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Old 11-01-2006, 02:20 AM   #106
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Thanks VP, you wrote what i was thinking but oh so much better then I could have.

I don't doubt that people reading this see that i'm not a believer (although i do like to believe something is out there) but i don't like the fact that you think i need to be saved, or that my life is any less complete because im not religious.

Today in class the students had religious instruction. They were talking about how god made the earth in seven days. Afterwards some students were asking me how that is possible and i said it wasn't and thats its just a nice story to read in the bible. A few of them whispered to me 'thats what i believe too' but when a boy questioned the teacher, she got quite huffy and said 'there is NO TRUTH ONLY GOD' and shut down all conversation. I felt sad for them - it was like being in a brainwashing class.

I think something good would be that no child learns about religion till they are old enough to choose whether to accept god or not. That way they are not tricked into it when they are young and have a choice about the matter. I bet if that was done there would be a lot less religious people in the world as people could make informed choices. I think that would be a good idea!
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Old 11-01-2006, 02:31 AM   #107
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^ That "religious instruction" sounds pretty bizarre. Isn't it a public school you teach at? The teacher sounds like a joke, bellowing a no-questions line at students to get them to shut up, I've never heard of anything like that.
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Originally posted by nathan1977
"Why I believe" would be a very interesting thread. As would "why I don't believe"...
Actually we did have a thread that touched on this topic awhile back.
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Old 11-01-2006, 02:39 AM   #108
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yeah its a public school so the RE "teacher" isn't actually a teacher, but a person from the local church. They are extremly religious and seem desperate to do as much religious stuff in the half an hour a week they get. I was also surprised with how she spoke about their questions. Like sayign that there is no way but god's way is very overbearing i think!
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:05 AM   #109
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Originally posted by VintagePunk

Honestly, I don't care what they say about when life begins. It's my body, my future, and my business. Further, that life is not self-supporting for many months, it would depend on me to provide it life. Neither right-wingers, nor religious people whose beliefs I don't share in the first place have the right to force me into what is such a huge and personal decision.
Be honest with me, please; you really don't care if a fetus is a human life - you still think women should have the right to kill it? Have you thought about the implications of what you're saying?

The fact that the life is not yet self-supporting doesn't amount to much in this debate. Siamese Twins are joined together and depend on each other for life. One cannot survive without the other, unless a surgery is performed, and even then it's a risky situation. So, if Siames Twin Bob decides that he's tired of Siamese Twin John, does Bob have the right to kill John? If no, why not? John is not self-supporting, and is part of Bob's body. Shouldn't Bob have the right to do with his own body whatever he pleases?


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Originally posted by VintagePunk
See, to me, that's not proof of God, that's following a hunch that appeared out of nowhere, for some reason.
Does that seem more plausible than the existence of God to you? A distinct precise command "coming out of nowhere" to save my life is more plausible than an all powerful God?


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Originally posted by VintagePunk
There are so many things that occur in our daily lives that are just beyond our conscious perception, but on some level, our brains do make note of them, and sometimes follow up on them, and sometimes they prove to be right. .
This doesn't even begin to describe what happened to me. I received a direct command to do something that I never would have thought to do otherwise. Because it shocked me to receive this command, I argued, but the command kept repeating. In fact, as the situation became more iminent, the command told me why I was to do it. When I obeyed, I was able to see clearly what the consequences would have been.


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Originally posted by VintagePunk
I would ask you this (I don't expect you to answer, just something to consider) - how many of these experiences/hunches/"messages" have you received and acted upon, and nothing's come of them? I'm betting a lot. .
You'd be betting wrong. Only one time have I ever received this type of command.

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Originally posted by VintagePunk
However, humans are very good at self-delusion, as shown by the confirmatory bias phenomenon, whereby we tend to look for and recall information that proves us right, and discount and forget information that doesn't fit in with our expectations..
If I had thought about this all later, and recalled what happened, you might be right. But I was concious of what was going on at the time that it happened, and as soon as I obeyed the consequence, I saw what would have been the consequence. There was no "remembering of anything". I had a clear picture of what was going on at the time, and knew immediately that something very unusual was happening.

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Originally posted by VintagePunk
All that said, you're fully entitled to believe that you received a religious warning. My point is just that there are alternative, logical explanations for most so-called religious experiences, and that's why they don't hold much water for non-believers...
I've posted what happened to me several times in this forum, and no one has ever been able to give me any other kind of explanation.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:43 AM   #110
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Be honest with me, please; you really don't care if a fetus is a human life - you still think women should have the right to kill it? Have you thought about the implications of what you're saying?

