Party "A" and Party "B"

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by EricBess, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. EricBess Active Member

    Yes, kids get called gay their entire life and it means nothing...except for the ones to whom it does mean something. In this case, I think the fault lies with both society and with the people who 'drove' him to it.

    Remember, I'm speculating here, but it seems reasonable to me - the kid enjoys doing activities that are typically associated with feminine. He gets told all his life how "gay" that is and he doesn't have a father who is supportive of his interests enough. The father has two older boys with the same interests that he has, so he likely neglects the younger child without even intending to.

    As you say, nearly every boy wonders at some point in his life whether he is gay or not. He's been told that his whole life. The more society tells him that there is nothing wrong with this, the more he's going to just slide into that role.

    I do understand your question, though, and I haven't answered it. Should he have to live a "depressing lie"? No, I think that people who are homosexual should be allowed to live that way. Unfortunately, society is overly curious. Celebrities auction off the exclusive photo rights for their unborn children for absorbatant dollar amounts. Call it free enterprize, but it's a blight on society, IMO, that there is even a market for something like that.

    The media makes a bit deal out of it. Why can't homosexuals just live their lives without throwing it into everyone else's faces? Because they media, to a large degree won't let them, any more than it won't let celebrities live normal lives. Some homosexuals want that attention and want people to know and see openly the lifestyles they live and I have little respect for those people. Others want to have the freedom to live their lives without being judged and I do have respect for them.

    I don't know if I've answered your question, but I also don't know if I can answer your question because it is my believe that, genetic disposition or no, gender is an eternal concept and homosexuality is a concept localized to this life. We could get into a huge religious discussion here, but I'm pretty sure its the wrong forum for that. I believe homosexuality is wrong in the same way I believe smoking is harmful. Just because someone is predisposed to a behavior does not mean that they should embrace that behavior. Perhaps it is a challenge that they have been given to work through. But I don't say that to judge or condemn. That's not my place to do and I don't know the circumstances that led a person to that behavior, so I accept them as a person without accepting their behavior.

    Now, this is an interesting thing because I have a different perspective. Oversoul - you say that some of the things I've brought up might be interesting as a theological discussion, but insist that this isn't one. I would argue that you cannot discuss these issues without discussing theology.

    As for the government and separation of church and state, that doesn't mean that law shouldn't take theology into consideration. It frustrates me that they removed the pledge of allegiance from schools because to me, it seems you are establishing a religion of agnostatism. The pledge of allegiance talks about "God" and the founding fathers talk of a "Creator", but I know a lot of people who interpret that as "Nature" (with a capitol 'N') and are okay with it. So, by forcing it's removal...well, that's another discussion and off topic.

    My point in bringing this up is that laws can be instituted and enforced that are based on religious principles without crossing the line of institutionalized religion. By saying that you cannot even consider your religion when discussing legal issues, you are effectively forcing everyone to take an agnostic stance, which is, IMO, requiring a religion, that of agnostacism.

    Procreation, and by extrapolation, sex, is, fundimentally, a religious matter in the sense that the power to procreate is creation, which begs the question of how we were originally created, which leads into religious issues. You can quote science all you want, but the science of creation is so complex that you have to wonder how it was able to develop - back to religion (and I still accept agnostacism as religion, so if you choose to believe that a million monkeys would eventually type out Shakespeare, I'll accpept that as reasonable, even if I don't believe the same).
  2. rokapoke Man Among Gods

    In my opinion, the homosexuals who are making a big fuss about their rights and such are the ones who want equal treatment from the government with heterosexual couples (e.g. shared health benefits, etc.)

    The next counter-argument would be that California has civil unions. Fine. Most states, I imagine, do not recognize these unions. So a fuss has to be made to fix this problem. Squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that. Until they're viewed as legitimate citizens with the same rights as their heterosexual brethren, I personally support their cause.
  3. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I didn't say that what you've brought up might be interesting as a theological discussion. I said that your definition of natural seems like something I'd see in the context of theology. I hold no regard for theology and theological arguments carry no weight for me when it comes to things in the real world.

