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 Author Thread: Creation vs Evolution [read OP before posting] *
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 3781 (view)
 
Creation vs Evolution [read OP before posting] *
Posted: 12/1/2007 9:58:19 AM

In theroy

If GOD created sea creatures, birds, land creatures, according to thier kinds.
Then it is possible that any creature in evolution was created by GOD.


And people tell me I'm an ***hole for thinking I'm superior to religious people...
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 3778 (view)
 
Creation vs Evolution [read OP before posting] *
Posted: 11/30/2007 8:06:43 PM

If there is all of this evidence then how come it isn't the biggest news story in the world, and how come there aren't people all over the world that are sharing this information and proof in the news, on the internet and everywhere.

It was the biggest story in the world...in the 17th century

I think the answer is becuase it's all peoples hypothasis.

The hypothasis it's all peoples answer becuase pastordave found the right line of work (sorry journalism or academia, pastordave is taken!)

Neither one can really be 100% proven without faith.

The only thing proven here is you have no idea what proof is.

who do you think is going to be more sorry at the end of their life if they are wrong, you or me, that is something you can't deny.

No I can't deny that I wouldn't of wasted my life.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 64 (view)
 
religion will end. dont fight it
Posted: 11/30/2007 7:40:19 PM

So inform us what is racist about Christianity - give us some info from the new testament that condones racism - thanks.

Ahh...suddenly the horrors of the old testament are forgotten...in favor of lesser horros in the new.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 63 (view)
 
religion will end. dont fight it
Posted: 11/30/2007 7:35:53 PM

So the end of religion will cause hatred to evaporate?

Obviously not, but it'd sure help.

Our politicians will do much better acting on their own selfish needs rather than wanting to do Gods will?

Now who is being ignorant? And pessimistic I might add: but I'm sure it's human nature to be selfish when God isn't involved, that's what repentence if for right?? Ha. I'm sure those in Africa who don't know and can't get condoms because of Bush's abstinence policies are thankful to God for their HIV.

Eliminating religion will do away with and eliminate special interests groups. So people will no longer have personal and self serving ambition?

No...it will eliminate the religious self serving special interest groups who base their decisions on superstition and fairy tails, not evidence and facts.

Eliminating religion will eliminate poverty and greed and consequently people will no longer fight over land and resources?

Well I sure bet there woundn't be a neverending war in the middle east. I mean when's the last time you heard a secular person blow someone else up over 'sacred' or 'promised' land? There would obviously still be battles over resources, but those battles wouldn't fought over religious lines. One less battle to fight.

Eliminating religion will eliminate the place where pedophiles like to hang out and will therefore eliminate the problem? So you are suggesting all pedophiles are religious and that religion breeds pedophiles?

No, I'm suggesting that certain religious systems are inherently producing larger then average per capita instances of pedophilia. Don't think so? Check out how much the Catholic church is paying out of it's arse. (bad pun, sorry)

You know what? I am a bigot. If by bigot you mean "a person who is utterly intolerant". But you see, I'm a bigot in regards to bad ideas. In actuality we all are to some extent. We naturally make everyday decisions based on the best information available. If we come across bad information, bad ideas or people making bad decisions based on those things we are naturally bigoted towards them. Thus, based on the information available, we should all be laughing in the faces of those who choose to have use faith to guide their decisions (faith as defined as belief without sufficient evidence). It's simple. I don't let faith blind me, and neither should you.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 3759 (view)
 
Creation vs Evolution [read OP before posting] *
Posted: 11/29/2007 10:52:19 PM
Sorry, was just reading some of the posts in this thread and was a little upset. Promise I won't post anything like that anymore. (Without veiling it in logical argument and an academic writing prose)

 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 3758 (view)
 
Creation vs Evolution [read OP before posting] *
Posted: 11/29/2007 10:49:07 PM
Evolution: right
Creation: stupid


fin
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 46 (view)
 
religion will end. dont fight it
Posted: 11/29/2007 10:37:55 PM
As much as I would enjoy religion to be snuffed out, it will never be.
This is simply because stupid and weak minded people fear death and their own unimportance.
We've overcome many of the obstacles that hindered human advancement by leading us to religion, but these two psychological factors won't be easily overcome.
There will always be the need for:
- easy answers
- authority figures with perfect knowledge
- misogamy
- gender/racial/ethinic/class divisions
- homophobia
- a safe-house for pedophiles
- an excuse to legally wear swords in public
- an excuse to kill each other over land
- funding special interest groups
- sensoring real scientific progress
- finding reasons to "love thy neighbor" while secretly wishing that that wouldn't move into your neighborhood
- politicians who justify decisions through divine inspiration
- hatred
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 111 (view)
 
What does enlightenment feel like?
Posted: 4/3/2007 11:48:50 AM

What does enlightenment feel like?

You know when you're sitting in a chair and you lean back so you're only on two legs, then you lean back a little further, then you lean back even a bit more, and you almost fall but you catch yourself at the last second?
That's enlightenment baby!











...oh yeah, and that moment right after the Father lets you breathe again, that's enlightenment too.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 2 (view)
 
How did you choose your religion?
Posted: 4/2/2007 1:33:02 PM
Stick with your family and what you can explain. Health care workers, like scientists must hold the highest standards of reason and rationale in their work. This has nothing to say about their compassion and concern for the suffering of others. Read some literature on the morality and ethics of Atheists and other non-believers, you'll find that they are reasons for doing good that are far more grounded in reality then those of religious folk.
And as for

I've seen far too much to beleive that *nothing* exists out there

I guess that depends on:
1. how willing you are to believe
2. how intellectually/rationally/inquisitively/scientifically lazy you are
3. coming to the wrong conclusions when faced with inexplicable events in relation to the use of rationale and logic

I've seen far too much to believe that *an omnipotent* being controls the universe. I've know enough to understand that religion is a result of intellectual laziness, ignorance and socialization. I know enough that when I feel I need structure, I read a book, see a lecture, or watch a hockey game, I do not pull the stupidity blanket of church or mosque or temple up over my head when I'm feeling unsure about the world.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 161 (view)
 
If you could interview God what would you ask him?
Posted: 4/2/2007 10:51:28 AM
I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100...

Yeah, that whole Holocaust/Inquisition/Killing of the Natives/Inquisition/AIDs prevention without condoms/every single horrible thing the pope has ever said/rape, murder, war in your name/fundamentalist idiots/the horrible shiate you'd have us do that's in the bible/every single moron below the mason dixon/slavery/jihad/suicide bombers/martyrdoms/honor killings/ignorance of simple facts of life because of 'faith' in you...WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT??

Oh yeah, and if all those priests who molested children, (or as I like to called, became boy-f@#kers), are your representatives on earth, well you know, doesn't that sorta, kinda mean that God is a boy-f@$ker?
I mean that would makes sense cause you now have an answer for all those grieving newly-childless mothers who's son was raped and murdered by a priest, who are asking and praying, "Oh God, oh God, why did you take my little boy away from me?" Well the answer is they're servicing all the priests, Jesus and God in Heaven right?

Oh and trim your goddamned beard already you hippie.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 68 (view)
 
Why is faith so valued?
Posted: 3/30/2007 10:27:43 PM

Why is it that so many that are opposed to faith, religion, and spirituality in general, have such a negative view of it all? Can't you see any of the positives, and the positive people of faith? None of us are perfect. NONE. Whether we profess a certain faith or not. This includes those that supposedly operate by their reason, as opposed to any faith.

