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Defend your brand of Fairy Tale!


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#21 Daniel

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:41 AM

If you don't think that religion is affecting you consider the following:

If you think overpopulation is an issue, why does a major religion prohibit condoms and other forms of birth control
If you think that you should be able to marry whomever you want, consider the controversy on gay marriage
If you think that the creation myth is not science then why are state legislatures and state school boards still considering rules to teach it alongside evolution to our youth
If you think that women are equal to men, why are hundreds of million of women not afforded equal rights in Muslim countries
If you think that freedom of speech is important why was EVERY major news outlet in this country afraid to publish a cartoon of Mohammed
If you worry that the conflict between Israel and the rest of the ME will spark a nuclear war then consider the role of religion there
If you or a loved one is faced with certain illnesses and you are looking for a cure think about why stem cell research is constrained here in the US
If you lost a loved one in 9/11 consider religion's role in that
If you think that the sexual abuse and the cover up this abuse and the protection of the abusers is wrong, why hasn't the government come down on the catholic church like it does lone offenders like at PSU?
If you think that the mutilation of females in the form of female circumcision is wrong why is this practice allowed to continue (the whole concept of male circumcision is highly questionable as well but less harmful)
If you value free thought why do we allow children to be brainwashed and indoctrinated into fundamentalist religions before their critical thinking skills are mature

I could go on but I think you get the point.

If you want to practice witch craft and be completely ignorant on your own time, I find it sad but I'll let you do it. As soon as your wacky beliefs impact my world I do get aggressive about it PK because it is based on made up fairy tales. We don't pass laws based on Santa's naughty and nice list and we shouldn't pass laws based on the psychotic visions of an illiterate shepherd who had visions in a cave, a shepherd who spoke with burning bush or some "man" who strangely couldn't have a Y chromosome that had zombie powers.


A few things come to mind. Religion helped bring down Communism and played an important role in the abolition of slavery.

Also, this idea that we'll someone live in a more moral or peaceful world if there wasn't any religion has been proven wrong. Atheism was/is official state doctrine in the Soviet Union, North Korea, China and Cuba. These countries have murdered/starved to death uncounted millions in a short period of time. Moreover, I would submit that this was a product of atheism. Leaders of at least two of these countries, Stalin and Mao, were completely nihlistic and hence didn't give a thought to widespread death in their own countries, which was in large part influenced by their atheism.

This isn't to say that atheists are inherently immoral. By the same token though, religious people, and in fact most religious people aren't intolerant and backward as your post implies. The parade of horribles you present, are mainly the result of backward cultures that would most likely exist whether the actors were religious or not. For example, there are virtually no Muslims that have lived and grown up in the US engaging in acts of terrorism or even expressing any support for it. That's because, even the religious ones, they wanted to escape the more backward aspects of the culture of their homeland.

Look, I'm not religious myself, and am actually more or less atheist. It's just completely naive and simplistic to think that we'll live in a more advanced and less cruel civilization without religion.
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#22 Pepperkorn

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:51 AM

Well there is where we disagree - religion is the symptom. I see that as plain as day.

Religious dogma was created to control the masses - treat (ack! I wrote symptom -- I meant:) weakness of the human condition:

avarice
despair
gluttony
lust
pride
sloth
vanity
wrath


Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
Honor your father and your mother
Do not murder.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not steal.
Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Do not covet
and whatever... hahaha

All of things you are blaming religion for are the things religion is just seeking to control. Government seeks to control it as well. Dogma uses fictional punishment - rotting in hell for eternity - as if plain torture/death here on earth wasn't enough. Which it clearly isn't.

I'm not saying you're stupid to want to abolish dogma - I'm not saying there shouldn't be separation of church and state. I'm saying trying to rid people of their beliefs, historically, only serves to strengthen them. Trivializing with words like fairy tale only serves to disenfranchise - the people you want to reach gird their loins and hunker down for a real battle.

People only face truths when they feel safe.

