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Nicholas Carey
09-23-2004, 06:04 PM
From http://www.livejournal.com/users/koaloha/29646.html comes this delicious tale of subversion during the morning commute:
<span style="font-family:serif;">This morning I had the most bizarre subway ride. I board the Number 3 train at Grand Army Plaza after 9 a.m. Find a seat, then settle into reading Henry James for class. I hear a woman's voice gradually rising in volume. She is preaching the "Lord's" word to the train car's sleepy riders. Of course, I had forgotten the headphones for my subway evil sounds blocking device. The train stops and starts. The words denigrating "gay devils" reach my ears. I stand up.

Me: "Excuse me, but do you mind keeping your voice down, I am trying to read."

Preacher Lady: (screams) "I got to testify."

Preacher lady hitches up her skirts and tells me that I am going to hell for interrupting you-know-who's word. Two or three OTHER Christian ladies on the train start shouting at me and discussing my prospects as the Devil's prison bitch. The last straw was a 50 something red faced man in a suit slamming his Bible towards my face. There was only one thing I could do.

Me: "If you all don't lower your voices and cease calling me Satan, I will have to sing show tunes."

The other straphangers look at me with stony faces.

I begin to sing.

"Its very clear, our love is here to stay. Not for a year, but forever and a day&hellip;"

Preacher lady and the Jesus police start mumbling and beseeching G_d to strike me down and boil me in molten tar. (I look better in silver.) The train reaches Wall Street. Confused subway riders check out the scene. I begin swaying and feeling the music.

The slamming Bible man looks like he is going to pop a blood vessel. "I cast ye out, Satan."

I go into jazz dance crouch and then spring up to belt out, "THAAAAAAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, HAS ME IN A SPELL&hellip;"

Bible man has to get off the train as I wriggle and shimmy. "That same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine!"

Bible man exits.

<span style="font-family:sans-serif;font-size:larger;font-weight:bolder;">Show Tunes 1, Fundamentalists 0.

"So when you walk alone and forlorn, and hear that Cadillac horn remember, love isn't born, its made&hellip;and that's why every window has a window shade&hellip;bad a biddle be bop&hellip;"

I try to discuss freedom of religion with the ladies, but all attempts at reasonable discourse fail.

By 34th street, the last of the Christian word warriors has left the train. 3 subway riders shake my hand and say, "I have always wanted to tell those idiots to shut up! Bless you."

I am shaking. I don't know what comes over me at times like this. I only know that I cannot stay silent. I wish that I had my ukulele with me.

At 42nd street, a woman strides into the car and starts PREACHING.

The entire car bursts into laughter. I interrupt this new preacher lady and note that she is wearing a flowered straw bonnet.

Me: "Excuse me, Ma'am&hellip;but I must warn you that there has been a 12 subway stop donnybrook regarding the unwanted intrusion of religious beliefs into our morning commutes."

Preacher Lady 2: "I got freedom of speech! And GOD TELLS ME THAT THE GAY DEVILS ARE CONTROLLING NEW YORK."

Me: (standing up) "If you do not cease and desist fouling the air with homophobia, I must sing&hellip;SHOW TUNES."

There are now 3 or 4 gay men on the train. They start laughing.

Preacher Lady 2: "The Lawd says you are going to &hellip;" (litany of punishments that would be fun with the right person).

Me: (sings) "The Girl that I marry will have to be, as soft and as sweet as a nursery&hellip; the girl I call my own, will wear diamonds and laces and smell of cologne&hellip;"

One of the boys on the train starts to harmonize.

Preacher Lady 2 makes her way down the car, pointing and exclaiming, "I have met the devil right here!"

Me: (sings) "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets&hellip;"

Dancing around the subway poles and doing my best Gwen Verdon kicks, I feel the spirit in me.

I close with "Pennies from Heaven" and make sure to get the Jazz Hands in for good measure.

As Preacher Lady 2 runs to the next car at 72nd Street, the doors open, a perfect end of song button for my gay pointing gesture.

The subway riders break into applause and I bow. Rock on.

Several straphangers whisper, Happy New Year to me in Hebrew.

An Orthodox lady hands me an orange.

I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

&mdash;
This was written by K.R. Munson. Copyright 2004.
Please give credit when quoting this material. And please don't steal my stuff.

Jim H
09-23-2004, 06:14 PM
:D :D

Kev Smyth
09-23-2004, 06:31 PM
Another reason for not living in NYC. tongue.gif

Yeah, it's funny- but who has time for more crap? :D

LeeG
09-23-2004, 06:47 PM
and that is style.

flatbottom
09-23-2004, 07:33 PM
Personally I would have closed with "Cabaret"

No use permitting
Some prophet of doom
To wipe every smile away.
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret!

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
09-23-2004, 08:24 PM
Everyone who thinks this is funny is gonna burn in Hell with me.....I'll see ya there. :D

Bruce Hooke
09-23-2004, 10:15 PM
Oh, that's good!!! :D :D :D :D

Peter Malcolm Jardine
09-23-2004, 11:12 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHHA that's great... and it would work. :D :D :D

Scott Rosen
09-24-2004, 09:28 AM
New York is the greatest city on earth. :D

Peter Kalshoven
09-24-2004, 09:37 AM
And they call the Blues the Devil's music... Now we know the TRUTH!!!!

:D :D :D

Bob Adams
09-24-2004, 09:48 AM
Show tunes eh? I'll have to try that when my mother in law comes to visit!

Dan McCosh
09-24-2004, 09:55 AM
On my last trip to NYC, I watched a cop writing a ticket to a guy who had been playing a tuba in a subway station. This being New York, the cop had backup.

Sam F
09-24-2004, 04:51 PM
It’s always amusing to make fun at the expense of a despised minority. It’s even more rewarding to exult at one’s brave triumph over a harmless and probably daft lady or two.
Singin’ show tunes’ll show ‘em all right!

Having had long conversations with many Fundamentalists I find the recounted conversation doesn’t ring the least bit true… but it’s New York where supposedly anything can happen. Right?
I must admit that I find the novelty of singing show tunes to religious fanatics most instructive. In a way it is quite a complement to Christian Fundamentalists. I wonder if that technique would work such a treat with the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade? Perhaps Mr. Munson will be willing to try it in Tel Aviv some time.

But there’s no hilarity to so-called Liberals in seeing the other side and there is indeed another side to this.
In a pluralistic society everyone is supposed to have his say and yet the process often is decidedly one way. Christians are “mugged” every day by secularists who offend them in myriad ways yet it’s OK when secularist do it.
Here’s a real life example:
A certain young Christian woman I know well is in a local University taking Philosophy 101. It’s a required course at this tax-payer supported state institution. The professor at the outset made some demands of his students and backed them up with dire predictions; Students who have received his letters of recommendation have gone on to great things while those of whom he disapproves languish. Now this young woman is not quite so naïve as to believe this clap trap but she is quite aware that she must pass this course to graduate.

This professor forbade any religious discussion at all and was quite explicit that no questions or discussion on that subject will be allowed. Failure of a student to stay off the subject will have a very adverse effect on the grade received. The prospect of a philosophy course excluding religion is ludicrous, but one can at least see how a professor might want to avoid that sort of mine field if he weren’t a capable teacher. But this fellow had no intention of avoiding the subject, only of shutting his students up. The whole course has consisted of one long propagandistic diatribe for Atheism. Christianity has been denigrated and ridiculed in every class with no possibility of rebuttal – And sorry, no show tunes are allowed.
This is typical of the sort of thing Christians put up with every day in “tolerant” USA.
I can’t help but be amused at the contrast between the alleged fundamentalists on the train and this teacher. In the US one is not immune from obnoxious speech. It’s supposed to come with the territory, yet some Secularists regularly use authoritarian methods to silence dissent. Those silly people on the train would do nothing substantive to those offended passengers, yet in colleges across the country Christians are assaulted by offensive language and behavior. If they object they are rewarded with failing grades. Free speech? What hypocrisy! That’s only for those more equal than others.

[ 09-24-2004, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: Sam F ]

imported_Daniel
09-24-2004, 06:26 PM
Classic... :D Your post was good too Nicholas...

Harry Miller
09-24-2004, 07:00 PM
Sam, have you forgotten what I said to you in a previous post: "Being an atheist doesn't necessarily make you a good person."
At least he wasn't threatening eternal damnation. smile.gif

imported_Dutch
09-24-2004, 07:18 PM
Bibles to be Published With Parental Advisory Labels
True Christian® Action Alert!

Freehold Iowa - Liberals are screaming bloody murder again over the accidental death of a Landover Baptist child whose sweet innocent faith in Scripture sent him home to Jesus with third-degree burns after attempting to re-enact a scene he had read in the Bible where God kept three people alive in a furnace to impress a king a few thousand years ago.