You seem to forget irrationality as a human quality, that we are all eternally bound to struggle with. Reason, is only used to combat this, but in lesser people, undoubtedly it fails sometimes. You can use "reason" in any context. A form of reason is used by the fundamentalists. They can be asked to describe their faith and they would undoubtedly use their intellects to reason to postulate an argument based on scripture. That "reason" was used does not speak to its authenticity. What they'll never do is use their intellect and reason to question the scripture itself. The German people used reason to depress their morality when they willingly subverted and exterminated the Jews. Like the fundamentalist their reason was used with flawed data, that data being the belief that Jews weren't true humans as taught by Christian doctorine and are thus not worthy of humane rights or treatment. The point here is that reason alone is not the answer because in many ways reason can be **stardized to fit many usages. One must use reason not only when drawing conclusions from data, but also when determining the validity of that data. Here is the big step that is missing. To some, those with who think freely and critically, this principle of the scientific method is implied and obvious. To others, like eternalknight and other faithful people, this has not even crossed their minds. Yes, all humans have failings, but you'll find many of these failings are when we don't use our critical minds to their full potential, thus convincing ourselves of patently untrue realities.

Blind criticism I think is far more malicious than blind faith. The vast majority of people that profess faith, any faith, really mean you no harm.

REALLY? Have you read a newspaper lately? Turned on the news? I think it's fairly obvious that criticism gets you maliciously killed, or at the very least marginalized, by blind faith.
And let me debunk this quib little play-on-words you've used: by definition there is no such thing as "blind criticism". There is unfair criticism, unwarranted criticism and even stupid criticism; but there never is blind criticism in the same way we mean when we talk about blind faith. "Blind faith" implies the absence of question, evidence or reason in an argument, not just about the supernatural, but about a belief in anything. By definition, criticism can never be blind as it blatantly implies some thought process (be it correct or incorrect) about some given subject. A film critic talks about movies, but to form any opinion on them, he at least has had to think about them. To say someone criticizes blindly is to have a film critic publish a column without seeing the movie.
Blind faith may not intend to be malicious, but in principle it is intellectually malicious by definition. I don't think I have to rattle off the oodles of examples of how blind faith has been the catalyst of most of the destruction, murder, division and hate human kind's civilization has seen in its short history. To disavow blind faith as a lesser form of evil then rational criticism drips of intellectual maliciousness.

(oh by the way, that middle paragraph - who were you talking about? me? it wasn't clear, because my previous post wasn't directed at you in specific)
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 2 (view)
 
Secularism on the march?!
Posted: 3/30/2007 7:28:06 PM
I'll soon weigh in on with my opinion, but I'd like to hear from some people first with theirs. And I'd just like to mention that the idea for this thread was inpired by the TVO: The Agenda week-long series on Faith. For which I found the Atheistic view totally mis- or under-represented. Even when they tried to cover the topic of secularism they fell well short on the issue with horrible topics of discussion, horrible guest speakers and panelists and a bad representative of the non-believer's position.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Secularism on the march?!
Posted: 3/30/2007 7:24:21 PM
There has been a growing sentiment amongst the various religious circles throughout North America that 'Secularistic attacks' on faith have grown in strength and numbers over the last few decades and has been on the offensive even more since the actions of religious fundamentalists of late have started infringing on the lives of those in the Western World.
Religiosity in the developed world and especially in the United States has publically, through the media, repeated many times the sentiment that it is 'under attack'.
Is there truth to this accusation? If so, is it really a bad thing? I'd like some feedback from the religious on this.
Relatively well known secular authors and academics have recently become more public in broadcasting their views on religion to the world. Some have been more brazen and impudent in the public eye through many forms of media than others. Secular societies, institutions and associations are growing in strength and in numbers across the social discource, in universities, communities and politics. Is this just a backlash to the percieved growth of fanaticism and extremism in the religious world? Or is there a deeper movement towards a life based on reason, science and logic? Is the diety math of naturalism minus a god = polytheism minus a god = monotheism inevitably going to lead to atheism?
From the secularists (Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists etc.) I'd like your views on this issue as well. If there is a growing sentiment amonst non-believers that their views should become increasingly important in the public discource, if there is a growing view that non-believers should become more militant in the spread of their opinion, what is the best way to go about doing this?
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 63 (view)
 
Why is faith so valued?
Posted: 3/30/2007 7:02:52 PM
and that is why it's so dangerous
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 61 (view)
 
Why is faith so valued?
Posted: 3/30/2007 11:52:22 AM
Faith is the hinderance of reason, and if it is not stopped it will be the end of civilization.
A horrible misunderstanding of science and logic is gripping north america: The US falls just above Turkey in secondary school math and science scores. It doesn't even come close to the scores of the secularizing states of Europe and North Eastern Asia. It is also these states that top all UN indices on measures of social and economic health: education, literacy, infant mortality, access to medicare, GDP over population, average income and net wealth. They also lead the world in indicies such as: percapita charity donations and exports in the arts and literature. The US doesn't even appear in the top twenty on the above indicators. And in all the indicators in which the US leads the developed world, these nations aren't inclined to follow: homicide rates, sexual misconduct rates, abortions, teenage pregnancy, pregnancy out of wed-lock, infant deaths, suicide rates, mental illness, addiction rates, cancer rates, homelessness, poverty, illiteracy, divorce, rates of sexually transmitted disease. In those secular nations, 90% claim to be either Agnostic, Atheist or some other form of non-believer. In the US, over 90% of the voting populace reports their faith to be extremely important to them, and 44% believe beyond a doubt that the Rapture will occur within the next 50 years. These are hard and unquestionable numbers. And they can only lead us to conclusions about the result of faith that is belief in a description of the nature of our world beyond criticism, without question and beyond reason is far from good or even malignant in nature.
(I would point out that I've limited my argument to the developed world, where as if I had added the statistics for non-western nations, such as the Muslim world including Middle/South East Asia, those numbers would continue to skew downwards on the side of faith. Simply think of Jihad, suicide bombers, honour killings, religious/ethnic killings and cleansings, the subjugation of women and minorities...the list goes on into infinity)
It is no wonder people like Raveninns can spout such garbage about the search for answers. They don't even understand the nature of the journey that science takes us upon.
It is an irresistable truth that everyone knows what it is to be an Atheist in relation to religious beliefs other then their own. It is also an irresistable truth that everyone knows what it is to not have faith in relation to every form of faith other then their own. What possible argument could there be for a person to choose one faith over another? To explain faith in the guise of knowledge is such an intellectually bankrupt endevour most children would have trouble following it: Just as people explain the existence of God by quoting verse, a child knows you cannot answer "why is the sky blue" by saying "because blue is the color of the sky". The child understands the illegitimacy of circular arguments and yet faith allows grown, educated and intelligent people to become immune to the application of this basic logic.

Increasingly it has become dangerous to tout reason instead of faith, in Muslim states you are killed for such heracy. In the western world you are shouted down with phrases like "Religious Freedom" and "Benign Belief". But I think there is a growing fear of those who would see our civilization continue, not under the shadow of a faith delivered mushroom cloud. We can no longer allow people their imaginary friends, without challenging their reasons for believing in them. At the very least we are and would be intellectually negligent. Moderately, we would be responsible for the decline of the light of reason the Western World has always claimed to be. At our most negligent, we would be responsible for the destruction of mankind.

To those who would say, "I am nothing without my faith", I urge everyone to reply, "You are nothing with your faith either"

When argument and reason fails, criticizm is our only option left.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 25 (view)
 
Are we dumbing down Christianity?
Posted: 3/25/2007 5:50:29 PM

Are we dumbing down Christianity?

LOL
It needs no help in that.
Oh and another LOL at omarsherif and his neo-stupidity
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 21 (view)
 
Does Your Relgion Have Flaws?
Posted: 3/25/2007 5:48:02 PM

Does Your Relgion Have Flaws?

LOL
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 29 (view)
 
Can christianity and atheism co-exist in peace?
Posted: 3/25/2007 5:46:14 PM

Can christianity and atheism co-exist in peace?

