Speak Out [religion] April 1 to June 30, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013

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  • Clean slate ... wish I had something profound to say. The fog has lifted and the sun is shining and Christ is risen! How's that?

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 3:07 PM
  • Not taking the bait, news.

    According to the Bible (which you denounce and therefore nullify in your own mind) he was seen by - and communicated with - numerous people after the resurrection. And then there's that pesky empty tomb.

    Speaking of proof - can you prove that he didn't rise? Of course not. Silly me - sorry to put you on the spot like that.

    That'll be all (from me) on this question.

    But thanks for the interaction.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 4:02 PM
  • I know I've used this before, but it's time to use it again....

    Definition of a paranoid: Someone who goes to a football game and think the guys out in the huddle are talking about them.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 8:01 PM
  • At least Gentle Ben is "gentle", and as I recall, he doesn't push any religious beliefs on anyone else, or would he? Ben, do you think Xtianity should be acknowledged in our government or in public schools?

    I do find it interesting that there are a lot of people who believe the story of the resurrection, turning water into wine, walking across water, etc. Since it is common knowledge that the earliest written scriptures of the NT are somewhere around 75 years old and others much older. Would you not agree that it would be very possible that the stories passed down over several people's lifetimes be exaggerated at the least?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 8:10 PM
  • It was Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard who called the typical Christian response "admiring Christ instead of following Christ". I have met many people who are admirers of Christ, worshippers, but not followers.

    I admit to a fondness for folks who are followers of Christ. Not so much for those who spend time instead on their knees, not lifting someone up, but looking to the heavens. I just have the feeling that if Christ were to walk by such folk, he would say get up, and get busy.

    My impression is that Gentle Ben is a follower. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 9:48 PM
  • I also believe that a particular source of inspiration does not matter. It is resulting good works that do. Get 'er done!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 9:56 PM
  • It is not my concern as to GB's relationship preferences, nor how he justifies them. He is a free person to do as he pleases, as long as he harms none from this Free Thinker's perspective.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 10:49 PM
  • You as a finger pointer in such fashion DO is the most ludicrous concept I have witnessed on these blogs in a long time. I literally laughed out loud when I read your last post. Thanks, laughter is the best medicine, trite, but true.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Apr 1, 2013, at 11:26 PM
  • I don't pretend to be a biblical scholar, but I have read the purported words of Christ on many occasions. However it appears that I have missed some things, that have apparently been found by some of our Christian fundamentalist brethren. Thus I am asking those folks where they found the words of Jesus that motivate them to proclaim some of the things that they do.

    Please share with me where Jesus said that we should blame the poor for the woes of our society. I also can't find where he directed us to shout in exultation when our country decides to invade another country, that has not attacked us and kill innocents. I know it's just confusion on my part, so please show me where Jesus said that such killing of unarmed women, and children is not slaughter of innocents, but instead collateral damage.

    There are some other things that have escaped me, but I don't want to keep you from your continual Bible study. I may ask about them later. Meanwhile peace to you my brothers, I think Jesus said something about that, but maybe that is just a figment of my imagination.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 2, 2013, at 3:32 PM
  • If doers of good works believe that a cow orbiting the earth with bees on its back sends milk, and honey to earth to succor those who do good works, and thus does the good works, it harms none. We should spend less time poking fun at the source of good works, and more time glad of the good works whatever inspired them. Contra to that, no matter what one believes in it can not be a cover for bad works, and ugliness, that sham should be, and likely will be exposed. I think these are conditions of human life.

    The rewards for good acts vary, and can not be counted on, yet the provider of such works suffers no harm. Penalty for bad works may also be absent, but if penalty should occur it is unpleasant.

    Emerson said "For, the expectation of gratitude is mean, and is continually punished by the total insensibility of the obliged person." Yet folks persist in good works.

    I say retribution is to be expected by those who do bad works, and is punished in a much harsher way than is goodness. Yet folks persist in bad acts.

    It should be a no brainer as to the proper path to pursue. Yet it is obviously not so.

    Thank goodness, with out examination. Life is too short to waste time on the extraneous. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 2, 2013, at 6:41 PM
  • OKR: "I also believe that a particular source of inspiration does not matter. It is resulting good works that do. Get 'er done!"

    I agree too!!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 2, 2013, at 8:54 PM
  • As my memory serves me (and it doesn't very well), both OKR and GB have come off as the kind of Christians secular people would have no beef with. I don't recall them want to push their particular beliefs into government or the school system, but correct me if I am wrong. And OKR has posted many interesting and thoughtful posts for quite some time as I recall as well. If we can come close to agreeing on what we call "good" versus "evil", and it is accepted that regardless of religion (or no religion) that "good" can be achieved by anyone, then the only argument I have with a Christian is not really an argument, but a debate about what is physically possible versus impossible. When people start believing that the bible or Koran (or any of the so called holy books) is the definitive answer on how one should act, that is when irrational belief can cause harm. The slippery slope you get into when you start believing impossible feats written in the bible just because it is written in the bible. That opens the door for some/many religious people to use those interpretations to do evil things.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 2, 2013, at 9:11 PM
  • One such example of what I am trying to say is when some Christians interpret the bible to create and support laws that prohibit same sex partners from benefits give opposite sex partners. I grew up thinking homosexuality was wrong, but I have learned along the way that just because some behavior is not for me, that does not make it wrong or bad. And if all you have is that "it says so" in your holy book, then religion becomes a problem.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 2, 2013, at 9:18 PM
  • Amen RT. I further believe that people borrow as they wish from religious traditions, philosophies, and science to support the positions that their social environments, and biological predispositions have led them to.

    Thus an innately kind person who happens to not be agressive by nature will seek and find those things that reinforce his/her/it's nature; perhaps the teachings of the Jesus character, as well as other things. We all want to validate who we are.

    By the same token a person predisposed to greed, fear, and guilt will also seek sanction of self. Thus "money churches" thrive, and Spencerian philosophy when sorted through yields bits of validation.

    I am not saying that we as adults are absolutely compelled to a certain disposition, but most of us do spend our lives building the case for what we already are. Rational thinking tends to help us escape practices to which we are predisposed, and may be less than the best, to the point of even giving lucid consideration to questions such as what is best, or what is quality.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 2, 2013, at 9:59 PM
  • Pastor John Hagee & Glenn Beck, two far right reliiousidiots. The answer to our nations problem is payer. Thank (a non-existent) God these people don't run our country!! When Hagee reads the bible it is "very clear" (his bigoted interpretation is very clear). Thanks for posting this video News on what we really need to fear.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 5:20 AM
  • The second video with Dawkins going to Ted Haggard's sermon and interview was fascinating as well. You have to admit that someone as mild mannered as Richard Dawkins going into that environment took some fairly large kahunas? RD is really fantastic.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 5:28 AM
  • I realized I did not follow-up on my claim that there was really no difference between an agnostic and an atheist, although several posts made claim that there was. Technically, by definition, there is a difference. Initially it appears that agnostics ride the fence between belief and non-belief, right down the middle. My point is that many people that claim to be agnostic instead of atheist do so only because they can't prove there is no god, and hold out that there is a very slim possibility of a supernatural creator. To me, that is not riding the fence anywhere near the middle, as it is obvious agnostics in that group are really 99 percent atheist. Nobody can prove the negative "that there is no God", so that would make all of us who don't believe there is such a supernatural power agnostic. That would make all of us agnostic to the belief there was a CIA base on the far side of the moon, when in reality, we don't really believe such a base exists. We just can't prove it or say it without a shadow of a doubt. I think News is an atheist in all intent and purpose, just that he claims to technically be agnostic because of not being able to prove the negative. At least I want to claim him in my atheist camp :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 5:42 AM
  • While I don't understand why someone who doesn't know me and see me daily or walk in my shoes would call me a hypocrite, I would like to point out one fallacy I see pushed on this sight.

    Folks keep referring to "religion" or someone being "religious" when putting others down because they don't believe the same as you.

    As I have stated before - I believe (though I can't prove it scientifically - though I bet the repeatable evidence is there) "religion" is the problem with most belief systems. To be religious doesn't have anything to do with spirituality. One can be religious in their belief in (or worship of) science.

    I'll say it one more time - very slowly - What Christianity is supposed to be - and I know I have my detractors on this - is about relationships and about following the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

    You're right OKR - the New Testament doesn't speak to believers rejoicing over war of any kind. There are many things "religious" people believe that may or may not be scriptural.

    Jesus made it quite plain to all of his followers - our belief system isn't built on a building or an institution - but on our relationship with our creator and our relationships with others.

    And yes - I probably am a hypocrite some days ... I do not claim to be pefect. In fact - if I did - it would be an unverifiable claim.

    See - I got through that whole post without challenging anyone's intelligence or calling anyone names. Good on me!

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 7:56 AM
  • Thanks ND - you're a peach ...

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 11:11 AM
  • Some times we are sentient, sometimes not so much.

    Sometimes we get whacky when we lose our touch.

    Some folks value sentience, to others it's just a crutch. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 12:00 PM
  • Aha! At last I see why my favorite curmudgeon decided to run for Pope. :)

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/03/17587453-catholic-church-once-agai...

    And, on curmudgeonry: http://www.cloverquotes.com/about/curmudgeon

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 6:46 PM
  • News what natural facts are those that you imagine I ignore? Certainly not established science. I think the real difference between us is that you believe that if you can't see something, or understand something on a conscious level, or if it is not quantifiable, and factually verifiable it doesn't exist. I find that perception vain.

    I believe that there is more to existence than that. Don't ask what because I can not make a limiting statement. Suffice to say more than you, or I can comprehend.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 7:53 PM
  • News I repeat, what natural facts are those that you imagine I ignore? To remind you of why I pose this question you said,

    "Ignore the natural facts if you want to. Be as irrational as you choose to be."

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 9:13 PM
  • News I'll accept that you did not mean we were ignoring the natural facts by your statement. That does raise the question, why did you say it, if it did not have that implication?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 11:33 PM
  • Oh well nuff o' that. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 3, 2013, at 11:34 PM
  • Thanks ND. That was the most interesting essay I have read in a while. I often measure a good read by how many take aways I had. This essay was full of them.

    Here is just one; I don't think that the "Right" has been warned enough to be careful what they wish for. They have mixed their civil religion, and their fundamentalist religion so thoroughly that should their civil religion fail, it may drag their fundamentalist religion down to a new low in credibility. This could well be a repeat of history similar to the linked decline of pantheism, and Rome.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Apr 5, 2013, at 1:13 AM
  • "Render unto Caesar", a decision; could it also be interpreted as a warning? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Apr 5, 2013, at 1:34 AM
  • Nana: "Rational thinking" is the masculine-dominant, reductionistic, mechanical assessment tool that dehumanizes us and relegates non-linear, non-rational thinking to "womanish emotionality". Therein lies the 'tell'."

    Yes, therein lies the 'tell'. This sounds a bit bigoted about both men and women if I am reading this correct Nana. Are you saying in general that men or more rational than women? If so, I'm sure there are plenty of women (and men) that strongly disagree with that view. It would be considered an insult to women that they don't possess the same rational thinking skills that men do, and certainly an insult to men to claim that we don't possess the same ability to experience emotion as women do. Certainly there are areas of human experience that are unique to man versus woman (ie child birth), but to categorically make such a claim belittles each sex. I have not noticed your ability to rationally discuss topics on this blog to be inferior to anyone. I have noticed that your bias to believe in the supernatural to sometimes negatively affect your rational thinking, but that is not gender specific either.

    Nana: "And we simply can no longer ignore that we have feelings, emotions, relationships, and a sense of wonder and awe, however it is expressed."

    Again, atheists possess these emotions every bit as strong as you do Nana. Some people just don't let that bias their rational thinking.

    Nana: "But, except for OKR, y'all are still in the hardware store."

    I think with that statement you are trying to throw women back 100 years, back into the kitchen.

    I think your quote by Albert Einstein actually goes against your masculine versus feminine statements as well.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 5, 2013, at 2:53 AM
  • Anyone who truly believes that Jesus rose from the dead, walked across the surface of water, made wine out of water, along with all the other totally impossible claims would be considered borderline crazy if it were not for the ability to hide behind the fraud that evolved from Christianity. This mass delusion has been allowed to persist by the sheer weight of the number of people who have been brainwashed by each set of parents who have continued to brainwash their children to keep the fraud alive. I am so proud that I escaped that cycle of brainwashing and the successive generations of my family that follow will not be held under the voo doo spell of the obvious ignorance that fraud exudes. I would like to think that had I been born into a Muslim family that I would have been able to escape the shackles of that fraud as well, but unfortunately, Islam has an extra ingredient to their brainwashing that goes even further than Christianity's, and that is the real threat of execution. In many ways, religion is not unlike the cycle perpetuated by an abusive parent.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 5, 2013, at 3:12 AM
  • Love your YouTube links News. YouTube will eventually be recognized as one of the biggest factors to break the fraud cycle of all religions. Knowledge is the answer.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 5, 2013, at 3:21 AM
  • Nana, tell me your reaction to this girls cause and plight for women in Tunisia and the following world wide protests?

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2013/04/04/our-day-defend-amina/

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 5, 2013, at 3:41 AM
  • Nana: "Your comments seem to assume that because women finally got to vote, own property, and go to college that we are in some sort of post-misogynistic era in the same way that some folks want to ignore the issues of race and class because we are in a 'post-Obama' world. That of course ignores the realities on the ground, in both cases."

    I fully agree that some folks want to ignore the issues of race and class because we are in a 'post-Obama' world and that that ignores the realities on the ground, in both cases. But if my comments make me sound like we are in some sort of post-misogynistic era in the same way that some folks want to ignore the issues of race, I assure you that is not my feeling. Big improvements, yes; a long way to go yet, yes.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 5, 2013, at 6:25 PM
  • All quiet on the western front tonight.

    Viewing the eastern front I see this tonight. "A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." "Respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment." "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still."-Lao Tzu

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Apr 5, 2013, at 11:52 PM
  • News you said "I was thinking though of something that I think many men fail to do in America -- be good men to their women."

