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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

What is so humorous about mocking someone's religion?

Posted Friday, January 9, 2015, at 12:34 PM
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  • Maybe the planet Ork could send us another?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jan 9, 2015, at 12:34 PM
  • Steve,

    The problem I see is that religion is just one subject and we each have different lines drawn in the sand regarding that or any other subject........ What makes religion off limits more than any other ?

    I may be sensitive to something else.......... It's a lot to keep track of........

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Fri, Jan 9, 2015, at 1:15 PM
  • The thing that makes something funny is that it is unexpected.

    Religion, marriage, sexual relations, politics, royalty, anything, and/or anyone, that is exalted in society, becomes a rich source of materials for a comic to present the "unexpected" to produce humor/laughs.

    Being the butt of a joke can certainly inflict a certain amount of emotional pain, usually in the form of embarrassment. It takes maturity and humility to not want to avenge oneself against embarrassment. Whether the attack is factual, or not, doesn't really matter to the immature. In fact, the more truth that is made into humor, the more painful it is to the proud and arrogant.

    The freedom of speech is essential as the exchange of ideas among people is essential. The fact that someone else's ideas clash with yours does not justify a physical response.

    Humility and forgiveness is essential. These are qualities that Jesus developed in his disciples. These qualities are obviously missing from the Muslims.

    Free speech is not free. Jesus was killed for his speech. Not for anything evil that he did, such as killing, taking others possessions, or pedophilia, all of which Muhammad did, but only for the truth he spoke and the proud, arrogant, immature audience that heard his words.

    Be of good cheer! He overcame all these things and gives us the power to do the same.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Jan 9, 2015, at 8:47 PM
  • It's funny because pointing out absurdities in anything can be funny. Belief in any deity is, in my opinion, absurd. (Notice I said "in my opinion"?)

    Some of us like to poke fun at things we think are silly. If you don't think poking fun at religion is funny, then don't laugh and don't read, watch, listen to anyone who does it.

    The very fact that one religion actually forbids ALL of us from even drawing an image of their deity is unacceptable. No one, anywhere, can tell me, you, or anyone else what we can and cannot draw or laugh at.

    Look at it this way, if you slip and fall, it's not funny to you at all. But it's very funny to many others. The popularity of shows like America's Funniest Videos (ugh) will attest to that!

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Fri, Jan 9, 2015, at 10:00 PM
  • I have so many thoughts running through my head about this that writing them all at one time will confuse everything so I will start with one.

    Assuming that making fun of people for whatever reason (religion, appearance, sexual orientation, hobbies, politics, etc) is an expression of free speech and should not be infringed, then what do we say to the school bully who "picks on" some vulnerable student?

    How do we teach our youth that bullying is wrong, yet every night they can watch a form of it on unsupervised TV, called comedy?

    Why do we look at our society when some young person goes off the edge and kills other students and say, Oh, they were bullied. How do we stop bullying."?

    Is there an age at which we should teach our youth that they can start being a bully? (I was thinking of soooo many other terms that could be used for bully, but........

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 9:55 AM
  • steve,

    There is a difference between satire and bullying. Because more times than not, there is a physical confrontation from the bully to the oppressed. But when it comes to comedy, there is always a free pass, Mark Twain, Tennessee Williams, Stephen Colbert, would you call them bullies?

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 10:16 AM
  • It seems I can find references to "cyber-bullying" quite frequently. Wasn't it a VA Tech student who committed suicide because his private life was "ridiculed" on the web?

    Bullying can come in many forms. In the past, it could only be delivered in person but now the choices are almost endless.

    Mark Twain, and Tennessee Williams seemed to use satire to try to point out what they believed to be contradictions or fallacies of groups or individuals, ideally with the intent of shaming the targeted into improvement or removing them from positions of influence.

    I am not sure of Colbert's intentions. Today it seems to make a buck, but he could have more serious intent.

    But yes, to answer your question about being bullies or not. If they used their position of power (in this case the media) to belittle and emotionally injure others, they are bullies in my mind.

    Politicians are free fodder as long as it comes to their actions and policies but when they go after that politician on a personal level they are abusing the power and become bullies. Again, in my definition.

    When someone attacks folks on sexual inclinations, we consider it politically incorrect. It hurts a lot of people and creates anti-"whatever". (Anti-racial, antisemitism, etc.) Why do comedians columnists, cartoonists get a pass?

    Why are burning crosses, swastika graffiti, etc.,considered hate crimes and not freedom of speech? I would bet the persons who do this think it is funny, may be smiling when they do it, and also want to get their opinion heard or seen.

    If anti-gay, anti-racial, antisemitism is wrong, so is bashing ANY religion.

    This is not a subject we will get resolved on these pages, but I just had something I had to get off my chest, so I used my freedom of speech to get it said.

    Thanks to all who read and especially those who responded with their thoughts. We may not agree, but I certainly respect your opinions and beliefs.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 12:27 PM
  • Burning crosses, and displaying swastikas and confederate flags definitely deserve a distinction from the other mockery in all of this. But I'm not sure what that distinction needs to be or what special considerations it should warrant.

    In and of themselves they are harmless but do inflict emotional pain and fear in people. So maybe they should be legal but just not done. (I know, I know, that's a very wishy-washy "solution" but it's all I got on this one!)

    All the other things you mentioned are easy enough to walk away from, Colbert, comics, politicians, etc. And Colbert does what he does, I believe, because he's a comic, it's funny, it's lucrative, and because he is a liberal and he calls out mostly conservatives, on their hypocrisy or failures.

    We all get a pass on having the ability to SAY anything we want. But those comedians and politicians, and you and I, do NOT get a pass from our fellow humans. We can say what we want, but our friends, family, and other citizens can, and often do, choose to "punish" us for it if they are offended or hurt. They may do so by telling us that we hurt them, by breaking off the relationship, by not spending money at out business, etc.

    That's the justice and/or accountability you're looking for right there, meted out by each of us, to each of us. At least in the adult world of society that's how it's done. Always? No, but most of the time.

    As for bullying, like in the kids at school example you mentioned. Well, they are children, and they are required by law to BE in school, so we, as responsible adults, set rules and intercede when it's getting out of hand. Or at least we should, it doesn't always happen, unfortunately.

    Mockery in school is not going away. Children can be the most cruel of us. What is now becoming commonplace, the frequent school shootings, is horrible and a symptom of a greater ill that I hope we sort out soon.

    To get back to your original question, Steve. Have you ever mocked or poked fun at anyone or anything, ever?

    If the answer to that is Yes, then you have your answer. Whatever the reason you did it and thought it funny is your answer.

    Religion is just another thing, like being a Lakers fan, Taylor Swift fan, comic book fan, believer in astrology, someone who enjoys canning their own pickles, etc. And as such, religion does not deserve any special exclusions from being mocked or poked fun at.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 4:11 PM
  • Shoot, I forgot to address one other statement:

    You said "If anti-gay, anti-racial, antisemitism is wrong, so is bashing ANY religion."

    I disagree. Contrary to some people's belief, being gay is not a choice, and neither is being of a different race or being Semitic.

    But religion IS a choice, and unlike homosexuality, race, and Semitism, it is belief in a ethereal, incorporeal thing or being. That very definition just begs for ridicule. Especially when the believers want to force the rest of us, who don't share their belief, to live by their rules.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 4:17 PM
  • I would agree with ClarkDV on everything except that homosexuality isn't a choice. It is a choice in as much as everything we do, act upon, is a choice, and can be changed, by choice. Race is not chosen and cannot be changed by simply choosing to be another race.

    People may be born with a tendency for sexual promiscuity, but they still must choose to act upon it. We are sinful by nature. No one has to be taught to lie. A child can/will instinctively choose to deny the truth when confronted with something bad they have done. It doesn't have to be taught it is part of self preservation. Now, you can SAY they were born that way but they still choose it, and can easily choose otherwise.

    In my opinion, life in general has more to do with our choices than the circumstances into which we were born. Choose wisely :)

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 5:26 PM
  • Homosexuality is not a choice. And if one is born attracted to their same sex, why must they deny themselves sex just because they were born homosexual?

    Did you choose to be heterosexual?

    And sin? Well, i don't believe in any deity, and therefore I don't believe in the concept of sin, so I can't speak to your thoughts on that subject.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 6:01 PM
  • You asked me a direct question ClarkDV so you deserve an answer. Yes, privately I have poked fun at people, groups, etc. but I believe the big differences are that it was private (or should have been), it was not done to inflict pain to anyone and it was not something I purposely chose to make public.

    A side note, but something important to me is that I appreciate the civility of this conversation. We obviously don't agree on everything but we speak our mind without attacking. Thanks.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 6:18 PM
  • Steve,

    What if someone that you poked fun at in private in the past told you that neither you nor any other human on the planet is allowed to poke fun of anyone for that ever again? Not in any context whatsoever.

    Ridiculous, right? The very audacity of anyone to make such a grandiose self-righteous statement ordering all of humanity to do as they say ensures that they will, and should be, mocked immediately and mercilessly!

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 6:29 PM
  • Yes, I was born heterosexual and yes I choose to be that way. I also choose to have only one mate. Although, that was not always the case.

    The issue is not how we are born, but what we choose. I agree homosexuals are born that way, so are liars, but choice can change that situation. Choice cannot change race. The reason for your choices whether a diety, or whatever, is up to you. But choose;, you must.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 6:44 PM
  • Now you are referring directly to the extremists and I would agree, but they have a right to complain but certainly not terrorize and kill.

    But, I would not feel compelled to "add alt to the wound" based on their objection. Just me, I guess.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 6:47 PM
  • It's lucky for both of us that there are people who are willing to rub salt into that wound.

