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BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority

bobad 27 Mar 06 - 10:41 PM
Bert 27 Mar 06 - 10:43 PM
katlaughing 27 Mar 06 - 11:15 PM
number 6 27 Mar 06 - 11:16 PM
number 6 27 Mar 06 - 11:18 PM
GUEST 27 Mar 06 - 11:46 PM
Ebbie 28 Mar 06 - 02:16 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Mar 06 - 02:25 AM
Dead Horse 28 Mar 06 - 02:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 06 - 02:35 AM
Kweku 28 Mar 06 - 02:47 AM
Purple Foxx 28 Mar 06 - 02:58 AM
GUEST,CrazyEddie 28 Mar 06 - 03:23 AM
gnomad 28 Mar 06 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,wordy 28 Mar 06 - 04:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 06 - 04:50 AM
Paco Rabanne 28 Mar 06 - 06:26 AM
Alba 28 Mar 06 - 06:41 AM
jacqui.c 28 Mar 06 - 07:48 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Mar 06 - 08:26 AM
artbrooks 28 Mar 06 - 08:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Mar 06 - 08:44 AM
Rapparee 28 Mar 06 - 08:54 AM
Greg F. 28 Mar 06 - 09:03 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 06 - 09:40 AM
Bill D 28 Mar 06 - 12:13 PM
Clinton Hammond 28 Mar 06 - 12:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Mar 06 - 12:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Mar 06 - 12:21 PM
SINSULL 28 Mar 06 - 12:24 PM
Bert 28 Mar 06 - 12:25 PM
Scoville 28 Mar 06 - 12:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 28 Mar 06 - 12:37 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 28 Mar 06 - 12:48 PM
Wolfgang 28 Mar 06 - 01:16 PM
Kaleea 28 Mar 06 - 02:42 PM
GUEST 28 Mar 06 - 03:26 PM
Bill D 28 Mar 06 - 04:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Mar 06 - 05:14 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 28 Mar 06 - 05:35 PM
M.Ted 28 Mar 06 - 06:31 PM
Little Hawk 28 Mar 06 - 06:47 PM
Bill D 28 Mar 06 - 07:23 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Mar 06 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,AR282 28 Mar 06 - 08:23 PM
Little Hawk 28 Mar 06 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,Midchuck on the downstairs 'puter but not up 28 Mar 06 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,AR282 28 Mar 06 - 09:46 PM
Little Hawk 28 Mar 06 - 10:01 PM
michaelr 28 Mar 06 - 10:15 PM
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heric 28 Mar 06 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,AR282 28 Mar 06 - 10:41 PM
Skivee 28 Mar 06 - 11:00 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 12:03 AM
Barry Finn 29 Mar 06 - 01:09 AM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 01:12 AM
michaelr 29 Mar 06 - 01:20 AM
GUEST 29 Mar 06 - 01:50 AM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:11 AM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:19 AM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:24 AM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:27 AM
Joe Offer 29 Mar 06 - 02:39 AM
Scoville 29 Mar 06 - 10:07 AM
Wesley S 29 Mar 06 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,M.Ted 29 Mar 06 - 01:55 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:07 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:08 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:12 PM
beardedbruce 29 Mar 06 - 02:13 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:24 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:26 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:28 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:32 PM
beardedbruce 29 Mar 06 - 02:32 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:36 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:41 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:43 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:45 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 02:49 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:55 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 02:58 PM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Mar 06 - 03:17 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 03:23 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 03:27 PM
Wesley S 29 Mar 06 - 03:33 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 03:42 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 03:43 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 03:43 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 03:49 PM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Mar 06 - 03:52 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 04:09 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 04:11 PM
frogprince 29 Mar 06 - 04:56 PM
frogprince 29 Mar 06 - 05:08 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 05:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 05:15 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 05:29 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 05:34 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 05:41 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 05:45 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 05:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Mar 06 - 07:21 PM
Peace 29 Mar 06 - 07:24 PM
LilyFestre 29 Mar 06 - 07:37 PM
Peace 29 Mar 06 - 08:02 PM
LilyFestre 29 Mar 06 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,AR282 29 Mar 06 - 10:29 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 10:56 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 11:02 PM
Scoville 29 Mar 06 - 11:41 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 11:52 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 12:35 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 12:37 AM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 12:59 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 01:04 AM
beardedbruce 30 Mar 06 - 08:18 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 09:26 AM
beardedbruce 30 Mar 06 - 09:31 AM
Clinton Hammond 30 Mar 06 - 10:37 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 11:10 AM
beardedbruce 30 Mar 06 - 11:14 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 11:18 AM
beardedbruce 30 Mar 06 - 11:27 AM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Mar 06 - 12:29 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Mar 06 - 12:35 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 01:26 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 02:33 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Mar 06 - 02:35 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 02:57 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Mar 06 - 03:19 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 04:45 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 06:52 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 06:54 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 06:57 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:05 PM
LilyFestre 30 Mar 06 - 07:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Mar 06 - 07:13 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:16 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:20 PM
LilyFestre 30 Mar 06 - 07:27 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:29 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 07:40 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 07:53 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:54 PM
bobad 31 Mar 06 - 09:49 AM
Bill D 31 Mar 06 - 12:52 PM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 06 - 12:59 PM
bobad 31 Mar 06 - 01:21 PM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 06 - 01:41 PM
Purple Foxx 31 Mar 06 - 01:44 PM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 06 - 02:29 PM

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Subject: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: bobad
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 10:41 PM

Try and guess who it is before clicking here:
http://www.ur.umn.edu/FMPro?-db=releases&-lay=web&-format=umnnewsreleases/releasesdetail.html&ID=2816&-Find

I was certainly surprised.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bert
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 10:43 PM

And there was me thinking it was the Bush Family.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:15 PM

Me, too, Bert!

Have to say it is surprising...never heard of an atheist burning down a church, hanging a man because of his skintone, etc., etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: number 6
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:16 PM

Interesting Bobad ... very interesting.

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: number 6
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:18 PM

Ahhh .... but aren't all athiests communists !?!?!

sIx


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:46 PM

time to go back to flying under the radar


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Ebbie
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:16 AM

I don't even come close to understanding why they should be. I know that among some religious fundamentalists 'secular humanism' is a fearsome thing, although I've never know quite why. I've sometimes thought that they feel that being in proximity with someone who doesn't believe in a god might bring down the wrath of God upon them.

But why should an atheist be threatening to oneself or one's community? Maybe if one thought that it meant that they lived a totally amoral life and one suspected that would include any act that they thought they could get away with, like murder or theft or whatever, one might easily want to keep one's distance. But I have never felt that psychosis is synonymous with atheism.

I suspect that we all have neighbors or even family members who are secretly atheistic and we don't even know it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:25 AM

Hmm, USA heading to join Islam by making abandoning the state religion punishable by death??


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Dead Horse
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:33 AM

So that motto on the money is "on the money" huh? In God We Trust?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:35 AM

Look I know you guys are a foreign country, but are you really THAT different?
You all seem so normal on the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Kweku
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:47 AM

"MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (3/20/2006) -- American's increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn't extend to those who don't believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota's department of sociology."

well they don't believe in "god" and not "GOD" so no problem hate them,after all no religious body will use the small "g" for the Supreme Being.

and in any case,who made people loose faith in religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:58 AM

Whilst the findings of this survey sadden me, I'd be a liar if I were to say they suprise me.
I have just googled the word "Antichrist"
Everybody from Bushy to David Hasselhoff gets identified.
The sleep of reason really does produce monsters.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 03:23 AM

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
-Stephen Roberts


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: gnomad
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:35 AM

The statistic in that article which surprised me the most was that you have only a 3% atheist population; I have no data, but would expect a UK figure to be well above that. I doubt that many Brits would subscribe to the views expressed, though some would.

Atheism is well accepted here, in fact if we were to judge by what people practice as opposed to what they say they are, I would be unsurprised to find an atheist majority.

Maybe your atheists are aware of the paranoia they seem to induce, and are sensibly keeping their heads down.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:39 AM

I think I've said it before, but non-believers need to organise.The new dark age is upon us. It appears to be cyclical in human history, and reading that history can bring nothing but depression. Already thousands are dying in religious wars and it will only get worse. Europe might avoid some of it, but certainly not all. I think Britain is probably as safe as it gets but it too is going slowly down this road, particularly as Parliament has now voted to allow religious schools to begin the reversal of reason.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:50 AM

the English are complicated
it's not quite the thing to believe in stuff
I'm surprised they could pin down even 3% to a belief in Atheism


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:26 AM

Bob Dylan fans.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Alba
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:41 AM

gnomad I totally agree with your remark "atheists are aware of the paranoia they seem to induce, and are sensibly keeping their heads down"

If someone called me up and asked who I distrusted most in the US and what my religious/spiritual affilations where I would be very cautious about my answers and I wouldn't care who was backing the survey...( guess that makes me paranoid too:)

Actually when I read between the lines of the results of the survey it only makes me sad.

.
Thanks Bobab for posting this interesting article.

Best to all
Jude


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: jacqui.c
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 07:48 AM

I thought that the following paragraph rather explained a lot of the reasoning here.

'The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one's exposure to diversity, education and political orientation—with more educated, East and West Coast Americans more accepting of atheists than their Midwestern counterparts.'

IMHO religious bodies have more influence over a group of people who have not been exposed to those elements. This happens not just in the States but can be seen in religious fundamentalism all over the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:26 AM

never heard of an atheist burning down a church

There actually was a fair amount of that in the USSR at one time. The point is, being an atheist doesn't rule out being extremely nasty any more than being a religious person does.

If you are the kind of person who wants to push other people around you'll find a way to justify it in whatever form of belief you hold, including non-belief.

I am pretty sure that, if you asked that question over here, religious fundamentalists of any sort would outrank "atheists" as the people we tend to feel nervous about.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: artbrooks
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:40 AM

A survey by sociologists? Fooey!


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:44 AM

If you are the kind of person who wants to push other people around you'll find a way to justify it in whatever form of belief you hold, including non-belief.

well done that man! McGrath - very well expressed.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:54 AM

To use a title from Vance Randolph, "We always lie to strangers." Especially survey-takers.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:03 AM

The researchers also found acceptance or rejection of atheists is related not only to personal religiosity, but also to one's exposure to diversity, education and political orientation...

Narrow-minded, ignorant, uneducated people tend to be bigots with no tolerance for views that aren't their own or that they can't understand?

This ain't news, folks.

Why do you think the BuShites keep cutting aid to education[and please note the news stories that schools are having to cut instruction in history, arts -virtually everything but some specific sciences and maths to comply with the No Child's Left Buttock Act- this ain't an accident] and why do you think the "Red" states- populated with these people- vote for Bush?

Oh, ye generation of morons.....


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:40 AM

American's increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn't extend to ...

I'd like to know where they found their "increasing acceptance of religious diversity."

This comes from a state that has led in the movement to transform the US from a Republic into a fundamentalist theocracy. The region also is the "home court" for "White Supremecist" organizations such as the "Minutemen" for about half a century.

As Rolling Stones summed up Sen Brownback's "tolerance:"

You don't have to believe in his God as long as you bow down to Him. (IIRC)

I'm sure the majority surveyed would concur, and that's what they mean by "diversity."

The survey, according to the article linked, asked 2000 people about minorities " "sharing their vision of American society." There was no reference to "Trust" or "Distrust" except the implicit fundie assumption that any one who disagrees is untrusted.

The 2000 telephone calls were most likely all local?

This is pure propaganda, from those who agree with Pat Robertson, one of the more "liberal" of the theocrats:

quoted in Parade Magazine, Sunday 26 March 2006:

I have prayed that somehow, thanks to the goodness of the Lord, we would have a change in the composition of the Supreme Court, ... We've had two new justices already, and I'm sure one more is coming.


