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Nancy Allen``
03-10-2007, 04:26 PM
My experiance with Atheism has shown me that those who...disbelieve it are also very opposed to George Bush. What I'm wondering is if perhaps some of the Atheist movement has to do with the fact that Bush is Christian and pushes Christianity. Attack the President by attacking his religion. I'm probably way off saying it but would there be any truth in that at all?

Negative Sun
03-10-2007, 04:51 PM
None whatsoever, George Bush is an idiot who hides behind religion like so many others, he's as Christian as Hitler was IMO.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against religion, I have something against people who misuse it or misinterpret it for personal gain or pleasure.

Nancy Allen``
03-10-2007, 04:54 PM
No arguements here. Whether it's Christianity, Islam or even the belief there is no God, those who use it as a club to justify their actions just ask for trouble.

Achilles
03-10-2007, 05:35 PM
Nancy, a great many of our Presidents have been Christians (I would say all, but more than a few of our earlier leaders were Deists). I think to say that atheists, agnostics, Muslims, moderate Christians don't like Bush because he is a Christian is to miss the point entirely.

The larger issue at hand is the extremely fundamentalist flavor of Christianity that he subscribes to. If it were just him, I might be willing to hold my breath for a few more years until it was over. Unfortunately, the political landscape has changed. Many behind-the-scenes political moves have allowed the group to control more than their fair share of the political machine.

I don't have a problem with Christians in office. I have huge problem with fundamentalist whack-jobs controlling our country.

FWIW, this speaks directly to the "big picture" discussion that we had over in The Senate, Nancy. This has all been pointed out to you before.

EDIT: Assuming that you never did any of the independent fact-checking that I recommended, I'm guessing that you never took the time to look into the PNAC. Here's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century#Bush_administ ration) a link to help get you started (take a look at all the members that are in key gov't roles).

Jae Onasi
03-10-2007, 07:42 PM
The link might be a bit outdated--Bolton is no longer Ambassador to the UN--he stepped down a couple months ago.

Achilles, would you mind giving people here just a very brief synopsis of your point for those of us who don't get over to the Senate (or do so infrequently)?

I don't see Bush guided by religion the same way, say, the rulers of Iran are or rulers of countries governed by shari'a law. I think if he was a real religious fruitcake, we'd be hearing Bush say things like "The skies opened up, a bright light shone down, a dove descended down from the heavens and said "George! The Lord of the Hosts says you must eat your baked beans when you have another BBQ!!""

When I lived in Texas when he was governor, I never saw his religious leanings brought up once--his religion was a non-issue. I get the sense, totally unsubstantiated, that some are willing to blame his faith as an excuse for him doing stupid things. "Oh, his religion is making him do it!" That's not the case. Sometimes people just do stupid things.

TK-8252
03-10-2007, 08:39 PM
When I lived in Texas when he was governor, I never saw his religious leanings brought up once--his religion was a non-issue. I get the sense, totally unsubstantiated, that some are willing to blame his faith as an excuse for him doing stupid things. "Oh, his religion is making him do it!" That's not the case. Sometimes people just do stupid things.

He was the governor who made "Jesus Day" an official holiday in Texas.

No religious leanings? Religion a non-issue?

Bah.

Achilles
03-10-2007, 08:48 PM
The link might be a bit outdated--Bolton is no longer Ambassador to the UN--he stepped down a couple months ago. That's a non-issue. The purpose of the link is to point out that Bush appoints his neo-conservative think tank buddies into key governmental roles. I'm sure the argument could be made that he does this because he knows them and they are reliable. I'm sure the argument could also be made that he does this to help grease the wheel for their agenda.

Achilles, would you mind giving people here just a very brief synopsis of your point for those of us who don't get over to the Senate (or do so infrequently)? I think the post you replied to is probably a fair summary of those points. The topic of "big picture" was my venting frustration with Nancy ~snipped~
I don't see Bush guided by religion the same way, say, the rulers of Iran are or rulers of countries governed by shari'a law. I think if he was a real religious fruitcake, we'd be hearing Bush say things like "The skies opened up, a bright light shone down, a dove descended down from the heavens and said "George! The Lord of the Hosts says you must eat your baked beans when you have another BBQ!!"" How about when Bush said that God speaks through him (not once, but many times)? Is that close enough to categorize him as a religious fruitcake?

When I lived in Texas when he was governor, I never saw his religious leanings brought up once--his religion was a non-issue. I get the sense, totally unsubstantiated, that some are willing to blame his faith as an excuse for him doing stupid things. "Oh, his religion is making him do it!" That's not the case. Sometimes people just do stupid things. Really? (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/jesus/view/)

Pop Quiz: Who can tell me which former-Texas Governor created a holiday called "Jesus Day" while holding that office?

EDIT: Nevermind. TK-8252 wins.

Nancy Allen``
03-10-2007, 08:50 PM
For what it's worth, regardless of the belief or non belief, whoever uses them to excuse their actions only serves to make what they justify their actions with look bad, not to mention make them look kind of silly.

As for the other thing that was discussed, the supposition of Bush trying to engineer Christ's return, I still fail to understand. Those who believe in Christianity would know it's not possible for Bush to have Jesus at his beck and call, going by scripture, and those who don't will scoff at him living in a fantasy world. Is his aims irrelevent and him trying to fulfil whatever prophocy he believes will bring about Christ's return, war for example, the issue?

SilentScope001
03-10-2007, 08:50 PM
Er...

Do any of you know something called the "ad homien" logical fallacy? It ties into this question very well.

Basically, instead of attacking the issue, you attack the person. Instead of attacking Bush's conduct on the War in Iraq, or the sugre on Iraq, you basically attack Bush himself. You call him an idiot, or a religious nut-job. Because he is a religious nut-job you should not listen to him. Okay, but what if someone ELSE says it and he's not a religious nut-job?

