Cats Praying… What The Fuck? Oh, And You Don’t Have Free Will.

Jerry Coyne pointed this nonsense out in which the author, Pamela Gerloff, Ed.D., at Psychology Today, claims that cats pray.  This is her evidence:

The other day, as I was dusting off a little glass shelf that had been my mother’s, I inadvertently bumped one of the tiny figurines on it–one of a set of blue and white china elephants she had once given me. The disturbance sent all the beloved creatures toppling. As I juggled to keep the whole shelf from falling, I felt a flash of frustration move through me; I might have been tempted to utter a censorable word, except that just at that instant my eyes caught Miss Kitty’s. Sitting motionless on the footstool next to me, her inward gaze shifted outward ever so slightly, just enough to neutrally observe my agitated state.

Instantly, the contrast in our inner experiences became palpable to me and I had a sudden insight. “Why, she’s praying,” I thought, as my mind fell into the calm oasis of her silent meditation.

Millions of cats throughout the world quietly doing their spiritual duty, emanating peace and contentment.

I see in no way how this is any evidence of praying.  Was a brain-scan performed to see look at which parts of the cats brain lit up?  Of course not.  And who the fuck should get funding for that idiot project in the first place?  Even the crackpot Templeton Foundation would not fund this lunacy.

Now, why would anyone think that a cat is capable of conscious though?  And more so, idolize a God in the same way humans would?  Can felines also read?  If they can’t how could they be praying to a God that humans pray to?  Oh, but you’ll claim next that they can understand English and must have overheard someone talking about Jesus/God.  Or maybe that they know innately that God exists.  Or how about that the receive transference from humans?  Yea, that makes sense too.  But in fact, it makes just as much sense as a cat praying.

Now, this begs the question of what other animals pray?  Well, obviously a praying mantis does.  Duh!  It’s in their fucking name!  Not only that, but the assume a praying position!!!  How could one not think that they are praying?  What are the chances that they would randomly obtain a position that is generally designated to prayer?  Yes!  They must be a religious insect!  Um, no!  They too cannot comprehend thoughts like humans can.  They too, like cats, don’t think.  They are instinctual.  They have reactions.  That’s how their brains function.  Neurons fire back and forth and cause an action to occur.

Now is the time for me to introduce the concept of “free will.”  This will surprise many people, but this concept is an illusion.  We do not make the choices that we think we make.  People often have a hard time understanding or comprehending this because is appears that we do have free will.  But, there are experiments that can test this notion.  What happens is that we hook someone up to take brain scans and then the person is told to make an choice on two arbitrary objects as soon as it comes to that person’s head.  We can actually “predict” the choice with high accuracy before the person “chooses” themselves.  This means that your unconscious is making the decisions.

Do you really think that you can control 100 billion neurons in your head firing back and forth?  Or take this experiment.  Think of someone in your head and say the first person who pops in.  Lets say you said Tom.  Why did you think of Tom and not Dan, or anyone else for that matter?  You did not “freely choose,” and thus, you can see that you do not, in fact, have free will.  Another test is to start talking in a conversation with someone.  Notice that you don’t know what the last word of the sentence is going to be.  But, somehow our brains do.  If they did not, we would constantly make grammatical errors and the sentences would rarely make any sense at all.  But we never do!  It really is incredible to think that our brains somehow know what our sentence will look like before we actually consciously know!

I know what you’re going to say, “you’re telling me that if i stand up and walk across the room, I did not choose to do so?”  Correct.  Let’s take the following as an example.  Most people don’t think that a dog has free will.  In fact, let’s use a mouse because that’s even more ridiculous to assume that a mouse has free will.  Then take two equivalent treats.  Next, place them two feet in front of the mouse and and let the mouse go.  The mouse will run (or walk if it’s a lazy fucker) toward one of the treats.  It looks like the mouse made a decision.  He didn’t.  His brain reacted in some way that made him go toward one treat over the other.  He did not consciously choose.  This is the same illusion that happens with humans when we think we consciously chose something.

