the_best_theory_gainst_the_bible
sabbie that i have heard all week comes from a girl on the bus the other night

she said 'i figure it this way. if it was a phone book froom 1000AD, it needs to be updated"

shes never actually used a phone book then, but the theory is sound and i kinda like it
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angry j. "it" is just a theory. 030626
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angry j. but a good choice for the system. 030626
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sabbie ohh, touched a nerve there i think

is unrepentant
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angry j. bible?
system?
human nature?
i dislike today's mtv, too.
recycling might help, sure!
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silentbob but i dislike yesterday's mtv, too 030629
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shorlove " " 030630
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megan http://www.the-case-for-christ.com/
check this out guys
it's pretty interesting
a book written by an athiest
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silentbob it certainly was not written by an atheist. if any of you actually go to that page, click "About Us" and you'll see, its a christian webpage, not an atheist one. 030701
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megan he was atheist, converted to Christian. give it a chance 030816
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bandersnatch who writes a book (or states any opinion for that matter) or what he believes does not matter. all that matters is what is said, and if it makes sence or not. 030816
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bandersnatch i havent been to the site, but in my church (when i used to go) we talked about this topic. and were presented with 3 conclutions to be drawn: A: he lied about everything and was a fraud trying to get famous/rich/or something like that. B: he was insane, thaught everything he said was true, but he was just crazy. or C: he is who he said, and was telling the truth.

without going into too much detail i must say that C is the only one that makes any sence. there is no way he was a con-artest, or a nut.

but a few years ago i thought of somethng: what if there is a fourth option i havent thought about or looked up?
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silentbob D) He was a nice guy and a religious icon, but all the shit about him coming back from the dead and being the son of God was made up as an example to prove their point and to teach future generations.

The truth is we have no idea. We have no way of knowing. Everything we think we know and believe is just things we've been taught.


But anyway.

you are right about what it says being what matters. not who wrote it. so that part should have been excluded. because that would be like saying "A book written by a child." because he was once a child but grew into an adult

anyway. uhm. yeah. i'm not trying to compare being atheist to being a child, as if its just a matter of time before all atheists become christians or something.

But i think its an analogy that... has.. some merit.

the end.
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misstree i used to be a wiccan, and when my beliefs changed i was no longer a wiccan.

ya... do i need to go into the whole defining atheists and agnostics speech again? hmmmmmmm? *taps her hand with a rolled-up newspaper.*

keep your foma straight.
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shoccolo well, updated would be nice...

if we had some sort of reference to today's siety, and how to be good in it, i think the bible could be taken a little more seriously, or at least less guffawed at...
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shoccolo um, today's society.

missed couple letters there...
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mj what is the quote from hhgttg... jesus was a very good man who got nailed to a cross for saying that everyone should be nice to eachother? 030818
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dB It matters not if the bible is a work of fiction or not. What matters is that it's outdated and no longer required in todays society.

God was needed 2000, even 100 years ago to explain so many things that we did not know or understand. People took the human way out of explaining things - the lazy way - by saying "it's gods plan" and "god made it so" because if man is going to be inferior to anybody or anything it has to be the creator of the universe because man can not imagine anything other than the creator of the universe being better than him at something.

Now man can explain lots of things. And we've done marvelious things with sticks and sand like make computers and ships and guns and microscopes. We can explain, do, invent and make more things now then we ever could before and slowly the God Explanation has died off.

Eventually we will no longer need god at all, but for the moment many do. Because man is fallable and so many bad things happen that we need to blame on someone or have some belief to confort them.

