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Old 03-30-2007, 10:05 PM   #41
Achilles
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I think it's sufficient to say that many scientists have seen things that they were unable to explain. Real scientists however won't accept a hypothesis with absolutely no evidence as an explanation for said "thing". They leave the answer blank until they do have enough evidence to support an explanation that can be tested via the scientific method.

Going back to your example: How quickly would you be willing to substitute the word "aliens" for "God" when describing your religious beliefs?

"I believe that Aliens created the universe in 6 days".
"I believe that beauty of our world is evidence of Alien's eternal grace"
"I believe that Aliens watch over me and will be accept me into Heaven on Judgment Day".

These substitutions may seem mocking and absurd to followers of Western and Middle Eastern religions, however, as you can see, we've only substituted one word. And I would argue that aliens are far more probable (statistically speaking) than a supernatural creator.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:12 PM   #42
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Was it aliens who did all the stuff God is meant to? I've never come across anything like that. Where are they now? If this is something that scientists believe then why haven't they been able to find them?

That's not to say I'm dismissive of the idea, let's go with it. Okay, aliens created the universe, Jesus was an alien, ect. First of all we need evidence to support this claim. Now, what type of aliens would have the form to do something like this? Anything like how we picture aliens to be? Martians? What aliens benevolent or otherwise in fiction could do this? What would their means be? Their motive? I'd sure like these aliens to come and look upon the fruits of their labours, such as it is, especially if they happen to be certain types of aliens.
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:08 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Was it aliens who did all the stuff God is meant to?
I suppose it's possible. There isn't any evidence that this is the case, however there isn't any evidence for God either. Per my earlier statement, aliens are more statistically probable than supernatural deities, so if I had to choose one over the other...

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I've never come across anything like that.
IIRC, both Raeliens and Scientologists believe that life on Earth is a result of alien intervention.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Where are they now?
Dunno. Probably living on one of the estimated 62,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets that exist in our universe.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If this is something that scientists believe then why haven't they been able to find them?
Perhaps you heard of SETI?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
That's not to say I'm dismissive of the idea, let's go with it. Okay, aliens created the universe, Jesus was an alien, ect.
Well, first, the idea that aliens created the universe is just as statistically improbable as the idea that God did. Second, we have no evidence for Jesus, therefore we'd have to find some before we could even begin to hypothesize that he was an alien.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
First of all we need evidence to support this claim. Now, what type of aliens would have the form to do something like this?
Pretty advanced ones. The universe is 13.6 billion years old and the Earth is only about 4.5 billion years old. Any civilizations that exist further out than us are likely to be more technologically advanced. Furthermore, any civilizations that might exist out on the lip of the expanding universe are likely to have 9.1 billion years of technological advancement on us. Considering that less than 100 years separate us from the cusp of the atomic age, I think it's sufficed to say that even a few thousand years would be significant difference.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Anything like how we picture aliens to be? Martians?
Your guess is as good as mine. Unless you have some evidence for them and then your guess would be markedly better than mine

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
What aliens benevolent or otherwise in fiction could do this? What would their means be? Their motive? I'd sure like these aliens to come and look upon the fruits of their labours, such as it is, especially if they happen to be certain types of aliens.
All good questions. Maybe if we ever meet any of them, we can ask. Odds are though that they're too far ahead of us to even care how we turn out.

Even if only 0.000000000000001 of those planets I mentioned earlier have intelligent life on them, that means there are 6,250,000 civilization out there. And who know how many of those are more interesting than we are.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:46 AM   #44
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As yes I'd much rather know some of the alien beings in Star Wars than some dumb human. Twi'leks, Sullistans and Ewoks, oh my.

Just how do they find out how old the universe is and all? I mean I know that they do it but the fact they can astounds me. And you're right, anything that is thousands of years ahead of us would be so technologically advanced we cannot comprehend it, unless they keep to the old ways, tradition and all, but in that case that would probably cancel out the idea of them surviving for so long as they would need to be able to adapt and find new ways to survive and advance and the like. Who or what created these ancient alien civilisations anyway?

If we look at the evidence of things like aliens, Roswell for example, or crop circles, both are considered hoaxes but serve as evidence of aliens. There's things such as the Stonehenge, or the Easter Island heads, that are meant to be both alien and religious symbols. And there's lots of stuff that's meant to be dedicated to religion, such as Mecca or Dome of the Rock, or Mount Olives where Jesus was crucified. Evidence? The closest I can think of is the supposed discovery of Noah's Ark, and all the expeditions for things like that other famous ark that Indiana Jones searched for as well as other religious artifacts such as the cup of Christ (I'm a Harrison Ford fan so I'm going with these). IRL Hitler searched for religious artifacts such as the Loginous spear, that the Roman soldier pierced Jesus with when he died on the cross. If there is evidence of religion being real then it would cancel out any thought of aliens being responsible.

Yeah, the search for aliens, I remember that. They made a couple of movies on it, Starman and, ugh, Species. Where did the theory that aliens were responsible for what Chrsitian God is given credit for come from though? Raeliens and Scientologists you say? Wouldn't scientists, some of them anyway, dismiss the idea of there being aliens? Anyway it sounds fascinating and well worth looking up.
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:12 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Just how do they find out how old the universe is and all? I mean I know that they do it but the fact they can astounds me.
This article isn't very technical, but I think it does help to explain how it is done.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And you're right, anything that is thousands of years ahead of us would be so technologically advanced we cannot comprehend it <snip>
Clarke's Third Law:
Quote:
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Who or what created these ancient alien civilisations anyway?
Since we know that evolution is a natural process (some people claim that it is a supernatural process, however there is no evidence to support this hypothesis), we can assume that their civilizations started out the same as ours.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If we look at the evidence of things like aliens, Roswell for example, or crop circles, both are considered hoaxes but serve as evidence of aliens.
You're more generous than most.
I don't know that I would consider crop circles "evidence". Additionally, I'm not sure that Roswell is anything more than a conspiracy theory. That doesn't mean that it didn't happen, it just means that I haven't been convinced yet.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
There's things such as the Stonehenge, or the Easter Island heads, that are meant to be both alien and religious symbols.
Stonehedge is believed to be a calendar. The purpose of easter island monoliths is unknown (probably to keep evil spirits out, similar to gargoyles, or the up swept corners on Japanese pagodas).

I'm not sure how aliens are hypothesized to be involved.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And there's lots of stuff that's meant to be dedicated to religion, such as Mecca or Dome of the Rock, or Mount Olives where Jesus was crucified. Evidence? The closest I can think of is the supposed discovery of Noah's Ark
I'm assuming that you're referring to this?

A few years ago, there was a great deal of buzz surrounding the discovery of a mysterious "face on mars" (Link). As the technology got better and more precise images were captured, it quickly became obvious that the "face" was the result of crappy photography (see pictures in above link).

As for the "discovery of Noah's ark", it seems to me that relatively quick and cheap fly-by in a helicopter would settle the matter pretty quickly. They use helicopters all the time to fly snowboarders and skiers to the top of extreme ski runs. Also, why are no wealthy Christian financiers stepping forward to fund an expedition? Perhaps such a "discovery" is better for their cause when it's thinly veiled in mystery? *shrugs*

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
and all the expeditions for things like that other famous ark that Indiana Jones searched for as well as other religious artifacts such as the cup of Christ (I'm a Harrison Ford fan so I'm going with these).
The Ark of the Covenant
The Holy Grail

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
IRL Hitler searched for religious artifacts such as the Loginous spear, that the Roman soldier pierced Jesus with when he died on the cross.
IIRC, Hitler was a complete loon. On a side note, I find it interesting that some people like to claim that Hitler was an atheist in an effort to show how evil atheists are. Contrary to this claim though, Hitler was a devout Catholic for most of his life. Eventually, his religiosity began to come into question, but this was well after he had established himself as Fuhrer. The fact that he did take such interest in religious artifacts seems to conflict with the claim that he was an atheist.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If there is evidence of religion being real then it would cancel out any thought of aliens being responsible.
I've used this example before with Jae, but I think it's appropriate so I'll use it again here:

If archaeologists in the future find evidence for F-16 jets, American Presidents, and an American national holiday celebrated on July 4th, would those things be evidence that the events that transpire in the movie Independence Day actually took place?

In other words, "evidence for religion" is going to have to be a lot more than showing that some poorly referenced people and events actually lived or took place (respectively).

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Yeah, the search for aliens, I remember that. They made a couple of movies on it, Starman and, ugh, Species.
Don't forget Contact

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Where did the theory that aliens were responsible for what Chrsitian God is given credit for come from though?
You'll have to asks the Raelienists and the Scientologists. I brought it up to point out how flimsy the "Scully argument" was.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Raeliens and Scientologists you say? Wouldn't scientists, some of them anyway, dismiss the idea of there being aliens?
Most legitimate scientists won't waste time with something that can't be proven with empirical evidence (supernatural deities, for instance). As for aliens, we have evidence that life exists in the universe and that it arises via natural processes (i.e. our existence). We also have evidence that other galaxies, suns, and planets exist. Therefore it's highly probable that other intelligent life forms exist in our universe. With all this evidence and support from statistical analysis, I'm not sure why empirical science would want to dismiss such an idea.

Now if you're referring to actual visits, abductions, etc, then I'd say we were talking about something else entirely.

Thanks.

Last edited by Achilles; 03-31-2007 at 09:42 PM. Reason: fixed tag
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:45 PM   #46
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I'm not sure whether all these wild alien stories came before the scientific research of alien life, but as far as that type of evidence is concerned the best I know of is Grom Lake, which was discussed in another thread on aliens, and supposed alien footage where someone dressed as a Rodian. Now Area 51 I can believe is used for testing experimental aircraft. It might not be, I don't know, I'd like to know if there was aliens.

With the Scully arguement, what I'm saying is that, I know you don't but some do, just because some Atheist believes religion is BS those who follow it should not dismiss their faith. Jae, being religious and all, can probably tell you about this.

The diffirence between finding...you're thinking F-18 Hornets, the diffirence between finding those as evidence and finding something from hundreds of years ago is that for one Independance Day is obviously a made up story, with no basis of fact. The best evidence of this is Will Smith flying a fighter jet through a canyon. It's a staple to do this but you try and do that in real life and you'd have to be a stunt pilot, flying a stunt plane, if it can be done at all. For another the events in the film were meant to occur in 1996. The White House is still standing, so is New York and Los Angelas, Bill Clinton wasn't the President at the time, fiction. The story of Christ, the story of Christianity, Judism, Islam, Greek mythology, you pick'em, these are things that people say are true and they present evidence and testimony that they are true. People see things that they lay claim to religion, they believe their God does this or does that and from what is shown people buy it, intelligent people. I think the main diffirence is that one is meant to be true.

If Hitler was a devoted Christian he would have honestly believed that these artifacts existed and they would give him power. Remember the end to Raiders? The Ark is really meant to be able to do stuff like that, though that might be just tale so things like Indiana Jones can palm it off as the power of God or something. But there is another theory. The Nazis were leaving their symbols in archealogical dig sites and the like, things like the swastika in hyroglyphics and such. I'm not sure of the details, this is just from memory. I think the point of it was to establish Nazi dominance, probably to the point where people believed in Nazi prophecy because they sacriliged their acient writings and religions to twist it around to how Hitler wanted it. If Hitler had these religious artifacts that would be more cause for people to follow him, or something along those lines.