Another thing that gets people on the whole notion of free will is that they will ask, “well, if you say I don’t have a choice in anything, then I should just not do anything since it will happen anyway.”  No, this is called fatalism.  This was more of a Calvinistic idea.  Lets say for instance that I did not write this blog post.  Will the blog post write itself?  Of course not.  You still have to do stuff.  Even if you try not to do something, your body will push you to do something.  Try sitting in bed all day.  Your body will make you want to go to the bathroom, talk to friends, go eat, go get up and walk around, etc..  Just because you don’t have free will does not mean that you can lie around all day.  Our actions are based on our genes and our environment.  That is how our brains work.  So enough of this fatalism nonsense and back to this cat prayer lady.

I have provided another quote that completely ignores facts.

She then went on to quote her mom in saying,

It was a musing-aloud about how maybe the world seemed to be in increasingly bad shape because there were fewer and fewer monks and nuns spending time in seclusion praying.

Really?  You think the world was better in the past?  Would you have liked to live in the 14th century while the Black Death took place?  Or how about during the Inquisitions?  Or the Crusades?  Was it a better world when gays were put to death?  How about the Salem Witch Trials?  Would you prefer to live then too?  Or the Civil War?  Was it a much better time period when slavery was all over?  Do you prefer when infanticides or genocides were horribly common?  Or how about before modern medicine when you could die of nearly any illness we consider minor today?  And when the life expectancy was cut in half of what it is now?  How about during the Partition of India in 1947 when millions were slaughtered?  Yes, these atrocities resulted from religious beliefs.  Science has made everything much more pleasant.  Religion has served to slow the progress of science and encourage hatred.  As Steven Weinberg famously said, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion.”

If one takes only thirty seconds to think about like in the past versus life today, one would never choose to live in an earlier time period unless of course, they are terribly sadistic.  I encourage you to look at the history of violence in this world since you clearly overlook all of the evidence.  How about reading this book by Steven Pinker.

It’s really incredible to think that a cat would pray for you because you almost knocked over a table.  Why would a cat possibly care about you knocking over a table?  It’s incredible that you are even seriously suggesting this as a possibility.

Of course I do realize this is a joke, but it looks doubtful.

11 thoughts on “Cats Praying… What The Fuck? Oh, And You Don’t Have Free Will.

  1. Hahaha. :) Thanks for your rant about my column about playful possibilities (*not* a funded study in which I “claim that cats pray”).
    It was a delight to read. And of course I realize that you had no option but to misrepresent my column; after all, you have no free will.

    • Well, considering in the comments, no one else was able to understand that you were being “playful,” so it is easy to see why you have criticism. For example, look at the following that you wrote:

      re: apparent ESP and cat talk
      Submitted by Dr. Pamela Gerloff on April 29, 2u011 – 5:59pm.
      Yes…
      Many years ago I came across a cassette tape that led listeners through a process intended to teach a way to communicate with animals. The idea was that all animals, like human infants, communicate telepathically, primarily through mental images.
      My sister and I tried this out. I have some wonderfl stories which I’ll perhaps put in a blog sometime.
      In the meantime, you might enjoy the book Kinship with All Life by J. Allen Boone. It’s one of my all-time favorite books, about the relationship between the writer and Strongheart, the first famous movie dog. From your comment, I think you would genuinely appreciate it. The communication between them is truly awesome and I think achievable by other humans and their animal companions.

      You are claiming that you communicate with animals through telepathy and you don’t seem to be joking. Oh, and this was supposed to indicate that you were being playful? I see no difference in a cat praying and you communicating with one through telepathy.
      Furthermore, several other people asked if you were being serious, and this was one of your replies:

      Playful Possibilities
      Submitted by Dr. Pamela Gerloff on September 25, 2011 – 1:46pm.
      This is a column of playful possibilities.
      Am I serious or not?
      You decide… :)

      You didn’t answer the question. You intentionally made it ambiguous. In fact you did that in several other instances. You said:

      re: woo
      Submitted by Dr. Pamela Gerloff on September 25, 2011 – 2:10pm.
      Please see my comment on this thread entitled Playful Possibilities.

