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Old 04-08-2007, 10:59 PM   #121
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SykoRevan
Although I cannot agree with either when it comes to whether Atheism is a belief or a nonbelief. In my opinion, it is like the "glass half empty/glass half full" philosophy, in that it depends on the view of the Atheist whether they simply do not believe in any religion, or as I see it, a belief that there is no God.
It's a crude, but apt, analogy to think of it as a scale. To say that atheism is a belief in no God would be like saying atheism is at -100 on the scale. In fact, atheism is the scale at 0. I don't have a belief that there is no God because there is no reason at all to believe that there is one. Basing atheism on belief categorizes it with other beliefs, where it clearly does not belong.

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Originally Posted by SykoRevan
And any comparison between Atheism and Satanism is, quite simply, misplaced (and in my opinion, the Atheist equivalent of blasphemy), as the two are completely different.
My understanding of Satanism is limited, so please forgive me if I'm getting it wrong here. My understanding of Satanism is that it is a belief in God while renouncing him. Believing in the existence of Satan requires the belief in the existence of God. Atheist have no reason to believe in either.

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Originally Posted by SykoRevan
The only people I have heard saying that Atheism and Satanism are alike are religious people, including clergy and my own parents, who's view was obscured, and who I frankly thought were ignorant. Not saying Scyrone is ignorant for his comment, but he should know the line between the two is very finely drawn.
It's a common misconception, as I point out above.
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:03 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Achilles
It's a crude, but apt, analogy to think of it as a scale. To say that atheism is a belief in no God would be like saying atheism is at -100 on the scale. In fact, atheism is the scale at 0. I don't have a belief that there is no God because there is no reason at all to believe that there is one. Basing atheism on belief categorizes it with other beliefs, where it clearly does not belong.
Like I said, it's all about how the individual views it, and I think comparing belief to a scale is indeed a crude way to view something as complex as the beliefs of another. There is Weak Atheism, which is more along the lines of Agnosticism, then there is Strong Atheism, which can be associated with Anti-theism, which is not only a disbelief in religion, but an outright oppostion to it. I'm pretty much the latter. I view my own brand of Atheism as not just a skepticism of religion, but an outright oppostion to the existence of a deity of any kind. It's how I view my own beliefs, and I know that others view things differently, but I know that some people see Atheism as a lack of belief, but I view my own as a belief in itself. So if someone asks me "do you belief God doesn't exist?" I'll proudly say "Yes I belief that God does not exist."

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Old 04-09-2007, 12:17 AM   #123
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*shrugs*

To each their own, however I do see your point that it can be difficult to operationally define atheism. From my perspective, "outright opposing the existence of a deity" would be something like trying to kickbox with an imaginary opponent . I find carrying an "anti-belief" to be equally productive, but as you point out we each have our own way of seeing things.
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:06 PM   #124
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Atheism and religion in itself are not problems. A large part of the problem is from the smugness people get from it that makes them think they are better than everyone else. If people chose not to look down the noses of those who do not hold the beliefs they do then I think it would be far more openly accepted and not criticised.
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:45 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Atheism and religion in itself are not problems. A large part of the problem is from the smugness people get from it that makes them think they are better than everyone else. If people chose not to look down the noses of those who do not hold the beliefs they do then I think it would be far more openly accepted and not criticised.
Dare to dream Nancy Allen but it is a nice dream. On a general note, this discussion on atheism is one on a minority group. Like other minority groups, there are certain characteristics that classify it as such and hence we get stereotypes. One could say that an atheist is a hard core science person who believes in big bang and evolution but that doesn't classify all of them. That is part of the problem that we have in getting along. We are very polarized in our perceptions of people that it is hard to see that there are people who don't fit the mold. If you are looking for someone to blame, blame it on the forefathers with the concept of slavery or blame the media for aggravating the stereotypes. We can all point fingers but the hardest part is owning up to the fact that we may be wrong in our perceptions.

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Old 04-09-2007, 05:59 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by JediMaster12
Like other minority groups, there are certain characteristics that classify it as such and hence we get stereotypes. One could say that an atheist is a hard core science person who believes in big bang and evolution but that doesn't classify all of them.
Indeed, considering the general lack of understanding about science, it would not surprise me to learn that a great many atheists are unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of the big bang or evolution theories.

Most of the atheists that I know or whose works I've read have a strong background in science, however not all the scientists I'm familiar with are atheists.

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Originally Posted by JediMaster12
We are very polarized in our perceptions of people that it is hard to see that there are people who don't fit the mold.
Agreed! This article by Sam Harris does a great job of showing that there are varying degrees of faith. The problem (as he points out) is that even the relatively moderate faithful can hinder reasoned discourse.

I think the point that Nancy and a few others contributors to this thread might miss is that the general argument against religion is not pointed at individuals, rather the institution.
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:11 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by JediMaster12
We can all point fingers but the hardest part is owning up to the fact that we may be wrong in our perceptions.
Now that is a dream. People will not face up to the fact they are wrong no matter how many times they are shown to be. I have, others have, I'm sure you have as well. Ferrous Cranus you might call them. To be fair I think it has a lot more to do with human nature than religion or Atheism.
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:14 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
People will not face up to the fact they are wrong no matter how many times they are shown to be.
I don't know that I would apply that to all people, but yes, I certainly know what you mean. Certainly some people can be objective about their beliefs and are willing to cast aside old explanations when they find them to be no longer useful or true. To your point, some people are unwilling to let go of their beliefs no matter what evidence or argument is provided.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
To be fair I think it has a lot more to do with human nature than religion or Atheism.
I agree that it's in our nature to be egocentric, however some endeavors are better than others at negating this. I would say that any institution that claims to have absolute truth is going to be especially guilty of this.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:19 AM   #129
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Though this type of hypocracy shows in religion as well. People are only too happy to apply some of the dogma to themselves and leave the rest of it to others. Enforcing the Ten Commandments is fine when they're not the ones breaking them. Though if there's nothing else Anti-theists wish to take away from religion they should take this: He who is without sin cast the first stone. By that people can be critical of others, but they should look at themselves and see how well they hold up to their level of scrutiny and criticism. I'd be the first to admit I wouldn't do well but it's certainly something people want to think about.
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:19 PM   #130
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This is a warning for flaming--this sounds way too much like an attack on Scyrone, and even if it's not it's general name-calling and definitely not in the friendly spirit of this forum. Keep it civil, please. –Jae
Thank you, Jae, but although it was attack-like, I must say that I don’t mind things like these. Me being a fierce “Religion/Politics/Philosophy talker” these questions and ‘attacks’ are necessary for my growth. But I thank you anyway.

You may not mind an attack, but we moderators do. Flaming is unnecessary, it invites flaming in return, and it's counter-productive to learning. It's also against the rules here. --Jae

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I don't want to hear you preaching Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Atheism to me.
Many people have told me this everywhere I go on the internet and in RL; all I have to say is that I can preach all I want to you, but it is up to you if you wish to listen or not. So if you don’t want to listen to me then ignore my ‘preaching’s’.

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I think that's part of the problem with Atheists in that some do beat people into the ground about it and are arrogant, bullying, condescending, double standered, egomaniacal
So below 3% of the population affects 300 million people? Atheists seem arrogant at many times, but I must say that it is not right to only point out Atheism. EVERY religion and belief is arrogant. Everyone believes they are right. That is the way of life and living. You cannot believe in something you do not believe is true. So in this rightful belief in everyone, there is certain arrogance. Honestly, Christians have many problems. It is hard to see what they truly believe in these days. It is so hard to see what they believe that they had to separate into a multiple of different denominations to help their own views better even out. There was a case awhile ago (I live in OH, but I don’t know if it happened here or not) that a group of Christian guys were verbally abusing a Mormon girl day after day at school. They made remarks such as “At least I don’t have 5 moms” and remarks that replaced Mormon with ‘Moron’. After awhile the girl got angry and called the guys “a bunch of Christian fa—ots.” The girl was sent to the office and put on a 3 week suspension for offending the guys religiously. The guys got off free because they were only expressing their religious freedom. I am not saying this happens all the time, but Christians are A LOT of times arrogant and they get away with it. They think there preaching to me about God is good for me when really it makes me want to hit them in the face. Why? Because it is ignorant, arrogant, and selfish for someone to come up to me and say I am wrong and have no proof to back it up.

