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Old 09-23-2007, 11:43 AM   #1
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Christian right looks to rebound

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BRANDON, Fla. - Headed into the 2008 election season, Christian conservatives are weary. Their movement has lost iconic leaders and the Republican presidential field is uninspiring. But they may have found hope in a trailer on the campus of Bell Shoals Baptist Church.
I found this part particularly interesting:
Quote:
"I just feel the opposition is growing so strong, I need to grow stronger," said Klingman, 34, who drove two hours from the one-stoplight town of Hawthorne to join activists in this Tampa suburb.
Keep in mind that "opposition" = people that just want to live their lives with the same basic rights as everyone else and don't like being told how to think by conservatives. I find it disturbing that there is a group of people that think they are justified in opposing the efforts of others to stand up for their rights.
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Old 09-23-2007, 01:05 PM   #2
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This group has a right to promote their views just like any other group. It's still a free country. Would you censor them because you don't agree with them?


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Old 09-23-2007, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
This group has a right to promote their views just like any other group.
Did someone say that they didn't?

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It's still a free country.
Perhaps that message would be better served at one of these rallies.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Would you censor them because you don't agree with them?
*wonders where the censorship bent came from*
No, Jae, I try to avoid hypocrisy as much as possible, so no, I wouldn't seek to censor them in any way.
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I find it disturbing that there is a group of people that think they are justified in opposing the efforts of others to stand up for their rights.
What would you suggest be done with them, then, since you're disturbed by what they're doing?


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Old 09-23-2007, 03:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
What would you suggest be done with them, then, since you're disturbed by what they're doing?
Gee, there are so many options. Round them all up and ship them to forced labor camps, march them at gun point off a cliff, tie them to trees and smear them with honey....or I suppose I could just sit here and be disturbed by them. Is there a rule I don't know about that requires me to do anything when something disturbs me?

In a ideal world, we could all sit down to talk and reason this out, but ideology tends to make such interactions difficult. Dogmatic ideologies make them impossible. Is there some way I can cause them to abandon their dogmatic ideologies?
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Old 09-23-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
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Ain't "democracy" grand. I agree, I don't think there's pretty much anything you can do but stew. Unless, of course, you want to get involved beyond merely complaining in a forum that the world is not what you'd like it to be.


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Old 09-23-2007, 05:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Gee, there are so many options. Round them all up and ship them to forced labor camps, march them at gun point off a cliff, tie them to trees and smear them with honey....or I suppose I could just sit here and be disturbed by them.


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Originally Posted by Achilles
Is there a rule I don't know about that requires me to do anything when something disturbs me?
Oh, got it. Just another anti-Christian rant. Carry on.


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Old 09-24-2007, 12:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Oh, got it. Just another anti-Christian rant. Carry on.
I notice that you didn't answer the question. Surprising.

There was a second paragraph, Jae. Any commentary on that?
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Is there some way I can cause them to abandon their dogmatic ideologies?
No. Although I disagree that they are truly Christians. Seems to me that to be a Christian you need to follow the example set by Christ. I seem to remember Christ setting down and breaking bread with people that these people would surely condemn. Perhaps the addition of the word Conservatives to Christian changes the definition of what it means to be a Christian.

I have the same problem with these people that I have with other groups that try to force their belief structure on to others through legislation and the courts.
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Old 09-24-2007, 02:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mimartin
No. Although I disagree that they are truly Christians.
It seems that many of these conversations end up trying to operationally define what it is to be a christian.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Seems to me that to be a Christian you need to follow the example set by Christ.
That would seem reasonable, as would 'striving to be christ-like' or, 'believing that jesus christ was the messiah'. Unfortunately each of these would seem to have varying degrees of commitment.

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I seem to remember Christ setting down and breaking bread with people that these people would surely condemn.
Indeed. Unfortunately, I frequently hear the argument that jesus would heal the sick and then tell his flock to go forth and sin no more used to condemn these groups while at the same time appearing to accept them with open arms. I guess the question I would like answered is how much of jesus' message leaves us in a position to pass judgment on others (and in turn, how much conservatism "gets it wrong" vs "takes it too far", etc)?

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Perhaps the addition of the word Conservatives to Christian changes the definition of what it means to be a Christian.
Perhaps.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
I have the same problem with these people that I have with other groups that try to force their belief structure on to others through legislation and the courts.
In the interest of having a common frame of reference, could I ask you for examples?

Thanks for your post.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:05 PM   #11
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I guess the question I would like answered is how much of jesus' message leaves us in a position to pass judgment on others
In my personal opinion it tells me not to judge others at all. Iím a sinner and until Iím no longer a sinner (which will be never) Iím in no position to judge anyone. I also know my belief system is right for me, but I am not under the delusion that my belief system is correct. So for that matter these Conservative Christians may be correct, but they have no way of knowing that.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
and in turn, how much conservatism "gets it wrong" vs "takes it too far", etc?
Good point. Iíd lean towards the ďtakes it too farĒ side. Iíve actually seen my church kick someone out that they deemed undesirable. Instead of helping him through his problems they dismissed him from the help he was obliviously asking for by attending church in the first place.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
In the interest of having a common frame of reference, could I ask you for examples?
The biggest one on the Christian agenda is abortion (which I happen to agree with them about, but I not willing to force my beliefs onto someone that has a different opinion). Another example is their attempt to circumvent the Constitution by disguising creationism as ďintelligent design.Ē

At the same time, I have a problem with groups trying to change the name of Christmas. If someone wants to call it Xmas or Holiday season that is their right, just as it is my right to call it Christmas. If you donít like it donít celebrate it. Iím just as upset with the Christians wanting to change Halloween.

