“Humanity is quite skilled at finding ways to extinguish itself. But religion, in all its forms, is responsible for more misery, suffering and death than all other forms of human calamity, natural or man-made, throughout all of human history. Mind you, I'm not talking about merely persecution, torture, massacre and genocide, I also talking about the millions upon millions of people throughout all of human history who have lain awake in their beds, regardless of their claimed religion, asking themselves the same questions we all ask:
Who am I? Where did I come from? What happens when I die? What is my purpose? And the most terrifying question: are any of those old stories true, at all?
I'm talking about people who live in misery because they fear death and recognize that no matter what they may publicly claim about what they believe, they know that neither they, nor their so-called holy men can honestly answer any of those questions.
I'm also talking about the masses of children who are terrorized from their earliest memories with the babblings of fearful, dishonest adults who know they have no actual knowledge of the nature or purpose of life or this universe and only parrot the terrors they were taught as children, calling it 'culture' and 'tradition'.
Nothing...absolutely nothing has been more harmful to humanity than religion.”
Athelstane on Jul 6, 2013 at 23:22:05
“You lack perspective. Millions of people throughout history have obviously taken comfort in their religion and their faith that allows them to answer the questions you list. And I can think of no more depressed people than those who believe this existence is meaningless, and there is no comfort in afterlife for themselves, their family or their friends. You also forget that virtually all we hold to be good moral conduct flows originally from religious beliefs or traditions.”
"...This is not to say that bullying was not an issue (as that continues to be investigated), but that bullying issues cannot be addressed unless they are reported."
After an incident is reported the bullies usually double-down and make severe threats or actual attacks that an adolescent victim is unable to resolve in their mind. After any report of bullying, school officials should do more that filling out a form and filing it away. There should be official and clandestine monitoring of the reported perpetrators and harsher penalties than suspension or detention. Bullying is, in fact, a legal assault. Legally, "assault" is not a physical act. "Assault" is a meer threat that causes a real fear for one's life or personal safety in the mind of the victim. If an adult makes such a threat they are liable for criminal prosecution. But, if the victim or perpetrator is a child then it is usually blown off with a "children will be children" attitude, instead of treating the incident as a crime.
Bullying has become an epidemic with real damages done to real human beings. Such behavior should be "nipped in the bud" with criminal prosecutions and severe penalties for the perpetrators. Children need to learn, early in life, that it is not "cool" to emulate behaviors they may see in movies or on TV; and that in real life those kinds of behaviors lead to real and severe consequences.”
“I absolutely do make the claim that I know what others think and believe, because I'm a human being. And, all the rest of you are human beings in exactly the same way as I. We all came into this universe the same way, with the same level of knowledge about this universe and our existence within it; which is to say that we all arrived with no knowledge at all.
I've listened to claims of supernatural creatures and abilities. Yet, there are always reasons why those abilities can't be demonstrated, or why such creatures can't be seen unless one has special powers or are in the proper state of mind.
All of you are human beings. Just like me. I don't accept that some of you see or hear things that I can't. We all have the same sensory abilities, and I don't accept that any of your senses or abilities are any more supernaturally acute than mine.
It is my opinion that we all share a common existence in this universe. Otherwise, if we all had differing degrees of experience relating to our phyical senses, our common existence would be chaos and there would never have been any basis for developing language to communicate with each other.
But we have developed language, and we can communicate with each other. The only real barrier we have to being comfortable and fulfilled in our lives is that we won't stop lying to each other and ourselves.”
“"And yet, so many atheists point to science as the reason that they do not believe in God."
I've never needed science to support my disbelief of stories about gods and supernatural claims. From the age of four all I have ever needed to support my disbelief is my own experience of life. When I was first told about an alleged 'god', I put it in the same category as Santa Claus. Why? Because I know about lying.
Early in my life I realized that nobody could look inside my mind to know whether or not I was lying; that if I constructed a lie with enough cleverness it would be difficult to disprove. And, if that is true of me, then it must be true of everyone else. But we never talk about that with each other, do we? We're afraid we'll be found out for the liars we are.
When someone tells me they believe in some kind of 'god', I don't believe them. In fact, I don't believe that they believe what they're telling me. They live in the same universe as me, and they know the truth just as well as I: that nobody knows what this universe is, where it came from, why it exists, or why humans exist in this universe. That's the only truth I'm aware of. And it's the same truth that the rest of you know, whether you will admit it or not.”
LittleFish31617 on Jul 19, 2012 at 02:07:31
“Well, then your heart is truly hardened.
Though, I will note that it's funny that you make the statement that "no one can read my mind" and then go and claim that you can possibly know what others think and believe.”
“My biggest eye-opening experience was when I realized what was really happening. When I understood that no matter how ancient the story or how precise the scientific evidence, nobody knows what this universe is, where it came from, why it's here, or why *we* are here. We don't even know what we are.
