Saturday, June 15, 2013

That awkward moment when the primitive tribe you have come to convert to Christianity, instead converts you to atheism.

I have started to write about this incredible conversion multiple times but always put it off. But the other day I stumbled across this YouTube video of Everett reading from his book and realized that it was much more powerful coming from him. (Oops it turns out it was read by another. Still better hearing it read aloud though.)

The Pirahãs, he said, “believed that the world was as it had always been, and that there was no supreme deity”. Furthermore they had no creation myths in their culture. In short, here was a people who were more than happy to live their lives “without God, religion or any political authority”. 

Despite Everett translating the Book of Luke into Pirahã and reading it to tribe members, the Pirahãs sensibly resisted all his attempts to convert them. 

According to a report in the New Yorker: 

His zeal soon dissipated … Convinced that the Pirahã assigned no spiritual meaning to the Bible, Everett finally admitted that he did not, either. He declared himself an atheist.

As an Atheist of course I find this story very gratifying. But as an American I am almost saddened to realize that even such a primitive people were able to discover a truth which still eludes so many of my fellow countrymen.

103 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:16 AM

    In my social circles I've come across a number of people recently who have waxed rhapsodic about missionaries, and I can't help thinking how incredibly arrogant it is to barge into someone else's culture and insist they're doing it all wrong.

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    1. Anonymous7:04 AM

      Exactly

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    2. My sentiments exactly!

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    3. I know a family who went to Israel as "Christian missionaries". When they told me this, all I could think was, "seriously, you think they need to be saved from Judaism?"
      Last time I checked Jesus was a Jew.
      Would they like the Jews to try and convert them? It was just such an arrogant thought process, on their part, to think this needed to be done.
      I haven't had any contact with them since, so I don't know what their experience was like......maybe they are Jewish now.

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    4. Anonymous6:38 AM

      But what if they believed in some god that said one day in the distant past to have human sacrifices? Wouldn't you want to help them with first the human sacrifices, and also the god part, as long as they were willing to listen?

      If I am allowed to help people learn about atheism, I see no reason why it should be a problem for others to teach what they believe to be true. I think that if a person is intelligent enough, the truth will be realized.

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    5. Anonymous6:43 AM

      Israel's 'kibbutz' is a perfect example of atheist way of living, where life quality (and expectancy) is very high and Judaism concepts are kept with a healthy manner.

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    6. Anonymous8:05 AM

      We can't "convert" anyone. We are messengers; servants. This missionary was already in the wrong by trying to "convert" people based on his own selfish intentions.

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    7. Anonymous8:22 AM

      This just goes to show how delusional people are about their understanding of god: http://goo.gl/mqObr

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    8. I understand but I think the idea is that we all have done wrong and are all in the same boat. So Christians would say I think that we all need to be saved from our sins by Jesus, who loves us and therefore we aren't telling people they are wrong, just saying what we think. But yes Christians do believe other people are wrong - because they have to if they believe Christianity is right? I think the idea is that God loves us so much and we have to let other people know about it. But I agree that it could be seen as arrogant to assume "our" way is correct. But if you found something amazing out you would probably want other people to know too..

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    9. I understand this but I think the idea is that God loves us so much that He died for us. And we are all guilty of sin - all in the same boat - but Christians siad yes and accepted God's help. So Christians tell other people about this "truth" and that they can accept His help too.

      I can see how it can be seen as arrogant because by saying that the Christian belief is correct, we are saying other people's are wrong. A lot of beliefs technically say this because whatever you believe to be true, normally states something else is wrong... though you could be very aware that your view might not be "correct" - assuming there is a "correct" view.

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    10. What values does it have to die for has when he is immortal. Why are we guilty are we not built from him? Meaning that he has sin too? Well he killed all that people who he disliked on the bible... Why is not a chapter on rape on the bible, or about slavery being wrong, is slavery being OK now? I think you are delusional by believing a fairy tail.

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    11. The it would be equally arrogant to remain in one's own culture and do the same. In fact, telling a missionary what they are doing wrong (being arrogant) is a violation of the proposition itself.

      Now, if missionaries are simply the carriers of Good News, then this statement might need some adjustment.

