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BS: Atheists

olddude 05 Apr 13 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 05 Apr 13 - 07:40 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Apr 13 - 01:41 AM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 05 Apr 13 - 01:21 AM
Joe Offer 05 Apr 13 - 12:59 AM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 10:53 PM
Rob Naylor 04 Apr 13 - 10:34 PM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 10:28 PM
Don Firth 04 Apr 13 - 09:59 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Apr 13 - 09:34 PM
Amos 04 Apr 13 - 08:52 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 08:52 PM
olddude 04 Apr 13 - 08:51 PM
Ed T 04 Apr 13 - 08:42 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Apr 13 - 08:37 PM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 08:15 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 13 - 08:10 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 08:04 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM
Rob Naylor 04 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 07:55 PM
Janie 04 Apr 13 - 07:37 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Apr 13 - 05:48 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 05:31 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 04 Apr 13 - 05:30 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 13 - 04:59 PM
Ed T 04 Apr 13 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 02:22 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Apr 13 - 02:12 PM
Becca72 04 Apr 13 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Apr 13 - 12:55 PM
akenaton 04 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 04 Apr 13 - 11:59 AM
Stringsinger 04 Apr 13 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,olddude 04 Apr 13 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 04 Apr 13 - 08:49 AM
akenaton 04 Apr 13 - 05:12 AM
Janie 03 Apr 13 - 11:29 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 03 Apr 13 - 09:34 PM
Amos 03 Apr 13 - 06:34 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 03 Apr 13 - 03:57 PM
Ed T 03 Apr 13 - 03:18 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Apr 13 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 03 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,olddude 03 Apr 13 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,olddude 03 Apr 13 - 12:27 PM
Doug Chadwick 03 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 03 Apr 13 - 11:47 AM
Stringsinger 03 Apr 13 - 11:32 AM
Stringsinger 03 Apr 13 - 11:20 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: olddude
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 09:07 AM

the only contradicting fairy stories I have in my life is the game of cricket, probably cause I don't understand it. I looked at a rule book once and it looked like the Oxford Dictionary. Lots of rules, but I may change my mind when I finally figure out what a googly is. Does look interesting .


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 07:40 AM

Football is football is occasionally called soccer to remind us of its origins as association football. Sheffield Wednesday for instance has been a football club since 1867. If you need to have a term to distinguish it from American football, this is because you are American and I shall try to take that into consideration. If you need to have a term to distinguish it from rugby it is because you are weird and beyond help.

Right.

Dawkins.

When you observe and write up a hypothesis based on your observations you have every right to get pissed off when people dismiss your research on the basis of it contradicting fairy stories.

If he appears strident and forth right it doesn't help when people call his work pseudo science. If you compare it to superstition you run the risk of trying to give substance to said superstition. Which if memory serves me right, denies faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:41 AM

A drift ~~ but one that has arisen naturally. I have always taken occasion when offered to denounce the now commonly made distinction between "football" and "rugby", when they are properly speaking called "Association football" and "Rugby football"; so the word "football" should in fact subsume them both [+ other forms like "American", "Gaelic", "Ozzie Rules", &c].

I suppose it too late now to beg and appeal for a return to the usages "rugger" & "soccer" to make the necessary distinction. But, unless & until that happens, the confusions and controversies inherent in the preceding posts will persist.

~M~

Worth a thread of its own, I think; so about to start one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 01:21 AM

Ed T: "I have a confession - no not the rc type of confession.
It's I don't like tapioca.
While that does not likely seem related to the topic, it is.
While I don't like tapioca (mainly because of texture, but, as a child it reminded me of fish eggs), I know others see things differently and like tapioca. But, I have learned to put these differences aside, and I do not judge people on the basis of whether they like tapioca or not."

More profound than many might see at first....STEVE, ARE you listening???

Maybe your childhood with Catholicism, reminds you of something you don't like, either!!! Does it mean you'll stop eating???

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Apr 13 - 12:59 AM

Ed T., I was brought up to believe that tapioca was healthy for me, and all those other Jello-made puddings weren't (puddings not made by Jello are rare in the U.S.). So, I put a dollop of marmalade on my tapioca, and think I'm adding years to my life.

Works for me.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 10:53 PM

Well LOL you are getting close, I mean real football like Pittsburgh Steelers :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 10:34 PM

I think what you're describing there, olddude, isn't "football", which OF COURSE is played with a round ball, but "Cissy Rugby"! Pads and helmets indeed!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 10:28 PM

Just to be clear Steve, football is played with an odd shaped ball and lots of pads and a helmet. Now soccer is played with shorts and a round ball :-)

If you come to my house for dinner I promise you won't have to pray .. and the beer is cold


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 09:59 PM

This is a piece I wrote some time ago. I don't remember if I have posted it here before, but if so, here it is again. I have posted some of the information before, such as the course I took in college on "The Bible as Literature."
Okay, so, in the interest of full disclosure, where am I coming from?

