Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: ID flattened with a steamroller
The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > The Monkey Hole > The Newgate Calendar
Pages: 1, 2, 3
Donnie Darko
That whole God discussion in the KOSG thread reminded me of a discussion my wife had with my cousin over Thanksgiving. It wasn't so much a two way discussion as a sermon delivered by my cousin about why Evolution was wrong and why Intelligent Design was right. He's a Physician's Assistant, which suggests some rudimentary scientific knowledge, and he certainly does grasp scientific concepts fairly well. The problem is that he grasped the lazy science contained in Michael Behe's book (he's the Darwin of "Intelligent Design"), which has become a favourite tome of Creationists looking to cherry pick science to support their position. It amazes me that, even after the crushing defeat of ID in the courtroom in Dover, PA, ID has so many devout followers who won't let go of it. They're even attempting to rechristen it "Critical Analysis" theory.

Well hold on to your hats, ladies and gentleman, because Cell Biologist Ken Miller resoundingly crushes the theory of ID.. Every argument used by advocates of ID is masterfully and convincingly refuted by scientific evidence in this lecture. The theory of intelligent design, based on the evidence, is unsupportable, and for anyone to continue to hold on to such a delusion is willful ignorance. To continue to try and force public schools to teach our children such a fallacy is akin to teaching them you can get cancer from a handshake.

This is a 2 hour lecture, but worth every second of time spent watching it (except perhaps for the prayer given before he is introduced, but that's another matter), and it requires no faith to accept the hard science Miller presents.

I routinely find myself shocked and dismayed when I discover how many people think Evolution is nonsense or at best a hypothesis that's full of holes and doesn't hold up to scrutiny. I have no idea if any supporters of ID here will take the time required to watch Miller's entertaining lecture, but I certainly hope they do. This isn't about trying to convert people to any broader theistic or atheistic point of view, it's merely an attempt to flush a certain kind of junk science down the toilet once and for all, which I'd hope any reasonable human would desire.
Provenance
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 14 2006, 03:41 PM) *

Cell Biologist Ken Miller resoundingly crushes the theory of ID.

I think not. Please don't take that to mean that I am an adherent of ID as I regularly lose my Id when drinking absinthe. Instead, belief in Intelligent Design is based on belief. Belief, by definition, is not going to be "crushed" by reason. I never cease to marvel at well-meaning people who think that if only others heard the lecture, read the book, what have you, everyone's views on religion, politics, other controversial subjects would start to mirror their own.

As for my own views, to keep it short, should I need to be treated with an antibiotic, I would greatly prefer that the drug be developed by someone who understands evolution.
Ari
Well Behe et al. claim their belief is scientific theory so it can be steam rolled in that regard.

Ignoring the glaring errors in ID I find it says more about a believers faith as the Discovery Institute version effectively calls God either an imperfect moron or the most obscure hinter in the universe.
traineraz
QUOTE(Provenance @ Dec 14 2006, 04:12 PM) *

Belief, by definition, is not going to be "crushed" by reason. I never cease to marvel at well-meaning people who think that if only others heard the lecture, read the book, what have you, everyone's views on religion, politics, other controversial subjects would start to mirror their own.

Well said!

Religion in general, and fundamentalist Christianity in particular, is a belief system which is ingrained from infancy. Belief is not necessarily rational. The Bible, for example, contradicts itself left and right on key issues. Doesn't matter, millions still believe every word is the Perfect and Complete Word of God. More often than not, because they only know what they've been told it says.

A direct "assault" on a person's deeply-ingrained beliefs -- whether he's given them much consideration or not -- often results in his defense of those beliefs. After all, this is what mom and dad and the preacher and the sunday school teacher and people who died 2000-5000+ years ago said was true, all those people must be right, and now THAT guy (probably Donnie) is attacking it. Cognitive dissonance, propaganda and religion's best friend, comes into play.

QUOTE
The theory of cognitive dissonance was first proposed by the psychologist Leon Festinger in 1956 after observing the counterintuitive belief persistence of members of a UFO doomsday cult and their increased proselytization after the leader's prophecy failed. The failed message of earth's destruction, sent by aliens to a woman in 1956, became a disconfirmed expectancy that increased dissonance between cognitions, thereby causing most members of the impromptu cult to lessen the dissonance by accepting a new prophecy; that the aliens had instead spared the planet for their sake.


Once this two-hour lecture (I'd wager the average ID supporter would listen to about 15 minutes of it before deciding it was drivel and shutting it off) was heard attacking his views, the supporter would likely find resources which reinforce his existing belief system. It's easy to reinforce an existing belief ("Everything is possible with God", or "God put these things out here to confuse the unfaithful so they would stay confused; their lack of faith makes them unrighteous and unworthy of his presence" (2 Thessalonians 2: 11-12 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. )). Dissonance resolved, God's just tricking the unfaithful. Tah-dah, all "scientific" evidence is now invalid in the believer's mind.

This is safe. The belief in a personal god who created the world and watches over everybody is what gives many people's lives meaning and structure. If that's taken away, their entire worldview, PLUS their social circle, their families, and everything else (possibly even jobs!) are taken away, too. That's a scary place to venture into. Everything they thought they knew is suddenly called into question.

Isn't it a whole lot easier to just believe that all things are possible with God, and leave it at that?
AndrewT
You're very right, Provenance. ID is a belief and is unaffected by rational thought. I think anyone who claims otherwise is either being unreasonable or willfully ignorant. This video will not convert any of the latter, but it may help those who believe the pseudo-scientific ID tripe without examining the evidence that's really out there. And now, a diatribe. Feel free to skip the rest of this post if you don't care to hear me rant about ID.

