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exton
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
emceeMC wrote:
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I think religion is bad because it promotes irrational thought, which makes for bad decision-making.


Generally speaking, religious people try to base their decisions off of what they consider to be good and moral, how is that bad?


It is neither bad nor good, in and of itself.

Where it goes wrong - if it goes wrong - is in how people determine what they believe is good and bad.


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In science, there is a reason behind properties. Electrolytes conduct electricity because their solutions are ionic, Noble gases aren't very reactive because they have 8 valence electrons. Background energy is a "property" of the universe, meaning either it has a discernible root as to why (which would lead to the question where did that root come from) or we have already reached the end of the line.


I don't necessarily disagree.

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Hedonism has to do with increasing pleasure, in other words maximizing your exposure to pleasurable stimulii (food, drink, sex, or "eat, drink and be merry", as the author of this thread so insightfully articulated.)


That is true.

Where you're missing things is in your definition of pleasureably stimuli. Those things that people find enjoyable are not limited to raw animal desires.

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There is no evidence to support, however, that religion or morality ever existed independently in the dawn of man.


Similarly, there's no evidence to suggest that i am not the almighty creator of the universe. But we wouldn't call that a reasonable proposition, would we?

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Our evidence of the first belief in the supernatural (burial) is compounded by the fact that the burial itself should be considered a moral act- since it bore no survival advantage.


Things that are done without survival advantage are moral acts? I don't think so.

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Therefore, I can say that "The first evidence of morality and the first evidence of religion are one in the same," and point to evidence. Unless you can point out some evidence that suggests one predated the other?


Well, that depends: how do you define religion?

I think of belief in the afterlife as religious, but only because i think of all supernatural beliefs as religious. Do you?

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No, I believe you can be moral without being religious. However, as I pointed out above, our only evidence of the origins of morality are compounded with a belief in the supernatural. Which leads me to conclude that belief in the supernatural gave birth to morality


That's another logical fallacy. Correlation does not imply causation.

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As I said before, outside of anything used to increase survival, religion is the oldest component of the human psyche, the first philosophy. There is something within people that draws us to a God.


To the supernatural. A god, in particular, is not universal amongst humans, unless you define it so broadly that it loses its actual meaning.

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We can disagree on what that is, but undoubtedly, it exists.


And what makes you believe that the tendency towards believing in the supernatural is not the result of a survival mechanism?
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Xerxes
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
emceeMC wrote:
Rofl Laughing Your only source of evidence that religious charities are bad: Bigoted Muslim News Sources. Yea, thats bulletproof.

Can even these sources prove their claims are true? And do they prove a majority of religious charities are corrupt?

I will not engage in debate with someone who can offer no evidence of their claims.


Works for me. I accept your apology.
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emceeMC
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Works for me. I accept your apology.


I never offered one, nor do I now or would I ever.

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Where it goes wrong - if it goes wrong - is in how people determine what they believe is good and bad.


As I said, people generally believe removing pain from the world is good. This is a fundamental tenet of most religions. In Christianity, it is The Golden Rule. Seems like a good measuring stick to me.

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I don't necessarily disagree.


Good. It is because of this belief that I have concluded science will never be able to explain the origins of the universe in full. We may disagree, but thats ok.

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Where you're missing things is in your definition of pleasureably stimuli. Those things that people find enjoyable are not limited to raw animal desires.


Many agree that pleasure and happiness are not necessarily the same thing, and I prescribe to this philosophy. Pleasure being the result of physical stimulation and the fulfillment of raw animal desires. Happiness is a state of mind that comes from the knowledge that one has led a fulfilling life. One can think he knows that hedonism has made him happy. However, he can never truly know, since he has not fully experienced all aspects of life, e.g., helping others live their best life. What I have a problem with is the authors description of why we are here.

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Why are we here?

Good question Jesus Viejo...good question...

Well, IMO, just like any other "animal", yes, I said it, we are animals...we are here to reproduce and/or survive ( I say and / or because of the gay community who unfortunately can't reproduce, but they can help carry on the species ). In the meantime we try to kill time by having fun, and make money so we can feed ourselves.

So basically we are here to have sex, eat, drink and be merry.


