PDA

View Full Version : Those Muslims at it again


GonzoTheGreat
01-14-2012, 09:15 AM
Or Missourians (http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/01/12/missouri-republicans-introduce-bill-that-forces-educators-to-teach-creationism-in-schools-and-universities/?fb_ref=facebook&fb_source=tickerdialog_oneline). Whatever, same difference.
Apparently itís that time of year when every Republican controlled legislature introduces bills designed to force Christianity upon us. As I reported earlier on Thursday, the Indiana Senate introduced a bill that allows school boards to force teachers to teach creationism as science. Now Iím disappointed to report that my home state of Missouri is considering a similar bill, except this one is far worse.
On January 10, 2012, the Missouri House of Representatives introduced a bill that would force educators to teach creationism in schools as an accepted science, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of the scientific community rejects creationism as science. But this bill is worse than the Indiana bill. House bill 1227 or the Missouri Standard Science Act skips school boards and directly forces teachers to teach creationism. The bill goes even further than that, however. It not only requires that creationism be taught in elementary and high school, but also in introductory college science courses as well. It also requires textbooks to include creationism.
Fun, isn't it?

I really wonder how those Muslims managed to bribe that many Republicans to make fools of themselves.

This a good example of the Muslim bashing you want me to do, Bryan?

Res_Ipsa
01-14-2012, 10:09 AM
That website you linked, it reads like a 10th graders idea of cutting journalism.

Terez
01-14-2012, 10:57 AM
I like Addicting Info. But it's not really purporting to be serious journalism—it's more like a blog. If you want a different article, try this one (http://ncse.com/news/2012/01/intelligent-design-bill-missouri-007092).

Zaela Sedai
01-14-2012, 11:00 AM
It also looks like a fantastic source of information :rolleyes:

Terez
01-14-2012, 11:05 AM
That, it is.

Tomp
01-14-2012, 11:43 AM
If they want to put religion in the science class, then maybe it's time to put science in the religion class.
Time to analyse religious thinking with scientific experiments. :)

GonzoTheGreat
01-14-2012, 12:24 PM
That website you linked, it reads like a 10th graders idea of cutting journalism.
Is that an endorsement of mandatory Creationism?

I sometimes have some trouble figuring out precisely what right wing persons mean with their utterances.

Sinistrum
01-14-2012, 05:39 PM
I sometimes have some trouble figuring out precisely what right wing persons mean with their utterances.

Well you know logic and reason are often times difficult to comprehend for someone like you who lives off of pathos and delusion.

Seeker
01-14-2012, 10:55 PM
Gonzo's provocative statements aside, I have a question for all the conservatives present. How is this not social engineering? I mean, at best - at best - you have a government trying to legislate religious belief as historical fact. And it's not a stretch to view this as a push to turn Christianity into an official state religion. After all, they're now teaching it in public schools. If that's not an attempt to actively shape the future of society, I don't know what is. It's like I've been saying: conservatives only object to social engineering when it's a social policy they happen to disagree with.


But, more importantly, I wonder. If anyone notices the insidious nature of this law. It's not just that this bill mandates the teaching of religion; it denies students access to actual scientific knowledge - not just to competing theories on the origin of life but to the methods and philosophies that generate those theories. The scientific method is inherently subversive because it trains people to question established doctrine. And I think that's something that the elite in our society find very threatening. So, of course they want "the unenlightened masses" kept away from all that nasty science. I'd be very concerned if I were an American citizen. This bill and the movement that champions it have some obvious proto-fascist leanings.

Ivhon
01-14-2012, 11:12 PM
Interestingly, for all the talk of pathos and delusion, there is not a logical argument coming from the right, here.

Res_Ipsa
01-14-2012, 11:31 PM
Interestingly, for all the talk of pathos and delusion, there is not a logical argument coming from the right, here.

Why? I don't believe I addressed my criticism at the linked article but rather the overall writing of the bloggers. They even had the typical, "bash Michael Moore to show I can be fair", article.

Gonzo was just trying to bait an argument.

I have no problem teaching creationism in public school as I do not have a problem with teaching secular science. Science is just observation and replication it is not anti-religion or pro-religion per se. Rather, there is a decidedly ideological movement within science that treats religion and science as mutually exclusive. I have this discussion with a few close friends. We are in a period of religious backlash resulting from gross abuses of government and religion and it is not inconceivable that there will be a similar backlash against ideological science that purports to the same standard of the catholic church from the dark ages to the enlightenment movement(all or nothing).

Sinistrum
01-15-2012, 01:12 AM
This all assumes that this is a legitimate story and not just some controversy being drummed up by a bunch of hyperventilating liberals panicking about "theocracy" and "fascism." The two "sources" provided have been less than adequate to actually be worthy of starting a real debate on the issues in question. So Res is probably correct when he said this.

Gonzo was just trying to bait an argument.

Thus the only response you've gotten from "conservatives" has been snarkily pointing out their inadequacy and taking a few potshots at the posters clinging to them. Find a legitimate media source running this topic and maybe we can talk about it. Keep posting liberal hit piece blogs and you'll continue to get nothing but derision for the thinly veiled attempts at trolling.

Uno
01-15-2012, 01:20 AM
Thus the only response you've gotten from "conservatives" has been snarkily pointing out their inadequacy and taking a few potshots at the posters clinging to them. Find a legitimate media source running this topic and maybe we can talk about it. Keep posting liberal hit piece blogs and you'll continue to get nothing but derision for the thinly veiled attempts at trolling.

These points may be valid, but the growth of religious extremism all over the world is deeply troubling to me. And I strongly suspect that I'm not the only one here that feels that way. It's frankly baffling.

Cor Shan
01-15-2012, 01:21 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7Q8UvJ1wvk
Summary:
Republicans won't actually allow creationism to be taught in important states, as it will damage science education - which will make Americans less competitive - therefore increasing the chance they'll die poor.

Terez
01-15-2012, 01:24 AM
This all assumes that this is a legitimate story and not just some controversy being drummed up by a bunch of hyperventilating liberals panicking about "theocracy" and "fascism." The two "sources" provided have been less than adequate to actually be worthy of starting a real debate on the issues in question.The link I provided has several other links, including one to the house.mo.gov website, where the bill (http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills121/biltxt/intro/HB1227I.htm) is posted.


Find a legitimate media source running this topic and maybe we can talk about it.
We all agree that the media is generally inadequate when it comes to being informative. But here you go (http://www.nbcactionnews.com/dpp/news/state/missouri/missouri-lawmaker-wants-intelligent-design-taught-alongside-evolution).

lord Mordeth
01-15-2012, 03:20 AM
ideological science that purports to the same standard of the catholic church from the dark ages to the enlightenment movement(all or nothing).

What's the difference here, I wonder? Quite simply that the Church based its truth-claims on some stories people wrote down decades after the 'fact', while science relies on painstaking, tentative and verifiable hypothesis-testing which admits of doubt at the core of its project.

It's the difference between believing things with overwhelming evidence, and believing them with none. Any ancillary talk of scientific 'arrogance' or other speculation as to motives is rumour and innuendo, and evidences a refusal to address the fundamental difference in how science and religion treat evidence.

Creationism should not be taught in science class because it isn't science. I don't know what better reason one needs, really. By the way, the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, to name but two, agree with this assessment. Creationism is not even a mainstream Christian belief, let alone a scientific one.

Uno
01-15-2012, 03:35 AM
It's the difference between believing things with overwhelming evidence, and believing them with none.

Ah, a plea for sanity. I'm not sure it does any good any longer. It appears to me that civilization is crumbling.

lord Mordeth
01-15-2012, 03:43 AM
Ah, a plea for sanity. I'm not sure it does any good any longer. It appears to me that civilization is crumbling.

It's funny, isn't it? Pride is supposed to be a sin in the Abrahamic faiths, yet when you look at the actions and attitudes of their adherents, it's hard to discern a great deal of humility. What's humble about claiming that the world must be 6,000 years old because you read it in an Iron Age text?

Uno
01-15-2012, 03:50 AM
It's funny, isn't it? Pride is supposed to be a sin in the Abrahamic faiths, yet when you look at the actions and attitudes of their adherents, it's hard to discern a great deal of humility. What's humble about claiming that the world must be 6,000 years old because you read it in an Iron Age text?


Beats me, but the resurgence of superstition and irrationality that we've seen over the last couple of decades is something I just don't get. Science has greater explanatory power than ever, yet more and more people seem to retreat into supernaturalism. It makes me despondent.

Tomp
01-15-2012, 04:00 AM
It's funny, isn't it? Pride is supposed to be a sin in the Abrahamic faiths, yet when you look at the actions and attitudes of their adherents, it's hard to discern a great deal of humility. What's humble about claiming that the world must be 6,000 years old because you read it in an Iron Age text?

Actually it's bronze age, I think.

Tomp
01-15-2012, 04:03 AM
Actually it's bronze age, I think.

Do you know what irony is?


It's like bronzy or silvery, but with iron. :p

Sorry, bad joke. :o

Uno
01-15-2012, 04:31 AM
Do you know what irony is?


It's like bronzy or silvery, but with iron. :p

Sorry, bad joke. :o

Sounds discworldly to me. Sgt. Colon thinks irony means "sort of like iron," if I'm not mistaken.

Tomp
01-15-2012, 04:46 AM
Sounds discworldly to me. Sgt. Colon thinks irony means "sort of like iron," if I'm not mistaken.