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but whenever the topic comes up the no right to belief Atheist stance is something I've always seen stick out and I think others can say the same thing.
It comes up because most religions make a big mess out of it.

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Can Atheists in their infinite wisdom provide any other explanation?
Yes, the cat died and the vet took it to a place to have it’s remains placed delicately into many other things.

Yes, it wasn’t the prayer that healed the cat, it was the belief of the boy that the cat would feel better. Maybe the cat was better being dead.

Yes, it could be a lie.

Now provide an explanation for this. Since transfossils HAVE been found and early primitive being related to humans HAVE been found, and dinosaurs HAVE been proven to exist and have been related to some more evolved forms of animals, then how can evolution be wrong?

If Jesus bled, could be born, could die, could grow from young to old, could eat and drink, could have feeling, could feel happiness and suffering, could cry, and could go to the bathroom, then he must be human right? Maybe those magic tricks he performed were just tricks and the people he healed were his REAL followers. If he went to crowds to heal people then why heal everyone and not just select people to heal? Maybe it was all just a set-up by a magician to make everyone follow him. Could you answer that (in all your wisdom of course )?

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Some of the Satanic Rules sound more greedy than simply placing importance on the self.
Greed fuels all of society. Why not give all your money to the poor and give your internet away to someone who needs it to find a job? Because you would not want to give up your possessions. That’s Greed, and Greed is not bad.

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If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
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When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
Would you take everything into literal meaning? If you go to ‘Sea World’ then do you expect to go to another planet covered in Water? The Satanic Bible was meant for those who could understand and interpret it into those who have the quality for it. If someone robbed your house then wouldn’t you want them out? If you are on another person’s property are you going to make them mad? If someone was on your property and decided to vandalize them wouldn’t you tell them to stop? If they don’t would you call the police? Don’t take destroy into literal meaning.

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"do unto others as you would have them do to you"
That’s only a small part of it. LaVey Satanism focuses more on one’s self and one’s life.

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Not saying Scyrone is ignorant for his comment, but he should know the line between the two is very finely drawn.
Well actually this is correct to a limit. Forgive me if I misinterpreted wrongly. Satanism and Atheism are the same as in believing there is no superior God, but they are very much different in true ideal and philosophy.

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My understanding of Satanism is that it is a belief in God while renouncing him. Believing in the existence of Satan requires the belief in the existence of God.
Haha, don’t worry my friend, you are with all the other 90% of Americans. This is not Satanism. I would post the link but I know it is over PG-13 material. If you want it then I suggest PMing me if you want the link.

The thing is pastors and preachers will do things and say things to hound and pound on Satanists like myself. They will do anything to keep us from showing what we truly believe. We do not believe in Satan, Demons, God, Heaven, or Hell. All they have to do is look at our Bible, the Satanic Bible, and see the truth. I read the Christian Bible all the time. It helps me understand what a Christian is trying to say to me and how I can refute there arguments. Human sacrifice, animal sacrifice, capturing children and adults, and having massive orgies are all but rumors started by “Christian Satanists” (people who are Christians who worship Satan).

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Old 04-10-2007, 03:49 PM   #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Though if there's nothing else Anti-theists wish to take away from religion they should take this: He who is without sin cast the first stone. By that people can be critical of others, but they should look at themselves and see how well they hold up to their level of scrutiny and criticism. I'd be the first to admit I wouldn't do well but it's certainly something people want to think about.
I think that as you point out, this should be guidance for all people, not simply non-theists. As I've stated repeatedly, some groups are more prone to self-analysis and in some cases it's strongly encouraged.

Since the flagship of this is arguably science and atheists tend to be science-minded (not always but a lot of the time), I think it's safe to say that you should save your concern for a group that really needs it.

Being critical of ideas should never be viewed as a bad thing.

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Originally Posted by Scyrone
Haha, don’t worry my friend, you are with all the other 90% of Americans. This is not Satanism. I would post the link but I know it is over PG-13 material. If you want it then I suggest PMing me if you want the link.
After posting that I did a little reading on your brand of satanism and saw that my analysis was indeed incorrect. Rather than retract it, I thought it best to leave it so that you educate others by correcting me.
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:12 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Really? How? Isn't killing promoted in the Bible?
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Originally Posted by Exodus 20:13
You shall not kill.
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Originally Posted by Matthew 5:21-22
"You have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You shall not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you, anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother 'Fool' will answer before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him 'Traitor' will answer for it in hell fire."
From the New Jerusalem Bible, Reader's Edition, first published 1985, text (c) 1985, ISBN 0-232-51930-7 .

Here we have, in Christian terminology and according to Catholic teaching, the Father and the Son both condemning killing (more often translated 'murder' due to theological developments and interpretations of the text). Clearly, these are important precepts. Of course, it isn't always possible to remain peaceful, yadda yadda, that's a discussion for another thread. I'll start one ASAP. Anyhow, Aquinas, IIRC and Augustine both also add to Christian understanding of war, specifically Just War, and define that one should only go to war in a Just War. Scripture and Tradition both however, are not very keen on war.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Aren't there grounds for anti-semitism in the NT?
I'd say no. It is the Sadducees and the Pharisees who move against Christ in the gospels, and the Romans who put him to death. The apostles and Jesus were Jews, after all (admittedly this fact was glossed over in the past...)

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Originally Posted by Luke 23:33-34
When the reached the place called The Skull, there they crucified him and the two criminals, on on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.' Then they cast lots to share out his clothing.
This would also seem to support my position.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
So how would Hitler's actions contradict Catholicism? Or is it more likely that they contradict your view of Catholicism?
The thing about Catholicism is that, due to the enshrinement of a single interpretation of Scripture, the existence of the Tradition as an equal partner with Scripture, and Papal Infallibility, there is only one Catholicism. Doctrine only develops, it doesn't change. That's the theory, anyway. The occasional person who does make it onto the Throne of Peter who decides to, say, declare a fourth person of the Trinity, or legitemise simony tends to be declared Antipope...

Yes, it does go against 'my' version of Catholicism. But there is only 'my' version
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Gladly. Which word?
"Context".
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Originally Posted by Achilles
The context as you see it. Let me try this another way? Do you believe that Usama bin Laden really believes in Islam?
I couldn't say without studying Islam more closely, and indeed the various subsects thereof. Do I believe that he follows the Islam that those muslims I know and/or am friends with? No.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Ok, then which religion did he subscribe to?
A non-denominational Christianity that he described as 'positive' Christianity. A sort of militant version, with Jesus leading a holy war against non-Aryans...
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Originally Posted by Achilles
So in other words, because some men you've never met said so. The Pope in certainly not infallable, however I do acknowledge that you've been conditioned to think so because of your religious traditions.
I believe that the Pope is infallible, in matters of faith and morals, and this is part of Catholic doctrine. Whether or not you agree with this is somewhat irrelevant to the conversation. It is part of the Catholic faith.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
If you have some evidence to support your claim, I'd be more than happy to have a look at it.
Sorry, which claim exactly?
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Originally Posted by Achilles
IF Hitler was a Catholic, then he would have been yet one more person that cherry-picked from the Bible to support his or her viewpoint. Perhaps if the Bible were less contradictory, such actions wouldn't be possible.
If Hitler were a Catholic, he sorely tested the supremacy-of-conscience doctrine. I think he would have had to have been very unfamiliar with the gospels (and so probably lapsed), using the supremacy of conscience and relying on half-remembered medieval history and the OT to back him up.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
I'm sorry. Who here is arguing for moral relativism? My argument (as is the case for most atheists and some moral philosopers) is that absolute morality does not come from God. In many cases the morals that are attributed to God are found lacking compared to morals that can be derived for reasoned examination of ethics.
I was just airing my own opinion on relativism. As for absolute morality, how many people examine their ethics regularly?
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Agreed! Hence why I'm an atheist.
Could you expand on that a bit, please?
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Originally Posted by Achilles
I will not be moving the goalpost, sir. I asked for an example of an atheist state run amok and you offered a 99% Muslim country.
You never stated it should be a *culturally* atheist state as I recall...
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Yes, the Norway where only 36% of the population considers themselves religious compared to the 46% that consider themselves non-religions (with an additional 9% explicitly atheistic). Any Norwegian mobs looking to take over the world that we should be concerned about? How's their murder rate? Adult literacy? All I know is that they've held the top spot on the UN Human Development Index for the last 7 years.
And where 86% of the population are members of the national church.



