Christian Extremists Allowed to distribute anti-gay propaganda in MD Public Schools

AdrianT
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Christian Extremists Allowed to distribute anti-gay propaganda in MD Public Schools

Hi Folks

I am new here; you guys seem like you might be able to help counter the distribution of misleading, harmful anti-gay propaganda in maryland's public schools. (I'm from the UK by the way, but it incenses me that such bigotry is possible.) 

In the Washington Post, on Friday a report described how public schools in Montgomery County, Maryland, are legally forced to give out leaflets from an extremist religious group that tells students gay people can become straight. The fliers, distributed to students in the county's schools  on Thursday, claim that 'Change Is Possible' and that thousands of homosexuals leavign the lifestyle is proof.

PFOX is allowed to do this because the message is not deemed to be 'hate speech'. The organization behind this initiative is Parents And Friends of Gays and Exgays (www.pfox.org).

This should be opposed because the this kind of therapy is completely ineffective, it has caused great harm to those who end up on the programs and it promotes the message that being gay is just a choice - possibly encouraging prejudice towards vulnerable young gay people, at a time when gay peopel are at their most insecure, and unsure of themselves.

FULL STORY IN THE WASHINGTON POST http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 04535.html
"Some Montgomery County high schools passed out fliers this week from an organization that contends gays can become heterosexual through therapy, and the schools say they cannot prevent the use of their distribution system by such groups.

The fliers, from the group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, were distributed Thursday alongside report cards by teachers at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac. The group says it delivered them to about half the county's high schools this week and plans to do the same at the remaining high schools at the end of the school year.
The schools are required to distribute literature that isn't deemed hate speech from any registered nonprofit organization four times a year, the result of a 2006 lawsuit, said Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Public Schools.

School officials said that while they aren't always happy with everything that goes home with students, their hands are tied by the results of the litigation.

"These fliers are probably counter to what is available in our health curriculum, but that curriculum focuses on respect, and we respect freedom of speech," said Patricia O'Neill (Bethesda-Chevy Chase), president of the Montgomery County Board of Education. "

('probably' is a weak response. It most certainly is contrary to what every medical and scientific expert says on the matter. It's not a 50-50 thing. And speech that incites prejudice should not enjoy such protections.


The information PFOX is distributing is not supported by any medical or psychiatric organisation. Studies have shown attempts to make people straight to be completely ineffective. The methods used are more about repressing sexual feelings, and encouraging patients to feel ashamed of themselves, or 'separated from God' if they don't change. The message also gives credence to the idea that being gay is a choice and a mental illness: a horrible thing to say to young people who may be discovering they are gay and vulnerable; and it is more ammunition for adolescent youths to pick on and intimidate some shy reserved kid n the corner.

It would be wonderful if atheists and secularists showed some solidarity - and maybe think of distributing fliers in this county that could counter such hurtful propaganda (like: thousands of people walk away from religion too...)  Ideas are welcome. A local organization, Teach The Facts, is looking to oppose this vigorously. thir website is: http://www.teachthefacts.org/action.html

Perhaps the most appalling point about PFOX is that the people running it are generally heterosexual, and Christian extremists. One board member, Peter Sprigg, also works for the Family Research Council, an organization linked to Focus on the Family, and vehemently opposed to any gay equality legislation. Last week, in a TV debate about repealing laws banning openly gay servicemen in the military, Sprigg called for homosexuality to be re-criminalized.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTFEzzuj-VQ

Schools should be a place where children are protected from bad ideas. We wouldn't allow creationists to leaflet schools saying that evolution is false, or leaflets recommending homeopathy and ditching medicine. So why this?

To find out why reparative therapy is nonsense, read this article from last week's Independent, in which an undercover reporter exposes reparative therapy as quack pseudoscience:
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style ... 84947.html

To find out just how psychologically damaging 'reparative therapy' is, see some of the testimonies here:
http://www.beyondexgay.com/

 

Thanks

 

Adrian


Marquis
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AdrianT wrote:gay people can

AdrianT wrote:
gay people can become straight

 

Of course they can. Anything is possible. But it isn't very likely, nor is it the sort of thing that is anybody else's business.

Sexuality and choice of sexual lifestyle is a private matter. It concerns only those that are involved. There is no right and wrong way to have sex, apart from the bloody obvious (that all participants are of legal age, that they are consenting, and that they have a reasonable understanding of what they are doing).

However, saying that it is private means that it's private. It becomes other people's business as soon as you make it so. If you choose to wage a public relations campaign about your sexuality, you have chosen to make it a public concern. I think that's distasteful - at best. It is in principle no better than what those leaflet-mongering morons are doing.

Rather than demanding respect for homosexuality, you should demand respect for privacy.

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AdrianT
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(Marquis - you think that

(Marquis - you think that anti-gay propaganda, which is likely to incite prejudice against gay people, which is potentially harmful, and which is likely to make vulnerable gay people feel more insecure and isolated, should not be countered? I am disappointed you cannot show an ounce of empathy, however.... 

How on earth is educating people about sexual orientation 'a public relations campaign about your sexuality'? It sounds like you are determined to keep people ignorant. And do you have any evidence that 'of course people can become straight'? Studies have actually shown that it is virtually impossible, and the evidence that orientation is determined at birth is very strong indeed. I don't think anyone has the right not to know this.

Sexual orientation is not something we keep private, because we involve all our friends and family in our relationships with our partners. We talk to our friends about dates, our relationships. We show affection in public. We invite everyone to weddings. (don't you think using the word 'choice of lifestyle' in relation to sexual orientation, which is a natural state,  is a bit silly?). This has nothing to do with sexual intercourse, which is a private matter.

Let me get this clear: I am talking about showing respect and solidarity for homosexual PEOPLE, not 'homosexuality'.

All it takes for evil to prevail, is for good men to do nothing: It is other people's business, when a small minority of people are singled out for attack and intimidation, some of whom face bullying or problems coming out. Bigots win when we don't make a stand. There are such things as guilty bystanders, and it's because of such people that the religious right is able to get away with so many of its stupid campaigns.)  

 


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AdrianT wrote:And do you

AdrianT wrote:
And do you have any evidence that 'of course people can become straight'?

 

Like I said, anything is possible. But I don't like to hang labels on people. Secterianism never did any good.

I don't acknowledge the existence of such a thing as "straight". In fact I hate that word! There's only IGNORANT.

And as far as I can see, 99% of all people, all throughout their lives, remain ignorant about their sexuality.

FYI, I am a practicing sadomasochist. I have met my share of people who have exotic sexual preferences - and then some. My views on human sexuality is about as far away from mainstream as they can possibly get - so I seriously don't expect, much less demand, that anyone should 'understand' what that is about. So I say to each their own. Do whatever you like, but try to keep it reasonably smart. However, I would like to see some realistic sexual education in the school system (although I am not quite sure how that's supposed to happen in practical life).

Save me that sanctimonious fucking nonsense about how all it takes for evil to prevail, etc. Yada fucking yada. All it takes for intelligence to prevail is to understand that when you engage stupid to do battle on stupid's terms, stupid will always win. I believe in equal standards for everybody before the law - so I will maintain my idea of what is just and right in this issue: The prohibition for everybody to advocate this or that sexual idiosyncrasy as better or worse than any else. My heart bleeds for all the poor young gaylings who have to suffer the grim fate of not being understood by their friends and families, but please get a fucking grip: This will never ever change. However, most people get used to the idea after some time.

On the political level, I will continue fighting for people like you, even if you insist on being an idiot.

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Marquis wrote:AdrianT

Marquis wrote:

AdrianT wrote:
gay people can become straight

 

Of course they can. Anything is possible. But it isn't very likely, nor is it the sort of thing that is anybody else's business.

Sexuality and choice of sexual lifestyle is a private matter. It concerns only those that are involved. There is no right and wrong way to have sex, apart from the bloody obvious (that all participants are of legal age, that they are consenting, and that they have a reasonable understanding of what they are doing).

However, saying that it is private means that it's private. It becomes other people's business as soon as you make it so. If you choose to wage a public relations campaign about your sexuality, you have chosen to make it a public concern. I think that's distasteful - at best. It is in principle no better than what those leaflet-mongering morons are doing.

