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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 02-16-17, 12:50 PM   #101
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Originally Posted by GoVegan View Post
Also, I'm sure part of the objection to your bible quote semi-signature is that they're frequently used for petty insults, like the one above.
Using the bible to insult people is the True Christian (TM) way.
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Old 02-16-17, 12:54 PM   #102
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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In that case, I'm not sure why, rather than offering your own answers, you took the time to write four paragraphs discussing another forum member when you could be offering a rebuttal.
To have a worthwhile discussion you have to discuss topics using actual facts. When one side sounds more like "what I feel about the universe is obviously real, so you're wrong" it's not a discussion. Most people at least attempt to do this. All of us fail a little.

I mostly gave up when you had the absurd argument that the Christians in prisons weren't True Christians (TM) but actually atheists. Or something like that. I mean, we have actual statistics on it, but instead it was this totally illogical circular argument that because they were in jail obviously they weren't actual Christians.

But when one of the sides doesn't believe in the basic facts of reality, it's hard to have a discussion that has any point.

It's like Trump and his illegal voters or his huge inauguration crowd. No amount of facts will dissuade him from his opinion.

For example, folks can discuss economics or healthcare using facts and figures and moral arguments, but if one of the sides insists vaccines cause autism and big pharma is conspiring to hide this from people, you're back to non-fact-land.
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Old 02-16-17, 01:01 PM   #103
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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I mostly gave up when you had the absurd argument that the Christians in prisons weren't True Christians (TM) but actually atheists. Or something like that.
That one is just as funny as "Isis's god is not relevant because it doesn't exist."
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Old 02-16-17, 02:07 PM   #104
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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In your other responses, you're mixing up legality and morality. I think you're also confusing atheism and nihilism.

I think people become frustrated with arguing with you because your questions make people think that you don't want to understand them, more that you're looking for a "gotcha". You keep ascribing nihilistic views to people, completely ignoring their words.

Also, I'm sure part of the objection to your bible quote semi-signature is that they're frequently used for petty insults, like the one above.
First, no, I'm not confusing the two. I've not heard atheists here saying that they reject the idea of a personal God but accept the idea of some cosmic force or something that gives some sort of undefined purpose. If that's the case, I'm all ears. Otherwise, the end result sounds fatalistic in not nihilistic. It may be more optimistic than pessimistic, but it still seems to be just grafting a reason for existing onto an existence. I can accept that some people say that their purpose is "to enjoy life" or "to make life better for others," etc., but that doesn't seem to fit any ultimate purpose. If everything never had existed or ceased to exist, what would it have mattered?

Also, you're ascribing motivations that aren't there. Remember that the Bible was written for believers and not written to insult those who reject it. I often start to post a quote & then change it to something that can't be construed as aimed at anyone particular just for that reason. If the intention were to insult, there are plenty of imprecatory verses that could be used for all occasions. I tired of the insult game a long time ago...as the verse says, "I gave up childish things." If that insults those who thrive on insults, so be it.

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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey View Post
I mostly gave up when you had the absurd argument that the Christians in prisons weren't True Christians (TM) but actually atheists. Or something like that. I mean, we have actual statistics on it, but instead it was this totally illogical circular argument that because they were in jail obviously they weren't actual Christians.
I'd like to discuss that further since you have misrepresented what I said, and I'll gladly take that up when I get back from visiting an elderly shut-in and get back from Good News Club. I'll leave you with this...the idea that every person who claims to be a Christian or even thinks that he/she is a Christian actually is a question is the idea that is totally absurd.

We can discuss what God, Jesus, the prophets, the apostles, the church fathers, and other authoritative voices had to say about True Christians. That is one of the most well-documented, absolutely irrefutable doctrines in all of Christianity.

And one doesn't need to have a smattering of theology to understand that since it applies in the secular world as well...as example after example given in the past has proven, with no one offering any refutation (for good reason...because there is none).

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23
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Old 02-16-17, 02:39 PM   #105
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

Well, Monkey, as it turns out, I have a few extra minutes to spare, so just curious to know what you mean by "not acknowledging" what others believe.

Unlike so many anti-theists (and even a few professing to be theists), I haven't called anyone names for having other beliefs. At the same time, I don't say that maybe their ideas that run contrary to what the Bible clearly teaches is equally correct to the truth. There's a reason that beliefs are called "convictions" and not "assumptions" or "possibilities."

