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  1. #41

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    I\'m just pissed that you are all smart enough to find the funny links but too inept to take a screen shot for when the auction is pulled. :cussing:

    I know what would make all religion better (and i\'m including athism in this)... the use of sarcasm and humour... It\'s all good and well preaching whatever you like but there are no jokes, puns of witty quips in any of these teachings.

    All religion says the same thing, we are for peace, prosperity and loving our fellow man... and yet, none of them has a damn useful thing to say about how to do it. sure, they have the odd hint but nothing useful.

    Not one word on how to actually live in harmony or peace or how to tell a funny joke, how to make that pretty girl you like giggle.

    the whole thing is a con to get us to fight with one another like morons... each with our own very compelling but equally useless opinion and it\'s just all much easier to posture, bitch and moan than it is to make each other laugh or smile.

    I say the only victim here is the teddy bear... because I think it\'s the first time an object with absolutely no negative values has been used for obsurd ill feeling.

  2. #42
    Subgenius philologus's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Roger Bunting
    The root of the problem is people. People who interpret texts and preach to others, and no, not just religeous, although an example in religion, unless I\'m mistaken, is that the quote about witches that steelcut posted above was included in the King James bible. Prior to that was it not \"suffer not poisoners to live\"?


    No, I don\'t think so, I haven\'t seen a single translation that uses poisoner for this word. The word in Hebrew:

    kashaph

    1) (Piel) to practice witchcraft or sorcery, use witchcraft

    a) sorcerer, sorceress (participle)


    Reference: Exodus 22:18

  3. #43

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    I guess I just imagined that then..hmm. I\'m not exactly knowledgeable on the subject.

    EDIT: This isn\'t where I got that bit info from but at least I didn\'t imagine it.

    http://home.insight.rr.com/snookems/controversies/essay-editings.html


  4. #44

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    Originally posted by steelcult
    And my experience with moderate Muslims is much the same - once I said no thanks, they politely offered similar services for my soul. We were also able to discuss the similarities and differences of the Islamic and Christian viewpoints, along with the absurdities and truths of both.
    Unfortunately, it\'s not these types of people that get the headlines :( Hopefully the next generations of all religions will be able to sit down and do the same thing, then be able to go and worship in their own way. I think that you could get more converts that way then the \"convert or die\" way.
    As for the bears name, I\'m trying to wrap my head around the thinking here. Is it because the name would be linking it to the Prophet, therefor it\'s a \"graven image\" of the Prophet, or is it that the name Mohamed is a \"special\" name?

  5. #45

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    Originally posted by Evil Dave
    Just an observation, but we seem to have far more anti-religion fanatics who like to push their views on this board than religious ones.

    In fact, I\'d go as far as saying that some of our atheists like to spout off their views with a zeal, an almost religious zeal, usually with a touch of smugness and superiority, at that, that puts many door to door Jehovah\'s Witnesses to shame.

    Say what you will, but even if we did away with all religion, we\'d still have wars, strife, conflict, poverty, murder, rape, etc. etc.
    We\'d just find something else to blame though.
    Speaking as a self-defined agnostic (From the American Heritage Dictionary: \"1. a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God, and b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.) , I wholeheartedly agree with you on both points.

    While I myself am strongly anti-religion (any belief system that dictates how it\'s followers should think and act as opposed to allowing them to find their own personal way to worship their deity of choice), I do not profess to claim that my personal views are the final word on the subject as to the existance of a higher power like true atheists do.

    In fact... in some small way I envy those who truly believe (i.e. have faith) that there is an afterlife where they will be reunited with their loved ones after death. Sounds a lot more desirable than my own view that as a biological entity, once you kick the bucket and your last brain cell ceases to function, what makes you \"you\" ceases to exist....

    Just a humble suggestion to all the foaming-at-the-mouth atheists out there... save the religion bashing for the whack-job fundamentalists who wish to shove their morals and agendas down our throats and give the quietly and peacefully-minded spiritual folks a break.

    In regards to the role that religion plays in perpetuating wars and other social maladies... that\'s a discussion for another time. But as you stated, mankind will always find some other excuse to vilify those who differ from themselves....

  6. #46

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    I have a few muslim friends, and they have pointed out to me that the Quran says that all Muslims should embrace other cultures, give them a place in their society, and treat them with respect so that you may learn things from them. It also says that all killing of human beings is wrong.

    To me it seems more probable that a violent statement, such as the one DF mentioned, comes from another source. Not everything in Islam comes from the Quran. The so called sharia laws (which are far more than just the corporal punishments we hear about in Western Media), for instance, are AFAIK not only drawn from the Quran, but also from several other texts of later origins.

