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If you really want to enlighten me you can start with explaining how the hell you quote individual sentences and not the whole freakin post.
Well tawanna if you just want to quote one bit that's easy; just delete rest. I guess you got that though :rolleyes:

If you want to break it up into bits; then you have to do it manually.

Start with the normal quote thing.

Like so:

Obviously your tying to set up a "Gotcha" and trap me in a catch 22. Problem is I don't believe what you think I believe.

No I don't believe in the teachings of the God in the old testament. I'm not Jewish.

Yes I think everyone of those things you listed in the new testament is a good thing, WHEN PUT IN CONTEXT and not taken literally.

If you really want to enlighten me you can start with explaining how the hell you quote individual sentences and not the whole freakin post.

then you have to cut and paste (or just write) the end quote bit:

{/quote}

(I replaced [ with { for demo purposes) where you want to insert your response. Then as add the name bit (quote name='tawanna' post='41775' date='Jun 20 2008, 04:33 PM') - and the square brackes of course, to the text you are quoting.

Basically you just need to have the two bits in square brackets; the name bit at the start, and /quote (end quote) bit at the end, around each bit you want to quote. LIke this - replacing { for [ and making it all blue so the code won't work and to show the working:

{quote name='tawanna' post='41775' date='Jun 20 2008, 04:33 PM'}

Obviously your tying to set up a "Gotcha" and trap me in a catch 22. Problem is I don't believe what you think I believe.

{/quote}

You don't say

{quote name='tawanna' post='41775' date='Jun 20 2008, 04:33 PM'}

No I don't believe in the teachings of the God in the old testament. I'm not Jewish.

Yes I think everyone of those things you listed in the new testament is a good thing, WHEN PUT IN CONTEXT and not taken literally.

{/quote}

Uh huh.

{quote name='tawanna' post='41775' date='Jun 20 2008, 04:33 PM'}

If you really want to enlighten me you can start with explaining how the hell you quote individual sentences and not the whole freakin post.

{/quote}

Okely Dokely

If done correctly that should look like this (all I did here is replace all the { brackets with [ ones):

Obviously your tying to set up a "Gotcha" and trap me in a catch 22. Problem is I don't believe what you think I believe.

You don't say

No I don't believe in the teachings of the God in the old testament. I'm not Jewish.

Yes I think everyone of those things you listed in the new testament is a good thing, WHEN PUT IN CONTEXT and not taken literally.

Uh huh.

If you really want to enlighten me you can start with explaining how the hell you quote individual sentences and not the whole freakin post.

Okely Dokely

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Obviously your tying to set up a "Gotcha" and trap me in a catch 22.

Something tells me you don't know what a catch-22 situation is. :rolleyes:

What "Gotcha" can I possibly be trying to trap you with?

No I don't believe in the teachings of the God in the old testament. I'm not Jewish.

Oh brother! The God of the OT is the same God that is Jesus' Father. HE is the Christian God! It's the same book that Jesus says he did not come to change one word of the laws from within it and came to fullfil it. The OT is part of the Holy Bible; it's not just for Jews.

But I don't blame you for trying to deny this. It's much more clear in the OT that the Christian God is the ultimate sicko.

Yes I think everyone of those things you listed in the new testament is a good thing, WHEN PUT IN CONTEXT and not taken literally.

If you're going to make that claim, then tell us what's taken out of context. Some of them are easy to manipulate, as an apologist would to soften the message, but others are pretty straight forward.

How can Matthew 5:32 be taken out of context? I don't know how to take that out of context or not taken literally. If a man divorces a woman for any reason, except for marital unfaithfulness, he causes her to become an adulteress. That's crazy! Not only does his actions cause her to be an adulteress, any man that marries this woman is a sinner! Can you imagine how horrible this was for women about 50 years ago in Christian society? Well, that's how it was. At a time when it was very difficult for women in the workforce, a divorced women was tainted and had a difficult time with finances, raising children and finding another man that would marry her. You go Jesus!

Look at a woman lustfully (a normal, healthy thing to do) and you are a sinner? I'm not teaching my kids that!

If someone sues you, give him more than he asked for? If anyone takes your stuff, don't demand it back? Give to anyone who asks you? If an evil person hits you, let him hit you more?