Hmmm, you raise a very good point. The Catholic church are meant to be the by far the richest people in the world. Why not use some of the money they are storing in God's house and make it work for them? Imagine the honor they would bring to their God by shattering all doubt and proving once and for all that this really happened? Though they were if not the biggest then one of the biggest opponents to The Da Vinci Code and I can't remember but wasn't some off shoot of them trying to keep the truth from coming out in the story? Maybe you're right, maybe some are afraid that there's nothing and don't want the truth from getting out.
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:21 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I'm not sure whether all these wild alien stories came before the scientific research of alien life, but as far as that type of evidence is concerned the best I know of is Grom Lake, which was discussed in another thread on aliens, and supposed alien footage where someone dressed as a Rodian. Now Area 51 I can believe is used for testing experimental aircraft. It might not be, I don't know, I'd like to know if there was aliens.
I'm sure you not the only one. Supposition, urban legends, and conspiracy theories are not the same thing as evidence though. All of that stuff could be true, but without some evidence, I have no reason to believe it. Keeping this on topic, the same logic is used in regards to God. He may be up there, but so far, I have no reason to give much credence to that story.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
With the Scully arguement, what I'm saying is that, I know you don't but some do, just because some Atheist believes religion is BS those who follow it should not dismiss their faith. Jae, being religious and all, can probably tell you about this.
Please explain to me why faith should be viewed as a good thing.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The diffirence between finding...you're thinking F-18 Hornets, the diffirence between finding those as evidence and finding something from hundreds of years ago is that for one Independance Day is obviously a made up story, with no basis of fact.
How would archaeologists from the future know this? Maybe they've had contact with aliens and know that they exist? How would they know that it's a work of fiction and not a documentary about a primitive war that took place in the ancient world? We know that it is a made up story because we have context.

We assume to have context for Bible, but the truth is that we do not. People spend their entire adult lives studying the Bible and argue with other scholars over who's interpretation of events, etc are better than others. And this has been going on for thousands of years.

The point is that making references to Galilee, Pontius Pilate, Romans, Pharisees, etc doesn't make the NT historically accurate. In other words, you can't prove that the events described in the NT actually took place.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The best evidence of this is Will Smith flying a fighter jet through a canyon. It's a staple to do this but you try and do that in real life and you'd have to be a stunt pilot, flying a stunt plane, if it can be done at all.
Just like you or I aren't capable of walking on water, turning water into wine, or rising from the dead after three days.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
For another the events in the film were meant to occur in 1996. The White House is still standing, so is New York and Los Angelas, Bill Clinton wasn't the President at the time, fiction.
A lot is lost in history. These things are common knowledge now, but would not be to people thousands of years in the future. What was the most popular book during 30 B.C. in ancient Rome? What toy did Mesopotamian children prefer to play with? What was the name of the first king of the Aztec Empire? Assuming that you have answers to any of these questions, how confident are you that your answer is 100% correct and isn't subject to change via new evidence?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The story of Christ, the story of Christianity, Judism, Islam, Greek mythology, you pick'em, these are things that people say are true and they present evidence and testimony that they are true.
Testimony is not the same thing as evidence. David Berkowitz offered testimony that his dog told him to kill people. Is this a strong case for the power of testimony?

If you have some evidence for any of these belief systems please share it with me. I have been unable to find any for any of them.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
People see things that they lay claim to religion, they believe their God does this or does that and from what is shown people buy it, intelligent people. I think the main diffirence is that one is meant to be true.
True according to whom? Christians are convinced that Jews and Muslims have it all wrong. Jews say the same thing about Christians and Muslims. Muslims say the same thing about Jews and Christians. All three groups have holy books and religious scholars ready with "evidence" to show the other groups just how wrong they are. Which one is right? Or more to the point: Which one is true?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If Hitler was a devoted Christian he would have honestly believed that these artifacts existed and they would give him power. Remember the end to Raiders? The Ark is really meant to be able to do stuff like that, though that might be just tale so things like Indiana Jones can palm it off as the power of God or something. But there is another theory. The Nazis were leaving their symbols in archealogical dig sites and the like, things like the swastika in hyroglyphics and such. I'm not sure of the details, this is just from memory.
Nancy, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a movie

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I think the point of it was to establish Nazi dominance, probably to the point where people believed in Nazi prophecy because they sacriliged their acient writings and religions to twist it around to how Hitler wanted it. If Hitler had these religious artifacts that would be more cause for people to follow him, or something along those lines.
I'd be more than happy to take a look at whatever historical documents that you have that would support your argument.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Imagine the honor they would bring to their God by shattering all doubt and proving once and for all that this really happened?
Without any evidence this would be very hard to do. Luckily for most religious people, the general sentiment is that science is a distraction and faith is what's important. Oddly though, whenever science is believed to support some religious belief or another, it is quickly embraced and paraded out for the skeptics (the aforementioned prayer research is one example of this).
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:26 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
With the Scully arguement, what I'm saying is that, I know you don't but some do, just because some Atheist believes religion is BS those who follow it should not dismiss their faith. Jae, being religious and all, can probably tell you about this.
Sorry for intruding a bit here, but I'd like to agree with you. Just because someone else says you're wrong doesn't make them right. Of course, if you fail to explain your belief in rational terms, you can hardly expect people to think that your holding it is a rational act. They might call you out on it. Personally I don't know why you'd want to believe something irrationally if you knew it were so.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 04-01-2007, 12:30 AM   #49
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^^^^
Quite right. Once again, Samuel Dravis puts something far more eloquently than I would.
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:26 AM   #50
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It goes against the guidelines a little but I'll put quotes below so you know exactly what I'm referring to.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Please explain to me why faith should be viewed as a good thing.
:whistles: That's one reason. Even if it isn't true.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
How would archaeologists from the future know this? Maybe they've had contact with aliens and know that they exist? How would they know that it's a work of fiction and not a documentary about a primitive war that took place in the ancient world? We know that it is a made up story because we have context.
Because it was portrayed as fiction. By comparing records of the film's President to real life, they would know that he wasn't serving in 1996, Bill Clinton was. Actors such as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum would be credited for the roles they played in the film, assuming we are keeping records and have the Internet in the future it'd just be a simple matter of looking it up.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
We assume to have context for Bible, but the truth is that we do not. People spend their entire adult lives studying the Bible and argue with other scholars over who's interpretation of events, etc are better than others. And this has been going on for thousands of years.
Exactly, and for people to come out, this is for Samual as well, for people to come out and say 'ZOMGWTF THERE IZ NO GOD LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11 U R RETARDED FOR BELIEVING IN RELIGION LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11' is utter arrogance, and I know there is a world of diffirence between choosing not to believe in religion and slamming it with comments like this but the sad fact is people do beat people into the ground because they believe in religion, and they bring down their non belief by doing so.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
A lot is lost in history. These things are common knowledge now, but would not be to people thousands of years in the future. What was the most popular book during 30 B.C. in ancient Rome? What toy did Mesopotamian children prefer to play with? What was the name of the first king of the Aztec Empire? Assuming that you have answers to any of these questions, how confident are you that your answer is 100% correct and isn't subject to change via new evidence?
It's interesting you point this out because lately I've been thinking about things we see on the Internet, TV and such, and how especially what you find on the Internet it tends to get criticised as not being creditble. Sure it's usually because someone doesn't agree with it but it does happen. And I'm getting to the point where I wouldn't trust any given source. So to answer your question, I can present whatever evidence of, say, the first king of the Aztec Empire, but there is the possibility of it being wrong. Like how Billy Cohen was going to be a Navy SEAL but turned out to be a Marine, I think.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Testimony is not the same thing as evidence. David Berkowitz offered testimony that his dog told him to kill people. Is this a strong case for the power of testimony?
Creditble testimony; the sort of thing Berkowitz went on with would likely put him in a mental institute, that he may have said that to get a lighter sentance is neither here nor there, is very important. I'll paint you a picture: say a police station is bombed, an officer and a member of the public is killed, the police investigate likely suspects while they gather evidence and find out it was semtex, one of the suspects asks if it was semtex used and says how an ex commando had stolen some to sell, on the strength of that testimony he is questioned and made to reveal who he sold it to, on the basis of that testimony they investigate the buyer and he admits to making a bomb out of the semtex and selling it, and another testimony reveals that the bomber was saying that he's been waiting years to pay back the police for putting him in jail, the police are able to arrest the bomber because they followed the testimonies until they found the evidence and the truth. In the case of religion however every time we follow the testimonies we find no evidence, so we keep plugging away until we do.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
True according to whom? Christians are convinced that Jews and Muslims have it all wrong. Jews say the same thing about Christians and Muslims. Muslims say the same thing about Jews and Christians. All three groups have holy books and religious scholars ready with "evidence" to show the other groups just how wrong they are. Which one is right? Or more to the point: Which one is true?
My point of view? People who try and convince others that they are wrong regardless of what religion, if any, they follow, are afraid, they're afraid of losing followers, they're afraid of people believing in something they don't believe in and they're afraid that they may be wrong because they don't have the power of some mythical being, and the more they try and beat people down with their religion, or lack of it, the more scared they are. That's not a knock on people following their beliefs or nonbeliefs, or those who discuss them, it's those who go beyond the call of duty to push their beliefs on others.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Nancy, Raiders of the Lost Ark is a movie
I know that, but the Ark is meant to be able to do the sort of thing we saw in the film. It says in the Bible that anyone who approaches it will surely be put to death, and there's bits and pieces floating around on what it can do. Here's a couple of sites on the matter.

http://www.forteantimes.com/articles/207_ark1.shtml
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/...daism/ark.html

As for the other, Nazis recreating history in countries they invaded, this is from Medal of Honor. Manon, a member of the French Resistence who joins the OSS, one of her missions is putting a stop to it. That's where the thought came from, but it did happen. I think this covers it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_archaeology



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Originally Posted by Achilles
Without any evidence this would be very hard to do. Luckily for most religious people, the general sentiment is that science is a distraction and faith is what's important. Oddly though, whenever science is believed to support some religious belief or another, it is quickly embraced and paraded out for the skeptics (the aforementioned prayer research is one example of this).
Ah, hypocracy. I thought science was meant to be evil. Why? Because it might reveal something those who believe in religion don't want to hear? If science could settle the matter once and for all you'd think deacons the world over would jump at the chance. They're not exactly queing up around the block.
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:59 AM   #51
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:whistles: That's one reason. Even if it isn't true.
But as some of the other respondents in that thread point out, there's nothing to show that your story is a case for faith. To take things a step further, what about those religions that insist that medicine is not used. Wouldn't faith be dangerous is some cases? Considering that differences in faith is one of the most predominate cause of conflict in our world, isn't it safe to say that faith has been lethal for a great number of people?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Because it was portrayed as fiction. By comparing records of the film's President to real life, they would know that he wasn't serving in 1996, Bill Clinton was. Actors such as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum would be credited for the roles they played in the film, assuming we are keeping records and have the Internet in the future it'd just be a simple matter of looking it up.
I'm afraid I've failed to adequately express my point.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Exactly, and for people to come out, this is for Samual as well, for people to come out and say 'ZOMGWTF THERE IZ NO GOD LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11 U R RETARDED FOR BELIEVING IN RELIGION LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11' is utter arrogance, and I know there is a world of diffirence between choosing not to believe in religion and slamming it with comments like this but the sad fact is people do beat people into the ground because they believe in religion, and they bring down their non belief by doing so.
I'm not sure what relevance this has to the point that I made in the section that you quoted. I do not agree that religion should be off limits or given a pass during open debate. I find it a little hypocritical that prostletizing via missions or witnessing is seen as noble work, while pointing out that there is no foundation in fact for any religion is viewed as "utter arrogance".