If you are one of these people, you are wrong. but you'll die and your children won't believe the same way you do, and they may - finally - be right.
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misstree humanity will always need god, or something close to it. we will always need a reason that kittens get hit by cars, a how and why this whole kaleidoscope universe was created, something to comfort us that death isn't just Nothingness. we will always need someone to turn to for comfort in our darkest times, something telling us to resist temptation, that there are things you shouldn't do. we will always need something binding us together. we will always need the belief that there is something out there, that there is something that cares (for most religions), that this meat contraption is scondary to Something Important and if we make it through it'll all be okay. science doesn't provide that, atheists are a form of spiritual anarchists, and until every human is secure enough in themselves to find those answers without guidance, we do need the bible, and works like it 030819
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quotree "modern society without religion would be like a crazed maniac without a chainsaw." 030819
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Dafremen I disagree with just about everyone on this page, including the stalwart and sensible Db over there. Society without religion would be what you see on those girls gone wild weekends. It's what you see at raves and what you see when old geezers get together at swinger parties. Society without religion would be like the mall scene from the dawn of the dead with everyone wandering around aimlessly, no direction save perhaps that indicated by the current ruling regime's latest propaganda and mass churning hypnotica. Your religion is this consumer society, you adore it daily without even knowing it. Even those of you who use post consumer recycleables and walk to the park for a group clean up are following the dictates of your RELIGION. Science is your religion, power is your religion, fun is your religion mindless hedonism is your religion. Religion is direction for the directionless, religion is purpose where there stands a restless spirit with limited time and even more limited knowledge of what the F*CK it was that brought it to be ALIVE and SENTIENT. Religion is a collection of many paths that lead in the same direction and although some groups and individuals have gone off trying to forge into the weeds at the cost of millions of human lives, the alternative would have been FAR worse and the number of lives lost or spent in purposeless misery would have been a far greater tragedy than any Holy War has ever been. This blathe is a room full of maniacs with air guitars held by the neck, over their heads, with both hands, swinging at nothing, titlting at dragons that aren't there, no windmills, nothing. Enjoy..you can do no more harm here than the propagation of any other half-thought-out drivel has done. Then again, wasn't that YOUR complaint against religion? That half-thought out drivel can be dangerous? Misguided fools? Or hypocrites? Seems this group's ramblings have a lot more in common with religious rhetoric than anyone noticed at first.

P.S. The Bible has had more of its places and characters verified archeologically than any other text in history. The Bible is, at the very least a VERY interesting read for those who seek after enlightenment. I would recommend it (along with quite a few others) for anyone that truly seeks after the Path.

P.P.S. First dingleberry that mistakes me for a hardcore Christian or a Bible thumper because I defend religion's place in the world gets my "Who thinks anymore?" award.
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??????? And anyone who mistakes you, Dafremen, for anything but a man-sized turd gets the "Oops, I didn't realize Dafremen was a man-sized turd" award.

So what if life were like one big rave? Assuming that RaveWorld would be filled with endless epicurean delights, Who knows? Without religion, we might have more "immorality" of a certain type (sexual deviance, drug abuse), but we'd likely have less "immorality" of another type (abortion clinic bombings, jihad). So who's to say (except you, of course) that this hedonistic RaveWorld wouldn't result in a "better" life for more people (in the utilitarian sense)? I'm not Bentham, so I wouldn't attempt to quantify and compare the resultant happiness of either RaveWorld or GodWorld.

I can say, though, Dafremen, that you have no idea what a world without religion would look like. (Neither do I.) But although you pretend to, you don't actually know if a world without God would be "better" or "worse."

Oh, and something else: Is consumerism pointless? Sure. Science? In many ways. But so is your so-called "direction." It's all equally pointless. And there's no way, save for your loving embrace of the naturalistic fallacy, to say otherwise. So stop moving from the descriptive to the evaluative, Daffo; your values are arbitrary, and I reject them.

Finally, it should be pointed out that your support of religion is based on its supposed utility, not its truth. Yes, religion is a good way to brainwash people and control their lives, which MAY result in the realization of the "greatest happiness for the greatest number," but this says nothing of the "Truth" of one religion or another.

If you want to devalue reason and logic, go right ahead. Hume is fun to read. Just don't replace one sort of dogmatic semi-logic for your own. To wit, you write, "I would recommend [the Bible] (along with quite a few others) for anyone that truly seeks after the Path." The "path"? THE path? There's no path! So please, Dafremen, take your tired Don Quixote references and shove them into your gaping rectum.
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Dafremen Ahh its our friend! WHEREVER have you been? I've been WAITING for you. Come along now give us some VENOM love! And make it GOOOOOD cuz daddy's missed baby so very much. : )

(Oh gawd here comes the fun stuff again! I didn't even have to start it this time!!!)
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??????? Thanks, Daffo. You've always been my favorite Blather Bitch. 030819
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??????? And you never did start it. I did. Maybe I need to remind you how. The impersonation thing, remember? At the end, you had to abandon your support of total free speech 'cause there were dangerous "monkeys with hammers" or some stupid shit like that. Remember how you were like, "In a way I feel responsible" and all that crap? How your "persona" was all an act of some kind? You always like to pretend that you have some view of the grander picture, but you can't fool me.