That's some holy book.

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Look at a woman lustfully (a normal, healthy thing to do) and you are a sinner? I'm not teaching my kids that!

I believe that you can cheat on your wife in your mind and that still affects you relationship. I've heard that you can look at the menu as long as you don't order anything but that just means you desire something else. Other religions teach that suffering comes from desire, especially of things that you don't need, you just want them.

If someone sues you, give him more than he asked for? If anyone takes your stuff, don't demand it back? Give to anyone who asks you? If an evil person hits you, let him hit you more?

My Karate Sensei is also a Christian preacher and he says that I will pray for you, I love you, and I will even call the ambulance for you but right now you are threatening me and my loved ones so I'm going to have to operate on you!

I was shocked to hear that from him of all people but I guess, just like the bible, teachings are always contradictory. They are usually based on the circumstance.

(please forgive any spelling errors)

That's some holy book.

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Look at a woman lustfully (a normal, healthy thing to do) and you are a sinner? I'm not teaching my kids that!

I believe that you can cheat on your wife in your mind and that still affects you relationship. I've heard that you can look at the menu as long as you don't order anything but that just means you desire something else. Other religions teach that suffering comes from desire, especially of things that you don't need, you just want them.

This is true, one can negatively affect things like a relationship due to ones desires, but only if those desires are enacted in some way:

Actually cheating on ones partner of course constitutes this personal wrong - Sin, if you will

Acting differently, such as lacking interest, preferring to dwell on that other object of ones desire to the neglecting of your partner etc. Again constitutes a personal wrong perhaps.

But simply looking at someone with lust, not so much. Not if it has no carry on effect. The mistake in the biblical text is that it makes too much of a simplistic overbearing take on it, in doing so it goes too far. Followers might (and as we all know, have) take it as "gospel" and feel themselves, or accuse others, of being "Sinners" and shame-worthy due to any old glance of admiration of a beautiful stranger or whatever.

It's taking a Hatchet to a task that requires a Scalpel. Far too black and white.

If someone sues you, give him more than he asked for? If anyone takes your stuff, don't demand it back? Give to anyone who asks you? If an evil person hits you, let him hit you more?

My Karate Sensei is also a Christian preacher and he says that I will pray for you, I love you, and I will even call the ambulance for you but right now you are threatening me and my loved ones so I'm going to have to operate on you!

I was shocked to hear that from him of all people but I guess, just like the bible, teachings are always contradictory. They are usually based on the circumstance.

Not contradictory at all. Taking the religious rhetoric out of it (which is easy to do as we don't really get our sense of morality from the bible anyway) he is saying; I will still love you, respect you, aid you as I am able, but will not allow you to do evil.

To quote Edmund Burke

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Basically Burke (and your sensei) is saying that often being a moral person is not enough, one must also be willing to stand up to immorality as well, if morality is to flourish.

The bible verses mentioned fail to show that, they promote the willingness to allow (even aid in some :o ) evil to go unchecked. That other verses say otherwise only highlights the disjointed and contradictory nature of that little magic book.

(please forgive any spelling errors)
There were none! :D

There are spell-checkers you can use, depending on what browser you use, so I can't tell you what to do in your case.

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This is so funny and so full of replies because so few people stand as one. Like the tower of Babel. Ha ha. I am now open-minded about beliefs. Religion should never matter as long as it is'nt bugging no one. Make that an !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!EXCLAIMATION TO BELIEVE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by akaslickster

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In my profession I have to punish evil and stand up to it so I'm not really allowed to let my beliefs get in the way of policy. So something to ponder is where do these policies come from. You said that morality is something we have without religion. This is true. Religion, in my opion of course, tries to get us to walk the path of morality and steer clear of immorality. It's interesting that out there somewhere there's probably some demon worshiper who is a police officer during the day. Another great example is the Hell's Angels. Something very hipocritical about "religious people" is that sometimes they have to sacrifice their beliefs to make a decent paycheck. Jesus wanted his followers to die for what they believed in. All these so called heavy duty Christians would cower at such a belief it were truly tested. I don't think it is right for Religious people to put down Athiests for this reason.

Military quote: "I can't tell you to polish your boots if mine aren't shiny."

