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RVD
May 12th, 2006, 06:33 AM
Why hasn't a thread like this been created yet? Or has one?

This thread is for all the good and kind-hearted agnostics and atheists who represent the venerable, contributing, members of society. I speak of the upstanding members of the human race who give their all towards the positive progression of our species [as well as that of the lower hierarchy, without a voice], and who are endowed with rational thought and a high[er] level of reasoning. People who follow their instincts, and heed their own, individual emotions.
Such individuals include scientists, professors, teachers, scholars, spiritual healers, astronomers, mathematicians, authors, artists, white-collar workers, blue-collar workers, ambassadors, philanthropists, etc ...
In short, many who have gone on to become the world's past, present, and yet to be celebrated and unheralded 'intellectual' FREE thinkers.
:worship: :angel: :devil: :worship: :angel:
NOTE:The thread is not designed to humiliate, deride, ridicule, or demean those of other beliefs. But to instead celebrate the freedom of individual choice, and individual thought. Also, to demonstrate to others of unlike minds that everyone has a place and a reason for 'being'.

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 07:00 AM
The first question one might ask is , "WHY would I create this thread?"

The answer is because of all the rude and odd comments religious people make when you have an opinion that is contrary to their own. :)
Also because these same people believe that you are Satan himself when you don't rush to the Bible to explain the seemingly inexplicable. ;)
So a little bit about why I choose to be a free-thinker. :bounce:

For 18 years, I was forced to adhere to the Methodist belief. It was a horrible experience! The lies generated by sisters of the faith, pushy, and money-hungry, lascivious ministers, made me wonder 'outside' to discover the truth. I ventured to many states within the U.S. and sought knowledge of as many related and unrelated faiths as I possibly could. Baptist, Apostolic, Catholic, and Pentecostal. Doing so, I discovered something very interesting...

NO ONE KNEW THE TRUTH!
Moreover, VERY LITTLE knowledge existed outside of manmade books.

Five years later, after years of being called a lowly worm, and told that I was going to Hell if I didn't eat my string beans and pray every night (and quite a few myriad other reasons that I won't go into just yet ;) ), I'd decided that I had had enough. Religion was definitively not for me.
In fact, strangely enough, the moment I began believing in myself, was the very moment I felt completely free!! :bounce:
That's not to say that everyone should cast away their own beliefs, but that you should choose wisely, and not solely based on tradition or because you were forced into a particular religion or faith.

So to all those who choose to be free-thinkers and endeavor to experience life, and thus draw your own conclusion [and develop your own personal philosophy], I applaud you.
And if by chance you choose one of the more common faiths that exist, then at least you would have done so based upon these personal experiences, and not because of tradition. :worship:

I am interested in your stories.
I know that there are kewl people out there who perform good deeds, but who aren't "religious". And others need to know that there are such people in the world. :cool: :cool: :wavey: SO give a shout out!! :)

Wigglytuff
May 12th, 2006, 07:04 AM
question
I do no belong to any western religion but I do believe in a god. my god, is just that, mine. she is not a fan of evil in any form and is not forgiving. now I came to now her through a mix of rational and spiritual expriences and understandings. so my question is can I join? I mean the conversation.

AjdeNate!
May 12th, 2006, 07:08 AM
Uh oh... wait for the God Squad to come in and bad rep anyone that shows deviation from traditional secular thinking or beliefs.

I think for myself and only believe what I believe... for me, there is no such thing as God. At least that's what I personally believe. Or I guess don't believe in.

pla
May 12th, 2006, 07:22 AM
Count me in. But I don't have a story to tell for the moment ;) I was raised as a non-believer, so it is easier for me. My parents- mathematicians that worked as IT programmers, were themselves raised in an antheist tradition. In fact, in all my familly, everyone has a profession as: mathematicians, physicists, radiologists and so on- I think it's quite related to the way we were raised. (without thinking religious people can't have such professions of course)

That said, I try to know as much as possible about religions. I know that most of the people living in this world don't have any other choice but to believe. Human nature needs hope and religion is the best way to give it. But I also try to understand and know the negative consequences of it.

Erika_Angel
May 12th, 2006, 07:56 AM
It is one thing to have your own personal belief, that is what a religion (or lack of religion) is. I respect peoples opinions and beliefs as in turn I expect respect from others. It is not my place to judge what is right or wrong and most upstanding religious people I know do not try and do this. However it really irrates me when people do. However it is not only religious people, but non-religious people who act like they are above religious people because they don't believe the 'loony', rediculous beliefs of religions. You don't have to believe in a religion or a God, but don't disrespect those who do, and don't dare for a moment try to believe you are somehow better than them, or that their beliefs are incorrect or wrong.

The title of this thread "Time for people to wake" is a direct example of this type of attitude. "Yes, I'm religious, so I must be in some dream world and I need to wake up and see that I am obviously in the wrong!" - Is this correct? :rolleyes: ... pathetic.

Wigglytuff
May 12th, 2006, 08:05 AM
Uh oh... wait for the God Squad to come in and bad rep anyone that shows deviation from traditional secular thinking or beliefs.

I think for myself and only believe what I believe... for me, there is no such thing as God. At least that's what I personally believe. Or I guess don't believe in.
for me, god has to be deeply personal, so much so that not believing in what others have defined as god, is believing in something. correct me if you disagree.

Strangelove
May 12th, 2006, 08:46 AM
The title of this thread "Time for people to wake" is a direct example of this type of attitude. "Yes, I'm religious, so I must be in some dream world and I need to wake up and see that I am obviously in the wrong!" - Is this correct? :rolleyes: ... pathetic.Or. The title could be interpretated as: all people should wake up to the fact that people simply have different ideas about the meaning of life and all. Instead of judging other people for not believing what you believe, people should be more tolerant to each other's world view. We'd have a lot less misery in the world today. Anyway, it could be interpretated that way :shrug:




Although I must say this doesn't sound right to me either:
The answer is because of all the rude and odd comments religious people make when you have an opinion that is contrary to their own.
Firstly, I highly doubt non-believers don't judge other people if those people happened to disagree with something. And secondly, the religious people I know are far from intolerant. So tolerance and religion can most definitely go hand in hand. Sad thing is when it doesn't we always find out about it - and we should, because that's not the way to go. All I'm saying is, religious people who do not judge others do exist.

And by the way, I rarely came across any religious commenting on this board. So I really don't know what I'm talking about.

I myself was raised moderately religious. Went to church with my parents some, listened to some bible-stuff at school. But my parents let me decide whether or not I wanted to continue doing the God-thing. And I guess I just didn't believe it hard enough...anyway, I'm not religious now. But I try to respect other people's beliefs. Except when those beliefs are being abused to kill a bunch of people, of course.

CooCooCachoo
May 12th, 2006, 08:47 AM
RVD, you are generalizing in your posts and being somewhat, implicitly, rude towards religious people :shrug: It seems better to change the thread title into Anti-Religious Thread if you are going to continue along these lines :p

kiwifan
May 12th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Suit yourselves SINNERS!!! :fiery: :fiery: :fiery:

But here's a few FTS's...

You don't get to watch the Dallas Cowboys in Hell. ;)

You don't get to watch the New Zealand All Blacks in Hell. :cool:

You don't get to drink Staropramen in Hell. :drink:

You don't get to watch hard court or grass court tennis in Hell. :shrug:

So if you don't want to spend eternity watching the Cleveland Browns, English Soccer, drinking Zima and watching Clay Court Tennis...

...you better let Jesus, HaShem, Allah, Buddha or Thor into your heart...

...you've all been warned. :fiery:

They only show Gwyneth Paltrow movies down there too, so brace yourselves.

drake3781
May 12th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Suit yourselves SINNERS!!! :fiery: :fiery: :fiery:

But here's a few FTS's...

You don't get to watch the Dallas Cowboys in Hell. ;)

You don't get to watch the New Zealand All Blacks in Hell. :cool:

You don't get to drink Staropramen in Hell. :drink:

You don't get to watch hard court or grass court tennis in Hell. :shrug:

So if you don't want to spend eternity watching the Cleveland Browns, English Soccer, drinking Zima and watching Clay Court Tennis...

...you better let Jesus, HaShem, Allah, Buddha or Thor into your heart...

...you've all been warned. :fiery:

They only show Gwyneth Paltrow movies down there too, so brace yourselves.


But hell has all the good bands.

drake3781
May 12th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Count me in, ReeVee. I'm definitely in this non-group group......... will read and post something later on....... :wavey:

GrandSlam05
May 12th, 2006, 02:30 PM
I fluctuate back and forth. Sometimes I'm an atheist. Other times, I believe in God, that he is omniscient, but not good. In other words, he enjoys seeing us suffer or enjoys seeing people try and to follow his "rules" but come up short, and then he laughs. In other words we are just a game. I mean doesn't this sound more logical than creating us just and wanting us to be perfect. How much fun would that be? I mean if there is a God, he must have a sense of humor, otherwise we wouldn't have one eh.

"Sluggy"
May 12th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Nice thread man, very interesting. I entirely agree. while yes, i believe we are not alone, i have no idea if there is intelligent life that helps and watches over us. I have no idea, so basicaly i am an agnostic. I call myself slightly religious. Mostly i think its like you said, be nice to people, dont act rude and nasty and not be hateful. If you do that, who could have a problem with you? certainly no higher intelligence.

azdaja
May 12th, 2006, 02:52 PM
you can count me in, but i'm not sure i have a story to tell. my parents are nominally christian, but not religious at all, so i did not feel any pressure from them to believe in anything. i just decided i have to declare myself atheist at some point and i think it's better that way - i've always been one. i also agree with the title of the thread. i respect religious people, but i respect them in spite of their beliefs, not because i think their belief in god (or whatever) is something really necessary or normal. if they otherwise act like normal human beings everything's alright.

"Sluggy"
May 12th, 2006, 03:22 PM
the problem with leaving our religious past behind us is: what moral skeleton to you replace it with? IMO that is what happend in the 60s. We kinda killed God and had a big party, but not much later on there were riots and excessive use of illegal drugs and all of the things that went along with it. Too much freedom too quickly. My bet is that a fear of a higher authority (in this case, God, Gods or benevolent spirtis) prevents people from doing bad things. They know they will get in trouble even if another HUMAN Being doesnt see anything or suspect anything. It provides a framework by our actions are to be viewed. without religion, I fear that people would do more to each other. Of course, millions of people die in the name of religion, but IMO many of these times people would wage war for other reasons, ie, to vie over resources, over the honour of a Woman, for the glory of battle, manhood. Religion is often blamed, but not necessarily the only or root cause of it.

So for me, it really boils down to world view. What world are we living in and who are the players? If you can control yourself, if you can make balanced decisions and you understand the consequences of your actions and accept them without a religious framework in your head, then Good. But a lot of people function as per "no harm no foul". NOW, religious people believe that no bad act or good goes unseen, and this forces them to limit their bad acts or at least minimize them. Minimizing bad acts is very important. Let me give you an example. If you do something that you shouldnt do, but are careful about, its better than not being careful. If you drink and drive but only drink a little, its better than drinking a lot. In addition, if you drink and drive but intentionally hit the road after a cool-off period, or avoid places where there will be a lot of cars and pedestrians, you limit your potential to hurt other people. I feel that belief in God or other religious framework reminds us to love each other and respect each other, to love our neighbour and respect where we are. If its all about being free to do what you choose and feel free, that is also a nice thing. But too much freedom for people who cant handle it is just bad news.

SelesFan70
May 12th, 2006, 03:47 PM
Also because these same people believe that you are Satan himself when you don't rush to the Bible to explain the seemingly inexplicable. ;)


Don't forget to mention the muslims that would kill you for not being a muslim, much less for having an individual thought. :tape:

alfonsojose
May 12th, 2006, 03:58 PM
I'm in :wavey:

azdaja
May 12th, 2006, 04:08 PM
if this thread turns into comparing which religion is better or worse again, then i'm out.

GrandSlam05
May 12th, 2006, 04:20 PM
Don't forget to mention the muslims that would kill you for not being a muslim, much less for having an individual thought. :tape:
:worship: They're the worst of the worst IMO. Being the newest religion of the big 3, they're still stuck in the dark ages era of their religion.

dementieva's fan
May 12th, 2006, 05:51 PM
The title of this thread "Time for people to wake" is a direct example of this type of attitude. "Yes, I'm religious, so I must be in some dream world and I need to wake up and see that I am obviously in the wrong!" - Is this correct? :rolleyes: ... pathetic.

May I suggest that you read atleast the thread starters post before throwing bullshit?

NOTE:The thread is not designed to humiliate, deride, ridicule, or demean those of other beliefs. But to instead celebrate the freedom of individual choice, and individual thought. Also, to demonstrate to others of unlike minds that everyone has a place and a reason for 'being'.
I know its really hard but please make an effort to fully read the thread starter's post and then reply, I'm sure you can do it :yeah:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 09:48 PM
question
I do no belong to any western religion but I do believe in a god. my god, is just that, mine. she is not a fan of evil in any form and is not forgiving. now I came to now her through a mix of rational and spiritual expriences and understandings. so my question is can I join? I mean the conversation.Heck YES!! :)

The main reason I created this thread is to show certain posters here [they know who they are] that not everyone who is non-religious is a mean, evil, illiterate bum. :lol: You would not believe some of the 'rep' comments I read. :rolleyes: But I won't go into that just yet.

But I was also interested in how and when those who don't subscribe to any organized religion made their decision. :wavey:

TF Chipmunk
May 12th, 2006, 10:00 PM
It is one thing to have your own personal belief, that is what a religion (or lack of religion) is. I respect peoples opinions and beliefs as in turn I expect respect from others. It is not my place to judge what is right or wrong and most upstanding religious people I know do not try and do this. However it really irrates me when people do. However it is not only religious people, but non-religious people who act like they are above religious people because they don't believe the 'loony', rediculous beliefs of religions. You don't have to believe in a religion or a God, but don't disrespect those who do, and don't dare for a moment try to believe you are somehow better than them, or that their beliefs are incorrect or wrong.

The title of this thread "Time for people to wake" is a direct example of this type of attitude. "Yes, I'm religious, so I must be in some dream world and I need to wake up and see that I am obviously in the wrong!" - Is this correct? :rolleyes: ... pathetic.Non-religious people, in a sense, are above the religious people, in the sense that we don't need to grab onto something intangible in order to go about our own daily lives with a sense of faith and virtue. We do it on our own accord, not because the Bible or Quran says it's virtuous to do something and bad to do another :)

As to why I am non-religious? It's because it doesn't really explain everything to me, aside from all the screaming contradictions that religion spits into the world. And believe me, after one year of attending Baptist school and 12 years of attending Catholic school, I know what I'm talking about. Having sai that, I do believe that there is probably a greater thing in the world, but I choose not to put any meaning to it or try to guess what it is and allow it to work in its own mysterious way.

ZAK
May 12th, 2006, 10:03 PM
I'm agnostic and I find religion very difficult to talk about because I find it hard not to offend people. Of course I don't what to make someone feel bad for being religious, but I also think they are wrong. If I didn't I would be one of them. You know what I mean? Its definitely touchy

I wouldn't say I rule out there being a higher power. In certain sense I believe in one, but I don't define it and haven't felt any urgency to do so. I feel like religion has just caused a lot of the worlds problems in the history of civilization. It most cases, it didn't set out to do so but still. And with something like Christianity, why didn't people practice it before it was invented? I'm sure when everybody worshipped Greek gods they were as sure that they were correct as Christians, Muslims, etc. do now. Is there any more reason to believe in God than, say, Athena? This is not necessarily to incite discussion, but these are some things that go through my thought process in regards to be being non-religous

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:10 PM
Uh oh... wait for the God Squad to come in and bad rep anyone that shows deviation from traditional secular thinking or beliefs.

I think for myself and only believe what I believe... for me, there is no such thing as God. At least that's what I personally believe. Or I guess don't believe in.And that's the whole point, right. It's only human [and natural] to be curious about where we may have originated, whatever the belief. But what's the deal with people who vilify those of us who are still searching or have decided, based on our own personal experiences and observations to not hop on the Jesus bandwagon? :shrug:
And despite all the good we do, we're still considered 'bad'? :rolleyes:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:16 PM
Count me in. But I don't have a story to tell for the moment ;) I was raised as a non-believer, so it is easier for me. My parents- mathematicians that worked as IT programmers, were themselves raised in an antheist tradition. In fact, in all my familly, everyone has a profession as: mathematicians, physicists, radiologists and so on- I think it's quite related to the way we were raised. (without thinking religious people can't have such professions of course) :worship: I believe that's the primary reason why most people just blindly accept organized religions. And all I'm saying is there are some who prefer to personally discover their own 'way', and that there is nothing wrong with that.
That said, I try to know as much as possible about religions. I know that most of the people living in this world don't have any other choice but to believe. Human nature needs hope and religion is the best way to give it. But I also try to understand and know the negative consequences of it.And this is the best approach for me as well. Especially seeing the things I have in my life. :wavey:

Martian Willow
May 12th, 2006, 10:20 PM
I'm confused, is this a thread for non-religious people or athiests? Or just a backslapping thread for people who think they're free spirits because they don't believe the same things as mummy and daddy (even if they all think the same thing, and, indeed, the same as my mummy and daddy)? :)

ZAK
May 12th, 2006, 10:23 PM
I'm confused, is this a thread for non-religious people or athiests? Or just a backslapping thread for people who think they're free spirits because they don't believe the same things as mummy and daddy (even if they all think the same thing, and, indeed, the same as my mummy and daddy)? :)

The title of the thread does read 'Non-religious' thread, so if you have to ask lol

tfannis
May 12th, 2006, 10:25 PM
Hail to The Flying Spaghetti Monster :worship:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:25 PM
QUOTE=Erika_Angel]It is one thing to have your own personal belief, that is what a religion (or lack of religion) is. I respect peoples opinions and beliefs as in turn I expect respect from others. It is not my place to judge what is right or wrong and most upstanding religious people I know do not try and do this. However it really irrates me when people do. However it is not only religious people, but non-religious people who act like they are above religious people because they don't believe the 'loony', rediculous beliefs of religions. You don't have to believe in a religion or a God, but don't disrespect those who do, and don't dare for a moment try to believe you are somehow better than them, or that their beliefs are incorrect or wrong.

The title of this thread "Time for people to wake" is a direct example of this type of attitude. "Yes, I'm religious, so I must be in some dream world and I need to wake up and see that I am obviously in the wrong!" - Is this correct? :rolleyes: ... pathetic.[/QUOTE]You and people like you are the very reason why a thread like this is necessary. You speak out of both sides of your mouth. Then you select which side to respond from depending on the direction of the discussion.
On the one hand you say: I respect peoples opinions and beliefs as in turn I expect respect from others.Then you bad rep them for what they believe. You did this very thing to me about a day ago. So what is it that you TRULY believe Erika_Angel? Because you can't have it both ways. All anyone has to do is read what you've written here and they glean exactly what and who you are. A str8-up hypocrite!

Martian Willow
May 12th, 2006, 10:27 PM
The title of the thread does read 'Non-religious' thread, so if you have to ask lol

The phrase is not used anywhere in the opening post.

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:28 PM
I'm confused, is this a thread for non-religious people or athiests? Or just a backslapping thread for people who think they're free spirits because they don't believe the same things as mummy and daddy (even if they all think the same thing, and, indeed, the same as my mummy and daddy)? :)It's a 'pick your poison, but don't be afraid to swallow thread. ;)

ZAK
May 12th, 2006, 10:33 PM
The phrase is not used anywhere in the opening post.

Its still the name of the entire thread

wipeout
May 12th, 2006, 10:39 PM
The main reason I created this thread is to show certain posters here [they know who they are] that not everyone who is non-religious is a mean, evil, illiterate bum. :lol: You would not believe some of the 'rep' comments I read. :rolleyes: But I won't go into that just yet.

On intelligence tests, on average, the non-religious outscore the religious. :angel:

Anyone interested can find an article or two with references over at Wikipedia, amongst other places.

But I was also interested in how and when those who don't subscribe to any organized religion made their decision. :wavey:

I've never been religious. Even when I was first introduced to it as a very young kid, it always seemed to be something created by other people for other people but not for me.

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:39 PM
[Or. The title could be interpretated as: all people should wake up to the fact that people simply have different ideas about the meaning of life and all. Instead of judging other people for not believing what you believe, people should be more tolerant to each other's world view. We'd have a lot less misery in the world today. Anyway, it could be interpretated that way :shrug:Hammer hits nail on head. :worship:
Although I must say this doesn't sound right to me either:

Firstly, I highly doubt non-believers don't judge other people if those people happened to disagree with something. And secondly, the religious people I know are far from intolerant. So tolerance and religion can most definitely go hand in hand. Sad thing is when it doesn't we always find out about it - and we should, because that's not the way to go. All I'm saying is, religious people who do not judge others do exist.Which is all based on the individual's personal experiences. :shrug:
I know far too many people who do judge quite harshly based upon what others believe. Are you saying that you know of none? :confused: :eek:
And by the way, I rarely came across any religious commenting on this board. So I really don't know what I'm talking about.Hang around a bit longer in the non-tennis forum, and you'll see quite a bit. :lol:
I myself was raised moderately religious. Went to church with my parents some, listened to some bible-stuff at school. But my parents let me decide whether or not I wanted to continue doing the God-thing. And I guess I just didn't believe it hard enough...anyway, I'm not religious now. But I try to respect other people's beliefs. Except when those beliefs are being abused to kill a bunch of people, of course.As do I as well...and as all people should. But do you allow others to dictate what you believe or don't believe? Probably not. Which is the point of the thread.

Though I wrote it when I was pissed...so it probably comes across as such. :lol:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:41 PM
RVD, you are generalizing in your posts and being somewhat, implicitly, rude towards religious people :shrug: It seems better to change the thread title into Anti-Religious Thread if you are going to continue along these lines :pFair enough. I aim to please. :angel:

wipeout
May 12th, 2006, 10:44 PM
Hail to The Flying Spaghetti Monster :worship:

Anything with a flying monster is great by definition. :D :worship:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:49 PM
Suit yourselves SINNERS!!! :fiery: :fiery: :fiery:

But here's a few FTS's...

You don't get to watch the Dallas Cowboys in Hell. ;)

You don't get to watch the New Zealand All Blacks in Hell. :cool:

You don't get to drink Staropramen in Hell. :drink:

You don't get to watch hard court or grass court tennis in Hell. :shrug:

So if you don't want to spend eternity watching the Cleveland Browns, English Soccer, drinking Zima and watching Clay Court Tennis...

...you better let Jesus, HaShem, Allah, Buddha or Thor into your heart...

...you've all been warned. :fiery:

They only show Gwyneth Paltrow movies down there too, so brace yourselves.Can I at least have a shot of Jagermeister and a few snapshots of Serena in a skimpy tight catsuit? :shrug: :lol:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:51 PM
Count me in, ReeVee. I'm definitely in this non-group group......... will read and post something later on....... :wavey: :wavey: :wavey: :hug:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:53 PM
I fluctuate back and forth. Sometimes I'm an atheist. Other times, I believe in God, that he is omniscient, but not good. In other words, he enjoys seeing us suffer or enjoys seeing people try and to follow his "rules" but come up short, and then he laughs. In other words we are just a game. I mean doesn't this sound more logical than creating us just and wanting us to be perfect. How much fun would that be? I mean if there is a God, he must have a sense of humor, otherwise we wouldn't have one eh.If there is a God, he MUST have a sense of humor. I mean look at George W. Bush. :tape: :lol:
And just so no one feels left out...look at John Kerry as well.

Volcana
May 12th, 2006, 10:55 PM
I was pretty vehemently an atheist for most of my life. But recently, I've moderated my position somewhat. Why? Because I really can't prove there ISN'T a supreme being of some sort. Of course, I've never seen an evidence there is one either. So call me an atheist who knows that my position may yet be proven wrong.

Just as I don't need a supreme being to exist to go on about my life, I don't need there NOT to be a supreme being either. And I'm positive that there are orders of existence that I'm not able to perceive. There are long, involved proofs of that, but a better demonstration is the 'galaxy' in 'Men in Black' and the locker room at the end of 'Men in Black II'.

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 10:59 PM
Nice thread man, very interesting. I entirely agree. while yes, i believe we are not alone, i have no idea if there is intelligent life that helps and watches over us. I have no idea, so basicaly i am an agnostic. I call myself slightly religious. Mostly i think its like you said, be nice to people, dont act rude and nasty and not be hateful. If you do that, who could have a problem with you? certainly no higher intelligence.Thank you. And no, I don't believe that we are alone.
I also don't believe that there is a higher power 'looking over' me. Though I do believe there is a higher power out there. However, what is our relationship with this higher power... IF there is in fact one? :shrug:
Honestly, there is so much going on here on Earth, who truly has time to worry about divinty? :)

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 11:00 PM
you can count me in, but i'm not sure i have a story to tell. my parents are nominally christian, but not religious at all, so i did not feel any pressure from them to believe in anything. i just decided i have to declare myself atheist at some point and i think it's better that way - i've always been one. i also agree with the title of the thread. i respect religious people, but i respect them in spite of their beliefs, not because i think their belief in god (or whatever) is something really necessary or normal. if they otherwise act like normal human beings everything's alright. :worship:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 11:12 PM
the problem with leaving our religious past behind us is: what moral skeleton to you replace it with? IMO that is what happend in the 60s. We kinda killed God and had a big party, but not much later on there were riots and excessive use of illegal drugs and all of the things that went along with it. Too much freedom too quickly. My bet is that a fear of a higher authority (in this case, God, Gods or benevolent spirtis) prevents people from doing bad things. They know they will get in trouble even if another HUMAN Being doesnt see anything or suspect anything. It provides a framework by our actions are to be viewed. without religion, I fear that people would do more to each other. Of course, millions of people die in the name of religion, but IMO many of these times people would wage war for other reasons, ie, to vie over resources, over the honour of a Woman, for the glory of battle, manhood. Religion is often blamed, but not necessarily the only or root cause of it.

