Pledge of Allegiance and a federal court - Page 5 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-28-2002, 07:46 PM   #61
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 02:18 PM
Other things worth noting:

The Senate bill quotes Jefferson (emphasis mine):

(3) In 1781, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and later the Nation's third President, in his work titled `Notes on the State of Virginia' wrote: `God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God. That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.'.

This seems to confirm MY belief that rights are a gift of the Almighty.

And in an amusing note, the idiotic decision this week COULD lead to this absurdity:

(16) The erroneous rationale of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Newdow would lead to the absurd result that the Constitution's use of the express religious reference `Year of our Lord' in Article VII violates the First Amendment to the Constitution, and that, therefore, a school district's policy and practice of teacher-led voluntary recitations of the Constitution itself would be unconstitutional.

Amusing.


Let me review the state of things:

1. I assert that the Pledge of Allegiance must be judged according to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Senate agrees with me.

2. I assert that the U.S. Constitution must be interpreted according to the intent of the authors. The U.S. Senate agrees with me.

3. I assert that such an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution renders the Pledge of Allegiance - including the "under God" clause - irrefutably constitutional. The U.S. Senate agrees with me.

4. I assert that our rights as humans are God-given "blessings of Liberty." I admit: the Senate may not agree with me here, but Thomas Jefferson DOES - and the Senate thinks Jefferson's belief as relevant to this issue as the Declaration of Indpedence and the Gettysburg Adress.

How fully does the Senate's views and my views align? Ninety-nine members voted in a way that agrees with me; no one voted against this bill, and only conservative Republican Jesse Helms was absent. My political enemies - the extremely liberal Tom Daschle, Dianne Feinstein and Ted Kennedy - agree with me. And they all agreed with me within thirty-six hours of the court's decision.

Do I dare say it? I do:

GAME, SET, AND MATCH.
__________________

__________________
DISCLAIMER: The author of the preceding is known
for engaing in very long discussions.
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 06-28-2002, 11:57 PM   #62
War Child
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 526
Local Time: 07:18 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba

GAME, SET, AND MATCH.
I enoyed the discussion at first, but when you become so full of yourself I really feel the bile rising in my throat. Not a single point of yours has seemed to me to rest on a logical foundation (not least your absurd notion that morals must come from the 'supernatural.' Absurd.) Obviously the debate will go nowhere, but I must comment on one of your "game, set, and match" points before I duck out for the last time:

"I assert that the U.S. Constitution must be interpreted according to the intent of the authors. The U.S. Senate agrees with me. "

First of all, I think we all know that any senator who agreed with this decision would be MASSACRED politically, and I think we can both agree that the decision to oppose the judgement would have been nowhere near unanimous were there some impossible guarantee that the results would not affect their political stature.

Secondly, must I remind you again that the "authors" in this case were Eisenhower and his contemporary politicians during the height of the McCarthy era. The "intent" of the authors to anyone not dwelling in naivete was clearly to repel the communist threat. Now, interpreting the phrase with this intent in mind, is the phrase really relevant (not to mention constitutional)? No, it is not. It offends a significant portion of the population (yes, the 4% of the population who are atheist and the many more who are not Christian are a "significant portion") and it must go.

May I add, while trying not to be overly inflammatory, that you have the nasty habit of using decreasingly honorable debate tactics as discussions wear on? Once your egotism clouds your logic, I find it extremely difficult to carry on the debate.
__________________

__________________
mug222 is offline  
Old 06-29-2002, 01:18 AM   #63
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 02:18 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by mug222
I enoyed the discussion at first, but when you become so full of yourself I really feel the bile rising in my throat. Not a single point of yours has seemed to me to rest on a logical foundation (not least your absurd notion that morals must come from the 'supernatural.' Absurd.)
I will remind you of your second post in this thread - the first to do more than quote someone and include a smiley face () - with emphasis added:


That's not the point. Anyone who understands and believes in separation of church and state has has neither a legal nor a moral leg to stand on to oppose this decision. It really is as simple as that.