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In my profession I have to punish evil and stand up to it so I'm not really allowed to let my beliefs get in the way of policy. So something to ponder is where do these policies come from.
And a big question that is, book after book as been written on the subject, so no single post could do it justice.

The immediate response to how you put it is pretty simple of course: They come from us. We (be it "the people" through voting etc. The government, the leader, whatever might be the system used in any one country/community) get together and try to come up with rules of behavior, laws and policies, to best police what we see as the right things to do, and that which we deem unacceptable. Or, let's face it; to get the people to do what, and act how, we want them to.

Of course then we get to; But where do those views come from? How is it that we deem X permissible but not Y? That's were it gets so much much larger in scope.

Short answer; we rely on two basic premises:

1. Our innate sense of morality - now, this sound rather mystical doesn't it? Like we were imbued with this mysterious ability to determine right from wrong. But that is only because the phrase is an oversimplification, as most "sound-bites" tend to be. In essence all this is saying is that we have the simple ability to realise that which pleases and displeases us - "I don't like to be hurt" for example. Note the "I"; this is our own personal senses here. Which leads to:

2. Do to others as you would have done to you - Sound familiar? Again we have a neat little sound bite. one far older than the Abrahamic religion, and "discovered" independently many many times, I might add. What this amounts to is Empathy; the ability to recognise the same, or similar needs, wants and desires in others. We can see that not only "I don't like to be hurt", but nor do others. "Hmm perhaps what I feel is bad for me is equally bad for everyone else."

As something of a side bar; this explains why for so long, so many of our ancestors recognised this in other people, but not in other species (animals). And also why people, like white Americans, tried to justify their enslaving and mistreatment of their fellow, but different ("black"), human beings by redefining them as not-really- or less-than- human.

This also explains why Morality or the Moral code has been something that has changed, shifted, developed over time; we don't have a simple set of answers, built in or otherwise, it takes time and effort to determine just what is the moral course of action. when it comes to our fellow creatures (other humans included).

What is or is not moral? That's a huge topic to get into. As is the Objective/Subjective one. I'll just give a little hint of my current view:

Morals should be examined to find the fundamentals. Example "People should not be physically hurt" initially sounds fine. Except that some on some occasions like it, are willing to pay for it even. You might not be one of them, but they are out there, therefore this is not a universal moral truth. So look deeper; why is it bad to hurt people in some instance and not others? Where is the distinction? What is there in the "It's bad" scenarios, but missing in the "I like it!" one?

Answer: Distress!

Thus we find a moral truth (or do we? Could it go deeper?) buried below what we once thought was the moral foundation. Don't cause people distress. Because people don't like it. For many causing them physical pain will cause it, thus such actions are immoral, but for some no such distress results, so it is not of moral concern.

As you can imagine, finding them all might take some time :lol: But note that this requires absolutely nothing external to the entities involved, no higher power, no moral dictates from on high, nothing like that.

As to the Objective/Subjective issue. It's a common theist/Atheist debate topic, but I think something of a red herring, a non-starter, it's asking the wrong question and setting up something of a false dilemma. Better to try to discover (through whatever means; evidence, argument etc.) what morality is, how it works, what it means etc. And from there you can determine if it constitutes an objective, subjective or who-knows-what kind of thing. So far I see it like this: Morality is basically objective, but this is not to say permanent and set in stone, but rather to say that what is or is not moral is based on objective, solid realities (as opposed to simply personal opinion etc.) For instance; we humans (not just us though) are all largely the same - all unique in the details, but overall we share the same characteristics - as such if I were to jab you (or most any human) in the side with a knitting needle, it would cause pain. This is objectively true, if you were to believe otherwise it wouldn't stop my jab from causing you pain. But these feelings (physical and otherwise) are emergent properties, over evolutionary time "we" have changed. Go far enough back and our ancestors had no nervous system at all, thus no sense of physical pain - jab "him" with a knitting needle and he probably wouldn't notice (If you deny evolution, this changes nothing, use it as an analogy to stress the point.) So the objective truths change (not fixed). So too do our understandings of them. This is why it took us a while to realise that dogs etc. felt pain as well, and with this the moral zeitgeist changed - that is our understanding of morality changed (Improved we can hope.)

