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Trade Your Bible For Porn

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the go-forth-and-multiply dept.

Idle 227

An anonymous reader writes "Atheist students at the University of Texas at San Antonio announced that any student over the age of 18 will receive pornographic materials if they trade in religious materials. From the article: 'Leaders of this atheist campaign allege that porn is no worse than what's written in religious texts. A university spokesman says that this controversial cause is completely legal, though he admits a majority of the students on campus do not agree with it.'"

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227 comments

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Stunts (3, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331402)

I find that people who feel the need to perform stunts like this to make a point usually have trouble making a point in any other way, and a need for attention for themselves and their "cause." Yes, we get it, you hate the Bible. But you have no actual arguments against it beyond your dislike, and you're boring.

Re:Stunts (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331660)

Well, you're right, they probably do have "trouble making a point in any other way" since religious people are dogmatic by design. It's like Dr. House said, "If religious people could be reasoned with there would be no religious people."

So when rational argument is ignored or avoided, I wholly support doing high profile things that provoke a response.

Re:Stunts (-1, Troll)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331826)

religious people are dogmatic by design

That makes no sense. You literally can't back that up so it's meaningful.

It's like Dr. House said, "If religious people could be reasoned with there would be no religious people."

Of course, history proves this to be wrong -- it's easy to rattle off many, many rational religious people throughout history -- but what's history in the face of a snarky television character?

So when rational argument is ignored or avoided ...

That is precisely what these atheists are guilty of, in fact. They don't want rational argument, so they do stupid things like this.

Re:Stunts (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332358)

That makes no sense. You literally can't back that up so it's meaningful.

Done. [scienceblogs.com] For chrissake, every dictionary definition of dogma even says it's a synonym for religious doctrine. How can that not make sense?

it's easy to rattle off many, many rational religious people throughout history

Who said anything about rational? Any sane person is rational to some degree. The phrase is 'reasoned with'. You can't reason with people who exclude evidence because some book tells them to exclude it.

They don't want rational argument

We know only about this present escapade, not about any previous efforts they may or may not have made. You may be willing to judge them out of ignorant assumptions in absentia, but that only makes you unreasonable and subjective, the worst foundation from which to make judgement. Unless you can point me to evidence that this group has done nothing else, made no other efforts, then I reject the validity of your judgement.

Re:Stunts (-1, Troll)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31333028)

Done. [scienceblogs.com]

Incorrect. A straw man fallacy does not actually back up anything.

For chrissake, every dictionary definition of dogma even says it's a synonym for religious doctrine.

Incorrect.

How can that not make sense?

Because -- unlike you -- I actually understand the word "dogma," and I know what religious doctrine is. You misunderstand one or the other, or both.

All definitions I've ever seen of dogma imply that the belief is not subject to examination, or isn't backed up by any evidence. I defy you to give a single example of Christine doctrine -- such doctrine as is held by all, or almost all, Christian sects -- that is not subject to examination or isn't backed up by any evidence.

You cannot do it.

That's not to say it is PROVABLE. But evidence and proof are not the same thing. It's also not to say you will accept or appreciate the evidence, but that's hardly interesting to whether or not something is dogma.

Who said anything about rational?

Um, you.

The phrase is 'reasoned with'.

Yes, you said that too: and people who cannot be reasoned with are "irrational." That's what the word means.

You can't reason with people who exclude evidence because some book tells them to exclude it.

You're incapable of demonstrating a single thing in the Bible that tells anyone to exclude any evidence. You're just inventing something that doesn't exist.

You may be willing to judge them out of ignorant assumptions in absentia

Huh. That's what YOU were doing to "religious people." I was just playing along in the game you started.

Unless you can point me to evidence that this group has done nothing else, made no other efforts, then I reject the validity of your judgement.

And I reject the validity of your ignorant judgment against religious people.

Also, your ignorant spelling of "judgment."

Re:Stunts (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31333300)

Oooh, you win. He'll never be able to argue against your ironclad "incorrect" argument.

Re:Stunts (4, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31333994)

There is no strawman. You made no argument besides 'nuh UH!' It is not possible to create a similar but deliberately weaker argument than that for the purpose of deliberately dismantling it. You clearly don't know what a strawman is.

I'll grant that there may be some dictionaries that do not list religious doctrine as one of the definitions of dogma. So, in a absolute sense, yes, not 'every' dictionary, but that is simply deliberate obtuseness on your part about a rhetorical device. Most dictionaries of the English language have the aforementioned as part of the definition, including but not limited to: Random House Dictionary; The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition; Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 11th Edition; Cambridge Dictionary of American English; etc. Stop being disingenuous.

And now the ethnocentrism comes out. Where previously we were talking about religion, suddenly we're talking about Christianity. Of course, why wouldn't we, after all, Christianity is the exception, it's not like all those other religions. Pardon me while I roll my eyes so hard they could put a smooth surface on fresh asphalt.

You want to play that game? Fine. The resurrection of Christ. All Christians must believe it, and the only evidence for it is in religious text, all scientific evidence to the contrary is ignored. That is the very essence of the denotation of dogma.

I think you're being deliberately dense about the difference between rational and reasonable. Do you notice how those are both adjectives? They are not the same word. You don't know much about the definitions, much less connotations, of words do you? A rational person connects causes to effects, learns from experience, etc. etc. A reasonable person is one who is objective, less closed-minded. These are connotations of context. If you just say 'reason' out of nowhere it does not have the same feeling or background of meaning (connotation) as when you talk of 'reasonable people'. In this sense, to use the language fully, it is necessary to look beyond the straight definitions of rational vs. reasonable.

You're incapable of demonstrating a single thing in the Bible that tells anyone to exclude any evidence. You're just inventing something that doesn't exist.

2 Peter 3:5. If you don't believe in creation, you're wrong.
Galatians 1:8. If anybody says something different from the Bible, they are cursed.
2 Corinthians 10:5. This one is so good, it can speak for itself:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

If that's not clear enough I don't know what is.

That's what YOU were doing to "religious people." I was just playing along in the game you started.

Key word there is ignorant. I know a lot about history and where religion fits into it, including Christianity. I judge religion on the facts, the purges of heretics, the slaughter of infidels, the suppression of dissent, the continuance of misogyny, the tacit acceptance of racism and slavery, etc. etc. What I said is you don't know anything about these people beyond this story. Until you do, your judgement is weaker than my judgement of religion.

Also, 'judgement' is an accepted alternate spelling [merriam-webster.com] . But you wouldn't know that, since you have some strange aversion to dictionaries.

Re:Stunts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31334402)

My wife comes from a religious family, I don't. however you fell into a trap that everyone does, quoting a passage from the Bible out of context and in the case of 2 peter 3:5 wrong. sorry for the gripe but it is irritating.

Re:Stunts (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335570)

The text can be seen as using a potentially ambiguous antecedent. As with most claims of 'out of context!' it really can't be settled unless you can read ancient Greek.

Re:Stunts (-1, Troll)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335230)

There is no strawman.

Incorrect. That document falsely asserted that religion necessarily ignores contradictory evidence. That is a straw man fallacy. That document invented a false claim against the adversary, then attacked that claim in order to attack the adversary.

You clearly don't know what a strawman is.

That's my line to you.

I'll grant that there may be some dictionaries that do not list religious doctrine as one of the definitions of dogma.

I don't care if they ALL do. Dictionaries are often wrong, obviously. The point is what dogma means, and how it relates to actual religious doctrine in real life. Dogma means a lack of evidence, or ignoring evidence; you said that all religious doctrine is dogma; that's obviously false.

So, in a absolute sense, yes, not 'every' dictionary, but that is simply deliberate obtuseness on your part about a rhetorical device.

Incorrect, since my point was not whether a dictionary claimed a relationship, but whether that claim of relationship makes sense. It does not.

Stop being disingenuous.

Learn what "dogma" means.

And now the ethnocentrism comes out. Where previously we were talking about religion, suddenly we're talking about Christianity.

Ummmm. That is the topic of this discussion. You do realize they were talking about the Christian Bible in the story, right?

Further, your assertion was that religious doctrine IS dogma. All I need to do to prove you wrong is to show that SOME is not: and I was merely using Christianity as my example (since it is what I know best).

The resurrection of Christ. All Christians must believe it, and the only evidence for it is in religious text, all scientific evidence to the contrary is ignored.

False. First, there is no scientific evidence to the contrary. Evidence that people do NOT normally rise from the dead is not evidence that God CANNOT raise people from the dead, obviously. This is basic science. It's like saying if you drop a ball, it will fall to the ground, so therefore, it should ALWAYS fall to the ground ... but what if I put my other hand under the ball? It won't very well hit the ground, will it? The claim of the Bible is that God intervened, and science has never tested that hypothesis, so therefore, science has nothing to say one way or another.

