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BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority

Little Hawk 31 Mar 06 - 02:29 PM
Purple Foxx 31 Mar 06 - 01:44 PM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 06 - 01:41 PM
bobad 31 Mar 06 - 01:21 PM
Little Hawk 31 Mar 06 - 12:59 PM
Bill D 31 Mar 06 - 12:52 PM
bobad 31 Mar 06 - 09:49 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 07:53 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 07:40 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:34 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:29 PM
LilyFestre 30 Mar 06 - 07:27 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:20 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:16 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Mar 06 - 07:13 PM
LilyFestre 30 Mar 06 - 07:08 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 07:05 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 06:57 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 06:52 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 06:23 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 04:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Mar 06 - 03:19 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 02:57 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Mar 06 - 02:35 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 01:26 PM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 12:53 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Mar 06 - 12:35 PM
Uncle_DaveO 30 Mar 06 - 12:29 PM
beardedbruce 30 Mar 06 - 11:27 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 11:18 AM
beardedbruce 30 Mar 06 - 11:14 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 11:10 AM
Clinton Hammond 30 Mar 06 - 10:37 AM
beardedbruce 30 Mar 06 - 09:31 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 09:26 AM
beardedbruce 30 Mar 06 - 08:18 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 01:04 AM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,AR282 30 Mar 06 - 12:42 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 12:37 AM
Little Hawk 30 Mar 06 - 12:35 AM
Clinton Hammond 29 Mar 06 - 11:52 PM
Scoville 29 Mar 06 - 11:41 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 11:02 PM
Little Hawk 29 Mar 06 - 10:56 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 02:29 PM

No. (grin)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 01:44 PM

Oh alright then.
Do you care LH?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 01:41 PM

Largest Study on Statistical Studies to Date Finds They Have No Effect on the Power of Prayer to Heal
By Desmond Calliope and Bruce LeFrance, New World Staff Writers
March 31, 2006

The largest study yet on the effect of statistical studies on the therapeutic power of prayer by strangers has found that the studies produced no discernable effect whatsoever upon the efficacy of prayers to produce healing.............and blah, blah, blah for another 180,000 words...

(joke)

Yeah???? Ask me if I friggin' CARE? Go ahead. Ask me.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: bobad
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 01:21 PM

That's funny Bill, I can get in no problem, I always wonder why some people can access sites and others can't.

Registration can be bypassed for most sites by using this tool:
http://www.bugmenot.com/
even though I didn't need it here.

Here's the article:

Largest Study of Prayer to Date Finds It Has No Power to Heal
By Denise Gellene and Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writers
March 31, 2006

The largest study yet on the therapeutic power of prayer by strangers has found that it provided no benefit to the recovery of patients who had undergone cardiac bypass surgery.

In an unexpected twist, patients who knew prayers were being said for them had more complications after surgery than those who did not know, researchers reported Thursday.

The complications were minor, and doctors surmised that they could have been caused by the increased stress on patients worried that their conditions were so bad they needed prayers.

Father Dean Marek, a Catholic priest who was involved in the research, said he wasn't surprised by the results.

"I am always a little leery about intercessory prayer," said Marek, director of chaplain services at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "What we have in mind for someone else may not be what they have in mind for themselves…. It is clearly manipulative of divine action and personal choice."

Dr. Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and one of the study's lead researchers, added: "Nothing this study has produced should interfere with people praying for each other."

Some scientists hoped the results of the $2.5-million study, conducted at six U.S. medical centers, would bring an end to the long controversy over therapeutic prayer.

"There have now been two big studies, with hundreds and hundreds of patients, that show no effect," said Dr. Harold G. Koenig, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University. "Let's move on now and direct our money somewhere else."

Some believers in prayer concurred.

Sister Carol Rennie, prioress of St. Paul's Monastery in St. Paul, Minn., whose prayer group participated in the study, said faith couldn't be scientifically analyzed. "God must be smiling broadly," she said. "It tells me, frankly, that God's way of working with people is a mystery and that technology really can't determine the effects of prayer."

Scientists have been trying for at least a decade to determine whether organized prayer on the behalf of others can influence the outcome of medical treatment.

Previous attempts, however, were flawed by experimental and methodological errors that led critics to dismiss findings, both pro and con.

Thursday's study was intended to settle the matter in the most scientific manner possible. It was funded primarily by the John Templeton Foundation, a group based in Pennsylvania that encourages the study of spirituality and science. Results will be published next week in American Heart Journal.

The study was designed as a randomized and blinded trial, meaning that most patients did not know whether someone was praying for them or not. Such trials are considered the gold standard for scientific proof.

More than 1,800 patients were divided into three groups: those who were told someone was praying for them; those who were told only that someone might pray for them and got prayers; and those who were told someone might pray for them but received no prayers. About 65% of the patients said they strongly believed in the power of prayer.

Two Catholic monasteries and one Protestant group offered the prayers. They were given patients' first names and the first initial of their last names. The groups started praying the night before surgery and continued for two weeks.

All members of the prayer groups recited the same intercession, asking for "a successful surgery and a quick, healthy recovery and no complications."

Researchers said they didn't ask family members of the sick people to stop praying because it would have been unethical to do so, meaning some people received more prayers than others.

The results showed that prayers had no beneficial effect on patients' recovery 30 days after surgery. Overall, 59% of patients who knew they were being prayed for had complications, compared to 51% of the patients who did not receive prayers. The difference was not considered statistically significant.

Atrial fibrillation, a fluttering of the heart that can be related to stress, was the most common complication in all groups but was more likely to occur among patients who knew others were praying for them.

All groups were just as likely to develop infections or die.

"We conclude that telling people introduces the stress response," said Dr. Charles Bethea of Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City and a study researcher.