"This child's faith in God and his untimely death should be a cause for rejoicing, not dismay!" yelled Pastor Deacon Fred from the pulpit on Sunday morning. "Through little Billy's example, other children will want to pick up the Bible and read true stories! Re-enacting a true story from the Bible is a whole lot different than re-enacting something from a fictional cartoon! Our children are acting by faith on the true facts in God's Holy Word and if Jesus decides to melt the skin off a few of them each year for doing so, well - it's not for us to question! In my opinion, little Billy died a regal death, worthy of any king or martyr for Christ. At least our Christian parents don't have to run around trying to explain to people why their children can't tell the difference between fact and fiction! Our kids are reading the Bible! They are not watching Bugs Bunny swinging around from a noose while eating carrots! How outrageous!

Early last week, Pastor Deacon Fred urged a well known liberal newspaper in Washington DC to reconsider running an article where they attack Christians and suggest that a Parental Advisory label be placed on the Holy Bible. "Our Christian children here at Landover Baptist should be praised for being able to pick up a book and read at age 10, much less even know how to write a sentence! It amazes me how liberals try to hide their jealousy just because a conservative child might be smarter than their kid! We don't need some Jewish lawyer telling our Christian families how to raise their children. We are doing just fine on our own, thank you very much! I just can't understand why people keep listening to these homo-loving, jackasses in big cities who don't even have kids of their own! It's like going to a Catholic priest for marital counseling! It just doesn't make any sense!

The anti-Christian liberal newspaper article is going to release a list of ways that Christian parents can prevent their children from committing violent acts inspired by reading the Holy Bible. That list includes:

Limit the amount of time a child can read the Bible (1-2 hrs)
Monitor the Bible stories a child reads and restrict excessively violent Bible stories
Teach children alternatives to always using scripture to solve disputes
Read the Bible with your child
Teach them that God ordained violence has consequences
Preview Bible stories and passages for violent themes
Deacon Fred was so outraged when he heard about this list that he threw a television set out the window of his Pastor's study, overturned tables in the church lobby, and accidentally knocked over three filing cabinets in his library. "What's next?" he told parishioners on Sunday morning. "Pretty soon they are going to be putting us in jail for offending people because we believe that everyone who doesn't accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is going to be burned alive in Hell for eternity! That's our whole belief system! Right down the toilet! These liberals make my blood boil!"

Earlier last year, Deacons and Pastors tried to appease the liberal media by releasing a sex-free Bible for children which turned out the be roughly size of a theater program. Church authorities are worried that if all references to violence in the Bible are removed, they will be left with a piece of scrap paper the size of a business card containing a few words from Jesus. "Jesus himself said he did not come to this earth to bring peace!" Pastor Deacon Fred reminded the congregation, "He told us he came to bring a sword! Matthew 10:34 Most Christians are already confused enough about Jesus. They've memorized two or three Bible verses out of context and have turned the Lord into some kind of a sissy, hippy! Well, I have this to say to you! Won't you be surprised when you find out just how loving your version of Jesus is, when He fulfills his words in Matthew 13:41-42: "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth!" And just to re-emphasize it, Jesus continues in the very same breath in Matthew 13:49-50: "So it shall be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth!" So friends, I will not budge to blot out one more word from the Holy Bible to appease the liberal media! And these phony, John 3:16 limp-wristed Christians better find themselves another religion, either that, or stop picking and choosing verses that make Jesus out to look like a Nancy boy! I didn't create Hell or the idea of Hell, folks - the Lord Jesus was the first one to talk about it, and if you read the Bible, you will see without a doubt that He is not above boot kicking any person into his giant furnace of fire if they rub Him the wrong way!" Shout GLORY!

Sam F
09-24-2004, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by Harry Miller:
Sam, have you forgotten what I said to you in a previous post: "Being an atheist doesn't necessarily make you a good person."
At least he wasn't threatening eternal damnation. smile.gif Some Fundamentalist on a train isn't costing anyone's hard earned money for tuition or betraying his responsibility as a teacher. Nor his he likely to pass out an "F" for non-compliance with his beliefs.

As a practical matter the professor is far worse than the Fundamentalist, unless one is so
spineless as to be traumatized by the mere mention of Hell. :D

Dennis Marshall
09-25-2004, 08:09 AM
Well Sam,what you say about that prof is sad, but not surprising. When faced with more compelling alternatives to their ideological dreamworlds, ideologues must kill questioning altogether. In this they follow venerable pioneers:
"Denke nicht. Frage mich nicht" (Don't think. Don't ask questions)-- Karl Marx -- from an early paper on economic philosophy.

Dennis

Dennis Marshall
09-25-2004, 08:11 AM
Well Sam,what you say about what that prof is sad, but not surprising. When faced with more compelling alternatives to their ideological dreamworlds, ideologues must kill questioning altogether. In this they follow venerable pioneers, e.g.:
"Denke nicht. Frage mich nicht" (Don't think. Don't ask questions)-- Karl Marx -- from an early manuscript on economic philosophy.

Dennis

Joe (SoCal)
09-25-2004, 08:34 AM
Nicholas :D

SamF :rolleyes:

George.
09-25-2004, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by Sam F:
Christians are “mugged” every day by secularists who offend them in myriad ways ...
This is typical of the sort of thing Christians put up with every day in “tolerant” USA.
...in colleges across the country Christians are assaulted by offensive language and behavior. If they object they are rewarded with failing grades. Free speech? What hypocrisy! That’s only for those more equal than others.Every knows what a mistreated, persecuted minority Christians are in the US. It is perhaps THE major social issue in America, this discrimination against Christians. When it comes to discrimination, it would be safer to be a black Muslim homosexual communist than a Christian. I hear there are even schools in America that teach evolution :eek:

:rolleyes:

Sam F
09-25-2004, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by Dennis Marshall:

"Denke nicht. Frage mich nicht" (Don't think. Don't ask questions)-- Karl Marx -- from an early paper on economic philosophy.

DennisExcellent quote Dennis! Isn't it interesting how the pioneers' pernicious attitudes filter down - perhaps unconsciously - to their intellectual heirs?

Sam F
09-25-2004, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by George.:

Every knows what a mistreated, persecuted minority Christians are in the US. It is
perhaps THE major social issue in America, this discrimination against Christians.
When it comes to discrimination, it would be safer to be a black Muslim homosexual
communist than a Christian. I hear there are even schools in America that teach
evolution
I normally ignore George's posts for several reasons including among other things, his
inability to think clearly. But I can't resist this one. The quote he's actually referring to is:


It’s always amusing to make fun at the expense of a despised minority. It’s even more
rewarding to exult at one’s brave triumph over a harmless and probably daft lady or
two.That's the only time I used the word "minority" and that brings up several questions.
What is the group I'm referring to in that first sentence? To anyone who actually read the
first posting on this thread the answer is obvious: Fundamentalists.
Are Christian Fundamentalists a minority in the USA? Yes.
Are they despised? They certainly are by a large segment of the US population (and also
obviously) large percentage here on the forum. Heck, I'm not all that fond of them
myself. ;)

So what does poor George do? He ineptly attempts an attack by sarcasm and by shifting
the subject from a genuine minority to a different group entirely. Setting aside those
blinded by election politics (it is a form of madness you know), I'm not sure who he
thinks is the proper constituency for his blathering. People with a reading impairment?
People with ADHD? The low IQ crowd?
Surely the majority of Forum participants don't fall under those headings do they? ;)

NormMessinger
09-25-2004, 12:27 PM
Sam, your frustration is showing.

Sam F
09-25-2004, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by NormMessinger:
Sam, your frustration is showing.Oh no Norm it's something else entirely. 'Tis the same reaction everyone should have to dishonesty and hypocrisy: Disgust.
Isn't your reaction the same? If not, why not? :D

George.
09-26-2004, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by Sam F:

George's ...
...inability to think clearly...
...sarcasm...
...shifting the subject...
...blathering...
...dishonesty and hypocrisy.
My, my. Aggressive, aren't we? I liked you better when you focused on debating the issues over which we disagree. Too bad you find that too difficult, and choose to resort to ad hominem attacks.

shamus
09-26-2004, 06:18 AM
Sam, that rant at George reminds me of Julia's soliloquy in Brideshead revisited: it doesn't quite work. smile.gif

LeeG
09-26-2004, 06:30 AM
Sam, yr off the deep end. Singing showtunes is a humorous and wonderful way to counter blather that should be in a rivival, not a confined public place. It's not much different than being in a restaurant where an unruly toddler is running around without parental control and someone steps in with a loud first grade teachers voice to "help" the child find their parent.
"are you lost? let's go look for your mommy and daddy"

Joe (SoCal)
09-26-2004, 07:08 AM
OY gevalt !! Who woke Sam F up from his pew. :rolleyes:

Ya ever notice Sam trolls the bilge rarely contributing to anything until Christians are mentioned? Once he starts his patented snide quote and post WOW then it can go on 10 pages or more.

