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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

A Little More on Religion: What’s God?

My posts on religion have confused everybody so much that now my own husband gently informs me that the Inquisition burned people alive and reader llama brings to my attention the fact that there was never a female Pope. So I want to explain what the word God means when I use it and then I promise to shut up on the subject.

You know this feeling you get when you look at the Cathedral of Salamanca, walk into the Great Mosque of Cordoba, listen to Pavarotti sing, or read a poem by Quevedo? Or the happiness it gives you when you do something nice for a person just because? Or the pain you feel when you see a stranger cry? Or the shame you experience after you hurt somebody? Or the amazement you feel when you look at a baby? I call all these feelings God. I don’t think my terminology hurts anybody.

Everybody else should feel absolutely free to call these emotions whatever they like.

P.S. I also want to clarify once and for all that I abhor any form of organized religion and believe that religious fanaticism of any kind represents the greatest danger to our planet that can be imagined.

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204 thoughts on “A Little More on Religion: What’s God?

  1. llama on said:

    There was a female pope. Pope Joan. But since then they actually do a testicle check as part of the process of electing them

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    • Yes, I know this fascinating story. After her, they started having the future pope sit on this Chair with a hole where somebody would reach from underneath and feel the. . . erm. . . organs. 🙂

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      • Have any of you read “Pope Joan: A Novel” by Donna Woolfolk Cross? Do you recommend it for reading?

        Is the following true: The characters have been created with amazing detail and are a very good representation of the time OR is it like Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth”?

        Clarissa, do you know any books which do convey well the historical realities of Middle Ages?

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  2. llama on said:

    “I call all these feelings God. I don’t think my terminology hurts anybody.” I am so tempted to say this terminology erases people like me who don’t believe in god. But that is the sort of thing you would hear on less reputable feminist blogs 🙂 It does somehow though contain an element of projection (again an overused way of saying you think you know what over people are thinking or feeling).

    All the above things you mention do give me a sense of joy or sadness, but not because some god exists to make them so, they make me feel that way because I am human.

    BTW the current trend amongst female kidults to proclaim how they feel nothing when they see a baby is weird. Some even seem to wear it as a badge of honour. Have you witnessed this phenomena?

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    • What’s “kidults”?

      – People who have been traumatized in early childhood might feel a wide variety of negative feelings when they see children. Here I go being psychoanalytical again. 🙂

      “I am so tempted to say this terminology erases people like me who don’t believe in god. ”

      -But I just said right after this that other people should use any other terminology they like.

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    • “All the above things you mention do give me a sense of joy or sadness, but not because some god exists to make them so, they make me feel that way because I am human.”

      -And you are as entitled to your explanation as I am to mine.

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      • llama on said:

        I was being facetious about using the word ‘erase’.

        As for my explanation of being human, you might explain why even those not exposed to the concept of god (i.e., young children) can still show joy/sadness at these things without having any explanation? 🙂

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        • Thank God. 🙂 I was once accused on this blog of “erasing lesbians” which was very painful to me.

          “As for my explanation of being human, you might explain why even those not exposed to the concept of god (i.e., young children) can still show joy/sadness at these things without having any explanation?”

          -It’s like those bumper stickers say, “Even if you don’t believe in God, God believes in you.”

          Or the parody on them, “Jesus does not believe in you!” 🙂

          The emotions of small children, even the fact that babies already have a personality two minutes after being born is actually proof of the existence of God (in MY opinion.)

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          • llama on said:

            bloggerclarissa :
            Thank God. I was once accused on this blog of “erasing lesbians” which was very painful to me.

            I find the overuse of “erase” annoying. You cant have a discussion about anything without somebody popping up and saying hey you didn’t mention my specific sub group you are erasing me.

            If I use the word you can be sure it is being misused in order to stifle or silence debate 🙂

            It is interesting how feminism has developed words which can be used in this way. Especially as feminists generally have a good idea on the power of language to silence.

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    • BTW the current trend amongst female kidults to proclaim how they feel nothing when they see a baby is weird

      I feel nothing, I guess. Btw, what about male people? Why should I feel when they don’t?

      Why am I supposed to start feeling something (cooing? “S/he is so cute” ?) at other people children? I am sure I’ll love my own, but *every* child of people I don’t know?

      My mother raised 2 children and I don’t think she feels something either, so it’s not “kidult” thing.

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      • llama on said:

        el :
        I feel nothing, I guess. Btw, what about male people? Why should I feel when they don’t?

        It is not the feeling something it is the portrayal that this is in someway clever. If you don’t like another persons baby then say nothing don’t announce how you don’t feel anything for babies as if it were a fashion statement.

        BTW men like babies too and frequently babies like men.

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      • Wanted to add that being expected to feel something is directed only at women (and, I guess, big part of “feeling” is a performance to satisfy society expectations). It ties into “women (are better with)/(LOVE) children” ideas ( and thus, should do 99% of childcaring). Telling “I feel nothing” may be an attempt to oppose such attitudes & expectations, this pressure to behave like a “real woman” who adores all kids. And if you don’t, you’re unnatural and something is wrong with you obviously, even if your boyfriend is 100% normal not to. There is no such pressure on “male kidults”, so they don’t have to say it. Nobody expects them.

        I want to have kids in the future and hope I’ll. I want it more than getting married. But I *hate* “kids are women’s job since they’re better with them” view and calling those women, but not men, “female kidults” supports that imo.

        An example is Amanda Marcotte telling how people tried to persuade her & didn’t believe she didn’t want children, but when she told her boyfriend didn’t want them, others left her in peace at last.

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        • llama on said:

          Telling “I feel nothing” may be an attempt to oppose such attitudes & expectations, this pressure to behave like a “real woman” who adores all kids. And if you don’t, you’re unnatural and something is wrong with you obviously, even if your boyfriend is 100% normal not to.

          Maybe you explanation is right. But you don’t have to have kids of your own in order to acknowledge that kids are human.

          To tell the truth I think the idea that looking after kids is “women’s work” well on its way out. I don’t know any men that currently have kids that do not do at least 30%-40% of the child care. I know of several cases where the man does more than 90% of the child care.

          “An example is Amanda Marcotte telling how people tried to persuade her & didn’t believe she didn’t want children, but when she told her boyfriend didn’t want them, others left her in peace at last.”

          Is this really proof of attitudes towards women? Once she said her boyfriend did not want kids what would be the point of pressuring her? Did she supply said boyfriend and see if the same people then pressured him?

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          • *Is this really proof of attitudes towards women? Once she said her boyfriend did not want kids what would be the point of pressuring her?*

            I don’t understand how your first sentence goes with second. The same people who pressured her after she told *she* didn’t want kids stopped after she invoked the authority of her boyfriend. It is a “proof of attitudes towards women”, who supposedly don’t know what is good for them, but men’s opinions get more respect.

            Also 30%-40% of child care is quite less than 50%, and once you factor in doing 30% of house cleaning & cooking, the difference in work becomes huge.

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            • First of all, nobody is forcing anybody to move in with people who can’t do their half of housework.

              As for Amanda’s case, llama is right. What’s the point of pressuring HER about something the boyfriend supposedly doesn’t want? She presented herself as a downtrodden victim of patriarchy and everybody was compassionate.

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          • Yes, that’s totally feminist of Amanda. The big man isn’t letting little lady to have a baby.

            As if a woman – unlike a man – needed the boyfriend to carry to term, deliver and breastfeed.

            Some “feminists” shock me.
            Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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            • *As if a woman – unlike a man – needed the boyfriend to carry to term, deliver and breastfeed.*

              But you said concealing father is a horrible thing to do. If so, then giving birth from a sperm bank or from 1 night stand is horrible too, right? There is a contradiction.

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        • El, this is not a gender issue, seriously. At least not on this blog. 🙂

          I blogged before about people at my office party asking me endlessly if I’m planning to have a baby, right? They asked N the same question a lot more.

          I don’t think anybody is more understanding of men not wanting children than women. I haven’t seen anything like that and I find it hard to believe. A woman can always say she’s terrified of pregnancy and childbirth when a man doesn’t have this kind of an “excuse”, so what explanation will he give?
          Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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          • I don’t know…maybe this whole thing about “society” expecting women to be more caring than their male counterparts, with regards to children, has a basis in fact. After all, how many men walk away from a relationship when a child comes along…and walk away from the child, as well. If we compare that number to the number of women that abandon their own children, I’m sure there must be a disparity…hmmmm…I wonder…

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            • ‘I don’t know…maybe this whole thing about “society” expecting women to be more caring than their male counterparts, with regards to children, has a basis in fact. After all, how many men walk away from a relationship when a child comes along…and walk away from the child, as well. ”

              -You are confusing cause and effect. Men walk away because they never get a chance to see the baby as theirs. The moment they do, there is no dragging them away.

              I have had the misfortune of seeing SO MANY children abused horribly by their mothers that now any discussion of maternal instincts makes me laugh sadly.

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              • Before Christianity civilized the world, in ancient Rome, for instance, men would inspect their newly born baby to determine whether it was worthy to live. If not, it would simply be abandoned in a barren place to die. With regards to women as child abusers, we live in a society that is growing more and more desensitized to violence…that associates violence with sexuality…that is allowing technology to make real human relationships less and less necessary. It was written almost 2000 years ago that in the last days, men (and women) would lose their natural affection for eachother…Do I really need to go any further?

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              • Actually, society has been growing steadily less and less violent in the course of the last century. And technology makes real human relationships more and more possible.

                As a blogger, I obviously have a lot of positive feelings towards technology. Since you are obviously at your computer right now and not living in a hut in a forest, I’d guess so should you. 🙂 🙂

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              • Are you suggesting a “blogging experience” is a viable substitute for a human touch, or intimate encounter?

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              • I’m saying that through the Internet I met my husband whom I adore and whom I would have never met otherwise. Which led to a lot of touching and all kinds of intimacy. 🙂

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              • Good for you…I really mean it. I thoroughly enjoy my time spent online. I’m just a little worried about the way the younger generation has embraced cyber-life. And I wonder how it could possibly make our western culture healthier…My instincts tell me that technology can’t possibly enhance the quality of our relationships. Of course, I could be wrong about this.