"Attacking the man" is a fallacy because it makes you feel as if you adequatly defended your argument, when you really didn't. It makes people feel as if they should listen to you, when you really didn't. So what if he's a religious nut-job? Is it possible that religious nut-jobs can make great desicions and be good Presidents too (Abe Lincoln)? Not to mention that you have to PROVE he's a religious nut-job, and proving an insult is harder than it sounds.

Of course, you also attack a group of people as well, calling them all religious nut-jobs who shouldn't be trusted. You need to prove that they really are religious nut-jobs, and if so...why should we not listen to them anyway? Also, note...couldn't the religious nut-jobs fire back and say: "We should not listen to you since you are non-religious-nutjobs?" Here's the thing: Ad homien attacks can be uttered by anyone, and be easily turned against you.

I don't care if you think Bush as stupid or if Bush is a religious nut-job, basically. I only care about issues, and I hate personal attacks on fellow human beings, especially in the use of persuasion. It's a logical fallacy, after all.

And to set the record straight, I dislike Bush. But on his record, not on his beliefs (nutjobiness or not), or his IQ.

Nancy Allen``
03-10-2007, 08:55 PM
Ad hominem, and yes I'm well aware of making personal attacks on people. I think the issue lies however in Bush using religion to justify Iraq, whatever action he takes, or if he's even as mad as people say he is and is trying to bring about the end of the world according to Christian religion.

SilentScope001
03-10-2007, 09:06 PM
Ad hominem, and yes I'm well aware of making personal attacks on people. I think the issue lies however in Bush using religion to justify Iraq, whatever action he takes, or if he's even as mad as people say he is and is trying to bring about the end of the world according to Christian religion.

Still, fine line between addressing Bush's religious beliefs and using them in a debate to personally attack him.

As for Bush using religion, well, you can use religion to justify everything these days. I mean, have you heard of the Religious Left (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_left)? They're Left and very liberal in everything...against the war, against everything Bush is doing...but also religious. I wouldn't be suprised if in one of those sermons, the preist would say "We must repeal Bush's tax cuts because God says so in our Holy Book to give to the poor, and not to aid the wealthy!"

So, religion doesn't act as an adequate explaination for Bush's political beliefs. I mean, if he was religious, why not him join the Religious Left? Why did he join the Religious Right? It is better to study therefore why he is a Conservative, and on the Right of the political spectrum...and how his religion ties into that. (I gotta hope some Freudain scholar in the future does an examination into Bush's personal life to learn what he believes.)

Achilles
03-10-2007, 09:06 PM
For what it's worth, regardless of the belief or non belief, whoever uses them to excuse their actions only serves to make what they justify their actions with look bad, not to mention make them look a little nutsoid This is probably the 2nd or 3rd time I've heard you voice this sentiment, and I'm really starting to wonder what you hope to accomplish with it.

"Wow, Bush said that? If he did, he must be crazy!"

This is usually followed a few posts later by:

"I don't understand why the atheists don't like Bush."

As for the other thing that was discussed, the supposition of Bush trying to engineer Christ's return, I still fail to understand. Those who believe in Christianity would know it's not possible for Bush to have Jesus at his beck and call, going by scripture, and those who don't will scoff at him living in a fantasy world. Even though I've pointed you to sources and evidence? Really?

Nancy, how do you think he got elected? I've given you stats that show a lot of Americans (clearly representing a majority of voting Americans) believe that The Rapture will occur within the next 50 years. They also believe that God talks to Bush.

Please help me understand? Find a better way of wording that, please. Thanks, Jae

Is his aims irrelevent and him trying to fulfil whatever prophocy he believes will bring about Christ's return, war for example, the issue? I'm having a hard time deciphering the thrust of your question. Would you mind trying again?

Nancy Allen``
03-10-2007, 09:21 PM
Sure. Let's say there are signs that must be met in order for Jesus to return. Fall of a nation, a war, yadda yadda yadda. I shared one point of view on these before, the war to end all wars, the antichrist, ect. If Bush trying to engineer Christ's return is true then is the point that he's doing these things, regardless of whether or not the end result is possible?

This Rapture business, I can understand Bush appealing to religion to get voted in, though the most I knew back in 2000 was he was pro NRA and always believed he war reelected because Kerry was even worse than he was. But for the majority of voting Americans to believe that Christ will return in fifty years? No one can pinpoint when it'll happen, if it's something you even believe in. Y'know there was the belief we should be all dead by now, meteorite hitting the Earth last month and another one following it to kill whatever was still alive? The Rapture sounds to be as cookoo as that. No wonder Atheists get their support.

Hmmm, not so much a misunderstanding of their hatred towards Bush. More a misunderstanding of why his beliefs are such a threat if they don't believe in religion. It's kind of like saying "There is no God, but Bush must be stopped because he intends to bring about events God had set into place."

Achilles
03-10-2007, 10:12 PM
If Bush trying to engineer Christ's return is true then is the point that he's doing these things, regardless of whether or not the end result is possible? I'm afraid that wasn't much better. Are you stating that Bush is trying to set events in motion to prepare for The Rapture? I already know this.

This Rapture business, <snip> But for the majority of voting Americans to believe that Christ will return in fifty years? No one can pinpoint when it'll happen, if it's something you even believe in. Correct, but if this is something that you do believe in, do you want people in office that share your views and will work to speed things up. Or do you want more moderate politicians who are going to waste money on science education (science is a lie and children should be home schooled so that they can be good Christians), environmental issues (Christ will sustain the Earth when he returns. It's silly to spend so much time worrying about the environment), etc?