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    12. Anonymous3:23 PM

      I'm a committed atheist, but I can't help thinking that if I were a believer in some kind of (albeit unreasonable) God who insisted that people follow him or face an eternity of damnation I'd feel strongly compelled to try and save as many of my fellow humans as I possibly could. To just wander by, letting people carry on with the lifestyle that I felt I knew would bring about their never-ending misery would be inconsiderate to say the least.
      And that's why I always try to be polite when extricating myself from a conversation with a 'true believer' - they're really only trying to do the best thing as they see it. They're only trying to do you a favour.

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    13. Anonymous3:24 PM

      I think you should read the Bible first and you'll see rape and slavery being addressed...
      Start reading then you could throw in your two cents...

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    14. Anonymous5:11 PM

      I know the bible. I know what it says about rape and slavery. It's not comforting.

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    15. Anonymous7:40 PM

      Hold it there, C. I have no problem with that evangelizing (spreading the good news) if on does so as part of their daily life - WHEN ASKED. Traveling to another country with the desire (MISSION) to dos so, without appreciating THEIR culture is what is arrogant and WRONG.

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    16. Anonymous7:43 PM

      Oh tosh 3:23. when it comes to religion, it's my god good, your god bad. True believers are delusional (and vulnerable, naive) ass-wipes who need a dose of reality.

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    17. Anonymous9:52 PM

      I've never seen a true God loving man act and speak in the way savage condescending atheists do about others. If believing another person's belief is wrong as well as forcing beliefs on others, then atheists are as guilty as all denominations.

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    18. Anonymous10:20 PM

      "I've never seen a true God loving man act and speak in the way savage condescending atheists do about others."

      Yeah, that's because a few hundred years have gone by since those who are God fearing have stopped pillaging and subduing. Modern day God-obsessed individuals know to be more subtle and prefer to use their vote to put idiots in power. Come back to me after you die and it is just as it was before you were born - nothingness. Except this time you'll turn to dust and be scattered or be consumed underground by your fellow earth-dwellers.

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    19. Anonymous10:48 AM

      We have Mormon kids here on their required mission-I'm assuming they are trying to recruit liberal Catholics so that they too can hate gays, subjugate their women, and believe people who are barren, unable to procreate, and that don't have a partner will get a lesser level of salvation in the afterlife.

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    20. Anonymous5:00 AM

      I have often wondered what real knowledge was lost when the Spanish invaded central America and for example burned nearly all of the codex of the Mayan c

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  2. This tribe uses logic and reality to form their truths. They don't need a theological crutch to live their lives happily.

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    1. Anonymous8:43 AM

      They are a primitive tribe in the Amazon jungle that doesn't even have electricity. It a pretty big stretch to say that the use "logic and reality to form their truths." It's much more likely that they just eat fish and don't have minds evolved enough to contemplate their own existence or higher beings.

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    2. Anonymous8:56 AM

      we got a troll over here guys!

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    3. Anonymous8:57 AM

      Uh oh, the missionary is on a mission! I think you should reexamine the last portion of your statement and apply it to your yourself in the context of atheism.

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    4. Anonymous8:58 AM

      the greeks and romans lacked electricity as well. modern comforts do not define a logical or evolved brain.

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    5. Anonymous9:01 AM

      So because they don't have electricity, they can't think logically? WTF!?! They are Homo Sapiens, the same species as you and me.

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    6. Anonymous9:03 AM

      wow, racist much?

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    7. Anonymous9:14 AM

      And so you, with your evolved mind just happened to accept as real all the myths that were handed down to you. .

      Lucky coincidence, right?

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    8. Anonymous9:31 AM

      "It's much more likely that they just eat fish and don't have minds evolved enough to contemplate their own existence or higher beings."

      Thanks for showing us how stupid you are.

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    9. Anonymous11:21 AM

      Jesus didn't have electricity.

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    10. Perhaps Mr./Ms. Anonymous isn't aware of the fact that there was no electricity at the time when the competing holy books of the three major monotheistic religions were written.

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    11. P.S. Fish is "brain food"!

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    12. The very concept of "the primitive" is defined by judeo-christian constructs.... modern conveniences are just the symbolic representation of that construct: in a sense, the icons of a successful religion. (and thou shalt not have those, if memory serves)
      In the broadest sense the Christian missonary's message is designed to save people from their primitive notions, whether they wear Armani or Tapir. The reasoning maybe rooted in faith, but it's presentation is a form of logic that excludes any understanding of rainforest reality. It strips faith naked, leaving only luck as a survival mechanism, and makes a laughing stock of an all knowing thing that will welcome your conversion in some magic future after you die.

