Americans: The world can’t go on without them

Mar 18, 2013


Discussion by: kcjones10

I now live in the 49th state.  I think it may be akin to living in the primordial stew.  Seriously, though, I have been thinking about the fall of civilizations.  Rebecca Costa’s “Watchman’s Rattle” has been a bit of a wake-up for me.  What does anybody else have to say?

33 comments on “Americans: The world can’t go on without them

  • 2
    Sjoerd Westenborg says:

    It would’ve been helpful if you had elaborated just a little bit more. Here’s the relevant section of a review of Rebecca Costa’s book to help things going:

    This book is a fascinating study on how the brain works and how, in the face of complex challenges, our society can survive despite our intelligence being outpaced by our problems. Like Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Rebecca Costa attacks her subject from multiple angles, using research from unexpected sources to present a compelling argument with memorable examples.

    Studying civilizations like the ancient Mayan, Khmer and Egyptian, and why they so rapidly spiraled into oblivion, the author comes up with two telltale signs that happened before their collapse:

    The first sign is gridlock.

    Gridlock occurs when civilizations become unable to comprehend or resolve large, complex problems, despite acknowledging beforehand that these issues may lead to their demise.

    The second sign is “the substitution of beliefs for knowledge and fact.”

    When we are trapped in an undertow, we believe that if we simply step up our efforts and swim harder toward the shore, we will prevail against the current. Despite empirical evidence that this isn’t working, we refuse to abandon our belief and persist in swimming in a direct path towards land as we grow increasingly exhausted and panic ensues.

    I’m assuming your point is to get a discussion going on the distantly looming (or imminent and inevitable?) collapse of the USA.

    Personally I despise the phrase ‘history repeats’. It just frickin’ doesn’t: Put Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles XII of Sweden in a room together and they will have lots of new things to tell each other. Granted, there are patterns that may set in quite predictably, like Malthusian tensions (is that the correct term? I learned it in Dutch), but considering the wide variation in surrounding civilisations (including the absence of any), technological advancement, political ideals, religious factors, etc. the decline and collapse of every civilisation is absolutely unique.

    Because of this I think the fall of the US is not guaranteed to happen in a way that we have even seen before or because of factors ever into play before. I’m not pretending to have any clue about this, but my uneducated guess would be that they will split up for ideological reasons, catalysed by an economic malaise. Or the other way round.



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  • 3
    BornAfterTV says:

    The world was working just fine before white settlements on the American continent. Said settlements caused much pain and suffering of the peoples that already inhabited that land.

    America is unlikely to fall similarly to previous civilisations because of the interconnectivity of the planet will not allow it to die in isolation, all post industrial nations would need to suffer a simular fate simultaneously for extinction to occur in my estimation. That being said it will not retain it’s superpower status forever and will be just another country that no longer has the ability to influence other countries through the threat of violence and force on the scale that it does today.

    The world could do with a much wider adoptions of Americas separation of Church and State though, that we can be sure of.



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  • 4
    kcjones10 says:

    The separation of church and state in America is an illusion.

    The populace of the United States is saturated with Christianity, from PhD’s down to the most abject sufferers of Down syndrome,

    I don’t think even Richard Dawkins knows how desperate the times are here in the U.S., even with his scholarship and intellect. The idea that “we” should have moved from belief into the realm of science is a fine one, but I have lived my life in America, and I know that America is NOT where that realm will be realized.

    When people criticize RD for being strident–well, I don’t think he is being strident enough. The United States has over 300 million people, but it takes a British scientist to stir atheist sentiment here in the U.S.

    At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States. The separation is lip service. You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian. Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    In reply to #3 by BornAfterTV:*

    The world was working just fine before white settlements on the American continent. Said settlements caused much pain and suffering of the peoples that already inhabited that land.

    America is unlikely to fall similarly to previous civilisations because of the interconnectivity of the planet will not allow it to die in isolation, all post industrial nations would need to suffer a simular fate simultaneously for extinction to occur in my estimation. That being said it will not retain it’s superpower status forever and will be just another country that no longer has the ability to influence other countries through the threat of violence and force on the scale that it does today.

