Author Topic: I don't really get the question...  (Read 29911 times)

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Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #261 on: June 11, 2015, 02:17:47 PM »
How quickly we forget that the last US president led this country into war--leading to untold human misery and political problems in the Middle East and at home, because he prayed about it, and god told him to. The current head of the congressional environmental science committee brought a snowball into congress to show that there was no global warming. He thinks God will solve any climate problems. He also believes the US should support Israel because god said so. He is a bit relevant. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sen-jim-inhofe-climate-change-is-not-real-because-here-is-a-snowball/

interesting... i wonder if kerry, reid, schumer, biden, clinton, feinstein, et al. were also told by god to invade iraq... i'm assuming they must have been otherwise why would they have voted for it?

i read the link you posted on jim inhofe, and though it did say he questions the science behind climate change, i couldn't find where he said god will solve all climate problems...?  are you sure you referenced the correct link...?

that is all.

The google machine is your friend. Jim Inhofe "questions the science" because the science does not agree with the bible.

http://radio.foxnews.com/2015/03/07/james-inhofe-there-is-no-global-warming-because-god/

Many people were in favor of going to war in Iraq. I think they were wrong, and the subsequent disastrous events bear that out. They were especially wrong if they thought that a supernatural being wanted them to go to war.

thanks nogods... i clicked on the original link you posted assuming you posted it to back up your assertion; which it did not.  the new link you posted does in fact back up your original statement, kudos!
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Offline screwtape

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #262 on: June 11, 2015, 02:38:26 PM »
o.k., calm down jdawg... mainstream christian americans are not teaching their kids to beat gay people... unless i'm missing something, i've been to several, what i would call, typical everyday christian churches throughout my life and not once have i witnessed or even heard of anyone advocating for the beating of gay people.  now i know that gay people have been beat and even killed in america, but this is not a mainstream christian teaching. 

bold mine.  Because I have frequently proven to be a bad communicator, I understand no one is a perfect communicator.  But had you said these things in the beginning, this could have been a better discussion.

If you weren't so caught up with being outrageous and bombastic, it would be easier to appreciate the fact that you do often raise thoughtful points.

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #263 on: June 11, 2015, 04:48:44 PM »
How quickly we forget that the last US president led this country into war--leading to untold human misery and political problems in the Middle East and at home, because he prayed about it, and god told him to. The current head of the congressional environmental science committee brought a snowball into congress to show that there was no global warming. He thinks God will solve any climate problems. He also believes the US should support Israel because god said so. He is a bit relevant. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sen-jim-inhofe-climate-change-is-not-real-because-here-is-a-snowball/

interesting... i wonder if kerry, reid, schumer, biden, clinton, feinstein, et al. were also told by god to invade iraq... i'm assuming they must have been otherwise why would they have voted for it?

i read the link you posted on jim inhofe, and though it did say he questions the science behind climate change, i couldn't find where he said god will solve all climate problems...?  are you sure you referenced the correct link...?

that is all.

The google machine is your friend. Jim Inhofe "questions the science" because the science does not agree with the bible.

http://radio.foxnews.com/2015/03/07/james-inhofe-there-is-no-global-warming-because-god/

Many people were in favor of going to war in Iraq. I think they were wrong, and the subsequent disastrous events bear that out. They were especially wrong if they thought that a supernatural being wanted them to go to war.

thanks nogods... i clicked on the original link you posted assuming you posted it to back up your assertion; which it did not.  the new link you posted does in fact back up your original statement, kudos!

Thank you for reminding me that I need to back up what I say with relevant citations, just as if I was writing an academic paper. I expect you to be equally demanding of anyone who makes unsupported religious statements.

My original link was to support the point I made (the point you disputed in no uncertain terms, BTW) that we have influential people in politics making science policy who do not have a basic grasp of science. People like Mr. Inhofe are ignorant about basic science at least partly due to their religious beliefs--if it says something in the bible, it has to be true, and no further information is needed.

The insurance companies that are having to pay out record amounts for extreme weather-related damages due to climate change disagree with Mr. Inhofe. Where are the supernatural beings when it comes time to deal with the social and economic impact of all the hurricanes, flooding, blizzards, record-breaking heat and increased  infestations of pests like bedbugs and disease carrying mosquitoes? Are supernatural beings going to help resettle the migrants who are forced to leave flooded or drought plagued areas?[1]
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/11/20/climate-change-flood-insurance-crop-insurance-losses/19271715/

The Taliban leaders in Afghanistan agree with Mr. Inhofe--they only disagree as to which religion they should turn to instead of science. The Taliban is ignorant of basic science because all you need is the Quran. They destroyed one of the most advanced meteorological stations in the region because only Allah can control or predict the weather. Farmers lost crops because they couldn't get drought information and planes have crashed due to not getting up to date weather information. People have died because of this sh!t. Still think it doesn't matter what religious beliefs people have? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan_Meteorological_Authority

Mr. Inhofe thinks that if there is snow in the winter, that is evidence that the climate is not changing. That the head of environmental policy (a person who may get to decide what approach the US should take on climate change) does not know the difference between weather and climate is beyond sad. It is absurd and dangerous.