The idea of ID being on equal footing with evolution is a joke. The theory of evolution has been criticized and scoured for holes for over 140 years by people much more intelligent than the ID supporters of today. Every unearthed fossil and every new genetic discovery adds wave upon wave of evidence for the theory of evolution. No scientist is "afraid" to challenge the theory- conversely, many young scientists try as hard as they can to overturn well-accepted theories. Should any scientist find a fatal flaw in evolution and propose a new one that fits the facts better, they would surely win a nobel prize. The fact that evolution has withstood the test of almost a century and a half of new discoveries that lie directly in its scope is a testament to how sound the theory truly is.

Keep in mind that when Darwin's Origin of Species was published (1859), genetics and DNA were not known yet (Mendel released his findings on plant genes in 1865 and Mieschel reported the first signs of DNA in 1869). That's an entire branch of science that formed after the formation of the theory of evolution, and its discoveries have done nothing but support the theory of evolution.

More importantly, I think the evolutionary perspective of life is far more beautiful than "God did it". Anyone who's ever wondered at the Grand Canyon --chipped away grain by grain by an incessant flow of water-- or been to the Himalayas --pushed up inch by inch by the collision of massive tectonic plates-- can appreciate the evolutionary marvel that made us what we are. Anyone who denies that beauty is not truly alive.
bob_chong
QUOTE

I never cease to marvel at well-meaning people who think that if only others heard the lecture, read the book, what have you, everyone's views on religion, politics, other controversial subjects would start to mirror their own.


Bravo. Like the last election. I know Bush haters run 10-1 here, but did you ever even consider that the people who voted for him aren't just a bunch of hicks who "voted against their own interests" or "didn't understand" or "are too ignorant." This isn't a Bush defense: what I'm getting at is that there is a great big world out there full of people who disagree with you. Lots of them are intelligent, and lots have studied the issues just as much as you did. And sometimes you're part of the 51% who wins, and sometimes with the 49% who loses. No amount of Chomsky-ite lecturing is going to convince me that I should desire to have a government which confiscates more wealth from the populace to increase its own power and scope. Likewise, no matter what I say, guys like Donnie and Prol are convinced that my position is "evil" or "social Darwinism" or "unenlightened."

Shit, we all do it.

As for this:
QUOTE

Religion in general, and fundamentalist Christianity in particular, is a belief system which is ingrained from infancy. Belief is not necessarily rational. The Bible, for example, contradicts itself left and right on key issues. Doesn't matter, millions still believe every word is the Perfect and Complete Word of God. More often than not, because they only know what they've been told it says.


TAZ, this will sound deeply patronizing, so I apologize in advance and there's no way for me to say this except that I don't mean it that way, but...I am sorry for whatever has happened to you in your life to carry around so much animosity towards Christians. I know that as gay man you have likely endured a lot of assholery by people who thought they were being clever when all they were doing was singling out the splinter in your eye while ignoring the mote in their own. There are a lot of mean spirited people in the world. Your words also reflect an attitude that belief in God is some kind of mental deficiency, so maybe you've never been subjected to bigotry and simply arrived here by other means. Obviously, you can say whatever you want but you're painting with a pretty broad brush here, and your arguments are not infallible. However, coming here and saying what you say is sure to find the mark: when you shit on God and Christians in this forum, you will always have dozens ready to slap you on the back and say atta-boy.

Jello had it right when he said, "Trash a bank if you've got real balls," if you know what I mean.

As for the specifics to your speech above, I think most people go through some kind of journey of discovery in life, and it is NOT always "ingrained from infancy." Well, on memritv.org you can see plenty of evidence of that, but this country is not the fundamentalist hotbed folks like you shout that it is. I am well travelled, and I just don't see it.

As for the Bible "contradicting itself left and right," there's nothing I could ever write or point you to that would budge you from your beliefs (cf. Prov's Rule above), so I won't even bother. Likewise, you couldn't argue me to change my mind either.

QUOTE
A direct "assault" on a person's deeply-ingrained beliefs -- whether he's given them much consideration or not -- often results in his defense of those beliefs.


You say that like it's a bad thing. Should we all roll over and play dead whenever our belief system is insulted or we are insulted for believing something?

I don't give a shit about ID. I've never studied it, really. But I do believe that God created the world. And that man is sinful. And that I have broken the law. And continue to do so but am trying not to. But that trying will never be good enough to stand judgment before a perfect and holy God. I believe that God's own son was born to a virgin and he lived a perfect life, without sin. And he willingly died on the cross for my sins, as a blood atonement in my place, a substitutionary death. I believe he rose again. And it is only through faith in him that I am saved. There is nothing I could ever do to earn this: it is only by grace that I am saved from the certain wrath to come.

So right now, as y'all finish reading that last paragraph, you're thinking that I am some kind of nutcase. I'm not. I'm a regular dude. There are lots of us. And I've examined the evidence, as an adult, and came to these conclusions. I am a big boy. I believe all these things to be true and no amount of sneers or "evidence" otherwise could ever convince me that I am wrong.

If I've said anything offensive, I apologize. That was not my intent.
sixela
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 15 2006, 07:20 AM) *

I don't give a shit about ID. I've never studied it, really. But I do believe that God created the world.

The universe, even. And we're not necessarily alone in it (both the possibility of not being alone in the universe and the one of indeed being alone in it are fascinating to contemplate).

QUOTE
I believe that God's own son was born to a vigin and he lived a perfect life, without sin.

But not necessarily without error. Oh, and most of us will agree with the first sentence, too, if only you let us pick the meaning of the word "vigin".

