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Author Topic: "This board leans to the left"....?
Logoboros
We Three Blings


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I also think Peter's not getting very accurate news -- since when does Bush "feel the need to strenuously deny accusations that he has a 'religious agenda'"? Bush is very open about his Christianity; indeed it's one of his selling points to his base. He's made supporting and expanding "faith-based" programs a significant part of his domestic program.

The closest thing I can think of to what Peter might be describing is the claim that war in Iraqi/Afganistan is not a "religious crusade" -- though I can't recall Bush himself directly addressing the issue (though he may well have). The defense is more commonly made by pundits and supporters of the administration.

Bush is certainly in no way embarrassed by his religious beliefs and convictions, and does not try to quietly keep them under wraps.

And Barack Obama, among those godless, liberal Democrats, has often addressed his faith in his speeches. A very recent example from his World AIDS day speech:
quote:
My faith also tells me that - as Pastor Rick has said - it is not a sin to be sick. My Bible tells me that when God sent his only Son to Earth, it was to heal the sick and comfort the weary; to feed the hungry and clothe the naked; to befriend the outcast and redeem those who strayed from righteousness.

Living His example is the hardest kind of faith - but it is surely the most rewarding. It is a way of life that can not only light our way as people of faith, but guide us to a new and better politics as Americans.

So religious discourse in American politics is alive and well -- indeed, gaining in vigor, it would seem.

Also, I can testify that in the South and Midwest, where I have lived, I have frequently encountered people who loudly assert the absolute literal truth of the Genesis story and the school-worthiness of "Creation Science" -- not just intelligent design, but actual Creationism.

I think the degree of persecution is exaggerated on both sides -- even in the South, Silas is unlikely to be physically assaulted for announcing his atheism, even in a bar full of drunken, angry evangelical football players. But he would almost certainly be vebally harangued, vilified, told he was going to hell, and in some towns could well find himself without a job (unless he was in a government job).

--Logoboros

--------------------
"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Logoboros:
I think the degree of persecution is exaggerated on both sides -- even in the South, Silas is unlikely to be physically assaulted for announcing his atheism, even in a bar full of drunken, angry evangelical football players.

As a person who tends to note certain bits of information, I can tell you that Silas has been physically assaulted because of his atheism.

--------------------
"victory thru self-deception"

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
I guess with the "anecdotal" sample I get, somehow I always manage to miss the reports of Christians beating up atheists in the streets. Or do they maybe tar and feather you, or burn you at the stake? [Roll Eyes] Don't worry Silas, if what you say is true you can claim asylum as a refugee in Australia.

In fact, I was beaten, at an early age, by "Christians," not for proclaiming atheism, but for asking questions they didn't know how to answer.

Your use of mockery and sarcasm does not advance your attempt to defend your faith as reason-based and worthy of respect.

Silas

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Salamander
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Ahhh... well, I was close although factually incorrect.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Salamander:
Ahhh... well, I was close although factually incorrect.

Actually, you spanked me, as I'd posted before I saw your message.

The actual story is vaguely amusing: I was quite young, and had been looking at art prints of the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes. I was particularly skeptical at the famous "Creation of Adam" scene, and I made the mistake of saying so aloud on the schoolyard.

"God can't sit on a cloud. Clouds are just water vapor. He would fall right through."

This objection, which to us is more droll than anything else, prompted my little playmates to beat me up, throw me to the ground, and drag me around for a while.

The experience instilled an antipathy in my flesh. I can only be extremely thankful for *good* Christians who have had the patience and kindness to help me overcome my bitter prejudice against their faith.

PeterK: thou ain't helping.

Silas

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Logoboros
We Three Blings


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I'll go ahead and throw this out, especially for PeterK if he really wants an insight into Christianity in the U.S.

There's a great episode of the American public radio program "This American Life" called "Pray," in which the reporter visits a megachurch in Colorado Springs. This megachurch isn't entirely typical of American Protestant churches, but it is a model that is rapidly increasing in popularity and spreadign across the nation. You might not find them in New England or the Northwestern states as much, but they're everywhere in the South and very common across the Heartland.

The program's only an hour long (and the Colorado Springs segment only 36 minutes, starting about 6 minutes into the broadcast), and believe me, it's a fascinating hour. You can listen to it entirely for free here. Just click the little speaker icon.

