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Old 04-11-2008, 11:43 AM   #76
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Originally posted by INDY500
(Time expired before I could edit. Here is my post.)

Secular state? Is that what you meant to say? Didn't we see enough during the last century to realize that the quest for an atheist utopia quickly turns into a license for mass murder. All, of coarse, in the name of reason, science and the state and towards a new and better man.
Are you calling me a communist? I don't think that a better man is possible given our biology, the study in this thread was identifying a correlation between an innate biological characteristic and the nature of the individuals belief. Human nature does not change at the desire of any state and I do not think that everybody is predisposed to be agnostic. Some people are going to believe in something no matter what indoctrination they get. Laying the crimes of Mao and Stalin at the foot of atheism overlooks the much more pertinent issue of their cults of personality and collectivism, two things which I as an individualistic atheist abhor.
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Now secular society and a secular government are two entirely different topics. I do want secular law, but I do not wish a secular populace.
You live in a democracy, I think that the desire for an anti-secular populace can be a means of enforcing a religious agenda by stealth. That is why it is important for a portion of any population to be activists in the cause of freedom from religiousity, upholding the principles of secular governance by complaining about things such as prayer in school and religion based law is important.
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"Statesmen may plan and speculate for liberty but it is religion and morality alone that can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand."
--John Adams, 1775
I am much more partial to Jefferson, to whom the establishment clause owes a good deal of origin. I do not see any contradiction between a pro-liberty position and atheism, that I justify liberty on the basis of a claim to ownership over my own mind and body and a willingness to consensually engage with society. I am not endowed with freedom from a creator and that argument is a lie, the exceptions around the world attest to that. That freedom can only exist in a state where individuals have choice is the defining issue, it does not demand a claim of absolute authority to justify it, merely consensual engagement by sentient organisms.
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Guaranteed by what? If you want a secular state then you must turnover your guarantees or rights and freedoms to the whims of that state? What is your court of appeal if that state is unrestricted by any higher law?
True, liberties are enshrined in documents such as the American bill of rights which the state cannot infringe upon. That there are avenues of appeal against unjust laws through a judicial system is critical to that. You really seem to be under the false impression that if the law claims God as justification then either it cannot do wrong or that it is restricted from truly infringing liberties, to that end I call bullshit; as religious law is inherently anti-liberty; it is predicated upon the belief in and subjugation to God, in the absence of that belief (or a belief in a different interpretation) one is open to persecution. A state should only be justified by it's populace, that they see fit to pay taxes and engage with it because it represents their interests as sentient organisms, a secular state is good because it may do so fairly without discriminating by whatever fairy tale the different individuals believe in.
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Is that really true? We've been talking about the first page of the Bible but mine has some 2500 more. It is an owners manual for man. There are of coarse other religions but there seems to be no doubt that religious believers on whole are happier, more charitable, less lonely, better able to cope with suffering and death and they reproduce at a greater rate.
An owners manual for man? One could derive better morality from different types of man made literature than the bible, Shakespeare comes to mind instantly. That believers may subsidise others belief, hang out with each other and fuck their women more (without birth control) says nothing of the texts validity merely that the lifestyle is condusive to spreading (and as a cultural meme religion has been very effective and one would expect that).
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Maybe that is the biological predisposition to faith. Secular societies don't seem able to sustain themselves biologically.
There is in fact very real evidence of that today. The native populations of Europe, Russia and Japan are all shrinking.
The emancipation of women has a very large factor in a declining birth rate, that Europe is below replacement level rates is not strictly related to the decline in faith but even if it was it doesn't reflect well upon religion. That in a post-Christian society women are free to pursue education and career (at the expense of settling down to being housewives and pumping out Christian soldiers) is not a bad thing.

If you throw out examples of problems that exist in secular societies I am happy to throw the alternative problems that exist in religious ones, low birth rates in free first world nations contrasts to women enslaved to offspring in the third world, high rates of birth control and abortion contrast against more teenage pregnancy, offensive artwork against censorship and intimidation of artists.