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      • This isn’t really about gender. It’s normal for people of all genders to experience some emotions when they see a newborn.

        Have you had a chance to look at newborns lately? They are like little miracles. 🙂

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        • I’ve seen a newborn once in my life at ~ 8 years old, when my brother arrived from hospital. I don’t remember *how* he looked like, but I do remember running from sleeping room to living room and looking on my reflection in bookcase’s glass in horror. My mother says he was very pretty little boy, but … 😉

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          • When I was 6, and they brought my newborn sister home from the hospital, I looked at her , wasn’t impressed, and announced, “Nah, I don’t really like her. Please take her back now.” 🙂 29 years later, I’m VERY happy they didn’t listen to me and take her back. 🙂 🙂

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        • It’s true that newly born babies are like miracles. Thus, it is equally true, that the day before they are born, they are just as miraculous. And the day before that, as well…ad infinitum…at least back to the moment of conception…Following that logic, doesn’t the Libertarian principle of “bodily integrity” apply to the pre-born, as it does to the new-born, as it does to the adult woman? Please straighten me out on this…

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          • The day before a baby is born, there is no baby. So what are we discussing? Is the 4th of July firework as beautiful the day before it happened? Not really, because it never happened.

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            • Try telling the expectant mother who WANTS her non-baby that the living person in her womb is not a baby. Are you kidding me? Just because in isn’t in plain view does not negate it’s existance. To use your own example, the day before the fireworks are set off, they do exist. And for the person setting up the display, and doing the preparation, the fireworks may be very beautiful and miraculous!

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              • “To use your own example, the day before the fireworks are set off, they do exist.”

                -No, they really don’t. A potentiality never means anything is in existence yet. The fireworks can easily be cancelled, for example.

                “Try telling the expectant mother who WANTS her non-baby that the living person in her womb is not a baby. Are you kidding me? ”

                -Why the aggression? What is located in a woman’s womb is a fetus. Not a person. Why do you think we calculate a person’s age from the day they were born and not from any other moment? You can’t invest people’s body parts with personhood, that just makes no sense. Potentially, every spermatozoon and every ovum can become people. Shall we discuss them as if they were people? Clearly, this doesn’t make much sense.

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              • Clearly a fetus in the last month of gestation cannot be compared with a tumor, or a single gamete. It has everything a newborn has, and is quite capable of living outside the womb. It can feel pain, it can cry, it has a heartbeat…Please remove yoyur liberal, feminist blindfold and talk sensibly. I don’t mean to sound agressive. But, as the old saying goes, “Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining…”

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              • ‘Clearly a fetus in the last month of gestation cannot be compared with a tumor”

                -I never compared it to a tumor. You did. Now the question is, why did you have this association? Pleas don’t avoid the question. It’s very important. Also, in a conversation, it is considered polite to answer questions you’ve been asked before proceeding with the discussion. Here were my questions: “Why do you think we calculate a person’s age from the day they were born and not from any other moment? You can’t invest people’s body parts with personhood, that just makes no sense. Potentially, every spermatozoon and every ovum can become people. Shall we discuss them as if they were people?”

                ‘It has everything a newborn has, and is quite capable of living outside the womb. It can feel pain, it can cry, it has a heartbeat…”

                -Except life.

                “Please remove yoyur liberal, feminist blindfold and talk sensibly”

                -Please do not use this disrespectful tone towards me. I never was this disrespectful to you. This simply isn’t right.

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              • I meant no disrespect. To answer your first question, we count a person’s age from the time of their birth, rather than the moment of conception, or any point in between, because it is the most logical thing to do. In the past, and even now, we do not have the technology to determine the exact moment of conception. Perhaps in the future, if technology allows, we will begin to account for age from the moment of conception. From what I understand, most scientists now agree that life does begin at conception.

                A single gamete does not possess within itself the necessary genetic information to develop into a complete person. As soon as sperm and ovum come together (no pun intended) all the required genetic material is in place (23 pair of chromosomes). That is why we cannot consider a single gamete as a potential human being…and why we should consider life to begin at conception.

                I used the tumor analogy because it is a growth, containing life within itself, residing inside another living organism that is parasitic in nature. Therefore, it is similar in some ways to an unborn fetus. The biggest difference, I think, is that a tumor is UNWANTED in 100% of all cases. On the other hand, however, an unborn baby is not UNWANTED 100% of the time. In fact, a fetus is only considered a ‘non-person’ if it is determined to be UNWANTED. Otherwise, it is an unborn baby.

                For example, if a person murders a woman who happens to be pregnant, and the ‘fetus’ dies as well, he is charged with 2 counts of murder. Even if she is on her way to an abortion seller’s facility to “terminate the pregnancy,” he will face a second murder charge for the ‘fetus.’ But, if she happens to be leaving the same facility when she is murdered, the killer will only face 1 count of murder. Why is that? Please answer this for me. Can you see how illogical this reasoning is? In addition, if a poacher kills a deer, a doe, that happens to be carrying its unborn fawn, the poacher will be charged with 2 counts of poaching. Do you see where I’m going with this?

                When the ONLY factor that decides whether, or not, a pre-born baby is a person, is whether, or not it is WANTED, something is deeply wrong! And if you are not willing or able to concede to this point, I don’t really see any point in continuing this conversation. You are certainly entitled to your views. But I just find it difficult to converse about a subject when the person I am conversing with is not willing to be logical or reasonable.

                Throughout human history, when one group of people has desired to exploit, and thus devalue, another group of people, they have “de-humanized” them, i.e., African slavery, or the Native Americans. They develop language and philosophies to justify their actions such as, “they have no souls”, or “Manifest Destiny,” or ” just a blob of protoplasm,” or “terminate the pregnancy,” etc. This is exactly what has been done with the unborn…

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              • “Perhaps in the future, if technology allows, we will begin to account for age from the moment of conception.”

                -Until now, humanity has developed towards greater progress and enlightenment. There is no reason to believe we will start regressing to barbarity.

                “From what I understand, most scientists now agree that life does begin at conception.”

                -You understand incorrectly.

                “and why we should consider life to begin at conception”

                -If we hate women and human sexuality, most definitely.

                “I used the tumor analogy because it is a growth, containing life within itself, residing inside another living organism that is parasitic in nature. Therefore, it is similar in some ways to an unborn fetus. ”

                -That’s a very tragic vision of a foetus. Especially from someone who wants to invest this “tumorous parasite” with humanity it does not possess.

                “On the other hand, however, an unborn baby is not UNWANTED 100% of the time”

                -Unborn babies do not exist. Just like undead corpses or unpainted paintings. Just like an unwritten book cannot be published, a person who has been born cannot be said to exist.

                “For example, if a person murders a woman who happens to be pregnant, and the ‘fetus’ dies as well, he is charged with 2 counts of murder. ”

                -You are absolutely wrong. There are barbaric backwards states that have tried to make this happen but it’s too ridiculous even to be discussed.

                “Why is that? Please answer this for me. Can you see how illogical this reasoning is?”

                -Of course it is illogical. That’s why it doesn’t happen. I have to say that your fantasies of murdering women are very disturbing. Do you have them often? Also, analogies between women and animals are very unhealthy.

                “Do you see where I’m going with this?”

                -Into insanity.

                “Throughout human history, when one group of people has desired to exploit, and thus devalue, another group of people, they have “de-humanized” them, i.e., African slavery, or the Native Americans. They develop language and philosophies to justify their actions such as, “they have no souls”, or “Manifest Destiny,” or ” just a blob of protoplasm,” or “terminate the pregnancy,” etc.”

                -And this is the insanity where you’ve been going. A fetus is not “a group of people.” It’s a body part. My sincere advice to you is to stop worrying so much about other people’s body parts and concentrate on the deep anger and resentment you have against women. I’d look at your relationship with your mother for answers. Good luck!

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              • Since when does a body part have its own beating heart? Never mind…

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              • And who said it does? Who are you arguing with? What’s so special about a heart, especially nowadays where an artificial blood pumping device is so easy to make? Are we still in the Middle Ages and think that a heart has some special, magical functions?

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          • Seagulls and newborn ducks, which fall from nest high in the tree without getting hurt, are miracles too. Phenomena of nature from a rainbow to a tornado – ditto. A miracle =/= with human rights. Thus you commit a logical error in taking a day back all the time and coming to conclusion that Day After Pill should be prohibited, which is where your argument leads.

            Most people see a difference between 1 month and 5 months and 8 months, and the laws reflect that: abortion to everybody vs only in special cases of horrible birth defects vs pretty much no abortion. Fetus to child development is a continuous process, yes, and there is something arbitory about every limit – why abortion untill 3 months and not untill 3 months and 3 days? But logically from this doesn’t follow that there is no difference between 2 months and 6 months.

            You are influenced by your religion in your views on this and many other topics, but forcing others by laws to behave as Your, not their religion or consciousness tell them, shouldn’t be allowed. You are free to behave as you feel and ditto others, as it should be and under limits, which have to be chosen somewhere to write a law. Imo, abortion on demand untill 3 months is how it should be.

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            • “why abortion untill 3 months and not untill 3 months and 3 days?”

              -I believe that a person should have full authority over what happens inside his or her body at all times.

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            • That’s funny…in the United States of America, I thought we were all free to participate in the political process according to the dictates of our own hearts. If I want to vote for candidates that agree with my views, whether they are based on my “religious” views, or any other ideals, I am still allowed to do that…Right?

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              • I think it’s very freaky to rely on one’s “heart” rather than on one’s brain in a political process. But of course, everybody should feel free to be as freaky and anti-intelligence as they wish.

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    • Feelings are more fickle than the weather. To believe that God is no more than a collection of “feelings” must necessitate a very shaky worldview, I would think?

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  3. llama on said:

    “What’s “kidults”?”

    An adult that has not yet matured, i.e., they behave like children.

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  4. Does faith in a personal, and eternal, Creator God pose the greatest danger to our planet?

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    • No, faith obviously does not. Fanaticism does. And by fanaticism I mean a belief that you can and should make people believe what you do by physical and military force rather than letting them find their own way.

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    • llama on said:

      Well the US spends a lot on the war on terrorism, which to many pretty much translates to a war on Islam.

