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Old 04-04-2006, 10:21 AM   #151
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Without an understanding of faith and the influence of the "things of this world" you must first grapple with your own delusions.



please, oh clairvoyant yet so humble one, show us the way forward and remove the cloth from my silly secularist eyes so that i might see!
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:33 AM   #152
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[B] It would seem you'd prefer it if we just lived in a less religious country. Some of your posts suggest that you feel that people who believe in the Bible, or who believe in Intelligent Design or who are in other ways are raving lunatics. Of course it is your right to feel that way, and I won't take issue with that but those views certainly can't be embraced by our government either.

no. it's how religion often manifests itself in America that really, really bothers me these days. i should say, however, that there are many, many people who are motivated to do wonderful things through their religion, (Dread comes to mind), and i certainly have no problem with that. i was raised with church, and i am confirmed, and i know many people who draw great strength from their religion in times of crisis, and that's fine. i am glad it is there for them. i could go on and on.

however, you are right: i think that people who believe in Intelligent Design are raving lunatics. i think that people who believe the earth is 6,000 years old are raving lunatics. i think that people who have a literalist understanding of the Bible are raving lunatics. i think that people who think followers of other religions are going to Hell are raving lunatics. i think that people who use the Bible to confirm and reinforce and lend a sense of sanctimony to the practice of their own prejudices are raving lunatics.

i could go on and on.



[q]Regarding the issue of homosexuality, I think it is unfair to say that all prejudice against homosexuality is rooted in Christianity. Nazi Germany is recent example of non-Christian, ruthless state-sponsored persecution of gays and lesbians.[/q]


this is sort of correct -- yes, the Nazis threw gays in concentration camps as well. however, this was also a product of the time (the 1930s), and as i've said before, what makes religiously-motivated bigotry so dangerous (and gauche, and distasteful) is that it makes the bigot feel virtuous.


[q]To tell the truth a lot of Christian's self-righteous hostility and Bible thumping over homosexuality has more to do with the "ick" factor than anything else. As I've said before, religion has always being used as a convenient cloak to hide darker motives. Most Christians don't get so worked up about about say "ignoring the poor and the widows" or "covetousness" or even "adultery" (which are also prohibited by scripture) as they do about homosexuality. As always intolerance and prejudice have more to do with fear of the unknown "other" than they do religious faith. Sadly, faith just provides a convenient cloak to wrap that fear in. And if that particular cloak wasn't there, people would just find another one.[/q]


we agree here.

though i do think that religion -- because it posits access to the Absolute, and offers absolutes -- is a much different, and more powerful, and eternal, motivator for prejudice than any sort of national ethos ever could be. states will rise and fall. in the mind of the believer, God always is and always will be.

and if God hates fags, well, how could i not hate them as well?
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:12 AM   #153
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no. it's how religion often manifests itself in America that really, really bothers me these days.
I agree. It's pretty sick.


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[i]

however, you are right: i think that people who believe in Intelligent Design are raving lunatics. i think that people who believe the earth is 6,000 years old are raving lunatics. i think that people who have a literalist understanding of the Bible are raving lunatics.
I try to keep the foaming at the mouth to a mimimum

Seriously though, I can understand why you feel as you do about people with the beliefs above. I won't spend too much time going off topic to explain how I manage to hold the beliefs you've mentioned without being a raving lunatic (I eliminated the others you mentioned because I don't believe in eternal hell, and I certainly hope I'm don't use the Bible to confirm my own sanctimony (cringe) ). I guess the simplest thing to say is that I'm aware that belief in a six day creation doesn't fit with what science has discovered so far. (And I might add, that though I believe in creation I don't think it should be taught in public school science classes). But it doesn't bother me because, really the whole idea of God is preposterous and unscientific. God Himself can't be proven scientifically. So if you're going to believe in God at all you have to open yourself up to the possiblities of other things that don't pass the tests of the scientific method--the virgin birth, the resurrection, the parting of the red sea, the creation. I'm a believer because of my personal experiences, the feeling that I've connected with God and He with me. For any believer, that's what it has to be about.


And this is all well and good as long as I don't start trying to legislate this "irrationality". (I'm willing to accept that label, if not the raving part). However two problems have (and always have) developed. The first is when people take these personal experiences and try to enforce them on others. The second has been when people of faith refuse to enage in discussion and thought about these issues, allowing for the possiblity that they might be wrong.

It's occured to me--of course--that six day creationists such as myself are being too literal in our interpretation of scripture in understanding the world's origins. I think believers have to have a certain open-ness, and it's dangerous when the church tries to "shut down" those who disagree with it (think Copernicus and Galileo).


Quote:
[i]


this is sort of correct -- yes, the Nazis threw gays in concentration camps as well. however, this was also a product of the time (the 1930s), and as i've said before, what makes religiously-motivated bigotry so dangerous (and gauche, and distasteful) is that it makes the bigot feel virtuous.


though i do think that religion -- because it posits access to the Absolute, and offers absolutes -- is a much different, and more powerful, and eternal, motivator for prejudice than any sort of national ethos ever could be. states will rise and fall. in the mind of the believer, God always is and always will be.

and if God hates fags, well, how could i not hate them as well?
You are correct. This is the biggest danger of religion--the feeling of being absolutely right. It can come from other sources (i.e. the Nazis--we belong to the absolutely "right" race] but religion definitely holds that pitfall. The feeling of "virtue" is indeed a heady high especially when it puts you above someone else. Believers just have remember that they don't have a full, total, or complete understanding of God so while God always is and always will be what we BELIEVE about God may not always be. It can and should change.

