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  1. #1
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    The dangers of a belief in a spiritual "truth"

    There is a trial which just concluded in Wellington while I was there. Five people were convicted of manslaughter in a case where a 22-year-old woman with what was most likely an emerging mental disorder was thought to be possessed by her family. They performed a makutu curse-lifting ritual which was meant to lift the curse and in the process the woman drowned (from what I can piece together at this stage the ceremony uses immersion as a cleansing process and the unfortunate victim). Other members of the family were also thought to be possessed by demons and a 14-year-old girl suffered serious eye injuries during the ritual.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Has it occurred to you to consider:
    -- the dangers of false spiritual "truth"
    -- the dangers of non-spiritual "truth"

    How do those stack up?
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    That old guy, James von Brunn, who shot up the Holocaust Memorial Museum, turns out to have been a rabid Christophobe and socialist.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  4. #4
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    Has it occurred to you to consider:
    -- the dangers of false spiritual "truth"
    -- the dangers of non-spiritual "truth"

    How do those stack up?
    Indeed. I would argue that the whole problem with spiritual "truth" is that it is entirely subjective and therefore cannot be consider truth at all as there is no objective measure of its veracity. This is the problem with so-called revelation which I hinted at in my last post in the DGE thread. One man's revelation is another man's heresy. So revelation is in my view totally on a different level to evidence based truth which can be objectively established through repeated measurement and correlation.

    So the next question is can't we just let people believe in revealed "truth"? Surely they are not hurting anyone and just deluding themselves. One problem is that many of these revealed truths lead to endangering the lives of others. There are obvious cases like suicide bombers where they believe they are martyring themselves for a spiritually just cause but more subtle and no less tragic is when these people hurt their family in the false belief that they are doing what is "right".

    The Wellington case just happened to be in the news at present but the case is not isolated. A few years ago there was a case of a charismatic pastor killing a woman near Auckland in an exorcism in circumstance not unlike the well-known Victorian case of Mrs Vollmer in the 90s. In both these last two cases after the subjects of the exorcisms had died, those performing the exorcism apparently thought that praying over the body would bring it back to life. So rather than even attempting resuscitation they stood by and chanted waiting for God to do his work.

    To often the subjects of these exorcisms do not take part willingly and willing or otherwise they have a diminished capacity for judgment due to a mental disorder (which the faithful are diagnosing as possession by evil spirits). So those who require professional (and evidence based) medical care and denied that care by their "loved" ones and instead are illegally detained, subject to physical abuse and sometimes tragically killed.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    Well, if you are muslim, it looks like you get the benefit of an interest free loan!!

    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegrap...001021,00.html

    Is this discriminatory against non-muslims and aheists alike?

    AR

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arosar
    Is this discriminatory against non-muslims and aheists alike?
    No. Everyone will be eligible for the loans.
    Last edited by Basil; 15-06-2009 at 09:14 AM.
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    RW, so if someone believed materialism were true and therefore life (the big picture) were therefore purposeless and meaningless (as indeed people like Dawkins et al are constantly reassuring us it is), and acted accordingly ... this would ... what? ... invalidate materialism? Or if someone misunderstood materialism and did something terrible to some other people, this would ... what? ... invalidate materialism?

    I just don't see how you can run this line of argument. If people act in a flaky way then just judge them on that. If their beliefs are genuinely dangerous (just in and of themselves, not having been extrapolated in an unwarranted way), then sure, judge the beliefs. But I think you go too far in your original post.
    Last edited by Spiny Norman; 15-06-2009 at 06:12 PM.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  8. #8
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    RS, so if someone believed materialism were true and therefore life (the big picture) were therefore purposeless and meaningless (as indeed people like Dawkins et al are constantly reassuring us it is), and acted accordingly ... this would ... what? ... invalidate materialism? Or if someone misunderstood materialism and did something terrible to some other people, this would ... what? ... invalidate materialism?
    I'm not arguing that materialism is all their is. Just that evidence based decision making is grounded in something quantifiable and faith based decision making is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    I just don't see how you can run this line of argument. If people act in a flaky way then just judge them on that. If their beliefs are genuinely dangerous (just in and of themselves, not having been extrapolated in an unwarranted way), then sure, judge the beliefs. But I think you go too far in your original post.
    I think the danger is a tendency to treat faith based decisions on the same level as evidence based decisions. Lots of innocent people get hurt from people with stupid beliefs. Exorcisms are an example and particularly because the case I mentioned in post #1 was in the media but it certainly isn't isolated.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Dutch "healing" medium back in court

    Johanna Wilhelmina Petronella Damman (60), aka ‘healing medium' Jomanda, will be appearing in court in Amsterdam in two weeks’ time. She is accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm to and withholding the necessary medical care from comedian Sylvia Millecam, who died of breast cancer.

