Speak Out [religion] November 1, 2012, to January 1, 2013

Thursday, November 1, 2012

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  • The lowdown on magic underwear, and other secrets of The Temple. http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=jv5cMKp8tkI&feature=endscreen

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 3, 2012, at 12:46 AM
  • Nana, great article on "no growth" economic theory. It was an interesting read thru all 3 pages, and quite frankly, I think it is just intuitive. It is one of those things that the numbers and theory add up to what seems only rational. As a country or even as a species, we can't sustain growth indefinitely. The so called "tipping point" is now or at least in the very near future. It will be our children's or grandchildren's mess to clean up. Unfortunately, irrational belief in a supernatural being watching over our every move and intervening when we go astray is the reason a lot of people bury their head in the sand over global warming is a major contributing factor for our inaction. Global warming is upon us, and is why we need zero growth (and more specifically in my mind "zero population" growth). Unlike other animals, most of us can see it coming and have the intelligence to alter our behavior. Unfortunately, the delirious religionites will only thwart the tough solutions that will need to be made. The very last paragraph of the article sums up what will ultimately determine how and when we will change our behavior:

    "Daly, who's been arguing his case for four decades, has begun to think that only the Earth itself will compel people to act. In a few decades, if basic resources become scarce, prices spike, and climate change is causing global conflict, no-growth thinking could arrive whether we like it or not. "It'll be forced on us," he says. In the end, when it comes to determining the shape of our economy, the planet may possess the most powerful invisible hand of all."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Nov 3, 2012, at 9:18 AM
  • He got the job done!

    We are out of Iraq, and leaving Afghanistan. He helped (if not saved) the auto industry in the US. We now have affordable healthcare for everyone, and all this with an obstructionist Congress in the last 2 years.

    He was stronger than any bully they put up against him.

    He got bin Laden and we are under 8% unemployement in the US.

    He has his flaws, but he certainly has not failed.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Sun, Nov 4, 2012, at 10:29 AM
  • No idea how my previous post ended up here. That's the second post in the past few days to end up in a different spot than I intended. I had not even gone to the religion section before posting it.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Sun, Nov 4, 2012, at 10:31 AM
  • He overcome death.

    He was ressurected.

    HE IS RISEN!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Nov 4, 2012, at 11:52 PM
  • Not to be disrespectful of you, Smart Dog, as I am not overly religious myself...BUT, according to those who tell of Jesus' life, his help to all of us is in his words to us and his sacrifice.

    Otherwise, he might be seen as a dictator of sorts, were he around all of the time.

    He gave us a choice, and it's up to us whether to heed his words or not.

    Having said that; I am on record as having stated that organized religion has fouled things up so badly, it would be difficult to follow Jesus' words, as the churches don't even allow all of the Gospels into their Bible. Therefore, we only get a one sided story to base our beliefs on.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 11:38 AM
  • Macrocosm/Microcosm

    Is there somewhere in the universe where thoughts were all unchained,

    where encumbrances are all gone and just the thoughts remained?

    A place where there is an atmosphere that embraces every one,

    and lets some rise and others fall while to each no harm is done.

    Where sage thoughts on love, and peace rise highest in the air,

    as gently fall each and all of those on destruction and despair.

    Though I have not the faith to say that somehow may be so,

    I am buoyed by humility as there are things I can not know.

    I think I may sometimes do that within the space that is my mind,

    and just for a little while a certain calmness I will surely find.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 11:42 AM
  • News:

    Jesus had his disciples give their money away.

    In the modern church; it's....follow the money.

    I know that you already are aware of this. I agree, Jesus had to be a great person. It's too bad that we don't have all of the pertinent information about him.

    It would not end the world if it turned out he was married, but to hear some people talk, it was more natural for him to hang out with 12 smelly, dirty guysd than to have a wife.

    Realistic? I don't think so.

    I think he was married and left on his mission with his wife's approval. After all, who on earth knew him better than she?

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 1:12 PM
  • Speaking of Mensa, did you know that comments by members in their Oklahoma publication run six to one conservative. Comments by members from Oregon for instance run six to one liberal.

    I reckon itsa culture thang. B. S. doesn't stop at a certain I.Q. level and above.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 12:44 AM
  • I didn't see the comment by Bohdi, but if it was an attack on the best darn editor the MDN has had in my lifetime it was way off base. By the way that is coming from someone that has had far more comments deleted by Mr. Crump than BohdiLi.

    Eric does an impeccable job of riding herd on this rowdy bunch. He could just as well choose to just flush this tangled mess of argumentative voices.

    All I can say Bohdi is get over yourself, and come back a wiser man. It is your choice to grow, or shrink. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 5:43 PM
  • Well Bohdi pretty much admitted that he was unbalanced several times. I don't think he needed to go that far to prove the point. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 6, 2012, at 10:19 PM
  • "After that, he seemed to have no further comments."

    I'm not sure News, but I think I may have heard an echo. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 4:21 PM
  • News here is some supporting circumstantial evidence. ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja7-U_odE94

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 4:40 PM
  • O. K. News, I'll let it go. LOL

    "There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them." -Inspector Jacques Clouseau

    " Anonymity is a virtue. Every fool knows that. Anonymity's next to cleanliness and I don't have to tell you what that's next to."-Clouseau

    ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 4:55 PM
  • Everyone makes mistakes, so I for one would like to see him come back with an apology and promise to refrain from posting when not on his meds (or Jack Daniels). He did have some interesting points of view, many very rational with a few on the fringe. I doubt he has an Id but could always surface with a new one. Of course, I didn't see the post so it very well could be too outrageious to consider reinstatement?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 8:11 PM
  • Back on topic.. Did religion take a big negative hit with the GOP loss last night? I believe so, and a well deserved hit. Apparently you don't need religion to be good, but you do need religion to be crazy, and crazy lost big time last night.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 8:14 PM
  • DID JESUS ACTUALLY REVEAL NAME OF THE 'ANTICHRIST'?

    http://www.wnd.com/2009/07/105527/

    Make what you want of it I just thought it was interesting.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 10:29 PM
  • Well r what I make of it is that is some twisted sick stuff by just another of the many nuts that has blown from the wacky tree claiming to be Christian on their first bounce when they really don't know where they are, or who they are.

    Has there ever been a President that wasn't accused of being Satan, or the AntiChrist?