    To quote an old TV show, "Making sure the National Enquirer

    can write whatever it wants is the only way I can be sure the New York Times is writing whatever it wants."

    You have the right to believe whatever you want, you do not have the right to not be offended.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 7:08 PM
  • Live,

    Do you mean that you were born heterosexual, meaning you are attracted to females (I'm assuming you're male) AND you choose to have sex with females?

    If that's what you meant, well, that wasn't a very difficult choice for you to make, was it?

    However, if you were born homosexual, would you choose to have sex with females or would you choose to not have sex at all?

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 7:14 PM
  • Yes , I would choose.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 7:21 PM
  • Who decides who will be the humor police, the church? We should be leery of censorship Lest we become good Nazis and take to the streets to burn books. Then what, a Kristallnacht (Crystal Night)?

    If a religion proposes silly ideas, like denouncing a heliocentric system, virgin mothers, and a prophet riding a horse to heaven, they should expect to be ridiculed. Religion breeds supremacy, intolerance and hate. Even Christians believe they are superior and well be rewarded while the rest are condemned. Charlie Hebdo's cartoons may have very well been in bad taste but they have every right to print them. I am Charlie!

    -- Posted by Kratos on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 8:20 PM
  • Live,

    I asked which you would choose.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 8:29 PM
  • Islam is simply going to have to be dragged into the 21st Century, just as Christianity was similarly dragged into the newer centuries by more moderate Christians and other non-believers back when they were killing everyone who would not convert to Christianity.

    Standing up and ridiculing Islam, along with everything else that we humans love to ridicule, is the first important step in saying "Enough! Enough of your barbaric silliness. You cannot just kill everyone who disagrees with you."

    Unfortunately, because that barbarism is happening in the 21st Century, with communications and other technology being as advanced as it is, I'm afraid that dragging of Islam into the new century is going to get very very ugly, and blood red, before it's said and done.

    But what the hell, we've been sending our young people off to die for oil for decades. I, for one, would rather see them die for something that really matters if die they must.

    Of course I would rather they not die at all, but religion is behind this, as always, and it's not going away quite fast enough to avoid some more bloodshed.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 8:36 PM
  • Yes Clark, I realized you wanted a choice between the two scenarios you provided, that is the whole point, there is a choice to be made.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 9:26 PM
  • Whatever.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 9:29 PM
  • Back to the original topic:

    Say the whole world did as Steve and the Muslim terrorists want, say we all agree to stop ridiculing religion. Do you think the Muslim extremists will stop there? We give in to that demand and then they will likely find something else to find offensive to their holy man.

    Or do the rest of the believers even care at that point? Once you've gotten everyone to stop ridiculing all religions, including yours, you're happy?

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 9:43 PM
  • I think surrendering the freedom of speech, including the ridicule of any subject, is just the beginning. If this freedom is taken, all of the others will follow close behind.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 9:50 PM
  • Finally, Live, you and I are in agreement on something! Allah Akbar!

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 10, 2015, at 11:42 PM
  • Clark, I had already agreed with you on everything you had said above, except homosexuality not being a choice. On that, we disagree. I guess we will just have to let the readers choose which view they consider to be correct. After all, we all have a choice.

    Be blessed :)

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 8:07 AM
  • ClarkDV, I take offense at you tying me in with the terrorists and somewhere all seem to have developed an idea that I want government to outlaw free speech. I asked why people think it is funny to mock religion.

    Maybe because I compared some of this mocking to bullying and the people seem to want to stop bullying. Just guessing.

    Since I am NOT in favor of the terrorists, I do not know nor understand what they want. I truly believe however that nothing will satisfy them except to be a martyr for their beliefs. Making fun of their religion is just the "hot pick" of the day.

    From most comments, I presume you would support my right if I started making fun of different disabilities, ebola victims, and of course, atheists. But why would I? What benefit do I and does society get from me doing this?

    Christianity has evolved as I believe Islam has as well. It is the extremists in any religion, group or political party that create the turmoil.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 8:29 AM
  • Steve, I would support your right to what?

    Live, I do not have a choice whether I believe in a deity or not. For the simple reason that I am incapable of forcing myself to believe something that has not met its burden of proof.

    Not the burden of proof necessary for for you or anyone else to believe it, but the burden of proof necessary for ME to believe it.

    In much the same way that raspberry has not met its burden of taste to convince my taste buds that I like it.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 11:39 AM
  • I'm going to agree with Clark on this one. Especially on the idea of "choice", in religion and sexuality. Religion is a choice, wether you want to believe in Christianity, Buddaism, Scientology, etc. And there are lots of things about the beliefs of these religions that some people will find humorous, if not ridiculous. Everything from spaceships, unicorns, Noah's Ark, or 72 virgins waiting in heaven. According to which one you believe, the others sound crazy. And let's face it, pretty easy to ridicule. But that should never lead to violence. Steve, your examples of making fun of someone with disabilities, Ebola, or a different race is totally different. Like Clark said, they didn't choose that. I also believe Homosexuality is not a choice. Liveforlight, do you really think someone could just one day choose to be attracted to the same sex? If it's a choice, when did you decide to be heterosexual? If you believe you were born that way, then isn't it possible they were too?

    -- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 11:58 AM
  • Do I think someone could just one day choose to be attracted to the opposite sex? Yes I do, It may take time, but the choice can be made in one day.

    I do not disagree that they were born that way. They still must choose to embrace it. The kleptomaniac is born that way also, as are liars, they still must make a conscience choice. Do we elevate people with altered thinking to be on par with race?

    Do you think you can just make a choice and change your race? Can you alter your DNA simply by choosing to do so?

    You will not believe perhaps, or have been persuaded by the gay agenda, but there are many who have abandoned their homosexuality. Here is the story of one.

    http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2007/03/01/like-many-my-faith-journey/1880

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 1:22 PM
  • -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 1:45 PM
  • Liveforlight, to compare homosexuality to kleptomaniacs and liars is ridiculous. Habitual/Compulsive liars or Kleptomania are mental disorders/diseases. To compare the two would be really offensive. You also contradict yourself in your argument. You say that you believe they were born that way, but it's also a choice? That makes no sense at all. I think you'll agree that there is no way for you or I to just decide to change our sexuality. It would be impossible for you or I to have those feelings towards the same sex because it's just not in our DNA. And to be honest, the thought of it is creepy. If you agree they were born that way, then they must feel the same thing, just reversed. And you can't "pray the gay away" any more than you could pray the straight away. I think anyone that claims otherwise are fooling themselves and you.

    -- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 2:58 PM
  • I compared the kleptos and liars because most everyone recognizes the action of these as wrong. That is what it boils down to,, action, the choice to act, or not, on what we are born with. Born heterosexual? Yes, Born homosexual? Yes You obviously do not know who I have been attracted to , why, or the choices I have made and why.

    If you cannot accept the testimony of the links and of those who have changed , then nothing else I say will be accepted either. I respect your decision to choose as you see fit. I simply choose differently.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 3:52 PM
  • I think Live is suggesting that he agrees that homosexuals are born that way but that they then choose to LIVE that way, and to have sex with other homosexuals.

    If that's the case, then in order to follow your god's rules, the homosexual must either live a life of celibacy or they must force themselves to have sex with the opposite sex.

    A fundamentalist person I know once told me a similar thing, he said that homosexuality was simply the cross that that person has to bear, and to not give in to it.

    What a horrible life that must be for them. I guess I got off **** lucky that my cross to bear is a love of sweets, and, of course, this dang Atheist thing I was born with!

    Live, I'd like to invite you and anyone else who likes to debate things like this to call in to a live Austin local Atheist TV show that is on for an hour each week. It airs every Sunday from 4:40PM til 5:30PM CST, the phone number is 512-472-2255

    If you want to watch it live you can get it here on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-atheist-experience

    It's a good show but always a better show when theists call in. One of the hosts is gay and I'm sure she would love to talk to you about your ideas about her sexuality.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 3:56 PM
  • A fundamentalist person I know once told me a similar thing, he said that homosexuality was simply the cross that that person has to bear, and to not give in to it.

    What a horrible life that must be for them. -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 3:56 PM

    While I will agree with your overall assessment of my point, I wouldn't say this is the case with homosexuality. The cross to bear is not the same to me at all. I would say homosexuality is a temptation to resist. So is fornication and drunkenness. Resisting such temptations is not a horrible life at all! There was a time in my life when I denied myself nothing and went with "if it feels good, do it". THAT did lead to a horrible life!! Broken relationships, alcohol, drugs, sickness, poverty, etc...

    It is not to say that the temptation of a well turned buttocks is not still present, but my choice to set aside those thoughts is replaced by a wholesome spirit that provides a sense of well being that I never had in my old life. This same experience has been described by countless thousands of others and is attributed to God. If you choose not to have that experience or, are unable for whatever reason, then that is ok by me. I make no condemnation of you or your choice, that is not for me to judge.

    We are all free to chose. Being persecuted for doing nothing wrong, as Jesus was, is "the cross to bear".

    As to your invitation to debate, I obviously have some proclivity to it, but I don't actively seek it. I actually was reluctant to say anything about my disagreement on the homosexual issue, because I though it would lead to what we have posted here. Perhaps I am drawn like a moth to a flame. In that case, here is where I return to my perch safely on the wall beside the light. It is enough.

    Be blessed.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 8:52 PM
  • Liveforlight, If we agree that homosexuals and heterosexuals are born that way. Why would either be a "temptation to resist". I was born heterosexual and have always been only attracted to women. It's not even a conscious decision. It's just a natural reaction of my body and mind. There are no therapy or prayer groups that could change. And it's the same for homosexuals. First you compared them to liars and kleptomaniacs, and now to fornication and drunkenss. I'm trying to understand your thinking on this, but I just don't get it. They have no reason to question or change their sexuality any more than you do.