Rather than demanding respect for homosexuality, you should demand respect for privacy.

Quote:

Of course they can. Anything is possible. But it isn't very likely, nor is it the sort of thing that is anybody else's business.

Sexuality and choice of sexual lifestyle is a private matter.

Sexuality is a "lifestyle" like being a human is a "lifestyle". I can dress up as a dog or a skunk or a elephant, but that doesn't make me one. It would simply mean I am acting like one. We have no choice in our sexuality. We do have a choice in life, on acting on our biological desires. Heterosexuals can also chose to act on or not act on their sexual desires. Choosing to act or not act on our sexual desires is not a "lifestyle".

Not all priests are gay because they don't have sex. I am celibate myself, BY CHOICE, but that doesn't make me heterosexual, or gay or bi. It mearly means I don't act on my sexual desires. That doesn't make me a priest either. My not having sex is not a "lifestyle". It is simply a choice which is separate than my sexuality.

Sexuality is a a scope, a range, and is not black or white. It is something we discover growing up and has to do with our enutero development and or our genetics. Calling homosexuality a "lifestyle" is absurd. Just like calling heterosexuality a "lifestyle" would be absurd.

 

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Marquis wrote:I don't

Marquis wrote:

I don't acknowledge the existence of such a thing as "straight". In fact I hate that word! There's only IGNORANT.

My heart bleeds for all the poor young gaylings who have to suffer the grim fate of not being understood by their friends and families, but please get a fucking grip: This will never ever change. However, most people get used to the idea after some time.

Eeewww, it stinks like Straight Privilege in here. *sprays air freshener*


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AdrianT wrote:   The

AdrianT wrote:

 

The schools are required to distribute literature that isn't deemed hate speech from any registered nonprofit organization four times a year, the result of a 2006 lawsuit, said Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Public Schools.

 

This seems to be a privilege given to registered nonprofit organizations, and like all privileges if you abuse it enough it will eventually be taken away.  I think the best way to deal with this problem is to intentionally abuse the system until it collapses.  How hard is it to become a registered nonprofit organization? What you should do is get help from as many registered nonprofit organization as you can.  Then get those nonprofit organizations to send fliers of their own, and those fliers should all contain lies.  Blatant obviously, and maybe even offensive lies.  Send fliers that say the earth is flat.  Send fliers that say the US government is secretly being controlled by fairies.  Send fliers that say that it has now been scientifically proven that members of the opposite sex have coodies, and to get rid of them you must bath in the light of the fool moon.  If you abuse the system enough eventually someone in power will have to change it.

 


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na i think (think being the

na i think (think being the key word not know) gay people can become straight, in the same way our tastes change i think our sexuality can change. I dont mean to say gay people can be bullied into being straight or anything of that sort or even that they can control it. Then again i supose some would say he was never gay to begin with just expreimenting or was just a phase or whatever. Hell i wouldn't know never happened to me so take that grain of salt. That said i guess the reverse could be true aswell. But i don't know any of this just an uneducated guess. but i know quite a few girls who went through that "lesbion phase" depends if they really were lesbions and now are really straight i supose.

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Well, I think in pragmatic

Well, I think in pragmatic terms - so I take care not to minimise the importance of that which can be achieved in favour of some lofty ideal which only applies in another universe; where people are not, as here in this world, on average, pretty petty and quite mean towards one another. You may look to the "evolution" forum to see that I am quite critical to reserch and studies which aim to pry into people's freedom of choice in matters of a private nature. They all come with an agenda; hidden or open. All research aims at proving some kind of point, and all those kinds of points are born out of a life-view, or philosophy; some of which are not respectful towards the integrity of the individual.

I believe it is too much to ask for when you aim at "general understanding" for deviant sexual practices (and please take note of the fact that I am now using the word deviant to mean all sexual practices that do not conform with the naive idea that human sexuality is a privelege that belongs to love-based and monogamous relationships only). However, it is a just claim to the right of privacy when you state that your sexual identity and practises are nobody's business that those whom it concerns, i.e. the persons(s) you choose to have sex with. Education about (reasonably) safe sexual practices cannot be stressed enough, nor can the point that sex is about a whole lot more than sticking your little willie into some hole somewhere on somebody else's body.

Sexual freedom means exactly that; the freedom to have the kind of sex you want, as little or as much as you want, with the person(s) you want, within a framework of consciousness and responsibility. You don't even have to love your sexual partner(s). But you should be honest about your intensions (or lack thereof) so that you don't construct any emotional time-bomb that is bound to blow up in somebody's face.

And FFS, let's be real: I, as much as anybody else, believe my own eyes and my own experience. People's sexual preferences can change. For most they may not, but for some they do. What are you going to do about that? Nothing. It is a private matter, subject to the individual's freedom of choice. What I most of all don't like about debates on sexuality is the retarded, adolescent atmosphere of absolutes that are being proposed. So you want to fuck a girl today, then you want to fuck a boy tomorrow. Then perhaps you want to marry and have kids. Before suddenly going into to a very intense relationship with a latino guy called Hernando Hotlips who looks just like a lady. Big deal. Yawn. That's how the world has been for as long as there has been humans. And it ain't gonna fucking change.

The issue here isn't whether you like this or that - or perhaps even nothing - in the sack, Jack, it's a much more fundamental question of individual integrity and the right to choose your own lifestyle, free from "suggestions" this way or the other. But then again, I live in an open and liberal society where nobody raises an eyebrow at having openly gay members of the government or a flamboyant crossdresser as a professor of psychiatry. Why should they? Your sex life is yours. That's where freedom begins.

 

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Brian37 wrote:I can dress up

Brian37 wrote:
I can dress up as a dog or a skunk or a elephant, but that doesn't make me one.

 

It would make you pretty kinky though.

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Spreading literature is a

Spreading literature is a component of free speech within the First Amendment as interpreted by the Federalist Papers.  The question isn't distribution of any literature; it is whether the Federal Government should legally be involved in education at all.  Nowhere is there a hint of original intent for them to be involved in such.  The General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause are often appealed to in such support.  The General Welfare is a general category that is interpreted by the list of particulars following in the same text.  Education is not found there.  The Commerce Clause, rightly interpreted by the Federalist Papers No. 41, teaches that the intent is that no toll or tax is to be extracted between states and that free travel is to be upheld.  Also, most textbooks are biased to secular humanism as defined by the Humanist Manifestos, which comprise a promotion of religion.  Religion being defined as a worldview or an appeal to a final authority for truth; i.e. man, government, oligarchy, etc.  Several other components also shape and define religion; purpose, ethics, epistemology, etc. 

Chazmuze


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Marquis wrote: The

Marquis wrote:

 The prohibition for everybody to advocate this or that sexual idiosyncrasy as better or worse than any else. My heart bleeds for all the poor young gaylings who have to suffer the grim fate of not being understood by their friends and families, but please get a fucking grip: This will never ever change. However, most people get used to the idea after some time.

 

Is it necessary to use the f word? It's a bit babyish isn't it? It doesn't make your arguments, in which you can't tell the difference between the sexual act and sexual orientation, less incoherent.

Of course, nobody should advocate any particular sexual orientation is better or worse - that is why I am posting here in the first place: some people, religious fanatics, indeed want to impose their beliefs about sexual orientation on gay people. Since the default position of many people is that being gay is wrong, deviant, perverse, a choice, a lifestyle, only about having sex, or a joke like in that videoclip you just posted - we have a responsibility, a duty to educate people.  It can, and must be done.

Gay adolescents are at least three times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers. Kids do get beaten and kicked because they are gay. And thrown out of home because they are gay. That should not happen. Anyway, fantastic - your proposal is to do absolutely nothing about it, because it will 'never ever change'.  