We have missed our typical monthly abortion thread so you cant blame Sam for jumping on this silly thread he had nothing else to quote and post :D

Jack Heinlen
09-26-2004, 07:23 AM
Oh good heavens. Can't you people see that much religiosity is not rational, but rather poetic? I mean com'on. The Quran dictated whole and inviolable to Mohammed, direct from God? Have you ever read the Quran? It's seventy percent indescipherable, so I figure God was on a bender for a few weeks. Or take Catholic doctrine of the virgin birth. Maybe if space aliens went unnoticed, but do Catholics really believe in the alternative, parthenogenesis? And not to leave the Jews out, they wandered for forty years, sometimes living off strange food that rained down from the heavens. Not to mention the man who became Israel. Someone climbed down off that ladder and struck his thigh bone, and crippled him, and made him a great nation.

Maybe Mohammed was a little teched, and Mary was in the original sense a virgin, in the Greek, a young woman. And the Jews were eating magic mushrooms?

They are all miraculous, wonderful, poetry. Making the scriptures prose ruins them for all of us.

Some Frenchman once said that war is too important to be left to the soldiers. Well, religion is too important to be left to the intellectuals and craven theologians.

Sam,

I know you are aware of REAL persecution of Christians. Think Nero, swathing them in bitumen and using the resulting live torches to light his gardens. Showtunes, and secular philosophy professors, are pretty mild.

Ron Williamson
09-26-2004, 07:26 AM
Sam and Dennis
I hate this type of discussion and generally refuse to participate, but the Karl Marx quote and Bible have some distinct parallels.
It's all about blind faith,and that you should believe what you are told to believe,from the burning bush to raising the dead.
R
Edited to say that Jack beat me to it and said it better.

[ 09-26-2004, 08:29 AM: Message edited by: Ron Williamson ]

Joe (SoCal)
09-26-2004, 07:30 AM
Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets
And little man, little Lola wants you
Make up your mind to have
(Make up you mind to have)
No regrets (no regrets)
Recline yourself
Resign yourself, you're through

I always get, what I aim for
And your heart and soul
Is what I came for

Whatever Lola wants (Lola wants)
Lola gets (Lola gets)
Take off your coat
Don't you know you can't win
You're no exception to the rule
I'm irresistible you fool .. give in
(Give in, you'll never win)

Whatever Lola wants
Lola gets

---- Instrumental Interlude ----

I always get, what I aim for
And your heart and soul
Is what I came for

Whatever Lola wants (Lola wants)
Lola gets (Lola gets)
Take off your coat
Don't you know, you can't win

You're no exception to the rule
I'm irresistible you fool ... give in
(Give in, you'll never win)

Give in (give in, you'll never win)
Give in (give in, you'll never win)

Dennis Marshall
09-26-2004, 08:05 AM
Ron, I am not a fan of "blind faith." There are a lot of things that we accept on faith (religious or no). It shapes our worldview and directs how we act in the world. If we did not accept some things, then we would be constantly re-inventing the wheel and never move beyond the most rudimentary elements of knowledge. For example, the scientific discoveries of the past are not verified by every individual. We accept them, and move on. Why do we accept such things? Is it because we find or presume the persons to be trustworthy?

The real difference between Marx's quote and Christianity is that being ignorant (killing the question) is essential to Marx. Its abuse/denial of the human beings quest to know everything there is to know about everything there is -- is a fundamental tenet of such a position. This, btw, is why Sam, in another thread, says that there are some positions of faith that require more faith than can be mustered by him precisely because it would require "blindness" on his part to accept it. And in this I would very much agree with him. While I do not deny that there are and have been abuses within Christianity, it is a mistake to identify such abuses with its essence.

Dennis

[ 09-26-2004, 09:09 AM: Message edited by: Dennis Marshall ]

Sam F
09-27-2004, 07:58 AM
Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):
Ya ever notice Sam trolls the bilge rarely contributing to anything until Christians are mentioned? Ya ever notice that I contribute to other sections on other subjects when anti-Christian bigotry is in short supply (or I don't notice) down in the bilge? If people find my defence of Christianity intolerable they know perfectly well how to make it stop. ;)

A couple of questions for Mr. Foster; Does the following sound the least bit familiar?


I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy (not only the ROMAN ) catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Amen.Why don't you ever defend those beliefs and instead participate in their ridicule?
You know there’s a word for those who profess something and act in a contrary fashion.

Sam F
09-27-2004, 08:02 AM
Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
Oh good heavens. Can't you people see that much religiosity is not rational, but rather poetic? Jack, short of an engine service manual, the NT is the most un-poetical document I know of.


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
I mean com'on. The Quran dictated whole and inviolable to Mohammed, direct from God? Have you ever read the Quran? It's seventy percent indescipherable, ? 70% is much too high a percentage. True, some of it is incomprehensible but it’s only a few passages.


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
Or take Catholic doctrine of the virgin birth. ? It’s not a “Catholic” doctrine. It’s a Christian doctrine. Heck even Joe believes in that – or says he does.


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
Maybe if space aliens went unnoticed, but do Catholics really believe in the alternative, parthenogenesis? Jack “parthenogenesis” means virgin birth. And as far as that goes, scientists “believe” in parthenogenesis too. It’s quite common in nature. That doesn’t make it any less miraculous in a human but it is not unprecedented in biology.


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
Some Frenchman once said that war is too important to be left to the soldiers. Well, religion is too important to be left to the intellectuals and craven theologians. ? What an odd statement! “intellectuals and craven theologians”?
That’s rather like saying heart surgery is too important to be left to doctors. Sorry Jack but drop that scalpel and step away from my chest!!! :D


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
Sam,

I know you are aware of REAL persecution of Christians. Think Nero, swathing them in bitumen and using the resulting live torches to light his gardens. Showtunes, and secular philosophy professors, are pretty mild.You are (or should be) aware that actions follow words. Before the Kristallnacht the main Nazi effrontery to Jews had been only words too.

Sam F
09-27-2004, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by George.:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Sam F:

George's ...
...inability to think clearly...
...sarcasm...
...shifting the subject...
...blathering...
...dishonesty and hypocrisy.
My, my. Aggressive, aren't we? I liked you better when you focused on debating the issues over which we disagree. Too bad you find that too difficult, and choose to resort to ad hominem attacks.</font>[/QUOTE]For a moment let us discuss the meaning of the term: ad hominem.
From Wikipedia:


An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin, literally "argument to the man"), is a logical fallacy that involves replying to an argument or assertion by addressing the person presenting the argument or assertion rather than the argument itself. A (fallacious) ad hominem argument has the basic form:

1. A makes claim B;
2. there is something objectionable about A,
3. therefore claim B is false.So let’s examine George’s accusation that I used this sort of attack.
Did I say that “A” (George) made an erroneous claim “B” (that I said Christians are a persecuted minority)
Yes I said that his claim was in error.
Did I then make the claim that there is something objectionable about “A” (George)
Yes I did. I specifically said that I usually ignore his posts because of “among other things, his inability to think clearly.”
So far, so good for George’s accusation.
But that leaves point # 3 (and it takes all three to make the case): that because of George’s defects his claim is false.
Is that what I did? Here’s what I said:


[Speaking of his shift from Fundamentalists to Christians in general:] That's the only time I used the word "minority" and that brings up several questions.
What is the group I'm referring to in that first sentence? To anyone who actually read the
first posting on this thread the answer is obvious: Fundamentalists.
Are Christian Fundamentalists a minority in the USA? Yes.
Are they despised? They certainly are by a large segment of the US population (and also
obviously) large percentage here on the forum. Heck, I'm not all that fond of them
myself. Does any of that speak to George’s defects?
No. He isn’t even mentioned in that statement. It came before, and is the basis of, the subsequent conclusions I made about George’s character.
Therefore George’s claim of an ad hominem attack is false.
I might add that this also re-enforces my reason for not bothering to read his posts;
his inability to think clearly.

Joe (SoCal)
09-27-2004, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by Sam F:
Ya ever notice that I contribute to other sections on other subjects when anti-Christian bigotry is in short supply (or I don't notice) down in the bilge? If people find my defence of Christianity intolerable they know perfectly well how to make it stop. ;) Yea I notice you also BOLT upright from your pew with the mere mention of the word Catholic ( Look see he did it again ;) )

And by making it stop are you implying that you impose a censorship on debating Catholicism in the bilge ?????


A couple of questions for Mr. Foster; Does the following sound the least bit familiar?
Um yea so I usually do not PREACH it on the subway. I save it for quite reflection in my church on Sunday mornings.