      Now, you could have easily typed, I was using satire. But instead you chose to be confusing. If this post was on TheOnion, then people would understand that it is satire.
      You also talk about prayer influencing the past and helping people heal:

      “As for prayer, you might want to read some of the writings of Lynne McTaggart. I think it’s in her book The Intention Experiment where she reports on scientific experiments (elaborately designed studies using click sounds) that suggest the possibility that prayer can influence the past, and what kind of scientific frameworks might explain such possibilities.
      Also the writings of Larry Dossey, M.D. I remember reading years ago his comment that the two most studied things in medical literature were prayer and the placebo effect. I believe he reported overwhelming evidence that prayer can have positive effects on healing.”

      Ok, when you get a serious illness such as cancer or a heart condition which we all will likely get one day, how about you just pray, and avoid the medical costs of the hospital. Let’s see if you are healed. Also, how come prayer doesn’t seem to help amputees? Well, that is because it doesn’t work.

      Moreover, you did not indicate anything about what your mother said regarding the world getting worse. Was this too just being “playful?” I don’t see how in any way that is a playful comment. Also, I didn’t spend that much time even discussing cats praying. Most was spent on free will and violence in the past versus the present. This was not addressed in your comment.

      I don’t have a problem with people being playful, as long as it is indicated that it is a joke. Your article is on Psychology Today, not a satire website such as The Onion. Wouldn’t it be bad if someone published an article on creationism on Psychology Today and suggest that we teach that in schools? Or how about Flat-Earth-Theory? And refused to tell people that they were being “playful?” The problem is these act as a succor for dogmatic beliefs. Should we write an article in favor of a lobotomy for people with depression? Of course not, for that would be terribly reckless.

      So if you want to say that I misrepresented you, fine. But it is only because you misrepresented yourself. And calling this just a “playful possibility” is just to save yourself.

      One last note: I do think your article was a great way to segway into the concept of free will.

  2. You’d have to be a masochist as well as a sadist to wish to live in times past. Just the lack of aspirin would be a sufficient reason to eschew past centuries, to say nothing of the fact that most of us would be working at hard physical labour all day without said aspirin to aid us with our aches and pains. But I do agree that the more time priests spend in seclusion the better, they do so much harm when out and about.

  3. Hi Atleecs,
    I appreciate your response to my comment on your post.
    I find, however, that for someone who claims to like debunking pseudoscience, your thinking comes across to me as pseudoscience. It is full of misreadings and logical flaws.

    Many many readers understood the intent of my playful piece about Miss Kitty. Some comments on the PT website indicated as much. Others emailed me directly. Mostly, I would guess, these are people who have had some fond and direct experience with felines.

    Was Miss Kitty praying? Not exactly. But she was sitting in a state of quietude, with a very quiet mind. (It is possible to perceive the level of quietude in another person’s mind when your own mind is quiet.) Among humans, there are forms of “contemplative prayer” that quiet the mind. This results in a certain kind of awareness. In my experience and observation, a quiet mind contributes to the world in certain ways.

    It is also true, in my experience and in many others’, that when a human mind is very quiet — this means no thoughts, just a state of receptive calm and peace — communications to and from animals can be transmitted. I know you don’t believe this and you think it’s woo woo, but I have evidence for this, and there have been studies done that indicate that animals are able to perceive human intention from a far distance.

    The reason I was ambiguous in my some of my responses to commenters was that the piece is about playful possibilities–and possibility includes both the possibility that this could be true–or not true. Certain things I consider definitely true, such as that it is possible to communicate with animals. I don’t think cats pray in the way that you probably think of praying. But if you were to measure their brainwaves when they sit in silent quietude, I suspect the brainwaves would be similar to those of a monk in meditation. Maybe, maybe not, but the feeling and sensation the two emit is similar. (I have been in the presence of both.) [And by the way, there has been research on different types of prayer, and some have found to be more "effective" than others. Not all prayers are effective, but some have been shown to be.]

    In my view, the world would be better off if more of us, more often, would slow down and sit still and silent like Miss Kitty. This, in my view, is one of the values of monastics in the world–hence, the comparison made in the column; a group of people spending significant amounts of time in deep quietude emits vibrations of peace. I suspect that even you would be able to perceive the difference in the atmosphere of a monastery and the hustle bustle of Wall Street. One is quiet-minded, one is agitated and anxious. [And by the way, research by the HeartMath Institute corroborates this phenomenon.]