So for me, it really boils down to world view. What world are we living in and who are the players? If you can control yourself, if you can make balanced decisions and you understand the consequences of your actions and accept them without a religious framework in your head, then Good. But a lot of people function as per "no harm no foul". NOW, religious people believe that no bad act or good goes unseen, and this forces them to limit their bad acts or at least minimize them. Minimizing bad acts is very important. Let me give you an example. If you do something that you shouldnt do, but are careful about, its better than not being careful. If you drink and drive but only drink a little, its better than drinking a lot. In addition, if you drink and drive but intentionally hit the road after a cool-off period, or avoid places where there will be a lot of cars and pedestrians, you limit your potential to hurt other people. I feel that belief in God or other religious framework reminds us to love each other and respect each other, to love our neighbour and respect where we are. If its all about being free to do what you choose and feel free, that is also a nice thing. But too much freedom for people who cant handle it is just bad news.All good points.

I believe religion can offer or act as a framework or foundation for moral guidance, or balance. But ultimately, as many religions have demonstrated in the past, and today, the flock can be lead astray and do some pretty heinous things. That's not to suggest that all religions are bad, or that that most people who observe these religions are bad. It's more a matter of the INDIVIDUAL, is what I believe.
Just look at the story about the Catholic priest who killed a nun? I don't judge this man entirely by his act as a Catholic priest or as a man, but by BOTH. He was a horrible man, and a deviant unholy representative of his God.

Give most people something to believe in and it can be a powerful tool.

Give them nothing, and anarchy may reign, but not any more than already exists.

Shackle man, and he will discover another way to hurt others. Give him the freedom to choose, and he may not. :shrug:

*JR*
May 12th, 2006, 11:23 PM
I was pretty vehemently an atheist for most of my life. But recently, I've moderated my position somewhat. Why? Because I really can't prove there ISN'T a supreme being of some sort. Of course, I've never seen an evidence there is one either. So call me an atheist who knows that my position may yet be proven wrong.

Welcome to being an agnostic. :)

As an aside, black Christians whose families were converted in this country (with the Heaven & Hell bit being used to prevent rebellion, as in medieval Europe) are embracing the religion of the "massah", besides (like all of us) not knowing if there's any truth in it.
:shrug:

kiwifan
May 12th, 2006, 11:26 PM
Can I at least have a shot of Jagermeister and a few snapshots of Serena in a skimpy tight catsuit? :shrug: :lol:

They definitely have Jager in hell :spit:

I think the Serena photos in hell are those fake ones where "she's" on the balcony wearing a piece of floss. :p I'll tell you who you get real picture of in your rep. :tape:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 11:29 PM
They definitely have Jager in hell :spit:

I think the Serena photos in hell are those fake ones where "she's" on the balcony wearing a piece of floss. :p I'll tell you who you get real picture of in your rep. :tape::lol: You're a true blue friend kiwifan! :bounce: :wavey: :cool: :worship:

Denise4925
May 12th, 2006, 11:32 PM
Well, I don't consider myself religious, in that I'm not Baptist or Catholic or Methodist. I don't believe in man-made religions like that. I am a Christian, but I believe that to be more of a faith than a "religion". I believe in the true principles Christ taught. I don't belong to the Religious Right, which is more political and reminds me more of the Pharisees in the Bible than true Christians. They follow the letter of the law and leave out the heart. I respect other people for the beliefs or disbeliefs. We all have a choice and free will to believe or not to believe. I don't believe that non-believers are smarter or wiser than believers or vice versa. I believe that we are all brothers and sisters and it's not a matter of them vs. us. We are all human beings and should treat each other as such and with respect.

I started a thread not so long ago asking why Christians were so disrespected in this forum and got a lot of good posts. And, I think it helped because I've seen less disrespect toward the faith in general since the thread was opened up. I think this is because it allowed the non-believers to see that not all Christians were narrow-minded, judgmental and disrespectful.

All I ask is that you not judge us based on George Bush or the Religious Right and its followers, or people that have judged you and treated you badly calling themselves Christians. They are not true Christians. All I ask that you give my faith and my deity the same respect you expect for your values as a non-believer. If you were to go to a foreign country, and you saw their national flag, you wouldn't spit on that flag just because you don't have allegience to it.

On that note, the whistle is blowing here at my job and I'm about to leave. So, if I don't get back on the computer this weekend, I wish all of the mothers, a very happy Mothers Day. :kiss:

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 11:34 PM
Welcome to being an agnostic. :)

As an aside, black Christians whose families were converted in this country (with the Heaven & Hell bit being used to prevent rebellion, as in medieval Europe) are embracing the religion of the "massah", besides (like all of us) not knowing if there's any truth in it.
:shrug:You have a point *JR*. In essence, it was beaten out of them. Convert or die! :scared:
Factor in babies being taken away and their minds 'reconstituted' and wha-LAAH!! Instant conversion. And because these then grow up and follow in their traditional foot steps of mommy and daddy, they believe it to be right [or righteous]; which is probably why there are so many black Baptists.
:scared: :angel: :)

Denise4925
May 12th, 2006, 11:38 PM
Welcome to being an agnostic. :)

As an aside, black Christians whose families were converted in this country (with the Heaven & Hell bit being used to prevent rebellion, as in medieval Europe) are embracing the religion of the "massah", besides (like all of us) not knowing if there's any truth in it.
:shrug:
That's an insult to black people. Do you honestly think that our race is that weak? You don't know what spiritual feelings these people felt after being taught about Christianity. You can't beat faith into a person. That's quite obvious by some of you whose family or parents tried for force religion on you. I think you should stay away from saying anything about "black Christians" especially if you can't speak from experience on either side of the coin.

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 12:07 AM
Well, I don't consider myself religious, in that I'm not Baptist or Catholic or Methodist. I don't believe in man-made religions like that. I am a Christian, but I believe that to be more of a faith than a "religion". I believe in the true principles Christ taught. I don't belong to the Religious Right, which is more political and reminds me more of the Pharisees in the Bible than true Christians. They follow the letter of the law and leave out the heart. I respect other people for the beliefs or disbeliefs. We all have a choice and free will to believe or not to believe. I don't believe that non-believers are smarter or wiser than believers or vice versa. I believe that we are all brothers and sisters and it's not a matter of them vs. us. We are all human beings and should treat each other as such and with respect.I admire and respect this approach. :worship: "Do not judge, lest ye be judged." ;) :angel:
Strangely enough, I believe most people follow many of the dictums of many religions, yet do not know it. I don't like titles or categories, so I don't label myself one way or another. I just am who I am. :shrug:

I hope that I didn't give the impression that religious people are unintelligent. Because I know of plenty who are very intelligent. :cool: I meant only to convey that non-religious people, agnostics, atheists, etc... can be intelligent, moral, and even spiritual and not have to be associated with organized religion.
I started a thread not so long ago asking why Christians were so disrespected in this forum and got a lot of good posts. And, I think it helped because I've seen less disrespect toward the faith in general since the thread was opened up. I think this is because it allowed the non-believers to see that not all Christians were narrow-minded, judgmental and disrespectful.I remember that thread. I also remember posting in it. :kiss: And it was a great thread too.
All I ask is that you not judge us based on George Bush or the Religious Right and its followers, or people that have judged you and treated you badly calling themselves Christians. They are not true Christians. All I ask that you give my faith and my deity the same respect you expect for your values as a non-believer. If you were to go to a foreign country, and you saw their national flag, you wouldn't spit on that flag just because you don't have allegience to it.Great observation and reasoning Niecy. :worship: If only more people would just be accepting, this would be quite a world. :bounce:
On that note, the whistle is blowing here at my job and I'm about to leave. So, if I don't get back on the computer this weekend, I wish all of the mothers, a very happy Mothers Day. :kiss: :hug: :kiss: Have a great weekend. :wavey:

PamShriverRockz
May 13th, 2006, 12:11 AM
Interesting thread....:) I'm an atheist and have been for a while. I completely respect people's religions and beliefs, but it's not for me. I'm convinced there is no God, maybe one day I'll change my mind, I dunno....It's a mind-boggling subject really.

It's interesting people say they haven't seen any proof there *isn't* a God, because you can't prove a negative...

Pheobo
May 13th, 2006, 01:12 AM
I'm an athiest but I'm not good or kind hearted. Am I not included?

drake3781
May 13th, 2006, 01:19 AM
I'm an athiest but I'm not good or kind hearted. Am I not included?

:smooch:

*JR*
May 13th, 2006, 01:36 AM
That's an insult to black people. Do you honestly think that our race is that weak? You don't know what spiritual feelings these people felt after being taught about Christianity. You can't beat faith into a person. That's quite obvious by some of you whose family or parents tried for force religion on you. I think you should stay away from saying anything about "black Christians" especially if you can't speak from experience on either side of the coin.
Way off base! Note that I compared it to what was done to the (white) serfs of medieval Europe. And what RVD said about the babies of slaves being separated from their parents 2B brainwashed. You can't beat faith into a person, but you can do it on the sly, with either the punishment/reward scam, or by isolating the kids enough.

And plz don't give me that BS about how one needs to live something to form a reasoned opinion on it. After all, your experience with "the black church" is hardly amongst ppl who try to objectively compare Christianity to African religions, let alone either atheism or agnosticism.

crazyroberto6767
May 13th, 2006, 02:19 AM
Right now, I'm non-religious. I recently made the decision not to get confirmed into Catholicism (yeah I'm a young'in). I currently go to a Catholic high school, and after going through Bible/Religon class for quite a few years now, I realized that organized religion just isn't for me. I agree with a lot of the moral and behavior conducts that some organized religions put out there, well mostly Catholicism because that's the one I know most about. I follow these morals, but I just don't feel I need an organized group behind me telling me how to live. I made the decision not to be confirmed because I felt my relationship with God would be between me and him, and I shouldn't have a timeline on it. I feel Catholicism (once again, the only religion I know enough about to comment on) makes kids my age make a life-long decision way too early. How am I supposed to know at this point of my life if I'm going to be a God/Jesus/Holy Spirit follower my whole life? Plus throw in the "corruptions" of this organized religion at this point, and I'm just not swayed. If there were to be a religion for me (which I don't think there will be), it would have to include everyone. Right now, I believe there is a higher power (call it what you wish), but I just don't agree with the fundamental religious aspects of Catholicism. I could become religious later in life though, I sure have plenty of time. Maybe even with a different religion. As a side note, I grew up (well, and continue to grow up) in a moderately-strict Catholic family. Mass every Sunday, prayer at meals/before bed, "Faith Class", etc. My family has been VERY supportive of my decisions regarding religion, and are letting me choose my path. That has been one of the greatest things they have done for me. Again, I'm not saying religious people are wrong, some of my favorite people are very religious. I, in fact, find the Bible to be a very pleasurable read. It's interesting and can give life lessons, but I just don't see it as a rule sheet on how to live my life. And more importantly, I don't see it as a divine document that is inspired by a higher power. To each his/her own, I guess.

PS: If this post rambles on and doesn't make sense, feel free to ignore it. Although I probably should put this warning at the beginning :p.

Erika_Angel
May 13th, 2006, 02:24 AM
You and people like you are the very reason why a thread like this is necessary. You speak out of both sides of your mouth. Then you select which side to respond from depending on the direction of the discussion.
On the one hand you say: Then you bad rep them for what they believe. You did this very thing to me about a day ago. So what is it that you TRULY believe Erika_Angel? Because you can't have it both ways. All anyone has to do is read what you've written here and they glean exactly what and who you are. A str8-up hypocrite!

I badrepped you because you were being disrespectful and rude exactly like I outlined in my post.

May I suggest that you read atleast the thread starters post before throwing bullshit?

I know its really hard but please make an effort to fully read the thread starter's post and then reply, I'm sure you can do it :yeah:

I did read the starter's post, and yes I saw that quote. Just because they decided to include that post does not exclude the amount of disrespect shown towards religious people, shown in the thread title, which has now changed :rolleyes:

Non-religious people, in a sense, are above the religious people, in the sense that we don't need to grab onto something intangible in order to go about our own daily lives with a sense of faith and virtue. We do it on our own accord, not because the Bible or Quran says it's virtuous to do something and bad to do another :)

I find it really astonishing that you think religious people only act the way they do because they feel they have to. Not true at all. And your comment about "in a sense" being above ... exactly the attitude I was talking about.

All I ask is that you not judge us based on George Bush or the Religious Right and its followers, or people that have judged you and treated you badly calling themselves Christians. They are not true Christians. All I ask that you give my faith and my deity the same respect you expect for your values as a non-believer. If you were to go to a foreign country, and you saw their national flag, you wouldn't spit on that flag just because you don't have allegience to it.

:worship:

This is entirely correct, and I'm still amazed how some people seem to think all Christians are 'Jesus freaks' who go around telling people what to believe and condemning them to hell if they don't ... not true.

Like I said before, most religious people are very accepting and respecting of other people's views and beliefs, as am I. However I draw the line when someone direspects my own beliefs, or the beliefs of others.

Erika_Angel
May 13th, 2006, 02:31 AM
I agree with a lot of the moral and behavior conducts that some organized religions put out there, well mostly Catholicism because that's the one I know most about. I follow these morals, but I just don't feel I need an organized group behind me telling me how to live. I made the decision not to be confirmed because I felt my relationship with God would be between me and him, and I shouldn't have a timeline on it. I feel Catholicism (once again, the only religion I know enough about to comment on) makes kids my age make a life-long decision way too early. How am I supposed to know at this point of my life if I'm going to be a God/Jesus/Holy Spirit follower my whole life? Plus throw in the "corruptions" of this organized religion at this point, and I'm just not swayed.

You shouldn't feel like the Catholic religion is one that 'confines' you. It is what you make it and how you interperate it. It is infact your own special connection to God. The way I view God, my relationship with him/her, differs from everyone else because my interpretation differs too. The bible is not the be all and end all of the Catholic religion, and associating yourself with it will not make you confined to any specific 'life-long decision'. You just do what you feel is right, but don't let others tell you what your beliefs are. If you feel a connection with God, or want one, then just hold on to that. Perhaps praying before bed (doesn't have to be kneeling at the bedside lol - can just be lying in bed thinking to yourself), discussing the days events with God or whoever you are praying to, asking for health for yourself and your family, and gradually you'll find that if you are committed you will grow your own relationship with God. Religion is not meant to confine you, it is meant to guide you and support you through life, whether it is real, as I believe, or not, it helps many people and it can help you too if you wish for it to.

Good luck with whatever you choose :)

mykarma
May 13th, 2006, 03:51 AM
Don't forget to mention the muslims that would kill you for not being a muslim, much less for having an individual thought. :tape:I'm not a Muslim but, just as there are fundamental extremist Muslims, there are fundamental extremist Christians. The 'KKK' comes to mind.

Volcana
May 13th, 2006, 04:39 AM
That's an insult to black people.No it isn't. It's flippant, but after all, it's happened to every race, and many a culture. Christianity was imposed on Europeans long before it was imposed on Africans, and then imposed on many a culture in Asia and the South Pacific. And many people converted voluntarily.
Do you honestly think that our race is that weak?It's not about being 'weak', it's about being human.
I think you should stay away from saying anything about "black Christians" especially if you can't speak from experience on either side of the coin.I can speak from 'the coin'.You can't beat faith into a person.Yes. You can. Enough torture and the hman mind will do anything for relief. Ever heard of 'Stockholm Syndrome'?

An awful lot of religions have been imposed from outside by force. Christmas itself is a pagan holiday that Christianity subsumed.

Strangelove
May 13th, 2006, 04:53 AM
I know far too many people who do judge quite harshly based upon what others believe. Are you saying that you know of none? Only from TV :p

OK, seriously, of course I do. I wouldn't count them among my friends, but of course I come across people who judge others. It was only my intention to point out not all religious people are intolerant. Because the way you said it, it just sounded like you thought that was the case. But you probably didn't. Because you wrote it when you were pissed.

Those from TV are usually the worst by the way. I mean, there must be a reason why they make the news, right?

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 07:32 AM
Right now, I'm non-religious. I recently made the decision not to get confirmed into Catholicism (yeah I'm a young'in). I currently go to a Catholic high school, and after going through Bible/Religon class for quite a few years now, I realized that organized religion just isn't for me. I agree with a lot of the moral and behavior conducts that some organized religions put out there, well mostly Catholicism because that's the one I know most about. I follow these morals, but I just don't feel I need an organized group behind me telling me how to live. I made the decision not to be confirmed because I felt my relationship with God would be between me and him, and I shouldn't have a timeline on it. I feel Catholicism (once again, the only religion I know enough about to comment on) makes kids my age make a life-long decision way too early. How am I supposed to know at this point of my life if I'm going to be a God/Jesus/Holy Spirit follower my whole life? Plus throw in the "corruptions" of this organized religion at this point, and I'm just not swayed. If there were to be a religion for me (which I don't think there will be), it would have to include everyone. Right now, I believe there is a higher power (call it what you wish), but I just don't agree with the fundamental religious aspects of Catholicism. I could become religious later in life though, I sure have plenty of time. Maybe even with a different religion. As a side note, I grew up (well, and continue to grow up) in a moderately-strict Catholic family. Mass every Sunday, prayer at meals/before bed, "Faith Class", etc. My family has been VERY supportive of my decisions regarding religion, and are letting me choose my path. That has been one of the greatest things they have done for me. Again, I'm not saying religious people are wrong, some of my favorite people are very religious. I, in fact, find the Bible to be a very pleasurable read. It's interesting and can give life lessons, but I just don't see it as a rule sheet on how to live my life. And more importantly, I don't see it as a divine document that is inspired by a higher power. To each his/her own, I guess.

PS: If this post rambles on and doesn't make sense, feel free to ignore it. Although I probably should put this warning at the beginning :p.Superbly written post crazyroberto6767. :worship:
This is exactly the sort of story that gives me hope. That the younger generations are making such mature decisions is heartening. :cool: :wavey:

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 07:48 AM
I badrepped you because you were being disrespectful and rude exactly like I outlined in my post.YOU GAVE NO REASON SO DON'T PRETEND AS IF YOU DID!
I'll say it again...
At least have the decency to give a reason when you bad rep someone.
I have no problem with being bad rep'd, so long as it's followed by a freak'n reason. I endeavor to learn from whatever pov others my have that differ from my own. But when there IS NO REASON INCLUDED, what message are you sending, other than ignorance?

When you simply place a " :rolleyes: " smilie with nothing else, is that not rude or disrespectful? Or is it plain dumb?

I've definitely had it with you lady. You are someone I hope to never meet in real life because I'd certainly loose every ounce of principled, moral, or rational thought just talking to you. http://deephousepage.com/smilies/spank2.gif

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 07:58 AM
Only from TV :p

OK, seriously, of course I do. I wouldn't count them among my friends, but of course I come across people who judge others. It was only my intention to point out not all religious people are intolerant. Because the way you said it, it just sounded like you thought that was the case. But you probably didn't. Because you wrote it when you were pissed.

Those from TV are usually the worst by the way. I mean, there must be a reason why they make the news, right?No problem. Though I believe that I was pretty clear, I suppose it could have easily been taken that way. But wasn't my intention. :)
However, though there are a great number of intolerant religious people [particularly in America---as indicated by the 2004 Presidential elections] in my own family ;) , these by no means make up the bulk of the religious faithful. :cool:

Erika_Angel
May 13th, 2006, 08:13 AM
YOU GAVE NO REASON SO DON'T PRETEND AS IF YOU DID!
I'll say it again...
At least have the decency to give a reason when you bad rep someone.
I have no problem with being bad rep'd, so long as it's followed by a freak'n reason. I endeavor to learn from whatever pov others my have that differ from my own. But when there IS NO REASON INCLUDED, what message are you sending, other than ignorance?

When you simply place a " :rolleyes: " smilie with nothing else, is that not rude or disrespectful? Or is it plain dumb?

I've definitely had it with you lady. You are someone I hope to never meet in real life because I'd certainly loose every ounce of principled, moral, or rational thought just talking to you. http://deephousepage.com/smilies/spank2.gif

I meant I gave the reason in my post in this thread of why I badrepped people who are disrespectful towards religious people, which your post was. It was pretty obvious why I'd be annoyed at your post anyway.

You have had it with me ... lol fine whatever, I don't even know you that well so I couldn't care less, and please, every post of yours in this thread has some underlining disrespect towards religious people, you start a thread telling religious people to "wake up" and make out you are better than me just because you arn't religious. Get over it hun, I badrepped you ... it isn't the end of the world ... :rolleyes:

pla
May 13th, 2006, 08:33 AM
I frankly don't understand the worry of religious people about moral. I mean, I am the third generation of people who don't believe in the existence of a God and I can assure you, my great-parents and parents are extreamly moral people. In the way they are trying always to be just, to respect the others, to defend justice no matter what's the cost and things like that, that we can call moral. I was raised this way- it's not the religion that thought me to stand up in a bus when an old person or a pregnant lady comes in, it's not the religion that thought me respecting others is essencial, it's not the religion that thought me to not kill- it's my family.

For me, moral is something that comes from the family. I know as much immoral persons that are religious as those who aren't (all proportions followed of course).

So I say, vive l'Humanisme ;)

tfannis
May 13th, 2006, 08:48 AM
People needing religion to have morals is just creepy imo :bolt:


BTW, I'm in too :D In fact, I'm VERY in ;) :lol: I don't have a story though. As so many people around me, I'm brought up without religion. Never hold a bible or any other religious book in my life :shrug: And I'm a biologist, religion would so not fit in that picture :lol: Although I must say some of my former fellow students were believing in something :eek:

Yasmine
May 13th, 2006, 08:58 AM
:eek: Lotte! omg I have about the same views;) the difference being I was brought up in between 2 cultures one religious and the other not. I was lucky enough that my morrocan family was very open minded and although they didn't really like the fact that some of us don't believe in god, they respected it.
The problem is there are intolerant, extremist and stupid people in each religion and in the atheist populations as well. It would be being an idealist to think that we can all live in harmony respecting each other's beliefs, faiths, superstitions, and whatnot... (unfortunately I tend to be one of those idealists who want to see some good in everyone, I get dissapointed pretty often)

bionic71
May 13th, 2006, 09:26 AM
As I have a sore hand and I'm floating on pain killers I can only offer a few random comments....

I don't feel a need to blame a higher entity for all that is bad in this world....nor do I feel a need to congratulate a higher entity for all that is wonderful either.

Saying that "god did this" or "god created that" puts a full stop on thinking and any further investigation...and I am not at all comfortable in saying "god did it" in relation to something I cannot fathom. It is all too simplistic for my liking.

For those who live their lives under a belief system that involves worship of a god then I certainly hope it brings them comfort. For me personally I cannot subscribe to such a system, I believe in doing the very best you can to be a good person/citizen. I detest those who condemn others out of sheer ignorance (often using a twisted religious perspective as a justification)...I believe in continued investigation and always challenging your own ideas and belief systems.

I have no fantasical vision of a "heaven" after death...it is a lovely notion, and very comforting to many people, but death is death to me, it happens to all living creatures and the cycle of life continues. I do not consider the human animal to be any different from the other creatures we share this planet with...I don't believe we have a special place reserved for us after death (if we are good boys and girls)....

Humankind created the notion of religion...humankind created the stories and myths...human kind created the notion of a god or gods...

tfannis
May 13th, 2006, 09:58 AM
It would be being an idealist to think that we can all live in harmony respecting each other's beliefs, faiths, superstitions, and whatnot... (unfortunately I tend to be one of those idealists who want to see some good in everyone, I get dissapointed pretty often)

Me too :o

azdaja
May 13th, 2006, 11:14 AM
the thing about morals, i think they are a part of human nature. even religious people don't do good things because they are religious. they do it because they are human. the same goes for bad things and the same goes for atheists. religion or lack thereof can influence only the form, but not much else.

Solitaire
May 13th, 2006, 01:23 PM
YOU GAVE NO REASON SO DON'T PRETEND AS IF YOU DID!
I'll say it again...
At least have the decency to give a reason when you bad rep someone.
I have no problem with being bad rep'd, so long as it's followed by a freak'n reason. I endeavor to learn from whatever pov others my have that differ from my own. But when there IS NO REASON INCLUDED, what message are you sending, other than ignorance?

When you simply place a " :rolleyes: " smilie with nothing else, is that not rude or disrespectful? Or is it plain dumb?

I've definitely had it with you lady. You are someone I hope to never meet in real life because I'd certainly loose every ounce of principled, moral, or rational thought just talking to you. http://deephousepage.com/smilies/spank2.gif


She's done it to me several times. She speaks of "respect" and "tolerance" but she clearly has none for those who dont see things her way. I think a quote from Miss. Hill sums her up nicely...."Talking out your neck sayin' you're a Christian"

Erika_Angel
May 13th, 2006, 01:32 PM
She's done it to me several times. She speaks of "respect" and "tolerance" but she clearly has none for those who dont see things her way. I think a quote from Miss. Hill sums her up nicely...."Talking out your neck sayin' you're a Christian"

See this is the problem ... you act like I'm the one who is not tolerant but you are the ones who bad mouth religions constantly whenever the subject arises. My comments to you are just repercussions of your own comments. Never have I ever come out at any of you for no reason like you always seem to do towards religious people.

Solitaire
May 13th, 2006, 01:40 PM
See this is the problem ... you act like I'm the one who is not tolerant but you are the ones who bad mouth religions constantly whenever the subject arises. My comments to you are just repercussions of your own comments. Never have I ever come out at any of you for no reason like you always seem to do towards religious people.


