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Old 01-07-2010, 07:00 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bmats7 View Post
Ok. Social contracts, perfect. Person A and Person B don't want to kill each other so that both benefit from the situation, thus no one kills anyone. No religious law needed there.

HOWEVER things are not so cut and dry. If Person B has nothing to offer person A in a similar context, Person A will not have anything to do with Person B. If an African child is starving, he has nothing to offer you, from an Atheists point of view... what is the value of helping that person? He can offer you nothing, and since atheists believe we are just like any other creatures on this planet ... what's the use of helping him?

On the other hand, from a Christian viewpoint... this person may not be able to offer me anything, but I should try my best to help him out just because he's another human being. Having compassion towards our neighbour rather than just a strictly A vs. B social contract.
You seem to have a confused sense of what a social contract is. A social contract is simply an agreement we develop to ensure social stability. The social contract we're talking about is relinquishing the sort of freedom to kill and steal in return for a society which can prosper. Whether or not someone has something to give us has nothing to do with whether or not they participate in a social contract.

In your example, there are a few approaches we can take. First, we understand from game theory that the tit for tat method, or reciprocal altruism, is actually a winning approach for personal fitness. In other words, we know that being good to other people will pay off for us in the long run. Second, we are capable of empathy and understand that, if the situation were reversed, we would want someone to lend us a hand. Third, a philosophical approach called rule utilitarianism makes perfect sense here: if we begin with the rule that no personal liberties should be infringed and then follow the utilitarian argument that we should reduce suffering, then there is clear motive and explanation for helping others out. These are only a small handful of the ways in which you could approach that problem.

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Originally Posted by Bmats7 View Post
Since you agreed that a 25 year old might need to procreate with a 13 year old back in the day to allow the human race survive, you agree that laws can change and can be broken or recreated to meet specific purposes at a time. Since the world is already overpopulated, isn't it in your best interest not to help these African children who can offer very little to the world but are spreading STD's such as AIDS to other people? Aren't they just a prick in your side? Tell me, what is the purpose to be compassionate to people, especially people who can't offer you anything in return?
Can you tell me which part of the Bible says that you shouldn't have sex with under-age children? Or would you be willing to admit that such laws are based off of a secular philosophical argument called informed consent?

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Originally Posted by Bmats7 View Post
Maybe, in the end, we know deep down that it's JUST RIGHT and GOOD to help these people regardless of anything they can offer in return.
You're absolutely right: most of us share a deep sense of what is right and wrong on basic questions (like that of certain types of murder or theft), which is a product of our reasoning capacities and our evolved ability to empathize and act altruistically. It has nothing to do with a man in the sky.

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Originally Posted by Bmats7 View Post
Oh and by the way, if you read through the new testament, Jesus was a central character in equality for women. He was actually radically against inequality for women compared to the society he lived in. When they wanted to stone a prostitute I think it was... he said something like.. let the one who is without sin cast the first stone. And then no one stoned her. He also took around his mother and other women around with him which was very unlike other people at this time.
Of course we can read the Bible selectively if we want. Let's not mention condoning slavery or asserting the subservience of women; let's not mention that Jesus said not a jot or tiddle of the old law was to be ignored. Let's not mention any of the supposed inferiority and evilness of homosexuals, which clearly does not represent the reality we live in.


I suspect, based on your comments thus far, that you have not spent much time examining your own moral claims, so I'll turn the direction of the conversation a bit.

1. Can you tell me why, if god provides an absolute moral basis for humans, morality within sects has changed over the last 2000 years?

2. Can you tell me why, if god provides an absolute moral basis for humans, there are many different accounts of this moral code?

3. Can you tell me why what god commands is good? Is it because the actions themselves are good, or is it because god commands it?

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:08 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Also, I want to touch on a point that has come up a few times now:

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If atheists believe we are an animal like every other creature
Hold on a moment. What this atheist says (again, I can't speak for everyone) is that we were made in the same way that every other animal was. We are made of the same things. We even behave the same in many respects. There is a commonality in our biological background.

But to say that we're the same as all other animals is a claim that is, at face value, completely false. We obviously have more a greater degree of social interaction with greater sophistication than any other animal. We obviously have a much greater ability to reason and draw inference from the world around us. So we are undoubtedly different in many respects (in the same way that I would say a chimp is different from a jellyfish). That doesn't, however, make us more important or more special than other animals; just different (and, sometimes, different in a very negative sense).
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:34 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ArmChairGM View Post
Since you asked me about the situation in Africa, I would like to ask you some questions regarding what you think about the Pope's position on condom usage, okay?

1 -Do you think he is acting compassionately? If so, why?

2 - What is the objective, morally good response to the situation in Africa?
- Is it one based on knowledge and education that seeks to eradicate the desease through means consistent with human nature, desires and likely actions? That is, a response to the situation that accepts the fact that humans will have sex and need to be educated on how to protect themselves? Or is it one consistent with a religious interpretation that adovcates abstinance?
1,2 - You need to take into context what the pope is saying. I am no moral theologian though, so I will try to explain it how I understand it. Along with this whole thing about free will etc., Catholics believe that there is a heaven and a hell. The Catholic Church does NOT condemn anyone to hell for their actions because in the end, they believe God judges everyone and humans cannot pass total judgement on the person's soul (we can judge someone's actions (ie... murder is wrong), but we can't say for certain that murdering someone, will send someone to hell because only God knows maybe if that person had some kinda of mental instability etc. that would make him unstable or certain occurences in his life that made him that way that diminishes his culpability to that sin... which only God knows). HOWEVER, the church does say, you're travelling into a risky area with sin, and is not good... and there's a chance you might go to hell in certain cases of sin.