And yes; that was the short, glossed over version ;):lol:

I'm sorry if I rabbited on there, and that it was far more than your point required. But this is a topic often brought up in such debates - The "No morality without God" canard. Something a theist brought up in a debate I attended just 3 days ago as a matter of fact. And especially as the atheist debater was next to useless, it is something that has been on my mind.

You said that morality is something we have without religion. This is true. Religion, in my opion of course, tries to get us to walk the path of morality and steer clear of immorality.
Indeed it does (not all it tries to do of course, but a major component), I am what some have called "A Militant Atheist" and you will get no argument on that from me :D

The problem is that, as with most religion, it is largely fixed. It offers a set framework of what is to be considered and accepted as moral and/or immoral. It tries to set and enforce one single immutable moral code. Unfortunately, using the Christian religion as an example, it is a code set down ~2000 years ago. And it shows. It is only with the attempts of "moderate Christians" valiant efforts to reinterpret (and reinterpret again over the centuries) these codes that those codes (as we now read them) have matured. BUT this represents people changing those teachings, people trying to improve the moral zeitgeist, not the value of those original teachings themselves. It also begs the question, where did those who have been doing this reinterpretation get their moral views from? Not from those apparently holy and fixed texts, it is those that show the flaws that they seek to repair! You already have my answer to that above ;)

Have you not seen how one group tries to justify their actions on the writings of the bible (or holy text of their choice), and others realising that their actions were abhorrent attempt to condemn them through other words in the same text AND explain that their interpretation of the text they quote is in error? How can they do that? How does one realise that said action is wrong? Not from the text apparently, it can be interpreted either way. No instead we (as roughly detailed above) can judge right and wrong ourselves, based on our own natures and circumstances. And that too is where any attempts to reinterpret "holy scripture" comes from as well. You (the general not personal "you" as opposed to atheists like me) have your own sense of ethics to which you endeavour to make the religious text, you have come to cherish, fit into.

The stories of Jesus of Nazareth in the bible, whether the actual words of the man himself or not, really do demonstrate a rather impressive change in moral teaching. There was much he taught that flew in the face of (and improved upon) the conventional wisdom and moral zeitgeist of that time and place - a man ahead of his time you might well say. But they also show signs of being in many ways more "primitive" than our own zeitgeist. the moral ( ;) ) of this is; go right ahead and see Jesus as a remarkable role model, someone who tried to improve the moral code of the day. If the stories have any truth to them then he certainly did that, and if not then whoever wrote those stories (or wherever they got the ideas from) did - so it matter not who said it does it? It's the message that counts. I'm happy to attribute them to J-of-N by the way. But as an improvement of that time and place, not a code to follow now, not as is where is. In analogy; Newton Made impressive improvements to our understanding of the world in terms of gravity (impressive indeed!), so should be revered for that. But that should not overshadow the fact that Einstein made improvements beyond those of Newton. His work displays a better understanding of it that Newton's. Takes nothing away from Newton's success, not one bit. By the same token Jesus' teachings represents the same for morality as Newton's did for Gravity.

The danger, therefore, in adhering to strongly to one particular doctrine is that this leads to a stifling, stagnation, an end, to the moral progress that it represents. And that would be a real tragedy, would it not?!

It's interesting that out there somewhere there's probably some demon worshiper who is a police officer during the day. Another great example is the Hell's Angels. Something very hipocritical about "religious people" is that sometimes they have to sacrifice their beliefs to make a decent paycheck. Jesus wanted his followers to die for what they believed in. All these so called heavy duty Christians would cower at such a belief it were truly tested. I don't think it is right for Religious people to put down Athiests for this reason.
To me, much of this represents a very good sign; except for the real Faith-heads, most people, no matter what faith or religion they might appeal to, for the most part, during their daily lives, just get on with it, and adhere to the current zeitgeist (moral and the rest of it). And even within their supposedly set faith, try to act it out far more in keeping with the current, and their own personal, ideas of morality, than than to the model imprinted in their holy texts. Likewise they try to make (in their own minds, their teachings - ministers etc.) the text and doctrine fit in with their sense of morality, rather than the reverse. In all likelihood subconsciously recognising which of the two is the true superior source of ethical understanding and "truth."

Military quote: "I can't tell you to polish your boots if mine aren't shiny."
Ha! I couldn't repeat most of the "military quotes" I heard from my days in the army. As this forum censors certain words; to quote 2001: A Space Odyssey (book, not movie) "My God, it's full of stars!" :lol:

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Truth is Truth when you hear it, no matter what the source. The inherent problem between Atheists and Theists is that there is no Ultimate Truth when talking about the after life because no one has lived to talk about it. Sometimes believing there is a God is to believe in something seperate than us. One way or another we are all connected. You can call it what you want but some people pay a little closer attention to that connection, some even devote their lives to understanding it. However, there is nothing scientifically you can do to prove that connection. I personally don't like to view God (I'm using the term God to represent that which connects us all) as a man with a beard in the sky. Although sometimes I look at God as a father figure because you always get what you need, but not always what you want. Whoops, gotta go. I'll finish response later.

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The inherent problem between Atheists and Theists is that there is no Ultimate Truth when talking about the after life because no one has lived to talk about it.

That's a problem for theists, not atheists. Theists are the one believing in something without evidence. Not having a belief in an incredible claim because there's no evidence is not a problem for atheists- it's the rational position.

One way or another we are all connected. You can call it what you want but some people pay a little closer attention to that connection, some even devote their lives to understanding it. However, there is nothing scientifically you can do to prove that connection.

In one sentence you make a claim, and in another you say it can't be scientifically proven. What sort of evidence do you have for your claim?

Although sometimes I look at God as a father figure because you always get what you need, but not always what you want.

How do you know everyone gets what they need? Give me one example of how one could not get what he needs, and I'll give you an example of someone who didn't get that.

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Thank you ADParker for the instruction on using quotes. Its greatly appreciated

Something tells me you don't know what a catch-22 situation is. :rolleyes:

What "Gotcha" can I possibly be trying to trap you with?

Something tells me you don't know what I know. Sorry I gave you more credit than I should have. :rolleyes:

Oh brother! The God of the OT is the same God that is Jesus' Father. HE is the Christian God! It's the same book that Jesus says he did not come to change one word of the laws from within it and came to fullfil it. The OT is part of the Holy Bible; it's not just for Jews.

Really.

Jhn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jhn 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.....

Jhn 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Col 1:16 For by him(Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

That sounds alot like Jesus and the God of the OT are one and the same.

Elohim, Yahewa, Jehova which of these is Jesus' father. Exd 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

If theres only ONE god why does the Jealous God,the God of the Jews, Say the Jews can worship only him.

Jesus didn't come to change the laws he came to fulfill them, meaning the Old laws aren't being changed, there being replaced.

But I don't blame you for trying to deny this. It's much more clear in the OT that the Christian God is the ultimate sicko.

Call an entity that people hold sacred childish names. Brilliant. Can't argue with that. You win.

Look at a woman lustfully (a normal, healthy thing to do) and you are a sinner? I'm not teaching my kids that!

So you'll teach your kids that its ok to stand in the bushes holding your junk in you hand pleasuring yourself while you watch the 13 year old neighbor girl shower? If not then were do you draw the line? If you would teach them thats wrong then your a self righteous, holier than thou hypocrite, Who are you to dictate to others whats right and wrong.

If you don't think thats wrong then your a sicko pedophile that should be in prison.

To bad I don't know what a catch-22 is cause other wise I might think that is one.

That's some holy book.

Yes it is

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Thank you ADParker for the instruction on using quotes. Its greatly appreciated
You are quite welcome. You got the hang of it nicely I see.

Something tells me you don't know what I know. Sorry I gave you more credit than I should have. :rolleyes:
tawanna; if you aren't going to answer his question, there in need for such snide remarks. (by all means be snide AND answer though ;) )

Really.

Jhn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jhn 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.....

Jhn 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Col 1:16 For by him(Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

That sounds alot like Jesus and the God of the OT are one and the same.

Uh, his point exactly.

You are the one who said "No I don't believe in the teachings of the God in the old testament." after all.

Elohim, Yahewa, Jehova which of these is Jesus' father. Exd 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

If theres only ONE god why does the Jealous God,the God of the Jews, Say the Jews can worship only him.