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
It's interesting you point this out because lately I've been thinking about things we see on the Internet, TV and such, and how especially what you find on the Internet it tends to get criticised as not being creditble. Sure it's usually because someone doesn't agree with it but it does happen. And I'm getting to the point where I wouldn't trust any given source. So to answer your question, I can present whatever evidence of, say, the first king of the Aztec Empire, but there is the possibility of it being wrong. Like how Billy Cohen was going to be a Navy SEAL but turned out to be a Marine, I think.
The point, which you appear to concede, is that we cannot be certain about anything that has taken place in the past. We have a certain degree of confidence in some events and historical figures based on the amount (and quality) of the evidence that we have for them. Meanwhile a majority of human beings claim to have absolute certainty about a handful of events and people for which we have absolutely zero evidence. I struggle to understand how that works.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Creditble testimony; the sort of thing Berkowitz went on with would likely put him in a mental institute, that he may have said that to get a lighter sentance is neither here nor there, is very important. I'll paint you a picture: say a police station is bombed, an officer and a member of the public is killed, the police investigate likely suspects while they gather evidence and find out it was semtex, one of the suspects asks if it was semtex used and says how an ex commando had stolen some to sell, on the strength of that testimony he is questioned and made to reveal who he sold it to, on the basis of that testimony they investigate the buyer and he admits to making a bomb out of the semtex and selling it, and another testimony reveals that the bomber was saying that he's been waiting years to pay back the police for putting him in jail, the police are able to arrest the bomber because they followed the testimonies until they found the evidence and the truth. In the case of religion however every time we follow the testimonies we find no evidence, so we keep plugging away until we do.
I'm well aware of how testimony works in our legal system. The "bumpers" that exist are a) the assumption that the individuals giving testimony are telling the truth and b) those that are found to not be telling the truth are punished. Remove either of bumpers and testimony is worthless. That was my point. My apologies for not being more specific earlier.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
My point of view? People who try and convince others that they are wrong regardless of what religion, if any, they follow, are afraid, they're afraid of losing followers, they're afraid of people believing in something they don't believe in and they're afraid that they may be wrong because they don't have the power of some mythical being, and the more they try and beat people down with their religion, or lack of it, the more scared they are. That's not a knock on people following their beliefs or nonbeliefs, or those who discuss them, it's those who go beyond the call of duty to push their beliefs on others.
Belief, and specifically religious belief, can have very real consequences. September 11th, the Transit Bombings in London, the length and breadth of the conflict in Ireland, Somalia, etc, etc are evidence of this. To say that faith is harmless and that those who chose to base their level of believe on the amount of evidence are foolish is to not examine the situation as it is.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Ah, hypocracy. I thought science was meant to be evil. Why? Because it might reveal something those who believe in religion don't want to hear? If science could settle the matter once and for all you'd think deacons the world over would jump at the chance. They're not exactly queing up around the block.
Agreed. Unfortunately, because God is a supernatural explanation, He/She/It/They can't be measure via scientific means. To do so would be to instantly revoke His/Hers/Its/Theirs supernatural status.
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Old 04-01-2007, 02:40 AM   #52
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But as some of the other respondents in that thread point out, there's nothing to show that your story is a case for faith. To take things a step further, what about those religions that insist that medicine is not used. Wouldn't faith be dangerous is some cases? Considering that differences in faith is one of the most predominate cause of conflict in our world, isn't it safe to say that faith has been lethal for a great number of people?
A little common sense goes a long way. It says in the Bible that you cannot go to the toilet. I've yet to see one Christian who doesn't. Take 'though shalt not kill' to it's ultimate and you're expected to get down on your knees and pray for the forgiveness of whoever is about to put a bullet in the back of your head. I'm game if you are.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I'm not sure what relevance this has to the point that I made in the section that you quoted. I do not agree that religion should be off limits or given a pass during open debate. I find it a little hypocritical that prostletizing via missions or witnessing is seen as noble work, while pointing out that there is no foundation in fact for any religion is viewed as "utter arrogance".
Saying that it's wrong for people to make comments like I demonstrated isn't giving religion a pass. The same can be said of any topic. People shouldn't make such comments on religion, or Atheism, or really anything, because it's wrong to make comments like that.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Belief, and specifically religious belief, can have very real consequences. September 11th, the Transit Bombings in London, the length and breadth of the conflict in Ireland, Somalia, etc, etc are evidence of this. To say that faith is harmless and that those who chose to base their level of believe on the amount of evidence are foolish is to not examine the situation as it is.
So, what? We put religion on trial for the crimes of the individual? And what happens to, say, Muslims if some court were to find Islam guilty of the crime of terrorism?
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:31 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Exactly, and for people to come out, this is for Samual as well, for people to come out and say 'ZOMGWTF THERE IZ NO GOD LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11 U R RETARDED FOR BELIEVING IN RELIGION LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11' is utter arrogance, and I know there is a world of diffirence between choosing not to believe in religion and slamming it with comments like this but the sad fact is people do beat people into the ground because they believe in religion, and they bring down their non belief by doing so.
I'd agree that it is arrogance with regards to claiming an absolute knowledge of the question. Similar arrogance, then, shows on the other side of the coin.

I personally care very little what anyone spends their free time on, whether it's religion or something else. Hey, it's their life to do with as they see fit. The only problems I have with religion, really, come up when it affects other people. If this effect is good - and in a lot of cases it is, no doubt about that - then great.

However, if people use religion to justify something I'd consider an unnecessary restriction or just wrong, then I'd ask them what basis they have for their statements. If they can't give a rational one, then as far as I can tell it's just an opinion - and opinions really have no business deciding other people's lives for them.

Sure, some might take it as offensive or arrogant, my dismissal of their opinions. I'm not sure what they'd be trying to accomplish though. If they had a rational reason for their position, then they'd have already shown it to me. Since they didn't, then the only person they have to be angry with is themselves. I certainly didn't make them try to defend the indefensible.


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Old 04-01-2007, 06:00 AM   #54
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A little common sense goes a long way. It says in the Bible that you cannot go to the toilet. I've yet to see one Christian who doesn't. Take 'though shalt not kill' to it's ultimate and you're expected to get down on your knees and pray for the forgiveness of whoever is about to put a bullet in the back of your head. I'm game if you are.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record: I'm not sure what relevance this has to the point that I made in the section that you quoted. I'm really unclear as to what I'm supposed to take away from your reply. Help?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Saying that it's wrong for people to make comments like I demonstrated isn't giving religion a pass. The same can be said of any topic. People shouldn't make such comments on religion, or Atheism, or really anything, because it's wrong to make comments like that.
This is exactly what I was referencing. Why shouldn't such comments be made (thereby giving religion a pass)? For almost any other enterprise we engage in as human beings, some expectation exists that we act rationally and have good reasons for our beliefs. This expectation doesn't seem to exist for religion. What's more, it's almost taboo to even speak about having such an expectation.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
So, what? We put religion on trial for the crimes of the individual? And what happens to, say, Muslims if some court were to find Islam guilty of the crime of terrorism?
I suppose that's one possible response, however I don't imagine that choice will accomplish very much. Another option that might be more productive would be to shed the taboo of religious discussion, refuse to accept, "well, that's just what I believe" as a perfectly rational response, and encourage others to truly examine the basis of their belief.

I don't advocate that this should be done at gunpoint. Nor do I think atheists should crash religious services or attack people wearing crosses around their necks on the street. However, if the subject of religion does come up in conversation, I don't see why I should be expected to sit back and refrain from voicing my observations just because it might put the faithful in the uncomfortable position of having to defend their beliefs.

Last edited by Achilles; 04-01-2007 at 06:33 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:04 PM   #55
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I suppose that's one possible response, however I don't imagine that choice will accomplish very much. Another option that might be more productive would be to shed the taboo of religious discussion, refuse to accept, "well, that's just what I believe" as a perfectly rational response, and encourage others to truly examine the basis of their belief.
I don't think that even possible at all. I think that all rational discussion breaks down to "Well, that's just what I believe", and I think we have to accept that rather than go and attempt to attack it. All beliefs are formed by assumptions after all, and these assumptions cannot be backed up, so in the end, all arguments are made to justify the belief. As long as you attack the warrants, you can destroy all beliefs, in Science or in Religion. Even Atheism (you say it is an abscene of belief, but if so, why not abandon belief in Science and its Method, since that may be wrong as well and there is no proof that observations are correct).

We have to resort to "That's just what I believe"...because it's true. I believe in Science. It seems to be applicable, has the answers to everything, etc. I have no reason to believe in Science, it may be wrong, but I made a choice to believe in Science. That's just what I, along with many other human beings, believe, even though I may be wrong. Replace Science with Religion, and you just the justification.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:57 PM   #56
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However, if people use religion to justify something I'd consider an unnecessary restriction or just wrong, then I'd ask them what basis they have for their statements. If they can't give a rational one, then as far as I can tell it's just an opinion - and opinions really have no business deciding other people's lives for them.
Frankly, using religion to justify something pisses me off. That's what terrorists do. You really think they believe in Islam? If they did they wouldn't commit terrorist acts.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
At the risk of sounding like a broken record: I'm not sure what relevance this has to the point that I made in the section that you quoted. I'm really unclear as to what I'm supposed to take away from your reply. Help?
Okay. Though shalt not kill has been more commonly interpreted in recent times as 'Though shalt not murder'. The reason for the change is because common sense dictates there are times, in war for example, or in self defence, where we must kill. We kill animals for food, or because they're sick. We put murderers and pedophiles to death. So if we were to examine 'Though shalt not kill' a great number of us would be guilty. Hence the reason for the reinterpretation 'Though shalt not murder'.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
This is exactly what I was referencing. Why shouldn't such comments be made (thereby giving religion a pass)? For almost any other enterprise we engage in as human beings, some expectation exists that we act rationally and have good reasons for our beliefs. This expectation doesn't seem to exist for religion. What's more, it's almost taboo to even speak about having such an expectation.
Well, do people say 'you're a ****wit to not believe in religion'? No, I would hope not, because it's wrong to make such a comment full stop. The same as it would be to make such comments on religion, or on topics such as homosexuality, racism, politics, really anything. We don't make anti gay comments around homosexuals, racist comments around ethnic groups or Bush bashing around Republicans...well that last one is debateable, out of respect for those who hold those beliefs and are those type of people. We don't want to upset them.

And yes, religion, like issues such as politics, the war, homosexuality and racism can be a more toey subject than most. It shouldn't be, I think it's more wrong to discuss something like persecuting Muslims because they are terrorists than discussing the validity of religion, but it is.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I suppose that's one possible response, however I don't imagine that choice will accomplish very much. Another option that might be more productive would be to shed the taboo of religious discussion, refuse to accept, "well, that's just what I believe" as a perfectly rational response, and encourage others to truly examine the basis of their belief.
A crusade to stop people from the fallacy of believing in religion?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I don't advocate that this should be done at gunpoint. Nor do I think atheists should crash religious services or attack people wearing crosses around their necks on the street. However, if the subject of religion does come up in conversation, I don't see why I should be expected to sit back and refrain from voicing my observations just because it might put the faithful in the uncomfortable position of having to defend their beliefs.
And yes, despite the thoughts of some you shouldn't have people at gunpoint on their religion. But certainly if the topic comes up you should be free to discuss your thoughts on religion. Just don't go around making comments like 'you're a ****wit to believe in religion', that's akin to bombing abortion clinics.
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:27 PM   #57
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Frankly, using religion to justify something pisses me off. That's what terrorists do.
What about embryonic stem cell research? Or abortion? Or the cherry-picked scripture that was the basis for the abolition of slavery? Some of these things are good, while others are bad. If you apply that standard to some of them, then you have to apply it to all.