    The very militant and fundamentalist form of Islam that we see so much of today has its roots in the so called Wahhabism, a type of strict Islamic interpretation established by a man in the 18th century who came to form an alliance with the Saudi-Arabian monarch.

    Pulling out one quote from a rather uncertain origin (also bearing in mind that the exact meaning can be rather dubious when translated from the original language) and use that to make a very generalizing statement about hundreds of millions of people, who also have very different cultures from each other, doesn\'t seem very insightful to me.

    To understand the Muslim cultures (there is not one but several as Islam stretches all the way from Africa to far east Asia), you must look beyond just the Quran (and of course you need to know more than just a few quotes from it), and also study their history.

  7. #47

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    Nice discussion. I tend to agree with farseerlum, Evil Dave and Ritual\'s points.

    One of the things that bothers me about religion in general is its lack of adaptability. Can you imagine if we were still holding to the scientific beliefs of several centuries ago? How many of you still use the same cell phone or TV that you originally bought?

    My point is that the world changes, and infrastructure has to change to keep up. I think religious conflict arises from this unwillingness to adapt to a changing world. I think most religions suffer from the problem of maintaining rituals/practices that were originated for valid reasons centuries ago, but are no longer applicable. Zealots punish those who don\'t maintain those archaic practices, so they persist.

    Technology today allows everyone to stick their noses in everyone else\'s business, so it is not surprising that we have all this shouting about \"Why do they act that way - I wasn\'t taught to behave like that!\"

    Religious tolerance I think will only come when religious leaders begin to promote adaptability of religious doctrine.

  8. #48

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    well an update to the story, the teacher has been pardoned but the bear is now in jail :D

  9. #49

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    Originally posted by squig hunter
    This just in: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Teacher_...r_given_pardon :D

    Squig
    *cough*:P

    Squig

  10. #50

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    Originally posted by Evil Dave
    In fact, I\'d go as far as saying that some of our atheists like to spout off their views with a zeal, an almost religious zeal, usually with a touch of smugness and superiority, that puts many door to door Jehovah\'s Witnesses to shame.
    perhaps when the subject is brought up but you don\'t get atheists going from door to door telling people they are wrong! no-one has ever been killed in the name of atheism!

  11. #51

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    Originally posted by Aria Amberhawk
    Originally posted by Evil Dave
    Just an observation, but we seem to have far more anti-religion fanatics who like to push their views on this board than religious ones.

    In fact, I\'d go as far as saying that some of our atheists like to spout off their views with a zeal, an almost religious zeal, usually with a touch of smugness and superiority, at that, that puts many door to door Jehovah\'s Witnesses to shame.

    Say what you will, but even if we did away with all religion, we\'d still have wars, strife, conflict, poverty, murder, rape, etc. etc.
    We\'d just find something else to blame though.
    Speaking as a self-defined agnostic (From the American Heritage Dictionary: \"1. a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God, and b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.) , I wholeheartedly agree with you on both points.

    While I myself am strongly anti-religion (any belief system that dictates how it\'s followers should think and act as opposed to allowing them to find their own personal way to worship their deity of choice), I do not profess to claim that my personal views are the final word on the subject as to the existance of a higher power like true atheists do.

    In fact... in some small way I envy those who truly believe (i.e. have faith) that there is an afterlife where they will be reunited with their loved ones after death. Sounds a lot more desirable than my own view that as a biological entity, once you kick the bucket and your last brain cell ceases to function, what makes you \"you\" ceases to exist....

    Just a humble suggestion to all the foaming-at-the-mouth atheists out there... save the religion bashing for the whack-job fundamentalists who wish to shove their morals and agendas down our throats and give the quietly and peacefully-minded spiritual folks a break.

    In regards to the role that religion plays in perpetuating wars and other social maladies... that\'s a discussion for another time. But as you stated, mankind will always find some other excuse to vilify those who differ from themselves....
    I got nothing against religious people if that\'s what they believe then fine, it\'s when it starts to affect normal life is when I get angry.

    Example: Teaching Creationism as a mandatory subject in school, this I see as impacting on my kids lives (when I get some) - If people want kids to know this then teach it at home it\'s their belief keep it there.

    And then you get idiots like George Bush who says god tells him to do things like Iraq.......it becomes dangerous when you let a personal belief dictate the actions of a country.

    So to sum up.......Religion is fine as long as you know when to put it aside. If you start making decisions based on your personal belief that affects others who may not share that belief, then you shouldn\'t be in a position to make decisions.