Why don't you ever defend those beliefs and instead participate in their ridicule?Cause I'm a NY'er and I have been offended a bunch of times by crackpot preachers on the subway and I think the original post was funny :D . Just like I find your reaction to all this amusing :D


You know there's a word for those who profess something and act in a contrary fashion.I Profess the creed I do not ram it down peoples throat, there is word for that as well. We are fighting a war that the neocons say was not for WMD's but for freeing people from the religious persecution imposed by a radical fundamentalist religion who acted on everything they professed, Ya folla ;)

[ 09-27-2004, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

Jack Heinlen
09-27-2004, 12:51 PM
Sam,

While parthenogenesis is recognized in biology, it is not recognized in human biology. It takes a man and a woman, a boy and a girl, in mammals.

And surely you aren't suggesting the secular, atheistic turn in our culture is in any way comparable to the anti-semitism of pre-war Germany? Show me an example.

I'm sympathetic to people's hurt feelings. I think people ought be left alone to find god however they wish. But there is nothing comparable to Europe's prewar anti-semitism going on in the US today. For every anti-Christian philosophy professor you'll find a class conducted by a priest or a minister in Christian Testament, or Hebrew Testament. Maybe that's as it should be?

And I still maintain that our relationship to god is alive, and should not be relegated to dusty tomes, and dustier minds.

Sam F
09-27-2004, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
Sam,
While parthenogenesis is recognized in biology, it is not recognized in human biology. It takes a man and a woman, a boy and a girl, in mammals.If it were ordinary it wouldn't be a miracle. Just what was your point anyway? :confused:


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
And surely you aren't suggesting the secular, atheistic turn in our culture is in any way comparable to the anti-semitism of pre-war Germany? Show me an example.
It's not there yet – but if you happened to have noticed some of the protests outside a few cathedrals and heard of some of the desecrations within you could be forgiven for thinking it not far away.
But examples abound on this forum. Every time I defend Christianity the hive freaks out.
(You have noticed haven’t you?) While the reaction is a source of some considerable amusement to me, especially considering the arrogant ignorance behind the prejudice, but the phenomena are widespread in society and the trend isn't comforting. Open your eyes.

Keith Wilson
09-27-2004, 01:25 PM
Singing show tunes to obnoxious proselytizers on the subway is not "dishonesty and hypocrisy", nor is laughing at a very funny story.

Jack Heinlen
09-27-2004, 01:31 PM
If it were ordinary it wouldn't be a miracle. Just what was your point anyway? Ah, well, you've stepped in it here my friend. You claim that God is rational, yet has also created a special miracle that is irrational. So God, in your vision, can do anything he damn well pleases, even going against the basic rules.

That's fine, I happen to agree for the most part, though in a more rational way. ;) But you've lost the high ground as far as direct reason goes. You've stepped into faith, belief flying in the face of reason.

Maybe Jesus was in fact born the normal way. Makes more sense to me that the virgin birth was an overlay to impress the illiterate masses. It was a common theme, running at the time.

I don't know what Christians are suffering in this country in the way of persecution. You've yet to show me it has any cognance with anti-semitism in pre-war Germany. It doesn't.

Alan D. Hyde
09-27-2004, 01:47 PM
Those evangelisers are doing what they're doing FOR A REASON.

I can't possibly, from here, know what that reason is.

BUT, I'd rather talk with them, and perhaps do some small bit of good in their lives, than mock them, easy as that may be to do.

It would be easy enough to show some interest: "have you been preaching like this for long? How did you begin? So, where are you from?" etc. You MIGHT even LEARN something. Whenever we don't, it's generally our own fault...

Alan

Sam F
09-27-2004, 01:50 PM
Yes folks the hive is roused. Those attack pheromones are flowing. Group-think conformity is at risk. The threat must be stopped! :eek:


Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Sam F:
Ya ever notice that I contribute to other sections on other subjects when anti-Christian bigotry is in short supply (or I don't notice) down in the bilge? If people find my defence of Christianity intolerable they know perfectly well how to make it stop. Yea I notice you also BOLT upright from your pew with the mere mention of the word Catholic ( Look see he did it again </font>[/QUOTE]Please re-read my posts on this thread. I had 6 posts before I responded to Jack’s mention of “Catholic” and then my only response was to indicate that this is not a Catholic but a Christian issue.

(An aside:
Well that takes care of one point about George’s constituency: We’ve definitely got some in the remedial reading category. :D )


Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):

And by making it stop are you implying that you impose a censorship on debating Catholicism in the bilge ????? Hardly. Remember you usually try to shut me up. You’ve consistently done so for months - as is your right, even if you are notably incompetent at it smile.gif . As far as I’m concerned everyone is free to post any darn fool opinion he likes. And I have the right to point out that foolishness. Of course it can be unpleasant to have one’s idiocy publicly pointed out, but that’s life. We’re not guaranteed the comfort of the cradle all our lives and when leaving it one should expect some knocking about. We’ve all had that experience and some of us have learned from it.
It’s like the joke about hitting one’s hand with a hammer… for normal folk, it feels SO GOOD to stop. Some however never learn.


Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />A couple of questions for Mr. Foster; Does the following sound the least bit familiar?
Um yea so I usually do not PREACH it on the subway </font>[/QUOTE]If you actually believed in your faith you’d preach one way or the other everywhere you went. You couldn’t help it. But, how did faith become an intensely embarrassing subject not fit for public discourse - like sex used to be? I am quite certain that you’ve seen vulgar tee shirts and any sort of obnoxious behavior in public (and participated in it yourself) yet PREACHING is singled out for your scorn.
Perhaps this explains it:


Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):

I save it for quite reflection in my church on Sunday mornings. Ask your priest if that's the only place you should "save" your faith. Do let us know his response.
Maybe your reflection is so quiet even you can’t hear it – since the truth of your faith is so quiescent that you can’t possibly be roused to defend it and instead participate in its ridicule. No Joe, your reflection is impotent and will stay so until it is translates into some sort of action.


Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Why don't you ever defend those beliefs and instead participate in their ridicule?Cause I'm a NY'er and I have been offended a bunch of times by crackpot preachers on the subway and I think the original post was funny. Just like I find your reaction to all this amusing </font>[/QUOTE]Agreed that crackpots of whatever type are no fun… but being a regular subway traveler, I’ve never seen such a preacher – perhaps I’m just lucky. I have seen occasional crazies – but it’s not PC to make fun of them, is it?
Read it again - for the first time!:

It’s always amusing to make fun at the expense of a despised minority. It’s even more rewarding to exult at one’s brave triumph over a harmless and probably daft lady or two.Yeah, it’s always a downer when some adult comes along and points out that one has made a handicapped person the butt of a joke. And what percentage of subway crackpot preachers are crazies? 90%? More? Does anyone object to 99%? Ah, but it’s not nice to ridicule the mentally ill while it is socially acceptable to treat Christians with distain.


Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />You know there's a word for those who profess something and act in a contrary fashion.I Profess the creed I do not ram it down peoples throat, there is word for that as well. We are fighting a war that the neocons say was not for WMD's but for freeing people from the religious persecution imposed by a radical fundamentalist religion who acted on everything they professed, Ya folla
</font>[/QUOTE]No I don’t follow. What do neocons have to do with subway preachers? The linkage, if any, is quite remote.

(Another aside: Remember what I said about election year partisan madness? It's a twofer! :D )

Pay attention! Defense of a creed is not ramming it down people’s throats. My posts on this matter are almost always reactive. Never defending a creed is however a sure sign of either sloth or hypocrisy. Which is it?

Sam F
09-27-2004, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:

Ah, well, you've stepped in it here my friend. You claim that God is rational, yet has also created a special miracle that is irrational. So God, in your vision, can do anything he damn well pleases, even going against the basic rules. Are you saying that miracles are rationally impossible? :D


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:

I don't know what Christians are suffering in this country in the way of persecution. You've yet to show me it has any cognance with anti-semitism in pre-war Germany. It doesn't. Nope Jack I won’t post it here. I mean here? In this thread? You’ve got to be joking. But you know how to a search engine works. Seek and ye shall find.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-27-2004, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Alan D. Hyde:
Those evangelisers are doing what they're doing FOR A REASON.

I can't possibly, from here, know what that reason is.

BUT, I'd rather talk with them, and perhaps do some small bit of good in their lives, than mock them, easy as that may be to do.

It would be easy enough to show some interest: "have you been preaching like this for long? How did you begin? So, where are you from?" etc. You MIGHT even LEARN something. Whenever we don't, it's generally our own fault...

Alan(Let me first declare an interest, as they say in Parliament; I am a communicant member of the Church of England* and a card carrying member of the Liberal Democrat Party**)

Alan, I really have to ask - have you ever tried to reason with any of these people?

Even my wife, an exceptionally kind and tolerant person, slams the front door in the face of doorstepping Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses (she used to pretend to be Catholic, or even Moslem, but it just did not work!)