Rather, can religions and faith co-exist in intellectual peace? (Now, physical peace, well lemme just say, not atheist ever blew himself up in the name of reason.)
Simple answer: NO
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 130 (view)
 
Is christian persecution a thing of the past or does it still exist?
Posted: 3/25/2007 5:35:05 PM
To read my reply to this marvelous critique please go to
http://forums.plentyoffish.com/5406813datingPostpage6.aspx
Hopefully you didn't waste your time on it as I did. However if you are interested, keep the score in mind.

(been watching these.....this guy before me has claimed moral & intellectual superiority to myself and everyone else here & in other forums so i have composed this in reply.....it is also posted in one other place, so i apologize for being intellectually lazy & just using cut & paste to rebut.............)

Ah ha, so your intellectualism isn't the only thing you're lazy in!
Laughable: a kajillion PLUS ONE - Reputable: 0
It went into overtime...and you made me do it! You silly banana you!
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 73 (view)
 
should Pharmacists have the right to refuse morning after pill?
Posted: 3/25/2007 3:51:45 PM


We're shying away from criticizing the absolute loonacy behind withholding this drug from misguilded or misfortunate youths.

It is no different, in principle, than withholding pork or beef.


Michael

Actually you're right, the reasons for both are equally stupid.
Unless you're a vegitarian, in which case, it's slightly less stupid.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Mission Trips
Posted: 3/25/2007 11:06:49 AM


I've said this in another thread; missionaries in Africa and South-East Asia advocating abstinence instead of contraceptives when the information on contraceptives and safe sex is available only from those missionaries is quickly amounting to genocide.
But I guess that doesn't really matter to you, they were going to hell anyways for having sex out of wed-lock. Right

Well if that isn't the most silliest thing I have ever read! What the heck?

*sighs*

Have you been? Do you know? I am doubting it... So maybe you shouldn't make statements as if it were the absolute truth. It just makes you look foolish IMO.

First, no I haven't been, but that doesn't make a difference. Second, yes I do know. Do you want me to start endnoting all my posts? Cause I could, but that would make them ten times longer then they already are...and I'm a long-winded typist.
Third, do some research yourself. I did.
Look at the amount of spending that the US puts in to humanitarian aid. Look into the US foreing policy concerning sub-Saharan African countries. Look at the US's own policy of teaching abstinence before contraceptives in it's 'Faith-Based Initiative'. Now look at where the humanitarian aid goes in terms of religious missionaries, and what sort of missionaries they are. Mostly Catholic, or else the more militant Christian denominations. Look at the policy concerning sex education for those groups: condoms are bad, contraceptives are evil, abortion is wrong and premarital sex is a sin. Abstinence is the only thing they're willing to teach, to a population whos only source for information on sex is the missionaries. PUT TWO AND TWO TOGETHERAnd we wonder why AID's is killing litterally millions in Africa. Do you think it's because of their moral fiber? No, because if that were true, we'd all be dying of AIDs here too. Either that or just not procreating at all for fear of the disease. What they are lacking is EDUCATION and that's something religious missionaries lack in spades.
Feed them, clothe them, give them water and teach them how to do it themselves. This is what they need, and I've got no problem with it. Do it out of empathy, do it out of compassion, even do it out of love for Christ (as misguilded as that is) but DON'T INDOCTURNATE THEM. I'm pretty sure no African country applied for aid because their church attendance was low.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 20 (view)
 
Causes of Moral Decline?
Posted: 3/25/2007 10:44:58 AM
here here
Well done.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 70 (view)
 
should Pharmacists have the right to refuse morning after pill?
Posted: 3/25/2007 10:19:29 AM

think that these kinds of "pharmacists" don't belong in the business. NUFF SAID


HERE HERE!

but of course you realize the faithful retort to this: one bad thing does not justify another, and killing an unfertilized egg is murder...
cause you know, every female menstration and every male masturbation is genocide...
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 128 (view)
 
Is christian persecution a thing of the past or does it still exist?
Posted: 3/25/2007 10:16:48 AM

Oh, but I DO understand human reason all too well. It is based on the human tendency to self-aggrandize, so it is therefore fallible.

You're making a simple error here. You're linking reason with human fallibility. There are many ways to find fault with human action. Of course. But there lies no fault with reason as a concept, as an idea and as something to strive for. Many people do unthinkable things in the name of something; Reason, faith, God...and while it might seem reasonable to the extremist Muslim to blow himself up in the name of God, you must remember that this is flawed reasoning because what it is based on is intrisically false. Now, it is arguable that horrible actions have come of secular people acting in the name of reason. I would say that you would first have to delve into the context of such actions to really rule out the influence of faith, society and culture to really pit morally reprehensible acts against reason. And even in the end, after you've ruled out all other variable, then you can start thinking about human error. But let me say again, reason, as a concept is a far better thing to base actions on then the supernatural and unprovable.

There are so many "scientists" in this world with their advanced degrees and their advanced egos to match. They will stop at nothing, even out and out lies,and far-fetched leaps of faith to "prove" their assertions.

This has nothing to do with the essence of scientific thought. That scientists, and indeed all humans are bound by the restrictions of human failings does not speak to the validity of scientific findings. Just turn your tv to the many priests and ministers of all faiths who's ego-centrism is broadcasted daily. You don't see scores of the religious disavowing themselves because of this. And herein lies the overly conspicuous double-standard that we continually come across when comparing the religious and spiritual to the standards by which we live out all other aspects of our lives. Why are religions and faiths immune to such criticisms? We must make sure they aren't.

There is also of course the greed factor,...wave enough grant money in front of many so-called "scientists", and they will say whatever they are told to say.

Wave around money infront anyone and the ones of little principle will do exactly the same thing on any subject. Again, this is a human failing, and not one of science.

You say, "scientific rigor can and will explain away all those mystic feelings we feel deep down in our souls" ???
Sounds like you are making a huge leap of faith here yourself. There is no "science" devised by mankind that will ever explain away the experiences that I and others have had which have given us our faith throughout our lives.

Actually there is, and there are many: neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, epepidemology, geneology, sociology, are evolutionary sciences. Every single one of these have their hands in helping us understand those experiences that 'have given us faith'. The real question here is one of curiosity and laziness. The easy answer for someone hearing voices is he is being contacted by divinity. The more difficult answers lie in the study of the brain, or in his case, seeing a psychiatrist. For millenia religion has given us easy and non-evidentiary answers for life's difficult and simple dillemas. Do these answers give us solice? Sure. Are they representative of reality? Hell no. There are those amongst us who have the interest and thurst for knowledge that would lead them to question all things, even scientific evidence. This is great. But there are others, and I would argue the majority, who would eat up any answer as it's given without question. This is a horrible way to live, and it's destroying modern society visibly and non-visibly. It is a cancer of intellectual lethargy that is spread by every sermon and every tele-evangelist.
There is no 'leap of faith' in science. There is no faith involved at all. If you ever, and I mean EVER questioned a scientific principle, all you would have to do is repeat the process by which the principle came about. Do the experiments, retest the tests, until you yourself are satisfied with the principle's validity. This is the basis of faith's stranglehold of the mentally lethargic. This is the stranglehold that I endevour to break.

REAL science does have it's place.

