Mocking Those of Faith

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Glasgow:

itsthesheppy:

Silvanus:

Please; I disagreed with something, that doesn't mean I see you as a fanatic. I don't.

I agree completely. But it's not association with institutions that I was talking about; associate with a Church, and I agree that the crimes of that Church should be a point of criticism and mockery. I was talking about association with a belief.

Join or voice support for an institution, the crimes of that institution count against you. Share a belief with a perpetrator, that perpetrator's crimes do not count against you.

Institutions have been my target all this time, and I think I've been pretty clear about that. I'm maybe not entirely sure what you're talking about. If you believe in ghosts, you're not to blame for the crimes of everyone who believed in ghosts.

However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation. Religion has always been about institution. It can't really survive without it. We're a tribal species; everyone needs a flag to wave.

Sam Harris once gave a very powerful, very moving and logical argument for why 'atheism' shouldn't even be a thing; after all, there aren't clubs for people who aren't racist. But it's easier and more comforting to ally yourself. So to me, when you're talking about religion, you're talking about an institution. I have very rarely ever been exposed to any examples of atrocities carried out by single people who were not just psychopaths. When discussing the great crimes o the world - genocides, cultural oppression, that sort of thing - you are inerrantly talking about some institution or another.

A question - was the latest pope (which is due to leave office soon) who was in the Hitler youth and later a part of the German Army responsible for the acts of these groups?

You're really out there, man. Take it down a notch. There's some serious anger with you.

Accusing your opponent of being angry when he's not is a tired and desperate move. My emotional state is solid, though I appreciate your concern.

The pope was in the Hitler Youth at a time and in a place where he a) didn't really have a choice, b) was maybe too young to really understand and make an informed decision about what he was doing, and c) the Hitler Youth at that time were a great deal like the Boy Scouts. It was a compulsory youth program endorsed by the government that parents sent their kids to. Then he was drafted into the military. According to contemporary reports, he was an unenthusiastic member of any of these organizations, and he indeed deserted the service. If he was an SS officer it would have been something different. I've always found references to his time as a Hitler Youth to be tired and unreasonable.

Why go there, when there's so many other crimes for which he is responsible? Shall we talk about the rampant child rape, and the coddling/protection of the rapists, going on at even the higher levels of his organization all over the globe? How exactly did he escape being forced to resign in eternal disgrace after this became common knowledge? Or how about resistance to condom use in HIV-riddled Africa, where hundreds of thousands die of that disease on the regular? Or his continued resistance to the promotion of women in his organization, or the resistance to the equal rights of homosexuals, a fountain from which bigotry flows ever fresh.

There's plenty enough to bash him on as an adult than to have to go back to when he was a child. Nice try though. Well, not really.

itsthesheppy:

Glasgow:

itsthesheppy:

Institutions have been my target all this time, and I think I've been pretty clear about that. I'm maybe not entirely sure what you're talking about. If you believe in ghosts, you're not to blame for the crimes of everyone who believed in ghosts.

However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation. Religion has always been about institution. It can't really survive without it. We're a tribal species; everyone needs a flag to wave.

Sam Harris once gave a very powerful, very moving and logical argument for why 'atheism' shouldn't even be a thing; after all, there aren't clubs for people who aren't racist. But it's easier and more comforting to ally yourself. So to me, when you're talking about religion, you're talking about an institution. I have very rarely ever been exposed to any examples of atrocities carried out by single people who were not just psychopaths. When discussing the great crimes o the world - genocides, cultural oppression, that sort of thing - you are inerrantly talking about some institution or another.

A question - was the latest pope (which is due to leave office soon) who was in the Hitler youth and later a part of the German Army responsible for the acts of these groups?

You're really out there, man. Take it down a notch. There's some serious anger with you.

Accusing your opponent of being angry when he's not is a tired and desperate move. My emotional state is solid, though I appreciate your concern.

The pope was in the Hitler Youth at a time and in a place where he a) didn't really have a choice, b) was maybe too young to really understand and make an informed decision about what he was doing, and c) the Hitler Youth at that time were a great deal like the Boy Scouts. It was a compulsory youth program endorsed by the government that parents sent their kids to. Then he was drafted into the military. According to contemporary reports, he was an unenthusiastic member of any of these organizations, and he indeed deserted the service. If he was an SS officer it would have been something different. I've always found references to his time as a Hitler Youth to be tired and unreasonable.

Why go there, when there's so many other crimes for which he is responsible? Shall we talk about the rampant child rape, and the coddling/protection of the rapists, going on at even the higher levels of his organization all over the globe? How exactly did he escape being forced to resign in eternal disgrace after this became common knowledge? Or how about resistance to condom use in HIV-riddled Africa, where hundreds of thousands die of that disease on the regular? Or his continued resistance to the promotion of women in his organization, or the resistance to the equal rights of homosexuals, a fountain from which bigotry flows ever fresh.

There's plenty enough to bash him on as an adult than to have to go back to when he was a child. Nice try though. Well, not really.

Why would I want to bash him? You said this :"However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation. Religion has always been about institution. It can't really survive without it. We're a tribal species; everyone needs a flag to wave. "
Which is why I asked about the Pope's past.

Glasgow:

itsthesheppy:

Glasgow:

A question - was the latest pope (which is due to leave office soon) who was in the Hitler youth and later a part of the German Army responsible for the acts of these groups?

You're really out there, man. Take it down a notch. There's some serious anger with you.

Accusing your opponent of being angry when he's not is a tired and desperate move. My emotional state is solid, though I appreciate your concern.

The pope was in the Hitler Youth at a time and in a place where he a) didn't really have a choice, b) was maybe too young to really understand and make an informed decision about what he was doing, and c) the Hitler Youth at that time were a great deal like the Boy Scouts. It was a compulsory youth program endorsed by the government that parents sent their kids to. Then he was drafted into the military. According to contemporary reports, he was an unenthusiastic member of any of these organizations, and he indeed deserted the service. If he was an SS officer it would have been something different. I've always found references to his time as a Hitler Youth to be tired and unreasonable.

Why go there, when there's so many other crimes for which he is responsible? Shall we talk about the rampant child rape, and the coddling/protection of the rapists, going on at even the higher levels of his organization all over the globe? How exactly did he escape being forced to resign in eternal disgrace after this became common knowledge? Or how about resistance to condom use in HIV-riddled Africa, where hundreds of thousands die of that disease on the regular? Or his continued resistance to the promotion of women in his organization, or the resistance to the equal rights of homosexuals, a fountain from which bigotry flows ever fresh.

There's plenty enough to bash him on as an adult than to have to go back to when he was a child. Nice try though. Well, not really.

Why would I want to bash him? You said this :"However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation. Religion has always been about institution. It can't really survive without it. We're a tribal species; everyone needs a flag to wave. "
Which is why I asked about the Pope's past.

And you tried to trap me, and you missed. Being attached to an organization due to unavoidable reasons (membership being compulsory, or living in a place where not being a member is life threatening) is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about free adults making free choices.

itsthesheppy:

Glasgow:

itsthesheppy:

Accusing your opponent of being angry when he's not is a tired and desperate move. My emotional state is solid, though I appreciate your concern.

The pope was in the Hitler Youth at a time and in a place where he a) didn't really have a choice, b) was maybe too young to really understand and make an informed decision about what he was doing, and c) the Hitler Youth at that time were a great deal like the Boy Scouts. It was a compulsory youth program endorsed by the government that parents sent their kids to. Then he was drafted into the military. According to contemporary reports, he was an unenthusiastic member of any of these organizations, and he indeed deserted the service. If he was an SS officer it would have been something different. I've always found references to his time as a Hitler Youth to be tired and unreasonable.

Why go there, when there's so many other crimes for which he is responsible? Shall we talk about the rampant child rape, and the coddling/protection of the rapists, going on at even the higher levels of his organization all over the globe? How exactly did he escape being forced to resign in eternal disgrace after this became common knowledge? Or how about resistance to condom use in HIV-riddled Africa, where hundreds of thousands die of that disease on the regular? Or his continued resistance to the promotion of women in his organization, or the resistance to the equal rights of homosexuals, a fountain from which bigotry flows ever fresh.

There's plenty enough to bash him on as an adult than to have to go back to when he was a child. Nice try though. Well, not really.

Why would I want to bash him? You said this :"However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation. Religion has always been about institution. It can't really survive without it. We're a tribal species; everyone needs a flag to wave. "
Which is why I asked about the Pope's past.

And you tried to trap me, and you missed. Being attached to an organization due to unavoidable reasons (membership being compulsory, or living in a place where not being a member is life threatening) is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about free adults making free choices.

Why are you accusing me of foul play? It's not very nice of you.

Back to my point, I will think of another - USA military is voluntary. Lets say that someone enlists and becomes a soldier. Through all of his service he doesn't make contact with the enemy and passes it with ease. Is he responsible for the wars the military goes through, the death its soldiers cause, the destruction and the collateral damage?

Silvanus:
I meant that the British public is already distrustful and often hateful of Islam and Muslims as it is. Criticising Islam would be adding my voice to an already-deafening roar. Christianity receives criticism on a much smaller scale, from a tiny atheist minority and a defensive gay rights movement, and that's about it.