I've gone down this road with u before and I'm not doing it again. But it must make u think when different people say the same things about u over and over again. It's not a vast conspiracy to make u look bad. It's how u come off to others. I know u don't care but u can't keep on acting surprised when people react to u the same way.

Erika_Angel
May 13th, 2006, 01:48 PM
I've gone down this road with u before and I'm not doing it again. But it must make u think when different people say the same things about u over and over again. It's not a vast conspiracy to make u look bad. It's how u come off to others. I know u don't care but u can't keep on acting surprised when people react to u the same way.

It is because I'm in the minority on this board as a straight Christian/Catholic female. Obviously my views differ from other peoples and my views get disrespected alot because lets face it they arn't the ideal ones to have on a board which is prodominately gay males (not to say I'm homophobic but alot seem to detest Christianity to the max). And I'm not surprised, and there is no conspiracy because there arn't heaps of you there are a few and I know alot of people support that I'm not afraid to go against the norm here and stick up for what I think because they tell me. I respect other peoples views and trust me, never would I outright badrep somebody for having a different view if they did not disrespect mine in the process of telling theirs (as you have done on many occassions).

Solitaire
May 13th, 2006, 02:04 PM
I respect other peoples views and trust me, never would I outright badrep somebody for having a different view if they did not disrespect mine in the process of telling theirs (as you have done on many occassions).


oh but u have badrepped me outright for a non-religious post which had nothing to do with u. :o I will gladly supply with a screen shot of the badrep if u don't recall. All the ones I’ve given to u were in response to urs. U play the victim card way too often and it’s terribly transparent.

Erika_Angel
May 13th, 2006, 02:10 PM
oh but u have badrepped me outright for a non-religious post which had nothing to do with u. :o I will gladly supply with a screen shot of the badrep if u don't recall. All the ones I’ve given to u were in response to urs. U play the victim card way too often and it’s terribly transparent.

You don't need to post a screenshot, just show me the post and I'll tell you why I didn't like it.

I never said the post had to be about me, but if it affects me then I'll badrep away. I don't care about getting badreps, I get alot, mainly just from people I've badrepped yes but whatever, but I'll give them as much as I want. People take badreps far too seriously anyway. If I don't like what a post says then I will badrep it. I assume your post was disrespectful to religious people being a non religious post, or else I'm not sure why I badrepped it because I don't usually just go around badreppin people for no good reason, unless I'm in a shitty mood lol.

So yeh just send the link and I'll tell you what the deal was. & I don't play the victim card ... I know I'm not a victim, I'm in the minority yes, but I am not the victim. I give as good as I take, and for that reason I'll keep doing my think and sticking up for what I believe.

Reading back now I realise I've used the word "badrep" far too often in this post but I'm sure all you understanding people will forgive me for that :angel:

*JR*
May 13th, 2006, 02:12 PM
Let me compliment RVD's err, Divine Wisdom :p ITT, and also Volcana's (especially in replying to Denise's unfair attack on me). As well as posts #56 by Roberto and #69 by Shane. To Erika, your reasoning in telling Roberto 2B a so-called "Cafeteria Catholic" (meaning picking and choosing which parts of its doctrine to follow) is quite presumptuous on your part. He's obviously chosen to err, "judge" the Catholic Church based on its own theological decisions, which is much more rational than your saying that one should "adhere to" a given religion, but then feel free to reconfigure it like Lego Blocks.

Erika_Angel
May 13th, 2006, 02:22 PM
To Erika, your reasoning in telling Roberto 2B a so-called "Cafeteria Catholic" (meaning picking and choosing which parts of its doctrine to follow) is quite presumptuous on your part. He's obviously chosen to err, "judge" the Catholic Church based on its own theological decisions, which is much more rational than your saying that one should "adhere to" a given religion, but then feel free to reconfigure it like Lego Blocks.

A religion is not something which should confine somebody and It is a personal relationship with your own beliefs.

I know NOONE who blindly follows everything the Catholic Church preaches. We have brains, we use them, and we all have our own personal interpretations and opinions of our faith.

You might see that as reconfiguring a religion like lego blocks, as you say, but it shows you don't understand what being part of a religion or faith really is all about. You, like many, probably think it is just about following rules that people tell you to do. Not true, at least from my experience.

As a Christian, my main goal is to live life the way that I think God would want me to. God has never come to earth and told people who to act, however s/he sent Jesus. Jesus' main message was to "love one another as I have loved you" ... and that is how I try to live my life. Of course it isn't going to be a straight path where I can immediantly respect everyone, but I try. Like I said before it is not my place to judge, so I just do my think and let people live life the way they wish. But I ask for respect for my beliefs in return, that isn't too much to ask for, but for some it seems to be.

Also just to clarify to some people, religions do not make people have moral guidelines, instead they just support them. People are brought up with moral beliefs stemmed from their upbringing ect just like non religious people. Yes, religions can have moral standards which help people to adhere towards the morals of society etc, but without religion, we wouldn't be savages, immoral or anything of the sort.

Lord Nelson
May 13th, 2006, 02:32 PM
I am glad this thread has been created, like that I can voice my support to the atheist Chinese government for having annexed the fundementalist Buddhist state that is Tibet. Booohooo the Dalai Lama cannot come back home. Snif, things are not too good in Sikiang wit the government cracking down on the Imams. I support the Chinese authoritarian hand in this and i am sure many of you non religious people will too. :yeah:

dementieva's fan
May 13th, 2006, 03:55 PM
I am glad this thread has been created, like that I can voice my support to the atheist Chinese government for having annexed the fundementalist Buddhist state that is Tibet. Booohooo the Dalai Lama cannot come back home. Snif, things are not too good in Sikiang wit the government cracking down on the Imams. I support the Chinese authoritarian hand in this and i am sure many of you non religious people will too. :yeah:
You are an atheist? :confused:

dementieva's fan
May 13th, 2006, 03:59 PM
I'm not a Muslim but, just as there are fundamental extremist Muslims, there are fundamental extremist Christians. The 'KKK' comes to mind.
FUNDAMENTALIST muslims are a cancer plaguing this world, FUNDAMENTALIST Catholics and Protestants are a tumour not far behind.

Yasmine
May 13th, 2006, 04:01 PM
FUNDAMENTALIST muslims are a cancer plaguing this world, FUNDAMENTALIST Catholics and Protestants are a tumour not far behind.
very well put;)

Lord Nelson
May 13th, 2006, 06:36 PM
You are an atheist? :confused: I thought you were a christian especially since I got this pm from you once...
Hey the pm was for your eyes only. I don't want to upset Muslims like Yasmine here. It also was meant to be a little humourous, my knack is at the fundementalists wherever they are and yes they include Christians too. I am not atheist I am agnostic and I have said time now and again that though I am agnostic I have high respect for my Christian identity just as someone like Yasmine may have respect for her Muslim identity. She probably is agnostic too. I don't know her but I am guessing here. I like Muslims but what i do not like are fundementalists. Down with Tibet independance movement!!!

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 07:27 PM
It is because I'm in the minority on this board as a straight Christian/Catholic female. Obviously my views differ from other peoples and my views get disrespected alot because lets face it they arn't the ideal ones to have on a board which is prodominately gay males (not to say I'm homophobic but alot seem to detest Christianity to the max).More likely it's because you are a poor excuse for a Christian. And like many, you don't understand what it is to BE a Christian.
And I'm not surprised, and there is no conspiracy because there arn't heaps of you there are a few and I know alot of people support that I'm not afraid to go against the norm here and stick up for what I think because they tell me. I respect other peoples views and trust me, never would I outright badrep somebody for having a different view if they did not disrespect mine in the process of telling theirs (as you have done on many occasions).And know you can add Liar to the list of things you are. You've already amassed quite a few distinct definitions [hypocrite, ignorant, intolerant, waffler, evasive, disrespectful, homophobic, racist -- as displayed early on in the African American Forum--- and a good many other not so Christian descriptions]. In short, you are a nasty piece of work lady. One I've received many PMs on and have attempted to cover for. Well, they were correct and I was naive about your true intentions. Seems we now all see through you. :(

terjw
May 13th, 2006, 07:40 PM
I would hope everyone here is appalled at Persecution, terrrorism, and wars based on religious or non-religious (e.g. communist) beliefs and that there's no argument with that.

But bringing it to a more personal level: I used to be a Christian. Now I'm agnostic - but for all practical purposes I live my life like an atheist as if there was no God. There's some really good people around with and without faith. So the thing I don't like is attacking or mocking someone else for their religious or non-religious beliefs.

In fact much as I detest those few active evangelical Christians who try to convert you, I like even less those arrogant agnostics and atheists who mock the religious beliefs of others. It must be tough if you are say a Christian and believe that non-believers are going to hell when you are with your non believing friends. You could alienate them if you try to convert them .... But there's no excuse for ppl like me to have a go at others for their religious beliefs.

Yasmine
May 13th, 2006, 07:47 PM
Hey the pm was for your eyes only. I don't want to upset Muslims like Yasmine here. It also was meant to be a little humourous, my knack is at the fundementalists wherever they are and yes they include Christians too. I am not atheist I am agnostic and I have said time now and again that though I am agnostic I have high respect for my Christian identity just as someone like Yasmine may have respect for her Muslim identity. She probably is agnostic too. I don't know her but I am guessing here. I like Muslims but what i do not like are fundementalists. Down with Tibet independance movement!!!
why the hell did I have to be mentionned in here? :scratch: The only reason why I could say I have muslim identity is because my dad is and therefore according to the morrocan law, that makes me one as well... nothing more. I wasn't brought up with any religious education. I respect the part of my family who is muslim, I always have but certainly consider myself as an atheist. Call that muslim culture maybe but certainly not identity.

Yasmine
May 13th, 2006, 07:49 PM
But bringing it to a more personal level: I used to be a Christian. Now I'm agnostic - but for all practical purposes I live my life like an atheist as if there was no God. There's some really good people around with and without faith. So the thing I don't like is attacking or mocking someone else for their religious or non-religious beliefs.
I think that's the main point of this thread (well I dare to hope anyway)

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 07:53 PM
I am glad this thread has been created, like that I can voice my support to the atheist Chinese government for having annexed the fundementalist Buddhist state that is Tibet. Booohooo the Dalai Lama cannot come back home. Snif, things are not too good in Sikiang wit the government cracking down on the Imams. I support the Chinese authoritarian hand in this and i am sure many of you non religious people will too. :yeah::lol: Oh stop stirring up trouble. :lol: :p

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 08:16 PM
I would hope everyone here is appalled at Persecution, terrrorism, and wars based on religious or non-religious (e.g. communist) beliefs and that there's no argument with that.

But bringing it to a more personal level: I used to be a Christian. Now I'm agnostic - but for all practical purposes I live my life like an atheist as if there was no God. There's some really good people around with and without faith. So the thing I don't like is attacking or mocking someone else for their religious or non-religious beliefs.

In fact much as I detest those few active evangelical Christians who try to convert you, I like even less those arrogant agnostics and atheists who mock the religious beliefs of others. It must be tough if you are say a Christian and believe that non-believers are going to hell when you are with your non believing friends. You could alienate them if you try to convert them .... But there's no excuse for ppl like me to have a go at others for their religious beliefs.I'm of a similar mind. Having had a Christian upbringing, I've seen both the good and bad of several Christian-based beliefs. Ultimately, it boils down to humans doing what humans do---choosing what and how much to believe. In fact, in reference to what Erika_Angel said in an ealier post, it amazes me when people say the following: I know NOONE who blindly follows everything the Catholic Church preaches. We have brains, we use them, and we all have our own personal interpretations and opinions of our faith.When in fact, this is exactly what the vast majority of the Catholics and Christians do. It is what has been pounded into them from birth. I deal with this type from both sides of the family all the time. They are called 'Fire-and-Brimstone Christians', and represent the fundamentalist side. And you were correct when you said that this drives people away (in fact, even those who've loved them and who they've loved since childhood). To these people, only religion matters.

And 'arrogance' should not be tolerated no matter the belief. Smugness and Pride are not attractive human qualities in my opinion.

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 08:19 PM
I think that's the main point of this thread (well I dare to hope anyway)Yes it is. But it may require frequent reiteration. So thanks. :lol: :wavey:

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 08:49 PM
As a Non-Religious person, do you believe in the DEATH PENALTY?

I do not.
I believe that this penalty misses the mark entirely, as evidenced by the continued high homicide rate nation-wide.

I realize that quite a few people believe this to be an acceptable deterrent, but the numbers do not support their beliefs. And there are others who believe that this is an acceptable form of revenge. :eek:
Religious or not, I can't see how this act provides closure. :shrug: The victim is still dead.
Plus, there are people who actually enjoy killing and who also don't value their own life. :scared:

What are your thoughts?

azdaja
May 13th, 2006, 09:26 PM
As a Non-Religious person, do you believe in the DEATH PENALTY?

no. there's nothing more i have to say about that matter. thankfully pretty much noone here supports it.

Yasmine
May 13th, 2006, 09:45 PM
Death Penalty? hell no... I won't say more either.

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 10:00 PM
I agree you guys. Also, that probably no one here supports it.

I find it very odd that most who do support it see no problem with the taking of another's life in order to satisfy their own grief. I would have thought that since most religious doctrines promote mercy and forgiveness the religious vs. non-religious beliefs on this subject would be switched.
I guess it's one of those rarities in life where the 'logical relations' aren't so logical :) .

*JR*
May 13th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Death Penalty? hell no... I won't say more either.
It doesn't reduce crime (being likely to get caught does that) and costs more for the endless appeals than keeping the really bad perps in jail for life. (More reasonably, until they're too old 2B menaces to society anymore, as long as they've served some serious time).

Many cops and prosecutors are often looking to "clear cases" IRL, not do all the stuff UC on TV so they're sure. (DA's used to fight requests for DNA testing, saying "the jury has spoken", blah re. ppl convicted B4 that was available, believe it or not).

And there's not DNA evidence @ every crime scene anyway (like in a shooting). I'm sure (given the # of ppl released, including from death row, after DNA tests proved them innocent) that others have been wrongly executed in the US. And the future could involve digitally created footage of crimes occuring, etc. So I say no.

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 10:18 PM
It doesn't reduce crime (being likely to get caught does that) and costs more for the endless appeals than keeping the really bad perps in jail for life. (More reasonably, until they're too old 2B menaces to society anymore, as long as they've served some serious time).Which begs the question: Why even have a 'death' penalty when it's been proven for decades to be ineffective? :shrug:
It's also a H U G E economic drain on the entire nation.
Am I incorrect in thinking that it's has more to do with satisfying personal grief, or is it something else entirely? :confused:
Many cops and prosecutors are often looking to "clear cases" IRL, not do all the stuff UC on TV so they're sure. (DA's used to fight requests for DNA testing, saying "the jury has spoken", blah re. ppl convicted B4 that was available, believe it or not).Exactly! [I]And to appease the wealthy constituency. ;)
And there's not DNA evidence @ every crime scene anyway (like in a shooting). I'm sure (given the # of ppl released, including from death row, after DNA tests proved them innocent) that others have been wrongly executed in the US. And the future could involve digitally created footage of crimes occuring, etc. So I say no.Though digital re-enactments have been in use for some time now, I know what you are implying and I completely agree. Such technology is a visual tool that is often misused in the courtroom purely for sake of effects. Like bringing in an emotionally grieving family member to sway the jury.

*JR*
May 13th, 2006, 10:32 PM
Which begs the question: Why even have a 'death' penalty when it's been proven for decades to be ineffective? :shrug:
It's also a H U G E economic drain on the entire nation.
Am I incorrect in thinking that it's has more to do with satisfying personal grief, or is it something else entirely? :confused:

Exactly! [I]And to appease the wealthy constituency. ;)
Though digital re-enactments have been in use for some time now, I know what you are implying and I completely agree. Such technology is a visual tool that is often misused in the courtroom purely for sake of effects. Like bringing in an emotionally grieving family member to sway the jury.
There's another factor not mentioned yet: the "death eligible jury", where all 12 members have said that they're willing to impose the death penalty. In theory, they should be no more likely to find a defendant guilty with lousy evidence than a jury not "screened" re. that. In practice, they do tend to give the prosecution the benefit of the doubt (according to every legal commentator I've ever heard talk about this).

RVD
May 13th, 2006, 10:50 PM
There's another factor not mentioned yet: the "death eligible jury", where all 12 members have said that they're willing to impose the death penalty. In theory, they should be no more likely to find a defendant guilty with lousy evidence than a jury not "screened" re. that. In practice, they do tend to give the prosecution the benefit of the doubt (according to every legal commentator I've ever heard talk about this).Is this in any way related to the push to incorporate a 'Professional Jury' into the mainstream legal system? Because I find that to be a very scary concept. :scared: The abuse potential is far too great for my taste.

mykarma
May 13th, 2006, 11:35 PM
As a Non-Religious person, do you believe in the DEATH PENALTY?

I do not.
I believe that this penalty misses the mark entirely, as evidenced by the continued high homicide rate nation-wide.

I realize that quite a few people believe this to be an acceptable deterrent, but the numbers do not support their beliefs. And there are others who believe that this is an acceptable form of revenge. :eek:
Religious or not, I can't see how this act provides closure. :shrug: The victim is still dead.
Plus, there are people who actually enjoy killing and who also don't value their own life. :scared:

What are your thoughts?
I absolutely do not believe in the death penalty. IMO, the death penalty is no better than the criminal we call ourselves punishing. Statistics show that countries that practice the death penalty have more murders than countries that do not.

*JR*
May 14th, 2006, 12:11 AM
Is this in any way related to the push to incorporate a 'Professional Jury' into the mainstream legal system? Because I find that to be a very scary concept. :scared: The abuse potential is far too great for my taste.
No, and in fact I think professional juries (selected @ random for a particular case from the "pool") would be better equipped to separate the question of guilt from what penalty they'd impose where there's a guilty verdict. And not be influenced by what they hear that the judge orders them to disregard, etc.

You're not considering something else in the current system: by the time the members of a jury (some of whose members may have waited thru the process, only to go home on another occasion) have "waded thru it" again, they may be pissed about that. And the only one they can "take it out on" is... the defendant.

OTOH, regular juries also pull crap that a professional one never would. Judge Ito specifically told the OJ jury NOT TO VOTE B4 deliberating. (It makes ppl more likely to try to fit the facts to their initial opinions). So what's the first thing they did? And if that one woman didn't vote guilty @ first to force @ least SOME debate, they might have reached a verdict in 15 minutes, not 4 hours!

RVD
May 14th, 2006, 12:53 AM
No, and in fact I think professional juries (selected @ random for a particular case from the "pool") would be better equipped to separate the question of guilt from what penalty they'd impose where there's a guilty verdict. And not be influenced by what they hear that the judge orders them to disregard, etc.I'm not so sure I agree. I don't fully believe it's a matter of guilt or innocence [at least in America], but more so a question of politics. Far too often politics defines the results of a case or sentencing. And though I admit to there being some good points to having a professional jury, in theory, any professional body is far too easily influenced and thus highly suspect. On the other hand, it's much harder to convince people who are not [legally] obligated to the system, one way or the other.
You're not considering something else in the current system: by the time the members of a jury (some of whose members may have waited thru the process, only to go home on another occasion) have "waded thru it" again, they may be pissed about that. And the only one they can "take it out on" is... the defendant.Point taken. However, I heard where the contrary has occurred as well. Someone who has a bone to pick with the judicial system allows the guilty party to go free. :shrug: I'd imagine that there are less of the former than the latter.
OTOH, regular juries also pull crap that a professional one never would. Judge Ito specifically told the OJ jury NOT TO VOTE B4 deliberating. (It makes ppl more likely to try to fit the facts to their initial opinions). So what's the first thing they did? And if that one woman didn't vote guilty @ first to force @ least SOME debate, they might have reached a verdict in 15 minutes, not 4 hours!True, but it's also possible that that particular incident had more to do with the media coverage and some of the jurors being privy to public opinion info prior to deliberation than anything else. :shrug: Also, there was soooo much wrong in that case [much of it by the prosecution and prosecution witnesses, and police force] that it was more a done deal even before the deliberation phase. I don't know if I'd use the OJ case on which to base an opinion on, except for as a model for what NOT to do. :lol:

P.S.
Thank you for catching that mistake *JR*. :wavey:

John A Roark
May 14th, 2006, 02:06 AM
Hey, Ree--
late to the thread.
Where you keep coming up with some of the most intelligent ideas on the board beats me--but keep it up, man!

I have to approach this from a 'reformed' POV.
I was brought up indifferently, came to the church at age 15, fell away several times, and then was almost militantly agnostic for several years. Ayn Rand was a goddess, as far as I was concerned.

But I have since come back to the Episcopal Church--after reading John Spong, JD Crossan, Matthew Fox, and those of such persuasion, my outlook is noting like what it was before and about 179 degrees away from the traditional Christian stance as it has developed (mistakenly) over the centuries.

Dr. Peck talks about the four stages of a person's spirituality.
Stage I is when the person is a baby (of any age), spoon-fed ideas and learning the basics.
Stage II is where a lot of people are, especially the 'fundamentalists.' Everything in stage II is black-and-white, no variation from prescribed doctrine, 'my way or the highway' thinking. God to them is an external being--they have so little understanding of that measure of God living in each one of us. They think of God as 'up there,' 'out there.' They genaerally envision God as a sort of supernatural cop in the sky. In many ways that is the only knid of God they can handle.
Stage III is where I see so many intelligent people on the boards. They have come to value human intelligence and reason above almost everything else. Usually they are principled, self-governing human beings who see no use in an institution like the organized church. "Who needs these myths, anyway?" That's when they fall away from the church, to becomes doubters, atheists, agnostics.
They are not religious, but they are neither anti-social; often they are the ones who make up the backbone of organizations like Physicians for Social Reform and Habitat for Humanity. They make committed and loving parents. Invariably they seek the truth.

I hope I do not flatter myself when I say I like to consider myself, at least at times, a stage IV human. I could not give up on the truth as I saw it, and after searching long enough, I found enough glimpses of the truth that the big picture, tho fuzzy, was very beautiful, and it strangely resembles many of the myths I learned in childhood.
Peck calls this 'mystical'--seeing a kind of cohesion beneath the surface of things. Mystics see a kind of interconnectedness, and tend to speak in terms of unity and community. They tend to speak in terms of paradox.

Stage Two people, the strict ones, tend to feel threatened by the skeptic individualists of Stage Three, and they really run from stage Four people, who seem to believe what they believe, and yet they believe them with a freedom they find absolutely terrifying.
Stage Three people--the skeptics--are not particularly threatened by Stage Two people, whom they usually toss off as superstitious idiots. But if you mention 'conversion' to one of them, they see a missionary strong-arming a heathen, and go right through the roof.

I'll be glad to own up to Christianity's horrible past. What the church has done in the name of religion is brutal and inexcusable. There are so many good reasons for folks to leave the church that I'm surprised we have Christians left.

There are so many different aspects to address.

Erika_Angel
May 14th, 2006, 02:30 AM
More likely it's because you are a poor excuse for a Christian. And like many, you don't understand what it is to BE a Christian.
And know you can add Liar to the list of things you are. You've already amassed quite a few distinct definitions [hypocrite, ignorant, intolerant, waffler, evasive, disrespectful, homophobic, racist -- as displayed early on in the African American Forum--- and a good many other not so Christian descriptions]. In short, you are a nasty piece of work lady. One I've received many PMs on and have attempted to cover for. Well, they were correct and I was naive about your true intentions. Seems we now all see through you. :(

Oh please ... I badrepped you cause you were badtalking religious people making them out to be stupid .... I didn't like it ... I gave you a badrep ... get over it, sheesh. Talk about overreacting.

In fact, in reference to what Erika_Angel said in an ealier post, it amazes me when people say the following: When in fact, this is exactly what the vast majority of the Catholics and Christians do. It is what has been pounded into them from birth. I deal with this type from both sides of the family all the time. They are called 'Fire-and-Brimstone Christians', and represent the fundamentalist side. And you were correct when you said that this drives people away (in fact, even those who've loved them and who they've loved since childhood). To these people, only religion matters.

And 'arrogance' should not be tolerated no matter the belief. Smugness and Pride are not attractive human qualities in my opinion.

Please don't act like I don't know what I am talking about, I am religious, I live in a religious community, everyone I know many religious people and I stand by the fact that I don't know anyone who is an extremist blindly following EVERYTHING that their faith supposedly asks.

As a Non-Religious person, do you believe in the DEATH PENALTY?

I'm religious, and I don't support it in the slightest.

*JR*
May 14th, 2006, 02:37 AM
Ayn Rand was a goddess, as far as I was concerned.

:secret: Jack, Ayn Rand was no agnostic, but an (angry) unwavering atheist. And I presume your words below this insert are re. Peck's Stage IV folks:

They are not religious, but they are neither anti-social; often they are the ones who make up the backbone of organizations like Physicians for Social Reform and Habitat for Humanity. They make committed and loving parents. Invariably they seek the truth.

And so, a song for all the 4's out there:

"Teach Your Children"
Crosby Stills Nash & Young

You... who are on the road
Must have a code... that you can live by
And so... become yourself
Because the past... is just a goodbye.

Teach... your children well
Their father's hell... did slowly go by
And feed... them on your dreams
The one they picks... the one you'll know by

Don't you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and siiii...ggghhh
And know they love you.

And you... of tender years
Can't know the fears... that your elders grew by
And so please help... them with your youth
They seek the truth... before they can die.

Teach... your parents well
Their children's hell... will slowly go by
And feed... them on your dreams
The one they picks... the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and siii...ggghhh
And know they love you.

