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View Poll Results: What are your opinions on this issue?
There's definatly a problem. Somthing needs to be done about this 18 69.23%
I don't think there's a problem at all, just kids being kids 1 3.85%
I don't really care, cause I don't plan on having children. 5 19.23%
ot exactly sure, let's see what it's like in a few years... 2 7.69%
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Old 04-07-2007, 06:47 PM   #41
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I should probably read through all the other posts, but I'm just going to go ahead and answer the first one.

I do believe It's a problem, but It's kind of starting to be part of the 'youth culture' to start wearing make-up at age 13 for example.

And also, 15 year olds (and younger) do smoke pot, drink and have sex. It should be accepted and I don't think there is anything that the older generation can do about it.

Here in Finland It's pretty typical to see these 13-year olds out drinking and making fools of themselves but It's gotten better the last few years. I'm not really bothered though, guess I'll have to see how things are if I ever have children.

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Old 04-09-2007, 12:03 AM   #42
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I mostly have an issue with the lack of responsibility taking place.

The parents, the kids, the society. Just a lot of bull**** on all fronts.


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Old 04-09-2007, 05:00 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Proof that God exists: SpiderAL and I actually agree on something completely, which requires something on the order of a minor miracle.

...

Actually, that's not so miraculous as just plain common sense.
My post was indeed merely plain common sense, you're correct on that. However, all my posts in the Senate have been just plain old common sense, so the question arises: Why haven't you agreed with me completely before now?

But returning to serious debate, I'm not sure we'd agree so strongly on the issue of what exactly constitutes a worthy parent in an ideal world.

For instance, since religious indoctrination of children is obviously a form of mental abuse, a couple should be forced to sign some sort of contract before being granted a parental license, stating that they will not introduce their own religion (if any) to their child until the child is old enough to make informed decisions about what to believe and what not to believe. That's just one example of where our views would diverge fundamentally, I'm sure.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Pho3nix:

And also, 15 year olds (and younger) do smoke pot, drink and have sex. It should be accepted and I don't think there is anything that the older generation can do about it.
Are you seriously saying that the older generation should "accept" the fact that kids are engaging in underage sex and drug-use (including alcohol)? These age-requirements are put in place by society to try to prevent children from doing risky things that may adversely impact their lives later on, until they've developed the mental capacity to make informed choices. These age-requirements should be enforced.

As for whether the older generation can do something about underage drug-use and sexual activity... of course they can. It's called education, education, education. And good parenting, of course.


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Old 04-10-2007, 06:27 AM   #44
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I wonder what you think the required age for drinking, smoking and having sex should be.

It seems like there are very different views on that. In some countries you can drink at the age of 16, others require you to be older than 20. That's quite a difference.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:19 AM   #45
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I wonder what you think the required age for drinking, smoking and having sex should be.
I'm glad you asked.

Put quite simply, such age-requirements should be determined on the basis of expert scientific advice. The finest psychologists and medical professionals should be assigned the task of definitively determining the age at which the average member of the population attains the physical brain-capacity and educational/social standard necessary to make informed choices for themselves. This generalised age-requirement should then be regularly re-assessed to make sure it remains up-to-date and representative.

Estimates of maturity will never apply to everyone, but if they apply to the majority, that's absolutely as good as they can get.

Quote:
It seems like there are very different views on that. In some countries you can drink at the age of 16, others require you to be older than 20. That's quite a difference.
The fact that different people hold different views on the topic doesn't necessarily make their views rational nor valid.

However, abiding by the laws of a society (provided those laws are not immoral) is the responsibility of the citizen. Laws to stop people abusing alcohol/tobacco are hardly immoral, therefore they should be enforced... pretty much whatever age-limit is prescribed as regards these things should be enforced.

The sex topic is slightly more complex, naturally. We can examine it if you wish.


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Old 04-10-2007, 02:43 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
My post was indeed merely plain common sense, you're correct on that. However, all my posts in the Senate have been just plain old common sense, so the question arises: Why haven't you agreed with me completely before now?
Because I don't agree that everything you've said about religion is common sense, and certainly I don't agree with you on that particular topic. But, for this thread I do agree.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
But returning to serious debate, I'm not sure we'd agree so strongly on the issue of what exactly constitutes a worthy parent in an ideal world.
For instance, since religious indoctrination of children is obviously a form of mental abuse, a couple should be forced to sign some sort of contract before being granted a parental license, stating that they will not introduce their own religion (if any) to their child until the child is old enough to make informed decisions about what to believe and what not to believe. That's just one example of where our views would diverge fundamentally, I'm sure.
And do. Do you think we should wait until adulthood to teach basic morals? I doubt it. I don't think imparting moral principles and religion at an early age to be mental abuse obviously. My kids are hardly experiencing mental distress learning the Golden Rule and to love their neighbor at church. They do not appear to have any symptoms of PTSD or other signs of mental abuse from going to Sunday School, and in fact they're learning beneficial social skills and morals along with the other kids. When they're old enough to evaluate other religions and make a decision for themselves what, if any, faith they'd like to be, that will be their choice. In the meantime, we'll give them a solid moral foundation from which they can compare/contrast other faiths or lack thereof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Are you seriously saying that the older generation should "accept" the fact that kids are engaging in underage sex and drug-use (including alcohol)? These age-requirements are put in place by society to try to prevent children from doing risky things that may adversely impact their lives later on, until they've developed the mental capacity to make informed choices. These age-requirements should be enforced.
What makes me furious is the stories of parents actually buying kegs for a party at their house for their highschooler and his/her friends to have a good time. Now _this_ is child abuse, not only of their own child but of other children.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
As for whether the older generation can do something about underage drug-use and sexual activity... of course they can. It's called education, education, education. And good parenting, of course.
Take steps to make it harder for teens to get access--keep them busy with after-school activites such as sports or other social activities. When they do get access, make the penalties more than just a little 'don't do that again, Johnny' lecture. Community service helping people with alcohol/drug addictions might be an eye-opener for them.

The brain and particularly the pre-frontal cortex which controls impulse control matures in the late-teens/early 20's, and the major organs of the body have matured or are close to being mature at that point--that may be a big factor in determining the cut-off. Smoking should just be banned in children, period. If I never saw another person die of emphysema while hooked up to a respirator, it would be too soon.

Sex--that's a tougher call because we're dealing with the capacity to be sexually active long before we're mature enough to handle that along with the fact that a third person might end up involved in the whole deal. It may end up being different for males and females because of differing maturity rates between the 2 and also the fact that younger teens have a higher pregnancy complication rates than older teens. There's a host of factors that would end up being evaluated for creating that age cut-off.


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Old 04-10-2007, 03:27 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Are you seriously saying that the older generation should "accept" the fact that kids are engaging in underage sex and drug-use (including alcohol)? These age-requirements are put in place by society to try to prevent children from doing risky things that may adversely impact their lives later on, until they've developed the mental capacity to make informed choices. These age-requirements should be enforced.

As for whether the older generation can do something about underage drug-use and sexual activity... of course they can. It's called education, education, education. And good parenting, of course.
Yes. Most parents are restricting, and some are not. Generally I don't think that the situation is really that bad, I think you are taking this issue too seriously. Not sure how the situation is in your country, but It's definitely not that bad here. It's pretty controlled actually, many 13 year olds are forbidden to go to parties, they have strict rules about coming home from a party at a specific time etc. And about the issue on underage sex, I don't think that it's a huge problem. In the U.S it is perhaps, not sure how good the sex-education is there but here it's excellent. We're warned from a very early age about the dangers of STD's and unprotected sex.
Also it's a very very small percentage of teenagers who smoke pot in Finland. When my sister was in Canada as an exchange student for a year, she said that smoking pot was very common and that people smoked it like they would smoke cigarettes. And me being pro-marijuana-legalization I don't think it's a problem either, at least not where I live. Because there isn't any widespread use of marijuana, not as long as it stays illegal at least.

And now I have a question for everyone: Why does almost everyone associate alcohol use with problems? Nearly all of my friends drink, and so do I and none of them (including me) has had any problems associated with alcohol use since they started drinking. None have developed alcoholism, none have had unwanted children, none have dropped out of school etc.

To me, it seems like the ones who do develop some form of alcoholism are a pretty small fraction of those that drink. If not, please educate me.

@Jae I'm one of those who get alcohol bought to me by my parents. I don't think that makes my mother a bad parent. She is an 'enabler' that I admit, but this is not common. Most of my friends were surprised when I told them my mother bought me a six-pack of beer / bottle of Jack Daniel's etc. So this I don't see this as a huge problem, mainly because it is so rare.


Last edited by Pho3nix; 04-10-2007 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:19 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pho3nix:

Yes. Most parents are restricting, and some are not. Generally I don't think that the situation is really that bad, I think you are taking this issue too seriously. Not sure how the situation is in your country, but It's definitely not that bad here. It's pretty controlled actually, many 13 year olds are forbidden to go to parties, they have strict rules about coming home from a party at a specific time etc. And about the issue on underage sex, I don't think that it's a huge problem. In the U.S it is perhaps, not sure how good the sex-education is there but here it's excellent. We're warned from a very early age about the dangers of STD's and unprotected sex.
Wow, well I had heard that Finland was something of a social paradise, but I had no idea it was so good.

Yes Pho3, here in the UK it is quite a problem, especially among the poor (who are an ever-growing group, I might add) alcohol-related violence is up, teenage pregnancy has been a pretty constant issue since the eighties... Yes, we live in quite the horrid place here.

We would undoubtedly benefit from better sex-education in our schools... but sadly- as in the US- there are always some nutty lobbying group or other (usually christian, muslim or far-right) getting together to complain about sex-education (which is evil, apparently), to complain about the handing out of contraceptive devices to teenagers (also evil and sinful), etcetera.

As for alcohol problems, alcoholism etcetera... I really can't comment on the dangers of alcoholism in Finland. Suffice it to say in the UK, it's a serious problem, with many underage drinkers causing trouble, injuring themselves and others and driving into other people while under the influence, etcetera.

However I will say that personal anecdotes like "my friends and I all drink and we have no problems!" aren't valid additions to a debate. They're generalisations and hearsay. The fact is that alcohol IS addictive, it DOES make people belligerent and over-confident, often leading to violent behaviour. Like all intoxicants, it should only be consumed by people old enough to make rational decisions for themselves.

So nope, I don't think I'm "taking the issue too seriously". I think in your country perhaps you can afford not to care about this issue... In my country I think we have to care.

Anyway, can I come and live in Finland?

-

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Because I don't agree that everything you've said about religion is common sense, and certainly I don't agree with you on that particular topic.
And I presume you think the same thing about my views on US/UK foreign policy.

Well, even a cursory glance at past threads on these topics will prove that my stances on religion and politics are indeed based solely on common sense, on basic- nay, on fundamental rational reasoning. There's nothing very rarified about my reasoning on these topics, my opinions merely reflect the available evidence. The diametrically opposed opinions of those I debated with in those threads- yourself included- do not reflect the available evidence. I can't imagine why you think otherwise, but then I've never really been able to understand the mindset behind faith-based beliefs, political or theistic.

I mean if you genuinely believe you've found a flaw in my reasoning somewhere, please point it out. PM me or post it, whichever. I'd be very grateful indeed. I don't think you've found one, (not because I'm uber-confident in my infallibility... but because if there were a flaw, you or some other person would probably have pointed it out by now... and nobody has) but if you have found one, it'd be most helpful to me.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Do you think we should wait until adulthood to teach basic morals? I doubt it. I don't think imparting moral principles and religion at an early age to be mental abuse obviously. My kids are hardly experiencing mental distress learning the Golden Rule and to love their neighbor at church.
Ahh, once again you equate your religious dogma of choice... with morality. But the two have nothing to do with each other. Being religious does not make one moral, morality is empathically rooted, and logically arrived at. No religion nor any god is needed to make one moral, and religions cannot offer to "teach moral behaviour".

For example, the character of Jesus certainly espoused some fairly laudable principles... but that's not all that young children learn from Christianity now, is it. They are taught- presuming they're being taught the whole package- that if you don't worship the judeo-christian weather-god, your soul will burn in the fires of heck for an unimaginably long eternity. They are taught that christians have a monopoly on morality. They are taught that the bible offers absolute truth.

All three ideas are demonstrably false, and in addition to these specific lies and many other lies, children are taught that belief without evidence is a virtue. And thus their little logic-organs are in serious danger of being crippled for life.

Secondly, the idea that religion offers a ready-made, flat-pack version of morality is dangerous from a moral perspective. Morality must be based on rational thought, and case-by-case analyses tailored to individual situations. It must also be independently arrived at. Or it ain't morality. Thus, religious indoctrination might in some cases have a negative effect on the morality of the subject. Religious dogma also provides many convenient excuses for immoral acts, lest we forget.