    -- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 9:44 PM
  • I agree, Rocket. Live, when you resist the temptation of a "well turned buttock", are you resisting the urge to have sex for your entire life? Or just resisting temptation to have sex with anything that moves?

    That's what you seem to be suggesting that homosexuals must do, never ever have sex with anyone that they are attracted to.

    Yes, that would be a horrible life! Sex is a natural, biological urge in humans. And you think homosexuals should deny themselves that? Are you insane?

    What if your god came down to earth tomorrow and flipped it around and pronounced that from here on heterosexuality is a sin and homosexuality is right? Assuming that you're still young enough to be a vital, sexual being, would you just stop having sex forever? (Being a heterosexual, I would think your answer to that is Yes, lest you become a sinner.) Now, would that be OK with you? Just because your god arbitrarily changed his rules? Or would you comply but think that it's a huge burden on you? (Again, assuming you have an average, healthy libido.)

    Yes, we've gone completely off topic, but hey, it's still a valuable discussion.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sun, Jan 11, 2015, at 10:00 PM
  • I will try to explain resisting temptation as best I can.

    Resisting temptation carries with it the knowledge that carrying through with the action will have a negative result. This knowledge may be obtained by experience, learned from another or accepted on faith. I had to learn the hard way (by experience).

    Concerning the temptation of sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual, What is the purpose of sex? What positive result comes from it? What of the negative results? Under what circumstances? These things need to be weighed and evaluated before taking action. One negative of homosexuality is that there will be no procreation from it. Heterosexual procreation carries with it the responsibility of child rearing. Do you simply have sex with another with the explanation that "I was born that way"?

    So, on what then do you base your decision? If it feels good? If you think are just born that way?

    Even though you were born with certain tendencies, do you not have control of your own body and mind? Do you not realize that the things you practice doing become who you are, what you identify with? Read this link again, http://www.livescience.com/34018-people-stop-gay.html

    According to this article, which I would considered antithetical to Christianity, Sexual preference can be altered if you so desire for whatever reason. Race, on the other hand, cannot.

    ClarkDV lays out all sorts of hypotheticals, once you go down that road your mind can get bogged down in all kinds of "what if's". Also the statement "that would be a horrible life" indicates a hypothetical of someone who has not lived it. I can tell you, I have lived it, and it is not a horrible life.

    My God does not arbitrarily change the rules. The rules he has are well supported and the results can be observed in my life. If you don't share that, then I feel some sympathy for you, but certainly will not be the one to throw the first stone as I am not without fault either.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Jan 12, 2015, at 6:21 AM
  • Live,

    I have not read the articles to which you have linked, because if they say, as you have said, that homosexuality can be changed, then I know they are hogwash. How do I know this? I've talked to homosexual people, many of them, and I've read what they have to say on the subject.

    Heck, even Exodus International, at the time the largest therapy group for praying the gay away shut down their operation and apologized to the gay community for all the harm they did to them.

    I simply asked YOU, if you would choose a life of celibacy if you had been born with an attraction to the same sex. I don't care what anyone else thinks about it, I wanted YOUR thoughts.

    I was born with an attraction to females, I am a male. If it were made illegal and punishable by death where I lived for me to ever have sex with a female, then that would be a horrible life to live. To love a woman and not be able to be physical with her? Yes, a horrible way to live. If you have never been in love and wanted to express that love physically with your wife then I suppose that celibacy would be no big deal for you. Not me!

    And finally, I did not say your god changes rules, I asked what if he DID one day? He can, you don't know the mind of your god, as you guys like to say. He can do anything he wants according to you. If you're unwilling to answer the hypothetical I put forth then just say that.

    I think about hypotheticals because I am capable of doing it without my mind getting bogged down. Just as you're not supposed to think you can know the mind of your god, don't try to think you know mine either.

    I'll give you the last word on this tangent (unless you say something really dumb.)

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Mon, Jan 12, 2015, at 5:20 PM
  • Exodus International may have shut down, but the leader, Alan Chalmers, left the Homosexual life. He admits that he still has those attractions/ temptations but he has overcome them. He has chosen differently! Many do. The program they tried to apply didn't work. That does not mean that the individual can't choose on their own as the links I posted, written by previously homosexual people, have testified.

    I suppose it depends on what your definition of "changed" is. Is a person born with musical talents automatically a musician or only when they practice their skill? If he stops playing music is he still a musician or is he changed? Who decides what they are? Them, us, society, God?

    Would I be celibate you ask? Maybe! I don't know what I might be if conditions were different. I have lived long enough and made enough mistakes to know that my hypotheticals rarely present themselves as I expected. But, I do know I am in control of my own mind and body. My beliefs led me to be celibate for a time. It takes time to break old habits and a conscience effort to replace them with more wholesome ones. I am now happily married with children and deeply committed to them and God. The love for my spouse was not always strong as it is now. It has grown and continues to grow. We grow in the direction that we train/practice/choose. It is not instant, it takes time. Just as the livescience link, that you consider hogwash, says. Research, and my own experience, shows sexual tendencies are developed during puberty and grows from there.

    So, back to the original point. A homosexual can't help but to be attracted to the same sex. OK, so what? Do we consider homosexuality as equal then with race? What of pedophiles who can't help but be attracted to children? Using your logic, they are born that way! They can't change! Are they going to be discriminated against because of who they choose to love? If the child loves them back shouldn't they get the same consideration as race/homosexuality? Think of all the love torn hearts this hypothetical situation creates! If there is no God then what of morality? Nothing is off limits! Survival of the fittest! See what hypotheticals can create!

    I think we have each made our own points clearly enough. We are not likely to agree on any more than we already have. I am happy with my choices as I hope everyone else is with theirs.

    Be blessed!

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Jan 12, 2015, at 7:40 PM
  • Well I'm back because you said not only one really dumb thing, but several.

    Comparing homosexuality to pedophilia. You know, homosexuals really hate you for doing that, and you should be ashamed of yourself, so stop it already, OK? I'll explain the difference to you because you just don't seem to get it.

    Homosexuality can lead to sex between two consenting people. Pedophilia is about sex between an adult and a child, someone NOT ABLE to consent.

    There, get it now?

    So pedophiles may very well be born that way, but they are not allowed by our society, unless you're clergy in the Catholic church, to act on their pedophilia. Because to do so would harm a child.

    "If there is no God then what of morality? Nothing is off limits!"

    Wow, I feel sorry for you that you have no morality of your own, as an empathetic human being, and you must get your morals from a book.

    Gods are not necessary for morality, and my morality, as well as yours and most everyone else's, is SUPERIOR to the morality of the Christian god of the bible.

    Slavery, rape, mass murder, human sacrifice, stoning of children, infinite punishment for finite crimes, these are all examples of your god's "morality".

    I thank my lucky stars that I live in a society of people who are more moral, for the most part, than the god that so many of you choose to hold up as the moral authority.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Mon, Jan 12, 2015, at 9:21 PM
  • I figured most anything I posted you would condemn as dumb, otherwise you wouldn't have left that door open. Please answer some questions for me. Since you obviously consider yourself an enlightened one.

    1.)Where do you get your morality? 2.)Where does your sense of right and wrong come from? 3.)How did it get there?

    What if society arbitrarily says it is morally acceptable to kill a certain group of people? You know like the Nazis did in the 1940s. Or maybe even like Planned Parenthood does everyday. Does that make it right?

    Homosexuals may hate me, but the comparison is valid. They know society rejects pedophilia that is why they hate to be compared to them.

    Hypothetical; What if a child loves an adult? Do children have no rights? When is a child able to consent? When they become sexual aroused/aware? Reproductively viable? At what age is a child able to consent? Based on what morality? Is it ok for children to have sex with other children? What if one partner is 18 the other is 12 is that OK? Surely it can't be just the difference in age. 18 and 24 is no problem right?

    Perhaps you can see the plethora of questions that can arise from a morally relative society.

    Yes, I agree, sex with a child can damage the child!

    The Catholic church condones Pedophilia? I didn't know that. I thought it was considered a sin. You know, like adultery, fornication, theft, homosexuality, drunkenness, lying, etc. My how the times have changed! Looks like your superior morality has made it's way into the church. I expect it will continue to grow.

    Here is another sticker, sex with a same sex partner can damage both partners. Don't ask me how. You will just think it is dumb.

    Since you seem to know quite a bit about my God, please reference for me where Jesus taught that any of the things you mentioned are morally right.

    Assuming you are currently living in the U.S. you are living in a society that for the most part has been guided by Christian morality since it's very beginning. Ideas like those in the 10 commandments, loving God first and your neighbor as yourself, etc.

    That is not to say that America has not failed in meeting those standards. But, those standards are rapidly changing so you should become more and more at ease with the new morality.

    Without a doubt the day will come when we all know the truth.

    Since you condemn my comments as dumb I will burden you no further and await your enlightenment.

    Be blessed!

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Jan 12, 2015, at 10:41 PM
  • OK, I'm going to break this up into chunks because there is so much you need to learn.

    1.)Where do you get your morality?

    --As I implied in my previous post, I get it from empathy. Example, I don't like being hit on the head, so I don't hit others on the head. I don't like having my stuff stolen, so I don't steal other people's stuff. Humans are social animals, and in order to live together in groups/communities/states/countries, etc. we must agree to treat each other as we wish to be treated ourselves. In short, the Golden Rule, which has been with us since about 1000 years before the bible came along. Confucius was one of the first to suggest "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others."

    2.)Where does your sense of right and wrong come from?