He surmised that patients thought, "Am I so sick that they had to call in the prayer team?"

Dr. Richard P. Sloan, a professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research, said the study underscored the futility of trying to measure the power of prayer.

One problem in the study, he said, was that in addition to the organized prayer, some patients prayed for themselves and received prayers from families, friends, people they work with or their congregations.

"They have absolutely no idea how much prayer individuals in any of the groups received," Sloan said. "If we can't know that, we can't draw any conclusions whatsoever about the intervention."

Bob Barth of Silent Unity, the prayer organization in Lee's Summit, Mo., that was the Protestant group involved in the study, said the results didn't shake his confidence in prayer. "People of faith don't need a prayer study to know that prayer works," he said.

But Koenig said clinical trials would never answer that question. "Science is powerful and wonderful in determining the orbit of the Earth, the speed of a bullet, the power of a new drug. But now we've asked science to study something that occurs outside of space and time.

"This shows you shouldn't try to prove the power of the supernatural," he said.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 12:59 PM

I never thought atheists needed to be "saved". ;-P I figure that "God" (meaning life itself) is far less demanding than human beings when it comes to that sort of thing, and lays down no requirements whatsoever on what people should believe or not believe. Life allows everyone and everything to be exactly as they choose to be...the only thing one has to worry about is cause and effect. Life does not judge people. People judge people.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Bill D
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 12:52 PM

That site requires registration, bobad.....got a condensed version to offer?

(I always DID wonder if I was being surruptitiously prayed for....)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: bobad
Date: 31 Mar 06 - 09:49 AM

For all who may be inclined to offer prayers for the salvation of atheists a recent study suggests you may be wasting your time.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-sci-prayer31mar31,1,3169049.story?coll=la-headlines-nation&ctrack=1&cset=true


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:54 PM

And I'll even forgive you for bringing up a ton of new stuff before I finished answering the old stuff you posted.... ;-D

Seriously, man, if there was a big human-like God out there somewhere...she'd be laughing at us! We are idiots, blathering our fool heads off at each other on a trivial mental stage of our own creation, just because we just have to for some reason.

All of us. I except no one.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:53 PM

As you wish.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:49 PM

You realize that if we keep this up we will both have no time left for other things, and will finally be found collapsed in front of our respective keyboards...starved to death...bony hands stretching out to hit "submit" one last time...so we can get the last word in and "win".

;-P

Is that really worthwile? Whaddya think?

What say I just say, "Fine. Don't believe there was a real Jesus. I don't mind." You say, "Fine. Go ahead and believe there was a real Jesus. I don't mind." Both shake hands and get on with life.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:40 PM

>>You seem to think of God as a separate BIG being of some kind that intervenes in human affairs. I Don't. I think of God as a natural, intelligent, coherent process that is involved with everything at all times, right down to the molecular level. Not just with people, with everything, animate and inanimate.<<

I don't believe in god at all--anthropomorphic or otherwise and it is this very difference of interpretation that I find so problematic.

>>I understand your meaning, but I don't agree. I would have agreed when I was 25. Not any more. The reason I don't agree is because I have been studying meditation and Eastern disciplines, which are all about calming the mind, quieting the mind. It is an overly busy mind, constantly cluttered with thoughts, that leads to every form of mental illness and distress. It leads me to wasting hours on this forum! ;-) I kid you not.<<

First of all, very few people can completely still their minds and that's assuming there is anyone who can do it at all. You'd have to let go of your self-awareness and I question whether that would even be beneficial. I have read case histories of cultists who suffered psychological problems due to mind control achieved through intense meditation techniques. Emptying your mind is, I think, a very dangerous thing to do. Anything could just walk in.

>>The tragedy of modern people is that their minds are absolutely cluttered all the time with an avalanche of disordered thoughts. This eventually leads to breakdown in some cases. Ever seen a person on the street talking furiously to no one at all, as angry or anxious thoughts spill from their lips. A lot of people are like that, but they don't express the thoughts vocally, they just think them. Their minds are never calm.<<

That comes from watching TV while zoning out reality. The thoughts pile up but aren't being put anywhere until the last second when they're haphazardly thrown wherever they'll hopefully fit. I organize my thoughts through writing. I write and write and write. And I read and read and read so that I have more things to write and write and write about. I have these stored on my computer so that I can peruse them at my leisure. It's interesting to go back and read things I wrote years ago to see how far I've come since then. Oftimes, I'm embarrassed, thinking I knew a thing or two and didn't know shit. Sometimes I write something that strikes me years later as having a particularly good thought and I wonder why I had not followed up on that and how I let it get away from me.

>>Ascetic individuals like Buddha, Jesus, Zoroaster, Gandhi, Ramakrishna, those are the people who brought forth most spiritual teachings. They were usually people who lived a very simple life, materially speaking, spent a lot of time alone in nature, spent time among the poor people, and avoided the sort of high profile roles taken on in life by monarchs. Buddha, for example, walked away from life in the palace and became a penniless beggar for years. He never returned to worldly power. It was the inspired followers of such people who "invented" religion....simply because they hung around and listened to whatever their teachers said, noted it all down, memorized it, then got together in groups and discussed it, then formed those groups into religious organizations and kept things going. Some of those organizations got much larger and became mainstream religions...it was THEN that the kings latched onto them and used them for all they could get.<<

Most of these figures were personages--mythical. Buddha never was. Zoroaster (with a life story very similar to Jesus) never was. All of them variations of Horus. As for Ghandi, his family became a ruling dynasty and none too friendly either. It's all about power. Ghandi may have had good intentions but power is what it always comes down to and it corrupts. Religion justifies it all and allows it to continue. God save the king!

