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Does Religion Deny Music to Children?

GUEST,Steamin' Willie 23 Jul 10 - 03:33 AM
Smokey. 22 Jul 10 - 05:45 PM
Smokey. 22 Jul 10 - 02:22 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jul 10 - 01:57 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jul 10 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 22 Jul 10 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,Riginslinger 21 Jul 10 - 09:40 PM
Smokey. 21 Jul 10 - 08:29 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 10 - 07:29 PM
Smokey. 21 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Jul 10 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 21 Jul 10 - 04:38 AM
Don Firth 20 Jul 10 - 09:10 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 08:54 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Jul 10 - 08:42 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Jul 10 - 08:31 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 07:11 PM
Don Firth 20 Jul 10 - 07:02 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 02:35 PM
Don Firth 20 Jul 10 - 02:21 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 01:26 PM
Smokey. 20 Jul 10 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,josep 20 Jul 10 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 20 Jul 10 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,josep 19 Jul 10 - 11:52 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 09:48 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jul 10 - 09:21 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,Riginslinger 19 Jul 10 - 09:01 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 08:36 PM
Joe Offer 19 Jul 10 - 08:18 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 07:45 PM
olddude 19 Jul 10 - 06:58 PM
Smokey. 19 Jul 10 - 06:33 PM
Riginslinger 19 Jul 10 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 19 Jul 10 - 11:23 AM
Don Firth 18 Jul 10 - 03:44 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Jul 10 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 17 Jul 10 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Rigingslinger 16 Jul 10 - 11:09 PM
Smokey. 16 Jul 10 - 05:29 PM
Smokey. 16 Jul 10 - 05:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 10 - 05:08 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 10 - 04:52 PM
Smokey. 16 Jul 10 - 04:21 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jul 10 - 03:55 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 16 Jul 10 - 06:16 AM
Smokey. 15 Jul 10 - 08:17 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jul 10 - 06:29 PM
Ebbie 15 Jul 10 - 03:49 PM
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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 23 Jul 10 - 03:33 AM

At the risk of derailing even further, (apologies Joe et al,)

Milk was not "invented" as a rickets deterrent, but supplies many vitamins that a growing body needs, hence the first nutrition we get after leaving the womb.

Gordon Bennett may be a better authority than Willie, but I am sure the illustrious Mr Bennett would agree that a) calcium deficiency is on the up in the under 16s, (source Summary of Directors of Public Health Reports for 2008 - 2009 - DH.) and b) many families who are thinking about diet and health for very good reasons sometimes deprive their children of the require calcium by having unleaded milk. Complications in later life through brittle bone conditions is not linked to socio economic groups, hence the increasing argument for reverting to giving it to younger children. That isn't Willie spouting off, that is the view of the last annual report of The Health Protection Agency. Sadly, they didn't comment on music in the classroom, but paediatric health and welfare is a subject I for one am not in a position to argue with.

That said, I am sure Gordon Bennett knows best. After all, they named a village hall after him in Thurcroft.......


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 05:45 PM

Rickets on the rise.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 02:22 PM

Calling people unchristian as an insult really gets the heart of many of the issues here.

It's an extremely unchristian thing to do. Probably acceptable in the middle ages but Christianity is supposed to have moved on a bit since then.

Point of interest, Willie, I used to work where they made Dudleys and Acme snap tins.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 01:57 PM

""In fact, thinking about it, I reckon there is almost as much of a case now as then for milk, with latch key kids surviving on crisps and micro chips....""

GORDON BENNETT!

When was the last time you heard of a single case of ricketts in the UK?

There are generations of English doctors who have never seen a case.

We don't inocculate against a number of diseases which have been eradicated, and all kids get milk at home these days.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 01:52 PM

""Don, I love your mental leap that defending an arbitrary benefit for children makes me a fan of Gordon brown.""

