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Do you like the Boy Scouts of America?

Do you like the Boy Scouts of America?  

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    • I hate BSA
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      1
    • Whatever
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Who else saw that the discussion leave the reservation after my first point. Qwazse, I enjoy your post, but I think you're half of the discussion is so deep with slavation that DWise's adolescent view of God can't understand value of religious morality, much less Christain morality. Before I try to contribute on a more pragmatic level, I would like to suggest DWise to do a search on "Fruits of the Spirit" and compare them with the Scout Law. Now on the basis of morality, all folks live by a moral code of some kind. For the sake of this dicussion, moral code is the code we use to define acts of right and wrong. Where mankind struggles is having to follow a moral code with parts they may not agree. Usually folks are willing to take the good with the bad, but when the masses of a society decide to follow only those parts of the code they pick and choose, chaos eventually follows.And then one way or another order will be forced by what I call the person with the biggest stick. Except for the civil war, the United States has had a relativlye peaceful history because the guy with the biggest stick has been the Judeo Christian God. Peace is easy when the majority of society follow one set of rules. Well easy within the context of peace versus chaos. But times are changing, people today or more self centered, which doesn't fit well in a religiously concieved moral code. The main difference between moral code defined by man and code defined by God is that God's moral code is pretty consistant through time, man's code changes fast and often. When man grabs (is given) the big stick, it is usually by political will and that never last long. If a person is truely willing to read the whole bible and understand it from a practical stand point, they will see that man at the core is corrupt, narcissitic and ambitious. The moral code they create is one of convenience that not only helps further their ambitions, but also typically ignores the meek. God has none of those self-centered traits, so the meek are the high priority because the actions of His moral code are selfless actions to enhanse lives of everyone toward a peaceful existance. I believe Dwise is truely an antheist because he appears repulsed by a living God, That he couldn't get half way through the first book of 39 in the Old Testeament or Pauls New Testament guidance of a living God proves it. Dwise does Jesus's simple rules of conduct beause they are obvious actions of peace, he just doesn't like them coming from from an invisible omnipotent source. The God in Genesis doesn't have his fatherly image. Ironic that Jesus is God in both the Old and New Testament. Still Dwise believes in a peaceful coexistance and understands following rules of right and wrong are how we get there. I agree with him about the virtues of Scout Law and Oath. I am curious to see how his moral code can stand up the man who takes the big stick. Barry
I believe Dwise is truely an antheist ...

What does that mean? Even Google doesn't recognize that word.

 

... because he appears repulsed by a living God' date='[/quote']

Not at all. I did not become an atheist because anything repulsed me, but rather because I simply could not believe what I was reading. I'm not even repulsed by how Christianity requires belief in human infallibility, but rather will either roll my eyes or sigh in great sadness, depending in part on the audacity of the Christian invoking it. Even the wicked fruit of dishonesty and hypocrisy (especially apparent among creationists) disappoint and disgust me more than they repulse me.

 

Rather what repulses me, are the wicked fruits of religious bigotry and of the attempts the Religious Right's persistent attempts to tear down religious liberty in their drive to use the government to impose their beliefs on everybody else.

 

You may refer to the Matthew 7:20 Test for context.

 

... DWise's adolescent view of God ...

That was 50 years ago. Both I and my religious views have matured since then.

 

I still have a copy of an interesting brochure that was posted at our church. It was about a book, Stupid Ways, Smart Ways, to Think about God, by Rabbi Jack Bemporad and Michael Shevack. They point out that most people have childish ideas about God because those ideas were formed in their childhood; since most people do not think about and challenge their beliefs as they themselves mature, their beliefs about God never mature and thus remain childish.

 

I have found it more common for Christians to keep their beliefs from maturing and less common for atheists. In self-defense against personal attacks from Christians atheists have to think about and present their beliefs, whereas too many Christians just take theirs for granted.

 

... ' date=' That he couldn't get half way through the first book of 39 in the Old Testeament or Pauls New Testament guidance of a living God proves it.[/quote']

Completely and utterly false on both counts.

 

I have gotten all the way through the New Testament, cover to cover twice!. I simply did not and do not agree with the theology that Paul had built.

 

When I started reading the Old Testament, I was a Christian, baptized just the year before after attending for most of my childhood. I most certainly was not "repulsed by a living God" and I did believe that the Bible was the "Word of God" and that I was supposed to believe what it says. As I already stated quite clearly and unambiguously, I simply could not believe what I was reading. And since I could not believe what I was supposed to believe, I couldn't be a Christian. That's what happened. That's the complete story. Please try to stick to the facts and not to what you want to imagine.

 

 

As for the rest of your post ... . Have you ever studied formal logic? In formal logic, we start from premises and we use those premises to form conclusions which themselves can be used as premises to form other conclusions. And what we end up with, if we've followed the rules of logic correctly, is a valid set of conclusions. Valid conclusions, but not necessarily true conclusions. Because logic does not guarantee us true conclusions, but only valid conclusions. Now, if a valid conclusion's premises are true, then the conclusion is true. But if any of the premises is not true, then we have no idea whether the conclusion is true or not. So valid is not the same as true.

