Movie News

And Now We Have A Lapsed Catholic's Views On RELIGULOUS!!

Published at: Aug. 5, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST by mrbeaks

Beaks here... Yesterday, we got an evangelical Christian's take on RELIGULOUS from longtime reader/talkbacker TheBigE. Today, we've got the opinion of SPW, who identifies himself as neither a "believer" nor a "non-believer". He was, however, born and raised Catholic, so you can safely assume that his high school years went exactly like this. How does a doubter feel about Bill Maher's wide-ranging inquisition? Read on...

(FYI, the cut of RELIGULOUS shown at the Traverse City Film Festival was not final.)

Hey there, Mr. Beaks, I just read the review you posted of ”Religulous” from the Traverse City Film Festival this year, and wanted to chime in with my own thoughts on the film; as I was also in attendance. As TheBigE stated, the festival itself is certainly starting to take form after the tremendous amount of work that Michael Moore and the other co-founders have put into getting it up and running these past years. Whether you agree with his politics or not, Moore has certainly started something here that I hope will continue to grow. With that said, it’s no Sundance… yet. In fact, a lot of the films that screened here were selections from this past year’s festival, as well as Cannes, SXSW, along with some first time stuff like ”Religulous”. Nevertheless, I feel pretty privileged to live here and to have the ability to go to the festival every year. I truly hope that it gains more attention in the years to come. Now, before seeing this film, I must say that I thought I knew exactly what I was going to see: Larry Charles setting up incompetent people in ordinary situations, only to have them met by an relentless force (Bill Maher) that takes them out of their element and reduces them to bumbling idiots - a la “Borat”. Taking into account the trailers that I’d seen online, and the extended preview that Charles played last year at the festival (he is also a board member), I was absolutely certain that it would be a religious take on “Borat”. To my surprise, this was not the case. It was actually something much more, and at times far more serious than comical. Sure, the film does set people up in hopes that they will fall or dig themselves a grave. But on the contrary, Maher does not victimize anyone. In actuality, he affords everyone he speaks with the upper hand: their faith. In the end, many of them do fall, and in some cases pretty hard, which all provides for the comedy of the film. My personal favorite is a teen patron of Holyland who immediately jumps on the chance to compare the birth of Christ to Anakin Skywalker in Episode 1. Remarkably though, no matter how far Maher displaces these individuals from logical thought, all remain adamant that what they believe is right… no matter how silly it may seem even to themselves, or to the rest of the world. Now before I get to my overall take on the film, I feel I must preface by stating my own beliefs, as I think most future reviewers of this film will intentionally or unknowingly do so. Perhaps it comes with the territory, or perhaps it’s because there is some sort of validity in balancing one’s reaction to his/her religious background. If this is the case, I’ll say that my own beliefs are a bit scattered. I was born and raised Catholic. Once I became a teen though, I immediately started distancing myself from the church as doubt (which all of us bear at some point) caused me to disagree with the faith. Today, I cannot consider myself a “believer” or “non-believer”. I simply feel that organization of religion merely gets in the way of what is important and that the messages which are meant to find us are often lost somewhere in the fine print. Now I don’t mean to preach, but in a sense, I am the very type of person that this film targets. Someone in between. That is, someone who is willing to criticize the absurdities of organized religion, but also someone unable to concede to a godless universe. What can I say? I have my doubts. ”Religulous” navigates this grey area of doubt quite well, and uses the fine print (which apparently no one really reads) merely as a starting point for conversation. What results from this conversation, are some pretty damn good questions that really all people should consider; of faith, or not. Oddly enough, not all these questions are necessarily confined to religion. Because of this, I feel ”Religulous” is a far more intelligent and balanced film than it presents itself to be. It’s a “think piece”… in many ways. Granted, there are a few times where the balance gets lost by Maher, as he himself begins to preach. Nevertheless, he does a pretty good job at restraining himself when he needs to. He also does a damn good job at winding his subjects up. Of course, the true fun comes when he just sits back and lets them go. All in all, I must say that I really enjoyed the film. If you are like me and go into this film expecting another “Borat”, you are either going to get more or less than what you bargained for, all depending on your perspective of religion (obviously). I will also say though, that if you are looking to be offended, the odds are pretty good. I guess you can call me a “believer”, because I really liked “Religulous”! On a distracting side-note: After the screening, as Larry Charles began fielding questions from the audience, he noted that there are over 14 additional hours of refined footage of the film that may or may not be converted into a TV series (HBO?). However, he said it would all be dependent on how the film performs in its fall release. Perhaps as a joke, or to assert a personal prediction, Charles asked audience members to raise their hands if they were a “believer” of some form of religion. He then asked the “non-believers” to raise their hands. Surprisingly, there were more “believers” in the audience.

One "fer", one "agin",and faith or a lack thereof is a deciding factor. Didn't see that coming at all!

Readers Talkback

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  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Borat 2 - Catholic Boogaloo

    by SpencerTrilby

    I'm not sold. And I'm an atheist.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Good lord!

    by tiltandflip

    no one here yet?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:12 p.m. CST

    allah akbar!

    by reckni

    Where is Mullah Omar?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Great Review.

    by Lucasblows

    I can't wait.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Tiltandflip

    by Lucasblows

    They are all still arguing in yesterday's Religulous talkback.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Argument: The Motion Picture

    by Heckles

    Watch for the sequels to Religous, including: Abortion, Evolution, and The Birdcage 2.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Religion? this talkback will fuckin EXPLODE

    by Seth Brundle

    obsolete superstitions about a god in the sky who takes care of you....against the hard cold facts of science

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Religion

    by kwisatzhaderach

    is the human response to being alive and having to die.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST

    All Religions are wrong and you're an idiot if you believe them

    by subtlety

    Whale Biologist!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    hmm..interesting

    by Bouncy X

    i went to catholic schools, both my grade school and high school and outside of a morning prayer over the intercom, there wasnt anything remotely religous about the school itself. i see and hear these stories about these harcore schools that totally push its religion on the kids and try and make it a way of life and i wonder if i just lucked out and got the crappy one. though the funny thing is that despite how little my schools pushed it, they are the reason i dont believe so whatever that means. lol this thing sound interesting though, i'll check it out when its on tv or whatever.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    I'll cast the first stone.

    by Lucasblows

    God does not exist. Jesus is a myth. Discuss.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Lucasblows

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Correct.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    One thing's for sure

    by drewlicious

    The future will be ruled by otters. Science damn you!!!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    I think Douglas Adams said it best:

    by kwisatzhaderach

    "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    @loserguy3000...

    by MCVamp

    "Getting Maher to moderate this 'discussion' is like asking a pedophile to coach after school T-ball." For someone bashing Maher, that was a very Maher-like joke. I'm not defending Maher, just an observation.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Order and progress in society?

    by Lucasblows

    Have you ever heard of a little place called the Middle East? That's the most religious region in the fucking world! By your classification, that should be the most orderly!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:37 p.m. CST

    drewlicious...

    by MCVamp

    Why do we cut down forests to make tables, when we have perfectly good tummies?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    if you believe the universe has a creator...

    by Seth Brundle

    then...who made the creator?, if you say the creator has no beginning or end, they why not save a step and say the universe has no beginning or end......then comes that joke of a pseudoscience, Theology trying to somewhat twist things so they fit their preconceived idea

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Religious debates

    by Eats_sandwich_gets_laid.

    Are pointless wastes of time. I've yet to meet a person who can succinctly deliver their beliefs in a way that makes sense to others. Take Brundle's statement: "obsolete superstitions about a god in the sky who takes care of you....against the hard cold facts of science" We can take this to mean that Brundle believes that there are NO gaps in science that could be attributed to God. Did Brundle say that? Not quite. The problem is that this is a subject people are going to be passionate about, and there is nothing you can do to swing either side either way.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST

    The only way religion can ever work in any society...

    by MCVamp

    Keep it to yourself. Teach it to your kids, try and convert a /husbandwife, decide whether or not the dog has a soul, etc...but when you walk out of the house, you keep your God-blessed mouth shut. Don't bring it up. If you have to pray over your food, do so with your mouth shut. If you wish to do charity work, do it with your mouth shut. You see a hungry guy on the street? Give him a dollar or a sandwich or a job. Don't give him a Bible. He can't eat a Bible. He can't drink a Bible. A Bible CAN keep him warm, but only if he burns it. I have my beliefs, but they are not your beliefs and yours are not mine. The best thing any of us can do is keep these beliefs to ourself, shut the fuck up and go about the important business of killing time until we die. You are not going to save by soul by throwing your religion in my face. You are just going to annoy me, and frankly, you aren't trying to save my soul, you're trying to get frequent flyer points on your own. Anyway, back to work.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Stengah, just pray for happiness

    by samsquanch

    That's what the poor and oppressed have been doing for millennia, and we all know that their poverty and oppression was lifted forthwith!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Lucasblows

    by tiltandflip

    Not sure if he is a myth or not...but he had great abs. Must have worked out like a fiend.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Bill Maher is a tool and here's why

    by ArcadianDS

    he's reduced himself to debating teenage ushers at low rent theme parks, and using his vast expertise and experience in debate to corral them, corner them, and flay their insides out of them.<p> *clap clap clap*<p> well played, Mr. Maher.<p> PS: in all honesty, he publically praised the courage of the 9/11 hijackers, attempting to convince his 1.8 viewership ratings that it takes courage, not cowardace, to blow yourself up in a plane full of civilians. Class act, he is.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Eats Sandwich- did I understand you correctly?

    by samsquanch

    Are you saying that if there happens to be a gap in the scientific method, that gap is God? I hope not, that would be a huge leap of logic. There have been many, many gaps in science that have been filled...by science. Assuming that the gaps still remaining is any kind of proof that God exists is pretty flimsy, to say the least. Science isn't religion's adversary, it is simply a method for discovering truth. That is it's agenda.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST

    ArcadianDS

    by Lucasblows

    You are taking when he said out of context. He was not applauding or condoning the act. Would you hijack a plane and fly it into a building for something you believe in? Probably not. Which comes back to why religion is evil in the first place. You have a whole region of people convinced that doing shit like that gets you into Heaven. Nothing else on the planet can convince a man to hijack a plane and fly it into a building. Except God. If someone believes they are doing something in the name of God they will find the "courage" to do almost anything. It's brainwashing at the highest level.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Grueman, I'm glad you're ready to respect other opinions

    by samsquanch

    Because your idea that Religion is the foundation of order and progress(!) society is an incredibly weak one. I'll give you that Religion is an organizing principle, but that isn't necessarily a good thing. It is a system of control, like any other. Control is not 'order', and certainly not 'progress'. Societies can and do operate just fine without religions. They of course have other organizing principles, other systems of control, but there's nothing about religion that is essential to a society. the last 200 years have proven that point pretty well.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:16 p.m. CST

    MCVamp

    by d-lee

    What Bill Maher forgot to report is that the number one indicator of money and time given to charity is being a conservative, the second is being 'religous'. Say what you will about the beliefs of different religions, but statistically speaking they are practicing what they preach.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:16 p.m. CST

    its not out of context. not at all.

    by ArcadianDS

    he said they showed courage. Now, from where I come from, taking out an opponent by taking yourself out, is a coward move. It means you dont have to face your foe. You dont have to suffer his counter-moves. You dont have to risk losing. You simply take both of you out at once.<p> not courage. True courage faces its enemies toe to toe. Bill Maher, on the other hand, thinks suicide bombers are courageous and he demonstrates that courage by engaging in battles of wits with teenage kids, then invites us to watch and laugh as he does it.<p> the man is an ass, and lets not confuse him for some philosophical giant - he's a stand-up comedian. Its schtick he's doing, not biting social commentary. he's doing it for the luls like an asshat in a necktie.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Sorry

    by d-lee

    Sorry MCVamp, that wasnt directed at anyone in particular. I wrote your name in there to respond to something you wrote, but ended up writing something different.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:19 p.m. CST

    What teenage kids are you talking about?

    by Lucasblows

    I watch Real Time every week and see him interview a panel senators and authors and actors, both Conservative and Liberal alike (never one teenager). So... WTF are you talking about?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:21 p.m. CST

    by Lucasblows

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST

    I'm an atheist, and this film looks crappy to me.

    by samsquanch

    I don't think this film will help atheists. You don't raise yourself in the eyes of the world by being a surly, self-righteous bully. You don't win an argument by making fun of your opponent. This film just seems petty and cynical to me.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:23 p.m. CST

    And not that I want to get on the whole war issue...

    by Lucasblows

    ...but we bomb allot of people who can't bomb back. Not really face to face.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:25 p.m. CST

    you just failed it

    by ArcadianDS

    I never ONCE said that our bombing of people on the other side of our planet was 'courage', so you fizzle and wither on that point.<p> on the other hand, Mr Maher IS ON RECORD saying that suicide bombers use courage.<p>

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Maher The Balless Wonder

    by Darkplanet

    It's easy to pick on religion as most of them are like a bad movie full of plot holes. Any dolt could make a movie like Religulous. What is much harder is questioning consensus reality and government spin. Maher used to be good at this until he started chumming around with Orielly and forcibly ejecting people from his audience who question the governments "official story" on 9/11. What a sickening, cowardly display that was. I won't see this film simply because Maher has played into that disgusting, knee jerk, spin machine which casts any intelligent, questioning observer as some kind of unpatriotic nutjob. Bill lost his balls and stopped asking real questions when he sold out to Fox news.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Do you believe in Unicorns?

    by FILMFUNK

    Because Unicorns are in the bible and we all know that they only exist in Ridley Scott Movies! so someones chattin shit!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST

    What atheists bully others?

    by eric haislar

    I am a atheists and I never bullied others for there beliefs. I know plenty that don't as well. You have your beliefs we have ours. But we do Like to have heated discussions every once and a while. If anything thing I can't begin to tell you how many times someone has come up to me and told me right out i'm going to hell when they find out I am a atheist. If anything they bully us by trying to save our souls.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST

    samsquanch What atheists bully others?

    by eric haislar

    I am a atheists and I never bullied others for there beliefs. I know plenty that don't as well. You have your beliefs we have ours. But we do Like to have heated discussions every once and a while. If anything thing I can't begin to tell you how many times someone has come up to me and told me right out i'm going to hell when they find out I am a atheist. If anything they bully us by trying to save our souls.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Lucasblows

    by d-lee

    The idea that a provoked bombing response is the same as a suprise terror attack on U.S. is a slap in the face to the soldier who served in world war 2. Would you put the Japenese pilots who attacked Pearl Harbor in the same as breath as the U.S. Pilots who bombed Japan? The idea pf moral equivalency between terrorists and U.S. soldiers is embaressing.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:29 p.m. CST

    I didn't deny he said it.

    by Lucasblows

    But reading it, and actually listening to the discussion that was had are two different things.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Lucas, Arcadian

    by samsquanch

    I remember hearing from a pilot that the thing about suicide bombing is that it's essentially the 'poor man's airstrike'. He explained that by saying that if you have a wealthy, powerful military, you can drop a bomb from an airplane and anonymously take out a crowd of people, and the targets won't know what hit them. If you're a poor, guerilla force with no airforce you can achieve the same thing tactically with a suicide bombing. it's cheap, cheaper than an airstrike, if you don't consider the life of the suicide bomber, which no one really does. <p> This explanation was a strictly military observation, not a tacit defense or support of any particular suicide bomber or the practice of suicide bombing in particular, just a certain perspective on the phenomenon. <p> I guess the most you can infer from it is that both airstrikes and suicide bombings rest on the same ethical level, at least from an objective point of view. <p> Those who live in glass houses, and all that, huh?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    And I'm still waiting for you to explain where

    by Lucasblows

    he's debating teenagers.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:32 p.m. CST

    by d-lee

    I would argue that the U.S. pilots were coragous during ww2, suffering a 66% casuality rate. They were the only country involved in daylight raids over germany. Bombing can be brave, but not when the target is innocent intentionally civillians.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST

    on being brave

    by eric haislar

    anyone who gives there life for a cause is brave. Debate settled.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Arcadian and Darkplanet

    by CondomWrapper

    Arcadian: Bill Maher despises suicide bombers and is a very strong critic of radical Islam. He also is a strong supporter of Israel. Darkplanet: Bill Maher kicked those douchebags out of his audience because they were disrupting the show. I saw the episode where it happened and Maher was right to toss those fools out.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Acadian DS

    by Kuffs

    While in no way would I ever condone suicide bombings- I do think it takes a certain amount of courage to commit the said atrocious act. To sacrifice yourself in the name of something you believe in (while it may be immensely stupid and morally reprehensible) is far from cowardly. I think this is what Maher was attempting to get at.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Carlin said it best...

    by Heckles

    "...if you read your history you know that god is one of the leading causes of death and has been for thousands of years. Hindus, Moslems, Christians, Jews, all taking turns killing one another, because god told them it was a good idea. The sword of god, the blood of the lamb, Vengeance is mine, onward Christian soldiers. Millions of dead people. All because they gave the wrong answer to the god Question: Do you believe in god? No. BAM! Dead. How about you? Do you believe in god? Yes. Do you believe in MY god? No. BAM! Dead! My god has a bigger dick than your god. For thousands of years all the bloodiest and most brutal wars have been based on religious hatred."

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Carlin is wrong

    by CondomWrapper

    The bloodiest and worst of conflicts have been based on money and power such as WWI and WWII.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:41 p.m. CST

    d-lee, no, it's not embarrassing, it's interesting.

    by samsquanch

    American bombers burned Tokyo to cinders with tactical firebombing, leveling the city and killing more people with simple fire than both atomic bombs combined. The same thing happened in Dresden. I'm not criticizing the decision to carry out these attacks, nor the pilots who carries out the orders, but it is an interesting to watch people attempt to ascribe some kind of civilian morality to atrocious acts committed during wartime. You can't have it both ways. War is war, the good guys are the ones who are defending you, the bad guys are the ones trying to kill you. It depends on what side of the fence you're on. <p> Terrorism is something else, granted, but again, trying to ascribe some kind of civilian morality to it fall short of explaining it. Some people consider what we did to Japan with the bomb was worse than their attack on Pearl. It's a slippery slope, to start claiming objectivity, when you're clearly not.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Darkplanet

    by Lucasblows

    You said: "Any dolt could make a movie like Religulous " and then you say "I won't see this film..." How do you know this without seeing it first? From a mostly positive review?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST

    by d-lee

    I think the point Maher fails to realize is that all beliefs involve doubt to some extent. Whether you are a christian or an atheist, there is elements that troubles both parties. For example, Christians have to wrestle with many supernatural stories in the scriptures that are difficult to believe. On the flip side, atheists have to confront a random, chaotic universe, mostly devoid of meaning, which is the outcome of many of their beliefs. I think I can confidently say both parties have doubts. It is not as though atheists have an air tight case, as over 90% of the american public still believe in a higher power. I believe most people come to their beliefs honestly, but the question of God and religion is not 'settled' as many athiests would like to paint it as being. Until question of where energy and matter came from, and how life began, are answered convincingly, the questions will remain. In addition, all intellectuals are not in the corner of the Athiests. There are numerous Christians who are accomplished intellectualy, including John Lennox and Allister McGrath.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Samsquanch...

    by Blue_Demon

    Sorry about the copy and paste...I wrote this in the other talkback just as you left.<p>If the 150 million killed in this century had little to do with Communism, then they had even less to do with religion. I like your view of this human instinct we label good coming from within us. I don't agree with it, but it is a sweet thought (and no, I'm not being a wise-ass.) This view of yours, that religion was based on this human trait kind of proves the point I want to make that religion, if based on good, is good! I agree, the absense of religion does not denote the absense of morality. There are some wonderful atheists out there, just as there are some vile Christians. You say that the fact that atheists commit evil acts is not because they are atheists. Okay, I can go with that. Where I have to disagree with you is where you say that Religious crimes are commited BECAUSE of the religion of the criminal. You say that various crimes are carried out by true believers "honestly thinking they were doing their deity's will." That's the key phrase here. Up on the talkbalk I said that people commit atrocities not BECAUSE of their religion, but IN SPITE of their religion. It is because of a horrific misinterpretation of faith that these murders occur. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that it is okay for a person who disagrees with abortion should kill an abortion doctor. Using your view, that religion was based on the goodness of man and not the other way around, then religion is probably a way to what? Articulate that feeling? Then it is a good thing. I feel religion, at its core, is here to make the world a better place. I must say, I have enjoyed this exchange. It's nice to run into somebody who disagrees with me who doesn't resort to name-calling. The word "douchebag" gets use more in talkbacks than on the floor of a douchebag factory. :)<p>You articulated your points very well and you gave a clear view as to how you think about this topic. I hope I gave just as clear a view as to how I think about this topic.<p>And now...back to work again. *sigh*

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Heckles

    by Lucasblows

    I believe Carlin said "Millions of dead mother fuckers." But, a great quote nonetheless!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:43 p.m. CST

    CondomWrapper

    by eric haislar

    Carlin is right. Religion is the root of all evil.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:45 p.m. CST

    put down your fucking whopper with cheese and think

    by juice willis

    the justification of the murder of innocent civilians to advance a strategic agenda is the same fucking thing whether you're a radical muslim or a uniformed military officer. really, in the end what is the difference? what's the difference between the passengers of the hijacked flights on 9/11 and the residents of the neighborhoods that were obliterated in the arial bombardment of baghdad? they all died because the value of their lives were deemed less important than the end goal of each side. in this regard the average gung-ho american is no better than their fanatical muslim counterpart.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:46 p.m. CST

    juice willis

    by eric haislar

    Bravo Sir I could not have said it better myself.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Atheist here...

    by macheesmo3

    But I don't like witch hunts . To me it's just not cool to ambush people when they are out shopping or whatever just so you can prove your little point about being right. Plus , contrary to what many Tb'ers here think, just because you make somebody look foolish doesn't mean you are right . How is this accomplishing anything ? I think religion is silly , dangerous and primitive and we as a species , should be beyond it . But that doesn't mean that the peace of mind brought by faith to billions of people is "wrong" , it does have value and to run it all down as just a bunch of ignaorant hillbillies or dumb republicans or something is kinda lame and easy .. I am not impressed .

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:47 p.m. CST

    by d-lee

    I was not claiming to be an objective, and the idea that Good is relative is a far mor slipper slope. If the definition of Good is the side you are fighting on, then you are lettin culture define what the term means. Therefore, Mousillini was 'Good' to the Italian citizens. Clearly this explains why he was hung and drug through the streets of his own country by his own people. Other examples would include American citizens impressed by the British nave, who were forced to fight against the French. Not all soldiers and citizens agree with the war their fighting, so therefore the idea of Good and Evil in war time must be an objective fact.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST

    LMFAO

    by macheesmo3

    I misspelled ignorant !!! ( well was actually a typo , but still funny !

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Grueman, the Egyptians didn't build their pyramids.

    by samsquanch

    They got slaves to do it for them.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST

    JuiceWillis

    by d-lee

    It is clearly not the same, becuase you are not looking at the end Goals of the respective parties. The terrorists want to, in their own words, destroy america and Israel, and insitute a world wide islamic government. America, on the whole, wants democracy and peace. You can draw comparisons to how they accomplish these goals, but America does not intentionally attack civilians.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    CondomWrapper- tell that to the Jews

    by Heckles

    Some might disagree.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    d-lee

    by eric haislar

    America does not want democracy. We want to push our beliefs on other lesser "countries" and get them to do things our way. We go where it is benifical to us. If we really wanted to help we would be in Africa now helping those people end there silly civil war and mass genocide.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:57 p.m. CST

    There is no God, may he strike me dead...

    by Lashlarue

    Oh, wait... scratch that.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

    erichaislar

    by Lucasblows

    But there's no oil in Africa! And it would have been tough for Bush to try and connect them to 911 and claim they have WMD's. So to Iraq we go.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:58 p.m. CST

    whole talkback full of idiots

    by ArcadianDS

    show me where I said that our strategic bombings were 'good' or 'valid' or 'heroic'?<p> next time you open your stupid flap and want to talk about my glass house, try to make sure yours isnt totally full of bullshit first.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Atheists have a religion.

    by Lashlarue

    It's called the " being a prick to everyone disagrees with you religion".