Fingon
May 14th, 2006, 03:01 AM
FUNDAMENTALIST muslims are a cancer plaguing this world, FUNDAMENTALIST Catholics and Protestants are a tumour not far behind.

I would rather say fundamentalist muslims are a tumour in the brain, needs to be operated or we will die.

fundamentalist catholics and protestant are a tumour in a less important organ (too lazy to think which they could be), we will feel better if we get rid of them, but at the moment they don't present a serious threat, mainly a nuissance.

John A Roark
May 14th, 2006, 03:05 AM
Those words were re: stage IIIs, actually.
The idea that non-religious people can't be good people is ludicrous at best and insulting certainly.
I won't say the two are mutually exclusive, but one has little to do with the other. I have a great deal of respect for several here who aren't believers--just as I do for those of faith. I am proud to call ReeVee my friend and would be just as proud to call him my neighbor.

Fingon
May 14th, 2006, 03:11 AM
As a Non-Religious person, do you believe in the DEATH PENALTY?

I do not.
I believe that this penalty misses the mark entirely, as evidenced by the continued high homicide rate nation-wide.

I realize that quite a few people believe this to be an acceptable deterrent, but the numbers do not support their beliefs. And there are others who believe that this is an acceptable form of revenge. :eek:
Religious or not, I can't see how this act provides closure. :shrug: The victim is still dead.
Plus, there are people who actually enjoy killing and who also don't value their own life. :scared:

What are your thoughts?

I am an atheist, and I support the death penalty in certain cases.

e.g. someone that rapes a baby.

I don't understand why every single discussion about death penalty, or punishment in general focused only on the effects of such a punishment in the crime rate.

That's NOT a reason to choose a particular punishment.

There are 3 main objectives that must be followed by any punishment (including death penalty).

1) to take a dangerous criminal out of the streets and not allow him/her to commit another crime, jail time obviously does that too.
2) to dissuade others from committing a similar crime, it's good if it helps but normally, punishment does not do anything on this regard, an efficient police force does a lot more.

3) the most important, a punishment is ... a punishment, it's justice, if you commit a crime you should pay for it, if your crime is horrendous enough, then you should be killed.

I do not support it for most cases, but there are some very specific ones that I do.

I am tired of hearing that the law should not punish criminals, but rather reeducate them.

They mix everything together, you certainly can reinstate in society a person that steals, or commits fraud.

but someone who murders a baby? no way, that person cannot be recovered (if you can call him/her person).

Take Paul Bernardo and Homolka, they raped and tortured and killed two teenage girls for pleasure, do you really think they can be recovered? their mind is so putrid that stinks, what's the points of keeping that animal alive?

RVD
May 14th, 2006, 03:16 AM
Hey, Ree--
late to the thread.
Where you keep coming up with some of the most intelligent ideas on the board beats me--but keep it up, man!

I have to approach this from a 'reformed' POV.
I was brought up indifferently, came to the church at age 15, fell away several times, and then was almost militantly agnostic for several years. Ayn Rand was a goddess, as far as I was concerned.

But I have since come back to the Episcopal Church--after reading John Spong, JD Crossan, Matthew Fox, and those of such persuasion, my outlook is noting like what it was before and about 179 degrees away from the traditional Christian stance as it has developed (mistakenly) over the centuries.

Dr. Peck talks about the four stages of a person's spirituality.
Stage I is when the person is a baby (of any age), spoon-fed ideas and learning the basics.
Stage II is where a lot of people are, especially the 'fundamentalists.' Everything in stage II is black-and-white, no variation from prescribed doctrine, 'my way or the highway' thinking. God to them is an external being--they have so little understanding of that measure of God living in each one of us. They think of God as 'up there,' 'out there.' They genaerally envision God as a sort of supernatural cop in the sky. In many ways that is the only knid of God they can handle.
Stage III is where I see so many intelligent people on the boards. They have come to value human intelligence and reason above almost everything else. Usually they are principled, self-governing human beings who see no use in an institution like the organized church. "Who needs these myths, anyway?" That's when they fall away from the church, to becomes doubters, atheists, agnostics.
They are not religious, but they are neither anti-social; often they are the ones who make up the backbone of organizations like Physicians for Social Reform and Habitat for Humanity. They make committed and loving parents. Invariably they seek the truth.

I hope I do not flatter myself when I say I like to consider myself, at least at times, a stage IV human. I could not give up on the truth as I saw it, and after searching long enough, I found enough glimpses of the truth that the big picture, tho fuzzy, was very beautiful, and it strangely resembles many of the myths I learned in childhood.
Peck calls this 'mystical'--seeing a kind of cohesion beneath the surface of things. Mystics see a kind of interconnectedness, and tend to speak in terms of unity and community. They tend to speak in terms of paradox.

Stage Two people, the strict ones, tend to feel threatened by the skeptic individualists of Stage Three, and they really run from stage Four people, who seem to believe what they believe, and yet they believe them with a freedom they find absolutely terrifying.
Stage Three people--the skeptics--are not particularly threatened by Stage Two people, whom they usually toss off as superstitious idiots. But if you mention 'conversion' to one of them, they see a missionary strong-arming a heathen, and go right through the roof.

I'll be glad to own up to Christianity's horrible past. What the church has done in the name of religion is brutal and inexcusable. There are so many good reasons for folks to leave the church that I'm surprised we have Christians left.

There are so many different aspects to address. :o :o You are too kind John. :wavey: :cool:

And yours was a GREAT read! :worship:
And yes, there are an incredible number of aspects to address. I promise you that we have barely scratched the surface in this thread, but we'll delve much further [hopefully] in the next few days. :)

But in response to your post...

As defined by your post, I'm most stage three with a touch of stage four. :cool: In fact, what you wrote strongly reflects a film I saw that you may already be familiar with entitled:
"What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0399877/
*Interesting note* Marlee Matlin does a fantastic job.
This film delves into much of the Stage IV ideology, and certainly makes you think beyond yourself. I won't even attempt to categorize this movie or go into any great detail, but if you are so inclined, it makes for a fascinating viewing [above link] and read...[following link]
http://www.whatthebleep.com/images/bookcover.jpg
http://www.whatthebleep.com/
A sequel to the original film is supposed to be available in the U.S., but I haven't been able to get my hands on it as yet.
http://www.whatthebleep.com/images/rabbitholeposter.jpg

The film has something for everyone, regardless of what one believes. And it essentially makes a statement of a higher being working in concert with non and unknown science(s). But mostly, it details and codifies what we know. :) :cool:
Synopsis excerpt:
This is a very interesting (and exciting actually) merge of drama and documentary. It is not a homogenous blend so the term "Docu-drama" doesn't really apply. Rather an inter-editing of five or six pundits (mostly intellectual Ph.D & MD types) delighting in verbalizing the theory of quantum mechanics and its implications in our daily lives and more specifically self-concepts. To bring the point home, the filmmakers have set these speeches spinning in and out of a seemingly real-time drama in which a distressed, frustrated woman begins to see other possibilities for her life. That sounds abstract, but the filmmakers do a great job of making concrete her emotions, chemistry accenting the drama and lecture with very good animated images that put into picture some pretty heady bio-mathematical talk.http://www.rossanthony.com/W/whatbleep.shtml
For anyone interested in broadening their knowledge base, I HIGHLY recommend this film. It will answer many of the question you may have, but mostly generate innumerable others. :worship:

kiwifan
May 14th, 2006, 03:20 AM
Hey, Ree--
late to the thread.
Where you keep coming up with some of the most intelligent ideas on the board beats me--but keep it up, man!

I have to approach this from a 'reformed' POV.
I was brought up indifferently, came to the church at age 15, fell away several times, and then was almost militantly agnostic for several years. Ayn Rand was a goddess, as far as I was concerned.

But I have since come back to the Episcopal Church--after reading John Spong, JD Crossan, Matthew Fox, and those of such persuasion, my outlook is noting like what it was before and about 179 degrees away from the traditional Christian stance as it has developed (mistakenly) over the centuries.

Dr. Peck talks about the four stages of a person's spirituality.
Stage I is when the person is a baby (of any age), spoon-fed ideas and learning the basics.
Stage II is where a lot of people are, especially the 'fundamentalists.' Everything in stage II is black-and-white, no variation from prescribed doctrine, 'my way or the highway' thinking. God to them is an external being--they have so little understanding of that measure of God living in each one of us. They think of God as 'up there,' 'out there.' They genaerally envision God as a sort of supernatural cop in the sky. In many ways that is the only knid of God they can handle.
Stage III is where I see so many intelligent people on the boards. They have come to value human intelligence and reason above almost everything else. Usually they are principled, self-governing human beings who see no use in an institution like the organized church. "Who needs these myths, anyway?" That's when they fall away from the church, to becomes doubters, atheists, agnostics.
They are not religious, but they are neither anti-social; often they are the ones who make up the backbone of organizations like Physicians for Social Reform and Habitat for Humanity. They make committed and loving parents. Invariably they seek the truth.

I hope I do not flatter myself when I say I like to consider myself, at least at times, a stage IV human. I could not give up on the truth as I saw it, and after searching long enough, I found enough glimpses of the truth that the big picture, tho fuzzy, was very beautiful, and it strangely resembles many of the myths I learned in childhood.
Peck calls this 'mystical'--seeing a kind of cohesion beneath the surface of things. Mystics see a kind of interconnectedness, and tend to speak in terms of unity and community. They tend to speak in terms of paradox.

Stage Two people, the strict ones, tend to feel threatened by the skeptic individualists of Stage Three, and they really run from stage Four people, who seem to believe what they believe, and yet they believe them with a freedom they find absolutely terrifying.
Stage Three people--the skeptics--are not particularly threatened by Stage Two people, whom they usually toss off as superstitious idiots. But if you mention 'conversion' to one of them, they see a missionary strong-arming a heathen, and go right through the roof.

I'll be glad to own up to Christianity's horrible past. What the church has done in the name of religion is brutal and inexcusable. There are so many good reasons for folks to leave the church that I'm surprised we have Christians left.

There are so many different aspects to address.

You've touched my cynical heart and I can't rep you again yet...so I post. :angel: :angel: :angel:

I consider myself a christian as in I buy into the judeo-christian brand of religion but I simply don't trust preachers/rabbis/reverends (with a few specific exceptions) etc. - I just see "the hustle" too clearly. ;) :tape:

mykarma
May 14th, 2006, 03:32 AM
I am an atheist, and I support the death penalty in certain cases.

e.g. someone that rapes a baby.

I don't understand why every single discussion about death penalty, or punishment in general focused only on the effects of such a punishment in the crime rate.

That's NOT a reason to choose a particular punishment.

There are 3 main objectives that must be followed by any punishment (including death penalty).

1) to take a dangerous criminal out of the streets and not allow him/her to commit another crime, jail time obviously does that too.
2) to dissuade others from committing a similar crime, it's good if it helps but normally, punishment does not do anything on this regard, an efficient police force does a lot more.

3) the most important, a punishment is ... a punishment, it's justice, if you commit a crime you should pay for it, if your crime is horrendous enough, then you should be killed.

I do not support it for most cases, but there are some very specific ones that I do.

I am tired of hearing that the law should not punish criminals, but rather reeducate them.

They mix everything together, you certainly can reinstate in society a person that steals, or commits fraud.

but someone who murders a baby? no way, that person cannot be recovered (if you can call him/her person).

Take Paul Bernardo and Homolka, they raped and tortured and killed two teenage girls for pleasure, do you really think they can be recovered? their mind is so putrid that stinks, what's the points of keeping that animal alive?
I think their are plenty of people that deserve the death penalty, but, murder is murder whether it is done by an individual or the state.

Aren't Christians breaking one of the 10 commandments when utilitzing the death penalty. As a practicing Buddhist, I believe in "cause and effect" or karma. Whether the murderer gets their punishment now or later, they will get the effects of their actions.

Fingon
May 14th, 2006, 03:49 AM
I think their are plenty of people that deserve the death penalty, but, murder is murder whether it is done by an individual or the state.

I wouldn't call it murder, I would call it cleaning.

Aren't Christians breaking one of the 10 commandments when utilitzing the death penalty. As a practicing Buddhist, I believe in "cause and effect" or karma. Whether the murderer gets their punishment now or later, they will get the effects of their actions.
I don't know, I am an atheist, maybe they are.

but that's one of the reason why I support the death penalty, I don't believe they will get their punishment after they are dead, I don't believe in the afterlife.

RVD
May 14th, 2006, 03:52 AM
Those words were re: stage IIIs, actually.
The idea that non-religious people can't be good people is ludicrous at best and insulting certainly. :worship: Hence the purpose and essence of the thread. :D :cool:
I won't say the two are mutually exclusive, but one has little to do with the other. I have a great deal of respect for several here who aren't believers--just as I do for those of faith. I am proud to call ReeVee my friend and would be just as proud to call him my neighbor.It comes with being open-minded and receptive of the individual first, and respectful of their personal choice, I'd imagine. ;) I have a great deal of respect for intellects whether they be religious or not. :cool: Communication is the bridge to knowledge, understand, acceptance, and ultimately, wisdom. And I am equally proud to call you friend. http://smilies.vidahost.com/contrib/ruinkai/wwcontent.gifhttp://smilies.vidahost.com/contrib/lynx/whitpleased.gif
I believe that one of the greatest gifts one individual can offer another is the freedom to choose his own course. And then to respect that choice. :cool:

RVD
May 14th, 2006, 04:47 AM
I am an atheist, and I support the death penalty in certain cases.

e.g. someone that rapes a baby.I once read of a murder case whereby the male and female perpetrators abducted a woman, killed her, cut her open to extract the baby, and then killed the baby. I can't recall the exact name of the case, but it was hor-ri-ble! Neither the man or woman showed remorse. In fact, they were sexually turned on by it all. :eek: In a case like this, I'll admit that I consider this duo a prime candidate for the death penalty. :mad: However, I'd prefer that they serve life imprisonment and be subjected to the harshest conditions under the law. Putting them to death just seems like we are allowing them to avoid justice. But more than that, these heinous folks are treated like guests for untold years before finally being snuffed out. I just feel that there is a better way to deal with such vermin. I just don't know what that may be as yet.
I don't understand why every single discussion about death penalty, or punishment in general focused only on the effects of such a punishment in the crime rate.

That's NOT a reason to choose a particular punishment.AGREED!
There are 3 main objectives that must be followed by any punishment (including death penalty).

1) to take a dangerous criminal out of the streets and not allow him/her to commit another crime, jail time obviously does that too.
2) to dissuade others from committing a similar crime, it's good if it helps but normally, punishment does not do anything on this regard, an efficient police force does a lot more.

3) the most important, a punishment is ... a punishment, it's justice, if you commit a crime you should pay for it, if your crime is horrendous enough, then you should be killed.

I do not support it for most cases, but there are some very specific ones that I do.#1, I believe everyone can agree on.
#2, is where the law falls short. They don't know how to dissuade criminals. And personally, I don't think that they want to. Since the judicial system is a business, in order to survive, they put almost zero effort into crime prevention. The more criminals that are incarcerated [kept alive] the better for business. So basically, we the people need to force them to change the business model so that the scum of the Earth are removed from the general public and used as examples [whatever and however that may be].
#3, more can definitely be done to create more effective method of punishment. Criminals are humans and all humans have a breaking point. The key is in discovering that breaking point. Otherwise, the alternative is that they continue to be an economic and societal drain on society.
Quite frankly, I don't love the fact that my tax dollars are used to keep either side [criminals and their keepers] living a life of luxury.
I am tired of hearing that the law should not punish criminals, but rather reeducate them.

They mix everything together, you certainly can reinstate in society a person that steals, or commits fraud.

but someone who murders a baby? no way, that person cannot be recovered (if you can call him/her person).Some can be reeducated. But the most hardened of criminals...? :shrug: Again, it's a tough call.
Do we create a new 'extreme remote prison' region [north pole, Sahara dessert, the moon :lol: ] and force them to fend for themselves or die in the process? Or just kill 'em off?
At the very least, an acceptable approach deserves consideration, imo.
Take Paul Bernardo and Homolka, they raped and tortured and killed two teenage girls for pleasure, do you really think they can be recovered? their mind is so putrid that stinks, what's the points of keeping that animal alive?These two sound like the perfect test case for my 'extreme remote prison region'. :devil:

P.S.
I could probably be easily persuaded to change my position on this if a member of my family is ever murdered. Just being honest. ;)

Fingon
May 14th, 2006, 05:04 AM
I once read of a murder case whereby the male and female perpetrators abducted a woman, killed her, cut her open to extract the baby, and then killed the baby. I can't recall the exact name of the case, but it was hor-ri-ble! Neither the man or woman showed remorse. In fact, they were sexually turned on by it all. :eek: In a case like this, I'll admit that I consider this duo a prime candidate for the death penalty. :mad: However, I'd prefer that they serve life imprisonment and be subjected to the harshest conditions under the law. Putting them to death just seems like we are allowing them to avoid justice. But more than that, these heinous folks are treated like guests for untold years before finally being snuffed out. I just feel that there is a better way to deal with such vermin. I just don't know what that may be as yet.

well, I am particulary sensitive to crimes like that because I have a little baby.

Anyway, if I answer from my heart, no, I wouldn't kill them, I would torture them until the last day of their lives and I would use whatever is available from the medical science to keep them alive as long as possible, I would make them regret what they've done every second, you don't want to know the details.
But from my brain, they are scum, you won't change what they've done and in fact, you can't punish them enough, society is better off without scum like that, follow the Russian (Soviet Union) model, just a shoot in the head, game over.

#2, is where the law falls short. They don't know how to dissuade criminals. And personally, I don't think that they want to. Since the judicial system is a business, in order to survive, they put almost zero effort into crime prevention. The more criminals that are incarcerated [kept alive] the better for business. So basically, we the people need to force them to change the business model so that the scum of the Earth are removed from the general public and used as examples [whatever and however that may be].


the problem is, no matter how harsh you are with criminals, people don't become criminals just because the punishment is not bad enough, there are other reasons and really, they won't be removed. You need strong law enforcement. if the penalty is harsh but you don't catch them, it's pretty useless.

#3, more can definitely be done to create more effective method of punishment. Criminals are humans and all humans have a breaking point.

I don't know if some of them can be considered human, your example is one case, remember those rats that killed a little baby with a shovel because he was crying in Italy, I have a serious problem trying to think of them as human.

The key is in discovering that breaking point. Otherwise, the alternative is that they continue to be an economic and societal drain on society.

in cases like the above mentioned, the breaking point is a bullet in their head.

Quite frankly, I don't love the fact that my tax dollars are used to keep either side [criminals and their keepers] living a life of luxury.
Some can be reeducated. But the most hardened of criminals...? :shrug: Again, it's a tough call.


problem is, they mix them together, you can steal a car and be convicted to 2 years or so, and be sharing the jail with child rapists of serial killers.

Do we create a new 'extreme remote prison' region [north pole, Sahara dessert, the moon :lol: ] and force them to fend for themselves or die in the process? Or just kill 'em off?

kill them off, it's cheaper.


P.S.
I could probably be easily persuaded to change my position on this if a member of my family is ever murdered. Just being honest. ;)

I just won't go there, but I think you can imagine my answer.

John A Roark
May 14th, 2006, 05:24 AM
Here's where I stand on the death penalty:
I am pro-life.
I cannot support a women's choice to have an abortion.
But I cannot support a law that denies her the right to make that choice.
If I am for life, that's an absolute--life or death, no middle ground. "He is the God of the living, not the dead."
Internal logic therefore will not let me support the death penalty.

Solitaire
May 14th, 2006, 07:32 AM
Quite frankly, I don't love the fact that my tax dollars are used to keep either side [criminals and their keepers] living a life of luxury.

I disagree with u on that point. Certain aspect of our society romanticizes prison life. Criminals aren't sent to country clubs where all their needs are met. Prison is dog eat dog and isn't a very nice place. Imagine having to sleep with one eye open every night. Not knowing if u'll make it through the day alive. When violent criminals are put in a small space together 24/7 bad things happen. The sad thing is we send criminals away but don’t try to fix the problem. They go in bad and come out worse.


As for the death penalty I don't agree with it. Killing someone for murdering another human being doesn't make much sense to me. Murdering prisoners won't make things right it won't bring the dead back. As we all know the death penalty doesn't curtail crime. It might fill the need for revenge but revenge isn't a positive state of being.

azdaja
May 14th, 2006, 10:12 AM
the purpose of punishment should be rehabilitation, not revenge.

Yasmine
May 14th, 2006, 10:20 AM
I absolutely do not believe in the death penalty. IMO, the death penalty is no better than the criminal we call ourselves punishing. Statistics show that countries that practice the death penalty have more murders than countries that do not.
short and exactly right! :yeah: :worship:

azdaja
May 14th, 2006, 10:26 AM
I would rather say fundamentalist muslims are a tumour in the brain, needs to be operated or we will die.

fundamentalist catholics and protestant are a tumour in a less important organ (too lazy to think which they could be), we will feel better if we get rid of them, but at the moment they don't present a serious threat, mainly a nuissance.
it depends. islamic fundamentalists may appear as a mor serious threat, but they hide in caves in remote areas for the most part. christian fundamentalists on the other hand appear to have considerable influence on politics in the most powerful country in the world. therefore i'm not convinced that the islamic fundamentalist are that much of a threat. controlling afghanistan did not make them a threat, controlling saudi arabia does not make them a threat and controlling iran also does not. and iran is arguably the most powerful state there.

of course, they could try to obtain a nuclear weapon and use it in a terrorist attack. this is a serious threat, but it wouldn't lead to the destruction of the world. only very powerful states could achieve that. nazis were very dangerous when they were in charge in germany. neo-nazis today are not much dangerous even though they have killed hundreds of people in germany over past 15 years.

Yasmine
May 14th, 2006, 10:28 AM
the purpose of punishment should be rehabilitation, not revenge.
absolutely, I actually always thought that applying death penalty to a criminal who commited horrid acts was a way to make it simplier for him in a way... Now problem is in most countries, jail sentences for life are hardly ever respected and these guys are out after 20-30 years, and what happens then? either they are given no chance to lead a proper life with eventually proper support, either they get back into crime, and the first leading to the second. So although I never have and never will support death penalty ever I can see how some think it's the best solution.
As you pointed out I think serious efforts should be make for rehabilitation, that would certainly help the crime statistics get lower more than death penalty ever has.

tfannis
May 14th, 2006, 10:58 AM
Death Penalty? Totaly against it :shrug:

John A Roark
May 14th, 2006, 12:04 PM
absolutely, I actually always thought that applying death penalty to a criminal who commited horrid acts was a way to make it simplier for him in a way... Now problem is in most countries, jail sentences for life are hardly ever respected and these guys are out after 20-30 years, and what happens then? either they are given no chance to lead a proper life with eventually proper support, either they get back into crime, and the first leading to the second. So although I never have and never will support death penalty ever I can see how some think it's the best solution.
As you pointed out I think serious efforts should be make for rehabilitation, that would certainly help the crime statistics get lower more than death penalty ever has.
:worship:
Yasmine is a wise one, listen to her.

mykarma
May 14th, 2006, 06:30 PM
I wouldn't call it murder, I would call it cleaning.

I don't know, I am an atheist, maybe they are.

but that's one of the reason why I support the death penalty, I don't believe they will get their punishment after they are dead, I don't believe in the afterlife.
What about the innocent people that the state kills? Who pays for their deaths?

John A Roark
May 15th, 2006, 01:01 AM
Morality...

First of all, let's discard the notion that any true morality can only come from a religious base. What a load of nonsense that is.
If we were to design a morality based strictly on the archaic notions of, say, the Torah, I would be justified in stoning you if you mixed cotton and polyester.
Let's be real, folks.
Elisha was such an all-fired holy man that God sent 42 bears to rend children to bits for making fun of the old coot's baldness? Sorry, whoever wrote that little gem of a story has no part in making my morality.

I once heard morality defined thus: "Behavior designed to ensure the survival of the human race at each level of hierarchy." Individual, family, clan, tribe, nation, race(human race). What do we need to do to keep us surviving and thriving?

Morality is a code of behavior, not a mandate from God. He cares, I know, but the big commandment is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Have you ever noticed that every religion, every form of belief, carries that injunction somewhere in its heritage? You can find a version of it in Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Shinto, you name it. But what some religions give us as a code of morality is a human overlay, I have to think. And a poor one, at that.

You out there who have no use for organized religion or even the notion of God are quite justified in despising some of the trash that has been passed off on the world as 'morality' by any of the religious systems around. All the old hierarchical, patriarchal systems strive more for power than toward love. And no morality can succeed unless it is grounded in love for the very humans it wants to save.

Just a reflection from a hopefully enlightened believer.

Fingon
May 15th, 2006, 01:14 AM
it depends. islamic fundamentalists may appear as a mor serious threat, but they hide in caves in remote areas for the most part.


Like 2 United Airlines and 2 American Airlines flights on 9/11? like the London subway? like the Madrid trains? like the Russian schools? like a Moscow theatre? like an Indonesian resort?

christian fundamentalists on the other hand appear to have considerable influence on politics in the most powerful country in the world.


not really, the real influence is economic power.

therefore i'm not convinced that the islamic fundamentalist are that much of a threat. controlling afghanistan did not make them a threat,

maybe you should ask the 9/11 victims if controlling Afghanistan didn't make them a threat.

controlling saudi arabia does not make them a threat


they don't control Saudi Arabia.

and controlling iran also does not. and iran is arguably the most powerful state there.

really?, interesting assessment, I am sure the government of the US, the UK, AND France would be very relieved if they knew your assessment.

of course, they could try to obtain a nuclear weapon and use it in a terrorist attack. this is a serious threat, but it wouldn't lead to the destruction of the world. only very powerful states could achieve that.


really? do you understand what nuclear weapons are? the very same moment than muslim terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb in an US city, they will blow the Middle East off the map, it could trigger a nuclear war and if there is something the scientist agree is that the world would be destroyed.

nazis were very dangerous when they were in charge in germany. neo-nazis today are not much dangerous even though they have killed hundreds of people in germany over past 15 years.

again, ask their victims if they are dangerous or not.