 

What I see you having built up there is logical framework, conclusions that you (or those from whom you had gotten all or part of that) have arrived at logically from a set of premises. I don't know whether that logical framework is valid, but even if we grant that all the logic is valid, that does not make it true because we would still have to prove all the premises true. Which we cannot do, in part because we cannot prove your "invisible omnipotent source" nor that it would have the exact set of properties that your theology requires your god to have. Nobody has ever been able to prove or disprove the existence of YHWH, AKA "The God of the Bible", with the possible exception of "creation science" whose resounding disproof of God itself depends on premises that are demonstrably false, though many ex-Christians had been convinced by it. Of course, you are thoroughly convinced of the truth of your premises, whereas those whose minds are not so wrapped up in and blinded by your theology are not at all similarly convinced. As a creationist once told me when I asked him why he kept using such unconvincing and repeatedly disproven creationist claims (in that case specifically, sea salt), he responded by telling me, "You do not find them convincing because you are not already convinced." Premises that can only be convincing if you are already convinced by them should be deemed suspect by any objective observer.

 

So to an outsider who is not yet convinced of and enthralled by the logic of your theology, that looks very similar to to listening to the girls arguing passionately, and apparently almost ready to come to blows, over scenarios in which somebody other than Thor could pick up Mjolnir (Big Bang Theory, "The Bakersfield Expedition", 10 Jan 2013). To the ones enmeshed in that logic it makes sense, but others not ensnared thus can only react with either a confused or a bemused "Huh?" as they're left trying to make some sense out of what mostly appears to be a rambling mess based on assumptions that just do not make any sense.

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Who else saw that the discussion leave the reservation after my first point. Qwazse, I enjoy your post, but I think you're half of the discussion is so deep with slavation that DWise's adolescent view of God can't understand value of religious morality, much less Christain morality. Before I try to contribute on a more pragmatic level, I would like to suggest DWise to do a search on "Fruits of the Spirit" and compare them with the Scout Law. Now on the basis of morality, all folks live by a moral code of some kind. For the sake of this dicussion, moral code is the code we use to define acts of right and wrong. Where mankind struggles is having to follow a moral code with parts they may not agree. Usually folks are willing to take the good with the bad, but when the masses of a society decide to follow only those parts of the code they pick and choose, chaos eventually follows.And then one way or another order will be forced by what I call the person with the biggest stick. Except for the civil war, the United States has had a relativlye peaceful history because the guy with the biggest stick has been the Judeo Christian God. Peace is easy when the majority of society follow one set of rules. Well easy within the context of peace versus chaos. But times are changing, people today or more self centered, which doesn't fit well in a religiously concieved moral code. The main difference between moral code defined by man and code defined by God is that God's moral code is pretty consistant through time, man's code changes fast and often. When man grabs (is given) the big stick, it is usually by political will and that never last long. If a person is truely willing to read the whole bible and understand it from a practical stand point, they will see that man at the core is corrupt, narcissitic and ambitious. The moral code they create is one of convenience that not only helps further their ambitions, but also typically ignores the meek. God has none of those self-centered traits, so the meek are the high priority because the actions of His moral code are selfless actions to enhanse lives of everyone toward a peaceful existance. I believe Dwise is truely an antheist because he appears repulsed by a living God, That he couldn't get half way through the first book of 39 in the Old Testeament or Pauls New Testament guidance of a living God proves it. Dwise does Jesus's simple rules of conduct beause they are obvious actions of peace, he just doesn't like them coming from from an invisible omnipotent source. The God in Genesis doesn't have his fatherly image. Ironic that Jesus is God in both the Old and New Testament. Still Dwise believes in a peaceful coexistance and understands following rules of right and wrong are how we get there. I agree with him about the virtues of Scout Law and Oath. I am curious to see how his moral code can stand up the man who takes the big stick. Barry
Peace is easy when the majority of society follow one set of rules. Well easy within the context of peace versus chaos.

Yes, that is true. A monolithic society always has it easier. But we are not a monolithic society. So what's your solution to that? Have somebody "with the biggest stick" force a single set of rules on all segments of society? Well, yes, throughout history the "biggest stick" approach has been demonstrated to work for a time. Prussia in the German Empire (das Zweite Reich), the British Army in India, Hitler in dem Dritten Reich, a procession of leaders in the Soviet Union, Tito in Yugoslavia, Sadam Hussein in Iraq, countless theocracies with their own versions of inquisitions. Even when done with brute force and ruthless repression, they maintained peace and order within their realms, keeping inter-tribal rivalies and animosity in check, such that it would often erupt violently once that strong "with the biggest stick" was no longer there.

 

What you appear to be proposing is that we need that "biggest stick" to be wielded by your god in order to force everyone's compliance to one set of rules. Is that what you are proposing? A theocratic dictatorship to repress all those who are not among the theologic "chosen"? You appear to want that, but how much will you still want it when it's somebody else's theology that's in charge and you are among the oppressed?