    The world could do with a much wider adoptions of Americas separation of Church and State though, that we can be sure of.



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  • 5
    kcjones10 says:

    Thank you. I hope others like the “relevant” part of the review. Perhaps they could actually read the book.

    In reply to #2 by Sjoerd Westenborg:Re

    It would’ve been helpful if you had elaborated just a little bit more. Here’s the relevant section of a review of Rebecca Costa’s book to help things going:

    This book is a fascinating study on how the brain works and how, in the face of complex challenges, our society can survive despite our intelligence being outpaced by our problems. Like Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Rebecca Costa attacks her subject from multiple angles, using research from unexpected sources to present a compelling argument with memorable examples.

    Studying civilizations like the ancient Mayan, Khmer and Egyptian, and why they so rapidly spiraled into oblivion, the author comes up with two telltale signs that happened before their collapse:

    The first sign is gridlock.

    Gridlock occurs when civilizations become unable to comprehend or resolve large, complex problems, despite acknowledging beforehand that these issues may lead to their demise.

    The second sign is “the substitution of beliefs for knowledge and fact.”

    When we are trapped in an undertow, we believe that if we simply step up our efforts and swim harder toward the shore, we will prevail against the current. Despite empirical evidence that this isn’t working, we refuse to abandon our belief and persist in swimming in a direct path towards land as we grow increasingly exhausted and panic ensues.

    I’m assuming your point is to get a discussion going on the distantly looming (or imminent and inevitable?) collapse of the USA.

    Personally I despise the phrase ‘history repeats’. It just frickin’ doesn’t: Put Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles XII of Sweden in a room together and they will have lots of new things to tell each other. Granted, there are patterns that may set in quite predictably, like Malthusian tensions (is that the correct term? I learned it in Dutch), but considering the wide variation in surrounding civilisations (including the absence of any), technological advancement, political ideals, religious factors, etc. the decline and collapse of every civilisation is absolutely unique.

    Because of this I think the fall of the US is not guaranteed to happen in a way that we have even seen before or because of factors ever into play before. I’m not pretending to have any clue about this, but my uneducated guess would be that they will split up for ideological reasons, catalysed by an economic malaise. Or the other way round.



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  • 7
    papa lazaru says:

    Americans: The world can’t go on without them

    The North Koreans might disagree.

    Or in actual fact, agree on that.

    It is all very confusing.



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  • 8
    kcjones10 says:

    In reply to #7 by papa lazaru:

    Americans: The world can’t go on without them
    Tes, twis very thorble wit what ye goblins an ye wat>
    The North Koreans might disagree.

    Or in actual fact, agree on that.

    It is all very confusing.Y



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  • I don’t understand this post or where it’s going. Until just 200,000 years ago, a blink of an eye in our solar system, the world went on without humans. If the world could make do without humans in it’s resent past surly it can go on without them in the future.



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  • 10
    godsbuster says:

    In reply to #4 by kcjones10:

    The separation of church and state in America is an illusion.

    The populace of the United States is saturated with Christianity, from PhD’s down to the most abject sufferers of Down syndrome,

    I don’t think even Richard Dawkins knows how desperate the times are here in the U.S., even with his scholarship and intellect. The idea that “we” should have moved from belief into the realm of science is a fine one, but I have lived my life in America, and I know that America is NOT where that realm will be realized.

    When people criticize RD for being strident–well, I don’t think he is being strident enough. The United States has over 300 million people, but it takes a British scientist to stir atheist sentiment here in the U.S.

    At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States. The separation is lip service. You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian. Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    A big part of the problem is that there are a lot of influential folks in the US who know better but are infected with the “you may believe anything you like” bromide inspired by the First Amendment an amendment long overdue for revision which they are also terrified to be imagined to be seen running afoul of. As a result they won’t get on board and take up the unequivocal Dawkinsian antitheist stance that is the only logical and intellectually honest next step after you’ve admitted to yourself that godbothering is bullshit.

