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Old 12-18-2009, 03:15 PM   #81
Dark Jedi Han
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About the Bible:

What my CHRISTIAN teacher told me is that the first written texts about Jesus came much later than him, like a few hundred years after, if I'm not completely wrong. To preserve his miracles, stories were orally carried through generations.
The result is that we get different versions of one story. This becomes really complicated for you then...

Second: What Marcus wrote, is the same as what Lucas wrote, but yet differs from him. I don't really remember which of them said these following things, but I've kept it well in my head:

When Jesus (peace upon him) was crucified, he told God to forgive their sins as they're ignorant. (With their referring to the crucifiers eg Roman soldiers, etc...)

While another says:

When Jesus (peace upon him) was crucified, he spoke to God, saying: "Lahi" or "Eli (= God), did you leave me?" (it may be wrong, but I remember well that there were two contradictions in the different Gospels)

Another thing: Jesus asks for water.

In one Gospel, a Roman centurion puts a sponge on his spear, drips it in water and tends it to Jesus. In another one, it was completely different.

This is just to say that many versions exist, but we will never know which one is true.

And by the way: I'm a muslim, and recognize Jesus as a Messenger of God, but not as His son. Of course, that is for another thread.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:39 PM   #82
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Here we go again...
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:23 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Jedi Han View Post
About the Bible:

What my CHRISTIAN teacher told me is that the first written texts about Jesus came much later than him, like a few hundred years after, if I'm not completely wrong.
It's difficult to say with any degree of certainty. We have very good reasons to believe that the first gospel was written at least 40 years after jesus' alleged death (~75 AD per a reference to the destruction of the temple by the Romans).

The oldest fragment that we have is dated to about 125 BC (iirc EDIT: See P52). Obviously other writing could have existed elsewhere in that ~50 year gap, but we don't have any evidence for them.

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To preserve his miracles, stories were orally carried through generations.
The fact that you acknowledge apparent discrepancies in your post says a great deal about how accurate and/or consistent that process was

HINT: we can't get people to agree on jesus even after everything was written down and the advent of the movable type made it possible to eliminate "scribal error".

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Originally Posted by Dark Jedi Han View Post
The result is that we get different versions of one story. This becomes really complicated for you then...

Second: What Marcus wrote, is the same as what Lucas wrote, but yet differs from him. I don't really remember which of them said these following things, but I've kept it well in my head:

When Jesus (peace upon him) was crucified, he told God to forgive their sins as they're ignorant. (With their referring to the crucifiers eg Roman soldiers, etc...)

While another says:

When Jesus (peace upon him) was crucified, he spoke to God, saying: "Lahi" or "Eli (= God), did you leave me?" (it may be wrong, but I remember well that there were two contradictions in the different Gospels)

Another thing: Jesus asks for water.

In one Gospel, a Roman centurion puts a sponge on his spear, drips it in water and tends it to Jesus. In another one, it was completely different.

This is just to say that many versions exist, but we will never know which one is true.
Indeed. So if we have different, conflicting stories, then on what basis should we assume that any of them are true? If these stories are the only reason that we believe that jesus existed, then why should we believe that either?

quasi-off-topic: If I may recommend a book...

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And by the way: I'm a muslim, and recognize Jesus as a Messenger of God, but not as His son. Of course, that is for another thread.
"Peace be upon him" was a dead give-away, but thanks for clarifying nonetheless
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:33 AM   #84
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A good reason to believe in the Christian god:

Everything in our known universe has an end and a beginning. Stars are born, and stars are destroyed. You cannot create something, without destroying something else. There is something missing that physics cannot explain. If everything had a beginning, and you cannot create something without destroying something else, how did the universe come to be?

But this in no way proves a Christian god exists... it only proves there is a source of all things.

The only way to prove that a Christian god exists is to read and understand the Bible. What the Bible does better than any other religious book is take real things that can be proven historically, and ties them in with the unknown, things that cannot be proven with secular sources. It creates an interpretation of the purpose of humanity, and it actually makes sense. It covers all bases, there is nothing happening now days, there is nothing that cannot be explained with the Bible.

And btw, what the Bible says is NOT always in agreement with what your preacher says at your church. The irony is that when the bible is speaking of "false religion" it is not always referring to non-Christian. Church is a business/ social gathering.


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Old 12-24-2009, 01:04 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neal8929 View Post
A good reason to believe in the Christian god:

<snip>

But this in no way proves a Christian god exists...
I'm not sure I need to say much here.

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Originally Posted by snipped part
Everything in our known universe has an end and a beginning. Stars are born, and stars are destroyed. You cannot create something, without destroying something else. There is something missing that physics cannot explain.
Ever or just at this point? If "physics" does "explain" it at some point in the future, what happens then?

This is known as "the god of the gaps" argument, and while some people find it compelling, I don't think it necessarily provides the answers that it presumes to.

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Originally Posted by snipped part, cont
If everything had a beginning, and you cannot create something without destroying something else, how did the universe come to be?
A good question that deserves an answer, but as you yourself point out, this isn't an argument for the existence of the christian god. It's not even an argument for a non-christian god. All it is the acknowledgment of a presumed gap in our knowledge of the universe. We don't get to "just make up an answer" and declare it "truth".

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The only way to prove that a Christian god exists is to read and understand the Bible.
At the risk of sounding confrontational, it has been my experience that comments such as these can only be made by people who are not themselves familiar with the bible. For the record, I feel comfortable assuming that you're probably familiar with parts of it, but I seriously doubt that you've read the whole thing.

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Originally Posted by neal8929 View Post
What the Bible does better than any other religious book is take real things that can be proven historically, and ties them in with the unknown, things that cannot be proven with secular sources.
Such as?

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Originally Posted by neal8929 View Post
It creates an interpretation of the purpose of humanity, and it actually makes sense.
For sake of argument, let's say that I accept this. How does that make christianity any different than any other religion? Every belief system offers up "an interpretation of the purpose of humanity". Are you telling me that muslims don't equally believe that their system "actually makes sense" to them?

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Originally Posted by neal8929 View Post
And btw, what the Bible says is NOT always in agreement with what your preacher says at your church. The irony is that when the bible is speaking of "false religion" it is not always referring to non-Christian. Church is a business/ social gathering.
But you know "the truth" about how the bible should be interpretted and how christianity should be represented, correct?
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:33 AM   #86
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Half of what I wanted to say is said by Achilles.

Other than that:

1. The bible is global. E.g: Someone can say "do something good". You can help people, or you can kill a cruel dictator, but killing is against the rules. It's the same with the bible, a "normal" believer can understand something in another way than a radical believer.

2. The purpose of humanity is different to every single being. What's the purpose of a dog? A fly? Dinosaurs? Aren't they created and destroyed by the same god?

3. Historical truth? Prove me Jesus walked on the water. Prove me YOU can walk on water, heal dying people, ... . These are "parabels (idk the English name, only Dutch)". They didn't happen litterally, they are here to make people think. And miracles are "Parabels in action"

4. "The Kingdom of God is all around us."
Means that no church or such things are needed, but the Vatican tries to convince us otherwise, because if this is the truth, then the Vatican will be destroyed.

And sorry if you don't really understand what I say, my English isn't very good afterall.


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"One good act of vengeance deserves another..."- John Jefferson

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Old 12-24-2009, 10:32 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Jedi Han View Post
1. The bible is global. E.g: Someone can say "do something good". You can help people, or you can kill a cruel dictator, but killing is against the rules. It's the same with the bible, a "normal" believer can understand something in another way than a radical believer.
I think our language barrier is making this a little difficult for me to interpret. When you say "the bible is global", do you mean "universal" (in that the concepts espoused in the bible are found in other moral teachings as well)?

If so, then I would probably say that I agree. The problem is that religious texts tend to be incredibly inconsistent. Per your own example of "killing being against the rules" both the bible and qu'ran promote non-violence on one hand and extreme violence with the other.

A simple study of moral philosophy will tell you that murder is wrong but that killing is sometimes justified (i.e. self-defense, cruel dictators, etc). If we can come to these conclusions via a means that does not require any unnecessary baggage, why subscribe to the option with tons of it (i.e. religion)?

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2. The purpose of humanity is different to every single being. What's the purpose of a dog? A fly? Dinosaurs? Aren't they created and destroyed by the same god?
The first part of this seems to acknowledge that there is no inherent purpose (a position I support), however the latter parts appear contradictory to this. If living things have no "purpose" (outside of their utility in the ecosystem), then why even ask the question?