It's like putting a non-violent pacifist Jain (who does not believe in killing any living thing, not even a plant or an insect) in charge of the defense department.

Do you want people who think magical supernatural beings (genies, angels, gods, fairies, demons) are in charge of the universe deciding what medical treatments should be available, what drugs should be legal or what safety standards should be in place for food inspection? I don't but I am greatly outnumbered by people who do. :(
 1. Oh, yeah must be signs of the endtimes. Nothing we can do about it. Bible is still true. Move along. Nothing to see here. :P
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #264 on: June 22, 2015, 12:52:22 PM »
Do you want people who think magical supernatural beings (genies, angels, gods, fairies, demons) are in charge of the universe deciding what medical treatments should be available, what drugs should be legal or what safety standards should be in place for food inspection? I don't but I am greatly outnumbered by people who do. :(

obumble believes in gwad... or at least he says he does.  so if he's telling the truth, according to you, he should not have any power when it comes to overhauling the health care system.  i guess he could be lying about his belief in god... but then he'd be a liar.
When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

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Offline The Gawd

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #265 on: June 22, 2015, 01:47:52 PM »
Do you want people who think magical supernatural beings (genies, angels, gods, fairies, demons) are in charge of the universe deciding what medical treatments should be available, what drugs should be legal or what safety standards should be in place for food inspection? I don't but I am greatly outnumbered by people who do. :(

obumble believes in gwad... or at least he says he does.  so if he's telling the truth, according to you, he should not have any power when it comes to overhauling the health care system.  i guess he could be lying about his belief in god... but then he'd be a liar.
Politicians are liars. He was also bigoted when he opposed marriage equality. I had to hold my nose to support him due to his support for bigotry. I had faith that he would use his sensibilities in his 2nd term. I do believe he is atheist, but am forced to take him at his word. Which makes him a liar, yes. Some lies are better (or worse) than others.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #266 on: June 22, 2015, 03:51:40 PM »
Do you want people who think magical supernatural beings (genies, angels, gods, fairies, demons) are in charge of the universe deciding what medical treatments should be available, what drugs should be legal or what safety standards should be in place for food inspection? I don't but I am greatly outnumbered by people who do. :(

obumble believes in gwad... or at least he says he does.  so if he's telling the truth, according to you, he should not have any power when it comes to overhauling the health care system.  i guess he could be lying about his belief in god... but then he'd be a liar.

Liars who say they are religious are more likely to get elected than honest atheists. As I said, I would prefer that policies be made based on rational empirical evidence of what works. That has been shown, time after time, to produce the best outcomes. I am outnumbered by people who think that policies should be made by people who listen to the advice of imaginary supernatural beings. Even if the outcomes are worse.[1]

It very hard for anyone who does not clearly state their belief in supernatural beings to get elected to high office in the US. An openly atheist person might get elected to a local office like school board, state senator or even to congress. I think I remember one atheist congress guy, Pete Stark from California. And Barney Frank is apparently an atheist. http://bigthink.com/videos/how-to-be-an-atheist-politician

But nationwide office is still largely off limits to atheists. At least if they are open about it. Yes, that means some of them are playing the religious game due to ambition. Some are probably atheists who are lying about their religious beliefs to placate the voters. Polls show that people in the US will not vote for atheists due to prejudice. So, ypu will not see me running for office any time soon. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/19/atheists-in-congress_n_3944108.html

Most people still trust religious people over the non-religious even with all the scandals involving priests, pastors, secretly gay conservatives, perfect Christian TV families with dirty secrets, etc. Religious people who lie, cheat, steal and misbehave can always say they were tempted by the devil and have prayed for forgiveness. And often times get elected again!

Many voters would not vote for an intelligent, responsible atheist over a less qualified religious person. A handful of people, on the other hand, want policies based on rationality no matter what a person claims to believe. I will vote for an intelligent, rational person even if they say they are religious. Even if they are Republicans, like some sensible local candidates I have supported over wacky Democrats who would have been terrible.  I will always vote for the more rational, less crazy seeming candidate. Because I care more about the outcomes than the ideological trappings.

If a US politician says they are religious, they may or may not be telling the truth. Only god knows what is in your heart, right? But if they say they are atheist, they are very likely telling the truth. And their honesty will have just ended their political career.

