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Science and Religion - Page 3

post #81 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Ah, but making decisions based on magical beliefs does harm others.

You mean like Obama on gay marriage?

post #82 of 138
Thread Starter 

You are projecting again.  It is you who does not alter his views to match the conclusions of modern science, MJ.  Remember, you are part of the "evolution is a hoax" crowd--unless of course you have since changed your position, in which I will happily apologize.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #83 of 138
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

You mean like Obama on gay marriage?

Yes.  It was harmful when he spoke out against it.  His actions have atoned for it, however.  He never pursued a defense of DOMA, ended Don't Ask Don't Tell, and has done a myriad of other things for the LGBT community--including coming out in favor of marriage equality.  He ended up on the correct side of history there.  

 

 

H0yke.png

 

Nice try, Floorjack.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #84 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Yes.  It was harmful when he spoke out against it.  His actions have atoned for it, however.  He never pursued a defense of DOMA, ended Don't Ask Don't Tell, and has done a myriad of other things for the LGBT community--including coming out in favor of marriage equality.  He ended up on the correct side of history there.  

 

...

 

 

Nice try, Floorjack.

 

 

Slam dunk you mean. The gay community had to force his hand on DADT and he only rushed it thought to get it done before the court case finished. Then he only changed his mind on marriage because his supports were tried by his lack of action and were looking for withhold money and votes in 2012. He's either a political coward that didn't support it for votes or a religious bigot only supporting it now for votes. Doesn't sound like the right side of history.

post #85 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Hallucination is not an acceptable form of evidence.  

 

 

See, there you go.  You would immediately dismiss it as a delusion or hallucination.  

 

 

Quote:
If your deity really wanted worshipers and is all powerful as you claim it to be, why not present itself unambiguously without having to rely on things that rightfully should be dismissed as brain malfunctions?

 

Good question.  I don't have an answer.  Nor does anyone.  

 

 

Quote:
Don't you see?  When your standard of evidence here is the effects of a mini-seizure, it calls into question your ability to think critically.

 

First, I don't think the experience I described would have anything to do with a seizure.  Secondly, you're again proving my point:  You would dismiss any evidence that would be offered, because it is not scientific.  You only believe in what you can measure.  

 

 

Quote:
Frankly, I don't feel comfortable with these sorts of people making important decisions for me.  Someone who will take his or her hallucinations seriously and perhaps act on them is dangerous.

 

Are you claiming that all believers have had such an experience?  And if so, why would that experience make them dangerous?  What if that experience was limited to their faith?  How would that impact you in the slightest?  

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post #86 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

You are projecting again.

 

Not at all. I'm not the one who wants to force others to conform to his values and morals and beliefs. That's you (and tonton, et al.)

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post #87 of 138
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

 

 

See, there you go.  You would immediately dismiss it as a delusion or hallucination.  

 

 

Do you believe all visions/experiences that could be interpreted as delusions or hallucinations are divinely inspired?  If not, how do you tell the difference?  Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

 

Quote:

Good question.  I don't have an answer.  Nor does anyone.  

 

Oh, I have an answer--you just don't like it.

 

Quote:

First, I don't think the experience I described would have anything to do with a seizure.  Secondly, you're again proving my point:  You would dismiss any evidence that would be offered, because it is not scientific.  You only believe in what you can measure.  

 

How about you stop being so vague and elusive and just say what you experienced?  If you are afraid of me dismissing it or critically analyzing it, you don't really have to worry--you seem to ignore my arguments all the time.  If anything, it may bring you closer to your circle-jerking right wing friends here.  Have you noticed that only the right wing crew follows nearly all of each other here?

 

Quote:
Are you claiming that all believers have had such an experience?  And if so, why would that experience make them dangerous?  What if that experience was limited to their faith?  How would that impact you in the slightest?  

First, your evasiveness makes me very wary and leads me to believe that what you have experienced is akin to a hallucination.  How am I supposed to know that it will be "limited to their faith"?  

 

What if a sitting president thinks he talks to god and god tells him to invade Iraq?  Oh wait, that's happened.  

 

What happens when a person talks to god and god tells him to blow up a bus?  Oh wait, that's happened.

 

What happens when a person talks to god and god tells him to "drink phenobarbital mixed with pineapple, washed down with vodka [and a]dditionally, [secure] plastic bags around their heads after ingesting the mix to induce asphyxiation?"  Oh wait, that's happened.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #88 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post

Science and religion...

 

I'm not sure that religion is dealing with science at all, mostly it's about spiritual guidance, general purpose of life, origin, destination and moral laws...

 

Science on the other hand can't tell us anything about origins, it can only tell us about how things work within the already existent universe. The reason is that science needs reproduceable phenomena to verify or falsify emprically theories that are able to predict behaviour.