Certainly, you can indulge in hedonism and still come to be a positive influence on others, but the author simplifies our reason for existence down to wine-filled orgies, making no mention of the well-being of others, and states his belief that we plunge headfirst into unbridled animalistic hedonism. I disagree.

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Similarly, there's no evidence to suggest that i am not the almighty creator of the universe. But we wouldn't call that a reasonable proposition, would we?


The burden of proof falls on the person asserting the position. I asserted that as long as there has been morality, there has been religion. Since evidence is the basis of science, and I have cited burial evidence that shows belief in the supernatural and a code of morality originated at the same time, and there is no evidence of either predating the other, I have proved my assertion empirically true.

You have asked me to prove that they didn't exist at the same time, which is asking me to offer a negative proof. Which is regarded as a logical fallacy.

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Things that are done without survival advantage are moral acts? I don't think so.


Not nowadays. You can play Jenga and its neither good or bad. But Neanderthals were much more animalistic protohumans. We must observe their behavior as we would the behavior of modern day animals. If they take the time to do something that is not beneficial to their survival, we must question why. And why do people bury their dead? Again, most historians agree- a belief in the supernatural.

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Well, that depends: how do you define religion?


Belief in the supernatural.

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And what makes you believe that the tendency towards believing in the supernatural is not the result of a survival mechanism?


Because it presents no physical benefits/does not help us to survive better than anyone else. I survive just as well as you do, but we believe different things.

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That's another logical fallacy. Correlation does not imply causation.


Than why do we believe protocells gave birth to every living species today?
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exton
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
emceeMC wrote:

Quote:
Where it goes wrong - if it goes wrong - is in how people determine what they believe is good and bad.


As I said, people generally believe removing pain from the world is good. This is a fundamental tenet of most religions. In Christianity, it is The Golden Rule. Seems like a good measuring stick to me.


The fundamental tenet of all religions is that the supernatural exists and that it interacts with us. Many use that premise, as well as others, to arrange a moral code of behavior.

And you're right - many religions hold that reducing pain is good.

That's not where the problem lies.

The problem lies in the irrationality.

For example, pretty much everyone agrees that stopping the spread of AIDS in africa is a good idea.

Different people have different ideas on the matter, though.
One group of thought - a religiously motivated one - holds that we should tell african children to wait until marriage to have sex, and that we should not distribute contraceptives, nor should we teach african children how to use them.

That's irrational. And it's dangerous. And that is the sort of thing that bothers me.

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Good. It is because of this belief that I have concluded science will never be able to explain the origins of the universe in full. We may disagree, but thats ok.


I don't see how that conclusion follows from what you stated.

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Similarly, there's no evidence to suggest that i am not the almighty creator of the universe. But we wouldn't call that a reasonable proposition, would we?


The burden of proof falls on the person asserting the position. I asserted that as long as there has been morality, there has been religion. Since evidence is the basis of science, and I have cited burial evidence that shows belief in the supernatural and a code of morality originated at the same time,

(emphasis mine)

Except you haven't.

You've shown that morality and religion may have existed together a very long time ago.

You have *not* shown that they originated together.

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Things that are done without survival advantage are moral acts? I don't think so.


Not nowadays. You can play Jenga and its neither good or bad. But Neanderthals were much more animalistic protohumans. We must observe their behavior as we would the behavior of modern day animals. If they take the time to do something that is not beneficial to their survival, we must question why. And why do people bury their dead? Again, most historians agree- a belief in the supernatural.


On what basis do you assume that their behavior and mindset was more animalistic than human?

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And what makes you believe that the tendency towards believing in the supernatural is not the result of a survival mechanism?


Because it presents no physical benefits/does not help us to survive better than anyone else. I survive just as well as you do, but we believe different things.


The human ability to draw connections between things and events is a survival advantage - it allows us to understand the world.

That same ability is not faultless - it often comes up with connections between things that are not correct. A simple example is lucky charms; an athlete might notice that whenever he wins a game, he's wearing a certain shirt. He might conclude that the shirt is actually what is helping him win. He's wrong, but his mind draws the connection anyway.

The origins of religious thought are the same - people draw connections that don't necessarily exist.

REligion has no survival advantage, but the mechanism that brings it about does have survival advantage.

Quote:

Quote:
That's another logical fallacy. Correlation does not imply causation.