I agree. And that place is everywhere. It certainly replaces faith.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 24 (view)
 
What about stem cell research and Religion?
Posted: 3/24/2007 9:45:04 AM

it is spelled ridiculous

not if I don't believe it is! You can ask effinlunatic about the difference between belief and reality. He'll give you a meandering answer how if you really really hope or believe something to be true, it'll be true. Hold on a sec, Paris Hilton's at my door with that box of condoms and a pizza. Man, I'm glad I really really believed it would happen! Anyways after being up for 32 hours working on this paper, I'm sure I'm allowed one or two typos.
Someone extremely intelligent, who you would undoubtedly consider an @sshole once said: "I'm not arrogant, I just know I'm right". I'm not going to candy-coat anything to save someone's feelings. If they're wrong I'm gonna let them know about it. Simple.
And now for Mr. effinlunatic...

all things have life - and if you cannot 'see' this, maybe you should redefine your idea of what 'life' actually is

coffee just spurted out of my nose...

ahh, your scientific proof - your sciences rely solely upon physical phenomena, strictly & solely, which has btw over time bred your 'show me proof' axiom, has bred a 'seeing is believing' mentality, a square peg/round hole paradigm

well I just peed myself a little...but atleast you used the word 'paradigm' grammatically correctly, albeit in a false statement. Either you've only got a grade 10 knowledge of science or you've been reading too many dated copies of 'Eastern Philosophies 101' circa 1971. Wait, check that, atleast the grade 10 student understands what science is...unless they're from Kansas City.

everyone is living there own karma, your drunk driving chick included - she is paying for what she bought

what's with you and buying and paying? Are you a chronic shop-lifter or something?

take responsibility, ethics should be asked in everything.....ends are never justified by the means - contrarily, the means determines the end

wow, way to illustrate your misunderstanding of the very concept of 'ethics' with a moral cliche. Oh and if you want to talk about ethics in these terms then yes, the ends UNDENIABLY justify the means, which you'd understand if you had actually read my previous posts...ethics and morals, like all other things are informed by rationality and science, not subjectivity. Until we start to understand this there will still be millions of Muslims who wouldn't think twice about martyrdom and we will be left with no moral objections able to get past the "respect their beliefs" bull.

and wtf has this to do with jews ?? sheeit.....if i see its raining out & say you're getting your feet wet, are you going to call me an anti-semite too......sheesh, the burden of proof is on your own conscioence, nowhere else

well now I'm convinced that you failed both grade 10 science and grade 10 english. Not only did you not understand one of my explinations, you don't understand one of the basic truths in philosophy...and you claim enlightenment?! Perhaps the only reason why you deny the intrinsic value above all else of the use of reason (in all aspects of our lives) is because you simply can't comprehend the simple mechinery behind it.
Here's something to chew on Mr. Gandhi: The pluralistic argument is such that everyone's version of reality can be true and we cannot judge between them, value one as being better than another, or criticize any for being contrary to our own...but isn't all that in it of itself a single version of reality? A logic backflip and linguistic samba is taken, but really think about this.

lol, you're a funny guy tho.....and if you cannot see any argument i have, wouldn't that mean you've hooped your forehead ??

I don't know what this means, but lemme tell you, right now I'm slapping my forehead!
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 28 (view)
 
Can you borrow someones Karma ?
Posted: 3/24/2007 7:08:56 AM
I'd like to borrow some toilet paper please.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 64 (view)
 
is atheism a religion?
Posted: 3/24/2007 4:20:54 AM
I think there are some very confused people in here.
Many, of course, are right. No, Atheism is not a religion. Religion denotes faith in the unproven and the non-believers do not partake in this. Pretty much, Atheism shouldn't really be called anything because it is the absence of something. We don't have special terms for people who aren't physicists, doctors or lawyers. But, of course, in a very human way, we have a need for this title so as we can define difference clearly and identify it to be persecuted, or at the very least frowned-upon. In anycase, there are many forms of non-belief, depending on how thinly you want to split the hair. Some differences are more pronounced then others; some Atheists call Agnostics "**** Atheists". Sorry for the language, but it's true. The Agnostic does not claim knowledge either way concerning the existence or non-existence of a deity. He will envoke the 'disprove God and then I'll be certain' rule of logic. It's interesting to note that any Atheist, when pressed, will admit to the fact that they cannot be entirely, to the degree of certainty, that no deity exists. However, they will undoubtedly go on to say that the chances of that deity actually existing are so mindbogglingly small that it comes as close to being fact as anyone can be about anything. They would go on to say that 'add that to the chance that the deity, if one so unlikely exists, is the God of Christianity, as described in the Old Testiment and you've got a recipe for certainty'. Anyways, with this anecdote out of the way, here are a few definitions according to a few knowledgable institutions of the subject.

Agnosticism:
"Agnosticism is the position of believing that knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God is impossible. It is often put forth as a middle ground between theism and atheism. Understood this way, agnosticism is skepticism regarding all things theological. The agnostic holds that human knowledge is limited to the natural world, that the mind is incapable of knowledge of the supernatural. Understood this way, an agnostic could also be a theist or an atheist. The former is called a fideist, one who believes in God purely on faith. The latter is sometimes accused by theists of having faith in the non-existence of God, but the accusation is absurd and the expression meaningless. The agnostic atheist simply finds no compelling reason to believe in God." - Skeptic's Dictionary
"Agnosticism may simply be the state of not knowing whether any gods exist or not, but people can take this position for different reasons and apply it in different ways. These differences then create variations in the ways in which one can be an agnostic. It is thus possible to separate agnostics in two groups, labeled strong agnosticism and weak agnosticism as analogs to strong atheism and weak atheism. If someone is a weak agnostic, they state only that they do not know if any gods exist or not. The possibility of some theoretical god or some specific god existing is not excluded. The possibility of someone else knowing for sure if some god exists or not is also not excluded. This is a very simple and general position and it is what people often think of when they think of agnosticism. Strong agnosticism goes just a bit further. If someone is a strong agnostic, they don't merely claim that they don't know if any gods exist; instead, they also claim that no one can or does know if any gods exist. Whereas weak agnosticism is a position that only describes the state of knowledge of one person, strong agnosticism makes a statement about knowledge and reality themselves." - Austin Cline, About.com



Atheism:
"The term atheism comes from the Greek word atheos, meaning godless. Atheos is derived from a, meaning "without," and theos, meaning "deity"." - The Atheist Empire
"An Atheist has no religious belief. An Atheist does not believe in a god or gods, or other supernatural entities...We are not a "religion." The concept of an agency outside of nature with the ability to reach into natural law and control events is supernaturalism, the foundation of any religion. Belief in the existence of that agency is based on faith. An Atheist has no specific belief system. We accept only that which is scientifically verifiable. Since god concepts are unverifiable, we do not accept them. " - American Atheists
"Atheism is commonly divided into two types: strong atheism and weak atheism. Although only two categories, this distinction manages to reflect the broad diversity which exists among atheists when it comes to their positions on the existence of gods. Weak atheism, also sometimes referred to as implicit atheism, is simply another name for the broadest and most general conception of atheism: the absence of belief in any gods. A weak atheist is someone who lacks theism and who does not happen to believe in the existence of any gods - no more, no less. This is also sometimes called agnostic atheism because most people who self-consciously lack belief in gods tend to do so for agnostic reasons. Strong atheism, also sometimes referred to as explicit atheism, goes one step further and involves denying the existence of at least one god, usually multiple gods, and sometimes the possible existence of any gods at all. Strong atheism is sometimes called "gnostic atheism" because people who take this position often incorporate knowledge claims into it - that is to say, they claim to know in some fashion that certain gods or indeed all gods do not or cannot exist." - Atheism.com



Brights:
"The defining attribute of the person (a Bright)...is this: possessing a worldview that is naturalistic..."Brights" include the many and various types of persons whose perspective, values, ethics, and conduct derive from a naturalistic worldview, free of any supernatural sorts of entities or forces. While they differ in the particulars of their outlook, they have this commonality...The simple noun term, "bright" has the potential to gather under the same umbrella all persons who hold a naturalistic worldview, whether or not they see themselves part of any of the various organizations in the communities of reason." - The Brights' Net


Freethinkers:
"free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth." - Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.
"The concept of freethought refers to the process of making decisions and arriving at beliefs without relying solely upon tradition, dogma, or the opinions of authorities. Usually the context of this is only in religion, although a person can be a freethinker in other areas as well. In place of tradition or dogma, freethinkers insist upon using reason, logic, and evidence as the bases for forming reasonable and justified beliefs. Superstition is rejected in favor of science. Most freethinkers are also atheists, although that is not required. It is possible to be an atheist without also being a freethinker, or to be a freethinker without also being an atheist." - Austin Cline, Glossary of Religion & Philosophy at About.com