QUOTE
And he willingly died on the cross for my sins,

Willingly is a bit strong a word (depending on the definition you're thinking of); though he certainly seems to have accepted it (in the end) and perhaps even to have understood the necessity of it, I don't think he was striving to die.

QUOTE

as a blood atonement in my place,

I don't think we have a personal God that wants blood offers; the death of Jesus serves as a powerful symbol that God doesn't like others to pick scapegoats, and that "winners" picking them (which means almost all of us) aren't the winners in the end. In that, I do think his death was necessary, because it serves to warn us that we have to break an ancestral habit (picking a "them" so that we can feel to belong to "us") to truly become human.

QUOTE
And it is only through faith in him that I am saved.

Well, there I have to disagree, if only because the vast majority of humanity has little choice but to believe in something else (not to mention that I don't think for a moment no one born before Jesus Christ is worth of salvation). I think our actions and our treatment of our fellow men are the true witnesses to who we are and whether we got the message, not what we superficially believe in (in other words, that the love of God is through the love of your neighbour, and that the rest of our Faith is something that should merely serve us to remind us of that, not something to be bolted on separately).

QUOTE
There is nothing I could ever do to earn this: it is only by grace that I am saved from the certain wrath to come.

It's a dangerous statement to make. I certainly think we have to earn it - that doesn't mean we deserve it if we get it, but Jesus certainly didn't tell people to sit on their fat arses, have faith, and wait for divine grace to save them. He certainly didn't, now did he (even though he didn't need salvation)?

QUOTE

So right now, as y'all finish reading that last paragraph, you're thinking that I am some kind of nutcase. I'm not.

What's wrong with being a nutcase? People thought Jesus was one bad enough to crucify him.

Oh, and I do give a shit about ID, because I believe God (our creator - you won't hear me say "our designer") wants us to seek out the truth, and that our tendency to put strongly held beliefs before truth is part of what we call "original sin": because we're human, we tend to also hold beliefs that make society limp along but aren't true at all, and effectively prevent us from becoming fully human ("in His image"). To believe that some beliefs should somehow be shielded from critical scrutiny is not only arrogant -- it's also, quite ironically, a lack of faith.

As Taz put it:

QUOTE

Isn't it a whole lot easier to just believe that all things are possible with God, and leave it at that?


It certainly is, but it's not because it's easy that it's right, and in particular, helpful if we want to become truly human. It's proven deceptively for any group of humans to believe that "we" are right and "they" are not, and that "our" personal God wants us to rip their heads off - so much so that Christianity (and a couple of other belief systems) had to step in to point out to us that it's not necessarily true, either. Faith isn't believing the easy thing, and faith is certainly never "leaving things at that": you can't really have faith in something unless you try to know exactly what it is you believe, in other words, resolve cognitive dissonance the hard way.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 15 2006, 01:20 AM) *

Likewise, no matter what I say, guys like Donnie and Prol are convinced that my position is "evil" or "social Darwinism" or "unenlightened."
...............................
If I've said anything offensive, I apologize. That was not my intent.


Likewise, whatever I said to make you think I'm convinced your position is "evil", I apologize sincerely for that.
On the contrary, I actually think you have very good intentions, and anybody who doesn't believe in personal freedoms as strongly as you do had better go home and rethink their life. We may disagree on the best way to improve society, but there's no question we both want to improve society. Evil is nihilism, and you are certainly not a nihilist. I don't think you're "unenlightened" either. Unenlightened people don't read books, they read tabloid magazines and believe everything they read on the Internet. "Unenlightened" people saturate both political parties. In spite of the 10-1 anti-Bush ratio here, I'm glad you still speak your mind, and I'd place you, Oxy and Artemis in the top 5% of intelligent posters here. If you guys quit posting I'd probably fall alseep.

OK, now that I got that dick sucking out of my system, I'll address all the other interesting points raised when I have more time...
Jaded Prole
Bob, I'm especially hard to offend and have not been. I think you are wrong, maybe misguided but probably with the best of intentions. I'd still be glad to drink with you.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Provenance @ Dec 14 2006, 09:12 PM) *

I never cease to marvel at well-meaning people who think that if only others heard the lecture, read the book, what have you, everyone's views on religion, politics, other controversial subjects would start to mirror their own.


For what it's worth, I wasn't citing that lecture because I wanted anyone's opinion to mirror my own. That lecture is not a matter of "opinion". It's a matter of empirical data, which is clearly presented. I'm sure it will be completely ignored by anyone who "thinks" evolution is wrong, but I think it's important to put this lecture out there for anybody who is interested in allowing empirical data to influence their understanding of reality. It's merely an attempt at consciousness raising, which is never a useless endeavour. I suspect a lot of people are unaware of a lot of the information in that lecture, and even if they close their ears to it, at least it's good to get that information out there.

The faithful will be faithful no matter what. The problem is that some of the faithful as of late have co-opted science in an attempt to justify their faith, and have been so outspoken, influential and mistkaen, that science must get off its ass and fight back. This lecture is a useful weapon in that fight, especially since it's delivered by a Christian.
Provenance
If I gave the impression that I was dismissing the scientific rebuttal of ID as mere "opinion" then please forgive my clumsy posting. Instead, I was simply pointing out that reason will not crush faith because they are two separate worlds. I don't see crushing faith to be anymore of an idealized endpoint than crushing reason. Again, please understand I'm not suggesting that you seek to crush anyone, I take it that you are simply calling attention to a worthwhile scientific discussion.