My family was not particularly religiously oriented. Which is to say, although we did go to church from time to time, we didn't go that often, and we didn't belong to any particular church. My father never said much about religion. My mother was a bit of a questioner and seeker, and she read a fair amount about Eastern religion and philosophy. Standard sermons bored her spitless.

When I was about ten or so, I did attend a two week "summer Bible school" at a church a few blocks from where I lived. My sisters and I wanted to go mostly because a lot of other kids in the neighborhood were going, and getting us out of the house would give mom a few hours of peace and quiet. There, I learned to recite the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm and a few things like that. I believed in God (a vague sort of presence) about the same way I (a precocious ten-year-old) had previously believed in Santa Claus (a somewhat more specific image, perhaps).

In my first freshman philosophy course at the University of Washington, among many other things, we examined the various philosophers' arguments for and against the existence of God, or a "Prime Mover." This turned me into a hard-charging atheist. In later years, I mellowed a bit when it finally sank in that there is an incredible amount about the Universe (or "Creation," if anyone insists) that we don't know and probably never will know. But I definitely didn't become a believer. Agnostic, perhaps, but not a believer.

I know quite a bit about the Bible. Early on, when I was an English major at the University of Washington, I had room for an English elective in my class schedule. As I said, I'm not particularly religious, but just for kicks, I signed up for "The Bible as Literature." The father of a girl I went to high school with was teaching the course.

Professor Paul Trueblood made it quite plain from the start that this was a course in the Bible as a work of literature—and we would not—repeat, not—be discussing it as a religious text. We read the Bible as if it were an anthology of short stories, novelettes, essays, and poetry. We didn't skip around, reading a verse here and a verse there, we read it in whole chunks, right through, the way you read any literary work.

There were a few people in the class who tried to initiate religious interpretations and discussions. When this happened, Prof. Trueblood gently but firmly steered the discussion back to the literary aspects of whatever we had just read.

Having taken this course made me something of a reef on which a number of proselytizing Christian soul-savers foundered. When they would quote a verse or two from the Bible in an effort to prove the point they were trying to make, I was well equipped to interrupt them and say, "But that's not what that verse means. You're taking it out of context." At which point, I would lecture them on what the passage was really saying.

I was dangerous! I knew too much about the Bible!

Interesting to note that a few months after I told one of my tormentors that I had taken the "Bible as Literature" course in the U. of W. English Department, the fundamentalist church he belonged to filed suit against the University in an attempt to get the course removed from the catalog, claiming that the University was "teaching religion." The state Supreme Court eventually ruled that Prof Paul Trueblood, and subsequently, Prof. David C. Fowler, had scrupulously avoided religious discussion in class and that it qualified as a straightforward literature course. The fundamentalist church lost, and the course listing stayed in the catalog.

Taking this course also set me in good stead for discussions with clergy of various denominations, and I've enjoyed a number of good, interesting discussions and debates with them.

Thirty-six years ago, I married a woman who had been raised in the Lutheran Church (one of the more liberal branches). She was, and is, involved in a number of church activities. Although she was raised in the church and has been involved with it one way or another all her life, it seems our beliefs are very much alike. I tagged along with her to church, and also became active in church activities. So much so that I served for some six years as a member of the church council. And she and I find that we are not the only ones in our particular church who believe pretty much as we do. No one is dogmatic. And pretty much everyone is willing to question and discuss. I don't know anyone in the church who maintains that the Bible is the "inerrant Word of God." As Pastor Shannon said once, "The Bible is not The Boy Scout Manual. You're not necessarily going to find answers here. You're going to find questions!" She's cool!

Do I believe in God? Well, I certainly don't believe in the Cranky Old Man in the nightshirt and beard sitting up on Arturus 12 who hurls thunderbolts at sinners, marks the fall of every sparrow in His ledger book, and keeps a list of who's naughty and nice.

Do I "believe" in science? Yes. I've always been something of a science nut. I'm quite interested in all aspects of astronomy and cosmology, including the possibility, expounded by the latest speculations in String Theory, of parallel universes and multiple dimensions. Fascinating stuff! I believe the "theory" of evolution is the most reasonable explanation for how we all got here, and other biological phenomena. I am not in the least flummoxed when a scientist says, "I don't know." Or when a scientist says, "What we believed up until now is not quite accurate. In the light of new data. . . ." If scientists don't know, then who does!?? Certainly not someone (even if he or she does have a cable television show!) with no evidence whatsoever, who attributes all phenomena to a SuperSpook beyond the clouds whose will he or she claims to know.

But do I eschew all possibility of there being a spiritual dimension to Life, the Universe, and Everything? No. There may very well be.

I find it perfectly acceptable to say, "I don't know."

Or, as Iris Dement puts it, "Let the Mystery Be."
There are two sorts of people whom I find annoying in the extreme. One is the hard-charging fundamentalist Christian who, even though I go to church, he or she considers my church not "Christian" enough, and winds up hell-bent on saving my soul. That's when I rip them apart with the fact that, invariably, I know more about the Bible than they do. After they've given it the old college try, they wander off with their tail between their legs and mutter something about they will "pray for me." I find them pompous and full of the Sin of Pride. Talk about "holier than thou!!"