Please respect science enough to not try to force it to say something it doesn't say.

Second, we have eyewitnesses who independently testified to the event, outside of the religious texts. And perhaps more to the same point, those religious texts (aside from the Gospel of John) were floating around the area while the eyewitnesses who say the saw the risen Christ were mostly still alive: standard historical analysis methods tell us that it is extremely unlikely that the gospels would have survived if a large number of people (around 500 people) would have been around as eyewitnesses to deny the events contained therein.

Is it proof? Nope. Evidence? You betcha. Is there any evidence against it, scientific or otherwise? Nope.

Wanna try again?

You don't know much about the definitions

*cough* Look, you used both words. They mean essentially the same thing, and in using both, you implied no distinction. Get over it.

You're incapable of demonstrating a single thing in the Bible that tells anyone to exclude any evidence. You're just inventing something that doesn't exist.

Of all the quotes (and weak paraphrases) you gave, NONE of them say to ignore evidence. They express confidence in the truth of the Bible. Can you not see the difference? Al Gore says that anyone who doesn't believe in AGW is wrong ... that is because he is convinced the evidence and truth back him up, not because he doesn't want people to examine the evidence (presumably).

I'll respond directly only to your third, since it proves my point so well, and, in fact, argues for the OPPOSITE of your assertion.

2 Corinthians 10:5 ... Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

"Imaginations" is not a good translation, so if you are hinging your argument on the KJV translation, it's no wonder you're confused. The Greek says they overthrow "logismous" (words, or arguments) against "gnoseos" (knowledge) of God, and they do this by bringing to captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. How do they do that? Through convincing argument! Not through forcing people to just accept doctrine, but to convince them it is true. That's what Paul DOES in his letters: uses logic to convince people.

Skip ahead to chapter 13. Does Paul say, "God said this, so you just go ahead and believe me, or you will all go to hell?" Nope. He says: everything I tell you is backed up by witnesses, and you should examine yourselves.

You're doing precisely what Al Gore condemns the anti-AGW people for doing ... cherry-picking a few verses here and there without understanding the actual meaning and context.

I know a lot about history and where religion fits into it

*cough*

I judge religion on the facts

Such as the facts you invent, that I proved you were wrong about.

the purges of heretics, the slaughter of infidels, the suppression of dissent, the continuance of misogyny, the tacit acceptance of racism and slavery

Yawn. Just like the IPCC purged the heretics and suppressed dissent; just like the athetic regimes in the USSR and China slaughtered infidels and continued misogyny. And in this country, the U.S.A., it was -- in fact -- evangelical Christians who led the fights for women's rights, the abolition of slavery, and civil rights for all.

Again, you cherry-pick what supports you and ignore what doesn't. Very un-scientific of you.

What I said is you don't know anything about these people beyond this story.

Hypocrite.

Also, 'judgement' is an accepted alternate spelling [merriam-webster.com] .

Only because so many people (like you) couldn't get it right, so the dictionaries started noting it as an alternate spelling.

But you wouldn't know that, since you have some strange aversion to dictionaries.

I know how to use them properly, if that's what you mean.

Re:Stunts (1)

CyberBill (526285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334352)

To quote YOURSELF: "But you have no actual arguments against it beyond your dislike, and you're boring."

Re:Stunts (0)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334746)

So ... you can't read? Or you can't understand?

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335232)

The latter of course. Only those who agree with us can understand those things.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335274)

Heh, OK, that was funny. I hope it was intended as such. :-)

We aren't laughing with you, we're laughing at you (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335722)

Thanks, pudge. There's nothing I quite enjoy more than watching you get smacked down repeatedly, only to come back swinging with arguments that work only in your own mind. I bet you think you're winning this argument, don't you? Hilarious.

Re:We aren't laughing with you, we're laughing at (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338712)

Yeah I really like the 'all the dictionaries are wrong, I am the one true arbiter of the meaning of words for all humanity!' argument. I'm really wondering if I should even bother... I mean it's like arm wrestling a toddler.

Scrolling through how this is spiralling as large as it is, I'm probably going to pass. This guy obviously has a lot more time than I do...

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335942)

Your hopes deceived you yet again.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336762)

Sad for you.

Re:Stunts (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335798)

If your “sense” only makes sense to people who already agree with you, you might want to rethink how sensible your position actually is.

Re:Stunts (2, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31333096)

Oh and just a little clue for you ... all of Protestantism was BASED ON the notion that religious doctrine CAN and SHOULD be questioned, and subject to examination (that was one of the primary bases of the theses, if I may school you via rhyme). The Apostle Paul himself told us to subject all teachings, including his own, to examination. To claim all religious doctrine, including Christian doctrine, is dogma denies a couple thousand years of Christian teachings to the contrary.

Of course, many Christians ARE dogmatic. No doubt there. But only someone truly ignorant on the subject, or maliciously dishonest, would say it is a reflection of the nature of Christian doctrine itself.

Re:Stunts (2, Insightful)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334564)

Well...yes and no...

Yes, Protestantism is based on questioning your faith. But somehow, you don't find many ex-Protestants-turned-atheists at revival meetings, do you? The "questioning" is not earnest inquiry: suppose you do wind up rejecting the Bible for the badly cribbed ramblings of sunstroke-addled "prophets" (and the occasional self-serving insertion such as Deuteronomy) that it really is. You're not going to be welcomed back into the fold. The truth is that the "questioning" in faith is like teenage girls going to a bar on the slightly sleazy side of town to feel like a risk-taker: technically true, but no one's actually expecting anything to happen.

If your questioning gets you to a re-affirmed belief, then you've "succeeded". If it turns you away you're an evil heretic and need to be burned. (And before anyone says anything, yes, the Protestants did burn people. For one among many examples, look up the Calvinists).

So no, his claim is correct.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334924)

Well...yes and no...

Yes, Protestantism is based on questioning your faith.

So you mean "yes and yes." :-) That was my point.

But somehow, you don't find many ex-Protestants-turned-atheists at revival meetings, do you?

Not many, no. I don't go to revival meetings. But I have met people who were Protestants, became atheists, and then became Protestants again. Yes. It is rare, true, but mostly because it is rare to find ANYONE who has one set of beliefs, then changes, and then changes back. You also don't often find atheists-turned-Protestants who then become atheists again. But they do exist, in both directions.

The "questioning" is not earnest inquiry

Utterly false. You're just making that up. You shouldn't do that. In fact, I've never met a Christian that I've known well who has NOT undergone a "crisis of faith" that led to earnest inquiry. You've got it completely backward.

for the badly cribbed ramblings of sunstroke-addled "prophets" (and the occasional self-serving insertion such as Deuteronomy) that it really is

Again, you shouldn't make up such stupid things. It just hurts your argument. You can't back up any of that.

You're not going to be welcomed back into the fold.

False. You lose. In fact, that is precisely what happens.

If your questioning gets you to a re-affirmed belief, then you've "succeeded". If it turns you away you're an evil heretic and need to be burned.

Again, false. In my experience, people pray for you and if you do come back, it is with open arms.

Now, granted, some people (and some sects) will burn you. People are human, of course there will be vitriol and wrongdoing. What a shock. No one implied otherwise. But for every Fred Phelps there's many more Billy Grahams.

So no, his claim is correct.

Based on what? You provided no evidence beyond assertions that don't actually work out in the real world.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335188)

See, you're doing it. Twisting points, "this is just stupid", "that's false", "few examples I saw/didn't saw settle the matter", "Bible itself is correct, some/most just lack understanding"

Anything goes...

PS. It's always cute how, when religions are responsible for something "bad", religious folks go with "ahh, but that's just human nature" story...but of course when everything is "good", they are the ones to thank. Cute :)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335382)

See, you're doing it. Twisting points, "this is just stupid", "that's false", "few examples I saw/didn't saw settle the matter", "Bible itself is correct, some/most just lack understanding"

Sigh. Let's go through this one at a time.

First, I twisted no points, that I can see. If I did, point it out and we can discuss it. But either way, twisting points is not related to dogma. People on all sides of EVERY issue twist points; that doesn't make their argument dogma.

And if something is false or stupid, it's not dogma to say so ... it's true. Perhaps you're implying that I think that merely saying so makes it true, but that is incorrect.

As to the "examples" thing ... you made a blanket statement. I pointed out that it doesn't always hold true ... therefore, loigically, it is not true. This is basic logic, and not in any way related to dogma.