Y'know there was the belief we should be all dead by now, meteorite hitting the Earth last month and another one following it to kill whatever was still alive? The Rapture sounds to be as cookoo as that. No wonder Atheists get their support. What support is that? Are you not picking up on the fact that Atheists are vilified?

Hmmm, not so much a misunderstanding of their hatred towards Bush. More a misunderstanding of why his beliefs are such a threat if they don't believe in religion. It's kind of like saying "There is no God, but Bush must be stopped because he intends to bring about events God had set into place."*stares at monitor in utter disbelief*

Nancy, are you aware that he the most powerful man in the free world? That he has 24/7/365 access to the codes that are necessary to start a nuclear war? Or that as Commander-in-Chief he sits at the top of the world's most sophisticated military force?

Should we not fear Muslim terrorists because we don't follow Islam? Regardless of our views on their beliefs, they still pose a very real threat to us.

Try this:

You are on the bus one day, calmly minding your own business. Suddenly, the bus driver comes on the intercom and tells everyone that he just got an urgent message from The Great Pumpkin telling him His return is eminent. The driver can help speed things up by running every police officer he sees off the road. Once He gets there, everyone that is a True Believer of The Great Pumpkin will magically disappear and go with Him to The Really Special Place where everyone gets to be happy and eat ice cream forever.

He locks the doors and begins accelerating. 60% of the people on the bus start cheering wildly and looking excitedly out the window for cop cars. 35% of the people don't take any of this seriously although they do believe in The Great Pumpkin and The Really Special Place (but these other people can't really believe that the bus driver was serious. Can they?!). The remaining 5% don't believe any of this and know that it's only a matter of time before the bus driver's antics are going to get everyone on the bus killed. And all these other people are pretty scary too.

Does that crystalize it for you? Doesn't matter what we believe. The scary part is that Bush (and the rest of the Rapture Right) does believe and are willing to do whatever they think they need to prepare for Jesus' return. Which they believe is going to be soon.

Jae Onasi
03-10-2007, 10:21 PM
@TK and Achilles regarding 'Jesus day'--Bush didn't make that up for Texas--it's a national thing that Bush decided to acknowledge in Texas--see the snopes article (http://www.snopes.com/religion/jesusday.htm).
And OK, Bush did the Jesus day thing after I'd already moved to IL. :) For the time period I lived in TX, however, TV and newspapers forcused on his activities, not his religion, and FWIW, I was not impressed at all with how he governed TX.

Of course Bush is going to hire conservatives for the various posts in government. Who would you hire for a job--someone you had worked with in the past who you knew could do the job well, or a complete stranger with an opposing philosophy? I expect someone to hire people he knows and believes will do a good job in the various positions. All politicians do it. Would you expect Clinton to have hired dyed-in-the-wool conservatives for his cabinet or other significant posts? I would have thought that was very strange if he had. Clinton hired liberals/Dems for the major posts in his government. I wouldn't expect Bush to hire ultra-liberals any more than I would expect a liberal Pres to hire ultra-conservatives. I'm not sure what the big deal is over any politician hiring people with a similar political philosophy. Why would you hire someone of an opposite political philosophy and then spend the next 4 or 8 years fighting them ideologically? If you have 2 people who are equally quallified for the post, then you are going to hire the person typically who is closer to you ideologically.

Nancy Allen``
03-10-2007, 10:52 PM
So the belief is that Christians are crazies who will kill, commit acts of terror, whatever it takes to prepare the world for Christ's return, or even orchastrate it themselves? It's a far cry from making idiotic comments on going to war because God said to. What evidence do you have of this? They of all people should know that he won't be controlled by them.

In a way Atheists villify themselves. Much the same as Christians bomb abortion clinics for their beliefs and Islamists twist their Quran around to justify terrorism there are Atheists who believe they have the right and duty to destroy lives by destroying the faith people have. In my previous statement I said how Atheists get some of their support because of how crazy Christians are portrayed to be. This Rapture business sounds as crazy as the belief an unseen meteorite is destined to wipe out all life on Earth.

In my opinion governments should put their efforts into providing the best solution for all. Does that include home schooling rather than public schools, or bowing to the demands of science and enviromental groups? I don't have the answer to that, but governments should find the answer to how best to spend their money and if it's for a religion supported cause then that's beside the point.

What's I'm asking is whether or not Bush is trying to engineer Christ's return? If so then whether or not you're a Christian you'd know it's not going to happen. With that said, my question is Bush causing war because he hopes that it will bring about Christ's return, or whatever he believes will bring about Christ's return, is what he does trying to bring back Jesus the issue or the fact he will bring about the events Christians believe will happen by orchastrating Christ's return the issue?

Jae Onasi
03-10-2007, 10:57 PM
Moderating note....

I'm nipping a problem in the bud and I didn't want to put it with my other post as this is entirely unrelated.

I'm not going to take a laissez-faire role in moderating this particular forum because it's too easy for things to get out of control very fast. Heavy sarcasm and condescension fall under the flame-baiting category here, and profanity is right out. You can find a way to support your own arguments and disagree with someone else's ideas while showing that person respect. Since everyone is feeling their way around for the boundaries at the moment since this place is so new, there are likely going to be missteps while we all figure everything out; however, if we all remember the general guideline of 'if it sounds mean, don't say it', we'll all be pretty close to the general idea. Rude, flamey, and profane comments will get edited, those types of posts will get deleted, and if a thread gets out of control, it'll get closed.

I want to see this forum characterized by the civility of members in their presentation of ideas and arguments. I know you all have done that in the past in other threads so I see no reason for that to change here because of more complex topics.

The atmosphere here is 'a bunch of friends sitting around in the living room having a good time discussing controversial topics'. This is a very different paradigm from a 'formal debate tournament where everyone is out to win regardless of the effects on their opponents.' If you couch your discussion the same way you'd generally couch it with your good friends, you'll likely have written in the spirit in which this forum is intended. If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact me or ask them in the 'Have a question' sticky.