>>Jesus is reputed to have said, "My kingdom is not of this world." He wasn't after material things at all. He wasn't after worldly power. His earliest followers don't appear to have been after anything much like that either...but that all changed when big churches were founded and became rich. THEN it became mostly about money, land, and power. It takes some time for the social system to corrupt a great religious teaching...but usually not too long. Maybe a generation. Maybe less than that.<<

Jesus was an invention. He never existed. Royals made him up out of bit and pieces of stuff they learned from their own superior educations and foisted him off on a dull, uneducated, illiterate populace. Bear your suffering and be like Jesus. Live in poverty like Jesus. Pay your exorbitant taxes--remember, render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar's. Give your money to him because god doesn't need it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:34 PM

I look at both sides, Michelle. There are fundamentalist strains of religion (not just Christian either) that I find horrifying, and I say so. There are marvelous Christians around who exemplify Jesus' teachings, and I praise them for it.

I don't play by team colors. I will defend an atheist when he is honest and sensible, and I will defend a Christian when he is honest and sensible.

I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth, I'm being even-handed, and recognizing the good and bad on both sides of the divide.

This is so rare in people's rhetoric these days, I've noticed...because everyone expects you to be either all for one side or all for the other. Black hats and white hats. Good guys and bad guys.

It just ain't that simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:29 PM

"I'd have to say it is. (discrimination against women being Jesus' fault) He should have known what happens to women in religion. But he went ahead with it anyway. And before you say that Jesus did not intend to found a church read Matthew 16:18. He should have known what would happen."

He did the best he could in a society that was horribly oppressive to women. He stretched it to the practical limit possible at that time. There is much literature that suggests that Mary Magdalene had a far stronger position in the early church than is indicated in the Gospels (they were edited later). There is some indication that she may have been his WIFE! (and that he did, in fact, have a perfectly normal sex life) He was called "rabbi". You couldn't BE a rabbi then without being married, as far as I know. There were different factions among the followers of Jesus, you might say liberals and conservatives of their time. The conservatives won out bigtime in the end, with Rome's encouragement, and they put women right back in their place...at the bottom.

It was in no way Jesus' fault, but in spite of him. He did what he could with a bunch of probably very stubborn people, and when he was gone they reverted back to type pretty quickly. That's what usually happens.

The Christian churches, historically, have mostly been a disgrace in the light of the teachings upon which they were founded, not least in the case of how they've treated women.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: LilyFestre
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:27 PM

But LH, you seem to still be full of judgements towards folks who are Christian. I'm hearing you talk out of both sides of your mouth.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:20 PM

It was a pretty smug attitude, eh, Michelle?

I have since discovered that life ain't that simple. There are fools and brilliant people to be found among both the religious and the non-religious. There are scoundrels and noble people in both camps.

You can't dismiss either group as being inferior, just because you aren't one of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:16 PM

next:

>>The things he taught are found at the heart of virtually every great religion<<

"Exactly. It was the same message. He taught nothing original. Nothing came from him that tells me only he could have come up with it. Everything he said, you can find somewhere else from an earlier period. It's smoke & mirrors."


Of COURSE it was the same message! LOL! What did you expect?

Look, if there IS a spiritual truth behind life at all....and I say there is...then the same message WILL come across in all great spiritual teachings, won't it? If they are accurate. Like, Duh!!!

If it's true that 2 x 2 = 4, are you gonna change it in order to be "original"???? I don't think so.

All true spiritual teachers teach the same basic truths and lay down the same basic fundamentals, because that is what their intelligence would naturally lead them to do. Ever hear the expression: "Great minds think alike?" The strongest evidence supporting the validity of spiritual teachings all over the world is that they DO agree on fundamental morality and stuff like that.

How could they not? Would reason not also lead to many people arriving at the same conclusion about something???

I mean, really...just be fair, think about it, and tell me how it could NOT happen that way.

If something is true, many will discover it by their own perception. If it's false, many will discount it soon enough.

Spirituality is about being strong enough to do what is obviously the best thing to do...from EVERYONE's point of view...not just from YOUR point of view.

We all know these things in our hearts. We know we shouldn't lie, steal, hurt, etc...but we yield to pressure and weakness and we make excuses for ourselves. Basic morality is dead obvious to anyone who has a scrap of empathy in his heart for other living creatures.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:13 PM

The guests on mudcat, well I don't trust 'em!


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: LilyFestre
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:08 PM

I grew up going to church, involved in many aspects of it. I was sort of amused by something that Little Hawk. My family would say the same of folks like you....

...not very smart...naive...a few cards short of a deck...etc. Not that they spoke about it frequently, it was just kind of an undertone.

Interesting.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 07:05 PM

Next:

"Once again, royals invented religion not politicians. Religion is a political tool used by royals to maintain their power."

Oh, they use it that way all right, but they didn't usually invent it in the first place. Sometimes, I'll grant...but not usually, in my opinion. They just enlarged it and wedded themselves to it, and then used it to enslave the populace very effectively.

"And where did you learn this?"

Oh, gosh! From a few hundred different sources, I'd say. Let's say I got a bit of it out of the Bible (maybe 20%), but most of it from a great many other much more modern and readable sources from all over the place (and none of them from specific organized churches). They're out there, if you would be inclined to look, but I rather doubt that you are. (grin) I mean, why would you, believing what you believe? It would be like me looking up books on Nascar or the NBA or something. People just don't look up stuff if they don't care about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:57 PM

Next part: "Religions are inherently political tools. A religion doesn't thrive where the king is against it. The only ones that come down to us today are those that royals allowed to hang around. And that would only be because that religion served their interests."

Yeah, I agree with that. For sure. The big religions worked as tools of the big royals...or vice versa in a few cases.

