Common sense

48


Discussion by: PaulDC

I'm 54 years ancient now and my children seem amazed that am still able to walk unaided, but I still have vague and hazy memories of my schooling, all those years ago when God was a boy.  I had a maths teacher called Mr Williams who had a favourite saying which has stayed with me,

 

"Common sense should be called Uncommon sense, because so few people use it".

 

Which brings me to my point. Today an employee tried to convince me that I should read the Koran and various booklets he could provide and that my life would be enriched by converting to Islam. He did this because I am an avowed and passionate atheist and he truly and quite genuinely believes that my soul is in peril and my life is being wasted.

 

I honoured him for his concern and I did not mock him or his beliefs, but I did outline my own position, which I hold to as fiercely as he does to his faith. The difference, I politely explained, is that my position is based on evidence and rationalism, whereas his is based on belief without reference to evidence. Indeed I stressed that religion is the absolute opposite of reason, in that it compels it's adherents to follow without question.

 

I explained that my assertion, there is no God, was open to discussion and further examination and that, should proof ever be found I would immediately change my stance.  He took great pains to tell me I was mistaken and, with good nature and patient explanation, informed me that I was missing the point. If I submitted myself to Allah in all things I would be rewarded, precisely because I had not asked for proof.

 

I must stress that the person concerned is not a radical or a zealot. He abhors terrorism, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. He wears a western business suit or jeans and a T shirt, except on his sabbath and religious holidays. He has a great sense of humour, loves his wife and children and is happy to live in England, with no wish to move to an Islamic country, or change the nature of this one. Nonetheless, he is devout and serious about his faith and is deeply committed to the idea that everyone would be better under Islam and that all peoples and countries should 'submit' to the will of Allah.

 

I would not by choice discuss religion with him at all, because I feel it is inappropriate and detrimental to our business relationship, but he pressed the issue. Eventually I had to use my authority as his employer to stop him and forbid him to raise the matter again with me or any of my staff.  I did this not because I'm an atheist, but because no amount of rational argument could break through his conviction that Islam was the only path to God and salvation. The more I put forward my assertion regarding the need for rationalism and evidence, the more adamant he became. It was only my refusal to be drawn that prevented our discussion falling into an ill natured conflict of opinion.

 

If someone as highly educated, intelligent, modern and in every other sense liberal can so deliberately and consciously refuse to accept logical argument, is it any wonder that people all around the world still believe in such ancient and outmoded concepts?  And I refer to all religions, not just Islam.

 

Virtually everyone reading this will live in a modern, western environment. Yet many of you will devoutly believe in God, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Brahma and a host of others, just as people once believed as passionately in Odin, Zeus and Baal. My question to all such believers is simple. How can you accept a modern world, based on science and the application of human intellect and still follow blindly the word of other people or the writing in a book, without applying logic and demanding evidence for outlandish claims?  Without, in fact, using common sense.

 

Science certainly doesn't hold all the answers and almost certainly never will. But it does continually seek answers and looks for proof. The very process of science is to postulate theories and work to disprove them.  Only when a theory has stood up to such rigorous scrutiny will it be accepted and even then it is only accepted until further knowledge comes to light.  By contrast, religion expects blind acceptance and actually demands that you do not ask questions.

 

If someone tried to sell you The White House or Buckingham Palace, would you take it on faith that they had the right to do so? Of course not.  That would be naive and foolish.

If someone claims that the pixies send them messages at night, telling them to steal, would you accept their behaviour? Clearly not.

If someone tells you to believe every word in a collection of books written between 1400 and 3000  years ago and tells you that you will be rewarded in heaven for certain actions, even though that person admits they have no direct evidence that heaven even exists, why would you believe them?

 

Let's have a little more uncommon sense.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

    • In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

      Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

      It’s not that we believe it doesn’t exist. It doesn’t exist because science would tell us if it did. The properties you ascribe to light are impossible. If you have experienced it, please see a doctor as you may have some brain trauma or disease.

    • In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

      Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

      What are you talking about?

      • In reply to #5 by Neodarwinian:

        In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

        Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

        What are you talking about?

        As Manfred Mann sang years ago: “He was blinded by the light.”

          • In reply to #22 by bluebird:

            In reply to #8 by CdnMacAtheist: As Manfred Mann sang years ago: “he was blinded by the light”

            Proceeded by probably the most misquoted line in music history, lol!

            Hi Bluebird. That’s true, but the douche we’re commenting on asserts infinite light, and nothing can come after that…. 8-) Mac.