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 3:59 p.m. CST

    d-lee

    by juice willis

    brush up on your knowledge of the history of the middle east and the western powers' foreign policy in the region, specifically post world war one. otherwise, it's pointless for me to engage you in any kind of discourse on the subject.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    ArcadianDS

    by Lucasblows

    Still waiting for you to explain the teenager thing.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Lashlarue

    by eric haislar

    Now who is being the prick.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Tell that to the good people of Dresden...

    by palimpsest

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:02 p.m. CST

    oh here we go with the pyramids

    by ArcadianDS

    the wonder of the pyramids is not in their construction, but in their engineering. The Jews didn't design or engineer anything. If you feel you must attribute something to them, then i suggest you applaud their ability to carry heavy stones while being whipped by Egyptian taskmasters.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Atheists have a religion.

    by Lucasblows

    It's called defending yourself when people act like your the crazy person for not believing in the invisible man who lives in the sky.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Lucasblows

    by ArcadianDS

    read the article, dumbdumb.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Lucasblows

    by eric haislar

    I know right. But man America is so JUST and RIGHT. We help everyone......only if you pay up in the end.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:06 p.m. CST

    ArcadianDS

    by Lucasblows

    Oh, you are referring to the movie you haven't seen. Ah, it appears your are the "dumbdumb" fuckhead.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:07 p.m. CST

    the invisible man who lives in the sky

    by Lashlarue

    Uh-huh. This what I am talking about. Do you think making fun of someone's beliefs will somehow convert that person? Oh, you called God the invisible man who lives in the sky! Now, I see how stupid I was! Thank you Lucasblows. Thank you.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:07 p.m. CST

    But Grueman, how they built them is just as relevant

    by samsquanch

    As why. <p> My point was that you can't point to the wonderful monuments of religion and claim them as evidence of religion's inherent 'good' for the world. The people who built those monuments certainly didn't think it was a good idea. religion has been a good thing for some people sometimes, but just as often it has been a method of subjugation. You can't have one without the other, and to deny one in favor of the other is disingenuous, to say the least. Were the beautiful religious murals painted by Michelangelo worth 5 centuries of the Inquisition? Religion is equally responsible for both, you can't cherry-pick.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:08 p.m. CST

    You threw the first stone buddy.

    by Lucasblows

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Lashlarue

    by eric haislar

    Dude chill out you started this with your comment. Your also validating his point by acting like he is crazy man.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:09 p.m. CST

    I'm not your buddy, guy!

    by Lashlarue

    <p>

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    I'm not your guy, Man

    by eric haislar

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    read the article dumbdumb

    by ArcadianDS

    are you suggesting that something NOT in the movie was planted into the article?<p> whose the dumb dumb now?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Well, I should have also stated...

    by Lashlarue

    that this what all religious people do as well. Atheists, Christians, Muslims, Jews... What's the difference? They all try to cram their beliefs down your throat!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Lashlarue

    by Lucasblows

    First of all, you are in a talkback for a Atheist film, how do you expect a response to that post to go? And secondly, props for the South Park reference.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST

    I don't mind Bill Maher so much...

    by drewlicious

    But I hate his studio audience. It bares in mind yet another thing that George Carlin said, as long as we're quoting him, that we're all just stroking ourselves. I guess that can be applied to most large gatherings of people, (yes, like church) but his audience seems more obnoxious than most.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Lucas, here's a lesson for you

    by ArcadianDS

    first rule of digging holes is when you've dug yourself deep into one, stop digging.<p> You've tripped on your poncho with a couple people already. Dust yourself off and walk away.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Props to Lucasblows

    by Lashlarue

    For he does in fact blow. Stop George Lucas from ruining Great Movies Franchises petition starts here!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:16 p.m. CST

    Jesus Freaks are delusional

    by BladeRazor

    It's disturbing to read some of these faith posts. If their bible said the Earth was flat they would probably believe it. Oh wait, the good book does say that. Hmmm... It also says the sun goes around the Earth. It also says the Earth is 6,000 years old and everything was created perfectly in 6 days by the imaginary man. It never mentions dinosaurs, atoms or germs. It says it’s ok to kill homosexuals. Nothing has stifled progress in the world more than religion. The faithful work backwards from this old book of prehistoric writings and dispose of science when it doesn’t conform to their book of myths. Even more disturbing is that they pollute their children’s impressionable minds with this garbage. 100% of peer-reviewed scientists across the world agree with Evolution by natural selection. The greatest thinkers and scientists throughout history have all been non-theists: Galileo, Twain, Einstein, Salk, Sagan- and more recently Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. The most charitable people in history are also non-religious: Bill Gates and Warren Buffet- who give billions to charities. I hope someday we dispose of the divisive make-believe that holds us back as a society. Atheists are not the bag guys. We are the free-thinkers of the world. Nobody ever killed anybody in the name of atheism.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:18 p.m. CST

    ArcadianDS

    by Lucasblows

    I've dug no such hole. You on the other hand are, indeed a moron.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:18 p.m. CST

    I Corinthians 1:18, 25

    by greyspecter

    "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." <p>"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."<p> I can't talk atheists out of their beliefs, nor into mine. But it sure is fun to try, right?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Yep im the moron

    by ArcadianDS

    you chastized me for something I didn't say (condoning airstrikes), and then you asked me to show you a reference you didn't recognize. when i showed you it was in the article you obviously did NOT read, you then shifted on your heels and said, "ZOMG YOU DI'UNT SEE DA MOVIE SO SHADDAP", which is about the most pathetic attempt at saving face while baring one's ass at the same time that I have witnessed in quite some time. Now we've already seen your bare ass. If you keep waggling it around, it will cease to be a novelty.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Nothing has stifled progress in the world more than religion.

    by Lashlarue

    Uh... You might want to read some history books there, BladeRazor. Who invented the printing press? Where did that wonderful theory of relativity come from? Was Charles Darwin an Atheist? <p> Now, if you want to say that at times religious organizations held back human progress because it was contrary to their beliefs, then I could agree with you.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Okay, here goes.

    by greyspecter

    Atheism itself doesn't encourage murder and oppression. What it does do is relativize morality. If there is no absolute morality irregardless of date, locale, or social trend, then whatever one chooses to believe is subject to their individual wants and desires.<p> The problem comes when what I want to believe (and what therefore motivates my behavior) conflicts with somebody else's motives and behaviors. So the problem stems from everybody doing whatever is right in their own eyes. How as atheists do you get around that?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Noah's Ark

    by BladeRazor

    (Continued from earlier TB) "…surly, self-righteous bully." I haven't seen the film so I don't know if there is any bullying. Christians and other religious kooks usually will dig their own grave when you simply ask them the age the Earth or about Dinosaurs or about the “talking snake” fable. Or ask them how Noah loaded pairs of all the Earth’s animal species onto a 3,000 year old wooden boat- and why the tigers didn’t eat the lambs. It all makes for some great entertainment without any bullying required. From the trailer it looks as though that was Maher’s approach.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Grueman, go back and please read my posts

    by samsquanch

    you obviously haven't yet.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Is it just me or...?

    by Kasch

    ...does the modern atheist movement seem to have as many blind followers as religion? Hell, it's almost like it's BECOME a religion. I'm not religious in the slightest, but folks like Dawkins and Hitchens say some pretty insane things and the folks listening don't seem to challenge them. We need more true skeptics out there who can be skeptical about self-proclaimed skeptics. By the way, Bill Maher is just preaching to the choir. This film won't change anything.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    BladeRazor, I will answer all your questions herein.

    by ArcadianDS

    My answer is:<p> "read it yourself. I dont have time."<p> now wasn't that simple and to the point? If I continued to barrage you with an endless list of words and demanded that you offer me the definitions to them, wouldn't you eventually resign to telling me to grab a dictionary and look them up myself? Thats what Im telling you. Im not here to respond to your inquisitives - if you really want to know, you can look it up.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:26 p.m. CST

    ArcadianDS

    by Lucasblows

    ...I'm done with you. You said his career was reduced to debating teenagers in malls. He Dude I'm not trying to save face. You claimed his career was reduced to debating teenagers in strip malls. Maher has his own show on HBO and a movie coming out (obviously). So, you are, in fact, an idiot. I'll excuse you, because maybe they don't get HBO in your trailer park. But, I've actually been talking about religion here.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:27 p.m. CST

    greyspecter

    by eric haislar

    Dude Why? I don't give a shit about your god. Did you ever think we welcome the hellfire. It least i will have live my life the way i wanted to and better then how you lived yours.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:29 p.m. CST

    wow how did you know i owned a trailer?

    by ArcadianDS

    its inside the 2nd garage around back being refitted for sale. Sucks because the boat and the Duley have to park in the back lot until I get around to finishing. Fortunately, I can keep the 2 sedans and the Honda in the front garage, so at least I can keep 3 rides clean and shiny.<p> But your concern is appreciated nonetheless.<p> And Bill Maher, the stand-up comedian, remains a tool.<p> Also, I sling yet another internet insult at you and await your inevitable and unavoidable retort.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:33 p.m. CST

    But Grey, Religion is subject to the same critique

    by samsquanch

    The only way that your opinion would be workable is if there was simply one religious, uniform belief system that everyone (except atheists) took as gospel. The problems we can point to in the world are exactly what you describe, but it's not because there is 'relativistic morality' due to LACK of faith, but because there are too many incompatible belief systems. Obviously, the existence of religion has not mitigated these problems, in fact, one could argue they have perpetuated them, even institutionalized them and entrenched them within our cultures through centuries of conflict. <p> You ask how one can know the difference between right and wrong? That's the question, and the seeking of the answer, that makes us human. You're right, laws change, but so does religion. Religion used to BE law, it still is in some places, but then, we had the age of reason, the enlightenment, the advent of science, etcetera, true investigations into the mysteries and paradoxes of the human spirit, and those explorations continue today. The only people I would consider truly morally suspect are the ones who have convinced themselves that they are above such speculation, that all their thinking on the matter has been done for them, thousands of years ago. I've argued elsewhere that religion is not the genesis of morality, but in fact religion is the codification of morality. Morality came first, and humans constructed religion around it, and then claimed sole propriety over a much older, much more innate and natural instinct toward 'good'. This of course attacks the common religious belief that religion isn't a human construct at all, which is where it becomes impossible to argue, but there you have it. <p> The most effective way of preventing someone from reaching their destination is to convince them that they are already there.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Grue, I guess it depends on what you mean by 'progress'

    by samsquanch

    and 'order'. Totalitarianism is considered 'order' and 'progress' by the people who wield the power. I guess it depends on what level of privilege you imagine yourself enjoying in whatever society you're using as an example.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:40 p.m. CST

    religious nutcases

    by Mr_X

    why can't we all get along?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:41 p.m. CST

    grueman

    by eric haislar

    We are not trying to gain anything. We just want to live is that so bad. We think the idea of a god is silly. There is nothing more to it. Look you believe in god. YAY good for you, go worship him. I will not stop you. I just ask for you not to shove your beliefs on me.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:41 p.m. CST

    samsquanch

    by ArcadianDS

    thats a great post. I dont agree with much of it, but you make a compelling argument. In that spirit, I can only offer you this response: I agree that there is an innate and natural instinct toward 'good' - however, I dont believe that this instinct towards goodness is the result of a chemical cocktail accidentally stumbled upon by nature amid an endless series of incomprehensibly improbably rolls of the genetic dice. I believe that innate instinct was put there for a purpose, by a purposed being. We can disagree on that, and thats fine. But this talkback demonstrates exactly why in reality, it isn't fine. All it takes is the first doucebag to say something asinine and insulting, and then there is a need to respond back, and it escalates, and it grows, and it increases, and then, well - thats how it always seems to play out.<p> If people of faith and true atheists could just learn to ignore one another, we wouldn't have this problem. But its an endless barrage of "invisible sky man" insults and "I have something you aren't worthy of" retorts that always always ALWAYS escalate and reach a fever pitch. At different times in human history, different sides have played the aggressor - so neither can play the victim card. But at times when there is peace, or even a passive aggression, the ones that cast the first stone need to be stomped flat, swiftly and firmly. Its the only way to keep the aggression passive.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:43 p.m. CST

    grueman

    by Lucasblows

    Why does anyone need to gain an identity from religion? I have a sense of belonging through family, friends and co-workers. I think you have an odd view of Atheists. I think without the shackles of having to live by a strict code outline by an ancient religion gives me more hope. I live my life my way free of fear of judgement. But, it also isn't like you choose to not believe in God. You just don't.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Most Atheists are hypocrites...

    by FSJGuy

    Unless i missed something, scientists haven't PROVEN there is no God, so therefor its a belief...no different that believing that there is a God...its just more socially acceptable to make fun of religious people now days.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    the point sam,

    by greyspecter

    is the difference between a theistic and non-theistic worldview. Which religion is more "right" is a far different subject, with more pitfalls and prevarications. My question is how morality sans an absolute is anything other than pure preference. Morality may have "evolved" before religion codified it formally, but what makes the morality of eating one's neighbor more morally righteous than loving him? Why can't I walk into a store and take whatever I want without paying for it if I believe it's okay? Ultimately, i guess I'm saying that atheism taken to its logical conclusion results in chaos and anarchy.<p> erich, Why what? Why quote scripture? Why believe in God? Well, I love Him because He first loved me. If that isn't good enough for you, then I can't answer your question any better. Though I'm curious; how do you define living your life better than me?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    grueman

    by eric haislar

    Dude i was not mocking you. I was telling you what you asked I think its silly. I'm sorry if Offended you I was not trying to. I was just letting you know how i think.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:46 p.m. CST

    I'm tired...

    by Dominic-Vobiscum

    of all these biased "documentaries" where the filmmaker has an obvious axe to grind and just wants to "get" people.<br><br> This movie sounds no different than "Super Size Me" or "Bowling for Columbine" in that it has an obvious agenda and pretends to inform while only preaching to the converted.<br><br> As long as it's not another "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?...eh, who cares? Let's talk about me, Morgan Spurlock, because I'm fucking awesome and you should all bow down before my not-gay-at-all moustache."

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST

    FSJGuy

    by Lucasblows

    Atheists are outnumbered by the vast amount of religious people in various religions. So how is it more socially acceptable to make fun of religious people nowadays? Personally, I tell people I don't believe in God and I get the crazy look.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST

    FSJGuy

    by Seth Brundle

    you dont prove a negative, the burden of proof is in the hands of the person making the affirmation, namely christians saying that their god exist

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Religions isn't the problem -- people are!

    by Rev. Slappy

    Most world religions teach good lessons. The problem is not with the religion itself but in some of the idiots who practice religion. Here in the US we have seen large numbers of Christians essentially abandon the teachings of Christ and taking on a mantra of hate and a lust for political power. Other than his claiming to be a Christian, there isn't much of W's policies that reflect the teachings of Jesus.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:49 p.m. CST

    FSJGuy

    by eric haislar

    Same thing here man. When people find out they just bombard me with crab i don't want to hear. I CHOOSE to no believe in god and I mind my own business. But when someone attacks me for my beliefs i have to explain it to them i they get angry is just silly.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:50 p.m. CST

    seth

    by greyspecter

    the scientific method is as follows: form a hypothesis, DISPROVE it if possible. If not, then it's a theory. Any pure scientist would tell you there are no facts, just theories that haven't been disproven. So, if I said that life exists on Alpha Centauri, the burden of proof lies with me to disprove it. If I say there's no God, well, you know.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:51 p.m. CST

    My favorite color is red

    by ArcadianDS

    yeah well mine is blue, and furthermore, red is complete bullshit.<p> The problem with all these debates comes after the word "furthermore..." - why do people INSIST on adding these cheap shots to footnote debates that amount to little more than declaring what your favorite color may or may not be? Thats where the strife comes from.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:51 p.m. CST

    FSJGuy

    by daniel.el.leon

    Someone already mentioned burden of proof but aren't you also a hypocrite for not believing in Thor or Quetzalcoatl? There is no proof one way or the other of their existence but most would dismiss them. I can't prove to you that invisible pink unicorns don't exist but why should it be given a 50/50 chance in the first place?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Offended?

    by BladeRazor

    I know that the faithful are offended when they are called out on their nonsense beliefs that encroach into our secular government and ultimately keep the country in make-believe land. However, as a person who rejects biblical myths in favor of science I have been offended my entire life with unconstitutional infractions like faith-based initiatives, tax-free churches on every street corner, “In god we trust” stuck on our currency and our pledge in 1954, and derogatory put-downs of Atheists in the TV media. Atheists are the most criticized group of people in this country. They can’t even run for office. There are 17% of us who don’t subscribe to a religion in this country and even more in European countries. We will continue to fortify that crumbling wall that divides church and state. I'm rooting for this film. It's certainly a first!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    gruman

    by Lucasblows

    I preach because I usually have to defend myself from the sad "I'll pray for you look" or the "He's lost look." It becomes a defense mechanism I suppose. I'll guess most non-believers have experienced the same.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    greyspecter

    by ArcadianDS

    in the 20th century, scientists all agreed that if a theory remains unchalanged long enough, we can go ahead and assume it to be a law. Thus evolution is no longer a theory. Because imperical evidence has been discovered? Nope. It is a law because they said so. Prior to the 20th century, that never would have happened. This is what becomes of science when it embraces agenda. It loses its fulcrum.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Greyspecter

    by toshiro-solo

    Speaking as an atheist, I guess I would say that our sense of morality stems from an innate ability to feel empathy for other people. We have the ability to put ourselves into other peoples' shoes. Based on that, MOST people know that eating your neighbor is "immoral" because we know that we could be that neighbor, and we wouldn't want to be eaten. That said, inevitably, when you're comparing two sets of morals, there will be some situations where the two moralities clash, and when that happens, the imperfect process of making a judgment about which belief is "better" than the other comes into play. Hence a rule of law, with people who legislate behavior, people who enforce that legislation, and people who judge those who are accused as transgressors. It ain't perfect (in fact, it's very humanistically fallible), but it doesn't pretend to an infallible "absolute" that was as invented as anything else that's been invented by humanity. And I think that's where the biggest crack in your argument's facade comes into focus; any absolute proscribed by any religion is simply another person's viewpoint that was codified at some point as infallible. Not to say that most religious moralities aren't good sets of rules to live by, but - they're a man made tool just like any other man made tool. Like the laws that I, as an atheist, will abide by. No disrespect, but - this is the most common argument against atheism, and I wanted to respond.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Arcadian, thanks, also a great post.

    by samsquanch

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST

    BladeRazor just made my point

    by ArcadianDS

    in a discussion like this, he feels that the only way to validate his own position is the insult, slander, and slur the other opinion. What this actually demonstrates is a lack of confidence in his own position, so he needs to erode all others in order to make is own feel rock solid.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    "[atheists] cant even run for office..."

    by ArcadianDS

    NO HYPERBOLE PLEASE. An atheist is perfectly within his right to run for public office. The problem is that because so few people believe as he does, he will never be elected. this isn't a sign that our nation is governed by religion - its a sign that our nation is governed by officials elected by a majority of voters. thats a good thing.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:57 p.m. CST

    wow.... ....

    by Zach_Talks_Back

    One uh thing here. The pyramids weren't built by the Egyptians. Its kind of a known fact now that they pre-date that civilization. I Think its so great that finally people whom find the bible to be the horrible bullshit that it is, can speak out more and more. I remember when i was in middle school and felt so alienated in my own head because by then I had already called BS on the book and where I lived saying you didn't believe in god was outrageous. Now I feel there is finally a back lashing against these insane beliefs. Which there should be. How can any person look me in the eyes and tell me they believe in a creator? That they believe any of the sick, racist, child killing, sexist, unintelligent fantasy that is the bible. Why not just believe in elves, dwarves and wizards fighting an all seeing eye from a volcanic land behind a black evil wall. LOTR is the second best selling book next to the bible ya know. Of course people don't take it THAT seriously, why would they. Its just a book. You need more proof for a belief system that just a book right? There has to be some sort of actual historical documentation on Jesus in all the other artifactual documents and writings from that time period right? "There's not? Shit well I Still have faith and that's better than proof"....Um no its not. Faith in the fact that this life is just your path to the next is bad, real bad. Why to you think people don't give a shit about draining the earth of oil. Polluting the planet. Cutting down the trees. Its because people believe we own thee planet, and we can destroy it because we are going to heaven or hell and this world is temporary. That's the human ego talking. In the dawn of man we achieved a consciene. We saw the sun and knew it was our light and heat. So we worshiped it. We made it what we know. A human. We reveled in our intellect building weapons and structures. Praised the sun for the ability. How could something so smart as us, so in control of the world around us be a mere animal, we are special. That's the problem that people need to just drop and walk away from. Humans aren't special. We are just creative/destructive animals. We are not here for a reason.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:57 p.m. CST

    ArcadianDS - Huh?

    by BladeRazor

    "wouldn't you eventually resign to telling me to grab a dictionary and look them up myself?" Problem is, Religious people don't use the dictionary or modern-day encyclopedias to answer the questions that overwhelm them. They use their 2000 year old bible that was written when the Earth was believed to be flat.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    56

    by AINCFullofretardedneocons

    @reckni: Next to dead kike central.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Grey, when you star talking "logical conclusions", it gets slipp

    by samsquanch

    I don't want to get into the philosophical speculations of what happens if you were to take the idea of a heavenly afterlife, for example, to it's "logical conclusion" (why are you still here on shitty old earth?) Because I think we can both agree that our every decision and action is not controlled by our belief systems. There is something innate in what it means to be human that is larger than our religion, or our atheism, or our politics, nationality, race, gender, etc. Being human is all those things and more combined, so asking why an atheist doesn't just walk into a store and take what he wants without paying completely ignores, stupidly, if you will forgive me, the larger, glaringly obvious realities around us. I could ask you why I don't understand why religious people don't just starve to death staring at the sky with their mouths open waiting for God to feed them manna when they get hungry, except that I won't, because that would be stupid.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    JAYWALKING: THE MOTION PICTURE

    by Mullah Omar

    Is that basically what this is? Albeit with a focus on religious questions?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:01 p.m. CST

    besides

    by samsquanch

    it always comes down to that- Religious people truly, honestly believe that Religion is required for humans to behave morally and ethically with one another. Who knows, maybe that's true for some people, maybe it's true for you, but it ain't for me. I count myslef lucky that I was raised by honest, decent people, taught good values, and that I've since made friends and been welcomed into a community that relfects and honors those values, but none of it has ever had anything to do directly with religion. In fact, I'll go further, and suggest that you may be putting the cart before the horse. Like I said, I don't believe that morality flows from religion, I believe that religious doctrine on morality flows from a much older, much more natural human instict towards what we identify as morality. I find it interesting that Protestants and Catholics can murder eachother over trivial, incidental details in the text, but every single religion on earth shares at thier core the same fundemental beliefs of right and wrong. Do unto others, and all that. Christians don't have a monopoly on that, my brother.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Yeah...

    by Blue_Demon

    I can't wait until we become as enlightened as Europe.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Samsquanch...

    by Blue_Demon

    I believe you. There are many good, decent people with no faith out there. But I think that morals have to come from outside humanity because if not, then morals are subject to human whims and feelings. There are cultures out there that believe it is perfectly moral to stone a young woman to death because she dared have sex before marriage.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST

    "something innate in what it means to be a human"

    by greyspecter

    Would that qualify as a belief? "Being human is all those things and more combined"... sounds like you're defining things with more than just observable data. Sounds almost mystical. And no I'm not trying to be a jerk, but when atheists claim science answers all questions relevant to existence, then I ask, "What is science's stance on morality?" Can we agree that there is more to life than simple science, than the cold hard facts of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, etc? But where does that come from? Where did we get the idea for art, music, literature, for enjoying a sunset or a lover's embrace? Do we see animals creating an abode with aesthetic sensebilities in mind? I happen to agree that there's something more to being human than just our genes and celluar makeup. So what is it? How did it happen?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST

    How many Jews were questioned?

    by EvilWizardGlick

    I would bet not a one. No Hasidic Jews with the funny hair. None of the strange sect Jew in ny or Israel. <p> I bet not even a single Hollywood Jew gets the humor spike.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:11 p.m. CST

    greyspecter, Nothing beyond science.

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Science is it. <p> Anything "beyond" science is faith. <p> People feel Elvis is a savior. <p> Or L. Ron Hubbard. <p> By admitting to faith in the invisible and things "beyond science" you then admit to believing in Vampires and Werewolves. <p> Do you beleive in Vampires?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:12 p.m. CST

    greyspecter

    by Lucasblows

    That's where I believe we were lucky. We evolved further than any other creature on the planet. Why does God have to be responsible for music, art and literature? Why is it so incomprehensible to think maybe we created those things ourselves?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Blue_Demon. Morals outside humanity? Dolphins maybe?

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Morals are created by humans. <p> Do you expect your morality to come from Dolphins? Arachnids?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    greyspecter...

    by Blue_Demon

    Have you ever read "The Hidden Face of God" by Gerald Schroeder? Your post kind of reminded me of a question Schroeder asks. Great book.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Lucasblows, Yep.

    by EvilWizardGlick

    That is the problem. We accredit God with our own creativity and positive experiences. <p> We demean ourselves by doing that. <p> That also makes everything negative the work of the devil. <p> The Devil knocks a guy off a ladder but god only has him break an arm.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    No EvilWizardGlick...

    by Blue_Demon

    I meant God.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Blue_Demon, Which one?

    by EvilWizardGlick

    I like the Australian one who shakes his leg and makes thunder.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    The question of "gaining"...

    by DarthCorleone

    "the big question is what do you have to gain from athiesm?" [sic]<br><br>Ummmm...no. That's not the question at all. Maybe it would be the question if Pascal's Wager wasn't complete fallacy. If that's really your question, then maybe you should take a look at what it is you think you're gaining from religious belief and if that's your primary reason for believing. Where's the nobility of belief if it only serves your self-interest? If some omnipotent, omniscient God exists and can't cope with the fact that I wasn't willing to believe in a very specific set of beliefs among many purely for the sake of my own eternal soul without any tangible evidence, then - I'm sorry - he's neither omnipotent nor omniscient, and he's certainly not all-forgiving.<br><br>For the record, I am an atheist, and I have an identity, a sense of belonging, and hope. Those are not exclusive to religion. I'm not in it for the personal cost-benefit analysis; I'm in it because I subscribe to the correctness of the scientific method and think it is the best intellectual position for the advancement of humanity as a whole.<br><br>As for this whole atheism-encourages-relativistic-anarchy business, it's complete bollocks. A couple people above express how morality can exist independent of God wonderfully; I don't have much to add. I think that empathy and the good of society make a lot of practical sense and are a hell of a lot more of a universal reason on which all people can agree than sorting out divergent religious dogma.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Here's a bunch of atheistic opinion:

    by samsquanch

    I believe the cosmos, and the fact that we exist, to be the ultimate miracle. I often wonder, considering the infinite chances that life wouldn't exist, say, if the big bang hadn't happened in the first place, or if, since it did, chemistry and physics had set up their laws along a slightly different alignment, or if gravity didn't work so specifically, so perfectly that the earth would form exactly the way it did and when it did, and then, the infintismal chance that there happened to be the exact right ingredients to cook up organic chemical combinations that would eventually lead to the primordial soup, that would eventually, impossibly, lead to actual evolving life-forms, that in all this time nothing went wrong, and then, all the millions, the billions upon billions of combinations of life, as astonishingly unlikey as they were to create the right circumstances for our intelligence to evolve, and then to form our various cultures and actually survive as a species, then, again, to imagine the incalculable chances that throughout human existence each of our ancestors were able to survive long enough to procreate and eventually lead to our births, and even still, considering the cellular chances that out of each of those uncountable couplings the acutal sperm and eggs that were fertilized were the right ones to lead to us, being here, and having this conversation... it's just so cosmically, infinitely unlikely, and yet, here we are. <p> When religious people tell me that If I'm an atheist it means that I don't believe in anything, I think about all that, and I shake my head. Of course, you just look at all that and say "God did it", and that's good enough for you. Oh well, different strokes, I guess. <p> I think what religious people really have a problem with isn't the idea that the mind evolved, but that this implies that the soul itself must have also evolved. There really isn't anything so remarkable about the mind evolving, scientifically speaking. opposable thumbs and a healthy pack mentality, as well as some other physiological attributes, led to all kinds of leaps of intuition over the years. And it's millions, not thousands, of years, it's difficult to wrap one's head around that, I know, but it makes quite a difference. <p> There's a point to be made that a religion that can't adapt to an ever-changing world, and an ever-expanding field of knowledge about our world is doomed to wither and become irrelevant. That's what baffles me about the resistance to the mounting evidence of Global Warming, or Intelligent Design or Creationism movements- they're just so astonishingly counter-intuitive, so stridently hostile to neutral, reasonable ways of thinking that are not in and of themselves anti-religious, that it reminds me of the Shakespearean line: "thou doth protest too much". There's something very competetive about it, as if the creationists believe that science is an adversary, like a visiting football team, horning in on turf that was already claimed by religion. How very macho. In fact, and I'm sure you all understand this- science isn't actually a belief system or an ideology, it's a method, and one that is built on the premise that it can be wrong, often is wrong, and will never be complete. It's an open-minded process, whereas the creationist's version of Christianity is air-tight and hermetically sealed against even the most passive investigation. <p> One thing that always amuses me about Creationists is their adopting of the empirical state of 'theory' as applied to Natural Selection. "Darwin's theory is just that- a theory", they announce, triumphantly, firmly believing that they have felled Goliath with his own stone. Well, Like I said, Science is a method, and in fact, all science, (with the exception of a fraction of the observable stuff and phenomena that make up our immediate surroundings) is "just a theory". That's how science works. The empirical process begins with an idea, opinion, or leap of intuition, or most often, an unexpected accident, then a hypothesis is formed. Once the hypothesis has been put through a series of tests it becomes a theory. At any point along this line if anything goes wrong, if the hypothesis falls apart under evidence, it never reaches the level of theory. A theory becomes a theory when everything goes right, when all tests and evidence add up to what the hypothesis posits, but something like evolution can't become scientific fact because no one has so far sat down to observe the process over millions of years and take notes. Empirically speaking, it remains 'just a theory', But a theory with almost 200 years of rigorous, mounting evidence and experimentation that supports it. With each and every field of scholarship in science that has developed since Victorian times, geology, chemistry, biology, anthropology, (among others) the theory of evolution has been supported. Not once, in almost two centuries has the slightest hint that there might be something wrong with it ever shown up. So "Just a theory" actually means a great, great deal. <p> It's ironic that the method of science that prevents it from labeling evolution as fact is the thing most infinitely sensible about it, and the thing that creationists try to use against it, without any sense. <p> I've addressed in earlier posts the idea that science does not require of itself a perfectly rendered map in order to prove its own merit, that in fact, it's a process, not a belief system. This is crucial- just because science cannot point to every step along the evolutionary path does not amount to a dismissal of this or any other theory. IT IS A PROCESS. We are still finding evidence, we are still learning about it, after millions of years, we've only been studying it for less than 200. And yet, in all that time, nothing yet has been discovered that disproves the theory. All it would take is one piece of evidence, a fossilized footprint in the wrong geological place, a skull that shouldn't exist in the fossil record, even something microscopic (and believe me, there has been a concentrated search for just such a piece of evidence) but nothing yet. Just because we can't show a creationist the roadmap, doesn't mean the terrain doesn't exist. The same argument is used everyday by people with faith. The difference is, ours is an open-minded process, seeking answers we may not expect or want, whereas faith already has the answer it wants, and dismisses whatever doesn't fit arbitrarily. <p> It's a fallacy to suggest that just because something like evolution is 'unprovable', it automatically puts it in the same category as any theory you could imagine. There are degrees, there is a spectrum of logic, assumption, circumstantial and peripheral evidence, informed argument that can point you in the proper direction, as long as you remain objective. It's a matter of reason. If you've never been to China, how do you know it's really there? Well, a very convincing case can be made for the existence of China. What about Unicorns? Do Unicorns have horns coming out the top of their heads? The answer is no, because there are no Unicorns. How do I know this? Is it a matter of faith? Unicorns are mentioned in the Bible, after all. Maybe Unicorns do exist. Except that they don't, the notion is absurd, and it offends our sense of logic. <p> By the creationist argument, not only should we teach ID in schools, we should also teach of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Atlantis, the Man in the Moon, Superman, Alien Abduction, protection against Zombies, Vampires and Werewolves... the list goes on. <p> Science is not a threat to faith. I truly believe that science and faith can be reconciled beautifully, the only people who in this day and age are still refusing to listen to reason need to construct elaborate cages of smoke and mirrors just to maintain their own blindness. Science has no agenda, other than to fulfill the human impulse to seek truth, to see what lies beyond the scope of our understanding. I believe that faith, ultimately, has the same goal, but belief systems like creationism, in the 21st century at least, do violence to that very human instinct. There's nothing wrong with believing in God, and there's nothing wrong with not believing in Him. What is wrong is denying yourself the full experience of the world, and what it means to be alive, because of a misguided fundementalism that doesn't allow for an expanded view beyond a 2000 year old text. <p> That said, I don't think we're witnessing the death-throes of monotheism or anything. The reason so many people adhere to these belief systems speaks to a deeper, more resilient fact of our nature that won't be eradicated until something truly cataclysmic happens to us as a species; either some kind of spontaneous evolution, or a paradigm-shift the likes of which can scarcely be imagined (alien invasion??) basically, we're still skating the line between animal and divine, we're adolescents, and for that reason religion, and specifically monotheism, isn't going anywhere. <p> anecdotally, I believe that the reason we still wage war has a lot to do with the fact that from an evolutionary standpoint, humans aren't that different from other life-forms on Earth, meaning, we still operate according to a biological program that compells us to kill in order to survive. Since we've outgrown the actual necessity for that program, but not the program itself, we've found contemporary, modern, sentient ways to carry out this programming, which is evident in the simple fact that we still murder eachother almost as an inevitable fact of existence with bombs and guns and terrorism. For millenia, humans were taught that you don't kill the people on this side of the river, you kill the people on that side of the river. Even with all our progress and advances, ultimately, we're still behaving like pack animals fighting over the water-hole or the hunting grounds. Right up until the middle of the last century, all human endeavor was arguably the result of intense violence. I say all this as a preable to my main point- which is that monotheism plays just as much of an intrinsic part to our base programming as the instinct to kill to survive does. We haven't evolved to a point yet where we don't need soldiers, or police anymore. We also haven't evolved to a point where we don't need the concept of a patriarchal God figure to justify our existence. That's not to say that we should all go blindly down the trodden path, quite the contrary. But to expect something as intrinsically human (at least so far) as a comfortable, pre-packaged answer to the greatest mystery to suddenly become irrelevant is asking too much of us. <p> We are making progress, but it's slow, really, really fucking slow, and for now, atheists are the weirdos. Maybe our progeny a thousand generations from now will initiate true change, but until then, we have to be satisfied with the knowledge that we are living proof that we're on that path, as well. <p>

