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Public School Coach Goes to Church—With Team
Posted: 15 September 2009 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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If the founders wanted religion used as public policy, why did they write an estblishment clause that prevents state sponsered religion?

Well its a good thing that I’m studying 16th and 17th century European history in school right now because I know exactly why the the establishment clause was included.  The founding fathers, whether Christian or deist, understood the political, social and economic turmoil caused by the combination of Church and State.  In particular, the founding fathers would have been aware of English history, the 30 Years’ War, English civil war and the deposing of Charles I, Cromwell, the Glorious Revolution, etc. etc and the constant flux of Protestant and Catholic favor depending on which monarch was in power.  They would have known French history as well…the Huguenots, Cardinal Richelieu, the Edict of Nantes, Louis XIV, etc. etc.  The founders knew that the consciences of the American people should not be constantly vexed by the ever-changing religious motives of one man, or a few men.  They also knew that true religion could not flourish when it is bound up with political ends and sinful men.  To think that the establishment clause was presented as a dream of a secular America without religion, like some kind of 18th century John Lennon tribute, is innacurate and misleading, a clear example of 20th century religious sentiment imposed on revolutionary era America.

If the founders wanted a christian theocracy why did they not included the Ten Commandments, the words God or Jesus or any other religious verbage in our constitution?

Careful with the straw man arguments, I never mentioned anything about the Founders wanting a Christian theocracy.  I don’t want a Christian theocracy either.  I am not convinced by the Christian Reconstructionist/theonomic arguments that today’s governments should use OT moral and civil law verbatim for their policies (even then, it would technically be an ecclesiocracy, not a theocracy).  However, I think its possible and desirable to enforce Christian principles and even OT law in some cases AS CIVIL LAW without creating a national religion or plaguing the consciences of a nations people.  In fact, our government already does do that in part.  At the same time, I interpret much of the New Testament discourse on civil government (what little there is) to mean that Christians are generally to obey the authorities in power insofar as they are not sinning against God in the process.  In other words, I think the primary means in which God is building His Kingdom is through the Gospel, which cannot and should not be enforced or manipulated by the civil magistrate.  This again is why I support the first amendment. 

The establishment clause in fact guarantees a secular democracy and that was it’s exact intent, and most enlightened people, for over two centuries now, have understood that, including millions of ‘thinking’ christians.

Wrong…it only should guarantee that the government does not hold people accountable to God (the papacy) and that the government cannot force religious practice or conscience on any person or persons.  I think the majority of the founders envisioned a highly moral and religious representative republic without force of religion or a State religion.  I know for sure that Adams did because he has a quote that says the exact same thing.

For the government to stay out of religion, religion must be kept out of governing.

And again, this is really not possible in the way I think you may want it, at least in a society built on laws.  The government punishes wrongdoers.  Government officials must legislate and make laws concerning what is “wrong”.  The discussion of what is wrong is a philosophical and religious conversation for a majority of Americans.  Therefore, religion is integral to creating and enforcing law.

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“If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked.” -Epictetus

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Posted: 21 September 2009 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 12 September 2009 09:14 PM

The logical tie between morality/law and a lawgiver/absolute standard is itself evidence for the existence of such a supernatural being, not to mention the existence of God’s Word, the evidence for the life and resurrection of Jesus, and so on and so forth.

Please explain how the concept of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” requires any lawgiver/absolute standard, much less the Christian one.

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“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” - Voltaire

“Rational arguments do not work on religious people, otherwise there would be no religious people.”—Dr. House

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Posted: 21 September 2009 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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camanintx - 21 September 2009 05:47 PM
clayforHim648 - 12 September 2009 09:14 PM

The logical tie between morality/law and a lawgiver/absolute standard is itself evidence for the existence of such a supernatural being, not to mention the existence of God’s Word, the evidence for the life and resurrection of Jesus, and so on and so forth.

Please explain how the concept of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” requires any lawgiver/absolute standard, much less the Christian one.

Clay cannot seem to think it possible that mankind might have developed altruism as a natural phenomema—even though there is clear evidence of altrusim in non-religious creatures such as animals. 

Frankly, I can’t figure out why he is unmovable on this, unless it’s that by admitting the evidence points to clear precedence of altrusim in non-human creatures requires him to admit his super entity is utterly unneeded.

Unfortunately for inconvenient things like… facts, and truth, this is precisely what we can point to as precedence for human altrusim. 

So Clay has to ignore this sticky little problem, and simply leap frogs to repetitive claims that, “Oh, only a god proves ethics.”

As if saying it simply makes it so.

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Posted: 24 September 2009 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Please explain how the concept of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” requires any lawgiver/absolute standard, much less the Christian one.

I think moral oughtness or standard only makes sense within the theistic worldview.  The materialistic/empiricist explanation from nature doesn’t account for real moral discussions…past observations of behavior, in animals or humans, doesn’t tell me how I should act in the future, which is a key component to the discussion of morality.

For example: the human race survived and reproduced just fine when ruthless killing, pillaging, and raping were almost requirements for armies warring in the Dark Ages.  And yet the evolutionary biology touting atheist will rail on and on about the immorality of these acts.  Why?  What weight does their moral indignation have?  How is this any different than the territorial slaughter that happens in nature with feuding animal groups?  Isn’t this exactly what KTR’s view justifies?  Morality is constantly in flux based on KTR’s view, so there is no reason for me to make any lasting statement about morality with those assumptions or to take anyone elses seriously. 