FWIW, I absolutely agree with you. There are ethical arguments for every truly moral issue that we have. Religion is completely unnecessary for moral behavior. Therefore using it as justification should be upsetting.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
You really think they believe in Islam? If they did they wouldn't commit terrorist acts.
Do you have any reason to believe that they do not? Pretty sure their holy book tells them to kill non-believers just the same as ours (meaning Western Christians). Muslims have extremists. Christians have extremists.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Okay. Though shalt not kill has been more commonly interpreted in recent times as 'Though shalt not murder'. The reason for the change is because common sense dictates there are times, in war for example, or in self defence, where we must kill. We kill animals for food, or because they're sick. We put murderers and pedophiles to death. So if we were to examine 'Though shalt not kill' a great number of us would be guilty. Hence the reason for the reinterpretation 'Though shalt not murder'.
I appreciate you clarifying the argument. Unfortunately, I still don't understand how that is associated with the section that you quoted.

Here it is again:

Quote:
But as some of the other respondents in that thread point out, there's nothing to show that your story is a case for faith. To take things a step further, what about those religions that insist that medicine is not used. Wouldn't faith be dangerous is some cases? Considering that differences in faith is one of the most predominate cause of conflict in our world, isn't it safe to say that faith has been lethal for a great number of people?
Thanks in advance.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Well, do people say 'you're a ****wit to not believe in religion'?
No, it tends to sound more like, "you're a sinner and you're going to spend eternity burning in hell". Which is clearly a more appropriate display of grace, tolerance, and brotherly love.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
No, I would hope not, because it's wrong to make such a comment full stop.
In other word, "No, it doesn't happen because that would be wrong". Unfortunately, such sentiments don't actually stop things like that from happening.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The same as it would be to make such comments on religion, or on topics such as homosexuality, racism, politics, really anything. We don't make anti gay comments around homosexuals, racist comments around ethnic groups or Bush bashing around Republicans...well that last one is debateable, out of respect for those who hold those beliefs and are those type of people. We don't want to upset them.
Actually those are all factually incorrect. Those things do happen. All the time.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
A crusade to stop people from the fallacy of believing in religion?
I don't know if I'd use the word "crusade". "Campaign" would probably be more appropriate. Also, I would probably rearrange the last few words of that sentence.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Just don't go around making comments like 'you're a ****wit to believe in religion', that's akin to bombing abortion clinics.
Most of the non-believers I've had experience with tend to avoid personal attacks. There's a huge difference between calling someone a "****wit" and pointing out that their beliefs are based on delusion. One is a personal attack while the other is not.
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Old 04-01-2007, 09:00 PM   #58
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What about embryonic stem cell research? Or abortion? Or the cherry-picked scripture that was the basis for the abolition of slavery? Some of these things are good, while others are bad. If you apply that standard to some of them, then you have to apply it to all.
Well, if you worry about the sancity of your soul, don't do it, and don't support it. As I understand it God will sort out dealing with those who take part in it.

My thoughts on these topics? Stem cell research is playing God isn't it? I believe in the betterment of the human race, but am more familiar with the theory of gene therapy, I think it's the same thing. Abortion? That's an icky moral subject but overall I think if the mother and child would really be worse off then it's for the better they do it, especially in the event of an unwanted or forced pregnancy. I don't know what cherry picked scripture abolished slavery but I'm glad it did, it's morally reprehensible.

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Do you have any reason to believe that they do not? Pretty sure their holy book tells them to kill non-believers just the same as ours (meaning Western Christians). Muslims have extremists. Christians have extremists.
Again it falls down to common sense. The part about laws overiding religion is a good place to start. Terrorism is illegal in America. Hijacking and suicide bombing is illegal. Therefore, religious extremists must curb their faith to coexist with society, I think it's so that extremists stop committing acts that would be frowned upon by the general public but I have no basis for that, it's how I interpret that section.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I appreciate you clarifying the argument. Unfortunately, I still don't understand how that is associated with the section that you quoted.

Here it is again:

Thanks in advance.
Would faith be dangerous or even lethal in some cases? In terms of people using dogma to preach killing and dieing for their God, absolutely. We've seen it with Islam and we are seeing it now with Christianity. The people who do go to these extremes are certainly in the minority, Al Qaeda has been condemned by Islamic clerics the world over. There are still those who preach hatred though, and as sensible people we know that is wrong. The growing...militarisation? of Christianity is disturbing as well. I haven't heard of Christian based terrorism but it could happen, and were it to it would lessen the religion. And you can point to things such as the Crusades and the history of the Middle East. I think religion for the most part is taught by sensible people, and most of those who recieve the message are sensible people. In my view for someone to look at religion and get it into their minds that killing for their God is a good idea is the same as those who play violent video games and then go out and kill, they arn't right to begin with.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
No, it tends to sound more like, "you're a sinner and you're going to spend eternity burning in hell". Which is clearly a more appropriate display of grace, tolerance, and brotherly love.
Well that's their problem, and regardless of what way you say it making comments like that and not respecting the right for others to be entitled to their beliefs is wrong.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
In other word, "No, it doesn't happen because that would be wrong". Unfortunately, such sentiments don't actually stop things like that from happening.
No unfortunetly it doesn't. We know pedophillia is wrong but despite our best efforts to stop it it still happens.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Actually those are all factually incorrect. Those things do happen. All the time.
I should probably say we shouldn't do these things, we are taught that they are wrong and I think we know that they are wrong. It doesn't stop it from happening but the point is we know that if we value the sensibilities of others, not to mention our teeth that might get rammed down our throats were we to make such comments, we wouldn't say such things.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I don't know if I'd use the word "crusade". "Campaign" would probably be more appropriate. Also, I would probably rearrange the last few words of that sentence.
Admirable. Were it me I would be more inclined to campaign against issues that are well rooted in how dangerous and wrong they are, drugs, crime, lack of justice, but that's just me. Perhaps the danger of letting your religion and beliefs get you in hot water, such as being preached to kill.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Most of the non-believers I've had experience with tend to avoid personal attacks. There's a huge difference between calling someone a "****wit" and pointing out that their beliefs are based on delusion. One is a personal attack while the other is not.
Exactly, and you know which one to avoid at all costs, even if some deacons as you've demonstrated don't.
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Old 04-01-2007, 11:07 PM   #59
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Well, if you worry about the sancity of your soul, don't do it, and don't support it. As I understand it God will sort out dealing with those who take part in it.
Unfortunately, I don't think this response addresses the point that I made. Your statement was that religion should have no place in public policy decicion making. I pointed out that it does, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
My thoughts on these topics? <snip>
There are existing threads for both of these topics. I will be more than happy to respond to your points there.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Again it falls down to common sense.
So you're saying that Muslims don't really believe in jihad because of "common sense"?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The part about laws overiding religion is a good place to start. Terrorism is illegal in America. Hijacking and suicide bombing is illegal. Therefore, religious extremists must curb their faith to coexist with society, I think it's so that extremists stop committing acts that would be frowned upon by the general public but I have no basis for that, it's how I interpret that section.
I think the terrorists were more than aware that their actions were going to violate some national laws. The fact is that many terrorists are on record stating that they are following a "higher law". This goes for Muslim extremists that suicide bomb Iraqi convenience stores as well as Christian extremists that bomb abortion clinics.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Would faith be dangerous or even lethal in some cases? In terms of people using dogma to preach killing and dieing for their God, absolutely. We've seen it with Islam and we are seeing it now with Christianity. The people who do go to these extremes are certainly in the minority, Al Qaeda has been condemned by Islamic clerics the world over. There are still those who preach hatred though, and as sensible people we know that is wrong. The growing...militarisation? of Christianity is disturbing as well. I haven't heard of Christian based terrorism but it could happen, and were it to it would lessen the religion. And you can point to things such as the Crusades and the history of the Middle East. I think religion for the most part is taught by sensible people, and most of those who recieve the message are sensible people. In my view for someone to look at religion and get it into their minds that killing for their God is a good idea is the same as those who play violent video games and then go out and kill, they arn't right to begin with.
I don't think the problem is as isolated as you would suggest. Link.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Well that's their problem, and regardless of what way you say it making comments like that and not respecting the right for others to be entitled to their beliefs is wrong.
I don't agree that militant, dogmatic thinking is "their problem". You are aware of so-called "hate crimes" aren't you? Those are the perpetrator's "problems". They aren't the ones that end up in the hospital or dead. We don't say, "well if the KKK wants to maim and kill people of other races, then that's their problem" do we?

(Full disclosure: I don't agree with the concept of "hate crimes". Assault is a assault and our government should be equally harsh with all violent offenders, regardless of their motivations. My 2 cents).

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
No unfortunetly it doesn't. We know pedophillia is wrong but despite our best efforts to stop it it still happens.
If you agree that such arguments don't solve the problem, then why are you advocating them in this thread? Please help me understand which part of your argument I am missing.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I should probably say we shouldn't do these things, we are taught that they are wrong and I think we know that they are wrong. It doesn't stop it from happening but the point is we know that if we value the sensibilities of others, not to mention our teeth that might get rammed down our throats were we to make such comments, we wouldn't say such things.
So you are retracting your earlier statement that people are not verbally harassed by people that hate them?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Admirable. Were it me I would be more inclined to campaign against issues that are well rooted in how dangerous and wrong they are, drugs, crime, lack of justice, but that's just me. Perhaps the danger of letting your religion and beliefs get you in hot water, such as being preached to kill.
Do we only have to choose one issue to stand behind? Can I not campaign for rational discourse on religion while standing up for other social issues? Is it safe to say that there might be some other social issues that are at an impasse because of our failure to have rational discourse on religion (abortion and stem-cell research, for instance)? Considering that religion promotes in-group/out-group bias which clearly leads to conflict all over the world, don't you think crime would be reduced significantly it we eliminated the basis for such biases? I think we would.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Exactly, and you know which one to avoid at all costs, even if some deacons as you've demonstrated don't.
I believe that a "deacon" is a religious officer.

