Sunday Roast: A Brief History of Disbelief

In his “Brief History of Disbelief,” Jonathan Miller talks frankly and reasonably about his own lack of belief in God — he doesn’t spend time screeching that believers are stupid — and explores the history of atheism.

This quote sums it up quite nicely for me:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
The he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able, and willing?
Thence whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God.
~Epicurus

Part 1 of 6 (each about 10 minutes long)

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Discuss amongst yourselves…

157 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: A Brief History of Disbelief

  1. I think I got so good with toying with the doctor that I was even fooling some regulars…not my intention…and I’ll apologize for it…

  2. but anyways, I went up to the City to clear my head…feel much better now…

    I’ll have to watch the documentary some other time…

  3. Looking forward to catching up w/this series of clips later . . . Must water before it gets too hot here . . . Will check in later . . . Peace . . .

  4. Happy Independence Day!

    Kitty, don’t start succumbing to the Stockholm Syndrome. The trolls are nasty individuals.

  5. oh yeah, I felt myself becoming motomark when I used the dissertation search to try to destroy him…of course I have a conscience so I felt guilty about that…

  6. usckitty,

    You mentioned the one thing that differentiates us on the left from them on the right – you have a conscience, they don’t, especially the ones who think unregulated Capitalism is the absolute best system in the world.

    Right wingers say No to social safety net programs, usually because “they’re not paid for.” But when funding is found to pay for them, they reject them anyway. A few (and, admittedly, only a few) will actually come out and say monumentally stupid things like “unemployment benefits encourage people to stop looking for work.” But those are, IMHO, just the ones silly enough to say it out loud. I think they all think the same thing.

  7. Why does the troll (over at TP) think that guests on Olbermann and Maddow are being given “fake glasses”? That has got to be one of the dumber conspiracy theories I’ve heard from them. It makes no sense. And how it is that “you can tell”? How does he know they don’t wear contact lenses when they are on other shows? Maybe Chris Hayes wears glasses when he’s subbing for Rachel or Ed because he has to read off a teleprompter, but he doesn’t need them when he’s a guest because he’s speaking extemporaneously.

  8. I think may right-wingers, and this also applies to fundie christians, are simply incapable of introspection. They don’t develop a conscience because they are incapable of examining their own motivations. I too am off to water, gosh it’s dry here. I can water the gardens, but I can’t water the fields.

  9. When I learned to read, and saw that “Santa’s” toys were made in Japan, I understood that th Santa story wasn’t true. But it was profitable to me to continue to believe in the myth, because I got toys every Christmas.

    It didn’t take long for my 6-7 year-old brain to figure out if Santa didn’t really exist, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy were also played by my parents. But, it was profitable to continue to believe in them, too.

    As long as it is profitable to believe in God, people will believe in God. And, let’s face it, many churches provide a sense of belonging, a sense of community and camraderie that serves people well. Only a relative few are cults.

  10. BnF,

    But we also have “truth in advertising” laws in this country because we believe it is wrong to defraud people of their money.

    How, then, do we reconcile this belief that defrauding people out of their money is wrong, but that it’s okay to turn the other way when religious institutions encourage giving money as a means of achieving salvation? (And, FTR, No, I am not talking about giving money to support charitable works done by that local religious organization. If it ultimately helps those who need it, that’s fine.)

  11. Wayne, because the existence or non-existence of God is not provable. It’s logic v. non-logic (i.e. faith).

    Perhaps we can compare it to purchasing life insurance. We buy a policy during our life time, and our only benefit is the belief that after we die, the insurance company will abide by the contract and pay the proceeds to our named beneficiary.

    Giving money to a church to purchase salvation provides the benefit of the belief that when we die, we will go to heaven.

    There’s no way we can know, during our lifetime, if either belief will pan out the way we believe it will.

