Thursday, December 6, 2012

In continuation....

As usual, but I promise to actually write a post soon.  Been writing other things. 

Ryan, that last link of yours made me sick.  What a shame.  Of course it can't be the religion, just like guns don't kill people and so forth ad nauseum.

162 comments:

  1. If Christians are supposed to be trying to do their best to be good, to treat all people as they'd like to be treated, either they're a bunch of masochists and want to be treated very badly, or, or they want to win, and they don't care which devil they make a deal with to do it.

    How can a U.S. legislator, Congressperson or Senator go to work every day, supposedly for the American people, but really just to kick the poor, the working class and even the middleclass in the teeth as much as is humanly possible, gumming up the works as much as is humanly possible, fully expecting that they can trick Obama into doing their kicking for them(that's why there are never any hard figures for their cuts).

    This has been going on for so long, I'm thinking that they believe it's normal for them to try to coerse the President into being a total bastard cut-throat capitalist so they can then say, "See what the Democrats are like? Vote for us since we had no choice but to agree with Obama's draconian cuts to services!"

    They must be completely fooling themselves, and I think that's why the Christians are on board with them, they're, the Christians, are practically in the business of fooling themselves.

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  2. Christians come pre-fooled for convenience.

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  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/05/roderick-arrington-las-vegas-beaten-death-bible-homework-video_n_2245381.html

    Roderick Arrington, Las Vegas Boy, Allegedly Beaten To Death After Lying About Bible, Homework (VIDEO)
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    Terrible. Ryan's link here, really gets me angry. I'm so tired of fundies.

    They go through life with backwards morals. What a bankrupt philosophy.

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  4. Apropos of some of our previous political discussions, and stimulated today by Pbohy's most recent.....
    It appears that the Republicans are willing to have us go "over the cliff" in January, so that the majority of them who have signed a "pledge" to an unelected lobbyist not to vote for any tax increases can then vote for
    tax cuts" from the automatic rises that will effect everyone. In this manner, apparently, they hope to go along with the inevitable tax rate increases for the top 2% without violating their "pledge"!
    How bad is it that these peole blatantly place their pledge to the top 2% above the sworn responsibility to the Constitution and the best interests of the rest of us who elected them!!

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  5. Actually Harvey, that isn't half bad compared to proposing a bill which you think has no chance, then, when you are seeing that it might have a chance, filibustering it yourself!

    WTF? And this is the leader of the opposition in the Senate? Meanwhile in the House they routinely pass hundreds of bills which they know damned fine that neither the Senate nor the President is going to let become law.

    They're fucking insane.

    Don't forget it was the Republican Congress that concocted this 'fiscal cliff' in the first place, seemingly, because they were so sure that their "Obama will be a one term President" strategy was going to work.

    It's like they forgot that it's not themselves that get to vote who is going to be President, but the people, or at least the Electoral College.

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  6. One of my favorite Mitt Romney quotes from the election:

    "I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love."

    I fucking LOVE this sentence.

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  7. Pboy, that sentence above reminds me of what you were describing, how believers make a sacred object sacred and how a prophecy is fulfilled intentionally by those who want to fulfill it. Out of the self-eating snake of bullshit is born The Messiah, the chosen one, right on schedule a couple thousand years late, and we know him because he fulfills the prophecies which his followers pretended that he fulfilled in order that he be the chosen one...

    The sentence (of Romney's above) has no semantic content, yet it conjures up some vague sense of patriotism but only patriotism for a mirage version of the country that gee, millions of Americans believe in because millions of Americans believe in it.

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  8. I don't know how anyone hearing that sentence could have possibly thought that the speaker was or is in any mental shape to be the leader of the free world(as they put it).

    If he's not insane himself, he's appealing to those millions of insane Americans who are insane enough to imagine that a great American is one who says 'America' and/or 'Americans' the most.

    Seems to me that a lot of Americans must get the warm fuzzies when they hear the word America(n)(s), so, what Romney seems to be trying to do is like when the phone or the doorbell keeps ringing and ringing and you can't think of anything else, and he IS(was) implying that anyone not voting for him ISN'T American, that's the completely assholey shitty part of it.

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  9. So, as I understand American politics the right will punish the workers for voting them in, voting them out, no change.

    The Governor of Michegan, for example, has no mandate now since he's lost his right wing Senate. Is he mad about that, shit yea, now he'll punish the voters by turning the State into a so-called 'Right to Work' State, which fucks over unions.

    Now it's not that he wasn't ever going to do that, if you listen carefully to him, it's that he wasn't planning on doing it just yet.

    But those ungrateful bastards in his State voted some of his State Senators out, so they are forcing him to move up his assholy schedule!

    In general, the Reps. idea of 'helping the economy' is getting people to work for less and less while cutting taxes on the very people who will benefit from companies paying workers less and less, and they call that lack of spending money for the average guy, working towards a 'good economy'!

    Democrats, not be bat-shit insane, realise that people working for decent wages, moves money around and THAT is called a GOOD ECONOMY!

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  10. I don't understand why so many people are so very easily blinded... It's fucked up.

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  11. Their ideology is just stupid. As a governor of a State, surely the average wage is directly related to the revenue from payroll taxes, sales taxes etc. etc. coming in.

    So cutting the balls off unions may well attract corporations to set up shop in the State, but they'll be low paying jobs, jobs where people are barely scraping by, allowing the people at the top to have more of that money. This would be a wash if the guys at the top were covering that tax money, but part of the ideology is to cut taxes for them, straining the State's economy further!

    It's so obvious that they start a death spiral for their own economy, everything heading for a stand still.

    Fucking weird.

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  12. So, as it stands, the Reps. are for forcing everyone to act as if they are anti-womens'-choice, forcing everyone to take a pro-life stance by common law.

    They're for forcing everyone to renounce collective bargaining.
    They're for trying to force elections in their favour by gerrymandering districts, de facto not allowing everyone to vote(long lines) and de jure not allowing everyone to vote(voter I.D. laws).

    So they're anti-women, anti-poor/working class and proud of it.

    Apparently the only 'message' that they took away from the last election was that their attempts to jimmy in their favour wasn't quite good enough, yet.

    On the other hand, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution didn't really include women or blacks or latinos or working people, did it? It wasn't the the so-called Founding Fathers didn't like the hierarchy they left other countries to get away from, it was that they didn't like the idea of not being high enough on those hierarchies!

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  13. Republicans are a lot like Michael Keaton's character in Pacific heights.

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  14. So, the old tricks are the best, I suppose, and the religious hierarchies have been pulling them for thousands of years.

    What's easier that taking a country that is happy and prosperous and creating a series of crises then suggesting that it is only them who have the key to solving those crises?

    The answer may be personal, "Get God(ly)!", or it may be national, "Our country is in danger!", but these people who claim to be able to solve they problems that most of which they likely created themselves in the first place, aren't trying to reduce tension and anxiety, no. They're trying to create MORE, their agenda is to take control. The Reps. do NOT care about the National Debt or the Debt Ceiling or enemies abroad or within, no.

    These people would rather rule a garbage pit than be someone of little consequence in a prosperous society.

    As sure as our(living beings) agenda is entirely to procreate, these guys(political) agenda is to rule! They want to be respected the same way a capo in the mafia wants to be respected. Sure they'll send their minions out to do disgusting, immoral shit, and they're well aware of it, but still demand respect, and this is what we call 'evil'.

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  15. I agree.... evil is the correct word. I've been using it for a while now.

    They truly believe they're good, you know. That's how they can do it in the first place.

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  16. ...which of course causes me to wonder immediately if we also are evil and believe that we are good, as in "not evil," but then I remember that those like that never think to ask that question. They don't think that they are good, they believe it absolutely and cannot imagine any way that they could be wrong. In fact they believe that they act in service to the very highest good in many cases.

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  17. Another mass shooting just happened in Connecticut, possibly as many as twenty CHILDREN dead.

    I'm so disgusted at our pathetic small-minded culture. This is fucking sad.

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  18. I don't know if this is any kind of answer to you other comment but I don't think of myself as 'good', but I think I know evil when I see it, if not then I'm under some kind of delusion, like the brain in vat thing.

    But it seems to me that my sense of right and wrong are fine, taking into account that the ones' we call deluded aren't 'really' deluded at all, they're just lying.

    No-one expects to get rich because they prayed for it. They might say, "I prayed and worked hard borrowing money, preparing a business plan etc. etc. and I'm willing to give God the credit!", but they know that Muslims and atheists have just as much success without praying to Jesus, they know that.

    They're not deluded into thinking that Christian fanatics aren't as deadly as, say, Muslim fanatics, not at all. Muslim fanatics would be worse for a very pragmatic reason, they'd be far and away more likely to be targetting Christians!

    But the pure greed of the rich is hard to grasp as not being delusional, since it seems to operate on the principle that undying greed has worked for them, has always worked for them, so it must work for the entire country, right?

    But it's like monetary cannibalism, eating their own's wealth, or what little they have. I can see no difference between a so-called communist country forcing people to work for slave wages and a so-called capitalist country doing the exact same thing, it's all totalitarianism, a few ruling class stepping on the rests' necks.

    This should be against the fucking law to even propose such power grabs, but here's the GOP/Teabaggers doing exactly that under the greedy richs' auspices.

    If you ask the greedy rich, they'd point out the flaws of communism in a flash! So it's not that they're deluded really then.

    Seems to me that evil people continuously point out the flaws in their deadly enemies to show how opposite they are when, in fact they're just exactly the same! Projection!

    And I hear you when you are asking if we're not just projecting when it comes to the greedy rich, if we're not just hating on them because we'd like to be them, but I can't see it at all.

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  19. The school shooting (big fuckin sigh)... Do you know why I keep coming back to your bar St. B? Cause I absolutely do not think you or pb or Harvey, Pliny, Ryan, et al are putting up a front about what you believe. I don't see a pretentiousness here, that I see in mainstream religious discourse, and the culture at large. A culture that wants its guns AND machismo. It wants women objectified AND equal (so they can work of course). Estoy harto of all that bullshit. W.T.F.????

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  20. if we're not just hating on them because we'd like to be them
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    Oh no, I wasn't thinking that. I definitely do not want to be anything like them, not even rich if it means changing my values to get it or after I do.

    I just notice when others truly believe that they are the ones that are right and are deceiving themselves, and I don't ever want to be *anything like that* so I take the precaution of always asking myself if I can possibly be the wrong one even if I'm certain that I am not. "Certain" seems to mean precious little in the realm of actually being correct.

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  21. I guess what I'm saying is that I feel the polar opposite to what you said there.

    I'm *terrified* of being like them. In any way.

    (truth)

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  22. Oh, and thanks Harry... I appreciate that, personally.

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  23. Seems to me that that's a word trap like the tolerance of intolerance. The certainty that others' delusional certainty is wrong.

    And they'll jump on the definition of 'delusion' right away.

    And they'll paint it all as a matter of opinion.

    But come on, we have the facts on our side so we CAN be certain! People respect rules and regs. If they didn't we'd have a lot more automobile fatalities, it's a FACT!