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Originally Posted by Dark Jedi Han View Post
3. Historical truth? Prove me Jesus walked on the water. Prove me YOU can walk on water, heal dying people, ... . These are "parabels (idk the English name, only Dutch)". They didn't happen litterally, they are here to make people think. And miracles are "Parabels in action"
Does this apply to muhammed and the winged horse as well? This question is largely rhetorical, however if you do opt to answer, please be sure to clarify whether you are speaking for yourself or all muslims.

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4. "The Kingdom of God is all around us."
Means that no church or such things are needed, but the Vatican tries to convince us otherwise, because if this is the truth, then the Vatican will be destroyed.
Which implies the premise itself is correct.

And for what it's worth, catholicism is not the only religious faction with an established hierarchy.

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And sorry if you don't really understand what I say, my English isn't very good afterall.
Your English is quite good.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:13 AM   #88
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With the bible being global, I mean very open, general, like one phrase can have different meanings, or people can interpret it differently (like the example of killing).

With the human purpose, I couldn't explain it well, I meant that it's different for everything. Like you said, the ecological system, but the purpose of two dogs can be different: You have (mostly) dogs who obey, guard, ... others are made to guide blind people. There's a big difference between a chiwawa and a mastiff or pitbull. Everything has a different purpose.


I myself can't explain the winged horse. Maybe it was an illusion, maybe Gabriel was hiding behide the horse? I don't know, but if you compare the bible to the qur'an, you'ld admit that the bible has more unlikely miracles than the qur'an.


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And for what it's worth, catholicism is not the only religious faction with an established hierarchy.

One of the things I didn't really understand. Can you please explain that ?
And thanks for the compliment


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"One good act of vengeance deserves another..."- John Jefferson

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Old 12-24-2009, 12:58 PM   #89
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With the bible being global, I mean very open, general, like one phrase can have different meanings, or people can interpret it differently (like the example of killing).
First, thanks for clarifying.

Second, in that case, how is the bible different for any other holy book? Are you putting forth the argument that the qur'an isn't equally open to interpretation?

Food for thought:

Is this islam?



Or is this? Who decides?




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Originally Posted by Dark Jedi Han View Post
With the human purpose, I couldn't explain it well, I meant that it's different for everything. Like you said, the ecological system, but the purpose of two dogs can be different: You have (mostly) dogs who obey, guard, ... others are made to guide blind people. There's a big difference between a chiwawa and a mastiff or pitbull. Everything has a different purpose.
At the risk of attacking the analogy rather than the argument: dogs are intentionally bred for specific purposes. The range of dog breeds we see today did not evolve by natural selection, rather by artificial selection (carried out by humans). This fact is why I intentionally geared my rebuttal toward inherent purpose. My position is that nothing has an inherent purpose within the context of how we typically discuss "purpose" (hence the caveat about ecological utility). Obviously, I'm open to opposing viewpoints, but the argument would have to be pretty persuasive.


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I myself can't explain the winged horse. Maybe it was an illusion, maybe Gabriel was hiding behide the horse? I don't know, but if you compare the bible to the qur'an, you'ld admit that the bible has more unlikely miracles than the qur'an.
hehe, I'd tend to think that this is a function of word count more than anything else

Joking aside, I think we still end up at the conclusion that both religions have holy books which make unsubstantiated claims of a fantastic nature. Which one is "guilty" of doing it "more" seems irrelevant to the discussion when the topic is veracity. My 2 cents.


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One of the things I didn't really understand. Can you please explain that ?
I'd be happy to.

The mormon church is another example of a religious sect with internal hierarchy. In catholicism, the guy with hotline to god is the pope. In mormonism, it's the prophet. And so on.

Obviously not all religious groups are so rigidly structured, but I only sought to point out that catholics aren't the only group with this practice.


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And thanks for the compliment
You're welcome
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:33 PM   #90
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The 2nd picture is what Islam most likely is, the first one is people I would ignore, because in my eyes, they completely missunderstood the Islam (I'm telling you, I would love to go back to the 12th century. There, WE were much more noble IMO). But every religion has that. You've got the KKK, neo-nazis, strict believers, ... . The Jews who wanted Yeshos' death were equivalent to "them in the pic."

As for the dogs, long ago you also had little dogs and big ones, that's what I meant.

Bible-Qur'an reference:
I already told about the bible, and now the Qur'an. One of the passages clearly say that Rabbi's words are true and complete and that the definition is clear. If He says: "Cover your body where needed", then a "light" religious woman will cover her upperbody and legs, a "medium" religious woman will also cover her head and a strict believer will cover her body such that you even can't see her ... 'silhouette'. They ALL will certainly cover their breasts and legs, because that's the most important thing to cover.


And yes, I got a "lil' bit" off topic with the miracles hehe. But it's true!

As for the hierarchy. I don't know a "general" leader of the Islam. If I want, I can go and preach people, or my sister can, my 5-year old brother can. It all depends on who can tell it better and who knows more and rightously. In the Islam, your status isn't important, your intelligence and knowledge is.
And if you're going to quote the "righteously" part, it means "that what moral is"

To roughly answer "the question of religion" is "the answer to "Why are we here?". "


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"One good act of vengeance deserves another..."- John Jefferson

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Old 12-24-2009, 04:17 PM   #91
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The 2nd picture is what Islam most likely is, the first one is people I would ignore, because in my eyes, they completely missunderstood the Islam
So the answers to my questions are: 1) the favorable one and 2) you. No offense, but this is what I was expecting. The point remains is that they both represent islam. Specifically the parts of islam which are cherry-picked to support the viewpoint the follower in question likes more. In this regard, your religion is no different than the christianity on which you're commenting. Interestingly, you appear to concede as much a few lines down (which would seem to invalidate everything you've said above )

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(I'm telling you, I would love to go back to the 12th century. There, WE were much more noble IMO).
Hehe, I'd like to introduce you to Bernard Lewis

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But every religion has that. You've got the KKK, neo-nazis, strict believers, ... . The Jews who wanted Yeshos' death were equivalent to "them in the pic."
And per my point, these agents feel that they are the ones correctly interpretting the holy book in question. Which makes the whole "let's use these texts as the basis for our culture" thing a little difficult to understand.

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As for the dogs, long ago you also had little dogs and big ones, that's what I meant.
No, you had wolves, which is my point. Some wolves became domesticated and then bred for specific traits which lead to the array of dog breeds we see today. So with regards to dogs specifically, they have "purpose" because we bred them with "purpose" in mind. Inherently, there was no "purpose" to their existence. I would argue that this is the same for all animals, including the ape species we commonly refer to as "us".

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Bible-Qur'an reference:
I already told about the bible, and now the Qur'an. One of the passages clearly say that Rabbi's words are true and complete and that the definition is clear. If He says: "Cover your body where needed", then a "light" religious woman will cover her upperbody and legs, a "medium" religious woman will also cover her head and a strict believer will cover her body such that you even can't see her ... 'silhouette'. They ALL will certainly cover their breasts and legs, because that's the most important thing to cover.
According to whom? I sense circular reasoning at play here

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And yes, I got a "lil' bit" off topic with the miracles hehe. But it's true!
Per your opinion, which means that it's not "true" in any objective sense of the word. And that's my point

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To roughly answer "the question of religion" is "the answer to "Why are we here?". "
So our "purpose" for being here is to have religion?

On what basis should I find this argument compelling? What if I determine that I want my life to have some other purpose (or no purpose at all)? What makes me wrong?
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:15 AM   #92
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The favorable one? What did I just tell you: These people were blinded by their rage. What would you do if the man you admire, and whose path you follow gets insulted by a cartoon? And severely insulted. I could insult Jesus by saying that he was the result of Maria and a donkey in a cave, as a payback, but what would that do? What would you do if I said George Washington raped Indians and slaughtered tons of Natives? Where would I differ then from those who insulted us? I would degrade to the same level of the ignorant or the "infidel".

So 1) is NOT an answer to your question, not at all. 2) is me, people I know, my parents and my community. And heck, of course my religion is no different than the christianity: We are based on them. Jesus is one of our major prophets.

It's like this:
The Jews were the first. God orded Moses to lead them. Moses did what God asked, until the Jews worshipped a golden calf.
God didn't like that, so centuries later he sent a new prophet named Yeshos. He would show the right way to the Jews and most likely succeeded. But centuries later, man began to lose his mind and thought Jesus was the son of God.
God didn't like that neither, so he sent his last prophet, named Mahomet. And so on...


I didn't understand the "Bernard Louis joke". Keep it simple, I'm a bit stupid lol (concetration problems..)


YOU didn't understand what I wanted to say. You've got your good sides, and bad sides. Light side - Dark side. Religion has that too. Every religion.

I give up on the dogs heh..



According to the "laws of shame" (if you know the story of Adam and Eve). I would like to see you run naked through town. No, scratch that, I wouldn't. But you understand what I meant, I guess.