--Logoboros

--------------------
"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Perhaps it's more acceptable in the USA to admit that you practise your religion, but most people practising a religion in Australia don't dare to admit it to most of their workmates or social acquaintances, or sadly often even members of their family, for fear of ridicule or worse.

You must have very strange workmates, social acquaintances and family. Admittedly, religion doesn't come up in conversation very often, but I don't know of anyone being ridiculed over it.
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Most of the remaining small minority who actually practise a religion are generally loath to admit to anyone that they go to church/synagogue/temple/mosque each week. Let alone that they try to put the principles of their religion into practice in their daily lives. Any politician who was brave/foolish enough to admit this would be metaphorically "crucified" in the media, in parliament and no doubt by voters.

The only Australian politician I can think of who even came close to being "crucified" by the media because of his religion was Tony Abbott, when, as health minister and with no medical training, he had full control over the availability of RU486 while simultaneously being vocally anti-abortion. The fact that he is Catholic was just icing on the cake. If anything I've noticed what I consider to be a worrying trend toward overt displays of religion from our politicians. I would much rather they kept religion out of politics, but I suspect those days are over.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
The news reports I see from the US show lots of Americans loudly and publicly ridiculing both religion and "creation science".

Huh? As someone who watches a fair bit of American TV, huh?

I suspect you'd see a lot more of the latter than the former. And "creation science" is "mocked" precisely because it isn't a science, yet claims to be. Oh, and a lot of people doing the "mocking" are quite religious themselves. Something about making a mockery of their faith.

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
[qb] Trollface, please explain just what you meant by the crack about "setting off a bomb in a marketplace", if you claim you did not intend your apparent meaning that this is a typical result of belief in God/religion.

Why are you suddenly bringing this up again, after seemingly disposing of it?
"Bringing it up again"?? [Confused] You brought it up. I merely replied to your accusation that my refutation of it is "a casual dismissal of my argument by way of gross mischaracterisation."
quote:

Well, whatever, where did you get the bizarre idea that I thought it was "typical" of people who belief in God or religion? Seeing as I have posted figures that show that 11/12ths of the world's population are theists, that would have to make me believe that 11/12ths of the world's population were active terrorists, wouldn't it? Does that sound even slightly reasonable to you?

I meant exactly what I said. There are people who put bombs in market places, as a result of their religious views. A boss falling in love with his secretary is neither "as high-profile or as damaging" as this.

Am I wrong?

The point I was making was, as I explicitly said, that when it comes down to being thought of as "evil", religion ranks higher than love, because it's easy to think of high-profile acts that are easily identifiable as evil that are caused by, or center around religion, wheras it's hard to think of many that center around love.

Wrong? No doubt you'll claim that's merely a matter of opinion, but you're being very unreasonable at least. If bombing innocents is the first thing that comes easily to your mind when someone mentions religion, it seems likely because you have spent so much effort focussing on the evil "effects" of religion, real and imagined.
quote:
Is it your contention that love has a worse reputation than religion in the world as a whole? Because it seems unlikely that you do to me, as you've been trying to persuade me that being religious is a huge social stigma.
No, I was countering the unfounded assertion that people generally adopt religious beliefs because of social pressure.
quote:

quote:
And please explain what your references to Bush, Blair etc were about if, as you now claim, you weren't trying to show that having religion is a social asset in the US and UK.
Exactly what I said. That having religion was "socially acceptable" - something that you said it wasn't.

Why am I having to go back a few posts and repost what I've already said? And why, yet again, are you putting words in my mouth? Why not just use the ones I actually type?

I suppose if I think about it long enough I can see a slight shade of difference between "a social asset" and "socially acceptable" - but hardly one that justifies an accusation of "putting words in your mouth".
quote:

quote:
I will give statistically valid scientific proof of my statements just as soon as you do.
Again you're using the word "proof" - one that I haven't used. All I've asked you to do is to provide some evidence - any evidence - that backs up what you're claiming to be true. If being religious is the huge social stigma that you paint it to be - to the degree that it is only a "small minority who actually practise a religion" on the planet, then surely there must be something you can provide that indicates that it's the case, even if only vaguely?

Even explain your reasoning. Tell me how you came to your conclusions. What is your thinking based on? Something other than repeatedly stating it. Because, just because you say something is so, doesn't make it true. It doesn't make it a fact. And the only evidence that has materialised at all indicates that you're wrong.

