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SusanDoris

'Sunday' on Radio 4

I was listening to 'Sunday' this morning (Radio 4) and there was quite a long item on witches! The person who appears to be the Chief Witch said that they could 'tap into' nature, or some such. I see these constant references to 'deeper', 'higher', and 'tapping into' and the  implication is that people with all kinds of religious beliefs have some special power and access to... well, what? It's never actually defined! ... that we poor atheists lack! They don't mean to be pompous, I suppose, but it is, also a bit smug and rather precious, with the added implication of exclusion of others without their special something. If only they'd realise that these extra mystic/spiritual, and imagined extra abilities are all the activity of their brains and those of us who see things more clearly interpret them correctly; without losing anything! And, yes, that sounds really smug too!! :) But I felt like writing it. I'd like to put it on SofF but I don't think it would go down too well there!!

ETA that I hope members here will know me well enough to know that I'm not smug, just quite assertive!! Smilie_PDT
The Boyg

Re: 'Sunday' on Radio 4

SusanDoris wrote:
I was listening to 'Sunday' this morning (Radio 4) and there was quite a long item on witches! The person who appears to be the Chief Witch said that they could 'tap into' nature, or some such. I see these constant references to 'deeper', 'higher', and 'tapping into' and the  implication is that people with all kinds of religious beliefs have some special power and access to... well, what? It's never actually defined! ... that we poor atheists lack! They don't mean to be pompous, I suppose, but it is, also a bit smug and rather precious, with the added implication of exclusion of others without their special something. They don't mean to be pompous, I suppose, but it is, also a bit smug and rather precious, with the added implication of exclusion of others without their special something. If only they'd realise that these extra mystic/spiritual, and imagined extra abilities are all the activity of their brains and those of us who see things more clearly interpret them correctly; without losing anything! And, yes, that sounds really smug too!! :) But I felt like writing it. I'd like to put it on SofF but I don't think it would go down too well there!!

ETA that I hope members here will know me well enough to know that I'm not smug, just quite assertive!! Smilie_PDT


You are smug and pompous.

Statements like this one just serve to demonstrate the fact:
SusanDoris wrote:
They don't mean to be pompous, I suppose, but it is, also a bit smug and rather precious, with the added implication of exclusion of others without their special something. If only they'd realise that these extra mystic/spiritual, and imagined extra abilities are all the activity of their brains and those of us who see things more clearly interpret them correctly


I was hopeful that you were beginning to recognise this trait in yourself:
SusanDoris wrote:
And, yes, that sounds really smug too!!

but, having had this startling episode of self-awareness, you then crept back into your bunker of denial:
SusanDoris wrote:
I hope members here will know me well enough to know that I'm not smug
Shaker

R&E must be down yet again, I guess.
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
R&E must be down yet again, I guess.


Wrong again Shaky. You must be used to that though what with it being your default state.  
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
Shaker wrote:
R&E must be down yet again, I guess.


Wrong again Shaky.

You mean it's actually working for a change? Goodness ... wonders will never cease.

It was a reasonable supposition in any case, given how often it's down and how often you're here (which isn't much, albeit too much to precisely the same extent).
The Boyg

Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Shaker wrote:
R&E must be down yet again, I guess.


Wrong again Shaky.

You mean it's actually working for a change? Goodness ... wonders will never cease.

It was a reasonable supposition in any case, given how often it's down and how often you're here (which isn't much, albeit too much to precisely the same extent).


You see, that would have been funnier if you'd have turned the whole "default state" thing back on me and said that being crashed was the default state of the R&E board.

You disappoint me.

No, really you do.
Shaker

The Boyg wrote:
Shaker wrote:
The Boyg wrote:
Shaker wrote:
R&E must be down yet again, I guess.


Wrong again Shaky.

You mean it's actually working for a change? Goodness ... wonders will never cease.

It was a reasonable supposition in any case, given how often it's down and how often you're here (which isn't much, albeit too much to precisely the same extent).


