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  1. #1
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
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    DPRP Interviewer Attacks Neal Morse....

    ...figuratively, of course.

    How about these for questions:

    Q. "Why do you keep rehashing the same old ideas over and over again?"
    NM: "Hey, give me a break here, I am doing the best I can..."

    Q. "Tracks like The Man's Gone, Cradle To The Grave and Father Of Forgiveness are kind of retro, song writing stuff. How do these fit in with the rest of the album?"
    NM: "Gathering from the way you ask me this I assume that you do not really like these songs?"
    Q. "In fact, I do not. To me they are just average rather boring fillers on this album."

    Q. "Why did you decide to include a bonus disc with the four covers on it? As you also already know that I hate covers..."
    NM: "Ha ha ha, I really do appreciate your honesty..."

    The interview is a laugh a minute, and you can find the transcript at:

    http://www.dprp.net/specials/morse1104/index.php

    On the more bizarre side, NM's psychosis continues unabated:

    "As you know I pray a lot and I prayed for this album as well; I prayed for inspiration and I am still seeking God's will in my life. In fact he kind of showed some resistance in making this album. With Snow God really resisted in making that album. But in the end God helped me to finish One and it is still hard to explain to other people how this works. I always run in the morning and during that run I talk/pray to God and he gives me instructions for the day so I know what to do actually."

    Yikes! The man has lost his grip on reality and should seek serious psychological help (I mean this sincerely). He's a walking time bomb and is going to end up killing himself, someone else, or become a reclusive schizophrenic if someone doesn't intervene instead of encouraging this type of psychotic behavior through benign neglect.
    "A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission" - Rush

  2. #2
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    I was a little shocked by the interview as well. I mean, I'm not the world's biggest Neal Morse fan with or without Spock's Beard but it definitely seemed that the interviewer had an agenda and set the tone for a strange and mildly amusing read.

    Neal Morse psycho? I don't know, but it fascinates me how a guy can go from being a "normal" secular person who writes f-you in his lyrics on the first SB album to the proselytizing Christian he has become in a span of just a few years.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
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    Hopefully Not Psycho Killer

    Quote Originally Posted by progfan
    I was a little shocked by the interview as well. I mean, I'm not the world's biggest Neal Morse fan with or without Spock's Beard but it definitely seemed that the interviewer had an agenda and set the tone for a strange and mildly amusing read.

    Neal Morse psycho? I don't know, but it fascinates me how a guy can go from being a "normal" secular person who writes f-you in his lyrics on the first SB album to the proselytizing Christian he has become in a span of just a few years.

    Wondering if there's more to this world (good Flower Kings song) or seeking some sense of spirituality I can understand in that most humans do it (why they care to do it is beyond me, though). But I think if you are asking God for instructions each morning and thinking that each day you are following his will and not your own to get you through the day, you need help big time.

    That doesn't mean that he can't spend his days creating great music though.
    "A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission" - Rush

  4. #4
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    *sigh*

    So much theology, so little time.

    First of all, that "reviewer" needs to be fired. He doesn't like covers and he tees off on Morse because of THAT? Amazingly unprofessional.

    It fascinates me how a guy can go from being a "normal" secular person who writes f-you in his lyrics on the first SB album to the proselytizing Christian he has become in a span of just a few years.

    That's the beauty/hypocracy of being born again. All past sins are automatically forgiven. Ask our president.

    I think if you are asking God for instructions each morning and thinking that each day you are following his will and not your own to get you through the day, you need help big time.

    Perhaps this is too literal. What it really means is that you live your life knowing that all your actions are ultimately being judged and that you get what you give. Cause and effect, yin & yang, do unto others. This is the basis of virtually EVERY religion on earth. Without this guilt we'd be slaughtering each other in the street . . . or in funky rock and roll clubs in Ohio . . .

  5. #5
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    *sigh*

    (BarryL) It fascinates me how a guy can go from being a "normal" secular person who writes f-you in his lyrics on the first SB album to the proselytizing Christian he has become in a span of just a few years.

    That's the beauty/hypocracy of being born again. All past sins are automatically forgiven. Ask our president.

    (BarryL) I think if you are asking God for instructions each morning and thinking that each day you are following his will and not your own to get you through the day, you need help big time.

    Perhaps this is too literal. What it really means is that you live your life knowing that all your actions are ultimately being judged and that you get what you give. Cause and effect, yin & yang, do unto others. This is the basis of virtually EVERY religion on earth. Without this guilt we'd be slaughtering each other in the street . . . or in funky rock and roll clubs in Ohio . . .
    As a "believer," guess I'll weigh in here.

    Troy: I never understood "being born again" as an automatic pass to heaven. In my view it's more of a long-term process of redemption. And our President is "Christian" only by matter of convenience. Oh, he believes in the theology all right, but his actions speak otherwise. The Bible has plenty of stuff to say about folks like that, but I won't bore you with endless "God talk." Judging by your past posts you have a pretty dim view of Christianity. Considering what it is associated with today (Religious Right, pedophilia-sp?, the current Administration, etc.) can't say I blame you for reacting in that fashion.

    Other than that, you're right: All religion has a basis in reciprocity and the Golden Rule. But you can be an atheist and still acknowledge those principles.

    BarryL: I know plenty of people who pray to God every morning looking for spiritual advice/guidance/direction. They aren't committed to insane asylums--they are hard-working, intelligent, and fairly rational folks. I could go into the "Puritan work ethic" and all that but I won't.

    All that said, it does look like Neal Morse occassionally drinks a bit too much of the Kool-Aid. ; P I do wonder what intensified his beliefs so dramatically.
    "...and then at the end of the letter I like to write <i>'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.'</i> "


    <b>_R.I.P. Mitch Hedburg 1968-2005_</b>

  6. #6
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    I never understood "being born again" as an automatic pass to heaven. In my view it's more of a long-term process of redemption. And our President is "Christian" only by matter of convenience. Oh, he believes in the theology all right, but his actions speak otherwise.
    Call me a cynic, but I see a lot more hypocritical born agains than just W riding the rightous gravy train. I see it every day on bumper stickers and t-shirts proclaiming things like "One nation under GOD!" and essentially, "My god can beat up your god".

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    Judging by your past posts you have a pretty dim view of Christianity. Considering what it is associated with today (Religious Right, pedophilia-sp?, the current Administration, etc.) can't say I blame you for reacting in that fashion.
    No, I think all religeon is the the thing that make humans both good AND bad. Good because as already mentioned the golden rule / cause and effect etc. Bad because each religion in turn completely rejects every other religion as heretical. If you don't believe you are going to hell at best and are less than human at worst. Even though all religion is basically about that good stuff I mentioned. It's quite insane if you think it through.

    For me, I don't buy any of it and I think that there are very few people at the top of ANY religious cult that I trust to really have the interest of all of humanity in it's interests.