The fact that the life is not yet self-supporting doesn't amount to much in this debate. Siamese Twins are joined together and depend on each other for life. One cannot survive without the other, unless a surgery is performed, and even then it's a risky situation. So, if Siames Twin Bob decides that he's tired of Siamese Twin John, does Bob have the right to kill John? If no, why not? John is not self-supporting, and is part of Bob's body. Shouldn't Bob have the right to do with his own body whatever he pleases?
I am being completely honest in making that statement, and of course I have thought about the implications of what I'm saying, and I don't appreciate the underlying tone that implies I haven't. It's a personal decision between each woman and her physician, and only she can decide the moral and ethical ramifications that such a decision would have for her. Note, moral and ethical do not automatically equate to religious, at least not for everyone.

I believe that the fact that the fetus is not self-supporting has everything to do with the debate. Living, breathing Siamese twins are hardly analogous to an unborn fetus, that's quite a reach. Wow.



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Does that seem more plausible than the existence of God to you? A distinct precise command "coming out of nowhere" to save my life is more plausible than an all powerful God?
Yes, that does seem more plausible to me than believing in a supernatural being. Far more plausible.



Quote:
This doesn't even begin to describe what happened to me. I received a direct command to do something that I never would have thought to do otherwise. Because it shocked me to receive this command, I argued, but the command kept repeating. In fact, as the situation became more iminent, the command told me why I was to do it. When I obeyed, I was able to see clearly what the consequences would have been.




You'd be betting wrong. Only one time have I ever received this type of command.



If I had thought about this all later, and recalled what happened, you might be right. But I was concious of what was going on at the time that it happened, and as soon as I obeyed the consequence, I saw what would have been the consequence. There was no "remembering of anything". I had a clear picture of what was going on at the time, and knew immediately that something very unusual was happening.



I've posted what happened to me several times in this forum, and no one has ever been able to give me any other kind of explanation.
Yes, I've read about your experience on here in the past, as well. Whatever it was, I'm truly glad that you came out of it safely.

Perhaps I didn't explain confirmatory bias well enough, but I didn't think an entire lesson in cognitive psych was warranted, here. It doesn't solely have to do with memory and recall. While it's true that events that occur that fit in with our worldview, our cognitive schema, are more widely accessible in our memories, it also has to do with the noting of events as they happen, the way those events are processed and perceived, and that would especially hold true in an event that was as dramatic as yours.

You obviously don't accept this explanation, you've ingrained it as a religious experience, and that's completely fine, I'm not asking you to. I'm merely explaining, as I said in my previous post, that there are alternative explanations for things like these, and that's the sort of explanation I choose to accept.
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:01 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk


I am being completely honest in making that statement, and of course I have thought about the implications of what I'm saying, and I don't appreciate the underlying tone that implies I haven't.
I didn't imply that you hadn't thought of the implications of what you're saying. I asked if you had, because I had no idea whether you had or not. I guess we're not thinking of the same implications, however.

Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
It's a personal decision between each woman and her physician, and only she can decide the moral and ethical ramifications that such a decision would have for her. Note, moral and ethical do not automatically equate to religious, at least not for everyone. .
If a fetus is a human life, why do you think that a woman should have the right to kill it?

Do we not have laws that prohibit the killing of innocent life, including those people who are not self-supporting?

Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
I believe that the fact that the fetus is not self-supporting has everything to do with the debate. Living, breathing Siamese twins are hardly analogous to an unborn fetus, that's quite a reach. Wow. .
It's analogous in the context that you brought up, "self-supporting". Siamese twins are human life that are not self-supporting, and so is a fetus.
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Old 11-01-2006, 11:23 AM   #112
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80'sU2, while I do have answers for your questions, well thought-out answers, I might add, I'm not going to derail Amy's thread and turn this into a pro-choice/pro-life debate, it's not the appropriate place. There has already been one thread in which Amy has attempted to express her views, that got locked, and I'm not going to be drawn into an off-topic debate that could result in that happening again.
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Old 11-01-2006, 12:12 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally posted by VintagePunk
80'sU2, while I do have answers for your questions, well thought-out answers, I might add, I'm not going to derail Amy's thread and turn this into a pro-choice/pro-life debate, it's not the appropriate place. There has already been one thread in which Amy has attempted to express her views, that got locked, and I'm not going to be drawn into an off-topic debate that could result in that happening again.
I understand and can appreciate you not wishing to derail the thread.
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Old 11-01-2006, 09:05 PM   #114
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Amy, I'm still not certain as to whether you're actually seeking discussion or even debate on these issues or if you're just blowing off some steam.

But I'm going to assume you're open to your comments being addressed and even challenged. I just wanted to kind of make myself clear as often questioning or challenging can be misinterpreted as invalidating. My goal in taking up some of your comments is not to invalidate how you feel. A lot of Christians (and other believers) piss you off and I can understand that.

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Thanks VP, you wrote what i was thinking but oh so much better then I could have.

I don't doubt that people reading this see that i'm not a believer (although i do like to believe something is out there) but i don't like the fact that you think i need to be saved, or that my life is any less complete because im not religious.

