- Just Days from UFC 191, John Dodson Returns Home for Birth of Daughter
- Why self-respecting atheists should ditch the New Atheists
- UFC 191 complete fighter breakdown, John ‘The Magician’ Dodson edition
- How do you guys feel about Fallon Fox? The tranny mma fighter…
- Lewis Hamilton takes third British Grand Prix pole
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I grew up in a conservative small town, where there was the strong belief that evangelical Protestantism was the only route to the good life, and that I was going to be tortured for eternity for not signing up. It’s no surprise, then, that I was often attracted to the "anti-theist" diatribes of Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, otherwise known as the New Atheists.
But time changes all things. Though still far from religious, I no longer accept the more extreme narratives of the New Atheists, the certainty of their religious claims, and their historical view of religion. The atheist community would be well advised to chill out.
Let’s start with the overweening certainty of the New Atheists. That there is no God is a fact so obvious it scarcely needs to be pondered, writes Sam Harris. Dawkins is a bit more careful, saying there is "no well-demonstrated reason to believe in God" in his documentary The Root of All Evil. When pressed, Dawkins admits affirmative disbelief can’t be proved, but places himself at a 6.9 out of 7 on the scale of atheism.
The problem is that Dawkins and his compadres rarely turn their jaundiced eye on themselves. Science itself rests on a foundation much more logically suspect than they tend to admit.
Science is based on simple induction, which is to say observing a particular phenomenon many times, and concluding it is always like that. The "induction problem," as David Hume discovered, is that there is no way to rigorously prove the next instance of the phenomenon won’t be different. No matter how impressive the logical and theoretical superstructure atop these observations, there is no escape from what amounts to a massive example of begging the question.
Compare this problem to mathematical induction. That is a form of logical proof, since it contains a step demonstrating that one instance of a phenomenon logically implies the next one.
The induction problem crops in all experiences. Belief in induction, however unjustified, is simply impossible to avoid.
Richard Rorty dealt with this conundrum by tossing the whole of metaphysics in the trash. And still, maintaining an essentially atheistic viewpoint is still eminently reasonable, as Julian Sanchez demonstrates. I merely submit that the screechy fire-and-brimstone certainty that pervades so much modern atheist discourse is not justified by its logical underpinnings.
The New Atheists’ historical account of religion is far more dubious. Christopher Hitchens says that religion is merely implicated in everything bad, while Harris attempts to establish a direct causation. These arguments are historically slanted. Dawkins, meanwhile, often berates religious "Bronze Age myths" that hold civilization back. That’s not even the right age!
A sketch of a more realistic view: human beings have constantly fought and killed each other from our earliest days, and we developed various religious forms as societies became more complex. Scholars such as Francis Fukuyama argue that mass religions were a key factor in the development of the modern state, because they allowed the creation of mutual-aid networks much larger than tribal societies based on descent from a common ancestor.
Religion did not invent crusading violence nor racism, though it has eagerly participated in both. It is a part of the deeply flawed human experience, partly good and partly bad.
In decrying the New Atheists’ "comically simplistic view of religion," Reza Aslan points out that questions of identity and ideology are central to how religions are interpreted. Most people do not have detailed knowledge of their religious texts, which have many highly divergent sections. Instead, believers pick and choose bits to fit the times:
[R]eligions are neither peaceful nor violent, neither pluralistic nor misogynistic — people are peaceful, violent, pluralistic, or misogynistic, and you bring to your religion what you yourself already believe. [New York]
Of course, it is true that many religious leaders today are vicious and unhinged. Many religious institutions have committed grave abuses in the distant and recent past. There is nothing wrong with condemning these atrocities. But that does not excuse the rank anti-Muslim bigotry of Maher or Harris, who straightforwardly invoke collective guilt to pin the sins of ISIS on all Muslims.
I suggest a return to gentle decency of Carl Sagan, a man who was highly skeptical of religious claims, but did not seize the majesty of science to pummel his opponents. For him, perhaps the most important scientific discovery in history — that of the incomprehensible size of the universe — was not reason to call Pat Robertson an idiot, but an awesome insight that "underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another."
I was just curious about y’all’s thoughts on the subject. With all the love we have shown for trannys in the past here in this forum… If you weren’t already aware this dude who is now a female competes against females in mma. I found out about six months ago and got into words with him/her on facebook. Then recently got into a big debate with a mma group I follow on Fb and was surprised to hear all the mixed responses from hardcore mma fans. This bitch recently broke the orbital socket of its last opponent. I just think it’s ridiculous honestly and opens too many doors for the future of mma.
Lewis Hamilton beat team-mate Nico Rosberg in an all-Mercedes battle for pole position at the British GP.
Hamilton beat Rosberg by 0.113 seconds to huge cheers from the 105,000 crowd at Silverstone, to qualify top for the eighth time in nine races this year.