    Why not?

    Agnosticism isn't a religion and secularism is not agnosticism. The pledge was written by a Baptist minister and didn't use "under God." Francis Bellamy wanted the pledge to be for everyone, not just adherents of some religion. Religious groups had the phrase clumsily inserted between "one nation" and "indivisible" during the Cold War when there was a big move in this country to distinguish itself from "godless communists." That said, I don't think the pledge should be part of school even without the addendum. I don't pledge my allegiance to any flag.

    I know this is an argument. I just don't buy it. The people who are adamant about forcing "God" into areas where it's at least arguably unconstitutional are never the ones to whom "God" means "Nature."

    You can consider your religion all you want. You just can't make laws that respect it. And again, agnosticism is not a religion.

    Begging the question refers to assuming that a proposition is true as part of an argument that said proposition is true. I think you mean "leads to the question" or something along those lines, right?

    And no, reproducing doesn't automatically lead to questions of human origins. Nor are questions of human origins religious.

    So any questions of origins are religious because you want them to be religious? I think in order for a question to necessarily be religious, it has to address religion. It can't just be about a subject on which some religions happen to have teachings. There might be religious answers to such questions, but nothing about the questions themselves is intrinsically religious.
  4. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    I too, view agnosticism as a form of religion. So does Wikipedia:

    Thus a site that is most often quoted here for definition purposes also agrees that agnosticism can be (and often is) a form of religion. If EricBess were to have said that Athiesm is a form of religion, or that non-religious people are a form of religion, then I would agree with Oversoul that they really are not.

    That being said, if a majority of the people of the United States of America want to elect McCain, he will be elected. If a majority of the people of your home town want you to be the mayor, you will get elected. If a majority of the people in this country want to ratify same-sex marriages, it will get done. We live in a country where the majority rules. It has been that way since the beginning. If someone does not like it, well they are guaranteed the right to say so, however, it does not change anything. The majority of the United States claims to be of the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, etc...). The majority of the United States claims to be part of the heterosexual family unit (whether broken or not). So far, the majority has decided policy and that is where it is at. The problem of late is that a few people in the minority (...not racial..just less then 50% of the population) are trying to get policies set the way they see fit rather than what suits the majority. So here it the crux of it all.

    **Warning, the following numbers are made up for example purposes only**

    Say 85% of the US is heterosexual.

    Say 10 % is bisexual

    Say 5% are plain homosexual

    Should that 5% be allowed to tell the other 85% that they are wrong and force them to accept regulations and hardships just to make that 5% feel better?

    The same can be said of many subjects right now. Drilling for oil (I want to...gas is too high, so is dependency on foreign oil..so there Harry Reed!), Smoking, Drugs, Alcohol, etc..etc..

    I know we have been debating for the fun (and possibly education) of it. At least I have been. Nothing said on the board is likely to produce any policies. But it is still interesting to see what everyone else has to say and to see reactions to what I have to say. It is also kinda fun to be in the minority opinion for a change. I know that for the most part, EB and I are about the only true Conservatives here, and it makes it tough, but that is all part of the fun for me. I actually get driven to do research that I normally would not.
  5. BigBlue Magic Jones

    Oversoul... while I agree with some (most) of what you're responses are... EB has a valid point that you are being very argumentative.

    EB - We agree I think somewhat... I have always said this about Evolution - there is not absolute 100% concrete proof we evolved... it takes a certain amount of faith... something many scientists are probably scared to acknowledge... but imho that's the truth of it... I'm not going to get into the theological debate - I'm not the person for it anyways as an agnostic to debate whether homosexuality is a condition of the flesh - and that all souls are heterosexual... I do agree that Agnosticism is a belief of sorts... I'm not sure I'd call it a religion.