The other is the hard-charging, dedicated atheist who, come hell or high water, is going to save my soul from those brain-washing, mind-stealing Christians. SCIENCE, by God, says there IS no such thing as God (science says no such thing!!), and they will argue until Sunday breakfast over the issue, then nail your shoes to the floor in case you were planning to go to church.

Each is as bad as the other, and each is basing his or her beliefs as much on faith as the other (although the atheist will have a foaming-at-the-mouth fit at the word "faith.").

They don't know how alike they really are!

Neither of them KNOWS. NOBODY knows for sure.

But each will stomp, scream, throw things, and insist vociferously that they are absolute right.

As far as I'm concerned, "A pox on both their houses!"

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 09:34 PM

Whether or not you like tapioca is no more than a matter of taste. I will eat everything on the planet except for apple sauce, which is utterly disgustingly sour, slimy and sloppy. That I hate apple sauce is a matter of taste, not of evidence. Now if you believe in God and you're a friend of mine (I have many such), it is very unlikely that either he or I will bring the matter to the fore. Actually, it's the same with my atheistic mates. There isn't an awful lot to discuss so we hardly ever do. I cannot respect my believer-friend's belief. I'd be an idiot to respect someone's delusion. It would serve me well to avoid telling him that I think that, in one small corner of his existence, he bears a delusion. That's quite a bit different, by the way, from saying that he's a deluded man, which he isn't. Any man who likes a good pint and with whom I can talk football is not a deluded man. But I do respect his right to hold his belief and I also respect his conviction in holding it. I don't really care that you hate tapioca. If you come to my house I won't serve you tapioca. I don't care if you believe in God. I won't bring it up if you don't. But don't tell me that you know tapioca is vile and no-one should eat it. Don't tell me that your belief is true and that I'm a charlatan for not getting my kids christened (that has actually happened to me). It isn't for me to tell you you should be an atheist. If you bring it up, I'll tell you that my convictions are based on nothing more than evidence, and that my bar for what counts as evidence is set quite high. That's all. No evangelising this end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:52 PM

I haven't eaten a baby in years....


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:52 PM

Mr. Naylor, I don't like absolutism, dogma, stridency from either side. I am sure that Mr. Dawkins condescending, insulting opposition to creationism, by stooping to the level of the creationists and school board grabbers he decreases the credibility of science. He should have stuck to the "knocking down the creationists' often deliberately disingenuous arguments with logic."

Our public radio has "this I believe" not "Thought For The Day" they often have Atheists expressing their beliefs. So maybe America is not as fundamentalist as many UK atheists think.

I am opposed to creationists and school board grabbers as much as you are. That is one reason I do not like Mr. Dawkins methods.

As far as this goes it is hard to know where to start.

"I notice maybe 1 started by an atheist, and that started off trying to conduct a serious debate. I notice 4-5 started by religious people, all poking fun at or disrespecting atheists and atheism."

I started two of them. One with an article by an atheist saying that three or four neo-atheists were becoming dogmatic. The other was a serious article about the demonstrated Islamophobia of that same small group. How you generalize that to all atheists how you call it poking fun of or disrespecting atheists and atheism is beyond my ability to reason.

The Heaven and Hell thread was about Heaven and Hell, the Atheists were not invited to come an mock those ideas.   So if it became about them, that is on them. The are Atheists really Atheists was a question about the definition of "atheist."

Are you sure that the atheists on those threads did not contribute their own share of the rancor?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:51 PM

tapioca !!! well that is next to Jell-O so that we can completely agree with :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:42 PM

I have a confession - no not the rc type of confession.

It's I don't like tapioca.

While that does not likely seem related to the topic, it is.

While I don't like tapioca (mainly because of texture, but, as a child it reminded me of fish eggs), I know others see things differently and like tapioca. But, I have learned to put these differences aside, and I do not judge people on the basis of whether they like tapioca or not.

While I know some pretty evil people probably like tapioca, I also know it has little bearing on whether they are good people, or not, in other aspects of their lives. I have learned to put these differences aside, and move on.

Now that I have that confession off my mind, I remain a bit uncertain about rhubarb....


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:37 PM

So, Richard Dawkins, who once had something to say that made sense to me, has become doctrinaire and angry in his presentations.