That's why I prefer something like Taoism, because it doesn't lend itself at all to that kind of use. Confucianism, on the other hand, fits governmental power structures like a glove.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:54 PM

Yeah, I was. ;-P    But my body was oh so young...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:52 PM

>>One question: how old are you? You sound like me when I was in my 20's.<<

Ah, but you were so much older then...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 06:23 PM

Next parts:

"Mentally simpler is not a virtue."

Yes it is, as I explained, when 'simpler' means less complicated, more relaxed, better organized, and more clearly focused on target.


"Really, now, go talk to a fundie if you want to meet someone very wordy and empty inside. At least philosophy students are clever. That's a reward of using the mind."

You're right. I am in no way defending fundamentalists. I can't stand them. They are the idiot's brand of religious person, and they have not one ounce of spiritual wisdom in their entire bodies. Their beliefs and attitudes defy reason and are completely ridiculous.

"I said royalty invented religion.(not politicians)"

Mostly wrong, in my opinion. Ascetic individuals like Buddha, Jesus, Zoroaster, Gandhi, Ramakrishna, those are the people who brought forth most spiritual teachings. They were usually people who lived a very simple life, materially speaking, spent a lot of time alone in nature, spent time among the poor people, and avoided the sort of high profile roles taken on in life by monarchs. Buddha, for example, walked away from life in the palace and became a penniless beggar for years. He never returned to worldly power. It was the inspired followers of such people who "invented" religion....simply because they hung around and listened to whatever their teachers said, noted it all down, memorized it, then got together in groups and discussed it, then formed those groups into religious organizations and kept things going. Some of those organizations got much larger and became mainstream religions...it was THEN that the kings latched onto them and used them for all they could get.

Jesus is reputed to have said, "My kingdom is not of this world." He wasn't after material things at all. He wasn't after worldly power. His earliest followers don't appear to have been after anything much like that either...but that all changed when big churches were founded and became rich. THEN it became mostly about money, land, and power. It takes some time for the social system to corrupt a great religious teaching...but usually not too long. Maybe a generation. Maybe less than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 04:45 PM

Okay. Next section:

"Your mental life should never ever be simple. It should be as complex and cluttered as my house (my house is half-museum, half-junkyard but an extremely interesting junkyard). The best way to ward off diseases as Alzheimer's is by working out that mind. Not a guarantee but it does minimize your chances of getting it."

I understand your meaning, but I don't agree. I would have agreed when I was 25. Not any more. The reason I don't agree is because I have been studying meditation and Eastern disciplines, which are all about calming the mind, quieting the mind. It is an overly busy mind, constantly cluttered with thoughts, that leads to every form of mental illness and distress. It leads me to wasting hours on this forum! ;-) I kid you not. When I use the word "simple", I do not mean lacking in knowledge, I do not mean lacking in reasoning power, I do not mean anything like that. If you don't study the disciplines I'm referring to, you'll never grasp when I'm talking about on this subject. I suggest you read a book like Eckhard Tolle's "The Power of Now" for a more complete explanation.

The tragedy of modern people is that their minds are absolutely cluttered all the time with an avalanche of disordered thoughts. This eventually leads to breakdown in some cases. Ever seen a person on the street talking furiously to no one at all, as angry or anxious thoughts spill from their lips. A lot of people are like that, but they don't express the thoughts vocally, they just think them. Their minds are never calm.

I say that a calm mind is a mind dealing with reality in a beautifully smooth and simple way...far more effective than a busy mind that's jumping around all over the place like one of those music videos.

You are misunderstanding me, I think, and interpreting "simple" to mean "not smart". Nope. That's not what I mean at all. I mean that a simple mechanical device with 5 well-made parts, for example, works far better under stress than does a Rube Goldberg device with 555 parts that are dependent on 300 separate stress points. (The Germans discovered something like that in the bitter Russian winter of '41-42' when their more complex equipment simply wouldn't function...while the less complex Russian equipment kept going.) If there are two ways to do something, and one is simple and direct while the other is very complex...I suggest the simple approach.

That's why I say that we are talking at cross purposes.

And that's just 2 little paragraphs from your post.


(Would it help if I mention that I don't care whether or not you believe Jesus ever existed or not, because it doesn't matter? ;-) It may surprise me that you wouldn't believe it, but it doesn't matter, because enlightenment and human advancement are entirely possible whether or not one believes Jesus was a real person. Belief in Jesus (or any other specific religious figure) is not an essential ingredient of self-realization, in my opinion.)


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 03:19 PM

"it'll take forever..."

It's a race all of a sudden??? Or there's a deadline for this thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 02:57 PM

Fine. We'll do it your way, and it'll take forever... ;-)

1. "It's not the conclusion that matters. It's what led you to it--the thought process. That is what is important because without reason, humans are doomed. We are what we are because we depend on reason--not fur, not big fangs, no razor-sharp claws, not the ability to run at 50 mph. We're cold so we make a fire. We're hot so we make an AC. We're far away so we make an automobile or a jet plane. If we don't want to go there but just speak to someone there, we make a telephone. Without reason, we are lost.

I agree 100%.

"God is not going to help us."

No...not in the way you mean. Not unless we help ourselves. People who believe in God as I understand the concept "God" figure that they are being helped at all times, but that would take a long time to explain. You seem to think of God as a separate BIG being of some kind that intervenes in human affairs. I Don't. I think of God as a natural, intelligent, coherent process that is involved with everything at all times, right down to the molecular level. Not just with people, with everything, animate and inanimate.

"What gets us through the day is the use of reason. Like anything else, to be good at it you must exercise it. That's what philosophy is for. It is a vitally important exercise that religion does its best to kill."

True of fundamentalist religion. Utterly untrue of many other far more intelligent forms of religion which encourage reasoning. Have you ever read any books by Sri Aurobindo? He was a brilliant intellectual. Try reading them and see.