Not so much a fan of the man Willie. Just another supporter of massive government waste in the name of socialism,........Browns specialist qualification.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 05:22 AM

Way to go Smokey! The tomb had better have a sprung dance floor because we ex miners have dodgy knees at the best of times....

Don, I love your mental leap that defending an arbitrary benefit for children makes me a fan of Gordon brown. By that logic it would make me a fan of every Prime Minister since Lloyd George set about laying the foundations for the eventual welfare state.

Milk for children was not a waste of money, but the cost of giving milk to those children who didn't need the extra benefit was far outweighed by the benefits of catching those who did need it. A bit like inoculations, 90% of children would not get a disease if they weren't inoculated but it takes a Thatcherian mind to go from that to stopping inoculations on a statistical decision.

In fact, thinking about it, I reckon there is almost as much of a case now as then for milk, with latch key kids surviving on crisps and micro chips....

Oh, and unchristian attitude?   Could start a whole new thread there. What has being or not being a christian got to do with anything? Such a comment is a bit of a slap in the face for Muslims, Hindu, rational people etc. I am not a Christian, but that does not alter a single aspect of the validity (or otherwise!) of my comments.

Calling people unchristian as an insult really gets the heart of many of the issues here. Being a christian denotes tradition and varying degrees of adherence to the teachings of the tradition. It does not make anybody a better person. Smiling and clapping your hands too often may give you a feel good factor, but try doing it at my door whilst my toast is getting cold and see how far you get......


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:40 PM

Religion denies sanity to the world!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:29 PM

If we were that clever, we'd probably have something better to do.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:29 PM

""Don T - Depriving children of subsidised nutrition is rather closer to the topic than a lot of what's been said on this thread.""

Jesus H Christ, might as well talk to the wall. It's got considerably more cognitive ability than some here.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM

Don T - Depriving children of subsidised nutrition is rather closer to the topic than a lot of what's been said on this thread.

Willie - my dancing shoes are polished and waiting for the day... she had no equal.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:10 AM

""Sorry Don, but calling my comments horseshit doesn't stop them from being fact, as much as it pains you politically. I have no idea what your reference to Gordon brown was about, but it at least cleared up the question of whether you are worthy of objective debate.""

I never denied that she stopped the milk. I just explained why that was a reasonable and sensible thing to do.

If you truly believe that it is wrong to put an end to an expensive procedure, which is no longer necessary and is being widely misused, then you do belong in the Gordon Brown camp, for they were continually setting up wasteful, ineffective, and unnecessary initiatives.

All of which throws considerable doubt on the question of whether you are worthy of objective debate.

Those blinkers must be getting very uncomfortable by now.

BTW, Maggie Thatcher isn't one of my favourite people, and I don't like many of the things she did, and stood for, but I'm afraid I like even less, the malicious (perhaps vicious) and unChristian attitudes of rabid socialists on this site.

Gordon Brown screwed my pension royally, and made my life in retirement very difficult, but I wouldn't wish harm on him, unlike those merciless individuals who gloat over the likelihood of a long and painful death of a woman who was no worse than many other politicians, the difference being that those others were Labour, and she was Tory.

With that said, how about getting back on topic?

Don T.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 04:38 AM

Don, here's some more horseshit for you to steam about over your marmalade and toast,

The Department of Health and Social Security announced through the public health think tank, (trying to use The Black Report objectively) that milk for rickets and other calcium deficiency conditions was not needed universally.

Heath's government was famous for disregarding the Black report, as it made the link between social deprivation and health. The only minister of his who used the report to justify an action was the junior education minister, Thatcher. In an attempt to save money.

Some LEAs had already put the milk on a "school nurse" list to save as was their prerogative under Wilson. My school however fed the younger ones milk until Thatcher stopped them.

In more recent years, it has been relegated to "urban myth" by those who wish it to be called so. However, I never did call Hansard a source of myth. it is a source of people trying to talk myth! But her announcement from the dispatch box is there for you to reference.