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Thanks Bill! Just in time to help the Dems lose 2008...

    by lettersoftransit

    ...by releasing a film that will cause many people to equate the Dems with mocking their faith. You were a big help in 2000, Bill, you and all the others in town who just weren't sufficiently impressed by Gore, so you stood up for your principles and backed Nader. No real difference between Bush and Gore, they all said. What they meant, of course, was that their own lifestyles wouldn't be all that different under Bush or Gore. And they were right, in that way. As for the millions whose lives were radically changed (or radically shortened), I guess you can take solace in your believe they would've done better -- or lived longer -- under a Nader Administration. This film may ultimately be, dare I say, fair and balanced, but most people will not see it and will only hear it is two hours or liberals mocking God. And I guarantee the Dems will lose votes because of it; votes lost to people who share many if not most of the Dem principles, but just can't reacting natural like to people making fun of them and mocking what they hold dear. BTW, I don't know what the answer to life's mysteries are, and I can't begin to wrap my head around the notion the universe is either finite or infinite. And neither can anyone else I've ever spoken with or heard tell of. And whatever the secret of life is (the real secret, not just how life evolved out of matter but how the matter got there in the first place and how it can even exist and how much of it there is) -- whatever the answer, I guarantee that if I could type it down for you here, it would look as silly to most people as anything you'll ever hear in any church. So why bash people for their beliefs if at the core of it all they're good people? Oh, I forgot, it's fun to make fun of folk, even if it means you end up driving away people who should be your allies.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:20 p.m. CST

    DarthCorleone, Society has yet to catch up with science.

    by EvilWizardGlick

    I'm always amazed how behind the times modern society is. <p> Scientifically we know Pedophiles and Serial killers are mentally ill. They have demons due to brain chemistry or dysfunction. <p> Yet the courts pretend they are rational beings in control of their out of balance systems. <p> Hell they even drug people so they appear sane in court.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    samsquanch, Many worlds theory.

    by EvilWizardGlick

    If the many worlds theory is true, then EVERYTHING conceivable is happening in another universe. <p> Gotta love the multiverse, because that hot chick that turned your drunken ass down is giving you head in another verse.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:24 p.m. CST

    BladeRazor

    by d-lee

    Perhaps you forgot that Isaac Newton was a devout Christian, and Hitchens and Dawkins are not considered by any to be genuises. Read the reviews of their fellow atheists, who in fact loathe the two men. There books are almost universally panned by their own scientific establishment. In addition, just because Gates is an atheist and gives money to charity does not negate the fact that the number two indicator of giving to charity is if you are religous. It would be like saying all golf players are black because the best one is. What I am looking for is a credible debunking of Daniel 11, written at the latest in the third century B.C. (based on the translation of the septiugant) but all the events did not transpire until the end of the second century. The chapter, with great accuracy, traces the rise and fall of alsexander the great, and the subsequent splitting of the empire into four parts, followed by the rise of the ptolemies and selecuids. Check it out.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Greyspecter (again)

    by toshiro-solo

    I would argue that morality (again) primarily stems from our capability for empathy, and that empathy is an evolutionarily selected for trait that benefits our species as a whole even if it sometimes doesn't benefit the empathic individual... Science doesn't claim to have all of the answers; the point of science is to continually QUESTION what we know and whether what we "know" is correct. That, to me, is what distinguishes science from religion, which DOES claim to have "the answer." Again, no disrespect, just trying to articulate my stance.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:25 p.m. CST

    lettersoftransit, Nader was right. Get over it

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Get over it. <p> Nader was the most principled of candidates in 2k. He has a right to run and people have a right to vote for him. <p> P erfuckingiod! <p> More gays voted for Bush nationwide than Dems for Nader. <p> Now why the fuck aren't you gaybashing? <p> Christ Gore lost his own home state! How fucking bad is that. <p. And every godamned day proves Nader right that there is no real difference between Dems and Repubs.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    samsquanch

    by toshiro-solo

    Nice post. Nothing to add, just wanted to say - nice post. Well constructed, well written - thanks!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:29 p.m. CST

    toshiro-solo, Not empathy. SURVIVAL.

    by EvilWizardGlick

    Survival strategy creates morality. <p> If you steal from someone they may steal from you. Much better for all to agree not to steal. <p> Buddhists and Hindus aren't really empathetic. Life is an illusion and we will be rebord to sort everything out. Unless one of those dmaned dedicated Bodhisatvas really do wind up enlightening every last speck of dirt. <p> Even then thta negates personal choice because some Buddhist saint is working hard to enlighten the universe.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST

    What we know is a virtuality

    by EvilWizardGlick

    We live in a virtuality running at the end of the universe. The system is losing power. That is why we perceive glitches like deja vu. <p> The virtuality is running all possible scenarios and interactions in a valiant attempt to integrate all possible viewpoints into a single world view before it runs out of energy.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:35 p.m. CST

    EvilWizardGlick...

    by Blue_Demon

    Sounds like a great sci-fi story! Call the Wachowskis.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:40 p.m. CST

    ahh, well

    by greyspecter

    So here's my last question to atheists, and I'm geuninely interested in the answer:<p> What reason do you have for living? Why do you exist? To experience the next moment? To have the most toys at death? To obtain immortality through literature, history, etc? What if you never accomplish that? What if you're born, you live, you die? Is that all there is to life? Is that enough for you? <p> just wondering...

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST

    greyspectre

    by Mutley26

    "What reason do you have for living?"... Does there have to be one?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:48 p.m. CST

    thanks toshiro.

    by samsquanch

    I appreciate it.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Mutley26

    by Blue_Demon

    Well, there's no question that man searches for meaning.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:49 p.m. CST

    greyspecter... ugh

    by Lucasblows

    The dumbest question man ever asked himself is "why am I here?" I am here because my parents had sex and a sperm connected with an egg to make me. And that is not meant to be as condescending as it sounds. I realize how truly lucky I am. If some other sperm got there first I would be a totally different person. My reason for living? Since I don't believe in God should I kill myself? Yes, I feel you're born, you live and then you die and there is no afterlife, and more importantly that's all there needs to be. But no, that is not all there is to LIFE. I do not need to believe in God to appreciate life. I do not need to believe in God to appreciate a sunset, a good book, a movie, art or love. These things would exist with or without the idea of God.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Evil Wizard- many worlds theory?

    by samsquanch

    What the hell? At no point did I ever mention that. I Think you may have misunderstood something.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST

    greyspecter (again, again)

    by toshiro-solo

    Basically - yes. That IS enough for me. Enjoying the company of other people, marveling at the world as it exists (both nature and the constructions of mankind), reading a good book, listening to a nice piece of music, eating a nice meal; these things are enough for me. And you could argue that they mean MORE to me than to someone who believes that there is an infinite reward that is better than anything that the corporeal world could offer awaiting me. I'm just glad to be here while I am here.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Grey- I honestly tried to address that in my long-ass post

    by samsquanch

    I know it's a slog, but it's near the top. <p> The same question can be put to religious people. Why do continue to live on Earth, if heaven is so much better? <p> Also- If God is omnipotent and omniscient, and controls reality now and after you die, how can you ever be free? Isn't that a form of extreme subjugation? You didn't choose to be born. I know you'll say that God is love, but isn't that just as bad? And, if you say you love Him, what if that's just a metaphysical form of Stockholm Syndrome? You love Him because you have no choice but to love Him. <p> That guy Christopher Hitchens equated living with God to living in a kind of Cosmic North Korea. Funny, rude, and kind of true.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:55 p.m. CST

    EvilWizardGlick

    by toshiro-solo

    I guess I meant that empathy is a survival mechanism; I posted it in a message to greyspecter, but I just think that empathy is an evolutionarily selected for trait, since it benefits the species as a whole. We're on the same page, I think.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 5:58 p.m. CST

    Samsquanch, good question.

    by Blue_Demon

    I continue to live on earth because it is a creation of God and I am enjoying it tremendously. Heaven is not going anywhere. What's the rush? It's a beautiful world.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Someone on here said God makes people kill...

    by RetroActive

    no. It's just like the old saying goes. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Insert God for guns. Science and Faith will always intertwine and react as polar opposites as well. But I do take exception to those who say people with faith are stupid. If that's the case, why even vote? Acts o faith are not owned by the religious. And those who kill in the name of God are blaspheming him. (See most wars across history) People tend to manipulate things to justify their behavior. Religious or not, you don't need to believe in God to know what is right and what is wrong. In my view, God is Love. So, show me the scientist that can physically prove the existence of love. It's impossible. Love and faith go hand in hand. Some things just cannot be explained.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST

    by d-lee

    The idea of Gods sovereignty has been misinterpreted by Hitchens, as he does not understand proper theology. What he puts forward is basically hyper calvinism, which meanns God is in control of basically all our choices. However, the bible makes it clear we have choice. Whether it to believe or reject Christ (Mark 16), or to sin (Adam), or to follow his commands (Jonah). What Christians claim is that God knows the future, not that he dicatates every events. Really, the idea of free will is more troubling for atheists. Do you really have a choice in your decisions, or are they a result of animal instincts and chemical processed that result in the greatest chance of self-preservation.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:07 p.m. CST

    When people kill in God's name...

    by Lucasblows

    ...that is religion killing. The Crusades, The Inquisition, Middle East, etc... These are not isolated incidents of people killing. These are religious inspired atrocities.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Zach-Talks-Back

    by JimBobCooter

    It is PROVEN by hieroglyphs and relics found in and from the time of the pyramids that, indeed, they were built for PHARAOHS who ruled during different phases of the EGYPTIAN EMPIRE. So, they are 100% Egyptian. <p> But there is a debate whether Jewish slaves built them or the Egyptians themselves, as some archeologists say there that other than the Bible, there are no records of Jewish slaves in that area at all. That's maybe what you're mistaken about.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I'm religious.

    by mrfan

    Love the missionary position.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:09 p.m. CST

    All religions are born out of hate.

    by mrfan

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:10 p.m. CST

    Fair enough, Blue, and I couldn't agree more....

    by samsquanch

    About this being a beautiful world. <p> I was responding to Grey's assertion that atheists wouldn't know that, since we don't believe that it is God's world, but that it's just a world, and we're living on it. <p> I don't disparage believers their belief that the world is beautiful because of God, but I don't understand why believers believe that it's necessary. <p> I believe the garden is beautiful, without having to believe that there are faeries at the bottom of it.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Lucasblows...

    by Blue_Demon

    I'm of the belief that these murderers MISINTERPRET religion.<p>Faith is just faith. It is good at its core, and can be horribly misused by idiots. That does not render it a bad thing.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:12 p.m. CST

    Memories of Murder

    by d-lee

    Where can I find in the fossil evidence direct evidence of evoltion. All Christians are saying is that evolution remaians a theory, in that it has not been proven directly through fossil evidence (All though it seems to make scientific sense). Also, gravity and the idea of a string universe are both theories, but that does not make them equally valid. The word theory is somewhat relative, as theories have differeing amount of evidence. That is why the evidence should be examined.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Zach-Talks-Back

    by JimBobCooter

    Also, the highest selling book next to the Bible is not LOTR. It's not even in the top 10. You make good points, but you back everything with random (wrong) facts that you negate yourself.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:14 p.m. CST

    d-lee, even the most modern, abstract version

    by samsquanch

    of a higher-power, cosmic intelligence, Designer, what have you, fits with Hitchen's idea of a Cosmic North Korea. It isn't "Hyper Calvinism" at all, it's any and all beliefs that your universe is being affected, created, whatever by some super-being. You may not believe that God is a giant Charlton-Heston looking guy sitting on a cloud in the sky, but what you do believe amounts to the same thing.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:15 p.m. CST

    by d-lee

    Sorry, I didnt see your post. My point was if atheism is correct do we have free will.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Misinterpret religion

    by Lucasblows

    I understand that. But, the problem is which religion do they misinterpret. If I die, and I'm wrong, my first question to God will be "Why 31 flavors?" Makes no sense. And as for faith, well I have faith I will one day have sex with Angelina Jolie. The reality of the situation is totally different.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST

    grueman...

    by DarthCorleone

    O.k. Your point is correct. But the differentiation I am making is motivation. It's between believing purely for the sake of individual salvation (Pascal's Wager - the height of hypocrisy as far as I'm concerned) and believing because you think it is correct. You're right that I think it is better to adhere to truth and that is my ultimate desire for humanity. But that is simply why I think a lack of religious belief is better for the human race - it's not why I personally subscribe to it. I believe in it because the evidences points in that direction. There are many shitty states of affairs in the world, and I don't disbelieve in them simply because they are less desirable. We deal with them and act accordingly. That's my point. Would I like to live forever? Sure - wouldn't most people?<br><br>If I thought that the delusion as a whole was better for humanity, then I would acknowledge that. (Since we're on the movie site, it's akin to the whole would-you-rather-live-in-the-Matrix-or-struggle-to-survive-outside-of-it-in-the-name-of-truth? hypothetical.) Hell, some delusions are for the best at times. I just don't think this one is. That said, I have no interest in converting anyone. I just enjoy the discussion.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    mrfan, I disagree.

    by Blue_Demon

    samsquanch said something really cool when he said that religions are born from man's inner need to give voice to the goodness that is naturally in him. I disagree with the man, but I still love that view.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    by d-lee

    I would argue, samaquanch, that in citing north korea hitchens is implying God controls most aspects of society. IF he was merely referencing any intereference that why not say God is like the U.S. government?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    samsquanch...

    by RetroActive

    You can place many of your arguments in any logic class. And they can be argued from either side...the problem with evil, god's omniscience, etc. Maybe God's greatest gift is allowing us to debate his existence without His interference. Maybe that is what love is. Letting us go. Free to make our own decisions. Faith is a reward of sorts. You can choose to listen to his vessels here on earth, or not. But if God is love, I have no doubt that even those who do not believe are welcome. Again, many people talk about logic when it comes to God. As his very existence is illogical, then you have to acknowledge that our existence is illogical. At the end of the day, even scientists have to ask, "where did the cosmic dust come from"? We all take leaps of faith. And I cannot fault the scientist as the scientist cannot fault me. There's no right answer. The wrong answer is telling people that they don't possess the answers to their own existence. That's why we all are free to think and do as individuals. People fear what they don't understand because they are contained within their own interpretation of understanding. If I go to school to become a lawyer and fail, and instead become a mathematics professor...does that mean I'm a fool for not understanding the world of law? Does that mean if I don't live in the world of law that the world of mathematics exists only in my mind? Of course not. So why is religion any different? We all fear what we don't understand. Part of love is keeping an open mind. Part of science is keeping an open mind, too. Respect the world you see and understand, and the world you don't.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    D-Lee

    by JimBobCooter

    So what of Cro-Magnon man? Or Neanderthal remains? Or Lucy? Or whale fins that have foot bones inside them to this day. YES, evolution is a theory, but it has far more physical evidence than the Bible. <p> And I'm a Christina, btw, but I think people think to embrace faith you must ignore fact, whereas I think God isn't afraid of facts.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:21 p.m. CST

    D-Lee

    by JimBobCooter

    Also, some philosophers would argue that free will is equal to consciousness. Because humans are conscious and can analyze themselves and their actions (instead of purely instinctual), they possess free will.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:21 p.m. CST

    d-lee, I addressed that too

    by samsquanch

    Go read my post. The long-ass one, your questions on evolution are answered there. <p> By the way, you know where Christians got that evolution 'remains a theory'? From science. Yep. That's right. <p> Read it. Love it.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Sorry samsquatch

    by JimBobCooter

    I skipped over your post. Yours is the "Doonesbury" of talkback posts.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:25 p.m. CST

    I always wonder what would happen

    by samsquanch

    If scientists found physical evidence of Jesus' resurrection. Ignoring for a moment that it's absurd, imagine that the scientific community held a press conference and announced that through some kind of carbon-dating, DNA gadget they had proved that Jesus existed, he was crucified, and rose from the dead. <p> How many Christians would be hollering that it was 'Just a theory'?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:28 p.m. CST

    God summed up for me

    by buffywrestling

    by dennis miller: "I believe in God. It's just my God thinks I'm really fucking funny."

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Samsquanch,

    by Blue_Demon

    probably about as many as the atheists who would be saying it was a hoax. XD

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:29 p.m. CST

    It's also important to note...

    by RetroActive

    that the Bible is a guide. It is filled with parables. But it contains a way of life. And the line of demarcation (if you're Christian, anyway) between the Old and New Testaments is fairly obvious. An eye for an eye became love one another. Whether or not you believe in God, or believe in a different version of God, the message from many prophets across various wavelengths is similar. Be a good person, be kind to others, share, make babies (or not), and enjoy life, for it is finite. You can argue about the existence of God, but whether you follow the teachings of Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Jesus Christ, etc. They all share a common bond. Seek enlightenment, , peace, and understanding don't exploit beliefs for monetary gain. Share with those who come to you, but don't ram it down their throats. Christ's biggest message was about being humble and serving your fellow man. It's a pretty great message no matter where you're from.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:31 p.m. CST

    blue-

    by samsquanch

    totally.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Holy shit, M-O-M

    by JimBobCooter

    You just blew my mind. <p> On a side note, is English your second language? That's not an insult. Just interesting speech patterns.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:35 p.m. CST

    greyspecter - answering your question

    by DarthCorleone

    For us atheists (or at least for me), life is what you make it. You're so terrified of moral relativism; well, similarly at the core of atheism is a "purpose relativism."<br><br>I could reply literally as someone did above with the sperm and the egg remark, but I suspect you're going for something loftier. So I'll give you my personal reasons for continuing to exist. <br><br> I love my family and friends.<br>I enjoy movies.<br>I enjoy sex.<br>I enjoy reading.<br>I find life to be an interesting tragicomedy that I wouldn't want to miss.<br>I enjoy interacting in intelligent discourse with strangers on the internet.<br>I enjoy helping my fellow human beings when I can.<br>And frankly, nonexistence - the stroke of death - frightens me.<br><br>Your mention of having the most toys at death seems to condescendingly imply that atheists must *ONLY* be concerned with the trappings of the material world, and that is simply not the case. We have emotions, loves, and cares. I really couldn't give a damn about "toys" for the most part. Some sort of "immortality" sounds nice, but I'm not kidding myself. Whatever goals I might have...well, if I don't accomplish them, then I'll be sad. But that's life. You can't have everything that you want.<br><br>If there is an afterlife, I'll be thrilled by the pleasant surprise, unless of course this God of yours really is going to subject me to fire and brimstone. I'll have a few choice words for the bastard in that case. Otherwise, I'll be happy to meet him, and I'll have several questions for him. But, hey, if death is just death, then so be it.<br><br>As for whether it's "enough"...my lot in life isn't the best but it's better than some. I'm not sure any of would ever consider anything "enough," but I hope I'm satisfied. Does the concept of "enough" require eternal salvation? If so, then, yeah, I guess my life won't meet your standard.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST

    M-O-M

    by JimBobCooter

    Again, that wasn't an insult at all! You are eloquent. You just sometimes throw in a "bended" instead of a "bent" to mix things up. :-)

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:48 p.m. CST

    M_O_M

    by samsquanch

    You know I was trying to make a point with that post, right?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    what i dont get is....

    by Bouncy X

    the greeks eventually realized all their gods weren't real, so how come all these other societies and races still think theirs are?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Heh, People Here Think They're Talking About Religion

    by TroutMaskReplicant

    When they're only talking about their perspectives on life. And that's all you can talk about with an certainty (and what's certainty anyway). Also, science is like a spandex unitard it can expand to fit many (observable) things, even God. Hmmmm spandex. GO AGNOSTICISM!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    m-o-m

    by d-lee

    I agree with almost everything you said, but you misunderstodd the point of my analogy. My point was that the word theory is relative, and claims should be made based on the evidence. I think we both agree on this. For example, there was a steady state and a big bang theory fifty years ago. Both seemed equally valid, we now know which one is valid. My point was only that some theories are more plausible and believable than others. I honestly think we both agree on this, you just missed my point.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:11 p.m. CST

    How about this: you are all idiots

    by Larry of Arabia

    The online discours, and the one set out in many "popular books" from that dickwad egotist publicity hound Hitchens to that dickwad egotist publicity hound Olsten have managed to devolve into a pissing and insult contest with no rationally thought out points on either side. No side can ever win because no side can ever prove it's case. The answer to what created the laws of science being "they just are there and always have been" technically makes science a religion, if you think about it. And the idea that "God" was always just there is just as difficult to swallow in the same way. Really, religion is the basis for ALL evil ignores the well established scientific theory of competition of resources, while the "comeback" that the absence of religion is the basis for all the atrocities of the 20th Century (Stalin, Hitler, Mao) is just as half baked. So the two must co-exist because we can never know. Sadly, the scientists have turned into the same level of asshole as the evangelicals. I, a member of a church council that's pretty disgusted with the way churches work, had hopes that the scientists would increase the level of the discourse (Please Read "The Language of God" for a good example of the two living from a Christian standpoint. I'm sure there are others that work for other religions as well). I guess that's not to be. Oh, and Bill, the Hours theory? Really? Why don't I just pull out the "Darwin was a Christian" argument. Both have about the same credibility.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:15 p.m. CST

    d-lee

    by Larry of Arabia

    There is a very good branch of string theory which states that as we go further back in time our uncertainty must increase exponentially meaning that technically that the universe came into being in every possible way at once and has been narrowing it's possibilities as it travels forward in time to a more and more predictable future.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:38 p.m. CST

    nope, that wasn't it.

    by samsquanch

    I was trying to make the point that the hardcore evangelicals who try to use the 'theory' argument against evolution (or global warming, for that matter) and who display an irrational contempt for science in general would be singing its praises if it ever presented anything scientific that actually supported their beliefs. That's all.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:39 p.m. CST

    You just can't take a lapsed Catholic's word.

    by thebearovingian

    Well, you can but only with a grain of salt. Make up your mind! Who are you going to be?! What are you going to believe?!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:39 p.m. CST

    Bouncy X

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    It's like that old saying: A religion dies when its followers quit believing in it.<P>But after all this time, wouldn't it be funny if a pantheon of deities like the Greek gods were the real ones?<P>Somewhere up there, Zeus is pissed!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:43 p.m. CST

    nice explanation on theory, M_O_M

    by samsquanch

    I totally agree. What it also means is that some theories, like some opinions, are informed by a more solid basis in the observable reality around us than others. It means that 'plausibility' is actually a crucial element that distinguishes the rational from the absurd.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Not going to be groundbreaking but it is a positive thing

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    It is certainly not going to be of the level of one of Richard Dawkins books or even Hitchens or Sam Harris, but it is great to see the debate out there. <p> As a secular humanist (look it up in wikipedia) my hope is that this movie at least makes people think about the issue and perhaps for others will open them up to wanting to read Dawkins etc. <p> As a Non-American looking on, it is worrying seeing religion mixing with politics (i.e. Stem Cell debate, teaching creationism in school) at least its not at the level of some of the Islamic nations where Bill could be executed for his differing beliefs. <p> Currently reading "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali - definetely recommend this one and especially those who are still deluded in believing Islam is a religion of peace.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Morgan Freeman is fine

    by torgosPizza

    "In an even better sign that the Dark Knight star will fully recover from the jaws-of-life-requiring smash, [hospital rep] said that Freeman was already up and about at the hospital." As for religion, get rid of it. It's unnecessary in today's modern society. What do you think is holding the middle east back? Fundamentalism, and religion in general. DUMB.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    IF GOD IS ALMIGHTY....

    by BurgerKing

    then could he not create a rock so large not even HE could lift it?! But if he could not lift it, he would not be almighty.............think about that. <br> yeah you've probably all heard that one but fuck you!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST

    I was raised Catholic

    by Orionsangels

    It mostly went like this - God is watching you every second, even if you don't see him. Have faith. Don't say or do that or God will punish you. There was kneeling and praying before statues as well and donating money to our church.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:16 p.m. CST

    OK, so, religion...

    by BizarroJerry

    Religion has been responsible for some of the greatest things on earth and some of the most terrible things on earth. People have been inspired to spread peace and love and charity and service through Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. People have also been inspired to spread war and hate and murder and persecution through Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. Religion is not all bad nor is it all good.<p>I don't mind an atheist. What I don't like is angry, mocking, smug atheists. I can't really speak to this film, but Maher's attitude tends to be "See how stupid you are for believing such idiotic things?" He and others like him use the most heinous, extreme parts of religion to say we're better off without it. Now, I'll agree that that's definitely worth an argument. But some people go to church because of the religion, not the man made organization. I know it's hard for some people to separate the two, though. I do believe this without a doubt, though... If you remove the trappings of 2000 years of the church and some of its more questionable rules and regulations, and just look at Jesus as a philosopher, and live by those basic teachings, life would be better for you and for everyone else. As I grow older, I certainly have come to look at the organization as less important than the message.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Atheism and morality, etc

    by BizarroJerry

    To pick up on the point of someone here, I consider myself somewhat religious, but I don't think someone goes to Hell because they're an atheist. I'm often annoyed by people (again, like Maher) who equate certain issues with religion. Like abortion. Can't someone be against abortion and not have a religious reason? You don't have to believe in God to decide you don't like the idea of abortion. Or any other issue like it.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:35 p.m. CST

    the christian God is unjust

    by Seth Brundle

    because...if you do evil, lets say rape,kill and steal, you can do it some times, a finite number of times, but the punishment is ETERNITY in hell, eternity = infinity, then....for a finite evil, god gives you and infinite punishment , unjust

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:44 p.m. CST

    I fucking give up

    by Kurgan

    This thread was so full of morons that I have up reading around half the way down. Seriously, what the fuck? I'm sure that people have given their dissertations one way or another at the later half, but still, the facts are these: When you push a button to send a Tomahawk missile to a certain target, you are just following orders. You might also be a fucking pussy. After all, the target might have been the Chinese embassy; you just didn't have the guts to check it. On the other hand, you might have been told that your mission is to ram a building with an aeroplane. So you train for it and do it. So why the FUCK does somebody have to lose their FUCKING JOB for pointing out that MAYBE one is not that much more cowardly than the other? And for you fucking illiterate wankers who whine about the meaning of "cowardly", co and see "The Princess Bride" a million times and then come to me to hear me say "it does not mean what you think it means". Peace, out.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Singleton + anger =

    by Kurgan

    Well, that nearly seems to equal dyslexia. Well, what the hell, the best flames are written while drunk.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:49 p.m. CST

    RELIGION IS IMPORTANT

    by LaserPants

    If you are a fucking retard protracted adolescent who needs the illusion of a stern cosmic father figure to spank your heiney for wanting to cum on lil' Mary Rottencrotch's face and/or enjoy your life in any discernible way. You want to be punished, so you created something to punish you. You know, you could just go to an S&M fetish club instead. At least you tormentor there will actually exist.<br><br> Its also important if you want to, say, create a cover operation to facilitate the systemic rape of children worldwide, and nominate an ex-Nazi as your spiritual tormentor ala the Catholic Church (aka NAMBLA with funny hats).

