Neutering the Devil

Marty Hamrick
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Neutering the Devil

In recent years a type of "pseudo cigarette" that utilizes water vapor instead of smoke has gained popularity. Users say that it gives all of the satisfaction of a real smoke with none of the harmful effects associated with cigarette smoking. Now, it would probably be impractical to think of the major tobacco companies marketing such a product in lieu of traditional cigs and other tobacco products as it would more than likely not be cost effective and would no doubt ruin the industry, but lets say for the sake of argument,it was possible. Let's say companies like Phillip Morris marketed a faux smoke and still raked in their profits. Let's say it replaced the cigarette, cigar and everything else and was virtually indistinguishable from the "real thing". Would smoking still be a sin? What if a "fake" and harmless cocaine could be manufactured and commercially marketed, that could give users the same buzz without the addiction and impairing side effects? Pseudo alcohol that tasted like the real thing, gave you a high that was just as good, but was completely safe? Would these things still be wrong? What if virtual reality technology made it possible for a married couple who had become sexually bored with each other allow them to "have an affair with their own spouse?" The technology would enable them to experience sex with , say, the celebrity of their dreams, but in reality, they were making love to each other, would it still be adultery? I'm aware of the NT verses about "lust of the heart", but that is actual desire for ANOTHER person, this would be for couples who just want stimulation without the sin, it isn't that they really desire an adulterous relationship, after all, there are couples who enjoy role playing games all the time, and not too many people bat an eye about that. This would be like a role playing game to another level.

I'm sure meta ethicists would have a field day with this, but if you look at the OT laws, that is exactly what happened, despite what apologetic rhetoric about "law" vs "grace". Today, many Christians enjoy pork and shellfish with no shame because government meat inspection has reduced the health risks. According to the Book of Acts, Peter's vision of slaying and eating animals was metaphoric about accepting Gentiles, who ate such things, yet today, there are some denominations of Christianity that observe OT law and thus, abstain from forbidden foods, so it's still a religious debate over semantics. The "law vs. grace" argument becomes subjective, much like every other theistic argument.

Now, I'm sure even if such things became possible, such sins as murder, theft and the like would still exist, but if the above was possible, could you not envision Christians shamelessly indulging in such activities and still using the "law vs. grace" argument?

 


cj
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I don't know....

I think you just took the fun out of addiction.  Some of the appeal has to be the risk - it isn't all about naughtiness or chemical receptors in your brain.

And the water vapor cigs?  If they are warmer than air temperature, they are harmful.  The heat leads to excessive cell division (mitosis) which has a chance of causing to cancer.  For those interested - http://www.biology.iupui.edu/biocourses/N100/2k4ch8mitosisnotes.html

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Cancer is essentially a disease of mitosis - the normal 'checkpoints' regularing mitosis are ignored or overriden by the cancer cell. Cancer begins when a single cell is transformed, or converted from a normal cell to a cancer cell.

So any time you increase the rate of cell division, you increase the chance of cancer.  Any irritant can do it - including too much too warm air.

 

Yeah, I know, I can be a spoil sport.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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harleysportster
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Theist logic

 I have had SO many theists tell me that there is no way to have a moral compass without a god ( it must be a strong meme, because every one of them tosses it around). 

But that is interesting that they say that. 

Are they telling me that if they were to find out that god did not exist, they would suddenly start raping, robbing and ravishing ? 

Are they telling me that they would abandon their children, and stop loving their wives ? 

When people tell me that GOD is the most important thing in their lives, I always have to counter " So if god wanted to send one of your family members into hell, you would have no problem with that ?" 

To me, that tells me that people with that attitude are the MOST evil people at heart that could be. 

Their telling me, without a sky daddy to monitor them, all hell would break loose. 

Hmm, what ever happened to personal responsibility ? 

They have a real hard time understanding that I am not a sociopathic rapist/ serial killer and bank robber because I DON'T WANT TO BE, not because big brother is watching me. 

Theists are constantly indulging in addictions. In the Catholic faith that I grew up in, drinking alcohol was perfectly acceptable. 

There is an old joke : "What is the difference between a Baptist and a Catholic?" The punchline is " The Catholic will say hello to you when they see you at the liquor store or bar,"

Being a former Catholic, I speak from personal experience that is true. 