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    Other than that, you're right: All religion has a basis in reciprocity and the Golden Rule. But you can be an atheist and still acknowledge those principles.
    Precisely how I live my life. I just don't consider myself an athiest, yet I practice no religion. I believe that everything is all interconnected but that any religion based on hardfast rules literally set in stone to be a manipulation of this feeling of needing to seek the ultimate truth and meaning to life in all humans by people in power looking to control the masses. Jeez, what a confusing sentence, you may need to read that one twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    All that said, it does look like Neal Morse occassionally drinks a bit too much of the Kool-Aid.
    LOL

  7. #7
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
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    I Think There's A Difference

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    As a "believer," guess I'll weigh in here.

    BarryL: I know plenty of people who pray to God every morning looking for spiritual advice/guidance/direction. They aren't committed to insane asylums--they are hard-working, intelligent, and fairly rational folks. I could go into the "Puritan work ethic" and all that but I won't.

    I can only go by what was written in the transcript of the interview. What Morse said was this: "I talk/pray to God and he gives me instructions for the day so I know what to do actually." The word he used was "instruction", so that he would "know what to do." That's pretty specific stuff. Sounds like he's looking to God to direct what he does each day. Maybe Troy is right, that I'm being too literal. I don't have any experience with seeking God's guidance.

    But that to me is significantly different than a moring prayer for vague "advice/guidance/direction" in one's life, or to seek a more peaceful and meaningful world, or wishing that as one goes about making choices throughout the day or facing difficult events that day, that things will work out well. When people say things like; "With Snow God really resisted in making that album," I start to question people's mental health and their grip on reality. Does he really think, literally, that he was having a battle with God, and that either he won, or that God compromised for his sake? Sorry, that's beyond the pale by any rational standard, which is the standard that I apply.
    "A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission" - Rush

  8. #8
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Dang! That was brutal...it almost seems like a satire...almost like it was done to be funny...
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  9. #9
    Forum Regular jack70's Avatar
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    Bless me father, for I have sinned...

    As a quasi-atheist/agnostic, I feel a little strange "defending" religion here, but I feel a deep undercurrent of something I can only define as "hate" in the above posts... certainly intolerance, and probably misunderstanding. It echoes many aspects of the political divide we've seen in recent years.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    Wondering if there's more to this world (good Flower Kings song) or seeking some sense of spirituality I can understand in that most humans do it (why they care to do it is beyond me, though). But I think if you are asking God for instructions each morning and thinking that each day you are following his will and not your own to get you through the day, you need help big time.
    I think you're misunderstanding what he meant way too literally. As for needing "big-time help"... I know a lot of very religious people, and a lot of NOT-SO religious people. And it's the "NOT-SO religious" ones that tend to be just as wanting in the "help" area IMO, on a wide array of things... LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Bad because each religion in turn completely rejects every other religion as heretical. If you don't believe you are going to hell at best and are less than human at worst. Even though all religion is basically about that good stuff I mentioned. It's quite insane if you think it through. .... For me, I don't buy any of it and I think that there are very few people at the top of ANY religious cult that I trust to really have the interest of all of humanity in it's interests.
    You're looking at religion in a kinda "sports-like" analogy... only "our team" is worthy. That's awfully simplistic. Sure, you can site historical events to "prove" that view... but that really doesn't get to the heart of any religion. It leaves out the political & economic aspects of that history. In the end, it smacks of bigotry more than a desire towards true understanding.

    Do you really think the Pope hates all non-Catholics, at least in the way you used the term "interests"? As an ex-catholic, and someone who finds more truth in Chris Hitchens (lambasting) look at the (Cath) church, I still think you're mistaken. I've met too many (good) Nuns & Priests to believe they're ALL charlatans, impostors and frauds. The fact I don't believe what they believe, doesn't mean I've lost my ability to appreciate them, their own beliefs, and the positive work they do. In fact I value it more than any similar benefit to society coming from, oh... a governmental creation. The fact many priests ARE crooked doesn't mean the religion is ALL bad, anymore than a bunch of crooked politicians proves our government is ALL a fraud. In fact, one of the main principles of ALL religions is that man is flawed... that he IS NOT god, per se.

    I don't think most non-believers really understand the kind of thing Morse was talking about. I don't know if that's because they were never exposed to religion, studied it, or know lots of religious people, or if they truly feel it's all bad or stupid... but they are simply out of touch, I think. The fact so many people seek (and find) answers within religion doesn't make them stupid or bad. In fact I cringe at the thought of our society, if the 85+%(?) that believe in God, believed in all kinds of relative-morality based things instead. Be careful what you wish for. Brave new world... Lord of the flies... Escape from NY... and a hundred other heathen-like possiblities, none of which I find very edifying to contemplate, might be replacement.

    It's always been, in this country at least, that all religions worshipped and lived their lives as they believed, within the freedom our constitution allowed. I could care less if the guy across the street, or the guy I work with, or the person at the store worships Yahweh or Methuselah. Today, it seems, there's a growing intolerance to that world I grew up in, at least in the public arena/debate (banning X-mas songs and banning the Declaration of Independence to school kids, etc). I guess it's coming as a result of our politics recently. It's not a violent debate, like in the mid-east, but people are more inclined to spout-off slightly intolerant, or very intolerant opinions in public more than ever before. I just don't see the necessity for the demonization of others simply for their personal beliefs, at least when they're not strapping on bombs.

    Christianity is one of the backbones of our civilization. It's at the root of our concepts of law and government, let alone art. To dimiss it as "a bunch of crap" comes off just as 'wrongheaded' as the Wahhabi version of Islam comes off as... a belief structure full of intolerance.

    I guess you could call me... an atheist for Jesus...
    You don't know... jack

  10. #10
    Close 'n PlayŽ user Troy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    You're looking at religion in a kinda "sports-like" analogy... only "our team" is worthy. That's awfully simplistic. Sure, you can site historical events to "prove" that view... but that really doesn't get to the heart of any religion. It leaves out the political & economic aspects of that history. In the end, it smacks of bigotry more than a desire towards true understanding.
    Nah, you're misunderstanding my comments entirely. I said that all religion is both good AND bad. Just like everything else in the world.

    The fact reamins however that every religion believes that non-believers are less as human beings than the believers. Don't believe in Jesus? You're going to hell. It's not that christians HATE you, it's more that they *tsk tsk tsk* while shaking their heads at you while secretly hoping to convert your poor lost soul. Sometimes it IS hate, but most of the time is more a kind of condescension. To greater or lesser degrees, every religion is identical, just the names are changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    Do you really think the Pope hates all non-Catholics, at least in the way you used the term "interests"?
    No, I hope my above statement clarifies it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    I don't think most non-believers really understand the kind of thing Morse was talking about. The fact so many people seek (and find) answers within religion doesn't make them stupid or bad. In fact I cringe at the thought of our society, if the 85+%(?) that believe in God, believed in all kinds of relative-morality based things instead. Be careful what you wish for. Brave new world... Lord of the flies... Escape from NY... and a hundred other heathen-like possiblities, none of which I find very edifying to contemplate, might be replacement.
    But I do understand. My last comment to Barry in yesterday's 10:13 post says basically the same thing you just did. Religion keep humanity in line. Sadly, we are incapable of self-government as a species. We have to constantly be held in check by afterlife guilt.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    It's always been, in this country at least, that all religions worshipped and lived their lives as they believed, within the freedom our constitution allowed. I could care less if the guy across the street, or the guy I work with, or the person at the store worships Yahweh or Methuselah. Today, it seems, there's a growing intolerance to that world I grew up in, at least in the public arena/debate (banning X-mas songs and banning the Declaration of Independence to school kids, etc).
    Yeah, and teaching kids creationism instead of evolution. Forcing religious beliefs on public school kids is a horrendous step backwards.

