Author Topic: Should we try to eliminate religion?  (Read 18334 times)

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #232 on: December 02, 2011, 05:20:02 PM »
What's wrong with attempting to marginalize such a belief?

The same thing that's wrong with attempting to marginalize false religious views, apparently.

I thought the issue here was elimination of religion, not whether flawed thinking should be marginalized.

There is a large amount of overlap there, you know.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #233 on: December 02, 2011, 05:51:53 PM »
What's wrong with attempting to marginalize such a belief?

The same thing that's wrong with attempting to marginalize false religious views, apparently.

I thought the issue here was elimination of religion, not whether flawed thinking should be marginalized.

There is a large amount of overlap there, you know.

When did I say or imply there was anything wrong with attempting to marginalize a false religious belief? I believe tact and kindness should be employed as much as possible, but I am in no way anti-marginalization as you seem to imply that I am.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #234 on: December 02, 2011, 06:23:13 PM »
You basically said that as long as they're personal beliefs, and don't cause immediate harm - who cares?
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Offline kcrady

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #235 on: December 02, 2011, 09:16:39 PM »
There's a very thin line between "poking fun" and "mocking". The first is making a few jokes about theism and such without any intention other than "to have fun". The second is actively yelling in their faces "LOLOLOLOL YOU GUYS ARE SO STUPID!" which, IMO, says more about the person who's mocking them than the theists.

Aha.  OK, you seem to be using an extremely precise and specific definition for "mockery," something like "An extremely boorish and witless form of ridicule, often delivered in YouTube comment-speak."  Using that definition, I agree with you, we shouldn't use "mockery."  I'm going to guess that you also have extremely precise definitions for things like "snark" "to poke fun at" "to make fun of" "spoof" and so on, and consider each one to be a completely distinct ethical issue concerning its use WRT Christianity.  Rather than trying to pierce the semantic thicket, I'm going to provide examples of the kind of thing(s) I'm in favor of, and let you slot them into your classification system as you see fit.  Once you have done so, please mentally perform a "Search/Replace" on my previous posts, replacing "mockery" with whatever term(s) you accept as fitting what I'm talking about.

Thunderf00t:



Jon Stewart (riffing on Glenn Beck):



Lewis Black (also riffing on Glenn Beck):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=i1hTZopwvuA

Lewis Black on evolution vs. Creationism (note the audience reaction):



Christopher Hitchens on Jerry Falwell's death:



If you think the above are acceptable, then we're agreed, and we can move on to some of the other issues I raised in the OP.
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Offline kcrady

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #236 on: December 02, 2011, 09:57:03 PM »
>snip citations from the WWGHA site<

Well done!

Well, you can sit on the sidelines if you don't want to get your dress dirty, but the men have work to do.

This is not an insult to me, but women. Congrats.

Men do more 'dirty work' than women, both in the literal sense that the work causes one's clothing to become dirty, and in the metaphorical sense that violence and war are 'dirty'. This is a rational conclusion based on empirical evidence and personal observation. The logical conclusion would be that women are less inclined to such 'dirty work'. Statement of fact is not insulting unless one is insulted by the truth.

I was not insulting women, I was questioning your masculinity.

Not so well done.  The issue here is not the statistical ratio of male to female butchers or garbage"men" or sewer technicians.  The sexism in your comment arises from the condescension directed toward femininity, and the implicit assumption that masculinity is superior and hence, questioning Azdgari's masculinity and putting him with the womenfolk on the "sidelines"[1] represents a proper insult.
 1. I have no idea where you'd get the notion that Greta Christina, Paula Kirby, Rebecca Watson, et. al. are sitting on the sidelines not getting their frilly dresses dirty in the conflict between reason and theism.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #237 on: December 02, 2011, 10:00:47 PM »
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #238 on: December 02, 2011, 10:33:44 PM »
Rowan Atkinson mocking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=fTzXJMU1sLc

and...





Mocking is good.

As long as it's funny.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 10:44:30 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #239 on: December 02, 2011, 10:44:19 PM »
Religion isn't all bad.

Which religions do you think deserve our active support?

I don't think any need or deserve our active support. I have never recommended supporting religion in any way. Ever.[1]

Quote
Never said they were.  That was not my point, not is it a reasonable interpretation of my point.