Right back at you pal.
quote:

quote:
I've disposed twice of your invalid conclusions from census figures[...]
Um, no you haven't.

quote:
[...] you haven't produced anything else remotely resembling "evidence".
Yes I have. I've even drawn your attention to it after you ignored it. And I've discussed it for the third time in this post.

Which is two pieces of evidence more than you have provided.

I see. When you assert something it's "evidence", but when I assert something it's a totally unfounded opinion. Hardly seems any point discussing anything further with you.
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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by evilrabbit:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
[qb]It may be true that a vague agnosticism is somewhat more socially acceptable than an aggressive doctrinaire atheism, but in general the modern social rule is the less religion the better.

Not in the U.S. Heck, here, it is a social gaffe to state aloud that you believe in evolution, whereas speaking out loud about the literal truth of Noah's Ark or the Genesis account of creation is commonplace and broadly accepted.

The rest of the world really doesn't get how God-besotted the U.S. is. The snopes bbs is one of the very few places where I can discuss my atheism without sincere fear for my physical safety.

Silas

The news reports I see from the US show lots of Americans loudly and publicly ridiculing both religion and "creation science". I guess with the "anecdotal" sample I get, somehow I always manage to miss the reports of Christians beating up atheists in the streets. Or do they maybe tar and feather you, or burn you at the stake? [Roll Eyes] Don't worry Silas, if what you say is true you can claim asylum as a refugee in Australia.

So you haven't heard about the bans on gay marriage? Or the "When does a fetus become a child?" debate? Or school districts outlawing the teaching of evolution? Or the "War on 'The War on Christmas'"? Or Bill O'Reilly? Or really, anything but a small sampling of media, which then led you to believe that "most Americans aren't [openly*] religious" despite the evidence of many, many Americans who do, in fact identify themsleves as religious?
Heard about them all, but it's the first time I've seen someone attempt to equate them to people being physically assaulted because they are atheists.
quote:
*word added due to sudden suggestion by PeterK that there are large groups of secret Christians out there, hiding from...who, exactly, Pete?
You tell me, you're the one who's making up the story.
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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
quote:
Originally posted by Salamander:
Ahhh... well, I was close although factually incorrect.

Actually, you spanked me, as I'd posted before I saw your message.

The actual story is vaguely amusing: I was quite young, and had been looking at art prints of the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes. I was particularly skeptical at the famous "Creation of Adam" scene, and I made the mistake of saying so aloud on the schoolyard.

"God can't sit on a cloud. Clouds are just water vapor. He would fall right through."

This objection, which to us is more droll than anything else, prompted my little playmates to beat me up, throw me to the ground, and drag me around for a while.

The experience instilled an antipathy in my flesh. I can only be extremely thankful for *good* Christians who have had the patience and kindness to help me overcome my bitter prejudice against their faith.

PeterK: thou ain't helping.

Silas

So if those kindy kids had instead beat you up because you said Fanta was better than Coke, you would now as a grown man have a "bitter prejudice" against all Coke drinkers and live in mortal fear that they would beat you up if you ever publicly revealed that you still prefer Fanta? You need help that is not available through a message board, mate. Perhaps it's not all that surprising that you extrapolate this apparently traumatic early experience into an irrational belief that religious people are always bashing atheists; but the bizarre thing is that some others here actually regard this as a valid objective conclusion!
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Em
Happy Holly Days


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 -

--------------------
What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Logoboros
We Three Blings


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Peter, did Silas say "always"?

Your stock and trade in this thread, which I've been trying to engage with you earnestly is, has been in gross generalizations, that we have to keep coming back and getting you to qualify over and over again. I feel like I'm playing whack-a-mole.

Please don't assume that everyone is trading in the same logical errors you are.

ETA: Also, who here has argued that atheists do, in fact, receive condemnation based solely on Silas' one childhood encounter (even Silas isn't saying that this is the only evidence). You cannot dismiss everyone else's evidence just because this one anecdotal example (which came up rather late in the discussion) isn't entirely compelling.

--Logoboros

--------------------
"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
[qb]Perhaps it's more acceptable in the USA to admit that you practise your religion, but most people practising a religion in Australia don't dare to admit it to most of their workmates or social acquaintances, or sadly often even members of their family, for fear of ridicule or worse.

