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Mia: “Have you even read the Bible?”
Posted: 15 March 2007 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 256 ]  
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Anyone else noticed that what the Bible meant to say - according to people like Mr Burleson and others - is a lot nicer than what the Bible actually says?

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Posted: 15 March 2007 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 257 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”][quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“burt”]Mia, the idea is to relate to the person, not to the category that you project onto him/her.  Then the interaction becomes productive.  Use your sense of humor, the certain sign of a fanatic is no sense of humor.

Burt, Bruce has transformed himself into a category. The category is “just leave me to believe in peace”. But he shows up here to mix it up with us anyway. Something is not right. I and others are calling into question the notion of the need for mercy in this case. I have given a lot of Christian apologists the back of my hand verbally, here and abroad, but I have never seen anyone who asked for the whip quite in the way that Bruce is doing it. I’ll oblige him, but I won’t do any scat scene with him. Everyone has his limits.

 

For you he has become a category, hence non-human.  For me I’ll still consider him as human, with his own particular baggage.  I’ll wait and see what develops, wearing my teflon raincoat.

Be sure to keep plenty of penicillin handy, in case you decide to do the Brigadier Pudding thing from Gravity’s Rainbow.

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Posted: 15 March 2007 08:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 258 ]  
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Bruce,


When I speak of the Christian Utopianism, I don’t just mean political influence. I refer to the entire ideology. It is the utopian vision of “turn the other cheek, love they neighbor”, etc.

It is basically a system of restraint rather than one of empowerment. It is unavoidably flawed because it is based on the premise that we are flawed.

It doesn’t try to make us more human. It tries to remove the very things which make us human.

It is doomed to failure because it has no way to solve problems. It states that our problems are inherent and eternal.

The Commandment says “Thou shalt not kill”, but it fails to ask “Why dost thou kill?”.

You cannot find a solution if you do not think there is a problem.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 259 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”][quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“burt”]Mia, the idea is to relate to the person, not to the category that you project onto him/her.  Then the interaction becomes productive.  Use your sense of humor, the certain sign of a fanatic is no sense of humor.

Burt, Bruce has transformed himself into a category. The category is “just leave me to believe in peace”. But he shows up here to mix it up with us anyway. Something is not right. I and others are calling into question the notion of the need for mercy in this case. I have given a lot of Christian apologists the back of my hand verbally, here and abroad, but I have never seen anyone who asked for the whip quite in the way that Bruce is doing it. I’ll oblige him, but I won’t do any scat scene with him. Everyone has his limits.

 

For you he has become a category, hence non-human.  For me I’ll still consider him as human, with his own particular baggage.  I’ll wait and see what develops, wearing my teflon raincoat.

Is Burt right, Salt Creek?  Have I become non-human?  If so, then it’s a short hop to Auschwitz on a very dirty train.  In Revelation, it’s not the Christians who do the slaughtering - among other nasty things, they get beheaded (hmmm). I can already see myself becoming a test subject with you.  Don’t hold back, Salty. Let your true inner child come out.

There is so much venom and hatred with some of you guys. “Somehow, somewhere, someone must have really kicked you around some.”  I’m sorry.  Maybe that is my purpose here, to be a whipping boy to help you with therapy. Burt, can I borrow that teflon raincoat?

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Posted: 16 March 2007 01:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 260 ]  
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There is so much venom and hatred with some of you guys

Ha!  Thanks for the morning laugh.  Did you buy your kids the rapture video game for christmas, or are you waiting until easter?

Do you also blame the jews for hating the Nazi’s?  93% of the members National Academy of Sciences are atheists, and I have yet to see even one arrested for blowing up a church.

What you are seeing is not anger, it is frustration!  I said in another thread, I could care less what you believe or why right up until what you believe effects me, personally.  When the right wingnuts preach dominion from magachurch pulpits all over the country, you think those of us who see the delusion you operate under shouldn’t get a little upset at the prospect of waking up some morning to a theocracy?

Oh, I know, you don’t personally support any of that, right?  But you do, you do.  Every time what used to be main stream xtianity fails to condemn the Kennedy’s, Falwells, Robertson’t, et al, you support them.

There are real threats posed to the constitution lurking in the congress right now in the form of bills advanced by domionists that would strip the rights of those of us who don’t believe to question the spending of public funds.  And we shouldn’t be upset by that?

The wacky creationists want to dumb-down the teaching of evolution to conform to the insane notion that the earth was created 6,000 years ago, and we shouldn’t do anything about that?