Sorry Don, but calling my comments horseshit doesn't stop them from being fact, as much as it pains you politically. I have no idea what your reference to Gordon brown was about, but it at least cleared up the question of whether you are worthy of objective debate.

Your wonderful iron lady is getting on a bit now, and I am having to keep the champagne in the fridge ready....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:10 PM

Read them all, Don, and know the flaws. Been a while, though.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:54 PM

I reckon Harold Wilson was in power when they stopped school milk in secondary schools. I just missed it. Thatcher stopped giving it to infants a few years later.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:42 PM

""1.    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2.    A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3.    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
""

You should have delved further into the works of Isaac Asimov, and you would be aware that he actually postulated ways in which the three laws could easily be circumvented, the simplest of which was to ask a robot "Give me a hand", and when the robot, literal mindedly, detached its removeable hand and gave it to the human, he used it to bludgeon another to death, and the robot, having inadvertently broken the first law by obeying the second, was placed in a position of intolerable stress and became inactive.

There were several other ways in which these laws failed, also.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:31 PM

""This is about denying children in schools music. When she was a junior education Minister, she denied them milk.""

Horseshit Willie.

That old chestnut has been discredited so many times I'm surprised you still subscribe to it.

1. The purpose of school milk was initially to supply calcium to prevent rickets.

2. That purpose had ceased to exist as early as 1970, as rickets was no longer a problem. Milk prices fixed by the Milk Marketing Board, had placed the purchase of milk within the capacity of even the poorest family.

3. Well before 1970, over half of all school milk supplied, was wasted. The kids, in the main, refused to drink it, and it was not uncommon for those kids who liked it to drink three or four times their share. (That in fact was happening back when I was at secondary school (1952-1957). In fact I often had three or four bottles which had been refused by others).

So, tell me what is wrong with discontinuing an initiative which has lost its purpose, and is being misused?

Or do you truly believe that waste is justified, as long as it is socialist waste?

If so, you must have loved Gordon Brown, but don't forget, it was uour money he wasted,...and mine, and every taxpayer's.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 07:11 PM

Ah, but then that would mean trusting the programmers..

"Well, it shouldn't do that - have you tried switching it off, and back on again?"


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 07:02 PM

Not as long as the Three Laws are programed in, Smokey.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:35 PM

That would be giving power to robot builders, and we all know what they're like...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:21 PM

In one of his "I, Robot" stories, Isaac Azimov describes a nation in which peace reigns, there is full employment all around, good universal education, nobody is homeless or goes hungry. . . .

The most recent president, a gentle, self-effacing man, but with a firm and persuasive way, had instituted economic and social changes that really worked.

One of the characters had been watching the president for some time. He always seem to make the right, if not necessarily the obvious decisions. And, among other things, he noted that the president never seemed to need sleep and, even at banquets and such, he had never seen him eat. . . .

The Three Laws of Robotics:

1.    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2.    A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3.    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Perhaps we need to build our political leaders.

And maybe our religious leaders?

Program them with all scriptural material, the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Rig Veda, the Tripitaka and the Mahayana Sutras, the—well, you get the idea—and let them sort it out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:26 PM

Good quote, Josep.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:17 PM

If you forced power on someone on that basis, they are as likely to be corrupted by it as anyone else. There doesn't seem to be an easy answer.

Perhaps that's why we invented God ;-)


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,josep
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:08 PM

"The idea that people's beliefs, merely by being deeply held, merit respect is grotesque. A constitutional society upholds freedom of speech and thought: it has no interest in its citizens' feelings. If it sought to protect sensibilities, there would be no limit to the abridgements of freedom that the principle would justify." Oliver Kamm


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 04:08 AM

If you are going to introduce Thatcher into the debate.....

This is about denying children in schools music. When she was a junior education Minister, she denied them milk.

Hey Joe! Howsabout that for weaving the thread together eh?