The result means Hamilton has earned the third-highest number of pole positions of all time with 46, behind Ayrton Senna (65) and Michael Schumacher (68)
"It is a special day when you get pole on your home turf," Hamilton said.
"There are so many people here and they really do motivate me. It has not been the smoothest of weekends but it was great to go flat-out at the end."
It means Hamilton has now taken pole position at his home grand prix three times (2007, 2013, 2015), but has never won from top spot.
On Sunday (at 13:00 BST) he will be gunning for his third win at Silverstone in front of an estimated 140,000 people, having won in 2008 and last year.
Williams locked out the second row, with Felipe Massa heading Valtteri Bottas.
Ferrari could manage only fifth and sixth, as under-pressure Kimi Raikkonen beat Sebastian Vettel in qualifying for only the second time this season.
Raikkonen’s performance came at the right time – his position at Ferrari is under threat for next season as the team have warned him he needs to improve if he is to be retained for 2016.
The Ferraris will be expecting a battle with Williams for best of the rest as Mercedes appear to be in a league of their own.
Hamilton’s pole lap was 0.837secs quicker than Massa in third.
Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat was promoted to seventh after team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had a fractionally faster time deleted for exceeding the track limits at Copse.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was eighth ahead of the revamped Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
It was another difficult day for McLaren, with world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button qualifying 17th and 18th, ahead only of the low-budget Manor team. The Spaniard’s 17th position was in doubt for a couple of hours as stewards investigated Alonso running one of team-mate Button’s wheels after a mix-up in the McLaren garage.
In the end, the team were let off with a reprimand.
Alonso, his positivity about the potential of McLaren-Honda still as relentless as his performance in a grand prix, said it was "the best qualifying of the year".
Lewis hamilton supporters
By Hamilton’s own admission it wasn’t the best start to a weekend but his fans will be thrilled with yet another pole position
He admitted that "sounds strange", but said that the 1.5-second margin from Ferrari over a lap that is more than three miles long was the smallest margin of the season for McLaren.
The percentage margin to Mercedes was actually slightly larger than it has been at McLaren’s best two races this year but it is certainly among their best.
Heavyweight Justin Wren has ended a five-year absence from mixed martial arts and will return to competition on Aug. 28 when he takes on Josh Burns at Bellator 141 in Temecula, Calif.
Wren, a cast member on Season 10 of the UFC’s “The Ultimate Fighter,” is perhaps best known for his work with the Mbuti Pygmies in the Congo. Many of them were enslaved and lived in squalor, with few benefits of the modern world.Â
has written a book on his experience with the Pygmies, “Fight for the Forgotten: How a Mixed Martial Artist Stopped Fighting for Himself and Started Fighting for Others.” The book, co-authored by veteran MMA journalist Loretta Hunt, will be released on Sept. 15.Wren
He will be fighting for the first time since July 17, 2010, when he submitted Josh Robertson in Biloxi, Miss.
“Returning after five years seems like it will be a big obstacle and a big challenge, but I’ve been in the gym for several months and I’ve really seen myself improve,” Wren told Yahoo Sports. “I believe it’s going to be a great comeback. The main reason is that I have a big purpose and a passion to tie that all into and to connect to. I’m not just fighting for myself now; I’m fighting for my family in the Congo. And 100 percent of the win bonus I get will go straight to the cause to drill wells [for water], to buy more land and to do more farming, so I’ve got more of a reason to get in there than ever before.”
Wren, a two-time national high school wrestling champion, is 10-2 in his MMA career, including a split decision loss to Jon Madsen in The TUF 10 finale in 2009.
He is eager to get back in the cage, particularly since it’s for such a good cause.
“I know it’s a big challenge and huge obstacle to hurdle, but I’m excited for the opportunity,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to fight for something much bigger than myself, and fight for my Pygmy family. I’m not just fighting against people, but fighting for them. A few fights down the road, I think we will be able to drill five to eight new water wells after each win. That excites me and makes all the grueling training and battle wounds more than worth it. I get to be a voice to my families suffering on the platform MMA gives me, and from the funds we get to make such a positive impact in their lives.”
Bellator 141 will be headlined by a lightweight bout between Melvin Guillard and Brandon Girtz. It will be broadcast on Spike.
ninja note – happens at about 36 minutes
I’ve been looking for God my whole life and so far what I’ve found is people referring to books written by men and telling stories that were handed down as though fact, when what they’re really doing is simply repeating what they’ve been told… and these (holy) stories always differ depending on what part of the world they happened to be born.
I do know that no disease has killed more humans than those who have died in the name of religion, so I live my life the way I believe a good and loving person should. If God does in fact exist, wonderful, but I’m going to do the right thing as much as I can either way. My point is, people can and should be doing that regardless, and if we can all agree to do that then there will be no more wars… and a lot more laughter and happiness.
Not trying to start a debate here, but I live in what’s known as the Bible Belt and I just needed a place to write down how I feel at this moment. If I posted this on FB I believe I would be shunned and my family would suffer because of it.