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Old 04-21-2008, 02:20 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery
Our first biggest mistake was evolving into humans in the first place.

Our second biggest mistake was not evolving into the Bonobo first.

No, that was nature's mistake.


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Old 04-21-2008, 02:25 AM   #42
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Letting Uwe Boll direct Farcry...
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:28 AM   #43
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Don't you mean letting Uwe Boll direct anything?


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 04-21-2008, 02:40 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
No, that was nature's mistake.
Then I blame nature for every single thing humans have done and will do.

Or, I can name some simple thing that has happened in the tens of thousands of years we have been around and call it the "worst thing" we have ever done... which I would blame on the way we are programmed.

Or, I could blame religion or something. Being that religion has always been around humans as far as we can tell, I think we can blame that on nature programming out minds that way. War is just colliding beliefs using a lot of destruction, so I'd blame that on how inherently violent we are... which I would also blame on nature.

Basically, I think most human problems can be traced back to how we evolved to perceive things and each other socially. I wont single out any event or series of events and even attempt to call it the worst thing humans have ever done, because I don't know everything terrible we have done. The worst thing we have done is also relative, seeing as many "terrible" things eventually lead to "good" things and vice-versa. Generally, what we do to each other is similar to what we have been doing to each other for tens of thousands of years and wont be stopping until we evolve into something resembling the Bonobo or die out in some fashion.

Or, I could name some amusing game or movie series for laughs.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:46 AM   #45
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Our second biggest mistake was not evolving into the Bonobo first.
Good point, their way of solving conflicts apear to be rather, eh, stimulating

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Tell that to the thousands of AIDS victims and people with other health problems that our Christian missionary doctor is treating in Africa.
On the other hand, thousands of AIDS victims die because of the rabid anti condom stance promoted by many christians. A hammer is not good because it can help build a house, nor evil because it can help murder people.


Checking out seems not to do much.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:22 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery
Then I blame nature for every single thing humans have done and will do.
using determinist theory, which is basically what you did, Humans ahve no free will, and everything we do is the result of how the electrons first collided when life first sprang into existance.


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Old 04-21-2008, 06:24 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
using determinist theory, which is basically what you did, Humans ahve no free will, and everything we do is the result of how the electrons first collided when life first sprang into existance.
"It is a popular misconception that determinism necessarily entails that humanity or individual humans have no influence on the future and its events (a position known as Fatalism); however, determinists believe that the level to which human beings have influence over their future is itself dependent on present and past."

"Determinism is the thesis that future events are necessitated by past and present events combined with the laws of nature."

- The doctrine that all facts and events exemplify natural laws.
- The doctrine that all events, including human choices and decisions, have sufficient causes.
- The philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent (prior) states of affairs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/determinism

Cause and effect. One thing leads to another. The concept that we have "free" will is silly, because everything we do and believe is based around what the world around us has done, is doing, and will/might do. Free will would entail that no outside influence could change the way we act in our lives.

The way we work socially and physically is based around what we changed from and into. If you go far enough down the line, you can "blame" nature for turning us into what we are. Or we can "blame" ourselves by letting it become a normal. Either way, the worst mistake we made, or that nature made, was letting us turn into what we are. Everything else is just minor details throughout history.

Like I said, I wont pick out an event like World War II (Holocaust, Hitler, etc) because despite how bad it may have been, good did come out of it. Much of the world settled down into ties of friendship and unity. We found a huge number of new medical information from the Nazis and Japanese that have saved billions. We created a United Nations that has helped billions across the globe.

Every action will have an equal and opposite reaction. A woman who is raped may adopt an orphan child in need of a mother because she can no longer have any. A war may eventually lead to the unity and help of billions. Your house burning down may lead to you meeting your spouse in the new area you live. A close friend or family member's death may push you into helping other people.

A mistake or tragedy is only one as long as you focus completely on the negative.