      I think climate change is pretty high up on the list, but whats to stop those guys who want to meet their maker asap just polluting even more?

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    • llama on said:

      BTW this isn’t the real measure of the need to take action, women getting paid less than men and without the vote wasn’t a real problem for the planet. It was however a real problem for the women.

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  5. Do you believe God as an entity exists as religious people do?
    Or do you call God what I call nature?

    Each in His Own Tongue
    ~ William Herbert Carruth

    A fire mist and a planet,
    A crystal and a cell,
    A jellyfish and a saurian,
    And caves where the cave men dwell;
    Then a sense of law and beauty,
    And a face turned from the clod —
    Some call it Evolution,
    And others call it God.
    A haze on the far horizon,
    The infinite, tender sky,
    The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields,
    And the wild geese sailing high;
    And all over upland and lowland
    The charm of the goldenrod —
    Some of us call it Autumn,
    And others call it God.

    Like tides on a crescent sea beach,
    When the moon is new and thin,
    Into our hearts high yearnings
    Come welling and surging in;
    Come from the mystic ocean,
    Whose rim no foot has trod —
    Some of us call it Longing,
    And others call it God.

    A picket frozen on duty,
    A mother starved for her brood,
    Socrates drinking the hemlock,
    And Jesus on the rood;
    And millions who, humble and nameless,
    The straight, hard pathway plod —
    Some call it Consecration,
    And others call it God.

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  6. HEy: it is SO simple.
    Forget organized religion;
    think great music.
    If just to believe to Requiem Mozart, to Passions by Bach, or just listen his Passacaglia….
    and no question!
    Olivier Messiaen!!! go into his L’Asension but read those 4 lines before part 3 and then listen, listen…. Call it what ever you like. it works as org-d religion.
    Organized religion! Great paintings for that!
    Music which is religion –in organized temples and on pipe organs that are playing for organized idiots making them to be taken into catharsis…
    And you know, one by one with iPAd it does not work . Nor it works in a concert Hall.
    Organize them and call it “religion”.

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  7. llama on said:

    Paul Tiderman :
    That’s funny…in the United States of America, I thought we were all free to participate in the political process according to the dictates of our own hearts. If I want to vote for candidates that agree with my views, whether they are based on my “religious” views, or any other ideals, I am still allowed to do that…Right?

    Yes you can vote for a theocracy.

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  8. llama on said:

    Paul Tiderman :
    Clearly a fetus in the last month of gestation cannot be compared with a tumor, or a single gamete. It has everything a newborn has

    Except for a birth certificate!

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  9. llama on said:

    Paul Tiderman :
    Before Christianity civilized the world

    Are you claiming that there was no civilisation before Christianity? Do you claim that the inquisitions were civilised?

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    • llama :

      Paul Tiderman :Before Christianity civilized the world

      Are you claiming that there was no civilisation before Christianity? Do you claim that the inquisitions were civilised?

      No. I am not claiming that there was no civilization before Christianity. And, no, I do not claim the inquisition was civilized. However, I did cite an example of barbarity that was commonplace in “civilizations’ prior to the life-affirming values of Christianity: Under Roman law, when a child was born to a Roman couple, the midwives would lay the newborn child on the floor. The father would then pick the child up and inspect it. If the father found any defect or the like, and did not want the child, it would be taken out to a barren place and left to die. After Christianity took hold, this practice was abandoned. Why is it when you want to discredit Christianity, you site the European inquisition, that may have tortured and murdered a few thousand, as the ‘evil’ of religion? But you conveniently ignore the horrors of 20th century socialism/Marxism/communism that was responsible for the murder of over 100 million people

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      • “Why is it when you want to discredit Christianity, you site the European inquisition, that may have tortured and murdered a few thousand”

        – May have?? A few thousand?? I strongly suggest you read The Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies by Bartolome de Las Casas, a priest, a devout Christian, and a first-hand witness of the events he describes.

        “But you conveniently ignore the horrors of 20th century socialism/Marxism/communism that was responsible for the murder of over 100 million people”

        -The resident specialist on Stalinism on this blog is called Clarissa. 🙂 I don’t think that anybody should be telling me, of all people, about the horrors of that regime that murdered 11 million of Ukrainians in just one year. Nobody is likely to ignore the horrors of Stalinism on my blog. Of course, the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church offered weekly prayers in every church for Stalin’s health and well-being. The Patriarch of the Church was very buddy-buddy with Stalin.

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        • When I said a few thousand people were affected by the Inquisition, I was just pulling a number out of the air. I did this because I know for a fact that, relatively speaking, the number of people affected by the crusades, the Inquisition and the witch trials combined, pales in comparison to the number of those affected by Godless, atheistic socialism/Marxism/Stalinism/communism/ fascism in the 20th century alone. By the way, isn’t Bartolome Las Casas the priest who is single-handedly responsible for the African slave trade because of comments he made to his church superior explaining how the native South Americans withered and died under slavery, whereas the Africans seemed to thrive under the tropical heat and hard labor?

          I do not deny that the so-called “Church of Jesus Christ,” which, for over a thousand years was primarily the Roman Catholic Church, committed atrocities by the millions. In my mind, that was not an example of true Christianity. What the Roman Catholic Church did right, perhaps, was to act as a custodian for the Word of God throughout the darkest centuries of European history. But many, if not most, of their actions were indefensible. Of course, as is usually the case, God maintained a remnant of true believers in the world…maybe in Africa (Ethiopian and/or Egyptian churches), or the Greek Orthodox Church…I don’t know. But for future reference, when I refer to “the church,” I am NOT talking about the Roman Catholic Church…I refer to the body of true believers who have been transformed by the power of the Word of God…walk in love for the brethren…and seek only to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After all, I thought this thread was started by you to correct the way some people “lump” Christianity in with the many atrocities committed in the name of Christ, that Christ obviously had nothing to do with…However, if the true believers in Jesus Christ have done good things, let’s not be afraid to give credit where/when it is due.

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          • You are absolutely right about Las Casas. He did suggest that African slaves be brought over to save the indigenous people from being enslaved. Of course, after he actually met African slaves and realized they were as fully human as the indigenous, he repented. But it was too late. 😦
            Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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      • *Why does it seem that, only those with a biblical worldview are told that their view is not valid and must be kept private…*

        Because they’re usually the ones to try to force others live according to it! F.e. prohibit abortions, not prescribe Day After Pill despite going into medical profession, even against birth control! If abortion & Day After Pill & Gay Marriage & … are given freely nobody forces religious people to have them.

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        • But religious people must live, and bring up their children, in this culture. Don’t they have every right to participate in the political process and work for change based upon the values they hold dear?

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          • If they are not Christians, they can. Christians, however, should remember the words of Jesus who was obviously very much opposed to mixing the affairs of God with those of the Caesar. A Christian who vales the word of Jesus at all would never debase his or her religion by mixing it with politics.

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            • I suppose next you’ll try to tell me that Jesus never did or said anything to affect the culture around Him. What about His throwing the moneychangers out of the temple? And what about His almost continual criticism of the political leaders of His day, the Pharisees and Saducees and scribes and lawyers?

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              • Are you comparing yourself to Jesus??? What Jesus did is not the same what you and I should do. Or do you walk on water and raise people from the sickbed with your touch?

                Like

      • *But religious people must live, and bring up their children, in this culture. Don’t they have every right to participate in the political process and work for change based upon the values they hold dear?*

        They indeed participate in the political process.

        Personally I hate the idea that in order to let somebody “bring up their children” they will prevent me from living my own life & bring up my children, as I wish.

        Imo this road leads to nothing good once you start on it. First it’s abortions, then atheists are hurt too and many others (single parent families, not submitting to their husbands career women, gays, etc). In the end Christians and Muslims both will want force their worldview on each other to raise their kids in their different ideal societies and something Ugly starts, like in Egypt with Copts now. Imo once a certain limit is crossed, it’s no longer democracy with protections of other’s rights, but a tyranny of majority.

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      • //Speaking of tyranny, what is it called when 2% of a population dictates to the other 98% what will be the “norm” and what you may say, or not say?//

        Who does such a thing? Examples?

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        • I think this comment mistakenly appeared here instead of the Occupy Wall Street thread. Obviously, it has nothing to do with religion.

          As an example of mixing religion and politics, we had a fundamentalist Evangelical president for 8 years. The result was this endless and painful economic crisis. You might not believe in the divine nature of Jesus but you have to agree that he was right in terms of telling people not to mix politics and religion.

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  10. Politicalguineapig on said:

    I do believe in G*d, but I also believe that He hates me. I also don’t believe that anything found in nature has anything to do with G*d. I tend to get rather huffy when certain people (I’ve met some in real life) pretend that one can be an environmentalist and a Christian. The two are totally and utterly incompatible.
    I like certain baby animals, but babies do nothing for me. Then again, I try to exhibit as few female traits as possible.
    As for why I don’t like G*d? Well, for a start, He likes fetuses better than actual living women, doesn’t approve of education (even literacy) and wants everyone who even slightly deviates from the norm to die. I just can’t get behind that.

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    • I don’t know which God you are talking about but the one I dig never used the word fetus and never said anything about abortion outside of the suggestion not to judge others. Also, this God was all about learning and knowledge.

      What are “female traits” and what they are doing in the same sentence with liking babies is a mystery to me.

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    • llama on said:

      “I like certain baby animals, but babies do nothing for me. Then again, I try to exhibit as few female traits as possible”

      Are you suggesting that you have decided that liking babies is a female trait and thus concede that you might be actively suppressing any feeling for them?

      If so, let me give you a hint when you are deciding what are male and what are female traits you should not look at how men seem to behave as evidence. We frequently cover up what we are thinking. I think we generally do this better than women because it is a central part of the stereotype we try to adopt that men don’t show feelings.

      I don’t know a single man that would not enjoy some time looking after a baby and I don’t know a single man that would admit that in front of his mates. It gets even more complex when you consider that his mates would just turn a blind eye this unmanly behavior.

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      • ” I think we generally do this better than women because it is a central part of the stereotype we try to adopt that men don’t show feelings.”