You see, that would have been funnier if you'd have turned the whole "default state" thing back on me and said that being crashed was the default state of the R&E board.

You disappoint me.

No, really you do.


Then leave. You've always got R&E to keep you occupied.

Once in a blue moon, anyway.
Ketty

Re: 'Sunday' on Radio 4

SusanDoris wrote:
ETA that I hope members here will know me well enough to know that I'm not smug, just quite assertive!! Smilie_PDT


Well, I believe you SD.  

But in light of Boyg's response and any case, you're in good company: I was recently told I am (amongst many other unflattering adjectives) pompous.    

Oh how I'd love to be so very perfect as some people.  
Lexilogio

This is NOT the Bear Pit.

It is acceptable to insult a post - but not a poster.

Any more - "You ARE...." and I will take action.
Shaker

cyberman

Re: 'Sunday' on Radio 4

SusanDoris wrote:
the  implication is that people with all kinds of religious beliefs have some special power and access to... well, what? It's never actually defined! ... that we poor atheists lack!


Well, I can't speak for The Witches, but as you have broadened this to "all kinds of religious belief" I will say that Christians absolutely do not think that we have any kind of power or access which is denied to others, or anything of the sort.
northernstar

So, Christianity or any religion for that matter, is nothing special, then?
cyberman

northernstar wrote:
So, Christianity or any religion for that matter, is nothing special, then?


The good old atheist trick!

- A theist writes something.

- You write "So... [insert something which has no relation to what's just been written]... then?"

And then you smugly imagine that you've made a point.

Loser.
Powwow

They have no power themselves. What they tap into for this special power is unclean spirits/demons. Anybody can tap into these spirits for that special something but I would NOT recommend it!
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
They have no power themselves. What they tap into for this special power is unclean spirits/demons. Anybody can tap into these spirits for that special something but I would NOT recommend it!

Powwow

Shakey,
Hope I didn't make you laugh so hard you had to change you diaper. LOL
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
Shakey,
Hope I didn't make you laugh so hard you had to change you diaper. LOL

Whatever one of those is.

LOL.
Powwow

Shaker,
Oops, sorry. A diaper is that huge nappy you are wearing as underwear and as a hat when you are forced out into the daylight.
Lexilogio

I'm afraid I know virtually nothing about pagan beliefs, and I'm rather assuming that witchcraft falls into the general pagan category.

I would have assumed that the nature of religious belief requires some form of spirituality or belief in divinity of some form.

I think the difference with witchcraft is the belief that supernatural powers can be inherited / learned - it is a skill for mortal people. But I'm afraid my thoughts rather too quickly turn to Terry Pratchett's version of witches.

Setting aside, for one moment, the source of the "power" (so the danger of pulling from evil) - I can see how the idea of having psychic or supernatural powers is attractive. There are many, who, if thought they could learn such a skill, would do so. The idea of being able to heal by words or touch is attractive, as is the power to make people fall in love, or move objects for that matter. In fact, having grown up prior to remote controls, the power to press or turn buttons without having to get up off the sofa would be appealing....

I think of all belief systems, witchcraft should be the one most suited to empirical experiment. If I claimed to be able to do something tangible through words (a spell) - surely that could be tested?

Unfortunately for me, despite, as a teenager, having tried to move objects with my mind, they have, sadly, remained perfectly stationary. And I never particularly was interested in seeing the face of my true love in mirrors or water.
northernstar

cyberman wrote:
northernstar wrote:
So, Christianity or any religion for that matter, is nothing special, then?


The good old atheist trick!

- A theist writes something.

- You write "So... [insert something which has no relation to what's just been written]... then?"

And then you smugly imagine that you've made a point.

Loser.


You are so easy to wind up but my point still stands.
Shaker

Lexilogio wrote:
I'm afraid I know virtually nothing about pagan beliefs, and I'm rather assuming that witchcraft falls into the general pagan category.

I would have assumed that the nature of religious belief requires some form of spirituality or belief in divinity of some form.

Can of worms: opened.

