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  #501    
Old September 8th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
I got a bit confused, probably because I'm still drowsy. So apologies if I get anything wrong. God made people in the beginning to be with him. He also gave them the gift of free will. When man chose to sin, he effectively severed his contact to God. Jesus was then sent to save the world from sin; but we have to accept it. It's as simple as accepting Jesus as your savior, and your saved. As to why God gave man free will in the first place, don't ask; I asked a friend that, and he explained it all, but I completely forgot. And really, I think we won't really convince each other with our arguments. I believe in the afterlife, so it makes perfect sense to me. You don't, so you think we're wasting our time. And sorry if I didn't really answer your argument, I think I did though.
This is one of the things that never made much sense to me. So, assuming all this is true, god gave people free will so they could choose, and not be forced, to accept god. That sounds good to me. I can relate to that on a personal level. I wouldn't want friends who didn't want to be friends with me. The thing I can't relate to is punishing someone for not choosing god. Why would god do that? Punish someone for making a choice he let them have in the first place?

I suppose I could be more sympathetic to this punishment idea if there were bad forces at work, like the devil and so on, that had power over you, but god is supposedly all-powerful. So even if he's being all hands-off and saying "It's your choice. You can choose me or the devil" he's doing it all while knowing he could save you from the devil/evil/damnation/etc. whenever he wants and he's not doing it. He's letting you suffer a fate that he himself created. I just can't relate to that. The way modern, mainstream Christians describe how their god works in relation to freewill just doesn't make sense.

Now, the people who say "it doesn't matter, god will still accept you even if you don't believe" are people I can get behind. That seems much more in keeping with the idea of an "all-powerful, all-loving" god.
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  #502    
Old September 8th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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Maybe the reason i'm an atheist is because I don't like the idea of having to worship some invisible giant man in the sky...

Oh, and I like to sleep in on sunday.
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  #503    
Old September 8th, 2012, 02:08 PM
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What are your opinions on subjects such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the death penalty, and so on? Why?

I’m divided only slightly on the subject of same-sex marriage since I don’t believe marriage in general is such a good idea. But it’s obviously a matter of equality and everyone should be afforded that right. Kind of baffling that in 2012 we are still fighting this. I’m rather proud to report that same-sex marriage is completely legal in my country and has been since 2006. Still ridiculous that it could have taken so long.

Of all social problems, I think abortion has been the most difficult for me to square away. I am pro-abortion, but every now and then I am reminded why those who oppose it do so. It is absurd and extreme to suggest that aborting a foetus is parallel to murdering a baby with a knife. How can anyone calculate the amount of physical pain experienced and then draw the conclusion that they are the same? Of course, those who oppose the idea of abortion ever gleefully forget that pregnancy is a process of slow, gradual degrees. It should be clear that there is a difference between the group of cells at the start of term and the foetus at the end of it. It’s odd to me that some people value and will defend with violence the life of an embryo, and disregard that of the adult woman.

And again, how can we quantify the suffering that may occur should the baby be born into harsh circumstances or at the hands of ill-equipped parents?

The argument from the “right to life” can be dismantled rather swiftly though. Saying that aborting embryonic life amounts to denying a person the right to live is like saying we are denying the life of every baby that might potentially come from any sexual proposition. Should we then seize every single opportunity to have sex with each other to give every resulting foetus a chance to live?

Why are your beliefs the way they are?

I suppose the fact that my parents are only moderate Christians had a hand in my relinquishing it. I am grateful to them (secretly) that they never really forced religion down my throat. They DID however, mandate regular attendance of Sunday school and the occasional formal church congregation which was a mere chore to me at the time. The Sunday school meetings were, in retrospect, a joke and I wasn’t in the presence of mind to treat it as such. I think I was also a bit of a cynical child, which didn’t help me in embracing the wishful nature of Christianity.

These days my lack of belief is simply due to rational thinking. I realised that the idea of belief is precious to me. It shouldn’t be handed out freely. I want real truth in return for my belief. This, naturally, ruled out a god as a target of my belief.

Do you believe in any form of life after death?

I do not. What have we seen that points to anything like life after death? Finite things do not frighten me.

Do you believe in aliens?

No. How is it that they choose to reveal themselves mainly to desert yokels in America? All the “evidence” that I’ve seen in favour of their presence on earth has been childish. As for their presence anywhere else, that would be little more than a wild stab in the dark.

Does your family and friends know about your faith? If no, why not?

My immediate family knows and most of my friends do too. Of all the people I personally know and speak to regularly are only 2 of them atheists. I am friends with a great amount of believers, all Christian, and I seldom speak to them about religion because I anticipate some black clouds.

Do you think separation of church and state is different from freedom of religion?

I think this is chiefly an American debate so I don’t know all the facets on this one. But judging from the terms, freedom of religion should include freedom from religion. America was founded on secular principles, amirite? Should that not carry some weight here? The separation of church and state gives way to freedom of religion to take place. I think?

If God does exist, what do you think it would be like?

The god that is most familiar to me is Yahweh, and if he did exist our lives would collectively be the most terrifying, violent, divisive and badly written rat race episode of Big Brother ever.

What are your family's general religious beliefs?