Humanism:
"As Kurt Vonnegut succinctly described: being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. Humanism is a progressive lifestance that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity." - American Humanist Association
"Humanism is a philosophy of life inspired by humanity and guided by reason. Humanists think that science and reason provide the best basis for understanding the world around us. Humanists believe that moral values are properly founded on human empathy and scientific understanding. Humanists see no convincing evidence for gods, the supernatural, or life after death. Humanists believe we must live this life on the basis that it is the only life we'll have -- that, therefore, we must make the most of it for ourselves, each other, and our world. Humanist philosophies have arisen separately in many different cultures over many thousands of years. Today, even though most have never assigned a label to their most cherished ideas about life, knowledge, ethics, purpose, and the universe, a significant portion of society shares this non-religious approach to life. Whether or not they use the term humanism, tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of people around the world agree with the humanist philosophy of living a happy and productive life based on reason and compassion." - Institute for Humanist Studies
"Secular Humanism is a way of thinking and living that aims to bring out the best in people so that all people can have the best in life. Secular humanists reject supernatural and authoritarian beliefs. They affirm that we must take responsibility for our own lives and the communities and world in which we live. Secular humanism emphasizes reason and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, human values and compassion, and the need for tolerance and cooperation." - Council for Secular Humanism



Naturalism:
"Naturalism is a metaphysical theory which holds that all phenomena can be explained mechanistically in terms of natural (as opposed to supernatural) causes and laws. Naturalism posits that the universe is a vast machine or organism, devoid of general purpose and indifferent to human needs and desires...naturalism neither denies nor affirms the existence of God, either as transcendent or immanent. However, naturalism makes God an unnecessary hypothesis and essentially superfluous to scientific investigation. Reference to moral or divine purposes has no place in scientific explanations. On the other hand, the scope of science is limited to explanation of empirical phenomena without reference to forces, powers, influences, etc., which are supernatural." - The Skeptic's Dictionary
"The hypothesis that the physical universe is a 'closed system' in the sense that nothing is neither a part nor a product of it can affect it. So naturalism entails the nonexistence of all supernatural beings, including the theistic god." - Paul Draper, as posted on The Secular Web
"Naturalistic - not only do we hold that evidence for the supernatural has not been convincingly demonstrated, but that belief in the supernatural has lead to a great deal of misery for humanity and needs to be rejected and replaced with critical inquiry, accountability, and science." - Secular Student Alliance



Rationalism:
"Rationalism: The mental attitude which unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason and aims at establishing a system of philosophy and ethics verifiable by experience, independent of all arbitrary assumptions or authority." - American Rationalist
The doctrine of rationalism holds that the source of knowledge is reason and logic. This is usually contrasted with the idea that faith, revelation and religion are also valid sources of knowledge and verification. - Austin Cline, Glossary of Religion & Philosophy at About.com



Skepticism:
"Skepticism has a long historical tradition dating back to ancient Greece when Socrates observed: "All I know is that I know nothing." But this is not a practical position to take. Modern skepticism is embodied in the scientific method, that involves gathering data to formulate and test naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena. A claim becomes factual when it is confirmed to such an extent it would be reasonable to offer temporary agreement. But all facts in science are provisional and subject to challenge, and therefore skepticism is a method leading to provisional conclusions. Some claims, such as water dowsing, ESP, and creationism, have been tested (and failed the tests) often enough that we can provisionally conclude that they are false. Other claims, such as hypnosis and chaos theory, have been tested but results are inconclusive so we must continue formulating and testing hypotheses and theories until we can reach a provisional conclusion. The key to skepticism is to continuously and vigorously apply the methods of science to navigate the treacherous straits between "know nothing" skepticism and "anything goes" credulity." - Michael Shermer, as posted by the Skeptic Society
"Philosophical Skepticism is a critical attitude which systematically questions the notion that absolute knowledge and certainty are possible, either in general or in particular fields. Philosophical Skepticism is opposed to philosophical dogmatism, which maintains that a certain set of positive statements are authoritative, absolutely certain and true. Philosophical Skepticism should be distinguished from ordinary skepticism, where doubts are raised against certain beliefs or types of beliefs because the evidence for the particular belief or type of belief is weak or lacking. Ordinary skeptics are not credulous or gullible. They don't take things on trust, but must see the evidence before believing. Ordinary skeptics doubt the miraculous claims of religions, the claims of alien abductions, the claims of psychoanalysis, etc. But they do not necessarily doubt that certainty or knowledge is possible. Nor do they doubt these things because of systematic arguments that undermine all knowledge claims." - Skeptic's Dictionary


You'll notice that all of these are mutually inclusive and not mutually exclusive, like all offshoots of mainstream dogma. You may pick and choose from the above depending on your level of firmness and intellectual activism on the part of the individual.
Anyways, that's a lot to take in, so if there's more to say, I'll say it tomorrow.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 50 (view)
 
why do you need religion in your life
Posted: 3/24/2007 3:47:14 AM
ah and the liguistic and pluralistic idiocy continues...his grammar and syntax are even more wishy washy then his message;
spiritual enlightenment, experience, life flows...

...blah, blah, blah
please kindly see http://forums.plentyoffish.com/5406813datingPostpage6.aspx
for why effinlunatic is currently typing away from the basement of a mental hospital, but that's ok because he 'choses to percieve it' as a palace. But hey, he's not hurting anyone with this other than my patience and the taxes I pay for my medicare system right? NOPE
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 20 (view)
 
What about stem cell research and Religion?
Posted: 3/24/2007 3:29:25 AM

well, a question of conscience then - do you value your life so highly you must do this thing to survive ??

Is that some sort of rediculous way of saying 'you're less conscientious because you value your life over that of 150 cells in an undifferentiated sphere'? Are you calling the girl with a spinal cord injury from a drunk driving accident who can't move and is suffering horrible pain everyday greedy because some cells (that will never and were never intended to create a fully human being) were used in research that might cure dozens of ailments and aleviate millions upon millions from daily pain and torment?
This is in no way a question of conscience. Ethics need not visit us here. We've swatted billions of flies who experienced the equivalent of the collective suffering of the Jewish people throughout history, and yet people are concerned about the 'pain' and precieved 'loss of life' envisited over a clump of cells without a neuron to speak of, let alone fire in agony. Again, remember the burden of proof is on those who would prove, not disprove, that the plastocyst is 'ensouled' at the moment of conception. So then without proof of the presence of a soul, without proof of souls in general, and without the intention of bringing this microscopic cluster of cells to maturity...the only thing left is potential. And I can hear your badly worded, unintelligently and illogically formed, grammatically rediculous upcoming retort to that argument already...
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 121 (view)
 
Is christian persecution a thing of the past or does it still exist?
Posted: 3/24/2007 1:08:01 AM
I'm sure you're gonna cry about me sounding so arrogant, but really, if you think this so pointless I guess all those heretics burned at the steak for believing simple geographical and astronomical facts by the church, and all those people dying daily and who are celebrated for it by Allah are not worth conversation.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 119 (view)
 
Is christian persecution a thing of the past or does it still exist?
Posted: 3/24/2007 12:55:20 AM

You lump all Christians together as being a lot of mindless, stupid, yokels. Why? Is it only to create rancor? And what's the point in that? Would it convince a single soul that self aggrandizing human "reason" makes more sense than what is in our hearts? You fight a losing battle in a pointless war.

