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Chatter / Re: "What are you listening to now"... take three...
« Last post by Timo on October 22, 2016, 04:22:13 PM »
Going through some records. This made me think of you heathens.

General Religious Discussion / Re: For The Atheists: If God Told You...
« Last post by eh! on October 22, 2016, 02:59:26 PM »
In all honesty skep, the carm argument is clearly a blatant deceit.

Satan deceives.
General Religious Discussion / Re: For The Atheists: If God Told You...
« Last post by wheels5894 on October 22, 2016, 02:37:39 PM »
Sorry, Skep, but there's no way out of Jesus leaving his followers with the Torah to follow as it pointed out above. The only hope of a way out is to suggest, as others have, that Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience and has Jesus, in his text, insist on the Torah being followed as this would suit his audience. This would allow one to escape the needs for most people to do this.

Alternatively, there is Acts 15, which I mentioned earlier, that let's non-Jews off the hook and to follow a very limited couple of rules. The snag is that it doesn't come from Jesus - unless you conceded that Jesus was, to a large extent, the invention of Paul, of course, and I doubt to would concede that.

Incidentally, a better translation would have Jesus completing the Torah rather than fulfilling it though this is a bit nitpicking.
General Religious Discussion / Re: For The Atheists: If God Told You...
« Last post by jaimehlers on October 22, 2016, 02:07:23 PM »
CARM is quote-mining the Bible to make that argument, skeptic.  If you look at the whole passage (Matthew 5:17-20), the intent becomes much more clear.

"17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus was in no way excusing his followers from having to abide by Jewish law.  If anything, he was telling them they would have to do better at it than the Pharisees and other teachers if they wanted to get into heaven at all.  Kind of puts the whole idea of Gentiles not having to practice Jewish law into perspective, doesn't it?  Not to mention that CARM is busy misleading every Christian who relies on them into following practices that will ultimately screw them over as far as heaven is concerned.
I agree, I'm not saying OCG is a bad guy, but, there is some value in looking at that wording, and thought process.

Atheism = Stop growth and exploration... be close minded to things that can't be proven by science... close your eyes to new possibilities.

It's weird because most of us think of religion as being close minded, being afraid to look at what's wrong with the Bible, being afraid to recognize when the answers given by apologists fall glaringly short, being afraid to continue to stand up and say... "No, if God ordered evil things, God is evil.   No, we don't need an ancient myth to have morals... (and so on)".

Most of us would believe in God tomorrow if god was real and demonstrated it.   That's pretty open minded.

On the flip side, god has essentially been proven to be equal to all other imagined myths... equal... performs just as well as...  there's plenty of evidence that a magical being is not required for anything we see around us, including life.   There are lots of contradictions and impossibilities about god that are hand waved with "well, he's mysterious".

I think it's close minded not to consider what those implications mean.    i.e.  Like a child refusing to believe the tooth fairy isn't real.   That's close minded, right?  Not open minded?

When you consider top scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson:       You can tell by listening to the man, he just loves to learn, he loves to discover, he loves to be proven wrong... he loves to find out what the real answers are.

James Randi.   Penn & Teller.    The guys from Mythbusters.

All of those people are among the most "Go through life with eyes wide open, experiencing mystery and finding answers"  Kinds of guys you can think of.

So yeah, I'm not offended by Old Church Guy, I can't speak for everyone but I think he's well liked and respected by most of us.   But it does sort of illustrate what's wrong with thinking of atheism in the way he did when he was at his crossroads.   
General Religious Discussion / Re: For The Atheists: If God Told You...
« Last post by skeptic54768 on October 22, 2016, 12:59:20 PM »
How does jeebus do away with the old laws when he "said" he wasn't???

This question of Jesus somehow 'doing away' with the old Torah is something of a misunderstanding of the texts. In the Sermon on the MOunt in Matthew, Jesus says he has come to complete the Law (Torah) and continues that not a 'jot or tittle of the Law will be altered. As a practicing Jew, Jesus is clearly statuing that the Law stands and should be followed.

