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Thread: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

  1. #141
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    Should academics accept the view of students who believe the Earth is flat Tom? Or that the sun revolves around the Earth? Academics - real academics, pursue the truth. It's time we all grew up!

    Rick
    Real academics teach Plato within the context of accurately describing the way the Greeks understood their own religious practices and beliefs, rather than projecting 21st century views of that pantheon back onto Socrates.

    Similarly with how an academic ought to teach the literature, philosophy, and history of the people of any age and culture. A ridiculous and reductive view of the religious beliefs, say, of 8th century China won't help understand what a writer from that period actually meant.

    But you knew that's what I meant when I mentioned Paradise Lost, eh Rick? You understood that I wasn't advocating that we all adopt Milton's understanding of molecular biology or germ theory. But that to understand what he meant while writing Paradise Lost, you needed to understand how HE understood his religion, not how WE understand it "better" for him.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  2. #142
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    You gents go easy on TomF!
    He really is religious and he really is your friend.
    He's a goldanged Humanitarian and a scholar with room in his heart for us heathens.
    Don't throw him away too quickly. Pick a better battle.

  3. #143
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Of course understanding, investigating, analysing religion and various belief systems, historical or not, is a worthwhile endeavour and ought to be encouraged. But understanding is not the same as believing. I have become completely intolerant of projection of belief systems, belief systems based on no evidence whatsoever, onto others. Religion typically restricts understanding, analysis and certainly action.

    When a person says to me, did you know that Calathumpians believe the world was vomited up by a giant turtle 600 years ago? I say no, and I can't help but want to find out why the hell Calathumpians believe that and where the story came from. But when a Calathumpian tells me that they won't allow their child to study evolution in primary school, I reject that view and lose all respect for that person. When a gun totin' Calathumpian tells me that they'll pray to the giant turtle for my child who's just been killed by another gun totin' idiot, really, I just want to take a piece of 4 x 2 and hit them with it.

    Yes, I accept your point that religious belief systems are worthy of study and must be understood if we're to interpret history and contemporary societies. But respecting such nonsense is not the same thing at all. Religion has indeed served a purpose in the past. But today, it's doing far more harm than good and has become no more than an excuse to do more harm. In my opinion.

    Rick

  4. #144
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    When people run out of ideas, they turn to religion. It's a form of arrogance - if I can't understand it then it can't be understood. A more dogged pursuit of better ideas is a much wiser path.

    Rick

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Voting, public health issues, public education....from your responses, it appears to me that you dislike being a minority ( or in the minority opinion) rather than disliking religion. I mean, if people who believed in god voted as you did, and agreed with you on social matters, would you still have reason to oppose them?

    Or, would you need another scapegoat?

    I agree that those who are abusive towards people seeking abortion are all idiots, and almost always religious.

    The other issues referenced--an ignorant electorate, climate change denial, degraded public education, etc--are propagated by people whose motivation may or may not be religious. I mean , the majority of the world population is religious ( 89-percent according to a Pew study). So it only stands to reason that religious reference can find its way into any discussion and that most people we encounter will be religious. But that doesn't mean religion is the sole and primary factor behind someone's standing on a topic People may lobby against climate change programs because they work for an oil company, for example.

    If you feel surrounded by people whose views are so contrary to your own, and that change can not be affected--like that pitiful school policy you referenced-- I suggest you move. There are places in the world where religion is not given that much sway. I happen to live in one, but it's not special: the world is a big place with room for everybody to find their spot.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  6. #146
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    No, he should not move!

    Rick

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Australia is one of the most secular countries in the world Breakaway, but we still have our conservative religious. I have always been aware that my disbelief/non-belief meant I was one of the minority, but I had a great deal of fun with the believers, clergy included, over the years.
    There are of course religious….and then there is religiosity.
    TomF is religious in the most civil of ways and w are giving him a difficult time just by inferring that he and the shysters have anything in common. As regards the whole development of these connected threads, it's anger that drives my commentary, not prothletising.
    And Scot doesn't like ridicule anyway.

  8. #148
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    I take it from your response I have changed your opinion that religious people are not trying to force their views upon everyone else?
    Where, I ask, are these oppressive religious folk trying to force their views upon us?

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    If people who believed in god voted as you did, and agreed with you on social matters, would you still have reason to oppose them?
    I don't require them to vote the way i do. I just require them to keep their beliefs out of my life. If they did that i would not oppose them at all.