Than why do we believe protocells gave birth to every living species today?


Huh?
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emceeMC
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Different people have different ideas on the matter, though.
One group of thought - a religiously motivated one - holds that we should tell african children to wait until marriage to have sex, and that we should not distribute contraceptives, nor should we teach african children how to use them.


This is one area where religion is not doing the good it can be doing. I'm not saying all religions are perfect. However, there are schools of atheistic thought (what the author of this thread subscribes to) that hold wanton disregard for the state of other people, and that self-absorbed hedonism is the way to go.

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I don't see how that conclusion follows from what you stated.


I believe we agreed on that we have either reached the end of the line of discovery, or that should we discover the reason behind the background energy property that questions would arise as to the origins of the reason behind the property.

If something has a certain property to it, it is likely because of a certain makeup or structure to it, ions in electrolytes, electrons in noble gases, to recall my previous example.

Going of the the principle that nothing can simple "be", that there is a "why" root to the "what" state of something, I can conclude that science can travel down of path of infinite discovery without ever finding the root to all creation lying only in the physical realm.

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You've shown that morality and religion may have existed together a very long time ago.


What I have shown is that the earliest recorded evidence of morality is compounded by a belief in the supernatural. One cannot exist without the other, in terms of origin. By your own assertion:

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The fundamental tenet of all religions is that the supernatural exists and that it interacts with us. Many use that premise, as well as others, to arrange a moral code of behavior.


Logically, it can be deduced that because of this truth, and the fact that morality bears no survival advantage to Neanderthals, religion gave birth to morality. However, one needn't guess. Evidence for religion and morality didn't just arise at the same time, the same piece of evidence suggests both were present at the time. The fact that the only evidence we have of prehistoric religion comes after, not before, the practice of moral codes implies one begets the other.

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On what basis do you assume that their behavior and mindset was more animalistic than human?


On the basis that the were a pre-evolved form of humans. While I may not believe in non-cell evolution into humans happened all on its own, humans were just emerging out of a less refined status. The question is, why were pre-belief in supernatural neanderthals more animalistic than the post-religion brand. Because they did not live by any moral code, survived purely on instinct and an increased degree of intellect, and did not partake in "frivolous" indulgences of humans today (Jenga, or political debate for example, anything unneccesary to survive). The importance of morality marks a turning point in which humans would gradually progress to be more human than animalistic.

Quote:
A simple example is lucky charms; an athlete might notice that whenever he wins a game, he's wearing a certain shirt. He might conclude that the shirt is actually what is helping him win. He's wrong, but his mind draws the connection anyway.


Your example is flawed because the athlete believes he is doing something that will be beneficial to him. The burial of the dead does not directly benefit a nomadic hunter-gatherer people. In fact, the burial of the dead with certain objects or possessions has led historians to conclude Neanderthals likely were providing the departed with things he may need in the next life. While Neanderthals may have had the desire to better understand the world, The idea of exerting energy for the benefit of people who are no longer living, and the sacrificing of objects or possessions to the earth for the benefit of that dead person, does not assist in survival.
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exton
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
emceeMC wrote:
Quote:
Different people have different ideas on the matter, though.
One group of thought - a religiously motivated one - holds that we should tell african children to wait until marriage to have sex, and that we should not distribute contraceptives, nor should we teach african children how to use them.


This is one area where religion is not doing the good it can be doing.


The issue isn't that some religions dictate bad morals - the issue is that they dictate morals in the first place. They put moral thought on a thoroughly irrational grounding.

Quote:

I'm not saying all religions are perfect. However, there are schools of atheistic thought (what the author of this thread subscribes to) that hold wanton disregard for the state of other people, and that self-absorbed hedonism is the way to go.


The concept of a "school of atheistic thought" is silly - atheists are only united in their lack of belief in gods. Everything else is a toss-up.

Quote:

Quote:
I don't see how that conclusion follows from what you stated.


I believe we agreed on that we have either reached the end of the line of discovery, or that should we discover the reason behind the background energy property that questions would arise as to the origins of the reason behind the property.

If something has a certain property to it, it is likely because of a certain makeup or structure to it, ions in electrolytes, electrons in noble gases, to recall my previous example.


Unless, of course, you reach a point at which structure ends.