If you and I are agreeing that I've made no personal attacks, then I'm not sure where "****wit" came from.
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Old 04-02-2007, 10:11 AM   #60
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Unfortunately, I don't think this response addresses the point that I made. Your statement was that religion should have no place in public policy decicion making. I pointed out that it does, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad.
I'm not sure if religion should or should not have a place in public policy decision making but I think it shouldn't be used as a club to beat down any decision or to go against what is honestly going to be good for people.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
So you're saying that Muslims don't really believe in jihad because of "common sense"?
I would argue that people such as Al Qaeda can say they commit terrorist acts because of their religion and point to texts in their Quran to justify Jihad. There's a few ways to look at this: they take the parts out of context rather than look at the whole, this is honestly how they see Islam despite the views of religious leaders, personally I think it's an excuse to hide behind but I'm the blunt type.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I think the terrorists were more than aware that their actions were going to violate some national laws. The fact is that many terrorists are on record stating that they are following a "higher law". This goes for Muslim extremists that suicide bomb Iraqi convenience stores as well as Christian extremists that bomb abortion clinics.
Then I suggest to them that they read again their religious texts. It says right there, I can find it if you like, that they are to respect the laws of the land when their religion says otherwise.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I don't think the problem is as isolated as you would suggest. Link.
That's beliefs. How does that indicate they would commit criminal acts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I don't agree that militant, dogmatic thinking is "their problem". You are aware of so-called "hate crimes" aren't you? Those are the perpetrator's "problems". They aren't the ones that end up in the hospital or dead. We don't say, "well if the KKK wants to maim and kill people of other races, then that's their problem" do we?
By it being their problem I mean they have the problem of not giving a stuff about other people's feelings, those who delight in making racist comments to ethnic groups, anti gay comments to homosexuals, ect. These people are the scum of the earth and we should do everything to stop them.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
If you agree that such arguments don't solve the problem, then why are you advocating them in this thread? Please help me understand which part of your argument I am missing.
I don't. I think we should do what we can to stop it, but the fact of the matter is it does. We shouldn't tolerate it but it does, and whatever we can do to stop it we should.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
So you are retracting your earlier statement that people are not verbally harassed by people that hate them?
By saying that we don't make racist comments and the like I'm talking about the overwhelming majority. There are those that still do and as I said we should eradicate them, yesterday.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Do we only have to choose one issue to stand behind? Can I not campaign for rational discourse on religion while standing up for other social issues?
No you should do what you can. However you're not Superman, that's not a knock you should do what you can, but you shouldn't do more than you can, neither should you be expected to. A man who takes on the weight of the world's problems will over be crushed by them.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Is it safe to say that there might be some other social issues that are at an impasse because of our failure to have rational discourse on religion (abortion and stem-cell research, for instance)?
Yes I think it's fair to say that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Considering that religion promotes in-group/out-group bias which clearly leads to conflict all over the world, don't you think crime would be reduced significantly it we eliminated the basis for such biases? I think we would.
But then what do we do when racial hatred leads to conflict? Do we kill all the black people because of the race riots Los Angelas had faced. What about violent protests against government? Should there be death camps for those opposed to whoever is in power?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
If you and I are agreeing that I've made no personal attacks, then I'm not sure where "****wit" came from.
From the basis that saying things like 'you're a ****wit to not believe in religion' is wrong. It's wrong. Regardless of people making comments like that it's the wrong thing to do.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:12 PM   #61
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I'm not sure if religion should or should not have a place in public policy decision making but I think it shouldn't be used as a club to beat down any decision or to go against what is honestly going to be good for people.
The unfortunate reality is that it already happens. I guess it comes down to what you're prepared to do about it.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I would argue that people such as Al Qaeda can say they commit terrorist acts because of their religion and point to texts in their Quran to justify Jihad. There's a few ways to look at this: they take the parts out of context rather than look at the whole, this is honestly how they see Islam despite the views of religious leaders, personally I think it's an excuse to hide behind but I'm the blunt type.
What evidence do you have to support the hypothesis that Islam is a peaceful religion? Same question for Christianity.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Then I suggest to them that they read again their religious texts. It says right there, I can find it if you like, that they are to respect the laws of the land when their religion says otherwise.
I've stated before and I state again that I don't think more reading of religious texts will help reduce religious violence.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
That's beliefs. How does that indicate they would commit criminal acts?
Religious texts promote, what we would today consider, criminal acts. Can you tell me how many atheists are incarcerated in the U.S.? How are the crime rates in the country's most religious areas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
By it being their problem I mean they have the problem of not giving a stuff about other people's feelings, those who delight in making racist comments to ethnic groups, anti gay comments to homosexuals, ect. These people are the scum of the earth and we should do everything to stop them.
How do you suggest we do that?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I don't. I think we should do what we can to stop it, but the fact of the matter is it does. We shouldn't tolerate it but it does, and whatever we can do to stop it we should.
Actually you have. Post #105 for example. That's how this whole sub-topic got started

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
By saying that we don't make racist comments and the like I'm talking about the overwhelming majority. There are those that still do and as I said we should eradicate them, yesterday.
Wow. "eradicate". And you claim that atheists are extreme in their views.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
No you should do what you can. However you're not Superman, that's not a knock you should do what you can, but you shouldn't do more than you can, neither should you be expected to. A man who takes on the weight of the world's problems will over be crushed by them.
I don't think that cartoonish super-powers are a prerequisite.
I think contributing toward the resolution of social problems is a key element of good citizenship. My 2 cents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
But then what do we do when racial hatred leads to conflict? Do we kill all the black people because of the race riots Los Angelas had faced. What about violent protests against government? Should there be death camps for those opposed to whoever is in power?
Didn't you earlier suggest eradication for those that you felt crossed a line? Seems to me that these would be "solutions" that you would promote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
From the basis that saying things like 'you're a ****wit to not believe in religion' is wrong. It's wrong. Regardless of people making comments like that it's the wrong thing to do.
Ah, so this is non sequitur. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:51 PM   #62
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Sorry this anouncement is a little late but..........Happy National Atheist's Day............"The fool said in his heart there is no God."-Psalm 53:1
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:05 PM   #63
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Sorry this anouncement is a little late but..........Happy National Atheist's Day............"The fool said in his heart there is no God."-Psalm 53:1
You might be surprised at the fact that many atheists would agree with your quote. Only a fool would say he knows something to be true when evidence cannot be obtained on the subject in question.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:14 PM   #64
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I know that, but the Ark is meant to be able to do the sort of thing we saw in the film. It says in the Bible that anyone who approaches it will surely be put to death, and there's bits and pieces floating around on what it can do. Here's a couple of sites on the matter.
Actually to approach the Ark, there are certain requirements that the High Priest must perform so that his body, mind and soul are clean before God. I believe that it was the descendants of Aaron that could do this. Leviticus and Exodus are a bit sketchy for me but I believe that is it.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Religious texts promote, what we would today consider, criminal acts. Can you tell me how many atheists are incarcerated in the U.S.? How are the crime rates in the country's most religious areas?
Have you looked at Cuba? Yes we associate them with Communism when in fact Castro was Nationalist and he resorted to facism. With crime though, I had a teacher go there and he said that crime was very low because it is not innocent until proven guilty but guilty until proven innocent and that it was very hard to get proven innocent. Cuba has Spanish ancestry and no doubt that they still follow the principles of Catholicism. Maybe it is an obscure example but one I just happened to remember.

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Old 04-02-2007, 03:09 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
You might be surprised at the fact that many atheists would agree with your quote. Only a fool would say he knows something to be true when evidence cannot be obtained on the subject in question.
Indeed.
*wonders if Rasputin1st knows that National Athiests Day is a religious attempt at satire. *

Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMaster12
Have you looked at Cuba? Yes we associate them with Communism when in fact Castro was Nationalist and he resorted to facism. With crime though, I had a teacher go there and he said that crime was very low because it is not innocent until proven guilty but guilty until proven innocent and that it was very hard to get proven innocent. Cuba has Spanish ancestry and no doubt that they still follow the principles of Catholicism. Maybe it is an obscure example but one I just happened to remember.
You appear to assume that there is a causal relationship at play here where the evidence for your conclusion is unsubstantiated.

Would it be more appropriate to say that atheism is responsible for the conditions in Cuba, or would it be better to say that a facist, dictatorial regime is the culprit? Regardless, introducing this strawman does not answer my questions about atheism here in the U.S.

Take a look at the UN Human Development Index. The U.S. (heavily Christian) usually shows up in the (lower end of the) top 10, but Norway has been in the top spot for the last 7 years. Norway is also known as the most non-religious country in Western Europe. I don't think it's a stretch to say that religion hinders social progress rather than promotes it.
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:27 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Achilles
The unfortunate reality is that it already happens. I guess it comes down to what you're prepared to do about it.
Anything possible. Too often religion has caused action or inaction when it shouldn't have otherwise. Less should be done to appease them if what they oppose is of benefit.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
What evidence do you have to support the hypothesis that Islam is a peaceful religion? Same question for Christianity.
Islam, from my understanding of it, is a decidedly more war like religion. However it is my belief that about 99% of Muslims and those who follow Islam would rather function in society that work towards Jihad. People can look at Christianity's Old Testement and cherry pick verses that promote war, this isn't done away with but with the coming of Jesus Christ peace, forgiveness, are meant to be the watchwords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Religious texts promote, what we would today consider, criminal acts. Can you tell me how many atheists are incarcerated in the U.S.? How are the crime rates in the country's most religious areas?
Religious texts, such as burning animals for sacrifice, people don't do that anymore. Maybe part of the problem is those who are very much stuck to the old ways. As for the statistics of crime in Christian and Atheist areas, I have no idea, I'm not even sure if there are religious zones and Atheist zones. I do know that the crime rate is much higher in America than Canada and Japan, I don't think Japan is a very religious country the way America especially under the Bush administation is. They also don't have nearly the same access to guns which people say is a contributing factor.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
How do you suggest we do that?
There's hate crimes for example, I know you're against them, to tell the truth I am as well. This thing has gotten so out of hand that calling someone black is racist. I wonder what it is when we call someone white. The point is people know that it's wrong, very rarely can we say someone doesn't know any better. There's a law called provocation, meaning if you said something that causes someone to attack you then you could find yourself in bother as well. Unfortonetly police arn't too interested in chasing this up, too much work. But that's one solution, to point out that if you cop a smack in the mouth for having a go at someone who follows religion, at an Atheist, at someone who's black, who's white, or for whatever reason you might have to have a go at someone you can't expect to get any support.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Actually you have. Post #105 for example. That's how this whole sub-topic got started
'Using religion as justification pisses me off, Though shalt not kill amended, it's wrong to make hurtful comments, some subjects are more sensitive than others, asking about this being a crusade to stop the fallacy of believing in religion', you mean that I say that it happens means that I accept it? I don't. I know there are mad people in the Middle East who want to kill us all, no way I would accept that, but that's how things stand and that's not going to change until something is done about it.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Wow. "eradicate". And you claim that atheists are extreme in their views.
That's because people like this cross religious boundries. There are scum who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Athiest, Buddist, Hindu and some cooked up witchcraft nonsense. People who don't believe they have to abide by things such as the social contract and the rules regulations and laws of society. It'd be great if we could say 'kill all the Christians and the problem will go away', but the problem won't go away, all it means is there's a few less of them to worry about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Didn't you earlier suggest eradication for those that you felt crossed a line? Seems to me that these would be "solutions" that you would promote.
As I said these things cross religious racial and cultural grounds. There's scant little seperating a black Atheist who kills a woman and steals her car and a white Christian who kidnaps, rapes and then kills a six year old girl. Both are about as far apart as you can get, yet no punishment is good enough for either of them.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Ah, so this is non sequitur. Thanks for clarifying.
You understand that it's wrong. That's the point I was trying to get across.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:18 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Anything possible. Too often religion has caused action or inaction when it shouldn't have otherwise. Less should be done to appease them if what they oppose is of benefit.
So are you now arguing that religion should be involved? I'm having difficulty keeping up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Islam, from my understanding of it, is a decidedly more war like religion.
Didn't you earlier state that the extremists were taking their religious doctrine out of context? Does Islam promote violence or doesn't it?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
However it is my belief that about 99% of Muslims and those who follow Islam would rather function in society that work towards Jihad.
Ok. What is this opinion based on? What type of society do you think they want to build?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
People can look at Christianity's Old Testement and cherry pick verses that promote war, this isn't done away with but with the coming of Jesus Christ peace, forgiveness, are meant to be the watchwords.
Well, I suppose that's one way of looking at it. Based on my readings of the Bible, I would say the opposite is closer to the truth. Also, Christ's demeanor and purpose can be highly debated based which Gospel and/or book of the NT you read. There is no one clear, definitive vision of who Jesus was. Biblical scholars haven't even laid to rest the nuts and bolts of his sacrifice. As with any fictional character, there is a lot of room for interpretation.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Religious texts, such as burning animals for sacrifice, people don't do that anymore.
Did you mean religious acts? I'm sure that satan worshippers and voodoo practitioners (not to equate the two groups) might disagree with you here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Maybe part of the problem is those who are very much stuck to the old ways.
Like those that view a 1800 year old text as their sole source of guidance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
As for the statistics of crime in Christian and Atheist areas, I have no idea, I'm not even sure if there are religious zones and Atheist zones.
Crime rate by state (2004)

Let's use aggrivated assault as an example:

Highest - South Carolina (606.7). 92% Christian

Lowest (comparison limited to similar population) - Kentucky (130.5). 47% not affiliated with any religion

Do I have a slam-dunk case on the causal relationship between religiousity and violence? Absolutely not, but niether do I think this is a coincidence.

