“diaper man soliciting prostittutes and some calling while he's conducting congressional business and you hear crickets. and Boehner and other BIG Republicans gave money for his reelection and he got reelected and the press shrugs it off and turns their heads towards what the Democrats are doing. and i know theres more Republicans doing shady business.”
“Science does not deal in testimony or consensus, but in facts and evidence. You can still debate in science, as with evolution, the big bang, etc. These are all theories until someone presents irrefutable evidence. And consensus does not equal truth.
And are you discussing perceptions of faith or are discussing facts? The religous debates over bible passages seem to be moot to me. Most discusions i have heard or read start with the assumption th For some, they are the same which is one thng i think this article highlights. Discussion is fantastic so long as it is not one sided.
True, we can believe what we like... Unfortunately many Christians today want to force this belief on others as if it's the truth. Fundamentalists are not interested in discussing anything, simply imposing their view on others. The irony is that these are some of the loudest critics of other religions.”
heron77 on Jun 19, 2011 at 12:28:31
“But even in science, we have debates on issues that we cannot prove or disprove. Like black holes, we debate the existence and the properties based on little evidence. And in mathematics, we have assumptions and postulates in geometry that are unproven, and yet the consensus of mathematicians accept them. And I agree that consensus does not always equal truth. We need to look back only several hundred years on the changes in our beliefs in science.
Religious concepts are not based on facts, but beliefs. The Rationalist tried to use logic, but of course failed.
But like those assumptions and postulates in geometry, we believe them to be true for our purposes. And for religion, we accept assumptions and postulates of a different nature to be true for our purposes.
I also agree that some fundamentalists do try to force their opinion on others. We have had street preachers made up of a fundamentalist congregation standing on street corners condemning women to hell for wearing shorts or condemning others not accepting their printed literature. They forget that God said he would be the judge of souls, not men. Somehow they feel empowered.”
“While I like your balanced outlook, I have to disagree with the last sentence. Religion does not "attempt" to explain why we are here. To most believers it is the truth, the word of god. If it was an attempt then it would be open to debate, which it is not. And the teachings of the NT are questionable. Look at the evidence that Jesus was a rehash of older religions (horus, Dionysus, etc). If the NT was fabricated, how can one still believe?”
heron77 on Jun 19, 2011 at 07:23:16
“Like learning of testimonies in court, jury members have to review all of the evidence presented and find some consensus for the truth. Sometimes jury members have to discuss their perceptions which also helps. That's what we do is to discuss our perceptions. And we are each free to believe what we want.”
“If that is true, then he is a pretty sloppy designer, given all the left over genes as mentioned in the article. Oh, but wait.. Isn't he/she supposed to be all wise and all knowing? How could a perfect being such as god create a sloppy design? An, right. Who are we to understand the grand plan. Saying that it MUST be designed by god because it is so complex is just a weak leap in logic. By the same logic, I could say that it MUST be the flying spaghetti monster... But most chrisitians I know would scoff or scream blasphemy.”
johnb123 on Jun 19, 2011 at 01:03:32
You forget, we are living in a corrupt world of our own doing.
“Right... But it's people. The gov't isn't a thing, nor is it just deems or libs: it's loads of individuals looking out for themselves. I work on a base where people are paid loads of money and produce nothing. The worst is to I hear dudes railing on the evils of gov't while collecting six figures plus expenses to produce nothing. I am not exaggerating. One dude in particular is a consultant who has done literally nothing for 3 years.
So... We need to look at ourselves first. How can WE make a change rather than attacking this big abstract thing called Government. Hold ourselves and our coworkers accountable, don't do business with corrupt companies, vote out corrupt politicians. It's doable, but we need to start at the bottom first.”
“"the Koran actually advocates stoning wives for adultery while turning a blind eye toward the sexual mis-deeds of the husband."
Doesn't the old testament say the same thing?”
Qudsia00 on Jun 13, 2011 at 17:40:40
“I know stoning is in the Bible, but I don't know if this particular discriminatory type of stoning is in the Old testament or not, but it certainly is NOT in the Quran. The idiot writer did not ever bother checking for facts. There is NO mention at all of stoning in the Quran for any crime whatsoever.”
SLEdwin on Jun 13, 2011 at 17:26:23
“Yup. Religion, just another way to try to keep women in line.”
“This isn't just Bush... I am not defending hm, but you need to realize that loads of american businesses stepped in for thier cut. This lack of accounting is still going on today. Billions spent all over the world on programs that no one tracks. Congress is afraid to turn down requests for fear of being labeled unpatriotic, yet no one tracks the funds and no one is asked whether it was even necessary.