    Imagine if the likes, to name just a few, of a NdG Tyson, Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky who can all either be heard attesting to or hinting at their unbelief along with the 92% of the top scientists polled at the NAS who (anonymously) reject godbothering were to come out and unequivocally join Richard, Lawrence and Sam in a manifesto and said: godbothering is nonsense and ill advised for humanity at this critical stage of our history were we need all hands (brains) fully on deck.

    The efforts made to enlighten the masses is invaluable but how can we expect them to come around if we can’t even get the intellectual elites who are all supposed to be on our side, to be seen to do so fullthroatedly? Isn’t it time to launch a campaign to (privately) put a full court press on our quislings?



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  • At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States. The separation is lip service. You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian. Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    Have you read what Jesse Ventura has said about religion? Or if not him how about Representative Pete Stark (D) of California. Do you really think Diane Feinstein and Joe Lieberman are Christians?



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  • 12
    kcjones10 says:

    I have a BA in political science.

    You really must not have spent time in the U.S. Diane Feinstein is seen as a freak in American politics. From shore to shore, she would be defeated in any election she stood for. It’s only in the insular districts of northern California where she has found her constituency in which she has been able to flourish.

    #11 by Eliot:*

    At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States. The separation is lip service. You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian. Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    Have you read what Jesse Ventura has said about religion? Or if not him how about Representative Pete Stark (D) of California. Do you really think Diane Feinstein and Joe Lieberman are Christians?

    In reply to #11 by Eliot:

    At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States. The separation is lip service. You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian. Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    Have you read what Jesse Ventura has said about religion? Or if not him how about Representative Pete Stark (D) of California. Do you really think Diane Feinstein and Joe Lieberman are Christians?

    I have a university degree in political s to 11](#comment-box-11′) by Eliot:> At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States. The separation is lip service. You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian. Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    Have you read what Jesse Ventura has said about religion? Or if not him how about Representative Pete Stark (D) of California. Do you really think Diane Feinstein and Joe Lieberman are Christians?



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  • In reply to #1 by BanJoIvie:

    Is this some sort of Haiku?

    Gleaming slice of molten cheddar

    salmon swim in still clear water

    completeness of reality



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  • 14
    kcjones10 says:

    Very good.
    Almost great.
    Little to accomplish.
    In reply to #13 by emgee:

    In reply to #1 by BanJoIvie:

    Is this some sort of Haiku?

    Gleaming slice of molten cheddar

    salmon swim in still clear water

    completeness of reality



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  • 15
    kcjones10 says:

    In reply to #10 by godsbuster:

    In reply to #4 by kcjones10:

    The separation of church and state in America is an illusion.

    The populace of the United States is saturated with Christianity, from PhD’s down to the most abject sufferers of Down syndrome,

    I don’t think even Richard Dawkins knows how desperate the times are here in the U.S., even with his scholarship and intellect. The idea that “we” should have moved from belief into the realm of science is a fine one, but I have lived my life in America, and I know that America is NOT where that realm will be realized.

    When people criticize RD for being strident–well, I don’t think he is being strident enough. The United States has over 300 million people, but it takes a British scientist to stir atheist sentiment here in the U.S.

    At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States. The separation is lip service. You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian. Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    A big part of the problem is that there are a lot of influential folks in the US who know better but are infected with the “you may believe anything you like” bromide inspired by the First Amendment an amendment long overdue for revision which they are also terrified to be imagined to be seen running afoul of. As a result they won’t get on board and take up the unequivocal Dawkinsian antitheist stance that is the only logical and intellectually honest next step after you’ve admitted to yourself that godbothering is bullshit.

    Imagine if the likes, to name just a few, of a NdG Tyson, Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky who can all either be heard attesting to or hinting at their unbelief along with the 92% of the top scientists polled at the NAS who (anonymously) reject godbothering were to come out and unequivocally join Richard, Lawrence and Sam in a manifesto and said: godbothering is nonsense and ill advised for humanity at this critical stage of our history were we need all hands (brains) fully on deck.