Well "Elohim" is a plural noun, so poses some difficulty. The other two (both typically ending in an H however) stem from the silly Jewish thing about not mentioning their god by name, in text they wrote YHWH missing out the vowels (Y and J, W and V, being basically synonymous in Hebrew - either is fine) Thus they are simply attempts to repair the same word.

Sounds like more of a problem for you than us. But generally it is assumed that he was referring to the (other) fictitious or "false" gods,. Like that stupid golden calf thing :rolleyes:

Jesus didn't come to change the laws he came to fulfill them, meaning the Old laws aren't being changed, there being replaced.
Really, what is the distinction between "changed" and "replaced"?

And, no all that line says is that he was there to fulfil those laws. No mention there or what would follow. Change? Replace? Continue (probably some but not all)?

Call an entity that people hold sacred childish names. Brilliant. Can't argue with that. You win.
Well that's what you get when you make the mistake of holding anything "sacred."

So you'll teach your kids that its ok to stand in the bushes holding your junk in you hand pleasuring yourself while you watch the 13 year old neighbor girl shower?
Don't be silly, that's invasion of privacy. The "sin" has nothing to do with lust. But if he wants to masturbate to pictures in a "girlie book" or on the web, then go right ahead :)

If not then were do you draw the line?
Not at "Look at a woman and feel lust" that's for damn sure!

Basically the line is when it impinges on the moral rights of others, when it does harm (physical, emotional...)

If you would teach them thats wrong then your a self righteous, holier than thou hypocrite, Who are you to dictate to others whats right and wrong.
Huh? Who am I (or anyone?) I am a human being with a capacity to determine right from wrong, to realise what effects me (what I deem immoral if done to me) and have the ability to feel empathy, and thus extend those moral insights to others based on our similarities. We all have this ability, right, and I would say duty.

If you don't think thats wrong then your a sicko pedophile that should be in prison.

To bad I don't know what a catch-22 is cause other wise I might think that is one.

And you would once again be sadly mistaken.

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That sounds alot like Jesus and the God of the OT are one and the same.

And a few sentences later:

If theres only ONE god why does the Jealous God,the God of the Jews, Say the Jews can worship only him.

Guess who just got herself in what she might think is a Catch-22? :lol:

Who are you to dictate to others whats right and wrong.

Who am I to dictate to my kids what's not wrong? You've got to be kidding!

ADParker nicely handled responding to the the rest of your post.

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So you'll teach your kids that its ok to stand in the bushes holding your junk in you hand pleasuring yourself while you watch the 13 year old neighbor girl shower?

...

If you don't think thats wrong then your a sicko pedophile that should be in prison.

[moderating]

Don't do that again! You know darn well Flogger never even came close to saying that would be okay.

[/moderating]

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As Martini basically said, looking at someone lustfuly and "standing in the bushes holding your junk in you hand pleasuring yourself while you watch the 13 year old neighbor girl shower" are very different things. You can't win a debate by overexaggerating, tawanna

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That's just how I look at my life experiences. There has been too many instances that have occurred to just be coincidence. But just like the rest of us, that is what I believe. :)

Do you ever get the feeling that something has happened to you that is not just a cause and effect matter.

I don't know, maybe I'm looking too deeply into hidden meanings that just aren't there. I have a tendancy to relate good and bad with my behaviors for instance. That doesn't mean if I do something bad that I'm being punished by God. But the cause and effect sometimes are too unrelated not to be some kind of influence on what happens to me by God.

In talking about death, maybe you can enlighten me about something. Are Atheists kind of like Zennists where when you die, you just imagine yourself being extinguished like a candle? Do Atheists believe that some religious people worship God so they don't have to fear death? Is the belief in Heaven more or less an aspirin for a headache? I don't see the harm in believing in an alternate existence. Yet I don't care how flat a pancake is, there's always two sides. The belief in God's will and the afterlife has motivated people to do some terrible things. In that case, Atheists would have the upper hand because there is nothing they can claim that caused them to do something other than their mind.

