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Skyknight
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Hi RRS

Hi I just thought I would introduce myself because I'll probably posting quite a bit and in my experience knowing the background of someone usually helps you interpret their views and of course know what angle to take when debating with them. And hey if you don't care you don't have to read this Smiling

Firstly probably the most relevant thing about me is that I'm English, I have always taken more interest in american affairs than the normal brit but I am admittedly ignorant on a lot of aspects of american society, that's partly why I'm on here. I am studying law at uni and am currently looking at what part religion does and should play in law. My lecturer directed me to find an interview with Richard Dawkins which eventually led me to this site. (On a complete tangent, I met Richard Dawkins when he opened the new science block at my old college. He was presented as a leading scientist in evolution and not as an atheist.)

As for my background, my parents are both Methodists, but from what I have picked up, they are not at all like scary american Methodists. My mum is a doctor and both my parents are certainly intelligent. All my grandparents are/were Methodists as well, one of which was actually a lecturer at Wesley college where methodist ministers train in the UK. I am extremely upset that he died before I could have a debate about religion with him. My other grandmother has a physics degree from Cambridge (think harvard but better Sticking out tongue). So I have been brought up with a very strange mix of intelligent debate and irrational beliefs. Though I must clarify that my parents and grandparents take a very loose interpretation of the bible.

I can never recall believing in god, I can remember actually thinking at a very young age when I was in some bad situation that I'd pray just in case he did exist, but that is as close to god as I ever got. As I've grown up and been allowed to choose what to do with my time I stopped attending church (which I did purely out of obligation). I am certainly a firm atheist though not quite a strong atheist. My personal experience of religion is boredom, no more damage than people wasting their time, effort and respect on a superstition.

I think because I have not experienced the religious extremism that many of you may have, (I have never even met someone who would admit being a creationist) it shocks me perhaps more than you, that people can base their lives on an old book. But the real reason this is an issue for me is the simple fact that thousands of nuclear weapons as well as huge amount of money and influence are now within the grasp of religious extremists. Anyone who will put the words in an old book which condones genocide before individual's rights cannot be trusted with the running of a country.

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MattShizzle
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Welcome to the hizzle! The

Welcome to the hizzle!

The sad fact is, in the US, a known atheist pretty much has absolutely no chance of being elected to any office (except maybe something like town council, etc depending on where it is.)

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Skyknight wrote: Anyone who

Skyknight wrote:
Anyone who will put the words in an old book which condones genocide before individual's rights cannot be trusted with the running of a country.

Yes, this concerns us too.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


Skyknight
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MattShizzle wrote:Welcome to

MattShizzle wrote:
Welcome to the hizzle!

The sad fact is, in the US, a known atheist pretty much has absolutely no chance of being elected to any office (except maybe something like town council, etc depending on where it is.)

Funny how in the UK a known creationist stands no chance of being elected, certainly to parliament. Bringing religion into a campaign is a very dangerous thing to do in UK politics if you have any aspiration to win. And we are a country with no historic separation of church and state. I do think its ironic that the US is preaching the dangers of religious (Islamic) extremism whilst being the most powerful and dangerous state run by religious fundamentalists.

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There was a recent poll that

There was a recent poll that found out of all the countries surveyed, only Turkey had a lower percentage of people who believe evolution to be true (it was around 40% I believe.) And the majority of them even believed evolution was "guided by God." And people wonder why our students are among the worst in the developed world in science. Sad

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Guess which state ranked

Guess which state ranked last place in science: Kansas.
It was one of those states that tried to get ID in the scinece class. Coincidence?

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/dec/08/kansas_ranks_last_science/?education

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Actually, the Kansas state

Actually, the Kansas state bird should be a bat - according to the Babble, after all, bats are birds.

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Skyknight
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How can ID be taught?

How can ID be taught? Other than saying; "the bible says god created everything" and picking holes in evolution with specious arguments and down right lies. There is no viable evidence for it so how can it be taught. Evolution could take weeks of lessons to learn properly, ID would take 10 mins. "God did it." & "all evidence for evolution was planted by the devil."
How? just how? I just don't understand how you can have the curriculum based on local views. Surely a national curriculum is a much better system so that everyone gets the same opportunities. No wonder half your population believes in young world creationism, the school system at least in some states is run by morons. I just don't get it.