As to the latter claim about the Bible being true and people lacking understanding ... I never made such a claim. I pointed out the fact that you were wrong in your characterization of the Bible, but far from being dogmatic about it, I explicitly gave you the opportunity to back it up.

It's always cute how, when religions are responsible for something "bad", religious folks go with "ahh, but that's just human nature" story...but of course when everything is "good", they are the ones to thank. Cute :)

I never did that, or anything like it.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335620)

It's always cute how, when religions are responsible for something "bad", religious folks go with "ahh, but that's just human nature" story...but of course when everything is "good", they are the ones to thank. Cute :)

I never did that, or anything like it.

You did something EXACTLY LIKE THAT, just one post above. I quote:

Now, granted, some people (and some sects) will burn you. People are human, of course there will be vitriol and wrongdoing. What a shock. No one implied otherwise. But for every Fred Phelps there's many more Billy Grahams.

You denied something which you wrote just moments ago. Which is quite good testament to validity of the rest of what you write. Not because you're inherently incapable of seeing such flaws, but because you trained yourself not to see them. You choose not to realise how blatant lack of coherency you display.

Which is sad. Though understable. Remember, there's a high chance that many people you argue with were similarly brainwashed to you; I know I was. I know how you feel about all of this. You don't know how I feel.

Now consider...I really know both sides. I can choose. You don't know what to choose from, you convinced yourself it's too scary.

Re:Stunts (2, Informative)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335750)

You did something EXACTLY LIKE THAT, just one post above.

No, I did not. You're very confused. Your quote only shows me saying that there's both good and bad in religion, not trying to -- as you falsely claimed -- attribute everything good to religion. Nor did I even state or imply that anyone should be thanked, as you, again, falsely claimed.

I did the first, part, yes: I said, "ahh, but that's just human nature." But I never said that "when everything is 'good,' [religious people] are the ones to thank."

You denied something which you wrote just moments ago.

You clearly saw something in what I wrote that literally was not there, in any form.

similarly brainwashed to you

Again -- you don't seem to understand this -- making things up doesn't help you. Really, it doesn't.

I can choose.

I did choose. And I can choose again if I am convinced that I am wrong. And I am open to convincing. None of you appears to be up to the task.

Don't feel bad: it's not that you are bad at this (although you are), it's that you don't have good arguments on your side.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336268)

Look, I get it, you don't see that there. You don't have to prove it to me again and again; I understand (again, also because once I was in such state as you are now). You don't see how you attributed "some people (and some sects) will burn you" to "People are human, of course there will be vitriol and wrongdoing"; to their humanity. Religions didn't have anything to do with it, nosir... (and even if, certainly only "some sects")

You don't have to tangle yourself yet again in deying things you just wrote; I understand.

And please...you choose? I also thought that I choose when I was like you. But it's, if I might use such a term ;p , a diabolic self deceit.

Really, stop the line with demanding arguments (again, I know how you now). It's just that, saying it, demanding it. But you're closed to them; you choose to, you need to be (you were shaped to need that). That's why arguments don't work, not because they are weak.

But there a things which work, I can assure you that :) (too bad thi place is not very conductive to them - simply because they're about exploiting the same flaws of human mind which religions exploit; and text exchange on a web forum is not a where they thrive)

Re:Stunts (2, Informative)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336924)

Look, I get it, you don't see that there.

It literally isn't there.

I am the one who said what I said. What you say is there was not in the text of what I wrote (obviously), and it was not intended to be implied by me. Unfortunately for you, you have no evidence to the contrary; unfortunately for me, I cannot prove what was in my mind. However, since I am the authority on what I say and you have no counterevidence, I win.

You don't see how you attributed "some people (and some sects) will burn you" to "People are human, of course there will be vitriol and wrongdoing"; to their humanity.

Can you really not read simple English? I explicitly stated that I was attributing their failings to their human nature, but that it was the second part of your assertion -- "when everything is 'good,' [religious people] are the ones to thank" -- that I was not engaging in.

Your job at this point would be to show that I ever claimed that "when everything is 'good,' [religious people] are the ones to thank." You can't do that.

Religions didn't have anything to do with it, nosir

What is your evidence that they do? If you were right, then we would expect to see more violence from religion than without it, but we don't see that at all. By far, more murders were committed by explicitly atheistic regimes than religious ones in the 20th century.

You don't have to tangle yourself yet again in deying things you just wrote; I understand.

I understand you're a tool.

And please...you choose? I also thought that I choose when I was like you. But it's, if I might use such a term ;p , a diabolic self deceit.

No, that's your department. You deluded yourself into thinking that everyone else thinks like you do: that because you had deluded yourself into being religious, therefore I do the same. This is obviously self-refuting, however: if I thought just like you do -- as your argument assumes -- then I would be an atheist now.

Really, stop the line with demanding arguments

No. As long as you make assertions, I will -- following the rules of logic you pretend to follow, but, in fact, disdain -- demand that you back them up.

But you're closed to them

You have no evidence of this. All you have are examples of POOR arguments you gave that I logically refuted ... refuted so entirely that you didn't even attempt to rebut. You transparently pretend that because I refuted your arguments, that I am therefore closed to them.

You realize that everyone sees through that, right?

That's why arguments don't work, not because they are weak.

Yes, the rejoinder of the person without any arguments. We've seen it before.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337288)

It literally isn't there.

I am the one who said what I said. What you say is there was not in the text of what I wrote (obviously), and it was not intended to be implied by me. Unfortunately for you, you have no evidence to the contrary; unfortunately for me, I cannot prove what was in my mind. However, since I am the authority on what I say and you have no counterevidence, I win.

:)

And that sums you up. It doesn't really matter to you what happened, what was written...the only thing matters is what's currently inside your mind; what suits you. And that's it. That's your idea of winning. Twisting words along the way (you really want to convince yourself that I said I think like you do now? Fine, have it your way :) ), claiming you use logic...

You just made a wonderfull explanation of what religion is, BTW. Too bad you might not realise that ever...

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337456)

And that sums you up. It doesn't really matter to you what happened, what was written...the only thing matters is what's currently inside your mind; what suits you.

Except, of course, you're lying, because I never said it, and you cannot quote me saying it.

I gave you the benefit of the doubt before, but you keep asserting I said something I clearly never said, even after I pointed out that fact. So you come back and say I said HALF of what you accused me of (the half I already agreed I had said) but you leave out the OTHER HALF of what you accused me of (the half I have been denying I said).

So, it comes right down to it: you're lying.

You accuse me of saying "when everything is 'good,' [religious people] are the ones to thank," but it's not true. And when I assert the fact that I didn't say it -- a fact so obviously true you don't even attempt to prove otherwise -- you twist that into me being deluded and deceptive.

I don't know why you decided to be so dishonest and malicious, but it speaks very poorly for you.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337618)

Cute. I posted the quote right there :)

But of course, I'm lying, I'm stupid, I'm the scurge of gods children...don't you get hard while fighting me on a holly quest?

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338632)

Cute. I posted the quote right there :)

A quote which, in no way whatsoever, demonstrated me implying that "when everything is 'good,' [religious people] are the ones to thank."

You're lying.

I defy you to point to where in the quote I implied that. I certainly implied that some Christians do some good. But there's no implication beyond that ... and worse, you said I explicitly STATED it, and you cannot point to it.

You're lying.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338758)

I know you think I'm lying (for some reason...hey, maybe I'm a Satan sidekick). This being your response to what anybode can clearly is in quote below is the whole point by now...

Re:Stunts (1)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335588)

Perhaps my use of "earnest inquiry" was unclear. To be precise - it is not the case that Protestantism welcomes a full, unreserved examination of faith, when such examination leads to its rejection. That, were the questioner to reject the faith, his ex-brothers/sisters would rejoice for him and affirm his choice. As you said, they would "pray for him". To me, that says they disagree with his choice. Perhaps they won't stone him/her to death (we hope). But the (approved) goal of the questioning is to come to a stronger faith (as you said "with open arms"), not to embrace its rejection. Were such openness really embraced, Protestantism would be one of the most liberal ideologies on the planet - yet the impression I have of the various Baptist, Episcopalian, Born-Again, etc.. variations is that they don't exactly welcome the "exit strategy".

And to be clear, the "welcomed back into the fold" referred specifically to someone who had rejected the faith, not re-found it. (Of course they welcome the stray sheep back! No one's quite as much a zealot as a repentant heretic).

