alice Wrote the following on 04/13/2005 4:49 PM : What a bunch of sick fucking bastards. Some ask why I don't believe in god. There is your proof.
Greg K. Wrote the following on 04/13/2005 11:34 PM : Your first sentence Alice, doesn't quite begin to describe how angry something like this makes me as well. This is truly evil.
The other two sentences you wrote are interesting. You're suggesting that because evil exists God doesn't exist? You do realize you're questioning His charachter and not His existence with these statements don't you?
Surfer Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 00:37 AM : Looks to me like she's just straight out saying that she doesn't believe in him and not questioning the subject at all.
Nony Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 02:06 AM : Greg, if you are going to question every comment made here in view of god's existence and it's moral or immoral implications, this place is going to become very tedious indeed.
In case you hadn't notice, a lot of evil is done in the name of God.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 06:05 AM : I think Surfer nailed it. That is what I was saying.
I don't question god's existence. I'm very sure of what I think.
sledog Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 08:56 AM : We need stricker punishments. Bring back public hangings. Let them hang there for a few days with a sign underneith telling what they did. I bet you see a big drop in crime.
These kids will get next to nothing.
miollnir Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 09:11 AM : more "Sad" flag to me than "WTF"
We need stricker punishments. Bring back public hangings
yeah right... public hangings...
let's return to dark ages, that's the way to go.
no education, public hanging!
anyway, none of them gonna be on trial. oh well, maybe she was disabled AND mexican. or black.
Greg K. Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 10:03 AM : This post is about a very evil act. In response to reading about this evil act Alice wrote:
"What a bunch of sick fucking bastards. Some ask why I don't believe in god. There is your proof."
From here statement it is clear she is making two assumptions: 1. God is good. 2. God is not all powerful, because evil exists.
These are assumptions about God's charachter - NOT his existence. Let's be clear about this. Now she has every right to clarify herself. And I'm not doubting the strength of your convictions Alice. But let's be clear - people don't make statements about non-beings. Your question was about charachter. I believe you strongly believe there isn't a god. And perhaps if we further discussed the god you believed in, I might not believe in him either! But your argument is a popular objection.
As Alice has elluded to, the problem of evil is often stated as a contradiction to the Christian view of God. If God was really good, He would want to get rid of all evil. If God was really powerful, He would be capable of getting rid of all evil. Since we do have evil, either your God is not good or He is not powerful, either of which sound the death knell for Christianity. My position is that this has nothing to do with either God's goodness or His power. It isn't a problem of power that there is evil or that people commit evil acts such as the one described in this link. And it isn't a problem of goodness, that there is evil. And in fact, goodness requires evil and power doesn't have anything to do with getting rid of it.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 10:24 AM : It's a little more complicated than that.
What this story shows me is that humans are animals, perhaps mopre sophisticated than most, but still animals. It's another example of the stronger using the weaker of the species. It's pure Darwin. I see none of the moral, god-like, thoughtful qualities supposedly instilled in us by "god". I just see another animal acting like an animal. Does what these kids did disgust me? Yes. One can't help but personallize a situation like this (what is that girl was me? what if it was someone I knew), but that doesn't make it "evil". I don't know what "evil" means. At least not in the sense that you describe it.
Surfer Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 10:35 AM : Alice, your last comment, for some reason, reminded me of a small bit of footage of two bands of monkeys making war. It was started by a loner monkey that wanted to get something that was in the area of the other band. The "defenders" (if you will) pinned the loner down after smacking him around a couple times and then, when he couldn't move, one of the "defenders" bent down and took a bite out of his back while he was still alive and immobile. Screams like that, whether human or animal, is something you never forget. I tend to agree with you Alice: if God's existance is to be inferred from our behavior, then he doesn't exist.
Greg K. Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 10:37 AM : I understand evil as the abscence of good Alice.
And I agree with you that the problem of evil is complicated. It does seem to follow that if God created all things, and evil is a thing, then God created evil. This is a valid chain of reasoning. If the premises are true, then the conclusion would be true as well.