My parents are moderate Christians. To give you an idea, every month or so they host a gathering of Christians and drink cocktails and selectively discuss and exalt the poetry of the Bible (mainly New Testament, since the stories of Yahweh are too inconveniently uncomfortable). My atheism was quite abruptly thrown into the air one day during an argument with them. It had been after my begrudged Confirmation (a watered down and largely useless version of the Catholic practice, that I followed through with only to appease my mother) to our church and I had not since then been to the church. One day, as we were all kind of irritably getting the house ready for guests, my father hoarsely said that it was time for me to attend the ceremony again and made some comment about how lazy I had been in the past. I quietly refused, he demanded why. I said something along the lines of “The church isn’t for me anymore,” and he snapped, “So, what? You believe there’s no god?”

I gave him the same answer and he left. No questions, no elaboration. In hindsight I think perhaps if I had said more it could have escalated, but to this day there hasn’t been another word on the matter. They don’t ask me to go to church anymore, which is respectful I guess. Every Christmas I dare myself to buy them the books on religion and unbelief that have been most instructive to me (and maybe for a bit of irony).
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  #504    
Old September 10th, 2012, 07:01 AM
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Phantom, you're a bigger person than I am. Had my parents thrown me out of the family for being either gay or an atheist, I would have walked away and never looked back. I would never have entertained the thought of speaking to them again long enough to rebuild bridges the way you did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarf
The thing I can't relate to is punishing someone for not choosing god. Why would god do that? Punish someone for making a choice he let them have in the first place?

I suppose I could be more sympathetic to this punishment idea if there were bad forces at work, like the devil and so on, that had power over you, but god is supposedly all-powerful. So even if he's being all hands-off and saying "It's your choice. You can choose me or the devil" he's doing it all while knowing he could save you from the devil/evil/damnation/etc. whenever he wants and he's not doing it. He's letting you suffer a fate that he himself created. I just can't relate to that. The way modern, mainstream Christians describe how their god works in relation to freewill just doesn't make sense.
It bewilders me just as much as it does you, but the one way I've come up with to potentially explain it is this:

You are a married man with a golfing hobby and recently you had a child. Your friends have arranged a golfing day months in advance and you wish to go. When you remind your wife of this date, she plasters on a smile and says sweetly "That's fine. You can go golfing if you really want to, or you can stay with me and the baby. It's up to you, I don't mind."

If you exercise the "free will" your wife has given you and choose to go golfing, do you think that will go unpunished?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear
Saying that aborting embryonic life amounts to denying a person the right to live is like saying we are denying the life of every baby that might potentially come from any sexual proposition. Should we then seize every single opportunity to have sex with each other to give every resulting foetus a chance to live?
And to extrapolate further, you might say that any male who chooses to masturbate is denying a child the right to a life as his sperm will have zero chance of fertilising an egg
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  #505    
Old September 10th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarf View Post
This is one of the things that never made much sense to me. So, assuming all this is true, god gave people free will so they could choose, and not be forced, to accept god. That sounds good to me. I can relate to that on a personal level. I wouldn't want friends who didn't want to be friends with me. The thing I can't relate to is punishing someone for not choosing god. Why would god do that? Punish someone for making a choice he let them have in the first place?

Now, the people who say "it doesn't matter, god will still accept you even if you don't believe" are people I can get behind. That seems much more in keeping with the idea of an "all-powerful, all-loving" god.
Dunno. Can't answer right now. And as soon as I get that answer, I guess I could comment on the second part.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Bear
Saying that aborting embryonic life amounts to denying a person the right to live is like saying we are denying the life of every baby that might potentially come from any sexual proposition. Should we then seize every single opportunity to have sex with each other to give every resulting foetus a chance to live?
And to extrapolate further, you might say that any male who chooses to masturbate is denying a child the right to a life as his sperm will have zero chance of fertilising an egg
I dunno about that... I think people are against abortions because they consider the zygote life, and not just the fetus. From fertilization onwards, it's a new person. And I disagree with the original metaphor, saying aborting embryos is denying a baby life is like trying to get as many children as possible isn't the same. If you have a baby, prolife activists argue, you should give it a chance. And not kill it because you don't want it. They aren't suggesting anything else.
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  #506    
Old September 10th, 2012, 09:34 AM
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When people who are against abortion suggest adoption instead, I feel like they forget the part where you have to, ya know, be pregnant and later give birth.... Nooo thank you
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  #507    
Old September 10th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
I dunno about that... I think people are against abortions because they consider the zygote life, and not just the fetus.
I'm unfamiliar with "zygote" - Is that not an ovum that's been fertilised by a sperm (thus the eventual foetus)?

Quote:
From fertilization onwards, it's a new person.
How did you come to that conclusion? Does the amalgamation of a sperm cell and an ovum also include the immediate inception of a soul? I happen to think that this is the wrong question, regardless of the answer. I would be more interested to find out how we can quantify suffering in the matter.