Now, as to the Bible's provenance...hoo boy.
Read Ecclesiastes. If the person who wrote that wasn't suffering from heatstroke, I don't know what medical criteria to use. (Ok ok, I am being hyperbolic, but read the text: you can see the Old Testament "prophet" wandering around, pointing a finger, his eyes standing out, and screaming "you're all filthy sinners! repent!")

As to Deuteronomy, I am exactly on the money. The Deuteronomy text was conveniently "found" in a cave, right around the time Josiah was carrying out his religious reforms. And wouldn't you know it - this "discovered" volume just happened to reaffirm what the good king's reforms were all about. Ain't that just convenient. Clearly, it's a divine sign! Hallelujah! (The discovery as well as the attendant discussion on heat- and hunger- induced hallucinations is detailed in Sagan's "Demon Haunted World").

Genesis. Cosmogeny, theogeny and The Fall. If modern copyright/IP law existed back in the heady days of Moses, the Bible would've been sued into oblivion by the RTAME (Religious Text Association of the Middle East) for blatantly plagiarizing such elements as light from darkness/great flood/garden of eden/fall of man/angels/the 7 fat/7 lean cow story, etc.. I doubt Moses could build a fair use case.

I could go on with the Old Testament, but I think I've made my point. Oh, and the New Testament: to quote a favorite author of mine "There is not a single middle eastern religion where a virgin did not give birth to a god". Specifically a god that comes from a line of kings, is born to a virgin, has no adolescence, does his work for 3 years, heals the sick, raises the dead, and dies on a hill, to rise again 3 days later. The kindest thing you can say about the Bible is that it is unoriginal. To say that, except a bunch of re-iterated "savior coming forth" text, the Bible justifies intolerance, genocide, murder, territorial conquest, etc., with the occasional softcore poetry thrown in for good measure would be alot closer to the mark.

When you argue for a "rational" argument on the basis of this text, or of rational people believing in it...well, I'm not sure how to categorize that except through snarky medical Latin.

So lose? I think not. Your move :)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336126)

it is not the case that Protestantism welcomes a full, unreserved examination of faith, when such examination leads to its rejection

False.

That, were the questioner to reject the faith, his ex-brothers/sisters would rejoice for him and affirm his choice.

Obviously, we'd disagree with it. That is not the same as not fully welcoming the process that led to it. Those are two obviously separate things.

As you said, they would "pray for him". To me, that says they disagree with his choice.

You're not arguing against anything I've said. Of course, as I said, we would disagree with the choice. But it IS a choice, and MUST be a choice, and without a full and honest examination, there cannot be a choice. Therefore, we do promote such examinations.

the (approved) goal of the questioning is to come to a stronger faith (as you said "with open arms"), not to embrace its rejection

No, the goal is to make sure you really believe it. If you reject it, then you were never really convinced in the first place, and it's better to explicitly reject it now than to go on living a lie. Yes, the result on the other side is stronger faith, but the goal is to verify that faith (or lack of it).

yet the impression I have of the various Baptist, Episcopalian, Born-Again, etc.. variations is that they don't exactly welcome the "exit strategy".

The church I go to (Baptist) certainly does not want anyone to reject Christianity, but it absolutely welcomes people to honestly examine their faith, and if they at the end reject it, then they reject it.

Granted, some churches don't work that way. I couldn't even guess at the numbers. But in my experience, which is vast (but limited, of course), most churches do. But even if it is a small number, it still refutes the blanket claims made by you and others to the contrary.

And to be clear, the "welcomed back into the fold" referred specifically to someone who had rejected the faith, not re-found it.

Then I don't understand how you could be using the phrase. "The fold," to me, refers to the Body of Christ. If you're not a member, then you're not in the fold, so ... it makes no sense to welcome someone back into it.

If you mean welcome back to visit and have some coffee at a prayer meeting, then yes, that happens too. It's uncomfortable, but it goes both ways: can you see an ex-atheist being welcomed like that to an atheist meeting?

Hell, if an atheist were honestly thinking "maybe there really is a God who sent his Son Jesus ... I am not convinced, but I want to learn more," he'd be excoriated by a majority of the atheists I run into in discussions like this.

you can see the Old Testament "prophet" wandering around, pointing a finger, his eyes standing out, and screaming "you're all filthy sinners! repent!"

He wrote the book, you know, later, in retrospect. Your implication implied otherwise.

wouldn't you know it - this "discovered" volume just happened to reaffirm what the good king's reforms were all about. Ain't that just convenient.

You're committing the question-begging fallacy. You know that, right? At the WORST CASE, you assume that God couldn't (or wouldn't) have made it happen just like that, intentionally.

I mean, I am not saying you're wrong. You could be right. We don't know. I am saying you're wrong to assert it as fact.

Genesis. Cosmogeny, theogeny and The Fall. If modern copyright/IP law existed back in the heady days of Moses, the Bible would've been sued into oblivion by the RTAME (Religious Text Association of the Middle East) for blatantly plagiarizing such elements as light from darkness/great flood/garden of eden/fall of man/angels/the 7 fat/7 lean cow story, etc.

Again, question-begging fallacy. You assume it's a made-up story. If it is true, then of course, it would be a story that other cultures would carry with them. Indeed, if it were NOT true, it would be MUCH more likely that only the Jews would have had these stories. (Not proof of anything ... just saying, you're not actually making a rational argument here.)

I doubt Moses could build a fair use case.

Side note, but you don't understand fair use law very well, if you seriously think that. :-) Even if it was stolen, it was an obviously transformative work in the culture, and being that the story is only a small part of the work, and wasn't directly copied, it would clearly fall under fair use.

The kindest thing you can say about the Bible is that it is unoriginal.

And the kindest thing I can say about your line of argument is that it is utterly irrelevant to any point of interest in this discussion. Your arguments aren't original; does that make them wrong?

When you argue for a "rational" argument on the basis of this text, or of rational people believing in it...well, I'm not sure how to categorize that except through snarky medical Latin.

I'll respond with appropriate Latin: non sequitur. You're not actually making any argument here.

Re:Stunts (1)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336494)

Your rational points are well made. About things like limits of applicability. I was with you until you seriously suggested the possibility that an actual, real God intentionally placed a revelation scroll into the ground for Josiah to find as affirmation of his program. That's when you jumped the shark for me.

I must ask, tremulously: do you truly believe that? That such a story can be considered a rational part of an argument?

You are correct in so far as I can not claim to know for a fact that this could not have happened. It's the "anything is possible at the rainbow end of the probability curve" appeal, but fine, have at it. But are you really trying to introduce that into a discussion? In earnest? Forgive my shock - I had thought that religious rationalists, however far the term can go, would at least have some reality filters. I suppose I've yet to encounter an actual literalist argument.

I will grant that you may be making an argument, but if, indeed, you are defending such a position, then I'm afraid I'll have to insist on the existence of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and perpetual motion. Also tolerant fundamentalists of any religion.

And as to being welcomed back into the fold...back in my Sunday school days, I read in a catechism book that "of course Christ works with everyone, but especially with Catholics". That's the day I walked out and never came back. Something similar applies here.

I fear I am too naive: all along I've thought that the religious folks were just putting one over on us, that they really were rational, human beings, and were just engaged in a drawn-out elaborate prank. Oh wait...I see what you're doing here... :)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337312)

I was with you until you seriously suggested the possibility that an actual, real God intentionally placed a revelation scroll into the ground for Josiah to find as affirmation of his program.

I didn't. I asserted, rather, that for you to exclude the possibility is fallacious. Which it is.

do you truly believe that? That such a story can be considered a rational part of an argument?

My belief is irrelevant (and I actually have none on this particular point; I've never thought much about it and I don't care how it happened). My point is that assuming it did not happen that way is irrational.

As many atheist philosophers have noted, "if God, anything." They say this to concede the notion that if you believe in God, then anything is possible, so it's silly to get bogged down in whether or not something could have happened (such as the resurrection of Christ) or was likely to have happened (that God timed the finding of the scrolls to Josiah's coming).

To say something didn't happen because it is unlikely, as a means to showing that the Bible is wrong or flawed, is irrational. It's assuming the argument: that God doesn't exist, or wouldn't have done that sort of thing.

And as to being welcomed back into the fold...back in my Sunday school days, I read in a catechism book that "of course Christ works with everyone, but especially with Catholics".

I don't know what that means and cannot comment on it. I'd have to see the exact text, in context.

I fear I am too naive: all along I've thought that the religious folks were just putting one over on us, that they really were rational, human beings, and were just engaged in a drawn-out elaborate prank. Oh wait...I see what you're doing here... :)

You're doing it again ... question-begging, assuming that there's something irrational about religion. There's not.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335046)

They question the doctrine except for questioning the notion that Protestantism / Christanity is ultimatelly correct and any incosistencies are simply a limit of our understanding. Everything else just follows from that. Every BS can follow from that.

