General Question

lefteh's avatar

How do you feel about using the President's likeness in a pro-life commercial?

Asked by lefteh (9429points) May 6th, 2009

See here.
The best way I can describe this is “tacky.”

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149 Answers

TaoSan's avatar

gawd this is so terribly tasteless…

Ivan's avatar


Substitute Barack Obama for “Adolf Hitler,” then see if the ad is effective.

SuperMouse's avatar

Yikes!! Tacky is a great word for it. I can’t help but wonder how our president feels about it.

Likeradar's avatar

UGH. Horribly, horribly tasteless.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t even know how that makes me feel.

Fyrius's avatar

“You never know” makes a terrible argument against abortion.
Thinking of a possible future person whose existence you cancel no more argues against abortion than it argues against condoms, against dating girl A instead of girl B, or for that matter against crossing the street. Everything affects the future, in chains of events too complicated to even think about. I might be cancelling someone’s existence right now by posting this. It’s not going to stop me.

I like the music though.

lefteh's avatar

@Fyrius: You raise a lot of good points. Ones that I was thinking but couldn’t articulate. Thanks.

ru2bz46's avatar

I don’t see the problem. I wasn’t moved one way or the other.

Ivan's avatar

I’ve always wanted to try this:

Pro-Life advocate, preferably of the opposite sex: “Would you terminate the pregnancy of a woman with no way of supporting the child, has a history of genetic illness, etc, etc.

Me: “Uh, I guess so.”

Them: “Well congratulations, you just killed (fill in the blank: great person)!”

Me: “Would you like to have sex with me right now?”

Them: “What? No!”

Me: “Oh no! Think of all the potential great people we just prevented from being born right now! If only you would have had sex with me, we could have been parents to a genius!”

Fyrius's avatar

@lefteh: Glad to be of help. :)

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Sounds like propaganda, to which my opinion is always “Hmm… meh.”

Jude's avatar

I’m totally disgusted. That’s awful!

Jayne's avatar

Damn you, Fyrius, you just killed my child!

Fyrius's avatar


I would like to add that the juxtaposed words “catholic vote” are quite questionable in themselves. Nobody should base political decisions on religion.

J0E's avatar

idk, I kinda liked that.

lukiarobecheck's avatar

I am not for it or against it. But I say who cares? Get over it.

bea2345's avatar

The pro-choice people are just as bad. When will people begin to realise that the problem is not getting rid of the baby – it’s about not becoming pregnant in the first place. That ad is in extremely poor taste: and anyway, if Mr. Obama had never been born, we could not have missed him. When I say pro-choice, I mean the choices should be mine: to have, or not to have, a child; to marry or not; to live as I wish – get the picture?

Ivan's avatar


But do you see why the argument is illogical?

reverie's avatar

The fact that it’s depicting Barack Obama instead of any other Tom, Dick or Harry in the advert is completely irrelevant, in my opinion, to the rather weak point they are trying to make (I agree with Ivan and Fyrius about that).

In fact, the implication that it’s somehow more shocking to abort a future president than anyone else is quite ridiculous. By using a recognisably successful figure such as Obama, the advert somewhat implies that his life is somehow more special or worth saving; to me, the subtext of the advert is essentially, “loads of pregnancies get aborted every day, but just imagine if one of them was a future President, wouldn’t that be awful?!”.

You would think that “pro-life” groups would attempt to promote the importance of all life, whether or not the future achievements of the child were positive. However, this is just one of the places in which their argument falls down; these groups wouldn’t wish to promote the non-abortion of a mass murderer, as Ivan said, and thus they either need to abandon this argument altogether or accept the rather unsavoury implication that they believe some children are more deserving of life than others.

jrpowell's avatar

OK.. That is the worst fucking thing I have ever seen.

Good job Republicans. Pander to the wackos and keep losing elections.

J0E's avatar

@Ivan; Just because Hitler ended up being one of the most evil people in the world doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have gotten a chance to live. There are some instances when abortion should be used, but looking back and saying he/she should have been aborted is stupid.

Jayne's avatar

@J0E; the point is not that we should have somehow predicted that Hitler would be evil and aborted him because of this. The point is that there is an equal chance of evil as of good, and thus the argument of the advertisement is invalid; saying that a person should be allowed to live because they might help the world is no more legitimate than saying we should kill them because they might do it harm. Whatever other valid arguments there might be against abortion, this is not one.

J0E's avatar

@Jayne; I can see what you mean.

Ivan's avatar


I completely agree with all of that. My point was that you can’t just pick one great person and say that abortion might have killed him before he got a chance to do great things, because the same argument applies in reverse.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think the sitting president’s likeness belongs in an ad other than one that he approves and endorses, which presumably would be his own reelection ad campaign, and, within reason, in that of his opposition.

This particular instance is in very poor taste, but even if it weren’t (say it were a nice ad for, oh, Father’s Day presents or travel to Hawaii), I would still consider it inappropriate to presume to borrow the president’s image and authority for commercial purposes.

Darwin's avatar

I would suspect that Mr. Obama would and should have something to say about his likeness being used in an advertisement of any sort.

I bet they didn’t ask him if they could use his image.

ubersiren's avatar

It seems to me that someone didn’t think about the ad very hard. Either that or they were hoping that people wouldn’t catch on to its stupidity.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

eye roll
how dumb

Knotmyday's avatar

“Pro-life” is kind of a creepy, inaccurate moniker as well for these people. How about “pro-tissue,” “pro-orphan,” or “pro-let-my-religion-dictate-your-future?”

Cue sad trombone. Mwah-Mwah-Mwah-Mwah-Mwaaaaaaaah.

dalepetrie's avatar

These are the people who take a photo of an embryo with a high powered microscope, then blow it up so it’s the size of a billboard, slap the image on the side of a truck with a caption about how many weeks along the embryo is, and then drive that truck through areas populated with small children so as to give tehm all the shock (my God, it looks like a baby) without the context. I kind of regard their tactics the way I regard the tobacco industry’s tactics, indoctrinate them young so they buy into your product before they know any better. Like someone else alluded to, why doesn’t the pro-choice movement just make a counter ad imagining what the world would be like IF Hitler’s mother HAD an abortion? Why? Oh yeah! Because it would be wrong and misleading. But Holy Wars are never waged fairly.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Knotmyday They are not pro-life the are anti-choice.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@dalepetrie and more than likely are the people that did NOT vote for Obama

augustlan's avatar

Well, it certainly got my attention. Like Jeruba, I think it’s wrong to use the president’s image in any commercial, whether it’s harmless or not. It’s especially disturbing to see it in this context.

jlm11f's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – That’s what amused me about this commercial. The organization sponsoring this commercial and the pro life/anti-choice followers are the ones who wouldn’t/didn’t vote for Obama. But now that he is president, they decide to exploit that situation? Say the words “the first African american president” so proudly like they wouldn’t have it any other way? Oh please. Now I know conservative != republican, but more often than not, they vote the same way.

Fyrius's avatar

As a side note on this topic, I propose we stop using the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” and turn it back to the less sensationalist “pro-abortion” and “anti-abortion.”
Who’s with me?

filmfann's avatar

Hmmm, I think I liked the Catholic Right better when they said Obama was a secret closet Muslim.

Darwin's avatar

@Fyrius – But it isn’t “pro-abortion” and “anti-abortion.” It is pro-choice and anti-abortion. Just because someone thinks a person should have a right to choose what to do with their own body doesn’t mean they support or advocate abortion.

Fyrius's avatar

Is that so?
I’ve never come across anyone else who used the term “pro-choice” to refer to a stance on any issue besides abortion. Are there many people who use it like that?

tinyfaery's avatar

Pro-choice is a term used to represent a stance on abortion rights, not abortion itself. Many of those who define themselves as pro-choice would never consider having an abortion, and they might think that the act of abortion is killing a person. But, they realize they have no right to tell others what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

Pro-choice=every woman has the right to choose what she can do with her body. That’s it.

Anti-choice =/= pro-life. Many “pro-lifers” believe in the death penalty. Some even kill those who help women through such difficult times.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – exactly! The hypocrisy of pointing out the merits of someone you don’t even like, who doesn’t even agree with your position to make a point counter to that person’s beliefs is stunning and appalling. Funny, they didn’t use GW Bush, a man for which I’m sure at least 98% of pro-lifers did vote at least once, because they know that about 72% of Americans would regard that what if as a good thing these days. It’s like saying, who is popular and considered important, especially by the people we’re trying to convince? Let’ use THAT person….it’s the by any means necessary mentality.

My question to pro-lifers is this…..isn’t everything God’s will? Isn’t it possible that God has a reason for allowing abortion? Aren’t you stepping on God’s toes by trying to prevent it? That’s what really bothers me about people who try to affect public policy with their religious views…what makes them think they are qualified to act on God’s behalf in the first place?

critter1982's avatar

@tiny faery: IMHO I don’t believe it’s an issue of what women do with their own bodies. Pro-life advocates believe that the child in the womans womb is a life separate from the woman. So the act of abortion is not only affecting the woman’s body but somebody else as well. The whole abortion issue comes down to whether or not the child inside a woman’s body should be considered a life, it’s not about what a woman can and cannot do with her own body. I still struggle with the hypocritical attitude of our government in that, if a child inside a womans body dies from the negligence of somebody else it is considered murder. If the child is ended by a doctor with a willing mother it is considered acceptable. This is a double standard and one that defines life by the mothers willingness to keep her child which IMO has no bearing on what should be considered a viable life.

I also like how you try to place a negative spin on the pro-life ideology by calling it anti-choice. You realize that people see that and think well if you call pro-life anti-choice shouldn’t we just call pro-choice, anti-life!

critter1982's avatar

@Dalepetrie: No I don’t believe everything is done in God’s will. I believe he has the capability to disallow certain things to happen but in general I think he allows us to live our lives as we see fit. It could certainly be a possibility that God has reasons unknown to us for allowing abortion, I have no way of arguing for or against that other than to say it’s a possibility.
Secondly, not all pro-lifers are religious. There are scientific facts that allow people to believe that a fetus is a viable life, and not simply a blob of tissue. This is and should not be a religious versus non-religious argument because I know of plenty non-religious pro-life advocates.

Fyrius's avatar

(By the way, if anyone could give me a name for the music used in this clip, I would be grateful.)

tinyfaery's avatar

@critter1982 It is anti-choice. There exists a way in which women can terminate a pregnancy. Women have been aborting fetuses forever. Like I said, pro-life isn’t about life, it is about denying the right for a woman to have a medical procedure that the woman considers in her best interest.

There is no scientific evidence proving when a human person becomes an individual and is no longer a parasite. Coversely, we all know that a woman is an individual person. If you believe (because you have no proof) that a human individual exists at conception then do not have an abortion. But it is inhumane to deny a woman the choice about what she can do with her body, and it is un-American.

Fyrius's avatar

@critter1982: “The whole abortion issue comes down to whether or not the child inside a woman’s body should be considered a life”
In my perception, the seeming complexity of that simple question betrays that we think about life in a completely wrong way. Essentially, life is not one static property of a person or a body. It’s a complicated chain reaction, that we keep going by inserting some food every now and then and by keeping all the systems that hold it up in a properly operative state.
I like to compare it to fire. Fire too needs to be fed, can reproduce itself given enough resources, and can be extinguished. And more importantly, two burning twigs in one fireplace are not “two fires”, they’re two twigs on fire. Fire is more like a substance than like a binary property.

I hope this clears up the issue of whether an embryo should be considered “life”. Is it alive? Yes, quite so. Is it an individual life form? That is not a well-formed question, by the definition I have given above. “Life form” is a simplification that is not applicable in this situation.

But in conclusion, as for whether abortion is wrong or not, I’m afraid the only sensible answer I could give you there would be “heck if I know”. The only thing we can do is probably to pick some arbitrary spot to draw the line.

@tinyfaery: “There is no scientific evidence proving when a human person becomes an individual and is no longer a parasite.”
Yeah, that’s because that’s not a scientific matter at all. It’s not the kind of question science could answer. It’s a matter of definitions.

critter1982's avatar

@tinyfaery: Agreed that it is antichoice if you consider the nature of the problem to be that a woman has to withstand the pregnancy. It is pro-life if you consider the nature of the problem to be at what point you consider the fetus to be a viable life.

To your argument that pro-life is about disallowing women to the right to have a medical procedure, IMO, and according to my belief is incorrect. I am pro-life because I believe the fetus inside a woman to be a viable life separate from that of the woman. A woman can do whatever she wants with her body as long as it does not effect that of another human being and if it does I think it would require her to have an agreement between all parties. Because that agreement in this scenario is not feasible I don’t believe she has the right to an abortion.

I think there is a large part of the population that agrees that late term abortions are murder, even many of those that are pro-choice. Why do they believe this? I don’t know, because like you said there is no scientific evidence that can “CLEARLY” define when a human person becomes an individual. Maybe because the child looks more like a baby, I’m not sure. But many would consider this late term abortion inhumane and unamerican. At some point the woman loses her right to do what she wants with her body because it negatively effects the rights of another human being. I just happen to believe that a life occurs at inception (not because God said so), but because I believe that life is viable from inception and again there is no scientific proof to argue for or against the idea that “life” simply occurs one miraculous day in the life of a fetus.

Fyrius's avatar

I repeat, all the scientific evidence in the world could never solve the problem of when an embryo becomes a person. It’s a matter of definitions.

As for when the life of an embryo begins, there is medical evidence to base this on, and the answer is: it doesn’t begin. The cells an embryo grows out of were already alive before they joined and grew into an embryo. Life is passed on from parent to child.

As an additional side note, it baffles me that people would talk about this in terms of how “American” it is, as if it makes any sense to accuse medical actions that are available around the world of being “unamerican”.

Heck, tofu is unamerican too. What does it have to do with anything?

augustlan's avatar

@critter1982 You said:

“I am pro-life because I believe the fetus inside a woman to be a viable life separate from that of the woman.” (emphasis mine)

See, this is where we disagree. It is not a viable life separate from that of the woman until it can survive outside of the woman. Then it is. Until that time, it is not viable without her at all. To me, that is the line at which abortion becomes murder. Thus, I am against late-term abortions unless the woman’s life is in danger. Even then, if an emergency cesarean would save her life and the child’s, that should be done instead.

Pro-choice people can be and often are against abortion for themselves, but don’t wish to make that decision for everyone else. I think practically all of us agree that abortion is not the desired outcome, thus we are not pro-abortion. In that regard, we are all pro-life, we just differ on the definition of ‘life’.

jlm11f's avatar

I am not so sure point of viability should be a valid argument from either side (pro-choice or pro-life). At least not for the morality of abortion. The problem with point of viability is that as medicine and science progress, that point of viability where the fetus can live outside the womb comes earlier and earlier in the pregnancy. Then, does it mean that in 10 years from now the phase that was considered moral to abort once is now immoral because the fetus can indeed survive outside the womb? Is morality subject to change with science?

I am pro-choice, I just don’t think that point of viability should be the measure for morality of abortion.

critter1982's avatar

@augustlan: By survival without the mother you mean what? Because it is not until several years after the child is born that it would actually be able to survive without somebody sustaining it’s life. A child does not know how to feed itself, clean itself, walk, crawl, talk, etc. Without care it will not survive outside of the womb for several years.

@fyrius: I chose the words unamerican only because it was used as an argument for abortion.

critter1982's avatar

@PnL: Yes I think morality can change with science. Morality’s basis is in right and wrong, and if science can educate people to better decipher what is right and what is wrong, then morality will change as science better describes the world around us.

Secondly, I don’t think pro-choice or pro-life should be argued with respect to morality because we all know your morality is very much so different than mine and everyone elses.

tinyfaery's avatar

God and belief have no say in the government and the laws of this country.

jlm11f's avatar

@critter1982“Morality’s basis is in right and wrong..” This is true. Except there are many types of right and wrong. There is aesthetic right and wrong, legal right and wrong, professional right and wrong, scientific right and wrong, cultural right and wrong, religious right and wrong etc. Morality deals with ethical right and wrong.

augustlan's avatar

@PnL Actually, I have no problem with that idea. If, in the future, the fetus can survive outside the womb earlier, I feel it should be delivered and adopted rather than aborted. Of course, this brings up issues of quality of life and cost to maintain such a premature infant, but that’s another discussion altogether.

@critter1982 It can survive with anyone’s help at that point, it need not be the mother.

Darwin's avatar

@Fyrius – Just so you know, I am one of those people who uses the term pro-choice like that. I prefer that every child be carried to term and raised by loving people, whether birth parents or adoptive parents.

However, I don’t have the right to tell a woman that she must carry to term a pregnancy that would destroy her life or harm her health or simply change her future. I don’t even have the right to tell a woman that she can’t use abortion as a form of birth control, although I might strive mightily to teach her about other less expensive and less difficult methods that would prevent pregnancy altogether.

And as others have noted, I feel very strongly that if you believe abortion is not to be allowed you should have adopted at least one child. Too many of the sign wavers have never even considered being part of the solution in that manner.

Fyrius's avatar

@augustlan: “I think practically all of us agree that abortion is not the desired outcome, thus we are not pro-abortion.”
Fair enough. I withdraw my proposal that “pro-choice” be renamed “pro-abortion”.
It would still be nice to have more neutral terms for the opposing views though. This kind of naming encourages bigotry.

@critter1982: “I chose the words unamerican only because it was used as an argument for abortion.”
Then I direct my surprise to @tinyfaery.

BookReader's avatar

…i’m for individual expression- it would be the President’s choice…

Fyrius's avatar

Don’t belittle semantics, it’s a serious field of linguistic study. ]:(
By the way, for that matter, semantics is the study of the meaning of expressions. If you want to make the point that some distinction is meaningless, semantics is the most ill-suited of all fields of study you could accuse an opponent of practising.

As a final note before I’m going to shut up, I notice the sort of thing people usually brush away with a disdainful “semantics” often involves definitions that are actually rather decisive to the discussion. Which brings me back to my first point: semantics = serious business.

Jayne's avatar

No one here can define life. No one can define what is human. Not in any rigorous sense; not in any way that does not ultimately depend on their rough, subjective instincts. This is because these constructs are entirely arbitrary. They are useful, and they serve perfectly well under normal circumstances, but when they are taken to the extremes they cease to function; their arbitrary nature comes to the fore. Not one of the proposed time frames for the beginning of life has anything substantial to recommend it. Take the idea of “viability”, which is at least more meaningful than the solar cycles that define a trimester. What does viability even mean? We all require a certain environment to survive- we need air, for a start, with water a close second, and the absence of crushing atmospheric pressure is always a bonus- and yet we are assumed to be alive. Often our requirements involve other people- the elderly in a nursing home, for instance. Why is the fact that a fetus requires a womb as part of its environment justification for saying that it is not alive? I could just as easily say that something is only alive if it can survive for ten days without water, and then kill you all because you can’t. This is just a thought experiment, of course, but it helps demonstrate that there really is no truly justifiable place to draw the line between living and inanimate.

But clearly this line must be drawn somewhere, as a matter of practicality; my parents can’t choose to abort me now just because my college tuition is so expensive. But in recognizing that it is a matter of practicality, we should stop clinging to arbitrary timelines for life, starting at conception or at viability or at birth, and instead select milestones that work best with that practical measure. I think the best way to consider this issue is to consider the alternative to abortion, the extraction of the baby by birth, C-section, or some other means. Requiring a woman to carry a baby to term, or face a painful surgical extraction, is cruel and impractical. At the same time, an upper limit must be placed on the ability to terminate a “life”. The problem with forcing a woman to carry a baby, even if that baby were to be given up for adoption, is the pain, danger, and inconvenience it causes her. Thus, if a baby could be extracted painlessly and safely at any point, then there would be no reason not to require that she allow this procedure to be performed in lieu of abortion. That is, she could only abort the baby before such a procedure is possible. As medicine progresses from its current state, then, the limit on abortion should accordingly move back towards conception. As it nears that point, however, it comes into conflict with the fact that there is very little invested in that fetus, so little that it could be created in a lab; and there are also proportionately more resources required to keep the fetus alive. Thus, the ideal limit on abortion is that point at which the factors of energy investment and difficulty of maintaining life after the procedure come into equilibrium with the ease with which the operation can be performed. Determining this point is impossible, of course, but it is at least an objective, while aimlessly pushing some arbitrary definition of life and morality gets us nowhere.

Crusader's avatar

Life begins at conception!

Likeradar's avatar

@Crusader If that’s your belief, you probably shouldn’t have an abortion.

Crusader's avatar

Whether it is a male or female embryo/fetus, it is a life inside a woman. Adotption is always an option, too. The greatest gift a woman can bring to Earth is Life. Deny this, and she is denyed the greatest of gifts, regardless of whether she retains possession of the child or not. Incalculable blessings given to her that raises a child with love, and even more so with a Christian belief.

Though, free will is first, and if the child is a product of violence and/or incest and she does not take the child to term, she will not face judgment by God.

Ivan's avatar

embryos don’t have gender

filmfann's avatar

I am pro-choice and Baptist, but I think I might go with the Catholic teaching on the quickening. Souls are placed in embryos at 40 days.
But I don’t know for sure. If I knew everything, I would have sold my house 4 years ago.

critter1982's avatar

@Fyrius: I’m not downplaying semantics, but sometimes we argue semantics for the sake of arguing semantics, when in reality it has no bearing on the argument itself. IMO, whether we call it anti-abortion, pro-life, or anti-choice it has no bearing on the argument itself and is therefore irrelevant to the situation. I apologize if I offended you by downplaying the semantics of the argument.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Oh… my… god. Ugh! I love Ivan’s response. So true.

essieness's avatar

First response… without having read anyone else’s responses… ICK. Tasteless. Tactless. Overly presumptuous.

Fyrius's avatar

@Crusader: Life doesn’t begin, it splits off from other life. And it does so before conception, when the sperm and ovum are formed.
Yes, sperms and ova are human life too, technically.

“The greatest gift a woman can bring to Earth is Life.”
This view pisses me off. It’s sexist and patently false.
A woman can’t bring life to earth on her own, she’ll need a guy to inseminate her. The man and the woman each contribute a cell with half of the child’s genome, and when these two cells merge it becomes a child. Which just happens to live the first months of its life inside the woman’s womb.
That doesn’t make it a product of the woman. A man and a woman make a child together.

@critter1982: Lol, that’s okay. People belittle semantics all the time, you get used to it.

It’s just that people are always so spiteful about it, as if someone has been malevolently trying to trick them into a dumb word game. I wish they could just say “fair enough, I admit my definition was wrong, buuut that doesn’t affect my point.”

By the way, I still have an item on my “stuff I want to do” list saying nag professional semanticists with irrelevant definitions until you get one to brush it away saying “semantics”.

critter1982's avatar

@Ivan: Actually all embryo’s follow a female roadmap until about 6 weeks, hence the reason I still have nipples.

Fyrius's avatar

Genetically speaking an embryo has a gender from the moment of conception. If the sperm cell contains a Y chromosome it’s a boy, if it contains an X chromosome it’s a girl.

Crusader's avatar


Diminish the role of life-bringing mothers all you like,
I will never agree with you. Be thankful your mother did not consider you simply as tissue, and instead as a viable life at conception and thereafter. Sorry if you did not have the perfect childhood.

“The greatest gift a woman can brign to Earth Is Life”

I have, and continue to stand by this. I will also say, responsible life, naturally produced, not simply inseminated with multiple embryos, this is not God’s plan, one, or rarely, two children at once, the family can then provide for itself, elders to the youth.

@JOE, @critter1982,

Patriarchical blessings given from the Lord to worthy males who honor life and their wife, Jesus as the arbitor, Honoring Life, honoring Mother, honoring Father, honoring God and His Son and the Spirit=Perfection. Know this and be saved.

Fyrius's avatar

@Crusader: Ah, there it is. My favourite pro-life fallacy. The appeal to personal guilt. Combined with a straw man argument against abortion, assuming I even support it, just because I’ve said one thing you don’t like. Oh, and wait, there’s an assumption of bad childhood reasons for my beliefs too. Marvellous.
A delicious blend of exquisite bigotry. Well stewed for a long time in a closed brain-pan, from the looks of it. Strong aftertaste of despair for the species that can produce that sort of mind-set. And that “I will never agree with you” adds just a subtle hint of realism. Delightful.

Needs more salt.

Open your mind, son. There aren’t one good and one evil side that all people in the world are on. There’s a whole world out there. You can’t use the same rants on everyone. You need to distinguish between individual people and individual ideas.

I for one will stand by this obvious and indisputable medical fact: Women do not bring life. Women bear life. Parents bring life. Together.

And give me one reason to believe you have even the slightest idea what god’s plan could possibly be. I bet you’re also the kind of guy who suddenly remembers that “god works in mysterious ways” whenever something bad happens.

Yes, I am in a bad mood.

You didn’t even spell “arbiter” right.

Crusader's avatar

@Fyrius, You self-described ‘fallacy’ is my expressed core value, my personal ‘fact.’ Values lead to belief, belief leads to behavior/attitude. Well established and accepted psycological truths, objective truths. Thus my values represent my reality as your values represent yours-at least in terms of how we choose to interact with others and the world at large.

Personal guilt is necessary, to a degree, we can both have a sense of guilt, (all serial killers and megalomaniac have ‘flat-effect’All Id, not guilty feelings, towards destructive measures, and the average person can be ‘conditioned’ to embrace certain values that most of the West would find abhorrant especially through privations, deprivations, and peer pressure.) And a love of self. “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul and thy neighbor as thyself,”

My ‘straw man’ is based upon my values, again, it is viable in accordance with your logical terms. Though, as a measure of faith in Life, it is a divine directive, yet free will is the imperative from my God, thus I write here, not simply supportive of an oppressive totalitarian regime that not only disallows choice but actively violently persecutes dissent.

Regarding your childhood, remember, I said “IF you had a bad childhood, I am sorry.” I expressed that not sarcastically, but with compassion. Know this. If you had a great childhood, wonderful! It has been my experience that the most vehement Christian conservative opposition originates from the offspring of Catholic and Christian parents who failed their children in some way…either by denying them their free will completely, (strong suggestions are Ok,) or by expressing the ‘do as I say, not as I do…’ example…Very contrary and confusing, but better than nothing…The worst form of hypocristy are the sexual abusive and violently abusive concealing their transgressions behind the cloak of piousness…John Paul the IInd was very guilty of turning a blind eye to the abuses of his clergy, terrible. The new pope is Much more authentic in his desire for a better world in substance, not just in theatrics. Acountability, Honesty and Love-then Faith and Hope are elevated and sustained.

Yes, I am what many would refer to as a fundementalist, yet, and yet, Free Will reigns. Unfortunately, the US is a government of political and economic expediency, neither party wants a true Christian nation, socially conservative and financially moderate-it does not lend itself to fractionalization of the population for profit and power, only peace and prosperity for the majority…

In terms of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ there are indeed shades of gray, ‘For some their is the glory as the Sun, the Celestial, for others, the glory of the Earth, the Terrestrial, for others, the glory as of the Moon, the telestial(sp?)’ Thus there is a distinguishing feature already expressed and waiting for us. Personally, I would like to encourage the Celestial reward for others, but it is their choice whether or not to accept.

And yes, women bear children, (life) I agree. Parents bring life-and the potential for life exists between them, but not the spark of the divine…That does not occur until the potential is manifest into the expressed life-the zygote. From Second One.

Again, my Free Will God makes allowances for the woman to choose her partner, if the choice is made For her as in rape or incest, she can terminate the pregnency without judgement.

God’s plan? To begin with, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ in addition to the reasons expressed in my previous post.

filmfann's avatar

@Crusader Is English your second language? There are times that your point is blurred by sentences that make no sense.
This is an honest question, not a slam.

lefteh's avatar

I’ve been wondering that as well.

dalepetrie's avatar

I’ve left this very much not sleeping dog lie for a while, but I gotta jump in again. First and foremost, I have to question whether @critter1982 is being wholly sincere in stating that his anti-abortion stance is not informed by religious doctrine but by scientific thought. Primarily, though I agree it is possible to be “pro-life” and not believe in God, I suspect you are a believer in a higher power, and that you believe that this higher power is not a fan of the practice. In other words, I will buy that religion may not be your sole reason for being against abortion, but I’m willing to bet that your religion does indeed play into your worldview as it relates to abortion rights. And secondly, I would like to know specifically what in science points you to the conclusion that life begins at conception? I do not share your same opinion about what science says, and though to a degree some things are open to individual interpretation, I have yet to hear the scientific community state that life begins at conception, or anything anywhere near this. My understanding of what science DOES say is that gestation is a process wherein an egg (which is technically “living”) is fertilized by a sperm (also technically “living”), which over the next 9 months incubates in the mother’s womb, metamorphosing into a human. Now science has determined that the first 1/2 of the gestational period is when every human characteristic forms, leaving something that resembles a human in every way except for its minuscule size at 20 weeks. The next 20 weeks is all about growth and development.

To me, this seems like, well…cooking. If I wanted to make cookies, I’d grab some flour, brown and white sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, salt, maybe some oats, chocolate chips and nuts, mix them together in the proper order and proper quantities to make a dough, then I would cook that dough until it became a cookie. To me, cookie dough is just raw or unfinished cookies…but the INGREDIENTS to make the cookies, even if you just throw them all into a bowl together, are NOT cookies…they are potential cookies. The dough hasn’t been formed yet, just like the human hasn’t been formed yet, until the ingredients are formed into the essentially complete, but undeveloped finished product. I see human development in this same way…before 20 months, the ingredients are all there, they’re starting to take shape, but until each ingredient has been added and stirred in, you can’t really call it a human…it’s a potential human, but I don’t see that you have to finish the job at that point. I understand that may sound crass to compare an embryo to unmixed cookie dough ingredients, but that’s really what it’s like in my mind. Because for all the features inside and out that the embryo develops between zygote and 20 weeks, it’s still not ready to grow into a full fledged human being…you couldn’t take it out and incubate it until it became human…it is not yet a viable human, ergo it is not a human. This is why it’s the same as cookie dough…I couldn’t just take the unfinished dough out of the bowl before say the flour was mixed in and bake it and expect to get cookies. This is why the issue of viability outside the womb is considered the key element when it comes to scientific thought as to where life begins.

I guess unless that life is independent, I would not consider it a life…it can not survive, much less grow and thrive on its own before 20 weeks…theoretically, after that, life could flourish without needing any additional pieces thrown into the mix, but up to that point, the embryo is getting things from the mother that help it form into life…if it hasn’t gotten those things, it does not yet have a chance. And it seems to me to be slavery to insist that someone be forced to be an incubator to turn a potential life into an actual one. So I for one am not a fan of so called “partial-birth” abortion…I think if you have to take additional steps to end the being’s life once it is outside the mother’s womb…even if theoretically you might have to do so and by chance you don’t actually have to do so, well then yes…I consider that the ending of a life, not the removing of the environmental factors essential to turning potential life into actual life. In short, there is a reason there are two names for a fertilized egg before it becomes a “baby”...embryo means it’s not yet independent life…up to 20 weeks of gestation, fetus means it IS independent life which has not yet fully finished growing….from 20 weeks to birth.

Now, I accept and understand that not everyone interprets things this way, and I understand if some would rather see all fertilized eggs become humans…I imagine if you believe that there is something called a soul which inhabits an entity at zygote, that would necessarily mean that the moment of conception is the moment of the creation of life. But the soul is a concept, unproven and unprovable, it is a concept of religious and theological thought, not one of scientific discovery. Perhaps someday science will discover the soul, or what we think of as the soul, but for now, the soul remains a concept steeped in religious thought, not scientific thought. And I believe that in a society of humans (as opposed to a society of Gods or representatives thereof), our laws should be standards based on what is KNOWN always, on what is BELIEVED never. Because belief is not a concrete thing…everyone has his or her own set of beliefs, but there is only one set of known facts. That does not mean that there are not UNKNOWN facts which might change the very fabric of our understanding of the world, but until those facts become KNOWN, our governments can not and should not in my opinion base laws around them.

Long and short is this….if abortion is “wrong”, or better yet, if abortion is “murder”, even in the first 20 weeks, then no, man should not be performing them. But science has yet to prove this is the case. Religion believes it to be the case, the preponderance of scientific evidence does not…but even if one can make an argument that science has not answered this question in and of itself, and that what science does know in terms of factual data does not conclusively prove this theory one way or another, even if one were to make the case (which I feel would be very difficult to do) that the preponderance of scientific evidence DID point to all abortion being murder, without proof, man should not base laws on any assumptions.

My assertion is this…if there IS a God, and one of God’s laws IS “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, and God DOES regard ALL abortions as murder, then God is the one who must pass judgment on the sinners and determine their punishments. I can see no argument which can convince me that deciding this is right or wrong for the purpose of banning the practice could POSSIBLY be the domain of God’s followers and not God HIMSELF. To me, it takes incredible hubris to decide that you are one of God’s foot soldiers, who can speak for God in his absence. How do you KNOW that you are doing what God wants you to do? Perhaps God gave us abortion as a means of removing evil souls from the human population before they are born…how do you know this isn’t so? Or maybe those souls aren’t evil, they just aren’t ready to come to Earth yet…perhaps God’s plan includes them , just not yet and therefore he needs to take them out so they can be available when he DOES need them? Or maybe God’s greater purpose has NOTHING to do with ensuring that everyone who potentially might be born actually is…if he has such a need to keep innocent humanity alive, then why does he allow genocide to occur with such regularity? Maybe there are a few important souls and he will do whatever it takes to protect those souls, but everyone else is just a byproduct? Again, I don’t believe in God, but if I did believe that God is real and HE has a plan, and HE works in mysterious ways, I would not deem myself worthy to start making decisions on his behalf about what HE thinks is wrong and what I should do about it. And I see this as the failing in @Crusader‘s argument…it lacks any substance or authority…..Crusader sees the glory of the heavenly God and beleives he knows what God’s plan and rules are. And though he makes the distinction between Earth and the Heavens, he deigns himself worthy and/or knowledgeable enough to feel that he can state how the rules of Heaven should apply to those of us on Earth.

Bottom line is, each of us need to act based on his own morals, ideals, and will, as well as their understanding of right vs. wrong and the consequences (and probability) of being wrong. And in the absence of clear, unquestionable answers in regards to abortion or any topic, each person must do what feels most right to him or her. Therefore, it is a mistake to force everyone into a way of doing things in the absence of proven absolutes. Because though it may be an absolute in YOUR mind, it is not an OBJECTIVE absolute which can be proven, and the factors which make it an absolute in your mind (often little more than blind faith in the religion into which the person has been indoctrinated by his/her parents since birth), in the absence of proof, it becomes a matter of personal choice. And to restrict personal choice is to deny free will, something which is the realm of the authoritarian dictatorial mindset that says I know what is best for YOU. Until you can prove that you are right in what you believe, I will stand by a woman’s right to make her own choice, even if that choice is ultimately wrong, as it is her mistake to make, and if there were a God and He did not want her to make that mistake, He would not let her make that mistake.

Long and short…you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say on one hand that God works in mysterious ways and we should not question his judgment, but on the other say that God wouldn’t want this to happen, so man must step in to stop it. It’s horribly hypocritical and judgmental against people who really need time and space to come to their own conclusions about some very difficult decisions. Don’t believe in abortion, GOOD FOR YOU, don’t HAVE one, but don’t try to make other people’s decisions for them…if God wanted everyone to make all the right decisions all the time, he wouldn’t have created free will.

Crusader's avatar


Political expediency couched in existentialism, objectivism, and consequentialism. All man-made constructs. Currrently, and for the greater part of the 20th century their have been overt, (war,)subtle,(encouraging specific demographics of women to be ‘producers’ and others to be re-producers,) yet concentrated efforts to readjust the demographics for poitical expediency. This is not Gods plan. It is a socially engineered construct. One that you are a champion of. I am a bond-servant of Christ, the Son. As such, I have the authority to proclaim my beliefs, as an evangelizer, ‘many gifts are given, the gifts, of apostille, the evangelizer, the teacher, the gift of tongues…’ I am employing my gifts as given by God. You are extrapolating your beliefs according to your values, as am I. Though from whom you believe your authority is derived from I can only speculate, perhaps the Brookings Institute, you can thank the social conservative middle class Christians for the bulk of the tax payer paid position.

Fyrius's avatar

What I was saying is that “you should feel thankful you weren’t aborted” is not an argument against abortion. It’s an appeal to emotions rather than an argument from reason. This is a fallacy.
Your straw man argument is based on your values plus an assumption about my beliefs that just happens to be dead wrong. That’s what “straw man argument” means – an argument against a position that your opponent doesn’t actually occupy.

As for my childhood, for the record, I had a splendid one. My parents have done everything for me any child could wish for. And while I did get dragged to church as a child and was usually bored to tears there, that’s not the reason why I ended up believing what I believe. Just so you know.

It’s actually very comforting to non-Christians such as myself that America still succeeds at not being a Christian nation. Theocracy to me is actually a very frightening prospect, especially if the theocrats in question have the world’s largest supply of nuclear weapons in their possession. The kind of mind-set that ascribes to god all sorts of intentions for them to carry out that is one of the most dangerous of all delusions. It’s what brought down the World Trade Centre, for example, and indeed what started the Crusades. (Let me know if you don’t think the Crusades were a bad idea. Your name implies as much.)

As for being fruitful and multiplying, I think we took care of that “to do” item long ago. The human population on this planet has grown exponentially to numbers the Bronze Age tribesmen who wrote the bible couldn’t even fathom, numbers so vast that overpopulation has become a serious problem.

And by the way, if you believe abortion is justified in case of rape or incest (I do suppose you mean involuntary incest, which is actually just another form of rape), you actually seem to agree completely with the pro-choice crowd. I figured I should let you know.

With all of that said, sorry for lashing out like that, you only partially deserved it and I could have handled it much more considerately. Like I said, bad mood. Thanks for not flaming back.

Crusader's avatar


What is Christianity is not an appeal to emotions, (And reason)are we merely machines to be programmed, heartless, souless chunks of slowly putrefying meat? I do not believe this and have had personal confirmation to the contrary…

Glad to know you had a nice childhood, hopefully is was not so placid and comfortable as to insulate you from the Truth. God scurges those he loves most, strange as is may seem, Christ was scurged and then some…

A true American (fundementalist)Christian Theocracy would not be entirely Biblical in any case. ‘be next to the unbeliever as their example will strengthen you faith…’ this has always been the case, and this is why Christianity has been more tolerant of other faiths/belief historically than any other. Apostasies have occured and there have certainly been exceptions, the Church is perfect, but man is fallible…

And as far as accountability, God gave the generally Christian nation the Bomb first, His plan, not yours or mine, coincidence? Would you rather Japan, or Nazi Germany had acquired it first? You are currently in a position of incredible freedom and opportunity, and a ready made labor force of honorable conservatives to exploit, but that can only continue for so long…God is slow to anger, but His wrath is legendary…What brought down the trade Center is beyond your comprehension, or if not, beyond your willingness to be honest completely. Geopolitics is far more than the oversimplification of religious belief, it is world domination of economic markets, it is the new world order, either way, we lose-(unless you are part of the problem…)Christians fight for autonomy, the opposition fights to relinquish this autonomy especially if they can profit personally. All are potentially hypocrites, true Christians less often, and have the gift of the Truth discerner, the Holy Spirit, acquired from faith in the Son of God, as well as good works-done without compensation or mans glory but for the sake of another and grace-this, and Only this is the reason for Americas continued pre-eminence.

