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Old 03-13-2011, 04:14 PM #106
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Originally Posted by wavesport001 View Post
If teamsilentassassins is under 25 then I'd say it's strong evidence that you can develop rational thought and think critically before age 25!
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Because that's completely universal, and our "full capability for rational thought" just hits a switch around 25.
I'm not saying you can't have rational thought. I am saying that part of the human brain isn't fully developed in until 25 years in males. Any conscious action that happens during the "teens" has to be looked at with the knowledge of the extreme probability of hormonal influence as apposed to logical influence. At 17 years old, the odds are seriously stacked against you. The "religious" argument is more about control and dominance than anything else. You can even throw sex into it, with Dad being on one side and Mom on the other. Humans are pack animals, you can't forget that.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:20 PM #107
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I'm not saying you can't have rational thought. I am saying that part of the human brain isn't fully developed in until 25 years in males.
Not only that, but our education system and culture, if anything, favor a combination of emotion and facts instead of critical thinking skills and trying things for oneself.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:03 PM #108
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Originally Posted by wavesport001 View Post
If teamsilentassassins is under 25 then I'd say it's strong evidence that you can develop rational thought and think critically before age 25!
Although I know you're being sarcastic, I am under 25 and am going off the basis that I have a pretty good grasp of rational thought.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:30 PM #109
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Humans are pack animals, you can't forget that.
How do you figure? We were created in the image of God, are you calling God an animal?

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I'm not saying you can't have rational thought. I am saying that part of the human brain isn't fully developed in until 25 years in males. Any conscious action that happens during the "teens" has to be looked at with the knowledge of the extreme probability of hormonal influence as apposed to logical influence. At 17 years old, the odds are seriously stacked against you. The "religious" argument is more about control and dominance than anything else. You can even throw sex into it, with Dad being on one side and Mom on the other.
I don't know if it has so much to do with hormones, that really only seemed to affect relationships. I believe that especially in this country it's mostly just a lack of perspective that you can only gain with age. Oh the certainty of youth, how I miss thee.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:37 PM #110
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How do you figure? We were created in the image of God, are you calling God an animal?

...



It's just some behavioral science, baby. It never hurt... well... it has hurt quite a few people.
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:01 PM #111
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:52 PM #112
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I'm not sure I follow. I think you may be confusing Christianity and Humanism with western culture.
Well western culture and Christianity became one in the same when they put to death any who would not accept the christ meme. In my view, humanism is the secular offshoot of what Christianity started. This occurred during the enlightenment.

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Funny, I was going to say Christian morality bore a striking resemblance to greek morality. Which by the way isn't too different from Buddhist and Hindi morality, and nearly every other major world religion. I think you probably all took it from the Zoroastrians.

Strange, maybe the constant here is humanity, that society has an embedded moral code, expressed through although not originating in religion. Oh wait, I forgot, everything revolves around Christians and Christianity because morals didn't exist before Jesus.
Hinduism doesn't share the good and evil dichotomy of Judeo-Christianity and it's humanist cousin. This is because they are pantheistic. There is no divine will differentiating between good and evil. Individuality is in a sense, an illusion. We are not entirely separated from the Godhead, merely an emanation of it.

I would argue that Aristotle despised the idea of the individual as an absolute as evidenced by his concept of Ethos. Confucius is also credited with some of the first conceptual basis for meritocracy which is in contrast with individualism (I can do whatever I want).

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but to say that we derive our morals, as a society, from christian ideals, is to say that all civilizations prior to the ten commandments thrived on the premise that murder and theft were perfectly fine.
Ok take pre-christian europe. Their morality wasn't doing what was "right" by some absolute standards, but doing what is necessary. IE finding an abstract ideal and working towards its realization. If that involved death, then so be it for it is as crucial as life. This is a stark contrast to doing whatever you want so long as you don't hurt anyone else (et al humanism). I've been trying to keep this away from petty moral code differences and focus more on the things that influence the application of those moral codes. Below the surface of christian morality lies ideologies which I've already described. Those ideals are the reason why Christianity and secular humanism are one in the same.

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Old 03-16-2011, 07:35 PM #113
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:51 AM #114
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Niiiice.



I'm finding you guys are considerably more agreeable than the CKers.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:26 PM #115
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I'm finding you guys are considerably more agreeable than the CKers.
The only things you're allowed to talk about in there is how much free **** god has given you, youth ministries and Paintball. Oh and post scripture everyone's already read. Then restate said scripture in different ways to pretend you are analyzing it.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:44 PM #116
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The only things you're allowed to talk about in there is how much free **** god has given you, youth ministries and Paintball. Oh and post scripture everyone's already read. Then restate said scripture in different ways to pretend you are analyzing it.
Also remember to get really upset whenever someone posts a basic fact about anything.