    I don't think I am in fact opposing religious people. In this context I am voicing a contrary opinion. As i mentioned in response to TomF - i don't vote against religious freedom, I haven't taken any steps to punish or prejudice any religious people in practice. I have never done anything that is materially deleterious to the way of life of religious people. Unless the very existence of a contrary opinion can be considered deleterious - but that would simply be a defensive response from someone unused to being contradicted.

    But religious opinion is so orthodox, so fundamentally entrenched in western culture, that for many it is difficult to accept it can be criticised. Culturally that is a great challenge - i get that.

    As for me disliking being a minority - where/how did you get there? The issues I raise are issues of equality and self determination, not power.

    Pack up and leave - hmmmm.
    Does this mean you find that law acceptable and I should let it be?

    some avowed atheists here preaching more vociferously than a fire-and-brimstone congregationalist
    Is there any level of disagreement or protest acceptable?
    PS - I am not an atheist, I am anti-metaphysical - I thought that would be clear.
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin (1809–1882)

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  9. #149
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    I do not like it when Christians say that anyone who does not believe is evil, and going to hell. Or when they say that theirs is the only true religion.

    I also do not like it when atheists say that anyone who believes in a god or higher power is deluded and idiotic.

    Both of these types of people are making the same mistake, and are actually very similar in their dogmatic approach to life.

    Don't judge all believers just because some are bad, and I won't judge all atheists just because some are bad (or rude).

    I don't know the precise nature of God, my earlier comments were really meant to give one opposing viewpoint in this debate.

    I personally lean more toward a Unitarian/Native American, Spirit Moves Through All Things- type of philosophy.

    This spirit may be mostly neutral in the affairs of Man, but I belive that the collective (or individual) spirits of the populace may able to sway things one way or another.

    If you want to know why I believe the way I do I can tell you, but it won't be easy. Let me just give a few examples which may serve to illustrate why I believe in something which could be called the spirit of nature:

    The wind on your face, when surfing down a wave,
    The smile on your dog, when you come home from work,
    The cry of a baby, just born,
    The songs of the birds, just before morning,
    The hug of your son,
    The pain of regret,
    The sorrow of loss,
    The Beauty of life

  10. #150
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Longino View Post
    You gents go easy on TomF!
    He really is religious and he really is your friend.
    He's a goldanged Humanitarian and a scholar with room in his heart for us heathens.
    Don't throw him away too quickly. Pick a better battle.
    Yes - you are right.

    As Skuthorp pointed out, we are conflating TomF's beliefs with the impact of religion - because of anger. I stand by everything i say about religion.
    I don't believe TomF practices many of the things that i have attributed to religions in general.

    I'm sorry he's been put in a situation to have to defend the indefensible.
    I apologise for any offense I caused him personally.
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin (1809–1882)

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  11. #151
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    So Ralphie you actually believe in something. Good on you, back to basics re beliefs etc., shedding all the collected detritus of the centuries.
    I OTOH have no belief at all (though some conflate that as a belief in itself) and had nothing to shed.

  12. #152
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    Yes - you are right.

    As Skuthorp pointed out, we are conflating TomF's beliefs with the impact of religion - because of anger. I stand by everything i say about religion.
    I don't believe TomF practices many of the things that i have attributed to religions in general.

    I'm sorry he's been put in a situation to have to defend the indefensible.
    I apologise for any offense I caused him personally.
    Thank you. And back at you.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  13. #153
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    [COLOR=#333333]

    Yessir. There are some avowed atheists here preaching more vociferously than a fire-and-brimstone congregationalist.

    One wonders why they care so much?

    I hear the objections of having views forced upon them. I, myself, cannot stand cold-call sales, and make sure to let door-to-door peddlers and telemarketers know just how I feel. But, except for a Jehova's Witness every year or two, I never see or hear religious folk trying to convert me or promote their religion to me. It just doesn't happen.

    I'm not referring to a bible placed in a hotel room desk drawer, or billboards, programs or other forms of advertising, that are as easy to ignore as infomercials and ads for miracle hair growth potions. I'm referring to personal contact with those proselytizers who can't take no for an answer.

    Where, I ask, are these oppressive religious folk trying to force their views upon us? I would truly like to know, for, though I hear of them often, I haven't run across them in 54 years walking the earth.

    Kevin
    yup. There is no one who will prosthelitize more ardently than an atheist. Can’t tell if you’re trying to convince us, or yourselves. But a nasty streak shows, as well. Changed my view of more than a few of you.
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

  14. #154
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralphie Boy View Post
    I do not like it when Christians say that anyone who does not believe is evil, and going to hell. Or when they say that theirs is the only true religion.