Baldrick in Blackadder, I'm afraid.

Sorry

GonzoTheGreat
01-15-2012, 05:16 AM
I have no problem teaching creationism in public school as I do not have a problem with teaching secular science.
Do you truly see no difference at all between having the government officially teaching one specific version of a religion (theocracy) and the government teaching science (secularism)?

I am surprised that you totally and completely fail to understand the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. I would have thought that at least a marginal "separation of church and state" idea would've penetrated, but apparently not.

Creationism is not science, and it hasn't been science for over 200 years now. It abandoned that path when geology started, and the Creationists had the choice between admitting that their God did not exist or quitting the evidence based approach entirely. They opted for the latter. (A lot of Christians chose to take the science route, and interpret large parts of the Bible as mythical. They then have no need at all to teach Creationism in schools, as they don't believe that silly superstition themselves either.)


The link I provided has several other links, including one to the house.mo.gov website, where the bill (http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills121/biltxt/intro/HB1227I.htm) is posted.
Doesn't work, does it?

If there is no such bill there, then you've proven nothing.
Yet if there is such a bill there, then the Missouri government is most definitely not a legitimate source for dependable truth, and consequently this does not meet the requirement either.

Actually it's bronze age, I think.
Parts of it may very well be a stone age stories, originally. It was written down in the iron age, though a lot of the stories in Genesis take place during the bronze age.

Davian93
01-15-2012, 10:52 AM
Creationism has a place in public schools...if that public school has a Religions/Comparative Religions course. It doesnt belong in a science classroom. I'm sick of the Right trying to drag us back to the 17th century.

What's next? Witch burnings?

Ivhon
01-15-2012, 02:45 PM
Creationism has a place in public schools...if that public school has a Religions/Comparative Religions course. It doesnt belong in a science classroom. I'm sick of the Right trying to drag us back to the 17th century.

What's next? Witch burnings?

Un-American burnings.

Davian93
01-15-2012, 02:54 PM
Un-American burnings.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_5XvBYfxU_dM/TVMAKmq8PfI/AAAAAAAAQVw/0JwXgU1dCs4/Joe%20McCarthy%20holding%20list%20of%20Communists-8x6.jpg

Likes the sound of that...

Terez
01-15-2012, 03:34 PM
Beats me, but the resurgence of superstition and irrationality that we've seen over the last couple of decades is something I just don't get. Science has greater explanatory power than ever, yet more and more people seem to retreat into supernaturalism. It makes me despondent.I linked my mother to this article (http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779), which is one of my favorite Republican Defector pieces, and I asked her, "Are you a low-information voter?" (I consider myself to be a low-information voter, but that's beside the point.) She said that most of the article was over her head. (She's not dumb; she just pays practically zero attention to politics/government.) She's always been one of those more convinced by the economic side of the Republican Party than the social side, but she admitted that she has come to realize that voting for these quacks is a bad idea. Now she's saying she'll write in Colbert for President. I have 10 months to convert her. :D

I also tried converting my dad, who is actually a fundamentalist, but that will take a little more work obviously. He's less low-information than my mom, but still way more low-information than me. He also has a degree in philosophy, so he's not completely unsalvageable. I'm not so much interested in converting him from religion as I am in convincing him that separation of church and state is a good thing, and that socialism isn't inherently evil nor particularly foreign, and that imperialism is a bad thing.

Just for Res, Obama told us that if we want change we have to work even harder this election than we did last election (which is fair, considering). I still happen to believe that Obama tries pretty hard to bring common sense to Washington, and that he is in a pretty rough spot. But I need to branch out beyond my parents.

Seeker
01-15-2012, 05:44 PM
This all assumes that this is a legitimate story and not just some controversy being drummed up by a bunch of hyperventilating liberals panicking about "theocracy" and "fascism." The two "sources" provided have been less than adequate to actually be worthy of starting a real debate on the issues in question. So Res is probably correct when he said this.



Thus the only response you've gotten from "conservatives" has been snarkily pointing out their inadequacy and taking a few potshots at the posters clinging to them. Find a legitimate media source running this topic and maybe we can talk about it. Keep posting liberal hit piece blogs and you'll continue to get nothing but derision for the thinly veiled attempts at trolling.

This is what I don't get: you of all people should be opposed to this thing. I can think of several Sini-friendly criticisms to this bill, stating with "Congress shall pass no law regarding the establishment of religion."

Moreover, you've claimed to be an atheist and a libertarian and this flies in the face of both of those philosophical positions. Terez has linked us to the actual text of the bill, on the house.mo.gov website and I can find nothing that makes me question the legitimacy of the information there.

So, where's the lizard fury? If this lull keeps up, the citizens of Tokyo might get cocky enough to go outside again.

Sinistrum
01-15-2012, 10:03 PM
So, where's the lizard fury?

Um dude, look at who started the thread. If this had been any other poster who started it, I would be fully engaged in ripping this apart. Of course any other poster (except maybe Terez) would have posted a legit media source for the story from the get go. As it stands now, that would just be giving that assclown precisely what he wants. So I will be content with mostly apathetic snark.

Terez
01-15-2012, 10:11 PM
Since when do I not post sources for stuff?

PS - If we're not worth your time, then why post in the thread in the first place? If I'm not mistaken it's the first time you've posted in days. Why bother? And I couldn't find any media sources right off the bat the first time I looked, but I figured since the article I found had links (unlike the Addicting Info article - which is unusual, since they usually have links) that it would suffice, especially since one of those links was to the actual bill. But apparently primary sources aren't good enough for you...and now you're resorting to false accusations, because one can hardly accuse me of being the type of person to post about something without providing a link to a media source. I almost always give links. Seriously, this reactionary posting is just downright strange.

Sinistrum
01-15-2012, 11:52 PM
Look at what I typed Terez. I chose my words carefully. Yes, yes, yes you do post sources. But let me bolden the operative word in what I posted as a way of addressing your sources.

a legit media source

Liberal bloggers do not count as such. Does that clear things up or do I need to use smaller words and pictures?

If we're not worth your time, then why post in the thread in the first place?

Because its entertaining to be snarky to Gonzo and to a lesser extent you when you're both out to troll.

GonzoTheGreat
01-16-2012, 05:08 AM
Liberal bloggers do not count as such. Does that clear things up or do I need to use smaller words and pictures?
Smaller words and pictures, please.

Because for now, it looks as though you are cheering on the destruction of the US Constitution because you read about this first in a liberal blog, and, since you are not willing to agree with a liberal blogger on anything, and that liberal blogger defended your Constitution, you now attack it.

It might have been rational if you had asked for a better source first. But now that you do have actual evidence proving that the liberal blogger was correct, it is not rational for an atheist to persist in supporting fundamentalist believers who are not willing to accept reason.

AbbeyRoad
01-16-2012, 06:14 AM
They've tried this before in Missouri in 2004 and again in 2007. It didn't pass then, either. I doubt it will pass now.

Also, it is important to note that the bill will not have a specific religion taught as fact, but will have general Creationism (i.e. Intelligent Design) included as a theory of creation, alongside other theories like the Big Bang, etc. Frankly, no theory of Creation is very well supported at all and we really have no clue as to how the universe formed. I don't think science classes should teach any theory of creation at all, including the Big Bang, since there's not enough empirical evidence under our current understanding of our Physics system to support anything.

I don't like it, but it's not as bad as it's been made out to be. Though I do certainly hope it doesn't pass.

GonzoTheGreat
01-16-2012, 07:41 AM
What is Intelligent Design's "theory of creation"?

The only thing that I can think of would be something like : "god* did it".
Teaching that wouldn't take more than ten seconds, so what could fill the remaining weeks of lessons (which would have to be filled with "ID theory" to put it on a par with the theory of evolution)?

I have asked this question time and time again, and I never get an answer. Which confirms me in my opinion that ID is not a theory after all. It is merely an attack science, nothing more (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy).

* No capital "g" there, of course. Not with ID, which is intelligently designed to be carefully non-denominational.

Terez
01-16-2012, 10:50 AM
Look at what I typed Terez.I know what you wrote. Since when do I use liberal blogs as sources?

AbbeyRoad
01-16-2012, 11:48 AM
The only thing that I can think of would be something like : "god* did it".
I would imagine that the curriculum would explore some of the more prominent religious beliefs of creation (the Old Testament's 6 days and *poof* theory, the ancient Egyptian theory of the sun masturbating and producing 2 lions who then went on to propagate the different species of the world, Hindi beliefs, perhaps the mighty lion Aslan singing the world into existence while 5 humans, a horse, and a giantess watched, etc.). But I don't know; all theories of creation seem almost equally illogical to me.

(which would have to be filled with "ID theory" to put it on a par with the theory of evolution)?
Actually, I don't consider evolution to be a theory of creation at all. It addresses merely how life evolved and not how it began. It certainly doesn't address how our universe began; merely how it changed after it was in existence.

I suppose one could attribute this to abiogenesis, yet that doesn't address the origin of the universe, either; merely the origin of perhaps the first life on earth.

But my biggest qualm with the idea of teaching ID in schools is that even if it were true, it doesn't change anything about the curriculum. Most practicing Christians now no longer dispute evolution; they merely define it as the "how" to their deity's "why". However, science is concerned with the mechanism and not the reason, since the mechanism is observable and quantifiable and the reason, assuming for argument's sake that it exists, is not. So even if god created the human race by means of abiogenesis and evolution, how do you test that? Did he/she/it take a big rock and a chisel and go to town, or use telekinesis to begin planet formation? It becomes a "because I said so" rather than having documented grounding in theory, which is no way to teach anyone anything.