You must have very strange workmates, social acquaintances and family. Admittedly, religion doesn't come up in conversation very often, but I don't know of anyone being ridiculed over it.
May I ask do you practise a religion and if so have you ever told your workmates about it? I suspect that often what comes across as ridicule to the vvictim is perceived as "just repeating what "everybody knows", or "harmless jokes" by the perpetrators.
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Most of the remaining small minority who actually practise a religion are generally loath to admit to anyone that they go to church/synagogue/temple/mosque each week. Let alone that they try to put the principles of their religion into practice in their daily lives. Any politician who was brave/foolish enough to admit this would be metaphorically "crucified" in the media, in parliament and no doubt by voters.

The only Australian politician I can think of who even came close to being "crucified" by the media because of his religion was Tony Abbott, when, as health minister and with no medical training, he had full control over the availability of RU486 while simultaneously being vocally anti-abortion. The fact that he is Catholic was just icing on the cake.
Not so. I have no time for Abbott's politics, but the rules about abortifacients had been in place during the terms of several Health Ministers, both Liberal and Labor, and both pro- and anti-abortion, with no controversy. It was only when the seat was occupied by someone who happened to be a Catholic that it suddenly became a red-hot issue of "we can't let a Catholic make these decisions". Even though Abbott went to great pains to make it obvious that he was not an "agent of the Pope" as one commentator called him. Even denying falsely that he had spoken to an archbishop. If he had dared to openly talk about his faith, or admit that it influenced his political decisions, what was a very ugly affair in any case would have become political mayhem.
quote:
If anything I've noticed what I consider to be a worrying trend toward overt displays of religion from our politicians. I would much rather they kept religion out of politics, but I suspect those days are over.
I'm guessing you must be very young. Maybe in the last 5 years or so religion has "come out" a bit more in politics, but compared to the situation 50 or 100 years ago, it's invisible.
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evilrabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
 -

I'm with Em on this one. Either PeterK is saying something completely different than what I think he's saying, or he isn't making much sense.

--------------------
"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Logoboros:
Peter, did Silas say "always"?

Your stock and trade in this thread, which I've been trying to engage with you earnestly is, has been in gross generalizations, that we have to keep coming back and getting you to qualify over and over again. I feel like I'm playing whack-a-mole.

Please don't assume that everyone is trading in the same logical errors you are.

ETA: Also, who here has argued that atheists do, in fact, receive condemnation based solely on Silas' one childhood encounter (even Silas isn't saying that this is the only evidence). You cannot dismiss everyone else's evidence just because this one anecdotal example (which came up rather late in the discussion) isn't entirely compelling.

--Logoboros

Perhaps you missed what Silas actually said:
quote:
Not in the U.S. Heck, here, it is a social gaffe to state aloud that you believe in evolution, whereas speaking out loud about the literal truth of Noah's Ark or the Genesis account of creation is commonplace and broadly accepted.

The rest of the world really doesn't get how God-besotted the U.S. is. The snopes bbs is one of the very few places where I can discuss my atheism without sincere fear for my physical safety.
Silas

There are gross generalisations, sure, but I didn't originate them. And evilrabbit and Salamander seem to confirm Silas' illogical conclusion.
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evilrabbit
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Where did I say that atheists get beat up on a regular basis? I just said that it was very common for people to profess religious beliefs. [Confused]
ETA: By the way, do you remember when you said:
quote:
Though these days it's far more common for believers to pretend NOT to believe because of such pressure.
Yeah, THAT's what I was talking about when I referred to believers "hiding". When you said that believers were, you know, HIDING.

--------------------
"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
May I ask do you practise a religion and if so have you ever told your workmates about it? I suspect that often what comes across as ridicule to the vvictim is perceived as "just repeating what "everybody knows", or "harmless jokes" by the perpetrators.

I am agnostic, which puts me in the minority since most of my friends are religious. As I said, if your friends and workmates ridicule people for their religious views, that's because they are unusual, not because Australian society has it in for the religious.
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Not so. I have no time for Abbott's politics, but the rules about abortifacients had been in place during the terms of several Health Ministers, both Liberal and Labor, and both pro- and anti-abortion, with no controversy. It was only when the seat was occupied by someone who happened to be a Catholic that it suddenly became a red-hot issue of "we can't let a Catholic make these decisions". Even though Abbott went to great pains to make it obvious that he was not an "agent of the Pope" as one commentator called him. Even denying falsely that he had spoken to an archbishop. If he had dared to openly talk about his faith, or admit that it influenced his political decisions, what was a very ugly affair in any case would have become political mayhem.

