as plants or bacteria, and differ from them only because of some physical features that randomly emerged for survival.

  45. 45
    Silver Asiatic says:

    BA @ 43. That says everything. Excellent.

    The atheists who admit that they cannot live consistently with their worldview are at least one step more intellectually honest than the atheists who deny that there is a contradiction.

    However, just admitting that they are hypocritical is not enough to be truly honest. What is required is that the person must “conform his mind to the truth”. To be intellectually honest, that must be done, regardless of how difficult or painful it might be.

    What happens instead, unfortunately, is the same people try to “conform the truth to their mind” – by this is it a matter of twisting, ignoring, denying and hiding from the very same truth that they can clearly see.

  46. 46
    Allan Keith says:

    SA,

    Darwin explains your origin, why you exist. Whatever meaning you create for yourself must be tied-back to Darwin’s teaching that you are the product of accidental, random changes. You share the same meaning as plants or bacteria, and differ from them only because of some physical features that randomly emerged for survival.

    I agree that I share a common origin with plants and bacteria, and that this common origin might limit the meaning I can establish for my life (e.g., mortality, etc.) but that does not mean that we must have the same meaning.

    I have no way of knowing if individual bacteria and plants have any meaning. Since they do not have brains, I would suspect that they have no meaning, but who knows. They each have an impact on our ecosystem, as do we, but that is not a meaning. They do not do anything for the purpose of the ecosystem. The meaning I bring to my life is the meaning that I decide it to have.

  47. 47

    BA77 @ 43: “I find atheists, especially militant internet atheists, to be the most intellectually dishonest group of people I have ever met. EVER!!!

    I agree completely. I also find them to be unusually angry and bitter.

  48. 48
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I agree that I share a common origin with plants and bacteria, and that this common origin might limit the meaning I can establish for my life (e.g., mortality, etc.) but that does not mean that we must have the same meaning.

    Your origin tells you what your are. In the Darwinian belief, your origin is the same as plants and bacteria, and therefore your meaning is the same. Your meaning is the same as a single amoeba in a pond somewhere. It emerged through accidental processes. It does not need to exist. You are the same. A collection of proteins, cells – chemicals, molecules. Nothing more.

    Of course, you can invent your own meaning, but there is no reason to do such a thing. You have no reason to believe your own imagined-meaning. Nobody else needs to believe it either. It’s just your imagination. You are claiming to yourself to have some meaning, but you really have none. That is essential in the materialist-atheist viewpoint.

  49. 49
    Bob O'H says:

    Silver Asiatic @ 34 –

    Bob @ 30

    I’m actually not sure suicide itself has to be morally wrong, but that’s not to say that I think suicide is a good thing.

    It’s not clear what you’re saying here. Could you explain?

    I simply don’t see suicide itself as a moral issue (although the surrounding issues, e.g. why people decide that suicide is an option may well have a moral component).

    It’s easy to say that if you’re depressed you should seek help, but the very nature of depression makes it difficult to actually look for help.

    I’m not trying to minimize the suffering that people encounter. But it’s also true that people do not become entirely irrational even when suffering depression. Maintaining and building good mental health is a daily, on-going effort. It’s not just something you do when you’re out of control.

    (I assume the first sentence didn’t come out quite as you intended!)

    Your views sound great in the abstract, but are divorced from the reality of living with depression. It’s easy to say that one should eat more greens and get regular exercise, but it’s difficult to actually do this when you are depressed. What you’re suggesting is like telling someone with a broken leg that they should go for a 5 mile run to strengthen their muscles.

  50. 50
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob

    I simply don’t see suicide itself as a moral issue (although the surrounding issues, e.g. why people decide that suicide is an option may well have a moral component).

    I think normally we say that some actions are morally wrong, for example, murder. But then also there are circumstances that make it justifiable. But because murder can be justified in some cases, we wouldn’t say that murder is not a moral issue. True?

    What would be a morally good reason for deliberately killing oneself? If it is morally good, why would we want to prevent such a thing?

  51. 51
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob- reflecting on a previous comment here I said that Jesus didn’t talk about compassion and I mentioned the Beatitudes (blessed are the …) – just correcting myself. He did say “blessed are the merciful” and that basically means “compassionate”, so I was incorrect on that.
    However, He also says “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice”.
    So, compassion has to go together with justice.
    When we condemn an evil act, it is justice to do that.
    But we also should be merciful (compassionate) in so doing.