Based on my own experience, it is futile to attempt to assess someone's character based on their faith, non-faith, political views, social status or similar ephemeral criteria. The only valid way to judge a human's soul (or non-theistic simile) is through their taste in absinthe.
Artemis
I voted for Bush to keep his opponent out of the White House. I'm not happy with how it turned out, but I'm confident I would have been a lot less happy if the other guy had won.

There are any number of people for whom I would have preferred to vote, but those people were not on the ballot.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Provenance @ Dec 15 2006, 12:46 PM) *

Instead, I was simply pointing out that reason will not crush faith because they are two separate worlds.


That in and of itself is another interesting discussion. Faith is essentially belief without physical evidence, and I see no good that can come of exempting it from rational scrutiny. Those Taliban guys sure are faithful, aren't they? Obviously most faithful people are not fundamentalists and are harmless in and of themselves, but the moderate Christian notion that staunch faith is a virtue makes the world safe for fundamentalists who also believe staunch faith is a virtue.

QUOTE
Again, please understand I'm not suggesting that you seek to crush anyone, I take it that you are simply calling attention to a worthwhile scientific discussion.


I fully understand your point, and you are correct about my intentions. I just fail to comprehend the apparently commonly held notion that faith and science are on equal footing. Science is the antithesis of faith, since faith is belief without physical evidence. Each question about our origins answered by empirical evidence closes a gap which faith can no longer fill. ID is a battle to fight that closing of gaps, and to deceive the public about scientific consensus. They lost in Dover but they are still trying it in other states, and science must be more assertive if it is to continue to win these battles.
sixela
QUOTE(Artemis @ Dec 15 2006, 07:12 PM) *

I voted for Bush to keep his opponent out of the White House. I'm not happy with how it turned out, but I'm confident I would have been a lot less happy if the other guy had won.


That's not faith, that's self-delusion < ducks >.

Donnie Darko
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 15 2006, 01:20 AM) *

There are a lot of mean spirited people in the world. Your words also reflect an attitude that belief in God is some kind of mental deficiency.


I don't think anyone is "stupid" for being a theist, and atheism in no way guarantees wisdom, or even a basic ability to think. I just fail to understand theism in general. In my mind it's just an opinion that should be open for scrutiny just like any other. I do realize that faith is a deeply personal thing, so I just hope that no one is taking personal offence at my attack on faith in general, as I'm not intending to judge anyone personally.

QUOTE

You say that like it's a bad thing. Should we all roll over and play dead whenever our belief system is insulted or we are insulted for believing something?


No one should roll over. If they did, I'd wager their beliefs are weak. However, one choosing an alternate belief system should not be viewed as a call to arms, either. Obviously you do not view others with alternate beliefs as mortal enemies that should be converted or purged, but fundamentalism does. That fundamentalism flourishes because of enormous faith in scripture. People can call Osama Bin Laden crazy all they want, but the man merely carried out what his holy book advocated, just as any Jew who would kill their daughter for promiscuity would merely be carrying out what their holy book advocated.
Provenance
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 15 2006, 10:22 AM) *
Faith is essentially belief without physical evidence, and I see no good that can come of exempting it from rational scrutiny.

I do not suggest exempting faith-based beliefs from rational scrutiny. On principle, I object to the notion that anything is beyond inquiry. However, even the most rigorous analysis will not change the beliefs of many of the faithful. The notion that that carefully reasoned, well-supported scientific arguments will crush faith I find beyond belief.
Donnie Darko
In the mind of the ID theorists and those who have been doubting evolution for awhile, you are absolutely right. For school children who just heard about ID at their church or from their parents and who are still learning, I'd like to think that empirical evidence stands a better chance. Of course there are no school children here, so perhaps I am pissing into the wind.

Perhaps most political discourse here is pissing into the wind, but I do like learning where other people stand on things, so it's at least an education if nothing else.

QUOTE
even the most rigorous analysis will not change the beliefs of many of the faithful.

It's a rare occaision in which I have met a faithful person that subjected their God to any sort of rigorous analysis on the same level a scientific theory would have to endure. The typical justification is that God is beyond space and time and incomprehensible to us, and thus exempt from any petty human inquiry. As a kid, I'm sure we've all had parents respond to our "why" questions with "because I'm the parent and I said so". I personally didn't find that answer satisfying then and I don't find it satisfying now when it's applied to the parent of everything, God. Perhaps that's arrogant of me, but in my opinion no less arrogant than someone who thinks they've got the answer to life in one ancient book.
bob_chong
Where's the MC?

What's the end of all this: a world devoid of mysticism?

A wiser man than me recently wrote:
QUOTE

This glorious message defeats the wisdom of Philosophy; the empiricism of Science and the paradigms of the Rationalists for it is the highest revelation—“The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us.”

Freely give yourself to the Mystical Life of the Most Holy Trinity and experience the warm love of God as through Faith enlivened by practice you experience the embrace of the Holy Incarnation. Molded by the two Hands of the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit. --Mitred Archpriest Joseph M. Stanichar


And this is where a lot of believers stand: in unison with the highest revelation.

When I first read this quote, I thought, "Word!" No doubt, when most here read it, they had a decidedly different reaction.

And when believers say they're clued into the meaning of life because of "one ancient book," that is the OPPOSITE of arrogance, Donnie. It's humility.
Jaded Prole
With all due respect --

Sounds like a crock of poop.gif to me.

The rational universe devoid of mysticism is far grander and more awesome than any thing
our religions can invent. To me authentic spirituality is based in concrete reality in all its compexity and mystery and the in the connections between us/

If it makes you feel better to buy into that stuff I can respect that but really, all of that religious doctrine is culturally relative and quite limited. Some wisdom can be found there but it can also be found in the most mundane of places if one is attuned.
traineraz
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 14 2006, 08:20 PM) *


TAZ, this will sound deeply patronizing, so I apologize in advance and there's no way for me to say this except that I don't mean it that way, but...I am sorry for whatever has happened to you in your life to carry around so much animosity towards Christians. I know that as gay man (load of patronizing horseshit . . .)