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Old 04-10-2007, 05:31 PM   #133
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If Osama Bin Laden is ever captured I'll be sure the 'cast the first stone' message is passed on to him. It's important in everyday life as well.

The cat was found, at home, as though nothing had happened. This was after intense prayer. So how did he get out?

My understanding of why Jesus didn't do this and didn't do that when he could have is because he didn't want to be shown as a trickster who follow the whims of what people wanted. Yes, he was human, the story goes that he was made human so that he could be sacrificed for sin.

Because most religions make a big mess of...Atheism? Could you explain this to me? The arrogance Atheists have is the fault of religion?

The actions of Christians as you had pointed out shouldn't be allowed. That's exactly how they feel when Atheists go 'ZOMG WTF THERE IZ NO GOD LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11.' It goes beyond discussion of religion and the validity of it.

I'll make my feelings of religion simple. This isn't flaming or criticism or anything of the sort. Below are my feelings towards the kind of religion or non belief you choose to follow.

I don't care.

When it becomes clear that it's causing problems however, such as Christian bombing of abortion clinics, Islamic terrorism and Atheist anti theism, that's what I do care about.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:12 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
<snip uncontested examples>

Here we have, in Christian terminology and according to Catholic teaching, the Father and the Son both condemning killing (more often translated 'murder' due to theological developments and interpretations of the text). Clearly, these are important precepts.
I fully acknowledge that there are parts of the Bible that unequivocally advocate non-violence. I also fully acknowledge that there are parts of the Bible that unequivocally, not only condone but promote murder. Such examples are most prevalent in the OT, but exist in the NT as well. How do you reconcile this?

You have an encyclopedic knowledge of Catholic doctrine. It would be difficult not to be impressed by this. The problem I see in this dialog is that this is similar to having memorized the dictionary while debating whether or not the words are misspelled. In other words, quoting Aquinas, Augustine, etc will not help to reconcile that the Bible contradicts itself. By these contradictions, the Bible is shown to be an imperfect source. Furthermore, since the Bible is the closest thing we have to evidence for god, religion itself has no foundation.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Scripture and Tradition both however, are not very keen on war.
This argument can only be supported by cherry-picking.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
I'd say no. It is the Sadducees and the Pharisees who move against Christ in the gospels, and the Romans who put him to death. The apostles and Jesus were Jews, after all (admittedly this fact was glossed over in the past...)
I appreciate that this is your opinion on the matter, however we cannot say with any degree of accuracy that your interpretation is the only possible one. Anti-semites quote the bible as well and there is little denying that the scripture they invoke is indeed there. We can debate whether or not it is being taken out of context, however since we're arguing interpretations, it difficult to set ground rules for "winning".

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Yes, it does go against 'my' version of Catholicism. But there is only 'my' version
But you say this right after conceding that there are other (albeit "unofficial") versions. From a historical perspective, Lutheranism is a version of Catholicism.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
I couldn't say without studying Islam more closely, and indeed the various subsects thereof. Do I believe that he follows the Islam that those muslims I know and/or am friends with? No.
So from your perspective he is not truly Muslim, yet from his perspective he is but your friends might not be. Both quote the same source to support their position. This is the exact same situation with any religious claim, including the claim that Hitler was not Catholic even though he professed to be.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
A non-denominational Christianity that he described as 'positive' Christianity. A sort of militant version, with Jesus leading a holy war against non-Aryans...
A version that could easily have a foundation based on cherry-picked bits of religious doctrine. Even the four canonical gospels cannot agree on a single interpretation of Jesus and those were the four that were deemed sufficient for representation in the bible.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
I believe that the Pope is infallible, in matters of faith and morals, and this is part of Catholic doctrine. Whether or not you agree with this is somewhat irrelevant to the conversation. It is part of the Catholic faith.
But your belief is not proof and that is essential to the conversation. As professed in another thread, you're also willing to accept that gravity might actually be nothing more than a universal affinity for cake.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Sorry, which claim exactly?
The claim that the pope is infallible...in whichever context you'd like to use. This is a rather impossible position to defend, so if you would like retract your comment, I'll drop the matter.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
If Hitler were a Catholic, he sorely tested the supremacy-of-conscience doctrine. I think he would have had to have been very unfamiliar with the gospels (and so probably lapsed), using the supremacy of conscience and relying on half-remembered medieval history and the OT to back him up.
*shrugs* You appear to be willing to concede the point then.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
I was just airing my own opinion on relativism. As for absolute morality, how many people examine their ethics regularly?
Not nearly enough, in my estimation. It's difficult for me to blame people on an individual basis though. Moral philosophy isn't exactly standard fare in any elementary curricula. Furthermore, a large percentage of the world's population are enculturated into a spoon-fed system of ethics that they are encouraged not to examine.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Could you expand on that a bit, please?
Sure, I'd be happy to. You said, "I think perhaps you missed the point - the combination of moral relativism and a malformed conscience is, I think you will agree, a dangerous one."

Since religion claims to have a monopoly on absolute truth and those versions of truth make conflicting claims, these systems of morals are relative. Since this belief in absolute truth is frequently accompanied by (or arguably, the source of) dogmatic thinking, the more "fundamental" a person is, the more malformed their conscience is (as shown by various behavioral experiments).

Therefore, my decision has been to reject any claim to prepackaged system of absolute truths in favor of a reasoned system of ethics (I have the benefit of having taken several ethics courses as part of my undergraduate and graduate programs). Additionally, I also reject fundamentalism, especially the religious flavor.

As anyone here will be able to point out, religious fundamentalism is not the sole source of moral relativism or malformed consciousness, but I think the evidence is on my side when I say it certainly the leading source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
You never stated it should be a *culturally* atheist state as I recall...
True. If you would like to continue to argue that Turkey is an atheist state, I'll be happy to listen to what you have to say. Next time, I'll be sure to be more specific with my wording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
And where 86% of the population are members of the national church.
Well, I could pull up stats on frequency of church attendance and sources that show such membership is largely to satisfy ceremonial functions (weddings, funerals, etc), or we could just accept that Norwegian people are largely non-religious yet somehow manage to consistently set the standard for social wellness. The purpose here was to argue that religious societies do not make for good societies.

Take a look at the results of this survey. Here are the 10 least religious countries surveyed:

Code:
Slovakia	29
Italy		27
South Korea	25
Vietnam		24
Germany		21
Russia		14
Bulgaria 	13
Japan 		12
France 		11
Czech Republic 	11
50% of them are listed in the top 30 countries on the UN Human Development Index (Italy, Germany, Japan, France, and the Czech Republic. Here's thelink). I'm sure that these results could have been more impressive (although 50% is very statistically significant), however only 8 of the top 30 nations were included in the survey. 3 were in the top 10 (Canada, Japan, and the U.S. in that order).

If religiousnesses were truly beneficial to society, the top 10 would have looked more like this:

Code:
Senegal  	97
Indonesia 	95
Nigeria 	92
India 		92
Pakistan 	91
Ivory Coast 	91
Mali 		90
Philippines 	88
Bangladesh 	88
South Africa 	87
Yes, several of these countries are poor, so let's look at the G8 (ranked by position on the Index):

Canada. 30% religious (11th on the poll). #6 on the Index.
Japan. 12% religious (3th on the poll). #7 on the Index.
United States. 59% religious (18th on the poll). #8 on the Index.
France. 11% religious (tied for 1st on the poll). #16 on the Index.
United Kingdom. 33% religious (12th on the poll). #17 on the Index.
Italy. 27% religious (9th on the poll). #18 on the Index.
Germany. 21% religious (6th on the poll). #21 on the Index.
Russia. 14% religious (4th on the poll). Not listed in top 30 on the index.