If you genuinely think there's a "lack of social criticism" of Islam, I'd have to suggest you must be blissfully unaware of the trends of the British popular press.

I've already made the distinction between disagreement and jesting versus disrespect and demeaning language. Where is the inspired social criticism of this faith, or others for that matter? Christianity is made the butt of most/all intellectual debate surrounding religion (sorry South Park creators, your cartoon & Broadway about Mormonism don't count). There is something not right about that.

Bear in mind I'm not advocating for some kind of Fairness Doctrine to ensure all religions are criticized equally, only pointing out how blatantly biased people are against Christianity that they can't/won't talk about any other faith, much less get into the specific sects of one of the largest in the world.

itsthesheppy:
There's a difference between holding negative feelings about something because it's different, versus because it is comprised of malicious (however intentional) potential. Can you not see it?

Also, you label the things I have said as "hate speech", completely divorcing yourself from reasoned debate. How is what I am saying hateful? What is "hateful", to you? You're struggling.

You seem to believe labeling not just a group but an entire lifestyle with blanket statements and impugning the intention of everyone involved is not prejudiced because it's genuine fact. I'll withdraw the charge of prejudice and upgrade it to bigotry. You should focus more on sensible ideas rather than attacking people in a debate.

Glasgow:

itsthesheppy:

Glasgow:

Why would I want to bash him? You said this :"However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation. Religion has always been about institution. It can't really survive without it. We're a tribal species; everyone needs a flag to wave. "
Which is why I asked about the Pope's past.

And you tried to trap me, and you missed. Being attached to an organization due to unavoidable reasons (membership being compulsory, or living in a place where not being a member is life threatening) is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about free adults making free choices.

Why are you accusing me of foul play? It's not very nice of you.

Back to my point, I will think of another - USA military is voluntary. Lets say that someone enlists and becomes a soldier. Through all of his service he doesn't make contact with the enemy and passes it with ease. Is he responsible for the wars the military goes through, the death its soldiers cause, the destruction and the collateral damage?

Trying to trap someone in a logical snare is a debate tactic as old as time and nothing to be ashamed of. It's not foul play. It's by the book. I'm just saying, you missed.

Now, the military. There might actually be something there. The unfortunate thing is, the military is completely necessary in a way that religions are not. We need it to safeguard our citizens from governments who have militaries of their own who might someday wish us harm; their use as a tool to push our domestic policy abroad is not one with which I agree.

It rests in a gray area, I suppose. Where, yeah, you could point out the rocky history that every global military carries with it. But it's not optional; not yet, anyway. Religion is entirely optional. Also, military doctrine is subject to change. the military can learn from mistakes and try to make things better. When the military kills civilians, they are at the very least trying not to. As time marches on, they will find better ways of accomplishing their goals with the least amount of collateral damage.

What I'm seeing, globally, is not a religious movement to roll back the oppression, misogyny, homophobia (in the west), not the violence and sectarian war (in the middle east), but rather a panicked 'circling of wagons', as they fight a losing battle with an increasingly secular zeitgeist. Contrary to the military's constant efforts to improve and learn from mistakes, religion appears to be going down fighting in defense of its outdated and malicious ideals.

AgedGrunt:

Silvanus:
I meant that the British public is already distrustful and often hateful of Islam and Muslims as it is. Criticising Islam would be adding my voice to an already-deafening roar. Christianity receives criticism on a much smaller scale, from a tiny atheist minority and a defensive gay rights movement, and that's about it.

If you genuinely think there's a "lack of social criticism" of Islam, I'd have to suggest you must be blissfully unaware of the trends of the British popular press.

I've already made the distinction between disagreement and jesting versus disrespect and demeaning language. Where is the inspired social criticism of this faith, or others for that matter? Christianity is made the butt of most/all intellectual debate surrounding religion (sorry South Park creators, your cartoon & Broadway about Mormonism don't count). There is something not right about that.

Bear in mind I'm not advocating for some kind of Fairness Doctrine to ensure all religions are criticized equally, only pointing out how blatantly biased people are against Christianity that they can't/won't talk about any other faith, much less get into the specific sects of one of the largest in the world.

itsthesheppy:
There's a difference between holding negative feelings about something because it's different, versus because it is comprised of malicious (however intentional) potential. Can you not see it?

Also, you label the things I have said as "hate speech", completely divorcing yourself from reasoned debate. How is what I am saying hateful? What is "hateful", to you? You're struggling.

You seem to believe labeling not just a group but an entire lifestyle with blanket statements and impugning the intention of everyone involved is not prejudiced because it's genuine fact. I'll withdraw the charge of prejudice and upgrade it to bigotry. You should focus more on sensible ideas rather than attacking people in a debate.

I'm currently engaged in back-and-forth conversations with more people in this thread than I have the time to maintain, and someone needs to be cut from the rotation. Given that you are now making more and more unqualified statements, either intentionally inventing opinions I've never professed, or are displaying a staggering lack of reading comprehension, I'm going to have to end the conversation here. You've mostly run out of point to make anyway, going back to tired "why only Christianity?" attacks (which I already addressed, I feel to satisfaction).

itsthesheppy:

Institutions have been my target all this time, and I think I've been pretty clear about that. I'm maybe not entirely sure what you're talking about. If you believe in ghosts, you're not to blame for the crimes of everyone who believed in ghosts.

However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation.

Ah. That's not the impression I got from this;

itsthesheppy:
To this end (if you are a christian), the crimes of a religion are indeed a burden you must shoulder; not as the one personally responsible for those crimes and injustices, but as one who belongs to an organization in spite of them.

From the above, I got the impression that a Christian is responsible for the crimes of a separate Christian, defining "Christian" here simply as "somebody who believes in Christianity", without necessary institutional links.

itsthesheppy:
Sam Harris once gave a very powerful, very moving and logical argument for why 'atheism' shouldn't even be a thing; after all, there aren't clubs for people who aren't racist. But it's easier and more comforting to ally yourself. So to me, when you're talking about religion, you're talking about an institution. I have very rarely ever been exposed to any examples of atrocities carried out by single people who were not just psychopaths. When discussing the great crimes o the world - genocides, cultural oppression, that sort of thing - you are inerrantly talking about some institution or another.

When you talk about "Christianity" to me, you're talking about a belief system. The history of this belief system is tied up to countless different institutions, yes, but talking about the belief system does not necessarily mean you're talking about the institutions. The religious people with whom I've had the most acquaintance have not tended to identify with specific Churches or religious bodies, though of course I know others who do. Even if they describe their theological beliefs as closest to Protestantism, that does not imbue them with any responsibility for Elizabeth the First's actions. On the other hand, if they connect themselves with the institution of the CoE, then I'm going to bother them about the institution's stance on gay rights, yes.

AgedGrunt:
SNIP

You haven't actually answered what I wrote.

Look. The Daily Mail, Express, Telegraph, the Sun-- all the most widely-read papers in Britain-- contain almost daily caricatures and 'opinion' pieces on the barbarism of Islam. Christianity is only ever the subject of impassioned defense pieces, as the columnists speak of the 'threat' to our religious institutions from sources such as gay marriage or single parents. It's precisely the same in the online chat areas for those papers. You'll not find a single anti-Christianity comment, but you'll drown in the anti-Islam.

Christianity is criticised by a minority atheist movement and a defensive gay rights movement.

Islam is criticised by almost the entirety of the British populist press, on a far more common basis, not to mention two political parties.

Stop pretending that it's otherwise.

Silvanus:

itsthesheppy:

Institutions have been my target all this time, and I think I've been pretty clear about that. I'm maybe not entirely sure what you're talking about. If you believe in ghosts, you're not to blame for the crimes of everyone who believed in ghosts.

However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation.

Ah. That's not the impression I got from this;

itsthesheppy:
To this end (if you are a christian), the crimes of a religion are indeed a burden you must shoulder; not as the one personally responsible for those crimes and injustices, but as one who belongs to an organization in spite of them.

From the above, I got the impression that a Christian is responsible for the crimes of a separate Christian, defining "Christian" here simply as "somebody who believes in Christianity", without necessary institutional links.

itsthesheppy:
Sam Harris once gave a very powerful, very moving and logical argument for why 'atheism' shouldn't even be a thing; after all, there aren't clubs for people who aren't racist. But it's easier and more comforting to ally yourself. So to me, when you're talking about religion, you're talking about an institution. I have very rarely ever been exposed to any examples of atrocities carried out by single people who were not just psychopaths. When discussing the great crimes o the world - genocides, cultural oppression, that sort of thing - you are inerrantly talking about some institution or another.

When you talk about "Christianity" to me, you're talking about a belief system. The history of this belief system is tied up to countless different institutions, yes, but talking about the belief system does not necessarily mean you're talking about the institutions. The religious people with whom I've had the most acquaintance have not tended to identify with specific Churches or religious bodies, though of course I know others who do. Even if they describe their theological beliefs as closest to Protestantism, that does not imbue them with any responsibility for Elizabeth the First's actions. On the other hand, if they connect themselves with the institution of the CoE, then I'm going to bother them about the institution's stance on gay rights, yes.