I call it mental abuse, because that's what it is. The quoshing of some measure of independent thought, the hobbling of some quantity of their rational capacity. I for one value what limited human brain I possess, and I would hate it if someone had tried to condition any portion of my reasoning power out of me at a vulnerable early age.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

When they're old enough to evaluate other religions and make a decision for themselves what, if any, faith they'd like to be, that will be their choice. In the meantime, we'll give them a solid moral foundation from which they can compare/contrast other faiths or lack thereof.
You can't possibly believe that their choice won't be irrevocably coloured and weighted by the religion they were indoctrinated into as children, can you? That's another reason indoctrinating young children is a form of mental abuse: It restricts their choices in later life. Most people- if they stay in a religion- stay in the religion they were brought up in. That's because little child-brains often accept things they're told as being truth. It's an evolutionary advantage for various reasons, but organised religion abuses it like HIV abuses weaknesses in our immune systems. Like a computer virus abuses weaknesses in code.

And once again you seem to be conflating moral teachings with religious teachings. You may well be giving your kids a good moral grounding... by teaching them to reason and by re-enforcing their sense of empathy. But that has nothing to do with training them in your religion. It's totally separate.

I mean, I fully expect your mind to recoil from this idea reflexively, as you- like all religious folk- seem to have a certain amount of personal investment in your particular world-view. Nevertheless I would ask you to take some time- perhaps during a quiet five minute period- to sit down and genuinely think about this point I've made. Evaluate it purely logically... as if you weren't religious. If you can look at the concept purely rationally, you will find that the assertion that religious indoctrination of children is undeniably negative, is a true assertion.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

What makes me furious is the stories of parents actually buying kegs for a party at their house for their highschooler and his/her friends to have a good time. Now _this_ is child abuse, not only of their own child but of other children.
Do people really do this? Why, that sounds almost as bad as that "Jesus camp" thing.


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Old 04-11-2007, 02:10 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And I presume you think the same thing about my views on US/UK foreign policy.
I don't like the war either, but we need to fix what we screwed up. However, that's going off on a tangent and in a direction I prefer not to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
children are taught that belief without evidence is a virtue. And thus their little logic-organs are in serious danger of being crippled for life.
That's quite a dramatic word-picture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
That's because little child-brains often accept things they're told as being truth. It's an evolutionary advantage for various reasons, but organised religion abuses it like HIV abuses weaknesses in our immune systems. Like a computer virus abuses weaknesses in code.
Dawkins would be proud.
They will be free to investigate other religions as they see fit when they get old enough to do so. I don't intend to raise them as religious automatons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And once again you seem to be conflating moral teachings with religious teachings. You may well be giving your kids a good moral grounding... by teaching them to reason and by re-enforcing their sense of empathy. But that has nothing to do with training them in your religion. It's totally separate.
Christianity provides a moral paradigm in which I choose to raise my kids. I like the ideals of Christ's love and caring for mankind, and those are morals I want my kids to share.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Nevertheless I would ask you to take some time- perhaps during a quiet five minute period- to sit down and genuinely think about this point I've made. Evaluate it purely logically... as if you weren't religious.
Before you write me off as just another religious loony, try not just 5 minutes, but several months of reading on various philosophers (Kant, Hume, Sartre, etc--philosophy was one of the few courses I didn't take in college), along with some pretty intense apologetics writers (Geisler, Zacharias), cosmology, and some writings by Russell and the most recent by Dawkins. There's no way to assimilate the equivalent of several college courses of philosophy and religion in just a few months on top of the mass chaos that is my Real Life, and have fun doing other things, like writing, reading something a little lighter, playing some games, or spending time with my family. I'm not ignoring you, I'm waiting until a. I have more complete answers and b. I can address it a little more dispassionately. I will say I have yet to see a satisfactory answer on how the universe can be created out of nothing. I haven't yet seen any good answers that line up with current scientific theories on the origin of the universe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Do people really do this? Why, that sounds almost as bad as that "Jesus camp" thing.
Jesus camp people may do a number of things wrong, but they don't get themselves or other kids drunk, get into their cars, and plow into other people, killing or injuring innocents.
Yes, unfortunately, there are parents who have keg parties for their high school age kid and all their friends. Not only are they setting a horrible example for their own child, but they're fostering inappropriate attitudes about youth drinking in other people's children, and contributing to underage drunk driving and quite possibly alcohol abuse problems later in the affected children's lives. Their priority clearly is 'good times' over parental and societal responsibilities.


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Old 04-11-2007, 11:40 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I don't like the war either, but we need to fix what we screwed up.
Once again Jae, you appear to be totally ignoring everything that has been pointed out to you before on this topic in the past.

Of course we have a moral obligation to fix what we screwed up. But illegally & immorally occupying Iraq isn't fixing it. Isn't going to fix it. So your support of said occupation is counter-productive and misguided.

I mean, there's plenty of argument and evidence proving this point. One merely has to look at these past threads (among many others) to confirm this:

Saddaam Hussein given death sentence
Iraq is the new Godwin's Law
Ok, what are y'all opinions on the FCC
Saddam executed - what now for Iraq? - Which is the most recent, and still open for discussion. If you wish to offer any more detailed criticisms of the reasoning behing the anti-war, anti-occupation position, that's the place to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
That's quite a dramatic word-picture.
And an accurate picture. We have an innate capacity to reason logically, and religious indoctrination in childhood will often stunt the growth of this capacity. Often irreversibly, judging by my debates with religious folk.

If you have any reasoning to suggest that it ISN'T an accurate picture, it'd be most interesting to read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Dawkins would be proud.
They will be free to investigate other religions as they see fit when they get old enough to do so. I don't intend to raise them as religious automatons.
Your intention is irrelevant Jae, when you raise children in a religion, producing religious automatons is a genuine risk. Once again you ignored completely my arguments pointing out that teaching kids that belief without evidence is a VIRTUE is fundamentally damaging to their sense of reason.

Oh, I'm not saying that your kids WON'T see sense and be atheists in later life, any more than I'm saying that smoking in front of your children will definitely give them chronic breathing disorders in later life. I am saying that it's a serious risk. And that's pretty incontrivertable.

Thanks for the compliment by the way, Dawkins is one of the great minds in the world today. So I highly doubt I'd qualify to receive his "pride". Nice of you to say so though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Christianity provides a moral paradigm in which I choose to raise my kids.
It doesn't provide any such thing, Jae. Morality is a set of universal and objective principles derived logically and motivated by human empathy.

You don't get morality from religion. Any morality that is not derived purely logically is inherently immoral, therefore religious "morality" isn't moral. Any version of morality that you don't reason out logically for yourself, is also inherently immoral.

Giving children a judeo-christian flat-pack, set-in-stone set of laws and telling them it's morality can only be bad for their own developing moral sense. It may have no effect, in which case they'll be moral people, or it may have a negative effect, in which case they'll confuse religious dogma for morality for the rest of their lives. Which is bad.

But trying to squeeze all these arguments into a couple of paragraphs is difficult, go here for more in-depth reasoning on the subject from various serious people: Thread: moral relativism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Before you write me off as just another religious loony, try not just 5 minutes, but several months of reading on various philosophers (Kant, Hume, Sartre, etc--philosophy was one of the few courses I didn't take in college), along with some pretty intense apologetics writers (Geisler, Zacharias), cosmology, and some writings by Russell and the most recent by Dawkins.
First of all, you rather missed my point. I'm fully aware that you read widely on the subject, as you've told me so in the past. (From past experience, I would say that you read widely in an attempt to find arguments that support the existence of your god rather than in an attempt to find the truth, but that's not relevant to my upcoming point) What I was trying to imply was that five minutes of rational thought would be more productive than a lifetime of theistic cherry-picking.

I'll say again: Spend five minutes thinking on this as if you weren't a theist. I mean literally discard the concept of deities from your mind. Act for five minutes as if you exist in a world without gods. (Which, coincidentally, you do.) See where it leads you.

It'd be tough, but it'd be worthwhile I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I'm not ignoring you, I'm waiting until a. I have more complete answers and b. I can address it a little more dispassionately. I will say I have yet to see a satisfactory answer on how the universe can be created out of nothing. I haven't yet seen any good answers that line up with current scientific theories on the origin of the universe.
Once again, you're ignoring things that have been put to you in the past:

The choice isn't between:

1. A totally accurate and proven scientific theory explaining to the last detail the beginnings of our universe, and

2. God or gods exist!

That's a fallacious false dichotomy. The fact that we aren't certain regarding the circumstances surrounding the creation of our universe... doesn't imply that god exists. That's a total non-sequitur on your part.

In addition, it's worth noting that nearly all cosmological theories on the creation of the universe- half-baked as they often are- have MORE evidence and MORE logical reasoning to back them up than your "god theory" does. So why do you think that the latter outweighs the former? It's bizarre.

But of course this has all been discussed to death before in the "Why Atheism?" thread. And you never addressed these points before, so I doubt you'll do so now. And I am saddened by this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Jesus camp people may do a number of things wrong, but they don't get themselves or other kids drunk, get into their cars, and plow into other people, killing or injuring innocents.
That's true, the Jesus camp people merely warp the fragile minds of countless impressionable youths, smiting their fledgling reasoning abilities before they have a chance to develop fully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Their priority clearly is 'good times' over parental and societal responsibilities.
Mmm, very much like Jesus camp, if one replaces the words "good times" with the words "dogmatic conformity".


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Old 04-11-2007, 03:58 PM   #51
Jae Onasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Once again Jae, you appear to be totally ignoring everything that has been pointed out to you before on this topic in the past.
Nope, not really ignoring it, just recognizing there's very little I myself can do to effect any kind of change there, so I'm not going to invest a ton of time and emotional energy into it. The anti-war banner is your thing. I have other social issues that are my thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Of course we have a moral obligation to fix what we screwed up. But illegally & immorally occupying Iraq isn't fixing it. Isn't going to fix it. So your support of said occupation is counter-productive and misguided.
If there is a way to fix the problem without being there, then I'd love to see it. However, I'm jaded enough to believe that as soon as our troops are out of there, our legislators are going to adopt an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality and the country will tear itself apart as it seems like it so badly wants to do right now. I don't believe that the problem will garner much if any attention (or money) from either of our governments once we leave, and given what we've done there, that's really sad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Your intention is irrelevant Jae, when you raise children in a religion, producing religious automatons is a genuine risk. Once again you ignored completely my arguments pointing out that teaching kids that belief without evidence is a VIRTUE is fundamentally damaging to their sense of reason.
Well, I don't plan on teaching them that 'believe in the Bible or go to hell and that's all you need to know!!' I wasn't ignoring it, I just really didn't have anything to say to you about it other than 'I don't agree with your stance on atheism'. How I raise my children is my responsibility and privilege, not yours or anyone else's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Oh, I'm not saying that your kids WON'T see sense and be atheists in later life, any more than I'm saying that smoking in front of your children will definitely give them chronic breathing disorders in later life. I am saying that it's a serious risk. And that's pretty incontrivertable.
You're comparing apples to oranges with that analogy. Smoking has definitive health risks to the individual user and those who regularly inhale the second-hand smoke. Christianity does not have definitive health risks to the individual practitioner and the family. About the worst that can be said is that someone will have to suffer through a boring sermon on Sunday.

While we're on the subject of smoking, it's entirely too easy for teens to get access to cigarettes. We know cigarette smoking causes asthma, atherosclerosis, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, and emphysema. Those who start smoking as teens have a greater risk of addiction and severe chronic health problems that are not only bad for their quality of life but incredibly expensive for society to treat, too. Why aren't the rules much stricter on sales to minors?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Thanks for the compliment by the way, Dawkins is one of the great minds in the world today. So I highly doubt I'd qualify to receive his "pride". Nice of you to say so though.
I don't agree with all his conclusions but he does make some very interesting arguments and asks some very good and legitimate questions that theists can't ignore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
It doesn't provide any such thing, Jae. Morality is a set of universal and objective principles derived logically and motivated by human empathy.
You don't get morality from religion. Any morality that is not derived purely logically is inherently immoral, therefore religious "morality" isn't moral. Any version of morality that you don't reason out logically for yourself, is also inherently immoral.
So because Christ says 'Love your neighbor' that's immoral because it's in the Bible? That's throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but, that's a different thread also.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Giving children a judeo-christian flat-pack, set-in-stone set of laws and telling them it's morality can only be bad for their own developing moral sense. It may have no effect, in which case they'll be moral people, or it may have a negative effect, in which case they'll confuse religious dogma for morality for the rest of their lives. Which is bad.
What is bad is giving them a free-for-all version of moral relativism that says 'if it feels good and doesn't really hurt someone, then it's good' that is so pervasive, at least in the US. Levels of empathy are extremely variable. A person with antisocial personality disorder has absolutely no empathy whatsoever for those around him, and others are so empathic that they can practically live in someone else's life with no problem. A system based on empathy means that an individual can say 'my empathy stops here, so my morality stops here'. You can set up a system of laws or morals based on a generally agreed-upon level of empathy, but what if that level changes as the legislators change? What if you have a very empathic legislature for one term, and next term a group that has very little overall empathy? Do you change the laws then? Why should your level of empathy be more valid than mine? Were we less moral thousands of years ago because our ability to empathize was lower? Are we going to be considered insufficiently moral by those who come after us 20,000 years from now because their capacity to empathize may be higher than ours as that evolves? Stalin and Mao's level of empathy for the people they governed was so low that millions died under their rule--their underlying moral code that drove their political views dictated that the needs of the state (and themselves) vastly outweighed the needs of the people. Empathy is no better a basis for morality than a definitive, unchanging standard where God is the benchmark of what is ultimate good. In fact, an empathic basis for morality invites a sliding scale of morality as empathy changes, and we end up ruling from the lowest common denominator with disastrous results for humanity.
Kids need to be taught that there are things that are definitively right and definitively wrong. Moral relativism is allowing anyone to justify nearly any behavior on the basis of what feels good to them and what they don't consider injurious (even if it is and they don't know it). This isn't benefiting society, it's tearing it apart as drug and alcohol addiction, child porn and abuse, and a host of other immoral behaviors soar in the name of 'I feel good about it for me'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
But trying to squeeze all these arguments into a couple of paragraphs is difficult, go here for more in-depth reasoning on the subject from various serious people: Thread: moral relativism
Meh, I've probably said all I feel like saying about it above. When you can find an unchanging standard as a basis for determining right and wrong, I'll check it out again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
First of all, you rather missed my point. I'm fully aware that you read widely on the subject, as you've told me so in the past. (From past experience, I would say that you read widely in an attempt to find arguments that support the existence of your god rather than in an attempt to find the truth, but that's not relevant to my upcoming point) What I was trying to imply was that five minutes of rational thought would be more productive than a lifetime of theistic cherry-picking.
Why would you think that I wouldn't have some of the same questions you have about religion and want them answered to my satisfaction? I simply prefer not to suspend belief unless I have good answers on why I should suspend that belief.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
I'll say again: Spend five minutes thinking on this as if you weren't a theist. I mean literally discard the concept of deities from your mind. Act for five minutes as if you exist in a world without gods. (Which, coincidentally, you do.) See where it leads you.
Your conclusion about the world being without God, not mine. However, I will consider it and try to think in your paradigm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Once again, you're ignoring things that have been put to you in the past:

