The Universal Human Aversion to “NO”.

We usually attribute the aversion to saying “no” to politicians who say “yes” to special interests and pass the cost onto the larger majority.

But, the aversion to saying “no” is everywhere.  The “tough”, highly paid, CEO’s of corporations have it.  You can see the aversion when business falters and corporations announce layoffs of white collar, middle management,  staff.  “We will not reduce services to our customers,” they say.

If the people being laid off are not needed to provide goods and services to the customers today, why were they hired in the first place?  The aversion to “no” was there when high level managers wanted more staff.  The CEO said, “yes”.

Most of us would have an aversion to saying ”no” when our child asks, ”Have I been good enough for Santa this year?”  There seems  little harm in saying “yes” there.

The aversion to “no” is present in religion.  We are child like in our fear of death.  Thus, we ask clergy, search ancient books and look wherever we can to feed our aversion to “no”.  We want “yes” to the question,  ”Can I have life after death?”

Here is where Freethinkers and atheists serve society.  They are the last defense of honesty about life after death and invisible beings.  People don’t like those who say “no”, those don’t exist.

In spite of the angry aversion to ”no”,  Freethinkers say it anyway.

 

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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52 Responses to The Universal Human Aversion to “NO”.

  1. Wanna B Sure says:

    Jon; I do believe you have it right. You say “no” to the Holy Spirit, Which is the only source of being able to say “yes”. There is a term for that. But we have been there before. Nothing more to say.

  2. Stan says:

    Thou shalt not?

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Stan 2:41 You’re right–there is a lot of “No” for the small stuff, sin and other gods. But, the life after death, the big one, that’s a “yes”.

      • Stan says:

        Sin and other gods is not small stuff. I have never heard it called small stuff except by non-believers.

        Acceptance of God and getting to heaven means a deep and hard study of what sins you have committed in your life. Even atheists agree theft, fraud, murder and assault (physical, or emotional) are not good things to do. If possible asking the victims for forgiveness. It also means you forgive those who have sinned against you. This is actually sometimes easier than admitting you yourself has sinned. Finally placing it before God and Christ and asking for Christs forgiveness and God’s Grace.

        It isn’t a get out of jail free card you can buy at the local church. It takes guts and time.

        So the answer is YES but the road isn’t easy.

        • entech says:

          Why “Even atheists”, are they not human that they need to be specially designated and differentiated?
          Do you allocate some special position in the universe to yourself because you can believe what some cannot?

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Stan 3:25 Just to add a note to entech’s reference to your use of “Even atheists”, atheists are underrepresented in prisons compared to their representation in the population. Christians are over represented in prisons.

          In spite of this, I’m not frightened when I met a Christian. : )

          • Stan says:

            In respect to the prison being mostly Christian. Their definition is not mine. I work the prison ministry and most claim Christian simply because they were baptized, or they think it is inherited. They have NO idea what a Christian is and what it means to be one. This is not some poll, this is me sitting face to face and asking. I am in the room with them 2-3 times a year with 30 inmates at a time.

            I say “even atheists” in this case because it seems they have a wholesale rejection of religion especially the Judeo-Christian line. There has been much good done by the church. I would like to remind you that human sacrifice was very prevalent during the early history of man and was soundly rejected by both the Jews and the Christians and in their law.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Stan 1:12 “human sacrifice..was soundly rejected by both Jews and the Christians and in their law.”

            Was not Jesus “sacrificed” for our sins?

            I just Wikied up “human sacrifice” and saw a lot of passages against slaughtering the “first born”, but I didn’t see human sacrifice in general “soundly rejected”. Now, I don’t know much about the Bible so I can’t really say you are right or wrong.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; Re. Jesus sacrificed; There was no temple ritual or practice of human sacrifice. The Romans did the killing, not making it a Jewish event in the sense that you wish to impose. (interesting spin on your part though). He did “lay down his life as a ransom so that others may live”. (in the spiritual and physical sense).
            The Canananite religion (Moloch) required child sacrifice as part of their ritual. God through is prophets, ordered the cananites to be destroyed when the Hebrews came into the land because he didn’t want the Cananite religion to corrupt their faith.
            If you attempt to infer that when Abraham was ordered to sacrifice Isaac,and that it was systemic, (it wasn’t), that won’t fly. It was a test of Abraham’s faith, and it wasn’t completed. AND in those times, the fullness of the faith had not yet been completely revealed.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 2:15 Good spin, Jesus did him self in voluntarily, not to appease any god, the demand for Isaac’s head was only a test of faith–human sacrifice can only be counted when it is “systemic”. I suppose we could say the animal sacrifice was not systemic burtality, just like steaks put on the grill at the tailgating party. Whatever works for you.