    Anyway – you were correct in your original comment and I just wanted to establish that.

  52. 52
    Bob O'H says:

    SA – I wrote that I didn’t see suicide as a moral issue, so for me the question about when it is morally good isn’t a question about the morals of suicide. Yes, examples can be invented when it is morally good, but the moral judgment would, I think, be about the surrounding acts.

    To take a slightly extreme example, I don’t see kneeling on one knee as inherently a moral or immoral act, but there will be circumstances when the decision to kneel can be seen as moral or immoral.

  53. 53
    Silver Asiatic says:

    To take a slightly extreme example, I don’t see kneeling on one knee as inherently a moral or immoral act, but there will be circumstances when the decision to kneel can be seen as moral or immoral.

    What are circumstances that would make suicide morally good or morally bad?

  54. 54
    Bob O'H says:

    SA – Please read the part of my previous reply that you didn’t quote.

  55. 55
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob – ok, understood.

  56. 56
    Allan Keith says:

    SA,

    What would be a morally good reason for deliberately killing oneself? If it is morally good, why would we want to prevent such a thing?

    I don’t think that suicide is either morally good or bad. In many cases it is the result of mental illness. If there is a moral responsibility, it is on society for not providing enough support for people with mental illnesses.

    With regard to a terminal patient committing suicide, either with or without a doctor’s assistance, I think that the decision should be up to the individual and is not a moral issue. An argument could even be made that the medical community has a moral obligation to assist in the suicide of a terminal patient as long as it is clearly the will of the patient.

    And in the rare instances when a person commits suicide and has no mental health issues, or chronic pain and suffering, I still don’t see it as a moral issue. Personally I think that the person is making the wrong decision and I would try to talk them out of it but, ultimately, it is his or her life.

  57. 57
    Silver Asiatic says:

    In the nihilistic viewpoint, there are no consequences for the person who commits suicide. It’s a valid option for anyone who wants to do it. We hear about “murder suicide” events where a person wants to escape justice. If it is taught that suicide is a legitimate means of escaping from painful situations, then more people will do it. If avoiding pain is a good thing, and suicide enables that, then people will consider suicide as a good option.
    From the nihilistic perspective it is difficult to explain why a person should not commit suicide. If there is nothing wrong with it, then a person simply chooses it.
    I made this point about Anthony Bourdain. He made a decision.
    The Darwinian belief will view this with indifference. In fact, in evolutionary terms, there are no moral actions.
    There is no good or bad in evolutionary terms.
    A living organism is not “better” than non-living.
    There is no need for anything to exist in evolutionary terms. Nothing can be morally wrong – there can be no sin.
    Evolution is not “successful” – it’s just a natural process like gravity.
    The fact that we have ordered human societies with moral and civil laws and rights – is an argument against Darwinian ideas.

  58. 58
    Allan Keith says:

    SA,

    In the nihilistic atheist viewpoint, there are no consequences for the person who commits suicide.

    I think death is a pretty serious consequence. If you are asking if there are any subsequent consequences, there are none for the person committing suicide but there certainly are for family members and loved ones.

    It’s a valid option for anyone who wants to do it.

    Valid? Yes. A good decision? Probably not for most.

    If it is taught that suicide is a legitimate means of escaping from painful situations, then more people will do it.

    People already know that it is a way of escaping painful situations. What do you mean by “teaching them”?

    If avoiding pain is a good thing, and suicide enables that, then people will consider suicide as a good option.

    I would argue that, except in situations of excruciating physical pain and suffering, it would only be considered a good option by those who have some mental illness issues. Wouldn’t it be better to remove the stigma around mental illness and make sure that adequate support is available rather than lie to them and say that it is a sin and that they will go to hell if they kill themselves. It seems to me that doing that would only aggravate the problems they have.

    From the nihilistic atheist perspective it is difficult to explain why a person should not commit suicide.

    Not difficult at all.

  59. 59
    Silver Asiatic says:

    People already know that it is a way of escaping painful situations. What do you mean by “teaching them”?

    Teaching meaning “indoctrinating a belief”. It is a belief that suicide results in less pain. My belief system holds that suicide is not an escape from pain but rather, in many cases, leads to more pain for the person who kills themself. In my view, there are consequences. Suicide is an unjust act. As you say, there are bad consequences for family and loved ones. If suicide is a bad action, then there is justice to pay – and I believe consequences for those who commit the act as there are with any unrepented sins.