I do not feel that I would be free to pursue my agenda of irreligious science, sex and drugs in a religious state. A secular state is the best model for protecting the rights of the infidel and believer without favour to either and no matter how much people whine it doesn't change the case. It could be very good if Americans just abandoned that pesky first amendment for a decade or so and started killing off fags, persecuting Muslims, Jews and Catholics and enforcing whatever hardline WASP dogma that many seem to desire; the horror of a state church could truly turn the country Godless.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:44 AM   #77
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Originally posted by INDY500


Ever wonder what the universe is expanding into?
Would a higher dimension imply God? No.

I do not understand the mathematics that describes higher dimensions terribly well other than calculating the vertices of an n-cube.

I can accept that as an open question, I do not feel compelled to put absolute faith in an explanation that demands even more answering.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:46 AM   #78
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Originally posted by INDY500


Ever wonder what the universe is expanding into?
It's expanding to fulfill His purposes and not to trick secularists into thinking we evolved from fish.

You'll see one day.


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Old 04-11-2008, 12:11 PM   #79
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Originally posted by Irvine511




you propose an alternative to science in a science classroom? are you worried about the monopoly the Theory of Gravity or Plate Tectonics has on the minds of our children? or is it because certain facts don't sit comfortably and reality isn't so easy to reconcile with a 2,000 year old book?
Oh please.
If we can talk about Nature's God and the Creator when discussing the birth of our nation I don't think it terribly out of order that discussions dealing with the birth of the universe and the dawning of man shouldn't also at least make mention of them.

The theory of Design is speculation on facts, but then so are those famous ape to man lineups adorning the walls of classrooms.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:27 PM   #80
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But both cosmology and palaeontology have explanations which are not in line with a special creator. For the universe it seems as though it has expanded from a singularity and given that expansion is accelerating it will continue until it is an infitesimally small amount of matter spread across an infinitely expanding universe - it does not hint at a creator. The fossil record, molecular biology and experimental evidence supports evolution to explain life on earth. Organic chemistry fits for the origin of life, given that life obeys the known laws of physics and chemistry it is not unreasonable to take a naturalistic position towards it's origin. Since there is a high confidence level in chemistry and a rather actualistic position (the laws today are the same as those in the past) it is not unreasonable to put a higher confidence in a naturalistic origin for life.

The current argument of teach the controversy over intelligent design is utter shit. ID is a feculent argument. In light of the evidence, in a court of law it had it's principle defender admit that it was as valid as astrology. It has no room in the science classroom, it is not accepted by any reputable scientific organisation and importantly as a model it is not as good a fit as evolution. Basically anything ID can do evolution can do better, the examples of irreducable complexity collapse in light of scientific investigation (there is a clear evolutionary origin for the flagellum of bacteria, Behe was wrong).

ID posits an intelligent designer who in the eyes of proponents is God. The hypothesis is nowhere near as accurate as natural selection and evolution and as such it shouldn't be taught in public schools, it isn't unfair to teach students the model that most accurately fits the real world, which is evolution. That ID proponents are pushing a supernatural entity (as opposed to aliens) for the creation of man is what makes it unconstitutional, it is promoting a theistic position which in a public school would be violating the establishment clause.

If you have a problem with that get parents to pay money to attend a school that teaches kids lies. As long as it isn't some poor nonbelievers money being used to subsidies it I guess it's alright (parents have the right to fuck with their kids minds after all).
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:33 PM   #81
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Originally posted by melon


Religion is all about "absolute truth," right? And, by definition, "absolute truth" is right, no matter if the "majority" voted against it, right?

Science deals in absolute truth, not ideology. As such, your talk about "monopolizing theories" is relativistic nonsense.
Please don't be so naïve as to think that ideologies don't use science to advance themselves.