Then it's true in subjective sense. I'll give up here too.

And lastly, again, you didn't understand me.
Some people ask themselves "Why are we here?" and find their answer in some religions. Seriously, why do we exist, does the earth exist? Galaxies? Why?
For me, and I'm sure many other religious people, this world is an exam. We must show our loyalty to JHWH, God, Allah, ... by succeeding in this world, by acting morally and helping others. If we do, we'll get our highly wanted price: The Heaven.

If we fail, ... ouch, it's Satan, Iblis, Shaytan,.. waiting for us.


"An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye .... ends in making everybody blind"- Mahatma Ghandi
"One good act of vengeance deserves another..."- John Jefferson

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Old 12-25-2009, 10:47 PM   #93
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The favorable one?
Yes, the favorable one. I asked you which picture was "the real islam" and predictably you responded that the second one. Nevermind that people in either picture would turn to the qur'an to justify their choices.

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What did I just tell you: These people were blinded by their rage.
So what? Is that supposed to make it okay?

What about the part where they justify their behavior with cherry-picked lines from your holy book?

This is the part where you tell me that they are "interpretting it wrong" and fail to realize that the book itself is probably the problem.

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What would you do if the man you admire, and whose path you follow gets insulted by a cartoon? And severely insulted.
I live in a country where free speech is taken very seriously. Even if I did not, I don't think I could justify such behavior by claiming that my feeling were hurt. I'm pretty sure someone would tell me to go home a put my big boy pants on.

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I could insult Jesus by saying that he was the result of Maria and a donkey in a cave, as a payback, but what would that do?
Indeed you could. And for all my distaste of "christians", I at least have to give them credit for not issuing a fatwah on you for the above statement. No innocent men, women, or children will be trampled to death during the protests of your internet post. No store fronts burned. No calls for boycotts of products manufactured in your country.

Yes, for all their warts, most christians don't demonstrate their peaceful way of life by calling for the deaths of those that dare to draw cartoons of their religious icons.

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What would you do if I said George Washington raped Indians and slaughtered tons of Natives?
Ask anyone here; I would ask for your source.

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It's like this:
The Jews were the first. God orded Moses to lead them. Moses did what God asked, until the Jews worshipped a golden calf.
God didn't like that, so centuries later he sent a new prophet named Yeshos. He would show the right way to the Jews and most likely succeeded. But centuries later, man began to lose his mind and thought Jesus was the son of God.
God didn't like that neither, so he sent his last prophet, named Mahomet. And so on...
I wonder if any jews or christians would like to jump in here...


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I didn't understand the "Bernard Louis joke". Keep it simple, I'm a bit stupid lol (concetration problems..)
It wasn't a joke, it was suggested reading.

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According to the "laws of shame" (if you know the story of Adam and Eve). I would like to see you run naked through town. No, scratch that, I wouldn't. But you understand what I meant, I guess.
"laws" of shame, eh? I guess I'm not familiar with those laws. I like to think I familiar with "norms". Familiar enough to recognize that they differ from culture to culture. How big a shocker do you think my nudie jog would be in a nudist colony? A beach in France? Spring Break in Miami?

The point is that your assertion that some things are "most important to cover" is something fairly arbitrary dictated by the norms you subscribe to. They are in no way universal, however I'm more than willing to listen to your counter argument if you'd like to correct my thinking on the matter.

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Some people ask themselves "Why are we here?" and find their answer in some religions.
This is true, but that doesn't mean that they are right. It also doesn't mean that religion is a good thing.

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Seriously, why do we exist, does the earth exist? Galaxies? Why?
My opinion is that this is poor application of the question. 'How did we get here?' is a useful question. 'How was the earth formed', 'How are galaxies created', etc, these are useful questions. 'Why' is not. 'Why' presumes that there is a purpose and I find no good reason to include such a premise in any related investigation. It isn't useful in any way.

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For me, and I'm sure many other religious people, this world is an exam. We must show our loyalty to JHWH, God, Allah, ... by succeeding in this world, by acting morally and helping others. If we do, we'll get our highly wanted price: The Heaven.
And what happens if you die and find out that it was really Zeus all along? The Greeks had it right and you're screwed.

If this is all a test and passing that test is the most important thing you should be doing with your life, don't you think it would be beneficial to make sure you're taking the right test first?

And if your point is that the important thing is really to "be nice", then why not just do that and leave all the contradictory religious stuff in century in which in was written?

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If we fail, ... ouch, it's Satan, Iblis, Shaytan,.. waiting for us.
Or nothing. See above.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:04 PM   #94
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Ask anyone here; I would ask for your source.
No doubt, he would. Two, three times or more if you were not careful.


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I wonder if any jews or christians would like to jump in here...
Not really.

However, my first thought upon reading Dark Jedi Han's remark you quoted was if we had any Mormons here.


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Old 12-26-2009, 02:14 AM   #95
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If I may, I believe have a answer as to one of the "WHY" questions. To......

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NEW TESTAMENT
"Do unto others as you would have them do to you
."

And I think it's just that simple. Also the phrase is probably in every ancient religious text of the many different religions, but worded differently, with the same meaning in mind. (I know I've seen it in Confucianism and Zoroastrianism texts, which predates Christianity.)

But I really believe you could worship anybody or anything (or not) and it wouldn't really matter as long as you follow that little golden rule; which does serve a useful purpose.

It seems to me as though many different religions have come and went over the thousands of years that have passed, but that simple moral rule remained constant and probably because it's a eternal universal truth IMO.


SITH HAPPENS
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:08 AM   #96
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IF Zeus was the god, then it doesn't matter to me, because whatever you do, you'll just dwell in the underworld. And besides, I'm insulting Zeus right now, just to see if a lightning bolt will hit me...

Nope, nothing

And for the "laws of shame" or norms as you call it, it's universal in the civilized world. Go then, go to a nudist beach and walk around. I wouldn't do that, even if they pay me. But of course, that's MY choice.

And if someone chooses for a religion, then HE did it, not you. For him, or her for that matter, it will be the right choice as long as the religion relies on moral ethics.

Then I'm asking you: How did we get here?

And I agree with purifier.


"An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye .... ends in making everybody blind"- Mahatma Ghandi
"One good act of vengeance deserves another..."- John Jefferson

Extracted from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2... Beautiful game

Last edited by Dark Jedi Han; 12-26-2009 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:48 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by purifier View Post
If I may, I believe have a answer as to one of the "WHY" questions. To......

<snip>

And I think it's just that simple.
Let's try that in dialog, just to see if it makes any sense:

"Why are we here?"
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Forgive me, but I just don't see it.

Your input would seem more appropriate to questions of to HOW (!!!) we should conduct ourselves, but I don't see anything related to why we are here.

And for what it's worth, Kant's categorical imperative carries the same theme, with a superior structure and without any superstitious baggage. So again, why opt for the inferior option?

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Also the phrase is probably in every ancient religious text of the many different religions, but worded differently, with the same meaning in mind. (I know I've seen it in Confucianism and Zoroastrianism texts, which predates Christianity.)
So why not follow one of those religions?

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But I really believe you could worship anybody or anything (or not) and it wouldn't really matter as long as you follow that little golden rule; which does serve a useful purpose.
Welcome to the argument for secular humanism

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It seems to me as though many different religions have come and went over the thousands of years that have passed, but that simple moral rule remained constant and probably because it's a eternal universal truth IMO.
I don't know that I would agree with the "eternal universal truth" part, but I could definitely subscribe to the argument that it's a good idea and that good ideas should be accepted over bad ideas, etc, etc.

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IF Zeus was the god, then it doesn't matter to me, because whatever you do, you'll just dwell in the underworld.
Oh, so you're not "good" because it's morally correct, you just fear the consequences?

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And besides, I'm insulting Zeus right now, just to see if a lightning bolt will hit me...
It seems you're trying to have it both ways: You can insult Zeus right now and feel justified in expecting immediate consequences. Yet I suspect that if you insulted your deity right now and nothing happened, you'd posit that your punishment would await in the afterlife. Would you be willing to put your "soul" where your mouth is and try the same experiment with "the prophet" muhammed, or some other religious icon that live a little closer to home?

Also, how hypocritical of you is it that you're willing to insult other people's gods (with impunity assumed, it would seem), but you try to justify the actions of others when the target is a god that you share? It seems that on some level you're willing to argue that your religion deserves special treatment. Hmmm.

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Nope, nothing
I'm sorry, because you're not quoting the part of my post you're responding to, I can't tell which argument you're categorically dismissing.