The article does not report any qualifying info on the survey, but I'm sure the reported tolerance for error was 0%.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:13 PM

It don't surprise me none. If a majority of Americans ARE religious, and if being religious 'usually' involves thinking everyone should also be religious, then it stands to reason that those who resist religion would be considered dangerous and be mistrusted by many.

Sadly, just a few atheist extremists have been so obnoxious about their non-belief that many Christians view them as a threat. (Never mind that obnoxious, extremist religious ranting and threats are often tolerated as just 'exuberance')

Bumper Sticker (which I would NOT put on my car, both because it is not friendly, and because it would be dangerous for the car)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:18 PM

We atheists scare religious folks, because we can do everything they can do, only we can do it without the crutches...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:18 PM

after all no religious body will use the small "g" for the Supreme Being.


Rather a sweeping conclusion. I'm sure we can find examples that prove this wrong. There are certainly religions that are private and discreet about their practices and not only aren't out trying to recruit members, certainly not trying to take over the world, and they are upset when their practices are appropriated by others, often New Agers.

I agree with the conclusions about the dumbing down of Amercia. There was a story on NPR this morning about a study of 250 school disctricts in states across the U.S. that are doing the "No Child Left Behind" stuff. They found that they have fewer offerings in the curriculum in most of those districts, and they have introduced classes that teach to the tests.

On another note, there was again a story about the radical idea of offering an optional Bible as Literature class in Georgia schools. This atheist took a class like that in high school in Everett, Washington in about 1970. Not a big deal if it is taught like a lit class, which this one was. Sometimes it helps to know your way around the literature of those who would try to push it law down your throat.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:21 PM

If a majority of Americans ARE religious, and if being religious 'usually' involves thinking everyone should also be religious, then it stands to reason that those who resist religion would be considered dangerous and be mistrusted by many.

That doesn't necessarily follow. Being religious doesn't necessarily mean thinking that other people who are religious are in any way to be trusted, when they've got the wrong kind of religion. When I said that most people here would put religious fundamentalists pretty high on their list of people not to be tusted, I wasn't excluding churchgoers from the people who'd feel that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:24 PM

The 3% does not surprise me. I went to the official US Atheist site and found I didn't qualify as a REAL atheist because I experienced ESP, a haunting, and believe in the power of prayer.

Most of family is Catholic. I avoid discussions on religion with them but do not hide the fact that I am an Atheist. It is very hard for them to accept and they pray for me. Which is fine because I pray for them. The issue of abortion is far more difficult to handle and keep everyone civil. But that is true everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bert
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:25 PM

The reason that they fear atheists comes from a horrible deep down nagging fear that the atheists might be right.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Scoville
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:35 PM

I tell people I'm a "skeptical agnostic" simply because I don't like absolutes and "atheist" seems pretty absolute, but I don't believe in God, at least not in the way my Baptist and Catholic neighbors would expect.

My mother's theory is that there are precious few true believers out there, otherwise people wouldn't be cheating on their SO's, cheating on their taxes, hitting their kids, or going broke trying to keep up with the Joneses. They would be wearing sack-cloth, giving it all to the poor, and walking the straight and narrow, living in mortal fear of retribution. (She's an agnostic. My dad is a devout atheist/secular humanist. Even if they weren't my parents, I would think they were two of the finest, most honest people I've ever known, and theoretically we're all doomed.)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:37 PM

That too Bert...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:48 PM

Gnomad, the 3% figure is probably those who are actually willing to call themselves "atheists". The percentage who do not adhere to any theistic religion but maintain a belief in "something", even if they define it in very impersonal terms, is much greater. I wouldn't be surprised if it's at least 30% of the population.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 01:16 PM

In East Germany (former communist part of Germany), still less than 20% are Christians and atheists are a large majority. The votes for THE LEFT (former communist party) there come from roughly one quarter to one third of the voters (less than 5 % in West Germany) so on a purely correlational level there is some support for number 6's second post if one takes it serious (as it was not meant to be read).

Also, there's some support for McGrath's arguments against katlaughing, for the probability to get beaten up or killed for having the wrong colour of skin is much higher in East Germany than in West Germany.

That has of course different reasons (like for instance higher joblessness etc.) but being atheist at least doesn't prevent people from committing cruelties against other people.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Kaleea
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:42 PM

I knew it! It's all a dirty commie plot! Those bad boys have been so busy making all the peoples of varying religions mistrust each other that while the attention is off of them, they are taking over the planet.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 03:26 PM

I still think Democrats.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:58 PM

"That doesn't necessarily follow."

I know, McGrath...that's why I use 'usually' and 'many'....but it 'often' does follow among certain large groups. I have experienced it so many times myself that I know it is at least common.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 05:14 PM

I think it may be more common in America than in some other places for people to see "religious commitment" as something to value as such, without perhaps worrying too much about what type of religion is involved. In a way that is something to be respected, as a step away from a more sectarian way of seeing such matters. But there is another side to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 05:35 PM

Carnies. Circus folk.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:31 PM

I don't know why anyone was surprised by this--in the rhetoric of religious revivals, the "Atheists" are always the antithetical "Them" --the negation of everything that "Christians" believe, --even Communism was "Godless Communism"--and, especially in recent years, we've been overrun with Bible thumpers--many of whom have found that is a lot easier to point accusing fingers than to save wayward souls.

A lot of Americans go to church, but it is for social reasons, and should not be confused for acceptance of any system of beliefs. Even avid churchgoers get nervous if you talk about God too much.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:47 PM

I thought for sure that lawyers were America's most distrusted minority. ;-D Matter of fact, I still think so. I think the article is dead wrong. It's lawyers!

And why does someone have to decide whether he is "an atheist" or "an agnostic" or some other silly term to label yourself with?...why not just be human, and leave it at that?

Who cares anyway, as long as a person is honest, harmless, and a good neighbour?

Well, evidently some of you care, but I sure don't.

To use this thread as an opportunity to bash organized religion is just as silly and unhelpful as to use it as an opportunity to bash atheism, in my opinion. There is no good reason to bash either.

(unless one of your primary joys in life is feeling superior to those who are different from you in some way)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 07:23 PM

"I thought for sure that lawyers were America's most distrusted minority. ;-D"

you mean...they're not a majority? Waaal, knock me down with a feather!


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:17 PM

SRS mentioned a Georgia (US) state bill on Bible teaching in public schools.

4A THE WICHITA EAGLE, TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2006

ATLANTA— Georgia's legislature on Monday [27 March 2006 ed.] passed a bill to fund elective Bible courses in public high schools, sparking concern among First Amendment advocates and generating praise from lawmakers who say they are worried that children are losing their grasp on one of western civilization's most influential texts.

If Gov. Sonny Perdue signs the bill into law, local school systems then could decide whether they want to offer the classes.

The bill states that the classes should be taught "in an objective and nondevotional manner, with no attempt made to indoctrinate students as to either the truth or falsity (of the works)"


The Guv still has to sign it, but it looks on surface like an unusually sensible bit of work. There is possibly some room for abuse, but it's left to the local school boards to either create or to regulate any such warpage.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:23 PM

The trouble is, I've studied Christianity earnestly enough that there's no way I could possibly believe it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:25 PM

Heh! Which part don't you believe and which part do you? Did you expect it to all be literally true when you started? If so, why?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,Midchuck on the downstairs 'puter but not up
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 08:32 PM

An atheist and a snake-handling fundamentalist Christian and a Muslim suicide bomber are all people who Know The Truth. Since I don't, I figure they're all equally likely to try and ram their truths down my throat...

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:46 PM

>>Heh! Which part don't you believe and which part do you? Did you expect it to all be literally true when you started? If so, why?<<

The Canon is a mish-mash of legends, mythology and astrology. Paul's writings are the earliest Christian writings and yet they don't tell us anything about the life of Christ on earth. Paul never tells us when or where Jesus walked or when or where he died. Nothing about miracles, a ministry, twelve disciples, a virgin birth. No mention of Bethlehem or Nazareth. In fact, no narrative whatsoever! He barely quotes the man!! Where then did these historical details come from if not from the earliest Christian writer??

Then you see that Mark is the earliest of the gospel narratives and it has no miraculous birth story. Jesus is already a man when Mark's story opens. I would say that is because Mark never heard of the birth story having written his before Matthew and Luke--who otherwise borrowed a great deal from Mark. Now, think about that. Two writers who insert totally different miraculous birth stories (as well as totally different paternal genealogies for someone supposed to be the son of god) and then go and rely on an earlier writing by someone who clearly did not know about either of these miraculous births. That's like me giving an eyewitness account but relying largely on your account even though you weren't there.

Strange that Jesus has this personal epiphany while coming up from the waters of the Jordan while being baptized by John where a dove descends from heaven and the voice of god proclaims Jesus his son. What is the purpose for this epiphany since his miraculous birth would have been greatly celebrated in his day? Because the story was in Mark and preserved by later writers who tacked a fictitious birth story on in front of it even though it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Then the earliest Markan manuscripts, Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, housed at the Vatican Library, stop at 16:8. The problem is, that cuts out the resurrection.

Then you have two early Church Fathers as Irenaeus and Papias who stated that Jesus survived his crucifixion and lived out his days as a teacher in Asia and died at about age 50. According to these men, this story comes from John the Presbyter whose authority they do not question. Let us remember that both Papias and Irenaeus were bishops in the Church. How could they hold this view and not be expelled and excommunicated except that at least part of the Church either did not accept the resurrection or had not heard of it.

So the Jesus story has changed and mutated over the centuries and certainly not in anything resembling its original form today. Then again, it doesn't seem to have an original form, but is a mish-mash of various stories from various time periods twisted together. There does not appear to be a Jesus Christ, even as a mere man. He is not a creature of history.

There's simply nothing to believe about Christianity. I find no reason to buy any of it. If you do, that's fine. I know some devout Christian people who are quite nice and I get along with them quite well (one can play jazzy bass--both guitar and upright--like you wouldn't believe). But I find nothing believable in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:01 PM

Yes, yes, it's all very interesting, isn't it? I have been well aware of all the inconsistencies and strange things you draw attention to, but I don't regard them as very important.

What I regard as vitally important are the great philosophical questions about life, about right and wrong, about wisdom and ignorance, about weakness and strength, about virtue and lack of virtue...questions that are raised in Christianity, as well as in Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, and every other religion or ancient philosophy out there. That's what's interesting. That's what matters...not whether or not someone had a "virgin birth" or turned water into wine.

Did it never occur to you that something like the symbol of a dove descending from heaven could refer to an event in consciousness, rather than a physical event? Or that legends can be symbolic? That a parable can be metaphorical?

Or is it all just literal for you? If so, forget it. You cannot be a literalist and come up with anything rational for most ancient spiritual writings. You can either believe them literally...and become a fanatic fundamentalist...or not...and call yourself an "atheist". Either way, you're missing the boat, in my opinion.

I do not call myself a "Christian". I call myself a human being. As a human being, I'm interested in all great changes in human philosopy over the past few centuries. Christianity offers much insight into the development of human philosopy, and for that reason is very much worth studying...and DOES contain much that is of value.

You don't need to even believe in a "God" to see that.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:15 PM

Sinsull -- you call yourself an atheist yet believe in the power of prayer?


Who do you pray to, J. Edgar Hoover? And what happens when you do?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:33 PM

One doesn't necessarily have to interpret prayer as the petitioning of a deity, michael. That's the way it's usually interpreted, but it doesn't have to be.

A prayer can be the holding of a powerfully positive thought. Positive thoughts are good motivators which can help produce good health and positive actions.

Meditation is another approach. It's a process of calming a restless mind and body. That doesn't require a deity either.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: heric
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:35 PM

What Midchuck said.

Self professed atheists are likely to be narrow minded, pretentious, boring.

Dangerous, no. I suspect that survey is crap. For one thing, there are too many semantic distinctions involved in the entire subject area.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:41 PM

>>Did it never occur to you that something like the symbol of a dove descending from heaven could refer to an event in consciousness, rather than a physical event?<<

It was NOT a physical event. No one saw the dove or heard the voice other than Jesus. Read the passage carefully. It is his personal epiphany. I am saying why does he require it when his miraculous birth would have been greatly celebrated and widely known throughout that region. He could hardly have grown not feeling special.