If I've said anything offensive, I apologize. That was not my intent.

Thanks for insulting my intellectual integrity by insinuating that 20 years of exploration, beginning in high school (raised Baptist, but 'questioning'), then college (Charismatic, a step away from Neo-Pentacostal), and another 10 years of multiple-religion and multiple-philosophy exploration, moving from fundamentalist Christian to liberal Christian to agnostic/Deist to atheist, boils down to "Christians hate queers, so I hate them".

You accuse those who don't follow your faith of being condescending, yet you behave in the manner you condemn and expect your argument to be respected?

You may note that nothing in my post described "animosity" toward Christians. I spoke of the Bible contradicting itself, as it does, and used this as an example of cognitive dissonance. You chose to interpret this as animosity toward Christians. I don't hate Christians, or followers of any religion. They simply resolve their cognitive dissonance in the simplest way possible, by falling back on what they've been taught since infancy. "Don't cry, Grandpa's in Heaven now," says the preacher. (The Bible would disagree . . . Grandpa's rotting in the dirt until Judgment Day. Look it up.)

If believing that some superior being, whether it's Jehovah, or Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, made you and watches over your every move gives your life meaning, go with it. Whatever makes you happy. Your beliefs aren't my concern, until people who share those beliefs decide that they should be written into laws.



Oh, and on the gay vs. Christian thing? I read this in the early 90s, during my Liberal Christian period. You might want to try it. Jonathan Loved David
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 15 2006, 04:39 PM) *

What's the end of all this: a world devoid of mysticism?


Certainly not. We study Greek mysticism in our history and philosphy classes, and we should study Christian mysticism in there too, in public schools no less using the Bible as a primary source.

A wiser man than me also wrote:
QUOTE
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies when a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He stared at the pacific--and all his men look'd at each other with a wild surmise-- Silent upon a peak in Darien----John Keats, 1816


That is the feeling of goose-bump raising wonder I get when science shows me something previously undiscovered. One could compare the feeling to the feeling one gets from a "mystical" experience. Imagine how the natives felt the first time they laid eyes on the Aurora Borealis, thinking it was god! Even though I know it's natural, it feels no less wonderous or bone chilling to me.

QUOTE
And this is where a lot of believers stand: in unison with the highest revelation.


What makes that revelation any higher than the revelation that we are the product of millions of years of natural selection?

QUOTE
And when believers say they're clued into the meaning of life because of "one ancient book," that is the OPPOSITE of arrogance, Donnie. It's humility.

If they keep that belief personal and live their life accordingly, that certainly is humility. When they take that belief beyond the personal and use it to condemn others who don't follow it's every word, then that is enormously arrogant. If they think that they are clued into the meaning of life because of their book but Buddhists aren't clued into the meaning of life because they don't read the Christian book, then that is also arrogant.


All I can say is that when I look up at the sky and contemplate the fact that I'm looking millions of years into the past, I feel humbled beyond words.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(traineraz @ Dec 15 2006, 05:37 PM) *

or the Flying Spaghetti Monster

AndrewT
Faith is limited to what the human mind can comprehend. Science goes much, much farther. Humans can't really conceive of distances farther than they can see. Sure, you can measure miles by how long it takes to drive them, or thousands of miles by what percentage of a map they take up. But that's not really comprehending that ammount of space. 93 million miles means about as much to us as 9.3 million miles, but the fact that most of us are educated means that we know one is 10 times more than the other. But we can't conceive of one million miles, let alone 93.

For those of you who don't recognize that number, it's the number of miles between the earth and the sun. When you get in to lightyears and kiloparsecs, it's just way too much for the human brain to process. Sure we can accept it as a huge ammount of distance, but trying to conceptualize it stretches the boundaries of our own thoughts. Same thing with time. Nobody knows what 1000 years feels like, let alone 65 million years, or 3 billion years.

The world is bigger than the human mind, and using reality to expand your mind is much more rewarding than having faith in something that's hard to believe. At least from my own personal experiences.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(traineraz @ Dec 15 2006, 05:37 PM) *

Oh, and on the gay vs. Christian thing?


Down the street from me there is an inclusive Lutheran church headed by a gay minister, who recently had a commitment ceremony with his partner of 14 years (that was the best they could do since marriage is denied them in NY). They live in the top floor of the Church. They feed the homeless and elderly in the neighborhood 3x week, put on free jazz concerts once a week, and are truly generous, non-condemning, and follow the golden rule in ways I rarely see from other congregations. I suspect the majority of Christians in this country would cringe in horror at the house of the Lord being defiled in such a manner, and that is quite sad.

And then you have Ted Haggard and his family, for whom I feel particularly sad. Haggard had been living a lie all these years due to the horrible stigma his religious doctrine puts on homosexuals. It was his choice to tell that lie, but one wonders if the pressures of his particular brand of Christianity didn't coerce him into that lie. And now Dr. James Dobson thinks he can cure Haggard of his homosexuality, coercing Haggard to lie even more. Somebody should tell Mr. Haggard about that church down the street from me.