In fact it is not until Acts 15 - the confrontation of Paul and Peter - that an 'agreement' is made in which Gentile converts need to accept the whole of the Torah but merely refrain from eating blood and meat offered to idols. This is an agreement between those we call apostle and not anything that Jesus ever signed up to.

Skep, where's you evidence on this, please?

"In Matthew 5:17 Jesus is speaking about the Old Testament principles and authority of rule and revelation.  When Jesus said that He came to fulfill the law, He came to establish it and demonstrate how it pointed to Him and how He would live it perfectly."
Chatter / Re: More red than blue, blue leads how? US elections.
« Last post by jaimehlers on October 22, 2016, 10:40:00 AM »
I keep hearing how blue is front but about every map shows more red?
Don't confuse land area with representation.  A lot of the red states are large in area but don't have a high population, and it's population that really matters for representation.

Because the USA's election system is undemocratic.
This is a very simplified way of looking at it, and thus is rather inaccurate.

Quote from: One Above All
Unlike most developed countries, where a person is elected based on the total number of votes per citizen,
I have to ask here, do ANY of the developed countries you're referring to have a system where citizens can get more than one vote?  And if so, do all citizens get the same number of votes?

Also, you're forgetting that America is the first country in thousands of years to have a democratic system.  It was the pioneer in democracy for all those others you mention, and as such, those others had a chance to learn from our example.  In addition, American politics have become more democratic over time; for example, expanding the right to vote and having senators elected rather than appointed.  I expect that trend will continue, and eventually things like the electoral college and gerrymandering will go by the wayside as well.

Quote from: One Above All
the USA's system depends on electoral votes and some other crap that paves the way for gerrymandering and other such "questionable" practices.
In other words, you don't really know how America's system works, or at least not very well.  Nobody who knows it at all well would assume that the electoral college paves the way for things like gerrymandering, which is a term for manipulating the redistricting of House districts.

The reason gerrymandering exists is because state legislatures get to decide their state's House districts after each census, and so they often decide based on partisan advantage (basically, whoever's in control of a given legislature after the census gets to redraw the lines).  It would exist even if the electoral college did not, because of the advantage of getting secure House seats for a particular party.  Personally, I think we could learn from the example of other countries which use a nonpartisan commission to do redistricting, but it's going to take a lot of work to do that in all 50 states.

However, it does seem to be happening, albeit slowly.  There are actually court battles going on in some states to end gerrymandering or at least get it under control by changing the criteria by which we draw districts.
Chatter / Re: More red than blue, blue leads how? US elections.
« Last post by Chronos on October 22, 2016, 09:52:13 AM »
I keep hearing how blue is front but about every map shows more red?

Can a US person explain.

Each state has 2 senators (Senate) and a number of representatives (House) in relation to the population of that state, but never less than 1 representative. Representatives are elected in districts (subdivisions of states). The Electoral College is made up of "electors" who match the number of senators and representatives for each state. Therefore the states with the lowest populations have minimally 3 electors, and the largest states by population have many more electors (California 55, Texas 38, Florida 29, New York 29 etc). The total of all electors is 538, just as the number of voting members of Congress (Senate + House).

While there are registered Republicans and Democrats (among others) across the country, the areas where Democrats outnumber Republicans are usually on the "coasts" and in urban and suburban areas. Rural areas and the "fly-over country" (the 2/3's center of the continent) are majority Republican. The exception is that certain states are majority Republican in almost all areas, which are a few southern states and "fly-over country".

So, when looking at the map as physical area, more red covers the map because there is more "fly-over country" than the coasts and urban areas, but comparatively these are also lower population states.

Because the USA's election system is undemocratic. Unlike most developed countries, where a person is elected based on the total number of votes per citizen, the USA's system depends on electoral votes ...

Our election system is democratic. It's preposterous to state otherwise.

We cast our votes for President by raw vote in each state. The candidate who is first-past-the-post in the raw vote wins that state. As a consequence of that win, the party representing that candidate sends their electors to Washington DC to cast the votes of those electors in the Electoral College. This is nearly a problem-free process and has yet presented no particular problems.