I think I understand where you're coming from here, to a degree anyway. I know I find it frustrating when nonreligious people think that I am medieval, irrational, and an originator of bigotry just becaue I'm religious. I don't like it that people think I'm less complete because I still "cling to an outmoded concept" like faith. Everytime such things are expressed I feel bad.

I think the bottom of line is that all of us feel insulted when people seem to "think less of us" or think we have a "problem" because of what we believe (or disbelieve). I know there are many atheists and agnostics who do not "look down on me" for my faith. (I know they think I'm wrong and mistaken but that is NOT the same is disrespecting me and I understand the difference). I also know there are many Christians who do not "look down on you" because you do not believe. I know because I'm one of them. (I also know that, as a believer, I think you are wrong and mistaken, but that is NOT the same as disrespecting you and I hope that you can understand the difference).

Thinking someone is wrong does not automatically communicate disrespect. Otherwise we end up in the frame of mind that "only those that know that I'm right are decent people, the rest are jerks."


Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Today in class the students had religious instruction. They were talking about how god made the earth in seven days. Afterwards some students were asking me how that is possible and i said it wasn't and thats its just a nice story to read in the bible. A few of them whispered to me 'thats what i believe too' but when a boy questioned the teacher, she got quite huffy and said 'there is NO TRUTH ONLY GOD' and shut down all conversation. I felt sad for them - it was like being in a brainwashing class.

Again, I think the issue is not the belief, it's the unwillingness to consider she might be wrong and the refusal to entertain any debate or discussion. I agree, that is offensive.

But tell me this, what would your response be to this: A teacher was talking about evolution and how life came into existence of many millions of years. When a boy questions the teacher, she gets quite huffy and "there is NO GOD ONLY SCIENCE' and shut down the conversation.

Is the difference only that in my example the teacher is "right", which it makes it okay for her to refuse to entertain questions, whereas in the experience you described the teacher was "wrong" and therefore must entertain questions?

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
I think something good would be that no child learns about religion till they are old enough to choose whether to accept god or not. That way they are not tricked into it when they are young and have a choice about the matter. I bet if that was done there would be a lot less religious people in the world as people could make informed choices. I think that would be a good idea!
I thought this was an absolutely fascinating concept, and then I read about exactly such a scenario in TIME magazine last night. Barak Obama was raised just as you described. And he became a Christian (albeit not the super-fundamentalist Bible-beating type that really gets under your skin, but a believer nonetheless).

I think you're right that people are more likely to adopt as their belief system what they've been raised with but that by no means is universal. You've got a whole nation of people--China--raised in an atheistic environment, and there are many that are now embracing belief. I've witnessed this firsthand with the Chinese people I've met here in Saipan. What I find is that while not biased towards belief they don't seem to be biased against it either. They don't have all kinds of negative baggage from nasty Christians coloring their views about faith.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:59 AM   #115
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer

"If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences."

- H. P. Lovecraft
Stumbled on to this by happenstance and I rather like it.

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Thelwall thought it very unfair to influence a child’s mind by inculcating any opinions before it should have come to years of discretion, and be able to choose for itself. I showed him my garden, and told him it was my botanical garden. “How so?” said he, “it is covered with weeds.”—“Oh,” I replied, “that is only because it has not yet come to its age of discretion and choice. The weeds, you see, have taken the liberty to grow, and I thought it unfair in me to prejudice the soil towards roses and strawberries."
---Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:55 AM   #116
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They don't have all kinds of negative baggage from nasty Christians coloring their views about faith.
Maycocksean, I'm not sure what is being said here. Could you please elaborate?
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:57 AM   #117
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Originally posted by INDY500


Stumbled on to this by happenstance and I rather like it.

Great quotes.

We are kidding ourselves if we think we can spare children any sort of indoctrination. The only question is - which beleifs are we going to instill?
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:17 AM   #118
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Ones of positive inquiry and free thought perhaps? An interest in the natural world and it's mechanisms is another trait to foster. Faith is the most overrated supposed virtue.
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:34 AM   #119
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Thelwall thought it very unfair to influence a child’s mind by inculcating any opinions before it should have come to years of discretion, and be able to choose for itself. I showed him my garden, and told him it was my botanical garden. “How so?” said he, “it is covered with weeds.”—“Oh,” I replied, “that is only because it has not yet come to its age of discretion and choice. The weeds, you see, have taken the liberty to grow, and I thought it unfair in me to prejudice the soil towards roses and strawberries."
---Samuel Taylor Coleridge
And this is supposed to imply that without religion, children are destined to become moral wastegrounds, no better than a weed-infested piece of soil? Oh, please. My kid is one of the most moral people I know, and it all happened without religion. And she's more of an athiest that I am. Also very intelligent, too.
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:32 AM   #120
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Originally posted by VintagePunk


My kid is one of the most moral people I know,
I do not doubt you are correct. I am just curious – since you made a comparative statement (“the most”) - according to which collection of morals are you comparing your child against?
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