    So, it depends what people are taught. We teach children things. If children are taught that suicide is a good way to avoid pain, then children will commit suicide (as many do). If they are taught that suicide causes more pain, then less will do it.

    I would argue that, except in situations of excruciating physical pain and suffering, it would only be considered a good option by those who have some mental illness issues.

    Why?

    Wouldn’t it be better to remove the stigma around mental illness and make sure that adequate support is available …

    Why not let them kill themselves, or at least make it easy for them to do that?

    From the atheist perspective it is difficult to explain why a person should not commit suicide.

    AK Not difficult at all.

    Ok, please do so.

  60. 60
    Allan Keith says:

    SA,

    Teaching meaning “indoctrinating a belief”.

    With respect, isn’t teaching people that suicide is a sin and will result in you going to hell “indoctrinating a belief”? I don’t think that anyone is suggesting that we teach kids about suicide. But teaching them about mental illness and depression, and that they can make people do things that they wouldn’t normally do is important. And reinforcing that depression and mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and that when they experience these that support is available.

    My belief system holds that suicide is not an escape from pain but rather, in many cases, leads to more pain for the person who kills themselves.

    We agree on this. I suspect the only situation where we would disagree is with those with terminal illness.

    If suicide is a bad action, then there is justice to pay – and I believe consequences for those who commit the act as there are with any unrepented sins.

    Two points. First, how do you repent after a suicide? And second, I can’t accept that someone who commits suicide due to mental illness is committing a sin.

    If children are taught that suicide is a good way to avoid pain, then children will commit suicide (as many do). If they are taught that suicide causes more pain, then less will do it.

    But nobody is suggesting that we teach kids that suicide is good.

    Why?

    Why what? There were two opinions made in that statement.

    Why not let them kill themselves, or at least make it easy for them to do that?

    Please don’t play the same juvenile word games that StephenB and BA77 do. You are more honest than that.

    Ok, please do so.

    If their thoughts of suicide are due to depression (most are), I would tell them that there is help and support for that. And that when they address their underlying illness they will find that there are many things to enjoy about life. If they have family and friends, I would remind them that their death would have negative impacts on them as well.

  61. 61
    Silver Asiatic says:

    AK

    Two points. First, how do you repent after a suicide? And second, I can’t accept that someone who commits suicide due to mental illness is committing a sin.

    On the second point, yes agreed. There would be no sin if the person is mentally ill. A serious sin would require a deliberate, conscious and willful act.

    On the second point, there is a split second or sometimes even minutes after the suicidal act and before death. A person may realize that they have done something very wrong and they might turn to God to repent of this even while dying.

    Many mystics have said that God gives the person a chance also at that last minute. Forgiveness is available, if the person wants it. Some people, sadly, will turn away. They choose not to repent and go towards God. In this way, we say that God doesn’t put the person in Hell, instead the person chooses Hell rather than ask for (and receive) forgiveness.

    This is an interesting page from a man who was very worried about his grandmother who committed suicide. The topic is the message of Divine Mercy that St. Faustina of Poland gave.

    Saint Faustina wrote:

    God’s mercy sometimes touches the sinner at the last moment in a wondrous and mysterious way. Outwardly it seems as if everything were lost. [This is what it looked like for my grandmother.] But it is not so. The soul illuminated by a ray of God’s powerful final grace turns to God in the last moment with such a power of love that, in an instant, it receives from God forgiveness of sin and punishment, while outwardly it shows no sign either of repentance or of contrition, because souls [at that stage] no longer react to external things. Oh, how beyond comprehension is God’s mercy! … Although a person is at the point of death, the merciful God gives the soul that interior vivid moment, so that if the soul is willing, it has the possibility of returning to God (Diary, 1698)

    https://www.sign.org/articles/divine-mercy-suicide

    AK

    I would tell them that there is help and support for that. And that when they address their underlying illness they will find that there are many things to enjoy about life. If they have family and friends, I would remind them that their death would have negative impacts on them as well.

    Again, I agree here.

  62. 62
    Allan Keith says:

    SA,

    Again, I agree here.

    See, atheists and theists can agree with each other. 🙂

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