 

But that the universe follows universal laws that can be described mathematically hints imho very strongly at an intelligent design.

 

The question if such an intelligent designer indeed communicated with humanity using messengers and prophets remains a question of faith.
 

 

Excellent post.  Couldn't have said it better.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

 

 

No... it doesn't "hint" at any such thing.

There is NO observational support for the existence of a Deity.  (well... except for all the videos that said deity has posted at mrdeity.com)

 

He's merely expressing his opinion that it hints at intelligent design.  It would be better if you just expressed your opinion as to why you disagree.  Instead, you're pulling a BR by attacking.  

 

The problem with "intelligent design" is that it suffers from precisely the same flaw that is often asserted to exist in scientific explanations of the origin of the universe. If the observed universe presents features that one cannot accept, for whatever reason, to have arisen without intervention, then positing a creator simply removes the question one level further. How could the creator itself, presumably having at least equivalent complexity to that which it created, have arisen without intervention? If the problem is one of understanding what came before the universe, then that just reflects a lack of understanding of the nature of time, probably due to the human experience of an apparently monotonic process.

 

None of which disproves intervention or intelligent design, but it does reveal it to be an arbitrarily added level of conjecture, introduced for no reason other than a lack of understanding, rather than a necessary incremental addition to explain an observation.

 

As has been argued many times, once one steps outside the formal mathematical framework upon which our understanding of physics is built, our hypotheses become no more than flights of imagination - evidenced by the countless different incarnations of the concept of a creator. When faced with the existence of so many competing creator "theories", it has always puzzled me how the adherents to any particular religion can have so much confidence in their own received wisdom.

post #89 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Do you believe all visions/experiences that could be interpreted as delusions or hallucinations are divinely inspired? 

 

I'd say that's very unlikely.  

 

 

 If not, how do you tell the difference?  Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

 

 

That would be up to the person who had the experience.  There are tens of thousands of people (if not more) who claim to have experienced supernatural phenomena.  Deciding what those experiences are, and what they mean--is up to them.  

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Oh, I have an answer--you just don't like it.

 

Your answer is that God does not exist.  I neither like nor dislike it.  I was addressing the question of why God does not reveal himself in a very obvious way.  I cannot answer that.  

 

 

Quote:
How about you stop being so vague and elusive and just say what you experienced?  If you are afraid of me dismissing it or critically analyzing it, you don't really have to worry--you seem to ignore my arguments all the time.  If anything, it may bring you closer to your circle-jerking right wing friends here.  Have you noticed that only the right wing crew follows nearly all of each other here?

 

Newsflash, genius:  It was a hypothetical.  I did not experience anything like that.  The point was to illustrate that you and like minded people would dismiss any evidence that was not scientific.  

 

 

Quote:
First, your evasiveness makes me very wary and leads me to believe that what you have experienced is akin to a hallucination.  How am I supposed to know that it will be "limited to their faith"?  

 

I am not being evasive at all.  Why do you assume that their experiences would not be limited to their faith?  

 

Quote:
What if a sitting president thinks he talks to god and god tells him to invade Iraq?  Oh wait, that's happened.

 

 No, that's not what happened at all.  

 

 

 

Quote:

What happens when a person talks to god and god tells him to blow up a bus?  Oh wait, that's happened.

 

 

That's not necessarily what happened either.  

 

 

 

Quote:
What happens when a person talks to god and god tells him to "drink phenobarbital mixed with pineapple, washed down with vodka [and a]dditionally, [secure] plastic bags around their heads after ingesting the mix to induce asphyxiation?"  Oh wait, that's happened.

 

I don't know what situation you're referring to.  Thanks for the links on basic, well-known substances and causes of of death, though.  

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #90 of 138
It's illegal to be Atheist in Kentucky. Who is actually using force again?
post #91 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

It's illegal to be Atheist in Kentucky. Who is actually using force again?

 

Well, you are of course. Finding one (or many examples) where someone else is also doesn't alter that fact. I'm sure you know that.

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post #92 of 138
Really I am? Show me where I am. Show me where I am endorsing the government to do so, other than protection of health? Or are you lying about what I'm doing... Again?
post #93 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Really I am? Show me where I am. Show me where I am endorsing the government to do so, other than protection of health?

 

Pretty much anywhere you advocate the state do something you think people aren't doing enough of or mandate stopping things you think people are doing too much of or using the state to take from one and give to another.

 

Provide "free" healthcare? Yep.

Provide "free" government education? Yep.

Enforce a minimum wage? Yep.

Vaccine mandates? Probably. (I know BR does, I'm pretty sure you're on record on this one too.)

Anti-discrimination laws? I'll bet yes.

 

I'm sure the list is quite long actually.