The Catholic Church believes in abstinence from sex for EVERYONE outside of marriage. This includes youth not yet married, unmarried older people, as well as homosexuals. To refer to Ligeia's post, no the Catholic Church isn't against gay people. The Catholic Church says we need to love everyone equally, they are however against gay sex because it is sex outside of marriage. And the Church believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Again, I can't explain all of the reasons why, but the pope writes encyclicals, for more detail on the contraceptive issue, read the encyclical entitled humanae vitae.

Here is an exerpt.

"Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general."

So, basically even though it might prevent the spread of aids which is a good thing, it does not take away the fact that no evil can be done to try to achieve a good thing. The end does not justify the means. The church can not just assume that people will have sex outside of marriage and adjust it's teachings on it.

In conclusion to this. IF the pope is trying to prevent these people from going to hell or even being put at risk of going to hell, because hell lasts for eternity in the Catholic Church's opinion. Then yes, the Pope is the most compassionate person in the world. You have to understand what he believes to understand why he's saying the things he does. Is a few years abstaining from sex worse than an eternity in hell? Obviously the pope doesn't think so and is doing the most compassionate thing that He can think of by saving these people's souls. To someone who doesn't believe in a soul or anything the pope is saying, just ignore it, but from His point of view, it's the most compassionate thing he can say.

Another thing I want to mention. The church does not promote pedophelia or whatever priests abusing alter boys or whatever. IT doesnt... those people are doing something extremely terrible and that is AGAINST the teachings of the church. No one is perfect, obviously, but I can't just say because 1000buddhists kill people, that Bhuddism on the whole involves murder. These abusers are not Catholic... they are outsider, outliers, following their own evil desires. It has nothing to do with Christianity for priests to abuse children. NOTHING.

Ligeia.. I will answer your questions in a little bit. ACGM asked his questions first. I hope I answered this one for you, it's the best I could do, for more indepth answers on what the Catholic Church believes or why they believe these things you should talk to a Catholic theologian or a canon lawyer... but this is what I understand from it.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:28 AM   #104 (permalink)
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Edit - I'm taking out the part about you dodging condoms in marriages, because technically I asked about abstinance. However, that point raises a new dilema with opposing birth control in marriages when it spreads AIDS.


Quote:
Posted by Bmats
.....for more indepth answers on what the Catholic Church believes or why they believe these things you should talk to a Catholic theologian or a canon lawyer... but this is what I understand from it.

Thanks for the advice, Bmats. I don't want their opinions, I wanted yours. Ever heard of the Winnipeg statement? It contests the validity of expecting married couples to NOT use birth control. This is relevant to your advice to me to seek out Catholics' opinions AND the situation in Africa. I will elaborate on Africa later in the post. Some Canadian Bishops and other influencial people associated with the Catholic church still support the Winnipeg Statement and argue that there should be leeway on condom usage in marriage. Therefore, any answer I get regarding condom usage, will be subjective and based on geography. You know, subjective interpretations....I've been hammering that point. Legia and I have been trying to get you to acknowledge them. This is important to the situation in Africa, since it's not just about sex outside of marriage. Again, simplistic thinking. I will get to that later in the post.

Are you Catholic, Bmats? You refer to "we" in your post, yet you also refer to "they" at other times. It's ambiguous. It seems you're suggesting that you're catholic, but I want to make sure, since you've never come out and said exactly what your position is. If you're not Catholic, or you're not willing to say you fully endorse the Pope's views, you REALLY wasted your time, because I wanted YOUR specific views on the Pope and what's going on...not his reasoning. Any of my Catholic cousins can tell me about the Pope.

Let's look at what I asked:

Quote:
Questions from ACGM [me]....

I would like to ask you some questions regarding what you think about the Pope's position on condom usage, okay?

1 -Do you think he is acting compassionately? If so, why?

2 - What is the objective, morally good response to the situation in Africa?
- Is it one based on knowledge and education that seeks to eradicate the desease through means consistent with human nature, desires and likely actions? That is, a response to the situation that accepts the fact that humans will have sex and need to be educated on how to protect themselves? Or is it one consistent with a religious interpretation that adovcates abstinance?
These questions asked for your opinion, Bmats. So, I'm assuming you're Catholic. If you are Catholic, I find it quite odd that you're trying to dump me off on another person, rather than offering an opinion you'll back 100%. It seems to me that, with such profound moral questions involved, you should know your religion to the fullest extent.

Now, with that out of the way, I'm going to make some commentary on the rest of your post.

First off, you said:

Quote:
Posted by Bmats
The Catholic Church does NOT condemn anyone to hell for their actions because in the end, they believe God judges everyone ........the church does say, you're travelling into a risky area with sin, and is not good... and there's a chance you might go to hell in certain cases of sin.
Saying followers run the risk of going to hell is a convenient way of influencing another person's actions without taking full responsibility for the range of conseuences that follow from said influencing. No child can know weather God will consider them exempt from sin; thus, at an early age they will be taught to fear certain actions....actions such as sex outside of marriage, which is perfectly natural, and safe when knowledge is applied and precautions are taken. The Church gets into a child's head at an early stage of cognitive development. The fear gets hammered in before they even have the intellectual tools to properly assess the cost benefit analysis invloved. Given the emotional trauma that can ensue IN SOME people, I can't believe anyone would endorse a notion of hell, especially when NO empirical evidence has been offered. This is not compassionate, in my humble opinion. Quite the contrary.

Quote:
The Catholic Church believes in abstinence from sex for EVERYONE outside of marriage. This includes youth not yet married, unmarried older people, as well as homosexuals. To refer to Ligeia's post, no the Catholic Church isn't against gay people. The Catholic Church says we need to love everyone equally, they are however against gay sex because it is sex outside of marriage. And the Church believes that marriage is between one man and one woman.
I suspect Ligeia will weigh in on that and hammer you. But just in case he doesn't, I'd like to respond to this absolute bullshit.

1 - When you say the church isn't against gays, that's a subjective analysis. Furthermore, it is an analysis that lacks an understanding of how things play out in everyday life once the ideas are implemented. It also demonstratess a total lack of critical thinking. You just repeatedly ignore the subjective nature of many elements of your position. You will HAVE to account for this when you address Ligeia's questions.