That said, why not actually respond to what I said about religion? Bitch.
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oldephebe I guess I've got to read the rest of this blathe i think about deciding whether or not to chime in - we all have our own truths and pursue that truth with a singular conviction - I don't know I just don't feel the need to convince someone of a truth that's proven its life to me over and over and over again - but as misstree and Daf and others have so wisely put it my truth is not your is not her or somethin' like that - whatever your faith is, if it really nurtures your spirit your life then you will be nourished by it - quietly confident of it's utility - and lift up your life as the example - joining the cacophanous storm of rhetoric, at least for me obfuscates the essential truth, the life the Bible imparts to me - and it's cool with me if you don't share me view - totally - 030820
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Dafremen "The question of religion isn't about what's wrong with what's right for them. It's about what's right for you."

(Turns to anonymo the mysterious master of punctuation and smiles)

Awww did you need a different response than this? I'm sorry...diddums think I would get all pseudo intellectual with ums and play it baby's way? No no no..this game we play my way..until daddy gets bored of watching baby look for ways to get what baby wants.

Yes, yes indeed there is a certain something in the air. First snide response gets a warm bottle and a bwanky.

(Innane, childish, stupid AND potty humor!! Yay! Who would've thought it could degenerate even further than some dork with a question mark-covered bag over his head trying to flex his head full of gray kibble by poking the water with a stick to see if it makes a ripple. Look at the pretty ripples little guy! Don't be shy, come out come out whoever you are. You can't offend us, it's ok. Ok so how LOW can we go? How LOW can we go?)

} : )
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oldephebe okay - i've read it and uh aside from the unprovoked spumes of venom, i gotta say pretty much what i expected - so i'll just say ditto to my previous post-an i'll say to 7q, I hope he finds his peace or path, and if he has already found it then i'll say i hope your snarling heart finds its rest - you are young now ( i think) but the day will come when all that venom will begin to manifiest physically - i don't know what started the whole thing between you and daf - but hurling expletives and resorting to school yard or pedestrian tactics of intimidation seem to me be aploplectic gyrations of the insecure - you can hardly conscript someone to your cause by flinging profanities around - its childs play - when you're more secure you'll learn not to expend your energies on trivialities - you will see things in your life (maybe) that will steel you, shape you, you will see the true face of harrow - and these gyrations over ideology will seem meaningless - if you are fortunate enough to be taught what it is the Dark is trying to teach - until you endure wisdoms searing rain then i guess you'll continue to throw tantrums - i'm sure Daf doesn't need me to speak for him, I'm sure you can choose to wipe your rectum with the words I've shared - all things will reach an equilibrium - light and dark teaches much - the snarling maw of harrow at your heart - and you living to see the light of a new dawn helps to place a lot of these kinds of gyrations in perspective - feel free to respond however you wish, but know this your words touch only the weak and insecure -
you're obviously a very bright guy, why do you feel the need to sully yourself and your arguments with such ephebic vituperation? Again Daf and I do not see eye on everything and ah he can probably make a far more compelling argument on his behalf - and i probably will not expend my faculties to influence or reason with someone in the throes of a tantrum - and you may have lived more years than me who knows - wisdom is wrought sometimes not in years but in how it is shaped upon your heart - again you're obviously very bright, have you ever considered chanelling some of that fire? one who weilds real power never needs to bellow or harangue - he is already convinced of his primacy and will draw others implicitly to him - just a thought - I try not to get into this vein of thinking, for some will think it arrogant or fortune cookie wisdom - for the man who has been tutored by crucible after crucible, for the man who has been seared in wisdoms rain, for the man who has had his heart his character etched on the real field of battle a lot of these petulant skirmishes appear..hmm well an inefficient use of emotional reserves - such a man steels himself for the real battles to come, quietly building his reserves - readying himself for the day or any day when his advesary unsheaths the arsenals that can tear his flesh, or sever him form his loved ones - it took a few years before I learnt this lesson - it took me facing the glistening maw and learning that I could keep my head - it places all things in perspective - this is what a man needs to learn - when to be tender, when to be taciturn, when to unsheath his own glittering maw of desolation, such knowledge enables us to be tender to our women and children, to our sons, to our lovers, learn to stem the raging river, smooth out it's waters, learn what is true treasure - that will come, hopefully sooner than later - I'm speaking directly to you 7q and also to anyone who has a heart to hear it, who am I? nothing..just a voice..not much more at least in this pristine apparatus - I bear you no ill will