  12. #52

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    Originally posted by freakinacage
    Originally posted by Evil Dave
    In fact, I\'d go as far as saying that some of our atheists like to spout off their views with a zeal, an almost religious zeal, usually with a touch of smugness and superiority, that puts many door to door Jehovah\'s Witnesses to shame.
    perhaps when the subject is brought up but you don\'t get atheists going from door to door telling people they are wrong! no-one has ever been killed in the name of atheism!
    Last night I found *nothing* burning on my lawn!
    Clearly the work of atheists!

  13. #53

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    Originally posted by hakoMike
    Originally posted by freakinacage
    Originally posted by Evil Dave
    In fact, I\'d go as far as saying that some of our atheists like to spout off their views with a zeal, an almost religious zeal, usually with a touch of smugness and superiority, that puts many door to door Jehovah\'s Witnesses to shame.
    perhaps when the subject is brought up but you don\'t get atheists going from door to door telling people they are wrong! no-one has ever been killed in the name of atheism!
    Last night I found *nothing* burning on my lawn!
    Clearly the work of atheists!
    Or the work of Christians, Or Muslims, or Buddhists, Wiccans, Pagans, you name it. Since nothing was done, you can\'t really credit it to atheism. That is a strawman argument.

  14. #54

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    Originally posted by Talion
    So to sum up.......Religion is fine as long as you know when to put it aside. If you start making decisions based on your personal belief that affects others who may not share that belief, then you shouldn\'t be in a position to make decisions.
    Everything to a degree is a belief.
    Freedom of Speech, Human rights, Trial by a fair jury, right/wrong, laws, all beliefs.

  15. #55

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    Religious people aren\'t a separate race. How many decisions do you think are based on rational thought and carefully assessing each argument in an obejctive way? Not many at all. We use blind faith all day!

    Where do your morals come from when you decide for other people? Religion is just another beliefsystem, some is just conservative that is all. If the set of beliefs/morals would exactly match the \"humanist\" ones we have today not many would complain.

    Where in Nazism do you see the religion? Still it killed an awful lot of people!

    The dangerous thought is not believing in a god. The dangerous thing is being so sure that you are right that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make your utopia or whatever come true. It doesn\'t matter if it\'s Nazism, Religious extremism, Communism, Liberalism, economism, rationalism or whatever. Like Stalin reasoned, he knew what he did was awful but it was needed to make the communisitic utopia come true and therefor the people would thank him once it was in place. Same with Hitler. he said that he need to clear Germany from the threat of the jews so that their sons and grandsons didn\'t have to. They would thank him alter he thought. There are so many more examples...

    The Mohammed bear? It\'s just politics. Sudan is having deep troubles atm. and need to flex its muscles and divert attention. My theory anyway..

  16. #56

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    [quote]Originally posted by Talion
    Originally posted by Aria Amberhawk
    [i]Speaking as a self-defined agnostic (From the American Heritage Dictionary: \"1. a. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God, and b. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.) , I wholeheartedly agree with you on both points.

    While I myself am strongly anti-religion (any belief system that dictates how it\'s followers should think and act as opposed to allowing them to find their own personal way to worship their deity of choice), I do not profess to claim that my personal views are the final word on the subject as to the existance of a higher power like true atheists do.

    In fact... in some small way I envy those who truly believe (i.e. have faith) that there is an afterlife where they will be reunited with their loved ones after death. Sounds a lot more desirable than my own view that as a biological entity, once you kick the bucket and your last brain cell ceases to function, what makes you \"you\" ceases to exist....

    Just a humble suggestion to all the foaming-at-the-mouth atheists out there... save the religion bashing for the whack-job fundamentalists who wish to shove their morals and agendas down our throats and give the quietly and peacefully-minded spiritual folks a break.

    In regards to the role that religion plays in perpetuating wars and other social maladies... that\'s a discussion for another time. But as you stated, mankind will always find some other excuse to vilify those who differ from themselves....
    I got nothing against religious people if that\'s what they believe then fine, it\'s when it starts to affect normal life is when I get angry.

    Example: Teaching Creationism as a mandatory subject in school, this I see as impacting on my kids lives (when I get some) - If people want kids to know this then teach it at home it\'s their belief keep it there.

    And then you get idiots like George Bush who says god tells him to do things like Iraq.......it becomes dangerous when you let a personal belief dictate the actions of a country.

    So to sum up.......Religion is fine as long as you know when to put it aside. If you start making decisions based on your personal belief that affects others who may not share that belief, then you shouldn\'t be in a position to make decisions.
    Please forgive me if my post came across as suggesting that all atheists exhibit the sort of bevahior that Evil Dave first mentioned... my comments were solely addressed to those who do happen to take a giddy glee at bashing (without provocation) those who profess to be of a religious bent, nor was it meant to be directed at any specific individual here on the forum.