The problem with that line of reasoning is that the second premise is not true. Evil is not a thing. The person who probably explained it best was St. Augustine, and then Thomas Aquinas picked up on his solution. Others since them have argued that evil has no ontological status in itself.
The word ontology deals with the nature of existence. When I say that evil has no ontological status, I mean that evil, as a thing in itself, does not exist.
Let me give you an illustration to make this more clear. We talk about things being cold or warm. But coldness is not a thing that exists in itself; it has no ontological status. Coldness is the absence of heat. When we remove heat energy from a system, we say it gets colder.
"Cold" isn't a thing. It's a way of describing the reduction of molecular activity resulting in the sensation of heat. So the more heat we pull out of a system, the colder it gets. Cold itself isn't being "created." Cold is a description of a circumstance in which heat is missing. Heat is energy which can be measured. When you remove heat, the temperature goes down. We call that condition "cold," but there is no cold "stuff" that causes that condition.
Here's another way of looking at it. Did you ever eat a donut hole? I don't mean those little round sugar-coated lumps you buy at the donut shop. I mean the hole itself. Donut holes are actually what's left when the middle is cut out of a donut. There's a space called a hole, a "nothing," the condition that exists when something is taken away. Same thing with a shadow. Shadows don't exist as things in themselves; they're just the absence of light.
Evil is like that. Evil isn't like some black, gooey stuff floating around the universe that gloms onto people and causes them to do awful things. Evil is the absence of good, a privation of good, not a thing in itself.
When God created the universe, he created everything good. He made a universe that was perfectly good. Everything was as it should be. After God was completely done with creating everything, something happened that reduced the good in the world. That loss of good is called evil.
That's why in Genesis 1 we read "it was good" many times. From the record we know that God didn't create evil. But something did happen in which evil-the loss of good-took place, and as a result a lot of other grotesque things came about.
So donut holes don't exist; they're just the absence of donut. Shadows don't exist; they're just the absence of light. And evil doesn't exist; it's just the absence of good.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 10:39 AM : I realise that for some that might be a big leap in logic to take, but for whatever reason, it makes perfect sense to me. But of course I do have other reasons for not believing. One reason isn't enough ... for some folks, an unlimited amount of reason will never be enough.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 10:42 AM : Well, Greg, I disagree. Evil is a human creation. What you might see as evil, I might find benign.
Thanks for letting us know where you stand.
I must ask, do you think all other religions have got it wrong?
Greg K. Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 11:05 AM : Alice, let me make sure I understand your question. If someone is praying to God though they may not believe in Jesus, but they love God and serve God with all of their hearts and my position is that Jesus is God, then how can I say one is wrong and the other is right?"
Very easily. Precisely because reason and rationality demand it. Here's what I mean.
I'm praying to God who is Jesus. They're praying to God who isn't Jesus. God can't be Jesus and not be Jesus at the same time. therefore, we both can't be praying to, loving, or worshipping God. One of us must be wrong, at bare minimum. Maybe we both are. But one thing that we can never say is that we're both right, that we're both worshipping God.
To many, the concept of truth is deep, esoteric and indefinable. Let me give you a definition in one syllables. It's from Aristotle, I think. If you say "It is," and it is, or "It is not," and it is not, then you speak truth. If you say "It is," and it is not, or "It is not," and it is, then you don't speak truth. This is called correspondence, in other words, a thing is true if and only if it actually corresponds to what is really there. Truth, therefore is not determined by opinion or belief. Believing something to be so doesn't make it so. It is not true merely to me. It might be true to me and still entirely false.
By the way, in saying this I am making what I'd consider a critical distinction between fantasy and reality. When someone starts talking about what God is to them, they're talking about their fantasy. I'm not really interested in fantasy; I want to know what truly is.
If believing something makes it true, then there's nothing more to talk about. Beliefs may be equally valid in that they are consciously held by sincere people, but they can't be equally true if they are contrary beliefs.