No, I would lump all faithful together as being a lot of mindless, stupid, yokels...when we're talking about their beliefs. Oh, and you obviously don't understand the intrinsic basis for 'aggrandizing human "reason"' (I left out the 'self' because reason need not aggrandize itself, it's grand in principle ), because it's just that reason, backed with scientific rigor that can and will explain away all those mystic feelings you feel deep down in your soul. Read up on some neurology, some psychology, you'll see that the door has been opened to the science of the brain. We're not there yet, but we'll get there, so there's no need to take these things, like all other things, on faith.
This sort of links to something I've said on another thread about the validity of faith, belief and plurality (as in the 'scope of Christianity') in each. This is the war you're talking about right? I'd argue that it's far from pointless, as the Portugese would argue that the world just ain't flat. Read it if you want, skip it if you like, it only takes up a few inches on your screen.

I think that some are missing the point here. And I agree with rockondon that you don't have to have a PHD to be informed in some area of science, just like you don't need a degree in theology to know the basic fallacy of calling it a true scientific area of stuy. You also don't have to have a PHD to be rational in all things. I think the point here, as brough up by Sam Harris in his book "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation", is that we use reason in all aspects of our lives except faith: this is the main difference between those of faith and those without faith.
And indeed this is not a question of intelligence. For a small measure of proof just look to the child preacher in the documentary "Jesus Camp". He's obviously a very bright, well spoken young boy, who is just as obviously mislead because the voice of reason that we all carry with us has been so mislead or twisted. You only have to look at the long list of both secular and non-secular academia in the wester world to realize that faith does not exclude intelligence. However it does exclude reason in one area of the faithful's life that, I'd argue takes a place of too much importance.
One can never disprove the existence of God or any other deity that we choose to worship in our time. It does not need to as a matter of fact, as the burden of proof is on those who would prove the existence of a deity (a well known logic and philosophical standard).
So, those who would involve science in the debate use it only as evidence to challenge religious DOGMA, not faith itself. This, also is not entirely disingenuous, as in almost all instances when faith in religious dogma would have us believe something other than what science would claim reason lands on both sides of the argument: This is because of two very different data sets that the faithful and the secular have to draw upon. And although the religious seem to use reason in their 'scientific proofs' of such things as intelligent design, creationism, gay rights, abortion rights and so on, we must always remember that their reason blossoms from an catagorically flawed data set: Religious Scripture.
This might seem like reasoning only against the religious fundamentalist, however it casts the religious moderate, as I'm sure many of you are, in a bad light. Many liberal faithful would envoke 'Religious Freedom' as the final and insurmountable retort to criticism over the religious literalism associated with fundamentalist. Let me remind you that it's your lack of literalist conclusions that make moderate arguments for religious beliefs even less rational. At least the extremist has a data set that he/she adheres to totally and can thus form opinion based on some twisted form of reasoning. The moderate, by cherry picking versus and teachings from scripture so as to fit with a western world view and state of ethics, proves himself even less reasonable then the fundamentalist. If I were to do the same with scientific principles I would be considered insane. Another method of the moderate is to call faith and religion acceptable in western society by argument of "it holds the community together, it makes me feel good, and how can there not be something more". All these arguments obviously lack reason and in fact lack the semblence of reason-through-data-set that the fundies use. To paraphrase Harris:

“Imagine that you see your neighbor every Thursday digging furiously with his family in his backyard. One day you go over to his house and ask him why in the world he is doing this. He tells you that he believes there is a diamond the size of a refrigerator buried in his backyard. You know this to be untrue because a diamond has never been found even remotely that size, and that the odds against that sized diamond actually being buried in your neighbors back yard are positively astronomical. However when you tell him this you are met with answers like,
‘The diamond makes me feel good’
and ‘The diamond really brings me and my family together on Thursdays’
and ‘I wouldn’t want to live in a universe where there wasn’t a diamond as big a refrigerator buried in my backyard’"

All this would amount to is what should be evident to the religious and non-religious alike: while science is very useful in this debate, it is not the be-all and end-all.
In my round-about way I'm trying to say that intelligence is not what gives the under-contemplative Atheist the much-hated superiority complex. It is the use of reason. And in the case that a non-believer understands that it is the use of reason that creates the supiriority complex, is the complex unjustified. I'd argue it's not. The academically demolished concept of the 'leap of faith', be it an intellectually bankrupt idiom, is something that the non-believer side-steps/steps over in their search for an understanding of our reality. Intelligence does not predetermine who would take this step, as proven above, but reason demands it. Those who don't believe, if they woulud explain it through the language of science or not, take this extra and necissary step. This is why I would totally accept superiority.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 117 (view)
 
Is christian persecution a thing of the past or does it still exist?
Posted: 3/24/2007 12:36:48 AM

LOl is it me or is no one making sense tonight lol. By sense I mean in terms of our wording and statments, not on what we beleive.I don't know maybe it's just because it's 3 in the morning lol.

I don't know about you, but I'm unbelieveably drunk!
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 17 (view)
 
What about stem cell research and Religion?
Posted: 3/24/2007 12:34:09 AM
Well you've all said that this debate was in another tread, and judging by the length of the thread there hasn't been a real discussion at any length. I'm guessing it's now ok for me to post my position here because it's not recycling a thread...but adding one already here. Oh, and there's only ONE thread of this kind in the religion forum so...I don't know what the big hubub about restarting the conversation was for...it's not like there's a hundred threads of this kind...so here's what I said again:

The stem-cell research debate really infuriates me and other free-thinkers like me. But to come at this debate with such strong emotions generally serves to discredit those who’d make a case for science, as in other arguments against faith. (Just look at the other raving Atheists on this forum and you’ll see that ranting without reason and genuine intelligent conversation isn’t the way to go.) And so, with this said, I’d like you all to read this passage I’ve recently come across by Sam Harris from his 2004 best-seller “The End of Faith”. It really encompasses exactly what I, and others like me, would like to say about the issue, and it approaches the discussion in a rational and not needlessly emotional tone. I hope you all actually read it carefully and think about your reasons behind your opinions, because as in other discussions of faith, (and I would argue ALL discussions) it is intrinsically important to back up belief with intelligent and factual reasoning.



{From the section “The God of Medicine” in the chapter “West of Eden”, page 165, “The End of Faith”. Sam Harris, 2004.}