Only the U.S. is largely religious. It is twice as religious as the next closest "religious" nation in the top 10. Based on the evidence, we can conclude that even rich religious societies (such as the U.S) are not significantly better societies than non-rich non-religious societies (such as Czech Republic).

If you would like, I might be willing to break out a separate analysis for predominately Catholic countries. Just let me know.

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Achilles; 04-11-2007 at 12:57 AM. Reason: fixed tag
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:44 AM   #135
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Hi Nancy,

I'm breaking my response to you out into a separate message because of the length of my response to DI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If Osama Bin Laden is ever captured I'll be sure the 'cast the first stone' message is passed on to him. It's important in everyday life as well.
I'm not sure what that would accomplish. UBL is an extremely pious man within his religion.

The "cast the first stone message", as you refer to it, is a parable about passing judgment on others. As it stands, this has absolutely nothing to do with anything being actually discussed in this thread. The moderators have been extremely vigilant about personal judgments. As I am now pointing out for a third time, this discussion is about evaluating reasons and beliefs, not judging other people. In other words, this is a red herring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
My understanding of why Jesus didn't do this and didn't do that when he could have is because he didn't want to be shown as a trickster who follow the whims of what people wanted. Yes, he was human, the story goes that he was made human so that he could be sacrificed for sin.
In G.Mark and G.Luke, Jesus wasn't bashful about performing miracles at all. He was somewhat secretive about his identity in Mark, but I tend to think that mark wrote Jesus this way as a plot device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The actions of Christians as you had pointed out shouldn't be allowed. That's exactly how they feel when Atheists go 'ZOMG WTF THERE IZ NO GOD LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11.' It goes beyond discussion of religion and the validity of it.
Could you please provide one example of someone debating like this? If you cannot, I would appreciate it if you would stop flame-baiting with your caricatures of atheists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
When it becomes clear that it's causing problems however, such as Christian bombing of abortion clinics, Islamic terrorism and Atheist anti theism, that's what I do care about.
I would very much like to be able to take this at face value, however you seem incredulous of every example of mainstream fundamentalism provided for you.

Last edited by Jae Onasi; 04-11-2007 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:39 AM   #136
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why norway is "religious"

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And where 86% of the population are members of the national church
You can be considered a member if: one person in your family is a member/have been baptised, you have been baptised, or for no reason at all. Combined with the fact that getting out of the church is close to impossible, it's no surprise that a lot are members without knowing it. I have been removed from the list 4 times, yet for all I know I might still be a member.
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:59 AM   #137
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Aren't most of the Scandinavian national churches like this as well? I know Sweden is.
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Old 04-11-2007, 06:39 AM   #138
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Sure.

The thread has us examining the faults in religion and Atheism, so looking at ourselves and seeing that we are free of fault, 'he who is without sin cast the first stone', I would have thought would be quite relevent.

Certainly. Here's a thread on the forums where religion was threated with redicule and flamebait.

http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=173590

And here's some sites I found that support attacking religion and those who follow it.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...6050722AAC9HXY
http://www.antitheism.net/blog/very_...cal_correction
http://www.dpjs.co.uk/anti.html
http://www.dpjs.co.uk/killgod.html
http://community.livejournal.com/antitheism/profile

You painted me the picture of religious evil before. Now put it in a frame. From what I understand reading what you've told me in previous threads George Bush, a Christian, wants to force Jesus returning which would destroy the world. To do this he intends to throw the world into such chaos that Jesus, if he does exist (and if Atheists don't believe in God why do they buy this story?), will have to return and bring about the events in Revelations to restore order. And Bush has appointed a number of fellow Christians to follow this plan. Does that sound close to this fear of this fundamentalism you're talking about?
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:22 AM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The thread has us examining the faults in religion and Atheism, so looking at ourselves and seeing that we are free of fault, 'he who is without sin cast the first stone', I would have thought would be quite relevent.
It's not relevant at all. The parable is about personal judgment. As I am now pointing out for a 4th time, this is about evaluating reasons and beliefs. The two are not similar at all.

If your example were applicable, then you would be advocating that we not evaluate reasons for anything. As such, we'd still be sitting in caves eating meat raw off the carcass because a deficit of critical analysis of thoughts and ideas would have left us in the stone age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Certainly. Here's a thread on the forums where religion was threated with redicule and flamebait.<snip>
In all fairness to you, I only skimmed these links. Only one was a LF thread, and not one from this forum. In none of them did I see 'ZOMG WTF THERE IZ NO GOD LOLZ!1!!11ONE!1!!11ELEVEN!1!!11.'. So again, I respectfully request that you cease using this inaccurate representation of your opponents' arguments. If you do not, you will leave me no choice but to begin reporting posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
You painted me the picture of religious evil before. Now put it in a frame. From what I understand reading what you've told me in previous threads George Bush, a Christian, wants to force Jesus returning which would destroy the world. To do this he intends to throw the world into such chaos that Jesus, if he does exist (and if Atheists don't believe in God why do they buy this story?), will have to return and bring about the events in Revelations to restore order. And Bush has appointed a number of fellow Christians to follow this plan. Does that sound close to this fear of this fundamentalism you're talking about?
I'd say you've almost accurately captured a small part of the argument. The important (and scary) part would be the percentage of the american population that supports/shares this view. Pinning the whole thing on Bush is a little unfair: He did have be elected after all. Instead focus on the fundamentalist movement and I'd say you'd be a lot closer.

PS: One does not have to believe something themselves to be terrified of others that do. If all the fundamentalists lived on an island out in the middle of the ocean and wanted to blow themselves up, that would be one thing. If they lived on the island, but had nukes and believed that they had to take us out first before blowing themselves up, that would be another thing, wouldn't you say?

Thanks for your response.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:42 PM   #140
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Split thread from "Your Views on Atheists". Carry on the Theism/Atheism debate here.


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Old 04-13-2007, 06:29 PM   #141
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Would it be fair to say then that Atheists treat those who believe in religion with quite a bit of contempt and resentment? Given the arrogant, bullying, condescending, double standerd, egomaniacal and downright nasty attitude some have towards them?

As for the other thing, to add to what I said, the voters are to be held responsible? Were they in on this plot to force Jesus' return at all? What about the people Bush had elected into these positions of power? Did they rig the 2000 elections to make sure he won? Where does September 11 fit into all of this? An incident that was allowed to happen to set Bush's plan into motion or a set up?
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:48 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Would it be fair to say then that Atheists treat those who believe in religion with quite a bit of contempt and resentment? Given the arrogant, bullying, condescending, double standerd, egomaniacal and downright nasty attitude some have towards them?
It would be accurate to say that some atheists treat some theists with contempt some of the of the time, yes. Would it be accurate to say that the same scenario is true for theists with regards to atheists?

What you've just described is this group known as "people". You can't pin such behavior on one group. Unless you want to cast the first stone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
As for the other thing, to add to what I said, the voters are to be held responsible?
I suppose you could. I don't advocate that, but it's one alternative. What I would prefer to see is a cultural revolution whereby people choose rationality over superstition and reason over faith. The only way I see that happening is if rational people speak out against irrationality (e.g. ridding ourselves of the fallacious fiat that you have to respect other people's religious beliefs).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Were they in on this plot to force Jesus' return at all?
Yep. They went to their churches and read their right-wing, special interest group voter guides and then went to the polls and voted just how they were told to by their religious leaders. The evangelicals became very insular after the Scopes monkey trial but when Roe v. Wade happened, they began to unify. President Bush is one of them and they very much wanted him in office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
What about the people Bush had elected into these positions of power?
I think the word you're looking for is "appointed". The public generally decides elections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Did they rig the 2000 elections to make sure he won?
From some points of view, the answer is yes. You can do a google search and make your own decisions based on your research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Where does September 11 fit into all of this?
This is a good question. If you're asking for my personal opinion, I haven't made up my mind what to think about the events of 9/11. There are two sides to every story and both the "official story" and the "conspiracy theories" have elements that I don't buy. I believe that there is overwhelming evidence that a plane did not hit the pentagon, nor did flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania. It's obvious that planes hit the WTC, however I've yet to see any evidence that makes me belief that the resulting fires caused WTC 1,2, & 7 to collapse. Was the government complicit? I don't know. I'm not convinced by the conspiracy theories. Did the neo-conservative movement benefit from these events? They certainly did. If you want to explore this further, I'd recommend starting a new topic.