      If you're happy to live IN the rainforest without converting IT, then your intelligence is measured by your ability to survive, and your wisdom by your ability to find a balance between work and enjoyment. (It's pretty much the same everywhere) The fact that a christian missionary only sees in that the concept of the primitive is the height of arrogance, imo.

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    13. Anonymous7:49 PM

      holy fuck 8:43, sounds like you are the one without logical capability. Socrates, Plato Aristote and Jesus Christ (who hung out with fishermen) also lived without electricity- seems to me they had no problem being evolved enough to be rational.

      Don't worry, you can still work on it

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  3. Wow. This is a wonderful story. Thank you for posting it.

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  4. Anonymous5:05 AM

    I wish the library and book stores were filled with such stories, and the greatest PR/Marketing campaign since Constantine finally exhausted its worth.

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  5. That was powerful. To be fair, though, they live in an idyllic setting. They can pick fruit, and fish, and not plan for tomorrow. Those people wouldn’t survive in northern Alaska, Canada, or Scandinavia, where planning is vital. How that dovetails with creation myths, I’m not sure, but it’s certainly related.

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    1. A. J. Billings5:31 AM

      You do raise an interesting point, perhaps similar to the peoples that Captain Cook "discovered" in Tahiti and the Hawaiin Islands in the 1700's

      Respectfully though, life in tropical jungles without grocery stores and malls is not easy.

      People actually can starve for weeks in between fruiting cycles and if game is hard to find, which is increasingly true in many areas where poachers and others are hunting.



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    2. Anonymous5:48 AM

      Still, they have hardships...and take responsibility for them and don't abdicate responsibility to a useless god when things do not go well.

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    3. Leland5:51 AM

      Actually, almost all of North America was populated by successful hunter/gatherers - until European man came along and thoroughly screwed up their environment! And, of course, their complete society.

      Through millennia of experience, they had developed a system that fit each area they moved into. Had the Piraha developed their society in another area of the world, they probably would have successfully survived quite nicely.

      Having said that, however, I have to agree that the effect (affect?) on their "religious" beliefs are unpredictable, especially when one considers that a huge number of the ancient indian tribes of South America had full blown religions AND myths of creation and destruction.

      So what caused THESE people to develop a religion-free society? Who the heck knows?

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    4. Anonymous7:11 AM

      If you picked them up and dropped them off in one of those places, of course they wouldn't survive unless they adapted.

      I don't understand about what that (having to plan for the future) has to do with creation myths, specifically.

      Hawaii and other tropical islands are also bountiful in the same way, but the indigenous people have creation myths and histories of their own gods. They also fell prey to missionaries.

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    5. "These people" as you term them, or many like them, are doing ok in a lot of very different, and more harsh [to you] environments on the planet. You could not survive, but they can; they are still living in their ancestral places.

      The point of the story is that their own resourcefulness, not some imaginary god, keeps them alive. That's true everywhere.

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    6. Anonymous6:51 AM

      The still had to explain death. This is the basis for all startup religions.

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    7. It actually has a lot to do with it. When your environment is plentiful, you don't turn to religious constructs anywhere near the degree when hardships to living exist. Studies of cultures have demonstrated that people who encounter greater challenges also tend to develop ways to explain them in spiritual and religious ways.

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    8. Anonymous9:07 AM

      "they still had to explain death..." the basis isnt about death, its about how we came to be and what happens after we die. And im sure the way they explain it to their children is simple and easy to understand. It's probably something like "I don t know what happened to make us be or what happens when we die. All i know is that we are here now and we better make the best of it no matter what." Which, imo, is a damn fine philosophy.

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    9. Anonymous7:56 PM

      @ 7:11ing a.m. that's an interesting question. Seasons seem to do two things - one, give people a sense of urgency and future-looking because a longtime w/o easily available food source (winter)looms. Two - that death/rebirth thing of trees/plants seems to call for an explanation - think the Persephone story of Greek mythology and pagan evergreen symbolism.

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  6. angela5:34 AM

    Seeing is believing to them --huh? Amazing that more formally educated people cannot or refuse to get that.