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:55 p.m. CST

    A thought on moral relativism

    by Billy Goat

    What do most Christians think of Luke 14:26? <p>"If any man comes to me, and doesn't hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."<p>Most Christians don't take this verse literally. Most Christians don't hate their families. They decide that it's a metaphor, that Jesus was trying to make a point by exaggerating. They decide that hating one's family is wrong, so they conclude that Jesus didn't really mean what He said.<p>But... doesn't that mean that Christians are deciding for themselves what's right and what's wrong?<p>If Christians truly got their morals from their religion, they would read Luke 14:26, and hate whomever Jesus tells them to hate. But they don't. Why is that?<p>Because they're deciding their morals for themselves.<p>What I'm trying to say is, maybe moral relativism is the saner alternative to Biblical fundamentalism. Thoughts?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 8:55 p.m. CST

    If There Is A Cosmic Space God

    by LaserPants

    Odds are that It is more or less utterly indifferent to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, couldn't give a shit what you do to yourself and others, and would probably be a terrifying monster should we ever meet it. But we won't, because such a creature either a) doesn't exist, or b) is so far removed from our experience as to be irrelevant to our day to day existence. I mean, REALLY NOW! Do people still actually need this shit? To people really need to believe that Superman is real and patrols the universe battling evildoers and spanking heineys for having natural desires? REALLY? I mean thats just fucking INSANE! <br><br> I dunno, I just can't believe it. I mean, okay, yeah, the illusion of an all-knowing, all-loving space god is a nice idea, a nice fantasy, but that doesn't make it true. I just can't believe that people still need to cling to this shit. I just feel sorry for everybody for being so dumb, so sad, so pathetic. Alright, enough ranting.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 9:17 p.m. CST

    my cat's breath smells like cat food

    by chipps

    Really one needs to differentiate between different types of religiousness. I am a catholic, i meet regularly with my priest for beers, both of my parents are science teachers at catholic schools. Most 'religious' people have no problem reconciling science with faith. I personally feel the term religious has been hijacked by the wackos. I also feel that dawkin (i haven't read harris) lumps all religion in together and undertakes circular arguments. I am currently reading a bio on cromwell and i imagine most anti religious types would be amazed at the influence that religious debate had on the development of democracy (it was pivotal) or abolishing slavery for that matter. If david copperfield played his cards right, two thousand years from now he might be considered the son of god. i accept that jesus may have been a cheap conjurer, but it is faith, belief without proof that makes me think otherwise. And there are actually non christain contempory accounts of jesus such as josephus.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 9:21 p.m. CST

    and mom

    by chipps

    read the koran dude. i lived in an islamic country for three years and they really were lovely people, way less likly to solve problems with their fists than aussies are but seriously, you won't go three pages of the koran without reading some sort of justification for killing infidels. just pick it up at any point. the cristain bible has certainly bred intolerance, but you can't say that about it.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 9:45 p.m. CST

    WhinyNegativeBitch

    by chipps

    my question to you would be are you asking for someone to prove it to you and then you will sign up, or are you intolerant toward religion until such time as it is proven. i know this sounds like cop out but i believe the lack of proof is part of the plan. it is one of those 'if you love something set it free things'. now i don't personally care what your beliefs are. in my mind everyone in the western world has had access to cristianity and has made an informed decision to follow it or not. that is a fair choice. it does irk me when people look down on those who belive thinking they are stupid. most of the theories that 'disprove' religion were established by religious people, just those who were against the orthodoxy of the day. furthermore actually most of physics and darwinism falls into the category of theory and as such, no you can't prove it. (although i personally believe basically all of it and that was just semantics, mum is a biology teacher and dad is a physics teacher). lastly i have found that most people who site this stuff actually are unable to satisfactorily explain it ie to the level of what one would call proof (everyone KNOWS the earth is round ect). as such as far as i am concerned they take science as an article of faith, albeit with different prophets.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 9:51 p.m. CST

    oh i have read the bible

    by chipps

    and i agree that the old testament is often intolerant. I certainly don't follow all of the old testament. commandments 4-10 (depending on your denomination) are about treating your fellow man correctly, and this will gain gods love. at the time this was revolutionary, appeasing god was about doing things for him (or them). The message of the old testament is superseeded by the new testament. I feel in particular the gospal - the actual teaching of crist. in the the new testament the over riding theme is a)show me love by treating your fellow man well b)some things god is against, but judgment is not for you but for him.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Can't prove science?

    by Lucasblows

    Seriously? I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that statement. Wow.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 9:59 p.m. CST

    fine

    by chipps

    you are smarter than me. whatever. i am actually not challenging it. I agree with it. but it is after all called the THEORY of evolution. the THEORY of relativity. They are pretty much universally accepted and tested to all reasonableness though, and as such i subscribe to them. but its ok. I'm obviously stupid and intolerant.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Women - why do you put up with this nonsense ?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    As a man on some basic selfish screwed up level I get why men can accept the Jewish, Christian, Islamic religions because essentially they are about the control of women. Eve came from man, Eve was the one who made the mistake. Islamic women are required to cover themselves because men can't control themselves, and apparently women aren't attracted by men, as men don't have to cover themself. Women can't go to mosques when they are menstrurating because this entirely natural act is "dirty". But for educated financially strong women to accept this, just astounds me.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Uncontrollable Projectile Vomiting >>> Organized Religion

    by LaserPants

    At least the uncontrollable projectile vomiting is based on something THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:09 p.m. CST

    www.jesus-is-savior.com/W olves/bush_denies_jesus_christ.htm

    by BringingSexyBack

    "My friends, I am persuaded that George W. Bush has made a confidential pact with the devil. Forget this man's pious exterior. Do not be deceived by the compromised evangelical leaders who sing Bush's praises. Don't be fooled by his puny tears and his protestations of how much he cares for the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan who are shedding their blood and losing their limbs in a useless and arbitrary war whose twin goals are oil riches and Israeli territorial conquest. <P> It tears at my stomach and brings me profound sorrow to say it. But I must. George W. Bush is a hard-hearted, calculating killer who merely pretends to be a Christian. Believe it and be prepared for the worse." <P> - Texe Marrs

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Science Is Based On Inquiry Into Observable, Measurable Phenomen

    by LaserPants

    Religion is based on some bullshit fairy tales somebody made up because every day existence scares the living shit out of them. "OH NO, WHY DOES THE SUN GO DOWN?! IT MUST BE THE DEBIL!!!" Made sense for primitive folks who don't know any better, but today? You just seem mentally ill.<br><br> Seriously! People who hear voices and talk to an illusory space monster are commonly referred to as schizophrenic. But if you call it a religion it gets a pass? Really? WHY?! And how can I get in on working that scam, cause I wanna live tax free too!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:13 p.m. CST

    WhinyNegative - you are on fire!!!

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:15 p.m. CST

    i guess

    by Zach_Talks_Back

    Well i guess LOTR did drop to 9th all time....but the idea still works.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Religions started today

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    I was going to say that the strength of some of these religions occured becasue they were started 1,500 -2,000 years ago when we were a pretty uneducated lot, however a famous SF writer turned scam artist has knocked that argument on the head.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Human Morality DOES NOT Need Religion As A Context To Exist

    by LaserPants

    Point of fact, over the centuries, its religion itself that has been at odds with the so-called morality it pretends to uphold. I'm looking at you Catholic Fucking Church.<br><br> Human morality is a naturally evolving phenomenon which occured as humans evolved into the rational beings they are today. Early people, primitives, created these fairy tales in order to give their morality context. WE DON'T THAT ANYMORE. I mean, yeah, they're great as STORIES, but once you cross the line into believing they're real and actually happened? You've crossed the line into mental illness. Period.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:17 p.m. CST

    see

    by chipps

    you had me until<p>Chipps, we look down on you because you are stupid<p>Voltaire said, i don't agree with you but i will defend to the death your right to say it. without meeting you i don't accept that you know more about these proof than i do. and i have not and will not be rude to you. the only reason i look down on you is the way in which you pose your views, not your views themselves.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Bottom Line

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    There is no God, Satan, Heaven or Hell. And Jesus was just a carpenter in the wrong place at the wrong time.<P>That's it for me. Goodnight everybody!!!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:23 p.m. CST

    SATANISM IN THE VATICAN!

    by BringingSexyBack

    Pope John Paul II - Burning in Hell <p> Please notice the picture above with an upside-down cross. In his article, The Kingdom of Satan, Professor J. S. Malan says this about the inverted cross: <p> "This cross is not broken, but turned upside down. It indicates the rejection of Jesus Christ and contempt for the gospel of salvation. Inverted symbols are typical of the opposite values pursued by Satanists. People who are sometimes sacrificed to Satan on Black Sabbath are crucified upside down in accordance with this tradition." <p> “...even now are there many antichrists…” -I John 2:18. <p> It is easy to find Satanic websites and occult stores where you can purchase all types of items with inverted crosses. The "Upside Down Cross” symbolizes mockery and rejection of Jesus. Necklaces are worn by many Satanists. It can often be seen on Rock singers and their album covers."

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Human Morality DOES NOT Need Religion As A Context To Exist (Edi

    by LaserPants

    Point of fact, over the centuries, its religion itself that has been at odds with the so-called morality it pretends to uphold. I'm looking at you Catholic Fucking Church. <br><br>Human morality is a naturally evolving phenomenon which occured as humans evolved into the rational beings they are today. Early people, primitives, created these fairy tales in order to give their morality context. WE DON'T NEED THAT ANYMORE. I mean, yeah, they're great as STORIES, but once you cross the line into believing they're real and actually happened? You've crossed the line into mental illness. Period.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:27 p.m. CST

    (Edit)

    by LaserPants

    Jeebus Fucking Keyristhole, I would love an edit function on this site.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:27 p.m. CST

    alternatively

    by chipps

    the upside cross is the symbol of st peter, who was crucified upside down. at the suggestion of mr blackboard.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Buddhism Is Really More Of A Philosophy Then A Religion

    by LaserPants

    And its the ONLY one that seems to bear any semblance of truth when considered in terms of actual day-to-day existence. If I had to choose a religion, it would be Buddhism.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:30 p.m. CST

    YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE IS RELIGULOUS?

    by J-Dizzle

    Atheist camps! Yep, they exist.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:31 p.m. CST

    DOES A SATANIC CULT RULE THE WORLD?

    by BringingSexyBack

    Does a Satanic Cult Rule the World? <P> By Henry Makow Ph.D. <P> "Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913) <P> The "Maryland Sniper" is on everyone's mind. <P> In March, Svali, an ex-Illuminati mind controller wrote: <P> "There is a lot more going on in the suburbs around Washington, DC than most people realize," She described how the Illuminati cult brainwashed and trained people to become assassins. <P> Has the mainstream media suggested a possible link to this cult? Do I need to ask? <P> In Svali's words, "who do you think owns AOL-Time Warner?" <P> To date, 12 people have been hit. Will the sniper stop at 13? Thirteen is a significant number in Freemasonry, which is an Illuminati vehicle. Thirteen represents Christ and his 12 disciples. The number signifies their scorn and hatred for Christianity. <P> The "Maryland sniper," (like September 11 and the "War on Terror") appear designed to traumatize and manipulate the public. I'm guessing that the sniper's "purpose" is to build a case for gun control and domestic involvement by the military. <P> Did you know that a "terrorist" started the First World War by killing the heir to the Austrian throne? The terrorist was a Freemason. Most wars are engineered by the Illuminati to weaken civilization and create a global police state, the "New World Order." <P> We need to see current events in a new way. The conflict is NOT between countries or religions or "civilizations." <P> The conflict is between the people and most of our "leaders" -- government, media, religion, education and business -- who owe their position to this extremely powerful and evil cult. They are traitors. <P> Who is the Illuminati? We are still living off the twilight rays of Western Civilization, which was based on Christianity. Civilization is always based on a religion, an ideal. Christ taught that God is Immanent and His Plan is to manifest Himself through His Creation. We must do His will rather than pursue our own selfish desires. Kings derived their authority from God and were answerable to Him. <P> The Jewish Pharisees rejected Christ. They practised a naturalistic religion that turned Christ's message on its head. Man is God, rules the universe, and defines reality. We can indulge our desires. Dating back to Zoroastrianism, the Jewish Cabala reverses the roles of God and Lucifer and embraces occult symbols, rituals and blood sacrifices. <P> This is the Cosmic Struggle between Spirit and Matter: God will be Immanent; Matter will resist. This is the conflict between God (the view that man is unfinished, and dependent on Divine revelation) and Lucifer (man is already god.) <P> The Cabalists secretly dedicated themselves to destroying Christianity and Western civilization. In 1773 Amschel Mayer Rothschild convened a meeting of 12 prominent Jewish bankers and other prominent Jewish personalities and submitted a programme to level the social order using the contradictory promise of "liberty" and "equality." In 1776, they had Adam Weishaupt organize the Order of the Illuminati, which merged with Freemasonry in 1782. Freemasonry is Cabala and, in the words of Andre Krylienko, (The Red Thread) it was "launched for the purpose of enlisting non-Jews consciously or unconsciously in the service of Jewry." <P> The Illuminati was behind the revolutionary movements of the 18th -- 20th Century as well as their respective reigns of terror. The bankers used their power to spread their Satanic convictions. They had finagled a monopoly on credit (usurping the government's right to create money) and they needed to control the world in order to protect this prize. <P> Their influence on world history can be seen in the story of the red hexagram, commonly known as the "Star of David." According to researcher Fritz Springmeier, the Star of David was not associated with Jews until the Rothschilds adopted it as their symbol in 1822. The Rothschilds were considered the leaders of the Jews but I don't know if the Jews knew the Rothschilds were Satanists. The Star of David is really "The Seal of Solomon," an occult symbol for the Satanic. Solomon worshipped the star "Astoreth." <P> Before we feel smug, the Great Seal of the United States is also a Masonic symbol. According to Eustace Mullins, the top of the pyramid is missing to indicate that they have not yet put into operation the final stages of their conspiracy. "The eye represents that Great Architect of the Universe, a cabalist concept; it is enclosed in a triangle which is the symbol of magic. The thirteen steps refer to Satan, Belial and rebellion..." (The Curse of Canaan, 141) The inscription "Novo Ordo Seclorum" means "New Secular Order." <P> Mullins says the leading international bankers were motivated by freemasonry: "From the year 1776, Freemasonry has been an omnipresent international government operating treasonably from within the United States, and it has exercised those powers ever since." <P> Without fanfare, Freemasonry is being introduced as the New World Religion. We are being brainwashed with it every day. So you need to know that: <P> Freemasonry is a religion that believes Lucifer is the "God of light and God of good, struggling for humanity against Adonay, God of darkness and evil." <P> It is a secret society that demands adherents swear blind obedience on pain of death before they even know what it represents. <P> It practises deception. It reserves its truths for the adept; the initiate is "intentionally mislead by false interpretations." <P> It preaches "tolerance" and the universality of all religions in order to negate them all. Christianity is especially abjured. "Universality does not mean Christianity." (Quotes from Masonic Texts from Gary Kah, En Route to Global Occupation pp.120-140) <P> Freemasonry is taught to your child. For example, a survey of schools in my city shows that 75% no longer use the word "Christmas" to describe their holiday season festivities. Instead Christmas has been replaced with such jargon as "winter concerts" and "international celebration of holidays." <P> The Christmas tree at the Legislature was renamed "multicultural tree" until a storm of protest forced the politicians to relent. <P> "We have to abandon our culture in order to respect everyone else's? It's kind of silly." one parent complained. <P> But this is exactly the agenda: To destroy Christianity, just as they have destroyed empires, nations, heterosexual identities and nuclear families. The agenda is to strip people of power and identity leaving us defenceless in the face of one-world tyranny. <P> The lesson of this story is that God is indispensable. He is Reality. We cannot deny Him without denying the principle of our own fulfillment. A secular world order is prey to the devil. This is impasse we are in. We are ruled by a satanic cult. <P> Some things we can do: 1) boycott the mass media; 2) "out" politicians, teachers and media figures who are pushing the freemason agenda; 3) refuse to hate other people or fight other countries; 4) celebrate the things the Masons hate -- nationhood (internationalism causes war) heterosexual identities, nuclear families, Christianity and God.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:35 p.m. CST

    NAZIS AND CHILD RAPISTS IN THE VATICAN!

    by LaserPants

    Pope Ratzinger, card carrying Nazi, continues to adopt a policy of covering up priest child abuse, and on that rare occasion when he admitted that some of his witch doktors diddled the kiddies, he blamed "moral relativism," (or really, Ratzo? Like the moral relativism which continues to facilitate the systemic rape of children in your organization?) homosexuals, and never offered an apology. Fucking BASTARD.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:38 p.m. CST

    WHAT ELSE IS RELICULOUS

    by BringingSexyBack

    Stampeding Hindus.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:38 p.m. CST

    WhinyNegativeBitch

    by chipps

    i'll take that. all i ask for actually is tolerance. you choose to be rude to me whatever, your choice. aggressive and absolute statement come from a tendency toward ignorance eg: only a fool dosen't believe in god. you think only stupid people can be regious. people like galilei or newton who said 'Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done'.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:41 p.m. CST

    WHAT ELSE IS RELIGULOUS

    by J-Dizzle

    Xenu.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:41 p.m. CST

    LaserPants

    by Lucasblows

    Molesting children is not one of the 10 commandments, therefore it's OK as long as they didn't take God's name in vain while defiling the boys.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:43 p.m. CST

    that said

    by chipps

    newton was a fruitcake who fear menstruation and is believed to have consequently died a virgin

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:43 p.m. CST

    WHAT ELSE IS RELIGULOUS

    by J-Dizzle

    That the Prophet Mohammad is a child molester.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:44 p.m. CST

    Lucasblows

    by chipps

    lol. but they prob do 'oh god oh god'

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:46 p.m. CST

    I have often thought

    by chipps

    that it would suck to be saint peter. you go home to your missus and start on her, and she's like 'oh god, oh god. jesus, JESUS!'<p> for fucks sake, can i please go ten minutes without hearing about that guy!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:48 p.m. CST

    BEN BERNANKE IS A SATANIST FULFILLING THE PLOT LAID OUT BY GREEN

    by BringingSexyBack

    George Bush is one of many Antichrists.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Catholic Church - one suggestion!!

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    If you are going to continue the practice of having priests who can not marry/ have "relations" with a woman or another man, I would suggest that all priests should be castrated, chop them off and hopefully then they would leave the kids alone.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:48 p.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by Lucasblows

    ...how about "OH GOD! JESUS THAT'S TIGHT!"

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Miyamoto_Musashi

    by Lucasblows

    They'll just by strap ons.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:50 p.m. CST

    WHAT ELSE IS RELICULOUS

    by BringingSexyBack

    Madonna's cynical conversion to Kabbala. I don't like her brother but the guy is telling it like it is. Madonna is a worshipper of money, and not God. Satan is her master.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Ummm, Chipps

    by samsquanch

    Newton was a total fag, dude.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:54 p.m. CST

    luther said

    by chipps

    the role of a women is to give birth until she dies from it. and after that they started a religion where priest could marry. from a practical point of view the catholic church is dieing because of that rule. No one in the west are becoming priests because of it. one day you see an african or filipino born archbishop of boston unless there is a change.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:54 p.m. CST

    BringingSexy ...

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Yeah Madonna use to worship d#ck, but yeah money is probably the one these days

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:55 p.m. CST

    WHAT ELSE IS RELIGULOUS

    by J-Dizzle

    That Madonna is using her brother's book to get publicity. That, and female circumcisions.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:56 p.m. CST

    African bishop .....

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Feel sorry for the kids of Boston if the stereotype rings true...ouch!!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:56 p.m. CST

    FEMALE CIRCUMCISIONS

    by BringingSexyBack

    That's pretty nasty. So are male ones. That's just some excuse for a perv to abuse your wee-wee.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST

    Miyamoto_Musashi

    by chipps

    lol. i'll pay that

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:01 p.m. CST

    CONSPIRACY TOO MONSTROUS TO CONCEIVE

    by BringingSexyBack

    Conspiracy Too Monstrous To Conceive <p> By Henry Makow Ph.D. <p> "The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists." J. Edgar Hoover <p> The world is in the malignant grip of a satanic cult. <p> People recoil at the suggestion but proof stares us in the face every day. <p> George W. Bush, President of the "Free World" is a member of "Skull and Bones" a chapter of the Illuminati order. His father, grandfather and uncle are also members. <p> In his autobiography, "A Charge to Keep" Bush writes, "My senior year I joined Skull and Bones, a secret society so secret I can't say anything more." In Aug. 2000 he said his "heritage is part of who I am." <p> Hello! Can a man hold any public office, let alone the most important, and belong to a "secret society"? If this society were benign, would it have to be secret? <p> What a secret society it is! The Illuminati is the hidden hand behind all modern cataclysms, including the French and Russian Revolutions, Communism, the Depression and Nazism. To affect the course of history only takes money. The people behind the Illuminati have plenty. <p> It's time we faced reality. Murphy's Law applies to humanity. "If it can go wrong, it will." <p> It has. The world is ruled by a satanic cult. <p> THE ILLUMINATI AND THE SKULL AND BONES <p> The Illuminati originates in the Jewish Kabala, Babylonian mystery cults, the Templars, Freemasons and assorted interests dedicated to Satan worship and absolute power. On May 1 1776, Adam Weishaupt, a professor at the University of Inglestadt in Germany, founded "The Order of the Illuminati." Many people believe Weishaupt was sponsored by Prince William of Hesse Casel and his banker Meyer Amschel Rothschild, the wealthiest man in the world. <p> The Illuminati's goal was to destroy Western Civilization and to erect a new world order ruled by them. Its method was to dissolve all social ties (employer, nation, religion, race, family) by exploiting social discontent and promising a golden age of "human brotherhood." This is now called "globalization." <p> Attracted by the promise of power and change, people served without realizing who or what they were supporting. Weishaupt urged his followers to "practise the art of counterfeit." New recruits were told the Illuminati expressed the original spirit of Christianity. Weishaupt marvelled that even churchmen could be gulled. "Oh! Men, of what cannot you be persuaded?" (Nesta Webster, World Revolution, 1921, p. 27) <p> The Illuminati had a hand in every so-called "progressive" movement of the past 200 years. Women, said Weishaupt, were to be enlisted with "hints of emancipation." They "can all be led toward change by vanity, curiosity, sensuality and inclination." (Webster, 29) <p> William Huntington, an American who had studied in Germany, founded the "Skull and Bones" (Chapter 322 of the Bavarian Illuminati) at Yale University in 1832. The members wore a death's head on their chests and were sworn to secrecy on pain of death. "The Order" became the preserve of the leading New England families, many wealthy from the Opium trade. These include the Whitneys, Tafts, Buckleys, Lowells, Sloans, Coffins, and Harrimans. The Bush family was dependent on these interests. <p> For over 150 years, "Bonesmen" have run the world from positions in banking, intelligence, media, law and government. Members included Presidential handler Averell Harriman, anti war leader William Sloan Coffin, Time-Life magnate Henry Luce, Truman war secretary Henry Stimson (responsible for dropping the atomic bomb), pseudo conservative William F. Buckley and many more. <p> "THE BATTLE IS NOT BETWEEN LEFT AND RIGHT" <p> In the 1960's British-born Dr. Anthony Sutton was a Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute when he discovered that, in spite of the Cold War, the US was supplying the USSR with its technology, including weapons used against American soldiers in Vietnam. Sutton dug deeper and discovered that Wall Street had sponsored both the Bolshevik Revolution and the rise of Nazi Germany. The resulting books which are on line cost Dr. Sutton his academic career. <p> In 1983, Dr. Sutton received a list of Skull and Bones members and immediately recognized the names of many men who controlled American policy. He published a book entitled "America's Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones" (1986). He updated and republished this book just before his death last June at age 77. Here are some of his conclusions. <p> "The Order" is " a purely American phenomenon with German origin." Dr. Sutton compares it to the Round Table, Cecil Rhodes' secret society at Oxford also known as "The Group." The American and British entities consist of 20-30 dynastic families each. Jewish banking interests connect them. <p> "The links between 'The Order' and Britain go through Lazard Freres and the private merchant banks... 'The Group' links to the Jewish equivalent through the Rothschilds in Britain... 'The Order' in the US links to the Guggenheim, Schiff and Warburg families." (23) <p> As Dr. Sutton notes, the "Order" had definite anti Semitic tendencies but by the 1960's, many Jewish names started to appear among the 15 annual inductees. See list of Skull and Bones members. <p> Dr. Sutton believes the "left" versus "right" split is fraudulent and used to control the debate and condition citizens to think along certain lines. Left-wing magazines like the "The Nation" and "The New Republic" and right-wing magazines like "The National Review were "artificially set up." The former were financed by Whitney money while the latter by Buckley. Both are "The Order." <p> Dr. Sutton states: "Sooner or later people will wake up. First we have to dump the trap of right and left. This is a Hegelian trap to divide and control. The battle is not between right and left; it is between us and them." <p> Similarly, in the international field left and right political structures are artificially constructed and collapsed in the drive for one-world synthesis, i.e. authoritarian socialism controlled by monopoly capital. <p> College textbooks present war and revolution as accidental results of conflicting forces. This is nonsense, says Dr. Sutton. They are created and financed by Wall Street to create a new world order. But you won't read this in history books. <p> "Our Western history is every bit as distorted, censored and largely useless as that of Hitler's Germany or the Soviet Union or Communist China..." (122) <p> Dr. Sutton believes The Order has many weaknesses resulting from an inbred gene pool, a shallow power base and a limited worldview. In any future conflict between the authoritarian state and the individual, he believes opposition will take "a million forms." <p> " No one is going to create the anti-The Order movement. That would be foolish and unnecessary. It could be infiltrated, bought off, or diverted all too easily. Why play by the rules set by the enemy? <p> The movement that will topple The Order will be extremely simple and most effective. It will be ten thousand or a million Americans who come to the conclusion that they don't want the State to be boss, that they prefer to live under the protection of the Constitution. They will make their own independent decision to thwart The Order and it will take ten thousand or a million forms." (55) <p> COGNITIVE DISSONANCE <p> Bizarre as it sounds, our world is the product of a multi generational satanic conspiracy. (Believe me I would give everything I own to be wrong.) <p> When we compare this disturbing conclusion with the comforting picture purveyed by Illuminati controlled-mass media and education, we experience "cognitive dissonance," or psychological stress. This is usually resolved by evading reality, dismissing it as "conspiracy theory." <p> One reader, stirring in his sleep, wrote: "You sir are T-TOTALLY the biggest story teller I have ever heard. If I ever get really bored I will read some of your concockions." <p> In fact, conspiracy is very plausible. People who control a grossly disproportionate share of the world's wealth will take measures to consolidate their position. They will destabilize the public by inciting a series of wars and other mind-boggling hoaxes (communism, lesbian feminism, multiculturalism). They will subvert faith in a loving God and promote violence and depravity (Satan) instead. <p> The government-inspired 9-11 atrocity proves a satanic cult controls the US. Bush and his accomplices are criminals, traitors and impostors. But don't look to the Democrats for salvation. Leading contender Sen. John Kerry is also Skull and Bones (Class of 1966.) <p> The "War on Terror" is obviously designed to forestall domestic opposition and condition people to further subjugation and new world order. What can we do? <p> Antony Sutton had it right when he said opposition should be individual in character. It should "take ten thousand or a million forms." <p>