    It has taken me many long years of intense inquiry and exploration to arrive at my views. I have read scientific studies; sought personal, direct experience; experimented with many different healing modalities and psychological processes, etc. To dismiss so lightly the knowledge I’ve acquired, just because I playfully presented something you do not understand, is to lose out on the possibilities and ideas that I am writing about might open to you.

    As for your assertion that if my column has no warnings and caveats attached to it, to keep vulnerable readers from believing something dangerous, you can rest easy. About the only harm that could come from my column is that someone like you might have a heart attack getting all worked up about it. And that would be your doing, not mine.

    Someday you will find that life is better lived more peacefully–as Miss Kitty lives it. There is no reason to go about debunking and attacking points of view that are different from your own.

    I do appreciate your willingness to engage in discussion, and your evident sincerity and good intention. Thank you for providing me the chance to respond.

    • First you say this,

      I find, however, that for someone who claims to like debunking pseudoscience, your thinking comes across to me as pseudoscience. It is full of misreadings and logical flaws.

      Where? I’m engaging in pseudoscience because I said that your ideas of communicating with cats via telepathy and that you claim prayer influences the past is nonsense?
      I think you might want to research pseudoscience.
      Next you say this,

      Many many readers understood the intent of my playful piece about Miss Kitty. Some comments on the PT website indicated as much. Others emailed me directly. Mostly, I would guess, these are people who have had some fond and direct experience with felines.

      I already provided you with several examples where your readers did not understand your “intent.” See these for instance,

      You are claiming that you communicate with animals through telepathy and you don’t seem to be joking. Oh, and this was supposed to indicate that you were being playful? I see no difference in a cat praying and you communicating with one through telepathy.
      Furthermore, several other people asked if you were being serious, and this was one of your replies:

      Playful Possibilities
      Submitted by Dr. Pamela Gerloff on September 25, 2011 – 1:46pm.
      This is a column of playful possibilities.
      Am I serious or not?
      You decide…

      You didn’t answer the question. You intentionally made it ambiguous. In fact you did that in several other instances. You said:

      re: woo
      Submitted by Dr. Pamela Gerloff on September 25, 2011 – 2:10pm.
      Please see my comment on this thread entitled Playful Possibilities.

      Now, you could have easily typed, I was using satire. But instead you chose to be confusing. If this post was on TheOnion, then people would understand that it is satire.

      Then you go on to say this,

      Was Miss Kitty praying? Not exactly. But she was sitting in a state of quietude, with a very quiet mind. (It is possible to perceive the level of quietude in another person’s mind when your own mind is quiet.) Among humans, there are forms of “contemplative prayer” that quiet the mind. This results in a certain kind of awareness. In my experience and observation, a quiet mind contributes to the world in certain ways.

      Not exactly? Why not just, no? The cat in no way was praying. Then you claim the cat had a very quiet mind, whatever that is. And, how would you even know that? Did you conduct a brain scan? Then you talk about perceiving the level of “quietude” in another person’s mind. Um, how? Via telepathy again? Next you mention forms of “contemplative prayer.” This is still prayer, the only change is the person doesn’t talk. This means it again, is not science. I do agree with you on the last line where you say a quiet mind contributes to the world in certain ways. Yes, it does because the religious fanatic is not spreading their dogmatic beliefs around. Although, it would be much better to be a biologist and lecture on the subject of evolution then sitting there and doing nothing.
      Next you go right back into pseudoscience and telepathy with this,

      It is also true, in my experience and in many others’, that when a human mind is very quiet — this means no thoughts, just a state of receptive calm and peace — communications to and from animals can be transmitted. I know you don’t believe this and you think it’s woo woo, but I have evidence for this, and there have been studies done that indicate that animals are able to perceive human intention from a far distance.

      Communications to and from animals are transmitted when you are not thinking a single thought? How could anything be transmitted if there is no thought? You claim you have evidence for this, I don’t see any cited.
      Next you admit that you were ambiguous in your response when people asked whether or not you were being serious.