Really? So how has he changed, in your opinion? I haven't really noticed anything different. As for doctrinaire, Richard Dawkins, along with other genuine atheists, never speaks of his convictions in terms of certainties. Your word seems misplaced to me. The whole point of atheism, as he would no doubt agree, is that we have no evidence for the existence of God, that everything in the realms of evidence and sane intuition suggests that he does not exist, yet we cannot be certain. If you're telling me that he's so doctrinaire that he's shuffled along from 6.9 to 7.0 on his certainty scale, then I'm parting company with him. I think that the real situation is that it's his opponents who have changed and that he has remained steadfastly the same. Opposition from church leaders and sundry scared and animated believers (there's a shining example of one of those on these threads) has increased significantly as his message has become disseminated, and their ever more shrill voices, set against which he finds himself having to defend against more forcefully in consequence, may be giving the illusion that it's him who's changed. I'm afraid that falling into the trap of alleging that we atheists are getting more and more angry is a sign of religion getting very worried. Most of us are ice-cool. After all, we have, literally, nothing to get worked up about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:15 PM

Thanks Janie, I had a lot of things happen lately and they are all bad, no biggies just common life stuff. Then I get frustrated and punch but I tend to punch hard. Probably all the training :-) Very bad behavior, need to chill out more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:10 PM

Hi, Rob -
I think I've noticed an increase in stridency in Dawkins, so I'd agree with you on that. I think that what might have happened to him, is that he attempted to do battle with the fundamentalists on their terms. And if you do that, you lose.

I found that out the hard way. I tried to do battle with fundamentalist Catholics, to prove my perspective right and to win them over to my side (or at least to get them to stop writing letters of complaint to the bishop about me). I found that if I expressed my think in their terms, I ended up with the same angry, doctrinaire tone that they had.

If you're able to see things with at least a good dose of doubt, and you tend to see issues from a variety of perspectives, you can't carry on a discussion with a fundamentalist. They are incapable of seeing anything from more than one perspective.

So, Richard Dawkins, who once had something to say that made sense to me, has become doctrinaire and angry in his presentations.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:04 PM

"Now, Jack, don't get it in your head that I agreewith Dawkins, Graham, or John Paul II"

I never tried to say that. Sorry if I gave that impression. I was comment on whether I agreed that they an their current followers were current.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM

Now, Jack, don't get it in your head that I agreewith Dawkins, Graham, or John Paul II. All are/were ideologues, although generally I think they all are/were nice people. I have the feeling that if I were locked in a room with any or all of them, I would have to work really, really hard to be polite. And you're right - Franklin Graham comes closer to my description of "destructive."

As for Bee-dubya-ell, I agree with him almost all the time. He's one of several Mudcatters that I have absolute respect for.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM

Mr Dawkins, pushes his belief system (or his lack of one if you like). He does it world wide across many media. Is anyone on this forum insane enough to deny that? Yet there seems to be a strange logic poking through saying that since you believe that atheists in general don't push their views than none of them are. Ignorant stereotyping is an ugly think. But I am not sure it is bigotry. What is the word for that?

If you notice, over the years, Dawkins has become more strident or hard-nosed mainly in response to increased attempts by fundamentalists to hi-jack education systems in various jurisdictions in order to, eg, limit the teaching of evolution, or to give equal time to so-called "creation science" or "intelligent design".

We've had decades of "Dr Dino" , Woodmaroppe, Gish, and their ilk stridently "dissing" atheists at every opprotunity, usually with ill-thought out "jokes" and homilies such as the ones posted by OD at the beginning of this thread that go only to show how little understanding of atheism the maker of such has.

Atheists for years suffered these insults and put-downs without replying in kind, but trying to use logic, and knocking down the creationists' often deliberately disingenuous arguments with logic. This appears to have limited success....a loud voice and a snappy sound-bite seem to have more resonace with the public at large. So is it any wonder that after 3+ decades of "turning the other cheeck" a sub-set of atheists have become strident and vocal in turn?

For years we've put up with the religious viewpoint being the "default". Even in the (much less religious than the USA)UK, the BBC's "Thought For The Day" still ALWAYS features a religious presenter...Christian, Muslin, Jew, Hindu, Jain etc but NEVER an atheist and their programe "Beyond Belief" discusses religious issues with a panel made up of people from these religions, but again, as far as I know, never an atheist.

So in the last few years the fact that some atheists are at long last getting a "voice" in the media should be a welcome addition to the debate. The fact that several of those people have had to become strident and controversial merely to be heard at all shouldn't be a surprise.

Lookin gat the threads here on BS, I notice maybe 1 started by an atheist, and that started off trying to conduct a serious debate. I notice 4-5 started by religious people, all poking fun at or disrespecting atheists and atheism. In fact, the hatred and bile towards coming from some of the "religious" on here would, were I an uncommitted observer, I'm afraid drive me towards the atheist camp.

The religious have promulgated their views strongly for centuries, yet when atheists start to promulgate theirs strongly for not much over a decade, many "religionists" seem to feel so threatened by it that it seems they can't handle it at all in a sensible manner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 07:55 PM

"Mr Dawkins is a scientist who has reached a conlusion based upon hard evidence and has formed opinions which he expresses."

Mr. Dawkins is a zoologist who became famous writing popular critiques supposedly applying the fields of cosmology and psychology to religious belief.

He is entitled to free speech. He is entitled to sell his mean spirited pseudo science books. He is entitled rent lecture halls in the deep south and engage in "cage match" style "debates" with "creation scientists" but since he is not inviting people to fill stadiums and be saved he is not pushing his opinions?