"If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."
-Thomas Alva Edison

Quote:
Originally Posted by mur'phon
On the other hand, thousands of AIDS victims die because of the rabid anti condom stance promoted by many christians. A hammer is not good because it can help build a house, nor evil because it can help murder people.
Quoted for complete truth.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:26 AM   #48
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To be sure, many of the things that are deemed horrible have actually proved to be good.

For Example WWII. Deemed pretty well bad. However we learned a lot about triage and saving lives from the medical journals of Japanese doctors that were performing experiments on Chinese prisoners.

War in general. From war we got radar, Lasers, CRT's Computers, microwaves, Satelites, GPS, and countless other items we use in day to day life. Heck the internet sprang from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration. First DARPA, then ARPA, Then ARPANET, then internet. We also got many of our "less than lethal" weapons from the military as well.

**edit: Rats looks like Avery beat me to it. Must have read the same book or something. My mother was a nurse, and I was studying to become a doctor, until I learned that I get a bit uneasy inside a hospital. We're talking panic attacks..... So I got into other ways to help people.

Last edited by Tommycat; 04-21-2008 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:34 AM   #49
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Our worst mistake? being human.

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Old 04-21-2008, 08:40 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommycat
Though if we are going of all time, definately the concept of ownership. Religion itself wasn't the problem as those using it simply as a tool to gather support so that they could own more stuff. Granted it has driven the many inventions, made many lives better, but truth be told it has caused more problems than anything else in this world.
Can you picture yourself as a Buddhist monk, owning nothing? I can't, he can't and the guy next to hi certainly can't. That was the very first concept of Communism, hence why we've never had truly Communism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery
Our second biggest mistake was not evolving into the Bonobo first.


Very true.


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Old 04-21-2008, 09:37 AM   #51
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Don't think that by saying it is the worst mistake I don't believe it has done good as well. Greed has produced many wonderous things. Without altering man's mental state, ownership will be the driving force. I love our capitalist society. But the concept of ownership would be the driving force behind the largest number of deaths.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:54 AM   #52
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There's no capitalist society without ownership. Can you imagine people working and getting nothing in return?


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Old 04-21-2008, 01:07 PM   #53
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Mankind never made a mistake, because there is no such thing as a mistake in the grand game of fate. If the topic is socially-geared, then I'd say it's impossible to say that as well, since mankind has never united as a singular entity, and so there cannot be a single 'greatest' mistake from mankind.


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Old 04-21-2008, 02:17 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Tell that to the thousands of AIDS victims and people with other health problems that our Christian missionary doctor is treating in Africa. The Cameroon gov't doesn't have enough resources to treat them all, and no other secular organization has cared enough to go help.
You know Jae, back when I was in high school my logic professor told me to write an essay called "Religion is an opium for the people". Basically what it's about is trying to determine if religion is good or bad for mankind. In the end I acknowledged the efforts done to help some people, but it was still my opinion that religion is indeed an opium for the people, that over the course of human history it has done a lot more harm than good. I still have that essay somewhere, if you want me to present the arguments I used there.

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:27 PM   #55
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I think it's hard to say that religion has done more harm than good since harm is typically better documented. Religion does a lot of people a lot of good every day, whereas the 'bad' is fairly isolated. I'd say religion does far more good than harm, but just as with the news media you typically only hear about the bad things.

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:42 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Tell that to the thousands of AIDS victims and people with other health problems that our Christian missionary doctor is treating in Africa.
I have to balance the sentiment of this statement with the knowledge that the introduction of condoms and safe sex education would have a huge impact on the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Unfortunately, the Catholic church's anti-contraception/pro-abstience-only position frustrates any attempt to prevent the spread of the disease via this avenue.

So yes, while your point that many christians are doing more than their fair share to help with the crisis in Africa is valid, it is also accurate to say that many christians are putting faith before medicine and thereby exacerbating the problem as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The Cameroon gov't doesn't have enough resources to treat them all, and no other secular organization has cared enough to go help.
Doctors Without Borders? UNICEF? Aids Healthcare Foundation? I'm sure there are others, but these are the first three that spring to mind. Is there a source that you're referencing that I may have missed?
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:44 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I have to balance the sentiment of this statement with the knowledge that the introduction of condoms and safe sex education would have a huge impact on the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Unfortunately, the Catholic church's anti-contraception/pro-abstience-only position frustrates any attempt to prevent the spread of the disease via this avenue.