So yes, rendering addictions safer would probably make it more socially acceptable, but there are plenty of theists in church on Sunday, holding up their hands and lamenting the evils of sex,drugs, rock and roll and booze, and engaging in all of those activities when they leave the church. Ministers probably being the worst on the list. 

Maybe their just jealous that people like me, can drink, smoke, (don't do drugs) and have sex outside of marriage and not have to hide it. 

Not that I am saying that drinking and smoking is good for you and I wouldn't encourage young people to do it. However, when I was a kid in school, was during Reagan's War on Drugs and EVERYONE was at least smoking a joint or dropping some acid. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


Marty Hamrick
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harleysportster wrote: I

harleysportster wrote:

 I have had SO many theists tell me that there is no way to have a moral compass without a god ( it must be a strong meme, because every one of them tosses it around). 

But that is interesting that they say that. 

Are they telling me that if they were to find out that god did not exist, they would suddenly start raping, robbing and ravishing ? 

Are they telling me that they would abandon their children, and stop loving their wives ? 

When people tell me that GOD is the most important thing in their lives, I always have to counter " So if god wanted to send one of your family members into hell, you would have no problem with that ?" 

To me, that tells me that people with that attitude are the MOST evil people at heart that could be. 

Their telling me, without a sky daddy to monitor them, all hell would break loose. 

Hmm, what ever happened to personal responsibility ?

 

It's ironic to me, that people who scream about moral responsibility don't seem to grasp the concept themselves. If God is the chief power behind morality, where does that leave man with respect to responsibility if the Blood of Jesus covers it?

Quote:

They have a real hard time understanding that I am not a sociopathic rapist/ serial killer and bank robber because I DON'T WANT TO BE, not because big brother is watching me. 

Theists are constantly indulging in addictions. In the Catholic faith that I grew up in, drinking alcohol was perfectly acceptable. 

There is an old joke : "What is the difference between a Baptist and a Catholic?" The punchline is " The Catholic will say hello to you when they see you at the liquor store or bar,"

 

I grew up Southern Baptist and heard that one, I would add the porn store and titty bar as well.

 

Quote:

Being a former Catholic, I speak from personal experience that is true. 

So yes, rendering addictions safer would probably make it more socially acceptable, but there are plenty of theists in church on Sunday, holding up their hands and lamenting the evils of sex,drugs, rock and roll and booze, and engaging in all of those activities when they leave the church. Ministers probably being the worst on the list.

 

My point being is that they would theologically "justify" their new found acceptance of "sin", probably with "now under grace instead of OT law".

Quote:

Maybe their just jealous that people like me, can drink, smoke, (don't do drugs) and have sex outside of marriage and not have to hide it. 

Not that I am saying that drinking and smoking is good for you and I wouldn't encourage young people to do it. However, when I was a kid in school, was during Reagan's War on Drugs and EVERYONE was at least smoking a joint or dropping some acid. 

I believe that's their motivations on much of their protests of such things. They wish they could do all of those things and since they can't, they want to screw it up for everyone else.

"Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings."


harleysportster
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Marty Hamrick wrote: My

Marty Hamrick wrote:

 

My point being is that they would theologically "justify" their new found acceptance of "sin", probably with "now under grace instead of OT law".

 I believe that's their motivations on much of their protests of such things. They wish they could do all of those things and since they can't, they want to screw it up for everyone else.

I would have to wholeheartedly agree with you there. If they can use the bible to boycott Harry Potter films and the Golden Compass, they can probably use it to justify anything. 

After all, that is one of my main arguments with christianity. 

One need look no further than the northern Ireland conflict ( which is to some degree still going on today, but no where near as bad as it used to be) which involves Catholics and Protestants. These dudes are kiilling each other under the banner of the SAME god and bible. 

Odd how christians ( and muslims that fight each other) can not even agree on their sacred text that they supposedly follow. 

Seems like if god wanted to leave behind some instructions, he would have left behind something that was definitely clear, understood in all languages, and all said the same exact thing in very plain form where no one would disagree on it. 