Smokey says people who wish for power probably shouldn't have it. Arthur C Clarke in his rather utopian science fiction settings always seemed to have a world / galaxy whatever government that has a head of state. The head of state was decided by brain scanning everybody and the person who wanted power the least was forced to have it. Makes you think...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,josep
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:52 PM

The root of fundamentalist is fundament for a reason.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:48 PM

Quite, Joe. And whatever the gender, people who seek power probably shouldn't have it.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:21 PM

You may be right, Smokey - put anyone in a position of power, and that person changes radically, and not usually for the better.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:18 PM

Indubitably.

President Mitterrand said she had the lips of Marilyn Munroe and the eyes of Caligula.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Riginslinger
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 09:01 PM

Was Margaret Thatcher a woman?


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:36 PM

Be careful what you wish for - that's how we ended up with Margaret Thatcher...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:18 PM

I'm not sure if Don T. intended to do so, but I'm afraid his choice of words spoke the truth: Religion is intrinsically neither good nor bad, but can be made into either, depending upon what men choose to do with it.


I wonder what women would choose to do with it. I have a feeling that if women dominated religion, we'd see something far more gentle, far more mystical, and far more loving. But women don't control religion - it's usually the men who hold the power in religious denominations, and that's a problem.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 07:45 PM

Perhaps I should have said 'growing away from it', it would have been more appropriate.

What you describe might simply be part of that process.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: olddude
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:58 PM

Couldn't disagree with you more. We are not growing out of it but embracing the real ideals of which it is based on, that is God .. not religion specific or religious leaders doctrine ... there is big difference ... I see more people doing more good than every before because of it ... should say in spite of organized doctrines based on religious leaders


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 06:33 PM

To say that religion is intrinsically neither good or bad is to call it benign and lacking the qualities needed in order to be a moral compass for people to sign up to.

People rarely 'sign up' to the larger well established religions, they are born into it without any choice in the matter. However, their hold is weakening as each successive generation gets wiser with improved communications and access to information. I see that as a double-edged sword though - there is no reason to suppose humanity would be any better or worse-off had we never invented religion, and it's pointless to speculate. Nevertheless, fortunately I think we are growing out of it very slowly, but slowly is the only way to do it.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Riginslinger
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 02:13 PM

As long as it's dismissed, that's the main thing.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 11:23 AM

I would love to wrap it up, and for the simple reason it has run its course as a thread. But as a non religious person, I could agree with the sentiment of Don T's statement.

However, if I had any religious faith, and especially if I signed up to any particular doctrine of that faith...

To say that religion is intrinsically neither good or bad is to call it benign and lacking the qualities needed in order to be a moral compass for people to sign up to.

Surely religion cannot be dismissed as easily as that? The bit Don wrote in bold about it being what men choose to do with it, now how about that statement? As it is man made anyway, doesn't that make it the sum of what it is rather than an aberration of what it should be, according to what you think it should be?

Religion is many things, but both believers and rational people would agree it is not intrinsically neither good or bad? That dismisses religion far more effectively than I can!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 03:44 PM

Good, succinct summation, Don.

And that about wraps it up.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 01:56 PM

All those six pages of posts can be summed up in a single sentence.

Religion is intrinsically neither good nor bad, but can be made into either, depending upon what men choose to do with it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 03:27 PM

Yep McGraw. I do wear trousers. (My wife reckons she wears THE trousers, but that's another matter.)

But my trousers, (same as Stalin's, Hitler's etc) are there to stop people peering at my "other" Willie. (Same as the despots.) the dog collar comment was a way of saying they are both vicars preaching the rules and constitution of the same club.

But I suspect you already sussed that out.

Hey Joe! Hear what you are saying but suspect that the association bit means you may have to spend time (especially in debates that question faith) distancing yourself from people with a different take on your creed. For me? I would tire of doing so, but respect the fact that you are not allowing them to be the definitive voice of 2,000 years of evolving faith.



Regarding this debate...