    I also do not like it when atheists say that anyone who believes in a god or higher power is deluded and idiotic.

    Both of these types of people are making the same mistake, and are actually very similar in their dogmatic approach to life.
    Why? Every religion has ALWAYS claimed that it is 'the only true religion'. It is one of the defining things a belief system must have to be a religion. @No-one shall get to heaven but through me'...

    Atheism, whilst in the unfortunate position of not being able to prove a negative, points out the illusion/delusion of faith... and the mistakes that go along with it; what's not to like? What is the common mistake they are both making?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralphie Boy View Post
    The wind on your face, when surfing down a wave,
    The smile on your dog, when you come home from work,
    The cry of a baby, just born,
    The songs of the birds, just before morning,
    The hug of your son,
    The pain of regret,
    The sorrow of loss,
    The Beauty of life
    You're a pantheist, if anything, or just an emotional observant human. I wouldn't class the above as religious.

    I second/third the respect that must be shown to TomF, and to all those of faith or no faith as human beings trying to find their way through this thing called life. If all faithers were like you Tom, the world would be a much better place.

    What I cannot respect is dogged adherence to 2nd century superstition, indoctrinating children or proselytising, which I see everywhere, and encounter almost daily. It makes me very angry. My normal MO is to say I'm a Satanist, and if that doesn't work I tear their bulldsh*t apart piece by piece until they are so demoralised and ashamed they wish they never started. I have even got up on high street stages where they have microphones and placards and argued quite successfully until the crowds realised they were being sold a pack of clever lies and dispersed.

    I find it astonishing and more than a little depressing that just when humans need to evolve mentally, spiritually and socially, we are dragged down into the mud again by these people, attempting to sell us all prisons to lock our minds up in. The proselytisers do not even realise their own lies, which is even more depressing, because, hey if you don't THINK, well, you're just plumbing.

  15. #155
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    A lot of believers want to force their beliefs on the rest of through laws. That makes their beliefs our problem.

    If people have free will, and he cannot, or will not, interfere ever, then there's no way he can ever answer a prayer. I expect the people in those churches did a LOT of praying as the bullets flew.

    You are entitled to your faith and to live your life by it. I am entitled to not have your faith forced on me, or, IMO, pay higher taxes because the church pays none.
    "forcing Christian beliefs through Laws"... little late to be worried about that.
    Though shall not Murder, Though shall not steal, Though shall not bear false witness...

    one "state" is readily apparent... but I'd have had to make a lucky guess that your from NJ.

  16. #156
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Why? Every religion has ALWAYS claimed that it is 'the only true religion'. It is one of the defining things a belief system must have to be a religion. @No-one shall get to heaven but through me'...

    Atheism, whilst in the unfortunate position of not being able to prove a negative, points out the illusion/delusion of faith... and the mistakes that go along with it; what's not to like? What is the common mistake they are both making?



    You're a pantheist, if anything, or just an emotional observant human. I wouldn't class the above as religious.

    I second/third the respect that must be shown to TomF, and to all those of faith or no faith as human beings trying to find their way through this thing called life. If all faithers were like you Tom, the world would be a much better place.

    What I cannot respect is dogged adherence to 2nd century superstition, indoctrinating children or proselytising, which I see everywhere, and encounter almost daily. It makes me very angry. My normal MO is to say I'm a Satanist, and if that doesn't work I tear their bulldsh*t apart piece by piece until they are so demoralised and ashamed they wish they never started. I have even got up on high street stages where they have microphones and placards and argued quite successfully until the crowds realised they were being sold a pack of clever lies and dispersed.

    I find it astonishing and more than a little depressing that just when humans need to evolve mentally, spiritually and socially, we are dragged down into the mud again by these people, attempting to sell us all prisons to lock our minds up in. The proselytisers do not even realise their own lies, which is even more depressing, because, hey if you don't THINK, well, you're just plumbing.
    Though shall not Murder, Though shall not steal, Though shall not bear false witness... just more "2nd century superstition"? attitudes like these could explain a lot about why our culture is getting more and more violent every day.


    is it true the shooter had recently become an Atheist?