    The efforts made to enlighten the masses is invaluable but how can we expect them to come around if we can’t even get the intellectual elites who are all supposed to be on our side, to be seen to do so fullthroatedly? Isn’t it time to launch a campaign to (privately) put a full court press on our quislings?

    In reply to #13 by emgee:

    In reply to #1 by BanJoIvie:
    How many people on this site have lived in the U.S.? I wonder. The U.S. is infected with such a virulent strain of religiosity that it is very likely it will not be able to hold together for another 100 years.

    One may like to hold up Diane Feinstein as an arbiter of reason in the political landscape. But the truth is that 99% of Americans would like to see her crucified. America is just an alternate form of jihad.

    Is this some sort of Haiku?

    Gleaming slice of molten cheddar

    salmon swim in still clear water

    completeness of reality



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  • 16
    BanJoIvie says:

    In reply to #12 by kcjones10:

    I have a BA in political science.

    […]

    I have a university degree in political s

    Beware of those who cite their credentials rather than their evidence.

    At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States.

    Yes there is.

    The separation is lip service.

    No it is not

    You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian.

    That state of affairs is not a violation of the principal of separation of church and state. Voters may consider any factors they wish when selecting candidates. The separation does not apply to the ballot box, but to the wielders of power.

    Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    That is just the grossest hyperbole. And before you ask, yes, I’ve “spent time in” America, a little over 40 years so far. I wonder if you’ve spent much time in the Islamic world?

    There are plenty of threats to the wall of separation and a whole passle of would-be-theocrats in the US, but your assessment of the battle is overly bleak. There are probably more setbacks than advances, but we are a long way from Riyadh.



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  • 17
    BanJoIvie says:

    In reply to #10 by godsbuster:

    A big part of the problem is that there are a lot of influential folks in the US who know better but are infected with the “you may believe anything you like” bromide inspired by the First Amendment an amendment long overdue for revision which they are also terrified to be imagined to be seen running afoul of.

    I find this sentiment more than a little frightening. On the one hand I see lamentation over the porous separation between church and state then I see a call for revision of the First Amendment?!

    Okay, I’m curious. Just what exactly do you consider to be the flaw in the First Amendment, and what specific Constitutional revision do you propose? Fair warning, god-botherers may not be your only opponents.

    Imagine if the likes, to name just a few, of a NdG Tyson, Steven Pinker, Noam Chomsky who can all either be heard attesting to or hinting at their unbelief along with the 92% of the top scientists polled at the NAS who (anonymously) reject godbothering were to come out and unequivocally join Richard, Lawrence and Sam in a manifesto and said: godbothering is nonsense and ill advised for humanity at this critical stage of our history were we need all hands (brains) fully on deck.

    I think it probable that any revision to the First Amendment would make your “manifesto” idea less likely to occur rather than more so. I agree that accomodationism and po-mo relativity are problems, but gutting the First Amendment is a terrible solution. Free speech protections allow unpopular ideas to be published without fear of government reprisal, and they provide protection for unpopular speakers from oppression by popular demand.

    Careful not to pull down your own defenses in your zeal to take the fight to the enemy.



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  • 18
    Nodhimmi says:

    “Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    That is just the grossest hyperbole. And before you ask, yes, I’ve “spent time in” America, a little over 40 years so far. I wonder if you’ve spent much time in the Islamic world?”

    Yes, I live in a (‘moderate’) Islamic country and spend much time America watching; I fear you are unduly optimistic. Let me ask- have you spent time in Europe in the last 20 yrs? Even if not, you’d be naive to deny the adverse impact of Islamic migration. Just ask the Norwegians, Swedes or Dutch about the Religion of Peace, or the English where sharia is flowering and FGM is a severe problem. Do some research on CAIR in the USA and Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.

    [Baiting of another user removed by moderator]



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  • 20
    BanJoIvie says:

    In reply to #18 by Nodhimmi:

    “Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    That is just the grossest hyperbole. And before you ask, yes, I’ve “spent time in” America, a little over 40 years so far. I wonder if you’ve spent much time in the Islamic world?”