 

You are a liberal authoritarian statist in the classic tradition. Your answer for most things is higher taxes, more government regulation and spending. Government as mommy and daddy to give everyone everything and more government rules and regulations to "protect" everyone else who you assume are all dumber than you are and, worse, in capable of learning and growing.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Or are you lying about what I'm doing... Again?

 

No. I think you are blind to how your advocacy is in fact an attempt to force your values onto others.


Edited by MJ1970 - 12/3/12 at 7:08am

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post #94 of 138

A great quote from Thomas Sowell:

 

 

Quote:
People who believe in evolution in biology often believe in creationism in government. In other words, they believe that the universe and all the creatures in it could have evolved spontaneously, but that the economy is too complicated to operate without being directed by politicians.

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post #95 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

It's illegal to be Atheist in Kentucky. Who is actually using force again?

 

No, it's not.   (And that source is not exactly biased towards the conservative Christian point of view)  

 

The law requires the Kentucky Homeland Security Dept to display a plaque acknowledging that security (from terrorism) comes from God.  The law also states that failure to comply can result in jail time, up to 12 months.  It does not outlaw atheism, nor does it do what the article title suggests ("persecuting atheists").  

 

All that said, I think it's an utterly stupid, pointless law.  I don't know whether it's actually unconstitutional, however.  I'm not even sure on what grounds one could sue..perhaps the person being directed physically put up the plaque?  Or perhaps one could take issue with the state displaying a religious message on state property?  That's obviously a whole other discussion.  

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post #96 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

It's illegal to be Atheist in Kentucky. Who is actually using force again?

No, it's not.   (And that source is not exactly biased towards the conservative Christian point of view)  

The law requires the Kentucky Homeland Security Dept to display a plaque acknowledging that security (from terrorism) comes from God.  The law also states that failure to comply can result in jail time, up to 12 months.  It does not outlaw atheism, nor does it do what the article title suggests ("persecuting atheists").  

All that said, I think it's an utterly stupid, pointless law.  I don't know whether it's actually unconstitutional, however.  I'm not even sure on what grounds one could sue..perhaps the person being directed physically put up the plaque?  Or perhaps one could take issue with the state displaying a religious message on state property?  That's obviously a whole other discussion.  
You don't know if it's unconstitutional or not? lol.gif

You don't know if it's persecuting atheists or not? lol.gif

I guess it's true. You really don't know anything unless Fox News or some right wing blog tells you. Because those things are blindingly obvious if you have a single ounce of logical thought ability.
post #97 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

You don't know if it's unconstitutional or not? lol.gif

 

No.  Do you?  It looks like there have been some conflicting rulings.  It doesn't appear to endorse a particular religion, nor does it require atheists to engage in any overt act.  As I said, the only person who could make this argument would be the person who actually had to place the plaque, or perhaps the homeland security official in question.  So that's the legal side without personal opinion.  If you want to get into that, I'd tell you that the Establishment Clause was initially only intended to prevent the federal government from establishing a national religion (e.g. Church of England), and/or infringing on the populace's right to worship freely.  It was never even intended to stop states or localities from establishing religions.  It was not intended to banish religion from the public square.  Over the past 50 years, court rulings have expanded the meaning of the EC to ban school prayer, religious displays and even expressions of faith at certain official functions (such as graduation ceremonies).  They've even gone so far as to apply a "psycho-coercion test" in lieu of analyzing whether or not people are required to actually perform an act, or may "feel" compelled to.  The bottom line is that I think we've gotten very far away from the intent of our founding fathers.  As far as I'm concerned, while the law is stupid and unnecessary, it's not unconstitutional.  The courts may or may not agree, which is why I "don't know."

 

 

Quote:
You don't know if it's persecuting atheists or not? lol.gif

 

I didn't say I didn't know.  I said it definitely did not result in atheist persecution.  If you disagree, please explain how and why.  Please explain what it requires atheists to believe and do.  Please explain how it's persecution.  

 

 

Quote:
I guess it's true. You really don't know anything unless Fox News or some right wing blog tells you. Because those things are blindingly obvious if you have a single ounce of logical thought ability.

 

I'll leave the personal attack alone.   Moving on...the fact is that neither question is blindingly obvious, not unless you're completely ignorant of what the law actually says, and what case law in general tells us with respect to the Establishment Clause.  I must tell you that I have spent some time studying this issue in my capacity as an educator, including a in-depth course on school law (which got into 1st Amendment and other Constitutional issues heavily).  If you'd like to have an honest discussion on the issue, I welcome it.  Or, keep being...well...the way you're acting now.  It's up to you.  

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post #98 of 138
"It doesn't force atheists..."

What the f...?

What if the people in the homeland security department are atheists? It's not forcing them? If they don't admit there is a god, they face prison time!

What a blind, sad little man.
post #99 of 138

How about West Point, a US Government facility, forcing religion on cadets?