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    "forcing Christian beliefs through Laws"... little late to be worried about that.
    Though shall not Murder, Though shall not steal, Though shall not bear false witness...

    one "state" is readily apparent... but I'd have had to make a lucky guess that your from NJ.
    Thou dammit, Thou...not Though!
    You do disservice to your Imaginary God. At least learn to spell those archaic words if you plan to use them. Otherwise, you will appear to be semiliterate in both modern and archaic language. Try to do better or do nothing at all!

  18. #158
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    Though shall not Murder, Though shall not steal, Though shall not bear false witness... just more "2nd century superstition"? attitudes like these could explain a lot about why our culture is getting more and more violent every day.
    I know a woman who told my sister, when she was pregnant, that if she walked under the shadow of an eclipse, her baby would be born deformed, or maybe possessed. This in the 21st century.

    I have previously written about how basic social rules need metaphysical constructs to back them up... Thou shalt not kill..why? Er... Because bad things will happen..Like what? Er... You'll burn! Like forever! .. How? Er.. Well there's this place you could go to after you die... Etc etc.

    Like i said, I'm anti religion, but I'm a VERY nice guy. Don't need a church, temple or mosque to know to do the right thing.

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Longino View Post
    Try to do better or do nothing at all!
    hmmm tuff decision... got to sleep on it.

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Lupussonic wrote,

    "Atheism, whilst in the unfortunate position of not being able to prove a negative, points out the illusion/delusion of faith... and the mistakes that go along with it; what's not to like? What is the common mistake they are both making?"

    I wasn't comparing Atheism to Religion. I was comparing those of both sides who think that anyone who doesn't believe as they do is wrong, and attempt to demean and belittle the other side.

    I don't have a problem with you being an Athiest. Maybe you haven't heard that before.

    Ralphie

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    yup. There is no one who will prosthelitize more ardently than an atheist. Can’t tell if you’re trying to convince us, or yourselves. But a nasty streak shows, as well. Changed my view of more than a few of you.
    Utter nonsense.
    There are no groups who proselytize more ardently than religions. Its ridiculous to suggest - it cannot be supported in any way. Ever heard of church?
    Would any expression of non-religious opinion not be considered proselytising? Fine as long as its not heard or felt?

    "Nasty" - can you show me where religious people are suffering because of non-religious opinions? Anyone not able to practice their religion or be the religious person they want to be because of laws enacted by atheists?

    'Changed your view' - Judge not lest ye be judged .......! Love thy neighbour ... brother! You're not going to prove me right now are you mate?
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin (1809–1882)

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  22. #162
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    If i may assert;

    - Religious people cannot conceive of a good life without fear of almighty retribution.


    Now i know that is a ridiculously wide net to cast, so how about a converse;

    - Religious people do not understand how atheists can be motivated to live a good life without fear of almighty retribution.


    That second one a bit closer to the truth?
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin (1809–1882)

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    i'm going back to Political cartoons - that ones funnier.
    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin (1809–1882)

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsie View Post
    If i may assert;

    - Religious people cannot conceive of a good life without fear of almighty retribution.


    Now i know that is a ridiculously wide net to cast, so how about a converse;

    - Religious people do not understand how atheists can be motivated to live a good life without fear of almighty retribution.


    That second one a bit closer to the truth?
    Neither assertion describes the attitude of anyone in my extended family. Neither the believers... nor the handful of atheists.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    It makes as much sense as the standard version.



    I agree 100%. But look at what we've seen here; religion is a 'pan societal virus that has harmed and still harms mankind on a daily basis' , that 'you cannot trust someone who believes in mythological creatures' and 'deluded and harmful is all they are' (the 'all" is particularly unequivocal) , and that religion should be banned. God knows there's plenty of harmful religion, but it doesn't look to me, in this case at least, like it's the religious that are trying to impose their beliefs. OTOH, I realize it's mostly just rhetoric, but still, lumping TomF in with ranting Dominionist nuts is not fair.
    All over our lives, in every area. we see people see entire groups as if the group is a single monolithic entity. I have posted often that there are some people on Wall Street who welcome regulations. There are some religious people who believe a woman has the right to make her own choice.

    Then there were the two young women I knew who were quite religious, vehemently opposed to abortion, until they were pregnant and didn't want to be. They got abortions.

    That's a good subject with which to make my point. If one holds religious beliefs that are against birth control or abortion, one has an absolute right to not use birth control and to not have an abortion. The problem comes when they want, and congress and our courts help them, impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us.