    Yes, I live in a (‘moderate’) Islamic country and spend much time America watching; I fear you are unduly optimistic. Let me ask- have you spent time in Europe in the last 20 yrs? Even if not, you’d be naive to deny the adverse impact of Islamic migration. Just ask the Norwegians, Swedes or Dutch about the Religion of Peace, or the English where sharia is flowering and FGM is a severe problem. Do some research on CAIR in the USA and Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.

    To answer your question, I’ve spent a modicum of time in Europre in the last 20 years, as a tourist. (totalling perhaps 2-3 months.) What’s your point?

    Not sure what you consider “unduly optomistic” but I don’t disagree with your general sentiment. For my money, Islamic immigration IS a problem in Europe, and Islam IS an evil ideology. I agree that denying those points would be “naive.” Luckily…I didn’t.

    Your point is a non-sequiteur. It has no bearing on anything I said. kcjones 10’s asserted that US levels of theocracy are comparable to those of an Islamic nation. I disagreed. I can’t see what the state of affairs in Scandanavia or the UK has to do with that.

    Jefferson’s “wall of separation” may be besieged, but it damn well exists in the US, which is more than can be said for even “a (‘moderate’) Islamic country.” We should be manning the battlements, not acting like they’ve already fallen.

    And we should DEFINITELY acknowledge, that there is currently a better, more functioning secular governnment in DC than in Islamabad.

    IN THE US, the threat to secularism from Islam is miniscule compared to the blitzkrieg from fundie Christians. In fact (in a rather depressing irony) those very fundies are something of a vaccine against fundamentalist Islam gaining traction in the US. Different places, different problems, same war.

    I acknowledge the constant threat to secular governance – in the US, in Europe…everywhere! I think we are better served by honest assesments of that threat – and of the responses to it – than by exaggeration and prophesies of doom.



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  • 21
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    In reply to #18 by Nodhimmi:

    “Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    That is just the grossest hyperbole. And before you ask, yes, I’ve “spent time in” America, a little over 40 years so far. I wonder if you’ve spent much time in the Islamic world?”

    I haven’t been alive that long, but I’ve lived all over the US including the Bible Belt, and I fully agree with Nodhimmi. Portraying the US as the Xian counterpart to Sharia-land makes for great satire and is very insightful, but not realistic. It’s a common science-fiction theme, like a fascist America, which merely elucidates certain cultural idiosyncrasies.

    The more extremist elements have been louder in recent years, but this is due to a loss in their real power (also Neo-Con political strategies, but that’s a different story). When I was a kid, Blue Laws prohibited the sale of orange-juice on Sundays. The rise of Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism is a result of an overall decline in church attendance. Homosexuals have been winning politically and culturally, and the Westboro Baptist Church is an impotent and discrediting response to that.

    There are also many forces preventing the US from becoming a Xian equivalent to Iran. Urbanization compels cosmopolitan values, and the founding principles of the US (church=/=state, free speech, egalitarianism, etc) are revered with a religious fervor themselves. Our religious extremists attempt to work within the system, rather than implement a theocracy. The US started off as a dumping ground for religious wackos, so there has always been a struggle with those forces, but the trend is not in their favor.



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  • 22
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    In reply to #20 by BanJoIvie:
    kcjones 10’s asserted that US levels of theocracy are comparable to those of an Islamic nation. I disagreed. I can’t see what the state of affairs in Scandanavia or the UK has to do with that.

    Jefferson’s “wall of separation” may be besieged, but it damn well exists in the US, which is more than can be said for even “a (‘moderate’) Islamic country.” We should be manning the battlements, not acting like they’ve already fallen.

    Well put. I would like to add that religiosity levels in the US were comparable to Iran in studies conducted just 20 years ago, which is shocking, but systemically there no comparing.