  12. Wayne, because the existence or non-existence of God is not provable. Itโ€™s logic v. non-logic (i.e. faith).

    Well, if that’s the case then how is it, from a legal perspective, an event can be deemed to be “an act of God” if the existence or non-existence of God in a court of law is unprovable? Wouldn’t that legally open the door to any unprovable allegation being admitted as fact?

    [I hope you understand that I’m just having fun and not trying to make the legal profession look bad. If anything, it’s the system of Justice that I’m looking at, not its participants.]

  13. Happy Independence Day, Zooey. And to all my fellow Critters and Zoosters. Please make yours a safe and happy one.

    And I was talking about your holiday, no matter what you think I might have meant. ๐Ÿ™‚

    [Seriously, I hope that’s a happy and safe one, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]

  14. BBC America on my cable is running Doctor Who until 5pm eastern.

    If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet The Press, only it isn’t, because of Wimbledon. The men’s final is Rafael Nadal, who I’ve heard of, versus Tomas Berdych, who I’ve never heard of.

    On This Week, someone said Afghanistan and Petraeus in the same sentence since last Sunday, so it’s time to get Grampaw McCain on, since Lieberman is already scheduled to lie on Faux News today. Oh, that’s right, it was Michael Steele that uttered the infamous sentence, and all the Chickenhawks want him to resign. McCain does too, but stops short of saying it.

    The roundtable has no George Will today, so the substitute liar is former Bush Iraq spokesman/CFR member Dan Senor, who has a pro-Israeli book to pimp, Jorge Ramos from Univision, who has a pro-Latino-immigrant book to pimp, well-known economist Paul Krugman, Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, my favorite, Cynthia Tucker, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    Senor is called on first, proving he is in Will’s chair. He continues the attack on Steele, calling him “unserious”. Al hunt says Steele may be a democratic mole, because of all the things he’s done for them. Tucker, who has referred to Steele as “an affirmative action hire, gone bad”, says if he wasn’t black, he’d have been fired a long time ago, but if he wasn’t black, he wouldn’t have the job in the first place. LOL!

    After a break, they turn to the economy, and Krugman explains the need for more stimulus, which supports what he has said all along, that the original stimulus was too small, and that short term increases of the debt are still more important than overall debt reduction, long term. Tucker says it’s crazy that the Senate has refused to extend unemployment benefits, and I cringe, for she has passed up a chance to lay the blame squarely where it must be laid, which is at the feet of the Republican minority. The jobs bill has shrunk to the point of ineffectiveness, and still may not pass. She seems to be unable to draw the clear distinction that all legislation is being polluted by the obstructors and lobbyists. She does refer to polls that say Americans are way more concerned with jobs than the deficit, but it’s not getting to the Congress.

    Senor tries to make the case against more debt, using a statistic about Japan’s 200% debt to GDP ratio, claiming the interest is 25% of their budget, and Krugman calls bullshit, Senor claims it’s true. I know who I’d believe.

    Al Hunt says we ought to be dealing with long-term deficits in the long term, and short term stimulus right now. He said the stimulus we got kept things from getting worse, but that people associated it with bank bailouts and automaker bailouts, which it had nothing to do with (not entirely, cash for clunkers was in the stimulus, and helped the automakers).
    Tapper holds up a poster of Rachel Maddow’s ‘bikini graph’, showing the job losses, and gains, adding a post-it note with the June losses at 125,000, when an earlier graphic on the show said we had 125,000 losses against 83,000 jobs created, and Krugman says most of these losses were census jobs phasing out. He says last month’s increase wasn’t as good as it looked, and this month wasn’t really as bad.

    Krugman says Ireland has gone the fiscal austerity route, without seeing any benefits, and the markets aren’t even rewarding them. He said Greece doesn’t prove anything because it was in more trouble than it’s books showed (thanks to Goldman Sachs!).

    Senor goes back to Obama stimulus promises, that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8%. Krugman shoots him down again, comparing Reagan’s recession, which started during his first term, to Obama’s which was well under way when he took over. Senor doesn’t argue back. (All expectations of the stimulus were coupled with expectations that banking was going to resume lending, and they didn’t!)