Fingon
May 15th, 2006, 01:16 AM
As you pointed out I think serious efforts should be make for rehabilitation, that would certainly help the crime statistics get lower more than death penalty ever has.

do you really think you can rehabilitate someone that extracts a fetus from her mother and gets turned on doing that?

can you rehabilitate someone that tortures, rapes and kills two teenage girls for pleasure?

can you rehabiliate an animal that hits a baby in the face with a shovel because he is crying?

really, can you?

kiwifan
May 15th, 2006, 04:37 AM
really? do you understand what nuclear weapons are? the very same moment than muslim terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb in an US city, they will blow the Middle East off the map, it could trigger a nuclear war and if there is something the scientist agree is that the world would be destroyed.
again, ask their victims if they are dangerous or not.

Please, the day they are a viable nuclear threat...

...is their last day of existence...

...and I will smile because finally all this bullshit will be over. :tape:

Halardfan
May 15th, 2006, 09:39 AM
The key thing is, Athiests or Agnostics shouldn't have to prove their positions true...surely its the responsibility of those who believe in the mixture of half-truths, mumbo jumbo and fairy tales that constitute religion to justify THEIR positions, PROVE their position?

I can't prove Santa Claus doesn't exist...but I shouldn't have to! The burden is on the believer.

Erika_Angel
May 15th, 2006, 11:19 AM
The key thing is, Athiests or Agnostics shouldn't have to prove their positions true...surely its the responsibility of those who believe in the mixture of half-truths, mumbo jumbo and fairy tales that constitute religion to justify THEIR positions, PROVE their position?

I can't prove Santa Claus doesn't exist...but I shouldn't have to! The burden is on the believer.

See this is what I mean, who ever said you had to justify your beliefs? Yet here you are calling my beliefs "half-truths, mumbo jumbo and fairy tales" - How can you ask for respect of your beliefs when you show none for religious peoples'?

*JR*
May 15th, 2006, 11:41 AM
do you really think you can rehabilitate someone that extracts a fetus from her mother and gets turned on doing that?

Not to reopen the debate about the proper limits re. "abortion on demand", but I don't think those who advocate that a woman should have the absolute right to have that done right up until delivery (for abortion, I'm not talking about C-section delivery) ought 2B using such a metaphor. BTW, I'm not saying its a turn-on, just that the rejection of any state interest in the welfare of a child even in the final month of a pregnancy undermines any "moral high ground" on this, IMO.

The key thing is, Athiests or Agnostics shouldn't have to prove their positions true...surely its the responsibility of those who believe in the mixture of half-truths, mumbo jumbo and fairy tales that constitute religion to justify THEIR positions, PROVE their position?

I can't prove Santa Claus doesn't exist...but I shouldn't have to! The burden is on the believer.
Unlike we Agnostics (who admit that we don't know the answer to the "big questions" of existence) Atheism indeed takes an "affirmative position" on the question of whether it was caused by a higher power, or "just happened", which makes it a "mirror image" of religion. So Atheism has the same "burden of proof" (re. that issue) as any religion.

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 11:52 AM
Like 2 United Airlines and 2 American Airlines flights on 9/11? like the London subway? like the Madrid trains? like the Russian schools? like a Moscow theatre? like an Indonesian resort?

not really, the real influence is economic power.

maybe you should ask the 9/11 victims if controlling Afghanistan didn't make them a threat.

they don't control Saudi Arabia.
pretty much all of your examples show just how weak they are as a potential aggressive force. but there are people who believe that numbers don't make a difference. killing one person is the same as killing millions for them. such people are not capable of estimating a threat in any meaningful way, they just claim the higher moral ground for themselves. i wouldn't want such people to lead my country in hard times (during the ww2, for example).


really?, interesting assessment, I am sure the government of the US, the UK, AND France would be very relieved if they knew your assessment.
i'm pretty sure they are aware of my assessment. if iran were a serious threat they wouldn't be messing around that country.


really? do you understand what nuclear weapons are? the very same moment than muslim terrorists detonate a nuclear bomb in an US city, they will blow the Middle East off the map, it could trigger a nuclear war and if there is something the scientist agree is that the world would be destroyed.
which shows that you also understand very well that they don't represent a threat and who is in a position to represent one.

but that's all not a topic of this thread. the following is, though:

do you really think you can rehabilitate someone that extracts a fetus from her mother and gets turned on doing that?

can you rehabilitate someone that tortures, rapes and kills two teenage girls for pleasure?

can you rehabiliate an animal that hits a baby in the face with a shovel because he is crying?

really, can you?
because it was my position that the purpose of punishment should be rehabilitation i will reply to this. first, if people commit crimes because they are mentally ill they don't get executed anyway. second, you are not talking about crimes people get executed for in real world. paedophilia is often used as a means to create a lynch mob atmosphere in the public. kind of like weapons of mass destruction and terrorism are used to spread fear so you can wage wars of aggression and implement anti-democratic measures as you please. on both issues your view is simply divorced from reality.

Szymanowski
May 15th, 2006, 11:56 AM
I think in a way this is a really great thread.

I'm religious.

I hate the way religious people don't use their brains; go off quoting the bible in whichever way they possibly can to get their own way, use the fact that they are 'religious' to get money or wealth or generally belittle others' opinions, beliefs or experiences.

Ree-Vee, you are absolutely right. Nobody knows the truth. You are an agnostic who says something many many religious people fail to realise; I mean no earthly being can know God's full truth, why don't religious people understand this?

So I completely know where you're coming from and I understand why you would make this thread, despite the fact that I'm a Christian.

Szymanowski
May 15th, 2006, 11:57 AM
I would also say that most agnostics don't fully understand the true basis of the religions they speak out against.

In the same way, most of the people who defend those religions don't really understand those actual religions.

It's a messed up world :sad:

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 12:01 PM
Unlike we Agnostics (who admit that we don't know the answer to the "big questions" of existence) Atheism indeed takes an "affirmative position" on the question of whether it was caused by a higher power, or "just happened", which makes it a "mirror image" of religion. So Atheism has the same "burden of proof" (re. that issue) as any religion.
not really. we are well aware that we don't know answers to all questions. we jsut don't believe. in this sense atheism is a mirror image of religion, but not when it gets to "big questions of existance" it's not. theists claim that there must something (usually something unintelligible, something you can't understand), atheists don't.

*JR*
May 15th, 2006, 12:25 PM
not really. we are well aware that we don't know answers to all questions. we jsut don't believe. in this sense atheism is a mirror image of religion, but not when it gets to "big questions of existance" it's not. theists claim that there must something (usually something unintelligible, something you can't understand), atheists don't.
Not true. Unlike agnostics, atheists affirmatively state that there's not. Which is taking "a side" in a debate that humanity isn't able to address in a meaningful way. And improved scientific technology won't solve this either. (It deals in the finite, not the infinite).

And the Hubble telescope's successor could be 1,000 times more pwerful than the original, but neither it nor any of the extremely advanced radio telescopes will answer the "2 big unanswerables"... the "boundaries" of time and space, and the reason for existence as we know it.

For example, if scientists declared that the universe extends to a given point, I'd ask them: OK, what's "outside" of that. If they say that its (X billion) years old, I ask what preceded that. If they say that the mass in the universe was created from energy in "the big bang", what created the energy.

Its rather amusing 2C atheists smugly asking the rhetorical: "So then what created God" when they have no more of an answer to the "how and why" of existence than "ppl of faith" do (in a provable way).

pla
May 15th, 2006, 12:49 PM
Not true. Unlike agnostics, atheists affirmatively state that there's not. Which is taking "a side" in a debate that humanity isn't able to address in a meaningful way. And improved scientific technology won't solve this either. (It deals in the finite, not the infinite).

And the Hubble telescope's successor could be 1,000 times more pwerful than the original, but neither it nor any of the extremely advanced radio telescopes will answer the "2 big unanswerables"... the "boundaries" of time and space, and the reason for existence as we know it.

For example, if scientists declared that the universe extends to a given point, I'd ask them: OK, what's "outside" of that. If they say that its (X billion) years old, I ask what preceded that. If they say that the mass in the universe was created from energy in "the big bang", what created the energy.

Its rather amusing 2C atheists smugly asking the rhetorical: "So then what created God" when they have no more of an answer to the "how and why" of existence than "ppl of faith" do (in a provable way).


What you describe is closer to an antitheist and not necessarily an atheist.

Anyways, whatever a scientist say, there will never be faith involved in it. So any comparision in that order is pointless. A scientist will say that he doesn't know even if he has a theory. They will choose to search for answers, religious people will have faith to what's said in the church/holly writings or whatever mean of religious information they have. Do you agree with this?

btw: "To say that atheism is the denial of God or the gods and that it is the opposite of theism, a system of belief that affirms the reality of God and seeks to demonstrate his existence, is inadequate in a number of ways..." (from Encyclopedia Britannica)

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 12:56 PM
Not true. Unlike agnostics, atheists affirmatively state that there's not. Which is taking "a side" in a debate that humanity isn't able to address in a meaningful way. And improved scientific technology won't solve this either. (It deals in the finite, not the infinite).
but even this is a mere speculation. are the agnostics those who claim they know that we will never know?

there are atheists of the kind that you have in mind, but they are confusing things. perhaps they should be called anti-theists?

there are atheists who say that religious stuff is incomprehensible (like me) or that the question whether god exists or not is irrelevant. more worryingly for the religious people, religion can be analysed in its social, psychological and cognitive context in a rather meaningful way.

*JR*
May 15th, 2006, 01:05 PM
What you describe is closer to an antitheist and not necessarily an atheist.

Anyways, whatever a scientist say, there will never be faith involved in it. So any comparision in that order is pointless. A scientist will say that he doesn't know even if he has a theory. They will choose to search for answers, religious people will have faith to what's said in the church/holly writings or whatever mean of religious information they have. Do you agree with this?

btw: "To say that atheism is the denial of God or the gods and that it is the opposite of theism, a system of belief that affirms the reality of God and seeks to demonstrate his existence, is inadequate in a number of ways..." (from Encyclopedia Britannica)
Re. "do you agree with this", since (as I said B4) science cannot deal with the infinite, the answers they'll search for will be comparative hair-splitting about whether the universe is 15 or 18 billion years old, for example. And the speed @ which its expanding. NOT what was B4 whatever # of billions of years, or what's "outside" of where its expanded to thus far.

Re, your point about "antitheism", IF that word were widely used, THEN atheism would be more neutral, as you suggest. But in practice, most atheists I've heard or read take the view that you describe as antitheism, so I'm merely addressing the seemingly prevailing view that they themselves espouse. (If atheists weren't antitheists, they'd be agnostics, a definition most would shudder @).

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 01:20 PM
Re, your point about "antitheism", IF that word were widely used, THEN atheism would be more neutral, as you suggest. But in practice, most atheists I've heard or read take the view that you describe as antitheism, so I'm merely addressing the seemingly prevailing view that they themselves espouse. (If atheists weren't antitheists, they'd be agnostics, a definition most would shudder @).
but this isn't true. as i said, the position that religious stuff is incomprehensible or irrelevant is not a position of an agnostic and even less so if you are prepared to analyse religion as some sort of human cognitive or social activity.

Halardfan
May 15th, 2006, 01:46 PM
See this is what I mean, who ever said you had to justify your beliefs? Yet here you are calling my beliefs "half-truths, mumbo jumbo and fairy tales" - How can you ask for respect of your beliefs when you show none for religious peoples'?

Here is an example why relgious people should explain their beliefs...there was a bill on a very restricted moderate form of Euthanasia before the House of Lords...it was brought down, with Bishops who sit in the house of Lords taking a key role.

So, a bill built on compassion and dignity is now finished thanks to religious dogma. So yes, I say these people (supposed moderates) SHOULD have to justify their beliefs. For they are beliefs that have brought great harm to the world again and again down the centuries.

What these Bishops are doing is imposing their beliefs on the rest of us, damning people to suffering in God's name...if they are to do so, let them show me evidence that there is this God. There is NONE. None. Just blind faith.

It is a similar principle to the whole Muslim cartoon mess...I make no objection that Muslims don't wish to depict their prophet in a cartoon, Ive no intention of making them, but their rules can not possibly apply to me a non-believer!

This whole notion of respect is over-rated and gets us nowhere in the end...why should we respect complete nonsense? Dangerous nonesense? If someone says the moon is made of cheese, must I respect that? No way!

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 01:54 PM
It is a similar principle to the whole Muslim cartoon mess...I make no objection that Muslims don't wish to depict their prophet in a cartoon, Ive no intention of making them, but their rules can not possibly apply to me a non-believer!
the cartoon affair was different. it was not about insulting islam as a religion, but about insulting muslims (religious or just happening to be born to muslim parents) as a group. oh well, that's not the first time that people don't understand what's going on in other parts of the world. in fact they almost never get it.

*JR*
May 15th, 2006, 02:47 PM
but this isn't true. as i said, the position that religious stuff is incomprehensible or irrelevant is not a position of an agnostic and even less so if you are prepared to analyse religion as some sort of human cognitive or social activity.
You need to distinguish between 2 things here: an agnostic can comprehend and analyze "religious stuff" in terms of how it affects society, why ppl do or don't have whatever religious beliefs, etc. But a true agnostic will most definitely state that what in this area is true is indeed incomprehensible.

In other words, an agnostic could totally comprehend what the various religions and are theories of science say about the cause of existence etc. Yet if the moment s/he claims to know what the truth is about these things, said person is no longer an agnostic.

Fingon
May 15th, 2006, 03:08 PM
pretty much all of your examples show just how weak they are as a potential aggressive force. but there are people who believe that numbers don't make a difference. killing one person is the same as killing millions for them. such people are not capable of estimating a threat in any meaningful way, they just claim the higher moral ground for themselves. i wouldn't want such people to lead my country in hard times (during the ww2, for example).


how weak? are you for real? really some times you leave me speechless, and not in awe certainly.

So for you a threat is only a threat if it kills x number of people, how many? 1000? 1000000? 1 billion?

In 9/11, let aside the dead of 3000 + innocent people, it disrupted the economy, created panic in the markets, and triggered two wars, if that's not a threat I don't know what a threat is.

In any case, my response was to your silly claim that they are only in isolated caves, a ridiculous statement.


i'm pretty sure they are aware of my assessment. if iran were a serious threat they wouldn't be messing around that country.


and what would they do? please do tell me, what are their options? First of all, an invasion would be fiercily resisted, in the US this time after the Iraq fiasco.

Second, the americans have their hands busy with Iraq and Afghanistan, they don't have the human or economic resources to engage in Iran.

Third, an attack on Iran would be far bloodier and more difficult than Iraq, Iran is a nation of 70 million people, with mountains, and they are more alienated and united than the iraqis.

The only viable military option is air strikes, but they would be largely inneffective unless a) they direct them to infrastructure, not the nuclear facilities, with the purpose of putting Iran on its knees or b) use nuclear weapons.

None of these options is viable, so what can they do? If the Americans have been succesful in Iraq or haven't gotten there the Iranians wouldn't dare to do this, they know they are safe.

which shows that you also understand very well that they don't represent a threat and who is in a position to represent one.


no, it doesn't show anything, you moved the discussion into nuclear weapons, stating that the only way the terrorists would be a global threat is if they had nuclear weapons. And your silly claim "who is in a position to represent one" is ridiculous. The Russians, or the Chinese, or the British, or the French would react in the exact same way, (so would India, Pakistan or Israel), it's the dissuasion policy, that has worked since the times of the cold war, the only problem here if that unlike the Soviet Union or China, the terrorists give a damn for the lives of their people and wouldn't care if they risk being exterminated, that what's made THEM a threat.


but that's all not a topic of this thread. the following is, though:


you mentioned nuclear weapons.



because it was my position that the purpose of punishment should be rehabilitation i will reply to this. first, if people commit crimes because they are mentally ill they don't get executed anyway.

nobody mentioned the mentally ill, that should be the subject of an entirely different debate.

second, you are not talking about crimes people get executed for in real world.

really?

paedophilia is often used as a means to create a lynch mob atmosphere in the public. kind of like weapons of mass destruction and terrorism are used to spread fear so you can wage wars of aggression and implement anti-democratic measures as you please. on both issues your view is simply divorced from reality.
that statement shows how divorced YOU are from reality, saying that pedophilia is just used as a mean to create a lynch mob atmosphere shows you have no clue what you are talking about. Tell the parents of children abused, or the children themselves.

And I recommend you to read before talking, the cases I mentioned did NOT involve pedophilia, but brutal murders.

Read again, hitting a baby with a shovel is NOT pedophilia. Maybe you are suggesting the authorities used that crime to enerve the masses and the perpetrators should enjoy rehabilitation, I am sure they can be useful to society and I sure the baby's parent will be so pleased to help their baby's killer to get an education and a job.

Raping and torturing teenagers is NOT pedophilia, I am sure Paul Bernardo maybe could be rehabilitated, maybe you would suggest him to teach in a girls' school?

Getting a fetus out of her mother's womb is NOT pedophilia, it's perversion.

I used to just disagree with you, but I am starting to feel disgusted with you, a person that says that pedophilia is just a way to enerve masses and that responsibles of crimes like the ones I described should be "rehabilitated" definitely has a problem.

John A Roark
May 15th, 2006, 04:34 PM
The key thing is, Athiests or Agnostics shouldn't have to prove their positions true...surely its the responsibility of those who believe in the mixture of half-truths, mumbo jumbo and fairy tales that constitute religion to justify THEIR positions, PROVE their position?

I can't prove Santa Claus doesn't exist...but I shouldn't have to! The burden is on the believer.
That a man named Jesus bar Joseph of Nazareth lived between 33bce and 4 ce and was executed for treasonous behavior vs. the Roman govt. is no longer disputable.
Whether he was indeed the son of God will never be scientifically proven.
Thus we call it 'faith.'

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 04:57 PM
You need to distinguish between 2 things here: an agnostic can comprehend and analyze "religious stuff" in terms of how it affects society, why ppl do or don't have whatever religious beliefs, etc. But a true agnostic will most definitely state that what in this area is true is indeed incomprehensible.

In other words, an agnostic could totally comprehend what the various religions and are theories of science say about the cause of existence etc. Yet if the moment s/he claims to know what the truth is about these things, said person is no longer an agnostic.
and if a person says that what religious people say make no sense?

Erika_Angel
May 15th, 2006, 05:13 PM
Here is an example why relgious people should explain their beliefs...there was a bill on a very restricted moderate form of Euthanasia before the House of Lords...it was brought down, with Bishops who sit in the house of Lords taking a key role.

So, a bill built on compassion and dignity is now finished thanks to religious dogma. So yes, I say these people (supposed moderates) SHOULD have to justify their beliefs. For they are beliefs that have brought great harm to the world again and again down the centuries.

What makes you think that my beliefs have anything to do with this issue? What makes you automatically pigeon-hole religious people into this one stereotypical view and as a result show no respect to them?

You need to educate yourself first and learn that not all religious people are the same. You don't know my position on numerous affairs yet you automatically assume them, and as a basis of your assumptions you call my beliefs nonsense.

This whole notion of respect is over-rated and gets us nowhere in the end...why should we respect complete nonsense? Dangerous nonesense? If someone says the moon is made of cheese, must I respect that? No way!

The moon is proven to be not made of cheese, you cannot disprove my beliefs, it is my faith and to have someone call it 'mumbo jumbo' just shows what an immature person you are and that you hold no regard for other people's beliefs and opinions. You might think it is nonsense but to me it is not and for someone like you to go out right and call it such, I find disrespectful & very rude.

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 05:19 PM
how weak? are you for real? really some times you leave me speechless, and not in awe certainly.

So for you a threat is only a threat if it kills x number of people, how many? 1000? 1000000? 1 billion?

In 9/11, let aside the dead of 3000 + innocent people, it disrupted the economy, created panic in the markets, and triggered two wars, if that's not a threat I don't know what a threat is.

In any case, my response was to your silly claim that they are only in isolated caves, a ridiculous statement.
the 911 did not trigger any wars. they just offered an excuse for them. in the case of the iraq war, it had NOTHING to do with terrorism and everyone who claims it did is CLEARLY divorced from reality. what you have just said is perfectly compatible with the way i see it. people should not panic. if you want to defeat an enemy you need to use your brain, simply hating them won't do. i have nothing else to say on the matter, not on this thread.


and what would they do?
nothing.


(...)you moved the discussion into nuclear weapons(...)
and now i'm moving out of it, not because i think you are right (you're not), but because that discussion should not take place here.


that statement shows how divorced YOU are from reality, saying that pedophilia is just used as a mean to create a lynch mob atmosphere shows you have no clue what you are talking about. Tell the parents of children abused, or the children themselves.
that argument is used by the same people for the same reasons. i stand by what i said.


And I recommend you to read before talking, the cases I mentioned did NOT involve pedophilia, but brutal murders.
that's fine, but it still does not change anything. you use the most brutal murders to create a lynch mob atmosphere. but then every murder is brutal, including executions (http://www.counterpunch.org/davispix3.html) (warning: graphic images).

I used to just disagree with you, but I am starting to feel disgusted with you, a person that says that pedophilia is just a way to enerve masses and that responsibles of crimes like the ones I described should be "rehabilitated" definitely has a problem.
i did not say paedophilia is "just" a way to create a lynch mob atmosphere. i said "paedophilia* is often used as a means to create a lynch mob atmosphere in the public". that does not suggest that sexual abuse of children is not a problem.

edit:
* i shouldn't have said "paedophilia", but "sexual abuse of the very young" (i.e. teenagers and children).

Lord Nelson
May 15th, 2006, 06:06 PM
the 911 did not trigger any wars. they just offered an excuse for them.
So what was the U.S. excuse of attacking Afghanistan then, oil???? :confused:

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 06:16 PM
So what was the U.S. excuse of attacking Afghanistan then? Oil, other precious resources???? :confused:
perhaps just its strategic position. note that they did not find bin laden or even defeat the taliban properly, so i don't see why we should believe that was the only (or even the most important) reason to start that war. but there is a big game being played around central asia and all that. there are probably some other reasons as well, but i don't take this war against terrorism thingy very seriously. terrorism and islamic fundamentalism can probably only be defeated politically (you can's fight wars against strategies and ideas that can install themselves in heads of people over and over again).

*JR*
May 15th, 2006, 07:20 PM
and if a person says that what religious people say make no sense?
IMO, an atheist (or antitheist if you prefer) would say that religious ppl cannot present any evidence and they (atheists) have no such burden. OTOH, an agnostic (should) say that while religious ppl indeed fail this test, atheists share the same burden re. "time and space questions".

BTW, atheists (again, IMO) can't just say "but who's talking about time and space". The "when and why" of existence is a fundamental question, as without it there's no universe, Milky Way galaxy, Earth, WTA, internet, vcash, whatever players you like or don't, dumb President, "blah".

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 08:15 PM
IMO, an atheist (or antitheist if you prefer) would say that religious ppl cannot present any evidence and they (atheists) have no such burden. OTOH, an agnostic (should) say that while religious ppl indeed fail this test, atheists share the same burden re. "time and space questions".

BTW, atheists (again, IMO) can't just say "but who's talking about time and space". The "when and why" of existence is a fundamental question, as without it there's no universe, Milky Way galaxy, Earth, WTA, internet, vcash, whatever players you like or don't, dumb President, "blah".
but why should an atheist not be able to say "i don't know"? i can reply that to many questions, but if i use that reply to "time and space questions" (when prsented coherently) that makes me an agnostic? i mean, it's obvious that we don't know a lot of things and that answer is absolutely necessary. and it is also perfectly reasonable that those who claim they have answers need to present some evidence, while those who say they don't know don't. anything else implies an act of faith and blind belief, which is what atheists reject.

i'm not sure what's agnostic position anyway. do they say that believers might be right? does that mean that they are able to comprehend the act of believing (which appears to me to be mere superstition and that won't change until someone is able to explain it to me)?

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 08:58 PM
My apologies to everyone. I know that I have a TON of catching up to do, but Mother's Day and my daughter's project report demanded my total attention. :) So now...backt o the discussion. :bounce:

Here's where I stand on the death penalty:
I am pro-life.
I cannot support a women's choice to have an abortion.
But I cannot support a law that denies her the right to make that choice.
If I am for life, that's an absolute--life or death, no middle ground. "He is the God of the living, not the dead."
Internal logic therefore will not let me support the death penalty.Yours is certainly a consistent position, and that alone differs from many of the previous posts regarding thr 'pro-' discussions. And let me first say that I respect your position entirely. :)

However, though in general I support 'life', I've come to understand that there are no absolutes. Granted, and I'm sure *JR* will chime in on this :lol:, countless abortions that are performed executed based upon minor or trivial reasons. I will certainly admit to that. However, I am not sure where, or if, a line can be drawn when, say, a mother's life is at stake. How does one choose a life over another? In other words, if I had to choose between losing my wife and soulmate, or my first born...that would be the real Hell for me. I can honestly say that I just don't know for sure what the decision would be at that given moment. But sitting here today, knowing what it took to find my soulmate, I'd more than likely save my wife. That's a decision I hope no one ever has to make. :scared: But that was just one example that immediately materialized when I read your post. You've probably read my others. ;)

Abortion is a very contentious and tricky subject because it deals with the power of life and death of a burgeoning soul. And maybe that's why people are so cavalier about souls who've already 'lived' and have committed crimes against humanity. :shrug: The death penalty isn't so much a penalty, but as already been posted, an act of revenge, imho.