 

Well, as it turns out there is one set of rules in this country which I have solemnly sworn to protect and defend when I enlisted and reenlisted, so about seven times: The Constitution of the United States of America. It is not perfect, but it does provide the framework for this country to exist and to function with a diverse population. Part of the secret of letting it work is for us to remember that we are Americans first and whatever else second. Just as in Scouting we must place Scouting first and our own theology after that. If we do not keep those priorities straight, then we will end up trying to use America and Scouting to serve our own political and religious agendae, to the detriment of all. Placing religion and religious differences above country and society is a proven way to splinter a pluralistic society and generate acrimony, strife, and violence, especially if one group gains political advantage over the rest (eg, Protestants vs Catholics in Ireland, Sunis vs Shites throughout the Middle East).

 

Except for the civil war' date=' the United States has had a relativlye peaceful history because the guy with the biggest stick has been the Judeo Christian God.[/quote']

Now, you know that is simply not true. From the beginning there were regional differences that threatened our new nation, such that portions of the Constitution were compromises (eg, appeasing the South by making slaves fractional people in order to not eliminate them altogether from calculating representation by population). Slavery and the divisions it caused in our society were there from the beginning, but repeated compromises allowed us to keep from resolving the problem, letting it continue to fester until it finally came to a head with the Civil War. Your view of that "relativlye peaceful history" ignores the political strife of that time.

 

And YHWH never had one of your sticks and YHWH never ran our government! The closest that we could come to your statement was that for the most part Protestant humans held that "big stick" of political power. They are the ones who abused that power to promote their own religious agendae of imposing their own religion on everyone else, including non-Protestants. They are the ones who had the public schools teach Protestantism and require Protestant prayers and reading from the Protestant Bible, all despite the repeated complaints from the parents of the Catholic students. In one instance, when a bishop in a major city (either Baltimore or Philadelphia, as I recall) merely asked that the Catholic students be allowed to read from the Catholic Bible, it triggered three days of violent anti-Catholic rioting. That is the reason why the Catholics created their own parochial school system, in order to escape Protestant oppression and forced indoctrination of their children. And when the Catholics tried to get public school funding for their own schools, the Protestants passed laws and set legal precedence in court cases to prevent the Catholics from ever getting one cent of public school money. Ironically, when in our own time the Protestants started setting up their own private schools and tried to get public school funding for them, it was the same laws and legal precedence that they had erected against the Catholics that they were now facing. Sorry, but there are some people you cannot help but enjoy seeing getting hoisted on their own petard.

 

So then this "the good old days" of "relativlye peaceful history because the guy with the biggest stick has been the Judeo Christian God", what was it really like? The continued imposition and determined protection of slavery, the imposition of sectarian religious laws on the populace, and the oppression of religious minorities. That directly contradicted the Founding Fathers' intent that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority *. Who in their right mind would ever want to go back to that?

 

Oh, but I'm sure you will protest, it also saw Christians fighting to abolish slavery. Yes, that is true. And the Abolitionists did quote from the Bible to support and justify the abolition of slavery. Just as the pro-slave Christians also quoted from the very same Bible in support and defense of slavery, at times even using the very same passages in support of slavery that the Abolitionists were using against slavery. That's the wonderful thing about the Bible. You can use it to support just about any position you want. Which means that a government that would base itself on the Bible could then use the Bible to justify almost any kind of unspeakable act it may choose to commit.

 

BTW, our National Motto for those first 180 years, from our declaration of independence through and past the Second World War, was "E Pluribus Unum" ("Out of Many, One"), a profound statement of commitment to national unity. Sadly, that noble cause was scrapped in 1956 when it was replaced by a religious statement, which is inherently divisive in a pluralistic society, the consequences of which is now grave disunity.

 

{* FOOTNOTE:

The passage from James Madison's A Memorial and Remonstrance reads:

1. ... We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion' date=' no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority. [/quote']

James Madison was the chief architect of the Constitution and he also drafted the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, a few years after he wrote A Memorial and Remonstrance. In the second paragraph, he describes the Wall of Separation, though he called it a "Great Barrier":

The preservation of a free Government requires not merely' date=' that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves. [/quote']

Those "departments of power" are religion and government. The purpose for which A Memorial and Remonstrance was written was to protest a legislative bill that would allot government money to be paid to Protestant ministers. After A Memorial and Remonstrance was published, that bill died without being put to a vote and Thomas Jefferson's Religious Liberty bill was voted into law instead.

I have reprinted A Memorial and Remonstrance at http://dwise1.net/rel_lib/memorial.html, though you could Google for it elsewhere if you wish. It should be required reading.

}

 

When man grabs (is given) the big stick' date=' it is usually by political will and that never last long.[/quote']

The thing is that it is always man and never any god who wields political power. Please name at least one god who ever actually ruled a country personally; the Japanese Emperor doesn't count, because he is merely descended from a goddess, Amaterasu, and hasn't actually wielded power since circa 900 CE. Oh yes, that man in power may claim to be acting for God and be doing God's will, but we both know that's not what's happening. It is always Man. So what we must ensure is that we never allow any man to wield the power of God, which is what theocracy is. And, be honest now, that is really where your line of reasoning would lead us.