How do we get past the impasse? How do we determine whose view is the right one? The same way men and women of sound mind and judgment have done for thousands of years: with reason and revelation.
If everyone's opinion was equally true, there would be no point to the art of persuasion. There would be no meaningful discourse to have on issues. We'd all just state our opinions and beliefs, nod, smile, and then go home, none the wiser.
The reason that we discuss, debate, banter about is that some beliefs are better than others, in other words they're more worthy of belief, they are more sensible, they are more sound, more credible, more noble, more moral, more right, more true.
Therefore, those with bad beliefs (that is, unsound beliefs) are not merely different, they are wrong; and we should not be squeamish about that kind of language.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 11:21 AM : Let me ask you this: How is a belief in Christ "more sound, more credible, more noble, more moral, more right, more true" than, let's say a belief in buddha?
I use buddha and christ because I think they have similar messages.
Nony Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 11:27 AM : There is something about Greg K's comments that doesn't ring true, can't put my finger on it, too slick and too well constructed.
Jeffrey Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 11:41 AM : He runs Stand to Reason, a christian website. Most of his comments come straight from things he has written before. The link will get you to the "answering the problems of evil" The first link is the "hole in the donut" comment he used here. Deceptively well written indeed! Go to the home page and check out the Ambassadors Creed. Feel kind of tempted to subscribe to brush up on my argumentative techniques LOL
Greg K. Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 11:55 AM : Alice, my point here is not to persuade you to a particular religious worldview, but to suggest a way for you to test the truth claims of any religion. It's called the test of coherence.
Forgive me for stating something so obvious, but there is a difference between choosing an ice cream flavor and choosing a medicine. When choosing ice cream, you choose what you like. When choosing medicine, you have to choose what heals. Many people think of God like they think of ice cream, not like they think of insulin. In other words, they choose religious views according to their tastes, not according to what is true. I think you can test religious truth, and I'd like to offer one of those methods to you.
A couple of weeks ago, I got in a heated discussion with a friend of mine who is a buddhist. He challenged me about Eastern meditation. He accused me of not being open-minded in that I wouldn't meditate to see if meditation was for me. This reveals something about how he choose his religion. He choose what he liked, rather than what's true. I was considered close-minded because I wouldn't try it to see if I liked it.
In my humble opinion, this is not only a mistaken way of encouraging somebody to engage a particular religious view when done by a Buddhist or by Christians because ultimately it is not going to do the job.
"Try Jesus, you'll like Him." Well, frankly, I've been a Christian for 22 years and there are a lot of times I don't particularly like Jesus. He is not my favorite guy sometimes. He is not the kind of guy you like , in a sense. In other words, the appeal of Christianity is not to preferences but to truth. The real question is this: "Is Jesus God, Lord, and Messiah, or not?" That ought to be the watershed issue regarding Christianity.
The real issue is whether your religious beliefs are true or not, not whether you like them, not whether you try them and find them appealing.
If you are looking for a religion that suits you, a religion that fits what you like, it may be that you are simply manufacturing a religious view of your own invention. This, of course, is the attack that some have used against Christianity--people like Freud and Nietzche and Feuerbach. They have accused Christians of inventing God out of psychological reasons. We create God in the image of our own desires.
Let me say this - If I were inclined to invent a religion and a god, the God of the Bible is the very last God I would ever invent. I rather like the pantheistic god myself, the monistic god of eastern religions. Eastern religions, like buddism are high on individual freedom and low on personal responsibility. I like the notion that god is in all of us and we are god, and we are a law to ourselves. Life would be a lot easier if that were the case.
I certainly would not invent a holy God whose perfect moral character becomes the absolute law of the universe. He is utterly demanding, encroaching on every corner of our life. Who would invent a God like that? That isn't the kind of God that would make me feel more comfortable. That God makes me feel uncomfortable because His demand is so much greater than my ability to deliver. So I don't think Christianity's God is one that is the result of invention.
Here's the method I think any of us should use when examining truth claims of any religion. If I told you that out in my car, in my glove box, I have a square circle, would you want to take a peek? There are no square circles because a square circle is a contradiction in terms.