        -And women often fake having feelings when there are none. Because a woman who is not super-emotional is not really a woman, as we all know. 🙂 🙂

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      • Anonymous on said:

        “-And women often fake having feelings when there are none. Because a woman who is not super-emotional is not really a woman, as we all know.”

        So true. I believe there is a website and blog that deals with the research by Laura Scott. She is also a university professor and her book and website deals with people who are childless by choice and how these people are villified by others for making the choice to not have children.

        “I am tempted to say “whats not to like” but that is not a logical argument. It certainly cannot be mainstream to dislike babies otherwise how could the human race exist?”

        I don’t enjoy being around babies or children and that has a lot to do with other people and their behaviors and criticisms. I’ve always felt it has to do with me being a woman and their belief that women should fawn all over newborns.

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    • First of all, why all the fuss over male vs. female? Aren’t we in this thing called life together? If we all stopped wasting so much energy emphasizing our differences, and focused more on our similarities…or, should I say our “common traits,” wouldn’t we be more likely to “progress” instead of being defensive and feeling alienated?

      Politicalguineapig :I do believe in G*d, but I also believe that He hates me. I also don’t believe that anything found in nature has anything to do with G*d. I tend to get rather huffy when certain people (I’ve met some in real life) pretend that one can be an environmentalist and a Christian. The two are totally and utterly incompatible.

      I think what may be incompatible are the “naturalistic” worldview vs. the biblical worldview. This is because the naturalist believes that what is found in nature is all that exists in the universe. And the bible-believing Christian believes in an entire spiritual realm, separate from the natural world, with a Supreme Being, angels, demons, and other planes of existence. To say a Christian cannot be an environmentalist is incorrect, I think. I believe that, by definition an environmentalist (at a minimum) is a person who cares about the environment. Or, maybe an environmentalist is a person who works in an occupation that involves the preservation, restoration, or even the remediation of the natural environment. But what puzzles me regarding the naturalist view, if Darwin was right, if there is no spiritual realm, then man is as natural as any other species found on earth, and has no special obligation to make sure any other species are preserved…right? I mean, if it is to our (mankind’s) advantage to eliminate other species, the naturalists should be the last group to raise any objections about it…right?

      But, if the biblical worldview is correct…if there is a God who created everything in nature…and if He set mankind as the “crown” and chief steward of His creation (this is what the bible teaches), then mankind would be obligated to manage the earth’s natural resources wisely and equitably…because he’s going to give an account of himself one day.

      @politicalguineapig: If you truly believe there is a God, and He is anything like He is represented in the bible, what makes you think He hates you? Is it just because you hate Him? I do not want to seem “preachy.” But the bible teaches that the natural universe, or creation, is one way that the Creator God has chosen to reveal himself to mankind. In fact, because it is such an obvious evidence that there must be a Creator, mankind is totally without excuse. In other words, nobody will be able to stand before God and claim that they didn’t believe He existed because the creation is proof of His existence.

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      • “First of all, why all the fuss over male vs. female? Aren’t we in this thing called life together? If we all stopped wasting so much energy emphasizing our differences, and focused more on our similarities…or, should I say our “common traits,” wouldn’t we be more likely to “progress” instead of being defensive and feeling alienated?”

        -That’s exactly what I’m saying. Welcome to feminism, my friend! You are in good company since Jesus was one of the most famous feminists in the world. 🙂

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  11. Politicalguineapig on said:

    I think you’re worshipping a very different G*d than 90% of the people who use that term. Than again, the Jewish version of G*d is slightly more liberal in regards to the woman vs. fetus debate, and learning has always been highly revered in Jewish communities. In Christian communities, some education is encouraged, but not much, and in the more reactionary parts of the US, parents actively sabotage their children’s educations.
    Female traits: being gentle, sweet, innocent, maternal and helpful around the house. If you like babies, that’s kind of the first step toward being maternal.

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    • Liking babies can also be paternal. 🙂

      And who cares about what some majority practices or not? They can hang on to their unenlightened beliefs for all I care. 🙂

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    • Maybe if the institutions of higher learning in this country (the US) had not been hijacked by godless, atheistic evolutionists, more Christians would be more enthustiastic about continuing their own, as well as their children’s, educations. I know from personal experience that there is hostility toward people of faith in our institutions of higher learning. Of course, I haven’t attended all of them. So I cannot actually substantiate that claim. But I have read several articles and heard commentaries regarding actual polls that indicate a “built-in” bias against evangelical Christians in the vast majority of US colleges and universities.

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      • People, be they religious or not, are terrified of fanatics. What’s so surprising about that? Institutions of higher learning are about secular knowledge, as they well should be. Bringing religious faith into them is a mockery of both faith and education. A true religious belief is a highly intimate, personal experience. I’m sure you know that very well. Anybody who brings it to the public setting of a classroom just profanates it in a very shameful way.

        ” I know from personal experience that there is hostility toward people of faith in our institutions of higher learning.”

        -Those who keep it to themselves (as well we should) are always completely welcome and respected. Those who organize collective prayers in the toilet (as happened at the university where I did my PhD) do provoke hostility. I’m sure you can guess why that is.

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        • Why should there be pressure to keep ones faith bottled up inside during a learning experience. The fact is, everyone operates in faith at many levels. For example, in order to believe in most of the naturalistic explanations of our existence, one must believe that the order of the universe has always been proceeding, just the way it is now. But there is evidence to the contrary. Those with atheistic views must base their beliefs on certain assumptions, the same as a person of faith does…

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          • I have a profound, over powering, very intimate love for my husband. I don’t share that with students but I don’t feel it’s “bottled up.” It’s just a completely different area of life that would be cheapened if I discussed it with strangers, that’s all.

            “Those with atheistic views must base their beliefs on certain assumptions, the same as a person of faith does…”

            -Once again, at school we don’t discuss beliefs. We only and exclusively discuss knowledge. Dates, numbers, verb conjugations.

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            • But if your husband knew the secrets of life that could benefit all who came into contact with him, and he shared them with you, wouldn’t you feel a burden to share them with others?

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              • I would think it a crime to share anything like that with people who are paying me good money to share with them my knowledge about the history and culture of the Spanish-speaking world and nothing else. I don’t sell what hasn’t been asked of me under false pretenses. That would be fraud.

                People go to a church for the kind of knowledge you describe. They come to me hoping to get what is specified in the course catalogue. I would never defraud my students in the way you suggest.

                say, you go to a doctor because you are in pain. Would you really appreciate it if instead of treating your symptoms, she started preaching the Koran to you?

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              • I guess I must’ve gotten off-track with my main point. Here it is: everyone has a worldview. Why does it seem that, only those with a biblical worldview are told that their view is not valid and must be kept private…

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              • Once again: if I start sharing my worldview of any kind in the classroom instead of passing on information about the Spanish grammar, I will soon be fired. So no, it isn’t just the religious worldview that has no place in the classroom.

                Are you truly unaware of that?

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              • Why must you keep bringing up Spanish grammar? I am not addressing you specifically. I guess I should’ve mentioned that I am referring to course material that naturally invokes discussion regarding worldviews. Do you understand?

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              • “I guess I should’ve mentioned that I am referring to course material that naturally invokes discussion regarding worldviews.”

                -If you try giving actual examples of such courses, you will very soon realize that they don’t exist outside of the School of Theology. Ergo, the whole issue you describe is non-existent. People come to school for actual, very specific knowledge. Not for some vague discussions of worldviews. Take any course catalogue at any university and look at the course descriptions. I can guarantee that you will NEVER find a course described as “Here we will discuss our worldviews. . .”

                It isn’t how higher ed works, OK? “Discussions regarding worldviews” don’t happen.

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    • Anonymous on said:

      “Female traits: being gentle, sweet, innocent, maternal and helpful around the house. If you like babies, that’s kind of the first step toward being maternal.”

      Society imposes the maternal role on a good many women, simply because they are female. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they desire this role or even that they are good at it, because other people want them to fill a function, role or an expectation that is in accordance with their particular belief system. People try to impose that on me, whether I like it or not and I mostly don’t like it.

      One can be a nice person and even a sweet person, but that is completely different from not wanting others to impose baby making and/or liking lest one be labeled “weird” or other variations, especially prematurely, or even at all. The choice to be maternal is one that is personal. No one has the right to impose that on others just because one is born female.

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      • “Society imposes the maternal role on a good many women, simply because they are female.”

        -Who’s this “society” that imposes? Doesn’t 51% of it consist of women?

        “that is completely different from not wanting others to impose baby making and/or liking lest one be labeled “weird” or other variations”

        -How can anybody impose baby liking on you today? In practical terms, how would that look?

        ‘ No one has the right to impose that on others just because one is born female.”

        -How could one impose that one anybody in today’s society? Catch them, tie them down and. . . what? Tell them they won’t be fed until they become maternal? I’m asking this as the most non-maternal non-nurturing person I have ever met. 🙂

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  12. Politicalguineapig on said:

    I haven’t met very many men who like babies.
    Um, because they’re the ones that organize the witch hunts? That make life hell for anyone who doesn’t believe what they do? That could shut down your college?
    It’s fine that you believe in a different version of G*d, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that you are tacitly endorsing anti-abortion, anti-education stances by believing in G*d and attending church/temple/mosque services.

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    • “It’s fine that you believe in a different version of G*d, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that you are tacitly endorsing anti-abortion, anti-education stances by believing in G*d and attending church/temple/mosque services.”

      -What makes you think I attend services? Especially since I said explicitly that I’m against any form of organized religion. If there isn’t a single word against abortion or education in the New Testament, then it’s really strange to suggest that by reading it and valuing it I endorse things this text does not even mention.

      “I haven’t met very many men who like babies.”

      -I honestly haven’t met any who don’t. Where are you finding all those weird men, I wonder. Aren’t none of your male friends fathers? Or older brothers? What about the men in your family?

      I have several close male friends who are fathers. And they are normal people who adore their babies. How can it be any different?

      Remember: men are human.

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  13. I have always loved babies and small children. But, I do know some men who claim not to. I have always thought this really weird. Are you sure all men are human?