Achilles
03-10-2007, 11:18 PM
@TK and Achilles regarding 'Jesus day'--Bush didn't make that up for Texas--it's a national thing that Bush decided to acknowledge in Texas--see the snopes article (http://www.snopes.com/religion/jesusday.htm).
And OK, Bush did the Jesus day thing after I'd already moved to IL. :) For the time period I lived in TX, however, TV and newspapers forcused on his activities, not his religion, and FWIW, I was not impressed at all with how he governed TX. Do you have something besides Snopes? I can't find anything else that refutes that it's a Texas-only holiday kicked off by Bush. If you want to post the months and years that you were there, I'll see if I can find something more specific to your timeline.

Of course Bush is going to hire conservatives for the various posts in government. Who would you hire for a job--someone you had worked with in the past who you knew could do the job well, or a complete stranger with an opposing philosophy? Well if it worked for Lincoln...but I digress.

Yes, I would absolutely hire capable people that I knew well. But there's a difference between hiring capable people that I know are well suited for the job and appointing friends that seem to have little in the way of credentials, other than their shared membership in a neo-con think tank.

For instance, if Bolton was such an obvious choice for U.N. Ambassador, why did Bush have to use a never-before-used loophole to jam his buddy into the spot while the Senate was out of session?

I expect someone to hire people he knows and believes will do a good job in the various positions. All politicians do it. Would you expect Clinton to have hired dyed-in-the-wool conservatives for his cabinet or other significant posts? This is a continuation of your red herring, but I'll play.

Could you please site for me which radical think tanks Clinton was part of during or prior to his presidency? Also, which of Clinton's senior roles did he fill with individuals via these associations.

I'm not sure what the big deal is over any politician hiring people with a similar political philosophy. So if 51% of the voting public wants to put a madman in office, the other 49% should just shut up and deal with it because it's status quo?

I don't care that Bush surrounds himself with like-minded people. What concerns me that in order to qualify for the group, you have to have to believe that it's your job to help usher in Armageddon so that Christ can return.

Oh FWIW, I'm pretty sure any community college level management course will tell you that good leaders encourage diversity and work to avoid group think.

Why would you hire someone of an opposite political philosophy and then spend the next 4 or 8 years fighting them ideologically? If you have 2 people who are equally quallified for the post, then you are going to hire the person typically who is closer to you ideologically. Because a market-place of ideas help ensure that bad ideas aren't implemented in the name of group think. If Bush really wanted to be a uniter and not a divider, his senior staff would represent the hopes and concerns of the citizens that he's responsible for leading, not just the base that voted for him.

He is not a statesman, nor is he a leader. He uses his power to further the agenda of his religious constituency.

Jae Onasi
03-10-2007, 11:31 PM
. What concerns me that in order to qualify for the group, you have to have to believe that it's your job to help usher in Armageddon so that Christ can return.


Has Bush ever said that in those very words? I've heard Ahmadinejad say something like this, but I've never heard Bush say that directly. He knows the Bible well enough to know that Christ is going to return on Christ's timetable, not his, anyway, as do any who read the New Testament. Those who actually believe they can somehow bring about Christ's return are in gross contradiction of Bible teachings.

Achilles
03-10-2007, 11:52 PM
So the belief is that Christians are crazies who will kill, commit acts of terror, whatever it takes to prepare the world for Christ's return, or even orchastrate it themselves? Well if you want to paint them with that brush, feel free, but I think it unwise.

If you are trying to clarify my stance, I believe that there are essentially 2 or 3 categories of Christians. The right (or Rapture Right, as I keep referring to them) are the same flavor of fundies as the individuals that orchestrated the September 11th terrorist attacks. The Bible is the inerrent word of God, end of story. Christ is comin' so you better be ready. Faith and intolerance at their finest.

The moderates attend Church, believe in God, Jesus, etc, but look at religion kinda like a set of boundaries to operate within. Atheists are probably more familiar with the Bible than these people are. Science sounds great but so does the bible, blah, blah, blah.

Not sure what I'd call the hypothetical third group. Maybe "liberal Christian" but I really don't know. These people believe in God because that's what they grew up hearing. Probably never cracked a Bible and only go to Church on Christmas if their family guilts them into it.

The group you've described sounds like the Rapture Right. The problem with the other two groups is that they don't take the first group seriously. They don't take the whole God thing THAT seriously (although they don't like to be told that they're wrong), so (egocentrism firmly in place) the Rapture Right can't be that much of a threat. Probably the "liberal media" blowing things out of proportion again. Who really thinks that Christ is coming back anyway? In other words, relativism prevents a serious discussion from taking place.

It's a far cry from making idiotic comments on going to war because God said to. What evidence do you have of this? I refuse to source this for you a third time. He said it. More than once. It's on the public record.

In a way Atheists villify themselves. Much the same as Christians bomb abortion clinics for their beliefs and Islamists twist their Quran around to justify terrorism there are Atheists who believe they have the right and duty to destroy lives by destroying the faith people have. By trying to engage in rational dialog? Have you ever heard of an Atheist terrorist attack? It's obvious to me that no one can "destroy" anyone's faith in anything. If it were possible though, would it really be such a bad thing? Is your life any worse off because you no longer believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Is there a big gaping hole in your life that only Zeus can fill? Don't you lose sleep at night knowing that you'll never make it into Valhalla because you don't worship Thor on Thursdays or Woden on Wednesdays (edit: whoops. Forgot "Freya on Fridays")?

No, I'm willing to bet that you've never given Hades a second thought because the idea of going to the Greek mythological Hell is simply preposterous to you. Therefore, you know exactly what it's like to be an atheist. I just worship one less God than you do.