OK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Janie
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 07:37 PM

I really liked your post Joe. And I also really appreciate and admire the honesty of your response to my query, Dan.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:48 PM

""Mr Dawkins, pushes his belief system (or his lack of one if you like). He does it world wide across many media. Is anyone on this forum insane enough to deny that? Yet there seems to be a strange logic poking through saying that since you believe that atheists in general don't push their views than none of them are. Ignorant stereotyping is an ugly think. But I am not sure it is bigotry. What is the word for that?""

Mr Dawkins is a scientist who has reached a conlusion based upon hard evidence and has formed opinions which he expresses.

He is fortunate enough to be well known and able to give voice to his opinions more widely than you or I.

Tell me Jack, do you believe (really BELIEVE) in free speech.

What is it that you object to, the fact that he expresses these opinions, or the fact that he can express them much more widely and reach more ears than you can?

When you see Richard Dawkins setting up a string of halls nationwide, and going on TV to advertise his "Church of the Wholly unbelieving", then you can shriek about him pushing his ideas and I'll stand at your side.

Think Billy Graham!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:31 PM

I think that there has been the assumptions on the part of some that Atheists are atheists and "Godbotherers" are "Godbotherers" and that only atheists understand science and that "Godbotherers" need to have their superstitions slapped out of them. I regret having bickered those people. I didn't set out to bicker but I surely did.

I generally agree with what you said Joe. I don't think that Atheism or Religion is in any way monolithic. I think most look at the information available and make up their own minds. I know liberal baptists and conservatives who profess much more "liberal" beliefs.

I do have a couple of nits to pick, not with the general ideas but with specific classifications.

I think Billy Graham is a special case. He certainly was more interested in salvation than on ideological battles but his ministry, personified and run by his son Franklin has veered into the realm of destructiveness in very disturbing ways. I have read that churches he sponsored in Africa as a "bulwark" against Islam are literally waging war and committing atrocities in the name of God.

I think that Dawkins is a special case as well. I don't know that he has followers as such but his tactics of saying that Christians (and all those who believe in any God) are suffering from a delusion and being hyper-condescending when talking about the religious and debating them is certainly not winning him any friends among believers and seems to me in two ways to be more offensive than defensive. And of course his recent comments about Islam are not excusable. IMHO He ought to use the same "scientific rigor" on everyone or simply keep his baseless opinions to himself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:30 PM

""I consider myself a non-theist. I believe there is a spiritual or transcendent dimension to the universe and, while I have no idea exactly what its nature is, I seriously doubt it has much to do with the idea of "God" as espoused by western theistic religions. I have an affinity for Eastern non-theistic religions like Buddhism and Taoism, though I'm not a practitioner of either. This probably makes me just religious enough to disqualify myself from membership in The Dickie Dawkins Rabid Atheist Club.""

I could subscribe to that BWL! Though I describe myself as a Theist, I cannot give any kind of form to that being, so it may be more akin to what Buddhism seems to suggest, or just a glimmer of a primal causation as Amos said.

One thing I can absolutely assert. Atheists don't bother me one jot.

Unfortunately for Pete's stated viewpoint, I am bothered, dissed and harassed frequently and persistently by evangelists knocking at my door to shove their views in my face.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 04:59 PM

This multiplication of "atheists" threads, has me confused. Somebody from an atheist perspective posted a very thoughtful message yesterday or the day before. I wanted to respond to it, but now I can't find it. The writer acknowledged that there are some religious people who fail to comply with the authoritarianism and doctrinaire positions that the writer sees as essential to religion. I get the impression that this writer doesn't see these nonconformist people as "really" religious. I was impressed by blandiver's "Atheism is a celebration of human inventiveness" post (above), although that's not the one I was looking for.

I wonder if we're using the wrong criteria to differentiate people. I'm a very religious Catholic, but it seems to me that I have far more in common with many atheists and agnostics, than I have with fundamentalist believers or what I call "absolutists" (whether or not those absolutists believe in a god).

As I look at the spectrum of people, I see some people who are what I would call "constructive." These are generally non-ideological people who think their own thoughts and don't tie themselves too tightly to any one ideology. They generally are open to a wide variety of schools of thought. They may believe in a god, or they may not. If they do believe, they see things within the context of a belief system - they use their belief system, traditions, and mythology as tools for exploring what they encounter. "Constructive" people who don't believe in a god aren't likely to use such tools - although I think most "constructive" nonbelievers tend to be respectful of rituals and mythologies and belief systems. Maybe "philosophical" would be a better word for this group. "Contemplative" would also fit, but that word has religious implications - and I think this group is not necessarily religious or irreligious.

On the other end of the spectrum are what I would call "destructive" people. These are the people who seem to be driven to attack, to destroy, to tear down. On the religious side, one prominent example would be the "Rev." Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, with their virulent anti-homosexuality. But there are many others, who seem hell-bent to destroy everything in their path - and they claim to have God on their side. And yes, there are certainly destructive people who are nonbelievers - they simply don't have a God they can call upon as an ally. "Destructive" people, both believers and nonbelievers, seem to me to be strongly ideology-driven.