The choice isn't between:

1. A totally accurate and proven scientific theory explaining to the last detail the beginnings of our universe, and

2. God or gods exist!

That's a fallacious false dichotomy. The fact that we aren't certain regarding the circumstances surrounding the creation of our universe... doesn't imply that god exists. That's a total non-sequitur on your part.
You're dodging the question. I'm not asking you to come up with a totally accurate scientific theory on the origin of the universe. I'm asking you how you can logically defend the view that in a naturalistic system, the universe by definition was not created by any outside being and therefore the universe was created out of nothing. Since we have absolutely no evidence that something has ever been created out of nothing, and that in fact it is entirely illogical to believe that something can be created out of nothing, then it is illogical to believe the universe came into being out of nothing. Naturalism cannot ever provide a satisfactory answer to that, and it is the Achilles' heel of the atheistic worldview. If the universe indeed was created by something, then that 'something' had to have enormous power to create the singularity and then alter it to explode into an entire universe, and immense intelligence to organize it the way it's organized. That 'something' could be what we call God. Since the probability, no matter how low, of something creating the universe is higher than the zero probability that the universe was created out of nothing, then it is logical to consider God as a possibility. In fact, it's illogical to continue to believe in a purely naturalistic view of cosmology.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
In addition, it's worth noting that nearly all cosmological theories on the creation of the universe- half-baked as they often are- have MORE evidence and MORE logical reasoning to back them up than your "god theory" does. So why do you think that the latter outweighs the former? It's bizarre.
And these are?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
But of course this has all been discussed to death before in the "Why Atheism?" thread. And you never addressed these points before, so I doubt you'll do so now. And I am saddened by this.
I'm working on it. It's taking a long time to synthesize all the material that I've been reading. I also have to pick a time when I won't get worked up over how you word your counter-arguments, because life's too short to get all frustrated by arguing sides of an issue where neither of us is likely to budge, and on a Star Wars forum at that.
The statement that you are 'saddened by this' can be taken multiple ways, and I have to wonder how my lack of timely response could possibly be important enough to cause sadness. I'm really not that exciting. Well, not in that way, anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
That's true, the Jesus camp people merely warp the fragile minds of countless impressionable youths, smiting their fledgling reasoning abilities before they have a chance to develop fully.
Good heavens, you make it sound like a Neverwinter Nights game where we're all out to Smite Down the Evil Religions and Take Back the World for the Glory of Atheism/Agnosticism/Etc.!!! You also are making it sound like you think this stupid little camp of a small group of people is far more important than the very serious and widespread problem of underage drinking and especially drunk driving, which is having an impact on far more people than the Jesus Camp will ever affect. _I_ didn't even know about the Jesus Camp until I saw it here, and I'm pretty aware of the fringe stuff in the evangelical/fundamentalist circles.

And back to the topic of teen issues, the biggest problems facing teens are not religious--they're things like underage and binge drinking, teen pregnancy, learning how to handle sex appropriately, drunk driving, drug and smoking addiction, dealing with abuse--in the school, in the home, and in other places, learning healthy behaviors, learning how to deal with peer pressure, the influence of media on teens, and getting a solid education in a public school setting. While I think religion sometimes can provide answers to some of these problems, I'm far more practical than assuming religion can deal with it exclusively--we have to come up with workable solutions that are multi-faceted in order to deal with all this.

What I never want to see again is what I saw about 15 years back. When I worked in an ICU at a children's hospital while going thru school, I got to see first hand the results of drunk driving--a guy driving (they estimate) 70 miles an hour plowed into an Amish buggy. The father, the 5-month pregnant mother, and 2 children died instantly of massive trauma. Two girls were on life support when I got to work that day, and they weren't sure if one of them was going to make it through that night. Both of them had multiple life-threatening internal and head injuries. Both would require extensive medical care for months, one had such bad head injuries it was unlikely she would ever have any kind of quality of life or functioning above that of a small child.

The drunk driver was a repeat offender (convicted twice before) and knew how to work the system. He refused the breatholyzer at the scene, so the cops immediately arrested him as per Ohio law which was relatively new at that point, and got an emergency court order for a blood alcohol test. By the time they could secure the order and take the blood it was several hours later, and his blood alcohol was still above the legal limit for driving. He eventually got convicted on 5 counts of involuntary manslaughter and was locked up--but it took 3 separate incidents and the deaths of 5 people to get that.

So many things went wrong there--he drank too much and had an alcohol problem, he felt he was above the law and could drive even if he was drunk, he had no concern for the possibility of his actions on others, he sped 70 mph on a 35mph road in an area known to be heavily populated with Amish who drive slow-moving buggies, the bartender didn't cut him off at an appropriate point, no one offered to call him a cab or give him a ride home (provided they were sober themselves), no one said 'hey Joe, give me the keys, won't you?', no one called the cops when they knew he was too impaired to be driving so they could catch him before he destroyed an entire family.

We're doing a horrible job of educating people on underage drinking, driving while intoxicated, calling authorities when we know someone is driving drunk or possibly drunk (and by the way--you may be saving someone's life by calling authorities--an erratic driver isn't always drunk, they may be having a medical emergency like a heart attack), dealing with adults who allow not only their kids but others' kids to have access to alcohol and/or drugs. Solving those problems so teens don't drive drunk or develop chronic alcohol/drug addictions, among the many other issues facing them, is paramount, and we're doing way too little way too late.


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Old 04-11-2007, 09:18 PM   #52
Spider AL
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Whew, this is a little long...

Religious upbringing of children:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Well, I don't plan on teaching them that 'believe in the Bible or go to hell and that's all you need to know!!'
Of course not, but there are many other negative things in the "good book". (As well as some fine proto-dissident axioms from the character of Jesus.) However it's worth pointing out that this "pledge allegiance to this imaginary being or burn forever" concept somewhat... overrides all others now, doesn't it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I wasn't ignoring it, I just really didn't have anything to say to you about it other than 'I don't agree with your stance on atheism'.
That IS ignoring the points. Someone makes several carefully thought out logical points in an attempt to prove an argument... and you respond merely with: "I don't agree." But you give no reasons, no arguments, no rebuttals.

You've done this in many threads to my knowledge, I can only assume it's because you HAVE no counter-arguments, and yet are still unwilling to accept the logical conclusions that your opponents' reasoning leads you to. Which if you'll forgive me, seems rather obstinate to me.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

How I raise my children is my responsibility and privilege, not yours or anyone else's.
Hah! That's not up for debate Jae, and frankly if it's some sort of attempt to lambast me into keeping quiet on how I think children in general should be raised, I think it's rather bizarre. And I can't see any other reason why you'd say such a thing. Kids shouldn't be exposed to religion, as it can warp their minds. End of story.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

You're comparing apples to oranges with that analogy. Smoking has definitive health risks to the individual user and those who regularly inhale the second-hand smoke. Christianity does not have definitive health risks to the individual practitioner and the family.
Actually, they're quite comparable in this respect: They can both cause damage, one can cause physical damage to the respiratory system, the other can cause mental damage, specifically, damage to the logical faculty. And I for one value my mind at least as much as I value my body.

As for tightening up on sales of cigarettes to minors, I absolutely agree, just as I want religion to stop infecting our kids' biology classes with its pernicious brain-numbing claptrap. Kids need to be protected from dangers, both physical and mental.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Good heavens, you make it sound like a Neverwinter Nights game where we're all out to Smite Down the Evil Religions and Take Back the World for the Glory of Atheism/Agnosticism/Etc.!!!
A typical misrepresentation. Without basis in anything I've said here and now, or in the past.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

You also are making it sound like you think this stupid little camp of a small group of people is far more important than the very serious and widespread problem of underage drinking and especially drunk driving
Once again a misrepresentation. I was (quite obviously) comparing a small group of young people being mentally crippled at Jesus camp to a small group of young people being cognitively crippled by alcohol (bought by their parents).

If you want to talk about things that compare to the "widespread problem of underage drinking", we can talk about organised religions as a whole. They facilitate quite a few serious problems worldwide.

-

Religion as "morality":

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

So because Christ says 'Love your neighbor' that's immoral because it's in the Bible? That's throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but, that's a different thread also.
Straw-man, Jae. Nobody ever said that "love your neighbor" was immoral, merely that:

1. the bible contains plenty of immoral things, often things that directly contradict the things that might otherwise be considered moral, and

2. that any set of rules claiming to be a "ready-made morality" fly in the face of the fact that true, logical morality must be based around independent logical reasoning. If you accept ANY set of "holy rules" as being "morality", you're abrogating your responsibility to apply logic to find morality. Thus, you're being immoral.

In other words: If you think something's moral merely because you've been TOLD that it's moral, you're not being moral. Morality must be reasoned out.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

What is bad is giving them a free-for-all version of moral relativism that says 'if it feels good and doesn't really hurt someone, then it's good' that is so pervasive, at least in the US.
Once again, you string up a fallacious false-dichotomy.

It's not a choice between Christian "morality" (dogma, set in stone) and hedonistic moral relativism. In fact, neither are moral!

Morality is objective morality, logically arrived at, motivated by empathy. End of story.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Levels of empathy are extremely variable. A person with antisocial personality disorder has absolutely no empathy whatsoever for those around him
Which is why sociopaths can't be moral people. Not everyone can be moral, Jae. This fact doesn't invalidate morality as a concept, nor does it validate your religion's claims of a moral monopoly.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

A system based on empathy means that an individual can say 'my empathy stops here, so my morality stops here'.
Like many christians in older threads, you misunderstand what I've been saying rather fundamentally.

Empathy motivates one to SEEK morality. Empathy doesn't define morality. Logic does that. Reason does that.

Look, let me give you an example. I've never been able to empathise to any great degree... with chimpanzees. I just don't like them, I don't know why. Perhaps a chimpanzee frightened me when I was a child or something. I've never been able to put myself in their shoes.

Does this mean I behave immorally towards chimps, or any other creature I find that I can't empathise with? No. Because my LOGIC tells me that if I empathise with ONE living creature, if I have the desire to behave morally towards ONE living creature... I must logically behave morally towards them all. Because they're all alive, they all feel suffering, etcetera.

Empathy motivates one to find the moral principle, but from then on, the logical principle pretty much applies itself. The occasional nudge from empathy is all that's required.

In other words, we all have gaps in our capacity to empathise. But logic fills those gaps, and it's this logically arrived at standard of behaviour we call "morality".

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Meh, I've probably said all I feel like saying about it above. When you can find an unchanging standard as a basis for determining right and wrong, I'll check it out again.
I've found it. It's called logic. An unchanging abstract that provides the standard called morality. We may fail to be logical... but that doesn't mean logic changes. Logic remains the same.

And once again, you don't have to post in the thread "moral relativism", in order to read it. I recommend you do the latter.

-

Atheism specifically:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I don't agree with all his conclusions but he does make some very interesting arguments and asks some very good and legitimate questions that theists can't ignore.
Dawkins doesn't just provide good questions, he makes good logical arguments too. I don't know whether you're ignoring the questions he poses, but you're certainly ignoring his arguments and his points. Otherwise, I rather think you'd be an atheist.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Why would you think that I wouldn't have some of the same questions you have about religion and want them answered to my satisfaction? I simply prefer not to suspend belief unless I have good answers on why I should suspend that belief.
1. because such questions have been answered dozens of times over. If you really wanted a TRUE answer to your questions, you have it. But you don't seem to want to accept it, which leads me to believe that you're waiting until you get an answer that agrees with your theistic world-view.