      The reason I was ambiguous in my some of my responses to commenters was that the piece is about playful possibilities–and possibility includes both the possibility that this could be true–or not true.

      Yeah there is a possibility, but for all practical purposes that possibility is 0. Just like for all practical purposes that a giant invisible ant lives in your house is 0. But there still is that “possibility” That doesn’t mean we go and spread pseudoscience about it.
      In this next sentence I think you might be talking about telepathy.

      Certain things I consider definitely true, such as that it is possible to communicate with animals.

      If you are not talking about telepathy, well obviously we can communicate with animals. For example, I can say sit, and my dog will sit. This is an example of actual communication, not made up special powers such as telepathy.
      Here is your next sentence,

      I don’t think cats pray in the way that you probably think of praying. But if you were to measure their brainwaves when they sit in silent quietude, I suspect the brainwaves would be similar to those of a monk in meditation. Maybe, maybe not, but the feeling and sensation the two emit is similar. (I have been in the presence of both.)

      “In the way you probably think of praying”? So you do think they pray, just not in the human method? And it is possible that they will have similar brainwaves, but I highly doubt it. In fact, how do you determine a moment of quietude? Do you keep running a brain scan until the brainwaves match up? That seems to be the reverse scientific method. You take something that you want to happen and then try to force evidence to match what you want and throw everything else out.
      Oh, and being in the presence of a monk and a cat really constitutes as evidence. Yeah, I’ve been in the presence of a monk too. As well as an earthworm. Both seem peaceful. This doesn’t mean anything though.
      Next you try to justify “efficacy” of prayer,

      [And by the way, there has been research on different types of prayer, and some have found to be more "effective" than others. Not all prayers are effective, but some have been shown to be.]

      Again, I say the next time you get a serious illness, cancer, etc. Just do the “effective” prayer and skip the medications, surgery, chemotherapy, etc. Let’s see what happens. Or, why don’t you tell amputees to pray in the “effective” way. Let’s see their limb grow back.

      Here is you next suggestion,

      In my view, the world would be better off if more of us, more often, would slow down and sit still and silent like Miss Kitty. This, in my view, is one of the values of monastics in the world–hence, the comparison made in the column; a group of people spending significant amounts of time in deep quietude emits vibrations of peace.

      So you want people to sit around and do nothing? Yes it would be better if the terrorists from 9/11 sat and did nothing, sure. Or how about those religious fanatics who threaten abortion doctors? Yes, I want them to sit around and do nothing too. But, it would be better if these people were taught science from an early age instead of religion. Yes, it is religion that causes this violence. And it is not exclusive to Islam.
      This is your next thought,

      I suspect that even you would be able to perceive the difference in the atmosphere of a monastery and the hustle bustle of Wall Street. One is quiet-minded, one is agitated and anxious.

      Obviously. You would feel the difference on a beach in the Bahamas versus a beach in Miami and this takes no religion. All you did was find a religious place with minimal interaction and compared it to something with high amounts of action. You can do this with anything. Your bedroom is more peaceful then the subway station. This has nothing to do with religion.
      Oh, and here is your evidence,

      [And by the way, research by the HeartMath Institute corroborates this phenomenon.]

      This is not evidence in the least. This HeartMath Institute is a place of quackery. It was founded by Doc Childre. He is not a doctor. His philosophy is that the heart is more important than other organs and it is also more interactive in our lives. This is all quackery. See here and here. Or just do a Google search.

      This is your biggest attack in your response,

      To dismiss so lightly the knowledge I’ve acquired, just because I playfully presented something you do not understand, is to lose out on the possibilities and ideas that I am writing about might open to you.

      I am dismissing you thoughts, and it is not knowledge, because they are not true in the slightest way. You claim that this is playful, but this is obviously just another way to save yourself from criticism. You talk about telepathy, lack of religiosity in modern times making the world worse (which you never address after I first posted my blog), you cite the HeartMath Institute as evidence, etc. I do not understand this nonsense because it does not exist. You just believe that it does. And these “possibilities” that I am losing out on? Well, they are imaginary. No one is losing out on them. They don’t exist. This was clearly not a “playful possibility.”