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  14. Politicalguineapig on said:

    First of all, I don’t know very many men at all, and none of the men I know in real life have kids. My dad likes babies- to an extent, but I think he and Mom both breathed a sigh of relief after the last kid. My little brother’s too busy trying to be salesman of the year to think about babies.
    I don’t have any older brothers, and again, I don’t know any guys well enough to ask that sort of thing. So yeah, they’re people, but in terms of impact on my life men might as well be comets. And I think you can dislike babies and still be a healthy individual. It’s not so much the baby as it is the whole package, and the massive inconvenience, sleep deprivation and general judginess that comes with being a parent.

    I only have one female friend who admits to liking the idea of kids and babies. The rest just hiss, shrug or make the sign of the cross. These are all single friends- the married ones have their own lives.

    Okay, so you don’t go to any sort of religious services, but you’re still encouraging them by trying to hang onto your beliefs and indulging in woolly thinking. Those who advocate religion want to undermine any sort of progress.

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    • “Those who advocate religion want to undermine any sort of progress.”

      -Advocating religion is kind of like advocating love for a certain person. It can’t be “advocated.” 🙂

      “Okay, so you don’t go to any sort of religious services, but you’re still encouraging them by trying to hang onto your beliefs and indulging in woolly thinking. ”

      -I’m not “trying to hang on” to anything. Belief is like love. It cannot be argued away. Religion is not only a powerful tool of psychological hygiene, it is also one (of many equally valid) ways of organizing one’s worldview.

      “I don’t have any older brothers, and again, I don’t know any guys well enough to ask that sort of thing. So yeah, they’re people, but in terms of impact on my life men might as well be comets.”

      -Then, maybe you shouldn’t be making any generalizations about what is typically male and typically female. Since you admittedly have no information to proceed on.

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    • llama on said:

      “I think you can dislike babies and still be a healthy individual.”

      I am tempted to say “whats not to like” but that is not a logical argument. It certainly cannot be mainstream to dislike babies otherwise how could the human race exist?

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  15. llama on said:

    bloggerclarissa :
    ” I think we generally do this better than women because it is a central part of the stereotype we try to adopt that men don’t show feelings.”
    -And women often fake having feelings when there are none. Because a woman who is not super-emotional is not really a woman, as we all know.

    And this is the kind of fucked up signals we give each other.

    You can see a scenario here where a woman is cooing wildly over a baby to satisfy the audience (while really thinking of all the other stuff she has to do) while some man is standing back wishing he could have a go (but being to manly to show it).

    Then you get some random observer drawing the conclusion that women really like babies and men don’t like them at all, or better yet deciding that liking babies is a female trait and deciding to subvert any positive thoughts she has about them.

    Like

    • “You can see a scenario here where a woman is cooing wildly over a baby to satisfy the audience (while really thinking of all the other stuff she has to do) while some man is standing back wishing he could have a go (but being to manly to show it).

      Then you get some random observer drawing the conclusion that women really like babies and men don’t like them at all, or better yet deciding that liking babies is a female trait and deciding to subvert any positive thoughts she has about them.”

      -Exactly!

      Like

  16. Paul Tiderman :
    Why should there be pressure to keep ones faith bottled up inside during a learning experience.

    Matthew 6:5-8:
    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

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    • I keep placing this quote on my blog but do you think any of the self-proclaimed Christians even tried to address it?

      Of course not. This pesky Jesus guy – who, incidentally, didn’t have a single word to say on abortion or homosexuality except the admonishment not to judge – keeps coming between them and their self-righteousness.

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      • If this quote and my true favourite masterpiece of the New Testament, namely, The Beatitudes, were actually forming the cornerstones of modern Christian practice, the world would be a much better and kinder place than it is today.

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        • As Gandhi said, ‘“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

          So true.

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        • Because Jesus did not address these issues directly, does not mean Christians have no biblical basis for their beliefs concerning these issues, As you may, or may not know, the Hebrew canon is also considered the revealed Word of God to all Christians. The prophet Jeremiah was told by God, “…while you were in your mothers womb, I knew you!” There are other scriptures that support the idea that life begins at conception. Regarding homosexuality, once again, the primary teaching that it is sinful and an abomination to the Lord is found in the Old Testament. The apostle Paul later reinforces this teaching in his epistle to the Romans. Half-truths are more dangerous than lies…

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    • I appreciate the scripture. But we weren’t talking about prayer. We were talking (at least, I was) about not being pressured or prohibited from sharing views based on faith during the learning process at every level of education. But especially at the university level. After all, the free exchange of ideas is supposed to be what higher education is all about. Why is one student’s supernatural views such a threat to higher learning?

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      • I am expressly prohibited from sharing my political views on campus. Are you against that, too? Should I be able to interrupt my lecture on the Spanish Subjunctive with the propaganda of Obama’s presidential campaign?

        Also, please answer the question of how you’d feel like if you paid for a course in speech pathology and got a sermon on the beauty and correctness of Islam instead.

        “Why is one student’s supernatural views such a threat to higher learning?”

        -Once again, in my courses we discuss Hispanic literature and Spanish grammar. Anybody who interrupts the lecture on the past tenses in Spanish to share their “supernatural views” is a seriously disturbed individual.

        Please answer the questions you have been asked in this comment before further participating in the discussion.

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      • llama on said:

        So you think at my next research group meeting that it would be appropriate if I suddenly diverged from some analysis of network complexity and start telling people how there is no god and never has been?

        Hey if every forum can be hijacked perhaps I could come to your church and give a lecture Sunday morning on abstract algebra. Interspersed with some atheist anthems.

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  17. llama on said:

    Paul Tiderman :
    For example, in order to believe in most of the naturalistic explanations of our existence, one must believe that the order of the universe has always been proceeding, just the way it is now. But there is evidence to the contrary.

    No as an atheist you don’t need to have a universe that has always existed. For instance one atheist who knows a thing or two about the universe has recently demonstrated that all that is needed for the universe to pop into existence from nothing is gravity.

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  18. llama on said:

    Paul Tiderman :
    But if your husband knew the secrets of life that could benefit all who came into contact with him, and he shared them with you, wouldn’t you feel a burden to share them with others?

    If those secrets where mad rantings then clearly no. You might not like it but there are a substantial number of atheists that consider all religion to be a mental illness. Do you think these people want to listen to your special secrets to life ? Do you think you are obligated to share with them?

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    • Especially if they explicitly paid for something different to be delivered to them.

      I really hope Paul Tiderman can tell us how he would feel if he paid to take a course in, say, speech pathology in college and, instead, the professor started preaching the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad to him.

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      • llama on said:

        Imagine if you paid for a subscription to SciFi channel and ended up with some religious channel because the person who sold it for you thought that it would be better for you.

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      • I am not talking about using your position as a teacher to indocrinate unsuspecting students. I was coming more from the student’s point of view. If, during the course of a discussion, the opportunity arises for a Christian student to share their biblical worldview, why should they have to encounter hostility and intimidation…and perhaps even censorship, from those who proclaim to endorse the free exchange of ideas?

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        • Do you have a specific situation in mind or is this all completely hypothetical? The only situation where such a discussion can arise that I can imagine is a class on theology. In what other disciplines can it arise?

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      • Patrick on said:

        More than once I’ve had ‘educators’ at University delve into anti-christian rants and abuse during their lecture (economics, astronomy, chemistry, organizational behaviour, cost management, financial accounting). You’re right – it didn’t belong in the course, but since we Christian’s are just deluded fools, there’s no harm done by engaging in some good old fashioned faith bashing.

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        • Of course, that was completely inappropriate on the part of the professors. I find such behavior shocking.

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          • Isabel :These people do not want to be educated. But many of the people they influence do. Wonderful knowledge is being withheld from children because some people think the Bible should be used as a science reference. It outrages me when my colleagues engage these people point-for-point, so I am not dedicated so much as totally fed up. I agree with you that there has to be a sharp dividing line. People like this guy have a handful of rehearsed talking points that they poison more naive minds with, like his ridiculous statement about Darwin changing his mind if he knew about DNA or the complexity of the cell; this is all nonsense, but it is dangerous nonsense.

            I think it is more dangerous when people espouse ideas that have no basis in fact. But when thay are confronted by logic and reason, they simply wave their hand and call the opposing viewpoints “nonsense.”

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  19. Politicalguineapig on said:

    PaulTilderman: Actually, if Darwin is right, (and he probably is) preserving natural systems is essential in order for humans to survive. Christians believe that mankind is above natural systems, and therefore there’s no obligation for mankind to protect nature. In fact, in order to progress to Judgement Day, good Christians should destroy the earth. Most religious systems came into being to pretend that people are not anything like animals. Ironically, we’d all be better off if we stopped pretending we’re anything but really smart apes.

    llama: Heh, you got me. Because of various situations in my life, I try not to do anything that would be seen as ‘weak.’ I don’t display many emotions in public- I either have no expression at all or my customer service smile. I would probably pretend to a friend that her baby is adorable and make the appropriate mouth noises, but she wouldn’t see me again for a long while. I don’t like all the emotional displays women have to put on in public, so I try not to participate in any displays at all. And the various feminine ideals bore me: I prefer pants to dresses, regard love as an illusion, and I’ll cheerfully skip the whole marriage and babies suburban life style.

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    • ‘ I don’t like all the emotional displays women have to put on in public,”

      -Nobody HAS to put on anything in public. Let’s be careful with our vocabulary. They are expected to, OK. But they don’t have to.

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      • Anonymous on said:

        I believe Seinfeld had an episode that dealt with the characters thinking a newborn was ugly. Of course, no one was rude enough to express such a sentiment, despite thinking it. I believe the doctor expressed that the baby was beautiful and he also told the female character that she was beautiful. The episode then dealt with her insecurity about his use of the term beautiful.

        Imagine how well it would go over if one was prone to annoucing the truth to others that they didn’t think their newborn was all that beautiful. So I do believe people often feel that they have to put one on or be polite, rather than express how they truly feel.

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        • What does this have to do with babies and gender, though? People do this all the time about everything. I once told a friend I liked a very ugly poem he wrote because I didn’t want to hurt his feeling.