    Do you recall when similar folks made much of the fact that each of The Gipper's names Ronald, Wilson, Reagan, has six letters? 666! Horrors! Note that even his nick namehas six letters (Gipper)! LOL

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 11:30 PM
  • By the way r, the President who saved our nation, Abraham Lincoln, was probably subjected to more accusations of being Satan, and/or Antichrist than any other president. It was mostly by those folks of the deep south. I expect there a lot of folks down there now that feel that our current President is an especially uppity Satan. Hell no they ain't forgettin'. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Nov 7, 2012, at 11:45 PM
  • Ah News it is hard to pull off dead pan humor with the written word, but by Jove you've done it! ROTFLMAO

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Nov 8, 2012, at 12:40 AM
  • Hmmm, according to News' description of the antichrist; it COULD be the statue of Crazy Horse that has been under construction for over 60 years in South Dakota.

    No worries then, as they've barely finished his face. The antichrist won't be rolling in here for another 300 years or so.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Fri, Nov 9, 2012, at 2:46 PM
  • Thanks News,

    I appreciate that!

    I am a swell person.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Sat, Nov 10, 2012, at 6:14 AM
  • R, it is totally ludicrous tying Obama to the anti Christ. For everyone but you, that is a "duh" statement. However, if you take the meanings as purely "against Christ", that is probably accurate, but we just don't know because he cannot take the chance and tell us. Or maybe stretch it a bit and decipher as against the concept (or reality) of Christ. I do believe Obama, as well as most really intelligent individuals who won't come out of the atheist closet, does not believe in Christ as the supernatural all-in-one sky daddy. But, like all intelligent beings walking around the masses of religious bigots, he knows he has to play the game of "acting" religious or his/their political and economic success would be over. The real problem with overly religious individuals is that non-believers are all anti-Christ in their view. This is exactly how "religion poisons everything".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Nov 10, 2012, at 7:03 AM
  • I stay cool when others start to fuss

    I like my ever enlarging hippocampus

    not one often forced to a fearful duh

    I'm thankful for a smaller amygdala ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Nov 11, 2012, at 11:00 AM
  • Thanks ND. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Nov 12, 2012, at 12:17 AM
  • Anyone seen Smokin Cheetah lately? His posts were always thought provoking.

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 10:01 AM
  • Does anyone, but me find it hilariously hypocritical that the Pope, and his pals have began an all out drive against homosexual rights?

    Could it be that they are afraid that the dwindling number of Priests would be further eroded if more homosexuals were free to engage instead in same sex loving relationships?

    LOL! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/vatican-gay-marriage-polygamy_n_2119557...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 13, 2012, at 3:11 PM
  • For the sake of discussion, I'd like to challenge several of you about the historical role of indigenous peoples and their relationship to religion. I have a respect for tribal peoples, mainly because they learned to live off the land and in many/most cases only used the resources they needed to survive. They appear to respect what we call nature, and I do respect them for that. However, my feeling is that tribal peoples are really somewhere between modern man and animals that live by survival in the wild. Obviously they are our human species, so much more closely related to modern man that wild animals. However, their beliefs in all sorts of spirits, although mostly benign, I believe is the original source of influence that is the foundation of the major religions of modern man. Our religions evolved as did we from indigenous people. Their superstitions and beliefs in spirits helped them try and understand what they couldn't explain, not totally unlike Christianity and Islam tries to do today. As in modern religions, their beliefs were also founded by ignorance. I undoubtedly expect variations of opinions on this.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 4:03 AM
  • Cheetah I am literally one of those folk immune to poison ivy. I consider myself fortunate. Nevertheless, when I am deep in the woods with friends, I try to be mindful of their vulnerability, and follow that by seeking mutually constructive pastimes. I do that despite noting that some others may not. I know that there are others who do not share my perspective. I'll be darned if I would leave that opportunity to commune because of them. I probably don't do a good enough job of supporting my vulnerable friends, but I certainly miss them when they forego all that is good about the sometimes swampy deep woods. Thus I urge them to cover up well, and come on in. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 5:51 PM
  • News, your racist comment is way out of line. I'm not talking about anyone no longer living in remote and isolated places, which hardly anyone lives in today. I'm talking about indigenous people as in tribal peoples mostly back in the 1800's back to and before Jesus. And, I am only saying that the belief in spirits is just as unfounded as the belief in Muhammad or Jesus, or thor or other deities. However, claiming there are spirits in certain things as tribal native Americans, is quite benign mostly, and certainly no negative impact on others who do not believe in those spirits. On the other hand, protecting our environment for any reason, whether it be scientific or lack of knowledge is still for the common good. I still maintain that the idea of spirits originating in early tribal man is the root ideas that is also the origin of modern religions.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 6:51 PM
  • Years ago I had a doctor tell me that it is mostly poison ivy east of the Mississippi and mostly poison oak west of it. Also, it is my understanding that it primarily starts by contact with the oil based resin from the plant, and not spread by wind. That being said, I swear I breakout just by the mention of it, even now :-( If you get that resin on your boots, it can continue to reinfect any time you touch that resin. Wash your clothing and footwear! Everyone can get it in your bloodstream, but its manifestation out to the skin varies greatly by individual. So, you are not immune, you just don't have the skin outbreaks as severe as some.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 15, 2012, at 7:03 PM
  • News: "We poor heathens should be grateful to all those good Europeans..."

    Your post addresses nothing I have said, and borders on irrationality. In missing my point, your misplaced aggression makes it difficult for you to address the assumptions I have made as well. All of us can trace our roots back to tribal peoples at some point. I certainly have Indian blood in me, albeit not much. That has nothing to do with the point. Again, I maintain that any person or associated group that believes in a spirit in the sky (rock or lake for that matter) has no logical backing for that belief and further, it is the foundation from which modern religions took root. For tribal peoples to have such beliefs is easily understandable. Your insults about Europeans are grounded in real atrocities that I agree took place, although it has nothing to do with my point. I will go even further than you to suggest that those same Europeans that should have been enlightened by the knowledge of science all around them no longer have a valid reason to hold on to the irrational beliefs espoused by the ancient (tribal) holy books they follow. Modern man exposed to the knowledge of math, science, and biology has no excuse to believe in the spirit in the sky. There are no spirits in the sky, rocks, lake, or inside a mountain. Nor do those who have an excuse to believe that get a free pass by everyone else to accept those beliefs as true.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 2:24 AM
  • News: "We poor heathens..."