What do you mean by spirituality? With me I'm afraid it's one of those push-button words which I assume to be a feel-good bundle of saccharine fluff until presented with evidence to the contrary. I don't think it's necessarily and automatically a useless word - at least two eminent philosophers (Robert Solomon and Andre Comte-Sponville) have written good books about atheistic spirituality divorced from any notion of supernaturalism - but in the absence of careful and strict definition it is, and I'm afraid that that's how the word tends to be used the majority of the time.

As for divinity, Buddhism and Jainism say otherwise - but then, that depends entirely on the definition of religion you're using. If it involves belief in superior supernatural beings/powers, Christianity is in and Buddhism is out. If it involves, as I've seen posited as a definition of religion, a belief in a posthumous fate of the human individual after physical death which doesn't entail the complete annihilation of individual selfhood, then Christianity is in but crucially so is Buddhism.
Lexilogio

Hmmm

I had this discussion with the kids at the weekend.

Spirituality: an implicit sense that there are other intelligent forces at work

Divinity: a belief that there is something or many things, which have immortality (or can't be killed by age), and a degree of supernatural ability.


There may be a better dictionary definition, but that was what the kids and I came up with.
Christianity does fall within the idea of divinity, because God is immortal and has performed miracles (which come under supernatural).
Lexilogio

Hmmm

I had this discussion with the kids at the weekend.

Spirituality: an implicit sense that there are other intelligent forces at work

Divinity: a belief that there is something or many things, which have immortality (or can't be killed by age), and a degree of supernatural ability.


There may be a better dictionary definition, but that was what the kids and I came up with.
Christianity does fall within the idea of divinity, because God is immortal and has performed miracles (which come under supernatural).
SusanDoris

First, apologies for delay in returning to this topic.
Lexilogio: reading through, I saw your post, highlighted and copied the quote that Shaker picked up! I agree with him of course!:)
Lexilogio wrote:
Hmmm

I had this discussion with the kids at the weekend.

Spirituality: an implicit sense that there are other intelligent forces at work

Only very partially. It's a word that has been too long monopolised by religious beliefs. It is the aesthetic side of our natures, and not the belief without evidence side.
Do your children consider the situation from an atheist point of view? If not, can you say why?
Quote:
Christianity does fall within the idea of divinity, because God is immortal and has performed miracles (which come under supernatural).

A clear position of faith without evidence, especiallyy as any magician nowadays could do far better, I think.
Lexilogio

SusanDoris wrote:
First, apologies for delay in returning to this topic.
Lexilogio: reading through, I saw your post, highlighted and copied the quote that Shaker picked up! I agree with him of course!:)
Lexilogio wrote:
Hmmm

I had this discussion with the kids at the weekend.

Spirituality: an implicit sense that there are other intelligent forces at work

Only very partially. It's a word that has been too long monopolised by religious beliefs. It is the aesthetic side of our natures, and not the belief without evidence side.
Do your children consider the situation from an atheist point of view? If not, can you say why?
Quote:
Christianity does fall within the idea of divinity, because God is immortal and has performed miracles (which come under supernatural).

A clear position of faith without evidence, especiallyy as any magician nowadays could do far better, I think.


One of my children is an atheist.
SusanDoris

Lexilogio

Thank you. Sensible child!! :) However, that would make discussions much more interesting I imagine, with a good balance of  views.
Lexilogio

SusanDoris wrote:
Lexilogio

Thank you. Sensible child!! :) However, that would make discussions much more interesting I imagine, with a good balance of  views.


We do have interesting discussions. Not only is he an atheist, but he is very knowledgeable about the Bible.
Ketty

It's good that you can chat about it Lexi.  I find the same with my family - and we can have some interesting discussions without it becoming an issue.
Lexilogio

Ketty wrote:
It's good that you can chat about it Lexi.  I find the same with my family - and we can have some interesting discussions without it becoming an issue.


I've always encouraged the children to have open discussions on religion. I think its important they speak and act from a position of understanding and knowledge where possible. My youngest sometimes gets upset when the eldest says things about being atheist though.

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