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BS: major religions-homophobia II

GUEST,Liland 21 Feb 01 - 07:09 PM
Gypsy 21 Feb 01 - 10:12 PM
blt 22 Feb 01 - 12:17 AM
Amos 22 Feb 01 - 12:21 AM
Wolfgang 22 Feb 01 - 05:20 AM
GUEST 22 Feb 01 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,Fionn sans cookie 22 Feb 01 - 06:50 AM
Grab 22 Feb 01 - 08:46 AM
katlaughing 22 Feb 01 - 10:29 AM
mousethief 22 Feb 01 - 02:31 PM
katlaughing 22 Feb 01 - 02:38 PM
kimmers 22 Feb 01 - 02:40 PM
katlaughing 22 Feb 01 - 02:44 PM
Ebbie 22 Feb 01 - 02:48 PM
Joe Offer 22 Feb 01 - 03:26 PM
Kim C 22 Feb 01 - 03:47 PM
Mrrzy 22 Feb 01 - 04:06 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Feb 01 - 04:08 PM
Bill D 22 Feb 01 - 06:09 PM
Gypsy 22 Feb 01 - 11:28 PM
Skeptic 22 Feb 01 - 11:29 PM
Wolfgang 23 Feb 01 - 05:28 AM
Wolfgang 23 Feb 01 - 05:40 AM
Skeptic 23 Feb 01 - 09:50 AM
Wolfgang 23 Feb 01 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Another Questioner 23 Feb 01 - 12:03 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 Feb 01 - 12:17 PM
Roger in Sheffield 23 Feb 01 - 01:43 PM
Mrrzy 23 Feb 01 - 01:58 PM
Amos 23 Feb 01 - 02:24 PM
Skeptic 23 Feb 01 - 02:37 PM
Skeptic 23 Feb 01 - 03:37 PM
Irish sergeant 23 Feb 01 - 04:03 PM
GUEST,re: and some more 23 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM
Gypsy 24 Feb 01 - 12:33 AM
John P 24 Feb 01 - 08:57 AM
Bill D 24 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM
Skeptic 24 Feb 01 - 03:16 PM
Bill D 24 Feb 01 - 07:36 PM
John Routledge 24 Feb 01 - 07:41 PM
Amos 24 Feb 01 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,Blind Desert Pete 27 Feb 01 - 02:48 PM
mousethief 27 Feb 01 - 04:04 PM
John P 27 Feb 01 - 09:22 PM
ddw 27 Feb 01 - 09:34 PM
Amos 27 Feb 01 - 11:45 PM
GUEST,RB250 28 Feb 01 - 12:13 AM
Bagpuss 28 Feb 01 - 06:01 AM
Bill D 28 Feb 01 - 11:40 AM
mousethief 28 Feb 01 - 11:49 AM
Wolfgang 28 Feb 01 - 12:41 PM
mousethief 28 Feb 01 - 12:47 PM
Wolfgang 28 Feb 01 - 12:53 PM
mousethief 28 Feb 01 - 01:09 PM
Bill D 28 Feb 01 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Anally Intentive 01 Mar 01 - 12:29 AM
Bill D 01 Mar 01 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,re: Dr Laura ..do as I say not as I did 01 Mar 01 - 04:56 PM
Amos 01 Mar 01 - 09:49 PM
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Subject: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST,Liland
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 07:09 PM

This thread, which I haven't had a chance to read much of yet (but as that oddity, the pro-gay Baptist, I definitely want to read and participate in), has reached 115+ posts so I thought it should be continued here. So here it is continued.

Liland
Who hopes to be around a bit more


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Gypsy
Date: 21 Feb 01 - 10:12 PM

Hot diggety! And may i add my pro love sentiments as well, speaking as a presbyterian. Love is not so abundant in this world that we need put barriers and limits upon it. Just rejoice whenever you see love. Jesus did. Consider who he dined with, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: blt
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:17 AM

This is a response to the posts concerning the connection between the spread of HIV and sexual behaviors. Gender is no protection, obviously, against a disease that is spread by body fluids. Any exchange of body fluids--blood, vaginal fluid, and sperm (some research also implicates saliva)--carries the risk of transmission of HIV, plus diseases such as Hepatitis C and STDs.

Gays/lesbians/bisexuals are not more responsible for the spread of HIV than hetereosexuals, since sexual practices among all groups carry a similar amount of risk, if safer sex is not practiced. Currently, in the US, I believe that the group with the fastest growing rate of infection are young, heterosexual men and women of color. In Africa, anal sex is considered an acceptable practice for heterosexuals, perhaps because if a man is with a prostitute, he is somehow not having "real" sex if he has anal sex. The infection rate among prostitutes in Africa, India, and Indonesia is very high--a man will hire a prostitute, then return home and infect his wife. There are also cultural taboos that prevent sexuality from being openly discussed, similar to the US, which increases the chances that HIV will spread. I think the latest information on HIV rates in the gay/lesbian community is that infection rates are rising among young gay men, although I don't know what the comparison is between this group and the group of young men/women of color.