And, yes, if you would prefer to have had you and your anscestors over-run by an Islamic army and live as a second-class citizen or slave to them in Europe, perhaps you could find an alternate universe and position yourself there and assist with the destruction of the Crusader efforts, (remember Israel and Spain were over-run First, long before the first Crusades..And pilgrams to Jeruselem were regularly murdered on pilgramiges-by rogues and such,Not protected and often exploited by the Islamic occupyers, Until the Crusades..) such a passive capitualtion sealing the fate of the world. Why don’t you go live in an Islamic country if you feel it is so superior to a Christian one? Just a suggestion.

Fyrius's avatar

@Crusader: You can stop throwing bible verses and Christian beliefs at me now. They don’t work for me. Anything fundamentally based on your world view is wasted on anyone who doesn’t share it.
I’m just going to ignore all the “god this” and “god that”. I can’t do much else.

“this is why Christianity has been more tolerant of other faiths/belief historically than any other.”
You’re joking, right?
The polytheistic religions of yore were so much more tolerant than any monotheistic religion could ever hope to be, including very much Christianity. After all, with a pantheon of a handful of main gods and a few dozen lesser gods, who is to say the gods the people overthere believe in is not just another one? But if your belief is there is only ONE GOD, then every other god anyone else believes in is necessarily FALSE and BLASPHEMOUS and HEATHEN and all that. This is what led to the Crusades and to religious persecution everywhere.
And the church, being made up of men, is just as fallible as you and me, if not much more corrupt. For that matter, did god ever ask for a pope, for cardinals, for an intricate hierarchy of people who are increasingly holier than thou?

God didn’t give anyone “the bomb”, mankind figured it out by themselves, through their own intellect. The only way god could have influenced who got it first would be through violating free will. What kind of loving god would give his children a weapon of mass destruction anyway? It’s like settling family disputes by handing the son who’s right a gun.
On top of that, America is not the most Christian nation in the world, or even a fundamentally Christian nation at all. The Founding Fathers intended it to be a secular nation in the first place, where every religion is equal. They would turn over in their graves if they could hear phrases like “one nation under god” or ‘for god and country.”

The Crusades were an attack on the Muslim world, not a defence against it. Crusaders would actually take the trouble of travelling hundreds of miles just to go slaughter some Saracens. Because god willed it.
I’m quite convinced the Islamic world has had its glory and is now one of the less enlightened and more religiously bigoted places to live. But this is beside my point.

Crusader's avatar


AS far as ‘throwing’ verses at you, I am not interested in putting pearls before you, I am interested in the positions adopted by others who may recognize them for what they are, Pearls of Great Price.

In terms of tolerance, polytheistic religions were tolerant of Everything pedaphilia, human sacrifice, incest, etc…But these allowances-an exercize in controlled anarchy-were effective insofar as a unified adversary was not in opposition to them such as the Persian empire, Rome, Carthage, Huns, etc…As well as the Khans for China…Blood letting was the rule not the exception, individually and collectively. Not to say there were not good intentions, but it was incomplete…

In terms of monotheism, it is important to acknowledge that all is manifestations of God, but not distinct from Him, a tree does not require a sacrifice, nor does a bull, or shark, because the Son has done so for us. All other faiths were an attempt to appease, the appeasement is done. Blasphemer and heathen are arbitrary terms for individuals actively seeking to undermine Christian values, not simply living their lives, that is the modern definition. Historically, until quite recently, the Christian church was a church of Man, not God, thus the confusion. Man has done some good, and some bad, much in between. Islam was allowed by God to Conquer all of the middle east and northern Africa, Spain, and much of southern asia and indonesia because of the iniquities of historic Christianity.

If you beleive God did not intervene in WWII look up Edgar Cayce, he worked directly with Rossevelt during WWII providing information and consultation derived from ‘other’ sources, he was, also, first and foremost a Christian. (Though he did not approve of Americas government at the time, he believed in the Future of America as a loving, tolerant, God-fearing, Christian nation.

Crusader effort, unlike your propagando driven version, was an effort to Recover lands Lost to Conquest by Islam, not an attack, a recovery.

Fyrius's avatar

Christianity too was tolerant of human sacrifice (I recall one poor guy got nailed to a wooden cross for other people’s sins), and of slavery and physical slave abuse, and of misogyny, and of genocide, and of the death penalty for people who have the nerve to work on the sabbath or to call their parents names. And the priests of this time don’t seem in a very strong position to preach against paedophilia either. There’s little justification for considering your faith more moral than the polytheistic ones of yore.

All faiths besides Christianity were not born from appeasement, but from the same desire to explain the world and the same incompetence to do it properly.

You cannot say that god allows one thing and not the other and still uphold the belief that he leaves room for free will. If he’s in charge, we’re not. Logical incompatibility.

dalepetrie's avatar

@crusader – where I draw my “authority” from…that statement proves my point. I HAVE no authority…and as I see it, neither do you…you simply think you do, and maybe you’re right, but maybe you’re wrong. My stances have to do certainly with my values, and you can attack them as manmade constructs, but that is how I think it should be. The laws by which man should live should logically be made by man himself, based on logic, reason and facts, not superstition, belief and a (perhaps) misguided sense of authority to act on behalf of one’s assumed creator.

Crusader's avatar


Say, if you want to debate the thread, Ok, otherwise you can write me a personal messege, but to characterize Christians as ‘too tolerant’ of human sacrifice and use Jesus as the example, is ludicris-He was the Last sacrifice, and he was betrayed by his Own people, loyalty and honor is a point here, and the Ressurection. Again, all you mention is the work of Man, if you want to simply reverse what I say and put another name on it, sure, go ahead, but that does not make it true or accurate for the true faithful. Again, you are refering to the Old Testement. And, as a side note, the counterpoint to not having any consequences for parental disrespect is Murdering them for their Money, this was Frequent among the saxon tribes, as it is increasingly so in the USA.

And, yes, appeasement was the reason, because the wealthy and powerful needed to entrench themselves and their legacy with ‘divine’ authority, and the tribals needed to worship the elements and the ‘created’ to justify their existance and hope for a better tomorrow. Also, Halloween masks were designed to protect against the demon Samhain, and candy was left at the door to ‘appease’ the demon and his followers, we are Still appeasing to this Day.

God is in charge of All, if the flock deviates too much there Will be correction, this is for the increasingly few faithful sake, not for the wanton sinner/murderer/rapist, etc…Until the point of ‘correction’ we have a large degree of free will-yet we are All answerable to God eventually-some sooner than others.

Authority is born of righteousness, righteousness is born of faith, faith is born of belief, belief is born of example. Christ was/is the ultimate example, even the empirically-driven Greeks adopted the faith.

Fyrius's avatar

You suddenly want the thread to remain on-topic now? You didn’t express that sentiment in your previous posts, long after we started digressing.

As for Jesus and human sacrifice: I’m talking not about the details of the anecdote, but about the idea that underlies it. One guy dying so that other people may be cleansed. De-sinning by proxy. This bizarre scapegoat philosophy is exactly what all human sacrifice is all about.

I mention the work of Christian man because we were talking about the work of Christian man.

I have my doubts about your appeasement-based account of the source of non-Christian religion, and would like to know where you got that idea.

So god is in charge of all.
You weren’t talking about correction earlier, but about intervention. You said god allowed Islam take over the middle east and nothern Africa and whatnot. And he did intervene, in your words, in World War 2.

Even god generally allowing people to do as they do without intervening, but stopping them when they do something he doesn’t like, means free will does not exist. We’re under his control at all times.

That means that all evil and immorality is god’s responsibility. Or even his deliberate will.

Crusader's avatar

I am busy now, but I will pray you accept Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit. This is the best way to arrive at the Truth.

Fyrius's avatar

Isn’t that convenient.

In the meantime, I will hope that one good day you will stop being so self-destructively dense. And maybe even open your mind, and realise that your arbitrary, unsupported religious dogmas are not the final answer to everything.

filmfann's avatar

I am pretty Sure Jesus didn’t Randomly capitalize words in the Middle of sentences.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Crusader – I agree with you in its entirety about what is born of what, my problem is, righteousness being born of faith…I don’t believe that it SHOULD be. Having faith in something as an absolute disallows the possibility of being incorrect. Essentially it’s egotistical to think that you have all the answers in my opinion, even if your faith is resolute. Because you know what? Billions of people all have faith in this world….and only about 1/3 of the faithful have faith in the same general things you do, far far fewer have faith in the specific things you do. Therefore, you are essentially saying “I know I’m right and most of the rest of the world is wrong about these things.” You can say that because you have blind faith, which allows you to be righteous and believe you have authority. But because it is faith and not fact driving your authority, you only THINK you have authority, and you may believe that resolutely, but the problem comes in that the majority of people in the world DO NOT AGREE with you. But yet, you remain as faithful that you are right as do billions who believe they are right about things that let’s face it, if they’re right, you’re WRONG.

Now go on to justify faith as being born of belief and belief being born of example, OK, I’m there with you, but how is your “example” persuasive? First of all, there may or may not have been a Jesus Christ, but let’s say there was…I’m willing to say that there is enough evidence to suggest that there probably was a man named Jesus Christ about 2000 years ago. But to say that he was the son of God….I see no reason for THAT belief, other than the bible says so. First off, we’re talking 2000 years ago here, I guarantee you that if I could invent a time machine and travel back 2000+ years, I could with the aid of a few simple parlor tricks, cause the world to come to worship me to this day. People at that time knew little of the laws of science and nature, and as such, superstition reigned….anything that could not be explained was the work of God.

Essentially, there were true believers, and they passed the legend of Jesus down over generations…..ever play “telephone”? You know…you whisper something in a friend’s ear, they whisper it in someone else’s ear, and so on, until it’s gone through 20 people, it gets back to you, and it’s completely different than it started. Imagine the story of Jesus, a man who perhaps had some spectacular qualities by the standards of the time…his stories would be passed around, and would probably be highly embellished in his own lifetime. But then, these stories were passed down orally from generation to generation for hundreds of years. All of the bible was first written down by Monks…the story was written down from recollections of oral histories between the 4th and 8th centuries….recollections of the devoutly faithful (no bias there).

My point isn’t to prove you wrong, on the contrary, you may well be right…your example may be dead on and the majority o the rest of the world may well be out to lunch, but I don’t see that I have the authority to say which of the many belief systems (if any) is accurate. The only thing that convinces you that you have the authority is that you believe you do.

It’s so, because you say it’s so. Still doesn’t give you the authority to speak for me or anyone but yourself, not matter how circular your logic.

Crusader's avatar

I respect Obama for his willingness to interject a pro life postion as a democrat, though, whether is is simply as M. X. would say for ‘political expediency’ time will tell. I do not like his radical BLT associations. (And not the tasty sandwich.)

Fyrius's avatar

The thing is, Obama probably doesn’t endorse this commercial at all. His political opponents are using his personal history to spread a pro-life logical fallacy.

Unless he did say “I’ve seen this ad and I’m cool with it” and I missed it. If that’s the case you may disregard this post.

filmfann's avatar

@dalepetrie I need to point out that many of the miracles of Christ were things that cannot be done today. Curing the lepers, making the blind see, raising the dead.
These are not just parlor tricks.

dalepetrie's avatar

@filmfann – I’m not saying that everything attributed to Christ is a parlor trick, I’m saying that some things of the “miracles” could have been slight of hand, or more likely, never actually happened…I mean, I’m sure that something or things happened that made him legendary in his own time so that people thought he had these “powers”...think of how easy it would have been 2000 years ago if someone actually came in contact with lepers or even dared live with them. We know today that 95% of people are immune to the disease, so it’s unlikely Jesus would have caught leprosy, and not only that, most leper colonies historically were inhabited mostly by persons with syphilis which is often mistaken for the disease. Think about how much your common person knows about leprosy today….most think it’s something that makes body parts fall off, a “legend” which has teeth even in the modern scientific world. It seems not just possible, but likely that a person who lived without fear (perhaps Jesus THOUGHT he was the son of God because he was a schizophrenic…just like all the people who claim the same thing today), but back then, he did a few sleight of hand tricks, got people who were very superstitious who had no way of knowing the natural, scientific explanations for what they were seeing, and as such, he convinced a number of people to follow him. Over the next 4 to 8 centuries, people passed these stories down, embellishing them more and more, and every little thing he did was blown into a miracle. I mean, 2000 years ago, someone could shake hands with someone thought to be a leper, and today, legend could have it that he lived among the lepers and cured them….all I’m saying is the historical counts are suspect. As for making the blind see, hell, that could have either never happened at all, or he could have faked that with someone else in collusion with him….all he would have needed was a gullible group of followers (which he had) and a cohort who claimed to be blind….and they would be convinced he could heal the blind, and after 4 to 8 centuries, this would be something he did on a regular basis. Raising the dead…well in those days they might not even know if someone was actually dead…even to this day a certain number of people are buried alive or almost buried alive, particularly in countries who don’t do embalming. Again, Jesus could have discovered that a particular herb or plant when ingested could bring on temporary paralysis, which wears off after a certain amount of time, and all he would need, again, is a group of gullible followers and a few centuries to turn it into Jesus “heals the dead”.