I can't say that I'll always maintain these position though. :lol:

Halardfan
May 15th, 2006, 09:04 PM
Religion opinions are just that, opinions, to assessed and ridiculed as one sees fit...there can be so special protection for religion, or indeed respect. Anymore than Socialism or Conservatism has an automatic right to respct. You many find my views offensive, but trust me when I saw find a find large amounts of religious opinion offensive too.

I haven't the faintest idea what your relgious persuassion may be, and this isn't about hating indvidual religuous people or anything like that, but if I find religion stupid, and I absolutely do, why on earth should I hide that fact? Again, talk of 'respect' hides a multide of sins. Truth is what matters.

If one sticks rigidly to what the bible and other religious books say then one believes a whole series of bizarre and often grossly contradictary things, which do great harm in the world, and which stand opposed to entire branches of science, learning and progress. Look at the Creationists in America, doubtless they believe in the literal truth of the bible. They are also insane, to believe what they believe you must first dismiss huge chunks of history, geology, biology, archeology, physics and goodness knows what else.

Now, many people kind of go in for selective reading of their holy books, which is fine and all that, but kinda devalues the whole thing. If they are happy to dump whole sections as merely symbolic and irrelevent to modern times, why not dump the whole? Are certain bits the word of God and others not? Who gets to pick?

*JR*
May 15th, 2006, 09:08 PM
but why should an atheist not be able to say "i don't know"? i can reply that to many questions, but if i use that reply to "time and space questions" (when prsented coherently) that makes me an agnostic? i mean, it's obvious that we don't know a lot of things and that answer is absolutely necessary. and it is also perfectly reasonable that those who claim they have answers need to present some evidence, while those who say they don't know don't. anything else implies an act of faith and blind belief, which is what atheists reject.

i'm not sure what's agnostic position anyway. do they say that believers might be right? does that mean that they are able to comprehend the act of believing (which appears to me to be mere superstition and that won't change until someone is able to explain it to me)?
This is getting like err, "how many :angel: can dance on the head of a pin"? :lol: Or as Clinton would have said: It all depends on what the meaning of the word is is". Anyhow, IF your "I don't know" reply includes the possibilty of (a) Supreme Being(s) you're an agnostic. But that does NOT imply taking any leap of blind faith.

The most common distinction is that an atheist is positive that there cannot be such Higher Power(s) and an agnostic isn't. (In theory I guess an atheist could say "but if I'm proven wrong...") And in practice, most agnostics don't equally "hold atheists' feet to the fire" as I do. (Maybe because atheists don't usually try to dictate morality).

BTW, B4 anyone says that I do by favoring some (as yet undefined) limits re. abortion on demand, that's a totally different issue. I'm merely seeking a reasonable definition of when personhood can reaonably be seen as having begun, a scientific question for a civilized society to seek a consensus on, IMO.

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 09:11 PM
I disagree with u on that point. Certain aspect of our society romanticizes prison life. Criminals aren't sent to country clubs where all their needs are met. Prison is dog eat dog and isn't a very nice place. Imagine having to sleep with one eye open every night. Not knowing if u'll make it through the day alive. When violent criminals are put in a small space together 24/7 bad things happen. The sad thing is we send criminals away but don’t try to fix the problem. They go in bad and come out worse.I can certainly see your point. I suppose it would depend on the crime committed, and who the criminal is. Some of these so-called celebrity criminals enjoy all the conveniences of home, plus certain other luxuries that you and I don't enjoy. Those Thug Life videos showcasing Rappers gaining 'street cred' from surviv'n the pen, is a lot of garbage. Sure they romanticize prison life, but just like all those 'Baller' videos, it's just a facade...a fantasy life/world that doesn't exist. The only Baller I know of who can live that kind of life is Bill Gates. And believe me, he ain't even close to being a mack-daddy. :lol:

However, if we are talking mainstream hardcore maximum security prison life, then yes, I'd agree completely.
As for the death penalty I don't agree with it. Killing someone for murdering another human being doesn't make much sense to me. Murdering prisoners won't make things right it won't bring the dead back. As we all know the death penalty doesn't curtail crime. It might fill the need for revenge but revenge isn't a positive state of being.Truth! :yeah:

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 09:18 PM
Morality...

First of all, let's discard the notion that any true morality can only come from a religious base. What a load of nonsense that is.
If we were to design a morality based strictly on the archaic notions of, say, the Torah, I would be justified in stoning you if you mixed cotton and polyester.
Let's be real, folks.
Elisha was such an all-fired holy man that God sent 42 bears to rend children to bits for making fun of the old coot's baldness? Sorry, whoever wrote that little gem of a story has no part in making my morality.

I once heard morality defined thus: "Behavior designed to ensure the survival of the human race at each level of hierarchy." Individual, family, clan, tribe, nation, race(human race). What do we need to do to keep us surviving and thriving?

Morality is a code of behavior, not a mandate from God. He cares, I know, but the big commandment is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Have you ever noticed that every religion, every form of belief, carries that injunction somewhere in its heritage? You can find a version of it in Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Shinto, you name it. But what some religions give us as a code of morality is a human overlay, I have to think. And a poor one, at that.

You out there who have no use for organized religion or even the notion of God are quite justified in despising some of the trash that has been passed off on the world as 'morality' by any of the religious systems around. All the old hierarchical, patriarchal systems strive more for power than toward love. And no morality can succeed unless it is grounded in love for the very humans it wants to save.

Just a reflection from a hopefully enlightened believer.Dayem!
I have nothing to add or dispute here. :worship:
That is exactly what I believe as well. :cool:

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 09:20 PM
I think in a way this is a really great thread.

I'm religious.

I hate the way religious people don't use their brains; go off quoting the bible in whichever way they possibly can to get their own way, use the fact that they are 'religious' to get money or wealth or generally belittle others' opinions, beliefs or experiences.

Ree-Vee, you are absolutely right. Nobody knows the truth. You are an agnostic who says something many many religious people fail to realise; I mean no earthly being can know God's full truth, why don't religious people understand this?

So I completely know where you're coming from and I understand why you would make this thread, despite the fact that I'm a Christian.Thank you!! :wavey:
And welcome to the discussion. :cool:

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 09:29 PM
This is getting like err, "how many :angel: can dance on the head of a pin"? :lol: Or as Clinton would have said: It all depends on what the meaning of the word is is". Anyhow, IF your "I don't know" reply includes the possibilty of (a) Supreme Being(s) you're an agnostic. But that does NOT imply taking any leap of blind faith.

"i don't know" simply implies lack of knowledge. thus it must imply lack of knowledge about "supreme beings" (who incidently always hide in the realm of what we don't know and retreat from the areas we understand) or anything else we can (or can't) think of.

i can't explain atheism in any way other than "lack of belief". it seems that agnosticism and atheism are not necessarily mutually exclusive, though. it's just that an agnostic would reply to the question "does god exist" with "i don't know" and an atheist with "wtf?", it seems.

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 09:30 PM
:lol: After reading some of the page 4 posts, I have to say this much about religion...

It's flawless in it's design and concept, in that there is no possible way to dispute, nor confirm, the existence of a 'devine being'. How does one go about defining something that much greater than oneself, especially if that being is invisible, onimpotent, perfect in every way, and can control our very lives? That's actually pretty scary. :scared: :lol:

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 09:33 PM
:lol: After reading some of the page 4 posts, I have to say this much about religion...

It's flawless in it's design and concept, in that there is no possible way to dispute, nor confirm, the existence of a 'devine being'. How does one go about defining something that much greater than oneself, especially if that being is invisible, onimpotent, perfect in every way, and can control our very lives? That's actually pretty scary. :scared: :lol:
yeah, but that's the point, believers always hide their supreme beings in places we know nothing about or can't even perceive. if they put them anywhere in the world we understand it turns out they are not there. there is a pattern here that shouldn't be ignored.

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 09:38 PM
"i don't know" simply implies lack of knowledge. thus it must imply lack of knowledge about "supreme beings" (who incidently always hide in the realm of what we don't know and retreat from the areas we understand) or anything else we can (or can't) think of.

i can't explain atheism in any way other than "lack of belief". it seems that agnosticism and atheism are not necessarily mutually exclusive, though. it's just that an agnostic would reply to the question "does god exist" with "i don't know" and an atheist with "wtf?", it seems.I've lately come to view religion as a 'thing' that completely defies comprehension. All a believer can do is rely on faith. Anything beyond that is defined by man.
I know that's a simplistic pov, but going beyond that creates a circuitous debate where we again come back to the position of 'faith'.

Now 'Faith' can be defined and debated. :)



I think....:scratch: :lol:

wipeout
May 15th, 2006, 09:38 PM
Re. "do you agree with this", since (as I said B4) science cannot deal with the infinite, the answers they'll search for will be comparative hair-splitting about whether the universe is 15 or 18 billion years old, for example. And the speed @ which its expanding. NOT what was B4 whatever # of billions of years, or what's "outside" of where its expanded to thus far.

At the Big Bang, quantum effects mean spacetime geometry had no one geometry to give "before" and "after" any meaning.

But that's only the usual forwards and backwards kind of time we all think about.

Through quantum effects, the universe came into existence sideways.

There's a sideways kind of time called "imaginary time".

The imaginary bit is to do with numbers called complex numbers which are split into "real" and "imaginary". It's nothing to do with imagination, it's just a silly name for useful numbers with different properties to the usual ones.

Anyhow, this means there's no longer any problem about what was "before" the Big Bang.

Nothing came before the Big Bang. Everything came across into it. :D

This is part of the quantum cosmology work of Stephen Hawking and Jim Hartle that really kickstarted the field in the early 80s.

Clever fellows. :worship:

azdaja
May 15th, 2006, 09:43 PM
Now 'Faith' can be defined and debated. :)



I think....:scratch: :lol:
i'm sure it can. believing is something that human people do, and it must be something that's going on in our brains. it can also be analysed as a sociological and historical process. i think a research along these lines would be more fruitful than building a spaceship and sending it to look for "supreme beings".

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 09:43 PM
yeah, but that's the point, believers always hide their supreme beings in places we know nothing about or can't even perceive. if they put them anywhere in the world we understand it turns out they are not there. there is a pattern here that shouldn't be ignored.Right! but don't you see the absolute genius in that? I mean, where does one even begin to gain a foothold ?
Theologian will tell you that it's all about faith. And it's because they go to manmade schools to learn their craft.
Scientists will go as far as they can, and then they too must rely on unknown mathematics, and rely on faith.

One position taken to its logical (or some would say, illogical :lol: ) conclusion, isn't so different from the other. :shrug:

miffedmax
May 15th, 2006, 09:44 PM
I think I'm the only person I know who is opposed to the death penalty solely on economic grounds. The studies I've seen claim that, with all the appeals, the fact that most prisoners live in jails for years and years before being executed, etc., etc., it actually costs more to kill 'em that keep 'em locked up for life.

Those are my tax dollars at work! So lock 'em up and throw away the key, just don't throw away my money.

Denise4925
May 15th, 2006, 10:58 PM
You've touched my cynical heart and I can't rep you again yet...so I post. :angel: :angel: :angel:

I consider myself a christian as in I buy into the judeo-christian brand of religion but I simply don't trust preachers/rabbis/reverends (with a few specific exceptions) etc. - I just see "the hustle" too clearly. ;) :tape:
Yeah, I feel the same. This is one reason why I have not affiliated myself with a specific church in over 10 years. I'm so disenchanted with the so-called "called ones".

Denise4925
May 15th, 2006, 11:44 PM
No it isn't. It's flippant, but after all, it's happened to every race, and many a culture.

Well, I should say it's an insult to some of us who are black and Christian. Maybe you don't understand what I'm saying is the insult. The insult is that it was a generalization and that generalization spanned over 200 years. Maybe his accusation can be applied in the beginning of slavery and the conversion of those slaves, but you then have to take into account years and years of spiritual development, enlightenment and awakening. There are many more layers to it than the one-dimentional portrayal given by JR.

Christianity was imposed on Europeans long before it was imposed on Africans, and then imposed on many a culture in Asia and the South Pacific. And many people converted voluntarily.

Really?? You don't say.
It's not about being 'weak', it's about being human.

I meant weak as in blindly following a faith without any basis other than it being the "massah's" religion. The faith was practiced without the threat of the whip. The faith was the greatest inspiration for escape and rebellion. It gave the slaves hope.

I can speak from 'the coin'.

But, can you speak from both sides?

Yes. You can. Enough torture and the hman mind will do anything for relief. Ever heard of 'Stockholm Syndrome'?

We are not talking about the mind, we are talking about the spirit. Two completely different things. Enough faith and the mind and the body can withstand anything. Ever hear of slavery.

An awful lot of religions have been imposed from outside by force. Christmas itself is a pagan holiday that Christianity subsumed.

That may be true, but it doesn't last. A couple of cases on point would be Catholicism in Europe especially England, and Polytheism and the Hebrews.

Christmas is not the pagan holiday. Christians wanted to celebrate the birth of Christ, but there was no date given in the bible, so Pope Julius I chose December 25. The date of December 25 is the date of a pagan holiday called Saturnalia. It was a day to appease both the sun god worshipers and the Christians. By the middle ages, Christianity had replaced the pagan religion altogether.

So, really your example is a bad one, in that the date was a compromise between two systems of belief, so as not to force one belief over the other.

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 11:48 PM
WHAT'S THE TRUTH BEHIND THE VATICAN'S OPPOSITION TO 'THE Da VINCI CODE' MOVIE?

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Video/060515/tdy_alexander_davinci_060515.300w.jpg
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12802061/

Cardinal: Viewers will see ‘Da Vinci’ as fact
Vatican culture minister takes issue with film's blend of truth and fiction

-- AND --

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-05/15/content_4549764.htm
Vatican's cardinal denounces Da Vinci Code movie


I would have thought that the Vatican would be in favor of creating an intensified dialogue to address whatever the film misconstrues. I mean everyone knows that movies, and books, contain a mixture of truth and fiction. So what's the deal in this case? Why the panic?
They should view this as an opportunity to clear up whatever inconsistencies that do exist. However, I get the impression that the last thing the Catholic church wants, especially now, is more questions about the Bible.

RVD
May 15th, 2006, 11:52 PM
Yeah, I feel the same. This is one reason why I have not affiliated myself with a specific church in over 10 years. I'm so disenchanted with the so-called "called ones".Yep. That and the fact that they call themselves the 'chosen' just puts me off. I mean it's not like they have a 'deed' on spirituality or on life. :lol:

Denise4925
May 15th, 2006, 11:54 PM
Way off base! Note that I compared it to what was done to the (white) serfs of medieval Europe. And what RVD said about the babies of slaves being separated from their parents 2B brainwashed. You can't beat faith into a person, but you can do it on the sly, with either the punishment/reward scam, or by isolating the kids enough.

Can you be more specific as to how you can do it on the sly. Again, you underestimate the mentality of those slaves. Also, yes the slaves were converted to Christianity, but isn't the Saviour for humans with souls? White people did not consider blacks to be humans with souls to be saved, so why would they go to the trouble of trying to convert them on the sly with a punishment or reward system? As long as those slaves worked from sun up to sun down under the whip, and brought the crops in, the master didn't give a damn what they believed in.

And plz don't give me that BS about how one needs to live something to form a reasoned opinion on it. After all, your experience with "the black church" is hardly amongst ppl who try to objectively compare Christianity to African religions, let alone either atheism or agnosticism.

First of all, in order to judge whether someone has been spiritually enlightened, you need to have experienced it. Secondly, you don't know what my experience has been with regard to the comparison between Christianity and African religions or atheism or agnosticism. You don't know what I've read or for that matter how extensive my knowledge is on the subject. You're assuming, just as you did with the evolution of the black Christian.

John A Roark
May 16th, 2006, 12:29 AM
Faith?

I suppose the only point from which I can start is my own return to the church and the Body of Christ.

Agnosticism stopped working for me when I sat down and put my mind to the task. I began to approach the religion like that famous writer, C.S. Lewis, by far the finest Christian writer of the modern era. The man is simply genius.
The first thing I had to establish was "who's in charge, here?" Obviously it wasn't me. I can't change even a baby's mind unless the baby wants to. I certainly cannot affect matters beyond my own purview without the use of violence--and that negates the value of anything done in its name. Violence as a first resort is the wrong way, every time.

But I digress.
What gives control of something to anyone? Why are we in charge of anything? It usually stems from ownership, n'est-ce pas?

How do we become owners of something? We acquire title to it by either trading for it or making it, yes?
The next question to address then is 'who made us?'

What a question!
The one explanation I could not buy was that our creation was a result of a bunch of atoms that just happened to bump into each other in the prescribed fashion. That pot just won't hold itself--'random chance' isn't even sufficient hypothesis to explain random chance.
Intelligent design has some merits... but in the end, agnostics are correct about this one: we just don't know. But many of the creation myths share common threads, and several of them actually strike me as viable, if you can wrap your mind around the paradox. You have to think in allegory--a literal creation story is simply not possible--we would have had to have been there.
So we come to 'who,' and here is where tradition and nurturing and faith kick in, and I offer no defense for it. If you want a defense, get it elsewhere. I don't have to defend my faith to myself, and I won't do it for you. I don't need to, and whether another believes is not within my power.

I choose to believe in the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, the God of Jesus and of Paul, as my creator. It's what I learned at my mother's breast, and it works as well or better than any other creation myth out there.

And we all know they are myths. 'Six days?' Yeah, right--try 14 billion years! The idiot fundamentalists who try to assign the earth some age lke 7,861 years, or some other such nonsense, are as far out there as the other crazies.

Well, then, it now becomes simple. If 'God' made me, then I belong to him. It took many years to learn to give up my self-determination and the notion that I was a power and an entity to myself. Many do not, and I am in no position to insist that they are wrong. First of all, I have no proof that they are wrong. I have no scientific proof that I am right. And that's why we call it 'faith.'
I am deeply saddened that my tradition and my vehicle for approaching God (Christianity) has been so twisted by human wreckage that ReeVee can say things like "That's actually pretty scary" when considering the eternal nature of God.
I hold faulty men who turned from love directly responsible for that--going all the way back to the first century.

Jesus was about love and compassion, first and foremost--and anything built by the men that followed that deviates from that is a mistake, pure and simple. But that's something for another post.

partbrit
May 16th, 2006, 12:45 AM
This is an interesting thread that is enjoyable to read.

I am, for the most part, anti-religion because I think that religion, as a rule, is very sexist, tends to be an instrument for social control, discourages thinking, and--in most cases--is species-centric.

But I am not at all turned off by seeking. In fact, I am shocked by non-seeking. It is all a great mystery, and to be attracted to the mystery is painful, frustrating, and thrilling.

Denise4925
May 16th, 2006, 01:36 AM
And we all know they are myths. 'Six days?' Yeah, right--try 14 billion years! The idiot fundamentalists who try to assign the earth some age lke 7,861 years, or some other such nonsense, are as far out there as the other crazies.

Another Christian evolutionist after my own heart. :)

Well, then, it now becomes simple. If 'God' made me, then I belong to him. It took many years to learn to give up my self-determination and the notion that I was a power and an entity to myself. Many do not, and I am in no position to insist that they are wrong. First of all, I have no proof that they are wrong. I have no scientific proof that I am right. And that's why we call it 'faith.'
I am deeply saddened that my tradition and my vehicle for approaching God (Christianity) has been so twisted by human wreckage that ReeVee can say things like "That's actually pretty scary" when considering the eternal nature of God.
I hold faulty men who turned from love directly responsible for that--going all the way back to the first century.

Jesus was about love and compassion, first and foremost--and anything built by the men that followed that deviates from that is a mistake, pure and simple. But that's something for another post.
All I can say is...Amen!

John A Roark
May 16th, 2006, 01:37 AM
The date of December 25 is the date of a pagan holiday called Saturnalia.
The idea here was to celebrate the birth of a new year, in conjunction with the liturgical calendar.
Ideally, Christmas would be celebrated in June, in the southern hemisphere, if we were to stay true to the original intent.

*JR*
May 16th, 2006, 01:40 AM
First let me briefly answer RVD re. abortion: I completely support a woman having one when her own life is judged 2B @ serious risk by qualified doctors. There shouldn't be the serious risk of a "death penalty" for childbirth.

Now to Denise's "jihad" against me, though Volcana answered it rather well originally.

Just as it was EASIER for the feudal lords of the Middle Ages to keep their serfs in line by indoctrinating them about the rewards in Heaven vs. punishment in Hell, so it was for the slavemasters of this continent. (And OK Denise, that had 2B done more intensively early on than after a high enough % of the slaves had been indoctrinated to internalize it, and pass it on to their own children).

So you call that latter phase "years of spiritual development, enlightenment and awakening"? I guess slavery was part of a "divine plan" to expose Africans the missionaries might not reach to Christianity! :rolleyes: And yes, other parts (like the Exodus) were indeed picked up on by some very bright slaves like Harriet Tubman, to liberate as many as they could. (But as teaching slaves to read was a crime, I guess most slaveowners didn't expect them to learn those things).

And you twisted my words about the study of comparative religion (including none). Maybe you did in college for all I know. But my statement was a reply to your copout that not having been a black Christian, I couldn't know enough to have an opinion about adherence to the massah's religion being perpetuated today. And indeed I'm sure that even if your own clergy know about every religion from India to Indiana, they have a distinct bias that Christianity is the "true faith", or they wouldn't be err, "spreading the good news".

Goodnight! :wavey:

Denise4925
May 16th, 2006, 02:20 AM
The idea here was to celebrate the birth of a new year, in conjunction with the liturgical calendar.
Ideally, Christmas would be celebrated in June, in the southern hemisphere, if we were to stay true to the original intent.
Yes that would be the ideal, but obviously picking a date was difficult. The ideal is also said to be September.

Some of the traditions that we celebrate during Christmas date back centuries before Christ in early Mesopotamia, where the Mesopotamians held a New Years festival for their god Marduk, but the date of December 25 began with Pope Julius I to correspond with the winter soltice festival. I've read something similar to the idea of celebrating the new year in conjunction with the liturgical calendar also. But, there are so many variations on the story of the origin of Christmas holiday and its celebrations. It just depends on who you talk to and what you read.

Erika_Angel
May 16th, 2006, 06:34 AM
Now, many people kind of go in for selective reading of their holy books, which is fine and all that, but kinda devalues the whole thing. If they are happy to dump whole sections as merely symbolic and irrelevent to modern times, why not dump the whole? Are certain bits the word of God and others not? Who gets to pick?

The bible is important to me yes, but I guess I am one of those "selective" readers in the sense that the most important sections of the bible to me are the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) - They tell of the life of Jesus, who I believe is the son of God, and who was a real person (I think this has been proven; Jesus is also a prophet for the Muslim religion I believe) - These words and actions of Jesus, despite being centuries old, are the most recent words/actions of the Lord that we know.

The Old Testament was written before Jesus' time and are prophecies, stories etc. To Jewish people this is their main holy book, the Old Testament, the Torah etc.

However to alot of Catholic people, like myself, the new testament, the life of Jesus is a main focal point. Jesus taught to "love one another as I have loved you." Through the many stories of Jesus it is clear he descriminated against noone, and was very compassionate to all people. This was shown through his many parables, and his actions especially with regard to the prostitute Mary Magdalene who was about to get stoned to death when he announced "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Noone is perfect, and Jesus taught that it is not our place to descriminate or judge others, but to respect them as people and to treat everyone as equals.

This though process would have to be the one which I find the most important out of anything else portrayed in the Bible. It is how I try to live my life.

I do not have all the answers, nobody does, because we don't even know what to ask half the time, beyond this life is something noone fully understands, or can at least say with complete certainty.

I have my faith, it is not one that hurts other people or descriminates or tries to force itself upon others, but it is what I believe and I feel it makes me a better person both unto others and to myself. I would hope people would respect that and see that Religious people are not always these extremists we see on television or the news. I am saddened when people assume that we are all like this because it is nothing of the sort. I know many religious people of numerous faiths and they are all respectable, caring people who would never descriminate or use their beliefs in a negative way towards others who do not share the same views.

Please understand this and see that Religion is not something that is bad.

RVD
May 16th, 2006, 06:37 AM
Yes that would be the ideal, but obviously picking a date was difficult. The ideal is also said to be September.

Some of the traditions that we celebrate during Christmas date back centuries before Christ in early Mesopotamia, where the Mesopotamians held a New Years festival for their god Marduk, but the date of December 25 began with Pope Julius I to correspond with the winter soltice festival. I've read something similar to the idea of celebrating the new year in conjunction with the liturgical calendar also. But, there are so many variations on the story of the origin of Christmas holiday and its celebrations. It just depends on who you talk to and what you read.Denise, I'd like to suggest a documentary for you and and my friend John. It's called "Da Vinci Code Decoded".
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0002ZDVFY.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg
It was first released as a book and became a #1 best seller. http://www.wkonline.com/a/Da_Vinci_Code_Decoded_B0002ZDVFY.htm A film then followed.
The following is a quote from an anonymous poster named, what else, Anonymous. :lol:
The definitive documentary exploration of Dan Brown's thrilling novel The Da Vinci Code, answers the questions everyone is asking! What exactly was Leonardo da Vinci trying to tell us in his coded paintings? Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene? Who were the Knights Templar? What is the secret of the mysterious church at Rennes-le-Château? What is the Priory of Sion? What secret did the real life Saunière know that threatened the Church? What are the Gnostic Gospels? Did Roman emperors rewrite the New Testament to control the population?The only reason I suggest it, is because it covers everything we discussed here, and then some. People with strong religious views may see it as blasphemous. But if one were to view it from an intellectual standpoint, it definitely has some merit. I've researched the the heck outta this film and still have tons of unanswered questions. However, it did answer quite a few that I've been posing for over 20 years, and was quite intriguing despite itself. :cool:

Note: The documentary is painfully cerebral, so drink a gallon of coffee and a six-pack of Red Bull before viewing. :lol:

John A Roark
May 16th, 2006, 07:29 AM
the prostitute Mary Magdalene who was about to get stoned to death when he announced "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Why does Mary keep getting this bad rap?
All the gospels EVER say about her is that she had seven demons at one time. That's all.
And nobody knows whether or not she was the woman at the stoning.
It was either Jerome or Ambrose who started this 'prostitute' nonsense.
They and Augustine did so much to screw up our walk with Jesus...talk about your 'dead white men'...