      Moreover, you say this,

      As for your assertion that if my column has no warnings and caveats attached to it, to keep vulnerable readers from believing something dangerous, you can rest easy. About the only harm that could come from my column is that someone like you might have a heart attack getting all worked up about it. And that would be your doing, not mine.

      So for all the hatred that Rush Limbaugh says in his radio show that encourages people to hate gays. That is their doing, not his? No, that is not true. There are consequences to what people write. You write for a large website and many people view your column. You do indeed have influence over your readers. Would it not be dangerous for me to encourage the oppression of women? For me to say that they are second class citizens and should not be allowed to drive or even go in public without being covered in a sheet? That would be reckless and dangerous and in fact, that does happen and we can see the result of this. Look at Saudi Arabia. Many people will believe what you write on your blog, and that is not their problem, for they are being told it is true. It is yours. You are just trying to avoid blame by saying this is “playful.” Well, children playing with their parents gun is also “playful.” Does that make it ok? Moderate religiosity supports a structure of more radical views. Just look at the Republican party in the 1990s versus now.
      You close with this,

      Someday you will find that life is better lived more peacefully–as Miss Kitty lives it. There is no reason to go about debunking and attacking points of view that are different from your own.

      Yes, life is better more peacefully. It is also better with advancements in science. Religion and fanatical beliefs are the major obstacles in obtaining peace. And yes, there is indeed much reason to debunk others viewpoints. Look at the economy now. If we follow the policies of austerity like Europe is doing we will continue to slide. Or what about creationism in the classroom? That certainly needs to be attacked. Should we allow the condemnation of gays because it is someone else’s “viewpoint?” Of course not. It is terribly dangerous to pretend that religion is fine or even to act as an accommodationist. Let’s build schools and hospitals, not churches.

    • I have it set so I have to approve of the replies. I approve of every single reply unless it is spam. I fell asleep early last night and didn’t see your reply until today. Sorry about any inconvenience. It’s just I keep getting comments trying to sell car insurance, etc.

  4. Hi again,
    Thanks for your reply.
    I refer you to a book I’ve just begun reading, perhaps you already know it. It’s Gandhi The Man: How one man changed himself to change the world.

    There is no reason to attack another, nor their viewpoints. Ever. The path of non-violent resistance that allowed Gandhi to lead 400 million people to freedom was founded on entirely different principles than you are asserting. Those principles have long proven more effective than your method of verbal rant and attack. (Your method, by the way, is like Rush Limbaugh’s, just taking different sides than he does.)

    I don’t actually support a lot of what religions say and do. But the still mind is one of the great contributions to the world that some religious traditions bring to the human experience. You have to experience a still mind for yourself in order to understand what I am talking about.

    From my point of view, it is silly to argue about whether Miss Kitty was praying or not. The piece is understood when you enter into it as a playful possibility, and as an artistic whole. You are not able to that because you are intent on proving that it is not a playful possibility, but a serious treatise claiming that cats pray and the world is worse off than it was many years ago.

    You have missed the point, and the delight of the article.
    Best wishes in your endeavors.

    • You start by talking about a Hindu, Ghandi. You have not mentioned
      this before. Either way, it is still a religion and still has it’s
      share of problems. This is what you have to say on it,

      I refer you to a book I’ve just begun reading, perhaps you
      already know it. It’s Gandhi The Man: How one man changed himself to
      change the world.

      First, I could easily tell you to read a secular book on morality or
      ethics such as Randy Cohen’s, “The
      Good, the Bad & the Difference: How to Tell Right from Wrong in
      Everyday Situations “
      or a science book by Sam Harris’,
      “The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values.”

      There is no reason to turn toward a “spiritual” or religious
      justification for being good. All that means is that you are acting
      “good” for an external reason. Sure religious people donate money to
      charities, but why does this have to be out of fear of going to hell
      or enduring some other punishment? The first goal in a religious
      person’s mind is to please a god, thus, it would not be altruistic.

      Your next sentence is just absurd on so many levels.

      There is no reason to attack another, nor their
      viewpoints. Ever.