    States with more gun control have less, much less shooting fatalities, it's a FACT!

    We CAN be certain if our certainty is based on FACT, and not just ideology. Ideologues ignore the FACTS and paint them as mere opinion.

    But you're right that what we think of as 'fact' may well be just ideological opinion dressed as fact, painted as fact by idealogues we happen to agree with. It's a bugger.

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  24. For example, at some point in my life I was told that George Washington had wooden teeth. It was a surprise to me to learn that this was simply not true.

    I remember the whole class being indoctrinated with the teacher's(Miss Cootes) religious ideals when she had us count ribs, the boys a little less physically mature than the girls counted one less rib than the girls did, leaving it up to ourselves to 'realise' that the Adam's rib story, why that must be true! It didn't have much effect on me, not the effect she wanted, but enough of an effect that I recall the counting and the result. Years later, I saw a show on T.V. about forensics (shrug?) where we were told that doctors cannot tell a man from a woman by the number of ribs, in the case of having a complete skeleton, since the rib story(indoctrination) is just that, a just so story.

    We have to wonder, and this is what I think you were saying, how much we think of as fact, is just the same, just stories created to try to have us conform to some ideology.

    The wooden teeth? Well, what if we were told the awful truth that some of George Washington's false teeth were made from his slaves' teeth which he had extracted from them for that purpose since he considered those human beings his property to do with as he wished?

    Tch, tch, can't have that in our ideological 'all people are equal regardless of race, colour or creed' society, now can we? That Washington was a typical rich white man with typical white rich man's knowledge of his own superiority must be hidden, history must be changed if only in 'the popular mind'.

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  25. I've been arguing away with a libertarian and a Teabagger, who wasn't until I pointed out that he could state his case at a Teabagger convention and they'd all cheer him. Suddenly he was a PROUD Teabagger. Weird how that works, them hiding their ideology for shits and giggles.

    I pointed out their argument tricks of having more than one perspective, the law as it is and the law as they'd like it to be.

    The libertarian was using the old, STFU foreigner on me, so I pointed out that he can't be praising America for being so free and condemning America for being so oppressive at the same exact time, surely.

    But he was, and will continue to do that, since libertarians don't have a leg to stand on.

    Good times.

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  26. Harry; that means something. I've lied on the internet, but then I discovered how utterly pointless that is.

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  27. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

    In case anybody has missed this very cute and funny meme, I introduce to you "The Nasty-Ass Honey Badger!"

    Because we need a good laugh. (Make sure SOUND is ON)

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  28. The 'wyfe' and I laughed till we spotted, basically.

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  29. I try not to lie *in person,* but I can't remember ever lying on the Internet. What for? The whole purpose of the Internet to me, as far as me leaving commentary anywhere, is a cathartic honesty and an attempt to learn something about myself while I'm here. I do not talk about any subject that I'd even need to lie about, come to think of it...

    We lie way too much as a species. For some of our friends in politics and on the far right, we even start believing our own lies. I can't see any utility in that. So why set foot on the slope?

    I don't even keep anything from my wife, nor she from me. We know all the bad shit about each other and have decided that we like the whole of the package anyhow.

    If you don't lie, it's also a lot easier... you don't have to think up lies, all you have to do is remember what happened.

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  30. I posted this yesterday (or so I thought) in response to Harry's comment:
    Harry has hit the nail on the head! Those of us who take part in this blog on a more or less regular basis realize that we do not countenace bull shit without recognizing it and reponding appropriately. The regular posters, all of us having at times been brought up short on a foray into BS, accept and, perhaps, eventually even welcome the gentle "corrections" that come raining down. Even MI/Hydra, Eric, etc, who see fit to come here repeatedly to try to pass off some BS or other, must either be masochists, egotists, or really committed to trying to convince us that their BS du jour is true, since they are always "corrected" (however gently) rather vehemently.
    Brian, you have "created" a blog which attracts people to open discussion, revelation of true feelings and beliefs, and, above all else, eventual truth and honesty in those discussions. Or..perhaps GODIDIT!

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  31. Hmmm - truth on the Internet - what a concept. Does using a pseudonym based on Roman history and a picture of Frank constitute a lie? ;)

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  32. I can believe that I have created a blog that doesn't countenance bullshit and therefore is a place for truth on the Internet, precisely because of the fact that it has like five regulars. In other words, it's remarkable for both its truth, and its unpopularity. Oh, and it's deterioration over time. So hey, the truth will out... or perhaps go out like a candle?

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  33. Of course part of that is my own fault, since lately I rarely post much of interest. Sorry. The thing is see, the original DD blog had that asshole posting, and he's like Eric. Most of you people came from there. You were attracted to it because it gave you opportunity to talk to 'the other side' where lies are reality and God IS In His Heaven blah blah blah... and this blog was more vibrant and popular whenever Eric was posting to it! I see the connection, but I cannot provide a foil or a sparring partner in the philosophy of the ridiculous as they can and did... so when one of you says something cool about religion, I say 'hey, I agree' instead of a snarky reply of seven or eight paragraphs (to start!) describing how your comment that one plus one equals two is sadly incorrect and that anybody with a jot of intellect would see that the real answer, when you consider Aquinas' third way and the KCL, is 2.025753, of course.... I'm not an apologist, and I think that is what spurs conversation here much more than I am capable of, since I mostly agree with logical people like all of you still here. The 'truth' as you call it, has driven off all the crazy asshole motherfucking liars for god.... leaving the rest of us bored with our accurate picture of reality. It was I guess more fun to hear their ridiculousness and even their psychotic ramblings parading as truth, than actual truth.

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  34. I mean, looking back, if I were to check on the past blog posts here that had over a thousand responses, all of those had Eric bloviating plus usually a couple of other nutbags dropping by... They were car crashes of worldviews, and everybody knows how people can't help themselves when they go by a crash, and must slow down to check it out. So I must conclude that I am not enough of an insane asshole to hold your interest. :-)

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  35. Naw, B, I should not worry. These guys visit in cycles. They pontificate - you refute- they bluster- you counter - they take their ball home- then they come back like moths to the flame and the cycle repeats.

    They can't help it - The power of delusion compels thee, the power of...

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  36. Pliny has it right. They are the ones who cannot resist "checking in" like MI/Hydra dropping a bomb intending to get ANY response so that we even recognize that she is here, or Eric when he forgets that he has not yet been able to blind us with his brilliance and must, therefore, try to baffle us with his bull shit, and/or Mike, who is driven every so often to preach to us yet one more time. There temporary absence should not weigh on you, Brian, although you are certainly correct when you note the increased activity when one of them is present. Or... maybe not.

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  37. Really? Eric seems to be gone for good. Note that I do not mourn his passing or whatever... however he did make the place a lot more interesting. Unfortunately it's the 'car crash' kind of interesting, but that is a powerful kind. I didn't encourage him leaving and even tried to make it known to him that I didn't want him to, but he is after all, a pretty evil person and I do have trouble being able to stand that type for very long without flaming them as they so richly deserve to be flamed.
    So here we all are, mutually mentally masturbating... I don't miss Eric, but I do miss the active conversations.

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  38. Of course then I console myself in the fact that he certainly wasn't learning anything here that would make him less evil, and all I was learning from him is the fact that there is no reasoning with evil, and really, once you've learned that, you've learned it. Not much need to constantly re-affirm that lesson.
    So there's that...

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  39. What's the response to someone who's answer to the problem of evil is simply, oh well, god must have a plan? Seems unanswerable, which is a problem in and of itself, but still, there's got to be a good response out there.

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  40. I'd say, "what if His plan is that we sit here on this Earth and figure out how to deal with evil on our own?"

    Presuming that God has a plan seems always to pre-suppose that His plan does not involve any contribution from US for it to come to fruition.

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  41. Yes, yes, Eric tries to dazzle us with his brilliance and baffle us with his bullshit.

    There are facts. There is truth. And a fact's a fact and what's true is the truth. But one can state nothing but facts and tell only the truth and still be a giant bullshitter.

    For example we can be listening to a libertarian and hear stuff like, "A law-abiding citizen, armed to the teeth, is no danger to society, since he is not a criminal!"

    Of course it's a glib 'fact' since we're just predefining our citizen as being "not a criminal"(law-abiding), then claiming that our tautology has explained some greater TRUTH!

    Using our new 'truth' that anyone with a gun who breaks the law, suddenly becomes 'someone who shouldn't have a gun', is beyond glib, it's spiritually glib, super-fucking-naturally glib, since it subtly redefines the word law itself, as in, "We cannot have laws restricting guns AT ALL, because then you'd just be criminalizing otherwise law-abiding citizens!"

    While this is technically 'true', we can transpose that to just about every law there is, e.g. "We cannot make a law against impaired driving since that would be criminalizing otherwise law-abiding drunk drivers!"

    But we can always demonize what we don't like first then it becomes easy to criminalize it, "Why it's immoral, it's breaking some natural law!"(GOD'S LAW, if you're a religious person).

    But the idea that we don't make laws to criminalize people is bullshit, of course we do. This isn't 'not fact', this isn't lies, but the opposite view, that we shouldn't make laws just to criminalize people isn't 'not fact' and isn't a lie either, and that's the wiggle room.

    That's the wiggle room.

    This 'definition' game is exactly the same game as Eric the scholastic philospher is playing when he defines God out of the realm of science.

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  42. "If guns are outlawed only criminals would have guns!"

    It's TRUE! It's a word-game! It's a definition game!

    "If x was outlawed only criminals would have/do/whatever x." by definition!

    "If masturbation was outlawed only criminals would masturbate!"

    "If eating fatty food was outlawed only criminals would eat fatty food!"

    "If being happy was outlawed only criminals would be happy!" (Of course a politician proposing this law had better be careful not to tell us that he's happy to enact it since he'd be it's first victim!)

    Thing is that they know how easy it is to be sucked in by this 'truth' since they themselves have been sucked in by it.

    I can explain, very carefully, step by step, the flaw in the argument that, "If guns were outlawed, only criminals would have guns.", and they might agree with me. But tomorrow morning they'd wake up and think to themselves, "Hey! If guns were outlawed, only criminals would have guns! That guy I talked to yesterday is full of shit, since it's so obviously true!"

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  43. This 'truth', to me, is exactly the same as an evangelical claiming that on the one hand, she has faith in the Scripture, she has faith that the words of the Scripture are exactly true, and of course this is why she is willing to vote for government officials to make the words of the Scripture, common law.

    But the Scripture tells us(as they are wont to say), that there'll be a great falling away from true faith.

    This means that the evangelical is pushing a false faith, trying to have her cake and eat it too.

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  44. The idea that 'we need more God, everywhere' is, from a religious perspective, a great idea! What could be better than that, from a religious perspective? God in the government, God in the schools, what could possibly go wrong?

    Well there's a bit of a snag. Not everyone is Catholic, not everyone is Protestant, not everyone is using the same religious teachings.

    Okay, but what about a common denominator? Can we decide that it's Christianity, that it's a general Christianity that's just the ticket for American schools?