What I find more frustrating is that the phrase hasn't been removed before now, and what I find most exasperating of all is that it was added in the first place--in 1954, under Eisenhower. It was little more than an extension of his loyalty probes and a remnant of McCarthyism. Contrary to what many people believe (and I'm not implying that you do, U2Bama), "under God" was neither created by nor in reference to our forefathers. It has nothing to do with this nation's birth in religious persecution, and all to do with Khruschev, the Russians, and our overbearing fear of Communism.

No informed citizen can honestly question this decision, can they?

edit: Might I add, predicting a response suggesting that those who wish not to say it may refrain, that this is neither a viable nor a fair solution. It is not fair to atheist students to force them to suffer the judgement of their peers in order to maintain their beliefs--this is no mere hypothetical. I noticeably stood out in my class when I was younger by refusing to participate. There simply is no reason for that phrase to be included, if the constitution--and its provision of separation of church and state--is to continue to be the basis of our government.



Do I deny that I am supremely confident in my own beliefs? No. Are you one to talk? NO.

As per the suggestion that all my points are foundless, I would like you to elaborate. Explain precisely how I'm wrong:

1. I believe that this decision should be based on what the Constitution says, rather than personal opinion or popular opinion. Why am I wrong?

2. I believe that the Constitution should be interpreted by the intent of the authors. How else should we interpret?

3. I believe the Founding Fathers' intent clearly allows for the invocation of the name of God. How else can it be interpreted?

And in reference to my belief that morality does come from outside the universe - a notion that you twice call absurd - I've asked where else rights and morality can come from. Skeksis gave an answer, but I believe I refuted his/her argument well. What did you do? Nothing more than call his/her post brilliant.

If you're going to call my arguments absurd, you should start explaining how.

Quote:
Obviously the debate will go nowhere, but I must comment on one of your "game, set, and match" points before I duck out for the last time:

"I assert that the U.S. Constitution must be interpreted according to the intent of the authors. The U.S. Senate agrees with me. "

First of all, I think we all know that any senator who agreed with this decision would be MASSACRED politically, and I think we can both agree that the decision to oppose the judgement would have been nowhere near unanimous were there some impossible guarantee that the results would not affect their political stature.
Huh. I thought that "No informed citizen can honestly question this decision." Wouldn't the poll numbers - and the Senate's subsequent vote - reflect that?

At any rate, I'd like to believe that Senators sometimes vote their consciences. If that's the case, then it may mean that they actually believe that they are doing the right thing. But even if you're right and they cynically voted to protect themselves politically, does it not mean that the court's decision was UNBELIEVABLY UNPOPULAR? If democracy means ANYTHING, isn't the vote valuable either way?

Quote:
Secondly, must I remind you again that the "authors" in this case were Eisenhower and his contemporary politicians during the height of the McCarthy era. The "intent" of the authors to anyone not dwelling in naivete was clearly to repel the communist threat. Now, interpreting the phrase with this intent in mind, is the phrase really relevant (not to mention constitutional)? No, it is not. It offends a significant portion of the population (yes, the 4% of the population who are atheist and the many more who are not Christian are a "significant portion") and it must go.
I assert that the U.S. Constitution must be interpreted according to the intent of the authors. The U.S. Senate agrees with me.

By "authors," I mean "authors of the Constitution," not Eisenhower and his contemporaries. That should be clear from the sentence you quoted.

But let's assume the intent of the 1954 law was to repel Communism. Does that make it unconstitutional? Um, I don't see why it would.

And even if it offends a "significant portion" of the population - so few that no Senator voted against that bill yesterday - does THAT make the law unconstitutional? Does THAT mean it must go? Again, no: many people are offended by MANY laws of this country - from going off the gold standard, to collecting income taxes, to treaties with countries that violate humans rights abuses, to having a nuclear arsenal. And yet, ALL of these laws are constitutional. It doesn't take unanimous approval to render a law constitutionally permissible (otherwise, there would be no laws) - and I will REALLY begin to question the logical foundation of YOUR arguments if you assert otherwise.