 

The suggestion, above about fliers promoting the idea the earth is flat etc... a good idea. Even better though would be an ex-christian campaign, showign students that the Road to Damascus is a 2 way street, and encouraging kids there is a better way. I thnk Montgomery Co should be trargeted

 

 


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:3

chazmuze wrote:

Spreading literature is a component of free speech within the First Amendment as interpreted by the Federalist Papers.  The question isn't distribution of any literature; it is whether the Federal Government should legally be involved in education at all.  Nowhere is there a hint of original intent for them to be involved in such.  The General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause are often appealed to in such support.  The General Welfare is a general category that is interpreted by the list of particulars following in the same text.  Education is not found there.  The Commerce Clause, rightly interpreted by the Federalist Papers No. 41, teaches that the intent is that no toll or tax is to be extracted between states and that free travel is to be upheld.  Also, most textbooks are biased to secular humanism as defined by the Humanist Manifestos, which comprise a promotion of religion.  Religion being defined as a worldview or an appeal to a final authority for truth; i.e. man, government, oligarchy, etc.  Several other components also shape and define religion; purpose, ethics, epistemology, etc. 

 

3/10

 

You need to sound more convincingly batshit crazy. Work on it a bit and come back.

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Marquis wrote:Rather than

Marquis wrote:

Rather than demanding respect for homosexuality, you should demand respect for privacy.

You know, I agree with you Marquis - I think that is a good approach to this case Adrian. There's only so much one can do to resist the stampede of bigotry re sexuality, because hey, Marquis is dead right, sexuality of itself has historically been a shady topic we've never really even been open about heterosexuality prior to the most recent few decades let alone homosexuality, so understandably humanity on he whole is ignorant and clueless when it comes to sexuality, it's an easy target for bigots, but personal privacy isn't.  Personal privacy can be defended more easily since it has the weight of the law already behind it.

It would seem to me since the target of this campaign are so young the most expedient route to protecting their mental and emotional health is the most appropriate. I'd go with demanding protection of their personal privacy post haste, this is a poor platform for pushing public awareness of sexual diversity, it doesn't need poster children, that would be playing right into the plans of the bigots , I'm sure.  

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Eloise, you have the same

Eloise, you have the same number of brain cells as I have, you can come to the same conclusion too, that people should be free to express themselves. And love whom they want to love.

 

The  quote you took from Marquis's post is irrelevant. He presented a false antithesis, because you can't have respect for 'homosexuality' (how can anyone have respect for a type of sex...???? how stupid).- he completely misinterpreted what I was saying,being incapable of distinguishing  between  sexual intercourse and sexual orientation, and assuming that being gay is nothing more than  dressing up in latex and having sex - why else would he post a Little Britain video?  

I am talking about having respect for PEOPLE. We can all show respect for people who are being singled out and bullied.

'There's only so much one can do....' oh dear. So much for posting under 'activism'.


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ClockCat wrote:chazmuze

ClockCat wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

Spreading literature is a component of free speech within the First Amendment as interpreted by the Federalist Papers.  The question isn't distribution of any literature; it is whether the Federal Government should legally be involved in education at all.  Nowhere is there a hint of original intent for them to be involved in such.  The General Welfare Clause and the Commerce Clause are often appealed to in such support.  The General Welfare is a general category that is interpreted by the list of particulars following in the same text.  Education is not found there.  The Commerce Clause, rightly interpreted by the Federalist Papers No. 41, teaches that the intent is that no toll or tax is to be extracted between states and that free travel is to be upheld.  Also, most textbooks are biased to secular humanism as defined by the Humanist Manifestos, which comprise a promotion of religion.  Religion being defined as a worldview or an appeal to a final authority for truth; i.e. man, government, oligarchy, etc.  Several other components also shape and define religion; purpose, ethics, epistemology, etc. 

 

3/10

 

You need to sound more convincingly batshit crazy. Work on it a bit and come back.

Great rebuttal!


 

Chazmuze


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AdrianT wrote:why else would

AdrianT wrote:
why else would he post a Little Britain video? 


its funny thats why, in bad taste perhaps but thats comedy for you. Go watch a stand up comedy show and count the jokes in good taste. In good taste just isnt funny.


 

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AdrianT wrote:I am talking

AdrianT wrote:

I am talking about having respect for PEOPLE.

 

Well, you just can't have that. If history has taught us anything at all, it is that "people" - in general - are quite predictably going to be mean and petty. They are going to pick on those they perceive as weaker and cower in fear before those they perceive as stronger. This is how it is. This is how it has always been and how it's always going to be. Deal with it.

In all actuality, we agree on the topic: It should not be allowed to hand out leaflets and other printed and/or recorded audiovisual material that targets some singular group of people as 'uncool' based in nothing else but religious superstition and moralistic conjecture. But then we part ways. You seem to be wanting to cure the human race of the terrible predicament of being human, whereas I am looking for an angle to establish a lawsuit. Preferably one that has enough controversal momentum to go all the way to the supreme court and thus wind up being a legislation.

Also, I don't acknowledge the existence of 'sexual orientation' (interpreted as an idiosyncratic fixation that emanates from 'nature'). The correct term is 'preference'. Unless you want to play right into the hands of the bigots, that is. It is hard to argue with preference and choice. The only ammunition the enemy has left then is to accuse you of being a sinner, to which you can reply with a shrug and a simple and corteous "fuck you". But if you insist on having a 'condition', there will be quacks heading your way with a 'cure'. And the fragile young souls you are claiming to be worried about will feel even more cursed. You say the suicide rate is overrepresented. I believe that to be the case. Why, then, apply even more pressure? There may or there may not be a 'free will' as far as the human nature goes, but it is certainly a better illusion to think that you have a choice than it is to think that your destiny is already staked out for you.

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Marquis wrote:AdrianT

Marquis wrote:

AdrianT wrote:

I am talking about having respect for PEOPLE.

 

Well, you just can't have that. If history has taught us anything at all, it is that "people" - in general - are quite predictably going to be mean and petty. They are going to pick on those they perceive as weaker and cower in fear before those they perceive as stronger. This is how it is. This is how it has always been and how it's always going to be. Deal with it.

That's precisely what the theocrats want you to think! (Because if we are that way, then, we need Holy Mother Church to set us straight....)

It's true that there will always be those who seek to attack others. There will always be sociopaths, psychopaths, mass murderers, . What makes us human is that we do in fact 'deal with it': we show solidarity and come to the defense of those who are weaker (otherwise, why not just let Hitler march through Europe, gassing all the Jews and other undesirables? why bother sending aid to Africa and Haiti...? why bother subsidizing healthcare? ). It's because our predecessors have fought those battles - freedom of conscience, of expression, fair representation, abolishing slavery, women's rights, racism etc  on behalf of the downtrodden, we are lucky to have the liberties we have today. All those were 'controversial' issues in their time, but we've moved on, because society learnt it was the right thing to do.  Law suits are important, but to get there, you have to get people to understand that people of different race, gender, and sexual orientation (on that, see below) deserve equal treatment in the first place.

I think we differ on what it means to be human - you seem to think the answer lies in raw darwinism of the savannah, I think it lies in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Thomas Paine, and John Stuart Mill etc. You could say that morality evolves just like life does. So, rather than curing the race of being human, on the contrary, I'm pushing the boundaries a bit more.  

As for sexual orientation, well that's the term used by the APA, the medical institutions. Because of the research done into brain wiring, specifically of the amygdala, there is good reason to use the term 'orientation'. The study was done in sweden on this recently (this doesn't explain fetishes though):

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/27/9403.abstract?sid=864bc36d-22b6-4698-9813-fc07bfdc5c7f

I just go by what Science says.

Whether it's a choice or changeable or not, it shouldn't matter. If people harrass me with placards and so on, I indeed tell them to mind your own F***ing business. I think secularists, feminists, libertarians, gays all need to do this more collectively.  

 

 

 


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AdrianT wrote:The fliers,

AdrianT wrote:
The fliers, distributed to students in the county's schools  on Thursday, claim that 'Change Is Possible' and that thousands of homosexuals leavign the lifestyle is proof.

This "lifestyle" thing always puzzled me, but leaving that aside, how exactly can they know someone's stopped being gay ? They can't. Proof, my ass.

On the other hand, thousands of anti-gay hypocrites, getting caught enjoying what they preach against, now that's what I call proof.

AdrianT wrote:
Whether it's a choice or changeable or not, it shouldn't matter. If people harrass me with placards and so on, I indeed tell them to mind your own F***ing business. I think secularists, feminists, libertarians, gays all need to do this more collectively.  

