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Archive of the Sojourn3 General Discussion Forum.
Elseenas
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Postby Elseenas » Fri Mar 08, 2002 10:20 pm

200!

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Postby Gort » Fri Mar 08, 2002 10:38 pm

Nod Ashiwi, I've had many a conversation w/ Mormon Missionaries about that very point, and in the end we agreed that every religion is equally valid.

I analogize "God" to what the Chinese call the Universal. It is also expressed in gnostic gospels in the Christian beliefset,"I am in everything, and am everywhere, break a stick I am there, lift a rock and you will find me."

Ki- the energy of the universe isn't contained in any person or thing, but flows through everything. Its flow can be encouraged or discouraged, and when it is stopped in a being, that being's physical body ceases to function.

Based on the law of conservation of energy, therefore, corporeal life's end is not necessarilly the end. I won't say that the "spark" that was what kept your corporeal body functioning stays a complete entity, but the energy doesn't simply disappear, it continues as part of said Universal.

I will continue more later if necessary, or wanted.


Toplack
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Postby Turxx » Fri Mar 08, 2002 10:38 pm

thats funny
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Postby Eadgydd » Sat Mar 09, 2002 1:40 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by omrec:
<B>
I love the human brain, and I love the wondrous intelligence it is capable of, but the fact that 90-some-odd percent of people STILL believe in some sort of God is sickening. Then again, some people believe in astrology, or ESP, so there is no accounting for human stupidity.

Realize this: If you believe in God, you are either a) brainwashed, b) weak-willed, c) scared, or d) all of the above. Of course, you most likely don't realize you are brainwashed, thats the beauty of it.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually, there is scientific basis for the existence of ESP: Our brains emit waves, and waves can harmonize with other objects that emit waves. Theoretically, some people might have a greater tendancy to harmonize with other people's brain waves. Or perhaps we all have this ability, but some people are more aware of it.

The point is, don't dismiss something as BS just because you don't believe it's possible. As Ashiwi pointed out, many things were once thought impossible, and the people who believed in them dismissed as stupid dreamers. If everyone thought as you do, it's a cliche, but we'd have no airplanes, telephones, computers... and we wouldn't be having this conversation :P

As for why someone might believe in god (lower case intended) or other spiritual presence, I'm sure there are other reasons than those you state. Perhaps some simply choose to interpret the events of their lives as having some pattern beyond mere coincidence.
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Postby Elseenas » Sat Mar 09, 2002 2:57 am

Regardless, there is /strong/ scientific evidence for ESP.

Read The Concious Universe, by Dean Radin.

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Kifle
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Postby Kifle » Sat Mar 09, 2002 5:37 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ashiwi:
Sounds kind of like anarchy. Some of us live by the "golden rule" of do unto others as we would have done unto us, but some of us see the "right" way as being one which will put us on the pinnacle of the food chain.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Isn't that how it is anyway? There would still be government. Although the american government is strongly influenced by christianity, there would still be laws and what not. It is possibly to have ethics and morality w/o religion.

Kifle
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Postby Kifle » Sat Mar 09, 2002 11:01 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by combatmedic:
<B>I gots a question for all of you who do not like religion because of the rules/dogma/oppression/whatever =P, but believe in "spirituality" and if following your own heart/golden rule.

The purpose of 99% of all these religions out here is to do what? Live a good life? No, i don't think so, it is to live a good "after life", to get into heaven so to speak. So you live a good life here on Earth, believe in whatever set of rules so that you can get into that afterlife. Every religion out there pretty much states that they are the only way to God/heaven. So if you don't believe in any of them, but believe that there is a creator, aren't you sorta shooting yourself in the foot? How the heck are ya suppossed to get into the afterlife after you die if you don't believe in any certain one? Or do you believe that there is a creator, but no afterlife?

I won't bring up the issue that everyone's morality is different (oh wait, i did... oops), but on the helping everyone out, making them equal so we generally have a better world. Isn't that sorta like communism? After all, that is the basis of thier governments...to help everyone out equally. Flip through one of those fortune 500 magazines and tell me what percentage of those top 500 companies made thier pile by helping other people out. Sure they may donate a little now, but to get that high, they had to squeeze, step, or stomp on someone. That is capitalism at it's heart, out do your opponents by any means necessary, hook and crook.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


The reason for religion is not to get a better afterlife dear. That is the fools religion. If I am correct, it has been years since I went to church, in christianity, if you do things for the sole purpose of getting a better afterlife you do it in vein and wont be let into heaven because of the selfish reasons. The doctrines are there to make you a "better person" on earth so you will be worthy of heaven. If you are being "good" for the sole purpose of getting into heaven then you are not necessarily a good person are you?

No, I wouldn't suppose I would be shooting myself in the foot...I dont own any projectile flingers...So you are saying, that If I am a perfect person (as perfect as you can get) and I dont believe in a certain afterlife/god, then I wont get to heaven. Even though I am 10x the person as this christian over here who gets to go into heaven? Well, if that is what religion preaches, then I am glad I am not part of that group.

Think of this scenario...
A woman grows up her whole life as a loner...never being introduced to any form of religion at all...She lives by the golden rule, and is an all around very nice person. At the time of her death she gets to the pearly gates and...EEEEEHHHH! cant get in cuz you didnt believe in god you heathen! What is wrong with this picture?!

Kifle
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Postby Kifle » Sat Mar 09, 2002 11:20 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ashiwi:
<B>I consider myself to be agnostic (lower case "a" intentional), but I do not consider myself to be a "fence sitter." I simply do not believe that the human mind is capable of comprehending God at this point in our evolution. There are hundreds of thousands of religious sets out there, thousands and thousands of different interpretations of scriptures of the Bible alone. I do not believe that any faith, any religion, as long as they work toward the betterment of human society as a whole, is wrong. I somewhat believe in reincarnation, where the human psyche, spirit or soul perhaps, goes through an evolution to achieve a state where they can finally step into a greater awareness and consciousness, and perhaps at that point they are able to move on. I somewhat don't believe in it, but I do know that I can neither prove or disprove it, so I will not say without doubt that it cannot possibly be true.

I believe that the Bible is holy scripture... of a sort. Do you remember when you were a little kid and your mom or dad would come in and tell you bedtime stories? Perhaps your earliest recollections are of "The Three Little Pigs" or "Little Red Riding Hood" in their most basic of forms. As you grew older, your parents would choose more and more sophisticated stories to tell or read to you. When my children were seven and eight I was reading the "Chronicles of Narnia" to them, and that's a far cry from "One Fish, Two Fish."