GonzoTheGreat
01-16-2012, 12:03 PM
I would imagine that the curriculum would explore some of the more prominent religious beliefs of creation (the Old Testament's 6 days and *poof* theory, the ancient Egyptian theory of the sun masturbating and producing 2 lions who then went on to propagate the different species of the world, Hindi beliefs, perhaps the mighty lion Aslan singing the world into existence while 5 humans, a horse, and a giantess watched, etc.). But I don't know; all theories of creation seem almost equally illogical to me.
So instead of the humdrum monkey trial from the 1920s, we could now have the masturbating lion trial?
That'd cheer up the fundies, especially when they figure out on which side of that trial they are. :p

Actually, I don't consider evolution to be a theory of creation at all. It addresses merely how life evolved and not how it began. It certainly doesn't address how our universe began; merely how it changed after it was in existence.
But Republicans don't know that. That's why they keep trying to push this kind of law. They believe that if they get a fair and balanced chance to indoctrinate the next generation, then they'll win and reverse all science since Newton.

Sinistrum
01-16-2012, 12:51 PM
Because for now, it looks as though you are cheering on the destruction of the US Constitution because you read about this first in a liberal blog, and, since you are not willing to agree with a liberal blogger on anything, and that liberal blogger defended your Constitution, you now attack it.

Or I'm simply not willing to discuss the issue on this website only because of you and your source material. But perhaps that refusal to discuss with you on this medium is automatically indicative of support for "the destruction of the U.S. constitution" in your eyes. If so, might I suggest you have a somewhat overinflated sense of your own self-importance, as well as Theoryland's.

Terez
01-16-2012, 01:24 PM
Still waiting...

Sinistrum
01-16-2012, 01:44 PM
For what? The first link you posted in this thread is a perfect example of the criticism I've leveled against you. If you had access to the bill link itself, then that is what you should have posted. But no, you didn't do that, did you? You wanted us to fish through that website's content to find it. Wonder why that is? Perhaps could it be that you wanted the slant of that website injected into the debate as well?

Terez
01-16-2012, 05:11 PM
For what? The first link you posted in this thread is a perfect example of the criticism I've leveled against you. If you had access to the bill link itself, then that is what you should have posted. But no, you didn't do that, did you? You wanted us to fish through that website's content to find it. Wonder why that is? Perhaps could it be that you wanted the slant of that website injected into the debate as well?I didn't even notice that the site had a slant; it was just the first thing I found via Google. And I don't even read liberal blogs or sites regularly, so it's ridiculous to suggest that I have a habit of posting from slanted sources. If you're going to make accusations like that, you need to provide evidence.

GonzoTheGreat
01-17-2012, 04:20 AM
I didn't even notice that the site had a slant; it was just the first thing I found via Google. And I don't even read liberal blogs or sites regularly, so it's ridiculous to suggest that I have a habit of posting from slanted sources. If you're going to make accusations like that, you need to provide evidence.
He's a prosecutor, he doesn't need (or use) evidence.

Zaela Sedai
01-17-2012, 01:23 PM
But Republicans don't know that. That's why they keep trying to push this kind of law. They believe that if they get a fair and balanced chance to indoctrinate the next generation, then they'll win and reverse all science since Newton.

so, why is it ok for you generalize like that but not for others?

Durvasha
01-17-2012, 10:33 PM
I have been wondering for some time, how will they give equal time to ID? The way I see it, once you have taught evolution for 3 hours, you can just say, "There is one more theory, called ID. It says that everything that is here was created by an awesome intelligent designer as such complexity cannot come by random chance".

I do not see what else can be said without invoking god, which will be constitutional problem. :)

Durvasha
01-17-2012, 10:46 PM
They've tried this before in Missouri in 2004 and again in 2007. It didn't pass then, either. I doubt it will pass now.

Also, it is important to note that the bill will not have a specific religion taught as fact, but will have general Creationism (i.e. Intelligent Design) included as a theory of creation, alongside other theories like the Big Bang, etc. Frankly, no theory of Creation is very well supported at all and we really have no clue as to how the universe formed. I don't think science classes should teach any theory of creation at all, including the Big Bang, since there's not enough empirical evidence under our current understanding of our Physics system to support anything.

I don't like it, but it's not as bad as it's been made out to be. Though I do certainly hope it doesn't pass.

I am sorry for the multiple continuous posts, but I am amazed that Abbeyroad said this. I have been lurking in these forums long enough to know that he is a medical doctor and also one of the most rational posters here.

The statement seems like, "I cannot lift this stone. you cannot lift this stone. We are equally strong." Yes, there is very little evidence to support the scientific theories of creation, but how much evidence is there for the religious ones?

I do not want to divert the discussion from the merits of the bill to merits of the theory of evolution but every time scientific community nit-picks on an established theory, the nut-jobs take the opportunity to denounce the whole thing is a sham.

In my own experience, Biology made a lot more sense to me when we got to the evolution. It is as great a milestone, for me, as periodic table in Chemistry.

PS. I apologize if my language is ponderous but I learned English from 18th-19th century English literature, and my country still believes in teaching unadulterated Queen's English :( .

AbbeyRoad
01-17-2012, 11:22 PM
First of all, welcome to Theoryland. I like when lurkers decide to start posting.

The statement seems like, "I cannot lift this stone. you cannot lift this stone. We are equally strong." Yes, there is very little evidence to support the scientific theories of creation, but how much evidence is there for the religious ones?
I don't give the two theories equal credibility by any means. It was not my intention to imply that the two were somehow equally relevant. In relation to an education system, it simply doesn't make sense to me to teach anything as fact when we don't know much about it. Obviously, I feel that all the mystical theories of creation are impossible to argue for, since their logic eventually seems to boil down to "faith" over reason; their ultimate idea seems to be that their belief lends credence to their idea in and of itself, which I reject entirely. They should certainly never be taught in public schools.

However, our scientific community really doesn't know too much about the creation of our universe. Most of the knowledge we extrapolate centers around the laws that govern our universe, and not the instigator that sparked its existence. So, while I certainly think that scientific theories of creation are much more viable, and therefore likely, than any of the religious and/or mystical theories, our knowledge on the subject is so limited it doesn't make sense to me to teach any of it as fact to young adults. That is to say, it peeves me when people assume that the 'Big Bang' was a factual event rather than a theory of the origin of our universe. While we do know that the universe is expanding (and quite probably contracting), we certainly don't what instigated its genesis. So while it should certainly be introduced in schools, I strongly disagree with the practice of it being taught as verifiable truth in physics classes.

In my own experience, Biology made a lot more sense to me when we got to the evolution. It is as great a milestone, for me, as periodic table in Chemistry.
Evolution is in my mind one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs in history. However, it is not a theory of creation. Rather, it is the mechanism of the development of life. Obviously, evolution should be taught as fact in biology classes to show how our species came to be.

Sei'taer
01-17-2012, 11:37 PM
I am sorry for the multiple continuous posts, but I am amazed that Abbeyroad said this. I have been lurking in these forums long enough to know that he is a medical doctor and also one of the most rational posters here.

The statement seems like, "I cannot lift this stone. you cannot lift this stone. We are equally strong." Yes, there is very little evidence to support the scientific theories of creation, but how much evidence is there for the religious ones?

I do not want to divert the discussion from the merits of the bill to merits of the theory of evolution but every time scientific community nit-picks on an established theory, the nut-jobs take the opportunity to denounce the whole thing is a sham.

In my own experience, Biology made a lot more sense to me when we got to the evolution. It is as great a milestone, for me, as periodic table in Chemistry.

PS. I apologize if my language is ponderous but I learned English from 18th-19th century English literature, and my country still believes in teaching unadulterated Queen's English :( .

What country would that be? We make sure to never speak the queens english here in the US, unless it's to make fun of the Aussie way of speaking the queens english, follwed by the Canadian way of spelling the queens english, since they speak it like americans, but spell it like Goud ounly knouws whou.

I think they do it just to piss us off though and when they are doing it in real life, they leave all the U's and S's out...

Durvasha
01-18-2012, 12:12 AM
What country would that be?

I am not going to track it down, but some English politician (or writer maybe?) is supposed to have said that Queen's English will never die so long as a single Indian is alive. :D

I am from the even Nuttier backyard, Nepal. You should see the grammatical corrections our teachers make on homeworks. Funnily, we are much more lax about our own language.

GonzoTheGreat
01-18-2012, 05:09 AM
That is to say, it peeves me when people assume that the 'Big Bang' was a factual event rather than a theory of the origin of our universe. While we do know that the universe is expanding (and quite probably contracting), we certainly don't what instigated its genesis. So while it should certainly be introduced in schools, I strongly disagree with the practice of it being taught as verifiable truth in physics classes.
I think that either you were taught wrong, or failed to understand some crucial details. Or both.

The Big Bang theory is not a theory on what was the origin of our universe. Rather, it is a theory of what happened immediately after.

A very short (and not all that accurate) summary of Big Bang theory:
In the beginning "something" happened, and then the universe was there and was expanding. As it expanded, the energy density decreased, which is equivalent to cooling, and things like quarks and electrons formed. It expanded further, and the quarks combined into protons and neutrons (and other things, which weren't as stable). After some further cooling some of those protons and neutrons combined, forming Deuterium and Helium. Things were rather uneventful then for a long time, until most of the interactions between radiation and matter stopped. We can still see the remnants of this as the microwave background radiation.