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  • 23
    This Is Not A Meme says:

    kcjones10,

    Thoughts stand on their own. Where a person is from or what degrees you have is irrelevant (ad hom fallacy). Your claims are extreme and unfounded. My local government is stacked with atheists. If 99% of Americans wanted Feinstein dead, how does she stay in office? Is there some bizarre demographic concentration in her district? If we go around chasing phantoms and fighting windmills, we won’t get much done. Simple, truthful statements are more powerful than alarmist rhetoric which is detached from reality.

    Consider how a British scientist can have such an impact in the US. That speaks for the US’ virtues, not Dawkins’ super-human powers (well, I’m not excluding his ability to shoot secularizing laser beams out of his eyes, or his skill with prose).



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  • 24
    BanJoIvie says:

    In reply to #21 by This Is Not A Meme:

    … I fully agree with Nodhimmi.

    I’m not sure, but I think you meant to agree with me. The section from Nodhimmi’s post which you quote is actually quoted in turn from my post number 16. I gather from the rest of post 18 that Nodhimmi meant to refute my point, not support it.



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  • 25
    BanJoIvie says:

    In reply to #22 by This Is Not A Meme:

    I would like to add that religiosity levels in the US were comparable to Iran in studies conducted just 20 years ago, which is shocking, but systemically there no comparing.

    Excellent point. The US population may indeed be comparable in some ways to that of an Islamic state, but it’s a far cry from that fact to, “The separation of church and state in America is an illusion.” Just ask any secularly minded Iranian (if you can find one in a situation to speak freely) which country is more tolerant of atheism.



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  • 26
    kcjones10 says:

    Thank you so much for commenting. You made my day. For real.
    In reply to #25 by BanJoIvie:

    In reply to #22 by This Is Not A Meme:

    I would like to add that religiosity levels in the US were comparable to Iran in studies conducted just 20 years ago, which is shocking, but systemically there no comparing.

    Excellent point. The US population may indeed be comparable in some ways to that of an Islamic state, but it’s a far cry from that fact to, “The separation of church and state in America is an illusion.” Just ask any secularly minded Iranian (if you can find one in a situation to speak freely) which country is more tolerant of atheism.

    You In reply to #25 by BanJoIvie:

    In reply to #22 by This Is Not A Meme:

    I would like to add that religiosity levels in the US were comparable to Iran in studies conducted just 20 years ago, which is shocking, but systemically there no comparing.

    Excellent point. The US population may indeed be comparable in some ways to that of an Islamic state, but it’s a far cry from that fact to, “The separation of church and state in America is an illusion.” Just ask any secularly minded Iranian (if you can find one in a situation to speak freely) which country is more tolerant of atheism.

    In reply to #23 by This Is Not A Meme:

    kcjones10,

    Thoughts stand on their own. Where a person is from or what degrees you have is irrelevant (ad hom fallacy). Your claims are extreme and unfounded. My local government is stacked with atheists. If 99% of Americans wanted Feinstein dead, how does she stay in office? Is there some bizarre demographic concentration in her district? If we go around chasing phantoms and fighting windmills, we won’t get much done. Simple, truthful statements are more powerful than alarmist rhetoric which is detached from reality.

    Consider how a British scientist can have such an impact in the US. That speaks for the US’ virtues, not Dawkins’ super-human powers (well, I’m not excluding his ability to shoot secularizing laser beams out of his eyes, or his skill with prose).



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  • 27
    OHooligan says:

    Not in reply to anyone in particular:

    Mods, especially, do you notice how muddled the comment/quoting mechanism has become? It’s getting hard to see who’s responding to what, once the quotes get nested – or rather, fail to get nested – to a second level.

    I think I can manage the reply editing thing, but it’s not intuitive, and easy to muck it up. I find it easiest to paste the whole thing into another editor (like notepad) and fix it all up there rather than directly in the page.

    Is there any improvement pending?



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  • 28
    Nodhimmi says:

    In reply to #20 by BanJoIvie:

    In reply to #18 by Nodhimmi:

    “Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    That is just the grossest hyperbole. And before you ask, yes, I’ve “spent time in” America, a little over 40 years so far. I wonder if you’ve spent much time in the Islamic world?”