Personally I believe it should be us Christians trying to change the name of Christmas due the commercial mess it is today.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
In my personal opinion it tells me not to judge others at all. Iím a sinner and until Iím no longer a sinner (which will be never) Iím in no position to judge anyone. I also know my belief system is right for me, but I am not under the delusion that my belief system is correct. So for that matter these Conservative Christians may be correct, but they have no way of knowing that.
Well said. I applaud your open-mindedness.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Good point. Iíd lean towards the ďtakes it too farĒ side. Iíve actually seen my church kick someone out that they deemed undesirable. Instead of helping him through his problems they dismissed him from the help he was obliviously asking for by attending church in the first place.
This reminds me of a debate I heard about recently regarding a sex-offender who tried to join a congregation. It was interesting to hear people struggling with the choice between their instincts and following (what they percieved to be) jesus' message. Link

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Originally Posted by mimartin
The biggest one on the Christian agenda is abortion (which I happen to agree with them about, but I not willing to force my beliefs onto someone that has a different opinion). Another example is their attempt to circumvent the Constitution by disguising creationism as ďintelligent design.Ē
Gotcha. Since these are primarily the efforts of conservative christians, I think we're on the same page.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
At the same time, I have a problem with groups trying to change the name of Christmas. If someone wants to call it Xmas or Holiday season that is their right, just as it is my right to call it Christmas. If you donít like it donít celebrate it. Iím just as upset with the Christians wanting to change Halloween.
Interesting. I think I saw this as more of a "christians aren't the only ones celebrating a holiday" thing rather than a "let's change the name of christmas" thing.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Personally I believe it should be us Christians trying to change the name of Christmas due the commercial mess it is today.
I'm all for giving up religious holidays altogether

Take care.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Achilles
I'm all for giving up religious holidays altogether
Well, fine. I'm expecting you in the office at 7:30AM sharp on December 25.




have a suggestion for the lf poll? pm me
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:36 PM   #14
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Well, fine. I'm expecting you in the office at 7:30AM sharp on December 25.
You make it sound like I haven't done it before

Just so long as no one gets any funny ideas about screwing with turkey-day.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:02 PM   #15
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So, basically, you're angry because she opposes Gay marriage, and refers to people who want to uphold it as her opposition? That's kind of how it works, if someone opposes your goals, they are your opposition. As for her attempting to ban Gay Marriage, good. The less of that the better. Marriage is already screwed up enough what with the divorce rate, I'd like to at least keep a part of it more or less intact.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:15 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Achilles
This reminds me of a debate I heard about recently regarding a sex-offender who tried to join a congregation. It was interesting to hear people struggling with the choice between their instincts and following (what they percieved to be) jesus' message. Link
Have not seen that, I understand they have to weigh the concerns for the children with that of trying to help this man. To me they are trying to do what they perceive is right, while still protecting the young children.

At the church Iím a member of this would not even be an issue as he would have already been ran off. Sad to say I would have been leading the charge.
We kicked someone out for wearing womenís cloths to church. So I believe it is fair to say we would allow a sex-offender in our congregation. Iíd admire this church for even considering it, but I hope and pray they do not come to regret it.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I'm all for giving up religious holidays altogether
Not me, Christmas dinner makes it worth putting up with all the commercialization of the day. My mouth is watering for Pecan Pie just thinking about it.

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Take care.
You too.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:30 PM   #17
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So, basically, you're angry because she opposes Gay marriage, and refers to people who want to uphold it as her opposition?
I don't recall stating that I was angry. The term I used was "disturbed". To prevent further misunderstanding, I was using it in this context (root word: disturb):

2 a: to destroy the tranquillity or composure of <the noisy lawnmower disturbed their sleep>.

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Originally Posted by Corinthian
That's kind of how it works, if someone opposes your goals, they are your opposition.
No, I got that part. I think you missed my point though. Her goal is to oppose...we'll use gay marriage since you brought it up...gay marriage. What gives her the right to do so? As Jae pointed out earlier, it's a free country. There is no moral/ethical argument against it. Yes, she and others of similar thinking have the right to stand up and be heard in their opposition, but being a vocal majority does not make them right. And their sanctimonious attitudes fly directly in the face of their professed beliefs (ala mimartin's argument for christ's message being the foundation of christianity). When my choices are "wrong" or "hypocrite", I begin looking for a new ballgame.