God needed to hire some new editors and authors when he was " inspiring" men to write all of this. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Most theists don't seem to

Most theists don't seem to understand that their religions' inability to remain whole significantly detracts from its believabilty (ignoring all the reasons not to believe beyond multiple denominations, this alone is enough justification to disregard religion).
No surviving religion has a single congregation. Even new religions like mormons and scientologists have split denominations. The older the religion, the more denominations (generally).

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What some biblical

What some biblical literalists fail to understand is that The Bible is full of helpful tips about daily life for when it first appeared (was created by people).

Not eating pork or shellfish was probably a very good idea back in the day, but if you think about it for ten seconds there is no reason to hold to it today.

The same goes for anything else. The Bible says lust, premarital sex, and casual sex is bad because it can (back in the day especially)

a) Get you killed from either STD's (which I do not know whether people back then understood STD's, but they probably had a idea), or from a bad situation resulting from your activities. I.e. husband, brother, or father kills you.

b) Causes unwanted pregnancies that can easily kill the women back then (and to a lesser extent even now) and if the child survives it is far more likely to have a extremely poor quality of life unless one of the parents takes charge in it's care.

c) In many situations can and has caused many people to do absolutely stupid or malicious things.

A and B are less of a problem now, and C will never go away, so you should still be careful. Now, however, there is not much reason to think of it as a sin. I think it is fine for someone to view sex as something special they don't want to do with random people, that is totally cool. But living in self-loathing and shame? No...

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harleysportster wrote:They

harleysportster wrote:

They have a real hard time understanding that I am not a sociopathic rapist/ serial killer and bank robber because I DON'T WANT TO BE, not because big brother is watching me. 

Lol, Penn Jillette opened his show this week talking about that, he admitted on public internet radio that  "I have raped and killed everyone I want to" funny and so true. Sometimes I wonder about theists who say "well why don't you just go around killing people" WTF?!?!? If the only thing stopping you from raping and killing people is your belief in god you are fucked up.

 

http://pennsundayschool.com/page/episodes

The topic comes up 13 minutes in as he ponders how these theists keep their list of people they would rape and/or kill if they discovered there was no god. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


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Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

They have a real hard time understanding that I am not a sociopathic rapist/ serial killer and bank robber because I DON'T WANT TO BE, not because big brother is watching me. 

Lol, Penn Jillette opened his show this week talking about that, he admitted on public internet radio that  "I have raped and killed everyone I want to" funny and so true. Sometimes I wonder about theists who say "well why don't you just go around killing people" WTF?!?!? If the only thing stopping you from raping and killing people is your belief in god you are fucked up.

 

http://pennsundayschool.com/page/episodes

The topic comes up 13 minutes in as he ponders how these theists keep their list of people they would rape and/or kill if they discovered there was no god. 

Great link. 

I really miss Penn and Teller's show Bullshit. I don't think there was ever a single program that I disagreed with their viewpoint on. 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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I've seen a few, but none

I've seen a few, but none that were based on religion. Mostly politics. Penn is a libertarian, who advocates an unsustainable political system. But he gets religion right every time.

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Ultimately the

Ultimately the fundamentalist don't need a justification. "god said it, I believe it, that's good enough for me". They are against justifying what god says. That could lead them into sin so when cornered they must back away quickly. It is why many insist on limiting contact with non-believers.

They say while this step may not be a sin, the next step would be, avoid even the appearance if evil.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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Marty Hamrick wrote: My

Marty Hamrick wrote:

 

My point being is that they would theologically "justify" their new found acceptance of "sin", probably with "now under grace instead of OT law".

 I believe that's their motivations on much of their protests of such things. They wish they could do all of those things and since they can't, they want to screw it up for everyone else.

What I find hard to reconcile is how they are so keen on free will, yet they want to change the laws to make using free will a crime.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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ex-minister wrote:What I

ex-minister wrote:

What I find hard to reconcile is how they are so keen on free will, yet they want to change the laws to make using free will a crime.

 

This.

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harleysportster wrote:Great

harleysportster wrote:

Great link. 

I really miss Penn and Teller's show Bullshit. I don't think there was ever a single program that I disagreed with their viewpoint on. 

No.  They had a couple shows that really had huuuuuge failures in logic in them.   I liked them overall.  But some were just WTF episodes when I watched them.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci