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Sun, Sep 26, 2021, 12:05pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I have no dog in this specific fight (never been a SW fan, though I watched an enjoyed the original trilogy once), but I can certainly understand how a movie could ruin a fair bit of a person's childhood.

ST:Picard pretty much ruined by ability to enjoy TNG, and I haven't even watched the gosh darned thing. Just the sight of Patrick Stewart as Picard now makes me sick in the stomach.

As for this:
"If I don't understand the visceral bile toward this movie any more than you understand my apparently overly generous disposition toward it, then I guess we simply occupy different places on the space-time continuum. It happens."

More often than not it feels like we are from completely different planets. But hey, that's cool. This is a sci fi site after all :-)
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Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 7:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds


So, all in all, did you like the Orville?

I'm asking because most of your reviews of the individual episodes seemed pretty negative, yet your summary review of the show (on this thread) was quite positive.

Left me totally confused LOL
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Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:05am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

"I'm neither a communist nor an atheist"

I'll rephrase:

Given your previous comments (which span years), it is clear that you're close enough to both views for my previous comment to be just as relevant.

"if you believe that Rahul and 2PacTruth are just well-meaning people asking questions then you are an idiot."

Sorry, but I think that in this particular discussion, Rahul and 2PacTruth showed more good faith than you did.

"Atheists aren't the ones with the problem when it comes to respecting people with different beliefs. We don't ram legislation through states that strip people not like us of rights and dignity."

I don't support such legislation, and you'll find that many of the religious folks here (though not all) would agree with me on this.

The way you put all religious people in the same bandwagon and treat them as if they all share the exact same extreme viewpoint, say more about you then it does about them.

"There are theistic jerks and there are atheistic jerks."


"The difference is, atheistic jerks are rude, while theistic jerks are rude, *and* try to make people they don't like second-class citizens by force of law."

History tells us a very different story (see my answer to Jeffrey Jakucyk below)

@Jeffrey Jakucyk

"Being an atheist means simply not believing in a god/gods. There are no tenets, no scriptures, no clergy, no pronouncements. It is not a belief system, it is a rejection of a belief system."


But even atheists believe in *something*. Every human being has beliefs, and a person's primitive human nature does not magically change just because he is an atheists.

So the question is: Are atheists any less adamant/extreme/oppressive/violent in defending their views? Enter Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao and Korean Kim to tell you: Nope. Human nature just sucks, and power-hungry people will find excuses for their rotten behavior, with or without religion.

In short:

Religion is not the problem here. Dogma, prejudice and hate towards people who think differently - is.
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Mon, Sep 6, 2021, 4:23am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers


The part of 2PacTruth's comment that Rahul quoted and supported is 100% true.

OTOH the second part, where he claims that militant atheists are like that because they submit to some kind of post-modernistic viewpoint is 100% wrong. I agree with you completely that *this* part is "pure and utter nonsense".

"using words as honey or darling is not a sign of scorn..."

Please don't insult my intelligence.

Every single word in your comments towards both 2PacTruth and Rahul reeked with scorn and disrespect. And I don't particularly care whether you own up to this fact or not.

"Aren't you a scientist?"

Yes, and I don't see any "anti-science crusade" in Rahul's post.

Pointing that there are problems in the academia is not synonymous to an attack against science. You *do* remember that science is - first and foremost - a quest for truth, right? So if certain practices in the academia are not conductive to this final goal, then pointing these flaws out is *a good thing*.

"Here a few statistics about religious fanatics. They killed more than 20000 people in 2019 alone only in terrorist attacks. How many did the militant atheists kill?"

I'll keep this question in mind, next time I'm tempted to join a radical Islamic terrorist movement.

It's also a bit strange to hear this argument from a person who is a self-professed communist. How many tens of millions of people were killed/tortured/maimed/psychologically broken in the name of communism? And is citing this "statistic" a good argument against communism as an economic system (short answer: No, and neither is it a good argument against religion).

In short:

Yes, I agree with you that joining a murderous cult is a bad idea. Not sure what this has to do with the discussion we're having, though.