    I see the problem stemming from the fact that people seem to be wearing their religion on their sleeves far too much these days. Look, 5 years ago, a thread like this would have never happened. People used to keep this stuff to themselves, now, everybody wants to tell the world about how great, how right, their god is. Religion, like politics used to be something that people kept private unless they KNEW they were amongst like-minded people.

    Why has this change happened? Because we have a very vocal born again Christian in the white house, it makes other born agains feel more empowered. 9/11 happened because of religious and ideological differences. W's middle-eastern "crusade" (his word) smacks of religious war which only creates an environment for persecution on both sides. But I think there's more to it than just that, I'm just not sure what that something is.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    Christianity is one of the backbones of our civilization. It's at the root of our concepts of law and government, let alone art. To dimiss it as "a bunch of crap" comes off just as 'wrongheaded' as the Wahhabi version of Islam comes off as... a belief structure full of intolerance.
    If we are to survive as a species, we have to drop the Christianity thing just as much as we have to drop Islam and all the rest. We just have to treat each other as we all want to be treated because it's the right thing to do, not because if we don't we have fear of going to hell (or it's equivalent). Man has to grow up. We have to all be on the same page, have the same belief system. And the frustrating part is that we are already so close to that when you get to the root of all religions, yet it's the religions themselves that divide us.
    Last edited by Troy; 12-10-2004 at 08:57 AM.

  11. #11
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Stepford Christians

    I don't know if I'd call it psychosis, but I do believe in the spiritual world. I do believe in God, Jesus, the Holy Trinity (I guess you could call me a Christian). I do believe in prayer. I think prayer works on some levels because it causes a person to self-reflect (or at least I think it should). When positive things happen after prayer on a personal level, this could be just as much a product of self-healing as it is devine intervention. I don't mind people when they say they pray, or express their faith.

    What I am weary of, are what I call "Stepford Christians", who glaze over every time the name Jesus is invoked. I think a person sometimes sits down and reflects on what eternity is, or might be, and it really scares the HELL out of them. The type of faith the Morse is showing seems like its a form of escapism. It seems some people just tend to check out of reallity; they are enamoured with the concept of being lead rather than being 100% responsible for their own actions and behavior. Or maybe they miss their Mom. Funny how the term 'born again' is used to describe someone in the fetal position. Some people wear their faith like a badge of honor, sometimes even weilding it like a sword, as if it protected them from harm, or better yet, gave them dominion. For these pugnacious people, religion is a boon, for without it they'd probably be in some sort of trouble. When people get into serious trouble, religion is a great way of laying the blame on demonic devices, such as drugs or booze. Ever know a serial killer who didn't find Jesus on death row?

    I guess his professions of faith and use of prayer as guidance is supposed to stave off any critizism, since it was after all, God that told him to make the album, God who pushed his pen, God who told him to listen to old Genesis and Camel albums. It's a cop out. I knew Morse's music already had a strong spiritual base and that's why I liked it. I just don't why the need for the visquine. Religion and faith is supposed to make us better people, not better than other people. And salvation saves us from death, not from living life.

  12. #12
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Nah, you're misunderstanding my comments entirely. I said that all religion is both good AND bad. Just like everything else in the world.

    The fact reamins however that every religion believes that non-believers are less as human beings than the believers. Don't believe in Jesus? You're going to hell. It's not that christians HATE you, it's more that they *tsk tsk tsk* while shaking their heads at you while secretly hoping to convert your poor lost soul. Sometimes it IS hate, but most of the time is more a kind of condescension. To greater or lesser degrees, every religion is identical, just the names are changed.
    You're right about that Christian condescension in general, though that varies on an individual basis. Me? I don't try to convert anyone. You are entitled to believe in whoever or whatever you want (or don't want). Religious freedom is great, huh? This position may sound relativist, but as long as the presence of religion, any religion, makes you a better, kinder, more peaceful person, then I don't care if Christians view it as "right" or not.

    And if you're an athiest, I don't care as long as you're not trying to shove your ideology down my throat. So many atheists I've met complain about the pervasiveness of Christians telling them how to live their lives; I dunno about everyone else, but on a state college campus I get a good deal of the exact opposite. Condescension, or even outright disrespect and mockery, by atheists. And then they accuse us of the exact same thing. That sort of bald hypocrisy galls me no matter what side of the fence it's on.

    I guess my point is, atheism is just the same as any religion. A subjective set of beliefs, that when taken to a judgemental extreme are used to bash anyone that doesn't subscibe to your own belief system.


    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    But I do understand. My last comment to Barry in yesterday's 10:13 post says basically the same thing you just did. Religion keep humanity in line. Sadly, we are incapable of self-government as a species. We have to constantly be held in check by afterlife guilt.
    I disagree. It's more than simply "afterlife guilt" to keep humanity in line.

    No, religion was developed originally to answer questions about the universe, questions asked by the spiritual aspect of our being. Whether you want to deny that aspect of our being or not, it's still there. If it wasn't, why would there be so much debate over, say, man's origins? Why would it matter? We'd be just another animal.

    Science has been trying to answer the questions originally postulated by our spiritual side, and it has been able to come up with rational theories that make sense. However, there's still plenty that science cannot come up with a probable explanation for. And religion answers some of those questions, or at least tries to, which is better (IMO) than simply ignoring it like atheism/agnosticism does. Will supernatural phenomena always be a mystery to science? Maybe, maybe not. There's already quite a lot we can explain, but then we'll find something that throws a good chunk of that out the window.


    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Yeah, and teaching kids creationism instead of evolution. Forcing religious beliefs on public school kids is a horrendous step backwards.
    Personally I see nothing wrong with evolutionary theory. It's good, rational science and it doesn't really strictly prove or disprove the idea of divine creation (within the bounds of logical interpretation--the straightforward "Seven Days" explanation doesn't hold up, unless of course those days are considerably longer than 24 hours..). However, it should be known that evolution is a theory, in other words not specifically proven as scientific law. Neither is creationism/intelligent design, in fact. Both are theories and should be taught in public schools as such (and hopefully in concurrence with one another, NOT simply one or the other).


    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    I see the problem stemming from the fact that people seem to be wearing their religion on their sleeves far too much these days. Look, 5 years ago, a thread like this would have never happened. People used to keep this stuff to themselves, now, everybody wants to tell the world about how great, how right, their god is. Religion, like politics used to be something that people kept private unless they KNEW they were amongst like-minded people.

