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Sam Harris Takes On the Muslim Cartoon Controversy and His Critics

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Posted on Feb 3, 2006
Sam Harris
Courtesy of Sam Harris

Sam Harris

By Sam Harris

Update: Sam Harris responds to the Muhammad cartoon controversy.

In recent days, crowds of thousands have gathered throughout the Muslim worldburning European embassies, issuing threats, and even taking hostagesחin protest over 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that were published in a Danish newspaper.  The problem is not merely that the cartoons were mildly derogatory.  The furor primarily erupted over the fact that the Prophet had been depicted at all. Muslims consider any physical rendering of Muhammad to be an act of idolatry.  And idolatry is punishable by death. Criticism of Muhammad or his teachingwhich was also implicit in the cartoonsחis considered blasphemy.  As luck would have it, blasphemy is also punishable by death.  Pious Muslims, therefore, have two reasons to not accept less than a severing of the heads of those responsible,” as was elucidated by a preacher at the Al Omari mosque in Gaza.

Let us take stock of the moral intuitions now on display in the House of Islam: on Aug. 17, 2005, an Iraqi insurgent helped collect the injured survivors of a car bombing, rushed them to a hospital, and then detonated his own bomb, murdering those who were already mortally wounded as well as the doctors and nurses struggling to save their lives.  Where were the cries of outrage from the Muslim world? Religious sociopaths murder innocents by the hundreds in the capitols of Europe, blow up the offices of the U.N. and the Red Cross, purposefully annihilate crowds of children gathered to collect candy from U.S. soldiers on the streets of Baghdad, kidnap journalists, behead them, and the videos of their butchery become the most popular form of pornography in the Muslim world, and no one utters a word of protest because these atrocities have been perpetrated ӓin defense of Islam. But draw a picture of the Prophet, and pious mobs convulse with pious rage. One could hardly ask for a better demonstration of the manner in which religious dogmatism and its pseudo-morality eclipses basic, human goodness. This behavior would be impossible without religious belief. It is time we realized that the endgame for civilization is not political correctness.  It is not respect for the abject religious certainties of the mob.  It is reason.


While ԓAn Atheist Manifesto received considerable support from readers of Truthdig, a variety of criticisms surfaced in the reader commentary.  I summarize and respond to some of these below:

1. Just because you havenԒt seen God doesnt mean He doesnҒt exist.  Atheism, therefore, is as much an act of faith as theism is.

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Bertrand Russell demolished this fallacy nearly a century ago with his famous teapot argument.  As his response appears to me to be perfect, I simply offer it here:

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

If a valid retort to Russell has ever seen the light of day, Im not aware of it.  As I tried to make clear in my essay, the atheist is not in the business of making claims on insufficient evidence, he merely resists such claims whenever they appear on the lips of the faithful.  I donҒt think it can be pointed out too often that the faithful do this as well. Every Christian knows what it is like to find the claims of Muslimsthat the Holy Koran is the perfect word of God, that Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse, etc.חto be utterly incredible.  Everyone who is not a Mormon knows at a glance that Mormonism is bogus. And everyone of every religious denomination knows what it is like not to believe in Zeus. Everyone has rejected an infinite number of spurious claims about God.  The atheist rejects infinity plus one.

2. You will never get rid of religion, so criticizing it is just a waste of time.

I would be the first to admit that the prospects for eradicating religious dogmatism in our world do not seem good. Still, the same could have been said about efforts to abolish slavery at the beginning of the 19th century. Anyone who spoke about eradicating slavery in the United States around 1810 surely appeared to be wasting his time, and wasting it dangerously.  The analogy is not perfect, but it is suggestive.  If we ever do transcend our religious bewilderment, we will look back upon this period in human history with absolute astonishment.  How could it have been possible for people to believe such things in the 21st century? How could it be that they allowed their world to become so dangerously fragmented by empty notions about God and Paradise? The answers to these questions are as embarrassing as those that sent the last slave ship sailing to America as late as 1859 (the same year that Darwin published “The Origin of Species”).

3. Religion is our only source of morality. Without it, we would be plunged into a secular moral chaos.

This concern is so widespread that I have responded to it at some length.  A version of this response will soon be published in the magazine Free Inquiry (www.secularhumanism.org) as The Myth of Secular Moral Chaos.Ӕ

One cannot criticize religious dogmatism for long without encountering the following claim, advanced as though it were a self-evident fact of nature: there is no secular basis for morality. Raping and killing children can only be really wrong, the thinking goes, if there is a God who says it is.  Otherwise, right and wrong would be mere matters of social construction, and any society will be at liberty to decide that raping and killing children is actually a wholesome form of family fun. In the absence of God, John Wayne Gacy would be a better person than Albert Schweitzer, if only more people agreed with him.

It is simply amazing how widespread this fear of secular moral chaos is, given how many misconceptions about morality and human nature are required to set it whirling in a persons brain. There is undoubtedly much to be said against the spurious linkage between faith and morality, but the following three points should suffice.

If a book like the bible were the only reliable blueprint for human decency that we have, it would be impossible (both practically and logically) to criticize it in moral terms. But it is extraordinarily easy to criticize the morality one finds in bible, as most of it is simply odious and incompatible with a civil society.

The notion that the bible is a perfect guide to morality is really quite amazing, given the contents of the book. Human sacrifice, genocide, slaveholding, and misogyny are consistently celebrated.  Of course, GodҒs counsel to parents is refreshingly straightforward: whenever children get out of line, we should beat them with a rod (Proverbs 13: 24, 20:30, and 23:13-14). If they are shameless enough to talk back to us, we should kill them (Exodus 21:15, Leviticus 20:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Mark.7:9-13 and Matthew 15:4-7).  We must also stone people to death for heresy, adultery, homosexuality, working on the Sabbath, worshipping graven images, practicing sorcery, and for a wide variety of other imaginary crimes.  Most Christians imagine that Jesus did away with all this barbarism and delivered a doctrine of pure love and toleration.  He didnt (Matthew 5:18-19, Luke 16:17, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 20-21, John 7:19). Anyone who believes that Jesus only taught the Golden Rule and love of oneҒs neighbor should go back and read the New Testament. And pay particular attention to the morality that will be on display if he ever returns to Earth trailing clouds of glory (e.g. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, 2:8; Hebrews 10:28-29; 2 Peter 3:7; and all of Revelation). It is not an accident that St. Thomas Aquinas thought heretics should be killed and that St. Augustine thought they should be tortured.  (Ask yourself, what are the chances that these good doctors of the Church hadnt read the New Testament closely enough to discover the error of their ways?) As a source of objective morality, the bible is one of the worst books we have. It might have been the very worst, in fact, if we didnҒt also happen to have the Koran.

It is important to point out that we decide what is good in the Good Book. We read the Golden and Rule and judge it to be a brilliant distillation of many of our ethical impulses; we read that a woman found not to be a virgin on her wedding night should be stoned to death, and we (if we are civilized) decide that this is the most vile lunacy imaginable. Our own ethical intuitions are, therefore, primary.  So the choice before us is simple: we can either have a 21st century conversation about ethicsavailing ourselves of all the arguments and scientific insights that have accumulated in the last 2,000 years of human discourseחor we can confine ourselves to a first century conversation as it is preserved in the bible.

If religion were necessary for morality, there should some evidence that atheists are less moral than believers. But evidence for this is in short supply, and there is much evidence to the contrary.

People of faith regularly allege that atheism is responsible for some of the most appalling crimes of the 20th century. Are atheists really less moral than believers? While it is true that the regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were irreligious to varying degrees, they were not especially rational. In fact, their public pronouncements were little more than litanies of delusion—delusions about race, economics, national identity, the march of history or the moral dangers of intellectualism. In many respects, religion was directly culpable even here. Consider the Holocaust: the anti-Semitism that built the Nazi crematoria brick by brick was a direct inheritance from medieval Christianity. For centuries, Christian Europeans had viewed the Jews as the worst species of heretics and attributed every societal ill to their continued presence among the faithful. While the hatred of Jews in Germany expressed itself in a predominately secular way, its roots were undoubtedly religiousand the explicitly religious demonization of the Jews of Europe continued throughout the period. (The Vatican itself perpetuated the blood libel in its newspapers as late as 1914.) Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields are not examples of what happens when people become too critical of unjustified beliefs; to the contrary, these horrors testify to the dangers of not thinking critically enough about specific secular ideologies. Needless to say, a rational argument against religious faith is not an argument for the blind embrace of atheism as a dogma. The problem that the atheist exposes is none other than the problem of dogma itself—of which every religion has more than its fair share. I know of no society in recorded history that ever suffered because its people became too reasonable.

According the United Nationsג Human Development Report (2005), the most atheistic societies—countries like Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdomare actually the healthiest, as indicated by measures of life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate and infant mortality. Conversely, the 50 nations now ranked lowest by the U.N. in terms of human development are unwaveringly religious. Of course, correlational data of this sort do not resolve questions of causalityחbelief in God may lead to societal dysfunction; societal dysfunction may foster a belief in God; each factor may enable the other; or both may spring from some deeper source of mischief.  Leaving aside the issue of cause and effect, these facts prove that atheism is perfectly compatible with the basic aspirations of a civil society; they also prove, conclusively, that religious faith does nothing to ensure a societys health.

If religion really provided the only conceivable, objective basis for morality, it should be impossible to posit a non-theistic, objective basis for morality.  But it is not impossible; it is rather easy.

Clearly, we can think of objective sources of moral order that do not require the existence of a law-giving God.  In “The End of Faith,” I argued that questions of morality are really questions about happiness and suffering.  If there are objectively better and worse ways to live so as to maximize happiness in this world, these would be objective moral truths worth knowing.  Whether we will ever be in a position to discover these truths and agree about them cannot be known in advance (and this is the case for all questions of scientific fact). But if there are psychophysical laws that underwrite human well-beingҗand why wouldnt there be?җthen these laws are potentially discoverable.  Knowledge of these laws would provide an enduring basis for an objective morality. In the meantime, everything about human experience suggests that love is better than hate for the purposes of living happily in this world.  This is an objective claim about the human mind, the dynamics of social relations, and the moral order of our world. While we do not have anything like a final, scientific approach to maximizing human happiness, it seems safe to say that raping and killing children will not be one of its primary constituents.

One of the greatest challenges facing civilization in the 21st century is for human beings to learn to speak about their deepest personal concerns—about ethics, spiritual experience and the inevitability of human suffering—in ways that are not flagrantly irrational. Nothing stands in the way of this project more than the respect we accord religious faith. Incompatible religious doctrines have balkanized our world into separate moral communities, and these divisions have become a continuous source of human conflict.  The idea that there is a necessary link between religious faith and morality is one of the principal myths keeping religion in good standing among otherwise reasonable men and women.  And yet, it is a myth that is easily dispelled.


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By brian, July 2, 2010 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no such thing as god, or a celestial teapot: we;re born, we live, we die…that’s all folks!

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archeon of thrace's avatar

By archeon of thrace, February 11, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Are you merely against atheists?
How do you feel about Sihks? or Hindus? or Zoarastorians?  What about Budhists? or Confusionists? How do you feel bout Taoists? or followers of any of the aboriginal religions of North America and Africa?  Each of these reject Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Atheo-bolshevism? Now that is funny!  Christianity, when practiced according to the ACTUAL words of the so called savior, is overtly marxist.  Christianity as practiced by semi-literate american evangelicals is theo-fascist.

As for the 12 men starting christianity, I suppose we will forget the two Marys…they did not play a part at all.

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By jerubaal, June 28, 2007 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.” Isaac Asimov
This would be true if you were made to adore yourself and heaven were a hall of mirrors - the atheists dream come true.  But what if you were made to adore God and love Him with all your heart and mind (rational) and He gave glimpses of Himself through nature and revealed with greater detail through recorded history of His interaction with man
who we really are - would you want a God?
Probably not, He would interfer with your creativity, your notion of freedom, and perhaps your self-centered, self-delusioned way of thinking.  How can we be sure these thoughts and notions are legit?  After all we are dealing with an invisble God, who speaks to TV evangelists so they can make more money.  No - you have to use your God given brain which you actually think is a product of chance and billions and billions of years with some chemical reactions thrown in with the living tissue and you use that thing to reject the self absorbed tv evangelists because most of them are hokey and you start a comparison of statements.  There is no God - why, because Sam Harris articulates it so well and this helps me avoid having to use my God given brain to have these chemicals reactions of thought on my own.  Tim Freke says the Bible isn’t accurate, well there you have it, I can now go around and tell all of them Bible thumpers how stupid they are cause some guy who didn’t really do any balanced research had some bad chemicals reacting up there in noggin land.  I can bring up the “fact” of Christ’s resurrection not being that authentic and original because the story is borrowed from Egyptian mythology - I won’t point out there are six different interpretations of Osiris because I’m using the information to grind an axe and make people look stupid.  Of course I would have to admit I believe the Osiris story but don’t believe the Christ eye-witness accounts.  Belief, it is really what it all comes down to, even Asimov at the end of the day said he was an atheist based on emotional “belief” not scientific proof and for that I applaud him - if only more atheist would admit their emotional belief instead of hiding in the closet and cloking every thought (chemical thinga ma bob)with my rational mind won’t let me commit to the thoughts of the possiblity of a God or I once believed there was a God but it was a brainwashed technique of my upbringing and now I’m so free to embrace who I really am. The day you think you no longer have to continue to critique what you believe is the day you become a fake dooped (please accuse me of name calling) goofy demiurge of your own mental prison.  And because I’ve found all atheist love to hear God’s Word (oops, I meant to say Paul’s thoughts to the Corinthian church) 2 Cor. 13:5

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By ilse, May 17, 2007 at 2:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Thank God I am an atheist.” (Bunuel)

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By Mary Wallman, February 1, 2007 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sam Harris rocks.  If you can’t get that (from his writing), then you aren’t listening.

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By carlos de paula, January 31, 2007 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

it was the best commentary I have seen about the cartoon crisis. We can’t give up freedom of speech because it could hurt people.

thanks sam

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By Needler, January 3, 2007 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh, by the way…is there some cryptic apocalyptic reason for the mispelling of Christian?...Just curious…...

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By Needler, January 3, 2007 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN:
“ATHEISTS as born destroyers, not rulers at all; they had neither
culture, nor art,nor architecture of their own, ‘the surest
expression of a people’s culture.’

They are just
calculators….(blah, blah, blah)...”

But then, you have blind faith.  How is that your own?
Oh, and by the way—I was born of this culture—and travelled all over.  I am from earth.  How ‘bout you?  Have you even been to another continent? (Not counting internet)...
puhleeze.  Put away your fangs and get with the global community you live in.  You do not live in a vacuum.  You can’t have it all your way—with no proof—and expect everyone to just accept your perspectives—on blind faith.

Being an American IS born of all ideas—including atheism.

“He is less remote from the truth who believes NOTHING than he who believes what is WRONG.”
–  Thomas Jefferson—-remember him?

“When an objection cannot be made formidable, there is some policy in trying to make it frightful; and to substitute the yell and the war-whoop, in the place of reason, argument, and good order.”
— Thomas Paine

..and some other thoughts from Atheists:

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
— Douglas Adams

“I have something to say to the religionist who feels atheists never say anything positive:
    You are an intelligent human being. Your life is valuable for its own sake. You are not second-class in the universe, deriving meaning and purpose from some other mind. You are not inherently evil—you are inherently human, possessing the positive rational potential to help make this a world of morality, peace and joy. Trust yourself.”
    –Dan Barker, from his book, Losing Faith in Faith

You see, it’s not all bad.  You cannot take away others’ life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.  This is why religion does NOT belong in government.

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By I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN, December 26, 2006 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

know for a fact that if atheism-Bolshevism got the upper hand in
america,’
, ‘I should either be hanging from the nearest lamppost or locked up
in
some cellar or other. So the question for me is not whether or not I
want to
undertake this or that, but whether or not we succeed in preventing a
atheism -Bolshevik
take-over. I myself have the blind faith that our CRISTIAN movement
will win
through. We began2000 years ago with 12 men,’Today
I can say with confidence that our cause will prevail.’


believed that the AMERICAN people needed ‘a monarch-like idol’ –
but not
some mild-mannered king, so much as a ‘full-blooded and ruthless
ruler,’ a
dictator who would rule with an iron hand, like Oliver Cromwell.It is
something
like training a dog: first it is given to a tough handler, and then,
when
it has been put through the hoops, it is turned over to a friendly
owner
whom it will serve with all the greater loyalty and devotion.’


I always used to regard antiATHEISM as inhumane, but now my own
experiences
have converted me into the most fanatical enemy of ATHEISM:


ATHEISTS as born destroyers, not rulers at all; they had neither
culture, nor art,nor architecture of their own, ‘the surest
expression of a people’s culture.’


They are just
calculators. That explains why only ATHEITS could have founded Marxism,
which
negates and destroys the very basis of all culture. With their Marxism,
the
ATHEITS hoped to create a broad mindless mass of plebs without any real
intelligence,
a gormless instrument in their hands.’

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By archeon, December 8, 2006 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The point is to live a decent life now so that we can leave a better world for our children.

The point is that the moral, ethics, etc, that we ascribe to “god”, are simply evolved mechanisms that allow us humans to live in large social groups.  The these social groups ensured our survival and allowed us to propagate our seed into the futur.  We in in the end, don’t live decent lives so that we can go to heaven, but rather so that our children can have children who can have children….it is about our offspring.

Nothing more….......
If it was about god why give a dam about anything but the afterlife?

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By John Croojk, December 8, 2006 at 3:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry - I couldn’t resist posting ANOTHER response to TRUEBELIEVER’s entry!

TB says : “Atheists, I have a question for you, if there is no God, what is the point of trying to live a decent and moral life? It seems pointless if after we die, there’s no hope for us.”

In response, allow me to quote another of TB’s gems of wisdom:

True dat.

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By archeon, November 22, 2006 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Best wishes to all here.  Be kind to someone today.

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By Mary Wallman, November 22, 2006 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HA!  Of course you wouldn’t know about the low-brow “Seth” who channelled some actress or writer or something…

Happy Tofurkey Day or Turkey Day—which ever your persuasion my goodly no-goodnicks!

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By HiveRadical, November 22, 2006 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I enjoy reading ‘nerdy’ stuff. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, Historical documents, Historical commentary. I’m into graphic design and have grown up around it (primarily logo design). I enjoy video games but don’t get to them anywhere near as much as when I was a yungun. I live along the Wasatch front in Utah so it’s suburbia with easy access to mountain, desert and other interesting wilderness areas. In honesty I’ve never been hunting but I went fishing occasionally while growing up, whenever my grandfather needed a companion. I enjoy occasional ventures into some of the more desolate landscapes here in Utah, like the west desert. I enjoy basketball but am not terribly capable at it.

I’ve eight siblings with only one of them being a brother.

I presently have almost 90 cousins and 60 1st Cousins once removed between my mother and father’s sides of our extended family and that’s with only four divorces among all my aunts and uncles and cousins and NO resulting children from few following marriages.

And no there’s no polygamy in our family in these recent generations. All those polygamists here in Utah were long ago cut off from any connection with the LDS faith and mainstream. I do have ancestors tied to polygamist families and at some point have Brigham young as an ‘uncle.’

For Thanksgiving we’re getting together with some of our extended familiy down south (near the city of Provo, Utah—home of BYU/Brigham Young University). We’ll probably have upwards of forty people there and likely have a pie to person ratio of 1:1 (sugar is the “mormon heroin”—though we’ll no doubt have some pies sweetened by splenda). I hope to play various parlor games with cousins, games like Settlers of Cataan (good game!).

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By archeon, November 22, 2006 at 11:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

H-R thankyou for asking.  This debate stuff gets a bit overbearing at times, so it is good to lighten it up a bit.

We here in Canada have turkey day in October, November is usually way to far past the harvest time, and it doesn’t leave enough time until Xmas.  But here too it is a day of friends and families getting together, though politics and religion often come up at the dinner table, the convesations are light hearted and good humour seems to be plentiful.  Generally it is about community, neighbourliness, and generally a time for “giving” “thanks” according to each persons needs.

I live out in the bush as we call it, about 4km to the nearest road, and about 35km to the nearest urban center.  I live on an old homestead, my parents and my wife also live here.  My parents operate a hunting and fishing resort, and I am a carpenter (just like Jesus wink).  My wife and I moved here to help out the parents because they are getting on in years, 65 and 70 respectivly.