2 - All humans have sexual urges. Anyone who denies such is delusional. Homosexuals ARE homosexuals due to their sexual attraction to people of the same sex. It's not a choice. Just like I don't control my visual/sexual preference for certain proportions on a woman and preferences for combinations of hair and eye color. The Catholic church's postion is suggesting God placed those urges in them, only to expect them to follow Catholic doctrine that said that they could not fufill those urges, while heterosexuals ARE allowed to fufill those urges at some point; that is, sex during marriage. It is holding one group to a higher standard than the other; asking gays to go through a life of abstinance. The Church is promoting an idea that holds homosexuals to a different standard. In this respect, the Church is AGAINST homosexuals. You can go on all you want about how "everyone" can't have sex outside of marriage, yet you epically FAIL to acknowledge that the Catholic church openly advocates against same-sex (homosexual) marriage. The Pope endorsed California's ban on same-sex marriage. In fact, the Church petitions governments and requests its followers to advocate against it. Bishops advocate their followers to work AGAINST the happiness of homosexual non-believers, who want to express their love in various forms, including marriage and sex. They ARE against homosexuals. To say they are not, requires very, very simplistic thinking. Something the Catholic church promotes. Legia, in my opinion, was right to suggest YOU need to question your morals, IF you believe this is acceptable. In my opinion, you do NOT love everyone EQUALLY, if you advocate holding one group of people to a higher standard that leads to serious emotional pain. How can I not retract my claim that you're compassionate, if you're supporting this? It's a tough question for me. If you're supporting a church that does all of this without even offering up ANY empirical evidence that God wants this, then, in my humble opinion, that indicates a lack of empathy and reasoning. Legia would be right to suggest you need to question your own morals. Remember, you engaged me in a discussion about religion, I originally sought out the views of some Athiests. So don't feel I'm trying to de-convert you or anything like that. I'm simply supporting Legia's claim that you have to think about these higher standards homosexuals are being held to, especially if you are a Catholic, or endorse what they are doing. Ugh. I have things I need to work on, too. I acknowledge that, to be clear. But that's the great thing about not following dogma, it allows loads or room for self reflection.


Okay, then you said:

Quote:
IF the pope is trying to prevent these people from going to hell or even being put at risk of going to hell, because hell lasts for eternity in the Catholic Church's opinion. Then yes, the Pope is the most compassionate person in the world. You have to understand what he believes to understand why he's saying the things he does. Is a few years abstaining from sex worse than an eternity in hell? Obviously the pope doesn't think so and is doing the most compassionate thing that He can think of by saving these people's souls. To someone who doesn't believe in a soul or anything the pope is saying, just ignore it, but from His point of view, it's the most compassionate thing he can say.
1 - I've heard that before from my Catholic cousins. Calling sex outside of marriage a sin is a subjective interpretation, even within Christianity. The Pope has no empirical evidence to support his position. It's all faith. Consequently, more and more Africans die and suffer from AIDS while alive, all in the name of a gamble of faith, when all that's required to prevent it is a new subjective interpretation of the bible.

2 - I will recount a scenario that happens in Africa far too often. I've heard these stories from aid workers. Not all HIV/AIDS transmission comes through sex. There are still some mishaps in Africa that don't occur as often in the western world. Even worse, some single and married Africans contract AIDS through sexual assault, such as rape (an African can NOT be abstinant when raped), then they bring it into a marriage and infect their partners and ultimately the offspring, even after it gets brought to their attention they might be infected with AIDS and need to use condoms if having sex with the spouse. I know, I know, I should go talk to a theologian...::rolls eyes:: I refer you to my comments regarding the Winnipeg Statement. Years ago Catholics recognized that the realities of marriages demand change, but the Pope refuses.

You said this regarding the encyclical:

Quote:
Bmats's apology for the Pope

So, basically even though it might prevent the spread of AIDS which is a good thing, it does not take away the fact that no evil can be done to try to achieve a good thing. The end does not justify the means. The church can not just assume that people will have sex outside of marriage and adjust it's teachings on it.
1 - you said it [condom] usage might prevent the spread of AIDS. Really? I hope that's just typo and you don't really think that condoms only "might" prevent it.

2 - no assumption about sex outside of marriage is needed. It is a reality. An observable reality. A reality that dogma ignores and refuses to adjust to. It holds people to standards that can't be lived up to all the time, given certain variables.

3 - ah, BUT some of the people getting infected with AIDS are not having sex outside of marriage. Yet the lack of condom usage means they give AIDS to the spouse. I guess God just wants them to suffer. I know, you probably think I'm an asshole. I'm asshole who thinks we should try to prevent the spread of AIDS.

4 - Any decision the Church makes via the Pope is a subjective interpretation of what God wants. Other Christians interpret things differently. The Catholic church could change. It refuses too. That distinction needs to be made clear. Other Christian churches have changed. And if you ever decide to get to Legia's questions, you will need to account for all of this. And how this fits with your "objective morals", even though these subjective interpretations are going on. Subjective interpretations that cause LOADS of suffering and pain. Both of are better prevented by critical thinking and empathy.


Finally, Bmats, you said this:

Quote:
Another thing I want to mention. The church does not promote pedophelia or whatever priests abusing alter boys or whatever. IT doesnt... those people are doing something extremely terrible and that is AGAINST the teachings of the church. No one is perfect, obviously, but I can't just say because 1000buddhists kill people, that Bhuddism on the whole involves murder. These abusers are not Catholic... they are outsider, outliers, following their own evil desires. It has nothing to do with Christianity for priests to abuse children. NOTHING.
1 - It depends on what you consider promoting. The Church demands abstinace outside of marriage. I want to remind you of something. You placed a lot of emphasis on the actions Christianity [or teachings] inspires or promotes through its words. That can be seen in how you claimed Christianity tells you tell help the African people (even though the interpretation of what a neighbour is, is again subjective). Well, Catholic teachings tell people to behave in a way that is contrary to human nature. I want to offer a speculative analysis. I can't get in their minds, so it's speculative. Most priests can't live up to what they are being asked to do, thus they eventually snap and fuck kids because they are easy targets for someone who is not supposed to pursue adults and wants their sex to be secret. Also, I would argue that the Church attracts pedos. The teachings may not explicitly say "fuck kids", but the Church offers a nice little set up. That's a lead in to my next point.