peace
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oldephebe by the way, i began typing my earlier post before i read Dafs last riposte, so ... don't want it to seem like i'm trying to gang up on anyone or rush to anyones aid - so 7q my words WERE written in a kind of solipsistic ah vacuum or something

be well
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Dafremen Oh phebe, you've always piped in right on time and both of us know it, or at least this half of both of us. Anyhow I've got to practice up on st0opid. I'm going back and reading all of the old 7q blathes. He's got a major handle on sto0pid man. 030820
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??????? Daffo,
I don't feel inspired. Try something new. Come on, let's debate something. You defend religion and I'll denigrate it. And let's stop all the metablather and just blather. Okay, Go!

See, my main point is this: You (Cap'n Daffers) don't know what a world without religion would be like. Maybe it would be better. And if it were different, and YOU liked it less, perhaps it'd only be because you're so used to our Christainized world. Think about it, you hapless fruit.

Oldephebe,
Nice attempt at saving my Blathersoul. I enjoyed the imagery of raging rivers, torrents of rain, fire, and of course, gaping maws of despair. Well written, without question, but a bit corny, no? With the advice about what makes a man and your wise words about how to treat "our" women and children, you reminded me of a cross between the titular characters of the old SNL sketch "Lothar of the Hill People" and the brothers Coen comedy "The Big Lebowski."

Obviously, I'm insinuating that your words are relodent of a fictional ancient tribesman and a crippled bombastic windbag (respectively) for a reason. Namely, I'd like to poke fun at the notion that an ability to shamelessly weave together purple phrases of earnest sentimentality indicates in any way that you are "wise." Seriously, I don't see any indication that you have any better perspective on life than myself. And maybe I'm just writhing in the woeful thoes of my own noxious venom (or something overblown like that), but I've never heard anyone who's experienced anything that could be characterized as enduring "wisdom's searing rain" describe it as such. Have you endured wisdom's searing rain, Olde? If so, please explain how. Rend my hardened heart with your knowledge. Tell me how the searing rain of wisdom has carved through the rolling mountains of your soul (or whatever).

Also, what you take as my snarling, venomous hatred (which indicates my deep-rooted insecurities), I would characterize as my Dionysian rejection of conventional rhetorical discourse (Not really, for those who misread irony). And what you see as your beneficent embrace of ahimsa, I see as your oversensitivity. Who's right? I dunno. (Me, I think.)
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??????? By the way, Dafs, while looking for ammo against me, keep in mind that I sometimes posted under 13 question marks, and sometimes some other random number. Oh, and then there were the times when I posted as you. So yeah, get in the mood for talking "sto0pid." Maybe I'll read some of your old posts to get used to talkin' "Do0che Bag." Nah, too much of a time commitment. 030820
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oldephebe 7q wisdom cannot be taught, as far as your other colorful and well written and even funny characterizations of me..well you gotta be you and ah hold on to those things that strengthen you and validate your being - like i said you are obviously a bright guy - it is late and i must confess i really am not in the frame of mind to unravel the whole dionysian/dialectical frame work vis-a-vis how it relates or does not relate or support your attempt to validate your argument - I was speaking out of the heart - and believe me some of the things i could share might chill your blood and i'm not trying to be intimidating (it's obvious you assert your being ah ... really getting late now ..almost 2:00am here - um look I've got no inclination to play tag all night or into tomorrow, but really wisdom (it's searing rain) cannot be taught it must be experienced, if you have to ask ..and no I'm not being smug - i spoke to you 7q out of my heart, i bear you no ill will, nor do i feel compelled to convince you of anything - hold on to your beliefs fiercly, you'll need that tenacity in the years to come - i've had similar sentiments flung at me before, like i said your words do not touch me as i'm sure mine probably shimmer and fall to shatter before they touch the tomb of your ears ... i think there's plenty of room in this universe for you and I and folks who don't agree with either one of us - i suppose Daf will lay his inimitable brand of discourse (couldn't find an apt or humorous euphamism to convey bludgeoning so i brought out the bland) (sigh) a mans true strenghth i'll say again with patience, is his ability to keep himself, to know his fearsome faculties and to choose when to unsheath his sword, when to toy with his advesary..really do I need to go on, I'm a pretty self effacing guy and I try not to take myself too seriously -please my friend it's not such a big deal if you or I don't agree - in the theatre of the soul I'm afraid the kind of logical substaintiation or validation you're demanding simply doesn't quite fit - i speak out of my heart, i'm regret my words have not reached you - if what you have sustains you then go in peace - I've never really looked for myself in another's eyes, unless of course she's ah 9/29/64 but that's another thread - if you were looking for a game of tag, i'm not your guy, respond or don't respond it's cool.
If i do post to this blathe page again it won't be at or towards you -
be well, you've got a keen mind, i'd like to earnestly apologize if you were offended by my words - they were uttered in the spirit of healing, trying to knit disparate parties together - well no that's not accurate -god gentlemen it is late
may your owrds hold you and keep you for the storms that will come