Quote:
May I add, while trying not to be overly inflammatory, that you have the nasty habit of using decreasingly honorable debate tactics as discussions wear on? Once your egotism clouds your logic, I find it extremely difficult to carry on the debate.
Such as... what, exactly?

I admit to being confident, and perhaps even arrogant. I am admittedly abrasive, and I make it known when I believe a certain argument to be lacking in logic - or occasionally downright nonsensical. But where precisely do I use any dishonorable debating tactics?

If you want to talk about dishonorable, how about this: you say that NONE of my positions rest on a single "logical foundation," and you say I use "decreasingly honorable debate tactics" - and you don't back EITHER accusation with a shred of evidence.
__________________
DISCLAIMER: The author of the preceding is known
for engaing in very long discussions.
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 06-29-2002, 04:20 AM   #64
New Yorker
 
brettig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: heehee, ask george
Posts: 3,194
Local Time: 02:18 PM

I don't really see why it has to go, but I do know ill remember it as part of the pledge of allegiance one way or the other, because it was included in its most memorable rendition!

One nation,
under God,
has fallen under the influence of one drug,
Television the drug of the nation...


__________________
brettig is offline  
Old 06-29-2002, 02:29 PM   #65
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 02:18 PM
If I may, I would like to further address why I believe such things as human rights and morality are God-given.

This is what I believe:


1. Human rights are REAL.

2. If human rights are real, they must be based on something external to the physical universal - something that is, in the strictest sense of the word, supernatural.

The logical conlusion drawn from these premises is that human rights, being real, must be based on something supernatural.


Let's tackle this argument:

First, what I mean by a "right" to something is the assertion that no one else should encroach on that something without that person's consent.

For example, I have the right to life, and that means that no one should take my life without my consent.

It's certainly worth mentioning that people do choose to lose their rights all the time: First, psychopaths forfeit their rights as they take the rights of others. Second, most everyone agrees to what Locke called the Social Contract - in which we consent to lose some rights so that the rights we keep are better protected, through the assumptions that everyone else follows suit and that the government attempts to make sure everyone plays by these rules (i.e., the "rule of law"). Finally, some nations forfeit their rights for security: socialist economies seem to often arise that way.

At any rate, what I mean by "human rights are real" is that they are more than just a different way of expressing how I feel. The Declaration of Independence - its assertions that we possess unalienable rights, and that our rights are self-evident - IS OBJECTIVELY TRUE AND CORRECT.

Such a premise is ultimately a basic assumption from which my argument stems. One can neither prove nor disprove the existence of rights. If you disagree, there's nothing more to say.

But, as far as I can tell, no one here has yet to disagree, and I doubt anyone will start now - at the very least, I don't think they will do anything more than play the Devil's Advocate: I believe, that when it comes down to brass tacks, most people ultimately believe in human rights.

But then, that's not the debate, is it?

The debate centers around my second assertion.

My second argument is this: that the reality of human rights cannot be based on the physical universe - that it MUST NECESSARILY be based on something beyond the natural realm, something from the supernatural realm.

(I personally believe that supernatural source of rights is God Himself. One can disagree, but I find it very difficult to say that rights come from the supernatural, but not from God - or that there isn't a God to begin with. But this isn't the hardest part of the argument; the hardest is getting to the supernatural, not deciding whether the supernatural is God.)

Let me see if I can explain.

Everything we assert to be true can be categorized into two groups of sciences. The first group is the empirical (or positive) sciences, and they include the following sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, history, and psychology. These sciences all say what the universe IS like; they all state the reality.