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:05 p.m. CST

    NOW HOLD ON THERE BSB

    by J-Dizzle

    Nothing wrong with male circumcisions, so long as you're too young to remember it.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:06 p.m. CST

    see

    by chipps

    male circumcision started in a really sandy part of the world where dude were prone to infection. it was also a time where people did not have our understanding of disease and the fact is that pigs are one of the worst things to eat if you don't cook them properly. people underestimate the intelligence of the ancients. they built the pyramids. they were genetically the same us, read no difference in intelligence. they just had a smaller backlog of knowledge. then the dark ages happened. less 'cultured' armies beat those with greater knowledge and consequently we went backwards. as an example, when the parthenon was built, roman cement technology was better than our technology early last century. we have most overtaken them but looking down on the ancients is ignorant. nothing justifys female circumcision

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:09 p.m. CST

    THERE'S NO MEDICAL REASONING FOR CIRCUMCISION

    by BringingSexyBack

    and what the hell is the deal with biting the thing off? That's gross.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:09 p.m. CST

    WhinyNegativeBitch

    by chipps

    yeah no, totally. he also actually had a sound argument for the earth traveling around the sun based on scripture. I just want to know if 'insert earlier pay out' you look down on him/think he is stupid/scum of the earth.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:11 p.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack

    by chipps

    wrong. it is one of those is the cure worse than the disease things

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:17 p.m. CST

    BSB, NEVER HEARD OF BALANTIS HAVE YOU?

    by J-Dizzle

    On second thought, you probably won't want to know.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:18 p.m. CST

    WhinyNegativeBitch

    by chipps

    again, totally. but you are not addressing the fact that he, like many ground breaking scientists today, did not see that his advancement of knowledge necessarily contradicted faith

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:26 p.m. CST

    CONSIDER THESE FACTS

    by BringingSexyBack

    •Circumcision is not universal among Jews. <P> •Jewish press articles have questioned circumcision. <P> •One is Jewish based on parental or conversion status, not whether one is circumcised. <P> •Jewish circumcision has never had anything to do with health concerns. <P> •Circumcision conflicts with significant Jewish laws and values. <P> Jewish mothers who did not circumcise: <P> "Every time I change his diaper, I feel so good we didn't do it."

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:31 p.m. CST

    ok

    by chipps

    you've missed my point. he had personal faith. as do others. his science disproved the orthodoxy, not the faith. he was able to reconcile his faith with his knowledge. others could not, that is why he was persecuted. those people were like the parts of the us school system that wont teach natural selection. most people of faith think it stupid. obviously he was persecuted. those people were not just wrong, not just stupid but agents of evil. not only do most chatholic belive this but the church accepts it. (it took them a fucking long time though, again people don't realise catholics are varied in their views, and these days allowed to be.) I actually have four friends with phds with faith, three of them in science and one a dude renown for advancing quantum mechanics. that these guys have faith proves nothing - other than the idea that only the stupid have faith

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:37 p.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack

    by chipps

    restate your views without saying jewish. i have no agenda on circumcision (i am not circumcised and had infections as a child, others in my family were and did not) on balance i would prob not circumcise my child, but that is not the same as saying there would be no reason to do it.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:38 p.m. CST

    PARENTAL EXPERIENCE

    by BringingSexyBack

    One mother wrote, "I spent most of my pregnancy crying, vomiting, ruminating, and reading about circumcision." <p> Pregnant mothers sometimes reveal that they hope for a girl to avoid circumcision. <p> Another mother recalled, <p> "My tiny son and I sobbed our hearts out. . . . After everything I'd worked for, carrying and nurturing Joseph in the womb, having him at home against no small odds, keeping him by my side constantly since birth, nursing him whenever he needed closeness and nourishment-the circumcision was a horrible violation of all I felt we shared. I cried for days afterward." <p> As we went around the room, several of these young rabbis related the case of their own son's circumcision, about which, it turned out, they frequently harbored intense rage – rage at themselves for allowing it to happen, and in some cases rage at the mohel who had done it and botched the job. Only here, in the intimacy of a class composed in large part of close friends, did they feel comfortable telling their tales. Stories proved cathartic; at one point people cried.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:42 p.m. CST

    CHIPPS

    by BringingSexyBack

    I'm copying/pasting from circumcision.org. I'm not cut either, and never had an infection, thanks to good hygience and regular blowjobs. And despite NegativeWhiny's regretful encounters with some ugly penises, mine looks pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:42 p.m. CST

    also

    by chipps

    i grew up in a dry, dusty part of australia. but it is true that constant attention and washing can overcome most problems that non circumcision will cause. 1)read catholic daddy washing babys pee pee. most of you guys start yelling straight away 2)less access to water in biblical times

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:45 p.m. CST

    HOW DID WE GET FROM SATAN TO PENISES?

    by BringingSexyBack

    Is someone trying to smokescreen the truth? <p> George Bush is an Antichrist.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:45 p.m. CST

    WhinyNegativeBitch

    by chipps

    1) belief in christ is independent of any church.<p>2) you use as evidence that there is no god the teachings of a retard you believed in god

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:46 p.m. CST

    you = who

    by chipps

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:46 p.m. CST

    TRY USING A COMPRESSED AIR CANISTER TO CLEAN YOUR PENIS

    by BringingSexyBack

    It's a blast!

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:48 p.m. CST

    and

    by chipps

    i appreciate that you guys have reverted to arguing in a reasonable tone. you can disagree without being disagreeable

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Read Sam Harris' The End of Faith.

    by Ommadawn1959

    As more and more college-educated muslims blow themselves up to kill the infidels, certain of their place in heaven, complete with 70 "dark-eyed" virgins, we need to hear the voices of religious dissent. President Bush ACTUALLY believes himself to be an agent of the Christ. How scary is that?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:48 p.m. CST

    spoke too soon

    by chipps

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:49 p.m. CST

    ACTUALLY WE WENT FROM SATAN TO PENISES TO JEWS

    by J-Dizzle

    You know what else is religulous? That Jewish people talk to a brick wall.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:53 p.m. CST

    MY PROBLEM IS WITH ORGANIZED RELIGION

    by BringingSexyBack

    I don't have a problem with personal faith. And I echo LaserPants' sentiment that Buddhism is the only religion I would even consider ascribing to. It's so appealing in a non-Judeo Christian Islamic way.

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Ommadawn1959

    by chipps

    i intend to read it. and people with blind faith are scary. in fact i have less respect for crazy faithfully people than aggressive atheists. Fact is that atheists are doctrinally accurate. they don't believe in the bible. can't argue with it. most of the right wingers use inaccurate readings of the bible. once you accept the bible, most of the right wingers present arguments that make no sense within it

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:55 p.m. CST

    WHINYNEGATIVEBITCH

    by BringingSexyBack

    Are you a girl?

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:58 p.m. CST

    GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T REALLY BELIEVE HIMSELF AN AGENT OF GOD

    by BringingSexyBack

    He just said it to get votes and attain power. <p> "For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." -Romans 16:18

  • Aug. 5, 2008, 11:59 p.m. CST

    first

    by chipps

    BringingSexyBack see that i can easily agree with. only a stupid catholic is not mistrustful of the church. they teach this in christain brothers schools (where both of my parents teach). and WhinyNegativeBitch call me stupid fine. but that really makes no sense really. there is a difference between dogma and scripture. one can reject dogma without rejecting scripture

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:02 a.m. CST

    WHINYNEG

    by BringingSexyBack

    Okay. If you were a girl, you would totally do the angry sex thing. And in the words of Paris Hilton, that's hot.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:06 a.m. CST

    WhinyNegativeBitch

    by chipps

    and the contradictory nature of the bible is part of my faith and the reason i have more respect for you than for a fundamentalist. as you have indicated there is no room for fundamentalism in christianity, a true christian needs to be thoughtful about it all

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:09 a.m. CST

    imagine

    by chipps

    if a ufo landed in front of you and five of your mates. then each of you goes off and writes about it. that is the bible. a man written (some of the authors with very real and negative agendas) text inspired by a deity but not necessarily fully reflecting his aim, cursed by translation. then that gets taken and interpreted by yet others. still, i belive in the kernel

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:10 a.m. CST

    CHIPPS - HAVE YOU EVER KNOCKED ON SOMEONE'S DOOR

    by BringingSexyBack

    and offered them salvation?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:11 a.m. CST

    I WOULD SAY CIRCUMCISION IS THE ACT OF A FUNDAMENTALIST

    by BringingSexyBack

    Wouldn't you?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:14 a.m. CST

    CIRCUMCISION IS A WOMEN'S ISSUE

    by BringingSexyBack

    “The screams of my baby remain embedded in my bones and haunt my mind. . . . His cry sounded like he was being butchered. I lost my milk.”

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:16 a.m. CST

    UFOs ARE SECRET EXPERIMENTS OF THE ILLUMINATI

    by BringingSexyBack

    Don't be so quick to dismiss them. They have kidnapped innocent people to perform experiments on them.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:17 a.m. CST

    lol

    by chipps

    i'll pay that. no i differentiate myself by what i said earlier. you guys know it all. i'm not going to convince you or tell you something you don't know. you have made your choice. i respect it. but i do know a thing or two about both history and science. i will defend my faith. i am enjoying this conversation and if i am pissing people off ill leave. i invite discussion with those who disagree with me because i learn. i have very good friends who are atheists. and i have no respect for those who harangue people. in fact i have been harangued for being the wrong faith. each to his own.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:18 a.m. CST

    WhinyNegativeBitch

    by chipps

    but maybe there are ufos. maybe that comment makes you ignorant. neither you or i know. that is how faith is defined

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST

    CHIPPS

    by BringingSexyBack

    I respect your personal faith as much as you respect others' atheism. Unfortunately you tend to get lumped in the crowd of door-knockers who offer salvation through Jesus. Shit like that really, really pisses me off. I just think it's presumtuous and arrogant to say such things to other people, out of the blue. Not saying that's you - at least I hope it's not.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:21 a.m. CST

    remember

    by chipps

    i am a chatholic, (irish australian) and that means i drink like a fish fuck like a rabbit and fight like a dog. It is not for me to lord over other people. even if god allowed man to judge, i would be in no position to do it

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:22 a.m. CST

    BringingSexyBack

    by chipps

    nah, i hate those cunts

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:24 a.m. CST

    prob

    by chipps

    more than you. because they don't embares you

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Door-knockers my favoured solution .....

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Shotgun - double barreled

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST

    CHIPPS

    by BringingSexyBack

    Good night to you, sir. If more religious folks were like you, the world would be a better place.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Long live Lucius Fox!

    by thebearovingian

    He will live on...and on...and on.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:28 a.m. CST

    yeah

    by chipps

    prob time for me to bail too. thanks for a civil conversation

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:38 a.m. CST

    "absurdities of organized religion" = idiot

    by AntoniusBloc

    That's what I truly believe. What about the absurdity of unorganized religion? It's a phrase and generalization just full of contradiction and intellectual laziness, a good way to describe Bill Marr's approach. So, you think the universe is not godless and somehow that is an intellectually superior position? No? Well, explain it further then. Well, you can't, because as you do, you are giving it shape and boundaries, like any 'organized religion'. This fool and Marr's position is as oversimplistic as the easy target fundamentalists they target. I'd like to see Marr go against the current Pope in a debate to show that what 'organized' means is intellectual complexity, depth, and shape.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:20 a.m. CST

    religion is great as long

    by bacci40

    as you dont have fucking nutjobs telling you how to live

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:44 a.m. CST

    juice willis

    by EyeofPolyphemus

    No, it is not the same thing. all war is a crime, yes, but a necessary one with moral imperatives. <P> If the Nazis and Japanese, perpetrators of the Holocaust and the rape of Nanking, had won WWII, two continents would have been subjugated by militaristic dictatorships with the "unfit" being exterminated, and every Jew wiped off the face of the Earth. but the Allies, who firebombed Dresden and dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, won. As a result, Germany and Japan were made into stable democracies. <p> Whether you found the tactics offensive or not, the Allies had a moral superiority in war.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:31 a.m. CST

    My own take....

    by Tony fucknuts

    Religion can be summed up as drawing a smiley face on the universe in an attempt to reason with it. Its also humourous to watch other christians try to debate with catholics as to the why their method of worship is flawed. Its about as productive as arguing over the best way to breed unicorns.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST

    Gee somehow I just don't feel that stupid

    by stvnhthr

    The thing is that any day of the week your average Born Again Christian could serve Bill Maher and his faulty logic up on a plate. He isn’t that clever and most of his gripes against religion are either unfounded, illogical, or have been answered and answered well. If this film is to be taken seriously and not to be seen as Bill taking pot shots at Religion, they have to include a few of the normal Christians who put Bill in his place. Otherwise it just looks like he edits out the parts where he gets owned and just splices together the missteps of a few individuals and then tries to paint that as being typical of all evangelicals.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:13 a.m. CST

    first person to call me on it

    by chipps

    yeah, i know that argument. part of what i was saying earlier about those with proof not really knowing much about what they were talking about. lot of people, with hours now have had a chance to call me on it. personally i give it 50/50 it's not as cut and dried as you say. it is not universally accepted as a plant. the real problem with joesphus is that while he is non christian his is relayed through cristian scribes. there is no change in style and as for a christian monk being puzzeled, well the entire multi book text is about that particular era, and there is a total of two paragraphs about jesus in the whole multi book text. so there is certainly an argument that if you were going to fudge it, you would have done a better job. actually a great number of scholars see jesus as a historical figure, though not necessarily a doer of miracles. most augustus era historians think he existed. son of god? subject to faith.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:18 a.m. CST

    there is a chicken and egg argument

    by chipps

    that the text survives because it mentions jesus. not every text from the era survives.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:25 a.m. CST

    it acutally was pretty revolutionary

    by chipps

    and most of the steps from tyranny to democracy were driven by religious argument (declaration of arbroath, long parliment ect)

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:29 a.m. CST

    i'll read your responces tommorow

    by chipps

    I'm going to bed. night all. it is mostly believed that jesus is a historical figure, but not that he enacted miracles. most of his miracles can be explained through modern scientific means. david copperfeild could prob replicate them all. but he is spoken of not long after his death. he prob existed.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:29 a.m. CST

    God told me to tell you...

    by redfist

    That Bill Maher is the devil and that you should listen to a thing he said.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7:24 a.m. CST

    Goodbye, Morgan Freeman

    by Abominable Snowcone

    said the hospital staff as he went home to enjoy his recovery

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7:25 a.m. CST

    I was raised Catholic

    by Abominable Snowcone

    and went to Catholic grade school. I was a true believer for several years. Then I reached the age of reason

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7:54 a.m. CST

    I converted to the Church of Chang

    by Abominable Snowcone

    and am a better man for it, and the world is better for my having found the light.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8 a.m. CST

    Seems Silly

    by maddox

    "no matter how silly it may seem even to themselves, or to the rest of the world"<p>Considering 86% of "the world" practices a religion, the only one that ends up seeming silly is Maher.<p>Two reviews on this movie, but not a single review of EXPELLED when it came out (which was released in more theaters than any other documentary).<p>aintitbiased?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:15 a.m. CST

    Interesting how many of the bitter folks here...

    by zacdilone

    ...refer to themselves as "ex-Catholics" or refer to being raised Catholic. No observation beyond that, but it is very interesting.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:23 a.m. CST

    zacdilone

    by Abominable Snowcone

    Even if you put aside the fact that all religions are kinda dubious when you get down to it, in the last 20 years (since the time I left grade school) the Catholic Church as been embroiled in scandal and shame. Priests screwing kids, the vatican changing rules to fit with the times, female altar boys, etc. It's not a reflection of the church I knew as a kid--not that it would encourage my attendance if it were. It's as if someone took the whole institution like a snowglobe and shook it up a bit. Frankly, the church just doesn't have anything to offer anymore, as far as spiritual guidance or support. Hell, it's the last place I'd look for moral guidance. These are tough times, and regardless of what god you believe in, a church / one's faith should offer encouragement, hope and positivity. My old church just asks for money, so the priests can eat their way to arteriosclerosis

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST

    CIRCUMCISION

    by BringingSexyBack

    The rite of circumcision (brit milah) is performed on the eighth day of a boy's life. (There is no parallel practice for girls, and "female circumcision" has nothing to do with Judaism.) The ritual usually takes place in the morning at the family's home. <p> Circumcision is commanded in Genesis 17:10-14 as an outward sign of a man's participation in Israel's covenant with God, as well as a sign that the Jewish people will perpetuate through him. The commandment is incumbent upon both father and child - fathers must see that their sons are circumcised, and uncircumcised grown men are obligated to perform the rite. <p> Those who are not circumcised suffer the penalty of kareit, no matter how otherwise observant they may be. Perhaps in part for this reason, circumcision is the mitzvah most likely to be observed by otherwise non-observant Jews. <p> Circumcision is so important that it may be performed on the Sabbath or a holiday, despite prohibitions of drawing blood on those days. Yet the ceremony may be postponed for health reasons, and then it cannot be performed until seven days after a physician has declared the child healthy. If this occurs, the rite cannot be performed on the Sabbath or holiday, because there is no longer sufficient reason to violate the general law of the holy days. <p> Circumcision is performed by a mohel, an observant Jew who has been trained in the relevant Jewish law and surgical techniques. (In most traditions, circumcision performed by a physician is not valid even if a rabbi is present, although the Reform movement has begun to accept such circumcisions.) <p> It is a preferable to have a minyan present for the ritual, but it is not necessary. Only the father and the mohel must be present, but the mother and the godparents (kwater and kwaterin) are usually present as well. <p> During the ceremony the child is held by a person designated as the sandek, who is usually a grandparent or family rabbi. An empty chair is set aside to symbolize the presence of the prophet Elijah, who rebuked those who had forsaken the ritual. He now presides over all circumcision ceremonies to ensure the continuation of the ritual. <p> Before the procedure, the infant may be given a couple of drops of wine to ease the pain. The mohel recites benedictions of circumcision, then the father offers the blessing: <p> Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to bring him into the covenant of Abraham, our father. <p> Any guests present say, "Amen," and then give the blessing: <p> As he entered the covenant, may he enter into the study of Torah, into marriage and into the doing of good deeds. The procedure itself, which is very brief, then takes place with the sandek holding the infant in his lap. Afterwards, the child is bandaged, dressed, and given a name. The mother and father will often say a few words about the significance of the name. The event will usually be celebrated by a festive meal hosted by the family. <p> If a child was previously circumcised in a religiously invalid way, or born with no foreskin, the same ceremony is held but with only a symbolic pinprick of the tip of the penis. This ceremony is called the hatafat dam brit. <p> In recent years, circumcision has become something of a controversy, with some people denouncing the practice as unnecessary or harmful. {1} However, this is a medical issue, not a religious one. Very few Jews are convinced by those who believe circumcision to be mentally or physically damaging, and as far as it being medically unnecessary, it was never practiced for that reason. Like many mitzvot, circumcision is performed simply because God has commanded it and any practical benefits are secondary.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:42 a.m. CST

    saw this show on national geographic

    by Shadow Warrior

    where they discussed how in Jesus' times, he wasn't the only prophet. There were several others, and even the concept of the virgin mary and baby jesus was 'borrowed' from another religion. The reason Roman Catholicism became widespread was because an emperor or ceasar (im not sure) dreamt about a cross leading him to victory, so he embraced Christianity and did win, then converted the churches of other religions to Christian churches. So even Jesus' existence can be questionable, i just get disgusted when the Church is afraid to explore these topics and accuse people who do as non-believers. Also, in Muhammad's trip to heaven, he mentions seeing Abraham, David, Jesus, etc. These are Christian figures, but Muslims have no problems killing the infidel Christians. What's up with that?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:48 a.m. CST

    KAREIT

    by BringingSexyBack

    Kareit means "excision." The one who is the recipient of the punishment loses his/her spiritual connection with his/her divine source.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST

    TAOISM

    by BringingSexyBack

    Beliefs <p> Taoism has never been a unified religion, but has rather consisted of numerous teachings based on various revelations. Therefore, different branches of Taoism often have very distinct beliefs. Nevertheless, there are certain core beliefs that nearly all the schools share. <p> Principles <p> Taoism theology emphasizes various themes found in the Tao Te Ching and Zhuangzi, such as naturalness, vitality, peace, "non-action" (wu wei), emptiness (refinement), detachment, the strength of softness (or flexibility), receptiveness, spontaneity, the relativism of human ways of life, ways of speaking and guiding behavior. <p> Tao <p> Tao can be roughly stated to be the flow of the universe, or the force behind the natural order. Tao is believed to be the influence that keeps the universe balanced and ordered. Tao is associated with nature, due to a belief that nature demonstrates the Tao. The flow of qi, as the essential energy of action and existence, is compared to the universal order of Tao. Tao is compared to what it is not, like the negative theology of Western scholars. It is often considered to be the source of both existence and non-existence. <p> Tao is rarely an object of worship, being treated more like the Indian concepts of atman and dharma. The word "Taoism" is used to translate different Chinese terms. Daojiao/Taochiao (道教 "teachings/religion of the Dao") refers to Daoism as a religion. Daojia/Taochia (道家 "school of the Dao") refers to the studies of scholars, or "philosophical" Taoism. However, most scholars have abandoned the dichotomy of "religious" and "philosophical" Taoism. <p> De <p> Tao is also associated with the complex concept of De (德) "power; virtue", which is the active expression of Tao. De is the active living, or cultivation, of that "way". <p> Wu wei <p> Wu wei is a central concept in Taoism. The literal meaning of wu wei is "without action". It is often expressed by the paradox wei wu wei, meaning "action without action" or "effortless doing". The practice and efficacy of wu wei are fundamental in Taoist thought, most prominently emphasized in Taoism. The goal of wu wei is alignment with Tao, revealing the soft and invisible power within all things. It is believed by Taoists that masters of wu wei can control this invisible potential, the innate yin-action of the Way. <p> In ancient Taoist texts, wu wei is associated with water through its yielding nature. Water is soft and weak, but it can move earth and carve stone. Taoist philosophy proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts his will against the world, he disrupts that harmony. Taoism does not identify man's will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that man must place his will in harmony with the natural universe. <p> Pu <p> Pu is translated "uncarved block", "unhewn log", or "simplicity". It is a metaphor for the state of wu wei (無為) and the principle of jian (儉).[17] It represents a passive state of receptiveness. Pu is a symbol for a state of pure potential and perception without prejudice. In this state, Taoists believe everything is seen as it is, without preconceptions or illusion. <p> Pu is seen as keeping oneself in the primordial state of tao. It is believed to be the true nature of the mind, unburdened by knowledge or experiences. In the state of pu, there is no right or wrong, beautiful or ugly. There is only pure experience, or awareness, free from learned labels and definitions. It is this state of being that is the goal of following wu wei.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:14 a.m. CST

    SHADOW WARRIOR: "What's up with that?"

    by BringingSexyBack

    Indeed. There is simply an extreme contradiction between people's actions and the tenets of the religion they profess to follow. Which proves that the world truly is run by a Satanic cult that bastardizes all religions (except for Taoism) and uses it to pit man against man. Even now, if you've watched CNN lately, they're trying to corrupt Buddhism with their reports on so-called "Buddha's Warriors". George Bush is one of many antichrists.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST

    "There are cultures out there"

    by TerryMalloy

    "There are cultures out there that believe it is perfectly moral to stone a young woman to death because she dared have sex before marriage." <p> Like, for instance, the ancient Hebrews. Deuteronomy 22: 20-21 "If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl's virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you." <p> “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”- Psalm 119:160 <p> I say this not to be mocking of religion. I was a born again Christian for six years of my life. But in regards to morality, IMHO the God of the Bible is not the being I would look to as a paragon of virture. <p> For instance, here we have God advocating genocide. 1 Samuel 15:1 "Samuel said to Saul, 'I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. This is what the LORD Almighty says: I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'" Does this sound like the loving God that so many of you worship? Does this sound like a God of Justice? No. There is no squirming your way out of this passage. Either this was a man made directive or a divine judgment. <p> It is of my opinion that God was made in the image of man, and not the other way around. This is why we can have completely disparate views on "Him".