2 - Given that the Church attracts pedos, one must scrutinize how the Church reacts when those pedos are discovered. The actions of the Church should correlate with the teachings. Therefore, if the Church is just re-assingning child fuckers, rather than entirely removing them from the church, then one could make a case that the Church does not condemn kid fucking in a truly meaningful way. Not properly condenming the kid fucking is, one could argue, a way of promoting kid fucking.

3 - You said the abusers are not Catholic. Really? Tell that to the Churches that allow them to continue working within the church even after numerous reports of kid fucking have been made. The respective Churches obviously considers them Catholic.

4 - The abuse has nothing to do with Christianity? So, properly condemning these acts had nothing to do with Christianity, eh? Allowing the kid fuckers to remain within the church has nothing to do with Christianity? Is that what you're suggesting? Or, are you suggesting that the bible has epically failed to provide an example for how to deal with this problem? If there's no example, where is the objective morals you speak of? If there is an example, why is it being ignored so often? Why are these officials and church leaders respected as voices of God if they ignore him? Again, I must endorse Legia's suggestion that you question your own morals.

5 - Regarding buddhists, you can tell something about buddhism and its teachers by the way buddhism reacts to the murders. In many cases, actions speak louder than words. I would not make a generalization about an individuals buddhist based on those murders, but the leaders' actions would say something. It's funny that you brought up murder. A lot of that has been done in the name of Christianiy and its churches as well. Atheism has no church, nor does it have any leaders who are held to standards that contradict the functions of nature. That's the great irony of Catholicism, it suggets that its views on sex are based on "nature", yet it advocates behaviour that goes contrary to human nature....that...promotes...problems.

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Old 01-09-2010, 04:01 PM   #105 (permalink)
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The priest that raped kids in my parish - Father Bob White to be specific - did so for decades across the country, with the knowledge of many bishops and priests, and the participation of some of those. He would take altar boys to camps in BC, year after year, for decades. He changed parishes every four years, as his order specifies, and that allowed him to repeat the same cycle again and again, with those in authority above him, feeling at ease in passing on the problem to the next parish.

He is so certainly not alone, nor a rare misguided soul. There has been so much condoning, by a lack of action over such a long period of time, if nothing more, than can really be believed. And the condoning of this sort of evil goes as far as a Bishop from Massachusetts being made a Cardinal and allowed to avoid prosecution as a child rapist as a result of his being housed by the Vatican. The abuses are abuses of power above everything else, and it is power that is granted by men proclaiming it for themselves through dogmatic laws.

Morals should never be confused with power and its abuses. Those with the power will use morals to justify the abuse of their power. That's just how it works, in any religion, or any culture.

And there is no clear moral law that forbids gays from being married. The Catholic Church is strictly against homosexuals that do no entirely deny their identity, and it likely has as much to do with fears about the membership of its clergy than anything else - in other words it's about fears of power structures being eroded.

When I got married in the Catholic church, my priest explained some doctrine to my wife and I, that concerned the ability of priests to offer guidance at the local level, that contradicted the Vatican. I guess that is the Winnipeg statement that ACGM refers to. In my mind the Vatican drags down the work of legitimately good priests.

And hell should not even enter into this discussion. Hell should be thought of as Milton describes it - as the personal hell within us all. Hell as something real was a late addition to the church that has always been entirely confusing, and purposefully confused. It is the sort of thing that people who look at everything in the bible as literal truth find necessary and valuable, and allows for the power structure to justify just about anything to maintain it's hold on power.

At its worst, when the church was at its most powerful, trinkets were sold to sinners with promises of salvation as a result of the purchase. Allow me to hand you a chunk of a bone from a dead animal, tell you it's from the remains of Jesus, and then charge you a couple hundred bucks or whatever, and send you off knowing that you will not go to hell as a result of the purchase. Now please show me where morals enter into any of that.

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Old 01-09-2010, 04:57 PM   #106 (permalink)
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To answer ACGM, I consider myself to be Catholic. However, since I have not read every single thing on Catholicism, I usually say "they" when speaking about the teacher's of the Church. I believe in everything that the Church teaches (well everything that I've read so far), someone like LX is not a Catholic and cannot receive communion in the Church anymore because he's not in communion with the rest of the Church on these matters. Thus, even though people claiming to be Catholic are many, the people that are actual Catholic are few (ie, child molesters are not Catholic). (p.s. LX, I don't mean any disrespect here, you probably agree that you are not a Catholic, but based on the definitions in the Church, you can't really call yourself Catholic).

1. Can you tell me why, if god provides an absolute moral basis for humans, morality within sects has changed over the last 2000 years?

Of course, there is 1 absolute moral basis, and thousands of different religions. Only one of them will contain the full truth, so essientially it doesn't matter what the other one's believe in. If one religion believes that a rock is a god, but the next day changes it's ideas to believe that the rock is no longer god but that all nature is god, they can change whatever they want within these sects because it's not true. The reason why there are parts of the truth to many different religions... you guys believe it's because of everything you explained regarding atheism and evolution and social contracts etc.... but theists believe that it's because God has put in our hearts a desire to seek Him and seek the truth. So although some religions change their message parts of the way through... you will get similar messages in alot of religions. Ie... buddhism and Christianity might both preach giving to the poor... it doesn't disqualify the fact that God would want us to help our brothers and sisters in need (the poor). This is why people choose different religions because they believe that, in that particular religion, it explains what God would want from them. If you start a religion tomorrow and you change ur rules everyday, this does not disprove anything about God or there being an absolute truth.