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Originally Posted by Corinthian
As for her attempting to ban Gay Marriage, good. The less of that the better. Marriage is already screwed up enough what with the divorce rate, I'd like to at least keep a part of it more or less intact.
Perhaps you'd be interested in providing the rationale for your arguments in the gay marriage thread?

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Iíd admire this church for even considering it, but I hope and pray they do not come to regret it.
If we were to put religion aside and examine this from a strictly moral/ethical standpoint, would you say that they made the right choice? The mother at the end of the article states that she's concerned that Brugge might fantasize about her daughter during service. What short (or long) term impact do you think his presence might have on the children themselves?

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Not me, Christmas dinner makes it worth putting up with all the commercialization of the day. My mouth is watering for Pecan Pie just thinking about it.
Funny how we reserve some things for special occations. Too bad we have to wait for them to come around.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:10 PM   #18
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If we were to put religion aside and examine this from a strictly moral/ethical standpoint, would you say that they made the right choice?
From the view point of say a community recreation complex, then no he would not be allow to enter the establishment. Then again, the local gym or pool is not in the so called business of saving someone immortal soul. Unlike private enterprise the church is considered (at least by Christians) to be in the business of teaching the word of god and redeeming the sinner, so there is a huge difference.

Even without the element of religion, is it right to keep someone that paid their debt to society out of this locations? Personally, I believe as a society that we should error on the side of the innocent child and not allow sexual predators around, but is that in reality right?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
The mother at the end of the article states that she's concerned that Brugge might fantasize about her daughter during service. What short (or long) term impact do you think his presence might have on the children themselves?
Well if the child can actually read his mind then I sure there will be government work in her future. I donít see where if he is fantasize about her daughter during the service how that can be a problem unless she can read his mind. If he is setting there drooling while staring at the little girl, then the accountability team assigned to observe him should escort him out and call the police. If the parents are still concern may I suggest attending the later service. If I was attending that church I would keep a close eye on my child, but parents really need to be doing that all the time.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:20 PM   #19
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Well, fine. I'm expecting you in the office at 7:30AM sharp on December 25.
Don't forget......no holiday pay of any sort either.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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Old 09-24-2007, 06:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mimartin
From the view point of say a community recreation complex, then no he would not be allow to enter the establishment. Then again, the local gym or pool is not in the so called business of saving someone immortal soul. Unlike private enterprise the church is considered (at least by Christians) to be in the business of teaching the word of god and redeeming the sinner, so there is a huge difference.
So the existence of the soul (and therefore god) would be the fulcrum between this coming down as a moral decision or an immoral decision? Seems to me that evidence for these things would be of paramount importance in a situation like this.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Even without the element of religion, is it right to keep someone that paid their debt to society out of this locations? Personally, I believe as a society that we should error on the side of the innocent child and not allow sexual predators around, but is that in reality right?
I have to give you credit for at least trying to answer the question here.

If someone has an illness, then I'm not sure how much "paying a debt to society" matters. Serving a sentence isn't going to cure the illness. Alcholics don't seek support at the local pub, they do so at AA meetings.

I think we have a moral obligation to help those that need help and seek it, but I think we have a larger moral obligation to the safety and welfare of our children. I think this scenario sets up a false dichotomy that won't really benefit anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
Well if the child can actually read his mind then I sure there will be government work in her future. I donít see where if he is fantasize about her daughter during the service how that can be a problem unless she can read his mind. If he is setting there drooling while staring at the little girl, then the accountability team assigned to observe him should escort him out and call the police. If the parents are still concern may I suggest attending the later service. If I was attending that church I would keep a close eye on my child, but parents really need to be doing that all the time.
Children are amazingly perceptive. If mommy and daddy are nervous about going to church and everyone is nervous about "the new guy", then the kids are going to pick up on that. If they sense danger and no one explains what the danger is, then I think that would have some effect. Explaining the source of the danger would be the responsible thing for the parents to do, but I'm not sure that would do much to negate the potential negative impact on the children.

In summary, I disagree the telepathy is a prerequisite for problems. My 2 cents.

Thanks for your post.
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So the existence of the soul (and therefore god) would be the fulcrum between this coming down as a moral decision or an immoral decision?
Yes.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Seems to me that evidence for these things would be of paramount importance in a situation like this.
It is called faith and yes, it may seem rather antiquate and farfetched to you, but that is the belief of us Christians live life with. Excuse me I need to fold up my globe before the sun rotates out of view.

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I have to give you credit for at least trying to answer the question here.
I tried, but I do stand corrected, as you are correct, it is an illness and I was attempting to overly simplifying it. The real question is why are these people being released back into society without being cured of their illness? Would we release someone with Ebola back into society?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I think we have a larger moral obligation to the safety and welfare of our children.
QFE

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Children are amazingly perceptive. If mommy and daddy are nervous about going to church and everyone is nervous about "the new guy", then the kids are going to pick up on that. If they sense danger and no one explains what the danger is, then I think that would have some effect.
Iím corrected again, but again I state that the parents could go to a later service. We also do not know all 17 of the condition the church is placing on him. Would this still be a issue if he had to set on the front row and/or in the balcony away from all the children?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Explaining the source of the danger would be the responsible thing for the parents to do, but I'm not sure that would do much to negate the potential negative impact on the children.
But that would mean actually mean they would have to talk to their children about something concerning sex.