2. "Suspend belief"... this is fundamental to my point, Jae. A rational person requires evidence before believing. A theist refuses to suspend their existing belief until evidence of NON-EXISTENCE is provided. And that's irrational.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

You're dodging the question. I'm not asking you to come up with a totally accurate scientific theory on the origin of the universe. I'm asking you how you can logically defend the view that in a naturalistic system, the universe by definition was not created by any outside being and therefore the universe was created out of nothing.
I really don't think I'm dodging the question Jae, I rather think that you've presented ANOTHER false dichotomy. Or perhaps a bit of a straw-man. Or both. Let me explain:

My view is NOT as you assert that "in a naturalistic system, the universe by definition was not created by any outside being and therefore the universe was created out of nothing." That's a wierd, illogical nonsense view that only theists ever come out with or talk about, to my knowledge.

First of all, my view is that we don't KNOW what created the universe. Therefore assuming it was a BEING is illogical, assuming it was a DEITY-type being doubly so. Neither are suggested by evidence.

Maybe some freakish clash of thoughtless energy created the thing we have come to call "the universe". Maybe a giant blancmange did it. Maybe I did it. You never considered that one, did you, eh? EH?

But to assume (as you do) that a "god" did it... Heck, why pick that one out of the hat? Because it's your existing desire to believe that a god exists, because that idea agrees with your theistic world-view, that's why.

Secondly who but theists claim that the universe was "created out of nothing"? My view is that we do not know what existed prior to the creation of our universe. Many have theorised on the topic, some say that matter existed in some form prior to the big event, but that time as we know it did not... It's not at all relevant, as assuming that the judeo-christian deity existed is not suggested by any evidence. Other than a few old books fulll of primitive hearsay and anecdotes, that is. Not exactly good evidence.

So once again, there is no choice between "god made it all" or "nothing made it all". This is a fallacious, false dichotomy.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Your conclusion about the world being without God, not mine. However, I will consider it and try to think in your paradigm.
Not in "my" paradigm specifically Jae, I'm asking that- for a short period- you think purely rationally. I don't want you to replicate my mindset nor my views in your head, I want you to examine the evidence as if you have no views. Atheists have no "views on god(s)" as such, they await evidence to be presented suggesting the existence of such beings.

To think like an atheist, you must set your theism to zero, and your rationalism as high as it possibly will go.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

And these are?
Sorry, you're asking what the cosmological theories are regarding the beginnings of the universe? There are so many. There's so much reading to do on big bang theory, brane cosmological theories... Hawking's written his pre-big bang ramblings down somewhere where you can find them, I'm sure. I regard them as mere whimsy, half-baked stuff as I stated before. But at least he's put some genius-level thought into it.

And my point was: as half-baked and deeply theoretical as these ideas may be, these ideas began when someone sat down and thought... "How did the universe start off?"

By contrast, the "god explanation" starts off from a standpoint of: "what evidence can we find to support the idea that our god started the universe off?"

Thus there's more logical reasoning and rationalism behind the former, than there is behind the latter.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I'm working on it. It's taking a long time to synthesize all the material that I've been reading. I also have to pick a time when I won't get worked up over how you word your counter-arguments, because life's too short to get all frustrated by arguing sides of an issue where neither of us is likely to budge, and on a Star Wars forum at that.
1. This isn't a Star Wars forum. It's a forum hosted on a Star Wars related board, but this is undeniably a serious debating forum. Frustration is a given during serious debates, I find.

2. We're back to this "I'm not answering your points/questions because of your wording!" are we? Fine, although it doesn't hold water. I wasn't the only one to ask such questions/make such points in those ANCIENT threads. Do you have a problem with the wording of those other people too? You've had months in some cases to answer their points.

I'm beginning to theorise that you ignore points and questions- not because you don't HAVE an answer... but because you have an answer that you don't like. Perhaps it could be said that you're not ignoring my arguments so much as you are attempting to ignore your own innate logical faculty.

For the logic leads one inexorably to this conclusion: It makes no sense to believe in gods.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

The statement that you are 'saddened by this' can be taken multiple ways, and I have to wonder how my lack of timely response could possibly be important enough to cause sadness. I'm really not that exciting. Well, not in that way, anyway.
Well it's not just you, Jae. Your reaction (the whole running away thing) is the reaction of nearly EVERY theist I've ever debated with or seen being debated with by others. I say nearly every theist, because there are some nutters who have a different reaction: namely, quoting scripture and damning their opponent to heck with gusto.

It saddens me that irrationalism is such a pernicious state that it produces this reflexive, defensive response in people when they're confronted with logic. I've come to terms with it over the years, I do not debate in the expectation of convincing anyone of anything... but it still saddens me.

-

Occupation of Iraq:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Nope, not really ignoring it, just recognizing there's very little I myself can do to effect any kind of change there, so I'm not going to invest a ton of time and emotional energy into it.
You're ignoring the point again. You support the illegal & immoral occupation of Iraq because you state "we have to fix what we screwed up", and it's patently obvious that our presence in Iraq as an occupying force has been nothing but detrimental to that nation. They want us gone, (and note that I've posted links to many polls of the Iraqi people to PROVE this) and since we invaded THEIR country, we have no right to go against their wishes. Therefore, we should leave, as staying ain't fixing, and they don't want us there anyway.

You've never offered a counter-argument to these points, that rather completely invalidate your statements, yet you persist with your repetition of those statements. I don't see any logic in that.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

If there is a way to fix the problem without being there, then I'd love to see it. However, I'm jaded enough to believe that as soon as our troops are out of there, our legislators are going to adopt an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality and the country will tear itself apart as it seems like it so badly wants to do right now. I don't believe that the problem will garner much if any attention (or money) from either of our governments once we leave, and given what we've done there, that's really sad.
There is of course a way to fix the problem without remaining in Iraq as an occupying force and as a focus for violence. Help them financially and technologically WITHOUT having an occupying force in the country.

You seem to say that our governments are unlikely to foot the bill for such an altruistic course of action. But does that mean it's better to remain in Iraq? No. Of course it doesn't. It means what you and every other US/UK citizen should be doing is campaigning for withdrawal of the occupying force AND campaigning for the government to live up to their moral obligations and send lots of money, military/policing advisors, etcetera. It's the only moral thing to do.

The only thing that remaining in Iraq will do is cause more Iraqi bloodshed, more hatred of the US and UK, and more deaths among our troops. Don't forget that our control is limited in Iraq. We're not doing as much good as we are doing harm. The choice is simple.


[FW] Spider AL
--
Hewwo, meesa Jar-Jar Binks. Yeah. Excusing me, but me needs to go bust meesa head in with dissa claw-hammer, because yousa have stripped away meesa will to living.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:29 AM   #53
Jae Onasi
Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem
 
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I've been stuck in the house since the car is in the shop and we got 8 inches of snow today, and my poor daughter is sick with a nasty virus. I'm ornery today, and killing off a few levels of vampires of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines didn't help. Just thought I'd give fair warning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
You've done this in many threads to my knowledge, I can only assume it's because you HAVE no counter-arguments, and yet are still unwilling to accept the logical conclusions that your opponents' reasoning leads you to. Which if you'll forgive me, seems rather obstinate to me.
Or...I've been busy with a number of things in Real Life and doing a lot of reading, including looking at different possible counter-arguments. I'm not in any particular hurry, to be honest, and I said I'd try to find an answer. I haven't lied about that, despite the Caddyshack gopher impression I apparently seem to be giving. I posted, you answered, I'm thinking about what you said, I don't have an answer at this point. However, I also never specified a timetable, though you apparently had something in mind. I try not to indulge in flippant answers, tonight's post notwithstanding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Hah! That's not up for debate Jae, and frankly if it's some sort of attempt to lambast me into keeping quiet on how I think children in general should be raised, I think it's rather bizarre. And I can't see any other reason why you'd say such a thing. Kids shouldn't be exposed to religion, as it can warp their minds. End of story.
No, you are certainly entitled to make an opinion about how children should be raised. God knows everyone else in the universe has an opinion on how children should be raised. Given that you cheerfully offer opinions on anything and everything, I did not expect you to be silent on the issue of raising kids. I would have thought it was exceedingly strange if you didn't have an opinion on that, actually. What I have not asked for, nor desire, is an opinion on how I'm raising _my_ kids, and while I certainly can't stop you, I'd appreciate it if you did not pass judgment on that. Raising my kids is my purview alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Actually, they're quite comparable in this respect: They can both cause damage, one can cause physical damage to the respiratory system, the other can cause mental damage, specifically, damage to the logical faculty. And I for one value my mind at least as much as I value my body.
Oh, yes, we religious types are just all running around mentally and logically impaired. Does that mean you object to Christian doctors working on any health issues you may have? They might not use their logic in diagnosing what ails you and say that a heart problem was nothing more than a bad case of pimples. A Christian nurse might illogically give someone a neck tourniquet and a Christian dentist might use his impaired logic to drill on someone's nose. Better not get on the road with all us logically impaired drivers--we might decide that logic tells us red is green!

Yes, I can definitely see the comparability between what my grandfather went through dying of COPD after years of smoking and the waste of my mental capacity sitting in Sunday school learning how Christ's love had an impact on such things as King and his drive for non-violent protests for civil rights. Whoa, I feel so enlightened now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
As for tightening up on sales of cigarettes to minors, I absolutely agree, just as I want religion to stop infecting our kids' biology classes with its pernicious brain-numbing claptrap. Kids need to be protected from dangers, both physical and mental.
I went to public school, and there was a whole couple of days on evolution in biology, and God wasn't ever mentioned once. Sales of cigarettes to minors happens many times on a daily basis year round. It's very clear from those numbers alone where our focus should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Once again a misrepresentation. I was (quite obviously) comparing a small group of young people being mentally crippled at Jesus camp to a small group of young people being cognitively crippled by alcohol (bought by their parents).
I _wish_ the number of parents buying drugs and alcohol for their children was small. It's not a small problem in the US, and with prom season in full swing, we're going to see another big round of it, unfortunately, as idiot parents decide that their kids should have a little 'fun' with a few kegs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
If you want to talk about things that compare to the "widespread problem of underage drinking", we can talk about organised religions as a whole.
Actually, I really wanted to talk about solving the problem of underage drinking more, and you're having a heyday going after religion. My kids aren't at a driving age now, but they (frighteningly to me) will be in a few short years. I'd like to take a proactive approach on teen issues, and some things start now while they're still young.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
They facilitate quite a few serious problems worldwide.
Underage drinking is a huge problem. There is no upside to underage drinking whatsoever. At least with religion you have things like hospitals getting built by charities and medical missions, including to places where they are not allowed to talk about Christianity (lest you think it's all about preaching)--they do it simply because they have decided they want to show Christ's love to the world. Medical missions and charity hospitals have treated billions over the course of the centuries. However, since charity hospitals don't win wars and aren't nearly as sexy to historians as battlefield heroes, we don't hear about such positive religious things in history books, just the wars where greedy men decided to use religion as an excuse for their warmongering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
2. that any set of rules claiming to be a "ready-made morality" fly in the face of the fact that true, logical morality must be based around independent logical reasoning. If you accept ANY set of "holy rules" as being "morality", you're abrogating your responsibility to apply logic to find morality. Thus, you're being immoral.
You're calling me immoral? Please. That is so over the top I've used up my laugh quota for the moment.