I like to read, mostly light literature.  I do art, painting, drawing, and carving.  I also like to go out into the woods to hunting and fish.  I really enjoy eating my catch and kill, this is the primary reason I hunt and fish.  Our place in on a large lake/river system in Northwestern Ontario, so I spend alot of time on and in the water in the summer.

Occasionally in the evening, after a good meal my wife and I enjoy a glass of good red wine.  Most of the time we do not drink, and we no longer smoke, the wife has not for 15 years and I for 10.

We also enjoy going for walks together and with our little dog, Kallie, a Heinz 57 special we rescued from the local shelter.

Happy thanksgiving all, and may you be in the company of loving family and friends.  We take this time from thanksgiving to Xmass to reflect on the goodness and fortune that we have blessed with.

What about you H-R?

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By HiveRadical, November 21, 2006 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any of you end up watching the video here—

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=983112177262602885

???

It’s really good. I know it’s long (like an hour) but it’s really good and pertains to our subject matter.

If you have no interest and/or desire then if you could say so. I really would like to see your views on what’s said. But no presure. If you don’t want to see that’s okay.

Do y’all have any big plans for turkey day? Do you generally celebrate Thanksgiving?

What do y’all do for Hobbies aside from this?

Just thought it’s kind of odd how in this virtual forum so often we can get so deep debating people without getting even close to knowing anything about each other on any personal level.

Isn’t that weird that you’d have such deep or extended debates with someone and you likely know them to a lesser degree than some person you might have talked to for ten min. in some journey or while waiting in a line somewhere?

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By archeon, November 20, 2006 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No, who is he?

Funny how creating one’s own messianic prophetic religion keeps the other religion pedlars silent.  You can’t really comment on my new religion without using arguements that can be turned against other prophets…..

BTW we are not having a sermon on Sunday.  Archeon wants to sleep in, and the god has told Archeon that any day Archeon wants to sleep late is a holy day.  So sleep in late on Sunday and honour gods prophet Archeon.

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By Mary Wallman, November 20, 2006 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Archeon has spoken….let it be written….Do you know “Seth?”

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By archeon, November 19, 2006 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The god sayeth to me in chapter 4:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Chose not from among your sisters and brothers priests or others to interpret this gospel.  Rather be chaplins each to the other and all.

Take note of this, and let it be your guide: there is no umpardonable sin.  Sin is not.

You shall make the laws that govern the relationships between one and other.  We stand silently mute.  We care not who loves whom.

Select from among your host a number of delegates according to your custom and need to form a parliament.  Let this body through debate and vote establish and pass laws.

You Archeon are our prophet.  You shall guide the blind to the light where they might see us.  Your word is our word.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX


Hmmmmm….this could get very addictive, I might actually start believing this stuff…..I think I will change my name to….Joe Smith, it would have an “every man” type appeal.

Yes Mary, Archeon says a lesbian who has had an abortion may be an aherent of Archeonism.  Be pro-choice, pro-gay, support same sex marriage/unions/partnerships/etc, its all ok with Archeons god.  Now that I am the prophet I will have to start speaking about myself in the third person.

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By Mary Wallman, November 19, 2006 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

News Flash!

God ISN’T dead! 

He never was alive.
(wah-wah-wahhhhhh!)

So glad to be a member of the church of Archeon—-HOWEVER….is it okay to be pro-choice?  Are gays allowed?  And….can a woman be a priest?  Can priests be married?  Can priests be gay?  Can a priest be a married lesbian who’s had an abortion and adopted children and (drum roll please…) Can everyone be human? (Ba-dum—Pssshhh!)

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By archeon, November 18, 2006 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am not mocking, or saterizing.  The words I write are the true revelation of god to me, verbatim, direct and unquestionable.  Those who oppose that which I write are an abomination to the true god, the one god, the god of Archeon, and I Archeon am their prophet.  In rejecting my prophecy you confirm it and honour god in all their manifestations.

Chapter three:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
They continued:

“Archeon, holy in your unholiness, these are the comandments of the new age:

Seek neither wealth nor poverty.  If luck and providence have favoured you, share, and ease the hardships of those who are not so blessed.  Charity is the highest honour you can give to us.

Love your neigbour as you would love your enemy.  Love your enemy as you would love your brother.  If you hate another you hate yourself and us. 

Let passion find you in your heart.  Let love guide you to your mates.  We care not which sex lies with which sex only that love and passion guide the choice. 

Judge as you would be judged.  Be both fair and equitable in your judgments, ask no more from others than you yourself can give.  Forgiveness and understanding shall be the the foundation of law and punishment.  Revenge and retribution are an abomination to us.

Enter no place of worship lest it be to mock and ridicule the lesser religions, and unless it is to divert from the false path the missled and decieved followers of the lesser gods.  Yet, we shall accept unto us those who reject us.  Salvation and redemption are granted to all.  Exclusion and rejection are an abomination to us.

All forms of labour are to be held in high esteem.  Humankind shall not pass judgment on those who toil nor make distinction between them on thier occupations.  For we hold the prostitute and the carpenter and the doctor in the same regard.  We alone shall judge and we do not.

Humankind is not born in sin nor are you thus concieved.  You are creations of love, not by us, by yourselves.  Cast aside all the ancient ideas of lineage and birth right.  Class and priviledge are an abomination to us.

War is an abomination.  Thou shalt not kill another human.  Murder in all forms is an abomination to us.

Do not worship us or the lesser gods.  In rejecting us you honour us greatly.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Still not from the Book of Mormon but rather the one true word of god - The Book of Archeon


Mary, you may support my ministry by not sending any money.  LOL.

God is dead, lets finally bury him.

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By HiveRadical, November 18, 2006 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment
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My good readers, isn’t this tête-à-tête +1 interesting?

Aparently sufficient enough to keep us coming back. Either we have something engaging or we all are just easily entertained.

H-R:  No one knows FOR SURE there is/isn’t a god.  BUT—where there should be there is NO EVIDENCE…

This is interesting in light of my recently coming upon a video of a talk given to google’s staff by one Alan Wallace, a talk on conscousness and science it demonstrates quite poigniantly at one point the insanity of those things advocated by archeon, and the like, when they try and pretend to be able to cut the bands of dogma. It’s an hour long, but it’s very good, I’d dare say just about anyone involved in this forum would find it worthwhile.

Here’s a link to it—

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=983112177262602885

Where is the written word of any holy person?  The physical paper/papyrus/whatevs with the actual handwritting of the holy person—NOT the scribe—but the actual person?  Nowhere!

What would such qualifiers matter for?

  Visions can be explained by science.

Not really. There’s a great deal of active consciousness that’s not currently touchable by science. The video points out many details on such.

  When I die, I hope that my brain bestows a vision of my family in happiness and memories of my son and the good times in my life.  I don’t want to waste the last few minutes of my time on earth with a hologramic messianic fairytale person manufactured by me to usher me into the idea of death with a smooth transition.  Hey, if that’s what would make others happy, power to them.  Just not what I wanna see.  I’ll take the for-real important people in my life over that…

Well, while this likely wont matter to you, I believe that ultimately you will see all of my life as I lived it and I will see all of yours. Such will extend to all who live if I understand the doctrines of my faith on this correctly.

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By Mary Wallman, November 18, 2006 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My good readers, isn’t this tête-à-tête +1 interesting?

H-R:  No one knows FOR SURE there is/isn’t a god.  BUT—where there should be there is NO EVIDENCE…  Where is the written word of any holy person?  The physical paper/papyrus/whatevs with the actual handwritting of the holy person—NOT the scribe—but the actual person?  Nowhere!  Visions can be explained by science.  When I die, I hope that my brain bestows a vision of my family in happiness and memories of my son and the good times in my life.  I don’t want to waste the last few minutes of my time on earth with a hologramic messianic fairytale person manufactured by me to usher me into the idea of death with a smooth transition.  Hey, if that’s what would make others happy, power to them.  Just not what I wanna see.  I’ll take the for-real important people in my life over that…

Archeon, where can I make donations to your ministry?  HA!

Reinier Hil—very good summation of this religion problem—and the faithful’s resistance to discussion (with the exception of H-R of course!).

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By archeon, November 16, 2006 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
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“Brings to mind that sign that read—

“Nietzsche is dead.

—God” “

This is a sign god made?  This is still a phase coined by a human, not god.

God is dead - is a phrase by Nietzsche.

Nietzche is dead - not a phrase by god.

Brings to mind the continuing religious drivel claimed to be the word of god, yet only written by men. Sans any divine spark.

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By HiveRadical, November 16, 2006 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment
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Again: religion is dangerous, and flawed.  Religion actually “proves” that is is not true by the inability of the followers of any religion to actually live by the rules of that religion.

By that very definition then secular humanism’s ideals are not true or optimal because they, likewise, are forever out of reach. There’s never a point of arrival. If it’s the absence of a visible end point that nullifies the validity of a paradigm then there is NO paradigm that matches up.

Living as secular life that is moral, ethical, logical, and rational is easy.  It requires no sacrifice, no privation.  Simply live life so that you treat everyone as you wish to be treated.  From this simple idea equitable and just societies are created.

Only if you have a closed mind. Anyone who has, and maintains an open mind does not line up with your above description of a secular mind or person. So you mean the easy life is for the dogmatically secular. If you say such is not possible then your above statement regarding the ease of life of a secularist is a lie and a sham. To demonstrate the fullness of this I quote the following from a noted scholar from within my faith—

”...(prejudice) is forming an opinion before all the evidence has been considered. This means that freedom from prejudice, whether in the field of science or any other field, requires a tremendous lot of work.

One cannot be unprejudiced without constant and laborious study of the evidence. The open mind must be a searching mind. The person who claims allegiance to science in his thinking, or who is an advocate of the open mind, has let himself in for endless toil and trouble.

But what has happened? Those who’ve called themselves liberals in religion have accepted science with open arms precisely because they believe that excuses them from any toil at all. For them to have an open mind means to accept without question and without any personal examination of evidence whatever the prevailing opinions of the experts prescribe.”

—Hugh Nibley

You see if prejudice is something you wish to sumarily dismiss as the realm of the overtly dogmatic then your analysis of truly secular and dogma free life is very very wrong. Such a life would demand, in the name of a meaningfull open mind, constant and never ending toil and searching and double guessing and reworking and constantly changing and adjusting.

A religious life is inherently hard, because the adherents are required to sacrifice humanity on the altar of divine obedience.

Sacrifice is something acknowledged as needed even by Sam Harris. Try reading his Letter to a Christian Nation. What’s the difference between sacrificing humanity on the alter of divine obedience vs. sacrificing it on the alter of the prevailing opinions of the experts??? Neither side has been proven in it’s final salvific merit. And with the constant changing of what constitutes the alter of the prevailing opinions of the experts (not three decades ago we were doomed to global cooling and an ice age. Will we have another global climate prediction in a decade or so?) how can any rational being claim wisdom in relinquishing government to the intelligencia or the overwhelming consensus of the experts?

  All human needs and desires are subservient to obedience to the will of the god head, the holy ghost, allah, etc.  This is carried to the extreme in some religions that laughter, music, and dancing are “sinful”, because they bring joy to humans, and we should only find joy in god and/or his profit.  Thus too sex is bad.

In my faith this is not so. The passions are harnessed to maximize their manifestation. Like constantly eating candy constantly endulging in any emotion or in sexualism leads ultimately to a dulling. We believe that, in their purest form human emotions and experiences are literally divine.

God is dead.  Let’s get on with it and kill Christ too. Allah and the profits next.  Until the pantheon of Islamochristojudiasm is bare and all the saints and other pseudo-gods are dead too.

Brings to mind that sign that read—

“Nietzsche is dead.

—God”

You keep singing your favorite line untill you are rendered incapble of such by the powers of entropy while the legacy of the believers, those having children, continues on longer and with a greater magnitude than any progeny you have presently or may have. My grandfather is a good example of this. In his nineth decade his posterity outnumbers the posterity of his eight siblings put together. And all but perhaps five or six, out of almost a hundred, are still believers.

Thus even with the atrition from your secular propeganda the believers have, by the dictates of your own Charles Darwin, the advantage of being ‘fit’ in terms of ultimate survival.

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By HiveRadical, November 16, 2006 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
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No not taken from the book of mormon…

they continued in chapter two:

Quick dilute dilute!!!

Nice clever ploy. You discover that your argument in it’s particulars was put forth in scripture brought to the Western World almost 200 years ago so you rush to elaborate, expound and otherwise try and make your presentation, your attempt at satire and mockery, appear as anything but to be fullfilling prophecy or mimicking point by point the description of one of the Anti-Christs that lived in the Book of Mormon.

Almost as funny as those Christians who, without knowing anything of the actual contents of the Gold Plates manage to fullfill prophecy in the very exact words they use to reject the book. I had more than one instance in which the phrase “A Bible! A Bible! We have a Bible!” was repeated, in a few cases word for word, by the mouths of the very individuals the Book of Mormon prophesied. You followed in that trend by managing to virtually present every philosophical point dished out in a single chapter by one of about four archtypical anti-Christ figures in the Book of Mormon.

Even this second chapter, at it’s core is nothing more than extrapolating on the points originally given and repeating some of the assertions of your view.

The last phrase is correct, however, “blessed are those who forsaken us.” Seeing as I occupy that spot and you, with your second chapter being received, are still with them who are not.

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By archeon, November 15, 2006 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment
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No not taken from the book of mormon…

they continued in chapter two:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

“The books of the Jews, the Christians, the Muslims contain the seeds of truth - grown wild and tangled in the fertile fields of corruption and deception.  The truth cannot be seperated from the lies within them.  Read them as fictions as creations of insane minds.  We have chosen to reveal to you and you alone the truth, and direct you to record it, word for word, line by line, chapter and verse.

We are the god that exists and does not exist.  Even those who do not believe we exist believe in our existance. In believing you create us.  In not believing you create us.  We are nothing and everything.  We are nowhere and everywhere.  We are contradiction.  Our will is your will.

Jesus is dead.  Mohammed is dead.  Abraham is dead. Jacob is dead.  Moses is dead.  The angels are dead.  We are dead.  Let the dead mourn the dead, you living live.  It is time for the new age.

The false and corrupt surround you, the churches, the synagogues, the mosques, go not to them as yourself for they will hate you.  Rather find your converts on their door steps where they will find you in the vestments of the faith to lead them from the path of enslavement to liberty and truth.  Cause them to feel doubt about their clergy, their prophets, their gods.

We are the god that exists and does not exist.  You Archeon are our prophet.  We have chosen you to be our orb and our scepter, you are the bringer of light and truth.  Blessed are the faithless.  Blessed are the unblievers.  Blessed are all those who have forsaken us.”

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thus ends chapter two of the Book of Archeon.

Come join me.  I am the prophet for whom you wait.  The god has chosen me.  I am the body divine.

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By HiveRadical, November 14, 2006 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment
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The following is archeon’s post quoted and intersperssed with writtings of an account of a man written long before the advent of archeon or the internet. Some are describing the doings of the man and others are his words.

Before I start I’ll state that I do not doubt archeon’s status as a prophet…

Methinks that H-R unintentionally makes my point for me, and I quote:

“yet I stand more justified than the likes of Elton John for my advocacies have the claim of a divine mandate”

Like I said the faithful and the religious always reach back to “divine mandate” as the justification for the contradictions of the faith and of the texts.

Divine mandate my ass - fairy tales, insane halucinations, and self agrandizing huberis.  I see from what you say that ultimately you - H-R - can not support your position without invocation of a “divine mandate” an external seperate force that is the authority the law giver the justifier.  Yet this force does not eradicate hunger, disease, pain, and death - actually it is this force that created these things in the first place.<blockquote>

12 And this Anti-Christ, whose name was Korihor, (and the law could have no hold upon him) began to preach unto the people that there should be no Christ.

(all words of Korihor from here on out will be italisized and bold)

<blockquote>Last evening while out in the forest, or as we call it the bush, god spoke to me.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
It said the following: Archeon, you who do not believe, have been chosen by us to spread the word, to show that faith is not enough.  You who has no faith go forth, say unto the believers - burn the churches, destroy the books of faith, all in them is lies.

Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see; therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ.
  16 Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so.

Say that you, have been chosen by us to show them the way, direct them to action, discard faith it is an anchor dragging them down into a vast quagmire of huberis.

...he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; 

This is the new covenant we make with human kind.  As long as you love each other, and foresake violence and killing of one by another, and you share you wealth, we shall pour forth the blessings of the earth, the seas, and the sky.  All the lies before you will be yours to behold to cherish, to make use of.  Be mindfull, it is not yours to subdue or abuse.

Follow the teachings of my prophets Charles Darwin,

[the following is a descriptor/paraphrazing of the words of this Korihor]

  17 And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.

Albert Einstein, and the host of others who correctly saw in science our will and spirit. Forsake the popes the preachers the preists and other hollier than thou claimers - for they are the false prophets that will bring ruin upon you and your children unto the seventh seventh generation.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

[back to the actual words of this Korihor]
I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to bind themselves down under the foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not lift up their heads, but be brought down according to thy words.
  24 Ye say that this people is a free people. Behold, I say they are in bondage. Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true.
  25 Ye say that this people is a guilty and a fallen people, because of the transgression of a parent. Behold, I say that a child is not guilty because of its parents.
  26 And ye also say that Christ shall come. But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ. And ye say also that he shall be slain for the sins of the world—
  27 And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.
  28 Yea, they durst not make use of that which is their own lest they should offend their priests, who do yoke them according to their desires, and have brought them to believe, by their traditions and their dreams and their whims and their visions and their pretended mysteries, that they should, if they did not do according to their words, offend some unknown being, who they say is God—a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.

 

That is chapter one of the new religion of Acheonism.  Trust me god spoke to me, I am the chosen one, the new prophet for a new age - follow me, forsake faith it is without reward only action is the way - salvation by doing works, faith is less than dust.


13 O ye that are bound down under a foolish and a vain hope, why do ye yoke yourselves with such foolish things? Why do ye look for a Christ? For no man can bknow of anything which is to come.
  14 Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers.
  15 How do ye know of their surety? Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see; therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ.

—excerpts from the Book of Alma, a book within The Book of Mormon

God had your argument written down a couple millenia ago. Hasn’t changed in substance.

So is this proof you were pulling your argument and “revelation” from the Book of Mormon?

archeon is a prophet to be sure. But not all prophets are the same kind.

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By Reinier Hil, November 14, 2006 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
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I am a product of two parents that always argued
about truths of the bible. I came to call it parental misinformation and confusion. After all our surroundings where in Europe and Christian. In my teen years it bothered me enough to pay attention to other dogma’s as well. An organized group called humanists come to mind. Had I been born in another part of the world parental misinformation and confusion would have been different but nevertheless it would have resulted in misinformation and confusion about the meaning of life. It was in my young years that I put these issues at rest by concluding that the word God is a three letter word given in ancient times for the process of nature. And if Jesus called himself the son of God then so am I. We are all off springs of the same process of nature. I left it at that and pursued a career in engineering.
Analytical thinking or reasoning were applied to come to this conclusion at an early age.
Now, some 50 years later I wish that all of us came to the same conclusion and enter a world without angels and devils, without heaven and hell. To live a life to the fullest until it is all over. A promise of an afterlife is just fabricated nonsense, you live once and that is it, just like every other living thing on earth. Among all that has life we as people are the once that can imagine a whole lot of fantastic scenarios but factually it is simple and straight forward. There are no demons to haunt me and there are no fairy godmothers that come to appease my desires. A disfunctinal Christian upbringing is still in me and a protestant one to boot. Contact in my young days with a roman catholic person was avoided and we had not much use for the other forms of protestantisms either.
Over the years we get to realize that we share the world with other religions as well and that we have been at logger heads for ever, including papal endorsements to exterminate the infidels. I have now family among Catholics,Islam,Hindoe and Bhuddist. An unthinkable situation before is now reality but it has not come to the point that we freely talk about religion. I can silently wish they all think like I do as I do not wish any harm to anybody and I do not tolerate anybody at my side to see it different.