    Maybe no, maybe a Judeo-Muslim-Christian generality, they all have something in common, right? We could start with that, with the intention of moving towards, say, 'your' particular version, the obviously 'true' version.

    Some common 'rules' would be the rejection of homosexuality and atheism! The rejection of pro-choice for women!

    But this horrible situation, horrible for atheists and homosexuals, horrible for women who are torn between their religion and their ability to choose.

    That is, is where we're at and as far as we can go to make the World a better, more Godly place, to live in. But that's not going to be good enough, is it? Good enough to be hammering away at, good enough to be hammering home, for now, but not nearly good enough!

    There would eventually have to be some more details involved, much, much more details! No protestant wants their child coming home with catholic teachings and vice-versa, and so on.

    But, as the saying goes, it's the Devil that's in the details, not the one true God, so you really have to be careful what you wish for, wanting a more Godly society, you may end up with a Satanic(Devilish) society.

    It really is a much more likely outcome, isn't it?

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  45. Would you consider the actions of the shooter to be evil? The slaughter of innocent people at the hands of a wicked immoral person who has no empathy for human life.
    From what source did he “the shooter “draw from to commit such unthinkable acts? Would you say this young man was encouraged by some outside force…… or was this evil within himself all along?
    Maybe you don’t consider his acts to be evil at all, If not, then what ????
    Would you consider Darwin’s theory to have flawed ?
    Have you noticed how much violence has escalated over the past years… people being driven by some force to commit unthinkable acts of evil against their fellow man.
    Why do some people seem to posses more ill will then others? Circumstance of up bringing… very possible What / Where is the origin of evil?

    Happy CHRISTmass everyone

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  46. Mike:
    Welcome back!
    I am not surprised that this recent horrible example of Man's inhumanity to Man has stimulated you to engage with us unbelievers once again. It is precisely an event like this that shakes the believer's confidence in his God of choice. "How could God.....?"
    It appears that you feel that "The Devil made him do it", or some such escape from the obvious answer, which is:
    1) My God must have had a reason to sacrifice all of these precious lives at the hands of an obviously disturbed person.
    2) Since it is unacceptable to me, as a real Christian, to believe that this sort of thing happens without some outside, supernatural source of "evil"(i.e. Satan), the Devil (i.e. Evil incarnate)made him do it.
    So, I must ask you, Mike, is this an example of "Free Will", God allowing terrible choices that result in awful consequences to innocent cjildren because the shooter has not found Christ? And, in His allknowing, all powerful wisdom, did God "know" that these twenty innocent children were destined from the start to never have the opportunity to "find" Christ in their own terribly shortened lives?

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  47. Mike: (further)
    If the shooter was brought up as a Christian(which apparently he was, although perhaps not the "right" kind of Christian), but was also obviously disturbed, would God have "allowed" him to find Christ in his life, rather than the assault rifle he used to blow away 20 innocents and himself? While we are on the subject, is God responsible for his mental disturbance, which, iot seems to me, the shooter did not "choose" because of his "Free Will".

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  48. Hi Mike, Hi Harvey!

    And a Merry CHRISTmas to you too Mike! By the way we're not like vampires-scared-of-religious-symbols here.

    I think we all agree that the legendary Christ Jesus of Nazareth's birth is celebrated on the 25th.

    What am I thinking, Merry CHRISTmas and I sincerely hope all of you guys have a 'good one' and if you're into gifts, hope you get what you're wishing for.

    But let's not be selfish here, let's not forget the poor, the lonely, the old, the sick, the hungry and the cold.

    Let us pray, in whosever name you wish, that our government will tax each of us according to our ability to pay and redistribute this bounty to alleviate the pain and suffering of our fellow citizens.

    Let us pray that they will use some of this money to help families with disabled, mentally or physically, members to give us all hope that our country(whichever one you're in) is progressive, compassionate, willing to look after it's own, at least.

    Let us pray that the so-called religious among us don't get that compassionless sneer on their sour-pusses which 'reads', "What's mine is mine and I refuse to help others based on their understanding of the World, I look down my nose at them in the name of (e.g.) Jesus (or insert preference in place of 'Jesus').

    Let us pray that a typical religionist won't show up and comment about some tragedy or other hoping to pass the blame, at this supposed time of cheer, at this time of giving, at this time of well-wishing.

    BTW, I want a Harley for MY CHRISTmas, if Santa is listening, I swear I haven't been naughty! And no cheap jokes, not a toy one either, you hear me you cheap fuck! Every fucking year I tell you what I'd like but nooooo, you bastard, you fucking asshole, fuck you, you can take that Harley and stick it up your butt!!!

    Sorry, got a little emotional there, phew.

    So yea Santa, the motorbike would be nice, thanks in advance. :o)

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  49. Where does evil come from? While some try to pass it off as the work of a cosmic Moriarty or the reactions of a loving god only slightly less of a prick than satan, these are the excuses of the intellectually and physically lazy. Lazy because they demand nothing from us. All we have to do is reject satan or love god and all is better. No effort required at all! Really, how could mere mortals have a role in a battle amongst the gods?

    Reality is somewhat more complicated and will require a lot more effort than sitting in a pew.

    Where does evil come from? A few sources.

    From home schooling. Children lacking socialization who are abused by the paranoid fears of their parents- godless secularism, science, racism, or libertarianism- you name it. Imprinted with a culture of victimization and separatism.
    From the gun culture. Quality time with mom was on the shooting range. Guns guns guns - the only reason anyone would want to take away my guns is because they are tyrants. Guns are all that keeps the shadows at bay - kind of like god which is why they seem to go together in this country. tribalism, paranoia and guns - there’s your axis of evil.
    From the tribalism of religion. Us against all the evil doers who get what they deserve. Religion breeds out empathy - if you don’t know the secret handshake we don’t care about you.
    From a butchering of the mental health safety net. No services, no screening, no where to get help. From a culture that equates mental illness with weak character.
    From a culture that says platitudes like “they were called home to Jesus.” instead of the reality of being just plain dead with no purpose. Home to Jesus is code for - I don’t have to do anything about it. It’s part of this big plan that I have no role in.
    Media that pumps an endless stream of violent content into plastic minds, then cries foul every time someone calls them on it.
    From anti-science forces that limit the ability of society to develop strategies based upon real models of mind.

    Need more? This is just a start.

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  50. Mike(to Pliny):- (fingers in ears) lalalalalalalala, I'm not listening!

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  51. Pliny and Harvey said it so well, Mike.

    Your kid is mentally ill, he's got a mom that's a survivalist nut with a cache of guns, fearing the apocalypse or whatever, maybe just fearing that time when the gub'mint comes to her and tries to take them away... She takes her sick kid to the shooting range to make sure he is a good shot so that he can defend himself too... he gets into violent first-person shooter games... his brain restructures itself (literally, it's a physical change) to be a better shooter, a better killer... and our society lets people like him down totally, gives him no opportunity to CONNECT with others, to belong, to have a bright future that he can see... he feels that he has no future, and he starts to simmer with hatred over time... then eventually, he cracks.

    Where does evil come from? Ignorance, fear, and false beliefs, especially when a person with all of that finds themselves under pressure from society.

    Evil grows in an environment of apathy, and our society right now doesn't seem to give a crap for people like him. He fell through the WIDE cracks, he got no help.... politicians have made sure of it. Took the money and spent it on helping the RICH.

    It's not that hard to figure out. Evil comes from false beliefs. It grows in an environment of apathy and hatred.

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  52. What do you think the cause of such evil might be, Mike? I'm interested in your opinion here.

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  53. As are we all....
    But, it may not be fair to dump all this on Mike, although, I seem to recall that he is a preacher of sorts. Perhaps he really will step up to the plate on this.

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  54. Have you noticed how much violence has escalated over the past years… people being driven by some force to commit unthinkable acts of evil against their fellow man.

    Mike, read up on the years 1244 and 1631, rethink your comment and get back to us.

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  55. I'm thinking that Mike has noticed the escalating violence since he was just a young guy who couldn't understand the news, to a little guy who could care less about the news, to a kid who tuned out the news, to a youth who thought those old guys were daft if they thought news from far away meant anything at all, to a teenager who thought the news was all about him, for some unknown reason.. to a .. and so on.

    Escalating violence, sure Mike, it's excalating in your head, but it's been pretty constant over the millenia, over the centuries.

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  56. Mike, they're right. The violence was always there. You weren't looking. Also, the world of electronic media has ensured that here in RI I will hear about a murder in California, or even in Kuwait. The NEWS of the violence has increased, but not the violence itself.

    It's okay though. It doesn't really matter. We have to deal with what we have, not what used to be.

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  57. Westboro Baptist Church!

    How bad is it when the KKK hates you 'cos you are just too douchey for them?

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  58. I heard about that!

    Pretty douchey.

    Hey, have you ever read anything about or by the "one that got away," one of Fred Phelps' sons that left the fold, as it were, and is SANE and can't stand what the church is doing, and disavowed his father?

    Here's something:

    http://sojo.net/blogs/2012/12/17/fred-phelps%E2%80%99-son-condemns-westboro%E2%80%99s-plan-picket-newtown-funerals

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  59. .. and all the science, I don't understand, it's just my job five days a week..

    .. a rocket man, ROCKET MAN.. burning out the fuse up here alone.

    (tell the truth, you've been listening to that for years, and you didn't know he sang that!)

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  60. I absolutely DID know precisely that he sang those words, because I was a fan of both Elton and science at the time, and even back then I thought that it was a very odd thing to say about rocket science. Of course I realized then that it was for humor.

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  61. The very first 45 that I owned (record, not gun) that I bought myself, at about age twelve, was Ricky Martin's Garden Party. The second one was Elton's Crocodile Rock.

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  62. Hello everybody. Such a long time. I hope all of you are doing well and I'm wish you all a great Holiday season and fruitful New Year. Brian, I'm heading up to Providence some time in February. Would be cool to finally meet you.

    In regards to what you all have been discussing, and especially the responses to Observant (Man I Miss Him. Probably Pissed Obama Won), this mass shooting really shook me. It didn't shake my Faith, but it shook me personally nevertheless. I have 3 young ones, and when I'm in town, I enjoy taking them to school and picking them up. This was just terrible.

    I wouldn't say violence has just escalated. I would say shootings like these have gone up and I would say Murder-Suicides in general went up since 2008 because of Economical reasons as well as our troubled military personnel coming home. But the mass shootings has been alarming. Obviously, in regards to this recent one we still don't know all the facts. From what's been put out, he definitely seemed to have mental issues to the point of needed full time care.

    I also see my "Evil" Institutionalized Religious brethren taking full advantage of what has happened. You know, no prayer in public schools where all faiths attend, and our societies acceptance of gays has been the culprit to these things happening.

    Such ignorance. Such hatred. It's why these religions are not gaining members but losing them. I see also that this shooter was not Muslim nor was the Aurora one. So I guess not all Terrorists are Muslims.