So yes, while your point that many christians are doing more than their fair share to help with the crisis in Africa is valid, it is also accurate to say that many christians are putting faith before medicine and thereby exacerbating the problem as well.
That is though from the long and 'wonderfully thoughtout' non-Christians should act like Christians frame or referance, its about as logical as expecting a deer to behave as a dolphin....

I've never really got some Catholics (especially those in charge) aversion to condoms either, and given what they should beleive, surely if an individual isn't a catholic, you would want them to live longer so you have more time to make them a catholic. Then again, the Vatican speaking out against 'new sins' such as obsence wealth; multi-national corperations with lots of money and too much political influence didn't make much sense either!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyri
I think it's hard to say that religion has done more harm than good since harm is typically better documented. Religion does a lot of people a lot of good every day, whereas the 'bad' is fairly isolated. I'd say religion does far more good than harm, but just as with the news media you typically only hear about the bad things.
Aye, I also think that even if religion had never exsisted people still would have found things to fight about; and populations would still have been manipulated by other means.



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Old 04-21-2008, 02:47 PM   #58
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Achilles, it's a little silly to condemn all Christian activities simply because some of the more extremist Catholics are a little behind in the way of the modern world. I don't particularly like being lumped in with them just because you can't tell the difference. =_=

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:53 PM   #59
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I would argue that religion has done more large scale bad things than large scale small things. Though this I would attribute to the religious leadership more than it's practitioners. That most of the good done by religion is by or through the little people.


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Old 04-21-2008, 02:55 PM   #60
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Quote:
That most of the good done by religion is by or through the little people.
Does that somehow reduce its value simply because history hasn't documented it?

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:00 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Inyri
Does that somehow reduce its value simply because history hasn't documented it?
yes, and no. Yes, because it takes the good-doing away from the framework of the religion. In essence, it is not the religious institution that is doing the good, it is the base belief system that is motivating people to do good.

No, because it is the belief system, which is the only part of a religion that even matters, that is promoting people to do good.

And I wasn't addressing what history has recorded at all, though if you were to look at history, particularly modern history, help, aid, and the good of religion comes from just plain people desiring to help others. While history records that the bad has come from the top, control, oppression, violence, all that from the institution of religion.


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Old 04-21-2008, 03:05 PM   #62
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No, because it is the belief system, which is the only part of a religion that even matters, that is promoting people to do good.
I think you've hit on the difference between organized religion and personal religion. It's the same as the difference between a government and a country -- one is an institution, and one is the people.

So basically you're saying the 'government' of Christianity is doing more harm than good, but the people of Christianity are typically doing more good than harm? Because honestly I think people give far too much attention to the former and not enough credit to the latter.

The beliefs of most religions are sound. It's minority groups within the larger whole that cause problems. The funny bit is you wouldn't condemn all Irish people, for instance, if a couple of them bombed a building, but somehow all of Christianity gets condemned because a few evangelists do something silly. I'll never understand it, personally.

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:13 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by jonathan7
That is though from the long and 'wonderfully thoughtout' non-Christians should act like Christians frame or referance, its about as logical as expecting a deer to behave as a dolphin....
I'm not sure I'm understanding the argument. Are you saying that catholics aren't christians (i.e. they believe that jesus was the messiah, the one and only son of the lord god who died for our sins so that we might know salvation)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyri
Achilles, it's a little silly to condemn all Christian activities simply because some of the more extremist Catholics are a little behind in the way of the modern world. I don't particularly like being lumped in with them just because you can't tell the difference. =_=
Hmmm, I wasn't aware that I had done that. I think my post pretty clearly stated that while some christians were helping, others were hurting. Could you please help me understand how that constitutes "lumping all together because I couldn't tell the difference"? Thanks in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyri
So basically you're saying the 'government' of Christianity is doing more harm than good, but the people of Christianity are typically doing more good than harm? Because honestly I think people give far too much attention to the former and not enough credit to the latter.
I think the argument is that "people" are capable of doing good regardless of what "country" they belong to, therefore it doesn't make a lot of sense to congratulate the "country" for what the "people" are doing. You can't have it both ways.

