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04/10/2012 07:05:09 AM · #76
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

You're taking the quote out of context a little bit, Ray:


Originally posted by Telegraph Article:

They could not have been conceived without Christian thought about the intrinsic dignity of each human person.


Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Thing is......it's not really out of context in the true spirit of the basic goodness of humanity. That there is intrinsic worth and dignity in each human person is certainly *NOT* solely a Christian concept. That's the point....


Originally posted by Bear_Music:

You're doing it too. You removed the context from the quotation. That's NOT the point the author was making, though he didn't do a very good job of it. You cannot c]separate the moral fabric of Western Civilization from its two centuries of Christian influence, and any attempt to do so is merely historical revisionism. This is just a fact. In the Middle East, substitute "Islam" to the same statement.

No shades of grey? I'm not trying to separate the Christian influence, I merely object to the idea that Christianity has the copyright on human decency.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

I don't see the author making the argument that ONLY Christian thought recognizes "the intrinsic dignity.. etc"; no, he's trying to make the point that you can't throw out two thousand years of history and influence, both good and bad, because you don't believe in the religion.

I never said that I don't believe in in the basic good tenets, I have a problem when they're twisted around to serve somebody's self-interest, or used as a club to impose the beliefs.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Have ANY of you read 1984, by chance? If so, this'll sound familiar as all get-out. Why are y'all so determined to act as if Christianity (or any other religion) never mattered? I can understand the argument that religion no longer matters (though I don't agree), but you can't just say it never existed.

Please don't lump me in that group. Of course religion matters......it is life to many people. But I also feel that it is a deeply personal matter, that of faith and belief, and I don't want anyone telling me how or what to believe. When some politician tells me his personal crusade is correct 'cause the bible says so, my hackles go up. That's abuse of religion in its most insidious form.

Going back to my personal beliefs, I feel that the right of a person to find, and establish their own faith and belief system is the most basic of rights.......and one that is trampled regularly by the "big" religions. You will not find atheists, Unitarian Universalists, humanists, and some of the smaller, more open sects starting wars, and showing up at your door trying to show you "The Way".
04/10/2012 09:05:47 AM · #77
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

but I do not see groups of people in matching t-shirts with large signs and bullhorns out at popular tourist destinations in major cites promoting secular humanism.


DC rally

Message edited by author 2012-04-10 09:06:39.
04/10/2012 10:18:43 AM · #78
Originally posted by Flash:

Originally posted by BrennanOB:

but I do not see groups of people in matching t-shirts with large signs and bullhorns out at popular tourist destinations in major cites promoting secular humanism.


DC rally


Heh! My cousin went to that.
04/10/2012 10:38:13 AM · #79
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:



I also chaffe at arguments which do the following...


Found this:

1. chaffe


Clearly I was born in the wrong century. My brain years for the time when spelling was a matter of taste... ;)
04/10/2012 10:47:14 AM · #80
Originally posted by Flash:

Originally posted by BrennanOB:

but I do not see groups of people in matching t-shirts with large signs and bullhorns out at popular tourist destinations in major cites promoting secular humanism.

DC rally

Does that mean an ethnic rally is an attempt to convert people to being black or Hispanic and a women's rally is promoting sex changes? Hardly. Speaking against discrimination, superstition and religious dogma are the hallmarks of reason, not atheism, which is why it was called the Reason Rally. Those were the very same defining characteristics of the Age of Elightenment and famously championed by deists, too.

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

You cannot separate the moral fabric of Western Civilization from its two centuries of Christian influence, and any attempt to do so is merely historical revisionism. This is just a fact. In the Middle East, substitute "Islam" to the same statement.

True, and not necessarily a good thing in either case. Has there ever been a major issue of social progress where religion was not invoked in direct opposition? The norms of tolerance, liberty, human rights and democracy we take for granted in Western society were primarily products of the Age of Enlightenment, and novel for their time.
04/10/2012 10:47:50 AM · #81
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

My brain years for the time when spelling was a matter of taste... ;)

LOL
04/10/2012 12:38:10 PM · #82
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Happy Easter Shannon. He is risen indeed.

Happy Easter to you, too! Enjoy those chocolate rabbits, colored eggs, jelly beans, and marshmallow peeps delivered all over the world by a giant invisible bunny that symbolizes the rise of modern dentistry. I know I will. :-)


Jon Stewart's take on Easter and Passover... lol!

ETA: Part 2, "Let my people nosh!"