Faith is to believe in something despite little, no, or controdictory evidence. I don't see how believing in something that isn't real rather than living a life focused on what is real is a good thing.

In my opinion governments should put their efforts into providing the best solution for all. Does that include home schooling rather than public schools, or bowing to the demands of science and enviromental groups? I don't have the answer to that, but governments should find the answer to how best to spend their money and if it's for a religion supported cause then that's beside the point. Who gets to decide what that means? Do you think for a second that the current administration doesn't think that they are doing what's best for the country right now?

What's I'm asking is whether or not Bush is trying to engineer Christ's return? Yes, I think it's pretty clear that he and his associates are.

If so then whether or not you're a Christian you'd know it's not going to happen. Why would a believer know that? By the word's very definition, of course a believer is going to believe that.

With that said, my question is Bush causing war because he hopes that it will bring about Christ's return, or whatever he believes will bring about Christ's return, is what he does trying to bring back Jesus the issue or the fact he will bring about the events Christians believe will happen by orchastrating Christ's return the issue? I'm sorry, I don't understand that. I'm not trying to be difficult but this is very hard to read.

Has Bush ever said that in those very words? I've heard Ahmadinejad say something like this, but I've never heard Bush say that directly. He knows the Bible well enough to know that Christ is going to return on Christ's timetable, not his, anyway, as do any who read the New Testament. Those who actually believe they can somehow bring about Christ's return are in gross contradiction of Bible teachings. Boy, that sure sounds a lot like an Appeal to Ridicule.

"They can't really believe that because believing that is just silly". Well, there we have it. It can't possibly be true then.

No, Jae, I don't think I can quote Bush here. But Bush is Premillennialist and Premillennialist say it. Will inductive reasoning suffice?

Jae Onasi
03-11-2007, 11:52 AM
Jesus Day History (http://www.jesusday-richmond.org/pages.asp?pageid=37409). It started in England in the late 80's. Some 450 cities participated on June 10, 2000 (the date of Bush's proclamation), so it was hardly unique to Bush.

Boy, that sure sounds a lot like an Appeal to Ridicule.

"They can't really believe that because believing that is just silly". Well, there we have it. It can't possibly be true then.

No, Jae, I don't think I can quote Bush here. But Bush is Premillennialist and Premillennialist say it. Will inductive reasoning suffice?

No, it was a very serious question and not any kind of debate tactic (and seeing as I've never done any formal debate, probably won't use them, at least not consciously). I had not heard such a thing said by Bush and would have been disturbed if I had, and you typically provide links to back up your viewpoints.

I see how you came to that conclusion. However, it's based on an incomplete understanding of what pre-Millennialism means, and so it's not a correct conclusion. So, let me clear that up a bit first.

I'm a pre-Millennialist, and certainly don't believe Bush or anyone else could usher in Christ's return, because that is directly opposite of what Christ says in Matthew 24 that only God knows the date/time of His return. All 'pre-Millenialist' means is that people believe Christ will have a 1000 year rule on earth, and that He hasn't come back to do that yet, i.e. we're currently living in a time period prior to the Millennial age. That particular viewpoint says absolutely nothing about _when_ the rapture/tribulation/Millennium/events described in Revelation will occur, because it cannot according to Matthew 24 and 1 Thess 5:1-3 below. It is a very specific term and applies solely to the discussion of where we are in relation to the Millenium (before, during, or after) and not in relation to a specific date when Christ will actually return. Using it in any other way besides that is incorrect.

Anyone who claims to think they can bring about Christ's return is a. in contradiction to Bible teachings and b. either foolish or arrogant in the extreme to think they personally could 'force' God to do anything.

Further, this passage says Christ will return during a time of peace, not during a time of war:

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

If Bush is familiar enough with eschatology to decide he's a pre-Millennialist, and since he's stated he reads the Bible, he's familiar enough with the Bible to know these other verses and how they fit into end-times theology.

Bush had a number of stated reasons for going to war, and he has never stated 'bringing about Armageddon' as one of those reasons, at least to my knowledge. I would have taken immediate notice of any of his statements claiming that he had the capacity to bring about the events in Revelation, believe me. Furthermore, Bush is famiiliar enough with the Bible to know that it's not going to happen on his timetable, it's going to happen on God's timetable. The assumption that Bush wants to usher in Armageddon is incorrect, therefore the assumption that he's hired people for the purpose of bringing about Armageddon is also incorrect.

Ideally, we'd like to have well-rounded people in government who have the whole picture. However, it's not the way it's ever run, and I highly doubt it'll change anytime soon. You don't see Pelosi handing out House committee chair assignments based on expertise in the job, do you? If she did, she'd have a mix of Republicans and Democrats sitting in those chairman seats because she would have picked the best person for the job. What do you see? All Dems, and certainly not necessarily the best person for that job, but theoretically the best _Democrat_ for the job (and I'm being _very_ charitable there. Republicans didn't hand out assignments based solely on merit, either). They were picked for their ability to support her and the Democratic party. She's not about to do anything that might foster any more dissent than she's already got with such a slim majority in the House. Bush is the same way--he's not going to put people in the job who are going to buck him philosophically. He appointed people he thought could do a decent job (theoretically) and who are going to carry out his agenda while he's in charge. In any company, you hire people who you think are going to do the job the way you think it should be done. You don't hire people who are going to undermine your work ideologically. I'm not saying that's always right, but that's how it's done currently, and Bush is no different from any other politician in that regard. I think it's far more likely that the people he put in office were put there for their support of the Republican party as a whole and Bush in particular (and to be cynical, supporting Bush financially) than for their stance on pre-Millenialism and Christianity.