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Originally Posted by Inyri
The beliefs of most religions are sound.
I'm wondering how you came to this conclusion. What criteria have you used to for determining this?

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Originally Posted by Inyri
It's minority groups within the larger whole that cause problems.
This is certainly one perspective. One might argue that if one isn't part of the solution, then they are part of the problem.

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Originally Posted by Inyri
The funny bit is you wouldn't condemn all Irish people, for instance, if a couple of them bombed a building, but somehow all of Christianity gets condemned because a few evangelists do something silly. I'll never understand it, personally.
Of course not, but I think it would be similarly foolish not to notice that you're significantly more likely to see a pissed off Irish person bomb a car than see an enraged Tibetan monk do so. I, personally, don't understand how people fail to grasp that.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:14 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Inyri
I think you've hit on the difference between organized religion and personal religion. It's the same as the difference between a government and a country -- one is an institution, and one is the people.
yes.

Quote:
So basically you're saying the 'government' of Christianity is doing more harm than good, but the people of Christianity are typically doing more good than harm? Because honestly I think people give far too much attention to the former and not enough credit to the latter.
yes. And I tend to agree that the institution of religion gets too much attention, but that's because it is big, it is noisy, and problems always attract more attention than solutions. The quiet Christian who donates to a cause and does a little good will never get attention...unfortunately.

Quote:
The beliefs of most religions are sound. It's minority groups within the larger whole that cause problems. The funny bit is you wouldn't condemn all Irish people, for instance, if a couple of them bombed a building, but somehow all of Christianity gets condemned because a few evangelists do something silly. I'll never understand it, personally.
Well, again, yes and no. I tend to only make that distinction(his fault, not the religions fault), when it can explicitly be said that the motivation was/is not easily found in the religious belief or institution itself. And how much ability the nearby people's had to stop the violence.


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Old 04-21-2008, 03:20 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Hmmm, I wasn't aware that I had done that. I think my post pretty clearly stated that while some christians were helping, others were hurting. Could you please help me understand how that constitutes "lumping all together because I couldn't tell the difference"? Thanks in advance.
Let me refresh:
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Tell that to the thousands of AIDS victims and people with other health problems that our Christian missionary doctor is treating in Africa.
I have to balance the sentiment of this statement with the knowledge that the introduction of condoms and safe sex education would have a huge impact on the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Unfortunately, the Catholic church's anti-contraception/pro-abstience-only position frustrates any attempt to prevent the spread of the disease via this avenue.
Jae is talking about "Christians" and you immediately jump into "Catholics are killing the world!!!!" Ignoring your next paragraph, that sounds awfully like you're lumping all Christians in with the Catholics, doesn't it? I mean you really can't have it one way in one paragraph and another way in the next.

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Old 04-21-2008, 03:24 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I'm not sure I'm understanding the argument. Are you saying that catholics aren't christians (i.e. they believe that jesus was the messiah, the one and only son of the lord god who died for our sins so that we might know salvation)?
I wasn't arguing; evangelicals do much the same thing... That is to say, to expect non-Christians to behave as Christians, or dictating to non-Christians as to how to behave. e.g. Expecting non-Christians not to sleep with one another before marriage, and then condemining non-Christians when they fail this, at least to me seems illogical, as non-Christians will have their own frame of referance, and will follow their own morality.

Nor was I saying that Catholics aren't Christians (though I do have quite a few issues with the Vatican, but thats another discussion entirely).