    DF - I don't think the 5% in your example is stating that 85% is wrong... not all of the 85% heterosexuals believe the same as EB and (perhaps) you... I am heterosexual, yet support allowing homosexual marriages. As I said earlier, I do not agree with the "Party A" & "B" being on the the application, it really should be fill in the blank and allow each license to be issued as each couple sees fit. I'm sure not all homosexual couples like Party "A" & "B" either.

    Here's the other point Majority Rules with Minority Rights... Minority rights should not discriminate against the majority, but should ensure the minority is not discriminated against either.
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Uh, that quote you used didn't say that agnosticism is a religion or anything along those lines. Did you copy/paste the wrong quote by accident?

    Majority doesn't always rule. Otherwise we'd decide every issue with a simple majority vote of the entire population. There are checks in balances in place. There are multiple reasons for this, but one is to protect against the "tyrrany of the majority."

    "“If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."

    More to the point, what hardships? What regulations? Sorry, but "they changed the marriage licenses to Party A/B" just doesn't seem meritorious. Nor is "we don't want to raise out children in a society with same-sex marriage." Show me someone whose right are actually being infringed on. Stamping one's foot and crying that it's not fair doesn't count.

    It's almost as though I'm arguing or something... :rolleyes:

    In the same way that there is no 100% concrete proof of anything at all?

    I define faith as belief without evidence. And that is certainly not required when it comes to evolution as a mechanism to explain the diversity and proliferation of life.

    Exactly.
  7. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Lots of stuff on Friday and then it just.... died :)

    Thoughts I gathered while reading them:

    Oversoul touched on it in one of his replies, but sending our citizens to a useless war and wasting so many precious lives is infinitely worse than adultery, in my opinion.

    Who did/underwrote these studies? Have they been accepted by the scientific establishment? How long did the studies go for? Has there been concurrent studies that still say second-hand smoke is very harmful?

    I would be very hesitant to just "blindly" accept these studies, especially when they have come out and obviously support your position. :)
  8. BigBlue Magic Jones

    OS - it isn't that you're arguing/debating... it's the 'tone' of your language... it's more combatative than it needs be imho.

    As I said earlier, I'm a concrete evidence person as a mathematician... I "believe" in Evolution, but it's a theory and isn't truth beyond a shadow of a doubt given several gaps in the chain... I think the theory itself has holes which are being shown - and not just by creationists... I don't believe in "intelligent design" - except the fact that there is inherent intelligence through the environmental influence upon the system which creates the "intelligence"... I think evolution probably happens quicker than current theory suggests - because necessity is the mother of invention. As I mentioned earlier w/ the Sherpa, other people may require less oxygen, but because it isn't an advantage in their lives, it doesn't come to the forefront... there are likely other unused advantages which when needed, will be used. Perhaps even the 'unnecessary' organs will be needed at some point...

    But, this isn't a thread about evolution... :)

    It's a thread really about minority rights with Majority rule. And it's about the fears of the "majority" as it becomes less of a majority as diversity grows and society and culture evolve. In our lifetime, we (white males) will become the minority in the USA. What will become of us then? All the history of putting down other cultures and being mostly closed-minded could come crashing down on us. The time is now to develop ties to other cultures and grow ourselves as they grow in number. Further divisiveness will prove disastrous.
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Cry me a river.

    Lots of people will say evolution is a theory. Even scientists who work on it. To be fair, that's because they know people are talking about the theory of evolution. Being pedantic, there's no reason not to distinguish between evolution and the theory of evolution. It is possible for the theory to be falsified, although at this point, that's seeming pretty unlikely. But any new theory that replaced the current one would still be a theory that unites and explains the facts of evolution (the numerous observations in the fossil record, comparative physiology, comparative anatomy, genetics, ecology, etc.) in some way. As for truth "beyond a shadow of a doubt" one could argue that about pretty much anything.