Achilles
03-11-2007, 03:39 PM
Jesus Day History (http://www.jesusday-richmond.org/pages.asp?pageid=37409). It started in England in the late 80's. Some 450 cities participated on June 10, 2000 (the date of Bush's proclamation), so it was hardly unique to Bush. Jae, come on. That site is the only source that states that it is observed in 450 cities. It doesn't list what cities do participate, etc.. The site hasn't been updated for about a year. Almost all the links read "Under Construction". If I were a Christian and I wanted to go online to find out more about the Jesus Day events in my area, I'd be screwed.

Assuming that the info on this site is accurate (which I highly doubt at this point), it was a England-only thing until the very year that Bush signed the act making it Texas thing too.

No, it was a very serious question and not any kind of debate tactic (and seeing as I've never done any formal debate, probably won't use them, at least not consciously). I had not heard such a thing said by Bush and would have been disturbed if I had, and you typically provide links to back up your viewpoints. Yes, I acknowledge that it was a serious question, however it still contained a logical fallacy. BTW, logical fallacies aren't debate tactics, they are examples of flawed reasoning. You don't have be in a formal debate to present flawed reasoning. There's a link in my signature if you would like to learn more about them.

As for the rest, apparently inductive reasoning won't be good enough for you. Is this the standard you wish to set for our conversations in the future?

Links? Hmmm, I seem to recall asking you for links in another thread. You replied that since you weren't quoting they weren't necessary. But since I happen to have links, I'll happily provide them (even though you weren't willing to do the same for me). BTW, that's called a "double standard".

Bush's Armageddon Obsession, Revisited (http://www.counterpunch.org/hill01042003.html)
It’s Armageddon time; Bush and his loyal Christian fundamentalists want you to have a front row seat! (Whether you want one or not). (http://www.opednews.com/droubay_052204_armageddon.htm)
Bush's Armageddon Obsession (http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/14364/)
Bush's Armageddon Wish (http://baltimorechronicle.com/2006/061406Roberts.shtml)
Bush's Rush to Armageddon (http://consortiumnews.com/2007/010807.html)

Will 5 get you started?

I see how you came to that conclusion. However, it's based on an incomplete understanding of what pre-Millennialism means, and so it's not a correct conclusion. So, let me clear that up a bit first.
<snip>
This is a strawman. The point is that Bush does believe that Christ will return when a specific set of conditions are met. Whether or not he truly believes that he can help bring about those conditions is secondary to your point and primary to mine.

Anyone who claims to think they can bring about Christ's return is a. in contradiction to Bible teachings and b. either foolish or arrogant in the extreme to think they personally could 'force' God to do anything. What's better than one Appeal to Ridicule fallacy? Using the same one 2 posts later.

Further, this passage says Christ will return during a time of peace, not during a time of war: <snip> Another strawman. It doesn't matter what the Bible says. What matters is what the crazy man in office and his constituencies believe.

If Bush is familiar enough with eschatology to decide he's a pre-Millennialist, and since he's stated he reads the Bible, he's familiar enough with the Bible to know these other verses and how they fit into end-times theology. Deductive reasoning fallacy. Bush wouldn't be the first person to interpret the Bible in a manner that benefited his preconceived notions.

Bush had a number of stated reasons for going to war, and he has never stated 'bringing about Armageddon' as one of those reasons, at least to my knowledge. I would have taken immediate notice of any of his statements claiming that he had the capacity to bring about the events in Revelation, believe me. Argument from ignorance.

"I never heard him say it, so it can't be true"

You very well might be right. The conclusions that I draw from the evidence could be completely wrong. I guess I'm just waiting for argument not constructed of fallacies to give me pause.

Furthermore, Bush is famiiliar enough with the Bible to know that it's not going to happen on his timetable, it's going to happen on God's timetable. The assumption that Bush wants to usher in Armageddon is incorrect, therefore the assumption that he's hired people for the purpose of bringing about Armageddon is also incorrect.Deductive reasoning fallacy again. Argument from ignorance fallacy again.

Ideally, we'd like to have well-rounded people in government who have the whole picture. However, it's not the way it's ever run, and I highly doubt it'll change anytime soon. You don't see Pelosi handing out House committee chair assignments based on expertise in the job, do you? If she did, she'd have a mix of Republicans and Democrats sitting in those chairman seats because she would have picked the best person for the job. What do you see? All Dems, and certainly not necessarily the best person for that job, but theoretically the best _Democrat_ for the job (and I'm being _very_ charitable there. Republicans didn't hand out assignments based solely on merit, either). They were picked for their ability to support her and the Democratic party. She's not about to do anything that might foster any more dissent than she's already got with such a slim majority in the House. You've answered your own question, so I don't need to repeat your points. Introducing Pelosi is a red herring nonetheless.

Bush is the same way--he's not going to put people in the job who are going to buck him philosophically. He appointed people he thought could do a decent job (theoretically) and who are going to carry out his agenda while he's in charge. Yep, and I think I've already pointed out that my primary concern isn't his practice but rather his agenda. It still doesn't change the fact that he isn't a leader, nor is he a statesman.

In any company, you hire people who you think are going to do the job the way you think it should be done. You don't hire people who are going to undermine your work ideologically. Yes, I think I know something about how to run a company :D

You hire people that have a skill set the fills a specific need within the organization. In management, that's their ability to communicate and make decisions (amongst other things). That doesn't mean they have to think like the CEO, it means that have to be able to think critically.

A good leader will hire and promote smart people from a diverse group. Behind closed doors these people will argue differing viewpoints passionately, but always with the interest of the organization and stakeholders in mind. Once a final decision is made, then the team presents a united front. In other words, having a different opinion does not equal undermining the work. If Bush was really worried about that, he should have tried looking at the pool of professionals.

But that's not what he did.