    Evil does exist. It exists in each and everyone one of us. We have the ability to do immense wonders and unfathomable evil. All of us do. What happens around us, to us, and our environments play a part to what we do in the future. Also, our will and motivations play a huge part too. Because it's our will and motivation in ourselves that can ignore what happens around us, can forgive what happens to us and can get out of our bad environments. Much easier said than done.

    As I have stated before and I have not changed this belief in a very long time: God is not a hands on God. We are in the system he created and we do as we please in it. It's why I never understand why people pray for people to get better when they are sick. He knows when we go. And we will go when we are supposed to go. So that prayer will not be heard and will not make that person get better. That person will get better because he/she was supposed to get better.

    But what I pray for in these instances is obviously for that person to know God and if possible experience a wonderful after life. And that the suffering they are experiencing now shall end. And that their families can move on and do great things.

    In regards to last weeks shootings, I can't imagine what the families are going through. I can't imagine what the survivors are going through. I can only pray for their eventual piece of minds and pray that they can mentally recover. And I pray that the kindness being shown to them from all over will continue and that this tragic event will continue to inspire others to lend a helping hand to anyone and everyone irrespective of their faith, race, culture, gender or sexual preference.

    All the best.

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  63. Wow, Botts!!
    Once again, you renew my hope that not every so-called Christian has forgotten Christ's message. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  64. Harvey! The surgeon of all surgeons. If you want a scar that is actually a straight line, then Harvey is your man. Great to hear from you. Have a wonderful Christmas and awesome New Year.

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  65. You mean Ricky Nelsons garden party?

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  66. Hey Botts how ya been? Good to read your thoughts again.Do you still travel the world?

    Pboy, do you have any thoughts that are actually your own?

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  67. Oh God, did I actually say 'Ricky Martin?' Gag.


    WELL HELLO BOTTS! Long time! Good to see you, dude? I was hoping you were still alive and kicking!

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  68. It's very simple, Mike. Unless you see quotes around something in my comments, it's a fair bet that that's what I think.

    Now whether nor not a lot of others think like me, is totally beside the point, really, isn't it?

    What I think about anything at all, isn't completely under the aegis of some ideology, where I may or may not know what it is I think compared to some ideological standard, like Mitt Romney, who'd say he's for this or against that from his heart and his handlers had to quietly(as possible) walk it back for him a.s.a.p.

    The entire right-wing agenda is to block government and squash social programs. They seem to imagine that they can accomplish this by redefining the words 'economy', 'American people', 'patriotism', 'the USA' and even 'goodness' itself!

    It's you that doesn't have a leg to stand on when you subscribe to Republican ideology, since it is divisive and senseless.

    For example, Teabaggers cry that Obama is trying to create a police-state in your country, trying to take away your freedom, right?

    And that's a bad thing!

    But the right-wing 'solution' to tragic incidents in schools is to have armed guards present.

    Can you not see that there is no line at all between a de facto police state and armed guards everywhere? But it's not Obama calling for this kind of thing, it's you guys!

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  69. Mike my friend, I don't see any evidence that you think for yourself in these matters. I see you parroting the right wing christian ideology, and I never see you stop and question THAT.

    If you can't even ask hard questions of yourself like 'could I possibly be wrong' then you'll never realize it when you are. Is that how you really want to live your life?

    If so, there's nothing I can do about it, but as a fellow human, I find it a terrible waste and a real shame, and I pity you.

    Do you like pity? Was that what you were going for?

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  70. See Mike, what the truth is, is that there are two sides here. One side is all about belief in things, and that side thinks facts are liberal things that can be discarded and even mocked. The other side knows that the facts are the facts. So we have the believers and those who prefer to think and reason, but the first side doesn't BELIEVE that the second one is actually based in fact, because they BELIEVE they're right no matter what. That's what's happening here. You see people like me as heavily biased, but you see it that way because you're the one that is heavily biased, but you don't even realize it because you can't be honest with yourself.... you're FORBIDDEN to question your beliefs in God, and so you assume that you should not question ANY of your other beliefs!

    For instance, the gun people say that we need MORE guns, and that it's the violence in media and games and movies and so forth and mental illness. Sounds possibly right, doesn't it?

    Now, let's REASON together. Is there a way we can tell which side is right in this? Is there anywhere else other than America that has all the violent media and games and movies and mental illness, that has less guns and has gun control?

    Is there, Mike?


    Check it out. MOST western countries have all of that, and gun control.

    So if your side is right, they should have a similar problem with murders.

    Is that the case, Mike?


    Look it up. It's not the case. We LITERALLY have about ten times more gun deaths than those other places. Literally. Google it. Don't just BELIEVE me, check it out for yourself. THINK instead of just believing.

    Mike, we have five percent of the world's population. And we have over 50 percent of the world's guns.

    This is called a 'no-brainer' because in order to not see which side is right, one has to not possess a brain. (Another way of saying that one is just a believer and not a thinker)

    The problem is of course, all believers, also believe that they are great thinkers!

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  71. What's most amazing to me is, you guys vote for a party that has discarded all of Jesus' Good Words by pretending they're LIBERAL IDEAS, and then demonizing anything liberal! You vote to NOT help the poor, you vote to NOT help the sick, you vote to NOT help the elderly have dignity in their later years, and you vote to take from them all and give it to the RICH. Jesus throws the money lenders out of the temple, and you vote to throw Jesus out and take the money lenders back in! Oh, and here's the funny part, here's the kicker: You call yourselves CHRISTIANS!

    And now, if you reply, you'll tell me how wrong I am, based on your BELIEFS! Your wrongheaded beliefs that just can't be wrong to you, because you BELIEVE they can't and so never think to check them! Too much fun I guess, to get angry at others you perceive to be the enemy, than to take a look within yourself and check if you could possibly be wrong. The kneejerk reaction feels like a rush I guess... you get to bond with all your like-minbded friends over how evil we liberals are, never thinking that you're actually projecting your owns sins onto us.

    This makes you like putty in the hands of evil people that know they can count on people like you to be EASILY FOOLED into doing most anything! Even vote against your own family's interests, over and over.

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  72. I suppose you might see what I say here as basically me saying "LOOK AT ME AND SEE HOW MUCH SMARTER I AM THAN YOU!" As pride on my part.

    Real PRIDE, is never believing that you can be wrong.

    So I see pride in you, and that is what blinds you to even being able to see it in yourself. Your pride causes you to project it onto us instead. Your pride is why you think me the proud one here.

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  73. I derived my positions by reason, by looking to the world and assessing FACTS. I constantly check my opinions, and whenever I find that I have been on the wrong side, I DISCARD my position immediately and change over to the right one, and that doesn't even bother me in the least, because instead of seeing it as a loss, I see it as a win, because THAT IS HOW WE LEARN IN LIFE.

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  74. I think that talking to Mike is like talking to a Republican Congressperson.

    "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

    "Well, I voted 'NO', because the bill didn't address the problem."

    (but the problem, in his mind, is that Barack Obama is the POTUS)

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  75. A Hymn for Mike.

    Have you ever thought about your soul - can it be saved?
    Or perhaps you think that when you're dead you just stay in your grave
    Is God just a thought within your head or is He a part of you?
    Is Christ just a name that you read in a book when you were in school?

    When you think about death do you lose your breath
    Or do you keep your cool?
    Would you like to see the Pope on the end of a rope
    Do you think he's a fool?
    Well I have seen the truth, yes I've seen the light
    And I've changed my ways
    And I'll be prepared when you're lonely and scared
    At the end of our days

    Could it be you're afraid of what your friends might say
    If they knew you believe in God above?
    They should realize before they criticize
    That God is the only way to love

    Is your mind so small that you have to fall
    In with the pack wherever they run
    Will you still sneer when death is near
    And say they may as well worship the sun?

    I think it was true it was people like you that crucified Christ
    I think it is sad the opinion you had was the only one voiced
    Will you be so sure when your day is near, say you don't believe?
    You had the chance but you turned it down, now you can't retrieve

    Perhaps you'll think before you say that God is dead and gone
    Open your eyes, just realize that he's the one
    The only one who can save you now from all this sin and hate
    Or will you still jeer at all you hear?
    Yes! I think it's too late.

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  76. I love it how conservatives are all claiming that this president is responsible for "so much separation and division in this country."

    Yah, because he's a darkie!

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  77. "HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A man fatally shot a woman decorating for a children's Christmas party at a tiny church hall and killed two men elsewhere in a rural township on Friday before he was shot dead in a gunfight with state troopers.

    Three troopers in patrol cars were injured in a pursuit that began after the gunman, driving a pick-up truck, fired at them, police said. One trooper injured a wrist and then was hit in the chest but was saved by a bulletproof vest.

    The gunman was killed during a final exchange of gunfire after ramming his truck head-on into another police cruiser, authorities said.

    The shootings began in Frankstown Township, in central Pennsylvania, at about 9 a.m., and investigators were processing five crime scenes within about a 1.5-mile radius, authorities said at a news briefing Friday afternoon. Troopers were responding to a 911 call of a shooting in the township when they heard calls reporting at least one other shooting elsewhere, state police said.

    "It's going to take us some time to put this all together ... and know exactly what occurred," said Lt. Col. George Bivens, deputy state police commissioner."

    Too much Jesus present?

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  78. Yea Brian, if it wasn't for Obama, there'd be a Rep. Prez, and no-one would notice or care about the climbing debt, the debt ceiling, the war, and all would be well for fertilized eggs!

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  79. He was probably the woman's husband and found out she was banging the pastor...

    So he RE-decorated the church.

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  80. So now Mike drops by and says a few things and then goes away for a few months?

    Mike, I'm thinking of taking your StBtG club card away..... lol...

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  81. A song for pboy,

    I know I’m right cause I went to school
    I studied the books and I aint no fool
    Religion is false so my professors say
    So in their footsteps I’ll walk that way

    I’m proud to claim the atheist name
    Hold my head high I have no shame
    Proudly I fight against the Christian laws
    To prove to all that I got balls

    God in heaven doesn’t worry me
    I’m a god myself can’t you see
    My name is Ian so give me praise
    My words are empty and I ‘m half crazed

    The right is wrong and the left is right
    Or is it the left is left and the right is right
    So many thoughts filling my head
    You know I believe what the professor said

    I once was young but now I’m old
    Can’t think for myself so I’ll do what I was told
    I’ll blast those repubs who have no heart
    Just so I can say I did my part.

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  82. Christian fallacy # 162:

    "Saying that there is no God equals 'I am GOD!' in the atheist's eyes..."

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  83. I liked the youtube cartoon where he proves that Christians know, in their hearts, that it is they themselves who they believe is God.

    God, as far as any Christian is concerned, thinks like him, is insulted when he imagines God should be insulted and so on.

    It makes a lot of sense, that when an atheist tells a Christian that there is no God at all, he acts as if you're denying his existence.

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  84. Mike, professors didn't SAY that God isn't real, not to me at any rate. I had that figured out by the time I was seventeen or so.

    You didn't LISTEN Mike... about believing rather than thinking. We learned to think for ourselves, which basically just means that we learned to ask ourselves questions such as 'can I be wrong?'