While there is surely an opposition between reason and faith, we will see that there is none between reason and love or reason and spirituality. The basis for this claim is simple. Every experience that a human being can have admits of rational discussion about its causes and consequences (or about our ignorance thereof). Although this leaves considerable room for the exotic, it leaves none at all for faith. There may yet be good reasons to believe in psychic phenomena, alien life, the doctrine of rebirth, the healing powers of prayer, or anything else – but our credulity must scale with the evidence. The doctrine of faith denies this. From the perspective of faith, it is beter to ape the behavior of one’s ancestors than to find creative ways to uncover new truths in the present.
There are sources of irrationality other than religious faith, of course, but none of them are celebrated for their role in shaping public policy. Supreme Court justices are not in the habit of praising our nation for its reliance upon astrology, or for its wealth of UFO sightings, or for exemplifying the various reasoning biases that psychologists have found to be more or less endemic to our species. Only mainstream religious dogmatism receives the unqualified support of government. And yet, religious faith obscures uncertainty where uncertainty manifestly exists, allowing the unknown, the implausible, and the patently false to achieve primacy over the facts.
Consider the present debate over research on human embryonic stem cells. The problem with this research, from the religious point of view, is simple: it entails the destruction of human embryos. The embryos in question will have been cultured in vitro (not removed from a woman’s body) and permitted to grow for three to five days. At this stage of development, an embryo is called a blastocyst and consists of about 150 cells arranged in a microscopic sphere. Interior to the blastocyst is a small group of about 30 embryonic stem cells. These cells have two properties that make them of such abiding interest to scientists: as stem cells, they can remain in an unspecialized state, reproducing themselves through cell division for long periods of time (a population of such cells living in culture is known as a cell line); stem cells are also pluripotent, which means they have the potential to become any specialized cell in the human body – neurons of the brain and spinal cord, insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, muscle cells of the heart, and so forth.
Here is what we know. We know that much can be learned from research on embryonic stem cells. In particular, such research may give us further insights into the processes of cell division and cell differentiation. This would almost certainly shed new light on those medical conditions, like cancer and birth defects, that seem to be merely a matter of these processes gone awry. We also know that research on embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of human embryos at the 150-cell stage. There is not the slightest reason to believe, however, that such embryos have the capacity to sense pain, to suffer, or to experience the loss of life in any way at all. What is indisputable is that there are millions of human beings who do have these capacities, and who currently suffer from traumatic injuries to the brain and spinal cord. Millions more suffer from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Millions more suffer from stroke and heart disease, from burns, from diabetes, from rheumatoid arthritis, from Purkinje cell degeneration, from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and from vision and hearing loss. We know that embryonic stem cells promise to be a renewable source of tissue and organs that might alleviate such suffering in the not too distant future.
Enter faith: we now find ourselves living in a world in which college-educated politicians will hurl impediments in the way of such research because they are concerned about the fate of single cells. Their concern is not merely that a collection of 150 cells may suffer its destruction. Rather, they believe that even a human zygote (a fertilized egg) should be accorded all the protections of a fully developed human being. Such a cell, after all, has the potential to become a fully developed human being. But given our recent advances in the biology of cloning, as much can be said of almost every cell in the human body. By the measure of a cell’s potential, whenever the president scratches his nose he is now engaged in a (genocidal) diabolical culling of souls.
Out of deference to some rather poorly specified tenets of Christian doctrine (after all, nothing in the Bible suggests that killing human embryos, or even human fetuses, is the equivalent of killing a human being), the U.S. House of Representatives voted effectively to ban embryonic stem-cell research on February 27, 2003.
No rational approach to ethics would have led us to such an impasse. Our present policy on human stem cells has been shaped by beliefs that are divorced from every reasonable intuition we might form about the possibly experience of living systems. In neurological terms, we surely visit more suffering upon this earth by killing a fly than by killing a human blastocyst, to say nothing of a human zygote (flies, after all, have 100,000 cells in their brains alone). Of course, the point at which we fully acquire our humanity, and our capacity to suffer, remains an open question. By anyone who would dogmatically insist that these traits must arise coincident with the moment of conception has nothing to contribute, apart from his ignorance to the debate. Those opposed to therapeutic stem-cell research on religious grounds constitute the biological and ethical equivalent of a flat-earth society. Our discourse on the subject should reflect this. In this area of public policy alone, the accommodations that we have made to faith will do nothing but enshrine a perfect immensity of human suffering for decades to come.


NOW...discuss!
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 5 (view)
 
Mission Trips
Posted: 3/24/2007 12:19:50 AM
I've said this in another thread; missionaries in Africa and South-East Asia advocating abstinence instead of contraceptives when the information on contraceptives and safe sex is available only from those missionaries is quickly amounting to genocide.
But I guess that doesn't really matter to you, they were going to hell anyways for having sex out of wed-lock. Right?
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 113 (view)
 
Is christian persecution a thing of the past or does it still exist?
Posted: 3/24/2007 12:04:44 AM

...oh well, they will pay for what they bought

well yeah, or else it'd be stealing
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 106 (view)
 
Is christian persecution a thing of the past or does it still exist?
Posted: 3/23/2007 10:56:02 PM
Well, if this last post proves anything, God is responsible for heavy SHIFT key fingers...and unintelligible arguements. It's really like running into a brick wall, or a brick wall that hits you back with quotes from scripture...and unintelligible logical(LoL) fallacies (sorry about the big word there Bohem).
Maybe you can understand this. To say: the bible says God is real and God inspired the bible says God is real and God inspired the bible says God is real and God inspired the bible says God is real and God inspired the bible...well you get the point, is obviously a circular argument with no foothold in reality.
Here's hoping Behemian girl never gets a hold of a gun in China.


huh? you lost me here....

well all did.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 68 (view)
 
should Pharmacists have the right to refuse morning after pill?
Posted: 3/23/2007 10:01:01 PM
I think the question here isn't the important one we should be asking. We should be asking if it's acceptable for someone to even think the morning after pill is wrong, rather than asking if it's acceptable for someone to deny the drug to another person on ill-reasoned moral grounds.
Again, here we see the thinking of the moderate majority putting a haze on the real issue. "Respecting" other peoples beliefs (that are in no way evidentiary in nature) for no good reason. We're shying away from criticizing the absolute loonacy behind withholding this drug from misguilded or misfortunate youths. Forget the unquestionable science behind the benign nature of the morning-after pill:

...the morning after pill stops fertilization. Therefore there is no fetus, no pregnancy to begin with...There is no conception no killing involved at any level.
With this in mind, all that's left for the idiotic pharmacist who refuses service is the unfounded argument behind the potential mortality of the child that hadn't even been concieved. We MUST, I repeat MUST, criticize this belief as harshly as we've criticized other unreasonable beliefs in the past, not just ask if it's their right to believe such obvious baffoonery.
By the logic of potientiality applied to sperm and egg before they've ever met, I've engaged in mass genocide every time I've masturbated (so...many times ), and every time I've thought, "Wow, I'd like to spill my seed with her help!" However this isn't the whole story, as someone with a rational mind would think.
The underlying theme here is the continued "moral" persecution of those who would commit acts of personal and private pleasure without the interest of procreation by those who equate and base ethics, morals and values in religious dogma. This is why the US cut funding for sex education at home and abroad, while shifting the focus of sexual education curriculum from contraceptives to abstinence training, totally undermining if not encouraging the plagues of STD's and AIDs that is ravaging the third world, and in particular Africa. In scientific, rational and moral terms, conscientious sex education would help greatly in irradicating these problems, however they are delayed and derailed by intelligence bankrupt people like those pharmacist who would impose thier morally bankrupt religious ideals on others.

Let's not mistake symptom for cause: the pharmacist who refuses service is the symptom of morally unacceptable beliefs.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 18 (view)
 
Has anyone here read 'The Celestine Prophecy'?
Posted: 3/23/2007 4:35:15 PM
I bet the band Creed loved it.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 17 (view)
 
Has anyone here read 'The Celestine Prophecy'?
Posted: 3/23/2007 4:34:54 PM
Pseudo-spiritual garbage.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 90 (view)
 