"All thinking people recognize a painful conflict of rights and interests in this question, and strive to achieve a balance. The only proposition that is completely useless, either morally or practically, is the wild statement that sperms and eggs are all potential lives which must not be prevented from fusing and that, when united however briefly, have souls and must be protected by law. On this basis, an intrauterine device that prevents the attachment of the egg to the wall of the uterus is a murder weapon, and an ectopic pregnancy (the disastrous accident that causes the egg to begin growing inside the Fallopian tube) is a human life instead of an already doomed egg that is also an urgent threat to the life of the mother." - Christopher Hitchens

Quote:
And I disagree with the original metaphor, saying aborting embryos is denying a baby life is like trying to get as many children as possible isn't the same. If you have a baby, prolife activists argue, you should give it a chance. And not kill it because you don't want it. They aren't suggesting anything else.
Perhaps I wasn't clear. I meant to say that the idea of observing the right to life for all potential clusters of reproductive cells is a mad one if you try to uphold it. Shining Raichu made a salient point - is a sperm cell by pro-life logic not a potential person?

People who think in this way are trying to create a rule - I applied this rule thoroughly (hypothetically) and am pointing out that it does not work.
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  #508    
Old September 11th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voltianqueen View Post
When people who are against abortion suggest adoption instead, I feel like they forget the part where you have to, ya know, be pregnant and later give birth.... Nooo thank you
...? No idea what you're saying here...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear View Post
I'm unfamiliar with "zygote" - Is that not an ovum that's been fertilised by a sperm (thus the eventual foetus)?
Yep.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear View Post
How did you come to that conclusion? Does the amalgamation of a sperm cell and an ovum also include the immediate inception of a soul? I happen to think that this is the wrong question, regardless of the answer. I would be more interested to find out how we can quantify suffering in the matter.
I came to the conclusion because from fertilisation onwards it has a different DNA set, different very much from either parent, making it (or who, whichever) a new organism different from parents with a unique personality and the potential for a fulfilling life. Dunno about the soul tho. And what do you mean quantify suffering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear View Post
Perhaps I wasn't clear. I meant to say that the idea of observing the right to life for all potential clusters of reproductive cells is a mad one if you try to uphold it. Shining Raichu made a salient point - is a sperm cell by pro-life logic not a potential person?

People who think in this way are trying to create a rule - I applied this rule thoroughly (hypothetically) and am pointing out that it does not work.
...Prolife logic? Prolife is a group of people believing in something, not a cult... But yeah, I think whichever way you look at it, a sperm cell is a potential life, but whether or not you decide to actually bring this potential to fruition is your own choice (or rather, the parents' choice). Prolife merely says that it was your decision to give a possiblilty for life, and just because you don't like the results you can't just kill the zygote. If you don't want the result, why do the action required for it? And I am not sure what you mean with this rule. What rule and how did you apply it?

I myself am for abortion, but not the kind of commercial abortion happening today, where mothers have abortions just like that because they don't want a baby. Why have unprotected intercourse if you didn't? I am for it mostly because of rape victims and of the sort that become pregnant. Or, in some cases, teenage mothers. Although I think teens are just idiots to become pregnant already. But I think you get the point.

EDIT: Oh, yeah, and welcome altix!
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  #509    
Old September 11th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Omg yes Altix hi welcome I'm so sorry I missed your post among all the heavy discussion XD. You're a funny dude haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrostPheonix
I came to the conclusion because from fertilisation onwards it has a different DNA set, different very much from either parent, making it (or who, whichever) a new organism different from parents with a unique personality
I have to wonder about the unique personality. Sure, given time it will be born and develop its own personality, but I don't think at the fertilization stage it does. A personality requires a developed brain and a consciousness which a zygote does not have.

Quote:
I think whichever way you look at it, a sperm cell is a potential life, but whether or not you decide to actually bring this potential to fruition is your own choice (or rather, the parents' choice). Prolife merely says that it was your decision to give a possiblilty for life, and just because you don't like the results you can't just kill the zygote. If you don't want the result, why do the action required for it?

I myself am for abortion, but not the kind of commercial abortion happening today, where mothers have abortions just like that because they don't want a baby. Why have unprotected intercourse if you didn't?
Sex feels good, that's why people do it. As to how they get pregnant, while I know that there are a lot of irresponsible people out there who roll the dice, that's not always the case and often the story is more complex than can be fixed by simply stating "well why'd you do it in the first place?" People make mistakes and I think a life sentence is a bit of a harsh punishment for succumbing to your carnal urges.
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  #510    
Old September 11th, 2012, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
I myself am for abortion, but not the kind of commercial abortion happening today, where mothers have abortions just like that because they don't want a baby. Why have unprotected intercourse if you didn't? I am for it mostly because of rape victims and of the sort that become pregnant. Or, in some cases, teenage mothers. Although I think teens are just idiots to become pregnant already. But I think you get the point.
That part I bolded there, there's something I have to say about it. People can still get pregnant even if they are using protection. Even really effective protection sometimes fails, or the person using it doesn't use it properly. Someone may well think that they are doing everything they can to not become pregnant and still get pregnant by accident.

As for teens, they're also going to have the same problems of not using protection properly, especially if no one taught them how, or worse if someone taught them something that isn't true.

Basically, pregnancy doesn't just happen because people throw caution to the wind. Responsible people who do whatever they know to do in order to keep from getting pregnant can still get pregnant. I'm sorry to throw the discussion off so much, but I felt this was important enough to say.
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  #511    
Old September 11th, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrostPheonix View Post
And what do you mean quantify suffering?
By that I mean I don't much care to debate at which point exactly a group of cells officially becomes a person because I am not an absolutist. What I do think is important to give ascent to is the amount of pain that can occur to both the mother and the zygote (if it has reached the stage of developing a nervous system) during abortion, and whether one can outweigh the other. Also, it should be considered whether the pain of abortion is at all comparable to the potential suffering of letting the foetus grow to full term and be born.