I bought a new guitar yesterday. It is a Rainsong. Yep, a carbon fibre guitar. Sounds wonderful, but can't wait to see the reaction of those locally who reckon folk music is something to do with warm beer, sticking your finger in your ear and lumps of wood providing the more melodic accompaniment to a rusty voice...

A bit like some of the new hymns I don't recognise on those rare occasions I am dragged to church (weddings etc.)   This time I am the one jarring those who prefer tradition...

Must get back to playing it. If you don't own one yet... do so. Full stop.

(Is that alright? Can I have my money now?)


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Rigingslinger
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 11:09 PM

Denying reality to children--probably not a good thing!


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:29 PM

German overalls.

What is the relevance of Hitler's trousers?

Reality seems to have leapt to one side.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:18 PM

And if humans can't be self-critical, they're in big trouble.

That is profoundly true..

We need to be much more careful than we are, when it comes to who we allow in positions of power. Power enables and encourages that kind of behaviour and I don't think that is always adequately acknowledged in the selection process.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:08 PM

My mate the local vicar wears a dog collar, so does an African supporter of death sentence for being gay.

Hitler and Stalin wore trousers, and I suspect you do as well, Willie...


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 04:52 PM

You've got a point there, Smokey. The absolutists are often not comfortable enough with their doctrines, to be able to be self-critical. And if humans can't be self-critical, they're in big trouble.
Leaders of organizations often have the same problem - the inability to be self-critical. Popes have had a really serious problem with this.
I just finished reading a Blackie Ryan novel by Father Andrew Greeley, a priest who is considered by some to be very critical of the Catholic Church. A fictional Chicago archbishop in the novel says that twenty percent of his colleagues have Borderline Personal Disorder (and would have been called "sociopaths" in the old days). That figure could be correct.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 04:21 PM

Fundamentalists (in most fields) tend to shout louder and get the most publicity. I tend to think that is because they are less secure in their beliefs than they would have people believe, but generally speaking they create the illusion of being more representative of their group than they really are.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 03:55 PM

Ah, Willie, but the assumption of uniformity within religious groups is only your assumption, and may or may not be what Riginslinger terms "reality." Absolutists assume and preach the necessity of uniformity, and soundly condemn any members of their group who do not share their narrow vision. That is their reality, but it may or may not be the reality for the entire group. If I belong to a group, I do not necessarily have to conform to the restrictions held by the "fundamentalists" within that group.
Every group has its fundamentalists, and I think it's safe to say that fundamentalists are generally a royal pain in the ass - and should not be deemed to be representative of the group as a whole.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 06:16 AM

Hey Joe,

thanks for the thoughtful response to my comments. Of course, it is obvious that I put them slightly more provocatively than required, but that is to try and smoke out debate.

I hope I don't come over as dismissing non fundamentalists as not being true adherents to their faith, although if I did, I would perversely be as one with the fundamentalists!   My picture of religion is on two levels really, and both are tinged with sadness.

First, at an intellectual and realistic level, if there is a grand design, nobody has seen the blueprint yet. The laws of physics hold, so I doubt there is chaos, but it was the likes of Newton, Planck, Einstein, Hawking and Bohr who have come closest to discovering the possibly undiscoverable, not those who walked in the heat of deserts for huge numbers of days and interpreted their delirium as something other than err.. delirium.

So what? You may say. It is the parable approach to weighing up your moral code that counts and the personification of an ultimate being (God) is an excellent proxy for what we don't understand. I actually like the literal approach to saying God is Love. Take it literally and I doubt anybody could argue otherwise.

However, the customs, chants, procedures and rationale of organised religions do make claims. Like it or lump it, they not infer, they seem to require the idea of an interventionalist sentient being who judges our actions and wants us to be grateful for the good things He does whilst not blaming him for the bad things in life. if I were to view religion as anything other than a tradition we are brought up with, I would fall at that particular hurdle.

You are right in asking why you have to bear their shame if they are the perversion. However, my point is that perversion is a relative thing. Are they peverting a mild idea or are you watering down a fundamental idea? depends on where you are observing from, and here outside the bubble, it is not quite as clear as you seem to think it is.