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By archeon, November 14, 2006 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
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Methinks that H-R unintentionally makes my point for me, and I quote:

“yet I stand more justified than the likes of Elton John for my advocacies have the claim of a divine mandate”

Like I said the faithful and the religious always reach back to “divine mandate” as the justification for the contradictions of the faith and of the texts.

Divine mandate my ass - fairy tales, insane halucinations, and self agrandizing huberis.  I see from what you say that ultimately you - H-R - can not support your position without invocation of a “divine mandate” an external seperate force that is the authority the law giver the justifier.  Yet this force does not eradicate hunger, disease, pain, and death - actually it is this force that created these things in the first place.

Last evening while out in the forest, or as we call it the bush, god spoke to me.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
It said the following: Archeon, you who do not believe, have been chosen by us to spread the word, to show that faith is not enough.  You who has no faith go forth, say unto the believers - burn the churches, destroy the books of faith, all in them is lies.  Say that you, have been chosen by us to show them the way, direct them to action, discard faith it is an anchor dragging them down into a vast quagmire of huberis.

This is the new covenant we make with human kind.  As long as you love each other, and foresake violence and killing of one by another, and you share you wealth, we shall pour forth the blessings of the earth, the seas, and the sky.  All the lies before you will be yours to behold to cherish, to make use of.  Be mindfull, it is not yours to subdue or abuse.

Follow the teachings of my prophets Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and the host of others who correctly saw in science our will and spirit. Forsake the popes the preachers the preists and other hollier than thou claimers - for they are the false prophets that will bring ruin upon you and your children unto the seventh seventh generation.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

That is chapter one of the new religion of Acheonism.  Trust me god spoke to me, I am the chosen one, the new prophet for a new age - follow me, forsake faith it is without reward only action is the way - salvation by doing works, faith is less than dust.

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By HiveRadical, November 14, 2006 at 12:03 am Link to this comment
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First to Mary’s—

Here’s how it works H-R (run-on sentences included at no extra charge):

They are fun, aren’t they!

If you accept that you think religion is, at it’s core, a de facto truth, then it is and no one, no where, no way, no how, can convince you otherwise.

Not religion in general, but the specific one I’ve received confirmation from God on. What’s irrational about believing what’s been afirmed to me personally? My capacity to share it empirically or quantifiably with others is irrelevant. In demonstration of this phenomena—

“I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it…”

Why, or rather, in what rational paradigm is one required to have to give empirical and quantifiable proof with regards to their personal experiences? I’m not saying you have to believe me, I’m not saying you have to believe Joseph Smith. I’m simply attesting that to write this whole thing off and to, as a consequence of such a write off, side with the likes of Sir Elton in advocating the abolishment of organized religion itself is to defy ration and reason and to side with unsustainable bigotry. You say my beliefs constitute bigotry because you do not see an easy rational delineation or justification, yet I stand more justified than the likes of Elton John for my advocacies have the claim of a divine mandate, whilst the bigoted proclamations for the need of massive institutional erradication on his side do not have logic NOR any divine mandate at their root. Rather they have the clearly biased, bigoted, earthy and illogical whims of some frustrated old man who advocates the perceived grandness of 14 year old boys being permited to engage in homosexual relations. But I’m the bigot because your side wishes to be selective about which plausibility scenarios are and are not acceptable. And all these judgements born out of the same unjustifiable subjectivity (at their core) as you claim being the very reason for the vindication of your condemnation of our positions.

Your mind is made up, you have religion, you are objective,

I’ve claimed religion. I’ve only claimed objectivity inasmuch as such might be provided me via revelation.

An interesting consideration, as a slight tangent—

Regardless your present belief take the hypothetical of God. Can you imagine any being with LESS of a motive for objectivity than a being who, through omniscience and omnipotence, was so deeply engaged in the wholeness of his creation? In otherwords the only being in the whole of existance with the capacity for objectivity is the very one with the least motive or reason to exercise such, inasmuch as such consists of a complete withdrawing and overall disinterest in the final outcome of the system! So the only candidate for being purely objective would appear to be the last one to have need of such. Again merely an aside.

you discern the truth better than any of those you discern as abandoning your religion,

My god is omniscient. Thus those parts I’ve received from him via revelation are certainly certain. This does not make my discernment inherently better in all things than anyone else. In fact I’m qutie certain, through the very things I’ve received through revelation, that there are many that presently have far greater powers of discernment in a great many facets of life and the mechanics of our existance. So I can claim to know the essentials for salvation without claiming to know the fundamentals of, say physics or biology, than others, even those outside of my faith.

And then with regard to those abandoning my religion. The word abandon, at least as I see it, would mean they would have, at some point have had to really and fully accept it. Thus I don’t see you or archeon as having the capacity to abandon it. Perhaps at present you’ve abandoned the invitation to learn about it. But that’s not the same as abandoning it. So while I do feel, in terms of salvation fundamentals, that I do have a better knowledge than those who’ve abandoned my faith that doesn’t mean I’m superior than you or archeon. It simply means I’ve seen something you, as far as I can tell, simply have not looked enough to discover. Thus you are not held accountable for such nor necesarily yet condemned. God will be the judge of when, and at what point, individuals acutally have enough knowledge to knowingly accept or reject salvation. One, or both of you, may well at whatever point constitutes this sufficiency be as, or more accepting than I am. Thus any thing in terms of supremacy is nothing at all that I would ever dare claim. I don’t know your heart and I will not dare guess as to your ultimate capacities at present. Certainly I view you at present as lost. But that doesn’t mean I’m foolish enough to think one or both of you couldn’t utterly surpase me if or when you arrive at some point of discernment.

Essentially, for all I know, you two could be spiritual savants simply awaiting the passing of a threshold or two or four.

but YOU haven’t abandoned rationalism & reason, ‘cause you’d know if you had, because you have enough ‘objectivity,’ enough intellectual ‘honesty,’ you ‘know’ better than anyone else what is ‘really’ going on, because your holy book tells you so. You can claim to be immortal and subjective in that way—and forever deny that it’s insufficient reasoning as compared to those who openly espouse atheistic or agnostic beliefs.

Ohh this doesn’t translate over. It’s cute. But it doesnt’ translate over. My discernment and access to any divinely aided objectivity or access to truth is constantly dependant on the heed I give to the revelations I’ve received. I’m openly admitting that I’m as prone as anyone to screwing up on judgements outside of the essentials. Heaven knows how wrong I’ve been in a great many of my predicitions that had only my intellect to guide them. There are very very few things I know with dogmatic certainty. But those that I do know, those in connection with the validity of my faith as experienced by myself are different and distinct in magnitude and scope from any other feelings and assurances I’ve gained through anyother attempts at discernment, be it whatever vein of discernment outside of the spiritual.

On to archeon,

H-R I disagree.
I don’t think that a secular humanist can justify racist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc views.

That’s easy to do. I mention anyone who holds those and you can either deny the actuality of such labels or simply claim that they are not real secular humanists.

But from what I’ve seen even very well intentioned and bright and secular humans can rationalize some form of racism or xenophobia.

Have you ever read the Ender series? Ender’s Game? Speaker for the Dead? Xenocide? Children of the Mind? They are a series of sci-fi books that follow the path of what, as best I can tell, and arch-typical secular humanist, a character that’s truely likable. In this book is one of the items that first turned me on to the great and grand virtues found in the realm of secular humanism.

  Logic, rationality (both human intellectual constructs),and the human social constructs of ethics and morality actually prevent such.

No. Not at their foundation. Not ultimately.

They actually make the justifications impossible without resorting to a break down of logic.

As those constructs cannot possibly give definative answers to realtime elements of our existance they inherently are abandoned at times and places in leaps of faith. There come moments when those constructs of the human intellect fail, in their independent analysis, to give sufficient information for the execution of needed decisions. Thus abandonment of these very principles becomes the closest thing to the precedents they’ve laid out in previous scenarios. In such moments we are left to the base and incomprehensible mechanations of intuitions and gut instinct. Yet these are the very items from which we seem to derive prejudice, bigotry and all the trapings of subjectivism.

It is religion and related dogma that seek to find “proofs” for the validity of (to repeat): hate, oppression, subjugation, enslavement, mysogny, homophobia, xenophobia, and other negative ways of interacting with our fellow humans.

No no no. Rather they are means of jumping the gaps inherent to the finite limitations of the human construct. Even rational disection of the operations of nature reveal related strands to the vices and evils you place above. Emnity is not inherently hate. Supression of other entities to one’s power is not always oppression. Subjegation and correlating submission are not inherently vices. Leaving entities to strugle under their own burdens, or the advocacy of inherently different roles for gender do not respectively constitute an advocacy of enslavement nor an endorsementn or practce of misogyny respectively. Disaproval of the acts and relations of a certain group does not inherently mean fear or hate of such a group and caution and the trapings unfamiliarity are not inherently xenophobia. Having prejudice, in the purest sense of the word, does not mean one is inherntly a bigot or evil.

  Religion and faith claim these proofs are provided in the texts “revealed” to “men” by “god”.  The oppression of homesexuals and women are just two of these biblically “validated” concepts.  In the past race mixing was also opposed and validated by biblical proofs.

Certainly there are a great many who’ve taken the name and banner of something to claim something self serving, evil, destructive. Our primary adversary bares the name “Slanderer”—the meaning of the word “Satan.” Wouldn’t such an adversary, if one follows what intuitively is derived from the name, exercise a system of counterfeits and farces? Wouldn’t he take a great number of his counter attacks and place it in the form and carry the claim of being the opposite of what it was? Would not doing such gain extra power over weak beings and ultimately work to defame the enemy that is impersonated?

But how much confidence would you have if the doctor you were seeing for your open heart surgery claimed to have “recieved” the knowledge to do such a surgery from a “vision” or “revelation” from god?

If I personally had revelation from God that wouldn’t be a problem.

If it came from one of our apostles—

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_M._Nelson

it would be even easier.

or your mechanic and your car?

You may scoff but I’ve heard first person account of a mechanic, in my faith, litterally receiving revelation for just such a thing.

or your finacial advisor?

http://www.providentliving.org/


But seriously—

If I had confirmation from God that the individual, be it a mechanic, an engineer, some bum off the street, had the inspiration of God for the matter at hand I would hope I would do it. I hope I would be consistant and exercise the faith in my personal revelations.

Here’s one such account of trusting such as occured after the Haun’s Mill Masacar when a young boy had a large portion of his thigh and hip blown away—

<indent>Willard Smith was one of the first survivors to enter the blacksmith shop after the massacre. He discovered the body of Warren Smith (his father), his brother Sardius, and the almost lifeless body of his little brother Alma. Willard carried Alma outside to his mother, Amanda Smith. She knelt down by her severely wounded son and pled with the Lord for help. She was prompted to cleanse the wound with lye from the ashes. With a poultice made from slippery elm, she filled the gaping wound left where the hip and joint socket had been. With the faith that he would be healed, Alma lay on his stomach for five weeks scarcely moving. Within that short period of time, a flexible gristle grew to fill the large hole left by the musket blast. Alma Smith had a full recovery!</indent>

But we are expected to accept the lame ass sermons from preachers, priests, and other god pedlars.

NO

My whole point is that you are not to take anyone’s word simply because they say it. THAT is illogical. But there’s nothing fundamentally illogical with receiving either confirmation of someone’s word from God OR receiving God’s word dirrectly for yourself. Yes it’s an incident one could not prove had occured for any study or in any empirical or in any quantifiable way. But that doesn’t mean the reality of something of this sort is impossible. You may think it unlikely, but logic and ration dictate that you cannot claim it impossible.

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By archeon, November 13, 2006 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment
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Again: religion is dangerous, and flawed.  Religion actually “proves” that is is not true by the inability of the followers of any religion to actually live by the rules of that religion.

Living as secular life that is moral, ethical, logical, and rational is easy.  It requires no sacrifice, no privation.  Simply live life so that you treat everyone as you wish to be treated.  From this simple idea equitable and just societies are created.

A religious life is inherently hard, because the adherents are required to sacrifice humanity on the altar of divine obedience.  All human needs and desires are subservient to obedience to the will of the god head, the holy ghost, allah, etc.  This is carried to the extreme in some religions that laughter, music, and dancing are “sinful”, because they bring joy to humans, and we should only find joy in god and/or his profit.  Thus too sex is bad.

God is dead.  Let’s get on with it and kill Christ too. Allah and the profits next.  Until the pantheon of Islamochristojudiasm is bare and all the saints and other pseudo-gods are dead too.

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By Mary Wallman, November 13, 2006 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment
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Here’s how it works H-R (run-on sentences included at no extra charge):

If you accept that you think religion is, at it’s core, a de facto truth, then it is and no one, no where, no way, no how, can convince you otherwise. Your mind is made up, you have religion, you are objective, you discern the truth better than any of those you discern as abandoning your religion, but YOU haven’t abandoned rationalism & reason, ‘cause you’d know if you had, because you have enough ‘objectivity,’ enough intellectual ‘honesty,’ you ‘know’ better than anyone else what is ‘really’ going on, because your holy book tells you so. You can claim to be immortal and subjective in that way—and forever deny that it’s insufficient reasoning as compared to those who openly espouse atheistic or agnostic beliefs.

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By archeon, November 13, 2006 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment
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H-R I disagree.
I don’t think that a secular humanist can justify racist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc views.  Logic, rationality (both human intellectual constructs),and the human social constructs of ethics and morality actually prevent such. They actually make the justifications impossible without resorting to a break down of logic. It is religion and related dogma that seek to find “proofs” for the validity of (to repeat): hate, oppression, subjugation, enslavement, mysogny, homophobia, xenophobia, and other negative ways of interacting with our fellow humans.  Religion and faith claim these proofs are provided in the texts “revealed” to “men” by “god”.  The oppression of homesexuals and women are just two of these biblically “validated” concepts.  In the past race mixing was also opposed and validated by biblical proofs.

But how much confidence would you have if the doctor you were seeing for your open heart surgery claimed to have “recieved” the knowledge to do such a surgery from a “vision” or “revelation” from god? or your mechanic and your car? or your finacial advisor? But we are expected to accept the lame ass sermons from preachers, priests, and other god pedlars.

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By HiveRadical, November 12, 2006 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment
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I realize that language changes throughout the ages or we’d all still be saying:  “Methinks” and stuff.

Thankfully we have verse to help us stay tied to such—

<indent>D’ye think that you could ever, through all eternity,
    Find out the generation where Gods began to be?

  Or see the grand beginning, where space did not extend?
    Or view the last creation where Gods and matter end?
    Methinks the Spirit whispers, “No man has found ‘pure space’,”
    Nor seen the outside curtains, where nothing has a place.

  The works of God continue, and worlds and lives abound;
    Improvement and progression have one eternal round.
    There is no end to matter; there is no end to space;
    There is no end to spirit; there is no end to race.
</indent>

Methinks I like the word “methinks”.

Stick a hyphen in there and you’d get a illegal drug based writting/printing pigment! (I know, I’m lame)

Interesting that Stephen Hawking can admit he’s not a know-it-all, isn’t it?  He’s so reasonable, even though he’s brilliant.  Brilliant!

I don’t know how much of it’s a matter of admission vs. having to capitulate in the face of raw facts to a scenario that was not even previously conceptualized. And the point I was making was not a lack of admission or capitulation to the facts, rather the fact that many positions held are based in certain assumptions. Mr. Hawking’s ‘sin,’ as it were, was not in an arrogance that inhibited capitulation, rather it was arrogance in claiming to know the list of possible outcomes. He clearly placed his guess and prediction as just that—a guess and a prediction—but he laid down the available choices as being concrete. He opperated (as all finite beings must) with various things assumed but stated things based in some degree of assumption as reaching a level of certainty.

Likewise archeon makes foundational points and assertions in his postions to have the status of fact when in reality they have no such position. Thusly he fools himself and pretends that he is either immune from dogma equivilants, or even dogma itself. All because he merely refuses to acknowledge such. Like an aquaintance of my father who would play games and cheat and, when caught in the act, seemed to have this belief that as long as he never admitted to it that he was not, and never had, cheated. The ostrich theory. Just keep your head in the sand and it’s all not happening. If you never accept that your world view is, at it’s core, a de facto dogma (or equivilant), then it isn’t and no one, no where, no way, no how, can convince you otherwise. Your mind is made up, you have no dogma, you are sufficient in your objectivity, you discern the truth better than any of those you discern as abandoning reason and ration, but you haven’t abandoned, ‘cause you’d know if you had, because you have ‘enough’ objectivity, ‘enough’ intellectual honesty, ‘enough’ capacity for personal and extra-personal observation to ‘know’ better than anyone else what is ‘really’ going on. You can claim to be a human and subjective in that way and forever deny that it’s ever a sufficient amount to render your conclusions the same in weight as those who openly espouse dogmatic beliefs.

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By HiveRadical, November 12, 2006 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
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From archeon—

<indent>You must remember H-R that the average “secular” humanist or atheist doesn’t claim to get his world view from a supreme “prefect” super being.  And as such doesn’t use “him” as a justification for views that are hateful, racist, xenophobic, homophobic.</indent>

He just claims to get it from his own faulty and inherently limited human perceptions as to ration and logic. If the end result is the same why does the impetus matter? If dogmaphobia results in the persecution, supression or slaughter of people how is it any different from those other ailments you present? And how is claiming a self derived world view any less threatening or any more reasuring than someone claiming to get it from “supreme “prefect” super being”??? What? Are we all suppose to sigh in relief because a person doesn’t claim anything beyond human capacity to govern his choices, decisions, actions and ultimate goals for humanity??? What kind of insanity is that? It’s horrible, in your view, to claim a view with regard to which way humanity, or government or culture, or the populace should be directed if the person claiming the view has a belief in a being beyond the empirical realm, but it’s just fine for someone to do the samething with the implicit advocacy that strictly human efforts will yield better results??? You see I don’t believe that a being exists that is sufficient to accomplish your ideals. In that way the possibility, feasability, and ultimate worth of the views you claim to be pentultimate I see as being unsubstantiable, unprovable, and ultimately a pipe dream as big or bigger than you see in my beliefs in the divine. That doesn’t mean I don’t rule you out entirely in the merit of your capacity or ideas to play a key role in even significant societal roles. Yet you would take, if you could, and ban anyone from significant societal influence if they had any kind of real belief in God. It’s akin to saying that since you don’t trust any of the individiduals that claim to have a degree that would qualify them for the task at hand (say the role of a doctor) that you’ll just go with the guy who openly admits that he knows next to nothing about medical science. Like so many I’ve seen you have a poor experience among those claiming, or even holding, degrees in the medical sciences so instead you readily fork out money to make a visit to some shmoe down the street simply because the man openly doesn’t claim to any knowledge or capacity at all in the field you are paying to have work done in. Where’s the sanity and logic in that?

As an example I’ll take popular stances associated with the two commonly stereotyped political extreems and their connection to a pet dillema.

On the “Left” or ‘liberal’ side we have global warming.

On the “Right” or ‘conservative’ side we have the threat of ICBM attacks.

Both possible dillemas involve massive projections and rather convoluted scenarios.

Both dillemas have past projections or solutions from their corresponding communities that bring great question into the idea of their status as genuine threats or as solvable problems.

With the missle threats you have systems that have to be insanely precise at a specific moment under circumstances that are a bit hard to see as being very probable.

On the other hand with global warming you have the claim coming from a community that not more than a couple decades ago was spouting vast and great warnings about a similar climate disaster, only in the other thermal dirrection.

Both sides can claim that their opponent’s project or their opponents opposition to their own project, is primarily based in special interest and financial motivations. Whether it’s massive government millitary contracts for SDI-esque projects that have a legacy of faild predecesors and billions up in smoke or endless governmental grants and regulations and programs and environmental/science related job security tied to trying to stem something we are not sure we’ve caused and are not sure we can actually stem.

Now frankly both attempts to stem disaster, and their correlating dillema, are things who’s real viability and ultimate utility are not something that we can wait around to find out and still be empowered to do anything about. If we build a seemingly sufficient SDIesque thing then our opponents may never try and test it. If we do try to stem global warming we wont find out if our efforts did anything substantial, if it was actually our doing originally, or if the net investment was worth it untill long after everything has played out, if even then.