We need to demand accountability for ALL involved. Sure, the president is ultimately responsible, but if we don't hold ourselves accountable, how are we any better?”
tony wise on Jun 13, 2011 at 17:02:01
“i would still like to see some accountability for the trillion dollar stimulus boondoggle.
if the site shows such waste as 3 billion for 10000 jobs we need to be able to actually hold our government accountable.
it does, but we are still not being able to hold the gov. accountable.”
“I agree. There needs to be some level of personal responsibility. A former co worker clicked on a vbscript sent from his wife that infected our network. He blamed our IT department saying that they should have not allowed him to click it. His wife is in no way technical and has no idea what a script is, and he was part of our testing department, so it should have been obvious as anything that it was a virus... Yet he chose to blame someone else. Just nuts.”
“"Though Windows 8 will offer a slew of new features and display options, it will also run existing Windows applications and retain the key elements of the Windows interface, guaranteeing consistency across versions of the software and different devices."”
“I think there need to be spending cuts. I work with many government employees who get paid loads of money to do nothing. So let's be specific about the cuts. Make some cuts and get rid of waste, fire people who get paid just to show up. Make things more efficient and you will save loads of $$.
At the same time, explain to me why this is such an issue right now? So many businesses have loads of cash right now and are not hiring. So why isn't the private sector hiring and saving the economy? GE just made billions in profits and actually got a few more billion in tax breaks! If business would reinvest rather than simply pocketing the $$ then things would be getting better.
So the focus on spending, while I think we need cuts, seems to be nothing more than a political game.”
djaikins on Jun 3, 2011 at 07:29:37
“Most of congress appears to get loads of money to do nothing. Now there is a specific place to cut waste.”
May 30, 2011 at 10:12:06
“I see so many nasty comments here.. If it bothers everyone so bad that these people spend that kind of money, why docwe support it? Dont watch her show, buy her products, don't give her the attention that makes her rich. For him, don't buy tickets to his bball games or any product he endorses
We make these shallow celebrities by throwing money at them and them complaining about it. Change how we behave and these stories go away”
“If we’re a Christian nation, which Christian denomination? Thousands of denominations and they don't really like each other. i.e. Catholics aren't “REAL Christians” and see how Christians ridicule Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. Look at how we treat other countries. Where is the Christian love towards the rest of the world?
School prayer may calm kids, but why make it a religious act? A moment of silence or eastern meditation?
I agree PC-ness is nuts today. But Christians can be the worst culprits. How many boycott art exhibitions a Christian is offended? Kevin Smith's Dogma: Loads picketing having not seen the movie. My aunt ranted about the DaVinci Code having never read it. Not shining examples of tolerance and love. To many Christians, free speech is fantastic so long as they dictate what you say and think. A generalization but gaining momentum
England? Didn't settlers flee the Church of England, forming our nation because they didn’t agree with the church's practices? If a Christian nation, the next step: national church, fine people for not attending, etc?
Huge evangelical organizations regularly fleece members. (I can buy my salvation?) Yet, look at their behavior: Oral Roberts, Jim Baker, Ted Haggard, Benny Hinn. Is this the shared heritage and belief system that will keep us together?
If we’re to survive as a nation, we need to keep Christianity from tearing us apart, otherwise our days are numbered.”
mggwa on May 30, 2011 at 16:28:10
“"If we’re a Christian nation, which Christian denomination? "
All of them; although some flavors are less accepted than others. The number of choices was quite a bit fewer in 1776.
"Didn't settlers flee the Church of England"
Some did, they were called Puritans if I remember right. Greater numbers came in search of wealth, particularly the Jamestown colony.
"To many Christians, free speech is fantastic so long as they dictate what you say and think."
This is a human trait projected into some religions. The ACLU is nearly identical in this respect.
Evangelicals are noisy but hardly represent the values of this nation. If I had to pick a faith tradition I would say Calvinists probably had more to do with the core values than any other branch of Christianity. But the Amish, Quakers, Mormons, Lutherans have all had profound influence on regions of this nation and are quite different to this very day.”
“Well, I am not a historian by any means... and i agree that religion in general was not the cause of the "dark ages". But from what I have read, the dark ages were marked by the fall of the roman empire and the rise of the catholic church. the church did foster art and reading, but only accessible to the chuch elite. the masses were too ignorant to read on their own, especially the scriptures. isn't this what drove martin luther's actions?
true, the average person did not have much spare time to pursue leisure reading or art, but isn't that because many spent their time toiling under the rule of the church and ruling classes at the time (rent and church tithe)?
the corruption of the catholic church also marked those centuries. from the earliest days, they destroyed libraries and replaced pagan teaching with christian teaching. the church of course denies all of this, but even today, many christians look to censor what we read because they feel it's pagan (harry potter?!)