            Eating the flesh of Jesus and all the other ancient barbaric rituals just don’t give me warm fuzzy comfort for the faith.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Stan; Sorry for butting in, but I had the time.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            PS Jon; Although the Hebrews were ordered to eradicate the Cananites, they didn’t so completely, and the Cannanite religion still survived, and some Hebrews “went whoring after other gods”, (Cananite), and the results were devestating. Some of those Cananite women must have been some hot chicks, and they lured some of the Hebrew studs away from the faith. Got any hotties at the Freethinkers meeting? You could start a dating service to lure more Christians into your fold. There is a cult like organization that has “sexy fishing”. You could try that, as sex appears to be a sacrament like activity.

          • Stan says:

            No problem Wanna. She covers the sacrifice thing.

            But I would like to address this “Now, I don’t know much about the Bible so I can’t really say you are right or wrong.” You told me you had studied the Bible several days ago as a half century Christian and daily reader at the time. So what is it, don’t know much or………?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Stan 5:33 Good observation. I did write that in response to your question of whether I read the Bible. It is correct to say both that I have read and heard much of it, encounter pieces of it daily and don’t know much about it. In fact, I’m skeptical of anyone who claims to understand what it implies for modern society.

          • entech says:

            Stan 1:12 “wholesale rejection of religion “, that could almost be a definition, it is hardly an answer to why you would pick them out and say “even they agree fraud etc is wrong”. This is almost ad hominem, as if you almost expect criminal behaviour simply because they are not believers, this along with electing yourselves to be something special especially the Judeo-Christian line demonstrates the tremendously supercilious attitude of most Christians on this forum, you are just one religious group of many, any of whom could be wrong and going by the differences between them several at least must be wrong if any of the others are right.
            This Judeo-Christian association is a common fallacy, you rejected and changed most of it to suit your own ideas, there is one God indivisible is one example, graven images is another, and the biggest insult you speak of the “Old Testament” this is the original, this is the Hebrew Bible, the original and only covenant – even then it is only a history a book full of myth, magic and metaphor, most of it probably never happened and was written down by authors who weren’t there.
            You managed to ignore the bit about your perceived special place in the universe simply because you can believe, many believe many different things.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; Re. your 10:54. Well I guess you had to have some kind of response. Context must be something you are not too familiar with. We have seen it repeatedly in the past, and it would appear to be “systemic, systematic, and symptomatic” for you and your cause. If it were not for the serious nature of the subject, it would be hilarious. For now, it’s just funny. Do you have comedy night at the Freethinkers?

  3. Doubtful says:

    “Here is where Freethinkers and atheists serve society. They are the last defense of honesty about life after death and invisible beings. People don’t like those who say “no”, those don’t exist.”

    We have discussed this before Jon, and then you denied that freethinkers and atheists say this. The truth is that science does not support the non-existence of god or a life force that exists outside a corporeal body. Yet here you are, once again claiming to be the purveyor of the one truth, and your history would indicate that you claim to base this on science, but of course that is a lie. There is no honesty in this post. It is entirely deceptive and was intended to deceive.

    • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

      I removed your double talk.

      Doubtful – “The truth is that science does support the existence of god or a life force that exists outside a corporeal body.”

      I am sorry to say this is simply not true. I would also ask you explain what “support” you are referring to.

      • Doubtful says:

        @ Demosthenes 8:29 In case you did not notice what you did changes the meaning of what I wrote entirely. At no point did I claim that science proves the existence of god. The fact is that the only scientifically supportable position on the existence of god or an afterlife is agnosticism. Science does not deal with those issues. Of course you actually knew that and are just trying to be cute rather than substantive.

