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Is there a place for a Christian in Project Reason?

 
Pattertwig
 
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Pattertwig
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26 February 2015 00:20
 
GAD - 25 February 2015 12:47 PM
Pattertwig - 25 February 2015 03:18 AM

GAD’s recursive curse aside, I’m unclear whether it was my opposition to the “under God” part of the PoA or my support for a separation between church and state that he found offensive and dubious.

Because you are really just an apologist with a secular name tag. Your version of the separation between church and state equates to everyone should be allowed to believe and promote anything they can pull from their ass as long as they call it religion, and that they must be protected until they have gained the strength to tip the vote or take over by force.

My tag name.is.not.secular, as Twissel.figured out.

Can y@‘all believe i made GAD write a TWO-liner?  It’s a festivas miracle!

Let’s see if i can teach it.to.write paragraphs!

smile


Does Gad.not.realize that Christians already have the.votes?

 
 
Pattertwig
 
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Pattertwig
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26 February 2015 00:26
 

Thanks, Hannah.

If i’m promoting a public policy, i’ll stay away from.religious authority.

But if.i am asked why a religion believes such and.such, i dont know how.to.answer without.acriptural authority. I am not asking you to.accept.it, but simplu.to.understand that the folks we are describing accept.said authority.

 
 
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26 February 2015 01:01
 
gsmonks - 25 February 2015 07:16 AM
Pattertwig - 25 February 2015 12:20 AM

hERE is the line that drew me heto this site: :
Does “secular values” mean complaining about religion? It does when religion crosses the line in areas such as interfering with human rights, interfering with education whilst attempting to insert religious ideas, interfering with the political process (the Radical Right, aka Neo-Cons, aka Straussians), and when its doings are at cross-purposes with a free, Democratic and secular society. - See more at: http://www.project-reason.org/forum/viewthread/31893/#376043

THANK YOU, gsmonks.  That’s very good news indeed.  Glad someone here seems to think most of the same things as I do when we speak of secular values.

I particularly like your caveat “when its doings are at cross-purposes with a free, Democratic and secular society.”  So if I understand correctly, you have no beef to Martin Luther King’s use of Christian memes and networks to change hearts and minds against Jim Crow?

 
 
Pattertwig
 
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26 February 2015 01:17
 
Nhoj Morley - 25 February 2015 01:46 PM

If this is a question about forum policy the answer is in the forum guidelines thread.

Everyone of any spiritual or religious bent or lack thereof is welcome to post. That can help give everyone a better idea of what others really look like. If they’re looking. Us mods attend to how the forum is treated by its patrons. And, of course, everyone is routinely tested for sentience.

Thank you.  I read the guidelines thread, but those seemed to be about basic manners in dealing with each other.  I hope that if I come close to the line that you will warn me ... I tend to interpret the rules as I see others around me interpreting them. 

I’m asking if there are atheists in this forum that might work on a common project with a Christian, e.g. for removing the divisive God clause from the PoA. 

I’m quite adept with the scriptures, Bible and others, and I’m not a bad writer.  Also have about 21 credit hours of upper division bio classes, a minor in chemistry, so unless there’s calculus involved, I’ve got a fairly good mind for the sciences.  So I can explain in both biblical and biological terms why, for example, the fundy idiocy about stem cell research being a kind of “murder” falls not only afoul of Science but of Biblical teachings.  I can explain why calling homosexuality “the sin of Sodom” is a damnable heresy from Bible teachings, as well as a story that inspires unjustifiable violence against innocent gays, a type of “Blood Libel.” (I actually got a fundamentalist board group to admit they were mistaken on that and to pledge to stop using the Sin of Sodom hate language.)

So my question isn’t whether there’s place for Christians on this discussion board, but whether my skills and agendas overlap with yours to the point that some of you might be interested in actually working with me on a project?

I’m not playing innocent here.  I hold beliefs many of you probably consider bigoted, and I won’t pretend otherwise.  But there are doubtlessly folks you disagree passionately on some issues that you can make common ground with on others.  And I’ve always thought that surrounding oneself with folks that share all your beliefs is intellectual incest.  GAD is right that I’m an “Apologist” although I didn’t come here in that capacity.  I’m a compulsive apologist because I’m a technical writer who became a criminal defense attorney. 