And lastly, your delusion preaches that when your christ returns, those of us who reject this silliness will be cast into a lake of fire, with much gnashing of teeth.  This is love and forgiveness?  No, this is a moronic fantasy, and you believe all this nonsense is true.

It’s not anger, it’s frustration.  We are dealing, on many levels, with a bunch of children who, unfortunately, are running this country right now, if not the world.

Most of Europe is post-christian, and according to most polls this country is headed in the same direction.  It can’t happen fast enough for me, but in the meantime, I will oppose the things I mentioned with every legal means possible.  I will do everything I can to keep your nonsense out of the schools, government and public square.  Fortunately, unless you succeed in changing it, the constitution is on our side.

Not anger, frustration that it is taking so damn long for you to go away, for as James Madison wrote to James Bradford:

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 01:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 261 ]  
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[quote author=“hampsteadpete”] Most of Europe is post-christian, and according to most polls this country is headed in the same direction.  It can’t happen fast enough for me, but in the meantime, I will oppose the things I mentioned with every legal means possible.  I will do everything I can to keep your nonsense out of the schools, government and public square.  Fortunately, unless you succeed in changing it, the constitution is on our side.

Not anger, frustration that it is taking so damn long for you to go away, for as James Madison wrote to James Bradford:

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.

As Europe ceases to be Christian, it becomes more Muslim. Atheists don’t seem to have the evangelical zeal that Muslims do, so if you take away Christianity, what you are left with is a battlefield with no Charles Martel to stop the Moors at Tours.  The same may happen in America, although geography helps us a little.  If your dream is fulfilled and we go away, you may find yourself wishing for the good ol’ Christian dominionist days. If nothing else, you should appreciate Christians for holding the line against Islam.  Talk about “religious bondage.”

A better strategy would be to work together with Christians, to find common ground.  I’ll vote for you atheists for office, as long as we can forge an agreement that allows us to continue practicing our faith - not in the political arena, but in simply doing what Jesus told us to do.  If you are in power, can you do that?  Or will you be so weak-willed as to allow Sharia law to become the rule?  I want freedom, and I am willing to give up political power to maintain it.  The true threat is Islam.  Will you be the next Charles Martel?  You can be Caesar and keep the barbarians out physically, while we roam about in your empire practicing our non-violent faith. Deal?

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Posted: 16 March 2007 01:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 262 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“Bruce Burleson”]I’m not going to be doing any slaughtering.  You’ve made your choice, and I respect it.

Nope, you won’t. You’ll let aaeoni handle it for you. Gee, thanks a bunch.

You fail to understand the significance of my discussion with aaeoni on the other post.  I proposed that we allow atheists to have the civil government, and we just practice our faith.  Aaeoni said “amen.” (That’s how Christians vote).  We’re turning it over to you, Salty.  What’s your agenda? Hail to the Chief! Hail Caesar! Just don’t make me bow down to you.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 02:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 263 ]  
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A better strategy would be to work together with Christians, to find common ground. I’ll vote for you atheists for office, as long as we can forge an agreement that allows us to continue practicing our faith - not in the political arena, but in simply doing what Jesus told us to do. If you are in power, can you do that? Or will you be so weak-willed as to allow Sharia law to become the rule? I want freedom, and I am willing to give up political power to maintain it. The true threat is Islam. Will you be the next Charles Martel? You can be Caesar and keep the barbarians out physically, while we roam about in your empire practicing our non-violent faith. Deal?

We already have the agreement you speak of. James Madison put it into the first amendment.  “...or the free exercise thereof.”  As for the rest of what you wrote, I have no problem with any of it.  Now, go and convince Pat Dobson, Jerry, and the rest of the boys.

I am curious why you think that Christians have a better chance of avoiding Islam than atheists.  Do you agree with GB1 that we are not Americans?  You must to make that statement.

Do you think that Muslims would look at America differently if it were atheist?  I think not, to them, an infidel is an infidel.  I can understand that, ‘cause to me a theist is a theist, and the differences between you are trivial when compared to your similarities.

Do you have control issues?  grin

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Posted: 16 March 2007 02:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 264 ]  
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[quote author=“hampsteadpete”]We already have the agreement you speak of. James Madison put it into the first amendment.  “...or the free exercise thereof.”  As for the rest of what you wrote, I have no problem with any of it.  Now, go and convince Pat Dobson, Jerry, and the rest of the boys.