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    • More than likely, if Darwin had known about DNA, and the incredible complexity of the mitochondrial processes, he would have never postulated his theory. Back in his time, modern science did not know that cells were any more than protoplasm in a membrane. Now we know so much more…

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      • Isabel on said:

        You are spewing complete nonsense here, about both Darwin and science.

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      • Isabel on said:

        Anyone can understand On the Origin of Species. I highly recommend it.

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      • Isabel on said:

        Why would I waste my time proving that your nonsense is nonsense? What an absurd suggestion! No thanks. I am a scientist. Your idea that the bible should be used as a science textbook is absurd. You are dragging down the whole country by making people afraid to learn science. The charlatans you are hearing this crap from are making a fool of you. You are indeed a giant fool for trusting them instead of picking up a college intro biology text. I’m telling you this as a favor, not to insult you.

        Like

        • Did I suggest that the bible be used as a science textbook? No, I did not. Can’t you provide even 1 fact to disprove my proposition? I mean, you call yourself a scientist. Please educate me. If I have been fooled, please straighten me out. I treasure the TRUTH…with all my heart. I am not afraid of the TRUTH. I do not remember mentioning who my teachers are, or were. Where do you get the nerve to label them ‘charlatans?’ I can understand that you have bought into a naturalistic explanation of the origin of the universe. And that the whole idea of evolution, that provides you with an intellectual basis for a Godless existence, is underpinned by assumptions that require as much faith as even the most religious viewpoints require. Rather than attack me with derogatory names, or disparage my teachers, how about sharing your superior knowledge with us poor ignoramuses…

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      • Isabel on said:

        “Thank you for believing in me.”

        I do, but not for that reason; you will see it is written for a layperson intentionally, and a person of average intelligence could understand it. 🙂

        I was partly recommending it because he was a very good writer and I think you would actually enjoy it. He builds his case very slowly, carefully, deliberately, then answers his critics in advance, leaving no loose ends. All in all it’s a fascinating argument, beautifully and clearly written.

        btw this guys sounds like an ID (intelligent design) troll; I’d not argue with him. Your approach is the one I take in biology; keep religion 100% separate. Case closed.

        Like

        • It must be extremely pleasant to dismiss your critics out-of-hand without having to address their specific objections…I am not an ID troll. I came across bloggerclarissa while looking for discussions of religion. I have an American university education with a major in civil engineering. My faith came under attack during my college days…primarily from my history and liberal arts professors. But it weathered the storms and is still intact. I have examined the evidence regarding the Origin of Species. But I am unconvinced. Please convince me…

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      • llama on said:

        He certainly had access to the bible but didn’t think that provided a good enough explanation.

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    • llama on said:

      “I try not to do anything that would be seen as ‘weak.’ I don’t display many emotions in public- I either have no expression at all or my customer service smile.”

      That is exactly what men do most. But being feminine doesn’t have to be weak. My wife certainly is not weak yet I consider her feminine.

      “And the various feminine ideals bore me: I prefer pants to dresses”

      I can’t remember the last time my wife wore a dress. She wears pants and Birkenstocks to work everyday.

      Like

    • @ Politicalguineapig: Didn’t I just explain that scripture teaches that man IS responsible for wise and equitable stewardship of the earth and all of it’s resources. God gave man dominion of the earth and all the creatures in it. Why are you so obviously obstinate and dense when it comes to what real Christians believe? Why don’t you listen?

      Like

  20. Anonymous on said:

    bloggerclarissa :“Society imposes the maternal role on a good many women, simply because they are female.”
    -Who’s this “society” that imposes? Doesn’t 51% of it consist of women?

    Yes, of course. Have you ever heard of Marcia Drut-Davis, who lost her job as a teacher for simply announcing her decision to not have children? Her story is on the website/blog, called Childless by Choice. Her life was also threatened, as was the life of her dog.

    -How can anybody impose baby liking on you today? In practical terms, how would that look?

    It can be very subtle, and sometimes not so subtle. One such way is through attempting to devalue people who make different choices. Another way is by excluding and attempts to shame.

    -How could one impose that one anybody in today’s society? Catch them, tie them down and. . . what? Tell them they won’t be fed until they become maternal? I’m asking this as the most non-maternal non-nurturing person I have ever met.

    Maybe you’ve never experienced it or if you feel that you have maybe you would attempt to describe it differently.

    Like

    • I Googled the story you mention. It happened in 1974. Haven’t you noticed that a feminist revolution happened in this country since then?

      Nobody can shame you into anything unless you allow them.

      Like

      • Anonymous on said:

        Yes, of course, but ugly behaviors still exist and the website I mentioned provides a lot of examples of them in addition to other similar sites. As for the feminist revolution I think its origins started prior to that date as well.

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  21. Anonymous on said:

    Not directly at my fingertips for the purposes of debate or belief of existence.

    Like

  22. Anonymous on said:

    bloggerclarissa :What does this have to do with babies and gender, though? People do this all the time about everything. I once told a friend I liked a very ugly poem he wrote because I didn’t want to hurt his feeling.

    True. In my case it is personal experience. People are very intrusive about whether I intend to reproduce or not and unfortunately not shy about delivering judgements and criticisms and all kinds of why questions about my reproductive status. This is absolutely none of their business. Likewise, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of mean comments and behaviors, even people villifying me as a “baby hater”. Well, I am not a baby hater, although I dislike people who behave that way to me. Whether men experience this to the level and I degree I have, I cannot say, since I haven’t met men who tell me that they have experienced the same.

    I can only offer personal experiences. My neighbor who worked at a store put me on the spot inquiring if I knew she was pregnant and then demanded to know why I didn’t ask her about her pregnancy. This was/is an extremely superficial relationship. She didn’t corner my husband and demand to know the same. Whether she behaves this way towards other women, I have no idea, or men for that matter. She is Catholic and her belief system is one of reproduction. She’s judgemental to boot. My experience of people constantly trying to pry into my reproductive status is very common and their judgements very ugly.

    Like

    • Here we have gotten far outside of the realm of gender issues and deep into the area of personal psychology. The nasty experiences you describe can and do happen to anybody irrespective of their child-bearing status.

      Like

  23. Politicalguineapig on said:

    Clarissa: I’m beginning to believe you spend all or most of your time in libraries. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but don’t you ever interact with people while going to and from your job? Have you ever been told to smile, or to ‘cheer up?” Ever had to act perpetually perky in order to keep some lousy customer service job,
    That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. (I don’t get that sort of thing much anymore, but that’s because I’ve got headphones on my ears every time I take the bus now. It does cut down on the number of annoying people I’ve met.)

    Paul Tilderman: I dislike G*d (don’t hate him,or disbelieve in him) and am terrified that He’ll find out I exist. G*d doesn’t approve of women learning to read and write, or of being anything but happy baby factories- oops, I meant ‘homemakers.’ I want more out of life, so I can’t ever be a Christian.

    Like

    • People can make any comments to you that they wish. How you react to that is completely up to you. Once again, people get bullied irrespective of their gender or child-bearing status. Bullying is a serious topic that should be addressed separately. There is, however, nothing whatsoever about it that is gender-specific.

      Like

    • llama on said:

      Politicalguineapig :
      Paul Tilderman: I dislike G*d (don’t hate him,or disbelieve in him) and am terrified that He’ll find out I exist. G*d doesn’t approve of women learning to read and write, or of being anything but happy baby factories- oops, I meant ‘homemakers.’ I want more out of life, so I can’t ever be a Christian.

      LOL, if he did exist we would need to find a way to take him down. Absolute power corrupts.

      Like

    • I think you’ve got God all wrong. And you better believe, He knows that you exist. He doesn’t want to hurt you…what ever made you think that?

      Like

  24. Politicalguineapig on said:

    I agree that bullying isn’t gender-specific, but people can be bullied in gender-specific ways. I developed a sort of body disassociation because of bullying: girls weren’t fat, girls were co-ordinated, and girls were good at socializing and liked certain colors and certain things. So I ended up concluding that I was not, in fact, a girl.
    I suppose, since you were raised outside the US and don’t socialize much, that you don’t realize that there are a lot of cultural pressures on women here. Or you just refuse to recognize them and believe that individuals can exist in total and complete isolation from society. Either way, saying that women should all go ‘la-la-la’ and stick their fingers in their ears, shut off their TVs, never read a magazine again, and go live in the wilds smacks of a certain amount of utopian thinking.

    Like

    • ” girls weren’t fat, girls were co-ordinated, and girls were good at socializing and liked certain colors and certain things.”

      -Where did you initially receive this set of directives?

      “I suppose, since you were raised outside the US and don’t socialize much, that you don’t realize that there are a lot of cultural pressures on women here. Or you just refuse to recognize them and believe that individuals can exist in total and complete isolation from society.”

      -Erm. . . I have a job, you know, a job that involves working with people. A job for which I was hired not only because of my great CV but, as I was told, because of my fun and outgoing personality. I’m actually extremely good at socializing and can charm a coconut off a tree. There are many people who know me in RL, so I wouldn’t be able to lie about this. 🙂 I just don’t like socializing, it bores me. But I’m brilliant at it.

      “Either way, saying that women should all go ‘la-la-la’ and stick their fingers in their ears, shut off their TVs, never read a magazine again, and go live in the wilds smacks of a certain amount of utopian thinking.”

      -I never said anything like that. You did. The issues with self-acceptance you describe have nothing to do with Tv and magazines. They have to do with lack of self-acceptance that chronologically precedes one’s capacity to read or even watch television. People who resolve these basic issues can watch TV and read Cosmo all day long and feel perfectly feminine, lovely and desirable while being fat, uncoordinated and bored to death with social chit-chat. This is why the frist question I asked you in this comment is crucial.

      Like

  25. Isabel on said:

    @PaulT:”I have examined the evidence regarding the Origin of Species”

    You examined the evidence concerning a book? What on earth are you talking about. Try READING THE BOOK.

    ” But I am unconvinced. Please convince me…”

    I *just told you* that i have better things to do, but there are many many places on-line where you can have that ridiculous argument. Saying things like “you have bought into this naturalistic world view blah blah” also clues me into the fact that these objections did not spring sincerely from your individual mind. You do not want to be convinced, you want to spread doubt about science. You are anti-science.