"I wish we could remove SELFISHNESS from the equation."
on that one, I TOTALLY agree!”
mggwa on May 30, 2011 at 16:37:51
“The dark ages are starting to be re-interpreted. It does not appear to have been as "dark" as history books want to portray it. Rather, in the Greek to Roman to European "flow", the dark ages do seem to stand out as a gap -- but that is only because of an artificial assumption that civilization necessarily flowed in that order. After Rome, the baton of civilization passed to Arabia for a few hundred years. Meanwhile, the "hordes" of the Russian steppes, the Cossacks, slowly but steadily improved themselves and the culmination appears to have been Poland which has a number of "firsts" in Europe. However, to this very day many or most farmers in Romania, for instance, still do things unchanged after hundreds of years.
A middle class depends upon trade more than anything else. Thus, landlocked nations are never going to become as "civilized" as seaport trading nations.
Catholicism became the state as early as around 400 AD and practically ceased as a "religion". This is what Martin Luther was rebelling against, the sale of indulgences being one of many examples. To be sure, the "Holy Roman Empire" (Germany) claimed to have God's favor but it would be absurd to actually think that the leaders actually believed it. Well, maybe they did, there's no limit to self deception, and if you believe in pre-destination (calvinism), then if you are ABLE to destroy your neighbor, you were MEANT to do so.”
“"What was right for past generations is not necessarily right (obviously). But just because we can't live in that way, doesn't mean that we can't appreciate it and learn from it. "
"It has more to do with the mystery of our existence than it does with believing in an omniscient, bearded, white man, or a blue man who fights in a flying chariot."
both of these are excellent points. i am an athiest, raised catholic but moved to being an atheist around college (a while ago!)
but i do find religion fascinating, definitely something to learn from. i get angry when i read of the horrendous things done in the name of religion, hence my reactions to many of these posts. but it is definitely something to learn from.
and as to the mystery of our existence, i am with you on that one. though i don't believe in any religion that i have learned of so far, i don't feel we blink away into nothingness. that is probably partly due to it being a horribly depressing mindset... but there is so much in the world around us that we have yet to discover let alone understand. i do believe that everyone is connected. it just makes sense to me and recent scientific studies and discoveries reinforce the belief. i just do not feel that religion offers any help to understanding this.
anyway...though i have ranted a bit, i do enjoy the conversation”
“"How many civilizations has religion destroyed?"
the dark ages? art, literature, science, destroyed by the church. the crusades, salem witch trials, irish/english clashes? christian missionaries pushing around the world? even today groups following the same religion argue and fight.
hatred and bigotry today between religions today is breathtaking. how many religious folks ridicule other religions? i work with a few devout christians and i cringe when they talk about muslims: "they are all crazy jihadists!" it's not war, but can be as destructive.
and americans who want prayer in schools? (many coworkers mentioned above). "our kids should be praying!" well, only if it's to jesus. these same people would scream if someone proposed teaching islam, offering hindu prayers, etc. "this is a christian nation!" i'm not a christian, i'm an athiest: should i leave the country? is america like many islamic nations, just christian?
"however, civilizations destroying religion -- or at least trying to -- does have examples:"
i agree, and it looks like they've failed. and i know atheists can be angry and aggressive, too
all of my ranting aside, i think religion brings peace and a community to many people. my mom still attends church because she enjoys the social aspects and it makes her happy. a good friend is actively involved in his church, works with kids, charities, the choir, etc and it brings him happiness.
i simply wish we could remove religion from the equation, with its dogma, closed-mindedness and arrogance.”
mggwa on May 29, 2011 at 16:08:01
“"is america like many islamic nations, just christian?"
Yes, pretty much. I remember class prayer in 3rd grade and at the time I had no religion at all. I didn't even know what a prayer WAS. It did serve to mark the official beginning of class and compel everyone to a minute of silence after which it was a lot easier to maintain relative tranquility in the class.
Over on another blog is an extreme example of politically correct thinking -- refusing to play the Star Spangled Banner at a college in Iowa so as not to offend anyone, except of course, the huge number of people offended by this very idea.
England is about to go down in flames they have so lost their identity. I suspect that happened to the Romans.
You can believe or disbelieve anything you want, but a nation exists on an anchor of shared heritage and beliefs. Take that away and its days are numbered.”
mggwa on May 29, 2011 at 16:03:00
“I appreciate what you are trying to say, and the sincerity of your beliefs which is widely shared -- but just as widely wrong.
"art, literature, science, destroyed by the church" -- this is not "a civilization" such as the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Danes, Saxons and so on and not destroyed by "religion" in any case.