I see the Bible in much the same light as children's stories. When the human species first developed, the greater power was explained in what they could comprehend, stories relating to forces of nature, and thus the first gods were born, of thunder and lightning and wind. As man has evolved, the story has become more complex, and perhaps the Bible is part of that story, but not the complete story, because we are not ready for that yet. I think we're up to "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." Not the most sophisticated of stories, but not the most simple, either. If there is a greater power, it will reveal itself to us in ways which we can understand, but no more. I could read a mathematical treatise to my child at bedtime, and they probably wouldn't understand it at all... sure, they might get something out of it, and if I continued to read like that to my children, eventually they would grasp the concepts, but what they would be missing are the fundamental values instilled by the stories like 'The Three Little Pigs." A mathematical treatise does not tell a young mind to stay away from bad guys, or to tell the truth, or to be good to each other and good things will happen to you.

The New Testament shows that only through baptism in the name of Jesus can we wash away our sins and become one with God. What year was it that missionaries took that message to the continents of North and South America? What year was it when that message became available to every living person on this planet? I can not, for a single minute, comprehend that there could be a god who would make the demand of baptism, for which the consequences of failure would be to be condemned to hellfire for all eternity, but not bother to let all souls born on this earth know about it. Technically that kind of god allowed billions of billions of souls go to hell, and if you think about it, that god is all knowing, all powerful, that god knows the past, present and future, and that god knew how many souls would be condemned to hell when the baptism law was written, before those souls even had a chance to find out what the law was.

Now there's a quandary to ponder. Free will or no? If God is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, then God knows the past present and future, yes? So if the Bible is correct, God created the world and man, then created woman to accompany man. When God first started creating the world, He knew that He would be creating man and woman, and He knew that Eve would be making the choice to eat the apple. God knew Eve would eat the apple, and knew exactly how many souls would be condemned to hell for all eternity between the apple eating and judgement day. Every soul that is born onto this earth, God knows the choices it will make in its life, and God knew when He created Eve that I would be writing this post now. Everybody I've ever argued this topic with can only seem to parrot the words "But you choose the paths you take." If God knew the paths I would take before I was even born, how is that a choice? If God knew every single step I would take, and the reasons I would take them, if God knew I was flawed and doomed to spend an eternity in hell before I was even born, why would a good and caring father commit me to such a path? How could a good and caring father doom millions and millions of tribal inhabitants to hell simply because no missionary had yet carried them the word of baptism?

I don't think we have the final word. There's more out there, we're just not ready for it yet.</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Damn Ashiwi, It seems we are two of the same mind here! You are wonderful! well almost, that bible thing is a good theory, but i would blame that on the ignorance of mans perception rather than a god allowing us to see things.
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Postby omrec » Sat Mar 09, 2002 6:03 pm

Ok, I think some of you guys are misinterpretting what I am saying, but I'll try again.

Zellin: I'm not sure if you are talking to me or someone else, because I've already stated I'm both atheist and agnostic. Telling me to be atheist when I have already admitted I am is probably not going to get us anywhere.

Elseenas: I understand a lot of the evidence for electrons, having done a lot of physics work in my day, but even I cannot say i'm 100% certain of it. However, if I assume the electron concept is pretty close to reality, and make new assumptions about the way computer chips etc. work, and then go in a lab and test them, and they end up working the way the theory would say they do, then I become slightly more certain that electron theory is correct, up until the point where I am almost completely certain. Trying the same thing with the concept of god ends up with absurdities, so I have to conclude that there isn't a god.

Mori: As for religion being neutral, not bad, You seem to be forgetting things like the inquisition, or the crusades. If there is an institution which can easily influence people, and it influences them to do bad instead of good, the institution itself deserves some blame, does it not?

Ashiwi: You're right, that sentence about not believing was a little too harsh. What we should actually do is consider the evidence for any new idea, and follow it through to its logical conclusions. For most scientific advances, this leads to a "Kick in the understanding" as Feynman would say, which is way cool, and makes you realize you're on the right track. I have never heard of the same thing being said about religion.

Eadgydd: I actually agree with you about the brainwave influencing affect, but I guess I haven't read any concrete, peer reviewed papers about ESP, so I don't know the facts. Maybe instead of ESP I should have used Martians or palm reading..:P I agree with you that we wouldn't be having this conversation if everyone agreed with me, because we'd probably be a lot more advanced than we are now. Imagine the entire world in the intelligent pursuit of knowledge, trying to discover the truth of everything, never dismissing anything out of hand but only once it has been tested logically and experimentally. The point is not to throw away anything you disagree with, but to actually test the idea, and to always realize that you are probably wrong, and there will be something new to discover.

And I guess I should have added d) Wishful Thinking to my list of why people believe. Still doesn't add up to much, I hate to say....

I went to an interesting talk by Robert Thurman yesterday, who is an ordained Buddhist monk that works in the religious studies department at Columbia. He actually raised some interesting points, although he did claim that scientists tend to say they are right, and be all high and mighty, and then he went on to make claims without backing them up, but oh well.. Image Anyway, something I sort of agree with, that he stated, was that religions (in general) should stop trying to convert anyone, especially from other religions, and should just try and make their own people happier, and closer to the fundamental ideals of their religion, not the dogma of it. Of course, he also believes that every religion's ultimate goal is to turn everyone into a buddha (a state of perfect love for every other being). Apparently buddhism has great issues with monotheism, mainly the thought that there was a god who actually created everything, because there are buddhist gods who just sort of happened to be around at the same time the universe appeared. Of course, I don't really have a point I'm trying to make, just thought I'd see if anyone out there has read very much about buddhism and can comment on this.

I personally tend to appreciate eastern religion/philosophy more than western, as I believe they have a lot to offer us that we can't get elsewhere. And yes, I am being a hypocrit, but I do believe that science alone isn't enough, you need to have the correct grasp on how you fit in with the rest of the human race. I believe the greatest good, and the greatest pursuit in life, is to make as many other people happy as possible. And, following Kifle's example, if there actually ends up being a heaven, because I live my life in this way, I'll probably get in, so why should I worry about it?.. Image

Have a wonderful weekend everyone...