By what moral authority have you determined that your independent logical reasoning is moral? Your own? Why should I accept your brand of logic as logical for the entire universe? You're a man who has made mistakes like every other human being on this planet. You've done illogical things in your life just as I have. Why should I accept your human logic, my logic, or anyone else's logic as the be-all, end-all that determines morality? I think pegging morality to a constantly changing standard is the height of human arrogance and the ultimate in human foolishness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Which is why sociopaths can't be moral people. Not everyone can be moral, Jae. This fact doesn't invalidate morality as a concept, nor does it validate your religion's claims of a moral monopoly.
Like many christians in older threads, you misunderstand what I've been saying rather fundamentally.
Disagreement doesn't mean misunderstanding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Empathy motivates one to SEEK morality. Empathy doesn't define morality. Logic does that. Reason does that.
Fine, substitute 'reason and logic' where I mistakenly wrote 'empathy'--the outcome is still the same--some can employ logic or reason better than others, so you've pegged morality on a sliding scale. Does that make ultimate morality available only to the brightest intellectuals, since they're the only ones who truly understand logic? Stupid people aren't capable of living morally? How elitist. Things are not 'more right' and 'less right' according to someone's ability to reason. Some things are either right or wrong, period, regardless of reasoning capacity. My grandma did not graduate high school, and she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but her code of conduct is just as moral, if not more so, than any of the college professors I've met.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Does this mean I behave immorally towards chimps, or any other creature I find that I can't empathise with? No. Because my LOGIC tells me that if I empathise with ONE living creature, if I have the desire to behave morally towards ONE living creature... I must logically behave morally towards them all. Because they're all alive, they all feel suffering, etcetera.
Good heavens, what the heck would you be doing immorally with chimps? Never mind, I probably don't want to know what anyone would do immorally with chimps.
I can behave morally to a cow. I can also appreciate them as good steaks. I can logically behave morally towards cats and dogs, and by that extension even snakes as fellow living, feeling creatures. However, my logic also tells me to kill a cobra if it's about to bite my child, and I won't even feel sorry about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
I've found it. It's called logic. An unchanging abstract that provides the standard called morality. We may fail to be logical... but that doesn't mean logic changes. Logic remains the same.
150 years ago, doctors thought it was logical to treat patients with mercury. It's not an unchanging abstract. What we consider logical has changed with time quite dramatically.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And once again, you don't have to post in the thread "moral relativism", in order to read it. I recommend you do the latter.
I looked it over awhile back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Atheism specifically:

Dawkins doesn't just provide good questions, he makes good logical arguments too. I don't know whether you're ignoring the questions he poses, but you're certainly ignoring his arguments and his points. Otherwise, I rather think you'd be an atheist.
I can appreciate his arguments and acumen without accepting his conclusions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
2. "Suspend belief"... this is fundamental to my point, Jae. A rational person requires evidence before believing. A theist refuses to suspend their existing belief until evidence of NON-EXISTENCE is provided. And that's irrational.
By that definition we'd have never pursued bacteriology or virology. Pasteur believed in the concept of bacteria long before he had any definitive evidence. Ivanovski and Beijierink proposed the idea of a virus 40 years before we could actually see one under an electron microscope. If they'd waited until they had evidence before believing, we'd have no antibiotics or vaccines. Watson and Crick theorized DNA before having evidence. We'd never develop new medications if we didn't believe that a particular compound could be efficacious before doing animal and human experiements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
My view is NOT as you assert that "in a naturalistic system, the universe by definition was not created by any outside being and therefore the universe was created out of nothing." That's a wierd, illogical nonsense view that only theists ever come out with or talk about, to my knowledge.
What created the singularity that created the Big Bang that created the universe? Even atheist scientists generally agree with the singularity/Big Bang theory (in fact , and they have no answer for the formation of the singularity before the Big Bang actually happens. Exploring the origin of the universe is not illogical, and asking where all that matter has come from has been explored by plenty of atheists, such as Sagan. You can hardly dismiss this question as weird or illogical. There was nothing in the universe, in fact no universe at all, prior to the Big Bang. The reason it's brought up by theists is because it's a fundamental question that atheism cannot answer in any kind of satisfactory way. If you want to 'convert', for lack of a better term, everyone to atheism, that question has to get answered. It is illogical for me to believe in a world-view that says a singularity just popped up out of nowhere in defiance of any known physical laws. The _possibility_, no matter how remote, of a deity creating the singularity is still greater than the zero possibility that it just came out of nowhere all by itself. Honest atheists admit this is as much a problem for atheism as suffering is a problem for theism.
Now there are other signs that point in the direction of a deity, but creation out of nothing is the chief sticking point for me in discarding the possibility of a deity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Maybe some freakish clash of thoughtless energy created the thing we have come to call "the universe".
That does not line up with current scientific knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Maybe a giant blancmange did it.
And you complain that _I'm_ being illogical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Maybe I did it. You never considered that one, did you, eh? EH?
Smart-ass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
My view is that we do not know what existed prior to the creation of our universe. Many have theorised on the topic, some say that matter existed in some form prior to the big event, but that time as we know it did not... It's not at all relevant.
Knowing how the universe was created is absolutely relevant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
To think like an atheist, you must set your theism to zero, and your rationalism as high as it possibly will go.
Reading someone like Dawkins does require that. If I couldn't suspend theism at all, I wouldn't even be thinking about these kinds of questions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Sorry, you're asking what the cosmological theories are regarding the beginnings of the universe? There are so many. There's so much reading to do on big bang theory, brane cosmological theories... Hawking's written his pre-big bang ramblings down somewhere where you can find them, I'm sure. I regard them as mere whimsy, half-baked stuff as I stated before. But at least he's put some genius-level thought into it.
There have been a number of scientific discoveries throughout physics, astrophysics, and even biology by Gamow, Hubble, Einstein, and Hawking that were brought about by their half-baked, whimsical exploration of cosmology. Or is it common for atheists to discard scientific theories that are inconvenient for their world-view?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And my point was: as half-baked and deeply theoretical as these ideas may be, these ideas began when someone sat down and thought... "How did the universe start off?"

By contrast, the "god explanation" starts off from a standpoint of: "what evidence can we find to support the idea that our god started the universe off?"

Thus there's more logical reasoning and rationalism behind the former, than there is behind the latter.
My question is still 'how did it start off--by itself? by some other outside force? What is the likelihood of any of these explanations?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
2. We're back to this "I'm not answering your points/questions because of your wording!" are we? Fine, although it doesn't hold water. I wasn't the only one to ask such questions/make such points in those ANCIENT threads. Do you have a problem with the wording of those other people too? You've had months in some cases to answer their points.
Mm-hmm. Try working, raising a family, and dealing with all the crap I've dealt with in Real Life the last 8 months or so (or do you believe that I'd lie about my dad's stroke, having to write a 33 page report and do the followup on it for the next couple months, along with having to repair the bathroom, kitchen, and garage roof just to get out of answering a question?). Then add on a few fun things so I can actually have a life. Then add on reading major philosophers, major apologetics texts, and major atheists, all of which demand careful reading that takes a lot of time, so I can come up with an appropriate answer for my own questions as well as yours and others. Maybe you have the time to do all that in a couple months. I don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
I'm beginning to theorise that you ignore points and questions- not because you don't HAVE an answer... but because you have an answer that you don't like. Perhaps it could be said that you're not ignoring my arguments so much as you are attempting to ignore your own innate logical faculty.
Well it's not just you, Jae. Your reaction (the whole running away thing) is the reaction of nearly EVERY theist I've ever debated with or seen being debated with by others.
No, I don't have an answer for some of your questions right now. Maybe I will in the future. Doubtful you'll consider them valid in any case, which is another reason why I'm in no particular hurry.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
I say nearly every theist, because there are some nutters who have a different reaction: namely, quoting scripture and damning their opponent to heck with gusto.
Yeah, I'm not going to waste your time or mine doing that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
It saddens me that irrationalism is such a pernicious state that it produces this reflexive, defensive response in people when they're confronted with logic. I've come to terms with it over the years, I do not debate in the expectation of convincing anyone of anything... but it still saddens me.
Well, much as I hate to contribute to anyone's sadness, I doubt I'll be able to make you happy by declaring that I've given up all hope and belief in theism. It's not completely impossible, of course, but extremely unlikely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Occupation of Iraq:

You're ignoring the point again. You support the illegal & immoral occupation of Iraq because you state "we have to fix what we screwed up", and it's patently obvious that our presence in Iraq as an occupying force has been nothing but detrimental to that nation. They want us gone, (and note that I've posted links to many polls of the Iraqi people to PROVE this) and since we invaded THEIR country, we have no right to go against their wishes. Therefore, we should leave, as staying ain't fixing, and they don't want us there anyway.
You've never offered a counter-argument to these points, that rather completely invalidate your statements, yet you persist with your repetition of those statements. I don't see any logic in that.
You're missing my point--the desire to be responsible for the mess we made does not necessarily require 'occupation'. The interim gov't requested help from us and we're giving it. Regardless how you feel about the legitimacy of the fledgling gov't there, they are the ones in charge atm. I completely agree with you that we never should have gone in there in the first place. If we could get out tomorrow, I'd be delighted. I'd love to see the UN step up to the plate and actually do something besides debate something endlessly and issue toothless resolutions. I think the Iraqis would accept UN help more readily than ours, and we could work through the UN to help fix our mess. However, the UN has had numerous chances to handle the situation appropriately and they've whizzed it away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
There is of course a way to fix the problem without remaining in Iraq as an occupying force and as a focus for violence. Help them financially and technologically WITHOUT having an occupying force in the country.
Yep, in the ideal world that would be best.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
You seem to say that our governments are unlikely to foot the bill for such an altruistic course of action. But does that mean it's better to remain in Iraq? No. Of course it doesn't. It means what you and every other US/UK citizen should be doing is campaigning for withdrawal of the occupying force AND campaigning for the government to live up to their moral obligations and send lots of money, military/policing advisors, etcetera. It's the only moral thing to do.
I wasn't using that as an excuse for staying there but that wasn't clear--just commentary on what I think's going to happen once we all leave. Once the Iraq war is dealt with, Congress will get some other wild hair upon which to pontificate and posture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
We're not doing as much good as we are doing harm. The choice is simple.
Is that because we've quantified that? Or is it because the media loves covering big flashy-boomy things and building a bridge, road, school, or medical clinic is about as unexciting as it gets? Watching tanks blow things up is far more thrilling (if in a sick way) than watching a few soldiers hammer nails into the roof of the new clinic. Showing bombs explode is going to attract more viewers than showing a group of soldiers laying down asphalt on a new road. If it's a media issue, then it's going to appear that the negative outweighs the positives when in fact that's false.
Now if it is quantifiably more harm then good, then we obviously need to fix that, too, and if that means getting out so be it, though I dislike the idea of throwing the country to the wolves and watching them tear themselves apart.

And at some point we'll have to bring this somewhere vaguely close to the topic....


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Last edited by Jae Onasi; 04-12-2007 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:41 PM   #54
Spider AL
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Now this is what I like. You've made a quite serious effort to respond to points in this one Jae. I mean, you haven't answered some of my more important points, but many more than in other threads. I thank you, and encourage further behaviour of this type!

-

Atheism once again, don't you just love it:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I can appreciate his [Richard Dawkins] arguments and acumen without accepting his conclusions.
You cannot perceive the logic of his arguments without accepting them. At least not if you're rational. "Appreciate" has nothing to do with it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

By that definition [A rational person requires evidence before believing] we'd have never pursued bacteriology or virology. Pasteur believed in the concept of bacteria long before he had any definitive evidence. Ivanovski and Beijierink proposed the idea of a virus 40 years before we could actually see one under an electron microscope. If they'd waited until they had evidence before believing, we'd have no antibiotics or vaccines. Watson and Crick theorized DNA before having evidence. We'd never develop new medications if we didn't believe that a particular compound could be efficacious before doing animal and human experiements.
Nonsense! Theistic unquestioning belief is different to scientific hypothesis! The existence of microscopic infectious organisms was suggested by evidence. Patterns of infection, at the very minimum. So what evidence suggests a god? None. By the way, complexity does not imply design.

Secondly, Pasteur didn't discover the existence of bacteria, nor was he the first proponent of germ-theory. Therefore Pasteur had plenty of scientific evidence supplied to him from the past to inform his hypotheses and experiments. So that's hardly a good example to support your (already erroneous) statement.

Thirdly, as far as I'm aware, Ivanovski & Beijericnk's experiments with plants suggested that a micro-organism other than a bacteria was responsible for some infectious diseases. They had experimental evidence. They didn't just pull viruses out of the hat the way you and all theists are doing with god(s).

Fourth, Watson and Crick are particularly famous for publishing the first accurate model of the structure of DNA. (After looking at an image of DNA produced by another scientist.) They are not famous for "theorising its existence". The substance itself was being researched for decades beforehand. Once again I don't think this is a very good example to attach to your case.

Finally regarding testing of medication on animals and humans... Typically Jae, researchers DO have at least SOME evidence that a compound will elicit a certain effect before they start administering the compound in organised animal or human testing. Some sort of logical thought and experimental evidence has gone into the decision to try a new substance out in tests. You simply couldn't get funding to do random, meaningless tests.

Believing in a god or gods is all the wrong way round, rationally speaking. You have to have EVIDENCE before you believe. Gimme some evidence d00d!

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

What created the singularity that created the Big Bang that created the universe?
Okay. This is an irrelevant question and I'll explain why after the next quotation, but I will try to answer you on this in order to be courteous, and please bear in mind that I am no cosmologist, but a mere dabbler on the fringes of the field:

1. Big bang theory talks about the earliest point in OUR universe. It says nothing about what existed beforehand. The singularity you describe is one attempt to provide some... THING from which our universe could have sprung. But this thing, need not have been "created" in the way we understand the term. The types of physical laws that apply within our universe may or may not have applied OUTSIDE our universe prior to the big bang. If our physical and temporal laws did not apply, then time as we know it may have been an irrelevance. Therefore it would be possible for a "thing" (whatever "materials" our universe sprang from) to exist eternally, i.e: without temporal beginning or end. As Hawking once theorised.

This is an important point, because it negates the need for a "creation event". Thus, there's no need for a creator. And it stands up pretty well against theism too, because for a "god" concept to work, it would have to be a being not bound by our physical laws. God would have to be outside our physical laws. But if a being can exist outside our physical laws, then so can other things. So can a "singularity". So the singularity need not have a beginning nor an end.

So the very concept of god automatically negates the NEED for a concept of god, i.e: the concept of god implies a set of rules that could encompass many possible solutions other than god. So why pick god? There's no special reason to.

2. There are MANY theories on pre-big bang... existence, for want of a better term. There are zero-dimensional non-space constructs suddenly infiltrated with a spontaneously generated dimensional quantum vacuum tunnel producing a subatomic high-energy expanding universe within that construct that universe then growing exponentially to the nigh-limitless size we all know and love.

There are collisions between multi-dimensional brane constructs resulting in a pocket universe within a larger multi-dimensional membrane, which we call our universe...