There are two irreconcilable viewpoints in the debate, and it's not the "religious" vs the "atheists". If you are in favor of protecting human rights and caring about the prosperity of your fellow human beings, then we are on the same side of the fence.

Are you?

Can you respect people who believe differently than you do? Is your world big enough for people who disagree with you on the God question? Or do you prefer to be socially coddled by people who parrot that religion - in all kinds and forms - is a moral depravity that belongs in the dark ages?
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Sun, Sep 5, 2021, 1:27pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

Perhaps, Booming, if you stopped regarding other posters with such scorn
("honey", "darling"), people like Rahul wouldn't feel the need to defend them? And then there's your reply to Rahul himself... why do you always have to pick fights?

Next time you wonder why militant atheists have such a bad reputation... well, food for thought.

To be fair: fundamentalist nuts are just as bad. It's funny how much the extremists of both sides have in common with one another: They both blindly follow their dogma and regard other viewpoints with scorn.
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Wed, Aug 18, 2021, 6:05am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations


"Most religions, including the abrahamic ones, already know how reality is because they have a book..."

That's downright false. The vast majority of religious denominations don't work that way. Doctrine evolves and adapts, and the place of scriptures in it has changed throughout history (as well as from one denomination to another).

This has always been so.

"every time science makes a discovery that is not in line with religious doctrine, religious people are up in arms."

Yes, because change is difficult. This is human nature, and religious people don't have a monopoly on resisting change or attacking ideas that threaten their worldview.

Followers of secular philosophies also do this.

Even scientists do this, despite the fact that modern science has a gazillion safeguards in place in order to prevent such bias. We human beings are notorious for this.

Speaking of which: 15th century science was just as bad in correcting itself as 15th century Christianity. Thankfully, today, both mainstream religion and mainstream science are doing better on this front.

"Religion and science can only have a harmonious relationship if religions give up on their holy texts because those were written at times so far removed from modern times that they will constantly come into conflict with reality."

That's like saying that Trekkies must give up on the message of Star Trek, just because the science on the show often makes no sense. Or because the show sometimes betrayed it's own ideals.

"For example the Christian religion should only be: Jesus loved all no matter what religion, pacifistic, humble, cared for the poor and probably a few other things. Behave like that and you are Christian. No book needed and no conflicts with science/reality as a bonus."

Again taking the Trek analogy:

There is a huge advantage in having a canon that everybody can refer to. Even if it means pointing out a certain passage/scene and saying "this is morally wrong", the whole point of such canon is to give us something concrete to discuss and learn from.

Of-course there are always those who nitpick the details while also completely missing the big picture. :-)
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Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 8:57pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

@Jason R.
"This claim that science and religion answer different but equally valid questions is the desperate rearguard position of the religious as humanism powered by science has supplanted and swallowed up most of its former territories banishing it to tiny reservations of human thought."

Science and religion don't answer "different" questions. But they do answer the same questions from very different perspectives.

Religion views the Universe as a conscious being, and tries to shed light on our relationship with that being.

Science views the Universe as a clockwork of physical laws, and tries to decipher how this mechanism works.

The two disciplines, of-course, speak about the same universe. The scope of one does not - in any way - come at the expanse of the scope of the other. There may be occasional conflicts, of-course, which means that our understanding of either the spiritual realm or the physical realm is faulty. But there shouldn't be any rivalry between the two approaches. On the contrary: When done right, science and religion should inspire and enrich one another.

"Any Christian denomination that takes the bible literally would find it impossible to accept evolution, that is just a fact."

Any Christian denomination that takes the bible 100% literally would also find it impossible to accept that the earth goes around the sun. Remember the story where Joshua stopped the sun? You can't stop something unless it was originally moving, right?

Of-course, we could argue that Joshua stopped the earth and the story is told from the point of view of a person on the ground. But that's not what the Bible literally says, is it? See, even the majority of the creationists don't take their Bibles 100% literally.