-Om
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Postby Zellin » Sun Mar 10, 2002 1:18 am

I was talking to anyone who is agnostic. And it's not possible to be atheist and agnostic at the same time. To be agnostic means to have no belief. (Please no one throw the dictonary in my face, I know what the dictionary's definition of agnostic is.) Look at the formation of the word agnostic. The root of agnostic is a and gnostic. Gnostic is to have an esoteric knowledge of spirituality. The prefix a before a word means without. Without esoteric knowledge of spirituality. No spirituality. No opinion at all. Atheism is a strong opinion on God. One cannot be agnostic and atheist at the same time.
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Postby Kuurg » Sun Mar 10, 2002 6:48 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Zellin:
One cannot be agnostic and atheist at the same time.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But one can be constantly re-assessing their opinion. In fact, I would go so far as to say a person SHOULD be constantly re-assessing their stance. We cling tenaciously to those foundational beliefs - the bulwarks against the unknowns, if you will, yet those are the views/opinions most in need of constant revision.

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·•Kuurg•·
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Postby Zellin » Sun Mar 10, 2002 9:32 am

Changing ones beliefs is fine, Kuurg, and you're right...it is important. Harboring two beliefs simultaneously is a totally different thing. BAD.
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Postby Eadgydd » Sun Mar 10, 2002 8:54 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Zellin:
One cannot be agnostic and atheist at the same time.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is impossible for the simple reason that agnosticism is the absence of belief, while atheism, the belief that no god exists, requires as much faith as belief that a god does exist. Neither can be proven.
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Postby Elseenas » Mon Mar 11, 2002 12:14 am

Omrec:

Electrons or Electricity?

The evidence for electricity and the models for electricity are easy, you will have a great deal of trouble testing changing your assumptions on electrons.

Further, by extension, can you even think of a test that would allow for the falsification of string theory?

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Postby omrec » Mon Mar 11, 2002 4:34 am

(Deleted because the next post covers this more thoroughly)

[This message has been edited by omrec (edited 03-11-2002).]
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Postby omrec » Mon Mar 11, 2002 5:56 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Eadgydd:
This is impossible for the simple reason that agnosticism is the absence of belief, while atheism, the belief that no god exists, requires as much faith as belief that a god does exist. Neither can be proven.</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Err...Atheism requires belief? Atheism isn't a belief in no god, it is an absence of belief in god. Which was what you just stated is what agnosticism is....

Ok, since I don't really feel like arguing word-roots and definitions with you all, I'll just state my own definitions of agnosticism and atheism. As they are my own definitions, by definition you can't argue with me about them, so it should end this silly definitions debate and get us to the root of the matter.

Omrec's Definition of Agnosticism: An unwillingness to belief anything without sufficient evidence. Commonly used in terms of a belief in a deity, but can be used more generally. In simple terms, Anti-Belief.

Omrec's Definition of Atheism: A lack of belief in a higher power. Anti-Theism, if you will.

According to my own definitions, agnosticism actually requires atheism...but then again, that is just my definition, define it as you will.. Image If you feel like defining agnosticism as a 50-50 chance of god existing, feel free. In that case, I wouldn't be agnostic. If you feel like turning atheism into a belief in god not existing, again, feel free. I wouldn't be that either. This is part of the reason I usually try and avoid the words agnostic, or atheist, because people tend to jump to conclusions.

Another Note on String Theory: I gave a sort of flippant answer to Elseenas valid point, which is that there are some theories out there that are unfalsifiable, and therefore shouldn't really be considered science. I agree with this, as the purpose of a theory isn't to be right (We'll never actually be right), but rather to create a model that allows new predictions to be made. If/when string theory reaches the point where it is making new predictions about the world that we can experimentally confirm, then it will be falsifiable, and therefore valid science.

Oh, and as far as your question about electrons Elseenas, what exactly are you attempting to point to? I can look at theories about nuclear forces and the electron's part in those, and see how they apply to things I can experimentally test. I can then test them, and see if i'm right. My discussion of electricity was mainly to point to the fact that we can easily see the result of electron flows, and experimentally test why certain materials exhibit electrical properties, based upon how electrons interact with their environment. If electricity didn't behave the way we expect it to, well then, we'd probably be wrong about some things, wouldn't we. I believe in the electron as a concept, if you have a better model, lets test it and use it.

-Om

P.S. Sorry for the confusion about language, I won't try and define my own beliefs in terms of commonly used words anymore, without first defining the words...:P

P.P.S. As yayaril said...just remember, we're all wrong.
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Postby Ashiwi » Mon Mar 11, 2002 7:55 pm

As a solipsist I find you all very amusing. Oh how detailed my imagination is.
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Postby Jurdex » Sat Mar 16, 2002 7:47 pm

I just read through this thread.

Jeez. Image

Okay, for every person who has bashed religion in this thread, there has been one constant - far too overzealous in their dismissal of religion.

1) (Example) A terrorist kills thousands of people due to his religious convictions. That does not necessarily mean his religion is evil, only his actions.

2) I saw in a tattoo parlor once a sign that stated, "I'm not telling you to mark up your body, so don't tell me anything when I choose to mark up mine." .. That is a key issue here, is it not? I don't really care for tattoos, but I don't go chastising people who have them. I can even admire the beauty in it, even though I believe it is scaring the body.

Consequently.. Are all Catholics to be blamed for the Church's past misconduct? Are all white people to be blamed for slavery? Are all Germans to be held accountable for the holocaust? ..

Show me where religion has been cruel and vile and I'll show you where goverments have been the same if not worse. It is all subjective. The wonderful thing about debates is that it can exist without conclusion, as it does in this instance. There is no right or wrong.

Open up your eyes and accept that not everything is as you perceive it to be.

It might be logical to you that religion is bad and God doesn't exist. It also might be logical for your neighbor to believe that religion is good and that God does exist.

No one can prove God exists.

No one can prove God does not exist.

To bash someone or their religion based on your own experiences is a flawed practice. Image

Life and religion are very similar.

It all comes down to the fact that it is what you make it.

Dornax
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Postby Ensis » Sat Mar 16, 2002 9:54 pm

I didn't want to read this whole thing because damn..its 5 pages.