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Sknnight,No, you do get it,

Skynight,
No, you do get it, some school systems are run by morons.

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Seneca


Skyknight
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Was it always like this? Or

Was it always like this? Or have american schools actually educated people in the past?


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I live about 4 blocks from

I live about 4 blocks from the Kansas state line - smack dab in the middle of the bible belt.

Xianity is not just tolerated here. Fundies are allowed to "decorate" their work space with all sorts of offensive posters, bumper stickers and printed prayers. No complaining about them is allowed.

The xians are slowly taking over the government and Kansas seems to be in the forefront.

One very distressing poll I saw (wish I could remember the specifics) indicated that people are now voting for the candidate with the moral values of which the voter approves. Doesn't matter if the candidate can do the job and represent their constituancy well as long as they have "favorable" moral values.

Sigh.

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Skyknight wrote:How can ID

Skyknight wrote:
How can ID be taught?

Hello skynight...first of all I want to welcome you to the RRS. Smiling

ID stemmed from a think tank who is trying to introduce Creationism into the classrooms. Unfortunately, creationism has been judged to be unconstitutional and is not allowed to be taught in the classroom. So the fundies here tried to get sneaky by inventing Intelligent Design as a form of science. They tried doing this by claiming silly "scientific" principles such as "Irreducible Complexity" etc...basically what they had was an answer to a question and they just needed to find some evidence. Luckily for us, ID has also been shot down by courtrooms as being unconstitutional because it lacked scientific foundation. It is nothing by creationism in disguise.

The problem is that the xtian right in this country has an agenda, this agenda constitutes theocracy. The church in this country has gotten so powerful and loaded with money that they are now, much like corporate power, taking over not only social perception but also political power. They are the ones who demonize atheists, and scienitists, they hold the cards because they have the money to do so. Hopefully, however, with the likes of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, etc..people will start to realize that the xtina right is nothign but power hungry whores....who I think the leaders in the church (especially the protestant churches) are completely abusing Plato's noble lie. I do think that some of the churhc leaders are probably atheists..people like Pat Robertson, Haggard... and Fallwell. They have all gotten rich because of their followers. Their lifestyles are non-conducive to xtianiat at all. So anyway...

ID is nothing but Creatinism in disguise designed by the think tank "The Discovey Institute" to try and sneak creationism in the classroom. You control what the children learn, you control the future.

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Skyknight
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It does really seem like

It does really seem like America is the perfect example of how capitalism can be severely abused. If you have enough money you can do anything you want.

I really don't get why on earth the US would decide to have the people who decide what their children are taught, elected. Correct me if I'm wrong but surely that decision should be left to people with expertise, not the kind of people who run for any sort of office. Those who run for office tend to be people with strong opinions, and opinion is something that should be kept a good distance from education as far as I am concerned.

I'm always bemused when faced by the money involved in american politics. Doesn't it basically cut democracy off at the knees, when money can effectively buy victory.

Anyway, I can only feel pity for sane americans, and concern for the wider world. Unless you can get this ignorance epidemic under control, we are all in for a bumpy ride.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
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Yeah, Capitalism is way out

Yeah, Capitalism is way out of control in the US. If you have money you can pretty much do whatever you want, and if you are poor you have no rights.

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MattShizzle wrote:Yeah,

MattShizzle wrote:
Yeah, Capitalism is way out of control in the US. If you have money you can pretty much do whatever you want, and if you are poor you have no rights.

Capitalists could not do whatever they wanted if there were not an existing structure of legitematized coercion (the government) which allowed them to do so.


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Look at the corporations who

Look at the corporations who have the most money, oil tobacco alcohol and the meat industry. Then you look at the big killers in this country, cancer, heart disease, soon to be global warming. You can see exactly what money can buy you.
The church we went to last week rakes in 80,000 dollars a week!
You know that money isn't going towards buying condoms to hand out in Africa ,it's going towards more promotion.

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JamieKilstein wrote:Look at

JamieKilstein wrote:
Look at the corporations who have the most money, oil tobacco alcohol and the meat industry. Then you look at the big killers in this country, cancer, heart disease, soon to be global warming. You can see exactly what money can buy you.