I agree.

Unfortunately, whenever I confront idiots with placards, there's usually a big empty space where my friends used to be.

 

Edit : regarding idiots with placards, this may be more effective than just telling them to fuck off  : http://laughingsquid.com/san-franciscos-answer-to-westboro-baptist-church/


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AdrianT wrote:Marquis

AdrianT wrote:

Marquis wrote:

AdrianT wrote:

I am talking about having respect for PEOPLE.

 

Well, you just can't have that. If history has taught us anything at all, it is that "people" - in general - are quite predictably going to be mean and petty. They are going to pick on those they perceive as weaker and cower in fear before those they perceive as stronger. This is how it is. This is how it has always been and how it's always going to be. Deal with it.

That's precisely what the theocrats want you to think! (Because if we are that way, then, we need Holy Mother Church to set us straight....)

It's true that there will always be those who seek to attack others. There will always be sociopaths, psychopaths, mass murderers, . What makes us human is that we do in fact 'deal with it': we show solidarity and come to the defense of those who are weaker (otherwise, why not just let Hitler march through Europe, gassing all the Jews and other undesirables? why bother sending aid to Africa and Haiti...? why bother subsidizing healthcare? ). It's because our predecessors have fought those battles - freedom of conscience, of expression, fair representation, abolishing slavery, women's rights, racism etc  on behalf of the downtrodden, we are lucky to have the liberties we have today. All those were 'controversial' issues in their time, but we've moved on, because society learnt it was the right thing to do.  Law suits are important, but to get there, you have to get people to understand that people of different race, gender, and sexual orientation (on that, see below) deserve equal treatment in the first place.

I think we differ on what it means to be human - you seem to think the answer lies in raw darwinism of the savannah, I think it lies in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Thomas Paine, and John Stuart Mill etc. You could say that morality evolves just like life does. So, rather than curing the race of being human, on the contrary, I'm pushing the boundaries a bit more.  

As for sexual orientation, well that's the term used by the APA, the medical institutions. Because of the research done into brain wiring, specifically of the amygdala, there is good reason to use the term 'orientation'. The study was done in sweden on this recently (this doesn't explain fetishes though):

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/27/9403.abstract?sid=864bc36d-22b6-4698-9813-fc07bfdc5c7f

I just go by what Science says.

Whether it's a choice or changeable or not, it shouldn't matter. If people harrass me with placards and so on, I indeed tell them to mind your own F***ing business. I think secularists, feminists, libertarians, gays all need to do this more collectively.  

 

 

 

Here you have listed quite a bit of actions you post as wrong and/or right.  What moral standard makes these claims the case?  Without an absolute and personal law-giver, ethics are irrational and arbitrary at best.  If we are considered nothing but matter in motion; a bag of chemical, electrical, and physical actions, then there is no universally, binding moral law that  makes the actions of matter moral or immoral.  Secondly; if the concept of survival of the fittest applies to humans as well as all animals, then we must attempt to destroy as many consumers as possible to allow supplies for ourselves.  This is the logical conclusion of such a paradigm of atheism.


 

Chazmuze


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chazmuze wrote:AdrianT

chazmuze wrote:

AdrianT wrote:

Marquis wrote:

AdrianT wrote:

I am talking about having respect for PEOPLE.

 

Well, you just can't have that. If history has taught us anything at all, it is that "people" - in general - are quite predictably going to be mean and petty. They are going to pick on those they perceive as weaker and cower in fear before those they perceive as stronger. This is how it is. This is how it has always been and how it's always going to be. Deal with it.

That's precisely what the theocrats want you to think! (Because if we are that way, then, we need Holy Mother Church to set us straight....)

It's true that there will always be those who seek to attack others. There will always be sociopaths, psychopaths, mass murderers, . What makes us human is that we do in fact 'deal with it': we show solidarity and come to the defense of those who are weaker (otherwise, why not just let Hitler march through Europe, gassing all the Jews and other undesirables? why bother sending aid to Africa and Haiti...? why bother subsidizing healthcare? ). It's because our predecessors have fought those battles - freedom of conscience, of expression, fair representation, abolishing slavery, women's rights, racism etc  on behalf of the downtrodden, we are lucky to have the liberties we have today. All those were 'controversial' issues in their time, but we've moved on, because society learnt it was the right thing to do.  Law suits are important, but to get there, you have to get people to understand that people of different race, gender, and sexual orientation (on that, see below) deserve equal treatment in the first place.

I think we differ on what it means to be human - you seem to think the answer lies in raw darwinism of the savannah, I think it lies in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Thomas Paine, and John Stuart Mill etc. You could say that morality evolves just like life does. So, rather than curing the race of being human, on the contrary, I'm pushing the boundaries a bit more.  

As for sexual orientation, well that's the term used by the APA, the medical institutions. Because of the research done into brain wiring, specifically of the amygdala, there is good reason to use the term 'orientation'. The study was done in sweden on this recently (this doesn't explain fetishes though):

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/27/9403.abstract?sid=864bc36d-22b6-4698-9813-fc07bfdc5c7f

I just go by what Science says.

Whether it's a choice or changeable or not, it shouldn't matter. If people harrass me with placards and so on, I indeed tell them to mind your own F***ing business. I think secularists, feminists, libertarians, gays all need to do this more collectively.  

 

 

 

Here you have listed quite a bit of actions you post as wrong and/or right.  What moral standard makes these claims the case?  Without an absolute and personal law-giver, ethics are irrational and arbitrary at best.  If we are considered nothing but matter in motion; a bag of chemical, electrical, and physical actions, then there is no universally, binding moral law that  makes the actions of matter moral or immoral.  Secondly; if the concept of survival of the fittest applies to humans as well as all animals, then we must attempt to destroy as many consumers as possible to allow supplies for ourselves.  This is the logical conclusion of such a paradigm of atheism.

 

 

Quote:
This is the logical conclusion of such a paradigm of atheism.

No, atheism is not a paradigm. It is simply the position that one does not hold a belief in a god or gods. Nothing more.

Now, if you want to talk about "paradigms". The idea that an invisible magical super brain with super powers floats out there in the cosmos everywhere and nowhere at the same time, with no brain, no neurons or cerebellum, I'd call that a paradigm.

On the other hand, we have ample evidence in human history that our species is quite capable of making up stories that are false and are capable of selling them as fact. You accept that about the Ancient Egyptians believing the sun was a thinking being. And you also accept that when the world's population falsely believed the earth was flat.

Early gods were earthy in description. Human qualities with super powers, humans projected on volcanos, weather patterns, and animal migration. Eventually these god concepts became more human like and reflected polytheism, then they went on to become monotheistic.

But the concept for all at it's core is the same. If one tries to appease this bigger thing, by doing this or that, that entity will give favor to them. The reality is that it is all superstition and nothing but anthropomorphism. It is nothing but our human projection of wishful thinking of wanting a super hero to swoop us off the train tracks.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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chazmuze wrote:  Here you

chazmuze wrote:

  Here you have listed quite a bit of actions you post as wrong and/or right.  What moral standard makes these claims the case?  Without an absolute and personal law-giver, ethics are irrational and arbitrary at best.  If we are considered nothing but matter in motion; a bag of chemical, electrical, and physical actions, then there is no universally, binding moral law that  makes the actions of matter moral or immoral.  Secondly; if the concept of survival of the fittest applies to humans as well as all animals, then we must attempt to destroy as many consumers as possible to allow supplies for ourselves.  This is the logical conclusion of such a paradigm of atheism.

 

You're misunderstanding what survival of the fittest actually means (I refer you to Richard Dawkins's 'selfish gene', see the chapter explaining how the grudgers triumphed over the cheats and the suckers). Fittest for humans means the most co-operative. Our ape ancestors learnt to rely on one another, to survive, and as we evolved into humans and our brains grew bigger, that genetic trait survived because it became useful, an advantage. That co-operativeness is the basis for good will and charity, kindness to others - do unto others as you would be done by (Golden Rule), a statement made long before Jesus's time. Human instincts, no god needed. So, we have evolved to escape the laws of natural selection - thankfully so. (funny how fundamentalists are so darwinistic when it comes to sexual intercourse, anc cannot see relatinships beyond this mechanical function - 'sex must only be used to pass on DNA'!)