My point is not that what I’m suggesting is what happened, my point is that anything that Jesus is purported to do could be explained in a number of ways given the way people 20000 years ago saw the world AND the fact that there was no written record of any of this until 400–800 years after it happened. I’m saying if the bible were tried in a court of law in this country, it wouldn’t stand up to the standard of reasonable doubt…yet people take it to be the undisputed word of God. Fundamentalists (who are usually the ones who are most keen on applying God’s rules to man) would dispute the part about the time between the occurrences in the bible and when they were written down as irrelevant, because they believe that God himself wrote (or dictated) the bible. Again, why do they believe that the bible was written by God…well because the bible says so…very circular logic, the proof for what Evangelicals believe lies in the belief…“it’s true, because I believe it to be true.” Sorry, doesn’t work that way.

The biggest problem I have with God having written the bible, the bible has led the faithful to a variety of incorrect conclusions about the natural world over the years. It’s not just the fact that centuries ago, things people thought of the universe as terracentric, which Galileo disproved (and was forced by the powerful church to recant, an apology for which wasn’t issued until 1990), but any time something in the scientific world contradicts the bible, the fundamentalists spend decades resisting the proof, no matter how overwhelming, and even then many never accept it…they simply come up with a different explanation. Like the fact that if the universe is really 13 billion years old and not just 6,000 years old, it would completely undermine the idea that the bible was a literal interpretation handed down from God himself, so fundamentalists have all sorts of ways to explain why science is wrong….which boils down to God just wants us to THINK there’s something to this science stuff so he can test who are the true believers for the rapture. Things are kept so vague so that there is nothing that science could prove beyond any reasonable doubt after centuries of research, observation and testing….by some, science is simply regarded as a red herring, a tool of the Devil, or some other superstitious nonsense that it takes a leap of blind faith, with no evidence to support it. But you don’t need evidence when you have faith, because it’s informed by belief. Belief is informed by example, but when one must have a leap of faith to believe in the example, you end up with a never ending loop of circular logic, which boils down to the faithful saying, I believe, because I believe, and it’s not to be questioned, because I know I’m right.

Again, the big problem is that most people who disagree with your version of existentialism ALSO believe that THEY are right, facts be damned. The ONLY objective measure of existentialism comes in the form of scientific discovery, it is structured, it is measured, it is based on consistent observations, about things that are known. Religion is anecdotal…and yes, all science begins as anecdotal observations, but the difference is that scientific hypotheses are tested and proven or disproven…the same can not be said for religious thought. Not to say that your religion (or someone else’s) might not be right…we don’t know what we don’t know…but it’s extremely egotistical to have faith in the anecdotal to the point that it makes you feel you have authority over the free will of mankind. Again, you don’t want an abortion, don’t get one, but it’s not YOUR place to say that no one can do that. If it is a mistake, it’s an individual’s mistake to make, and no matter how convinced you are in your own righteousness, unless you can prove it in some objective manner, your authority is not recognized. Just as if I declared myself King of the World because I believed I should be King of the World, no one else would recognize my authority unless I could prove what I was saying. Bottom line, prove it and I’ll change my beliefs, until you can, you’re entitled to your opinion, but that’s all it is to the rest of us (even if you choose to live your life by it).

Knotmyday's avatar

Dale- to me, you are the king of the world. Hail, hail!

dalepetrie's avatar

@Knotmyday – which actually further proves my point. Anyone who has the ability to express himself well could get people to follow him…whether it’s people on Fluther who make comments like you just made, or the million plus people who follow Ashton Kutcher’s every bowel movement on Twitter, or the people who have followed the David Koresh’s and the Jim Jones’ of the world. For all we know, maybe there are a bunch of souls dressed in black robes and white tennis shoes riding around on the Hale Bop comet, but no one still alive really believes that. The common thread though is someone with charisma claimed some sort of divinity for himself, and managed to reach people who were desperate enough for answers to disregard the signs of a false prophet.

If someone were to, today, announce to the world that he were the son of God, even the most Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian would want proof, even if it DID end up being the second coming…we just have too many ways to trick people and too many easily tricked people to leave this thing to chance. Whatever it would take to convince us, it would take FAR more proof than what was required the “first” time Jesus came to earth.

Let me lighten the mood with a joke…..

God wants a vacation so he asks one of his angels where he should go….how about Pluto? God replies, “no, I went there 10,000 years ago, froze my ass off.” The angel then says, “how bout Mercury…much warmer says the angel. “Are you kidding?” God asks. “Went there 5,000 years ago, got burned to a crisp.” “Well then, what about Earth…nice and temperate, plenty of places to go if one place gets too hot or cold.” God screams, “That’s the worst of ALL. Went there 2000 years ago, they’re still accusing me of knocking up some Jewish chick.”

Fyrius's avatar

@dalepetrie: Though I generally agree with you, to the point of not having been able to say it any more clearly and well-informedly (*), I feel it must be said that your point about people requiring more proof to believe in divine powers is rather staggeringly proven wrong by how much admiration and stunned gasping a mediocre conjurer is able to procure these days when he claims to be paranormally gifted.

What’s even worse is that “paranormal” conjurers are watched with a lot less scrutiny than honest conjurers. The latter will show you they have nothing up their sleeve, will ask a member of the audience to check whether it’s a real saw or to sign their autograph to the piece of paper that will inexplicably end up in exactly the right sealed envelope, et cetera. This part of their craft is what makes them so amazing even to clever and educated people.

But when you pretend it’s not a trick but actually real magic, a statement of mind-blowing audacity that would overturn our entire world view and revolutionise the basic foundations of science if it could really be verified… then such precautions suddenly aren’t deemed necessary any more. Instead of becoming more critical when there are such grand things at stake, people actually become less so.

Most “paranormal” feats can be easily explained by cheap tricks or by freshman level statistic probability assessments. Yet still many people are baffled when in a population of sometimes millions of television show watchers, one or two people experience some mundane occurrence that the so-called paranormal magician pretends to cause.

Have people become less gullible? I wish I shared your optimism.

(* I just made up that adverb. Sue me.)

dalepetrie's avatar

@Fyrius – spoken like a Penn & Teller fan. You ever see them live, especially when they go off on a tangent about some of these BS artists (John Edwards, Cynthia Brown, et al)? Whenever we get a Miss Cleo, it always seems she’s the last one to know she’s about to get caught, doesn’t it?

I totally agree with you, I don’t think people have become less gullible at all, I just think the ability of the scientific community has advanced to the point that tricks can be debunked more readily, at least to those who will listen to the truth (and don’t automatically discount it because it challenges their worldview). So if Jesus actually came to Earth today, he would have to distinguish himself from the thousands of others who claim to have some magical or divine powers…society would force him to prove it….there would be just as many gullible people wiling to accept it at face value as there were 2000 years ago, we just have a lot more tools at our disposal to sort reality from illusion.

filmfann's avatar

@dalepetrie Your comment about the Bible misleading people about the Earth being the center of the universe and all isn’t true. Religious people misrepresented what the Bible says. There isn’t anything about the Earth being the center of it all. There is a nice Genisus story, though, about how the heavens and earth were created. There was nothing, then something. The stars were without form, then they were. Scientists studying the big bang now say that is a pretty good description of it all.
Many scientists begin as non-believers, then become believers as they study how their field and the Bible interlap.
I hope you can find your way.

dalepetrie's avatar

What is religion but an interpretation of God’s word? What are religious people other than those who follow religion? And what is the difference between the religious people who 400 years ago believed the sun revolved around the Earth and religious people today who think that the Earth is 6,000 years old?

And though there may be some scientist who become religious, I have yet to actually meet any, though I’ve met many who’ve gone the other direction.

ru2bz46's avatar

“The more I study science the more I believe in God.” (Einstein, as cited in Holt 1997)

Knotmyday's avatar

@dalepetrie – I sincerely hope that my light-hearted comment doesn’t spawn the “cult of Dale,” what a bummer that would be. “Oh, the logicity (*)!!!”

I appreciate your point of view; don’t harsh my mellow, man.

*@fyrius -et moi aussi.

dalepetrie's avatar

@ru2bz46 – Here are a few other Einstein quotes on the idea of God or religion:

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954, The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)

Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.
(Albert Einstein, 1936, The Human Side. Responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray.)

A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
(Albert Einstein, “Religion and Science”, New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930)

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. (Albert Einstein, The World as I See It)

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own—a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.
(Albert Einstein, Obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955)

I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.
(Albert Einstein, responding to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein who had sent Einstein a cablegram bluntly demanding “Do you believe in God?” Quoted from Victor J. Stenger, Has Science Found God? 2001, chapter 3.)

One strength of the Communist system… is that it has some of the characteristics of a religion and inspires the emotions of a religion.
(Albert Einstein, Out Of My Later Years, 1950)

I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance—but for us, not for God. (Albert Einstein,The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. (Albert Einstein)

The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously. (Albert Einstein, Letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946)

The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action. (Albert Einstein)

I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. (Albert Einstein, The Human Side)

I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. (Albert Einstein)

What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of “humility.” This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. (Albert Einstein)

The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning. (Albert Einstein)

I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know his thoughts. The rest are details. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p.202)

It is very difficult to elucidate this [cosmic religious] feeling to anyone who is entirely without it. . . The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man’s image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it… In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, p. 207)

I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one? (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p. 208)

We know nothing about [God, the world] at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. Possibly we shall know a little more than we do now. but the real nature of things, that we shall never know, never. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, Page 208)

Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source . . . They are creatures who can’t hear the music of the spheres. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000 p. 214)

In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support for such views. (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, p. 214)

What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos. (Albert Einstein to Joseph Lewis, Apr. 18, 1953)


What strikes me is that Einstein was very much of the same opinion that I am…he knew there was more to the universe than what we can see or what we know, but what that is seemed unlikely to be the Christians’ concept of God. But nice way to cherrypick and take out of context to make it seem like Einstein is an example of a very intelligent scientist who converted to theism.

filmfann's avatar

@dalepetrie You wrote:
What is religion but an interpretation of God’s word? What are religious people other than those who follow religion? And what is the difference between the religious people who 400 years ago believed the sun revolved around the Earth and religious people today who think that the Earth is 6,000 years old?

I am religious, but I try to follow God, not religion.
There are religious people who believe the Earth is riding on the back of a turtle, floating in an eternal sea. They are wrong, of course. So are those who think the earth is 6000 years old. God has no time restrictions. He is beyond imagining, so don’t try. Faith is accepting what you cannot prove, but there are many things in the world and beyond that must be seen as miracles of God. It’s amazing. You just have to open your eyes to them.
If you want proof of God, there is a mathematical formula for measuring gas on other planets. It also can be used to prove whether a number is prime or not. That is inconceivable, yet it’s true. It is the babel fish.

ru2bz46's avatar

@dalepetrie I’m sorry, I didn’t read your post to which I responded carefully enough. I didn’t notice that you used the term, “religion”. Einstein was spiritual, but not religious, as am I. I didn’t mean to imply that he was religious.

dalepetrie's avatar

@ru2bz46 – Yes, it is easy to confuse spirituality with religion, I was more talking about how the use of that one particular quote made it seem as though he was a believer in God in the traditional sense of the word, when that emphatically was not the case. When used to try to advance the idea that Einstein was an example of a person who started out as a scientist but moved towards a Deity based view of the world is simply inaccurate and that’s the perception that post left, which is all I was trying to clear up.

@filmfann – my biggest problem with your point of view is that it falls apart when you say that faith is beyond proof. Yes, I could view anything as a miracle…anything could be explained by a fantastical otherworldly higher being and it all would seem wonderful. But to me it seems to be a complete, unadulterated fairy tale. I’d love to believe in fairy stories, it would make life so much easier when you get right down to it, but your argument is basically the same as the argument for intelligent design….i.e., it’s so amazing (yes, it is) and science can’t explain it (yet) so it must be the work fo God. It’s that YET that gets me. I know I don’t have all the answers, and it’s because I don’t feel the need to have them that I don’t grasp at the mystical to explain those things I can’t intellectualize. I think nature is amazing and fascinating, I think the universe is full of wonders could never fully understand or appreciate. And I know there are pieces of the puzzle that we don’t have yet as to why are we here, what is our purpose, where do we come from and what happens to us when we die. The point is, it seems rather simplistic to say that this magical all powerful being just created it all…just because science can’t tell us these answers doesn’t mean it will never be able to do so. And even if science will not be able to ever answer all these questions, there may be a natural, not at all theistic explanation for everyhthing.

