Party "A" and Party "B"

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

  1. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Moral values or religious values? But I do not believe that the values of the majority should allow for laws that impinge on the liberty of anyone, even a very small minority.

    How doesn't "under god" constitute an establishment of religion? I've already said about the coins that I don't buy this argument. It's been used and in courts where the parties involved have much, much more legal knowledge than I do. But I think it's abusing semantics. The motto on the coins and the insertion in the pledge were put in by people who intended for them to be establishment of religion. Sure, not any one religion. But it disenfranchises the nonreligious. It creates doubt about us really being a secular nation. DF even used it to argue against the establishment clause and he's not the only one, meaning that people will actually take something that's been justified as not violating the establishment clause and that's the whole reason it's still around, then use it as evidence that the establishment clause doesn't exist. It seems that these people necessarily think that such words constitute establishment.

    The only problem I have with this is if it really was on political and not legal matters. I don't know if this is the case, but if it is, then I very much agree with you that it's a problem.

    I see.

    Well, historic precedent is legitimate. It shouldn't be disregarded thoughtlessly. But by itself, it shouldn't be enough to stop change for the better. There was an historic precedent against allowing women to vote.

    This "moral decay" thing seems pretty similar to what you argued earlier and in the other thread. If you're wrong, my suspicion is that you being so convinced that you're right will lead you to see unrelated things as evidence for your position, but those of us that don't already agree with you will find your claims implausible. On the other hand, if you're right, it's quite possible that you wouldn't be able to find any concrete evidence that you are, only things like this, too vague to convince us of anything.

    All I can fairly say to that is that I don't see the point.

    It's also been said that we're doomed to repeat history no matter what. As for Rome, there are several explanations (literally hundreds have been published) for why the empire fell and there were undoubtedly many individual factors involved. There were also a lot of ways in which they were different from us. The fall of an empire well over a thousand years ago seems like a pretty bad reason to deny people liberty today.

    I've never said people can't disagree with me. In that one instance, I did say that it was a matter of reality and not opinion. I stand by that.

    I know. But I do think it should be. Forcing children to pledge allegiance to a flag every day as part of their education is pretty jingoistic and atavistic for our country to do. I'd rather do away with the whole thing, religious expression or no. I do like the last five words though. "Liberty and justice for all."
  2. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel


    I may be misreading this, and if I am just let me know. What I am taking away from this statement is that a person who does not attend church or any teachings from a religious leader at regular intervals is not a Christian? I am gonna definately disagree with you on this one (if that is what you meant). The term Christian basically means that you have accepted that Jesus Christ is your Lord and personal savior. True, without regularly being in community with people of a similar belief and moral code, it is a lot harder to stay on course with your faith. However, I myself, am a Christian (I am pretty sure you all already knew that) and did not attend church or any teachings for about 8 years other than an occasional (not even annual) visit to one or the other. The entire time I remained a Christian, prayed, and believed.

    Now I am a leader in my church, and I do appreciate the help that the community can give one another with thier faith and accountability. However, I myself, would never want to tell someone that because they have not been to church for 3 years, they are no longer a Christian. In fact, I am not even sure that it is our right to judge someone else in thier faith. That is between them and thier God.

    Secondly, you would have to start defining church. (Or the class or whatever you said above) It is stated in the Bible that "where two or more are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:20). So as long as at least 2 Christians gather together and discuss God, praise God, pray to God, whatever to God, then by his word He is there in spirit (more specifically the Holy Spirit). Now this may not mean much to an agnostic or athiest, but to anyone who believes in the Bible, and is a Christian, it can mean everything.

    Ok, sorry to go on so long, but that really bothered me. In a last addition, many people can (and do) quote scripture and are not even Christian. There are many different religions out there that do not involve Christianity, yet follow some part or all (or even some additions) of the Bible. There is also the Koran, and several other religious teachings that can be termed scripture. I think that quoting a scripture should hold the same weight as quoting from someone else's speech, book, postulates, whatever. Unless it is bound up in scientific proofs, then all written words (non-fiction) are pretty much equal.
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Heh, no, this is a good opportunity to try to clarify.