Now, most of that is indeed rather solidly known (when presented a bit more rigorously than I did here). The only really uncertain bit is the "something" at the start, which is precisely the creation thing you're worried about. But BB theory neither specifies what that something was, nor does it depend on it.
Of course, the closer you get to the "something", the bigger the uncertainties are. Which is one of the reasons for the LHC and such; those are intended to reduce those uncertainties.

maacaroni
01-18-2012, 07:42 AM
what about M theory? That postulates what caused the big bang.

Anyhow, I often think that the Southern states do this to rile up liberals and to prove to their socially conservative base their bona fides. It is mere political posturing. It also fits into the constant delusion that religious people are persecuted: http://www.jesusandmo.net/tag/persecution-complex/

As for teaching creationism, believe it or not, I was taught it in the UK...in religious education. It felt like children's story even when I was a child and the teacher who taught it, who was an Anglican (episcopalian) and he felt a bit embarassed teaching it.

As an adult, I cannot understand how anyone of even below-average intelligence cannot look at the Genesis creation story and not think it is anything but what it is...a bronze age myth. It is no different to teaching Gilgamesh and the flood (or is it Noah? Utnapishtim?) or Perseus and the Minotaur.

I've long since abandoned the contradictory and deluded claims of religion. To quote Terry Goodkind: (and believe me, I'm being ever so slightly ironic, quoting the yeard himself)

"My only sovereign is reason"

:)

GonzoTheGreat
01-18-2012, 08:06 AM
what about M theory? That postulates what caused the big bang.
I happen to have some doubt as to whether M theory is actually taught in many high schools. Of course, it's been a while since I had a really close look at the curriculum there, so my skepticism may be unfounded.

And I do think that there would be more justification for teaching physics majors about M theory than for teaching them about Intelligent Design.

As for teaching creationism, believe it or not, I was taught it in the UK...in religious education.
I can top that, by a huge amount: I was taught it in biology class. By a couple of teaching students, who were not taken too seriously by any of the kids. Most mostly ignored them, I thought it was fairly interesting (and totally bonkers). Well, they tried to peddle some form of ID, which is Creationism Light. Which, alas, did not have a talking snake in it.
We also got the theory of evolution from the regular teacher, and, while it was on a rather basic level, it was done well.

Of course, over here in the Netherlands we have an even wackier school system than the UK has, and I was enrolled on a religious school. I only went there in the third year, when there were no more Bible classes. All things considered, that was probably a good thing. Still, even with that school being officially based on Biblical principles, they did consider evolution to be the standard explanation for the origin of the (human) species.

AbbeyRoad
01-18-2012, 08:06 AM
I have always been made to understand that the premise of the Big Bang is that all of the matter and energy of space was contained at one point. Then came the event itself in which this occurance was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space with all of the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other. And since then, our universe has been continually expanding.

Has it been conclusively proven that all matter and energy in the universe was once contained in a single point?*

*: Just asking here; I haven't been exposed to high level physics in ~10 years, in which much could have changed in the field.

GonzoTheGreat
01-18-2012, 08:21 AM
The problem with that actual singularity is that it does not agree with any of our current theories. So if it happened, then those theories (quantum mechanics and general relativity) are not applicable to that situation. But we don't actually have anything better either.

So the best we can say about that is: we do not know.

Naturally, that doesn't stop speculation (lots of it) from the (astro-)physicists who work in this area. But it does make it easy for them to shoot each others speculation down with cries of "you and what evidence?" Which they do, quite enthusiastically.

So the idea that all energy was confined to one single point is by far the best description we have, and it is not at all a good one. That's usually the case at the frontiers of science: everyone knows there is a problem, and everyone is convinced that his own pet theory is right and those of the others are wrong.

Still, technically, you are correct that we can not say with any certainty that the entire universe ever was one single point. The closest we can come to it with some kind of accuracy (as far as I know, I haven't quite kept up with things either) is to about 10^-42 seconds after the Big Bang. At that time, the density was enormous, and it seems to be coming from one single point even earlier than that.

And, just for the record: I don't trust M theory, at the moment, because it falls into Wolfgang Pauli's "it is not even wrong" category. We can not check whether it is right or wrong, and therefor it is not a proper theory. Which, of course, is also one of the basic flaws of Creationism in many of its modern forms. Classic Creationism didn't suffer from this, that is just plain wrong, which is why the more modern versions were designed (intelligently, though not honestly).

Bryan Blaire
01-18-2012, 09:37 AM
Or you can a more modern and less evangelical approach and go with "The Bible is full of allegory. Jesus taught via story-telling, much like Aesop's fables." I've never understood why so many consider needing to take the Bible as literal fact on either side of these kinds of arguments. Less understanding why they want to emulate the Pharisees that Jesus condemned.

I have to agree with AbbeyRoad on evolutionary theory, as I've stated before, evolutionary theory does not discuss origin of life. That is it's own set of theories that include "DNA and amino acids formed in bubbles in water that protected them from Earth's early atmosphere which should have chemically reacted with them", "RNA did it, by acting as a rudimentary biological machine" and farther out there (pun intended) stuff about being seeded from space, either intentionally or (usually) unintentionally (yes, there are biologists that have put forward "Aliens did it."). Since we don't really have a lot of direct evidence one way or the other, almost any of these could be true, and some experiments and calculations on the development of life on Earth require really specific conditions that should have been hard to find, but again, we don't have really good data on exact conditions, so while the prevailing trend is looking toward rudimentary RNA constructs somewhere potentially starting it all off, because the calculations just seem to be more likely (as most of the calculations are on the order of 10^-25 and the like, last time I actually looked at them.

GonzoTheGreat
01-18-2012, 10:07 AM
Or you can a more modern and less evangelical approach and go with "The Bible is full of allegory. Jesus taught via story-telling, much like Aesop's fables." I've never understood why so many consider needing to take the Bible as literal fact on either side of these kinds of arguments.
Because you then run into the problem of: why not take Jesus himself as just another fable?

And, of course, if you take the events in Exodus as a fable (which seems reasonable, at first glance, as there's tons of unlikely miracles there, and no supporting evidence at all for any of it), then you have lost the whole idea of Jews as God's chosen people, and with it, God too. Which leaves nothing on which you could then base Christianity.

So, in order to avoid the problem of having to cherry pick the parts you want to believe while discarding the rest, you have two simple options: take it or leave it. That is, believe it all, or treat all of it as just another set of stories with some historical facts and lots of made up filler material in it.

Same basically with Homer's works: believing in some of those gods and goddesses is a lot less reasonable than either believing in them all or not believing in any of them. Since there too we know that there were some facts hidden in it, shouldn't you believe in all those gods?

Bryan Blaire
01-18-2012, 11:10 AM
Who says you can't believe in other gods as a Christian or even as a Jew? Even if you want to take it literally, the commandment reads "though shalt have no other gods before me" - note: it says "before me" not "there aren't any others"... I also disagree that not taking everything literally from the Old Testament in any way invalidates Christianity in the way you feel it does, especially as Christ's teachings are basically a reformed version of Judaism with almost a different goal (from my personal discussions with the devout Jewish guy I work with) and was indicated to be applicable to all people, not just those of Jewish descent (which somewhat kills your Jews must be the chosen people for Christianity to work idea).

Besides, my particular beliefs which fall a bit away from our more liberal (already) church don't necessarily require Jesus to have even been divine himself and we talk about the stars, sun and universe quite a bit outside theological context, as well as accepting that God wouldn't have a problem with us understanding how the universe works. I also don't need pits of fire and harp-playing angels for my personal beliefs either. I don't define my beliefs by traditional Catholic or evangelical theology (as I've explained to you via PM before, Gonzo). As I have already stated, different way of viewing and believing about the universe. I have no proof one way or another, I choose to believe, and I don't think a lack of proof requires me to not believe something I feel leads me to be a better person, and hopefully by my doing that, it provides an example to those around me to be a good person as well, regardless of if they take up my beliefs or not.

BTW, if you really want a full rundown of what I actually personally believe, Seeker can probably give you the Cliff's Notes, or we could discuss it in person.

GonzoTheGreat
01-18-2012, 11:33 AM
Belief in this sense is not sensible anyway, so the fact that a particular type of belief doesn't make much sense in a certain way is not a very stringent indictment, I think.

Based on what I've learned about it, it is mostly a matter of "whatever floats your boat". It's nice if you then do not have to bail out water too often. Not being capturing other people's boats is a definite pre.
I do admit that I sometimes have a bit of a habit of pointing out there's no actual sea below people's ships.

PS A better metaphor (or was it a parable?) than I'd expected.

Bryan Blaire
01-18-2012, 12:59 PM
I would go with your own parable, yeah, and it probably works great for your world view. Others might think you are drowning or walking on the sea bed, etc. Who knows. Whether you think someone else's beliefs make sense or not generally doesn't probably mean that much to those that don't view the world similarly to you, especially if both sides consider themselves 100% right and aren't open to truly trying to look at it from the other side, not just paying lip service to "looking" but still clinging to their own world view. It's an extremely hard thing to do and I will readily admit to my own failing in that respect. It doesn't help when you state in a conversation "But your sense doesn't make any sense at all..." because while you may have a perfectly acceptable view of your own "sense", it may not make much sense to the other party, and then you are already at a discussion impasse...