    --From empathy and from judging the outcome of actions. In simple terms, If the actions harm someone against their will, then it's bad. If it's beneficial it's good.

    3.)How did it get there?

    --That's a non-sensical question. Well, actually, it's a loaded question. You're attempting to load your favorite answer into the heart of the question, suggesting that it had to be PUT there by something. Dollars to donuts your idea of what put it there is a god!

    How did my love of chocolate "get there"?

    4.) What if society arbitrarily says it is morally acceptable to kill a certain group of people? You know like the Nazis did in the 1940s. Or maybe even like Planned Parenthood does everyday. Does that make it right?

    --Of course the wholesale slaughter of Jews was not right, Live. And the larger society (the Allies) fought and defeated the Nazi movement and the killing stopped.

    Planned Parenthood is not a society nor are they killing a certain group of people. They are a organization that provides legal abortions to women who want them. An abortion is a medical procedure as far as I am concerned, and has no right or wrong component to it. I expect your opinion differs.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 2:51 AM
  • You wrote:

    "Hypothetical; What if a child loves an adult? Do children have no rights? When is a child able to consent? When they become sexual aroused/aware? Reproductively viable? At what age is a child able to consent? Based on what morality? Is it ok for children to have sex with other children? What if one partner is 18 the other is 12 is that OK? Surely it can't be just the difference in age. 18 and 24 is no problem right?"

    --The average age of consent in the US is 18 years old. It varies slightly from state to state, but 18 is the average and that's our law. The moralities involved in reaching that decision on age comes from the people who wrote the laws. You'd need to ask them these questions and on what morality they based them on.

    Personally I think 18 years old is a good age of consent. Some people may be emotionally mature enough at an earlier age to understand the ramifications of consenting to a sexual relationship with an adult, and some may not be. So I think it best to err on the side of protecting those who may not be emotionally mature enough yet.

    I reached my opinion on that age based on my experiences and my memory of how emotionally mature I was at various ages.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 3:01 AM
  • You wrote:

    "The Catholic church condones Pedophilia? I didn't know that. I thought it was considered a sin. You know, like adultery, fornication, theft, homosexuality, drunkenness, lying, etc. My how the times have changed! Looks like your superior morality has made it's way into the church. I expect it will continue to grow."

    --Yes, the Catholic church condones pedophilia and rape. When they learn of priests who are raping children and instead of alerting the police they instead choose to move the priests around to different parishes and cover up the rape, that is the explicit condoning of pedophilia and rape. The Catholic church is a criminal organization engaged in a conspiracy at that point.

    Because my morality, and yours too, I suspect, does not think it right to cover up pedophile rapists, then my morality is superior to that of the Catholic church.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 3:07 AM
  • You wrote:

    "Here is another sticker, sex with a same sex partner can damage both partners. Don't ask me how. You will just think it is dumb."

    --Um, OK.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 3:08 AM
  • You wrote:

    "Since you seem to know quite a bit about my God, please reference for me where Jesus taught that any of the things you mentioned are morally right."

    --All of those things are reported as happening in your bible, mostly in the OT. The god of the bible commanded most of them, and explicitly condones the rest, slavery for example.

    Jesus's main word on the misdeeds and mostly immoral commandments of the OT god is given on the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:17-20 in which he says in part, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

    Jesus is explicitly stating that not one of the OT's 613 commandments are to be ignored. So when the OT god commanded and condoned rape, mass murder, rape, human sacrifice, and slavery. Jesus did NOT come along and wipe it all away. But instead doubled down and said that it was all the commands of god, every word of it, and that it stands.

    Nowhere in there do I see that Jesus says that the actions of the OT god are immoral. Are you suggesting that Jesus DID come along later and condemn OT god for his earlier actions?

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 3:26 AM
  • You wrote:

    "Assuming you are currently living in the U.S. you are living in a society that for the most part has been guided by Christian morality since it's very beginning. Ideas like those in the 10 commandments, loving God first and your neighbor as yourself, etc."

    --The US has been guided by the morality of its people. Some of us religious, some of us not religious. And when the religious person's own morality comes into conflict with that of their deity, that's when you see some very creative twisting, turning, hemming and hawing in order to reconcile the two. It normally involves trying to "explain" why the bible's morality seems, at face value, to be immoral.

    I'll end with a quote from Matt Dillahunty:

    "Secular moral systems are the only true moral "systems" - theistic moral "systems" aren't systems at all, they're pronouncements about morality. They all fall to something akin to the Euthyphro dilemma: Is something moral because god commands it, or does god command it because it's moral?

    If the former, then morality isn't absolute, it's capricious. If the latter, then god is merely a messenger for factual truths about morality - and irrelevant to what morality actually is.

    So endeth the enlightenment!

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 3:39 AM
  • Thanks ClarkDv! You obviously spent a lot of time and put together some well thought-out responses. Just by the time stamps there is nearly an hour of time spent, in the wee hrs. of the morning too. I hope you didn't loose any sleep over this.

    You have given me much to think about, and I agree that the OT testifies of much brutality, and that Jesus did not abolish the law but fulfilled it. There is a difference between the Mosiac laws Jesus fulfilled and the commands God gave to Israel during the Exodus and subsequent battles to retake the lands of Abraham.

    I agree that we all have empathy built in, the conscience choice to consider others as ourselves. I believe that "empathy" was built in by our creator. The creator also built in us the brutality to extort from others, and gives us the option to choose.

    The foundation of our nation is built upon "inalienable rights" with which we have been "endowed by our creator". If those rights do not come from a "creator" because he doesn't exist, then we have not been endowed with them and they only exist as a choice of man and can be revoked in the same way.

    I simply do not have the time to go further right now and will address some of this later.

    I do recognize and appreciate your efforts though.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 6:07 AM
  • Yes, a choice of man if he wants to live in harmony with other men and women, to the benefit of all of us. That's a beautiful thing, and we are all of us responsible for it ourselves.

    When we choose to treat others as we ourselves want to be treated, not out of fear of punishment or anticipation of a reward from a deity, but out of empathy and understanding, then we are making progress as a species.

    Those inalienable rights can be infringed upon by men, but not revoked. And when they are infringed upon, we deal with that. The phrase "endowed by our creator" is one of the few things that our original founders got way, way wrong! But those documents were written and intended to be not pronouncements chiseled in stone, but to be a living, breathing, and therefore amendable, document.

    As for my hours and sleep habits, I appreciate your concern. I work all hours, I think a lot while working, and writing my thoughts down takes mere minutes.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 4:21 PM
  • Also, you wrote:

    "There is a difference between the Mosiac laws Jesus fulfilled and the commands God gave to Israel during the Exodus and subsequent battles to retake the lands of Abraham."

    Here you seem to be suggesting that the commands your god gave during Exodus and subsequent battles were "wartime" commands, and therefore the normal rules of his good and loving nature, and his supreme morality, were suspended because, hey, it's a war.

    However, that does not explain why he ordered Moses to keep the young female virgins for themselves as he did in Numbers 31:

    "Numbers 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

    Numbers 31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."

    Gee, that sounds eerily similar to the promise of 72 virgins that supposedly awaits Islamic martyrs, doesn't it?

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 4:29 PM
  • ClarkDV- I have a little time now so I will begin with a variant on what you ended with on your previous post the "Euthyphro dilemma". Which I had never heard of that term before. Thanks!

    The decision we must address is; Did God create man, or did man create god? Who made who? We all have to chose an answer. One answer puts man in the judgment seat over God. The other puts God in the judgment seat over man. Obviously you and I have chosen opposite sides to this question. Although, you spend a lot of time studying and criticizing an entity you claim does not exist. Also, obviously, neither one of us is likely to change our decision at this point.

    Realizing you have already made your decision as to God's existence, I will make these points anyway in the event someone else may gain insight. I do not pretend to understand things like quantum physics or Thermodynamics but below are some basic precepts copied from these web sites that offer scientific explanations as to the very real possibility of the existence of God.

    http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c039.html

    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/who_created_god.html

    1. Everything which has a beginning has a cause.

    2. The universe has a beginning.

    3. Therefore the universe has a cause.

    The idea that God can be eternal leads us to the idea that maybe the universe is eternal, and, therefore, God doesn't need to exist at all. Actually, this was the prevalent belief of atheists before the observational data of the 20th century strongly refuted the idea that the universe was eternal. When Stephen Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose extended the equations for general relativity to include space and time, the results showed that time has a beginning - at the moment of creation (i.e., the Big Bang).3 In fact, if you examine university websites, you will find that many professors make such a claim - that the universe had a beginning and that this beginning marked the beginning of time. Such assertions support the Bible's claim that time began at the creation of the universe.

    God has no need to have been created, since He exists either outside time (where cause and effect do not operate) or within multiple dimensions of time (such that there is no beginning of God's plane of time). Hence God is eternal, having never been created. Although it is possible that the universe itself is eternal, eliminating the need for its creation, observational evidence contradicts this hypothesis, since the universe began to exist a finite ~13.8 billion years ago. The only possible escape for the atheist is the invention of a kind of super universe, which can never be confirmed experimentally hence it is metaphysical in nature, and not scientific.

    -------------------------------------

    If God made man, then obviously we are not in a position to judge his morality or reasoning behind his actions.

    If, as you suggest the morality of God is inferior to yours, then that is only because you have chosen to sit in judgment of the god you have created. Do you then have all the facts to make righteous judgment?

    You wrote;

    --I thank my lucky stars that I live in a society of people who are more moral, for the most part, than the god that so many of you choose to hold up as the moral authority.

    --The US has been guided by the morality of its people. Some of us religious, some of us not religious.