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In summary, I disagree the telepathy is a prerequisite for problems..
It wasnít a very good attempt at humor either.
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:52 PM   #22
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Yes.
Where'd that moral relativism thread go again?

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Originally Posted by mimartin
It is called faith
Not evidence

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Iím corrected again, but again I state that the parents could go to a later service.
Or he could go to a later service.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
We also do not know all 17 of the condition the church is placing on him.
That's true. I'm still stuck on the "potentially freaked out children" part though.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Would this still be a issue if he had to set on the front row and/or in the balcony away from all the children?
*shrugs* I'm picturing an alcoholic at a bar with pane of glass between him and an open beer.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
But that would mean actually mean they would have to talk to their children about something concerning sex.
Potentially. At the very least it would mean having to alert their children to there being a dangerous man at the church. Wouldn't take long for them to equate church with danger. And parents forcing them to go to the dangerous place probably wouldn't be a good thing either.

As a fun aside: I bet a similar argument could be made for learning about hell. You're born bad and unless you can convince god that you're good, you burn in hell with satan forever and ever. Oh and he watches everything you do and can read your mind. Don't forget to eat your vegetables. See you next week.
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:15 PM   #23
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Not evidence
No it isnít and I feel no burden to present the un-presentable as he must believe or else is really is there trolling for victims. Iím not trying to convince anyone of anything, I am just stating my POV.

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Or he could go to a later service.
No, he can not, unless the church changes the requirements of his attending the services as he is only allowed to be at the 7:30 am Sunday service. Iím not a regular, especially during football season, but when I do attend the early service with my mother there are not a lot of children there at that time. Things could be different in Reno, but I highly doubt it. You would think the early service here would be more crowded so people could get to the beach, but it is not.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
As a fun aside: I bet a similar argument could be made for learning about hell. You're born bad and unless you can convince god that you're good, you burn in hell with satan forever and ever. Oh and he watches everything you do and can read your mind. Don't forget to eat your vegetables. See you next week.
I actually remember being taught this as a child and it was traumatic and confusing. Luckily, I had parents that let me work it out for myself only offering guidance for me to make my own decision. Instead of trying to explain it and scaring and confusing me worst.
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:45 AM   #24
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No it isnít and I feel no burden to present the un-presentable <snip>
Ok, but since we both agreed that the distinction between a moral decision and an immoral one hinges on this, it's still important. I imagine that this speaks directly to the topic as well.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
as he must believe or else is really is there trolling for victims.
I'm sure on some level he does believe. Again, going back to the topic, I'm not sure how wanting something to be true makes it true which in turn makes it a basis for justifiably discriminating against others. I realize that I'm deviating from our specific discussion, but I'm trying to draw this back to the topic.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
No, he can not, unless the church changes the requirements of his attending the services as he is only allowed to be at the 7:30 am Sunday service.
Fair enough. My point was that if anyone should have to adjust their schedules it should be him, since he is the one for which the exception is being made. Whether that ends up being earlier rather than later or vice versa, I don't think that multiple families should be inconvienced for this experiment.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
I actually remember being taught this as a child and it was traumatic and confusing.
Me too.

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Originally Posted by mimartin
Luckily, I had parents that let me work it out for myself only offering guidance for me to make my own decision. Instead of trying to explain it and scaring and confusing me worst.
Indeed you were very lucky to have parents that didn't reinforce those messages. Unfortunately, not all children are so lucky.
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:46 AM   #25
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Well, this topic exploded while I was away at work today. Sigh, no internet access there, they have not entered the 1990's in technology (they're using black-and-white monitors--I kid you not).
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Is there a rule I don't know about that requires me to do anything when something disturbs me?
I didn't answer that because I assumed it was rhetorical irony/sarcasm and didn't require a response. If you're actually being serious, then no, there isn't a rule, unless Niner came up with something while the forum was down.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
In a ideal world, we could all sit down to talk and reason this out, but ideology tends to make such interactions difficult.
This is very true.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Dogmatic ideologies make them impossible. Is there some way I can cause them to abandon their dogmatic ideologies?
They would ask the same about you, actually, because they would consider you dogmatically atheistic/anti-theistic, and I'm not meaning that in a pejorative way, it's just the way they view the atheistic community. With examples such as Nietzshe and Dawkins and even O'Hair being dogmatically anti-theistic, can you blame them if they don't want to budge on their ground, either? Both you and they would have to find some common ground and work on it from there. It would require someone who can move comfortably in both theistic and atheistic circles, understands both groups, and has respect for and from both groups, and there are precious few people who meet those criteria. It comes down to trust, and I would guess most atheists don't trust the average fundamentalist, and I know most fundamentalists don't trust the average atheist. In addition, how do you bridge a gap when the groups are diametrically opposed on some issues? Is bridging that gap even possible?