My crim defense sensitivity means (1) if I see someone say something I know to be untrue or unfair about any group, I tend to speak up.  I denounced Romney in LDS circles when he made statements to the effect that a president needs to be someone who believes in God.  Just as I denounce Sam for saying that someone who is LDS should not be entrusted with higher office.  It’s shallow argument based on stereotype.  Sam should have looked to Romney’s actual career as governor and showed how Romney’s religion made him, whatever Sam was saying that mormonism makes someone that disqualifies them.  My tech writing sensitivity means (2) that if someone asks a question that requires deep understanding, I want to show off my ability to explain it.  But then if I find out that the person didn’t really care but just asked the question in bad faith, I get pissed at them.  Ignore them or talk about them in third person until I calm down.  I don’t like having my time wasted.

But if you don’t want me explaining religion to you, then don’t freaking ask, and I won’t.  I’d much rather talk about endosymbiosis, or how Margullis’ findings demand a reconception of survival of the fittest, since noncompetitive interactions between species have resulted in some of the most significant changes such as the Eukaryotic cell.  (Nothing theistic there).

[ Edited: 26 February 2015 01:31 by Pattertwig]
 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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26 February 2015 01:31
 
Pattertwig - 25 February 2015 11:26 PM

Thanks, Hannah.

If i’m promoting a public policy, i’ll stay away from.religious authority.

But if.i am asked why a religion believes such and.such, i dont know how.to.answer without.acriptural authority. I am not asking you to.accept.it, but simplu.to.understand that the folks we are describing accept.said authority.

Scriptural authority is a reason, but it’s not reason—it’s faith.

 
Pattertwig
 
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26 February 2015 01:42
 
Hannah2 - 26 February 2015 12:31 AM
Pattertwig - 25 February 2015 11:26 PM

Thanks, Hannah.

If i’m promoting a public policy, i’ll stay away from.religious authority.

But if.i am asked why a religion believes such and.such, i dont know how.to.answer without.acriptural authority. I am not asking you to.accept.it, but simplu.to.understand that the folks we are describing accept.said authority.

Scriptural authority is a reason, but it’s not reason—it’s faith.

Precisely.  OTOH, some arguments from scripture are quite reasonable, and appeal to logic as well as having a logical end. 

“Whose face is on the coin”
“Caesar”
“Then give Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s”

The passage that the LDS cite as the authority for following the law and ending the polygamy practice basically says, if you don’t follow the law, your churches and temples will be confiscated and you’ll be thrown into prison, and how will the work go on then?  Looks more like simple logical reasoning than an appeal to authority.

Not saying that MOST or ENOUGH religion is based on logic.  But then I don’t think that law or politics focuses enough on logic either.  Law is particularly riddled with authority worship.  I could tell you some funny stories ...

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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26 February 2015 05:17
 
Pattertwig - 26 February 2015 12:17 AM

So my question isn’t whether there’s place for Christians on this discussion board, but whether my skills and agendas overlap with yours to the point that some of you might be interested in actually working with me on a project?

In the case of what we posters can do, it is best to think of project as a verb instead of a noun. Each of us takes a shot at how far we can project reason. Some of us like to throw into the wind.

Anything more noun like would be an additional connection with some posters on the side.

Your take on religion will be interesting and welcome. Your defense of religion will be challenged from many sides. It is the way of things.

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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26 February 2015 11:26
 
Pattertwig - 25 February 2015 12:20 AM

Take God out of the pledge of allegiance, that we might be one nation indivisible and free.

Peter

We need to do more than take God out of the pledge of allegiance Peter - we need to take the Abramic God out of the jesusfucking world. The vast majority of the conflicts in the world belong to the followers of the Abramic God.
gregory
Post Scriptum: In the beginning, man created “God” in his own image.

 
 
Gregoryhhh
 
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26 February 2015 11:59
 
Pattertwig - 26 February 2015 12:42 AM

. . . some arguments from scripture are quite reasonable, and appeal to logic as well as having a logical end. 

..

Yes, some.

But the ones that are reasonable are not reasonable because they are in scripture, they are reasonable because they are reasonable apart from scripture. We already know that we cannot accept scripture as true or reasonable. In the very first chapter of Genesis, the God created by man, the Abramic God, created man before the animals, and in the next chapter, this selfsame God creates man after the animals, so according to scripture “God”  did it both ways. That is neither reasonable or logical -  scripture starts out with crap, is full of crap, and cannot be trusted for either reason or logic - it can however be trusted for crap.
gregory

Post Scriptum: Not to mention the reasonableness of kangaroos getting back to Australia from somewhere in the middle east desert.

[ Edited: 26 February 2015 12:02 by Gregoryhhh]
 
 
Thoughtage
 
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26 February 2015 14:25
 

One definition of secularism was offered….

we want a society in which religion does not influence public life

It might be discussed to what degree this definition represents the Project Reason mission, and thus the relationship with religiously inspired writings on the forum.  If that definition is judged to be pretty close to the mark, then it seems it needs some significant clarification. 