    I think men should take it one step further by being good men WITH the woman in their life, a subtle difference that I believe is important. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 12:05 AM
  • Sorry, I can't avoid splitting a hair now, and then. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 12:06 AM
  • Here is another shovanist, but, relasted to being good to your spouse. An oldie from Joe Tex,"Hold on to What You Got". I really like Joe Tex in the good ol' days:

    http://youtu.be/_oLLmTmD7Vo

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 5:08 AM
  • -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 1:47 PM
  • DO, most of what u r posting belongs in the political section, although admittedly we all get political at times. Please think about what you are about to address and then decide where it belongs. You do understand, don't you, that if Jesus was alive today, based on the stories of his actions and how he treated everyone, he would be a socialist. Do you agree with that?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 3:18 PM
  • Nana, I think you and OKR's spirituality is such that you don't really believe there is a heaven and hell do you? And, even if you think there is a hell, based on what you can tell of the hundreds of posts from all of us atheists and agnostics (I still say no or very little difference) do think any of us will be going to hell? I'm just curious about what you and OKR feel about that side of spirituality and how you think it will relate to us heathens?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 3:24 PM
  • There is no relationship between the experience of being out of body and evidence it could possibly be related to supernatural forces. Maybe if they fund Obama's proposal to map the entire genome of the brain, we'll get closer to understanding more about that experience. I know LSD gave me that feeling many years ago, and there are experiments that make one feel the so called "out of body" experience, but there is nothing that suggests it is any more than similar illusions to that of dreaming. The brain is complex, but not Irreducibly Complex.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 3:32 PM
  • --Police said about 100,000 people attended the rally during which protesters chanted "God is great, hang the atheist bloggers." --

    http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/thousands-bangladesh-islamists-rally-agains...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 3:35 PM
  • RT I did a little acid in my time. It was enlightening.

    No, I do not believe in heaven, nor hell, and the best I hope for is that we may somehow create the characteristics of the former, and expunge the manifestations of the latter from this earth. Of course even that is a nearly pie in the sky hope, and I have but little faith it can happen. The best I can do is to quietly live my own life furthering that goal in such small ways as are possible.

    Regarding Jesus; I am a fellow traveler with authentic Christians. I in my backsliding way try to emulate the ideal established by that character, and consider whether, or not Jesus was ever corporeal irrelevant to my own purposes.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 4:38 PM
  • For each of us reality is limited to our perceptions. We each percieve in different ways, with differing results. I find it arrogant, and vain to express certainty that someone else is wrong, when the honest reaction should be, that is not within my experience.

    There was an old catch phrase back in the day, "It's been real", used as good bye. I wonder if that was not an utterance closely connected to that early psychodelic age; an utterance, not understood by many who used it. Perhaps we should beg each other, I will let you into my world, if you will let me into yours. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 5:02 PM
  • Yes News, and that is why I used to transfer some selected small bits by the cluster into me. It set off some very interesting chain reactions. "Get small" as Steve Martin said. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 8:03 PM
  • Check out these former preachers who admit leading a "lie": Refusing My Religion:

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/refusing-my-religion

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 6, 2013, at 10:58 PM
  • Many things can go wrong with the brain to lead to the depression culminating in suicide. I think it makes it harder to make that leap that there is a soul somehow linked with the brain when you consider the many things that can trigger depression to the point of killing yourself. It is considered an organ, one that can be diseased like other organs at times. I can't help but wonder if living under the pressures and irrationalities of a family so extremely religious, and perhaps realizing it is all a charade, could have helped trigger his depression? I wonder if there are any stats on that.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 7, 2013, at 4:52 AM
  • I also believe that coming to grips with reality that you have one life to live, and you should live as good a life as you can, helping everyone make it through this strange but wonderful life, has got to be much healthier mentally for you. Living a life pressured from early childhood to believe there is this all seeing entity watching your every move, and defining sin as being actions that defy reality, has got to take a terrible toll on children and eventually even adults. Perhaps DO is the son of a preacher? Forcing extreme religion on children is a form of child abuse!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 7, 2013, at 5:00 AM
  • The fear of dying and having one life to live, has got to be the impotence behind religion offering eternal life. But fooling one's self into believing what no person could possibly know or understand, and trying to act out your life without sin as defined by some ridiculous guidelines of one religion's holy book has got to take an incredible toll on one's brain.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 7, 2013, at 5:06 AM
  • Do we need God to be moral? "One of the world's leading primatologists believes his decades of research with apes answers a question that has plagued humans since the beginning of time."

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/god-moral/story?id=18898993#.UWG5ISTD9hF

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 7, 2013, at 1:24 PM
  • I have long been intrigued by the Bonobos. I think most humans would profit from spending a few months immersed in their culture. I believe it would be especially beneficial to those who think Bonobos do not have a culture.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Apr 7, 2013, at 7:48 PM
  • Yep, and Homo sapiens is the big ape killing all his cousins. Makes me wonder if we didn't wipe out the Neanderthals after using them for whatever purposes we desired.

    Of course there is nothing surprising about that, look what we did to our brothers, and sisters, the indigenous people of America.

    If it ain't our tribe, we must proscribe, that's a primary human vibe. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Apr 7, 2013, at 10:43 PM
  • If science ever progresses far enough some day, and if we haven't destroyed ourselves or most species, we may learn that whales are by far the superior intellect on the planet, big, gentle creatures with a superior understanding of what self is and their relationship to nature, just cruising the oceans, not being able to "build" (they have no thumbs :-) or destroy for that matter.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Apr 8, 2013, at 3:41 AM
  • Speaking of whales and dolphins, if we haven't dumbed enough garbage and other pollution into the oceans isn't enough to destroy marine major species of marine life, check out this article on how drastically we've increased the ocean's temperature, especially the deep:

    https://plus.google.com/photos/112778869906776508265/albums/5864162480507152513?...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Apr 8, 2013, at 3:52 AM
  • I guess if you are not a Christian you don't know what one is. I mean you can have an opinion but you really wouldn't know.

    A Christian is someone that believes in Jesus. They believe that God sent his son to die for our sins, otherwise there would be no hope for man. You have to accept him to be saved. He has promised eternal life to those that believe in him. That's the short version.

    Religion is just a bunch of rules and regulations. Liberalism is a religion. Baptist is a religion. Religion will not get you to heaven.

    I don't think pastors like Rick Warren are religious, I believe they are Christians. God did not kill his son. His son killed himself and it won't be because his dad was too religious. That is just a ploy by atheist to discredit Christians and blame a God that they don't believe in and will not be tolerant of anyone that does.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 8, 2013, at 3:06 PM
  • Punishment for who and for what?

    Doesn't liberalism believe that all conservatives are run-of-mill, extremist? That is all your liberal media will tell ya. Right mate!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 8, 2013, at 4:23 PM
  • RR3: "I guess if you are not a Christian you don't know what one is. I mean you can have an opinion but you really wouldn't know."

    Yes, the definition is quite obvious. We know. What we don't know and understand is how some Christians can be so irrational. I can understand easily how children get brainwashed into believing one particular religion over another (whatever religion the cycle of your brainwashed parents were born into), but what I find really hard to understand is not the definition, but how a seemingly rational individual can keep clinging to the irrational aspects of their religion throughout most if not all of their adulthood. My guess is that your extreme religious attitude is the exception, and that most people who claim to be Christian or Muslim just keep on following a particular religion mainly because they do feel there is a higher power, but probably don't think much about all the ridiculousness of much of the writings in those manifestos of ignorance they cherry pick from. I suspect that you, RR3, just like the cycle of violence also is passed down by generation to generation, are brainwashed into Christianity to the point of being irreversible. The psychological trauma of living an entire life based on generations of bullying the children into believing what no human being has the capacity to know must at times get really difficult to deal with for some Christians. I am curious as to whether ALL of your children and perhaps grandchildren maintain the same religious fervor that you have, and if not, do you think it possible they may end up in hell?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 3:29 AM
  • RR3: "They believe that God sent his son to die for our sins, otherwise there would be no hope for man. You have to accept him to be saved. He has promised eternal life to those that believe in him."

    Don't forget eternal damnation for those that don't. If I want to bully my children into doing something that they don't want to do, what better way than to offer them a great reward if they do and maximum corporal punishment if they don't. Most kids continue that cycle of violence with their kids, but few are lucky enough to break away from it.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 3:38 AM
  • Teaching your children right from wrong, the beauty of art and science, the pleasure of love and happiness, and how to be good stewards of our planet should be our primary goal. Preaching hell and damnation to children is worse than just bad parenting. It's abusive and potentially traumatic.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 3:45 AM
  • I guess what I really have trouble understanding how a God that you don't believe exist could punish anyone. People of all walks of life commit suicide. Are they all being punished?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 5:49 AM
  • http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/baby-screamed-during-live-birth-abortion/?cat_orig=he...

    It's amazing that no one seems to have a problem with this kind of news. Now if Christians were picketing an abortion clinic all of you would have plenty to say.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 5:55 AM
  • That's right news there is no hope for man. Jesus died to give us hope but for those that don't believe then it won't make a difference.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 5:57 AM
  • How can a God that don't exist do all the things that you accuse him of? God did not torture Job and there is a lot more to that story then just what happened to Job. It is no different how Job's friends treated him as what the atheist's do today to Christians. Also why would Jesus be traveling away from us? Why would he be bound by the laws of nature?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 6:35 AM
  • If Jesus is who he says he is then he is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. None of those can happen under the natural laws as we know and understand them so that would make him supernatural. He existed before time and space. Trying to explain his existence based on our limited knowledge would make him a mere man not a God. We cannot explain God's existence with our limited knowledge.

    Although some like to think they can because they think they have all knowledge. They are really putting themselves equal to or better than God. One thing all of God's creatures have in common is instinct. We instinctively know that life is worth something but we diminish that worth with abortion, euthanasia, etc. We instinctively know that man and woman are made to be together and become one. Two men or two women can never accomplish what marriage can but the importance of marriage is diminshed by attempts to legalize gay marriage and numb society so that it is common place for couples to just live together without marriage. If society ever accepts gay marriage legally then marriage won't really be necessary would it? Next we will have to rename pedophilia so society can accept that too! Why not?

    We live in a declining world meaning this earth no matter how green we are will not last forever. As science makes new discoveries we also find that the bible is true if you listen to the truth instead of a political agenda. More and more evidence is coming forth daily that says global warming is a hoax it has all been skewed for political gain. Without a believe in God, knowing the truth then you will believe the lies. We humans all want to believe in something that is bigger then us and there is truth and there is not. We know that science is telling us what the money wants us to believe. They are telling us the truth but they are leaving out anything that contradicts their agenda. Even peer review is slanted because if you present something that is contradictory to what they believe no matter how good or how thoroughly tested and proven it is do you think it will be accepted? Do you ever read any peer reviews that contradicts the agenda?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 11:23 AM
  • I reckon that as we all are sentient beings we each do those things that make us feel good. How we got to that point is something that, most of us at least, don't fully understand, and many of us don't care why. We are satisfied with, it just is.

    So, as we must co-exist, and we are not going to convince very many to go against what makes them feel good, to each his/hers/it's own as long as it harms none.

    Peace.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 11:44 AM
  • It's funny that some will say they don't know, don't care and they are happy just way things are. Those same people will also mock people such as myself tell us how wrong we are. Interesting!!!

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 2:56 PM
  • OKR: "So, as we must co-exist, and we are not going to convince very many to go against what makes them feel good, to each his/hers/it's own as long as it harms none."

    The key here is the "as long as it harms none". RR3's long post laid out the entire problem. He and those who interpret the bible (or Koran) with such ignorance regarding Global Warming, gay marriage, abortion, and more, will actively pursue forcing their agenda on the rest of us. They effectively "do harm" (restrict personal rights) to those who don't buy into their supernatural beliefs. They continue to try and force their morals and supernatural world views on the rest of us. For those individuals, there is no middle ground, there is no "can't we all just get along", there is "harm" to those outside their belief system.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 10:45 PM
  • News, there is vague hope for the human race and all those species we haven't destroyed by the time we get our act together (a big maybe, I agree). If we could get rid of the baggage of all these voo doo thinkers who follow ridiculous manifestos of fear, or at least if they become so small a minority they quit holding the rest of us back, perhaps we'll be able to solve the immediate threats of the next few dozen years (global warming) or other planet killing threats that might be looming (asteroids). Those are the immediate threats to our planet, and unfortunately the first one is of our own doing. At least we can recognize that is it, other than the bible thumpers and uneducated continually paddling against any effort to reduce that impact. God will not solve that problem; in fact, according to the abused, God is punishing everyone for our imaginary sins. We know the problems we are causing ourselves, and the only real hope is that science may be able to help us alleviate and possibly solve it. What other hope is there besides science. Even if you believe science brought us to the brink, you have to believe the only hope of solving it and of our species surviving is through science, would you agree?

    IF (notice it's a big IF) we can survive and minimize global warming, we have the potential of being destroyed by an asteroid. Again, pursuit of science is our only hope of stopping a planet killing encounter. We are the only species capable of recognizing this threat, and certainly the only species capable of searching for those threats. We are currently tracking several hundred potential planet killers and we at least recognize that more effort is required to look for more so that we can get at least a several year warning of an impending planet killer. No other species can help. But it is possible that science may be able to alter the course of such an event given time, would you not agree?

    If we can get by these potential life killing events over the next few decades, we have millions of years to evolve and perhaps escape our own planetary system before our sun explodes into a super nova. That is so far out it appears to be an event almost infinite in time. At the rate science has advanced, there are other discoveries that might possibly be out there that may allow us to warp space and time to in essence travel faster than the speed of light, perhaps opening worm holes to other dimensions. Now I'm talking about things that sound almost as crazy as the super religious fanatics, but at least you have to admit the next few thousand years of survival might buy us time to make further scientific discoveries that are beyond what we even call science fiction today, don't you agree?

    This song might capture that hope and or desperation of this discussion:

    http://youtu.be/izQB2-Kmiic

    One thing is for sure, man's view of God will only hinder our chances! The super religious can only throw their hands up in despair and claim their god is going to come take them away in the Rapture in their life time; they essentially are a hindrance.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 11:24 PM
  • -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 9, 2013, at 11:26 PM
  • RT I agree with every word of your 10:45 post.

    Oh yes, and r what I said, and what RT said is is the key, "harms none". I do not consider anyone whose religion compels shoving it down the throats of everyone else, putting it in the schools, and government, and condemning to hell everyone who doesn't believe as you do in the 'harms none' category. So yeh, I can get nasty when confronted with aggressive, punitive nonsense.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 12:11 AM
  • News you said, "Oklahoma Reader

    I know how we got here.

    Evolution.

    Questions?'

    Only one; how many times can you split one hair? Due to your perfection you are just the guy to answer that.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 12:16 AM
  • News thank you for proving my point.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 11:34 AM
  • Some people are just plain nasty without any provacation or confrontation.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 11:35 AM
  • Funny how those that believes their is no God wants to push their agenda on those that do but yet don't want to hear our side of the equation.