Oh wow 270 finally got cleaned out. That kids one uppity ****.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:03 PM #117
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Any of you guys read the book God is Not Great?? I just picked it up and i'm a decent amount in, it's a good read in my opinion.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:34 PM #118
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Finally got around to watching this. Good link. The book is certainly on my reading list. Anyone read "Bowling Alone"? I think you would like it. The initial premise is that currently in America the sport of bowling is at an all time high. People are bowling now more than ever. But while bowling numbers have increased, bowling leagues have reached an all time low. So the author goes on to talk about the destruction of community in our culture, and how our culture is becoming more and more self-oriented.

*I haven't actually read it yet, so don't hold me to that. A professor told me about it, but I have a rather long reading list to catch up on and haven't had a chance to read it yet.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:07 PM #119
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Any of you guys read the book God is Not Great?? I just picked it up and i'm a decent amount in, it's a good read in my opinion.
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All the same, this is salutary reading as a means of culling believers' weaker arguments: that faith offers comfort (false comfort is none at all), or has provided a historical hedge against fascism (it mostly hasn't), or that "Eastern" religions are better (nope). The book's real strength is Hitchens's on-the-ground glimpses of religion's worst face in various war zones and isolated despotic regimes. But its weakness is its almost fanatical insistence that religion poisons "everything," which tips over into barely disguised misanthropy. (May 30)
Doesn't seem worth reading, according to this reviewer the material he covers isn't anything new to me.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:23 PM #120
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So, I'm reading Dawkins' "Greatest Show on Earth." I found it at H.E.B for really cheap, so I picked it up. I've never read any of Dawkins' stuff before, and I think he's a pretty good writer, even if he seems a bit condescending at times. Do you guys have any suggestions for authors like him? I'm going to school at a Christian stronghold, so getting suggestions from my peers is almost impossible.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:10 PM #121
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Umami its not too bad got bored so figured i'd pick it up. Also got The end of faith (religion, terror, and the future of reason) by Sam Harris yet i haven't gotten around to reading it yet.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:37 PM #122
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I should pick that one up. After perusing Sam Harris' blog, found this:

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Finding faith amid disaster

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Around the world, people are still struggling to come to terms with the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which have left more than 8,000 dead, thousands more missing and hundreds of thousand others homeless. The threat of a nuclear crisis only adds to the uncertainty.

In times like these, many people find comfort in their faith. But disasters can also challenge long-held beliefs. The CNN Belief Blog asked some prominent voices with different views on religion how they make sense of such suffering, where they see inspiration amid destruction and how they respond to people who wonder, “How could God let this happen?”

Rabbi Harold Kushner, author whose books include “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

Whenever a disaster like this occurs, I go back to the Bible, to the First Book of Kings. Elijah, in despair over the situation in Israel, runs to the desert, back to Mt. Sinai to find the God of the Revelation to Moses.

"And lo, the Lord God passed by. There was a mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. There was an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake."

To me, that is the key: the Lord was not in the earthquake.

Natural disasters are acts of nature, not acts of God. God cares about the well-being of good people; Nature is blind, an equal-opportunity destroyer.

Where is God in Japan today? In the courage of people to carry on their lives after the tragedy. In the resilience of those whose lives have been destroyed, families swept away, homes lost, but they resolve to rebuild their lives. In the goodness and generosity of people all over the world to reach out and help strangers who live far from them, to contribute aid, to pray for them.

How can people do such things if God were not at work in them to lend a counterweight to a natural disaster?

The Rev. Tesshu Shaku, chief priest of Nyoraiji Temple, a Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land sect of Buddhism) temple in Ikeda City, Japan

Buddhism is called a religion with no god. So we don’t think God caused this, according to the Buddhist way of thinking. We think of the law of cause and effect, searching for a cause. It is the same approach as science. The cause of this earthquake is the friction between the North American plate and the Pacific plate.

The Japanese are more focused on relationships as opposed to faith, feeling the pain of others. I have witnessed this at the time of the Hanshin Awaji earthquake. [In 1995, the Great Hanshin earthquake on the island of Awaji killed about 6,500 people.] There were many people who came to the affected area to help and volunteer.

There is a word, “earthquake children,” for people whose perspectives were affected by the disaster. They became very active in community service or became Buddhist monks. So people will be more spiritual, feeling the pains and joys of others.

The Rev. James Martin, Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine and author of “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything”

For the believer, there is no satisfactory answer for why we suffer. Each person has to come to grips with that. It’s not as if some magic answer can be found. But the idea of God suffering along with us can be very helpful.

The Christian believes that God became human and that God underwent all the things we do. Jesus on the cross cried, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?” Christians do not have an impersonal God, but a God who understands what it means to suffer. People can relate more easily to a God who understands them.

Where is God? God is right there with the people who are grieving and sorrowful. In my own life, when I have felt great sorrow I have trusted that God is with me in this and that I’m not facing my struggles alone.