(And, as I've pointed out, I've not seen a lot of people arguing any viewpoints here, whether religious, social, or political, stating that maybe they are wrong about their views or that the other person just might be right.)

What I have done is try to judge views on the Bible against the standard of the Bible itself. You find me to be rigid in "my" views; well, so were Luther, Zwingli, Knox, Calvin, Edwards, Spurgeon, Dabney, Machen, Warfield, and a whole host of modern-day theologians who look to sola scriptura. Not all those agreed upon various areas or applications, but they did agree upon the basics of the faith.

It's one thing to have believers disagreeing upon modes of baptism, etc. Even doctrines of free will vs. election, while extremely important in their ramifications, are not "deal-breakers." But when you have avowed atheists whose very signatures attack religion in every post they make in every thread presuming to define the qualifications required to make a credible profession of faith, that speaks for itself. And when you have people professing to be Chriistians say that they "don't need" to be in church (ignoring biblical admonitions about not neglecting the gathering of the saints & the preaching of the Word), that requires assessment. And when you have those professing to be Christians saying that belief in Christ is not necessary for salvation...and who say they "reject proof texts" even while teaching catechism classes, that begs for a response.

Any other claim to be anything...fan of a particular sports team, good husband, expert in a subject, whatever...is held up & scrutinized in light of the evidence. Otherwise, it's like the "I stayed in a Holiday Inn" commercial.

The Bible is filled with examples of and warnings about false prophets, false teachers, false gospels, false doctrines, etc. in both Old & New Testament. Putting on your logical cap, if there are "false" ideas being propagated, that means that there is the True Faith...right? That stands to reason.

Gotta run to Good News Club.

so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes Ephesians 4:14
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Old 02-16-17, 03:59 PM   #106
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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First, no, I'm not confusing the two. I've not heard atheists here saying that they reject the idea of a personal God but accept the idea of some cosmic force or something that gives some sort of undefined purpose. If that's the case, I'm all ears. Otherwise, the end result sounds fatalistic in not nihilistic. It may be more optimistic than pessimistic, but it still seems to be just grafting a reason for existing onto an existence. I can accept that some people say that their purpose is "to enjoy life" or "to make life better for others," etc., but that doesn't seem to fit any ultimate purpose. If everything never had existed or ceased to exist, what would it have mattered?

Also, you're ascribing motivations that aren't there. Remember that the Bible was written for believers and not written to insult those who reject it. I often start to post a quote & then change it to something that can't be construed as aimed at anyone particular just for that reason. If the intention were to insult, there are plenty of imprecatory verses that could be used for all occasions. I tired of the insult game a long time ago...as the verse says, "I gave up childish things." If that insults those who thrive on insults, so be it.
I just typed, then deleted a long reply. I'll obviously never be able to explain myself in a way that you'll understand. If you don't understand the concept of morality outside of Christianity, I don't know why you even want to talk to anybody else. It seems like a really sad world to live in.
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Old 02-16-17, 04:13 PM   #107
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

Religion has no place in government or civic life. Period. I don't give a fuck what creek believes until he advocates that the laws governing all of us be contorted to fit those beliefs.
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Old 02-16-17, 05:27 PM   #108
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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I just typed, then deleted a long reply. I'll obviously never be able to explain myself in a way that you'll understand. If you don't understand the concept of morality outside of Christianity, I don't know why you even want to talk to anybody else. It seems like a really sad world to live in.
Since that's not what I believe nor anything close to what I have ever said, then we're still tight.

Most if not all religions have some sort of basic rules. Most people have some sort of basic rules, even if they don't apply to themselves but just to other people. That has never been in question.

The question is the source of the morality. Since we were confining the discussion to atheists, I was asking to what source an atheist appeals as the basis for his/her morality. Science? Reason? The cosmos? Random chance? Majority will? Teachings? Whims?

Surely everyone has given thought to why they believe in whatever morality they believe. The question is how a person who bases his/her ideas of morality upon his/her own reasoning...flawless and consistent though it might be...can maintain that this morality is superior enough to be imposed upon others. Or why one person's human-derived morality can be superior to another person's.

I can handle some pretty complex thoughts, having a Master's degree as a reading specialist with enough hours beyond that to obtain a doctorate pretty easily if I had chosen to write a thesis instead of three designated papers. And I can handle Calvin's Institutes, so I believe I might be able to struggle through any explanation you choose to give, poor though my comprehension might be. Feel free to dumb it down for me...give it a shot.

You'll never know unless you try.