    One thing for certain if we are destroying the planet there is nothing we can do about it. We can be good stewards of what God provides us but the universe is declining and has been from the very beginning when sin entered the picture. We can assume the planet is warming but all the evidence tells us we have less than 1% influence on the outcome of it. Besides we are finding out that some in science has been cooking the books so the speak to make us believe a political agenda. Global warming in the biggest scam known to the history of mankind.

    Then we have evolution theory that has been taught to our children as fact when there is no obervable evidence. If it were true we would see obvious transitional forms of life. It is probably been taught the longest of any hoax out there.

    They try to convince us that green energy is the way to go and what is the price. Green energy is an agenda that is being forced on us and it doesn't work, at least on the scale they would like for us to think so.

    Everybody should read the book 'ACRES OF DIAMONDS'. They are there under our feet in the form of oil, coal, natural gas, etc. but we are too stupid to use them. If liberalism really was compassionate, caring and wanted to lift up their fellow man we could still have a booming and prosperous America even better then the past. Will we be proactive and make our life better or live in misery forced on us by those proclaiming to make our life better.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 12:41 PM
  • God has always been. Jesus said he was the Alpha and the Omega meaning the beginning and the end. This can only apply to God meaning Jesus was God incarnate.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 4:55 PM
  • You know I have been thinking about this gay marriage thing. Right now we have a death tax and if you leave an estate of sufficient worth the government will confiscate about 55% of that except when you leave it to a spouse. So if gay marriage was legal and you wanted to pass your estate to your son or daughter without the government taking over half of it, then could a father marry his son? Could a mother marry her daughter?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 5:13 PM
  • Rr3: "Funny how those that believes their is no God wants to push their agenda on those that do.."

    Please tell me how I want to push my agenda on you? I've already told you many times over how your religious agenda pushes us, but I don't see it the other way?

    RR3: ".. but yet don't want to hear our side of the equation."

    Your side of the equation does not compute. You refuse to accept scientific evidence, so equations are not part of your belief.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 7:46 PM
  • How could it be incest? Incest is defined by sexual intercourse between close relatives of the male and female variety.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 10:19 PM
  • Here I sit and ponder, bowing at the Raw Story altar

    The Huffington Post now that's a political rag, operated by a good old liberal nag

    There are other too numerous to mention, lest I cause too much tension

    Then there are those that confuse religion, thinking it is why people are Christian

    Then there are those that hate religion because of death, and think that was why Grandma feared her dying breath

    Liberals claim to be tolerant of all religions but are they really, all but Christianity...boy are we silly

    Liberals believe God is not the creator can't you see, we need to accept evolution as fact...as the way it should be

    Liberals don't want God or guns in our schools, then when tragedy strikes it's not very cool

    Liberals think it is such a shame when young lives are lost, but they will protect legalized abortion at all cost

    Liberals have fought the war on poverty since 1964, but today there are more poor among us than ever before

    We read in Time magazine that a toe bone proves evolution, but it is a long way from being the solution

    Christians know that God created the heavens and the earth and all in between, and everything around us that can be seen

    The wise men of the earth continue to deceive, but Christians know the truth...and what to believe

    One thing is for certain we will die someday, then we will meet God and for our sins we will pay

    If you denied God here on earth as many folks do, then he will say, "Go away I never knew you"

    Then you will see that old RR was right, I should have lived by life right in God's sight

    Unbelievers don't like to call sin what it is or if they do they don't tell, until they realize it is too late when they are entering hell

    Then they will all realize that heaven could have been for me, if I had not been too stubborn to see

    Why couldn't I see this when I lived on this earth, that God made each of us even before our birth

    The only thing they can do know is hope that their friends that are living, can be shown there is a God...of caring and giving

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Apr 10, 2013, at 10:59 PM
  • News, that last site on the history of man was fantastic. It is a great view of how we populated the planet over time. For those that want to cling to religion, there is wiggle room based on great leaps of faith (I guess Adam and Eve would have appeared in Africa :-), but religion has to try to interpret what happened around science, not the other way around.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 5:22 AM
  • Adam and Eve were of the human race variety and it doesn't matter what color they were. Genetic traits dominate depending on geographical region. People living in hotter regions with more sun tend to be darker than people living in regions where it is cooler and not as much sunlight. All of our genetic lineage traces back to Noah and his family and Noah would go back to Adam.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 12:28 PM
  • RE: BLOOMFIELD PARKING BARRIER. SO THE CITY SAYS IT IS WITHIN CODE? SHOW ME! YOU MEAN SOMETHING "UGLY" CAN BE WITHIN CODE? IT IS TIME THE CITY OF MARSHALL BECOMES PROGRESSIVE; SENSITIVE TO "HOW WE LOOK & CARE ABOUT APPEARANCE". DRIVE AROUND THE SQUARE; DRIVE AROUND SCHOOL LOCATIONS; THINK ABOUT CLEANING UP THE JUNK/TRASH IN BUILDINGS/YARDS. LOOK AT HOW MANY DRIVEWAYS/YARDS HAVE AS MANY A 4-5 CARS PARKED AT VARIOUS ANGLES. IN THE CODE?? NO WONDER "THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT" SCHEME IS A MYTH; IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AS LONG AS WE LOOK

    3-RD WORLD.

    -- Posted by Chevy on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 4:33 PM
  • Chevy, Jesus Christ man, this isn't the cities suggestion blog, its all about god or the lack of a god. Since you are here, what is your opinion?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 7:29 PM
  • RR3, I'd like an answer about how you think those that don't believe in god want to push our "agenda" on those that do?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 7:33 PM
  • The only thing I want to push "some" religious folks into doing is to make them quit pushing their agenda on everyone outside their particular religion.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 7:34 PM
  • "Oldest dinosaur embryo fossils discovered in China ... discovered the sauropodomorph fossils in a bone bed in Lufeng County that dates to the Early Jurassic period, 197 million to 190 million years ago.

    http://www.nature.com/news/oldest-dinosaur-embryo-fossils-discovered-in-china-1....

    For those of you that believe the earth is really somewhere around 6,000 years ago (because the bible told you so), well, I guess the entire world including the Chinese are in on the conspiracy. Fossil study and evidence, as well as DNA and carbon dating techniques could more than fill the entire Marshall library building, yet that little book some of you carry door to door to impress people has everything you need to know, enough to make you sure the earth can be no older than 6,000 years old. There are a lot of religious people who believe in god and believe there was a Jesus who realize that people who believe the earth is only 6,000 years old are incredulous.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 7:49 PM
  • Some state news posted as links on this website seemed even stranger than usual today. Maybe truth is stranger than fiction, especially what brews in Jefferson City. What is true about driver licenses encoded with concealed carry information and the new license process? Does qualifying for both social security benefits and concealed carry licensing make people doubly guilty of something? News said social security administration wanted Missouri information on concealed carry licensees, so our highway patrol sent them the names and identifying information for more than 160,000 Missourians. But MHP sent it in code, encrypted. Twice. So it was just thrown away? You can't make this stuff up. Meanwhile federal prosecution proceeds against nearly 20 people in a 2009-early 2012, $5 million conspiracy to help 3,500 people living in the U.S. illegally get Missouri driver licenses. Sounds like forgers make big bucks. All in today's Missouri news - some of which went national news and makes us look like what?

    -- Posted by former editor on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 8:41 PM
  • Former Editor, I think you've intended your conspiracy theory comments to be on the political blog, not the religion blog.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 3:25 AM
  • Yes News, I think if not by accident, he has a very long stretch to tie that comment to religion.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 3:38 AM
  • "Bangladesh PM rules out blasphemy law"

    "Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of Bangladesh, has ruled out introducing the death penalty for blasphemy. Protesters continue to fill the streets of the capital, Dhaka, calling for action against what they call atheist bloggers for defaming Islam."

    http://www.aljazeera.com/video/asia/2013/04/20134823149196158.html

    Funny (not really) that those religious fanatics who believe in THEIR god want to push their religious agenda on the rest of us... to mimic a prior comment.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 3:39 AM
  • Let's see, Religion wants us to allow time for prayer in our schools, force teaching a controversy on evolution when there is none, not allow gays equal rights to marry, force women to have babies when they get pregnant (even by rape or incest), and on and on to force their morals into our private lives. And Atheists and free thinkers just want those religious zealots to live their own life and not force their mores on others. Now RR3, who has the agenda? Come on, you brought out the point that it was the other way around, so we are waiting on just how you think that is? It seems ignorance comes out from under its rock, spews its untruths, and then slithers back under the cloak of their little Farmer's Almanac of a book. I apologize to those who like the Farmer's Almanac, at least it tries to cover just those events that are related to successful farming, not the entire rules for forcing the behavior on the rest of the world like the bible and Koran. OK, now I'm over it finally :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 3:53 AM
  • And another thing (ok, maybe I'm not quite over it :-) I'm also amazed at just how much religions can glean about how to live their lives from such tiny books (the Koran and bible). And, besides being so tiny, they contain quite a bit of undisputed lack of real knowledge in many places. They can pack those little tiny books around and try to influence people and children that their interpretation of all those little tidbits of parables are how they must act. If Jesus was a real person, and there is some question as to whether he really existed, then he should be treated as only a model of how to live your life if you believe in him, not go around spewing all their interpretations of the carp (dyslexia intended) that is written. Yet, the most fervent believers in those little books seem to usually interpret many passages in ways that seem diametrically opposed to the way it sounds like the Jesus of the bible would act. If Jesus existed at all, he was just a hippie before his time (and not a bad trait at that). OK, I promise, I'm really over it this time :-) :-) :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 4:06 AM
  • RR3, I'd like an answer about how you think those that don't believe in god want to push our "agenda" on those that do?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 11, 2013, at 7:33 PM

    Just because I express what I believe and it contradicts everything you believe then you say I am pushing it on you? Is the expression of your belief any different?

    I cannot convince anyone to believe what I do. I don't have that power. If it wasn't for pointing out the contradictions and untruths of unbelievers then we wouldn't really have a purpose would we. I just hate to see anyone that is headed for hell convinced by others that there isn't one.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 7:04 AM
  • "In spite of this, this signal actually remained hidden until it was accidentally found in 1965 by Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias, who later shared the Nobel Prize for its discovery, which confirmed the Big Bang origin of our universe."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/13/opinion/global/front-row-at-the-dawn-of-time.h...

    The original confirmation of "The Big Bang" in 1965

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 12, 2013, at 9:25 PM
  • Let me try and make the case for someone who I would consider a rational Christian, someone we can easily co-exist with. First, being rational does not necessarily mean educated or intelligent. Someone who does not believe in evolution and that science has a good grasp (within a few billion years) of how old our solar system is, or how many years our human species has been on this planet (within a very few thousand years), is either lacking in education, irrational, or brainwashed by their religion, or some combination therein. Most high school educated, rational people understand that the bible is not accurate from a historical perspective, and they trust the facts that our human species is well over 100k years old based on science. They also believe in evolution, at least for all of the animal kingdom. They probably believe that god intervened back over 100k years ago and placed man and woman (Adam & Eve) somewhere over in Africa close to where science has traced the undisputed DNA and archaeological evidence. Rational Christians understand that all other forms of life evolved and are evolving because they understand how science works. Further, as hard a concept that it is to believe there could have been a Big Bang that started our universe billions of years ago (me too) they trust that science is probably correct and they can justify God's creation as being at that point. This would also be the point a Deist could make. Many of these "rational" Christians go to church weekly or occasionally, donating to the church believing in their teaching in general. Many of them justify whatever sins they do as "human nature" and believe that god will forgive them when they die because they have lived an overwhelming good life and have professed belief in Jesus Christ. This is how they were brought up, and they would have been this type of individual had they been brought up in most other religions in the US as well. Had they been brought up in the Middle East or under a very orthodox religion, perhaps it would be less likely they would be categorized as rational. These Christians also may believe that God can intervene, but that he rarely does, and they cling to the hope that he does listen to their prayers and occasionally intervenes. These "rational" Christians also do not try and push their churches agenda on anyone. They probably don't because deep down inside, they understand that every church denomination uses interpretations of the bible that they may not always agree with. These are the thousands of Christians that most of us encounter, and certainly the Christians I believe secular people do not have a problem with. They even understand that the Jesus of the bible they believe in is a model for them to look up to and try and emulate whenever life choices have to be made.

    Unfortunately, there is a growing number of right wing, bible/Koran toting religious fanatics that want to push their beliefs on everyone else. They stick to totally irrational positions refuting undisputable science findings and quoting their interpretation of their holy book to justify ignorance and abhorrent actions. These are the religious people I have a real beef with, the ones that would change our country into a theocracy not unlike Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 13, 2013, at 6:47 AM
  • An example of irrational Christians and how they continually push toward a theocratic country - and why we need to continue the fight to keep church and state separate:

    "Theocrats Unmasked"

    "Imagine an America where, if you want to be a high school principal or you want to run for state office, you have to prove that you've been "born again." Imagine an America where kindergarten children are taught as part of the public school curriculum that if they don't accept Jesus as their savior, they will burn in hell for all eternity. Imagine an America where official meetings begin with prayers that infidels will come to know the Lord...."

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/foundation_articles/2013/4/4/theocrats-unmasked#

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 13, 2013, at 6:55 AM
  • News: "Many folks feel we should be teaching the Evolution controversy to kids in public school. Many parents would like to see their kids receive a well rounded education and that requires teaching all the science, including the Bible-based, scientific evidence."

    All the bible based science to discuss could possibly be stretched out to an hour... maybe. If you wanted to study the bible for unfounded information, now that could take weeks. That would be like studying Confusions or Mohammed in science, totally out of category. I would love to see the bible and Koran studied in high school, but it only fits in philosophy. And the religious nuts don't want it presented as philosophy; they want it presented as fact. Teach "the controversy" where it belongs, in philosophy because there is no controversy in science for evolution. Nothing else challenges evolution when presented with facts. Science teaches what we know and how we know and learn it. But, I suppose I'm really preaching to the choir now?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 13, 2013, at 8:54 AM
  • If you really think about what learning entails, you will see that religion does not fit into that category. Oh, you can "learn" about any religion, but when it comes to accepting any of the teaching as fact, that is where it fails to be learning. Accepting something you do not think can be proven is not learning; that is faith. Accepting science results as fact involves learning the methodology of science (basics continually and accurately expounded on by News) and then understanding that the methodology is used for all science studies. Perhaps that is where the religious argument proclaims inaccurately that you have to have faith in science, when in reality you learn enough to have faith in the methodology. You don't learn anything to have faith in the Koran or Bible or any religious leader proclaiming to have a direct line of communication with some deity. And confidence is a much more appropriate word when it comes to science methodology.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 13, 2013, at 9:08 AM
  • "Austrian referendum seeks to end church privileges"

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2013/04/austrian-referendum-seeks-to-end-churc...