YOU CAN STOP READING NOW
I don't think you're afraid to answer questions. I get the impression from your body of work on this forum that if there is no argument, you ignore, or if you see no clear path to "victory" in a debate, you ignore or hold off posting until you've formulated something you think you can win. The whole "win" thing is fun for sure - but I banter off the cuff and mostly I'm more interested in the topic than the competition. It bugs me when someone's desire to be the winner cuts into discussing the topic at hand. But there really isn't anything I can do to change that. It's a mistake more often than not to try to power through someone's mental defenses - but it is amusing, occasionally effective - and to be honest, a bad habit.

and when will people understand I WANT people to skim? if you miss my point you wouldn't understand it. I don't feel superior mentally - if I did, I'd couch my sh!t in pedantry to get you to tune out. Instead I like to couch it in simplicity and infantile musings or smartass ranting. If you do not have the light-heartedness to find my point you're not interested in the same thing I am and/or you're motivation for posting probably doesn't jibe with what I enjoy reading. I'll reach out to people in ways I think they might understand if I think we have something of value to relate to one and other. If I can't get through then -- who cares? Yeah -- a poster can get my goat and I do enjoy having my goat gotten. Also I interrupt often when someone else has sadi something compelling to me -- then it' sjust a big hassle when someone cuts in and argues - we all know how that is! BUT - I will say - In the interest of forward progression of topic at hand, I let you off up there accepting responsibility for cutting in to your conversation with dm84. You addressed me specifically unless someone else is PK and posted under the assumption I HAD a belief that would infringe on your life in some way. It wasn't lost on me -- it's just not that big a deal. and you probably skimmed your own post - I know how that is.

Edited by Pepperkorn, 31 January 2012 - 11:48 AM.

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#23 Pepperkorn

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:32 AM

This isn't to say that atheists are inherently immoral. By the same token though, religious people, and in fact most religious people aren't intolerant and backward as your post implies. The parade of horribles you present, are mainly the result of backward cultures that would most likely exist whether the actors were religious or not. For example, there are virtually no Muslims that have lived and grown up in the US engaging in acts of terrorism or even expressing any support for it. That's because, even the religious ones, they wanted to escape the more backward aspects of the culture of their homeland.

Look, I'm not religious myself, and am actually more or less atheist. It's just completely naive and simplistic to think that we'll live in a more advanced and less cruel civilization without religion.


I disagree a little here. Nearly all religions can be turned "backward." For example, I personally believe it is backward to believe in literal creationism. I don't mind those that can say God created science and thus created evolution and thus science and religion are both correct - Adam and Eve is just an allegory. If you say everything in your religious tome of choice is literal and accurate ... that's backward to me. US fundamentalists (it's not the country it's the religious sect - the 2 aren't as separate as you paint above and that is what I disagree with) seem want to turn the US backwards as described above. Now if a fundamentalist said God loves all people Gay or Straight - I think that is forward thinking. Death = backward Love = forward. BUT I struggle with sociopaths who I feel are beyond reformation. The farmer brain in me thinks cull those effers! So it's not cut and dry - you can always look more deeply.

People will find a way to do what they want and justify it - claim it is just and proper. Religion is just one of the ways they do that. if you took religion away something would replace it... Religion is just a name for a permanent and unchanging state of human existence. I think picking my nose is gross so I'm not going to let you pick yours even if I don't see you doing it. I now deem this an offense punishable by death. People will always think it is their right to proclaim (and enforce) things like this, whether they get to tack on "because God said so" or not.


YOU CAN STOP READING NOW
I'm not an atheist :P OBVIOUSLY. :evil: But I believe I have no way of knowing what is what. I do not believe in a mythological God or a personal God I guess they say - the dude in the clouds kind of thing. My beliefs are always shifting. I am a naturalist in that I can live with science as the creating spirit. I do not need to have an afterlife. I do not think that all will be revealed - though I used to when I was a kid. I thought "it will be so nice to know everything when I die." When I was about 12 it hit me... wait a sec... what makes me think I'm going to be enlightened at the end of my life?