In the US we are happy to elect cheats, schemers, philanderers, fornicators, [closeted] gays, drug users, alcoholics, thieves and liars, just not atheists. :P
 1. Instead of science-based birth control info and classes about disease prevention, many religious politicians prefer funding faith-based abstinence only sex ed classes and "virginity pledge" programs.  More STD's, more teen pregnancies, young people marrying to have sex and then divorcing, often after a child or two --plus higher welfare costs and higher health care costs leading to higher taxes-- are the long term result.
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #267 on: June 22, 2015, 04:11:21 PM »
i kinda get why people would be suspicious of an atheist politician... if you take away the belief that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights you come to the quick realization that all men are not equal.  in fact, equality in nature does not exist... so then, you would have a person in a position of power who basically publicly acknowledges, by way of his atheist philosophy, that he is superior... he is king and we are his subjects...
When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #268 on: June 22, 2015, 06:17:33 PM »
^^^Yeah, religious people have never done that oppression thing.

Nobody religious ever enslaved other religious groups and treated them as sub-human. No king or dictator ever thought he was put in power by god. Europe never had people killing others over religion. The middle east has nobody trying to rule everyone else based on religious beliefs. The Chinese and Japanese and Aztec and Egyptian emperors were never revered as gods.

Right. Except for the past oh, 10,000 years of recorded human history, you might have a point.  &)
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #269 on: June 22, 2015, 06:41:55 PM »
i kinda get why people would be suspicious of an atheist politician... if you take away the belief that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights you come to the quick realization that all men are not equal.  in fact, equality in nature does not exist... so then, you would have a person in a position of power who basically publicly acknowledges, by way of his atheist philosophy, that he is superior... he is king and we are his subjects...
No, you just take away the 'created' part.  As in, all people are born equal, and endowed with certain unalienable rights.  Trying to go beyond that is nothing but flawed reasoning.
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #270 on: June 22, 2015, 06:58:39 PM »
i kinda get why people would be suspicious of an atheist politician... if you take away the belief that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights you come to the quick realization that all men are not equal.  in fact, equality in nature does not exist... so then, you would have a person in a position of power who basically publicly acknowledges, by way of his atheist philosophy, that he is superior... he is king and we are his subjects...
No, you just take away the 'created' part.  As in, all people are born equal, and endowed with certain unalienable rights.  Trying to go beyond that is nothing but flawed reasoning.

That's all fine and dandy... Except for the fact that all people are not born equal. 
When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

-Jonathan Swift

Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #271 on: June 22, 2015, 07:03:03 PM »
^^^Yeah, religious people have never done that oppression thing.

Nobody religious ever enslaved other religious groups and treated them as sub-human. No king or dictator ever thought he was put in power by god. Europe never had people killing others over religion. The middle east has nobody trying to rule everyone else based on religious beliefs. The Chinese and Japanese and Aztec and Egyptian emperors were never revered as gods.

Right. Except for the past oh, 10,000 years of recorded human history, you might have a point.  &)

Yeah but... Those so called "religious" rulers you speak of throughout history... How do you know they weren't just lying to the people, claiming to be good God fearing people...?  But in reality they knew they could fool the people by lying for their own gain...
When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #272 on: June 22, 2015, 07:14:53 PM »
That's all fine and dandy... Except for the fact that all people are not born equal.
If we are not born equal, then we cannot be created equal either.  So either you must acknowledge my point or you must concede that your own has no basis.
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

Offline Hamsaka

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #273 on: June 22, 2015, 07:33:09 PM »
i kinda get why people would be suspicious of an atheist politician... if you take away the belief that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights you come to the quick realization that all men are not equal. in fact, equality in nature does not exist... so then, you would have a person in a position of power who basically publicly acknowledges, by way of his atheist philosophy, that he is superior... he is king and we are his subjects...
No, you just take away the 'created' part.  As in, all people are born equal, and endowed with certain unalienable rights.  Trying to go beyond that is nothing but flawed reasoning.

That's all fine and dandy... Except for the fact that all people are not born equal.

So in the natural world, all people are not born equal; but in the supernatural world of God-fearing people, they are 'created' equal 'under God'.  Sure, I'll concede that I've known many people who will accept a fairy tale if it flatters them over an obvious fact, like 'all people are not born equal'.

What is the benefit of electing a politician who holds people to standards that intelligent people understand to be lies?  This just reinforces my perception that theists do not value honesty or 'truth' in any sense that does not agree with them already.