the next time we encounter one another may it be as voices raised in agreement, or maybe not - ideological heteroganeity is not such bad thing

ok Daf you have the floor
and Daf really enjoyed your treatise on astrology this evening
peace
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Dafremen I would just like to reiterate that I think this is fun and that I am enjoying watching our old friend squirm in his seat stomping up and down and using MOST of the tricks available to the pseudointellectual intellectual in his quest for ego ego and hell...who knows? Fun maybe even? Well, regardless fun it is, cuz I said so...



I NEVER SAID that religion was a good thing or that the world wouldn't be a better place without it! I said that Postum makes AWFUL spackle. I'm not sure when the last time you wiped the bacon grease off of your speckstaculls, was, but the word is POSTUM. P-O-S-T-U-M. Now that we've gotten that out of the way. Please continue. You were saying soemthing about being like the God of wine, field and hedonism. Yes, yes, (props head up with hands) very very interesting. What else?
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ferret possum? 030821
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oldephebe ferret and his golden apples

beneath all that whimsy and insouciance, there is a keen, questing mind - but I enjoy what you're doing -

blather on ferret!

needs to follow ferrets example and stop being so serious - harumph!
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Dafremen Heheh.
(Tries to imagine a serious phebe.
Remembers the tang episode.
Stops laughing.)
Oh.
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oldephebe yeah, you got me,
listen Daf I just emailed you a copy of Leon W(can't spell his last name) article in an archived New Republic - regarding Harvards censureship of truly abhorrent neo fascist poet (let me just say that i am poorly informed about the whole brouhaha and so I may be getting some things incorrect so.. read the article)-here's the thing he is an acolyte of Isaiah Berlin - I don't know if you're familiar with his writing or in his camp or not but I'm looking for a seminal essay/eulogy of Berlin by Leon W. - the ah thing I emailed you is a sample of this guys ah unique perspective - sure he's like 70 by now but his mind is agile - his mentor died at 94 or so and He was still a redoubtable personage until the end - the life of the mind eh? but seriously um if I can find this essay,(the eulogy/encapsulation in brief of the great minds' tapestry - the elegant synthesis of the three central forces in the minds life and Berlins adroit, nimble balance between all three - that would provide a jumping off point for us or whomever, whatever, blah! I think the old gentlemen puts it far better than I could, this unique synthesis of ..well you probably already read it on ah oldephebe just can't blah - tortuous, yes I know, maybe I should try coffee or something to focus these thoughts - i think the page has been refreshed several times since 5:12am this morning so..ah let me know what you think - i could have just put this in an email..
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Dafremen Well I do love a good mystery and I adore searching for stuff on the web. (By the way did you know that the whole shaman thing was all I could come up with after 4 weeks of trying to figure out where astrology came from? I wouldn't be surprised to hear that our virgo friend couldn't find that position anywhere. I could just be patting myself on the back, of course.) I'll look for this thing you speak of. Do you have a copy of Ideas and Opinions by Dr. Einstein by any chance? 030821
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oldephebe hell no
oops sorry
ah
that would be no