The 2000 election of George W. Bush enabled PNAC to advance its agenda for the “New American Century.” Many PNAC principals moved into the Pentagon, vice president's office, and State Department. It was not, however, until after September 11, 2001, that the PNAC agenda was fast-forwarded.
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1535

The home base for prominent neoconservative intellectuals like Richard Perle, Joshua Muravchik, and Michael Rubin, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) is arguably the nation's most influential think tank, having played a major role in shaping U.S. economic, social, foreign, and military policies since World War II. In a January 2003 speech at an AEI dinner celebrating neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol, President George W. Bush underscored the institute's impact. After commending AEI for having “some of the finest minds in our nation,” the president said: “You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds.”
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/1431

Nancy Allen``
03-11-2007, 07:06 PM
Hm, how else can I say this? To answer one of your questions I'm not sure whether or not Bush is trying to bring about Christ's return but that is one of the things that are going about. Is that what scares you? You believe in Christian religion and think Bush is capeable of such a thing? Or is it that he is attempting to achieve this through the things he does in office? War, for example, if that is what he believes will bring about Christ's return, is his acts an issue over what some believe to be his ultimate aim?

In any case I tried looking up Bush attempting to do this and the best I found was that comment you showed me on Rice. Sure, there's the dumb things he says, but and I realise you might have already shown me but I don't see anything to suggest Bush is actually trying to bring about the Second Coming.

With those that are in power, I'm more of the opinion that they at least to some extent are trying to promote their own self interests, regardless of religion. That means enviromental politicians will push for enviromentally centered policies, pro and anti war politicians will push for pro and anti war policies, ect. Would the same be said of Christian or religious politicians? There would be those who are pro and anti war, for enviroment, and yes those who would support what the church wants. Is it coincidence that a lot of them are Christians? I'm not sure, I'm not the one who has all these facts and are running around making all these claims. It could be. So by being Christian they are part of some cult to bring back Jesus by throwing the world into chaos?

The dangerous thing with Atheism isn't whether or not they can destroy faith, I'm not sure if that's even possible, but their belief that they have the right and duty to do so. That bus scenario you layed out to me, much the same can be said for Atheists practicing this belief. The same can be said of Jews, Muslims, everyone. As for whether or not it would be a bad thing to take someone's religion away, besides the fact they have a right to believe in and practice their religion it would be harmful. For some religion is the moral glue that holds their urges in check. Without it they would give in to their anger and hatred, you can imagine what their actions would be. Others simply want to imagine that there's something better than becoming worm food. If they are convinced there is nothing for them when they die then what's the point of doing things when you're alive?

I agree that there are many diffirent types of Christians, more so than Prodestent and Roman Catholic. There are those who lean to the left and those who lean to the right, I think this might have to do more with the person than the religion. The same for Islam: modorate Muslims don't preach hatred the way those who seek to bring down the Western world do. Saladin I think it was, he was a Pan Arab who sought to unite all of the Muslim world under the one banner, the modorates and the radicals alike. I think he had the right idea because along the way the true beliefs were lost on some, and even if they truely do believe these twisted teachings and don't just use it as an excuse for their actions, by falling back on their religion and way of life as a shield they lessen the entire belief, and there are fissures within that belief system because you have people of the same race, the same belief, contradicting each other.

Achilles
03-11-2007, 08:19 PM
Hm, how else can I say this? To answer one of your questions I'm not sure whether or not Bush is trying to bring about Christ's return but that is one of the things that are going about. So you're not sure that Bush is trying to do something, but he is trying to do it? I feel like I'm missing something that will help me understand your point, but I don't know what it is.

Is that what scares you? You believe in Christian religion and think Bush is capeable of such a thing?
Or is it that he is attempting to achieve this through the things he does in office? War, for example, if that is what he believes will bring about Christ's return, is his acts an issue over what some believe to be his ultimate aim? I feel like you understand this in a very "digital" way but are missing the "analog".

I could try to repeat the bus driver analogy, but if that didn't make my point, I don't know what else to try. A group of people that hold very important government offices believe in something that has no rational basis. They believe in it to an extent that one could reasonably label them "extremeists". These people have the ability to send our country to war, initiate nuclear Armageddon, create policies that have consequences that all Americans have to live with. And it seems that the citizens that don't actively support this doctrine seem inclined to throw up their hands and say, "No, he doesn't really think that, does he?".

Oh and if you try to oppose them, they'll do everything in their power to try to cow you into submission (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option).

In any case I tried looking up Bush attempting to do this and the best I found was that comment you showed me on Rice. Sure, there's the dumb things he says, but and I realise you might have already shown me but I don't see anything to suggest Bush is actually trying to bring about the Second Coming. Try some of the links that I provided for Jae above.

With those that are in power, I'm more of the opinion that they at least to some extent are trying to promote their own self interests, regardless of religion. Right. Presidential candidates campaign on a platform of issues. Bush's were "Compassionate Conservatism", the economy, education, and energy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush_presidential_campaign,_2000). "Compassionate Concervative" turned out to be a euphemism for "cram Evangelical view points down American's throats". His focus on the economy seems to have taken to mean "tax cuts for the countries wealthiest citizens". Apparently, he opts to show his support for education by pushing for a faulty voucher system which favors religious institutions (which promote creationism and not evolution). Finally, I'll ignore the irony of having a old-money oil man and his old-money oil man friends making a "sincere" effort to push for alternative fuels, and instead point out that he wants to drill ANWR like a staving man wants drive-thru.

So to be honest, his true platform was religious reform and making money for his friends.

Is it coincidence that a lot of them are Christians? I'm not sure, I'm not the one who has all these facts and are running around making all these claims. It could be. So by being Christian they are part of some cult to bring back Jesus by throwing the world into chaos? No, I don't think it's a coincidence at all. And no I don't think they happen to think that because they're Christians. I believe that because they happen to be a specific flavor of fundamentalist Christian.