Now on both of these raw logic and reason does not, on it’s own, bring sufficient material to the table, each side makes a leap of faith at some point to come to their respective conclusions. So we are left to choose between, at their core, subjective judgements/risk assessments. It may turn out that both are correct threats that need the recomended actions OR it may turn out that ultimately both would prove to be massive wastes of resources with each respective receiving constituency being the only real benefactors. Or something inbetween.

You prefer someone who advocates something—even if the effects of their advocated actions are as wide and as able to inflict harm as other options proffered by others—just as long as they disavow anything openly dogmatic.

In otherwords you think as long as the man advocating a treatement for your ailment is not ‘arrogant’ enough to give you a ‘dogmatic’ reference to the piece of paper on his wall claiming that he has ties to a potentially higher authority on the subject matter that it’s somehow inherently better. So instead you go with a guy you met on the street who says what he thinks might cure your ailment because you can’t stomach some dogmatic, self certain ‘SOB’, might just have some link to the authority he claims through that piece of paper with the “Ph.D” on it. You think that all the people with papers that say “Ph.D” got it from some degree mill or some other less reputable place, that any belief that a person with such a paper has the potential to help is absured. In fact you feel that all the worlds problems exist precisely because there is this “Ph.D” obsession. An equivilant of what you might say in this allegory between the claimed credentialed of academic institutions and those claiming credentials in the Divine Institution would potentially go something like this—

“All the world’s problems are only made worse by these dogmatic claims! How arrogant to think they know this and that about the human condition! In so many instances I’ve seen those claiming such authority have been wrong! And of those few apparent times they got it right it’s just the advent of chance. How much better we’d all be if we just did away with all these claims to specificied credentials! Let each person show their validity by their actual cure rates, by their actual abilities! But not let any who claim ties to such designations or authority be considered! Because in so claiming they show their bias and dogma and blind faith in the paper and thus are fundamentally working against the actual needs and claims! Let us see their works, not the writtings on some paper that they claim to have been produced by a hand of authority!”

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By archeon, November 12, 2006 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
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I agree, I hate it when “disconnect” is used in that way.  Pay close attention to TV reporters and you will also hear a confusion of “affect” and “effect”, “then” and “than”.  The list goes on and on methinks.

Rummy is gone, just another Germanic world dominator wanabe - even his aunt who still lives in Germany was pissed off at him. LOL!

I still get a laugh out of the Bush Whitehouse people being upset that Germany didn’t want to join the war in Iraq.  For most of the Twentieth century Germany was portaryed as an evil warmongering nation, it’s people as cruel xenophobic nazis, and yet when Germany finally showed that it had disavowed the legacy of the Third Riech - that was wrong.

But seriously, does anyone think that a democrat wouldn’t have invaded Iraq?  I am not so sure.

Our new mantra:

“That is what I see the problem is with ALL religion and faith - a disconnection of faith from evident reality.  This characteristic is commonly correctly called: irrational and illogical.”

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By Mary Wallman, November 12, 2006 at 2:52 am Link to this comment
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Archeon, Let’s just say it again—like a prayer:
“That is what I see the problem is with ALL religion and faith - a disconnection of faith from evident reality.  This characteristic is commonly correctly called: irrational and illogical.”

Thanks for making the necessary grammar/spelling correction.  Whenever someone says “disconnect”  without the “ion”—I cringe.  This has become a television cultural psychobabble misinformation term that gets tossed around like a hippie’s hackey-sack.  Not “hating on” the hippies, but…c’mon!  I realize that language changes throughout the ages or we’d all still be saying:  “Methinks” and stuff.  Imagine how life would be if we all simply left out the objects of all prepositions.  This is why “Borat” and “Da Ali G Show” are so funny—Sacha Baron Cohen’s butchering of language!  He just gives it to you all at once straight with no chaser. Brilliant!

Interesting that Stephen Hawking can admit he’s not a know-it-all, isn’t it?  He’s so reasonable, even though he’s brilliant.  Brilliant!

Can I just say….the Christian Right’s House of Cards is finally tumbling down!  Goodbye Donald Rumsfeld…we’re gonna miss yewwww!  George Bush must’ve had an ear infection the day that God was telling him to dump Don so the Republicans could keep the house…  (and Senate!)
Brilliant!

A House of Cards cannot stand forever.  Wind, earthquakes, and slightly misplaced additions will eventually cause that Domino effect of destruction.  It’s all in the bad foundation though, if you think about it.  And some things aren’t meant to be permanent. 

“Afterall, what’s a life anyway?  We’re born, we live a little while,  we die…” as Charlotte the spider said.  I like to quote “Charlotte’s Web.”  I find much wisdom in E.B. White’s words.  I just hope that the Zionist Holiwood film measures up.  I mean, trying to best the book, and cartoon is akin to “The Passion” by Mel Gibson.

(OH—this is an Atheism forum!  I’m just joshin’!  About “The Passion,” that is…..)
(Brilliant!)

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By archeon, November 11, 2006 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment
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The Bible vs the Book of Mormon? I have not seen this - where might I find it?  Hopefully it won’t put me to sleep.

Steven Hawkings great contribution to phylosophy: the world is as it is because it is.

Who are these “secular humanists”? Again conflating humanism and atheism is as intellectually faulty as conflating communism and socialism.

You must remember H-R that the average “secular” humanist or atheist doesn’t claim to get his world view from a supreme “prefect” super being.  And as such doesn’t use “him” as a justification for views that are hateful, racist, xenophobic, homophobic.  He doesn’t want to force anyone to conform to the christojudaocislamo facist program your church, Haggard/Falwell/Graham Evangelicals, orthodox Jews, and Islamic fundamentalists (is there an other kind of Islam?), would have me and other non/other believers do.  I think that judging the merits of Protestantism on the religius wars of Europe, or Catholosism on the inquistion and the crusades, of Zionist Judaism on the opression of the palestinians, of Islam on the proclamations of Jihad and Fatwa are valid.  Furthermore, pointing out the excesses of relgious extremes to illustrate the dangers of religion is also valid. I would go on to claim that the excesses of religious movements are grounds to be suspicious of the motivations of religious leaders period.  I find that religion and faith are a corrupting forces, primarily because they breed contempt for and a feel of superiority to “other” believers.

But in any case I am game to discussing any issues here.

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By HiveRadical, November 11, 2006 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
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The Great Pumpkin huh?

I like the statement by Stephen Hawking in his “Brief History of Time” when he ends his prediction for the fate of the universe as being the big crunch with the corolary that he has the good fortune of never having to be around to see his prediction disproved in the many ages that would have to pass. The irony being that we didn’t have to wait that long because not only was his prediction wrong but so to were the available options for the universe. Rather than merely fiziling out or crunching together we now, with the realization of an accelerating expansion, have the seeming irradication of the crunch prediction and a new potential “big rip”. Even very bright and very capable good secular humanist theoretical physicists can be horribly wrong on many levels. At least his errors were not as egregious as the terribly poor attempt to take my faith and tie it to some juvenile cartoon character’s delusion.

You see my “Great Pumpkin” has left far more than old Linus’s is ever purported to have left.

Ohh. archeon. We do celebrate Haloween. We don’t practice pagan rituals but we do dress up and go trick-or-treating. This year I was planning to go as “Cheese” from the cartoon “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends.” And while yes the two do have similarities in that they have very large heads in proportion to their bodies I can assure you all that my faith and my entire approach to it, to life and to reason is very much disconnected from the personas, beliefs, and portrayals of any cartoon characters—even the ones I dress up in imitation of occasionally.

archeon,

You make no sense in your desire to disprove faith by the perceived intelligence of local adherents. Secular Humanism or any other philosophy or logical construct would be disproven if we had to judge it based on the action and capacity of it’s average adherent.

jerubbaal,

I have seen those films. I don’t know if this would be the proper forum for a discussion of them. So unless you can get the people here to agree to a further hijacking of this comment section for an LDS apologetic response to sectarian attack film I’m going to restrain from commenting or getting into the specifics on those films. If the moderator, Mary, archeon or Val are up to seeing such then I could start here. Otherwise we could find another local.

So whatever is decided I’ll go from there.

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By archeon, November 11, 2006 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
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That is what I see the problem is with ALL religion and faith - a disconnection of faith from evident reality.  This characteristic is commonly correctly called: irrational and illogical.  A trademark tendency of faith is self referential contradiction and a huberistic attachement to dogma.  This tends to mesh effectively with phobias of anything “other” and requires continual assertion of the validity and supperiority of the faith.  Crusades and Jihads prove the later incontrovertably.

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By jerubbaal, November 11, 2006 at 12:37 am Link to this comment
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Hive Radical - Did you see the video presentation the Bible vs. The Book of Mormon?  It was a little bit better than DNA vs. the Book of Mormon and the other video The Lost Book of Abraham.
Really what I find when I talk to Mormons is a disconnect of faith with evidential reality.  yeah you find it with some Christians as well but they at least start to wonder - Mormons on the other hand are not in any way discouraged when the brain is left out of theology - thus the concept of the burning of the bossom - It is amazing that we are going to use our own deceptive heart as a gauge for truth - I confrim this testimony is true because I feel real strong about it

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By archeon, November 6, 2006 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment
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No they don’t, Charles Schultz was jew, and we can’t be watching any of that “Zionist” propaganda.

Didn’t they find the manuscript of “The protocols of the Elders of Zion” in the same cave as the non-egyptian “egyptian” tables in upper New York state?

I bet the Mormons don’t watch Holiwood movies because the industry is controled by Zionists, Jews, Homosexuals, and other deviants.

Any of you every interacted with large groups of Mormons, or JW’s, or Methodists, or Pentacostals, or any other Evangelicals?  I have, and let me tell you they are a truely wacky bunch, incapable of rational or logical thought.  Every bit as scary as the Muslims.  And I have hung out with them too.  It is amazing what you learn when the subjects you are investigating think your “one of them”.  Every one should try it.  Go to the temples, churches, and mosques - just say you are from away and that your parents were memebers of the religion but they had abandonded it and you want to reconnect with your heritage and traditions.  It also helps if you intimate that you have a distrust/fear of some other faith or “life style”.  Then you can see for yourself what they really think.

What do the members here think about the Haggard case?  It makes me laugh and laugh.  A drug addicted evangelical leader sucking dick with a cock in his ass is a most pleasing idea to me.  The only thing better is if he had HIV too.  We can still hope.

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By Mary Wallman, November 6, 2006 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
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Yeah, true Archeon….but I’ll bet they secretly watch Charlie Brown!

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By archeon, November 5, 2006 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment
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At least the great pumpkin prevented cavities, what has Jesus/God prevented?

But remember the Mormons prob. don’t celebrate Halloween it being a pagan festival and all.

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By Mary Wallman, November 5, 2006 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
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HR - I thought of you watching Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin epidsode.  Yes, Linus was ever optimistic about the arrival of the Great Pumpkin on Halloween.  Inspite of what all the other kids were doing—having fun trick-or-treating—he sat in wait for an imaginary superstar to appear as everyone else had fun on that one night of the year for friendly mischief and mayhem….

See, you are Linus, The Great Pumpkin is Jesus/god, and all the other kids are the ones who have actually put childish things away—-to be replaced by other childish things of course.  In the end, who gets the candy?

Oh Linus, what will it take?

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By HiveRadical, November 3, 2006 at 1:33 am Link to this comment
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The debate should always have been about our existence.  This is the only one that matters.

That is what it’s about. Since our existance would be significantly affected in it’s nature and substance by the presence or absence of God, and thus revolve around the question of some being ‘in the sky’ in relation to our existance, the question and possible answers are very much linked to our existance. Unless you think we can address the wholeness of our existance without questioning anything pertaining to those segments of the universe and existance in which we reside.

To be honest I’m not positive I’m connecting this whole show thing correctly to my comments. But I think I have an idea of what you’re trying to say here—

Yes, I do need a show.  Everyone does.  There would be no court system if we did not need a show.  Where would our rights be then I ask?

That’s why God has us here. So we don’t have to just take his word for what we will and will not do. So we see it play out. He’ll recompense in the end so those who get a bad rap here, for whatever reason beyond their control or accountability, will be compensated. He is omnipotent, so he can do that. He is omniscient, so he knows how to and to what degree it’s needed.

  Apparently, most religious people need a show, too.  It’s called Church.  The better the music and the more theatrical the preacher—the more money comes in at the end of the service.

Unless the faith thinks a tithe is a tithe. Then you simply get ten percent of the earnings of the population regardless the quality perceived in the weekly meeting. And when your faith has a non-paid lay clergy the showmanship is certainly not the mainstay of the service, infact I can’t say I see much in the way of any true showmanship at my weekly meetings. And the most noisy we get is an amature choir singing a hymn or two or a soloist singing a single song or a duet with either a violin piano or flute piano combination. But this is neither this way or that with your seemingly predetermined view of anything with the title of tithing.

I don’t mean the following to sound preachy or like a conversion attempt. Primarily for the mere sake of understanding each other. Would you, if you have not yet, consider attending a single set of meetings in a ‘Mormon’ LDS Church? It’s a time investment, you could go to the main meeting for an hour or to all three to really get a feel for what it’s like, again not to convert you but for an understanding of what a meeting is like among ‘Mormons’ as compared to say Mass or some Born Again revival or ‘Holy Rollers’ instance. There’s really substantial differences.

Now if you were to I can’t guarentee anything as far as the exactness of the experience. There’s a general uniformity in our Church but each different congregation, in my experience, has it’s own personality and, to some degree, eccentricities.

If you were to go there on the first Sunday of the month, for example, you would get likely the most unpredictable meeting (refering to the “Sacrament Meeting”) as the first Sunday is often the “Fast and Testimony Meeting.” What is essentially done in these meetings is just that the pulpit, instead of having some assigned speaker, is left open for the congregation, and essentially any who want to, to get up and bare their testimony. In such meetings often liberties are taken by some (or even many) of the members to digress into things not specifically tied to their testimony of the Gospel. Otherwise most weeks the Sacrament meeting has two or three, or sometimes more speakers (generally individuals chosen from the congregation days or weeks before) that give talks on any number of Gospel related subjects. As this is all done by what would be seen as the ‘lay’ people there really is often lacking much in the way approaching the showmanship or rhetorical or charismatic approaches.

So if you’re interested and would be willing to make time for it I would recomend it at least once in your life.

If you are curious and not turned off by my proposal (I do realize how this can and possibly has come across, I really do not want to have put you out or to be seen as taking liberties that I ought not in this forum) then you could find a local congregation and meeting time and directions from this site—

http://www.mormon.org

You could just go to the “Worship With Us” (though you clearly don’t have to come to worship—you can just observe, no one should have any problem with that) button and then put in your area and see what it pulls up.

If you can I would recomend staying for all three hours. I know that is a ton to ask of most people, but I think the understanding that comes (at least that I’ve gained) by visiting the gathering places of those of other ideologies is rather uniquely more substantial when you can have at least some first person experience. Whether it was a busy liberal internet cafe (a bit foreign for one who’s never had a drop of coffee in their life) or a mosque or a spanish mass I’ve gained alot from seeing and being with individuals in their ‘ideological’ homes, if you will.

(Am I repeating myself?) Only, I don’t need a church to find art.  I can make it myself.

In terms of general art I can’t particullarly recomend our meeting houses. They are generally designed to be nice and pleasant and, in some ways beautiful, but they are generally more for function than for artistic merit. Building about two a day (that’s what the current rate is at I believe world wide for LDS chapels) there’s far more emphasis on utility over creativity in the acutal buildings. A truth you would see if you ever come to, or have been in, Utah.

I don’t think that something as omnipotent, omniscient, and timeless as a God would require testing of his “perfect creations.”

What if those creations were only created in a certain sense but eternal in another? We hold that we, as intelligent beings, have been around as long as God has in one form or another. Thus God ‘creating’ us was not an act of ex nihlo creation, rather something more akin to assembling pre-existing parts into a more advanced ‘new’ being.

Wouldn’t God have better things to do, like say: cure cancer?

Since some element of our intelligence is Eternal, just as God is, the permital for the world to fall into a state in which cancer, and ultimately death, would be a contingency that God would potentially use to test those co-eternal beings. He would allow us the experience so that we would know the difference between good and evil and have the chance to choose for ourselves what path we would take. Thus you could have a God creating beings (again not creating them out of nothing but of co-eternal energy and intelligence) that could be placed into a nuetral situation in which they were given the choice to introduce death and evil themselves, of their own choice. So God is not giving them evil, evil is not coming from God, rather from the choice of intelligent developing beings. God then, having forseen and fordesigned the whole system give the means to ultimately overcome evil while having used the experience in the same way that a baby bird often uses the trial of exiting the shell of an egg. And since God is omniscient and omnipotent the balance ledger, in the end, is made perfectly just. Justice is not lost but neither is Mercy and ultimately, the chance for Joy for as many as will choose it for themselves. Thus God has creations that have true free will, are not forced to return to their creator or to fullfill his desire for them, yet ultimately none are denied the opportunities. The opportunities ultimately are made to all in a manner that will ultimately be just. No one will be favored. All will have the same chance.

  What about all of the senseless atrocities suffered by his perfect creations?

Here’s the telling of one permited atrocity in ancient America, Alma and Amulek are the Prophets/Men of God, they are forced to witness the slaughter of those who beliefed their words—
<indent>
  8 And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire.
  9 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.
  10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
  11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the cblood of the dinnocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.
  12 Now Amulek said unto Alma: Behold, perhaps they will burn us also.
  13 And Alma said: Be it according to the will of the Lord. But, behold, our work is not finished; therefore they burn us not.</indent>

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By archeon, November 2, 2006 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment
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I repeat:

I think that H-R has a false understanding of what constitutes: DOGMA.
If he understood, what dogma was, he would understand, from what I have written here, that my position is not guided by dogma, but is in fact anti-dogmatic.  Primarily because I reject the theological-pseudo science of the bible and the pseudo phylosopy of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism and because I ask for verifiable, repeatable, and testable proof for the existance of god, the divinity of christ, mohamed, and the prophets.  Faith and dogma are two arms of the headless beast of dilusion, deception, lies, and misconceptions.  Because I reject Christoislamijudaic Facism’s dogma, does not make my position dogmatic or religious - in fact I have no “position” on the validity of your “faith”, except in as much as it is contrary to the texts you claim as the foundation, justification, rationalisation, and proof of your faith.  When your faith has within it contradictions that are logically and rationally unsupportable, then the validity of that faith must be questioned.

To simplify: pointing out the contradictions of a faith, and pointing out how it does not reflect the real world or it contradicts what we can see and touch in the real world is not a dogma.

When a belief system cannot respond to questions and criticism by directly answering the questions, and explaining the contradictions, and when it’s adherents must continually question the questions then we must ultimately conclude that it cannot explain or answer them.  When the act of asking the questions is seen by the leaders, preists, and lay people as an attack, as disrespectful, as heretical, as blasphemous I must conclude that the questions have no answer.

I sit at home and listen to the popes, the Falwells, the Grahams, the Immams, the Rabbies, and am continually confronted with this: Do they actually believe the drivel they preach?  When you actually look at the substance of what any of them say it becomes clear that it is simple, childish, even silly.

Lets face it, the Cathars probably had it right if god does exist, he is not the god who created this hellhole of a universe. Only an imperfect possibly even evil being could have created this world of death, pain, suffering, and privation.  Only an imperfect being could attempt to control his creations through threats and punishment.  If the god of abraham exists he is satan.

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By Mary Wallman, November 2, 2006 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
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“If we don’t have time to debate the very meaning (or potential lack thereof) of our present existance”
—-our existence—not some guy in the sky’s—-
then we surely do not have time to figure out why the mechanics of the system are the way they are.”

The debate should always have been about our existence.  This is the only one that matters.

Oh, and I’m not not staunchly Atheist, the ratio is approximately 90% Atheist, 10% Agnostic—just because I do not claim to know everything.

Yes, I do need a show.  Everyone does.  There would be no court system if we did not need a show.  Where would our rights be then I ask?  Apparently, most religious people need a show, too.  It’s called Church.  The better the music and the more theatrical the preacher—the more money comes in at the end of the service. (Am I repeating myself?)  Only, I don’t need a church to find art.  I can make it myself.

I don’t think that something as omnipotent, omniscient, and timeless as a God would require testing of his “perfect creations.”  Wouldn’t God have better things to do, like say: cure cancer?  What about all of the senseless atrocities suffered by his perfect creations?  Oh, and does God make mistakes?  How can that be? 