    Immigration promises weren’t kept, says Ramos, and they play a May 2008 clip of Obama, which was before the economy became the focal point of the campaign and Obama’s first year. Add in the Republican perpetual filibuster, and the slowing of the agenda was inevitable. Obama gets no consideration for that from Latinos, evidently.

  15. BTW, today is the fiftieth birthday of the current 50-star flag in use. So, now I learn that in addition to having been born while Eisenhower was still president (which I did know), I now know that I was born under a different flag (three weeks before this one was in use.) I did not know that.

    (I knew that Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states in 1959, but I thought the 50-star flag was already in use by the time I was born. Ironic that our last presidential election included major party candidates from the two youngest states in the union. And the Panama Canal Zone isn’t a state, though McCain’s birthright citizenship was not an issue because of Obama and Clinton. Which makes Biden’s home state of Delaware the only “original” one out of the four. First, in fact, wasn’t it?)

  16. Just stopped in to wish everybody a happy 4th of July.

    Hoping the weather will holdup today, they say its supposed to rain, but so far, so good. My club is having our annual 4th of July pig roast (public invited) so rain is not welcome.

    I,d say a prayer for no rain, but seeing as I’m a non-believer, I don’t know which god controls the rain machine. Oh well, all you critters play hard today, and stay safe.

  17. “from a legal perspective, an event can be deemed to be โ€œan act of Godโ€ ” if we can’t figure out how the heck it happened.

    As I recall, someone who’s suit was dismissed because his injuries were caused by “an act of God” turned around and tried to sue the Church, as God’s representitives on earth.

    That didn’t work, either.

    So, legally, “an Act of God” means “you’re screwed.”

  18. angels81,

    I believe it is possible to breathe clouds away, and I speak from personal experience.

    But I don’t recommend messing with the weather on a widespread basis.

  19. This was the first Doctor Who shown today:

    “Dalek”, (2004), A billionaire in Utah holds a relic of an alien race that is one of the Doctor’s oldest enemies.

    In this episode the Doctor is played by Christopher Eccleston. Billie Piper plays Rose Tyler in it as well. I’ve never seen this Doctor before.

    • House, Eccleston was the Doctor for one season — the year they brought Doctor Who back after so many years being gone.

  20. angels , you should have stayed in CA – you know we never think about rain in June, July or Aug – and sometimes even in to Oct.!

    May the clouds stay far away for your pig roast day.

  21. House sounds as if you are in for a full viewing day on the t.v. machine.
    How many series, of the Dr., will they be showing?

    As always, thanks for the rundown on the morning ‘blather bits’ that pass for the morning infotainment.

    Enjoy your 4th!

  22. 2ebb,
    They started at 11am eastern, and end at 5pm eastern, so they are doing six hours, with several different seasons, (2005, 2007, and 2010) represented.

    I have a race at 2:30pm, so I’ll be switching to that.

    You have a great 4th too!

  23. I liked that Dr Who a lot. I wish I could like the new Dr Who, but of course I can’t even watch him!

    Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans. Weather here looks to be much like Zooey’s report. By mid-week it’s going to be up around 90F and stay that way for a bit. After spending time in DC and the surrounding area, I’m going to have a lot more perspective about “hot” and will try not to whine when it gets warm here.

    • gummitch, I like the 11th Doctor more than I thought I would. I have the current series on DVD. Arrrr…

      • Humidity is the debbil!!

        We’re at 100% right now, temp 85. My throat is so sore I can’t say a word (my son thinks that’s a blessing) and my head aches and I’m out of pills. 7/24 pharmacy too far and I don’t have the car anyway, so why even think about it.

        I want my winter back (or move to Iceland)!

  24. Humidity is the debbil!!

    Or is it? ๐Ÿ˜†

    We’re do due (bad, Wayne!) for a bit of a heat wave over the next few days. Not looking forward to it. Maybe I can see if my brother can build something to rest the AC units on outside the windows where we need them. It’s not much, but it helps.