    Your statements about my motives and your insincere requests to be educated are disgusting and unbelievably arrogant. I grew up Catholic btw with no conflict between science and religion. So you are 100% wrong but you will never deny it off course. There is no “controversy” but you and your ilk want the “controversy” taught **in classrooms**. I have plenty of colleagues who will engage people like you; I consider a huge waste of time.

    The bible is not where ANYONE should be looking for science information. Anyone who wants to understand evolution has tons of resources for doing so on-line. It is a beautiful, amazing field of study. The “doubt” and “controversy” that the charlatans told you about in order to support their views were completely invented. This is all you need to know in terms of this conversation.

    Like

    • Isabel, I have to say that I really admire your dedication to the goal of educating the hopelessly anti-science folks. I’ve given up already. But kudos to you.

      Like

      • Isabel on said:

        These people do not want to be educated. But many of the people they influence do. Wonderful knowledge is being withheld from children because some people think the Bible should be used as a science reference. It outrages me when my colleagues engage these people point-for-point, so I am not dedicated so much as totally fed up. I agree with you that there has to be a sharp dividing line. People like this guy have a handful of rehearsed talking points that they poison more naive minds with, like his ridiculous statement about Darwin changing his mind if he knew about DNA or the complexity of the cell; this is all nonsense, but it is dangerous nonsense.

        Like

        • And have you noticed how such people NEVER answer any of the questions you ask them? No matter what you say, they just come back with the talking point in turn. It doesn’t even feel like they hear you at all. And that is scary.

          Of course, it is all ridiculous nonsense. How can people be this deluded in this day and age?

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    • Excuse me. But, to my knowledge, I never suggested that science and the bible are incompatible…and I did not use the word “controversy” which you use in quotations. The fact that you have done this, (misquoted me), indicates that you are not even paying attention to my arguments…Maybe I should read “Origin of Species.” Or, maybe it would be a waste of my time…

      Like

  26. Isabel on said:

    I mean you will never ‘admit’ that you are wrong.

    Like

  27. This thread has gone all “science has FACTS learn them” vs. “but you see FAITH neener neener”.

    Incidentally, I notice that Clarissa’s definition of God corresponds closely to what Freud, thinking about religion, called the “oceanic”: that intense, rhapsodic feeling of empathy with nature or a great work of art or (a) fellow human being(s) or whatever. Freud himself claimed to have never felt this, but in his characteristic give-no-fucks way went on to build out of the idea a theory about why civilization is all fucked-uppedly neurotic. [hint: because you want to be happy forever but you can’t]

    On that note, prepare to be Freudian-psychoanalyzed, Clarissa! Tell me about your hatred of your mother, your suicidal urges, and your desire to possess the penis.

    Like

    • I already have a psychoanalyst, thank you. 🙂 Why do you think I’m so happy? 🙂

      No psychoanalyst works with pure Freud nowadays. Freud just laid the foundations but 100 years later, psychoanalysis has transformed and developed a lot. Just like any other branch of knowledge.

      Like

  28. Politicalguineapig on said:

    ” girls weren’t fat, girls were co-ordinated, and girls were good at socializing and liked certain colors and certain things.”
    -Where did you initially receive this set of directives?

    Try nearly every book I ever read as a preteen. I think I only encountered two books where the female characters were fat. Also from the girls around me who I interacted with as a preteen. I gave up on most of the girls around me at puberty. It was like they’d all been lobotimized overnight.

    I never said anything like that. You did. The issues with self-acceptance you describe have nothing to do with Tv and magazines. They have to do with lack of self-acceptance that chronologically precedes one’s capacity to read or even watch television.

    Partly. I think you underestimate how much that sh*t seeps in at a subconcious level. Idon’t want to be feminine- I like being tough, and emotions are just too d*mn messy for me to bother with.

    Helena: Freud was full of shit, as indeed most of psychiatry is.

    Like

    • “Helena: Freud was full of shit, as indeed most of psychiatry is.”

      Well like most great thinkers who spouted lots of bullshit (which is most of them) what we can take away from him is stuff that when boiled down is basically a no-brainer (today at least) that might even already been said elsewhere. His idea that everlasting happiness is more or less impossible, for instance. Or Nietzsche’s thought that morals aren’t wholly innate to human nature or handed down from God on high but produced by and within historical and cultural forces. Or John Milton’s argument that pre-publication censorship is bad but post-publication criticism is good. Or the Beatles’ maxim that the love you take = the love you make.

      Like

    • “Helena: Freud was full of shit, as indeed most of psychiatry is.”

      -The only problem is that Freud was NOT a psychiatrist. He was a guy who initially trained to be a psychiatrist, realized that “psychiatry was full of shit” and came up with an alternative.

      It’s mind-boggling to me when people are so dismissive of entire branches of knowledge without taking the trouble of learning the first thing about them. What’s next? “Evolution is just a theory”? “Darwin is that creep who says we all come from monkeys”?

      Like

    • “Try nearly every book I ever read as a preteen. I think I only encountered two books where the female characters were fat. Also from the girls around me who I interacted with as a preteen. I gave up on most of the girls around me at puberty. It was like they’d all been lobotimized overnight.”

      -No, you need to look earlier. Everybody reads the same books in childhood but not everybody develops extremely low self-esteem.

      “Partly. I think you underestimate how much that sh*t seeps in at a subconcious level.”

      -It’s funny how you dismiss Freud and then proceed to rely upon his terminology. I know for a fact that this is all coming from one’s subconscious. But these issues are not formed in adulthood.

      Like

  29. Politicalguineapig on said:

    Clarissa: Regarding your version of G*d, that just doesn’t wash with me. A loving G*d is a weak G*d.

    Like

  30. Politicalguineapig on said:

    Wasn’t Jung the one who came up with the concept of the subconcious and the collective unconcious?
    When I say preteen, I mean I was between 7 and 9. And, no, not everyone reads the same books in childhood. I guarantee I was the only child in my kindergarten class that had read the unabridged Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh books. Kids are not a monolith, and life is hard for the outliers. And self-esteem- sigh, another crap new age concept. Don’t even get me started on how much I loathe the idea that self-esteem keeps you healthy, is healing, insert new-age yadda yadda here. Don’t need it, don’t want it.

    Like

    • OK, then you can keep blaming the TV for the universe’s ills. 🙂

      Of course, I have to tell you that the idea that Winnie the Pooh causes low self-esteem and hatred of one’s own body is. . . inventive. And I’m saying this as somebody who read both Peter pan and Winnie the Pooh by the age of ten in 2 different languages. 🙂

      Usually people just blame Britney Spears. So Winnie the Pooh is very refreshing in this context. 🙂

      Like

  31. Politicalguineapig on said:

    I did not blame Winnie the Pooh for anything. Actually, he and Garfield the cat helped me a lot, by y’know, being fat and not apologizing for it. Garfield’s one of the major reasons I never dieted; it never worked for him, so I figured it wouldn’t work for me. I just cited those two books as an example of childhood standards that not everyone had read. (So maybe I wasn’t the only kindergartner checking picture books out of the school library and ignoring them in favor of the chapter books checked out from the public library, who knew?)
    And Britney Spears? Yuck. By the time she hit the scene, I’d grown out of my pop phase and was well into prog rock. That and hacking other people’s Itunes 😀
    Helena Suess: Well, if G*d’s a loving G*d, how come his worshippers are so eager to kill other people or torture them? Thus, He either enjoys bloodshed, is too weak to make them stop, or simply has no interest in people at all. Which explanation do you prefer.
    And yes, of course love makes people weak and vulnerable.

    Like

    • Or there’s the Arminian idea, which anticipated your question by some centuries: from love for his created humans God decreed that we should possess free will and not be his mindless slaves. This means that cannot interfere directly in human affairs without revoking that decree. All evil is the fault of human beings beginning with the fall of Adam and Eve, who preferred to gratify themselves rather than abiding by the simple injunction not to eat this one damn fruit. It’s a bit more complicated but that’s the gist of it. I’m not a believer, but you could try and look up some of the historical responses to your smug rhetorical instead of just resting on it.

      Also, what makes you think that hate and destruction have so much more potential than love?

      Like

      • @Helena: I’m sorry to hear you are not a believer because you sound like one. It seems that you obviously understand the principles of free will, sin, salvation, etc. I have read the bible through and studied it extensively. And if there is one thing I can conclude from all of my efforts, it is that God does interfere in the affairs of men. The Armenians must be wrong. By the way, aren’t they the group that postulated that men can be perfectly sinless through their own efforts?

        Like

    • “Well, if G*d’s a loving G*d, how come his worshippers are so eager to kill other people or torture them?”

      -It sounds like those who don’t worship him are not eager to kill or torture.

      “Actually, he and Garfield the cat helped me a lot, by y’know, being fat and not apologizing for it. Garfield’s one of the major reasons I never dieted; it never worked for him, so I figured it wouldn’t work for me. ”

      -Good for you! Then, I’m glad we agree that “society” or “the media” have nothing to do with anybody’s dislike of their own body.

      Like

  32. @Paul

    “@Helena: I’m sorry to hear you are not a believer because you sound like one. It seems that you obviously understand the principles of free will, sin, salvation, etc.”

    Aw shucks thanks.

    “I have read the bible through and studied it extensively. And if there is one thing I can conclude from all of my efforts, it is that God does interfere in the affairs of men. The Armenians must be wrong. By the way, aren’t they the group that postulated that men can be perfectly sinless through their own efforts?”

    No the Armenians are an ethnic group that originated in mountainous country in the east of what is now Turkey. They mostly follow Oriential Orthodox Christianity though some are Muslim. The Wesleyan branch of Arminians (following John Wesley’s interpretation of Jacobus Arminius) did believe in a thing called practical perfection, whereby through grace the truly dedicated Christian becomes a habitation of the Holy Spirit and is cleansed of inbred sin and the desire to sin voluntarily, though it’s still possible to sin involuntarily and the “perfect” Christian must still resist temptation. Basically, a perfect (Arminian) Christian is one that thinks and acts and believes as Christ did, though this begs the question of whether Christ was human or divine or some muddle of both, which has its own multi-millenial debate to grapple with. What I described above is more John Milton’s idiosyncratic application of Arminianism, the big idea of which is that free will is decreed by God and is perfectly compatible with the Christian God’s ominiscience, omnipresence, and omnibenevolence. Logically, this means deferring responsibility for evil onto human beings as a perversion of the decree of free will, and not bitching that it’s all God’s fault.