The entire point of this post got completely lost from the get and turned into (as it always does) a debate over the existence of religion. Let's get back to the point shall we Image

I am amazed at how many so-proclaimed Christians who defend the game, do so with foul and abusive language. This, I think, speaks volumes about the spiritual impact of the game

Obviously the people defending the game didn't swear until they played it right?

There are several different kinds of religious people, and several different kinds of atheists. I think we'd all agree that the only kinds that could be considered "WRONG" are the ones that push their beliefs on others.

I'm a little on the agnostic/non-denom christian side, because I'd rather go with the basic belief and idea than the institution's that seem to have made so much trouble over the years. Am I right or wrong?..who knows, I guess I'll find out when I get to that turning point in my life.

This guy is trying to advocate right vs wrong, and he's using the same tools he accuses "cults" and "the occult" of using. Going after self concious kids telling them they're somebody and having them be part of a crowd.

Live and let live. If someone believes in god, let them, if they don't, let them. This shouldn't really be an argument because none of us can really prove for absolute that there is or isn't another.

The human necessity to prove someone wrong, or to prove yourself right, is the only thing that keeps this conversation going. Why don't we discuss something more intelligent, like 'tastes great, less filling' or 'what came first, the chicken or the egg'?? Image Image

Just my thoughts on the mattah..

Kim

--ADDITION--

Ok..after reading through two pages I had to add some stuff.

A lot of you are saying "Religion caused this".

some Cops break the law.
some Teachers don't know everything.
some Doctors hurt people.
some Judges lie.
some Cashier's steal.
some Pizza Delivery guys drive slow.

What's my point? There is no way you can blame the atrocities of man on any one thing. Each idea that led to something bad was brought there by a human being.

We are the source of all the evil in the world, not religion, science, etc..

Be good or be bad, who gives a shit if you are or aren't religious.

If you advocate one and condemn the other than you are no better than the extremists you are complaining about.

Just be what you want to be, let the rest of the fish be what they want to be.

[This message has been edited by Ensis (edited 03-16-2002).]
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Postby Nikelon » Mon Mar 18, 2002 11:13 pm

Well....I read most of the first four pages and scanned the last....this is incredibly amusing, especially all these credentials trying to prove that ye know what the hell you're talking about when you spit out mathematical equations. I, myself agree with Elseenas's points, sans the weird S's, P's, 0's, and 1's, etc.

Personally, I think that an effective debate rests not so much on fancy talk of theorums and such, but more on the hard logic that we use in every day life. I have to agree on Cherzra's scorn(?) of these mathematical proof thingies, probably because in 9th grade, we haven't learned any of that yet :P

In case you haven't seen my rants on the intolerance of "Communism", I would like to point out that I am incredibly intolerant of intolerant people (kinda hypcritical, eh?). It makes me want to kill someone who bashes religion, government, sexuality, general preference because they do not understand it as well as they thinkn they do. However, I don't know everything, and perhaps I am often in the wrong to be so protective of something I know nothing about.

I personally hate those cartoons. It scares the crap out of me to think that someone would discriminate against pagans like that when almost every reference they made was false. To begin with, kids for the most part don't just walk up and say, "I'm a pagan now". Nor would the preists and preistesses allow this. I am however, solitary, and don't know much of how the covens function.

The biggest point that I would like to make (get the ides that I want your attention?), is the fact that the cartoon does not even effectively illustrate the relationship between paganism and the D&D games. I mean, honestly, you can't say that Marcie's suicide had anything to do with Debbie's joining the coven. Therefore, why should Debbie feel badly about her choice to become a witch? Marcie had her own issues that she should have dealt with, possibly with Debbie's help. Pagans are some of the most cool-headed mediators around. On top of that, the DM (Ms. Frost) is NOT a witch od Diana!!! Any true witch would know that you do NOT cast spells for your own personal gain, else they backfire or return threefold (if ye believe the threefold law). Anyone choosing to walk the dark paths of casuing harm with the craft has crossed into the "Evil" or "Dark" Craft...what you call "Black Magic".

Anywho...my Webmastering class is about to end, so I have to stop here for now...

-Nikelon Zol'Lek -Blazing Pain-
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Postby Disoputlip » Tue Mar 26, 2002 10:18 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nikelon:
<B>....
The biggest</B> [b]point that I would like to make ...., is the fact that the cartoon does not even effectively illustrate the relationship between paganism and the D&D games. ....
-Nikelon Zol'Lek -Blazing Pain-[/B]</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Come on, the cartoon is just plain silly, don't take it serious. Don't even try.

Except for the "I repend, I repend. cuz thats like pretty cool".

/D
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Mar 27, 2002 5:48 pm

"1) (Example) A terrorist kills thousands of people due to his religious convictions. That does not necessarily mean his religion is evil, only his actions. " - Jurdex

Nope. His actions were good. Well, they were good according to everything his religious leaders had taught him during his life. I doubt anyone would ever have decided to do this on their own, they would have to be manipulated or brainwashed into it. And Religion is very good at that.

"There are several different kinds of religious people, and several different kinds of atheists. I think we'd all agree that the only kinds that could be considered "WRONG" are the ones that push their beliefs on others. " - Ensis

Yes, but how many Athiests do you know that go from door to door passing out pamphlets and talking people into their belief system?

"Why don't we discuss something more intelligent, like 'tastes great, less filling' or 'what came first, the chicken or the egg'??" - Ensis

The chicken. It was hatched from the egg of some species that wasn't a chicken, but was very close. Some genes in the egg got mutated and a chicken was born.

"<i>
A lot of you are saying "Religion caused this".

some Cops break the law.
some Teachers don't know everything.
some Doctors hurt people.
some Judges lie.
some Cashier's steal.
some Pizza Delivery guys drive slow.

</i>"

That's not the correct analogy. We're condemning religion in general, not individual priests. The proper analogies would be:

Sometimes the NYPD orders cops to break the law.
The Board of Education only hires teachers that don't know anything.
Hospitals order their doctors to kill patients.
The Supreme Court orders all judges to lie.
Papa John's requires all pizza drivers to drive under 15mph.

In all these cases it's an organization coercing people into doing something wrong. That is the problem with religion. Otherwise good people can be manipulated into doing bad things by playing with their beliefs.

