I would be remiss if I did not pass this along.

Link

Those of you who come around here will recognize several of the points made in the link from this forum.

Enjoy.

DF
Original Post
Tig,

I think it's meant to be a denigrating term used by idiots Creationists to demean sane people who understand science.

It's typical of the low simmer that passes for mentality in that crowd, since "neo" means "new", and for these 150 years, science has steadily built upon and improved the system Darwin discovered. It's not like Darwin was forgotten and rediscovered.

I would suggest you go to the Discovery Institute's website and ask them, but they'd rather lie when the truth is easier.

So, in truth, I don't know what "neo-Darwinist" means. Nor will I worry about it much, considering the source.

Regards,

DF
I think I wouldn't have a problem with schools teaching any and all religious Creationism as long as it is in Lit class.

As a substitute for the Sciences? Not in a million....
I loved the part where the Curmudgeon posited that every tyranny held that it was original and failed to see those same Millenia old ideas have failed time and time again.

One reckons we be a right curious and autonomous yet gregarious species of ape, we Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

We must note that the Culmination of the Continental Enlightenment, Kant, proclaimed the motto of the Enlightenment was "Aude sapere!" -- Dare to know!
Ah, yes,

Since the Enlightenment has played havoc with France and much of Europe for hundreds of years -- you believe it is time to drag America into your chosen primordial swamp of ideas.

Good luck! Somehow, I do believe God has different ideas. But, you just keep swimming in your swamp -- and who knows what might happen.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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"Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrive!"


Happy Bastille Day, Bill! Niko Sarkozy loves you, and Mme. Royal is praying for you, even though you are already blessed.
quote:
Originally posted by DeepFat:
I would be remiss if I did not pass this along.

Link

Those of you who come around here will recognize several of the points made in the link from this forum.


This quote form the article struck a chord with me: "The Discoveroids are literally challenging the scientific method itself. Their explicit goal is to introduce a supernatural worldview into science — which means nothing less than the death of science.

It sums up the entire mission of the Discovery Institute and the fundamentalist movement represented here by our own Bloviator.
Right you are, Cookey.

That is why we fight. It's important, to the point of survival.

Next time someone asks us why we care, we can point them here.


DF
quote:
Originally posted by DeepFat:
Right you are, Cookey. That is why we fight. It's important, to the point of survival. Next time someone asks us why we care, we can point them here. DF

Hi Deep,

Then, in your mind, you have already lost -- for you believe that this very brief, very short life is all there is -- and then, oblivion. Where is the survival in that?

We Christian believers know we will live eternally; therefore, this brief life is only the staging area for a life of eternal bliss.

You atheists keep your heads in the sand, denying your eternal existence -- and one day you will wake up where you do not want to be -- eternally.

By the way, Skeptik, thank you for the compliment.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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Originally posted by Bill Gray:
quote:
You atheists keep your heads in the sand, denying your eternal existence -- and one day you will wake up where you do not want to be -- eternally.


Once again, Bill, you are really being very hard on your God. He couldn't possibly be as cruel, vindictive and irrational as you portray him with this statement. I really doubt that your loving, all-merciful, forgiving God will be instrumental in my waking up where I do not want to be--for nothing more serious than questioning his existence.

I really don't believe he cares if I give a hoot about him or his son. He has never given a good reason to believe in him or accept his son as lord and savior. Apparently, believing in him is not important enough to explain why I should. It must just be an ego thing. If he gave me a good reason to believe, I just might believe. "He doesn't have to justify anything to you." Thanks. In that case I certainly will not be worshipping a cruel dictator in the mold of Hitler or Stalin.

Given that he is omnipotent, he can easily will for me to believe, if he really cares. Does he just enjoy seeing me suffer for all eternity? I guess that is similar to his barbaric slaughter of his only begotten son. He easily could have taken care of humankind’s sins without this savage act.

You are about to tell me that it is MY choice to go to a place I won't like. Once again, God must not be too serious about my fate. He will not even take the trouble himself to see that I enter Hell. And Bill, in spite of what you say, I will not choose to go; and I will fight extradition to Hell with all my power--which from all indications is greater than God's. Somebody with considerable strength will have to force me there. Will God send his flunkies after me. We continually see that they are no match for me. For example, we will have proof the minute you respond to this.
quote:
Originally posted by davidnmiles:
If he gave me a good reason to believe, I just might believe.