I may be wrong in saying the religion of many people requires uniformity, but religion as a corporate body has leaders and rules that are bandied about in your name. The Pope would be far happier if all catholics conformed to a level of adherence he would have you aspire to. Similarly, the Archbishop of Canterbury is digging himself a huge hole over ordination of female Bishops. My mate the local vicar wears a dog collar, so does an African supporter of death sentence for being gay. Both look to Dr Williams for a spiritual lead. Forgive me for being slightly cynical here, but how could I call myself an Anglican believer? Believe in what?? No. Using scripture to back up more temporal stances is far too convenient.

You ask where you fit in my picture. Well, you appear to have dedicated your life to doing good and if there were more around like you, the world would be a better place. And that strengthens my point. By saying you are in reasonably good standing, you run the risk of shallow people like me interpret that as meaning "reasonably at one with all the shennanigans going on in the Vatican."   So instead of viewing you as the wonderful person you must be, (and your tree post moved me, really did,) I would run the risk of associating you with what I have seen when in poor countries, seeing a huge catholic church with gilded statues, wealth pouring from every crevice in the huge monolithic building. Oh, and the kids running around the village square in rags, lack of education and life expectancy of residents being lower than my village was 200 years ago.

I could go on, and not just one type of faith, (although if the Vatican used it's wealth in the way the teachings of Jesus seems to say it should, and stop shaming contraception initiatives, and stop hiding it's more wayward employees from the authorities, and stop linking aid to baptism of those communities needing aid....   Sorry Joe, but you can't bring forward your adherence level without it being assessed against the actions of the church you are adhering to.)

I could look at my moral code and tick it against many religions expectations of its members. I am sure I tick more boxes than some people who would wish to be seen to be associated with a particular religion. Likewise, many people are comfortable with using scripture to inspire them without feeling associated with any particular creed.    But to associate yourself with a particular creed is inviting others to associate you with it too. it would be presumptuous of people to assume you agree with this but not that etc.

A female Iranian comic here in the UK tells stories about their local Imam in London. he preaches charity, love others etc. She jokes that he is Mullah Lite. Very good.....


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Smokey.
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 08:17 PM

Smokey, I meant to say I seek union with that essence - but I think you get my point.

I certainly do, Joe, and I hope you find that union as I do - particularly in nature, though obviously we aren't just talking trees.


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 06:29 PM

Smokey, I meant to say I seek union with that essence - but I think you get my point.

Steamin' Willie, I accept your points, but only to a certain extent.

If one adheres to a "strict, literal interpretation of the Bible," then I suppose the exactness of the translation of "thou shalt not kill/murder" may make a difference. It's certainly clear from the context that "thou shalt not kill" does not prohibit all killing under all circumstances, and most Christians and Jews can happily eat hamburgers with no serious feelings of guilt (cheeseburgers are another matter...). Still, I think that "thou shalt not kill" is a perfectly adequate translation - it's just that you have to read it within context and make your own decisions, as any wise person would do with anything they hear or read.

OK, Willie, so then you say It must be frustrating if you are of the persuasion that anything written over a certain number of years ago must be divine. Well....I think it might be more proper to say that members of religions have certain sacred books that they consider to be divinely inspired - not all books that are ancient, just certain ones. And what does "divinely inspired" mean? I suppose that extremists generally claim that their sacred words were somehow dictated by God. More moderate believers see their sacred writings as written by believers who were divinely inspired through their faith relationship. Moderates see the essence of their faith in the sacred writings of their religions, and they see profound truth in that - but that's quite different from seeing every word and the absolute and unquestionable dictates of God. The Pentateuch (first five books of the Hebrew Bible) contains a large number of moral codes, not just the Ten Commandments - and some of these codes have elements that contradict one another. These codes come from different (mostly Jewish) societies at different periods of time, and they can be quite interesting to study. They were binding for their time and place, but who's to say that every moral code printed in the Bible is binding for all times and all societies?