But harkening back to my original point, I…like Einstein…am not of the fanatical type of atheist who views disbelief as a religion unto itself. I do not deign myself worthy to even hypothesize about what the ultimate truths are…I don’t know the answers, and therefore I can not pass judgements on how people should behave…I see no moral authority within myself to issue absolutes to others about right vs. wrong. And that’s the whole point of this discussion in the first place…that people go around with moral certitude, saying that they have autorhity because they have righteousness, because they have faith…and because faith is something you just have, it can’t be examined or explained or proven. It’s again “I know I’m right, because I know I’m right.” And when pushed, the best you can come up with is that there are so many things out there that are so amazing that they HAVE to involve some sort of intelligent design. It’s just not a persuasive argument, and it’s circular logic designed to shut out facts or intelligent debate. The difference between me and you boils down to, I’m wiling to say, “you may be right” (and mean it), you could NEVER do the same, not with any degree of intellectual honesty, because you are convinced that what you have faith in is the absolute, unquestionable truth.

And again, the problem with that is, there are billions who also feel they are 100% correct and what they have faith in is the 100% unquestionable truth, the reasons for their moral certitude is every bit as persuasive and logical as yours, and yet, at BEST only one of those ways of thinking can be accurate, perhaps none is. And at the end of the day, it’s your right to believe what you want, the problem is, when you start to use YOUR religious/spiritual values to try to dictate MY behavior, you are being arrogant and self important…if you really want to do right by your God, you will live and let live and let Him decide good vs. evil, as you are not qualified to pass the judgment on me or anyone else, just because you have FAITH that you are. And therein lies my biggest problem with religion, it basically provides answers to the questions mankind can not answer yet…and says to people…you can have faith in these answers and if you do, there will be a great cosmic reward for you…but it you don’t, it’s an eternity of torment. But we have no way of verifying these answers….so how do we know that the TRUTH is what motivates some to believe in it instead of the FEAR? And it always boils down to, we don’t need proof, because we have faith. Having faith in something does not make it come true…never has, never will.

Fyrius's avatar

@dalepetrie: I’ve never actually heard of Penn and Teller before…
It’s like how I first heard the name “Richard Dawkins” from someone who was sure I was a loyal follower of his.

@filmfann: There is one verse that explicitly says the earth does not move.

“Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.”Psalms 104:5;

Also, recent scientific studies have unveiled the stunning discovery that the earth is not a flat plane mounted on foundations.

Also, while there do exist scientists who are religious, a number of studies I linked to in a certain thread that has for some reason been moderated to oblivion shows that the majority of eminent scientists reject religion.

@dalepetrie: I’m just going to leave this quote here:

“Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don’t have all the answers to think that they do.
The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the Big Questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble, and that’s what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting shit dead wrong.” – Bill Maher, Religulous

filmfann's avatar

@Fyrius Thanks for making my point about people misinterpreting the Bible.

Crusader's avatar

All who would deny religion,(specifically socially conservative Protestants/Catholics, who are held to a higher standard in America than any other group, both individually and collectively-deny this and your agenda is very clear,) as many other faiths, Including Islam, allow for dishonesty and hypocristy, profit personally from its (social conservative Protestant/Catholic) dismissal-and supportiing financially the Bill Mayer, and Steve Colberts and many others directly or indirectly, such is the political expediency of the liberal left and the hypocrisy of the neo-con centrist.

All comments made to discount life, (as in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,)so as to better insure ones own happiness is the pinnicle of selfishness. All equivication, intellectualizations, and rationalizations will not diminish this reality.

Lastly, all value systems are have corresponding religious implication. Including anti-religious athiest and agnostic beliefs, the are the Religion of Opposition, and currently the Religion of Personal Aggrandizement.

The fact that each time a supporter of social conservatism replies in this thread that a directed, and lengthy diatribe of trolled information by either a collective of individuals responding in shifts as the same icon or a computer avatar, proves that the opposition is well organized and relentless, what is it you all fear? The truth? A depleted pocketbook?

dalepetrie's avatar

@Crusader – with all due respect, you need to look in the mirror, bud.

I do not profit from the dismissal of religion…far from it. When I have a personal crisis, what do I have to turn to? What do I think I have to look forward to when I die? Why is not having the sense of structure that comes with being part of a religious community of personal benefit to me? The simple fact is that religion just doesn’t add up…it doesn’t make sense to me, and I see no reason to believe in it other than it would make the bad parts of life a whole hell of a lot easier to get through. As for being a “religion of opposition”, I say clearly that you are entitled to your beliefs…the problem is, you don’t think I’m entitled to mine. You think we should all think as you do, but who made you God?

It seems to me that the only expediency here is the expediency of using a bunch of words and not really saying anything to justify your own sense of self-importance so that you can dictate how others live their lives, which is the very definition of personal aggrandizement.

Me: “I don’t know what he answers are, for I am a mere mortal and am not meant to know, so I can not simply pick a religion and follow it.”

You: “I have chosen my religion and have 100% undying faith in its every precept, and must convince the world that they must agree with ME.”

Take a look in the mirror before you throw out accusations like that.

Crusader's avatar


With all due respect? Interesting choice of words…To have respect it must be given.

In terms of Profit I was referring to personal finances and opportunity. Your choice to accept a secular lifestyle and profit accordingly is you choice, yet no one, not conservatives, not liberals, gaurentee you Happiness, if they choose to employ the constitution as any measure of society.

Current liberal theology resembles just that, a theocracy, that benefits strongly those who Obey. In this circumstance is is incredibly Easy for the liberal because they simply need to oppose anything socially conservative, (many local democratic governments actually employ consevative financial principles for income tax-see Washington State and many others,) such that they are the party Not of solution, but opposition, and Nepotism.

This is the profit I was referring to, and principles gaurenteed by the Constitution, (until recently when liberals and so-called ‘minorities’ who are actually the Majority as socially conservtive Protestant and Catholic individuals have none of the support in media, academia, government, and/or business that their oppositional counterparts enjoy-and there is No financially moderate, socially conservative party that I know of-True Christianity, this is discouraged by Both parties.)

If you believe that you should enjoy more Happiness based on illegal quotas at the expense of hard-working social conservatives who are expected to work harder, longer hours, for less benefits and expected, further, to maintain an impossibly high standard individually and collectively, (while liberals can and do Anything they like,) you are in the correct political alignment-liberal. However, you take it a step further and actually expect sympathy for you chosen lack of ‘fellowship’ and ‘eccestential comforts’ to paraphrase your response. I believe you are plenty comfortable in the here and now, your reward is here and now.

Exploitation of opportunity and sympathy are a recipe for revolution, what will you do when there are much fewer of those evil(often white) social conservatives to exploit? Perhaps reinstae slavery?

Crusader's avatar

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,

Where is the confusion in this statement, secular liberal constitutionalist? The definition of Life? Disputing that a new formed zygote will become an embryo, then fetus, then baby, child, adult, hmmmmm…much evidence that a zygote will become a baby….

Is the confusion in Liberty? All freedom in the USA has been achieved from Partisans in the more innocent, less politicized America, through 1812, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, interesting liberals would want to eliminate this most important of rights…Protecting conservatives against do-anything-for profit and entertainment democrats.

Is the confusion in Happiness? Now we are on to something..As this position is predicated upon the denial of the previous two in large measure…If liberals cannot destroy all unborn life, (particularly of a demographic that will not support them as an adult,) then they will craft Compromise legislation to advance themselves further, while giving the (temporary,) impression of ‘moderation’ (all ‘independents vote 95% democratic, they are a farce,)

If democrats cannot vanquish all personal firearms, they will advance gangster music and violent media to terrify the public, (and profit accordingly,)bankrupt state and local economies with corrupt legislation with little or no oversight and release violent offenders from prisons citing ‘not enough money.’ And reduce police presence Or enforce a Police State-the ultimate objective, now that their is a critical mass of liberal extremists and the social conservatives are penalized socially and financially. Further, liberals will accuse the conservatives of ‘not doing enough’ while they deliberately hypersexualize and encourage violent behavior especially among the lower and middle lower class communities, clever, and demonic.

Democrats are all about creating perception, and crisis, and then profiting from the subsequent horror. See all world wars, and most domestic gang violence. Rahm Immanuel, Obama’s version of Dick Cheney, is quoted as saying, ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste,’ with Acorn and the illegal voting and illegal quota system and conservative Hate, he could have said, ‘When you expend so much time and resources in creating a crisis, never let the crisis go to waste-without further consolidating you position and profiting handsomely..’

dalepetrie's avatar

@Crusader – first off respect comes due when it is earned.

Second, WOW! Where do I begin. Probably just with a lesson on liberal ideology 101 as you clearly don’t understand the first thing about liberal thought.

Liberals believe that everyone should be able to succeed according to his own skills and abilities. No liberal believes that everyone should have the exact same amount of prosperity or success regardless of how much skill they have or how much effort they put into it. That is a lie sold to conservatives like yourself who are actually the ones who operate under a constant fear…fear that the lazy liberals are going to victimize you and steal your hard earned money. What liberals want is exactly what Jesus wanted if you want to get right down to it….we should look out for our fellow man. This does NOT mean support everyone who doesn’t want to work, it DOES mean that we should try to even the playing field when one group has an overwhelming and unfair advantage. It DOES mean that we should be prepared to step in and help when someone falls through the cracks.

Modern liberalism is built on the ideals of FDR, who believed we need a social safety net, because no matter how hard we work, some times circumstances keep us from being able to even survive. And we’re seeing a recurrence of those same social pressures today that we had in the days of FDR, where good, hard working people are losing everything they’ve worked for their entire lives, not because they weren’t smart enough or didn’t try hard enough. No, because CONSERVATIVES decided 30 years ago that the way to a more prosperous nation was to deregulate everything, get the government oversight out of business, and significantly lower the tax burden on the captains of industry so they would have the authority and money to build empires (which they said would then employ more people, and prosperity would trickle down). The main difference liberals and conservatives have in this point is that it sees the issue of supply and demand in reverse. You can supply jobs all you want, but if there is no demand for the goods and services you produce with those jobs, the company will not prosper and those jobs will go away. If however you strengthen the base, let the people who have very little money keep most of what they earn and take taxes from the people who can afford it, suddenly there are 10s of millions of people able to buy things they were not able to afford previously, this creates demand, which causes the need for more jobs to be created to enhance the supply so that demand can be met.

In the Conservative way of doing things, the little guy bears the brunt of everything and is afforded no protection from those with all the money and ergo all the power. By taking away regulations, it makes a corporation’s only duty to the shareholder/owner, and therefore gives it more incentive to break the law and victimize people without power, if the consequences for doing so are less than the benefits to the bottom line. What Conservatives have been very powerful at doing is selling the message, through FEAR, that what liberals want is to take all your hard earned money so they don’t have to work for it for themselves. That’s as simplistic as believing in…well…some guy who lives in the clouds and magically made everything appear one day about 6,000 years ago.

What I want as an unapologetic liberal is what most liberals want….we want everyone to be treated with equal respect and dignity, we want people to be accepted for who they are, we want people to be able to make their decisions as long as they are not injurious to someone else. We want everyone to be able to get a good education, we want everyone to be able to have a place to live and something to eat, we want to make sure that we have proper infrastructure like roads and such that will facilitate our getting from place to place, and we want to make sure that when we get too old to work, we will be able to survive because of the lifetime of contribution to our society. We want to know that if we get sick we are able to see a doctor and become well again, and we want to know that if we meet ill fortune through no fault of our own, we can get another chance to help ourselves. We want to know that if we become unable to work (not unwilling) that we will still survive.

This is what liberalism is about, not that everyone should be able to share in all the wealth equally, but the acceptance that the government’s purpose is to provide society at large and its members a hand up, not a handout, so that we all have the opportunity to take ourselves as far as our skills and ambition will allow, and we acknowledge that the price for living in the land of opportunity for all should come with the acknowledgement that it’s not going to happen without money, and though we can’t expect you to contribute if you can’t manage to make enough in this society, if you prosper greatly from this economic model, then you should bear responsibility for paying for it in relation to the benefit you receive. Sure, you made a billion dollars and now the government wants 20% of it, but if you didn’t have this government, you wouldn’t have been afforded the opportunity to make that billion dollars in the first place.

I believe personally that we should have a minimum wage which based on working 40 hours a week would allow a person to support an average sized family above the poverty level, which would be defined as having enough money for food, clothing and shelter. And that minimum wage should be exempt from taxes. Let’s say for a family of 3, that number is $25k a year, so one person from that family working 40 hours a week anywhere should be able to make at least $25k…after that, every penny is taxed at the same amount, regardless of whether your total income was $26k or $10 billion. And that should be the ONLY taxes collected…we should not have consumption taxes and all these other taxes that cost the poor a greater percentage of their earnings than they cost the affluent. If we say that the rate is 15% of every penny you’ve earned over and above the first $25k, then everyone pays that, same rate, viola, taxes are fair. Now we spend those taxes to make sure all schools are teaching what people know to be successful before graduating the students, that everyone has a bare minimum stipend at the end of their careers so they won’t starve to death, and that everyone has access to support if they fall on hard times through no fault of their own, that everyone can see a doctor if they’re sick, and everyone can essentially have the same opportunities to thrive…then there’s no more blame game, no more unfairness, no more built in advantages for some and disadvantages for others.