It's no wonder the Millenial generation look askance at the politico-religious trends of the older generations.  They are bullshit, and while you meant to troll Jaimehlers with your cute little oppositional comment, you just exposed how you favor bullshit over less flattering facts that you are quite aware of.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #274 on: June 22, 2015, 08:11:28 PM »
i kinda get why people would be suspicious of an atheist politician... if you take away the belief that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights you come to the quick realization that all men are not equal.  in fact, equality in nature does not exist... so then, you would have a person in a position of power who basically publicly acknowledges, by way of his atheist philosophy, that he is superior... he is king and we are his subjects...
No, you just take away the 'created' part.  As in, all people are born equal, and endowed with certain unalienable rights.  Trying to go beyond that is nothing but flawed reasoning.

That's all fine and dandy... Except for the fact that all people are not born equal.

You are absolutely right. But that shouldn't stop a good person from wanting everyone to have a measurable amount of social equality. Granted, we've not gotten that far in society yet, but there are those of us who would like such equality to exist. So that nobody has to suffer because they are the wrong color, are wrong size, have wrong IQ, suffer from the wrong medical condition, have the wrong looks, the wrong sized feet, the wrong sense of humor, the wrong attitude about the environment, etc.

In nature, anything can happen. But once humans came along, and the more powerful amongst us figured out a few things, suddenly some people had major advantages, usually at the expense of others have few or no advantages. That there are some of us who would like nothing better than to level the playing field and take away ill-gotten gains means that not everyone is born an ass.

Something the obnoxiously powerful pretend doesn't apply to them.

So no, the world isn't perfect. And it probably never will be. But if the average response to such things, overall, is one giant shrug, then all but a very few lose, big time. God or no god. Because if there is one, he isn't helping. If there isn't, its up to us.
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Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #275 on: June 23, 2015, 11:27:00 AM »
you just exposed how you favor bullshit over less flattering facts that you are quite aware of.

Call it bullshit or whatever... the fact is, you do not posses the knowledge to make a Truth claim one way or the other. 

The concept that all men are of equal value makes sense to us... it seems correct and Just and True.  Yet this concept is not reflected in nature - it doesn't make any sense without transcendence.  Without objective "Truth" the "equal value of life" becomes a judgement call to whoever holds the power.  It reminds me of the Mayflower Compact, a revolutionary document at the time, the very first written governmental framework of what would become the US.  In it, in terms of authority, the authors defined their rights as coming from "God", to the people and then delegated to Gov't authority.  In England, the power flow was God, the King, and then the people... so by way of the Compact they (the writers) put the power into the hands of the people, a people that were equal under "God", not man (or the discretion of the King).  Obviously this concept didn't sit well with the King of England...  but my point is, without the concept of an "equalizer" men are not equal and subject to oppression/rule by whoever holds the power.  We've seen this played out over millennia, civilization after civilization enslaved and oppressed by those who hold dominion.  Look at slavery throughout history... you're all familiar with the story of Exodus, what about America's own history of slavery?  When America separated from Great Britain in 1776 many states abolished slavery, PA, MA, CT, RI, VT among others... the overwhelming majority of the founding fathers were opposed to slavery... and well, this led to the Civil War.  Those founding fathers opposed to slavery held the belief that all men are equal under God.  So then, if there is no "God", no objective "Truth" or "Justice", then men are not equal and slavery is not necessarily wrong or evil; it's just the result of the natural influx of power, and if those in power deem slavery to be "good", then it's "good".

Truth and Justice are philosophical ideas... and these concepts only seem "right" if they're handed down by a "higher authority".  Otherwise, what makes your idea of truth anymore truthier than mine... If you recall the "supposed" conversation that Christ had with Pontius Pilate - "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the Truth.  Everyone who is of the Truth hears My voice."  And then Pilate said to Him, "What is Truth?", deemed him "not guilty" and sent him out...  so you have one who submits to the concept of a "higher authority", and one who does not.  I submit that a society is more Fair and more Just when it acknowledges that Truth and Justice are objective, always present and never changing.  And if Truth and Justice are objective, then what is the source...?
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #276 on: June 23, 2015, 03:45:43 PM »
^^^Yeah, religious people have never done that oppression thing.

Nobody religious ever enslaved other religious groups and treated them as sub-human. No king or dictator ever thought he was put in power by god. Europe never had people killing others over religion. The middle east has nobody trying to rule everyone else based on religious beliefs. The Chinese and Japanese and Aztec and Egyptian emperors were never revered as gods.

Right. Except for the past oh, 10,000 years of recorded human history, you might have a point.  &)

Yeah but... Those so called "religious" rulers you speak of throughout history... How do you know they weren't just lying to the people, claiming to be good God fearing people...?  But in reality they knew they could fool the people by lying for their own gain...

They ruled for centuries and the one true loving god saw fit to keep them in power. God must approve of mass murderers, enslavement, thieves and liars. Just not atheists.