        We have discussed this here at length and eventually got Jon to admit that there is no scientific support for the position that god does not exist, mostly because his hero, Richard Dawkins, states that very plainly before he sets about supporting his belief that science supports the non-existence of god, in his non peer reviewed book, which makes a lot of money for him, and which he promotes using his status as a scientist, even though it is not science.

        Jon’s position at the end of that discussion was that atheism id not the belief that god does not exist, but rather atheism is what is popularly referred to as agnosticism today.

        • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

          So we are crystal clear that science cannot support the existent of and intelligent being existing outside the fabric of reality(supernatural). Logic and Reason do support that if such a being where to exist it would NOT be the god of the bible. I don’t need a publicized book to understand that the two don’t align.

          Evolution(Dawkins) covers why we are the way we are and not how it all started. That would be, as new studies have alluded too, very very simple chemistry.

          • Doubtful says:

            If you think that Dawkins popular books are expressing evolution you have not read them. You seem to be saying that there are new studies indicating that the beginning of life is simple chemistry? You certainly need to back that up with a citation as it is an absurd claim.

          • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

            Portions of his books talk exactly about evolution…. I was also talking about Dawkins in the context of Evolution thus the “(Dawkins)” next to the word EVOLUTION.

            “You certainly need to back that up with a citation as it is an absurd claim.” – So I am required to have proof of claims yet you can just have faith, that is laughable. Why don’t you have faith in me? Your fellow human…. either way its one of the topics in this episode.

            http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/where-did-we-come-from.html

            I talks about how life formed and more specifically how RNA could have.

          • Doubtful says:

            @ demosthenes 7:17 PM “So I am required to have proof of claims yet you can just have faith, that is laughable.”

            Where do you get the idea that I have faith? You seem to assume that to argue with the unsupportable statements you and Jon make I have to have particular beliefs and you continually refer back to this. You know nothing about my faith or lack of it and my faith is simply not related to the discussion.

            A PBS show is scientific evidence that the chemistry of the first life is simple? You are laughable. The statistics regarding the formation of the first lifeforms are staggering. The chemistry of this has been a subject of investigation for decades and there is no hypothesis that is even close to being accepted.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            This isn’t my area of expertise, but Francis Collins has something to say about it. Unless we are cherry picking sources.

          • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

            @ Doubtful May 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

            Again, I said within the episode are the actual Scientist’s doing the Science. You seem to draw issue with PBS and not the actual study, what PBS airs on its own program is irrelevant. What is important IS the fact there are current studies being done which I “alluded” too previously. I never said there was a hypothesis and I am a bit worried that you think Scientific Hypothesis needs to be accepted first….that is not the case. This leads me to question if you even are a man of Science? I am also certain that those Scientists previously talked about, DO have a hypothesis.

            Deny or claim your faith all you want, I can form my own hypothesis ; That you do in fact have faith. Which is part of the discussion because of the double standard you are placing me in when requiring evidence of my allusion to the simple start of life I mentioned.

            What unsupported comments have I made about you, what have I assumed?

          • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

            @Wanna B Sure May 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

            Francis Collins is a Chemist and believes in evolutionary creationism. Do you believe in that? Don’t pigeon hole yourself now. Evangelicals are all over the board.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Francis Collins is a former non-beleiver who came to the faith from the science he was working with. He was the Director of the Human Genome Project. What I believe is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Demo; AND I don’t need a word of caution from you.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Doubtful 2:54 “but, rather atheism is what is popularly referred to as agnosticism today.”

          You are welcomed to define terms in whatever way you choose. I would only say the people who refer to themselves as atheists, but endorse the Dawkins view of things, get criticised severly by some who refer to themselves as agnostics. I was criticized in that way on this very board about a year ago.

          The person who views him/herself as an agnostic usually considers the probability of the god/no god question as 50%. The only issue I have with you post is the phrase “popularly referred to as agnosticism today.” That is not correct for most of what we would call generically unbelievers.

        • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

          @Wanna B Sure May 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm

          Collins admits it as well, there are no tools of Science. I said Logic and Reason….. explain your reference to Collins if you could. Before I waste time on a off topic rebuttal.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Doubtful “you denied atheists and Freethinkers said this.”