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Who else saw that the discussion leave the reservation after my first point. Qwazse, I enjoy your post, but I think you're half of the discussion is so deep with slavation that DWise's adolescent view of God can't understand value of religious morality, much less Christain morality. Before I try to contribute on a more pragmatic level, I would like to suggest DWise to do a search on "Fruits of the Spirit" and compare them with the Scout Law. Now on the basis of morality, all folks live by a moral code of some kind. For the sake of this dicussion, moral code is the code we use to define acts of right and wrong. Where mankind struggles is having to follow a moral code with parts they may not agree. Usually folks are willing to take the good with the bad, but when the masses of a society decide to follow only those parts of the code they pick and choose, chaos eventually follows.And then one way or another order will be forced by what I call the person with the biggest stick. Except for the civil war, the United States has had a relativlye peaceful history because the guy with the biggest stick has been the Judeo Christian God. Peace is easy when the majority of society follow one set of rules. Well easy within the context of peace versus chaos. But times are changing, people today or more self centered, which doesn't fit well in a religiously concieved moral code. The main difference between moral code defined by man and code defined by God is that God's moral code is pretty consistant through time, man's code changes fast and often. When man grabs (is given) the big stick, it is usually by political will and that never last long. If a person is truely willing to read the whole bible and understand it from a practical stand point, they will see that man at the core is corrupt, narcissitic and ambitious. The moral code they create is one of convenience that not only helps further their ambitions, but also typically ignores the meek. God has none of those self-centered traits, so the meek are the high priority because the actions of His moral code are selfless actions to enhanse lives of everyone toward a peaceful existance. I believe Dwise is truely an antheist because he appears repulsed by a living God, That he couldn't get half way through the first book of 39 in the Old Testeament or Pauls New Testament guidance of a living God proves it. Dwise does Jesus's simple rules of conduct beause they are obvious actions of peace, he just doesn't like them coming from from an invisible omnipotent source. The God in Genesis doesn't have his fatherly image. Ironic that Jesus is God in both the Old and New Testament. Still Dwise believes in a peaceful coexistance and understands following rules of right and wrong are how we get there. I agree with him about the virtues of Scout Law and Oath. I am curious to see how his moral code can stand up the man who takes the big stick. Barry
The main difference between moral code defined by man and code defined by God is that God's moral code is pretty consistant through time' date=' man's code changes fast and often.[/quote']

Our opinions differ here. You have presented your, so I will present mine.

 

Morality really has nothing to do with the supernatural, nor the supernatural with morality -- your claim is that it does, given your premise that a supernatural entity dictated the moral code that's in the Bible. Rather, morality has everything to do with people and societies and how people interact within societies and within all social interactions. Whether actions are to be deemed right or wrong depends on whether the outcome of those actions was beneficial to the social order and, hopefully, either beneficial or at least minimally detrimental to the people involved. That can be a delicate balance that doesn't always work out fairly. Over time, society learns what works and what doesn't and, since it's far better to learn from others' mistakes than from your own **, parents teach their children the moral lessons that they have learned. The only real role of religion in that process is that it is the religious organization that codifies the rules, preserves them, and passes them on to each new generation. And as an added "bonus", the moral rules also get incorporated in the society's mythology in order to "explain" where they came from and why you need to follow them, as well as lending some extra authority to them. That's all that happened with the Bible. Those rules were codified in the society, got written down, and other societies ended up adopting them as well. For that matter, it appears that a lot of Mosaic Law, if not most, was itself adopted from the Code of Hammurabi, though Mosaic Law tends to be far more strict about the rights of slaves and their children, but we would expect stricter rules in a harsher environment where your society's very survival is in more peril than in a city. In that case, since the god and goddess Bel and Anu were the Givers of the Hammurabic Code, you should be thanking them and YHWH for your "God's moral code".

 

Your "God's moral code" was not "pretty consistant through time", at least not at first. It was a conceit of the Romantic Era that folk tales and traditions went back several centuries, but in reality they only went back no more than a few generations. An oral tradition is very flexible and able to change in a very short time. For example, an isolated African tribe, the Dogon, had a mythology based on the star Sirius. It wasn't until the late 19th century that we discovered Sirius B, a faint white dwarf companion to Sirius A which is invisible to the naked eye and difficult to see through a telescope, but the Dogon's mythology included reference to that smaller companion. However, it turns out that news of that discovery had somehow made its way to the Dogon who immediately modified their oral tradition to include it. Similarly, in examining the creation myth of the Mandan Indians we find it repeatedly changing drastically within a few generations to reflect their radically changing life-styles through contact with Europeans. In contrast to oral tradition which can change rapidly, written traditions change very slowly. Students of Western European languages know that you can hardly understand at all your own language a mere 500 years ago, whereas Modern Greek words, which have been written since ancient times, are still written very similar to their ancient counterparts. So your "God's moral code" being "pretty consistant through time" only happened when it got written down. Before then, it changed quite regularly as needed.