    • Howard Zinn always said it best:

      Put Away the Flags

      We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

      We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.

      • Wayne, I don’t need AC in the dry heat — even when it goes over 100 degrees — but if the humidity is high, I like the AC to remove the humidity — even though it chills me to the bone and after a while takes away my voice.

        Don’t even think the words, “Small blessings.” ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. DVD? What? Amazon says it’s not released. I could buy from the UK for ridiculous sums if I had the right DVD player. Or, I can pay $2/episode to watch them online at Amazon.

    Grrrrr

    • gummitch that reminds me of the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where they’re reading the message on the wall, and it ends “Arrrggghhhh.” As if if someone keeled over at that point, but took the time to carve the sound. ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. RIP Dr. Zinn ~ Thanks for posting that reminder of “nationhood”, Zooey …

    Everyday is Talk Like A Pirate Day, in my mind at least ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. “Then why, Briseadh, do people have faith in God?”

    Cultural indoctrination.

    read “Up From Eden” by Ken Wilber

  28. I finally broke down and got Netflix (mostly to get caught up on Dr. Who) and on their page they have a movie called Men Who Stare at Goats. Has anyone seen it because it sounds interesting in a ridiculous way?

    • I’m not into screwball comedy, except on rare occasions — like “The Hangover.”

      Welcome to the world of Netflix, Hooda!

  29. This episode is seriously cool! The Doctor and Martha Jones are in two different flying Volkswagen buses, and the one the Doctor is in, has a couple where the male is a cat, and the female is human, and their children are kittens!

    If someone didn’t know the Doctor Who show, they’d think I was on drugs! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I might want to see the Men Who Stare At Goats movie, that looked fun on the promos!

  30. I am a Tom Baker/Dr Who fan. When they changed Drs after him, I sort of lost interest. Except I wanted to build a red British phone booth and put it out in the yard. My ex said go ahead, just make sure it has a bed in it because thats where you will be living.

  31. Netflix – another CA innovation!
    Few thought it would take off – (before offering on the computer) with ‘who wants to wait for a movie to come through the mail’? It appears many did and the company keeps re-inventing ways to watch ‘the movies’!
    (their headquarters used to be a small building about six blocks from where I live – it moved and expanded to Los Gatos).
    [More than you ever wanted to or cared to know!]

    gummitch – wanted to thank you for recommending Ronald Takaki’s books – you had mentioned them on a TP thread a few weeks ago!

  32. hooda, I watched that film a couple of months ago and wasn’t knocked out, especially by the conclusion. It had its moments, but overall I was disappointed.

  33. My son and his wife bought me a Wii for Xmas last year and it turns out the thing can be used to interface Netflix to my TV. Now its not just for the occasional X Men game anymore.

  34. 2ebbandflow, you’re more than welcome. There’s a lot of information in his books that you’re unlikely to find in most history classes or texts. It’s information like that that causes “American exceptionalism” to stick in my craw.

  35. Thanks, gummitch. I’m still going to leave it in the queue. Clooney occasionally has his moments and I really like Ewan MacGregor. May have to put Big Fish in the queue as well.

  36. Cultural indoctrination.

    Yup. Been going on for over 1,500 years. They like to get them when they are young so its harder to break.

  37. gummitch, the ‘use, abuse and exclude’ eats at me.

    The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 just burns me to a crisp!

  38. America is exceptionally good at claiming the high moral ground while doing things that would make a goat puke.

  39. And where do you keep your red British phone booth now?

    In my dreams. But now that I have a house with a workshop and no ex and a heart working full time, I may just have to indulge in a woodworking project.

  40. That’s good, Hooda. And will your red British phone booth be built with “Timelord Technology” (as the Daleks called it)?

    (Will it be bigger on the inside?)

  41. (Will it be bigger on the inside?)