    But, of course, for all this stuff you have to take as your first principle that God exists in the first place.

    Like

  33. Politicalguineapig on said:

    Clarissa: I cited two positive influences in the media, against 200 other conflicting influences. When every woman in any magazine or TV show is some variety of skinny and well-endowed, it can only be ignored for so long. I don’t consider myself pretty at all. When I get chatted up at a bar (not often, cause I don’t go for the drinking, but for really loud music.) I always catch myself wondering why the guy is chatting with me and quickly concluding that he’s either desperate or perverted. I’ve stopped buying clothes at stores because they never look good on me. So there are ways to counter the influence of the media, but it’s influence (even on so-called confident people) shouldn’t be underestimated.
    Helena: So, basically, you’re saying that God is either apathic or a sadist. Humans don’t do a very good job at the whole free will thing. They are always seeking some way to be told what to do.
    Paul Tilderman: Well, one real Christian wants to destroy the EPA, and two others (at least) support oil drilling. But they’re still environmentalists, right? I don’t have to tell you what happened to Jesus, right? He preached love, and died in horrible excruciating pain, and then his followers started telling everyone that he’s just fiiine and came back from the dead. And the reason I think G*d is out to get me? Simple, his followers are out there every day, telling women that they are worth less than their fetus, and that they should be giddy and gleeful to lay down their lives/give birth to the unwanted child of a monstrous hateful man/ give life to their daddy’s or brother’s child/ sacrifice the care and love they could give to their other children or give up their silly little dreams of education and, hopefully a career someday. And when they’re not doing that, they’re telling gay men, women and children that they are sick and wrong and should just die already. But God’s still a loving God, even though He encourages his followers to do this kind of crap.

    Like

    • “When every woman in any magazine or TV show is some variety of skinny and well-endowed, it can only be ignored for so long.”

      -I can repeat it for the twentieth time, but what’s the point? People with high self-esteem and healthy body image can watch America’s Next Top Model all day long and be extremely happy with their own 250 pounds of weight. This is NOT about the influence of the media. Low self-esteem and self-hatred existed long before television. Do you honestly believe that people with these experiences “I always catch myself wondering why the guy is chatting with me and quickly concluding that he’s either desperate or perverted. I’ve stopped buying clothes at stores because they never look good on me.” did not exist before magazines and the media came into existence? Really?

      Self-esteem is formed in the first 3 years of a person’s life. NO media can do absolutely anything to that self-esteem in either direction later in life. But if you want to blame the TV instead of addressing the real root of the problem, more power to you.

      Like

      • To be sure, Clarissa, the first 3 years of a child’s life is vitally important regarding self-image. But to say that media can have no affect either to build up, or tear down a persons self-esteem is preposterous. Madison Avenue ad executives know what every businessperson that has ever spent a penny on advertising knows: Advertising works! And I cannot help but believe that if 95% of all little girls shown in print and on screen were short, chubby, and under-developed, this world’s idea of what pretty is (for a little girl) would be quite different than it is now. And, by logic, the same would hold true for adult females.

        Like

    • “Helena: So, basically, you’re saying that God is either apathic or a sadist. Humans don’t do a very good job at the whole free will thing. They are always seeking some way to be told what to do.”

      Tyranny and enslavement notwithstanding, there’s always the choice in who or what to serve. I try and obey the laws of physics.

      “But God’s still a loving God, even though He encourages his followers to do this kind of crap.”

      I understand your anger. You’re right, it can be a shitty world and lots of people do very shitty things. But all the shit going on doesn’t mean God is out to get you personally. If it means anything it’s nothing more than the fact that a lot of shitty people appeal to God for justification of their shittiness. Now, THEY might be out to get you.

      Like

    • llama on said:

      “I always catch myself wondering why the guy is chatting with me and quickly concluding that he’s either desperate or perverted.”

      Don’t do that please give yourself a chance.

      First have a little empathy the guy put himself out there for you to reject by starting trying to chat you up.

      Second don’t start of by having negative thoughts, engage him and talk back men are people too.

      If you do want a man as a partner in some way then you need to give at least one a chance.

      Like

  34. Politicalguineapig on said:

    Clarissa: Up until the 1950s, only the very very upper crust had leisure to worry about they looked like. So, no, it’s not a problem that existed in historical times. And also, kids under 3 barely have a sense of self. Self-esteem does not develop until 4 or 5. Ever read any books on child psychology?

    Llama: at this point, pairing up is not plausible. And I’m lazy and don’t want to pare down my interests to an acceptable level.

    Helena: What’s the difference between a toxic God and toxic followers? I’d rather not deal with either.

    Like

    • “Up until the 1950s, only the very very upper crust had leisure to worry about they looked like”

      -You are mistaken.

      “So, no, it’s not a problem that existed in historical times. ”

      -You are completely mistaken. I suggest reading works of classical literature. Jane Eyre is one of a multitude of extremely famous novels where that issue is addressed. I can recommend hundreds more.

      ‘And also, kids under 3 barely have a sense of self. Self-esteem does not develop until 4 or 5. ”

      -You are totally mistaken. A child who develops normally begins to distinguish her or himself from others by the age of 3. This is also when the gender identification takes place. Of course, in children with smothering, controlling parents these processes are retarded.

      Like

  35. Politicalguineapig on said:

    If I recall correctly, Jane was working in…an upper class household, and aspiring to break into the upper crust herself. Most novels were written for the upper class, up until the very late 1800s, when penny dreadfuls and dime novels took the stage. So, yeah, not a very reliable barometer of what people thought in the past.
    I agree that children form a sense of self at a very young age. However, the concept of ‘self-esteem’ crawls along much later. It’s different from pride, which small children often have after completing a difficult task.

    Like

    • Jane Eyre experienced huge poverty and hunger and worked for a living in a job she hated for a pittance.

      “I agree that children form a sense of self at a very young age. ”

      -Then what are we arguing about? A child who was loved and adored by his or her parents will never grow into an insecure self-hating adult no matter how much television and trashy magazines s/he ends up consuming.

      Like

  36. llama on said:

    Paul Tiderman :
    I thought Darwin was that creep who stole all of his ideas from some other man, and got them published first…

    You are the creep that will stoop to any level to try to discredit the works of Darwin. How long before you claim he into bestiality?

    If your god was so fucking helpful why didn’t he have JC tell us how to make all the life saving medical techniques that we had to invent ourselves. A warning about fascism communism and capitalism might have been useful too.

    The most important thing that we get from this god is 1100 pages of his ‘word’ giving advice on such crucial things as how to keep slaves, not to eat shellfish, etc.

    Why didn’t he give us some real help? Hey he could have solved the whole fucking issue on evolution by explaining how DNA works.

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  37. Politicalguineapig on said:

    Clarissa: We are arguing about the non-existent phenomenon of self-esteem. It is possible for me to distinguish myself from you without thinking I’m the most wonderful thing in the universe. Pride in a job well-done or completing a difficult task is possible without having to repeat ‘I am wonderful, I am the best.” And while I conceded that small children have a basic idea of how to distinguish themselves from other people, it doesn’t matter to a child younger than three what the peole around them are thinking or expecting of them. Heck, kids barely have any memory at all before they turn five.

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    • This has nothing whatsoever to do with what you have memories of. What happens to you before the age of 3 defines your life in ways that no TV program ever can. But of course if people want to hand over the responsibility for their life to the TV and magazines, I can’t stop them.

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  38. Politicalguineapig on said:

    No, almost nothing that happens before the age of three is registered by anyone and most of it doesn’t have any effect on later life. Again, kids below three neither know nor care about other people’s feelings. So quit pretending they do, okay?
    You can afford to ignore advertising and magazines because just about every person in them looks just like you. Other people scrimp and save to look like those people, and some just take one look at the magazines or the TV and ignore it all. You can jeer at media all you like, it’s still there and it still influences people.
    Helena: Look at history. It has proven time and time again that destruction and hate are always more powerful than love. Humans are nasty little destructive apes, who occasionally exhibit some worthwhile tendencies.
    And in my personal experience: well, I was weak once. People stomp all over people they think are weak. Things that would weaken me aren’t worthwhile. So I side with hatred because ‘love’ is at best stupid, and at worst will get me killed.

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    • “Helena etc.”

      Well I’ll cop to the fact that a lot of what you describe made more sense when I stopped believing in God. But love can make you strong. It can even save your life. I’d be dead without love.

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    • “No, almost nothing that happens before the age of three is registered by anyone and most of it doesn’t have any effect on later life. Again, kids below three neither know nor care about other people’s feelings. So quit pretending they do, okay?”

      – 🙂 🙂 🙂

      “You can afford to ignore advertising and magazines because just about every person in them looks just like you. .”

      -Huh?? Can I have the names of those shows? That would be interesting to watch.

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  39. bloggerclarissa :This isn’t really about gender. It’s normal for people of all genders to experience some emotions when they see a newborn.
    Have you had a chance to look at newborns lately? They are like little miracles.

    Seeing a newborn baby at this point in my life, doesn’t really elicit an emotional response. However, when I first saw my firstborn child at his birth, I was overcome with emotions I had never experienced before. And when I announced, “It’s a boy!” to the family gathered in the hospital waiting room, tears of joy flowed from my eyes freely. That was a big deal for me at the time. My tears had always been reserved for pain. And there had never been a shortage of that. Of course, I had been emotionally stunted as a child. My parents didn’t acknowledge, or even seem to want to know about, their own children’s emotional needs. If I sound like I am blaming them for who I am, that is not the case. The world was a totally different place in 1959…Anyway, I think men aren’t as affected emotionally as women, generally speaking, because men typically have a different set of concerns than most women do. I think men are more concerned with providing his children with the opportunities that he didn’t have. Whereas, women are more likely to be concerned with their children’s emotional well-being, self-esteem, and the like…their happiness. Of course, this is an over-simplification. But I think it is true, nonetheless…

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