Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Oh, my. Someone decided they’d just leave this out there…
Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently.
And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades, shows that religious belief is physically and psychologically beneficial – to a remarkable degree.
In 2004, scholars at UCLA revealed that college students involved in religious activities are likely to have better mental health. In 2006, population researchers at the University of Texas discovered that the more often you go to church, the longer you live. In the same year researchers at Duke University in America discovered that religious people have stronger immune systems than the irreligious. They also established that churchgoers have lower blood pressure.
Meanwhile in 2009 a team of Harvard psychologists discovered that believers who checked into hospital with broken hips reported less depression, had shorter hospital stays, and could hobble further when they left hospital – as compared to their similarly crippled but heathen fellow-sufferers.
Obviously, it’s the believers who are smarter. Anyone who thinks otherwise is mentally ill.
And I mean that literally: the evidence today implies that atheism is a form of mental illness…
Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.
Dunno if it’s fair to lump everyone in the same group like that. There may be many reasons for not having faith. Someone might have lost theirs, for example, like Mel Gibson’s character in Signs.
But of course on the Internet, in the is-not-is-too debates, the atheist is — for the most part — one of those kids who “still knows everything.” They have yet to learn how much they still have to learn, and they’ve “figured out” that the God stuff is a bunch of nonsense. Based on what? That’s the point where the conversations get really awkward.
I believe in the spurious relationship, myself. The lack of belief is, in some ways, a cause; but in most ways, it is an effect of a lurker variable, the many other effects of which show up in the form of what the article rattles off. The decreased health, the higher blood pressure, the weaker immune system, the shorter lifespan. The lurker variable is passive narcissism, the kind called out in one of those Things I Know:
174. Being an atheist; maintaining a distinction between right and wrong; respecting the viewpoints of others. You may have two of those. Max.
The problem is, of course, for you to maintain a distinction between right and wrong, you have to get one from somewhere. That much is just obvious. How can you “maintain” what is not there? And you have to maintain it, in order to stand up for it. What do you do when you see slavery? What do you do when you see someone mugging someone else? It’s all “nature,” so are you to intervene? And if so, then on what grounds? Protesting “it’s wrong” is easy; but why? What makes it different from a cheetah going after a gazelle, or a spider going after a fly? You may find some who will protest that those are wrong too, somehow, but I’m pretty sure nobody outside the looney bin is going to counsel toward intervening in all of them.
Well with atheism, if you want to produce this right-wrong contrast so you can act on it, you pretty much have to make it up. How else could it be done? And there, we come to the thorny part: What happens if another atheist disagrees? Can you simply agree-to-disagree? No, you can’t. It’s right/wrong stuff. Action is obligatory. So if the line is to be drawn, then how do we get our straightedge?
We must necessarily…and the irony is, atheists relish using the phrase that immediately follows, to put down their believer brethren…shove our morals down someone else’s throat. That is the only option left available. You can change your mind and believe in a Higher Power, you can refuse to intervene and thus become an accessory to crime through lack of action, or you can let the law be your guide and just follow instructions. None of those is as popular among atheists as the personal invention of right-and-wrong, followed by the thundering away about “that’s wrong”…usually along the lines of the abortion issue, sometimes with capital punishment and euthanasia. And, the intervening. It makes me sad, and embarrassed by proxy, to see it happen. They work themselves into such a righteously indignant, frothy rage about the faithful shoving morals down throats — and, in the very next syllable, they do that very thing.
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