 

This is a pretty damning report.

post #100 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

"It doesn't force atheists..."
What the f...?
What if the people in the homeland security department are atheists? It's not forcing them? If they don't admit there is a god, they face prison time!
What a blind, sad little man.

 

I'm going to again turn the other cheek on the personal attack.  Next time I won't, opting instead to report all your recent ones at the same time.  I'll ask you again nicely to please stop.  

 

Now...It doesn't require atheists to do or acknowledge anything.  It requires a plaque to be placed on a government building.  The prison time is for refusing to install the plaque, at least from what I gathered.  As I said, the only person(s) who might have standing are the ones who must physically place the plaque.  

 

 

 

Quote:
What if the people in the homeland security department are atheists? It's not forcing them?

 

I don't see how it's forcing them.  What is it forcing them to do?  Does the plaque speak for them personally? Are they asked to publicly proclaim they agree with the message?  This doesn't even rise to the level of the aforementioned prayer at a graduation ceremony (psycho-coercion test).  It seems what you are really arguing is that atheists might find the plaque offensive.  While I again the think the law is utterly stupid and unnecessary, you/them being offended does not make it unconstitutional...not necessarily.  

 

This doesn't mean a court would rule the way I've stated, of course.  Over the years we've seen less and less tolerance for religious expression in government/public settings, right down to municipalities being ordered to not display the Ten Commandments (which serve a secular purpose and are clearly the basis for many of our modern laws).  

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post #101 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

How about West Point, a US Government facility, forcing religion on cadets?

 

This is a pretty damning report.

 

I see how it is. tonton doesn't like it when the government forces people to do things, until he wants the government to force people to do things.

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post #102 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Now...It doesn't require atheists to do or acknowledge anything...

(unless they are in the Homeland Security Department, then it does)

So, in other words, you're wrong.

 

Quote:

It requires a plaque to be placed on a government building.  The prison time is for refusing to install the plaque, at least from what I gathered.  As I said, the only person(s) who might have standing are the ones who must physically place the plaque.  

Excuse me? What about the executive who refuses to order the plaque to be placed? What about the staff who refuse to pass that order on to the purchasing department? What about the contractor who designs and the one who forges the plaque? Are you seriously saying that if the head of department happens to be an atheist and refuses (as is their constitutional right) to place the plaque, then the contractor who puts up the plaque is the only one who might be arrested?

 

And isn't that enough to say, "Wait a minute! That's total bullshit! What if the Homeland Security Department head is an Atheist?"

Quote:
Quote:
What if the people in the homeland security department are atheists? It's not forcing them?

 

I don't see how it's forcing them.  What is it forcing them to do? Does the plaque speak for them personally? Are they asked to publicly proclaim they agree with the message?  This doesn't even rise to the level of the aforementioned prayer at a graduation ceremony (psycho-coercion test).  It seems what you are really arguing is that atheists might find the plaque offensive.  While I again the think the law is utterly stupid and unnecessary, you/them being offended does not make it unconstitutional...not necessarily.  

It's forcing them to display a claim that God exists. Imagine if you were asked by your school not only to not pray at school, but to display, of your own will, a sign on the wall that says, "There is no God." Wouldn't you have a problem with that? Mightn't you refuse to do that? It's not speaking for you personally. It's not asking you to publicly proclaim that you agree with the message. And hell yeah, you would be offended. And there's no way in hell you would follow that order. Have fun in jail, because of your beliefs.

Quote:
This doesn't mean a court would rule the way I've stated, of course.  Over the years we've seen less and less tolerance for religious expression in government/public settings, right down to municipalities being ordered to not display the Ten Commandments (which serve a secular purpose and are clearly the basis for many of our modern laws).

Common morals stand as the basis for our modern laws. Do you really have to be told, "Thou shalt not kill" to know that murder is wrong and should be a crime? I don't. I know what right and wrong is without having to read it from a book or have it explained to me by a pastor, TYVM.

post #103 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

 

There's the caricature again.  What have I posted on this topic that shows "lazy magical thinking?"  I have acknowledged that the Earth is over 4 billion years old.  I have not rejected a single scientifically proven fact.  I do not deny evolution.  Are you really calling all believers like me "lazy" and ignorant because we believe in a being whose existence you cannot disprove?  

 

Given the lack of evidence either way it is possible that yes there is a God, that he created the world over 4 billion years ago and he also created evolution etc. 

 

The real issue isn't the evidence of evolution etc it's that some Christians take the Bible, particularly the early books of the Old Testament to be literal and perfect when they have seen in their own lives that messages get twisted as they are passed on and translations can be wrong. Perhaps old King James was a tad rusty with his ancient Greek/Hebrew/whatever and thought that the word meant 'days' and not 'ages'. I grew up with many of these literalists and they really think their Bible is sacrosanct and perfect and they ignore that it wasn't written in English and mistakes could have happened. 