    Read the full story here...
    http://jomandawatch.blogspot.com/200...ecause-of.html
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Parents guilty of manslaughter over daughter's eczema death

    A couple whose baby daughter died after they treated her with homeopathic remedies instead of conventional medicine have been found guilty of manslaughter.

    Read the full story here...
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/paren...0605-bxvx.html
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    There seems to be real links between a spiritual worldview and the anti-vaccination lobby. For example the North Coast of NSW (as antichrist can probably attest) is a place when spiritual worldview is prevalent and it also has one of the lowest rates of immunisation for the state. This is not surprising as many of the "alternative" therapies which thrive there peddle "alternatives" to scientific medicine and thus scientifically proven remedies like vaccination which has the ability to rid the world of many unnecessary diseases are not being as effective because there is a segment of the population which is choosing to not vaccinate thus providing a reservoir population for these diseases to occupy and thereby reduces the effectiveness of the vaccination program as a whole.

    Now the pro-disease lobby will tell you they are not anti-vaccine they are simply pro-choice. But really the efficacy of vaccination has been proven in many studies whereas many of the dangers being bandied about in the name of "informed choice" have no scientific basis. Does vaccination carry a risk, yes but it is very small almost always treatable and much less severe than the risk of contracting these diseases (which is the alternative). The highly publicised link between vaccination and autism has no basis in science desite the fact that the claim has been closely scrutinised in many independent studies.

    So while the debate continues and the pro-disease continue to promulgate unscientific propaganda, children continue to die from entirely preventable diseases like whooping cough.

    NSW Health confirms whooping cough death

    “Someone with whooping cough will be able to spread it to other people for up to three weeks after onset, unless they are treated with particular antibiotics. So it is important that people are treated early to stop the spread of the disease.

    “Young babies under six months will not have completed their vaccinations so they remain particularly vulnerable to whooping cough and the serious complications following infection.

    “The best way to protect babies is to keep them away from anyone with a cough to make sure their immunisations are up to date, and to make sure others in the household are vaccinated,” he said.

    Dr McAnulty confirmed there have been 3,356 cases of whooping cough in January and February 2009 compared to 448 cases at the same time last year.

    To help protect babies, NSW Health is urging all new parents, grandparents and any other adult that regularly cares for infants less than 12 months of age, to get vaccinated by their GP.

    NSW Health recommends that all children be given the vaccine to protect against whooping cough – this vaccine is normally given at two months, four months and six months of age.


    In America one of the more vocal opponents of immunisation is Jenny McCarthy. Former Playboy model and partner of comedian Jim Carrey. She seems to subscribe to a spiritual world view as can been seen by what she wrote here...

    Insights of an Indigo Mom A Mother's Awakening

    Her son was immunised and later diagnosed with autism but the link between the two only exists in the minds of the true believers. Since that time she has been applying her fame to promote the pro-disease platform. The effectiveness of her campaign can be gauged here...

    Jenny McCarthy Body Count

    It is sad such a sight is necessary. As they say...

    Is Jenny McCarthy directly responsible for every vaccine preventable illness and every vaccine preventable death listed here? No. However, as the unofficial spokesperson for the United States anti-vaccination movement she may be indirectly responsible for at least some of these illnesses and deaths and even one vaccine preventable illness or vaccine preventable death is too many.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster
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    Do they stop you from vaccinating yourself and your children?
    If yes, then how do they achieve so?
    If no, what's your concern?
    For private coaching (IM, four times VIC champion) call or SMS 0417519733
    Computer tells you what to play. Good coach explains why.

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Homeopathy and anti-vaccination are more new-agey than "religious". Some universities have been offering homeopathy degrees, while rabid atheopath Bill Maher on his HBO show in 2005 said:

    "I don't believe in vaccination. . . . Another theory that I think is flawed, that we go by the Louis Pasteur [germ] theory."
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  14. #14
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Do they stop you from vaccinating yourself and your children?
    This was covered by my previous post but vaccines is not just about personal protection it is also about population protection. When the vaccine uptake rates are low the disease in question is capable of making a comeback in epidemic proportions (the way whooping cough has here in NSW) which costs society as well as endangering the lives of infants who are not yet old enough to be immunised.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Homeopathy and anti-vaccination are more new-agey than "religious".
    True but there are links to many adherents of both to spiritualism in general, often because ironically the "alternative" treatments are seen as safer than pharmaceuticals because they involve the channeling of non-existent "energies" through crystals, plants or (in the case of homeopathy) just plain water.

    This thread is meant for any dangerous belief which has a spiritual origin or is justified from a spiritual worldview, not necessarily a conventionally religious one.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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