    You are not capable of actually asking yourself that question, which makes you just a believer, and not capable of real thought for yourself. You parrot the thoughts of others.

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  85. You prefer to think the thoughts that you are told to think, Mike.

    How can you stand that?

    Ahh, whatever.... not gonna get through the cement wall around your mind.

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  86. I once was young but now I’m old
    Can’t think for myself so I’ll do what I was told
    ---------------
    At least admit that, when an atheist thinks there is no god, they're fucking thinking for themselves, since that's a fucking huge thing, to decide to give up god; if we didn't think on our own, we would not be on our own, and would STILL be in churches and parishes.

    You do frustrate me Mike. You've been taught that you're just frikking right, no matter what, and even that you're the one that thinks for themselves, all the while you're in church repeating words in a book along with a hundred or more other people, all at once, in a repetitive drone, and WE'RE the ones that can't think for ourselves?

    Think, Mike.


    (Not that I think that you even can do that anymore; it's all a reaction now, no thought required)

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  87. I guess the world needs both eagles and parrots.

    Why the latter, I'm not sure, but.....

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  88. Mike, your god, is not worthy of worship. Your religion is not worth following. Your philosophy is bankrupt. Your mind, is closed. Your heart is hardened against others not like yourself. You have no love in you other than the love that is programmed into you, and that's a mighty SELECTIVE way of loving others.

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  89. Christian fallacy # 162:

    "Saying that there is no God equals 'I am GOD!' in the atheist's eyes..."
    -----------------
    They are programmed to believe that because their programmers need them to believe that we're the PROUD ones, and not them.

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  90. Mike, tell me one single ORIGINAL thought that you have, about God.

    One that you've never heard from an outside source.

    Just one thought about God that is yours, and not from outside of you.

    You can't. How could you? They're all taken.

    I can say, as for me, for instance, that I strongly feel that this universe is a kind of a dream, and I think it has to do with everything being one eternal consciousness that needed to separate into the many because of sheer loneliness. I haven't heard that one anywhere else; I though of that wrinkle myself while meditating on it.

    What have YOU got, mister independent thinker Mike? You're not ALLOWED to have an independent thought about your deity, are you?

    HAH! Got you!

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  91. I'm learning how not to hate hatred anymore.

    Hey, it was killing me.

    Ryan was close when he said I needed to see them in the light of PITY. I do pity the theists, but that wasn't touching my anger for them, since in order to pity, one needs to be at least a bit proud, and I hate that shit.

    It's not pity, it's forgiveness. I needed to forgive them.

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  92. Mike:
    Pretty cool poem in response to Pboy!
    But.....
    "I know I’m right cause I went to (Church)
    I studied the (Bible) and I aint no fool
    Religion is (true) so my (Pastors)say
    So in their footsteps I’ll walk that way"

    Please note that one can substitute a religious equivalent in every verse, completely changing the meaning. If this is not a prime example of "the pot calling the kettle...", I don't think I have ever seen one better. You Christians are guilty of very thing you herein accuse us of, in Spades! But... We non-believers have generally come to this after much study and soul searching, especially since our conclusions are often met with disapproval, if not outright hatred, by our families and well-meaning (?), self righteous people like you.
    Merry Christmas (or the Holiday or lack thereof of your choice)!!

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  93. When I said 'lonliness,' it was more than that. It was being one eternal consciousness forever; the One was going insane with nothing to interact with save itself, so it needed to split itself up into the many, at least superficially. Its loneliness was incalculable. I can feel that myself when in an altered state of consciousness.

    It may be incredibly WRONG, but it's my original thought about God, or The One at least.

    Where's yours, Mike? I'm waiting.

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  94. Oh yeah... almost forgot...

    Merry Christmas, Mike. And happy holidays to all.

    We're celebrating the Yule. I need a good log...

    (nah)

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  95. Only thing is, to really forgive, with no pride, one cannot flaunt it. So if I say 'I forgive you Mike' that is again a statement of pride. It puts me above Mike.

    I don't want to be above Mike. I want us to be equal. I want him to be my brother. Somehow.

    If I forgive him his theism, he will not forgive me my atheism, but that has to be okay with me.

    I'm getting there.

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  96. Hey, ya know one really hypocritical thing that christians love to say that really bugs me?

    "Love the sinner but hate the sin"

    They fucking NEVER do that. They SAY it a lot, to give them cover for actually hating the 'sinner.' If they meant it, they'd never denigrate atheists; instead they take great pleasure in doing so, but lie to themselves so they don't feel guilty about being a total hater.

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  97. Atheism is no sin.

    Just sayin'...

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  98. That's why I put it in quotes one time there... I meant, since it's a sin in their eyes, of course. I certainly don't think it's a sin, obviously. But even if they believe it's a sin, they are supposed to also love us atheists in spite of it.

    Of course they don't, however. I mean, just look at how they treat the gays. They never even slightly forgive them, they never love them, they never try to understand them or empathize with them as fellow humans or brothers and sisters... no, instead they demonize everything they deem sinful, regardless of who they hurt.

    Total hypocrites of course.. which is what I was trying to get Mike to see... but getting him to SEE is the problem, of course. He just won't do it. He can't believe that he is wrong, so why bother even asking himself the question?

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  99. Hey Brian,

    The one I hate is when they “Religious people” say I have to love him / her but I don’t like his ways….
    I don’t think that is genuine love.
    God loves us in spite of our ways l believe and we are to love as he loves.



    Harvey,

    Touché, Merry Christmas to all.

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  100. How do you know atheism is not sin ?
    Sin is the transgression of Gods law and as far as I know you have NOT proved God does not exist

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  101. It's not a sin because god does not exist like you think he does, if at all. And we have proved it to ourselves. It doesn't matter if we've proved it to YOU.

    You disrespect us every time you assume that we also are 'governed' by god, when we're not. It's a little like if I kept assuming that you like the devil. You think he's "not that bad."

    Your actual belief is that the devil is bad. If we indicated that you seemed to like him, it would be disrespecting you. You can talk about how YOU believe in god and things are a sin TO YOU. Not to us though. That's just you, being unintentionally rude to us again. See?

    Merry Christmas Mike. I hope you use the time to think on these things, at least a little bit, because to be honest, you're not doing a good job of loving others when you don't understand the others involved. As in, say, us atheists. We like to be respected just like you do. ASSuming we're governed by your pet god, is rude and inconsiderate. So when you call us sinners, you're really just being a bigot for your god.

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  102. (incidentally, I'm trying to respect you more as well, Mike, if you can't tell)

    (so I'm not asking for what I'm not prepared to give in return)

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  103. Mike:
    No, we haven't "proved" anything, especially since one cannot prove a negative (i.e. There is no God). However, since you must base all of your definitions of "sin" on the (likewise "unproven") belief that there is a God and, in particular, the so-called Christian one logic would tell us that there is in whom you choose to believe (with no more "proof" than the alledged writings of assorted men who perhaps may have lived two thousand odd years ago), there is considerably more likelihood that we are right in stating that: "if there is no God, than there can be no sin". This latter statement cannot be refuted in any way other than to "prove" the existance of your God, which neither you nor a long line of apologists (most of whom were/are Catholic and, as such, should carry very little weight with a "born again" Protestant such as you seem to be) have yet succeeded in doing. What you don't seem to get is that to an atheist, neither sin nor "salvationm" has any meaning.

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  104. Also Mike, if say you were to meet a muslim and insisted that his god is not the real god, you would be being rude and unloving to that muslim. Same thing with any belief, or with no belief at all. If you call the muslim a sinner when he's following HIS religion, that would be very rude indeed. Just as if he called you a sinner for just following your faith. It works the same with atheists, plus it tends to make some of us automatically hate you back when you disrespect us by insisting that your god is judging US and we're sinning.

    It also makes it seem that it's YOU that is the judgmental one, and not your god.

    But hey, do what you will.

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  105. What you don't seem to get is that to an atheist, neither sin nor "salvationm" has any meaning
    ----------------
    None at all. Not to me. Those things are what other people believe in, not me. They're not real to me, Mike. Salvation is like saying 'Unicorn' to me. I do NOT believe in your religion, and assuming that I must, is just being religiously DENSE.

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  106. Mike, prove to ME that your god exists. Do it. Do it now.

    I assume that you realize that you cannot.

    So stop assuming that we know it to be true somehow. We know no such thing.

    If god doesn't exist, there is no sin. You can't prove that he exists. In fact, at least WE can point to things that *seem* to indicate that it's unlikely that he does. All you have on the other side there, is your faith, and to us, that's just being a silly person and believing in things with no PROOF.

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  107. Mike:
    (Further)
    BTW, I, for one, have always accepted that you speak from conviction and belief. Perhaps, since I am apparently totally at peace with the fact that this life is all there is and that when I die I will return to whatever state of being I may or may not have had before the moment of my conception, and that I have absolutely no fear about this, I have been less affected emotionally by some of your posts that imply that we atheists "hate God"/are damned for all eternity/have no hope of salvation/musr "find" Jesus/etc. I choose to believe that you somehow feel that the "disrespect" that you show (Brian's words) is justified by your hope that you may get at least one of us to "see the light". If I am correct about this and you are NOT falling prey to either pride (a major sin, I believe) or lack of true love for your neighbor (as I am told Christ taught us), but are simply seeking affirmation from us non-believers that "you have it right" in the only way you can before your own death, then I, for one, can express the "Christain" virtue and truly forgive you for your lack of sensitivity for the feelings of others.

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  108. I was reading an article about christian mystics on HuffPo and in the commentary the religious christians were objecting to mysticism by saying that 'it's not religious!'

    But call it a religion in order to compare it to other religions, and they say 'it's not a religion, it's a philosophy!'

    Whatever they want it to be in the moment, I guess. It's malleable. Like their minds.

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  109. Christianity is not a religion, it's a great big steaming pile!

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  110. Well, there is that. However, its a big steaming pile that its believers see as incense and flowers and a baby in a manger and The Ultimate Good.

    See, when something bills itself as 'The Ultimate Good' a lot of pure evil can be hidden behind that. The faithful can't see it; they see what they're told to see, so the religion can be as rotten as it feels like being. We can see it, but when we point it out to them, they've been told that we're not to be listened to because we're EEEEEVUL. So nice, neat package; what a scam.

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  111. It makes people like Mike truly believe that he can't be wrong, even when he no longer follows his own Jesus. He buys it; there's no doubt in his mind. Doubt is eeevul. Disbelief is eeevul. To ask even a question, is eeevul. Everything that he doesn't agree with is eeevul. How Dare We Not Believe As He Does? What SINNERS we all must be to deny his magic father in the sky... How dare we point out to him that his belief system is hypocritical? What's wrong with US?

    (never ever thinking there could be anything wrong with him, of course)(that's forbidden)

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  112. I don't know why it is that it's only me who seems to see the self-hypnosis part of the thing. How could anyone convince themselves that they're good, that they must be good, because they're Godly, that Godliness is good despite witch and heretic burning, hanging and generally killing off over the centuries.