I hope that clarifies



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Old 04-21-2008, 03:28 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inyri
Let me refresh:Jae is talking about "Christians" and you immediately jump into "Catholics are killing the world!!!!" Ignoring your next paragraph, that sounds awfully like you're lumping all Christians in with the Catholics, doesn't it? I mean you really can't have it one way in one paragraph and another way in the next.
First, Catholics are Christians. Second, I think you and I can both recognize that you're taking liberties with what I actually said. Third, since I clearly acknowledged that christians (and thereby catholics too) are doing both good and bad there (the paragraph you're asking us to ignore so that you argument might stand a better chance of holding up), I still don't see how you've concluded that I'm "lumping" the groups together.

Clearly I am willing to acknowledge that some christians are doing some good. Are you willing to acknowledge that some christians are doing some bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
I wasn't arguing;
Hey buddy. "argument" doesn't equal "arguing".
Quote:
Originally Posted by m-w.com
2 a: a reason given in proof or rebuttal b: discourse intended to persuade
<snip>
b: a coherent series of statements leading from a premise to a conclusion
I hope that helps clarify what I was trying to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
evangelicals do much the same thing... That is to say, to expect non-Christians to behave as Christians, or dictating to non-Christians as to how to behave. e.g. Expecting non-Christians not to sleep with one another before marriage, and then condemining non-Christians when they fail this, at least to me seems illogical, as non-Christians will have their own frame of referance, and will follow their own morality.

Nor was I saying that Catholics aren't Christians (though I do have quite a few issues with the Vatican, but thats another discussion entirely).

I hope that clarifies
I think it does. Thanks for taking the time to do so.

Last edited by Achilles; 04-21-2008 at 03:33 PM. Reason: response for J7
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:37 PM   #68
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Avery, I'm sure you'll notice that determinism is a philosophical position. As such, determinism can't be proven by any possible means, nor disproven. That's not to say that things don't happen the way they do - for causes, reasons, etc - but simply that limited observations never become more than they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan7
I've never really got some Catholics (especially those in charge) aversion to condoms either, and given what they should beleive, surely if an individual isn't a catholic, you would want them to live longer so you have more time to make them a catholic.
Well, the reason given is that they aren't only concerned with the person using condoms. Seems relatively easy to understand, even if you disagree with their assessment.


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Old 04-21-2008, 03:38 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Hey buddy. "argument" doesn't equal "arguing".
I hope that helps clarify what I was trying to say.
Hehe, sorry, got wires slightly crossed my end; I hadn't quite understood what you meant; I hadn't really percieved us as 'arguing'; but I kind of took it as you thinking I was disagreeing with you, which I wasn't. Just wires crossed at my end.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I think it does. Thanks for taking the time to do so.
No worries, always a pleasure conversing with you, apologies for insufficiently articulating myself in the first instance.

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Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Well, the reason given is that they aren't only concerned with the person using condoms. Seems relatively easy to understand, even if you disagree with their assessment.
Aye, I understand, its the source of frequent debate with some of my friends; I distinctly disagree with their assessment



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Old 04-21-2008, 04:33 PM   #70
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I think mankind's biggest mistake *is* that they constantly whine about how bad they are and they whine and whine and cry to god and mommy instead of simply changing something. In fact, this is the only real human mistake.


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Old 04-21-2008, 04:46 PM   #71
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I think mankind's worst mistake is not relizing we can all get along.

A little off-topic, but I think the gaming industry's worst mistake was allowing Atari to make the E.T game.

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Old 04-21-2008, 06:03 PM   #72
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Capitalism.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:34 PM   #73
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I'd counter with Communism, but frankly, Karl Marx's idiocy wasn't that big of a mistake in the grand scheme of things.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:37 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I have to balance the sentiment of this statement with the knowledge that the introduction of condoms and safe sex education would have a huge impact on the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. Unfortunately, the Catholic church's anti-contraception/pro-abstience-only position frustrates any attempt to prevent the spread of the disease via this avenue.
What does that have to do with the work she's doing with patients who already have the disease?