I picked aggrivated assault at random, however I suspect we'll find similar results for any other stat you'd like to look at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I do know that the crime rate is much higher in America than Canada and Japan, I don't think Japan is a very religious country the way America especially under the Bush administation is. They also don't have nearly the same access to guns which people say is a contributing factor.
Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
There's hate crimes for example, I know you're against them, to tell the truth I am as well. This thing has gotten so out of hand that calling someone black is racist.
Depending on how you say it, it certainly is!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I wonder what it is when we call someone white. The point is people know that it's wrong, very rarely can we say someone doesn't know any better. There's a law called provocation, meaning if you said something that causes someone to attack you then you could find yourself in bother as well. Unfortonetly police arn't too interested in chasing this up, too much work. But that's one solution, to point out that if you cop a smack in the mouth for having a go at someone who follows religion, at an Atheist, at someone who's black, who's white, or for whatever reason you might have to have a go at someone you can't expect to get any support.
So you'd promote more laws against discrimanatory behavior? I think that this isn't necessarily a bad idea, but if the current laws haven't eliminated discrimination, what makes you think that more laws will? At some point, don't we have to address the problem rather than the symptoms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
'Using religion as justification pisses me off, Though shalt not kill amended, it's wrong to make hurtful comments, some subjects are more sensitive than others, asking about this being a crusade to stop the fallacy of believing in religion', you mean that I say that it happens means that I accept it? I don't. I know there are mad people in the Middle East who want to kill us all, no way I would accept that, but that's how things stand and that's not going to change until something is done about it.
I'm having difficulty deciphering this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
That's because people like this cross religious boundries.
So it's ok to eradicate people that we don't agree with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
There are scum who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Athiest, Buddist, Hindu and some cooked up witchcraft nonsense.
Atheists can't call Christianity "nonsense" but you can apply that label to Wicca? Can't have it both ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
People who don't believe they have to abide by things such as the social contract and the rules regulations and laws of society. It'd be great if we could say 'kill all the Christians and the problem will go away', but the problem won't go away, all it means is there's a few less of them to worry about.
The only group that I know of that wants to kill Christians is Muslims. And most of them just want you to convert. Or at least leave their holy lands alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
As I said these things cross religious racial and cultural grounds. There's scant little seperating a black Atheist who kills a woman and steals her car and a white Christian who kidnaps, rapes and then kills a six year old girl. Both are about as far apart as you can get, yet no punishment is good enough for either of them.
I hope you don't have political aspirations. I'll tell you right now: I'm voting for the other guy

Seems to me that violence is only unacceptable when it isn't you weilding it.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:35 AM   #68
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I'll try and explain this as simply as I can, on the proviso that there's no easy solutions given to what I write (such as, say, 'Islam is a violent religion, outlaw Islam, wipe out the violence') because the answers arn't nearly as cut as dry as that, or probably as I'll put them below for that matter.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
So are you now arguing that religion should be involved? I'm having difficulty keeping up.
Religion should be involved, but not over and above everything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Didn't you earlier state that the extremists were taking their religious doctrine out of context? Does Islam promote violence or doesn't it?
I did, it does and extremists take up promoting that violence, Jihad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Ok. What is this opinion based on? What type of society do you think they want to build?
They're strangers in a strange land, they want to fuction as part of society. We'd be fish out of water too in some of their countries. Can you imagine me having to abide by the laws they have in Islamic countries? No thanks.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Well, I suppose that's one way of looking at it. Based on my readings of the Bible, I would say the opposite is closer to the truth. Also, Christ's demeanor and purpose can be highly debated based which Gospel and/or book of the NT you read. There is no one clear, definitive vision of who Jesus was. Biblical scholars haven't even laid to rest the nuts and bolts of his sacrifice. As with any fictional character, there is a lot of room for interpretation.
He was tortured by the Romans and crucified. Passion of the Christ gives a pretty blow by blow account, though it's not actually a Christian source. What do you mean by the nuts and bolts of his sacrifice? A day by day account of Jesus' life?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Did you mean religious acts? I'm sure that satan worshippers and voodoo practitioners (not to equate the two groups) might disagree with you here.
Christians don't do it anymore, far as I know. Though I did hear one story about a witch's belongings being burned and the Christians saying she should be burning as well. That's not on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Like those that view a 1800 year old text as their sole source of guidance?
Those who believe their religion puts them above the law, that their religion gives them the right to commit violent acts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Did they look at how many Christians and Atheists there were and then how many of them commited the offenses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Depending on how you say it, it certainly is!
The wording, tone of voice, ect surely, but just saying someone is black, c'mon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So you'd promote more laws against discrimanatory behavior? I think that this isn't necessarily a bad idea, but if the current laws haven't eliminated discrimination, what makes you think that more laws will? At some point, don't we have to address the problem rather than the symptoms?
What is the problem? Religion? Not enough education that the type of behavior is unacceptable? Or simple people with too much powder up the ass and not enough kicking it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So it's ok to eradicate people that we don't agree with?
Those who don't wish to function as part of a society, who live by their own terms at the expense of others, shouldn't be a part of society. Does that mean killing them? No. Harsh words on my part. A spell in the lockup on the other hand...

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Atheists can't call Christianity "nonsense" but you can apply that label to Wicca? Can't have it both ways.
I was thinking more along the lines of a cult, but no, fair point, we should respect the beliefs of others regardless of what they are, up until the point they hurt others. The point is it doesn't matter what religion, if any, you pick, you'll get bad eggs in all of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
The only group that I know of that wants to kill Christians is Muslims. And most of them just want you to convert. Or at least leave their holy lands alone.
What I'm saying is the theory of 'get rid of this religion, you get rid of the problem', it won't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I hope you don't have political aspirations. I'll tell you right now: I'm voting for the other guy
I'll tell you right now I wouldn't take the job if I was begged to. It's a hell of a job, the voters hate you, the press crucify you and you can have the perfect solution to the world's woes that pleases everybody and if your opponents don't attack it to the point where your own team turns on you then some roadblock or another is thrown up to stop it.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Seems to me that violence is only unacceptable when it isn't you weilding it.
You noticed? That's probably true, I'm the Butheress of Abu Gharib, a Nazi Stormtrooper and I have a photo of Palpatine next to my bed. Well, that's the story going around on parts of the forum anyway.

Well, maybe not Palpatine, maybe Anakin.
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:03 PM   #69
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Religion should be involved, but not over and above everything else.
Thanks for clarifying.
Why? What does religion bring to the discussion that isn't already offered by modern ethics? Better yet: What does religion bring to the discussion that is superior to modern ethics?

Name as many "wedge" issues as you can. How many of them are "wedge" issues because of religious arguments that have no basis in ethics or morality (in other words, how many of them contain an argument that sounds like "because the Bible says so")?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I did, it does and extremists take up promoting that violence, Jihad.
Where do extremists get the concept of Jihad? No matter how many times we circle this argument, the facts aren't going to change: the Bible and the Qu'ran promote violent behavior. We call them extremists, but the fact remains that if adherence to holy texts is a measure of faithfulness, then these people are the only ones getting into Heaven/Paradise.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
They're strangers in a strange land, they want to fuction as part of society. We'd be fish out of water too in some of their countries. Can you imagine me having to abide by the laws they have in Islamic countries? No thanks.
Huh? Middle Easterners are strangers in their homelands? How does that work?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
He was tortured by the Romans and crucified.
According to what extant historical document? I'm pretty sure that all we have are several incomplete fictional texts. If my information is incorrect, please let me know.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Passion of the Christ gives a pretty blow by blow account, though it's not actually a Christian source.
The Passion of the Christ is a movie. It was based on the accounts provided in the Bible. It's fiction based on fiction. Do you have another source?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
What do you mean by the nuts and bolts of his sacrifice? A day by day account of Jesus' life?
Was Jesus a man or was he a God. Was he separate from God or another just another face? Why was the sacrifice necessary? How did Jesus' sacrifice differ from other sacrifices with Judaism?

Keep in mind, I'm not interested in your opinion on these matters rather what the scholars say. This is a small sample of contested issues within Christianity.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Christians don't do it anymore, far as I know. Though I did hear one story about a witch's belongings being burned and the Christians saying she should be burning as well. That's not on.
My point is that "religion" extends beyond the borders of Christianity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Those who believe their religion puts them above the law, that their religion gives them the right to commit violent acts.
I'm not sure how this comment is related to the point that I was making.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Did they look at how many Christians and Atheists there were and then how many of them commited the offenses?
If you take a look at the Federal Bureau of Prisons data, you'll find that about 84% of people in prison subscribe to some flavor of Christianity. By way of comparison 0.2% of inmates are Atheists.

83% of U.S. population is Christian. 84% of prison population is Christian.
8% of U.S. population are Atheists. 0.2% of prison population are Atheist.

Compare those figures to the figures I referenced earlier.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The wording, tone of voice, ect surely, but just saying someone is black, c'mon.
The point is, it depends on how you "just" say it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
What is the problem? Religion? Not enough education that the type of behavior is unacceptable? Or simple people with too much powder up the ass and not enough kicking it?
The problem is not enough rational discussion about beliefs. How many people do you think would continue to maintain discriminatory beliefs after it became embarrassing to do so? By declaring certain topics "off-limits", we create pockets where such beliefs can exist without fear of examination. Get rid of the pockets and get rid of the beliefs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Those who don't wish to function as part of a society, who live by their own terms at the expense of others, shouldn't be a part of society. Does that mean killing them? No. Harsh words on my part. A spell in the lockup on the other hand...
Who gets to determine what those terms are? What criteria will they be required to use to ensure that those terms are just? What do you suggest we do with these "outsiders"? How do your beliefs compare to the principles outlined in the Bill of Rights?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
What I'm saying is the theory of 'get rid of this religion, you get rid of the problem', it won't work.
What evidence is your opinion based on?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I'll tell you right now I wouldn't take the job if I was begged to. It's a hell of a job, the voters hate you, the press crucify you and you can have the perfect solution to the world's woes that pleases everybody and if your opponents don't attack it to the point where your own team turns on you then some roadblock or another is thrown up to stop it.
Considering that your views sound rather dictatorial, I don't think you'd have to worry about elections or opposition for very long.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
You noticed? That's probably true, I'm the Butheress of Abu Gharib, a Nazi Stormtrooper and I have a photo of Palpatine next to my bed. Well, that's the story going around on parts of the forum anyway.