      You are correct in that I have said the precise position of atheists/Freethinkers is that there is not evidence of the afterlife nor the spirits, that there is the tiniest of chances these might exist because there remain unanwered questions. I added there are people in science you believe we have made progress toward sceince-based answers but they are not compete as of yet. This is a summary of Richard Dawkins who uses seven pages to explain all of it.

      I didn’t want to recopy all of that in my blog which I limit to 250 words.

      Thus, the position I have given here is complete and an honest one that stands above the Christian one in rationality.

      • Doubtful says:

        This is more of your deceptive double talk. You have claimed that the belief that god does not exist and that there is no afterlife is “the last defense of honesty about life after death and invisible beings.”
        This is simply another belief system. It is not science based. Science does not deal with the supernatural. Your claim that lack of proof equals proof of non-existence is simply wrong. Period. It is also the central tenet of your position.

        • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

          In Short:

          You find it absurd that evidence is required to prove something does exist? That is not science that is faith. Faith has no standards to adhere to, no peer reviews, no evidence required. Everything is to be taken on hearsay.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            4:02 Demosthenes–We need to practice our mental agility. We are just unable to reason that, to doubt that something invisible, something never seen nor heard, created something visible, it is up to us to provide “proof”. Speaking for myself, I will never be that agile.

          • Doubtful says:

            That bears no resemblance to anything I have said or thought. You are assuming things about me so that you can use the arguments you know against me when they do not apply.

          • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

            Then elaborate….

          • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

            Demosthenes May 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm
            Then Elaborate.

            Still waiting….

  4. Doubtful says:

    @Jon 5:42 PM If you want to state something as fact you need to support it. If your support is scientific you need to provide scientific evidence for your claim. That is pretty basic science. It takes no mental agility. It does stop a lot of BS. If you state that atheists provide the only honest and truthful statements about the existence of god and an afterlife it is up to you to provide support for that. You can not provide scientific support for that position. This is very simple. You just do not want to admit it so you practice some juvenile social tactics to get people to support your position. This is very transparent.

  5. Doubtful says:

    @Jon 5:30 PM The threads are getting very hard to follow so I am starting a new one. Wikipedia may be a current definition of the popular use of words today. I think that people take atheism to mean the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. Agnostics believe that the existence of deities can not be proven or dis-proven. Your statement about truth here actually goes beyond this definition of atheism and is certainly not agnostic. It is also not supported by science and is in fact a belief.

    • entech says:

      The truth is that science does not support the non-existence of god or a life force that exists outside a corporeal body.

      Since doubtful wrote this there has been a huge amount of, what seems to me to be best described as ‘gobbeldy Gook’ .
      Demosthenes appeared to be right when he removed the double negative, yet you think it changes the meaning, please elucidate, what exactly did you mean in plain English and no playing with words. You claim that people make assumptions about what you say and believe , Try explaining clearly, or would that be too constricting?

      From what I understand science deals with what can be seen and measured, where predictions can be made based on theories developed from the observations. The experiments performed either verify or falsify the predictions, get enough right and the beginnings of theory emerge, get one wrong and no theory. A more recent development, rising from the effect of things that can’t be seen gives the ideas of Dark Matter and Dark Energy which are hypotheses required to explain observable phenomena. There is no place in this schema for speculation on the existence or otherwise of god or a life force that exists outside a corporeal body. It is outside of the field of verifiable phenomena, a good definition of agnostic that I came across years ago (unfortunately can’t find the dictionary that it came from) said that “agnosticism states that any phenomena which exists can be demonstrated to exist” this is to me a good position – if something exists it can be shown to exist, until it can be clearly demonstrated to exist nothing can be affirmed or denied. This does not rule out a personal opinion about existence or otherwise.

      Science, as science, can only be neutral, scientists can have as many opinions and beliefs as they like.

      I recently saw (good old Youtube) a lecture by a professor of cosmology, when questioned about Dark Matter and Dark Energy, he explained how the effect of dark matter could be demonstrated and showed photographs that showed the effect, when it came to Dark Energy he said “ask a three year old, you will get as much sense as from me”. To me it is something that appears to be necessary for the university to work, it could not be seen or demonstrated in any way, but if you look out at the magnificence of the universe you find you need something – this as close as science and religion can get, both find something else is needed, the difference is science keeps looking and thinking while religion accepts ancient nonsense and blind faith.