If science has the "absolute truth" about the origin of life then let's recreate that moment in the laboratory because that would be game-over for thinking we need supernatural intervention.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:59 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500

The native populations of Europe, Russia and Japan are all shrinking.
You know which countries in Europe have the lowest birth rates? Exactly, the more conservative ones.

Which European countries have higher birth rates? Right again, the more progressive and secularized ones.

And the reasons for that lie very much in how the state supports families, which is generally better in the Scandinavian countries.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:05 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally posted by INDY500

Secular state? Is that what you meant to say? Didn't we see enough during the last century to realize that the quest for an atheist utopia quickly turns into a license for mass murder. All, of coarse, in the name of reason, science and the state and towards a new and better man.
Could you elaborate on that one? Germany was a pretty religious and conservative society in the 1930's. Antisemitism wasn't grounded in atheism, not at all.

Communist states didn't define themselves through atheism, that was rather a component. It's ridiculous to say that atheism is a cause for mass murder. The church did prove to be capable of orchestrating mass murder just as good.
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:38 PM   #84
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Originally posted by INDY500


Oh please.
If we can talk about Nature's God and the Creator when discussing the birth of our nation I don't think it terribly out of order that discussions dealing with the birth of the universe and the dawning of man shouldn't also at least make mention of them.

The theory of Design is speculation on facts, but then so are those famous ape to man lineups adorning the walls of classrooms.


garbage.

the "nature's god and the creator" have NOTHING to do with science. this has been amply demonstrated in here, and in other places. if the word "Creator" were to appear in a science book, it should be tossed out the window. likewise, if a history textbook didn't mention the word "Creator" when discussing the DOI, then that should likewise be tossed out the window.

it boggles my mind that people can't grasp what science is and what it isn't, and the threat you seem to feel by it's existence.

and it is absolute crap to compare ID to evolution. they are not both "theories" in any comparable sense whatsoever. one is science, the other is not, no matter how much one tries to retroactively graft "science" upon it. there's only so much lipstick you can put on a pig.
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:45 PM   #85
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At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether there is or isn't intelligent design, whether we got here by evolution or if aliens spawned us and took off.

If there are going to be any 'earth-shattering' events surrounding a God or alien invasion or the earth simply bursting into flames, there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Odds are in your favor that it's not going to happen in your lifetime, though.

Barring all that, you're going to live, and then you're going to die. And that is the end of you. Afterlife is realized through children. You have children, you live on. Otherwise, your line ceases to exist.

And noone has been there and back to prove any differently.

It's not where you're from, it's where you're at.
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:35 PM   #86
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Barring all that, you're going to live, and then you're going to die. And that is the end of you. Afterlife is realized through children. You have children, you live on. Otherwise, your line ceases to exist.


seems a bit uncharitable to the infertile.
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:04 PM   #87
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Originally posted by Irvine511

seems a bit uncharitable to the infertile.
You're revealing an underlying belief in life (or something) after death. If you don't ever believe that concept, and I don't go around preaching childbearing as the way to eternal life, it can't be uncharitable for people who do have children to feel that the way we do "live on" (note, I use the term figuratively) is through those children.

I'm not saying this is a dogma to be preached, but a reality that I as a sane rationally thinking human have come up with as a sort of answer or explanation for the whole 'eternal life/afterlife' undercurrent running through every faith on the planet. What's the most common denominator amongst all these peoples and nations and beliefs? The ability to procreate and regenerate one's line through offspring. Pretty basic concept.

Besides, since when is nature and reality charitable? Some humans will get to live on through their offspring, some will not. Some fish get caught and eaten, others die a natural death.
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:09 PM   #88
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Dolly Parton has written over 3,000 songs, and she considers them her children.

some of those songs are going to last longer than i am.
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:36 PM   #89
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Weak, sorry.
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:46 PM   #90
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Weak, sorry.



chances are, i won't have a biological child. does this mean i'm a total dead end?
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