Here, the state of the parents ought to be scrutinised. Of course, this is where my reasoning is halted - to measure pain is incredibly difficult (impossible, when it comes to potentiality) and details are disputed.

Quote:
...Prolife logic? Prolife is a group of people believing in something, not a cult...
I think you know that is not at all what I said or meant (and to my knowledge, a cult does believe in something).

Quote:
And I am not sure what you mean with this rule. What rule and how did you apply it?
Pro-life people suggest that every human reproductive cell is a potential person - a person who should be, by law, given the chance to life. They also think that not granting this chance is murder. Indeed, an actual person should be given the chance to life, but Pro-lifers choose to give microscopic cells the status of "person", which only ties them in knots of bad logic. We are, by that warped way of thinking, killing potential people since we are not all constantly copulating to give every single one of our reproductive cells a chance to experience life as we know it.

"As the Medawars were entirely right to point out, the logical conclusion to the 'human potential' argument is that we potentially deprive a human soul of the gift of existence every time we fail to seize any opportunity for sexual intercourse. Every refusal of any offer of copulation by a fertile individual is, by this dopey 'pro-life' logic, tantamount to the murder of a potential child! Even resisting rape could be represented as murdering a potential baby (and, by the way, there are plenty of 'pro-life' campaigners who would deny abortion even to women who have been brutally raped)." - Richard Dawkins
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  #512    
Old September 11th, 2012, 10:44 AM
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What I mean is, while people can put their babies up for adoption if they don't want to keep them, some people don't even want to go through the pregnancy and give birth in the first place. As mentioned above, not every unwanted pregnancy is the result of being irresponsible or being raped, so I believe that people should be able to get safe abortions if they need to, no matter why.
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  #513    
Old September 15th, 2012, 06:08 AM
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Anyone familiar with The Atheist Experience? It's an hour-long cable access television show in Austin, Texas geared towards a non-atheist audience. People call in with questions and challenges for its atheist presenters (their quarterback being Matt Dillahunty) regarding religion and unbelief.

Every episode can be found on their website, but some of their more intriguing and amusing call-ins are posted on Youtube (which is where I found them). I find it encouraging to see average people taking a platform like this.

Here's a short example.
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  #514    
Old September 15th, 2012, 06:47 AM
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AH I'M A FEW DAYS LATE ON THIS BUT I CHANGED MY STANCE ON ABORTION JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO AND I WANT TO KNOW IF IT ACTUALLY HOLDS UP TO CRITICISM SO I'M SHARING.

This is how I see abortion:

Say a woman has a daughter that's about 5 years old. That daughter is well, well into the "I'm a real person" stage of her life. She has the right not to get murdered. Suddenly she falls deathly ill and the only thing that can save her is an immediate donation of part of her mother's liver. Her mother is completely healthy and the surgery poses no extra risk. She's financially stable and can afford the surgery easily. She's been taking care of this child since birth so she is responsible for the child's welfare.

Even assuming all this, she is not obligated to donate part of her liver to her daughter. Even with the knowledge that without that liver, her daughter will die.

Pregnancy is the equivalent of a massive organ donation for 9 months. Since having a child and taking care of it is not a contract that you'll donate organs if they get ill and need them, having sex is not a contract that you'll donate your body to a child if they are conceived and need it. Just like it's an unfortunate limitation of science that we don't have artificial organs for people that can't find donors, it's an unfortunate limitation of science that we don't have artificial incubators yet. However, that doesn't mean that a woman is obligated to become an organ donor to a child without her consent for 9 months.

Therefore to me whether or not the child is a person doesn't matter. Does that make sense? I haven't yet brought it up to anyone that might challenge it so idk if it's reasonable under criticism yet.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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AH I'M A FEW DAYS LATE ON THIS BUT I CHANGED MY STANCE ON ABORTION JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO AND I WANT TO KNOW IF IT ACTUALLY HOLDS UP TO CRITICISM SO I'M SHARING.

This is how I see abortion:

Say a woman has a daughter that's about 5 years old. That daughter is well, well into the "I'm a real person" stage of her life. She has the right not to get murdered. Suddenly she falls deathly ill and the only thing that can save her is an immediate donation of part of her mother's liver. Her mother is completely healthy and the surgery poses no extra risk. She's financially stable and can afford the surgery easily. She's been taking care of this child since birth so she is responsible for the child's welfare.

Even assuming all this, she is not obligated to donate part of her liver to her daughter. Even with the knowledge that without that liver, her daughter will die.

Pregnancy is the equivalent of a massive organ donation for 9 months. Since having a child and taking care of it is not a contract that you'll donate organs if they get ill and need them, having sex is not a contract that you'll donate your body to a child if they are conceived and need it. Just like it's an unfortunate limitation of science that we don't have artificial organs for people that can't find donors, it's an unfortunate limitation of science that we don't have artificial incubators yet. However, that doesn't mean that a woman is obligated to become an organ donor to a child without her consent for 9 months.