Wow. I can just feel the stupid oozing off that statement. A corporation is a fictive legal entity created by governments. Where did you hear that the oil, tobacco, alcohol, and meat industries were the ones with the most money? Gimme a break. And global warming is BS.

Quote:
The church we went to last week rakes in 80,000 dollars a week!
You know that money isn't going towards buying condoms to hand out in Africa ,it's going towards more promotion.

We can't have people spending their own money as they see fit! That's terrible! I have a GREAT idea. Let's tell them to give us their money so we can do what we want with it. If they don't like that, we'll throw them in a cage. If they don't like that, we'll shoot them. We're going to make the world a better place like this, I know it!


Skyknight
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Firstly for a forum which

Firstly for a forum which prides itself on rational debate, saying, global warming is "bs" is simply ignorant. If you really believe that, can you provide some evidence for disagreeing with a massive amount of scientific evidence and support?

Also as far as I can see no-one is saying that people shouldn't be able to spend money how they see fit, that does not mean we can't be worried about why people would give money to support an irrational superstition.

Lastly could you explain

Quote:
A corporation is a fictive legal entity created by governments
. I would say that the link between government and business is money. Companies often have very different aims from a government, and clash over many issues. Companies are not created by government, it seems that in america due to plain corruption and overactive capitalism the lines between big business and government are blurred, with the white house full of ex CEOs.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)


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First off thanks

First off thanks Skynight.

Second -- I could have been wrong when I said corporations. Maybe the word industry is more appropriate? You tell me. I'll take it back.
If you think they are not the biggest industries. I'm pretty sure your wrong.

Third -- If this is how you talk to people who are on your side....It's no wonder people think we're assholes. (Sorry its early and I haven't had coffee)

I stay humble and note that I have not been on the board for long. Maybe you are know as "the wacky guy who disagrees with everyone just to be craaazy and stir shit up." Everyone has to have there roles to cling onto I guess. Most here try not to define themselves by on line personality's. To each his own.

Also, if you are going to rail out against someone (on your side....from your house...on a message board...)

Just some advice for next time, maybe don't say "global warming is BS".
Now, to your credit maybe you were being ironic. Maybe on a board that praises science over fiction you thought to yourself "Wow. If i completely deny a fact that has been proven time and time again, by scientists world wide (not counting the Bush advisers) on a board that praises logic over fairy tale propaganda, people will see me for the comedic gem that I really am!

If that is true, i apologize and will call you a funny man.
Take care,

Jamie "I swear I came into this not trying to start shit" Kilstein = )

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Skyknight
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I think I am quite open

I think I am quite open minded and I know that I've changed my mind on my politics and my views on other things based on debate. Without trying to get personal, but after reading your intro, I have got the impression you have labeled yourself with things and that you will defend them without truly listening to anyone elses opinion. Of course I may be completely wrong.

Thanks Jamie for backing me up. Global Warming is not "BS" even if it is not a perfect theory it has too much evidence and scientific backing to ignore.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)


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small note on global

small note on global warming.

IMO global warming is a very factual and BS trend at the same time.

Factual: The temperature of the earth IS rising. There is more than enough scientific evidence to show for this.

BS: What there isn't enough scientific evidence for, is how/why it's going up. It could be the burning of fossil fuels. It could also be just a normal climate change that the earth goes through just like the several ice ages in our earths past.

Feel free to prove me wrong, but this is how I've felt for the last few years.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


Skyknight
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You make a valid point. The

You make a valid point. The things we know are:
1) the earth is heating up
2) this is due to greenhouse gases
This = global warming so how can it be "bs" the only thing up for real debate is to what extent if any, humans are responsible.
We know that over the lifespan of the earth it has cooled and heated up and the amount of greenhouse gases has fluctuated without human intervention. So therefore you are right in saying that we don't know for sure to what extent we are causing the problem. we have no way of knowing whether we are the main cause or if our contribution is negligible. I would say that from the information I have picked up, it seems likely that we are significantly adding to the natural phenomenon, and that it is an issue that cannot be brushed away casually as "bs".

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)