And let me address this issue of 'selective' reading of the Bible:
The Bible is NOT an all-or-nothing document. That's a simplistic way out for those unwilling to dig deep. I will not go into full details here, but I encourage you to read 'Honest to Jesus' by Robert Funk. It details the work of the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholarly historians who have concluded that only about 20% of the things Jesus is credited with saying did he actually say.
It can be very difficult to swallow if one is soaked in the notion that every letter in the Book is the Inspired Word of God. But their work goes to show that there is a lot of overlay and much assignment from later Christian tradition... A lot of what we see was determined by church councils and by men who had a vision of their own--and had to make Jesus' words fit that vision.
Remember, the Gospels were written at least 40 years after the fact (Mark being the earliest, around 70 CE), none of them by eyewitnesses. The two most accurate (possibly), the Gospel Q and the Gospel of Thomas, both 'sayings' gospels, aren't even accorded canonical status. Paul's authentic letters (only seven of them) are the earliest writings extant, coming in from 45 or so CE, still 15 years post-crucifixion. And even in the earliest days of the church, there were competing visions for the posterity of the religion--Paul, Peter, Apollos, Barnabas, and so on.
So there is much of man's hand, inspired or otherwise, evident in the Bible, and what is original Jesus and what is later tradition has great impact on the Christianity one seeks to proclaim.

Halardfan
May 16th, 2006, 08:39 AM
Im sure your interpretations of the bible are noble and that like most of us, you try to lead your life the best you can. No problem with that. My problem is when religion (Again I don't neccesarily mean you) takes its own beliefs are tries to impose them on other people...be it on contraception, abortion, Euthenasia, cartoons and far beyond...it does great harm.

You are right to suggest the New Testament on the face of it paints a much more appealing vision of God, than the wrathful angry God of the Old Testament. But where does that leave the Old Testament? Did God change his/her mind? Was he in a bad mood for a few thousand years but having a kid mellowed him out a little? ;)

It has a to be a problem when you have a relgious text, where people choose to skip vast sections that don't appeal, (like some self-service buffet!) yet expect non-believers to still buy into it and be convinced its worthwhile.

Thing is, liberal Christians have whole sections they HAVE to miss out in order to remain Christians...while Fundementalists seem to have skipped all the bits about peace and love, and that Jesus guy! ;)

Either its the Word of God...or it isn't.

It comes down to this...I believe that if there were some benevolent God up there, then it would be much more self-evidently true, it wouldn't need the smoke and mirrors, the leaps of logic and contradictions, Chrsitaianity wouldn't have the at best mixed record (often the voice of oppression, a tool of the rich, a cause of war and conflict) it does have down the years.

You have to see that I WANT to be wrong, that I WANT friends and relatives to skip happily into paradise when they day, into eternal happainess. But it doesn't make it so, sadly.

azdaja
May 16th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Yes that would be the ideal, but obviously picking a date was difficult. The ideal is also said to be September.

Some of the traditions that we celebrate during Christmas date back centuries before Christ in early Mesopotamia, where the Mesopotamians held a New Years festival for their god Marduk, but the date of December 25 began with Pope Julius I to correspond with the winter soltice festival. I've read something similar to the idea of celebrating the new year in conjunction with the liturgical calendar also. But, there are so many variations on the story of the origin of Christmas holiday and its celebrations. It just depends on who you talk to and what you read.
i thought the origin of that is already established. it comes indeed from the celebration of the winter solstice that according the roman calender falls on the 25th of december. it was adopted directly from the dominant religion in rome before christianity - mithraism or the sol invictus cult. the birthday of the god mithras was celebrated on 25th of december and that holiday was apparently so popular that early church authorities simply decided to adopt it into christianity and give it a different meaning. some other simbols (cross among others), myths (virigin birth) and rituals were probably also adopted from that religion.

*JR*
May 16th, 2006, 01:39 PM
They and Augustine did so much to screw up our walk with Jesus...talk about your 'dead white men'...

Thanks, Jack. I'm glad 2C a Christian take a whack @ "Saint" Augustine, for another reason: his leading the persecution of one of the most enlightened Christian thinkers of his time, Pelagius. (Whose great "crime" was basically emphasizing what ppl do on earth as the criteria for entry into Heaven, not "blind faith").

John A Roark
May 16th, 2006, 01:53 PM
The Book of Leviticus is of special interest to Christians who like to claim a special kinship with the God of the Jews.
Rabbi Stephens of the local synagogue here has a special issue with Christians who use his book to justify some of their positions. He said to us at an educational seminar not long ago, "I wish you people would leave the Torah alone."

I still insist that what you find in Christianity that so demeans it as it demeans others is an overlay by the humans who have interpreted it as such.

I don't have a say, alas. But if I did, here's just an example of what I might throw the world's way:
You have to remember that Jesus bar Joseph was a peasant, an itinerant preacher who spoke to an oppressed people of an alternative kingdom, a world that would be just. Not representative of retributive justice, like the Roman conqueror practiced along with their systemic oppression, but a world filled with distributive justice, a justice available to all, equally, without discrimination.
The program he lived and the word he preached got him killed. He was a rabble-rouser in the original sense, stirring up a native population already leaning toward insurrection. When he cleared the temple during Passover, that was the last straw to a government who loved law and order. The Romans killed Jesus, not the Jews. Don't ever forget, although the Jewish leadership rejected Jesus's teachings, they didn't have a leg to stand on so far as the Imperial government was concerned. But the Romans had power, and although they regularly abused it they never wasted it--not under men like Tiberius, Domitian, or Trajan. So the soldiery came in the dead of night when there was little danger from the crowds who followed Jesus, they arrested him, and the had him killed by the next afternoon before anyone could register shock, let alone a protest.

Okay, fine. So what was it that was so upsetting that death was the best solution?
The notion of preaching about spiritual things to an oppressed people called for extra care in handling the population, but the Romans weren't all that interested in the spirit. It was a case of, 'whatever.'
But when Jesus started preaching about an alternative 'kingdom,' of what the world could be like were it run not by Caesar but by God, that's when Rome perked up its ears and took notice. That was a direct threat to the Imperial sovereignty, and that could not be allowed.
The Jewish peasantry was a systemically oppressed peasantry, kept just at the edge of subsistence by an agrarian-based empire that confiscated their food and left them only enough to survive. The ancient Jewish right on the land was dismissed in favor of treating the land like a commodity. Their rights of inheritance were trampled and they were upset.
Into the mix comes this man, this preacher, a peasant like them, they who know just where the line is between poverty and destitution. But he lacks the proper cringe, his voice lacks the proper whine, his steps lack the proper shuffle.
Many of the 'prophets' before Jesus (and there were many), were eschatological in nature. They foretold for the defeated Jews a time when the world as Rome made it would be gone, that world consumed in the return of God. That's apocalyptic eschatology--stressing the imminent return of divinity when all shall be made right. We wait for God to act--He'll clean all this mess up.
But Jesus's program was different, and that scared people in power. His was a sapiential eschatology, a world-negation that stressed the sapienta, the wisdom of God as lived in our lives to change things now.

"Now is the Time; This is the Place; and Love is how you do it."
That's the implementation of sapiential eschatology.
Jesus preached love and compassion. He healed the sick and fed the hungry. He didn't threaten anyone with death; He promised them 'abundant life.' He gave them an itinerary by which to live that contradicted everything the Roman empire, an empire of men, stood for.
'Love your enemies,' he said.
'Forgive always,' he said.
'Give with no expectation of return,' he said.
A more radical shift from the conventional wisdom you could not imagine.
Even today the program appeals to so few.

He called himself 'the fulfillment of the Law.' God didn't change His mind--that phase was over, and the new covenant is in place.

That is 'the way, the truth, and the life' I wish the church fathers had given us over the years. It's what I wish I could give the world now.

John A Roark
May 16th, 2006, 01:58 PM
And a big shout for ReeVee, who started this up and ranks high here as one of the intelligent, enlightened ones.
:worship:
Stay true, man. You're one of the good ones.

Lord Nelson
May 16th, 2006, 01:58 PM
I am agnostic but I still like the bible because it has established a code of ethics. Christian nations are the most prosperous in the world. In Asia, South Korea where 30% of its citizens are Christians, is well off. Of course Phillippines is not doing too well but there are exceptions. Latin America is doing well in general. Even in Africa, the richest nations are the Christian ones such as South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius (richest nation in Africa), Reunion (the richest region in Africa but non independant and is part of France).

*JR*
May 16th, 2006, 02:14 PM
I am agnostic but I still like the bible because it has established a code of ethics. Christian nations are the most prosperous in the world. In Asia, South Korea where 30% of its citizens are Christians, is well off. Of course Phillippines is not doing too well but there are exceptions. Latin America is doing well in general. Even in Africa, the richest nations are the Christian ones such as South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius (richest nation in Africa), Reunion (the richest region in Africa but non independant and is part of France).
If Latin America had been doing that well (beyond the elites, of course) why have a steady stream of leftist Presidents been elected ova the past few years? (Including whoever wins the Peruvian runoff, and most likely the upcoming Mexican Presidential election).

azdaja
May 16th, 2006, 02:59 PM
"christian" nations are prosperous not because of christianity, but in spite of it. they got prosperous only once they started challening the authority of the church. before that other parts of the world were more developed.

"Sluggy"
May 16th, 2006, 03:02 PM
Ya know, its very easy to criticize stuff. Before we had fast trains that take us from paris to italy in 3 hours, we only had horse and wagon and steam ships. and before that, of course, we only had sail ships and rowboats. its very easy to say that wed obviously eventually have the steam ship, and then the precursers to trains and then eventual superfast trains. But we wouldnt have gotten there without the precursors.

The same can be argued for civilization. Back in the days of "Summer" say 3-4 thousand years ago, that is, before the belief in one God, we had idol worship, orgiestic rituals and the like. The idea of morality and rational thinking as we know it did not exist. The world working as we know it did not exist. We had a progression towards a way of thinking and seeing the world as we know it today. But before that state of mind was developed, prior to Abraham, the world did not exist as it did today. perhaps some individuals devised a system of ethics similar to "universally accepted" ethics codes that exist today. So for me, Belief in one God was a great step forward compared to the days of Summer. Let us not forget our origins and lets us also not forget how many fantastic things were achieved because of religion. it is very easy to fault religion, we so easily forget the good stuff that come of it. Also keep in mind that the first signs of religious practice in human beings was the worship of heavy women clay figurines. That is also religion. Where would we be without that?

azdaja
May 16th, 2006, 03:16 PM
rational thinking and morality definitely existed during the times of polytheism.

*JR*
May 16th, 2006, 03:40 PM
So for me, Belief in one God was a great step forward compared to the days of Summer.
The idea of "one God" was adopted by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam way B4 most ppl had any idea that those little dots in the night sky were suns just like ours, or the huge number of them. Given that knowledge, its silly to imagine that "One God" ovasees billions of galaxies with billions of stars each, and pays such attention to this one planet as to watch ova a few billion ppl on it. (Though, as I've said B4, there might be a celestial bureaucracy where Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and others keep an eye on perhaps just this one solar system).
:confused:

Lord Nelson
May 16th, 2006, 06:22 PM
If Latin America had been doing that well (beyond the elites, of course) why have a steady stream of leftist Presidents been elected ova the past few years? (Including whoever wins the Peruvian runoff, and most likely the upcoming Mexican Presidential election).
Leftist governments are not anti Christian, far from that. Chavez regularly quotes God probably far more than Bush. The Christian values remain in those nations. As for Mexico, the leftist candidate is no longer in lead so don't assume that he will win. You mentioned Peru, the nationalist leader also regulary quotes Jesus and in reality he is from the right since his family has facist views. Alan Garcia on the left supports market reforms and western values. In Haiti, remember the leftist leader Aristide? Well he was once a priest. Even in Chile where the President says that she is agnostic (like me) she is not 'anti Christian'. Latin Ametrica over all is doing better than Asia. The average LAtin American nation is richer than the average Asian nation. But that is because India, China, Pakistan Bangladesh, Indonesia bring the average down.

Oh and Azdadra it is Christian not "Christian" It is Muslim not "Muslim", it is Buddhist not "Buddhist", comprendo? :p Anyway you say that Christian nations are more prosperous now after defying the church is true but they have not rejected western values that are based on Christianity.

azdaja
May 16th, 2006, 06:39 PM
"western" values are not based simply on christianity. some of them are based on explicitely rejecting religion. some of them are based on the tradition of ancient greece and rome (and thus partly on traditions that developed elsewhere). "cultures" are not monolithic, they influence each other and change over time. this is why put quotation marks around stuff like that. we're talking about poorly defined concepts here.

Lord Nelson
May 16th, 2006, 06:50 PM
"western" values are not based simply on christianity. some of them are based on explicitely rejecting religion. some of them are based on the tradition of ancient greece and rome (and thus partly on traditions that developed elsewhere). "cultures" are not monolithic, they influence each other and change over time. this is why put quotation marks around stuff like that. we're talking about poorly defined concepts here.
I was just messing with you with regards to the quotation marks. Anyway I am a lover of different civilizations. The Roman and Greek civilations are two of my favourite ones. The Aryan civilization is probably up there too. I used to like the Mughal civilization but Aurangzeb is probably the historical person I hate the most. :fiery: Augustus is my favourite one. :yeah:

RVD
May 16th, 2006, 10:15 PM
Why does Mary keep getting this bad rap?
All the gospels EVER say about her is that she had seven demons at one time. That's all.
And nobody knows whether or not she was the woman at the stoning.
It was either Jerome or Ambrose who started this 'prostitute' nonsense.
They and Augustine did so much to screw up our walk with Jesus...talk about your 'dead white men'...Now these are the types of questions that keep me up at night. :lol: Mary always seems to get a bad rap. From prostitution to possession, she seems the focal point of evil and moral restitution.
Then we have women in the Bible as a whole...
What's the deal there? Besides the Mary(s) of the Bible, why are women so absent in their historic influence? :shrug:

I've often wondered whether the name 'Mary' was used mostly in the symbolic sense, because so many women of that time were called Mary. And maybe in this way, the public could relate to the mother 'figure' since they felt a maternal connection or relation? I'm sure most here know that the name Mary means “myrrh” (one of the valuable fragrant oils gifted to Mother (here's that name again) Mary by one of the three wise men. :) Is this just coincidence? Incidentally, why were there only “three” wise men and no wise women? In fact, why were there just three men period.? Was everyone else oblivious to Jesus's historic birth? And don't get me started on the immaculate conception theories.

O.K., so I've gone off on a bit of a tangent. It happens to the best of us when religion is being discussed. :lol:

The point is, why were women relegated to minor roles in the Bible, when we all know that in reality women have always played the most major of roles in history and in our own lives?
The Bible, in this instance, falls short in this respect. Or ihould I say man has so altered the Bible such that it has become very gender-biased. (I believe a poster made this point earlier). :wavey:
*Everyone will please take note that I did not say “gender-racist”.* ;)

And let me address this issue of 'selective' reading of the Bible:
The Bible is NOT an all-or-nothing document. That's a simplistic way out for those unwilling to dig deep. I will not go into full details here, but I encourage you to read 'Honest to Jesus' by Robert Funk. It details the work of the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholarly historians who have concluded that only about 20% of the things Jesus is credited with saying did he actually say.
It can be very difficult to swallow if one is soaked in the notion that every letter in the Book is the Inspired Word of God. But their work goes to show that there is a lot of overlay and much assignment from later Christian tradition... A lot of what we see was determined by church councils and by men who had a vision of their own--and had to make Jesus' words fit that vision.
Remember, the Gospels were written at least 40 years after the fact (Mark being the earliest, around 70 CE), none of them by eyewitnesses. The two most accurate (possibly), the Gospel Q and the Gospel of Thomas, both 'sayings' gospels, aren't even accorded canonical status. Paul's authentic letters (only seven of them) are the earliest writings extant, coming in from 45 or so CE, still 15 years post-crucifixion. And even in the earliest days of the church, there were competing visions for the posterity of the religion--Paul, Peter, Apollos, Barnabas, and so on.
So there is much of man's hand, inspired or otherwise, evident in the Bible, and what is original Jesus and what is later tradition has great impact on the Christianity one seeks to proclaim.Absolutely nothing to add here. What's that they say about minds thinking alike? :lol: :cool:

Gotta take my little princess to Kung-Fu practice. But I'll be back to address some of these other great posts. :worship:

*JR*
May 16th, 2006, 10:19 PM
Why does Mary keep getting this bad rap?
Its her onesided loss in the RG final last year. :p

Denise4925
May 17th, 2006, 04:53 PM
i thought the origin of that is already established. it comes indeed from the celebration of the winter solstice that according the roman calender falls on the 25th of december. it was adopted directly from the dominant religion in rome before christianity - mithraism or the sol invictus cult. the birthday of the god mithras was celebrated on 25th of december and that holiday was apparently so popular that early church authorities simply decided to adopt it into christianity and give it a different meaning. some other simbols (cross among others), myths (virigin birth) and rituals were probably also adopted from that religion.
The Cross? No the Cross as a symbol did not come from that religion.

You're partly right regarding the celebration of the birth of Deus Sol Invictus Mithras. Rome converted that pagan legacy to a celebration of the rebirth of the sun god, Saturn during the winter soltice. The winter holiday was known as Satunalia and began a week prior to Dec. 25. It is also said that it was Emperor Constantine who officially converted this pagan tradition into the "Christian" holiday of Christmas.

You see how the stories are almost all the same, but vary a little bit. So, I don't think that the origin of Christmas is firmly established.

Denise4925
May 17th, 2006, 05:26 PM
First let me briefly answer RVD re. abortion: I completely support a woman having one when her own life is judged 2B @ serious risk by qualified doctors. There shouldn't be the serious risk of a "death penalty" for childbirth.

Now to Denise's "jihad" against me, though Volcana answered it rather well originally.

Just as it was EASIER for the feudal lords of the Middle Ages to keep their serfs in line by indoctrinating them about the rewards in Heaven vs. punishment in Hell, so it was for the slavemasters of this continent. (And OK Denise, that had 2B done more intensively early on than after a high enough % of the slaves had been indoctrinated to internalize it, and pass it on to their own children).

So you call that latter phase "years of spiritual development, enlightenment and awakening"? I guess slavery was part of a "divine plan" to expose Africans the missionaries might not reach to Christianity! :rolleyes: And yes, other parts (like the Exodus) were indeed picked up on by some very bright slaves like Harriet Tubman, to liberate as many as they could. (But as teaching slaves to read was a crime, I guess most slaveowners didn't expect them to learn those things).

And you twisted my words about the study of comparative religion (including none). Maybe you did in college for all I know. But my statement was a reply to your copout that not having been a black Christian, I couldn't know enough to have an opinion about adherence to the massah's religion being perpetuated today. And indeed I'm sure that even if your own clergy know about every religion from India to Indiana, they have a distinct bias that Christianity is the "true faith", or they wouldn't be err, "spreading the good news".

Goodnight! :wavey:
I had a response to this post and for the life of me, I don't know what happened to it.

In short, I was not attacking you. Only expressing my opinion about your post.

I don't think serfdom can be compared to slavery in the US and what methods were used to convert the slaves to Christianity. But, I do know that whether they were converted or not, they integrated their own religion such as Voodoo and Muslim practices into Christianity. You can see the African influence in many black Christian churches across the world. The difference between behavior at a black Baptist and Pentacostal church and its white counterpart is astounding. I think that as they learned more about the faith, Christianity became more dominate and absorbed a lot of the practices and traditions of their former beliefs. Again, a lot of the white slave masters did not want their slaves to learn about Christianity because that would mean that they were human with souls. Also, it may give the slaves the delusion that they were on equal footing with whites. Most slaves were not allowed to gather and worship or even pray to God. However, there were many Anglican missionaries who tried the bring the word of God to black slaves. So, secret churches were built in the woods so that slaves could sneak off at night and have their own style of prayer meeting.

I still don't think you give much credit to the mentality of the slaves and how and what they used to survive. I do think that their faith is what kept them strong and helped them overcome all that they endured.

I wish that you wouldn't put words in my mouth, as I didn't say anything about the "latter phase" of anything. I said 200 years of slavery, when what I meant was 400 years. So, that may be where the communication broke down between us on that. However, I'm still not sure what you mean when you mockingly state that maybe slavery was a part of the divine plan to expose Africans to Christianity. I don't know what God's plan was with regard to slavery in the US, but your scenerio wouldn't make sense because there were many Christian missionaries that began in Africa as early as 1820.

I do think that the tone of your posts regarding Christianity is mocking and insulting and in total conflict with the point of this thread. I don't appreciate it, nor the use of your term the "massah's religion" when you speak of black Christianity.

I never said you couldn't have an opinion, but I don't think that you know what you're talking about with regard to black Christians because you've never received the Holy Spirit and you've never been black, so how can you make a judgment regarding how these people came to be real Christians. Just being taught the faith and told that they had to worship it, would not constitute what I know to be the deep and abiding Christian faith that the black slaves had in America. Also, it seems that your opinion is very one dimentional.

And, everyone including non-believers are biased in their opinion on the subject, even though they may be well-read or versed on the subject. So I think this is another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

azdaja
May 17th, 2006, 05:36 PM
The Cross? No the Cross as a symbol did not come from that religion.

You're partly right regarding the celebration of the birth of Deus Sol Invictus Mithras. Rome converted that pagan legacy to a celebration of the rebirth of the sun god, Saturn during the winter soltice. The winter holiday was known as Satunalia and began a week prior to Dec. 25. It is also said that it was Emperor Constantine who officially converted this pagan tradition into the "Christian" holiday of Christmas.

You see how the stories are almost all the same, but vary a little bit. So, I don't think that the origin of Christmas is firmly established.
from what i know it is. i forgot who exactly it was to establish christmas, but it wasn't constantine, it was someone from the church.

and about the cross, that's funny, because there is strong evidence that jesus did not die on a cross. i suppose certain symbols were very fashionable back in the day, so it's possible that both mithraism and christianity adopted them separately.

Denise4925
May 17th, 2006, 06:39 PM
from what i know it is. i forgot who exactly it was to establish christmas, but it wasn't constantine, it was someone from the church.

and about the cross, that's funny, because there is strong evidence that jesus did not die on a cross. i suppose certain symbols were very fashionable back in the day, so it's possible that both mithraism and christianity adopted them separately.
I didn't say Constantine established Christmas, I said it has been said that he officially converted the pagan tradition into the Christian holiday of Christmas. You're speaking of Pope Julius I who established Dec. 25 as the day that Christ's birth would be celebrated.

What's the source of your evidence that Jesus didn't die on a cross? Cruxificition on a cross was very prevalent in that day and time, so if someone were executed that is how it would have been done.

Denise4925
May 17th, 2006, 06:45 PM
Denise, I'd like to suggest a documentary for you and and my friend John. It's called "Da Vinci Code Decoded".
http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0002ZDVFY.01.MZZZZZZZ.jpg
It was first released as a book and became a #1 best seller. http://www.wkonline.com/a/Da_Vinci_Code_Decoded_B0002ZDVFY.htm A film then followed.
The following is a quote from an anonymous poster named, what else, Anonymous. :lol:
The only reason I suggest it, is because it covers everything we discussed here, and then some. People with strong religious views may see it as blasphemous. But if one were to view it from an intellectual standpoint, it definitely has some merit. I've researched the the heck outta this film and still have tons of unanswered questions. However, it did answer quite a few that I've been posing for over 20 years, and was quite intriguing despite itself. :cool:

Note: The documentary is painfully cerebral, so drink a gallon of coffee and a six-pack of Red Bull before viewing. :lol:
Actually Ree, I don't give any credence to or pay any attention to the fictional Da Vinci Code. It has no bearing on my belief or any facts that we know to exist. It was all made up in Brown's head, along with some things he stole from the writers of Holy Blood Holy Grail.

azdaja
May 17th, 2006, 07:20 PM
I didn't say Constantine established Christmas, I said it has been said that he officially converted the pagan tradition into the Christian holiday of Christmas. You're speaking of Pope Julius I who established Dec. 25 as the day that Christ's birth would be celebrated.

What's the source of your evidence that Jesus didn't die on a cross? Cruxificition on a cross was very prevalent in that day and time, so if someone were executed that is how it would have been done.
i can't remember the source, but it was reported on tv here. apparently romans did not use crosses, they simply tied people to trees ot T-shaped stuff for this sort of punishment. which kinda makes sense because it's easier to make.

*JR*
May 17th, 2006, 07:38 PM
"Observant" religious ppl make such mountains out of molehills. Muslims went nuts because some cartoonists drew picture of Muhammad (itself "blasphemy", totally apart from the depiction of him with a bomb on his head). Christians made such a big deal about a movie portrayl of Jesus "dying" (itself a contradiction of their theology) exactly as he chose, and are now doing so about whether he may have chosen to wed and procreate. Jews do about turning on a light bulb on Saturday, Hindu's virtually worship cows, etc. etc. As an old movie title said: The Gods Must Be Crazy.
:shrug:

pla
May 17th, 2006, 09:00 PM
Osssge, if you permit, I'll try to make a generalisation ;)

There are Muslims and Muslims, Christians and Christians, Jews and Jews.. in fact, it's all finally to the personal values which are, to my understanding once again, way beyond religion- it's human nature.

dementieva's fan
May 17th, 2006, 09:55 PM
This was shown through his many parables, and his actions especially with regard to the prostitute Mary Magdalene' who was about to get stoned to death when he announced "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

:confused: What are you talking about? That prostitute was Mary Magdalene? :confused: Does the Bible say that? Coz I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Care to point me to the specefic chapter and verse?