How does one remove religious influence from public life without removing all religion from the society?  Wouldn’t such an effort require denying civil rights to the religious?

As to the question of the thread, “Is there a place for a Christian in Project Reason?”  A few replies…

1) There are important elements of Christianity that are fully compatible with reason, without requiring supernatural belief, such as the value of love in the human experience.  Such topics receive little attention on sites such as this as typically members are focused on debunking supernatural claims. 

So I would answer yes, articulate Christians could make a contribution here, within the stated goals of the forum. 

The simple fact is, most members of sites like this don’t really know much about religion, as they typically deem it unworthy of study.  They are usually too busy rejecting to invest much time in to understanding that which they reject.  Thus, an informed serious Christian might be able to provide some much needed education.  Don’t expect to be thanked though.  grin

2) Christian visitors should be aware that to a significant degree this is not really Project Reason, but Project Ideology and Project Emotion.  This is a common reality across the online atheist community.  “Reason” is really just the cover story, though it’s not dishonest, as members typically sincerely feel they are doing reason.

As example, the group consensus across such communities can be generally described as, religion = bad.  That’s the basic bottom line, and then a big bunch of pseudo-intellectual chatter is layered on top, with qualifying tactical retreats inserted when no other face saving option is available.

Religion = bad is a very unsophisticated analysis of the largest cultural event in human history, and hardly a product of reason. Religion is far too large and diverse to be described with any simplistic label, something which immediately becomes obvious if one reaches even minimal standards of objectivity. 

Objectivity is not really the goal here, thus Project Reason is misnamed.  Defeating religion is the real goal, and thus Project Ideology would be a more accurate label.

 
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26 February 2015 14:44
 
Gregoryhhh - 26 February 2015 10:59 AM

But the ones that are reasonable are not reasonable because they are in scripture, they are reasonable because they are reasonable
..

Was it not clear that was my exact point?

Pattertwig - 26 February 2015 12:42 AM

We already know that we cannot accept scripture as true or reasonable. In the very first chapter of Genesis, the God created by man, the Abramic God, created man before the animals, and in the next chapter, this selfsame God creates man after the animals, so according to scripture “God”  did it both ways. That is neither reasonable or logical..

It’s your fundamentalist reading of scripture that’s neither reasonable nor logical.  The genesis accounts aren’t chronological in the order God did things; they are chronological in the order that the writer saw them in the vision.  The fact that the creation account isn’t first person should have clued you in that it’s being described as a vision, like John in Revelations.

When you read a biology text, do you assume that it lists species in the chronological order that they evolved on earth?

Bah.  I didn’t come here to teach remedial reading.  I understand you don’t believe in visions, but I reckon you grasp what a hallucination is.  Do you understand what a story is?

Abramic God, created man before the animals, and in the next chapter, this selfsame God creates man after the animals, so according to scripture “God”  did it both ways.

Or that the contradiction can be resolved if one takes the trouble to think about it.  E.g. that the process of “creating man from the dust of the earth” INCLUDED animal evolution.

“[scripture] can however be trusted for crap.”

Scripture can be trusted for showing what scripture actually says.  As opposed to what you and the fundamentalists say that it says. smile

Post Scriptum: Not to mention the reasonableness of kangaroos getting back to Australia from somewhere in the middle east desert.

The word “Earth” in the Bible is usually used in ways that don’t refer to the PLANET, silly fundy.
From a website that has a lot of stuff I disagree with, but gets this part right:

in Hebrew, the word for “earth” can mean locality as well:

a. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot’s daughters said “there’s not a man in the earth (erets) to come in unto us” (Genesis 19:31) We know that not every man in the world was killed ... only those in the area of the destruction. [YOU CAN’T PLEAD THE GIRLS WERE IGNORANT, EITHER, SINCE THEY PASSED THROUGH A LIVING BREATHING VILLAGE ON THE WAY TO THE CAVES WHERE THEY DATE-RAPED THEIR DADDY.  ALL EARTH MEANT WAS THAT THERE WAS NO OTHER MALE IN THEIR PARTICULAR HOLLER.]

b. Exodus 9:33 “the rain was not poured upon the earth” #776 (erets)... Of course we understand it is just speaking about a certain area in Egypt.

c. In Jeremiah 34:1, “all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the peoples, fought against Jerusalem.” There the phrase “of the earth” is limited to “his dominion,” i.e., the dominion of Nebuchadnezzar.

d. In II Chronicles 36:23, Cyrus’ empire is said to have encompassed “all the kingdoms of the earth.” But there were kingdoms in the Far East which were surely not included.

e. Acts 11:28 speaks of a similar famine “throughout all the world,” yet it is not likely it really meant over the whole globe including the New World.

f. Luke 2:1 refers to a decree which went out to tax “the whole world.” But this only refers to the territories that the Romans controlled.