"Wake up. Open your eyes. The Old Testament creation story is just that: a poetic story dreamed up by the primitive Israelites to explain what they didn’t yet have the science to understand."

I agree that it is a poetic story.

But is it *only* a poetic story? I don't think so. Because the parallels between the events of Genesis 1 and the modern scientific account are too striking (in my view) to be a coincidence.

This goes nicely with what I said to Jason:

Religion and science have different goals in their explanation. Genesis 1 does not make sense as a scientific text, nor does it read like one. But it does makes perfect sense as a mythical telling of actual events: The events that happened from the Big Bang to the dawn of man.
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Tue, Aug 17, 2021, 6:40pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits


"It's a shame that Dwight Schultz himself can't be the kind of hero to those people his character is..."

It's funny how half a dozen people here said this over the years, yet nobody could provide any evidence. Sounds like baseless slander to me.

Meanwhile, in the past year or two, many other veteran Trek actors became toxic loudmouths whose rhetoric is downright frightening. From Kate Mulgrew to Marina Sirtis to Patrick Stewart to... Well, let's just say that if we had a problem seperating an artist's flaws from their work, then Dwight Schultz would be the least of our problems.

I do agree that Barclay is a great character though.
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Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 2:44pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon


The Gideons are not immortal or even nearly-immortal. Hodin stated explicitly that they die of old age:

HODIN: Death became almost unknown to us. It occurred only when the body could no longer regenerate itself, and that happens now only to the very old.

Replace "self-regeneration" with the advance of modern medicine, and you get a situation which clearly parallels earth: The population here started to explode because life expectancy increased. So this part of the episode, at least, makes sense.

Also, the misery on Gideon has nothing to do with the problems that are normally associated with immortality. They aren't tired of life. Their problem isn't some existential terror of eternity.

As for the intended moral of the episode... When Kirk suggests the idea of birth control, Hodin answers:

HODIN: We are incapable of destroying or interfering with the creation of that which we love so deeply. Life, in every form, from foetus to developed being. It is against our tradition, against our very nature. We simply could not do it.

And we are to believe that this, basically, is the reason that Gideon is in such a predicament.

Does that answer your question?
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Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 10:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

(yay! we're back on topic!)

I think the episode makes it pretty clear that we shouldn't find the chosen "solution" to make logical sense or be dignified. Kirk clearly doesn't think so, and he is supposed to be the avatar of goodness and justice in TOS.

As for why the Gideonians haven't chosen a different way to reduce their numbers, could it be that they lack the space to do so? A virus has the advantage of being carried by an already existing person. It doesn't need any additional space to reproduce, either.

Then again, the entire episode doesn't really make sense. How could such a society, where people are packed like sardines, even function?

It sorta works as an allegory, but the premise crumbles down under any kind of scrutiny.
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Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 10:11am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

I doubt it, given that they didn't have paper back then and you don't speak a word of Assyrian.

And I'm not sure why you're turning this into a joke. Aren't you curious? It's like having first contact with an alien civilization. I think it's fascinating to see what changed and what remained the same.

Don't you agree?
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Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 9:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

@Jason R.

I began doing so while you were writing your comment :-)

I decided to take my own advice and started going down this rabbit hole. Took me less than 5 minutes to find the first text - a love letter from 1680:

Isn't that sweet? So far, it seems that the people of the past aren't that different than us at all. Maybe other texts will prove otherwise, though. This is going to be a fascinating ride, I can already tell :-)

By the way, if Pedro (or anybody else) can recommend specific documents to read, I'll be happy to do so. I bet he knows of some really great stuff.
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Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 9:29am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

Books, letters, dairies and wills would - no doubt - be a far superior source to a scholar who confuses his personal interpretations with the actual sources he is studying.

Basically, everything that Pedro has written here is hearsay, colored by his own (very 21st-century) biases. Him being an expert does not change this fact. It's strange how the same person who repeatedly claims that "we can never understand the people of the past" has also appointed himself as their spokesman.