People sitting, or strap hanging, on their way to work, are a captive audience and any intrustion on their privacy, be it in the name of religion, of pan handling, or, as so often, of both, is quite intolerable. :mad:

* Upper middle section; bells and smells OK, auricular confession not OK, the sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, and should not be elevated or reserved, predestination is a doctrine full of comfort to those who love and fear the Lord, very keen on 1662 Prayer Book...)

(**Pro-European, pro-foxhunting, pro-free market, pro-choice...)

[ 09-27-2004, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: Andrew Craig-Bennett ]

Jack Heinlen
09-27-2004, 02:35 PM
Sam,

Whatever you believe is okay with me, as long as you don't force me to believe. But don't pretend it's rational when it ain't.

38

Enough! enough! enough!
Somehow I have been stunn'd. Stand back!
Give me a little time beyond my cuff'd head, slumbers, dreams, gaping,
I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake.

That I could forget the mockers and insults!
That I could forget the trickling tears and the blows of the
bludgeons and hammers!
That I could look with a separate look on my own crucifixion and
bloody crowning.

I remember now,
I resume the overstaid fraction,
The grave of rock multiplies what has been confided to it, or to any graves,
Corpses rise, gashes heal, fastenings roll from me.

I troop forth replenish'd with supreme power, one of an average
unending procession,
Inland and sea-coast we go, and pass all boundary lines,
Our swift ordinances on their way over the whole earth,
The blossoms we wear in our hats the growth of thousands of years.

Eleves, I salute you! come forward!
Continue your annotations, continue your questionings.

Joe (SoCal)
09-27-2004, 02:42 PM
Sam, I have grown bored, you tire me with your snide quote and post.

Go play with yourself, this is mental masturbation.

Alan D. Hyde
09-27-2004, 02:55 PM
Andrew, I know precisely what you mean, and you are of course right. If one sticks to their subject matter, no progress is likely to be made.

It's possible you've read Eric Hoffer's The True Believer, which small book is packed full of insights.

Change the topic from religion to herself (or himself as the case may be). Most people have a strong interest in that topic, though not all attempts to shift gears and go there will be successful.*

Alan

* Once, in a long line at the BMV, a missionary baptist sort tried to "save" me. Not wishing to discuss my religious beliefs (traditional Methodist Episcopal, not too far from your own, Andrew, as a comparison of the Prayer Book and the old Methodist discipline will reveal), I changed the topic to my interlocutor, as suggested above.

It turned out that he had until recently been manager and part owner of a go-go bar. He had taken up with one of the dancers, who subsequently died of a drug overdose, for which he (probably rightly) blamed himself.

He was saved and became a teetotaler. He spent all his time looking at God (was my unspoken conclusion) because he couldn't bear to look at himself...

[ 09-27-2004, 04:05 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

Andrew Craig-Bennett
09-27-2004, 03:06 PM
Alan, I'm sincerely impressed, and I will try it.

I had never thought of it!

I'll try it once, anyway.

(But if it backfires, I shall blame you!) ;)

Sam F
09-27-2004, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):
Sam, I have grown bored, you tire me with your snide quote and post.
Were it not for work, I wouldn't even know what boredom was. smile.gif But you can't possibly imagine how tiresome it is for me to respond to trite and thoughtless attacks.
But doesn't it feel SO GOOD when it stops? :D
If learning was part of the process that makes you so conveniently tired, there may yet be cause for hope.

Sam F
09-27-2004, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett:
Alan, I'm sincerely impressed, and I will try it.

I had never thought of it!

I'll try it once, anyway.

(But if it backfires, I shall blame you!) ;) Don't blame Alan. People are... well, people and therefore unpredictable. But he's on to something. Years ago that’s how I discovered that the supposedly contemptible Fundamentalism of an irritating co-worker was in fact responsible for his personal reform. After he found Jesus, he’d quit drinking and quit beating his wife and children.
Was he perfect? Nope, but for a country red-neck atheist he’d gone a long long way toward civilization. I have never looked at Fundamentalism the same way since.

Or use me as an example. Think I’m rough on people now? You should have seen the way I was back in the old days! :eek: :D :D

Joe (SoCal)
09-27-2004, 05:37 PM
Wouldn't it be wonderful if I was that predictable ;) tongue.gif

alteran
09-27-2004, 05:51 PM
Sam F, "After he found Jesus, he’d quit drinking and quit beating his wife and children."

Joe [CSOH],"Wouldn't it be wonderful if I was that predictable."

Well its worth a try Joe, you've nothing to lose but a couple bad habits.

NormMessinger
09-27-2004, 05:55 PM
That should be "If I were that predictable." Goodness!

Joe (SoCal)
09-27-2004, 05:58 PM
There you are AL. Fresh cocktail for the evening ? ;) tongue.gif :D

Some how I think if ol Ossama himself were to email Al and say. Ya know what I have been sitting in my cave reading the WoodenBoat Forum and I don't like that Joe guy. I think Al and Donn would join the Taliban tongue.gif

Edited to add anyone notice Donn has become trollish in his response to anything I write, sad, sad :(

[ 09-27-2004, 07:02 PM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

Joe (SoCal)
09-27-2004, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by Donn:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):
Edited to add anyone notice Donn has become trollish in his response to anything I write, sad, sad :( Just the most ridiculous of your blatherings.</font>[/QUOTE]Example proven :rolleyes:

Joe (SoCal)
09-27-2004, 06:38 PM
Exactly :rolleyes:

Billy Bones
09-27-2004, 09:26 PM
Nicholas, if you're still around, :D :D :D

Everyone else, you're making me feel like SINGING SHOW TUNES!!!

imported_Dutch
09-27-2004, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Billy Bones:


Everyone else, you're making me feel like SINGING SHOW TUNES!!!that sounds a bit gay Billy and I wish youd have kept your mouth shut about it cause now sam will really get on a roll

Art Read
09-28-2004, 04:06 AM
"...anyone notice Donn has become trollish in his response to anything I write, sad, sad..."

Try telling that to Karen, Joe...

Boomkin Joe
09-28-2004, 06:07 AM
Jack: 30 vs Sam: 0.

Sam F
09-28-2004, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by Boomkin Joe:
Jack: 30 vs Sam: 0.What an interesting scoring system you have! Are you one of those Olympic gymnastics judges?
I ask Jack a question:
Are you saying that miracles are rationally impossible?And Jack replies with a non-answer:

Whatever you believe is okay with me, as long as you don't force me to believe. But don't pretend it's rational when it ain't.Which addresses the question how?

My my, if he’d actually answered my question what kind of score would that get? BTW, the answer could have been as easy as “Yes” or “No” and never mind whatever reply I might have. Would the score be 1000 to 0? Nah! For putting forth any effort at all I think he'd deserve at least 10 thousand to 0. Don't you? ;)

Or does poetry alone count for extra points?
How about this snippet to describe the Secularist position? Caution! It contains pagan gods, but sorry I couldn't work in any elves.


...Soon as the Potion works, their human count'nance,
Th' express resemblance of the gods, is chang'd

Into som brutish form of Woolf, or Bear,
Or Ounce, or Tiger, Hog, or bearded Goat,
All other parts remaining as they were,
And they, so perfect is their misery,
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
But boast themselves more comely then before
And all their friends, and native home forget
To roule with pleasure in a sensual stie.:D

Ian McColgin
09-28-2004, 08:10 AM
Backing up to one of Sam's beefs - were we sacrificing fatted calves we might refer to beeves but that's a different context - I've taught Philosophy 101 a time or two and can certainly sympathise with the prof.

Part of the problem comes from the common assumption that philosophy is the same as answering the commonplace question: "What's your philosophy?" What's really meant there is to argue about some values. Philosophy, like capital P Philosophy, is an academic discipline with diverse fields and schools and whatnot.

A normal Phil 101 course is a survey course where the goals include:

Historical knowledge of what philosophers have said and written;
Practice at various forms of philosophic arguement; and, we might hope,
And engagement with and love of wisdom.

The grade will be on mastery of the first two: knowledge and argumentative ability; not on any matter of faith or even love of wisdom.

Some points in the history of philosophy people did indeed argue 'religious' issues, but not in a religious manner. Philosophers from Socratese on have been an impious lot because it's their business to question, to be bothered by the stuff normal folk manage to take for granted.

I can't tell from Sam's anecdote what the prof meant but I can tell from Sam's writings what I'd have meant making something like that point to someone like Sam. Arguements will be graded on the basis of philosophic reasoning, not special or general revelation.

It's not unusual in a Phil 101 course to have at Aquinas's proofs for the existance of God. Indeed, how a young mind interacts with and critiques that masterpiece may show a real prediliction for that mental pathology we call the philosophic bent. Personal aside: Wm Sloane Coffin Jr. did just that test and prediction on me when I was 14. I spent another six years in denial - thought I'd be a marine biologist - before facing my intellectual and moral fate.