I think it's interesting to compare the present-day cultural response to HIV/AIDS with the historical response to the spread of syphillis from Europe into Native communities--unless there is evidence that Christopher Columbus was a lesbian and/or wore a condom. And what about Leif Erikson? Did he and his Viking pals (drag queens, every last one--check out their helmets)-- all practice safer sex?

blt


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 12:21 AM

Well... it was safe enough for them; but maybe not for those on whom they practiced it. Were the Vikings a vector in the transmission of syphilis? I didn't know tha!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 05:20 AM

katlaughing and science: two worlds in collision

Some respected researchers seem to have proven that testing HIV positive does NOT cause AIDS, but it is not in the ecomomic interests of the drug companies, etc. to admit this and back further research, etc.

As could have been expected, of all the research on AIDS the position of a maverick scientist who has nearly no backup in the community of researchers (and in the data) appeals to you most.

I'd like Blind Desert Pete to back up his statement claiming that heteros are catching AIDs more because they use anal sex as birth control. I don't believe it....
I've never seen any evidence that heteros are catching it through anal sex

If you don't believe it, you'd not like BDP to be able to back up the statement. Look just at any data on the relative risk of different practices and you'll see that anal intercourse (no condom) has a higher risk than vaginal intercourse (no condom). So people of whatever sexual orientation have a higher risk with the one practise than with the other for whatever reason they use the practise. That's all. But there isn't the no risk variant (except avoiding all close contact) and therefore AIDS would be with us even without any (male) homosexuality. They didn't bring it as Pete wrongly says but they have speeded the arrival (over a certain period of time).

I guess it's too much to hope that you know AIDS is more prevalent among heterosexuals in developing countries, which comprise 95% of new reported AIDS cases.

Perhaps correct (depending upon your comparison; more prevalent than who or than what?, I'd like to know in order to be able to evaluate the truth of your statement) but anyway completely irrelevant.
The prevalence and the incidence (that's what you allude to in the last part of your statement) in e.g. Africa have more to do with the prevailing pattern of sexual practises than with anything else. As for the developed countries, the prevalence of AIDS is here not the interesting datum, the relative risk is. I guess it's too much to hope that you know that in the developed countries the relative risk for homosexuals is still much higher than for heterosexuals (with bisexuals being in between; where else).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 06:46 AM

Grab, I didn't mean you to think I was offended - I thought you said it very well (the virus analogy), and of course you said it even better second time round. Couldn't agree more.

Mouethief, I thought I had become streetwise in the course of my lone crusade for World Atheism, but I am still occasionally surprised at how deep the indoctination can go.

It seems, to use the immortal phrase, that some of your best friends are homosexual - which shows what a decent, tolerant sort you are. But there is that niggling little problem about what they might want to get up to in private. This is where your religion comes in handy, with its pre-packaged off-the-shelf attitudes - one for every occasion, I expect. And the one for sodomy is brilliant! Nothing judgmental - just a nice restrained "expectation" that - unlike good old, respectably orientated you - your homosexual chums will refrain from doing what comes naturally. And the reason for this (wholly unjudgmental) expectation? Just that you happen to know that this is what the Lord himself might prefer. Smug, or what? I'd ask you to push your "expectations" up your ass, except you might enjoy the experience, which would surely be a sin.

Kat, I'm tempted to say that this thread is making strange bedfellows of us, but I don't want your sterling work to be undermined by association with my intemperate invective.*BG*


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST,Fionn sans cookie
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 06:50 AM

That last guest post was me, folks. (Who else?) Don't where the cookie went. Regards - Peter Kirker (aka Fionn)


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Grab
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 08:46 AM

Fionn - sure. But my posts, like the way I talk, tend to be a bit scatter-gun, so I need to protect my back from anyone with thin skin! ;-)

Wolfgang and BDP, it does sound a bit strange. Anal sex was certainly used by hetero couples in the past for contraceptive reasons, but since modern condoms and the Pill, there's no need. Certainly it's higher risk than the normal variety, but the number of hetero ppl using it (esp unprotected) is likely to be low, and more due to preference than birth control. The risk for normal sex is lower, but the vastly greater number of hetero ppl having unprotected normal sex is likely to give greater absolute numbers of cases.

Wolfgang, not believing it doesn't mean that you wouldn't like the other person to come up with proof, simply that we don't think they're right. If the other person can say "I'm right bcos..." and give numbers and case studies to prove their point, they've got a much stronger case. If we can then say "Ah, but what about...?" and they say "Here's the numbers for that too", then they're pretty damn watertight.

Your first point is dead right, and backs up the para above. Science is all about testing theories against the real world. Sure, someone can have a far-out theory, and sure, that theory may be right, but we'll only find out if he's right when he proves it.