    Gaps in the chain? Are you referring to gaps in the fossil record? Here's a silly analogy. When I was in boy scouts, each of us had to get a card called a Totin Chip in order to use certain tools, mostly knives. There was some sort of short test to get the thing and it was all very easy. Unsafe behavior with such tools could result in having a corner ripped off the card. And if a boy lost all of his corners, he lost his Totin Chit. Well, one goofball did end up getting a corner torn off. I don't remember what he did, but other boys were teasing him for losing a corner, and he pointed out that he'd actually gained a corner. He was right. When one corner was torn off, the result was two new corners. His card had five corners whereas ours only had four.

    The fossil record suffers from something similar with people who accuse it of having a problem with gaps. A nonexistent fossil record has zero gaps. A fossil record with only one fossil has two gaps. Two fossils is four gaps. And so on and so forth. The fossil record now has lots and lots and lots of fossils. New ones are being found all the time. And each one creates two new gaps. More fossils lead to more gaps. The only solution would be to have a fossil record with every single organism that ever produced any offspring. And we already know that fossilization is rare even for those organisms that can be preserved in the first place (many organisms wouldn't have a chance to fossilize because they're made up of only soft tissue).

    The fossil record is useful and has told us a lot about life in the distant past. The theory of evolution would be less complete without it, but even if we had no fossils, we'd still have the theory of evolution based on the life we've already observed.

    What holes?

    Evolutionary theory doesn't propose any rate. The rate can be variable because environmental changes are dynamic.

    This is consistent with evolutionary theory. It's actually a huge part of it. Seemingly neutral features can interact to provide advantages. Richard Lenski's work with E. coli is a good example of this. His bacteria evolved to metabolize citrate after 30-something-thousand generations. Because his team had frozen samples at various generations to create a record of evolutionary change, they were able to find a mutation that occurred around generation 20,000, which enabled later mutations to generate the citrate metabolization.

    Also, gene duplication creates more genetic material to work with, so later point mutations can make a redundant copy of a gene into an entirely new gene.This is a large part of the reason that genome size varies so much between organisms and it's key in the development of new proteins.

    I think I agree. I'm not really sure. Who said we were all white males, though?
  10. BigBlue Magic Jones

    Goodnight Thread... Not gonna waste any more typing or reading here. Oversoul, you obviously want to argue for the sake of arguement - you aren't contribuiting to the discussion at all by disputing virtually everything typed here. People call me a devil's advocate, but I now know someone worse.
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    This is a trap. You say that I "obviously" want to argue for the sake of argument. If I dispute this claim, I provide support because I'm arguing with you about me wanting to argue. If I don't dispute it, I leave it standing and it makes it look like something I can't refute. EricBess already asserted that I might have taken what he said and "turned it into a game." I don't know why I'm being told by other people that I don't care. Because I'd think that if I wanted to ask one member here whether I cared, the expert on that topic would be, um, me.

    I've skimmed through my posts looking for anything that might be considered disputing someone else's point. This stuff mostly seems to fall into these general categories...

    1. Me stating my own opinion on the topic of the change in the California marriage licenses or other societal issues that have come up in this thread, often while quoting someone with an opinion that is in contrast to mine. So basically, someone says things should be a certain way or interprets the situation and I disagree and present my own view. That sort of thing seems to be the core of this discussion anyway, so I don't see a problem there.

    2. Me disputing claims about the Constitution or interpretation of it or other legal matters. This issue seems intrinsically bound up with law. And if there's disagreement on interpretation of law, it's important that people talk about it, rather than everyone assuming that they're right.

    3. Me correcting factual errors or misunderstanding of science terminology. This doesn't seem like a problem at all. If one is using data or science in some way or making a claim about it, getting things right should be pretty important.

    4. Me arguing claims about religious texts. Similar to the one about law. With this one, I don't think it's as important because I think we're supposed to be a secular society and religious arguments shouldn't have any weight when it comes to law. But if someone makes an extraordinary claim like "the Bible is against slavery" I'm going to take issue with it because it's wrong.

    5. Me disputing claims about the educational system. There are a couple of these that I saw. Pretty similar to the ones about society or law.