    Ask any mullah and he'll tell you that they treat their people good and are peaceful and tolerant, and he'll do it while watching videos of Muslims setting shit on fire and killing people because they feel that their religion has been affronted somehow.

    I'm damned sure that they'd laugh along if we were talking about how Christians are all so tolerant and peaceful while describing the Inquisition, so it's not that they can't 'see' evil.

    They just can't see it in themselves. Must be the same reason that they can see how the Outsider Test of Faith should work on everyone else except themselves.

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  113. Question for Harvey,

    I’ve often wondered how someone as yourself an ENT doctor if I’m not mistaken could come to the conclusion that man evolved into what he is today.
    I have seen the inside of the ear and somewhat understand how it works. To me it screams creation just like the reproduction system …. In all logic I understand the women being designed for a purpose, the purpose of the continuation of mankind and lets not forget the males role in this. If you look at Darwin’s theory, one would have to fill in the blanks with ones imagination to come to the conclusion that is accepted today . To this day science is still plagued with uncertainties of mans origin.
    Would you agree?

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    Replies
    1. Mike:
      Thank you for a thoughtful question. I will try to respond as honestly and as briefly as possible.
      I have spent over forty years as an Otolaryngologist, during which time I have been particularly fascinated by developmental anatomy (the study of embryological and species specific development of all structures) in the head and neck, including the ear. We have known for over a century that "ontogeny (embryologic development) recapitulates phylogeny (species development/evolution)". In simple terms, this means that if we study how embryos develop from a fertilized ovum into a fully formed fetus (of any type of animal, whether fish, fowl, or human) ready for birth, organ systems (like the ear) develop along the same pathways as they have evolved over the millennia from previous ancient life forms. In other words, Human embryos (as do all mammals) go through periods of embryonic development wherein we have gills, no backbone, a tail, no arms or legs, at which point we look remarkably like tadpoles. All of these more primitive structures are gradually modified to either disappear or be rearranged for other uses or structures that are appropriate to our bodies as new-born infants.
      I, too, have been amazed at the beauty and complexity of many of our human organ systems, but I am also aware that we Humans are in no way different or "special" in this regard when compared to any other animal species, all of whom have changed dramaticly over the millennia from the "simpler" life forms from which we may have developed.
      The long and the short of all this, at least to me, in no way argues for a "designer" or creator. Rather, one can see, if one studies what we already know beyond any shadow of a doubt through scientific study of embryology, archeology, geology, etc, etc, with an open mind, everything points away from the complexities of our bodies having been "designed", much less "created" at some fixed point in the last 6,000 to 7,000 years, and supports the understanding we have gained (as yet admittedly incomplete) as to how everything living has, in fact evolved from preceding life forms. Certainly, none of this can be said to "prove" evolution (NOT Darwinism) is correct, but the overwhelming body of evidence certainly strongly suggests that it is true. How any thinking person can simply ignore or choose not to "believe" all of this, in favor of the writings of several alledged writers from the Bronze age and/or several more from roughly 2000 years ago (none of them supported by any of secular recorded history) is exceedingly difficult for me to understand, although I accept that many Christians do exactly so.

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  114. I don't know why it is that it's only me who seems to see the self-hypnosis part of the thing. How could anyone convince themselves that they're good, that they must be good, because they're Godly, that Godliness is good despite witch and heretic burning, hanging and generally killing off over the centuries.


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    Pboy, what you are failing to see is this, I will use “if” for your benefit . “If “God does exist and created all things for his pleasure as stated in the Bible Then it would be up to the creator to say what is good and or evil, Right. In fact if God deemed those who practiced witchcraft and those who were heretics to be transgressors of His laws then what is man to reply against Him.

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  115. Mike:

    BUT, and this is a very big but....
    We always must come back to the problem of "faith" (belief with no evidence that said belief is supported by observable fact(s).
    You are correct "IF" God exists in the form you have chosen (or been indoctrinated) to believe. If not, then all of your preaching is "as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal". You have taken part in these blog discussions for some time now, and it cannot have escaped you that even Eric has not been able to "prove" the existance of God, without needing to resort to at least "a kernel of faith", which, if it is lacking in those of us who have striven to find a reason to "believe" (i.e. studied what both philosophers/apologists and scientists have been able to tell us), cannot be effectively attacked by anyone (even you) who berates us for our lack of belief.

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  116. I have plantar fasciitis, it's painful, but manageable and I can even still run competitively with stretching and orthodics.

    The point being, if we were designed to walk upright from day 1, we would expect a different arrangement of the plantar tendon in the foot. However, if we evolved from smaller brachiating primates whose feet would be used to hold limbs, we would expect the see the plantar tendon as it is today and we would expect it to cause a huge pain in the ass when it is overused (because of the way it had to stretch as our foot flattened out for bipedal locomotion over the millennial).

    There is a similar example related to a nerve (I think) in the giraffe.

    And no, Mike, the fall does not explain this (adequatly)

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  117. Mike, you say, " “If “God does exist and created all things for his pleasure as stated in the Bible Then it would be up to the creator to say what is good and or evil, Right."

    This is a legal technicality. You're basically giving witch-burners and heretic-hangers an escape clause.

    But, if you're willing to be honest, you'll notice that if the Bible states God's pleasure, and it doesn't suit you, you'll drum up another legal technicality as an escape clause.

    Christians who work on the Sabbath. No problem, there is a legal technicality for that, an escape clause.

    When we start couching acts of murder(witch-burning, heretic hanging) in seemingly black and white terms(God's pleasure as per the Bible), it seems to be that we are constrained to couch everything in black and white terms(God's pleasure as per the Bible) for less lethal Godly Commands such as resting on the Sabbath.

    Either that or we're just playing politics. I think we all know that Bible-believers are inclined to play politics since we all know that there isn't one Christianity, there isn't one single interpretation of the Bible, there isn't even just one Bible.

    I'm thinking that you accept the King James Bible as the definitive version, as if God, the Hebrews, the Jews and all the early Bishops spoke Elizabethan English.

    But now it's politics since you accept only those books in that version and only the translation of those books, whether right or wrong, by those translators, and so on.

    If all this doesn't bother you at all, or if it does when it suits you, then you're a politican at heart, basically it's just a game you play for fun.

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  118. Harvey, thank you for your very informative response to my question. All though it was basic for my sake still a lot to process.

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  119. Our spines are poorly designed for upright walking, showing that they originally were evolved for quadrupedal locomotion. We even have tiny remnants of a tail (coccyx) and some people are born with short tails. (true!)

    If God designed us to be like this, like we are, he's a bad designer! I wonder WHY he'd design us with things that seem to be definite remnants of previous designs?

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  120. Re: Mike, you say, " “If “God does exist and created all things for his pleasure as stated in the Bible Then it would be up to the creator to say what is good and or evil, Right."

    What you seem to be saying here is that you study the Bible to determine what is good or evil because you cannot know good from evil without studying the Bible.

    I know, there are different perspectives here. You could say that no, you're studying the Bible to understand what God considers good and what God considers evil.

    But as a worshipper of said God, once you've studied up on it, wouldn't you say it's your duty to God to consider what God says is evil, evil and what God says is good, good?

    So there's a bit of a juggling act going on there, What God says. What the Bible says, what you say the Bible says that God says, and so on.

    In this way, you can always be a 'shadow warrior', retreating from 'God says', to, 'The Bible says', to, 'I say that the Bible says that God says'.

    This is called ducking and weaving, dodging or just 'dancing around'.

    Surely you can see that this lawyering, this 'God determines for me what is good and what is evil', bringing that to an atheist blog is silly.

    You're statement above is consistent with itself and well done, and so what? Because If there is no God, then the Bible is telling you what the writers, whoever they were, the Bible is telling readers what they considered good and evil, what they considered true and false, what they considered right and wrong.

    But either way, the Bible is describing what is good and true and right for those people, the writers, at the time they wrote it, of course, and with the idea that there is a God(of course), Who is looking out for them(the writers), for their tribe, Who is demanding obedience of them, Who is making deals with them.

    If you believe that God came down to Earth in the form of a man to give us the good news that we will live forever and hammered home the point by allowing himself to be executed in the most agonizing way possible, then you really don't know good from evil.

    It is NOT good to imagine that God, in human form, allowed himself to be executed. Things you have said and done which are wrong, evil or false are YOUR problem and only the people you have lied to and done wrong to can forgive you.

    Equating a horrifying execution with 'good'(a sacrifice for your sins) is typical confusion technique, and like two pieces of two different puzzles which can never fit, this confusion technique fragments your 'reality', your 'worldview' leading you to seek a solution.

    Your solution is that evil isn't determined by 'what we think is evil', no, it's determined by what the Bible says God considers evil.



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  121. Is killing your own son because he drinks and talks back to you, good or evil?

    If you said 'evil' then you're absolutely correct!

    And yet, God supposedly said that; it's right there in Leviticus.

    If you can ignore some of the Bible, then you can just ignore it all. You can't pick and choose which parts do not apply to you.

    So the next time you see someone working on the sabbath, kill them quickly. It's God's Law!

    You know who really FOLLOWS the Bible?

    Fred Phelps. That's who. He is what you get, when you take it all literally.

    Mike, that's your spiritual goal, to become like Fred Phelps!

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  122. Morality that is not based in the idea of loving all others, in *empathy,* is false morality!

    That's it. That is all. It's not complicated. If you put yourself in others places, really think about what it means to actually BE THEM, and treat them as they would want to be treated, you are a moral person. If not, then not.

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  123. A real and actual sacrifice for our sins, is for us to apologize for them and make up for them.

    But that hurts. So it's a lot easier to have some god's son come down from heaven and die for them, so we are spared that pain. (And are also spared that LESSON.)

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  124. So essentially, if you can't imagine what it really is like *being* an atheist (for exanple) then you cannot treat one in a truly moral manner. If you don't know what it's like to BE them, you can't properly be good to them. All you can do is judge them by your own yardstick, and that's just not MORAL.

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  125. Mike, do you come here to post because you are certain that you are right and want us to see it too, or because you are not certain that you are right and seek more information?
    Just curious.

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  126. Mike, you are aware that there are some churches, some pastors, that totally agree with me and not with you, right? Many of them, in fact, although they're outnumbered by those who do not.

    I see good, moral christians out there; their voices however, are a bit drowned out by the very LOUD ones that are not so good.

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  127. A pastor that seeks common ground with those of other faiths, and with those who do not even believe in a faith, is a good person, because he seeks to unite people and not divide them. Those that seek to divide, are in my opinion, truly evil.

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  128. Honestly Mike, I think that you realised that you weren't going to be pushing back the frontiers of human knowledge, as most of us realise, that you weren't going to be some sports superstar, as most of us realise, and that you weren't going to be a celebrity, as most of us realise.

    I think that you found a purpose in your life though, and that purpose is to tell everyone how wrong they are, if they consider pushing back the frontiers of knowledge or being a contender at some sport or being adored by millions for artistic talent(acting, singing etc.) a real purpose, that purpose is to convince yourself about how right you are.