    Another reason I'm glad Australia is one of our tope allies... And after watching Argo, got to love those Canadians as well.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 13, 2013, at 11:06 AM
  • Oh, and now I've been compared to Bush, the man I grew to love to hate :-) But, true it is. That's what I get for not reading carefully what I write and not reading carefully the article itself. Certainly Australia would have been the most likely in my mind to end church privileges. I am now surprised it came from Austria. Good for the Austrians!!!!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 14, 2013, at 6:20 AM
  • I didn't come away with much faith in the scientific value of that article. The primary reference it so a Professor Carol Cleland, who has a doctorate in philosophy. I Googled her and couldn't find anything that made her sound very credible. This sounds to me like it might be on the edge of pseudo-science when you start getting philosophers involved :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 14, 2013, at 6:45 AM
  • Deep Thoughts (with apologies to Jack Handey, but not to God)

    I think that God is play dough.

    We shape it, we break it,

    we may even bake it,

    if mother made it.

    Personally I prefer biscuits. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Apr 14, 2013, at 1:53 PM
  • OKR: "Personally I prefer biscuits. ;)"

    Me too! With sausage gravy to give me an excuse to take my statin medication :-(

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 14, 2013, at 7:16 PM
  • Are we still evolving.... short answer .. YES. Long answer and for those interested about this topic listen to this 30 minute audio:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0135z1m

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 14, 2013, at 7:23 PM
  • Even after explanation the unbeliever does not and cannot understand what a Christian is. They think if you go to church you are a Christian, it you believe the bible you are a Christian, if you believe in God you are a Christian, if you belong to a church you are a Christian, if you pray you are a Christian, etc. I mean we could go on and on. None of those reasons make you a Christian. They are all valid things that a Christian would think or do but cannot make you a Christian.

    The first thing you have to do is realize that you are a sinner. You can be a good person, a good neighbor, a good co-worker, a good boss, you can donate lots of money to charity but with all those good things in your favor you have to realize you are a sinner. You can also be a bad person a murderer, a thief, an adulterer or gay but you have to first realize that you are a sinner. Then you have to believe that Jesus died for your sins. Then you have to repent of your sins and accept Jesus into your heart. At that time you are a changed person. If you were already a good person then you are still a good person. If you were a bad person then you can become a good person through Jesus. It doesn't matter to Jesus how sinful you are he will accept you if you are willing to accept him. He's not going to force you, he will not keep you from sinning but he is ready to forgive you. All you have to do is ask, he knows if you are sincere or not. These are required of anyone to become a true Christian.

    To become a Christian cannot be expressed by mere words, it is an experience that if it ever happens to you there will be no mistake about what happened. It is a feeling like no other. It happens in your heart and thats why those that put all their faith and belief in science can't believe it. Jesus never used well educated people because they couldn't understand the experience. It also proves that you don't have to be well educated to be a Christian although some are.

    There are many in this world that claim to be a Christian but only a small percentage of those making the claim really are. Science has not disproved anything that is in the bible but many things that science has discovered they have found foretold in the bible.

    Many look at creation but believe it just happened, I believe we can see a common creator because of similarities, not evolution. We can't see evolution, and it's just a theory but with a lot a faith it can be fact. We are discovering things media and science has not been telling us that proves that global warming is a hoax and that is really hard for those that have put their faith in evidence that was false. To believe things in the past science has to make a lot of assumptions that cannot be tested or proven but if they repeat it enough and we teach it to kids in our schools then people will believe it. That is what is happening folks.

    Jesus has not changed, he is the same today as he was 2000 years ago. Back then what did people believe, they believed the earth was flat and the sun revolved around us while the earth was stationary. Even those that saw Jesus didn't believe he was who he said he was. No different than today we see creation all around us and any rational mind can see it just didn't happen because it is way to complex to not have a creator. Our universe is finely tuned to function as we know it and we haven't even begun to learn all there is about it. There are those that think they know all there is to know about the universe. They take great pride in that and think they are better then a God so who does he think he is. Lucifer thought the same thing and his pride banished him from heaven and he will also be in hell along with his followers. Who do you follow God or Satan?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 15, 2013, at 12:33 PM
  • rr: "The first thing you have to do is realize that you are a sinner"

    Here comes the guilt trip that is totally unwarranted. If you do something against what you know in your heart is not right, you should feel guilt and hopefully you will refrain from doing it again. But if it is one of those ludicrous bible sins (aka, have sexual desires for another, take god's name in vain, etc.) then you are laying a big guilt trip on yourself or someone you love, that is bad mental health. But then again, that is what religion promotes.

    rr: "Jesus never used well educated people because they couldn't understand the experience. It also proves that you don't have to be well educated to be a Christian although some are."

    You are getting close to the truth here, rr. There is a direct relationship with the degree of belief that is inversely proportional to intelligence. If you are so religious that you believe the earth is only 6,000 years old, then your intelligence is certainly suspect.

    rr: "Science has not disproved anything that is in the bible but many things that science has discovered they have found foretold in the bible."

    Total malarkey as we have detailed over and over.

    rr: "We are discovering things media and science has not been telling us that proves that global warming is a hoax"

    The only science you seem to believe is pseudo-science, totally out of the mainstream. I find that quite strange that you even would quote something as science.

    rr: "we see creation all around us and any rational mind can see it just didn't happen because it is way to complex to not have a creator."

    Anything you cannot understand you immediately claim that god did it. That is no different than when ancient tribal people witnessed earthquakes and tidal waves and huge storms. Some people really can't seem to grasp that relationship.

    rr: "There are those that think they know all there is to know about the universe."

    Now that is totally false, at least in science. Perhaps you feel you know all you need to know, but nobody in science believes what you just said.

    rr: "Who do you follow God or Satan?"

    I follow no imaginary supernatural beings. I love and live life with great appreciation of all the mysteries we may never unravel, and I have nothing but pity for anyone who is so deluded to believe there is actually some supernatural being watching over their every move and thought. Your life would be so much better off if you just live a good and moral life, and quit worrying about where you are going after death, it detracts so much from the journey.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, Apr 15, 2013, at 8:15 PM
  • How do you know?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 15, 2013, at 8:47 PM
  • RT just like science you seem to make many assumptions without evidence or proof.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 15, 2013, at 8:49 PM
  • Realizing you are a sinner is not a guilt trip. What makes you feel guilty? Evolution can't answer that. You may feel guilty but I know in my heart that I sin against an all knowing God that loves me even when I sin. Because of him living in me then I want to repent of my sins. Have you ever hurt someone you love and seek forgiveness? God hates our sin but he never stops loving us. He doesn't wish any to perish but for all to have everlasting life. What's your choice.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 15, 2013, at 8:56 PM
  • How do you know news?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 15, 2013, at 8:57 PM
  • One thing I have found is you don't have to be a Christian to oppose the liberal religion. Liberal religion likes for us to think that they what they believe is based on science, fact and reason when what they actually believe is based on wishes, feelings and hypocrisy.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 15, 2013, at 9:25 PM
  • RR: "Have you ever hurt someone you love and seek forgiveness?"

    Yes, directly thru them, not imaginary judge.

    RR: "He doesn't wish any to perish but for all to have everlasting life. What's your choice."

    Reality. Your god is nothing more than a drug for you, a drug that temporarily insulates you from the fears of reality.

    RR: "Liberal religion likes for us to think that they what they believe is based on science, fact and reason when what they actually believe is based on wishes, feelings and hypocrisy."

    Orwellian double speak. You are trying to lay religious traits back on secular people. That's like a murderer telling the police it was their fault. Your lack of rationality is shining through for all to see RR. You make our point better than anyone else can. Thanks.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 16, 2013, at 5:05 AM
  • Good grief - you guys wear me slick!

    Here's a truth you may all be able to agree with ... The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.

    You can disagree about the direction the wind is coming from, and suddenly it will change directions. And we do not know where it goes - the destination it seeks.

    I've seen the adobe dwellings of the ancients - and the ruins of other dwellings. The difference is that those which are still standing are mostly out of the wind - under some type of cover. The places - entire cities mind you - that were exposed to wind and rain and sun, are mostly just piles of red sand.

    So where did the wind take those dwelling places? Where did the wind deposit those grains of sand and dried mud that had been home too entire civilizations?

    No one really knows.

    And - you know what - it doesn't matter.

    But you guys can keep this "spitting" match up as long as you like.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Apr 16, 2013, at 10:06 AM
  • News God answers prayers for all that pray to him. The answer can be 'no', 'not now', maybe later' or even 'yes'. You have to ask in God's will. Will God give you a million dollars if you ask for it? No! Will God heal you of terminal cancer? Maybe! If God answered 'yes' to all our prayers then we would all be like spoiled brats with no respect for authority or leadership. God knows exactly what we need and he will supply those needs. He does not give us anything because of 'us' because we can't earn anything from God. He gives to us because of his grace. Any suffering on this earth is very temporary compared to eternity. We don't want to pass up the eternal by focusing on the temporal.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 16, 2013, at 11:24 AM
  • GB: "And - you know what - it doesn't matter. But you guys can keep this "spitting" match up as long as you like."

    This is akin to me going on the Political blog and saying politics is a matter of opinion so what is everyone arguing about. The reality is there are points trying to be made. And, it is true that we've probably covered our points and counter points many times over, with very little new twists. But, GB, should we just quit? Or, perhaps anyone who thinks the whole thing is silly should look elsewhere? Your parables are interesting, and some food for thought, but not really of any value that I can see pertaining to religion, unless you are pushing for some form of transcendental meditation (or medication :-) So, GB, please feel free to pick any particular point I have made or that RR3 has made and refute or agree, but please either lead, follow, or .. well, you know.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 16, 2013, at 6:48 PM
  • News regarding your statement God does not restore amputated limbs. He does however give them phantom pain which makes them believe the limb is still there. In his infinite wisdom suppose for the moment that he sometimes deals in half measures. ;)

    On a more serious note. I do believe that if a person has great faith, whether in one's own will, God, or something else it can effect illness, and disease in a positive manner. So at least in an oblique manner "God" can "heal" some things.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 16, 2013, at 8:20 PM
  • OKR, that as you know is the placebo effect. Regardless if you are taking a sugar pill or believe god is healing you, the bottom line is that there is some truth to the power of positive thinking. Can it actually heal you? I don't think so, but maybe. Can positive thinking or total belief affect some of your body chemistry? Possibly things like body temp and heart rate and more can be mildly affected. Similarly to "ignorance is bliss", then I suppose "ignorance can be healing" somewhat I suppose. However, even if it was proven there is some real benefit to believing in god, I could not fool myself into believing in something I am confident does not exist. On the flip side, I think there is potential deep psychological damage that may also exist for those who are totally wrapped up in religion like RR3 appears to me to be. A functioning religious zealot is perhaps not unlike a functioning alcoholic; some can lead a fairly normal life, others may not be so lucky.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 16, 2013, at 8:44 PM
  • You know News, it is sometimes hard to separate religion and politics, mainly because they have strong and direct connections. There is only one other related blog they have missing, and I suppose we can all guess what that is? You know, that thing people do that RR3 probably thinks is a sin :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 16, 2013, at 8:47 PM
  • The Great Debate: "The Story Telling of Science"

    A great cast together on YouTube:

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/4/12/the-great-debate-the-story...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 16, 2013, at 8:51 PM
  • Why does God allow us to lose limbs?

    Why does God allow us to die?

    Why does God not heal all that have cancer?

    Why does God not save us from car crashes?

    You can come up with endless questions to justify your denial of God.

    God does not perform miracles for our enjoyment. He does not have to prove himself, we are the ones on trial not him. He doesn't need to bless us he only does it out of his mercy. He created the universe out of nothing and spoke all the plants and animals into existence. He breathed life into the first two humans and raised his son from death. I think he could regenerate limbs if it was his will. He did regenerate an ear in the bible.

    If there is no God why would we care if we had limbs or not it would just be a fact of life. Shouldn't evolution be able to grow a limb back? Don't they want us to believe that fish grew limbs and lungs so they could be land dwellers? If the bible doesn't record something does it mean that it didn't happen? It is too bad that the same people that question God don't question things like global warming or climate change.

    We haven't had any global warming for the last 10 years or longer but it is still being politicised and people still believe it. They say we have over twice the amount of CO2 that we used to have but we aren't warming like they predicted. Heck the weatherman predicted it would be 70 degrees today and I don't think it will break 60. That we just a prediction 24 hours into the future don't you think they could be accurate with that if they can predict the climate years into the future. All we have to use is common sense and see the deception. They tell that a concensus of scientist believe there is global warming. So is there global warming or not, I didn't know that science was up to a vote.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Apr 17, 2013, at 3:13 PM
  • News: "Because its the best thing that can happen to Mankind, despite all the negatives involved."

    Not sure about that News, being good news that is. I think one of the biggest fears is that it is coming on way too rapidly to allow evolution to help the thousands of species that will not adapt in time to survive. Does that potential not bother you?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Apr 17, 2013, at 6:01 PM
  • RR3: "We haven't had any global warming for the last 10 years or longer but it is still being politicised and people still believe it."

    The lack of understanding with this statement is astounding. Do you not understand that the polar caps are melting as well as massive glaciers totally disappearing, and that is due to global warming? I can't comprehend how your religious beliefs help attribute this to such lack of belief in facts based on what virtually everyone agrees is happening. The only difference I was aware of was that there are many who do not believe that global warming is due to what man is doing, and that it was going to happen anyway. But even those who do not believe man is responsible at least agree global warming is happening. Usually there is something in the bible that makes you not believe scientific evidence, but what makes you believe that the planet is not warming? Is there something in the bible that leads you to that conclusion?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Apr 17, 2013, at 6:02 PM
  • Reuters News, not right wing, not left either, just the news. This article is fresh off the press RR3:

    "Scientists find Antarctic ice is melting faster. The summer ice melt in parts of Antarctica is at its highest level in 1,000 years, Australian and British researchers reported on Monday, adding new evidence of the impact of global warming on sensitive Antarctic glaciers and ice shelves."

    Here is the link: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/15/us-antarctica-ice-idUSBRE93E08D2013041...

    RR3, you can remain off the deep end of religion and still be able to comprehend that our planet is warming. It has nothing to do with religion; you could even say it is because of all the sinning, but you have to admit it is warming.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Apr 17, 2013, at 6:13 PM
  • Recent climate and ice-sheet changes in West Antarctica compared with the past 2,000 years

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1778.html

    "General circulation model simulations suggest that recent trends in 18O and climate in West Antarctica cannot be distinguished from decadal variability that originates in the tropics. We conclude that the uncertain trajectory of tropical climate variability represents a significant source of uncertainty in projections of West Antarctic climate and ice-sheet change."