Not being an expert in the field (well, apart from the obvious on-the-job training ;-) I wouldn't know where to get numbers from, though. Anyone who can give numbers for anything should do so. Do we have any doctors/sociologists/epidemiologists on here?

Grab.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 10:29 AM

Wolfgang, I would judge you are not really looking for a response from me, given your initial statement of prejudice.

I was seriously interested in BDP giving data, but I guess that would just be too damn scientific of me, wouldn't it?

Keep it up Fionn...this is the last post for me. I will not get sucked into another pissing contest with anyone so rigid in their views.

Anyone else who is open and interested in reading about maverick views: click here

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 02:31 PM

If you don't want to be sucked into another pissing contest with someone rigid in their views, I suggest you not talk to Fionn either.

I'm out of this conversation.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 02:38 PM

Point of clarification: I wasn't referring to Fionn. I was really speaking of Wolfgang.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: kimmers
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 02:40 PM

Hey, Kat, your link didn't work for me. Try again?


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 02:44 PM

Sorry, Kimmers, it is fixed now.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 02:48 PM

Wolfgang, if you notice, your attack on a forum member ends any further opportunity for the exchange of ideas. Surely that's not the aim of science?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 03:26 PM

But to dismiss the personal invective and get back to the subject of homophobia in churches, I've read in Catholic publications (well, liberal Catholic publications) that a good number of homophobes in churches are those who cannot face their own homosexuality. Seems to make sense to me. Anybody got data to probe or disprove that?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Kim C
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 03:47 PM

My philosophy is, if I like ya, I like ya. If I don't like ya, I don't like ya. And it don't matter to me one way or the other if you're black white red purple Scotch plaid or gay. There's very few people I don't like. Maybe one or two. :)

I came up in the Southern Baptist church but have since disassociated myself from it because of their constant (and often embarrassing) infighting. Honestly I don't remember in my neck of the woods, even here in the Bible belt, anyone in my church being homophobic, nor do I remember any sermons on the matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 04:06 PM

I would like to respond to two points made earlier:

Gender is no protection, obviously, against a disease that is spread by body fluids. Any exchange of body fluids--blood, vaginal fluid, and sperm (some research also implicates saliva)--carries the risk of transmission of HIV, plus diseases such as Hepatitis C and STDs.The risk is NOT equal. There is a MUCH higher proportion of HIV viri in semen as compared to any other bodily fluid. Saliva generally appears not to support them in viable condition.

Gays/lesbians/bisexuals are not more responsible for the spread of HIV than hetereosexuals, since sexual practices among all groups carry a similar amount of risk. Although I completely agree that nonheteros are not more RESPONSIBLE for the spread of HIV than heteros, it isn't the case that all sex is equally risky. Lesbian sex (without accoutrements) is almost completely safe. Heterosexual vaginal sex is almost without risk for the man if the woman isn't menstruating. Anal penile sex is the most dangerous because a) the rectum isn't designed for it and tears, and b) the aforementioned higher proportion of HIV in semen.

Another point in the body with tons of HIV in it is the tonsils. But that doesn't seem to add to the risk of oral sex, at least...

Also (back to the main idea), has anyone noticed the parallels with the way the Churches used to treat lefthandedness? It's the devil! It's a bad habit! It's.... supernormal!


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 04:08 PM

I doubt if we'll ever have THAT kind of data, Joe. In the great Megalopolis of Toronto, not ONE ecclesiastically connected anti-gay spokesperson, has had the nerve to publicly admit to being homophobic. The buck always gets passed to jesus. We are soooo polite in Canada, but the haters still learned it at home (as did their parents), not from the Bible.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 06:09 PM

no matter what combination of idiosyncrasies you posit, you will find some example of...but spotting a trend is tricky. You find one priest who openly decries homosexuality, but privately seduces choir boys, and it's easy to suspect WAY too much. I'm sure there are those whose anti-gay sentiments reflect their own barely contained leanings...but...

(reminds me of the line that my smart wife used a few years ago..."All Indians walk in single file....at least the Indian I saw was walking in single file" )


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Gypsy
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 11:28 PM

Once again, i will say....i loathe blanket statements. You cannot possibly KNOW all of any particular group, gay, church, whatever. You can only judge on a person by person basis. There are jerks in all walks of life, just as there are heroes, and everything inbetween. Don't become so lazy that you slap an opinion on millions that you don't know, and call it good.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Skeptic
Date: 22 Feb 01 - 11:29 PM

Kat,

Followed your link on the AIDS/HIV thing. Just a few quick comments based on a little surfing of the site

First, I think this sums up my impression of the whole thing: It is not proven that AIDS is caused by HIV infection, nor is it proven that it plays no role whatever in the syndrome. Dr. Richard Strohman, Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology at the University of California at Berkeley:

That and a lot of the scientific articles offered opinions without hard evidence. At least the ones I looked at.

All the conspiracy stuff is distracting at best.