Actually, requiring a law giver is just pushing the problem of the origin of morality, just like you push the problem of the origin of life itself, one stage back. On what authority do you say god's law the pinnacle of morality? By what standard do you judge whether 'God' is 'good'? You reach a dead end.

Are you seriously saying that, if we were not told that murder, stealing and lying is wrong, we would go and do all these things? We would not have reached Mount Sinai in the first place if that were the case.  

Actually if you need a law giver, then you will do anything to please the dictator. What you have, is not morality, but servility, to do good only because you are told to, to get a free ticket to paradise. It's much harder for a Christian who has to take the verse 'nobody comes by the father but by me' seriously, to be truly altruistic.  And it shows, because anywhere in the world where religion mixes with power, there is death, oppression, disease, ignorance. So, no, religion is not really the really a  source of good. Possibly offers incitement to evil. Fine, as  a Christian, you might see that Fred Phelps and his god hates fags signs, as referred to in the post above and wonderfully parodied, is wrong, unchristian. But he doesnt think so and backs up his hate with biblical verse, in the name of 'love' of course. By what standard to you rule out the evil verses of the bible?

When in Ps 14:1, it says (reportedly david) that 'the fool says in his heart there is no god', we still need a standard to judge whether that is true. If the author was a fool or ignorant, then maybe saying there is no god is not so foolish. The author of that text, like the authors of all the biblocal books, knew nothing about Evolution, microbes, meteorology, astronomy, the relation of the round earth to the sun, genetics, the genome. So we cannot take their word for it.

 

****IMPORTANT ADDITION

Actually on a Christian's dilemma - you also do what your celestial master says is good, not only to get a reward, but, to avoid eternal punishment. That is even worse. You might think twice about burning crosses min Alabama, if it were only for a reward. But you are also doing it because you have a gun pointed to your head: what evil would you NOT do in such a situation? It's a bit like the family taken hostage, and the father forced on pain of death to rape his daughter - the kind of stories we hear about in Rwanda and places.

Dostoyevsky said without god anything is possible. The experience in Bosnia, Baghdad, Beirut, Bali, Belfast tells  us actually, WITH god, anything is possible.  The temptation to evil is always there , if you can't answer the question how you know god is good in the first place.

  


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Brian37 wrote:chazmuze

Brian37 wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

AdrianT wrote:

Marquis wrote:

AdrianT wrote:

I am talking about having respect for PEOPLE.

 

Well, you just can't have that. If history has taught us anything at all, it is that "people" - in general - are quite predictably going to be mean and petty. They are going to pick on those they perceive as weaker and cower in fear before those they perceive as stronger. This is how it is. This is how it has always been and how it's always going to be. Deal with it.

That's precisely what the theocrats want you to think! (Because if we are that way, then, we need Holy Mother Church to set us straight....)

It's true that there will always be those who seek to attack others. There will always be sociopaths, psychopaths, mass murderers, . What makes us human is that we do in fact 'deal with it': we show solidarity and come to the defense of those who are weaker (otherwise, why not just let Hitler march through Europe, gassing all the Jews and other undesirables? why bother sending aid to Africa and Haiti...? why bother subsidizing healthcare? ). It's because our predecessors have fought those battles - freedom of conscience, of expression, fair representation, abolishing slavery, women's rights, racism etc  on behalf of the downtrodden, we are lucky to have the liberties we have today. All those were 'controversial' issues in their time, but we've moved on, because society learnt it was the right thing to do.  Law suits are important, but to get there, you have to get people to understand that people of different race, gender, and sexual orientation (on that, see below) deserve equal treatment in the first place.

I think we differ on what it means to be human - you seem to think the answer lies in raw darwinism of the savannah, I think it lies in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Thomas Paine, and John Stuart Mill etc. You could say that morality evolves just like life does. So, rather than curing the race of being human, on the contrary, I'm pushing the boundaries a bit more.  

As for sexual orientation, well that's the term used by the APA, the medical institutions. Because of the research done into brain wiring, specifically of the amygdala, there is good reason to use the term 'orientation'. The study was done in sweden on this recently (this doesn't explain fetishes though):

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/27/9403.abstract?sid=864bc36d-22b6-4698-9813-fc07bfdc5c7f

I just go by what Science says.

Whether it's a choice or changeable or not, it shouldn't matter. If people harrass me with placards and so on, I indeed tell them to mind your own F***ing business. I think secularists, feminists, libertarians, gays all need to do this more collectively.  

 

 

 

Here you have listed quite a bit of actions you post as wrong and/or right.  What moral standard makes these claims the case?  Without an absolute and personal law-giver, ethics are irrational and arbitrary at best.  If we are considered nothing but matter in motion; a bag of chemical, electrical, and physical actions, then there is no universally, binding moral law that  makes the actions of matter moral or immoral.  Secondly; if the concept of survival of the fittest applies to humans as well as all animals, then we must attempt to destroy as many consumers as possible to allow supplies for ourselves.  This is the logical conclusion of such a paradigm of atheism.

 

 

Quote:
This is the logical conclusion of such a paradigm of atheism.

No, atheism is not a paradigm. It is simply the position that one does not hold a belief in a god or gods. Nothing more.

Quote:
atheism is a position that is arrived at by either rejecting or accepting a Theistic proposition.  To attempt to remain neutral or in the shadow of the unknown is agnosticism. 

Now, if you want to talk about "paradigms". The idea that an invisible magical super brain with super powers floats out there in the cosmos everywhere and nowhere at the same time, with no brain, no neurons or cerebellum, I'd call that a paradigm.

Quote:
Exactly; that is a worldview that best explains transcendent ethics, uniformity, and abstract entities, i.e. logical law, transfinite math, aesthetics, etc. 

On the other hand, we have ample evidence in human history that our species is quite capable of making up stories that are false and are capable of selling them as fact. You accept that about the Ancient Egyptians believing the sun was a thinking being. And you also accept that when the world's population falsely believed the earth was flat.

Quote:
Using particulars to define universals is a composition fallacy of sorts. 

Early gods were earthy in description. Human qualities with super powers, humans projected on volcanos, weather patterns, and animal migration. Eventually these god concepts became more human like and reflected polytheism, then they went on to become monotheistic.

Quote:
True, and these larger-than-life humans were not absolute; hence, they did not justify the tenets of a coherent worldview.  On the other hand, Christian Theism did so.  Polytheism and monotheism destroy laws of logic.  Within logic there needs to be a transcendent source of particulars and universals existing as equally ultimate.  A personal/absolute being can justify the existence of such entities. 

But the concept for all at it's core is the same. If one tries to appease this bigger thing, by doing this or that, that entity will give favor to them. The reality is that it is all superstition and nothing but anthropomorphism. It is nothing but our human projection of wishful thinking of wanting a super hero to swoop us off the train tracks.

 

  I agree that the different gods you described are superstition and are not a viable foundation for absolutes and personal coherence.  By being finite, they cannot justify transcendent absolutes as described.


 

Chazmuze


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AdrianT wrote:Eloise, you

AdrianT wrote:

Eloise, you have the same number of brain cells as I have, you can come to the same conclusion too, that people should be free to express themselves. And love whom they want to love.

Agreed, absolutely and ditto!

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AdrianT wrote:chazmuze

AdrianT wrote:

chazmuze wrote:

  Here you have listed quite a bit of actions you post as wrong and/or right.  What moral standard makes these claims the case?  Without an absolute and personal law-giver, ethics are irrational and arbitrary at best.  If we are considered nothing but matter in motion; a bag of chemical, electrical, and physical actions, then there is no universally, binding moral law that  makes the actions of matter moral or immoral.  Secondly; if the concept of survival of the fittest applies to humans as well as all animals, then we must attempt to destroy as many consumers as possible to allow supplies for ourselves.  This is the logical conclusion of such a paradigm of atheism.

 

You're misunderstanding what survival of the fittest actually means (I refer you to Richard Dawkins's 'selfish gene', see the chapter explaining how the grudgers triumphed over the cheats and the suckers). Fittest for humans means the most co-operative.

