“I think #3 is a really telling question and it belies the general uselessness of the 'megachurch' - compare it to education (because in many ways it is) - would any university brag because it's class sizes are as big as possible?
A pastor's goal should be to be the spiritual guide of his/her parish, which is impossible to do at the size the megachurches operate. They are religious-based entertainment, nothing more.”
“I'm completely on your side (I think) but could you please rewrite this article?
First of all, what are the 80 organizations that have been determined to be 'cults' or 'sects'? The only religions you mention are related to cases in countries outside of Israel (United States and Russia). With such a high number, there's no doubt that the law is unfair, but if the Israeli government managed to find 80 religions that support human sacrifice I'm on board with the law. Obviously, this isn't the case - but it's certainly not explained here.
Also, you complain about how legal vagueness inevitably causes oppression. This is absolutely correct, and by no means can literary vagueness have the same effect but this article is certainly guilty of that. Nowhere is there a quote from the report that is over two words long.
I hope your goal was to tell just enough to get me interested - so I have to go find the report itself.”
“He was actually referenced by several contemporary Jewish historians, Josephus being the most famous. Not to mention that the bible has some historical value (some mind you, not as much as the inerrants will say). The overwhelming histiographical probability is that Jesus was real and Jesus was a messianic figure to a number of people in Judea.
“Using the terms Left and Right in regards to totalitarian governments such as Mussolini's regime or Nazi germany, though not generally incorrect, is an unfortunate misdirection. In our current state of political affairs there is far too much meaning behind the concepts left and right, and using these terms accurately is nigh impossible even without the outlier of a clearly draconic system.”
“Gingrich's comment about dinosaurs makes some sense. Inasmuch that it's true that the earth's climate has shifted dramatically dozens of times over the course of the existence of life. Each time that has happened there have been mass extinctions of both flora and fauna.
So if he's willing to admit that climate change can happen, even if he's not willing to admit that we are responsible, the rational people win. Because regardless of how it's being caused, climate change is something we should fight against.”
“"No president has been reelected with unemployment this high since FDR."
I'm not sure what the word for this particular misuse of facts/statistics is but I think it's pretty funny when it gets pandered around with regards to real issues. Since, it's primary use in society is by the 'statistics' sports commentator - "That's the first time in three years that he has hit a home run against a left-handed pitcher in a stadium that faces Northwest." You other points are not invalid but please try to tone down the nonsense.”
Paul Is Right on Sep 8, 2011 at 15:53:15
“Thanks for the advice. But can you help point out "the nonsense?"”
“You may be right about some people, but I guarantee that parents, as a majority are not. Also, I read below that 'you've made a business out of informing prospective employers.' Good for you, even if you're 100% right, your job is to hurt the disenfranchised (regardless of how they got there).”
Sep 8, 2011 at 12:40:07
“There's such a plethora of issues around cosmetic procedures that it's really hard to have a concrete opinion on anything but a discrete incident. Some physical flaws do haunt people their whole lives; though there is always the question of the mental effect of that flaw (if you hate your nose, but it is in fact perfectly fine - 'fixing' your nose will not actually help at all). And this is just talking about some of the more obvious polarized topics, there are discrete issues when it comes to what appears to be more frivolous procedures. For example; breast implants.
The question for these procedures is actually the opposite. Two girls may want breast implants; one because of self-confidence issues whereas the other sees them as a 'sweet car.' It's actually more likely that the second girl should get them because she DOESN'T have an associated emotional attachment to the issue.
And then of course there is the fact that we are talking about 18 year olds here, and unless we discuss changing the age of consent - in many ways, its none of our business.”
“Ummm the best reference you can make for Mario Van Peebles is "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song"? The movie was a Melvin Van Peebles work and Mario was ten when he was in it, and only for about five minutes. It's like saying "Ron Howard, star of the Andy Griffith Show."
Personally, I would say director of "New Jack City."”
ZenSufi on Sep 7, 2011 at 08:31:20
“"Yeah, man, these cats was the original Posse."”
Cakey4814 on Sep 1, 2011 at 14:32:09
“Ditto...need to hire some Black voices for Black voices..”
“I think blaming religion for acts of terrorism and violence is misleading. Certainly, in many instances, religion adds to it. Evil men will find an excuse to be evil, religion is just sometimes more convenient. Religion does not contribute to Eco-Terrorism or the actions of the ALF, religion did not contribute to the philosophies of Stalin or Hitler (though the latter arguably leveraged the religion of his people for his philosophies). Without religion, the crusades would have still happened - it just would have been against the brownfolk and not the muslims.
And obviously the reverse is true, the charitable works of religious organizations would happen without religion. Because just as evil men find an excuse to do evil, good men will also find the excuse.”
“I don't know, raising the medicare, retirement etc. ages seems like it will need to be done eventually. We are getting to the point where many of our older citizens actually are spending more of their life retired than working. So while there are cojent arguments against it - it feels kind of inevitable.
Having said that, the whole problem becomes solved if we institute single-payer nationalized healthcare like every other rational country in the world has done....”