I don't think his Catholicism had anything to do with the introduction of the bill to give regulatory control to the TGA. The issue had been around for a while and needed to be sorted out. As you said, none of the previous ministers had allowed the use of the drug, and it was felt by many that the decision needed to be given to the body which actually regulates the use of prescription drugs in this country rather than to a politician who doesn't know what he's talking about.
quote:
I'm guessing you must be very young. Maybe in the last 5 years or so religion has "come out" a bit more in politics, but compared to the situation 50 or 100 years ago, it's invisible.
Oh yes, I'm practically an infant. In fact you'll have to excuse me, it's time for my afternoon feed.

--------------------
What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Logoboros
We Three Blings


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And what you've quotes has what to do with showing that Silas is claiming that religious people are always bashing atheists? His claim is that in the U.S., there are religious people who vehemently condemn atheism. His fear of physical harm is perhaps not well founded. But the claim does not rely upon the reality that he might be beaten up.

So let me tell you: it requires no special effort to find a "religious person" here in my town who will quite candidly tell you that atheists go to hell. With only slightly greater selectivity, I could find you one who will candidly tell you that atheists pose an actual threat to the wellbeing of the country.

I don't need Silas' anecdote to prove this for me. Am I still wrong? Am I lying? Is my conclusion "illogical?"

--Logoboros

--------------------
"If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyranny."

--William Blake

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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
The news reports I see from the US show lots of Americans loudly and publicly ridiculing both religion and "creation science".

Huh? As someone who watches a fair bit of American TV, huh?

I suspect you'd see a lot more of the latter than the former. And "creation science" is "mocked" precisely because it isn't a science, yet claims to be. Oh, and a lot of people doing the "mocking" are quite religious themselves. Something about making a mockery of their faith.

Thank you, I've been pointing that out here for some time to little effect. Maybe now people here can stop blaming generic "religion" or "Christianity" for the antics of the so-called "creation scientists".
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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by evilrabbit:
Where did I say that atheists get beat up on a regular basis? I just said that it was very common for people to profess religious beliefs. [Confused]
ETA: By the way, do you remember when you said:
quote:
Though these days it's far more common for believers to pretend NOT to believe because of such pressure.
Yeah, THAT's what I was talking about when I referred to believers "hiding". When you said that believers were, you know, HIDING.
Sneer all you like, I "hide" as you call it, on a daily basis.
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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I'm curious, Peter: your post made it sound like criticizing creation scientists and bashing religion were both bad. Are you saying that criticizing creation science isn't bad now? Because it's not religion?

If so, why bring it up?

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Sneer all you like, I "hide" as you call it, on a daily basis.

Is it because you're paranoid? I bet it's because you're paranoid. [fish] [Razz]

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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evilrabbit
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Sneer all you like, I "hide" as you call it, on a daily basis.
Sorry to hear that, do you have any response that doesn't sound like a cry for sympathy?

That was snarky. I apologize. Let me rephrase. Other than saying that you (one person, in one location) feel it necessary to conceal your faith, do you have any evidence to support your statements? Can you point to any sign that "social pressure" is acting against open practice of religion? Several poster have stated that religious people are not only accepted, but in fact the majority, in their areas. trollface posted census data showing that most people self-report as belonging to a religion. Are you suggesting that they lied on the census? To what end? Em has said that in her experience, it is quite acceptable to profess a religion. I brought up several issues which are currently being discussed, primarily in religious terms, and the "Christian" view tends to match official policy more than the "atheistic".
The one fact that you offered as evidence that religious faith is less acceptable than atheism is the mockery of "creative design" which you agree is a view held by only a minority of Christians.
And so, along with many others, I ask: what are you basing your position on? Why do you believe that "these days it's far more common for believers to pretend NOT to believe"? What "pressure" are you referring to?

--------------------
"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Sneer all you like, I "hide" as you call it, on a daily basis.

Is it because you're paranoid? I bet it's because you're paranoid. [fish] [Razz]
Whatever his reason, he'd best stop hiding, or Wintermute will neither vote for him nor do business with him.
ETA: If he (Wintermute) can help it, that is.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
May I ask do you practise a religion and if so have you ever told your workmates about it? I suspect that often what comes across as ridicule to the vvictim is perceived as "just repeating what "everybody knows", or "harmless jokes" by the perpetrators.