2. Can you tell me why, if god provides an absolute moral basis for humans, there are many different accounts of this moral code?

As I said above, different people try to explain God in different ways. Most people fall away from God and God's account because they do not want to think about sin, or a teaching is too difficult for them. Somewhere in one of the gospels, it says that many people in the crowd left Jesus because his teaching was too difficult for them. You can look at the case of Martin Luther who separated from the Catholic Church and decided to take out books of the Old Testament that even Jesus read for his bible! So Martin Luther will make up his own interpretations. This is why we have many different moral accounts, peolpe will choose which they feel is drawing them the closest to God, again, this does not disprove anything about God.

3. Can you tell me why what god commands is good? Is it because the actions themselves are good, or is it because god commands it?

I believe that God created the whole universe and possibly parallel universes. Compared to these universes, we are absolutely nothing. Since I believe that there is a God, and He is/was aware of what he can and did create, he would also know the ins and outs of the human mind. So IF there are certain commands from God, they'd be good because we don't understand anything about ourselves or the universe really. All our arguments descend from... God vs. No God... all of my points of view have already presumed that there is a God and they go from there. So we will never really agree on this. Becuase all of your arguments will be from a strictly human perspective rather than a spiritual one (which cannot be proven).


ACGM and LX I will get back to you soon. One thing I will point out though, is on this homosexuality thing.

Why do you keep saying the Church is AGAINST homosexuals. They are AGAINST ALL sex outside of marriage. If I am a single man in my 40s, is the church AGAINST me? No, the church is against any sex outside of marriage for all men and women including homosexuals (this is actually equality). My views are the same as the views of the Catholic Church so I don't know why you want my opinion on it, from what I read, what's in the teaching in the chatechism on this subject is exactly what I believe.

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.


Catholics are not like other Christians who are bigots and want to kill/discriminate against gay people. That is COMPLETELY a terrible thing to do, it makes me sick, just like racism and any other unjust discrimination.

They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided

The reason why it's mostly wrong is because it's not open to the gift of life. Ie... if the whole world was gay... the human population would be completely wiped out unless we did some artificial insemination. This is why it's against the Natural law (as posted above). This is also why birth control is not allowed by the Church, because it's not open to life... which is one of the purposes of marriage. And so is the church against ALL people who want to use condoms? No, the church isn't against the people at all, you are taking this so personal, it is a law that applies equally to everyone. It's actually pure equality. Married couples can't have sex that is not open to life (condom usage), and gay people can't have sex that is not open to life (gay sex). Equal.

Secondly, before I respond, go get your numbers on Catholic Child molesters. The numbers I have are between .2 and 2% being the largest i've seen which assumed cases that had not yet been reported. I will respond to this shortly, but teachers in middle school in america have rates that are 13x more than these numbers. I also know about the winnipeg argument regarding the bishops in Canada, will respond in a few days time.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:19 PM   #107 (permalink)
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I'll touch on the points where I came up.

You said:
Quote:
To answer ACGM, I consider myself to be Catholic.
Okay, thanks for clarifying. Now I know exactly what your position is. You never said you were Catholic in your previous response.

Quote:
Why do you keep saying the Church is AGAINST homosexuals.
If you bothered to read my post, you'd know why I hold that position. Homosexuals can't get married. Homosexuality is not a choice, bmats. Heterosexuals always have the OPPORTUNITY to get married. Marriage is a POSSIBILITY for heterosexuals. Marriage is NOT a possibility for Homosexuals in the Catholic church. Furthermore, the Pope and the Catholic church have come out against making same-sex Marriage a POSSIBILITY for non-believers. According to what the church is advocating, Heterosexuals get a privileged life. A life that allows for the possibility of marriage and the possibility of sex. Get it, yet?

Then you said:

Quote:
They [Catholic church] are AGAINST ALL sex outside of marriage. If I am a single man in my 40s, is the church AGAINST me? No, the church is against any sex outside of marriage for all men and women including homosexuals (this is actually equality).
Again, in an attempt to apologize for Church doctrine, you miss the point. A single man in his 40s can get married in the future. It is possible for him to get married and have sex in marriage with a person he loves. The Church does NOT afford homosexuals the same opportunity. When it comes to homosexuals, they are held to a different standard in terms of possibilities and opportunities. That is NOT equality. I guess you just showed us what your definition of equality is.

You said:

Quote:
Bmats
Catholics are not like other Christians who are bigots and want to kill/discriminate against gay people. That is COMPLETELY a terrible thing to do, it makes me sick, just like racism and any other unjust discrimination.
This provides a bit of window into what you consider just or unjust discrimination. I'm quite confident you do NOT condon killing. But nobody ever said that. As for discrimination, the Pope endorses legislation that prevents non-believers from having same-sex marriages. As I stated in my previous post, he endorsed the recent prop passed in California. Furthermore, the Church makes appeals to conscience in order to get its followers to work against the legalization of same-sex marriage which non-believers want. You have a very narrow view of what constitutes discrimination.

Lets look at your teachings you say you believe:

Quote:
Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
No discrimination? Really? Gay sex is represented as depravity. What's funny is that the teachings say they are contrary to the natural law. Homosexuality occurs throughout nature, and can be observed in various species. It's actually rather natural.

Quote:
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
Um, notice how they had to put "unjust" in front of discrimination. They actually are acknowledging that they discriminate, Bmats. Your church just thinks that discrimination against gays can be excused. I strongly disagree.