Why….that would make him almost….human….

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By HiveRadical, November 1, 2006 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
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Is this statement provable and empirically verifiable?

“The faithfull, the religious, are all hateful, spiteful, unhappy, morons.”

How about this one?

“Everyone who claims that religion makes them happy is lying..it does not and can not.”

If these are not examples of dogmatic statements then I don’t know what is.

Is there “verifiable, repeatable, and testable proof for the existance of ” those things you claim above?

It may not in technicality be “dogma” that you have. But in it’s mechanics it does the same thing and has the same failures that you despise in Dogma.

A similar situation is what I’ve found in many Jehovah’s Witnesses I’ve interacted with. They are so “anti-superstition” that the obsession itself becomes a superstition. You are so “anti-dogmatic” that you both refuse to see any possibility that you hold to anything akin to a dogma and you also dogmatically deny the possibility that a person that admits to having a dogma can be happy or non-hatefull or non-spitefull. All this despite the fact that you could never conclusively prove any of those assertions AND that you state them in exactly the same form and lacking any claim to it being merely opinion. You state it in the frame work as being absolute truth and thusly betray the dogmatic mechanics of your position so that, even if you can avoid the technicality of the ‘dogma’ label (just as JW’s claim for their avoidance of superstition), you still hold to the essential mechanics.

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By HiveRadical, November 1, 2006 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment
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Mr. IAOGC

Again I ask, would you please stop with the copy and paste plagerizing? Your last post is just a copy and dump job taken from

http://www.raptureready.com/republican.html

You look more and more brainless when you do this. To say nothing of the moral implications of your actions.

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By archeon, November 1, 2006 at 11:25 am Link to this comment
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I think that H-R has a false understanding of what constitutes: DOGMA.
If he understood, what dogma was, he would understand, from what I have written here, that my position is not guided by dogma, but is in fact anti-dogmatic.  Primarily because I reject the theological-pseudo science of the bible and the pseudo phylosopy of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism and because I ask for verifiable, repeatable, and testable proof for the existance of god, the divinity of christ, mohamed, and the prophets.  Faith and dogma are two arms of the headless beast of dilusion, deception, lies, and misconceptions.  Because I reject Christoislamijudaic Facism’s dogma, does not make my position dogmatic or religious - in fact I have no “position” on the validity of your “faith”, except in as much as it is contrary to the texts you claim as the foundation, justification, rationalisation, and proof of your faith.  When your faith has within it contradictions that are logically and rationally unsupportable, then the validity of that faith must be questioned.

The faithfull, the religious, are all hateful, spiteful, unhappy, morons.  Everyone who claims that religion makes them happy is lying..it does not and can not.

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By I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN, October 31, 2006 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment
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Because the enemies of liberty are ever on the offensive, Christians don’t have the option of walking away from the political battlefield. Liberalism has already gained an advantage by taking over the schools, the media, and many denominations.

Because believers are neglecting to become involved in politics, the enemy continues to use the political process to manipulate and herd America into ungodliness. Unopposed, that tyrannical power will ultimately enslave us. he Democrat Party would never have Jesus as a member.There is one thing certain we can state, based upon the integrity of Bible truth. Jesus would never endorse or be a member of any party whose platform supports abortion, gay rights, and a general hostility to Bible-believing Christians.Jesus would never be invited to be keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, that’s for sure!Even within a republican form of democratic government, such as America’s, majority input is supposed to serve as society’s guiding principles. With 90 million claiming to be evangelical believers, those Christians have a constitutional right and a moral responsibility to demand that Christian values be reflected in American society.Thankfully, one day, when Christ reigns and rules on earth, the humanistic form of governance will be a long-past memory.Human government never will be able to solve the world’s problems. There never will be true peace until the Prince of Peace establishes His Millennial Kingdom. That understood, until the Lord Jesus comes for His Church in the rapture—presuming both major political parties in America continue to hold to their present party lines—it is the view of Rapture Ready that Republican values are America’s best political option.

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By HiveRadical, October 30, 2006 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
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To talk of facts and the acceptance or regection of such I find the following of your own words to be revealing—

On the contrary HR - I do think that “Blind allegiance to a dogma and stupidity are”—“the monopoly of, or even primarily held by, those who elected ‘W.’”

...I want to know the truth—even if it ain’t pretty.  And if that includes that there is no god, well….I am willing to accept it.

The second quote demonstrably places you in the category of defying reason. You place the “there is no god” as being a statement on the same level as your “facts” or “truth” then you clearly have discarded rationality yourself. You’re willing to accept a premise that can not be proven either way. How does that make you any more rational or less dogmatic than I am? It doesn’t! You have your dogma(s). That is the fact.

Nothing I can say will change the mind of a person bought and sold on their dogma.

A point you make so perfectly obvious when it is your mind and dogma that are on in question. You are so tied to your dogmatic belief that you have no dogma, that you have no assumptions equivilant in subjective base as open theists freely admit, that no matter the logic and reason and facts I present you will not conceed to the reality of your own subjective assumption based perception of reality. Human Secularist Paradise forbid that you ever admit to having a dogma. That’s hersie. You must fall in lockstep with the creed that human objectivism is possible and available and in your possession. Because if it’s not then there’s nothing to differentiate your claims to proper policy stands from the overtly ‘faithies’.

  Even facts won’t change their minds.  FACTS!  As in—there were no WMD’s and that nicely put littany of other things that Tillman wrote about.

I’m not arguing facts I’m arguing the analysis process applied to it. You can stick all the right numbers you want into a super computer climate simulator and if the simulator’s foundational logic is screwed up it wont amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

  Tillman—-who KNOWS something about what he’s talking about.

Only to a degree and only on certain fronts. I would think those claiming your foundational world view would quickly differentiate the tendancy in humans to grant demi-infallability to individuals in extreem circumstances from the reality of their perceptive abilities. He’s clearly a bright man in many regards, but does his high level of knowledge make him, or his points, opinions and analysis of the situation those upon which the ethics of this system rises and falls? Surely even you would be able to see your own creeping human tendancy of over attribution to the capacity and supremacy of this particular witness, commentator and informant.

  I’d rather listen to someone who’s been there-done that.

Only if that individual’s views align nicely with your paradigm as it’s currently constituted. Otherwise you find some easy means of attributing their position to the cleaverness of a think tank, the bank account of some influential entity, or the blind fanatacism of their faith or patriotism.

  I want to know the truth—even if it ain’t pretty. 

...I have not seen any proof, and it is a waste of our precious time here on earth to debate these things.

There’s no proof for the hottest current candidate for unification theory in Physics. How long do you feel we should wait untill we jump ship on that? After all our time is precious to debate these things. If we don’t have time to debate the very meaning (or potential lack thereof) of our present existance then we surely do not have time to figure out why the mechanics of the system are the way they are.

Tell me, with the preciousness of our time here what is the best thing to do with our time and how can we discern such? Or is it even too precious to ask about why it’s precious or what the preciousness warents or would be best filled with?

Oh sure, I was raised Catholic and was “believer” for many foggy dogmafied years—all on good faith.  But, then I was in a car accident and was “supposedly dead” and guess what….there was no light at the end of a tunnel.  If I had died, I simply would have expired.  My life didn’t even pass before my eyes.

That’s an interesting way of aproaching it. You almost died and didn’t get a show put on so now you are certain there is no show.

SO WHAT.  If we are all sinners, what does that matter?

With that view why would anything ultimately matter?

Not even your awesome God (I capitalize in respect for you) can correct the horrendous mistakes for which he & his cronies are responsible.

Any mistakes made can and will be compensated for. Those responsible for such from neglegence or overt infringement will be held accountable.

I think I’m begining to see the reason for the ready retreat into emotional rage. You think that grand infringements will have no rebutal so to see someone get away with, or perceive someone getting away with attrocities is the highest degree of frustrating.

Personally I find this view as untenable as someone’s view that since the effects of natural law are not presently visible in light of certain life style choices that they never will be. The youth having never experienced anything nigh death or decrepidness takes it’s absence as evidence for it’s non-existance. Just because you cannot presently see the effects of Eternal Justice does not mean they will not be put into full force at some point. But seeing the world through your lens, that of no visible effecation of justice, your emotional rage makes sense. But it’s ironically unjustifiable if reason and ration are what you soley appeal to.

  HORRENDOUS!  Where Was God when they decided to invade IRAQ?

<indent>  16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.
  17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.
  18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
  19 And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.
  20 And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.
  21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.
  22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
  23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
  24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
<u>  25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.</u></indent>

If great evil and great good were not available choices then there would be no real test of God’s children. If God condemned and blessed without allowing the choices to be made, and played out, then his judgements would not ultimately be just.

Those who are victims of great evil will receive a just compensation for their suffering.

  The J’sWs would have said that it was all part of the master plan.  Really….that would seem a cruel joke to play on God’s children.

Indeed.

But it’s not a joke. It’s a test. God is allowing us to see what we will chose. He’s not going to chose for us and he will hold the blood of the innocent to the hands of those who shed it AND to those who are complicit in it.

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By Mary Wallman, October 29, 2006 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
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On the contrary HR - I do think that “Blind allegiance to a dogma and stupidity are”—“the monopoly of, or even primarily held by, those who elected ‘W.’”

Sorry, but I’m not sorry.  If they (or you) can’t tell the difference between the sucker born again every 15 minutes (to make a Ringling’s Barnum & Bailey Circus analogy—‘cause that’s what we have in office—a 3 ring circus) and politicians with highly paid thinktanks whose job it is to find the largest voter constituency up for grabs—then I dunno what to tell ya.  Money for the republican party came from “good people” in the name of God—plus all the fat corporations who wanna keep their crporate welfare. 

Nothing I can say will change the mind of a person bought and sold on their dogma.  Even facts won’t change their minds.  FACTS!  As in—there were no WMD’s and that nicely put littany of other things that Tillman wrote about.  Tillman—-who KNOWS something about what he’s talking about.  I’d rather listen to someone who’s been there-done that.  I want to know the truth—even if it ain’t pretty.  And if that includes that there is no god, well….I am willing to accept it.  I have not seen any proof, and it is a waste of our precious time here on earth to debate these things. 

Oh sure, I was raised Catholic and was “believer” for many foggy dogmafied years—all on good faith.  But, then I was in a car accident and was “supposedly dead” and guess what….there was no light at the end of a tunnel.  If I had died, I simply would have expired.  My life didn’t even pass before my eyes.  We all have that sell by date eventually.  So when some guy comes a campaignin’ claimin’ he’s born again Xian, I’m not so moved by it.  Xians are not ANY different than other people.  SO WHAT.  If we are all sinners, what does that matter?  Dubbya was a sucky business man.  That alone should’ve told people Dubbya is unqualified.  Not even your awesome God (I capitalize in respect for you) can correct the horrendous mistakes for which he & his cronies are responsible.  HORRENDOUS!  Where Was God when they decided to invade IRAQ?  The J’sWs would have said that it was all part of the master plan.  Really….that would seem a cruel joke to play on God’s children.

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By HiveRadical, October 28, 2006 at 1:39 am Link to this comment
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Mary,

While I don’t have much regard for OTC’s (hard to resist placing the name of some commonly available pharmasutical before that) views I do feel to take issue with some of your analysis. Blind allegiance to a dogma and stupidity are not the monopoly of, or even primarily held by, those who elected ‘W.’

Faith in ideologies, regardless their explicit, implicit, or lack of any mention or tie to dogma or de facto dogmatic elements, is what drives individuals and is no more an opiate of the masses than is oxygen in respiration or the krebs cycle. The poison that’s ripping things apart is pride. That is what is foundationally blinding the masses to reality.

NONE OF US ARE CAPABLE OF OPERATION OR DISCERNMENT SANS ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE WORLD WE INHABIT.

You, me, archeon, OTC every individual you pass on the sidewalk or on the freeway or in the train or sit by on the airplane or in the boat. We are all just a bunch of inhibited morons that are doing what reactionary creatures do and processing the world the way such creatures are forced to.

Kevin Tillman’s words are profound—

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Yet doesn’t every intelligent and genuine human being have to conceed that to a great degree that very statement could be modified to their very being and conscience proper and still remain true? I can as easily say, and justify with a construct as justifiable as the one used by Mr. Tillman in his view, that—

“Somehow Mary has become a person that projects..”

or

“Somehow HiveRadical has become a person that projects..”

etc. etc. etc.

??

In truth can’t we all be as readilly displayed, and justifiably so, as existing contradictions as egregious in our contradiction and hypocrisy as Mr. Tillman places America as being in?

My point here is not to necesarily cast dispersions on anyone, rather to demonstrate that Mr. Tillman is just as prone to the very same opiate base as he sees existing in explicit religious traditions. If I remove the assumptions/dogmas that underlie the heart of his accusations then a substantive portion of his letter’s potency falls apart. Because in truth Mr. Tillman’s judgements and assessments of what is and isn’t happening and what is and isn’t justice and freedom and liberty and shame and honor and whatever other ideals he uses in his contrasts and comparisons are foundational to the ultimate thrust and theme of his whole attack and purpose.

In short it is his dogmatic view of what constitutes or doesn’t constitute those values that gives his letter any real meaning with respect to his ultimate aim.

The opiate is our finite existance. And we are all doped up on it. Some of us are not willing to conceed such. But those doings so are no more comforted in their delusions than the child who pronounces “You can’t see me!” as they naively cover their eyes and cut off their capacity to see and assume it does the same for all the others in the room.

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By HiveRadical, October 28, 2006 at 1:07 am Link to this comment
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Sorry, my position is NOT guided by dogma, that is why I don’t have to admit that.

Any view held by a finite being is arrived at by making assumptions about the system in which they find themself. So unless you are claiming the position of an omniscient and omnipotent being then you are subject to the necesity of having assumptions as foundational in your ultimate analysis of reality and thusly have dogma, or something that is a de facto equivilant of a dogma in terms of its ultimate defensability.

When I ask for proof of god, what do I get? You guessed it - DOGMA.

No. You get the answer that such cannot be proven to you by another mortal. I’m not here claiming in anyway to be able to prove God, simply defend the plausibility and validity of holding to faith in God. I don’t have to prove to you that God exists in order to demonstrate that, within the confines of current human experience, a belief in God can be as rational and reasonable as any belief you have maintained, do maintain, or ever will maintain in your existance in this life.

I don’t ask anyone to come over to my position, but that doesn’t preclude me from asking those who profess “faith” and access to the god to convince me.

Again I make no claim to be able to prove such to you, only to demonstrate that my belief in God is as, or more, rational and reasonable than your lack of belief in God—or anything for that matter.

  Sorry that I am asking for proof, but that is not as sorry as the faithies failing to provide it.

Ask for proof from the proper likely sources in the manner and means most likely to get you a response. Just a suggestion.

  BTW - proof is more that saying: the profit(error intentional)said it, or: it’s in the bible/koran/Grimm’s fairy tales.

Just as disproving is more than simply saying “that account of that “prophet” is silly.” Or, “That doesn’t match up with my view or ration or reason”

You see proof or disproof, either way, cannot happen via an interchange between you and I.

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By archeon, October 27, 2006 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment
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Sorry, my position is NOT guided by dogma, that is why I don’t have to admit that.

When I ask for proof of god, what do I get? You guessed it - DOGMA.

I don’t ask anyone to come over to my position, but that doesn’t preclude me from asking those who profess “faith” and access to the god to convince me.  Sorry that I am asking for proof, but that is not as sorry as the faithies failing to provide it.  BTW - proof is more that saying: the profit(error intentional)said it, or: it’s in the bible/koran/Grimm’s fairy tales.

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By Mary Wallman, October 27, 2006 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #34062 by I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN:

FIRST of all, it’s “Christian”—I believe.  Not all Christians are ignorant and can’t spell.  I once resisted correcting you “in good faith” that you aren’t ignorant, but look where my faith has gotten me!  You learned nothing from my silence, so here ya go:
SECOND of all, we live in a democracy. Where people have fought and died for the right to vote.  Where elections apparently can get stolen.  One nation, under God, indivisible, with justice for all?  ALL?—true Xian?  Are you baiting me and the others with this comment about god putting dubbya in office? (Do you miss us?) I’d like to see you produce the ballot that “God signed and cast.”  No it was Dubbya’s “base”—whose IQ needs a bit of tweaking—that put him in office, plus a bit of “moral” mischief.  Hopefully “y’all” have learned something this time…but then again, it may take another attack from a world (now, thanks to Dubbya & Co.) that hates America and it’s spreading of “freedom.”
You obviously forgot about the WMD LIE, and “turrrism.” There’s a great letter by Kevin Tillman (Pat Tillman’s brother) regarding the crap that our “elected by god” axis of evil (Dubbya, Cheney & Rumsfeld) have dished out to people who are completely addicted to religion:  the Opiate of the Masses.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601019_after_pats_birthday/
So please, leave that crap about “God hearts Dubbya” in the pulpit and pew. 
Oh, that’s pretty fitting actually…“PPEEEEE-yewww!”  (something’s rotten in America)
And THIRD:  Next time. don’t forget to take your medication.

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By I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN, October 27, 2006 at 6:42 am Link to this comment
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President George W. Bush, God’s Appointed Leader for America, Speaks and Acts for God.God is responsible for George W. Bush being president /There are reports of President Bush claiming that he was chosen by God to be president during this time in history. There are also reports of Bush claiming that he speaks to God, with God giving him instructions on foreign policy—including the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.Bush was placed in office by God, that Bush’s authority is derived from this divine mandate, and that Bush’s policies are all the Will of God.
God, not the people, is the sovereign power responsible for Bush being president, then it means Bush is ultimately responsible to God rather than to the people.it denying that Bush’s authority and office derive from the will of the people

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By HiveRadical, October 25, 2006 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
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Not all that can be said. But judging from the kinds of responses and the relative receptiveness of those participating (see it as you will) all that’s prudent to be said.

So unless the talking past, or inspite of, each other can happen I have nothing to say that I haven’t already said. You (archeon) still cling to your dogma while refusing to see it as a dogma and I still cling to mine while readilly confessing it’s a dogma but one arrived at rationally (I also realize you don’t hold such a position as possible as it defies your present view of the intuitive—but then again fundamentals of subatomic physics like tunneling defy your average joes view of the intuitive, simply because something defies what you presently view as being intuitive doesn’t mean it’s wrong or incorrect)

Any way. Been good conversing with you archeon and Mary and Val.

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By Mary Walllman, October 25, 2006 at 8:07 am Link to this comment
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#27793 by archeon:

I think that you have hit the nail on the head.

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By Mary Wallman, October 25, 2006 at 8:05 am Link to this comment
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#27769 by I AM 0NE GOOD CHRISTIAN:

The type of responses that you are referring to are NOT rational, are they?  Are these from “good christians” or “good atheists?”  Whoever the case may be—-they need to check that hatred.  This is supposed to be a discussion about rational solutions to a complicated problem.  A problem that has been complicated by dogma and fairytales—with a sprinkling of name-calling, power tripping and incitement to violence.  What is that?  I surely don’t get behind the killing of people’s children in the name of anything—especially god.

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By archeon, October 23, 2006 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
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I guess we have said all that can be said?

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By archeon, October 9, 2006 at 7:32 am Link to this comment
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Again, writing and publishing is not a minor form of “showing ones convictions”, but rather a very public demonstration of them.  Publishing is very very dangerous - almost like puting on a uniform and straping a gun to ones back and meeting the enemy on the battlefield.  One only has to look at the long list of writers and artists that have been threatened or killed because of the stuff they have published.

I still don’t accept that faith and religion are rational, logical, or even sane. But I am willing to listen to arguments for such from that side.  But in my experience, it is almost pointless because any discussions about the basic core and foundation of god based faiths orbits around the assumption that: GOD EXISTS.  An assumption that can not be proven.

I further claim that faith and religion are founded on fear and ignorance - of the world, of other people, of life.