RVD
May 17th, 2006, 09:56 PM
And a big shout for ReeVee, who started this up and ranks high here as one of the intelligent, enlightened ones.
:worship:
Stay true, man. You're one of the good ones. :o You give me far too much credit my friend. :wavey:
I'm just trying to keep up with the far more impressive intellects here. A list that you yourself are in the top 1% of. :worship: :cool:

RVD
May 17th, 2006, 10:07 PM
The Cross? No the Cross as a symbol did not come from that religion.

You're partly right regarding the celebration of the birth of Deus Sol Invictus Mithras. Rome converted that pagan legacy to a celebration of the rebirth of the sun god, Saturn during the winter soltice. The winter holiday was known as Satunalia and began a week prior to Dec. 25. It is also said that it was Emperor Constantine who officially converted this pagan tradition into the "Christian" holiday of Christmas.

You see how the stories are almost all the same, but vary a little bit. So, I don't think that the origin of Christmas is firmly established.The 'Da Vinci Code: Decoded' delves deeply into this as well. Two years ago, I would have been completely lost concerning this topic. ;)

*JR*
May 17th, 2006, 10:25 PM
The 'Da Vinci Code: Decoded' delves deeply into this as well. Two years ago, I would have been completely lost concerning this topic. ;)
Not only would Jesus having married and/or fathered children not changed whether he carried out a divine mission on earth, but neither would the nature of his birth (by an earthly biological father or not). Surely the purported all-powerful God cited by Christians as the father of Jesus could simply have implanted the appropriate soul in a child concieved in the usual manner.

(Apologies to the "religiously hypersesensitive" for my rather basic observations in this post, and in the DaVinci Code thread).

RVD
May 17th, 2006, 11:11 PM
Actually Ree, I don't give any credence to or pay any attention to the fictional Da Vinci Code. It has no bearing on my belief or any facts that we know to exist. It was all made up in Brown's head, along with some things he stole from the writers of Holy Blood Holy Grail.The 'Da Vinci Code: Decoded' is not a book or movie by Dan Brown, but an intellectual discussion (documentary) based on the questions posed by the book. It a documentary whereby various authors discuss research findings, along with their individual 'personal' interpretations.

Dan Brown appears as one of the speakers, but not often. And for the most part, the discusses the discoveries, myths, traditions, rituals, and facts, about Christianity. It also discusses Symbolism, worships practices, and how and why December 25 was selected to celebrate the birth of Christ.
I suggested it because much of what you and azdaja were discussing is also discussed in great detail here. :wavey:
I'm not saying that I subscribe to their conclusions, mind you. However, I found it very interesting in that it offered quite a bit of food for thought.

Incidentally, I've seen both yours and azdaja's interpretation on the origins of Christmas, but haven't formed an opinion one way or another. There's just not enough factual documentation for me to be certain. :shrug:
Very interesting discussion though. ;)

mykarma
May 17th, 2006, 11:25 PM
Can you guys tell me how much do you know about the teachings of Islam, apart from the fundamentalist trash that is shown daily on TV? I am not saying that it is not a reality of Islam at the moment, but why keep making these generalizations? The essence of religion should not be violence, however the violent actions of a particular group cannot be attributed to a whole religion. Judaism and Christianity had and still has its fundamentalists, and the Christian history is full of bloodshed. Is comparing religions according to its believers' deeds correct? I think we should judge each and every religion, be it monotheistic, pantheistic, polytheistic or whatever on the basis of what it teaches. And from what I know, killing people unless your life is in danger, or unless you are the one against whom a war is waged is wrong in Islam.

Almost 90% of my friends are atheists or agnostics - and I get along with them all so very well as a believer in God (not necessarily religion), and I understand their reasons for not believing. Were the conditions of my upbringing, or my social environment different, I could perhaps have been an agnostic myself...

But anyway - demanding tolerance and understanding is reciprocal. And I would like not be counted as a terrorrist because of my faith, because I am not, and because I do not approve of any violent action committed on behalf of my faith - I would not like to be generalized and reduced to the fundamentalist freak status.
:worship: :worship: :worship:
I am not Muslim but these narrow minded generalizations and comments made by some people really irk me. I know plenty of Muslims and none are fundamentalist that would like to blow up Americans. I can only imagine how I would feel if people dogged my religion the way, these "I don't even know any muslims", disrespect Islam.

Those religions that have no fundamentalist and fools, ,throw the first stone.

RVD
May 17th, 2006, 11:29 PM
Not only would Jesus having married and/or fathered children not changed whether he carried out a divine mission on earth, but neither would the nature of his birth (by an earthly biological father or not). Surely the purported all-powerful God cited by Christians as the father of Jesus could simply have implanted the appropriate soul in a child concieved in the usual manner.

(Apologies to the "religiously hypersesensitive" for my rather basic observations in this post, and in the DaVinci Code thread).I've never understood the significance of a divine birth.
Firstly, biologically speaking, it's just not possible. Spiritually speaking, it definitely adds an undeniable degree of mysticism, so maybe this was the whole point. But when you get right down to it, it harkens back to the many other symbolic stories of the Bible, a la Adam and Eve/The Garden Of Eden, War In Heaven, Cain and Abel, Abram and Sarai, Lot's Choice, The Judgment of Sodom, etc...
People are more apt to be curious when the fantastical is introduced than not. And let's face it, all religions have their fantastical stories, and all are interesting in concept and message.

Hope I didn't step on any toes with this. :angel:

dementieva's fan
May 17th, 2006, 11:37 PM
Not only would Jesus having married and/or fathered children not changed whether he carried out a divine mission on earth, but neither would the nature of his birth (by an earthly biological father or not). Surely the purported all-powerful God cited by Christians as the father of Jesus could simply have implanted the appropriate soul in a child concieved in the usual manner.

(Apologies to the "religiously hypersesensitive" for my rather basic observations in this post, and in the DaVinci Code thread).

Trying to set the record for the most bad reps from one thread here, are we? ;)

*JR*
May 18th, 2006, 12:12 AM
Trying to set the record for the most bad reps from one thread here, are we? ;)
"Heaven forbid" :o I wouldn't raise the hopefully thought-provoking "what ifs" that I try to because someone might react that way. But even if they did (and noone has in this or the Davinci Code thread, BTW) it wouldn't matter. Just look @ RVD's excellent analytical post B4 your good natured teasing here. I'm not claiming credit for giving him those ideas, but I did draw out those interesting observations. Isn't that what these "topical threads" are all about? :)

RVD
May 18th, 2006, 12:24 AM
Can you guys tell me how much do you know about the teachings of Islam, apart from the fundamentalist trash that is shown daily on TV? I am not saying that it is not a reality of Islam at the moment, but why keep making these generalizations? The essence of religion should not be violence, however the violent actions of a particular group cannot be attributed to a whole religion. Judaism and Christianity had and still has its fundamentalists, and the Christian history is full of bloodshed. Is comparing religions according to its believers' deeds correct? I think we should judge each and every religion, be it monotheistic, pantheistic, polytheistic or whatever on the basis of what it teaches. And from what I know, killing people unless your life is in danger, or unless you are the one against whom a war is waged is wrong in Islam.Excellent points. And personally, I have 'experienced' very little of the Islamic faiths. I have relatives who've tried to convert me. :lol: But the only knowledge I possess is what I've read; which is to say, very little. This is one reason why I visited as many Christian churches as I possible could during my business travel days. To experience the 'differences'. However, I stopped this practice after a particularly nasty encounter with an Apostolic church. But, that's a story for another time. :scared:

Rest assured that many people in U.S. are finally coming to their senses, thanks in great part to the failure of Bush's holy war, the countless lies and misleading statements, and his odd talks with God. This is just my opinion, of course, but I believe that where religion fails is when corrupt individuals use religion as a means to a 'personal' end. Get enough people to follow modified doctrine, and you have the power to create change, as well as the power over those who follow you. Religion has demonstrated itself to be easily manipulated and corruptible...ironically enough, for those very reasons I lauded it's genius.
And frankly, there are millions of weak-minded people out there who are aching to latch onto anything that caters to their sorrows; feeds there fears; or offers them fellowship and power. These, imho, are what make up the majority of the fundamentalists.
The leaders themselves are spiritually tortured individuals, and are looking for like-minded brothers/sisters. They get together and can't help but to disrupt order because they just don't want others to be joyful when they are suffering. So they corrupted whatever religion is most familiar to whatever region they are from. :sad:

Almost 90% of my friends are atheists or agnostics - and I get along with them all so very well as a believer in God (not necessarily religion), and I understand their reasons for not believing. Were the conditions of my upbringing, or my social environment different, I could perhaps have been an agnostic myself...

But anyway - demanding tolerance and understanding is reciprocal. And I would like not be counted as a terrorrist because of my faith, because I am not, and because I do not approve of any violent action committed on behalf of my faith - I would not like to be generalized and reduced to the fundamentalist freak status.My kids' schools many faiths in attendance. It's great to see all of these young ones of different beliefs working and playing together. Many are of Islamic and Christian faiths. :shrug: Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, we get the Bush, Bin Laden, Hussain, Blairs, etc... of the world spreading discourse and hate. And you know what they say about one bad apple in a barrel?
These guys make it appear as if the entire orchard is rotten. :fiery:

RVD
May 18th, 2006, 01:24 AM
"Heaven forbid" :o I wouldn't raise the hopefully thought-provoking "what ifs" that I try to because someone might react that way. But even if they did (and noone has in this or the Davinci Code thread, BTW) it wouldn't matter. Just look @ RVD's excellent analytical post B4 your good natured teasing here. I'm not claiming credit for giving him those ideas, but I did draw out those interesting observations. Isn't that what these "topical threads" are all about? :) :wavey: ;)

Wigglytuff
May 18th, 2006, 02:46 AM
can someone give a quick summary of where the thread has gone, i was on my cellphone until yesterday and the thread went to fast for me to follow on the cell, anyway long story short, whats up?

John A Roark
May 18th, 2006, 02:56 AM
there is strong evidence that jesus did not die on a cross.
Gonna have to call you on this one: the vast majority of Roman executions were crucifixions, especially when they wanted to make a point. The point here was, 'no rabble rousers allowed.'

azdaja
May 18th, 2006, 11:36 AM
Gonna have to call you on this one: the vast majority of Roman executions were crucifixions, especially when they wanted to make a point. The point here was, 'no rabble rousers allowed.'
again, it seems that crucifixions were performed on T-shaped "crucifixes". actually a quick google search brought up this as a result:
http://www.keyway.ca/htm2005/20050326.htm

it does not really change the story much, except that it adds weight to the argument that cross as a symbol was adopted for other reasons.

Erika_Angel
May 18th, 2006, 12:00 PM
:confused: What are you talking about? That prostitute was Mary Magdalene? :confused: Does the Bible say that? Coz I'm pretty sure it doesn't. Care to point me to the specefic chapter and verse?

She was about to be stoned for her actions and it is widely believed that she was a prostitue even though I believe it never actually says that that is exactly her 'sins.' I'm sure there is something that points to it despite not having the actual reference.

Why question such an insignificant part of my whole post though? I'm a bit at a loss why noone has discussed my post in any detail, are people just unwilling to accept that alot of Christians are not the right wing freaks that many of you assume?

*JR*
May 18th, 2006, 12:50 PM
Gonna have to call you on this one: the vast majority of Roman executions were crucifixions, especially when they wanted to make a point. The point here was, 'no rabble rousers allowed.'
I hear that this board's owners have been discussing crucifixion for repeat offenders. ;)

azdaja
May 18th, 2006, 01:37 PM
I've never understood the significance of a divine birth.
that also seems to have been a very popular story back then because as i said, there is a story about immaculate conception in mithraism as well. parallels between mithraism and christianity are numerous and they are probably a result of incorporating a lot of myths popular at the time into both religions. just as various polytheistic religions did with other myths. i suppose that demystifies christianity a bit.

bionic71
May 18th, 2006, 02:50 PM
that also seems to have been a very popular story back then because as i said, there is a story about immaculate conception in mithraism as well. parallels between mithraism and christianity are numerous and they are probably a result of incorporating a lot of myths popular at the time into both religions. just as various polytheistic religions did with other myths. i suppose that demystifies christianity a bit.



You bring up a very interesting point...the tale of TAMUZ for example is one of the many stories with similarities to the tale of Jesus.

Tamuz was the son of Semiramis, a Babylonian high priestess....the tale of TAMUZ parallels the biblical account of Jesus in just about every way. Semiramis was impregnated by a sunbeam before giving birth to Tamuz....an immaculate conception if ever there was one!

Tales of immaculate conception are also present in Ancient Egyptian mythlogy...the sky god Horos (who had a mans body and a hawks head) was also the product of an immaculate conception.....

The notion of an immaculate conception is not unique to Christian myth and symbol...it was borrowed from tales that existed well before Jesus.

Many people would do themselves a huge favour investigating the tales and myth that pre-date modern Christiandom reworkings...reading widely is healthy and most beneficial!

Denise4925
May 18th, 2006, 03:14 PM
The 'Da Vinci Code: Decoded' delves deeply into this as well. Two years ago, I would have been completely lost concerning this topic. ;)
I've seen similar Da Vinci Code debunking telecasts and series on the History Channel, and several other networks. But, I'll try to check it out. However, I'm so sick of the Da Vinci Code. The only good thing I see coming out of this book and movie is that people will be talking and studying about Jesus once again.

John A Roark
May 18th, 2006, 06:35 PM
The 'historical Jesus' scholars have done much to rectify the mythology built up around Jesus of Nazareth.
Much of the New Testament as it is written says what it says because the first- and second-generation 'Jesus people' felt compelled to dilute the Word so that more people would feel it's impact, and also to show the fulfillment of ancient Jewish prophecy.
Sigh.
Funk, Borg, Crossan, et.al. have done quite a bit of research, putting the words of Jesus to the test through remembering the political atmosphere in which they were spoken.
Alas, the trend has been usurped by modern entertainers like Brown and Hanks to essentially say anything they wish about Jesus.

RVD
May 18th, 2006, 09:53 PM
can someone give a quick summary of where the thread has gone, i was on my cellphone until yesterday and the thread went to fast for me to follow on the cell, anyway long story short, whats up?Request fulfilled...

1st Thread Summary:

● It has been unanimously established that this is not a Religious Hate Thread. :lol:
● Sans specific names, there is a healthy mix of Atheist, Agnostics, Ethical-Atheists, Theists, and some posters uncertain as to specifically where they stand. There are also a good number of 'conversions' and 'rejections' of religions here. All are now engage in respectful debate. :)
● ReeVeeDynasty & Erika_Angel have compromised [through amiable PM discussions] on their differences and have completely resolved all misunderstanding.
● All are in agreement [at the moment] that no individual, or group, can rightly claim to be above another.
● God, religion, and morals are not mutually exclusive. In other words, one can be a moral individual without an expressed belief in God or adherence to any religion. It is basically agreed that one's expressed 'morals' isn't a result of ones belief in God, but rather an innate expression based upon cultural values and individual choice. Still up for debate though. ;)
● The theory as to whether man is the only supreme sentient being is still undecided. However, the debating is tipped heavily in favor of the Human Race not being the sole inhabit(er) of the universe.
● Fundamentalism is destructive, regardless of regardless faith or belief.
● At this particular point, the consensus is that man is corrupting much of the benefits that religion has to offer. Many here agree with the moral principles upon which religious scripture is essential based, and also agree that religion can be useful in maintaining 'order'.
● There is presently no way to prove or disprove the existence of an omnipotent supreme being.
● Denise4925, *JR*, and Volcana, were engaged in a very interesting debate over the religious indoctrination of slaves. Specifically: Was religion forced upon the slaves or not; or Was Christianity adopted/absorbed by the slaves and fashioned to fit their existing beliefs. Both offered interesting points, with the debate still open.
● Creationism was touched upon in this thread, but not fully debated.
● Another rather interesting consensus is that more are against the Death Penalty than for it. :scratch: This certainly wasn't the case during the Stanley 'Tookie' Williams death penalty discussion several months ago. :shrug: I'm not sure what this suggests, except for possibly non-religious people being more merciful, philosophical, or practical, concerning the taking of a life. I'll flag this one as 'still debatable' since at least one poster is vehemenantly in favor of it. ;)
● All agree that the Death Penalty does little to nothing to deter crime.
● In relation to the Death Penalty, debate is still raging over rehabilitation, and its possible benefits.
● No one has yet reconciled the contradiction of being both religious and a pro-death proponent.
● There is still an excellent Quantum debate, and it's relationship to the Big Bang Theory, going on. :yeah:
● The idea of 'Faith' was introduced and debated. I'd start at John A Roark's post [#172], and read forward.
● 'Why Christmas is observed on December 25th' debate, is still in process.
● The Vatican's vs. The Da Vinci Code movie. Not yet debated.
● Debate over women's role in the Bible, and specifically why Mary Magdalene gets such a bad rap; was she married to Jesus; and why Jesus being married is considered blasphemous.


This should at least catch you up to page 5. I'll have to amend further later, because I have to take my princess to her martial arts practice.

If I've missed anything [which I'm sure I have] please fell free to make the corrections. I did this sorta quickly, so please pardon the grammatical errors. :o :wavey:

John A Roark
May 19th, 2006, 12:23 AM
Haven't had a chance yet to say much about women in the bible, in the spritual realm, and in the world in general (whether religious or otherwise).
The men with the overriding patriarchal mindset who transcribed the bible (if you take it as the divinely inspired truth to end all truths) of course relegated the woman's role to insignificance. That was the time they lived in. That's what they were expected to do. Indeed, they could do no other and be accepted.
But remember, that was the direct result of their times. The one outstanding man among all the rest, Jesus of Nazareth, was fully able to look past that--but no one else. Not even that amazing man, Paul.
It from their mistakes that we learn--it by their limitations that we are able, today, to expand. Truly, women are magnificent individuals in their own right just as much as the men. Jesus knew that--Mary, Martha, Joanna, the Samaritan woman at the well, and so on. Some of us even think that the Magdalene was a disciple, although the men could never say that...

And look at women throughout history, within the church as well as without: Clare of Assisi, Clothilde, Julian of Norwich, Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman. They are not the only ones to single out, either. Khadijeh, Fatima? Golda Meir, Ruth Bader Ginsberg? Savinirmadi, Indira Gandhi? Yaa Asantewa, Nzingha?
Have we given them the recognition that is truly their due? Fame, sure--but honest evaluation of their lives and accomplishments?

The Christian Church, Islamic tradition, Hindu culture, the secular world--women have only recently begun to find their way, their own path, within any of the institutions. Not just the church, but all of us, must do better--and thanks to lessons learned, I think we will.

Wigglytuff
May 19th, 2006, 12:49 AM
Request fulfilled...

1st Thread Summary:

? It has been unanimously established that this is not a Religious Hate Thread. :lol:
? Sans specific names, there is a healthy mix of Atheist, Agnostics, Ethical-Atheists, Theists, and many uncertain as to specifically where they stand. There are also a good number of 'conversions' and 'rejections' of religions here. All are now engage in respectful debate. :)
? ReeVeeDynasty & Erika_Angel have compromised [through amiable PM discussions] on our differences and have completely resolved all misunderstanding.
? All are in agreement [at the moment] that no individual, or group, can rightly claim to be above another.
? God, religion, and morals are not mutually exclusive. In other words, you can be a moral individual without an expressed belief in God or adherence to religion. You can also be corrupt and religious as well. We've presently assigned 'morals' to the innate nature of humans. Still up for debate though. ;)
? The theory of whether man is the only supreme sentient being is still undecided. However, the debating is tipped heavily in favor of the Human Race not being the sole inhabit(er) of the universe.
? Fundamentalism is destructive, regardless of the faith or belief.
? At this particular point, it appears as that there is a consensus man is corrupting much of the benefits that religion had to offer. Many here agree with the moral principles upon which religious scripture is essential based, and agree that it is necessary for 'order'.
? There is presently no way to prove or disprove the existence of an omnipotent supreme being.
? Denise4925, *JR*, and Volcana, were engaged in a very interesting debate over the religious indoctrination of slaves. Specifically: Was religion forced upon the slaves or not; or Was Christianity adopted by the slaves and fashioned to fit there existing beliefs. Both offered interesting points, with debate is still open.
? Creationism was touched upon in this thread, but not fully debated.
? Another rather interesting consensus is that more are against the Death Penalty than for it. :scratch: This certainly wasn't the case during the Stanley 'Tookie' Williams death penalty debate several months ago. :shrug: I'm not sure what this suggests, except for possibly non-religious people being more merciful, philosophical, or practical, concerning the taking of a life. I'll flag this one as 'still debatable' since at least one poster is vehemenantly in favor of it. ;)
? All agree that the Death Penalty does not deter crime.
? In relation to the Death Penalty, debate is still raging over rehabilitation of death row convictions.
? No one has yet reconciled the contradiction of being religious and pro-death.
? There is still an excellent Quantum debate, and it's relationship to the Big Bang Theory, going on. :yeah:
? The idea of 'Faith' was introduced and debated. I'd begin at John A Roark's post [#172], and read forward.
? Why Christmas is observed on December 25th , debate, is still in process.
? The Vatican's vs. The Da Vinci Code, and why the fear.
? Debate over the women's role in the Bible, and specifically why Mary Magdalene gets such a bad rap; was she married to Jesus; and why is Jesus being married is considered blasphemous.


This should at least catch you up to page 5. I'll have to amend further later, because I have to take my princess to her martial arts practice.

If I've missed anything [which I'm sure I have] please fell free to make the corrections. I did this sorta quickly, so please pardon the grammatical errors. :o :wavey:

thank you very much!!! i think i can pick up from there. thank you so much for this :worship: :worship:

Knizzle
May 19th, 2006, 12:51 AM
How come religion related topics r being discussed in the non-religious thread? :lol:

Denise4925
May 19th, 2006, 12:55 AM
Haven't had a chance yet to say much about women in the bible, in the spritual realm, and in the world in general (whether religious or otherwise).
The men with the overriding patriarchal mindset who transcribed the bible (if you take it as the divinely inspired truth to end all truths) of course relegated the woman's role to insignificance. That was the time they lived in. That's what they were expected to do. Indeed, they could do no other and be accepted.
But remember, that was the direct result of their times. The one outstanding man among all the rest, Jesus of Nazareth, was fully able to look past that--but no one else. Not even that amazing man, Paul.
It from their mistakes that we learn--it by their limitations that we are able, today, to expand. Truly, women are magnificent individuals in their own right just as much as the men. Jesus knew that--Mary, Martha, Joanna, the Samaritan woman at the well, and so on. Some of us even think that the Magdalene was a disciple, although the men could never say that...

And look at women throughout history, within the church as well as without: Clare of Assisi, Clothilde, Julian of Norwich, Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman. They are not the only ones to single out, either. Khadijeh, Fatima? Golda Meir, Ruth Bader Ginsberg? Savinirmadi, Indira Gandhi? Yaa Asantewa, Nzingha?
Have we given them the recognition that is truly their due? Fame, sure--but honest evaluation of their lives and accomplishments?

The Christian Church, Islamic tradition, Hindu culture, the secular world--women have only recently begun to find their way, their own path, within any of the institutions. Not just the church, but all of us, must do better--and thanks to lessons learned, I think we will.
:worship: :worship: :worship: Thank you John.

bionic71
May 19th, 2006, 01:57 AM
Have you heard of a book called "When God Was A Woman" by Merlin Stone? It has plenty to offer concerning the origination of male-centric religions and monotheistic ones as well. It is a mile stone for me...

Yes...I am familiar with the text.
I think she wrote it in the 70s. I recall using it a number of times as a reference text at uni. She was an amazing woman Merlin Stone....an archaelogist and artist and well as a writer. She had an earlier book as well.....Paradise ????? (can't remember exact titile).......both examined the repression of pre-Christian female gods and icons....ultimately shaping modern Christianity.
Both books are very interesting reads.

RVD
May 19th, 2006, 06:46 AM
thank you very much!!! i think i can pick up from there. thank you so much for this :worship: :worship:Quite welcome. :wavey:

RVD
May 19th, 2006, 06:48 AM
How come religion related topics r being discussed in the non-religious thread? :lol:Wellllll, you can't effectively speak on non-religious topics unless you have religious topics to compare 'em to. :lol: :angel:

BUBI
May 24th, 2006, 06:43 PM
Why would God care if we believe in him or not? Is God vain?
I don't like that kind of God.

I will join the club :wavey:

mykarma
May 24th, 2006, 09:15 PM
How come religion related topics r being discussed in the non-religious thread? :lol:
:lol::lol:

wta_zuperfann
May 25th, 2006, 10:05 PM
The men with the overriding patriarchal mindset who transcribed the bible (if you take it as the divinely inspired truth to end all truths) of course relegated the woman's role to insignificance


That is not entirely so. Please take a close look at Romans chapter 16 where an entire roster of female "servants, saints, helpers, fellowprisoners, apostles" who labor for the Church are listed. Contrary to current church teachings which restricts womens roles in the clergy, the Bible allows everyone to be a part of the 'royal priesthood' {I Peter 2:9}. The only New Testament exception was the Greek church at Corinth where female priests attempted to usurp the pulpit so that they were forbidden to work as ministers or to even speak in the Church.