The lament of a non believer


O humankind unhappy!- when it ascribed

Unto divinities such awesome deeds

And coupled thereto rigours of fierce wrath!

What groans did men on that sad day beget

Even for themselves, and O what wounds for us,

What tears for our children’s children!

from the Nature of things by Lucretius

Advertisements

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

81 thoughts on “The lament of a non believer

  1. Howie says:

    Sounds like a man of wisdom.

    Like

  2. Mordanicus says:

    Lucretius was a clear thinker.

    Like

  3. archaeopteryx1 says:

    “So many Gods, so many creeds,
    So many paths that wind and wind,
    When just the art of being kind
    Is all this sad world needs.”
    — Ella Wheeler Wilcox —

    Like

    • Howie says:

      I like that one quite a bit Arch. Never seen it before.

      Like

    • makagutu says:

      Is it King who said can’t we all just get along?
      Good quote arch

      Like

    • Arch, you should share that with Brandon.

      Like

      • makagutu says:

        I don’t think it will help. Is it possible to get anything through to him

        Like

        • Sigh, I know. What’s crazy, and he can’t see it, is that he is basically saying that it takes 66 books within a book and a faith in the daddy guy in the sky looking over his shoulder 24/7 to do one simple thing — be kind to others.

          Oh, I’ve got one for you.

          Like

      • archaeopteryx1 says:

        Brandon is beyond sharing anything with.

        Like

        • When, after hundreds of posts from multiple people showing clear and precise data, you pretty much know something’s going on neurologically, if you get my drift.

          Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Yes, well, I just “got it” a little sooner than some others appear to have.

            Brandon is a manipulative, smarmy, saccharine-sycophant with a clever debating strategy, that by observation, I am just discovering, as patterns in his tactics begin to emerge. I can’t address his issues, either neurological or psychological, because I can’t at any point in time, be absolutely certain that we’re seeing the real Brandon, or just the Brandon, Brandon wants us to see.

            Like

          • “manipulative, smarmy, saccharine-sycophant ”

            And you don’t think something neurological is going on? Brandon battled with major depression, too, and was an innocent child who was indoctrinated in the worst way.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            And I didn’t say there wasn’t – I implied that one couldn’t get a good read, as one doesn’t know if they’re diagnosing Brandon, or a Brandon persona that he has conjured for presentation to the public.

            Like

          • God belief is his lifeline. He believes that without it he will fall into the abyss. I’ve seen/experienced and read similar behavior many times in my line of advocacy work. It goes without saying that indoctrinating children with religion, and especially fundamental religion should be illegal.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            indoctrinating children with religion, and especially fundamental religion should be illegal.

            Any form of indoctrination should be illegal.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            The problem there, lies in the fact that it’s not easy to draw a clear line between indoctrination and teaching.

            Like

          • For some reason I thought you of all people would see the bigger picture in my comment.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I do see the big picture, but the issue is not what I see, but what others can be made to see – I raised all of my children without even the slightest mention of a god or a Jesus. I’m looking ahead to the even bigger picture, and that would include those who would say that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the Big Bang occurred or that evolution provided us with all of Earth’s lifeforms, and that to teach otherwise, lies within the purview of indoctrination.

            Like

          • Well — corporal punishment is in the bible, and therefore still being practiced in 19 states (mostly religious states). You see the big picture?

            Yes — we can create laws that show that certain beliefs taught in the bible is child abuse and create laws the prevent this.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I’ve never allowed corporal punishment, either in my home or in my children’s relationship with their schools.

            As for, “we can create laws that show that certain beliefs taught in the bible is child abuse and create laws the prevent this,” this is what I meant by the BIGGER picture – no, we can’t, without violating the 2nd Amendment, and that’s the only thing that allows US to say what WE want to say, we lose that, and the US becomes a theocracy.

            Like

          • So, if I understand you correctly, we can’t make corporal punishment, as promoted in the bible, illegal without it violating the 2nd amendment? If we have evidence that fear-based indoctrination from religion leads to atrophied hippocampus. Well the 2nd amendment protect fundamentalist religion from causing brain shrinkage? And what about the abundant studies showing people who hear voices from god — and an unwavering drive to ‘save the world’ have neurological disorders?