>>Or that legends can be symbolic? That a parable can be metaphorical?<<

Are telling this to me or to a Christian. They're the ones who will fight with you when you say that. According to them, Jesus was real and there wasn't no metaphorical mumbo-jumbo going on. It happened--period.

>>Or is it all just literal for you?<<

No, it is literal for a Christian. If you do not believe in Jesus Christ as a historical person, you can scarcely be considered a Christian these days. Clearly, there was a time when some Christians did believe this way and were still called Christians. Today they are called Gnostics but all they were back then were rival Christian sects.

>>If so, forget it. You cannot be a literalist and come up with anything rational for most ancient spiritual writings.<<

Again, don't tell me, tell the Christians.

>>You can either believe them literally...and become a fanatic fundamentalist...or not...and call yourself an "atheist". Either way, you're missing the boat, in my opinion.<<

That depends. Atheist as materialist or realist misses the boat. Atheist as atheist does not. It cannot because in its pure form atheism is not a position.

>>I do not call myself a "Christian". I call myself a human being.
As a human being, I'm interested in all great changes in human philosopy over the past few centuries. Christianity offers much insight into the development of human philosopy, and for that reason is very much worth studying...and DOES contain much that is of value.<<

It contains no value at all as false, contradictory history. I would place Greek paganism, Sufism as well as Buddhist and Hindu philosophy far, far above it. Interpreted as allegory, Christianity could take its place alongside them. But then they are share the same root, so why not?

>>You don't need to even believe in a "God" to see that.<<

That's what I've been trying to tell people.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Skivee
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 11:00 PM

An Atheist, a snake-handleing fundamentalist Christian and a Muslim suicide bomber walk into a bar...
Oops, I forgot the Rabbi and the golfer.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 12:03 AM

I still think you're looking at a bowl of water, AR282, and raising a lot of shit about the bowl its in and the people who made the bowl and so on, instead of just drinking the water.

Christianity is absolutely full of challenging philosophical and moral ideas...if you can get past the rituals, the traditional forms, and the literal thinking that would try to count how many angels are on the head of a pin. The pity is that you don't seem to see the philosophy or the moral questions...you just see the rigid beliefs of some (not all) Christians...and because of them you throw out the entire bowl of water and won't drink any of it.

That is incredible to me.

It's like rejecting all of North America as totally useless because some areas are polluted or have crime in them.

Why not quit bellyaching about the literal-minded Christians whose beliefs offend your sense of reality so much and talk to some who are not so literal-minded instead? There are plenty of those around.

I agree that the Eastern religions are more broad-minded and make more sense, but they too can be made into crazy rote belief by more rigid-minded worshippers. So what? Anything can be screwed up by stupid people. Science can be too.

Clarify this for me. Do you believe that a man, some man, existed historically, and that he was the man who came to be known later as "Jesus" (his name was Yeshua in the language of the time)? Or do you believe that no such man ever existed at all? Never mind about the God stuff, the miracles, the virgin birth, all that fancy lore, do you believe there was a physical person, Yeshua, who went around preaching in Palestine at that time, and that the Christian religion was built later by his followers, who saw him as the "Son of God"?

Or are you saying there was no such person at all? Totally a figment of someone's imagination?

And if so, upon what do you base your certainty that there was no such person? ;-D Upon what?????


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Barry Finn
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 01:09 AM

Not caring who believes in what the top on my list would be governments & religions.
Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 01:12 AM

On my list would be salesmen, lawyers, politicians, and fundamentalist preachers.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 01:20 AM

It seems probable that there was such a man. Maybe his name was Isaiah, or the Aramaic equivalent. Maybe he was a rabble-rouser. Maybe the Romans killed him for it.

That's all I'm willing to concede. Everything else in the bible was written decades later, edited and excised numerous times throughout the centuries to suit the political realities of the day, translated and re-translated into several other dead languages, and finally into English.

Anyone who professes to take the result literally is utterly and completely insane.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 01:50 AM

I'm surprised that the number of "Atheists" (3%) quoted was so high given the attempts of organized religions to brainwash (sunday school, church attendance with parents and even schools run by the churches themselves) every child from 5 to however long it took you to realize that it was a load of nonsense (In my case 14 years old!)
"You have to have FAITH, my son." was how my priest finally tried to convince me. After all that shit in your formative years, it is very difficult to realize that you don't believe the priests (or your parents). It is hard to be a free thinker and there are no support groups to help you rationalize this decision you have come to. I have also learned that it is better to keep your personal religious (or lack thereof) beliefs to yourself and not try to foist your views on anyone else. Unfortuneately, the religious don't try to do the same. I drink but George Bush has become dry and been spoken to by God. So has Pat Robertson. If I were God I don't think I'd chose either of these chumps to speak for me. If I were God I'd look down on this world and decide that it was in an even worse state than when Soddom and Gamorrah were at their height and just blow the whole thing up and start again! (Well, there's a thought - with all the glaciers melting, maybe "The Flood - Part II" is coming).   
How can it be that a man who was born 2,000+ years ago (into the Jewish religion of a vengeful God) lead us into a philosophy of "turning the other cheek" and "loving your fellow man" and that his father (the big G) was now a loving God? How is it that there has been more blood splilled and lives lost in wars begun for religious reasons than for any other reason?
I am not a communist but I believe that if there had been someone like Jesus in the world today he would be branded a socialist (and in the USA - thrown in jail, never to reappear). I'd agree with his thinking, but not as a religion. Wasn't it Karl Marx who said that "Religion is the opiate of the masses"?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:11 AM

"Anyone who professes to take the result literally is utterly and completely insane."

Ha! (grin) No they aren't, Michael. They're not insane at all. They're just rather conventional people without much imagination who took for granted something someone else told them when they were growing up (as 99% of humanity does, normally speaking) and never gave it any critical thought or real examination from that point on...

In the same way, people take all kinds of other ludicrous stuff for granted too...all kinds of bizarre political and social ideas and customs that are basically quite arbitrary. It goes on and on.

How many people question the basic assumptions of their society? How many people believe total BS just because it is considered "normal" by their peer group?

Are these people all insane? No. They are just average people, meaning they are easily programmed and manipulated by the social forces around them.

What they believe in may be insane, I'll grant that! But they themselves are not. It just hasn't occurred to them to question the status quo, that's all.

Now as for whether there was a man, "Jesus", upon whom the whole thing was based...you better frikkin' believe it, for this reason: New religions arise because of some unusual person, usually some quite remarkable person. He (or she) has to be someone who tremendously impressed a lot of people to the point where they felt it had changed their lives. Only someone like that can inspire a whole new religion to form. It doesn't happen by spontaneous combustion. It doesn't happen by accident.

The people on whom religions are founded are remarkable people. That doesn't mean they are "the one and only Son of God", it doesn't mean they are even right in what they say...but to assert that the religion of Christianity somehow came about without a living person at the beginning to inspire it in some way is, frankly, just asinine.

Buddha really existed. Lao-Tse really existed. Mohammed really existed. Joseph Smith really existed. Krishna really existed. Zoroaster really existed. All those people who began or inspired new religions (or political movements) (or any major social change) really existed...and the religions are the ripples spreading from the stones they threw into the pond of life.

What they did precisely while they were alive may or may not be provable, it may or may not be accurately recorded anywhere, but to think they didn't exist at all is just plain ridiculous....and it's a case of really blind wishful thinking on the part of the anti-religionist that rivals the babbling of the most rabid fundamentalist...because it reveals nothing but his desire to deny not just the unlikely aspects of religion, but ALL of it...and to have everything in the world fit HIS established prejudices and his comfort zone, regardless of all likelihood against it being that way.

It's as ludicrous to believe that Jesus (the man) never existed as it is to believe that the Rapture is going to come and snatch away all the chosen ones to God and leave the rest of us to perish here in the Tribulation.

It would demand a similar level of blind faith and utterly wishful thinking in both cases, in my opinion.

It just shows how far people are willing to go to have everything their way and deny everything that isn't as they would choose.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:19 AM

By the way, folks, I realized at age 6 or 7 that the whole religious thing being presented to me was nonsense. At least that was what I thought it was. They didn't have much to say about dinosaurs or evolution, did them? And I knew about that stuff at age 6. It took one Sunday School class to convince me that they were teaching mostly nonsense. I never went to another one, and my family never went to church either. We were agnostics or atheists, or something like that.

But I sure never let that lead me to such a silly conclusion as to believe that the historical man, Jesus, never even existed.

I mean, get serious... really. Nonexistent people do not live lives that inspire brand new messianic religious movements that change whole civilizations and alter the history of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:24 AM

Guest - When Marx said that, he hadn't yet seen what television could do!

Be scared. Be very scared. ;-D That little idiot box in your living room has stolen a bigger piece of your life than you know, and it's got you by the short hairs.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:27 AM

And you're right...Jesus, by today's terms, was a radical socialist. He was the kind of person that any competitive, ruthless, money-hungry, success-oriented society hates with an absolute passion and will imprison or kill at the earliest possible opportunity.

That's one of the reasons I really, really like Jesus...as a philosopher, I mean. I agree with his philosophy. He had it right.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:39 AM

I'm Catholic, employed by the Catholic Church to teach religion. I don't have any reason to distrust atheists - but there are extremists among Catholics and other Christians who scare the hell out of me.

I guess that's the minority I distrust - ideological extremists of every ilk. Most other folks are fine.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Scoville
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 10:07 AM

Self professed atheists are likely to be narrow minded, pretentious, boring.

Ditto self-professed Christians.




I'm [very nearly] an atheist (I explained this earlier).

I believe Jesus existed. I believe he was the spiritual son of God (not the literal one, and I don't believe that Mary was a virgin but I don't think that should count against her), which does not conflict with my almost-atheism because Jesus believed in God, even if I don't. I believe he was a respected leader and teacher. I could even believe that he died for my sins because that may have been what he meant to do, and my lack of belief doesn't cancel out his good intentions.

I don't want to be antagonistic to Christians but it simply doesn't work for me and I don't want them to hound me about it. All it means is that whatever I say or do is mine, and the consequences are mine, and whether or not I am forgiven is up to my fellow humans.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:23 AM

Scoville -

It's funny - I consider myself a Christian { mostly as an accident of birth } And I can aggree with a lot of what you had to say. The following words { of yours } express ideas I believe in too.

"I believe Jesus existed. I believe he was the spiritual son of God (not the literal one, and I don't believe that Mary was a virgin but I don't think that should count against her).I believe he was a respected leader and teacher. I could even believe that he died for my sins because that may have been what he meant to do."

I'll go on to say that I have hard time believing in the resurection of Christs body also. But wheather it happened or not has little to do with the worth and value of his teachings.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,M.Ted
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 01:55 PM

The real problem is not what you believe or disbelieve---it is that people censor their own words, and restrict their own actions, out of fear that they will be ostracized if they don't say the right things in the right way--


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:07 PM

Very reasonable stuff you say, Scoville, and many who call themselves "Christians" would agree with most or even all of it.


The worst fanatics I have ever run into were of 2 distinct varieties:

1. religious fanatics
2. atheist fanatics

Although their beliefs were apparently diametrically opposed, in other respects you could hardly tell them apart, because they both never shut up about it and they both never stopped trying to convert everyone they met into their exclusive belief system. They seemed equally intent on "saving" other people. They were driven by a sense of innate superiority and rightness, and had nothing but contempt or pity for those who didn't see it their way.

They deserve each other, and the rest of us don't deserve either one of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:08 PM

"believe that the historical man, Jesus, never even existed"

There's not a single shred of acceptable evidence to show that he did....