Now, if you narrow the claim, things are somewhat different -- it does seem that Catholicism may have eliminated the Druids; with Druid not being exactly a "civilization" but a rival religion, and Catholicism not being "religion" but an instance of religion merged with civil power. As you have pointed out, rivalry between religions is intense and will take the form of war if the religion is merged with nation (which it is with Islam, and until recently, also with Christianity).
The Dark Ages are not exactly a product of any religion. It started with the collapse of the Roman Empire, which can be argued to have been the failure of religion to regulate that huge empire. Art and literature existed ONLY in "the church" for a thousand years as only in church did any person have enough spare time to pursue such things. Keep in mind this was the time of the "Little Ice Age", bubonic plague and other things that wiped out every other European and the survivors barely survived. Art? Literature? Don't blame a lack of these things on "religion".
I wish we could remove SELFISHNESS from the equation.”
“true... some of the most brilliant mathematics came from that time. and look at some of the amazing artwork done in the name of religion: the sitine chapel alone is amazing. but was it religion that inspired the science? i honestly don't know., look at Galileo... condemned for his science. look at how many christian groups burn books even to this day. and look at how religion is so often used as an excuse for hatred and bigotry (i will introduce you to some of my catholic family, for example)
maybe i misinterpreted the author, but i felt like he was claiming that religion is now vindicated or validated because of this discovery.
"religion needs to be taken a whole lot more seriously"
does that mean that we should all be more religious? are all the horrible things done in religion's name ok because religion might be a "human" thing?
he does go on in that paragraph to offer advice to the very religious, to be more modest and, i believe, open minded.
I guess my point is that i don't think religion can be validated, even if there is proof that religion is the root of modern civilization. i think that religion, as a whole, has caused more damage to society than it has brought good.”
mggwa on May 26, 2011 at 18:36:21
“"maybe i misinterpreted the author, but i felt like he was claiming that religion is now vindicated or validated because of this discovery."
Hard to say. What it means is that religion is no longer assumed to automatically be a human invention of civilization. It could still be a human invention, but if it precedes civilization, then a new "cause" for it must be found or suggested.
"does that mean that we should all be more religious?"
Not at all. If you aren't, you aren't, and that does not change because of a stone moment in Turkey. What it means is that the religious impulse, if indeed it pre-dates "civilization", cannot just be erased by the same means that some people think it came into existence. It is probably "intrinsic" and inseparable from human experience and all attempts to eradicate religion are thus doomed to failure -- which is pretty obvious anyway.”
nhcrawf on May 26, 2011 at 16:00:58
“I see your point. I think, l that, like anything else, religion is multifaceted and not merely an issue of religion vs. atheism, or good vs. bad. It's an issue of why we have needed religion in the past, and what we need for the future. What was right for past generations is not necessarily right (obviously). But just because we can't live in that way, doesn't mean that we can't appreciate it and learn from it. Kandinsky said that each time in history has had its own form of art that we can't go back to; it wouldn't work, it would be half hearted and impersonal. But we can certainly love art made hundreds, thousands of years ago as much as art made today.
So I don't agree with the author that religion is now to be taken more seriously; it's already the most serious, personal thing in our lives. It has more to do with the mystery of our existence than it does with believing in an omniscient, bearded, white man, or a blue man who fights in a flying chariot. These things aren't bad or wrong because they are difficult to identify with, or because people use them selfishly. There is beauty in the Bible as well as the Koran as well as the Ramayana, and every Greek myth. These things brought culture, if not civilization per se, and from that comes a very important part of our human identity (which would necessarily be worse off without).”
“This could be true, that religion drove the creation of civilization. Interesting as that might be, why does it mean that we should take them more seriously? How many civilizations has religion destroyed? Look at the dark ages alone for some examples. If this is true, I don't believe that it adds any credibility to religion at all.”
mggwa on May 26, 2011 at 18:32:58
“"Why does it mean that we should take them more seriously?"
In any kind of democracy, the religious beliefs of people will manifest as law. For example, you are free to ignore the train that is about to smash into your car which you parked on the tracks, but it is not wise to do so.
"How many civilizations has religion destroyed?"
None. I will leave it up to you to show otherwise. However, civilizations destroying religion -- or at least trying to -- does have examples: The Soviet Union specifically and to a less conspicuous amount China as it tries to dislodge and discredit the Dalai Lama and uproot monasteries.”
nhcrawf on May 25, 2011 at 22:50:22
“Look at it holistically. What was happening in the Middle East during Europe's Dark Ages? The preservation of the Classics through the birth of Islam. That ancient wisdom that so many love to insult inspired some of the most important scientific discoveries to date.”