    • In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

      Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

      There is a reason they called Light Verticalling, it’s because it is blinding and it is what you become in the glare of it’s deception! The only source is from with-in and perhaps instinctively some people were aware of this deception hence the use of the term.

      ~A

    • In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

      Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

      Cosmic!!!

      • In reply to #12 by Zhap135:

        In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

        Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

        Cosmic!!!

        Hi Zhap. I agree with your thoughtful response, but I also think it would be just as accurate without the ‘s’…. 8-) Mac.

    • In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

      Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

      Verticalling, your so called Light has clearly blinded you. You have entirely ignored the OP, even though you were the first responder. This would have been obvious if you were looking at the reality in front of your eyes, not carried away with some mystic distraction.

      I hope you manage to put aside your seeming preoccupation with the ‘Light’ when you are crossing roads – you won’t die from ignoring forum posts, but 40 ton trucks are less forgiving.

    • In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

      Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

      Others have addressed the obvious aspects of this post. I’ll try something else:

      Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light.

      Unfounded assertion. Says who? What makes you think such a statement is true? Could be wrong? How would you propose to quantify – by a survey maybe – who has and who hasn’t? I counter with another unfounded assertion: Most of us have. Now, do you want to discuss this? Or perhaps it was just a bit of drive-by troll poetry. In which case a haiku would have been more pleasing.

      I refer you to the age-old question as posed so eloquently by Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced?

    • The ‘I know’ statement.:)

      There are many people that ‘know’ many things , none of which are consistent with reality.

      In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

      Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

  2. Preaching to the choir brother. I sympathise with your situation and your bafflement at how seemingly modern and intelligent people hold to bizarre and unsubstantiated beliefs. As it happens, I’m reading a book by Robert Trivers at the moment called Deceit and Self-Deception which is (typically for Trivers) illuminating and thought-provoking. He discusses at length the various ways in which we tend to practice self-deception and speculates on the reasons for such behaviour. Worth a read.

  3. @Paul DC

    Unfortunately some people believe in belief (as against reason). They need to believe.

    “You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into.” – Benjamin Franklin

    So I don’t think you will win any argument with a faith head. All you can do is plant some doubts, set a good example as a kind atheist and hope he sees sense in the long run.

  4. I explained that my assertion, there is no God, was open to discussion and further examination and that, should proof ever be found I would immediately change my stance.

    Here’s my advice. Never say anything like this in a place of work. Religion is off topic. Don’t confuse matters. – Common sense.

    • In reply to #7 by QuestioningKat:

      Here’s my advice. Never say anything like this in a place of work. Religion is off topic. Don’t confuse matters. – Common sense.

      I fully agree that we should not trigger such discussions at work, but if “today an employee tried to convince me that I should read the Koran and various booklets” and, especially if I have great esteem for this employee, I would jump in the discussion. His action shows good will and courage (I am the boss after all), so why not?

      • In reply to #10 by G_O_D:

        In reply to #7 by QuestioningKat:

        Here’s my advice. Never say anything like this in a place of work. Religion is off topic. Don’t confuse matters. – Common sense.

        I fully agree that we should not trigger such discussions at work, but if “today an employee tried to convince me that I should read t…

        Things can get ugly as all of us are aware from theist/atheist conversations online and elsewhere. You obviously do not work in a large corporation. Proselytizing is against policy. As a boss, you would have been required to remind the employee of proper behavior.

  5. Common sense tells us that no one has experienced an “Infinite Light” because doing so would require an infinite amount of time (else, how do you know the light does not go out at some point), which none have ever had.

  6. I would be extremely cautious about discussing things of this nature. An intellectual discussion about anything but islam, maybe. Sadly discussing the veracity of Islam could end you up on the wrong end of a complaint, instigated either by him, or possibly by a third party. Eg if this fellow is irrational enought to believe in this way, how might he react if you actually get through to him and shake his world up?

    You don’t mention whether it is your company or you have a management position, but either way you personally have too much to lose.

  7. I would be extremely cautious about discussing things of this nature. An intellectual discussion about anything but islam, maybe. Sadly discussing the veracity of Islam could end you up on the wrong end of a complaint, instigated either by him, or possibly by a third party. Eg if this fellow is irrational enought to believe in this way, how might he react if you actually get through to him and shake his world up?

    You don’t mention whether it is your company or you have a management position, but either way you personally have too much to lose.