    Maybe I am missing a point you are trying to make that is somewhat disguised by your indignant response? Are you somehow wanting to defend belief in spirits as really existing while the belief in a single God as being false? Just what is your point?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 2:34 AM
  • "Rogue Planet Spotted 100 light-years away". I think most of you who understand the value of science will find this new discovery extremely interesting -- BBC News.....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20309762

    Science makes religion seem so small and mentally confining!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 2:39 AM
  • Cheetah -

    I understand your comments completely - and I respect your stand on this matter. Just wanted to let you know we (I at least) miss you and your input. Must say - it does get kind of toxic in here at times. I try not to let it bother me personally - or to take it too personally - which is hard for me - and to let it kind of roll off my back.

    That being said - did you guys get any venison yet this season?

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 7:45 AM
  • And Cheetah - the mountain man in me has learned to spot the toxic clingers-on at somewhat of a distance and to be cautious - and stay clear of - the stench of the fertilizer whenever possible.

    Here's another thing to consider.

    I watched one day as a couple of four-legged alpha males sparred in the woods - oblivious to the fact that I or anyone else might be nearby. They were each, in fact, so intent on gaining ground on the other and becoming Number One - that neither of them heard the gentle rustle of the leaves and the crack in the wind just before the bullet passed through the left shoulder blade of the biggest and knocked him to the ground.

    The other Alpha Male stood there for a moment -apparently thinking he had defeated his fallen foe - and just long enough for a bullet from another rifle to knock him off his feet.

    Two perfectly good specimens of their kind are now no more because they were so intent on defeating each other and making it known just who was Number One - Monarch of the Forest one might say - that they were both vanquished by an unknown, unseen enemy.

    I think we both - you and I - possess a bit -maybe more - of that mountain man spirit and wisdom that we might be able to sit back and let the Alpha Males spar - knowing that soon enough - they will meet their expected end.

    Happy Watching!

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 8:08 AM
  • Moses had an itch that he just had to scratch.

    John the Baptist lost his head for a love match.

    Judas said no very loudly times three

    and Jesus looked down from a carpentered tree.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 16, 2012, at 4:54 PM
  • Well said ND. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Nov 18, 2012, at 9:04 AM
  • News you will be happy to learn that we have a big, and bold granite display of the ten commandments right here on the grounds of our Oklahoma State Capitol. It is pretty near the oil derrick on the grounds, that other thing Okies worship. Nary a peep from the ACLU which has apparently washed its hands of Oklahoma.

    I'm thinkin' of asking if I may put a little metal marker in the ground near the granite simply stating "Free Thinkers". You know something similiar to the little ones disenfranchised poor folks put on their graves. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 9:16 AM
  • No disageement here News. A Creche, Santa Claus, and various ethnic symbols are all fine with me. The sticking point is when public officals exclude Jewish seasonal symbols, Kwanza, or anything else. Hell I'm not opposed to a garland entwined swastika, even if it is next to a Menorah, or KKK symbols next to the Kwanza symbols. LOL Now concepts such as that tend to crumble the foundations of liberty, but they should not. Free speech for one, free speech for all!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 2:42 PM
  • Nana: "..spirituality is that which is NOT written down, is NOT dogmatic, is NOT canonized and is NOT applicable to all adherents."

    You say what it is NOT, but what then is spirituality? I dare say it is too subjective to define and therefore just a "feeling". Whatever you define it as, I would guess that would be what most of us feel when we witness birth, the strong feeling of love or infatuation, the amazement of the universe as science unfolds its mysteries to us.

    Nana: "demeaning judgement that 'tribal people' are somewhere BETWEEN modern humans and animals says a world in and of itself.."

    I certainly do not feel I am demeaning anyone. I feel confident you could take a tribal child out of the jungles of the Amazon from a tribe that has never seen civilization and they might very well have the same intelligence capability that any child in any advanced society might have. I am simply referring to the belief in spirits based on lack of understanding about the physical universe that the rest of us have been exposed to via science. I maintain that the reason these beliefs in spirits exists is simply because of the lack of understanding of the physical universe. I don't believe any other species (possibly porpoises, whales, or elephants) has the ability to understand the physical universe, although perhaps it is only man that can jump to the conclusion that spirits exist.

    Nana: "We NOW know, via genome studies, that 'we ARE all related' - to the lowly sponge.."

    It is a great leap from genetic similarities to a plant possessing intelligence and/or experience of pain or pleasure. Are you suggesting same?

    Nana: "your antipathy toward ANY knowledge that is not Western science based is itself a religion."

    Understanding of the physical universe is not at all confined to Western science. And to call the understanding of the methodology of science as a religion is really wrong. Based on Wiki:

    "Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values:

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 6:28 PM
  • News: "Violating every person and group their Right to free speech is just as much a violation of the 1st Amendment Free Speech provision as is the denial of just 1 person's free-speech rights."

    Glad to hear it was in-fighting between Christians, and not those **** atheists complaining :-) However, News, I don't think this is a free speech issue. If we allow any group to display anything on public property, certainly a judgment as to whether that display might be offensive must be taken into account. What if those who really believe in Voo Doo wanted a day of their own to display blood-letting or other aspects of their religion, or another group wants to display a form of porno or something that might offend Christians such as an upside down Jesus on the cross, should that be allowed as free speech? Is it free speech to allow a religious group to be allowed to ask everyone at a pep rally to bow their heads in prayer?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Nov 20, 2012, at 7:00 PM
  • News, you do have a tendency to blow things way out of proportion. You had previously used "free speech" to include putting up a nativity scene, not actually speaking. Yes, I agree we all have free "speech" anywhere in public. Why did you imply that I was against free speech with your indignation? Free speech does not give any of us the right to put something up or build on public land, which is what your prior post included as free speech. And of course free speech does not include yelling "fire" in a theatre, nor does it include screaming obscenities, nor does it allow you to put signs up on public property.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 12:34 AM
  • News: "Denying 100% of the People their Right to free expression is just as bad as denying 1 person their Right to free expression"

    1. Are you equating free speech with free expression? I believe there is a difference and that free expression might have more limitations than free speech, although extreme uses of each might at rare times be justifiably limited.

    2. Limiting one person out of a million freedom of expression because it is considered detrimental to society, although in general I am against such action, is not "just as bad" as limiting all the others.

    I feel I am splitting hairs on this issue with you News, as I'm fairly confident we are both very close to the same appreciation of freedom of speech and expression. Very little offends me, and for the most part, I think that most people that show offense should just get over it and the government needs to stay out of our personal lives and business, unless it negatively affects the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by others.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 4:28 PM
  • Mars Mystery: What HAS Curiosity Discovered?

    "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good," John Grotzinger, lead scientist of the MSL mission."