 

On the flip side there are many people, a good number of them scientists, that believe that there is a God and that yes he created all things. Most importantly he created us in his image which means we are intelligent beings, capable of learning and evolving. And Science is the means by which we learn and understand how he created the universe and through this knowledge we become more like him. 

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post #104 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

 

Of course you did.  You are the one that is asking, and will make the judgement as to what's meaningful.  Clearly, nothing will be meaningful from your point of view.  And that's not even a criticism...it's just the way you think, which as I said is perfectly fine.  

 

 

This sounds like an excuse for you not to answer the question.  Answer the question.  What meaningful contribution does Christianity have for the age of the Earth?  

 

Nothing. Well not directly. But it did help to spread the contribution of its forefather Judaism. A religion which in the very first pages of the Old Testament posited the notion of the development of the planet in stages not simply being snapped fully formed into existence several hundred, even thousand years, before Science came up with Evolution. In fact, given the dominance of religion in those days, it's possible, even plausible, that the Book of Genesis is where Science got the idea in the first place, just with a redefined time table. 

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post #105 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

(unless they are in the Homeland Security Department, then it does)

So, in other words, you're wrong.

 

It does not require them to perform any particular action (public statement of faith, worship activity, reciting scripture, etc).  

 

 

Quote:
Excuse me? What about the executive who refuses to order the plaque to be placed? What about the staff who refuse to pass that order on to the purchasing department? What about the contractor who designs and the one who forges the plaque?

 

Those are good questions, those I don't see the need to be indignant.  The fact is that this is not an open and shut case (pun intended) regardless of how much you think it should be.  \

 

We would have to look into whether or not those people you reference have a claim.  I'm not sure of the legal history on that.  It might be that they would need to have suffered actual damages as a result of refusing to take part in executing the act (jail time or being fired/disciplined for refusing to follow the directive) in order to bring suit.  

 

 

Quote:
Are you seriously saying that if the head of department happens to be an atheist and refuses (as is their constitutional right) to place the plaque, then the contractor who puts up the plaque is the only one who might be arrested?
 

 

 

I wasn't saying that, but let's address it.  You are assuming that he has the Constitutional right to refuse to display the plaque (presumably without consequences, correct?).  However, I don't think that's a given.  The argument can at least be made that by displaying the plaque, he is not conveying a personal expression of faith.  What the law is saying is that the government must acknowledge the importance of God in providing security, not that the employee must personally express the same.  Putting jail time aside for a moment, can he be disciplined or fired for refusing to display the plaque?  Possibly..possibly not.  

 

 

 

Quote:
And isn't that enough to say, "Wait a minute! That's total bullshit! What if the Homeland Security Department head is an Atheist?"

 

No, it's not enough. Not at all.  

 

 

 

Quote:
It's forcing them to display a claim that God exists. Imagine if you were asked by your school not only to not pray at school, but to display, of your own will, a sign on the wall that says, "There is no God." Wouldn't you have a problem with that? Mightn't you refuse to do that? It's not speaking for you personally. It's not asking you to publicly proclaim that you agree with the message. And hell yeah, you would be offended. And there's no way in hell you would follow that order. Have fun in jail, because of your beliefs.

 

Interesting example.  I was about to tell you that I know music teachers who are required to perform a certain number of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa songs each holiday season.  But I am not Jewish.  By your standard, aren't my rights being violated?  

 

As to your example:  The issue of school prayer is significantly more complicated than that.  We are, in fact, prohibited from praying at school in many cases. Teachers and school officials cannot leader prayer or engage in worship activities in the student view.  This is not a school policy per se, but is the understanding I have based on the case law.  

 

Now, as to the sign that says "There is no God:"  Yes, I would be offended.  I am not claiming that you should not be, nor that atheists in general should not be.  But let's also compare apples to apples here.  First, we'll have to assume that this is a single sign at, say, the school entrance (requiring teachers to all personally display the message in their rooms would not make for a good comparison).  Secondly, I'm not sure the two messages (the law and your example) are reasonably equivalent.  The law requires the government to acknowledge the importance of God in terms of security.  The message you posited is nothing more than overt expression of anti-faith by the State.  It could be interpreted to have the goal of convincing all those who view the sign (including students) that there is no God.  To be equivalent, the Kentucky law would have to be along the lines of "There is a God."   To me, that would be a clear and overt expression of faith by the State, and likely violate the psycho-coercion standard as set forth in Lee v. Weisman.  

 

Again, I wish to reiterate I think the law is useless, needlessly provocative and even stupid.  I certainly would not vote for it.  It's also quite possible the USSC will rule that requiring the plaque to be displayed is an explicit endorsement of religion and therefore unconstitutional (after all, a specific endorsement of a denomination is not required to overturn the law).  