  8. PaulDC,

    Andy Thomson has a video called Why We Believe in Gods. If you haven’t already watched it, I think you’ll find his explanation compelling for why humans probably would not believe the White House is literally for sale, but if you told many that the White House could hear your thoughts and desires, some may very well give a second or two of serious thought to that claim. Enjoy.

    Mike

  9. As someone who used to be religious the only answer I can give you is that you don’t really connect the dots. You keep the rational side of you in one part of your brain and the religious part in another. For the longest time I did this without even giving it a second thought and it wasn’t until I let those two sides compare notes that I finally realized that I should rational side in all aspects of my life instead of just most of them. The truth is when you think the way that I used to you really use the fact that you are rational in so many other areas of your life that there is then nothing wrong with having that little bit of faith. Of course as I said once you let these different parts of you compare notes you really end up creating a dissonance in your mind which if you then honestly try and address it you will either go one of two ways: allowing the religious side to win out and give up any rational explanation that contradicts it or completely give up the faith side of yourself as it is inconsistent with being rational.

  10. Apart from using up valuable time, I don’t see much wrong in reading the Quran or any other book for that matter. I read it and found it very repetitive, particularly in the adoration and praise of Allah, which seems a bit immodest, since – we are told – the book was the work of Allah himself.

    The stories plagiarised from the OT, which themselves were plagiarised from other epics, are extremely shallow, incoherent, and neither add nor clarify anything in the biblical tales. For instance, the Quran is as silent about the identity of the Pharaoh of “The Exodus” as the OT, perhaps because there never was such an event, and if this is the case then it makes me wonder why the Quran should endorse Biblical porkies.

    Other passages, such as those dealing with slaves have no relevance in most societies today. The bulk of admonishing verses would not be missed if they were substituted by the phrase coined by K’ung-Zi more than 1,000 years before Muhammed, “Do not do to others, that which is hateful to yourself”, and the bulk of the caring passages might be covered by a direction along the lines of “doing for others what is agreeable to ourselves”. It’s uncommon sense.

  11. As irritating as that is I have to say that at least he is trying to convert you. It often amazes me that friends who I believe would risk their lives for me if there was some immediate danger to my life (house on fire etc.) do not bother to try to convert me even though they apparently thing I am going to burn in hell. Looks like you have a true believers on your hands.

  12. Once again, the conflation of what we “know” and what some “believe”.

    Would it be “better” if everyone chanted the same chants??? I don’t know. This person “believes” it would be, but, that doesn’t “mean” anything. How about this, keep your superstitious bullshit to yourself and understand that just because you believe something does NOT obligate me to take you seriously.

    I will always defend your right to harbor stupid irrational silliness, but keep it to yourself. At the very least, limit it and put it into the proper priority. Do not kill your daughter because she showed her ankles to a boy by accident. Do not throw acid into the faces of strangers because you think you are “correct” about some infinitely unimportant facet of your own hang ups about life. Do not defend or hide or assist pedophiles. No bombs or sacrifice that involves anything losing it’s life. No blood ritual. no staring at a provable fact and denying it. No persecution of people for being different. NO BULLYING FROM YOUR PULPIT. Pay your taxes voluntarily because it is the right thing to do….

    Worship on your sabbath and use religion to be a better person and we have no issue. Anything else is unacceptable and an obvious bastardization of whatever is in your silly “good book” no matter which book you are reading from.

    • In reply to #20 by crookedshoes:

      I will always defend your right to harbor stupid irrational silliness, but keep it to yourself. At the very least, limit it and put it into the proper priority. Do not kill your daughter because she showed her ankles to a boy by accident. Do not throw acid into the faces of strangers because you think you are “correct” about some infinitely unimportant facet of your own hang ups about life. Do not defend or hide or assist pedophiles. No bombs or sacrifice that involves anything losing it’s life. No blood ritual. no staring at a provable fact and denying it. No persecution of people for being different. NO BULLYING FROM YOUR PULPIT. Pay your taxes voluntarily because it is the right thing to do….

      Worship on your sabbath and use religion to be a better person and we have no issue. Anything else is unacceptable and an obvious bastardization of whatever is in your silly “good book” no matter which book you are reading from.

      That’s near-as-dammit perfect. Carve it in stone, as The Religious Freedom Charter, that provides both freedom OF religion and freedom FROM the religion(s) of others.

      (Maybe tone it down with some Political Correctness: “stupid irrational silliness” could become “any kind of belief”. Silly Good Book could become “favourite old book”. Then it’s harder to pretend to be offended by it.)