But it’s amazing how the pot calls the kettle black here….whereas all a liberal wants is for everyone to be accepted for who they are, and everyone to be given the same opportunities, the Conservative hate and fear machine has convinced that same part of the lizard brain that liberalism is the boogeyman, out to take away everything you’ve worked for. I mean, c’mon, seriously…you think liberals are the ones profiting from our government? You think liberals are the ones who would bring back slavery? it’s that kind of completely batshit crazy accusation that makes people distrust the overly religious inherently. I mean, it seems to me that from your last two tirades, the things you believe are based so much in fear and hysteria, that I can only draw the conclusion that your religious convictions are driven by the same irrational hysteria.

Why do people vote conservative in the first place…well, you nailed it. You are afraid of violent music and media, you are afraid of people expressing themselves sexually, you are afraid of expanding the voter rolls so much that you demonize an organization which is itself the victim of the purported fraud which you so aggrandize. Bottom line, liberals are good hearted people who want everyone to have a chance at success….conservatives are scared of what might get taken away from them.

But you know what, I’ve written too much already, I shouldn’t even have to feel like I have to address your last two posts of inanity, as they clearly speak for themselves as to your mindset. You just keep blaming the world’s ills on the selfish liberals who victimize the poor helpless rich people by spreading their smut and abnormal sexual ideals, and we’ll see how easily you’re able to persuade others to join your cult.

Crusader's avatar


With remark like earned respect, you obviously consider yourself superior and are as much a hypocrite and self righteose as the worst example of Christian, perhaps you should consider converting (arificially,) and profiting from the fleecing of the sheep directly, instead of your current, indirect route.

First off, I do not agree with your, or FDR’s definition of ‘playing field’. Only a handful of Americans were incredibly wealthy, Rockefellers, Carnegies, Morgans, Rothchilds, mostly bankers and elitists. Industrialists, and opportunists all. It took America 40 years to institute a social security and child labor law policy-after an example had been given, that Germany had done in 1887, and Germany did so Without a war, or the profits secured from such.

The ‘safety net’ could have been in place long before FDR, and without an artificial banking crises to necessitate it with the Depression. Many profiting from that depression, remember? Also, trading and empowering the future adversaries of WWII was no way to begin the New Deal.

The ‘lies’ are from Both the right And the left, that is to say All the left and Most of the Right. I am referring to the Constitution, can you debate the previous entry of mine, and not simply trolled talking points?

I will agree with you on the point that financial conservativism, without oversight and common sense, lends itself to hypercapitalism and immoral and unethical individuals. Thats why I am opposed to neo-cons, as they are only superficially socially consevative as a politically expedient mechanism for political support while enriching their share-holders and the very wealthy, tax shelters off shore for such individuals/companys is also terrible,

But the reality is that only Japan pays more in corporate taxes, the rest of the world subsidizes their business interests for corporations, yet most of the corporations in the world are state-owned, this is why theocracies in the middle east, (and corrupt governments elsewhere often,) will never change, the money and power are state owned, the state is politically occupied by powerful families and voting is a farce.

It is a self-fulfilling prophesy when the state controls such institutions, Nepotism, political expediency, hypocrisy, deception. This is what the conservatives seek to avoid, and lower the tax rate on Individuals to empower the local communities, rather than increasing the tax on individuals to expand state-controlled, self-perpetuating, Nepotistic systems.

Yet, I believe that True Christianity is a socially conservative and financially moderate system, a flat tax would resolve this, as would the elimination of quotas for so’called ‘minorities.’ The demographics of America are now practically even for the under 30 age-group. Liberalism Today is the Issue, and Nothing will change for the better is the so-called ‘minority’ is afforded a ‘royal’ status simply based on ethnicity of sexual orietation. This is unconstitutional and unjust, especially considering the extent to which such liberal minds and their advocates will go to create controversy of exaggerate existing controversy to maintain their ‘royal’ status.

dalepetrie's avatar

I don’t consider myself superior to anyone, I just have a good bullshit meter, and it glows brighter red with each one of your posts. As for debating what you’ve posted, well, post something of substance and not just unsupported lies and exaggerations and I will. All I can really draw specifically to debate is a few points, because most of what you said in the one post was doublespeak. So I’ll hit them very briefly (the actual points I can make out)

Illegal quotas – not for a quota system, never have been, never will be. I think the most qualified person should get the job/contract/etc. Some liberals think we need quotas to even the playing field, I don’t, I think you need to start at childhood, by providing good quality education that teaches the essential knowledge to make it in the world.

Liberalism (or freedom of self expression) guarantees me happiness….no, I disagree, some people will be happy, others unhappy, but we all have free will, and we should be allowed to express ourselves according to what is right for each of us, not a one size fits all system dictated by those who believe they know what’s best for us. If it’s a mistake, it’s ours to make, and if it wasn’t, even if you’re right, it’s God who gave us free will, so don’t step on His toes.

Profiting through personal finance and opportunity, basically I don’t. I went to college, got a degree and have spent 15 years working for a living, only to find myself unemployed. I could have taken the CPA certification I EARNED and turned it into a goldmine at the expense of my free time, time with my family, etc., I chose to find that things other than money make me happier than money itself. Nonetheless I need money to support my family, so I continue to work when I can find work that is.

Minorities collectively make up the majority…well, not yet, but they soon will, big deal, there is not white and other, there is a huge variation here that your rhetoric discounts (showing your racism, much in the way your unhinged rants about Muslims being on course to enslave us, just like you accuse liberals of here, in another post).

And it ain’t just conservatives who are working longer hours, working harder to make ends meet, pal. Everyone’s in the same boat, and it sure as hell ain’t the doing of the folks who said we should keep the captains of industry honest, and try to equalize the playing field a bit.

You want to talk about creating perception and profiting over the subsequent horror? No liberal would have ignored a memo entitled “Bin Laden determined to strike inside US” while on a 5 week vacation, only to have Bin Laden blow up the World Trade Center 36 days later. And no liberal would have constantly repeated the mantra of 9/11 to force us into an illegal war in Iraq.

As for confusion of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.

Life – life already exist in sperm and egg, it begins to take on new shape at zygote, it does not reach independence until it is fully formed, but not fully grown…I see no confusion other than the confusion that says that just because a fertilized egg can become a human, it must….because hello, many fertilized eggs just don’t take…there are thousands of women right now who didn’t even know they were pregnant, who were a couple weeks late on their periods and are now bleeding out this so called life.

Liberty…not sure how you can have liberty if you restrict individual freedoms. And the idea that liberals want to “take away your guns” is bullshit conservative rhetoric based on nothing but fear. Liberals simply want to make sure criminals don’t get their hands on guns, but even that is too much for conservatives…how many times have they killed background checks. Libs say, if you need a gun right now, you’re the LAST person who should be able to get one. Facts are facts, and facts are that people who own guns are 28 times more likely to be killed by their own gun than they are by an intruder. But we don’t say you can’t hunt, or you can’t take that risk, we just don’t want guns that serve no purpose but to kill people in the hands of the violent.

And the only thing that’s terrifying the public is the conservatives, crafting the perception that life imitates art, and not the other way around. Liberals don’t try to take away guns, but Conservatives sure try their best to take away dirty words and pictures. Who’s afraid?

Basically, I’m done with this thread, it’s like beating my head against a brick wall. You go ahead and blame everyone else for all the ills of society and provide your brand of salvation to those who will listen. I will rely on logic and reality to base my conclusions on. And if there’s a hell, I’ll make sure to send my apologies for thinking you were a whack job.


Crusader's avatar

Your post is contains just the right amount of honesty, half-truth, and outright deception, bravo! You could be a contributer for John Steward, or Stever Cobert! Nice infotainmnet.
And the racist remark was a nice touch, too, you really are superior to me, congratulations, I am truely humbled.

Obviously you have yours, and you are a college educated pro with enourmous amount of time on your hands to confront the hypocisy of your own party, and co-opting not only my anecdotes and style but also my temperment and reverse to appeal to your own, (paid,) position. For, why else would someone as educated and capable as yourself invest so much time and energy on this discussion were you not compensated? Your argument about liberals not wanted to take away weapons is a joke, remember Katrina? Your liberals made possibe more so the crisis to be worse, and took weapons Not from gangs, but from citizens, you Want Crisis! You know It! It is Profitable!

Life; Give the Zygote a chance to become a baby, then define life

Illegal quotas and Happiness; You contradict yourself here, as expected. You do not advocate giving quotas, but you do advocate ‘leveling the playing field.’ In other words, you advocate quotas, its all well and good if you are in the recieving catagory and/or have your wealth, the country be darned, its Ok for the daughters/sons of the ‘other guy’ to be molested/prostituted, but not your own, right?

Oh, and nice touch about you referring to me as a racist for ‘unhinged; rants about Muslims..First, Muslims are of all races, last time I checked, next, it is for the sustaning of the basic rights and protection of the very catagory you seem to be advocating, women, that I present Truths about Islam. Furthermore, the most authoritarian Christian Conservative is still a far better option for American government than the most moderate Muslim, if Islam is so great, why are they so terrified of democracy in their own nations? I do not expect an answer, as you are certainly a sympathizer/or Muslim yourself. Where are the womens rights groups in Islam? Where are the collective bargaining groups? Where is the constitution? We are on the same planet, but different worlds, dude, yours is created and uncreated as you go, I am flexible too, but I have standards I will not compromise, even for personal gain.

Fyrius's avatar

@filmfann: Please elaborate as to how I misinterpreted the verse I quoted. Just saying I’m misinterpreting it isn’t very convincing.

@Crusader: Answer me this.
Is there any chance that you are ever going to give any serious thought to the idea that you might be wrong? Are you ever going to consider the possibility that not everyone who disagrees with you is stupid, evil and/or acting from a political agenda?
Are you ever going to have the courage to open your mind?

If the answer is three times no, as I suspect, then I hereby declare you not worth my time.
You give me the growing impression that you are consumed by bigotry beyond my ability to rescue, and frankly I’m getting tired of your shit.

I commend @dalepetrie for having the patience to continue trying to talk sense into you for so long. In this aspect he is a greater man than I.

Darwin's avatar

“If democrats cannot vanquish all personal firearms, they will advance gangster music and violent media to terrify the public.”

I knew it! Rap is a conspiracy. “They” are out to get us aren’t they?


filmfann's avatar

@Fyrius You said: There is one verse that explicitly says the earth does not move.

“Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.” – Psalms 104:5;

Also, recent scientific studies have unveiled the stunning discovery that the earth is not a flat plane mounted on foundations.

My reply: Notice how the Biblical quote doesn’t say Flat Plane?
Notice how it say’s foundations? What does a foundation do? It supports. The complexity of gravity and our orbit would qualify a foundation for Earth, yes?

Fyrius's avatar

Hardly. Only to someone hell-bent on making sense of an ancient document in light of modern knowledge, with the presupposition that it cannot possibly ever be wrong about anything. To see the word “foundation” and read into it that the authors must have meant the planet’s gravity and orbital trajectory is quite a stretch.
To then go on to accuse someone who sees “foundation” and reads “foundation” into it of misinterpreting the text is rather hypocritical. Your interpretation is much more far-fetched than mine. Why would mine be the wrong one?

In fact, gravity and an orbital trajectory don’t even support the planet by the definition of that word that relates it to the word “foundation”. The kind of support a foundation gives is the kind that keeps something from collapsing under the force of gravity. And what keeps the earth from collapsing is just the fact that gravity can compress it only to a certain level of density. Thus the only thing that supports the earth is the earth itself.

This is all beside my point. The part that interested me more was the part saying “that it should not be moved for ever.” Little did the bronze age tribesmen know that the earth has been moving around like crazy for billions of consecutive years without ever taking so much as a coffee break.

As a side note, the bible does say the earth is flat. Well, not directly, but there is this here little verse that would be patently impossible on a spherical world.

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;”Matthew 4:8

And before you draw our attention to the possibility, I’d like to point out that if the devil would have rendered the earth transparent so Jesus could also see the kingdoms on the other side, the verse would have mentioned it.

bea2345's avatar

@Fyrius – Behave yourself. if the devil would have rendered the earth transparent so Jesus could also see the kingdoms on the other side, the verse would have mentioned it. What do you know that we don’t? The Bible is notoriously short on detail.

filmfann's avatar

@Fyrius What is the foundations of a boat traveling on the sea? Is it unsupported? If it is, is that support flat?
The devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world. Couldn’t be visions, do you think. No, of course not. You don’t think at all.
I really do hope you find enlightenment. I really do hope your soul is spared.

Crusader's avatar

Life is Life.

Fyrius's avatar

@bea2345: Oh, please. This would NOT be a detail.
If based on this verse you’re seriously willing to consider the possibility that the devil made the world go transparent and it’s not mentioned for some reason, that means you can read pretty much anything into any verse. You might as well take a verse where Jesus walks on water and assume the writers probably omitted the details that it happened to be winter and he was wearing skates.
And… “behave yourself”? No thanks.
I will criticise what I believe merits criticism. I will not go easy on the bible for the sake of courtesy. You’re grown-ups, surely you can handle it.