Quote:

Going of the the principle that nothing can simple "be", that there is a "why" root to the "what" state of something, I can conclude that science can travel down of path of infinite discovery without ever finding the root to all creation lying only in the physical realm.


Are you familiar with recursion?

Quote:

Quote:
You've shown that morality and religion may have existed together a very long time ago.


What I have shown is that the earliest recorded evidence of morality is compounded by a belief in the supernatural. One cannot exist without the other, in terms of origin.


That's just it: you haven't established their origin. You've established that they go back at least a certain amount of time.

Quote:
Quote:
The fundamental tenet of all religions is that the supernatural exists and that it interacts with us. Many use that premise, as well as others, to arrange a moral code of behavior.


Logically, it can be deduced that because of this truth, and the fact that morality bears no survival advantage to Neanderthals,


What makes you think that morality has no survival value?

Quote:

religion gave birth to morality. However, one needn't guess. Evidence for religion and morality didn't just arise at the same time,


You haven't shown any evidence about either of them arising.

Quote:

the same piece of evidence suggests both were present at the time. The fact that the only evidence we have of prehistoric religion comes after, not before, the practice of moral codes implies one begets the other.


Except it doesn't, because you haven't established the origins in time of either of them.

Quote:

Quote:
On what basis do you assume that their behavior and mindset was more animalistic than human?


On the basis that the were a pre-evolved form of humans.


They were not "pre-evolved". Evolution does not have direction. The only statement that can be made is that neanderthals were different from modern humans. You cannot say that they were necessarily less intelligent or less "advanced".

Quote:

While I may not believe in non-cell evolution into humans happened all on its own, humans were just emerging out of a less refined status. The question is, why were pre-belief in supernatural neanderthals more animalistic than the post-religion brand.


What makes you believe that that is even true in the first place?

Quote:

Because they did not live by any moral code, survived purely on instinct and an increased degree of intellect, and did not partake in "frivolous" indulgences of humans today (Jenga, or political debate for example, anything unneccesary to survive). The importance of morality marks a turning point in which humans would gradually progress to be more human than animalistic.


Your division between "human" and "animalistic" is largely arbitrary in nature. You seem to be making up this dividing line entirely.

Quote:

Your example is flawed because the athlete believes he is doing something that will be beneficial to him. The burial of the dead does not directly benefit a nomadic hunter-gatherer people. In fact, the burial of the dead with certain objects or possessions has led historians to conclude Neanderthals likely were providing the departed with things he may need in the next life. While Neanderthals may have had the desire to better understand the world, The idea of exerting energy for the benefit of people who are no longer living, and the sacrificing of objects or possessions to the earth for the benefit of that dead person, does not assist in survival.


When a person believes in the afterlife, he does not differentiate between life and death the same way that a person who does not believe in the afterlife does.

When there's an afterlife, death isn't really death - it's just a transition.

When a person is alive, cooperation does indeed aid survival.
The emergence of cooperation as a result of that does not need to be based in a rational thought process; pre human apes didn't get together and say "hey, maybe if we all like, work together or something, life will be easier!" It's a result of selection like any other trait.

A neanderthal who is doing cooperation for cooperation's sake will aid a friend traveling to the afterlife just as he'll aid a friend traveling to another settlement.
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Lester
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
emceeMC wrote:
Quote:
Just Google any one of the televangelists and you will find a crooked charity. I will not go through the whole list of christian charities, I already have my perception. Throughout my history, so far, I have found that the more holy a person claims to be, the more dirty the shit is that they do. The more charitable they claim to be is usually a relection of just how charitable they are not. That is just my perception of it.


What televangelists, and how do you know their charity is crooked?

Your perception is shaped by a handful, literally, of Christian charities, when there are thousands of religious charities in the world.

Furthermore, if your perception is not supported by evidence, how can it be considered valid or plausible?


Show us a christian charity that *is* not full of shit.
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CustomFordGirl
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Lester wrote:
Show us a christian charity that *is* not full of shit.