And Jesus gave another code, Love God and Love Neighbor - but that was one of many moral codes he presented in his teaching. The Beatitudes are another moral code, as are the "feed the hungry, clothe the naked" provisions of Matthew 25.

Willie says, No matter, the old testament doesn't exactly teach morals that hold up in a civilised society, so thankfully, the vast majority of decent sane people gloss over their inferred creed. Virtuous hypocrisy is nothing to be ashamed of.... Well, no, but the moral codes expressed in the Old Testament did function reasonably well in their day, and there is truth in those codes that have valuable lessons for us today. In addition, the Bible stories of the failures of the Old Testament leaders, have profound lessons for us today - the story of David and Bathsheba is a perfect example of a person who sinned grievously, repented, and went on to do much good. The story of pagan Ruth and her devotion to her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi, is a profound lesson in fidelity. The story of Jonah is the funniest and most colorful story in the bible, and yet it has a profound lesson that has endured for at least 2,500 years. I don't "gloss over" the considerable moral wrongs expressed in the Bible - I take those shortcomings very seriously, and attempt to learn from them. So, how is that "hypocrisy," virtuous or not?

OK, Willie, and then you say another thing: Never occurs to anybody that their flavour of religion is, and only can be, the sum of all its activities and actions. Well, yes, I suppose it's true that the whole is the sum of its parts. And I am well aware of the failures and shortcomings of religions, especially of the atrocities committed in the name of my Catholic religion. My view of "original sin" says that I have partial responsibility for the ills of my society. Even though I may never have directly committed an act of wrongdoing, I have some shared responsibility for the injustices committed by any society with which I identify myself. So, yes, there is truth in what you say - but I think the flaw in your logic is that you assume that if a person follows a religious creed, that person is bound to support and take responsibility for all the evils committed by everyone who shares that creed. You assume a uniformity and rigidity that does not exist in even the strictest fundamentalist sect. If I belong to a family, to what extent do I have responsibility for the actions of my brother, or my adult children? I think I do have some, but there are limits. Same goes for religion. People who do evil in the name of religion, certainly do not do it in MY name. But on the other hand, it's absolutely true that many people do unspeakable evil in the name of faith in the same God I believe in - I'll get back to you when I have an answer to that puzzle. But I do think you're wrong in thinking that religion requires uniformity and the consequent forfeiture of individual freedom.

Willie, I think the major flaw in your thinking is your assumption that the only correct interpretation of sacred writings is a literal one, that all adherents to a religion must believe and act exactly the same, and that the only definition of religion is that religion is the absolute acceptance of a rigid doctrinal and moral code. In short, you see all believers as fundamentalists, and make no allowance for any believer who has a more rational view of faith. I'm a Catholic in "reasonably" good standing, eight years of seminary education, with 45 years of experience teaching the Catholic faith, about to be accepted as an associate member of the Sisters of Mercy, and I don't believe any of those things. Where do I fit in your picture? And MOST of the Mudcatters who profess a religious faith, adhere more to my picture of religion than they do to yours. So, where do THEY fit in?

And if I'm not a Fundamentalist and if I think they are a perversion of religion, why do I have to bear their shame?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Does Religion Deny Music to Children?
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 03:49 PM

Joe, I love your tree. The Ponderosa pine is my favorite tree. The patterned rich red-brown bark of the tree is gorgeous.

If and when you get the chance, make a trip to the Ochoco National Forest in central Oregon about 70 miles in the mountains out of Prineville. It is a Ponderosa Pine forest and since nothing grows under the acidic canopy it is like a park under there. And the duff on the forest floor is also something to scuff around in; it is deep and dry and light.

One of the amazing features of the forest is that in places the wilderness has pulled back forming a meadow, enabling a grove of Aspens to blaze a brilliant gold in the Autumn. It is like seeing the sun caught in the branches.


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