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Atheism is the absence of belief

    by robat

    [p]Atheism is the absence of belief.[/p] [p]If you say "God exists" and i say "Prove it" then the onus is on you to prove it , since you brought it up![/p] [p]If you say your position is a valid as mine because i can't disprove it then surely all is lost! [/p] [p]I can then come up with any theory at all and since you cannot disprove it our positions must be equally strong. That way madness lies.[/p]

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    bahh!!

    by robat

    so whats the code for a paragraph <p>?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Robat

    by TerryMalloy

    < p > without the spaces

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST

    "It's like trying to lif a bucket you're standing in"

    by Leopold Scotch

    Most of you are screwed when it comes to your arguments. I can't believe I just spent about twenty minutes reading through these posts.<br><br>The funny thing about some athiest arguments is that they seem to be born of the belief that religious people haven't actually thought anything through. They genuinely seem to believe that they thought of God not existing has never crossed a religous mind. I can assure you that there are lots of religious people in the world who are smarter than any of us. <br><br>And what's the point in even trying to argue against faith? Do you even know what faith is? I think both sides (both extreme poles of the topic, even) would agree about a broad definition of faith. The divergence is whether or not it's good to have it.<br><br>I find it amusing when people try to argue against faith using statements like "there's no evidence". You're trying to refute the concept of a phenomenon whose entire existence is based (whether you're religious or anti-religious) on the absence of evidence. "Faith is wrong because it is illogical"; "Evil is wrong because it is evil"; "Shit smells because it is shit"; "Logic is the secret of life because it is logical". Can you spot a senseless pattern here? You're going to need wider parameters than those provided by logic to bring down something as logically-defiant as faith.<br><br>And guess what: when I turned my back on my religion, it wasn't any of these tired athiest arguments that convinced me. Nor - when I was devoted to my religion - did I require any of the typical pro-religion arguments either.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    lift

    by Leopold Scotch

    yep

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    ZEITGEIST MOVIE . COM

    by The Goon

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Organized Religion

    by IForgotAbout19

    Spirituality needs no mass organization, except for those who are afraid of free thought.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    ZEITGEIST MOVIE . COM

    by The Goon

    religion is slavery

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Terry Malloy...

    by Blue_Demon

    You are talking thet old Testament. Yes, God ordered some horrific punishments for cultures that violated His laws.<p>No Christians or Jews currently advocate stoning. Muslims however...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Terry...

    by Blue_Demon

    What I was trying to say with my post waaaay up there, was that morals have to come from God and not man. Because man's morals are subject to man's whims. Our cultures change. Morals have to remain unchanging.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, noon CST

    M-O-M

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Quote: "If you love BLADE RUNNER, hate Michael Bay movies and are an atheist, when why the hell we even get to be at odds?"<P>Honestly? Maybe it's just your attitude?<P>And technically, I'm not a full-blown atheist. I'm probably more of an extreme agnostic. I tend to believe in the ways of the Universe...much like Carl Sagan. But even he began to rethink certain things right before he died...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:04 p.m. CST

    M-O-M

    by Blue_Demon

    I would consider them extremists. Like the fools who murder doctors who perform abortions.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Abom!

    by just pillow talk

    How goes it? If everyone was a believer in the CoC the world would be a better place.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Spazatronic 2000...

    by Blue_Demon

    I don't like for somebody to shove their beliefs down my throat either, whether they are religious or atheist. I honestly care more about people's behavior than their theology.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Blue Demon

    by TerryMalloy

    "No Christians or Jews currently advocate stoning." <p> Deuteronomy 13:6 "If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, 'Let us go and worship other gods' (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God" <p> "Morals have to remain unchanging." <p> The morals presented in the OT have changed...because the culture has changed. Thank goodness for that. Your decision to not kill all unbelievers is the correct one. Which puts you at odd with God. <p> I don't get all the whole "That was the Old Testament. Doesn't count anymore" Does God have some sort of statute of limitations on his behavior? How can you possibly justify killing infants? There is none. It was an unjust act, assuming it actually happened.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Terry...

    by Blue_Demon

    The New Testament sort of changes things a bit. And it was Jesus who changed them, not the culture. No longer any need for much of the old laws (animal sacrifice, etc.) because Jesus' sacrifice took care of that.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Terry...

    by Blue_Demon

    Yes, the Jews going out and killing infants of cultures considered unclean by God does seem barbaric. But again, those were "specific missions." There are no "standing orders" to kill unbelievers now.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Mr. Nice Gaius- Oh no you didn't.

    by samsquanch

    You leave the memory of Carl Sagan undefiled, please and thank you.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST

    I had no idea Sagan began to question near the end...

    by Blue_Demon

    That's news.<p>What I really want to know is why Anthony Flue changed his mind.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Blue Demon

    by TerryMalloy

    You're not dealing with the central issue; namely, the instance in the Bible where God commanded the Hebrews to kill infants. How did Jesus's appearance justify that heinous act? Did he atone for His Father's own sins as well?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:33 p.m. CST

    Also,

    by TerryMalloy

    Is it just to destroy unbelievers? If no, then that moral has changed due in large part to our culture. If yes, then that's fucked up.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Here's something worth thinking about

    by ArcadianDS

    "You dont _fix_ the Bible. Its not about making sense. Its about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. its about faith. You dont fix faith, River. Faith Fixes you."<p> -Shepherd Book.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Whether they were "specific missions"

    by TerryMalloy

    or a perpetual order, how does that make the act of killing infants woman and children a justified act?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Terry...

    by Blue_Demon

    Well, I am not about to say that God sinned. His reasons for what he did were his own and I believe He considered the civilization so vile that destruction was necessary. Like I said, viewed through human eyes, it is an atrocity for sure.<p>Jesus dies for human sin. Whether God had second thoughts over His actions...that's not for me to answer.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    In that case BlueDemon,

    by TerryMalloy

    I believe my own sense of justice to be above that of God. No civilization is so vile that killing children is necessary. Especially hypocritical of God to "sacrifice" these childrena and then condemn the child sacrifice rituals of the pagan religions. Also hypocritical in my opinion? Reveal yourself to one tribe and then condemn the rest for having the wrong religion. Just sayin...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:44 p.m. CST

    I also have a problem, theologically, with the idea of hell

    by TerryMalloy

    A pretty good person is born in a "nonbelieving" country, is brought up to believe in a certain religion, and is condemned to an eternal lake of fire for it. Again, my sense of justice is violated.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Hey, I understand...

    by Blue_Demon

    Lots of people believe their sense of justice is above that of God.<p>I see it this way: If somebody tells me a hurricane is on its way, but I have not seen it, I'd probably do something about it. If I didn't, I'd have only myself to blame for my death. My concern is not with judging God. I do have lots of questions, trust me. My concern is that people behave.<p>Blast...I love these conversations...and now I have to go back to work. ARRRGHH!

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST

    Leopold Scotch

    by samsquanch

    I admit that I don't have faith, and I respect it fine, but just because I don't share it doesn't mean I can't criticize what people have faith IN. Everyone does that. If someone claimed that they were going to win a million dollars on Saturday, and started living their life as if they were going to be wealthy on the weekend, running up credit, buying tickets to some exotic tropical place, quitting their job, you would criticize that person for being at best foolish and irresponsible, if not something worse. <p> If that person took offense that you just didn't understand that they had FAITH that they were going to win the lottery, and further, that you were wrong to disrespect that faith, would that sound like a reasonable argument? <p> This is what the argument about faith sounds like to everyone else in the world who doesn't share your beliefs. Not just atheists and agnostics, but every human being that believes something other than what you believe. If you're a Christian, do you offer equal respect to Scientologists' beliefs? No, you probably laugh at them. That's because simply calling it faith is a baffling non-sequitur. It doesn't explain anything. <p> Personally, I think blind, religious faith is simply a kind of indoctrination that hasn't been properly investigated by the individual yet. It's rote behavior, like sleeping on one side of the bed your whole life. It happens every day that someone finally chooses to shine the light of their intellect on their faith, it dissipates the fog, and what's revealed isn't faith, but doubt, and a capacity for reason too long denied. You said that atheists just don't believe that religious people have thought things through. That's not really true, I think that religious people think about it all the time, but there's more to it than just passively considering it, or sensing an oncoming doubt and pulling the covers up over your head to deflect it, yet again. It takes a brave choice, and another kind of faith entirely, a faith in yourself, to see it through and actually investigate that misty, dim corner of your consciousness honestly. <p> I think it's ridiculous for religious people to take the arrogant, self-righteous position that atheists simply 'don't understand' faith, as if it's some mysterious state of being reserved for a higher life-form. I understand what it is, how it works, and where it comes from, I just don't understand why you have it.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST

    BlueDemon

    by TerryMalloy

    Again, assuming it actually happened, I'm sure God had a rationale for acts which go against our basic human morality, but so did war criminals like Stalin, Hitler, etc. Not exactly staying above the fray.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Blue Demon

    by TerryMalloy

    Now imagine if thirty people tell you that thirty hurricanes are hitting your island and that if you don't believe in THEIR hurricane (and give a tithe of your income) you will die. Pretty much means you're fucked any way you look at it. Unless...there aren't any hurricanes.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST

    "religion is for the weak"

    by ArcadianDS

    If religion is for the weak, then certainly, atheism is for the arrogant.<p>

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST

    samsquanch & Blue_Demon

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    I would never defile the memory of Carl Sagan. I loved the man.<P>Sagan's beliefs are well documented. He was a lifelong skeptic and he had some pretty amazing and interesting views on god(s) and religion. After his death, his wife noted how he really began to ponder over what lay before him once he passed. (It's not like he saw the Light or anything!) All in all, he was skeptical agnostic which is no real surprise considering the spiritual-like nature of the Cosmos.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:55 p.m. CST

    You shouldn't need God to behave morally

    by TerryMalloy

    Then you are either behaving morally for fear of punishment or chance of reward. You should do it because it is right, not because someone told you to.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Atheists can be weak, Christian can be arrogant

    by TerryMalloy

    Moving on...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 12:58 p.m. CST

    TerryMalloy

    by ArcadianDS

    you're trying to argue against Christianity basing your points on the actions of very bad Christians, who, for all their attempts and efforts, remain entirely human as anybody else. They are no stronger or better than your or I, and are subject to the same ills and haunts that plague everyone else. The Crusades being a pinnacle example of this. You will find little justification within the Bible for the despicable actions of very bad Christians. Your argument can carry over to the US Postal Service. We should immediately close it down and cease all US mail as a result of the very public events over the years in which postal carriers have gone off the deep end, and shot up lots of innocent people. Do we actually do that? Do we declare the postal service as abhorrent? Is it for the weak? Does it attract a violent segment of our culture who crave the structure of regular postal deliveries as well as the mayhem of mass murder?<p> Y'see - you can't pass judgement on a system or a believe, because of the despicable acts of its fraternity. Thats exceedingly unfair the to the overwhelming majority of well-behaved and kind-hearted folks who, just as you do, have no tolerance for the terrible things done on their behalf by misguided fools and power-mad lunatics.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Arcadian, what's more arrogant?

    by samsquanch

    Claiming that the cosmos is beyond human comprehension, or claiming that you not only understand who created it and why, but infinite minutiae concerning how long it took, how long it's been here, what happens after we die, how many angels fit on the head of a pin, how many virgins you get if you die a martyr, the fact that your faith is correct but everyone else's faith is wrong, the creator of the universe will punish you with eternal torment if you prefer musicals and know about interior design, etc.. etc...etc.... <p> Not to be a dick, but I think you're projecting, dude.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Arcadian

    by TerryMalloy

    You may be confusing me with another poster. I'm arguing against Christianity based on what God ordered his chosen people to do according to the Hebrew Bible. Not on what any of his followers did.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:03 p.m. CST

    And I'm not passing judgment

    by TerryMalloy

    on anybody but God, according to said actions in Bible.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    But the fact is Arcadian

    by TerryMalloy

    I could pull up more than enough verses in the Bible to justify killing non-believers. You'd have to conveniently ignore some other laws, but so did God apparently.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:05 p.m. CST

    NOTHING MORE ARROGANT THAN RINGING MY DOORBELL

    by BringingSexyBack

    and offering me an option of everlasting salvation or eternal damnation. Nope, not arrogant at all.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:08 p.m. CST

    And I'm not passing judgment on the Hebrews

    by TerryMalloy

    Mainly because these events were written down probably in the sixth century B.C., during the Babylonian captivity, centuries after any of these events would have taken place. They probably never happened. It was likely just wish fulfillment, metaphor, and sermonizing on the part of the captured Israelities.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Samsquanch

    by TerryMalloy

    Very articulate posts.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:10 p.m. CST

    BSB

    by TerryMalloy

    I apologize for ringing your doorbell.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Thanks Terry

    by samsquanch

    you too.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:15 p.m. CST

    BSB

    by samsquanch

    I'm outside your door RIGHT NOW.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:16 p.m. CST

    ignoring some other laws

    by ArcadianDS

    if you're referring to the period of war in the old testament, it was not the fact that they were unbelievers for which they were to be killed, but for the fact that they were enemies, and it was a time of war. And as much as the Old Testament was deemed to be included within the Bible by King James II and his congress of clergymen, the books of the Old Testament are not the basis upon which Christianity is forged. It is the works of the New Testament. The Old Testament contains historical and prophetical documents from Hebrew history. If you wish to discuss argue or debate Christianity with me, Im more than happy to do so - but I can only speak to the volume of books upon which that faith is based, those largely being in the New Testament.<p> As to the absurdity that rigning someone's doorbell is 'arrogant', well i already said it - that notion is entirely absurd. Thats what a doorbell is for. Arrogance would be to open the door and walk right in. Unless you think the Schwann's driver is an arrogant grocer.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:21 p.m. CST

    IT'S OKAY IF YOU GUYS BROUGHT TACOS

    by BringingSexyBack

    along with salvation.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Arcadian

    by TerryMalloy

    Whether it was a period of war or not, we actually have international laws forbidding the killing of innocent civilians, and I would imagine, especially children and INFANTS. That is not a justification, and if you are a Christian then you believe the entire Bible is true, unless you take a liberal interpretation of it. If it is true, then God, the commander in chief, order infants to be slaughtered. I'm not trying to keep hitting this point over and over again but let's just admit that there's no justification for it and move on. Why try to defend this? I understand ignoring it altogether but that is choosing ignorance. <p> As far as engaging in a debate on the New Testament, I don't have too many objections to its depiction of God or laws, excluding the tacit acceptance of slavery, women as property of the husband, and condemnation of homosexuals. I do however have a problem with the idea of hell, see above post.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Arcadian

    by TerryMalloy

    The passages I'm drawing from are in the Pentateuch, which is the basis for Judaism and is a large part of the belief of Christians in the past and today.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Huh-

    by Holy Hell

    Some religious people are idiots. Some are REALLY smart. Just like everybody else. And, just like everyone else, the dumb religious people should challenge themselves to get smarter, but that certainly doesn't have to result in a rejection of a "religious" or "Christian" identity. Bill Maher is being pretty stupid himself, limiting his own definition of "belief", "faith", and "God" to the definition offered by the stupid religious people. He's really driven mad by fundamentalists, who are inarguably stupid in their understanding of religion, not those who find genuine, life-sustaining power in the mystery of God from a non-literal perspective (and there are many of us).

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:38 p.m. CST

    This is an excellent TB debate gentlemen.

    by toadkillerdog

    I commend all of you for keeping the most divisive issue of all time - Religion, from devolving into mere name calling. <p> samsquanch, you in particular, are writing some damn fine posts, if though I disagree. I am a man of faith. Born and raised Catholic. I will not get further into this debate at this time, but will keep reading.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Terry

    by Holy Hell

    MANY self-described Christians take a liberal or progressive view of the bible. Like, a HUGE number of us.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:40 p.m. CST

    God Smod

    by eric haislar

    Can't we just all get along!

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by TerryMalloy

    That's a great thing.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:41 p.m. CST

    It's

    by Holy Hell

    God "Schmod". Get aquainted with vernacular orthodoxy.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST

    by HoboCode

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by TerryMalloy

    What are your thoughts on hell?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Sorry Eric-

    by Holy Hell

    that was intended as dry wit.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Is it, as they say, holy?

    by TerryMalloy

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:43 p.m. CST

    "Oh I'm Biased..."

    by BlueMeenie

    "Neither a beleiver or an unbeleiver" That means you're not.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST

    No BlueMeenie

    by TerryMalloy

    That means he is a skeptic, somewhere in the grey area. He can define himself in whatever way he wants.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Schmod Smod

    by eric haislar

    whatever you get the point. Wit Noticed sir.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Hell is...

    by Holy Hell

    when people stop trying to understand one another, when they forget their sense of charity, generosity, decency, and hope. It's like many talk backs... There is no burning underworld. I like a Buddhist conception of hell in which there's a ring of people, sitting shoulder to shoulder, with a bowl of rice in the center. Each person has a long spoon with which to access the rice, only they are so cramped they can't get the spoons to their mouths. They spend an eternity in vicious hunger. The conception of heaven? They use the spoon to feed one another.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:49 p.m. CST

    ARCADIAN

    by BringingSexyBack

    It's not the ringing of my bell that's arrogant, it's doing so with the intent of prosletyzing to me in my own home, from the mouth of a damned stranger. It's beyong arrogant - it's deserving of a punch to the face for interrupting my talkbacking.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by eric haislar

    I have never heard of that Conception before, that is really quite beautiful.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST

    The problem is this.

    by HoboCode

    You can't say a book is the holy text of a faith-based religion, and then pick and choose which parts you want to believe or follow. You can't openly support a religion or text and then say the people "misinterpreting" are wrong. They are not misinterpteting, they are following the tenets of their religion objectively. Therefore religion, at least faith-based ones based on medieval values, have no place in civilized society.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST

    HOLY HELL

    by BringingSexyBack

    That was beautiful man.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Then hell is empty

    by TerryMalloy

    Because I'm not sure if there is anyone who has completely forgotten their sense of charity generosity decency and hope.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST

    And of course

    by Holy Hell

    it's metaphorical, ethical poetry, about the holy dimension of human life being realized in acts of compassion and cooperation.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:53 p.m. CST

    But I'm taking a literal interpretation of your conception...

    by TerryMalloy

    [Slowly backs out of door realizing his mistake]

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST

    HoboCode

    by TerryMalloy

    You can actually do that. People do it all the time.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 1:56 p.m. CST

    as Carlin would have said

    by eric haislar

    My Dick is bigger then there Dick. BOMB THEM!

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2 p.m. CST

    My question is if Jesus is really all loving

    by eric haislar

    How can he condemned me to a eternity of hell fire. for not believe in him. I mean given what goes on in the world this day and age is really that hard to not except the fact that there is not a god. I mean if my child did something wrong i could never do that to them. I would never punish them like that. If there is a god and he does exist and he really is about forgiveness then my can he not forgive me?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2 p.m. CST

    Toad!

    by samsquanch

    nice to see you here too, man. I know, I know, I'm a weirdo. Republican atheist. There are tens of us!!

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Hobo

    by Holy Hell

    To a point you're right- medieval religious values have no place in a modern or post-modern world. Those who insist on a literal, premodern interpretation of sacred texts are not bringing meaning and hope into the current era (the one with computers, and nuclear bombs, and anthrax attacks, and smart bombs, etc...), they're thinking of their lives as pre-modern. I am confident saying that that approach to the religious life is not very smart, nor is it useful.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Node and TerryMalloy

    by toadkillerdog

    Catholics do not beleive in a literal interpretation of the Bible. It has never been taught that way. These are the words of Bishop Richard Sklba of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee - “The Fundamentalist approach is dangerous, for it is attractive to people who look to the Bible for ready answers to the problems of life. It can deceive these people, offering them interpretations that are pious but illusory, instead of telling them that the Bible does not necessarily contain an immediate answer to each and every problem. Without saying as much in so many words, fundamentalism actually invites people to a kind of intellectual suicide. It injects into life a false certitude, for it unwittingly confuses the divine substance of the biblical message with what are in fact its human limitations” (quoted from Origins, January 6, 1994, p. 510). <p> Bishop Sklba believes that “because Scripture is indeed an inspired work of literary art, it is open to a variety of legitimate interpretations, like all types of good literature … as long as they do not contradict or oppose the original meaning of the text itself.” So in reading and interpreting our religion’s sacred text, we must be diligent to do it justice, but we also must be open to the Spirit as She offers us new insights and lessons for our day.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Republican atheist

    by eric haislar

    WOW the world really is ending. That's almost enough to convert me from being a godless heathen.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Eric

    by TerryMalloy

    My feelings exactly

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Eric

    by Holy Hell

    my God (the God many many many progressive Christians consider) is not an interventionist moralizer, striking down sinners and giving winning lottery numbers to the pious. Anyone who thinks that THAT is the only way to understand a Christian God is limiting themselves and misunderstanding a large part of North American Christianity.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    samsquanch

    by toadkillerdog

    I think you are inflating that number! hah

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    DANNYGLOVERS DICKBLOOD was on Conan O Brian?

    by dioxholster

    is it me or was Dickblood mentioned on conan last night?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST

    "Do not contradict or oppose the original meaning"

    by TerryMalloy

    What constitutes that? And how does one interpret the original meaning or message?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST

    excellent, Toad.

    by Holy Hell

    Grassy Ass.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:07 p.m. CST

    dioxholster

    by eric haislar

    Yes he was.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by TerryMalloy

    I went to a number of progressive churches for many years and even they still had a conventional definition of God and Christianity. While I appreciate your compassion, I don't think there are as many people out there like you as you would have us believe. The traditional conception of Christianity is still that Christ is the "Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through [Him]". Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:11 p.m. CST

    But I'm saying that as long as...

    by HoboCode

    people do take a literal interpretation, there's no place for it our society, because someone always will as long as it's taught to be truth. Therefore it must be abolished.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by eric haislar

    huh? That does not answer my question at all. In all honestly, I am a good person I have never committed a crime, I have never murdered, raped, pillaged, lied, cheated or stolen. My only "sin" is I do not believe in god. Now out of all of the things i just listen Not believing in god seems like such a small thing compared to any of those. How can god punish me for that. It just does not make any sense at all. I makes him seem like a spoiled child who will throw a tantrum when he does not get his way.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:14 p.m. CST

    But HoboCode

    by TerryMalloy

    People will become fanatics about anything, even if religion were to be abolished. There would still be some political system or a philosophical construct that would breed crazy fundamentalist people.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST

    TerryMalloy - How it is interpreted

    by toadkillerdog

    It means this - "inspired work of literary art". Not the true, indisputable, every word being sacred, law of God. The extreme story's of the Bible, are just that. Story's. Parables. Some meant to frighten, some meant to entertain, some meant to part the truth, all meant to enlighten in one way or another. <p> Holy Hell and I seem to agree - and quite many more do as well, that the God we know, is not a vengeful, or wrathful, or spiteful, or angry God to be feared. Those passages, were merely constructed to get peoples attention. They are in DIRECT contradiction to the God that is loving, and generous, and forgiving. When you see such a contradiction - and when the overwhelming preponderance of evidence is for an understanding and forgiving and loving God, not a vengeful one, then you throw out the extreme tales as merely stories told by men to enlighten, but not to impart the true word of God. hat is how you interpret it - in a non-fundamental way.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Terry

    by Holy Hell

    There are parts of the orthodox liturgy in which even progressive Christians attest to there being "one holy catholic and apostolic church" etc, in which ancient words are spoken and, interpreted literally (either by the speaker or the listener) smack of religious exclusivity. The truth is that many Christians don't have an articulated understanding of why they say the words, what they meant when written during the early Roman councils (nicea and others), or how they are to understand them today. However, many Christians, when pressed, will submit that their religion is NOT the only way to experience a holy life, that there are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc, of higher character than a fellow Christian, and that much of the ritual is pre-intellectual, a commitment to the tradition's storied history rather than a declaration of religious superiority. At bottom, most Christians just believe that they can find important wisdom in the stories of Jesus that they can consult when trying to understand the experience of living a human life in the 21st century. They may not articulate it verbally that way, but in practice and attitude, that IS an accurate description (in my experience) of a great number of self-described Christians.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Toad

    by TerryMalloy

    That's a fine interpretation.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Eric

    by Holy Hell

    "He" can't strike you down because "you don't believe in him" (whatever that means). Anyone who thinks that's what the Christian God does is misunderstanding a lot of Christian thought. And of course you've lied.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:22 p.m. CST

    this is why we need threaded talkbacks

    by ArcadianDS

    so many micro-discussions. I'll try to followup on as many as I can remember. My brain kinda sucks - didn't get a real good one unfortunately.<p> Terry - You're more than welcome to take issue with the Old Testament's historical accounts of violence war and bloodshed. I see those discussions and just walk away. They're not my cup of tea - I prefer mine a bit sweeter. The single justification and explanation offered for the inclusion of the Old Testament books in the Bible was specific and simple - because nearly all of them contained prophetical details either directly or through parallels, that many middle century scholars believed to be revealed and fulfilled within the texts of the New Testament. Otherwise, it is a fact that within the doctrine of Christianity, nobody will ever reach heaven by reading and believing in the Old Testament - there is no dogmatic content there whatsoever. Its included because it contains real historical events that lend a gravitas to the scripture. It references ancient cultures that we know through science and exploration to be real cultures. It mentions great cities whose ruins stand exposed to this day. So in the Old Testament, when it is commanded that someone should be killed for stealing an ox, that does not mean Christians today living in Missouri are on the constant prowl for cattle bandits, and vow to kill them because God said so. Those constitutionals within the Old Testament were governmental procedures for a very old and very gone religious society. Again, the only reason these laws are included is because many books in the New Testament refer to them. They speak of the writings of Moses and the prophets, so it was deemed important to offer those very writings for reference. So when Jesus is reported to be quoting from the writings of Jeremiah, we can flip back to those writings and see what he was talking about. Incidentally, there are things Jeremiah said that you can flip forward to, and check out in the New Testament. Anyway, thats why I insist on sticking to discussion of Christian themes within the New Testament because the Old Testament is simply reference material - it doesn't get to the actual heart of the discussion.<p> As to the other issues you specified (and others did as well), there is a bit of non-contextual referencing going on. There is nothing in the Bible that offers tacit approval to enslave women. There is, however, a specific declaration that in matters of familial debate, it is the husband who has the final authority. This is because when it comes time for his judgement, he will be responsible for that family. If their children fall into drugs or crime, it is not the mother who stands accountable - it is the father alone who bears that examination. It would only be fair that if he is to be held in judgement for the actions and results of his family, that he be the one that leads it. It is strictly a political appointment of authority. Nothing more. In fact, the scripture follows up this verse with very specific cautions against husbands who would wield this authority improperly - and very specific judgements for those that do. Husbands are to be in charge, but they are to always treat their wives with great respect. As a rule, slaves are not very well respected by their owners.<p> Homosexuality - its specifically identified as an abomination against the flesh. In modern vernacular, its "against nature" and I have yet to hear a compelling counter to that. All living beings are designed to reproduce offspring with a very intricate but specific biological congress. unless you want to discuss protozoa or other anamorphic goo bubbles than simply anaphase themselves into hundreds of clones. Not sure whether God passes judgement on them - I tend to think we're referring to humans alone within the scope of Biblical morality. Anyway, its identified as a bad habit. A sin. The funny thing about sins in the Bible is that it makes no distinctions. There are no 'seven layers of hell' or 'special hell for child molesters or people who talk in movies' (and that there is the 2nd Shepherd Book quote in this talkback. epic webpage right now.) Sin is sin is sin.<p> the disconnect is when people transfer God's dissaproval to Sin onto the actual sinners. God does not, contrary to that lunatic family protesting soldier funerals, a 'fag hater.' God does not hate sinners because the funny thing about sinners - thats sort of all of us, really. Its like when my 3 year old (uh oh a Moriarty moment here) draws on the tv with crayons. Boy do I hate having to wash crayon off my LCD. That does not however, mean that I hate my daughter. She's my most treasured thing ever. But even still, I really hate this habit of coloring on the TV with crayons. Thats God's relationship with homosexuals. They're not some special breed of bad bad sinners. He just has a problem with their lifestyle. I do too. Then again, I have a problem with all kinds of things people around me do - but it doesn't mean i hate them. Im not a real big fan of Bill Clinton (shock! surprise!) but if I saw him on the side of the road fixing a flat, I'd still pull over and offer to help, maybe share a bottled water. In my opinion, he's pretty despicable (and I can be wrong about that. its okay), but thats not a valid reason for me to go around hating him. In fact, the Bible cautions Christians not to hate anyone. Because you know what that would be?<p> rather arrogant if you ask me.<p> I like this thread. so far.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:22 p.m. CST

    TerryMalloy

    by HoboCode

    I don't believe that is necessarily true at all, and if they do it won't be something that is as harmful as a book advocating genocide or conversion.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by eric haislar

    Whatever you get what i am saying. So based on you religion. when I die what will happen to me?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by TerryMalloy

    I would hope that there would be many Christians that have that attitude. But I don't think you can really fault them when it is said, in Scripture, more than once, in no uncertain terms, in both the Old and New Testaments by Jesus and others.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Toad

    by ArcadianDS

    I agree with you to a certain stopping point. There are parables within the Bible, most prominently in the New Testament where Jesus gave this moral novellas to his disciples to get them to think and debate. He often used shock to do that. Get a man worked up under the collar, and you get him to open up and unleash his mind and heart to you.<p> However, some people take this idea and extend it into the realm of judgement. They use this concept to explain that hell and 'eternal damnation' are simply scare tactics to make you sit up and listen.<p> I disagree wholeheartedly. There are grave and eternal consequences involved here, and yes they are explained in detail to scare you - the reason they should scare you is because they are quite real.<p> (Im not speaking authoritatively here or anywhere in this thread - please interpret my comments as an expression of my own conclusions and beliefs, and not an insistence that anyone else immediately adhere to them.)