Regardless of what I think, 9/11 was inarguably the catalyst for the war in the middle east and that does benefit the Rapture Right.
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:59 PM   #143
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Yes it would be fair that theists can be just as nasty as Atheists have been, and it's wrong to be that way no matter what side of the arguement you're on. I've seen the Atheist arguement brought up again and again and every time it's been the Atheists doing the attacking but I have no doubt that theists would say something that's flame baiting as well.

As for Bush wanting to use religion to destroy the world, any comments Jae? Anyone?
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:16 AM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Yes it would be fair that theists can be just as nasty as Atheists have been, and it's wrong to be that way no matter what side of the arguement you're on. I've seen the Atheist arguement brought up again and again and every time it's been the Atheists doing the attacking but I have no doubt that theists would say something that's flame baiting as well.
I'm still not sure what this has to do with anything we've discussed here, but it would seem your argument has reached some form of conclusion. Perhaps you could continue this sentiment (if it is not dead) in the "Your views on atheist" thread that this thread was split out from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
As for Bush wanting to use religion to destroy the world, any comments Jae? Anyone?
Nancy, if anyone is interested in responding to my points, they will. Many of my points have been repeated 2 or 3 times in various threads, so anyone wanting to do so has had ample opportunities.

I say all this because I would like to ask you stop invoking Jae. You've done this more than a few times and it really concerns me. She is very much capable of deciding which of my points she will respond to and those that she will not. If she were interested in engaging my arguments she would have done so without your request.

So please, respond to my posts if you want to and pass on them if you want to as well, but please quit asking others to take over your arguments if you get stuck.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:24 AM   #145
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I think using Bush's belief in the doctrine of pre-millennialism to say that Bush actively wants to be the one who brings about the end of the world is completely idiotic. If Bush is knowledgeable enough about the Bible to know the difference between pre-and post-millennialism, he knows enough to know that the Bible says no one knows when Christ will make His return, as if anyone could force Christ to come back by trying to nuke something. I can't believe anyone would take that leap of logic in the first place, and I can't believe that anyone would actually take that seriously. Bush has never said anything like that, Bush won't say anything like that, and Rice and Cheney would beat him profusely around the head if he even suggested doing anything like that. It's about as intelligent as saying Lieberman would bomb an Arab country with pork chops if he ever got elected President.

Bush-bashing/Bush-loving should go in a different thread than this, too, as should the treatment of Atheists in general. We've kind of steered off course from the Theism/Atheism debate and should get back on topic.


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Old 04-14-2007, 12:44 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I think using Bush's belief in the doctrine of pre-millennialism to say that Bush actively wants to be the one who brings about the end of the world is completely idiotic.
Assertions supported by....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If Bush is knowledgeable enough about the Bible to know the difference between pre-and post-millennialism, he knows enough to know that the Bible says no one knows when Christ will make His return, as if anyone could force Christ to come back by trying to nuke something. I can't believe anyone would take that leap of logic in the first place, and I can't believe that anyone would actually take that seriously.
...nothing but appeals to ridicule.

"X cannot possibly be true because I don't believe it".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Bush has never said anything like that, Bush won't say anything like that, and Rice and Cheney would beat him profusely around the head if he even suggested doing anything like that.
You've raised this point before and I've responded to it before (Link). I never received a response in that thread, but perhaps you will be willing to offer one here. It's been a while, but IIRC at least a couple of those links quote Bush saying that God told him to invade Iraq. If not, let me know and I'll post the quotes (with sources) separately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It's about as intelligent as saying Lieberman would bomb an Arab country with pork chops if he ever got elected President.
Lieberman is jewish. If he were a rapture-ready christian that believed that war in the middle east would help speed up the return of his messiah (and if he was quoted making supporting claims), then I would think the same thing about him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Bush-bashing/Bush-loving should go in a different thread than this, too, as should the treatment of Atheists in general. We've kind of steered off course from the Theism/Atheism debate and should get back on topic.
That makes sense, however I would argue that my comments re: Bush are specific to this topic. I have no problem putting my general concerns about him in another thread if someone wants to start one.

PS: How come calling someone's beliefs "idiotic" is not considered loaded language, but labeling someone's beliefs "delusional" is? Thanks in advance for your reply.
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Old 04-14-2007, 01:00 AM   #147
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You asked. I simply answered your question.

Is appeal to logic allowed? If so then logically speaking Bush would know, being a Christian, that he cannot possibly force Jesus to return. From my point of view, not waiting or asking for other's opinions, if you are to assert that then explain to me how in this time of Christian extremism there arn't mass terrorist attacks on Muslims. Why are so many Christians opposed to Iraq and the war on terrorism?

Is inviting someone with more knowledge on the topic than I do to speak their piece wrong? Saying to read your posts again when you get stuck? Or for one or two members to basically hold the floor rather than letting a particular point breathe and allow others the opportunity to respond?
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Old 04-14-2007, 01:28 AM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
You asked. I simply answered your question.
If it makes this go away: fine, you're right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Is appeal to logic allowed?
Not only allowed but very much welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
If so then logically speaking Bush would know, being a Christian, that he cannot possibly force Jesus to return.
Your logic is not his. People do things based on belief rather than logic all the time. It doesn't make sense that the rapture-ready would want to bring about the end of the world, but that fact doesn't stop them. That's the dangerous thing about faith: it's more valued more than reason by those that have it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
From my point of view, not waiting or asking for other's opinions, if you are to assert that then explain to me how in this time of Christian extremism there arn't mass terrorist attacks on Muslims.
Where to start....

Christian doctrine does not promote terrorism, however it's perfectly ok with other forms of violence. You're trying to project the promoted tactics of one religion onto another. Although neither is rational, that doesn't mean that they are the same.

Christianity claims to be a religion of peace, therefore terrorism is out (for the most part), but war is just fine. In other words we don't need to militant civilians to carry out terrorist activities against those in the middle east, because we have an occupying military force. Now before you or anyone else claims that our presence is not an occupying force, I'd like for you to ask yourself how many permanent military bases we're building in Iraq. If you answer, "I don't know", I'd encourage you do to some research before replying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Why are so many Christians opposed to Iraq and the war on terrorism?
Bushes approval ratings average about 35% this month. While you might think that's low (and I would agree) keep in mind that means that 1 in 3 people think he's doing just fine. Ask yourself if that 35% represents moderate christians that, like so many, cherry-pick the bible for messages of love and peace or the fundamentalists that believe in the jesus of revelations that returns with a sword to cast sinners into a lake of fire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Is inviting someone with more knowledge on the topic than I do to speak their piece wrong? Saying to read your posts again when you get stuck? Or for one or two members to basically hold the floor rather than letting a particular point breathe and allow others the opportunity to respond?
Not at all, but I have to tell you that your multiple requests for Jae to step in might make one think that you're incapable of defending your points yourself.
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Old 04-14-2007, 01:39 AM   #149
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Bush's view on this specific topic could arguably be somewhat connected, and since we were already talking about it before the thread got split off, that's fine. I just don't want the thread to turn into a political/Bush discussion.