I wonder, though, if this will end up like Therapeutic Touch? The Rocky Mountain Skeptics did a review of major work in the area and found the references and citation were essentially circular and that appropriate scientific studies had really never ben done. The supporters of therapeutic touch just kept citing each other.

Mention was made that homophobes are that way because they can't deal with their own homosexuality. Which brought to mind the Kinsey Scale. He argued (without substantiating studies) that those closer to the middle of the scale (0 to Six with O being completely heterosexual and 6 being completely homosexual) were more likely to have adjustment problems that could come out as homo (or hetro) phobia.

Regards

John


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 05:28 AM

Ebbie,
I address this post to you since kat doesn't post anymore here (so she says in her third last post) and you have blamed me for kat leaving (actually you have blamed me more generally for ending the exchange of ideas but that is far from correct).

I have said nothing at all (and shall not) to the original theme of the thread. My personal opinion is close to the majority of posters. There was one single thing which initiated my post in this thread, katlaughing's tone in her response to Pete (I guess it's too much to hope that you know .... Pete is not right, in my opinion, but her introduction to a statement (prevalence of AIDS in undeveloped countries) which makes no sense scientifically (see above) made me angry.

Then I read more by her and stumbled upon a statement like I've never seen any evidence that heteros are catching it through anal sex. This is dangerously wrong and irresponsible to say in my eyes.

Kat has a track record of postings on science related themes (as you know well) and nearly each single time I see that her position is one that is maybe popular among the general public, the press, and lay persons, but is often supported only by a tiny minority of scientists.

From that perception comes my first sentence above. Kat calls it a statement of prejudice. I've looked up 'prejudice' and it is (a) an opinion before sufficient knowledge or (b) an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual....
It can't be (a), for I have formed my opinion on a lot of past evidence (which of course doesn't make my opinion correct, but at least not a prejudice). It can be (b), however, but I am not the one to judge this.

I'd rather have kat responded to my points instead of using my first sentence as a reason for ending her communication in this thread, but that's up to her.

As kat already knows from a private communication I have a very mixed attitude towards her opinions. As for general politics, human values, etc. I very very often agree with her positions and consider them well thought and formulated (I rarely post in such threads so you might not know that). As for science, see above.

But in hindsight it would have been wiser not to start my post with that statement, but just to stick to the three points.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 05:40 AM

A new post and a new theme:

I've read a lot yesterday in the pages kat has linked too. My impression mirrors Skeptic's. Too much opinion. There are very tiny indications (in language and argumentation) that remind me of the cold fusion debate. Duesberg to me seems to be on the beginning of the slippery road from honourable dissenter to a parascientist who isn't taken serious by his peers any longer. Some of these dissenters have been proved right later in the history of science (e.g. Wegener, who was right for the wrong reasons, in his ideas on continental drift), but the vast majority of them is cpmpletely forgotten with extremely good reasons.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Skeptic
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 09:50 AM

Wolfgang,

Dis a little more looking and the agreement (the ones I think make sense anyway) question whether HIV is the sole agent.

I also took the lazy way out and talked to a friend at the local University Med Center. He sort of aggraded. There are enough blips in the data to indicate that, while HIV may be the primary cause, it may not explain all the symptoms. He maintains that the peer review literature is pretty consistent.

But to play devils advocate, back in the 80's I read an article that was an analysis of statistical methodology in peer review medical journals (the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and so on). They found that there was a high rate of misuse of statistical methodology (not deliberately) that tended to invalidate the conclusions. I think it was something on the order of 60%. Wondered if you'd seen anything similar or more current?

Regards

John


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 10:18 AM

John,
there's hardly any disease in which there is only one agent (a few genetic diseases). So the interesting question to me seems to be whether HIV is a necessary condition or not. It doesn't seem to be a sufficient condition (but that's extremely rare in medicine, see above). I only know a very small part of the literature and all of that is second hand (reviews, overviews) but many seem to agree that 'yes' is the correct response that is only persons with HIV may get AIDS. And to the best of my knowledge there is no other candidate for a necessary condition.

As for the second complex, yes, I have seen similar claims (old and recent) in psychology (and sad to say, they are basically correct). Misuse of statistical tests is common, less so by doing the calculations wrong, but more often so by doing the interpretation wrong or by using a wrong test. Whether you come to 60% wrong statistics depends upon several decisions you make in a metaanalysis of the statistics used in studies. Do you count a study as flawed if there was one of many tests wrong? Do you count it as flawed if the wrong test was used (though the conclusions might still be valid, since many tests are rather robust against violations of test assumptions)? Do you count it as wrong if you did a test that does not support your theory but the theory would have been supported by the correct test? And so on.