    What you say is entirely true, and there are definitely people who consider themselves Christians and don't go to church, (whatever that may be - a traditional setting or a private gathering for two), yet are filled spiritually and follow the teachings.

    However, since they most likely consider themselves Christians, they would probably put that down on any survey and thus be included. So I'm not talking about them.

    I'm talking about the people who put down that they're Christian yet *don't* follow up with it spiritually. They may be people who go to church, they may not be. But it is they who may be inflating the numbers of Christians and making it appear higher than it should be.

    Same for any religion, it's just that Christianity is the easiest to use as an example because I don't think anyone here is any other religion.
  4. EricBess Active Member

    Here is something that will at least show you that it isn't just me saying this.

    If, however, I am right, I would go further to say that by the time people realize that I'm right, it may be too late to do anything about it. But I agree that it is a difficult point to make and while it may frustrate me that more people don't "get it", I cannot fault them for that.

    Fair. I could state Sodom and Gamorrah (sp?), for which the specific reason for their fall was given. But that was even longer ago and directly tied to religious arguments :D

    And Spiderman - I know what you are saying. There are people who use "Christianity" (or religion in general) as an excuse rather than as a part of who they are.
  5. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yeah. I've seen this happen a lot. Actually, I was raised in a family that was part of a church where a lot of other Christian sects were considered not really Christian. They might call themselves Christians, but they weren't the true Christians. That sort of thing. And I've heard Catholics and Protestants both say it about each other quite a bit.

    This goes beyond just "Christian" too. I've seen nonreligious people told, "You're not an atheist, you're an agnostic" or "You're not an agnostic, you're an atheist" or things of that nature. Sometimes people are eager choose labels for each other, but I think that it's something we shouldn't do.

    "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

    "And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land."
  6. Oversoul The Tentacled One

  7. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    For those who think it's not about preferential treatment
    Chicago to Approve Public High School for Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Teens
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,435102,00.html

    Don't respond to me, since I am not in this conversation anymore.... Just saw this and thought about this thread......

    I read some of it by mistake, Ugh, I'm going blind

    BTW - Correlating behavior with genetics is not the same as causation....

    No, no, bad mooseman..... disregard the last statement......:rolleyes:


    More problems for the "Alternate" lifestylers:

    Unregulated Sperm Donation Causes 30 Women to Be Impregnated by Same Man
    Wednesday, October 08, 2008
    Unregulated sperm donation has led to a situation where children from the same community are potentially at risk for incestuous relationships.

    Reverend Dr. Andrew Dutney, a reproductive technology expert in South Australia, said in one reported case, about 30 lesbians living in Adelaide, Australia, were impregnated by the sperm from one man.

    Those mothers organized picnics so the children could get to know one another as siblings, thus reducing the risk for future romantic relationships.

    In another case, a man’s sperm produced 29 children, all of whom were living in Adelaide. These children are unaware who their siblings are.

    All of these children were born about 10 years ago, which means they will reach adolescence in a few years.

    In South Australia, the law says infertility treatments are only for infertile couples or those at risk for transmitting a serious defect. Thus, gays and lesbians generally have to find donors “outside the system,” Dutney said.
  8. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I think that's awful. What does it have to do with this thread?

    It doesn't work that way. You really think you can declare your departure from the thread, then come back and declare that you're still not in the thread, but that you're saying something and no one should respond to it because you're not in the thread? If you don't want anyone to respond to it, then don't say it!

    Entirely true. Scientists do think about these things, you know. When there's a correlation, usually four possibilities are considered.