It's like a person who said, "I met a woman who was ten years younger than her son." Now, no empirical search is necessary for you to reject this claim. By definition, mothers are older than their children. That is why there can't be a woman ten years younger than her son. Even if the most brilliant person alive said this to you, you could immediately reject it.
The point I am making is this. There are some particular things you can judge as false without ever leaving the room because a moment's reflection tells you there is something wrong. Like the mother who wrote to her son in college, "Your sister had a baby this morning. Haven't heard if it's a boy or a girl so I don't know whether you're an aunt or an uncle." I think this is the same lady who wrote, "If you don't get this letter, let me know and I'll send you another one."
There is a problem here. Something is wrong with this and it's wrong internally. These things can't be true and so you reject them outright. Why do you reject them? Because they violate a test we call the test of coherence. In other words, it doesn't make sense; it's contradictory.
You can see how you can use a test like this called coherence to generally disqualify a view as false, and then it can be rejected. If your belief doesn't conform to the laws of logic--if it violates coherence, then your view is false. Period.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 12:07 AM : No religion conforms to the laws of logic. It's bloody supernatural.
But I take the challenge. I find all religions false.
Good luck with the website and lectures. I'm sure there is an audience out there for you.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 3:01 PM : It's simple reasoning. He said that beliefs must conform to laws of logic. Religion has never conformed to any law of logic. Perhaps Greg needs a better yardstick for measuring what is and isn't false.
How can one person skewer another when you're talking about belief? Beliefs aren't truths. Belief in any religion is based upon faith, not cold hard evidence. If I was sitting here denying the existence of cows, well, that could easy be proved wrong.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 3:31 PM : Well, tough toenails, Brad. Go talk to someone more clever.
I got a tremendous sense of judgement from Greg. He is very assured in his beliefs and says he has a method for proving other beliefs wrong. I didn't see it as being a very good method. You don't agree with what I say? That's cool. I think think I can live without your approval.
Juniper Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 3:34 PM : Brad, Greg is indeed asking to examine the evidence, but then he goes on and "explains" his evidence to us in a very "convincing" manner... ending with him saying something on the order of "and that is why I am right and others are wrong" I am not good in philosophy, but he is using deceptive reasoning. I'm convinced that any decent philospher worthy his degree can dismantle his brilliant little constructions. But why bother...
Javier Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 5:13 PM : "Belief in any religion is based upon faith, not cold hard evidence."
I guess we know who uses reason when committing themselves to a worldview and who doesn't.
alice Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 5:33 PM : Go figure, it must be me. The hard hearted woman that I am. To think that I actually guide my life on logic and rational thinking, rather than on fairy tales and myths. I'm truly a loon.
Javier Wrote the following on 04/14/2005 5:48 PM : Alice wrote: "I got a tremendous sense of judgement from Greg."
I disagree. I get a tremendous sense of judgement from BRAD.
Juniper Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 03:53 AM : Hey "Brad" you a pall of Greg K. or something since you so "miraculously" appear to come to his defense? I do use my brain, but why should I bother to use it in a stupid argument with a guy who made it his profession to argue about christian religion an has a whole website full of ready made answers at his disposal?
Mhmm Brad seems you need to think for yourself! As a supposedly non christian person you make a real effort to go out of your way to press our noses on the evidence etc of christianity. May I ask why YOU don't accept it then? If it is so obvious you have to call alice a "friggin' idiot" for supposedly not getting it?
By the way, Greg K. only talks about "how to prove" etc. but he doesn't go on to proof that christianity is right or not. His little wordplay only implies he is proving something. Of course, dear Brad, you fell into his little trap and think he proved something. Shows you are the one not using your brain.
alice Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 08:18 AM : "It's the same method our courts use for convicting someone of a crime you friggin' idiot!"