    The vast majority of people in our society believe in God and a superior morality that exceeds that of man. You can "thank your lucky stars", or you can thank the majority of people who have lived out their belief in God, or you can thank God himself. But, you cannot say that the morality of men, which has been deeply affected by Christian influence, (especially in this country), is superior to the moral values adopted from the source it supposed to be superior to.

    The Morality of our current society is moving away from Christian values, but so far the effect does not seem to be an improvement, quite the contrary.

    The OT does contain a lot of brutality and what we would consider immoral actions, IF we are to set in judgment of God. The genocide of wiping out the entire population of the earth in a flood, wiping out 2 entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are easier for us to digest as acts of God, than the commands given to an army to conquer, kill and pillage. They are akin to humans exterminating an entire population of termites because they are eating our house. This of course puts human beings in the lowly place of an insect in relation to God.

    If God does it through "an act of God" or natural disaster it seems somehow less immoral, more than likely because we realize it is way beyond our control. It is easier to accept when there is nothing we can do about it. What is really at stake here is did God really command men to kill and pillage? Why didn't he just do it himself? I have no answer for that, or many other questions concerning God. For example, the Bible says God created evil. Why would he do that? Is evil necessary? Was it created only to give us the option to choose?

    The OT basically gives the story of the descendants of Abraham which God promised who have descendants as numerous as the stars, and that all people and nations would be blessed through him. Does the end justify the means? Who gets to decide? Here again we see we have the option to choose.

    You said Jesus condoned immoral activity by doubling down and stating that he came to fulfill the law. You are right in that respect, he did fulfill the law. When he was crucified upon the cross he said "It is finished! " This has several meanings, but basically it means the work of the law, prophecies, covenants, commands, and work of God to accomplish his promises were completed.

    The brutality from God ended at that point and Jesus' teaching are carried out by his disciples and all people of the new covenant, Jew and Gentile alike. These are the teachings I was asking you about.

    You said;

    --Planned Parenthood is not a society nor are they killing a certain group of people.

    They are accepted by society as a group to kill unborn, unwanted, people. Of course you probably do not consider the unborn "people". Our laws, based on the morality of people does however. If someone kills a pregnant women, or her baby while still inside her, they are charged with it's murder.

    It is logical to consider that society, especially one that answers to no higher moral authority than their own, will consent to the wholesale slaughter of other unwanted members of society. It has happened, it is happening, it will happen. The only question is to whom?

    The Morality that Jesus left us with is simple, love God above everything else and love your neighbor as yourself. These two fulfill all the requirements and commands of the law.

    You said;

    In short, the Golden Rule, which has been with us since about 1000 years before the bible came along. Confucius was one of the first to suggest "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others."

    If Confucius was one of the first, then we was about 100o yrs behind the Bible. It was written in the Bible in Lev 19:18 in about 1512B.C. Confucius died in 479B.C.

    I am out of time again maybe I will post more later, maybe not.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Jan 13, 2015, at 8:38 PM
  • I stand corrected, Confucius's version of the Golden Rule does come after it was written in Leviticus.

    It was the Hindu version that pre-dates the bible.

    Hinduism: 3200 BC, From the Hitopadesa- "One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated."

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 12:43 AM
  • The rest of your argument boils down to your assertion that your god is eternal and exists outside of space and time. And for that you have no proof, therefore no good reason to believe it is true.

    You use the word "god" to answer the mysteries of our existence, and then declare that god does not need to be answered for.

    Yes, a god does need to be answered for.

    The answer to how did the universe begin is "We don't know yet, and may never know. But we're trying to learn more about it."

    "God did it!" is a non-answer.

    The question of how the universe came to exist is a great mystery. It's no wonder that so many of us throughout the ages have pondered the question. And I would love to live long enough to learn the answer. But I probably won't, and I have to be mature enough to accept that and resist the temptation to grasp at an easy answer that some mysterious creature created it. A creature that we cannot see, hear, touch, talk to, etc.

    In the mean time I live my life, I try to treat people well, I help others when I can, and I look for joy and laughter with my friends.

    And I do all of that without needing to worship something that does not manifest in reality.

    I was asked by a Christian friend recently why I did not believe in Christianity. I replied that the reason is the same reason that my friend does not believe in Islam, Hinduism, Judaism or Buddhism.

    Why do I spend so much time considering a being that I do not believe exists? Because I live on a planet surrounded by people who DO believe it exists. And their beliefs affect me greatly.

    Their deity has its name written on my currency, it's in a pledge that our children must recite, its commands are written on the walls of far too many of my courthouses, just to name a few of the ways in which this unfounded belief invades my life.

    And it does not have to be that way. We can exist far better when we all believe only those things for which we have good, rational reasons to believe.

    When we value THIS life, this one and only life that we KNOW we are going to have, then we have a fighting chance at progress. But as long as so many of us think that this life is just a waiting room, a place to wipe our feet before we get on with our real, eternal life that comes next, then this life will be a struggle, because those people don't value it nearly enough. They think they have another one coming up. They cheapen this life.

    For anyone reading these long-winded posts, from both Live and I, I'll end with a link to a wiki written by people who are far more eloquent and knowledgable than I am on these subjects. And finally a quote from Steven Weinberg.

    http://wiki.ironchariots.org

    Live, there was no world-wide flood. An omnipotent and omniscient god should be able to get his message to us better than via oral traditions and then written word, and you're living your life ruled by the poetry and laws thought up by Bronze Age shepherds who thought the earth was flat and was the center of our solar system. Of course people back then believed it, they knew nothing of our world and universe. But to still believe that today takes a special kind of willful ignorance.

    "Frederick Douglass told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham.

    Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God's will.

    With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil -- that takes religion."

    ― Steven Weinberg

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 1:18 AM
  • You wrote-----You use the word "god" to answer the mysteries of our existence, and then declare that god does not need to be answered for.

    Yes, a god does need to be answered for.

    The answer to how did the universe begin is "We don't know yet, and may never know. But we're trying to learn more about it."

    "God did it!" is a non-answer.-----

    No, I did not say God doesn't need to be answered for, he doesn't need to answer to US we are not his judge, he is ours.

    "God did it" is a favorite saying used by Atheist to ridicule others beliefs about God "It happened, we don't know yet, but it wasn't God" is not an answer either. It boils down to choice.

    You said Hinduism was the first to develop the Golden Rule I haven't looked it up I believe you. But, Hindus believe in God also.

    ---

    Hinduism is not a homogeneous, organized system. Many Hindus are devoted followers of Shiva or Vishnu, whom they regard as the only true God, while others look inward to the divine Self (atman). But most recognize the existence of Brahman, the unifying principle and Supreme Reality behind all that is.----

    By this definition, perhaps you are actually Hindu (atman) since you believe in divine self (choice)

    You wrote:

    ---With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil -- that takes religion.--

    This requires judgment, not religion. Can good people do bad things? Can an evil person do good things? Is a person good if he does one good thing? Is he evil if he does 2 bad things? What measure is used? It all depends on perspective.

    Without a doubt, man has invented gods and used god as a means to justify evil works. That is one thing Jesus came to correct.

    Slavery is one of the worst institutions of man. How can you love your neighbor as yourself while making them your slave? It has damaged this country greatly and need not have. If only the man who wrote "All men are created equal" would have practiced what he preached. That is really the crux of it. People who do not practice what they preach.

    My reason for being Christian has little to do with an afterlife. I see the value in Jesus teaching and do my best to implement them. People who become religious as fire insurance have the wrong motivations.

    Have no more time, got a job to slave away at;)

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 6:31 AM
  • Perhaps the most compelling evidence of God, which science and atheist want to explain away, is the innate knowledge in all men that there is an origanized "something" much bigger than man. If it is organized, there must be an organizer. Man wants to be the organizer.

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 7:49 AM
  • Both of you overwhelm me with your knowledge and research. I am not piping in to take sides but after all, I started this so I should let you know I am still following it and have an opinion or two.

    My feeble mind cannot conceive the diversity, complexity of this world just "evolving".

    I believe mankind is dangerously arrogant to think they developed to this point by chance.

    I have had personal experiences that convince me of a supreme being or "force" if that is more palatable, as well as life after this one.

    I do not think anyone has a "lock" on the one and only religion. Since religion was developed by man, there are weakness to our beliefs but not believing in anything is sad. (to me)

    Faith is believing in something not yet proved or fulfilled. My calling is not to proselytize, although some think that ANY "Believer" has that obligation.

    If our spirit/soul was created in the likeness of our creator, I understand the Old Testament as a history the "old way" our creator used to deal with us. The New Testament is a history of a change in attitude and approach on dealing with mankind.

    Keeping in mind that humans wrote, interpreted and re-interpret The Bible all the time, I rely on my Faith to help me glean what our creator wants me to understand.

    Referring back to my claim to have had personal experiences that formed my opinions and beliefs, when I am way off base, I get the proverbial "head-slap" and when I am dead-on it is a fantastic "warm fuzzy" that I am on track.

    I am sure this sounds absurd, crazy, and maybe even blasphemous to some. No worries, I am not trying to convince you, just stating my opinions and experiences.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 10:55 AM
  • Keeping in mind that humans wrote, interpreted and re-interpret The Bible all the time, I rely on my Faith to help me glean what our creator wants me to understand.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 10:55 AM

    I am with you on this. There are many things in the Bible I don't understand so I pray, study, and seek the truth, which Jesus said I would find. Sometimes the truth doesn't look like I thought it would.

    ClarkDv has actually helped me to think about, and research some things. The Golden Rule for example; I had always considered as originating in the Bible. ClarkDv posted this'

    ---It was the Hindu version that pre-dates the bible.