I agree that humans are the source of all evil in the world. Hell, the concept wouldn't even exist without us to think of it. However, religion is a tool that is frequently used to bring about that evil.
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Postby Ashiwi » Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:51 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Sarvis:
<B>"1) (Example) A terrorist kills thousands of people due to his religious convictions. That does not necessarily mean his religion is evil, only his actions. " - Jurdex

Nope. His actions were good. Well, they were good according to everything his religious leaders had taught him during his life. I doubt anyone would ever have decided to do this on their own, they would have to be manipulated or brainwashed into it. And Religion is very good at that.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So in your belief all these misled people are incapable of making their own decisions, including the priests of the faith, because they were misled to begin with by the faith. You do realize that with your reasoning there would *have* to be a supreme being in order to pass down its faith, because no human "would have ever decided to do" these things on their own.

You really think Jim Jones was brainwashed by his religion into thinking he needed to take his flock to Guyana and douse them with electric Kool-aid? He perverted a faith to suit his own needs, and he was very capable of doing such a thing, greed and lust make us capable of doing a lot of things most humans wouldn't do in normal situations.

There are a lot of people in institutions who blame their horrific actions on "God" speaking to them. There is no absolute line somebody has to cross before their actions go from "good" to "pshychotic." You assume that all who have twisted a religion to suit their own needs were completely in control of their faculties, 100% stable.

A terrorist who follows a faith which condones or encourages the destruction of human life in the name of the faith might fall into your reasoning, but there are very few faiths in the world which preach violence as not only an acceptable action, but the preferred course.

As for the chicken and the egg question... well the answer of that all depends on which side of the abortion issue you stand on. At what point in its development is an organism considered to be that organism?

The egg came first, the egg developed into the first chicken after fertilization. The egg existed before the coating of albumen which gave it its shell-like texture. The egg existed before fertilization, and contained half of the DNA which went into creating the chicken. I don't think an unfertilized egg in a woman's reproductive tract is "human" although it does contain human genes.
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Mar 27, 2002 8:33 pm

"So in your belief all these misled people are incapable of making their own decisions, including the priests of the faith, because they were misled to begin with by the faith. You do realize that with your reasoning there would *have* to be a supreme being in order to pass down its faith, because no human "would have ever decided to do" these things on their own."

No, you are failing to see the distinction between the brainwashed and the brainwashers. People like Osama Bin Laden corrupt religious teachings and then hand them to other people, who often can't ignore it because they would just be shot. Then they get a free army of religious zealots that will go on suicide missions to kill thousands of people they have never even met.

You really think Jim Jones was brainwashed by his religion into thinking he needed to take his flock to Guyana and douse them with electric Kool-aid? He perverted a faith to suit his own needs, and he was very capable of doing such a thing, greed and lust make us capable of doing a lot of things most humans wouldn't do in normal situations.

No, but it appears he quite handily brainwashed his flock to go to Guyana and
douse themselves with electric kool-aid. (Otherwise known as cyanide.) Again, brainwasher vs. brainwashed.

"There are a lot of people in institutions who blame their horrific actions on "God" speaking to them. There is no absolute line somebody has to cross before their actions go from "good" to "pshychotic." You assume that all who have twisted a religion to suit their own needs were completely in control of their faculties, 100% stable."

I never said that. Although I think a good percentage of them are just conniving opportunists. No doubt the Pope's palace is well outfitted with lots of shiny gold fixtures and such, paid for by the tithes of poor peasants throughout the ages.

"A terrorist who follows a faith which condones or encourages the destruction of human life in the name of the faith might fall into your reasoning, but there are very few faiths in the world which preach violence as not only an acceptable action, but the preferred course."

No religion I know of preaches it as acceptable. Yet priests have always been able to twist the words just enough to make it the preferred course of action. Kamikaze pilots in Japan, the Crusades, the Witch Trials, 9/11, human sacrifice, animal sacrifice... you name it, it's been done to appease this god or that.

<i>"As for the chicken and the egg question... well the answer of that all depends on which side of the abortion issue you stand on. At what point in its development is an organism considered to be that organism?

The egg came first, the egg developed into the first chicken after fertilization. The egg existed before the coating of albumen which gave it its shell-like texture. The egg existed before fertilization, and contained half of the DNA which went into creating the chicken. I don't think an unfertilized egg in a woman's reproductive tract is "human" although it does contain human genes.</i>"

Ah, but no matter what it _wasn't_ a chicken's egg. It was the egg of some other creature. Unless you are saying that any egg came before a chicken, the chicken came first. If you are saying the egg in general came first, you are correct since there were dinosaur eggs long before any kind of bird existed. Image
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Postby Ashiwi » Wed Mar 27, 2002 8:55 pm

No, I am saying the egg came first. Whether the mutant DNA existed within the egg before fertilization, or was implanted there, that egg became the first chicken. The egg HAD to come first for there to be a chicken... no egg, no chicken. No egg, no human. No egg, no (insert any creature where the female of the species produces eggs).
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Postby Sarvis » Wed Mar 27, 2002 8:59 pm

So then you were talking about eggs in general, not just chicken eggs. I was only talking about chicken eggs, which can only come from a chicken. At least that was the way I always interpreted the question... heh.
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Postby Elseenas » Thu Mar 28, 2002 4:45 am

Sarvis:

Lets say you are correct in your analogy.

Someone higher up in Pizza Hut is ordering all of their employees to distribute pornography, kill people, rob banks, engage in black masses, trade MP3s and swap pokemon cards.

How does this reflect on /business/ in general?

That is what the theist on this board have been saying: the religions are all different, you cannot lump them into the same category.

There is nothing intrinsic with a belief in deity being associated with these things.

Everyone:

dictionary.com.

An agnostic is one who neither believes nor disbelieves in a deity, though many believe that it cannot be known.

An atheist is one who absolutely rejects the idea of a deity.

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Postby Elseenas » Thu Mar 28, 2002 4:54 am

Omrec:

You are still trying to discuss /electricity/ and not /electrons/.

I am demonstrating that people have faith in that which you must take another's word for--even and especially atheists. For instance, figure out a way to test the mass of electrons. Or any other property. Remember that these things behave in waves?

Think of a test you can perform in most labs that would allow for this level of distinction and would alter your results if it was different?

Assume that current is a unit unto itself: there are no independent particles that comprise it--how would you test this theory?

Yes, there are tests for all of these but unless you have an understanding in QM, interpreting the results of these tests is nontrivial.



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Postby Thurg » Thu Mar 28, 2002 4:54 am

Here is the answer to all arguments, political, religious, philosophical, moral, etc...