I'd be happy to address them on a sect-by-sect basis, if they didn't lump themselves together when it benefited them. When it comes time to inflict their policies on the general public, such as resistance to abortion, stem cell research, homosexual marriage and so on, they always present themselves as "Christians". It's a tactical advantage to do so, I agree; it provides a unified front and makes them look stronger, and its easier to control the message when everyone's got the same one.

But when you turn the spotlight on them they scatter like roaches in a kitchen. Oh, I'm not the christian you're looking for. I'm Episcopalian. You want the Baptist, over there; oh, you don't want me, you want the Anglican. No. If they present themselves as a singular group, they'll be addressed as one. They don't get to change the game once they've already started playing it. If they want to belong to a belief system, they take on the responsibility for doing so. Maybe it's not strictly fair but, as I laid out in a different post in this thread, I'm of the opinion that the religious moderates are very much a problem; perhaps even the source. So they don't get to wiggle out of that one.

itsthesheppy:
SNIP

It looks to me like you've got your hands full, here. Since my disagreement with you is a relatively minor one, I'm going to bow out. I think we both know where the other is coming from.

itsthesheppy:
...We are not only responsible for our actions, but also for our associations...

I completely agree, and you used a well written example as to why we're responsible.
However, the difference between your example and that of any of world's major religions is that the group you mentioned in your initial example - White Supremacists - was founded on the concept of separatism and dislike onto hatred of non-White people. Being a member of one of these groups aligns yourself with that core and founding concept.

itsthesheppy:
...To this end (if you are a christian), the crimes of a religion are indeed a burden you must shoulder; not as the one personally responsible for those crimes and injustices, but as one who belongs to an organization in spite of them.

Unfortunately, I'll have to disagree here. In the above paragraph, we talked about joining a hate organisation, or an organisation founded on the principles for which is it not liked.
However, accepting a belief of "Love thy neighbour as you love yourself" and a belief that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, doesn't make me responsible for the actions of those who share this belief but act in contradiction to it. How can it? If this were true, Atheists would be responsible for the crimes by inheritance of basically anyone who rejects the notion of a higher power, which I think you'll agree that they're not.

If I am a member of a Church, and that Church commits despicable acts, then yes - once again you and I would be in agreement. However, I see a difference between that example, and stating that believing in Jesus makes me responsible for the Crusades, or at least something I have to shoulder.

I hope I've explained that adequately, I sometimes make a mess of things.
Captcha: Wide Berth.

Silvanus:

itsthesheppy:
SNIP

It looks to me like you've got your hands full, here. Since my disagreement with you is a relatively minor one, I'm going to bow out. I think we both know where the other is coming from.

That's fair enough. Take care.

Zeh Don:

Unfortunately, I'll have to disagree here. In the above paragraph, we talked about joining a hate organisation, or an organisation founded on the principles for which is it not liked.
However, accepting a belief of "Love thy neighbour as you love yourself" and a belief that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, doesn't make me responsible for the actions of those who share this belief but act in contradiction to it. How can it? If this were true, Atheists would be responsible for the crimes by inheritance of basically anyone who rejects the notion of a higher power, which I think you'll agree that they're not.

If I am a member of a Church, and that Church commits despicable acts, then yes - once again you and I would be in agreement. However, I see a difference between that example, and stating that believing in Jesus makes me responsible for the Crusades, or at least something I have to shoulder.

I hope I've explained that adequately, I sometimes make a mess of things.
Captcha: Wide Berth.

1 Corinthians 6. The new testament also comes out very clearly against homosexuals. So the teachings of Jesus are not exempt from this rule. Also, he never comes out heavily against slavery, instead, in at least one place, advising the slave to be kind to their master, because after they die, freedom awaits them in paradise. How comforting.

As I've addressed earlier, atheists who commit bad things have very rarely ever had those bad things linked to their atheism. I can't summon to mind an incident where someone kills someone (or a group of people) declaring that the reason he was doing that was because he believed there was no god. The statement itself rolls off the tongue clumsily; any reasonable person can see that such an individual would have to be divorced from reality, because the logic just doesn't hold.

Attaching onesself to the cult of Christ, however, marries to that individual what that means. And what they means, to me, is that they are a brick in the foundation of an engine of civil persecution. Part of the problem with debating the "evils" of religion in the west is that religion has already been so thoroughly gelded by the secularist enlightenment and the social embrace of technology and science that it's lost a lot of its teeth.

But it's not Episcopalians legislating against homosexuals. Pentecostals aren't the ones picketing abortion clinics. It's always "Christians" when they want to change something, when they want to influence policy directly. This is a "Christian Nation", they are fond of saying. Not a Catholic Nation, not a Baptist Nation. when it suits them, they are a monolith.

They only split when criticism is sent their way. then, suddenly, you can't find a guilty man in the room. Everyone's pointing fingers, professing that no, seriously, they weren't those kind of Christians. They were a different kind.

Let one of the various sects of Christianity be the first to say "not us". Let them step forward and say "We're not a part of that. We want stem cell research. We want homosexuals to marry. We want equal rights for women; we have a female priest! We've even rewritten the bible so all that nasty stuff is taken out. We're different." I'll welcome it when I see it, a nice first step. Baby steps, but they count. The point is though, is that there doesn't seem to be much enthusiasm for that sort of thing. Rather, they circle the wagons and rail on about the "War on Christmas" and so forth. They're going down swinging. It would be noble if it weren't for such a bad cause.

As I said here, declaring onesself a "moderate" does not remove the blame. In fact, they are the true problem. It is the billions of moderates belonging to and granting legitimacy to and defending the scripts and rules of these religions that grant solace and succor to the nastiest elements of it. and much in the same way that we attacked Afghanistan because they harbored terrorists, I attack the faithful for being the bulwark behind which the bigoted 'extremists' prosper, safe and protected, whether the moderates know it or not. I take it upon myself to tell them, in measured tones. I'm not pointing fingers in their face and telling them that they are personally responsible for injustice. I am saying, however, that whether or not they knew it, they were complicit. It's not a popular idea, but I feel history will vindicate me. I'm not the first one to say it, either. I wish I were smart enough to be the first.

Silvanus:
...all the most widely-read papers in Britain-- contain almost daily caricatures and 'opinion' pieces on the barbarism of Islam.

Christianity is only ever the subject of impassioned defense pieces, as the columnists speak of the 'threat' to our religious institutions from sources such as gay marriage or single parents. It's precisely the same in the online chat areas for those papers. You'll not find a single anti-Christianity comment, but you'll drown in the anti-Islam.

Christianity is criticised by a minority atheist movement and a defensive gay rights movement.

Islam is criticised by almost the entirety of the British populist press, on a far more common basis, not to mention two political parties.

Stop pretending that it's otherwise.

The mainstream finds counterculture against Christianity to be quite acceptable, even prideful, regardless how vulgar it gets. That's not a minority, in fact a double-standard.

Let me ask: how well do you think a gay marriage discussion would go in some Muslim-dominant nations? Gay military service? In places that have a death penalty for homosexuality and sodomy?

What about social equality and equal pay laws for women? I've read formal accounts from a Commander in the US military disgusted with rampant misogyny (part of a larger scalding piece describing the futility of training Afghan police).

I don't need to pretend, I read about what's going on in the world. A sensitivity exists where attention is sorely needed. This is similar to the problem with violence in U.S. communities: a nation living in total denial while unruly criticism is thrown at scapegoats.

All of this goes back to the subject: if you're going to mock faith, either do it in jest or at least be informed and impartial about it, else it looks bad, especially ignoring ridiculous oppression in parts of the world.

itsthesheppy:
I'm currently engaged in back-and-forth conversations with more people in this thread than I have the time to maintain, and someone needs to be cut from the rotation. Given that you are now making more and more unqualified statements, either intentionally inventing opinions I've never professed, or are displaying a staggering lack of reading comprehension, I'm going to have to end the conversation here. You've mostly run out of point to make anyway, going back to tired "why only Christianity?" attacks (which I already addressed, I feel to satisfaction).

Translated, seems to me you get to say all the hateful things you want toward religion and, when challenged, someone is supposed to refute the very charges of malicious oppression and intolerance from which you are immune. If you don't like an analysis of your opinion, maybe you ought to disguise your true feelings so the truth doesn't hurt.

Tell you what, I'll work on my "counterpoints" to those you made about faith when you can refute that you're not a terrorist. After all, how can people not see that?

AgedGrunt:

Let me ask: how well do you think a gay marriage discussion would go in some Muslim-dominant nations? Gay military service? In places that have a death penalty for homosexuality and sodomy?

That discussion would go terribly. Nations like Saudi Arabia & Iran react to tolerance with violence, and do so on a religious basis.

I was under the impression that nobody here was from those countries, and that, in fact, I was talking to a primarily Christian/ Atheist forum community.

If you want me to spend time pointlessly decrying the crimes of the other religions, regardless of the fact that nobody here is defending them, how much time should I spend on the Aztecs?

itsthesheppy:
snip

You seem a little bogged down, I'll give you a bit of help with this.

AgedGrunt:

The mainstream finds counterculture against Christianity to be quite acceptable, even prideful, regardless how vulgar it gets. That's not a minority, in fact a double-standard.

Let me ask: how well do you think a gay marriage discussion would go in some Muslim-dominant nations? Gay military service? In places that have a death penalty for homosexuality and sodomy?