    Hinduism: 3200 BC, From the Hitopadesa- "One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated."

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 12:43 AM-----

    I took it at face value because of the earlier mistake on Confucius, But my curiousity got the better of me and I found this about the Hitopadesa;

    ---The only clue to the identity of the author of Hitopadesha is found in the concluding verses of the work, which supply the name Narayana and mention the patronage of a king called Dhavalachandra. As no other work by this author is known, and since the ruler mentioned has not been traced in other sources, we know almost nothing of either of them. Dating the work is therefore problematic. There are quotations within it from 8th century works, but the earliest manuscript dates from 1373.----

    This is obviously latter than the Leviticus date of around 1500 B.C. So, the Hindu origin is also incorrect.

    However during my research I found this;

    ---c. 1800 BC Egypt's "Eloquent peasant" story has been said to have the earliest known golden-rule saying: "Do to the doer to cause that he do." But the translation is disputed and it takes much stretching to see this as the golden rule.---

    This may be a vague translation, but it makes sense that this could have made it's way into Leviticus as written by Moses some 3-4 hundred years later. This also coincidences with the Biblical account of Israel being in Egypt 300 yrs prior to Exodus.

    Ultimately, we all have to make a choice as to what we believe., for now. I agree with ClarkDV on another thing. I do believe we will get all the answers we seek in time. As I already said, the truth will not look like I/we thought it would.

    That is because there is none of us right, no not one. Luckily, Christ came to save not condemn.

    Be blessed!!

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 8:32 PM
  • "innate knowledge in all men that there is an origanized "something" much bigger than man"

    I do not have that knowledge in me, and I'd wager that I am not the only one. So that statement is also false.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 10:26 PM
  • "I believe mankind is dangerously arrogant to think they developed to this point by chance."

    I believe mankind is dangerously arrogant to insist on having all the answers and having them right dang NOW. (God did it all!)

    With maturity, as a species, comes patience, and truth. Children want it all and want it now, adults, most of them, learn it best to wait and get it right.

    And you need to read up on Natural Selection. It might put to rest your fears of random chance.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 10:29 PM
  • RE; The Golden Rule

    My point was to show that the golden rule, along with many other ideas that so many Christians think originated in their bible, in fact came from elsewhere.

    A friend recently told me that she always thought the bible was the oldest book known to man!

    You seem satisfied, though, in the knowledge that while the gist of the golden rule didn't come from the Christian bible, that it might have come from the Hindu religion, and you said "Hindus believe in God also."

    Not according to most every Christian I have heard, ever! But I'm glad you're enlightened in that respect at least. Now if you can just let go of the idea of some outside force being needed to compel/teach us to be decent to one another than you may be on the path to true enlightenment indeed!

    Live, Steve, and any others, go to YouTube, search for Atheist Experience, watch a few shows or just clips of individual callers. And when that angers you enough, call the show yourself sometime and argue it out with the hosts. Many theists do and it's always informative and often times entertaining.

    Theist: "Have you ever read The Bible?"

    Atheist: "Yes, have you ever read anything else??"

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 10:43 PM
  • Crap, I knew there would be a couple more things I needed to follow up on.

    You wrote:

    "Slavery is one of the worst institutions of man. How can you love your neighbor as yourself while making them your slave? It has damaged this country greatly and need not have. If only the man who wrote "All men are created equal" would have practiced what he preached. That is really the crux of it. People who do not practice what they preach."

    Are you laying the horror of slavery ALL at man's feet? What about the parts of the bible where god explicitly CONDONES slavery? Have you not read those?

    And I'm not talking that old chestnut that apologists love to trot out as an explanation, what amounts to indentured servitude or that the slavery mentioned is only for Hebrew slaves.

    No, the bible clearly states that "you may buy your slaves from the heathen around you" that's not indentured servitude. Leviticus 25:44-46

    You may pass them on to your sons, they are your property.

    And one of the worst, the statement that slave owners may beat their slaves as long as they do not die within a day or two. Exodus 21:20-21

    That's some "good book" there!

    And for Jesus's part in slavery, he said "Slaves obey your masters." Why didn't he instead say, "Hey, you know that whole section of the OT where we condone slavery? Well, scratch that, reverse it, we got that wrong. Do NOT own other humans."

    All the absurdities, atrocities, and contradictions are in the bible because no divine beings authored or inspired it. Man and man alone wrote it. And that is as obvious as the nose on your face if you can, for an instance, crawl out from under whatever indoctrination you were saddled with.

    It's difficult, I know, it took me over 40 years to crawl out from under it, but I did it, and so can you!

    Now I gotta get back to work, sleep is for sissies.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Wed, Jan 14, 2015, at 11:07 PM
  • CLarkDV;

    My post;

    "innate knowledge in all men that there is an origanized "something" much bigger than man"

    To which you replied;

    I do not have that knowledge in me, and I'd wager that I am not the only one. So that statement is also false.

    Then you added this concerning Biblical teaching, which address this very thing ;

    It's difficult, I know, it took me over 40 years to crawl out from under it, but I did it, and so can you!

    Obvious contradiction by your own words, You have/had the same knowledge/questions. You choose differently. That is all.

    You say "God did it." is a non-answer. Actually, it IS an answer. Maybe one you do not accept, but it is an answer.

    "I don't know, but it wasn't God" IS a non-answer. That is the one you have chosen.

    Yes, slavery is an institution of man, not God. God allowed it to continue, and it continues today. He gave instructions as to how slaves were to be treated. He regulated it, but it is a creation of man.

    Bible teachings actually allow anything. Did you know that?

    1Cor. 6;12"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but I will not be mastered by anything.

    We get to choose. Is it beneficial? Based on what?

    We agree that slavery does not meet the requirements of the golden rule. Jesus also said he who is not against us is for us. So we need not argue slavery.

    Concerning the golden rule;

    There is no compelling evidence that the gist of the Golden rule didn't come from the Bible. In fact, the only other possibility that "possibly could have" pre-dated the Bible was Egyptian. Since Israel was in Egypt at this time there really is no conflict as it places the author "Moses" at the right place at the right time. The events Moses wrote about pre-date Moses life as they were reveal to him by God when he received the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments, by the way, were written in stone by God himself, so they ARE permanent.

    Yes, I believe other cultures could seek out the same God and arrive at the same decisions, and so, I fell for your false Hindu information.

    Christians and other religions are often condemned for trying to convert the entire world to believe as they do. As an Atheist you seem intent on the same thing. Perhaps it will happen, but it will require irrefutable proof. "We don't know, but it wasn't God" falls woefully short.

    So for now, we are left accepting certain things we cannot prove as truth. That is the nature of faith. We must make a choice!

    I choose to end my posting on this.

    Be blessed!

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at 7:10 AM
  • Live,

    You really need to stop being dishonest, especially when quoting me.

    I wrote:

    "crawl out from under whatever indoctrination you were saddled with.

    It's difficult, I know, it took me over 40 years to crawl out from under it, but I did it, and so can you!"

    Right there, as plain as day I said that it took me 40 years to crawl out from under the indoctrination. NOT the inmate knowledge that you talked about, but indoctrination. You do know the difference between those two things, right?

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at 6:14 PM
  • "God" simply answers a mystery with a bigger mystery.

    It's ridiculously simple to show this, watch:

    Person A: "What created all this?"

    Theist: "God did."

    Person A: "OK, but what created God?"

    Theist: "Um, nothing, he just always was around somehow, but we don't know how. He just told us he was always around and we took his word for it because, um, like, he's god, you know?"

    There, see? God is a non answer.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at 6:19 PM
  • You say your god allows slavery because "Bible teachings actually allow anything. Did you know that?"

    Yes, do you?

    Bible (god) teachings do NOT "allow anything". Remember that thing called the 10 commandments? Remember the other 603 commandments?

    That's a whole lotta commanding for a god who "allows anything".

    Now, if you want to insert apologists favorite argument here, free will, then I would counter with this question. Why does your god bother to list all the things in those 613 commandments that we are supposed to follow if we have free will?

    And why does he not bother to mention, oh yeah, and don't own other people?

    You have not answered, and cannot answer the slavery question. You can tap dance around it, but you cannot answer it.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at 6:23 PM
  • "and so, I fell for your false Hindu information."

    Wow, even when shown that the bible did not originate the message of the golden rule, you still refuse to accept it. Well, actually that's not surprising to me.

    ===============

    "Christians and other religions are often condemned for trying to convert the entire world to believe as they do. As an Atheist you seem intent on the same thing."

    If the rest of the world could believe as they wish AND keep those beliefs out o0f my life, I would be happy that you all hang onto your various religions. But you cannot do it, you simply insist on pushing your religious laws and teaching into my life. And so I push back.

    BTW, when someone who has been pushed for a looooooooong time finally decides to push back, that's not you being persecuted, that's you being set back in line, and your special, preferred status being taken away so that you are treated equally in our society, just like everyone else who does not believe as you do.

    =========

    "Perhaps it will happen, but it will require irrefutable proof. "We don't know, but it wasn't God" falls woefully short."

    You seem to have it backwards, when a claim is made, such as "There is a god", that claim requires irrefutable proof.

    Atheism is simply a position on the claim that there is a god. The Atheist position is "I do not believe you."

    Since when does "I don't know" fall short as an answer? It's the ONLY truthful answer when you actually don't know and have no evidence of any other answer. (BTW, you don't know and you have no such evidence.)

    I remember something taught to me in the Army, we were taught not to bullshit a superior officer when they asked us a question. We were instructed not to just make something up, or give information that we were not certain of. We were taught that "I don't know, Sir" was a perfectly acceptable answer. (And should always be followed up with, "But I will find out the answer, Sir!")