    Why has this change happened? Because we have a very vocal born again Christian in the white house, it makes other born agains feel more empowered. 9/11 happened because of religious and ideological differences. W's middle-eastern "crusade" (his word) smacks of religious war which only creates an environment for persecution on both sides. But I think there's more to it than just that, I'm just not sure what that something is.
    Agree on all points. The Bush Administration in many ways looks like the beginnings of church/state interference to me. VERY bad. That State Of The Union speech, where he mentioned the war in Iraq as a "crusade," made me shake my head over just how stupid Bush is. It's not the fact that he's a Christian, plenty of Christians have served in the Oval Office. It's the fact that he is the first to bring theology and government in such uncomfortably close quarters with each other. Not even Reagan could claim that.

    This goes way beyond simply having the words "under God" in the (optional) Pledge Of Allegiance. This has serious long-term ramifications. If it keeps up, we could be looking at the beginning of a new Dark Age. Scary shit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    If we are to survive as a species, we have to drop the Christianity thing just as much as we have to drop Islam and all the rest. We just have to treat each other as we all want to be treated because it's the right thing to do, not because if we don't we have fear of going to hell (or it's equivalent). Man has to grow up. We have to all be on the same page, have the same belief system. And the frustrating part is that we are already so close to that when you get to the root of all religions, yet it's the religions themselves that divide us.
    What you describe, Troy, is utopia. No place. It'll never happen, and frankly a world with one monolithic belief system is something I don't even want to happen (images of global persecution, another Holocaust, painted in my head as I type this). The most attainable goal would be the complete separation of church and state on a worldwide scale. Once religion is no longer invoked in politics and vice versa, we can achieve a sort of secular, limited peace. Man is imperfect; we must think in terms of what is *possible* rather than subscribing to some intellectual ideal based in human morality. Marx and Lenin tried that, and look where Communism is today--millions dead throughout history, a legacy of human rights abuses, and a failed economic system. No thanks.

    Whew, all that verbiage in response to just one Neal Morse interview, talk about opening the floodgates... ; P
    Last edited by mad rhetorik; 12-10-2004 at 12:28 PM.
    "...and then at the end of the letter I like to write <i>'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.'</i> "


    <b>_R.I.P. Mitch Hedburg 1968-2005_</b>

  13. #13
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
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    I Openned The Flood Gates...

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    Whew, all that verbiage in response to just one Neal Morse interview, talk about opening the floodgates... ; P
    And I'm going to keep out of it. I just thought that the interview was bizarre, both from the point of the interviewee and the interviewer.

    But that's rock'n'roll.

    Almost time now for a rock'n'roll weekend! Maybe even Christmas tunes!
    "A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission" - Rush

  14. #14
    Forum Regular jack70's Avatar
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    thus spake zara who?

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    And if you're an athiest, I don't care as long as you're not trying to shove your ideology down my throat. So many atheists I've met complain about the pervasiveness of Christians telling them how to live their lives; I dunno about everyone else, but on a state college campus I get a good deal of the exact opposite. Condescension, or even outright disrespect and mockery, by atheists. And then they accuse us of the exact same thing. That sort of bald hypocrisy galls me no matter what side of the fence it's on.
    I think that's because of the age. When people get older, they tend to, at least, mellow a bit. I think much of it's from a conflict of young ego's... you feel you have to prove your beliefs to legitimate your exisitence, and that means putting down others that DON"T believe as you do. It's not much different than the stubbornness of a 5 year old. As young adults, surrounded by so many others, many of whom disagree on very deeply held beliefs, it's to be expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    The fact reamins however that every religion believes that non-believers are less as human beings than the believers. Don't believe in Jesus? You're going to hell. It's not that christians HATE you, it's more that they *tsk tsk tsk* while shaking their heads at you while secretly hoping to convert your poor lost soul. Sometimes it IS hate, but most of the time is more a kind of condescension. To greater or lesser degrees, every religion is identical, just the names are changed.
    Well, that's just totally wrong IMO. At least you're painting certain religious types with too broad a brush methinks. Or else you've seen too many religious zealots from movies (where they tend to get caricatured). In talking to hundreds of people, I simply don't see that condescension you do. I know it exists in spots. I've never experienced it. In fact many very-religious-types pray for unbelievers MORE. Most true religions are not really about hate, but about love, and generosity. And if it gives people guidance so they don't go berserk, it's fine with me (many of them probably would, without it... LOL).

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Yeah, and teaching kids creationism instead of evolution. Forcing religious beliefs on public school kids is a horrendous step backwards.
    Well, I expected that was coming... LOL. Yeah, I have problems with that, of course, but I tend to take a more larger & more independent view on it: Let the local schools control their own curriculum... (that's in the orig intent of our constitution) let em do whatever the f_ck they want. If they end up with a few stupids (from a science standpoint), so be it. Now, if you saw some of the stuff kids in GOOD schools don't know or understand... then this (creationism) is the least of our worries. Kids today can't even count (wish I had the link for an article I read last week).

    Do you have an equal outrage over the schools not teaching the anything about our religious /cultural history... from it's basis in art (music & painting), to it's place in history, in law, in the philosophical concepts of ethics and right & wrong. That's where many schools are heading. In their politically correct zeal to avoid anything with "God" in it, they're heading toward creating a generation of culturally retarded dunces... equal stupids to the creationists, and just as worrisome to me, in the long run. It (this intent to "sterilize" kids from ANYTHING that mentions God or religion), kinda reminds me of what Mao & Stalin did. Indoctrination, of any stripe, is not education. BTW, did you see a PBS Frontline piece on this... very interesting as kids raised in very "literal Bible" families moved above that when learning the scientific method. All is not lost Troy... have some hope. LOL!


    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    Why has this change happened? Because we have a very vocal born again Christian in the white house, it makes other born agains feel more empowered. 9/11 happened because of religious and ideological differences. W's middle-eastern "crusade" (his word) smacks of religious war which only creates an environment for persecution on both sides. But I think there's more to it than just that, I'm just not sure what that something isWhy has this change happened? Because we have a very vocal born again Christian in the white house, it makes other born agains feel more empowered. 9/11 happened because of religious and ideological differences. W's middle-eastern "crusade" (his word) smacks of religious war which only creates an environment for persecution on both sides. But I think there's more to it than just that, I'm just not sure what that something is
    Boy, first I find myself (a freakin agnostic) sticking up for the religious, and now you're forcing me (a libertarian) to defend Bush too? LOL. OK, I'll try.
    First, Bush's "religiosity" is something he's never "flaunted". Certainly no more than Jimmy Carter did. But because the press is generally leftist & don't understand people who go to church or have faith, they often tend to emphasize this & paint him as a zealot. Heck, I don't care what he believes as long as it's kept personal. So I think the "gathering religiousity" you're talking about comes more from a political corner... those that just hate republicans and will do any & everything to disparage them... make them appear stupid, brainwashed, etc. You should have seen some of the stuff I read on some Dem boards in the run-up to the election ("he's the anti-christ! Bush= Hitler!") It's the media you should be more concerned with, since it's them that "spin up" much of the stuff you're taking about. Most religious people take their faith very personally, meaning, they don't brag about it, and talk about it only generally (I can't speak for all branches). I think you all stretch a few words Bush may have said in a few speeches to mistaken definitions.