For a guy who claimed this thread was "silly and unhelpful" your sure have posted a lot of silly and unhelpful rain-bow hugging to it...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:12 PM

There is a whole hell of a lot less evidence around to prove that he didn't exist, Clinton. ;-D Your faith rivals that of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

You are such fun. As predictable as fleas on a mongrel. You think of yourself as rational, but everything you say is driven by knee-jerk emotional prejudice. You're about as rational as a rattlesnake.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:13 PM

And the Illiad was not written by Homer, but by another Greek of the same name.


( sarcasm)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:24 PM

And Buddhism wasn't started by Buddha, it was invented 100 years later by a man who wanted to open a begging bowl franchise in Southeast Asia... ;-D There really never was such a person as Buddha. (more sarcasm)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:26 PM

"There is a whole hell of a lot less evidence around to prove that he didn't exist"

That's not how 'proof' works, ignorant....

If you'd pull your head outa your backside, you'd grok that


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:28 PM

And well, as you like to play the pedant, how can one have "A whole hell of a lot less" than "Not a single shred" of evidence or indeed of anything?

Yer once again, caught up in your own mumbo-jumbo


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:32 PM

To which your response will be along the lines of "I know you are but what am I" or some similar retort that spotlights your true level of discourse and insight...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:32 PM

LH, we cross posted- my comment was directed at Clinton.

Actually, there is a stome box with that name on it, from the proper period- How common was that name?

Does it matter if the historical Jesus was one person, or a different one of the same name?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:35 PM

Everything you post here, Clinton, is driven by one thing and one thing alone...your toxic emotional ego. I can't take you seriously. You're just a form of light entertainment for me. You have nothing useful to say to anyone, you're just a bad attitude wandering around looking for something to dump on.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:35 PM

"there is a stome box with that name on it"
Debunked... fake...

(if it's the same box I'm thinking of)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:36 PM

"looking for something to dump on"

Good thing I have a pre-existing shitheap like yourself then eh


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:41 PM

The reason you HAVE to believe that Jesus didn't exist, Clinton, is strictly an emotional need on your part. It makes you feel good because it helps you further deny something you despise...the Christian religion.

Well, I can remember despising the Christian religion too...for a long time...but it never led me to such utterly irrational conclusions as to convince myself that an entire enormous religion somehow arose over the activities and life of a man who never even existed!!!

That's why I say your faith rivals that of Jehovah's Witnesses or Born-Again Evangelicals. It's based on nothing but emotion.

You're out there, man. You think you're rational, but you're far from it when it comes to this subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:43 PM

And the hostility! LOL! Why do you care this much? Or...why do you have to pretend you don't care this much? Who are you trying to impress? It ain't workin'.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:45 PM

"It's based on nothing but emotion"

Once again, you prove yourself clueless.....


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:49 PM

And you prove yourself incapable of honest self-appraisal or self-awareness.

Your attitude toward other people is pathetic, Clinton. (at least on this forum, I don't know about in real life)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:55 PM

"incapable of honest self-appraisal or self-awareness"
Not even remotely....

"attitude toward other people"
This isn't other people... this is you... You're just hurt that someone calls you on your bullflop, and dismisses the thing you cling to, that thing that gets you through the nights, as a load.... as was suggested above, maybe because of the sinking suspicion I might be right. I don't really care why it hurts you so.... That's your problem.

Think YOU might be right? Lets see some decent evidence to support your claptrap....

Oh... that's right... there isn't any.... at least none that can be seen unless one first agrees to wear your own special blinkers.. If that's what it takes, I'd rather not see it, thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:58 PM

"I thought for sure that lawyers were America's most distrusted minority. ;-D"

What if the majority of lawyers are atheists???


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:17 PM

Quarcoo quoted and then said:


"MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (3/20/2006) -- American's increasing acceptance of religious diversity doesn't extend to those who don't believe in a god, according to a national survey by researchers in the University of Minnesota's department of sociology."


well they don't believe in "god" and not "GOD" so no problem hate them,after all no religious body will use the small "g" for the Supreme Being.

It is worth pointing out that the quoted paragraph did NOT deal with "God", but "a god", which is a quite different thing. The capitalization of "God" signals that it's being used as a proper noun, whereas "a god" is only a common noun, one of a general class. Even one who don't believe that the general class contains more than one should realize that entities termed "a god" can be manifold, and need not be "Supreme".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:23 PM

"entities termed "a god" can be manifold, and need not be "Supreme"

Heh
There are those that call me "God-Emperor Of Geeks" but I've NEVER even rehearsed "Stop! In The Name Of Love"


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:27 PM

It doesn't matter whether or not lawyers are atheists. Couldn't matter less.

Clinton, there is a massive amount of evidence for Jesus having existed. Absolutely massive. The Christian religion itself, and the Christian civilization are the evidence that he existed.

They are not evidence that he was the Son of God, that he did this or that miracle, that he rose from the dead, walked on water, or anything else extraordinary like that, but they ARE evidence that a man known now as Jesus existed, and that he had a big effect on a bunch of other people in his local area for some reason, so big an effect that it soon launched a world religion.

And that is the part that your emotional blinders will not permit you to acknowledge. Your prejudice demands that NONE of it be true. Well, your prejudice is blind.

Buddhism is the same massive cultural evidence that the man Buddha existed. Religions based on the life of a single individual do not start in the first place without that person having physically been there to serve as the inspiration to start them. I've seen how that happens in real life. The person must be there first to inspire others by some extraordinary personal quality he or she has. That's how the whole ball gets rolling. Without the person, it doesn't get rolling at all.

You just don't want to believe there was a man, Jesus, for your own emotional reasons, and you're clinging to that in the face of a mass of cultural evidence bigger than the Atlantic Ocean.

You're the one who believes in something totally unlikely here, not me. I don't believe there was a man, Jesus, because "it gets me through the night". I like Buddhism, Taoism, and Vedantic teachings just as much or more than I like Christianity. I find them all to be good teachings, and I label myself by none of them.

What gets me through the night is the same thing that gets you throught the night. My heart keeps beating, that's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:33 PM

Clinton and Little Hawk - have you considered getting a private room for your little lovers quarrel ?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:42 PM

"The Christian religion itself, and the Christian civilization are the evidence that he existed."

Sorry LH... that's akin to saying that Platos Fiction/Social Satire is 'evidence' for or 'proof' of, the existence of 'Atlantis'.... Or that just because John Travolta, and Tom Cruise and a bunch of other wingnuts 'believe' it, L.Ron Hubbart (Sp?) is anything more than a crappy science fiction writer...

Whereas all historical, archaeological, etc. evidence to date says the exact opposite. The "Box" that beardedbruce cited was potentially interesting evidence, until it was debunked.... same with "The Shroud Of Turin"


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:43 PM

"a private room for your little lovers quarrel "

Balling THIS good needs to be in public

Makes ya jealous?

I'll bet it does


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:43 PM

That's been suggested before, Wesley. ;-)

Clinton is a bully, as far as I'm concerned. He figures he can just drop his nasty little cynical one-liners down on me or anyone else whenever he wants to and that's it. Fun for him.

Well, I despise him just enough, and at the same time find the whole thing amusing enough, that I am willing to throw his shit right back at him. He is unique on this forum. He deserves special treatment as far as I'm concerned.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:49 PM

I don't consider the existence of Atlantis to be even 1 per cent as likely as that Jesus existed, Clinton. Atlantis is merely an interesting possibility at this point, nothing more than that. It's speculative.

And from your point of view, you must admit that Jesus is an interesting possibility too, and admit "he might have existed"...unless you subscribe to the blind faith principle that says, "He didn't exist. Period. No matter what. Simply because I say he didn't."

You are the one who has no evidence. No evidence whatsoever of a proposition is far less impressive than a gigantic mountain of cultural evidence supporting it, in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 03:52 PM

Looking at myself and my life, I truly believe that I am honest, moral, and trustworthy. And I don't really know of anyone who maintains to the contrary.

But developmentally, the reason I am that way is because when, at 14 years of age, I realized that I was what was seen as that "terrible, reprehensible" thing, an atheist, I decided there were two things I had to do:

1. Keep my head down. (This, to avoid losing the respect of many others I would run into along the way.) AND
2. Take personal responsibility for making my life honest, moral, and trustworthy. (This, to avoid losing the the respect of yours truly.)

    Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 04:09 PM

"Atlantis is merely an interesting possibility at this point"
That's where you're wrong... there is NO possibility that "Atlantis" ever existed, as referenced by Plato... He was writing fiction, as social commentary, and as satire....

"Jesus is an interesting possibility too, and admit "he might have existed"
By that thinking ALL things are interesting possibilities, and might have existed... Which might be cute in an imaginative 4 year old girl, but isn't go do anything to put food on the table, or get a stuck cow out of a bog.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 04:11 PM

oops....

I prefer to leave maybes and might-have-beens to the realm Speculative Fiction, and concern myself with facts.

"If it's truth you're after, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall."


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 04:56 PM

I s'pose this is drift, but:
I started on a job about 15 years ago, and soon found that a high percent of my co-workers were very open and proud about the fact that they were high a high percent of the time. One morning a couple who both worked there came in complaining that they had bought some pot after work the day before, but it was so lame that it did nothing for them. Then things got really weird: one co-worker after another began to sympathize with them, in all sincerity, about their misfortune. I really think if there were sympathy cards tailored to the situation, they would have gotten a pile. Finally, I sat there and said, "It's really a shame; if you can't trust your pusher, who can you trust". One single young man, an avid druggy but with some working brain cells left, looked up at me and smirked because he got it. The rest of them took me at face value.
Anyhow, if you can't distrust an atheist, who can you distrust?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:08 PM

And Clinton: Would you say agree with any one of these statements?(a) William Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him, (b)The actual authorship of the "Shakespearean" plays is uncertain, or (c) The person to whom those plays are attributed definitely did not exist.   Or, do you have yet a different position on that issue?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:14 PM

Probably B...

We need to get to whatever is under Oak Island for the best evidence either way

:-P
Heh


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:15 PM

And what the hell.. I may as well play this stupid Mudcat game too....

100


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:29 PM

If you wish to concern yourself only with known facts, Clinton, you're not really a functioning human mind at all...just a computer. A memory machine. No wonder you appear incapable of holding a philosophical discussion of any kind.

Also, Clinton, your "facts" are only as reliable as the source feeding them to you...and your interpretation of said facts, and what they mean, remains personal and subjective, which is to say...unreliable.

Many marvelous lies and incorrect conclusions have been drawn using carefully selected and interpreted "facts".

It's the oldest trick in the book, matter of fact. ;-)

If you cannot distinguish between more and less likely interesting possibilities, you'd make a hell of a poor research scientist. You wouldn't even know what to start looking for! Ever heard of scientific theories, Clinton? Scientists are very interested in "might-have-beens" or "might-be"'s. That's how they theorize in the first place, and then they look for evidence to back up a theory. Until they find conclusive evidence, it remains an interesting possibility. A scientist who like you restricted himself only to discussing the known facts and disdained "interesting possibilities" would be useless. He'd never discover anything new whatsoever. He wouldn't even want to.

And the chances that Jesus really existed are way, way better than the chance that you will ever loosen up and be reasonable... Heh!

I wish you upon yourself. Argue till one of you wins, and let me know which one it was, and I'll send you one of those little fake gold trophies.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:34 PM

"a philosophical discussion"

A good roast is worth it's weight in philosophy... especially New-Agey wet-blouse philosophy as you present LH....


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:41 PM

Everyone has a philosophy, Clinton, but stupid people (or emotionally constipated people) either don't realize they have one or they are unwilling to admit it or discuss it.

Your philosophy is the most vital thing about you, because it makes you who you are.

That's why I consider philosophy the greatest of all subjects, and that's why I talk about it. Religion, when it is intelligently applied religion rather than mere form and ritual, is philosophy about the most important things in life.

That which you believe in IS your philosophy, and it will make you either kind or cruel, helpful or harmful, useful or useless...in any given situation. Thus it is THE most important influence on putting food on the table or any other such practical matter.