I know. I was just saying that to set up the rest of my post. I wasn't trying to imply that YOU think ALL Christians, Muslims etc. were bad...I know better than that and should be more careful with my wording I guess.

I look at how the demonization of atheists makes many of you feel. I see the anger it causes. I see the anguish. The fear to speak out for some. These are the effects of marginalization. Do you want your loved ones to feel that way too? There are better ways. First step is to change public perception of what atheists are like. Atheist are humans too, not baby eating monsters hell bent on mocking the faithful.

Quote
See, this ^^ represents an utter refusal to read and comprehend the posts being made to you, Jay.  I am hesitant to make further posts to you, in light of your blatant refusal to read their contents.

I haven't read every post in this thread but I think I've read every comment directed towards me. If this shows you that I don't comprehend them then I may need to read them again. Which ones, specifically, should I re-read?

Here is a classic example of the type of image you DONT want associated with your cause.

<snip>

Is that going to convince any Christian that atheist's are normal people just like them? I don't think so. I think it'll just reinforce their perceptions of atheist as evil Godless heathens. Maybe this isn't the type of mocking you are thinking about, I don't know.  There's all kinds of mocking. All kinds of Christians. All kinds of atheists. All kinds of people.

Quote
I don't know how you managed to go from "mocking may be the right approach in some circumstances" to "we support blatantly stupid attempts to mock".

I think this might be an example of how I am still all tangled up in the spanking debate. I have come at that discussion from the point of view that spanking may be the right approach in some circumstances. I cannot allow myself two separate the two for some reason. However I was not saying that you support blatantly stupid attempts to mock. I was just trying to illustrate how different people have different ideas of what is appropriate or effective.

Example:  I have used the argument that spanking may be the right approach in some circumstances but I completely disapproved of how the Texas judge spanked his daughter.

So to be a little clearer...I tentatively agree that mocking may be the right approach in some circumstances but I may have a different opinion of what constitutes mocking, or even what the right circumstances may be.

This whole debate[2] has me so emotionally  invested that I actually teared up yesterday at a play for kids about Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

Edit:
Tried to fix quotes...I'm tired  :P
 1. Unless I have and just don't realize it.
 2. And the one about spanking
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 10:49:18 PM by jaybwell32 »
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #240 on: December 02, 2011, 10:54:10 PM »
Rowan Atkinson mocking:

Gnu, from now on you shall be named Sharon.

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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #241 on: December 02, 2011, 11:36:49 PM »
^^ That would be an honour.

IMO, Monty Python had an enormous effect on Christianity in the UK. There was mockery before them, but it was semi-respectful and a little fearful. Python was disrespectful and fearless right from the start, all through the TV series, into The Holy Grail and culminating in The Life of Brian.




Offline Traveler

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #242 on: December 03, 2011, 12:53:37 AM »
Monty Python totally rocks!!! And you're right, their type of mocking can work wonders. Humor can be a fabulous tool for change.
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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #243 on: December 03, 2011, 05:56:28 AM »
Aha.  OK, you seem to be using an extremely precise and specific definition for "mockery," something like "An extremely boorish and witless form of ridicule, often delivered in YouTube comment-speak."
<snip>

That's a reasonable statement.

<snip>
If you think the above are acceptable, then we're agreed, and we can move on to some of the other issues I raised in the OP.

Very well.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #244 on: December 03, 2011, 06:29:27 AM »
Not so well done.  The issue here is not the statistical ratio of male to female butchers or garbage"men" or sewer technicians.  The sexism in your comment arises from the condescension directed toward femininity, and the implicit assumption that masculinity is superior and hence, questioning Azdgari's masculinity and putting him with the womenfolk on the "sidelines"[1] represents a proper insult.
 1. I have no idea where you'd get the notion that Greta Christina, Paula Kirby, Rebecca Watson, et. al. are sitting on the sidelines not getting their frilly dresses dirty in the conflict between reason and theism.