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By I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN, October 9, 2006 at 2:09 am Link to this comment
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I am ashamed of the human race at this time.  If bin Laden is in
Afghanistan, send him to the USA for crimes he has already been
charged with. Shame on you for harboring him when he is wanted
for crimes.  As an American, I am shocked that my countrymen
have condemned bin Laden for this crime with out a trial.  Shame
on you!  Now, when he goes to trial (I am confident this will
happen at least for the other crimes he has been charged with)
and he is found guilty then he should be punished to the fullest
possible extent of the law.  The terrorists actions are heinous
and their leaders should be held accountable.  Please people,
remember that the average person didn’t have anything to do with
our loss, it was the terrorists who are as yet unknown.  I am
disgusted with messages I’ve seen that have threatened
retaliation against children and name calling and religion
bashing.  That isn’t the American way and with the threats and
vulgarity and irrational thoughts on how we should go to war and
we don’t even have charges filed on anyone yet!  Remember OKC?
Weren’t we all surprised when it was an American convicted of
that crime.  Come on folks, we have a good system here, let it
work!  If you American’s want to do something, then join the
military yourself—I’m proud to be a veteran.

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By Mary Wallman, October 8, 2006 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment
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HR - ever tried to have a rational discussion about Atheism?  With people on your block?  Or even try to just challenge the status quo on their faith?  People are severely frightened about having this discussion because if it ends up that there is no god, then they have no heaven to look forward to….  The immediacy of here and now is like a quickening to their death…and will no good deed go unpunished…

Then, you have to decide to do the right thing because it benefits mankind.  That is the legacy.

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By HiveRadical, October 8, 2006 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment
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Certainly it’s one degree.

If that’s enough for one’s convictions then okay.

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By archeon, October 7, 2006 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment
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I think that publishing and writing books is a form of taking it to the masses.

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By HiveRadical, October 7, 2006 at 1:04 am Link to this comment
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archeon,

I fully conceed your point but even take it further. Not only are there sizable numbers in that realm but there are people who consider themselves as ‘rational’ as ‘secular’ and as ‘logical’ as you who end up, despite their claims and self perceptions, pursuing paths who’s trajectory is centered around assumptions they make. I fully conceed the idea of someone thinking they have both a superior dogma and a dictate from God to take harmfull actions, but as dangerous, or more so, is the person who’s convinced himself that his actions are dictated by ration an logic and reason to the point of superceding all others. That is the very position that many secularists are trying to place themselves in. They are trying to say “See how level headed we are! We see all the problems in all these other world views and we’ve searched all the available options for countering these groups and this is what we’ve determined is the best course of action. You see just as too many claiming to speak for God have done we have intellectuals trying to place themselves in the position as being the ‘oracles’ of reason and logical and rational thinking. If they enthrone themselves in such a category in enough peoples minds then what will be the effective difference between such as them and some debauched ‘priest’ running an inquisition dungeon back in the day in spain? Whether someone thinks they have the the mandate of God OR that they have <the> best mandate/claim to a reasonable position? I’ve seen enough situations presented in logical arguments involving dichotomies to realize the degree to which logic and ration can be used to effect a justification for horendous things.

That’s my issue. I don’t want people smashing my rights because they think God is telling them they can do so. But neither do I want anyone, even if they are terribly bright and honestly view themselves as seeking the truth, to do the same thing in the name of “rationality” or the name of “reason” or of some relative liquid construct of “ethics” or “morals.” I want to let people live insofar as they do not outwardly infringe on anyone elses rights. It’s wrong to judge people on their thoughts. I never want to see a “MINORITY REPORT” scenario where we have people convicted who never actually commit a crime. Prosecute crime to the full extent allowable within the capacity of society to prove guilt. But don’t attack others for what they think. Don’t stop others from saying what they believe unless such includes an open incitement to violence or infringements on the natural inalianable rights of others.

Sam Harris can see all he wants in the sole focus of my faiths actions on promoting abstinence and fidelity in Africa to the exclusion of condom distribution. I’m fine with him saying that he believes our missionary efforts carry, as he sees it, terrible harm to the societies. But don’t expect me to sit idle if he ever seeks to elevate any other group’s status above that of my faith’s. Don’t make the ACLU the religion of the state. If we revoke tax free status for our faith then do it for all the other NGO’s and for the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and let us alll go head to head in spreading our ideology through peacefull discussion with the people of the world. Let neither side force their arm militantly. Let the people decide who they will hear and who’s view they will abide. Don’t relinquish the peoples rights to self determination to either a set of papers in several peer review journals NOR to a group that claims access to God. If you believe that my view is dangerous and that yours is not I might suggest doing what I did—take it to the people you want to help it with. Go door to door. Find those people and get with them on a one on one level and try to demonstrate why and how your view is the best one for them. Because those like Mr. Harris can publish their books all they want, but if they really believe them let them take it door to door, let them try the very efforts that they attribute to being the success of my denomination. Promote it on a grass roots level.

That is how we can both do things civily. We must be willing to take our discussions to others, to risk rejection, to find answers we believe in enough, or disbelieve enough, to motivate us to share it with others at cost to ourselves. Mr. Harris, in his “Letter to a Christian Nation” mentions that the secular humanists see the validity of personal sacrifice. Well let us see it. Let us see that he believes in the virtue of sacrifice.

By their fruits…

You don’t necesarily have to travel far away and knock doors for two years. But if your belief is superior, and you are certain of it’s superiority, do more than just share it on the internet. Get to know the people on your block and be willing to talk with them about it.

I advocate this because it is the best chance for a civil dialog and a dialog that accomplishes something.

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By archeon, October 6, 2006 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
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H-R you must admit that your personal “faith” and “religious” views aside, the vast majority of those claiming faith, god, and religion as the foundation of their ethics and morality are not as tolerant of those who do not believe in a god, or who fundamentaly reject Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, etc as messangers from a god.

Bear in mind that I am not limiting “faith” and “religion” to christianity - Judaism, Islam, and Marxist/Lennist/Communism are included in my definition of “religion” and “faith based theological systems”

My knowledge of main line religious groups and their theologies is quite exentensive, but I don’t have much experience with “fringe” groups - but I am working hard at educating myself in that area.

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By HiveRadical, October 6, 2006 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
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archeon,

Foley has voted on your chosen side of social matters on things such as the marriage amendment. His conservativism has generally not been manifested on social issues like “gay marriage” and abortion. He’s kind of a polar opposite to Harry Reid.

That being said may the man feel the wrath his evil and stupid acts have inflicted.

As for your comments grouping the ‘faithfull’ together I’d dare say that my view, if you sat down and looked at it, would be both rational and fair in your view. I only hold that people will be punished for defying OR ignoring laws. I’m certain that would make sense in terms of someone who was not eager to learn about something like the electricity and it’s corolaries but insisted on tinckering with it still despite their lack of desire to learn it’s properties. I simply recomend a respect for those aspects of life that are inherently beyond the accurate confines of logic and reason and human comprehension. I don’t see rationality in such things as implimenting massive economic overhaul that will set entire economies back substantially to try and “fix” a problem we can’t prove we either caused or can in reallity “fix” People who think Global Warming is the most serious thing facing the world, as I see them in dthe confines of rationality, not even factoring in my faith, seem to me to be deluded. Likewise on other issues. On a sheerly rational level I don’t see how attempting to fundamentally alter an institution that’s been, regardless it’s imperfect existance, the bedrock of human civilization for most of history and through the present civil tradition we’ve inherited.

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By HiveRadical, October 5, 2006 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment
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Mary,

From what I see the problem specific to our interactions is different perceptions as to what is and isn’t forcing beliefs. Clearly a legislation of some kind is needed. Clearly (at least to me) the scope must inherently stretch beyond the reaches of certainty in terms of human logic and rational constructs because we simply lack the capacity to correctly extrapolate what is good and bad on such large scales as society presents us through merely mental exertion. In such a case we are all dependant on, whether we personally see or conceed such, our subjective judgements. I say we need to be wary of everyone’s subjective rulings on these matters, regardless their grasp on logic or ration or reason. In such cases I find it far better to stick with what works and what has, despite all the failings we presently see, got us where we are. I don’t want the baby thrown out with the bath water. I don’t want us to try and have a crusade against any and every practice simply because in some, or even many, cases it’s tied to a dogmatic, or seemingly dogmatic, ideology. I want us to realize that it’s human nature that’s primarily responsible for our present state and NOT the fault of those who are openly, or perceived to be, dogmatic. Because truth be told we all have bias, and hence, all have dangerous tendancies. I believe in a God I cannot prove and Sam Harris believes in advocating a secular society who’s capacity for sustained existance he cannot prove and for who’s morality he cannot vouch unless he’s given the blank check of unchecked relativisim, even then he cannot come up with an example of such a society of any significance that has existed NOR can he give substantive evidence that such CAN exist. So we both end up with the orbiting teapot.

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By archeon, October 5, 2006 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment
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Trouble is that the faithful and the religious believe god has revealed the truth to them, that he has given them rules to live by, that he blesses those who live by those rules, etc etc.  They believe we who do not believe are wrong and doomed to hell.  They believe that we must be converted or face the consequences - here on earth and later after we die throug ethernal damnation and suffering.

Is anyone enjoying the Foley thing as much as I am?  I just love it when holier than thou assholes get caught being the worst kind of sexual predator there is.  Now he claims he too was abused as a boy/young mand - what a bunch of crap.  Not only is he a pervert, but he is a lying asshole as well.  To top it off he was on the “Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus”! No that is really really funny.  Any one remember this asshole when he was berating Clinton?  At least Clinton kept his sexual advances confined to ADULTS!  Now if Foley turns out be some kind of born again christian, that would really make my day.

Back to the topic I just don’t see the religious and the rational sane people finding real common ground.

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By Mary Wallman, October 5, 2006 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment
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Good to see that faithiests and atheists actually share ideas that are rational in spite of religious dogma…the truth is, we are only subtly different if you unravel the wrappings of dogma.  If we can talk about practical applications of morality that are functional in society—as a starting point—and agree upon touchstone ideas regardless of religion—there is the kernel of truth we seek. Leave out the faith, and be practical. When it comes down to ideas that include predicting the future w/out any track record based on ancient texts written by people of a different time, just leave it out of the public law.  This is not to say that one’s private life cannot include ideas of faith, just that they can’t be forced on others. The path to enlightenment will not always be the same for everyone.  You cannot enforce enlightenment, or maturity, or legislate love between individuals.  We can, however,  vote upon laws that we can all live by.  No one should be given special priveleges just because they believe in god.  Afterall, isn’t their reward in “heaven?”

Why can’t we all just get along?  It’s like we have to make problems for ourselves in a world that already has natural obstacles.

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By HiveRadical, October 1, 2006 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment
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IAOGC

Could you kindly refrain from plagerizing? That’s when you post words that are not your own as if they were your own or without proper citation to the source they are originally presented in. One needs but do a simple googling of a portion of your phrase to see that it’s not the first time it’s been put in print on the internet—

http://www.google.com/search?as_q=&num=100&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=position+of+someone+trying+to+argue&as;_oq=&as;_eq=&lr;=&as_ft=i&as;_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as;_nlo=&as;_nhi=&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as;_sitesearch=&as;_rights=&safe=active

It doesn’t do much to help your cause or your reputation.

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By I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN, October 1, 2006 at 2:49 am Link to this comment
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Many Christian’s who of America as founded upon Christianity usually present the Declaration of Independence as proof of a Christian America. The reason appears obvious: the Declaration mentions God. Constitution does not include the phrase “Separation of Church & State,” neither does it say “Freedom of religion.” Please note that the Declaration says about our rights secured by Christianity.The Constitution also uses many pagan words such as January (from the two-headed Roman god, Janus), and Sunday (from the word Sunne, which refers to the Saxon Sun god). Can you imagine the ludicrous position of someone trying to argue for the justification of a pagan god based Constitution?same goes to any ATHEIST who attempts to use a dating convention as an argument against the Constitution’s CHRISTIAN nature, and can only paint himself as naive, or worse, as dishonest and deceiving.

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By HiveRadical, October 1, 2006 at 12:33 am Link to this comment
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It totally refuses to see the part we have played and continue to play in the radicalization of Islam, the Arab world, and the middle East in general.

I don’t think that it a part ‘we’ have necesarily played. There have been conscious choices by our ancestors and predicesors and there have been those made by their ancestors and predicesors. I think to simply say ‘we’ are responsible is to deny the full realities of the situations and perceptions our predicesors and/or ancestors had to deal with. In an age with the internet and the other niceties we have it’s rather easy to simply view the acts of those in the past as short sited. I have a feeling that even the most enlightened of us, or those who think they are more enlightened than the majority of people, will be held up as some degree of fools in light of the perceptions of tomarrow.

I’m not saying this to put down what you’re saying, there’s certainly merit to keeping in mind the past dealings between the western world and the collective Islamic front. But I think it’s vital that we not give either side a free pass, nor that we forget that BOTH sides are reaping the shafts in the whirlwinds left by previous generations. Denegrating either side unduelly for the hand dealt each front is to avoid addressing the implications of our current position. Regardless the one’s responsible for starting the fire, or fueling the fire, or previously failing to put it out, does nothing to try and contain and put it out today.

  The part Europe and by extenstion the Americas and Russia have played in the history of the Islamic region going back to WWII, the Napoleonic wars, and ultimately to the Crusades.  In particular from WWII onwards, the regions oil has been both a blessing and a curse for them and for us.  If we didn’t need “stability” in that region we wouldn’t be doing so much to destabalize it.

It’s hard to fight the nature of economics. Anyone in less volatile times and circumstances that advocated a course to lead us away from what is presently happening would have lacked the needed proofs to give the world a case to act upon that would have been seen as rational. Only when an economy faces the realities of it’s past lack of forsight do the costs become real and palpable, only then will a survival of the fitest paradigm kick in. That’s why we get so many upsets and distortions from our preconceptions, because we lack the logical and rational scope to see the ultimate outcome of our actions things that twenty years ago were viewed as irrational craziness or fundamentalist non-sense, now in a scenario not forscene by the ‘authoritative’ thinkers of yesteryear those crazies and fanatics are at times the ones most suited to the new ‘market’, they are ready for a paradigm shift because they acted previously in a way that was certifiably (by the authorities of the day) illogical and irrational and unreasonable, but now, with a paradigm shift, they are the ones found at the forefront.

The intuition and eccentricities of one day become the means of catalyzing indivduals, groups, and ideologies on to previously unconceivable new planes of operation and capacity.

As humans we find what we’re looking for. Some things may be, in light of presently available knowledge, absured to the intellectual concensus, yet future events may lend that intellectual concensus of yester year null and void, and infact may condemn the concensus and those who made it.

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By archeon, September 28, 2006 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
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H-R I think you and I are much more alike in our thinking than our various disagreements on issues would indicate.

I do have to admit that IAOGC’s view, does at first blush appeal to my inner red-neck.  And believe me I come from red-neck stock, so this is a very natural reaction, yet my “liberal” and “rational” self finds such views dangerous and intellectually unsuportable.  It totally refuses to see the part we have played and continue to play in the radicalization of Islam, the Arab world, and the middle East in general.  The part Europe and by extenstion the Americas and Russia have played in the history of the Islamic region going back to WWII, the Napoleonic wars, and ultimately to the Crusades.  In particular from WWII onwards, the regions oil has been both a blessing and a curse for them and for us.  If we didn’t need “stability” in that region we wouldn’t be doing so much to destabalize it.

There are other dangers too, not the least of which is instilling of a “seige” mentality at home, which allows for justification of all sorts of abuses of our laws, customs, and basic founding priciples of our society.  You and I H-R may disagree on a variety of issues, but we do agree that a peacefull discussion of those issues and others without the treat of violence or state censorship is the one thing that does characterize our western liberal democractic societies.  And I believe that militarization of a society is the surest and fastest way to ensure the supension of basic liberties, and the first one to go is always freespeech, followed by freedom of assembly, and then usually the suspension of elections in the interest of national security, and then martial law.  Don’t think it can happen here?  What do you think is the actuall driving force behind increased police powers? gun control? limiting judicial freedoms?

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By HiveRadical, September 28, 2006 at 12:48 am Link to this comment
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IAOGC,

There’s a difference between seeing the virtues of an armed populace and promulgating militarism. Remember that Christ didn’t just say that he came to bring the sword, also that he who lived by the sword would die by it. Money and Weapons have a striking similarity, both of them are vital and needed and good when they are kept in their proper context and used for moral purposes. But whenever you make money or weapons your love, or when you live soley by money, or weapons, or a combination of the two, you will die by such.

archeon,

In this we have many similarities in view. I don’t have the answers as to what we should forcably do to end the stalemate between those who are beyond rationality, at least not in the short term. I know the principles that should govern our interaction, I know that defying those principles will harm us even if the defiance of such in the short turn appears to be beneficial.

As an aside. I purchased, and have almost finished, Harris’s “Letter to a Christian Nation.”

He certainly is keen in his intellectual capacity. I’m presently formulating an adequate response that should, I hope, end in a response that is both understandable and to the task of answering his many misconceptions and false assertions. I hope to have it arrive at a finished form that’s at least as readable as his work is.

Has anyone else here read it?

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By archeon, September 27, 2006 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment
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I too believe that every able bodied citizen should have a gun and be skilled in it’s use.  Not to defend ourselves from an external enemy, but rather to defend ourselves from the state, and the tyranny of the majority.  A well armed and determined citizenry is the best way to keep the state listening to the citizens.

As for Bush, why not have the draft already.

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By archeon, September 27, 2006 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
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But how are we to respond to nations who see it as their goal to convert us to Islam, or failing that subjugating us at least to what they see is Gods and Mohammeds will?

I accept that it would be immpossible to distinguish between those who want to kill us and those who dont’t.  But we did not have any of those qualms when we invaded and bombed Afganistan and Iraq.  We didn’t even try to make a moral judgment on the merits of bombing during the second world war, our only concern was the defeat of Germany and Nazism.  In Japan we even used atomic weapons in a effort to stop that war, and killed 10’s of thousands of civilians, many of whom probably did not support the Empires desire to continue the war.

To be clear: I am not advocating what IAOGC is advocating.  Pre-emtive war against a precieved enemy is always dangerous.

Yet I also see that negotiating with radical fundamentalist islamists will get us nowhere.  For they are determined to see us convert or die.  In this was they are just as dangerous as the radical fundamentalist christians who are waiting for the second coming.  These two groups, when they hi-jack the political and social agenda’s of their respective nations/regions will drag the rest of us, who “merely” want to live a peacefull day to day life down with them.

I don’t know what the answer is.  Maybe using less oil and giving those who seek our destruction less of our money to threaten us with would be a start.

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By I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN, September 27, 2006 at 12:25 am Link to this comment
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in response to the threat of “Islamofascism.” : “They’re training their sons to use an AK-47, and we’re teaching our sons how to swing a baseball bat. Tell me who wins that fight.” urged President Bush to declare the following: “I want every able-bodied man and woman who is licensed to carry a firearm or who knows how to use a weapon, I want you to organize in your neighborhood. We don’t want you to commit violence, but we want you to learn how to create a homeland defense system in this country.I have nothing against baseball, but the times don’t call for an obsession with sports. They call for a militarization of our children.

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By HiveRadical, September 26, 2006 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment
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IAOGC

There’s a serious flaw in your thinking. You lay out the scenario like we have some magical device the can discriminate between who wants us dead and who doesn’t. There are people here in the US (you seem to be one) that want the assured destruction of Islam. Would not their irradication of all of us because those like yourself portray hate and the ‘final solution’ mentality be as justified as your ‘stomping out’ scenario? If one is justified in killing whoever they THINK is against them then the world will not avoid a battle to end only in the extinction of the species. You can give lip service all you want to not having a problem with those who aren’t the ‘crazies’—but if you forever dwell on rhetoric and portray the smashing of entire nation states as the ‘only solution’ then they are hollow words.

You are very much engaged in what Mary has pointed out. You are, through your rhetoric and the casualness and nature of the points and actions you advocate, ensuring that you fit precisely the mold of “The Great Satan” that those like Achmadinijad portray you as to their constituents.

I’m not pretending they couldn’t paint you as such if they wanted to and their audience wanted to believe it. But you are making it easier than it should be to buy their words hook, line, and sinker. With that bluntness they don’t need to make any apologetic mumbojumbo about your evilness, it’s manifested in your very words. The vitrolic hatemongering and warmongering could be seen by anyone in any age of any intelligence quotient as being evil, or at least as worthy of destruction.