But I've never seen so many wrong statistics as in studies of the paranormal, especially in astrology and studies on the power of prayer. There are studies that are know since decades to be completely wrong and yet they are cited until today be the believers. But sloppy research in parasciences is no excuse for sloppy research in mainstream science.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST,Another Questioner
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 12:03 PM

www.duesberg.com/


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 12:17 PM

Wolfgang, I'm with Kat on much of what she's posted here, but on the specific question of the Aids/HIV science, I find your comments wholly persuasive. That was a wonderfully balanced post two or three back (5.28am) - just hope Kat calls by to read it, as I think it would leave her a good bit more relaxed about the earlier exchange.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 01:43 PM

My computer has been down for several days, so I have only just been able to read all the posts here. At the same time I have been having a think myself, then I realised that the equal rights issue is much larger, it also involves couples who choose not to marry or are unable to do so
Married people have more rights (over here in the UK) than cohabiting couples. I have no problem with anyone having their own religion, at the same time I think it unfair that a certificate of marriage is used to segregate people on any legal basis. Some of the earlier postings led me to www.crusaid.org.uk
a quote from that website
The fact is if you're gay or lesbian and die without making a will, the law won't protect your partner's rights as it would a straight couple's. And if you have no living blood relatives, the government can claim all your assets – house, life assurance, pension, savings, personal effects, everything – even if you partner is alive. Makes you think, doesn't it?

So I still want to know if you think that the state and religion should be completely seperate. If a couple of people have lived together and cared for each other for many years, regardless of wether they were gay or straight, should they have lesser legal rights if they are not married???

Roger


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 01:58 PM

Marriage as a contract seems to be, frankly, a holdover from the days when women were property. Why else would there be a contract? In that vein, I think I am more against marriage in general than pro-gay marriage, if that makes sense. No, I cannot ken why a couple (or larger group) who consider themselves a family should be considered not so by anyone outside the group. I guess I don't see why, outside of religion/sin/etc., it would MATTER whether you had signed a paper somewhere or not. Yes, I think that you should have the right to consider your loved ones as part of your family even if you happen to have similar genitalia. But my ancestors have been routinely thrown out of whatever church they belonged to (generally something Quaker, talk about tolerant, and still they got thrown out for being TOO tolerant) for thinking stuff like that, or acting on it... I prefer to belong to no church so that it doesn't come up so much.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Amos
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 02:24 PM

When you surrender your right to free thought, by joining a group that proscribes it, whether religous or civil, you get more or less what you pay for: comfort, stability, predictability, control, order and a tacit web of dampers and constraints. Any contract that includes explicit or implicit trammels on your freedom to think, to say what you see, know what you know, and speak to whom you choose is a contract with death. Of course, there's a little Faustus in us all, and buying a bedcover from the devil is an understandable temptation. But one best pursued knowingly and with wide-open eyes.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Skeptic
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 02:37 PM

Wolfgang,

But I've never seen so many wrong statistics as in studies of the paranormal, especially in astrology and studies on the power of prayer. There are studies that are know since decades to be completely wrong and yet they are cited until today be the believers. But sloppy research in parasciences is no excuse for sloppy research in mainstream science.

The main difference is that the parasciences have the advantage of already knowing what the answer is going to be. Makes research design a whole lot easier.

Guest, another questioner,

Duesberg, at least so far as I can find, doesn't address the suffieciency issue raised by Wolfgang. I'd also suggest that there are other conclusions (or at least questions)that can be infered from the statistics.

Generally, what isn't addressed is the question of multiple causes, consideration of social and other factors that might mitigate a "normal" distribution and the like,

Regards

John


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Skeptic
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 03:37 PM

Mrrzy,

Marriage as a contract seems to be, frankly, a holdover from the days when women were property. Why else would there be a contract

I think the "contract" part came from the property issues. In the good old days, marriage was often a financial transaction (especially among the rich and powerful). Marriages by us commoners was much less complicated and usually less formal. Until the Church got involved. At one point (pre 1000 AD CE), marriage could be purely financial, involving (anecdotally anyway) marrying a tree so property could be inherited. Not to diminish the "woman as property" aspect but I think developed more fully a little later.

Regards

John


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 04:03 PM

I'm not a scientist of any sort so I'm going to avoid the disease issue for a very simple reason. I'm not going to comment on issues I know nothing about. The title of the thread deals with religions being homophobic. My opinion is, if they are truely religious, they should practice what their religion preaches. Every Christian religion uses the Bible as their statement of faith and doctrine. My favourite Biblical passage is "Judge not, lest ye be judged." That ranks there with vengence is minhe sayeth the lord. We are not put here on this earth to judge each other. We do but that isn't why we're supposed to be here. Kevin Conway in the movie "Gettysburg" states, "Any man who judges by the race is a pea wit. I'll be judged for who I am, not who my father was." That is the essence of what being human is about right there. Bigotry and hatred have no place in our world and until we all get past them, we are in for a very bumby and perilous existance. Kindest reguards, Neil


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST,re: and some more
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM

Once I thought that it was all true, the stuff they dished out in School, Church and elsewhere. Glad that I learned to find and read Books, lots of them.