    1. A causes B.
    2. B causes A.
    3. A and B are both caused by some other thing.
    4. Simple coincidence.

    #4 is ruled out if the correlation is strong enough over multiple studies. #2 is pretty implausible because we'd expect to find evidence that changes in behavior led to changes in one's own genes. So we're left with #1 (the genetics cause the behavior) or #3 (both the genetics and the behavior are caused by some other, third thing). And #3 doesn't really seem to make sense, because we already have a pretty good idea of what causes genetics.

    Now, it's a lot more complicated than that. Studies have had to use statistical analysis techniques that I'm only superficially familiar with. And there are issues of gene expression and non-genetic factors. But it's a bit of a stretch to dismiss the evidence with "correlation does not equal causation."

    What does this have to do with anything from this thread? It's almost like you're trolling... :confused:
  9. EricBess Active Member

    Isn't this an oversimplification of this, though? To be honest, I don't know all of the details of the studies. All I know is that they say there is at least some correlation between certain genetic markers and homosexual individuals. But my understanding is that the strength of the correlation is up to a lot of interpretation.

    Clearly, this isn't a simple matter of "everyone with marker <foo> is homosexual and everyone without marker <foo> is straight", right? I'm positive that there are homosexual people who don't have the genetic markers and equally confident that there are people with the markers that aren't homosexual. A correlation is just that. It's not proof, merely evidence that possibly suggests genetic predisposition.

    Also - it may not even be a direct correlation. For all we know, the genetic correlation could actually be an indication of liking things that are considered "feminine" by society. Combined with societal influences that push such individuals in the direction of homosexuality. I'm not saying this is true, merely pointing out that even the genetic evidence is still subject to interpretation.
  10. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Maybe you're thinking I meant "A is the sole cause of B"? I think that's certainly not the case. There are other factors. But there's some causation going on there, albeit partial. I'm pretty sure this has been my position on that issue throughout this thread.

    Yep. But if genetics isn't part of a the predisposition, then the correlations are anomalous. I haven't done the math, but I'm sure it's astronomically unlikely.

    I know you're just giving an example (although it is one you seem to think might have something to it, since you raised it in an anecdote earlier). But there are several problems with it. We would expect to see evidence that hasn't been found. Off the top of my head, different cultures have different standards for gender roles. With a "feminine inclination leading to societal push" hypothesis, we would expect to see those cultural differences have a massive effect, and the studies that would reveal such an effect have been done. I don't think researchers were looking for something like that specifically, but they would still have found it.

    Even if it were the case, the genetic factors are still there, but there's an "extended phenotype" going on where the genes predispose behavior that leads the environment (society) to change the individual.

    But this seems pretty irrelevant. If I'd been arguing that there really was a "gay gene," then you'd be very correct in pointing out what you're pointing out (I think you're still mostly correct, but you're just saying what I already agreed with and maybe didn't emphasize or whatever).

    My whole reason for citing genetic factors (and none of us knows how important they are), was part of my claim that homosexuality is natural (by any common definition of the word, anyhow, maybe not by some weird theological definition). I later realized that it was unnecessary because either homosexuality manifested in relics from ancient times or observed homosexual behavior in other animal species would really be enough to confirm that homosexuality is natural. The modern studies on humans, while they add pieces to the puzzle of what causes it in individuals, aren't necessary when it comes to the issue of "nature."

    What Mooseman did was say something like, "I Googled and it looks like your purported facts are just unproven theories." For one thing, that's a pretty bad argument. For another, when it comes to scientific methodology, "unproven theories" sounds specious.

    But he left. He was supposedly done with this discussion. He returned and went right back to the issue of genetics, despite my already pointing out that using genetic studies wasn't necessary for my point in the first place. My impression is that he has an axe to grind. He's content to "Google" and see that there are some websites out there that will say what he wants to believe. That's not real research and it's not productive. He already made up his mind AND he wants to be out of the discussion altogether while still making points, which really seems like a way to try to get the last word. "I'm saying something, but I'm actually not in the discussion, so don't respond to it."
  11. EricBess Active Member

    Actually, I didn't throw that example out because I agreed with it. It was simply to point out that there may be other factors. I am comfortable agreeing that there is likely a genetic predisposition in some people that is not related to environmental factors. However, I do think that environmental factors and society play more of a role than we give them credit for in these issues, regardless of any genetic factors.