    Yes, I live in a (‘moderate’) Islamic country and spend much time America watching; I fear you are unduly optimistic. Let me ask- have you spent time in Europe in the last 20 yrs? Even if not, you’d be naive to deny the adverse impact of Islamic migration. Just ask the Norwegians, Swedes or Dutch about the Religion of Peace, or the English where sharia is flowering and FGM is a severe problem. Do some research on CAIR in the USA and Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi.

    To answer your question, I’ve spent a modicum of time in Europre in the last 20 years, as a tourist. (totalling perhaps 2-3 months.) What’s your point?

    Not sure what you consider “unduly optomistic” but I don’t disagree with your general sentiment. For my money, Islamic immigration IS a problem in Europe, and Islam IS an evil ideology. I agree that denying those points would be “naive.” Luckily…I didn’t.

    Your point is a non-sequiteur. It has no bearing on anything I said. kcjones 10’s asserted that US levels of theocracy are comparable to those of an Islamic nation. I disagreed. I can’t see what the state of affairs in Scandanavia or the UK has to do with that.

    Jefferson’s “wall of separation” may be besieged, but it damn well exists in the US, which is more than can be said for even “a (‘moderate’) Islamic country.” We should be manning the battlements, not acting like they’ve already fallen.

    And we should DEFINITELY acknowledge, that there is currently a better, more functioning secular governnment in DC than in Islamabad.

    IN THE US, the threat to secularism from Islam is miniscule compared to the blitzkrieg from fundie Christians. In fact (in a rather depressing irony) those very fundies are something of a vaccine against fundamentalist Islam gaining traction in the US. Different places, different problems, same war.

    I acknowledge the constant threat to secular governance – in the US, in Europe…everywhere! I think we are better served by honest assesments of that threat – and of the responses to it – than by exaggeration and prophesies of doom.

    I don’t disagree with your assessment but fear the Islamisation of America might follow the European model; and admittedly my opinion is towards the alarmist end of the spectrum!
    However, the evidence points to a big revival in jihad and my comments re the present US Government seeming to be asleep at the wheel are valid. The ‘have you spent time in Europe’ was a response to the same question you posed. My impression was the “alternate form of the Islamic world” was suggesting that xtian fundies posed similar dangers to Islam- which I don’t believe.

    Europe is in a bloody mess precisely because the politicians dismissed ‘prophecies of doom’ and kept on feeding the crocodile. Now they don’t know what to do apart from saying “multiculturalism has failed”.
    Bullshit, non-Muslims have lived peacefully in the UK for decades- Islam is the word which must not be uttered, the BBC uses the disgusting euphemism “South Asian” which insults Asian non-Muslims.

    Please don’t let America fall victim to the same cowardice and political sophistry…

    PS- sometimes I fail to explain myself adequately- we are all on the same team here and i have no wish to antagonise anyone [well, there is ONE exception 😉 ]



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  • 31
    whiteraven says:

    *In reply to #11 by Eliot: Well, they might be Christans who are still in the closet… *

    At present there is no separation of church and state in the United States. probably noThe separation is lip service. You can’t get elected to ANY office here without being a Christian. Really, we are merging on becoming another alternate form of the Islamic world.

    Have you read what Jesse Ventura has said about religion? Or if not him how about Representative Pete Stark (D) of California. Do you really think Diane Feinstein and Joe Lieberman are Christians?



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  • 32
    whiteraven says:

    *In reply to #9 by Eliot: Everything between the center of tEarth and the Voyager spacecraft would probably be a lot better off without humans, except for humans. *

    I don’t understand this post or where it’s going. Until just 200,000 years ago, a blink of an eye in our solar system, the world went on without humans. If the world could make do without humans in it’s resent past surly it can go on without them in the future.



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  • Just remind me again (I’m British), which one is the 49th state? Is it important to your question or just a bit of incidental biographical info like, ‘I recently moved to the lovely spa town of Neubadstein’? Who is Rebecca Costa? What is Watchman’s Rattle?



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