    Speaking as someone who used to actively post on other forums on topics of religion and atheism, I experienced first hand vicious and often unwarranted attacks against a few individuals who wanted to calmly and rationally engage in a dialog by a select group of... shall I say... \"overly-zealous\" atheists.

    Now, saying that, I agree with you on every other point you brought up. This is why I get extremely nervous when zealots such as Gary Bauer attempt to run for public office. In my personal opinion... anyone who publicly declares that their god\'s laws and commandments as dictated to them in their holy books and scriptures superceeds those created and enforced by man cannot be trusted to fairly govern any group of people that is comprised of individuals that may not hold those same views.

    Citing George W. Bush as an example... it\'s one thing to veto using government funding on stem cell research due to concerns that it might not be the most practical path to finding cures to various afflictions... it\'s quite another to invoke god\'s name while condemning it on \"moral\" grounds.

    To expand on your last statement... it\'s not my place to tell anyone who or what they should believe in as long as said beliefs are confined to their homes and places of worship... I will make it my business to fight tooth and nail against anyone who attempts to use the force of law to tell me how to live.

  17. #57

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    Originally posted by Evil Dave

    Last night I found *nothing* burning on my lawn!
    Clearly the work of atheists!
    Or the work of Christians, Or Muslims, or Buddhists, Wiccans, Pagans, you name it. Since nothing was done, you can\'t really credit it to atheism. That is a strawman argument. [/quote]

    actually you are both wrong, it was me! (an agnostic)

  18. #58

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    Originally posted by steelcult
    And my experience with moderate Muslims is much the same - once I said no thanks, they politely offered similar services for my soul. We were also able to discuss the similarities and differences of the Islamic and Christian viewpoints, along with the absurdities and truths of both.
    Good on you, then. I think you\'ve been lucky, and won\'t disparage your friends otherwise.
    :beer:

  19. #59

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    Originally posted by Ritual
    I have a few muslim friends, and they have pointed out to me that the Quran says that all Muslims should embrace other cultures, give them a place in their society, and treat them with respect so that you may learn things from them. It also says that all killing of human beings is wrong.
    Misleading, if not downright untruthful. Koran 9:5, the Verse of the Sword, states plainly \'slay the unbelievers wherever you find them\'. This passage abrogates any previously revealed sura that might have taught peace, as it was among the last revealed, and therefore \'overwrites\' what came before it.

    Moreover, embrace other cultures? Only if they pay the jizya \'with willing submission\' and fall under dhimmi status...under which they cannot build churches, recite their prayers aloud, are forbidden to display wine or pork, build their buildings taller than the Muslims\' building, et al, etc, ad infinitum. Or: Koran 3:28 \'Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers\'.

    Originally posted by Ritual
    To me it seems more probable that a violent statement, such as the one DF mentioned, comes from another source. Not everything in Islam comes from the Quran. The so called sharia laws (which are far more than just the corporal punishments we hear about in Western Media), for instance, are AFAIK not only drawn from the Quran, but also from several other texts of later origins.
    On this at least, you are partially correct. Much Islamic law comes from hadith, or utterances of Muhammad that were not contained in the Koran (not necessaruly directly imparted by Allah). This is immaterial to the fact that these utterances are treated with the same respect and absolute belief. Much also comes from respected later Islamic scholars, and it is still treated as every bit as holy as the words of the Koran itself.

    Originally posted by Ritual
    The very militant and fundamentalist form of Islam that we see so much of today has its roots in the so called Wahhabism, a type of strict Islamic interpretation established by a man in the 18th century who came to form an alliance with the Saudi-Arabian monarch.
    How can you say that, when the founder of the religion himself clearly stated on more than one occasion to kill those who do not believe; that the greatest honor and only guaranteed way into Paradise is Jihad in Allah\'s name?

    Originally posted by Ritual
    Pulling out one quote from a rather uncertain origin (also bearing in mind that the exact meaning can be rather dubious when translated from the original language) and use that to make a very generalizing statement about hundreds of millions of people, who also have very different cultures from each other, doesn\'t seem very insightful to me.
    There are any number of examples of such statements in the Koran. And while I will grant you that translations of such ancient words may have become garbled, I don\'t believe for one moment that ALL of them could be so far off the mark. That\'s a true lack of insight, imo.

    Originally posted by Ritual
    also study their history.
    I have studied their history. It\'s a history of war from the start. Anyone who thinks otherwise *hasn\'t* studied their history.



    Good discussion in general, from everyone. :)

  20. #60

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    My trip to Marrakech sealed the deal for me. I won\'t be visiting any more Arabic or Islamic countries.

    Bradford can take a running jump too....

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