The only person who has no philosophy is the person who is unconscious or dead. Those who refuse to discuss it are dead too, but in a different sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:45 PM

Whatever keeps you dully smiling through your vacuous little days LH....


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 05:53 PM

They say smiling is good for one's health. Thanks for reminding me. I sometimes forget to smile as much as I should.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 07:21 PM

If people answering that survey have an image of what "atheists" are like which coincides with that represented so vocally in this thread, perhaps that answer is not so surprising.

As Joe Offer said up the thread, all fundamentalism is probably better treated with suspicion. (I paraphrase him.)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Peace
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 07:24 PM

"America's Most Distrusted Minority"

Surely this has to be politicians.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: LilyFestre
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 07:37 PM

Or used car salesmen...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Peace
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 08:02 PM

Did Bush sell cars?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: LilyFestre
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 08:10 PM

Does Bush know what a used car is?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 10:29 PM

>>I still think you're looking at a bowl of water, AR282, and raising a lot of shit about the bowl its in and the people who made the bowl and so on, instead of just drinking the water.<<

I don't want to be poisoned.

>>Christianity is absolutely full of challenging philosophical and moral ideas...if you can get past the rituals, the traditional forms, and the literal thinking that would try to count how many angels are on the head of a pin. The pity is that you don't seem to see the philosophy or the moral questions...you just see the rigid beliefs of some (not all) Christians...and because of them you throw out the entire bowl of water and won't drink any of it.

That is incredible to me.<<

You can get that message from any other system and don't have to wade through a bullshit tide to do it.

>>It's like rejecting all of North America as totally useless because some areas are polluted or have crime in them.<<

It's more like being taken to one of these polluted places and being told, "This is North America," and you know damned well that is not really true. There's way more to North America than that.

>>Why not quit bellyaching about the literal-minded Christians whose beliefs offend your sense of reality so much and talk to some who are not so literal-minded instead? There are plenty of those around.<<

Religions are the products of kings and royalty. It's all to glorify them in some way. Any religion inimical to the king is not going to be allowed to stay for long. That which perpetuates his power will be allowed. Christianity is such a system. It was essentially invented by a king, an emperor really, Constantine. It's royalty glorification. That's why Jesus is KING OF KINGS and PRINCE of Peace and spoke for the KINGDOM of heaven and was KING of the Jews. Buddha too was a prince. The Emperor of Japan is supposedly descended from the Sun goddess Amaterasu. Even the Renne-le-Chateau stuff puts forth the Jesus' bloodline gave birth to the Merovingian kings.

>>I agree that the Eastern religions are more broad-minded and make more sense, but they too can be made into crazy rote belief by more rigid-minded worshippers. So what? Anything can be screwed up by stupid people. Science can be too.<<

But Eastern religions have excellent philosophical systems underlying them and those systems are not forgotten or denied. You don't get anything like that with Christianity. Even the Jesuit metaphysics of Paolo Dezza, for example, is sadly lacking. Now de Chardin was pretty good but he is a single gem among a planet of crude rocks.

>>Clarify this for me. Do you believe that a man, some man, existed historically, and that he was the man who came to be known later as "Jesus" (his name was Yeshua in the language of the time)?<<

No.

>>Or do you believe that no such man ever existed at all? Never mind about the God stuff, the miracles, the virgin birth, all that fancy lore, do you believe there was a physical person, Yeshua, who went around preaching in Palestine at that time, and that the Christian religion was built later by his followers, who saw him as the "Son of God"?<<

No such person. If he existed, Paul is obviously talking about someone else because he clearly has no interest in this historical personality. But then Revelation, Hebrews and James all present very different conceptions of Jesus and clearly none regarded him as historical. You wonder how Christians can have these books in their bible and not see what is staring them in the face. It's incredible. Obviously, they don't read it. They couldn't.

>>Or are you saying there was no such person at all? Totally a figment of someone's imagination?<<

More like deliberate deception by the royalty.

>>And if so, upon what do you base your certainty that there was no such person? ;-D Upon what?????<<

There are no valid historical references about him from his time or the generation after. That the Christians borrowed Philo's concept of the Logos and he was a contemporary and yet never wrote about Christians or a Jesus Christ. Josephus was governor of Galilee and wrote a history of it that never mentioned Nazareth or Jesus. Origen tried to find Bethany and couldn't. Much of the geography of Palestine described the gospels is wrong. Jesus quotes the Greek bible. It's not a religion out of Palestine. It's a religion born in the diaspora by Greek-speakers who spent little to no time in Palestine. Jesus is just the sun--the Light of the World, the star in the east (rising sun/son). He had 12 disciples--sun in the middle of the zodiac.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 10:56 PM

Very interesting comments, AR282. I see you've really given the matter some serious thought. Good for you.

Now I'm curious about your emotional motivations, because those are what really drive all people. It's what drives us to be deeply interested in a subject or totally uninterested in it. It's what drives us to be hostile to a general subject or not.

It's plain to see you're pretty hostile toward Christianity. Why?

In my case, having grown up in an atheistic family, I had little reason to be hostile to the church...except that I picked up a lot of little hints from my parents that religious people were...not very smart...naive...a few cards short of a deck...etc. Not that they spoke about it frequently, it was just kind of an undertone.

Accordingly, I viewed the churches with a certain amount of amused contempt when I was young, but I didn't have a visceral hatred for them...and I get the impression that you do.

Were you subjected to a lot of pressure to be religious when you were young? I find that it is that, rather than anything Jesus ever taught (or was reputed to) that turns people so bitterly against religion that they spend the rest of their lives spewing tirades against it.

And I can understand that. I was subjected to complete other kinds of pressure when I was young. As a result, I don't harbour a grudge against Jesus or Christianity. I think you do. I mean, hey, it's totally obvious that you do. ;-)

I think it is that grudge that makes you want to believe that Jesus never existed. If you didn't hate the Christian religion so much, it probably never would have even occurred to you to adopt such a belief.

You are absolutely right that kings, from Constantine on, cynically used the church for all it was worth to consolidate and enlarge their power. You betcha. That's what politicians do (unless they're Communists, in which case they do the exact opposite).

That, however, is not Jesus' fault (if he existed) and it in no way impinges on the value of his orginal teachings. It simply proves that politicians are generally corrupt and greedy for power. They will use the church either as an ally...or a scapegoat to blame things on. Whatever suits their gameplan.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:02 PM

By the way, I eventually did read the whole Bible, and yeah...it's full of inconsistencies and contradictions. It's incredible to me too that anyone could believe it all. Just as incredible as it is to you.

But I am very interested in Jesus himself...much more than I am in the Bible...just as I am interested in all the great spiritual teachers. I consider them to be way beyond the organized religions that were established in their names.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Scoville
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:41 PM

"But Eastern religions have excellent philosophical systems underlying them and those systems are not forgotten or denied. You don't get anything like that with Christianity."

Pardon my being simplistic, but the Ten Commandments aren't a bad set of guidelines. I object very strongly to them being posted in the courtroom and shoved down the throats of all of the rest of us, but in and of themselves, they'll save you a lot of trouble. Of course, they're suggestions that are not unique to Christianity and ones that plenty of atheists follow, anyway, without all the stone tablet business.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:52 PM

" Now I'm curious about your emotional motivations"
That tired old dodge again LH? That lame attempt to gloss over the fact that all your questions were refuted...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:35 AM

Oh, really, Clinton? (grin) Am I supposed to get worried now, and start chewing nervously on my fingernails? I liked what he had to say. He's actually thinking, instead of just BS-ing and mind-f*cking people and ego-tripping the way you do, Clinton.

99% of people just believe what they want to believe. Like you do. Then they go around snooping for whatever they can find that might seem to support it, and simply disregard the rest.

At least this Guest is capable of actually investigating something and using a little reasoning power. Much of what he says is quite correct, but he does have a chip on his shoulder for some reason when it comes to religion.

I can easily guess how that might have happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:37 AM

By the way, Clinton, how does a guy who is such a "get the job done", "put the food on the table" type of major practical achiever and success story like you get so much free time to screw around pointlessly on the Net and argue with me?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:42 AM

>>Now I'm curious about your emotional motivations, because those are what really drive all people. It's what drives us to be deeply interested in a subject or totally uninterested in it. It's what drives us to be hostile to a general subject or not.

It's plain to see you're pretty hostile toward Christianity. Why?<<

Whose being hostile? I just don't believe in it. I looked at it too close.

>>Accordingly, I viewed the churches with a certain amount of amused contempt when I was young, but I didn't have a visceral hatred for them...and I get the impression that you do.<<

Really, I'm fine with whatever impression you have. It really isn't important what I think. Won't change anything.

>>Were you subjected to a lot of pressure to be religious when you were young? I find that it is that, rather than anything Jesus ever taught (or was reputed to) that turns people so bitterly against religion that they spend the rest of their lives spewing tirades against it.<<

Actually, my parents are very unreligious. They're not atheists. They just never went to church or made their kids go. I don't remember ever going to church as a kid.

>>And I can understand that. I was subjected to complete other kinds of pressure when I was young. As a result, I don't harbour a grudge against Jesus or Christianity. I think you do. I mean, hey, it's totally obvious that you do. ;-)<<

If you say so.

>>I think it is that grudge that makes you want to believe that Jesus never existed. If you didn't hate the Christian religion so much, it probably never would have even occurred to you to adopt such a belief.<<

My problem was becoming enamored with philosophy. If you really knoew anything about it, you'd know the cornerstone of all philosophy is that there are no gods and you are on your own. to dney is this is to admit you've never studied philosophy.

>>You are absolutely right that kings, from Constantine on, cynically used the church for all it was worth to consolidate and enlarge their power. You betcha. That's what politicians do (unless they're Communists, in which case they do the exact opposite).

That, however, is not Jesus' fault (if he existed) and it in no way impinges on the value of his orginal teachings.<<

What are his original teachings, btw?

>>It simply proves that politicians are generally corrupt and greedy for power. They will use the church either as an ally...or a scapegoat to blame things on. Whatever suits their gameplan.<<

They don't just use religion. They invented it as a means to perpetuate their power.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:44 AM

>>Pardon my being simplistic, but the Ten Commandments aren't a bad set of guidelines. I object very strongly to them being posted in the courtroom and shoved down the throats of all of the rest of us, but in and of themselves, they'll save you a lot of trouble. Of course, they're suggestions that are not unique to Christianity and ones that plenty of atheists follow, anyway, without all the stone tablet business.<<

Not to mention that the 10 Commandments aren't philosophy.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:59 AM

>>By the way, I eventually did read the whole Bible, and yeah...it's full of inconsistencies and contradictions. It's incredible to me too that anyone could believe it all. Just as incredible as it is to you.<<

It's not that they believe it all so much as they are not comprehending what they are reading to a degree that I find utterly shocking. James gives no impression that Christ had ever walked on earth and has surprisingly little to tell us about this remarkable man who was supposed to be his sibling!!! He says nothing about the life of Jesus. Doesn't mention any crucifixion and exhorts his readers to bear the suffering as the prophets bore theirs but never mentions Jesus suffering as we would expect of a Christian. How do Christians manage to ignore this?

>>But I am very interested in Jesus himself...much more than I am in the Bible...just as I am interested in all the great spiritual teachers. I consider them to be way beyond the organized religions that were established in their names.<<

You can't convincingly separate Jesus from the bible. Nor would I recommend doing so.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 01:04 AM

Matter of fact, I did study philosophy. Very interesting. But I got the impression after awhile that it was people just talking themselves in circles until they painted themselves into a mental corner, so to speak.

Life is simpler than philosophy courses make it out to be. Way simpler. Philosophy profs tend to be enamoured with their own cleverness, I find, and they end up becoming very clever...very wordy...and very empty inside. (but there are exceptions to that, I'm sure)

Politicians did not invent religion. The kind of people who are utterly, completely uninterested in politics became spiritual teachers...and the politicians glommed onto the whole thing once it was an established power structure with a large following. Then they could use it.