There's a few Books by Sitchin that clearly show how the Judaic/Christo family derived from a much earlier one. He argues that Sumeria and not Israel is the place to start. I agree and add even Abraham tells us he begun his Journey in what is now the Yemen.

According to the Sumerian record the heavenly things came out of the sky - there are several studies of this topic so I leave that to your interest to follow up.

Some say that these references relate to ETs, perhaps we will soon know the truth of that one.

Relgionizing the mind etc. Yes it does control and like music is also some kind of selfevident truth. Reading modern sources, Koresh, Smith etc I often wonder how like some of the OT writers these were?

Syphilis and Polygamy. Seems to me an Insane old man impreganting young girls would need some kind of control and the writings certainly show that. I suppose the sexual 'laws' are more of 'don't' do that because 'I' ( insane old man ) have a private line to it ( some kind of God thing ) The real reason is of course because the 'prophet' wants to keep these for himself.

Some of these individuals had hundreds of partners and there absolutely no doubt in my mind they DID have STDs big time.

Nowadays Religions are used by Politicians for pure gain. Look at NI and Israel, look at the Balkans. The wonder is more how gullable we are to believe this junk than why we act on these ridiculous cues.

Xtainity and sexuality. Kept purely to the traditional form there is nothing in that but good healthy habits, but we certainly do not have to belong to a 'religion' to realize that the less partners, the less likely infection.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Gypsy
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 12:33 AM

Thankee Neil! I was starting to think that my post was a non sequitor.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: John P
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 08:57 AM

I've always seen my marriage contract as an agreement between my government and my family. Not as an agreement between me and my wife. Whatever we agree on between ourselves is for us decide. Where we need legal protection is at tax time, or in case one of us dies, or becomes very sick, or makes a million dollars, or whatever. The marraige contract defines us as a legal unit. The fact that same-sex couples are denied these protections is a terrible act of bigotry on the part of my government. Gay rights is the last remaining civil rights issue that doesn't have laws requiring equal treatment.

The only time I give a damn about what organized religions think about anything is when they get their strange ideas passed into law, as they have with gay rights. They are really worried about what other people are doing in bed -- what a bunch of perverts! They can believe whatever incredible things they like, but I just wish they wouldn't try to foist them off on the rest of us.

Alex, if you are still reading this, I am not intending this as an attack on you. Well, perhaps a challenge. I know you to be an intelligent, interesting, sincere, sensitive, caring, and witty man. I like you quite a lot. I do not think you are in any way a bad person. But you belong to an organization that practices and supports bigotry.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM

A word about socio-political-religious organizations in general. (Trying to avoid the worst errors of over-generalization, while still making a point). The impetus for this post is John Peestock's last sentence. It is a dilema we face daily posting here, as we meet people whose views and 'identity' raise issues.

People need to 'belong' to things. Groups form in order for generally like-minded folks to pursue goals, whether it be political, religious, ethnic,labor...etc., etc. The problem is, there are lot more variations in opinion and attitude than there are organizations. But--an organization needs to have an identity, and this identity tends to be mostly formalized in bylaws, charters, constitutions, rituals, songs..etc. There are also many non-'formal', but still distinctive, practices and patterns that set it apart.

The larger a group is, the more difficult it is to define itself in ways that will totally satisfy everyone; but people still need the structure, so they either struggle to change from within, or they ignore (or pretend to ignore) those aspects of their group which are not totally comfortable for them.

Another tendency, in MY opinion, is that the formal definitions of groups tend toward the more conservative, limiting, narrow range of the group's interests and concerns, (even in more liberal organizations!)

Thus, you get a Republican party that is the BEST choice for a person, but is still, at every moment, doing things he wishes it wouldn't; and we watch the campaign as various Republicans do this funny dance trying to defend their party without subscribing to the parts they are uncomfortable with.

Religions are in an even more awkward position. There are, at least, for politicans, some ways to be mavericks in their party without TOO much onus ... and membership, if not leadership, is open. But religions, at least superfically, tend to specify what the rules and beliefs are, and defend their choices with appeal to **Higher** authority. Not every detail of what an adherent is supposed to believe and practice is spelled out by most religions, (though some try hard!), but there are always implicit and implied rules and attitudes which seem to follow from the explicit ones, and any religious group is a complex mix of these combined with the historical record which brought them to where thay are now.

So, we have a Catholic Church which has the Inquisition as part of its history, but doesn't do such things anymore. They still DO, however, have clear mandates about abortion, celibacy for priests, supermacy of the Pope, relationships to other religions etc., which are not totally comfortable for all adherents.

We have many religions which officially believe that anyone (such as me) who is NOT a member will experience some sort of eternal torment, and some openly pound bibles and TELL me so, while others prefer to focus on the positive aspects of their beliefs and leave it to me to see the implications.

