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Everything posted by ThomasJefferson

  1. BSA has changed policies, programs, uniforms, handbooks, requirements, badges, and many other things over the last 102 years. My question is simple: Do you approve or disapprove of BSA? My goal is to attempt an approval rating here on scouter.com of BSA. BSA is defined as the national corporation known as Boy Scouts of America which currently has a monopoly on use of the term Boy Scouts in the United States.
  2. That is debated amongst historians. If you are Jewish, you may use the word "holocaust" to refer specifically to a Jewish historical event, and you may view the people who were Jewish being put to death as uniquely tied to that event. Therefore, if you hold that viewpoint, and if you were not Jewish, you were not part of the holocaust. You were just killed by Nazis in an organized fashion tertiary to it. Broader definitions include approximately two to three million Soviet POWs, two million ethnic Poles, up to 1,500,000 Romani, 200,000 handicapped, political and religious dissenters, 15,
  3. Jblake, I think the interpretations are pretty much these:
  4. I stand corrected. Lecturing on history from memory often fails me.
  5. You know, I'm just not a big fan of memorials at all. Memorials are about feelings, so when feelings get hurt, it's no surprise everyone gets overly passionate and upset. I bet that around 50% of memorials are erected in anger as a way of tells us all to go fly a kite rather than out of respect and a sense of education of the public. In this case, my question is why do we need a holocaust memorial erected in 2013? Do we need a new civil war memorial too? What about a new War of 1812 memorial? Seems like a stale topic to be erecting statues for it. How much did it cost? And the land
  6. You will find that the persecution of Christians involves: * Denying official school-led prayers in government schools * Pulling specifically Christian symbols from public institutions funded purely with taxpayer money where other beliefs's symbols are not allowed * Any mention that churches pay taxes on profits * Requests that we remove references to spiritual entities from money, slogans, pledges, etc. In short, Christians in the US feel persecuted any time their absolute domination of American public life is challenged in favor of a secular, non-religious approach. I am
  7. Conservative = resisting change. As the United States has historically not offered equal rights, and has historically resisted changing to offer them, I would say that not offering equal rights to people who do not fit the mainstream is a conservative idea. In short, to offer equal rights to all was not a founding principle of the US. Slaves were accepted, blacks counted as 3/5's a person, anyone not male and owning land could not vote. Access to public areas and business was limited to those in narrow group. It is very conservative to refuse service and rights to those who are consid
  8. Do tell what are those basic religious principles and what laws have we that are based on them? "founded on religious principles" is said often but unsubstantiated. So is the idea that our country is great. Great how? Greater than what? I have lived in many different countries. I do not find the US particularly superior overall. It has some good points and some bad points. I'm also not sure, acco40, how you can have a great country without great citizens.
  9. The principles of Christianity made our country great? I would like to read the evidence for that claim. What in our history says that religion was responsible for American success? Will we even be able to agree on what American success looks like and what examples of it are? I doubt it. I believe a few particular people and events are what made our country great in terms of government process: Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (the real one) were hyper-intelligent men. They were also not particularly religious people. Their input was instrumental in everything that went on in the late 1
  10. The road is already paved: Do scouting as they do it in the UK.
  11. You state your opinion, and it is looking for consensus. I state my opinion, and it is looking for a fight. See how that works? One day, in the future, I believe people will recognize what they were doing was wrong, and will stop attempting to silence atheist belief and expression as an attack when they realize that religious expression and belief are just as much an attack as it is. Either that, or they will silence all on either side for the sake of silence. That would be sad.