David,

I'm afraid you're going to have to force yourself to believe because even though God knows that evidence will make a believer out of both of us, He still witholds the evidence (or hides it in a 3 thousand year old book of myths and parables.

Stubborn old feller, ain't he?

So, believe or else, friend. Or else.
Not that there was any doubt, but our Resident Lunatic has shown his true colors. He congratulated Cookey for recognizing the goal of fundamentalist religion of eliminating science. And he did it on a computer. This is spooky.

The Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason, are responsible for a few minor things. Like democracy, science, human rights, and capitalism. I guess the fundies have problems with all those things.

And you wonder why I fight.

DF
I am continually admonished for writing letters to the editor exposing Christian intolerance, distortions of science and history, biblical absurdities and cruelties, etc.
By exercising my right to respond to letters that I find offensive (with good reason) I am declared a “hater of God and Christians.”

These people declare that since I don’t believe in religion’s tenets and deities, I have no business worrying about them.

If we who do critique religion and especially Christianity sat back and were silent, we would soon be living in the mindless Dark Ages controlled by superstition and theocratic dogma. Science and real education would be non-existent as they were in the past absolute Christian theocracy.

I have almost never initiated a condemnation of Christianity; but when I see statements such as the following, I respond.

"Atheists stay in bed all morning and stay up late at night reading a salacious bestseller."

"As for the secularists, they should simply be ignored."

"To allow atheists in public offices is a mighty dangerous thing."

"Without God we cannot know right from wrong, as God is the ultimate source of right and wrong. We would do anything that suits our fancy."

"Since they removed the Ten Commandments I guess criminal activity is OK."

"The Founding Fathers, relying on divine guidance, created this country as a Christian nation."

"I believe the entire Bill of Rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it."

"Our country was founded for the glory of God as stated in the Mayflower Compact signed in 1620."

"Many scientists dispute evolution."

"There is a wealth of scientific evidence to support creationism, as well as evidence discrediting the theory of evolution."

"I'll pray for you so that you will open your heart to God and accept Christ as your lord and savior."

"If life doesn't begin at conception, at what moment does it begin?"

"Maybe if the Bible was brought back into our schools, there would be no need for sex education, drug programs and paid police walking the halls of our schools."
I don't wonder. From this perspective, the whole fundamentalist thing looks a bit surreal. And we're both looking at heading back to the southeast someday, Deep?
Zip,

California has become unlivable, and I require a warm climate.

Not only that, but I have work to do there. There are souls to save, don't you know.


DF
quote:
Originally posted by DeepFat:
He congratulated Cookey for recognizing the goal of fundamentalist religion of eliminating science. And he did it on a computer. This is spooky.


And blindingly ironical!
Hi Deep,

This is your Atheist First Team? They have been around how long -- and only have 197 members. What's wrong? Not enough atheists to put together a strong coalition?

By the way, is this a lesson in defining an oxymoron? I have seen "military intelligence" and "slow speed" -- but, now you are introducing "atheist morality." Good try.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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If you think that morality is not a function of humanity, and you get yours from that horrible, nasty book, then I pity you.

I really do.

You would be about 700 years behind the times if that is your belief.


DF
quote:
Originally posted by DeepFat:
If you think that morality is not a function of humanity, and you get yours from that horrible, nasty book, then I pity you. I really do. You would be about 700 years behind the times if that is your belief. DF

Hi all,

Just to be sure we are all on the same page -- that "horrible, nasty book" Deep refers to is none other than the Christian Bible.

Yep, Deep, you are on the fast track to being on the same level as our Atheist/Secularist Friend who calls God gross names. But, somehow, I cannot see that as a major goal for anyone in this life. But, hey, you get to pick your own team mates.

Good luck!

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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quote:
that "horrible, nasty book" Deep refers to is none other than the Christian Bible.

that "horrible, nasty book" Deep refers to is none other than the Christian Bible.

Deep is being too nice.
Morality is a function of the culture in which you live. David, Deep, Bill: You all have to realize that our culture is rooted, at least partially, in biblical example. Some of them are acceptable to everyone (don't murder people for fun); some not so much (it's okay to hate homosexuals). But morality is the sum total of the rules you need to abide by to live in this culture. Debate rather than bloodshed. Sticking your finger at someone who cuts you off in traffic can be dangerous. Respect other's privacy. Fight fairly in an environment such as this.