      • Stan says:

        Stereotyping, I am religious and I love to research what is happening in science. It is amazing how this whole universe is fit together. And it only took 4.5 billion years!

        • Avatar of Demosthenes Demosthenes says:

          Stan June 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm

          “And it only took 4.5 billion years!”

          Stan….. buddy….pal.
          The Earth and the Universe are not the same.

          • entech says:

            4 1/2 or 13 1/2 whats 10 billion or so between friends, when we all know it was actually 6,453 years 17 days and 12 hours (plus or minus thirteen minutes) ago at the time of writing.

          • Stan says:

            entech, How many times have I said here I am not a young earther and very few Christians are, Besides pointing out that the original Big Band proposal was put out by a Catholic priest. When the word Christian is used you see a solid monolithic group. If that was so why would we even have protestants (protest). The shallowness of understand on who and what Christians believe is quite unbelievable from such so called smart people.

            Misspoke, as a seasoned citizen I have that right, but I will put my 20 science credits up against yours anytime. 4.0-ed my chemistry, biology, earth science and geology 1 and 2 just 5 years ago.

          • Stan says:

            Big BANG…..I do love that big BAND sound though, that is from music theory.

          • entech says:

            How many times have you said it? not enough! I never thought for a minute that you were – I don’t think there are even any on this site, at least none that make a statement to that effect. But they must be an embarrassment to you as well as a laughing stock to non believers.

            Google free comment, just from general knowledge – LeMaitre, Belgian, the man who convinced Einstein that he was wrong about the possibility of a steady state universe, the expansion was the only possible answer. The expression ‘Big Bang’ came from Fred Hoyle a brilliant astrophysicist (and Astronomer Royal) in many ways but as a committed atheist he was also committed to the steady state universe, it was originally a derogatory expression, but it caught on. Not sure why Einstein envisaged a steady state but Hoyle was definitely opposed because of his atheism, didn’t want a creation because it left room for a creator; there you are a story of scientific nonsense put down to atheism.

            You really have to be a little more tolerant of the limited understanding of Christianity shown by outsiders. There are so many, and I think you may have been a tiny touch culpa here, that say but the others are NOT REAL CHRISTIANS, they don’t believe as I DO. So it can be difficult to tell, Unitarians say they are Christians but not Trinitarians. Some very religious type that was commenting here for a while growled at me and said would I stop referring to Catholics as Christians, so here we are on opposite sides of the fence and you being described as not a Christian and me being abused for saying you were, what a strange universe we live in, as professor JBS Haldane said, not only stranger than we think but stranger than we can think.

            Speaking of fences I didn’t know it was a contest to see who could send a stream of water at a greater height. But I think I could be more seasoned than you and your ‘credits’ are certainly more up to date, it was nearly 23 years ago when I finished my second degree in science but I am doing a university course in cosmology at the moment.
            If I were a creation scientist I would leave it there and be as deceptive as they are, the second degree (a graduate diploma) is rated between a bachelors and Masters and was actually in computer science, previous work was engineering, the university I am attending is called the University of the Third Age (very widespread in Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand but not so much in America) fancy name but no accreditation at all, best described as continuing education for the over fifties, my current cosmology lecturer is retired real University lecturer, other courses may be someone with interest and experience that they want to share, baroque recorder is one such course.
            There was talk of a big band but no one had enough energy to blow the tuba.

          • Stan says:

            entech, I was pointing out that being religious and being anti-science are NOT the same thing.

          • entech says:

            Sorry if I seemed to give the impression that that is what I wanted to say. Actually the Catholic Church has in modern times a far more enlightened, supportive role in science than any other that I can think of. Independent research sponsored by the Vatican is an important contribution. The likes of Father Coyne and especially Guy Consolmagno SJ the curator of meteorites at Castel Gandolfo who gives a marvellous introductory talk at University of Arizona Cosmology lecture series, His talk is called Making sense of the University – cosmology and theology and how they change and relate with changing knowledge.

            The whole six are worth watching. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3GcdqKab9Y

  6. Wanna B Sure says:

    See Francis S Collins’ The Language of God.

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