    There are still places that have Blue Laws. Bergen County in NJ, I believe, still has them. Seems to me if one has a store one ought to be able to open that store whenever he wishes, and shoppers can shop or not shop based on their beliefs. Anyone think the people in Bergen County don't drive out of the county on Sunday to shop?
    May be some rough water ahead. We're getting new captain.

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    That's the whole problem though - they never leave others alone. Bad things aren't fixed because it's a god's will. Instead of being helped following tragedy, people are told to pray, we're praying for you etc., she's in a better place. It's just BS, the whole kit and caboodle.

    I have the greatest respect for people who do good things because they want to do good. I have no respect for idiots buying a ticket to paradise.

    I note today that the US will soon be the only country on the planet not complying with the Paris agreement on climate change.

    Rick
    Praying seems to be what people do when there is nothing they can do. Maybe it makes them feel better. Other than that, I don't see much point.
    May be some rough water ahead. We're getting new captain.

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    [COLOR=#333333]

    Yessir. There are some avowed atheists here preaching more vociferously than a fire-and-brimstone congregationalist.

    One wonders why they care so much?

    I hear the objections of having views forced upon them. I, myself, cannot stand cold-call sales, and make sure to let door-to-door peddlers and telemarketers know just how I feel. But, except for a Jehova's Witness every year or two, I never see or hear religious folk trying to convert me or promote their religion to me. It just doesn't happen.

    I'm not referring to a bible placed in a hotel room desk drawer, or billboards, programs or other forms of advertising, that are as easy to ignore as infomercials and ads for miracle hair growth potions. I'm referring to personal contact with those proselytizers who can't take no for an answer.

    Where, I ask, are these oppressive religious folk trying to force their views upon us? I would truly like to know, for, though I hear of them often, I haven't run across them in 54 years walking the earth.

    Kevin
    Strange post. Are you not aware of the Hobby Lobby suit and decision? Are you not aware of the efforts to make abortion, though legal, unattainable? Or just the dumb argument about "Merry Christmas"?

    Let me also remind you that religious beliefs are currently standing in the way of making progress on climate change.
    May be some rough water ahead. We're getting new captain.

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by RFNK View Post
    I certainly think that people who believe that a god whipped up the Earth and the rest of the universe in a week have no place in a university. Really ..... it beggars belief that anyone could still pay any attention to this claptrap! Religious people seem to think that God gave us brains to switch off!

    Rick
    I do think in a university there is room for a class that teaches the basic beliefs of various religions., as the beliefs on those religions.
    May be some rough water ahead. We're getting new captain.

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    "forcing Christian beliefs through Laws"... little late to be worried about that.
    Though shall not Murder, Though shall not steal, Though shall not bear false witness...

    one "state" is readily apparent... but I'd have had to make a lucky guess that your from NJ.
    I don't think Christians own those beliefs. I would ask, however, when a man takes the witness stand and swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me God, why God allows him to lie.
    May be some rough water ahead. We're getting new captain.

  30. #170
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by twodot View Post
    But, you have born false witness in your last two posts, when you suggest that to reject god, or to support a secular state, is to embrace or condone murder and stealing.
    Many people who are religious cannot get their heads around the idea that one can be quite moral and not have any belief in God. Meanwhile many who profess great belief in God have been caught doing very bad things.

    There is no evidence at all that religious beliefs make one a moral person.
    May be some rough water ahead. We're getting new captain.

  31. #171
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Would someone like to take on the question of the OP?

    If God cannot/will not keep his people safe in his church, if he cannot/will not ever intercede to protect the innocent from the 'free will' of the evil. What is the point of him being there or being prayed to?

    Has anyone here EVER been to a funeral where the person speaking said the deceased was going to hell?
    May be some rough water ahead. We're getting new captain.

  32. #172
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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    Many people who are religious cannot get their heads around the idea that one can be quite moral and not have any belief in God. Meanwhile many who profess great belief in God have been caught doing very bad things.

    There is no evidence at all that religious beliefs make one a moral person.
    This article in the Psychological Bulletin of the American Psychological Association teases your thoughts out further, John. It is essentially a consideration of the scholarly literature on the issue, and is a complicated read. Spoiler alert: the authors observe that "religious belief" and "morality" are each very squishy terms, and depending on how one defines either ... you can find evidence supporting most positions. The authors carefully never assert anything about whether
    there actually is anywhere a God or Gods or supernatural realm, and their study is firmly cross-cultural. They look at the phenomena both of religion and morality from an almost dizzying range of scholarly perspectives, disaggregating each into different constituent bits, and noting some relationships between those bits.