And then there's the group in the center - I think I'd call them "defensive" people. They tend to be more comfortable with an ideology than they are with their own thoughts, but the ideologies they choose can sometimes be quite positive. They tend to be more fearful than the constructive or destructive types. They tend to follow gurus - either religious or non-religious leaders. I think the followers of Dawkins and Billy Graham and Pope John Paul II fall into this category. These can be very good, very functional people - but don't expect them to spend much time doing original thinking. These are the people in the middle, but I don't think it would be fair to call them "mediocre." Sometimes, these people can go far beyond mediocrity. But they feel more comfortable when they have a leader to follow. These people tend to be better employees than the "constructive" ones.

Now, I don't think there are clear lines dividing these three groups, but I think my general characterizations are fairly accurate.

And there lies my answer to the poster, whoever she/he was and wherever he/she posted. I may be a Catholic and my Catholic faith may play a big part in my life, but my religious beliefs must conform with who I am - I cannot be ideological. I have to think my own thoughts and make my own decisions. The Catholic Church is broad enough to allow me to do that. It's not always comfortable, but the fact of the matter is that my existence as a "freethinker" was encouraged during my 16 years of Catholic education - including 8 years in a seminary. Still, I feel more at home with most Unitarians, than I do with most Catholics.

So, that's my theory.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 04:14 PM

And on the eighth day God said, "Okay, Murphy, you're in charge!" ~Author Unknown


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 02:22 PM

RELIGION, well it is the curse of mankind, FAITH is the salvation.
For an atheist it is Faith in Humanity. Either way it is all about the footprints we leave behind in this life. I try to make mine straight as I can but sometimes I zig zig as I did starting this disagreeable thread but I sure ain't perfect either.

Frank you have been nothing but a good friend to me and a hero to me. I don't care a thing about beliefs, you walk the walk and that is all I ask for in a friend


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 02:12 PM

Mr Dawkins, pushes his belief system (or his lack of one if you like). He does it world wide across many media. Is anyone on this forum insane enough to deny that? Yet there seems to be a strange logic poking through saying that since you believe that atheists in general don't push their views than none of them are. Ignorant stereotyping is an ugly think. But I am not sure it is bigotry. What is the word for that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Becca72
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 01:19 PM

I always considered myself an agnostic but after reading BWL's post I have to say I align more with his beliefs.

And sorry, Dan, but more people have been killed in the name of "god" than for any other reason. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs, but so am I even if they don't agree. It has been my personal experience that atheists are far less likely to try to push me to their belief system. The same cannot be said for religious types. No atheist has ever knocked on my door to hand out leaflets on the nonexistence of god.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 12:55 PM

"seems to me that believers can expect dissing from the more militant atheists whether they believe all the bible or very little of it.some are so vague about God they seem to affirm next to nothing other than that he wont like those of us who do believe the bible.ah - the vaguries of the scientific method!"

Well, pete, I think you'll probably find that most athiests can spell the word 'vagaries' and know that a vagary is a whimsical or extravagant notion. I see nothing whimsical or extravagant about the scientific method - just a calm, methodical pursuit of truth. Uncritical, unquestioning belief in the mythological, or possibly allegorical ramblings, in an old book of uncertain authorship however ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM

If you say so Ian.....it must be right. :0)

Fortunately ,I have many friends who know that I am not an ignorant arrogant, big mouthed, fool.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 11:59 AM

Did you notice that?

Akenaton said talking about the universe is like talking about equality.

Let me help you. The universe is as complicated as your post imagines it to be. Equality on the other hand is easy. It means taking people's diversity into account in ensuring our dealings treat them with equal respect. Just in case you have issues with that, you live in a country where the law ensures everybody understands that. It protects us from bigotry.

Out of interest, big bang is a working hypothesis based on evaluating the evidence. Creation is based on something someone read and has been defending ever since.

You really are a sad little fucker, aren't you?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 11:34 AM

Dan, I've made some stupid mistakes myself on Mudcat so I accept your apology and hope others here will accept mine as well.

To everyone else: No one has talked much about the Militant Christians, Militant Islamists, Militant Jews, or militant anything else. Dogmatism doesn't choose favorites.

As for distancing yourself from Dawkins, B-W-L, you would be advised to read some of his books as I have instead hiding behind the veil of "religious" in your attacks on him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 11:21 AM

Doesn't mean anything Janie, I am just in a bad mood and taking it out on everyone .. apologies to all for starting it


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 08:49 AM

seems to me that believers can expect dissing from the more militant atheists whether they believe all the bible or very little of it.some are so vague about God they seem to affirm next to nothing other than that he wont like those of us who do believe the bible.ah - the vaguries of the scientific method!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Apr 13 - 05:12 AM

We know nothing about the origin of the universe(if there is such a thing)....talking about the "universe is like talking about "equality", "freedom" etc.

A belief in "creation" is no more insane than a belief in the "big bang" or any other theory made up by science.

Oh by the way.....humanity will have long since destroyed itself and everything else on this tiny planet before the question can be answered....if it can be answered

That thought is rather religious for an atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Janie
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:29 PM

Dan,

I am curious to know what your intent was and is in starting this thread.