Let's face it--the single best way to avoid spreading it sexually is not to have sex. Abstinence needs to be part of the education process as well as safe use of condoms and avoiding multiple partners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
So yes, while your point that many christians are doing more than their fair share to help with the crisis in Africa is valid, it is also accurate to say that many christians are putting faith before medicine and thereby exacerbating the problem as well.
Those are two different issues. Furthermore, the Catholic stance is not reflective of all of Christianity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilled
Doctors Without Borders? UNICEF? Aids Healthcare Foundation? I'm sure there are others, but these are the first three that spring to mind. Is there a source that you're referencing that I may have missed?
Well none of those organizations are in the region she's in or helping at the hospital she's at--it is the only one for miles, per her visit to our church a few months ago. I'll happily provide you with her address if you would like to ask her more. I'm sure she'd be delighted with any donations, too. Atheist dollars spend the same as Christian ones.


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Old 04-21-2008, 07:58 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
What does that have to do with the work she's doing with patients who already have the disease?
"She"? I don't follow

EDIT: Disregard. I just went back and re-read your post. I see now that you were referring to a specific doctor, not all christian missionary doctors.

Your statement was that christians are the only ones offering assistance with the AIDS epidemic in Africa. My response was to point out a) that this isn't necessarily true (however I'll happily stand corrected if your reliable source states otherwise) and b) some christians are actually making the problem worse, so let's not rush out to congratulate them all as being outstanding example of humanitarianism too quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Let's face it--the single best way to avoid spreading it sexually is not to have sex. Abstinence needs to be part of the education process as well as safe use of condoms and avoiding multiple partners.
Absolutely. Let's all take a moment to acknowledge that my criticism was leveled at "abstinence only". I think you and I both agree that abstinence should be part of every comprehensive safe sex educational program, just like proper condom use.

Hopefully, the condoms will help staunch the spread of the disease while we spend the next [insert necessary length of time here] years reprogamming thousands of years of native cultural habits and practices with Proper Western Values (TM).

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Those are two different issues.
I thought the issue (which you brought up) was AIDS in Africa

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Furthermore, the Catholic stance is not reflective of all of Christianity.
Indeed. I don't recall stating otherwise. I do think that 17% (and growing) is significant though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Well none of those organizations are in the region she's in or helping at the hospital she's at--it is the only one for miles, per her visit to our church a few months ago.
Where who is at? Jae, was your earlier comment related to someone specific? Nothing in your post indicated that it was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I'll happily provide you with her address if you would like to ask her more. I'm sure she'd be delighted with any donations, too. Atheist dollars spend the same as Christian ones.
From the sound of things, your friend isn't affiliated with any of the charities I already donate to. The only religion-affiliated charity that I send my money to is the local food bank. Everything else goes to organizations that don't try to indoctrinate the recipients of their aid.

(I do love getting those "god bless you for your donation" letters in the mail though )
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:14 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Absolutely. Let's all take a moment to acknowledge that my criticism was leveled at "abstinence only". I think you and I both agree that abstinence should be part of every comprehensive safe sex educational program, just like proper condom use.
The problem, it seems to me, as you mentioned, is that it usually is "abstinence only". I'm from Massachusetts, and even here there are restrictions on promoting anything other than abstinence. Yes, you heard me right--Massachusetts. And from my experience, "abstinence only" doesn't work--and not just in Massachusetts.


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Old 04-21-2008, 10:56 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCarter426
The problem, it seems to me, as you mentioned, is that it usually is "abstinence only". I'm from Massachusetts, and even here there are restrictions on promoting anything other than abstinence. Yes, you heard me right--Massachusetts. And from my experience, "abstinence only" doesn't work--and not just in Massachusetts.
If it makes you feel better, your experience is supported by quite a bit of social research as well. Unfortunately, discussing it comes dangerously close to violating the PG rating of KC so I can't post any of it here. PM me if you want links to the CDC (etc) studies.

CDC and other gov't studies are OK to post as long as they aren't vividly graphic in their descriptions. If they are, please send me the links by PM too--I'd love to see the research, too. Thanks, Jae

You pruned my posts last time I covered it so unless the rules have changed, the gov't studies were too graphic for KC.