None of that namby pamby equality was written into any religious society anywhere. No ancient religious text is the foundation of human rights-- or maybe you would like to live in the bible-based Christian middle ages when prayer, magic and torture were admissible in court, and a person's religion, ethnicity, gender etc was assumed to show their innocence or guilt.  It was not until the rational, secular movements like the Enlightenment started challenging religious thinking that concepts like universal human rights and logical evidence for crimes even got mentioned.
When all of Cinderella's finery changed back at midnight, why didn't the shoes disappear? What's up with that?

Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #277 on: June 23, 2015, 04:47:16 PM »
God must approve of mass murderers, enslavement, thieves and liars. Just not atheists.

If one were inclined to believe in God... and had a rudimentary knowledge and understanding of the story of Christianity... this person would say that God does not condone the sin of mankind, but forgives it.  The story, if I'm understanding it correctly, is one of redemption.

None of that namby pamby equality was written into any religious society anywhere. No ancient religious text is the foundation of human rights-- or maybe you would like to live in the bible-based Christian middle ages when prayer, magic and torture were admissible in court, and a person's religion, ethnicity, gender etc was assumed to show their innocence or guilt.  It was not until the rational, secular movements like the Enlightenment started challenging religious thinking that concepts like universal human rights and logical evidence for crimes even got mentioned.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus"

^^^ Does this look like a message of division...?  it appears to touch on race, class and gender - stating everyone is equal in Christ.  Meaning (again if I'm understanding this correctly... I'm not a theologian) that there is no earthly power that can condemn or pass judgement upon you... we are all of equal value.

I agree there were some pretty dark times in recorded human history, a lot of powerful people had it wrong... but I wouldn't say the age of enlightenment was ushered in by secular atheists.  Many, if not most, of the notable philosophers of the era were believers who accepted the existence of "God"... what they rejected was the religious dogma.  But they never rejected the idea of a "higher power".  I'm sure they questioned the "big questions" like all good philosophers do... but I think you need to keep your eyes open, once you start to categorically make truth claims... that's when you become trapped by your own ideology.
When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #278 on: June 23, 2015, 05:14:08 PM »
^^^Too bad those nice passages in the bible did not prevent slavery, racism or sexism among all those good Christians. Nor did the nice parts of the Quran prevent same in Muslim societies. Religions have some nice sentiments, because humans made them up and humans can be nice.

Slavery in the US did not just stop because Christians read the bible and decided it was wrong and freed all their slaves. As I recall, there was a really horrendous, bloody war. There were a lot of good Christian people really wanted to keep slavery, and considered it as much a part of their cultural way of life as the bible. You would think with all the church going and bible study they would have noticed the passage you quoted above. Maybe their bibles did not have that part.

And if the founders of the US had thought that the bible was all you needed for laws, they would have made a biblical theocracy.[1]They did not. They made a secular country instead. With a bill of rights, not a bill of ten commandments. And no laws respecting religion and no religious test shall be imposed, etc. does not sound like they wanted a government influenced, overseen or enforced by religion.

At any rate, there doesn't seem to be any powerful, wise, loving, invisible, undetectable supernatural being influencing, overseeing or enforcing anything anywhere. None.  No matter how many philosophers think there is.
 1. European countries had been biblical theocracies, so they had examples of how well they worked.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #279 on: June 23, 2015, 05:18:34 PM »
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus"

^^^ Does this look like a message of division...?  it appears to touch on race, class and gender - stating everyone is equal in Christ.  Meaning (again if I'm understanding this correctly... I'm not a theologian) that there is no earthly power that can condemn or pass judgement upon you... we are all of equal value.

Well it's a little divisive.  It divides "humans" from "other living entities capable of feeling" for one.

For two, it divides "earthly power" and "divine power" - that is, there is someone who can condemn or pass judgment upon you that is above reproach (e.g. that particular someone cannot be condemned or have judgment passed upon him from others).

So yeah...there's some division going on there.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #280 on: June 23, 2015, 05:40:59 PM »
Gets back to the other thread about how religions don't have a track record of overall improved human behavior or living standards. If a particular religious belief made some concrete measurable difference, it would be, well, concrete and measurable.

Having the most powerful magical being ever on your side should probably be a bit more evident than random chance, or having a false god, or having no god at all. There should be a better healing rate from praying at his shrine than 2% success. Imagine if I tried to sell you a car, a medicine or a computer that worked as promised 2% of the time. Only religions would even dare try to sell such a failure.  :P
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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #281 on: June 23, 2015, 05:59:39 PM »
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus"

^^^ Does this look like a message of division...?  it appears to touch on race, class and gender - stating everyone is equal in Christ.  Meaning (again if I'm understanding this correctly... I'm not a theologian) that there is no earthly power that can condemn or pass judgement upon you... we are all of equal value.

You have completely not got the question.