 

So what is the constant factor over time? Man's nature, which is genetic. It takes a long time for our genome to change, especially if there's no selective pressure to force it to; at most, the selective pressure has been to be more sociable and more willing to learn and follow social rules, with those who cannot being eliminated from society. The circumstances that a society faces can change rapidly, but human nature remains constant. You could come up with arbitrary rules that you think will work well, but there will often be unforeseen consequences that you could never anticipate. A few such rules just might work and they will be kept and incorporated into "God's moral code" (meaning become part of the moral code and teachings that get passed on to the next generation), even though most arbitrary rules will have to be abandoned or corrected (and then possibly abandoned) because they just didn't work. We keep what works and we drop what doesn't. And within a generation or two, everyone will believe that it's been that way since forever. Until it gets written down.

 

{** FOOTNOTE:

For example, a co-worker and good friend (and a Christian fundamentalist) was a problem teenager, so he spent a few years on a boys' ranch. When he arrived, they only had four rules that mainly concerned attending chapel and cleaning up and being at meals on time. By the time he left, they had accrued more than 30 more rules, all of them due to him and basically saying, "You remember that stupid thing that Steve did? Don't do that!" Even at present, a lot of laws that get passed are in reaction to people doing something stupid that caused problems, though at least now it's no longer Steve' fault.

}

 

 

When man grabs (is given) the big stick' date=' it is usually by political will and that never last long. If a person is truely willing to read the whole bible and understand it from a practical stand point, they will see that man at the core is corrupt, narcissitic and ambitious. The moral code they create is one of convenience that not only helps further their ambitions, but also typically ignores the meek.[/quote']

Granted. And it is even more true of theocracies than it is for representative governments, because in a theocracy you have Man ruling in the name of God with the power of God and answerable to nobody but God, whom nobody has ever heard voicing any objection to what the theocrats are doing in His name.

 

The meek have a much better chance of it with a representative government, since that kind of government is at least supposed to be answerable to the People. As is stated in the Declaration of Independence and in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America. It doesn't always happen as it should, but it's supposed to. Which is far more than can be said of any theocracy.

 

And that brings us right back to James Madison's observation that one result mixing religion and government will be the majority trespassing on the rights of the minority, of the meek. And it's the Bill of Rights that seeks to prevent that, not government by the Bible.

 

 

God has none of those self-centered traits' date=' so the meek are the high priority because the actions of His moral code are selfless actions to enhanse lives of everyone toward a peaceful existance. [/quote']

So what does God have to do with government, outside of being a convenient excuse for ruthless rule by theocrats?

 

 

You are obviously enthralled by your theology and its conclusions, which is fine and good ... for you. Other peoples' beliefs similarly suit them just fine and their right to their own beliefs, as yours with yours, must be guaranteed. And through Scouting comes the further requirement of respecting the beliefs of others, which BSA fails at miserably.

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Wow, Dwise1, I just saw all this and we could have an enjoyable discussion. Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well and you wrote A LOT. But I will give you this, when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God. When you speak of any god, you refer to the actions of man. Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples, it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion. In simplicity, God is omnipotent, He is perfect. Man is neither, not even close. Oh as for the 39 books of the NT, you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters. Barry

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Wow, Dwise1, I just saw all this and we could have an enjoyable discussion. Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well and you wrote A LOT. But I will give you this, when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God. When you speak of any god, you refer to the actions of man. Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples, it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion. In simplicity, God is omnipotent, He is perfect. Man is neither, not even close. Oh as for the 39 books of the NT, you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters. Barry
Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well ...

I agree. Plus it can be temperamental, apparently depending on the health of the forum software itself. I actually had the experience of trying to edit what I had written in the middle of a line and the editor kept throwing me back to the end of the line. Very frustrating and difficult to do anything constructive. It seems to be working better now, FWIW.

 

So instead of using the built-in editor, use your own favorite text editor and then copy-and-paste from it into the forum. Very simple and easy to do. Just start entry of a comment or post and instead of typing the message you paste from your favorite text editor. That's been my SOP for decades.

 

... and you wrote A LOT.

I was just responding to what you had posted. If you hadn't tossed in all that extraneous stuff about big sticks and claims about pre-Civil War US politics, my response would have been much shorter.

 

But I will give you this' date=' when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God.[/quote']

Yes, of course. As would anyone who actually believes in a real living god. Yes, I do realize that is what you believe and that that is what you are speaking of. Why would you think that I don't?

 

Is it that you wish to require me to think and believe the same as you do?

 

God is omnipotent' date=' He is perfect.[/quote']

Yes, of course. Those are the attributes that your theology has assigned to your god and you do believe that. I do realize all that. Why would you think that I don't?

 

Is it that you wish to require me to think and believe the same as you do?

 

Man is neither' date=' not even close.[/quote']

I most certainly agree with you on that one. Do you think that I don't?

 

When you speak of any god' date=' you refer to the actions of man.[/quote']

Yes, because that is what we do actually see. Governments are all man-made and man-operated. Religions are all created by man, developed by man, and operated by man. Theologies are all man-made, man-developed, man-taught, and man-interpreted.

 

You tried to claim that God was in charge of this country in the period before the Civil War. No, Man was in charge. You want to credit God for that time of "peace", when actually that was a time of political turmoil, fervent biblical defense of slavery, and oppression of religious minorities. If that was your religion in charge during that time, then by the Matthew 7:20 Test yours is a false religion -- read Matthew 7:20 and the related verses next to it to see that that is Jesus' assessment.