since we're talking about relativism, sort of um you're not talking about Al are you? He of one of the greatest minds in any arena ever created, are you, and secondly is there some sort of synopsis i could download or print...
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Dafremen It's just a collection of his writings. I ask because I believe he had a eulogy or something that he did honoring the man. I could be wrong. 030821
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Dafremen I was wrong, it was Arnold BERLINer and it was on the occasion of his 70th birthday. 030821
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Dafremen By the way, have you decided whether or not you're an Ophiuchus or not?

see also: Ophiuchus
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oldephebe a what?

as my more street adept ah acquaintences
would respond with arched eybrow in that faux falsetto voice that is implemented to convey incredulity and or ire, usually followed by exagerated pneumatic exhalation between pursed lips and then the oh so menacing furrowed brow "What? Man you must be trippin." that last sentence would be a gradual decrescendo as well as declension of pitch, not a cadenza but bleh, must would be emphasised and the first syllable of trip-ping (sp) hah! in short no - latah man i've gotta go handle mah bih'ness (chuckle I am definately trippin' that's probably why I don't drink alchohol or get high mostly because I can be really silly on just oxygen, wait, What th' - 'ey man I told you to close my do..
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drstrangelove it seems to me that any1 who argues against the bible is a rebel and needs to repent. [of something, little tongue in cheek there]
certainly a book that has lasted as long as the bible has some truth in it even if we do not understand the true intent or meaning making it at least part of Answer to your existence.
a healty respect is all that is really required. as well as for all explanations to our existence.
[end of pontification]
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Dafremen Well put. That's all I ask for anyhow. No need to bash a man's beliefs. The common justification is that religious fanaticism always lies dormant, slowly and insidiously degrading, torturing and killing in the name of Manifest destiny and the commands of a Divine being. Basically, they say religion has killed and persecuted millions.

My response is that it is not the Bible which has done these things. It is the concentrated power of human society in the hands of ambitious(not always maliciously so) individuals that has caused these tragedies to occur again and again.

What was World War II? Nazi Germany? World War I? The Civil War? McCarthyism? The Brown Scare? Idi Amin?
U.S. Foreign Policy? What did they have to do with the Bible? These are no different from The Crusades, Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia and The Stupid war between Israel and Palestine. It's just people fighting over land and power because they haven't TRULY found a path that leads to unity. Whether in the name of God, country or even science. If it wasn't for religion, without those that DO read and DO get it right. Without those who have learned and feel that we are all one and should treat each other well. How much worse would it be? How much of the potential misery contained in human society is never realized because there are those of us who are trying to put into practice these principles for cooperative living:

Not killing each other because we understand that every living thing is entitled to this gift called life. Not killing each other so as not to foster revenge, feuding, lies, fear, guilt, hate.

Not stealing from one another because when we steal from our brothers we steal from our own hand. We become dirt stealing dirt from dirt. We become Earth the consumer, taking in like the Earth consumes her own at the expense of comradery, respect, trust, loyalty and honor.

Not cheating with each other's partner so that we don't foster jealousy and bad feelings, crimes of passion, the disintegration of the family unit, the family bond, the marital trust, the family honor.

Honoring our mother and father so as to learn from past mistakes without making so many of them. So that we may learn that much more and add it to the lessons to be passed on. Honoring them so that our children might one day honor us and ensure that we never want in our later years, that we are not left to die alone in our waning, but will spend our gray years surrounded by our clan and our legacy and our pride and our joy.

Setting one day aside to reflect on the deeper questions. Or perhaps just to finish up old business, take some time to be with one another and to appreciate the beauty and the spectacle of life.

Not to lie or falsely accuse each other so that our word becomes bond and we can spend less time sorting through the bull, more time communicating. So that we don't create resentments and suffering where there was none, so that we don't create conflict, emnity.
The seeds of hate are often sown with words.