  13. How can you accept a modern world, based on science and the application of human intellect and still follow blindly the word of other people or the writing in a book, without applying logic and demanding evidence for outlandish claims? Without, in fact, using common sense

    Because at the end of the day we are human beings who have families and fall in love with and care for other human beings. And those human beings will one day die, sometimes after suffering and sometimes when still young. And we can use common sense and accept that and grieve or keep common sense and rational thought for every other single area of our lives but refuse to think to hard about that one.

    I know many tolerant, rational, intelligent and reasoned adults who don’t give a flying @@@@ about the harsh rules of their holy books but cling to belief in the face of all reason. And the above is the only reason I can find for that behaviour. And in some small way I envy them that ability.

  14. PaulDC, this has unfortunately nothing to do with common sense. As a matter of fact, your employee might be a smart and sensible person. What happens is that he feels a presence, an infinite love, an uncalled for hope when there is no reason to hope. He feels that, just like you feel the warmth of the faraway sun, and he feels it even more when he enters a mosque or reads the Koran. Gods are said to be self-evident. Take all the common or uncommon sense that you like but add the feeling of an almighty presence in the balance and all of the sudden, nothing rational makes sense any more. Only what comforts that feeling does.

    Tell him that, from the very same feeling of awe, Hindus get to the conclusion of an elephant god and that you will reincarnate as a cockroach for eating with your left hand.

  15. Thanks for this clear and reasoned post. The point, already made, about the potential problems of challenging Islam did occur to me, but from your post your encounter did not suggest the guy would harm you.

    On the whole I think that despite the very public threats to infidels, in practice the people most at risk from Muslims are other Muslims.

  16. Hi Paul,

    54 is not ancient.

    In my time in the Royal Air Force, Senior NCOs would often bemoan the fact that the Urks (ordinary Airmen) would not use their common sense. The obvious conclusion being that they believed that we all have innate common sense, we simply fail to employ it.

    My own passage through life has persuaded me that those NCOs were right. They were right, that is, if you accept their definition of common sense which – very often – was revealed to include creativity, parallel thinking, understanding other minds and putting oneself in their place, perceptive detailed and objective observation and lightening logical reflexes. Very un-millitary, you may think, if you subscribe to the usual caricatures of military thinking.

    The problem which you have encountered is very common among the faithful for two reasons.

    Belief through faith – in the absence of evidence – is seen as a virtue in religions. As Peter Boghossian has observed many times, this is a failure of epistemology. It is a failure to think about how we know what we know, what we can know and what are the features of good and bad questions.

    Your approach:

    … my assertion, there is no God, was open to discussion and further examination and that, should proof ever be found I would immediately change my stance. He took great pains to tell me I was mistaken …

    … demonstrates that your Interlocutor is correct – you are missing the point.

    Firstly, all organized religions need to grow. They have therefore been designed to ensure that adherents are energetic promoters. Your colleague appears to be under this spell and is to be pitied.

    In addition the typical faith-head believes because they first believe that there are paths to truth that exist beyond evidence. Thus tradition, ancient texts, and common experiences that defy common sense can all be called upon as ‘evidence’ that is out of the reach of scientists.

    Continued conviction in the face of evidence that counters beliefs set in faith is also, for obvious reasons, heavily promoted by religions. By arguing from a position of evidence you are therefore taking on religion at its strongest point – the area where many centuries of graft by ‘priesthoods’ and shamen have re-designed religions and prepared their defences.

    Employ some of that common sense of yours. What other approach could you take?

    In common with most atheists you demonstrate resignation – a desire to be simply understood and left alone – falling short of full-blown proselytizing. With that goal in mind, what can we say that will get your Koran-bashing friend to at least leave you be?

    Think man, think!

    The answer is: Philosophy.

    Your first objective should be to find some common ground. Be nice. Listen. Be humble. If you’re asked to read something it is okay to politely turn down this request – simply ask what they learned from reading it.

    Next, you need to find some common philosophical ground; Is it possible to think incorrectly? You make mistakes – do they? This is not a game of one-upmanship, this is a friendly discussion seeking empathy and shared knowledge. It is also a directed conversation – directed by you.

    Next reveal your inner skeptic:

    I KEEP six honest serving-men

    (They taught me all I knew);

    Their names are What and Why and When

    And How and Where and Who.