Listen, these theories... they're SO theoretical that it's almost embarassing to me as a practical man to mention them. I think they're airy-fairy conjecture. But once again, these theories have been thought out, i.e: some mathematical work has gone into them. They have at least SOME theory to back them up. Your god explanation does not. So I as a rational man would choose ANY of these half-baked theories over your god theory.

In fact I choose none of them, I await more solid reasoning on the topic.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Exploring the origin of the universe is not illogical, and asking where all that matter has come from has been explored by plenty of atheists, such as Sagan. You can hardly dismiss this question as weird or illogical.
Explore the origin of the universe as much as you like! If you ever come up with evidence of the existence of a deity-creature then give me a call. The point is that there is no such evidence. And the problem theists have is that they believe in god WHILE THEY'RE LOOKING for some evidence of god. A rational person on the other hand only believes after he has perceived evidence.

I stated earlier that the question of what existed before the universe was an irrelevance, and I will now try to explain exactly why: The question of how the universe started is not at all irrelevant to cosmologists, or those who take a passing interest in cosmology. (I suppose I am such a person.) But it is CERTAINLY irrelevant to me as an atheist, and it's irrelevant to my atheism. Because:

The question I and all atheists pose to theists is: do you have any evidence that there is a god?

And you and other theists respond with: "There could be a god. Look, there, before the beginning of our universe. There's space for a god there."

And I respond with... "There's space for quite a lot of things there. Have you got any evidence that a god DOES exist there?"

And you respond with things like "The universe is very complex so it must have been designed, so god designed it". Well that's a non-sequitur. Complexity doesn't imply design.

You respond with things like "The universe is big. A lot of energy must have been expended to make it". Which may or may not be correct, but certainly doesn't imply that an omnipotent, omnicient being put the energy in.

So until some evidence is produced by science that suggests that such a being as a god had ANY hand at all in creation, the question of what is responsible for creation is not relevant to whether one should be an atheist! Because an atheist is one who lacks belief in gods, and rationally this is due to a lack of evidence. That is all there is to it.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

There was nothing in the universe, in fact no universe at all, prior to the Big Bang. The reason it's brought up by theists is because it's a fundamental question that atheism cannot answer in any kind of satisfactory way. If you want to 'convert', for lack of a better term, everyone to atheism, that question has to get answered.
1. The fact that there was no "universe" doesn't mean there weren't other "things" outside the universe, outside the laws of the space we know as "our universe".

2. Atheism doesn't have to (nor does it try to) answer ANY questions Jae. I've said this dozens and dozens and dozens of times, but you still don't seem to absorb it... Atheism is a-theism. a = without, theism = belief in god or gods. It's a lack of belief in gods typically (rationally) due to a lack of evidence of the existence of gods. What makes you think atheism wants or needs to answer any questions, let alone cosmological questions?

Cosmology (and I think the specific discipline relating to universal creation is called "Cosmogony" or something like that) is a science that is full of people wondering about how the universe started. If you want serious answers... well, KIND of serious answers, you must talk to them. Don't read a bible. That's not full of thought, it's full of dogma.

3. There are some atheists who want to convince people of the truth. ("convert" them, as you put it) but I'm not one of them. I find debating to find and prove the truth (for myself) intellectually stimulating. That's pretty much all debate offers me.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

It is illogical for me to believe in a world-view that says a singularity just popped up out of nowhere in defiance of any known physical laws.
And it's somehow LESS illogical to believe that a singularity was "willed into being" by an omnipotent father-figure ALSO IN DEFIANCE OF ALL KNOWN PHYSICAL LAWS? Come on, that doesn't make any kind of sense. If it's possible for one thing to exist in defiance of physical laws, it's possible for another thing to exist in defiance of those laws too.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Honest atheists admit this is as much a problem for atheism as suffering is a problem for theism.
Eh? They're a bit silly if they say that. The mystery of the genesis of the universe is a problem for SCIENCE, not for atheism. Atheism just = lack of belief in gods.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Now there are other signs that point in the direction of a deity, but creation out of nothing is the chief sticking point for me in discarding the possibility of a deity.
Again, fallacious false dichotomy. It is not a choice between:

Creation out of nothing
&
God exists!

There are myriad other options. There's creation out of something, for instance. As shown above. There's no creation event at all, as shown above.

Anyway, I'd like to hear about these "other signs that point to a deity". Because I've never heard of any such signs.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

That [A freakish clash of thoughtless energy creating the universe] does not line up with current scientific knowledge.
It may do, it may not. Regardless, it matches up about as well as your god concept does. Therefore if you discard the clash of thoughtless energy, you should rationally discard the god concept.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Or is it common for atheists to discard scientific theories that are inconvenient for their world-view?
Atheists discard theories?.. Are you somehow trying to imply that there's a reputable scientific theory that suggests the existence of a deity that atheists have discarded? Please cite this theory!

-

Child-rearing and religious indoctrination:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

What I have not asked for, nor desire, is an opinion on how I'm raising _my_ kids, and while I certainly can't stop you, I'd appreciate it if you did not pass judgment on that. Raising my kids is my purview alone.
I'll try to say this gently: This would appear to be an illogical request.

This thread is about how children in general should be raised. Kids in general. The fact is that you are the one who brought your own kids into the debate as a specific example, nobody else did. And you keep referring to "your kids", nobody else does.

How can I make statements about how children in general should be raised without implying that all children- yours included- should be raised that way? The answer is, I can't. And therefore your request makes no sense.

Furthermore, you too have offered your opinions on how kids in general should be brought up too, which- by your logic- means you're "passing judgement" on how I raise my kids to whatever extent. I do not complain about this, I do not think you have anything to complain about either.

Kids shouldn't be exposed to religion until they're old enough to make informed choices themselves. Because religion can have a detrimental effect on the logical faculty. That goes for all kids. Mine, yours, Luke Skywalker's... Everyone's

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Oh, yes, we religious types are just all running around mentally and logically impaired.
Yes. At least to some extent. I mean, if religious people were fully rational on the issue of theism... they wouldn't be religious.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Does that mean you object to Christian doctors working on any health issues you may have?
Well that's an interesting question. If I had a choice, I'd rather have a super, ubermensch-doctor who was 100% rational. Because 100% rational doctors would definitely make 100% rational choices regarding my health. Therefore, this super-doctor would exhibit his total and absolute rationalism in several ways: He would be a politically dissident doctor. He would be an environmentally conscious doctor, and he would be an atheist doctor.

I'd address the rest of the paragraph, but I rather think it was more of a rant than it was a genuine query... but if you'd like it answered specifically, I will oblige on request.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Yes, I can definitely see the comparability between what my grandfather went through dying of COPD after years of smoking and the waste of my mental capacity sitting in Sunday school learning how Christ's love had an impact on such things as King and his drive for non-violent protests for civil rights. Whoa, I feel so enlightened now.
"Christ's love" didn't provide King with his moral compass, and therefore it didn't provide him with his desire to fight for equality. So how exactly can you credit christianity with assisting King during the civil rights movement in any meaningful way? Only a theist could.

As for your comparison with smoking-related deaths: (once again using a member of your own family as an example, I hope you won't be complaining that I'm attacking your grandfather in two posts time ) Once again you assert that smoking has negative effects and religion positive effects so they're incomparable.

The fact is that smoking has either very little effect, or it has an appreciably detrimental effect on the body to some degree. In other words, smoking has no innately positive effect, it can only have a negative effect.

Likewise religion has either very little effect, or it has an appreciably detrimental effect on the mind to some degree. In other words, religion has no innately positive effect (people are moral innately, religion does not make them so), it can only have a negative effect.

Good people would be good people with or without religion, Jae. Your idea that religion "does good" is flawed. People do good. Moral people.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I went to public school, and there was a whole couple of days on evolution in biology, and God wasn't ever mentioned once. Sales of cigarettes to minors happens many times on a daily basis year round. It's very clear from those numbers alone where our focus should be.
You, like myself, were apparently fortunate enough to go to school in a time long past when creationism wasn't a large, growing problem in BOTH our countries.

If you live in the past you can ignore this problem. But these days, creationism is a BIG problem. It's taught to a LOT of kids. As for "where our focus should be", they're two separate problems, there's no reason we can't address them both. The fact that you're trying to encourage people to address one and are totally ignoring the other is telling.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I _wish_ the number of parents buying drugs and alcohol for their children was small. It's not a small problem in the US
Nor are fundamentalist bible-thumping schools- like the "Jesus Camp"- a rarity. More's the pity. Religious logic-hobbling is a big problem in the US. It's not a small problem.

The rest of the world comments often on the level of fundamentalism among the US populace. It has become something of a cruel joke among certain commentators, in fact. I for one find nothing amusing in it these days.

I must note your words "Drugs and alcohol" however... I for one presume that the problem of parents supplying their kids with illegal narcotics is slightly smaller than the problem of parents buying alcohol for their kids' parties. Probably quite small, in fact.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

My kids aren't at a driving age now, but they (frighteningly to me) will be in a few short years. I'd like to take a proactive approach on teen issues, and some things start now while they're still young.
Well precisely. Young children are highly impressionable. The behaviours they are taught while they're still developing will affect the way they view the world for the rest of their life.

Which is why I don't think kids today should be exposed to any religions until they're mature enough to examine the evidence dispassionately.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Underage drinking is a huge problem. There is no upside to underage drinking whatsoever. At least with religion you have things like hospitals getting built by charities and medical missions, including to places where they are not allowed to talk about Christianity (lest you think it's all about preaching)--they do it simply because they have decided they want to show Christ's love to the world. Medical missions and charity hospitals have treated billions over the course of the centuries. However, since charity hospitals don't win wars and aren't nearly as sexy to historians as battlefield heroes, we don't hear about such positive religious things in history books, just the wars where greedy men decided to use religion as an excuse for their warmongering.
Once again Jae, you exhibit the classic theistic double-standard:

When christians do good things in the name of god, it's "an expression of christ's love".
When christians do bad things in the name of god, it's JUST AN EXCUSE they're using because they're greedy evildoers!

In other words, you're granting yourself the right to pick and choose which religious actions define christianity as an organised religion. And that's just self-serving. If you want to be honest with yourself, you'll re-evaluate.

The truth is as I stated before: That good people are good people REGARDLESS of religion, just as bad people are bad people regardless of religion. Religion isn't bad because it "makes people kill infidels", they do that because they're violent amoral people. Nor is religion good because it "makes people charitable", those people are naturally charitable people anyway.

So does religion do any good? Nope. Good people do the good. Does religion do any harm? Only insofar as I stated before, in that religion can (doesn't always, but can) damage an individual's logical faculty so that they view belief without evidence as a virtue.

This will make them easier- for instance- for a bad person to psychologically manipulate. So it's bad.

-

Objective morality vs. Religious dogma:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

You're calling me immoral? Please.
Actually I stated: "any set of rules claiming to be a "ready-made morality" fly in the face of the fact that true, logical morality must be based around independent logical reasoning. If you accept ANY set of "holy rules" as being "morality", you're abrogating your responsibility to apply logic to find morality. Thus, you're being immoral.

That goes for anyone who accepts religious dogma as their version of "morality". If it applies to you, that's your business. But I have no idea whether you accept all biblical rules as "morality". For all I know you may pick and choose (consciously or unconsciously) to match your own innate sense of morality. Once again you've decided to take a general statement as a personal slight... and that's your problem, it really isn't mine.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

By what moral authority have you determined that your independent logical reasoning is moral? Your own?
By no moral authority, instead by dint of logical reasoning. If you have any logical counter-arguments against my evaluation of the principle of morality, please enlighten me. You haven't produced such arguments so far.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Why should I accept your brand of logic as logical for the entire universe?
You shouldn't accept my logical reasoning, you should apply your own. Otherwise you'd be taking my moral principles as your own without evaluating them first. And that would be immoral.

As for "my brand" of logic... logic is logic. I'm perfectly capable of getting my answers all wrong, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try to get them right. Those who abrogate moral responsibility and do whatever their preacher TELLS them is moral... aren't even trying. And that's immoral.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Why should I accept your human logic, my logic, or anyone else's logic as the be-all, end-all that determines morality? I think pegging morality to a constantly changing standard is the height of human arrogance and the ultimate in human foolishness.
Ohhh here we've come to the crux of the matter, haven't we Jae. More and more your christian views are revealed to be more extreme than I initially thought!

You've revealed that you think that christianity offers something ABOVE human attempts at logical reasoning. You think that the christian rules set out in the bible are in some way ABOVE human rules. Well here's the skinny: the bible is the word of some old men, not the word of a god. Therefore if one accepts biblical dogma as one's ready-made morality, one is not only failing in one's moral responsibility to logically evaluate moral principles, one is also merely adopting the rules and regulations of some long-dead humans! Even worse!

As for your recurring idea that logic is a "constantly changing standard", once again, fallacious nonsense. Logic never changes. There is a right way to reason things out, and a wrong way. Just as NUMBERS never change, logic never changes. You and I may come up with different answers to a complex mathematical equation, but that doesn't make the numbers relative. It just means that at least one of us got our sums wrong. So logic is not relative, and it's a standard theistic fallacy to claim that it is.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Fine, substitute 'reason and logic' where I mistakenly wrote 'empathy'--the outcome is still the same
Nope, empathy is not as quantifiable nor as independently verifiable as logic. Therefore the outcome is QUITE different once your mistake is corrected, thank you very much.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

some can employ logic or reason better than others, so you've pegged morality on a sliding scale.
Once again, wrong.