Delusional is a specific psychiatric term, and idiotic is not used in any kind of medical way in today's language. I take issue with anyone except one who is having a psychotic episode known as a delusion being labeled as delusional. I did not remotely link you or say 'Achilles' ideas are idiotic'. However, there have been any number of attempts (not necessarily by you) to label me or my ideas specifically as delusional, and there is a big difference.

There is a big difference between praying about the decision to go to war (and wouldn't you have some quiet reflective time before making a decision as big as going to war?) and espousing the belief that one is going to personally bring about Armageddon. I have seen no statements by Bush that say 'I'm going to do x to bring about Christ's return'.

The point about knowledge of pre/post-millennialism and knowledge that he can't bring about Christ's return by bombing the hell out of something is not an appeal to ridicule. Part of eschatology is knowing what the Bible says about Christ's return, and Bush knows these verses as part of pre-millennial doctrine. Since he's familiar with the verses that no one knows when Christ will return and that He'll return like 'a thief in the night', _and_ Bush has never said he was planning on bringing about Armageddon or Christ's return, then equating praying about the Iraq war/knowledge of eschatology with bringing about the 'end times' is false. The only way someone could make that incorrect leap in logic is to hear Bush is a pre-millennialist, go look that up without looking up the relevant supporting verses, and say also 'Bush prayed about the Iraq war! He therefore must be wanting Armageddon!!' That is a complete non sequitur. It ranks right up there with the logic of my favorite proof:
Dirt is brown.
Chocolate is brown.
Dirt has no calories,
Therefore chocolate has no calories.

Bush may do many dumb things, but saying he espouses the idea that he personally can bring about the end times is misleading at best and alarmist at worst. The only thing that this kind of comment does is scare the crap out of people unnecessarily. I get very angry about those with an anti-Christian bias (and I'm thinking more generally along the lines of the media than anything else) misquoting and misusing the Bible and people's beliefs in order to paint someone in a negative way. If someone disagrees with Bush, fine. None of us is going to agree with him all (or even most) of the time. Publishing the truth about what he has actually said is certainly appropriate. However, don't use sensationalism and scare tactics based on an insufficient knowledge of a particular doctrine to try to make Bush look like something he is not. That's disingenuous.


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Old 04-14-2007, 05:35 AM   #150
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Whew. A lot to unpack here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Bush's view on this specific topic could arguably be somewhat connected, and since we were already talking about it before the thread got split off, that's fine. I just don't want the thread to turn into a political/Bush discussion.
Noted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Delusional is a specific psychiatric term, and idiotic is not used in any kind of medical way in today's language.
It is true that this is one of the meanings, just like one of the meanings for "idiot" is a psychological term. Whether or not it is still used that way is a non-issue.

I think it goes without saying that most people hear "idiot" in the context of "a foolish or stupid person" rather than, "someone with extreme mental retardation". Similarly, I don't think people hear "a persistent false psychotic belief" when they hear the word "delusion", rather "something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated". A belief can be shown to be false, where as "idiot" in any context (other than the "unused" professional context) can only be taken offensively, "delusion" is a valid label. Therefore, it makes no sense that someone willing to accuse someone's argument as being idiotic should take offense at having their belief referred to as delusional. At the very least you make some attempt to discover the person's intent rather than presume to know what context they are being used in.

I think the simplest solution here would be to retract your earlier statement, but truthfully, I don't get that ruffled over words, so I really don't care. I only brought it up because I found it to be extremely hypocri...double-dealing. My apologies for the side-bar.

Point taken, it fell out of the 'friendly' category. I apologize. --Jae

Apology accepted. Since this wasn't a moderator warning, I'm assuming that it's ok to re-edit. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I did not remotely link you or say 'Achilles' ideas are idiotic'. However, there have been any number of attempts (not necessarily by you) to label me or my ideas specifically as delusional, and there is a big difference.
Fair enough. In the spirit of open dialog then, what did you mean by:

"I think using Bush's belief in the doctrine of pre-millennialism to say that Bush actively wants to be the one who brings about the end of the world is completely idiotic."

Keep in mind that you posted this after I made such an assertion.

And yes, I have made blatant attempts to label your ideas delusional. I don't shy away from that. In the context I provided earlier in this post, I believe that they are. The good news is that sufficient counter-argument should be enough to persuade any reasonable person that they are not (although such arguments have not been forthcoming). However, there is a moratorium on using the term, therefore I've taken to utilizing the thesaurus to make my points. It will be interesting to see if such a moratorium is extended to "idiotic", considering I've argued that this can only be taken as a derogatory term, whereas "delusion" cannot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
There is a big difference between praying about the decision to go to war (and wouldn't you have some quiet reflective time before making a decision as big as going to war?) and espousing the belief that one is going to personally bring about Armageddon. I have seen no statements by Bush that say 'I'm going to do x to bring about Christ's return'.
I'm not sure how to proceed here, because I doubt I have the sufficient skill to point out all the problems with this thinking to a theist. That isn't a dig, rather an commentary on the chasm that exists between theism and non-theism.

Let me start off with a quote:

Quote:
“The president of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ridiculous or offensive.” - Sam Harris
If Bush had said he thought long and hard and finally came to a decision, I would have some confidence that his faculties of reason were used to come to that conclusion. Instead, the story is that he prayed and god told him to do it. This tells me that in no way were his faculties of reason used, rather he consulted the metaphysical equivalent of a magic 8-ball...to determine our nations foreign policy...knowing that we are the only military superpower in the world. Why this doesn't set off red flags for anyone is beyond me, however I have to take into consideration that there is a large percentage of my fellow Americans that think this was a perfectly normal thing to do.

On to the crux of the matter.

As we have seen in various threads (and in fact in many history books) world leaders do crazy stuff all the time. Putin appears to be on a killing spree, Kim Jong Il wants to wage war against the U.S. on the broken backs of his people, Hitler invades Poland, Communist China imprisons and murders there own citizens for staging democratic protests, etc, etc, etc. Murder, corruption, insane leaders twisted by their own agendas, the list goes on and on. But not here.

Haliburton wins no-bid contracts to rebuild Iraq. But that has nothing to do with the fact that Cheney was CEO for several years. Bush 1 and Bush 2 both invade Iraq, but that has nothing to do with their family ties to Saudi Arabia. Bush 2 declares war on Usama bin Laden (who is believed to be strafing the Afghanistan/Pakistan border) as part of his war on terror, but he's primarily focused on Iraq. His reason: To bring about democracy in the middle east.

Let's break for a moment and take a look at the prophesied "signs of the second coming":
  • "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." - many false churches of jesus which will deceive many. mormons and jehovah witnesses maybe?
  • "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:..." - Like the ones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rumors? Like the ones about Iran and North Korea. How about Chavez's claim that U.S. tried to have him assassinated? Darfur? Iraqi Civil War?
  • "and there shall be famines,..." - Well it would be obvious to point out the much-publicized African famines of the 80's. Somalia in the 90's? Darfur now?
  • "...and pestilences,..." - HIV/AIDS? SARS? Avian influenza?
  • "...and earthquakes, in divers places." - Japan had an undersea earthquake the other week. Indonesia shortly be before that. The whopper in Indonesia in December 2005.
  • "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." - America isn't very popular right now because of its thinly veiled theocracy.
  • "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another." - Clearly Jesus is referring to LF and Kavar's Corner specifically . Seriously though, I imagine that the conflict between atheist and theists is a potential explanation.

Now...do I believe any of this? Heck no!

But do I think the rapture right does? You'd better ****ing believe I do.

How many of these points do I think that neo-conservative, rapture-ready christians believe Bush has direct control over? Bullets 2, 6, and 7 directly (foreign policy, "go it alone", and "compassionate conservatism", respectively). The rest just happen to be coincidentally going on. Maybe not all that persuasive on it's own, but consider that 44% of americans believe that jesus will definitely or very probably return in the next 50 years, and I think it's obvious that significant portion of the voting public doesn't care what it says about pre/post-millennialism in some book, they're doing everything they can to make this baby happen now.

Back to my point.