    Lord only knows. Time will tell. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  42. It has been 30 years since I watched the Dr but that is hardly an excuse. I wonder why the red phone booth sticks in my obviously faulty rememory?

  43. Happy Fourth of July to all, may it forever have more meaning than fireworks and hot dogs.

    I guess it was close to twenty years ago about this time that I caught myself reminiscing a bit, pondering the hollowness of what should be a thought-filled day. I remembered the time in 1967 when I visited the Old North Bridge in Massachusetts, the incredible somber feelings that engulfed as I stood over and read the grave markers that are still there, mostly of British soldiers as I recall. And then I thought of the many friends and a family member who died in Vietnam, the Vietnam Memorial in Washington.

    Fireworks? No. Respect for those who let go all they had. Americans won in 1776, the British lost. In Vietnam, America lost. There are markers — markers that honor the call of winners, also of those whose cause did not complete as planned but whose end was equally final.

    That message gets lost amongst the fireworks and hot dogs, I thought, so I sat down and wrote a tribute to friend and family member David Jauregui.

    This is what derived, and still defines my Fourth of July “celebration.”

    The Vietnam Memorial
    Washington, D.C.

    Embedded in the ground, a blackened stone
    Pays tribute to the fallen – those described
    As hallowed dead – their souls departed, gone,
    Now ashes in the wind. Their names – inscribed
    Precisely, carved as if by hand of God
    To ornament the rock – still whisper words
    Of love to friends who seem to find it odd
    That stone can weep, and too, the songs of birds.
    There is no glory buried here beneath
    This blackened stone, nor flesh, nor bones. But still,
    One feels that sculpted names did each bequeath
    A challenge only living can fulfill –
    Exist in peace with all upon your Earth,
    Since you won’t know, till death, what Life was worth.

    The Vietnam Memorial II
    a whisper from the wall

    The flowers in the vase allay my fears.
    She placed them, quite precisely, near my name
    Here etched in stone. Her eyes are filled with tears,
    Full knowing that it’s I who’ve lost the game
    Of life, my place on Earth reduced to this.
    I pray she knows our Spirits still are one,
    That touch, and tears, and even winsome kiss
    Remain forever locked, though breath is gone.
    It’s peaceful here despite the constant pain
    Of losing her. How easier for birds
    To sing, for blackened clouds to spill their rain,
    Than through this stone it is to speak these words:
    I love you still, you’re always part of me
    And that can’t change – in this Eternity.

    R.I.P.

  44. And, to be honest, though I have grown to like what I’ve seen, I’ve only seen about a dozen and a half episodes of Doctor Who, mostly with David Tennant and his predecessor. But I do like them. I really do.

  45. Why does the troll (over at TP) think that guests on Olbermann and Maddow are being given โ€œfake glassesโ€?

    It is just something stupid posted to only be disruptive. Hence copying and pasting it multiple times in multiple threads.

  46. hooda, most police boxes were red which is probably why you recall the TARDIS being red.

  47. “NY man blows off his arm with illegal fireworks.”

    Thanks to the magic of the unfettered free market, unencumbered by Big Government, man’s arm “goes Galt”.

  48. frugal, thanks for that post. I especially liked the last poem. It is so ineffably sad that young lives and loves are cut short in the pursuit of money and national glory.

    My daughter’s bf is in Afghanistan and I hope he makes it home safe because I would hate to see her heart broken for such a pitiful cause.

  49. And I am digging the Eleventh Doctor as it is nice to have one that is not trying to do the hipster sad face all the frigging time.

    • I’m enjoying him as well, glamour. I wasn’t sure I would, since he’s so young, but he’s really good.

  50. I’ve always found polytheism to be fascinating.

    It’s so much fun to make up new ones.

  51. Raven, I think the Western world went monotheistic for economic reasons. Only one collection plate.

  52. He is showing a lot of old man mannerisms, especially in towards the end of “The Big Bang” which I think really helps.