Basically I love it so much here and I love the weird intangibles like emotions - I need to give thanks to something. That something is God to me. Existence is God to me - whatever that is :noclue: Things that blow my mind - I like creating a place to put those things - spirituality is like life's bookmark for me. It's hard for me to grasp good and evil. If you say chance put everything together -- then chance is God to me. I have an emotion towards, feelings for, I care about chance - maybe it's anthropomorphizing... I have no problem with that. Then anthropomorphizing is God to me. There is no catchall proof there is a God whatever that means to you. It's faith - I like faith. If it's a pointless faith I'm fine with that. The craziness starts is when the atheist has faith. That is what I love the most -- to me that is God :uni: To have purpose to me is to have faith... :noclue: I'm a Quaker - no one is wrong. You know in yourself what is right for you.

Edited by Pepperkorn, 31 January 2012 - 12:04 PM.

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#24 devilsadvoc8

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:33 PM

A few things come to mind. Religion helped bring down Communism and played an important role in the abolition of slavery.

Also, this idea that we'll someone live in a more moral or peaceful world if there wasn't any religion has been proven wrong. Atheism was/is official state doctrine in the Soviet Union, North Korea, China and Cuba. These countries have murdered/starved to death uncounted millions in a short period of time. Moreover, I would submit that this was a product of atheism. Leaders of at least two of these countries, Stalin and Mao, were completely nihlistic and hence didn't give a thought to widespread death in their own countries, which was in large part influenced by their atheism.

This isn't to say that atheists are inherently immoral. By the same token though, religious people, and in fact most religious people aren't intolerant and backward as your post implies. The parade of horribles you present, are mainly the result of backward cultures that would most likely exist whether the actors were religious or not. For example, there are virtually no Muslims that have lived and grown up in the US engaging in acts of terrorism or even expressing any support for it. That's because, even the religious ones, they wanted to escape the more backward aspects of the culture of their homeland.

Look, I'm not religious myself, and am actually more or less atheist. It's just completely naive and simplistic to think that we'll live in a more advanced and less cruel civilization without religion.

Daniel, I am not going to argue that those countries you cite had some athiestic overtones at one point but we can certainly see what they ended up being. Look at the funeral proceedings in NK and the official press releases: traditional religion was simply replaced by religion of the state and its dictatorial leader. Same with Stalin and Castro. I will admit that currently China doesn't fit this mold very well but the communist party certainly takes on many of the trappings of religion in that society. They purged established religion in order to replace it with their own brand of mind control. I don't care if it is allah, jesus, Kim Il Jung or zeus, they all represent attempts to control the masses through control of information and the demonization of dissenting voices.

I will disagree that the human casualties are a direct product of atheism. I understand the point you are making but since the crimes perpetrated by those leaders have also been committed by religious leaders I don't think you can prove causality from that. You could make the same argument for a leader being male causing those tragedies.

I also disagree with your point that my parade of horribles would exist without religion. Most are solely based on religious dogma. I can concede that the repression of women by the physically stronger sex might occur without religion and children could be brainwashed into any doctrine at an early age for any reason. The rest are predicated on religious crap.

Edited by devilsadvoc8, 31 January 2012 - 01:35 PM.

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#25 Pepperkorn

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:46 PM

Religious dogma is predicated on human crap. This isn't which came first chicken or the egg. Behavior came first. Rules citing the behavior as immoral followed. You are saying without religion no one would seek to control any one else's behavior. That's a naive conclusion.

There must be some philosophical ruling on this - anyone feel free to throw it out there. As much as I love philosophy I really haven't studied it enough.

(BTW - if you don't respond to me it looks like you can't, not like you're above my base and feeble musings Posted Image )

Edited by Pepperkorn, 31 January 2012 - 01:51 PM.

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#26 Daniel

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 03:00 PM

Daniel, I am not going to argue that those countries you cite had some athiestic overtones at one point but we can certainly see what they ended up being. Look at the funeral proceedings in NK and the official press releases: traditional religion was simply replaced by religion of the state and its dictatorial leader. Same with Stalin and Castro. I will admit that currently China doesn't fit this mold very well but the communist party certainly takes on many of the trappings of religion in that society. They purged established religion in order to replace it with their own brand of mind control. I don't care if it is allah, jesus, Kim Il Jung or zeus, they all represent attempts to control the masses through control of information and the demonization of dissenting voices.