What's more, it's a shame that you felt the desire to participate in this discussion, yet when pressed, you have reply thusly. If you have good arguments to present but choose not to, then you're missing an opportunity to change my mind (or the mind of someone else who's reading along). If you do not, then the flippant tone of your (perceived) dismissal might suggest that you've no intention of seriously considering the points that have been raised for you...which would further imply that you're not here to debate in good faith, but rather to preach.

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And for the "laws of shame" or norms as you call it, it's universal in the civilized world. Go then, go to a nudist beach and walk around. I wouldn't do that, even if they pay me. But of course, that's MY choice.
I'm glad to see that you at least read my words. I hope that at some point you also understand them.

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And if someone chooses for a religion, then HE did it, not you. For him, or her for that matter, it will be the right choice as long as the religion relies on moral ethics.
The rules of logic are not subjective. People either have good reasons for believing in something or they do not. Because people frequently allow their religious beliefs to influence their political beliefs, social beliefs, etc, those choices have consequence outside of just their lives. So I'm sorry, there is no "live and let live" in this regard.

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Then I'm asking you: How did we get here?
I'd be happy to discuss the current scientific thinking on that very question in any of the related threads already existing in this forum. Pick one and I'll meet you there.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:02 AM   #98
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Oh, so you're not "good" because it's morally correct, you just fear the consequences?
Yes, I do fear the consequences, because there isn't always a "moral" good, just like I said. But ofcourse, I prefer non-violent ways, like speaking. Either way, whether I fear the consequences or the morality, I'm acting "good" and that's what counts the most.


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It seems you're trying to have it both ways: You can insult Zeus right now and feel justified in expecting immediate consequences. Yet I suspect that if you insulted your deity right now and nothing happened, you'd posit that your punishment would await in the afterlife. Would you be willing to put your "soul" where your mouth is and try the same experiment with "the prophet" muhammed, or some other religious icon that live a little closer to home?
1) There's a difference between that religion and mine: Polytheisme and Monotheisme. Further than that, the Greek religion is ... "direct", that's what I mean: Arachne insulted Athena, what happened? She popped out and challenged her. Zeus changes into an animal every second to couple with a woman. "They" respond immediately when you insult them, that's why I insulted them. And my excuses to those who believe in Zeus etc... . I pull it back. (Are there any here?)

And besides, by "nope nothing" I meant that nothing happened to me after that.

2) If Allah interferes everytime when something bad happens, why would he send a messenger then ? How would Mahomet convince other people? God's messengers always have a rough time, they're all martyrs.

I mean, when a war break outs, the prophet had to fight. He could snap his fingers and say "disappear", but that would be pointless if you want to prove something... I know you're going to quote this hehe, but I really can't explain it by writing.

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It seems that on some level you're willing to argue that your religion deserves special treatment. Hmmm.
Every religion deserves that. But wait, isn't half of the Muslims living in poverty? Aren't we discriminated in the world? I can tell you, I am, here in Belgium, especially after 9/11. I understand those people, we're foreigners, have other habits, other religion... But that's no reason to NOT accept us, because if they do, then hate escalates in both sides and this only leads to a "vicious circle". I presume you know what that is . However, there are people who respect us and we respect them back. Naturally, there always are people disturbing the peace, on both sides.

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What's more, it's a shame that you felt the desire to participate in this discussion, yet when pressed, you have reply thusly. If you have good arguments to present but choose not to, then you're missing an opportunity to change my mind (or the mind of someone else who's reading along). If you do not, then the flippant tone of your (perceived) dismissal might suggest that you've no intention of seriously considering the points that have been raised for you...which would further imply that you're not here to debate in good faith, but rather to preach.
I am here to debate in good faith, but you suddenly changed orientation towards the Islamic believe. I only commented about the bible saying that it had discrepancies and anachronisms everywhere after time.
And I'm not preaching, otherwise I would try to convert you into islam, but am I ? Nope. I know you won't convert and that it is your choice and I respect your choice.


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The rules of logic are not subjective. People either have good reasons for believing in something or they do not. Because people frequently allow their religious beliefs to influence their political beliefs, social beliefs, etc, those choices have consequence outside of just their lives. So I'm sorry, there is no "live and let live" in this regard.
IF religion influences your political or social beliefs, it most likely is positive. You'll act good and friendly.
I know, you'll direct me to that picture, but harm was done to them. That's why they act like that. If the Danish cartoonist didn't insult our prophet, nothing would have happened. It's like that one saying: "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth" or something like that.


"An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye .... ends in making everybody blind"- Mahatma Ghandi
"One good act of vengeance deserves another..."- John Jefferson

Extracted from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2... Beautiful game
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:42 AM   #99
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I'd be happy to discuss the current scientific thinking on that very question in any of the related threads already existing in this forum. Pick one and I'll meet you there.
Could you tell me under which title are those threads? Can't find them...

I'm interested on hearing what's the scientific answer for that question.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:10 AM   #100
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1) There's a difference between that religion and mine: Polytheisme and Monotheisme.
That doesn't tell me anything. I could probably conclude that you assume that polytheistic religions are "wrong" and that monotheistic religions are "right", but I'm not sure why we should assume that.

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Further than that, the Greek religion is ... "direct", that's what I mean: Arachne insulted Athena, what happened? She popped out and challenged her. Zeus changes into an animal every second to couple with a woman. "They" respond immediately when you insult them, that's why I insulted them.
And there are numerous examples of god taking direct action in the bible. So I'm afraid that argument doesn't help your point.

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And my excuses to those who believe in Zeus etc... . I pull it back. (Are there any here?)
Does it matter whether or not there are any pagans here? If insulting religions is categorically wrong, then I don't see why it should matter. You've insulted another religion.

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And besides, by "nope nothing" I meant that nothing happened to me after that.
Okay. But you better hope that you're right and that zeus isn't keeping score.

Of course, I doubt you think that is a consideration that should be taken seriously. And if I pressed you as to why, your arguments would probably sound remarkably similar to the reasons why no religion should be taken seriously.

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2) If Allah interferes everytime when something bad happens, why would he send a messenger then ? How would Mahomet convince other people? God's messengers always have a rough time, they're all martyrs.

I mean, when a war break outs, the prophet had to fight. He could snap his fingers and say "disappear", but that would be pointless if you want to prove something... I know you're going to quote this hehe, but I really can't explain it by writing.
But allah does "interfere" doesn't he? That's what the whole islam thing is about, isn't it? Submission to allah's will? So clearly you do believe that he "interferes".

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Every religion deserves that.
Why? Why do belief systems deserve special treatment and/or respect?

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But wait, isn't half of the Muslims living in poverty?
First, source please?

Second, relevance?

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Aren't we discriminated in the world?
Hehe, get in line.

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I can tell you, I am, here in Belgium, especially after 9/11. I understand those people, we're foreigners, have other habits, other religion... But that's no reason to NOT accept us, because if they do, then hate escalates in both sides and this only leads to a "vicious circle". I presume you know what that is . However, there are people who respect us and we respect them back. Naturally, there always are people disturbing the peace, on both sides.
I think the last sentence above in important (and might help to provide context for the others).

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I am here to debate in good faith, but you suddenly changed orientation towards the Islamic believe. I only commented about the bible saying that it had discrepancies and anachronisms everywhere after time.
As do most all religions, including yours (see my earlier post with photos).

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IF religion influences your political or social beliefs, it most likely is positive. You'll act good and friendly.
And this assumption is based on what?

Shall we take a look at how non-believers, women, homosexuals, etc are treated in your religion?

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I know, you'll direct me to that picture, but harm was done to them.
No, a cartoon was published. No "harm" was done to them.

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That's why they act like that. If the Danish cartoonist didn't insult our prophet, nothing would have happened. It's like that one saying: "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth" or something like that.
Which assumes that the Danish cartoonist did something wrong.

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Could you tell me under which title are those threads? Can't find them...

I'm interested on hearing what's the scientific answer for that question.
There are a few evolution threads buried on older pages. IIRC, I'm sure that one or more of them have touched on the question of origins, however rather than make you dig, I'll simply start a life origins thread and we can take it from there.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:30 AM   #101
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That doesn't tell me anything. I could probably conclude that you assume that polytheistic religions are "wrong" and that monotheistic religions are "right", but I'm not sure why we should assume that.
Yes, indeed I assume that polytheistic religions are wrong. It's in my nature.

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And there are numerous examples of god taking direct action in the bible. So I'm afraid that argument doesn't help your point.
Correct, in the Bible. But I told you, discrepancies and anachronisms over time... Half of them could be exaggerated to convert other people.

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Does it matter whether or not there are any pagans here? If insulting religions is categorically wrong, then I don't see why it should matter. You've insulted another religion.
So be it, you're not a pagan, so I frankly think you don't ever care whether I insult them or not, do you ? I leave judgment upon the pagans.