And you really argue that what vast majority of Christians stand for is NOT what Christanity ultimatelly represents? Really?

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335416)

They question the doctrine except for questioning the notion that Protestantism / Christanity is ultimatelly correct

False. This is questioned all the time.

And you really argue that what vast majority of Christians stand for is NOT what Christanity ultimatelly represents?

I cannot answer that unless you describe what YOU think Christianity "ultimately represents." If you mean that what it "ultimately represents" is that it is "ultimately correct," then ... of course Christians stand for that. But how does standing for something mean you don't ever question it? That makes no sense.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335736)

This is claimed to be questioned. By worshippers. That's a different thing than actually questioning.

As for the second part, you misunderstood my point - which is that, ultimatelly, what a very large portion of worshippers think (or, say, actions consistantly seen together with certain faith) is ultimatelly also what that religion represents; not only what it claims to represent.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336210)

This is claimed to be questioned.

It is questioned. All the time.

That's a different thing than actually questioning.

Fine, I'll bite: what evidence would you accept that it is actually questioned?

It seems to me you ONLY believe it is not actually questioned because you falsely believe that if it WERE actually questioned, then there would be more atheists.

ultimatelly, what a very large portion of worshippers think (or, say, actions consistantly seen together with certain faith) is ultimatelly also what that religion represents; not only what it claims to represent.

What you said was, "And you really argue that what vast majority of Christians stand for is NOT what Christanity ultimatelly represents?" I am still confused as to what you mean by this.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336408)

It is questioned. All the time.

Again, that's just a claim.

Fine, I'll bite: what evidence would you accept that it is actually questioned?

It seems to me you ONLY believe it is not actually questioned because you falsely believe that if it WERE actually questioned, then there would be more atheists.

Yes, that's what you to think. But it's not the case.

Let me paint it this way: what role this supposed questioning plays in emergence, continuing existence or daily life of religions? Or is it simply tackled on? Ignored byvast majority of the faithfull? (which, again, represents what the religions is about)

At best I might grant you it is actually questioned if you agree that "masses" and those who, as you claim, question dogmas...actually follow quite different religions.

(that also stems from what I was claryfying, that religions are not about what their PR claims but about actions and opinions of worshippers en masse)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336738)

Let me paint it this way: what role this supposed questioning plays in emergence, continuing existence or daily life of religions?

To ensure your faith is real.

Ignored byvast majority of the faithfull?

Nope. Again, I've never met a Christian who has not undergone such an examination.

(which, again, represents what the religions is about)

The religion is about ... questioning? Not-questioning? I don't get what you are trying to say.

At best I might grant you it is actually questioned if you agree that "masses" and those who, as you claim, question dogmas...actually follow quite different religions.

I don't care what you will grant me. I care what is true. Yes, some people don't question, but I don't know any such people.

There are people who won't -- due in part to fear and so on -- question as far as others will, but this is usually because they are simply not equipped to do so. And good for them: it's stupid to try to evaluate arguments against your beliefs if you are not prepared to evaluate them.

For example (not looking for an argument here in this, just using as an example of how people process knowledge and arguments), I could talk about our physical laws and what they say about the First Cause, the spark that set off the Big Bang. I can argue -- and understand! -- the case that to follow the laws of physics as we know them, the First Cause must have been one that was from a sentience, because a decision had to be made to set off the Big Bang, and before the Big Bang, there were no events, therefore no time, therefore no state changes to cause the Big Bang in the first place.

Now, to someone who is an atheist, but doesn't understand the scientific and philosophical reasons why I make all these claims, they might be convinced that I am right. But why SHOULD they be convinced, if they don't understand it? That's hardly fair.

In the same way, I don't expect all Christians to open themselves up to examination of every minute aspect of Christianity ... the point is honest examination, and you can't honestly examine something on grounds that you don't understand.

So there are some people who will examine anything. There are others who will know their limitations and limit their examinations to grounds they can comprehend. There are others who won't examine at all.

That's how people work.

(that also stems from what I was claryfying, that religions are not about what their PR claims but about actions and opinions of worshippers en masse)

What you think is "en masse" most likely is not.

There's far more Billy Grahams than Fred Phelps in Christianity. The Fred Phelpses just get more press.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336998)

But every faith tries to do that. Every faith is "real".

I met only a few Christians which seriously tried to examine their faith BTW; I don't agree with their conclusion, but I respect them fully. They are not a cowards unable to accept that they simply believe in certain things...and that's the end of it.

PS. And you're trying to see more in this one thing I was trying to convey few times. It's just a about a simple question. Is what religions only claim about themselves representative of them? Or do you have to primarilly look at their actions, effects, beliefs of typical worshipper?

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337406)

But every faith tries to do that. Every faith is "real".

Your attempt to turn this into Christianity vs. other religions is pointless. I never said anything against any other religions.

I met only a few Christians which seriously tried to examine their faith BTW

You probably don't know very many Christians, then.

They are not a cowards unable to accept that they simply believe in certain things...and that's the end of it.

I do not accept that, because it isn't true. And I am not a coward, obviously, as I am willing to lay every belief I have out on the table for examination and argument by all (especially myself).

you're trying to see more in this one thing I was trying to convey few times

No. I just didn't UNDERSTAND what you were saying.

Is what religions only claim about themselves representative of them? Or do you have to primarilly look at their actions, effects, beliefs of typical worshipper?

So you're implying that Christians are not really questioning Christianity? If so, you're wrong.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337506)

I see, you think we're on Crusade here :)

What's the matter, do you really have to dismiss comparisions with other faiths and how real they claim they are? So insecure?

In case you didn't notice (wonder why...) - the story is about "religious texts", not just the Bible. And my points are quite general (though obviously in response to yours will touch on Christianity more often; but they are nowehre exclusive to it)

I'd say I know quite many Christians; in a country where there's officially 95+ % of them that's quite easy.

Again, it's only what you claim to be true/not true. Let's try another approach: get random religious text (of random religion) and defend it equally well. If your "arguments" stemming from Bible are solid, you should be able to give just as solid arguments for any other text, right?

And no, that's not what I was implying there; but I see how you cannot understand it. Seems to be one of the basic differences between us - you accept religions for they claim to be. I accept them for what they are; how they interact with the world at large.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337628)

do you really have to dismiss comparisions with other faiths and how real they claim they are?

Being completely off-topic the discussion between the two of us, by the rules of logic, yes, I do.

get random religious text

No. That is a non sequitur fallacy.

And no, that's not what I was implying there

Then I still don't understand your question, because you have not explained it well.

you accept religions for they claim to be

False.

I accept them for what they are

False.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337742)

Yes, no, yes, no...you know, I have an idea; why don't use binary next time? :)

Though I must admit, there's another cute thing - you seem to claim that having the nerve to not discuss only what and how you the discussion should progress is somehow...illogical. :)

Very reveling in regards to your logic. Very typical for certain kinds of people.

Re:Stunts (1)

Conorflan (1651239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31332800)

Stupid? Absolutely.

Nonetheless, I did find it funny however skewed and distorted their logic was.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334606)

I suspect they are just venting off a bit for their own amusement at the expense of Bible worshipping folks; I don't know how they have it daily, but you know...sometimes having a little laugh is all that remains.

Still, not very productive or sensible...

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334836)

religious people are dogmatic by design

That makes no sense. You literally can't back that up so it's meaningful.

You really don't know that religions are built around certain dogmas?...

That quote from House implies something obvious which you're trying not to see, "...reasoned with in the matters of religion". Religions obviously require suspension of disbelief, accepting things which are supposedly above reason (which too often leeches over to other areas, unfortunatelly)...you want to tell me you don't know that?

See, rational arguments simply don't work; not against something which in vast, vast majority of cases was simply embedded since earliest years, around what people build large part of social life, continually reinforcing themselves in absolutist value of it.
Yes, I'd say that this stunt is not very productive. But the way of arguing doesn't work; only exploiting...as happened numerous time when one faith replaces another...again, again, again, and again.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335014)

You really don't know that religions are built around certain dogmas?

If by dogma you mean things that cannot be questioned or are not backed by any evidence, then you're wrong.

Religions obviously require suspension of disbelief

So does everything else, outside of, perhaps, pure mathematics. Irrelevant.

accepting things which are supposedly above reason

False. They are above our CAPACITY to reason, which is not the same thing. Most people accept the Big Bang and other things that are above their capacity to reason, as well, by the way.

you want to tell me you don't know that?