My experience of you is that you value this community and you are certainly some one whose participation here as a builder and contributor to our cyberspace community, as well as to the music, is valued by many and not just by me.

Help me to understand.

All the best,

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 09:34 PM

I consider myself a non-theist. I believe there is a spiritual or transcendent dimension to the universe and, while I have no idea exactly what its nature is, I seriously doubt it has much to do with the idea of "God" as espoused by western theistic religions. I have an affinity for Eastern non-theistic religions like Buddhism and Taoism, though I'm not a practitioner of either. This probably makes me just religious enough to disqualify myself from membership in The Dickie Dawkins Rabid Atheist Club.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Amos
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 06:34 PM

Geeze, there are some really strange notions about atheism in some heads. I am an atheist by some definitions, in that I don't believe for a minute in an anthropomorphic, self-centered omnipotence poking His nose and fingers into human affairs. I don't believe in Zeus, either, for that matter, or Zarathustra's Ahura Mazda. But I am not insensitive to the inklings and whispers of primal Causation that find their way into the human imagination, and I honor the genuine efforts to listen to them wherever found. I just don't think any of the mainstream definitions of godhood, Lordhood, or deity have anything to do with the substance of the issue.

Furthermore I am not unhappy, crotchety or grumpy most of the time. I am more inclined toward levity and the celebration of consciousness and good spirit.

Just in case anyone wants to correct their stereotypes or something.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 03:57 PM

""If ever I was tempted to try for a place upstairs by changing my ways, a pretty good disincentive would be the thought of the company you would have to keep for eternity....... brrrrrr....""

I think you worry unnecessarily Jim.

If you find you are wrong and arrive at the gates of heaven, those whom you just described will certainly be missing. They'll be experiencing the massive impact of the knowledge that their way wasn't what he wanted.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 03:18 PM

Does Mudcat need another and another religious or athiest thread to say the same things that have been said before?

It would seem so, and I find the lack of long term memory here kinda amusing - not that there is anything wrong with that. maybe old folkies never die, as there is no actual "old folkie" heaven.

:)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 02:58 PM

"This thread seems as pointless and offensive as religion."
A quick shufti around all these threads shows an 'offensive' imbalance by the children of 'love and light', this nasty little thread being the hands down winner.
The only "cruel postings" here have come from those who would damn the rest of us to their hell.
As usual we are being told that to be prepared to question and to doubt is to be militantly anti, - certainly the age-old stance by the church I am most familiar with.
If ever I was tempted to try for a place upstairs by changing my ways, a pretty good disincentive would be the thought of the company you would have to keep for eternity....... brrrrrr....
Jim Carroll   
BTW
Came across this little gem while I was tidying up some of my discs:

To be read, until further notice, at the principal Masses, in all Churches on the first Sunday of each Quarter of the Ecclesiastical Year.

EVILS OF DANCING

Statement of the Archbishops and Bishops of Ireland issued at their Meeting, held in Maynooth, on 6th October, 1925.

We have a word of entreaty, advice and instruction, to speak to our flocks on a very grave subject. There is danger of
losing the name which the chivalrous honour of Irish boys and the Christian reserve of Irish maidens had won for Ireland. If our people part with the character that gave rise to that name, we lose with it much of our national strength, and still more of the high rank we have held in the Kingdom of Christ.
Purity is strength, and purity and faith go together. Both virtues are in danger these times, but purity is more directly assailed than faith. The danger comes from pictures and papers and drink. It comes more from the keeping of improper company than from any other cause; and there is no worse fomenter of this great evil than the dancing hall. We know too well the fruits of these halls all over the country. It is nothing new, alas, to find Irish girls now and then brought to shame, and retiring to the refuge of institutions or the dens of great cities. 'But dancing halls, more especially, in the general uncontrol of recent years have deplorably aggravated the ruin of virtue due to ordinary human weakness. They have brought many a good, innocent girl into sin, shame and scandal, and set her unwary feet on the road that leads to perdition.
Given a few frivolous young people in a locality and a few careless parents, and the agents of the wicked one will come there to do the rest, once a dance is announced without proper control. They may lower or destroy the moral tone of the whole countryside.
Action has to be taken while the character of the people as a whole is still sound to stop the dangerous laxity that has been creeping into town and country.
Amusement is legitimate, though some of our people are overgiven to play. What, however, we condemn is sin and the dangerous occasions of sin. Wherever these exist, amusement is not legitimate. It does not deserve the name of amusement among Christians. It is the sport of the evil spirit for those who have no true self-respect. The occasions of sin and sin itself are the attendants of night dances in particular. There may be and are exceptions, but they are comparatively few.
To say nothing of the special danger of drink, imported dances of an evil kind, the surroundings of the dancing hall, withdrawal from the hall for intervals, and the dark ways home have been the destruction of virtue in every part of Ireland.
The dancing of dubious dances on Sunday, more particularly by persons dazed with drink, amounts to woeful desecration of the Lord's Day wherever it takes place.
Against such abuses, duty to God and love of our people compel us to speak out. And what we have to say each for his own diocese, is that we altogether condemn the dangerous occasions, the snares, the unchristian practices to which we have referred.
Very earnestly do we trust that it may not be necessary for us to go further.
Our young people can have plenty of worthy dancing with proper supervision, and return home at a reasonable hour. Only in special circumstances under most careful control, are all-night dances permissible.
It is no small commendation of Irish dances that they cannot be danced for long hours. That, however, is not their chief merit, and, while it is no part of our business to condemn any decent dance, Irish dances are not to be put out of the place, that is their due, in any educational establishment under our care. They may not be the fashion in London or Paris. They should be the fashion in Ireland. Irish dances do not make degenerates. We well know how so many of our people have of late been awaiting such a declaration as we now issue. Until otherwise arranged it is to be read at the principal Mass on the first Sunday of each Quarter of the Ecclesiastical Year. The priests will confer with responsible parishioners as regards the means by which it will be fully carried into effect. "And may the God of Peace Himself sanctify you in all things, that your whole spirit and soul and body may be blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Thess. V. 23).
(Signed),
Patrick O'Donnell, Archbishop of Armagh, Chairman.
Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne,
Thomas O'Doherty, Bishop of Galway Secretaries.
6* October, 1925.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 12:51 PM