    Science is so much more powerful than religion! I can't wait until we hear the detail of this new discovery!!

    http://news.discovery.com/space/mars-mystery-what-has-curiosity-discovered-12112...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 5:17 PM
  • OK, Nana, I used the wrong word, although I think many adjectives could be used to express the comparison. How about the word WONDERFUL?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 22, 2012, at 4:42 AM
  • Eric Hovind vs 6th Grade Atheist...

    http://youtu.be/HhDPrP-tpeo

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 22, 2012, at 4:50 AM
  • Nana, it is a tool, an extremely valuable tool. Religion is much more like philosophy.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 22, 2012, at 3:56 PM
  • You said News; "Oh and may I add, that even if a statement is true, if the statement is made regarding an individual who does not make his living in the public eye (private citizen), it is slander. If its written, its libel.

    Truth is not a defense to slander or libel in the case of a private citizen."

    Incorrect News, check it out. Both libel, and slander are predicated on false declaration, thus both are within the category of defamation. Libel is seen defamation, slander is heard defamation. Truth is always a defense, in fact the primary defense to either.

    The gist of the public figure doctrine is that malice must be proven.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Nov 22, 2012, at 11:54 PM
  • No other way to say it News, your opinion is in error. Truth is an absolute defense against charges of defamation in every state, whether the charges involve private, or public personages.

    The point is that if it is truth by definition it is not defamatory. http://www.publishlawyer.com/carousel4.htm

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 12:10 PM
  • Yeh she does News, she believes that I am God. Not to be vain, but I'm thinkin' that she has picked a benevolent one. She doesn't get mixed messages from me, I do not punish her for reasons she can't understand, and therefore she is never forced to accept it as God's will. I never let her go hungry, nor lost, nor be harmed. I heal her wounds, and she actually has a constant hands on expression of her God's love. I doubt that she could understand it anyway, or is even interested in the concept of eternal life, butI make no promise of that. In other words to her I am a God of positive acts, her experience is such that she has no need to accept anything based on faith. She has no doubt, she knows.

    If only all Gods would be so straight forward, and prove their alleged powers by consistent loving constructive use of same. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 4:46 PM
  • News I'm not so sure that you aren't misleading your pets by electing Christian practice, and tradition. You are far too humble. You should accept the role with which they are inherently comfortable. If you feel more comfortable with dual Gods you, and AW could share the joyous responsibility.

    I want to share a little homily with you.

    My dear pup in step with her innate traditions that go back thousands of years is a mighty hunter of backyard mice, and voles. She captures them, and tosses them in the air, catching them while they are still in the air. They expire from the shock to their emotions. I have seen the same behavior on video from wolf pups. As I am in the role of all seeing, I have meanwhile prepared the garden and planted providently. After her play she buries the rodents in the garden where, having come home, they rest in peas.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 8:02 PM
  • Nana: "..UNLESS of course, you have subscribed to the PHILOSOPHY that 'Science has all the answers to all the questions - period'. So which is it for you? Tool or philosophy? or both?"

    It is a Tool. I am not sure what semantics you intend to interject in this, but it is simply the most powerful tool and for trying to understand the secrets the universe has to offer. That does not mean I am a cold our species has, and quite frankly the only tool of real value for continuing to make our lives more comfortable hearted Spock-like person that does not believe in the value of art, love, and all the other emotions we go through. I believe the origins of all emotions are purely chemical and not metaphysical or mystical. A mystery does not mean it is mystical; mysteries are only solvable by science. The deep emotion of love is no different for you than it is for me, it is just that I believe the origin of it is not the same as you probably believe?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 5:01 AM
  • News: "..even though I am an atheist"

    I don't believe I've seen you admit you are an atheist. It seems way back you claimed only to be an agnostic, and had to do with the percentage of being positive. Glad to see you've accepted that label, even though it is still held in a negative light by most.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 5:02 AM
  • Nana: "RT - therefore, it is your view that we are simply extremely complex machines that are no greater than the sum of the complex parts?"

    Yes, I believe that. I have to add that I do not really believe it matters what we believe, other than those that believe in woo woo carry that belief into a set of rules they claim to have communicated with their woo woo maker and then try to force those "made up" rules on others. The fact that you believe in some form of supernatural being or beings in and of itself does not affect me or others since you do not try and set weird and crazy guidelines for others to live by. It can be a positive thing when those beliefs are used to appreciate and preserve our natural environment, things I too believe in as well, although just because it is positive does not make their belief true. Not believing in the supernatural has nothing to do with my appreciation of life and nature and the preservation of our natural resources and the environment. Virtually all organized religions that stem from a belief in supernatural forces claim to have rules derived from some of their members claiming to have communicated with that force (aka God). I have a real problem with that. On a less intrusive scale, I dislike the idea of animal sacrifice claimed to be dictated by their special communication with the supernatural. I dislike the idea of Eskimos whale hunting simply because that is the way their ancestors survived and associating that with a spiritual activity, when the sacrifice of that animal is no longer necessary for their survival. Nana, you always leave me with the impression that you are a very kind and wonderful person, but I believe you would be that exact same kind person with our without your spiritual beliefs.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Nov 25, 2012, at 6:53 AM
  • Nana: "... any time you start talking in 'absolute universal TRUTH' be it science or religion, you're gonna run into trouble..."

    There is nothing absolute in religion, but science is continually adding to an already large amount of physical laws that are universal truth in regard to our physical world. Outside our physical world only lies conjecture, philosophy, and religion/superstitions. What I am saying is that science adds measureable value to our life and world around us, while religion adds nothing.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Nov 25, 2012, at 11:37 AM
  • Nana: "My argument is still this: Scientists know the limits and weaknesses of their work and SAY SO. Demagogues and shock jocks and cults and wannabees who don't know their stuff use the imprecise, illogical, statistically incorrect, ideological LANGUAGE of claiming ALL answers to EVERYTHING. THAT is the hubris and the arrogance."

    I don't understand the point you are trying to make? Have I said something that puts me in your classification of demagogues? Nobody has said that science has answers for everything. Science can only try to answer questions using physical evidence. Religion only has conjecture, opinion, with nothing to back it up. Science improves understanding of everything we see around us, and even things so far away we could never see, and things so small we can't see with the naked eye. Religion has nothing to do with the reality of our understanding of our environment and the universe. Some people claim to know what they cannot possibly know, and worse, some of them try to force their ignorance on others

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 7:15 PM
  • ROTFLMAO.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 11:12 AM
  • I kind of like discussing the "religion of liberalism" and the lies that they follow.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 12:22 PM
  • Good point regarding semantics News. Taking your point forward we also need to define spiritual.

    Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of spiritual

    adjective

    1 relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things: I'm responsible for his spiritual welfare

    having a relationship based on a profound level of mental or emotional communion: he never forgot his spiritual father

    (of a person) not concerned with material values or pursuits.

    2relating to religion or religious belief: the country's spiritual leader

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 2:36 PM
  • Cha Ching!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 2:51 PM
  • This thought occurs to me:

    at our peril we ignore semantics

    and descend to monkey's antics

    I don't see nearly enough "what do you mean by (blank)?" I am as guilty as the next. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 2:52 PM
  • This is all good. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 7:46 PM
  • Nana: "The best they could come up with was the hammer-fist of 'If it isn't proven by (modern Western) SCIENCE (as we define it) it isn't TRUE!!"

    That is NOT what has been said, at least by me. You are twisting the words making them totally inaccurate. If science cannot prove something is true does NOT mean it is false. At the same time, just because science cannot prove something false does NOT mean it is true. The existence of God cannot be proven, nor can it be proven that there is no God. Science cannot prove that Thor does not exist either. However, science and math can provide a lot of physical evidence to support the likelihood or improbability of many things that cannot be determined as absolute. You can choose to ignore statistical probability and hang onto a notion that has virtually no supporting evidence if you choose. I am not singling you out on this latter point, as I also believe in some things of which there is little or no physical evidence that it exists. Love and beauty come to mind as something I believe exists, at least in our minds. Whether it is chemical or something else is debatable.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 7:55 PM
  • Good question News. I have some thoughts about it, but I am too tired tonight, and have a bad cold. I'll probably take a shot at it tomorrow.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 11:07 PM
  • ND, too much paraphrasing. "Language is an arbitrary symbolism". I guess that is all we can use on this forum until we get ESP down to a science.

    ND: "The original question was something on the order of 'does anyone else think that all spirituality/religion lead to bad things'... I raised the issues of defining knowledge, the Chinese, the Mayan, the Egyptian and indigenous knowledges, and that they were couched in the terms they understood/used but that it did not invalidate the knowledge itself... you didn't even try to address it. You went straight to (paraphrasing) if they thought it was 'spirits' then it wasn't 'real'... really?"

    OK, let me try again. Yes, there is great knowledge that was possessed by the Chinese, Mayans, Egyptians, etc. Have I now addressed it? Where you and I differ on this is in regard to you wanting to correlate all those building blocks of information in addition to the science and mathematics they achieved, to somehow use it to validate their spirituality. The Egyptians accomplished amazing things technologically. That does not validate (make true) their belief in the gods. The Catholic church is responsible for the creation of many great architectures, and the impetus behind much of the world's great art, none of which validates their belief system.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 1:57 AM
  • This is my meager contribution to the religion blog this evening. I'm still a bit poorly. ;)

    This is all about King David, Samson and Delilah, and Hallelujah, other stuff.

    Listen to this link first, it has the lyrics, which deserve pondering. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDJgxE-0PZI

    Then listen to it at this link for it is the definitive version.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_NpxTWbovE

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 7:23 PM
  • :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Nov 29, 2012, at 10:31 PM
  • Leonard Cohen who wrote "Hallelujah" took a year to get it written, writing eighty versions of the lyrics. It has been covered by three hundred artists, who have used various versions of the lyrics resulting in a broad range of artistic interpretations.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 9:33 AM
  • One of the things I like about the song is that the many versions, and many interpretations parallel the Bible itself.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 9:37 AM
  • For a long time I have appreciated the irony of listening to folks rant about the impending destruction of Christianity, clueless to the fact that Paul had already been there done that.

    Good link ND, thanks.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 10:37 PM
  • The thought occurs to me that the Apostles Creed is a sandwich for the soul with no meat. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Dec 1, 2012, at 12:11 AM
  • Nana: "RR3, this one's for you"

    Actually, that's for everyone, even atheists. It shows how far away from the intended teachings of Christianity the religious right (RR) has come. The RR does what all god fearing religious fanatic people do, they quote from the parts of the bible that justify their need for greed, and to hell with all that "love your neighbor" and "turn the other cheek" crap. The vast majority of the writings in the bible emphasize behavior more akin to a "hippie" than to a "wall street tea party" person the RR politically supports. Thanks for the link Nana!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 1, 2012, at 4:58 AM
  • Here's another one for RR3:

    "Ken Ham of Creation Museum Slams Robertson for Dismissing Young Earth Theory"

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/ken-ham-of-creation-museum-slams-robertson-for...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 1, 2012, at 5:21 AM
  • Human Evolution Enters an Exciting New Phase

    If there is a way out of this mess we have overpopulated our way into, there is no doubt science will have to lead the way. Yes, science as a tool has been used for both good and bad, but we are on a course of destruction just from shear overpopulation of the earth, along with ignorance provided by relgion, unless science can somehow lead us to solutions. This article is just a snippet of what science has to offer in understanding:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/recen

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 2, 2012, at 8:46 AM
  • News: "Stop blaming a tool for the discovery of truth for the foolish ways men and women use truth. Its like trying to blame a miter saw for the genocide of the Holocaust."

    You are "preach'n to the choir" News :-) Nana, I believe he's addressing this to you :-(

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 2, 2012, at 10:03 AM
  • Science as a tool can be used for good and bad, but I believe the facts show that science has improved our standard of living immensely. It is the understanding of our physical surroundings through science that separates us from tribal man. Yes, there is an argument to be made about "quality" of life, but that is extremely subjective. There are way too many improvements to our lives to go into any list, and that is a testament to how much positive value we have gained by science. Religion, on the other hand, has not offered anything tangible that we would not have achieved anyway (art comes to mind). There is an argument that could be made that the vast majority of religion's influence on our species had been negative and has held us back. Science will be able to propel us farther and faster much sooner when religious ignorance no longer is allowed to influence our government and education. Science is self-correcting; religion is propagated by ignorance. Can someone please explain how any rational person could possibly believe that a person named Jesus actually walked on water, other than total indoctrination?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 3, 2012, at 7:41 PM
  • Thanks Cheetah. I truly enjoyed the article. :)

    The reason I posted the song was to stir conversation about the song which means so many things. It has been one of my favorite songs for a long time for a lot of reasons. Since reading the article you linked it is now one of my favorites for even more reasons.