I am telling you that it is false.

As I said to the other commenter: I defy you to give a single example of Christine doctrine -- such doctrine as is held by all, or almost all, Christian sects -- that is not subject to examination or isn't backed up by any evidence.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335376)

Allright, now it's clear that you don't even know the basics of faith. It's specifically about believing in things without evidence - any serious preacher will agree with that.

You...you seem to managed to convince yourself that it's all simply a fact (too unsecure otherwise?), apparently up to a paint of ridiculously treating, say, science on the same terms. Whatever we'll say won't change your mind obviously, but consider this: what of an accomplishment would that be?

Thos things are above YOU CAPACITY, to reason.

You really don't see anything in general Christian doctrine not backed by evidence?... wow...just...wow.

How I'm glad that I don't meet people like you..at all, it would seem (even though I live in a place that's officialy 95+% Christian)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335640)

Allright, now it's clear that you don't even know the basics of faith.

That's my line to you.

It's specifically about believing in things without evidence

False.

any serious preacher will agree with that.

False. On the contrary, any serious preacher will call that simplistic and inaccurate.

Perhaps you don't know the difference between proof, and evidence?

you seem to managed to convince yourself that it's all simply a fact

Nothing I said remotely implied this. Again, stop making things up. It hurts your argument.

You really don't see anything in general Christian doctrine not backed by evidence?

Do you? Cite it. If you think it's so obvious, why can you not do it?

(The answer is unfortunately obvious.)

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335894)

Again, one liners conveying obvious truth (plus...do you have to resolve to cut'n'paste between different posts? Automata much?);

You and I know know perfectly well that you will accept no example of lack of evidence. You rerouted around that possibility long ago.

Sad, really; not only another mind wasted - discussion with you isn't even very usefull to me, not revelaing any new mechanism.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336162)

You and I know know perfectly well that you will accept no example of lack of evidence.

What I know perfectly well is that you have not provided one, and, given this comment, apparently you believe, as I do, that you are incapable of providing one.

Sad, really

What's sad is that you are feigning disappointment in me for being better at this than you are.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336500)

Cute, another obvious "truths" to you :) (hey, I mean you no ill - whatever you need to feel comfortable woth your so called "choices")

I believe it's impossible to provide something which will satisfy you, in your current state. That's quite a difference. Something would have to shake you for any argumentation to work (that's how religions exploit you BTW, creating or feeding on mystical experiences (birth, death))

But how nice and modest you are, a model "Christian" :) Better than me obviously. Are you possibly an Ubermensch? :)

(though TBH I did found some slightly intruguing aspect, you proved usefull after all; too bad you could be so much more for humanity)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337128)

I believe it's impossible to provide something which will satisfy you, in your current state.

No one's buying it. You simply cannot provide it. This isn't about me, except insofar as I know the Bible and philosophy better than you, so I am effective at shooting down your weak arguments.

But how nice and modest you are, a model "Christian" :) Better than me obviously.

Better than you at the fundamentals of this discussion, yes. It's not about modesty or humility, it's an obvious fact based on the evidence at hand. I am not a fan of Sidney Crosby, but he's a much better hockey player than I am. This is not humility for me to say so.

Sometimes I tell people I am better than them at something, for various reasons. Often it is to encourage them to do better.

In your case, we both know I am better at this than you, and I am doing it to call you on your transparent bullshit. You're pretending that I am unwilling or incapable of seeing the evidence for what it is, as an excuse to not provide the evidence. We both know you simply cannot provide any evidence that you can actually defend against me. It's not that I am unwilling to examine it, it's that you cannot defend it.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337382)

You fail to comprehend what I wrote, that you have safety mechanisms against any argumentation.

"Cheating" similarly to how religions do won't work here, the medium is too limited; but tricks, exploiting certain "flaws" does work, I can assure you that :) (well, you sorta know that already, by the simple fact how you are caught by them...)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337476)

You fail to comprehend what I wrote, that you have safety mechanisms against any argumentation.

And how do you distinguish my "safety mechanisms" from, you know, actual arguments?

You cannot, of course. You just don't like the fact that you cannot provide any decent arguments, and so you're lying to cover it up.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337676)

Again, you fail at understanding the issue (but really, I'm totally serious here - that's not your fault; you're a victim of certain societal realities against which there's very little defense)

Psychological safet mechanisms aren't in the field of arguments at all; you proposition of distinguishing on from the other is nonsensical.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338608)

Again, you fail at understanding the issue

You have failed to describe any issue.

Psychological safet mechanisms aren't in the field of arguments at all

You didn't answer the question. Don't feel bad: you cannot answer the question without betraying the fact that you cannot provide the evidence I asked for.

you proposition of distinguishing on from the other is nonsensical.

Don't be an idiot. I provided an argument. You responded that it was NOT an argument, but, rather a safety mechanism. I simply asked how you can distinguish the one from the other. You can't do it.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338828)

Duopoly I desribed is a fairly basic (yet often neglected, especially by worshippers) issue. Not an issue even, just a simple observation. If you would stop dismissing it, you would be able (I am sure you are fundamentally able to do that) to see the simple non-issue (really; it was quite secondary to everything)

Also, since you have rather lax approach to what constitutes an evidence and disregard for arguments which you don't like...well, I didn;t expect you to see that this is just part of your safety mechanisms.

Re:Stunts (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335744)

Allright, now it's clear that you don't even know the basics of faith. It's specifically about believing in things without evidence - any serious preacher will agree with that.

“Allright”, let’s set this straight: Faith is specifically about believing in things without proof.

Come back when you’ve learned the difference between what you just said and what I just said.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335818)

Seems we have a different understanding or experience of what "serious preacher" means. That might explain why religion in my place is so...efficient (95+ % uner one monolithic faith, in an EU country with proper liberties)

Re:Stunts (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335944)

Yes, it seems your understanding or experience of what “serious preacher” means is what I’d consider a lazy and shallow one (both intellectually and in terms of leadership). They don’t like to be questioned, so they tell their followers to believe things without evidence. That is dogma, and is not faith.

A “serious preacher” is exactly the opposite.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336060)

If "serious" preachers at your place must rely on evidence for people to follow, their faith is quite shallow, superficial.

Which I don't mind actually...

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336276)

If "serious" preachers at your place must rely on evidence for people to follow, their faith is quite shallow, superficial.

Nonsense.

What it means, on the contrary, is that we have significant scholarship, including for the layperson, to dig deep into the Bible, to uncover the evidence.

There's a popular book series by Lee Strobel, for example, called The Case for Christ. It goes through (at a high, lay, level) the evidence for the existence of the Jesus Christ of the Bible, the historical reliability of the Bible we have today, and so on.

At universities we have departments devoted to apologetics, the philosophical examination of Christian and religious belief.

I learned Koine Greek, myself, so I can actually go in and examine the text.

Far from being shallow, it engages us to engage in a lifelong intellectual pursuit of the facts, wherever they may lead.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336622)

Great, kudos to you.

Now give me a coherent explanation why you ignore 99+ % of religious texts that exist in the world. Why your "evidence" stemming from study of only one religious text, one mythology, is not just claiming to search for evidence; just reinforcing what you want to believe.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337002)

give me a coherent explanation why you ignore 99+ % of religious texts that exist in the world

I don't ignore them.

Why your "evidence" stemming from study of only one religious text, one mythology, is not just claiming to search for evidence; just reinforcing what you want to believe.

And you don't search for things to reinforce what YOU believe? Pull the other one.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337132)

No, I try not to search for things to reinforce what I believe; it's possible I don't do that. Anyway, there's hardly anything from what I "believe" which falls under things that even need any evidence to speak of (in that I am similar to people I would call true faithfull; the scope of things in which we believe is completelly different of course)

Anf of course you ignore them; have you studied extensivelly Finnish Paganism, for only one example? Or (throw in 500 another ones here)?

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337358)

No, I try not to search for things to reinforce what I believe; it's possible I don't do that.

Your proven fallacious cherry-picking of the Bible argues that you do.

Anyway, there's hardly anything from what I "believe" which falls under things that even need any evidence to speak of

If you believe there IS NO God, then that needs a lot of evidence. And there's very little. If you simply believe God may exist, but cannot be proven or demonstrated in any way, that's different, of course. It depends on what sort of atheist you are.

Anf of course you ignore them

False. As you conflated "evidence" with "proof," you also conflate "ignore" with "understand." By your standard, you ignore most of the Bible, since you don't know most of it. Heck, you ignore most knowledge of ALL kinds.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337586)

In no place I cherry-picked the Bible. But it's understandable you might see all of that as an attack on your "special" text.