On one hand, it is viewed by some as foolish to believe in something without proof. On the other, some people just have a need to believe in spirituality for many reasons. If an Atheist is free of this need than to me it just seems like they put their energies and time into other facets of life. Life in general has soo much to offer. Just like the people that practice Yoga. There is the Yoga (Sanskrit word for discipline) of spirituality. But there is also the Yoga for relationships (Kama Sutra), the Yoga for succeeding in business, and one other one that I can't think of at the moment. Anyway, the point is that you don't have to believe in God to be a good person. That's is something that Christians do not believe and to me seems like something along the way was taken out of context.

For those that believe in God without having any kind of spiritual experience in my opinion are doing something wrong. :huh:

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You guys win. There is no God. Thank God for that. Now I can get back to clubbing seals, spanking whales, and burning down rain forests without all that darn guilt.

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That's just how I look at my life experiences. There has been too many instances that have occurred to just be coincidence.

Can you imagine a life without coincidences? That would be just too coincidental.

Do you ever get the feeling that something has happened to you that is not just a cause and effect matter.

I know a puddle that felt that way.

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseacti...ideoID=13734898

I don't know, maybe I'm looking too deeply into hidden meanings that just aren't there.

I'm glad to hear you say that. It means your mind is still open.

I have a tendancy to relate good and bad with my behaviors for instance. That doesn't mean if I do something bad that I'm being punished by God. But the cause and effect sometimes are too unrelated not to be some kind of influence on what happens to me by God.

My experiences have been much different. I see bad things happening to good people and good things happen to bad people all the time. Oh sure, sometimes more bad things happen to bad people, such as going to jail or negative effects happening because of a negative lifestyle, but nothing I've seen seems consistent with a seemingly supernatural power.

In talking about death, maybe you can enlighten me about something. Are Atheists kind of like Zennists where when you die, you just imagine yourself being extinguished like a candle?

It depend on the atheist. Have you read through this thread? Because these sort of questions about atheism have been answered already. All that atheists necessarily have in common is being without belief in the existence of gods. As someone mentioned earlier, millions of Buddhists are atheists and believe in a literal reincarnation.

Do Atheists believe that some religious people worship God so they don't have to fear death?

See above. I believe that's a huge factor for belief for many if not most.

Since you seem to be interested in Eastern philosophy, you may find the following interesting.

http://www.buddhanet.net/ans73.htm

I don't see the harm in believing in an alternate existence.

I'm sure the 9/11 hi-jackers didn't either. Or abortion clinic bombers. Or politicians who believe we don't have to worry about the environment that much because Jesus is coming soon (I'm not making that up).

(YouTube video)

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You guys win. There is no God. Thank God for that. Now I can get back to clubbing seals, spanking whales, and burning down rain forests without all that darn guilt.

Martini replied to someone earlier in this thread that felt similarly to you. I'll repeat it below and highlight my favorite part.

Many religious people do good things because they are either afraid of the stick god wields or are coveting the carrot he offers, eternal life and happy fluffy bunnies and a constant state of orgasm. If you can't be trusted to be a decent human being unless offered a punishment or reward, you aren't a decent human being at all. I guess I should be relieved that you fear your god. To me, being moral is doing the right thing when you think no one is watching. So who's moral, the atheist who doesn't steal because he can empathize with the potential victim, or the theist who fears God's wrath?

Most religious people would probably be just as righteous without their religion. It would seem to me that the vast majority of people, religious and non-religious alike, do good because it gives them pleasure to do so, or because they want to be thought of well by others, or because they fear punishment (from their parents, or the cops, or their God).

I can feel pain both emotionally and physically. I realize that other humans life experience is basically the same as mine so I'd rather not hurt people. I understand that people's properties are important to them and peace of mind is a very strong motivator so I leave others property alone.

It's nice to be nice. I see no reason whatsoever why a god is needed for you to do good.

Do you really believe the majority of seal clubbers, whale spankers?, and those cutting down the rain forests are atheists?

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(whale spankers, lol)

as Flogger said, a deity is not needed for morality. Most (if not all, actually) atheists I have met (in RL and online) are nice, good, successful people, and all of them (including me) care a lot about the environment, etc.

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I don't disagree that you don't need a God to be moral.

For many,however, especially in a prison system full of whale spankers, its a belief in God that causes them to turn their lives around and cease the spankings. Its their belief in redemption that KEEPS them on the right track.