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Okay. But you better hope that you're right and that zeus isn't keeping score.
Trust me, I doubt he is.

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But allah does "interfere" doesn't he? That's what the whole islam thing is about, isn't it? Submission to allah's will? So clearly you do believe that he "interferes".
He may be interfering without us knowing it. And Islam is not all about Allah interfering, it's following the path that our Prophet has walked.



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Why? Why do belief systems deserve special treatment and/or respect?
A'ight. Demolish the Vatican, give Palestina back to the Palestinians. They deserved special treatment, didn't they ? Why not Islam?
Islam is recognized in Belgium, but not supported. I'm sure many other countries do the same...



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First, source please?

Second, relevance?
You really need a source and relevance? Ethiopia: Poorest country in the world. The Maghreb: Dryness, wars, lack of food. Families in foreign countries live just under the limit of poverty.
Relevance? Seriously, look at Europa and Afrika. Or America and Asia. You know it, but don't admit it.
Look at the churches built by Christians and Mosques by Muslims.


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Hehe, get in line.
We are the line right now, my friend.


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I think the last sentence above in important (and might help to provide context for the others).
Then you didn't read/understand what I've written right before it...



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As do most all religions, including yours (see my earlier post with photos).
Already told you that. See previous post.



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And this assumption is based on what?

Shall we take a look at how non-believers, women, homosexuals, etc are treated in your religion?
Fourty-three of your presidents were WASP's, except one, he's a BASP (Obama). Kennedy had another religion and was a "good" man. He got shot, didn't he ?

First, let's see how Believers, women and homosexuals are treated in every country, especially America. Weren't you people against homosexuals? Are you against them?

And besides, it is not in religion that women are badly treated, but in countries. My father has never raised a hand on my mother, neither has my uncle on his wife, nor my older cousins, grandfather. Why? Again, read what Mahomet has done to Kadija, to Fatima. That's how WE act.

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No, a cartoon was published. No "harm" was done to them.
A cartoon breaking one of our most important rules. "Do not publish Allah, nor his Messenger Muhammad or any other Holy being."
Who's insulting who now? So, harm is done to us.


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Which assumes that the Danish cartoonist did something wrong.
Exactly, he did.


"An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye .... ends in making everybody blind"- Mahatma Ghandi
"One good act of vengeance deserves another..."- John Jefferson

Extracted from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2... Beautiful game
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:34 AM   #102
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Yes, indeed I assume that polytheistic religions are wrong. It's in my nature.
But this doesn't tell me why I (or anyone else) should agree. You seem to think that your "nature" makes it okay, however that isn't a good reason.


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Correct, in the Bible. But I told you, discrepancies and anachronisms over time... Half of them could be exaggerated to convert other people.
You're guessing. The point is that such "discrepancies and anachronisms" exist in every holy text (remember our discussion about the winged horse?). If jews and christians are using "exaggerations" to convert other people, then what is it when your religion does it too?


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So be it, you're not a pagan, so I frankly think you don't ever care whether I insult them or not, do you ? I leave judgment upon the pagans.
I think it's extremely important that you are being inconsistent in your position. You seem to think that violence is justified when someone "insults" (i.e. draws a cartoon) one of your religious icons, but you think that insulting other people's religious icons are okay. Why? Because you don't think they're real. And I'm okay with that, except for the part where we have no reason to think that yours are real either. And your brethren are willing to riot, injure, and kill over the matter. And you think that's justified.

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Trust me, I doubt he is.
Do you apply the same doubt to your own religious figures? On what basis do you pick and choose?

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He may be interfering without us knowing it. And Islam is not all about Allah interfering, it's following the path that our Prophet has walked.
Nothing you've said here addresses my point.

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A'ight. Demolish the Vatican, give Palestina back to the Palestinians. They deserved special treatment, didn't they ? Why not Islam?
You seem to think that I agree that they deserve special treatment. I do not.

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You really need a source and relevance?
Yes, I absolutely do. If you're going to make a specific claim (i.e. "half of muslims live in poverty"), then I am going to ask to see a source.

As for relevance, what does the poverty level of muslims have to do with whether or not islam deserves special treatment? Nothing, so far as I can reason.

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Ethiopia: Poorest country in the world. The Maghreb: Dryness, wars, lack of food. Families in foreign countries live just under the limit of poverty.
Relevance? Seriously, look at Europa and Afrika. Or America and Asia. You know it, but don't admit it.
Look at the churches built by Christians and Mosques by Muslims.
I'm sorry, I guess I just don't see why regional economic issues have anything to do with religion. Perhaps you could enlighten me.


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We are the line right now, my friend.
Really? You seriously think that islam is the only belief system in which practioners are persecuted?

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Then you didn't read/understand what I've written right before it...
I think one of us understood what you wrote better than the other

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Already told you that. See previous post.
Indeed. It seems that you've conceded the point several times. However you've also made statement contradictory to that several times as well, hence why I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out exactly which side of the point you are on.

Either you recognize that your religion is just as flawed as all the others (the ones you dismiss), or you think it truly is deserving of some sort of special treatment. I'm trying to nail you down to one side of the discussion or the other, but you keep flip-flopping.

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Fourty-three of your presidents were WASP's, except one, he's a BASP (Obama). Kennedy had another religion and was a "good" man. He got shot, didn't he ?
Relevance?

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First, let's see how Believers, women and homosexuals are treated in every country, especially America. Weren't you people against homosexuals? Are you against them?
Indeed, let's look at how these groups are treated. But more imporatantly, let's look at the justifications provided by those that seek to oppress these groups. You want to wager that these justifications are religious in nature?

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And besides, it is not in religion that women are badly treated, but in countries. My father has never raised a hand on my mother, neither has my uncle on his wife, nor my older cousins, grandfather. Why? Again, read what Mahomet has done to Kadija, to Fatima.
See above.

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That's how WE act.
I'm sorry, is this the same "we" that participates in honor killings, etc? Or is that a different "we"?

Again, it seems you want to be able to pick and choose which actions represent "true" islam without having to take responsibility for any of the others. The fact is that both faces of islam cite the same sources. You want to blame individuals for "improper interpretation" (without telling me why their interpretation is wrong and not yours). I think the blame lies with the source itself.


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A cartoon breaking one of our most important rules. "Do not publish Allah, nor his Messenger Muhammad or any other Holy being."
Who's insulting who now? So, harm is done to us.
Right, one of your rules. Not his. Not mine. Yours.

No "harm" was done to anyone. Ink was put on paper. Seriously.

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Exactly, he did.
That is your opinion and nothing more.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:52 PM   #103
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Let's try that in dialog, just to see if it makes any sense:

"Why are we here?"
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Forgive me, but I just don't see it.

Your input would seem more appropriate to questions of to HOW (!!!) we should conduct ourselves, but I don't see anything related to why we are here.

As for the golden rule and questions in relations to the "HOW", I agree with that too. But from a philosophical point of view, my own point of view, I believe it to be the "WHY" also. So I guess we will hafta to agree to disagree on that, wouldn't you agree? But seriously though, I really believe the golden rule relates to both the "HOW" and "WHY".



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And for what it's worth, Kant's categorical imperative carries the same theme, with a superior structure and without any superstitious baggage. So again, why opt for the inferior option?
Well I never saw that before, that's kinda interesting. I'm suprised that I never heard of Kant's Categorical Imperative view before until you introduced it to me just recently, thank you sir for the reference.

But still.. as for the reasons that I adopt the inferior ver. (The Golden Rule) is because it's simple and direct in it's meaning, from my philosophical point of view only; as I mentioned above.


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So why not follow one of those religions?
Well over time those religions became corrupt and lost the true direction in which they were actually meant to go; as most religions do eventually. But some of the philosophies that they incorporate within there teachings do appeal to me, yet I don't accept them as a religion for me; or any religion for that matter, really just the truths that make sense. Yes, I know..that's unheard of isn't it?




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Welcome to the argument for secular humanism
"Secular Humanism" you say. Well, as a matter of fact...once upon a time..I too followed that way of thinking for a long time without ever hearing of the words "Secular Humanism." The need of proving things only through a scientific method was my belief at one time too. But, as I got older..some of life's experiences force me to change my idea's about that and so it became clear to me that not everything can be explained within the use of the scientific method.


Although I would agree with some aspects of Secular Humanism, like the search for truth, ethics and building a better world, the scientific method dosen't always help me in a explanation of the many different mysteries that still lurk out there and that the scientific method just cannot explain; and may never explain as well too.



