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I begin this as a spin off from Owledge's thread entitled "Atheism as a religion" http://thetaobums.com/topic/36593-atheism-as-a-religion/page-23 Mid-debate on this page, you will see a comment from Bubbles about stirring subjective views. This, we do find in most of life. Whether it's in forums, on the news, social media - everyone seems to have an opinion about something. An educated opinion? Or a biased opinion based on values implanted in us. Notice how defensive we get if something of ours is criticised; religion, diet, parenting...the list goes on. In the above debate, I had my own rumble with Iain, challenging him for a more objective view as opposed to going from what had been previously learnt from a yogi/teacher and attempting to apply it to neuroscience and quantum physics. My argument remains the same, and that is that I cannot go by what he argues because I have never experienced, nor had any reason to trust, his spiritual ideas. Yes, I can take them as a positive guideline for enhancing my own wellbeing and those around me, but if we're discussing the nature of the universe, religious and spiritual ideas provide very little other than what I see as beautifully written analogies. However, I can work with an evolutionist approach to at least use the tools that we have at hand to move one step closer, as opposed to making assumptions and links to dogmatic spiritual ideas that lack any form of credibility. That said, Iain if you're reading this, don't think that I don't recognise your same goal. Your commitment to understanding theories of quantum physics, biology, neuroscience etc in addition to your spiritual practices is admirable and proves that you're not a man of blind faith. And feel free to present whatever teachings you have come across from the yogi teacher you spoke about, I just can't guarantee I'll be on board hehe. So Bubbles' point is very valid as this is only one example of many conversations within that thread that had some very big opinions being thrown around. The main trend though, that I found, were almost reasons to argue for atheism as being like a religion. As opposed to looking at the scenario objectively, perhaps first looking at what defines religion and how atheism could (if it does at all) fit the description, some people instead choose to go straight for arguments such as it being a belief system of its own with its own label and following. Pure assumption, as you will see Marbehead fighting his corner many times on how this isn't the case. The same could be said about religious debates in general, they all tend to be based around subjective, biased arguments depending on who wants to be right, as opposed to actualy being right. This is why I love the Tao Te Ching - it's pragmatic. In the same way as science (not all, but a lot) is pragmatic. It takes a lot of faith to read a holy book and take it as seriously word for word. It takes even more faith to deem it as reliable as the information you see directly in front of you. Hypothetical example: A fundamentalist christian believes in the word of God and that it is portrayed in the bible. This same person is told by a friend, but with no evidence, that their son has been seen kissing a man. How do you predict his reaction? Most likely dismissing the news because he hasn't seen his son actually doing it. Could he deny this if he had evidence? Probably not. So in this case, he has made a choice about what he wants to believe. He wants to believe in the word of God and that it is portrayed throughout the bible. He wants to believe that his son is a straight man and that his friend is mistaken. Therefore there is a lack of objective thinking within this person - but it spares his feelings none the less. Of course, we don't even know if his son was actually kissing the man. That doesn't stop us trying to find the truth though, but his father probably wants to leve it there as he is worried about what he might find out. A Recent example: I was on Twitter the other day when over here in the UK, there was a huge storm over what this old talk show veteran said: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeOsBeeeEjI In context, she is talking about a professional footballer's crime of raping a woman and his rights to return back to the team. Due to her wording, trolls on Twitter went mad. Apparently she defended the rapist and blamed the victim. Looking at the video objectively, what do you see? Personally, I heard her say that she in no way was "minimising rape" and that his actions were "reprehensible". Yes she did also say that the victim was very "drunk" and that it "wasn't violent", but this is fact stating. That is all I can say about that. People on Twitter would say "Judy, all rape is violent", which is a fair statement to make although, in this circumstace, as the court files confirmed, there was no evidence of bodily harm. Even though forcing sex is violent intent, in context with what she was saying, it is clear that the attack was not as severe as say, if he drugged and/or beat her. The justice system has different grades of violence, and this is why someone will get more jail time for murder than manslaughter. More for GBH than a quick one punch in a bar before walking out and calming down. She acknowledged that he had done a bad crime, and that he had done his time. The law sees the footballer, (Ched Evans if you want to research this yourself) fit to be let back out into the world and therefore Judy recognised this. Still, Judy Finnigan had to make a public apology due to the subjective opinions and rants on Twtter. It resulted in her daughter receiving rape threats. I know, right! The wonderful opinion of "Oh, well let's see how she likes it if her daughter gets raped" mentality. The power of subjective opinion, aka, believe what suits you at the time. So I wish to express the importance, and hopefully convince you that we should not be debating with our own personal biases. If we do, we find ourselves desparate to look out for ourselves in situations that require a neutral and practical solution. There is no harm in having our own preferences in life, depending on what they are of course, but an open mind to logic and evidence should not be discarded for dogma that could be likened to sheer imagination.