I am curious why you think that Christians have a better chance of avoiding Islam than atheists.  Do you agree with GB1 that we are not Americans?  You must to make that statement.

Do you think that Muslims would look at America differently if it were atheist?  I think not, to them, an infidel is an infidel.  I can understand that, ‘cause to me a theist is a theist, and the differences between you are trivial when compared to your similarities.

Do you have control issues?  grin

Of course I agree that you are Americans.  The more I talk to atheists, the more I think that they would make good leaders in the civil realm. I actually think it is biblical.  While I know this will sound ridiculous to you, I believe that you need civil and spiritual forces working together to maintain freedom in this realm. Atheists that are truly committed to freedom of religion, with lots of Christians praying for them and doing their work, might make a good combination, from my perspective.

I think Muslims want to make everyone Muslim by force or by law, or kill them.  There is no truly democratic and free Muslim state.  Turkey is about the best they can do, and that ain’t great.  Freedom in this world has grown out of a Christian womb.  But eventually, all children leave home.

No, I don’t have control issues - I’ve already told you I would vote for you.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 02:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 265 ]  
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I believe that you need civil and spiritual forces working together to maintain freedom in this realm.

I agree, I just don’t think that religious dogma is a requirement for spirituality.  I consider myself a spiritual person, in the sense Dan Dennett meant in “Breaking the Spell:”

…What these people have realized is one of the best secrets of life: let your self go. If you can approach the world’s complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only just scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could heretofore only imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things. Keeping that awestruck vision of the world ready to hand while dealing with the demands of daily living is no easy exercise, but it is definitely worth the effort, for if you can stay centered and engaged, you will find the hard choices easier, the right words will come to you when you need them, and you will indeed be a better person. That, I propose, is the secret to spirituality, and it has nothing at all to do with believing in an immortal soul, or in anything supernatural.

    -Daniel C. Dennett
“Breaking the Spell”

I’m not as eloquent as Canzen and others on this forum, so I am forced to quote folks who can say what I mean better than I do.

[ Edited: 16 March 2007 03:49 AM by ]
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Posted: 16 March 2007 02:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 266 ]  
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[quote author=“hampsteadpete”]I’m not as eloquent as Canzen and others on this forum, so I am forced to quote folks who can say what I mean better than I do.

Thanks for the DD quote, Pete. . . but you are wrong, very wrong about your eloquent contributions. Don’t mistake a lack of “Amens” for lack of appreciation on our parts—you rock! We’re just a little more subtle about dishing out the accolades than the Christians tend to be.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 267 ]  
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[quote author=“Bruce Burleson”]There is so much venom and hatred with some of you guys. “Somehow, somewhere, someone must have really kicked you around some.”  I’m sorry.  Maybe that is my purpose here, to be a whipping boy to help you with therapy. Burt, can I borrow that teflon raincoat?

Hmm. Tom Petty. No thanks, though I like some of his work. How about some Black Eyed Peas, pleading “Where is the love?” Think of what you’re getting from me as “tough love”.

Somebody tosses an unkind word your way and you go into histrionics that the next step is to pack you off to a death camp. I’ve visited the site of Auschwitz, Bruce, and it had an impact on me. I’ve also had five decades of not-uncommon encounters with the worst slimeballs that your religion has to offer in the land of “free exercise thereof”. Five decades of meeting the occasional Christian whose eyes light up when they see a chance to convert a Jew. After all, convert the last one, and we ring in the rapture, no? That was their version of “free exercise”. Saying “no thank you” to creeps like that just doesn’t cut it for me any more. Get it? I didn’t think so. They don’t get it either. Still, all they can see is a Jew.

You’re missing the point. But then, that’s what your special disability has been all along. The whole point of Christianity is to miss the point, all the while smugly assuming and usually declaring in the very next breath that its one point is the answer to all existence. Oh, you say, that’s just for yourself. Wake up Bruce, and smell the aeeoni, and for Christ’s sake, do something about it.

The point is, it doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference what somebody professes to believe. I chastise you because I recognize the tremendous amount of unused cognitive capacity that it took for you to arrive at where you are today. Nevertheless, what matters is what people do, and when the chips are down, you don’t really do squat to stem the excesses of the worst extremists who claim the Christian faith as their own.

I don’t have to live like a refugee.