The dangerous thing with Atheism isn't whether or not they can destroy faith, I'm not sure if that's even possible, but their belief that they have the right and duty to do so. So Atheists are dangerous because they believe they have duty to do something that isn't possible? It's it possible that this is simply your perception and it has no basis in reality?

By way of comparison, have you ever met an Atheist missionary? Ever seen an Atheist handing out pamphlets at the mall? Have you ever heard an Athiest try to indoctrinate you by telling you that you will spend eternity in agony if you don't believe as they do?

But Atheism is dangerous? Huh.

It seems to me that Atheist don't try to convert anyone. There's a difference between questioning someone's flawed interpretation of reality and trying to destroy some aspect of their psyche.

If I came up to you and said, "Nancy you're going to spend eternity in Hell if you don't believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster" you would look at me like I was insane. Would you be wrong to point out that there is no such thing as the Flying Spaghetti Monster? If you did, would your intent be to "destroy my faith"?

That bus scenario you layed out to me, much the same can be said for Atheists practicing this belief. Help me understand how the scenario applies.

If the bus driver comes on the intercom and says, "There's no evidence for The Great Pumpkin", the people on the bus would probably still worry that he's a little crazy but probably not for the same reasons as before. Now, if the busdriver says "There's no evidence for God", now he's a heteric and he's clearly trying to destroy people's faith with his "practices".

The same can be said of Jews, Muslims, everyone. Not the same at all. Religious groups have a very specific world view that requires faith and dogmatism. Atheism is the antithesis of these things.

As for whether or not it would be a bad thing to take someone's religion away, besides the fact they have a right to believe in and practice their religion it would be harmful. For some religion is the moral glue that holds their urges in check. If someone needs to believe that God is watching in order to the right thing, then they aren't really moral at all. There's a difference between the belief that morals come from God and morals actually coming from God.

Without it they would give in to their anger and hatred, you can imagine what their actions would be. So Atheists are inherently angry and filled with hatred? How many wars have been started over opposing interpretations of William Shakespeare's play Othello? Now, how many wars have been started over opposing interpretations of the Holy Bible? Do you really think that atheists are the intolerant ones with trigger tempers?

Others simply want to imagine that there's something better than becoming worm food. If they are convinced there is nothing for them when they die then what's the point of doing things when you're alive? Think about this one for a moment: "why should people value this life if it's the only one they have?". That's what you just said.

I agree that there are many diffirent types of Christians, more so than Prodestent and Roman Catholic. Protestants and Roman Catholics are Christians :D

There are those who lean to the left and those who lean to the right, I think this might have to do more with the person than the religion. The same for Islam: modorate Muslims don't preach hatred the way those who seek to bring down the Western world do. This speaks to two things: 1) the unfinished conversation we had over in The Senate about interpreting holy books and 2) an apparent lack of understanding about Islam on your part (this isn't a flame). The Qu'ran is just as dogmatic and bloody as the Bible. Moderate Christians and Muslims aren't true Christians and Muslims because they don't kill as much as they are told to by God. They cherry-pick their respective tomes for the parts that give them warm-fuzzies and then dismiss the other parts as allegory.

True followers of the Bible are the ones that beat their kids and kill their atheist neighbors. True followers of the Qu'ran are the ones that participate in suicide bombings.

In other words, moderate Muslims don't really follow the Qu'ran.

Saladin I think it was, he was a Pan Arab who sought to unite all of the Muslim world under the one banner, the modorates and the radicals alike. I think he had the right idea because along the way the true beliefs were lost on some, and even if they truely do believe these twisted teachings and don't just use it as an excuse for their actions, by falling back on their religion and way of life as a shield they lessen the entire belief, and there are fissures within that belief system because you have people of the same race, the same belief, contradicting each other.Interestingly it was in the 12th Century that Islam abandoned it's reign as the Mecca (slight pun intended) for intellectualism and learning in favor of religious dogmatism. They went from being one of the world's most advanced societies to one of the most backwards like *that*. Historically, that's what happens when cultures abandon reason for faith. Makes me wonder what the U.S. will look like in the 22nd Century.

Nancy Allen``
03-11-2007, 08:31 PM
I'll wait for Jae to reply, but I really would like to chase up this belief that the only true Christians are those who would slaughter Harry Potter fans because they oppose witchcraft and the like.

Achilles
03-11-2007, 08:39 PM
I'll wait for Jae to reply, but I really would like to chase up this belief that the only true Christians are those who would slaughter Harry Potter fans because they oppose witchcraft and the like. It would probably be best to pick this back up in the Senate where we left it, but I will say this:

If we are mortal and cannot comprehend the will of God, then how come we can read His book and decide which part to take seriously and which to blow off? It defies reason. It's all or nothing. Either the Bible is the inerrant word of God to be taken literally or it is not. If it is the former, then you true believers need to catch up on your killing. If it's the latter, then who are we fooling by pretending that God exists? The only evidence that we have for God or Jesus comes from the Bible, therefore it isn't a reliable source we're wasting our time.

Rogue Nine
03-11-2007, 09:00 PM
On-topic: People don't like Bush for a lot of other reasons besides his religion. If one were to attack him, I could think of a lot of better ways to do it than attacking his Christianity.

Slightly off-topic: Atheists can not believe in what they want to and Christians can believe in what they want to. Fact of the matter is, no one here was around during the time of the creation of the universe or the time of Jesus. So everything to this point is all based on what you believe. Christians believe in the teachings of the Bible, which teaches that the word of God is infallible. Atheists believe in empirical and scientific evidence, which they think to be infallible. Let's just leave it at that.

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This forum was opened to foster friendly discussion and friendly discussion only. If it's not friendly, it's not for Kavar's Corner. End of story.