    This is not to say that you think yourself undeserving, of course, after all, we do hear from you, on occasion, that if only the World were Godly enough, your business ventures might have taken a turn for the better, right?

    You've told us that if it weren't for undesirable(in your eyes)politicians, messing with your Christian Nation, that you'd be a happy, prosperous religious zealot, studying away what the Bible tells you God considers evil, perhaps discovering even more flaws in our pitiful understanding of good and evil, but in a happier, richer way. You know, with that new Beemer or new Dodge Ram instead of that old POS you're stuck with, all on account of the unGodliness of your government, and nothing whatsoever to do with bad timing or the vagaries of World events.

    But that's just what I think Mike. Merry CHRISTmas.

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  129. Revisited, yet again: Re: Mike, you say, " “If “God does exist and created all things for his pleasure as stated in the Bible Then it would be up to the creator to say what is good and or evil, Right."

    If you're telling me that you read the intolerance of God in your Bible and deem that 'goodness', if you read the admission of jealousy by God(For I am a jealous God..) and deem that 'goodness', if you read your Bible and deem the magical hardening of the Pharaoh's heart to be 'goodness' and on and on including genocide by God(The Flood), the genocide of peoples by God's command, and on and on, to be 'goodness' as God's 'real-life', 'historical examples', then truly, Mike, truly you are clueless as to what goodness is, except to believe that it is what the Bible tells us God says it is.

    So, it's okay with you if your God is a heartless bastard, since only HE can tell us what is good?

    Hey, if we were Vikings at the beginning of the second millenium, we may imagine that robbing, raping and pillaging were a good thing, you know, from a selfish point of view, I suppose.

    But where do you get off telling us that God is kind of like a Viking in that HE is so damned self-centred HE can be a total bastard in one part of the Bible, then extoll us to do unto others as we'd have them do unto us?

    So, in your mind, what God's message to us is, "Read the books, goodness is what I feel, and you can be good like me if that suits you, or read on and be good, as in not assholey, like I tell you further on in a newer(Gospel) book!"?

    Can you really have it both ways that God defines goodness as intolerant, envious because he is God but that God defines goodness as what we all know is goodness?

    Y'see how that is confusion technique too. You're stuck with two opposing ideas in your head that demands a solution for you to have a consistent view of what good is.

    So, no, Mike, no. Goodness isn't what HE(as Jesus tells us) is good, what we all know is good, in one part of the Bible, and some arbitrary, 'whatever his pleasure is', in an earlier part.

    That there is two Gods which don't agree with each other. You can see that, right Mike? A child should be able to see that. Anyone but a sociopath ought to be able to see that.

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  130. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Christians are absolutely correctamundo!

    There is an all-powerful God. He says what is good and what is not. There are witches and they deserve no better than to be burned!

    Why does God need you to kill witches? What happened to God's all-powerful thang?

    How much pressure would you, Mike, have to be under, to go ahead and kill a witch? Wouldn't you think that anyone acting like a witch, however you define that, wouldn't you think that they're just nuts?

    And, wouldn't you think that if the all-powerful God wanted them dead, HE could just go ahead and kill them?

    I can't see any problem with this.

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  131. You're being reasonable and logical again, Pboy. It'll only piss him off.

    (Sorry, Mike, but hey, that's how I've seen it over the years.... I don't even dislike you... I hate the sin, not the sinner... lol..)

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  132. Judge not, lest ye be judged!

    How is this simple sentence misinterpreted? It amazes me to hear the excuses and the spin and the caviling and the backpedaling that so many so-called christians do when confronted with it. It's so direct that it can't be negated without looking like a headstrong egotistical fool who lets their personal desires get in the way of unassailable logic, and yet it would be SO PAINFUL for christians to follow that very direct directive, that they seem not to care how bad it looks not to.

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  133. Mike:

    In a somewhat less aggressive vein, I hope that you will be able to at least consider that what I have outlined above in answer to your specific question, is, in fact, correct Ialthough purposely somewhat simplified) and that, as such, one can check up on the "truth" of what I have said. It is understanding some of this well established scientific evidence that may allow you to think just a little bit about how accurate the statements you have read by other Young Earth fundamentalists, claiming that anything outside of literal interpretation (usually theirs) of the King James version of the Bible is not only false, but should be totally ignored, lest it might make someone "doubt", really are. And... if any of these "truths" are open to even a little questioning, (God Forbid!!), then who knows where such "doubt" might lead?? It seems to me that if someone has real, sincere faith in God, it should be able to withstand at least a little study of the facts of life as science has come to know them without shaking such faith or threatening your immortal soul.

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  134. I think if Mike didn't have some serious doubts, he wouldn't spend any time in here at all.

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  135. Naw Ed, I think that Mike is up for a little verbal fencing around this time of year, a la his 'CHRISTmas' jab. I really believe he imagined us cringeing at his sharp reparte.

    It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Mike's thinking was something along the lines of, "Well Christmas is real, ergo Christ is real, ergo atheists are full of shit!"

    Just look at his poem!! Filled to bursting with Christian misrepresentation of how and why atheists don't think that there are any gods. It's not as if he doesn't have the facts at his disposal, he's on the internet. A bing search of 'evolution' brings up the Wikipedia entry, the simple language entry and the Conservipedia, likely the 'goto' site for the likes of Mike jumps right into it with both feet accusing 'believers in the evolutionary paradigm' of simply having a 'gut feeling' that it is right! These guys are masters of turning-tables on stuff they oppose, since of course everyone who believes in God has this 'gut feeling' that they're right, if nothing else.

    On another site it is stated that the majority of biology teachers are leery of teaching evolution as an overarching science which bridges biology, chemistry, geology, paleontology and so on and so forth. How teachers can possibly be allowed to teach biology as science then neglect to explain evolution as a supporting science is beyond me, since presumably their students may need to take university science courses later in their education.

    Anyways, it is interesting to me how Christians can encourage their kids to take science courses, knowledge about our World is a good thing, until it comes to evolution, where they want to jam creatioinst ideas in there as if their religion demands it.

    Conversely, if we try to discuss the history of religion in the light of science, e.g. scientists finding no archeological record for the supposed city of Nazareth at the supposed time of Jesus, Christians skip over this fact as if that were simply opinion too.

    "My belief in a historical Jesus outweighs the fact that there is no evidence of a city of Nazareth at the time in question! IOW, I reject reality and substitute my own."

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  136. But, Pboy, it seems clear to me that this rigid rejection of scientific knowledge is essential for fundamentalist Christians, since to recognize (let alone accept) any of it flies in the face of their need for ressurance that their hoped for "life", beyond this real one is at elast a possibility for them. All of it is about fear of death and apprehension that all of the time and effort they have put into religious ritual and the extensive modification of personally positive behaviors in this life to try to make it into the next has been futile and wasted. Scientific knowledge threatens the very foundations of their blind dependency upon Scripture and its interpretations by their Pastors.

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  137. I 'get that' Harvey. But it is a certainty to me that people at the supposed time of Jesus believed that diseases, such as leprosy, was a curse, curable by priests, as described in Leviticus(I think), the priests examination for white spots, the pigeon blood or whatnot, but Christians today will deny that those people were under the delusion that diseases were curses or caused by demons.

    They deny this because the Gospels have Jesus casting out disease demons, or lifting disease curses or whatnot they deny this because WE KNOW that diseases are caused by fungi, virii and bacteria, and it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that that is so.

    Here's an example of a Christian apologist working around the fact that there was no Nazareth at the time Jesus supposedly lived.

    "Christ’s city was Jewish until the 4th century A.D according to the historian Epiphanes. But, in fact, It lasted until the 7th century."

    - http://www.rslissak.com/content/nazareth-was-jewish-town-hundreds-years

    Notice how there are no lies there. Nazareth is, according to the Gospels, Christ's city. It likely was a Jewish settlement until the 4th Century. Those statements don't deny that there was no Nazareth city at the supposed time of Christ, no.

    It's like this apologist is saying, "I won't tell a lie, but I don't have to tell the whole truth, this isn't a court of law here."

    But how historical can the Gospels be if the supposed city central to the story didn't exist at the time?

    Apologists can, apparently, white out such truths with a blizzard of conjecture and technical truths.

    Here's another example:- " The process by which Nazareth has been transformed from a Christian city to a Muslim one began during the British Mandate period and accelerated since the establishment of the State of Israel."

    But he never explained to us how it turned from a Jewish city into a Christian city. I'm guessing that there's some reason to omit this detail, and if pressed, this apologist could summon several other Christian articles mentioning 'something' about it, a blizzard of words whiting out the importance of the question, trivializing it to the point of complete disappearance.

    They'll walk you down this diversion or that, down this or that rabbit-hole, explain how it's a matter of opinion refer you to ten more articles doing the same thing, call into question historical methodology, invoke metaphysics if they can, then act as if it's been settled in their favour!

    Why the Nazareth thing is not beyond a shadow of a doubt is beyond me except, as you say, they SO WANT their promise of everlasting life to be true, that any science that can be doubted, will be doubted, willful ignorance will be invoked, presumably with the very least of outright lying possible, but omission of details are to be encouraged.

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  138. Atheism is not a sin.
    It is a nonprophet organization ;-)

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  139. One is taught from his youth up was is right / wrong or good / evil and we are taught what is acceptable behavior and what is not.
    The problem here is who or what set the standard.
    If one is honest , good ,kind, loving and all together a good person someone instilled that into them, wouldn’t you agree?

    I study the Bible to learn about God and His will concerning mankind. In it we learn what God is pleased or displeased with. It teaches that God has set the standard for mankind to walk before in a manner that is pleasing to Him seeing He is the judge of the quick and dead.

    One can make such a determination after one searches it out yes.

    When it comes to repeating what the Bible says I have tried to be as honest about it as I know how.

    There is no ducking and weaving about it. I never said a person could live his life to the jot and tittel.

    Silly or not I still find it interesting don’t you?

    Yes , but what would be the point? I mean who cares if a man commits adultery? Accept God .
    Who cares if man worshiped a silver dollar or a catholic cross, accept God who found it offensive.
    If you were to look logical and the ten commandments who would care if a man practiced them or not? The only one who would care would be the God that established them for the purpose of a person walking upright before him.

    What was written many years ago is still just as good today as the day it was written, I mean what is wrong with love your neighbor, or give unto them that are without? What is wrong with a man being faithful to his wife so long as they both shall live?

    It was the son of God who came in the likeness of sinful flesh who gave himself as a sacrifice to God to pay the sin debt that man owed to God for willfully breaking His commandments. It took the shedding of His blood to pay the sin debt . That is the ultimate sacrifice the righteous for the unrighteous . The example is seen in the book of Geneses when God slew the animal and took the skin to cover their nakedness.

    God is the one who determined it was wrong to sin lie steal and so on . If man is offended it is because of Gods standard of what is right or wrong.

    Christ is the solution ….if there be no Christ there be no solution for the sin /evil that man is plagued with.