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Eric

    by Holy Hell

    I have no idea. I am concerned with life.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    are u guys talking about religion?

    by dioxholster

    thats a disaster what the hell i come here to talk about silly stuff like mr.dickblood then i get this religious stuff.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    TerryMalloy

    by toadkillerdog

    Thank you. I really did not want to get into this debate - not because it is not worthy, but because it can be draining and very time consuming. I am very happy that people like you, and samsqaunch, that I disagree with on matters of faith, still are decent people, and that we can have diverging views, but still get along. I have known that about samsqaunch for quite a while though. he and i agree on just about everything - except God. Have to work on that!

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Terry

    by Holy Hell

    There certainly are.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    dioxholster

    by toadkillerdog

    Danny is over on the Starship TB

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Something else to consider:

    by samsquanch

    I don't think anyone can really "choose" to believe or not to believe. What you believe or don't is a matter for the subconscious, or the soul, whichever you prefer. <p> Try this out: Make a concerted effort of will to honestly believe that you are 18 feet tall. You're so big you can't get out the door. You have to pull up your knees because the room your in is like a cardboard box, its so small. <p> Did it work? I didn't think so. <p> So what does this mean? Well, first of all, outside of total brainwashing, stockholm syndrome, indoctrination, etc, you're probably going to believe what you believe for the rest of your life. This isn't a guarantee, a broken clock is correct twice a day, and previously atheist people have found Jesus and religious people have lost their faith, but generally speaking, all the proselytizing and/or rational arguments aren't going to make much of a difference. we should all just go bowling instead.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Oh Man I can not believe this is real

    by eric haislar

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth_Society

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:30 p.m. CST

    If I met God, there would be only one question I'd ask:

    by IAmMrMonkey!

    "So...um...what happens in the last episode of Lost, God?"

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    ArcadianDS

    by toadkillerdog

    I agree, that when discussing hell and damnation, the stories are meant to scare, but the threat is real. I do not think anyone knows exactly what that threat is, other than it means you will not be in Gods grace. For a true beleiver, that should be hell in itself.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    are u guys talking about religion?

    by dioxholster

    thats a disaster what the hell i come here to talk about silly stuff like mr.dickblood then i get this religious stuff.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I second the going of bowling!

    by eric haislar

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:36 p.m. CST

    alright thanx, i double posted damn

    by dioxholster

    i think religion is cool only if god doesnt exist, but if he does then its all bull, think about it for a while and u will know what im saying

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:36 p.m. CST

    dioxholster

    by eric haislar

    I saw the dickblood thing last night as well i almost peed my pants.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST

    samsquanch

    by toadkillerdog

    I disagree. If only for the fact that most people on this planet believe in some form of higher power. That can not all be attributed to accident, or just inheriting the belief from parents. It has to be that people want to believe, have come to beleive, and stay believers.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by halberd

    Love the explications. I was about to lay out my own dissertation on contemporary Christian understanding, especially in America, but whew - good read.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Toad

    by Holy Hell

    But the massive presence of "belief" could certainly be described merely as a human need to contextualize their experience in a universe of meaning. It doesn't necessarily follow, logically, that a separate higher power exists.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:44 p.m. CST

    arrogant doorbell ringers

    by ArcadianDS

    just a bit of perspective. From the point of view of a Christian, everyone else is going to go to hell. It aint a fun place to spend a few days, were it only a few simple days. Point being, its a pretty dreadful way to spend an eternity, whatever particular flavor of dread it may turn out to be.<p> So when people come to your door and ring your doorbell, sure some of them are only intrested in a few dollars for a copy of their newsletter - but generally speaking from a bird's eye view, its there because to them, you're on a sinking boat and they've got a basket on a tether to a rescue chopper. They just want you to abandon ship and swim to the basket. Its not an arrogance. To them, its a simple rescue mission. It can come at inopportune times of your day, and I can respect that completely - which is why I and my church do not ring doorbells. Instead, we wait for someone to ask "hey my ship is taking on water - seen any helicopters?" so we can say, "actually..." and point up at the sky. Metaphorically, of course but you get the point. As much as it annoys you, and interrupts your marathon COD 4 session on XBox Live to answer that ringing doorbell, at least try to remember that for them, its a rescue mission, and try to appreciate the motivation behind the annoyance.<p> cold calling to door bells is a horrible way to sell magazine subscriptions, amirite? How more so to sell eternal salvation? I sure wish churches would just find a better way.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Arcadian

    by TerryMalloy

    Thank you for the response. <p> As far as the Old Testament, I don't think you are being a little flippant as per its use in the life of a Christian. You don't need it for salvation, but there is a lot of wisdom one could gleam from it regarding the nature of God, his relationship to man, the Law, the history of the Hebrews, etc. Also, I thought the reason it was included in the Bible was because it was believed to be the inspired Word of God, not just for its prophecies. The very nature of men choosing what is inspired by God seems counterintuitive but that is a separate issue. <p> I understand that Christians don't apply those laws to their society anymore. But if you believe the Bible to be the truth of God, then one would have to at least accept that this atrocities happened and God ordered them and they were justified. <p> I didn't mean to say enslavement of woman. I mean tacit approval of slavery, as in, none of the NT writers or Jesus condemned slavery. <p> As far as contextual criticism for women's role in the family, Ephesians 5:22 "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord." That's a pretty powerful statement. I don't think wives should submit to their husbands like they would to God. But that's my opinion. <p> As far as homosexuality, I object to the notion that it is a sin at all. It should go without saying that one should not hate homosexuals. But it is detesting to the Lord, we are told to hate sins (but not the sinners, I know I know) and some people are repressed self hating gays themselves so it makes sense to me.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST

    erichaislar

    by dioxholster

    i didnt believe it either i was like WHATTT?! did he say Dickblood? cant belive it still it was hilarious hearing that.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Toad, I wasn't saying it was an acccident

    by samsquanch

    I guess I should have made this clearer- I think people believe what they believe according to their nature, if you believe in God it's probably because it's natural for you as an individual to believe in it. <p> Personally, I have a complicated theory on how this has become a natural thing, through evolution, which I sort of touched on in my long-ass post yesterday, but it's the last thing anyone should judge anyone else on. I think it's a difference in us akin to preferring a flavor of ice cream. Obviously, it's a much more profound component of our natures, whether or not you believe in God, or Gods, or a 'First Cause', or whatever, or that you don't at all, but my point is that whether or not you find it natural to believe isn't any more a marker of one's character than ice cream preference. <p> I do believe that There is such a thing as indoctrination, and that religion specifically is a tribal aspect, but once again, the nugget of nature is there first, indoctrination comes later. I was indoctrinated as a Catholic, but my nature didn't allow for me to believe. Other people are raised atheist, and find their way to belief on their own, because it's in their nature. <p> That's the nutshell.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    dioxholster

    by eric haislar

    It's on NBC.com Right Now Harry should put a talkback up for it.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Thanks hal-

    by Holy Hell

    lay it out any way!

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Arcadian

    by TerryMalloy

    Taking your idea further. If I believe that billions of people are going to spend eternity in hell, I would be morally obligated to spend my entire life trying with all of my energy and time to save them. Right?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Arcade-

    by Holy Hell

    I'm gonna split a hair- "From the point of view of Christians, everyone else is going to hell." Inaccurate. I'm a Christian, and I don't believe anyone is going to Hell.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Terry

    by Holy Hell

    Yes you would. Unless you developed the sense to realize that such a pre-modern understanding of what it is to be Christian is inadequate and more than a little idiotic.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    I did thank you very much

    by TerryMalloy

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:03 p.m. CST

    homosexuality is a sin?

    by Bouncy X

    but those people are born that way, and if you believe in god then that means it made them that way.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:03 p.m. CST

    If God doesn't exist...

    by Larry Sellers

    Then how are ghosts born???

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Larry Sellers

    by eric haislar

    Wilco thats how.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:07 p.m. CST

    A stork Larry, duh

    by TerryMalloy

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Samsquanch

    by TerryMalloy

    I disagree with you. I was raised with good values, became a Christian, and now am a highly skeptical agnostic. <p> I think there are varied psychological responses to the idea of religion and its acceptance or rejection. I may have become a Christian out of a sense of guilt for some of my past behavior mixed in with a fear of death. I became an agnostic for intellectual reasons and because I had come to terms with my reasons for joining. I'm not sure if I was wired at birth to become one or the other.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:12 p.m. CST

    ghosts...

    by Bouncy X

    they dont exist in the bible world because everyone either goes to shiny happy heaven or super warm hell, so nobody can be left. thus once they prove ghosts are real with 100% facts, we'll know god isnt. :P

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:14 p.m. CST

    Bouncy X

    by eric haislar

    Would not the the proof of ghost prove that god is real?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Holly Hell

    by toadkillerdog

    Very true. And probably since man first looked at the stars or saw lightning in the sky, or was rocked by an earthquake, or saw a comet, he has beleived that a higher power of some sort must be controlling things. It provides comfort. It also unites and ironically, divides. Faiths, religions, worships, beliefs, all have sprung up based on Man's need to have his environment explained. Other than the truly whacked out cults, I have no problem with anyone's religion. <p> My faith is not contingent of someone elses belief or lack of belief.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:18 p.m. CST

    samsquanch

    by toadkillerdog

    I was wrong to use the word accident in summarizing your post. Sorry about that. I do agree that indoctrination play's a key role in any type of belief system, be it religious, political, or otherwise. A truly questing mind will discover for themselves what they beleive in, and will not need to be compelled in any way.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:24 p.m. CST

    AN'TI, n. [Gr. See Ante.]

    by BringingSexyBack

    ...in place of.<p> Webster's 1828 Dictionary <p> Antichrist. <p> In place of Christ...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:26 p.m. CST

    BSB

    by TerryMalloy

    What are you on?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Wilco replaced by very talented storks will suffice

    by Larry Sellers

    100% with toadkillerdog. Religion is a fluffy pillow on a bed of dirt for a lot of people. But who gives a shit? It's impossible to know if these people are wrong. It's not impossible to tolerate others' beliefs nor is it impossible to resist vehemently forcing one's beliefs onto others. <--Double negatives watch out. Cults (either the knowingly corrupt or outright batshit crazy ones) are probably the only dangerous forms of belief to anyone. And even then, they're mostly dangerous to the individual. Reality is a relative term, and each of ours is probably not going to be satisfactory to the person living next door, or the people responding to our talkback posts. Live and let live?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    ghosts proving god real

    by Bouncy X

    i realize the whole concept of "afterlife" comes from religions and shit but still. for all we know its not even an actual death but just the next natural step in our lifecycle. we're supposed to become ghosts, it doesnt mean some high and mighty power made it so or is involved or responsible, it just means it isnt over when you die on earth. i realize society's been almost brainwashed to equate afterlife with god or whatever god they worship but yeah, i just never saw the connection myself. its just another state of being.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Larry

    by Holy Hell

    well said

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    spending my entire life and energy to save them

    by ArcadianDS

    Now we get into the 31 flavors of Christianity where some believe that yes, every waking moment of life is to be put into the fervent effort of rescuing lost souls from doom. Myself - I dont think so. I think that because these waking seconds are very few, they're not to be wasted on the souls that dont WANT to be rescued. Its like being a combat medic when a bomb goes off. There are people who are dying and are going to die, and then there are people who are dying, and are going to make it with a bit of medical assistance. You have to triage them. Those who can be saved, should be saved. Those whose outcome is a foregone conclusion, you can try, but you will lose everyone in a wasted effort.<p> So i have time enough for anyone who is really interested in answers. If someone is interested in a fight, an argument, or just has their minds made up - well, I can make some time, but its not like I put my full effort into that. know what i mean?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:32 p.m. CST

    I think..

    by Holy Hell

    Bouncy caught a contact high from BSB

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Arcade-

    by Holy Hell

    Yeah, but we should never talk to convince. "Conversation" implies an exchange of ideas. There's no telling how either partner in the exchange will be transformed by honest, generous, and reasonable discourse.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:35 p.m. CST

    toadkillerdog

    by Bouncy X

    "A truly questing mind will discover for themselves what they beleive in, and will not need to be compelled in any way." thats a good idea, a good way of looking and thinking of things but thats the problem. most people are compelled, they're raised or brainwashed or whatever you wanna call it, to believe in whatever it is. they're never given the chance to stop and think about it and make up their own mind. of course some do, but they're a minority. most people believe in whatever religion because they were raised to, its been in their life and wasn't even their choice. some are so deep into it, they cant even accept the possibility thats its all lies. i may not believe in god or any form of religion, but at least i am willing to accept i'm wrong and its all true.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:37 p.m. CST

    here's how i justify my opposition to homosexuality

    by ArcadianDS

    The scripture is specific that marriage is between one man and one woman, and while there are a volume of joys and pleasures, its construct serves a purpose: procreation of the species - to be fruitful and multiply. Additionally in other passages, Scripture asserts that sexual activities outside of the congress of marriage between a man and a woman, is a sin.<p> now given that homosexuality is generally NOT between one man and one woman, it falls under extra-marital sex, which I believe to be a sin. Sure sure scripture calls out homosexuality in some very specific ways, but for me - I just toss it in the extra-marital sex bin and clap the dust from my hands of the whole debate.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by ArcadianDS

    agreed, but its like this: You're on a sinking ship and Im in the rescue chopper. there's a line with a basket hanging down. If you refuse to jump ship and grab on, I cant hang out forever. I have other people willing to get in the basket. I only have but so much time and energy. My personal choice is to spend that time on those who are at least a very little bit, interested in the rescue I have to offer. They dont have to accept, but if they have a genuine interest, I have time enough for them. What I dont have time for is the "oh yeah well religion is for the weak!!" kinds of debates. Those guys can go jump off a cliff and bellyflop right into the pits of hell - I can't stop them.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Ah, ArcadianDS

    by toadkillerdog

    That is not very Christian though. Jesus beleived that Everyone could be saved. It is not whether we succeed, but that we made a sincere attempt to bring those lost souls in. Not Triage. I would argue it is just the opposite of what you say. The ones who need the most attention, are the ones who do ot want to be rescued. I am not a prosyletizer, but from what I was taught, everyone has a chance at redemption.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Arcadian

    by Bouncy X

    you have every right to think homosexuality is wrong and bad and whatever, that isnt the problem i think. the problem is that homosexuality isnt any more a choice than being straight is. nobody chooses to be straight, you either are or you're not. (i wont get into the bi-sexual stuff here..lol). so since you're born that way whether it be straight or gay, how can god be against it if he's the reason you're that way to begin with.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST

    TERRY

    by BringingSexyBack

    I'm at jesus-is-savior.com. It's like an amusement park.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Religion - that's a MOUTHFUL right there.

    by halberd

    Didn't think I'd even do this but religious talk gets the brain clocking in overtime. So... in the words of the Joker: Here... we... go: Let's consider the context of this thing we call 'religion' - the era(s) with which their origins took place. The problem with a religion is much of its nature and perhaps its original values/teachings since its inception will most likely have been tampered with [ie power-driven councils or congregations that shape the religions we know today]. Humans have a tendency to change anything and everything they get their hands on whether they created it or not, warping it to anywhere between something much better or perhaps ill-recognizable in the very end when compared to its origins. At the same time these religions were being shaped, we had feudal/totalitarian/dictatorship systems in place where the poor/uneducated were incredible in number and the rich/educated [in power] were either religious or of military/political positions. The elation must have been a legendary sight when Christian missionaries presented The Good Word to the impoverished, and a 'new God' to revere to as their last bit of hope in harsh times. And while countless have been persecuted for their Christian beliefs, let's not forget the amount of non-Christians persecuted for the sake of power, and moreover how Christianity was utilized as the ultimate power-trip in the days of old. Changing some details to suit a power position was not beyond the high priests of those times. While many contemporary students and followers of religions may hold noble visions and principles with which to carry their lives, an unfortunate amount of people still hold onto teachings near-verbatim, if not entirely. Case-in-point The Bible... we have Creationists walking around thinking the world existed not more than several thousand years. At this point you'd be considered incredibly naive. But 2000 years ago? That sorta thing can fly because the information highway, aka Al Gore's invention, did not exist. And neither did National Geographic. I was raised Roman Catholic, and I'd like to say I'm still of that 'branch', but I'd be lying if I said I haven't tuned to science more often than not. Some things just don't make sense to me, like the condemnation towards homosexuality. If God had created this world, this universe that surrounds us, would he not have chosen every one of His precious creations to sit next to Him in the afterlife? Everything from cephalopods to primates [guess what, we're under that Order too]? Sure, we can understand the filters... don't murder, don't cheat, don't steal, don't do this, don't do that, etc. But... "men shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind..." Think about that statement. What does this have to do with anything? So it hurts the aspect of pro-creation? I've heard it before, and it doesn't float. Tell me what's worse: the rising number of newborns out of wedlock or same-sex marriages with seemingly unaffected children? Note that being lesbian is apparently not a problem as the Bible does not refer to woman on woman action as an offense towards God. There has also been evidence of animals performing 'gay sex' if you were to phrase it. Last I checked we are animals too. Food for thought if you ask me. I will maintain a belief that a God slash higher power is out there beyond our existence, but not in the manner that is being taught to us. It's in the right direction with a number of misguided parts. All I can say is that I've seen my share of 'miracles' that have more or less shown a different plane of understanding and power to exist amongst and beyond us. There is an obvious problem with our society and the way religion has been warped over time, because while the core beliefs are noble for the most part, certain aspects that remain to this day, after several millenia no less, still cause me to shake my head in pure confusion. But anyways... Bill Maher kinda sucks the donkey balls, but at least he likes teh Mary Jane, or so I've heard through the grapevine. - GSantos

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Arcadian

    by TerryMalloy

    Just doesn't seem just to me that somebody would have to repress their natural sexual orientation. Repressing promiscuity I can understand from a religious standpoint. But if the only reason why sexual relationships are sins is because they do not produce children, that's messed up. And you could argue that a married couple who use birth control when having sex are being sinful. Or a married couple that can't produce children shouldn't be having sex.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:45 p.m. CST

    as for "well God made them that way"

    by ArcadianDS

    I personally do not believe that God has a plan of Salvation for everyone. I am a Calvinist. In addition to the whole 'body is a temple' concept, it also says that there is a preordaining of Salvation. That there is a select cast of people who are 'chosen by God' for Redemption. The Scripture states that "..many are called, but few are chosen." Some people think that this refers to the actually Clergy - that while anyone can be 'called to Salvation' only Clergy are 'chosen for ministry' - that may well be. I could be wrong. But I stick to what I believe. Jesus said that "...all that the Father has given to me are mine, and I shall lose none of them." Meaning according to Calvinist doctrine, that there are a select cast destined for Salvation, and they will be saved, and none of them will be lost. Some look at this philosophy and say, 'well if thats the case, why witness to people at all if its already determined whether they will accept it or not." and my response to that is, "Because I am told that is what I am to do."

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST

    BSB

    by TerryMalloy

    More like a weird carnival with clowns! AHHHHHH

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:48 p.m. CST

    ARCADIAN

    by BringingSexyBack

    No offense, but it's really more like this: <p> I'm sitting on a park bench, it's a nice day and I'm just enjoying my MP3s and a cold Frappucino. <p> You walk up to me and tell me I'm on a sinking ship and you're here to rescue me with your chopper, and unless I get on your chopper, you will find someone else to rescue. <p> I look at you and think that this park is filled with fucking nutbags and look around for the nearest police officer.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Bouncy

    by toadkillerdog

    I agree -up to a point. When we are children, we follow the example set for us by our parents, or those we consider authority figures. Maturation, implies that we have seasoned, that we have grown, that we can make decisions for ourselves. We can choose. That some choose not to exercise that freedom, means they are not mature enough to do so. We are a herd species. We follow a leader. We live in societies. We want to be like all the others. That is the way we are built. Institutions such as Religion, play off of that. Without a doubt. But the freedom to choose is always within our power. Even in oppressed societies, no one can govern your mind. They may be able to make you say one thing, but only the truly brainwashed will believe it.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Terry

    by ArcadianDS

    we miscommunicate. I do not believe that sex that does not result in children is a sin. The Bible says that within marriage, '...the bed is not defiled.' that means if you're married, go for broke - have a blast and enjoy yourselves.<p> But I dont offer that same quarter to homosexuality. The jury is still out as to how or why people are homosexuals, and if our smartest doctors haven't figured it out, Im certainly in no position to offer a solution - but for me, the cause and effect of it is of no consequence. It is deemed wrong, and Im okay believing that. I also think that voting for Democrats is wrong, or the Designated Hitter - in all cases, its not something I agree with, but I dont go around throwing stones at Harold Reynolds.<p> (for our non-USA readers, he's a former baseballer whose primary role was Designated Hitter for teams whose pitchers do not have to bat).

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:51 p.m. CST

    BSB

    by ArcadianDS

    no its not like that at all. It might be like that when Joe Mormon rides up on his 10 speed bike and Geek Squad uniform.<p> When --I-- walk up to you, I say, "wow sure is a nice day today." you say, "yeah. beats last weeks rain." I say, "yep. well, God Bless." and turn to walk. You say "psshhh I dont believe in God." I say, "really. want to discuss it?" "nope" "well okay then. enjoy the coffee." and im gone.<p> how unabashedly arrogant of me.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Oh. My God. Are you people still talking about this?

    by OBSD

    Look, this whole thing is really easy to figure out. People of faith should stop trying force others to believe in what they believe. It doesn't matter if you're screaming at a girl walking into Planned Parenthood or screaming "GOD Hates Fags!" at a pride march or if you're trying to make sure the government forces your ideals about your specific religion onto the rest of the country, you're still forcing your beliefs onto others and that shit's gotta go. It doesn't work and it makes people hate you even more. What people of faith should be doing is showing others how your faith has changed your life through your actions. If you act like a douchebag and you scream "JESUS LOVES YOU!" to your co-worker, they'll think Jesus is a douchebag too. But if you let your faith change you first, people will notice that change in your actions and behavior and you won't have to preach to others. Of course, actually following the teachings of Christ is antithetical to most of the people who call themselves Christians in this country, but that's a diffrent story entirely.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    The only way to prove ghosts are real...

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    ...is to capture one. That is if the ionization-rate is constant for all ectoplasmic entities, of course...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Arcadian

    by TerryMalloy

    I know you don't believe that. But if the reason that homosexuality is wrong is because it doesn't produce children, you have to follow that line of reasoning to its logical conclusion.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4 p.m. CST

    ARCADIAN

    by BringingSexyBack

    Okay, at least you're tactful. Unlike some of the more ... passionate ... evangelizing zealots out there.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:01 p.m. CST

    GHOSTS ARE REAL. I SAW ONE IN MY LIVING ROOM.

    by BringingSexyBack

    Though I haven't taken the time to ruminate on the religious aspects of the sighting.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:04 p.m. CST

    bsb

    by ArcadianDS

    well, thats the whole problem. We have entire organized nationwide religious sects (cults if i may?) who wield religion like a hammer and think that the path to salvation involves a severe bludgeoning about the head and shoulders.<p> yeah Mormons, Im talking to you.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Gaius

    by samsquanch

    you attending the spores, molds and fungus convention this year?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Well Now I Must Work

    by TerryMalloy

    Goodbye all.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:28 p.m. CST

    hal

    by Holy Hell

    you were breathless by my post?! Nice, thorough job there. I would've responded sooner but I had to mow the lawn. Really well done.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Arcade-

    by Holy Hell

    you admit there is a diversity of Christian interpretations of various doctrine (many are called, few are chosen, etc), admit you "may be wrong", yet you believe in your personally cultivated "Calvinist" doctrine. Why?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:30 p.m. CST

    samsquanch

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Ha! You know it. I hear they got a BIG Twinkie out there.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:38 p.m. CST

    M_O_M

    by samsquanch

    Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by ArcadianDS

    You force me to repost a good quote:<p> "Its about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. its about faith. You dont fix faith, River. Faith Fixes you." <p> -Shepherd Book.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:53 p.m. CST

    A Fellow Browncoat!

    by Holy Hell

    But why, do you think, your faith takes on such a specific doctrinal character, when there are other "faith doctrines" that you admit are equally valid? I'm wondering because these doctrines give rise to attitudes and opinions of other people's lives (ie "homosexuality is immoral", "not all will be chosen to enter the kingdom of God", etc.). Why does such a specific body of doctrines affect YOU as unalterable faith?

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Memories-Of-Murder

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Sagan quote: "My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it. An agnostic is somebody who doesn't believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I'm agnostic."<P>Feel free to look up more quotes.<P>You seem hellbent on linking skepticism with atheism as if it were an automatic pairing.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Sorry samsquanch.

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5 p.m. CST

    M-O-M

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Please re-read my earlier post. I pretty much agree with everything you have said with the exception of the difference between atheism and agnosticism.<P>Also, I never said there was spirtuality in his work COSMOS. I said there was a spiritual-like quality to the Cosmos = Universe. BIG DISTINCTION. And if you want to substitute "spiritual" with "sense of wonder", that's fine with me.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Queef-

    by Holy Hell

    Even those that participate in an organized religion are searching for the truth on their own. If they fail to do so, then they are participating in a bone-headed pageant and nothing more. There are both kinds of member in every organized religion.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:23 p.m. CST

    EVEN IF CHRIST IS NOT LORD SAVIOR

    by BringingSexyBack

    That doesn't mean there isn't a Satanist cult ruling the world. Wake the fuck up already, people.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    religion on AICN? Fuck this....