Hey, I'm feeling pretty good after all those hugs from the precious Good News Clubs kids, so enlighten me!

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment. Proverbs 18:1
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Old 02-16-17, 05:33 PM   #109
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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The question is the source of the morality. Since we were confining the discussion to atheists, I was asking to what source an atheist appeals as the basis for his/her morality. Science? Reason? The cosmos? Random chance? Majority will? Teachings? Whims?
Why does morality need a definable "source"? It could be all of those things. It could be none of them.

I do not believe in God. Yet I am a kind person, I'm charitable with my time and money, I help those in need, I love and cherish my family, I am a responsible employee and good citizen of this country, I treat people with respect when it's deserved and I'm pretty fun to be around.

How do you think I accomplish ANY of that without believing in God? Because YOU are the one saying morality has to come from somewhere. I've never believed there is a constant "source" because you can look at recent history to see people who believed just as strongly in God as you do who did TERRIBLE things to fellow human beings. So where were they getting their morality from?

Bottom line - how am I a moral person without God?
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Old 02-16-17, 05:48 PM   #110
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

Meanwhile, back to Green Monkey's discussion about prisoners who say they are Christian and his assertion that "we have statistics about this."

Really? Based upon what? I distinctly remember the studies cited which admitted that they were relying upon little more than the self-reporting of prisoners. No followup or investigation to check out the validity of the claims.

(Why, I'll wager that some of those prisoners probably maintained their innocence, too...despite all the evidence and testimony which contradicted their claims. But, hey...they said they were innocent!)

The "statistics" were based upon prisoners checking a box on a form or responding verbally to a single question. It's like the medical forms I filled out prior to my medical procedure; questions about race, religion, etc. were simply circled on the form. No one came out to investigate the claims.

We went through this before thoroughly. No one in other areas of life simply accepts claims made without verifying them. You can ask any number of people who have never attended any worship service or followed any main tenets of their professed religion for decades to identify their religion...and they will usually respond with the religion of their youth, their family, or whatever is the prevailing religion of the culture. And prisoners have extra incentive to claim a religion, as certain privileges may be afforded (or at least, religious belief may look good on the parole board resume).

Regardless, the only absurd thing in the discussion is to maintain that anyone who claims to be a Christian is actually a Christian. In other words, saying it makes it so. Not only is that refuted by scads of biblical passages, it just flies in the face of common sense, and it wouldn't be accepted if offered in other contexts. And saying that, "Oh,no, they're Christians...they're just bad Christians" is an oxymoron. At least, it's an oxymoron according to the Bible. It certainly works well for those who paradoxically want to blame Christians for any number of evils (defined arbitrarily,evidently) yet simultaneously want to maintain that other acts are "un-Christian" (when it suits their purpose). In other words, they're either being intentionally disingenuous or willfully misinformed.

Systematic theology requires methodical, logical thought processes. John Calvin was a lawyer, by the way, and the Reformers had a way of breaking down theology and examining it in such a way as to see the consistent, logical teachings from a God who loves order and to reject the inconsistent, heretical "interpretations" that the Bible warns against.

Logic is your friend...and Reformed theology represents an extremely logical way of looking at not only theology but all areas of life. Whether you "acknowledge" it or not, everyone here owes a great debt to the Reformers for the freedom to express your views freely.

For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity. Proverbs 24:16
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Old 02-16-17, 06:07 PM   #111
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Why does morality need a definable "source"? It could be all of those things. It could be none of them.

I do not believe in God. Yet I am a kind person, I'm charitable with my time and money, I help those in need, I love and cherish my family, I am a responsible employee and good citizen of this country, I treat people with respect when it's deserved and I'm pretty fun to be around.

How do you think I accomplish ANY of that without believing in God? Because YOU are the one saying morality has to come from somewhere. I've never believed there is a constant "source" because you can look at recent history to see people who believed just as strongly in God as you do who did TERRIBLE things to fellow human beings. So where were they getting their morality from?

Bottom line - how am I a moral person without God?
Draven, let me say that I believe that you do everything you say about yourself. I also know that if I said the exact same things, I would be accused of some as boasting, being arrogant, lying, etc. How do I know this? Because that's exactly what has happened in the past when I responded to questions such as "What are you doing to help others?" It's a no-win situation. But that point is that I'm not questioning your actions or their good effects (theological definitions of "good works" are for another discussion) upon others.

There are several aspects to your question.

First, what determines whether your actions are "moral" or "immoral?' What is moral to one person is immoral to another, and vice versa. So, without an absolute standard, morality is arbitrary, inconsistent, and constantly in flux.