This thread seems as pointless and offensive as religion.

How many priests does it take to change a lightbulb?

Three.   One to change the light bulb, one to be enjoying the dark with an altar boy and one to deny knowledge of what is going on.

See? You open a right can of worms with this thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 12:39 PM

convert, I never once tried to convert anyone on anything other than old pocket watches. I am not some missionary .. far from it. don't care what other believe or don't believe. but when I bust my ass to help others only to read how I am classified as sub human with everyone else with beliefs it ssts me off. Free speech, the reason you have free speech is guys like me took the action to protect it. Respect is what is lacking here anymore. I was taught to treat others with respect, to be kind and helpful. My atheist friends are friend. I don't classify them as athiest or any other term cause I don't care. they walk the walk, My pissed off attitude is for a few. Rock on, I could care less


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 12:27 PM

Here is the point, every day someone has cruel postings about others beliefs. Do I agree with free speech, I can assure you I put my life on the line for it a hell of a lot more than many here ever did.

Do I enjoy thoughtful debate .. YES I do .. Do I agree with cruel attacks, NO but it sure seems ya can dish it out but when someone gets pissed and turns the tables you whine.   Point made


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM

Why don't Atheists carry umbrellas ? They don't believe the weather man

Surely no-one believes the weather man, do they? Experience should tell you that any similarity between the forecast and the actual weather is mere coinidence.

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:47 AM

I must confess to feeling a measure of disappointment when I encounter Christians who aren't fundamentalist right-wing bigoted xeno/homophobic creationists. I wonder what they're in it for - especially the members of the oxymoronic Christian Left who liberally co-opt scientific and socialist views which are, in truth, hard won heresies that are, in truth, anathema to the divinely appointed hierarchies of heaven & earth they otherwise claim to hold so dear.

One celebrated (erstwhile?) Christian Mudcatter is fond of pointing out that God created evolution too. I find that deeply offensive to my Atheist Sensitivities given that the Theory of Evolution was a significant cornerstone of Modern Popular Secularism & the Enlightenment of the Proletariat.

So I say to Christians : if you can believe in any of it, then why not believe in it all? From Adam 'n' Steve to The Book of Relaxation? Be proud of your heritage of All Inclusive Biblical Literalism for which millions of people have been put to the sword & entire cultures effaced from the globe - it is, after all, the revealed word o' God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:32 AM

In Dawkin's defense, he did not call people delusional. He called the notion of god delusional. That's different. Those that take umbrage at this might check their own belief systems as to their sincerity. If people are devoted to a belief system, then no criticism of it should make any difference to them.

You don't have to agree with Dawkins but to play a victim role here is silly. A large majority of the world believes in a god(s) and those that state otherwise are in the minority.

However, atheists have good reason to think of a notion of god as delusional since a large majority of fundamentalists have taken over and imposed their views on others.

There are intelligent people who are religious but comparatively few who have the "grace"
to understand those who are not. Unfortunately, these threads have been a launching pad for attacks rather than an illuminating sharing of different ideas.

Both science and religion are open to criticism in a pluralistic democracy. The difference is that in science, criticism is built in to the process. In religion, it's "my way or the highway."


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists
From: Stringsinger
Date: 03 Apr 13 - 11:20 AM

Dan, this is not respectful or particularly funny or true. Why did you do this?

Don't you realize that a similar poking fun could be done at Christians or other religious sects? You've opened the door to this kind of deprecating humor and I know you're not really like this. You're a good guy.

You of all people don't need a lecture on tolerance, so I won't go there. We don't need a religious war on Mudcat.

Thank you Joe, you are also a good guy.

A discussion is one thing, an attack is another.


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