Welcoming the sex-offender into church and removing membership of those who've broken Biblical/church rules....
For those who've broken the Biblical rules in our church--if they're sorry for what they've done and agree to not commit the act again (e.g. adultery) then our church doesn't remove them from membership. If they're defiant about their 'sin', and refuse to stop, then our church takes steps according to what's laid out in the New Testament for such situations. That involves 1 or 2 elders going privately to talk with that person, than a small group, then removal as a very last resort after all other options have been exhausted. There's a fine balance between welcoming sinners (which we all are) and allowing someone to openly flaunt their unrepentant involvement with sin.

Two questions I have about the sex offender--what was the actual nature of the offense--actual physical contact, or something else? That does make a difference to me, though since I have kids, I'd err heavily on the side of caution. The fact that he violated parole is a huge red flag for me. Also, is he actually allowed to be on the church site or within a certain distance of groups of children? I imagine there are some heavy restrictions placed on him and any contact with kids, and I'm surprised he's even allowed by the law to do this.

Assuming that he actually is allowed to be on the church property in potential contact with kids--I probably could sit in the same pew with him, but I would not allow my kids, or any other kids for that matter, any where near him. First and foremost, I don't want my children or fellow members' kids harmed. Our church has a lot of families and tons of kids running around, so he'd likely never be able to really be part of our particular congregation. Second, it would be unfair to place him in a tempting situation that could cause him to fall. One may welcome a 'reformed' thief into a church, but that doesn't mean he should be put in charge of the treasury. There has to be some very clear restrictions in place as this Lutheran church has done. Also--how do you handle awkward situations, say if a family (with a bunch of kids) new to town comes in to the 7:30 service and the only pew available is his? Do you move them discreetly? Move him discreetly? He moves, being discreet? Would it be fair not to tell that family? Can his situation be dealt with in such a way that he's not wearing the proverbial scarlet letter, but still recognizes the seriousness of his previous crimes and the likelihood of recidivism?

That brings up an interesting question, though--how can you minister spiritually to someone who's a pedophile? I believe the guy when he says he needs a church family. I'm just wondering if there's another outlet that would meet his spiritual needs without putting kids in danger and him in a tempting situation. I know there's prison fellowship ministry, but I don't know if ex-cons have access to that ministry after they leave jail, though I believe they do in some way.


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Old 09-25-2007, 02:29 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I didn't answer that because I assumed it was rhetorical irony/sarcasm and didn't require a response. If you're actually being serious, then no, there isn't a rule, unless Niner came up with something while the forum was down.
Nope, it was actually a serious question. The reason I asked because if the answer was no, then I really wanted to know your intentions behind posts #2 and #4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
With examples such as Nietzshe and Dawkins and even O'Hair being dogmatically anti-theistic, can you blame them if they don't want to budge on their ground, either?
Pretty sure all of these examples came around after the creation of the three abrahamic religions. But in the interest of not getting caught up in the whole "who started what when" thing, I guess I would say: yes, I can.

They aren't benefiting mankind. They aren't furthering our general knowledge. It doesn't take long to realize who is being truly dogmatic and who is simply percieved as such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Both you and they would have to find some common ground and work on it from there.
Dogma: a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds.
Faith: firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

I'm not sure how one finds common ground with a school of though that accepts conclusions first and asks questions later (and rejects answers that don't match the conclusions formed in step 1).

How many times have contributors in this forum tried to simply start off with what's observable only to be met with opposition? It seems to me, Jae, that both sides have to be willing to have a dialog. And if one side has already decided that they will never change their mind, no matter what (because that kind of thinking is rewarded in that culture), then I don't know how any progress can ever be made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It would require someone who can move comfortably in both theistic and atheistic circles, understands both groups, and has respect for and from both groups, and there are precious few people who meet those criteria.
It would seem that atheists understand theists remarkably well, considering that many of them were formerly theists themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It comes down to trust, and I would guess most atheists don't trust the average fundamentalist, and I know most fundamentalists don't trust the average atheist. In addition, how do you bridge a gap when the groups are diametrically opposed on some issues? Is bridging that gap even possible?
I think that was my question. I guess we can both agree that it's probably not possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Welcoming the sex-offender into church and removing membership of those who've broken Biblical/church rules....
For those who've broken the Biblical rules in our church--if they're sorry for what they've done and agree to not commit the act again (e.g. adultery) then our church doesn't remove them from membership. If they're defiant about their 'sin', and refuse to stop, then our church takes steps according to what's laid out in the New Testament for such situations. That involves 1 or 2 elders going privately to talk with that person, than a small group, then removal as a very last resort after all other options have been exhausted. There's a fine balance between welcoming sinners (which we all are) and allowing someone to openly flaunt their unrepentant involvement with sin.
Sounds pretty consistent with most shame-based punishment systems. Once part of a group, acceptance/rejection is a powerful motivator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I believe the guy when he says he needs a church family. I'm just wondering if there's another outlet that would meet his spiritual needs without putting kids in danger and him in a tempting situation. I know there's prison fellowship ministry, but I don't know if ex-cons have access to that ministry after they leave jail, though I believe they do in some way.
This is the question I was trying to raise earlier with the analogy to AA. Seems to me that there has to be some sort of program that would cater to ex-cons, although I imagine that he wouldn't find much solace there either.
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Old 09-25-2007, 06:26 AM   #27
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The extremism that is exhibited by those in the religious debate is a cancer that must be cut out.
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:54 AM   #28
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The extremism that is exhibited by those in the religious debate is a cancer that must be cut out.
ROFLMFAO!