  53. I have often wondered why the Norse religion faded. It was warrior based with Valkyries and Valhalla, had a peaceful side with the Baldur thing, Ragnarok vrs Armageddon. I guess the Vikings just never have figured out how to take it all the way.

    • But if the Vikings lost a war, the other side might have no problems making them give up their belief system.

  54. Well, that sports joke sure fell flat.

    In reality, the Norse never blended their religion into their politics. They were much more pragmatic.

  55. hooda: I have often wondered why the Norse religion faded. It was warrior based with Valkyries and Valhalla, had a peaceful side with the Baldur thing, Ragnarok vrs Armageddon. I guess the Vikings just never have figured out how to take it all the way.

    I’m a Scandy — not Norski, Swede (basically the same thing) — and a friend explained it all to me a long time ago. He said that when Eric the Red gathered up all the Scandy real men and sailed off to rape, pillage, and plunder the world, he unfortunately left only the 4-F’s and the gorgeous Scandinavian women home to breed and carry on, and that’s why there are no more mighty Scandies in the world today. Only guys like me.

    Who knows, maybe he was onto something?

  56. Frugal, an interesting thought but the same could be said for any civilization. Which may be why empires die.

  57. Frugal, I just had a nasty epiphany from your post. Those 4Fs? They grow up to be bean counters. War takes the strong and dynamic and leaves behind the sissies.

    • Sissies like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were left behind, and had to “prove” something by sucking up all the money and power.

  58. Well, hooda, I’m not a bean counter but I was in the agriculture business for thirty years and did spend a fair amount of time in the guar bean realm. That could count, no?

    Actually, in America, I’m thinkin’ a fair number of my-era 4F’s wound up working on wars in the Bush administration. That’s the downside. Definitely.

  59. Twenty years ago I studied history. My focus was on Russia and that led me to many things. One was a study of the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.

    The Mongols conquered more of the world than any other group has ever done. If Chinghis hadn’t died, they would have conquered Europe. One Mongol managed to do more than Alexander or Rome.

  60. frugalchariot….

    I have an ancestor who didn’t make it back to the longship in Labrador (it was a beautiful mid-summer afternoon, and the blueberries were in full swing) He was captured by the Skraelings, who after first feeding him nothing but rancid dried fish, and finding that he thrived on it, adopted him, and eventually revered him as a minor deity.
    Traveling up the St. Laurence, he made it as far as Lake Superior, where he found lots of iron and copper, built a forge, and cast great big pots to boil fish in.
    Skol!
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  61. When those who have never fought make policy, they use policy to fulfill their lack.

  62. Raven: The irony of your story is that most of the Swedes and Norskis I’ve known in my life (and that’s a LOT) would probably make pretty decent deities! Better than most of those available these days, at least.

    I like the idea of casting pots in which to boil fish. Beats using them to make Lutefisk in, that’s for sure.

  63. hooda: Those who brag about the need to win a war, have never fought one.

    Eisenhower would have agreed with you on that one, cover to cover.

  64. Zooey: Still lurkingโ€ฆlooking at Van Gogh paintings online.

    Heh. Reminds me that back in the mid- to late-sixties, there was a hangout in downtown Minneapolis, a discoteque named the “Vincent Van Gogh Go.” Always got a kick out of that. Minnesota is like that, though. Or at least it was before Michelle Bachmann was born. Wonder what Van Gogh would have seen in her? Scary scary!

  65. War is like Tic Tac Toe. The only way you might win is to play against an absolute idiot.

    • War is like Tic Tac Toe. The only way you might win is to play against an absolute idiot.

      Which is why GWB should never have played war.

  66. Weโ€™re at 100% right now, temp 85. My throat is so sore I canโ€™t say a word (my son thinks thatโ€™s a blessing) and my head aches and Iโ€™m out of pills. 7/24 pharmacy too far and I donโ€™t have the car anyway, so why even think about it.