Message edited by author 2012-04-10 12:47:41.
04/11/2012 07:02:46 PM · #83
Originally posted by DrAchoo:



Clearly I was born in the wrong century. My brain years for the time when spelling was a matter of taste... ;)


What is it you are offering here... brain years?

Can I order ten of those brain years... I have an exam coming soon. :O)

Ray
04/11/2012 07:13:25 PM · #84
You are killing me! ;P
04/13/2012 07:33:37 AM · #85
atheists also dont close their websites for religious holidays.

see adorama, b&h

04/13/2012 09:34:47 AM · #86
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

You cannot separate the moral fabric of Western Civilization from its two centuries of Christian influence, and any attempt to do so is merely historical revisionism. This is just a fact. In the Middle East, substitute "Islam" to the same statement.

True, and not necessarily a good thing in either case. Has there ever been a major issue of social progress where religion was not invoked in direct opposition? The norms of tolerance, liberty, human rights and democracy we take for granted in Western society were primarily products of the Age of Enlightenment, and novel for their time.


In general, abolitionism, both in the US and among the European nations, was spearheaded by religious interests; Quakers here, Catholics there. I haven't looked real deep, but I don't offhand see any relatively modern examples of a specific religion advocating FOR slavery as a matter of dogma. Of course, in the old days that certainly was "written into the contract", so to speak.

I would, however, agree with you that one religious interest or another usually seems to be standing at the crossroads obstructing whatever progress may be in the offing; religions, by their very nature, are conservative institutions, and slow to change.

Originally posted by mike_311:

atheists also dont close their websites for religious holidays.

see adorama, b&h


I'm confused. Are you CRITICIZING this? What point are you making? Of COURSE atheists don't observe religious holidays...

R.
04/13/2012 10:00:13 AM · #87
Originally posted by Bear_Music:



I'm confused. Are you CRITICIZING this? What point are you making? Of COURSE atheists don't observe religious holidays...

R.


more of a joke. i just happened onto adorama and b&h to buy some lighting gear today and i CANT! they actually shut down web orders. i have never come across that...
04/13/2012 10:38:39 AM · #88
Originally posted by mike_311:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:



I'm confused. Are you CRITICIZING this? What point are you making? Of COURSE atheists don't observe religious holidays...

R.


more of a joke. i just happened onto adorama and b&h to buy some lighting gear today and i CANT! they actually shut down web orders. i have never come across that...


Gotcha. They've been doing that forever. There's a HUGE Orthodox Jewish presence in the NYC camera biz. Their Sabbath is from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. And they close down to observe the high holidays as well, like Passover.

R.
04/13/2012 10:43:50 AM · #89
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

In general, abolitionism, both in the US and among the European nations, was spearheaded by religious interests; Quakers here, Catholics there. I haven't looked real deep, but I don't offhand see any relatively modern examples of a specific religion advocating FOR slavery as a matter of dogma. Of course, in the old days that certainly was "written into the contract", so to speak.

How religion has been used to promote slavery. If you're implying that religion has not been used to promote slavery in modern times, sure... it HAS to work that way to maintain relevance. Any church position on a social issue– slavery, divorce, civil rights, etc.– must be reversed if society changes to keep the church from being on the wrong end of public opinion ("My god would never support X!"). To remain viable, religion must be vague enough to interpret in support of any principle you throw at it. Within our lifetimes it will magically turn out that gay marriage and birth control were OK all along (as with interracial marriage, etc.). Christians proclaim that they're not to judge others, and yet every single declaration of morality, even within the Bible itself, is exactly that! How do you stone an adulterer or decry homosexuality without judging others? Epic fail. "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."– Susan B Anthony.

For the same reason, any religion must avoid empirical refutation. All gods are invisible and immeasurable since the religion would collapse if disproven, and its followers are indoctrinated with tenets that are simply accepted as a given. Everyone is NOT a sinner (newborns, for example). The only power of prayer is one's own imagination (if it worked at all, members of the British royal family would be the epitome of fitness and church bulletins wouldn't have a list of people to wish well). The supernatural basically cannot exist by definition since any physical manifestation would make it something real and therefore natural. An assumption that things can poof into existence means it's also possible that a piano could suddenly appear over your head at any time. Of course, "My god would never do that!"
04/13/2012 11:33:17 AM · #90
Originally posted by scalvert:

The supernatural basically cannot exist by definition since any physical manifestation would make it something real and therefore natural.


Just need to point out this argument is self-referential. Nothing is supernatural. Why? Everything is natural. Why? Nothing is supernatural.