I am agnostic, which puts me in the minority since most of my friends are religious.
Then you don't seem to be in a position to know how groups of agnostics/atheists treat the religious.
quote:
As I said, if your friends and workmates ridicule people for their religious views, that's because they are unusual, not because Australian society has it in for the religious.
Society as a whole? Perhaps. More typically there are one or two bigots in a group, the rest tacitly approve, or don't speak up because they don't want to become victims themselves.
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Not so. I have no time for Abbott's politics, but the rules about abortifacients had been in place during the terms of several Health Ministers, both Liberal and Labor, and both pro- and anti-abortion, with no controversy. It was only when the seat was occupied by someone who happened to be a Catholic that it suddenly became a red-hot issue of "we can't let a Catholic make these decisions". Even though Abbott went to great pains to make it obvious that he was not an "agent of the Pope" as one commentator called him. Even denying falsely that he had spoken to an archbishop. If he had dared to openly talk about his faith, or admit that it influenced his political decisions, what was a very ugly affair in any case would have become political mayhem.

I don't think his Catholicism had anything to do with the introduction of the bill to give regulatory control to the TGA. The issue had been around for a while and needed to be sorted out. As you said, none of the previous ministers had allowed the use of the drug, and it was felt by many that the decision needed to be given to the body which actually regulates the use of prescription drugs in this country rather than to a politician who doesn't know what he's talking about.
Sorry to go a bit O/T but I have to correct this notion. Abortifacients have always been banned in Australia. Following an incident in the 1980s when a company got away with importing an abortifacient by having it surreptitiously approved by a faceless official (by abusing a scheme which was designed to allow people to import medicines which were unregistered in Australia, because they urgently needed medicines which hadn't finished the rego process yet, or they were dying and desperate to try any remedy even dubious ones which had been refused registration.) The then Labor govt under Health Minister Grahame Richardson passed a regulation to prevent this, by requiring that all applications to register an abortifacient, had to be approved by the Health Minister and tabled in parliament for democratic scrutiny. The therapeutic decision remained with the TGA, the ethical decision rested with the people's democratically elected representatives. Because Abbott was known to be religious (and no, he himself, unlike his raucous critics, is very rarely "vocal" about either his religion or his position on abortion), this sensible law was scrapped.
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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
I'm curious, Peter: your post made it sound like criticizing creation scientists and bashing religion were both bad. Are you saying that criticizing creation science isn't bad now? Because it's not religion?

If so, why bring it up?

Then you misunderstood me. I refuted both the claim that "creation scientists" and "religious people" persecute atheists and the claim that the two are the same thing.
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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by evilrabbit:
[QB]
quote:
Sneer all you like, I "hide" as you call it, on a daily basis.
Sorry to hear that, do you have any response that doesn't sound like a cry for sympathy?

That was snarky. I apologize. Let me rephrase. Other than saying that you (one person, in one location) feel it necessary to conceal your faith, do you have any evidence to support your statements? Can you point to any sign that "social pressure" is acting against open practice of religion? Several poster have stated that religious people are not only accepted, but in fact the majority, in their areas. trollface posted census data showing that most people self-report as belonging to a religion. Are you suggesting that they lied on the census?

If you can call it a "lie" stating that you have a religion when it is almost or completely nominal. I answered this at some length above.

The social pressure is by no means merely my own experience. Indeed this thread is the first time I have seen anyone dispute the fact that religious people are often under greater or lesser social pressure not to identify as such.

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
quote:
Originally posted by Em:
I am agnostic, which puts me in the minority since most of my friends are religious.

Then you don't seem to be in a position to know how groups of agnostics/atheists treat the religious.
[Eek!]
Yes she is... she's an agnostic, which puts her in an eminent position to know how agnostics treat the religious... because she knows how she treats her religious coworkers.

Also, as a matter of splitting hairs... there is nothing stopping an agnostic person from also being religious. The two are not incompatible (it just means they disagree if the church doctrine states that God is knowable... but there are many people who consider themselves as some form of Christian despite not agreeing with every last item of doctrine).

--------------------
"victory thru self-deception"

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Then you misunderstood me. I refuted both the claim that "creation scientists" and "religious people" persecute atheists and the claim that the two are the same thing.

 -

ETA: In case you're wondering, that's how I feel right now.

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
Indeed this thread is the first time I have seen anyone dispute the fact that religious people are often under greater or lesser social pressure not to identify as such.

Possibly because it is not, in fact, a fact.