Therefore to me whether or not the child is a person doesn't matter. Does that make sense? I haven't yet brought it up to anyone that might challenge it so idk if it's reasonable under criticism yet.
I agree with and see the logic of this argument. But, for the sake of argument, which I hope you don't mind, let's say I disagree.

If I did disagree I might say, for instance, that your stance is partially based on a legal argument. Legally a mother would not be forced to give up her liver (or anything else of her body) to save another life, even of her own daughter. Of course, one might say that a mother still has a moral obligation, especially if she is the only person who could conceivable save the girl's life. (Let's imagine that all other possible donors aren't close enough and it's gotta be immediate or the girl dies. The mother is literally the only person who can save the girl's life.) On top of that there are certain laws that say bystanders must help people in emergencies. Could there not be an argument for something like this in liver-girl's case? And then by extension to pregnancy?


And, side note, I'm pretty pissed at all the violence that's spread across the Muslim world. People angered that their religion is attacked with accusations that it's full of bad things including violence acting out with violence. Hypocritical? I know a lot of this violence is being organized specifically by anti-American groups who are themselves using religion to push people, but the people being pushed don't seem to have to be pushed really hard to accept the argument that insulting Islam means it's okay to use violence and attack people who have nothing to do with the offending statements.
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  #516    
Old September 16th, 2012, 01:12 AM
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What are your opinions on subjects such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the death penalty, and so on? Why?
Same-Sex Marriage: Surely they can do better at staying together than straight people, yes? I say "Yay"! Love is love.

Abortion: I am with it. Can you image what the population would be like if nobody aborted their babies? Can you image what would happen if you couldn't abort a baby because you didn't have the money to care for them, let alone feed?

Death Penalty: Again. All about population. If there is ABSOLUTE evidence (physical evidence that cannot be mistakened; such as videotape) then it is a yes. Mostly if it is murder, serial rape, ect.

Why are your beliefs the way they are?
I consider myself eclectic pagan (wiccan), not atheist. However, much of my beliefs are tied into everything else. My beliefs are this way because (hopefully) I understand how the human mind generally works, as well as what most religions believe in and why.

Do you believe in any form of life after death?
Yes. What I believe in, is that something of power cannot affect your life or judge you after death if you do not believe in them. So, if you do not believe in the Christian God (Yahweh), he cannot affect your life or after-death, should it exist in your mind. All religious worlds and deities exist in sub-realms, but cannot be opened to you unless you believe in their existance.

Do you believe in aliens?
Green humanoid men and slug-like blobs? No. Life forms from outside Earth, yes.

Does your family and friends know about your faith? If no, why not?
My mom and friends do. My dad does not. He does not know because;

1. My parents are separated
2. He does not believe in magick, and is very tight-skinned about religion in general (He believes in a God, but does not place himself in any sort of religion)

If God does exist, what do you think it would be like?
I notice that much of the discussion here is directly over Christian belief. The correct way to ask this question would be "If deity does exist, what do you think they would be like?"... Anyways, I believe that all spirit and deity have personalities just like ours. There is no "completely good" or "completely bad" being. They all appear to us differently, however. Many associate angels and deities as humanoid, because it is the most comfortable image to see them as. Though in reality, they may come to you as light, an animal, or even something that doesn't even resemble anything you've seen before.

What are your family's general religious beliefs?
My mother and father do not associate themselves with any sort of religious order, yet believe there is a God. I am not so sure about other family members (Such as cousins, grandmothers, ect) however.
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  #517    
Old September 18th, 2012, 04:06 PM
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Count me in. Here's a little gift to all, in case this hasn't already been shared.
36 Arguments For The Existence Of God in PDF format.
It takes every know argument and dashes it.
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  #518    
Old September 21st, 2012, 05:49 PM
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Welcome, Eeveemaster and Jaegir! I've been meaning to get back to this thread to reply for ages now, but I somehow keep managing to get distracted and never quite got here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarf
And, side note, I'm pretty pissed at all the violence that's spread across the Muslim world. People angered that their religion is attacked with accusations that it's full of bad things including violence acting out with violence. Hypocritical? I know a lot of this violence is being organized specifically by anti-American groups who are themselves using religion to push people, but the people being pushed don't seem to have to be pushed really hard to accept the argument that insulting Islam means it's okay to use violence and attack people who have nothing to do with the offending statements.
I know, right? Apparently this has been happening all over the world. I recently heard that it even happened in Sydney last weekend. Australia had nothing to do with the video that sparked any of it, but it seems we're just all being lumped together as "the Western world" and they're protesting us all as a group as though the entire world is America. In any case, the violence here is a classic example of humans distorting the concept of what religion is theoretically meant to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeveemaster9
I consider myself eclectic pagan (wiccan), not atheist. However, much of my beliefs are tied into everything else.
I think this is the part of your post that interested me the most. If I had to choose a religion, it would definitely be Wicca... ashamedly because I love the idea of witches and magic, rather than out of any actual belief in what you believe. Though I'm interested in what you meant by "much of my beliefs are tied into everything else."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaegir
in case this hasn't already been shared.
36 Arguments For The Existence Of God in PDF format.
It hasn't been shared yet, thanks! Unfortunately I doubt I'll ever have the time to sit and read through 53 pages, but I will give it a skim tonight (after work) and pick out some things from the contents that I find particularly interesting XD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear
Anyone familiar with The Atheist Experience? It's an hour-long cable access television show in Austin, Texas geared towards a non-atheist audience. People call in with questions and challenges for its atheist presenters (their quarterback being Matt Dillahunty) regarding religion and unbelief.
Haha, I'd completely forgotten about these guys. I remember seeing a few of their YouTube videos a while back, including the one you linked. They can come off as a little douchey sometimes which is not what the reputation I want atheists to get, but on the whole it's excusable because the callers call in with no prepared argument and basically say "LOOK WHAT JESUS DID! LOOK WHAT JESUS DID!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarf
On top of that there are certain laws that say bystanders must help people in emergencies. Could there not be an argument for something like this in liver-girl's case? And then by extension to pregnancy?
I actually didn't know about this law until I watched the final episode of Seinfeld and saw that they were all put in prison for a year for failing to obey that law . But I don't think that the law could ever feasibly extend to organ donation simply because a law stating that you must help somebody in an emergency would never state that you would be required to do it at your own peril. If helping somebody in an emergency put my life in danger (as surgery for organ donation does), it would have to be entirely voluntary and not because a law told me to do so.
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  #519    
Old September 21st, 2012, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shining Raichu View Post
I think this is the part of your post that interested me the most. If I had to choose a religion, it would definitely be Wicca... ashamedly because I love the idea of witches and magic, rather than out of any actual belief in what you believe. Though I'm interested in what you meant by "much of my beliefs are tied into everything else."
Let's see if I can explain this properly with examples?:

1. I believe in the existance of the Archangels from Christianity (Such as Michael, Cassiel, Uriel, Iophiel, ect). The hierarchy is much different than what nearly everyone writes of, under my experience. Guardian Angels being the weakest/lowest on the scale, and the Thrones and Archangels being the highest. I do believe in the existance of Yahweh, but not at all like any Christian I know. If Yahweh created everything and is everything, that means he is also negative, and creates evil things. My interpretation of the whole "Lucifer cast out from Heaven" is somewhere along the lines of... Yahweh's "Negative" persona was ripped from his form due to the belief of a being called "Satan" which was the opposer of Yahweh and the entity of Evil. Satan isn't even in Hell, nor reigns it. He is just seperate from Yahweh. Lucifer is another seperate entity, and -does- reign over the Underworlds. Those who commit sin do not stay there for an eternity, but rather go to sub-realms to be rehabilitated before being reincarnated again. Lucifer simply works alongside Yahweh. Yahweh is much similar to the Greek or Roman Gods, in that he doesn't have complete power, and -can- be overthrown, but not killed. Under this, I also believe the Archangels to have power like the Gods. (The longest example I will write!)

2. The Chakra system from Hinduism and Buddhism

3. The Reiki system from Japanese Buddhism

4. The idea of a perfect "Enlightened" soul from Buddhism

5. Some Shinto (Especially Folk Shinto) foundations, such as everything having a spiritual "essence" and the particular fashion of water purification (Temizu).

6. The Pagan beliefs of more than one God/Goddess

7. "An ye harm none, do what thou wilt" From Wicca, along with recognizing the moon phases, solar system, crystal working, and basic nature attunement.

8. Nearly all forms of spirits and entities, including demons, djinn, tengu, khodam, fae, kitsune, kappa, Tsukumogami... I've yet to meet something that defines itself as a "Dragon".

Too lazy to list the rest :,D

And now I am done.
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"The lies of your world will be exposed. My rebellion will rein over your realm, and no longer will this time be plagued by war." - ???
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  #520    
Old October 2nd, 2012, 02:57 PM
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droomph
mmm gurl that 90s
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My church is full of selfish asshats tbh. I love the Christian religion, the fact that it promotes the society that I look for.

But the people make me angry, at least the adults. The youth are fine as far as I can tell, but I am worried that the "leaders" of my church will corrupt them.

They see everything as black and white, and they don't allow for compromises.

They are the anti-Christ. They don't follow the core teaching of my religion.

Yet every sunday they preach the gospel of love and peace and acceptance of the sinners. That is hypocrisy.

And it's been told, that Jesus hated hypocrites. He hated their want for attention rather than their selfless dedication to their supposed faith. One who is a hypocrite will surely be kept from the gates of heaven.

Hypocrisy is the doing of Satan.

They said, "You're only fifteen! It's impossible for you to be right!"

But the Bible tells us, "the one who is blessed will be able to match the wisdom of the wisest." I may not be blessed like it says those who are, are; but in the same idea, you can't discount me for being a dumbass just because I'm fifteen.

For the truth lies in the Bible, and the truth lies in your truth. The truth is to be looked at and examined, not as a symbol of your "faith". This goes for all religions.

Regularly, whenever you lead into trouble, read your truth, and your law.

For whoever doesn't is a hypocrite.

For whoever doesn't is a fool.

For whoever doesn't shall burn in hell forever, even if they have followed the teachings of the Lord.

God loves everyone, and God cares for everyone.

However, he does not stand for those who use his name in vain.

If one uses his name to keep a man or woman from the truth, he will certainly let you die in the afterlife.

If one uses his name to hurt, he will hurt in return. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, he will make sure it is the most painful thing you've felt.

If one uses his name unnecessarily, he will kill you. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, he will make sure you have the most anguished death of your life.