"That's why the vast majority of Americans are intellectually morbidly obese. A big fat mind bloated and utterly dependent on pop and trash culture until the mind can no longer move."

I agree 100%. (And I'm not fat and bloated, unlike a majority of North Americans my age these days.) It's not because of their religion, though, that they became that way, it's because of the consumer culture they grew up in and television, primarily. Americans are the victims of marketing, mass media, and pop culture.

Okay? See how long it will take for me to cut and paste and answer to all your points? Forever? Probably. That, after all, was only your first paragraph. Would you consider paying me a salary if I plow through the rest? ;-) I do have the odd other thing I have to do now and then...

See you in a bit...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 02:35 PM

Again with the dodge....

You may as well say "I'm losing here, so I'd rather not talk about it here" LH

No surprise


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 02:33 PM

I agree with you that reason is the only thing that will save us, and most of the spiritually-minded people I know are superb at reasoning, but we keep talking at cross purposes, you and I.

When you talk about "religion" and "religious people", as you see them, you are talking about a completely different set of people from what I'm talking about. When you talk about royalty, I say they WERE the top politicians of their day.

I would much rather sit down with you at a table, have a coffee, and discuss these things verbally, rather than all this fragmented cut and paste. Or talk on the phone. Anything other than this. It's too cumbersome.

One question: how old are you? You sound like me when I was in my 20's.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 01:26 PM

>>Matter of fact, I did study philosophy. Very interesting. But I got the impression after awhile that it was people just talking themselves in circles until they painted themselves into a mental corner, so to speak.<<

It's not the conclusion that matters. It's what led you to it--the thought process. That is what is important because without reason, humans are doomed. We are what we are because we depend on reason--not fur, not big fangs, no razor-sharp claws, not the ability to run at 50 mph. We're cold so we make a fire. We're hot so we make an AC. We're far away so we make an automobile or a jet plane. If we don't want to go there but just speak to someone there, we make a telephone. Without reason, we are lost. God is not going to help us. What gets us through the day is the use of reason. Like anything else, to be good at it you must exercise it. That's what philosophy is for. It is a vitally important exercise that religion does its best to kill. That's why the vast majority of Americans are intellectually morbidly obese. A big fat mind bloated and utterly dependent on pop and trash culture until the mind can no longer move.

>>Life is simpler than philosophy courses make it out to be.<<

Your mental life should never ever be simple. It should be as complex and cluttered as my house (my house is half-museum, half-junkyard but an extremely interesting junkyard). The best way to ward off diseases as Alzheimer's is by working out that mind. Not a guarantee but it does minimize your chances of getting it.

>>Way simpler.<<

Mentally simpler is not a virtue.

>>Philosophy profs tend to be enamoured with their own cleverness, I find, and they end up becoming very clever...very wordy...and very empty inside. (but there are exceptions to that, I'm sure)<<

Really, now, go talk to a fundie if you want to meet someone very wordy and empty inside. At least philosophy students are clever. That's a reward of using the mind.

>>Politicians did not invent religion.<<

I didn't say they did. I said royalty invented religion.

>>The kind of people who are utterly, completely uninterested in politics became spiritual teachers...and the politicians glommed onto the whole thing once it was an established power structure with a large following. Then they could use it.<<

Religions are inherently political tools. A religion doesn't thrive where the king is against it. The only ones that come down to us today are those that royals allowed to hang around. And that would only be because that religion served their interests.

>>I bet you have never talked to or witnessed a real spiritual teacher in your life, or read any good books by any either, or you would not dream for a moment that politicians invented religion.<<

Once again, royals invented religion not politicians. Religion is a political tool used by royals to maintain their power.   

>>You want Jesus' original teachings? Okay...

He taught nonviolence, forgiveness (of both self and others), truthfullness, honesty, responsibility, love of all people (even those you don't like or have some problem with), respect for the civil laws of your society, respect for other people (specially your parents), to honor and respect and love God, equality of the sexes (to the point he could express it in that time, which was no joke), to harm no one, to help other people who are in need, the golden rule, and all the usual moral stuff. He taught that people aren't made for the law....the law is made for the people. In other words, the law is intended to serve the people, not the other way around.<<

And where did you learn this?

>>The things he taught are found at the heart of virtually every great religion<<

Exactly. It was the same message. He taught nothing original. Nothing came from him that tells me only he could have come up with it. Everything he said, you can find somewhere else from an earlier period. It's smoke & mirrors.

>>(although discrimination against women is common in most of them...and certainly has been in the Christian churches. That again is NOT Jesus' fault.<<

I'd have to say it is. He should have known what happens to women in religion. But he went ahead with it anyway. And before you say that Jesus did not intend to found a church read Matthew 16:18. He should have known what would happen.

>>I'd say that Paul had quite a bit to do with it though. Paul was a weird character in a lot of ways. I don't much like what I feel coming from Paul.)<<

Paul's Christ is not the gospelic Christ. They bear no similiarities and the gospels never mention Paul nor Paul them.

>>That's some of it.<<

But where did you get it?

>>You could put it all in these few words: Love others, love God, love yourself, love life, fear nothing, and hate no one.<<

I can cite examples to show he also preached hatred, distrust, and elitism. So you're just picking and choosing the Jesus you like best. That makes him a figment of your own imagination.

>>That's not easy.<<

Or necessary. We all get by without practicing any of that.

>>For most people it seems to be impossible. That's why they don't really want to hear about it, and they don't really want to try it either. There's only one person in 1,000 who wants to try it, from what I've seen, and one in 10,000 who achieves it. I certainly haven't achieved it, but I know it's real.<<

I don't even consider it good advice. If you love everybody, you're going to be taken advantage of. My personal advice to the human race is:

Use your head and keep your wits about you and when your bullshit detector goes off, heed it.