 

Of course, if you decide that your claim is not correct and that it was Man in charge of the government throughout our history, then of course the Matthew 7:20 Test would not apply in this case.

 

I did ask you:

The thing is that it is always man and never any god who wields political power. Please name at least one god who ever actually ruled a country personally; ... .

Well, can you think of even one such god?

 

Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples' date=' it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion.[/quote']

What makes you think that I don't understand your side of the discussion?

 

Are you trying to say that in order for us to even have a discussion, then I must think and believe the same way as you do? That would be extremely unreasonable of you.

 

Do you believe that in order to understand a position one must actually hold and believe that position? In creation/evolution discussions, I have come across creationists who held that position. And from ex-Christian Fundamentalists I have read discussions of the mental processes involved and their consequences. But I will not bring it in here.

 

Quite obviously, my beliefs are different than yours. If that is something that you cannot deal with, then I feel sorry for you.

 

Remember, nothing divides people and splinters societies more than religious differences. At least within Scouting any and all religious differences are supposed to be put aside in favor of the principles of Scouting. Remember, both Duty to God and A Scout is Reverent entail respect for the religious beliefs of others:

pg 8

A Scout is Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

 

pg 550

... To do my duty to God ...

Your family and religious leaders teach you how to know and love God and the ways in which God can be served. As a Scout, you do your duty to God by following the wisdom of those teachings in your daily life, and by respecting the rights of others to have their own religious beliefs.

 

BTW, I really do recommend reading James Madison's A Memorial and Remonstrance. I posted it at http://dwise1.net/rel_lib/memorial.html or you could Google for other postings. Since Madison wrote it a few years before drafting the First Amendment, it provides us with the original intent of the Establishment Clause. Important reading.

 

Oh as for the 39 books of the NT' date=' you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters.[/quote']

Yes, in my first attempt fifty years ago, I didn't get that far. That does not in any way mean nor imply that I haven't done any more reading since then! Whatever could have given you the idea that I hadn't?

 

And it's the Old Testament that consists of 39 books in the King James Version. The New Testament consists of 27 books, as per the KJV. Plus Genesis has fifty chapters, not 39. And the story of Lot's incestuous rape (not seduction, since he was passed out ("he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose", Gen. 19:33) and was hence incapable of giving consent) by his daughters is in Chapter Nineteen (19) of Genesis, not in the first chapter of Genesis as you are claiming. Really! What are you talking about?

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Wow, Dwise1, I just saw all this and we could have an enjoyable discussion. Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well and you wrote A LOT. But I will give you this, when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God. When you speak of any god, you refer to the actions of man. Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples, it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion. In simplicity, God is omnipotent, He is perfect. Man is neither, not even close. Oh as for the 39 books of the NT, you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters. Barry
I think "first book" was intended instead of "first chapter".

 

And that's part of what Genesis offers ... That no matter how incredible God may be, Man is equally incredible, "imperfect" has become too polite of a term. Man breaks covenants, destroys relationships, kills then boasts about it, gets rescued from calamity then curses his sons while drunk, builds absurd monuments to his greatness, sneaks around, negotiates compromises, assaults angels, or while being rescued by angles disdains their advice, builds absurd patriarchies that drive females to acts against their own bodies.

 

In short, Man is not a scout.

 

The book ends with The People being subsumed into a great and noble culture (through the mercy of a once cast-off son). Most likely they will become one more glyph on some Egyptian monument.

 

Then in the next book, God comes along and says, "Have I got a deal for you ..."

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Wow, Dwise1, I just saw all this and we could have an enjoyable discussion. Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well and you wrote A LOT. But I will give you this, when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God. When you speak of any god, you refer to the actions of man. Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples, it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion. In simplicity, God is omnipotent, He is perfect. Man is neither, not even close. Oh as for the 39 books of the NT, you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters. Barry
The text editor doesn't work. Everytime I try to do a copy, I'm kicked out of the Scouter.com editor. I'm kicked out when I hit return to start a new paragraph. That is why my post are just one big long paragraph. Sorry. Quazse, I used chapter instead of book because I wasn't sure DWise knew the difference. My bad, I oppoligize to both of your. Barry

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I read some of your replies to my post and they are a bit out there. I think you must have me confused with someone else because I didn't write anything about the Civil War. I simply spoke a few words on just morality. You kind of went off in a lot of directions. By t he way I'm keeping this response simple, I hit return by mistake and as a result I'm typing this reply a second time. What a mess. My message was simple, as long as man follows man's morality, there will never be peace because man's morlity changes almost daily from ambitioin and greed. God is neither ambitious or greedy and His morality never changes. What did you think of the Fruits of the Spirit? That is a small example of character traits God ask man to display. Kind of like the Scout Law. Barry

 

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Wow, Dwise1, I just saw all this and we could have an enjoyable discussion. Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well and you wrote A LOT. But I will give you this, when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God. When you speak of any god, you refer to the actions of man. Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples, it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion. In simplicity, God is omnipotent, He is perfect. Man is neither, not even close. Oh as for the 39 books of the NT, you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters. Barry
Eagledad, what do you mean by 'do a copy'? If you're just trying to copy text, that is working fine for me. It could be a problem with your browser, I'm using Firefox. Or else I may be misinterpreting the problem.