            We are still a baby country. Once the studies go mainstream about how harmful fear-based religion are on the stability of society, they will most likely be shunned, and/or not taken seriously, just like you see in your more advanced countries, which also happen to be the most peaceful. Since the U.S. is anti-education, we have our challenges. But I remain hopeful that we will eventually come out of the dark ages.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            “If we have evidence that fear-based indoctrination from religion leads to atrophied hippocampus. Well (sic) the 2nd amendment protect fundamentalist religion from causing brain shrinkage?”

            Do we not have ample evidence that global warming, or at least drastic climate change is real and man-made? How well is that being received?

            Could I see a show of hands, of the religious in Congress – that place where our national laws are made? Of on the Supreme Court, which decides if those laws are valid?

            Again, I’m not disagreeing with a word you’ve said, except the plausibility of implementation.

            Like

          • My point is, Arch, that you can undermine the 2nd Amendment (it’s happening before our very eyes) and the rights of everyone who don’t believe as the fundamentalists and RCC do, by using “religious liberty — religious freedom”, as a tactic. It’s working.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Yes, I know that, all too well, it’s a massive undertaking, being carried on, on many different levels – now try and imagine what it would take to get your concepts enacted into law, against that tide. As much as we might prefer otherwise, right does not always prevail, sometimes might does, regardless of how wrong it may be.

            Like

          • “now try and imagine what it would take to get your concepts enacted into law, against that tide.”

            It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to figure that one out. To my knowledge I said it ‘should’ be illegal, not that it ‘will’ happen anytime soon. The U.S. has never been very good at being proactive. They function primarily from their limbic system rather than frontal lobes. What makes us think that will change anytime soon?

            “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” ~Aldous Huxley

            Still, I’m not going to become apathetic like so many have.

            “For men tied fast to the absolute, bled of their differences, drained of their dreams by authoritarian leeches until nothing but pulp is left, become a massive, sick Thing whose sheer weight is used ruthlessly by ambitious men. Here is the real enemy of the people: our own selves dehumanized into ”the masses.” And where is the David who can slay this giant?” ~Lillian Smith

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Still, I’m not going to become apathetic like so many have.
            And well you shouldn’t. Scream! Shout! You never know when someone may be listening.

            Like

          • And if you haven’t figured it out already, I do; and based on my emails, more than ‘someone’ is listening. 😉

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Why am I sensing antagonism, when I’ve plainly stated I agree with you?

            Like

          • Arch, I am not being hostile towards you. You tend to be sensitive, so I do need to be careful how I word things with you.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I fear the two of you have been speaking almost past each other and you are all my great friends. Go easy on each other and be the nice friends you always are being both able to learn from each other and get a good laugh. Besides, Victoria your knowledge of neurology and arch’s psychology adds a lot to the discussions we always have.

            Like

          • Thanks Noel. I tend to get mixed signals from Arch and don’t always know how he’s going to take my comments. Also, when I’m debating, I’m not just sharing the information for his sake — so when I comment, it’s not necessarily being directed solely at him. As long as we’ve been debating, I figured he knew that already. But like I said, I need to be careful in discourse with him. He’s not always quick to pick up on my genuine, well meaning motives.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Good. I have known him for quite a while now and whereas he likes humour a lot, he would not necessarily pull your legs when you agree. And I have known you to be passionate about educating all of us and if we all combine our strengths, the world will be better because we lived.

            Like

          • Yeah, that last comment I made to him, where he thought I was antagonizing him was a bit of humor, which is why I winked. He said “Scream! Shout! You never know when someone may be listening” and I thought that was funny, and figured he’d get my comeback.

            Arch and I have a ‘special’ relationship in discourse, and I’ve addressed him privately in email where I apologized when I though he misunderstood what I said. He said I didn’t need to, as he wouldn’t want it any other way. I wasn’t disagreeing, per se, with anything he said. I was simply engaging in discourse — adding to the discussion. Like I said, I get mixed signals from him sometimes.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            That settles it. Am glad since if their is any disagreement you guys can always exchange mail. I almost brought my virtual hammer on two people I really like!

            Like

          • LOL — just ask Ark about Arch and his ‘sensitive’ ways. They are fairly good buds, too. But my apologizes to you for derailing your post. I was just taken aback by his response and felt it needing clearing up straight away.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Don’t you worry. It is all good. The world will always be better if we are all reasonable.

            Like

          • Thank you, Noel. Had we been in person, with body language, etc., he would have perceived it differently. I have to learn to not be so assuming during online discourse.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            That is important. Decoding written words is not always as we think they will be seen.