Now, I know some people, both in everyday life and through this newish medium of cyber-life who are members of churches and political parties whose views diverge from my own, but whom I basically like and respect. The thing is, in real life, we meet, sing songs, share hobbies, talk about kids, etc., and mostly avoid our differences, but in this online world, with contact being mostly typed messages, those differences are often brought out and magnified, and let's face it ...we don't all visualize the source of those messages the same way! Some people see ALL screen personas as VERY real and react to them in emotional ways, while others de-personalize those they 'meet' here and react to them in ways they would probably NOT do if the person were standing in the same room.

It ain't easy folks. We have a wide variety of members and 'guests' here, tenuously drawn together by the purported interest in blues and 'folk' music, (which we ALSO argue about). I, personally, try to thread my way thru the minefields here without undue conflict; others seem to relish a toe to toe arguement - and some cannot resist personal attacks and character assassination.

I used to think that discussions of religious differences, alien encounters, psychic phenomena, political agendas, and 'personal' crises in marriage and health were beyond the reasonable scope of a place like this, but I simply don't know any longer. We have become a 'community', though not exactly a classic one, and the issues WILL keep arising. I suppose it may even help in some ways, though it *DOES** drive away some who wanted just the music.....

...ah well, I have rambled ..... I could easily expand all this to a PHD thesis, but who would read it? I have not said it all as clearly as I wanted, but maybe I cleard up some of my own thougts........

onward .............


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Skeptic
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 03:16 PM

Bill D.

Well reasoned. You (and others) might also find this article on Why we need beliefs intersting (I did , anyway)

blicky

Regards

John


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 07:36 PM

yes...very interesting and important article. I really needed something like that, said in carefully reasoned ways, to help ME appreciate what it 'feels' like to those who hold beliefs that seem strange to me....this part near the end, and the 2 paragraphs following it are well taken:

"Skeptics will only win the war for rational beliefs by continuing, even in the face of defensive responses from others, to use behavior that is unfailingly dignified and tactful and that communicates respect and wisdom. For the data to speak loudly, skeptics must always refrain from screaming."

I will go back and reread this...and probably print it off to mark up...

I have intended for years to re-read Eric Hoffer's book "The True Believer" ...perhaps this is a good time..(if I can dig it out of the catacombs that I used to call my basement library....)


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: John Routledge
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 07:41 PM

BILL D What a superb second paragraph in your last post. JOHN


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 08:35 PM

It is always a good idea to re-read Hoffer on this point. But before the baby gets thrown out with the bathwater, let's add that there are many rational and positive reasons for groups, completely aside from the question of whether or not members use them to relive them of the need to think and see for themselves.

Groups naturally run into the remarkable tanglefoot of 'agreements' to greater or lesser degree; but a true group which shares a clear vision of accomplishment can create a great deal of power for the good, whether in technical, social or other arenas. And the generation of that vision kind of stretches the envelope of the article referenced above, which is interesting indeed if a little narrow minded. Beliefs do more than just symbolize states of reality beyond one's immediate perception. They also generate probabilities in individual experience... not the notional beliefs of intellectual operation but the deeper sort which involve the creative energies of the individual in really making up his world-view.

Of course this is a little outside CSICOP's territory, since they only deal with the aftermath of creative energies, learning about fire by smelling ashes. But that's their choice and it keeps them honest.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST,Blind Desert Pete
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 02:48 PM

Kat: On a more civil note. Any data, collected by any one on the subject of anal sex would be extreemly suspect, because most respondents would lie. Its a good way to spread anything! Thats why the major religeons prohibit it. Its been used as birth control by all cultures and is still anywhere people are too poor to buy condoms (a shockingly high %) BDP


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: mousethief
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 04:04 PM

I get to change my mind if I like. So I'll post again.

John P, you say:

I've always seen my marriage contract as an agreement between my government and my family. Not as an agreement between me and my wife. Whatever we agree on between ourselves is for us decide. Where we need legal protection is at tax time, or in case one of us dies, or becomes very sick, or makes a million dollars, or whatever. The marraige contract defines us as a legal unit. The fact that same-sex couples are denied these protections is a terrible act of bigotry on the part of my government. Gay rights is the last remaining civil rights issue that doesn't have laws requiring equal treatment.

I agree with every word of this. If the government is going to take an interest at all in marriage, and it must due to questions of inheritance and joint property, etc., (taxation needn't be based on marital status, but if it is, that's another reason), then it must have a government-sanctioned or at least government-recognized official status of "married" which can be referenced in such cases (inheritance, etc.). But to not allow marriage between any two (or more!) people regardless of gender, the government must show some sort of public harm with recognizing gay marriage (or polygamy), which I don't think can be done without referring to religion, which has no business whatsoever being dragged into the question in a secular, multicultural state like the USA.