>>It's the one thing that can heal an insane human mind, but the insane mind does NOT want to hear about it. No sir. That would mean surrendering, not to Christianity, not to a religion, but to love. And that would be hard, hard work. It would demand sacrifice.<<

I don't know what surrendering to love entails but I'm willing to bet it is no more healthy or necessary than surrendering to hate. I say maintain a balance of the two and you'll be alright.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:53 PM

I only regard about, oh, 10-15% of the Old Testament as any kind of spiritual material I would want to take inspiration from. Most of it, no thanks. It's about what I'd expect from a primitive tribal people who went around murdering their neighbours in the name of Jehovah.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:35 PM

From http://www.geocities.com/bobmelzer/gc10cx.html

GEORGE CARLIN ON THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
from "Complaints and Grievances" (HBO special)

Here is my problem with the ten commandments- why exactly are there 10?

You simply do not need ten. The list of ten commandments was artificially and deliberately inflated to get it up to ten. Here's what happened:

About 5,000 years ago a bunch of religious and political hustlers got together to try to figure out how to control people and keep them in line. They knew people were basically stupid and would believe anything they were told, so they announced that God had given them some commandments, up on a mountain, when no one was around.

Well let me ask you this- when they were making this shit up, why did they pick 10? Why not 9 or 11? I'll tell you why- because 10 sound official. Ten sounds important! Ten is the basis for the decimal system, it's a decade, it's a psychologically satisfying number (the top ten, the ten most wanted, the ten best dressed). So having ten commandments was really a marketing decision! It is clearly a bullshit list. It's a political document artificially inflated to sell better. I will now show you how you can reduce the number of commandments and come up with a list that's a little more workable and logical. I am going to use the Roman Catholic version because those were the ones I was taught as a little boy.

Let's start with the first three:

I AM THE LORD THY GOD THOU SHALT NOT HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME

THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN

THOU SHALT KEEP HOLY THE SABBATH

Right off the bat the first three are pure bullshit. Sabbath day? Lord's name? strange gods? Spooky language! Designed to scare and control primitive people. In no way does superstitious nonsense like this apply to the lives of intelligent civilized humans in the 21st century. So now we're down to 7. Next:

HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER

Obedience, respect for authority. Just another name for controlling people. The truth is that obedience and respect shouldn't be automatic. They should be earned and based on the parent's performance. Some parents deserve respect, but most of them don't, period. You're down to six.

Now in the interest of logic, something religion is very uncomfortable with, we're going to jump around the list a little bit.

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL

THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS

Stealing and lying. Well actually, these two both prohibit the same kind of behavior- dishonesty. So you don't really need two you combine them and call the commandment "thou shalt not be dishonest". And suddenly you're down to 5.

And as long as we're combining I have two others that belong together:

THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTRY

THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE

Once again, these two prohibit the same type of behavior. In this case it is marital infidelity. The difference is- coveting takes place in the mind. But I don't think you should outlaw fantasizing about someone else's wife because what is a guy gonna think about when he's waxing his carrot? But, marital infidelity is a good idea so we're gonna keep this one and call it "thou shalt not be unfaithful". And suddenly we're down to four.

But when you think about it, honesty and infidelity are really part of the same overall value so, in truth, you could combine the two honesty commandments with the two fidelity commandments and give them simpler language, positive language instead of negative language and call the whole thing "thou shalt always be honest and faithful" and we're down to 3.

THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR"S GOODS

This one is just plain fuckin' stupid. Coveting your neighbor's goods is what keeps the economy going! Your neighbor gets a vibrator that plays "o come o ye faithful", and you want one too! Coveting creates jobs, so leave it alone. You throw out coveting and you're down to 2 now- the big honesty and fidelity commandment and the one we haven't talked about yet:

THOU SHALT NOT KILL

Murder. But when you think about it, religion has never really had a big problem with murder. More people have been killed in the name of god than for any other reason. All you have to do is look at Northern Ireland, Cashmire, the Inquisition, the Crusades, and the World Trade Center to see how seriously the religious folks take thou shalt not kill. The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable. It depends on who's doin the killin' and who's gettin' killed. So, with all of this in mind, I give you my revised list of the two commandments:

Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.

&

Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you.

Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin' pocket. I wouldn't mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:29 PM

Scoville told us, in part:

Pardon my being simplistic, but the Ten Commandments aren't a bad set of guidelines.

I think it worth noting here that only part of the Ten Commandments merit treatment as a generally applicable set of guidelines, independent of ritual tools for control of the populace.

Yes, rules against adultery, against stealing, against murder, against bearing false witness or false swearing (which is a different thing than merely "lying", and absolutely different from merely using bad language), against covetousness, and for honoring your father and mother, are salutary rules, suitable for anyone to follow. They tend to improve personal character, and tend to improve society.

And I suppose that keeping a day set aside from labor has a social value too, although I see this rule, in context, as more pertinent to the next paragraph than the previous one.

But having "no other gods before me", "making unto thee no graven image", not "taking the name of the Lord thy God in vain", are purely ritual control devices.

Thus, I believe that six (or six and a half) of the ten make a good set of guidelines, but to post ALL TEN of them in a public place (such as a courthouse) by use of public civil authority is inappropriate in a pluralistic society, especially in view of the Constitutional separation of church and State.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:27 AM

Agreed.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:18 AM

BB, not only were those books in the Bible highly edited, as you say, they were also selected from among a number of books, many of which were rejected by the same Council of Bishops. They can offer nothing more than a few fragmentary glimpses from the perspective of a few specific individuals in the early Christian church, each with their own ax to grind. Most of the more interesting material I've ever read about Jesus came from other sources than the Bible. I regard the Bible the way I would regard any other ancient book...a product of its time...not the one, only, and perfect Word of God.