      Really? We shouldn’t attack Hitler even though his viewpoint was to
      murder 6 million Jews? We shouldn’t criticize Kim Jong-Il even though
      he grossly violates human rights and tortures his country’s people?
      We shouldn’t condemn the 9/11 hijackers because they are entitled to
      their viewpoint of murdering as many Americans as possible? We
      shouldn’t criticize many Republicans for their denial of anthropogenic
      climate change? Or how about their viewpoint of wanting to eliminate
      the EPA? Should we treat Flat-Earth Theory as a valid viewpoint and
      not criticize it? We shouldn’t criticize those who want to instill
      religion in the public school system? Should we release murderers
      from prison because they are entitled to their viewpoint that is is ok
      to murder someone? Really? I mean really? You actually believe
      this?
      Do you honestly believe that we should not attack a viewpoint that is
      wrong and likely harmful?
      Well, I have news for you, this is how the world works. We criticize
      things to find truths. This is how science works. We need criticism
      in this world, if it didn’t exist, how would any part of our society
      function? There are consequences to our actions, some are positive
      and some are negative. But we still need to criticize in order to
      learn from our flaws and in turn, to advance our knowledge as well as
      our society. I suspect you have a problem with my criticism because
      you want to think you are right, and furthermore, I have attacked
      religion. Yes, religious people seem to think that you are not
      allowed to criticize religion. For some reason, they think that this
      topic is off limits. It isn’t. And in fact, that is one of the major
      problems with religion. It openly rejects criticism.

      You then go on to say that Ghandi used non-violent resistance and in
      fact, criticize me in the process! I thought you, “can’t do that.
      Ever.”
      The path of non-violent resistance that allowed Gandhi to
      lead 400 million people to freedom was founded on entirely different
      principles than you are asserting. Those principles have long proven
      more effective than your method of verbal rant and attack. (Your
      method, by the way, is like Rush Limbaugh’s, just taking different
      sides than he does.)

      For your first sentence, again, you can find peace in many places.
      This does not have to occur through the indoctrination of fairy tales.
      In fact, Hindus have slaughtered many many people during the
      Partition of India of 1947 on the basis of religion alone.
      Sure some you can find instances of peace in a faith, for they have
      existed a long time. I bet if you go to a prison, inmates will on
      occasion act nice to someone else. This doesn’t mean it is good. The
      problem with even moderate religions is that they act as a
      justification for hatred and violence.
      Also, would you want to live in India over the United States? If
      Hinduism was so great, wouldn’t you expect a country with over 80% of
      the population comprised of Hindus do well? We can see this is not
      the case, as it is a terribly poverty stricken country.
      So, the other side of this would be to say, well, how good are
      atheistic countries. Well, in fact, Japan is largely an atheist
      country, 64%-80% are non-believers. Japan has the highest
      life-expectancy in the world.
      Well, you’ll say, ok that’s one
      example. How about Sweden (7th on life expectancy and only 23% say
      the believe in God)? Or Norway (13th in life expectancy and only 32%
      say the believe in God)? Or Denmark (36 in life expectancy and 31%
      believe in God)? Or Finland (25th in life expectancy and 41% believe
      in God)? And by the way, these four Scandinavian countries rank 1-4 on
      the happiness index. Their citizens are the happiest in the world.
      Now, you will say, well, you didn’t put the United States in there for
      comparison. Ok, here it is. In 2009, 82% of American adults believed
      in God. Our life expectancy? 36th. Yes, 36th. Now, look at the
      countries at the bottom of the life expectancy list. All of them have
      a very high religiosity. Here are the bottom five, Swaziland,
      Mozambique, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Lesotho. None of these countries
      has a life expectancy above 42.6 and they are all highly religious.

      The purpose of my “rant” is to expose the myths of religion and avoid
      a suppression of knowledge. You are indeed trying to suppress
      knowledge with your lunacy.
      You than attack me by saying that I am like Rush Limbaugh, but on the
      other side. Well, Rush Limbaugh is a racist, crazy, homophobic,
      bigoted, and prejudiced nutcase. So I thank you for telling me that I
      am the opposite. Oh and by the way, his method is in fact comprised
      of the nonsense he speaks. Mine is factual and scientific. Oh, and
      you don’t think that he gets his views out to millions of people?
      Just look at the Tea Party. Nearly everything they think is from him.
      And his views are the kind of thing that I strongly oppose. He
      encourages violence and tries to get people to ignore science. I call
      out people for trying to suppress knowledge, promote fairy tales as
      fact and those who incite violence and promote hatred.
      By the way, it seems like you are criticizing Limbaugh in that line
      too. Again, I thought you “cannot do this. Ever.”