What about social equality and equal pay laws for women? I've read formal accounts from a Commander in the US military disgusted with rampant misogyny (part of a larger scalding piece describing the futility of training Afghan police).

I don't need to pretend, I read about what's going on in the world. A sensitivity exists where attention is sorely needed. This is similar to the problem with violence in U.S. communities: a nation living in total denial while unruly criticism is thrown at scapegoats.

All of this goes back to the subject: if you're going to mock faith, either do it in jest or at least be informed and impartial about it, else it looks bad, especially ignoring ridiculous oppression in parts of the world.

Let me ask you this, have you been to a Muslim country or even speak Arabic? If not, do take heed that you are probably incredibly misinformed about what is going on there. Not that what you are told is necessarily wrong, but that you have an incredibly incomplete picture.

And anyways, the West's criticism of Islam is an unending flood that comes from all sectors. It is to the point that Westerners hardly ever say anything positive about the Middle East. It is to the point that our criticism is completely ignored, and our sincerity is utterly denied.

And on this topic in general, I am of the position that EVERYTHING should be mocked and criticized. For as we do so we will discover the things that withstand this criticism, revealing what is good and valuable for our society. The things that do not withstand it should be improved our done away with. And the people who seem to constantly profess that their religion should be immune from this process display only fear to me. Fear that their institutions and their practices will be found lacking.

I used to think that religion deserved respect as what someone should be free to believe what they want. After a few years of consideration however I came up with a different stance on the issue.

They should be free to believe what they want but should not be free from criticism and judgement for what they believe in. I can not ignore the terrible logical fallacy that religion is an excuse for what would otherwise be insane behaviour if religion was not involved. Replace "God/Allah/Whatever" with "Cheesebro the Great" and the word "Bible/Koran/<Religious text>" with "Ma's Favourite Cookbook" and you've suddenly got a crazy person - that people of those very beliefs would also call crazy.

Religion deserves the right to be practiced but not the right to not be taxed and certainly doesn't deserve any right to not be questioned or ridiculed.

Zeh Don:
In any case, regardless of the person who says it, the commonly held belief in most of the world is that a person is responsible for his or her own actions, and not the actions of others. Do you disagree with that belief?

In a way, yes. I mean, yes, an individual is responsible for his or her own choices, provided said individual is of the neurological capability to make informed choices (i.e. of sound mind, and not a child). But Reagan's quote doesn't happen in a vacuum-- who said it matters, actually, as does the political context in which he's saying it. Reagan, and others of his ideological stripe, ignore the more holistic, societal systems that shape people's choices, that make some choices much more likely. I believe we, as humans in a globally interlinked society, are connected. We aren't islands, we don't make our choices in a void deprived of influence and options. Is a kid in a gang who shoots another kid in a gang responsible for the shooting? Yes. Has society made it much more likely that gangs will be an attractive option for some kids in a way they aren't for others? Also yes. And we are, collectively, responsible for allowing those factors to stand unchallenged. So really, I think Reagan's quote makes a straw man of social justice, and presents a false dichotomy. The individual is responsible for their own actions; society is responsible for the larger context that shaped them.

yet then the rest of your original post shows untold bias towards Christianity and religion in general.

You know I'm not an atheist, right? I'm not biased toward "religion in general", I have no idea where you got that from. Yes, I'm somewhat biased against Christianity-- at least, I'm biased toward what Christianity *does*. I'm process-focused. I don't care what the texts or the lore says, I care what the real-world products of something are. And I'm damned tired of having to fear the products of Christianity and damned tired of having to watch its effects on so many of the people I've known and loved. I'd quite like Christianity to simply be one more option in a wide marketplace of options, to be able to simply critique it on its theology, and not its outsize effects on people and politics.

I stated it quite clearly, I thought. You're appropriating the "us and them" stance for your obviously bias position towards Christianity, given the wording your original post. The rest of that post devolves into paragraphs that amount to little more than a "Why are you letting this happen?" mentality. It begs the question: Why are Christians solely responsible for the murderous actions of other Christians?

You aren't solely responsible. But you do have a lot more power than the rest of us do. That's the thing about privilege-- your voice is bigger, louder, and carries more than mine does, as a member of a minority religion. When we speak about this, it doesn't get much attention. If a whole bunch of you united? It'd get a whole lot more. Privileged people tend to listen most to other privileged people. That's not bias, that's just... reality. Every successful LGBTQ rights effort that was politically successful had a lot of straight allies pushing for it, for instance.

If one is indeed responsible for the actions of others, why the separatism? Would not the people geographically closest to the offending people be held accountable, being the ones most realistically able to intervene, regardless of religion?

Do you have any idea how corrupt the governments in most of these places happen to be? And what a big business Evangelical Christianity is in, say, Nigeria? Yes, ideally, people from outside should support residents pushing for change. I'm simply a proponent of people being aware of what they're connected to, and basically being first up to do one's best to police one's own. I'm honestly surprised at your take on this-- "holy shit, people are doing this in the name of *my* community? Oh, HELL no!" is *my* reaction when I hear about abuses in the larger communities of which I'm a part. American Chrisitans *caused* these problems. It seems proper to me that American Christians should be a vocal part of trying to clean it up. Hearing of this doesn't taint what you do? Like, at all? See, I don't get that.

Do you have a moral obligation to inform your Government that you disagree with them doing something that everyone acknowledges as wrong? In a more personal context - are you morally responsible for a murder if you didn't tell the murderer that murder is wrong, despite the fact that they knew it was wrong?

Is the murderer claiming to murder in my name or on my behalf? Do they believe my words somehow led them to this? Have more than one person murdered someone and said, when questioned, that they were inspired by something I said or did? If so, I wouldn't be responsible, but I'd damn sure be looking twice at what I said and doing whatever I could to very publicly say "I do not endorse this. I do not approve of this. I condemn this in the strongest terms." (As have, btw, public figures who actually have been put in that situation.) FWIW, I think there are situations where, yes, people *do* share in the responsibility for others' choice to murder, when it comes to speeches and propaganda designed to incite hatred and violence.

If the American Government needs public outcry to not murder another countries civilians, then I'd argue that the American people need do more than merely write letters and complain.

/sigh I wouldn't actually disagree with that. It's... I feel like my government has gone so far off the rails there's little hope of getting it back. But it's still *our* government. *We* let it get this bad.

the Government is abusing it's power that your society has granted it and no longer represents that society as such, defeating it's purpose and dissolving it's power.

Dissolving its power how?

While I can understand your thinking here, the difference is that anyone can call themselves a Christian; there is no single ruling body of Christianity that covers all denominations, nor are the recent actions the actions of such a body that Christians belong to.

Yes, same in my religion. Our problem is that we're plagued with Nazis and virulent racists. And sure, anyone can call themselves a member. But every time someone who *isn't* a racist or a Nazi says "this guy's book is good-- yeah, he did this awful thing, but..."; every time we let known racist group leaders speak at festivals (or, permit them to come at all, since these are private gatherings on private land), every time we put not rocking the boat over standing up to someone who just said a racist thing in front of you at a religious gathering, we're tacitly permitting it to be part of our community. We can't stop these people from saying they're part of our community, but we can do our damnedest to make them unwelcome, and put making sure our members of color feel safe at our gatherings over the comfort of those who would disrupt them. Those are actions that can be taken in our smaller religion-- and actions that some people do take. I think that some of the Nazi elements would remain identifying with us even if every major group, gathering, or forum said "piss off", but I think there would be fewer of them, and the tenor of the community would change for the better.

As a result, if they do not act in accordance to this passage, they are not truly Christians, despite their self-proclaimed title. As you can imagine, this means a lot of people who claim to be Christians aren't by this definition.

That sounds like No True Scotsman to me. To the degree that what you're saying is "this person violates this rule, I don't accept them as Christians", I agree with it, just like I don't accept the Nazis. If, though, you're saying "they violate this precept, therefore they aren't Christians and I don't have to be/am not concerned with what they do in its name", I have a problem with that. Are you a Protestant? If you are, you're the end result of Christians who looked at Rome and said "nope. nope. nope." and schismed. For LGBTQ Catholics, there's Dignity USA, which is the result of Catholics who said "this policy is morally unacceptable" and created their own offshoot so that LGBTQ Catholics could practice their religion without being pulled in two by it. I'm not talking about you getting on a plane, I'm wondering at the result of, say, one or two mainline denominations throwing their considerable weight, public presence, and monetary capability behind a campaign of ending abusive Christianity in Africa. Where would the movement of Africans trying to stop this be, if it had that kind of help? Where would it be if churches started talking about this within their own membership, and word of mouth spread?

Basically, your religion has outsize power and privilege. I'm not okay with that, I'd like to see it end. But I'd grumble a lot less if I saw more of it used for good. What I see, when I look at Christianity, are a minority of tireless people doing tremendous good, a minority of equally tireless people doing unspeakable evil that has effects far beyond their population size, and a big glop of people in the middle who say "I'm a good person" and when confronted with the evil things, shrug and say "not my problem".

I don't believe it's right to mock religious people because I'm an atheist.

But in the case of a guy quitting his job out of sheer paranoia, I'd probably mock him too.