Not to covet each other's possessions for the same reasons as above, so as to avoid the desire to be with our brother's partner, so as to avoid the desire to steal or lie in order to get THINGS, that in the end and from the beginning are dirt. Clods of colored, textured dirt in man made shapes to perform man made functions. So as not to covet and hoard food, which split in two could keep both alive and strengthen a bond that would likely increase the odds of survival for both. Or to create such a bond with an unsolicited gift of food, shelter. To do it not out of pity or desire to control. Not out to gratify our egos, but because we do not covet or value the possessions we have or the possessions we see as much as we value the life we have and the people we share it with.

There are more. There are so many nuggest of wisdom everywhere. There are so many reasonable ways to see things that it seems absurd not to try to find the good take on everything and everyone. Why dwell on the acts of history that seem so devoid of any redeeming qualities, when we should use today and tomorrow to prepare ourselves and our children for what's up the road? We already know that ONE thing we have coming are the consequences for the past..let them come, let them be done, let people hold their resolve to not stop living in a way that creates the sort of future that we want for our kids and their kids, even during the rough turbulent ride through our consequences.

Religion isn't a bad thing. It's what some people have used the concentrated power of religious organizations to DO to other human beings that is a bad thing. Let the desire for a world free of power gone amok, be a STARTING point for mutual agreement. Step by step, we can take it from there. When we disagree, instead of trying to argue our points and convince each other, let's move on.
Let's find a common rulebook for society and go from there.
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??????? True, religion is one way to order society -- however uneven and sloppy. Law is another way. Basically, any set of rules that prevent us from slaughtering one another works pretty well. But there's no perfect way to order society, no mystical "path" to universal unity. Moral theorists have searched for such a path for thousands of years, to no avail. Kant's ethics still allows for action that we would probably label "immoral." Mill's utilitarianism does the same.

Do the 10 Commandments make sense? Sure, sort of. Don't kill? Okay. Don't steal? Sure. Don't commit adultery? Well, this one isn't so obvious, but any asshole with half a brain and five minutes to spare can concoct a moron-convincing story about how a society without monogamy would be plunged into a chaotic fuckfest of jealousy and crimes of passion. Each of Moses' tablet-inscribed imperatives -- even the no-work-on-Sunday one -- can be justified in some way. ("We need to rest for a day so that we won't all be overworked and fall asleep at the wheel and have massive pileups on our freeways and stuff.")

Nevertheless, that the Bible has been around so long is no way indicative of its "truth." Keep in mind, the Bible itself has been changed (with the addition of the New Testament). Also, interpretation of the Bible has changed. So yes, the Bible has been around for a long time, but it is not the same Bible that it was long ago. Also, I would say that the Bible's longevity (which, for the reasons just described, must be qualified) is indicative of its usefulness and flexibility rather than its "truth."

And yeah, the Bible hasn't literally killed anyone. Fine. I mean, it's hard for books to physically murder and persecute. The teachings of various religious groups and their beloved religious texts, however, have motivated and justified "immoral" acts.

Of course, the fanatic agent is solely to blame for the abuses he inflicts in the name of dogma, but the tools he uses, while they can't be blamed (being inanimate objects and all) certainly shouldn't be discounted. Here's an analogy: If we want to stop people shooting each other, we can either take away all the guns, or convince people that murder is wrong. (Probably, a combination of both -- moderate gun control mixed with the appropriate socialization -- would work best) So if we want to stop the abuses of religion, we can either reject religion entirely or somehow compel people to stop using religion to motivate murder and violence (or we can combine both Ė interpreting the Bible in a way that allows for more tolerance). Those who defend the Bible on the grounds that the Bible itself isnít to blame for the atrocities committed in its name simply assert the religious analogue of the "guns don't kill people" argument: ("The Bible doesn't kill people -- people kill people." But really, people donít simply kill people Ė people kill people WITH guns, and certain religious fanatics donít randomly kill -- they kill WITH the justification of the Bible; they do so because they believe God supports their use of violence. The point is, the abuses of religious fanatics can be explained only in the context of the religious texts to which they adhere.
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Dafremen I'm sorry. Did you think this was a debate? No no, quite the contrary. Your way only leaves room for a monologue. Carry on. I'll wait until you're done. : ) 030821
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Dafremen Just one interjection into your monologue:

Millions have been killed, maimed and mutilated in the name of modern science by those who use its teachings and its theories to create the tools of mass genocide. Science kills. So let's get rid of science too.