 

However, your original claim was that "it's illegal to be an atheist in Kentucky."  That is not a true statement.  Will you acknowledge that?  

 

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Common morals stand as the basis for our modern laws. 

 

That is incorrect.  Our laws are, for the most part, based on English Common Law, which was clearly rooted in Judeo-Christian principles.  You might saw that common morals stem from those principles.  However, our modern laws on not based on some vague understanding of common morals alone.  

 

 

Quote:
 Do you really have to be told, "Thou shalt not kill" to know that murder is wrong and should be a crime? I don't. I know what right and wrong is without having to read it from a book or have it explained to me by a pastor, TYVM. 

 

That is a separate discussion, but I'm willing to have it:  Why do you know it's wrong to kill?  Who taught you?  Who taught him or her?  From where did this knowledge come?  Are you arguing that you just innately know these things at birth?  What other things do you know.  Is it wrong to cheat on your wife?  To steal?  You may not need a pastor to know right and wrong, but you had to be taught the difference somewhere along the line.  Our collective notions of right and wrong are based on Judeo-Christian principles.  The Ten Commandments are, in fact, a basis for much of our modern law.  

 

 

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post #106 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

How about West Point, a US Government facility, forcing religion on cadets?

 

This is a pretty damning report.

 

Then don't go there. Don't send your kids there, don't let them go there. 

 

As long as they are upfront about the presence of religion, as long as anyone can leave at any time (perhaps having to forfeit that terms tuition) what's the real issue. It isn't really a government facility anymore than a state university is. You don't have to go there to be in the military, run for office etc. It's not like someone passing a law that you have to be Christian, and devoutly Southern Baptist at that, to run for Congress, be a Supreme Court judge, President, State Governor etc. 

 

As for the article, this guy spent 3 years apparently seeing all this stuff but was only outraged enough to do something about it this year?? So for 3 years it really wasn't a big deal it seems. Feels a bit off. Makes one wonder if something else didn't happen to suddenly outrage him. Like perhaps he found out that he wasn't going to get a pretty Gold Star on his diploma which would up the klout of the document and he's pissed off because he feels the school is playing favs. Perhaps a valid complaint but perhaps not if they were up front about the requirements for such honors and he said nothing for 3 years. If they were up front and said it was simply for academic excellence and he can back up that he had near perfect marks then the game changes. Regardless, we don't have the full story and it feels a lot like he's not telling it for a reason and covering up the absense with hyperbolic outrage. 

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post #107 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

Then don't go there. Don't send your kids there, don't let them go there. 

 

As long as they are upfront about the presence of religion, as long as anyone can leave at any time (perhaps having to forfeit that terms tuition) what's the real issue. It isn't really a government facility anymore than a state university is. You don't have to go there to be in the military, run for office etc. It's not like someone passing a law that you have to be Christian, and devoutly Southern Baptist at that, to run for Congress, be a Supreme Court judge, President, State Governor etc. 

 

As for the article, this guy spent 3 years apparently seeing all this stuff but was only outraged enough to do something about it this year?? So for 3 years it really wasn't a big deal it seems. Feels a bit off. Makes one wonder if something else didn't happen to suddenly outrage him. Like perhaps he found out that he wasn't going to get a pretty Gold Star on his diploma which would up the klout of the document and he's pissed off because he feels the school is playing favs. Perhaps a valid complaint but perhaps not if they were up front about the requirements for such honors and he said nothing for 3 years. If they were up front and said it was simply for academic excellence and he can back up that he had near perfect marks then the game changes. Regardless, we don't have the full story and it feels a lot like he's not telling it for a reason and covering up the absense with hyperbolic outrage. 

 

I tend to agree.  Military service is not required.  Going to West Point is not required.  The military has a wide leeway when it comes to instituting and promoting the culture it feels necessary to help fight and win war on behalf of the United States.  It is often said that serving in the military is not a right, it is a privilege.  For the most part, I agree.   

 

 

Previously:  

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Given the lack of evidence either way it is possible that yes there is a God, that he created the world over 4 billion years ago and he also created evolution etc. 

 

I agree.  

 

 

 

Quote:
The real issue isn't the evidence of evolution etc it's that some Christians take the Bible, particularly the early books of the Old Testament to be literal and perfect when they have seen in their own lives that messages get twisted as they are passed on and translations can be wrong. Perhaps old King James was a tad rusty with his ancient Greek/Hebrew/whatever and thought that the word meant 'days' and not 'ages'. I grew up with many of these literalists and they really think their Bible is sacrosanct and perfect and they ignore that it wasn't written in English and mistakes could have happened. 

 

Again, we agree, though BR et al are likely to pounce.  Such an explanation will be meaningless to him, because it is not scientific. Moreover, by his standard anyone who disagrees with his notion of the null hypothesis is an idiot.  Good luck.  :)  

 

 

 

Quote:
On the flip side there are many people, a good number of them scientists, that believe that there is a God and that yes he created all things. Most importantly he created us in his image which means we are intelligent beings, capable of learning and evolving. And Science is the means by which we learn and understand how he created the universe and through this knowledge we become more like him. 