It is a message of fundamental division. Everyone who is not a believer is the enemy. It splits the world into religious divisions and religious sects all fighting against each other. Religion is the worst in-group/out-group divider of humanity which labels the outsider as evil, wrong, and demonic, so that it becomes moral to kill the outsider, as expressed in such a Christian way in the bible...

2Peter2:12 These men are like brute beasts, born in the course of nature to be caught and killed.
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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #282 on: June 23, 2015, 06:02:40 PM »
^Indeed.  Unless you support your side to the fullest, you're stabbing them in the back somehow.  And during much of history, this was treated literally - people who stood up against this sort of lunacy were treated as heretics and forced into exile or outright murdered.  It was much worse for the 'enemy'...
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Offline kcrady

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #283 on: June 23, 2015, 06:55:34 PM »
i kinda get why people would be suspicious of an atheist politician... if you take away the belief that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights you come to the quick realization that all men are not equal.  in fact, equality in nature does not exist... so then, you would have a person in a position of power who basically publicly acknowledges, by way of his atheist philosophy, that he is superior... he is king and we are his subjects...

First of all, Thomas Jefferson (author of the Declaration of Independence) was a Deist, not a Christian.  The deity he refers to as "nature's God" is not the god of Christianity or the Bible (Yahweh).  The Bible makes it abundantly clear that Yahweh did not create everyone equal.  First of all, women are created to serve men.  They're regarded as livestock (example: in the Commandment forbidding covetousness, a man's wife is listed along with other types of property including slaves and draft animals).  After the creation story and a bit of primordial history, Yahweh picks out his favorite group of tribes and makes them his Chosen Peopletm.  They are fully entitled (even ordered by Yahweh) to exterminate everyone between the Nile and the Euphrates in order to get themselves some lebensraum and keep themselves "pure" from all those icky other people.  People from outside the Promised Landtm may be conquered and kept as slaves.  You can only keep a Hebrew slave for seven years, but then you have to let him go, unless he "volunteers" to stay.  Clever way to get him to do so: give him a wife, and let him have kids with her.  Not only does he breed you more human livestock, you get to keep them if he leaves.  So if he loves his wife and kids, he's got to let you nail his ear to your door and agree to be your slave for the rest of his life.  The wife and kids, natch, don't get any "choice to leave after seven years" option.

Then we come to the glow-rious New Covenant, where ethnic/hereditary membership in the Chosen Peopletm is repealed, and replaced with membership-by-profession-of-the-right beliefs.  In the ninth chapter of Romans, Paul tells us point-blank that Yahweh did not create people equal.  Yahweh loved Jacob and hated Esau before either was even born; in fact, he creates some people to be "vessels of honor" (and thus be "saved,") and others to be "vessels of dishonor" (people who get to be his punching bags, then suffer for eternity in Hell as their punishment for getting the divine thumbs-down before they were born), and if you don't like it, tough.

The passage you cite only refers to people who are "in Christ," i.e., Christians.  And even there, it is contradicted by other passages where, for example, women are forbidden to be pastors or speak in church because they're inferior and should be limited to the role of manufacturing, caring for, and teaching children.  They are explicitly defined as being inherently subordinate to men because Yahweh made them that way.

Furthermore, the concept of people being born[1] equal doesn't mean we're all the same, it means that we should all be treated the same under the law.  That is, one person should not be entitled to special treatment (i.e., "privileges;" the word is derived from the Latin for "private law," i.e., a set of special rights and prerogatives belonging to the aristocracy) because she or he was born into a "noble" family, or into a favored ethnic group, and so on.  This has nothing to do with any claims about deities manufacturing all humans according to the same engineering specifications.  Therefore, the concept of human equality before the law does not lose its validity if it should turn out that human origins are unrelated to any ancient creation myth.
 1. When was the last time you saw anybody get "created" by a god or goddess?  All the people you'll ever meet were conceived and born in the usual way.
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Offline kcrady

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #284 on: June 23, 2015, 07:45:44 PM »
The concept that all men are of equal value makes sense to us... it seems correct and Just and True.  Yet this concept is not reflected in nature - it doesn't make any sense without transcendence.  Without objective "Truth" the "equal value of life" becomes a judgement call to whoever holds the power.  It reminds me of the Mayflower Compact, a revolutionary document at the time, the very first written governmental framework of what would become the US.  In it, in terms of authority, the authors defined their rights as coming from "God", to the people and then delegated to Gov't authority.  In England, the power flow was God, the King, and then the people... so by way of the Compact they (the writers) put the power into the hands of the people, a people that were equal under "God", not man (or the discretion of the King).  Obviously this concept didn't sit well with the King of England...  but my point is, without the concept of an "equalizer" men are not equal and subject to oppression/rule by whoever holds the power.  We've seen this played out over millennia, civilization after civilization enslaved and oppressed by those who hold dominion.  Look at slavery throughout history... you're all familiar with the story of Exodus, what about America's own history of slavery?  When America separated from Great Britain in 1776 many states abolished slavery, PA, MA, CT, RI, VT among others... the overwhelming majority of the founding fathers were opposed to slavery... and well, this led to the Civil War.  Those founding fathers opposed to slavery held the belief that all men are equal under God.  So then, if there is no "God", no objective "Truth" or "Justice", then men are not equal and slavery is not necessarily wrong or evil; it's just the result of the natural influx of power, and if those in power deem slavery to be "good", then it's "good".