    In other words it has happened before, they don't know how long it will last nor the cause of it. Yea I am going to believe that mate. NOT!

    News the organizations in your article are highly government funded so what does the government want us to believe? Who does climate change benefit? It is about control news just like healthcare, welfare, social security, etc. It is not because they care about us because that only happens around elections then when we buy all this BS and vote for them they say thank you sucker. Don't be a sucker.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, Apr 18, 2013, at 12:34 PM
  • r I wish you would quit lumping Social Security, and Medicare with welfare. I think you know they are different. If not it is past time that you do.

    They are savings the American people made to put back for when they get old. Simply put, I and most other working folks paid for those with a significant portion of every pay check we earned. If it was not for the government borrowing those savings, put back by the American workers, and their employers, the reserve would be on solid ground. If they are broke at all it is because a welshing borrower won't pay back what they took.

    When you disparage Social Security by lumping it with welfare you are insulting the entire American work force including your employees. Shame on you for your ignorance, or your callousness, or putting right wing politics ahead of reason, or whatever other excuse you use to justify it to your conscience.

    Everyone who thinks S. S. is welfare, and calls it that should keep their thieving hands off what I, and my fellow hard working Americans have earned. If they do not they will pay the price that convicted thieves, and swindlers deserve!

    I suppose r that you don't accept a social security retirement check, and never will because it is welfare. Yeah sure, and pigs fly.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Apr 18, 2013, at 7:16 PM
  • r said, "It is about control news just like healthcare, welfare, social security, etc."

    That is what provoked my last comment.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Apr 18, 2013, at 7:34 PM
  • DO: "Why do you believe statin drugs are good for you? The gods in white coats told you so?"

    If you mean the gods in white coats meaning doctors, then the answer is yes. My cholesterol is high, and all significant studies indicate reducing it below a certain level will significantly reduce the likely hood of stroke from clogged veins. Even though I stay physically active and my blood pressure is excellent (I'm fairly old by the way), I stay hanging around the obese category and have not found the motivation to try to eat a purely healthy diet. Thus, I go with the statistics for the choice to take statins, and I have my blood checked at least 3 times a year for potential liver effects from the statins. The stats are really overwhelming if you believe in the science behind all the studies, and obviously I do.

    How about you DO, do you believe in vaccinations against any disease, or even for the yearly flu virus?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 18, 2013, at 8:05 PM
  • News: "Its not like our species can exist forever anyway mate."

    Most of us won't give up and hope your scenario happens. If we survive what you say might happen, it will certainly be aided by science. Science may also help us reverse the global warming trend, although it may be too late. Perhaps it can at least reduce it some. It would help if we could get to 0 population growth, but with the religious nuts thinking birth control is immoral. That won't happen any time soon either

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 18, 2013, at 8:05 PM
  • OKR: "When you disparage Social Security by lumping it with welfare you are insulting the entire American work force including your employees."

    I am in total agreement because that is fact. And I'd go even further and say if it is project to get short over the next 30 years, then raise the cap and means test as well. Same for Medicare. Whatever it takes to fund them, as long as it is a ration that takes into account means, I say fund it fully. God will not make up the difference either.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, Apr 18, 2013, at 8:06 PM
  • It doesn't look like anyone else is going to reply to your post ND. Thanks for presenting the links. It seems to me that in the relatively short run it is six one way, and a half dozen the other. there are a lot of variables. In the long run we are doomed either by what we know now, or something we don't know, that is a no brainer.

    At the least you have given pause to any who may be panicking in regard to over population. that is if such folk read the links you furnished. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Apr 19, 2013, at 9:20 PM
  • Yes, OKR, I read the first article, and it starts out saying the planet population trend is slowing and looks like it will soon turn back the other way, soon becoming a problem going the other way. I for one hope it goes the other way awhile, and that the planet's population shrinks. I can't believe we can continue to over consume our way to prosperity without devastating our planet. No small part of our current overpopulation problem goes to what this blog is about, and that is religion. Currently we have religions pushing millions of people to stay away from all forms of birth control, leading to all kinds of social problems in developed nations, and widespread famine and disease in developing nations. Whatever solutions science can come up with will continually be fought by those who adhere the ignorance of religion.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 19, 2013, at 9:41 PM
  • Nana, that is why education is so vital, not just for us, but for the world. That may also be why we have a large portion of the ruling classes around the world having no interest in educating the masses. Besides keeping an ever growing large group of "worker bees", look what ignorance does to democratic countries? It promotes voting against your own cause as it successfully keeps a large number of voters concerned about social and religious issues that education would otherwise help prevent. I had one right wing Republican I work with say that he believed we shouldn't allow ignorant people to vote. I think what he was really insinuating is that many of them would choose a path of redistribution of wealth since they are poor. After some thought on this, I believe that presents more of a reason everyone should push for much better education. I sure don't want an elite class making the decisions that they think is better for everyone, which usually means making decisions to keep themselves in power and wealth. Our elite class is able to muster just enough support to always challenge progressives because they rely on the ignorant voter who thinks abortion, anti-gay, and other social issues are more important than their own economic benefit. And those social issues are fueled primarily by those ignorant enough to buy into extreme Religion. I keep going back to what Christopher Hitchens said: "Religion poisons everything".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 20, 2013, at 5:00 AM
  • News, the overpopulation solution you say we are headed to does seem to be a strong probability. I would agree completely if we were like all other species of animals, drifting toward that cliff without even knowing what is coming. The only thing that gives us a chance is both our understanding of what is coming, and second our ability to alter potential outcomes by our ability to problem solve. What other species could even come close to having a chance to discover planet busting asteroids, let alone being capable of developing the technology to possibly alter the otherwise inevitable course of destruction. Global warming may be totally irreversible at this point, but I believe there is a chance that science can come up with solutions that might give our species a chance to continue to survive as a species. One thing is for sure, extremely religious people who disdain science will continue to hinder our ability to act to reduce our behavior that causes global warming. News, do you think we should just throw our hands up in the air and say there is nothing that can be done, or do you think mankind should make any effort at all toward reducing or trying to solve the issue?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 20, 2013, at 5:19 AM
  • Right wing religious people have hijacked the Republican party. The GOP could be a viable alternative if it would focus on the core value of fiscal conservatism. However, they are being guided by religious nuts who push ignorance about social issues. I think the GOP could be and has been progressive. They could push for the betterment of all our people in a way that makes for sound fiscally responsible decisions. Instead, they hide behind the cloak of fiscal conservatism while pushing their conservative Christian values on the rest of us. The GOP was once for Social Security and understood how important it would become for all elderly people. They understood it took taxation to fund it, which is fiscally responsible. I maintain that the GOP could maintain its core principle of being fiscally responsible and still push progressive agendas to challenge Democrats in that arena. Instead, they've allowed themselves to become the theocracy party, totally advocating for the rich at whatever cost, when what would be best for the rich in the long run would be to have a strong and educated middle class. So again, guess what is poisoning them?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 20, 2013, at 5:37 AM
  • Mother Nature is just another way to try and humanize (or perhaps make it sound like a singularity) the extensive physical properties of our entire environment/world/universe. The is no Mother Nature, but I'm willing to concede "she" is the net of our environment. In as such, then we do have a major influence on "her", and even if we think our efforts may be futile, we must make every effort to continue the fight. It is not unlike our individual effort to vote or recycle. Those who think it is to no avail don't bother to vote and continue throw their recyclables into the regular trash. It takes a vast majority of us to make a difference, but each individual contributes something however small. One big diff between us and the Easter Island population is that WE don't all believe in a deity that controls our destiny. There are enough free thinkers to possibly overcome the counter efforts of the extremely religious, and if not now, perhaps in the near future. I am a skeptic as well, but I rarely give up with anything until it is impossible in my own mind. Buying ourselves much needed time is still possible in my opinion, and although the statistics regarding what we have done and what we need to do are stacked against us, 100 percent of all the factors are not yet known and there is still a remote chance that science and rational thinkers can solve the problems.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 20, 2013, at 9:42 AM
  • God is in control and we are not.

    That is the biblical perspective on climate change or any other political propoganda the left tries to inflict upon us. Liberals hate that, they want to be God and there are plenty of folks that believe them.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 22, 2013, at 3:46 PM
  • You see news that's where you think that you are equal to or greater to God and you make the assumption that nothing exists outside the universe. If there is a God then your faith in scientific assumptions would seem kind of silly wouldn't it? Science makes many assumptions that they don't tell anybody about because then what they believe would be questioned. These assumptions are not taught in the schools nor in their explanations. So the common person believes whatever they say without question because they are taught not to question. That's why they don't allow any alternative to be taught in our schools because it would bring their assumptions to light and question.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 23, 2013, at 1:22 PM
  • RR3: "God is in control and we are not. That is the biblical perspective on climate change or any other political propoganda the left tries to inflict upon us. "

    There is no biblical perspective on climate change. Where in the bible does is give any perspective on climate change. And how is climate change considered a "left" issue? Just because there are more deniers on the right than the left does not make it a left-right issue; you seem to be trying to make climate change a religious issue?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 23, 2013, at 5:20 PM
  • RR3, I doubt you will actually listen to this quick 5 minute interview with Richard Dawkins, but if you will take the time, I think he addresses several issues you have raised very succinctly. First, there are religious individuals including bishops and even the Pope who believe that Evolution is true. Second, how Evolution as a "theory" is indeed fact and how the creationist term "just a theory" is a total lack of understanding of what a scientific theory really is, and more. One of my favorite quotes is that "you are free to have your own opinion, but not your own facts". I hope everyone reading this will take 5 minutes to view this interview:

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/4/24/interview-with-richard-daw...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Apr 24, 2013, at 8:24 PM
  • RT (me): "there are religious individuals including bishops and even the Pope who believe that Evolution is true."

    Let me clarify my own statement. They believe Evolution to be true because they believe in the science methodology. Of course, they then must rationalize statements in the bible that cannot possibly be literally true by rationalizing such statements that everything was created in 7 days to mean something much longer than 7 earth days (not revolutions of the earth, since the earth did not exist during that period). Those who interpret the bible literally are the extremely irrational that contribute little, if anything at all, because they deny what reality is for the rest of us.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 26, 2013, at 5:51 PM
  • The Marathon bomber brothers are current reminders of what extreme religious belief is capable of. Any religious person who feels the can communicate with a supernatural being and believes they have a direct "calling" from a deity should be on a terror watch list. Jihad, extreme anti-abortionists, are all capable of mass murder because they believe they have a directive from their god.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, Apr 26, 2013, at 5:58 PM
  • Favorite rant I just read against Islam on the RD blog:

    "Islam is a totalitarian Theo political ideology based upon the precepts of subjugation, oppression, racism and sexism, and is absolutely void of any virtuous characteristics. The sooner this vile ideology of death and hatred is recognized for what it is, and then dealt with in the manner it deserves, the sooner we can get on with the task of evolving humanity."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Apr 27, 2013, at 6:26 AM
  • LOL News Abrahamic is a synonym for chauvinistic IMHO.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Apr 27, 2013, at 8:09 PM
  • Well News, that is what I was thinking as well, but I new the Christians on this site would enjoy calling the kettle black :-) And, yes OKR, Abrahamic is a synonym for chauvinistic, as well as other adjectives that this blog won't let us use :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Apr 28, 2013, at 5:32 AM
  • Obviously not one of you knows what a Christian is because you fail miserably at defining it. Everytime I make the attempt it is ignored or rejected but to reject God you have to reject the definition of it. I would like to know what God would have to do to make you see that he is real? Even when God proved himself in the bible people did not believe so I suspect you have already hardened your heart against any evidence that would reject your liberal agenda.

    What amazes me is what you will believe with little or no evidence as long as it follows an agenda. We are seeing the destruction of this country by liberalism and you refuse to see that too. Will you see the destruction once you figure out that you are not going to be exempt from it?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Mon, Apr 29, 2013, at 3:09 PM
  • "Even when God proved himself in the bible people did not believe so I suspect you have already hardened your heart against any evidence that would reject your liberal agenda." -rr3

    Jeez rr3 some folks just can't place their faith in a historical novel. Why do you find that so unusual? Actually I think Gore Vidal did nearly as good a job with the venue. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Apr 29, 2013, at 8:01 PM
  • I believe official versions of very few things DO; not the OKC bombing, not the bible, not 9-11. Just because I don't believe the bible, doesn't mean I am compelled to talk about, or even want to most of the time. The same goes for the two bombings I mentioned. I don't even believe American History as it is handed to us, it is watered down to propaganda.

    So, no my computer isn't slow, I chose to not spend two hours watching a documentary that essentially is tying together loose ends to neatly present a conspiracy theory that I can't do a darn thing about; no more than I can do anything about the whoppers in the bible.

    In all seriousness thanks for offering it to us. Your next link may catch my eye, particularly if it doesn't take so long to absorb.

    There is another reason that I did not watch it, but I was hesitant to share that reason. It is a fact that I am a very fast reader, and can read something a lot faster than watching a video, or hearing something on radio. Couple that with the fact that I understand better what I have read, than what I hear, or see, and it is a no brainer. Different folks have different levels of understanding of different modes of communication.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 1:26 AM
  • RR3: "I would like to know what God would have to do to make you see that he is real?"

    Here you go again. I think we have all answered this several times in many ways. News has outlined a specific item, but as he and others have stated over and over, he'd have to actually perform some miracle that would be obvious to everyone who saw it. Not a magician trick, something that would really suspend the laws of physics so we all could see. Most rational people do not conclude that just because an event takes place that we are not easily explained, that god did it. That is the big difference. You see an old piece of bread that has a slight resemblance of your imaginary view of what Jesus looked like as a sign from god. Most rational people don't think like that.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 4:19 AM
  • RR3: "We are seeing the destruction of this country by liberalism and you refuse to see that too."

    RR3, you are really mixed up with Christianity and Politics. For some reason you keep implying that being liberal is anti-Christian. Most of us think it is quite obvious that the actions of Jesus as portrayed in the bible are actions more associated with liberals than conservatives, although trying to put a label on someone based on 2,000 year old stories is probably a bit of a stretch.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 4:19 AM
  • DO: "Yet, that's what you are doing in believing the government's 'official' version of a bombing that took place in your own neighborhood."