Well then you're using a very broad definition of "religion" and an extremely narrow definition of atheism that means not only not believing in supernatural entities but also the absence of totalitarian or otherwise oppressive states and personality cults generally. If we had less of the latter, then less or more of the former wouldn't really matter all that much.

And I also wanted to add that irreligious people are more than willing to buy into pseudoscience. Take the anti-vaccination movement and the belief in alternative medicine. Steve Jobs' death is directly attributable to his belief in alternative medicine as he himself admitted. By all accounts he wasn't a religious person. In fact, I would venture a guess that the number of religious people who forego traditional medicine in favor of faith healing (assuming of course that they have sufficient access to effective traditional medicine) dwarf in comparison to irreligious people who forego traditional medicine in favor of herbal remedies, accupuncture and the like.

As another random thought, you don't even need to go as far as the more brutal dictators who encouraged personality cults to see my point. East Germany was a tyrnannical police state whose leaders were atheists, but who didn't foster personality cults (can you name one East German politician without resort to Wikipedia?). George Bush was an openly religious president who appeared to believe in intelligent design, if not flat out creationism. Even if Bush wasn't forced to deal with things like Congress or the courts, I highly doubt that he would even want to create anything resembling East Germany.
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#27 Jimmy Leeds

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 03:21 PM

I didn't read any after the first couple of posts.

Simply put: It gives me comfort and inner strength and peace to believe.
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#28 Daniel

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 03:38 PM

I didn't read any after the first couple of posts.

Simply put: It gives me comfort and inner strength and peace to believe.


So long as your belief doesn't lead you to harm anyone else, to demand that pseudoscience be preached in science class, or to support dictatorships, I can't see how anyone else should be bothered by it.
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#29 Pepperkorn

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:44 AM

I think we actually all agree here. I agree with Daniel totally and it appears more and more that advoca8 agrees with me barring the fact that I don't see it as possible to abolish religion as he defines it in his last post.

One thing everyone loves to haul out that Dawkins said is that religion creates certainty. I think I'd agree with that. Above government (the wrath of the people) - the wrath of God does seem to create a stronger conviction - something people are more willing to kill and die for. All logic and earth-based truths are replaced with -- I don't know what... I have no understanding of religious fervor. An old boyfriend told me he believed fully that the street of Heaven are paved in gold... all I could think is what possible value can gold have in a place like Heaven? Why would anyone think that way?

and I saw that advoc8 calls Communism a brand of religion.... the cult of personality .. so it's not really the discussion we started out with. This has morphed into advocat8 and I pretty much saying the same thing except I am much more content to just let it go. I see no way around a cult mindset. I have no thoughts as to how to even start combatting that. It barely works on an individual level ...


How do you abolish cultism?

The US was doggon close in simply invalidating it with the separation of Church and State. but it snuck back in...

Well step one is to not vote for Santorum! :uni:

Edited by Pepperkorn, 01 February 2012 - 09:46 AM.

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#30 devilsadvoc8

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 05:23 PM

I think you are way to free with assuming how much we agree, PK, other than hatred of Santorum, Rubio, etc.

Religion needs to go bye bye. The fact that moderate believers stand by while the fundamentalists use literal interpretations of made up sh!t to cause bloodshed and promote hatred, makes them just as guilty. Sure there are a few lone moderate voices out there but they can't go too far without invalidating the entire basis for their own belief system. They are trapped. Abolishment is the only answer. I can only hope we find intelligent life elsewhere. That will turn religion on its ass and hopefully leave just the fundies in the margins preaching hate.