  12. Sure it does. Science reveals to us what happens in the world. We come to understand that when we do X, Y will happen. We test it repeatedly, and we know. What happens when you steal something? What happens when you help someone? Simple physics: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you help someone, that's what you get back. Call it karma or whatever. You don't need stories of ancient days and gods and demons and sins and crucifixions to be nice to people. You're just raised to believe that because you happened to be born into a society that believes that. If
  13. Not really. Tell, me what is this shade you think you have it made in? It will not lengthen your life. It will not protect you from illness. It will not protect you from violence. It will not protect your family. It will not reveal to you anything you can use in today's world that a simple kindergarten lesson in ethics is not superior to. It will cost you money. It will cost you time. I have been told that if I believe and there is a God, I will go to Heaven. I do not want to go to that Heaven. It does not sound appealing. It is filled with all of the unintelligent, closed-minded people
  14. And I trust that you also could see where the same stories were being told over and over again. Admittedly, I have not made it through the Old Testament, nor at the age of 61 do I feel inclined to (not when I have so much to write about BSA and about network programming). But I did read through the New Testament a couple times through. I have also read thePirke Avoth ("Sayings of the Fathers", part of the Talmudic tradition). I found the teachings of Jesus himself rather good, especially when he agreed with the Pharisees (spirit of the law vs the letter of the law, especially regarding
  15. That's factually incorrect - what you see as a flaw is in reality its strength!!! Science was always wrong before and will be wrong again? Not exactly. Scientific ideas are proposed, tested, observed, experimented with. As we learn more, we expand our knowledge, and the idea is clarified, additional detail is added, and the explanations improve over time. Example: We once thought the Universe was 7 billion years old. We now have better technology and analysis and know it is at least 13.7 billion years old. We weren't wrong before. We knew it was AT LEAST 7 billion years old. We now have
  16. I don't think a public figure like Einstein or Carl Sagan were stupid enough to publicly come out and speak ardently against religion. They carefully phrased their disagreement the same way I do in public around scout buddies to prevent myself from being identified. Christians react very, very negatively to opposing viewpoints. To say, "There was no Jesus. There is no God." to a Christian is tantamount to asking your family be ostracized in a community. They knew this. Atheism vs. Agnosticism: There truly is no difference. Atheism is the lack of belief. Agnosticism is the indifference to t
  17. Your quotes actually work against you, I'm afraid. We can exactly explain how the planets were set in motion. And we have known that for a long, long time. As gravity begins working to pull matter together to form a star system, rotation naturally begins occurring because of the laws of momentum. The matter around the new star begins to move as gravity pulls it, and this is what sets that matter, which becomes planets, in motion. Perhaps if Newton had not been religious, he would have easily seen this, and humanity would be more advance today than it was then. Newton's religion was in fact
  18. Science is the collection of evidence, observations, experiments, and testing your ideas to see if they prove out under stress. Religion is just a story someone wrote. There is no comparison. One is a fiction book. The other is the real world. I am happy that I do not believe anything that is in the Bible. All of the stories in the bible are just recycled stories with different names and slight twists from earlier cultures. Very little of the Bible to me is good advice or comforting. I find most of it brutal, horrific, and scary. God so loved the world that he gave his only
  19. No. That is not how America works. Everyone gets a say in how things work in this country, and lobbying, handshaking, baby kissing, and speech giving to convince people of your position is a time-honored tradition. I reject the approach suggested because it is "Why can't we just stick our heads in the sand and not get involved and stand up for what we believe in." Scouts, more than others, should be passionate advocates of their beliefs.
  20. Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion. The idea of the superhuman controlling power is a feature of an Abrahamic religion and the split off groups that emanate from those religions. That is the "Western" version of religion. The two major divisions of Eastern religious tradition tend more toward the totality of everything being connected and us understanding the true nature of that reality. That is to say, Buddhists do no
  21. Fraud has been proven and even resulted in investigations. It's not "unfair." It's a fact. Until BSA has independent auditors review all membership counts, I'm betting BSA's numbers are a complete and total forgery. All of those counts, even as seen on the anti-BSA sites, are invalid and overblown. I bet the only reason the girl scouts numbers are smaller is that they are honest about them. Really - is BSA is corporation that deserves government charters, trademarks, patents, and control over the boy scouting movement in this country? That monopoly hold needs to be broken.
  22. OK, lots of writing, but no one addressing the issue: The First Commandment specifically bans making images of anything at all - that would include all statues, all paintings, all drawings. It also bans you in a separate statement from "bowing down" to them. Saluting them and pledging your loyalty to them seems to violate all parts of this commandment. Nothing quazse writes addresses why it is OK. It's just a history of rationalizations. If I were a Christian, and I believed wholly in the Ten Commandments, I would have no pictures in my home of any kind, no statues, no images of anything.
  23. None of these numerical counts are accurate. BSA was caught red-handed forging memberships to artificially inflate membership numbers in the 1990's. They lied about the entire increase throughout the 1980's. Auditors came in and scrubbed the numbers council by council and removed the false increase in members.
  24. You forgot what you learned in science classes. Your definitions are not scientific. They are colloquial usage where hypothesis, theory, and speculation are equal. Not so in the lab. When scientists use the word theory, it has a different meaning to normal everyday use. It all comes down to the multiple meanings of the word theory. If you said to a scientist that you didn't believe in evolution because it was "just a theory", they'd probably be a bit puzzled. In everyday use, theory means a guess or a hunch, something that maybe needs proof. In science, a theory is not a guess, not a
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