Quote:
Just because one observes cooperation does not infer an obligation to cooperate. This is an is/ought fallacy.
Our ape ancestors learnt to rely on one another, to survive, and as we evolved into humans and our brains grew bigger, that genetic trait survived because it became useful, an advantage. That co-operativeness is the basis for good will and charity, kindness to others - do unto others as you would be done by (Golden Rule), a statement made long before Jesus's time.
Quote:
If there is no ultimate or absolute/personal law-giver, then why is one obligated to observe such actions? This simply begs the question and is arbitrary at best.
Human instincts, no god needed.
Quote:
Natural selection occurs within mankind whenever one is poor, abuses his body, or commits irrational actions.  Instincts do not allow nor provide complex rational decisions, math, art, nor ethical realism.
So, we have evolved to escape the laws of natural selection - thankfully so. (funny how fundamentalists are so darwinistic when it comes to sexual intercourse, anc cannot see relatinships beyond this mechanical function - 'sex must only be used to pass on DNA'!).
Quote:
I would call one a Christian Theist, not a fundamentalist. Anyway, how do you know all the reasons for sexual intercourse? Have you examined all motives of all people at all times? Sex is for many reasons according to the Christian worldview; pleasure, procreation, etc.

Actually, requiring a law giver is just pushing the problem of the origin of morality, just like you push the problem of the origin of life itself, one stage back.

Quote:
The problem of an infinite regress is eliminated when one uses their axiom or starting point as the Christian God or the ultimate source for truth, ethics, epistemology and uniformity. The atheist is the one that must follow the infinite regress fallacy, as they can only appeal to material, contingent, and finite entities for truth.
On what authority do you say god's law the pinnacle of morality? By what standard do you judge whether 'God' is 'good'? You reach a dead end.
Quote:
Not if my starting point begins with the Christian God that is both absolute and personal. Anything before or beyond this entity would be the starting point, yet it does not exist within my worldview.

Are you seriously saying that, if we were not told that murder, stealing and lying is wrong, we would go and do all these things? We would not have reached Mount Sinai in the first place if that were the case.  

Quote:
According to the Christian view, these ethical norms are scribed upon the nature of man; an immaterial part of mankind.

Actually if you need a law giver, then you will do anything to please the dictator. What you have, is not morality, but servility, to do good only because you are told to, to get a free ticket to paradise.

Quote:
Again, you have committed an inductive fallacy and question begging. Have you examined all motives from all Christians at all times and in all places to know their motives? According to Christian Theistic doctrine, the desire to obey God is based upon a rational component and an inward desire; not so much out of fear of retribution.  It is like a fish desiring water or a train functioning more efficiently on tracks rather than roaming aimlessly in a desert or other terrain.
 It's much harder for a Christian who has to take the verse 'nobody comes by the father but by me' seriously, to be truly altruistic.  And it shows, because anywhere in the world where religion mixes with power, there is death, oppression, disease, ignorance. So, no, religion is not really the really a  source of good. Possibly offers incitement to evil.
Quote:
Jesus make that claim of exclusivity to the Father, because He is the mediator between God and man.  This is referred to as the hypostatic-union; God and man in one person.  Jesus was God that took on a human nature.  Since God is both absolute God and personal, then this is the only path to a coherent deity.  All other religions are either one or the other, and that does not allow for a coherence among ones worldview tenets.  Mostly all orphanages, hospitals, and charities were started, funded and still continue by Christians. Can you name many atheist counterparts? In my city I see a Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, etc. hospital, but no atheist titled hospital...interesting isn't it?  Today, you can still see the remnants of gleaning barns in the mid-west where food was left for the poor.

Just because a few groups murdered in the name of Christianity, does not make the system faulty. A universal is not determine by a select group of particulars (composition fallacy). As an atheist, you do not have any transcendent morals, so there is no basis to say that any action is wrong or right on the part of any group. It just 'is'; and an 'is' does not equate to an 'obligation'.  You left out the part where Communist atheism has slaughtered millions upon millions in the name of social humanism, i.e. Mao, Stalin, etc. 

 Fine, as  a Christian, you might see that Fred Phelps and his god hates fags signs, as referred to in the post above and wonderfully parodied, is wrong, unchristian. But he doesnt think so and backs up his hate with biblical verse, in the name of 'love' of course. By what standard to you rule out the evil verses of the bible?
Quote:
What standard of yours determines which verses are evil or good? God does hate homosexual activity, as it destroys the symbolism of male/female distinctions which reflect the nature of God Himself.  God has other attributes besides love that you mention here.  There is justice and holiness that require restitution/retribution by the person or a valid substitute as mentioned above.

When in Ps 14:1, it says (reportedly david) that 'the fool says in his heart there is no god', we still need a standard to judge whether that is true. If the author was a fool or ignorant, then maybe saying there is no god is not so foolish. The author of that text, like the authors of all the biblocal books, knew nothing about Evolution, microbes, meteorology, astronomy, the relation of the round earth to the sun, genetics, the genome. So we cannot take their word for it.

Quote:
Nor did any non-Theists have knowledge of the deeper things of science at that time.  Most early scientists did claim to be a Christian or some form of Theist.   Why must we need a standard to determine what the Bible says is true? Where does this obligatory law originate from in an atheist worldview?  Where is your standard to prove that one must present proof to you or any other human?  You have created a moral obligation as universally binding.  In atheism, there are no universally binding moral laws nor justification for rational ones.  To even establish ethics is like saying that an atom in motion is morally wrong and/or right. If we are nothing but matter-in-motion, then you have made the motion of matter morally accountable. Do you do this to rock slides, ocean waves, tree limbs falling, etc.? If not, then why not? The Bible is a part of the starting axiom of the Christian worldview, therefore, there is no standard beyond or transcendent to an axiom.  This is how one falls into the infinite regress of proofs.  The question is; what is your standard to determine that humanism or whatever worldview you subscribe to; is valid, sound, or true?

 

****IMPORTANT ADDITION

Actually on a Christian's dilemma - you also do what your celestial master says is good, not only to get a reward, but, to avoid eternal punishment. That is even worse. You might think twice about burning crosses min Alabama, if it were only for a reward. But you are also doing it because you have a gun pointed to your head: what evil would you NOT do in such a situation? It's a bit like the family taken hostage, and the father forced on pain of death to rape his daughter - the kind of stories we hear about in Rwanda and places.

Dostoyevsky said without god anything is possible. The experience in Bosnia, Baghdad, Beirut, Bali, Belfast tells  us actually, WITH god, anything is possible.  The temptation to evil is always there , if you can't answer the question how you know god is good in the first place.

Quote:
see above

  


 


 

 

 

Chazmuze


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CHIZMUZE above, said: "Nor

CHIZMUZE above, said: "Nor did any non-Theists have knowledge of the deeper things of science at that time.  Most early scientists did claim to be a Christian or some form of Theist.   Why must we need a standard to determine what the Bible says is true? Where does this obligatory law originate from in an atheist worldview?  Where is your standard to prove that one must present proof to you or any other human? "

 

So, you are saying, believe me, based on no evidence. I am asking you, to explain how some verses can be discarded (like blaming the Jews for the death of Jesus till the last generation, supporting slavery etc.) How do you know the bible is a good book, and how fdo you know god is good, and not satan in disguise?    On what authority do you say the bible is a source of morality? (I am not asking the same question about truth since we know the bible not to be true, thanks to evolution and archaeology). You claim it to be a standard - yours is the responsibility to prove it. If you need no standard, or no proof -  then fine - don't be too surprized when people do not take you seriously. As for god's opinion on whom I might sleep with - again, your job to prove the existence of a deity, and then to prove how you are so inimate with god's mind.  

Actually your comment about non-theists is not strictly true. The greeks had a better guess at the existence of atoms. Nobody could know about how life evolved, the true nature of the universe at the time. The best guess was a divine alpha male in the sky. That ignorance, before Copernicus, Pasteur, Newton, Darwin, Mendel, Crick - is excusable. With the advanced knowledge we have now, it is not.

AS  for religious morality - you just blindly follow the leader without thinking and expecting a reward in heaven. Opportunism. Atheism is simply being without a belief in a divine being. It is not a basis in itself for morality. People do not commit an evil act in the name of atheist, in the same way as a suicide bomber does, in the name of Allah.