(I'm always late in these threads)

itsthesheppy:

1 Corinthians 6. The new testament also comes out very clearly against homosexuals. So the teachings of Jesus are not exempt from this rule. Also, he never comes out heavily against slavery, instead, in at least one place, advising the slave to be kind to their master, because after they die, freedom awaits them in paradise. How comforting.

Only that Corinthians isn't a teaching of Jesus, but a letter by Paulus. A word of his follower hardly overrides the teachings of Jesus himself.

Mocking anything about someone is never a justified nor polite thing to do. Unless you know someone well enough to mess around with them then keep your mouth closed.

However I am more than tired with the idea that religion should be out of bounds to good natured ribbing. I have a close friend who is Egyptian and, at the time this anecdote took place, I had known him for about a year. He was always making jokes about his nationality and his culture and was very carefree about his race. So I stupidly thought this applied to his religion too, and made a fairly harmless comment about his religion (Islam). He then spun around and scorned me for doing so.

I defended myself and stood behind my point of view. I explained to him that I didn't think the comment was offensive enough to warrant his response (it really wasn't. He was talking about having to crawl through the gym during a personal training session and I said that he shouldn't complain because he should have strong knees from praying several times a day).

He never really agreed with me, and I ended up apologising. But I kind of regret apologising. There was no offense intended whatsoever with that comment and I don't believe religion is above simple humour.

lapan:

itsthesheppy:

1 Corinthians 6. The new testament also comes out very clearly against homosexuals. So the teachings of Jesus are not exempt from this rule. Also, he never comes out heavily against slavery, instead, in at least one place, advising the slave to be kind to their master, because after they die, freedom awaits them in paradise. How comforting.

Only that Corinthians isn't a teaching of Jesus, but a letter by Paulus. A word of his follower hardly overrides the teachings of Jesus himself.

Paul is the first guy who wrote anything about Jesus. If he can be wrong about 1 Corinthians, can't he be wrong about, well... Jesus? And if he was wrong about Jesus, that puts everything in the bible into question. Everything Jesus said and did comes to us through Paul. You're talking about possibly tossing out the bible, which you may indeed be all for. Are you?

itsthesheppy:

lapan:

itsthesheppy:

1 Corinthians 6. The new testament also comes out very clearly against homosexuals. So the teachings of Jesus are not exempt from this rule. Also, he never comes out heavily against slavery, instead, in at least one place, advising the slave to be kind to their master, because after they die, freedom awaits them in paradise. How comforting.

Only that Corinthians isn't a teaching of Jesus, but a letter by Paulus. A word of his follower hardly overrides the teachings of Jesus himself.

Paul is the first guy who wrote anything about Jesus. If he can be wrong about 1 Corinthians, can't he be wrong about, well... Jesus? And if he was wrong about Jesus, that puts everything in the bible into question. Everything Jesus said and did comes to us through Paul. You're talking about possibly tossing out the bible, which you may indeed be all for. Are you?

He was hardly the only apostle back then, and the parts of the bible he did write were letters to churches he visited which are mostly indicative of his personal opinion and life. He also got converted after Jesus' death so it might be questionable if his opinions are to be held as 100% representative of Jesus' teachings.

lapan:

itsthesheppy:

lapan:

Only that Corinthians isn't a teaching of Jesus, but a letter by Paulus. A word of his follower hardly overrides the teachings of Jesus himself.

Paul is the first guy who wrote anything about Jesus. If he can be wrong about 1 Corinthians, can't he be wrong about, well... Jesus? And if he was wrong about Jesus, that puts everything in the bible into question. Everything Jesus said and did comes to us through Paul. You're talking about possibly tossing out the bible, which you may indeed be all for. Are you?

He was hardly the only apostle back then, and the parts of the bible he did write were letters to churches he visited which are mostly indicative of his personal opinion and life. He also got converted after Jesus' death so it might be questionable if his opinions are to be held as 100% representative of Jesus' teachings.

You need to brush up on your bible history. Paul never met Jesus (in person). He was just a guy who had a vision of Jesus during what is assumed by many to be an epileptic seizure on the road to Damascus. He is the first guy to write anything about Jesus, close to thirty years after Jesus' death. It's generally understood that nothing in the NT was penned during Jesus' lifetime. The Gospel according to John, for example, claims to have been penned by an (unidentified) disciple, but evidence has shown that the gospel was not completed until 90-100AD.

Given that everything we know about Jesus is reported to us secondhand, how can you know what is supposedly the perfectly accurate rendition of how things went, and what is not? Answer: you can't. It's either infallible or it's not, and if it's fallible, then the entire legitimacy of a 2.5 billion-strong belief system is called into question. Which is exactly what I like doing. I'm going to guess that's not your aim.

itsthesheppy:

You need to brush up on your bible history. Paul never met Jesus (in person).

Which is what i have been saying.

The Gospel according to John, for example, claims to have been penned by an (unidentified) disciple, but evidence has shown that the gospel was not completed until 90-100AD.

To be specific it's "the disciple who Jesus loved", which at least rules out Paul, who never met Jesus.

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

Given that everything we know about Jesus is reported to us secondhand, how can you know what is supposedly the perfectly accurate rendition of how things went, and what is not? Answer: you can't. It's either infallible or it's not, and if it's fallible, then the entire legitimacy of a 2.5 billion-strong belief system is called into question. Which is exactly what I like doing. I'm going to guess that's not your aim.

If i didn't like to question the infalliablity of the bible, i wouldn't even start this discussion about Paul with you.

lapan:

itsthesheppy:

You need to brush up on your bible history. Paul never met Jesus (in person).

Which is what i have been saying.

The Gospel according to John, for example, claims to have been penned by an (unidentified) disciple, but evidence has shown that the gospel was not completed until 90-100AD.

To be specific it's "the disciple who Jesus loved", which at least rules out Paul, who never met Jesus.

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

Given that everything we know about Jesus is reported to us secondhand, how can you know what is supposedly the perfectly accurate rendition of how things went, and what is not? Answer: you can't. It's either infallible or it's not, and if it's fallible, then the entire legitimacy of a 2.5 billion-strong belief system is called into question. Which is exactly what I like doing. I'm going to guess that's not your aim.

If i didn't like to question the infalliablity of the bible, i wouldn't even start this discussion about Paul with you.

Right. But here's the problem. If the bible can be wrong - if both participants in the conversation (you and me) recognize that the bible can and indeed often is wrong, then it ceases to be a reliable source. So we'd have to look elsewhere for information to shore up whatever claims it makes. This is why scientific findings are rigorously peer-reviewed. It's not enough that just one guys says something. There need to be corroborative evidence.

Except there really isn't any. Aside from a fairly spurious roman historian's offhand notation about the execution of a jewish preacher or something, there is no other evidence that Jesus ever existed, to say nothing about claims to divinity. So where does that leave us? Well, without very much to talk about. If you're willing to read Jesus as a fictional character, like Harry Potter, well, you're welcome to do so. You're not really the problem. It's the (sweeping majority of) people who think that Jesus' divinity is the literal truth, handed to us inerrantly in the bible. And you want to know how I figure this? Want to know where I was exposed to 1 Corinthians 6? Here is my master stroke:

It was shone to me by a religious person I know who was justifying why he voted down gay marriage in California. When I challenged him that his homophobia was not supported by Christ, he showed be 1 Corinthians 6 and I had to acknowledge that he was at the very least playing by the rules. He was on the wrong team, but he wasn't a hypocrite. If you believe Jesus to be real, and the bible inerrant, then you have to follow 1 Corinthians 6. And you cannot say that the NT undoes the homophobic nonsense from the OT.

itsthesheppy:

lapan:

itsthesheppy:

You need to brush up on your bible history. Paul never met Jesus (in person).

Which is what i have been saying.

The Gospel according to John, for example, claims to have been penned by an (unidentified) disciple, but evidence has shown that the gospel was not completed until 90-100AD.

To be specific it's "the disciple who Jesus loved", which at least rules out Paul, who never met Jesus.

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

Given that everything we know about Jesus is reported to us secondhand, how can you know what is supposedly the perfectly accurate rendition of how things went, and what is not? Answer: you can't. It's either infallible or it's not, and if it's fallible, then the entire legitimacy of a 2.5 billion-strong belief system is called into question. Which is exactly what I like doing. I'm going to guess that's not your aim.

If i didn't like to question the infalliablity of the bible, i wouldn't even start this discussion about Paul with you.

Right. But here's the problem. If the bible can be wrong - if both participants in the conversation (you and me) recognize that the bible can and indeed often is wrong, then it ceases to be a reliable source. So we'd have to look elsewhere for information to shore up whatever claims it makes. This is why scientific findings are rigorously peer-reviewed. It's not enough that just one guys says something. There need to be corroborative evidence.

Except there really isn't any. Aside from a fairly spurious roman historian's offhand notation about the execution of a jewish preacher or something, there is no other evidence that Jesus ever existed, to say nothing about claims to divinity. So where does that leave us? Well, without very much to talk about. If you're willing to read Jesus as a fictional character, like Harry Potter, well, you're welcome to do so. You're not really the problem. It's the (sweeping majority of) people who think that Jesus' divinity is the literal truth, handed to us inerrantly in the bible. And you want to know how I figure this? Want to know where I was exposed to 1 Corinthians 6? Here is my master stroke:

It was shone to me by a religious person I know who was justifying why he voted down gay marriage in California. When I challenged him that his homophobia was not supported by Christ, he showed be 1 Corinthians 6 and I had to acknowledge that he was at the very least playing by the rules. He was on the wrong team, but he wasn't a hypocrite. If you believe Jesus to be real, and the bible inerrant, then you have to follow 1 Corinthians 6. And you cannot say that the NT undoes the homophobic nonsense from the OT.