The other group of sciences is the normative scienes, and they are almost all concerned with ethics, or use ethics as a starting point. The normative sciences all say what the universe SHOULD BE like; they state the ideal.

(Economics includes a good example of both types: there is the science of empirical economics, which seeks to state how things work, how many things are sold at what price, etc. At the other end of the spectrum is normative economics, which says what the economic policy SHOULD be, who SHOULD control that policy, etc.)

Normative sciences are partially governed by the empirical sciences: as my old ethics professor says, "ought implies can." What THAT means is in order for ethics to say we SHOULD do something, physics must say that we can do the same thing. In other words, there's no sense saying that a man is ethically bound to start levitating if levitation is physically impossible.

That said, you cannot go from the empirical sciences to the normative. No matter how much you study how things are and the laws that govern that reality, you can't use the results to determine how things SHOULD be.

You CANNOT jump from empirical to normative.

It's possible that the reality IS the ideal, that things are as they should be. It's possible that the reality is quite far from the ideal, that the current state of things is ethically impermissible. OR, it's possible that there's no such thing as an ideal.

But you can't look at the current state of things to come to any of those conclusions.

Again, rights are simply another way of saying, "no one SHOULD encroach on my ability to do such-and-such." In other words, rights are a normative assertion about how things should be. And you cannont jump from empirical to normative.

In other words, no matter how much you study the behavior of monkeys, no matter how much you observe that they act like they all have certain "rights and priveleges," you CANNOT use your observations to conclude whether they ACTUALLY have REAL rights.

No matter how much you study human psychology, history, biology, and evolution - no matter how much you study man and the world around him - you can NEVER conclude that rights are real, or that they're a fiction.

In other words, you cannot base human rights on the natural universe.

If rights ARE real (and I believe they are), and if rights cannot come from the natural universe (and I believe I've shown that they can't), then where else do rights come from?

Well.... there's the natural and the supernatural - they physical universe and everything else. If rights do not come from the natural, they MUST come from the supernatural.

Hence, the invocation of God in the Declaration of Indpendence isn't just a document needlessly asserting the existence of a deity; it is, I believe, asserting the necessary connection between human liberty and the supernatural that MUST have been its source.


You're welcome to call this whole argument absurd, but I would also like to know where it falls apart.

Specifically, if you think the natural universe proves the existence of rights, connect the dots. Make the leap from the empirical to the normative. Show how psychological studies of chimpanzees PROVE that monkeys or humans (or both) ACTUALLY POSSESS rights.

Bubba
__________________
DISCLAIMER: The author of the preceding is known
for engaing in very long discussions.
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 06-30-2002, 01:43 PM   #66
ONE
love, blood, life
 
Basstrap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 10,726
Local Time: 04:48 PM
If you want to get a whole great chpater of this type of reasoning read the first chapter or two of C.S Lweis' Mere Christianity

This guy was atheist and he goes about showing us all how he came to believe that God is FACT. It is VERY convincing and the closest I've ever read of a proof to God's existance.

Check it out.

Great post Bubba!
__________________
Basstrap is offline  
Old 06-30-2002, 04:16 PM   #67
Refugee
 
Danospano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,415
Local Time: 02:18 PM
Here's some background history on the Pledge of Allegiance:

The Pledge of Allegiance
A Short History
by Dr. John W. Baer
Copyright 1992 by Dr. John W. Baer



Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).

Francis Bellamy in his sermons and lectures and Edward Bellamy in his novels and articles described in detail how the middle class could create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. The government would run a peace time economy similar to our present military industrial complex.

The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth's Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader's Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall Forum, located in downtown Boston.

In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute - his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'

His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]

Dr. Mortimer Adler, American philosopher and last living founder of the Great Books program at Saint John's College, has analyzed these ideas in his book, The Six Great Ideas. He argues that the three great ideas of the American political tradition are 'equality, liberty and justice for all.' 'Justice' mediates between the often conflicting goals of 'liberty' and 'equality.'

In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.