So, Bill, at least IMHO, saying the bible is the sole source of morality is altogether wrong. Our culture is made of many elements. Many, like my ancestors, lived and died without ever knowing that Jesus existed. Even so, our culture is pervasive with Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Judaism, Wiccan, Atheist, and probably even Mithraist elements. David, Deep, et. al.: You need to accept that religiosity is part and parcel with American culture. It's not an "official" part of our government, but as long as you have people who are religious in postions of power, you will always find a religious influence. Hopefully, the best type. Religion is in our national DNA.

I would daresay all of you would find a religious person in the woodpile of people who contributed to who you are today, even in a small fashion. Again, perhaps good and perhaps bad. And even Bill probably was influenced by an atheist in some fashion. Personally, I was influenced by Jesuits who taught me to ask hard questions of myself.
Quite right, zip. That's what I am saying.

Morality is a complicated mixture of common sense, empathy, and cultural expectations.

It is not, and must not be, taken as "revealed" and rigidly interpreted and enforced as times change. To do so retards all aspects of human progress.

DF
quote:
You need to accept that religiosity is part and parcel with American culture.


Zip, I acknowledge that religiosity is ingrained in American culture, but I do not approve of much of the religion that influences America, and I want it changed.

Religion is the one major influence upon the human condition that has not changed--and religion prides itself on its steadfast refusal to change. Christian conservatives scorn moral relativism. In their eyes, what was "God's word" in Moses' time is right today.

Religious dogma does not change from within. It changes only when forced by outside influences (maybe the influence of atheist letter writers). If science and a judicious legal system had not usurped ecclesiastical authority, we would still be on a circular domed plain at the center of the universe with heretics burning at the stake and slaves working the fields.

The intransigence of certain of America’s religions has served to perpetuate intolerance--intolerance of gender, sexual preference, other religions’ beliefs, ideas and practices and before civil rights, race.

If religion would only make a concerted effort to improve itself, we might eliminate the ignorance, superstition, bigotry and violence that adversely affects American life. Instead, religious Americans (primarily evangelicals) spin tales, point fingers of condemnation, pass the plate and rarely do anything to improve the quality of life.
I believe that religion, like just about everything else, is evolving. I agree with you that if it does not evolve, it will eventually become outmoded. As society changes, so must religion. That's shown simply: The church stopped burning witches a few hundred years ago. No more "white only" churches. I'm certain there are others...

In particular, how religion applies to your life will be redefined. It's a fact that our society and culture have changed. How religion relates to this fundamental change will define how it will either thrive or perish. There is room in society's drivers' seat for two drivers...science and rationality; and religion and philosophy. If they cooperate the ride will be smoother.
Signs of change from WITHIN:

In Denmark, the Rev. Thorkild Grosboel, a Lutheran minister, declared from his pulpit, "There is no heavenly God, there is no eternal life, there is no resurrection." Of course, it is a rare instance for a clergyman to place the onus for world order squarely on human shoulders-- with reason rather than the promise of a heavenly reward guiding behavior. Will he keep his job? Considering that only five percent of Denmark's law abiding and ethical population regularly attend church, an existentialistic rather than dogmatic message from the pulpit may be a necessity, or the Danish pulpit will cease to exist in progressive Denmark.

Even in this country where conservatism has become a dominate religious influence, there may be a glimmer of change on the ecclesiastical horizon. The retired Episcopal Bishop of Newark in New Jersey, John Shelby Spong authored a book in 1998, "Why Christianity Must Change or Die," calling for a creed based on critical thought.

Spong opposes using heaven and hell as control mechanism and advocates that churches stop using guilt to influence behavior. He maintains that biologically, Christ’s divinity is impossible. He calls the notion that Christ was sacrificed on a cross for our sins “barbaric.” Unlike his conservative counterparts, he is a strong proponent of feminism and gay rights.
quote:
Originally posted by zippadeedoodah:
Personally, I was influenced by Jesuits ...


That explains so much!
We do tend to be much more intellectually honest than some of our ecclesiastical brethren. Or maybe we just have sticks up our asses. Who knows? I'd check, as self-examination is crucial...
Hi Zip,

You tell us, "Morality is a function of the culture in which you live. David, Deep, Bill: You all have to realize that our culture is rooted, at least partially, in biblical example. Some of them are acceptable to everyone (don't murder people for fun); some not so much (it's okay to hate homosexuals)."