Terez
01-18-2012, 01:04 PM
Because you then run into the problem of: why not take Jesus himself as just another fable?Which is precisely why the Southern Baptist Convention expunged all of the non-literalist 'liberals' in the 80s. If you take away the idea that the Bible is God's inspired Word(-for-word), then you invalidate the religion itself.

GonzoTheGreat
01-19-2012, 04:16 AM
Which is precisely why the Southern Baptist Convention expunged all of the non-literalist 'liberals' in the 80s.
Oh, that's clever of them. :D

If you take away the idea that the Bible is God's inspired Word(-for-word), then you invalidate the religion itself.
So the Southern Baptists agree with me. Does that mean that I'm vindicated and Bryan is wrong? :confused:

Davian93
01-19-2012, 09:02 AM
Who says you can't believe in other gods as a Christian or even as a Jew? Even if you want to take it literally, the commandment reads "though shalt have no other gods before me" - note: it says "before me" not "there aren't any others".

Ooh, ooh, ooh...I know, I know. Its not legitimizing the existance of other gods but rather the belief in false idols/false gods that some Israelites had been falling into during the exile in Sinai. Its telling them to only worship the one true God Yahweh, not the false gods of other cultures.

Bryan Blaire
01-19-2012, 11:02 AM
Ooh, ooh, ooh...I know, I know. Its not legitimizing the existance of other gods but rather the belief in false idols/false gods that some Israelites had been falling into during the exile in Sinai. Its telling them to only worship the one true God Yahweh, not the false gods of other cultures.
Worshipping and acknowledging are different. Just like you shouldn't worship at the altar of materialism, but instead sacrifice of yourself, etc. There's a lot of dogma of denial, but dogma and specific belief can in fact be different. After all, the Hindu believe in a goddess that eats the blood of rampaging evil entities and turns black, but that doesn't mean she literally walks the Earth, etc.

I find it funny that people want to deny you can be of a faith and have different beliefs than what the outspoken of that faith have, when I've put forward my own beliefs to show just that. Seems somewhat arrogant to not be of a group an telling members of that group exactly what they have to do, just like Gonzo feels it is arrogant and wrong of me to tell Gonzo I think he's said something that he feels he hasn't. There was a call for logical consistency somewhere recently that I remember... And yet it's being denied use here...

Bryan Blaire
01-19-2012, 11:08 AM
Edit: Damn double posts.

GonzoTheGreat
01-19-2012, 11:44 AM
There was a call for logical consistency somewhere recently that I remember... And yet it's being denied use here...
When it comes to religious faith, I have a fairly strong impression that consistency is optional.

Bryan Blaire
01-19-2012, 01:22 PM
When it comes to religious faith, I have a fairly strong impression that consistency is optional.
Let me run my point down one more time, because this response makes me think it may have been either unintentionally missed/misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented:
1) It was stated by those that profess themselves to be non-believers as if it were fact that if you do not take the Bible literally, then you can not have the religion.
2) I have stated my personal beliefs to some extent and have stated that I do not take the Bible explicitly literally, but am definitely a member of the religion.
3) Point 1 is not true in light of point 2.
4) Continued insistence of point 1 as act in light of point 2 constitutes one of two things: someone not of a faith trying to impose their views of the faith as fact on others (which seems incredibly arrogant, as those same people probably would not like the same in return, as I stated already in Gonzo's case) OR there is a lack of logical consistency being applied to the situation and therefore the concept of a valid logical argument falls apart and what is being argued is personal feelings about the subject. If the later is true, then those putting forward the argument are no more rationally motivated than those they feel are irrational for following a religion. If the former is true, then those attempting to force their view of the religion should accept without argument the very same, and be in favor of others forcing their own world views of said party onto said party without complaint or bad feelings, which from Gonzo's own reaction against me stating my views of things he's said, has currently been shown to be something that he is unwilling to accept.

Neither situation in point 4 shows any more rationality than the religion being argued against.

Crispin's Crispian
01-19-2012, 01:32 PM
Let me run my point down one more time, because this response makes me think it may have been either unintentionally missed/misunderstood or intentionally misrepresented:
1) It was stated by those that profess themselves to be non-believers as if it were fact that if you do not take the Bible literally, then you can not have the religion.
2) I have stated my personal beliefs to some extent and have stated that I do not take the Bible explicitly literally, but am definitely a member of the religion.
3) Point 1 is not true in light of point 2.
4) Continued insistence of point 1 as act in light of point 2 constitutes one of two things: someone not of a faith trying to impose their views of the faith as fact on others (which seems incredibly arrogant, as those same people probably would not like the same in return, as I stated already in Gonzo's case) OR there is a lack of logical consistency being applied to the situation and therefore the concept of a valid logical argument falls apart and what is being argued is personal feelings about the subject. If the later is true, then those putting forward the argument are no more rationally motivated than those they feel are irrational for following a religion. If the former is true, then those attempting to force their view of the religion should accept without argument the very same, and be in favor of others forcing their own world views of said party onto said party without complaint or bad feelings, which from Gonzo's own reaction against me stating my views of things he's said, has currently been shown to be something that he is unwilling to accept.

Neither situation in point 4 shows any more rationality than the religion being argued against.
Then we might be up against some semantic issues. What makes you a Christian, Bryan? What makes anyone a Christian? There must be some criterion you use to identify yourself with the religion.

The traditional definition of a Christian can be boiled down to belief that Jesus offers the sole path to salvation from earthly sins, the alternative being either eternal punishment or simply eternal death. In order for that to be true, Jesus must have had some divine aspects, else he couldn't affect our metaphysical end.

I guess the other alternative is to assume Jesus was just a really smart guy with some good ideas of how to make yourself and the world a better place. His "salvation" is really just a freedom from mental and emotional anguish, just as Buddha taught.

Once you go much further than these definitions, you start pushing the bounds of what it means to be "Christian," IMO.

GonzoTheGreat
01-19-2012, 01:34 PM
Let me rephrase your point one, which will make a lot of difference (I think):
1. If you do not take the Bible literally, then being a Christian is not reasonable.

This would enormously reduce the number of Christians in the world, if they agreed with it and if they cared. Most don't know this argument, of course. Of those who do know it, I think that most do not agree with it, though they can not logically argue against it, and the remainder doesn't care. There are indeed Christians who happily admit that their faith is not rational. You seem to fall in this last category, but I'm not entirely sure, as you do not seem to have caught that this is the distinction I make, rather than the one you've presented in your post.

Bryan Blaire
01-19-2012, 03:56 PM
Let me rephrase your point one, which will make a lot of difference (I think):
1. If you do not take the Bible literally, then being a Christian is not reasonable.
I think you fully believe this. *That does not make it true. *This has been my main point of contention with you on the subject. *You are applying your personal belief in what is "reasonable" to other people's beliefs and it gets in the way of your understanding other points of view. *I have stated this several times. *You don't agree and seem to see your view as the only legitimate one.

I accept that you feel this way and do not accept other views. *We won't agree on the subject of reasonability, because I do find my own beliefs perfectly reasonable. *As I've said, we clearly have different world views and they color our thoughts and perceptions. *I am not the one trying to shut out other's viewpoints. *I presented a very logical path to follow, you chose to alter my statements and think this therefore invalidates my argument, which it doesn't. *That's okay, but it doesn't alter the fact that you are unable to reconcile your own imposition of your beliefs on others views as being the same as the religious folks you are condemning for doing so.