    I guess I missed your post pertaining to this, but like OKR, two hours of "conspiracy theory" carp (misspelled on purpose :-) is about an hour and 55 minutes over my threshold of boredom capacity. If I wanted to torture myself for that amount of time, I'd just as soon start going to church again. DO, I'm afraid you need special conspiracy therapy :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 4:25 AM
  • Conspiracy Theory: "The term "conspiracy theory" is used to indicate a narrative genre that includes a broad selection of (not necessarily related) arguments for the existence of grand conspiracies.[1] Less illustrious uses refer to folklore and urban legend and a variety of explanatory narratives which are constructed with methodological flaws or biases.[2] Originally a neutral term, since the mid-1960s it has acquired a somewhat derogatory meaning, implying a paranoid tendency to see the influence of some malign covert agency in events.[3] The term is sometimes used to automatically dismiss claims that are deemed ridiculous, misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish or irrational"

    Anybody see anything in these definitions that sound like anybody here?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 4:30 AM
  • Here is what happens when you let extremely religious individuals obtain power:

    "Saudi Arabia: 'Some things can't be covered'"

    http://www.optuszoo.com.au/news/top/news-com-au/saudi-arabia-some-things-cant-be...

    Loved this comment: "Call me cynical, but to me this smacks (pun intended) of a Saudi that realises that once the oil runs out there will be nothing much to attract westerners. Building 'super-duper' hotels and a 'hey look, we're treating women okay now' message seems to be a bit of a cry from a backward mentality that it can fit into the 21st century and appeal to visitors who think that treating women as brood mares is a 'bit dodgy'."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 4:40 AM
  • Like I said none of you can define a Christian. Even I can look it up in the dictionary but it does nothing to define the experience or what actually takes place. The bible says that once we are a Christian that we will remain. You can act like a Christian, you can look like a Christian and you can even smell like a Christian but to make the claim that you once were and you are not now....Well you are a liar plain and simple.

    2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB95)

    17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

    1 John 2:19 (NASB95)

    19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

    A Christian can rebel against God but if you were truly saved God will do whatever is necessary to bring you back into fellowship with him. Do you become a Christian by going to church? No.. Do we become a Christian by asking Jesus into our hearts and repenting of our sins? Yes.. We don't become a Christian to see if it works or to see if our life gets better. We do it because we trust that Jesus died for us on the cross so we would not be judged for our sins but we could be forgiven. It doesn't mean that we don't sin anymore because we are naturally sinful creatures. We live in a fallen world and we see things that used to be immoral, well they are ok now. But are they? Not to God.

    God hasn't changed now or ever so wouldn't you want to trust in someone that is consistent and a perfect judge. Or will you trust in political lies and deception that has a specific agenda to keep you dumbed down so you will believe them.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 12:35 PM
  • Whatever DO. You are neither my conscience, nor my mentor.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 12:45 PM
  • DO you assume far too much. Your assumption that I need education, as guided by you is sheer arrogance. You have no idea how much I know about anything. With your usual disdain for the opinions of others that differ in any way from those you hold, and your proclivity for attack, you are not likely to ever have an inkling as to what I know, about anything.

    As far as News being my mentor you are so off base that I can only hope you were joking. If you were not I pity you.

    I know you will want to come back with some harangue, or diatribe to keep this going, and thus amuse yourself. You will be better served by revisiting solitary post puberty practices. You may get some temporary fulfillment from that.

    You have the last word concerning this failed attempt at dialogue. Make the most of it. I am done with that type of silliness.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 7:03 PM
  • "The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Megalomania includes the 4 symptoms listed below:

    Delusional belief of superiority

    Delusions of greatness

    Delusions about one's own power

    Delusions about one's own importance

    Megalomania is an interesting ailment."

    Here is a link to more information on the subject. http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/m/megalomania/symptoms.htm

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 30, 2013, at 11:07 PM
  • DO, I'm trying to get a handle on your religiousity compared to RR3. Do you pretty much agree with most of the posts of RR3? Do you consider yourself a born again Christian?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, May 1, 2013, at 2:39 AM
  • News, your request to regrow an arm or leg may not be too far behind. This just in..

    "Stem cells grow new windpipe for 2-year-old girl facing death"

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/30/stem-cells-grow-new-windpipe-2-y...

    Some of you can continue to pray for a limb to be regrown, but my money is on science!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, May 1, 2013, at 2:49 AM
  • "Did NASA fake the moon landing? Is the government hiding Martians in Area 51? Is global warming a hoax? And what about the Boston Marathon bombing...an "inside job" perhaps? "

    "Why People Believe in Conspiracy Theories"

    DO, you might find this new article from Scientific American magazine interesting:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=moon-landing-faked-why-people-b...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, May 1, 2013, at 2:54 AM
  • In the interest of presenting fair and balanced points of view here is the other side of the military proselytizing issue, including where DO's "Mikey" got turned off by Evangels.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/air-force-academy-religion-proselytism_...

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/05/03/airforce.religion/

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, May 3, 2013, at 1:03 AM
  • Interesting argument by Newt, but doesn't really hold water. He essentially says that Catholics have the right to be anti-gay. That may not sound all that bad at the surface, but when you are pushing any agenda that denies basic human rights, you are pushing religious policy onto our secular government, and that is not acceptable.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, May 8, 2013, at 2:29 AM
  • Funny how Catholics or Christians are 'anti-gay' when God is very specific about those sort of actions being sin. Would those same people accuse Muslims of being 'anti-gay'.

    It has nothing to do with the person, it is against a lifestyle choice that we all have the right to choose. Should they also allow couples with a record a child abuse adopt? What would be the difference?

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, May 8, 2013, at 11:23 AM
  • RR3: "It has nothing to do with the person, it is against a lifestyle choice that we all have the right to choose."

    Hitler could have used the same excuse for terminating the Jews. It had nothing to do with the person, just the religion or ethnicity. The bottom line is that a human right is involved, and there are no excuses for refusing equal rights because it DOES have everything to do with "the person".

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 2:08 AM
  • RR3: "Should they also allow couples with a record a child abuse adopt? What would be the difference?"

    I'm having a "Captain Obvious" moment. First part of question -- NO. Second part answered by another question -- Do you believe allowing gays to adopt equates to child abuse?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 2:09 AM
  • RR3: "Funny how Catholics or Christians are 'anti-gay' when God is very specific about those sort of actions being sin. Would those same people accuse Muslims of being 'anti-gay'."

    News answered it best and the obvious answer for all of us is -- YES, we most certainly do accuse Muslims of being anti-gay. A man cannot lay down with another man, but it is apparently ok to lay down with a camel :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 2:15 AM
  • Oh, and to paraphrase a previously written comment, my feelings have nothing to do with the person, I am only against the ignorant aspects of religious beliefs that are a detriment to those who happen not to believe in their particular superstition. I never thought my cheek could hurt so much from the soft penetration of my tongue :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 2:24 AM
  • News, you get the "best question" of the day award. I hope RR3 will try and answer that!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 2:25 AM
  • I need to go back to bed and get some sleep. I sure wish we could get some more super religious individuals to comment and help expose the absurdities of their particular brand of irrational belief... good night!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 2:29 AM
  • Good morning everyone ...

    May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow

    May the soft winds freshen your spirit

    May the sunshine brighten your heart

    May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you

    And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.

    (an olde Irish toast - but a great way to say "good mornin')

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 8:22 AM
  • First you have to understand that homosexuality is not a gene and cannot be hereditary. I about fell out of my chair laughing at the statement saying that it was. Second Jesus did condemn homosexuality in the gospels. We have to understand that Jesus was fully God and fully man. He didn't come to change the law but to fulfill it. So if it was a sin in the OT then it is still a sin in the NT. It is illogical to think otherwise unless of course your purpose is to discredit God and the bible. So you think that if Jesus didn't explicitly condemn every practice and sin, if he didn't mention it, then he was ok with it. He was explicit about marriage being between one man and one woman. When they are joined together they become one.

    "And He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"?'" (Matthew 19:4)

    Like I said before he made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!!!!!

    "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:46-47)

    So if you deny any part of the bible then you can enjoy whatever sin you want. All you have to do is say it is not true, it is fiction, and believing in God would deny us of certain joys in our life. Jesus held up the OT to be just as relevant as the words he was saying. You have to understand that Jesus was there when the OT was written, he didn't just come into the picture when he came as a man.

    "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." (Jude 1:7-8)

    Jesus was very explicit about certain lifestyle choices being a sin. We know Sodom and Gomorrah had rampant homosexuality. We see that God condemns homosexuality as a sin all the way through his book, from Genesis through Revelation. God's judgment will be upon those that accept it as normal.

    It is not an unforgivable sin, we can repent and Jesus will love and forgive us.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 12:43 PM
  • A valiant effort News, but when you offer these facts to rr3 do you think he will even read the material presented at the links you provided, let alone find them credible? I think not because with rr3 it is all about yes Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me no. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, May 9, 2013, at 10:46 PM
  • rr, claiming that Jesus and God are the one and same, and then that it follows that the Old Testament was therefor ALSO the word of Jesus (because Jesus is really God too), is a totally failed attempt at logic that exemplifies why religious zealots cannot be trusted to do the right thing when it comes to human rights. You try to use logic (and very very weak logic at that) to explain your interpretation of what the bible means to justify your personal phobia, yet you refuse to even look at sound logical explanations that are essentially irrefutable. That is exactly why bible thumping quotes get absolutely no respect. On the other hand, GB's poems referencing God are wonderful (even if there really isn't a God), because his expressions are art.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, May 10, 2013, at 6:14 AM
  • Todays favorite RD Blog post:

    "It's not rocket science to realize that science and religion are mutually exclusive. A simple test would be to ask any religious scientist what advancement in science has been made using a religious viewpoint."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, May 11, 2013, at 8:34 AM
  • Wow, I just watched the 54 minute lecture from a Skeptic outlining why a skeptic does not have to be an atheist or humanist, and he presents a powerful and interesting argument. I think everyone on this blog or people who just occasionally drop by and read, will find this a fascinating lecture. This guy is a former magician (maybe still does) and a strong New Yorker attitude, but makes me realize I am much more than an atheist, I am a skeptic. The Vin diagram is explained oh so well. Those who are religious and find themselves in the skeptic tent on many issues will also find this fascinating. Enjoy...

    http://youtu.be/iyLULErf_6E

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, May 12, 2013, at 10:04 AM
  • News: "Frankly, I like the concept of Grace. It means true belief (and worship?) can lead to eternal life despite our human ways, at least in theory. That is a pretty deep concept."

    Eternal life is more irrational than "deep", but dream on!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, May 16, 2013, at 4:33 AM
  • News: "If all the other conditions the Bible cites exist, then why would it be irrational?"

    Obviously means you really don't require a response :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 5:57 AM
  • R & DO, looks like you are losing the battle much faster than prior estimates:

    "Christianity declining 50 percent faster than thought"

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10062745/Christianity-declining-50pc-fa...

    That was a UK poll, and they think it is far greater than the 50 pct more even because they didn't even ask the questions fairly ("no religion" was not even an option).

    The US is not far behind in my opinion, it's just that Christians still influence politics based on their mythology and heavily prejudiced interpretation of their holy book instead of reason.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, May 18, 2013, at 6:05 AM
  • Christianity and the Muslim religion have maintained their numbers in the past because a) they bully their children into it b) That is all their children see, and c) they had never run across anyone calling a BS on the whole thing. The latter two are on their way out fast with the internet, so all they have left is the bullying and fear factor. If a child was brought up without the influence of their parent's pushing them, many would still have fear of and believe in some supernatural things (it is in our genetic code), but there would be no formal woo woo religion such as Christianity or Muslims, and the world would be far more advanced.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, May 19, 2013, at 8:11 AM
  • RT states:

    "If a child was brought up without the influence of their parent's pushing them, many would still have fear of and believe in some supernatural things (it is in our genetic code), but there would be no formal woo woo religion such as Christianity or Muslims, and the world would be far more advanced."

    Really? This is rational thinking?

    As we have decoded the human genome, can you tell me where they found it?

    Is it a double recessive? Is it every other generation? I hope it isn't joined with pattern baldness!

    (Forgive me for having fun at your expense RT: just too good to pass up).

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, May 20, 2013, at 2:49 PM
  • What a wooly bugger of a day here in OKC. All quiet at my homestead thank Thor.

    Lest that sounds flippant it has been a sad day here. I especially grieve for all the the children whose lives were snuffed out before they even got going. May all find solace where they may.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, May 20, 2013, at 7:51 PM
  • IT, you caught me. I often don't know what I'm talking about, and I have to rely on memory about what I've read, and that memory is getting worse all the time. I don't necessarily believe there are genes that have been identified with fear, but we do know there are some people who enjoy doing what is very fearful for most of us. I have read that some evolutionists believe that fear was a positive survival trait for those who thought there was a tiger or bear around every thicket and that it helped avoidance and the odds of passing on one's genes were increased by having irrational fear. It was also hypothesized that that irrational fear that helped many survive promoted other irrational thought, such as believe in supernatural influences as well. Genetic study is obviously fairly new and the discovery of specific traits being aligned with certain genes is continually emerging. I know I have irrational fear of being alone in the dark in the woods. But alas, whether there is really genetic code associated with fear, I certainly do not know, but I would guess there is. I hope this may make by statement sound like it is coming from rational thought?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, May 20, 2013, at 7:53 PM
  • I wonder if OKR is still living in OK and somewhere near Moore? If so, I certainly hope he made it thru that devastating tornado and he and family are safe.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, May 20, 2013, at 7:56 PM
  • IT, I'm trying ... :-)

    "However, our incredibly powerful brain is locked in a continual battle between reason and ancestral fears. This conflict helps us understand why religion has held such a grip on humanity and why reason must still fight to be heard.

    This article touches on the evolution of fear and religion:

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/3534-the-evolution-of-religion

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, May 20, 2013, at 8:04 PM
  • RT states:

    "I know I have irrational fear of being alone in the dark in the woods."

    If that's a gene, then we are related.

    I always thought it was common sense.

    No, I do agree. we seem to have basic irrational fears as humans, but who knows? It may be genetic, it may be some sort of instinct.

    By the way, if you and I are related, it could be that you and news are related through me, as I have that same thinning spot on the back of my head.

    The gene pool is shrinking!

    Everybody out now!

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, May 21, 2013, at 9:07 AM
  • OKR:

    Are you anywhere near Moore?

    What relief groups are helping that might need a donation (besides Red Cross, who are probably better funded than some of the other groups)?

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, May 21, 2013, at 9:09 AM
  • We are about 6 to 8 miles north as the crow flies of the disaster zone IT. The Salvation Army does good work and their folks in Oklahoma are experienced with disaster aid.

    If you choose to donate to the Red Cross, and want your donation to go to this disaster you must note on your donation that it is for the Oklahoma disaster otherwise it will go into their general fund.