    "So for now, we are left accepting certain things we cannot prove as truth. That is the nature of faith. We must make a choice!"

    Finally, a true statement! A silly one, but a true one.

    The nature of faith IS to accept as true something for which you have no good reason to accept as true.

    But no, you are not "left accepting certain things we cannot prove as truth." You can choose to withhold belief until such a time as sufficient evidence is provided. After all, you most likely live your life, and make all your other important decisions by that criteria, withhold belief in something until proven. Why is the idea of the origins of the universe and what happens after we die any different?

    Just because emotions are involved? I'm as afraid of death as the next person, I've only known life, the idea of being asked to leave the party while it continues on is distressing and scary. I want to know how the universe began too, I have so many questions.

    But I refuse to allow short term comfort to my emotional self to override the value of actual truth. I lie to myself enough as it is, yes, it's OK to have one more cookie, etc. I don't want to lie to myself on the big questions. It's too important and I have too much respect for the truth to allow my emotions to interfere and just take something comforting on faith.

    Faith is gullibility.

    YouTube, search for Atheist Experience, call In to the show sometime. Any of you, all of you. Theists always welcome.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at 6:42 PM
  • OK, on the origin of the golden rule idea.

    After even more research it seems that the exact origin of the idea is difficult to pin down. It's show to have been written in many cultures at different times. The argument could be made that the oldest one obviously influenced all other mentions of it, but a counter to that is that there is the possibility that the other writers did not know of any earlier writings.

    It's not like today, where the flow of information is almost instantaneous.

    So I will back off of my assertion that the very first mention of the golden rule idea did not occur in the Old Testament.

    I will, however, submit the idea that the golden rule is derived from empathy, and humans have empathy, therefore it's not surprising that the idea of treating others as you wish to be treated should arise in many places at different times.

    Be Rational.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at 7:05 PM
  • Clark, Are Atheists like yourself actually saying "I don't know", when it comes to any form of religion? From what I understand Atheists believe that there is no God. Which would mean that, yes, they do know. I almost find that the same as someone that does believe in God. You both seem to think you have the answer. The only real difference I see, is that I don't have Atheists knocking on my door on Saturday mornings handing out pamphlets.

    -- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Thu, Jan 15, 2015, at 7:18 PM
  • Atheism is simply a position on the claim of Theists that there IS a god.

    Atheism says "I do not believe your claim that there is a god."

    Under the label of Atheism there are two different flavors, if you will. Strong Atheism, and Weak Atheism. They are described below, and these distinctions, and much more information, can be found at the Iron Chariots Wiki. http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheism

    A "strong" atheist is one who asserts that "there is no god." Strong atheism is the form of atheism that most theists reference in debates, since most don't know the distinction between strong and weak atheism. However, strong atheists are rarer than most people think.

    A "weak" atheist is one who doesn't claim to know that there is no god, but instead simply lacks belief in a god. This form of atheism is the most common, and is sometimes called "agnostic atheism".

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Fri, Jan 16, 2015, at 3:40 AM
  • Live,

    To simplify things, please just answer me this one question.

    Why doesn't the bible and any of its commandments prohibit slavery?

    It prohibits many other of man's sinful ways, lustfulness, lying, killing, stealing. But no prohibition on owning another human as property.

    The music is playing, let the tap dancing begin...

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Fri, Jan 16, 2015, at 3:41 AM
  • I don't know why God does or allows many things Clark. I always wondered why he would create evil but it says he did in Isaiah 45:7.

    In regard to slavery, which we agree is immoral. I can only speculate. God did not command that we make slaves. It would seem that man especially in OT times, was considered little more than a beast.

    Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 "I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?"

    This is upsetting to some as we want to consider ours selves equal to, or in your case, superior to, God.

    One of the signs of a righteous man, the Bible says, is that he takes care of his animals (see Proverbs 12:10). Even the animal of an enemy was to be treated kindly: "If you come across your enemy's ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to take it back to him" (Exodus 23:4).

    The Bible also says we ourselves can become slaves by our own choosing. We are slaves to whatever has mastered us, things we are committed to. In your case, that would be Atheism. In mine Christianity.

    Romans 6:

    ...17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification....

    Slavery still exists today. Being compelled by physical force is the form we find most reprehensible as the abuse of another human being. Many are just as repulsed by the abuse of animals. To have a slave, force must be applied. Law is force and carries with it the physical threat. The salve choosing to be a slave is the preferred way of enslaving people today. It happens today, in this country, through our economic system of banks, taxation, and laws.

    As I have already said, WE agree that slavery is immoral. God does not command we make slaves, but he allows it. The choice is up to us. Which is more important to you, Loving your neighbor (slave) or reaping the benefits of your neighbors labor (money)?

    Read "The Law", by Frederic Bastiat

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Jan 16, 2015, at 6:53 AM
  • Killing, lying, stealing, all of those things still exist today, just as in the day of "beastly" man.

    But your god prohibited all of those things, yet he did not prohibit the owning of other humans.

    I am left to draw two conclusions:

    A) God does not exist, man wrote those things, namely Slave Owners wrote those things, so that they could justify it and keep owning slaves.

    B) God exists but is cool with owning of other humans.

    Is there a third that I'm just not seeing?

    Your comparing modern day jobs to slavery is laughable and you know it. It's also offensive to all those who were actual slaves. Next time you're in a conversation with a person of African descent, trot out that Slavery/Employee idea of yours. I imagine you'll hear a fresh perspective on it. (Unless, of course, that person is a Christian, in that case you can both tap dance together!)

    Can you quit your job? Slaves couldn't.

    Can your boss beat you? Slave Owners could.

    Does your boss own you as property that he can then pass down to his children?

    I'm glad to know that you find slavery immoral. Like I said way back in this discussion, you are more moral than your god is.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Fri, Jan 16, 2015, at 5:28 PM
  • "My Momma always said" that when someone feels compelled to shout in a discussion it is usually because they are insecure in what they are saying.

    I equate that to when someone uses hateful,snarky or snide comments as well. Even if it does not signify insecurity of one's position, it weakens a person's position and devalues their comments in my opinion.

    Why our Lord chooses to allow cruelty and pain in this world is a mystery to me. It does not really weaken my belief but it sure gives support to those who do not believe.

    My only rationale is that this cruelty and pain is insignificant in the total scheme of things. Sixty to eighty years of intermittent suffering is miniscule to eternal suffering after our physical body dies.

    The term slavery is defined in many ways. Even the most Liberal will use it to define various form of indebtedness or servitude. I understand where you were going with this Liveforlight. ClarkDV is defining it by the ownership of a person as property.

    Both can be correct but disagree dramatically until a mutual definition is accepted. It seems that slavery in the Bible has several definitions as well. "the borrower is the slave of the lender" is not necessarily referring to a slave owned as property.

    OK, that is my tidbit observation for the day. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jan 16, 2015, at 6:35 PM
  • Most if not all are in bondage (slavery) to the great machine of the monetary system. Few can see it perhaps maybe the elect.

    -- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Fri, Jan 16, 2015, at 7:03 PM
  • As to Bible teachings on possession of slaves as property; It was regulated and depends greatly on how the person became a slave. Kidnapping and forcing into slavery was forbidden and punishable by death.

    He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:16)

    God does not respect social status:

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

    I suspect that your care nothing about the issue of slavery and are instead just wanting others to condemn that which you have already condemned.

    I am tired of this futile bickering so I will post no more. If you actually want to know more about slavery in the Bible here is an informative link;

    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/slavery_bible.html

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Fri, Jan 16, 2015, at 9:32 PM
  • Again, Slavery, the explicit owning and beating and passing on to your children of other humans, is condoned in your bible.

    And again, you try to apologize it and redefine it away.

    Theists fail on the subject of Slavery, ever single time. And your investment, mostly emotional, but surely prideful too, keeps you from admitting that the bible is wrong on this subject.

    Live, I did a search on the page you linked. I searched for the words "wife" "awl" "ear" and guess what? Not mentioned at all, not once.

    Why did I search those words? Because of the little loophole that the men who wrote the bible put in so that they could own a man and his entire family, forever.

    Exodus 21:4-6

    4"If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone.

    5"But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,'

    6then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently.

    Now, before you point out that the slave was given a choice whether to leave or not, he was given the choice to leave his wife and children!! That is not a "choice" that most men would be willing to make. It is a immoral little loophole to keep the man, after the wife and kids are already to be kept forever, as property.

    Steve, no offense, but did you just come on here and chastise us for our words and attitudes? That strikes me as quite ironic because the origins of this post was about a group of religious men who became so infuriated about words and drawings that other men and women wrote down, that they took guns and killed 12 of those men and women, instead of using their words to communicate their anger the way well-adjusted adults do.

    If my or our attitudes weakens our argument in your eyes, then you need to work on your information evaluation skills. An argument should stand or fall on the information it contains, not on whether you like the presenter or not.

    The bible is dead wrong on the subject of Slavery. It is dead wrong on many many other subjects too.

    And that is why I think it was written solely by man.

    The Atheist Experience TV show comes on again tomorrow (Sunday). Look it up on Ustream, watch archived episodes on YouTube, and call in to the show with your thoughts on slavery or anything else you think the bible is right and Atheists are wrong about!

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Sat, Jan 17, 2015, at 9:10 PM
  • I never denied the Bible allows slavery and I am not trying to "redefine" it away. I explained there are several different versions of slavery, and there is, and that the Bible regulates them. You seem to think that slavery is some kind of Achilles heal and it isn't.