SDog, you may be right, it may be down to semantics, but semantics and small variations in belief are exactly what split the Protestants off from the Catholics, the Catholic churches from the Orthodox churches, and the numerous Protestant sects from each other. *My guess is semantics would also play a big role in each*individual Christian's personal beliefs if you were to be able to ask each of them to give even a brief overview of their beliefs as I have done*here. *It isn't an extensive discussion, because I don't feel like typing it all out, and I slightly alter some of my own ideas and beliefs as I continue living my life, speaking with both those of my faith and as many other beliefs as I can. *In a lot of ways, semantics play a part in the differences between Christianity and Judaism. *I am more than happy to speak with people in person to greater detail on exactly what beliefs are, again, ask Seeker, he and I had a long, long conversation about this exact thing one night. *Now, as to your consideration of the core of Christianity (Jesus' death for the afterlife), personally, I think that particular story has a lot*more to do with personal belief about sacrifice than it does divinity. *I think the four gospels hold a lot more definition for what he was trying to teach than a great majority of Paul's letters do. *I think that there are statements in the gospels that indicate a break with the beliefs and religious law of the Old Testament. *I have been called a heretic (yes, seriously) and a non-believer or a non-Christian. *I'm okay with that, but let's be honest, when you tell someone that they aren't something that they believe they are, are you really a good person for doing so? *Does it make you better than them? *Does it make you right? *What if it is your lack of understanding or your own viewpoint that is getting in the way? *Anyone telling me I'm not a Christian doesn't phase me, because I know different. *I am a follower of Christ by virtue of attempting, however poorly, to steer my life according to certain teachings. *Whether they came literally or not, eh, not so concerned with that, because I feel that what I rather poorly follow is the right path for me. *But it's solely for me, it probably doesn't even work well for Gil and I don't expect my children to blindly follow me. *I hope that the example I set will be good enough to lead them on to be great people. *I try not to denigrate others beliefs about their faith, regardless of what form it might take (though I will freely admit to being hard on fellow Christians), but I do ask for equal consideration all around and equal treatment. *It doesn't do any good to look down on others because you disagree with them, especially if you preach, teach or spout understanding and togetherness, and if you unequally apply ideals to people because you disagree with what they believe then you have no leg to stand on to champion equality of any sort, because up do not embody that value. *Now, I will freely admit to not being very good at this, but at least I openly admit it. *I do feel that's something that a lot of people won't do. *To be honest, SDog, I think you are right, I don't put a lot of stock in the afterlife dogma of the various Christian churches, because I will freely admit that I don't know... I don't know if there is one, what form it would take, or even if you retain your own mental separation if there is an afterlife and to be honest, I don't know if the statements that most Christians take as statements that you can't go to Heaven except through belief in Jesus are even what those statements are really saying. *I'm okay with not knowing. *I get that people that consider themselves rational and reasonable might think that's a completely insane concept to even say you have a belief around. *To be honest, that may very well be true. *However, I would ask the same: how much does any rational and reasonable person really know in their own life? *I've already stated as a person with a molecular biology degree that tries to keep up on new ideas encompassed in the Origin of Life theories that we don't really know what happened there. *It's obvious that something did, this planet is teaming with life, but that's about as far as it goes. *It's already been stated in this thread that physics doesn't have a concrete "known" about how the universe itself actually started. *The answer to "what was there right before the Big Bang" is a basic "We don't really know for sure, but..." *We never have actually discovered what it is exactly that makes gravitation work. *Sure, we have mathematics that show how, and we have a good idea, but can anyone point to exactly how it works, aside from the "force of gravitation acts between two objects having mass"? *Yes, we are trying to work on understanding these things, but it comes down to "We don't know right now", and for all our understanding, it's those little gaps that everyone fills for themselves that gives this world meaning. *Anyone that is truly honest with themselves does fill those holes with something, even if it is "Well, one day we'll figure it out scientifically" or "I will achieve enlightenment and understand" or "God did it". *Those explanations of the unknown give us all peace with exactly what we don't know. *I don't honestly consider any of them more or less valid, because of that peace. *I don't know what it is about being human that makes us so crazy about controlling the unknown, but it's there. *That feeling of lack of control is a huge driving force in all of us, and I think that we're all in born for whatever reason to drift toward certain forms of ideas and ideals that we inherently have comfort with.

Jeez, got a lot more down than I thought, and I feel a tad exposed, but that's fine with me, I like being exposed. *:D *I'm not sure that anyone even will care to read all of that, but maybe if even one person does, it'll give that person a little bit of insight, even if it is "Yup, Bryan's crazy." *That's fine, but I think it is a shallow assessment and lacking in understanding, and if that thinking dominates, then we will never be able to do the following (excerpt from the MLK Day Presidential Proclamation by Barack Obama): "Only when our children are free to pursue their full measure of success - unhindered by the color of their skin, their gender, the faith in their heart, the people they love, or the fortune of their birth - will we have reaches our destination." *(italics mine for emphasis) If you harden your heart and mind to the beliefs of others, you don't participate in that journey, you are an impediment to it.

Now, who's up for calling Barack Obama insane for his late in life acceptance of Christ and becoming a Christian, a man who apparently has less doubts than I do about the afterlife, based on statements in a 2008 article in Christianity Today where he stated that he is a devout Christian and believes in the resurrection of Jesus. *Obviously someone you wouldn't want anywhere near anything that could influence you, not with an insane, irrational belief system like that...

Sukoto
01-19-2012, 04:09 PM
Then we might be up against some semantic issues.
Oh, really? Ya think? Understatement of the year.

Words, in and of themselves, are a semantic issue. Life is just a really long game of telephone.

Sukoto
01-19-2012, 04:13 PM
Something something. *Something else. *More stuff after an asterisk.
What is up with the asterisks!?

Terez
01-19-2012, 04:13 PM
Oh, that's clever of them. :D


So the Southern Baptists agree with me. Does that mean that I'm vindicated and Bryan is wrong? :confused:It means that, by your logic, Southern Baptists are the most rational Christians in America.

Terez
01-19-2012, 04:15 PM
What is up with the asterisks!?I was wondering the same thing. I think he must not want anyone to read it. Something about being 'exposed'.

Bryan Blaire
01-19-2012, 04:20 PM
What is up with the asterisks!?
TBH, I don't know. They weren't there before I pasted it in, and I didn't notice them when I hit submit. It doesn't even look like even breaks in the typing.

Crispin's Crispian
01-19-2012, 04:20 PM
Oh, really? Ya think? Understatement of the year.

Words, in and of themselves, are a semantic issue. Life is just a really long game of telephone.

Clever.

The difference here is that defining the terms may be critical to the debate, because each side may have different definitions of what it means to be Christian, religious, fundamental, etc.

It's a bit more specific than, "words have meanings."

Sukoto
01-19-2012, 04:33 PM
Clever.

The difference here is that defining the terms may be critical to the debate, because each side may have different definitions of what it means to be Christian, religious, fundamental, etc.

It's a bit more specific than, "words have meanings."
This is where I roll my eyes. Go ahead and try to have that "debate." Good luck trying to establish which "definitions" each "side" has for those "terms."

Crispin's Crispian
01-19-2012, 04:35 PM
This is where I roll my eyes. Go ahead and try to have that "debate." Good luck trying to establish which "definitions" each "side" has for those "terms."

OK. So why are you posting here?

Terez
01-19-2012, 04:40 PM
OK. So why are you posting here?I think that, as a Mormon, he might be a little bit sensitive concerning any attempts to define 'Christianity' in a majority-rules-type way. I might be wrong.

Terez
01-19-2012, 04:43 PM
PS - If anyone is interested in reading about the rupture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Baptist_Convention_conservative_resurgenc e) in the Southern Baptist Convention. IMO it comes down to whether or not you think that cherry-picking when it comes to religion is really justifiable from a logical perspective. Of course, the SBC does that anyway, but they do it while proclaiming that every word of the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.

Sukoto
01-19-2012, 06:24 PM
I think that, as a Mormon, he might be a little bit sensitive concerning any attempts to define 'Christianity' in a majority-rules-type way. I might be wrong.
Sensitive? I'm not sure. The word "sensitive" probably carries different meaning for me than it does for you ;). Anyway, I think a lot of Mormons feel the following whenever anyone places Mormonism outside of the realm of Christianity:

1. Hurt. "Ouch. They must think I'm not a good person."
2. Annoyed. "How arrogant. Do they really think they get to decide who is and who isn't Christian?"
3. Mildly amused. "Don't they realize we believe in Jesus Christ?"
4. Confused. "So, if I'm not Christian, what does that word even mean to them anyway?"

I'm more tired of the futility of any attempts to define the words "Christianity" or "Christian" than anything else. They are words, and anyone can use them how they like. And they do. Go ahead and "vote" or "debate" about definitions. That's fine with me. When it comes to religion, I think debates are utterly silly, hence why I roll my eyes.

Crispin's Crispian
01-19-2012, 06:46 PM
Sensitive? I'm not sure. The word "sensitive" probably carries different meaning for me than it does for you ;). Anyway, I think a lot of Mormons feel the following whenever anyone places Mormonism outside of the realm of Christianity:

1. Hurt. "Ouch. They must think I'm not a good person."
2. Annoyed. "How arrogant. Do they really think they get to decide who is and who isn't Christian?"
3. Mildly amused. "Don't they realize we believe in Jesus Christ?"
4. Confused. "So, if I'm not Christian, what does that word even mean to them anyway?"

I'm more tired of the futility of any attempts to define the words "Christianity" or "Christian" than anything else. They are words, and anyone can use them how they like. And they do. Go ahead and "vote" or "debate" about definitions. That's fine with me. When it comes to religion, I think it's utterly silly, hence why I roll my eyes.

I know what you're saying, but I felt like the discussion was dancing around the issue without ever clarifying it.

I think what often happens is that every group thinks theirs is the right definition, and however "tolerant" they attempt to be they still don't think any other explanation is quite right.

AbbeyRoad
01-19-2012, 06:59 PM
*Anyone that is truly honest with themselves does fill those holes with something, even if it is "Well, one day we'll figure it out scientifically" or "I will achieve enlightenment and understand" or "God did it". *Those explanations of the unknown give us all peace with exactly what we don't know. *I don't honestly consider any of them more or less valid, because of that peace.
Then why consider yourself a Christian if you think that a mystical explanation for the creation of the universe is no more valid that a "scientific" explanation? I thought the whole gig was contingent on the belief in a sentient creator...

If you have no idea, wouldn't you consider yourself an agnostic, perhaps, rather than a Christian?

Now, as to your consideration of the core of Christianity (Jesus' death for the afterlife), personally, I think that particular story has a lot*more to do with personal belief about sacrifice than it does divinity
That is a very common Jewish belief. Most Jews I know consider Jesus to have been an extraordinarily brilliant man with charisma and a great message. The only issue they take is with the "one and only son of God" part, which Jews believe that all humans are the sons of God, and Jesus only a particularly humanitarian one. Jesus' divinity seems to be the dividing line for Christianity.