Well, maybe not Palpatine, maybe Anakin.
You had me at "eradicate".
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:54 PM   #70
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Now, in case you don't know, Atheists such as myself are pretty much discriminated against more than anyone these days. Surveys have stated that less than 3% of parents would want their child marrying an Atheist, George H.W. Bush (our current president's father) once stated that he didn't know whether Atheists should be considered American citizens, we are stereotyped as being immoral and evil and I've even heard some complete idiots (my own parents included) who have compared my people to terrorists. There are even those who believe that Atheists DO believe in God, but are simply in denial (that's where the "There are no Atheists in foxholes" saying comes from.) I am curious as to what all my fellow forumites think of Atheists. More so, I am curious to hear the opinions of those of you who do believe in God, or even dislike Atheists. However, even though I condone anything basically because I simply wish to hear the truth and don't care how harsh it is, nothing will stop a moderator from stopping things from going out of control. So for those of you who might dislike or look down on my people, I hope you can clearly state your opinion and still stay in the boundaries of the Forum's rules.
Even though I am a Christian, I have no bias towards Atheists. Religion is not for everyone. Sorry to hear that you have had a hard time with being an Atheist. Believe or not believe in anything or nothing at all. It really doesn't matter to me where you stand. If you are a nice person who has a set of personal morals, which do not conflict with logic, I have absolutely no problem in what you do or not believe.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:51 PM   #71
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You had me at "eradicate".


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Old 04-03-2007, 08:11 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Thanks for clarifying.
Why? What does religion bring to the discussion that isn't already offered by modern ethics? Better yet: What does religion bring to the discussion that is superior to modern ethics?
Ah, you know, people don't want millions of angry Christians, Jews and Muslims breathing down their necks.

Okay, that's a pretty cynical and Atheist way of looking at it but seriously, that's partly true. I think that it's because in any given society if you want morality and ethics you look at religion, which is meant to be a pillar of such things that is meant to be superior. I think it's because we change to suit the morality of the times when we shouldn't and religion is set in stone.

As an aside, I remember a Simpsons episode when the priest says of gambling 'If the government declares it law it's no longer immoral'. I think there's a lot of truth in that statement in that despite religion the law stands. That's probably why we see such religious opposition to things, as they could well be seen to be immoral, but once they are passed they have to stand by them.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Name as many "wedge" issues as you can. How many of them are "wedge" issues because of religious arguments that have no basis in ethics or morality (in other words, how many of them contain an argument that sounds like "because the Bible says so")?
Cloning, stem cell research, gene therapy, not executing or punishing a woman who had drugs on her (the infamous Schapelle Corby and the Muslim religion in Indonesia screaming for her blood). Uh, my brain hurts thinking about it. Three of the four stem, uh, no pun intended, from the arguement of playing God, and the fourth with punishing drug smugglers, I think it has to do with punishing sinners, but I really have no idea.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Where do extremists get the concept of Jihad? No matter how many times we circle this argument, the facts aren't going to change: the Bible and the Qu'ran promote violent behavior. We call them extremists, but the fact remains that if adherence to holy texts is a measure of faithfulness, then these people are the only ones getting into Heaven/Paradise.
And yet there are those truely dedicated Christians, Muslims, ect who are very much against war. Yes, a few do think they are honoring their God but I still think it's a bit of an excuse to persecute what they don't understand and can't tolerate.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Huh? Middle Easterners are strangers in their homelands? How does that work?
In our countries they are strangers. I read about a Croatian basketball player and how he tried fitting in. Same thing.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
According to what extant historical document? I'm pretty sure that all we have are several incomplete fictional texts. If my information is incorrect, please let me know.
The texts of Matthew, John, Paul and others in the New Testement of the Bible. This is how the book is made up, as well as texts such as Exedus which details Moses and the Jews leaving Egypt, Solomon, of King Solomon, Corinthians and Galations which tells of visits to those people and Revelations which details how we will all die. I know, charming. Any other sources I can point to? Nup, I haven't bothered to look. But I might, given the right incentive.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Was Jesus a man or was he a God. Was he separate from God or another just another face? Why was the sacrifice necessary? How did Jesus' sacrifice differ from other sacrifices with Judaism?
Hmmm, let me think. The first part is debated but I think Jesus was God made flesh. Jesus was God's son, essentially God so that we might see him, as it says that God is so great we cannot see him. His sacrifice was nessecary to absolve the world of sin. Before God would wipe out sin, physically wipe it out, such as using evil Spartan like warriors to destroy the entire kingdom of Niniva, innocent and guilty alike, because of how sinful it was. Such as having armies destroy other kingdoms, telling the soldiers to maim, rape, pillage slaughter and burn everything, women, children. Or the great flood where God was going to destroy it all because of sin. Jesus's sacrifice differs from Judaism in that they don't see Jesus as the Messiah, that's as basically as I can put it particularly because I'm not sure of the details.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
My point is that "religion" extends beyond the borders of Christianity.
Of course. Atheism is about the only place where it stops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I'm not sure how this comment is related to the point that I was making.
Those that view a 1800 year old text as their sole source of guidance? Those who read the texts and think they would honor their God by killing people or they can use religion as an excuse are the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
If you take a look at the Federal Bureau of Prisons data, you'll find that about 84% of people in prison subscribe to some flavor of Christianity. By way of comparison 0.2% of inmates are Atheists.

83% of U.S. population is Christian. 84% of prison population is Christian.
8% of U.S. population are Atheists. 0.2% of prison population are Atheist.

Compare those figures to the figures I referenced earlier.
Aha, that's what I was looking for. So of the 8% of Atheists in America such a small percentage of them are criminals. It's interesting. I wonder what crimes they were convicted for, that could make for further reading. Especially if these Atheists were arrested for speaking out against religion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
The problem is not enough rational discussion about beliefs. How many people do you think would continue to maintain discriminatory beliefs after it became embarrassing to do so? By declaring certain topics "off-limits", we create pockets where such beliefs can exist without fear of examination. Get rid of the pockets and get rid of the beliefs.
So we get right back to the issue of get rid of religion, or beliefs, you get rid of the problem. Has it occured to you that a lot of problems don't stem from religion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Who gets to determine what those terms are? What criteria will they be required to use to ensure that those terms are just? What do you suggest we do with these "outsiders"? How do your beliefs compare to the principles outlined in the Bill of Rights?
Arresting gangs of youths tearing neighbourhoods aparts and having them cool off in a prison cell is already done. Charging drunks who get into fights is already done. People are even sent to the church for a change of scenary. I think this works well. It's not without it's problems, but by the same token we'll keep Judge Dredd well out of the hands of legislators, they might put the idea of a police state and legal death squads into practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
What evidence is your opinion based on?
We can look at history as an example, when religion was banned in the Soviet Union and Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews, but we don't really need to. People will still be just as currupt, violent and criminal without religion. Those who seek conflict will use politics and racism as a reason for it, and with religion outlawed those topics will become topics of conflict anyway.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:07 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
religion is set in stone.
Sometimes *too* set in stone, in my opinion. Simple morality is completely inflexible in its "tenants" and much harder to use to justify things that violate them. There is no way you can say murder is moral, for instance.

Religion, however, can override simple morality. When you bring God into the whole thing, you bring in something that can be used to justify any action no matter how immoral. Look at the case of that one mother who drowned her children a few months ago - from a moral perspective, murdering children is a bad thing. But introduce religion into it and that changes things. What if she killed them to save their souls from Satan, as she claimed? There, you've just justified a perfectly monstrous act with an appeal to authority.

When you introduce a power as high as God to something, you completely negate your own sense of morals - they are inferior to God. Worse yet, you can't ever question the will of God, no matter how immoral He may appear.

With this you can do the most evil of acts and justify it all with that a higher authority (God) directed you to do it. (Doesn't that sound an awful lot like the "I was only obeying orders" excuse a lot of post-WWII Nazis used?) It's been done more than a few times - look at the 4rd Crusade if you want another example. By God's will, the Crusaders were supposed to conquer Constantinople. Despite how such an action was obviously immoral in how it resulted in the near-destruction of one of the most cultured and wealthy cities in the world at that time, God wanted it so it had to be done.

Yes, religion is set in stone - which is especially dangerous considering that religion itself is not morality, but rather an idea that is supposed to uphold morality. Introduce a being whose unquestionable word can override our own earthly views of morality and justify acts which obviously are not moral, and you've chosen a pretty bad thing to set in stone.


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Old 04-03-2007, 11:00 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Ah, you know, people don't want millions of angry Christians, Jews and Muslims breathing down their necks.
In other words, to pander to the majority regardless of how valid or invalid their views might be?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Okay, that's a pretty cynical and Atheist way of looking at it but seriously, that's partly true. I think that it's because in any given society if you want morality and ethics you look at religion, which is meant to be a pillar of such things that is meant to be superior. I think it's because we change to suit the morality of the times when we shouldn't and religion is set in stone.
Sounds like you're finally acknowledging my argument that true believers should be following the violent instructions included in their holy texts. Somehow I still have the impression that you'll contradict that elsewhere in this response.

Before we move on: You only answered one of my questions. What are your thoughts on the rest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
As an aside, I remember a Simpsons episode when the priest says of gambling 'If the government declares it law it's no longer immoral'. I think there's a lot of truth in that statement in that despite religion the law stands. That's probably why we see such religious opposition to things, as they could well be seen to be immoral, but once they are passed they have to stand by them.
Doesn't seem like much of a system of morals then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Cloning, stem cell research, gene therapy, not executing or punishing a woman who had drugs on her (the infamous Schapelle Corby and the Muslim religion in Indonesia screaming for her blood). Uh, my brain hurts thinking about it. Three of the four stem, uh, no pun intended, from the arguement of playing God, and the fourth with punishing drug smugglers, I think it has to do with punishing sinners, but I really have no idea.
I don't know if Corby counts as a wedge issue. So 100% of the issues you listed are religious in nature. Wouldn't it be nice if we could leave religion out of it and examine each of these things on their ethical merits alone?