            Like

          • Exactly, and not everyone reading, especially lurkers, may be aware of friendships forged and discussions exchanged outside of the debate arena.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Not to worry, Mak – she’s crazy about me, she just hides it well!

            Like

          • See what I mean, Noel? He’s got the hots for me so wants me to approve of everything he says, and when it looks like I don’t — well — we already know what can happen. 😀

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            Can you honestly tell me that after all this time, you STILL don’t realize how fragile, sweet and sensitive I am –?

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Hahaha! That beats all of them arch

            Like

          • I am aware of more than you may be aware that I’m aware of. Shuuu — you don’t want to blow your cover. 😛

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I am aware of more than you may be aware that I’m aware of.
            Words to live by —

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            …if you haven’t figured it out already…” – “…more than ‘someone’ is listening.
            If you say so —

            Like

          • Arch, just one last clarification. When you said “Scream, Shout” — I laughed out loud loudly because it’s so obvious by my sometimes (often?) annoying repetition of data and opinion, on certain subjects, where I do this a lot in discourse (same old, same old). But it’s paid off based on the positive feedback I get in emails, often from lurkers.

            So to you and others who hear the same rhetoric as if you think I think I’m sharing this with you for the very first time (aware I’m repeating myself), thank you for your understanding. 🙂 You should see me on political forums. *wink*

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            In all serialness, give ’em hell –!

            Like

          • *smiles* Your support means a lot.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I agree that the line could be thin but to answer any challenging question with god works in mysterious ways is to dumb down the student. Or to insist that the answers are to be found in one book written several eons ago.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I thought he said he was a non believer turned believer that he was led there with the evidence he had?

            Like

          • Noel,
            Brandon was raised in the worst kind of fundamentalist environment where he grew to have disdain for all of “fallen” humanity. He became an atheists for a short period because he loved dinosaurs and what he’d been taught didn’t add up to his understanding about dinosaurs. Then he had a “religious experience” hint — hint.

            Need I say more?

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            Now I see

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            You describe him so well.
            How he convinces himself that anyone takes the long replies he writes seriously is still beyond me.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I can’t say that everything he does is consciously deliberate, as I don’t know for certain that he’s that devious or has that much foresight, but let me try to give you some examples.

            In the world of physical fighting – and debate is just a a mental form of combat – whether in western boxing or in the martial arts, it is to a fighter’s advantage to appear weaker than he is and to always keep some strength in reserve for when the proper occasion presents itself – if you can mentally disarm your opponent, the battle is half won. With that in mind, consider his chosen name, “naive thinker” – to call oneself naive already gives his opponent a sense of superiority. Even his avatar, taken from a down angle, can leave his viewer with the subconscious message, especially coupled with those Ollie-Owl glasses, that he is weak and defenseless.

            Then he begins each comment with a complement of his opponent’s comment, a tactic designed to lower his opponent’s defenses – “How can i be upset with a guy who just complimented me?!” Since I pointed that tactic out so often and openly, he has toned that down a bit.

            When asked a direct question – and Ark has asked him the same one many times on Brandon’s own site – Brandon will employ Mohammad Ali’s famous, “Rope-a-Dope,*” evading and obfuscating until the questioner has worn himself out.

            The game of chess is yet another form of combat – again, mental – in which the object, of course, is to win, but failing that, the failsafe lies in playing to a draw. Brandon will ask, “What do you think about _____?” or, “Why do you hold that opinion?” and if you’re more honest than he, and who isn’t, and list your thoughts or your reasons, once they’re broken down, he will take take each one and attempt to either refute it, or (the equivalent of a chess draw) to create enough doubt about its validity as to nullify it.

            These are the tactics I’ve identified so far – doubtless more will emerge upon closer observation. He’s far from naive, he’s all about winning.

            *”The rope-a-dope is performed by a boxer assuming a protected stance (in Ali’s classic pose, lying against the ropes, which allows much of the punch’s energy to be absorbed by the ropes’ elasticity rather than the boxer’s body) while allowing his opponent to hit him, providing only enough counter-attack to avoid the referee thinking the boxer is no longer able to continue and thus ending the match via technical knockout. The plan is to cause the opponent to ‘punch himself out‘ and make mistakes which the boxer can then exploit in a counter-attack.”