And why yes, I do not say that there is "no god"; from my point of view that's at least highly unlikely, and furthermore (if he exists) useless. But...you give an evidence for the non-existance of Swarog, which your faith requires. And thousands of other gods. Go ahead.

And good one, it's rare to see so devoted one as you are (I might get from this discussion quite a bt after all; don't you just love it that you ptovide me with usefull information about your kind? :) ). Now I'm ignorant of, well...pretty much everything, it seems. FYI, stemming from the place I live in, it;'s quite likely I've had far more religious education than you do... (at least proportionally)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338588)

In no place I cherry-picked the Bible.

To take the one example I responded directly to: you took that to mean that Paul was telling people to ignore evidence, when in that book (and all of his writings, essentially) he emphasized to people that they SHOULD examine the evidence.

That sort of obviously out-of-context interpretation you did is what we colloquially refer to as "cherry-picking."

But it's understandable you might see all of that as an attack on your "special" text.

Shrug. You obviously misinterpreted the passage by taking it out of context (and by using a bad translation, but that is not necessarily your fault).

from my point of view that's at least highly unlikely, and furthermore (if he exists) useless

"Highly unlikely" is a valid opinion, but not an objective or seriously defensible one, without a huge amount of question-begging. As to "useless," that is entirely based on the question-begging fallacy, and is therefore itself a useless claim.

you give an evidence for the non-existance of Swarog, which your faith requires

Once again you admit you know nothing about Christianity. Good job.

Now I'm ignorant of, well...pretty much everything, it seems.

No, just most of things you've discussed here.

FYI, stemming from the place I live in, it;'s quite likely I've had far more religious education than you do... (at least proportionally)

In terms of time spent, I can't say. In terms of other religions, I can't say. In terms of level of education about Christianity, there's no doubt I have had far more education in the subject than you. Either that, or you never paid attention or have forgotten it all.

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338730)

You're more damaged than I thought. You're confusing me with another poster; take a deep breath and reread whole discussion, trying to notice this time who says who.

In regards to res of your post, I wonder if you really think you'll get far with "no, I'm right because I say so!" :). I mean, sure, that's the standard religious practice...but one would think you'd at least try not to show it so directly. Unless you're so lost by now... (or...endule me, actually have the guts to clarify why you think you're not incoherent; other then the customary "because I say so" of course)

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338790)

You're more damaged than I thought.

What you think is irrelevant; since you're a liar, what you say about what you think is even less relevant.

Until you can own up to your lies, what you say means nothing at all.

In regards to res of your post, I wonder if you really think you'll get far with "no, I'm right because I say so!"

More lies. I never said anything like that.

Is it hard work being so dishonest?

Re:Stunts (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334420)

Duh, religions revolve around stunts. For example "look, I'll be sooo alive after I'm dead, promise" or "there's totally a hand of %INSERT CHOSEN DEITY% here"

That's just a - clumsy, I give you that - effort to work on the level of religions; perhaps exploit unsecurity of few people in the way religions do.

Re:Stunts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336128)

As a former Christian, I think it is a group of idealists merely trying to persuade people away from the irrational and towards the more rational.

Proselytizing atheism is certainly more rational than religious evangelists trying to convert non-Christians to their cause with government subsidies. This is less of a stunt than, for example, the Southern Baptists trying to Save Jews by conversion (Ref: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcon.htm [religioustolerance.org] , http://www.jewsonfirst.org/07c/baptist_messianic.html [jewsonfirst.org] , et al).

The Mormons are certainly a nuisance where I live (Canada btw, they travel great lengths to build their flock), and the Scientologists as well (I've had a psychological test done by them at their office in down-town Toronto... I gave them a fake name and took off when they told me I needed to pay for "courses"). Etc, and so on. We have Hare Christna's up here too. And yeah, the Jehovah's Witnesses went canvasing to my house as well.. It's a real circus. Atheists are the pariah, and are generally looked down upon. And the Atheists up here don't get any government funding or tax subsidies like the religious bigots do.

I've also been approached by Muslims with literature on how great and tolerant their religion is. The thing is that religious EVANGELISM IS BIGOTRY. It is people saying that you are not "saved" or good because of your beliefs or lack of beliefs. Atheism is highly rational in the sense that it rejects this religious bigotry. People like me get pretty god-damned pissed off at hypocrites and zealots telling us how immoral we are. And yeah, just about the one thing most religious people have in common is their (outward) disdain for sex and sexuality. Ironic, since that's the thing that usually gets these religious nuts in (legal) trouble. The people who protest too much are usually the ones to watch out for.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336482)

I think it is a group of idealists merely trying to persuade people away from the irrational and towards the more rational.

But they are doing it VIA irrationality, which makes them look stupid.

Proselytizing atheism is certainly more rational than religious evangelists trying to convert non-Christians to their cause with government subsidies.

Which is illegal in this country, so irrelevant to the discussion.

This is less of a stunt than, for example, the Southern Baptists trying to Save Jews by conversion (Ref: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcon.htm [religioustolerance.org] , http://www.jewsonfirst.org/07c/baptist_messianic.html [jewsonfirst.org] , et al).

You're not making any sense. The act of trying to convert Jews to Christianity is not, in itself, a stunt at all.

No one is talking about this because the atheists are trying to convert people; it's the fact that they are doing a silly stunt that is at issue. Almost every group -- religious and otherwise -- proselytizes. Simply noting that a group proselytizes doesn't have a bearing on whether or not they engage in stunts to any degree.

the [atheist bigots] up here don't get any government funding or tax subsidies like the religious bigots do.

There, I fixed it for you.

And again, in the U.S., they get no subsidies or funding either, not for proselytizing. They can get tax-exempt status if they agree to not do certain things, but so can an atheist group. Far from being a subsidy, it's an expression of the First Amendment: it's difficult to reconcile that a church should be free from government involvement while taxing it. Now, you could, of course, tax the churches just as you would tax anyone else ... but if you do THAT, then you have no justification for giving government money to a non-religious charity, but NOT giving it to a religious one.

Long ago it was decided it's easier just to keep them separate.

The thing is that religious EVANGELISM IS BIGOTRY.

False.

It is people saying that you are not "saved" or good because of your beliefs or lack of beliefs.

So when Martin Luther King Jr. tried to convince people to NOT be bigots, he was being a bigot?

Sorry, you're not making sense. Bigotry is more than just saying "you're wrong."

Atheism is highly rational in the sense that it rejects this religious bigotry.

No, it doesn't. By your own definition: atheists OFTEN tell people they are not good because of their beliefs.

People like me get pretty god-damned pissed off at hypocrites and zealots telling us how immoral we are.

While I agree this sort of evangelism is wrong, frankly, this is more YOUR problem than theirs. You live in a pluralistic society, where people are free to express their opinions, and you just need to get over it.

just about the one thing most religious people have in common is their (outward) disdain for sex and sexuality

Nonsense. There is a disdain for extramarital sex, and for graphic public displays of sex, but that's not the same thing. As to the public displays of sex, just like you think I should keep my religion in your home or church, I think you should keep your sexuality in your home or ... club or whatever. As to the extramarital sex, well, ask any spouse of any famous person who's got in trouble for having an affair, and ask them if they are just expressing a sense of "sexual oppression."

Ironic, since that's the thing that usually gets these religious nuts in (legal) trouble. The people who protest too much are usually the ones to watch out for.

Nonsense. People said that after the Republican congressman in Florida was outed for sending sexual IMs to a male, underage, page ... but they forgot that it was an openly gay Democratic congressman who was censured by his own party after actually having sex with a male, underage page.

There's Republican Mark Sanford ... and Democrat John Edwards.

PEOPLE are the ones to watch out for.

Re:Stunts (1)

zapakh (1256518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338014)

I find that people who feel the need to perform stunts like this to make a point usually have trouble making a point in any other way, and a need for attention for themselves and their "cause." Yes, we get it, you hate the Bible. But you have no actual arguments against it beyond your dislike, and you're boring.

I find that people who feel the need to write a post like this to make a point usually have trouble making a point in any other way, and a need for attention for themselves and their "thesis." Yes, we get it, you are superior to everyone. But you have no actual arguments for it beyond your pretentious attitude, and you're annoying.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338388)

I find that people who feel the need to write a post like this to make a point usually have trouble making a point in any other way

Huh. You don't get out much.

Re:Stunts (1)

zapakh (1256518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338442)

Huh. You don't get out much.

Excellent management of your forum persona.