Not everyone was born with the same moral compass. The rednecks I grew up around have no qualms about tipping cows, kicking chickens in the ditch, putting firecrackers up cats behinds and even clubbing baby seals if they can find them. Bunny rabbits usually suffice. Their moral genetic code is askew. If they one day decide to believe in God and stop doing those things whats wrong with that. I say hallelujah.

Most serial killers don't have a conscience that tells them what they're doing is wrong. They know society says it's wrong but nothing is greater to them than themselves. They don't care. So what do we do with people like that? I say put the fear of God in them.

I contend that a belief in God is nescessary for alot of people to do the right thing. I for one am not going to interfere with that, UNLESS, they start to wield their beliefs as weapon. Then its game on.

Theist or Atheist shouldn't matter, its what you do with it that counts.

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and I'm sure we all agree... there's no need to attack atheists because a FEW atheists were clubbing baby rabbits. Yes, some people need a moral compass, but not all atheists need that :D

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I studied eastern philosophy for over 10 years and all it did was give me a better understanding of what God really is. Yes, I do have an open mind. I would recomend using some other pathways from time to time because it may give you a glimpse of the peak of the mountain known as life that we are all climbing that may be a better fit. I don't think I'm an Atheist because I don't believe in a man-like God. I do believe in the idea that God is in everything and we can pray to it and use it as a source of strength to improve our situation.

Tawanna was it: I don't think I've heard of too many bad people that start going to church and are born again and don't become better people. That is definitely a good point. I just wish that some Theists, especially Christians, wouldn't be so darn pushy with their beliefs onto others. After reading most of this debate ( ;) Flogger) it seems that Theists are more head strong because thier beliefs are not supposed to be shaken. Still, I don't think the Atheists and the Theists on this post are going to convince eachother of much... :wacko:

Besides, what's wrong with rednecks. Aren't they all Babtists or Pennicostal or something?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJZJu60DH3w

This video has got to be what happened to Atheists during their childhood. :lol:

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I don't disagree that you don't need a God to be moral.

But YOU need a god to be moral, right? Because you couldn't have implied that any stronger than you did in post #597.

You guys win. There is no God. Thank God for that. Now I can get back to clubbing seals, spanking whales, and burning down rain forests without all that darn guilt.

If you don't need a god to be moral, why would you do horrible things if it were convinced there was no god? How does the guilt one would feel when harming animals and the world disappear when one stops believing in the existence of any gods? Where are you getting the idea that it's the atheists that do those things?

For many,however, especially in a prison system full of whale spankers, its a belief in God that causes them to turn their lives around and cease the spankings. Its their belief in redemption that KEEPS them on the right track.

You have any evidence of this at all? I've worked with troubled youth from inner cities and guess what? Most of them were brought up with the belief that God exists and still had that belief when they wound up in trouble.

Not everyone was born with the same moral compass. The rednecks I grew up around have no qualms about tipping cows, kicking chickens in the ditch, putting firecrackers up cats behinds and even clubbing baby seals if they can find them. Bunny rabbits usually suffice. Their moral genetic code is askew. If they one day decide to believe in God and stop doing those things whats wrong with that. I say hallelujah.

Why do you believe the rednecks in your area are atheists? If their moral genetic code is askew, how could belief in God get them to be moral?

And what does any of this have to do with God actually existing? Maybe we can get kids to behave better if we tell them Santa knows if they've been good or bad. So what? Do you have any evidence that your god actually exists?

Most serial killers don't have a conscience that tells them what they're doing is wrong. They know society says it's wrong but nothing is greater to them than themselves. They don't care. So what do we do with people like that? I say put the fear of God in them.

How do you know serial killers don't believe there is something greater than themselves? How do you know they wouldn't kill if they did believe? You believe the lack of a conscience in serial killers is due to their not having a belief in a higher power? I know plenty of believers who do bad things all the time. Some of them even feel okay about it because they believe God will forgive them. They don't fear God at all.

I contend that a belief in God is nescessary for alot of people to do the right thing. I for one am not going to interfere with that, UNLESS, they start to wield their beliefs as weapon.

Unless they start? They've started.

tawanna, you've been called out and questioned on A LOT of things you've said. Are you going to keep ignoring rebuttals to your posts and just keep going on to another subject every time your arguments are destroyed?

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