To illustrate, take the following article (Argentina 'Miracle' baby found alive after declared dead). Now, please, for the love of Mike, hear me. I AM NOT ARGUING WHETHER THIS WAS A MIRACLE OR NOT. The point is, how would you prove or disprove that hypothesis? You can't. It is impossible. Supernatural events are fleeting, one time, unpredictable events. If they occur they happen and the best we can do is say, "well, if we had been there to do X we could have known if the baby was REALLY dead". Instead we can only take the doctor at their word. They could have made a mistake, but maybe the baby really was dead. Only your a priori assumptions (which you do all the time), will answer the question. The doctor must have been mistaken because miracles don't occur.

Message edited by author 2012-04-13 11:51:46.
04/13/2012 11:52:11 AM · #91
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by scalvert:

The supernatural basically cannot exist by definition since any physical manifestation would make it something real and therefore natural.

Just need to point out this argument is self-referential. Nothing is supernatural. Why? Everything is natural.

Hardly, it's simple logic. Supernatural = something outside the laws of nature. What mechanism would result in [pick whatever event you like] happening in the real world without applying the laws of nature? A spoon does bend unless an actual force is applied to metal, and that force would be measurable. ESP would require some mechanism of transferring information through timespace to physical brain cells. How are YOU not making an a priori assumption that supernatural forces were at work in the baby story rather than an infinitely more likely case of doctor error and/or low odds physiological recovery?
04/13/2012 11:59:42 AM · #92
I'm not making the a priori assumption. I never said it was a miracle or not. I only ask the question of how you would prove it one way or the other? You did exactly what I expected you to do which is to a priori say that it was not a miracle because a miracle is impossible (the literal definition if something else is "infinitely more possible").
04/13/2012 12:01:36 PM · #93
On your other paragraph you also make assumptions. You say that religion is always playing catchup to public opinion to remain relevant. In the case of slavery then you should be able to easily prove there was a strong, common secular push to abolish modern slavery and Christianity was only falling into line. Can you show me evidence to this effect? Let's go with England in the time of William Wilberforce.

I think you have it backwards. The tail does not wag the dog.

Message edited by author 2012-04-13 12:02:32.
04/13/2012 12:12:04 PM · #94
It's mind boggling to think you have a medical license.
04/13/2012 12:29:44 PM · #95
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04/13/2012 12:43:00 PM · #96
Thanks Jeb. Don't worry, these things roll off my back. It's more a commment on Shannon and how closed down his worldview is. When he bumps into someone who at least has the vestiges of being intelligent (assuming getting an MD requires above average intelligence) who clearly holds different and even antithetical views, it freaks him out a bit.
04/13/2012 12:46:49 PM · #97
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04/13/2012 12:54:10 PM · #98
In the case of the "miracle" baby, the MD license actually helps open my mind. I've been in the place of the doctor. I have declared death on a baby. I know it isn't a slap of the stethascope on the chest. Put yourself in the position of the doctor who declared this Argentinian baby dead. I'm sure she (I think it was a woman) is playing the scene over and over in her head. "I know I didn't find vital signs. Did I? Could I have made a mistake? I must have. But I know I didn't." Add on top the fact the baby was alive enough to survive being in a morgue for 12 hours, in a coffin, nailed shut, while weighing a little more than one pound.

Like I said, I am not declaring for one side or the other. It is an unanswerable question, but that means...the question is unanswered.

I recommend, Shannon, if you've had enough of the personal jabs that you stop making them. They wouldn't exist otherwise.

Message edited by author 2012-04-13 12:55:14.
04/13/2012 01:09:24 PM · #99
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

It's more a commment on Shannon and how closed down his worldview is. When he bumps into someone who at least has the vestiges of being intelligent (assuming getting an MD requires above average intelligence) who clearly holds different and even antithetical views, it freaks him out a bit.

Next post:
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I recommend, Shannon, if you've had enough of the personal jabs that you stop making them.

Get a clue.

Message edited by author 2012-04-13 13:09:39.
04/13/2012 01:09:34 PM · #100
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I'm not making the a priori assumption. I never said it was a miracle or not. I only ask the question of how you would prove it one way or the other?

I would think the principle of Occam's Razor applies to a case like this -- as long as "natural" causes (doctor error, spontaneous recovery, etc.) are possible, it is unreasonable to apply an indescribable/indefinable/unexplainable supernatural cause. Only if you could prove that there was no possible natural explanation that one should consider a supernatural (or, more likely, an as-yet undiscovered natural) cause.
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