The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is indeed the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man, state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is therefore indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.
I don't think anyone has ever claimed that atheism alone makes one a good person.
I'm sorry if this wasn't clear from my phrasing, but the new evidence is all in *favor* of religion as a useful adaption that *continues* to be useful even today. This is not the "atheists rule, believers drool" post you seem to have been expecting, nor does the evidence give us any reason to believe that religion is "vestigial."
delmoi, I agree with your big point but with regard to that comic you can get called a militant atheist for just definitely not believing in god. In order to get called a militant christian or militant islamist you actually need to be sort of actually militant.
These are pretty weak articles. They just say that religious people are "happier" and do charitable things "more." We're never told how much happier they are or how much more they give. This must have been quantified in the experiment, so why don't we get to find out how significant the difference is?
Taken as a whole, from an outsider's perspective, Communism is itself a religion, doing all the things a religion might do to expand its sphere of influence.
Had you given two seconds of thought to what you just wrote, you would have seen why the bit is a completely irrelevant unit here. But in case you haven't yet, which has greater fitness, 0s or 1s? How does memetic selection on 0s and 1s work?
If I were to ask about units in, say, classical music theory, if you reply with something about the encoding of your Mozart MP3s you've missed the point.
I try not to play armchair psychology, but when I hear people foam at the mouth about religion in general, I can't help thinking they're really just mad that their dad, who forced them to go to church or at a particular religious community that ostracized them for being gay -- grumblebee
What I have learned from this thread is that, while many atheists will not tolerate a no true Scotsman argument when applied to religion, many in this thread will not tolerate any other argument when applied to atheism. -- Astro Zombie
So it's okay with you that simply being passionate about atheism gets you tagged with the same word that for religious people means you're a murderer and a terrorist?
You really are okay with non-religious people being called terrorists not because of what they do but because they are passionate in their belief? I just want to hear you say it, so to speak.
All right, instead of using the loaded word religion suppose we assert that Communism is a dogma, and what is generally bad about religion (when religion is bad) is that religions are dogmas too, and it's the dogmatism that inspires people to wipe out the competition and kill people.
*Of course, if you know know something about Shannon information, you know that Shannon information is strictly a function of the probabilities of the characters in the transmission, and has nothing to do with meaning.
Scientific theories often contain components that have not been identified (like, say, the top quark or Higgs Boson in the Standard model); but if it turns out that critical components don't actually exist, the theory is in trouble.
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower. The criticism of religion disillusions man, so that he will think, act, and fashion his reality like a man who has discarded his illusions and regained his senses, so that he will move around himself as his own true Sun. Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself.
It is, therefore, the task of history, once the other-world of truth has vanished, to establish the truth of this world. It is the immediate task of philosophy, which is in the service of history, to unmask self-estrangement in its unholy forms once the holy form of human self-estrangement has been unmasked. Thus, the criticism of Heaven turns into the criticism of Earth, the criticism of religion into the criticism of law, and the criticism of theology into the criticism of politics.
German philosophy is the ideal prolongation of German history. If therefore, instead of the oeuvres incompletes of our real history, we criticize the oeuvres posthumes of our ideal history, philosophy, our criticism is in the midst of the questions of which the present says: that is the question. What, in progressive nations, is a practical break with modern state conditions, is, in Germany, where even those conditions do not yet exist, at first a critical break with the philosophical reflexion of those conditions.
The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. Theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical. To be radical is to grasp the root of the matter. But, for man, the root is man himself. The evident proof of the radicalism of German theory, and hence of its practical energy, is that is proceeds from a resolute positive abolition of religion. The criticism of religion ends with the teaching that man is the highest essence for man – hence, with the categoric imperative to overthrow all relations in which man is a debased, enslaved, abandoned, despicable essence, relations which cannot be better described than by the cry of a Frenchman when it was planned to introduce a tax on dogs: Poor dogs! They want to treat you as human beings!
Even historically, theoretical emancipation has specific practical significance for Germany. For Germany’s revolutionary past is theoretical, it is the Reformation. As the revolution then began in the brain of the monk, so now it begins in the brain of the philosopher.
Luther, we grant, overcame bondage out of devotion by replacing it by bondage out of conviction. He shattered faith in authority because he restored the authority of faith. He turned priests into laymen because he turned laymen into priests. He freed man from outer religiosity because he made religiosity the inner man. He freed the body from chains because he enchained the heart.
But, if Protestantism was not the true solution of the problem, it was at least the true setting of it. It was no longer a case of the layman’s struggle against the priest outside himself but of his struggle against his own priest inside himself, his priestly nature. And if the Protestant transformation of the German layman into priests emancipated the lay popes, the princes, with the whole of their priestly clique, the privileged and philistines, the philosophical transformation of priestly Germans into men will emancipate the people. But, secularization will not stop at the confiscation of church estates set in motion mainly by hypocritical Prussia any more than emancipation stops at princes. The Peasant War, the most radical fact of German history, came to grief because of theology.
As philosophy finds its material weapon in the proletariat, so the proletariat finds its spiritual weapon in philosophy. And once the lightning of thought has squarely struck this ingenuous soil of the people, the emancipation of the Germans into men will be accomplished.
Let us sum up the result:
The only liberation of Germany which is practically possible is liberation from the point of view of that theory which declares man to be the supreme being for man. Germany can emancipate itself from the Middle Ages only if it emancipates itself at the same time from the partial victories over the Middle Ages. In Germany, no form of bondage can be broken without breaking all forms of bondage. Germany, which is renowned for its thoroughness, cannot make a revolution unless it is a thorough one. The emancipation of the German is the emancipation of man. The head of this emancipation is philosophy, its heart the proletariat. Philosophy cannot realize itself without the transcendence [Aufhebung] of the proletariat, and the proletariat cannot transcend itself without the realization [Verwirklichung] of philosophy.
When all the inner conditions are met, the day of the German resurrection will be heralded by the crowing of the cock of Gaul.
Do not let us go back to a fictitious primordial condition as the political economist does, when he tries to explain. Such a primordial condition explains nothing; it merely pushes the question away into a grey nebulous distance. The economist assumes in the form of a fact, of an event, what he is supposed to deduce – namely, the necessary relationship between two things – between, for example, division of labor and exchange. Thus the theologian explains the origin of evil by the fall of Man – that is, he assumes as a fact, in historical form, what has to be explained.
We proceed from an actual economic fact.
The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and size. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. The devaluation of the world of men is in direct proportion to the increasing value of the world of things. Labor produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity – and this at the same rate at which it produces commodities in general.
This fact expresses merely that the object which labor produces – labor’s product – confronts it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labor is labor which has been embodied in an object, which has become material: it is the objectification of labor. Labor’s realization is its objectification. Under these economic conditions this realization of labor appears as loss of realization for the workers; objectification as loss of the object and bondage to it; appropriation as estrangement, as alienation.
I explicitly disclaimed the second part of that sentence in a post above. I never claimed that memes don't exist or that memetics is meaningless without an identified meme. Perhaps you have confused me with fourcheesemac?
In what other context is it okay to refer to someone as a terrorist when they are not?
This is not true: you can have information without meaning. Information is not enough to imply meaning, and that is precisely what the problem with localroger's claim that Shannon's information theory provides a framework for the transmission of and selection for cultural information. Meaning implies information, but not the other way around.
Or in short, we can talk about biological evolution as a theory because, except for a few fringe cases, we know exactly how genetic information is transmitted, expressed, and modified.
It took less than 30 years to get from Mendel to Darwin.
What do you mean "believe in" evo-psych? Natural selection obviously affects behavior. Other than that, it's a field of study, not a belief system.
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