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Old 09-25-2007, 12:56 PM   #29
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I guess I wonder what crimes would prohibit one from being permitted to go to church. Where do congregations draw the line? If I were a thief, would a church let me in? What about a prostitute? Or a drunk driver? I agree that the man is a convicted pedophile and should not be allowed too close to children, but in my opinion, that's no reason to completely deny him support and spiritual guidance/fulfillment if he wants it.

As for the Religious Right, I am very concerned and worried about their imposing a particular brand of faith upon other people through legislation, such as the "intelligent design" bit. Fanaticism in any religion scares me, even if the religion is Christianity. It makes me agree with Kreia in a metaphorical sense, as the Avellone interview states:

"Kreia was the personification of that frustration Ė the fact that some arbitrary force would feel the need to ďcorrectí the human species at times with mass slaughter in Episodes 1 through 3, and the hypocrisy of the Jedi that took place in IV and V. Iíve never really forgiven Ben Kenobi for his lies in Episodes IV and V, and Kreia definitely echoes that.

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Old 09-25-2007, 01:11 PM   #30
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Rogue, you seem to suggest that "extremism" is all bad. However, what if one extreme is actually true? It doesn't seem to make much sense that the people advocating this idea compromise on it if they're interested in the truth, don't you agree?

Here is an example (from here)

A month ago, a tree in Bill's yard was damaged in a storm. His neighbor, Joe, asked him to have the tree cut down so it would not fall on Joes new shed. Bill refused to do this. Two days ago another storm blew the tree onto Joe's new shed. Joe demanded that Joe pay the cost of repairs, which was $250. Bill said that he wasn't going to pay a cent. Obviously, the best solution is to reach a compromise between the two extremes, so Bill should pay Joe $125 dollars.

Is this reasonable? No, of course not. I think that the same applies to the arguments to which you refer.


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Old 09-25-2007, 02:53 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Rogue, you seem to suggest that "extremism" is all bad. However, what if one extreme is actually true? It doesn't seem to make much sense that the people advocating this idea compromise on it if they're interested in the truth, don't you agree?

Here is an example (from here)

A month ago, a tree in Bill's yard was damaged in a storm. His neighbor, Joe, asked him to have the tree cut down so it would not fall on Joes new shed. Bill refused to do this. Two days ago another storm blew the tree onto Joe's new shed. Joe demanded that Joe pay the cost of repairs, which was $250. Bill said that he wasn't going to pay a cent. Obviously, the best solution is to reach a compromise between the two extremes, so Bill should pay Joe $125 dollars.

Is this reasonable? No, of course not. I think that the same applies to the arguments to which you refer.
That being said, well, it makes the most sense and is the great way to end the conflict. Joe won't have to sue Bill at all, and no legal battle, political battle, or military battle have to be fought. Bill still have to pay money, which makes him upset, but at least he doesn't have to pay as much as Joe demanded. Joe doesn't get all the money, but at least he get some compesnation. In the end, I think compromise is reasonable, as it makes both Bill and Joe equally happy (or unhappy) with the result.

It is one very sane method of how to end wars and conflicts and struggles. Reward/Punish both sides. I think this is a really good example.

If however, you don't want such compromise, then prepare for a war, but if you do want peace, then compromise should be supported.

(Yes, I will message you later on the ethical relativism topic. Forgive me for that.)