Probably too graphic then. The PG-13 rule applies to all of LF, actually, not just KC. The owners want it that way, I follow through on their wishes.

Last edited by Jae Onasi; 04-21-2008 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:03 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igyman
You know Jae, back when I was in high school my logic professor told me to write an essay called "Religion is an opium for the people". Basically what it's about is trying to determine if religion is good or bad for mankind. In the end I acknowledged the efforts done to help some people, but it was still my opinion that religion is indeed an opium for the people, that over the course of human history it has done a lot more harm than good. I still have that essay somewhere, if you want me to present the arguments I used there.
Let's see--how many people have been allegedly harmed/killed? 100,000? A million? Maybe a couple million?

Let's compare that to the good done by one single Catholic hospital in Milwaukee--approximately 480,000 people assisted in some way (care for birthing, surgeries, inpatient/outpatient care, ER visits, etc.) every year. This hospital has existed 128 years. Even if they haven't seen that many people over the last 128 years, they've easily exceeded a million people helped. That's _one_ hospital. There are easily thousands of Christian hospitals around the world providing health care for millions of people. However, that doesn't get recorded in history (other than perhaps data) and doesn't make the news for the most part. Warfare is 'sexier' to historians than records of patient visits at religious health care facilities.

I went to a Christian work-study college--you work on campus 20 hours a week and it pays tuition/room/board. We made too little to afford college when I went, but too much to get decent financial aid. That college provided me with a solid education along with about 1500 other students. They graduated about 400 a year--multiply that by about 80 years for 32,000 just at that college. That doesn't include other universities that educate students, like Loyola, Notre Dame, De Paul, Marquette, Pepperdine, Wheaton, Trinity University, and those that started as religious schools such as Harvard, Princeton, and Northwestern. How many millions have received educations that might not have access to any higher education at all without these and many other religious colleges and universities?

We have thousands of visits to our local (religiously based) food pantry and thousands to our local (religiously based) shelter every year. Our church during the summer months hosts a homeless shelter once a week in our church gym. We feed and shelter anywhere from a few to 75 people depending on weather conditions. With the housing/credit crisis we'll probably see more this summer. Multiply that by the other churches that help in this program in our city. Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago houses hundreds of homeless people in its shelters and provides around 10,000 meals daily. That's roughly 3,650,000 meals in one year at that one mission alone. That's not including their food pantry program, their health care mission, and their education programs that help tens of thousands more. There are many other homeless shelters and food pantries around the world run by churches that reach people in need. How many people have been fed and housed by the Sisters of Charity around the world?

The Salvation Army helps people in need after disasters such as home fires or tornadoes or hurricanes and help others with things such as getting warm coats. They helped over 31 million in 2006 and over 33 million in 2004.

Religion has its warts--none of us is perfect and we all screw up. That includes screw-ups in the institutions we run, too. However, the billions helped by religious organizations in just the last 20 years, never mind the last 2000, far exceed the harm done to people by frankly sinful church members and leaders.


Stream of consciousness reply here....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Your statement was that christians are the only ones offering assistance with the AIDS epidemic in Africa.
I never said Christians were the _only_ ones. I said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by me
Tell that to the thousands of AIDS victims and people with other health problems that our Christian missionary doctor is treating in Africa. The Cameroon gov't doesn't have enough resources to treat them all, and no other secular organization has cared enough to go help.
I could have been ultra-specific at the end of that last sentence and said 'at her hospital/in her area' but I thought it would be inferred by context because of the reference to only one missionary doctor and the 'all' referring back to her patients specifically and not all Cameroon citizens. There are lots of missionary health care professionals in Cameroon and the rest of Africa. I know there are secular organizations working in Africa and I'll assume that includes Cameroon, but they're not active in her particular area, and the hospital she works at covers a fair amount of territory.