Radx28 on Aug 30, 2011 at 14:22:52
“Not necessarily, there are lots of ways to cut costs, and make health care universal without taking the Republican approach of simply letting the old, sick, poor, and unfortunate die of neglect due to lack of food, shelter, and health care simply because they were not among the fortunate people who managed to profit the most from the output of society as a whole............a happenstantial imbalance that is built into capitalism :-)”
Viper on Aug 30, 2011 at 12:36:17
“There is a world wide surplus of labor and there will be from here on out and that includes educated. Unemployement at 60 is 60%... there simply will not be the jobs to work at age 70...
trying to extend the working years means more young people w/o jobs or across all age groups. Its a simple solution that reality says will not work... No jobs created in a decade as the population grew by 30 million....
And we cant fix these problems with repug idealogy that with 30 million jobs outsourced and 60,000 factories closed due to a laisez-faire capitalism /free trade that no other countries follow.. we are in a trade war and are unarmed and unarmed in a technical revolution which means less labor needed, and thus shorter work weeks, higher wages and shorter working careers as already in the EU( and we did this 80 years ago, when we went from a 70 hr work week to 40hrs with over time, min wages, unions and a New Deal Demand Economy adioped by the rest of the world, then we traded that for trickle down that failed).
“The thing about lawyers is that by the very definition of their profession - you disagree with them 50% of the time. Of the remaining 50%, there are the same number of incompetents and shady professionals as any other profession. So the number of 'trustworthy' lawyers ends up being at most 40%. It's because of the adversarial nature of our legal system (which no matter how much politics and economics messes up American society; remains the best in the world).
Take a criminal trial - say the defendant is, to you, obviously guilty. The defense attorney could be seen as a bad guy because he is helping a potentially dangerous criminal. This is not an unfair judgment, but it is incorrect. By giving that criminal the best defense possible, that attorney, though he/she may be specifically defending the indefensible, they are generally defending justice as a whole.”
Aug 26, 2011 at 09:49:23
“Point taken. But just because my syntax was incorrect doesn't make my point invalid.
There are plenty of ways that the government can help the unemployed in general; and obviously not all of them are great but the list is endless. Regarding racially specific unemployment - we all know there's a problem - but I'm yet to see someone come up with a viable solution.”
FloridaLAW on Aug 26, 2011 at 12:24:40
“Thanks for the clarification, it is a complex problem and if I had the answer I would be an extremely wealthy individual. But there have been programs that have worked well in the past. The CETA program implemented by Reagan is one of them. The most lasting impact would be more access to training and education. There are too many to list, unfortunately we have a gridlocked congress that is not motivated to do anything because of the 2012 election.”
Aug 25, 2011 at 14:01:18
“The problem is, specifically relating to unemployment, that this is not a black/white issue - it's an unemployed issue. It just so happens that blacks are overrepresented within this group.
The problem I see with this issue, is that their have been no real solutions put forward by anyone, we are long past the days where active discrimination was legal and we've seen the failure that affirmative action has generally been. So my take on this is either present us with a good 'black focused' solution or work on the larger endemic problem.”
FloridaLAW on Aug 26, 2011 at 00:36:49
“blacks just "happen" to be overrepresented in the unemployment ranks? Really? It's just a coincidence? No cause and effect? Wow, I really feel enlightened now.”
“Well, honestly I put 'new atheists' in quotes because there's no agreed upon definition of the term (or a good term for the type of atheist I am talking about). The people I'm talking about are also described as 'militant atheists' but that misses the mark too. Let's say I'm speaking of 'fundamentalist empiricists' - who commonly hold the belief that;
"If I can't see it, it ain't real. And if you even explore that line of inquiry you are a stupid heathen."”
dschiff on Aug 25, 2011 at 18:59:15
“Well, not so simple.
Obviously seeing is not necessary. We don't see the wind, but we know it's there because it has viable physical effects. Not so for Gods.
If there is no blade of grass affected, some molecule of gas, pattern of energy, etc. then a non-physical God you pose is entirely theoretical and not detectable or knowable... even in THEORY.
New atheists do not have small or limited imaginations in practice. We do not suggest that critically thinking demands not thinking outside the box. We imagine 11 dimensional universes, multiverses, ideas that we can't confirm but can at least talk about. But we don't add new items to our ontology (1 god, 10 gods, 50 gods) without convincing evidence.
Thus the limits of critical thinking are the limits of what we can know to be true, NOT the limits of what we can imagine.
The new atheists simply distinguish between the unknowable and the knowable when making assertions about what we believe.”
“"It is ironic that the only collective group of radical muslims have waged war on the US and your worried about some rag tag christians."
What in the world does this sentence even mean? Are you saying there's only one group of radical muslims? Or are you saying they only care about the United States? I mean, it doesn't matter cause both of these are incorrect.”
“This is a very serious issue and as such; it behooves us not to play with statistics. As we have seen; when statistics get flung around randomly (or falsified/exaggerated in some cases) the detractors from these issues get to say "Well they lied about that, so it's probably all wrong." This most commonly happens regarding environmental concerns.
The statistic of 20 million new offenses a year seems a bit off to me; I'd be interested how they came to that conclusion. If we assume that the number of cases of people being repeatedly put into sex trafficking (a horrible thought, and probably does happen, but not to a huge extent) in the course of their life a human being has an ~16% chance of being sold into the sex trade. This doesn't seem quite right.”