ETA: A suggestion, if I may: If we all stop feeding him, he might stop jumping out from under his bridge at unwary travellers.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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evilrabbit
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
The social pressure is by no means merely my own experience. Indeed this thread is the first time I have seen anyone dispute the fact that religious people are often under greater or lesser social pressure not to identify as such.

That's odd, because this thread is the first time I've heard anyone suggest it.

Edit, because I have to address this: So, you're saying that many people report themselves as religious, when in reality they are only "nominally religious," as defined by you. Few people are, by your reckoning, truly religious, because of societal pressures. These same pressures cause many "truly religious" people to conceal their faith. So what you're suggesting is that there is a societal pressure to deny your true faith, but behave as if you are "nominally religious"? Do I have it right?
So, who's applying this pressure again?
edit again: But Em, it's fun! [/whine]

--------------------
"My sandwich choice is uncertain, until I actually order. It's like Schrodinger's Sandwich."
"Is plutonium involved in this sandwich in any way?"
"Maybe."

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PeterK
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Salamander:
quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
[qb]
quote:
Originally posted by Em:
I am agnostic, which puts me in the minority since most of my friends are religious.

Then you don't seem to be in a position to know how groups of agnostics/atheists treat the religious.

[Eek!]
Yes she is... she's an agnostic, which puts her in an eminent position to know how agnostics treat the religious... because she knows how she treats her religious coworkers.

No, as I said, the bigots only come out when they're in a numerically superior group. It seldom happens one-one one. It certainly wouldn't happen when she is the only agnostic with her religious friends, even if she was inclined to do so, which I'm sure she's not.
quote:

Also, as a matter of splitting hairs... there is nothing stopping an agnostic person from also being religious. The two are not incompatible (it just means they disagree if the church doctrine states that God is knowable... but there are many people who consider themselves as some form of Christian despite not agreeing with every last item of doctrine).

Er no. You need to look up the definition of "agnostic".

I take it no-one has any further doubt about the nature of the bias here.

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Flowy Chloe:
I think Love is an urban legend.


Well, I don't think I agree about that, but I do know that I can feel warm and fuzzy feelings towards a relative stranger in Oklahoma, just because she says I remind her of Simon Pegg.

Brains, looks, extensive feminist training and taste, you saucy little minx, you.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by PeterK:
"Bringing it up again"?? [Confused] You brought it up. I merely replied to your accusation that my refutation of it is "a casual dismissal of my argument by way of gross mischaracterisation."

I'm questioning why there was the gap where you ignored the point, and then suddenly found it the thing to discuss, at the expense of other, more recent, points.

And now you're addressing it by way of gross mischaracterisation.

quote:
If bombing innocents is the first thing that comes easily to your mind when someone mentions religion, it seems likely because you have spent so much effort focussing on the evil "effects" of religion, real and imagined.
I didn't say that it was.

I'm genuinely curious as to whether you are choosing not to understand the point I'm making, or whether you're genuinely unable to understand it. Whichever, what you're talking about bears very little resemblance to anything that I've said.

quote:
No, I was countering the unfounded assertion that people generally adopt religious beliefs because of social pressure.
You're right, that is an unfounded assumption. So much so that it's not one that anybody has made, least of all me. Now, if you'd like to have a go at countering some of the points that I have made, rather than making your own up, then maybe we could have a conversation.

quote:
I suppose if I think about it long enough I can see a slight shade of difference between "a social asset" and "socially acceptable" - but hardly one that justifies an accusation of "putting words in your mouth".
Only a slight difference? It's socially acceptable to have a beard. Does that make having one a social asset? It's socially acceptable to not have a beard. Does that make not having one a social asset?

Or is there, in fact, a large and pronounced difference between things that are a social advantage, and things that are socially neutral?

quote:
Right back at you pal.
What? This doesn't even pretend to make sense. It certainly doesn't qualify as a reasoned argument.

quote:
I see. When you assert something it's "evidence", but when I assert something it's a totally unfounded opinion.
Um, no. When I provide evidence, it's evidence. And when you assert something that's unfounded, it's a totally unfounded opinion. I have cited things. I have provided concrete examples. This is called "evidence". You have stated your opinion, repeatedly, as if it were fact, and have not backed it up in any way, shape or form. This is called an "unfounded opinion".

But, please, feel free to provide some evidence. It's what I've been asking you to do all along.

quote:
Hardly seems any point discussing anything further with you.
Well, you've got that right, at least.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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