 
 
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26 February 2015 14:49
 
Gregoryhhh - 26 February 2015 10:26 AM
Pattertwig - 25 February 2015 12:20 AM

Take God out of the pledge of allegiance, that we might be one nation indivisible and free.

Peter

We need to do more than take God out of the pledge of allegiance Peter - we need to take the Abramic God out of the jesusfucking world. The vast majority of the conflicts in the world belong to the followers of the Abramic God.
gregory
Post Scriptum: In the beginning, man created “God” in his own image.

Thanks for being honest.  If that’s the consensus here, then I cannot and should not attempt to make common cause with you.  And if that was the point of view of most American Atheists, that would justify the religious folks suppressing you from public office: because if you got it, you plan to suppress us, and my naive ideas about pluralism are like “peace in our time.” :(

 
 
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26 February 2015 14:51
 
Thoughtage - 26 February 2015 01:25 PM

The simple fact is, most members of sites like this don’t really know much about religion, as they typically deem it unworthy of study.  They are usually too busy rejecting to invest much time in to understanding that which they reject.  Thus, an informed serious Christian might be able to provide some much needed education.  Don’t expect to be thanked though.  grin

Back to reality where atheists statistically know more about religion then theists because the vast majority of theists just go through the motions and only know what they want to hear.

Religion is nothing more then codified ignorance, myth, magic and superstition, period, there is no debate, it’s fact. That’s why religion has move to “we can’t know” arguments.

 
 
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26 February 2015 14:52
 
Thoughtage - 26 February 2015 01:25 PM

One definition of secularism was offered….

we want a society in which religion does not influence public life

It might be discussed to what degree this definition represents the Project Reason mission, and thus the relationship with religiously inspired writings on the forum.  If that definition is judged to be pretty close to the mark, then it seems it needs some significant clarification. 

How does one remove religious influence from public life without removing all religion from the society?  Wouldn’t such an effort require denying civil rights to the religious?

As to the question of the thread, “Is there a place for a Christian in Project Reason?”  A few replies…

1) There are important elements of Christianity that are fully compatible with reason, without requiring supernatural belief, such as the value of love in the human experience.  Such topics receive little attention on sites such as this as typically members are focused on debunking supernatural claims. 

So I would answer yes, articulate Christians could make a contribution here, within the stated goals of the forum. 

The simple fact is, most members of sites like this don’t really know much about religion, as they typically deem it unworthy of study.  They are usually too busy rejecting to invest much time in to understanding that which they reject.  Thus, an informed serious Christian might be able to provide some much needed education.  Don’t expect to be thanked though.  grin

smile
Thank you, Thoughtage.

 
 
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26 February 2015 15:06
 
GAD - 26 February 2015 01:51 PM
Thoughtage - 26 February 2015 01:25 PM

The simple fact is, most members of sites like this don’t really know much about religion, as they typically deem it unworthy of study.  They are usually too busy rejecting to invest much time in to understanding that which they reject.  Thus, an informed serious Christian might be able to provide some much needed education.  Don’t expect to be thanked though.  grin

Back to reality where atheists statistically know more about religion then theists because the vast majority of theists just go through the motions and only know what they want to hear. .

That used to be true.  Then mass media and the internet happened. Tweeting is as we speak, setting functional literacy back five hundred years.  Instant images and bottom line verbiage give people the false sense of an “Aha” moment without the rigor of actually thinking a matter through. Atheists, formerly a brainy bunch, have taken on many of the intellectual dregs that used to be attracted to the worst sort of religions.  For many, atheism is nothing but codified ignorance, hatred and authority worship.  That’s why many atheists (but fortunately not all) have moved to I KNOW BECAUSE I READ IT ON THE INTERNET arguments.  And reject paragraph structure, which is the predominant form of communicating reason

If there are still Shaws and Twains among you, they hide to avoid angering the mob that don’t want their ideas challenged.  If a Mark Twain were to arise among you today, challenging your ideas like Twain challenged the ideas of his time, you would do to him what we Theists did to Christ, what the Athenians did to Socrates.

[ Edited: 26 February 2015 15:13 by Pattertwig]
 
 
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