In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.

Bellamy's granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.

What follows is Bellamy's own account of some of the thoughts that went through his mind in August, 1892, as he picked the words of his Pledge:

It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution...with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people...

The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the 'republic for which it stands.' ...And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation - the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future?

Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, 'Liberty, equality, fraternity.' No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all...

If the Pledge's historical pattern repeats, its words will be modified during this decade. Below are two possible changes.

Some prolife advocates recite the following slightly revised Pledge: 'I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, born and unborn.'

A few liberals recite a slightly revised version of Bellamy's original Pledge: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with equality, liberty and justice for all.'



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Bibliography:

Baer, John. The Pledge of Allegiance, A Centennial History, 1892 - 1992, Annapolis, Md. Free State Press, Inc., 1992.
Miller, Margarette S. Twenty-Three Words, Portsmouth, Va. Printcraft Press, 1976.
__________________
Danospano is offline  
Old 06-30-2002, 04:33 PM   #68
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 02:18 PM
Who do you think is my favorite author?

In all seriousness, C.S. Lewis is - unquestionably - the greatest and most influential Christian writer of our age.

It was mere chance (or a Higher Power working in His typical mysterious ways) that first drew me to Lewis. One of his most well-known books - "The Screwtape Letters" - has a cameo appearance in the video for "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me," and I became curious. A couple years ago, I found Screwtape at the college library (an astoundingly good library for an "A&M" school in the Deep South - and conveniently located across the street from my dorm).

I was absorbed by the book and have been hunting down C.S. Lewis books ever since. In fact, I now find hard to escape the guy. My summer reading project is to alternate between Lewis books and other Christian books, and most of the other books reference C.S. Lewis.

Basically, if you're going to study 20th-century thought about Christianity (or Freud, or miracles, or pain...), you're going to have to face Clive Staples Lewis.

In brief, he was a rigorously logical atheist who became a Christian, not despite his ability to reason, but in part BECAUSE of it. If I recall correctly, he believed - as many atheists do - that there CANNOT be a God because the universe is in such a terrible state. But he realized, if the world is indeed wicked (and not just unpleasant to his own personal tastes) then there MUST be something called "goodness," and this goodness must exist beyond the universe itself.

(As Basstrap points out, this is the beginning of Mere Christianity. If you're curious, PLEASE read it for a more comprehensive - and frankly, cohesive - argument.)

The argument made sense, and it coincided with what I've learned in ethics - that a conclusion that involves the word "ought" must spring from at least one premise that ALSO includes "ought" - a normative premise.

For example, take this argument:

Premise: Today is Sunday.
Premise: I promised my mom I would call her on Sunday.
--------------
Conclusion: I ought to call my mom today.

An argument is valid if the conclusion follows from the premises (regardless of whether the premises themselves are actually true). The argument above is NOT valid. It needs a premise with an "ought":

Premise: Today is Sunday.
Premise: I promised my mom I would call her on Sunday.
Premise: I OUGHT to keep my promises.
--------------
Conclusion: I ought to call my mom today.

So, between Lewis and my ethics class, I've come to the conclusion that morality - if it exists - must spring from the supernatural; literally, from outside the natural universe. No number of premises that describe the state of the universe can logically lead to a statement about what I OUGHT to do.

And, for this argument, I've gone from morality to human rights because, I believe, the recognition of human rights is simply a select set of moral rules.

All rules of morality say, "I ought to do so-and-so," or "I ought to abstain from so-and-son."

The recognition of rights say, "I ought to allow other people to live their own lives." That CERTAINLY seems like a moral rule - and if it is, I believe that it too is beyond the scope of the natural universe.


And if I may say one more thing about C.S. Lewis, I HIGHLY recommend everyone read his books. Most of them are quite short and quite inexpensive (though some require careful reading; not because he's a bad writer - he's not - but because they cover difficult philosophical ground).