And don't forget that even if it was totally 100% true when it was first penned, it has been edited and translated multiple times, which might not affect the core message but definitely would affect the smaller details which are the ones people always argue about.

Silvanus:

AgedGrunt:

Let me ask: how well do you think a gay marriage discussion would go in some Muslim-dominant nations? Gay military service? In places that have a death penalty for homosexuality and sodomy?

That discussion would go terribly. Nations like Saudi Arabia & Iran react to tolerance with violence, and do so on a religious basis.

If you want me to spend time pointlessly decrying the crimes of the other religions, regardless of the fact that nobody here is defending them, how much time should I spend on the Aztecs?

Perhaps a blunt approach is necessary. In a discussion where people revile and dissect one faith for maliciousness and alleges modern destruction of society, what in the blue fuck is so pointless about citing more than one source? That is fundamental logic and reasoning.

Expand the discussion. For some odd reason, criticism gets redirected to not merely resist that, but to defend a different faith when it was criticized. As if people didn't just get through pages of soap-boxing over the right to mock and insult. Suddenly, we need to be sensitive and not make faulty statements about a group...

Please do talk about the Aztecs, it might actually improve the discussion if others are willing to accept the world isn't run by churches.

itsthesheppy:

lapan:

itsthesheppy:

You need to brush up on your bible history. Paul never met Jesus (in person).

Which is what i have been saying.

The Gospel according to John, for example, claims to have been penned by an (unidentified) disciple, but evidence has shown that the gospel was not completed until 90-100AD.

To be specific it's "the disciple who Jesus loved", which at least rules out Paul, who never met Jesus.

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

Given that everything we know about Jesus is reported to us secondhand, how can you know what is supposedly the perfectly accurate rendition of how things went, and what is not? Answer: you can't. It's either infallible or it's not, and if it's fallible, then the entire legitimacy of a 2.5 billion-strong belief system is called into question. Which is exactly what I like doing. I'm going to guess that's not your aim.

If i didn't like to question the infalliablity of the bible, i wouldn't even start this discussion about Paul with you.

Right. But here's the problem. If the bible can be wrong - if both participants in the conversation (you and me) recognize that the bible can and indeed often is wrong, then it ceases to be a reliable source. So we'd have to look elsewhere for information to shore up whatever claims it makes. This is why scientific findings are rigorously peer-reviewed. It's not enough that just one guys says something. There need to be corroborative evidence.

Except there really isn't any. Aside from a fairly spurious roman historian's offhand notation about the execution of a jewish preacher or something, there is no other evidence that Jesus ever existed, to say nothing about claims to divinity. So where does that leave us? Well, without very much to talk about. If you're willing to read Jesus as a fictional character, like Harry Potter, well, you're welcome to do so. You're not really the problem. It's the (sweeping majority of) people who think that Jesus' divinity is the literal truth, handed to us inerrantly in the bible. And you want to know how I figure this? Want to know where I was exposed to 1 Corinthians 6? Here is my master stroke:

It was shone to me by a religious person I know who was justifying why he voted down gay marriage in California. When I challenged him that his homophobia was not supported by Christ, he showed be 1 Corinthians 6 and I had to acknowledge that he was at the very least playing by the rules. He was on the wrong team, but he wasn't a hypocrite. If you believe Jesus to be real, and the bible inerrant, then you have to follow 1 Corinthians 6. And you cannot say that the NT undoes the homophobic nonsense from the OT.

Except, you don't.

The only thing you have to be to be a christian is to have a belief in Jesus the Messiah. I don't, so I'm not a christian.

No, you don't even have to follow most of the bible; in fact a majority of Christians I know say bluntly that following the old stuff isn't the way to go. But they believe in Jesus the Messiah, therefore they're christians. Period. Thats why there's said to be ~41,000 different denominations of Christianity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus Now read this, the entire thing; read the sources. It has citations out the ass so it will take you some time. But draw your conclusions from what we have on hand.

Remember, history is an art, not a science. It has its own rules when it comes to peer review and evidence and how its handled. And up until the 1800's the belief was that a historians job was to make their bosses seem the best and their enemies the worse; they literally had contest in Rome to see how badly they could smear their political enemies through historians works.

Bentusi16:

itsthesheppy:

lapan:

Which is what i have been saying.

To be specific it's "the disciple who Jesus loved", which at least rules out Paul, who never met Jesus.

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

If i didn't like to question the infalliablity of the bible, i wouldn't even start this discussion about Paul with you.

Right. But here's the problem. If the bible can be wrong - if both participants in the conversation (you and me) recognize that the bible can and indeed often is wrong, then it ceases to be a reliable source. So we'd have to look elsewhere for information to shore up whatever claims it makes. This is why scientific findings are rigorously peer-reviewed. It's not enough that just one guys says something. There need to be corroborative evidence.

Except there really isn't any. Aside from a fairly spurious roman historian's offhand notation about the execution of a jewish preacher or something, there is no other evidence that Jesus ever existed, to say nothing about claims to divinity. So where does that leave us? Well, without very much to talk about. If you're willing to read Jesus as a fictional character, like Harry Potter, well, you're welcome to do so. You're not really the problem. It's the (sweeping majority of) people who think that Jesus' divinity is the literal truth, handed to us inerrantly in the bible. And you want to know how I figure this? Want to know where I was exposed to 1 Corinthians 6? Here is my master stroke:

It was shone to me by a religious person I know who was justifying why he voted down gay marriage in California. When I challenged him that his homophobia was not supported by Christ, he showed be 1 Corinthians 6 and I had to acknowledge that he was at the very least playing by the rules. He was on the wrong team, but he wasn't a hypocrite. If you believe Jesus to be real, and the bible inerrant, then you have to follow 1 Corinthians 6. And you cannot say that the NT undoes the homophobic nonsense from the OT.

Except, you don't.

The only thing you have to be to be a christian is to have a belief in Jesus the Messiah. I don't, so I'm not a christian.

No, you don't even have to follow most of the bible; in fact a majority of Christians I know say bluntly that following the old stuff isn't the way to go. But they believe in Jesus the Messiah, therefore they're christians. Period. Thats why there's said to be ~41,000 different denominations of Christianity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus Now read this, the entire thing; read the sources. It has citations out the ass so it will take you some time. But draw your conclusions from what we have on hand.

Remember, history is an art, not a science. It has its own rules when it comes to peer review and evidence and how its handled. And up until the 1800's the belief was that a historians job was to make their bosses seem the best and their enemies the worse; they literally had contest in Rome to see how badly they could smear their political enemies through historians works.

I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make. I'm looking for something in your reply to respond to, but all I'm getting is the impression that I should just shrug my shoulders and say "Okay...?" in that sort of unsure, questioning manner of one who assumes that a point is coming, eventually.

The historicity of Jesus is what it is; that is, flimsy. If there was better contemporary evidence for the existence of Christ outside of the bible that wasn't that roman historian dude, I'm sure we'd know it by now because Christians the globe over would be banging on about it from sunup to sundown. My point is that you cannot logically declare that Jesus is historical fact unless the bible is inerrant. If the bible is inerrant then 1 Corinthians 6 applies. If it does not, the bible isn't infallible and the entire myth of Christ crumbles. That's my point. People are allowed to call themselves whatever they wish. My central point is that leaves them holding an empty sack.

Glasgow:

itsthesheppy:

Glasgow:

Why would I want to bash him? You said this :"However, if you belong to a club of people who have in the past all committed crimes in the name of that same ghost, then you take on the responsibility of affiliation. Religion has always been about institution. It can't really survive without it. We're a tribal species; everyone needs a flag to wave. "
Which is why I asked about the Pope's past.

And you tried to trap me, and you missed. Being attached to an organization due to unavoidable reasons (membership being compulsory, or living in a place where not being a member is life threatening) is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about free adults making free choices.

Why are you accusing me of foul play? It's not very nice of you.

Back to my point, I will think of another - USA military is voluntary. Lets say that someone enlists and becomes a soldier. Through all of his service he doesn't make contact with the enemy and passes it with ease. Is he responsible for the wars the military goes through, the death its soldiers cause, the destruction and the collateral damage?

He's certainly responsible for aiding it, and volunteering to possible be a part of it. If they asked him to I assume he'd go along and do as he's told.

itsthesheppy:

Bentusi16:

itsthesheppy:

Right. But here's the problem. If the bible can be wrong - if both participants in the conversation (you and me) recognize that the bible can and indeed often is wrong, then it ceases to be a reliable source. So we'd have to look elsewhere for information to shore up whatever claims it makes. This is why scientific findings are rigorously peer-reviewed. It's not enough that just one guys says something. There need to be corroborative evidence.