Re:Stunts (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338686)

And you prove the point, thanks!

Re:Stunts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31338836)

And you prove the point, thanks!

Which point is that, that your ad-hom attack on a forum about how I'm on a forum eats its own tail?

Best. Idea. Ever. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331514)

Makes me wish I hadn't discarded all my extra Bibles...

I wonder if they would do this mail-order style?

In any case, I wholly support this awesome idea.

Re:Best. Idea. Ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31334016)

Time to remove the "Emergency toilet roll" post-it from ours and catch a flight to the US.

Re:Best. Idea. Ever. (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334952)

Makes me wish I hadn't discarded all my extra Bibles...

Contact the Gideon society. Offer to distribute a crate load of bibles to help convert the heathens at the university...

Re:Best. Idea. Ever. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335408)

I must have a poverty of imagination, as you have made the best idea ever even better.

Fail (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331544)

All too often fundamental athiest and religious folks resort to attacking other people's ideas or the so called "opposing side" rather than preach the merits of thier view point. This is a sad stunt and no better than some of the shocking things some fundamental religious folks have resorted to (murders aside, which both sides have done btw).

I don't see any difference between these crazy fundamental athiests and crazy religious folks, both are trying to push thier ideas on someone else.

It might just be me, but... (0, Troll)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31333640)

Does anyone else find it hysterical when atheists evangelize?

Re:It might just be me, but... (0, Troll)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31334562)

Absolutely. How can you rail against religion, while simultaneously belonging to what is essentially the Church of Richard Dawkins?

Re:It might just be me, but... (2, Insightful)

Tim4444 (1122173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31335766)

Is religion so meaningless to you that would extend its definition to include any arbitrary group of people that may or may not have read books by a particular author? If you support education and read Green Eggs and Ham as a kid are you in the Church of Dr. Seuss? Should these "religions" get the same tax breaks we extend to more established religions? I advocate that people read the Bibles they so proudly wave around. That doesn't mean I'm part of any sort of religion myself.

Re:It might just be me, but... (2, Insightful)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336084)

Is religion so meaningless to you that would extend its definition to include any arbitrary group of people that may or may not have read books by a particular author?

I said essentially. It's obviously not a religion.

However, Dawkin's form of 'militant atheism' shares many traits with the very religions he rails against. Particularly, his very hard-line claim that his is the Only True Way (capitalization mine). Did he start a religion? Not really. Is he as Dogmatic, radical, and evangelistic as some religions? Absolutely.

Re:It might just be me, but... (2, Insightful)

Tim4444 (1122173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336598)

Is he as Dogmatic, radical, and evangelistic as some religions? Absolutely.

Really? Which religions? Dawkins never trained any suicide bombers; he never tortured people in an Inquisition; he never launched a Crusade; he never advocated ostracizing people from their communities who don't agree with him; he never started any political parties; he never put "in Dawkins we trust" in the pledge or on the money of any nation; he never lobbied any nation to engrave excerpts from his writings on their military hardware; he never even organized any camps where parents could send their children to memorize passages from his books. Is there such a religion that does none of these things? He does advocate that you think critically about ideas presented to you and demand proof for people's conclusions. If you call this radical, certainly Christianity, just to pick a religion at random, is far more radical.

There's an old story about a child who claimed that a certain emperor who marched through the streets of his town was not wearing any clothes. I could be wrong, but I think that the child did not also wish to be emperor - he just wanted to point out that the emperor was not wearing any clothes.

Re:It might just be me, but... (0)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336976)

[Dawkins] never even organized any camps where parents could send their children to memorize passages from his books

Thank goodness, because Dawkins DID assert that sexual assault on a child is sometimes less damaging than teaching a child to follow Christianity. Literally, he said that.

I consider Dawkins to be pretty damned vile.

And on top of it, he really doesn't understand philosophy, even to the point of making a simple argument. He asserts many ridiculous things he can't back up, contradicts himself all the time, and generally does a disservice to atheism.

That says little, if anything, about atheism itself, of course.

Re:It might just be me, but... (2, Insightful)

Tim4444 (1122173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338148)

sexual assault on a child is sometimes less damaging than teaching a child to follow Christianity

Interesting proposition considering that the Catholic Church does both. I believe Dawkins never actually said that as such, but rather made an insensitive comment about "the Church's real child abuse" or something to that effect. Still, is he more vile than the people actually abusing children or the institution that protects the abusers?

Dawkins is just one voice among many. Attempts to use him to brand a single unified atheist movement are more a result of his detractors than the efforts of the people he has come to represent - willingly or unwillingly. BTW, you can no more do a disservice to atheism, that is "not religious," than you can do a disservice to "not small" or "not a number" or "not bowling" or "not evil." Asserting anything at all about a "not" when nothing else is known about it is complete nonsense. Perhaps you mean Dawkins is doing a disservice to British people, or the scientific community, or to advocates for the separation of church and state, or to humanists, or to people who simply refuse to believe in anything for which there is no evidence.

People could be forgiven for not understanding much of philosophy [wikipedia.org] .

Re:It might just be me, but... (0)

pudge (3605) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338498)

sexual assault on a child is sometimes less damaging than teaching a child to follow Christianity

Interesting proposition considering that the Catholic Church does both.

I don't see how that makes it interesting, but OK.

I believe Dawkins never actually said that as such

OK. But he did say this explicitly: [richarddawkins.net]

... reports of child abuse cover a multitude of sins, from mild fondling to violent buggery ... just because some pedophile assaults are violent and painful, it doesn't mean that all are. ... Phrases like 'predatory monster' are not discriminating enough, and are framed in the light of adult hang-ups. ... the mental abuse constituted by an unsubstantiated threat of violence and terrible pain, if sincerely believed by the child, could easily be more damaging than the physical actuality of sexual abuse. An extreme threat of violence and pain is precisely what the doctrine of hell is.

No getting around that quote.

Still, is he more vile than the people actually abusing children or the institution that protects the abusers?

Nope. Good thing I am not a Catholic, as it would be very difficult for me to figure out what to do: stay with the church and try to fix it, or move on to a different sect.

Unlucky for Dawkins, however, is that most people in the world don't play the game of "not as vile as," but simply consider a vile person to be avoided, whether or not there are more vile people out there.

Attempts to use him to brand a single unified atheist movement ...

As I said, "That says little, if anything, about atheism itself, of course."

you can no more do a disservice to atheism, that is "not religious," than you can do a disservice to "not small" or "not a number" or "not bowling" or "not evil."

Not true. Atheism is a philosophy (or set of philosophies), not a mere negatory statement. And philosophies can be damaged by bad arguments supporting them, just as Catholicism was damaged by the pedophile priests and the protection of them.

Not damaged in fact, of course -- just like Catholicism cannot be damaged in fact by the pedophile scandal -- but in perception, in the attempts of its advocates to win people to their side, or even to convince people of the reasonableness of the position.

People could be forgiven for not understanding much of philosophy [wikipedia.org] .

But what to say about people who know what ontology is, but don't understand that atheism is itself a philosophy? Or worse, about people who take a very common phrasology and take it to mean something it doesn't? ZOMG.

Re:It might just be me, but... (1)

Tim4444 (1122173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338704)

simply consider a vile person to be avoided

good idea - for those who can identify what is vile

Re:It might just be me, but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336170)

No, but I find it very interesting that religious people are threatened by it.

Well, it's because it's never positive. (0, Troll)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31338664)

Does anyone else find it hysterical when atheists evangelize?

Yes. Largely because they're so bad at it. Oh, let's not say that religious evangelists can't be awful, hateful, short-sighted, and full of mockery and disdain for those they oppose. But they can also be uplifting, positive, and kind. Religious evangelists can include people who speak about the positive influences of religion in their lives without having to act judgmental towards those who have not yet had the experience.

I've never seen an atheist evangelist who wasn't just mean, nasty, and often childish. It's rare that you see an atheist try to open up people with how much better their lives are with atheism without having to in some way degrade or insult theist thought. It's not like it's not possible! It's just that atheists who want to convert people always seem to want to do so out of a belief that people who aren't atheists are delusional, irrational, or just stupid. That's not really a good place to start from.

All this stunt really does is provide opportunity for like-minded people to mock and insult people who aren't atheists. It's just as repulsive as the guy who stands on the street corner with a sandwich board and tells everyone how they're going to Hell if they don't accept Jesus -- no one is going to listen except people who already believe it, and everyone else will just be turned off.

(Off-topic: Why does Idle have these horrible tiny comment forms when you don't have JavaScript enabled when it's not a problem for the rest of the site?)

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