A student who wrote an essay pointing out that Aquinas missed the point and it's a matter of faith would get some sort of grade, depending on how argued. A student who argued that the proofs collapse into the ontological proof could get an interesting grade. But the student who wrote some sort of rapturous credo would risk failure as he or she would have missed the whole point of philosophy, as distinct from religious experience.

I'd most likely spend some time with the student going over why the piece was religious, not philosophic, and give or her a chance to try again. I have myself defied professors and turned in papers defiantly out of the context they wanted and enjoyed the righteous feeling of academic martyrdom for my efforts.

Should a student refuse to learn at least the mechanics, as it were, of philosophy, I'd honor the integrity of their belief with a failing grade.

In geometry and other axiomatic-deductive logics, God's word is not proof of a therum. Philosophy is a study that at times confronts and criticises and informs existential issues that are also religious, but even the most hard-boiled Thomist can identify the differences between philosophy, theology and religion.

Far from the prof quashing religion, especially christianity, as Sam's remarks imply, a good philosophic workout will test any faith in the most wholesome way.

Last point - really an aside. Philosophy is taught at an earlier age and better in Europe than here. Though really designed as a high school book, I cannot recommend too highly the brilliant novel "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder (tr. Paulette Moller) as a wonderful introduction to the history and meaning of the philosophic endevor. Even if you fancy you know a lot about philosophy, this book will enchant you.

Jack Heinlen
09-28-2004, 08:23 AM
Sam,

That's a perfectly good answer. I don't know who Jesus was or how he was conceived. I wasn't there. I think, without any proof, that he was an avatar, an enlightened being, who visited us fully human, which means he was conceived the way we all are -- down and dirty sex.

You believe an irrational state of affairs, the virgin birth. No, I don't believe that. It flies in the face of every fact I know about mammalian biology, so I refuse. You've set aside biology for faith, belief in the irrational.

Have at it! Just don't try to make me believe or try to convince me it makes logical sense.

You have the flavor of a 'true believer' and evangelist, so that isn't good enough. You won't be satisfied until everyone conforms. Even that is okay. So long as property rights hold I can toss you if I don't wish to be evangelized. And people can still sing show tunes. smile.gif

Be well,

Jack

Sam F
09-28-2004, 08:36 AM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

Backing up to one of Sam's beefs - …
Far from the prof quashing religion, especially christianity, as Sam's remarks imply, a good philosophic workout will test any faith in the most wholesome way.
I implied nothing. The fact is:

… this fellow had no intention of avoiding the subject, only of shutting his students up. The whole course has consisted of one long propagandistic diatribe for Atheism.As Dennis so aptly put it, this professor’s method amounts to “Don’t think. Don’t ask questions.” In teaching philosophy, or in any subject for that matter, that is incompetent and a total waste of money – both the students’ tuition funds and my taxes.

imported_Dutch
09-28-2004, 08:42 AM
dirty sex another gift of religion. calling sex dirty and wars holy

Joe (SoCal)
09-28-2004, 08:44 AM
Good post Jack http://media5.hypernet.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif

Sam F
09-28-2004, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:

That's a perfectly good answer. I don't know who Jesus was or how he was conceived. I wasn't there. I didn’t ask about the Virgin Birth. I asked:


Are you saying that miracles are rationally impossible?“Yes” or “No” Jack.


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:

You believe an irrational state of affairs, the virgin birth. No, I don't believe that. It flies in the face of every fact I know about mammalian biology, so I refuse. Yet you also say:

Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
I don't know who Jesus was or how he was conceived. I wasn't there. You don’t know – or - you do know that it was impossible. Which is it Jack?

Sam F
09-28-2004, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):
Good post Jack http://media5.hypernet.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.

Joe (SoCal)
09-28-2004, 09:05 AM
Don't totally buy the virgin part . ( yea yea jump all over me for the creed inconsistency but my FAITH is my faith)
Also don't buy that Mary Magdoline was a whore.
I like some show tunes
Hey but that is just me :D

Jack Heinlen
09-28-2004, 09:22 AM
Sam,

I hope you might relax your grip, just a little.

I know, yes KNOW, that linear logic, post-enlightenment science, has limits. The inheritors of Einstein say very strange things about the nature of reality...things I kinda grok, but can't flow chart. It is a kind of hyper-reason, so my answer is NO, things don't happen outside of reason, though they do seem to at times.

Physicists are teletransporting quantum states. I can't even imagine what the implications of that are, but they're doing it.

I have no problem with the priests of Jesus, insofar as they wrestle and struggle with his being, and try to live it. I think they'd be happier if they got over the celibacy thing, which wasn't there in the first few centuries, but who am I to judge? Paul was such a stick.

For me it is not a static story. Jesus is here, with me, right now, alive. He tells me that much doctrinaire is foolishness. He whispers different things to you. It's likely both of us are wrong. I can live with that, can you?

Ian McColgin
09-28-2004, 09:34 AM
It's always possible the the prof wanted to promote atheism, but that's actually a religious, not a philosophical, arguement.

Sam's anecdotal reporter may be correct.

In my experience, it's more likely that the prof was being accused of promoting atheism for the same reason that I was accused of promoting atheism in just the same context.

All aspects of philosophy - epistemology, ethics and metaphysics spring readily to mind - have no necessary religious content and really should be taught without appeal to any religious revelation.

Some aspects of philosophical study deal with issues that theologian, mystics and religious people also confront. It's not odd to at least reference those musings in a philosophy course. Where I've done that, I made sure to include references beyond the comfortably familiar historical religions of the West.

Just as Socratese challenged the faith of Athenians in all sorts of issues about the good, the true and the beautiful, so too a philosopher should trouble and challenge young minds.

Were a prof to teach in such a way as to be trying to refute faith, any faith, all faith, I'd indeed have a problem with his or her injecting that religious perspective into a philosophy course.

If the prof is simply keeping religion out of the philosophic study, the accusation that this promotes atheism is simply false.

It does happen that an immature and weak faith is shattered by exposure to critical reasoning. That's a good thing.

As I say, Sam may be reporting correctly, but I have myself been falsly accused of promoting atheism simply because I was teaching philosophy, not christianity or islam or zen or motorcycle maintenance. I take his tale with a full salt tablet.

Billy Bones
09-28-2004, 09:35 AM
things I kinda grok, but can't flow chart

:D

Sam F
09-28-2004, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by Billy Bones:
things I kinda grok, but can't flow chart
Different Heinlein... That would be Robert Heinlein not Jack. :D

bottompaint
09-28-2004, 11:02 AM
Too many christians...not enough lions.

Sam F
09-28-2004, 11:13 AM
Are you saying that miracles are rationally impossible?


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:

It is a kind of hyper-reason, so my answer is NO, things don't happen outside of reason, though they do seem to at times. OK so the answer is No.


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
… but who am I to judge?
Paul was such a stick. Uh, Jack “Paul was such stick” is a judgment.


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:

Jesus is here, with me, right now, alive. How can there be no miracles and Jesus be with you alive - right now?
And if there’s nothing miraculous about Jesus – which means everything he said was wrong - then why care?


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:

He tells me that much doctrinaire is foolishness. He whispers different things to you. It's likely both of us are wrong. I can live with that, can you? OK help me understand this… A person long dead – about whom nothing is miraculous - has whispered some things to you and entirely different things to me.
What can we determine about this dead person? Well he certainly doesn’t stay on message does he? I’ve met people who did that – who tell everyone something different - but they were crazy. But set that aside for the moment…
This dead person communicates by rational (yet inexplicable means) and gives each of us mutually contradictory messages.
While the means are rational by definition, they are in fact a vehicle for contradictory irrational behavior. What’s the point? To what end?
Wow! and some people think the Virgin Birth is hard to believe!

Sam F
09-28-2004, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ):
Don't totally buy the virgin part . ( yea yea jump all over me for the creed inconsistency but my FAITH is my faith)
Well that pretty well rules out Sloth.

Jack Heinlen
09-28-2004, 11:28 AM
O lord Sam, you are asking the wrong person if you want some kind of definition.

The last time I heard Jesus was taking a cup of soup to a homeless drunk who'd wandered into my sight at a hotel I was staying at. I knew it was the heart of the teaching, but didn't hear words. I didn't think on it much, but in retrospect knew it was Jesus' teaching. At the time, about this time of year, I just knew that poor fellow hadn't eaten in a day or two, so took him a cup of soup.

I'm all for speculation. But the only thing I've done in the last three years, which I measure up to Jesus' teaching, was giving that cup of soup.