Don’t fall into their mold, make them deny reason and ration to the utmost if they choose to. However useless in the long term it may seem to you the only way you can be justified in finally confronting those who seek to destroy us is if you make it unequivocably clear that your choice to destroy them is the last option and one you did not willfully choose before any other option. Don’t make yourself into Varlse. Fight the very image of it.

If you don’t know what Varlse is try reading “Speaker for the Dead” or “Xenocide” or “Children of the Mind” all by Orson Scott Card.

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By HiveRadical, September 25, 2006 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment
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Note to peoples reading this.

That wink smilie face was NOT put there intentionally by me. I didn’t even know this forum had graphics for such. It was kind of disturbing when I saw it the first time. I’m not generally a ‘smilies’ kind o person

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By HiveRadical, September 25, 2006 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment
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Ohh. suck. I checked just a while ago and the original posts are there now and I already sent what will now be duplicates off again.

Dooohhh!

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By HiveRadical, September 25, 2006 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
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Mary,

I was going to ask questions but I don’t know if maybe asking those got my last attempt to answer blocked. I frankly have no idea why the last attempt was blocked

On to your last post

H-R,
I don’t believe that homosexuals who intend to raise children live in a homosexual vacuum.

That, in my view, is beyond the primary issue. I know children who have significant male figures in their household and sufficient material resources for their support, yet are still debilitated by the absence of a genuine and lasting father figure. To think this would be any less significant in the case of no genuine mother figure would also strike me as untenable and a non-sequitur. The issue isn’t what their total environs and peers or acquaintances will be, rather their intimate familial and parental ones, ones that are clearly different, in their scope, impact, and vitality, than any other ones found in even the most integrated of communities.

To not even touch on the unavoidable cases and effects of those who still remain more isolated from nominal societal influences. To think that a homosexual couple in a remote backwater where interaction was limited to weekly, monthly, or even just a few mid-annual trips to greater hubs of civilization seems to strike me as implausible.

  Their children will have to make friends and have playdates, go to school, do everything any other child does.

I don’t think things are as effected by the average day to day as they are by the parental child relationship. The nigh non-perceivable nuances that would not necessarily be readily visible or measurable in the differences in which children would be raised can have far more profound influences than many think or realize.

  I don’t think homosexuals will try to influence the sexuality of their child as gay or straight any more than I will.

That nearly belies the fact that you may not be conscious of the effects you would have on such. And to say that merely the effects of the child’s sexuality are in question is to terribly oversimplify the ramifications.

  When my child grows up and finds out/creates who he is, I will still love him no matter what the result of his “persuasion.”

As will I. This isn’t a question just about love. This goes to the endurability of society and civilization. I may have a child at some point that greatly leans toward anti-social behavior or complete disregard for the virtues held by either myself, or society, or you. That doesn’t mean I’d love them any less. But neither does it demand that I condone their actions or desires inasmuch as they are contradictory to what I view as what is best for all.

Perhaps it is fear that drives religious persons to decry the homosexual marriage.  As I see it, it is no threat to me or my loved ones.

It is very true that without any apparent threat we will not align ourselves one way or the other in any flavor or intensity of passion. I’m sure there are things that I might respond in like manner “As I see it, it is no threat to me or my loved ones.” to something you may perceive to be a very real threat.

I guess that’s one of the key differentiations, our overall perception and discernment of threats.

I am not without fear either.  I understand that one must insist upon reading those who edge into their children’s lives and make the best possible decision without my “scientific method.” There are a few things one can learn to decipher the possibility of a harmful person entering one’s domain.  But on the other hand, if we focus so much on the worst case scenario aren’t we beckoning it’s manifestation?  Thoughts are things.  Our thoughts are prayers, some would say.

The funny thing about self-fulfilling prophesy is that it’s not always clearly manifest as such. I certainly see many that claim to be on the political ‘right’ advocate actions that would very well see the creation/conversion of the psuedo-enemy they concoct in their mind with regard to the militant ‘islamic’ extremists into a massive threat that dwarfs the real one. Those who in foolishness and blood lust propose situations like carpet bombing or see the untying of the troops hands as a ticket to commit atrocities are genuinely working to fulfill a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But to simply apply this ‘self-fulfilling’ prophesy to the advocacy of capitulation and questionless acquiescence is to abuse the possibility. If Britain had gone the other way and not initially been hailed with the claim ‘Peace in our time’ but had instead responded harshly and abruptly to Hitler’s initial advances and aggressions then critics could look back and claim ‘well Hitler was provoked’ or ‘it may have sufficed if they’d capitulated here’. Thus making a situation in which a bona fide evil nut job would have conceivably been put down sooner and been able to not effect as much evil into a scenario in which the allies could have been made to seem the war mongers and, to some degree, the aggressors.

So I can’t take this self-fulfilling claim as seriously because I don’t, in terms of this subject, see any real evidence for this being the case.

I realize the nature is sometimes that way, and heaven forbid we are doing more harm than good, but I see no evidence or logical construct for it, merely your suggestion to the possible existence of such a method. From my experience, while it’s human nature often to retaliate when one is labeled as ‘wrong’ or in ‘sin’ I’ve yet to see where this wasn’t a conscious choice in sustained confrontations of the nature we are dealing with. Here they tend to be on a scale as to be forcibly, for the most part, methodical.

I appreciate the monumental effort you take to express your views in this discussion.  I am chewing slowly on the ideas you present, as my school (as well as my son’s) is now back in session….

Appreciated kind and hopeful words. I hope it goes well for the two of you. I need to get back. I need to secure means to do so.

If it’s not too intrusive for you, as one spending this amount of time in correspondence seems inevitably to wonder at some point, I’m curious as to the age of your son and if you are attending school or teaching it or what? As for me I had a few semesters in school at a university a few years back and presently am just working and looking for the best possible mate that thinks she’ll be able to stand, and potentially enjoy, an eternity with me.

Take care. Hope you have a good productive and happy week.

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By HiveRadical, September 25, 2006 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment
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Here I try again.

“Why do you go on about the DDT ban?”

Because it can demonstrate the deadly and horrific results of something utterly detatched from any system claiming religious dogma or influence as a part of it’s impetus, thus showing the claim that the death and destruction and danger is not as tied to willful dogmatic allegiances as it is to the mere human condition. Thus even the best of people with the best of intentions and as much data and facts and figures and ethics constructs can still wipe out millions of individuals a year through acts that are based on ethical determinations that have screwy underlying principles. DDT being brought out of use was done in the name of science and logic and ration and reason, yet there’s yet to be a single conclusive case made for DDT being the cause of the malignant effects found in nature. I’ve gotten into impassioned and heavily sited debates with biologists who’s main experience has been focused around wetland birds and they could not present a single study in which DDT could be singled out as the demon behind the destruction because in every case there were also very high levels of mercury and/or lead and/or some other heavy metal. Thus this global “science” claiming JIHAD against DDT is foundationally based on false assumptions. This isn’t to say the whole movement hasn’t had it’s merit or done good. It’s only logical that we needed to reign in our use of chemicals and our disregard for the environment. In that way Silent Spring has ushered in much good. But to treat it like some secular version of holy literature is what is being done to it and the mantra surrounding it, even when the raw facts demonstrably show that this secular version of fanatic heed has and is resulting in between 2-3 million (mostly poor children in Sub-saharan Africa or Southeast Asia) deaths a year. I go on about it, DDT that is, because it demonstrates this—massive atrocities and societal imperilment are not unique to those overtly “faithful”. ANYONE who thinks they have more truth than someone else can inflict horrendous consequences, this by no means exempts any and all who see themselves as ‘logical’ ‘rational’ or ‘secularist’.

Seeing as you and Sam Harris fancy yourselves in such a superior condition in terms of ration, reason, logic and science you have the same potential for danger to society, civilization, and the world in general, as you see in us who are Christians.

On the topic of family, “traditional family” etc.

Let’s deal with your claim as to the family being able to be any combination.


There are many synthetic environments in which they’ve discovered that natural processes can be compensated for. Then there are others for which they are still endeavoring to create a synthetic substitute. These all play on the fact that a great deal of nature, potentially all of it in some way or another, is interdependent on other parts of the system to play a specific role. Symbiotic relationships seem to utterly penetrate nature. You have fig trees seemingly wholly dependent on the fig wasp, and visa versa, for survival. the one nourishes the children of the other in exchange for the whole of the adult life of the children being centered only around spreading themselves and the pollen of the fig tree.

Now let’s say that you figure out another means to, say, manually compensate for the doings of the wasp. What if the effects of the wasp on the fruit were not liked by those who had the tree so they went about to eradicate and and themselves replace the wasp. Certainly I would think science could potentially think of some way to grow these trees without their dependence on the wasp. One could look at it as a ‘liberation’ from the wasp. No longer would the tree have to do what it once did for the growth of the wasp by sacrificing resources to feed the young wasps and if you’re killing off the wasps then you can likely also get rid of all the parasites who take advantage of the wasp’s presence to further drain the resources of the ‘poor’ fig tree.

You see it may be easy to paint such a transition as being a ‘liberation’ of the tree. (or we could do it the other way and ‘liberate’ the wasp from the tree).

Now this will even get into your points touching on pornography and the ‘sale’ of sex.

What if there was a potential world wide paradigm that you could employ that could effect the sense of fulfillment on all known levels to living beings. In other words the implementation of this system would have the raw biological effect of keeping species at an even ratio and a perfect ‘zero’ population rate AND it would have the effect of simulating all biological and emotional tigers necessary to keep all the populations of the world satiated with regard to their desires and drives. Humans would feel like their life was fulfilling and full of whatever senses they most craved and wanted and chose. And all other species could have such a ‘perfect’ fulfillment also in terms of their perception. All the creatures would have all the buttons pushed in their little biological gizmos to the end of their choosing and they all were ensured to live and remain in ‘balance’.

Would you implement such? If not, why not. If so, why so?

Take into consideration the proposed (by evolutionary theory) source of all these drives and desires. Now look at what the definition would be of aberrational activity to the process of evolution.

Wouldn’t the antithesis be anything that decreased the chance of a being to survive and continue on through the Gene pool? It doesn’t even have to be a significantly huge aberration to land the species along with the proposed 99 or 98 some-odd (whatever I’m not remembering the exact proposed percentages) percent of species that we are told have no existence in the land of the living? With such high statistics and such slim margins of error please tell us of what use (speaking in terms of raw logic) would be a species intentional bypassing and separating of instinct from the end of species continuation and adjoining activities?

In other words, if there’s a species bent on merely firing neurons off for the sake of firing off neurons, rather than having such a cascade of effects spill over into the realm of species propagation and continuation through things like the act of communal bonding in the most ideal of propagation circumstances available, then of what use are those biological systems and setups? If you are going to focus the feelings of satisfaction from consumption on merely the act of dumping down, spewing up, dumping, spewing of food from the digestive tract of an animal, and utterly disconnect that biologically induced feeling from the end of augmenting that animals energy, protein, and stored energy levels then to what survival end is that feeling of satisfaction going? Likewise in terms of sexual stimulation (from pornography, noncommittal sexual intercourse or contact intentionally aimed away from producing offspring or starting a family) if we are completely disconnecting the fulfillment of these biological drives from their prime functions then to what advantageous end are they going in terms of survival? Certainly I will not deny that the effects can have a positive effect. Psychologically the bulimic’s binge certainly satisfies(at least momentarily) the stresses induced by the demands for food, the individual viewing pornography may be able to get some release akin in the feeling of fulfillment as to that felt by drug dealers after their dose first enters their system to satisfy the anxiety of the addiction, those involved in either same sex sexual intercourse will gain some bonds from their relations that will tie them together and potentially have them working together in some ways more effectively, or in noncommittal sexual acts many side effects may, in the short term, give positive effects that naturally adjoin (outside of the raw satisfaction in the act) the effects of such biological drive fulfillment. Yet the end determination is the net effect. Again look at the claimed percentages of extinct species. To think that something seemingly ‘small’ wouldn’t matter, to think that ‘any’ group of individuals would be an equal, in efficacy, to the primary and age old nominal arrangements is to ignore the history of the world and of the continuation of species.

Case in point. Show me anyway in which a set of men, given children to watch over, could ever have the biological outputs inside of them to come close to the intricacies and exacting levels and diversity found inside of women and their complex endocrine system. This isn’t even getting into the biological searing effects of hormones at birth (not wanting to get into the non-fertile married couple). You can’t deny that hormonal levels significantly effect the doings and raising habits, manners and processes that take place. To say that to ignore these realities in a mass governmental endorsement of “anything goes”, or an equivalent revoking of privileges currently granted to marriage arrangements, and pretend that such wouldn’t have sweeping consequences through all of human society over the coming generations would be a fools errand. I mean to just look at the effects of available foodstuff crops to various societal groups and regions it’s astounding the effects seemingly small things have on the whole of history.

That’s where this problem comes in. This ‘anything goes’ in the name of ‘equality’ or ‘equal rights’, without regard for the orange and apple differences between the raw biological workings of the genders and their interplay AND that interplay’s effects on the raising of children, is to try and defy the raw nature or the thing. Can you squeeze out approximations in such a condition of same gender parental household? Possibly. Would these approximations have all the beneficial net advantages of an equivalent heterosexual committed arrangement? I doubt it. Just as I doubt the exacting replacement quality of synthetic compensation for any and all symbiotic interplays in nature.

With all of this and the remembering that the details and ‘small’ stuff is often what wins out in the modern modification of the darwinian view it becomes apparent under the weight of just the logic and rational of the thing that the mass implementation of this peculiar view of ‘equality’ is more than merely remiss (though remiss is plenty of reason, in my view, to reject a view that sees limiting a person to commitment to one consenting adult person of the opposite gender as ‘persecution’) it is to defy the very reality of nature and the continued domination of our species and of the whole of civilization.

With regard specifically to pornography and it’s dangers. An article was recently released which noted the number of rapes here in utah increasing, in fact being above the national average. A comment by the prosecuting authority in one of the counties in Utah mentioned that he’s very very hard pressed to find a case of rape in which a massive pornography addiction was not involved. This is not to say that all who view pornography are going to rape someone, but it does indicate that it’s likely an almost universal trait (and logic would dictate also a motivator to some degree) in those who do. If pornography was less available I’d propose that rapes would drop, also spousal or child abuse would likely drop.

With regards to selling sex I see it as selling things like protection of one’s well being. When you rely on a mercenary vehicle for your defense your defense will fail the moment a higher bidder gains access to your defenses. The same goes with intimacy on the most profound of human biological levels. Those who are more likely to survive emotionally, and lend stability and strength to humanity are obviously those who are not engaged in changing relationships, aimed and centered in the darwinian crucible of survival, to something of a mere economic or social exchange to satisfy simply the raw biological drive indicators rather than the whole of the biological apparatus.

In short—

To defy the foundation of the system that seemingly, in your present view, is the foundation for the way things are, all in the name of some ‘‘new’ fangeld’ notion of what you think morality or ‘ethics’ should be or shouldn’t be, or what ‘persecution’ is or isn’t, is to kick against the pricks of the very paradigm you claim got the world to the point of being as advanced in logic, reason, science and capacity as it presently is constituted.

You say that things such as ethics and justice exist only as constructs so that they advance the condition of society. Then what of the demonstration above that MY position and claimed views of such constructs, regardless my ties to religion, advances that position better than does yours?

In other words, If my system trumps yours, regardless if we play it off of your constructs or my view of the Divine, then it isn’t JUST my faith that you have to contend with, it isn’t JUST a perceived threat from dogma. You must answer the raw reality of what you promote and the holds you take as being ‘justice’ ‘equity’ ‘ethics’ and ‘morality’ and it’s relation to the purposes you provide for their ‘existence’ as you hold it to be.

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By HiveRadical, September 25, 2006 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
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I meant to say BEFORE, not after. That’s why it’s odd.

I may have to resubmit them if they don’t show up soon.

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By HiveRadical, September 25, 2006 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
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This is really odd. I had two posts as responses for archeon and Mary that I submitted AFTER my response to ogc. Yet they’ve not yet been posted.

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By Mary Wallman, September 25, 2006 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
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IAOGC:
I like the blood analogy and I can vouch for this as a fact—being a student of Anatomy & Physiology right now.

However, the question of who’s the creator has nothing to do with how we treat eachother on earth.  Does God have an ego?  Why does he need credit?  That’s YOUR own stuff, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you keep it to yourself as far as I’m concerned.  HOWEVER, what you say re: radical fundamentalists people who claim that they are “ISLAMISTS ( or ICS—sp?)” is also true.  They are hellbent on our destruction.  Ironically, the Christian right are into armageddon, too—-and THEY are trying to run our government.

Perhaps if the US would stay out of it except for policing the uranium and such in/out of the region , they would fight it out and kill eachother without our help.  This is what some people believe that kids should do when they really want to fight eachother and negotiations are not working.  This is a crazy idea that big oil won’t permit b/c of the possible destruction of their future fortune.  I really wish that there was REASONING we could use, but the path they are on now is a self-fulfilling prophecy and the masses have been hynoptized by Nasrallah and his clerics.  These are people of all educational backgrounds. 

Where does the bloodlust of fundamentalist fanaticism spring from?  Certainly it cannot spring from simply wanting to “be correct,” correct about “God and religion.”  That just seems ludicrous to me.  It’s uncivilized and counter-intuitive to most religions’ call for peace.  It has to be another reason, like an economic reason—plus brainwashing and power tripping.  What else can it be?

I wish those people buying into the religious farce could see that they are pawns in a different game.  Jesus cannot save them, he is not a part of their mental framework and culture as a messiah. 

Thought for the day:  Be your own messiah.

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By I AM 0NE GOOD CRISTHIAN, September 25, 2006 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
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I think it’s time the gloves came off, and the free world put the smack
down on fanatical Islamic. Hell, isn’t the U.S. ready to fight another
war now? Seems like we’ve wrapped up all our recent crises, and I’m
sure the boys in the pentagon are dying for a new venue to play with
their toys.

Seriously, does anyone here doubt that fanatical Islamists are just
dying for the opportunity to nuke the U.S.? How long do you all think
it will take them to develop nukes of their own? Will the policy of
mutually assured destruction mean jack shit to these crazies? Not for
one second. As soon as Islamic Jihaad has a nuke, they are going to do
everything they can to smuggle it into New York, or Tel Aviv. Believe
it.

The U.S. should unilaterally and immediately stomp the shit out of all
these rogue Islamic states. Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, once they
are all ashes and tears, then we can negotiate. These societies that
have morals appropriate for the dark ages, should be stuck with
technology appropriate to that era too.

Since they only seem to respect strength and power, then we should
speak to them in the language they understand. In fact, not doing
anything encourages the Islamic fanatics to further violence because
they see it as weakness. The only way to deal with a rabid dog is to
kill it.

Through this whole post I have talked about “fanatical Islam”. I have
no issue with peaceful moderates of any race or religion. You can
worship Satan, or Bill Gates, or your own navel for all I care. As long
as your worship doesnt include killing me, or destroying my way of
life, I really don’t care. God gives us a perfect illustration of salvation through the shedding of the blood of Christ at Calvary. Some people do not understand the meaning of this; after all, doesn’t blood stain things, not cleanse? But when we look at the function of blood in the body, we discover that it does act as a cleansing agent, ridding the body of toxins and wastes. If you apply a tourniquet around your wrist for a few minutes, you will experience the discomfort that follows the buildup of these toxins in your tissues, since the blood cannot carry them away.

After the blood picks up the waste products in the body, it delivers them to the kidney, which is the most efficient waste disposal machine on the earth. The kidney filters these waste products, breaking them down to be recycled if possible or ejected. What the blood does for the human body is a perfect illustration of what the blood of Christ does for the body of Christ. It cleanses us from all sin; again defined as the waste, poisons and junk our lives produce.

Look at life’s processes and marvel! Just because we can describe them, it doesn’t mean we’ve explained their origin! Instead, we need to acknowledge God’s hand in their creation.

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By archeon, September 25, 2006 at 4:57 am Link to this comment
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For once H-R and I are in agreement.  In the spririt of his comments at least.