    6. Me disputing claims about myself. I really shouldn't have to do this. But after a while I started to see claims that I was obsessed with semantics and ignoring the real issues or that I was being disrespectful or putting up a wall or whatever. Apparently I invited a change of subject from bureaucracy in California to my own attitude. I disliked it when it started happening and I still do. I'm certainly spending most of this post defending myself, rather than discussing the topic of the thread. I haven't said anything out of line, so far as I can tell. I haven't made any ad hominem attacks or any attacks at all on individuals posting here.

    In contrast, I've also been saying a lot that wasn't disputing anything. I've asked questions, tried to clarify statements, voiced my agreement with others, answered questions, and expounded on things. I'm not going to analyze the percentage of my text that is in one category or another, but it seems pretty unfair to say that I'm disputing virtually everything that's being typed here.
  12. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I agree with you Oversoul. I think you've made a very accurate analysis of your posts with the above and I didn't see much of your posts as "combative".
  13. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    Ok, I think that this is what some people are talking about....gonna try to quote a few recent examples.....

    This is a sarcastic statement, not argumentative whatsoever and can be read as a bit standoffish or even a tad combatitive....

    This is just designed to get people all worked up over race. I am guessing from my past few years here and hearing people talk and from what do you look like that at least 90% of the posters here are white males.


    Once again, not designed to have any contribution to the topic. Just designed to get the poster you replied to all worked up. At least, that is how it appears.

    Ok, I am not trying to dump on ya Oversoul, I generally enjoy our little debates/discussions, mainly cause we are so radically on opposite sides of the spectrum that I get a whole different point of view on most topics. I am just trying to point out some recent examples of how your some of your lengthy replies appear to be designed to provoke emotion instead of discussion. I understand that you do not hold with any religion, however I would also ask you to respect the opinions of those of us that do. You can disagree with them, but please have a little bit of tact.

    I think a lot of it too, is that when someone points it out, you seem a bit defensive. I am just trying to help everyone here have a good place to opinionate! (yes,.... another made up word!)

    Also, everyone else, Oversoul is not the only one that does this. I actually have been guilty of it myself and have seen most people here be guilty of it to at sometime. So, lets try to all be friends, be kind, and have a good discussion. If we need to close this topic because it is too emotional, then lets do so. But at the least, lets stop the bitterness that I can see dripping through my laptop screen (please be kind, it is a new laptop and I don't want the dripping to ruin it...:D)
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    The first example is just from yesterday though, when EricBess and BigBlue already talked about Oversoul's tone and content. It wasn't from the beginning - I'm guessing that's just frustration coming out (at least, that's how I read it).
  15. EricBess Active Member

    DF's first example is from yesterday. The first example I give is when he said that anyone who disagreed with him is just wrong.

    To be clear, he was "correcting factual errors or misunderstanding of science terminology", as he saw it, but in doing so, he didn't try to understand what the other people were actually trying to say. He has since then stated that he has no respect for any argument based on any religious belief, which is an example of his belief that "religious arguments shouldn't have any weight when it comes to law".

    While I've since realized what he was saying in the first example, his tone was not one of cooperative understanding.

    As for religious arguments, the majority of this country is religious and as long as there is any religious minority at all, then religious arguments should be considered in making law. He disagrees and has made it clear that he disagrees, but he is also unwilling to accept any discussion surrounding these issues and has made enough of a fool of himself that I don't see any reason to rebut.

    Regardless, at this point, I think that everyone knows where I stand and I don't really have anything more that I need to add to this thread.
  16. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yeah, but I was saying it about someone else talking about my "tone" (and not for the first time). I don' really care to talk about my tone and if it's going to be a big issue for someone, I could try to say a lot, but ultimately I don't care. Like I said in the post right after that one, I disliked and continue to dislike the topic change from societal issues to my own attitude. This is in part because my attitude toward discourse affects no one, whereas the real issues we've been talking about here affect millions of people. I'd say they're just more important. But there are also several other reasons. It's distracting, intrusive, unproductive, uninteresting (to me, at least), and kind of silly. I don't really know what else to say about it.