You did it to, when you said:

Quote:
Catholics are not like other Christians who are bigots and want to kill/discriminate against gay people. That is COMPLETELY a terrible thing to do, it makes me sick, just like racism and any other unjust discrimination.
You think discrimination against gays can be justified. You think they should not be allowed to marry and express their love to one another through sex in a marriage. You believe it is just to deny them that, even though heterosexuals are afforded the opportunity to do so, if they so choose. Some heterosexuals may not choose marriage, but it's an opportunity they have. You call other Christians bigots, but don't see a problem with the way your church advocates against same-sex marriage for non-believers, or the way the Pope endorses bans on same-sex marriage. One might argue that is homophobic.

Okie dokie, you also said:

Quote:
The reason why it's mostly wrong is because it's not open to the gift of life. Ie... if the whole world was gay... the human population would be completely wiped out unless we did some artificial insemination. This is why it's against the Natural law (as posted above). This is also why birth control is not allowed by the Church, because it's not open to life... which is one of the purposes of marriage. And so is the church against ALL people who want to use condoms? No, the church isn't against the people at all, you are taking this so personal, it is a law that applies equally to everyone. It's actually pure equality. Married couples can't have sex that is not open to life (condom usage), and gay people can't have sex that is not open to life (gay sex). Equal.
1 - the part I bolded is....unbelievable. Homosexuality is not a choice. It will happen in individuals if it's going to happen. There is legitimate debate within the scientific community about the exact combination of variables in specific individual cases (exposure to certain hormone levels in the womb, genetic variation, possible other environmental factors that contribute in some instances), but it is not a choice. Humans are not just going to all choose to be gay. This is a very amusing argument that you've made here.

2 - again, you mention equality, but you forget that heterosexuals get to have sex at some point if they choose to get married, while gays do not get to have a marriage or sex. Different standards are applied to people.

Okie dokie, then you said:

Quote:
Secondly, before I respond, go get your numbers on Catholic Child molesters. The numbers I have are between .2 and 2% being the largest i've seen which assumed cases that had not yet been reported. I will respond to this shortly, but teachers in middle school in america have rates that are 13x more than these numbers.
1 - Sure. If it is even possible to get accurate stats, I'll try to locate them. But for now, let's grant the middle road, okay? For now, say it is 1.1%. How does that excuse the reactions of the Church when they just re-assign people? It is 1.1%, which in absolute numbers could lead to thousands of kids getting fucked if a priest has multiple victims. I'm not concerned with the actual % doing the fucking, so much as I am the cost of not dealing with the problem effectively, and sending the right message about whether or not this will be tolerated. It certainly does not help that the age of consent in Vatican city is 12 years old. For the record, and to be fair, the Catholic church is by no means the only church that has this problem. A number of churches are guilty of handling these matters poorly. The stats on child abuse in churches goes up if you include other churches. It would be unfair to suggest the Catholic church is the only church dealing with these matters.

2 - I remember hearing about the middle school numbers on Fox news. I was refered to that source by my cousin. Interesting coincidence. Maybe I can still find it and give it a second look. I got a feeling the Church tells a lot of its followers to use that American stat. I'll tell you some of the same things I told my cousin. The American school system is certainly not claiming the moral high ground, nor do people look to the American school system for morals. Secular society prosecutes teachers who abuse, or at least it tries to. Your analogy misses the point I was making about an institution that claims the moral high ground was not handling the situation most effectively. There is child abuse going on in various places, such as Schools, churches, youth sports teams...etc...Again, what concerns me as how it is dealt with. I'm equally disturbed when junior hockey organizations don't fully investigate rumours about possible sexual misconduct. Of course, junior hockey organizations are not offering anyone moral guidance or claiming the moral high ground.

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Old 01-09-2010, 09:17 PM   #108 (permalink)
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I'd like to build further on the post I made a couple of hours ago. I searched through my favourites bar to see if I could find that link to the Fox News story about teachers in American middle schools. It doesn't appear to be there, BUT I found this one about the Vatican that I'd forgotten about. I have more on the examples the church sets, bmats, but I'll wait and see how you respond.

The bold parts are particularly interesting.

1 - At the end of the article, if you read carefully, you'll notice that the age of consent in the Vatican City State is 12 years old. That's quite a moral example they are setting. Of course, the great irony is, bmats, you were concerned that anarchy would lead to 80 year olds having sex with 10 year olds. I guess the Vatican setting an example that having sex with 12 year olds is okay, right? ::rollseyes::

2 - In my opinion, the Vatican is selling out by not supporting this resolution.

Link to article: [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2008/12/vatican_opposes_un_declaration.html[/url]

Quote:
Vatican opposes UN Declaration on decriminalisation of homosexuality


Homosexuality is illegal in nearly half of the world's nations. In most of those countries which ban consensual adult same-sex relationships, the penalties range from a few years in jail to life imprisonment. But in the case of seven countries, all governed by Islamic law, the sentence is death. Two of those countries, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, will sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2009. The picture here shows two young gay men about to be hanged in Iran. In May, Britain granted asylum to a gay Iranian teenager studying in London who feared execution by Iranian authorities after his boyfriend was hanged for 'sodomy'. Iranian human rights campaigners say more than 4,000 gay people have been executed in their country since 1979.

The United Nations appears now increasingly minded to end the criminalisation of homosexuality, and later this month the UN General Assembly will issue an historic declaration calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality across the world. It's historic because the General Assembly has never before considered the rights of the global gay and lesbian population in any convention, declaration or humanitarian law.

Why, then, is the Vatican opposing this new Declaration?

The official position of the Catholic Church is that same-sex sexual activity is sinful. The church also claims that adultery is sinful, but it is not suggesting that wayward husbands should be put in prison. So, does the Vatican support the criminalisation of gay and lesbian people?

That's how this story is being run in some press outlets following an interview given to the French media by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Vatican's permanent observer at the United Nations. The pope's press officer, Fr Federico Lombardi, is now engaged in something of a damage-limitation exercise. Fr Lombardi is emphasising that the church has an outright opposition to the death penalty and, in respect of lesbian and gay people, the church re-asserts its opposition to "all forms of penal legislation that are violent or discriminatory towards homosexual persons". In plainer language, the Catholic Church is opposed to laws which criminalise consensual same-sex relationships.