Is christian persecution a thing of the past or does it still exist?
Posted: 3/22/2007 7:09:35 AM
A better question to ask is - Is persecution because of religious belief a thing of the past or present? And the overwhelming answer would be yes. It appears in any society, place, local, neighbourhood, street or home when a certain belief or idea becomes the majority over the conflicting one. This literally have no connection to the level of militance a certain belief will ask of it's believers, simply because persecution can take many forms, be them agressive or passive. Obviously most form of persecution (harm, torture, death) are worse than others, and there is a wonderful movement in the Christian populace of the US for 'tolerance', but even with this amazing word on the tounges of many in liberal American, persecution exists and it exists in spades.
Just look at the rate at which atheists and other non-believers are being elected to public office in America. Virtually none. I think I've heard of one congressman from California who'd came out as openly non-theistic, but that's probably because of the pluralism and 'tolerance' advocated by the religious in his constituency. This is obviously passive persecution, moral profiling let's call it.
But this moral profiling happens in all forms in Western society. Look at the battle it has historically been electing females, visible minorities, the non-Christian religious, and sexually-different people to public office, let alone allowing them rights as individuals. The simple fact is, we tend to not trust that which is different More relevant is, do we trust those with differing positions on faith? Obviously not. Think about the political battles JFK faced when he came public with his Roman Catholicism.
A Christian or, indeed a person of any faith, can argue with flawed logic that an Atheist cannot have acceptable morals and values without the belief in a God and the following of the scripture, much less enjoy other intrinsic human experiences like love or hope. This, of course is horribly wrong in principle, but is still true today as Americans would statistically vote a homosexual and a muslim to power in a landslide before an Atheist. Latent persecution? Intolerance? Whatever it is it speaks to trust, and how unrational it is.
An Atheist or non-believer to the same token can easily harbor a lack of trust towards those of faith, especially those of extremist faith. But is this mistrust less based in reason then the faithful's mistrust? I'd argue it's more reasonable. An Atheist with his finger on the automic trigger does not have an afterlife to look forwards to, a rapture or 70 brown-eyed virgins. He does not think that erasing those who believe in a false god or those who don't believe in a god at all is reasonable because it would bring the apocolypse and the last judgement closer. He does not think that the rebuilding of the Temple in Israel would bring us closer to that and thus backs the Israeli government. The Atheist rationally weighs the odds as best any intelligent, emotional human can.
While up to now I've talked about the amazing wrongfulness of persecution and it's little brother intolerance, what we have to realize, in this 'don't judge' world of moderations, is the fact that some of these basis for persecution might actually be true.
Think about it. Do we not persecute those who believe in entirely erroneous things in our everyday lives? Is the person who believes aliens will transport him to a paradise if he wears Nike sneakers worthy of our 'tolerance'? Do we condone Muslims to stone non-combatants because it is their belief? Of course not. Just like we have rid Christianity of it's very clear and non-interpretable view in Deuteronomy; that Slavery is allowed if not condoned by Christ and his Apostles and that one must kill the non-believer, the non-believers family and entire town when he is come into contact with, we have made the act of stoning someone because of their belief a moral no-no. Is a Holocaust denier fit to run for office or the snack tray at our local insane asylum? When hearing his view on the Jewish, we'd be forced to take all else of his world view under advisement. The truth is we are VERY intolerant of beliefs that are obviously unreasonable and despicable.

I would argue that the Atheist's trust issues when deciding to elect the religious fundamentalist on the right or the religious moderate to the center is in fact exemplar to this case. Why is one's religious belief so important in a campaign? Why can the Evangelicals really hold so much sway in an election? Because we trust those who call themselves by the same denomination as us, because we believe they hold the same values. Stop electing the religious to office, stop holding this virtue of faith in such high esteem. We might avoid a real armageddon minus the afterlife, if we do. And then tolerance and persecution would just be an afterthought.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 129 (view)
 
Athiesim is not automatically smart
Posted: 3/22/2007 6:09:33 AM
I'd like to parallel this argument to the situation facing us in the world today and the religious moderate's view on this:
The the scale of ethics and morality, it would seem to us that the moderated Christian is leaps and bounds above the fundamental Muslim. This is undoubtedly an argument for moderates of all faiths around the world. The hypocracy of this is that moderates would not have us criticize the religious fundies because they'd have us believe that we must let all believe what they want to. In any case, this moral hierarchy (that Muslims would undoubtedly argue), proves that in the case of morals, values, actions and ethics some religions have dominance over others in the way they teach these things to us and our children.
Take the case of the Jains in India. This is the religion that taught Gandhi his peaceful nature. Imagine a form of fundamentalist Jainism sweeping the world; we would positively be better off in terms of women's rights, governmental, sociological, even psychological indicators as opposed to a world where fundamentalism Islam had dominance. If we were all Jains we wounldn't even consider killing an infadel much less a fly - and we'd all be better off for it.
As with ethics and morality, those who are non-believers on the scale of reason, can then be giving higher standing. We include reason in determining the validity of ALL THINGS in this world. Not all minus supernatural belief. Does this equate to superiority? Hierarchically, most definitely.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 128 (view)
 
Athiesim is not automatically smart
Posted: 3/22/2007 5:45:54 AM
I think that some are missing the point here. And I agree with rockondon that you don't have to have a PHD to be informed. You also don't have to have a PHD to be rational in all things. I think the point here, as brough up by Sam Harris in his book "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation", is that we use reason in all aspects of our lives except faith: this is the main difference between those of faith and those without faith.
And indeed this is not a question of intelligence. For a small measure of proof just look to the child preacher in the documentary "Jesus Camp". He's obviously a very bright, well spoken young boy, who is just as obviously mislead because the voice of reason that we all carry with us has been so mislead or twisted. You only have to look at the long list of both secular and non-secular academia in the wester world to realize that faith does not exclude intelligence. However it does exclude reason in one area of the faithful's life that, I'd argue takes a place of too much importance.
One can never disprove the existence of God or any other deity that we choose to worship in our time. It does not need to as a matter of fact, as the burden of proof is on those who would prove the existence of a deity (a well known logic and philosophical standard).
So, those who would involve science in the debate use it only as evidence to challenge religious DOGMA, not faith itself. This, also is not entirely disingenuous, as in almost all instances when faith in religious dogma would have us believe something other than what science would claim reason lands on both sides of the argument: This is because of two very different data sets that the faithful and the secular have to draw upon. And although the religious seem to use reason in their 'scientific proofs' of such things as intelligent design, creationism, gay rights, abortion rights and so on, we must always remember that their reason blossoms from an intrinsically flawed data set: Religious Scripture.
This might seem like reasoning only against the religious fundamentalist, however it casts the religious moderate, as I'm sure many of you are, in a bad light. Many liberal faithful would envoke 'Religious Freedom' as the final and insurmountable retort to criticism over the religious literalism associated with fundamentalist. Let me remind you that it's your lack of literalist conclusions that make moderate arguments for religious beliefs even less rational. At least the extremist has a data set that he/she adheres to totally and can thus form opinion based on some twisted form of reasoning. The moderate, by cherry picking versus and teachings from scripture so as to fit with a western world view and state of ethics, proves himself even less reasonable then the fundamentalist. If I were to do the same with scientific principles I would be considered insane. Another method of the moderate is to call faith and religion acceptable in western society by argument of "it holds the community together, it makes me feel good, and how can there not be something more". All these arguments obviously lack reason and in fact lack the semblence of reason-through-data-set that the fundies use. To paraphrase Harris:
“Imagine that you see your neighbor every Thursday digging furiously with his family in his backyard. One day you go over to his house and ask him why in the world he is doing this. He tells you that he believes there is a diamond the size of a refrigerator buried in his backyard. You know this to be untrue because a diamond has never been found even remotely that size, and that the odds against that sized diamond actually being buried in your neighbors back yard are positively astronomical. However when you tell him this you are met with answers like,
‘The diamond makes me feel good’
and ‘The diamond really brings me and my family together on Thursdays’
and ‘I wouldn’t want to live in a universe where there wasn’t a diamond as big a refrigerator buried in my backyard’"
All this would amount to is what should be evident to the religious and non-religious alike: while science is very useful in this debate, it is not the be-all and end-all.
In my round-about way I'm trying to say that intelligence is not what gives the under-contemplative Atheist the much-hated superiority complex. It is the use of reason. And in the case that a non-believer understands that it is the use of reason that creates the supiriority complex, is the complex unjustified. I'd argue it's not. The academically demolished concept of the 'leap of faith', be it an intellectually bankrupt idiom, is something that the non-believer side-steps/steps over in their search for an understanding of our reality. Intelligence does not predetermine who would take this step, as proven above, but reason demands it. Those who don't believe, if they woulud explain it through the language of science or not, take this extra step. This is why I would totally accept superiority.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 8 (view)
 
Can christianity and atheism co-exist in peace?
Posted: 2/10/2007 7:39:32 PM
I was watching a show the other day. It this guy on stage and all the people in the audience think he has contact with the dead and with spirits. What was the name of that show again? Do you know?

Crossing over?

Oh, no. It was church.
 pen_devil
Joined: 2/7/2007
Msg: 50 (view)
 
It's Over When
Posted: 2/10/2007 7:35:15 PM
An ex-girlfriend is a lot like an OK movie. I liked it at the time but I don't want to see it again.





Especially if the movie was a ****.
 
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