He was a good friend of J.R.R. Tolkien (another Christian writer), so fans of Middle Earth may be intrigued by Lewis' more clearly allegorical works, The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe being the most popular book within that series.

BUT I personally recommend these three books as primers to his more rational side:

- Mere Christianity, where Lewis explains the basic beliefs behind all denominations - and what those beliefs mean

- The Screwtape Letters, letters written from the perspective of a beuracratic devil; a very instructive satire

- The Four Loves, an analysis of affection, friendship, erotic love, and charity (God's love); the book is a bit hard to find, but well worth the effort
__________________
DISCLAIMER: The author of the preceding is known
for engaing in very long discussions.
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 07-03-2002, 06:40 PM   #69
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
HeartlandGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 6,834
Local Time: 12:18 PM
Yeah, yeah. So I'm getting into this debate a bit late because I have been doing other things besides surfing the internet, but here's my reply. After reading five pages worth of argument, here's what I feel in a nutshell:



I am proud of the arguments made by joyfulgirl, skeksis, and mug, among others. Your arguments made sense to me and the rebuttals offered against them seemed so much hot air (read--lacking proof). I don't blame you at all for bowing out of this "debate," if indeed that's what you've done. (I say this because most of the recent posts are all by the same person.) Just know that there are a lot more people who agree that the "under God" section of the pledge is unconstitutional. I, for one, am just not yelling as loud because I have more important things to worry about in the grand scheme of life than the pledge of allegiance.

I especially agree that "God" is a loaded term in America. If it's not, and it refers to a non-religious god, I suggest taking the capital letter off the front and adding an optional (s) to the end. Still, I doubt that would be agreeable to the "majority," thus proving that "God" means something more than just some non-religious entity that "most" people believe in. I was also impressed by Skeksis' anthropological and physics-based arguments. As someone who is married to an anthropologist, topics like this come up in my household a lot, and you definitely made some well-informed points. I also know a thing or two about physics, and as I've mentioned in other threads, there is new evidence that "God" may soon be taken out of the equation of where our universe came from. Good points all around.

The only other thought I wish to add to this thread is officially...


"The Christian Right is neither."
__________________
HeartlandGirl is offline  
Old 07-03-2002, 07:40 PM   #70
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 02:18 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by HeartlandGirl
I am proud of the arguments made by joyfulgirl, skeksis, and mug, among others. Your arguments made sense to me and the rebuttals offered against them seemed so much hot air (read--lacking proof). I don't blame you at all for bowing out of this "debate," if indeed that's what you've done. (I say this because most of the recent posts are all by the same person.)
If you want to assert that my arguments are without any evidence, you might want to start backing up that assertion - with proof of your own.

Calling something "so much hot air" and showing WHY it's hot air are two different things. The former, while VERY easy to do, is just an empty insult. The latter may require a very long post detailing both facts and logical arguments; but it's the only thing WORTH saying.

Quote:
Just know that there are a lot more people who agree that the "under God" section of the pledge is unconstitutional.
So a lot more people think the plede is unconstitutional - more than those have been posting. That's fine and dandy, but it doesn't pursuade anyone in terms of explaining WHY it's unconstitutional.

Quote:
I especially agree that "God" is a loaded term in America. If it's not, and it refers to a non-religious god, I suggest taking the capital letter off the front and adding an optional (s) to the end. Still, I doubt that would be agreeable to the "majority," thus proving that "God" means something more than just some non-religious entity that "most" people believe in.
I agree that most people's vision of the Creator invoked in the pledge may be a lot, LOT more detailed than the description of God as the Creator of the universe.

(Though I'm not at all sure what you mean by a "non-religious god.")

But let's say that the average American thinks of the Judeo-Christian Jehovah - the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).
If the government was only offering the "bare-bones" essentials as their concept of God (and I believe that's what it is doing), what does it matter if the average American adds to that image?

(Wouldn't suggesting that it matters be a legitimate breach of the First Amendment?)

