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From: Steve Drew (srdrew_1@hotmail.com)
Date: Fri Feb 08 2002 - 19:24:29 GMT

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    From: "Steve Drew" <srdrew_1@hotmail.com>
    To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk
    Subject:  RE:
    Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 19:24:29 +0000
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    Hi, Vincent

    >Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 13:07:33 -0000
    From: Vincent Campbell <v.p.campbell@stir.ac.uk>
    Subject: RE:

            <This is assuming that all sociobiologists accept the same things
    and come to the same conclusion, but fair enough that was a bad example.
    I'll try
    >another - didn't Hitler claim to be an atheist? I wasn't aware that
    >Atheism
    >confered on its followers logic, rationallity and the pursuit of
    truth.
    >:-
    >)>
    >
    >If only it did.† I think that if Hitler did make such a claim, I
    don't know, it does suggest the broader point that issues of morality
    amongst atheists is not necessarily one of... common ground.<

    My point exactly. Atheism is as broad as any church in the range of opinions
    that the term contains. Look back at the posting on determinism vs free will
    that went on a few days ago gives you a flavour. Iím pretty sure Hitler did
    say he was an atheist, but i canít remember where i read it. Hitlers
    *religion* (if you like), and what made his actions and beliefs possible
    were founded on the thoughts of Herbert Spencer, and others of his ilk,
    who used a corrupted version of Darwinism that led to both left and right
    wing groups advocating practical eugenics. The basis for this is if that
    there is no god, the only way to improve things if prayer wonít do it, is if
    we do it ourselves. the only way to improve things would be to cleanse the
    breeding stock....

            <Fence sitting it is not. In the absence of definitive proof either
    way, to
    >make a decision on this would be based on what? - a feeling, balance
    of
    >probabilities etc. It is not that i refuse to take a position on the
    >matter, but that the matter is irrelevant. A decision is not required
    on
    >something that is irrelevant.>
    >
    >I see what you mean, but unfortunately it is all too often relevant
    that religious viewpoints get preferenced and prioritized by states
    denying
    the rights of the non-religious, from restrictions on the teaching of
    evolutionary theory in parts of the US, to the UK government's new
    programme
    (just approved by parliament despite the largest rebel vote of Labour's
    time
    in office) of faith based schools.<

    I agree. Unfortunately, belief in religion supplies a need to people who
    cannot accept the idea of *not being* (which admittedly is probably
    impossible to do) and respond by clutching at whatever comforter they can
    find, rather than plain old acceptence and resignation.

    >(I'm in the process of joining the
    National Secular Society in the UK, the founder of which achieved the
    right
    of non-christians to affirm rather than swear by the bible in court
    cases, a
    small but often overlooked victory for secularism).<

    an avalanche has got to start somewhere : )

    >Vincent<

    Iíve been uming and ahing about a subscription to the Freethinker, the
    secular humanist monthly, though it can be quite fervantly anti - religious
    on occasion.

    Regards

    Steve

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