People's ABILITY to behave morally slides on a scale. Morality is a logical abstract, unchanging, unmoving. Just like numbers. Numbers are there, waiting to be discovered. So it is with morality.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Does that make ultimate morality available only to the brightest intellectuals, since they're the only ones who truly understand logic? Stupid people aren't capable of living morally? How elitist.
Ha! Spare me. It's not elitist to state that there are very moral people in the world, and some very immoral people in the world. Some are immoral because they have no empathy and therefore no desire to be moral. Others behave immorally because they cannot see the moral course of action for whatever reason.

And secondly it's DEFINITELY not elitist in the sense you're trying to imply, because logical capacity has nothing to do with class or education. Professional academics are no more likely to be moral than steel-workers, because logic is common sense, basic reasoning. And aptitude for a scientific subject does NOT mean you have any common sense.

Anyone can be moral, and some will be more moral than others. You can call them a "moral elite" if you like, but that doesn't alter the fact that there IS an optimally moral minority in the world, just as there is a minority of COMPLETELY amoral sociopaths on the other end of the spectrum.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Things are not 'more right' and 'less right' according to someone's ability to reason. Some things are either right or wrong, period, regardless of reasoning capacity.
Once again, you've got it the wrong way round. Things ARE right or wrong, period... but people's ability to DISCERN right/wrong depends on their ability to reason logically.

I'm starting to wonder... you seem to be implying throughout your post that biblical dogma is in some way superior to objective morality. And I'm wondering what reasons you have to opine so. After all, show two different men the bible and they'll interpret it in different ways.

So if your problem with objective morality is that not everyone is capable of discerning the optimally moral course of action... your bible is DEFINITELY no better in this respect. Everyone interprets your book o' dogma differently. So it will not produce totally uniform adherence to the principles contained therein.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

My grandma did not graduate high school, and she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but her code of conduct is just as moral, if not more so, than any of the college professors I've met.
Asked and answered, Jae. Of course I'd have to evaluate your Grandma's behaviour myself before I personally could declare her actions to be moral. However, for the sake of argument, let's accept for a moment that your anecdotal assertion (once again involving a member of your family) is correct.

Your relative is moral but uneducated. That's not a contradiction. Academic education doesn't confer the ability to reason logically, nor does it engender empathy. Both things are innate to the individual.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Good heavens, what the heck would you be doing immorally with chimps? Never mind, I probably don't want to know what anyone would do immorally with chimps.
The point was that I would do nothing immoral to chimps, or any other creature, whether I felt as though I could empathise with them at the time, or not.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I can behave morally to a cow. I can also appreciate them as good steaks.
Actually Jae, if you're killing a creature merely to supply yourself with a flavour you like, that's not moral. It's only moral to kill a creature if you literally need its flesh to survive. Thus vegetarianism is the most moral course of action. But I digress.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

However, my logic also tells me to kill a cobra if it's about to bite my child, and I won't even feel sorry about that.
It's your moral responsibility to protect a small defenceless being you have brought into the world. What's your point?

Now if you caught a cobra, dropped it in front of your child and THEN killed it for endangering your child, that'd be immoral for obvious reasons.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

150 years ago, doctors thought it was logical to treat patients with mercury. It's not an unchanging abstract. What we consider logical has changed with time quite dramatically.
You're still arguing that if someone THINKS something is logical... IT MUST BE LOGICAL, and therefore logic is relative!

Wrong. It was not logical. Their reasoning was flawed. Logic is logic. It's an unchanging abstract. It can be attained easily when the questions posed are simple, and it is more difficult to attain the more complex the question. Therefore the more logical the individual, the more likely they are to attain the ideal.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I looked it [The thread: "moral relativism"] over awhile back.
Well I have to say with all due respect Jae, you should give it another read. Because it appears you've either forgotten all the arguments and counter-arguments contained within, (arguments we have retrodden in THIS thread) or you didn't read them the first time around.

-

The philosophy of answering questions posed in a debate:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Or...I've been busy with a number of things in Real Life and doing a lot of reading, including looking at different possible counter-arguments.
Well that's all very well, but once again: When you're confronted with logical reasoning that directly contradicts your existing (theistic) position, you shouldn't (if you wish to be rational, that is) just go looking for things that might help you in your quest to contradict that reasoning. Arguments aren't like rocks to throw at each other, one rock as good as another... Instead, arguments are either logical, or illogical. Right, or wrong. How about approaching the problem logically? You don't need to go and look "basic reasoning" up in a book on apologetics.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I posted, you answered, I'm thinking about what you said, I don't have an answer at this point.
Once again, you DO have an answer, it just happens to be one you don't want to accept. If it's logical, it should be accepted.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Given that you cheerfully offer opinions on anything and everything, I did not expect you to be silent on the issue of raising kids. I would have thought it was exceedingly strange if you didn't have an opinion on that, actually.
Hmm, derogatory. Clearly implies that I offer opinions on issues that I don't have any knowledge concerning, which is incorrect. For shame, Jae.

In point of fact, I comment on remarkably few issues. If you look dispassionately, you'll realise that.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Mm-hmm. Try working, raising a family, and dealing with all the crap I've dealt with in Real Life

...

Then add on reading major philosophers, major apologetics texts, and major atheists, all of which demand careful reading that takes a lot of time, so I can come up with an appropriate answer for my own questions as well as yours and others. Maybe you have the time to do all that in a couple months. I don't.
I have no doubt that you like all those on this board have a busy existence, Jae. But the fact remains that you have posted MANY posts since those earlier threads. If you've had time to post many posts, you've had time to address those old questions. (Not my questions necessarily, but certainly the questions of others.)

Once again, I think that you shouldn't go looking for more polished rhetoric in some book of apologetics in an attempt to bolster your theistic position, instead you should apply logic.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

No, I don't have an answer for some of your questions right now. Maybe I will in the future. Doubtful you'll consider them valid in any case, which is another reason why I'm in no particular hurry.
Again you seem to be implying that I'd discard your arguments out of hand... it's just not so, Jae. You show me some logical reasoning to suggest the existence of god, and I will logically evaluate it. But you must be prepared for the possibility that there IS no such reasoning in existence. If your theistic arguments are illogical (and they have been so far, I think I've shown that) I cannot accept them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Well, much as I hate to contribute to anyone's sadness, I doubt I'll be able to make you happy by declaring that I've given up all hope and belief in theism. It's not completely impossible, of course, but extremely unlikely.
Just like the existence of a god! Faintly possible, but unlikely.

-

Occupation of Iraq:

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

You're missing my point--the desire to be responsible for the mess we made does not necessarily require 'occupation'. The interim gov't requested help from us and we're giving it. Regardless how you feel about the legitimacy of the fledgling gov't there, they are the ones in charge atm.
They're a puppet regime by any standard Jae. The invasion was illegal, the election was undemocratic and the US has exercised their usual degree of indirect control over the regime since the election. Therefore, regardless of the degree of input the illegitimate Iraqi puppet regime has on the issue, what we have in Iraq is undeniably an occupying force.

When you're asked to send troops to a nation by a LEGITIMATE (democratically elected) government in order to prevent some sort of crime against humanity... THEN you can claim to be a security force, or a relief force or whatever.

When you illegally invade a country, supplant the government, slaughter the populace, manipulate the following elections and then FAIL to provide sufficient financial aid or sufficient security AND the native people want you GONE... You simply have no moral right to claim that you're there for the benefit of the people, and you are an occupying force of invaders. That's the end of that story.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I'd love to see the UN step up to the plate and actually do something besides debate something endlessly and issue toothless resolutions. I think the Iraqis would accept UN help more readily than ours, and we could work through the UN to help fix our mess. However, the UN has had numerous chances to handle the situation appropriately and they've whizzed it away.
You call the UN's resolutions toothless... but the US (especially the US) and other "big-dog" nations are the ones who have made the UN toothless. Furthermore the UN did NOT give permission for our immoral invasion of Iraq (which is one of the rare marks in their favour as an organisation and bastion of international law) so why exactly should the UN do more than they're doing to fix our mess again?

I mean... what makes you think the US or the UK have the remotest right to ask for more assistance from the rest of the developed world, when the rest of the developed world wanted no part of our destructive acts?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Now if it is quantifiably more harm then good, then we obviously need to fix that, too, and if that means getting out so be it, though I dislike the idea of throwing the country to the wolves and watching them tear themselves apart.
Well insofar as such things CAN be quantified Jae, they're fairly easy to quantify.

Our security influence in Iraq is limited to small areas of secure control... and security is a joke even in those areas. I mean look at the events of today, today's attacks were in the green zone that we control to the greatest degree. We're NOT providing any meaningful security, even in those small areas where we hold sway. The rest of the country... we're not even INFLUENCING positively, let alone "helping". Therefore leaving Iraq alone would not reduce overall security to any appreciable degree.

Secondly, we are a focus for violence. Our presence as an illegal invader provides propaganda ammunition that extremists are using to convince insurgents to fight, kill and destroy not only our troops, but also those who collaborate with us and our puppet government.

As for our efforts to rebuild the nation, as stated in many previous threads (and I wish this wasn't the case, but it is) our financial input is laughably small. And even though the paltry few billions we've put into the nation CANNOT repair even HALF of the damage we caused, about nine billion still went missing under US financial administration! So we've lost billions of what was an insufficient amount of money to begin with!

I have no doubt that there are heroic individuals in Iraq trying desperately to repair the damage caused by fifteen years of illegal and immoral war and economic sanctions perpetrated by the US and UK... but despite their best efforts and intentions, they're not going to be able to do NEARLY enough good to justify the presence of the occupying force. Nor enough good to offset the negative effect of the occupying force as a focus for violence and unrest.

So we should remove the occupying force. That's the moral choice.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I wasn't using that as an excuse for staying there but that wasn't clear--just commentary on what I think's going to happen once we all leave. Once the Iraq war is dealt with, Congress will get some other wild hair upon which to pontificate and posture.
Oh you're probably correct. But as stated before, maintaining one evil (the occupying force) because our governments might commit another evil if we don't (ignoring Iraq completely after withdrawal) doesn't compute. We should campaign for withdrawal, and then campaign for greater economic and technological aid to be sent.


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Old 05-04-2007, 03:27 PM   #55
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Leave kids alone. I'm sick of hearing everyday that kids are the problems of the world. Get over it.


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Old 05-06-2007, 02:34 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Spider AL
Ohhh here we've come to the crux of the matter, haven't we Jae. More and more your christian views are revealed to be more extreme than I initially thought!
Not terribly extreme at all, regardless of what you might think based on whatever position I happen to take at a given time on one of the theism/atheism issues. My core philosophy on religion is 'love God and love your neighbor. I love Hillel's quote: "What you yourself hate, don't do to your neighbor. This is the whole law; the rest is commentary. Go and study."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
"Christ's love" didn't provide King with his moral compass, and therefore it didn't provide him with his desire to fight for equality. So how exactly can you credit christianity with assisting King during the civil rights movement in any meaningful way? Only a theist could.
His degree in theology and being a pastor had absolutely no influence on his thinking at all? For all his flaws, he was a man of God, and he himself said his non-violent approach was based upon Christ's non-violence. His non-violent methods got him much farther with LBJ and others than Malcolm X or the other proponents of violence ever could achieve. Christianity/Christ influenced King tremendously, saying otherwise denies reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
I have no doubt that you like all those on this board have a busy existence, Jae. But the fact remains that you have posted MANY posts since those earlier threads. If you've had time to post many posts, you've had time to address those old questions. (Not my questions necessarily, but certainly the questions of others.)
You put that much study into my posts? They're not _that_ interesting. Yes, I've made plenty of posts since then. Most of those didn't require the level of study required for theism/atheism and thus could be commented upon quickly. Discussing someone's story or a favorite character in Kotor doesn't require the same effort. Sometimes I just need time to set it aside so I don't say something nasty because I'm ticked off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Hmm, derogatory. Clearly implies that I offer opinions on issues that I don't have any knowledge concerning, which is incorrect. For shame, Jae.
If I chose to be derogatory, I wouldn't be that subtle. I assumed you had some knowledge upon which to draw since your knowledge base is rather broad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
This thread is about how children in general should be raised. Kids in general. The fact is that you are the one who brought your own kids into the debate as a specific example, nobody else did. And you keep referring to "your kids", nobody else does.
How can I make statements about how children in general should be raised without implying that all children- yours included- should be raised that way? The answer is, I can't. And therefore your request makes no sense.
Furthermore, you too have offered your opinions on how kids in general should be brought up too, which- by your logic- means you're "passing judgement" on how I raise my kids to whatever extent. I do not complain about this, I do not think you have anything to complain about either.
Do you have children?

There is a very clear line between talking about kids in general and passing judgment on mine in particular. I can accept the fact that you don't believe children in general should be raised with religion. I would object to you making it a personal attack on my kids in particular--there is a difference and you're adroit enough with language to know it. I was simply letting you know where I was drawing the boundary. You can choose not to respect my request, in which case I won't have a whole lot more to say.