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Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
I don't know that I would agree with the "eternal universal truth" part, but I could definitely subscribe to the argument that it's a good idea and that good ideas should be accepted over bad ideas, etc, etc.
Well the "eternal universal truth" statement that I associated the "golden rule" with, is from my own philosophical point of view more than anything, yet it can be the idea of a "universal morality" from another point of view as well. And I agree too as for the "good idea" over "bad idea" point you made, can't be wrong with that way of thinking as far as I'm concerned.


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Old 01-04-2010, 06:12 PM   #104
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As for the golden rule and questions in relations to the "HOW", I agree with that too. But from a philosophical point of view, my own point of view, I believe it to be the "WHY" also.
I'll simply repeat what I said last time:

I don't see how

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Well I never saw that before, that's kinda interesting. I'm suprised that I never heard of Kant's Categorical Imperative view before until you introduced it to me just recently, thank you sir for the reference.

But still.. as for the reasons that I adopt the inferior ver. (The Golden Rule) is because it's simple and direct in it's meaning, from my philosophical point of view only; as I mentioned above.
No doubt that "the golden rule" works in a majority of situations. The point was that we don't need to have "the golden rule" in order to come to the conclusion it proffers (in fact, we can create a better version). If the argument is "religion is good because it gives us the golden rule", then what happens when we realize that we don't need religion in order to have something that serves the same function? What purpose does religion serve at this point?

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Well over time those religions became corrupt and lost the true direction in which they were actually meant to go; as most religions do eventually.
Based on what? What makes one religion "right" and other religions "wrong"? Please be specific.

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But some of the philosophies that they incorporate within there teachings do appeal to me, yet I don't accept them as a religion for me; or any religion for that matter, really just the truths that make sense. Yes, I know..that's unheard of isn't it?
If the philosophies are what appeals to you, then why not simply study philosophy?

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"Secular Humanism" you say. Well, as a matter of fact...once upon a time..I too followed that way of thinking for a long time without ever hearing of the words "Secular Humanism." The need of proving things only through a scientific method was my belief at one time too. But, as I got older..some of life's experiences force me to change my idea's about that and so it became clear to me that not everything can be explained within the use of the scientific method.

Although I would agree with some aspects of Secular Humanism, like the search for truth, ethics and building a better world, the scientific method dosen't always help me in a explanation of the many different mysteries that still lurk out there and that the scientific method just cannot explain; and may never explain as well too.
First, I'm not sure why we're conflating "secular humanism" with "scientific method". I'm sure that if we were to do a poll we would find that many secular humanists are science-minded and that many scientists are secular humanists, but there is nothing inherently tying the two groups together. Your implication otherwise is a little confusing.

Second, I'm fully willing to accept that there are things that science cannot currently explain and may never be able to explain (string theory springs to mind). However, I'm not sure how "making stuff up" becomes a superior methodology for uncovering "truth" in that void. If you could explain to me what I'm missing here, I think it would be very helpful.

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Well the "eternal universal truth" statement that I associated the "golden rule" with, is from my own philosophical point of view more than anything, yet it can be the idea of a "universal morality" from another point of view as well. And I agree too as for the "good idea" over "bad idea" point you made, can't be wrong with that way of thinking as far as I'm concerned.
I'm certainly glad to hear that we're in agreement on this point.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:19 PM   #105
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Based on what? What makes one religion "right" and other religions "wrong"?
The same thing that makes some actions "right" or "wrong".
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:23 PM   #106
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The same thing that makes some actions "right" or "wrong".
Within moral philosophy, rules of logic can be used to determine "moral" vs "immoral" action. I'm not aware that any such mechanism exists for theology, so I don't agree that it's "the same thing" at all.

But, again, feel free to correct me where I am mistaken.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:34 PM   #107
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Within moral philosophy, rules of logic can be used to determine "moral" vs "immoral" action.
Morality isn't exclusive of moral philosophy, but also of religion.
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:35 PM   #108
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Morality isn't exclusive of moral philosophy, but also of religion.
Religion certainly seeks to participate in moral philosophy, but I don't think they're separate categories as you would seem to want to imply.

I would invite you to correct me where I am wrong, however based on the nature of your posts, you don't seem terribly interested in offering any sort of rationale for your arguments.
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:17 AM   #109
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No doubt that "the golden rule" works in a majority of situations. The point was that we don't need to have "the golden rule" in order to come to the conclusion it proffers (in fact, we can create a better version).
It's always been a simple statement, as a moral guideline for all. One good reason as to why this rule is worded the way it is, is so that the words it conveys can even be understood by the uneducated mind; not just the educated mind only. Creating a better version would just be overkill IMO. I mean why mess with something so simple and to the direct point in it's meaning for those who have a hard time in understanding other complicated statements, that really mean the same thing.



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If the argument is "religion is good because it gives us the golden rule", then what happens when we realize that we don't need religion in order to have something that serves the same function? What purpose does religion serve at this point?
You'll get no argument from me on this point, I've always believe the rule could stand on it's own without religion.



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Based on what? What makes one religion "right" and other religions "wrong"? Please be specific.
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear with my statement and I think I mislead you. Actually, I don't believe that any religion is totally right or that one is above the other, just because any of them say so. And I really should have mentioned that, from my point view, all religions have become corrupt over time. Anyway, my bad.




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If the philosophies are what appeals to you, then why not simply study philosophy?
Funny you should mention that, actually I do and have been studying philosophy off and on for quite awhile.


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First, I'm not sure why we're conflating "secular humanism" with "scientific method". I'm sure that if we were to do a poll we would find that many secular humanists are science-minded and that many scientists are secular humanists, but there is nothing inherently tying the two groups together. Your implication otherwise is a little confusing.
Hmmm. To be honest with you, and for some reason, I got that impression from this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism
scroll down too "Tenets" and under that look at "Reason, evidence, scientific method", that's where I derived my conclusion about "Secular Humanists" and the "Scientific Method" from. If this is incorrect, and if you could, I would like for you to enlighten me on the this. I would hate to make the wrong assumptions about all this.


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Second, I'm fully willing to accept that there are things that science cannot currently explain and may never be able to explain (string theory springs to mind). However, I'm not sure how "making stuff up" becomes a superior methodology for uncovering "truth" in that void. If you could explain to me what I'm missing here, I think it would be very helpful.
When you say "I'm not sure how making stuff up becomes a superior methodology for uncovering truth in that void", do you mean drawing a conclusion from one's own thinking to make sense of the unexplained?


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Old 01-05-2010, 12:26 PM   #110
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It's always been a simple statement, as a moral guideline for all. One good reason as to why this rule is worded the way it is, is so that the words it conveys can even be understood by the uneducated mind; not just the educated mind only. Creating a better version would just be overkill IMO.
It's already been done

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I mean why mess with something so simple and to the direct point in it's meaning for those who have a hard time in understanding other complicated statements, that really mean the same thing.
It doesn't mean the same thing. In a majority of situations it gets you to the same point, but that isn't the same.

The "golden rule" has problems that the categorical imperative does not. That someone needs to make a modicum of effort to wrap their head around the categorical imperative doesn't strike me as being a very good excuse to reject it.

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You'll get no argument from me on this point, I've always believe the rule could stand on it's own without religion.
And it does, via the categorical imperative

...which, I believe, brings us right back to where we started

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I'm sorry, I wasn't clear with my statement and I think I mislead you. Actually, I don't believe that any religion is totally right or that one is above the other, just because any of them say so. And I really should have mentioned that, from my point view, all religions have become corrupt over time. Anyway, my bad.
It's no problem. I'm glad you clarified though, as it makes it much easier for me to understand where you are coming from.

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Funny you should mention that, actually I do and have been studying philosophy off and on for quite awhile.
Excellent!

May I offer some suggested reading? I found these books to be very illuminating.

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
Why I Am Not A Christian And Other Essays On Religion And Related Subjects

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Hmmm. To be honest with you, and for some reason, I got that impression from this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_humanism
scroll down too "Tenets" and under that look at "Reason, evidence, scientific method", that's where I derived my conclusion about "Secular Humanists" and the "Scientific Method" from. If this is incorrect, and if you could, I would like for you to enlighten me on the this. I would hate to make the wrong assumptions about all this.
I see where you're come from now. Secular humanism does indeed promote reason and critical thinking, however I was not aware that they were so blantant in their committment to science. Thank you for pointing that out.

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When you say "I'm not sure how making stuff up becomes a superior methodology for uncovering truth in that void", do you mean drawing a conclusion from one's own thinking to make sense of the unexplained?
The glib answer is "yes"

The slightly more detailed response might sound like this:

Drawing a conclusion without the rigorous application of reason and doubt is the exact same things a choosing an "answer" arbitrarily (i.e. because it sounds pretty, makes you feel good about the world, etc).

