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Posted: 07 November 2005 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I've read Sam Harris' book and was impressed; however, I find it very difficult to even mention this book to most people I know because they would think I'm losing it————most are Christians, although many probably don't take their religion that seriously.  It just seems that average people go through life not really thinking about big issues like this; they just kind of accept the way things are.

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Posted: 07 November 2005 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Does your name refer to the ill-fated Expos of Montreal, or is it short for expository writing, or do you seek to expose the unreasoned bable that comes from most fundies?  Don’t worry about offending Christians, they don’t lose sleep when they offend you.  Spread the word: REASON!  Incidentally, I gave the book to my aunt, who is a Presbyterian minister, a few months ago.  I don’t expect many fireworks from her.  She’s a liberal and doesn’t take most of the bible as literal.

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Posted: 08 November 2005 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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My Expos title does indeed refer to the Montreal Expos.  I was a longtime fan, but due to the financial realities of the game, they were forced to leave Montreal.  Now I concentrate on following the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame——-I’m assuming you’re a fan of the Huskies of Washington——the Irish beat up your team this year, ah too bad! 

In reference to Sam’s book, I was golfing this summer with a friend who said he read Sam’s book——-I was so surprised to hear that.  We both loved it.  I found a colleague at work who’s interested in reading it, but because we teach at a Catholic school, we have to keep it secret.  Catholic schools in Ontario are publicly funded and are almost exactly like public schools;  we have to teach religion, but many teachers here are quite secular.  It’s getting to the point now where I laugh at most organized religions, but I do find that I am in a minority, despite the fact that most Canadians do not attend Church anymore.  As to myself, a non-practising Catholic, I’m just not sure who God is or whether there is one.  I just don’t know, yet I do feel spiritual when I’m watching the birds, walking in the woods, or marveling at the universe and its incredible size.

I do agree with Sam that we have to keep religion out of politics and start making people think about the damage that organized religion has done to society over the years.  But we also have to acknowledge the good things religion does (e.g. assisting the poor, preaching against war, etc.).  It should be ok for an atheist to run for public office in the U.S.  In Canada, thankfully, religion is not an issue in politics.

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Posted: 08 November 2005 05:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Yes, the UW is my alma mater, and yes, the Huskies do stink.  They have quite a hole to dig themselves out of.  Sorry about the Expos.  Will you follow them as the Nationals, become a Blue Jay fan or just drop baseball all together?  At least the NHL is playing again!

The problem for me, concerning organized religions, is the arrogance of their dogmas.  When you try to create objective history out of mythology, you are going down a road of no return.  You have now placed yourself as God’s gatekeeper, and all others are to buy into your rules or they are kept out.  The arrogance comes when the rules are claimed to have come directly from God.  What’s interesting is that a lot of people who are religious don’t view it as such.  They have chosen their religion as a pathway to God that suits them, but they don’t claim to have all the answers.  This has to be so, or we would be killing each other in far greater numbers over who’s right about God.  As silly as the religious right is here in America, they are still a small minority.  and every time one of them opens his mouth, he steps on his own dick.

It’s funny and sad how people cling to ancient writings as though they were unchangeable and uncontradictory.  All we have to do is look at the Israeli-Palistinian problem to see how this stuff still plays out.  God has somehow become a supernatural real estate broker, and the two parties are arguing over the contract.

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Posted: 08 November 2005 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I’ve given up on baseball these days, but have a soft spot for the Red Sox.  Can’t seem to get into the Nationals.

Your post about organized religions and their dogma is so right.  I can’t take their pronouncements seriously, you know, about denying communion to politicians who don’t support their doctrine. I just don’t care what the hell they think.

And if only the regular churchgoers had any idea about the origins of Christianity and how similar they are to myths of other cultures.  I think many of them are content to stick with their religion, but how can they go through life that way.  Check out this website if you have time:  (b)http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/m_m_mangasarian/truth_about_jesus.html (/b)

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Posted: 02 December 2005 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I am interested in learning about the author’s opinon (and other readers) about the Bahai faith. It seems that the tenets of these teachings are much more tolerant and actually do promote progress. I am not much of a scholar of Bahai, but it seems to the observer, that they may be on the right track.

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Posted: 02 December 2005 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“Susan Rubin”]I am interested in learning about the author’s opinon (and other readers) about the Bahai faith. It seems that the tenets of these teachings are much more tolerant and actually do promote progress. I am not much of a scholar of Bahai, but it seems to the observer, that they may be on the right track.

In many respects, the Bahai seem to be less onerous than other religions, but, on closer inspection, I believe them to suffer from the same fundamental flaws.

Ultimately, the Bahai still believe in revealed knowledge, which, as has been discussed at great lengths in these forums, is fundamentally irrational.

A few of the major problems that currently exist with the Bahai:

1. The Bahai do not tolerate dissent.  Bahai are required to seek permission of the council before publishing works on the Bahai faith.  Bahai who go against the Bahai teachings are considered “Covenant-Breakers” and are to be shunned by other Bahai.

2. The Bahai do not allow women to serve in some positions of authority.

3. The Bahai enforce strict prohibitions on extramarital sex, and consider homosexual sex to be strictly forbidden.

4. The Bahai feel that marriage should only be entered into after recieving the permission of all living parents.

5. The Bahai prohibit all drugs and alcohol, except by prescription of a licensed doctor.

My problem isn’t with these stances, per se (although I disagree with all of them), but rather with why the Bahai believe them.  The Bahai feel that they have a prophet who has expanded on the work of others (Jesus, Mohammed, etc.) who came before.  The Bahai also explicity believe that there will be more prophets in the future, who will bring new revelations.  This sort of thing leaves them open to all sorts of potential craziness.

It is my opinion, no doubt shared by many, although I can only speak for myself, that good intentions for a better world simply do not “cut it” as the kids today would say.  Incorrect beliefs, and flawed reasoning lead to mistakes.  The values and the methodology need to be as correct as possible.

-Matt

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Posted: 30 December 2005 05:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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4. The Bahai feel that marriage should only be entered into after recieving the permission of all living parents.

At least they don’t insist on receiving permission from deceased parents!

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