Why, then, is the Vatican also opposing a UN Declaration that calls on the world's nations to strike down those laws? The Vatican is concerned that the new Declaration could result in "control mechanisms according to which, norms (not only legal, but also relative to the life of social and religious groups) that do not place each sexual orientation on the same level, would be considered contrary to respect for human rights." In other words, the church is worried that its theological opposition to same-sex sexual acts, gay marriage and same-sex civil unions, could be portrayed as an attack on human rights and make the church and its agencies liable to "discrimination" byb state or international bodies in the future.

Supporters of the UN Declaration regard that logic as "grotesque".


Incidentally, in the Vatican City State itself homosexual acts are not technically illegal, for historical reasons I don't have time to go into, but which involve the laws of Italy when the city state was created in 1929. For similarly arcane reasons, the age of consent in the Vatican City State is 12 years.

Last edited by Bill Haverchuck; 01-09-2010 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:56 PM   #109 (permalink)
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The reason why the Vatican moves around these priests as LX mentions.. is because more than 90% (sourced from a sidelink from Vatican.va... will post soon) of these claims are untrue. The catholic confessional is a private room where people confess sins to a priest, if a 13 year old boy says the priest abuses him (which actually never happened) .. it will cause a huge scandal and so the priests are moved. This is to avoid a lot of parishioners leaving the church because of this kid's lies. Alot of the cases are non-catholic people who pretend they are catholic just to accuse these priests. OBviously there are cases where priests are misguided, no one is perfect. But if a priest says 1+1 = 2... or that God exists, then he abuses a child.. that doesnt mean that 1+1 =3 or that God doesn't exist. You have to look at church teaching rather than the people in the Church. And the church teaches that child abuse especially is a grave sin, and if proven guilty, those people are excommunicated from the Church.

And I'm glad ACGM that you agree that the Church is against all sex outside marriage so there is no discrimination there. You say that the discrimination comes against gay people not having the opportunity to marry, so thus they are discriminated against.

Now let me ask you, if 2 men equally love each other and want to spend their lives together, should they be able to get married? What about 2 men and 1 women who equally love each other... should they be able to get married? What about 2 men and 3 women who equally love each other... should they be able to get married? Even some people in the States want to get married to animals that they love and want to get married to and are willing to spend their life with each other... should they be able to get married?

What is marriage? and why can't 100 people who all equally love each other, not all get married to each other?
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:04 AM   #110 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmats7 View Post
Now let me ask you, if 2 men equally love each other and want to spend their lives together, should they be able to get married? What about 2 men and 1 women who equally love each other... should they be able to get married? What about 2 men and 3 women who equally love each other... should they be able to get married? Even some people in the States want to get married to animals that they love and want to get married to and are willing to spend their life with each other... should they be able to get married?

What is marriage? and why can't 100 people who all equally love each other, not all get married to each other?
I'll give my perspective on this:

Sure, any human of the age of consent can marry any other human of the age of consent, provided they are both capable of providing informed consent (ie. not mentally handicapped, not intoxicated, etc.) I'm alright with people having as many husbands or wives as they please, though of course the tax system would have to be adjusted so as to avoid marriage being used as a loophole.

A human could not marry an animal because it could not give informed consent.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:11 AM   #111 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ligeia View Post
I'll give my perspective on this:

Sure, any human of the age of consent can marry any other human of the age of consent, provided they are both capable of providing informed consent (ie. not mentally handicapped, not intoxicated, etc.) I'm alright with people having as many husbands or wives as they please, though of course the tax system would have to be adjusted so as to avoid marriage being used as a loophole.

A human could not marry an animal because it could not give informed consent.
Thanks Ligeia, also would like ACGM's perspective.

Do you atleast understand why the Church doesn't recognize gay marriage? Because it also doesnt recognize 100 people marrying each other... and won't ... ever. They consider marriage between one man and woman, and to me, that makes the most sense.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:04 AM   #112 (permalink)
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much like the claim regarding morality, i find the church's position that they have sole title to the concept of marriage to be incredibly presumptive and arrogant.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:07 AM   #113 (permalink)
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Who cares about marriage?

It's an outdated, tribalistic ritual that has no place in modern society.

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Old 01-11-2010, 01:15 AM   #114 (permalink)
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i'm telling!
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:25 AM   #115 (permalink)
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Not if I don't tell my wife first.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:32 AM   #116 (permalink)
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I'm going to offer a few thoughts and address the questions posed by Bmats.

Bmats, you said:

Quote:
The reason why the Vatican moves around these priests as LX mentions.. is because more than 90% (sourced from a sidelink from Vatican.va... will post soon) of these claims are untrue. The catholic confessional is a private room where people confess sins to a priest, if a 13 year old boy says the priest abuses him (which actually never happened) .. it will cause a huge scandal and so the priests are moved. This is to avoid a lot of parishioners leaving the church because of this kid's lies. Alot of the cases are non-catholic people who pretend they are catholic just to accuse these priests.
1 - Of course the Vatican website is going to say most of these people are not really Catholics. lol What qualifies are person as not being Catholic? The very act of accusing a popular priest MIGHT be enough to get branded as a non-catholic by the surrounding community. Okay, I'll look at your link. I'm interested to see if the Vatican is basing this off of external investigators' claims, or the claims of their own internal investigators. There are problems with credibility when you have any organization investigating itself. I will withold judgement until I see your source, though, perhaps I will learn something new.

2 - The Church wants to sustain itself; therefore, I understand the Church's logic for wanting to move priests. There is a difference, though, between understanding something and agreeing with it. Plus, the actions still result in people getting assaulted...at the cost of sustaining the church. Not all accusations are lies, and so people get moved to repeat again, all in the name of sustaining the church (at least that's what YOU put forth as the reason in your post: sustaining the church). In secular society, people are removed from their jobs in such cases, until an investigation is concluded by not only internal investigators but also external ones. They may still get paid or whatever, but they are not continuing their contact with kids through a position of power. Of course, there are exceptions where secular institutions try to protect their power, too. But, again, those institutions are not ones that claim the moral high ground or to be speaking on behalf of God.