No book is or ever will be the one, only, and perfect truth. Life itself is the Truth. Therefore, study life if you wish to know the truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:14 AM

re thread topic:



Liberals, by conservatives

AND

Conservatives, by liberals.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 11:10 AM

Have a wonderful day, Clinton.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 10:37 AM

" like you get so much free time"
The jealousy in your attempted Ad Hominem dodged is on so apparent LH....

I dismiss you... how did you say it? As a person who is "just talking themselves in circles until they painted themselves into a mental corner"

"Politicians did not invent religion."
It was a combination of 'politicians' and people like P.T. Barnum....


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 09:31 AM

The book mentioned talks about trying to back out what Jesus really said, from the (highly) edited texts that have come down to us. The author lays a groundwork of how societies form their behaviour. Well worth reading.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 09:26 AM

Pork? Probably best not eaten if you want optimum health, but that's up to you.

There are a whole lot of good reasons not to eat any meat at all, BB, but that is just a matter of opinion, depending on who you talk to. Some people are under the impression that you can't live without it, and the family I was brought up in certainly was under that impression. To my parents a meal IS meat and starch, with a few other things added on as decoration. Having known many other completely healthy people who've been vegetarian all their lives (mostly people from the East Indian culture), I know that the idea people must eat meat to be healthy is simply culturally acquired mythology. It's a habit people take for granted, but it's not necessary or even very healthful in the amounts that most people eat meat.

My impression is that Jesus taught non-violence, but I may be mistaken. I wasn't there. Non-violence seems to me like the more intelligent approach to life, generally speaking....but there is no rule anyone can make up that won't provide an occasional exception somewhere. That's why we have to use our own minds to decide, in the final analysis, regardless of what we think the "rules" are.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: beardedbruce
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 08:18 AM

Actually, LH, Jesus may not have taught non-violence.


Check "Cows, Pigs, Witches, and Wars :the Riddle of Culture"- Marvin Harris Fascinating book on the reasons why people may have possibly decided to develop cultural habits like not eating pig or worshipping a cow.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 01:04 AM

Matter of fact, I did study philosophy. Very interesting. But I got the impression after awhile that it was people just talking themselves in circles until they painted themselves into a mental corner, so to speak.

Life is simpler than philosophy courses make it out to be. Way simpler. Philosophy profs tend to be enamoured with their own cleverness, I find, and they end up becoming very clever...very wordy...and very empty inside. (but there are exceptions to that, I'm sure)

Politicians did not invent religion. The kind of people who are utterly, completely uninterested in politics became spiritual teachers...and the politicians glommed onto the whole thing once it was an established power structure with a large following. Then they could use it.

I bet you have never talked to or witnessed a real spiritual teacher in your life, or read any good books by any either, or you would not dream for a moment that politicians invented religion.

You want Jesus' original teachings? Okay...

He taught nonviolence, forgiveness (of both self and others), truthfullness, honesty, responsibility, love of all people (even those you don't like or have some problem with), respect for the civil laws of your society, respect for other people (specially your parents), to honor and respect and love God, equality of the sexes (to the point he could express it in that time, which was no joke), to harm no one, to help other people who are in need, the golden rule, and all the usual moral stuff. He taught that people aren't made for the law....the law is made for the people. In other words, the law is intended to serve the people, not the other way around.

The things he taught are found at the heart of virtually every great religion (although discrimination against women is common in most of them...and certainly has been in the Christian churches. That again is NOT Jesus' fault. I'd say that Paul had quite a bit to do with it though. Paul was a weird character in a lot of ways. I don't much like what I feel coming from Paul.)

That's some of it.

You could put it all in these few words: Love others, love God, love yourself, love life, fear nothing, and hate no one.

That's not easy. For most people it seems to be impossible. That's why they don't really want to hear about it, and they don't really want to try it either. There's only one person in 1,000 who wants to try it, from what I've seen, and one in 10,000 who achieves it.

I certainly haven't achieved it, but I know it's real. It's the one thing that can heal an insane human mind, but the insane mind does NOT want to hear about it. No sir. That would mean surrendering, not to Christianity, not to a religion, but to love. And that would be hard, hard work. It would demand sacrifice.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:59 AM

>>By the way, I eventually did read the whole Bible, and yeah...it's full of inconsistencies and contradictions. It's incredible to me too that anyone could believe it all. Just as incredible as it is to you.<<

It's not that they believe it all so much as they are not comprehending what they are reading to a degree that I find utterly shocking. James gives no impression that Christ had ever walked on earth and has surprisingly little to tell us about this remarkable man who was supposed to be his sibling!!! He says nothing about the life of Jesus. Doesn't mention any crucifixion and exhorts his readers to bear the suffering as the prophets bore theirs but never mentions Jesus suffering as we would expect of a Christian. How do Christians manage to ignore this?

>>But I am very interested in Jesus himself...much more than I am in the Bible...just as I am interested in all the great spiritual teachers. I consider them to be way beyond the organized religions that were established in their names.<<

You can't convincingly separate Jesus from the bible. Nor would I recommend doing so.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:44 AM

>>Pardon my being simplistic, but the Ten Commandments aren't a bad set of guidelines. I object very strongly to them being posted in the courtroom and shoved down the throats of all of the rest of us, but in and of themselves, they'll save you a lot of trouble. Of course, they're suggestions that are not unique to Christianity and ones that plenty of atheists follow, anyway, without all the stone tablet business.<<

Not to mention that the 10 Commandments aren't philosophy.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: GUEST,AR282
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:42 AM

>>Now I'm curious about your emotional motivations, because those are what really drive all people. It's what drives us to be deeply interested in a subject or totally uninterested in it. It's what drives us to be hostile to a general subject or not.