If something is "unexplained", then why not simply acknowledge that it's "unexplained"? If I encounter something that I don't know, I don't feel compelled to fabricate an answer or accept someone else's supernatural "explanation". I try to find the actual answer, and if I find one, great. If I don't, then I try my best to get over it.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:12 PM   #111
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I kant believe we are talking about the CI.

There are, of course, problems with it as well. Ethics are so difficult.

Just curious, what did any of that have to do with the thread topic?
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:43 PM   #112
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I kant believe we are talking about the CI.
Nice

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There are, of course, problems with it as well. Ethics are so difficult.
Ethics are indeed difficult. Hence why I bristle when people proclaim that religion has "the answer".

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Just curious, what did any of that have to do with the thread topic?
Topic got quasi-derailed into a "why religion is useful" tangent (as tends to happen in these debates).
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:46 AM   #113
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Shocked that you laughed.... most of my phil peers roll their eyes on my pun-ishment

Glad to know how it was derailed... I can give lots of examples of "why religion is useful".... but I might make unhappiness occur. Someone's sig here at LFN says it quite perfectly, something about the wise and the powerful.... and how religion is used by different classes.

I have nothing to add here - other than I find absolutely zero REASON to believe that the God posited by the religions of the Book exists, and find it absurdly easy to refute that God. This does not mean that no God exists, but the more man-given attributes are attributed to God, the less likely that that God could be real.

I did not say, christian folk, that your God does not exist. I did say that I think he lives in the same neighborhood as Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

Utopia FTW!
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:02 AM   #114
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It doesn't mean the same thing. In a majority of situations it gets you to the same point, but that isn't the same.
Actually, the more I look over Kant's "Categorical Imperative" the more that I see a differance between the two. And it's even acknowledge in this quote from Wikipedia:

" The Golden Rule
It is often said that the Categorical Imperative is the same as The Golden Rule. In the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals Kant states that what he is saying is not the same as the Golden Rule; that the Golden Rule is derived from the categorical imperative with limitations. Under the Golden Rule many things cannot be universal. A criminal on the grounds of the Golden Rule could dispute with judges or a man could refuse to give to charity, both of which are incompatible under the universality of the categorical imperative. Kant makes this point when arguing that a man who purposefully breaks a promise is immoral
." (Wikipedia)

So your right, it really doesn't mean the same thing. And the "golden rule" is more like a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch your back" definition.


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The "golden rule" has problems that the categorical imperative does not.
Okay. Can you give me some examples from your own point of view, as to why the "golden rule" has problems.



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That someone needs to make a modicum of effort to wrap their head around the categorical imperative doesn't strike me as being a very good excuse to reject it.
Well now don't get me wrong. I wasn't trying to imply, in my earlier statement, that it should be rejected or ignored. But that it might be a little hard to comprehend for some individuals, that's really all that I was indicating. And I don't see any harm at trying to read and understand it, I did, but any individual who does (and can understand it's concept's) should be able to make there own judgement about it; and whether it's right for them or not, etc.


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And it does, via the categorical imperative

...which, I believe, brings us right back to where we started
Yep, agreed, only I say...via "The Golden Rule".



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Excellent!

May I offer some suggested reading? I found these books to be very illuminating.

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
Why I Am Not A Christian And Other Essays On Religion And Related Subjects

Thank you. I'm going to take look at these and I think one of them might be in my local library. The first book you suggested looks really interesting too.



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I see where you're come from now. Secular humanism does indeed promote reason and critical thinking, however I was not aware that they were so blantant in their committment to science. Thank you for pointing that out.
Lol. Well there ya go, another mystery solved. I'm glad we were able to figure that out, I was starting to get confused too.



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The glib answer is "yes"

The slightly more detailed response might sound like this:

Drawing a conclusion without the rigorous application of reason and doubt is the exact same things a choosing an "answer" arbitrarily (i.e. because it sounds pretty, makes you feel good about the world, etc).

If something is "unexplained", then why not simply acknowledge that it's "unexplained"? If I encounter something that I don't know, I don't feel compelled to fabricate an answer or accept someone else's supernatural "explanation". I try to find the actual answer, and if I find one, great. If I don't, then I try my best to get over it.

Well once again Achilles we are in agreement, except I don't think I could or would get over it. I gotta keep searching for the real answer, that's just me, the truth is out there somewhere. ( Now I know I made a bad X-Files joke, but I really believe it is.)


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Old 01-06-2010, 11:28 AM   #115
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Okay. Can you give me some examples from your own point of view, as to why the "golden rule" has problems.
How about starting with the example that you included in the quote above.

Re: disputing with judges - under the golden rule, a judge could let a person go because that is how they would want to be treated. Under the categorical imperative, the judge should act in the manner that is just, not in the manner in which they would wish to be treated. Hence why the golden rule has problems that are not present under the categorical imparative.

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Well now don't get me wrong. I wasn't trying to imply, in my earlier statement, that it should be rejected or ignored. But that it might be a little hard to comprehend for some individuals, that's really all that I was indicating. And I don't see any harm at trying to read and understand it, I did, but any individual who does (and can understand it's concept's) should be able to make there own judgement about it; and whether it's right for them or not, etc.
So some people should be excused from morality because the concepts are too difficult for them to comprehend?

In fact, let's back up a step further: do you believe that morality is relative? In other words, is it okay to murder someone just because you don't believe (or haven't been told) that it is wrong?

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Yep, agreed, only I say...via "The Golden Rule".
My apologies, but this statement doesn't even make any sense. The "golden rule" is a the product of religion. Your argument contains a contradiction.

By way of comparision, the categorical imperative is not derived from religion at all.

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Thank you. I'm going to take look at these and I think one of them might be in my local library. The first book you suggested looks really interesting too.
You're welcome. Russell's book is a collection of essays, therefore might be a better place to start. It's been around for a while, so I would be very surprised if your local library didn't have a copy.

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Well once again Achilles we are in agreement, except I don't think I could or would get over it. I gotta keep searching for the real answer, that's just me, the truth is out there somewhere. ( Now I know I made a bad X-Files joke, but I really believe it is.)
Okay, but now I'm even more confused. I don't understand how you can differentiate between a "real" answer and a..."non-real" answer unless you had some process or methodology for identifying the two. Whether you realize it or not, that process is, by it's very nature going to be some flavor of the scientific method.

I have no doubt that you sincerely believe that you after the truth. But when you tell me that you're willing to accept a made up "answer" just because it allows you to "fill a blank space on a page" (using a metaphor here), then I have to think that you're falling short of your own ideals. Sometimes the "truth" is "insufficient data". That's just a fact of life.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:53 AM   #116
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How about starting with the example that you included in the quote above.

Re: disputing with judges - under the golden rule, a judge could let a person go because that is how they would want to be treated. Under the categorical imperative, the judge should act in the manner that is just, not in the manner in which they would wish to be treated. Hence why the golden rule has problems that are not present under the categorical imparative.

Really, I see problems in Kant's "categorical imperative" too - pertaining to that. For instance.......

What if a man is unemployed and cannot find a job, meanwhile he goes around begging for food because he and his family are starving. Yet none that he asks will give him any, so he trys to steal the food. But he is caught stealing the food for himself and his family, so he is brought before the court to be judged and is incarcerated. Because the judge should act in a manner that is just, according to Kant's "categorical imperative". How would this so-called "just manner", that the judge has done, actually be morally correct and truly the right thing to do compared to the "golden rule"?

Now you put yourself in that judge's position, with the current scenario I just described to you, while believing in Kant's "categorical imperative" Would you do it then? I'll bet 10 to 1 that if we took a poll on this current scenario, people would go the way of the "golden rule" (unless they are just plain heartless); because it is the real moral thing to do, to let the man go and drop the charges. And to also provide him and his family with some food, accordingly to the "golden rule".


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So some people should be excused from morality because the concepts are too difficult for them to comprehend?
Well no of course. Even the smallest child, who can read and write, should know right from wrong. But do you expect a child to understand Kant's concepts of morality at a very young age? This is where the "golden rule" is effective for a child at his/her early stages in life. It's simple, easy to read and understand, it gets directly to the point, with one universal definition of morals.


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In fact, let's back up a step further: do you believe that morality is relative? In other words, is it okay to murder someone just because you don't believe (or haven't been told) that it is wrong?
Of course not, deep down we all know right from wrong, but "wrong is wrong and right is right"; yet this statement in italics can also pertain to the "golden rule", for example: How in the world can we justify moral rightness in murdering a guilty person convicted of murdering someone else?

(I'm against capital punishment in relation to this btw, sorry I didn't mention that before. And a topic about capital punishment, would make another good thread debate IMO. )


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My apologies, but this statement doesn't even make any sense. The "golden rule" is a the product of religion. Your argument contains a contradiction.