 

Another good point.  But put up your flame shield.  :)  

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post #108 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloorJack View Post

You mean like Obama on gay marriage?

 

His views didn't bother me. He has a right to his own views and frankly I see some merit to them. There is little to nothing to gain from gay marriage in the sense that many of the gay community are pushing it. Because they are pushing for some legally mandated right to go into a church and have a priest etc ordain their domestic union, even if said church doesn't believe such unions are right 'under God'. Basically the Government telling the Church what they can and can't believe. That's a direct violation of the First Amendment. 

 

Now some folks are arguing that states should allow domestic partnerships with all the same legal rights afforded in a 'marriage' (50/50 split of assets of the union legally dissolves, inheritance rights etc) regardless of whether its same gender or not. So long as the government provides a means to validate the union and invalidate it as needed, who needs some guy/gal and a church. And that I do agree with. If The Church doesn't want you, well how many churches out there started because someone was rejected everywhere else and said 'screw you guys' and started a new one. Shit, the whole Church of England was started because Henry the 8th didn't like the Pope telling him that he could stick his dick. So if the US can have Catholics, Baptists, Methodists and even freaking sciencetologists why can't we have the Church of the Blessed LGBT

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post #109 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

 

No, it's not.   (And that source is not exactly biased towards the conservative Christian point of view)  

 

The law requires the Kentucky Homeland Security Dept to display a plaque acknowledging that security (from terrorism) comes from God.  The law also states that failure to comply can result in jail time, up to 12 months.  It does not outlaw atheism, nor does it do what the article title suggests ("persecuting atheists").  

 

 

 

And how many folks that objected to that plaque and the law have been retaliated against for filing lawsuits saying that the requirement is unconstitutional (success in the argument or not). How many people have even filed them. 

 

How about similar lawsuits in said state against any 'religious' statements being forced on government/state employees. There are some interesting comments in the article in this regard. Including the fact that the law's sponsor, despite putting his personal religious views first and being part of numerous and costly lawsuits over the years, has been in his position for 26 years. What does that say about the people in Kentucky that they haven't voted him out or found a way to kick him out etc. 

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post #110 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

You don't know if it's unconstitutional or not? lol.gif
 

 

Only because the State Supreme Court has refused to rule on it either way and it is only just being put up to the US Supreme Court for judgement. 

 

You are however correct on the second question, sort of. Those that have gone to jail aren't necessarily athetists. There could be some religious and God believing folks that also believe that its wrong to try to shove God down folks throats. 

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post #111 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

 

Another good point.  But put up your flame shield.  :)  

 

I have one better than that. It's called "ignore"

 

I am a US citizen and an intelligent human being and it is my belief that I have both a Constitutional and a moral right to have an opinion and speak it. I don't require that anyone agree with said opinion, just with my rights to have and speak. Just as I believe they have the same rights and I have a right to not agree with them. So long as anyone is acting like a mature person and having a discussion its all good. But the moment that someone tells me that I'm stupid, deluded etc for not tossing myself at their feet to declare them perfect and wise etc, well that's the moment I exercise my right to not listen to them. i add them to my ignore list and move on. And I openly invite anyone that can't act like a mature adult and have a discussion even if it means folks will disagree with them to do the same to me. 

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post #112 of 138

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #113 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

 

Only because the State Supreme Court has refused to rule on it either way and it is only just being put up to the US Supreme Court for judgement. 

 

You are however correct on the second question, sort of. Those that have gone to jail aren't necessarily athetists. There could be some religious and God believing folks that also believe that its wrong to try to shove God down folks throats. 

 

From what I've read, it's never been enforced.  That was my point about legal standing.  If there are no damages, it makes it tougher to bring suit.  Now, despite his indignation, tonton raises an interesting point:  What if the person who was in charge of submitting the purchase order for said plaque refused to submit it on 1st Amendment grounds?  And what if that person was prosecuted or professionally disciplined?   That is a much more interesting legal question, but also hardly a slam dunk. It would presumably at least warrant legal standing.  

 

I have no idea how a court would rule on that.  It might be that the person cannot refuse without consequences, because submitting a purchase order does not actually constitute an expression of religion.  I'd think the same reasoning would apply if a building secretary in my district refused to order, say, Christmas decorations.  In such a case, the employee is not acting on his or her own behalf, but on behalf of the employer.  It's hard to argue that fulfilling an administrative function is akin to forced personal expression.  

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post #114 of 138
Thread Starter 

It's funny how SDW is defending this law.  It's so clear cut--government is secular.  That plaque isn't.  The end.