    Rudyard Kipling

    Sooner or later your friend will fall back on evidence. The obvious one will be the Koran, as he’s already brought that up. Work your six serving men hard. You might want to prime the pump by arming yourself from the Scripture Project. But really, the more obvious the question the better. If Muhammed was really such a great prophet how come he didn’t appear in China, where unlike Mohammed many people could read and write? Why are most Christians still Christian, and most Jews still Jewish, and most Buddhists still … etc. etc.? Why is so much of the Koran an obvious rip-off of the Bible?

    More importantly direct your joint, friendly, discussion towards epistemology – how do we know what we claim to know, and why should anyone else believe us?

    Peace.

  17. He did this because I am an avowed and passionate atheist and he truly and quite genuinely believes that my soul is in peril and my life is being wasted.
    I honoured him for his concern and I did not mock him or his beliefs…

    I think it is ok to talk about what we think and what we feel especially to people we feel a connection to and enjoy being around. Being an avowed and passionate atheist can often rub people up the wrong way especially when their own faith or understanding is threatened by something that makes more sense.

    The big difference here Paul is that I doubt you told this friend of yours that you felt his life was in peril or even worse, wasted. So often through my life I have had people tell me how I am going to burn in hell, be tortured, skinned alive and whatever other foul thing they can think up as they tell me my soul will go to hell – and I mean face to face, it’s easy to ignore it online.

    It is insulting and this kind of concern I would rather live without – is it mocking someone’s belief to confront them with the fact that their god is a cruel evil twisted master who requires worship and devotion or he will send good loving innocent gentle people to a place far worse than any on earth? Shame on them and they should know it.

    ~A

  18. Emotion frequently trumps reason for many people. Faith is not evidence, it is the substitution of emotion for evidence… I would also add that faith, all to often is a synonym for pride. Pride in ones own opinions draped in the inerrancy of ones chosen deity. You might have pointed out that a lot of equally sincere people of faith have reached radically different conclusions about the nature of the divine which says to me faith is not a viable means of discerning truth because its “conclusions” are mutually exclusive.

    It can be very frightening being confronted with such people… their means of discerning “truth” is so completely subjective and if your employee were more violently inclined there is in my opinion, no lengths to which he might not go in the name of his beliefs. It is THIS pretension to absolute certainty that has caused so much grief in human history… it does not matter whether you are talking religion or an ‘atheist” philosophy, someone gets a philosophical bug up their proverbials and becomes willing to sacrifice not only their own lives but YOURS as well. Thats when the excrement hits the fan.

  19. We’re back to this old “belief” thing again.

    I’m amazed at how many atheists as well as religionists get sucked into this idea that if there were a god, belief in that god is of paramount importance.

    Why?

    Why would any creator of the universe be predominantly concerned with whether or not the inhabitants of that universe believed in its existence – or worshipped it? It seems especially odd, when you consider that it gave those inhabitants 5 senses, none of which are of any use in being able to detect its existence.

    And there is absolutely no reason at all why a creator should need to deliberately conceal its existence in order that there should be a test of faith or belief in its existence. There’s just no point to it at all.

    • In reply to #33 by Simon Tuffen:

      And there is absolutely no reason at all why a creator should need to deliberately conceal its existence in order that there should be a test of faith or belief in its existence. There’s just no point to it at all.

      My extensively researched theory on God’s plan lead me to…

      trollface

  20. I think you placed yourself in a vulnerable position as employer of this individual. Personally I would have advised him that religious proselyting has no place in the workplace and is contrary to the organisation’s anti-discrimination policies (or similar). You may wish to consider what you might do if he accuses you of causing him religious offence by denying the existence of his deity.

    Problem is that someone who is devout enough to engage in this practice in the workplace clearly places his faith (and the need to bring others to the same faith) ahead of the needs of the organisation, and is therefore unlikely to be convinced by an opposing view.

    I must stress that the person concerned is not a radical or a zealot. He abhors terrorism, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. He wears a western business suit or jeans and a T shirt, except on his sabbath and religious holidays. He has a great sense of humour, loves his wife and children and is happy to live in England, with no wish to move to an Islamic country, or change the nature of this one. Nonetheless, he is devout and serious about his faith and is deeply committed to the idea that everyone would be better under Islam and that all peoples and countries should ‘submit’ to the will of Allah.

    This doesn’t seem a very liberal position to me.

  21. Using your authority as an employer to stop him raising the matter is hardly going to help him see sense. How do you know that more argument couldn’t break through his convictions? Why not start a reading group at your firm, so that you can discuss matters at length one evening a weak?

    • In reply to #35 by Mal58:

      Using your authority as an employer to stop him raising the matter is hardly going to help him see sense. How do you know that more argument couldn’t break through his convictions? Why not start a reading group at your firm, so that you can discuss matters at length one evening a weak?