The same method? This was his method: "You can see how you can use a test like this called coherence to generally disqualify a view as false, and then it can be rejected. If your belief doesn't conform to the laws of logic--if it violates coherence, then your view is false. "
Show me in his statements where he did this. I didn't read this in anything he wrote. I saw a lot of odd example arguments that had nothing to do with religion, such as the square circle etc. He's using distractionary tactics becuase he doesn't really have any soldi evidence that "comform to the laws of logic". Now, I say I don't believe in ANY god, because there is not evidence of god. None. We have "holy" writings of many religions, "relics" and hearsay. This just isn't enough proof. However, for the lack of god idea, we have much evidence that seems to go against what is defined as the nature of god. I see this lack of evidence as evidence of the contrary.
Let me use an analogy. We've all known guys that tell us that they have a great girlfriend. She's beautiful, smart, rich etc. He may even have a photograph to show us. But in the end, no girlfriend. Turns out he was lying, maybe wanted to impress us. This is sorta how I see the god idea. A long time a go, some guy invented a very magical imaginary god. This fellas convinced a lot of people that this god existed. Maybe for a long time no one was clever enough to question the evidence. Nowadays, the cracks are starting to show and the idea is starting to look fairly thin.
Why do I think there isn't a god? Well, human nature and behaviour is part of it. Evolution is another. Then there is something that I can only describe as a gut instinct.
Anyway, I'm sure you'll hate my argument, call me a moron and move on with your day. Enjoy.
alice Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 08:24 AM : Want to correct something in my third paragraph. The last sentance should be stricken from the record .. I have no idea what it means, and I wrote it! I suppose I'm still waking up. Anyway, the rest of it stands.
Nony Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 10:55 AM : Now where did that come from Brad? I haven't seen anybody whipped here.
alice Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 11:13 AM : Brad, gut instinct was the third reason. IF you want to ignore humand behaviour, lack of god evidence and evolutiion .. well, go right ahead.
"Now I have to consider this man's point of view." Why? Why do you have to listen to anyone except what logic and instinct tell you? Isn't a belief in god a very personal decision? Isn't it something you should feel? If you need to search out the answers to this kind of question from a stranger on the internet, well, I think you're a troubled fellow. Were you honestly expecting me to answer the question of god for you? Do you turn over all your important decisions to strangers? If there was a god, do you think you'd find him here on a computer? Obviously you need to be convinced, but I suggest you convince yourself.
alice Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 11:35 AM : For the sake of it, read this page:
This fella has taken the time to write out a brilliant argument. Enjoy.
sky Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 11:59 AM : Debating the existence of God is always a pointless endeavor. If one believes in God, there is nothing to debate. While believers may debate the nature of God, they do so with agreement on the underlying premise of existence. Believers and agnostics may debate the existence of God, but in general, the believer can do no more that state the nature of his faith and allow the agnostic to accept or reject this. There is no point whatsoever for a believer to debate an atheist, since the atheist has aready rejected the believer's premise. There is no physical evidence whatsoever that God exists. The Christian is taught that he does not, nor should he, require proof of God's existence. All he needs is faith; to require proof is considered a sin in Christian dogma. It is that faith that is the unscalable wall for the atheist; they tend to require physical evidence and will never accept any idea on faith alone.
The difficulty that many agnostics have with fundamentalist Christians is that while we desire to seek God in our own way and allow Christians to do so as their faith dictates, the fundamentalists insist on forcing their beliefs on us and demand that we accept their understanding. They wrongly equate agnosticism to atheism; to them, they are one in the same, since neither accepts their viewpont. The evangelical movement has moved beyond evangelism to activism and sets as a goal bringing nonbelievers and non-Christians into the family of the faithful. They see these groups as being in need of spiritual enlightenment. The truth is that true agnostics tend to be very spiritual people, often far more so than the Christian, since they seek a wide range of spiritual ideas and attempt to reconcile this to their reality. Christians simply bank a promise, without ever considering that what they have been taught may in actuality all be an elaborate falsehood. This is the nature of faith, and not necessarily a bad thing, as long as they don't fall into the trap of complacency and fail to grow spiritually.