Some argue the Electoral College is archaic. It was established in times where information traveled very slowly and unreliably (the 1700s), and to account for circumstances that suddenly changed the electors can react and cast a different vote if that's what makes the most sense. What if the chosen President had died the day after the election? Gotta choose someone else, and quick. (Our Constitution only says that the Vice President takes office upon the death of the President, but if the winning candidates haven't taken their oaths of office, the VP-elect cannot automatically take over -- he or she would have to be voted upon by ... the Electoral College.)

In the past 100 years, information has traveled faster and nowadays at the speed of light to the fingertips of anyone with a smart phone. The original purpose of electors has been greatly diminished, but it has been replaced with the need to simplify the voting process in a much larger and more complex country than envisioned in 1787. For example, in 2000 the Electoral College limited the argument about how votes were cast (or how many votes were cast) to Florida. That was the only state where the raw vote was sufficiently close. If the Electoral College didn't exist and a candidate could win solely on raw vote, candidates and other interested persons could totally wreck the election process by demanding recounts and ballot inspections in thousands of districts all across the country. In that circumstance, every vote would count equally but every vote would be an invitation to chaos.

The circumstances of the 2000 election show how the distribution of population in the US is not evenly represented by each elector. The number of electors for each state is adjusted after the completion of every decennial census. Between census reports, the populations of each state can change substantially, and by the nature of the system even a state like Wyoming (pop. 580K) still gets one full representative when other slightly more populated states are stuck with only one representative. The 2000 election showed that Al Gore won the popular (raw) vote but since the electors cannot be evenly distributed the election was reduced to a fight for votes in Florida.

A solution to this problem could be to have a greater number of electors to more accurately represent the population of each state, but it still would not be evenly divided, and in no circumstance do you want to have a tied vote. By giving one elector to every raw vote cast, you would likely end up with chaos (as previously noted).

Our system is no less democratic than the Queen appointing a Prime Minister based on the party with the most elected MPs, and some would argue it is more democratic. Both systems function fine in their own right even if they have their own quirks.

... and some other crap that paves the way for gerrymandering and other such "questionable" practices.

Gerrymandering is a problem for both Democrats and Republicans, but the Republicans have been more successful at it rendering some states a greater "red" than actually their due.

There is no question my state is gerrymandered by Democrats in favor of Democrats. It is a solidly "blue" state, and it is the state with the highest household incomes, among the lowest unemployment and the best performing school systems. However, if we look to a state such as Kansas which is thoroughly controlled by Republicans, the opposite is true. These two examples could merely be coincidences or they could be products of their own ideologies, or it could be luck. Of particular note is California[1]. The control of California is locked by Democrats. Not only is the governor a Democrat, but the Democrats have supermajorities in both the state bodies (senate and house), which sidelines the Republicans. They are totally irrelevant. If every elected Republican in the state bodies decided to never show up for work, there would still be a quorum of Democrats to conduct business. For all its ills, California is doing fine. It's the 7th largest economy in the world, if measured all by itself. Compare to Kansas where the economy has actually shrunk. But, I digress ...

I would like to get rid of gerrymandering, but that's a political hot potato that is not likely to be poked unless it happens to go to SCOTUS.

 1. I do not know if California is gerrymandered in favor of Democrats, but there are so many more votes cast for Democrats in California that gerrymandering may be irrelevant.
Chatter / Re: More red than blue, blue leads how? US elections.
« Last post by shnozzola on October 22, 2016, 08:51:15 AM »
^ yeah, does get to be hypocritical.   

   A reason for the setup is to allow freedom of individual states to make their own laws.  Of course if a state decides to do something like bring back drawing and quartering as used for the death penalty, or, let's say Arizona decides no Latino person can be a judge, the federal laws kick in. 

OTOH, right now the states are pushing the bar for the legalization of marijuana, while federal law prohibits it, only a matter of time before a lawsuit will need the nine (8 &)) justices of the Supreme Court to rule.
Chatter / Re: More red than blue, blue leads how? US elections.
« Last post by One Above All on October 22, 2016, 08:42:25 AM »
Because the USA's election system is undemocratic. Unlike most developed countries, where a person is elected based on the total number of votes per citizen, the USA's system depends on electoral votes and some other crap that paves the way for gerrymandering and other such "questionable" practices.
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