Yes, we are trying to work on understanding these things, but it comes down to "We don't know right now", and for all our understanding, it's those little gaps that everyone fills for themselves that gives this world meaning.
Just because we don't know how the universe was created is no reason to accept God as truth. I woke up this morning and my Raisin Bran was all gone. I know I didn't eat it. Now, just because I don't know how it disappeared doesn't mean I should assume Chuck Norris snuck into my kitchen last night and roundhouse kicked my cereal box in the face, despite what Hollywood would leave me to believe. If I were a betting man, I would put money on my girlfriend as the culprit, but it could easily have been my nephew. Or a very picky and savvy thief.

I am a follower of Christ by virtue of attempting, however poorly, to steer my life according to certain teachings
I like a lot of what Jesus said, too (particularly the Golden Rule), but that doesn't make me a Christian.

Meaning is subjective, not objective. One attributes meaning to aspects of one's life based on pleasure, or difficulty/accomplishment, or whatever it is that makes one thing more important than another. I don't need a deity to give me meaning, because I give myself meaning every day in my job, my relationships, and my interests. The point being that one does not have to turn to religion to fill some void left in their life by feeling as if they have no purpose; one makes one's own purpose merely by being alive. I don't have to believe I was meant to do something to enjoy my life; I was meant to enjoy my life, because I'm alive and life is fun.

Now, who's up for calling Barack Obama insane for his late in life acceptance of Christ and becoming a Christian
I did not endorse him as a Muslim, and I do not endorse him as a Christian. Personally, I don't care what he believes about the 'afterlife'; I think he's a lousy President either way.

@Bryan: In no way am I trying to attack your belief system. Obviously, you should believe whatever makes the most sense to you in accordance with the reason you have to believe it. I am just a bit curious as to why you classify yourself as a Christian when you don't seem to agree with major parts of their fundamental belief system.

Bryan Blaire
01-19-2012, 11:52 PM
Then why consider yourself a Christian if you think that a mystical explanation for the creation of the universe is no more valid that a "scientific" explanation? I thought the whole gig was contingent on the belief in a sentient creator...

If you have no idea, wouldn't you consider yourself an agnostic, perhaps, rather than a Christian?
Because I think God, being a God that developed religious laws for people to live by to be good people, would have probably put a bunch of laws into place for how exactly our universe works. I don't think that cause and effect, etc, were supposed to be totally limited to either physical or metaphysical situations. I also fully believe that we were "made" with a brain capable of understanding and searching and as I said, being made in God's image, even if that was simply by setting up a progression of events that led to us, I don't think he'd actually be that concerned with us understanding our universe better physically.

Just because I stated that I think they are valid viewpoints for people doesn't mean that I don't personally believe that God is everywhere, in every thing, no matter the limited hand I might feel he directly takes, and that he got it all rolling in a specific fashion.

That is a very common Jewish belief. Most Jews I know consider Jesus to have been an extraordinarily brilliant man with charisma and a great message. The only issue they take is with the "one and only son of God" part, which Jews believe that all humans are the sons of God, and Jesus only a particularly humanitarian one. Jesus' divinity seems to be the dividing line for Christianity.
Well, that's probably the one point where I most greatly differ, because my faith in teachings, etc, don't require him to have been solely divine, simply someone that actually believed and cared enough to sacrifice himself for the belief that it would save humanity from itself, namely its individual sins. I think that each person also has to figure out exactly what that means for themselves, even if that is simply internal conflict that each person feels.

Just because we don't know how the universe was created is no reason to accept God as truth. I woke up this morning and my Raisin Bran was all gone. I know I didn't eat it. Now, just because I don't know how it disappeared doesn't mean I should assume Chuck Norris snuck into my kitchen last night and roundhouse kicked my cereal box in the face, despite what Hollywood would leave me to believe. If I were a betting man, I would put money on my girlfriend as the culprit, but it could easily have been my nephew. Or a very picky and savvy thief.
I didn't say it was the sole reason, but yes, it is one of my reasons. I have other things that have happened in my life that also give me basis for my belief, but those are a lot more personal than I'm going to get into here. See the above on some of my beliefs in God and couple it with the concept that would the human mind even be capable of really recognizing anything that we might glimpse on that level of scope?

I like a lot of what Jesus said, too (particularly the Golden Rule), but that doesn't make me a Christian.
Except that Jesus didn't really state the "Golden Rule" as people usually taken it, but it is a pretty good basis. Most of Jesus' teachings were actually a more simplistic but generally more caring and inclusive version of tradional Jewish beliefs, coupled with some things that do seem very Bhuddist in nature.

Meaning is subjective, not objective. One attributes meaning to aspects of one's life based on pleasure, or difficulty/accomplishment, or whatever it is that makes one thing more important than another. I don't need a deity to give me meaning, because I give myself meaning every day in my job, my relationships, and my interests. The point being that one does not have to turn to religion to fill some void left in their life by feeling as if they have no purpose; one makes one's own purpose merely by being alive. I don't have to believe I was meant to do something to enjoy my life; I was meant to enjoy my life, because I'm alive and life is fun.
And that's fine for you. Some people do. I don't think either view is any more or less valid or worthwhile, it's just how they feel. I'm not actually asking anyone to up and follow me in my beliefs, nor to even understand them. ~shrug~

I did not endorse him as a Muslim, and I do not endorse him as a Christian. Personally, I don't care what he believes about the 'afterlife'; I think he's a lousy President either way.
Well, maybe it's an explanation for some as to why he is such a lousy President when they had so much hope for his change when they supported him so strongly. I dunno.

@Bryan: In no way am I trying to attack your belief system. Obviously, you should believe whatever makes the most sense to you in accordance with the reason you have to believe it. I am just a bit curious as to why you classify yourself as a Christian when you don't seem to agree with major parts of their fundamental belief system.
Because I think that I try and follow in the footsteps described in the Bible? I see a cross (in any orientation) and it reminds me of thinking about others and trying to make some sacrifices. "No man shows greater love than when a man lays down his life for his beloved," etc. Not sure what else I'd really consider myself to be, since I'm not a Bhuddist, Jewish, etc. I realize that it may be odd to see someone like me self-describe as a Christian, but I think that Sukoto actually already discussed the concept of use of that label more eloquently that I will at this juncture. I'm not offended at someone asking me questions about my beliefs.

Terez
01-20-2012, 04:34 AM
Sensitive? I'm not sure. The word "sensitive" probably carries different meaning for me than it does for you ;).Perhaps. I only meant that the 'majority rules' definition is one of the central issues facing the LDS church when it comes to religious legitimacy in our society. You're 'sensitive' to the futility of discussing the semantics. I can relate (http://theoryland.yuku.com/topic/2203/Defenition-of-Terms#.Txk0_2NWq68) to that. (Funny to see Crispy coming down on the same side of that argument....but our fearless leader, a rather insensitive Mormon apparently, was on Crispy's side.)

Zombie Sammael
01-20-2012, 10:22 AM
After reading about the "intolerance" shown by non-religious people towards Christians, I just had to leave this (http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/01/that-christian-compassion/) here...

Tomp
01-20-2012, 10:39 AM
After reading about the "intolerance" shown by non-religious people towards Christians, I just had to leave this (http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/01/that-christian-compassion/) here...

Isn't it nice to see Jesus teachings practised in such a sweet way. :rolleyes:

Gilshalos Sedai
01-20-2012, 10:40 AM
After reading about the "intolerance" shown by non-religious people towards Christians, I just had to leave this (http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/01/that-christian-compassion/) here...

Those people aren't Christians.

Ivhon
01-20-2012, 10:42 AM
After reading about the "intolerance" shown by non-religious people towards Christians, I just had to leave this (http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/01/that-christian-compassion/) here...

Rape for Jesus!

Davian93
01-20-2012, 10:45 AM
Those people aren't Christians.

Yet I bet they'd label themselves as such.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-20-2012, 10:50 AM
Yet I bet they'd label themselves as such.

Then they're hypocrites.

Davian93
01-20-2012, 10:57 AM
Then they're hypocrites.

Well, obviously. Sadly, that describes a very large number of "Christians".

Ivhon
01-20-2012, 10:59 AM
Those people aren't Christians.

That's kindof the problem, though, Gil. They are Christians.

In the same way that Bryan - whose views I greatly enjoyed reading, btw - can claim to be a Christian, so can these assholes.

You guys (and Dav and to a much lesser extent me, I reckon) point to various passages, teachings, beliefs and interpretations to justify self-identification as being Christian. If we accept that, then we must also accept the various passages, teachings, beliefs and interpretations that are the basis of their claims to be Christian.

Unfortunately and sadly Christianity is both. It is not IMO possible to divorce either the good works or the incredible nastiness done over the last 2k+ years in the name of Jesus. One cannot point to one extreme or the other and say "this is Christianity, that is not." History does not bear it out. History teaches us that Christianity is simultaneously both extremes at all times and in that regard it simply has never changed.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-20-2012, 11:00 AM
Well, obviously. Sadly, that describes a very large number of "Christians".

Doesn't mean all of us are like that, though. So, I'd appreciate not being lumped in with the lunatics.

Zombie Sammael
01-20-2012, 11:04 AM
Doesn't mean all of us are like that, though. So, I'd appreciate not being lumped in with the lunatics.

No-one is doing that. Some homosexuals commit crimes, doesn't mean all homosexuals are criminals (in most Western countries, at least).

Gilshalos Sedai
01-20-2012, 11:07 AM
That's kindof the problem, though, Gil. They are Christians.