I already dropped it, since the admin asked us to move on, however I must apologize for introducing the suggestion that women are not as dirty and violent as men in every conceivable way.  The very concept that men may somehow be different from women in a way that would be advantageous to them in certain situations was foreign to you until I forced it upon you, and it was absolutely necessary to dedicate at least a page of this thread to my admonishment. Obviously I was mistaken. Clearly none of you have ever called anyone a sissy, pussy, or bitch as a slight to their bravery or strength. You've never suggested that someone 'throws like a girl'. You've never used those words in your entire lives, nor have you ever heard them used in any kind of derogatory manner. It was my mistake to assume that you were familiar with the way people speak in the real world, next time I shall take greater care when addressing the honorable representatives from the Land of the High Horses.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #245 on: December 03, 2011, 06:32:37 AM »
This whole debate[1] has me so emotionally  invested that I actually teared up yesterday at a play for kids about Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.
 1. And the one about spanking

Was it the part where Rudolph's best friend is dying of cancer? That gets me every time.
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #246 on: December 03, 2011, 06:36:00 AM »
Was it the part where Rudolph's best friend is dying of cancer? That gets me every time.

Nah, it was a slightly different take on the classic story. No cancer in this one.
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: Should we try to eliminate?
« Reply #247 on: December 03, 2011, 08:29:06 AM »
We should try to eliminate. Getting those toxins out is essential to good health. I just don't think it is good to try too hard. That could lead to injury.

If you are having a hard time eliminating, perhaps you should take Ducolax. It doesn't make you go, it just makes it easier for you to go.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #248 on: December 03, 2011, 05:46:28 PM »
I already dropped it, since the admin asked us to move on, however I must apologize for introducing the suggestion that women are not as dirty and violent as men in every conceivable way.  The very concept that men may somehow be different from women in a way that would be advantageous to them in certain situations was foreign to you until I forced it upon you, and it was absolutely necessary to dedicate at least a page of this thread to my admonishment. Obviously I was mistaken. Clearly none of you have ever called anyone a sissy, pussy, or bitch as a slight to their bravery or strength. You've never suggested that someone 'throws like a girl'. You've never used those words in your entire lives, nor have you ever heard them used in any kind of derogatory manner. It was my mistake to assume that you were familiar with the way people speak in the real world, next time I shall take greater care when addressing the honorable representatives from the Land of the High Horses.
Yes, people discriminate in the real world.

They discriminate because of sex, of race, of appearance, of disability, of sexual preference, of a hobby, of profession, and so on and so forth.  But the fact that people do stuff like that in the real world doesn't justify the fact that it's done, and it doesn't make it right.

To put it bluntly, if I thought someone was not brave or was weak, I would simply call them a coward or a weakling, if I wanted to mock them about it.  But the funny thing is, I can generally make my point without resorting to such behavior, whether here on the internet or in real life.  And, oddly enough, I'm usually pretty successful at getting through to people, or at least getting them to listen to me, by being calm and collected (and sometimes being humorous at my own expense), instead of having to resort to making fun of them.

Here's another way to look at it.  You got upset because people who took umbrage at your attempt to mock Azdgari's masculinity because he wasn't willing to back your play spent a page or more of this topic talking about it.  Yet, if you had not said it in the first place, who would have commented on it?  You are responsible for it, and facetious attempts to 'apologize' while being sarcastic and mocking don't make things any better.  In other words, you're having to deal with fallout from your own actions, which wouldn't have happened if you had simply refrained from the insults to begin with.  It's wasted effort, and you have nobody to blame but yourself for it.

The effort of attempting to mock and marginalize a member of this forum by suggesting that he isn't 'masculine' enough to get involved in a 'dirty' job has resulted in several people spending time talking about that instead of about the main subject of the thread.  What makes you think that similar methods used against theists or their beliefs will bear any better fruit?

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #249 on: December 03, 2011, 05:55:55 PM »
^^ Just for the record, it was Lucifer's masculinity that Joe was mocking, not mine.  I'm just someone who took up the topic with him.
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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #250 on: December 03, 2011, 06:02:36 PM »
^^ Just for the record, it was Lucifer's masculinity that Joe was mocking, not mine.

It really doesn't matter either way. From personal experience, those who mock others' "masculinity" are the ones who are very concerned about their own and/or think that they lack it.
And no, joebbowers, this is not an insult because, as I have mentioned, I don't even believe in the concept.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #251 on: December 04, 2011, 02:43:07 AM »
...and here we are in the pit.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline kcrady

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #252 on: December 04, 2011, 10:42:32 AM »
<snip>
If you wouldn't advise a moderate, accommodationist approach to David Icke's lizard hypothesis (or any other brand of silliness), why single out Christianity for special treatment?  Shouldn't we be nice to all the whackaloons?