    I want my winter back (or move to Iceland)!

    man, and I thought 85 and 34% humidity was bad…

  67. I thought 85 was bad, but I guess…excuse me…EV, I was spoiled from Santa Barbara weather…where 85 was the highest it ever got…

  68. Which is why GWB should never have played war.

    Which is exactly why he did. His advisors were mostly failed warriors who listened to the money interests.

    A private cesspool party? I’m down for it.

  69. Would the password be the same? (in case some of us are away for a few hours and come back to play)

  70. Actually, today has been easy- delivered Crockpot Hungarian Goulash pre-mixed in one of those plastic containers (They have Crockpot), and Lemon Meringue Pie to BIL and SIL, yesterday. Spouse and I are having same as well tonight. BIL has MS.

  71. Sounds like work for Zooey so maybe we can just talk trash here and let moto suck it up. Personally, I wouldn’t mind handing the dork lots of stupid stuff.

  72. hoodathunk
    July 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm
    Those who brag about the need to win a war, have never fought one.

    those who have to say, “bring it on,” have never faced death in a war…

  73. Zooey, you make the choice. I wouldn’t mind telling moto what his momma really thinks of him here.

  74. hoodathunk
    July 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Raven, I think the Western world went monotheistic for economic reasons. Only one collection plate.

    Quite aside from the well established semitic trends, the Greeks were well on their way to monotheism long before the pax romana allowed the cult of Christianity to spread up to the Aegean. The purely logical argument in Aristotle’s Metaphysics is one that has strong intellectual appeal that has been variously reformulated from Anselm to Harshorne.

    When you invest that logical relationalism with Roman ruthlessness for law (both when enforcing it and when ignoring it), and Christian disdain for this world (a thing totally alien to both the Greeks and Romans), you get a toxic combination that valorizes uniformity and cares not a whit about the worldly means employed to achieve it.

    The Germanic peoples were utterly flabbergasted by the Christians willingness — often enthusiasm — to martyr themselves for their religious beliefs.

    As a result, the “Romans” swept through twice — the first time wearing red, the second time wearing black.

  75. I suppose one could indulge both – although the keyboard would suffer greatly if literally dipped in the muck.

    (the virtual world – no one gets their clothes dirty – only the mind)

  76. Some how we don’t think you would suffer such a malady, glamourdammerung!

  77. nah, more like moto who worries about what his mom thinks about his willy. She worries her ittle boy will always be a little boy (wink).

    Cess pool behavior is much more adult.

  78. motormouth is so damn scared of dbadass and glamourdammerung, he wets himself constantly.

  79. please insert ‘he’ between glamour’s name and wets.
    (embarrassed at that – apologies).

  80. 2ebbandflow, I would think the statement “glamourdammerung wets him (hunt) constantly” is sadly accurate.

  81. frugal,

    thanks for sharing.

    I’ve visited The Wall. There are places where the grief is palatable.

  82. I went nearly 60 years without visiting DC. Since 2004, I’ve now been there three times (twice in less than a year). I’m not a fan. It was, however, amazing to finally see Abe Lincoln on his throne. The Vietnam Memorial was one of the most moving forces I’ve ever encountered. Not just the wall itself, which is a brilliant construct, but all the individual memorials left by families by their loved ones’ names. All those young lives cut short by stupidity.

  83. gummitch, You must see the FDR Memorial. I get to DC every 18 months or so. (Natural pull since I was born there). The FDR Memorial is magnificent at night. Four separate rooms representing each of his four terms, with four different themes, again, relevant to each of his terms. There are waterfalls in each “room” and is a must see.

    • Theresa, we’re in the cesspool party, but it’s password protected. Would you like me to email you the key to the cesspool?

  84. Thank you Zooey, but it’s been a long day of sweating and gardening. Checking my mail and a quick surf before I head to bed. Y’all have a great Cesspool Party; T is beat. Happy Fourth To All My Critter Bretheren. We in the Easton, PA area get our fireworks next week on Heritage Day where the DoI will be read as it was some 235 years ago.

    http://www.heritageday.org/

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