I say: Let the people of the past speak for themselves. Thanks to the internet, countless authentic documents are at your fingertips.
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Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 3:28pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

@Peter G.

Nothing was dismissed with "the wave of a hand".

Look... Pedro's argument can be divided to two parts:
(1) The part which romanticizes the 17th century, claims that it was an era of "awe and wonder", and blames the enlightment for losing that precious thing.
(2) Everything else.

Now, only statement #1 was relevant to the discussion we were having when Pedro arrived. If you scroll back to Pedro's first comment, you'll see that this - indeed - was the emphasis of his original post.

What happened next, is that people like myself pointed out just how baseless statement #1 is. It was not "dismissed with the wave of a hand", but refuted with actual counter-arguments.

At this point, Pedro shifted the goal posts and suddenly claimed that statement #1 was never the crux of his argument. He started spreading all over the place, up to the point where the things he said were no longer relevant to... well, anything.

So I really don't see the point of trying to shoehorn this massive distraction into the topic of the episode. You know why I call it a shoehorn? Because referencing Pedro's statements has made your own points more difficult to follow, rather than making them clearer.
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Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 2:04pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

@Jason R.
"I wasn't intending to insult you just laughing a bit at you stirring up the hornet's nest. "

Speaking of laughing...

I think it's funny that a person who is protecting and supporting a new user whose first act here is to completely derail the conversation (and whose second act here was to spam us with a text-wall of 12 consecutive comments), has the nerve to claim that others are "stirring up the hornet's nest".

I get a strong vibe of dark gothic pots and kettles here, if you catch my drift ;-)

@Peter G.

I admire your valiant effort.

But if you're serious about keeping this thread on topic, I would like to remind you of something you wrote earlier. You wrote this to Booming:

"I would like to once again point out that having training or understanding in academic fields is in no way requisite to knowing things about the world. Now does a person need to have training in...say...mathematics to understand formal proofs? Almost certainly. But do you need to go to sociology class in order to be able to look someone in the face and say they look unhappy, or to read a diary from 200 years ago and describe their self-reported experience of life? Hell no."

I agree completely.

And while you wrote this about Booming, the same thing - really - can be written about Pedro and most the resulting "discussion". 90% of the arguments on this thread read like a pompous debate between social studies professors who are completely out of touch with their subject matter.

Worse: Whenever someone tries to inject a bit of grounded common sense into the discussion, the "experts" brush it off as "irrelevant" and continue their pointless bickering.

Haven't you noticed, Peter, than every good point you've made was somehow ignored? That this thread is going round and round in circles? That by this point, this thread is drowning in pointless pure academics that have nothing to do with reality?

In short:

If we want to keep this thread on topic, perhaps we should stop cooperating with this kind of derailment?

Food for thought.


It's hilariously ironic, how Pedro is over-analyzing everything and giving scholarship so much weight (and common sense so little weight) while - in the same breath - also complaining that modern society is over-analytical and over-physicalist.

Seems to me like he is projecting his own discontent on society, where it is just his own personal problem.
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Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 7:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon


"Until one day, so far removed from us societally and coloured by some future, to us unknowable theories, scholars will be writing things about us so outlandish that you wouldn't recognise yourself, and would never agree to them. A bit like we are seeing in the present thread, only about the past."

Funny, I wasn't aware of any 17th-century peasants who are posting on this thread...

Anyway, nice of you do admit that history scholars are often out of touch from the societies they study. Makes me wonder what the heck was the point of you derailing this thread in the first place.
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Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 6:14am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

"Uh uh uh. Now I get it. A month or so ago I made a joke extra for you which you hated and I was really puzzled because I thought a conservative would appreciate making fun of left wing extremist speech patterns."

I don't appreciate making fun of people in general. And given your past behavior here, I found it hard to believe that there was not malice behind your "joke" (I also find it hard to believe that your intention was to mock left wing extremists...)

Rest assure that my reaction had nothing to do with my specific political views.


"I could elaborate, and write another twelve pages. But I trust you get my point."

Yes, I get your point.