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Old 09-25-2007, 03:32 PM   #32
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Nope, it was actually a serious question. The reason I asked because if the answer was no, then I really wanted to know your intentions behind posts #2 and #4.
My intentions were to find out what your intentions were with the initial post.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Pretty sure all of these examples came around after the creation of the three abrahamic religions..
What does the timing of the creation of these religions or the lives of these atheists have to do with the atheists and fundamentalists trying to find common ground?
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Originally Posted by Achilles
They aren't benefiting mankind. They aren't furthering our general knowledge.
That's an incredible generalization, entirely fallacious. There are fundamentalists who have contributed to knowledge in the medical field alone, and thus benefited mankind.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
How many times have contributors in this forum tried to simply start off with what's observable only to be met with opposition?
How many times have you posted anything religious-related as just something that's 'observable' rather than something you think should be ridiculed? Your anti-religious--and I daresay anti-Christian since you don't apply the same intense dislike to other religions--bias is blatantly obvious. Expecting people not to be opposed to that anti-theistic view is unrealistic.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
It seems to me, Jae, that both sides have to be willing to have a dialog. And if one side has already decided that they will never change their mind, no matter what (because that kind of thinking is rewarded in that culture), then I don't know how any progress can ever be made.
If you're saying that the sole 'correct' view is yours and that they must be the ones to change, then no, no progress will ever be made. Both sides have to make some changes to find consensus.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
It would seem that atheists understand theists remarkably well, considering that many of them were formerly theists themselves.
Theists perhaps, not often fundamentalists.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I think that was my question. I guess we can both agree that it's probably not possible.
Probably was your question initially. I read through the flurry of posts and didn't reference back--sorry.
It's not impossible, but it is unlikely.
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Originally Posted by Achilles
Sounds pretty consistent with most shame-based punishment systems. Once part of a group, acceptance/rejection is a powerful motivator.
Sounds like any kind of organization that has developed a set of rules and regulations and wants its members to follow them. If someone breaks a rule in the SCA (a non-religious history group for those who don't know) and won't change their behavior, they get kicked out of the organization. If someone's a member of the Audubon Society, NOW, American Atheists, or Secular Coalition for America, and that member breaks the rules set down by those organizations and refuses to comply with the regulations, they get removed from the organization. Churches are no different, unless you're saying that the Secular Coalition is now an organization that believes in shame-based punishment, which I doubt.
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This is the question I was trying to raise earlier with the analogy to AA. Seems to me that there has to be some sort of program that would cater to ex-cons, although I imagine that he wouldn't find much solace there either.
Prison Fellowship has a mentoring program for ex-cons, and there are likely other organizations that do. However, I think those are few and far between on both the religious and secular side. Trying to wade through the thousands of links on child abuse in the church when trying to search for church ministries to pedophiles (and assorted other terms) is a challenge....
I think the sex-abuse scandals in a number of churches and the proliferation of child porn on the net have highlighted a deep need we never realized before, or more likely, refused to acknowledge due to extreme discomfort. Most people don't want to talk about how they've been molested, and most molesters are keenly aware of what could happen to them if they got caught molesting a child, even if they somehow stopped doing that activity. The church is struggling to learn how to handle this just as much as anyone. Finding a way to show compassion to a pedophile in a way that puts children at zero risk (because anything above zero risk is unacceptable) is going to be extremely difficult. However, molesters have great spiritual needs, too. It will likely require the church to think outside the box on ways to meet their needs and allow pedophiles to contribute back to the community in safe ways. There's no question that accepting a pedophile unrestricted into a church poses a danger to the children of that congregation, since the recidivism rate for pedophilia is so very high. Starting a public church for pedophiles/sex-offenders might also post a danger to them (target-rich environment....). It's likely that a different approach like small group/home churches/formation of some kind of AA group as you suggested/one-on-one mentoring are going to be required.


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Old 09-25-2007, 04:07 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
My intentions were to find out what your intentions were with the initial post.
By first insinuating that I wanted to censor them and then insinuating that I wanted to stage some action against them? Next time, just ask please. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
What does the timing of the creation of these religions or the lives of these atheists have to do with the atheists and fundamentalists trying to find common ground?
Your stance seems to be that theists are merely trying to defend themselves from athiests (or anti-theists as you call them). Since theism was around first, it would seem to be more accurate to state the atheists are defending themselves against theists.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
That's an incredible generalization,
Indeed it is. Would you like to argue that it's not applicable?

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
entirely fallacious.
Sure. Which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
There are fundamentalists who have contributed to knowledge in the medical field alone, and thus benefited mankind.
Via their religious beliefs or via their practice of medicine? I would tend to suspect that it's the latter and not the former. Would you like to present an argument for how these contributions are only possible due to religious belief? It seems that if I am guilty of fallacious thinking, I'm at least doing it in good company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
How many times have you posted anything religious-related as just something that's 'observable' rather than something you think should be ridiculed?
27?
FWIW, I think you're confusing "ridiculed" with "questioned".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Your anti-religious--and I daresay anti-Christian since you don't apply the same intense dislike to other religions--bias is blatantly obvious.
I think you might not be paying attention then. I think I'm pretty good about using terms such as "theism" and "abrahamic religions", etc. As far as I can tell, I only discuss christianity specifically when the topic is specifically christian or the counter-arguments presented are specifically christian. I would ask you to consider that you perception is biased because you yourself are christian and are therefore more sensitive to criticism against christianity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Expecting people not to be opposed to that anti-theistic view is unrealistic.
That's one way to frame the argument. Another might be, "Expecting people not to be opposed to that rationalist view is unrealistic". I think my point all along is that people being opposed to rational thought is a cause for concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If you're saying that the sole 'correct' view is yours and that they must be the ones to change, then no, no progress will ever be made. Both sides have to make some changes to find consensus.
It seems that sentiment can be found on both sides don't you think? Do you think that muslims, jews, and christians will ever reach a point where they will be ok with gay marriage, abortion rights, etc, or do you think they will continue to force their conflicting flavors of religious "morality" on the masses forever?