Golly Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 12:52 AM : Brad and Sky, thought I might help you both out a little. There is a Christ/God! Why do you think there an Easter Bunny? Santa Claus? Tooth Fairy...well, scratch that one. I think the Tooth Fairy was really my Mom. Didn't think Golly knew anything about religion, did you?
Juniper Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 2:19 PM : Hey Brad, first of all I'm not an agnostic or an atheist, second, I'm not going to sit here doing research so you can be entertained. Third, I can't believe you are waiting for us to provide you with a degree of certainty about the existence of a god. Fourth, If you are so desperate for "proof" why don't you go visit Greg's webiste and sign up for his ambassador program. I bet he will be delighted to have you. As you say yourself, he 'seems to suggest an alternative theory of epistimology.' (seems to suggest? that is putting it carefully isn't it) My guess is different cover same bible.
Why did you introduce the resurection and evolution in the game?
Juniper Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 2:35 PM : Oh using insults now... sorry missed the evolution one alice made. No excuse for that. And thank you I'm not thick in the head. No point swapping insults with somebody like you.
Could you point out where alice brings up the resurrection please? Me being thick in the head and all that...
Jeffrey Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 2:35 PM : This thing still going on? unbelievable.
alice Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 2:59 PM : It does go on. But from this point forward without me. I have a hard time dealing with folks that think I'm a moron, or that seem to want to argue just for the sake of arguing.
Golly must be around .. I'm sure I could get a jigglies conversation going :)
Jerry Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:04 PM : Yeah talking about tits seems more your mental level anyhow. Stick to what you know.
alice Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:07 PM : Yeah, it is amazing isn't it? Hard to believe I can even operate a computer, given that I struggle with the most basic of motor skills. It's a good thing I'm married, as a woman like I certainly has no powers of reasoning whatsoever. If it weren't for my husband, I'd surely be drooling in an alley somewhere.
Juniper Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:14 PM : What's the matter Jerry, not enough boobies and porn around for you to keep you busy, so you have to start insulting people randomly? First telling me to stick to the porn links, and now insulting alice in similar vain...
Guess you are a mysogenstic homofobe.
Jerry Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:16 PM : I see you and Juniper took the same english class.
There are plenty of idiots that can click a mouse Alice. Look at Juniper.
Jerry Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:18 PM : I love women. I hate stupidity. You two qualify in the second category.
"mysogenstic"......really? Not even close to the right spelling. Are you sure you're spelling your name right?
alice Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:21 PM : I might not be the smartest woman in the world. I can accept that flaw. But I sleep well at night knowing that I'm not a small man who needs to insult strangers from the privacy of his own computer like a coward. I've said to others and I'll say it to you: I sure am delighted that I don't need your approval.
Jerry Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:26 PM : No insults intended. Just stating my opinion. If my opinion offends you......TOUGH TOENAILS.
Juniper Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:29 PM : Told you I'm a lousy typist (did you have to look it up Jerry?), I'll blame codewolf for not providing us with a spellchecker LOL, for the rest I side with alice. you can rant to yourself for all I care, It takes more than a limp dick to insult me.
Thank the lord your posts are so simple and short Jerry, less chance to make a typo... as if not making typo's are an indication of maleness or IQ or something.
Juniper Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 3:33 PM : Hey sorry you stupid nincompoop, No insult intended, you were right, it was your friend NOT_Jeff who referred me to the porn links... but since you both are so alike in the originality of your comments it's easy to interchange the two of you.
Golly Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 4:17 PM : Fricking meetings. Look like I am missing an active afternoon. Jigglies you say?
alice Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 4:31 PM : Active? No more than any other day round here.
Yes, I said jigglies. But only to inject a bit of humour into an otherwise dreary converasation.
Golly Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 4:39 PM : Ya but we have Brad, Jerry and Greg now. Golly reads, Golly forms an opinion and Golly posts. Maybe the Easter Bunny is just too high level. Okay...here we go!!
Oh dear Golly had some porn E-I-E-I-O.
And with this porn he has some salve E-I-E-I-O.