Quote:
I was also impressed by Skeksis' anthropological and physics-based arguments. As someone who is married to an anthropologist, topics like this come up in my household a lot, and you definitely made some well-informed points. I also know a thing or two about physics, and as I've mentioned in other threads, there is new evidence that "God" may soon be taken out of the equation of where our universe came from. Good points all around.
I wasn't disagreeing with the basic anthropological facts - that monkeys seem to act as if they had rights. I'm questioning how you go from that statement ("monkeys act as if they had rights") to a statement about rights itself ("monkeys actually do HAVE rights"). No such connection has been explicitly made - and I think the connection cannot be logically made.

And concerning the idea that physics may take God out of the equation, I have seen NO commonly accepted theory that explains what forces CAUSED the events that brought the universe into being (again, most pysicists now assert that the physical laws break down at the point). And every time a scientist begins to talk WHY the universe is here, he slips from physics into philosophy; he goes from being an expert in his own field to a novice in another. There's no reason to think his expertise in the one carries over to the other.

Nor I have seen a response to the following paradox:

Our reason (coupled with the wild assumption that there is no God) has produced the following theory on the universe: everything is the predictable result of what has gone before it. Thus, our own ability to reason is the result of evolution, generational instruction, external stimuli, etc.

So what makes us think that our ability to reason is ACTUALLY correct? NOTHING. Therefore, our reason is untrustworthy. Therefore, our theory on the universe is also untrustworthy.

The logical conclusion of the absolute naturalist is that we have reasoned away human reason. It's like proving that all proofs are false (including the proof that all proofs are false). It's nonsense.

(See C.S. Lewis' "Miracles" for a more detailed explanation of the last point: it's a difficult book, but well worth investigating.)

Quote:
The only other thought I wish to add to this thread is officially...


"The Christian Right is neither."
Very glib. Very witty. Also very insulting.

Want to assert that the Christian Right is not correct? Go right ahead (though I would continue to ask for something resembling a logical argument).

Want to assert that the Christian Right is not Christian? Well fine, but you do not afford the benefit of the doubt that most humans give each other. Even most that I know within the Christian Right only assert that the Christian Left (radical priests, mostly - although I've rarely the term used) are incorrect. We do not question their faith; only their logic.

All that said, thanks for posting, for showing much more courage than most of your compatriots. And I DO welcome more posts, particularly those that explain why you believe what you do.
__________________
DISCLAIMER: The author of the preceding is known
for engaing in very long discussions.
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 07-03-2002, 08:00 PM   #71
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,572
Local Time: 02:18 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by HeartlandGirl


I especially agree that "God" is a loaded term in America. If it's not, and it refers to a non-religious god, I suggest taking the capital letter off the front and adding an optional (s) to the end. Still, I doubt that would be agreeable to the "majority," thus proving that "God" means something more than just some non-religious entity that "most" people believe in.
In the context of natural rights and natural law upon which our country is based, "God" has to mean an entity that embodies what is objectively good. In many pantheistic mythologies and religions, the gods are not necessarily like that.
__________________
speedracer is offline  
Old 07-03-2002, 08:49 PM   #72
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
speedracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: MD
Posts: 7,572
Local Time: 02:18 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Skeksis


More rationally though, the god concept might more probably stem from a universe that could have god-like qualities, as indicated by some rather new and provoking research done in the field which suggests that, quite mathematically sound in fact, the quantum fabric of the universe displays properties of memory and intelligence.

Uh...

From where did you hear this?

Whose research?

In what journal is it being published?

I'm a Ph.D. student in mathematics, I work on mathematics related to string theory, and I am not familiar with this new and provocative research.
__________________
speedracer is offline  
Old 07-03-2002, 09:52 PM   #73
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 07:18 PM
Good post Bubba!
__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 07-04-2002, 12:48 PM   #74
Refugee
 
Achtung Bubba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: One Nation. Under God.
Posts: 1,513
Local Time: 02:18 PM
Thanks, Sting.