You go right ahead, proclaiming that you just want to be left alone to follow your faith, but the fact remains that you popped in to visit us. I didn’t wander into your church one Sunday morning to offer a few selected opinions to the congregation, but the thought has now crossed my mind.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 268 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”] You’re missing the point. But then, that’s what your special disability has been all along. The whole point of Christianity is to miss the point, all the while smugly assuming and usually declaring in the very next breath that its one point is the answer to all existence. Oh, you say, that’s just for yourself. Wake up Bruce, and smell the aeeoni, and for Christ’s sake, do something about it.

The point is, it doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference what somebody professes to believe. If I profess to believe that you are a lower form of life than a paramecium, it is because I recognize the tremendous amount of unused cognitive capacity that it took for you to arrive at where you are today. Nevertheless, what matters is what people do, and when the chips are down, you don’t really do squat to stem the excesses of the worst extremists who claim the Christian faith as their own.

I don’t have to live like a refugee.

You go right ahead, proclaiming that you just want to be left alone to follow your faith, but the fact remains that you popped in to visit us. I didn’t wander into your church one Sunday morning to offer a few selected opinions to the congregation, but the thought has now crossed my mind.

Of course, you are welcome to visit the congregation.  I’ll never say “don’t come around here no more.”  I can’t guarantee what the others will say, as they are not used to encountering folks such as yourself. I recommend that they take the plunge. You are right, I did pop in to visit you.  My view of atheists is changing, and the interaction is helping me understand the issues.  When it gets a little heated, true feelings come to the surface, and I see what I need to see, just as you see things about me.

What do you think I ought to do about Christian extremists and dominionists?  I’ve argued with them on the internet to a small degree. I tried to form a group of believers and atheists to work on a common cause, but that died. I’m open for suggestions.

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Posted: 16 March 2007 04:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 269 ]  
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[quote author=“Bruce Burleson”]
I think Muslims want to make everyone Muslim by force or by law, or kill them.  There is no truly democratic and free Muslim state.  Turkey is about the best they can do, and that ain’t great.  Freedom in this world has grown out of a Christian womb.  But eventually, all children leave home.

No, I don’t have control issues - I’ve already told you I would vote for you.

I just can’t resist going with this: If freedom grew from a Christian womb, who was the father.  Must have been a Greek!  Then the kid was brought up by the Masons and launched into adolescence by the American founding fathers.  As for Islam, I wouldn’t worry about it so much Bruce, the only reason it is growing in Europe is because of immigration.  It is a great religion, and actually accepts the idea of the day of judgment presided over by Jesus so from your perspective why worry.  (Note: in general, Islam has been far more tolerant of Jews and Christians than Christians have been of Jews and Muslims.  The current radical fundamentalism we see is a sociological phenomenon: in any culture that feels itself threatened by an economically and militarily more powerful culture the first reaction is a return to fundamentalism.)

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Posted: 16 March 2007 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 270 ]  
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[quote author=“Bruce Burleson”] I’m open for suggestions.

You could start by spending a little less mental and typing energy simply broadcasting the party line, but this may be a long shot for you. Spreading the ‘good news’ is part of your programming, and you automatically proceeded with it just as a paramecium invades its host. It’s part of the paramecium’s nature. It’s in the DNA.

As far as facing down the dominionists: You seem to have no other M.O. than patiently reminding aaeoni that the true purpose of your faith is not to rule as Caesar does. I don’t expect there is much you can do, but I do urge you to recognize clearly what people like her are after.

If I could fully discharge the anger with which my life experience has imbued me in relation to Christians, I would be attempting what you propose, to undertake a real dialog between believers and atheists. I do not feel confident that I can, face to face, calmly tell someone who I think should know better (but for his paramecium programming) that what he offers, and indeed appears to me to live life as, is a kind of infection.

In the end, as long as what you are “about” is “living Christ’s message”, you are speaking a language whose content I take for nonsense a priori, but whose function is infection. A priori, because it has no relation to anything else I know or observe. What dialog is possible then?

I would not engage you so pointedly if I did not see clearly two things about you. One I have already pointed out to you is your attitude toward Judaism which is quite evidently broadly schizoid (though you yourself might have a hard time recognizing this so far). The other is this fear you express that somebody might be trying somehow to deprive you of the exercise of your worshipful practice. You have brought this up so many times now, that it now appears as a fundamental (no pun intended) anxiety in your emotional life. I don’t think you feel that way at home amongst your brethren. You might like to ponder the source of this anxiety a little.

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