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Wow, Dwise1, I just saw all this and we could have an enjoyable discussion. Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well and you wrote A LOT. But I will give you this, when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God. When you speak of any god, you refer to the actions of man. Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples, it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion. In simplicity, God is omnipotent, He is perfect. Man is neither, not even close. Oh as for the 39 books of the NT, you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters. Barry
You are understanding the problem correctly and it is a browser problem. Barry

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Barry, what you say may be true but the only morality I get comes from my fellow man. Exactly what is the conduit that you received your morality education from God? Even the Fruits of the Spirit (Galations) can be argued that this came from man. Just because a man tells me that it came from God does not exhibit proof to me. That's why "faith" is such a big deal in almost 100% of religions. P.S. Yeah, with Internet Explorer any "enter" kicks me out too.

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Wow, Dwise1, I just saw all this and we could have an enjoyable discussion. Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well and you wrote A LOT. But I will give you this, when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God. When you speak of any god, you refer to the actions of man. Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples, it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion. In simplicity, God is omnipotent, He is perfect. Man is neither, not even close. Oh as for the 39 books of the NT, you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters. Barry
Sorry. Quazse' date=' I used chapter instead of book because I wasn't sure DWise knew the difference.[/quote']

So then another of your adolescent insults. Duly noted.

 

The text editor doesn't work.

Could be some kind of incompatibility between the forum software and your browser. I now have little problem using Chrome under Windows 7. Though that might also depend on what kind of a mood the forum software is in.

 

Chrome is free, BTW.

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I read some of your replies to my post and they are a bit out there. I think you must have me confused with someone else because I didn't write anything about the Civil War. I simply spoke a few words on just morality. You kind of went off in a lot of directions. By t he way I'm keeping this response simple, I hit return by mistake and as a result I'm typing this reply a second time. What a mess. My message was simple, as long as man follows man's morality, there will never be peace because man's morlity changes almost daily from ambitioin and greed. God is neither ambitious or greedy and His morality never changes. What did you think of the Fruits of the Spirit? That is a small example of character traits God ask man to display. Kind of like the Scout Law. Barry

I read some of your replies to my post and they are a bit out there.

My minister did talk to me about my tendency to cast pearls before swine. Though he was referring to BSA at the time.

 

I think you must have me confused with someone else because I didn't write anything about the Civil War.

No, I'm not the one who's confused:

Except for the civil war' date=' the United States has had a relativlye peaceful history because the guy with the biggest stick has been the Judeo Christian God.[/quote']

Your words exactly, character-for-character, since I had copy-and-pasted that from the forum so that I could work on my reply off-line.

 

I simply spoke a few words on just morality.

Many more than just a few.

 

You kind of went off in a lot of directions.

I was just responding to what you had posted. And, like in responding to a Gish Gallop, I had a lot to explain to you. Again with casting pearls before swine!

 

FYI, the "Gish Gallop" was the name given to a favored debating trick^H^H^H^H^Hactic of creationist Dr. Duane Gish. Within a couple minutes he would rapidly rattle off several utterly false and deceptive claims to which his opponent could not possibly respond to effectively within the debate format (10 to 20 minutes to respond) because a proper response would easily take a few hours. And since a written debate precludes use of the Gish Gallop, most creationists will absolutely refuse a written debate.

 

My message was simple' date=' as long as man follows man's morality, there will never be peace because man's morlity changes almost daily from ambitioin and greed. God is neither ambitious or greedy and His morality never changes.[/quote']

And just what exactly is God's morality? By that, I mean which parts of the Bible enumerate it and which parts don't? Obviously it has to include the long list of laws set down in the Torah, including forcing a rape victim to marry her rapist. Or would you prefer to leave that one out, since it offends our present-day sense of morality? But why should you allow our present-day sense of morality to overrule God's morality? The fundamentalist/evangelical/conservative/what-have-you rhetorics that I repeatedly hear is that God's morality is absolute. And yet I repeatedly see such Christians picking and choosing which parts they want to observe and which they don't. The reasoning/excuse I hear is that the Christ came to fulfill those laws, so they don't apply anymore, and yet those same Christians' calls for imposing God's morality on the rest of society includes those very laws that supposedly don't apply anymore. To the rest of us, that looks like blatant hypocrisy. Just exactly who decides which parts of God's "absolute" morality is to be observed and how exactly do they decide that?

 

Which brings us to a necessary discussion, for which we can grant your premises for sake of this discussion, those premises being the existence of your God and that the rules of God's morality are in the Bible and the corrupting influence of Man (which I do not disagree with). Also for sake of this discussion, we will not address the problems of picking and choosing which parts of God's morality to apply, though we will still recognize that such picking and choosing does occur.