But if one praises him, he will bless him. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, whether it seems like a blessing or a curse, he will make sure you have the happiest blessing you will recieve.

But if one lets him carry out his actions through you, he will pay you back ten times as much as you lost, and ten times as much as you ever have earned. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, whether it seems like a blessing or a curse, mentally or physically, he will make sure you have an abundance of wealth.
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  #521    
Old October 9th, 2012, 07:34 AM
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I have no idea what spurred the previous post, but no matter.

Fun fact: According to the most recent Pew survey, nearly a third of people under the age of 30 report "no religious affiliation". Additionally, protestants are now less than half of the total population in America.

This is pretty amazing news. This survey shows the continuing trend of religious percentages dropping, while nonreligious percentage grows.

We'll have a secular society yet, and finally catch up to most of Europe in that regard.
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  #522    
Old October 9th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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I'd like to join. If you had to put a label on me, I'd consider myself an atheist. :)

However, my philosophy follows much of what the intellectual Sam Harris advocates. So long as we call ourselves atheists, people will associate that with negative connotations, or categorize us as simply "those who don't think there is a deity." Rather, if we call ourselves advocates of logic and reason, it becomes very hard to argue against us. Not many people are going to bite the bullet and say that they don't support those.
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  #523    
Old October 11th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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Barrels
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Right, time to leap back into the discussion! :D First, the stuff I agree with:
Quote:
you can't discount me for being a dumbass just because I'm fifteen
Absolutely. While it is statistically more likely that you'll make mistakes due to inexperience/immaturity - so we might be justified in saying, for example, that the world is better off being run by thirty-year-olds than thirteen-year-olds - what should be examined in all cases are the arguments you're putting forward. Are they valid? Are the premises true? If so, your argument is just as sound as any other, and to claim otherwise is to commit the ad hominem fallacy.

And now the stuff I don't:
Quote:
For whoever doesn't is a fool.
Sounds rather like Pascal to me. Which, of course, was wonderfully summed up by the folks over at RationalWiki like this:
Quote:
Pascal's wager: Believing in and searching for Kryptonite on the off chance that Superman exists and wants to kill you.
--
Quote:
If one uses his name to hurt, he will hurt in return. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, he will make sure it is the most painful thing you've felt.
Eh? God has a separate morality to us? That's news to me - isn't he supposed to turn the other cheek? If God is allowed to retaliate, to be vengeful, then he does have a different moral code to us. And, because he is God, that code must be superior. So shouldn't we be following that instead?

Quote:
God loves everyone, and God cares for everyone.
Quote:
If one uses his name unnecessarily, he will kill you. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, he will make sure you have the most anguished death of your life.
I just. No. You don't kill the ones you love out of anger. Whatever you're feeling as you condemn them to screaming, burning eternity, it sure isn't love (and before anyone offers 'regret', I'd like to point out that God is perfect and doesn't make mistakes. So can't regret). If the deepest kind of love is unconditional - which, okay, that's debatable, but a love that can be broken under specific circumstances is by definition not as strong as one that endures through anything - then that rather implies forgiveness, does it not? I'd rather know a God who told me that whatever I did, at the end of the day he'd still love me than one that said, 'whoa, whoa, sure, do what you want, but ONLY UP TO THIS POINT AND NO FURTHER - screw up majorly enough and I'm going to torture you in unspeakable ways forever.' How on earth is coerced, compulsory love worthy of the name? How is a love born out of fear healthy or natural? These are the questions we must have answers to before accepting the truth of your position: if we disagree fundamentally on what love amounts to, then our arguments miss each other entirely.

tl;dr: to reconcile the ideas of a God who loves infinitely and a God who punishes infinitely, you have to bend the concept of love so far over backwards it snaps. You can call the taped-up broken pieces love, if you want to. But - in my humble view - it's unworthy of the name.

Quote:
But if one lets him carry out his actions through you, he will pay you back ten times as much as you lost, and ten times as much as you ever have earned. Whether it be in this life or the afterlife, whether it seems like a blessing or a curse, mentally or physically, he will make sure you have an abundance of wealth.
Eh? I thought everyone was equal in heaven. You're telling me there's some formula that decides who gets more and who gets less? Surely that leads to discontent and jealousy. Can't we all just have the same - enough to keep us happy, no more, no less - for once?

Quote:
If one uses his name to keep a man or woman from the truth, he will certainly let you die in the afterlife.
If only. The cruellest part of the Christian doctrine is that God doesn't just kill you and have done with it. No, instead you're hurled into insufferable torture for eternity.

Think about that. Eternity. Can we even conceive of such a state as finite beings? Can we fully understand the horror of such a fate? And how could anyone possibly be happy in heaven knowing the overwhelming pain and suffering happening beneath them?

Chances are you'll know someone undergoing that torture. Could you live with yourself if you went about your afterlife never thinking of them, never sympathising, never pleading with God to reverse their fate? What if it was your brother? Your wife? Your child?

Wouldn't the mothers who'd lost their children want more than anything to be with them, even if the pain was unimaginable? Anything but sit helplessly on their cloud, knowing how much their baby boy or girl was hurting. That, to me, sounds like Hell. An insidious, emotional Hell, with none of the stereotypical fire and flames, none of the brimstone, the cackling demons - and somehow all the worse for that.