Note how the problem is not the hypothesis, it is the individual.

No, I only mentioned the individual because I guessed that at least some people here might be unfamiliar with his hypothesis, and by googling his name they could get more detail if they wanted. 

Also, I am getting pretty tired of being called an accommodationist when I suggest equal treatment for everyone.

Irony: I also want equal treatment for everyone. :)  As I see it, Christianity is not just nonsense, it's privileged nonsense.  Christians who publicly promote their nonsense, expect national policies to be decided on the scribblings in their magic book, etc., do not get the same "giggle factor" treatment that other charlatans and mountebanks promoting foolish, fact-free ideas receive.  Imagine if Rick Perry had emerged at a major Republican rally in Druid robes, and performed a ceremony offering milk and honey to the Seelee Court of the Faerie Kingdom so that they would send rain to Texas.  His campaign would have been over before the day was out.  Heck, Howard Dean got his campaign destroyed because he yelled "YEEEAAAAAHHHH!" too loudly. 

However, since Rick Perry emerged at a "prayer rally" claiming that mouthing entreaties to an invisible Christian creature in the sky could change the weather, he continued to be treated as a legitimate, serious candidate, rather than a laughingstock.  Why is this important?  The President of the United States is likely to be called upon to make important decisions about our nation's response to climate change.  A President who thinks the behavior of Earth's atmosphere, oceans, ice caps, etc. is a product of the whims of an Invisible Magic Person with whom he has a special "relationship," is not someone who can be expected to make wise decisions on the matter.  We do not have another century or two to wait while our leaders talk to their imaginary friends in public before we as a nation grow up enough to stop imagining that Universe can be bargained with.

Different opinions and/or thoughts. Being black is not an opinion and/or a thought. Being homosexual is not an opinion and/or a thought.

A racist would agree that being black isn't an opinion, but they still don't want one marrying their daughter.  Why shouldn't that opinion be given the same kind of respect Christianity is entitled to?  The people on the other side of the gay rights issue think homosexuality is "an opinion and/or a thought," i.e., a choice, and if gays would only accept Jesus as their personal Lord an' Savior, why, they could be good heterosexuals like the rest of us. 

Thinking that being black is OK is. Neither group got anywhere until other people started agreeing with them. This is one of the downsides of a democracy - unless the majority agrees with you, you're fucked.
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I would like to once again make it clear that I don't think Christians should be oppressed.  No concentration camps, no separate water fountains.  I don't even object to one being President if, like President Obama, they're willing to make their political decisions on the basis of facts and secular reasoning rather than what the voices in their head--or words in some old book written by ancient barbarians listening to the voices in their heads--tell them to do.  And, I want them to respect the separation of church and state, which is a bulwark not only of our freedom as atheists, but theirs as religious believers as well.  However, belief in talking snakes and zombie god-men is no less ridiculous than belief in faeries, genies, or that Queen Elizabeth II is a shape-shifting alien lizard.  Christianity deserves no more respect, kid-glove treatment, etc. than any of those other beliefs do.
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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #253 on: December 04, 2011, 11:56:09 AM »
No, I only mentioned the individual because I guessed that at least some people here might be unfamiliar with his hypothesis, and by googling his name they could get more detail if they wanted.

Ah, OK.
Well, I mentioned elsewhere here about how ideas should be "filtered". In that post, I also said that the most important thing would be to at least hear a person's ideas, no matter how ridiculous they might sound at first. If they keep trying to shove their ideas down everyone else's throat, then we should take action.

As I see it, Christianity is not just nonsense, it's privileged nonsense.  Christians who publicly promote their nonsense, expect national policies to be decided on the scribblings in their magic book, etc., do not get the same "giggle factor" treatment that other charlatans and mountebanks promoting foolish, fact-free ideas receive.

This is true.

Imagine if Rick Perry had emerged at a major Republican rally in Druid robes, and performed a ceremony offering milk and honey to the Seelee Court of the Faerie Kingdom so that they would send rain to Texas.  His campaign would have been over before the day was out.  Heck, Howard Dean got his campaign destroyed because he yelled "YEEEAAAAAHHHH!" too loudly.

I just did and now I can't stop laughing. Thanks a lot. :P

However, since Rick Perry emerged at a "prayer rally" claiming that mouthing entreaties to an invisible Christian creature in the sky could change the weather, he continued to be treated as a legitimate, serious candidate, rather than a laughingstock.  Why is this important?
<snip>

Also true.