Secondly, what is the source of your morality? If it is yourself, then what makes it superior to that of someone else? If you say that an unwilling merchant should be forced to either provide a service for an event to which he/she objects based upon his/her morality, what gives you the moral authority to impose your beliefs upon him/her? If you say "majority rule," I believe you can quickly see the problems from a historical standpoint. If you say, "The Constitution," I think you can quickly see the problems there...again, based upon history and changing Courts.

Also, along that same line, if it's simply a cultural thing, can you apply your ideas about morality to judge another culture, regardless of your ability to impose your beliefs?

Third, assuming that you and I would find general approval of your actions, were you born having that morality? Or were you influenced by having that morality reinforced by parents, teachers, neighbors, traditions, environment, culture, laws, and other outside influences?

Unless you are just autonomously a "good person" who never needed moral instruction or guidance, isn't it just possible that you are a "moral person" due to the influence of your culture...which has been heavily influenced by religion, particularly Christianity?

(A theological explanation is that, as a creature created in the image of God, you retain a rudimentary understanding of right and wrong...sometimes called a "conscience.")

Remember what President Obama said? "You didn't build that." His point was that, whether we acknowledge it or not, we are influenced by forces outside our person. We may say that it's all our idea (or success), but we're ignoring a lot of important "stuff" that came before.

[Edit: As for those who have committed immoral acts under the guise of religion, that is an unfortunate by-product of the human condition called sin...our natural inheritance. Everyone who ever lived, including those considered by Christians to be the most righteous, are sinners. And, just as with every other human endeavor you can name, people have distorted teachings for their own ends or even thinking they were doing "good works." It happened in biblical times, and people aren't any different now than then. Name an occupation or institution and then Google to see how long it takes to find "bad actors" who are examples of those abusing the foundations of that institution.]

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them. Romans 2:15

Last edited by creekdipper; 02-16-17 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 02-16-17, 07:14 PM   #112
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

Ultimately all of the religious answers to where does morality comes from boils down to the fact that it's more comforting and makes people feel more secure to believe that these questions have been taken out of their hands by a wiser, more powerful being. The questions that creek pose don't have easy answers, which is why he likes to trot them out, because "God said so" IS an easy answer and people like that.

Whether or not it's more comforting or easy for your morals to come from some external source is immaterial if that external source isn't real. I could choose to live my life as a Jedi or a Fremen or a Cthulhu Cultist and I would have as much claim to absolute truth as creek does. Hell, we have visual evidence of Jedi. Oh, those are just from fictional movies? That's a Sith trick to fool you into losing your faith.
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Old 02-16-17, 08:04 PM   #113
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Ultimately all of the religious answers to where does morality comes from boils down to the fact that it's more comforting and makes people feel more secure to believe that these questions have been taken out of their hands by a wiser, more powerful being. The questions that creek pose don't have easy answers, which is why he likes to trot them out, because "God said so" IS an easy answer and people like that.

Whether or not it's more comforting or easy for your morals to come from some external source is immaterial if that external source isn't real. I could choose to live my life as a Jedi or a Fremen or a Cthulhu Cultist and I would have as much claim to absolute truth as creek does. Hell, we have visual evidence of Jedi. Oh, those are just from fictional movies? That's a Sith trick to fool you into losing your faith.
My morals are based on the Don't Be A Dick philosophy of interpersonal relations. Yeah, I yell and bitch at people online, but only when they're people who want to shove their imaginary sky daddy down my throat. Some overgrown juveniles like Spottedf--oops, I mean SpaceApe may call that "hate." I call it "anger" and it's justified when dealing with people who want me and mine to be treated like lesser human beings. Also, calling for "logic" when you believe in talking snakes, people rising from the dead, and people with big wings flying around watching over everybody (well, apparently not the brown people in less habitable countries--just white Amurricans) is really, really rich.
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Old 02-16-17, 08:26 PM   #114
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Old 02-16-17, 09:37 PM   #115
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

Need something to hang our guilt on.
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Old 02-16-17, 09:49 PM   #116
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Also, calling for "logic" when you believe in talking snakes, people rising from the dead, and people with big wings flying around watching over everybody
Today if you said shit like that you'd be put in a straight jacket for being mentally deranged or high on PCP.
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Old 02-16-17, 11:06 PM   #117
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Wait a minute ... the Loch Ness Monster isn't real? What about professional wrestling? Oh, you guys are ruining my day!
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Old 02-16-17, 11:19 PM   #118
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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First, no, I'm not confusing the two. I've not heard atheists here saying that they reject the idea of a personal God but accept the idea of some cosmic force or something that gives some sort of undefined purpose.
That's because those folks are agnostics, not atheists. Get your godless heathens straight.
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Old 02-17-17, 02:11 AM   #119
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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That's because those folks are agnostics, not atheists. Get your godless heathens straight.
Perhaps you missed discussions on the topic in the past, but there have been nonbelievers here who argued that there is little distinction between agnostics & atheism in their mind. Or that the two overlap or can be combined.