Did you see the absolute crap Obama pulled today with his attempt to cater to the theists by saying that Jesus' teachings support tax increases under the guise of fair share? When I actually thought he had a pair when he previously acknowledged non-believers in this country, he then goes and pulls this. Awesome, lets consult the Bible or the Koran to see what tax rate millionaires should pay. Outfvcking-rageous. His corruption is now complete. He is nothing more than a vote whore (just like the rest).
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#31 Pepperkorn

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:23 PM

How do you get rid of it? The Constitution can't be any plainer.

You can't convince people not to believe, you can't mandate it.... You can't use force. Religion is irrelevant to the running of this country... and yet... I have no idea how to stop these nut jobs.

Just because I am spiritual doesn't mean I am standing by silently allowing people to think that because I believe in some sort of undefined divinity, it's any wackjob (or sane like-minded person either for that matter) any person's right at all.. to even ATTEMPT to incorporate religious language and/or teaching into law - federal or state. Quite the opposite - because I have faith I find it even more repugnant to exploit the ONE area of openness in humanity. Vulnerability is a wonderful thing - I'd hate to have it outlawed. But I also hate to see it exploited...

Edited by Pepperkorn, 02 February 2012 - 09:51 PM.

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#32 Pepperkorn

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:38 PM

I think what upsets me most about people who use religion to manipulate policy - is that they have a keen understanding of the weak minded. They have distain for their fellow humans.


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I have a really hard time even writing "weak minded" to be honest. I have a MAJOR problem accepting stupidity as a real thing - dull witted... I don't comprehend it and I could never consider using someone's mental weakness to my advantage.... it's so distasteful to me I have a mental block... i wish I didn't. I dont think it's a virtue. It's as if I am dull witted myself -- I mean -- I may well be.. I AM...

Bush Sr and Obama both seem to have that same lack of comprehension of stupidity though. It's a way I can relate to them. And it makes them seem really out of touch and elitist too somehow... because you dont give someone the space to absorb things you just get incredulous - and it's really belittling to your fellow human. Exactly what you can't even fathom doing.... does that make sense? I sound like such as a$$hole on this board just in my trying to be honest and articulate... :rolleyes:

Edited by Pepperkorn, 02 February 2012 - 09:46 PM.

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#33 Daniel

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:21 PM

I think you are way to free with assuming how much we agree, PK, other than hatred of Santorum, Rubio, etc.

Religion needs to go bye bye. The fact that moderate believers stand by while the fundamentalists use literal interpretations of made up sh!t to cause bloodshed and promote hatred, makes them just as guilty. Sure there are a few lone moderate voices out there but they can't go too far without invalidating the entire basis for their own belief system. They are trapped. Abolishment is the only answer. I can only hope we find intelligent life elsewhere. That will turn religion on its ass and hopefully leave just the fundies in the margins preaching hate.

Did you see the absolute crap Obama pulled today with his attempt to cater to the theists by saying that Jesus' teachings support tax increases under the guise of fair share? When I actually thought he had a pair when he previously acknowledged non-believers in this atcountry, he then goes and pulls this. Awesome, lets consult the Bible or the Koran to see what tax rate millionaires should pay. Outfvcking-rageous. His corruption is now complete. He is nothing more than a vote whore (just like the rest).


Soon as the atheist community disassociates itself with Noam Chomsky for standing with the Khmer Rouge.

And what do you mean by "abolishment"? Do you want gut the First Amendment? Do you want to start burning down churches and throwing people in jail for holding prayer meetings? Because if you're truly serious about that, those are just a small part of the lengths you would have to go to to accomplish that. Worked out very well in Stalin's Russia (except of course when the Germans invaded when he decided to reopen the churches) and the folks in North Korea seem to be thrilled with that arrangement, at least those that have managed to avoid the gulags.

And I'm not clear what you mean by moderate religious people "standing by" in the face of this or that. So the average practicing American Muslim is supposed to go to a protest every time there's a Taliban atrocity? Or every synagogue in the US is supposed to bring all hands on deck to stop those meshuge ultra orthodox in Israel who spit at women on buses? I just assumed that most atheists, like mostly everyone else, have enough of their own problems that prevent them from attending a weekly protest to make it clear that they don't approve of how the governments of China, Cuba or North Korea treat their fellow citizens.