Speedracer's comment about Skeksis' theory of an intelligent universe reminds me of another point not yet made. For the benefit of all, I quote again:

Quote:
Originally posted by Skeksis
So could a god exist? Possibly, although what a twisted god to set up such elaborate scientific traps for unbelievers. More rationally though, the god concept might more probably stem from a universe that could have god-like qualities, as indicated by some rather new and provoking research done in the field which suggests that, quite mathematically sound in fact, the quantum fabric of the universe displays properties of memory and intelligence.
The response that has not yet been made is that an intelligent universe still doesn't solve our problems of finding the source of reason, morality, or rights.

(I would have mentioned this first time around, but I've only recently read a much more coherent argument.)

The counter-argument is this. Up to this point, the book I'm reading has argued against Naturalism (the belief in the idea that there is nothing beyond the physical universe; that "I absolutely do not need a god to declare the unalienable right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness").

Its argument has been, more-or-less this: if there is nothing more than the physical universe, than our ability to reason has arisen predictably out of natural processes (evolution, psychology, etc.) and is thus COMPETELY untrustworthy. We certainly act like such a reason is untrustworthy: if we can point to the external reasons somebody believes what he does, we immediately discredit the notion that there are LOGICAL reasons for the belief ("he's rich, therefore he would WANT to believe X," "he was raised in a Christian home, naturally he thinks X", etc.).

Having said that, the argument:

Quote:
At this point it is tempting to try whether Naturalism cannot still be saved. I pointed out in Chapter II that one could remain a Naturalist and yet believe in a certain kind of God - a cosmic consciousness to which "the whole show" somehow gave rise: what we might call an Emergent God. Would not an Emergent God give us all we need? Is it really necessary to bring in a super-natural God, distinct from and outside the whole interlocked system?...

But I am afraid it will not do. It is, of course, possible to suppose that when all the atoms of the universe got into a certain relation (which they were bound to get into sooner or later) they would give rise to a universal consciousness. And it might have thoughts. But unfortunately its own thoughts, on this supposition, would be the product of non-rational causes and therefore, by the rule which we use daily, they would have no validity. This cosmic mind would be, just as much as our own minds, the product of mindless Nature. We have not escaped from the difficulty, we have only put it a stage further back. The cosmic mind will help us only if we put it at the beginning, if we suppose it to be, not the product of the total system, but the basic, original, self-existent Fact which exists in its own right. But to admit that sort of cosmic mind is to admit a God outside Nature, a transcendent and supernatural God. This route, which looked like offering an escape, really leads us round again to the place we started from.

There is, then, a God who is not a part of Nature...
This quote is from C.S. Lewis' Miracles, Chapter IV: "Nature and Supernature."

The argument is that, even if the universe exhibited some sort of intelligence, that intelligence would not be the source of such things as Reason.

I'm not sure when skeksis' "new and provoking research" was conducted, but I suspect C.S. Lewis' work predates, predicts, and preempts its relevance: Miracles was first published in 1947.
__________________
DISCLAIMER: The author of the preceding is known
for engaing in very long discussions.
Achtung Bubba is offline  
Old 07-04-2002, 05:38 PM   #75
War Child
 
U2002revolution!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Tucson, AZ ....USA
Posts: 528
Local Time: 11:18 AM

I'm kinda behind.....Congress rejected taking "under God" out of the Pledge & it is still ok to say it in school? is this right? thats the last i heard of it, or is it still going on?....someone please fill me in. if it was already said that it was passed or not, sorry, i'm to lazy to read thru all of the thread

also, i don't understand why Christians (as some here appear to) would have a prob. w/ the words "under God" in the Pledge, enlighten me? is it for the sake of being PC because of atheists you don't agree w/ it? or you personally don't want it in there?
__________________

__________________
U2002revolution! is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com