That is to say, they used terms such as "agnostic atheism" (or something like that) vs. "hardcore atheist" (or something similar...don't remember exact terminology since it's been a few years back). The gist was that they didn't have the clear defining line commonly used of atheism being a total rejection of the possibility of deity(ies) existing and agnosticism being an "I don't know" view.

Anyway, the point is that even "godless heathens" disagree upon exact definitions or blur the lines, so any re-education needs to be broadly-aimed. I

Here is part of a wiki entry that is reminiscent of a link they posted:

Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.

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Old 02-17-17, 02:12 AM   #120
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

Atheism is lack of belief. Agnosticism is lack of knowledge. I don't know that there are no gods, but I do not believe any gods exist. Thus I am an agnostic atheist.

Essentially all atheists are agnostic atheists, whether they think they know for certain or not. Similarly, all theists are agonistic theists, because while they believe in their chosen deity, they do not know for certain if it really exists.
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Old 02-17-17, 03:05 AM   #121
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Using the bible to insult people is the True Christian (TM) way.
But there is no naughty, naughty words in them. It is when naughty words are used that the invisible man can't calm you anymore and you have to cry to mods.

Anyway, couple of food for thought articles.
http://www.sciencealert.com/research...-not-ignorance

http://www.sciencealert.com/brain-sc...o-taking-drugs

Bring back Snake.
http://www.sciencealert.com/swearing...say-scientists

http://www.sciencealert.com/dark-hum...r-intelligence
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Old 02-17-17, 09:47 AM   #122
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

I'd love to have an honest discussion, but I'm not anyone's philosophical dancing monkey. Anytime anyone tries to answer any of your questions, the bar moves and you have five additional questions which must be answered. Several people explained why atheists care about what happens in the world and then suddenly the main question is the origin of morality: can it shift over time? Blah, blah, blah. Yes, it can shift over time, otherwise Christians would still be shunning menstruating women, stoning homosexuals and murdering people who mowed their lawn on the wrong day. I would say many of my views are based on logic and reason, but many were obviously shaped by the society I grew up in. You'd certainly be a different person if you'd been born in Yemen.

Here are my questions:

1. Given the shift that happened even from the old testament to the new testament, why do you think the bible would be a good standard of morality for all to use? Which religion's interpretation of the commands of the bible would we use? What if god changes his mind again about what rules we must follow, or what is moral?
2. Would you still devote your life to glorifying god and enjoying him forever if there were no heavenly reward? What if the bible described heaven as a place of fire and brimstone?
3. Since it wasn't intended as an insult, could you please explain your thought process behind the selection of the "childish things" quote in the post in which you were admonishing GreenMonkey for talking about you rather than answering your new list of questions about morality?
4. Same question regarding this quote in response to Obey the D talking about being a good person: "The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. Psalm 14:1"
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Old 02-17-17, 10:07 AM   #123
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Originally Posted by GoVegan View Post
Yes, it can shift over time, otherwise Christians would still be shunning menstruating women, stoning homosexuals and murdering people who mowed their lawn on the wrong day.
If only we had a theocracy, we could make Christianity great again.
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Old 02-17-17, 10:15 AM   #124
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
If the purpose of life is merely to exist, what does it matter what we do as long as it prolongs our existence?
This is why overtly religious people scare the shit out of me. It seems their only reason for not going out and doing what the fuck they want is that they're hoping for a reward further down the line. Selfish and scary.
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Old 02-17-17, 10:25 AM   #125
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Originally Posted by Phodg View Post
This is why overtly religious people scare the shit out of me. It seems their only reason for not going out and doing what the fuck they want is that they're hoping for a reward further down the line. Selfish and scary.
Agreed. If the only reason you don't kill the guy who cut in front of you in line at Walmart is that Jeebus wouldn't like it, you need more help than religion can give you.
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