I bet you have never talked to or witnessed a real spiritual teacher in your life, or read any good books by any either, or you would not dream for a moment that politicians invented religion.

You want Jesus' original teachings? Okay...

He taught nonviolence, forgiveness (of both self and others), truthfullness, honesty, responsibility, love of all people (even those you don't like or have some problem with), respect for the civil laws of your society, respect for other people (specially your parents), to honor and respect and love God, equality of the sexes (to the point he could express it in that time, which was no joke), to harm no one, to help other people who are in need, the golden rule, and all the usual moral stuff. He taught that people aren't made for the law....the law is made for the people. In other words, the law is intended to serve the people, not the other way around.

The things he taught are found at the heart of virtually every great religion (although discrimination against women is common in most of them...and certainly has been in the Christian churches. That again is NOT Jesus' fault. I'd say that Paul had quite a bit to do with it though. Paul was a weird character in a lot of ways. I don't much like what I feel coming from Paul.)

That's some of it.

You could put it all in these few words: Love others, love God, love yourself, love life, fear nothing, and hate no one.

That's not easy. For most people it seems to be impossible. That's why they don't really want to hear about it, and they don't really want to try it either. There's only one person in 1,000 who wants to try it, from what I've seen, and one in 10,000 who achieves it.

I certainly haven't achieved it, but I know it's real. It's the one thing that can heal an insane human mind, but the insane mind does NOT want to hear about it. No sir. That would mean surrendering, not to Christianity, not to a religion, but to love. And that would be hard, hard work. It would demand sacrifice.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 08:18 AM

Actually, LH, Jesus may not have taught non-violence.


Check "Cows, Pigs, Witches, and Wars :the Riddle of Culture"- Marvin Harris Fascinating book on the reasons why people may have possibly decided to develop cultural habits like not eating pig or worshipping a cow.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 09:26 AM

Pork? Probably best not eaten if you want optimum health, but that's up to you.

There are a whole lot of good reasons not to eat any meat at all, BB, but that is just a matter of opinion, depending on who you talk to. Some people are under the impression that you can't live without it, and the family I was brought up in certainly was under that impression. To my parents a meal IS meat and starch, with a few other things added on as decoration. Having known many other completely healthy people who've been vegetarian all their lives (mostly people from the East Indian culture), I know that the idea people must eat meat to be healthy is simply culturally acquired mythology. It's a habit people take for granted, but it's not necessary or even very healthful in the amounts that most people eat meat.

My impression is that Jesus taught non-violence, but I may be mistaken. I wasn't there. Non-violence seems to me like the more intelligent approach to life, generally speaking....but there is no rule anyone can make up that won't provide an occasional exception somewhere. That's why we have to use our own minds to decide, in the final analysis, regardless of what we think the "rules" are.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 09:31 AM

The book mentioned talks about trying to back out what Jesus really said, from the (highly) edited texts that have come down to us. The author lays a groundwork of how societies form their behaviour. Well worth reading.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 10:37 AM

" like you get so much free time"
The jealousy in your attempted Ad Hominem dodged is on so apparent LH....

I dismiss you... how did you say it? As a person who is "just talking themselves in circles until they painted themselves into a mental corner"

"Politicians did not invent religion."
It was a combination of 'politicians' and people like P.T. Barnum....


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:10 AM

Have a wonderful day, Clinton.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:14 AM

re thread topic:



Liberals, by conservatives

AND

Conservatives, by liberals.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:18 AM

BB, not only were those books in the Bible highly edited, as you say, they were also selected from among a number of books, many of which were rejected by the same Council of Bishops. They can offer nothing more than a few fragmentary glimpses from the perspective of a few specific individuals in the early Christian church, each with their own ax to grind. Most of the more interesting material I've ever read about Jesus came from other sources than the Bible. I regard the Bible the way I would regard any other ancient book...a product of its time...not the one, only, and perfect Word of God.

No book is or ever will be the one, only, and perfect truth. Life itself is the Truth. Therefore, study life if you wish to know the truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:27 AM

Agreed.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:29 PM

Scoville told us, in part:

Pardon my being simplistic, but the Ten Commandments aren't a bad set of guidelines.

I think it worth noting here that only part of the Ten Commandments merit treatment as a generally applicable set of guidelines, independent of ritual tools for control of the populace.

Yes, rules against adultery, against stealing, against murder, against bearing false witness or false swearing (which is a different thing than merely "lying", and absolutely different from merely using bad language), against covetousness, and for honoring your father and mother, are salutary rules, suitable for anyone to follow. They tend to improve personal character, and tend to improve society.

And I suppose that keeping a day set aside from labor has a social value too, although I see this rule, in context, as more pertinent to the next paragraph than the previous one.

But having "no other gods before me", "making unto thee no graven image", not "taking the name of the Lord thy God in vain", are purely ritual control devices.

Thus, I believe that six (or six and a half) of the ten make a good set of guidelines, but to post ALL TEN of them in a public place (such as a courthouse) by use of public civil authority is inappropriate in a pluralistic society, especially in view of the Constitutional separation of church and State.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:35 PM

From http://www.geocities.com/bobmelzer/gc10cx.html

GEORGE CARLIN ON THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
from "Complaints and Grievances" (HBO special)

Here is my problem with the ten commandments- why exactly are there 10?

You simply do not need ten. The list of ten commandments was artificially and deliberately inflated to get it up to ten. Here's what happened:

About 5,000 years ago a bunch of religious and political hustlers got together to try to figure out how to control people and keep them in line. They knew people were basically stupid and would believe anything they were told, so they announced that God had given them some commandments, up on a mountain, when no one was around.

Well let me ask you this- when they were making this shit up, why did they pick 10? Why not 9 or 11? I'll tell you why- because 10 sound official. Ten sounds important! Ten is the basis for the decimal system, it's a decade, it's a psychologically satisfying number (the top ten, the ten most wanted, the ten best dressed). So having ten commandments was really a marketing decision! It is clearly a bullshit list. It's a political document artificially inflated to sell better. I will now show you how you can reduce the number of commandments and come up with a list that's a little more workable and logical. I am going to use the Roman Catholic version because those were the ones I was taught as a little boy.

Let's start with the first three:

I AM THE LORD THY GOD THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME

THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN

THOU SHALT KEEP HOLY THE SABBATH

Right off the bat the first three are pure bullshit. Sabbath day? Lord's name? strange gods? Spooky language! Designed to scare and control primitive people. In no way does superstitious nonsense like this apply to the lives of intelligent civilized humans in the 21st century. So now we're down to 7. Next:

HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER

Obedience, respect for authority. Just another name for controlling people. The truth is that obedience and respect shouldn't be automatic. They should be earned and based on the parent's performance. Some parents deserve respect, but most of them don't, period. You're down to six.

Now in the interest of logic, something religion is very uncomfortable with, we're going to jump around the list a little bit.

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL

THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS

Stealing and lying. Well actually, these two both prohibit the same kind of behavior- dishonesty. So you don't really need two you combine them and call the commandment "thou shalt not be dishonest". And suddenly you're down to 5.

And as long as we're combining I have two others that belong together:

THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTRY

THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE

Once again, these two prohibit the same type of behavior. In this case it is marital infidelity. The difference is- coveting takes place in the mind. But I don't think you should outlaw fantasizing about someone else's wife because what is a guy gonna think about when he's waxing his carrot? But, marital infidelity is a good idea so we're gonna keep this one and call it "thou shalt not be unfaithful". And suddenly we're down to four.

But when you think about it, honesty and infidelity are really part of the same overall value so, in truth, you could combine the two honesty commandments with the two fidelity commandments and give them simpler language, positive language instead of negative language and call the whole thing "thou shalt always be honest and faithful" and we're down to 3.

THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR"S GOODS

This one is just plain fuckin' stupid. Coveting your neighbor's goods is what keeps the economy going! Your neighbor gets a vibrator that plays "o come o ye faithful", and you want one too! Coveting creates jobs, so leave it alone. You throw out coveting and you're down to 2 now- the big honesty and fidelity commandment and the one we haven't talked about yet:

THOU SHALT NOT KILL

Murder. But when you think about it, religion has never really had a big problem with murder. More people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. All you have to do is look at Northern Ireland, Cashmire, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the World Trade Center to see how seriously the religious folks take thou shalt not kill. The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable. It depends on who's doin the killin' and who's gettin' killed. So, with all of this in mind, I give you my revised list of the two commandments:

Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.

&

Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you.

Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin' pocket. I wouldn't mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:53 PM

I only regard about, oh, 10-15% of the Old Testament as any kind of spiritual material I would want to take inspiration from. Most of it, no thanks. It's about what I'd expect from a primitive tribal people who went around murdering their neighbours in the name of Jehovah.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 01:26 PM

>>Matter of fact, I did study philosophy. Very interesting. But I got the impression after awhile that it was people just talking themselves in circles until they painted themselves into a mental corner, so to speak.<<

It's not the conclusion that matters. It's what led you to it--the thought process. That is what is important because without reason, humans are doomed. We are what we are because we depend on reason--not fur, not big fangs, no razor-sharp claws, not the ability to run at 50 mph. We're cold so we make a fire. We're hot so we make an AC. We're far away so we make an automobile or a jet plane. If we don't want to go there but just speak to someone there, we make a telephone. Without reason, we are lost. God is not going to help us. What gets us through the day is the use of reason. Like anything else, to be good at it you must exercise it. That's what philosophy is for. It is a vitally important exercise that religion does its best to kill. That's why the vast majority of Americans are intellectually morbidly obese. A big fat mind bloated and utterly dependent on pop and trash culture until the mind can no longer move.

>>Life is simpler than philosophy courses make it out to be.<<

Your mental life should never ever be simple. It should be as complex and cluttered as my house (my house is half-museum, half-junkyard but an extremely interesting junkyard). The best way to ward off diseases as Alzheimer's is by working out that mind. Not a guarantee but it does minimize your chances of getting it.

>>Way simpler.<<

Mentally simpler is not a virtue.

>>Philosophy profs tend to be enamoured with their own cleverness, I find, and they end up becoming very clever...very wordy...and very empty inside. (but there are exceptions to that, I'm sure)<<

Really, now, go talk to a fundie if you want to meet someone very wordy and empty inside. At least philosophy students are clever. That's a reward of using the mind.

>>Politicians did not invent religion.<<

I didn't say they did. I said royalty invented religion.

>>The kind of people who are utterly, completely uninterested in politics became spiritual teachers...and the politicians glommed onto the whole thing once it was an established power structure with a large following. Then they could use it.<<

Religions are inherently political tools. A religion doesn't thrive where the king is against it. The only ones that come down to us today are those that royals allowed to hang around. And that would only be because that religion served their interests.

>>I bet you have never talked to or witnessed a real spiritual teacher in your life, or read any good books by any either, or you would not dream for a moment that politicians invented religion.<<

Once again, royals invented religion not politicians. Religion is a political tool used by royals to maintain their power.   

>>You want Jesus' original teachings? Okay...

He taught nonviolence, forgiveness (of both self and others), truthfullness, honesty, responsibility, love of all people (even those you don't like or have some problem with), respect for the civil laws of your society, respect for other people (specially your parents), to honor and respect and love God, equality of the sexes (to the point he could express it in that time, which was no joke), to harm no one, to help other people who are in need, the golden rule, and all the usual moral stuff. He taught that people aren't made for the law....the law is made for the people. In other words, the law is intended to serve the people, not the other way around.<<

And where did you learn this?

>>The things he taught are found at the heart of virtually every great religion<<

Exactly. It was the same message. He taught nothing original. Nothing came from him that tells me only he could have come up with it. Everything he said, you can find somewhere else from an earlier period. It's smoke & mirrors.

>>(although discrimination against women is common in most of them...and certainly has been in the Christian churches. That again is NOT Jesus' fault.<<

I'd have to say it is. He should have known what happens to women in religion. But he went ahead with it anyway. And before you say that Jesus did not intend to found a church read Matthew 16:18. He should have known what would happen.