By way of comparision, the categorical imperative is not derived from religion at all.
What do you mean by "contradiction"? What gives you the idea that this old moral code or philosophical statement, the "golden rule", came from religion itself? My personal belief is that the "golden rule" was adopted by most religions over the millenniums, when it was on it's own - not the the other way around. My point is, I don't associate the "golden rule" with religions, I believe they are seperate from one another.


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Okay, but now I'm even more confused. I don't understand how you can differentiate between a "real" answer and a..."non-real" answer unless you had some process or methodology for identifying the two. Whether you realize it or not, that process is, by it's very nature going to be some flavor of the scientific method.

I have no doubt that you sincerely believe that you after the truth. But when you tell me that you're willing to accept a made up "answer" just because it allows you to "fill a blank space on a page" (using a metaphor here), then I have to think that you're falling short of your own ideals. Sometimes the "truth" is "insufficient data". That's just a fact of life.

Well now that you mention it, and looking back over some my posts, I can see where some of my statements can be confusing to you and contradictive. So I will I'll try again, and start all over. Here's what I really think about all of this..... the scientific method, the real answer, what you call made up answers(or as I call them possibilties, but not proven or disproven yet) relating to the unexplained, etc.

Proving or disproving things through scientific methods can be a valuable tool in my opinon, and a way to seek out the real truth/answer, but it's not always been a 100% dependable for me yet. And in relation to that of course, is left the unexplainable. But..I believe the unexplained is not to be totally dismissed or accepted as is, we still need to search for the real truth until we get it. But meanwhile let's not dismiss all the possibilties too when it comes to the unexplained that science hasn't provided a real answer for yet. In other words, I want to keep those "made up answers/ possibilites" (and no matter how unbelieveable or fantastic they are) in the back of my mind without personal prejudice. But of course I don't accept any of them yet as the final real answer either, until they are really proven/disproven by some kind of scientific method sometime in the future. So I don't accept them ("made up answers/possibilties") as the real answers for now, because science has not proved or disproved them yet, but I don't need to just ignore them either; because I don't know, you don't know, and nobody else really knows for sure one way or the other...pertaining to the unexplained. Anyway..that's the best answer that I can give you on this and I hope this helps you understand where I'm comning from.


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Old 01-07-2010, 01:49 PM   #117
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Within moral philosophy, rules of logic can be used to determine "moral" vs "immoral" action.
Logic is applied to just about everything within philosophy, because it is a truth-preserving operation. Other than establishing validity, consistency and the like, it has no content on its own, it's more like a grammar.

That's why logic alone cannot be used to determine what a moral action is. For that, we'd need a set of premises as well and at least one of them would have to be normative to begin with, since we can't get any morals from purely descriptive/factual premises.

Now justifying those normative premises is quite the problem and that's where I think theistic theories have a disadvantage, as their premises involve a deity. (Which means that the plausibility of their premises is linked to the probability of the existence of that deity.. not a good thing if you ask me ) But the logical validity... well that's really a necessary requirement for any argument, if it's deductive. I'm sure there are theistic moral philosophies which are ok logically speaking.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:02 PM   #118
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"Logic is the beginning of wisdom..." -Spock
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:51 PM   #119
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Really, I see problems in Kant's "categorical imperative" too - pertaining to that. For instance.......

What if a man is unemployed and cannot find a job, meanwhile he goes around begging for food because he and his family are starving. Yet none that he asks will give him any, so he trys to steal the food. But he is caught stealing the food for himself and his family, so he is brought before the court to be judged and is incarcerated. Because the judge should act in a manner that is just, according to Kant's "categorical imperative". How would this so-called "just manner", that the judge has done, actually be morally correct and truly the right thing to do compared to the "golden rule"?
Let's first acknowledge that several assumptions are being made here. For the sake of argument, I'll concede to them all and simply state that the judge would be acting on behalf of the person(s) who were stolen from.

The moral argument would probably sound something like:

"I don't want to live in a world in which the fruit of my labors can be taken without recompense or consequence, therefore thieves should be punished".

Anticipating your counter-argument, we could also say that if we were hungry, we would want to live in a world in which charity would be available to us (thereby negating the necessity to steal), therefore we have a moral obligation to be charitable.

My 2 cents.

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Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Now you put yourself in that judge's position, with the current scenario I just described to you, while believing in Kant's "categorical imperative" Would you do it then? I'll bet 10 to 1 that if we took a poll on this current scenario, people would go the way of the "golden rule" (unless they are just plain heartless); because it is the real moral thing to do, to let the man go and drop the charges. And to also provide him and his family with some food, accordingly to the "golden rule".
First, I don't care if the odds were everyone in the world except me vs me. Decisions should be based on the merit of the arguments, not on democracy.

Second, you are still making the assumption that the correct moral choice is to forgive the thief.

Third, you are ignoring the fact that the thief is violating the golden rule himself (I don't think you'll find many people willing to put forth an argument stating that it's okay to steal).

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Well no of course. Even the smallest child, who can read and write, should know right from wrong. But do you expect a child to understand Kant's concepts of morality at a very young age? This is where the "golden rule" is effective for a child at his/her early stages in life. It's simple, easy to read and understand, it gets directly to the point, with one universal definition of morals.
I think you're responding to an argument I haven't made.

My personal opinion is that children of "normal" aptitude will learn whatever it is they are taught.

Furthermore, I don't think "ease of understanding by children" should be the standard by which we decide whether a moral argument is correct or incorrect.

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Of course not, deep down we all know right from wrong...
Why? What is the mechanism by which we all "know" this?

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...but "wrong is wrong and right is right"; yet this statement in italics can also pertain to the "golden rule", for example: How in the world can we justify moral rightness in murdering a guilty person convicted of murdering someone else?
Perhaps we can't. I agree that it sounds like great fodder for a new thread though

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Originally Posted by purifier View Post
What do you mean by "contradiction"? What gives you the idea that this old moral code or philosophical statement, the "golden rule", came from religion itself? My personal belief is that the "golden rule" was adopted by most religions over the millenniums, when it was on it's own - not the the other way around. My point is, I don't associate the "golden rule" with religions, I believe they are seperate from one another.
I'll be happy to cite chapter and verse if you'd like

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Well now that you mention it, and looking back over some my posts, I can see where some of my statements can be confusing to you and contradictive. So I will I'll try again, and start all over. Here's what I really think about all of this..... the scientific method, the real answer, what you call made up answers(or as I call them possibilties, but not proven or disproven yet) relating to the unexplained, etc.

Proving or disproving things through scientific methods can be a valuable tool in my opinon, and a way to seek out the real truth/answer, but it's not always been a 100% dependable for me yet.
I'm not sure what this means. Please explain what you mean by "100% dependable".

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And in relation to that of course, is left the unexplainable.
Well, "unexplained" at least. We didn't understand a great many things 400 years ago, however that doesn't mean that they were "unexplainable". It just means that they couldn't be explained yet.

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But..I believe the unexplained is not to be totally dismissed or accepted as is, we still need to search for the real truth until we get it.
And I would tend to agree.

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But meanwhile let's not dismiss all the possibilties too when it comes to the unexplained that science hasn't provided a real answer for yet.
I'm okay with this too (for the most part).

Does your "not dismissing all possibilities" extend as far as flying spaghetti monsters, fairies, invisible pink unicorns, magical dragons, etc?

Or at some point do you say "gee, I can't rule this out and I probably never will be able to, but I probably shouldn't spend a whole lot of time worrying about it either"?

The "god hypothesis" is not a scientific one. Therefore it is a waste of time to consider. This isn't a special punishment reserved for theists; it extends to any and all non-scientific claims.

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In other words, I want to keep those "made up answers/ possibilites" (and no matter how unbelieveable or fantastic they are) in the back of my mind without personal prejudice. But of course I don't accept any of them yet as the final real answer either, until they are really proven/disproven by some kind of scientific method sometime in the future.
And you're free to do so. However unless you are also keeping the FSM, the IPU, etc in there too, you aren't being consistent in your position.

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Originally Posted by purifier View Post
So I don't accept them ("made up answers/possibilties") as the real answers for now, because science has not proved or disproved them yet, but I don't need to just ignore them either; because I don't know, you don't know, and nobody else really knows for sure one way or the other...pertaining to the unexplained.
See above

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Originally Posted by purifier View Post
Anyway..that's the best answer that I can give you on this and I hope this helps you understand where I'm comning from.
I appreciate you taking the time to clarify.

My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. RL has been a bit crazy lately.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:59 PM   #120
kipperthefrog
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at church the priest said that the 12 disciples of Christ died for the belief in Christ. they were persecuted and killed in different ways and still said Jesus had risen. He said "they would not die for a lie."


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