* Many churches, including mine, offer a charity (we call them ministries) to the poor, called the food bank. You needn't be a Christian to partake, nor need you convert.
* Missionaries are in every disadvantaged country in the world, helping them survive. Again, the locals need not convert to be helped, although after being helped, many do.
* My church offers help to a local homeless shelter, in the way of clothes, hygienic products, and job placement. They needn't attend our church, or even profess to be Christian, to get help.
* There is a local Life-Way http://life-way.org/wb/ clinic that gets a lot of support from the local churches.. and is not a Christian ministry.. they even offer post-abortion support.

Charities need not be nation-wide to be relevant. The local churches do more for their communities than government programs.. because to get Christian assistance, you don't have to jump through hoops or meet certain guidelines.. you just have to need the help, and it is given with no strings attached.. can you say that about any government program?
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Lester
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ahh but the very fact that it is a christian organization does, as you say with your missionaries, lead to people converting after their health.

Yes, thats right, christian charities *are* more like the handouts that conservatives complain about than government programs are..
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CustomFordGirl
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Lester wrote:
Ahh but the very fact that it is a christian organization does, as you say with your missionaries, lead to people converting after their health.

But people aren't proselytized to, and not made to convert.. they come to that decision all. by. them. selves.

Lester wrote:
Yes, thats right, christian charities *are* more like the handouts that conservatives complain about than government programs are..

So why are you complaining? Conservatives don't complain about handouts, they complain about people living off of handouts and not trying to make their own life.
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Xerxes
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Charity is not a Christian concept exclusively. That is where Christian arrogance comes into play. Charity has existed long before there even was "organized" religion. It is a human trait that, unfortunately, not all of us share. It does not require religion to be charitable. Just help the motherfucker standing next to you and the world will be a better place.

Last edited by Xerxes on Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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joeyjock
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Exactly Xerxes... there has been MUCH more damage done to humanity and to people in general BECAUSE of religion than all of your so-called charities put together
...in the name of RELIGION you are allowed to say and do things you could Never think of otherwise
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Lester
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
CustomFordGirl wrote:
Lester wrote:
Ahh but the very fact that it is a christian organization does, as you say with your missionaries, lead to people converting after their health.

But people aren't proselytized to, and not made to convert.. they come to that decision all. by. them. selves.

Lester wrote:
Yes, thats right, christian charities *are* more like the handouts that conservatives complain about than government programs are..

So why are you complaining? Conservatives don't complain about handouts, they complain about people living off of handouts and not trying to make their own life.


1. No, but if the purpose is not to convert, why even bother making it a christian charity? Why can't you just be satisfied with being a non-religious charity?

2. Because the money could be used for more productive purposes, and these charities undermine the governments work.
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CustomFordGirl
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Xerxes wrote:
Charity is not a Christian concept exclusively. That is where Christian arrogance comes into play. Charity has existed long before there even was "organized" religion. It is a human trait that, unfortunately, not all of us share. It does not require religion to be charitable.

Now, you see, how have I (or anyone else) expressed arrogance? Lester asked for examples of Christian charities that are not "full of shit", so I obliged.

Personally, I see arrogance on the part of those condemning Christian charities as proselytizing, and requiring conversion to receive aide.

Xerxes wrote:
Just help the motherfucker standing next to you and the world will be a better place.

Agreed. You don't have to be a Christian to help someone, and you don't have to be a Christian to receive charity.
IMO - charity is something apart from Christianity. The question posed by Lester was about Christian-offered charity, not charity in general.
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CustomFordGirl
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Lester wrote:
CustomFordGirl wrote:
But people aren't proselytized to, and not made to convert.. they come to that decision all. by. them. selves.

Conservatives don't complain about handouts, they complain about people living off of handouts and not trying to make their own life.

1. No, but if the purpose is not to convert, why even bother making it a christian charity? Why can't you just be satisfied with being a non-religious charity?

2. Because the money could be used for more productive purposes, and these charities undermine the governments work.

1. Christians gather at churches. Collectively, they want to help people, so they start a charity and run it out of the church (since the church has a lot more room than any of their homes, and won't charge them rent). The charity is named for the church, so people will know where to look for it. YAY! A Christian charity is born.

2. No, the government undermines all charity work -not just Christian. The government's job as outlined in that outdated, irrelevant document (A.K.A. - the Constitution) is NOT to support the people; it's the People's job to support the People.
So, it's the People's responsibility to care for those less fortunate. (But it is not the government's job to facilitate this.)
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