I AM GOD!!!

For those of you who disbelieve me, o well your going to hell :-). Next post.
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Postby Thurg » Thu Mar 28, 2002 4:55 am

On a side note, PvP creator had a rant and a comic on this guy. It is a real site and it makes me sick. This guy knows nothing at all.

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Postby Elseenas » Thu Mar 28, 2002 4:56 am

Omrec:

You are still trying to discuss /electricity/ and not /electrons/.

I am demonstrating that people have faith in that which you must take another's word for--even and especially atheists. For instance, figure out a way to test the mass of electrons. Or any other property. Remember that these things behave in waves?

Think of a test you can perform in most labs that would allow for this level of distinction and would alter your results if it was different?

Assume that current is a unit unto itself: there are no independent particles that comprise it--how would you test this theory?

Yes, there are tests for all of these but unless you have an understanding in QM, interpreting the results of these tests is nontrivial.



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Postby Sarvis » Thu Mar 28, 2002 5:29 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Elseenas:
<B>Sarvis:

Lets say you are correct in your analogy.

Someone higher up in Pizza Hut is ordering all of their employees to distribute pornography, kill people, rob banks, engage in black masses, trade MP3s and swap pokemon cards.

How does this reflect on /business/ in general?

That is what the theist on this board have been saying: the religions are all different, you cannot lump them into the same category.

There is nothing intrinsic with a belief in deity being associated with these things.

Everyone:

dictionary.com.

An agnostic is one who neither believes nor disbelieves in a deity, though many believe that it cannot be known.

An atheist is one who absolutely rejects the idea of a deity.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ahh... but what if most corporations _did_ do that stuff? Or, for a less far fetched example, what if many large corporations ran sweatshops, avoided environmental standards by moving factories around, or kept improper financial records to avoid taxes or whatever. They do, in fact. For that reason there are many movements these days to put stricter limits and controls on what corporations can do.

It seems as if any large organisation will start to perform illegal/immoral actions for it's own benefit, be they corporations, governments or religions.




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Postby Elseenas » Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:32 am

Sarvis:

I'm going to reject the idea that most do, only a few of the major ones and mainly in the past--not with their current incarnations, but for the sake of argument:

Even if they did is that a means to judge *all* of them?

Thats kind of like saying "most black families are lower middle class or below, therefore I am going to treat all blacks as being lower middle class".

To do so is illogical at best.



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Postby Elseenas » Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:34 am

Also, would you judge small organizations for it even if every large organization did?



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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Mar 28, 2002 2:35 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Sarvis:
<B> Ahh... but what if most corporations _did_ do that stuff? Or, for a less far fetched example, what if many large corporations ran sweatshops, avoided environmental standards by moving factories around, or kept improper financial records to avoid taxes or whatever. They do, in fact. For that reason there are many movements these days to put stricter limits and controls on what corporations can do.

It seems as if any large organisation will start to perform illegal/immoral actions for it's own benefit, be they corporations, governments or religions.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're still judging the thing on the people who choose to use it in ways which can be considered "evil." Any theology can be warped, and any corporation can be corrupted. You simply cannot judge all things based on how corruptible they are, or on how many similar things have been corrupted.

As for the chicken and the egg issue... as my dear, departed grandmother used to say ...
"Just because it comes out of a chicken's butt doesn't make it a chicken egg."
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Postby Gort » Thu Mar 28, 2002 2:55 pm

Just an interjection on what some large corporations do.

A friend of mine works for the EPA, and has told me of numerous occasions where it is more cost effective for companies to continue to polute/break EPA regulations an simply pay the fine than it is to correct their processes to fit within the guidelines.

In some cases, where they are required to pay a very large sum, they do a re-org, or a bankrupcy/reorg, and get out of it that way.

Ethics in business is often a case of the bottom line dictating all.

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Postby Sarvis » Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:10 pm

Elseenas: No, Elseenas. More corporations are getting away with more illegal activities these days. Not a few, and not in the past. It would be impossible for me to prove that without going through every company and listing their illegal activities though. So how about this, you counter my statement by finding the one counter-example? I suppose we need a definition of large... how about fortune 500 companies?

Although, even if you can find one current large corporation that is spotless I would wager that it won't last. Even if the current leadership in the company is good and honorable, doesn't mean the next leaders of the company will be as good.

It is, in fact, perfectly logical, at least for corporations. When you gamble do you bet on things that will rarely happen? Or on things that there is a good chance of happening? No one doubles down on a 5. People are different in that there tends to be more of them, with a lot more variation on the theme. Whereas corporations are all just different ways to make money.

Elseenas 2: Not as much, since small organisations don't have the power to get away with things like the large corporations do. Though I would view them with the potential of becoming evil.

Ashiwi: Ever heard the expression that power corrupts? Well, Governments, Corporations, and Religions give their leaders power.

Gort: Why don't they just make the fines large enough that fixing the processes would be cheaper?

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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:57 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Sarvis:
<B>Ashiwi: Ever heard the expression that power corrupts? Well, Governments, Corporations, and Religions give their leaders power.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're still blaming the actions of an individual on a thing. Even if it is in a human's nature to become corrupted by a thing, does that make all things evil?

Any leader of an organization carries some kind of power, whether that be the power to allocate 15% of the organization's resources to advertising, or the power to activate nuclear war systems. Factions within those organizations carry their own levels of power, as well. With your reasoning that makes all organizations suspect, and they are ... not because they are organizations, but because they are organizations made by human beings.

Things, in and of themselves, cannot be evil and do not carry the ability to corrupt human beings, those choices are made by the individual and the individual alone.
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Postby Gort » Thu Mar 28, 2002 7:26 pm

As to the fine size Sarvis, if its too large, they simply restructure and change company names, or bankrupcy and get out of it. I agree they should be larger, and the company should be responsible for the consequences, but that is current corporate law... and they use it to the fullest. Even if we in the USA do that, there are many 3rd world countries, and even second world ones, who are happy to allow all the crap corporations want to do just to stimulate their economies.

This makes "cleaning up the environment" an even bigger challenge, and in need of a global initiative. Something not likely to happen until we either have a one world government, or the UN gets a ton more power.

But hey, its all evolution in action, if we make the planet uninhabitable for us, we're not killing all life in all likelihood, just making ourselves and some other species extinct, and joining the dinosaurs.