    No, I said it because I found the comment weird. It wasn't an important point or anything. But sitting at a computer and discussing things with others who are faceless and designated only by nicknames (in addition to people who may or may not be lurking and who I don't even know are there) and then having someone make a statement about the physical traits of the people here (the faces of the faceless) causes me to react with, "Huh?"

    It just seemed odd and was in a paragraph I otherwise thought was making a very good statement. The major point with that response was "I think I agree." I could have tried to dissect why I was a bit confused about the claim and didn't say that I was sure I agreed 100%, but I didn't deem it necessary. If you want me to clarify what I really meant, I can try.

    I originally made some joke about how only white males play Magic, but I deleted that because it seemed too unfunny.

    I don't see it that way at all. BB and I had gone over "proof" already and I kind of see the things he was saying as inconsistent. He'd already made posts about how little we can really know and the nature of proof (even relating it to mathematics which he's more familiar with than I am, and I found it interesting) and such, then he turned around and pointed out that there is no 100% concrete proof that we evolved as though this is somehow special. I suppose in retrospect it would have been better for me to go back through his posts and quote what he'd said, then pointed out the inconsistency, but people could STILL regard something like that as intentionally inflammatory if they chose to.

    I think that if people want to see that design, they'll see it. Myself, I know I'd much rather people respond with logical arguments than emotional ones.

    I'll respect people, but if their opinions seem crazy, I'll very likely say so. There's something to be said for tact, certainly. Nothing wrong with a little tact. Something I'd never really thought about before this thread, but that is interesting is that it matters who raises a point about tact. If Spiderman had said the same thing about tact as you did now (or a bit earlier), well, I think I might have disregarded it, but I don't think so. Since he's basically agreed with me in this thread, he'd be coming across as, "Dude, I think you're right, but tact could be cool too. Making people think is better than riling them up." Or something like that. You saying the same thing could almost come across as, "I can't rebut what you've said, but perhaps I can win the argument by attacking the way you said it." I don't think about it that way at all right now, since I'm thinking about the way I might think about it, but I thought I'd throw that out there. Not sure if there's a lesson in that. "Stop and think about it if someone seems to be attacking the way you've said something." "Don't point out people's lack of tact if you're already arguing with them about other things." "Tact is relative to the observer's level of disagreement with what's being said." Maybe none of those...

    Sure. I think people tend to do that when the they find themselves turning into the subject of discussion and everything they've said becomes suspect simply by virtue of them now being the subject. Is it all that bad? I'd say no. Unwise though? Yeah, I think so.

    Yeah, pretty much.

    This is disingenuous. What I said: 'I don't know what you mean about homosexuality being "equivalent" to heterosexuality. Equivalent in what way? But it is just as natural. And no, that's not my opinion. It's the reality of the situation. You can disagree, but that won't be your opinion either. It will just be you being wrong.'

    Well, I do not have any respect for arguments based solely on religious beliefs. And I do believe that the United States is supposed to be and should be a secular nation.
  17. EricBess Active Member

    And yet the majority of our nation is religious. I agree with you that no specific religion should be pushed, but there are certain values that are generally accepted as moral values and those SHOULD be considered, dispite being primarily religious in nature. Truth is, I'm not sure whether I agree or disagree with you on this point because I don't know to what degree you take it.

    I'll give you an example. I gave this example before, but I don't know if it was understood how I had intended. The pledge of allegience was removed from schools because a couple of people were "offended" that it uses the term "under god". And I'm making a point about why it was removed from schools, not how it was originally written, so the fact that it didn't originally have that wording was irrelevant to my point.

    The words "under god" do not constitute an establishment of religion. A vocal minority expressed a strong opinion and the school system (if not the government) felt that it was better to simply remove the pledge of allegience than to fight the legal battle.

    Now, lets get back on the topic of what is currently happening in California. In 2000, a 61% majority of the voters passed proposition 22, indicating a level of moral acceptance around marriage. In 2008, a 4/7 majority (a much smaller sampling, to be sure) overturned this, arguably on political and not legal matters.