    As for Bush going into Iraq for quasi-religious reasons... this is the kinda left-wing drivel propaganda you're too smart to fall for. Jesus. Look, I (as a libertarian) had plenty of reservations about that strategy in the middle east. But the fact is, it has some very logical and thought-out reasons... it is NOT a simple Jihad-like Crusade that Bush heard from God himself... certainly not when many libertarian leaning writers, and many leftists alike believe it has merit, at least in it's overall philosophy (guys like Hitchens and Tom Friedman). Without trying to defend a policy I myself am ambivalent about, I will submit it does attempt to solve a number of potential future problems. Yeah, it's a grand scheme, maybe grandiose, but so was Churchill's and so was our cold war strategy. So even if this fails, it doesn't mean it was strategically wrong, or specious. The failure of Kerry & the left was that they expressed NOTHING (of substance) in response to it, not even a simplistic bone, and that, to most people, meant more of the same -- ie, wait... until all the mideast tyrants all get Nukes and really get busy. So criticize Bush on the merits, not some half-baked impression that he's hearing voices in his head or something.


    Quote Originally Posted by Troy
    If we are to survive as a species, we have to drop the Christianity thing just as much as we have to drop Islam and all the rest. We just have to treat each other as we all want to be treated because it's the right thing to do, not because if we don't we have fear of going to hell (or it's equivalent). Man has to grow up. We have to all be on the same page, have the same belief system. And the frustrating part is that we are already so close to that when you get to the root of all religions, yet it's the religions themselves that divide us.
    Well, from a practical standpoint, that's just not going to happen soon (LOL!). Maybe we'll be able to 'fix' a few genes in the future, but you know, that kind of thing has as much danger as promise, no?

    I also think you express a "too simplistic" view of many religions (going to hell, etc). That was typical for Cotton Mather's day. Lots has changed since. There are many very sophisticated and intelligent scientists and artist who have faith, of many forms. It's not a "simplistic" kind of medieval devotion they're apt to seek. I think you may be pre-judging a bit there.

    I also think you don't realize that most religious Christians, Jews and Muslims all get along rather well. We tend to focus on the negatives we see, but most are quite similar in their teachings and matters of belief. Most all the negative aspects of religion (Crusades, current terrorism, etc) has been the result of political impetus using religion, (corrupting it) by tyrants and megalomaniacs. In fact, it's political & economic corruption where you tend to find religious sects at each other's throats. In governments like ours, it doesn't exist.

    I think I'll let this go. Enough figure skating for today. As an agnostic, I don't like skating on ice that's (in my case) so thin, ya know?

    I don't (necessarily) think science has the final answer to everything human. In fact, without something more (like religion) we may lose part of our humanity. I just see the anti-religious fervor today as highly destructive in many ways. We should remember that most atheists and agnostics were raised religiously, and many who are raised as atheists... become religious. We're an interesting lot, no?
    You don't know... jack

  15. #15
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
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    Lightbulb I like your style, Jack.

    Interesting. You as an agnostic make a better defender of Christianity than a lot of Christians I know. Probably being able to look at both sides of the coin (as a former Catholic) contributes to that.


    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    I think that's because of the age. When people get older, they tend to, at least, mellow a bit. I think much of it's from a conflict of young ego's... you feel you have to prove your beliefs to legitimate your exisitence, and that means putting down others that DON"T believe as you do. It's not much different than the stubbornness of a 5 year old. As young adults, surrounded by so many others, many of whom disagree on very deeply held beliefs, it's to be expected.
    I had that strong urge to defend my beliefs from the "barbarians at the gates" at one point, having been indoctrinated by a Christian private school. I was 15, 16 years old then, I think. But even then, it was tempered by the fact that I went to a public school for a good chunk of my early education and could see both sides of the issue, and still had a certain grudging respect for people who didn't think the same way I do. Since I wasn't really raised in a devout Christian home, I was pretty much given free reign to shape my own beliefs. I went from being a strict evolutionist/agnostic, to a strict creationist/Christian, and now I'm a person who believes both concurrently in evolution and intelligent design, acknowledging the basic tenets of Christianity while admitting there's some real problems with how that belief is practiced in the world at large. There is a middle ground, just like you can be an atheist and still acknowledge that Christianity or religion in general has done some good things for humanity as a whole.

    The problem is, I'm surrounded by kids who see the world largely in terms of black/white and who haven't developed the "thinking bone" just yet, I guess, or haven't applied it. To a lot of them it's just "IF YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN YOU'RE WRONG!" Respecting individual differences is a big problem for them, and that worries me, for at some point in their life they're going to have to learn the hard way. Funny, isn't that one of the public school agendas these days? Toleration and all that? Guess the line is drawn when it comes to Christianity (I don't ever see this level of vitriol spouted at, say, Islam..draw your own conclusions).


    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    Well, that's just totally wrong IMO. At least you're painting certain religious types with too broad a brush methinks. Or else you've seen too many religious zealots from movies (where they tend to get caricatured). In talking to hundreds of people, I simply don't see that condescension you do. I know it exists in spots. I've never experienced it. In fact many very-religious-types pray for unbelievers MORE. Most true religions are not really about hate, but about love, and generosity. And if it gives people guidance so they don't go berserk, it's fine with me (many of them probably would, without it... LOL).
    See, the thing is, I'm within that religion and I definitely see that condescending attitude that Troy mentions. I've experienced it; hell, on some level I used to be it. That "we'll pray for the unbelievers" shtick comes out of that sort of condescension. Yes, they may mean well, but there's still a base belief that heathens are going to hell. To me if you really love that person, respect his own beliefs enough to leave the issue alone. That's the kind of love that more religions need these days.


    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    Do you have an equal outrage over the schools not teaching the anything about our religious /cultural history... from it's basis in art (music & painting), to it's place in history, in law, in the philosophical concepts of ethics and right & wrong. That's where many schools are heading. In their politically correct zeal to avoid anything with "God" in it, they're heading toward creating a generation of culturally retarded dunces... equal stupids to the creationists, and just as worrisome to me, in the long run. It (this intent to "sterilize" kids from ANYTHING that mentions God or religion), kinda reminds me of what Mao & Stalin did. Indoctrination, of any stripe, is not education.
    Totally agree with you on this. In fact, this is one of the reasons I got out of public school (well, living from day to day with the threat of being beat up was another ; P ). Kids are coming to college stupid, fed this bullshit, ethically blank, sanitized version of history. Heaven forbid if religion is mentioned...they might actually LEARN something about Western culture! Political correctness has sanitized art, education, philosophy, everything, and I'm glad that I'm not the only one who's sick of it.