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Postby Sarvis » Thu Mar 28, 2002 8:54 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ashiwi:
<B>
Any leader of an organization carries some kind of power, whether that be the power to allocate 15% of the organization's resources to advertising, or the power to activate nuclear war systems. Factions within those organizations carry their own levels of power, as well. With your reasoning that makes all organizations suspect, and they are ... not because they are organizations, but because they are organizations made by human beings.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Until you can show me an organization _not_ made and run by human beings you've just agreed with me.



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Postby Ashiwi » Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:37 pm

No, because you fault the organization, which would be like faulting a rock which got dislodged by a small tremor and fell on your toe. It is not the organization, or the thing, at fault, it is the people who warp it to their own needs, wants, desires.
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Postby Sarvis » Fri Mar 29, 2002 1:01 am

No, corporations, religions and governments are not things like rocks, or even guns are. They are entities with a collective will and consciousness, yet often lacking a conscience. Rocks cannot be evil because they have no will, they do not decide how they are used. Organizations are collections of people that do decide what the organisation does. Take away the human element and the only thing left is a drawing on paper. If you are talking about drawings on paper, then fine, they aren't evil. The rest of us are talking about sentient entities that make decisions affecting the lives of large amounts of people. These entities can be dangerous, and religion can be the most dangerous. (Although corporations are fast catching up.)

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Postby Elseenas » Fri Mar 29, 2002 1:06 am

::agrees 100% with Ashiwi::

Sarvis:

There is no "collective unconcious" of an organization. Work for one and you'll see what I mean.

There are a lot of /individuals/ who make decisions and, like any thing that is sufficiently complex, it exhibits signs of intelligence and seems to act as a single entity.

That doesn't make it such, particularly in organizations that are not formal and have no central body, but it makes it appear as such.

This does not imply a "collective concious" this implies that an organization is only as good as the sum of its people.

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Postby Sarvis » Fri Mar 29, 2002 1:46 am

So if an organization destroys half of the world in nuclear war, they aren't acting evil... they are only appearing to act evil? Bullshit. Many of the people within the organization may not agree with the decision, but in the end those people are still supplying their work towards the goal of those who do make the decisions. The "collective consciosness" might, in fact, only be one person. But there is still consciousness behind the organizations actions.

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Postby Elinera » Fri Mar 29, 2002 2:09 am

I am not a genius and do not hold degrees in sciences, computers, and physics...
In fact, I couldn't even understand half the things Cherzra and Elseenas were talking about Image

But, I have a question...

Why can't anyone post anything on the bbs without being told they are simpletons, morons, dumbasses, idiots...blah blah blah

No one can state what they know, or learned, or believe without being belittled
Instead of discussing why so-and-so believes such-and-such, people are told they don't make sense because it's different from you learned, etc.

I go to church every sunday because I have a profound interest in the bible right down to every contradicting verse and I am lucky to have a pastor who spends his sermons discussing the different interpretations of such a verse or chapter.

I am agnostic, at least I think I am.
I just don't think it is possible for an all-knowing, all-sensing, everywhere at once being to exist. And that is my opinion.

I am also a big geek and follow what it says in my AD&D Deities book that states, "No deity can exist without having worshippers."
Or something along those lines Image

I wonder if anyone is going to call me senseless and stupid because I hold such an opinion...

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Postby Elseenas » Fri Mar 29, 2002 6:36 am

Sarvis:

There is no objective evil, but I digress.

Youu are confusing the company with the people inside of it.

I cannot stand Microsoft's practices as a company, but I recognize that the *reason* for those practices are the decisions of the people within the company that have made it that way.

The philosophies of the company may be screwed up: they were written by people.

I repeat: any sufficiently complex system will appear to behave intelligently. An organization is composed of complex systems and itself has a set of complex dynamics that define it. No wonder it seems to behave with a mind of its own but, in the end, it is the minds of those individuals who take part in it that are to be blamed.

Who do you blame the Holocost on?

You are trying to blame it on Politicians in general and on the Third Reich as an independant entity.

I am trying to blame it on those individuals who comprised the Third Reich and supported it.

A subtle difference, but worth noting.




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Postby Gort » Fri Mar 29, 2002 2:56 pm

Elinera,

Continue to learn and explore, keeping an open mind, you are on the path to enlightenment.

Look at the world with the innocence of a child, and you'll never cease to see the wonder of it. When you look at the world with the cynicism of an adult, all you see is how screwed up it is, and what fun is that?

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Postby Ashiwi » Fri Mar 29, 2002 4:16 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Sarvis:
<B>So if an organization destroys half of the world in nuclear war, they aren't acting evil... they are only appearing to act evil? Bullshit. Many of the people within the organization may not agree with the decision, but in the end those people are still supplying their work towards the goal of those who do make the decisions. The "collective consciosness" might, in fact, only be one person. But there is still consciousness behind the organizations actions.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

There is a commercial on TV which I absolutely abhor. It consists of a flashes of teenagers saying what they have "done." "I robbed a convenience store." "I just wanted to party." "I bought a fake ID for a terrorist." "I was just having a good time." "I supplied guns to criminals." It's an anti-drug commercial, and the essence of it is that if you participate in the drug trade, no matter how small your participation is, you are *actively* supporting all the violence involved in the drug trade.

Same logic you are using Sarvis.

Now let me explain why I find this commercial so repugnant. EVERYTHING can be skewed to trace paths like this. I'm not saying that the paths aren't much shorter in many cases in the drug trade, but almost every purchase ever made can be shown as funding some kind of "criminal" or "immoral" activity in some way, if you look hard enough. Just think, in areas where the mob supposedly controls all the garbage collection business, EVERY purchase which involves a disposable element can be said to support the mob. Now according to your logic, the young mother who goes to the store to buy diapers for her baby is a part of this evil collective unconscious.

There are quite a few charitable organizations which do a great deal of good in the world. At times positions within them have been corrupt, but to say that they are corrupt simply because they are an organization would be doing them a grave disservice. The people in charge of an organization, or a faction of an organization, are not necessarily the organization.

An organization is a tool, and can be used in beneficial or malignant ways. A religious belief can be viewed the same way. Let's say a "believer" has what he believes to be "divine inspiration." He rewrites the Bible, removing what his vision has shown him to be excess garbage added by various political factions along the way, and comes up with a barebones version of the religion that basically reads "Be good." The work is stupendous, and is hailed by many to be the original intent of the faith, churches of the new Bible spring up all over, practicing good deeds, helping everybody, basically becoming a beneficial aspect of society. People everywhere are converting, good deeds are spreading like wildfire, kindness and consideration are rampant.

