Letting someone know you're an atheist.

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GCG (March 14, 2012, 10:29:50 AM):
i have a fair amount of buddhist books. old things i found in a secondhand book shop. and they are actually nice to read. things to think about. I also have books by the Dalai Lama. He is a very wize old toppie. I also a collection of Erich von Daniiken. just coz i can. he got my head out of religion, so i owe him that much. I have a tellinger book. that was a good piece of fantasy ;D
BoogieMonster (March 14, 2012, 10:46:17 AM):
I also have books by the Dalai Lama. He is a very wize old toppie.


Perhaps, but be sure to check out Pen & Teller's take on the Dalai Lama.
Zulumoose (March 14, 2012, 11:22:39 AM):
Quote
I also a collection of Erich von Daniiken. just coz i can. he got my head out of religion, so i owe him that much.

I owe something to a book called "The manna machine" which was a similar sort of wild fantasy about aliens giving Moses a nuclear powered hydroponics tank to feed the people for 40 years in the desert. It was well written and very closely tied to the texts and how they could be interpreted from an engineering standpoint.

That sort of thing serves a purpose in that firstly it can be entertaining, but more usefully it can open your eyes to how easy it is to make the texts fit whatever spin you wish to put on them. If you have a wild idea, it can seem perfectly logical that all the ancient religious texts support your fantasy, and so it is no wonder there are so many denominations, sects, fanatics etc.

A cryptic text is immune to correct interpretation, and incorrect interpretation, it is useful to anyone who wishes to use it, and useless to anyone who wishes to learn facts from it.
GCG (March 14, 2012, 11:37:35 AM):
old von daniiken had me going 'holy fucking freck' when i was like 15. (still dont know how the hell his books were not banned from the small-town library). i still like to read his books, and i still go holy fucking freck. then i realise that as cool as all the alien stuff would be, it's propably the least likely explanation. then again, it may not be. i wont be breaking my head about it.
Zulumoose (March 14, 2012, 11:56:08 AM):
old von daniiken had me going 'holy fucking freck' when i was like 15. (still dont know how the hell his books were not banned from the small-town library). i still like to read his books, and i still go holy fucking freck. then i realise that as cool as all the alien stuff would be, it's propably the least likely explanation. then again, it may not be. i wont be breaking my head about it.

It is also a very good illustration of extreme confirmation bias at work, the driving force behind conspiracy theories and cults. Everything that can be interpreted to support your cause is given special significance, and every attempt by others to look at things from another perspective is seen as suppression of the truth by those with bad motives or invested interests, while failing to realise that a 'pet theory' is an invested interest all by itself.

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