I'm not sure what happened to the rest of you, but, approximately nine months before I was born, I was summoned into existence by two creatures who participated in a carnal act which resulted in me being brought into existence. I had no choice. And, if all of you are 'human' like me, then the same thing has happened to all of you. And, since I don't know what's going on with this whole universe, life, existence scenario, I pretty sure that none of you know anything, either. And since our stone and bronze age ancenstors were the same as us, they probably knew less than us. I don't think anyone has ever been able to honestly say that they know what this universe, life and existence is all about.
When I finally understood that, my reality matrix took a tilt.”
“Perusing the comments I find it encouraging that many, if not most, of the commenters feel that this article and the accompanying picture are below the standards of what we expect from Huffington Post. Kudos to the commenters!
And...FWIW, ambush photography aside, Ms. Stone looks great.”
- Marijuana has been extant on this planet for millions of years.
- It has been ingested by thousands of creatures (including humans)
for millions of years.
- No scientist or researcher can point to even a single instance of any
species having gone extinct from ingesting marijuana.
- No scientist or researcher can point to even a single instance of any
human society having failed because its citizens were ingesting
(millions of years) * (a plethora of creatures) * (zero extinctions) * (zero failures of human society) = ZERO negative impact of any sort, for any creature, including humans.
(ZERO) * (the data from any so-called study of the effects and impact of marijuana use) still equals ZERO!
A corollary of Murphy's law states that "enough research will tend to support any desired conclusion". So, who's been paying for all the research that claims negative consequences for marijuana use? Once again, it comes down to "Follow The Money".”
“You think having one's door broken down in the middle of the night, being forcibly restrained, beaten, imprisoned (if one survives the arrest process), for enjoying what many find to be one of the few true personal pleasures this life has to offer, isn't injustice?
People all over the world use "mind altering" substances in the pursuit of personal pleasure: alcohol, tobacco, prescribed drugs, food, tinctures, potions, aromatics, to name a few.
Need I remind you that within our Declaration of Independence is the decree that all "...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"
But, judging from the urgency of your responses, I suspect that your rhetoric is motivated by personal pathology, rather than logic or reason.Thus, with kindest regards, I consider that further exchange with you on this matter would be an exercise in futility and ill advised.”
“FYI, it's called "Civil Disobedience", which has a long and proud history of ensuring the rights and freedoms of people all over the world. Most famously, it worked for India to secure its independence from Britain. Civil disobedience was also a leading strategy of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S..”
“Do you want pot legalized...right now? It's really very simple. On 4/20/2013 everyone gather at your local town square and bring a joint, bong, pipe, etc. Then at 4:20 PM everyone light up.
If the millions of pot users and supporters of personal freedom would actually do this, pot would become legal overnight. The court systems would collapse from the overload, and the economy would disintegrate from the loss of work force.
If we simply start talking about this event...planning for it...setting up websites...actually get REAL about it, and the powers-that-be see us being serious about this, they will be terrified! And, they will work post-haste to legalize pot and avoid a society-wide disaster.
Remember, no matter how exclusive politicians and their ultra-rich masters think they are, they are not in control! We are! If we don't work to cooperate in their business ventures, then they will to draw their own water and clean their own toilets. And make no mistake...they fear that possibility...and thus, they fear US!
If they want our cooperation, then they need to reciprocate by cooperating with us and OUR desires.
If we actually do this, then everyone will see that it really is US...We The People...who are in control...not the the Economic Aristocracy of this planet or their political puppets.”
“How is it possible that a man with your bias can fail to understand the absolute sanctity of America's "freedom of speech"? How is it that a man charged with the education of American youth can try to justify not just the contemporary violence inspired by fairy tales and superstition, but the entire history of religious intolerance: jewish, christian, and islamic?
All three of the "Abrahamic" religions are mutually exclusive. Each denies the other and works tirelessly to rid the world of the "incorrect" version of their common desert hallucinations. This world will not know peace until the lies, false claims, and empty promises of judaism, christianity, and islam have been erradicated from this planet.”
“I agree. And she's not the only legislator with a serious mental illness. That, in large part, is the problem; the patients have taken over the asylum. No joke intended. Even scarier, is the numbers of people who listen to and support the mentally infirm and their lunatic ravings. Is it any wonder that Republicans want to remove the teaching of critical thinking skills from educational curriculums?”
Sheldon Robidoux on Jul 29, 2012 at 06:03:34
“If you look at history (specifically communism and Marxism) one of the methods they use is to eliminate the educated. Now we have, as you pointed out, the Republicans wanting to not just stop the teaching of higher order thinking, but they attack the teaching profession and have every intention of eliminating the department of Education. Check. Then you build a propaganda machine and pick out some groups to target by using conspiracy stories. Check. Another tactic was to rewrite history, removing references to events which showed them in a bad light and claiming successes that never happened: enter Conservapedia. Check. This trend is not looking good.”