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  7. Anonymous5:38 AM

    Ms. Underwood: I fail to see how one's situation in the world, vis a vis climate, affects one's longing for a religion.
    Surely there are atheists in sometimes -cold Alaska, Canada, and Scandinavia. Those who aren't atheists were given their religion from their parents or ancestors. They may still believe, but it's not because they're chilly.
    Needing to plan ahead because of the change of seasons does not create believers.
    Jerusalem is pretty ideal weather, too. As was Rome.
    If you think your religion makes your civilization preferable, then you've bypassed the message of the New Testament.

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  8. Anonymous5:46 AM

    Thanks for this!
    I am going to read it this summer. Sounds wonderfully promising.

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  9. hedgewytch8:01 AM

    I've never heard of an atheistic society. I've always been dumbfounded by the presumption and arrogance of missionaries to come to another people's community, take advantage of their good graces, and then tell them that everything they believe is wrong and they will be punished for it horribly forever unless they change everything about their culture and spirituality.

    It was because of such actions that I am not a Christian anymore. I was raised in the Lutheran Church - I have cousins who are missionaries. I seem to remember hearing that "God will reveal himself to all people" - which I believe is true, and therefore, "God" can be revealed to all people in the way that they can best understand him/her/it. It just these fundamentalists religions can't stand any kind of competition and/or challenges to their tidy little narrowly closed minds, so a "god" that walks and talks differently than white-bread Jesus, must be squashed.

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  10. I just dropped my sister at the airport for her "mission" trip to Central America. A part of what she packed includes visual aids for teaching "Noah's Ark" to some 8-10 year old kids who live in cardboard boxes. Nope - I simply cannot understand. Nor can she understand why I believe their mission to be complete arrogance. (sigh...)

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    1. Anonymous9:46 AM

      Those poor kids. I guess they need to be taught how their reward will only be in the afterlife so it's A-ok that they're starving now.

      I would have told my sister to get someone else to take her to the airport. Then again, my sister and I are pushing 50 and have no trouble saying that kind of thing to each other. One day she'll hopefully wake up and take your words to heart.

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    2. Why are you enabling her? Let her walk to the airport.

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    3. Anonymous7:59 PM

      Complicity = guilt. The reason I am no longer RCC and working on excommunication.

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  11. I find it hard to believe that we must always try to convince other people to see and believe what we believe. Seems like a "My momma is better than your momma" kind of mentality that some of us haven't grown out of.

    Christianity at it's best preaches love, humility, understanding, and to be a better person. Christianity at it's worst, preaches doom and gloom, hate, suffering, and arrogance. All the other religions are the same -- the best of the best on one end with the worst of the worst at the other. Same with atheism -- it can be the best of the best or the worst of the worst as well. Maybe it comes down to basic human nature at it's best or at it's worst.

    To be a truly great world, we need both tolerance and respect for each other, respect for each other's beliefs, respect for the world we live in. We also need to want a better world for ALL people to do this.

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  12. Ok, it's late afternoon now down here in the REAL heartland [Little Rock], and I've been floating around on the intertubes about Dan Everett. Just ordered two of his books.

    It is interesting that he chucked the pointless/irrelevant Christian belief system after hanging around with very smart people who are totally invested in the way they live, and have been strong enough to resist attempts to ruin their lives. Naturally!

    But the more important thing he's done is raise a really big question about the origin of language.

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  13. Anita Winecooler5:57 PM

    What an amazing story! I'll have to watch the rest e of the links in the description section on youtube, and I will be reading this book!

    The Pirahas have everything they need to survive, the part that got to me was this missionary wanting to fix the roofs, when the Pirahas own curiosity about the night skies was higher on their priority list than a little rain.

    Makes me wonder who's the "primitive" in this tale.

    I wonder how many civilizations throughout history have been obliterated by "well meaning" missionaries without the courage of the author to re evaluate his own belief system?

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    1. Anonymous9:13 AM

      You raise valid questions. I suggest reading 'Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice' by Mark Plotkin if you are interested in learning about the impact that Western culture has on indigenous cultures. We could learn more from these societies than many of us Westerners realize!

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  14. Anonymous6:41 AM

    Who cares?

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    1. Anonymous7:38 AM

      0/10, try harder.