    When we were at the Woody Guthrie Festival one evening this summer John Fullbright was on stage, and closed his set with "Hallelujah". As he began the song, the group that was to follow him came on stage, and joined in; then the group that preceded him (who were still backstage) came out. They all seemed to love the song. It is just one a whole lot of musicians are drawn to for various reasons with various results, in my experience all good. It was the hit of that drought breaking rainy evening. It had been a parched field with 100+ temps earlier, when they played it was wet the crowd was wet, and it was a slight shiver cool. Something I won't forget.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Dec 4, 2012, at 11:53 PM
  • I reflected after my last post about that little slice of time in Okemah Oklahoma, and realized I didn't do justice to that magical moment.

    There were also musicians scattered about the front of the crowd; gig done they were enjoying their comrade's music. As the song progressed they stood, and joined in. So did I (sotto voice) thinking that one frog's voice wouldn't be too foreign to that wet pasture. I think the chill to some degree was not all due to the change in the weather, as in my case at least, it seemed to run up my spine, and raise the hairs on the back of my neck. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 5, 2012, at 12:16 AM
  • As usual, Nana, you are accusing some of us as absolutists, while I am tryinjg to describe relative importance and/or lack of importance. Yes, News, many religious people have done very good things, and I maintain that even if they didn't believe in a supernatural creator, their own lack of understanding, they would still do very good things.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 8, 2012, at 11:15 AM
  • "that 'everything that has ever been accomplished by religion could have been done better by science and without religion' - which is pretty absolute... so who's "absolutist" here?"

    That statement of what I believe to be fact may be absolutist, but that is not the entire context of what I mean by relative importance. The relative importance is that science has way more value added to our existence than does religion. And religion has provided "some" value, only because those who subscribe to formal religions do many good deeds. But even though they do good deeds, those good deeds do not nearly add up (relative importance) to what science has provided. And, then it is hard for me to give much relative importance to something I believe could have been achieved without their religion. And even if one thought religion was the impotence behind the good deeds you may want to give them credit for, they do not come close to the value science has given us (relative importance). Please name the major items religion has given our species that you think in some way might compare to the value science has added to our species?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 9, 2012, at 8:38 AM
  • I agree News that Mengele's atrocities do not fit within the definition of science, to wit: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation-Oxford.

    I see nothing practical in his "work".

    On the other hand those who worked to assure efficiency in the Nazi gas chambers by applying scientific principles would be engaging in a scientific endeavor wouldn't they? Applied science? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Dec 9, 2012, at 9:36 PM
  • Bottom line: Ministers can, and do use religion for immoral purpose. Scientists can, and do use science for immoral purpose.

    It is not the vehicle in either case, it is the driver.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 10, 2012, at 8:31 PM
  • "Someone" put a lump of coal in my stocking twenty years ago. There it has remained. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 10, 2012, at 11:41 PM
  • humbug :(

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Dec 11, 2012, at 7:48 PM
  • Articlel: "Census 2011: What has caused this massive flight from Christianity?"

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2012/12/what-has-caused-this-massive-flight-fr...

    Great article! And I really enjoyed this blogger's comment on same:

    * "Christianity is absurd and weird, and can only survive in an echo-chamber. Globalization has been killing Christianity since the 1800s. John 3:16 sounds fine, until you meet a non-Xian and realize they are bound for Hell.

    A century of recording technology eliminates rumors of magic. There has never been a miracle on tape. Google is killing urban legends. It used to be people established themselves as reliable sources of information, and seek the esteem of others. If I heard it from a professor or read it in a reputable publishing, it was safe to repeat. I had a circle of friends who lived by the same standard, and we were the smug, cafe intellectuals that spent regular time at the city library. We had power, prestige, even groupies! Now everyone has the same access. There used to be a population of people who just repeated BS that they heard from someone else, and bad memes would run unchecked. Those people are gone now. I think we passed into a new era, without much attention paid to it.

    I used to dogear the Bible to show people the juicy, faith killing bits. Now, there are websites dedicated to each topic (slavery, rape, absurdities, racism, sexism, etc).

    Christianity also got even stranger. The world did not end in 2000, and a lot of people were banking on that. Even more people saw others that foolish hysteria. How many millennialists had kids? [Speaking of which, I look forward to this year being the death knell for New Age hokum]. The rise of Pentecostalism and Evangelism were signs of hypothermia, the flock retreating into vital fundamentalism. Such an exciting time to be alive."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Dec 14, 2012, at 9:56 PM
  • ND: "Yes, Ghandi and Mother Theresa might have been kind, generous selfless people without religion..."

    But with religion, Mother Theresa helped cause death and misery for thousands with AIDS because she peddled the churches position of abstinence over the use of condoms. This is a great example of someone that believes they are doing "good", yet the net effect of their actions is very bad. Was she really kind and generous if the net affect was so bad?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 15, 2012, at 10:24 AM
  • News, that was an entire quote from a blogger. I would have never been considered a groupie of any kind (well, maybe a keg party groupie :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 6:49 AM
  • News: "Christianity has an important role to play in our society. Their hard work helping folks in Newtown is a very good example of that important role."

    This is very difficult to approach, but I suppose "any port in a storm" is understandable when in shock. Letting people hold on to their illusion of everlasting life seems humane, but the real issue is that the belief of eternal life thru unquestionable faith has been perpetuated so long and from such an early age, that the reality of this being the only life we have cannot be thrust upon those experiencing the shock of losing a loved one. I'm afraid an interview with me after such a loss would not go well, if I would even talk to reporters at all. It would probably start with something like "Where was your Lord and savior to prevent this from happening? He didn't prevent it because He does not exist and there is no way to rationalize a god having anything to do with this tragedy. "

    If all those Christians were to wake up tomorrow and realize that there probably isn't a supernatural being watching over everyone, I am confident every one of those benevolent individuals would still be "there" to support those who have suffered this horrific tragedy. And News, they would also still be "hard working folks". What I am saying News, is that Christianity can be taken out of your equation and support and kindness would still flourish every bit as much.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 7:11 AM
  • And as not to only single out Christians, check out the ignorance perpetuated by Islam by a revolt of creationist Islam students force a debate on Evolution to change its venue away from a respected scientific university:

    http://richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2012/12/15/debate-on-islam-and-evolution...

    Rhetorical question: "Why is such stupidity embedded in religion?"