    Thank you for your concern.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, May 21, 2013, at 10:27 AM
  • Hey OKR - been thinking about you ... Glad you are doing well ... Bad news all around - again - for the good folks of Oklahoma and Kansas. Hoping and praying that all will find peace in the midst of this devastation.

    Shep

    -- Posted by shep on Tue, May 21, 2013, at 10:53 AM
  • Thanks Shep. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, May 21, 2013, at 2:54 PM
  • Naw News that won't phase r. He considers Catholics to be heretics, and Pope Frankie with that statement just adds fuel to r's fire, or should I say hell fire. ;)

    I gotta say that I like Pope Frankie a lot better than I did Pope Benny.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, May 24, 2013, at 12:53 AM
  • There have been non-catholic related/influenced churches around since the early life of Christianity. Some call them ana-baptists, but whatever they are called they were the ones worshipping in their own way who got ran over by the crusaders and tromped on by the Inquisition. All heretics, according to the Inquisition, were not necessairly atheists or agnostics or various types of non-believers. Some just wouldn't swear allegiance to Rome or - later - the Church of England. Some of them were burned at the stake ... flayed alive ... dropped into vats of hot oil .. you know - that kind of thing.

    Anyway - I gues I'm just sayin that all Christian paths do not lead backward to Rome.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, May 24, 2013, at 8:59 AM
  • And with all due respect - R-E-S-P-E-C-T breeds R-E-S-P-E-C-T ... It can't be demanded. By the pope or the aussie or anyone else.

    Signed "not a ring kisser" ...

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, May 24, 2013, at 9:02 AM
  • "Anyway - I gues I'm just sayin that all Christian paths do not lead backward to Rome." -gb

    True, but do you not reckon that some Christian paths lead backward? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, May 24, 2013, at 3:12 PM
  • No matter who is Pope, is it not a really weird position? This is somebody who is supposed to be celibate and have some type of direct connection with God. Both, totally inconceivable. I can't imagine a lifestyle any worse than leading a total lie of pretending you have more knowledge than anyone else about the existence of a supernatural being. Not just the pope, but all preachers. I have nothing but pity for them all for being so delusional.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Fri, May 24, 2013, at 5:55 PM
  • There are three major Christian traditions. The largest is the Catholics at about 1.18 billion. They are followed by the Protestants at 800 million, and then the Orthodox at 260 million, which when combined nearly equal the number of Catholics. http://christianity.about.com/od/denominations/p/christiantoday.htm

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, May 25, 2013, at 12:08 AM
  • Funny stuff news. Gets you started on a whole bunch of those videos though and hard to quit. I don't believe animals are allowed in heaven, so I guess we shouldn't get too attached them. At least I heard that somewhere?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, May 26, 2013, at 7:12 AM
  • Faith healing linked to 2 dozen children's death. What say you religious freaks?

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Faith-Healing-Churches-Linked-to-Two-D...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, May 26, 2013, at 7:33 AM
  • Favorite comment regarding the faith healing child's death:

    "A parent that could sit there and watch their child suffer for days, gasping for breath, burning with fever, and eventually turning blue as they suffocated to death, while doing nothing but mumbling to a God who never answers, is completely and utterly evil beyond anything I can imagine."

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, May 26, 2013, at 7:37 AM
  • I don't know News, I somehow don't think the Pope will help much, unless he comes out and admits it is all a big scam propagated from ancient delusions :-) Some might eventually find it a bit odd that their god would let suffering children die and not intervene for parents who are just waiting for him to heal their child, while he most certainly punishes us non-believers with a life of eternal hell. Religion does seem to be able to poison most everything!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, May 27, 2013, at 7:20 AM
  • I was watching this live Interview with Wolf Blizer when this lady had the bells to say the truth... this was an awesome news moment!

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/24/has-the-oklahoma-atheist-been-saved/

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, May 27, 2013, at 7:26 AM
  • I wish I could come up with some of the responses that some come up with. Here is just one that is awesome:

    "If the wonderful book o fairy tales states that your gawd has everything written out, and has for since the day he created your fantasy, why would someone believe that prayer does anything? I'm not sure you understand your tall tales correctly, the perverse POS in the sky mapped out the happenings on this planet, long before you were ever conceived, he isn't changing it because you folded your hands and talked to your mattress"

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Mon, May 27, 2013, at 7:31 AM
  • I sometimes pity folks who have to lump others together as one in order to save energy in dis-repecting people one-on-one.

    (1) There is no empirical evidence that would lead anyone to lump me and my beliefs and practices together with RR. We are very different in our belief's and practices. That was the first mistake. Those who actullay read what I post should "know" me better than that by now. Shame on those who would reach so far in an effort to defame folks.

    (2) When Jesus said "upon this rock I will build my church" he WAS NOT talking about Peter (sorry Catholics) ... A reading in proper context reveals that he was talking about Peter's revelation that Jesus was "the Christ - the Son of the Living God." That, my friends, is the "rock" the church is built upon.

    (3) Whether there is or isn't a "direct line" of succession from Peter to the current pontiff is not the point and matters not at all.

    To OKR - I don't know about Christian paths leading backwards - but I am sure that many Christian sects are "backwards" in the practice of their faith.

    Gee - and this is just Tuesday.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, May 28, 2013, at 8:51 AM
  • I haven't trusted a Pope since John Paul II died ... and I still ain't kissin' no rings. Check out the term "the priesthood of the believer" and see what you come up with. Even you might be enlightened.

    It's like - Go directly to the throne room - do not pass Rome - do not collect 200 indulgences ... Straight to the throne room baby!

    The New Testament calls believer "a Kingdom of Priests" ... wouldn't that make the Vatican tremble? ... Can you imagine - an entire kingdom of non-ring kissers.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Wed, May 29, 2013, at 8:17 AM
  • News across what do you mean older people have no commercial value? Here in the US they are the baby boomers. They are the pig in the python of our demographics. They have been driving our economy since they hit the scene. All one has to do here is to watch tv and watch all the commercials for products to be used by the over 60 crowd. They have dominated American culture for decades. Media, entertainment, fashion, and other industries have catered to them for what, charitable reasons? And of course a future potential commercial value - SOYLENT GREEN!

    -- Posted by inthemiddle on Wed, May 29, 2013, at 10:08 PM
  • ROTFLMAO ITM. Soylent Green! Do you suppose our mass consumption of GMOs will cause absorption of poisons in the populace, and some concerned folks will protest GMO Soylent Green?

    I am one of the remaining few who has spent a lifetime looking back over my shoulder at the Boomers. I have found it amusing though I haven't said much. After all I am part of the Silent Generation.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, May 29, 2013, at 10:35 PM
  • Thanks for the clarification news ...

    Sorry you missed the chance to be the Holy See ...

    But - sadly - even if you had been elected - I still wouldn't be kissin' no rings ... (haha)

    Have a great day my friend ...

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Thu, May 30, 2013, at 8:53 AM
  • News: "I respect all faiths mate, ..."

    I hope you can qualify that statement? How about Mormons, Scientology, and the really fringe religious faiths? I can respect someone's right to believe what is obvious a bunch of hogwash in my mind, but that doesn't mean I respect that faith. The major religions don't get a pass from me either when that belief in a supernatural being promotes actions of the faithful to try and push their dilution on the rest of us, especially in regard to government and education.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Thu, May 30, 2013, at 7:44 PM
  • -- Posted by NDII on Fri, May 31, 2013, at 9:28 AM
  • ND2, that link was bad.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jun 1, 2013, at 6:46 AM
  • News, congrats on getting to meet Dr Cox. There are a handful of brilliant scientists in the world, and THEY are the ones who deserver the utmost respect. The evolutionary lottery has blessed the human race with a very small number of humans who have the brain power to help advance science for all mankind's benefit. Ask him what social events he looks forward to most.. should help humanize him :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jun 1, 2013, at 6:52 AM
  • News, I can't disagree with your "qualified" response. Respecting the right to think and believe what one wants is a far cry from "respecting all faiths". Another qualification I will make is that I will respect that right to think and believe what they want as long as they do not step on my right to a secular government and education system. So far there are way too many individuals who have disqualified themselves from my respect.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jun 1, 2013, at 6:58 AM
  • Have a spare hour? This is an extremely powerful presentation by Leo Igwe: ""God has not turned up! Black people should speak out because we suffer most from religious excesses"

    http://youtu.be/ouItTVgHpoY

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jun 1, 2013, at 7:46 AM
  • -- Posted by NDII on Sun, Jun 2, 2013, at 10:09 AM
  • ND link... "I am 65 years of age and have been married for almost 30 years. I would so have appreciated an explanation from you or any of the hierarchy exactly how my long and happy marriage will be threatened by the union of gay couples?"

    The only possible answer is an illogical one... I'm sure it will based on "interpretation" of the ancient text, just like all other anti-humane interpretations. The Catholic and all other man-made religions are on their way out, and I now believe if I can live to be 90 I get to see it.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jun 2, 2013, at 10:30 AM
  • Surely some of you who embrace your specific brand of religious texts must deep down inside wonder if you have spent your life believing in and following something that is totally false. There are many like you who have gradually come to that realization and have changed their life for the better of everyone around them. Surely you can grasp that even if there was a higher power that that higher power does not intervene or would ever condone a specific religious belief system? Just that thought alone implies that higher power being man made. Respect for all life and an appreciation for a universe we are becoming more aware of is all that is needed to living a good and moral life. You have morals that were not derived from the writings of the specific texts you were brought up to believe in. Your morals are innate and a product of your life's experience and influences from others. Their morals were also derived from the same source, even though they may also claim they are from the religious texts their ancestors thought were supernaturally derived as well. It is not too late to become an Humanist for the betterment of mankind and our planet. Although I have several people in mind for this advice, R2, you could benefit the most for this consideration!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jun 2, 2013, at 10:45 AM
  • "In A Grain Of Golden Rice, A World Of Controversy Over GMO Foods"

    ND, I saw your post (maybe in the political section) regarding GMO foods. Although the way it is genetically altered now is fairly new, we have been altering our food crops genetically using other techniques, witness Mendel's famous pea pods were genetically modified. I will say that we do need to be very careful and scientific about our approach, and that there are areas of major concern that are warranted, needing heavy oversight. However, I also wonder if there are individuals who will ALWAYS be against any form of GMO no matter what, akin to vaccinations. A lot of that backlash is religiously motivated, and I cannot give that any credence. My question to you is if you are open to the possibility of GMO's ever being beneficial or are you against the concept completely no matter the circumstance?

    This is the article pertaining to the quote I started off with:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/03/07/173611461/in-a-grain-of-golden-rice-...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jun 2, 2013, at 11:01 AM
  • RT and SD; it seems you guys have turned this forum in to a secular Sunday service. I think that is good. It is not just the churchly folk who are in need of fellowship, and celebration of life.

    Happy secular Sunday to the both of you!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 2, 2013, at 12:29 PM
  • OK, if only it were true, that would be wonderful, and in reality, no longer necessary. Since we are not getting much response from the religious, I'll have to pass the blame on them for not responding to secular comments. It is my hope that there are a lot of others, including those brought up under religious influence, that at least read the blogs for either entertainment or hopefully, for thought provocation. About all that is left here making semi-regular posts are atheists (myself included), agnostics (I still think they are closet atheist), and those who are moderately religious. A rather peaceful group. But, who knows who is lurking waiting to try their hand at spewing out religious text to justify their own mean spirited ideas?

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jun 2, 2013, at 12:49 PM
  • Adam and Eve... Absurd!

    "Why did the Neanderthals die out?"

    "The puzzle is one of the greatest surrounding our species. On a planet that bristled with different types of human being, including Neanderthalsand the Hobbit-like folk of Flores, only one is left today: Homo sapiens"

    Interesting article:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/jun/02/why-did-neanderthals-die-out

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jun 2, 2013, at 12:52 PM
  • Interesting stuff RT, thanks for the link. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 2, 2013, at 4:24 PM
  • RT - I am against cross-species GE of any kind, and I am against turning a plant into a poison factory for the sole purpose of selling more poison. Neither of those have ANY thing to do with plant breeding for regional specific qualities - that has been going on for 1000's of years. HOWEVER, it is absurd to insert human growth genes into salmom, spider genes in tomatoes, etc. We are not at all proficient in predicting unintended consequences of our bumblingly arrogant efforts to 'improve' the world in our own image.

    -- Posted by NDII on Mon, Jun 3, 2013, at 9:44 PM
  • Science can restore limbs, and they can now control them by thought via electrodes. Much better than your God,

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jun 5, 2013, at 7:08 AM
  • DO, do you think the US public education system is to promote science to destroy free will? Contrare, public education is to keep from having an ignorant society, one that can think for themselves and make better decisions based on knowledge, not decisions based on ignorance, superstition, or totally unfounded conspiracy theory.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Wed, Jun 5, 2013, at 8:51 AM
  • I believe most of what goes on in many public schools these days - especially at the elementary level - is more crowd control than education ... That is not meant to take anything away from the dedicated professionals asked to educate our kids ... But I really think the system is broken.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Jun 7, 2013, at 1:50 PM
  • Many of our students are getting really good public education. I am amazed at some of the information my grandchildren have learned. That is not to say that it isn't getting slowly worse, because it is. Funding is important, but not everything. Another factor is competition. We are outsourcing everything and we can't compete with the rest of the world because the wages are stagnant or really low. How many will want a difficult IT degree when most of the jobs are offshored to India and China today. They claim it is because we need more trained in the field, but I can tell you it is the proverbial Chicken and Egg. The higher demand, the more students would be majoring in those fields. Pay a lot of money for math and science students and you'd see more students gravitating toward those fields. But now when the number of jobs in those fields are offshore. This no doubt belongs on the political forum, but just let me say I have a religious fervor about it :-)

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jun 8, 2013, at 8:24 AM
  • SOME good news for the day:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-court-rules-human-genes-may-not-b...

    Never did figure out who in the patent office had the bright idea to "patent" naturally-occurring substances... money talks...

    -- Posted by NDII on Thu, Jun 13, 2013, at 4:16 PM
  • Some folks count on the Promised Land.

    It's a comfortable place to take a stand.

    When words about that by them are spoken,

    keep in mind that promises may be broken.

    Such hope during life may save them from hurt.

    When its done they may not even lay in dirt.

    Catch a fanciful dream and hold on tight.

    Don't worry too much if it's wrong or right.

    It doesn't matter much if there's not much to it.

    Just be like the hippies, if it feels good do it.

    For me the Promised Land is too much of a reach.

    I am satisfied just reaching up to pick a ripe peach.

    A first bite of such sweetness, juice running down my chin,

    makes me feel for the moment as if I'm born again.