If Bush and his administration were moderate Christians, I probably wouldn't be too concerned. However, Bush and many of his appointees are unabashedly hard-core, evangelical christians. So the argument that none of this adds up and Achilles is being melodramatic doesn't hold up. There is genuine cause to be afraid.

I want so save some energy for the rest of my response, so I'll end this section here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The point about knowledge of pre/post-millennialism and knowledge that he can't bring about Christ's return by bombing the hell out of something is not an appeal to ridicule.
No, Jae, but the part about you not believing that Bush (and the rest of the rapture right) believe that is an appeal to ridicule. I keep pointing that out. It's not what you believe, it's about what they believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Part of eschatology is knowing what the Bible says about Christ's return, and Bush knows these verses as part of pre-millennial doctrine. Since he's familiar with the verses that no one knows when Christ will return and that He'll return like 'a thief in the night'
Do we really want to start comparing all the christian doctrine that he should know about to what he actually espouses?

Suppose you have a deeply-held belief that picking up pennies brings about good luck. Suppose the doctrine of this belief states that at some point, events will unfold, and the lifting of a special penny will bring about all believers winning 100 billion dollars. No one knows when this penny will be lifted or where. Being one of the believers, do you pass penny lying on the street or do you stop and pick them up? Do you pick them up with anticipation? Is it feasible that some percentage of believers might take to purposely leaving pennies laying about for others to pick up in the hopes that they might hasten the jackpot? Maybe at some point, believers start going into banks and changing out bills for pennies. At first, just singles, but maybe (for the cause), they start changing fives, tens, twenties, asking for their paychecks in pennies (what's a few thousand dollars now when my faith tells me that $100 billion is just around the corner if I just believe enough?)

Perposterous right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
_and_ Bush has never said he was planning on bringing about Armageddon or Christ's return, then equating praying about the Iraq war/knowledge of eschatology with bringing about the 'end times' is false. The only way someone could make that incorrect leap in logic is to hear Bush is a pre-millennialist, go look that up without looking up the relevant supporting verses, and say also 'Bush prayed about the Iraq war! He therefore must be wanting Armageddon!!' That is a complete non sequitur.
That may be and I have to tell you that I sincerely hope you're right. However I think I've made a respectable case for showing that you're not. Even if I'm 99% wrong about this, that 1% more than I'm comfortable with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It ranks right up there with the logic of my favorite proof:
Dirt is brown.
Chocolate is brown.
Dirt has no calories,
Therefore chocolate has no calories.
This is satire, correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Bush may do many dumb things, but saying he espouses the idea that he personally can bring about the end times is misleading at best and alarmist at worst. The only thing that this kind of comment does is scare the crap out of people unnecessarily.
I encourage everyone to do their own research, review the fact, and form their own opinions. If I'm wrong, please come back and show me why because I would certainly sleep better at night. (sorry Jae, you just haven't done it yet ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I get very angry about those with an anti-Christian bias (and I'm thinking more generally along the lines of the media than anything else) misquoting and misusing the Bible and people's beliefs in order to paint someone in a negative way. If someone disagrees with Bush, fine. None of us is going to agree with him all (or even most) of the time. Publishing the truth about what he has actually said is certainly appropriate. However, don't use sensationalism and scare tactics based on an insufficient knowledge of a particular doctrine to try to make Bush look like something he is not. That's disingenuous.
It certainly would be. However your opinion that it the information is inaccurate doesn't make it so.

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by Achilles; 04-15-2007 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 04-14-2007, 07:16 AM   #151
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Where is the logic in all this? It may be that I cannot comprehend how big this plot is but from what we've ascertained Bush intends to destroy the world so that Jesus will return and bring about Revelations. Logically he knows he can't force Jesus to return but he's going to destroy the world anyway trying to do so. The people who voted for him in 2000 and 2004 are Christians and want Jesus to return, want Bush to force Jesus' return. The people Bush appointed to positions of power are Christians and are in on Bush's plan, they made sure Bush won no matter what the votes were. September 11 was allowed to happen or set up by Bush so he can set this grand plan into motion, first by attacking Afghanistan and then Iraq, with the retalliation for his actions throwing the world into further chaos. To add to the drama Bush continues to support Israel rather than help Palestine wipe them out, something he knows will cause further strife. And even though everything is tied up in Afghanistan and Iraq Bush is looking at other targets such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. And all of this isn't because Bush is after the oil that Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia are rich in but to do the logically impossible and force Jesus to return and 'save' the human race through what the fairy tale known as the Bible has fortold in Revelations. Does that about sum it up? Am I missing any pieces of the puzzle? So where does logic come into this? Logically Bush cannot force Jesus to return, logically Christianity is meant to be a myth in the first place isn't it? Logically a devestated world is no use to anyone. Logically positive relations with America and the rest of the world look about as positive as communism did. Logically the military would be exhausted to really no avail. Logically Bush could be attempting to cull the weak who would be killed during his actions, but to what logical purpose?
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Old 04-14-2007, 07:58 AM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Where is the logic in all this? It may be that I cannot comprehend how big this plot is but from what we've ascertained Bush intends to destroy the world so that Jesus will return and bring about Revelations.
Nope. Pretty please recognize that this is a movement for which Bush is a figurehead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Logically he knows he can't force Jesus to return but he's going to destroy the world anyway trying to do so. The people who voted for him in 2000 and 2004 are Christians and want Jesus to return, want Bush to force Jesus' return.
No logic to it. I don't know (and neither do you) that Bush (or his supporters) "know" that they can't force (or to my point, influence) events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The people Bush appointed to positions of power are Christians and are in on Bush's plan
Close. I don't know if I'd call it "Bush's plan". Many of the key players have been around for a long time (wolfowitz, cheney, rumsfeld). Many people see the current administration as the product of the last few years but these guys have been in control since the 70's minus the 8 years Clinton was president.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
they made sure Bush won no matter what the votes were.
It's slightly more complicated than that, but essentially yes. Don't take my word for it. Do your own research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
September 11 was allowed to happen or set up by Bush so he can set this grand plan into motion, first by attacking Afghanistan and then Iraq, with the retalliation for his actions throwing the world into further chaos.
That's one of the theories. Look up "Project for a New American Century". Take note of who signed the statement of principles (especially those that are in key administrative roles). Finally, read "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (published September 2000). Then tell me what you think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
To add to the drama Bush continues to support Israel rather than help Palestine wipe them out, something he knows will cause further strife.
Not quite. One of the more popular signs of the 2nd coming is that Israel will be returned to the Israelis. Bush doesn't support the Palestinians, rather he supported a two-state solution before general elections put Hamas in power. Now all bets are off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And even though everything is tied up in Afghanistan and Iraq Bush is looking at other targets such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.
Nope. Saudi Arabia is an ally (SA alliance with the U.S. is why UBL hates us). Prophecy says "war" and Bush thinks god is on his side. So what if everyone else can see that we're spread too thin. How do you think the Roman Empire was toppled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
And all of this isn't because Bush is after the oil that Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia are rich in....
We already have a partnership with Saudi Arabia. Arguably, keeping Saddam (a dictator that we put into power to keep Iran in check) around would have kept oil prices stable. Maybe Bush wanted the oil to keep China from getting it, but China is looking to South America for oil, so....*shrugs*

I'm sure there's a case for it being "all about the oil", but there also seems to be a case for "the oil was just fine". Aside from the fact that world oil production peaked in 2005 but I'm not sure what invading the middle east would have done to change that. Make Haliburton rich maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
but to do the logically impossible and force Jesus to return and 'save' the human race through what the fairy tale known as the Bible has fortold in Revelations.
Not a matter of logic. We left that arena the moment religion got involved.

"but to help foster the conditions set forth by prophecy and to help set the stage for Jesus to return and 'save' the human race through what the fairy tale known as the Bible has foretold in Revelations." might be closer to what is argued to be the case.