>>I'd say that Paul had quite a bit to do with it though. Paul was a weird character in a lot of ways. I don't much like what I feel coming from Paul.)<<

Paul's Christ is not the gospelic Christ. They bear no similiarities and the gospels never mention Paul nor Paul them.

>>That's some of it.<<

But where did you get it?

>>You could put it all in these few words: Love others, love God, love yourself, love life, fear nothing, and hate no one.<<

I can cite examples to show he also preached hatred, distrust, and elitism. So you're just picking and choosing the Jesus you like best. That makes him a figment of your own imagination.

>>That's not easy.<<

Or necessary. We all get by without practicing any of that.

>>For most people it seems to be impossible. That's why they don't really want to hear about it, and they don't really want to try it either. There's only one person in 1,000 who wants to try it, from what I've seen, and one in 10,000 who achieves it. I certainly haven't achieved it, but I know it's real.<<

I don't even consider it good advice. If you love everybody, you're going to be taken advantage of. My personal advice to the human race is:

Use your head and keep your wits about you and when your bullshit detector goes off, heed it.

>>It's the one thing that can heal an insane human mind, but the insane mind does NOT want to hear about it. No sir. That would mean surrendering, not to Christianity, not to a religion, but to love. And that would be hard, hard work. It would demand sacrifice.<<

I don't know what surrendering to love entails but I'm willing to bet it is no more healthy or necessary than surrendering to hate. I say maintain a balance of the two and you'll be alright.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 02:33 PM

I agree with you that reason is the only thing that will save us, and most of the spiritually-minded people I know are superb at reasoning, but we keep talking at cross purposes, you and I.

When you talk about "religion" and "religious people", as you see them, you are talking about a completely different set of people from what I'm talking about. When you talk about royalty, I say they WERE the top politicians of their day.

I would much rather sit down with you at a table, have a coffee, and discuss these things verbally, rather than all this fragmented cut and paste. Or talk on the phone. Anything other than this. It's too cumbersome.

One question: how old are you? You sound like me when I was in my 20's.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 02:35 PM

Again with the dodge....

You may as well say "I'm losing here, so I'd rather not talk about it here" LH

No surprise


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 02:57 PM

Fine. We'll do it your way, and it'll take forever... ;-)

1. "It's not the conclusion that matters. It's what led you to it--the thought process. That is what is important because without reason, humans are doomed. We are what we are because we depend on reason--not fur, not big fangs, no razor-sharp claws, not the ability to run at 50 mph. We're cold so we make a fire. We're hot so we make an AC. We're far away so we make an automobile or a jet plane. If we don't want to go there but just speak to someone there, we make a telephone. Without reason, we are lost.

I agree 100%.

"God is not going to help us."

No...not in the way you mean. Not unless we help ourselves. People who believe in God as I understand the concept "God" figure that they are being helped at all times, but that would take a long time to explain. You seem to think of God as a separate BIG being of some kind that intervenes in human affairs. I Don't. I think of God as a natural, intelligent, coherent process that is involved with everything at all times, right down to the molecular level. Not just with people, with everything, animate and inanimate.

"What gets us through the day is the use of reason. Like anything else, to be good at it you must exercise it. That's what philosophy is for. It is a vitally important exercise that religion does its best to kill."

True of fundamentalist religion. Utterly untrue of many other far more intelligent forms of religion which encourage reasoning. Have you ever read any books by Sri Aurobindo? He was a brilliant intellectual. Try reading them and see.


"That's why the vast majority of Americans are intellectually morbidly obese. A big fat mind bloated and utterly dependent on pop and trash culture until the mind can no longer move."

I agree 100%. (And I'm not fat and bloated, unlike a majority of North Americans my age these days.) It's not because of their religion, though, that they became that way, it's because of the consumer culture they grew up in and television, primarily. Americans are the victims of marketing, mass media, and pop culture.

Okay? See how long it will take for me to cut and paste and answer to all your points? Forever? Probably. That, after all, was only your first paragraph. Would you consider paying me a salary if I plow through the rest? ;-) I do have the odd other thing I have to do now and then...

See you in a bit...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 03:19 PM

"it'll take forever..."

It's a race all of a sudden??? Or there's a deadline for this thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 04:45 PM

Okay. Next section:

"Your mental life should never ever be simple. It should be as complex and cluttered as my house (my house is half-museum, half-junkyard but an extremely interesting junkyard). The best way to ward off diseases as Alzheimer's is by working out that mind. Not a guarantee but it does minimize your chances of getting it."

I understand your meaning, but I don't agree. I would have agreed when I was 25. Not any more. The reason I don't agree is because I have been studying meditation and Eastern disciplines, which are all about calming the mind, quieting the mind. It is an overly busy mind, constantly cluttered with thoughts, that leads to every form of mental illness and distress. It leads me to wasting hours on this forum! ;-) I kid you not. When I use the word "simple", I do not mean lacking in knowledge, I do not mean lacking in reasoning power, I do not mean anything like that. If you don't study the disciplines I'm referring to, you'll never grasp when I'm talking about on this subject. I suggest you read a book like Eckhard Tolle's "The Power of Now" for a more complete explanation.

The tragedy of modern people is that their minds are absolutely cluttered all the time with an avalanche of disordered thoughts. This eventually leads to breakdown in some cases. Ever seen a person on the street talking furiously to no one at all, as angry or anxious thoughts spill from their lips. A lot of people are like that, but they don't express the thoughts vocally, they just think them. Their minds are never calm.

I say that a calm mind is a mind dealing with reality in a beautifully smooth and simple way...far more effective than a busy mind that's jumping around all over the place like one of those music videos.

You are misunderstanding me, I think, and interpreting "simple" to mean "not smart". Nope. That's not what I mean at all. I mean that a simple mechanical device with 5 well-made parts, for example, works far better under stress than does a Rube Goldberg device with 555 parts that are dependent on 300 separate stress points. (The Germans discovered something like that in the bitter Russian winter of '41-42' when their more complex equipment simply wouldn't function...while the less complex Russian equipment kept going.) If there are two ways to do something, and one is simple and direct while the other is very complex...I suggest the simple approach.

That's why I say that we are talking at cross purposes.

And that's just 2 little paragraphs from your post.


(Would it help if I mention that I don't care whether or not you believe Jesus ever existed or not, because it doesn't matter? ;-) It may surprise me that you wouldn't believe it, but it doesn't matter, because enlightenment and human advancement are entirely possible whether or not one believes Jesus was a real person. Belief in Jesus (or any other specific religious figure) is not an essential ingredient of self-realization, in my opinion.)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:23 PM

Next parts:

"Mentally simpler is not a virtue."

Yes it is, as I explained, when 'simpler' means less complicated, more relaxed, better organized, and more clearly focused on target.


"Really, now, go talk to a fundie if you want to meet someone very wordy and empty inside. At least philosophy students are clever. That's a reward of using the mind."

You're right. I am in no way defending fundamentalists. I can't stand them. They are the idiot's brand of religious person, and they have not one ounce of spiritual wisdom in their entire bodies. Their beliefs and attitudes defy reason and are completely ridiculous.

"I said royalty invented religion.(not politicians)"

Mostly wrong, in my opinion. Ascetic individuals like Buddha, Jesus, Zoroaster, Gandhi, Ramakrishna, those are the people who brought forth most spiritual teachings. They were usually people who lived a very simple life, materially speaking, spent a lot of time alone in nature, spent time among the poor people, and avoided the sort of high profile roles taken on in life by monarchs. Buddha, for example, walked away from life in the palace and became a penniless beggar for years. He never returned to worldly power. It was the inspired followers of such people who "invented" religion....simply because they hung around and listened to whatever their teachers said, noted it all down, memorized it, then got together in groups and discussed it, then formed those groups into religious organizations and kept things going. Some of those organizations got much larger and became mainstream religions...it was THEN that the kings latched onto them and used them for all they could get.

Jesus is reputed to have said, "My kingdom is not of this world." He wasn't after material things at all. He wasn't after worldly power. His earliest followers don't appear to have been after anything much like that either...but that all changed when big churches were founded and became rich. THEN it became mostly about money, land, and power. It takes some time for the social system to corrupt a great religious teaching...but usually not too long. Maybe a generation. Maybe less than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:52 PM

>>One question: how old are you? You sound like me when I was in my 20's.<<

Ah, but you were so much older then...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:54 PM

Yeah, I was. ;-P    But my body was oh so young...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:57 PM

Next part: "Religions are inherently political tools. A religion doesn't thrive where the king is against it. The only ones that come down to us today are those that royals allowed to hang around. And that would only be because that religion served their interests."

Yeah, I agree with that. For sure. The big religions worked as tools of the big royals...or vice versa in a few cases.

That's why I prefer something like Taoism, because it doesn't lend itself at all to that kind of use. Confucianism, on the other hand, fits governmental power structures like a glove.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:05 PM

Next:

"Once again, royals invented religion not politicians. Religion is a political tool used by royals to maintain their power."

Oh, they use it that way all right, but they didn't usually invent it in the first place. Sometimes, I'll grant...but not usually, in my opinion. They just enlarged it and wedded themselves to it, and then used it to enslave the populace very effectively.

"And where did you learn this?"

Oh, gosh! From a few hundred different sources, I'd say. Let's say I got a bit of it out of the Bible (maybe 20%), but most of it from a great many other much more modern and readable sources from all over the place (and none of them from specific organized churches). They're out there, if you would be inclined to look, but I rather doubt that you are. (grin) I mean, why would you, believing what you believe? It would be like me looking up books on Nascar or the NBA or something. People just don't look up stuff if they don't care about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: LilyFestre
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:08 PM

I grew up going to church, involved in many aspects of it. I was sort of amused by something that Little Hawk. My family would say the same of folks like you....

...not very smart...naive...a few cards short of a deck...etc. Not that they spoke about it frequently, it was just kind of an undertone.

Interesting.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:13 PM

The guests on mudcat, well I don't trust 'em!


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:16 PM

next:

>>The things he taught are found at the heart of virtually every great religion<<

"Exactly. It was the same message. He taught nothing original. Nothing came from him that tells me only he could have come up with it. Everything he said, you can find somewhere else from an earlier period. It's smoke & mirrors."


Of COURSE it was the same message! LOL! What did you expect?

Look, if there IS a spiritual truth behind life at all....and I say there is...then the same message WILL come across in all great spiritual teachings, won't it? If they are accurate. Like, Duh!!!

If it's true that 2 x 2 = 4, are you gonna change it in order to be "original"???? I don't think so.

All true spiritual teachers teach the same basic truths and lay down the same basic fundamentals, because that is what their intelligence would naturally lead them to do. Ever hear the expression: "Great minds think alike?" The strongest evidence supporting the validity of spiritual teachings all over the world is that they DO agree on fundamental morality and stuff like that.

How could they not? Would reason not also lead to many people arriving at the same conclusion about something???

I mean, really...just be fair, think about it, and tell me how it could NOT happen that way.

If something is true, many will discover it by their own perception. If it's false, many will discount it soon enough.

Spirituality is about being strong enough to do what is obviously the best thing to do...from EVERYONE's point of view...not just from YOUR point of view.

We all know these things in our hearts. We know we shouldn't lie, steal, hurt, etc...but we yield to pressure and weakness and we make excuses for ourselves. Basic morality is dead obvious to anyone who has a scrap of empathy in his heart for other living creatures.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:20 PM

It was a pretty smug attitude, eh, Michelle?

I have since discovered that life ain't that simple. There are fools and brilliant people to be found among both the religious and the non-religious. There are scoundrels and noble people in both camps.

You can't dismiss either group as being inferior, just because you aren't one of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: LilyFestre
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:27 PM

But LH, you seem to still be full of judgements towards folks who are Christian. I'm hearing you talk out of both sides of your mouth.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:29 PM

"I'd have to say it is. (discrimination against women being Jesus' fault) He should have known what happens to women in religion. But he went ahead with it anyway. And before you say that Jesus did not intend to found a church read Matthew 16:18. He should have known what would happen."