    Here is a far better reference, though exhaustive, it address the OT scripture you reference as well as many subsequent variations on slavery. The only failure on the issue of slavery in the OT is the failure to apply ALL of God's rules. There are many, and that is one reason Christ came to finish that work.

    https://bibleapologetics.wordpress.com/slavery-in-the-bible-25/#indentured

    The Bible has not failed, in fact your repeated attempts to discredit the Bible concerning the Golden Rule has only served to strengthen my faith, which is one good thing to come from all of this. Through our exhaustive posting on the subject, I have no doubt that there is no older proven writing of the Golden Rule than that found in Leviticus written by Moses.

    So, whether you are a slave, owned by another person, a slave by contract (as in military enlistment), a slave by your indebtedness to another human being, a slave to sin which you have let master you, or a slave to an ideology such as Atheism,, you are commanded to Love God first, and your neighbor ("neighbor" includes slaves) as yourself.

    No thanks on the Atheist show. This world has enough challenges already without listening to a bunch of arguments from lost souls. I don't watch Jerry Springer either. I spend my Sunday nights with believers who are actually working to free those who are enslaved.

    The battles to end slavery in this country were encouraged by "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" which specifically mentions "his truth is marching on" and,, so it is.

    In order to be free from slavery there has to be the desire to be free, you serve your master, I will serve mine.

    There are many failures with the non-answer "I don't know, but it wasn't God". There is only one real problem with Christianity. That problem is that a lot of people don't live like Christ. We don't practice what we preach. THAT is a problem!

    Tomorrow we honor MLK a Christian pastor who used Biblical principles to fight justly for civil rights. A good example of Christian action! A man who practiced what he preached and it cost him his life, just like Christ.

    It is time to do something!! Be like Christ!! not Muhammed, not Atheist, not Budha, or any other God. CHRIST!!

    I will leave you all with this youtube link. Especially those who call themselves Christian

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I2csO7_pOI

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Sun, Jan 18, 2015, at 11:15 PM
  • ClarkDV, no offense taken. It did not contain the "extra" that I was mentioning and got your point across well.

    Rather than chastisement I considered my post as a request to make comments without using words to belittle a person or sarcasm.

    That is EXACTLY what I think the French publication was doing, so I see no great conflict in what I said originally. Instead of "religion" I was inserting "person".

    I don't think a "well-adjusted adult" needs to use biting sarcasm and ridicule as a tool to get their point across. Of course, it is not as "entertaining" but the again, I guess it is the the ear/eye of the beholder.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jan 19, 2015, at 9:03 AM
  • Live, you're a slave to dogma, but then you seem to think slavery is okey dokey, so enjoy it. And continue to only read and listen to one side of the argument, that's a sure fire path to truth. The TV show I mentioned is a discussion, but your fear of it speaks volumes as to the validity of your beliefs and the fragile nature of them.

    To all of you, ideas are fair game for ridicule. No idea is off limits. You have the right to think and believe what you want, you don't have the right to not be ridiculed or offended.

    Any of you who are on the fence about religion, know that there are many others all around you who are atheists and agnostics. You are not alone. The tide is turning and hateful fear-driven theists are dwindling in number. Keep reading, keep asking questions, your parents, your pastor, your pope, they are not any different than you are. They don't have any special knowledge, they are just scared of death, scared of people who are different, and scared of not having all the answers to the universe right this minute.

    You're better than that.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Tue, Jan 20, 2015, at 12:53 AM
  • I have no fear of your recommended TV show, I simple don't want to waste my time watching a bunch of strife, much the same as I don't watch the Jerry Springer show. I have better things to do with my time. If you think it is out of fear, you have simply reached the wrong conclusion.

    ClarkDV said:

    ---The tide is turning and hateful fear-driven theists are dwindling in number.---

    How I wish this was true! Christ is neither hateful nor fear driven, so those who are like him are not included in this group. However, there is a religion, the fastest growing religion in the world, that is hateful and fear (terror actually) driven. IT is estimated to grow to be 26.4% of the entire earths population by 2030. ClarkDV has simply drawn the wrong conclusion., again.

    Seek the truth. You will find it. It all boils down to choice. Personally, I believe atheist will find the answer to how life began and who/what created it. I also believe the answer will not look like they think., and I believe they will find a merciful God. After all, Jesus said, "I am the truth" there is no condemnation in finding him after an honest, diligent, search,, even if we search in all the wrong directions:)

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Jan 20, 2015, at 6:46 PM
  • Liv,

    That's twice now that you've made a judgment about a TV show that you have never seen. And for someone who has no time for "strife", you're sure spending a lot of time on this thread, arguing with me. The hosts of the show, with whom you would be debating, are much more congenial than I am. But I don't expect you to believe that, you've made your mind up, sight unseen, already. Now THAT is some path to truth you have there!

    As for your 26.4%, citation needed, or I just figure you pulled it out of thin air. BTW, that citation needs to be from an unbiased source. If you heard it on The 700 Club I'm afraid it doesn't have much clout!

    As for me drawing "another" wrong conclusion. Prove that any of my conclusions are wrong. You can't do it. You can say you disagree with them, but to say they are wrong you must offer proof. Otherwise you're just being dishonest.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Thu, Jan 22, 2015, at 5:45 PM
  • I looked up the TV show online. Unless this is the wrong one http://atheist-experience.com/ If, so, then I have seen enough already.

    Certainly have to agree with you on spending too much time on here arguing with you:)

    The source for the 26.4% is Wikipedia at the below link. Under the heading "Islam" about 1/4 of the way down the page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_of_religion

    Their growth is based on the things you said were declining. Wrong conclusion! You said I was afraid to take part in the show, but acknowledge I am not afraid to argue with you,, a representative of the same theology. I am not afraid.. another wrong conclusion. Of course you can reject my "proof" but it makes it no less true.

    I shall waste no more time arguing with you.

    Be blessed :)

    -- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Jan 22, 2015, at 6:32 PM
  • Wikipedia? Seriously??

    For the sake of argument, say I did accept anything from Wikipedia, as dubious a source as that is. From that very page you linked, maybe you got tired and didn't read all the way to the end.

    "Projections of future religious adherence are based on assumptions that trends, total fertility rates, life expectancy, political climate, conversion rates, secularization, etc will continue. Such forecasts cannot be validated empirically and are contentious, but are useful for comparison"

    Did you actually watch any of the shows? Because your words suggest otherwise.

    "I simple (sic) don't want to waste my time watching a bunch of strife, much the same as I don't watch the Jerry Springer show. I have better things to do with my time."

    May Thor be with you. And Spider-Man.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Fri, Jan 23, 2015, at 6:26 AM
  • ClarkDV,

    You seem to be missing the key element. Liveforlight appears to have Christ with him/her.

    I am not knocking those of whom you seem to rely on. Without Christ there is just not much left.

    -- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Mon, Jan 26, 2015, at 9:10 AM
  • Prove the divinity of Jesus, then we can talk about whether he's worthy of worship.

    And remember, the bible is not proof, it's just a book of stories.

    To those who ask me "What if you're wrong?" My answer is this:

    I spend exactly as much time worrying about being wrong about Theism as you do worrying about being wrong about Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, etc., etc.

    Which is to say, exactly zero.

    -- Posted by ClarkDV on Wed, Feb 4, 2015, at 7:48 PM
  • Only the Holy Spirit can prove these things to you.

    Mere man on his own can not.

    An unholy spirit that is roaming to and fro tries to disprove these things to you.

    Sit quitely and listen to the Holy Spirit work.

    Hopefully your conscience does not become seared to the point that the Holy Spirit would give you over.

    At that point you would indeed spend "exaclty zero" time deciding if He is worthy of worship.

    I hope and pray for you.

    -- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Thu, Feb 5, 2015, at 6:56 AM
  • As Blessed Assurance stated only God could prove divinity so that is a good way to stymie discussion. There is no way we as mortal beings can do so.

    I am glad you are still here ClarkDV because I had questions and wanted to ask you. They are not meant to create an opening for ridicule, so if it gets out of control, maybe we can move it to a more restricted venue.

    You may not directly participate in a group of like minded folks, but do Atheists gather to discuss politics, be among other folks who do not believe in a deity, or....?

    Also, I admit to being frail at times and take comfort in the peace that my faith in God brings when "life" gets out of control or becomes too much for me to handle alone. What do Atheists do?

    Surely there are times when they feel similar to me.

    Then the big question is what Atheists believe will happen to them upon death. Is their some other reality they believe they will transcend to or...... is it over?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Feb 5, 2015, at 9:32 AM
  • stevemills,

    I hope you know my comment was not intended to "stymie" discussion, It was just a direct point of which you even agreed.

    Again I apologize if you felt my answer "was a good way to stymie discussion".

    -- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Fri, Feb 6, 2015, at 7:05 AM
  • No need to apologize but I did not think you said it Blessed Assurance. I thought ClarkDV did.

    My point being that the question/ challenge could only be proved by God (as you pointed out) so there was nothing that could be said to prove it. I felt that ClarkDV's question is the one that could not be answered not your response.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Feb 6, 2015, at 7:29 AM
  • I understand now stevemills.

    Back to the comment of " prove the divinity of Jesus" by ClarkDV. I was pondering today when the thought came to me again that I wish we, including ClarkDV, could have lived in the time of Jesus' life so belief and faith would have been easier. I often think of how much better in would have been to witness first hand all the divine miracles of healings of the blind, lame deaf, etc., etc.....

    But then I am quickly reminded of how even those divine miracles did not propigate belief and faith among the seemingly wise and educated Pharisees and others.

    They attributed the divine miracles they witnessed him doing to Beezlebub.

    So I guess my point is that there are some who will never recognize Divinity even if it stands in front of them.

    -- Posted by Blessed Assurance on Fri, Feb 6, 2015, at 5:15 PM
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