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Thread: Scripture: History or Fantasy?
March 26th, 2012, 11:18 AM #2266
Hello old thread!
I can't say I've ever really struggled over that question. Perhaps I am a primitive creature, but it's never given me too much trouble. I am "for" the superficially simple code which I adopted many years ago: there are only two sins, cruelty and cowardice. Avoid those two, and your treatment of yourself and of the rest of the world should be irreproachable. And it's not as easy as it sounds, I assure you.
Would I be attracted to a candidate who was openly rational and sceptical? Most certainly. And the faith-baiting which goes on amongst American politicians horrifies me, I must admit. But I would not vote against a person of faith for that alone; all the most intelligent and able people I know are religious. If it were two candidates of equal value, one a critical thinker and one a believer, I'd go for the former - but I'd never vote for an inferior candidate because they were irreligious.
How do we get everyone on board - simple. It's pleasing that there really is a commonality between the religions of the world. Their core values in the end are much the same - compassion, kindness, doing unto others etc. Despite what many of the faithful believe, these ideas have been central to the best in human thought for as long as we have been thinking because of their value, and not because they are The Word. I find that offensive, if I'm honest; charity, selflessness, humane and decent treatment of each other - we invented those things. No supernatural Thing put them into us, WE did it. We should be proud of that. And that is what we rally around - fundamental human decency, which is just about universally agreed upon (albeit not so widely practiced). We don't need any deities marking our scorecards, we just need to try being nice to each other, for a change.
March 27th, 2012, 12:52 AM #2267
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I find the idea of an atheist as irreligious uncomfortable. "Atheist," the word, etymologically includes "God" and being an atheist is defined basically as against God. Irreligiousness can range from a mere absence of religion to open hostility. I would contend that a simple absence of religion does not constitute irreligiousness -- again, it's defining atheism as the abnormal state, as if atheists are lacking a particular "normal" thing everyone else has. As an atheist, isn't it everyone else who is lacking? What is the language we should use to describe others? What is the language we should use to describe ourselves? I don't like using the religious world's terminology for what I think, feel, and believe. It describes me as inadequate, contrary, backward, incomplete, antagonistic....
I don't think we can expect atheism to function in politics until we have words of inclusion to use. Someone with the barest smidgeon of religious belief has a range of inclusive terminology they can use to gain voter trust and rally the people to a cause. Why wouldn't you use that?
March 27th, 2012, 04:09 AM #2268
March 27th, 2012, 07:42 AM #2269
March 27th, 2012, 12:43 PM #2270
Perfectly sound answer. And I agree.
I don't think religion should play any part in public policy. If we want to have a discussion on ethics, then let's have one during the debates. But if you begin with God, you might as well end the debate right at the onset.
March 27th, 2012, 04:33 PM #2271
The 1st Amendment states, for the purposes of full disclosure,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Freedom of religion comes before speech, press and assembly. Put what is really important up front.
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
As Alexis de Tocqueville repeated, "Religion is an anvil that has shattered many hammers". In fact Alexis de Tocqueville linked the American democracy to its Puritanical founders ideas of equality and freedom. Religion in the United States is intertwined with social, cultural and political life, so completely that no manifesto is going to change anything.
Time is short, too much wonderment to experience in the World to spend even a second on what other people think, or do, or believe. However, if you got a pocket of hundred dollar bills yo, and you are offended that they say In God We Trust on the back, send them to me, I'm not bothered in the least.
Same with Christmas Trees.
And I love after Easter candy sales. Fresh from the factory, pastel colored M&Ms, all at bargain bin prices. fantastic!
Forget your generic end-of-the-year winter general citizen appreciation day. Only the birth of the Son of God, no matter how silly, can justify my wife receiving any presents from me, with all the trips, outings, projects and gatherings she makes me do on the weekends.
What's atheism offering?, Except maybe having to work the week between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Awesome!
The philosophic meanderings on the nature of the beast is always out-shined by the realities of the daily grind.
And viola, I have systematic discovered why atheism has failed to catch on. I like a free week off at the end of December.
This is my manifesto!
"Vi veri veniversum vivus vici", except...
"And what is 'truth'? Is truth unchanging law? We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?"
atheist, agnostic when I swear, but generally happy U.S. citizen cause really, it's illegal for those religious types to forcibly convert me, so what do I care what they do. Americans complain about things because they are FREE to do so, not because they generally have anything to really complain about. If you are not an American, I suggest you move here. It's awesome. Even when it sucks, it is so much more awesome than whatever non-American country you come from. America is so awesome that you can be a Nazi or a Commie. You can even be a Nazi-Com, or maybe a Comazi. As long as you don't infringe on you neighbors freedom to be a Comazi.
God Bless the USA :thumbs up:
March 28th, 2012, 08:53 AM #2272
To believe in God would create more questions than answers for me because I can't just "accept" God.
Whenever I ask devout believers about God they usually quote a bible passage at me rather than attempt to use their own reasoning and understanding to explain it to me in their own words.
They fail to realise that deferring to a bible passage doesn't answer MY questions. If it did I'd already be a believer too.
Atheism and religion do share some common ground though they both believe they are right and never the twain shall meet.
March 28th, 2012, 04:19 PM #2273
March 30th, 2012, 03:46 PM #2274
One and the same thing, with a double standard.
The difficulty with ethics is finding the starting point. God makes it all so easy and comforting. Useless essentially, but easy.
If you don't accept the premise, the entire system falls apart.
April 22nd, 2012, 08:52 PM #2275
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April 23rd, 2012, 12:31 PM #2276
April 30th, 2012, 07:21 PM #2277
September 22nd, 2012, 05:29 PM #2278
Defining freedom. Such a difficult thing to do. We find ourselves defending awful things, like this insulting and primitive video inciting all the hatred, in the name of freedom. And we must defend the rights of those we abhor in order to sustain our own.
And yet the world spins out of control, and the killing in the name of God never ends. For those who ardently believe that God exists, how could they also kill and sleep peacefully? Any God cannot belong to a religion. If He/She did that God would be limited and thus a contradiction.
September 22nd, 2012, 10:28 PM #2279
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Oh, ah, I'm sorry. What is your post referring to?
Did you want to discuss freedom? In a religious context?
I'm not sure religion and freedom go together...imho...