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 7:38 AM
  • News, if you were to lose your wife or child to some tragedy tomorrow, do you believe they have souls that you would then meet up with again after your death?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 3:56 PM
  • String theory is way too abstract for our physical universe to believe it could give you a chance to truly live forever. Besides, never remembering (who says memory is tied to anything but physiology anyway) brings up an entire philosophical debate in the same vein as whether the forest really exists if you were the only one to see it. The reality (based on information and not just hope) is that you will never again see that loved one again once they are gone. I believe most people understand that (at least subconsciously) and that is why even the most religious individuals exhibit such overwhelming grief. They don't really "buy into" the everlasting life thing. When people can consciously accept that there is no afterlife, perhaps they can make the best use of their time they have with their loved ones in the here and now. Loss of life for a loved one is no worse for an atheist who recognizes there is "no more" than for someone trying to consciously convince themselves that they will see that person again in an afterlife.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 4:14 AM
  • Well said RT. I enjoy discussions that you and News share. Good on the both of you!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 10:32 AM
  • Hey News, I wasn't disagreeing with you either. I was just making my own observations as well. Yes, I had viewed the videos and found them interesting - thanks! OKR, I certainly ejoy your posts as well. Most of the regulars I enjoy reading, but the super religious posts bore me to tears and from my stand point I can't help but have pitty on people that are so indocrinated by their religion that they blindly follow and quote absurdities written over 2k years ago. I do think it is important to at least espouse one's beliefs so anyone reading these posts knows there are a lot more people who don't believe in the supernatural than that might have otherwise thought.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 5:55 PM
  • :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 10:55 PM
  • Hey News and RT, can't you guys just agree to agree? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 10:56 PM
  • My favorite dream is for a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 9:35 PM
  • ROTFLMAO RT. Good one.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 10:47 PM
  • There is a lot less room for god in our universe as science makes it more difficult for him (yes, we conveniently know his sex) to peer in on us as we do whatever we do in our bedrooms. Since we've been able to see in the clouds and around the moom and probed our owne universe without neery hint of his campsite, we have expanded our probing light years away, finding possibly similar habitats to earth. Maybe he's concentrating on another species in his image way out there...

    "Tau Ceti's planets nearest around single, Sun-like star"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20770103

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 5:22 AM
  • Good one News. From the angle the research picture was taken, it might also prove how they could get a case of the red-arse as well :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 22, 2012, at 9:41 AM
  • Washington Post now says "Unbelief is now the world'€™s third-largest '€™religion'"

    "The study, released Tuesday (Dec. 18) by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, found that more than eight in 10 (84 percent) of the world's 7 billion people adheres to some form of religion. Christians make up the largest group, with 2.2 billion adherents, or 32 percent worldwide, followed by Muslims, with 1.6 billion adherents, or 23 percent worldwide. Close behind are the "nones" -- those who say they have no religious affiliation or say they do not believe in God -- at 1. 1 billion, or 16 percent. That means that about the same number of people who identify as Catholics worldwide say they have no religion."

    I still believe that with the Internet this 16 percent of rational people will explode in growth over the next few years. It used to be just the really really smart people that knew it was all a load of (you know), but as the rest of us get exposed to the idea that these adult fairy tales are not really shared by all around us, the easier it is to accept what really makes sense after all... that there is no supernatural sky daddy looking over us 24x7 and pulling strings (answering prayers). And no, the sky daddy didn't cause all those children to die just to test your faith either. Now that I've thrown that little bad taste in your punch bowl, let me switch gears and seriously tell you that I do really enjoy the xmas spirt a lot (just not the supernatural part), and wish you all a very Merry Xmas!!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 22, 2012, at 9:55 AM
  • We've touched on the church's role in our society and how much of a positive role it has played throughout history. I have argued that those individuals donating time and money are altruistic and would have done so whether they believed in Christ and God, or not. I believe I am right, but I must also admit that the reality is that the church is a "brick and mortar" place that exists throughout our world giving local representation for their beliefs and mostly altruistic causes. In a sense, they are like the 7-11 in that they are everywhere. One problem for those of us who are secular (aka non-believers) is that there is no brick and mortar local place (or very few) that has anywhere near the organization that The Church has (regardless of denomination or religion for that matter). Perhaps there are ministers that are open minded enough to accept that there are many non-believers that could use the social power of a brick and mortar church along with the social power of local gatherings to promote a parallel function of the church to promote altruistic values for local communities. They could openly allow a secular branch that was interested in donating and gathering for social events as well as making donations for special altruistic causes to benefit society. The problem ultimately with this is that such a church and ministry would have to accept that there are many individuals that cannot believe and their role would change from trying to "promote" their religion to accepting that their value would be in allowing the free flow between the two groups and accepting the validity of each group's point of view. Such a church could gain in membership and would grow in community stature as secular groups grow in numbers over the years. At some point, a large majority of that church may be secular in nature, yet the altruistic value of the church would still stay intact. Both groups would need to respect the views of the other. I've met preachers I think could pull that off. In fact, I think most preachers would relish playing to both a secular group as well as a believer's group. One group would have sermons while the other group would promote TED type lectures. Ok, the weed is wearing off and I'm starting to realize that perhaps that is just to idealistic... of course I'm kidding (about the weed :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 23, 2012, at 7:48 AM
  • Thanks News. I have a special connection to the Grinch, so to repay the favor I will request that he lighten up on you. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Dec 23, 2012, at 7:00 PM
  • Merry Christmas News to you, and Aussie Wife. I am going to the kitchen now to pour myself a stout egg nog, and will toast the both of you over there far across the big pond.....I'm back, here's to you...aaah, that was good. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Dec 23, 2012, at 11:39 PM
  • What ND said. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 24, 2012, at 10:56 AM
  • Bryan Fischer, spokesman for the American Family Association, in response to a Pew poll that revealed that 20 percent of the population are non-religious, up from 16 percent in 2008: "the foundations of our culture are crumbling." The Pew poll, he said, "is one of the signs." He goes on to say "that God did not protect the children killed in the Newtown, Conn., massacre because of the Supreme Court decisions banning prayer and Bible reading in public schools. "God is not going to go where he is not wanted," Mr. Fischer said.

    With religious leaders like this, they still wonder why there is a major shift toward the non-religious. It is this kind of intervening, vindictive, and punishing god view that makes me wonder how anybody can buy into religion in the first place. He makes the case for keeping religion out of public schools an obvious one in my book.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Dec 25, 2012, at 8:43 AM
  • Here's the thing, News, if you really think about it, most if not all true believers believe there is an "intervening" god. That is, a god that listens to their prayers and depending on his decisions doles out reward and punishment in our daily lives. So, I would surmise that there are a good many religulites that believe bad events take place because of actions that their god does not approve of. Therefore, don't be surprised if it is not just the hate groups that believe those shootings were somehow part of gods decision.