    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    Boy, first I find myself (a freakin agnostic) sticking up for the religious, and now you're forcing me (a libertarian) to defend Bush too? LOL. OK, I'll try.
    First, Bush's "religiosity" is something he's never "flaunted". Certainly no more than Jimmy Carter did. But because the press is generally leftist & don't understand people who go to church or have faith, they often tend to emphasize this & paint him as a zealot. Heck, I don't care what he believes as long as it's kept personal. So I think the "gathering religiousity" you're talking about comes more from a political corner... those that just hate republicans and will do any & everything to disparage them... make them appear stupid, brainwashed, etc. You should have seen some of the stuff I read on some Dem boards in the run-up to the election ("he's the anti-christ! Bush= Hitler!") It's the media you should be more concerned with, since it's them that "spin up" much of the stuff you're taking about. Most religious people take their faith very personally, meaning, they don't brag about it, and talk about it only generally (I can't speak for all branches). I think you all stretch a few words Bush may have said in a few speeches to mistaken definitions.

    As for Bush going into Iraq for quasi-religious reasons... this is the kinda left-wing drivel propaganda you're too smart to fall for. Jesus. Look, I (as a libertarian) had plenty of reservations about that strategy in the middle east. But the fact is, it has some very logical and thought-out reasons... it is NOT a simple Jihad-like Crusade that Bush heard from God himself... certainly not when many libertarian leaning writers, and many leftists alike believe it has merit, at least in it's overall philosophy (guys like Hitchens and Tom Friedman). Without trying to defend a policy I myself am ambivalent about, I will submit it does attempt to solve a number of potential future problems. Yeah, it's a grand scheme, maybe grandiose, but so was Churchill's and so was our cold war strategy. So even if this fails, it doesn't mean it was strategically wrong, or specious. The failure of Kerry & the left was that they expressed NOTHING (of substance) in response to it, not even a simplistic bone, and that, to most people, meant more of the same -- ie, wait... until all the mideast tyrants all get Nukes and really get busy. So criticize Bush on the merits, not some half-baked impression that he's hearing voices in his head or something.
    I probably shouldn't even touch this one but I will anyway. Bush has flaunted religion mercilessly as part of his agenda--count the number of times he mentions God in that State Of The Union prior to the war in Iraq. And okay, barring that, it's very doubtful that Jimmy Carter would've pushed such an anti-homosexual agenda and try to define marriage as "man and woman" if he was faced with such an issue in his administration. That's Bush playing directly to the contingency that will vote for him--the typical fundamentalist Christian, homophobic, 700 Club-watching Southerner. Not only that, Bush's "upstanding Christian values" were constantly cited during this year's election, even as one of the reasons he won. Gah, the very thought of that makes the bile rise in my throat.... he ain't an "upstanding Christian," he's a crafty politician with a heavy stink of Religious Right on him, and now a blank check from Congress. Just the kind of President we don't need.

    Was the Iraq war "a religious crusade?" Maybe, maybe not... but the way he referred to it in that speech gives it that sort of air. At the very least, there's also a vendetta-like aspect to the whole thing with Saddam attempting to assassinate Bush Sr. Now, I can't say I blame him for hating Saddam (any sane man would) but wars shouldn't be fought on personal vendettas. If you wanna do that, how about a one-on-one boxing match, or duel, or something? Saddam and Bush duking it out in person? I'll buy. ; P

    Anyway, if this war on territorism was REALLY about terrorism, we'd be blasting Saudi Arabia to kingdom come. Not launching a preemptive strike on a country that we think has chemical weapons and Al Qaeda ties (shoddy justification at best), but going after a country who doesn't just have Al Qaeda members in their country but sponsors them, and we know about it.


    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    I also think you express a "too simplistic" view of many religions (going to hell, etc). That was typical for Cotton Mather's day. Lots has changed since. There are many very sophisticated and intelligent scientists and artist who have faith, of many forms. It's not a "simplistic" kind of medieval devotion they're apt to seek. I think you may be pre-judging a bit there.

    I also think you don't realize that most religious Christians, Jews and Muslims all get along rather well. We tend to focus on the negatives we see, but most are quite similar in their teachings and matters of belief. Most all the negative aspects of religion (Crusades, current terrorism, etc) has been the result of political impetus using religion, (corrupting it) by tyrants and megalomaniacs. In fact, it's political & economic corruption where you tend to find religious sects at each other's throats. In governments like ours, it doesn't exist.
    Yes indeed. Religion in of itself isn't all that inherently dangerous; it's when it becomes mixed with politics and abused by heads of state who think they can rule by "divine right" that it becomes the anti-human equation. You could say the same thing about atheism, except replace "divine right" with "pure reason" or the teachings of Marx. Equally dangerous, if not more so.

    Can't resist a good rant, can I? ; )
    Last edited by mad rhetorik; 12-10-2004 at 02:47 PM.
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  16. #16
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
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    Creationism In the Schools

    Quote Originally Posted by jack70
    Yeah, I have problems with that, of course, but I tend to take a more larger & more independent view on it: Let the local schools control their own curriculum... (that's in the orig intent of our constitution) let em do whatever the f_ck they want.
    Jack, please take this the right way, with a big smiley icon . This may seem harsher in print than it would be in conversation. But...

    ...Come on Jack. It's not creationism in the schools, it's the INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY of trying to pass it as science and to teach it in science classes. I don't pussyfoot here. With an open mind I've considered all of the evidence, and it doesn't point to a world supported by "Creationsist" scientists, which is based on the literal truth of the bible (a serpent talked to Adam & Eve, man and dinosours walked the earth at the same time, the universe is only 10,000 years old, etc.). That's not science. Period. Evolution has been proven beyond doubt. Period. Those who want to believe otherwise should read Richard Dawkins. I think even the Pope has had to agree that evolution is scientifically valid.

    If the schools want to teach theology, then let them do so under the banner of theology, and let them teach Christian "science" as a matter of faith (the whole notion of conflicting science, like theories of polylogism (Aryan logic, Jewish logic, etc.) is absurd). Apparently those who support Christian "science" say they want to get to heaven, but truth and critical thinking take a back seat to their faith and wishful thinking. We shouldn't sit on the sidelines and condone the state's support of teaching crap to our children, whatever the subject matter is (I mean that in the sense of your comment about our schools teaching whatever the f_ck they want.").

    If you teach blatent falsehoods and irrationality as a valid epistemological method, you do end up with peopel with trash as brains. And those are the sorts of people who end up as emotional basket-cases, incapable of resolving problems in non-violent ways. Look what the Palestinians have done to themselves and their culture. Look at the choices they make. They claim to be religious, and I don't hear too many others of their faith condeming them.

    It's nice to play around with Troy and pontificate about ideas, but if you want to talk seriously about ideas, then let's really get serious here.

    I don't mean that we should do that here on this board, but I know that you and I aren't so far apart on many of these political issues, and I don't really think that you think that the government should be teaching whatever the f_ck they want. Ideas matter, and **** ideas create **** brains. Read Leonard Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels to find out why German philosophy contributed greatly to the rise of Naziism. If Palestinian children were taught to honour thy neighbour and turn the other cheek, they wouldn't be celebrating the slaughter of Israeli women and children, etc. etc. They'd be educating themselves and building a garden paradise here on earth, like the Israeli's and Egyptins have done in the middle of a desert. When our schools set children's minds against reality, then we're setting ourselves on the road to future apocalype. Reality always wins. And humans have to learn how to think clearly to master reality, here on earth. But if life on earth doesn't matter, then neither does clear thinking and human cooperation.