The ultimate problem is worship. Stalin was worshipped as a god on earth. So was Pol Pot, Mao, etc.  The first step aaway from totalitarianism is to stop worshipping. Critical thinking cannot be done in the kneeling position. Stalin's russia had all the makings of a religion: cult hero worship, excommunications of dissenters, the miracles - economic miracles of Lysenko.

To prove me wrong, you have to find a society that has failed on the foundations of thomas paine, john stuart mill - of reason, free expression, fair reprsentation, self determination - all the things that religious and other totalitarian societies have been fighting against.

As for where humanist morality - 'do as you would be done by' - co-operative societies. I would not want evil or injustice done unto me. The best way to prevent that happening is to ensure it does not happen to others, because that makes it more likely that others will one day help me. that is the basis for society, for civilization. If we had not co-operated like that, we would never have evolved, we would have never been able to  specialize and build the society we have today.

The idea of god coming down and giving us these morals, which we already had in the first place, just gets in the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Quote:Nor did any

Quote:
Nor did any non-Theists have knowledge of the deeper things of science at that time.  Most early scientists did claim to be a Christian or some form of Theist.   Why must we need a standard to determine what the Bible says is true? Where does this obligatory law originate from in an atheist worldview?  Where is your standard to prove that one must present proof to you or any other human?  You have created a moral obligation as universally binding.  In atheism, there are no universally binding moral laws nor justification for rational ones.  To even establish ethics is like saying that an atom in motion is morally wrong and/or right. If we are nothing but matter-in-motion, then you have made the motion of matter morally accountable. Do you do this to rock slides, ocean waves, tree limbs falling, etc.? If not, then why not? The Bible is a part of the starting axiom of the Christian worldview, therefore, there is no standard beyond or transcendent to an axiom.  This is how one falls into the infinite regress of proofs.  The question is; what is your standard to determine that humanism or whatever worldview you subscribe to; is valid, sound, or true?

There are a few problems here:

1. There is no "atheist worldview".  Atheists simply lack a belief in deities.  That's all.  Beyond that, there is nothing that binds us to any particular worldview.

2. You seem to follow the same path that without some ultimate authority, you end up with moral relativism.  Actually, you end up with that simply by having different cultures.  For example, one of the 10 commandments is "Thou shalt not steal."  Well, let's say we then find a group of people that do not believe in property rights...at all.  In otherwords, the concept of ownership is moot; no one owns anything.  Now you enter this culture and explain to them that it is wrong to steal.  They ask what stealing is.  You say that it is taking something that does not belong to you.  They look at you funny.  Why?  Nobody owns anything!  Therefore, stealing isn't even possible, and the moral imperative doesn't exist.  So, the idea that stealing is bad is still relative to the concept of ownership.

3. To say that there is no justification for rational moral laws when someone is atheist is absurd.  If the atheists were to start their own country, do you think it would be a lawless wild-west free-for-all?  People still need others to survive, and we do this by the act of social contract.  For example, I agree not to kill you if you agree not to kill me.  The punishment?  You lose your rights in our society.  See?  Moral obligation in order for there to be group survival without all the messiness that religion provides. 

4. As a correlary to point 3, I find your conclusion to be quite disturbing.  You are implying that atheists are bad people and Christians are good people.  I know many a Christian that has done very bad things, and I have known many an atheist that have done very good things.  The difference between you and me here is that I look at the actions of a person and then make my judgement on their moral standing.

So what is my standard?  Quite simple.  Do you do good things that help yourself, those around you, and those that may have an indirect effect, while limiting harm to others?  Everything we do has an effect on other people.  Even the act of drinking water denies that resource to someone or something else.   I help others when I can, and I do my best to make those who come across my path feel like their experience with me is positive.  It doesn't always happen, but if I put forth that effort each and every time, then I have done moral good.  Why would that require any form of higher power?

 

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


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AdrianT wrote: CHIZMUZE

AdrianT wrote:

CHIZMUZE above, said: "Nor did any non-Theists have knowledge of the deeper things of science at that time.  Most early scientists did claim to be a Christian or some form of Theist.   Why must we need a standard to determine what the Bible says is true? Where does this obligatory law originate from in an atheist worldview?  Where is your standard to prove that one must present proof to you or any other human? "

 

So, you are saying, believe me, based on no evidence.

Quote:
If you hold to a worldview of naturalism, then you will only allow a naturalistic explanation as evidence.  It is summed up in the saying, 'whatever my net doesn't catch is not a fish'.  There are only two ultimate views of reality; naturalism or non-naturalism (transcendent/immaterialism).
  I am asking you, to explain how some verses can be discarded (like blaming the Jews for the death of Jesus till the last generation, supporting slavery etc.)
Quote:
Why is that explained away?  Jews did conspire to have the Roman authorities kill Him, just as many of their political insiders did also.  Romans feared another political leader due to Jesus' popularity. 
  How do you know the bible is a good book, and how fdo you know god is good, and not satan in disguise? 
Quote:
I believe the veracity of the Bible because it is my ultimate starting point for truth.  The Spirit of God convinces my in an immaterial way.  I do not know the mechanics of this operation.  It is largely circular, as all conclusions appeal to their premises at the foundational level.  Circularity within the system is where the fallacy comes in to play.  A strict naturalist will not accept this as 'evidence' due to the criteria of his system. 

  On what authority do you say the bible is a source of morality? (I am not asking the same question about truth since we know the bible not to be true, thanks to evolution and archaeology). 

Quote:
  The same can be said regarding morality which I just stated.  For morals to be universally binding, they must have their origin in an absolute, transcendent, and personal entity such as the Christian God.  No other worldview has such an entity.  It is either personal/extrapolated or transcendence at the expense of a personal attribute.  
You claim it to be a standard - yours is the responsibility to prove it. If you need no standard, or no proof -  then fine - don't be too surprized when people do not take you seriously.
Quote:
  If I have to 'prove' my reason for belief, then you must prove yours.  I have never seen a materialist use a material explanation for a philosophical claim; that claim being that only materialism is true, etc. 
  As for god's opinion on whom I might sleep with - again, your job to prove the existence of a deity, and then to prove how you are so inimate with god's mind.  

Actually your comment about non-theists is not strictly true. The greeks had a better guess at the existence of atoms.

Quote:
  I don't believe the Greeks understood the complex and specificity of the DNA code and complex working machinery within the cell as we do today.  What source can you point me to in such a science? 
Nobody could know about how life evolved, the true nature of the universe at the time. The best guess was a divine alpha male in the sky. That ignorance, before Copernicus, Pasteur, Newton, Darwin, Mendel, Crick - is excusable. With the advanced knowledge we have now, it is not. 
Quote:
  No one still knows how the first cell evolved.  This is part of the title of Darwin's book, 'the origin of the species...'.

AS  for religious morality - you just blindly follow the leader without thinking and expecting a reward in heaven.

Quote:
  God uses the means of rational outworking of His word as it is applied to our lives in all endeavors.  Where do you get that there is no 'thinking'?  I believe you mean to imply that I am following something that doesn't have a complete material or physical explanation.  This brings us back to square one. 
  Opportunism. Atheism is simply being without a belief in a divine being. It is not a basis in itself for morality. People do not commit an evil act in the name of atheist, in the same way as a suicide bomber does, in the name of Allah. 
Quote:
  Atheism is not simply a lack of something.  Once a proposition has been heard or given, an evaluation is applied, i.e. accepted or rejected.  You are describing skepticism or agnosticism, not atheism.

The ultimate problem is worship. Stalin was worshipped as a god on earth. So was Pol Pot, Mao, etc.  The first step aaway from totalitarianism is to stop worshipping. Critical thinking cannot be done in the kneeling position. Stalin's russia had all the makings of a religion: cult hero worship, excommunications of dissenters, the miracles - economic miracles of Lysenko.

Quote:
  If one claims to not worship or appeal to some authority, then they are making themselves the final authority.  Self becomes the new entity being worshiped.  There is no neutrality. 

To prove me wrong, you have to find a society that has failed on the foundations of thomas paine, john stuart mill - of reason, free expression, fair reprsentation, self determination - all the things that religious and other totalitarian societies have been fighting against.