    >

    > Nana, I agree that his view on the Supreme court banning prayer is nonsense. From their collective view, if our schools don't actively promote Christianity in our schools, then they are in effect banning it. That is truly nonsense, as you say.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Dec 26, 2012, at 9:05 AM
  • The question is really whether there is that much difference between someone like Fischer and the majority of strongly religious people who believe prayer really works. If you believe prayer really works, which I assume most religious people do believe, then you do believe in a god that not only watches over us all, but pulls the strings on all events. Someone like RR3 (he needs to speak for himself) and many others would believe that some immoral action of some kind led to that Newtown massacre. People who believe in that may not have the political clout of a Fischer, but they still have influence that chip away at a civil and rational society that ultimately brings us all down. What we are talking about here is how religion is responsible for much of the ignorance holding advancement of our species back, and in no small way influencing our decisions that could ultimately cause our own extinction. That is quite a leap I am suggesting, but the power of ignorance should not be under estimated.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 4:43 AM
  • How religion promotes ignorance can be seen everywhere, and here is just one example:

    An Italian priest has sparked anger for claiming women bring domestic violence on themselves by dressing provocatively and neglecting housework:

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1723242/Women-bring-violence-on-themselves-pr...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 4:47 AM
  • Interested, Im filling in the blank. "A bomb made from common household items." +1 for pro gun.

    -- Posted by Almost Critical on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 5:37 PM
  • Another point to your observation about bombs AC; There is some regulation of bomb making materials. The purchase of fertilizer is regulated for instance. Of course Tim McVeigh got around the regulations.

    However he was a life long gun nut, and chose a bomb because it would kill more people. He was a different breed of cat than these solitary sick boys who go on killing sprees.

    McVeigh was fascinated by militia matters including the politics of the movement. Politically motivated revenge for such things as Ruby Ridge, and Koresh of Waco differed him from the BushMaster Boys. He was not particularly interested in watching people drop as he shot them. He was instead making a political statement for the movement.

    One has to wonder if the Krazy Kids would even consider bombs because it would not give them the same killer high that personal slaughter does. It would not satisfy their compulsion.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 11:00 PM
  • -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 11:01 PM
  • -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 11:56 PM
  • Stanford Gets A Chaplain For Atheists..

    This goes along the theme I was suggesting about how some churches and pastors could become more relevant if they offered a secular side to their particular church..

    Figdor, 28, is one of a growing number of faith-free chaplains at universities, in the military and in the community who believe that nonbelievers can benefit from just about everything religion offers except God.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Stanford-gets-a-chaplain-for-atheists-4139991...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 29, 2012, at 12:49 AM
  • Science and Religion are NOT compatible!! This Jerry Coyne lecture is a little over one hour, but I enjoyed it immensely as he really lays out a case why science and religion are not compatable. Nana, he even lists one of reglions argument to fight back (as false) is the argument that science has been misused. Find an open hour and enjoy...

    http://youtu.be/Ekc2Nn03IVM

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 29, 2012, at 12:38 PM
  • Nana: "HOWEVER - secularists are going to have to do a MUCH better job of explaining how to find meaning, as opposed to perpetually, and snarkily, declaring life is hopeless and has no meaning. Cause who wants to live like that? What's the point?"

    I don't think anyone IS capable of explaining how to find meaning, and I think that is at least part of "the point". Science can explain much of the how and why things work or don't work, but there is nobody who has an inside track on the big philosophical "why" we are here (other than how we evolved). Those unanswerable questions are not privy to anyone. Religion tries to answer that with hocus pocus god delusion declarations that are of no value other than fooling one's self. Each of us are saddled to find our own Fortress of Solitude (Huxley), and science can help by reducing the time needed for pure survival (unlike our wild animal cousins). Science can provide much physical comfort, but how we enjoy our spare time is certainly up to us. Being secular does not mean we feel life is hopeless. It does lend itself to believe each day is more precious since we do not believe in a soul that gives us everlasting life, and that is "the point".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 30, 2012, at 1:17 PM
  • Yes, News, I think the rest of us left lately commenting on this blog are having to split hairs on some issues, but all are very reasonable, rational, and my guess above all people I'd love to do an occasional shot with to celebrate the extreme luck we've had in that one in a million sperm penetrating that one resilient egg. Whoops, kind of took the buzz off that shot with that comment. Happy News year!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 30, 2012, at 7:01 PM
  • Rodney was shunned to a corner, left to his own devices.

    Rodney could only listen to, his own advices.

    Rodney was shunned to a corner, because he paid no attention.

    Rodney was subjected to, peer assigned detention.

    Rodney didn't notice, and so the circle went.

    Rodney's head was spinning, what could he prevent? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Dec 30, 2012, at 11:28 PM
  • "In spite of all of the science that tells us that we are social animals, this is the best you can come up with?"

    Yes. I didn't think it was that bad :-)

    "A "fortress of solitude"? - who in the sam hill in their evolutionary minds could or would want to live like that?"

    We all do to a degree. Don't you have a fortress of solitude Nana?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Dec 31, 2012, at 5:02 PM
  • Goin' all scatalogical on y'all I gotta say that even early human kind likely learned to do their bizness away from common areas, that is seek privacy. Perhaps not so much to seek privacy, for privacies sake, nor anything to do with modesty, but for other reasons.

    For instance, they may not have wanted predators to smell their spore at a distance, and follow it to their base. They may have learned that if it was near where they gathered, it could cause sickness. I don't think it had anything to do with the smell being revolting as the streets of cities in some socities reeked of it in relatively recent times.

    A side note: Until a few hundred years ago toilet facilities were non-existent for much of the world's common people. The squat was it. That leads me to the thought that passage on the pot is much easier if one tip toes,(raising the knees) and leans forward while on the commode, which simulates body position during excretion as developed from our beginnings. It is a position that our digestive system adapted to for efficiency.

    Sometimes I think of the weirdest things. Watcha think? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 12:28 AM
  • Have you read Huxley's short story? The fortress is what and who you make of it. It could have been your cave with your family, or just any place you might need to withdraw to keep safe physically or mentally.. you don't have to withdraw to it indefinately, although I think that is what Huxley's point revolved around. To me, everyone has their own fortress of solitude... yes, even Superman :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Jan 1, 2013, at 7:33 AM
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