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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

That's what the puppets used to sing on Sesame Street when they did this little comparison game: "One of these things is not like the others...." Your turn to play:
1) Wisconsin farmer finds third white buffalo at his farm, and is not pleased. American Indians take it as a sign and hold a religious ceremony to honor the calf:
"We took one look at it and I can't repeat what I thought but I thought, 'Here we go again,'" Heider said.
He plans to ask for volunteers to deal with the expected crowds:
It's no surprise that the farm has had another white buffalo, said Floyd "Looks for Buffalo" Hand, a medicine man in the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D. He said it was fate that the white buffaloes chose one farm, which will become a focal point for visitors, who make offerings like tobacco and dream catchers in the hopes of earning good fortune and peace.
2) Egyptian archeologist goes to Bosnia and puts his stamp of approval on an amateur archeologist's belief that atypical hills may be very old Bosnian pyramids. He tells them to go ahead and dig, and:
"Start now! This is the time. You are just scratching the surface. There is a lot to do here. Egypt can help you with experts," he said.
3) DU reacts with pain and horror at the news that more Americans may be religious than other studies have reported, and then convulses with rage at a report that Bush speculated on a new religious awakening in the US. Excerpt from original post, quoting this article:
Bush told a group of conservative journalists that he notices more open expressions of faith among people he meets during his travels, and he suggested that might signal a broader revival similar to other religious movements in history. Bush noted that some of Abraham Lincoln's strongest supporters were religious people "who saw life in terms of good and evil" and who believed that slavery was evil. Many of his own supporters, he said, see the current conflict in similar terms.
76. he's psychotic really, what did he say recently
a "struggle for civilization" this man is totally jihadist, we have to do everything we can to get this guy out in November, get ready for a fight.
91. The first thing I thought of was "Is that like the Third Reich?"
Anyway, the terminology seems ominous to me.
11. Why is the U.S. so religious?
I've often wondered that. I know Puritans had a big hand in founding the country, but that's always seemed like too simple an answer. I'm a Canadian, and, looking southward, the difference is striking. Canada is not nearly as superstitious, and I'm curious as to why that is. Any ideas will be welcome.
At DU, you can always get answers!
40. political disempowerment
When you have no power over your life except to pray for santa clauze to come save you from an thuggish police state of mass murderers, then you project all your own political aspirations for change on to this saviour who's gonna come some day and fix all the injustices in the world. Then people can sleep easy knowing that santa's gonna fix everything.
38. Because of Strong Anti-Intellectual Convictions in South and Rural Areas
Where the needs-driven immigrants settled, education and good citizenship are valued, but where people went to hide out from progress, competition, and change, superstition, the Good Ole Boy network, and rigid class distinctions reign.
"One of these thing is not like the others, la la tra ta da..."

That's right! We have a winner! Things number 1 and 2 are examples of unlikes cooperating, and thing number 3 is an example of a demand for the unlike to be like the speaker! Now we're all primed and ready for kindergarten!

Funny that the leader of the athiest movement became a christian when he figured out it was about his time to meet his maker. 'Better to live life like there is a god and find out there isn't than to live life like there in no god and find out there is'. (not mine, written by someone famous, haha)
It's a rather succinct example of cost/benefit analysis!

Didn't he become some sort of Deist?

Anyway, what interests me about this is that DU has no hostility to religious beliefs that don't require changes in personal behavior. Adoration doesn't bother them. Worship, per se, doesn't bother them. Taking drugs to generate a transcendental experience absolutely wows them.

What bothers them is the nitty-gritty do-the-right-thing sort of religion.
I think a lot of it is just their desire to show contempt for their fellow citizens. If 60% of Americans were Buddhist, they would be slamming Buddhism. If 60% of Americans were atheists, the DUers would get religion.
'Better to live life like there is a god and find out there isn't than to live life like there in no god and find out there is'. (not mine, written by someone famous, haha)

I've heard that credited to mathematician Blaise Pascal; the idea is officially named "Pascal's Wager".
You know, DU ought to charge money to readers.

Worth every penny.
David - they're easily fooled. Maybe just one poll or so? It's an interesting hypothesis....

SC&A - it's QUITE an eye-opener!
Anon - it takes a mathematician to be simple!
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