Quick snap here, firm grasp there, here a grasp there a snap everywhere a grasp , snap.
Oh gosh Golly had some porn, my wrists they hurt me so.
sky Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 4:41 PM : Brad the question of whether or not God exists is not answerable unless God reveals himself. The Christians believe that he has already done so theough the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Again, that is faith-based. All I have to go on is a collection of texts, many of which written by men some years after Jesus' death and which were compiled by a committee with an a priori bias. That is an objective statement because it is proveable. I cannot accept that a loving, merciful, omnipotent and omniscient God would leave so much to chance, nor allow man to destoy his creation in his petty pursuits and disputes. So perhaps the nature of God is very different from what Christians believe. Maybe he's neither omnipotent or omniscient. There's no way for me to know, so these are subjective ponderings.
Obviously, debating politics is not a pointless endeavor. We have a long history, which when analyzed, will show cause and effect. We can carefully examine the results of philosophies put into action. We can debate whether stay the course nature of real conservatism is superior to the progressive ideas of liberalism. My experience has been that, when two knowledgable people have this debate and approach it with the spirit of true examination (as opposed to entrenched dogma), they will invariably come away agreeing that both approaches have value for our political system.
Brad, I can tell from what you write that you are open to the possibility of accepting the Christian faith. Am I correct? If so, my recommendation would be to get to know an Episcopal priest. They are very well educated in theology, psychology and history. Their ministry is to help people find God in their own personal and private way (very much like Unitarianism). Catholic priests, too, are very well educated, but constricted by Church dogma. Still, a monk can be a wealth of information and monasticism is all about seeking spiritual truth. If you really want to be wowed by religious scholarship, a rabbi is a great choice.
sky Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 4:51 PM : Golly, here's your Friday joke....
And older man likes sitting on his front porch in the morning and evening. One morning a boy comes walking by dragging a piece of chicken wire. "What you have there, boy?" the man calls. "Chicken wire", the boy answers, "I'm off to catch me some chickens." The old man just chuckles and shakes his head. yet to his amazement, that evening the boy comes walking by again with six chickens caught in the wire. "See," the boy says, "It works!"
The next morning the boy comes buy throwing a roll of duct tape in the air. "What you got today, son?" "Some duck tape. Today I'm going after ducks!" Again, the old man chuckles and shakes his head. Yet, that evening, the boy comes back by dragging a length of duct tape in which several ducks have been snared.
The next day, the man sees the boy coming carrying what appears to be a bundle os sticks. "Yhat you got this morning, son?" "Pussy willow" says the boy with wink and a lurid grin. The man jumps up and says "Hold on there a minute, son, and let me fetch my hat. I'm gonna come with you for this!"
Golly Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 4:54 PM : Wait, I got another one, this could be a Codewolf classic.
Please sing to the tune of "Good Night Sweetheart, Goodnight."
Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla (get it?)
Nony gives posts that I love so
Bla, bla, bla , bla, bla
They have jiggles and Camel Toes.
I hate to say this but I think Jun is gay
Good night, gerbil and flashlight.
Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla...
Golly Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 4:57 PM : Sky :)
Golly Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 6:01 PM : Are you shitting me? Hey gang, this is my best stuff here.
codewolf Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 8:06 PM : I enjoyed it!
codewolf Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 8:06 PM : but I don't know the tune "Good Night Sweetheart, Goodnight."
Golly Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 10:43 PM : Okay CW, it's a 50's song. A very popular one. It goes like this "Goodnight sweetheart well it's time to go!' "Bla-bla-bla-bla-bla (the bass.) I believe the group "Spaniels" performed this. Try and find this song.
Golly Wrote the following on 04/15/2005 10:44 PM : Found it!!!
Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight
Originally performed by the 5 piece doo-wop group The Spaniels
Written in 1954, it was a #5 R&B hit
Written by Calvin Carter and James (Pookie) Hudson (lead singer for The Spaniels)
Re-released by The McGuire Sisters
Popularized in the 1970s by the group Sha Na Na, who used it to close their TV show each week.