It's plain to see you're pretty hostile toward Christianity. Why?<<

Whose being hostile? I just don't believe in it. I looked at it too close.

>>Accordingly, I viewed the churches with a certain amount of amused contempt when I was young, but I didn't have a visceral hatred for them...and I get the impression that you do.<<

Really, I'm fine with whatever impression you have. It really isn't important what I think. Won't change anything.

>>Were you subjected to a lot of pressure to be religious when you were young? I find that it is that, rather than anything Jesus ever taught (or was reputed to) that turns people so bitterly against religion that they spend the rest of their lives spewing tirades against it.<<

Actually, my parents are very unreligious. They're not atheists. They just never went to church or made their kids go. I don't remember ever going to church as a kid.

>>And I can understand that. I was subjected to complete other kinds of pressure when I was young. As a result, I don't harbour a grudge against Jesus or Christianity. I think you do. I mean, hey, it's totally obvious that you do. ;-)<<

If you say so.

>>I think it is that grudge that makes you want to believe that Jesus never existed. If you didn't hate the Christian religion so much, it probably never would have even occurred to you to adopt such a belief.<<

My problem was becoming enamored with philosophy. If you really knoew anything about it, you'd know the cornerstone of all philosophy is that there are no gods and you are on your own. to dney is this is to admit you've never studied philosophy.

>>You are absolutely right that kings, from Constantine on, cynically used the church for all it was worth to consolidate and enlarge their power. You betcha. That's what politicians do (unless they're Communists, in which case they do the exact opposite).

That, however, is not Jesus' fault (if he existed) and it in no way impinges on the value of his orginal teachings.<<

What are his original teachings, btw?

>>It simply proves that politicians are generally corrupt and greedy for power. They will use the church either as an ally...or a scapegoat to blame things on. Whatever suits their gameplan.<<

They don't just use religion. They invented it as a means to perpetuate their power.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:37 AM

By the way, Clinton, how does a guy who is such a "get the job done", "put the food on the table" type of major practical achiever and success story like you get so much free time to screw around pointlessly on the Net and argue with me?


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:35 AM

Oh, really, Clinton? (grin) Am I supposed to get worried now, and start chewing nervously on my fingernails? I liked what he had to say. He's actually thinking, instead of just BS-ing and mind-f*cking people and ego-tripping the way you do, Clinton.

99% of people just believe what they want to believe. Like you do. Then they go around snooping for whatever they can find that might seem to support it, and simply disregard the rest.

At least this Guest is capable of actually investigating something and using a little reasoning power. Much of what he says is quite correct, but he does have a chip on his shoulder for some reason when it comes to religion.

I can easily guess how that might have happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:52 PM

" Now I'm curious about your emotional motivations"
That tired old dodge again LH? That lame attempt to gloss over the fact that all your questions were refuted...


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Scoville
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:41 PM

"But Eastern religions have excellent philosophical systems underlying them and those systems are not forgotten or denied. You don't get anything like that with Christianity."

Pardon my being simplistic, but the Ten Commandments aren't a bad set of guidelines. I object very strongly to them being posted in the courtroom and shoved down the throats of all of the rest of us, but in and of themselves, they'll save you a lot of trouble. Of course, they're suggestions that are not unique to Christianity and ones that plenty of atheists follow, anyway, without all the stone tablet business.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 11:02 PM

By the way, I eventually did read the whole Bible, and yeah...it's full of inconsistencies and contradictions. It's incredible to me too that anyone could believe it all. Just as incredible as it is to you.

But I am very interested in Jesus himself...much more than I am in the Bible...just as I am interested in all the great spiritual teachers. I consider them to be way beyond the organized religions that were established in their names.


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Subject: RE: BS: America's Most Distrusted Minority
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 10:56 PM

Very interesting comments, AR282. I see you've really given the matter some serious thought. Good for you.

Now I'm curious about your emotional motivations, because those are what really drive all people. It's what drives us to be deeply interested in a subject or totally uninterested in it. It's what drives us to be hostile to a general subject or not.

It's plain to see you're pretty hostile toward Christianity. Why?

In my case, having grown up in an atheistic family, I had little reason to be hostile to the church...except that I picked up a lot of little hints from my parents that religious people were...not very smart...naive...a few cards short of a deck...etc. Not that they spoke about it frequently, it was just kind of an undertone.

Accordingly, I viewed the churches with a certain amount of amused contempt when I was young, but I didn't have a visceral hatred for them...and I get the impression that you do.

Were you subjected to a lot of pressure to be religious when you were young? I find that it is that, rather than anything Jesus ever taught (or was reputed to) that turns people so bitterly against religion that they spend the rest of their lives spewing tirades against it.

And I can understand that. I was subjected to complete other kinds of pressure when I was young. As a result, I don't harbour a grudge against Jesus or Christianity. I think you do. I mean, hey, it's totally obvious that you do. ;-)

I think it is that grudge that makes you want to believe that Jesus never existed. If you didn't hate the Christian religion so much, it probably never would have even occurred to you to adopt such a belief.

You are absolutely right that kings, from Constantine on, cynically used the church for all it was worth to consolidate and enlarge their power. You betcha. That's what politicians do (unless they're Communists, in which case they do the exact opposite).

That, however, is not Jesus' fault (if he existed) and it in no way impinges on the value of his orginal teachings. It simply proves that politicians are generally corrupt and greedy for power. They will use the church either as an ally...or a scapegoat to blame things on. Whatever suits their gameplan.


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Mudcat time: 22 April 3:30 PM EDT

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