Anybody else notice anything a little strange about this "manifesto for equality?"

So then, if there is no "God", no objective "Truth" or "Justice", then men are not equal and slavery is not necessarily wrong or evil; it's just the result of the natural influx of power, and if those in power deem slavery to be "good", then it's "good".

OK, so if things like human rights are decided by the whim of authority, that would be bad, right?

Truth and Justice are philosophical ideas... and these concepts only seem "right" if they're handed down by a "higher authority".

Oh.  So they should be derived from the commandments of some authority then.  Ow, I think I just got whiplash...

Otherwise, what makes your idea of truth anymore truthier than mine...

Well, there's this little thing called reality.  If we have a set of desired outcomes such as, say, widely-shared prosperity and an absence of oppression, we can compare the results of theocratic monarchy with the results of representative republics and discover that one system actually works better!  No imaginary friends needed.

I submit that a society is more Fair and more Just when it acknowledges that Truth and Justice are objective, always present and never changing.  And if Truth and Justice are objective, then what is the source...?

Again: Reality.  If you base a society on claims about the intentions of an entity you can't even show to exist, then you have no more legitimacy than the Islamic State nutters, who found their society of slavery and oppression on their own claims of divine "higher authority" and "transcendence."
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Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #285 on: June 24, 2015, 09:53:14 AM »
alrighty then... listen, everyone has their own personal inner experience that leads to and shapes their worldview.  Reality is, the facts are, that America was a nation born out of and reared under the precepts found in the bible... It doesn't matter if Jefferson's "God" was conceptually the same as Jacob's "God"... as if every facet and concept of an all powerful creative force would ever be the same from mind to mind... But document after document found in the fragile early stages of this Country plead to a "higher power"...

In 1777, a year into the Revolution, the British army surrendered to the Americans at the battle of Saratoga.  As a result Great Britain thought it would be best to dispatch a peace commission so they authorized concession of "self-government" to the Americans but did not recognize their independence...  America responded by saying "You know America is Just.  You know we stand for the freedom to which all men are entitled... We again will make our solemn appeal to God to decide between you and us..."  Congress was familiar with the accounts of Kings and Isaiah and responded to the British in the same manner.  Speaking of Isaiah...

"Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.  Come now, and let us reason together, Says the LORD, Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.  If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land;…"

Perhaps someday all of mankind will reject the idea of a "higher power" or "objective truth"... and maybe by doing so all of humanity will live in perfect peace...  I guess only time will tell...

When a great genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign; that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

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Offline frank callaway

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #286 on: June 24, 2015, 10:18:53 AM »
If we have a set of desired outcomes such as, say, widely-shared prosperity and an absence of oppression, we can compare the results of theocratic monarchy with the results of representative republics and discover that one system actually works better!  No imaginary friends needed.

That's a pretty big "if"... because the desires of men change; they are influenced and corrupted and ultimately become self-serving.  All one has to do is examine their own desires to come to this conclusion.  So whether objective truth and justice is, as you say "an imaginary friend" doesn't matter.  The "idea" that there is an unchanging pillar of truth and justice in the universe is required for our best opportunity to escape oppression.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #287 on: June 24, 2015, 10:39:20 AM »
The founders of the US knew about the bible and Christianity, although many of them were not Christians. (I suspect Ben Franklin was an atheist. He was pretty fly. ;)) They had bibles available. They could have used them to write the laws. They did not.

If the founders had wanted to base the country on the OT, or make the US a Christian theocracy, or require that the president be a Christian, or make the courts use the ten commandments as laws, or have the pope's face on the currency or execute adulterers by stoning, or put images of Jesus on every copy of the Constitution, they would have done that. They did not.

Nowhere in any of the founding documents does it say, "and we will do such and such because in the bible it says thus and so." Nowhere do they say, "and because the god of the bible wants us to do this in such a way, we will." Nowhere do they mention Christianity as the foundation of the US or of its laws. Nowhere do they state that religion, god, Jesus or the bible have any part in the laws of the land.

There are countries that were founded to promote or abide by a particular religion. Israel and South Africa had religion written into their official government documents. The US did not do that.

The US founding documents say the exact opposite. They explicitly say they do not want any religion to dominate or be used as a way to decide anything. They explicitly say there should be no religious test used by the government.