The people who have been helped by the staff of this missionary hospital and this missionary doctor are very grateful for their help, and they would never characterize religion as mankind's worst mistake, as Arcesious asserted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I think you and I both agree that abstinence should be part of every comprehensive safe sex educational program, just like proper condom use.
Yes, we do agree on the comprehensive sex ed approach, that's for sure. Now, people might think the space-time continuum has ruptured and/or the 'end times' have arrived because we actually wholeheartedly agreed on something....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I thought the issue (which you brought up) was AIDS in Africa
Well, it was really more commentary on 'the people she has helped' than the specific disease, but AIDS patients make up a huge percentage of her patient base there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I do think that 17% (and growing) is significant though.
I've not seen that stat before. Please don't think I'm questioning the veracity--I'm being literal there. Other organizations can fill in the condom gap, too. The Catholic church wants to and does provide help, but I don't see why they should provide condoms in violation of their own faith and when other organizations are available to take care of that in their place.


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Old 04-22-2008, 12:49 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Religion has its warts--none of us is perfect and we all screw up. That includes screw-ups in the institutions we run, too. However, the billions helped by religious organizations in just the last 20 years, never mind the last 2000, far exceed the harm done to people by frankly sinful church members and leaders.
Do you think those people only acted as they did because they were religious? I think religious people come dangerously close in inferring that they are the only ones capable of behaving morally sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The people who have been helped by the staff of this missionary hospital and this missionary doctor are very grateful for their help, and they would never characterize religion as mankind's worst mistake, as Arcesious asserted.
I could see how this is relevant if I thought that her actions were motivated entirely by religion. I'm sure the people that she works with praise her and not her religion (it is her doing the work after all).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I've not seen that stat before. Please don't think I'm questioning the veracity--I'm being literal there. Other organizations can fill in the condom gap, too. The Catholic church wants to and does provide help, but I don't see why they should provide condoms in violation of their own faith and when other organizations are available to take care of that in their place.
I think my point may have been lost in translation. The catholic church forbids condom use (and some activists, not necessarily catholic, have spread propaganda that the west purposely creates condoms with holes in them to help facilitate the spread of AIDS, thereby causing distrust and driving down use). If 17% of the population is catholic and, in their efforts to be good catholics, aren't using condoms (which I'm sure is helped by the aforementioned propaganda) and the local culture doesn't have the same criteria for adultery as we do, then hopefully you can see how an unsupportable ban on safe sex (and comprehensive safe sex education), based on superstitious belief, is not only criminally reckless and irresponsible, but deadly.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:18 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Do you think those people only acted as they did because they were religious? I think religious people come dangerously close in inferring that they are the only ones capable of behaving morally sometimes.
Do you think that religious people who did negative things only acted as they did because they were religious? It cuts both ways in this case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I could see how this is relevant if I thought that her actions were motivated entirely by religion. I'm sure the people that she works with praise her and not her religion (it is her doing the work after all).
She's an extremely quiet, humble person. She'd be terribly embarrassed by such praise, actually. She used to be in practice in the US--she felt called by God to use her skills in the mission field, and that's how she ended up in Cameroon.

I think my point may have been lost in translation. The catholic church forbids condom use (and some activists, not necessarily catholic, have spread propaganda that the west purposely creates condoms with holes in them to help facilitate the spread of AIDS, thereby causing distrust and driving down use). If 17% of the population is catholic and, in their efforts to be good catholics, aren't using condoms (which I'm sure is helped by the aforementioned propaganda) and the local culture doesn't have the same criteria for adultery as we do, then hopefully you can see how an unsupportable ban on safe sex (and comprehensive safe sex education), based on superstitious belief, is not only criminally reckless and irresponsible, but deadly.[/QUOTE]I wanted to know more about the stat than anything else.
In regards to condom usage and the Church, the Church isn't forcing people to have sex, so there's no way this can be considered criminally reckless or irresponsible. If they did force people to have sex unprotected, then they would be culpable of malfeasance. However, people have a choice whether or not to engage in sex. Promoting the only way to avoid an STD is neither reckless nor irresponsible. Condoms, for all the good they can do in this situation, are not 100% fool proof, unfortunately, though I think they're a big help in that department.

The 'intentional holes in the condoms' thing is just ludicrous.


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