John of Phoenix
09-28-2004, 11:37 AM
Thoroughly Modern Millie

http://www.modernmillie.com/gallery/condensed/images/modmil01.jpg

Millie's Theme Song (http://www.modernmillie.com/home.htm)


There are those
I suppose
Think we're mad
Heaven knows
The world has gone
To rack and to ruin
What we think is chic, unique and quite adorable
They think is odd and sodom and gomorrah-able
But the fact is
Everything today is thoroughly modern
Check your personality
Everything today makes yesterday slow
Better face reality.
It's not insanity
Says Vanity Fare
In fact, it's stylish
To raise your skirts and bob your hair.
In a rumble seat, the world is so cozy
If the boy is kissable
And that tango dance they wouldn't allow
Now is quite permissible.
Goodbye, good'-goody girl
I'm changing and how!
So beat the drums
Coz here comes thoroughly modern
Millie now!
Everything today is thoroughly modern
Bands are gettin' jazzier
Everything today is starting to go
Cars are gettin' snazzier
Men say it's criminal
What women'll do.
What they're forgetting is
This is Nineteen Twenty-Two.

Have you seen the way they kiss in the movies?
Isn't it delectable?
Painting lips and pencil lining your brow
Now is quite respectable.
Goodbye good'-goody girl
I'm changing and how!
So beat the drums
Coz here comes thoroughly modern
Millie now!

Keith Wilson
09-28-2004, 11:45 AM
Well that pretty well rules out Sloth. Awwwwww, Sam, they're so cute! And maybe we could train them to sing show tunes!

http://www.srl.caltech.edu/personnel/krubal/rainforest/Edit560s6/www/images/animals/sloth.gif

[ 09-28-2004, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

Sam F
09-28-2004, 11:50 AM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:


Sam's anecdotal reporter may be correct.You can safely bet your life on it.


Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

Were a prof to teach in such a way as to be trying to refute faith, any faith, all faith, I'd indeed have a problem with his or her injecting that religious perspective into a philosophy course. My point exactly.


Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

It does happen that an immature and weak faith is shattered by exposure to critical reasoning. That's a good thing. What a curious line of reasoning - especially so for a teacher. Consider for a moment a different field. Suppose you are a budding mathematician but your skills are immature and weak. That’s part of being young you know. And you run into a brutal math teacher who continually ridicules your abilities. He does such a good job that you give up on math entirely.
Is that responsible teaching? Is it a “good thing” to destroy this young person’s interest before it has a chance to mature? And why would any parent pay to have that done to his child?


Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

As I say, Sam may be reporting correctly, but I have myself been falsly accused of promoting atheism simply because I was teaching philosophy, not christianity or islam or zen or motorcycle maintenance. I take his tale with a full salt tablet. I might not even exist you know… but I have no reason to tell lies. The truth is quite bad enough without embellishments. But don’t take my word for it.

Here are some negative comments about him from students - though some adore him:

Tests that are hard to understand and you can’t go up and ask for clarification because he doesn’t let you talk to him during the exams. Makes threats to the class, have to be invited to do extra credit, do not take this teacher.
this guy is PSYCHO-- stay away
This guy is OVER THE TOP. Do not take him if you are insecure AT ALL. He LOVES to offend anyone he can. Yells at class and speaks with mixed up American/British accent. Sighs OFTEN. Blugh!Regardless of my A in class...HE SUCKS!!!!! On the plus side there's this from "Phil":

Very intelligent. He may insult you as much as he can, but his overall knowledge of just about everything is amazing enough to make up for that. I agree, sit outside of the class even if you are not in it. His intelligence makes him sexy! Take him!

Sam F
09-28-2004, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
O lord Sam, you are asking the wrong person if you want some kind of definition.
Oh I know that Jack. With no definition no dialog is possible.

Sam F
09-28-2004, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by Keith Wilson:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> Well that pretty well rules out Sloth. Awwwwww, Sam, they're so cute! And maybe we could train them to sing show tunes!
</font>[/QUOTE]Go ahead and try Keith but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting on Sloth if I were you.

John of Phoenix
09-28-2004, 12:12 PM
Avenue Q

http://www.avenueq.com/images/photos/AQ5.BWAY_Rosegg_big.jpg

The Internet is For Porn (http://aristaassociatedlabels.com/media/avenue_q/audio/06_the_internet_is_for_porn_30_128.ram)

Jack Heinlen
09-28-2004, 12:13 PM
Sam,

You seem so sure, arrogant. In my experience that sort of surety belies an insecurity.

Take soup to the hungry. I will try to do the same.

Jack

Ian McColgin
09-28-2004, 06:17 PM
It's not uncommon for philosophers to be abrasive, arrogant, argumentative and all that. Not for nothing that Abelard's monks tried to murder him. I personally tend to a mostly less combative style and I don't think that teaching need have Zen-like savage beatings but there are times when a bit of the boot camp is just what's needed to toughen up. The practice of philosophic thought takes some mental toughness as well as courage because ultimatly one takes aim at one's own mind.

We had an abrasive logical postitivist at Stony Brook who went out of his way to make students weep. Especially women as he has a sexist idea that women could not be competant philosophers. Complete jerk in my opinion, but then I've little use for logical positivism either.

I'll not defend mindless savagery but I see little good in coddeling students either.

Unfortunatly, I've not made clear to Sam the profound difference between the discipline of Philosophy, Queen of the Sciences and all that, and any person's 'personal philosophy.'

Which is why the math teacher maetaphore is all wrong.

If a math teacher had a student who was certain that parallel lines never touch because and only because god so ordained, the teacher would have an obligation to help the student past that naieve and ill-founded faith to a greater understanding of mathematics.

The math teacher has no business directing the student on the spiritual journey as to what god has to do with mathematics. Maybe leave the historical aspect of that to a philosopher looking at the Pythagorians. And leave the existential aspect to a music theory class or a math class on the Golden Ratio.

When I teach, I really give the students some calisthenics. They are warned that they will be graded on a mix of class oral and written work. They will get the devilish thing I call the "2-8-2" once a week. That's an essay question for which they might wisely take two minutes to compose their minds, eight minutes to write, and the final two minutes to check and revise but pens go down after twelve minutes. I don't grade on penmanship but if I can't read something it'll get about the same grade as a blank page.

It's like doing wind sprints. I expect their brains to streatch and hurt a little. I want them to finally learn to take some knocks and figure out that they will not be right and perfect each time. I don't want to ever pass a student who then goes on to a life in which s/he cannot identify his or her own mistakes.

A good teacher will take the students from where they are and will not deliberatly just make it hard. You're more likely to find that sort of 'initiation rite and hazing ritual' approach to intro courses over in the Chemistry Department anyway. Ye who've survived Quant, maybe even made it to Organic know I speak the truth here.

So Sam's guy still might or might not be the destructive force he presents. We've his account of student accounts without a look at the whole sylabus. He might be every bit as bad as my old logical positivist.

When I'm teaching, I do not allow religious discourse to substitute for philosophic analysis. For religious discourse, I recommend a non-public non-secular higher education.

Sam F
09-29-2004, 07:22 AM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:


Unfortunatly, I've not made clear to Sam the profound difference between the discipline of Philosophy, Queen of the Sciences and all that, and any person's 'personal philosophy.'
Ian you either don’t believe me or don’t read carefully. (BTW, if you don’t believe me say I’m a liar and be done with it. :D ) Believe it or not every teacher is not pure of heart and motive. This teacher is pushing his own personal philosophy to the exclusion of all other views and doing it on the taxpayer’s dime. That makes him a double fraud who has betrayed both the noble calling of teaching and his responsibilities to his employers.

At any rate Ian misses my point and makes it at the same time. This teacher is an example of the hostility and abuse Christians face from our cultural “elite” everyday. That sort of thing that would be intolerable to Liberals if it happened any other group. And, as is typical of the breed, we get excuses and denials for the teacher’s bad behavior.
It’s exactly like the old days when a girl was harassed and the response was a mixture of “Well you know, boys will be boys.” or “You brought it on yourself.”


Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

So Sam's guy still might or might not be the destructive force he presents. We've his account of student accounts without a look at the whole sylabus. They syllabus won’t help much. It contains errors whose practical result is to intimidate the students when they don’t ask questions about it and study the wrong thing. Oh, and you aren’t allowed to ask questions either.
These errors may be deliberate (as my source believes) or result from incompetence. The teacher may be too puffed up with pride to admit any error and instead blames the students. Either way, it’s not for nothing that some of his students use the term “psycho”.


Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

When I'm teaching, I do not allow religious discourse to substitute for philosophic analysis. For religious discourse, I recommend a non-public non-secular higher education. So I presume you’d disapprove of his religious agenda.

Sam F
09-29-2004, 07:28 AM
Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
Sam,

You seem so sure, arrogant. In my experience that sort of surety belies an insecurity.
Don’t confuse arrogance with being just plain irritating. :D
Insecure? Oh no! Unless you count being insecure about job, health and children. Other than that… Nah, not a bit. Come to think of it, a person who isn’t at least a bit insecure perhaps isn’t paying enough attention.


Originally posted by Jack Heinlen:
Take soup to the hungry.
JackWhy would you?

