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Old 01-16-2008, 09:44 AM   #16
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Secularists are now bad people
Which is why our pleas for the Middle East to modernize fall on deaf ears. That is, a lot of people believe it is Bush's backdoor campaign to "Christianize" the Middle East, rather than any sincere desire for secular modernization.

Iranians, for instance, see Bush as an out of control religious fanatic--much the same way Americans see their president.

Sad to say, there's probably a grain of truth to that view. Bush has not been a reliable defender of Western secular values whatsoever, and I'm sure that his base of support would love the chance to Christianize Muslim nations.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:02 AM   #17
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Secularists are now bad people
Well, they can be. Religion holds no patent on tyranny.

It's the brewing idea that public policy positions reached by secular deliberation are by their very nature superior to those reached by religious rationale that I take contention with. Not only is it historically and empirically untrue, but just as dogmatic in tone as religious fundamentalism.

It's always easier to dismiss rather than argue on merit.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:29 AM   #18
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Which is why our pleas for the Middle East to modernize fall on deaf ears. That is, a lot of people believe it is Bush's backdoor campaign to "Christianize" the Middle East, rather than any sincere desire for secular modernization.

Iranians, for instance, see Bush as an out of control religious fanatic--much the same way Americans see their president.

Sad to say, there's probably a grain of truth to that view. Bush has not been a reliable defender of Western secular values whatsoever, and I'm sure that his base of support would love the chance to Christianize Muslim nations.
Would Western secular values even exist without Christianity?
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:45 AM   #19
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Jesus wasn't a particularly adept politician. Shoot, they KILLED him!

Jesus kingdom wasn't about dominating His nation then. His kingdom isn't about that now.
But the Christian lives in two realms does he not? The heavenly AND the earthly, with obligations to be fully engaged in both.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:58 AM   #20
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It's always easier to dismiss rather than argue on merit.


what merit do biblical passages hold in the eyes of a Buddhist?

if one wants to have a discussion, a mutual agreeable starting point and agreed upon materials of equal weight are necessary.

just because you believe in something -- something that is often demonstrably false, something that requires the willing suspension of disbelief, something that will rightly incur ridicule such as walking on water or flying up to heaven -- doesn't mean that it's remotely true, or even worthy of consideration when we are determining how best to feed hungry people or deal with islamic fascism or provide health care.

these things can only be discussed in terms of actual facts.

you know, secular stuff.
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Old 01-16-2008, 11:59 AM   #21
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Would Western secular values even exist without Christianity?


it's the other way around.

without secular values, there'd be no Christianity in the form that you currently recognize it.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #22
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Originally posted by Irvine511

it's the other way around.

without secular values, there'd be no Christianity in the form that you currently recognize it.
Freedom in the world 2008.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=395

From the table of countries see if you can spot any similarities between counties rated "free" and those deemed "not free."
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:53 PM   #23
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Freedom in the world 2008.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=395

From the table of countries see if you can spot any similarities between counties rated "free" and those deemed "not free."


great point. those that threw off the tyranny of the church during the Englightenment and implemented and maintained the separation of church and state certainly do enjoy the most freedom.

once again, secular values are those that allow religion, or no religion, and freedom to choose.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:03 PM   #24
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Originally posted by Irvine511




what merit do biblical passages hold in the eyes of a Buddhist?

if one wants to have a discussion, a mutual agreeable starting point and agreed upon materials of equal weight are necessary.

just because you believe in something -- something that is often demonstrably false, something that requires the willing suspension of disbelief, something that will rightly incur ridicule such as walking on water or flying up to heaven -- doesn't mean that it's remotely true, or even worthy of consideration when we are determining how best to feed hungry people or deal with islamic fascism or provide health care.

these things can only be discussed in terms of actual facts.

you know, secular stuff.
Well, the Bible is pretty clear about the necessity to "feed hungry people" and "provide health care." Which is why Christian hospitals and orphanages, relief organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, charity groups like the YMCA and Kiwanis Club and countless food banks, shelters and other church sponsored programs have been in existence far longer then "compassion" from government.

Maybe the words of a dude that can walk on water are indeed "worthy of consideration."
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:09 PM   #25
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Well, the Bible is pretty clear about the necessity to "feed hungry people" and "provide health care." Which is why Christian hospitals and orphanages, relief organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, charity groups like the YMCA and Kiwanis Club and countless food banks, shelters and other church sponsored programs have been in existence far longer then "compassion" from government.



oh, of course. finding inspiration in the bible is lovely. i find inspiration from Thomas Pynchon. i wonder, though, if the Red Cross consults its bibles before they treat someone (it must get so frustrating not being able to raise someone from the dead like that Lazarus guy, it seems so easy in this manual) or if they have doctors who have done things like go to medical school and read things like science text books.

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Maybe the words of a dude that can walk on water are indeed "worthy of consideration."
as individuals go, sure, but not as Huckabee says:

[q]"it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. What we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than trying to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family."[/q]

you see, INDY, when people talk like this, as if the Bible is a rulebook, then people like me get a little bit scared. and with rather good cause, no?

in a secular world, we all live together, we all coexist, we are all treated equally and no one religious viewpoint is exalted over others simply because it happens to be held by a majority nor can it be used to squash people who might be deemed an "abomination" by even a majority of people.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:44 PM   #26
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Originally posted by Irvine511




great point. those that threw off the tyranny of the church during the Englightenment and implemented and maintained the separation of church and state certainly do enjoy the most freedom.

once again, secular values are those that allow religion, or no religion, and freedom to choose.
Enlightenment thinking springing up of coarse; not in the Arab world, not from Eastern Philosophy, but in Christian Europe post Magna Carta & Reformation.

So which came first?

And how did those "secular" Enlightenment dreams of Marx and Voltaire turn out?
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:50 PM   #27
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Enlightenment thinking springing up of coarse; not in the Arab world, not from Eastern Philosophy, but in Christian Europe post Magna Carta & Reformation.

So which came first?

And how did those "secular" Enlightenment dreams of Marx and Voltaire turn out?


there are loads of factors that lead to the rise of the Enlightenment in Europe, and to attribute it to one -- Jesus! -- which is precisely what these attitudes were defined against, is really, really sloppy history. it's bad when someone assigns a monocausal explanation for a whole historical movement of incalculable impact, but i suppose that's what those who are so sure that all good things only come from Jesus have to do.

though when it came to coexistence, the 14th century Muslims seemed to be able to tolerate their Jews, why not the Christians?
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #28
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though when it came to coexistence, the 14th century Muslims seemed to be able to tolerate their Jews, why not the Christians?
Modern Jews, I'm sure, nostalgic for the "good-ol" days of living as a dhimma under Islamic law.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:53 PM   #29
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Modern Jews, I'm sure, nostalgic for the "good-ol" days of living as a dhimma under Islamic law.


better than being put into ovens or slaughtered every time someone puts on a Passion Play, but i'm sure someone else can shine some light on that.

tell me, INDY, is there anything bad about Christianity?
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:29 PM   #30
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Sometimes I wish the Americans would establish a state church. That would ensure that the society is secularized in the fastest possible way. But the right doesn't seem to realize that, which is a little peculiar given that it's not at all a revolutionary (or even new) idea.
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