I do not believe that compromise is possible, because "compromise" looks a lot like what we have right now and that obviously isn't working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Theists perhaps, not often fundamentalists.
Fundies too. "Often" is not something I would want to try to qualify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Probably was your question initially. I read through the flurry of posts and didn't reference back--sorry.
No apology necessary. I just thought it was funny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Sounds like any kind of organization that has developed a set of rules and regulations and wants its members to follow them. If someone breaks a rule in the SCA (a non-religious history group for those who don't know) and won't change their behavior, they get kicked out of the organization. If someone's a member of the Audubon Society, NOW, American Atheists, or Secular Coalition for America, and that member breaks the rules set down by those organizations and refuses to comply with the regulations, they get removed from the organization. Churches are no different, unless you're saying that the Secular Coalition is now an organization that believes in shame-based punishment, which I doubt.
I think you read into that more than you should have.
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:58 PM   #34
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Since theism was around first, it would seem to be more accurate to state the atheists are defending themselves against theists.

Odd claim, given your position that atheism is the "natural state" (if we're natural born atheists.......atheism was "first"....and apparently found lacking. )


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Old 09-26-2007, 06:30 AM   #35
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The house example is not extreme, but common sense. Censoring, or worse, someone with different thoughts and beliefs to you, that is extremism.
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:36 AM   #36
Samuel Dravis
 
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Rogue, I wasn't terribly concerned about what would be the most expedient option, merely the one that should be chosen given the responsibilities of the parties involved. The neighbor gave Bill plenty of warning, yet Bill still allowed (and it could be said he intended) the destruction of Joe's property. Simply because Bill doesn't want to pay for the full repair doesn't mean that he should not, as the fault was his. I wouldn't say it was extreme to make Bill pay for all of it.

As far as I know, if the two arguers are really going at it, I doubt they are being censored at the time. Otherwise, they'd have nothing to argue about.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:37 PM   #37
SilentScope001
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Quote:
Rogue, I wasn't terribly concerned about what would be the most expedient option, merely the one that should be chosen given the responsibilities of the parties involved. The neighbor gave Bill plenty of warning, yet Bill still allowed (and it could be said he intended) the destruction of Joe's property. Simply because Bill doesn't want to pay for the full repair doesn't mean that he should not, as the fault was his. I wouldn't say it was extreme to make Bill pay for all of it.
Bill's Lawyer: "But it is NOT my client's fault. The nearby neighbor told my client to cut down the tree, and my client claims not to. Why should my client be forced to go and cut down a tree just because? In fact, my client was already preparing to file an "adverse possession", stating that he has a RIGHT for that tree to pass over his house.

However, it must be noted that if Joe hated that tree so much, he has the right to cut down that tree itself, to ensure that tree doesn't harm him. As we have not filed the adverse claim yet, and since that tree was enroaching on his property, he could contested his claim by CUTTING DOWN THE TREE. If he claimed that tree would have caused chaos, HE should have done something about it. He had all legal right to. The fact that he didn't do ANYTHING to stop it, even when he has the legal right to, showcased that the blame lay solely on him. He should pay it all."

Source: An entire year of "Real Estate" School.

Conclusions: Attmepts to use arguments by analogy doesn't exactly work. Even here, we got some problem in that we have two competiting views of what happened, Bill's view and Joe's view. The moderate position at least guarrantes that you are at least half-way right.


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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 09-26-2007, 04:58 PM   #38
Corinthian
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Wow. So now you're using real estate to argue against a metaphor. Here's a better metaphor.

John goes into a store and buys $100 worth of...whatever. Liquor. Sandwiches. Spam. He goes to the counter, and the cashier asks for the payment. But Joe doesn't wanna pay. He doesn't think he should have to pay, because he's a communist or something.

Now, obvious solution is that John should have to pay $50, right?
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Old 09-26-2007, 05:28 PM   #39
SilentScope001
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Wow. So now you're using real estate to argue against a metaphor.
No, I am merely trying to explore the validity of an argument. We are moving far away from the purpose of the metaphor and begining to arguing over Joe/Bill's responsiblity. Don't bring in another metaphor, for Bill and Joe's personal struggle is far more important than "the Chrisitan right looking to rebound".

Fact is, just because it is a "metaphor" (really, just an "argument from ridicule"/strawman argument by extragratting the positions of your enemy and protraying it in a stupid fashion) doesn't mean it's not open to criticism. And in the end, why not? He claims that Bill has no valid point that argues that he should avoid paying. I counter by providing said valid point. Also, this post was direct to Samuel Dravis, so I would rather that Samuel Dravis comments.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"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.
Full Article Here
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:14 PM   #40
Samuel Dravis
 
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Conclusions: Attmepts to use arguments by analogy doesn't exactly work. Even here, we got some problem in that we have two competiting views of what happened, Bill's view and Joe's view. The moderate position at least guarrantes that you are at least half-way right.
Silent, You seem to have been thinking too much about my specific example. My point was that it is reasonable for Joe to make Bill pay for the damages. Similarly, it would be reasonable to argue for one side in religious arguments, particularly if the options allow no real middle-road view. If someone said a (pure) rock was made out of granite, and another said it was made out of limestone, would it be correct to say that it is a grimestone rock? Somehow, I don't think so. The rock is either limestone or granite. God either exists or it doesn't. What people say doesn't necessarily correspond to reality. I don't think it's extremist to pick one side to argue for.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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