(I knew there was a reasonable compromise in there somewhere.)

Good! So it's settled then:
No science, no religion.

(Hey didn't Lenin already try this?)

} : )
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??????? And Oldephebe, you mostly seem like a nice guy, but I'd like to call your bluff: please, tell me something that "curls my blood" or whatever. I mean, you said it, so back it up, if you would.

I'm trying to anticipate your response. Before, when I asked you to prove the wisdom that you suggested you possessed, you said that "wisdom couldn't be taught." Fine. Bullshit, but fine. But when you say that your words can curl blood, there's no way out (except to decline on account of my "not being open" to the irresistable force of your rarified rhetoric). So that's your response, then? I've closed my mind and thus I cannot appreciate the unbearable beauty of your heart-breakingly poetic onslaught? Okay, then, no need to respond.
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??????? No, Daffo, read more closely. I said that a better solution would be somewhere in between. We can't simply throw out the misused tool. I'm just pointing out that religion does play a part in religious persecution (hence the word "religious"). 030821
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??????? And by the way, since my post responded directly to what you had written, how was it not part of the debate? Are you just drunk on Coke and Beer, you pestilent sack of excrement? 030821
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oldephebe Be well 7q

I'd just knitted this what I in all my conceit would say was a modestly coherent tapestry, argument full of glittering metaphors and implacable logic and even kind of conciliatory, i weary of this vein of inquiry, but my stinking seven thumbed hand accidently deleted it all before I could even finish let alone post it AAGGGHH! so let me try once again
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Strideo coke_and_beer_mix_well_together

for reference
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oldephebe Be well 7q
you have made a very tidy argument(s) passionate, stolidly in line with your earlier utterings, you
i think this great collusion of cocophony has yeilded one morsel of wisom and that would be that it is an imprecise assertion to suggest the extent to which ones words would wheigh upon anothers heart, or conccript them to a cause, or bludgeon them into cravenly abandoning thier own argument in favor of another, so that was an imprecise assertion on my behalf, facile and maybe tinged with ire, or eg evince a really commited state of mind - merits..yes there is some objective merit to your implacable idiosyncratic perception of fealty to your construct or expressed construct of avowed tutledge and venerated orthodoxies - that is before another might take the figuritive scapel, or potters knife, or whatever impliment on would use to release, the implicit truth, dissonance, clarity beneath that redoubtable, immovable block of marble or clay or canvas - a shcoking smear of ejaculation and provocation - primary colors here..and there and what's that over here - hmm this shows audacity this juxtaposition, adumbrative of some latent yes but none the less redoubtable potential, hand me that brush, let us begin to define, and clarify and bring this picture to life blah! ok extended metaphore - my friend sounds so disingenuous so I'll just stick to 7q - wisdom cannot be taught - wisdom is not a part of the theatre of acrimonious spumes of contention or cogitation - it can only be conveyed through experience that's why we bump our heads so many times when mamma says don't touch that , slow down blah blah - I'm talking about the theatre of the soul and you, are waging a battle fueled by the passionate, insularity of your conviction - the apeture is open just a sliver - I am weary, a man carries his Faith in his heart in the souls cathedral, he does not carry it in his head - it is not a function of logic equations no matter how ornate and elegant we can try to make them - I have a faith - I do not feel compelled to prove my Faith, not religion, to you, Faith can only be acquired by the heart - the atrocities of the early Church and the current malfeseances and apostacies and usurpations of the Gospel are the result of flawed, and charismatic predators trying to accomplish what they percieve as God/thier will through the arms of the flesh - keep your tenacity friend, 7q you will need it, oh and if I share everything here then wow somethings you just gotta keep private but for the parameters of your challenge, I'll concede blood cannot be curdle in a pristine construct such as this, words../experience subjective experience - wisdoms searing rain - even an elder of sterling, dreary curmudgeonly logic would pause to concede that, well maybe - be well, if this does not satisfy your appetite for acrimony and acerbity, and confer your victory or my abject obeisance or whatever it is you are looking for from me or Daf - well then - cna't help ya there chief - it has been a distinctly invigorating enterprise

later
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shoccolo i guess the best theory against the bible, despite all the serious discussion here, is:

prove it.
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