Oftentimes people become more religious in times of sorrow. They find that they are able to meet God in new ways. Why? Because when our defenses are down and we’re more vulnerable, God can break into our lives more easily. It’s not that God is closer, it’s that we’re more open.

Dr. Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office of Interfaith and Community Alliances


These sort of natural disasters become the collective responsibility of all mankind to mobilize our compassion and resources to ease the pain of the people who have suffered.

This disaster is not the result of any sins of these people; we need to be clear that there is no belief that these victims “deserved” it for any of their actions. Rather, Muslims see these kinds of tragedies as a test from God. Muslims believe that God tests those he loves, and these tragedies also serve as a reminder to the rest of us to remain grateful to God for all our blessings and cognizant that we must support those in need.

These kinds of calamities should push us in positive ways. They should strengthen our faith in God and in his goodness. We attribute the things we don’t understand to his limitless wisdom and comfort ourselves that he is with us and he loves us, so there must be some meaning in what has happened, even if it is beyond our comprehension here at this time.

We are trained by our faith that every suffering, whether big or small, brings us closer to God’s mercy and forgiveness, to the extent that the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) said, if you are walking and feel a thorn pierce your foot, you should know that even this little bit of pain brings you divine blessing and God’s forgiveness. These times of suffering give us an opportunity to demonstrate patience and faith, and therefore, become closer to God.

Every natural phenomenon challenges us as God’s trustees on this Earth, showing us that we should continue to study and explore ways of safeguarding humankind and all creatures from being subjected to this kind of devastation. It is the collective duty of all humankind to put resources in this and advance our understanding of how to respond to these disasters in a scientific way.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:38 PM #123
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Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, writer and activist who founded the Unified Buddhist Church in France, and Plum Village, a Buddhist community in exile

As we contemplate the great number of people who have died in this tragedy, we may feel very strongly that we ourselves, in some part or manner, also have died.

The pain of one part of humankind is the pain of the whole of humankind. And the human species and the planet Earth are one body. What happens to one part of the body happens to the whole body.

An event such as this reminds us of the impermanent nature of our lives. It helps us remember that what’s most important is to love each other, to be there for each other, and to treasure each moment we have that we are alive. This is the best that we can do for those who have died: We can live in such a way that they can feel they are continuing to live in us, more mindfully, more profoundly, more beautifully, tasting every minute of life available to us, for them.

Sam Harris, author of books including “The End of Faith,” and co-founder and CEO of Project Reason, dedicated to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values

Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely.

The only sense to make of tragedies like this is that terrible things can happen to perfectly innocent people. This understanding inspires compassion.

Religious faith, on the other hand, erodes compassion. Thoughts like, “this might be all part of God’s plan,” or “there are no accidents in life,” or “everyone on some level gets what he or she deserves” - these ideas are not only stupid, they are extraordinarily callous. They are nothing more than a childish refusal to connect with the suffering of other human beings. It is time to grow up and let our hearts break at moments like this.

Elizabeth Tinsley, ordained Buddhist nun and doctoral student of Buddhist culture at Otani University in Kyoto, Japan


Japanese religious life is characterized by the fusion of systems: aspects of Shinto, Buddhism and Christianity all have their place in the life of the average Japanese person, and there are numerous so-called 'new religions' too, many of which, incidentally, sprang up in the aftermath of World War II, which was another disaster (though not a natural one) for the Japanese and left great psychological scars. I expect to see an increased need for spiritual sustenance in the aftermath of the quake/tsunami.

One aspect of kami (deity) worship [in the Shinto religion] is the conception of kami as life-forces in nature which can be generative - kami of rice, of rivers, of the sun, and such. … Because of this quality [they] are equally capable of retracting their blessings and destroy.

One reason the Japanese have so many kami … is because they are so vulnerable to frequent earthquakes and typhoons, tsunami, and other extreme weather. So throughout their history they have known the ferocity and unpredictability of nature and thus have a strong relationship, often one of fear and respect, to kami. Though, perhaps this tells you something of how their geology and climate affect their religious convictions and expressions rather than how religion will relate to the earthquake/tsunami disaster.

The Rev. Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization


I don’t believe God does want this to happen. I don’t think it was ever God’s intention.

We know that there are going to be storms in life. No matter what happens we need to keep our faith and trust in almighty God. And I want the people of Japan to know that God hasn’t forgotten them, that God does care for them and that he loves them.

We care and God cares, and we’re standing by them.
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/0...amid-disaster/

The Buddhists and Atheist seem to have the fewest hoops to jump through.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:58 PM #124
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Thanks for that Umami it was a interesting perspective and nice to see everyone represented reasonably and equally. I will agree with you on the Buddhists and Atheist point of views. If i read through Harris' book before you get it i'll let you know how it is.
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:03 PM #125
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:21 PM #126
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