    Here's Sam Harris, author of the book The End of Faith. You may or may not agree with him, but it's an interesting perspective (I read this on his website, I haven't read the book, and I'm not condoning his position without reading it fully):

    "[The link between religion and violence is] quite simple and direct. And inevitable. If you truly believe that your neighbor is going to hell for his unbelief, and you believe that his ideas about the world are putting the souls of your children in peril, it is quite sensible to drive him from your community, or kill him. Religion, by promising an eternity of supernatural rewards and punishments, raises the stakes enormously. Which is worse, a child molester or a heretic? If you really believe that the heretic can endanger your child for all time, there's simply no contest."

    As for Islam being a religion of peace, he disagrees (I don't know enough about it to comment, having never read the Koran). Here's what he says about moderate Muslims, of which he appears to think there are none:

    "We've seen the occasional Muslim disavow the actions of Osama bin Laden, saying things like "Islam is a religion of peace," but this is not a sign of Muslim moderation. We'll know there are Muslim moderates in this world when they get on television and say things like: "There is much in the doctrine of Islam that should not be taken literally. It is, for instance, unacceptable to believe that people can get into Paradise by killing infidels and dying in the process. In fact, we're not even sure Paradise exists. Nor are we sure that the Koran was written by the Creator of the universe. The Koran is an ancient book of religious wisdom, some of it applies to our modern circumstance and some of it does not." Find a Muslim who can talk this way, and you will have found a Muslim moderate. You will also have found someone who is guilty of blasphemy and liable to be killed in almost any Muslim community on this earth. This is the problem with Islam."

    I hope Harris is wrong, but I see whole societies of tens of millions of people rally behind Fatwas to kill people like Rushdie and others. Look what happened to that film maker Van Gogh, who was assassinated for making a ten minute film. There are a lot of people on this planet right now that are working hard to either kill, or be in the position to kill infidels because they think they will be rewarded in the next life. There are a lot of people who condone the killing of people who do not believe the things they believe, the religous things that they believe.

    Whether Harris is right or wrong isn't really the issue. We don't have to look far to see that most of the killing in the world throughout man's history is religiously motivated. Religion is not inherently peaceful. It depends on the ideas within that religion. Please, take the notion of what we teach our children more seriously. Unless mankind as a species adopts a secular, scientific approach to human life, makind in doomed to a life that is nasty, brutish and short. For a secular, scientific approach to ethics and politics, read Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

    It's not that the answers don't exist, it's that people place faith before reason. The issue is philosophical and can be found in the choices people make regarding the basic branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and politics.

    'Nough said.
    "A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission" - Rush

  17. #17
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
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    Religion and Politics ( = the need for wine or beer)

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik



    Yes indeed. Religion in of itself isn't all that inherently dangerous; it's when it becomes mixed with politics and abused by heads of state who think they can rule by "divine right" that it becomes the anti-human equation. You could say the same thing about atheism, except replace "divine right" with "pure reason" or the teachings of Marx. Equally dangerous, if not more so.

    Can't resist a good rant, can I? ; )

    The separation of religion and politics is a rather recent affair in the West. I know you know about the dark ages and the Christian crusades. It was that eventual seperation that made the west civilized.

    The Vatican did its best to keep people ignorant and obliterate any mind that opposed it. It was corrupt beyond repair. It wasn't intersted in truth or science. Religion was politics. It's a deadly combination. The West learned and adopted because reason found its place. Aristotle's logic and this-worldliness replaced Plato, and the dual continues.

    It is my very limited understanding of Islam that there is no seperation in Muslim societies. You live your life and organize your society based on the word of God as written in the Koran. To do otherwise is sin.

    Religion is inherently dangerous, not because of the political implications, but because of the epistemological implications, namely, because it replaces reason with faith. That's what defines religion. It is only not inherently dangerous when people are rational enough to know where to draw the line between faith and reason. But you can't pretend that religion is rational. It is by definition non-rational. It accepts that no evidence is required to support its basic tenets. You must reject logic and rationality and adopt faith. But once reason is rejected as a valid means to decide right from wrong, truth from falsehood, nothing is left but violence. So the question is only, within any individual, which takes precedence: reason or faith? Christianity and Judaism seem to hold that life on earth has value, and hence you must be rational to the extent that acheiveing happiness or good on earth is required. To a greater or lesser extent, then, both faiths hold that reason leads, and faith follows where there is room for it in one's life. That's religious moderation.

    But without life as a positive value, then there is no need for rationality because there is no need to conform to reality. And when you add to that that the best thing you can do is die a martyr for your God, then you stand no chance of toleration of others, and of seperating church from state.

    Man, the last thing I thought I would be doing ever on this board is having a discussion about religion, and to think that I started it all with Neal Morse.

    Cheers all.
    "A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission" - Rush

  18. #18
    Global Village Idiot mad rhetorik's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    The Vatican did its best to keep people ignorant and obliterate any mind that opposed it. It was corrupt beyond repair. It wasn't intersted in truth or science. Religion was politics. It's a deadly combination. The West learned and adopted because reason found its place. Aristotle's logic and this-worldliness replaced Plato, and the dual continues.

    It is my very limited understanding of Islam that there is no seperation in Muslim societies. You live your life and organize your society based on the word of God as written in the Koran. To do otherwise is sin.

    Religion is inherently dangerous, not because of the political implications, but because of the epistemological implications, namely, because it replaces reason with faith. That's what defines religion. It is only not inherently dangerous when people are rational enough to know where to draw the line between faith and reason. But you can't pretend that religion is rational. It is by definition non-rational. It accepts that no evidence is required to support its basic tenets. You must reject logic and rationality and adopt faith. But once reason is rejected as a valid means to decide right from wrong, truth from falsehood, nothing is left but violence. So the question is only, within any individual, which takes precedence: reason or faith? Christianity and Judaism seem to hold that life on earth has value, and hence you must be rational to the extent that acheiveing happiness or good on earth is required. To a greater or lesser extent, then, both faiths hold that reason leads, and faith follows where there is room for it in one's life. That's religious moderation.

    But without life as a positive value, then there is no need for rationality because there is no need to conform to reality. And when you add to that that the best thing you can do is die a martyr for your God, then you stand no chance of toleration of others, and of seperating church from state.
    Nicely put. I don't agree with some of the other stuff you wrote to Jack, but you know what? I'll let it drop. My fingers are tired. ; P


    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    Man, the last thing I thought I would be doing ever on this board is having a discussion about religion, and to think that I started it all with Neal Morse.