Be careful not to set up a false dichotomy here. Arguing the the U.S. gov't was after the oil does not automatically exclude the possibility that they were after religious conquest as well. There are other possible answers too, so don't tie yourself down to an either/or argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Does that about sum it up? Am I missing any pieces of the puzzle? So where does logic come into this?
Where did I lose you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Logically Bush cannot force Jesus to return,
Logic has nothing to do with it. We're in the realm of faith now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
logically Christianity is meant to be a myth in the first place isn't it?
Yep, but as I've stated dozens of times, it's not about what I/we believe, it's about what they believe. This point is essential to your understanding of the problem. I cannot stress this enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Logically a devestated world is no use to anyone.
After the rapture, christ will sustain the earth. Sure walking the tightrope might seem risky, but not so much if you think there's a safety net the size of rhode island beneath you. Doesn't matter whether or not it's real, only that you believe it's there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Logically positive relations with America and the rest of the world look about as positive as communism did.
Not sure I take your meaning. The opinions of others means jack-squat when you believe that truth is on your side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Logically the military would be exhausted to really no avail.
And if you believe that god is on your side? He's the one that told you to go, after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Logically Bush could be attempting to cull the weak who would be killed during his actions, but to what logical purpose?
Not sure. That's your theory, not mine. You'd have to tell me.
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Old 04-14-2007, 10:37 PM   #153
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I'm having a look at these sources, but I'm wondering, are you hedging your bets with religion? The Bible's meant to be fiction isn't it? Bush can't bring back a fictional character, but he's trying, so maybe religion is real. Either way if he is trying to throw the world into chaos and force Jesus to return he's doing a very half hearted job about it. A few nukes should do the trick. Leave the devestation of Iraq rather than trying to bebuild and strike somewhere else.
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Old 04-14-2007, 11:48 PM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I'm having a look at these sources, but I'm wondering, are you hedging your bets with religion?
I'm not sure what this means. Could you expand on this please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The Bible's meant to be fiction isn't it? Bush can't bring back a fictional character, but he's trying, so maybe religion is real.
Or maybe the rapture right is dealing in something other than reason. Guess which one of those scenarios we have more evidence for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Either way if he is trying to throw the world into chaos and force Jesus to return he's doing a very half hearted job about it. A few nukes should do the trick. Leave the devestation of Iraq rather than trying to bebuild and strike somewhere else.
If the Bush administration were to begin launching nuclear weapons unprovoked, it would not take long at all to for other countries to say enough is enough and stage an intervention. I said these people are irrational...not stupid.

That's the bigger problem. The smaller problem is who would he nuke?
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:00 AM   #155
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How about the traitors such as France and Germany, who refused to have anything to do with Iraq?

Seriously if chaos, ergo forcing Jesus to return is his plan why the need to be subtle?

As I said you believe the Bible is fiction, but Bush is trying to force Jesus to return even though according to the Bible he can't, so maybe you're thinking that it might be true. Maybe Bush can force this fictional Jesus to return and bring about Revelations.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:14 AM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
How about the traitors such as France and Germany, who refused to have anything to do with Iraq?
That's a good idea. Why don't you write to him and ask why he hasn't started nuking people yet? In the mean time, I'll stay here and try to figure out what this line of thinking has to do with what we were discussing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Seriously if chaos, ergo forcing Jesus to return is his plan why the need to be subtle?
The Bush administration has been anything but subtle. I think you're trying to take my arguments to an extreme that I have not suggested. While you are more than welcome to do so, it won't help to move the dialog forward.

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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
As I said you believe the Bible is fiction, but Bush is trying to force Jesus to return even though according to the Bible he can't, so maybe you're thinking that it might be true. Maybe Bush can force this fictional Jesus to return and bring about Revelations.
Really, Nancy, my thinking on this should be crystal clear to you by now. It's not about what I believe, it's about what the rapture right believes. What part of that am I failing to explain adequately?

Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:29 AM   #157
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Ya know, Atheism is a faith too. you can't say any religion is right or wrong, cause there just isn't enough evidence either way. personally, i'm a Christian, cause it makes sense to me and it's what i choose to believe. what you believe won't change reality. the universe is the way it is. And what is this about Bush destroying the world to effect Christs return? I mean, that's kinda up to God last I checked.
ps: thanks Achilles, appreciate the welcome. figured i'd stop by this thread and stalk you till you convert!!! joking....i hope......but seriously, i mean if you wanna..... God, er, i mean....primordial ooze.....bless you kind sir....have a good day


"In victory, be humble. In defeat, be strong. In all things be fair."
--Eternal Grand Master H.U. Lee

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Old 04-15-2007, 01:03 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by BruceLee_Reborn
Ya know, Atheism is a faith too.
It is not. Faith is belief with little, no, or contradictory evidence. Faith makes positive statement regarding belief. Theism makes the claim that a god or gods exists without any evidence.

Atheism is belief-neutral. In order for atheism to be considered faith, it would have to make some positive statement regarding the existence or non-existence of god. Since there is no evidence for the existence of a god and one cannot prove non-existence of anything, atheism cannot possibly be based on faith.

In summary: sorry, sir. You're wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceLee_Reborn
you can't say it's right or wrong, cause there just isn't enough evidence either way.
There is no evidence at all and that's the whole point of being atheistic. Theists presume to know something without any evidence. Atheists recognize that there is no evidence and therefore remain neutral.

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Originally Posted by BruceLee_Reborn
personally, i'm a Christian, cause it makes sense to me and it's what i choose to believe. what you believe won't change reality.
Actually, sir, what you believe won't change reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceLee_Reborn
the universe is the way it is.
Indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceLee_Reborn
And what is this about Bush destroying the world to effect Christs return? I mean, that's kinda up to God last I checked
You'll have to ask Nancy Allen about that one as it is her caricature of my argument. As such, she's the only one that will be able to explain it.

EDIT: Whoops! There's more now

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceLee_Reborn
ps: thanks Achilles, appreciate the welcome. figured i'd stop by this thread and stalk you till you convert!!!
Good luck with that! You have quite a bit of work ahead of you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceLee_Reborn
joking....i hope......but seriously, i mean if you wanna.....
I'll believe just as soon as there's some evidence. If you can provide some, I'll be happy to make the switch.

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Originally Posted by BruceLee_Reborn
God, er, i mean....primordial ooze.....bless you kind sir....have a good day
You do the same.

Take care.
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Old 04-15-2007, 12:21 PM   #159
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It is not. Faith is belief with little, no, or contradictory evidence. Faith makes positive statement regarding belief. Theism makes the claim that a god or gods exists without any evidence.
it contradicts itself. a lot. to use a slightly overused argument, just for fun, where did matter origionate? hmm? that's what i thought...

Quote:
There is no evidence at all and that's the whole point of being atheistic. Theists presume to know something without any evidence. Atheists recognize that there is no evidence and therefore remain neutral.
ugh, i don't get it. could you explain the neutrality thing? i'm not sure i understand. and are you a Theist, or an Atheist?

Quote:
Actually, sir, what you believe won't change reality.
that's true

Quote:
Good luck with that! You have quite a bit of work ahead of you.
oh, don't worry, i'm diligint

Quote:
I'll believe just as soon as there's some evidence. If you can provide some, I'll be happy to make the switch.
Oh i will....you just wait

sir.....


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Old 04-15-2007, 12:28 PM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
It is not. Faith is belief with little, no, or contradictory evidence. Faith makes positive statement regarding belief. Theism makes the claim that a god or gods exists without any evidence.

Atheism is belief-neutral. In order for atheism to be considered faith, it would have to make some positive statement regarding the existence or non-existence of god. Since there is no evidence for the existence of a god and one cannot prove non-existence of anything, atheism cannot possibly be based on faith.

In summary: sorry, sir. You're wrong
- i like that last bit, a straight to the point conclusion! I agree with this statement, like you said Atheism cannot be a 'belief' of 'faith' (i ain't gonna lie - i'm one of them) as Atheists strive to prove the non-existance of a god or gods (depending on faith); in contrast a person of faith believes in their heart unflinchingly that God exists. I believe what people believe in is their own accord, i respect believer's just as non-believers because at the end of the day it's that person's choice in life and no-one can tell them otherwise.
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