 

OK, you want Man to follow God's morality. How will that happen? More specifically, who would implement it? God? Never has happened. Rather, it's always Man who does the implementing. It's always Man who forms governments and makes laws. It's always Man who creates and administers religions. And it's always Man who picks and chooses which parts of God's morality to implement. How did you describe Man?

If a person is truely willing to read the whole bible and understand it from a practical stand point' date=' they will see that man at the core is corrupt, narcissitic and ambitious. The moral code they create is one of convenience that not only helps further their ambitions, but also typically ignores the meek.[/quote']

In your view, Man, being corrupt, creates laws to advance his own greed and ambition. So what will happen when corrupt Man creates laws to implement God's morality? The same thing that we have seen happen over and over again throughout two millennia of Christian history, Man using God's morality to create laws that advance his own greed and ambition while typically ignoring the meek. It has happened before and it will happen again. A shining example is in how corrupt Man used the Bible to make convincing arguments for slavery. The Bible is a wonderful tool for corrupt Man, since it can be used to support almost any position or cause.

 

How then would corrupt laws based on God's morality be any different from laws based on Man's morality? Most importantly, corrupt laws based on God's morality would be immune to change, because to question those laws would be to question God Himself. Or at least that is how it would be viewed. OTOH, man-based laws are readily open to being questioned and either repealed or replaced. But nobody would dare to even consider questioning any God-based laws. Except for atheists, but they would be driven deep underground under a God-based government.

 

Please note that this is what would happen whether or not God exists, the Bible is the literal Word of God, or those rules in the Bible are God's morality. That is what would happen whether your religious beliefs are right or whether mine are. The only real difference between us on this question is that you somehow believe that Man can be perfect, whereas I do not believe that. Just as I cannot believe in the infallibility of Man, unlike biblical literalists.

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I read some of your replies to my post and they are a bit out there. I think you must have me confused with someone else because I didn't write anything about the Civil War. I simply spoke a few words on just morality. You kind of went off in a lot of directions. By t he way I'm keeping this response simple, I hit return by mistake and as a result I'm typing this reply a second time. What a mess. My message was simple, as long as man follows man's morality, there will never be peace because man's morlity changes almost daily from ambitioin and greed. God is neither ambitious or greedy and His morality never changes. What did you think of the Fruits of the Spirit? That is a small example of character traits God ask man to display. Kind of like the Scout Law. Barry

What did you think of the Fruits of the Spirit? That is a small example of character traits God ask man to display. Kind of like the Scout Law.

I came across that in my fundamentalist Christian training as a kind of fellow traveller. And it has come up a number of times in on-line discussions.

 

Yes, they are ideal qualities as are the qualities of the Scout Law, but the comparison seems to end there. The qualities in the Scout Law are ideals to which we are aspire, but in the theology that I was taught and which was the context of the other on-line discussions, the Fruit of the Spirit is not something that we can aspire to but rather is something that we acquire through the Spirit. IOW, the qualities in the Scout Law are standards that we are to work towards acquiring, whereas the qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit are just something that's supposed to happen to Christians. Now, the story may well be different in other of the myriad forms of Christian theology, but that was what I was taught and have always heard. It was the same story with morality, for which I can find no place in Christian theology and which fundamentalists have told me is supposed to just happen when you're saved -- needless to say, I'm not buying that, but that's their story and they're sticking with it.

 

And it turns out that this "it's supposed to just happen" view of the Fruit of the Spirit has played a role in many Christian youth eventually leaving the faith and even religion altogether. Various conservative Christian youth ministries and conservative polls arrive at figures of 65% to 80% of young people raised in the conservative Christian faiths (including fundamentalists and evangelicals) losing their faith by the time they reach young adulthood with many if not most of them leaving religion altogether. In testimonials on ex-Christian forums, I have seen the issue of the Fruit of the Spirit raised a number of times, wherein the individual could not understand why it wasn't working for him/her, leading to uncertainty and insecurity about actually being saved, etc, which then led to other problems. It's like I keep trying to get creationists to understand, that they need to be careful what they teach their kids because their kids will take it seriously and will come back to them when they discover that it doesn't work.

 

 

But was Paul right about what the Fruit of the Spirit was? After all, he was writing that when Christianity was just starting out and was listing ideals, whereas we have had nearly two millennia of practical real-world observations of Christianity in action. And in that time, what fruits have we found? Bigotry, intolerance, oppression, tyranny, hypocrisy, willful ignorance (especially prevalent in "creation science"), just to name a few. I could ask whether, according to Christian doctrine, a good tree can bring forth evil fruit? But that would just be more pearls cast before swine.

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Wow, Dwise1, I just saw all this and we could have an enjoyable discussion. Sadly my Scouter.com editor doesn't work well and you wrote A LOT. But I will give you this, when I speak of my God, I am speaking of a real living God. When you speak of any god, you refer to the actions of man. Until you can at least keep the discussion apples to apples, it will be hard to understand at least my side of the discussion. In simplicity, God is omnipotent, He is perfect. Man is neither, not even close. Oh as for the 39 books of the NT, you said you didn't even get to th epart where Lot was suduced by his daughters. That is in the first quarter of the first chapter of 39 chapters. Barry
I'm curious. Are there any browsers that are NOT free?

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