@filmfann: A boat does not have any foundations. The shape of its hull gives it buoyancy, but there is nothing involved in a boat that could be called a foundation.
A foundation is not defined as “something that supports something else”. Foundations are what houses are built on. Look it up in a dictionary.

And it still moves.

If the devil showed Jesus the kingdoms of the world through magical visions, there would be no reason for them to have bothered climbing a high mountain. He could have showed it to him on the ground.

You’re looking for ways to make this verse make sense. Your explanation involves ad-hoc speculations that are not mentioned in the text, and makes elements that are mentioned irrelevant. You’re reading sense into it.
You don’t look at this book objectively. You presuppose that the bible can never just be wrong.

I hope you will one day give up wishful thinking and find enlightenment in reason.

filmfann's avatar

You seem to be reading a lot into me, as well. I believe the Bible, but believe it’s teachings are often misunderstood. I have seen to much to believe otherwise. I have faith.
I stand by my definition of foundation. I understand your lack of understanding. Your parents failed giving you a religious foundation.

Fyrius's avatar

I see you’ve stopped trying to refute my arguments.

I agree that the bible is often misunderstood. By people like you. Your faith distorts the text until its original meaning is lost to you and it only says what you expect it to say.
Note that this is not just reading something into you, but an observation from the conversation we just had.

Stand by your definition of “foundation” if you want to, but be aware that the rest of the English speaking world has different ideas about what it means. Dictionaries aren’t just guidelines, they’re descriptions of the definitions that do and do not exist in a language community.

And your final lines are just an ad hominem, saying I “just don’t understanding”, presumably thinking that adequately debunks my entire post. If you understand my alleged lack of understanding, could you explain it to me? What do I not understand, and what is it that makes me not understand it?
If it’s my purported lack of a “religious foundation”, you’re quite wrong, again. My parents did bring me up as a catholic. A faith I consciously decided to reject. For reasons.

Did your parents – or anyone else – teach you critical thinking?

filmfann's avatar

Okay, one more time…
Jesus is on the mountain top with Satan, and you are uncertain how he can see all the world. It strikes you odd that he can see all the world, but not that he is there with Satan?
If Satan wanted to tempt him, wouldn’t he find an isolated spot?
I should have known I was talking to a failed Catholic. I am sorry the priests were unable to control themselves around you. says The basis on which a thing stands, is founded, or is supported.
That doesn’t say flat, does it? The wings of an airplane could qualify as a foundation, while it is flying.
Grow a brain.

bea2345's avatar

@Fyriusassume the writers probably omitted the details that it happened to be winter and he was wearing skates. Assume nothing. The text says that the devil took Jesus up into a high place – an exceeding high mountain – and showed him the kingdoms of the world. What is there to misunderstand? The meaning of the text is perfectly plain. The showing of the kingdoms could have taken the form of a discourse, or a series of discourses, to which we are not party. Satan might have displayed a map. These details are not important and should not be a stumbling block. All we need to know is that the thought of being king of the world did not tempt Christ.

Knotmyday's avatar

Maybe the devil had, like, a really good telescope. He does have cool clothes, after all.
Maybe his telescope is so awesome that it refracts light all the way around the earth! Or maybe he just popped a Blu-ray into the Playstation he had stashed up on top of the mountain!

It strikes me as odd that if Jesus is God, why the (heck) would Beelzebub even try to tempt him? He’s God, man. <flick> see ya, Satan. Stop bugging me. This My Mountain, Fool!

Or maybe it’s just a story.

Ivan's avatar

Stops following

Fyrius's avatar

“It strikes you odd that he can see all the world, but not that he is there with Satan?”
Of course it does, but I’m willing to let the theological assumptions slide for the sake of discussion. This would be an even more insufferable discussion if I would demand that you prove to me that Satan exists.
It’s called “open-mindedness”.

“I should have known I was talking to a failed Catholic. I am sorry the priests were unable to control themselves around you.”
Yay, another ad hominem. Just keep them coming, maybe they’ll start counting for something if you have enough.

“ says The basis on which a thing stands, is founded, or is supported.
That doesn’t say flat, does it? The wings of an airplane could qualify as a foundation, while it is flying.”
Are the wings of a plane a basis on which it stands, is founded or supported? They give it lift, but the plane doesn’t rest on them.
The point is that in order for the whole earth to need a foundation, gravity needs to come from somewhere else, so that the earth rests on something.
Moreover, as I’ve pointed out multiple times, this is not even my main point. My main point was that the earth does move. You continue to ignore this.
Still, congratulations on finding one dictionary entry that almost supports your definition. I’m sure you worked hard for it.

Something else that needs to be said:
I have in principle no beef with religious people.
I have in principle no beef with religion.
What I oppose is the mind-set where you’re so sure of yourself that regardless of whether your belief is actually true or not, you will always continue believing what you believe. To never change your mind. To always look for some sly way around criticism, and if you don’t find one, to just ignore it. Whereas one should embrace criticism and use it for self-improvement.
What I oppose is closed-mindedness and wishful thinking.
Incidentally, this mind-set is rather common among religious people, and often supported by religion as if it were a virtue. Hence I often find myself criticising religious people.

I still think it’s an obvious implication that “going up to a mountain and showing someone all the kingdoms of the world” at the very least strongly implies literally showing them, by pointing them out from such a high vantage point.
But if you insist on giving it the benefit of doubt, I supposed you can, if you think the book deserves that.

filmfann's avatar

You prefer Wiki-dictionary to LOL
Then, you admit that supports my definition. Do you mean my definition is flat and doesn’t move?
You don’t think the wings of an airplane support the plane? Well, I already knew you weren’t a rocket scientist.

Fyrius's avatar

I do not admit that your definition is supported. Note that I said ”almost”.
No, regrettably, so far I have found nothing in your argument that I feel any need to admit has a point. And let it be known that I would do so without inhibitions if it were justified. I invite you to go through my posts and verify this for yourself.

I will not spell out again why the definition of “foundation” does not apply to the wings of an aeroplane, much less the earth. I have clarified this point several times now, and if those explanations fell on deaf ears, I see no reason to expect the next one to be of more use.

As a side note, the bland insults you continue to hurl at me show an interesting pattern – first “you don’t think at all”, then “get a brain”, now “you’re not a rocket scientist”. Three instantiations of the same unimaginative, inarticulate default retort typical of the intellectual novice, lacking the skill of mind and pen to formulate a more specific criticism than that the other person is dumb.

Finally, I should mention that if you had any justification to call anyone else unintelligent, you would by now have let go of your hopeless argument and moved on to a better one.
For example, a more sensible person in your position would concede that the English word “foundation” does indeed have this meaning, but argue that this is moot because the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew, and the original word might have different connotations. We could then have investigated what the original word was and found out whether that could reasonable be applied to the earth as modern science has revealed it. That way the debate would have actually made progress.
But you didn’t even think of that.

You could also have conceded that not every single detail is 100% accurate, but then argue that the fact that I only have a few verses like this shows the bible is on the whole reliable. I would probably have admitted you had a point.
But you didn’t even think of that.

Instead, you cling for dear life to an indefensible position, you misread my posts, you ignore the arguments you can’t refute, and you hurl unimaginative ad hominems at me.

You’re a hopelessly dull person to debate. Please learn to reason properly.

filmfann's avatar

To concede that the Bible is flawed in any way would destroy the argument that it is the word of God. God is not flawed. Man is. Translators are. People who spend a lifetime studying it do not agree. Did you think of any of that?
You cannot even agree on a definition of foundation. You say if the earth moves, it has no foundation. By your reasoning, if anything is built on it, it is moving as well, and cannot have a foundation, since it moves.
You confuse my trying to be civil with being unimaginitive. I was being nice. Otherwise, I am sure my posts would be moderated.
Let us agree to disagree. You will spend your life in disbelief, and at the end have nothing. I will spend my life in belief of the Lord, and have his eternal companionship. If I am wrong, I have what you have. If you are wrong, you burn forever in Hell.

Fyrius's avatar

I think the reason why bible scholars disagree on what the bible says is because everyone reads something else into it, and only the true historical scholars try to find out what the authors actually meant, rather than what fits their idea of what the bible should say.
There are also many intelligent and educated people who reject the existence of god altogether, reducing the bible to just another historical document. Did you think of that? During this entire thread I’ve assumed god’s existence for the sake of discussion, but what if your religion is wrong? Can you even imagine the implications? Have you ever honestly tried to understand an atheist world view?

I’m not even going to reply to that load of jabberwocky you write about what you think is my definition of the word “foundation”. Read my posts. Properly.

You use words in strange ways. I for one wouldn’t qualify your behaviour in this discussion as “being nice”. Multiple times you have insulted my intelligence for no reason, you have called me a failed catholic, you have accused my parents of having failed at religious education. You have laughed at me for relying on Wiktionary.
I’ve been more well-behaved in anger than you’ve been while believing you were being nice. At least I exercise enough self-control to keep my criticism meaningful and relevant.

And don’t get me started on Pascal’s Wager. It might make sense if the odds for and against any unverifiable belief X would be 50/50, but given an infinitely large population of possible beliefs, the odds for any unverifiable belief without support are astronomically small compared to the odds against it.

Furthermore, if you believe in Jehovah, what if Allah is real, or any other one on the infinite list of conceived and conceivable deities that could be the real one? The one who’s really in charge might as well be so pissed you believed in a false god that he’d punish you more than someone like me, who never took a side. It’s not at all certain that if you’re wrong, you’d have what I have. You might as well be a lot worse off than me.

Furthermore, If you think Pascal’s Wager has a point, you should wear a tinfoil hat. After all, you never know. What if they’re right? You have nothing to lose by wearing one, right?
If you get a chain e-mail telling you a ghost story about a murdered girl whose restless soul will kill you unless you send it on to 20 other people, do you do it? What if it’s real? You could get killed.
At least be consistent in your beliefs.

Not to mention that it’s barbarian, pathetic and literally childish to let fear of punishment or hopes of reward scare or seduce you into believing something. I for one believe things only when I think they’re actually true. I will not be bullied into irrationality by the idea of being punished for not having picked the right unverifiable and improbable belief. If that brings the fury of god down on me, so be it. My allegiance is to reason, and I will stand by it.

I refer back to the last sentence of my previous post, and advise you to take it to heart.

You’re probably right to propose to euthanise this discussion. It’s proving yet again to be quite a waste of time. I might as well be talking to myself. I would certainly have a more productive conversation.

filmfann's avatar

I think the problem we are having is based partially on your being from the Netherlands, so english is a second language to you. So are shoes made from anything not wood.
I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I burn chain emails for good luck.

filmfann's avatar

You said:
During this entire thread I’ve assumed god’s existence for the sake of discussion
You also said:
I’m just going to ignore all the “god this” and “god that”. I can’t do much else.
Which is it?

Fyrius's avatar

@filmfann: “I burn chain emails for good luck.”
Yet still you think Pascal’s Wager has a good point. That’s not consistent.

“Which is it?”
The second quote is from over half a page ago, when I was still talking to @Crusader.
Okay, so I said “this thread” when I meant “this conversation with you”.

“I think the problem we are having is based partially on your being from the Netherlands, so english is a second language to you. So are shoes made from anything not wood.”
Whoa. That’s really low.

Do I assume that you, as an American, are overweight and sue people for your own mistakes? If you think the fact that I’m Dutch justifies the assumption that I exclusively wear clogs and that my grasp of the English language must be sub-par, despite every word I utter proving the opposite, then you do not belong in the twenty-first century.
I believe I’ve already proven multiple times that my mastery of English exceeds even your native speaker’s proficiency. Thank you very much.

I for one think the problem we’re having is mainly based on the fact that all the reason, logic and argumentation in the world falls on deaf ears with you. You just stick your head in the sand, ignore the points I make and continue to believe with redoubled faith what I have just debunked.

I can’t talk to you. I give up. You’re hopeless.

filmfann's avatar

@Fyrius You said:
I believe I’ve already proven multiple times that my mastery of English exceeds even your native speaker’s proficiency.

If this were true, you would understand the meaning of the word Foundation.

Fyrius's avatar

Goodbye, Filmfann.

filmfann's avatar

How does your misuse of the word thread change what you said when you said: I’m just going to ignore all the “god this” and “god that”. I can’t do much else.
So are you saying you still can’t do much else? It seems so.

filmfann's avatar

Regarding your shoes, you said: you hurl unimaginative ad hominems at me.
I thought you wanted me to turn it up a little. I told you I was being nice.

Response moderated
filmfann's avatar

Was that a mercy killing?

Fyrius's avatar

“Removed by Fluther moderators.”
Isn’t that a bit… arbitrarily selective? It was hardly the only insulting post around here, and at least I’m direct, honest and to the point in the reproaches I make. I’m not resorting to stereotypes.

Well, whatever. I’m done here.

filmfann's avatar

Third time you’ve said that.
I know you secretly love this.

filmfann's avatar

You said: I’m not resorting to stereotypes
It makes me laugh that you probably believe that.
Recheck your posts. They are rife with stereotyping.

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