I do not believe you will find anywhere in the Bible that we should "hate homosexuals." Yes, the Bible does say that God hates the homosexual lifestyle -- but, it tells us that He loves the homosexual; just as He loves all of His creation -- and that we, too, should love all people. Love the people; not the lifestyle.

Then, you say, "So, Bill, at least IMHO, saying the bible is the sole source of morality is altogether wrong. Our culture is made of many elements. Many, like my ancestors, lived and died without ever knowing that Jesus existed. Even so, our culture is pervasive with Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Judaism, Wiccan, Atheist, and probably even Mithraist elements."

Does anyone else notice the very obvious omission of Protestant Christianity from Zip's list? Zip, my Friend, aren't you being just a wee bit biased? I would say that Christianity, all denominations, per se, has been the greatest contributor toward the morality of our American society.

This is exemplified by the fact that our founding fathers chose to fund the purchase of 20,000 Bible from Europe for distribution throughout the thirteen colonies -- for all the people, even those with little or no Christian faith. Why? Because of the Christian morality defined and taught in this book. They knew that the American people and the American society would be much better if they followed the teachings and morality of this book, the Bible.

And, I give Judaism credit also for our morality. However, I will have to withhold praise for morality taught by the world religions you list.

Regarding people who live and die without knowing of Jesus; God has made provision for them. If you will read Romans 2:14-16, you will find that we are told, ". . .the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them."

In the book "Eternity In Their Hearts," the author, Don Richardson, writes of tribes and peoples on islands and in countries, in many geographical locations, with one belief in common: that a light-skinned stranger would appear among them, with "the book" that tells the secrets of the supreme being.

In Burma, He was called by the tribal people who had never heard of God nor Jesus, Y'Wa. This has a familiar sound to it, doesn't it? In other geographical locations, in other countries, He had a different name -- but, always it was the white brother who was going to come, bringing the book. Yes, God does indeed write into people's hearts His message. And, our lives, our morality, our society -- depends upon how we respond to what He has written -- both in our hearts and in His Book.

Next, you tell us, "David, Deep, et. al.: You need to accept that religiosity is part and parcel with American culture. It's not an "official" part of our government, but as long as you have people who are religious in positions of power, you will always find a religious influence. Hopefully, the best type. Religion is in our national DNA."

By golly, Zip, you and I are on the same page! All I can add to this comment is: Amen! Amen! Amen!

Finally, you tell us, "I would daresay all of you would find a religious person in the woodpile of people who contributed to who you are today, even in a small fashion. Again, perhaps good and perhaps bad. And even Bill probably was influenced by an atheist in some fashion. Personally, I was influenced by Jesuits who taught me to ask hard questions of myself."

I will agree with you that we are all influenced greatly, especially when we are young, by the folks around us. And, this is why Christian believers want to see our children taught Christian ethics and morality; not secular, evolutionist rhetoric and false religions.

Although most of my life I have known of atheists -- all flavors, including secularists, humanists, etc.; I cannot recall ever meeting one personally, in person or in writing, until I joined the TimesDaily Forum.

I have spent a large part of my life around non-believers. But, these folks were, for the most part, just like me -- running from a God I knew existed, but did not want to acknowledge, because I did not want Him to be in charge of my life. I wanted Bill Gray to be in charge of my life -- and for fifty years that was the case. And, I can show you the failures and scars of that "Bill In Charge" period of my life -- reflected in me and in people associated with me.

Yes, I lived among and ran with many other lost souls until I was fifty; but, none that I knew to be actually atheists. Even though my friends were pagans and sinners like me; they, like me, were smart enough to know that God is real. We just did not want Him to be in charge. And, Zip, I truly believe that a great number of declared atheists believe the same -- but, just will not admit it. It is much easier to deny God when you can stick your head in the sand and not see Him. Maybe we should rename the atheist religion and call it the "ostrich religion." Just a thought.

Zip, you have made some good points -- and, I believe we should all give them more consideration.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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quote:
Does anyone else notice the very obvious omission of Protestant Christianity from Zip's list? Zip, my Friend, aren't you being just a wee bit biased? I would say that Christianity, all denominations, per se, has been the greatest contributor toward the morality of our American society.

Not an intentional omission. My intent was to list the non-protestant influences that supplemented protestant christianity. At least, while I was framing my thought it was.

No, the bible does not say "hate homosexuals". I'll beg that off as a verbal shortcut. It's more of a "homosexuality is an abomination before God" and "bring [homosexuals] and stone them" sort of thing.

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