    And ultimately - people who are genuine participants in a religion (i.e. it's integral to their values and behaviour, not just lip service) show disproportionate pro-social behaviour in some respects (tested using things like the Prisoner's Dilemma), while also showing tendencies to anti-social behaviours which often associate with what we've before described as "tribalism."

    There are a raft of theories about why believers are incented to the pro-social stuff - ranging from practices intended to develop "habits" of kindness through to fear of retribution from supernatural observers. Opinion's predictably split over whether you're actually "moral" if your moral actions are compelled by fear, and the degree to which compulsion rather than gratitude are the prompts for kindness. It will vary, depending on the religious group.

    In all though, John, there is objective evidence that some religious practices do make one a more moral person. That's more likely to be the dominant result in a person's character when that's the flavour of religion one happens to be exposed to, and embraces. It's just that other religious communities highlight the identity-politics type aspects, which objectively tend to make one into a judgmental b@stard.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    There are some religious people who believe a woman has the right to make her own choice.
    Definitely. You may have never heard of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice; they aren't as noisy as some of the people on the other side. Good folks; look here.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    . . people who are genuine participants in a religion (i.e. it's integral to their values and behaviour, not just lip service) show disproportionate pro-social behaviour in some respects (tested using things like the Prisoner's Dilemma), while also showing tendencies to anti-social behaviours which often associate with what we've before described as "tribalism."
    This is very interesting. Let me propose a possible explanation. Human beings seem to be hardwired to make a distinction between 'my people' and 'everybody else', to be tribal, in a sense. We tend to be cooperative and reciprocally altruistic with those in our tribe; with those outside, not so much. Primates in a state of nature often simply try to kill anyone they run into who's not part of their tribe. Most of our moral progress as a species has been of the 'all men are brothers' model; treat everybody like you'd treat the members of your tribe.

    Perhaps religious people have a stronger distinction between 'my tribe' and 'everybody else'. They treat their own people better; more cooperative, more altruistic, but are harsher if you're not one of us.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 11-08-2017 at 10:02 AM.
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    for nature cannot be fooled."

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    I think you're right, Keith. And it impresses on us just what you've said - that the greatest advances we've tended to see in moral practice come from expanding the circle of one's care. Re-framing it to understand that what look like whole other tribes are actually just parts of your own.

    That's where the environmental movement needs to go too. Shifting humanity's community of affect to include species and ecosystems, not just people.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: I have ti ask in regards to church shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    This article in the Psychological Bulletin of the American Psychological Association teases your thoughts out further, John. It is essentially a consideration of the scholarly literature on the issue, and is a complicated read. Spoiler alert: the authors observe that "religious belief" and "morality" are each very squishy terms, and depending on how one defines either ... you can find evidence supporting most positions. The authors carefully never assert anything about whether
    there actually is anywhere a God or Gods or supernatural realm, and their study is firmly cross-cultural. They look at the phenomena both of religion and morality from an almost dizzying range of scholarly perspectives, disaggregating each into different constituent bits, and noting some relationships between those bits.

    And ultimately - people who are genuine participants in a religion (i.e. it's integral to their values and behaviour, not just lip service) show disproportionate pro-social behaviour in some respects (tested using things like the Prisoner's Dilemma), while also showing tendencies to anti-social behaviours which often associate with what we've before described as "tribalism."

    There are a raft of theories about why believers are incented to the pro-social stuff - ranging from practices intended to develop "habits" of kindness through to fear of retribution from supernatural observers. Opinion's predictably split over whether you're actually "moral" if your moral actions are compelled by fear, and the degree to which compulsion rather than gratitude are the prompts for kindness. It will vary, depending on the religious group.

    In all though, John, there is objective evidence that some religious practices do make one a more moral person. That's more likely to be the dominant result in a person's character when that's the flavour of religion one happens to be exposed to, and embraces. It's just that other religious communities highlight the identity-politics type aspects, which objectively tend to make one into a judgmental b@stard.
    I think this makes it overly complicated. I've known believers who stole, or worse. I've known non believers that would not think of stealing.

    Went to breakfast one day with a group. ALL very religious people, except for me. When the check came they looked it over and determined a mistake had been made, We were UNDERCHARGED $10, and all my religious friends were going to keep it.

    I suggested that if they check the math they are obligated to make a correction in either direction. After some thought, they agreed.
    May be some rough water ahead. We're getting new captain.

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