A racist would agree that being black isn't an opinion, but they still don't want one marrying their daughter. Why shouldn't that opinion be given the same kind of respect Christianity is entitled to?

It is: We all listen to it. Then we disagree with it.

The people on the other side of the gay rights issue think homosexuality is "an opinion and/or a thought," i.e., a choice, and if gays would only accept Jesus as their personal Lord an' Savior, why, they could be good heterosexuals like the rest of us.

See my post about a method by which we can "filter" out ideas such as those.
@Bold part: I hope "us" doesn't include me because, otherwise, your argument doesn't make a lot of sense. ;D

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, aka "Real American." ;)

Ah, but of course. Screw the natives, right? ;)

I would like to once again make it clear that I don't think Christians should be oppressed.
<snip>

Of course. I think we can all agree here.
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Offline kcrady

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #254 on: December 04, 2011, 06:15:06 PM »
The people on the other side of the gay rights issue think homosexuality is "an opinion and/or a thought," i.e., a choice, and if gays would only accept Jesus as their personal Lord an' Savior, why, they could be good heterosexuals like the rest of us.

See my post about a method by which we can "filter" out ideas such as those.
@Bold part: I hope "us" doesn't include me because, otherwise, your argument doesn't make a lot of sense. ;D

I'm guessing that my intent here was clear, but just to eliminate any possibility of misunderstanding, I was snarking here on the heterosexist system of prejudice, as in, "...and then we would all live happily ever after in a Leave It to Beaver utopia, with a turkey in every pot and a pony in every back yard!"  The way it treats LGBTQ people as a "Them," i.e., not legitimately part of society[1] is one of the big reasons it deserves to be in the dustbin of history.  2,000 years of that crap is 2,000 years too many.
 1. E.g., they should not be allowed to marry the people they love, etc..
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #255 on: December 04, 2011, 06:30:05 PM »
...and here we are in the pit.

Hmmm...I sometimes wondered what the pit was for, now I know. So this is what it's like.

Not so bad really...once you get used to it  :-\
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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #256 on: December 04, 2011, 06:34:59 PM »
I'm guessing that my intent here was clear, but just to eliminate any possibility of misunderstanding
<snip>

It was perfectly clear. I was just joking (technically I was telling the truth, but I'm also guessing that you know what I mean).
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Online One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #257 on: December 04, 2011, 06:36:17 PM »
...and here we are in the pit.

Hmmm...I sometimes wondered what the pit was for, now I know. So this is what it's like.

Not so bad really...once you get used to it  :-\

I don't think it's that bad. We can keep arguing until the mods decide to lock the thread (hopefully they'll never decide to do so, but it's a possibility).
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline tomt

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #258 on: December 06, 2011, 11:33:49 PM »
i have yet to read this whole thread,

perhaps in the near future.


What are the "core" teachings of Jesus?


something like this -

mark 12

30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength:
 this is the first commandment.

31
And the second is like, namely this,
 Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than these.

Offline albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #259 on: December 06, 2011, 11:42:14 PM »
i have yet to read this whole thread,

perhaps in the near future.


What are the "core" teachings of Jesus?


something like this -

mark 12

30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength:
 this is the first commandment.

31
And the second is like, namely this,
 Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than these.

Hey tom, welcome to the forum.  Do you think you could expound on this a tiny bit?  I mean, for 2000 years followers have interpreted this differently.  For a long while, loving the lord with all thy heart, soul, and mind logically inspired confession of belief under torture, kidnapping and political and economic manipulation.  Massacres were motivated by loving and honoring your god with all the heart, mind and soul.   Hardly a simple answer. 

Thanks. 

Offline Alzael

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #260 on: December 06, 2011, 11:45:01 PM »
something like this -

mark 12

30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength:
 this is the first commandment.

31
And the second is like, namely this,
 Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
There is none other commandment greater than these.

Don't forget the hatred, genocide, and the killing. Let's not forget Jesus taught those too.
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

"Dying for something when you know you'll be resurrected is not a sacrifice.It's a parlour trick."- an aquaintance

Philip of Macedon: (via messenger) If we enter Sparta, we will raze all your buildings and ravage all your women.
Spartan Reply: If.