I still personally don't comprehend their faith, but unlike Haggard's church, I can see it inflicting no harm on anyone, because they aren't pre-occupied with carrying out Biblical justice. If God is judge over all mankind, why would he bother to make puny man a judge over other men? If man didn't get the ridiculous notion from their religion that it was their duty to carry out Divine justice, two particularly tall buildings would still be standing in my city and nearly 3,000 additional people would be going home to their families right now.
bob_chong
AnatomistTAZ:

I really wasn't patronizing nor condescending to you. If you read what I wrote, I left open the door for what you described (i.e., not just having been on the receiving end of bigotry). And you call what I wrote patronizing bullshit or whatever, but can you honestly say that you've never been prejudiced against for being gay? I find that extremely hard to believe. Did I stereotype a bit? Guess so. Is the gay community very pro-religion, overall? Didn't think so.

Donnie:

QUOTE
Down the street from me there is an inclusive Lutheran church headed by a gay minister, who recently had a commitment ceremony with his partner of 14 years


It's not about the gayness.

If you had said that an unmarried minister had a female partner of 14 years, therein lies the problem for a lot of folks. According to doctrine, it's adultery, no? And someone who is openly unrepentant and openly breaking a commandment, repeatedly, would probably not qualify for a leadership position in 99.999% of the Christian churches in the world. But before you think I'm a jerk for saying that--and agreeing with it, too--am I not being internally consistent? Don't apply the world's standards but those of the doctrine to which I subscribe (and presumably he does, too). It's not a pick-and-choose thing. But it sounds like he has a great ministry otherwise, but his ministry is possibly diminished by certain of his behaviors.

To be honest, I don't even know why I post here. Am I a fundamentalist Christian? Absolutely. I don't think of that as a pejorative term. So I come here and have monkey shit flung on me, told my beliefs are a crock of shit, how I am wrong in every way. I expect that from this group. And I don't think I've been proselytizing, whereas I feel the opposite is true.
traineraz
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 15 2006, 02:51 PM) *

And you call what I wrote patronizing bullshit or whatever, but can you honestly say that you've never been prejudiced against for being gay? I find that extremely hard to believe. Did I stereotype a bit? Guess so. Is the gay community very pro-religion, overall? Didn't think so.

Didn't say I hadn't. I said it wasn't the foundation of my religious beliefs, as you contended.

Somehow, I'm guessing you don't know too many gay people, do you? Or, at least, not many that you know are gay. You see, in nearly every city of any size in the United States (even SALEM, which is a right-wing redneck shithole of 135,000), there's a Metropolitan Community Church. Look it up. There are "gay-affirming" Christian congregations, whether Lutheran (as Donnie mentioned), Episcopalian, Presbyterian, or Methodist. The latter three denominations have all had internal schisms over either being "gay-inclusive" or having gay clergy. There are also numerous nondenominational churches that are gay-affirming. Jay Bakker (Jim and Tammy's kid) is gay-affirming in his preaching.

There are gay-friendly synagogues, and many gay people who have moved into Wicca. Many are Buddhist, whether of a philosophical or religous persuasion (think Tibetan).

There'd be no need for all these pro-gay congregations if all, or even most, non-heterosexual people (there is no monolithic "gay community", sorry to break the news) were atheist/agnostic, would there?

I would say that the vast majority of my non-heterosexual friends are either spiritual or religious, and at least half are practicing Christians (by which I include Catholics).

QUOTE
If you had said that an unmarried minister had a female partner of 14 years, therein lies the problem for a lot of folks. According to doctrine, it's adultery, no?

No. It's fornication, unless his female partner were married to someone else.

Since this church Donnie mentions is gay-affirming and performs same-sex unions, it is clear that within their denomination, they consider a same-sex union to carry the same weight in the eyes of the god they worship as an opposite-sex union. Marriage, so far as religion is concerned, has to do with the doctrine of the church, not the laws of man. Therefore, by the doctrine of their denomination, no fornication is occurring.
sixela
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 15 2006, 09:04 PM) *
but the man merely carried out what his holy book advocated,

You've fallen into the trap yourself, Donnie. He carries out what he thinks his holy book advocates. And let's not rehash the arguments using some creative citations - we've killed that horse several times in these forums.

The thing fundamentalists fail to see is that they don't only view their sources as infallible, but also see their interpretation of it as necessarily completely correct - which is an even larger leap of faith (pun intended), and also displays a singular lack of the humility clearly advocated as a virtue by some of the very texts used as a source.


sixela
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 15 2006, 10:03 PM) *
The typical justification is that God is beyond space and time and incomprehensible to us, and thus exempt from any petty human inquiry.

His true nature may be and it's certainly beyond anyone to formulate a theory that would prove His existence, but it doesn't mean we cannot look around us.

It's not like the world around us is completely comprehensible to us without a personal God either; no falsifiable theory is ever going to show us why there's something rather than nothing (or in the best of cases, chaos, or a sterile universe or multiverse).

Thomas Aquinas might have taken issue with that typical justification, having been a staunch supporter of Empiricism.
sixela
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 16 2006, 12:30 AM) *

use it to condemn others who don't follow it's every word,

It's not every word, if you'll forgive the unsufferable arrogance.

sixela
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 16 2006, 12:55 AM) *
I suspect the majority of Christians in this country would cringe in horror at the house of the Lord being defiled in such a manner, and that is quite sad.

I suspect you may be confusing a vocal minority of Christians with the majority - at least I hope so. You certainly would over here ("here" meaning the country or even the Western part of the continent, not the forum).
sixela
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 16 2006, 01:51 AM) *
To be honest, I don't even know why I post here. Am I a fundamentalist Christian? Absolutely. I don't think of that as a pejorative term.


It is if you accept the generally accepted definition. Just look it up in Wikipedia. Of course, that's not what you mean as fundamentalism, but living according to one's fundamental principles is being true to oneself or principled, not fundamentalist.
sixela
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 16 2006, 01:51 AM) *
So I come here and have monkey shit flung on me, told my beliefs are a crock of shit,

Don't forget that some may have other firm beliefs than yours, and they haven't told you your beliefs are a crock of shit any more than you said theirs was a crock of shit.