      Time after time, you deny or go back on your words and then in the next sentence you repeat them again. This is obvious if you read over any of your responses.

      You go back to saying that a “still mind” is one of the great contributions to the world.

      But the still mind is one of the great contributions to the world that some religious traditions bring to the human experience. You have to experience a still mind for yourself in order to understand what I am talking about.

      Really, not thinking anything is a great contribution? What about something from science? Say, the vaccine for polio or smallpox. Those have saved millions of people. A “still mind” just wastes peoples time. Oh, and the notion that I “don’t understand what you are talking about” is very silly. I know what meditation is. You sit down and do nothing and pretend that something is happening. Yes, this really progresses society… I say get out there and do something. Research drugs to help people with HIV and AIDS, fight to make medicine cheaper for everyone. A “still mind” is about the most useless position you could possibly take.

      Again, you claim that this is just a “playful possibility.”

      From my point of view, it is silly to argue about whether Miss Kitty was praying or not. The piece is understood when you enter into it as a playful possibility, and as an artistic whole.

      I have shown you in my previous replies that this is indeed not just a “playful possibility.” Go ahead, look over them again as you somehow missed it the first time through.

      You have tried to backtrack on your words again, but you didn’t even deny your assertion of telepathy.

      You are not able to that because you are intent on proving that it is not a playful possibility, but a serious treatise claiming that cats pray and the world is worse off than it was many years ago. You have missed the point, and the delight of the article.

      Again, I showed multiple times how you actually do indeed believe in these supernatural powers between you and your cat, whether it is some type of prayer or telepathy. You even suggested that the brainwaves of a cat would match a humans during prayer. This is nonsense and any sane person will realize that.
      Furthermore, you completely avoided the topic of free will. You also complain that I pointed out how the world was much worse off in the past. This is undeniable. We live in a much better world now as I have also pointed out in my other posts.

      And for the notion that I missed the point, I most certainly did not as I have called you out on all of your pseudoscience assertions. Moreover, “the delight of the article” is laughable. There is no delight, except maybe that it is so full of nonsense that it is indeed unintentionally comical.

      To conclude, you are trying to backtrack on your statements of cats praying. But in the process you admit to this belief. You also talk about telepathy between you and your cat. You claim prayer heals. You also make the statement that you cannot attack another person for their views.

      I have shown how you are wrong on every single account. You then attack me even though you claim “no one can ever attack someone based on their viewpoints.” You make baseless accusations and provide no evidence. The one time you did attempt to cite a source for research, you cite an institute based on pseudoscience and pseudoscience alone. You keep concluding that this is a harmless notion, but it is not. I have discussed why this is indeed reckless several times. Your beliefs are not science, and in fact, you do not understand what science is or does. You are a master of ignoring the scientific method and promoting pseudoscience and fairy tales and pretending that this is knowledge. It is not. These are absurdities.

      In fact, this reply seems almost superfluous, as I have explained quite well in my original post as well as my other replies, how your claims are not only false, but are indeed, harmful.

      If you write your beliefs down, at least admit to it rather than going back and falsely trying to claim that you said something else, or didn’t say it at all, or that it’s merely a “playful possibility.” If you later on disagree with what you previously said, then say you changed your mind. This can sometimes be looked on in a positive fashion. It is not helpful to say you never said something when you obviously did.

      The strangest part of your arguments is that you try to cover up one ridiculous statement with another. Like when you said you “weren’t referring to a cat praying in the traditional sense of prayer,” but then you go on to suggest that “quietude” and telepathy exist. Or that for some strange notion you think that people our entitled to their viewpoint and that “attacks on people’s views should not be allowed. Ever.” This is an excellent way to suppress scientific thought. I guess that is your purpose. That is sad.

      When you argue like this, how anyone take you seriously, on any topic?

Leave a Reply

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