    It doesn't matter to me what you believe,

    and I'm not concerned if you self deceive,

    but I'll be the first to sound the alarm,

    if your belief causes others any kind of harm.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Jun 15, 2013, at 12:09 PM
  • Promised Land and Peaches

    (I forgot to put the title on this one) :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Jun 15, 2013, at 1:53 PM
  • OKR - love it!

    Tolerance is such an important skill to learn!! Widely mispropagandized as 'agreement', tolerance requires a high degree of internal security and the ability to tolerate difference - live and let live as long as it harms none. :)

    -- Posted by NDII on Sun, Jun 16, 2013, at 9:04 AM
  • Thanks my friend.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 16, 2013, at 12:26 PM
  • Hey RT and SD! I missed your Sunday morning ruminations. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 16, 2013, at 12:42 PM
  • News a belated thanks to you for the link to "Scientists decry the worst case of scientific censorship since the church banned Copernicus". (research into naturally occurring psychotropic substances)

    One of these days future generations are going to look back on ours, and shake their heads in utter disbelieve as they say "what were they thinking?" This issue is one of several concerning which we will be legitimately ridiculed.

    It makes our head scratchers prompted by our perspective of the acts of prior generations, such as those symbolized by the Volstead Act, and the Hays Commission seem trivial. Those only attempted to curtail freedom to enjoy ourselves as we choose. Ours is more damning because it stops valuable medical research in its tracks in addition to curtailing hedonistic freedoms.

    Of course there is some validity to a defensive reaction by us, "hey we didn't start it" and pass it back to the prior generation. That is weak, because we sure as hell did not stop it when we were informed to the point that we had every rational reason to do so.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 16, 2013, at 3:16 PM
  • Mea culpa. I should have said our generations, not our generation. As best I can tell "we" are an intermingling of my own "Silent Generation" and you obstreperous "Boomers". ;)

    Cut us some slack, there are so few of us comparitively that is a wonder we have a voice at all. We had no choice except to cling to your coat tails as you made your huge impact on society. It was grab hold, or get out of the way.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 16, 2013, at 3:35 PM
  • I noticed that after I had reached relative maturity, and the Boomers began to reach that plateau, that I often had more in common with the Boomers than with the majority of my own generation. It wasn't so much that I was a coat tail grabber, as much as that younger people had more of an affinity for my thoughts, and ideas than my own generation. The Viet Nam War, Civil rights, etc. come to mind. I was a part of the Beat Generation which bonded well with the avant garde portion of the one that followed.

    The Beats were a miniscule portion of the Silent Generation.

    My generation grew up costumed as carbon copies of our parents. Girls dresses (never above the knee), and hair styles made them little duplicates of Lucy, and Ethel. Boys got the same hair cuts as their Dads, and wore the same style shoes, and khakis (a ubiquitous residue of WWII). See the early Mouseketeers fo example. A generation trapped in time standing still by their clothing, and other trappings.

    The Boomers would have none of that!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 16, 2013, at 4:34 PM
  • OKR - Oh, but the Beat Generation was the necessary predecessor to the Boomers... I loved to hear my dad sing "Scotch and Soda". :)

    -- Posted by NDII on Sun, Jun 16, 2013, at 11:46 PM
  • "mud in your eye" ND2. That was a great old song written by Dave Guard of The Kingston Trio. I used to sing it all the time. They popped up as I recall in 1958, the year I graduated from Marshall High as a very naive seventeen year old. Their first hit was "Tom Dooley" I think, but I liked their later stuff better.

    They were sort of main stream folk alternative to "The Weavers". Not nearly as trenchant as "The Weavers" they nevertheless brought consciousness of folk music to mainstream fifties folk, forming a bridge to Woody, and Pete, and the rest of that socially conscious crowd; a bridge that likely would not have been crossed by nearly as many people had it not been for them and similiar groups such as "The Lime Lighters". I like to think of those types as sedate folk; that signifying the contrast between them and the raw, edgier stuff of "Lead Belly" and "Woody" for instance.

    Oh yeh; "Scotch and Soda" tempted me to try scotch whisky. I don't listen to the Kingston Trio much anymore, but I have been drinking scotch ever since. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jun 17, 2013, at 1:35 AM
  • From Utne; "Native American Influence in the History of the Blues".

    I found this to be fascinating stuff. It makes a case that the traditional music of folks such as the Cherokees, Choctaws, and many other east of the Mississippi indigenous peoples contributed to the establishment of the Blues, and that the failed attempts to connect Blues roots to Africa support the proposition that they searched in the wrong direction.

    http://www.utne.com/arts-culture/history-of-the-blues-ze0z1306zpit.aspx#axzz2WXW...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 12:28 AM
  • Hey y'all - I'm hip with the blues and everything (a bassman myself) ... but aside from the idea that blues music may have its earliest origins in the worship activities of Africans and First Americans, what does the blues have to do with religion? (unless, of course, you buy into the idea of letting the blues place you in a "rapturous" state of mind) ...

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 9:04 AM
  • OKR

    When you were talking about the Kingston Trio it reminded me of the New Christie Minstrels ... Do you remember them as well? Maybe just a bit later than the KT - but not much later. ... By the way - thanks to you I can't get the song out of my head ... "Hang down your head Tom Dooley - Hang down your head and cry ... Hang down your head Tom Dooley - poor boy you're bound to die ... Bout this time tomorrow, wonder where I'll be ... bout this time tomorrow - I'll be hanging from a White Oak tree ..."

    That seems like it was soooooooo long ago ...

    Thanks for the memories ...

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 11:34 AM
  • Hey gb! Whass up?

    I'm thinking that this "religion" blog has morphed into a catch all for things other than politics, especially cultural, sociological, and psychological issues. that isn't a long stretch.

    How many times can we argue the differences between, and tout either fundamentalist Christianity, or atheism? LOL

    I think it a good conversion. It leaves the original "Speak Out" uncluttered for those who want to discuss the condition of Marshall's streets, trees, police force, and the weather. To each his/her/it's own. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 11:39 AM
  • Yup, I rememember "The New Christy Minstrels", and agree that they were in the same loosely defined category as the two that I mentioned.

    I think it interesting that the group included several members that later had decent solo careers; Barry McGuire (Eve of Destruction), Kim Carnes (Betty Davis Eyes), and Kenny Rogers.

    Regarding "Tom Dooley" it may qualify as one of the top ten ear wigs of all time for we oldsters. We must have heard it ten thousand times as it seemed to cling for ever to top 40 radio status. For months we heard it over, and over, blasting out of our AM car radios, and little transistor radios with their atrocious sound quality. It eventually made my 'push the change station button' as the first chord was struck. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 12:15 PM
  • OKR

    re: Tom Dooley - it was also seen and heard on PBS specials for YEARS after it was recorded ... and can now be found on the cable channels that have hour-long commercials about certain "classic music collections" - i.e. rock, country, etc.

    And did you know that Barry McGuire also went on to have a stubstantial solo career in the Contemporary Christian genre ... just after he left the "flower child - eve of destruction" scene?

    One of his biggest songs was "Bullfrogs and Butterflies" - which - according to Barry - "have both been born again."

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 2:02 PM
  • And I would probably have to disagree that Kenny Rogers had a DECENT solo career ... for a while he was the biggest thing going ... so much so that the Gatlins recorded "All the Gold in California - is in a bank in the middle of Beverly Hills in somebody else's name" ... meaning - in KRs name.

    Not trying to pick a fight - but I'd say he had more than just a decent solo career ... Probably bigger than Carnes and Mcguire combined.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 2:09 PM
  • Yeh, sometimes I understate. Maybe in this case it is because I am no fan of Kenny Rogers.

    I did not know that about Barry McGuire.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 3:34 PM
  • gb - maybe we need to remember that G*d/evolution/the Universe created music and we have vocal chords and minds/spirits that compel us to create our own music...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAPNfKADA7Y

    And this one reminds me of the Aborigines' digeridoo...

    http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2012-10-24/nasas-voyager-probes-at-35-listen-to-t...

    Regardless of the language...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doWgE4SK6Ls

    :)

    -- Posted by NDII on Wed, Jun 19, 2013, at 9:14 AM
  • Music from around the world, and yes, music from the depths of space, here is music from the depths of the oceans. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=whale+songs+audio&mid=5955119793958BB87AFA59...

    Our species can not even begin to fathom all the forms of music. If it is universal in appeal, it follows that it is universal in appearance.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 19, 2013, at 7:57 PM
  • news - awesome vid and music!! OKR -- I think that was a conversation they were recording ;)

    -- Posted by NDII on Wed, Jun 19, 2013, at 10:22 PM
  • The wales tranq me out in a way that the song birds in my yard do not. Though both are wonderful there is a huge difference. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jun 20, 2013, at 12:45 AM
  • Typo, meant whales. Its your fault News. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jun 20, 2013, at 12:55 AM
  • "Mantra", also good stuff. Thanks

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jun 20, 2013, at 12:56 AM
  • re: Music -

    I have been a musician since I was but a lad - am now in my 5th decade of pickin' ... I have always had trouble with the idea of "secular" music versus "christian" music and so on ... What if a believer were to sing a non-"christian" song - does that mean he or she is not a believer? Does that make the song a christian song?

    Music is music - I do not believe it can be christian or non-christian ... Musicians and singers can be either or - but music is music.

    gb

    -- Posted by gentle ben on Fri, Jun 21, 2013, at 8:27 AM
  • The New Christie Minstrels are still around. Some older members come and go and occasionally you can catch an 'oldie' at one of their concerts. I haven't heard of Carnes or Rogers catching a concert, but they might have.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Fri, Jun 21, 2013, at 1:57 PM
  • Kenny Rogers is making the casino circuit as are many other geriatric groovers, Rock, Country, and otherwise.

    We don't hit the Native American casino auditoriums as a whole. We did catch Lyle Lovett at one. It was depressing on the way to the auditorium having to walk by all the blue collar folks attempting to buy hope a quarter at a time.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Jun 21, 2013, at 10:07 PM
  • GB: "Music is music - I do not believe it can be christian or non-christian ... Musicians and singers can be either or - but music is music."

    Agree to a degree GB. Art can often stand on it's own. I enjoy most Christmas songs and the holiday spirit (minus what I call the superstition aspect) as much as the believer. Music is the same for me, as long as the words don't go ridiculously overboard. Tapping your foot is based on the feeling of the music, not usually the words for me.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jun 22, 2013, at 8:16 AM
  • Well all...

    I am taking a sabbatical until I see how the new editor does.

    My dues are paid til next week, and I'll check in from time to time, but I want to say I've enjoyed it, even though I only post occasionally.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Jun 24, 2013, at 7:56 AM
  • Don't stray too far IT. I enjoy your participation. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jun 24, 2013, at 11:17 AM
  • News, thought you might enjoy this article:

    Secular Coalition of Australia and New Zealand

    http://secularcoalitionanz.org/2013/06/22/changing-the-world-starting-down-under...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Jun 29, 2013, at 12:44 PM
  • Although I do believe we are headed more toward a secular society, it is quite obvious there is a tremendous religious pushback, wanting to force their belief system and social agenda on the entire population. That will continue to be a big struggle, as the southern states and parsley populated northwestern states push laws that harm individuals where they have no reason (other than their religious belief) to be intruding. I'm speaking of gay rights and abortion in particular, but they'd love to make their religion the law of the land for everything. To see what religious rule can do to a country, all you have to do is look at what the Taliban has done to Afghanistan or what religion has done to the state of Iran. I know; I know! Christianity (to Christians) is the ONLY true and valid religion, so a government run by Christian law would be just and fair, right? It is a slow process, but a totally secular government is the only hope for personal freedoms to thrive. It is hard enough to keep power seeking politicians from taking over governments, but if you add religious right wing nuts, you get a recipe that would take us far away from the freedoms everyone should share. The push for fairness and human rights for all can only be achieved by keeping our government a secular government. Unless religion can intervene and curtail the sharing of information that is available worldwide, religion's influence will become significantly reduced rapidly, but not rapid enough from my perspective. The US will have to follow the lead of Great Britain and Australia to that endeavor, as that is one big area we are way behind. Keep leading us to greener pastures News!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jun 30, 2013, at 7:19 AM
  • Now here is an interesting offering from Australia concerning atheism:

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/sunday-assembly-melbour...

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Jun 30, 2013, at 7:30 AM
  • RT - i hope you're correct, but what I am seeing is encroaching totalitarianism... The 'religious right', the GOP in Congress and state legislatures, have successfully gerrymandered a politcal take-over, and are actively working toward a totalitarian state that would make Mao and Stalin envious. Today's GOP is no different than the old hardline Communists. And now they want to make it "official" that the United States is a "christian" nation, which, as you mentioned, is the same as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and other "islamic" fundamentalist nations - the only difference is the label they put on it. I certainly hope people wake up - but I am not holding my breath on that one. :(

    -- Posted by NDII on Sun, Jun 30, 2013, at 8:18 AM
  • DO - the link is sufficient.

    -- Posted by NDII on Sun, Jun 30, 2013, at 9:33 PM
  • Thanks for sharing with us DO that you are "an American evangelical who is a member of a theologically-conservative church" and "the answer for evangelicals like me is NOT more political involvement,". I think that is the most personally transparent comment you have placed on these blogs. Gee, it is almost like some other person wrote it.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jul 1, 2013, at 12:03 AM
  • NOTE: The link to the images for BOOK TWO are erroneous. For the true videao link with BOOK TWO click here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miC1VZ9UVCQ

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jul 18, 2013, at 11:58 AM
  • Yeh RT if they are classical libertarians they would be for moonshining, pot growing, and a whole bunch of other things.

    A leading libertarian philosopher, Roderick Long has defined libertarianism as "any political position that advocates a radical redistribution of power from the coercive state to voluntary associations of free individuals. Libertarian extremists advocate that government be limited to protecting individuals from initiation of force, and that is all.

    I think that the Tea Party types were milling around expressing their fear based emotional rage at society's inexorable change in the most rudimentary manner. Irrational words, not much more than, and no clearer in message than primitive screams were the limit of their lexicon. Looking around in their bewilderment, they (Tea Party types) stumbled upon, and seized certain tenents of libertarianism, and blindly ran with them, dropping important parts like litter along their frenzied path. Rationality never crossed their path. They just chose the parts that gave them ersatz intellectual cover for their irrationality.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Aug 7, 2013, at 8:46 PM
  • ~MPS sign goes up~

    Sounds like the little brat crying in the cereal isle, because Mommy won't buy Her/Him that triple chocolate coated cereal with extra sugar and a plastic toy inside.

    -- Posted by EiEiO on Fri, Aug 30, 2013, at 9:23 PM
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