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:26 p.m. CST

    Three connections between Satanism, evil, and money

    by BringingSexyBack

    Money naturally attracts itself to evil. For instance, if a woman prostitutes herself she may receive a great sum of money, but who will pay her for keeping her virginity or her dignity? If you are a hit man a large amount of money is yours if you kill your target, who will pay you if you would miss your target? <p> Second, evil men believe in where there is a will there is a way, and they are willing to sell their souls for their God money. They will employ evil to gain money. <p> While most people are quite aware of these last two connections, a third may likely have escaped their attention. Thirdly, the principle group of men who cranked up International Banking were Satanists from the beginning.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:27 p.m. CST

    boy. i was a bit drunk last night - and MOM

    by chipps

    the references to jesus are in 'the antiquities of the jews' not jewish war. and my references to the development of democracy are toward the english civil war. and most of the leading parliamentarians were bat shit crazy religious types.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    GIVE ME YOUR POOR, YOUR HUNGRY, SO WE MAY ENSLAVE THEM

    by BringingSexyBack

    Early in the 19th century the Pope came to the Rothschilds to borrow money. The Rothschilds were very friendly with the Pope, causing one journalist to sarcasticly say "Rothschild has kissed the hand of the Pope...Order has at last been re-established." <P> The Rothschilds in fact over time were entrusted with the bulk of the Vatican's wealth.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Queef-

    by Holy Hell

    You're probably gone, but I must say that you are not entirely accurate in your views of practitioners of organized religion. In fact, you're perpetuating a false myth that is dominating much conversation about what it is to be religious, accepting a truth without investigating it on your own. Huh... Many religious people ARE just going through the motions, adopting specific doctrines out of lazy habit or psychological weakness or social pressure, sure. But there really are MANY practitioners of organized religion that remain committed skeptics, rationalists, and conversationalists. "Religious" and "Independent" are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I (like you) think of them as closer to synonyms. Independence of mind, within any context (religious, secular, some mix) is the only way to peace and understanding. Just don't assume that ALL practitioners of organized religion are brainwashed simpletons (unless you enjoy being mistaken). We're not.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Late reply to Samsquatch

    by Eats_sandwich_gets_laid.

    Nope, that wasn't what I was saying at all. I didn't take the time to express any of my beliefs, and don't plan to. I was using Brundle's statement to illustrate a point: One can take almost any statement regarding another's personal beliefs and find gaps to exploit one way or another.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    that was a lovely Firefly quote....

    by Bouncy X

    but remember people, Joss Whedon is a self proclaimed atheist so. :P

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Holyyyy Hell

    by halberd

    Thanks buddy. And I would've commended your compliment sooner if I wasn't eating dinner at the time lol. Good, interesting talks here... Few topics if any can generate more discussion than religion. But I must say I agree with your religious views. Keep it up teach!

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    Sure not all practitioners of organized religion blindly follow with asking questions, bust a vast majority of them do. Nothing is absolute. There is no 100%. But I would wager a large majority of Christian folks dont ask a God Damn thing. They follow with their eyes closed. A time of question in one's life is usually during the teen years....if they got through that and are still God fearing, then there is a good chance they will be for the rest of their life.....quietly following....

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Dickblood, Queef, et al

    by Holy Hell

    Most Christians are not asshole sheep. There is data: "A major survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that most Americans have a non-dogmatic approach to faith. A majority of those who are affiliated with a religion, for instance, do not believe their religion is the only way to salvation. And almost the same number believes that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion. This openness to a range of religious viewpoints is in line with the great diversity of religious affiliation, belief and practice that exists in the United States, as documented in a survey of more than 35,000 Americans that comprehensively examines the country's religious landscape." Here's the link: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/876/religion-america-part-two

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8 p.m. CST

    Haha!

    by Project424

    I haven't seen a thread this long since the Han / Greedo debate...

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Refreshing.

    by halberd

    Refreshing to know the vast presence of interpretation when it comes to religion, in this case Christianity. It's a step in the right direction when you can honestly consider a majority of the outlook on Christians [by outsiders/non-Christians] being a close-minded and somewhat arrogant one. People, maybe with exception to the traditional 40-90-somethings living in the Bible belt, have a thirst for knowledge and they're going to apply it to their lives more than ever before. If the 18th century is called the 'Age of Enlightenment' I'd like the 21st to be known as the 'Age of Knowledge and the Unrelenting Search for More of It'. - GSantos

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Queef-

    by Holy Hell

    You're right. Most of us are a bit too modest and doubtful to holler about how are religion is being hijacked by fundamentalists. The religious skeptics, by our nature, are a relatively private, introverted people, The extroverted fundamentalists are those made so certain by their irrationality that they can't help but proclaim their judgments from the mountaintop. They are vocal, but not as numerous as we've come to believe. And this is one Christian trying to call that myth out publicly.

  • Aug. 6, 2008, 9:15 p.m. CST

    But is it as good as Life of Brian?

    by The cunning linguist

    cuz, you know, nothing pisses off my christian friends more than that one ;-)

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:36 a.m. CST

    The only thing more annoying than a

    by thegreatwhatzit

    pious Christian is an outspoken atheist (cruises on artificial intelligence).

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:32 a.m. CST

    Holy Hell- That reminds me of the old proverb-

    by samsquanch

    "The empty tin rattles the loudest"

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:27 a.m. CST

    by Holy Hell

    When God is an overzealous moralizing referee, creating earthquakes to swallow up morally destitute communities and giving virgins to terrorists, and when religion is a substitute for a science textbook, offering explanations for the history and behavior of the world's material, then its certainly rational to be an atheist. But that is an understanding of the sacred dimension of human life that atheists will have to, unfortunately, share with fundamentalist blow-hards. Religious experience and practice is much more complex, personal, and virtuous than that boneheaded conception allows. Atheists who fight that battle are like pro-Iraq War zealots who keep repeating the mantra that "Sadam caused 9/11". Small, inflexible thinking is non-denominational.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:28 a.m. CST

    Whiny Bitch

    by Holy Hell

    that was for you.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:28 a.m. CST

    I used to believe in God

    by Lost Jarv

    but the fact that Memories of Murder has not been struck down with a combination of Leprosy, Scabies and a prolapsed rectum by the man upstairs for being such a bastard has made me lose my faith. <P>And that's Twice in 2 days you've tried to be clever and got the book title wrong. How fucking poorly educated, moronic, and utterly pretentious are you?

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:34 a.m. CST

    and did you not read-

    by Lost Jarv

    To save MNG from sullying himself I'll put up Sagan's words again: <p>"An agnostic is somebody who doesn't believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I'm agnostic." <P>Not hard.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Q! What's up with this serious talk?

    by just pillow talk

    Unleash your rage!

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Yes Q, Why So Serious?

    by Lost Jarv

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:44 a.m. CST

    2for2true is the true God

    by just pillow talk

    Shitheels know this to be true.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Pah, infidels

    by Lost Jarv

    You will bow down before the righteous anger of the one 2true god. His pencil jihad shall smite you all painfully.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:51 a.m. CST

    GOOD MORNING

    by BringingSexyBack

    When the Mormon Church needed financing in the late 19th century, they went to Kuhn, Loeb Co.15 To explain the Rothschild's control of Kuhn, Loeb Co. here is some background information. The method that the House of Rothschild used to gain influence, was the same that Royalty had used for centuries, marriage. The Rothschild children, girls and boys, have had their spouses chosen on the basis of alliances that would benefit the House of Rothschild, but since consolidating world power they generally have married cousins these last two centuries.'16 <P> Jacob Schiff grew up in the house that the Rothschild's had at 148 Judengasse, Frankfurt. Jacob Schiff came to the United States with Rothschild capital and took over control of a small jewish banking concern founded by two Cincinnati dry goods merchants Abraham Kuhn and Solomon Loeb. He even married Soloman's daughter. In 1885, Loeb retired, and Schiff ran the Kuhn, Loeb Co. for the Rothschilds until 1920 when he died.17 During Russell's and Brigham Young's day, Lord Rothschild was considered the "lay leader of world Jewry."18

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    BEWARE FALSE PROPHETS AND CRAZY KOREANS

    by BringingSexyBack

    Jerry Falwell Honors false prophet Benny Hinn, and Falwell accepts $3,000,000 from cult leader Sun Myung Moon (you know, the pervert who has sex with women within the Moonies cult to "purify" them. Tragically, enrollments are booming at Falwell's Liberty Baptist College. Don't Christian parents check into where they're sending their kids to school? It's just another clear indication of the woeful apostasy plaguing America!

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    DOES GOD REQUIRE CELIBACY?

    by BringingSexyBack

    "Marriage is honourable in ALL..." Hebrews 13:4 <P> "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife..." 1st Timothy 3:2 <P> "If any [an elder] be blameless, the husband of one wife"... Titus 1:6 <P> Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; FORBIDDING TO MARRY... 1 Timothy 4:1, 3 <P> "My mother told me I would have to see the priest at the church in order to get my confirmation lessons to understand it more fully. I was to go each Saturday morning to see him. However, the subject of Confirmation I did not learn. This priest was sexually molesting me. I was shocked because I had never had anything like this happen before. I was scared. Since good Catholics were supposed to obey their priests, for they are in higher authority, I submitted though I was frightened. Each Saturday I had to go face this priest and didn't dare tell a soul what was happening. This lasted for about six to seven weeks." <P> Sandy, a former nun

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Memories-Of-Murder

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Yes, in essense we agree. However, you keep claiming Sagan was an atheist. He was not. He was an agnostic; a self-confessed one at that. (* Please see the quote I provided which Jarv reposted.) Sagan was a skeptical agnostic to the very end. He required evidence for EVERYTHING. Although he wondered what lay before him after he died, he admitted that it probably wasn't going to be much because he had not experienced or seen evidence to the contrary.<P>Perhaps these basic definitions will help you understand the difference between an atheist and agnostic:<P>a·the·ist: a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.<P>ag·nos·tic: a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.<P>Do you understand this distinction?

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:18 a.m. CST

    "essence" -- not "essense"

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    Damn typos.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:19 a.m. CST

    interesting article on Sagan

    by m2298

    http://tinyurl.com/6f7sqk Doesn't really prove whether he was an agnostic or atheist, but interesting anyway.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 10:21 a.m. CST

    you're wasting your time MNG

    by Lost Jarv

    he obviously isn't reading your posts. He never reads responses, but just plows on his own assholish furrow until people either agree with him out of frustration or he buggers off

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Sun Myung Moon

    by HoboCode

    Ahh yes, owner of the Washington Times newspaper, found on every corner of DC. And yet morons still read it.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    I follow the gourd, no the shoe

    by strosmer

    Anyone got a problem with that? If so, I'd say out of about 6 billion people I could easily find 10 million people for my side, you could find 10 million for your side, and we can have a nice war about it.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    "not the shoe" - blasted typo

    by strosmer

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Ah, the Life of Brian.

    by samsquanch

    If there was ever a piece of cinema lightyears ahead of it's time...

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    And, Sagan was an agnostic when it came to "the First Cause"

    by samsquanch

    The thing about agnosticism that religious people claim is sort of the same thing that many gay people claim about bisexuals. "Oh, you're one of us, you just haven't figured it out yet." In the case of agnostics in general, and Sagan in particular, definitely not true. <p> Agnosticism isn't a sweeping generalized philosophy, with an equal meaning for every idea. One can be agnostic about whether or not it will rain, but absolutely sure it's not going to snow. <p> Sagan was an agnostic when it came to the idea that there may have been a 'first cause' to the Universe, a purpose, or perhaps an intelligence that set things in motion, and then left it to its own devices. In this way, the absolute MOST you can ascribe to him is that he was a reluctant Deist, as many agnostics tend to be, but in NO WAY did he entertain the idea for five seconds in any of the various sky-god tribalistic mythologies. In that way, when it came to Jesus, or Mohammad, or Moses, or Zeus, or Ares, or Thor, he was certainly, unequivocally, and staunchly ATHEIST. Please, don't muddy the waters.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Relgious people tend to be upset by, or even offended

    by samsquanch

    by an Atheist's certainty, as if being SURE there is no God is an affront to good taste. But that's exactly what the religious person is guilty of as well, isn't it? Being offended by what someone else believes in this case is petty and soft-headed.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Sam

    by Holy Hell

    No, I don't think that's quite right. The atheist who plasters their car bumper with aggressive slogans and Darwin fish and never ignores an opportunity to mock religious people has a whole lot in common with FUNDAMENTALIST boneheads. Not ALL self-described "religious" people are anti-modern blowhards. Many of us are committed to the intellectual principles of the enlightenment, and while we have deep affection for our particular traditions, we remain skeptics, leery of any absolutists (religious or secular). Even if the standard Christian is unable to articulate such a sturdy, inner commitment to plurality and doubt, many DO articulate it it their behavior and attitudes. It is soft-headed to be without skepticism, whether atheist or religious. It does not follow that those identifying with either category are NECESSARILY soft-headed (though the blowhard atheists insist they're supremely rational, although the elements they rationally consider are profoundly limited by their arrogance).

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    samsquanch

    by Freds_Balls_in_a_Mason_Jar

    Fred liked the explanation of agnosticism. Fred is a lapsed Episcopalian, but has no problem with people who do not believe, unless they are militant and offensive.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 1:59 p.m. CST

    It's been said before but I'll say it again

    by Hawaiian Organ Donor

    I'm amazed at how civil this TB considering it's about the most divisive topic on the planet.<p>Lot's of great stuff has been said on both sides and speaking as an atheist, I'd like to apologize for the ones who may have walked up to you in the parking lot and called you a simple-minded fool because of the religious fish on your bumper.<p>I only find two things troubling.<p>1) I understand that atheists are largely in the minority but I don't have a problem voting for someone who says they privately consult with God to make some tough decisions, I don't understand why someone of faith wouldn't be willing to vote for me simply because I choose not to believe in a higher power. As someone said above, an atheist can run from public office but they will never be elected and let's be honest, if a candidate is going to be hounded because they don't wear a flag pin on their lapel, imagine the grief they'll take for not believing in God.<p>I find it terribly depressing that someone of faith would probably choose a candidate of faith even if they shared very opposing views instead of me even if we saw eye to eye on every issue. That lack of tolerance is disconcerting. To put a belief in God over all the domestic and foreign issues doesn't seem logical to me.<p>2) What Arcadian said above: "But I don't offer that same quarter to homosexuality. The jury is still out as to how or why people are homosexuals, and if our smartest doctors haven't figured it out, I'm certainly in no position to offer a solution - but for me, the cause and effect of it is of no consequence. It is deemed wrong, and I'm okay believing that." That really seems ignorant to me. It's deemed wrong so I'll blindly go along with it? Doctors haven't figured it out? What's there to figure out? Either you're born gay or you're born straight. It's not a choice. Why can't we get past this?<p>People who cling to antiquated notions such as "sex outside of marriage is a sin" are a real hazard to progressing as a species. In order for marriage to occur, two people need at the very least someone who was ordained by a church, so to say that a couple who was "married" by a guy in an Elvis costume at the window of a drive-thru wedding chapel in Las Vegas at 4 in the morning is more entitled to have sex than an unmarried couple who has been living together for 10 years just doesn't add up.<p>And the amount of Americans who believe gay marriage should not be allowed is frightening. I am a tad insulted by people who shake their finger at atheists and accuse them of being arrogant and condescending while at the same time telling a gay couple that they cannot have the same social privileges as straight couples because it's an affront to nature. Once again, it just doesn't add up and it's hypocritical.<p>Besides, marriage is sacred my foot. The philandering shenanigans going on in politicians sex lives and the aforementioned chapels in places like Las Vegas prove that as a society we don't take marriage seriously, which is why are divorce rate is close to 50%.<p>Carry on.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:02 p.m. CST

    And I apologize for my many typos above

    by Hawaiian Organ Donor

    Trying to type while listening to my boss discuss office politics.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell, Fred

    by samsquanch

    HH- You're just describing assholes. The atheist who plasters his car with darwin stickers is just a bit of a prick. One could argue that anyone who goes near anyone else's kids (or even their own, for that matter) and tells them they might BURN IN ETERNAL HELLFIRE is something on quite a different order of magnitude than a prick. <p> I'm a stone-cold atheist, but, like I've described in many of my posts above, I try not to be a prick. I don't make fun of anyone else's beliefs, I seek to understand where the need for religion comes from without ascribing myself any superior status for lacking this all-too common mammalian habit. And, It pleases me to no end to meet people of faith who can have fascinating, nuanced, and profound conversations about the wonder of the universe and life and politics and art and everything else under the sun without trying to convert me. I have a feeling that eventually, maybe in a thousand years, the whole 'God' discussion will simply blend into a kind of semantic background noise, and what one person calls "God", someone else will call "Wonder" and we'll all be able to get along without too many panties being bunched.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Sorry Fred, I forgot to say

    by samsquanch

    cheers, buddy.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST

    IF YOU BELIEVE IN CHRIST, THEN YOU BELIEVE IN SATAN

    by BringingSexyBack

    So why are Christians so blind to the false pronouncements of Bush and his demonic hoard of Antichrists?

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:25 p.m. CST

    HOD

    by Holy Hell

    100% with you. I'd vote for a self-identified atheist (though I would wonder why someone would bother with a negative description of themselves, ie: "I don't believe in unicorns", tell me what you DO believe in) if s/he was a brilliant, progressive, and pragmatic policy mind. But you're right- that's political suicide in this day and age. Keep breathing for a few more decades and that may shift. SAM- yes, I'm describing assholes. I've just taken it upon myself to react when people use absolutist language such as "that's what the religious person's guilty of as well". SOME religious people- not all. It's a quirk of mine, as a religious person, to have my radar up for things like that. I never intended to accuse you of assholishness personally. And I do not have a stupid Jesus-fish on my car. Nor do I have an obnoxious Darwin-fish. I hate bumper-stickers.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    BSB

    by Holy Hell

    Are you strung out? Your posts have been straaange... This Christian, and many others, certainly do call Bush out for his unethical, idiotic initiatives.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    And Sam-

    by Holy Hell

    I wouldn't call it a "need" for religion. Maybe "inclination toward" is a better fit.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    BSB baby

    by Hawaiian Organ Donor

    You need to give us some input on the ST3 thread. Take a break from religion and politics and talk about movies for a few.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Cheers samsquanch

    by Freds_Balls_in_a_Mason_Jar

    This is a great TB. Holy Hell and you and Toadkillerdog and Hawaiian Organ Donor, and TerryMalloy and ArcadianDS and others have really done great work here. Very illuminating. Fred never really considered the matter of electing a non-believer before. That is a head-scratcher. Fred must consider. But, just off top of Fred's head - which is not much, Fred thinks the issue is may come down to how would a non-believer act in a crisis that strains moral convictions? Something that demanded more than just good intentions, but pushed the leader to seek advice and counsel? Would that leader seek help from believers who may counsel a more morally/spiritually based approach? Or, would he seek counsel from someone of a more pragmatic view? Fred knows some religious leaders do not counsel based on morals, but Fred is trying to give benefit of doubt.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Fred

    by Holy Hell

    My religious convictions say that those who refer to themselves in the third person will spend an eternity in a burning underworld. Just kidding; thanks for the compliment and the really good question. I think no matter how one identifies themselves religiously, they possess fundamental values and reservoirs of strength they access in moments of crisis. And a religious identity doesn't necessarily provide valuable insight at crisis moments. Take our Born Again W and his profoundly morally questionable behavior following the trauma of 9/11. I will say, though, that anyone who decides to announce an identity as "atheist" is describing themselves relative to a particular understanding of a diverse community in a negative way (ie "I am not..."), instead of in a positive way ("I believe that..."). Such a preoccupation with the veracity of "religiousness" indicates to me a very limited understanding of American religious life and a potential arrogance that I might not be able to abide. If a politician is an atheist, it's probably better to ust not discuss values in a religious way at all, neither positively or negatively.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Fred, that's an honest question

    by samsquanch

    But it stems from a common misconception- that because atheists don't believe in God, that they don't believe in anything. I think that these days it's pretty obvious that just because someone claims to be a Christian they don't always live their lives as Christians, our politicians are perfect examples of this, so why assume that someone who is honest enough to admit that they simply don't adhere to a certain religion's list of values, that they don't have any values at all? I've explained before that I think religion is the codification of an older, innately human instinct towards goodness, what we call morals, and that religion is not the genesis of goodness. I live my life by a very strict code of ethics, I consider myself to be a highly moral person, and I'm sure that under scrutiny many of my values would be indistinguishable from many religious values, I simply don't believe that they are handed down from some supernatural force, but that they come from within. <p> I guess my point is that morals, ethics, values and basic goodness are not the sole province of the religious. Judge someone on what they do, not on what they say they believe.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    Holy Hell

    by samsquanch

    we seem to think alike. Even though we're different in some respects.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Fred, I look at it this way

    by Hawaiian Organ Donor

    Every politician in American history has claimed to be a man who answers to God. And look what some of these men have done.<p>Jefferson in Louisiana who had $90,000 in bribe money stuffed in his refrigerator. Or Ted Stevens from Alaska who accepted "gifts" without reporting them. Clinton, Domenici, Gingrich, Spitzer, Vitter, Condit, Siegelman, Nixon, Traficant. The list of corrupt politicians, on both sides, goes on and on. So who were these scumbags consulting with when they took kickbacks, broke the law, lied to the public and put greed ahead of American interests?<p>My point is, we've given "men of faith" a chance 100% of the time and 95% of the time they end up screwing us over by not really looking out for us. So honestly, how much worse could an atheist be?

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Sam

    by Holy Hell

    Yeah, I also do not believe that "my values are handed down from some supernatural force", but that they arise from my human experience, an experience directed toward understanding the moral and spiritual dimension of life. Perhaps the only difference between us is that I have an irrational affection for the gospels when considering life's meaning.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Whew! Fred open can of worms

    by Freds_Balls_in_a_Mason_Jar

    Holy Hell, samsquanch, Hawaiian Organ Donor, all of you make excellent points. Just saying you have an abiding faith, does not make you a good person. far too often those who procalim such faith have disappointed. Fred even qualified that in earlier post. Fred truly believes that someone who does not believe can be just as, or more ethical than someone who professes to believe. But the kicker is that most people of faith beleive that true ethical awareness derives from our spiritual beliefs. It would be very difficult to put that aside and elect a non-beleiver, even though the evidence has shown that just being a believer, or professing to believe, does not make one a good person.<p> samsquanch, Fred thinks you are a very good person. And Fred would vote for you. But Fred is only one Fred.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST

    australia's greatest prime minister, john curtin

    by chipps

    was an a former catholic atheist. way i see it is that many temporal crimes are easy to get away with. murder for example, not hard to get away with. theft. adultery. i really believe that the possibility of spiritual judgment keeps many people in check, where they do not fear temporal judgment. that said i see an atheist going one of two ways. they could have less empathy due to absence of a specific structured code of behavior. or you could have more empathy due to your 'one time around only' belief. i think both kinds of people exist. i do like the idea of a leader who with a belief in spiritual judgment as while their decision to go to war ect may not cause them negative outcomes on earth, they have to weigh it up for the afterlife. obviously though it didn't stop gwb. i may think differntly about this were i a yank - so many of your guys seen two faced. and i hate that whole 'i have asked god for forgiveness, pray for me people' mea culpa crap. it is uncanny how many evangelist leaders, and anti gay crusaders eventually get outed.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Here, here, chipps!!!

    by Hawaiian Organ Donor

    Well said.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    oh yeah

    by chipps

    and lincon was almost certainly an atheist, he just did not admit to it in public

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:18 p.m. CST

    mea culpa crap

    by samsquanch

    can I get an amen.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Thanks again, Fred!

    by samsquanch

    I wonder if we'll ever see a staunchly atheist candidate. In this day and age though, with three of the R. candidates openly admitting they believe in creationism, I will not advise anyone to hold their breath.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 5:22 p.m. CST

    HOD

    by samsquanch

    it's "hear, hear", not "here, here". Sorry, I just had an attack of the schoolmarms.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:35 p.m. CST

    HEY GUYS

    by BringingSexyBack

    So what are the true goals of the Illuminati? The main goal is to create a One World Government and a New World Order, with them on top to rule the world into slavery and dictatorship. This is a very old goal of theirs, and to understand it fully, one must realize that this goal isn't of a kind that's supposed to be obtained within one lifetime; it has been a goal that slowly is to be reached over a long period of time. However, they have accomplished more in this direction during the last few decades than they have done in hundreds of years, due to industrialization and the Information Technology Era. Their immediate task is to lower the living standard of the developed countries, like the United States and Europe, to a low enough level, so the government can more easily control us (you can see this happening). The living standard in the third world countries will then increase to the same low level that is planned for the developed countries, so that it all evens out. To be able to accomplish a New World Order, the living standard must be similar all over the world - they want a uniform world to rule over. We can see this goal slowly being reached right before our eyes.

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 7:53 p.m. CST

    PROFESSOR OUTRAGES JEWS WITH BOOK CLAIM

    by BringingSexyBack

    By Andrew M Rosemarine <br> Telegraph.co.uk <br> Last Updated: 1:14AM GMT 09 Feb 2007 <p> A Jewish academic has shocked Italy by claiming Jews murdered Christians for their blood in the Middle Ages so it could be used in rituals. <p> The details were revealed in the Italian newspaper, the Corriere della Sera, which published extracts of the book, Easter of Blood by Professor Ariel Toaff. <p> The claims were denied by leading Jewish figures including his father Elio, once the chief Rabbi of Rome. <p> In the book, Prof Toaff alleges the ritual killing was carried out by members of a fundamentalist group in reaction to the persecution of Jews. <p> The book describes the mutilation and crucifixion of a two-year-old boy to recreate Christ’s execution at Pesach, the Jewish Easter. The festival marks the fleeing of the Jews from Egypt and Prof Toaff says Christian blood was used for "magic and therapeutic practices". <p> In some cases the blood was mixed with dough to make azzimo, unleavened bread, eaten at Pesach. He says the acts took place in around the city of Trento in modern northern Italy, between the 11th and 14th centuries. <p> Prof Toaff based his book on confessions he says came from Jews captured and tried for the practice. He said several were executed after confessing to the crucifixion of Christian children. <p> Italy’s senior rabbis, including Elio Toaff, issued a joint statement condemning the book. "There has never existed in Jewish tradition any permission or custom for using human blood for ritual purposes. Such a practice is considered with horror. <p> "It is absolutely improper to use centuries old statements, extracted under torture, to formulate singular and aberrant historical theses. The only blood shed in these stories is that of many innocent Jews." <p> Prof Toaff, who teaches mediaeval and Renaissance history at Bar Ilan University in Jerusalem, said the reaction was a "disgrace" as they had not read the book, which has yet to be published. <p> He emphasised the practice was confined to "a small group of fundamentalists." <p> He added that attacking the whole of Judaism would be similar to blaming Islam for the acts of extremist Muslims. "They had suffered from the trauma of mass suicides. [sic] It was both a kind of revenge and a way, for them, of seeking redemption." <p>

  • Aug. 7, 2008, 9:28 p.m. CST

    THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS

    by BringingSexyBack

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8RHl1KdM0w <p> Surreal. Her family should've been brought to Gitmo and interrogated to find out who those dead babies were. WTF?!?!!!!!!!!!!

  • Aug. 8, 2008, 10:04 a.m. CST

    BSB

    by m2298

    Who were the "non-fundamentalists" of the 11-14th centuries? What is the point of copying and pasting these things? Do you believe them?

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