Except there really isn't any. Aside from a fairly spurious roman historian's offhand notation about the execution of a jewish preacher or something, there is no other evidence that Jesus ever existed, to say nothing about claims to divinity. So where does that leave us? Well, without very much to talk about. If you're willing to read Jesus as a fictional character, like Harry Potter, well, you're welcome to do so. You're not really the problem. It's the (sweeping majority of) people who think that Jesus' divinity is the literal truth, handed to us inerrantly in the bible. And you want to know how I figure this? Want to know where I was exposed to 1 Corinthians 6? Here is my master stroke:

It was shone to me by a religious person I know who was justifying why he voted down gay marriage in California. When I challenged him that his homophobia was not supported by Christ, he showed be 1 Corinthians 6 and I had to acknowledge that he was at the very least playing by the rules. He was on the wrong team, but he wasn't a hypocrite. If you believe Jesus to be real, and the bible inerrant, then you have to follow 1 Corinthians 6. And you cannot say that the NT undoes the homophobic nonsense from the OT.

Except, you don't.

The only thing you have to be to be a christian is to have a belief in Jesus the Messiah. I don't, so I'm not a christian.

No, you don't even have to follow most of the bible; in fact a majority of Christians I know say bluntly that following the old stuff isn't the way to go. But they believe in Jesus the Messiah, therefore they're christians. Period. Thats why there's said to be ~41,000 different denominations of Christianity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus Now read this, the entire thing; read the sources. It has citations out the ass so it will take you some time. But draw your conclusions from what we have on hand.

Remember, history is an art, not a science. It has its own rules when it comes to peer review and evidence and how its handled. And up until the 1800's the belief was that a historians job was to make their bosses seem the best and their enemies the worse; they literally had contest in Rome to see how badly they could smear their political enemies through historians works.

I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make. I'm looking for something in your reply to respond to, but all I'm getting is the impression that I should just shrug my shoulders and say "Okay...?" in that sort of unsure, questioning manner of one who assumes that a point is coming, eventually.

The historicity of Jesus is what it is; that is, flimsy. If there was better contemporary evidence for the existence of Christ outside of the bible that wasn't that roman historian dude, I'm sure we'd know it by now because Christians the globe over would be banging on about it from sunup to sundown. My point is that you cannot logically declare that Jesus is historical fact unless the bible is inerrant. If the bible is inerrant then 1 Corinthians 6 applies. If it does not, the bible isn't infallible and the entire myth of Christ crumbles. That's my point. People are allowed to call themselves whatever they wish. My central point is that leaves them holding an empty sack.

Except it really doesn't, and I'm not sure you understand what 'belief' means. It doesn't matter if the bible isn't infallible, Christians will still believe in Christ. I've lived with and worked with and been groups with Christians my entire life and I can never, ever recall a christian who told me that the bible was infallible. Catholics, protestants, Anglicans, Lutherans, Berene; none of the ones I talked to ever went 'everything in the bible is 100% the truth". You seem to have this weird image where all christians are the same, and they all believe everything in the bible 100%. There are christian ministers out there that openly preach the acceptance of homosexuals, supposedly in direct contradiction to the bible, but they remain christian.

Also wow, you worked through all those sources really fast, considering the thing has 272 citations and 16 references. I mean, those are a lot of books to read through.

emeraldrafael:

I only said i dont see why its acceptable for athiests to mock christians (or any religion) based on their belief (which is what the central idea of this thread is), but when a christian turns around, they're vilified and called "preachy" or accusing of trying to turn someone to their faith. Its perfectly fine to disagree with a group when the members are doing wrong by the beliefs (see WBC, fundamentalist and even for a while regular mormons, muslims who insist on a jihad and use it as a justification for terrorism) and taking that to mean they can do as they wish. No one of christian faith likes the WBC (hell, have the sects dont like each other just based on general practices like do you hang a crucifix or regular cross), just like muslims distance themselves from the radicals.

That would be because one is not equal to another. Complaints I'd levy are based on what I see as the merit of the ideas, not some false idea of 'equality' where we refuse to consider if both sides really are equal.

Should I say I can mock atheism and its alright, because men like Jeffrey Dahmer, Jim Jones, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong were all notable atheists, or at least against the idea of religion as a uniting factor? I cant think of anyone who would say those men were good. Im sure any atheist would tell me no. So why is it right to mock good decent religious folks just because tehy believe in something you dont. sure that man above went too far, and i agree its a bit ridiculous. But the idea of the thread is mockery on the whole against anyone with faith by those who choose to not hold faith in a central deity figure(s) above.

You can say it, the argument would be pretty bad though because their atheism doesn't ask anything of them.

It isn't just because they believe in something you don't. That is just the weakest, most pathetic defense I've seen. You're trying to reword it to look like a victim. Sorry, didn't buy it when racists or sexists complain that I don't like them 'just for having different beliefs', I'm not going to drink that Kool Aid just because someone else is selling it. I'd mock because I see things in that belief worth mocking. There are plenty of different things not worth mocking. Some are worth it though.

Bentusi16:

itsthesheppy:

Bentusi16:

Except, you don't.

The only thing you have to be to be a christian is to have a belief in Jesus the Messiah. I don't, so I'm not a christian.

No, you don't even have to follow most of the bible; in fact a majority of Christians I know say bluntly that following the old stuff isn't the way to go. But they believe in Jesus the Messiah, therefore they're christians. Period. Thats why there's said to be ~41,000 different denominations of Christianity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus Now read this, the entire thing; read the sources. It has citations out the ass so it will take you some time. But draw your conclusions from what we have on hand.

Remember, history is an art, not a science. It has its own rules when it comes to peer review and evidence and how its handled. And up until the 1800's the belief was that a historians job was to make their bosses seem the best and their enemies the worse; they literally had contest in Rome to see how badly they could smear their political enemies through historians works.

I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make. I'm looking for something in your reply to respond to, but all I'm getting is the impression that I should just shrug my shoulders and say "Okay...?" in that sort of unsure, questioning manner of one who assumes that a point is coming, eventually.

The historicity of Jesus is what it is; that is, flimsy. If there was better contemporary evidence for the existence of Christ outside of the bible that wasn't that roman historian dude, I'm sure we'd know it by now because Christians the globe over would be banging on about it from sunup to sundown. My point is that you cannot logically declare that Jesus is historical fact unless the bible is inerrant. If the bible is inerrant then 1 Corinthians 6 applies. If it does not, the bible isn't infallible and the entire myth of Christ crumbles. That's my point. People are allowed to call themselves whatever they wish. My central point is that leaves them holding an empty sack.

Except it really doesn't, and I'm not sure you understand what 'belief' means. It doesn't matter if the bible isn't infallible, Christians will still believe in Christ. I've lived with and worked with and been groups with Christians my entire life and I can never, ever recall a christian who told me that the bible was infallible. Catholics, protestants, Anglicans, Lutherans, Berene; none of the ones I talked to ever went 'everything in the bible is 100% the truth". You seem to have this weird image where all christians are the same, and they all believe everything in the bible 100%. There are christian ministers out there that openly preach the acceptance of homosexuals, supposedly in direct contradiction to the bible, but they remain christian.

Also wow, you worked through all those sources really fast, considering the thing has 272 citations and 16 references. I mean, those are a lot of books to read through.

First of all, if you're like to engage in a conversation I'm happy to do it. But if you're going to point at the Library of Congress and say 'Unless you prove to me, because I have assumed the authority to do so, that you have read all of this, your opinion is beneath mine', then this is not going to get anywhere very quickly. If you have something to add to the conversation, do so. Don't just point in the general direction of a massive body of work and make grunting noises like it means something. If you have indeed read all of those sources yourself, good for you. By all means, lay out some education for us.

In the real world, we deal with social issues brought to us by people convinced of the authenticity of their arguments. They don't need to explain why homosexuality is bad, or why protected sex is bad, or why stem cell research is bad. The bible says its bad, and we know the bible is a reliable source. Why? Because its the word of god. Can god be wrong?

Go on, ask your progressive christian friends if god can be wrong. If they say yes, then quiz them on what makes god a better authority on anything than the rest of us? The entire point of a divine being who hands out mandates to its mortal flock is that it rests on a plane above us; we are mortal sinners. God cannot sin; how would he have any authority to judge us if he did? God needs to be perfect. The things he says needs to be perfect, otherwise it just doesn't work. They can say it does all they like, but the reasoning is riddles with bleeding holes.

Also, in keeping with your declarations unto me, I will not accept a response that does not come accompanied by no less than fifty (for a reasonably statistically significant sample size) audio or video recordings if you conducting these interviews. That's not an annoying or silly stipulation to add to a video game forum debate, is it?

itsthesheppy:

Bentusi16:

itsthesheppy:

I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make. I'm looking for something in your reply to respond to, but all I'm getting is the impression that I should just shrug my shoulders and say "Okay...?" in that sort of unsure, questioning manner of one who assumes that a point is coming, eventually.

The historicity of Jesus is what it is; that is, flimsy. If there was better contemporary evidence for the existence of Christ outside of the bible that wasn't that roman historian dude, I'm sure we'd know it by now because Christians the globe over would be banging on about it from sunup to sundown. My point is that you cannot logically declare that Jesus is historical fact unless the bible is inerrant. If the bible is inerrant then 1 Corinthians 6 applies. If it does not, the bible isn't infallible and the entire myth of Christ crumbles. That's my point. People are allowed to call themselves whatever they wish. My central point is that leaves them holding an empty sack.