Suddenly up crops some guy who just didn't get enough hugs when he was a kid. For one of any millions of reasons he just doesn't believe the same way, but he has his own vision of how the real faith should be. He preaches a version which goes something like "Do good, or else." He is an impressive orator and manages to sway many to his camp, especially those who, for any possible reason, feel the need to force their views on other people.

Now, the faction is still basically a part of the original, in the same way many factions of Christianity are still a part of Christianity, no matter how diluted or warped their vision may have become. If the faction does evil, does that make the foundation evil? Does the "selective unconscious" apply to members of the organization who are not active participants of the evil perpetrated by a faction of the organization? If you unwittingly buy an item which was manufactured by a member of the faction's company, are you supporting the evil of that faction?

You broached the potential of the butterfly principle, just how far do you allow that to extend in the workings of humanity? Are we all simply victims of "original sin" no matter our beliefs?
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Postby omrec » Sat Mar 30, 2002 7:58 am

First Off:

a) Dictionaries are often wrong, but are better than nothing.

b) From Dictionary.com:
Agnostic:
1) One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.
One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.
2) One who is doubtful or noncommittal about something.

Atheist:
One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

So if I choose to agree with option 2) above (or heck, even 1), I can STILL claim to be both atheist and agnostic. I believe it is IMPOSSIBLE to know, 100%, whether there is or is not a God. Therefore, an agnostic. However, if I have to state percentages, I believe it is upward of 99% probability that there is not a god. Therefore, atheist. I do not believe in god, in the same way I do not believe in the easter bunny, or santa claus, or the tooth fairy. And in the exact same way, i can't PROVE to you that there is, or is not, a god. I just am fairly certain there is not one.

Ok, that out of the way.
Now, elseenas: You are trying to prove that everyone has faith in things they can't prove? duh. Of course they do. All I'm trying to say is that you have to have a reason for believing something. There MUST be an underlying reason, if you believe only because you were told to, it is WRONG. That goes for science, it goes for politics, it goes for religion. Even if you believe the right thing, but just cause it was what you were taught, and you didn't actually think about it, you are doing yourself a disservice. A part of science that most people fail to grasp is how important it is to actually UNDERSTAND something, and not just memorize it. I disagree with you that it is hard to experimentally find the mass of an electron, but thats not really a discussion we need to get into here (besides, I haven't done much real physics since high school, so I'm rusty). If you want a list of experiments that can be used to discover the mass of an electron, I will be glad to email them to you, but I assume you are capable of looking yourself.

Now for the group vs. the individual thing. Yes, it is ultimately the individuals fault. Is it the fault of fast food restaurants that people get fat? No. But without them, people would probably be better off. So while they aren't directly to blame, we would certainly be better off without them. Same goes for religion. While religion itself is not responsible for the actions of those who use it to cause pain and suffering, one can envision an argument that says we would be better off without it. I'm sure a bunch of you would disagree, of course, but the point is, you CAN target the idea of 'religion' and point to what it has helped breed. Just as you can point to 'fast food' and say it has been bad. As sarvis mentioned, power corrupts. Especially when you use people's own gullibility against them, and brainwash them into doing acts the rest of us would consider immoral.

Another note: I consider myself an moral relativist, but this statement by elseenas: "There is no objective evil, but I digress." Is unfortunate. Please do not make a statement about what you believe and call it truth. You would be better served to state that this is your belief, and not hold it up as truth. Remember, the entire basis of christianity, according to c.s.lewis (one of the few rational x-tian writers), is that morals are absolute, and granted by god. I won't get into the flaws in this argument, but suffice to say that there are plenty of people who disagree with you, and think there IS an objective evil.

Elinera: If anyone gave you the impression that they would attack you, and not try to intelligently discuss your ideas, I apologize on their behalf. On the whole, there are several people who have been attempting to keep this discussion in the realm of ideas, and not let it degenerate into personal attacks. It is, after all, possible to change people's minds, but you can't really do it by attacking them (as hopefully chezra will eventually figure out). You just have to show them an alternate way of thinking, which hopefully you can also help us do. And ignore anyone who tries to go over your head with stuff, if you can't put an argument into terms and ideas a 10th grader could understand, it isn't really worth arguing.

Time to go bid on tia eq...Hope you all are having a wonderful easter weekend (yay for pagan holidays!)

-Om
Elseenas
Sojourner
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 6:01 am
Location: Golden, CO US

Postby Elseenas » Sat Mar 30, 2002 8:29 am

Omrec:

Agnosticism and Atheism are mutually exclusive. If you state a probability other than 0% on the existence of deity, then you are not truly an atheist anymore than someone who says that "it is likely that there is a God" can be described as a Theist.

Thats what the terms "Deist" and "Agnostic" are used for.

As to my point:
Then why are so many people hateful as to the very mention of Deity but gladly accept--a priori--the existence of electrons.

It is inconsistent, and irrational, to do so.

I know the experiments that can determine the mass of an electron: but how many people who use it can do so?

If you prefer I can find a nearly infinite number of examples that fall under the same category, it makes a good reference because virtually everyone accepts it without having looked at the evidence to the point.

You /cannot/ logically categorize religion the way you are attempting to (i.e., "you CAN target the idea of 'religion' and point to what it has helped breed") anymore than you can attack /philosophy/ on the same grounds.

Philosophy has bread quite a bit of difficulty over the years that has had nothing to do with religion. Further, if you look at religious "atrocities" I think you will find that the vast majority of them are by Christianity and centered on other religions.

To critique *RELIGION* using a list of things that *CHRISTIANITY* has done to other religions is absolutely and completely irrational.

There has been good and bad along the road, but the category is FAR too broad to attempt such narrow-minded classifications.

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You are a moral relativist, I am an ethical absolutist.

There is no objective evil.

Period. This is not a matter of faith or belief, you cannot define the term evil using objective terms without including the word "except." An exception disproves the rule.

Why do I know that? Break it down. Tell me objectively what evil is without examples and without exceptions.

Telling someone that is the equivalent of telling them that 1 + 1 = 2.


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Elseenas of No House Worth Mentioning

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