Bmats, you said:

Quote:
OBviously there are cases where priests are misguided, no one is perfect. But if a priest says 1+1 = 2... or that God exists, then he abuses a child.. that doesnt mean that 1+1 =3 or that God doesn't exist. You have to look at church teaching rather than the people in the Church. And the church teaches that child abuse especially is a grave sin, and if proven guilty, those people are excommunicated from the Church.
This is sort of a strawman, Bmats. I don't remember ever saying that God doesn't exist or that the Church's actions mean that God doesn't exist. This is more about the teachings supposedly being the word of God, and the Church being qualified to speak in absolute terms for God, when the Church is not perfect. At least from my perspective. I can't speak for others. I concede that there might be a God. I just don't see empirical evidence of God's existence, nor do I see any reason to believe any Church is qualified to speak on his/her/its behalf. I don't think humans or their institutions can claim to speak for a hypothetical God. Religion should be a personal matter, which you even stated yourself. Yet, unfortunately, many churches bring their views into the public sphere and claim authority as the representitive of God and natural law. I hope that further clarifies my position and helps bridge the gap in understanding.

Okay, then we have this statement from Bmats:

Quote:
And I'm glad ACGM that you agree that the Church is against all sex outside marriage so there is no discrimination there. You say that the discrimination comes against gay people not having the opportunity to marry, so thus they are discriminated against.
I want to make something clear. Hundreds of thousands of people think that gays are being discriminated against by those who insist on preventing them from having the opportunity to get married. When you afford heterosexual with a special privilege, such as the right to get married, while denying that right to others, that is a form of discrimination. It is a form of discrimination based on sexual preference, and thus some might argue it is obvious homophobia. We disagree on this, and I doubt we'll ever change each other's minds.

Then, bmats, you asked these questions:

Quote:
Now let me ask you, if 2 men equally love each other and want to spend their lives together, should they be able to get married? What about 2 men and 1 women who equally love each other... should they be able to get married? What about 2 men and 3 women who equally love each other... should they be able to get married? Even some people in the States want to get married to animals that they love and want to get married to and are willing to spend their life with each other... should they be able to get married?

What is marriage? and why can't 100 people who all equally love each other, not all get married to each other?
1 - The answer to the question I bolded is pretty obvious. Of course I think 2 men should be able to get married. If I didn't think so, I wouldn't have made such a big deal about the Catholic church interfering with the wishes of non-believers. I talked about the importance of cognitive development/state in relation to sexual relations. That applies here as well, as Legia touched on. The parties must be capable of informed consent. Since you referred to "men", as in adults, I think the question has that built in, but I just wanted to be clear(as was Legia). NO, a person should not be able to marry an animal...it's a matter of consent.

2 - My views on more than two people getting married are similar to Legia. As long as long as they can consent, it should be allowed. However, in addition to changes to the tax code, there would have to be changes to the current criminal code, as such things are prohibited and punishable. Society would have to make adjustments on how to regulate this so that there are no abuses of the law. And those adjustments would only be made if there was a significant demand for them. A demand similar to what we've seen from the gay and lesbian communities and the people who sympathize with their cause. This is a lead into my next point.

3 - You are raising examples that very few people would want in today's western society. That is, marriages involving more than a handful of people. In fact, in today's society, with maybe a few exceptions, the only people who want to marry many, many partners, especially in large numbers, are people belonging to cults or religious groups, such as old school off shoots of Morminism. There simply isn't a high demand for this type of thing. It's a huge excuse to try and divert attention away from the fact that lots of people want same-sex marriage, and lots of people sympathize with those who want same-sex marriage. Your example about 100 people wanting to get married, or individuals wanting to marry animals, is pretty much a red herring. It's almost, but not quite (since there are a few examples), as funny as the claim that the human population might all choose to be gay, which would then require artificial insemination. And since I forget to mention it before, I'm totally cool with artificial insemination (in case you were wondering). I'd like to remind you what you said in another post:
Quote:
Posted by Bmats
The reason why it's mostly wrong is because it's not open to the gift of life. Ie... if the whole world was gay... the human population would be completely wiped out unless we did some artificial insemination
I mean, really, Bmats, you actually think that the whole population could choose to be gay? You think that's even possible? By implication, that means you think the only thing holding you back from being gay is your church teachings. Obviously that's not the case, right?You don't choose to be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual; you just are what you are.

4 - You asked what I think constitutes a "marriage"? From my perspective, it should be a union involving persons who love each other. Was it always that? Not really. In fact, in the past, in many countiries dominated by Christian principles, "marriage" frequently left the love part out of the equation. When we were in the colonial phases, it was done more out of necessity. You needed a population. Love was not the main component. Also, in some places, it was viewed as a contract between a husband and a father, not a husband and wife. So, in a sense, it was more of a legal contract between a man and man. It should be about love, but it doesn't always end up that way.

Quote:
Do you atleast understand why the Church doesn't recognize gay marriage? Because it also doesnt recognize 100 people marrying each other... and won't ... ever. They consider marriage between one man and woman, and to me, that makes the most sense
Sure. I understand why the Church does what it does within the walls of its own church. But just because I understand their motivation, that doesn't mean I have to say it's right. There is a difference between understanding and agreeing. I think you'll probably acknowledge that.

It makes most sense to you, but it doesn't make sense to loads of other people who believe that equality is about equal opportunity.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:36 AM   #117 (permalink)
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God and religion make the planet very, very inefficient.

A lot of time and effort, not to mention human life, wasted on an advanced and shined up version of Neandrathal campfire stories explaining what they could not understand.

Nothing has changed.
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