 

The military is part of the government.  The government is secular.  The Westpoint practices aren't.  The end.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #115 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

It's funny how SDW is defending this law. 

 

I am not defending it.  I have specifically said I wouldn't and don't support it, and that it's "stupid, unnecessary and useless."  I couldn't be more clear about not supporting or defending it.  

 

 

 

 

 It's so clear cut--government is secular.  That plaque isn't.  The end.

 

 

 

Clearly written by someone who doesn't understand the 1st Amendment, nor case law on the topic.  That said, In the end you may be right...the courts may ultimately rule that the law and the subsequent plaque constitute an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the State.  But despite your condescension on the matter (and most others), I know enough about 1st Amendment and the State to say that the issue is not open and shut.  

 

 

Quote:

The military is part of the government.  The government is secular.  The Westpoint practices aren't.  The end.

 

This one is much less likely to go as you predict, if in fact it ever makes it into a courtroom.  Historically, the courts have given the military a wide berth as to their traditions, rules of law, etc.  In this case, God has been part of the military tradition for hundreds of years.  You can crow about government and the military supposedly being secular (you won't find that anywhere in the Constitution), but in reality this is not even close to true---especially for the latter.  

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post #116 of 138
"Interesting example. I was about to tell you that I know music teachers who are required to perform a certain number of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa songs each holiday season. But I am not Jewish. By your standard, aren't my rights being violated?"

Do any of the songs say there is no Jesus? Get real. Not even close to the same thing. Dreidel dreidel doesn't go against your religious beliefs.

On the other hand, if a Muslim music teacher at a public school were required to perform "Silent Night", then yes, I would say her rights are being violated.
Edited by tonton - 12/4/12 at 4:36pm
post #117 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

"Interesting example. I was about to tell you that I know music teachers who are required to perform a certain number of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa songs each holiday season. But I am not Jewish. By your standard, aren't my rights being violated?"
Do any of the songs say there is no Jesus? Get real. Not even close to the same thing. Dreidel dreidel doesn't go against your religious beliefs.

 

This is what you choose to focus on?  You accuse me of drawing a poor analogy while ignoring the fact that I just completely took apart your "There is no God" analogy?  LOL.  You're not interested in any actual discussion.  

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post #118 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

"Interesting example. I was about to tell you that I know music teachers who are required to perform a certain number of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa songs each holiday season. But I am not Jewish. By your standard, aren't my rights being violated?"

Do any of the songs say there is no Jesus? Get real. Not even close to the same thing. Dreidel dreidel doesn't go against your religious beliefs.

This is what you choose to focus on?  You accuse me of drawing a poor analogy while ignoring the fact that I just completely took apart your "There is no God" analogy?  LOL.  You're not interested in any actual discussion.  
I was about to respond to that. Are you claiming that the plaque as required isn't saying "There is a God"? Of course it is!
post #119 of 138
"Our security relies on the grace of God... Which there might not be, if that's what you believe... But it relies on Him! No pressure."
post #120 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post


I was about to respond to that. Are you claiming that the plaque as required isn't saying "There is a God"? Of course it is!

 

I wasn't claiming that.  I was saying that your analogy was not necessarily drawing a reasonable equivalence.  In other words, a sign on a public school proclaiming "there is no God" is not equivalent to the law in question.  Here is the law once again: 

 

 

 

Quote:
"The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God as set forth in the public speeches and proclamations of American Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln's historic March 30, 1863, presidential proclamation urging Americans to pray and fast during one of the most dangerous hours in American history, and the text of President John F. Kennedy's November 22, 1963, national security speech which concluded: "For as was written long ago: 'Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'"

 

and 

 

The law requires that plaques celebrating the power of the Almighty God be installed outside the state Homeland Security building--and carries a criminal penalty of up to 12 months in jail if one fails to comply. The plaque’s inscription begins with the assertion, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

 

Now, here is my point:  On these kinds of issues, intent is critical.  The intent of "There is no God" is clearly to convey an overt, anti-religious public message.  The same would apply if the message was "There is a God."   What I'm saying, however, is that the law's intent is not as clear.  Granted, it could be viewed as an explicit pro-faith message.  But it could also be viewed as a general statement that the elected representatives of Kentucky feel God is important to security.  The real question is whether or not the government has a right to express such a position, and whether or not such an action actually violates the rights of others.  Contrary to seemingly popular belief, we do not have a right to "freedom from religion" (as in a freedom not to event encounter it).  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

"Our security relies on the grace of God... Which there might not be, if that's what you believe... But it relies on Him! No pressure."

 

 Does the plaque constitute coercion to participate in worship?  I can't say I think it does.  Do you...and why?  

 

By the way, you still haven't retracted your initial claim that "it's an illegal to be an atheist in Kentucky."  Do you finally acknowledge your were wrong about that?  

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