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And yet there are those truely dedicated Christians, Muslims, ect who are very much against war.
Those are called "moderates". Not the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Yes, a few do think they are honoring their God but I still think it's a bit of an excuse to persecute what they don't understand and can't tolerate.
You seem to be ignoring the fact that the holy texts tell us specifically to do that. Am I misunderstanding you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
In our countries they are strangers. I read about a Croatian basketball player and how he tried fitting in. Same thing.
Location has nothing to do with it. Where do you think the extremist come from? Even if I were to entertain your hypothesis, it would quickly fall apart after I looked around and noticed all the immigrant Latins, Asians, and Europeans in my neighborhood that aren't terrorists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The texts of Matthew, John, Paul and others in the New Testement of the Bible. This is how the book is made up, as well as texts such as Exedus which details Moses and the Jews leaving Egypt, Solomon, of King Solomon, Corinthians and Galations which tells of visits to those people and Revelations which details how we will all die. I know, charming. Any other sources I can point to? Nup, I haven't bothered to look. But I might, given the right incentive.
All of which are fiction. Paul's letters have clear authorship, however Paul admits that he's never actually seen Jesus. None of the Gospels are eyewitness accounts.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Hmmm, let me think.
Per my earlier message, I'm not asking for your opinion. I'm asking you to point to a single source that has an undisputed answer for any or all of these questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Of course. Atheism is about the only place where it stops.
Even though you earlier tried to exclude other belief systems. That was my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Those that view a 1800 year old text as their sole source of guidance? Those who read the texts and think they would honor their God by killing people or they can use religion as an excuse are the problem.
Really? They're just doing what their Gods have told them to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Aha, that's what I was looking for. So of the 8% of Atheists in America such a small percentage of them are criminals. It's interesting. I wonder what crimes they were convicted for, that could make for further reading. Especially if these Atheists were arrested for speaking out against religion.
Freedom of Speech. Such an arrest would never hold up. They were probably convicted of something terrible enough to get them thrown in prison. The point is that a disproportionate percentage of inmates are atheists. So based on the evidence, who is more likely to display illegal/immoral behavior? A religious person or a non-religious person? What does this say about "religion being the sole source of morality"? Or even a good source of morality for that matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
So we get right back to the issue of get rid of religion, or beliefs, you get rid of the problem. Has it occured to you that a lot of problems don't stem from religion?
Absolutely. My sore feet have nothing to do with religion.

Let's list all the modern social issues. Then we can make a list of all the ones that have religious ties. Sound like a plan?

Also, you didn't answer my question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Arresting gangs of youths tearing neighbourhoods aparts and having them cool off in a prison cell is already done. Charging drunks who get into fights is already done. People are even sent to the church for a change of scenary. I think this works well. It's not without it's problems, but by the same token we'll keep Judge Dredd well out of the hands of legislators, they might put the idea of a police state and legal death squads into practice.
You didn't answer any of my questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
We can look at history as an example, when religion was banned in the Soviet Union and Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews, but we don't really need to. People will still be just as currupt, violent and criminal without religion. Those who seek conflict will use politics and racism as a reason for it, and with religion outlawed those topics will become topics of conflict anyway.
Fascist regimes have bigger problems than atheism. Also, as I've pointed out before, Hitler was a Catholic, not an Atheist. In other words, there's no causal relationships. Would you like to try another source?
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:46 PM   #75
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Maybe I'm not giving you the answers you want to hear. Maybe I'm not saying 'religion is evil, we must stop it at all costs'. The problem isn't as cut and dry as you might like to make it out to be. We cannot just lump every Christian, Jew and Muslim in the one box. By doing that the innocent are punished as well as the guilty.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:48 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Sometimes *too* set in stone, in my opinion. Simple morality is completely inflexible in its "tenants" and much harder to use to justify things that violate them. There is no way you can say murder is moral, for instance.

Religion, however, can override simple morality. When you bring God into the whole thing, you bring in something that can be used to justify any action no matter how immoral. Look at the case of that one mother who drowned her children a few months ago - from a moral perspective, murdering children is a bad thing. But introduce religion into it and that changes things. What if she killed them to save their souls from Satan, as she claimed? There, you've just justified a perfectly monstrous act with an appeal to authority.

When you introduce a power as high as God to something, you completely negate your own sense of morals - they are inferior to God. Worse yet, you can't ever question the will of God, no matter how immoral He may appear.
Come on, Emperor Devon. She was seriously mentally ill. There's a big difference between someone trying to justify an act using God (and that's an incorrect usage anyway), and someone who's so mentally ill that she believes she's seeing Satan in front of her and God is one of the many voices she's hearing in her head telling her to go kill it. The lady who drowned her kids was the latter--terribly psychotic, and that is very different from a moral problem.

So how do you benchmark morals if you have nothing that is ultimately good? Atheists have nothing that is Ultimate Good (God) that serves as the definitive standard. That is not to say that atheists are immoral--let me be clear about that--my 2 close atheist friends are every bit as moral as I am.
But who's the 'good person' who provides that defining sense of morality? And why should I accept your benchmark? Or you mine? if there is no defining ultimate good, then anything goes. Your 'good' is just as valid as my 'good', and we end up depending on nothing more than feelings about what's right or wrong, with no basis to say 'x is always wrong' and 'y is always right'.

Furthermore, the fact that anyone can say something is 'good' or 'evil' means we know there is an ultimate standard. It's not 'my culture says this is the right thing to do' or 'I internally feel this is the right thing to do', all of which are variable. The only way we can definitively know that murder is wrong or molesting children is reprehensible is if there is non-changing standard of good with which we can compare such acts.

The atheist:criminal ratio--atheists tend to be more highly educated. Criminals tend to be less educated. The crime rate is lower among the more highly educated, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. Since atheists are more highly educated and more likely to be gainfully employed, of course there are going to be fewer atheist criminals. If you could control for educational status along with religion/lack thereof, I suspect the ratios would be more similar.

This article in Criminology states that involvement in religious activities lowers the probability that someone will commit a crime.


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Old 04-04-2007, 12:20 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Maybe I'm not giving you the answers you want to hear. Maybe I'm not saying 'religion is evil, we must stop it at all costs'. The problem isn't as cut and dry as you might like to make it out to be. We cannot just lump every Christian, Jew and Muslim in the one box. By doing that the innocent are punished as well as the guilty.
Does this mean you aren't going to answer those questions?

I'm simply trying to point out that there are some inconsistencies in your positions. Several pertinent points to the dialog are denied, ignored, or dismissed as incredible. I try to address the points you raise, but frequently it seems as though you're unwilling to show me the same level of respect.

A few points:

Movies, television shows, and video games are great forms of entertainment and can sometimes be used to express important messages. However they make for very poor sources when trying to shore up your position in a debate.

You seem interested in actual facts when presented, but you also seem equally willing to ignore their implications if you don't agree with the conclusions they support.

Your message implies that my goal is to "punish". As I've stated several times, my goal is to have a dialog. I am not interested in (nor do I support) persecution of anyone or any group. I don't have a problem with any religious people. I have several problems with religious beliefs.

If you have some information that you feel contradicts, disproves, or weakens my position, I would be more than happy to listen to whatever you have to say. All I ask is that you act with reciprocity.

As always, thanks for reading.
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:44 AM   #78
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Alright. Put down your question again, all of them, and be as descriptive as you can, and I'll lay it all out for you, facts, sources, even if the best I can point to is some fiction in religious texts.
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:46 AM   #79
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Come on, Emperor Devon. She was seriously mentally ill. There's a big difference between someone trying to justify an act using God (and that's an incorrect usage anyway), and someone who's so mentally ill that she believes she's seeing Satan in front of her and God is one of the many voices she's hearing in her head telling her to go kill it. The lady who drowned her kids was the latter--terribly psychotic, and that is very different from a moral problem.
I'm reminded of William James arguing the idea that maybe the ones we refer to as "sane" are the ones with mental deficiencies. There are countless horrible act that have been done throughout history in the name of God. Surely some of the people that committed them were crazy, but not all of them.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
So how do you benchmark morals if you have nothing that is ultimately good? Atheists have nothing that is Ultimate Good (God) that serves as the definitive standard. That is not to say that atheists are immoral--let me be clear about that--my 2 close atheist friends are every bit as moral as I am.
What if you don't need an "ultimate good"? I don't believe in not killing people because it conflicts with some concept of ultimate good. I don't kill people because I don't believe we should live in a world where people should be allowed to walk around killing whomever they want. Since I wouldn't want someone to kill me, I don't kill others. No ultimate good necessary.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
But who's the 'good person' who provides that defining sense of morality? And why should I accept your benchmark? Or you mine? if there is no defining ultimate good, then anything goes.
As I just showed, this isn't true. I'm a big fan of truth being self-evident. I don't know anyone that encounters the Golden Rule and says, "yeah, I don't know...". You may choose not to accept the Golden Rule, but I'm willing to wager than you can't make one argument against it that would cause a rational person to say, "You're right. That golden rule stuff is BS.". The problem is that if your morality comes from religion, then you don't have to have a rational reason for your belief. Furthermore, it's generally accepted that if you say, "Well, that's what I believe", then the other person has to respect that. I obviously don't subscribe to that way of thinking

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Your 'good' is just as valid as my 'good', and we end up depending on nothing more than feelings about what's right or wrong, with no basis to say 'x is always wrong' and 'y is always right'.
Unfortunately, I think you'll find that this only happens in religion. I can't think of any other institution in which this type of thinking is permitted.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Furthermore, the fact that anyone can say something is 'good' or 'evil' means we know there is an ultimate standard.
Referring to things as "good" and "evil" is only evidence that we are enculturated to think in those terms. Nothing more.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It's not 'my culture says this is the right thing to do' or 'I internally feel this is the right thing to do', all of which are variable.
Actually, this is known as "moral relativism". Eating dogs in Asia is perfectly normal, however it's animal cruelty here. By way of comparison, most of us have no problem sitting down to a burger or a steak, but Hindus would sooner chew off their own tongues than eat cow.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The only way we can definitively know that murder is wrong or molesting children is reprehensible is if there is non-changing standard of good with which we can compare such acts.
I agree with your conclusion but not for the same reasons that you do.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The atheist:criminal ratio--atheists tend to be more highly educated. Criminals tend to be less educated.
Atheists tend to be highly educated. Criminals tend to be less educated. Therefore Atheists tend not to be criminals. Criminals are not usually atheists. Therefore criminals are usually religious people.

Am I missing something? Wasn't that what I said?

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The crime rate is lower among the more highly educated, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. Since atheists are more highly educated and more likely to be gainfully employed, of course there are going to be fewer atheist criminals.If you could control for educational status along with religion/lack thereof, I suspect the ratios would be more similar.
You're stretching. I'm not seeing anything here that refutes my argument that religious people are more likely to break the law and go to jail.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
This article in Criminology states that involvement in religious activities lowers the probability that someone will commit a crime.
*Ignores that article is 12 years old*

Quote:
Does Religion Really Reduce Crime?

Paul Heaton (2006). Journal of Law and Economics XLIX (April).
University of Chicago.

Previous studies have found evidence that increased religious membership in a jurisdiction leads to reduced crime rates. However, many of these studies have examined the relationship using a statistical technique (ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions) which may have produced biased results. The reason for the potential bias is that criminal activity may itself affect religious activity. That is, high crime areas might lead religious organizations to locate there. Alternatively, criminal activities might lead individuals to abandon religious participation because of guilt. This study controls for the influence of crime on religion and re-examines the impact of religious activity on crime rates. The author finds no statistically significant relationship between religious membership and property or violent crime.
óNiels Veldhuis and Jason Clemens
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:22 AM   #80
Emperor Devon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Come on, Emperor Devon. She was seriously mentally ill.
But Jae, it's hardly unique. She wasn't the first case in which God was used to justify an immoral action. Another example (apart from the one in my previous post) are people who strap bombs to themselves and blow themselves up in crowded places. If you look at it from a moral perspective, is it horrible? Yes. If God says so? A-okay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Atheists have nothing that is Ultimate Good (God) that serves as the definitive standard.
You are forgetting that God is merely an individual who meets that standard better than we do (supposedly). It's the standards themselves we should be striving to meet, not how well someone else has met them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
my 2 close atheist friends are every bit as moral as I am.
Might I ask why you're debating this if you think atheists can be just be as moral as the religious?

Achilles addressed the rest...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth
We will be great failures one day, you and I
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