He did the best he could in a society that was horribly oppressive to women. He stretched it to the practical limit possible at that time. There is much literature that suggests that Mary Magdalene had a far stronger position in the early church than is indicated in the Gospels (they were edited later). There is some indication that she may have been his WIFE! (and that he did, in fact, have a perfectly normal sex life) He was called "rabbi". You couldn't BE a rabbi then without being married, as far as I know. There were different factions among the followers of Jesus, you might say liberals and conservatives of their time. The conservatives won out bigtime in the end, with Rome's encouragement, and they put women right back in their place...at the bottom.

It was in no way Jesus' fault, but in spite of him. He did what he could with a bunch of probably very stubborn people, and when he was gone they reverted back to type pretty quickly. That's what usually happens.

The Christian churches, historically, have mostly been a disgrace in the light of the teachings upon which they were founded, not least in the case of how they've treated women.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:34 PM

I look at both sides, Michelle. There are fundamentalist strains of religion (not just Christian either) that I find horrifying, and I say so. There are marvelous Christians around who exemplify Jesus' teachings, and I praise them for it.

I don't play by team colors. I will defend an atheist when he is honest and sensible, and I will defend a Christian when he is honest and sensible.

I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth, I'm being even-handed, and recognizing the good and bad on both sides of the divide.

This is so rare in people's rhetoric these days, I've noticed...because everyone expects you to be either all for one side or all for the other. Black hats and white hats. Good guys and bad guys.

It just ain't that simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:40 PM

>>You seem to think of God as a separate BIG being of some kind that intervenes in human affairs. I Don't. I think of God as a natural, intelligent, coherent process that is involved with everything at all times, right down to the molecular level. Not just with people, with everything, animate and inanimate.<<

I don't believe in god at all--anthropomorphic or otherwise and it is this very difference of interpretation that I find so problematic.

>>I understand your meaning, but I don't agree. I would have agreed when I was 25. Not any more. The reason I don't agree is because I have been studying meditation and Eastern disciplines, which are all about calming the mind, quieting the mind. It is an overly busy mind, constantly cluttered with thoughts, that leads to every form of mental illness and distress. It leads me to wasting hours on this forum! ;-) I kid you not.<<

First of all, very few people can completely still their minds and that's assuming there is anyone who can do it at all. You'd have to let go of your self-awareness and I question whether that would even be beneficial. I have read case histories of cultists who suffered psychological problems due to mind control achieved through intense meditation techniques. Emptying your mind is, I think, a very dangerous thing to do. Anything could just walk in.

>>The tragedy of modern people is that their minds are absolutely cluttered all the time with an avalanche of disordered thoughts. This eventually leads to breakdown in some cases. Ever seen a person on the street talking furiously to no one at all, as angry or anxious thoughts spill from their lips. A lot of people are like that, but they don't express the thoughts vocally, they just think them. Their minds are never calm.<<

That comes from watching TV while zoning out reality. The thoughts pile up but aren't being put anywhere until the last second when they're haphazardly thrown wherever they'll hopefully fit. I organize my thoughts through writing. I write and write and write. And I read and read and read so that I have more things to write and write and write about. I have these stored on my computer so that I can peruse them at my leisure. It's interesting to go back and read things I wrote years ago to see how far I've come since then. Oftimes, I'm embarrassed, thinking I knew a thing or two and didn't know shit. Sometimes I write something that strikes me years later as having a particularly good thought and I wonder why I had not followed up on that and how I let it get away from me.

>>Ascetic individuals like Buddha, Jesus, Zoroaster, Gandhi, Ramakrishna, those are the people who brought forth most spiritual teachings. They were usually people who lived a very simple life, materially speaking, spent a lot of time alone in nature, spent time among the poor people, and avoided the sort of high profile roles taken on in life by monarchs. Buddha, for example, walked away from life in the palace and became a penniless beggar for years. He never returned to worldly power. It was the inspired followers of such people who "invented" religion....simply because they hung around and listened to whatever their teachers said, noted it all down, memorized it, then got together in groups and discussed it, then formed those groups into religious organizations and kept things going. Some of those organizations got much larger and became mainstream religions...it was THEN that the kings latched onto them and used them for all they could get.<<

Most of these figures were personages--mythical. Buddha never was. Zoroaster (with a life story very similar to Jesus) never was. All of them variations of Horus. As for Ghandi, his family became a ruling dynasty and none too friendly either. It's all about power. Ghandi may have had good intentions but power is what it always comes down to and it corrupts. Religion justifies it all and allows it to continue. God save the king!

>>Jesus is reputed to have said, "My kingdom is not of this world." He wasn't after material things at all. He wasn't after worldly power. His earliest followers don't appear to have been after anything much like that either...but that all changed when big churches were founded and became rich. THEN it became mostly about money, land, and power. It takes some time for the social system to corrupt a great religious teaching...but usually not too long. Maybe a generation. Maybe less than that.<<

Jesus was an invention. He never existed. Royals made him up out of bit and pieces of stuff they learned from their own superior educations and foisted him off on a dull, uneducated, illiterate populace. Bear your suffering and be like Jesus. Live in poverty like Jesus. Pay your exorbitant taxes--remember, render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar's. Give your money to him because god doesn't need it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:49 PM

You realize that if we keep this up we will both have no time left for other things, and will finally be found collapsed in front of our respective keyboards...starved to death...bony hands stretching out to hit "submit" one last time...so we can get the last word in and "win".

;-P

Is that really worthwile? Whaddya think?

What say I just say, "Fine. Don't believe there was a real Jesus. I don't mind." You say, "Fine. Go ahead and believe there was a real Jesus. I don't mind." Both shake hands and get on with life.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:53 PM

As you wish.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:54 PM

And I'll even forgive you for bringing up a ton of new stuff before I finished answering the old stuff you posted.... ;-D

Seriously, man, if there was a big human-like God out there somewhere...she'd be laughing at us! We are idiots, blathering our fool heads off at each other on a trivial mental stage of our own creation, just because we just have to for some reason.

All of us. I except no one.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: bobad
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 09:49 AM

For all who may be inclined to offer prayers for the salvation of atheists a recent study suggests you may be wasting your time.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-prayer31mar31,1,3169049.story?coll=la-headlines-nation&ctrack=1&cset=true


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 12:52 PM

That site requires registration, bobad.....got a condensed version to offer?

(I always DID wonder if I was being surruptitiously prayed for....)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 12:59 PM

I never thought atheists needed to be "saved". ;-P I figure that "God" (meaning life itself) is far less demanding than human beings when it comes to that sort of thing, and lays down no requirements whatsoever on what people should believe or not believe. Life allows everyone and everything to be exactly as they choose to be...the only thing one has to worry about is cause and effect. Life does not judge people. People judge people.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: bobad
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 01:21 PM

That's funny Bill, I can get in no problem, I always wonder why some people can access sites and others can't.

Registration can be bypassed for most sites by using this tool:
http://www.bugmenot.com/
even though I didn't need it here.

Here's the article:

Largest Study of Prayer to Date Finds It Has No Power to Heal
By Denise Gellene and Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writers
March 31, 2006

The largest study yet on the therapeutic power of prayer by strangers has found that it provided no benefit to the recovery of patients who had undergone cardiac bypass surgery.

In an unexpected twist, patients who knew prayers were being said for them had more complications after surgery than those who did not know, researchers reported Thursday.

The complications were minor, and doctors surmised that they could have been caused by the increased stress on patients worried that their conditions were so bad they needed prayers.

Father Dean Marek, a Catholic priest who was involved in the research, said he wasn't surprised by the results.

"I am always a little leery about intercessory prayer," said Marek, director of chaplain services at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "What we have in mind for someone else may not be what they have in mind for themselves…. It is clearly manipulative of divine action and personal choice."

Dr. Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and one of the study's lead researchers, added: "Nothing this study has produced should interfere with people praying for each other."

Some scientists hoped the results of the $2.5-million study, conducted at six U.S. medical centers, would bring an end to the long controversy over therapeutic prayer.

"There have now been two big studies, with hundreds and hundreds of patients, that show no effect," said Dr. Harold G. Koenig, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University. "Let's move on now and direct our money somewhere else."

Some believers in prayer concurred.

Sister Carol Rennie, prioress of St. Paul's Monastery in St. Paul, Minn., whose prayer group participated in the study, said faith couldn't be scientifically analyzed. "God must be smiling broadly," she said. "It tells me, frankly, that God's way of working with people is a mystery and that technology really can't determine the effects of prayer."

Scientists have been trying for at least a decade to determine whether organized prayer on the behalf of others can influence the outcome of medical treatment.

Previous attempts, however, were flawed by experimental and methodological errors that led critics to dismiss findings, both pro and con.

Thursday's study was intended to settle the matter in the most scientific manner possible. It was funded primarily by the John Templeton Foundation, a group based in Pennsylvania that encourages the study of spirituality and science. Results will be published next week in American Heart Journal.

The study was designed as a randomized and blinded trial, meaning that most patients did not know whether someone was praying for them or not. Such trials are considered the gold standard for scientific proof.

More than 1,800 patients were divided into three groups: those who were told someone was praying for them; those who were told only that someone might pray for them and got prayers; and those who were told someone might pray for them but received no prayers. About 65% of the patients said they strongly believed in the power of prayer.

Two Catholic monasteries and one Protestant group offered the prayers. They were given patients' first names and the first initial of their last names. The groups started praying the night before surgery and continued for two weeks.

All members of the prayer groups recited the same intercession, asking for "a successful surgery and a quick, healthy recovery and no complications."

Researchers said they didn't ask family members of the sick people to stop praying because it would have been unethical to do so, meaning some people received more prayers than others.

The results showed that prayers had no beneficial effect on patients' recovery 30 days after surgery. Overall, 59% of patients who knew they were being prayed for had complications, compared to 51% of the patients who did not receive prayers. The difference was not considered statistically significant.

Atrial fibrillation, a fluttering of the heart that can be related to stress, was the most common complication in all groups but was more likely to occur among patients who knew others were praying for them.

All groups were just as likely to develop infections or die.

"We conclude that telling people introduces the stress response," said Dr. Charles Bethea of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City and a study researcher.

He surmised that patients thought, "Am I so sick that they had to call in the prayer team?"

Dr. Richard P. Sloan, a professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research, said the study underscored the futility of trying to measure the power of prayer.

One problem in the study, he said, was that in addition to the organized prayer, some patients prayed for themselves and received prayers from families, friends, people they work with or their congregations.

"They have absolutely no idea how much prayer individuals in any of the groups received," Sloan said. "If we can't know that, we can't draw any conclusions whatsoever about the intervention."

Bob Barth of Silent Unity, the prayer organization in Lee's Summit, Mo., that was the Protestant group involved in the study, said the results didn't shake his confidence in prayer. "People of faith don't need a prayer study to know that prayer works," he said.

But Koenig said clinical trials would never answer that question. "Science is powerful and wonderful in determining the orbit of the Earth, the speed of a bullet, the power of a new drug. But now we've asked science to study something that occurs outside of space and time.

"This shows you shouldn't try to prove the power of the supernatural," he said.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 01:41 PM

Largest Study on Statistical Studies to Date Finds They Have No Effect on the Power of Prayer to Heal
By Desmond Calliope and Bruce LeFrance, New World Staff Writers
March 31, 2006

The largest study yet on the effect of statistical studies on the therapeutic power of prayer by strangers has found that the studies produced no discernable effect whatsoever upon the efficacy of prayers to produce healing.............and blah, blah, blah for another 180,000 words...

(joke)

Yeah???? Ask me if I friggin' CARE? Go ahead. Ask me.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 01:44 PM

Oh alright then.
Do you care LH?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 02:29 PM

No. (grin)


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