    If by "cause", you allow "A leads to B", indicating that it may not be a direct cause or that there may be additional factors, then I'm on board with that, but I think that you could also get overlap. For example, "under certain circumstances, C leads to A. C and A together frequently lead to B, but A on it's own doesn't usually lead to B without C present also..."

    My only point is that it's very easy to apply oversimplied rules to the results of any study to get the results you are looking for. That doesn't necessarily reduce the value of the study.
  12. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    Yeah. And that is why I stressed earlier that it's "factors" which is, I think, a much better word in this context than "causes." The switch was because of the old correlation/causation problem and "cause" is the default word there. Whatever the exact ratios of factors and their relationships with each other might be, it seems safe to conclude that no one thing automatically induces homosexuality or completely prevents it from developing.

    Now, you say that you think that society plays more of a role than it might generally be given credit for. But isn't that what you would think? I'm speculating here, but just from the things you've said in this thread, it looks like your bias would be toward society having a significant influence. If that's the case, I think it's something you should acknowledge, if only to be honest with yourself.

    The same goes for me, of course. I'm sure I have a bias too, although I'm not even sure that I know what it is. I don't consider homosexuality to be wrong or a problem, but I'm also not homosexual myself, so as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't really matter (even if society were found to be a huge factor somehow, I wouldn't feel pressure to change society because I don't consider it to be a bad thing).

    So far, I haven't seen any evidence that seemed to particularly indicate that society is a significant factor (one can't very well count societies where being openly homosexual has life-threatening consequences, since the majority of homosexuals will keep in the closet). "Environmental" factors encompass a lot though, and I don't doubt that those matter. Even the prenatal hormone exposure thing is technically an environmental factor.
  13. EricBess Active Member

    I wasn't aware that such a stance (or even bias) was anything that I was hiding...:D

    I have a teenage son and I can tell you a few things from experience that at that age, social influences play a huge role in identity. Raising kids to that age, you do your best as a parent to teach them how to make good friends and avoid trouble, but once they do settle into a group of friends, how those kids behave greatly influences.

    Given the increase in double-income and single-parent families, kids of that age have a lot more unsupervised time. If my experience is any indication, this is a time when they really start pushing limits, looking for more freedom, and finding new boundaries.

    But to be clear, I care about things that I feel have a societal influence on children. I do consider homosexuality to be wrong, but I really don't care if people choose to engage in such activity. What I do care about is not creating a society where that behavior is not only tolerated and accepted, but also embraced.

    Oh...and I'm certainly not saying that society is the only factor.
  14. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

  15. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    Kind of off topic, but not sure if anyone but me noticed that Missouri passed a law stating that only English could be used in the State Government buildings!

    It is about time someone just came out and admitted that English is the "main" language of the US and should be made a standard practice throughout the nation. Better communication is key to almost every role in life.


    And yes, I had been following Prop 8 in CA just to see what would happen. I must admit I was worried, but am now a bit relieved.
  16. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    As in the only language that can be used in official state business, right? If it's actually forbidden to use other languages in the buildings themselves, that's unconstitutional.

    I was looking through that New York Times article, and when I got to the end, I did this: :eek:

    WTF Florida?
  17. mythosx Legendary Creature-Human

    Speaking as an asian immigrant...WTF Florida?! How come those people always have jank elections. It's almost as if they want the title as the most backwards state in America when it comes to voting.
  18. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Just goes to show that as a group, voters are idiots.....
  19. mythosx Legendary Creature-Human

    I move to put on the next ballot proposition 1-A. It's a measure to make all Florida votes not count and we just humor them with the motions. Half of them can't even make a proper mark on the ballot apparently....
  20. Killer Joe Active Member

    Let's add Clevelander's to that! :p

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