Except it really doesn't, and I'm not sure you understand what 'belief' means. It doesn't matter if the bible isn't infallible, Christians will still believe in Christ. I've lived with and worked with and been groups with Christians my entire life and I can never, ever recall a christian who told me that the bible was infallible. Catholics, protestants, Anglicans, Lutherans, Berene; none of the ones I talked to ever went 'everything in the bible is 100% the truth". You seem to have this weird image where all christians are the same, and they all believe everything in the bible 100%. There are christian ministers out there that openly preach the acceptance of homosexuals, supposedly in direct contradiction to the bible, but they remain christian.

Also wow, you worked through all those sources really fast, considering the thing has 272 citations and 16 references. I mean, those are a lot of books to read through.

First of all, if you're like to engage in a conversation I'm happy to do it. But if you're going to point at the Library of Congress and say 'Unless you prove to me, because I have assumed the authority to do so, that you have read all of this, your opinion is beneath mine', then this is not going to get anywhere very quickly. If you have something to add to the conversation, do so. Don't just point in the general direction of a massive body of work and make grunting noises like it means something. If you have indeed read all of those sources yourself, good for you. By all means, lay out some education for us.

In the real world, we deal with social issues brought to us by people convinced of the authenticity of their arguments. They don't need to explain why homosexuality is bad, or why protected sex is bad, or why stem cell research is bad. The bible says its bad, and we know the bible is a reliable source. Why? Because its the word of god. Can god be wrong?

Go on, ask your progressive christian friends if god can be wrong. If they say yes, then quiz them on what makes god a better authority on anything than the rest of us? The entire point of a divine being who hands out mandates to its mortal flock is that it rests on a plane above us; we are mortal sinners. God cannot sin; how would he have any authority to judge us if he did? God needs to be perfect. The things he says needs to be perfect, otherwise it just doesn't work. They can say it does all they like, but the reasoning is riddles with bleeding holes.

Also, in keeping with your declarations unto me, I will not accept a response that does not come accompanied by no less than fifty (for a reasonably statistically significant sample size) audio or video recordings if you conducting these interviews. That's not an annoying or silly stipulation to add to a video game forum debate, is it?

No see, my problem is that your sitting there shouting "I SEE NO HISTORICAL EVIDENCE OF JESUS" and then when I link you a bunch of shit that actually sort of answers the question one way or another, you dismiss it out of hand; or to put it another way, you are dogmatically clinging to your belief that there could not be a historical Jesus and choosing to ignore the fact that there is even evidence that there was.

Also, you do understand that again, many Christians acknowledge the BIBLE as being written by mortal hands; mortal hands are fallible, even if being spoken to by their God.

And you know what? None of the ones I was talking about hate homosexuals, not openly, no 'protesting because they get married or have teh gaysex'. None of them. See, that's the thing about a personal religion, it lets you come up with your own ideas to fit around the core, which is again, the belief in Jesus as a messianic figure. Most christians I know are reasonable people, most are educated, most don't hate the gays. None of the ones I would consider friends or companions do, that's definite. Hell, I was on a team speak server earlier talking with a catholic about what god thinks about threesomes (Since you're not supposed to cheat on your spouse) with a gay guy; they're old friends, and have known each other longer then I've known them.

If you have an issue with someone relying on the bible, feel free to undermine them with your own beliefs, and they are beliefs, trust me, and frankly I think one of the lines you should use is "Why does a religion that defines it self on loving thy neighbor then turn around and preach hate". It's a fun one to break out.

And interesting, we've rather curved around to the OT; mocking is not ok, because mocking serves no purpose, ever; satire is not mocking, satire is its own thing and as noted before quite hard to pull off. If you mock someone, they withdraw into a shell and become stubborn and immovable because mocking is attacking. It is human nature to react in this way, to be put on the defensive and then attack back.

Stop mocking people and start talking to them as people and you'll find their minds can be changed, but it's not going to be 'one conversation', it can take months or years. But mocking only reinforces their walls.

But most Christians? They'll admit not everything in the bible is 100% accurate; it's almost as if they're human beings and not robots or lockstepped and brainwashed.

Bentusi16:

itsthesheppy:

Bentusi16:

Except it really doesn't, and I'm not sure you understand what 'belief' means. It doesn't matter if the bible isn't infallible, Christians will still believe in Christ. I've lived with and worked with and been groups with Christians my entire life and I can never, ever recall a christian who told me that the bible was infallible. Catholics, protestants, Anglicans, Lutherans, Berene; none of the ones I talked to ever went 'everything in the bible is 100% the truth". You seem to have this weird image where all christians are the same, and they all believe everything in the bible 100%. There are christian ministers out there that openly preach the acceptance of homosexuals, supposedly in direct contradiction to the bible, but they remain christian.

Also wow, you worked through all those sources really fast, considering the thing has 272 citations and 16 references. I mean, those are a lot of books to read through.

First of all, if you're like to engage in a conversation I'm happy to do it. But if you're going to point at the Library of Congress and say 'Unless you prove to me, because I have assumed the authority to do so, that you have read all of this, your opinion is beneath mine', then this is not going to get anywhere very quickly. If you have something to add to the conversation, do so. Don't just point in the general direction of a massive body of work and make grunting noises like it means something. If you have indeed read all of those sources yourself, good for you. By all means, lay out some education for us.

In the real world, we deal with social issues brought to us by people convinced of the authenticity of their arguments. They don't need to explain why homosexuality is bad, or why protected sex is bad, or why stem cell research is bad. The bible says its bad, and we know the bible is a reliable source. Why? Because its the word of god. Can god be wrong?

Go on, ask your progressive christian friends if god can be wrong. If they say yes, then quiz them on what makes god a better authority on anything than the rest of us? The entire point of a divine being who hands out mandates to its mortal flock is that it rests on a plane above us; we are mortal sinners. God cannot sin; how would he have any authority to judge us if he did? God needs to be perfect. The things he says needs to be perfect, otherwise it just doesn't work. They can say it does all they like, but the reasoning is riddles with bleeding holes.

Also, in keeping with your declarations unto me, I will not accept a response that does not come accompanied by no less than fifty (for a reasonably statistically significant sample size) audio or video recordings if you conducting these interviews. That's not an annoying or silly stipulation to add to a video game forum debate, is it?

No see, my problem is that your sitting there shouting "I SEE NO HISTORICAL EVIDENCE OF JESUS" and then when I link you a bunch of shit that actually sort of answers the question one way or another, you dismiss it out of hand; or to put it another way, you are dogmatically clinging to your belief that there could not be a historical Jesus and choosing to ignore the fact that there is even evidence that there was.

Also, you do understand that again, many Christians acknowledge the BIBLE as being written by mortal hands; mortal hands are fallible, even if being spoken to by their God.

And you know what? None of the ones I was talking about hate homosexuals, not openly, no 'protesting because they get married or have teh gaysex'. None of them. See, that's the thing about a personal religion, it lets you come up with your own ideas to fit around the core, which is again, the belief in Jesus as a messianic figure. Most christians I know are reasonable people, most are educated, most don't hate the gays. None of the ones I would consider friends or companions do, that's definite. Hell, I was on a team speak server earlier talking with a catholic about what god thinks about threesomes (Since you're not supposed to cheat on your spouse) with a gay guy; they're old friends, and have known each other longer then I've known them.

If you have an issue with someone relying on the bible, feel free to undermine them with your own beliefs, and they are beliefs, trust me, and frankly I think one of the lines you should use is "Why does a religion that defines it self on loving thy neighbor then turn around and preach hate". It's a fun one to break out.

But most Christians? They'll admit not everything in the bible is 100% accurate; it's almost as if they're human beings and not robots or lockstepped and brainwashed.

I never said I knew Jesus didn't exist. I said I'm not convinced by the evidence that did, and certainly not convinced that he was anything other than a perfectly mortal evolved ape like the rest of us. I've looked at the historicity of Jesus; I'm not a Vatican scholar, but I feel like I've at least sampled the surface of what's there. And what's there isn't very much. For a guy what is supposedly the son of the creator of the universe, sent here to rescue humanity from itself, you'd think there'd be more contemporary information on his life and doings than your average ancient roman senator.

In you have specific examples you would like to supply that you feel would be compelling, you're invited to do so. But again, pointing at a stack of books and grunting at me is not an argument. I note you didn't provide your interview research I demanded. It seems we're at an impasse. Maybe we can stop making silly demands of each other, and merely converse about our mutual ideas? It might help facilitate the conversation a little bit better.

You then go on to declare that you know lots of Christians who don't believe what you think I think they believe. Given that entire states are banning gay marriage in the US, and that the Republican National Platform for 2012 included provisions that abortion should be illegal in all cases including rape, can you perhaps assent that the progressive country club Christians you know represent the societal minority, in at the very least large portions of the country? After all, if all were as you say they are, then there wouldn't be anything to argue about, would there? But alas; there is.

I feel, though, that your experience (which I am not denying you) is atypical. And this feeling is borne out of my being able to just look at what the world appears to us to be like. As soon as states stop striking down gay marriage via popular vote, I think your point will carry a great deal more weight. But not yet.

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