      That gets really close to preaching.
      Few people respond well to preaching.

      • In reply to #38 by Nash33: [starting a reading group] is too much like preaching

        I wasn’t suggesting that the boss should preach solely from the complete the works of the four horsemen :) Every member could take a turn to pick a book, Moslem, atheist, Christian, whatever… and then they could all have a discussion. Or, if that’s too heavy, they could just have a discussion group. This would enable the boss to not appear like a fascist conversation stopper, but still get his workers to do some work! So if Mohammed says, “I’m getting 72 virgins when I die,” the boss can say, “leave it to the discussion group…”

  22. PaulDC: He took great pains to tell me I was mistaken and, with good nature and patient explanation, informed me that I was missing the point. If I submitted myself to Allah in all things I would be rewarded, precisely because I had not asked for proof.

    I had a catholic boyfriend once who nattered on about all this stuff. He finally stopped when I told him he wasn’t sexy whenever he got all godsie on me. There’s nothing more unattractive than a guy who’s convinced himself he’s in love with a god.

  23. I hadn’t seen Verticalling comment, but that is exactly my point. Try to figure out, with rationality and common sense, a conception of the cosmos according to the following information :

    • All religions are self-contradictory and mutually exclusive.
    • Explaining complexity by the intervention of a supernatural creator postulates more complexity than it explains, and implies an infinite regress.
    • A belief that would not be shaken by any alternative to reality has no root in reality.
    • I see the “Light”

    The “logical” conclusion is “the Light did it all and reason must be wrong.”

    We, as atheists, forget too often about the “Light’, because we use fully functional brains.

  24. It’s a shame about this guy. It was unfortunate that you had to put your foot down on this issue but this guy should not be persistent about this , given that common sense dictates that you should not piss off your boss. Also the business environment should be a largely secular environment. Imo the number one goal of business should be to support it’s employees to live their lives independently and as they wish. Making money etc allows all concerned to do what they want when they are not in the office. So you were right, what was this guy thinking?

    • In reply to #42 by Pauly01:

      It’s a shame about this guy. It was unfortunate that you had to put your foot down on this issue but this guy should not be persistent about this , given that common sense dictates that you should not piss off your boss. Also the business environment should be a largely secular environment.

      Are you suggesting that discussing such question as “Is there a God?” be banned at work? I think that’s not seeing the broader picture. Of course such discussions can become lengthy, but instead of just banning such conversations, why not enable them outside work time? Friends of mine who owned a restaurant held regular discussion evenings in the restaurant, with staff, on various topics, e.g., “Are you voting Labour or Conservative?” The staff were happy and hard working, and I think this kind of enlightened approach really helped the working atmosphere. Win-win in a big way.

      • In reply to #45 by Mal58:

        In reply to #42 by Pauly01:

        It’s a shame about this guy. It was unfortunate that you had to put your foot down on this issue but this guy should not be persistent about this , given that common sense dictates that you should not piss off your boss. Also the business environment should be a largely…

        It’s not that there should be a BAN, but going back to the first post – PaulDC – I think that common sense (I do agree with the fact that it should be re-named UNcommon sense) should most certainly always prevail, especially in the work place. It’s because that we know that a discussion on belief, faith, religion and things related is “likely” to warm the hearts that these discussions are best left out of the work place. When in Rome do as the Romans. When in the work-place, WORK. We are paid to work, not to discuss (even if the point in discussion is of the utmost importance). Such discussions are very likely going to be a distraction to work – common sense should prevail. Whosoever (manager, worker, owner) brings up a discussion on the matter IN THE WORKPLACE should be immediately and gently prompted to stop. Discussion of important matters that do not relate to work is best left OUTSIDE the workplace.

  25. Hey children believe in father xmas …. and why not, he leaves presents every year. If you are brought up in a religious environment with usually, an elderly supposedly wise “holy men” telling you what god is all about, why wouldn’t you believe it?? This covers all religions. The question is what it different about us, that we don’t believe, why have we chosen atheism over the teachings that we had as kids?? I really don’t know the answer, I was quite religious as a kid, however now I think it’s a load of “cobblers”… why?? I guess reasoning in our brains rejects what we were taught.

  26. In reply to #1 by Verticalling:

    Most humans on this planet have not experienced Infinite Light (Light without a source which extends forever), therefore, they believe that no such thing actually exists. I know they are wrong.

    Cosmic!!!

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