Deal with it, it's called reasoned debate. People can find your beliefs silly beyonf contempt, and that does mean they are very disrespectful of your beliefs, but it doesn't mean they are disrespectful of you.
sixela
QUOTE(traineraz @ Dec 16 2006, 02:05 AM) *

I would say that the vast majority of my non-heterosexual friends are either spiritual or religious, and at least half are practicing Christians (by which I include Catholics).

Oh dear, Catholics are Christians now, eh? Are we allowed back in the family fold wink.gif ?

Naah -- I'll believe it when a hate-monger televangelist says it.
Jaded Prole
There have been intelligent and enlightened Christians, Thomas Merton comes to mind but they were not fundimentalists. It's not only OK to think for one's self and to question, it's vital. Bob, you seem too intelligent to fall for fundimentalism. I know it's easier to have all the answers proscribed but it isn't legitimate for a person capable of thought. You wouldn't buy a bunch of crap about politics or absinthe without your own critical analysis no matter who said it. Same for life bud, think for yourself. Question everything. Don't be afraid.



bob_chong
QUOTE
Deal with it


Well, if you actually read what I wrote, I said:

QUOTE
I expect that from this group.


I didn't say I wasn't dealing with it.


And TAZ, oh...the priest was just an unrepentant fornicator? Then I guess that's fine.

But he is pretending to be a Lutheran, and I didn't think the Lutheran Church's official position was pro-fornication...or even pro-same-sex-union.

Anyway, this "conversation" is pointless. I'm like a dog returning to his vomit, a fool repeating his folly.
Kirk
Not really, from what I've seen of your opinions, you are quite liberal and there is not as much difference between you as there is between one fine pre-ban and another, let's face it Bob, you're liberal as hell.
I don't believe liberals want to tax us to death as much as they'd like to see the money well spent.
bob_chong
QUOTE
[Do] your own critical analysis no matter who said it. Same for life bud, think for yourself. Question everything. Don't be afraid.


How do you know I haven't done this already? I'm not about to type out my lifelong sojourn, but if ever we meet and have a drink and you care to hear about it, I'd tell it.
bob_chong
QUOTE(Kirk @ Dec 16 2006, 12:16 AM) *

let's face it Bob, you're liberal as hell.


I think of many liberals as idealists. This is not a bad thing, though some people would sneer at the label.

I think I am too cynical about the particular groups of people who flock to the capitol city to try to "help" us. Whatever jersey they wear, they tend to be fucksticks. When we increase the scope and power of government, it's usually permanent. So if your guys are enjoying that increased scope and power, you gotta remember that the next group of fucksticks might not be your guys--but they get to retain that power you enjoyed so much when your own guys had it.

I used to be a big liberal. "The govt. should be doing this!" and "the govt. should be doing that!" But then I worked for the govt. and learned that "should be doing" and "actually capable of doing" are two different things.

Dammit, I need a macro that can write this for me.

QUOTE
liberals [would] like to see the money well spent.


"Well spent," according to whom? Again, this is not a partisan thing. Museum of Yarn. Bridge to Nowhere. Government television. Desert shrimp farms. All those fuckers do it.
bob_chong
QUOTE
ID flattened with a steamroller


When I first saw this title, I thought your identification had befallen some Don Martin-esque mishap.



Can't help but think that it would have been a much more interesting thread that way...
traineraz
QUOTE(sixela @ Dec 15 2006, 06:18 PM) *

QUOTE(traineraz @ Dec 16 2006, 02:05 AM) *

at least half are practicing Christians (by which I include Catholics).

Oh dear, Catholics are Christians now, eh? Are we allowed back in the family fold wink.gif ?

I was trying to AVOID that response, Sixer. I was going to type "Christians and Catholics" but expected a jump down my throat about THAT for separating them . . . and figured if I just typed Christians I'd get "what about Catholics?" . . . I just can't do anything right around YOU PEOPLE™, can I?! harhar.gif

Being from a fundamentalist background, I'm well aware that the fundamentalist Christian belief is that Catholics are not Christian (Mary-worshippin' idolators, they are!). Having experienced the moderate and liberal Christian milieux, I'm also aware that many in that range view Catholicism as a different cut of the same fabric. I'm TRYING to be CULTURALLY SENSITIVE, DAMMIT!



(Didn't know you were a Catholic. Explains the penguin thing, huh? evill.gif )
traineraz
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 15 2006, 07:09 PM) *

I'm like a dog returning to his vomit, a fool repeating his folly.

Finally, we agree on something.
sixela
QUOTE(traineraz @ Dec 16 2006, 10:30 AM) *

I just can't do anything right around YOU PEOPLE™, can I?! harhar.gif


No, no, we're THE PEOPLE™. It's the others who are YOU PEOPLE™. At least that's what the official doctrine says.

QUOTE

(Didn't know you were a Catholic.


Well, actually, in doctrin, I'm closer to an Anglican, but let's not digress.

Given I'm more or less obviously a theist, and living in Belgium, though, it's not hard to guess, is it?
sixela
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 16 2006, 06:09 AM) *

And TAZ, oh...the priest was just an unrepentant fornicator?


In your eyes.

In the eyes of God? Who knows?

If you do, can I borrow your Eyes of God for a couple of weeks, just to see how they're like?

If you don't, I'm sure that priest has a different view on how God will judge his actions.