There is however something that can be appealled to in Christians though that can, possibly, end-run that "virtuosity" and that is the appeal to love. It's there in scripture, in the words of Christ, and msiguided Christians can and should be pointed to that. Love is also an Absolute, one that couldn't be used to appeal to Nazi Germany.

And if God hates fags, well, I wouldn't worship that God.
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:15 AM   #154
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Originally posted by Irvine511





please, oh clairvoyant yet so humble one, show us the way forward and remove the cloth from my silly secularist eyes so that i might see!
Yes delusions generally describe things that people believe exist but are often verifiably false or completely unfalsifiable. The assumption of God rests upon absolutely no evidence whatsoever, authoritative inference of a creator from the universe as it is is not logically sound.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:39 AM   #155
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Yes delusions generally describe things that people believe exist but are often verifiably false or completely unfalsifiable. The assumption of God rests upon absolutely no evidence whatsoever, authoritative inference of a creator from the universe as it is is not logically sound.
That is an interesting way to paint the vast majority of the world - it is certainly self empowering and similar to the way I felt in my younger days.

Yet, for many, the evidence of God is overwhelming - not something of complete absense.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:51 AM   #156
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and, in fact, it actually is a little bit hurtful to be so patronizingly dismissive of "rants."
I'm sorry if you have taken this discussion personally. I recall elsewhere you suggested it was homophobic of me to disagree with your positions. Such energy in discussion is misplaced.

The evidence you've presented of America's most mistrusted minority and the aggressive religious nature of the United States is built on items that then are described as "impulses", "influences" or the comments of individuals not speaking as the government. The few court cases referenced are interesting takes on matters of which we have little insight as to what really occured.

If the underlying principle of discussion is the end of bigotry, it would be helpful to keep the discussion free of the same. Engaging in discussion is not fruitful when pointing and yelling "raving lunatic" at others.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:09 AM   #157
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
If the underlying principle of discussion is the end of bigotry, it would be helpful to keep the discussion free of the same. Engaging in discussion is not fruitful when pointing and yelling "raving lunatic" at others.


the difference, NBC, is that i have facts and ethics on my side, and those i've called "raving lunatics" do not.

by any reasonable logical standards, it is raving lunacy to think the earth is 6,000 years old.

by any reasonable logical standards, bigotry against homosexuals is raving lunacy.

by any resonable logical standards, bigotry against atheists is raving lunacy.

the suggestion that you've inferred (purposefully construed?) that i think it is homophobic of you to "disagree" with my positions would have to be spelled out for it to have any merit ... however, it does seem to me that anti-homosexual positions are, by definition, homophobic since science and reality don't lend any merit to derogatory views and opinions of homosexuals, certainly in the same way that science and reality don't support derogatory views of different races. opposition to gay marriage (to choose one example) is made of the same logical blueprint as opposition to school intergration or anit-miscegenation laws.

if you'd like to construe an argument arguing to re-segregate the public school system, by all means, go ahead and do so.

but don't expect "respect" for an argument that uses bigotry as it's core argument.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:22 PM   #158
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Originally posted by Irvine511

the difference, NBC, is that i have facts and ethics on my side, and those i've called "raving lunatics" do not.

by any reasonable logical standards, it is raving lunacy to think the earth is 6,000 years old.

by any reasonable logical standards, bigotry against homosexuals is raving lunacy.

by any resonable logical standards, bigotry against atheists is raving lunacy.

the suggestion that you've inferred (purposefully construed?) that i think it is homophobic of you to "disagree" with my positions would have to be spelled out for it to have any merit ... however, it does seem to me that anti-homosexual positions are, by definition, homophobic since science and reality don't lend any merit to derogatory views and opinions of homosexuals, certainly in the same way that science and reality don't support derogatory views of different races. opposition to gay marriage (to choose one example) is made of the same logical blueprint as opposition to school intergration or anit-miscegenation laws.

if you'd like to construe an argument arguing to re-segregate the public school system, by all means, go ahead and do so.

but don't expect "respect" for an argument that uses bigotry as it's core argument.
Fortunately, I had all day to ponder this response. In the end, it just made me sad that your arguments hinge on the belief that you are the sole holder of facts and ethics, thus excusing what is otherwise blatant hatred. It will continue to be difficult to lay charges of bigotry using language and arguments that is dripping with its own.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:18 AM   #159
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I think this thread has run its course.

nb and Irvine, neither of you are bigots, let alone lunatics, and I think it would probably be best if you simply avoided aiming those particular accusations at each other, whether directly or through implied associations. I understand that you disagree strongly about the influence of religion on civic life, but there is obviously more than that fueling the conflict here. It really blows both the stakes and the focus of the debate way out of proportion to project underlying threats of that magnitude into a discussion between two people who know each other. By all means question assumptions, critique assertions, but mocking one another's integrity is both unproductive and unnecessary. It undermines trust, and a certain amount of that is necessary to keep dialogue going.
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