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DWise1

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About DWise1

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  1. When I had become an atheist (around the age of 12, I started reading the Bible and very quickly realized that I couldn't believe what I was reading), I toyed for a few minutes with every Christian teenager's wet dream of total hedonism by being an atheist*, but I immediately realized that that was a false concept. So since neither Christianity nor the Bible would be my guide, what would? The answer came to me immediately: Scouting. Every moral precept that I could ever need was embodied in the Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. Decades later when I read that Baden-Powell quote, it certainly l
  2. When I had become an atheist (around the age of 12, I started reading the Bible and very quickly realized that I couldn't believe what I was reading), I toyed for a few minutes with every Christian teenager's wet dream of total hedonism by being an atheist*, but I immediately realized that that was a false concept. So since neither Christianity nor the Bible would be my guide, what would? The answer came to me immediately: Scouting. Every moral precept that I could ever need was embodied in the Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan. Decades later when I read that Baden-Powell quote, it certainly l
  3. I did not respond to the poll. I very rarely respond to polls, since the choices offered almost never reflect my thoughts, opinions, or beliefs. I love Scouting. I truly believe that it is a great program that can prepare a boy for the rest of his life. I especially agree with what Lord Baden-Powell said about the Scout Law, as quoted by Scouting ("Worth Retelling: Baden-Powell on the Scout Law", Scouting, March-April 1991, page 12, quoted from Scouting Digest published by the Boy Scouts of South Africa): When I had become an atheist (around the age of 12, I started reading the
  4. When I was active in the 1990's, the Scout Shop was selling a reprint of the first Handbook. See if you can't pick up a copy (maybe the Scout Shop could order it for you) and see for yourself what it said about a century ago.
  5. From context, I'm having to assume that you are responding to ThomasJefferson. The government displaying the Ten Commandments is not being tolerant of all religions. It's even very sectarian, because there are three versions of the Ten Commandments: Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish -- there are 11 to 12 different points that are combined differently by the different religions. Since it's Protestants who keep pushing this, three guesses which version they want to have displayed. And by choosing which version to display, then the government would indeed be choosing one religion over t
  6. Yes, BSA is and, yes, BSA does. And BSA has. The problem is that BSA refuses to follow its own rules and its own membership criteria. The reason for the lawsuits is because of BSA's actions, as well as their draconian methods for mistreating their victims. Because BSA allows no recourse whatsoever. When James Randall's sons were summarily expelled, he met with the council's SE and tried to resolve the matter. The SE refused all attempts at a resolution, finally telling Randall to sue them. That was BSA ordering the parent of its victims to sue BSA. Which he did. And he won. It wa
  7. Why would anybody want to join the Boy Scouts? Think about it! Why would anybody want to join the Boy Scouts? In particular, why would any adult, especially a parent of a boy, want to join? How's about because they believe in the principles and ideals of Scouting. Because they remember what they had themselves learned as Scouts (or the women vicariously through their brothers) and they want their own sons to learn the same things and to have the same experiences, so they join as well as volunteer leaders. Or because they loved the experience and want to continue in it, giving back to t
  8. One can hardly hope to dilute an argument that is already rather weak. If you had bothered to review the objections via Google, I would hope that you had read the Princeton philosophy course page at http://www.princeton.edu/~grosen/puc/phi203/Pascal.html. A problem that Hajek's objection brings up is that we don't have much choice over what we believe and don't believe, but rather at best we can only try to believe. As a result, the "four choices" really turn out to be 16. I've been involved with "creation science" since 1981. One of the big problems for "creation science" is that its "
  9. Pascal's Wager. It has many problems which followers ignore. And it shows up often as a proselytizing too in their "after-life insurance" argument which is little more than a scam -- I wrote of my experience with it at http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/wager.html. You can read objections to it through Google: pascal's wager objections. To start with, there are far more than 4 options, literally thousands of them. It is not enough to believe that a god exists, but rather you have to believe in the right god. True, some gods don't care, but many gods do very definitely take exception to people
  10. 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
  11. I certainly cannot think of any negative effects. Positive effects would be far fewer families operating at an unnecessary disadvantage and in danger of being torn apart by anti-same-sex marriage laws. About a year ago I listened to a report on All Things Considered (NPR) in which same-sex families were visiting Washington, DC, to personally lobby their congressmen and senators for support. The most pressing concern for most of the families was that the parents lost all parental rights in a state that didn't recognize or banned same-sex marriages. That meant that if any of their childre
  12. From what I gather from the above, no secret regulations were used. I don't see the issue of "supreme being" relevant in the decision. P.S. Anyone else ever gotten this error message? Yes, I'm familiar with the Welsh case. I met Elliott on-line on CompuServe immediately upon joining their Scouting Forum. And the BSA spy there printed out just about every message posted there and turned them in to BSA, whose lawyers then presented a thick stack of those messages in federal court as evidence in the Welsh trial. In fact, the very first message I posted there was included an
  13. All your links to http://www.scouter.com/wiki are broken, which is too bad since I would have wanted to have seen what this forum's Wiki had to say about "higher power". But needless to say, while it may be your own narrow sectarian interpretation that a "higher power" must be a "Supreme Being", reality and the world's religions say otherwise. A "Supreme Being" would be what is referred to as a "personal god", which Wikipedia defines as: That definition alone indicates that a "higher power" need not be a personal god. We also have other examples, such as the Tao, Hinduism's Brahm
  14. Peregrinator: I thought I was quite clear on what I meant by being "strongly agnostic". Here it is again (with a key part in bold): Could you please point out what part of that you did not understand or had difficulty with? As I just shared with Merlyn, we atheists repeatedly get subjected to theists (mainly fundamentalist/evangelical/conservative Christians) pontificating to us what atheists think and believe. In the process they only succeed in demonstrating how completely clueless they are and yet they absolutely refuse to hear from us atheists ourselves what we actually do
  15. Merlyn: A better explanation would be like the region in the UK our minister told us about called "The Black Spot" by a major church (CoE?). Populated by Unitarians, it has a reputation for being impervious to all their proselytizing efforts. They hate us so much because they cannot convert us. Kind of like with Martin Luther's vicious hatred for the Jews. But a better explanation would be that they are acting in ignorance upon their prejudices which they have learned from their churches. I'm sure that you've been pontificated at by Christians who "know" exactly what atheists think a
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