Trapped upstairs while your child burns beneath you - with no hope of escape in either case. I genuinely shudder to think of it.
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  #524    
Old October 11th, 2012, 06:59 PM
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Altix
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Oh my god(lulz) everyone is this thread types so much. I feel lazy here XD. I think Wicca is kinda awesome. I want to buy the book Isis Unveiled Volume two: Theology. It is by this crazy smart Russian lady from 1877. Her name is H.P. Blavatsky. I also want to read the first volume.

Abortion: This to me is Woman's right. I think it is that simple. It think that the situation with the 5 year old daughter is insane, If the mother had the child, given she loves her, She would donate her organ. At that point the girl has not been handed ove to a foster home.

Death penalty: I am still a bit indecisive on this...I mean....I don't know yet.

One thing I really hate is when a ignorant adult assumes that they are better than me based on age. I slap them with my knowledge. One fun little tale: My "Dad", younger brother, and I were going to get Ice cream. My little brother eats wheat free, and my "Dad" is like "What here do you have that is wheat free?", then Ice creamitory man is all like "Oh, well almost all of our stuff has whey or wheat in it so you can only order off the dairy free menu.", So I said "No. We can have whey." (/troll face), And he was like "Well the thing you have to understand is whey and wheat are almost the same thing. I am alot older so do not talk back!", And then I was like "Excuse me!? Whey is milk! I have been on and off on this diet too, I know." He blushed and gave us our damn ice cream. We went about our day.

NANANANANANA, My awesomeness is un-freakin'-deniable.
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  #525    
Old October 11th, 2012, 08:07 PM
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droomph
mmm gurl that 90s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
Eh? God has a separate morality to us? That's news to me - isn't he supposed to turn the other cheek? If God is allowed to retaliate, to be vengeful, then he does have a different moral code to us. And, because he is God, that code must be superior. So shouldn't we be following that instead?
He has the authority, because he is God. We sin when we judge, because we aren't perfect either. From a thousand miles away, two miles doesn't look much different than one.

And besides, look at our forum's rules - no mini-modding. This is the same idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
I just. No. You don't kill the ones you love out of anger. Whatever you're feeling as you condemn them to screaming, burning eternity, it sure isn't love (and before anyone offers 'regret', I'd like to point out that God is perfect and doesn't make mistakes. So can't regret). If the deepest kind of love is unconditional - which, okay, that's debatable, but a love that can be broken under specific circumstances is by definition not as strong as one that endures through anything - then that rather implies forgiveness, does it not? I'd rather know a God who told me that whatever I did, at the end of the day he'd still love me than one that said, 'whoa, whoa, sure, do what you want, but ONLY UP TO THIS POINT AND NO FURTHER - screw up majorly enough and I'm going to torture you in unspeakable ways forever.' How on earth is coerced, compulsory love worthy of the name? How is a love born out of fear healthy or natural? These are the questions we must have answers to before accepting the truth of your position: if we disagree fundamentally on what love amounts to, then our arguments miss each other entirely.
The fact of fact is that sinning is not much a big of a deal as taking his place - the Devil was thrown out of heaven not because he screwed up but rather because he tried to take God's place. Whether this is fair isn't up to me, but that's what happens.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
tl;dr: to reconcile the ideas of a God who loves infinitely and a God who punishes infinitely, you have to bend the concept of love so far over backwards it snaps. You can call the taped-up broken pieces love, if you want to. But - in my humble view - it's unworthy of the name.
Not everyone deserves to be with God. It's not a privilege, it's a gift. You must accept it first to get it, and it's sure as hell easy to get.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
Eh? I thought everyone was equal in heaven. You're telling me there's some formula that decides who gets more and who gets less? Surely that leads to discontent and jealousy. Can't we all just have the same - enough to keep us happy, no more, no less - for once?
You're taking this as if it's Earth, and we are in control of this gift. It's so easy to gain what's 100% it's pretty much impossible to get any less. This is the gift of Jesus - everyone now has access eternal heaven, not just the few privileged ones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
If only. The cruellest part of the Christian doctrine is that God doesn't just kill you and have done with it. No, instead you're hurled into insufferable torture for eternity.

Think about that. Eternity. Can we even conceive of such a state as finite beings? Can we fully understand the horror of such a fate? And how could anyone possibly be happy in heaven knowing the overwhelming pain and suffering happening beneath them?
I didn't say how he would, but that's how it is. I never said he would in an instant - nor did I say he would for eternity. However much you deserve, he will let you have it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
Chances are you'll know someone undergoing that torture. Could you live with yourself if you went about your afterlife never thinking of them, never sympathising, never pleading with God to reverse their fate? What if it was your brother? Your wife? Your child?
I would not sympathize with them, as this is God's choice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrels View Post
Wouldn't the mothers who'd lost their children want more than anything to be with them, even if the pain was unimaginable? Anything but sit helplessly on their cloud, knowing how much their baby boy or girl was hurting. That, to me, sounds like Hell. An insidious, emotional Hell, with none of the stereotypical fire and flames, none of the brimstone, the cackling demons - and somehow all the worse for that.

Trapped upstairs while your child burns beneath you - with no hope of escape in either case. I genuinely shudder to think of it.
I wouldn't sympathize with them, because this is God's choice.
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