Edit: I see I have my answer....

Quote:
It's time you accepted this and moved forward with the debate.
Let me know when you can address anything I say with the faintest amount of respect instead of carefully worded barbs vaunting your 'logic' and I might work up something remotely related to interest. I'm not tired of your ideas, but I am tired of the attitude in which you present them.


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Old 05-11-2007, 09:02 AM   #57
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On the one hand I look at some of the material put out that is for kids, things such as Kim Possible, Ninja Turtles (the new one made a couple of years ago) and the new Spiderman based on the films. I quite like how Spiderman especially contains mature storylines, that it doesn't try and dumb things down for children and am even okay with the confronting (for a Saturday morning cartoon) violence contained in Spiderman. I do find a couple of things a bit off though, language we could do without. On the other hand my neice was into magazines that were pretty crass in it's discussion of sexual activity and being sexually active, magazines that are marketed at young teenage girls. Television and the media have become a lot more mature, from the likes of Big Brother and magazines that push the boundries of what can escape adult classification to it's limit to violent sexually charged films to racial video games (San Andreas, Saints Row). And the greatest wrong is people, the fashion world for example, who peddle adult and sexual content onto children. Now that is not to say we shouldn't have a maturing world, parents who don't monitor what their children see have no right to have them, but material that is aimed at a certain audiance must be suitable for that audiance, and frank discussion of sex in a young teenage magazine is, as kindly as I can put it, ****ing irresponsible, in fact I'd probably even go so far as to say they are pushing the idea that pedophilia is acceptable.
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:59 AM   #58
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I don't see how it is pushing that pedophilia is acceptable . If anything it pushes the idea that teenagers having sex is acceptable. Which I think is perfectly ok if both are comfortable with it.

Why should it be harmful for teenagers to learn about sex? It's better for them to actually know a lot about it then do try it out without being informed...
Unless you're talking about sexual stories that have no educational value whatsoever.
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:09 PM   #59
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I'm talking about marketing clothing that is intended to sexualise young children. The magazines are bad enough but scope out these for an idea of just where the problem lies.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...246071551.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/...in522124.shtml
http://mayagranny.blogspot.com/2006/...-children.html
http://www.apparenting.com/who_buys_...heir_kids.html
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:51 AM   #60
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You're quite right, but obviously there's a potential for that kind of clothes or they wouldn't sell it. Parents are the ones to blame if they fail to educate their children properly or don't pay enough attention to them.
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Old 05-13-2007, 06:27 PM   #61
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Obviously parents do pay enough attention to them, as they have been jumping up and down like organ grinder monkeys over it. Whoever buys these clothes have to think long and hard about their role as a parent.
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:42 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Not terribly extreme at all, regardless of what you might think based on whatever position I happen to take at a given time on one of the theism/atheism issues.
Hmm, no, I rather think that stating that:

"I think pegging morality to a constantly changing standard [Logic] is the height of human arrogance and the ultimate in human foolishness."

does indeed reflect a relatively extreme religious bias.

Certainly it reflects a more extreme viewpoint than that that which I initially credited you with. It quite literally places your dogma of choice above logical reasoning. Which is mind-boggling to me.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

His degree in theology and being a pastor had absolutely no influence on his thinking at all? For all his flaws, he was a man of God
No massively useful influence. As noted before, religion does not provide one with one's moral compass, and so it did not provide King with his desire to fight for equality. His own innate morality did that. He just happened to be a moral man in this respect.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

and he himself said his non-violent approach was based upon Christ's non-violence.
Ahaha. Totally inaccurate Jae. King stated quite specifically that his non-violent approach was based upon the non-violent protest model of Gandhi and the philosophy of Thoreau, as well as contemporary black pacifists.

He stated once: "Christ furnished the spirit and motivation while Gandhi furnished the method." But of course, all christians routinely credit their god with "motivating" them. Boxers claim after fights that god "motivated" them to hit their opponent really hard in the face and win the fight. Both are nonsense of course. God doesn't motivate people, people motivate themselves.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Yes, I've made plenty of posts since then. Most of those didn't require the level of study required for theism/atheism and thus could be commented upon quickly. Discussing someone's story or a favorite character in Kotor doesn't require the same effort. Sometimes I just need time to set it aside so I don't say something nasty because I'm ticked off.
Once again, many excuses for your perpetual ignoring of other people's points specifically on the subject of illogical theism... but no valid reasons.

I for one take the time to respond to every question that is posed to me, because it's good debating practice, and it's good manners. It doesn't take an excessive amount of time, and it doesn't require very much research. Basic logical reasoning (which is all you need to respond accurately to my points) doesn't have to be "looked up", Jae. No, the fact remains that you ignore solid logical arguments disproving your theistic assertions and then come back weeks later making the same disproven assertions all over again... as if they've never been disproven. It's not exactly best practice.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

If I chose to be derogatory, I wouldn't be that subtle. I assumed you had some knowledge upon which to draw since your knowledge base is rather broad.
I'll take that as a compliment and thank you for it, but regardless, you did state:

"Given that you cheerfully offer opinions on anything and everything, I did not expect you to be silent on the issue of raising kids. I would have thought it was exceedingly strange if you didn't have an opinion on that, actually."

And of course that's obviously derogatory. "cheerfully offer opinions on anything and everything"? Please. That's not "subtle" at all. And once again, I comment on very few issues, so your assertion is baseless. Look dispassionately at my past posts and you'll realise the truth of this.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Do you have children?
Hmm, as I've stated before, I don't understand why you perpetually bring your own family into debates on the internet, and I'm certainly not going to join you in such incomprehensible practices.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

There is a very clear line between talking about kids in general and passing judgment on mine in particular.
There is indeed a VERY clear line between talking about kids in general and talking about Jae's kids specifically, Jae.

And YOU are the one who has crossed this line. The only one, in fact. It's time you accepted this and moved forward with the debate. Perhaps in your next post you'll actually answer some of the major points I made in my previous post.


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Old 05-14-2007, 06:49 PM   #63
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Do you have children? If not then you will never understand.
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:55 PM   #64
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Sheer nonsense, Nancy. Logic is logic, regardless of how many wild oats I've sown, or how many sleepless nights I've spent with ailing toddlers.

When you come up with something that makes some sense, you'll get another response. But I'm not going to respond to your posts if they're just going to be... well, plain silly. Like that one.


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Old 05-14-2007, 07:02 PM   #65
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First of all this is Ad Hominem fallacy, attacking the person rather than the topic.

Secondly, the logic is that you take a whole diffirent perspective of things when it's your own flesh and blood. An example. The troops in Iraq, ****'em you might think, let them die, they deserve it for invading. If you had a son or daughter over there though you'd very quickly change your tune.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:13 PM   #66
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Okay, that's lucid enough to warrant a response. First of all, you're incorrect regarding the fallacy. Ad hominem does not apply.

Secondly,

Quote:
Secondly, the logic is that you take a whole diffirent perspective of things when it's your own flesh and blood.
Not if you were thinking logically before you had kids AND you were thinking logically AFTER you had kids. Then your opinion would be the same, both before and after childbirth.

Quote:
An example. The troops in Iraq, ****'em you might think, let them die, they deserve it for invading.
Just out of curiosity, do you actually think that I believe this?


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Old 05-14-2007, 07:18 PM   #67
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Well do you? The point is that your opinion changes when it's your own flesh and blood out there. That's simple logic. You get emotionally involved and things that may not matter to you before would.

And it is Ad Hominem. Attacking the person rather than the debate is Ad Hominem.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:24 PM   #68
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Well do you?
No. Next question?

Quote:
The point is that your opinion changes when it's your own flesh and blood out there. That's simple logic. You get emotionally involved and things that may not matter to you before would.
Being emotionally involved in something typically makes you LESS logical, Nancy. Therefore your opinion would probably be LESS valid if you were over-emotional. It's called "bias".

Once again you prove my point for me.

Quote:
And it is Ad Hominem. Attacking the person rather than the debate is Ad Hominem.
And I have never attacked you, not in this thread, nor in any other thread. Therefore, no ad-hominem.

Pointing out that someone's post is silly is not a personal attack... especially if the post IS a bit silly, Nancy.


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Old 05-14-2007, 07:27 PM   #69
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So because your flesh and blood is involved that makes your views unvalid? So we shouldn't listen to Cindy Sheehan? Or is she an exception to the rule?
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:30 PM   #70
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So because your flesh and blood is involved that makes your views unvalid?
No, you didn't comprehend what I typed. Please read it again:

"Being emotionally involved in something typically makes you LESS logical, Nancy. Therefore your opinion would probably be LESS valid if you were over-emotional. It's called "bias".

Nowhere does it say: "If your flesh and blood is involved your opinion is automatically invalid".


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Old 05-14-2007, 07:37 PM   #71
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Again, is Sheehan a case of Special Pleading that means that her views are equally as valid as those of someone with no family in Iraq, despite the fact being emotionally involved makes your views less valid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And I have never attacked you, not in this thread, nor in any other thread. Therefore, no ad-hominem.
The mods would disagree with you on this.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:42 PM   #72
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despite the fact being emotionally involved makes your views less valid?
Once again, nowhere did I say: "If your flesh and blood is involved your opinion is automatically invalid". Please stop trying to misrepresent the positions of others, Nancy.

Quote:
The mods would disagree with you on this.
I can think of one or two forum mods in the world who probably would accuse me of "attacking Nancy"... but they'd be just as incorrect as you are. I've never attacked you.

If you want to continue the discussion of whether I've "attacked you", please PM me, because I simply won't bother to address it in the main forum topics anymore.


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Old 05-14-2007, 07:51 PM   #73
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Take your own advice and read before replying. Is Cindy Sheehan's opinion, keeping in mind that you said your opinion is less valid when you are emotionally involved because it makes you biased, less valid because her son was killed in Iraq and she is emotionally involved and biased? If not then this falls for the fallacy of Special Pleading, Sheehan is dressed up to appear that her views are just as valid even when it's been specifically stated they shouldn't.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:57 PM   #74
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Quote:
keeping in mind that you said your opinion is less valid when you are emotionally involved because it makes you biased
And once again, I never said that. I said this:

"Being emotionally involved in something typically makes you LESS logical, Nancy. Therefore your opinion would probably be LESS valid if you were over-emotional. It's called "bias".

It is fundamentally different. Please read it and comprehend it. YOUR "version of my opinion" implies that EVERYONE who has ANY emotional involvement is automatically illogical!!!111

I did not say nor ever imply that. I will not address your questions as long as you are fundamentally misrepresenting my position. Represent my position accurately and you will receive a response.


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Old 05-14-2007, 08:10 PM   #75
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Running away because you cannot answer the question? I guess that's a valid tactic.

Your words. "Being emotionally involved in something typically makes you LESS logical, Nancy. Therefore your opinion would probably be LESS valid if you were over-emotional. It's called "bias". So does that mean that Cindy Sheehan "Being emotionally involved is LESS logical, and therefore her opinion would be LESS valid because she is over-emotional and "biased"?
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:27 PM   #76
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Now the way you phrased the question that time makes it very very slightly less of a straw-man. Therefore:

Quote:
Your words. "Being emotionally involved in something typically makes you LESS logical, Nancy. Therefore your opinion would probably be LESS valid if you were over-emotional. It's called "bias". So does that mean that Cindy Sheehan "Being emotionally involved is LESS logical, and therefore her opinion would be LESS valid because she is over-emotional and "biased"?
Nope. Her (anti-war) opinion is the correct one to hold. It is after all possible to hold the correct (rational) opinions even when you're seriously emotionally involved.

After the death of her son, she could easily have gone the other way and screamed "kill all Iraqis", but she didn't. She's campaigning for peace.

(Cindy Sheehan is, for those that don't know, an anti-war campaigner whose son died fighting in Iraq.)


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Old 05-14-2007, 08:35 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Your words. "Being emotionally involved in something typically makes you LESS logical, Nancy. Therefore your opinion would probably be LESS valid if you were over-emotional. It's called "bias". So does that mean that Cindy Sheehan "Being emotionally involved is LESS logical, and therefore her opinion would be LESS valid because she is over-emotional and "biased"?
Perhaps I can intervene and attempt to point out how you are misrepresenting what Spider has said.

First. The word typically is an important part of his sentence. Typically does not mean always, and therefore does not mean emotional involvement means lack of logic. Secondly, he uses the term less logical as opposed to illogical. Again, this does not mean anyone with an emotional bias is completely illogical and invalid, and even does not mean someone with an emotional bias is being at all illogical. These are things that should be analyzed on a case by case basis.

In the case of Cindy Sheehan, I honestly haven't paid enough attention to know whether or not she's being rational or irrational.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The mods would disagree with you on this.
ORLY?

Also, it's generally bad form to accuse someone you are debating against of some kind of logical fallacy when they haven't actually committed one.



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Old 05-14-2007, 10:57 PM   #78
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Given the recent tidal wave of off-topic posts and flames This thread is closed for the time being.

I've deleted the last 18 posts and would've have deleted more had ET Warrior not posted. Since he and Skinwalker are the moderators of this forum, I will leave it to their discretion to reopen the thread or not.

Please let this be a reminder that the Senate is for serious discussion and debate and the participants are expected to restrain themselves accordingly.

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