I also think the outrage at Obama for saying Jesus would approve of his agenda is a bit bizarre and misses the point. What on earth does this fairly innocuous statement have to do with acknowledging nonbelievers among the citizenry? I fail to see how being fine with the nonbelievers among us is somehow dependent on scrubbing any trace of religious overtones from your political rhetoric. Also note that the statement does not say anything about whether Jesus is really the son of god and all that. It's that Jesus was a nice fellow who had good things to say and if you looked at what he had to say it totally jives with my political agenda. Oh the humanity!!!

Again I'm not religious. But it's naive and simplisitc to believe that we'll somehow enter this golden age of peace and prosperity once people cease to be religious. Someone who understands natural selection ought to realize this.
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#34 devilsadvoc8

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:16 AM

To your point Daniel, "Abolishment" was a bad choice of wording on my part. Extinction would be better. I am not advocating any type of edict or law. Sorry to take you down a rabbit hole.


My Obama point is that he is using the bible as justification for policy. He is now no better than the fundies he opposes on the right. This is just a blatant attempt to cater to a particular audience's touch points for his own personal agenda. We already have a progressive tax system which means it is already in alignment with his bible reference. But he wants to use the bible to support more of a burden on the wealthy. okaaay, how much more does the bible say? Oh it doesn't. so now we are left to just one more a$$hole interpreting a fictional book to suit their own agenda. Sound familiar?
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#35 Pepperkorn

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:42 AM

Daniel I'm with advoc8 in that religion has no place in political rhetoric. When religion ventures into the political forum, it turns into a tool for manipulation and it sews the seeds to intolerance in government.
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#36 Daniel

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

Daniel I'm with advoc8 in that religion has no place in political rhetoric. When religion ventures into the political forum, it turns into a tool for manipulation and it sews the seeds to intolerance in government.


Then I guess you aren't a big fan of Abraham Lincoln, or John Kennedy, who said "we hold these truths to be self evident, that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of god."

Or read what I think is one of the greatest speeches in American history, Learned Hand's I Am An American Speech, which contains the following line:

the spirit of liberty is the spirit of him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten - that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side-by-side with the greatest.


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#37 Pepperkorn

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:44 AM

You are correct - I do not. Why can't rights of nature which are clear and evident be enough? Why do we have to create a fictional higher power and a fictional destination. Why are we not mature enough to accept we are responsible to each other? We SEE the rights of nature we feel the correct impulsions why must there be a personified granter of these rights? It's a bad habit.

I do approve of Ben Franklin's rhetoric God helps those who help themselves -- because while invoking God, the action and responsibility is put on concrete human action.
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#38 Daniel

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:49 AM

You are correct - I do not. Why can't rights of nature which are clear and evident be enough? Why do we have to create a fictional higher power and a fictional destination. Why are we not mature enough to accept we are responsible to each other? We SEE the rights of nature we feel the correct impulsions why must there be a personified granter of these rights? It's a bad habit.


Because Kennedy's line sounds a lot better than, "the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from natural rights that John Locke was talking about, which have nothing to do with another book and concept that 99 percent of Americans are much more familiar with [ed. the concept of heaven/god and the bible]"
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#39 Pepperkorn

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:35 PM

well that's why no one reads my posts :P I'll go for the John Locke line every time -- you must understand the TRUTHFUL subtlety rather than rely on a concept that can easily be warped into dogmatic mind control :evil: :uni:

Of course I understand your point. But then you must understand mine. "God" as a catchall for why we should all be given basic human rights is not the same as saying "God said 'man should not bugger man under penalty of death'" How do you think we can differentiate the two?

Edited by Pepperkorn, 03 February 2012 - 12:36 PM.

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#40 Daniel

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:21 PM

Of course I understand your point. But then you must understand mine. "God" as a catchall for why we should all be given basic human rights is not the same as saying "God said 'man should not bugger man under penalty of death'" How do you think we can differentiate the two?


I think most people are able to grasp the subtlety without the need to analyze it so much.
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