But if there is accountability, if there is a benevolent Creator and judge and if His revealed will is true about sin, the law, redemption in Christ, and the Resurrection…then the pieces start to fall into place and there are lasting moral principles and a justification for moral indignation and punishment.  There is a reason to be altruistic and to look to others above yourself.

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Posted: 24 September 2009 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 24 September 2009 10:43 PM

I think moral oughtness or standard only makes sense within the theistic worldview.

That’s an interesting statement from someone who’s God practices genocide.

I suppose then you have a solution to the Euthyphro dilemma?

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“Rational arguments do not work on religious people, otherwise there would be no religious people.”—Dr. House

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Posted: 25 September 2009 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 24 September 2009 10:43 PM

I think moral oughtness or standard only makes sense within the theistic worldview.  The materialistic/empiricist explanation from nature doesn’t account for real moral discussions…past observations of behavior, in animals or humans, doesn’t tell me how I should act in the future, which is a key component to the discussion of morality.

Yes it does, since humans are sapient (intelligent) and can apply past actions to future decisions in a far more complex way than any other animal.  We could rely exclusively on instinct, but we have evolved.  This by itself is proof of concept and of theory.  And in my argument, I would even support theism’s impact on that evolution (I just can show that now we’ve moved beyond the need for theism, just as a child moves beyond the need for fairy tales, Santa, and the Tooth Fairy.  This doesn’t negate the positive impact those fairy tales had on making the toddler understand the world at a level they could grasp it.  It just means that as they matured, they didn’t need such fairy tales any longer, and rather relied on reality for explanations).

The atheist position is that god is as much a fictional construct as is Santa.  If this is the case (and it’s the default view until you the theist can demonstrate the existence of your asserted god), then an actual god is a moot point.  In fact, morality comes form humans—because you have failed to demonstrate a god exists to prove (or even demonstrate) otherwise.  Basically your argument is this:

I personally cannot imagine how humans could be more than mere animals at every level, therefore there must be something outside of nature that makes us more than what we would normally be, which is just any other animal.

This position of yours is unsupportable because the very tool that allows you to consider it is your answer:  Your reason (i.e., your evolved brain, which clearly shows levels of evolution from a simpler version) is the answer you “cannot imagine.”  Yes—you can imagine it—you just don’t want to.

For example: the human race survived and reproduced just fine when ruthless killing, pillaging, and raping were almost requirements for armies warring in the Dark Ages.  And yet the evolutionary biology touting atheist will rail on and on about the immorality of these acts.  Why?  What weight does their moral indignation have?

The complaint is primarily that it’s motivated by religion.  Your “Dark Ages” example is shrouded over by the very theism you wish to vaunt.  The atheist sees how religious stupefication leads to mindless slaughter and war.  Look at other non-religious communities of the time, and you’ll more often than not see peaceful co-existence.  Sure, there are power struggles, and the more primitive we were, the more dispassionate these might have been.  But once you place intellect into the equation, and a heightened ability to empathize, and actual understanding of how existence operates, you can easily gain a higher degree of morality.

Which is, not coincidentally, precisely what happened.

How is this any different than the territorial slaughter that happens in nature with feuding animal groups?  Isn’t this exactly what KTR’s view justifies?  Morality is constantly in flux based on KTR’s view, so there is no reason for me to make any lasting statement about morality with those assumptions or to take anyone elses seriously.

Animals don’t “feud”—that is a particular state of being between sapient humans.  Animals compete; feuding is the price tag for intellect—we can remember direct hurts done to us.  Our ability to learn from the past and apply it to the future is, like most things in existence, something that has its positive effects and it’s negative effects.  A negative effect to having an intellect that allows for distinct recollection applicable to future choices is the same ability does not allow us to easily dismiss wrongs done to us.

Humans compete as well—but if we were reduced to our core nature, we would compete and cooperate—the two fuels that run the engine of evolutionary change (including moral growth).

But if there is accountability, if there is a benevolent Creator and judge and if His revealed will is true about sin, the law, redemption in Christ, and the Resurrection…then the pieces start to fall into place and there are lasting moral principles and a justification for moral indignation and punishment.  There is a reason to be altruistic and to look to others above yourself.

Again, this is a clear-cut case of someone not thinking it possible that something as simple competition and cooperation could account for precisely the model we see today—even though that very model plays out in front of you day in and day out.  Instead, you opt to conjure a vastly (infinitely) more complicated “answer” that actually raises infinitely more questions than it does bring us to any answers.  Your motivations to do this are almost certainly mired in the fear you have that your death will annihilate you, and you do not want to ever confront that reality.

Therefore, you actively look to complicate simple and demonstrable solutions in order to have your security un-assaulted.

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Posted: 25 September 2009 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 24 September 2009 10:43 PM

I think moral oughtness or standard only makes sense within the theistic worldview.  The materialistic/empiricist explanation from nature doesn’t account for real moral discussions…past observations of behavior, in animals or humans, doesn’t tell me how I should act in the future, which is a key component to the discussion of morality.

You credit the wrong source because you fail to recognize the true author of oughtness without its pen name. Humans are rather clever. In the future you should act in a better way than you have in the past, and drop the ancient barbaric behaviors of god (man).

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