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  15. Anonymous7:00 AM

    Faith in God is not a requirement to live on earth, but, rather to live everlasting...
    I cannot believe that when I die, I will cease to exist.

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    1. Anonymous8:25 AM

      It's kinda obvious that you'll cease to exist by just observing other living creatures dying.

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    2. What kind of narcissistic maniac wants to live FOREVER. That's a fucking long time! And what, eternity is going to be filled with churchy stuff like singing praises to the LAWD? People can barely stand to do that for an hour a week in Real Life… who in their right mind wants to do it FOREVER??

      Read Mark Twain's "Letter to Earth".

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    3. Anonymous8:01 PM

      It's scary. But be an adult. Deal with it. Otherwise, you miss that this is the only life you will ever have - make it a good one. All you have to spend is time.

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    4. Anonymous8:01 PM

      Lidia - LOVE THAT BOOK!!!!!!

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    5. Anonymous8:02 PM

      And it's caed "Letters FROM Earth" IIRC. The premise is that one of the angels has come here and are writing back home- in disbelief at human religious stupidity..

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  16. Anonymous7:07 AM

    How about a little research?

    http://vimeo.com/47811812

    Here you go. At 2:00 minutes in. A conversation with Jose Augusto and Yapohen Pirahã, who represent the leadership of the Pirahã tribe CLEARLY state(multiple times) that THEY ARE BELIEVERS in God.

    So a Christian tried converting them, wasn't happening. Which is great, nobody should try to impose views, but the FACT that they were believers in God, is clearly stated there. Poly-Theism.

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    1. Anonymous8:26 AM

      Maybe in some kind of pantheistic deity but not your abrahamic god which is a total farce.

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  17. I think what this highlights quite nicely is that religion isn't a fundamental part of human evolution -- and that we aren't hardwired to create, or even accept the notion of theology when indoctrination of the young is not used.

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    1. Anonymous8:09 AM

      Well said Chris... reality is so scary for some people.

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  18. Anonymous7:58 AM

    FYI, the book is more about linguistics, anthropology and the struggles/adventures he and his family had there among the Pirahas. He writes briefly about his atheism at the very end of the book.

    One of my favorite books, highly recommended!

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    1. Anonymous9:11 AM

      Thank you.

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    2. Anonymous8:03 PM

      Has Dawkins commented on the Piraha?

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  19. Anonymous8:06 AM

    Thanks for posting this. I didn't have the same experience, but I met a few atheists who were quite comfortable in their lack of belief. However, one quibble: the passage is not being read by the author, but by another person.

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  20. BAReFOOt8:06 AM

    How is deliberately trying to infect people with a horrible and crippling mental illness with the purpose of making them servants of an organization that is known for its cruel inquisitions, child rape and the like… HOW IS THAT NOT A CRIME??
    Such people must be thrown out of *any* country or locked away and given a intense therapy. They present an extreme danger to humanity as a whole.

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  21. Anonymous8:13 AM

    Most religions just won't let you walk your own path and have your own beliefs. You just have to see it their way. While I am not an atheist and do not condone it. I stand firm on the belief that it is your business to "believe" or not "believe". Your choices do not effect my choices. And apparently their's at least one Amazonian tribe that feels the same way. Good for them!

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  22. Anonymous8:13 AM

    Author, "primitive" is a difficult word to apply to tribes like this. Seems to me they are pretty advanced and very well suited to the niche they occupy.

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    1. Anonymous9:38 AM

      Very true. The word "primitive" is a pejorative. Historically, it's use as a description of cultures viewed as "less-evolved" than Western civilization has led to very damaging and biased views against valid and fascinating lifestyles. For example, the use of this word "primitive" to describe African tribes "justified" the slave trade; its use to describe American Indians "justified" the stealing of the land they occupied and relied on for sustenance. To use this word is to measure others as less-than.

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  23. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Actually when I hear you calling them "primitive" I perfectly understand how and why your countrymen haven't discovered this truth yet.

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  24. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Problem here is to consider them "primitive". That's why you are sad about your own country. They are techonologically capped. They don't write books as we do. But they do have Philosophy, they do have Culture. They're not that primite, we're that arrogant.

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  25. The truth? How do you know what the truth is? Youve died before and came back and now have all the answers? No one knows for sure but one can have faith one way or the other.