    Which brings us to where we are, voting on proposition 8. Perhaps it is correct that society has re-evaluated itself enough that we should be voting on this again. I talked about deceipt before and you called me on it, but I never re-explained. It is my opinion that if we are re-evaluating our position, we should be voting to reverse proposition 22, not voting again for the same issue. The burden is incorrectly placed. I believe that if homosexuals want the right to marry, then we should be voting on whether to give them the right to marry, not just assuming it should be. I see such deceipt as being from "the adversary" and certainly not from anyone here.

    But that is currently irrelevant. I argue strongly in passing proposition 8, but I cannot give a lot of reasons that are non-religious. If you insist, I will state historic precident, tying homosexuality to an overall decline of moral values, citing the fall of the roman empire, among others. I would also argue that the greed leading to current economic crisis is further evidence of the same moral decay which is infesting our society and I would say that passing proposition 8 is one thing we can do to try to slow down this moral decay.

    You, in turn, might disagree that homosexuality is tied to moral decay and there we would disagree, but the Roman empire indeed fell and I am very concerned personally for what it says for us as a society and what happens next if proposition 8 (and similar issues in other states) does not pass.

    And yes, I know you have mentioned that you don't like speculating on what might happen based on what is going on elsewhere, but some very respected people have said that if we don't learn from history, we are destined to repeat it. I happen to agree, though you are free not to.

    For the record - Oversoul, once I understood what you were trying to say and why you were saying what you were saying, I realized that I agreed with you on far more than I had originally realized. I am one that has commented on your "tone" and I think you would find that more people would understand you if you made a concerted effort to make sure you weren't being confrontational.

    I can say that for a while during this thread, I didn't respect anything you said. As I started figuring out what you were saying, I started respecting you more, dispite the fact that I disagree with you. But I don't respect any argument that doesn't allow for the posibility that we are free to disagree on premises.
  18. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    It would be interesting to see how many people are in fact, practicing their religion and if it's still the majority then. Those who merely declare a faith and "go through the motions" (like Christians just attending Christmas and Easter services) do not count, in my opinion.

    And I think the absence of the phrase "under God" in the pledge at first is important. If it wasn't there in the beginning, there shouldn't be a big outcry to why it should be removed (or the choice of being removed) now. The only ones making the fuss are those who were behind adding it and have a vested interest in keeping it there now. If it doesn't represent religion, then there shouldn't be any argument among those who want it to stay. Since they DO want it to stay, it DOES represent religion.
  19. EricBess Active Member

    It would be interesting to see, yes, but unless you also feel that those people cannot vote, then I disagree that they don't count. People can still have Christian beliefs and Christian values and consider themselves religious without going to church.

    My example is the pledge of allegience being removed from schools, not whether the pledge should be altered, and it wouldn't have been removed without those words.

    Read what I said - I didn't say it wasn't important. I said it wasn't relevant to the point I had made.

    But if you want to discuss an alteration of the pledge, I still don't quite agree with your conclusion. The pledge currently says "under god" and while that may "represent religion", it doesn't "represent A religion". In other words, it doesn't establish religion, at least not a specific one. I completely understand that an agnostic may feel like they are being discriminated against by not being allowed to practice their religion of not recognizing "god" at all. But rather than imposing their religion, I would recommend making the term "under god" optional in the pledge. For that matter, some people might want to make it plural.
  20. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    True, but without the spirituality you gain from either going to church or some class or whatever, the beliefs and values aren't really "Christian" anymore, but merely personal beliefs and values of what you feel is right. Thus, I don't think they can quote scripture to support their position and that's what the whole basis of the religious opposition to the issue is.

    You're right, I misread what you were saying.

    But to your addition, removing "under god" takes the pledge back to what it was in the beginning and should satisfy everyone, if the point is to keep it in the schools. It doesn't matter if it represents one religion or many, it simply represents "religion". Take it out and you no longer have the point of contention.

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