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  140. Oh Mike. You're so lost. So sad. You are so very wrong about these things, but you insist that you are right, so NO PROBLEM, huh?

    I really do pity you. I can't help it. It's very sad.

    Yeah, who would care if we say, killed others? Who, other than society, because you are killing their members? As your neighbor, I would care... But that doesn't count to you, because you need to prove something that isn't real, so you take what you need to prove it, and never consider alternate explanations.

    You're a pretty fucked up dude, Mike. I'd pray for you, but hey, I don't believe, and furthermore, look how much good prayer has done for you. It's what has caused it. Your psychosis.

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  141. Christ is the solution ….if there be no Christ there be no solution for the sin /evil that man is plagued with.
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    Baby talk is cute. When I was about six or so, I might have agreed with you. But that was before I learned that the world was complex and not a simple black-and-white fairy tale...But hey, you don't even follow Jesus now, so why even listen to a flawed messenger like you are? You can't LISTEN, all you can do is TALK, and you certainly can't ACT in a godly manner, since you tend to hate others a whole lot. Your level of ignorance is practically astronomical... and you love it that way! Pffft! I dismiss you as someone serious that I might listen to. Not that I really took you seriously before... lol... you've never given me any indication that you're worth taking seriously. Sorry. Wish you were different. More friendly, more open to discussion, able to listen..... More empathetic, more loving of others..... not gonna happen though. You're stuck in mental cement. Hey, wallow in your pride, that's all you really have.

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  142. I can forgive you your ignorance, but it's a really shameful thing, and frankly it embarrasses me. What a waste of a life.

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  143. When a christian child asks real questions of his religion, over and over, all his life, the result is ME.

    When they do not, due to fear of even asking them, and prefer to live in ignorance rather than learn anything new about their faith, the result is YOU.

    You can see, and you also can know, that your faith doesn't stand up to questioning. You know that. To me that is proof that it is either totally false or at the minimum a bankrupt philosophy. But you excuse it's gaping holes somehow, and pretend that it passes all tests. Unreal.

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  144. When it comes to repeating what the Bible says I have tried to be as honest about it as I know how.
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    Let me re-phrase this so you can see how it sounds to me:

    "When it comes to repeating a fable word for word to prove a fact that I cannot otherwise prove, I am as honest as I know how."

    Hey, I can be really honest and accurate in my repeating "The Lord of the Rings" to you, and still never come close to proving to you the existence of elves and orcs.

    Can you at least see that much, or have you literally dug out your own eyes so as not to see?

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  145. It teaches that God has set the standard for mankind to walk before in a manner that is pleasing to Him seeing He is the judge of the quick and dead.
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    God's standard is hypocritical. The ten commandments are hypocritical. And like eight of them are irrelevant in today's world. And many of them are summarily ignored by YOU and other christians as if it said that it was okay to do that in the bible, when you know that it said the very opposite, that you cannot ignore any of it.

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  146. Do you realize that, to me, to us, saying that you have 'faithfully repeated the bible to us' as if that were some proof to you that the ball is in our court now, that you've done your part, that you've spoken the absolute truth because hey, someone wrote it down in this old book, it sounds idiotic? Can you SEE that? Can't you even admit that to us, repeating your book is less than useless, that in addition to being useless, it's like you are screaming "I AM IGNORANT" to us? Like you were proud of it?

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  147. Mike, not to brag but I follow Jesus' words more than you do. That's because I can understand them, what they mean. And I didn't decide to follow Jesus; I follow my heart, and that happens to coincide with Jesus' words more than your heart does. I feel the pain of others not like me. I can imagine what it would be like to be the others in my life, and I treat them accordingly. Why don't you, I often wonder? The only answer that I can come up with, is that you got caught by the pharisees, and decided that their way is more fun since it places YOU above others, makes you feel superior. My heart bleeds for the world, but your heart feels smug in it's perceived better-ness and holiness and correctness, and so you never get the the actual CARING part of the equation.

    That's it, right?


    Here's a test: Describe to me the heart of a muslim terrorist. Can you find any VIRTUE there, or is it all just evil to you? Can you see that they are your brethren as well, and they think they're as right as you think that you are? There but for the grace of whatever, goes you. Or me, for that matter. They are people too. But to many christians, they are the THEM that they can be afraid of and hence hate. I cannot hate them. I cannot hate you.

    I bet you can't say the same, Mike. I bet you can't. And yet, WWJD? You really think he'd be more like you, than me in this matter? You really think Jesus wouldn't feel compassion toward them? If you do, you're more of a fool than I even thought. Jesus FORGAVE the ones nailing him to the cross, AS THEY WERE DOING IT. So I know the answer here.

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  148. Christ is the solution ….if there be no Christ there be no solution for the sin /evil that man is plagued with.
    ----------------------
    Which raises the obvious question: Do christian believers in Christ actually tend to act morally better in the world?

    NOPE.

    So we can dismiss your point there. Buh-bye.

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  149. I never said a person could live his life to the jot and tittel.
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    People used to do precisely that, and they would execute anybody that didn't.

    If you tried to today you'd be imprisoned for life, but that is indeed what the book tells us to do.

    You're failing to obey the bible, so you're failing to obey your god. Period. You failed.

    If you can just pick and choose which parts you want to believe in and which parts you don't, then you may as well just trash the whole thing. That's what it itself tells us; that we must believe in it all.

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  150. Mike:

    Absent his obvious frustration with what he sees as your blindness to even the possibility that your dependence upon scripture (as you have been taught to interpret it) may not be totally true or accurate. Brian makes some very telling points.
    1) You choose to believe that no Human being can possibly make valid ethical judgements without reference to your God or Jesus. History (not science) tells us clearly that you are wrong in this. Mankind has made such judgements and recorded them, in many cases before the Bible was set down and, for the most part, these were in fact the basis for the Bible itself. Unless you choose to believe that the many different men who penned parts of Scripture were personally told by God what to write down (and I am well aware that many of you fundies choose to thimk so). their writings clearly represent previously accumulated ethical wisdom from a long line of their forebears.
    2) If you want to look at the Ten Commandments, most of which deal with how man should deal with his fellows and are incapsulated in the Golden Rule, all of them implicitly say that these "moral" behaviors have survival value for being allowed to enter or remain in a family/tribe/nation in which OTHER HUMANS will sit in judgement upon your behavior. In this regard, what "GOD" says about it is simply what most people would agree is appropriate interpersonal behavior.
    3) It is ONLY when you choose to bring hoped-for "eternal life" into the mix that ANY considerations of what your Deity may think about your behavior becomes the least bit important.
    To us non-believers, since we see no valid reasons to believe that there is any God, let alone some eternal reward after we die, all the rest of your religion is entirely beside the point. Those of us who have empathy, as Brian points out, are easily able to make judgements about what constitutes ehtical behavior in any situation, simply by appreciating how we would like to be treated if we were "walking in the other guy's moccasins".

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  151. I think the argument could be made that real empathy is impossible for a fundamentalist. A believer always approaches these situations with s sense of superiority as a starting point. Since the failing of some hypothetical other group is because of their failure to believe doctrine X, then whatever happens to them is god's judgement not anything that I have to own. If you alone are responsible then, well, you may take pause.

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  152. That is a good point, Pliny. I would agree.

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  153. Mike, Mike, Mike.

    "It was the son of God.."(who is God) ".. who came in the likeness of sinful flesh.."(flesh is automatically sinful?) ".. who gave himself.."(the son of God who is God) ".. as a sacrifice to God.."(a sacrifice of himself to himself) ".. to pay the sin debt.."(God is not all-merciful then) ".. that man owed to God for willfully breaking His commandments."(Adam and Eve knew His commandments?) "It took the shedding of His blood to pay the sin debt . (that is contrived, evil and ugly! And who would worship a God who demands blood!?) "That is the ultimate sacrifice the righteous for the unrighteous ."(Only the victims of the unrighteous can forgive them) "The example is seen in the book of Geneses when God slew the animal and took the skin to cover their nakedness.(It's a senseless 'example'. A blood-thirsty(no matter how you dress it up) God is not worth a damn!)

    Any questions, Mike?

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  154. God is the one who determined it was wrong to sin lie steal and so on

    This only works if you have some way to determine that the particular "scripture" you are using as you basis of gods determinations of right/wrong is unimpeachable. The bible, the qur'an and the rest are not. And so you are just left with people telling you what god thinks, which is worthless really.

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  155. He's probably shaking with anger now, if he even reads what we write to him anymore.

    How to tell the wrong, that they are wrong? Always a problem. If they're not religious, you can just prove it to them. They may not like it, but they have to admit it for to not do so would be worse by far than just being wrong the first time...

    If they're religious, all bets are off.

    Right, Mike?

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  156. he even reads what we write to him anymore.

    He doesn't. "Teleological argument? No, ok, Argument from Morality then? Take that!!! wait, no?"

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  157. NEW POST IS UP!!!

    This conversation got me to thinkin'.....

    See you all there!

    NEW POST

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  158. What Mike seems to be suggesting is that no matter what circumstances one grows up in, no matter what anyone was actually taught as they were simply understanding the World the best they could, let's ignore all that and assume that 'how things ought to be' is implanted in everyones' minds somewhere along the line.

    I don't imagine that he'd go as far as to believe that everyone knows that they really ought to be Christian if they grow up in a Muslim society, with Muslim parents, but it is some vague notion that we all kind of have a KJV in our minds, divine knowledge, perhaps given to us when God blesses the splooge on it's way to the ova even under the most sinful of sinning situations, sex.

    But we are all victims of circumstance here. It's not 'random' though. It's random for some imaginary, 'someone who is about to be born', because we can imagine it that way, but each birth is a unique event, under unique circumstances.

    We can surely sympathise with the poor baby who is born in Africa to parents who are starving due to a drought, that's the premise of many commercials, the babies are in dire straits through no fault of their own, send us $15 a month and we can change this poor, starving baby's future.

    But, when it comes to looking after our own, when it comes to babies being born to poor people in this country(whether it be Canada or the USA), they realise that 'we' is suddenly not just 'a concerned individual' but everyone having to chip in whether they like it or not.

    This is bad according to Mike, but himself, having a dynasty, a la Abraham, with all this kids and kid's kids beholden to him, like he's a frickin mafia boss, is, apparently a good thing and nothing could go wrong there.

    This is a much shortened version of 'where the truth leads us if we only imagine it', compared to Mike's, 'where the Bible stories lead us, if we don't bother looking at the reality of the situation'.

    In Mike's 'truth', Adam and Eve are the original patriarchs, they own all of these divisions and hatreds and the 'uses against thems' that we find ourselves in, they own all the ignorances, bigotry, etc. that exists today.

    In Mike's truth, we all have favourites, despise others, are prone to murder, theft, lust etc. etc. not because his God is prone to have favourites and despise those who will not obey, no, that's not necessarily a bad thing. We're prone to these 'sins' because we're 'sinners'. Mike's truth makes no sense at all if he were to ponder it, so he refuses to do that.

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