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    1. "What is more likely, that Nature should go out of her course, or that men should lie?"
      -Thomas Paine

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  26. Anonymous10:41 AM

    Whilst I very much agree with your blog regarding questions around religiosity. Your use of the word 'primitives' has many negative connotations. As it is imposed by the Western peoples onto peoples you assume are less intelligent. To assume the 'primitive' peoples were homogenic consumers unable to process and decide what to believe for themselves, shows your Western assertions.
    With regards to the Piraha they do not live in the past nor for the future, their moral code is to live for the day and not to disrupt their environment (Piraha culture is much more than these two qualities). There is much more Western peoplescan learn from Piraha and other indigenous cultures other than religion.

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  27. Anonymous11:15 AM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/04/magazine/04evolution.t.html?ei=5088&en=a43cfb7b24423cc6&ex=1330664400&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&_r=1&

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  28. Anyone interested in what good came from the education Everett received during his time at the Piraha tribe may want to have a look at: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/001696

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  29. Anonymous12:16 PM

    You might want to read this book review for more on this amazing tribes way of thinking : http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/04/16/070416fa_fact_colapinto#editorsnote

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  30. Anonymous12:27 PM

    Ate a lot of fish, too.

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  31. Anonymous12:30 PM

    Conversion to or from something is not proof or disproof of that something. A common mistake is to think that conversion to one's own dogma (of any sort) is proof of it's truth. Those encouraged by such conversions seem to desire affirmation of their own dogma more than pursuit of truth. For dogma is only concerned with the conclusions.

    To avoid dogmatic thinking, only the arguments for a given conclusion matter, not where, when, what, how or who is presenting the arguments. This means accurate knowledge of the supporting and opposing arguments is necessary. Something that is very difficult to achieve, in part because it can be very frightening. To thoroughly study an opposing argument may reveal it to be true. It takes humility (intellectual courage) to accept the truth no matter where, when, what, how, or who it comes from.

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  32. Anonymous12:36 PM

    two things about this, that most of the people commenting seem to not know
    1. I think a lot of you guys (and gals) are confusing their seeming atheism with irreligion. They don't believe in a supreme diety, but they believe in spirits that transform into animals, and a guy who lives in the clouds, that screams "I'm going to kill you!" at them. Which, when you think about it, is pretty much God from the Old Testament.
    2. They don't only believe in stuff that they themselves have seen, and they'll just kind of take your word for it, if you insist you saw it. Which is not really how most atheists are, at least the ones I know. If you said to one of them that earlier today, you saw a three headed man doing interpretive dance to ABBA Gold and vomiting kittens, they might believe you, instead of being like, "sounds like a crock of shit".

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  33. LIKE GAY MARRIAGE. Who has the right to come into my community and tell me heterosexuals have been doing it all wrong?

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    1. Anonymous6:00 PM

      Who is trying to tell you that heterosexuals have been doing it all wrong? What, exactly, are you trying to say?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous2:15 PM

      @2:07 PM False Truth Those who spawned you were doing it all wrong.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Religion is an abstraction, like math and art. If they don't have math or art, then it makes sense they won't have religion.

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    1. Anonymous8:07 PM

      On that art thing - they may not have fine art, but my guess is they have art in the classical sense - well made tools, decorated clothing - art.

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    2. Anonymous10:29 PM

      Everett reports: "No one paints and there is no art." ...so you guess they rode unicorns too?

      Delete
  35. That ballsy/awkward moment when you post a link to your religious historical fiction on an atheist blog because this is your first published story and you are excited and you want honest criticism#youknowyouwanttoreadwhythehellnot

    http://www.wattpad.com/18824196-child-of-the-sun#!p=1

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  36. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Peter, you are the man! Well said, I am reading it right now...

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  37. Primitive from your own personal perspective. Just because that guy was American, you assume he had any superior thinking capabilities? It's more likely to be the opposite.

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  38. If I truly believe there is a God who is good and made a way for me to be forgiven and so to be with him for eternity, would not the crime be in NOT sharing this information??

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  39. If one truly believed that there was an Almighty God who loved me and had made a way for me to be forgiven and thus to spend eternity with him in paradise, would not the crime be in NOT sharing this information? John 3:16

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  40. Anonymous9:04 PM

    As a Buddhist, I could care less about Buddha or any set form of religion, or the denial of it. Are the truly happy? If so, then they have got it.

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