In the same way that Bryan - whose views I greatly enjoyed reading, btw - can claim to be a Christian, so can these assholes.

You guys (and Dav and to a much lesser extent me, I reckon) point to various passages, teachings, beliefs and interpretations to justify self-identification as being Christian. If we accept that, then we must also accept the various passages, teachings, beliefs and interpretations that are the basis of their claims to be Christian.

Unfortunately and sadly Christianity is both. It is not IMO possible to divorce either the good works or the incredible nastiness done over the last 2k+ years in the name of Jesus. One cannot point to one extreme or the other and say "this is Christianity, that is not." History does not bear it out. History teaches us that Christianity is simultaneously both extremes at all times and in that regard it simply has never changed.

Southern Baptists have regressed back to the primitive days of their religion as a knee jerk reaction to the changes in modern society. I refuse to call them what they call themselves as I believe they've lost the entire point of Jesus' message.

Many horrid things have been done in Jesus' name, yes. Doesn't make those people Christian, either.

You can call yourself whatever label you want. As can I. I have a Flying Spaghetti Monster decal somewhere in my house which I keep meaning to put on my fridge (I don't put stuff on my car). It doesn't mean that any of us are correct. The ultimate arbitration of that won't come about till we die, after all.

However, I call those people hypocrites since they claim to follow the Bible literally, yet the women cut their hair short and do not wear a hat to church. (I Corinthians) And said women speak out in church and teach men. (Also I Corinthians)

Tomp
01-20-2012, 11:07 AM
Doesn't mean all of us are like that, though. So, I'd appreciate not being lumped in with the lunatics.

Being a regular poster on this site qualifies you for being a lunatic all by itself. :p

Gilshalos Sedai
01-20-2012, 11:08 AM
No-one is doing that. Some homosexuals commit crimes, doesn't mean all homosexuals are criminals (in most Western countries, at least).


Bullshit. Have you READ this thread?

Davian93
01-20-2012, 11:18 AM
Doesn't mean all of us are like that, though. So, I'd appreciate not being lumped in with the lunatics.

Um...so would I. But the reality is that these idiots are far more obnoxiously loud than you or I.

Davian93
01-20-2012, 11:28 AM
And said women speak out in church and teach men. (Also I Corinthians)


Paul's admonition was towards women that were basically gossiping/chattering during church rather than saying they shouldn't ever speak in church. Another explanation is that it referred to the discussion of prophets, not a ban on speaking at all.

Indeed 1 Corinthians 11 talks about women praying in public/church. and that it is okay...as long as they have long hair that is.


Paul was a bit wacky.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-20-2012, 11:30 AM
Paul's admonition was towards women that were basically gossiping/chattering during church rather than saying they shouldn't ever speak in church. Another explanation is that it referred to the discussion of prophets, not a ban on speaking at all.

Indeed 1 Corinthians 11 talks about women praying in public/church. and that it is okay...as long as they have long hair that is.


Paul was a bit wacky.


But he doesn't specify, he generalizes. That passage is the reason women can only be nuns in Catholicism. Literalists don't look at the context, Dav. The hypocrisy comes in when they claim to take it literally and then pick and choose which to take.

Davian93
01-20-2012, 11:32 AM
But he doesn't specify, he generalizes. That passage is the reason women can only be nuns in Catholicism. Literalists don't look at the context, Dav.

Yes, I know. It also has to do with an imperfect translation of the greek word "laleo" which translates more closely to "gossip" than "speak" but the Catholics and other denominations chose to use the one that gave men more power.

GonzoTheGreat
01-20-2012, 11:35 AM
Doesn't mean all of us are like that, though. So, I'd appreciate not being lumped in with the lunatics.
Simple solution: do not claim to be a Christian yourself.

After all, it should be clear that you can't stop them from claiming their place in the big group of Christians, so the only way to avoid the lumping is not to volunteer for it by joining their group.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-20-2012, 11:40 AM
Simple solution: do not claim to be a Christian yourself.

After all, it should be clear that you can't stop them from claiming their place in the big group of Christians, so the only way to avoid the lumping is not to volunteer for it by joining their group.

Except they already have labels for themselves. "Paulists," "Southern Baptists," "Literalists."

Davian93
01-20-2012, 11:41 AM
Except they already have labels for themselves. "Paulists," "Southern Baptists," "Literalists."

I wonder what Christianity would look like if a majority of the new testament was written by Peter/other apostles rather than Paul (a man who never knew Christ the man)

GonzoTheGreat
01-20-2012, 11:43 AM
Except they already have labels for themselves. "Paulists," "Southern Baptists," "Literalists."
No problem then, is there? If they do not claim to be Christians, then you won't get lumped in one group with them.

Except by me, as I have a tendency to call the whole lot of you (and many others too) simply "Jews" because you all think you're worshipping the same god. But I admit that I haven't managed to convince many people of the sense in that, yet.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-20-2012, 11:48 AM
I wonder what Christianity would look like if a majority of the new testament was written by Peter/other apostles rather than Paul (a man who never knew Christ the man)

From a friend's page:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

Zombie Sammael
01-20-2012, 12:00 PM
Bullshit. Have you READ this thread?

Should have read "no-one called Zombie Sammael or any of his aliases is doing that", sorry. ;)

Tomp
01-20-2012, 12:02 PM
I wonder what Christianity would look like if a majority of the new testament was written by Peter/other apostles rather than Paul (a man who never knew Christ the man)

Probably way more anti-imperial (anti-roman) views.

frenchie
01-20-2012, 12:30 PM
Yes, I know. It also has to do with an imperfect translation of the greek word "laleo" which translates more closely to "gossip" than "speak" but the Catholics and other denominations chose to use the one that gave men more power.

What, you mean a self-appointed apostle who was both a Roman citizen and a Pharisee might have mis-represented what Yeshua was teaching?

Sukoto
01-20-2012, 07:20 PM
Perhaps. I only meant that the 'majority rules' definition is one of the central issues facing the LDS church when it comes to religious legitimacy in our society. You're 'sensitive' to the futility of discussing the semantics. I can relate (http://theoryland.yuku.com/topic/2203/Defenition-of-Terms#.Txk0_2NWq68) to that. (Funny to see Crispy coming down on the same side of that argument....but our fearless leader, a rather insensitive Mormon apparently, was on Crispy's side.)
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by 'religious legitimacy,' so I'll give it my best guess. Mormons have always been a very small minority in the U.S., so gaining 'legitimacy' in the eyes of other religions has never really been a goal of the LDS church. They're not about to join any Protestant coalitions or anything. As long as religious freedom exists, the LDS church will keep doing its thing.

Anyway, my original reason for chiming in was to point out that semantics is almost always going to be an issue in any discussion, no matter what it is. This comes from my experience as a linguist more than anything else. But since you threw Mormonism in there, I don't mind sharing my perspective.

GonzoTheGreat
01-21-2012, 05:53 AM
I'm not exactly sure what you mean by 'religious legitimacy,' so I'll give it my best guess. Mormons have always been a very small minority in the U.S., so gaining 'legitimacy' in the eyes of other religions has never really been a goal of the LDS church. They're not about to join any Protestant coalitions or anything. As long as religious freedom exists, the LDS church will keep doing its thing.
Yes, but as long as a large segment of the voting population considers "being properly religious" an important issue when it comes to politicians, it would seem that "religious legitimacy" is indeed important. Nowadays, a lot of Protestants may think that Roman Catholics are not correct, but they won't automatically refuse to vote for a candidate who happens to be RC. Many (how many is probably going to be tested in the next election) would refuse to vote for a Mormon, since they do not consider that a legitimate religion.

Terez
01-21-2012, 06:07 AM
Yes, but as long as a large segment of the voting population considers "being properly religious" an important issue when it comes to politicians, it would seem that "religious legitimacy" is indeed important. Nowadays, a lot of Protestants may think that Roman Catholics are not correct, but they won't automatically refuse to vote for a candidate who happens to be RC. Many (how many is probably going to be tested in the next election) would refuse to vote for a Mormon, since they do not consider that a legitimate religion.
It goes a little deeper than that, of course. But from my observations, the Mormon way of dealing with that is somewhat similar to the way the black population dealt with discrimination, which is sort of a self-supporting isolationist approach. Your friends are Mormons, you try to work for Mormons, you hire Mormons to work for you, you move to Utah, etc.

Terez
02-17-2012, 01:56 AM
Dead (http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120214/LOCAL04/120219722/-1/LOCAL11).

Durvasha
02-17-2012, 02:30 AM
Do they even know Hinduism has more creation myth than all other religions put together? Hinduism is not an organized religion. It is what outsiders called a group of nature/spirit worshippers, and made them stick together; In the process putting philosophers, medics, religious and crazies all in the same mix. It still has books referencing hundreds of creation myths. Sometimes several coexisting in a single book, and the followers will believe all of them at the same time, even the mutually contradictory ones :D. As an aside, Hindus never called themselves Hindus until another religion (Islam) tried to forcibly convert all India.

And I could never understand what Buddhism's creation myth is. Believe me, I tried very hard to learn it. That speaker ruined a really great court trial :mad:.

Terez
02-17-2012, 02:45 AM
The Shinto creation myth is a pretty good one. From what I understand, many Buddhists adopt the creation myths of local (Hindu, Shinto, etc.).

GonzoTheGreat
02-17-2012, 05:19 AM
That speaker ruined a really great court trial :mad:.
He's a Republican, you know. :p