If folks want to try to change the constitution by adding religion, to make the US into a bible-based Christian theocracy now, they should just go for it. But they have no historical leg to stand on.  I do not understand the need to go back into the past and try to make up stuff that never happened. That is called lying and supposedly it is a sin.
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Offline Boots

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #288 on: June 24, 2015, 11:57:55 AM »
Reality is, the facts are, that America was a nation born out of and reared under the precepts found in the bible... It doesn't matter if Jefferson's "God" was conceptually the same as Jacob's "God"... as if every facet and concept of an all powerful creative force would ever be the same from mind to mind... But document after document found in the fragile early stages of this Country plead to a "higher power"...

No.  No they do not.  There are sporadic *references* to some nameless flavor of higher power, but there are no pleads to same.  You should try reading a little more carefully.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-schweitzer/founding-fathers-we-are-n_b_6761840.html

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to John Adams: "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. ... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding...."

From the article above: "That we are a secular nation was obvious to past generations, so much so that in the mid-1800s several groups formed to rectify what they considered a mistake of our forefathers in founding our country on principles of reason rather than faith. Perhaps the most prominent was the National Reform Association, established in 1863 for the purpose of amending the preamble to the Constitution to acknowledge God and Jesus Christ as the sources of all government power, because the original document does not. "

From the article: "For much of our existence, the United States never included God in its motto, on its currency, or in any document creating the Republic. We were born a secular nation and must remain one to sustain our future, unless we want to go the way of ISIS.

"Our founding fathers understood well the extraordinary danger of mixing religion and politics; we forget that lesson at our great peril. If we forget, just glance over to the Middle East. I tremble in fear for my country when the majority of conservatives believe we are a Christian nation; that frightening majority has forgotten our history, ignored our founding principles and abandoned our most cherished ideal of separating church and state. In mixing religion and politics, the religious right subverts both. And the world suffers."
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: I don't really get the question...
« Reply #289 on: June 24, 2015, 12:44:23 PM »
So, frank, I have yet to see your acknowledgment that there is no functional difference between "born equal" and "created equal", seeing as the concept of being created equal has no meaning unless humans are born equal.

alrighty then... listen, everyone has their own personal inner experience that leads to and shapes their worldview.  Reality is, the facts are, that America was a nation born out of and reared under the precepts found in the bible... It doesn't matter if Jefferson's "God" was conceptually the same as Jacob's "God"... as if every facet and concept of an all powerful creative force would ever be the same from mind to mind... But document after document found in the fragile early stages of this Country plead to a "higher power"...
The only way it "wouldn't matter" if Jefferson's god was conceptually the same as Jacob's god is if neither god actually existed in the first place.  Otherwise, it matters a very great deal since the two are really nothing like each other.  You don't get to handwave away the differences between two highly opposed 'conceptions' of a god by talking about how two people wouldn't see this "all powerful creative force" in the exact same way.  If two people are looking at the same thing, I wouldn't expect their descriptions of it to be identical, but I would expect them to be similar.  And yet, Jefferson's god and Jacob's god are basically nothing alike.

The fact of the matter is that America, as a country, was not born out of and reared under the precepts found in the Bible.  It was founded under laws which explicitly forbade the country's new government from using religious precepts to justify laws, and then were later extended to include the individual state governments.  If this had not been the case, America would have turned into a mess like Europe, which had no such prohibition and thus was wracked by wars and maltreatment which were specifically based on various interpretations of religious precepts

Quote from: frank callaway
In 1777, a year into the Revolution, the British army surrendered to the Americans at the battle of Saratoga.  As a result Great Britain thought it would be best to dispatch a peace commission so they authorized concession of "self-government" to the Americans but did not recognize their independence...  America responded by saying "You know America is Just.  You know we stand for the freedom to which all men are entitled... We again will make our solemn appeal to God to decide between you and us..."  Congress was familiar with the accounts of Kings and Isaiah and responded to the British in the same manner.  Speaking of Isaiah...
No, 'America' didn't respond by saying that.  Samuel Adams, who was indisputably a Christian, said that in his own response to the Earl of Carlisle.  It's collected in volume 4 of The Writings of Samuel Adams.

Quote from: frank callaway
"Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow.  Come now, and let us reason together, Says the LORD, Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.  If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land;…"
What does this have to do with anything?  I mean, it's nice-sounding and all, but it doesn't really say a whole lot.

Quote from: frank callaway
Perhaps someday all of mankind will reject the idea of a "higher power" or "objective truth"... and maybe by doing so all of humanity will live in perfect peace...  I guess only time will tell...
Nah.  Humans being humans, even if we had never invented the concept of a higher power or of objective truth, we would still have found things to fight and argue about.
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