QUOTE(sixela @ Dec 16 2006, 05:05 AM) *

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 16 2006, 12:55 AM) *
I suspect the majority of Christians in this country would cringe in horror at the house of the Lord being defiled in such a manner, and that is quite sad.

I suspect you may be confusing a vocal minority of Christians with the majority - at least I hope so. You certainly would over here (I mean the country, not the forum).

Jaded Prole
QUOTE
When we increase the scope and power of government, it's usually permanent. So if your guys are enjoying that increased scope and power, you gotta remember that the next group of fucksticks might not be your guys--but they get to retain that power you enjoyed so much when your own guys had it.




Nobody in the history of our country has increased the power of government more than the present administration. It seems the "big government" the right-wing screams about is that which serves the people: education, health, safety-net . . . They love to constantly expand the military, the prisons and the security apparatus. The US has more of its population in prison than any other country and is becoming a police state. I guess that's OK as long as no one get's publicly funded emergency assistance.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 16 2006, 01:30 AM) *

QUOTE
ID flattened with a steamroller


When I first saw this title, I thought your indentification had befallen some Don Martin-esque mishap.

Can't help but think that it would have been a much more interesting thread that way...


My ID may not be steamroller proof but sometimes my Ego is, but that's another problem...

It would have been a more interesting discussion if a single scientific fact pointed out by Ken Miller's strong case for Natural Selection had been acknowledged, or the interesting fact that some Christians such as he evolve along with science.
bob_chong
QUOTE
In your eyes.
In the eyes of God? Who knows?
If you do, can I borrow your Eyes of God for a couple of weeks, just to see how they're like?
If you don't, I'm sure that priest has a different view on how God will judge his actions.


IFF the priest professes to believe in God's word as found in the bible,
and IFF he was in a 14-yr sexual relationship outside the bounds of marriage,
then he broke the law.
Continuing to do so for 14 years is a pattern of behavior.

Is there no way to analyze a specific behavior against an established set of criteria and not be accused of "judging" him?

So maybe he doesn't subscribe to that set of criteria. Maybe he has a cafeteria Christianity where he can pick and choose which commandments he wants to follow. Good on him. But that kind of makes his Lutheran label meaningless, since the team whose jersey he's professing to wear isn't down with that approach as an organization.

You ask, "In the eyes of God, who knows?" True, God only knows. But why did he bother setting forth the rules already, in written form? Again, you may not subscribe to them at all, but this man is supposedly professing to subscribe to them by calling himself a "Lutheran priest."

So he's internally inconsistent, at the very least.

Honestly, is there some part of this that is unclear? Apply only the standards given to see the rationale.

Example: if the chief of police drinks & drives for 14 years, shouldn't he either stop that behavior or stop calling himself the chief of police? Seems like sound logic. It's really not that hard, dood. Just because you think that drinking & driving is kewl or shouldn't be against the law is irrelevant: the written taboo against it was what the chief swore to uphold and enforce when he signed on to the job.

bob_chong
QUOTE
Nobody in the history of our country has increased the power of government more than the present administration.


I don't remember saying the opposite, did I?
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(bob_chong @ Dec 16 2006, 10:41 AM) *

So he's internally inconsistent, at the very least.


No argument there. The Bible says what the Bible says.

The cherry picking of which Biblical tenents to follow and to disregard though is typical of Christianity, and one reason why there are so many denominations. Maybe you eat shellfish, maybe you don't keep the Sabbath from sunset to sunset, maybe you judge people even though you might be judged yourself. I have no idea. The point is that the standard Christian doctrine is that homosexuality isn't open to interpretation, but the Sabbath is, even though the Sabbath is mentioned dozens of more times in the Bible than homosexuality, which isn't even mentioned once in the New Testament. So why the fixation on Homosexuality but nobody cares if a priest watches a football game Sunday afternoon after the sermon? Is THAT internally consistent?

Religious doctrine evolves with the times. Evidence is mounting that homosexuality isn't usually a lifestyle choice, but a way people are born. Just as Christianity evolved beyond executing people for adultery, so some branches of it are slowly evolving into accepting homosexuals.

Your analogy of the drinking police chief would be a great analogy if Christianity itself were internally consistent, but "laws" in Christianity seem to be quite a bit more malleable than US laws.
bob_chong
I get what you're saying, but the Sabbath example probably isn't the best. Rather than rehash the arguments here (a lot of cermonial OT stuff was dealt with in the NT and the evidence regarding the sabbath is abundant...same for food prohibitions--it's very clear on the matter; so I don't see the cherry picking), suffice it to say that I really didn't want to come off as "judging" the guy. I've got my own problems.
Lord Stanley
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Dec 16 2006, 10:57 AM) *

Evidence is mounting that homosexuality isn't usually a lifestyle choice, but a way people are born.


Which leads to another discussion...

1) The Creator/Designer invented homosexuals. What a cruel joke that would be on His part to put people on Earth for the most devout followers to look down upon. I'm not suggesting that such attitudes are justified. It's just what most supporters of Creation/ID would choose to believe.

2) Homosexual humans evolved from heterosexual humans by random mutation. As with anything else, time will tell if natural selection looks upon them favourably.

3) Homosexuality was present in prehistoric animals prior to the evolution of humans. This scenario would suggest that the homosexual gene has been around for a long time and its survival might imply some "naturally selective" advantage beyond a keen fashion sense.


The observation of homosexual behaviour in the animal kingdom might point to the last scenario as the most likely. The predisposition for homosexuals to pass on their DNA less frequently than heterosexuals doesn't seem to bode well for them in the long run.


Of course, another option is that there is no genetic basis for homosexuality and we all have the choice to join either team.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2018 Invision Power Services, Inc.