You're trying to distract us from your original claims with a huge irrelevant wall-of-text.

I'm sorry, but as I read your (very very long) text, I don't see anything that we've "lost". You've painted a society that is full of crazy dogmatic ideas which people believed without question. A society in which fear and terror were commonplace. A society with a twisted "sense of purpose" that caused an enormous amount of suffering.

How is any of this positive? How is any of this conductive to feelings of awe and wonder? Why should we want any of that barbaric craziness back in our lives?

So far you haven't given any compelling argument for that judgement of yours. Nothing except cliches of "teleology good, physicalism bad".
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Tue, Jul 6, 2021, 4:08am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

"You are conservative Omicron..."

How on earth have your reached that conclusion?

I'm seriously asking. Because I've never thought of myself as conservative and never voted conservative either.

See, this is why Jason's quip got on my nerves. I rushed to the aide of his camp which I don't even agree with (at least not in 90% of the times). I did it because - in my view - they were attacked unfairly... and I got a "Here we Go" for my troubles. Next time I won't bother.

At any rate, I'm really curious as to why you labeled me as you did.

"It's funny that Pedro makes the argument that we have lost our sense of awe and wonder here, at a star trek forum. Shows about the wonders of the galaxy. Shows about people who often take the time to marvel at the beauty of the cosmos."


What's even funnier is that the Star Trek ethos is a counter-example to pretty much every single one of Pedro's arguments. Beyond awe and wonder, Classic Trek also demonstrates how a humanist secular view can give us a clear sense of purpose and a clear view of absolute morality.

Of-course, most people (both in the 17th century and today) are completely disconnected from such things. They were/are too busy swallowing society's dogmas to fully appreciate what either science or religion have to offer.
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Mon, Jul 5, 2021, 9:12pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

On second thought, don't bother answering.

If you're okay with Booming trashing on your camp, it's fine with me. Next time someone says something like that, I won't bother crying foul.

There, happy? Did we dodge the bullet of "Here we go again"?


...and now we return you to your original program.
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Mon, Jul 5, 2021, 7:01pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon


What the heck is that supposed to mean?
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Mon, Jul 5, 2021, 6:37pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

"In Europe things seem to calm down. Right wing populists have lost elections in GB, Denmark, France, Austria, Greece and Spain to name a few. "

Why are you - again - connecting "right wing" with hate? Why this one-sided description? Do you always have to sneak in your political biases into these discussions?

It's kinda ironic, that you've done this in a discussion about how "one half of the population hates the other half". Don't you think?

Seriously, Booming, after everything the world has gone through in the past couple of years, you should have known better.
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Mon, Jul 5, 2021, 6:19pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

@Pedro Q.
"What is thunder and lightning? What are volcano eruptions, and earthquakes?
What is life? What is love? What are thoughts, and dreams? What are the mountains, and the seas? What are the winds, and the storms? What is the growth of the child? What is memory, and forgetfulness? What is the soul?"

My dear brother,

if you think that modern science somehow makes these questions less "wondrous" or "awe-inspiring" then you are missing a lot of what life has to offer.

The more we understand the physical world, the better equipped we are to connect with the cosmos and appreciate its majesty. And the more we understand human nature and the mind, the better equipped we are to appreciate ourselves and our needs.
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Fri, Jul 2, 2021, 11:02am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

"But in agreeing with Jason R. you're actually agreeing with Pedro as well, whose point was that people overstate the extent to which life was horrible in the past (even for the underclasses)."

No. Pedro's point was much stronger and more extreme than that.

You might want to reread his comments.

"It follows from this that our POV of suffering is different from how it used to be. This is also what I meant above about shifting baselines."

True... up to a point.

But this concept of shifting baselines is a far cry from claiming that - to the people of the past - losing a child was no big deal.

"What I think people are finding so objectionable is Pedro's proposed explanation of *why* people back then were able to endure more than we are today while seemingly still having a sense of awe and wonder at the world (according to his research)."

I find both his "what" and his "why" to be objectionable.