Quote:
  Try France during the French Revolution era of rationalism

As for where humanist morality - 'do as you would be done by' - co-operative societies. I would not want evil or injustice done unto me. The best way to prevent that happening is to ensure it does not happen to others, because that makes it more likely that others will one day help me. that is the basis for society, for civilization. If we had not co-operated like that, we would never have evolved, we would have never been able to  specialize and build the society we have today. 

Quote:
  This view begs the question on many fronts.  What standard determines evil or injustice?  A sadist or masochist may disagree with you.  You are imposing an ultimate moral on others here:  'do unto others...'.  Why must everyone accept this moral law?  If there is no ultimate purpose or law-giver, then there is no rational reason to accept this as one's personal goal.  You are assuming that we must seek survival.  Christianity also has this moral law, 'You shall not murder'.  As far as the 'society' we have today, it is predominantly totalitarian in every country except for Switzerland and a few others.  I prefer the early foundations of America, which is progressively being eroded away. 

 

The idea of god coming down and giving us these morals, which we already had in the first place, just gets in the way.

Quote:
  The same can be said about your system of belief. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chazmuze


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kidvelvet wrote:Quote:Nor

kidvelvet wrote:

Quote:
Nor did any non-Theists have knowledge of the deeper things of science at that time.  Most early scientists did claim to be a Christian or some form of Theist.   Why must we need a standard to determine what the Bible says is true? Where does this obligatory law originate from in an atheist worldview?  Where is your standard to prove that one must present proof to you or any other human?  You have created a moral obligation as universally binding.  In atheism, there are no universally binding moral laws nor justification for rational ones.  To even establish ethics is like saying that an atom in motion is morally wrong and/or right. If we are nothing but matter-in-motion, then you have made the motion of matter morally accountable. Do you do this to rock slides, ocean waves, tree limbs falling, etc.? If not, then why not? The Bible is a part of the starting axiom of the Christian worldview, therefore, there is no standard beyond or transcendent to an axiom.  This is how one falls into the infinite regress of proofs.  The question is; what is your standard to determine that humanism or whatever worldview you subscribe to; is valid, sound, or true?

There are a few problems here:

1. There is no "atheist worldview".  Atheists simply lack a belief in deities.  That's all.  Beyond that, there is nothing that binds us to any particular worldview.

Quote:
  Atheism is a word with 'a' or 'no' and 'theism' or 'god'; 'no-god'.  What can be clearer?  You are describing agnosticism or skepticism, not atheism.  Once a proposition has been heard (such as the existence of a god, etc.),  an acceptance or rejection has been applied. 

2. You seem to follow the same path that without some ultimate authority, you end up with moral relativism.  Actually, you end up with that simply by having different cultures.  For example, one of the 10 commandments is "Thou shalt not steal."  Well, let's say we then find a group of people that do not believe in property rights...at all.  In otherwords, the concept of ownership is moot; no one owns anything.  Now you enter this culture and explain to them that it is wrong to steal.  They ask what stealing is.  You say that it is taking something that does not belong to you.  They look at you funny.  Why?  Nobody owns anything!  Therefore, stealing isn't even possible, and the moral imperative doesn't exist.  So, the idea that stealing is bad is still relative to the concept of ownership.

Quote:
America does not presently believe in property rights.  Try not paying your property taxes and see who the real owner or thief of your property is!  The concept of stealing can exist even if one entity owns all things; in the form of stewardship.  That is; God owns all material entities, but has given many to be stewards over these properties.  He defines stealing when stewardship is violated.

3. To say that there is no justification for rational moral laws when someone is atheist is absurd.  If the atheists were to start their own country, do you think it would be a lawless wild-west free-for-all?  People still need others to survive, and we do this by the act of social contract.  For example, I agree not to kill you if you agree not to kill me.  The punishment?  You lose your rights in our society.  See?  Moral obligation in order for there to be group survival without all the messiness that religion provides.

Quote:
  You are confusing pragmatism with philosophical justification.  I am asking by what authority a moral law has.  If the moral law is generated by a finite and contingent source; such as a human, then there is no ultimate rationality to obey this; but only temporal, pragmatic ones.  The morals you assert are purely arbitrary and subjective if they are created by temporal entities.  This means that they can simply be changed when the goal posts change.  This is not justification for morality in the ultimate sense.  It is an appeal to pragmatism. 

4. As a correlary to point 3, I find your conclusion to be quite disturbing.  You are implying that atheists are bad people and Christians are good people.  I know many a Christian that has done very bad things, and I have known many an atheist that have done very good things.  The difference between you and me here is that I look at the actions of a person and then make my judgement on their moral standing.

Quote:
  What determines 'good' in your statement?  If we agree that 'good' is taking care of the poor, protecting citizens right to life and property, etc., then there are many good atheists.  I never said that there are no good atheists.  I said that atheism cannot explain the source of their morality as a true foundation that is unchangeable and transcendent.  It only has arbitrary definitions of pragmatism and contingent foundations as the source. 

So what is my standard?  Quite simple.  Do you do good things that help yourself, those around you, and those that may have an indirect effect, while limiting harm to others?  Everything we do has an effect on other people.  Even the act of drinking water denies that resource to someone or something else.   I help others when I can, and I do my best to make those who come across my path feel like their experience with me is positive.  It doesn't always happen, but if I put forth that effort each and every time, then I have done moral good.  Why would that require any form of higher power?

Quote:
  As stated earlier, the only need for an appeal to a higher power is when I need to justify why I am doing something.  If my foundation is above me or transcendent to me ( a contingent entity), then it has a coherence to it within one's worldview.  You have confused pragmatism with philosophical justification

 


 

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Sorry if I 'inversed' the

Sorry if I 'inversed' the quoting scheme a bit...


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Tapey wrote:AdrianT

Tapey wrote:

AdrianT wrote:
why else would he post a Little Britain video? 

 

its funny thats why, in bad taste perhaps but thats comedy for you. Go watch a stand up comedy show and count the jokes in good taste. In good taste just isnt funny.

What about slapstick?


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 Religion is either blind,

 Religion is either blind, or in denial to the fact that they are all intrinsically guilty of hate speech... In this case its obvious because they're targetting a specific group... but usually it  stems from the premise that they are going to heaven, and others are not...

 

I am damned to an eternity in fiery Hell every day in the tunnel between Times Square & the Port Authority by a born again methadone addict with a bullhorn... To Fundies... "My Belief's are perfect and your belief's suck eternal Monkey Ass" are words spoken out of love...


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Rich Woods wrote:a born

Rich Woods wrote:

a born again methadone addict with a bullhorn

 

My first thought: 'Make my day punk!'

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind." (Alphonse Donatien De Sade)

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Rich Woods wrote: Religion

Rich Woods wrote:

 Religion is either blind, or in denial to the fact that they are all intrinsically guilty of hate speech... In this case its obvious because they're targetting a specific group... but usually it  stems from the premise that they are going to heaven, and others are not...

 

I am damned to an eternity in fiery Hell every day in the tunnel between Times Square & the Port Authority by a born again methadone addict with a bullhorn... To Fundies... "My Belief's are perfect and your belief's suck eternal Monkey Ass" are words spoken out of love...

I would say that the unconstitutional law of 'hate speech' is enacted no matter what is said or thought.  It is so vague and arbitrary that anything can be classified within its scope.  I can say that it is hate speech to deny one's free expression of religion and substitution humanism.  There is neutrality or void in ideology, of which everyone has one.  The Humanist Manifestos explain humanism having all tenets of an institutional religion.   Using concepts like the doctrine of justice and hell as hate speech is fallacious.  If I tell someone to avoid a dangerous building due to the poor construction and dangers; is that hate speech?  If I yell at someone to run out of a burning building, is that hate speech? 


 

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chazmuze wrote:If I tell

chazmuze wrote:
If I tell someone to avoid a dangerous building due to the poor construction and dangers; is that hate speech?  If I yell at someone to run out of a burning building, is that hate speech? 

No.

But the difference between that and telling someone they're going to burn in hell for all eternity, is anything but "vague and arbitrary".