    Cheers all.
    Hey, thread goes where it goes. I love interesting philosophical discussions/rants such as these. This board is starving for activity anyway.
    "...and then at the end of the letter I like to write <i>'P.S. - this is what part of the alphabet would look like if Q and R were eliminated.'</i> "


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  19. #19
    Forum Regular jack70's Avatar
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    beer & circus

    Quote Originally Posted by mad rhetorik
    The problem is, I'm surrounded by kids who see the world largely in terms of black/white and who haven't developed the "thinking bone" just yet, I guess, or haven't applied it. To a lot of them it's just "IF YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN YOU'RE WRONG!" Respecting individual differences is a big problem for them, and that worries me, for at some point in their life they're going to have to learn the hard way.
    I think most people, by the time they get middle aged, are less likely to be offended by other views. Maybe it's tolerance, maybe just accepting that it's not worth the trouble trying to change everyone else view... cause it's impossible, and life's too short. And you're right, after you learn many "hard" lessons of life, you tend not to get so consummed with things that seem larger when you're younger.

    Gee... Barry, sorry I got you so spun up.
    I'd intended to make that my last post on this thread, and didn't even go online yesterday... I'd figured it was toast. However, I'll clarify a bit. My reply could/should be really long, because there are tangents I'd like to get into... but... I won't. Bear with me for the cliff notes ver...

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    It's nice to play around with Troy and pontificate about ideas, but if you want to talk seriously about ideas, then let's really get serious here.
    Well, that's the thing... I was kinda playing around. And the limits of post-board communication... well, it's limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    "[The link between religion and violence is] quite simple and direct....
    Remember when I mentioned I was "skating on thin ice"... well this is what I meant. I'm NOT a theologian, nor a scholar. (I graduated Jr High). I don't really want to go here, simply cause I'm not qualified to debate it. That author may be right, but I think you're overlooking the other viewpoint, and I know there are other equally well-founded views against it.

    Even you must admit that on the face of it, that sounds a little like Leninist doctrine, no? "Religion is bad boys & girls... follow me" Well, maybe religion IS bad (or WAS bad), but maybe the other way IS (would'a been) WORSE. I'm not saying it is... I'm just saying it smacks of simplistic second guessing by an academic in a rosy tower. Would we be better today if civilization took another path... if the renaissance and reformation hadn't happened? Perhaps. Then again, perhaps it would have been worse. In just the last century, most of the destruction can be laid at the feet of NON-religious types... guys that preferred "reason"... and the result was nearly 100 millions dead.

    Again... as someone who doesn't read or study much theological, I'm not worthy to debate this. But I CAN cite a few books that speak tangentially at this (elites from the education & political classes who think THEY know best). To me, their's is just a slippery a slope as those you mock from the religious side. In fact, you make me a little angry becasue I know there is a reasoned "other side" to this... if I'd spent more time reading about it in the past years, instead of listening to my rare UK R&R Lps, I'd be able to give a better reply. But I've gone way too long aleady... I DO have limits... LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryL
    ...Unless mankind as a species adopts a secular, scientific approach to human life, mankind in doomed to a life that is nasty, brutish and short. For a secular, scientific approach to ethics and politics, read Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.
    You know, I got into a long, and quite nasty thread war on another music board last month... defending Rand. I read her collected Objectivist essays as a teen. The thing is, both as a libertarian (politics) and from a philosophical standpoint, I consider myself a free thinker -- I don't accept ALL of anyone's dogma as true. That's for me to decide, & me alone. But, on this issue (religion), Rand is quite "strict" aint she? LOL!! But, this would better be discussed with a beer and lotsa time, dontcha think?

    Back to those (my) original education comments...
    That "whatever they want" comment was sorta tongue in cheek. I feared it might not be taken that way, the web being like it is (PS I have "similes" deleted in my preferences here). So, I'm taking a piss at "education" in general today, in a couple different ways, the first being that IT ISN'T (really) in the constitution anyway... and as much as I think education is (probably) the most important thing we can do to continue our civilization in a positive direction, I also think it's GOVERNMENT (government schools) that's making it (education) worse (and more & more people dumber). My point was that... in that slide to worse education, creationism is NOT the biggest wild animal in the room we have to worry about. In fact, by getting all upset over it, we're almost being made dupes in a shell game by those that would rather have us focus on that, than other, more important education topics (unions, merit pay, discipline, standards, competition, pseudo-"kids rights", political correct revisionist history, grade inflation, etc, etc). Sorta like getting into a heated argument in the street... while your house is burning down behind you.

    Here's the thing Barry... It may very well be that letting schools teach creationism ain't so good... but our constitution was made to LET THE PEOPLE decide (actually in regard to education, it doesn't mention it... but that's another rant... LOL). The framers wanted people IN LOCAL areas, to have the freedom to do what they wanted. If concepts like abortion, education, (perhaps even slavery), etc were found to be bad in one area, they'd be abandoned elsewhere. It was intended to be a free marketplace of ideas... for good... and for ill. And it's why it was so damned revolutionary. It's just too bad, today, we have a much more centralized, homogenized type of government. Cause it eliminates innovation, and ultimately slows the freedom to evolve. So yeah, "let em teach what they want", just like "let em say what they want"... "let em read what they want". It may not be pretty, but it's freedom. We is what we is.

    Back to "governmental schools"... I don't think education should be under the arm of the government... any more than I think food (restaurants and grocery stores) should. Many here want the government to take over health care too. Without competition (like with restaurants & grocery stores for example) THAT's doomed to go down the same path to mediocrity; and heck, that's what socialism is best at isn't it? Our universities have been the best in the world, and students flock here from around the world.... and guess what? ...they're primarily Private. And as much as the government has begun put it's nose in that tent, it's made them worse. In NYC you have grammer schools where kids get 10-15K each from the government, and they can't read or count. Private schools, run on 2K a student, from the same neighborhoods, put all their kids into college. So I'm more concerned with "government", than religion, cause the governemt can put you in prison... the religious can only doom you to hell.

    So... I don't disagree with any of your outrage over "creationism as science". (really!). But I also don't see those Bible-literalists as dangerous as you portray them. They're not Wahhabi's, not Nazi's, and part of my frustration is that many on the left here like to paint to them EXACTLY that way (Bush=Hitler). I know a lot of that is political hyperbole... but many are no different in THAT belief than those lunkhead creationists are in theirs. So I see both extremes (rightist creationists)... and leftist socialists as equals on the loon fringe. Neither has reason or logic. But at least those rightists have a little ethics (from their belief in the 10 commandments)... the leftists (often) remind me of their brothers running the Gulags and Cambodian death camps. If you think I exaggerate, I am... but after reading so many of that ilk (leftists) last summer on web-political boards, it's NOT such a stretch. I guess what I'm saying is... I fear THOSE idiots more than I fear the Creationist ones.

    But don't worry... I think both groups... ARE IDIOTS.

    Your athiestic lackey... jack
    You don't know... jack

  20. #20
    Forum Regular BarryL's Avatar
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    'Attaboy, Jack.

    Quote Originally Posted by jack70

    But don't worry... I think both groups... ARE IDIOTS.

    Your athiestic lackey... jack

    You're a good man! One day we'll have to get together for that beer.
    "A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission" - Rush

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