Even if we ignore the "why", I find the idea that people thought "suffering is irrelevant" to be downright obnoxious. The idea that the people of the 17th century simply didn't care when a child died or their friends where arbitrarily executed, is downright insulting towards these people.

In short:

Shifting baselines - yes. A trivialization of suffering - no.

As for the "why":

The problem with Pedro's agrument is that there's nothing special about religion. I honestly don't see any functional difference between the religious dogma of the 17th century and the secular dogmas that shape our society today.

There are many ways to connect to the cosmos.

There are many ways to find meaning in life.

There are many ways to cope with suffering and misfortune.

And the craziest thing about Pedro's argument is his claim that our knowledge of the scientific world somehow damaged our ability to (1) connect with the cosmos and (2) be happy.

It's crazy, because the unrest in modern society stems from the exact opposite of rational scientific thought. Modern unhappiness stems from dogmatic cult-like thinking which has absolutely nothing to do with science. Ironically, it stems from the very same forces that drove religion in the 17th century.

And that's not a good thing.

"I don't think Pedro's argument is that we should turn back the clock. I think it's that we had something that we've lost in our understanding of life. "

The problem is that you can't have one without the other.

The thing that we have "lost" is a false sense of certainty. It may have felt good, but it also came at a heavy price.
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Fri, Jul 2, 2021, 7:20am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon


Whether Pedro's posts are "politically charged" is debatable.

What isn't debatable, is that his view of the era are oversimplistic and grossly optimistic. And that his view of our present day is just biased in the opposite direction.

I refer you to an excellent bit of common sense which you've written yourself:

"Was it horrible to lose a child in 17th century England? Presumably. Could people have reacted to it the way that a 21st century urban soccer mom or a Walmart checkout mother would if her 6 year old got run over by a bus or died of cancer? Not if they had a functioning society they didn't!"

And I agree completely (on both counts).

See how far simple common sense can get you?

And that's the problem with Pedro's comments. They defy common sense. They present the life of the 17th century as an absurdly rosy caricature: "Awe and wonder was everywhere"... "suffering was irrelevant"... It's all so one-sided that it is impossible to take seriously.
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Thu, Jul 1, 2021, 1:35am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TOS S3: The Mark of Gideon

"I am speaking of the way we perceive the cosmos, and life itself. This affects the questions we ask in life, and the answers we give. All this affects what we consider important in existence, what we consider trivial, and what we consider irrelevant, or simply incomprehensible."

Yes, and you are wrong.

The notion that the people of the 17th century considered their day-to-day suffering "irrelevant" is absurd. The idea that - somehow - they considered losing over half their kids to disease "trivial" is downright monstrous.

"Life expectancy was low precisely due to the high infant mortality. Most people who lived past childhood could expect to become fifty."

So basically you're saying that if we ignore all the dead kids, life was great back then? Not sure how this is supposed to be a counter-argument to my statement.

And it's not even true (see below).

"Many who had less physically demanding work reached seventy or even eighty—just like today."

Only those who were lucky.

Many died at age 10 or 20 or 30 or 40. Infection could get you at any time. The fact that a lucky minority managed to live to a ripe old age does not this fact.

It's a bit like cancer and traffic accidents today. Only in those days, the death rates were far higher.

"[all the rest]"

The rest of your argument boils down to saying "people back then where all religious, so they all had a similar world view". You're narrowing the entirety of human experience to one aspect of it.

And that's simply false.

No, the noblemen and the slaves of the 17th century did *not* have a similar world view, even though they all believed in the Bible.

No, a present-day billionaire has virtually nothing in common with an underpaid worker, even though they might both believe in the god called "the almighty dollar".

Also, there isn't necessarily a connection between belief in God and a sense of connection and awe. I know plenty of religious people who are completely disconnected from reality. People who are mindless zealots who parrot what their priests tell them and have exactly zero sense of awe and wonder.

I also know of a quite a few atheists who have deeply spiritual and meaningful lives.

In short, the two things have absolutely nothing to do with one another (and I say this as a religious person).
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