Ian McColgin
09-29-2004, 08:15 AM
I have enjoyed interacting with Sam on this thread but the professor is really an unrelated issue. The United States is a very friendly environment for christian evangelicals - has been since colonial times and Jonathan Edwards and all. Heck, we even have a president who imagines that Jesus was a philosopher! Guy'd get an F in my class.

Many of my friends at theology school had mission duties that took them door-to-door or street corner and subway preaching. Just like folk who canvass for politicians or sell vacuum cleaners and brushes door-to-door, they have many tales of how folk try to shut them out and many tales of wile and guile of how they got past the guard to make the sale.

The tale of subway counter-singing is not, by any means, a tale of cultural anti-christian elitism. To take it such is to misread reality.

To compare it to an irritating professor is off that point and on to a different - a what is philosophy? - point.

Sam assures us that the prof was into an atheistic prapaganda bit. As I mentioned, this is one of several religious agendas that do not have a place in a philosophy class, assuming that it's true.

Sam has some student comments pretty much establishing that the guy's argumentative and irritating. He has his friend who was not permitted to utilize christian reasoning or doctrine or experience in philosophy. His criticism of the professor appears to stem from his assertion the prospect of a philosophy class excluding religion is ludicrous.

One last time: If the guy is ramming a personal religious agenda - in this case atheism - I'd agree it's wrong. It's also narrow minded and wrong for a devoted modern Thomist to ram Christianity into a philosophy of science course.

But my reasons for doubting that it's that simple are:

Personal experience - A few pouty students thought I was preaching atheism when I was just teaching philosophy; and

The combination of Sam's assertion that philosophy must contain religion with Sam's statement that Christians are culturally despised and this prof is an example.

I disagree with both propositions and find the evidence from the story of the prof weak at best.

I see no need to argue whether or not the prof was really trying to preach atheism as I happen to agree that if he were doing that, he would be doing a real disservice to the teaching of philosophy. The tale has nothing to do with subway preachers anyway.

If the arguement is that the study of philosophy should or must have a religious content, I'll happily take the con side in that debate. Just to make it interesting, I'll do it in the context of how to teach a philosophy of religion course.

If the argument is that US society is hostile to christian beliefs I'd take the pro side if we mean that US society is insanely materialistic and warlike and oppressive. In the context of Sam's tale, that's not what he meant, so I'll take the anti side if we plan to ignore the evidence of public school books blatantly supporting such not truely evangelical nonsense as 'creationism' and the blasphemous use of God's name in coin and court.

By the way, my pet method for shucking importuning evangelists is a polite, "No thank you. I'm a Pealgian."

Sam F
09-29-2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

But my reasons for doubting that it's that simple are…My reasons for belief are simple as well. I know and trust the eyewitness. In this matter she knows something you don’t.
And frankly it is clear there is nothing either I or she could say that could change your mind. It's already made up.


Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

If the argument is that US society is hostile to christian beliefs But it isn’t the argument. It is that the cultural “elite” is hostile. If you think that’s not so I have some Florida swamp land all freshly scrubbed by three hurricanes that you may be interesting in purchasing. :D

George.
09-29-2004, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by Sam F:

I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth...

(Pistevo eis enan Theon...)

Filioque. ;)

George.
09-29-2004, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
...what god has to do with mathematics. God IS mathematics. God IS nature. To deny that is to deny mathematics, god, and nature.

John of Phoenix
09-29-2004, 04:28 PM
I thought Pythagoras was the God of mathematics.

George.
09-29-2004, 04:30 PM
For a moment, let us imagine that:

Jesus was born of a sexual act - John's penis into Mary's vagina, pleasure, release, pregnancy, and birth.

Jesus was a man like you and Sam and Ian and Keith and me.

Jesus was crucified and died a painful death, and was gone, as will happen to you and Sam and Ian and Keith and me (hope we are lucky and skip the painful bit).

How does that diminish his message?

How does that make it less deep?

I understand that weak and shallow minds might need the allegory of the virgin birth, and the water into wine, and Lazarus, and the ressurection, in order to pay blind attention to the message. But assuming we are intelligent, and philosophic, and humble, why do we have to believe that Jesus was born like some species of lizard in order to pay attention to "love one another?"

Alan D. Hyde
09-29-2004, 04:35 PM
God is the center of a circle, the circumference of which is infinite.

Alan

NormMessinger
09-29-2004, 04:39 PM
A circle or THE circle?

Alan D. Hyde
09-29-2004, 04:57 PM
Now Norm, if we knew that, sure we'd know everything... :D

Alan

Ian McColgin
09-29-2004, 05:39 PM
Maybe that swamp land is buildable.

There are plenty of people of fashion who poke fun of folk who are religious just as there are people of a different fashion who are sure their own religious beliefs should have the force of law.

The assertion of an anti-Christian bias among the cultural elite depends on first isolating anti-Christians from the cultural elite and then saying that the anti-Christian or scornful subset is the total cultrual elite.

To tar the 'cultural elite' of America as anti-religious is silly. We've had members of our elite who while deeply religious were also urbane and witty, like Benjamine Franklin. We have leaders and teachers of our elite who are leaders precisely because they are religious - Martin Luther King to William Sloane Coffin. We have creators in the cultural elite who have created great religious works of art, like Bob Dylan.

We have a diverse and pluralistic society with different religions and different degrees of religiostiy. That diversity applies among the elites, however defined, as well as among the 'folk,' however viewed. You can find members of the elite, however defined, who do scorn religious experience and you'll find just as many who are profoundly religious.

Sam F
09-29-2004, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
Maybe that swamp land is buildable. Not this swamp and I wouldn’t advise sand either.


Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
The assertion of an anti-Christian bias among the cultural elite depends on first
isolating anti-Christians from the cultural elite and then saying that the anti-Christian or
scornful subset is the total cultrual elite. No one says it’s 100%. In case you were under the impression I meant that, disabuse
yourself of it now. But how anyone can deny that the anti-Christian sentiments aren’t
widespread among the elite is simply amazing.


Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
To tar the 'cultural elite' of America as anti-religious is silly. OOPS! A philosopher should know better than to change the subject like that:
Remember?

Originally posted by Ian McColgin:

If the argument is that US society is hostile to christian beliefs
Originally posted by Sam F:
But it isn’t the argument. It is that the cultural “elite” is
hostile...
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
We've had members of our elite who while deeply religious were also urbane and
witty, like Benjamine Franklin. We have leaders and teachers of our elite who are
leaders precisely because they are religious - Martin Luther King to William Sloane
Coffin. We have creators in the cultural elite who have created great religious works of
art, like Bob Dylan.
Your list includes two dead (one for 214 years!), one elderly minister and one elderly pop
star. This is not a reflection of the status quo which is one where academics won’t even
deign to use the terms AD and BC because it’s not permissible to refer to our calendar’s
origin.

George.
09-30-2004, 05:45 AM
Sam, you need to see the difference between not believing in Christian dogma, and being anti-Christian.

I don't believe Muhammed was a prophet, and I think most of the Old Testament is just primitive mythology. That does not make me anti-Muslim or anti-Jew.

It is not a case of "you are either with us or you are against us." Very little in life is like that.

Ian McColgin
09-30-2004, 07:59 AM
I know a bit about the cultural elite. I grew up on the North Shore (of Long Island), obtained my secondary education at Taft, and I still read the New Yorker and the Times Book Review.

There are folk who make fun of fundies, but most of them who are pretenders to the elite are just that, hangers on and pretenders.

The part of the cultural elite that really offends some religious folk are the Salmon Rushdi's and Sinead O'Connor's and Andres Serrano's who dare blasphemy to make serious points. Humanity has had profound blasphemers since gaining self-consciousness. They are important for more reasons than the obvious way they keep the rest of us from getting too easy in our faiths.

In a world where the cultural elite, like the rest of the folk, has many who indeed scorn any depth of emotion or belief, and many more who authentically confront life's issues, and at least a few who cause more rage than comfort, it's objectivly incorrect to claim that 'the cultural elite' looks down on or scorns or makes fun of or makes life uncomfortable for christians or any other sect.

Some individuals, sure.

There no - I'd not call it 'mass movement' but - cultural elite predaliction to scorn christians any more than they scorn any of the unwashed who don't attend gallery openings.

You'll find the same baseless prejudices in certain churches that make sure that they don't have a Looney Noonies AA meeting in the basement or a wealthy Reformed congregation that looks at some strict Orthodox people as . . . quaint.

The prejudices of the cultural elite are as silly as the prejudices of any other part of society, but they are not uniquely or even predominatly anti-christian.

Scott Rosen
09-30-2004, 08:38 AM
I always wanted to be a member of the cultural elite, but they wouldn't let me in.

NormMessinger
09-30-2004, 09:39 AM
Well Scott, you could at least, read the cartoons in The New Yorker.