A link and somewhere to discuss Derren Brown and his work,exposing faith based fraud.
Latest Activity: Jun 29, 2014
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http://derrenbrown.co.uk/blog/2011/10/interview-derren-brown-show-d...Derren's latest work.
Some quotes from Derren ;
not believing in something is not in itself a belief or a philosophy: it is the 'ism' at the end that tends to cause the trouble. Both atheists and believers can be as arrogant and witless as each other in frustrated debate, and people may choose strong and unapologetic words to raise awareness of the agenda. But despite the name-calling, it is still a fair point that to not believe in God is no more a 'belief in itself' than to not believe in the Loch Ness Monster, Poseidon or anything else one might personally consider far-fetched. Beyond that, there is only how you choose to express yourself.
One can be a true believer in anything: psychic ability, Christianity or, as Bertrand Russell classically suggested (with irony), in the fact there is a teapot orbiting the earth. I could believe any of those things with total conviction. But my conviction doesn't make them true. Indeed, it is something of an insult to the very truth I might hold dear to say that something is true just because I believe it is.
We are allowed to question people about their politics or ethics and expect them to defend their beliefs, or at least hold their own in any other important matter by recourse to evidence, yet somehow on the massive subject of God and how he might have us behave, all rational discussion must stop the moment we hear 'I believe'.
There is a common response from people when they hear that in the absence of evidence to convince me otherwise I don’t have any particular belief in ghosts, psychic powers or an afterlife. It normally runs something along the lines of ‘So you think we just live, die and that’s it? Come on...’ There’s a clear implication there that this earthly life – the wonder of being human – is somehow worthless. That it’s cheap and disappointing enough to warrant that ‘just’ and the accompanying incredulous tone, which are usually reserved for sentences like ‘After all that it was just a little spider? Come on...’ I live, I am sure, in a fairly narrow band of life, and make an embarrassingly pitiful attempt to explore the world I find myself upon. I ache with guilt and conflict when I hear of people living as adventurers, abandoning mainstream lives and living each day with abandon. But I really hope I have a brighter vision for this life and a greater curiosity for its richness than one who can say, and mean, ‘You think we just live, die and that’s it?’
It seems silly and churlish to attack others for their private beliefs, unless one is entirely convinced of the greater view that harm is caused by the persistence of that belief in society; but when pressed into engaging on the matter, I recall the question I asked myself many times until I found my own faith breaking down: Bearing in mind we can all utterly convince ourselves of things that are not true – and that therefore important truths about the universe must surely always be based on more solid foundations than what my easily fooled, fickle feelings tell me – what is it that supports this belief other than my own already-existing conviction?
I remember reading about a story about a guy – and this was in England, and no more than a couple of years ago. He’d gone to see a psychic, and was told there was a curse on his family, and in order to release the curse, he had to bring with him the following week £5,000 and burn it... if he didn’t do that, either he or his son would die. The scam is quite a common one – the money is put in an envelope, and apparently burnt, but of course the ‘psychic’ secretly switches the envelope and burns an envelope full of newspaper. What happened was the guy went away, and he knew he couldn’t raise £5000, but didn’t want his son to die; so he killed himself.
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