            Like

          • Arch — close to two months ago I banned Brandon from my blog. I’ve been blogging on WP for over 2 years, and he’s the first person I’ve banned. Why? Because I saw a tactic being use by him that my late husband used on me in the advanced stages of his neurological disorder. Now — much of what I post and commented on, regarding religion, is related to advocacy work. Many people who have religious auras, due to a neurological disorder, are looking for any validation they can find about their religious experiences, and what better validation than from a very religious physician?

            If someone is hyper-religious and having religious auras, the longer they delay a neurological evaluation, the greater chances of their disorder leading to more psychotic episodes, further advancing the disorder (brain damage). Studies show that neurological disorders, where someone’s primary symptoms are religious in nature, are often misdiagnosed. I get a lot of hits on my blog, and have at least 300 devout Christians and some Muslims (mostly men) following my blog.

            Yes, Brandon is clearly using a tactic — and he is, IMO, neurologically challenged. He’s a textbook case of hyper-religiosity, and as I’ve shared more times than I care to admit, hyperreligiosity is a major feature of mania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, temporal-lobe epilepsy and related disorders.

            So, if you want to see him sweat, get weak in the knees, and very stressed out, approach him from that angle and watch his confidence and polite demeanor down the tubes.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            I had no idea you’d banned him from your blog, I don’t recall your mentioning anything about. Yes, I caught the obsessive-compulsive disorder hints, as well.

            About the indoctrination thing – the point I don’t think I’m getting cloear to you, is that I DO NOT disagree with anything you’ve said, except for your premise that it can be legislated – it can’t, without removing the protection clause of the 2nd Amendment, then by sheer numbers, the religious would run roughshod over us, and then you’d see indoctrination on such a scale as to make today’s pale in comparison.

            Like

          • “it can’t, without removing the protection clause of the 2nd Amendment, then by sheer numbers, the religious would run roughshod over us, and then you’d see indoctrination on such a scale as to make today’s pale in comparison.”

            If you’ve been following anything that’s going on in Congress (extreme religious right take-over), including local legislation in most Red states, and the Supreme Court, it’s happening now on a grand scale.

            Right now, the consensus is that Hobby Lobby and the 100+ other companies suing the government (because of their “sincere religious beliefs”) will win — and the government will lose. If this happens, the very conservative (and religious) Supreme Court will make religious corporations people of faith.

            Like

          • archaeopteryx1 says:

            As well as designating religious monuments in public places, “Historical Monuments,” (shades of Karl Rove) – and these are the guys you think are going to enact legislation forbidding religious indoctrination of children? “Look, up in the air – it’s a bird – it’s a plane – no, it’s a flying pig!”

            Like

          • “…and these are the guys you think are going to enact legislation forbidding religious indoctrination of children? “

            See my last comment.

            Like

          • makagutu says:

            I find him all too annoying. I get quite impatient with one whose only intention is to bore to death with what ifs and what notes when the material of reference is the one old babble or Koran

            Like

  4. fabryhistory says:

    I like Lucretius, too, but I haven’t finished The Nature of Things.
    I’m reading Voltaire’s CANDIDE again, to my son – which is a fun introduction to philosophy!

    Like

  5. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Outstanding selection, my Nairobi brother! A very profound truth! 🙂

    Like

  6. Sonel says:

    Great share Mak. He said it so well. 😀
    Have a great day my friend. ♥ Hugs ♥

    Like

  7. archaeopteryx1 says:

    But on a lighter note – little-known pieces of totally useless information from someone who clearly has too much time on their hands:
    Clint Eastwood is an anagram of Old West Action.

    Schoolmaster is an anagram of The Classroom.

    Evangelist is an anagram of Evil’s Agent.

    Astronomers is an anagram of Moon Starers.

    The Eyes is an anagram of They See.

    Vacation Time is an anagram of I Am Not Active.

    A Gentleman is an anagram of Elegant Man.

    The Detectives is an anagram of Detect Thieves.

    Like

  8. Aquileana says:

    Those words were Wonderful. Lucretius complained the same way Schopenhauer did…. Such a visionary man …
    Thanks for sharing, best wishes, dear Makagutu, Aquileana 🙂

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      Schopenhauer was a real visionary. I got to read his work because of Nietzsche, one philosopher, whose works if it is possible to love, I love a lot.
      And best wishes to you my friend

      Like

We sure would love to hear your comments, compliments and thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s