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By HiveRadical, September 25, 2006 at 12:37 am Link to this comment
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To mr. “one good christian”

You are neither good nor Christian in your sentiments. If God wanted those dead who you seek dead he would be sufficiently capable himself to do it. We prosecute those who in reallity threaten us. Christ, though aware of ethnic differences, saw the virtue in those groups, ethnicities, or religious circles that were generally and summarily reviled by the unrighteous of Israel or of the early Christian Church. That’s why there’s a parable entitled “The Good Samaritan” That is why the woman he compared relationship wise to a ‘dog’ is the same woman that he proclaimed had more faith than any he’d seen in Israel.

The culture of some of the most backward parts of the world, in general, may be bastions of problems, sins and violent tendancies. But <i>let the culture that’s without sin cast the first volley of bombing runs or ICBMs.</b> If we judge them as being worthy of the unrestrained wrath you posit as being needed in a ‘crusade’ like confrontation then I’d hate to see what God allows to be done to us after we commited such a sin.

Please re-evaluate your claims and positions. Truly consider what Jesus would do, not what the Pharisaical mentallity initially wanted to see done to the woman taken in adultry (an interesting commentary that they ‘caught’ her ‘in the act’ yet didn’t bring the man to stone also). Repent. Or in the words of the more secularly inclined, apply the logic, reason, and paradigms you apply to them and apply it to your actions and doings and the collective works of the society and nation which you are a part of.

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By HiveRadical, September 25, 2006 at 12:23 am Link to this comment
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Mary,

First off I’m just curious if you are same Mary Wallman whose art is all over when you type your name into Google? (Don’t have to answer that)

On to your last post—

H-R,
I don’t believe that homosexuals who intend to raise children live in a homosexual vacuum.

That, in my view, is beyond the primary issue. I know children who have significant male figures in their household and sufficient material resources for their support, yet are still debilitated by the absence of a genuine and lasting father figure. To think this would be any less significant in the case of no genuine mother figure would also strike me as untenable and a non-sequitur. The issue isn’t what their total environs and peers or acquaintances will be, rather their intimate familial and parental ones, ones that are clearly different, in their scope, impact, and vitality, than any other ones found in even the most integrated of communities.

To not even touch on the unavoidable cases and effects of those who still remain more isolated from nominal societal influences. To think that a homosexual couple in a remote backwater where interaction was limited to weekly, monthly, or even just a few mid-annual trips to greater hubs of civilization seems to strike me as implausible.

  Their children will have to make friends and have playdates, go to school, do everything any other child does.

I don’t think things are as effected by the average day to day as they are by the parental child relationship. The nigh non-perceivable nuances that would not necessarily be readily visible or measurable in the differences in which children would be raised can have far more profound influences than many think or realize.

  I don’t think homosexuals will try to influence the sexuality of their child as gay or straight any more than I will.

That nearly belies the fact that you may not be conscious of the effects you would have on such. And to say that merely the effects of the child’s sexuality are in question is to terribly oversimplify the ramifications.

  When my child grows up and finds out/creates who he is, I will still love him no matter what the result of his “persuasion.”

As will I. This isn’t a question just about love. This goes to the endurability of society and civilization. I may have a child at some point that greatly leans toward anti-social behavior or complete disregard for the virtues held by either myself, or society, or you. That doesn’t mean I’d love them any less. But neither does it demand that I condone their actions or desires inasmuch as they are contradictory to what I view as what is best for all.

Perhaps it is fear that drives religious persons to decry the homosexual marriage.  As I see it, it is no threat to me or my loved ones.

It is very true that without any apparent threat we will not align ourselves one way or the other in any flavor or intensity of passion. I’m sure there are things that I might respond in like manner “As I see it, it is no threat to me or my loved ones.” to something you may perceive to be a very real threat.

I guess that’s one of the key differentiations, our overall perception and discernment of threats.

I am not without fear either.  I understand that one must insist upon reading those who edge into their children’s lives and make the best possible decision without my “scientific method.” There are a few things one can learn to decipher the possibility of a harmful person entering one’s domain.  But on the other hand, if we focus so much on the worst case scenario aren’t we beckoning it’s manifestation?  Thoughts are things.  Our thoughts are prayers, some would say.

The funny thing about self-fulfilling prophesy is that it’s not always clearly manifest as such. I certainly see many that claim to be on the political ‘right’ advocate actions that would very well see the creation/conversion of the psuedo-enemy they concoct in their mind with regard to the militant ‘islamic’ extremists into a massive threat that dwarfs the real one. Those who in foolishness and blood lust propose situations like carpet bombing or see the untying of the troops hands as a ticket to commit atrocities are genuinely working to fulfill a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But to simply apply this ‘self-fulfilling’ prophesy to the advocacy of capitulation and questionless acquiescence is to abuse the possibility. If Britain had gone the other way and not initially been hailed with the claim ‘Peace in our time’ but had instead responded harshly and abruptly to Hitler’s initial advances and aggressions then critics could look back and claim ‘well Hitler was provoked’ or ‘it may have sufficed if they’d capitulated here’. Thus making a situation in which a bona fide evil nut job would have conceivably been put down sooner and been able to not effect as much evil into a scenario in which the allies could have been made to seem the war mongers and, to some degree, the aggressors.

So I can’t take this self-fulfilling claim as seriously because I don’t, in terms of this subject, see any real evidence for this being the case.

I realize the nature is sometimes that way, and heaven forbid we are doing more harm than good, but I see no evidence or logical construct for it, merely your suggestion to the possible existence of such a method. From my experience, while it’s human nature often to retaliate when one is labeled as ‘wrong’ or in ‘sin’ I’ve yet to see where this wasn’t a conscious choice in sustained confrontations of the nature we are dealing with. Here they tend to be on a scale as to be forcibly, for the most part, methodical.

I appreciate the monumental effort you take to express your views in this discussion.  I am chewing slowly on the ideas you present, as my school (as well as my son’s) is now back in session….

Appreciated kind and hopeful words. I hope it goes well for the two of you. I need to get back. I need to secure means to do so.

If it’s not too intrusive for you, as one spending this amount of time in correspondence seems inevitably to wonder at some point, I’m curious as to the age of your son and if you are attending school or teaching it or what? As for me I had a few semesters in school at a university a few years back and presently am just working and looking for the best possible mate that thinks she’ll be able to stand, and potentially enjoy, an eternity with me.

Take care. Hope you have a good productive and happy week.

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By HiveRadical, September 24, 2006 at 11:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Why do you go on about the DDT ban?”

Because it can demonstrate the deadly and horrific results of something utterly detatched from any system claiming religious dogma or influence as a part of it’s impetus, thus showing the claim that the death and destruction and danger is not as tied to willful dogmatic allegiances as it is to the mere human condition. Thus even the best of people with the best of intentions and as much data and facts and figures and ethics constructs can still wipe out millions of individuals a year through acts that are based on ethical determinations that have screwy underlying principles. DDT being brought out of use was done in the name of science and logic and ration and reason, yet there’s yet to be a single conclusive case made for DDT being the cause of the malignant effects found in nature. I’ve gotten into impassioned and heavily sited debates with biologists who’s main experience has been focused around wetland birds and they could not present a single study in which DDT could be singled out as the demon behind the destruction because in every case there were also very high levels of mercury and/or lead and/or some other heavy metal. Thus this global “science” claiming JIHAD against DDT is foundationally based on false assumptions. This isn’t to say the whole movement hasn’t had it’s merit or done good. It’s only logical that we needed to reign in our use of chemicals and our disregard for the environment. In that way Silent Spring has ushered in much good. But to treat it like some secular version of holy literature is what is being done to it and the mantra surrounding it, even when the raw facts demonstrably show that this secular version of fanatic heed has and is resulting in between 2-3 million (mostly poor children in Sub-saharan Africa or Southeast Asia) deaths a year. I go on about it, DDT that is, because it demonstrates this—massive atrocities and societal imperilment are not unique to those overtly “faithful”. ANYONE who thinks they have more truth than someone else can inflict horrendous consequences, this by no means exempts any and all who see themselves as ‘logical’ ‘rational’ or ‘secularist’.

Seeing as you and Sam Harris fancy yourselves in such a superior condition in terms of ration, reason, logic and science you have the same potential for danger to society, civilization, and the world in general, as you see in us who are Christians as lesser in our claim on truth.

The irony is that in claiming arrogance you are effectively positioning you and your allies in the most advanced strata of your world view, the very thing you decry religion for doing.

On the topic of family, “traditional family” etc.—

Let’s deal with your claim as to the family being able to be any combination.


There are many synthetic environments in which they’ve discovered that natural processes can be compensated for. Then there are others for which they are still endeavoring to create a synthetic substitute. These all play on the fact that a great deal of nature, potentially all of it in some way or another, is interdependent on other parts of the system to play a specific role. Symbiotic relationships seem to utterly penetrate nature. You have fig trees seemingly wholly dependent on the fig wasp, and visa versa, for survival. the one nourishes the children of the other in exchange for the whole of the adult life of the children being centered only around spreading themselves and the pollen of the fig tree.

Now let’s say that you figure out another means to, say, manually compensate for the doings of the wasp. What if the effects of the wasp on the fruit were not liked by those who had the tree so they went about to eradicate and and themselves replace the wasp. Certainly I would think science could potentially think of some way to grow these trees without their dependence on the wasp. One could look at it as a ‘liberation’ from the wasp. No longer would the tree have to do what it once did for the growth of the wasp by sacrificing resources to feed the young wasps and if you’re killing off the wasps then you can likely also get rid of all the parasites who take advantage of the wasp’s presence to further drain the resources of the ‘poor’ fig tree.

You see it may be easy to paint such a transition as being a ‘liberation’ of the tree. (or we could do it the other way and ‘liberate’ the wasp from the tree).

Now this will even get into your points touching on pornography and the ‘sale’ of sex.

What if there was a potential world wide paradigm that you could employ that could effect the sense of fulfillment on all known levels to living beings. In other words the implementation of this system would have the raw biological effect of keeping species at an even ratio and a perfect ‘zero’ population rate AND it would have the effect of simulating all biological and emotional tigers necessary to keep all the populations of the world satiated with regard to their desires and drives. Humans would feel like their life was fulfilling and full of whatever senses they most craved and wanted and chose. And all other species could have such a ‘perfect’ fulfillment also in terms of their perception. All the creatures would have all the buttons pushed in their little biological gizmos to the end of their choosing and they all were ensured to live and remain in ‘balance’.

Would you implement such? If not, why not. If so, why so?

Take into consideration the proposed (by evolutionary theory) source of all these drives and desires. Now look at what the definition would be of aberrational activity to the process of evolution.

Wouldn’t the antithesis be anything that decreased the chance of a being to survive and continue on through the Gene pool? It doesn’t even have to be a significantly huge aberration to land the species along with the proposed 99 or 98 some-odd (whatever I’m not remembering the exact proposed percentages) percent of species that we are told have no existence in the land of the living? With such high statistics and such slim margins of error please tell us of what use (speaking in terms of raw logic) would be a species intentional bypassing and separating of instinct from the end of species continuation and adjoining activities?

In other words, if there’s a species bent on merely firing neurons off for the sake of firing off neurons, rather than having such a cascade of effects spill over into the realm of species propagation and continuation through things like the act of communal bonding in the most ideal of propagation circumstances available, then of what use are those biological systems and setups? If you are going to focus the feelings of satisfaction from consumption on merely the act of dumping down, spewing up, dumping, spewing of food from the digestive tract of an animal, and utterly disconnect that biologically induced feeling from the end of augmenting that animals energy, protein, and stored energy levels then to what survival end is that feeling of satisfaction going? Likewise in terms of sexual stimulation (from pornography, noncommittal sexual intercourse or contact intentionally aimed away from producing offspring or starting a family) if we are completely disconnecting the fulfillment of these biological drives from their prime functions then to what advantageous end are they going in terms of survival? Certainly I will not deny that the effects can have a positive effect. Psychologically the bulimic’s binge certainly satisfies(at least momentarily) the stresses induced by the demands for food, the individual viewing pornography may be able to get some release akin in the feeling of fulfillment as to that felt by drug dealers after their dose first enters their system to satisfy the anxiety of the addiction, those involved in either same sex sexual intercourse will gain some bonds from their relations that will tie them together and potentially have them working together in some ways more effectively, or in noncommittal sexual acts many side effects may, in the short term, give positive effects that naturally adjoin (outside of the raw satisfaction in the act) the effects of such biological drive fulfillment. Yet the end determination is the net effect. Again look at the claimed percentages of extinct species. To think that something seemingly ‘small’ wouldn’t matter, to think that ‘any’ group of individuals would be an equal, in efficacy, to the primary and age old nominal arrangements is to ignore the history of the world and of the continuation of species.

Case in point. Show me anyway in which a set of men, given children to watch over, could ever have the biological outputs inside of them to come close to the intricacies and exacting levels and diversity found inside of women and their complex endocrine system. This isn’t even getting into the biological searing effects of hormones at birth (not wanting to get into the non-fertile married couple). You can’t deny that hormonal levels significantly effect the doings and raising habits, manners and processes that take place. To say that to ignore these realities in a mass governmental endorsement of “anything goes”, or an equivalent revoking of privileges currently granted to marriage arrangements, and pretend that such wouldn’t have sweeping consequences through all of human society over the coming generations would be a fools errand. I mean to just look at the effects of available foodstuff crops to various societal groups and regions it’s astounding the effects seemingly small things have on the whole of history.

That’s where this problem comes in. This ‘anything goes’ in the name of ‘equality’ or ‘equal rights’, without regard for the orange and apple differences between the raw biological workings of the genders and their interplay AND that interplay’s effects on the raising of children, is to try and defy the raw nature or the thing. Can you squeeze out approximations in such a condition of same gender parental household? Possibly. Would these approximations have all the beneficial net advantages of an equivalent heterosexual committed arrangement? I doubt it. Just as I doubt the exacting replacement quality of synthetic compensation for any and all symbiotic interplays in nature.

With all of this and the remembering that the details and ‘small’ stuff is often what wins out in the modern modification of the darwinian view it becomes apparent under the weight of just the logic and rational of the thing that the mass implementation of this peculiar view of ‘equality’ is more than merely remiss (though remiss is plenty of reason, in my view, to reject a view that sees limiting a person to commitment to one consenting adult person of the opposite gender as ‘persecution’) it is to defy the very reality of nature and the continued domination of our species and of the whole of civilization.

With regard specifically to pornography and it’s dangers. An article was recently released which noted the number of rapes here in utah increasing, in fact being above the national average. A comment by the prosecuting authority in one of the counties in Utah mentioned that he’s very very hard pressed to find a case of rape in which a massive pornography addiction was not involved. This is not to say that all who view pornography are going to rape someone, but it does indicate that it’s likely an almost universal trait (and logic would dictate also a motivator to some degree) in those who do. If pornography was less available I’d propose that rapes would drop, also spousal or child abuse would likely drop.

With regards to selling sex I see it as selling things like protection of one’s well being. When you rely on a mercenary vehicle for your defense your defense will fail the moment a higher bidder gains access to your defenses. The same goes with intimacy on the most profound of human biological levels. Those who are more likely to survive emotionally, and lend stability and strength to humanity are obviously those who are not engaged in changing relationships, aimed and centered in the darwinian crucible of survival, to something of a mere economic or social exchange to satisfy simply the raw biological drive indicators rather than the whole of the biological apparatus.

In short—

To defy the foundation of the system that seemingly, in your present view, is the foundation for the way things are, all in the name of some ‘‘new’ fangeld’ notion of what you think morality or ‘ethics’ should be or shouldn’t be, or what ‘persecution’ is or isn’t, is to kick against the pricks of the very paradigm you claim got the world to the point of being as advanced in logic, reason, science and capacity as it presently is constituted.

You say that things such as ethics and justice exist only as constructs so that they advance the condition of society. Then what of the demonstration above that MY position and claimed views of such constructs, regardless my ties to religion, advances that position better than does yours?

In other words, If my system trumps yours, regardless if we play it off of your constructs or my view of the Divine, then it isn’t JUST my faith that you have to contend with, it isn’t JUST a perceived threat from dogma. You must answer the raw reality of what you promote and the holds you take as being ‘justice’ ‘equity’ ‘ethics’ and ‘morality’ and it’s relation to the purposes you provide for their ‘existence’ as you hold it to be.

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By Mary Wallman, September 24, 2006 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We must strike the match…if we want to see in darkness…

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By archeon, September 24, 2006 at 5:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fairly quiet in here.  (Archeon strikes a match, to see in the darkness.)  Hmmm, nobody here today.

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By Mary Wallman, September 24, 2006 at 12:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

H-R,
I don’t believe that homosexuals who intend to raise children live in a homosexual vacuum.  Their children will have to make friends and have playdates, go to school, do everything any other child does.  I don’t think homosexuals will try to influence the sexuality of their child as gay or straight any more than I will.  When my child grows up and finds out/creates who he is, I will still love him no matter what the result of his “persuasion.” Perhaps it is fear that drives religious persons to decry the homosexual marriage.  As I see it, it is no threat to me or my loved ones.

I am not without fear either.  I understand that one must insist upon reading those who edge into their children’s lives and make the best possible decision without my “scientific method.”  There are a few things one can learn to decipher the possibility of a harmful person entering one’s domain.  But on the other hand, if we focus so much on the worst case scenario aren’t we beckoning it’s manifestation?  Thoughts are things.  Our thoughts are prayers, some would say.

I appreciate the monumental effort you take to express your views in this discussion.  I am chewing slowly on the ideas you present, as my school (as well as my son’s) is now back in session….

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By archeon, September 22, 2006 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Take a union of those who consider themselves bisexual and the potential targets an opportunities for child abuse in the sexual realm doubles. Open up a societal endorsement of homosexual behavior and the number of available victims opens up also.”  So you think that homosexuals and bisexuals are more likely to sexually abuse children?  This is your reason for not legaly permitting homosexual marriage?

Why do you go on about the DDT ban?  It kills mosquitoes great, but also has far reaching and eventually human health affecting consequences.  Furthermore, I did not make any specific comments of the nature and government of Sweden, I presented Canada and Sweden as examples of socialist states, and Korean and China as communist ones,  in order to clarify the obvious missunderstanding of the difference between communism and socialism.  The two are quite different, communism is a religion founded on the writings of one “messiah” Karl Marx, and his disiciples - Lenin, Trotsky, Mao.  Socialism is a political social ideology in which the driving phylosophy is that the state exists for the benifit of the citizen, while in fascist ideologies the invidual exists for the state (church, god, king, ruler, etc).  the United states is neither democratic or socialist, it is a corporatist state, have much more incommon with Nazi Germany, than Canada for example.

I also never claime that “family” wasn’t neccessary or desirable.  I merely question your definition of family - “traditional family” - is not a term of my chosing or creation, it is one created by religious people and institutions who claim this is the familial structure god directed us to have.

Lets define this traditional family: a man and a woman married by church/religion in a union blessed by god whose primary intended purpose is procreation and the raising of children.

I don’t see family that way.  First of all I see family and marriage as two related but seperate matters, as I stated before marriage in my view is an economic and political structure.  Family is a social and cultural structure not neccessarily carry with it any legal powers, but yet important as the first level of social organization for us humans.  This group of people can be any combination of males and females, young and old, who may or may not be related by blood or marriage.

As for the sale of sex. I’m fine with that.  I don’t see it any different than selling your body for any other form of labour.  I for one can not bring myself to prevent anyone from doing what ever they want with thier own bodies. Drugs, sex, suicide, dangerous sports, dangerous hobbies, sell your organs, I don’t care either way - do it if you want, don’t do it if you don’t want.  As long as I am left free to chose what I want to do fine with me.

H-R what is your feeling about pornography? erotica? art? freespeech?

H-R what is your feeling about sex before marriage?  and exactly what sexual acts are permitted by your faith? what are sexual acts?

I know I can’t prove that my way is the right way, neither can you prove such about your way, yet you claim that because your way is blessed by your god that it is the right and best way.  There we have the crux of the debate, utimately your faith claims it is righ because god said so.

Ultimately I don’t want you to dictate laws based on your faith that infringe on my rights and freedoms to think and do as I please so long as I don’t hurt anyone.

In the end I agree family is a good thing, I just don’t agree with what you define as family.

As for the comment by ONE GOOD CHRISTIAN, it is disturbing to me that I somewhat agree with him, I know in my heart of hearts that I shouldn’t but I can’t seem to shake that.  Trying to be fair, just, equitable, and tolerant is often a struggle for me.

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