In other words, when we're talking about marriage, there are two questions. Churches (or other religious organizations) can recognize or not recognize marriages based on their traditions and such, and the government can recognize or not recognize marriages based on its rules. There are really TWO marriages for a religious couple, that of their church/synagogue/etc., and that of the government. One could conceivably be married according to the govermment but not according to any given church, or could be married according to a church but not according to the govermment. There is no reason to draw any link whatever between the two institutions beyond the fact that they share the same name -- indeed in a secular, multicultural state like the USA, they SHOULD and MUST be kept apart. That they are not is a failure of our system, and a blurring of the line between church and state which I decry.

I don't think this makes me a bigot.

On the other hand, I belong to a religion which believes sexual acts between unmarried (in the religious sense) persons to be a sin, and which recognizes marriage (in the religious sense) as being allowable only between one man and one woman.

Perhaps this makes me a bigot. According to the online Webster's, a bigot is someone who is "obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices."

Perhaps belong to such a church de facto makes me a bigot. Perhaps according to this definition, anyone who belongs to a church which has long-standing and hard-to-change positions on any topic is a bigot. In which case I question the usefulness of the word. I don't know. I do know it's really easy to sling names around, and it hardly ever helps the discussion along.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: John P
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 09:22 PM

Alex, I have never thought you were a bigot. I hope you don't think I was calling you one. The fact that you belong to a church that, in my opinion, has bigoted rules doesn't mean that you are a bigot!! I am fully aware that lots of people belong to groups that they don't share ALL the ideals of, and that there are lots of strong reasons to belong to a specific church.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: ddw
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 09:34 PM

A friend of mine sent me something recently which I though pretty funny, but which I hesitated to post here because some might find it offensive. I pulled out of threads to send it to a couple of members I though would enjoy it and returned to find this thread at the top of the list. Seemed to fit pretty well, so here it is:

DOUBLE STANDARDS

Laura Schlessinger is a U.S. radio personality. Recently she said during her show that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, she took Leviticus 18:22 literally and considered homosexuality an abomination that cannot be condoned in any circumstance.

The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a U.S. resident and posted on the Internet.

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 states it is an abomination. End of debate.

I do need your advice, however, regarding some specific laws and how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Leviticus 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them, especially if I don't skin the bull before I burn it. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Leviticus 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states that he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Leviticus 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

7. Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20 or is there some room for negotiation here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Leviticus 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean. But may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Leviticus 24:10-16)? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their relatives (Leviticus 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

name withheld .


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Amos
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 11:45 PM

Isn' t this where we came in? I PROTEST Neurosis!!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST,RB250
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 12:13 AM

That humor piece has been here before. It's still funny but from what I've read around here over a few weeks, there aren't any people here who would take that woman seriously, so it's wasted. She gives religion a bad name.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Bagpuss
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 06:01 AM

Excuse me if I am missing something, but why does the pattern of infection of AIDS have anything to do with the morality of homosexuality? Does anyone believe that God strikes down the wicked with plagues? If so, where is the illness that hits only thieves or murderers? And why would he want to strike down homosexuals for any reason other than his own perverse pleasure? Is it because it's "unnatural"? So is wearing narrow high heeled shoes. Are bunions a punishment for that. Does God think its more of a sin for gay people to have unprotected sex than protected sex? According to the catholic church he thinks the opposite for heterosexuals...

Bemused Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 11:40 AM

Bagpuss...if the reasoning and logic made sense, we could all believe it and quit arguing...sure, there are people who believe that God visits special punishments on various 'sinners'. Does their reasoning make sense and have clear proof? Well, not exactly, but that's why they call it 'belief'.....you can believe ANYTHING that suits your mood and prejudice, and if you you state it forcefully enough with lots of anecdotal 'evidence', you can convince a lot of others, too. It's a lot easier to find a comfortable 'belief' than to do tedious research and find you STILL don't know....


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: mousethief
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 11:49 AM

How does one research morality? What exactly do you do? Set up moral experiments?

What is right or wrong doesn't admit of scientific discovery or explanation. It's a function of a society's religious and other BELIEFS.

What becomes a sticking point is when one group of people has one set of beliefs (and actions) about such things as morality, and is living among a group of people that has a different set of beliefs. Isn't this why the Jews have been persecuted down through the centuries?

What is WRONG is when one group of people tries to enforce its morality on people who are not members of the group. Which is why it is essential that religion and politics/government be kept as separate as we can make them.

One final thought: One man's bigotry is another man's confidence.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 12:41 PM

How does one research morality?

Mostly in surveys, but sometimes in experiments as well.

Honestly, Alex, there are lots of scientific papers on that topic, but not in the sense you obviously mean. I completely agree that what is right or wrong is not a question for science (I agree with everything after your first line).
However, which people find which acts moral, whether there is a common hierarchy of morality across cultures or not, how the feeling of morality develops with age, in which way religious conviction has an influence on opinions on moral, and many more questions that are at least in principle amenable to an empirical answers have, of course, been studied by social scientists.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: mousethief
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 12:47 PM

Granted, W. Absolutely no question about that. But it's a red herring to the question I asked. Social scientists (is that an oxymoron or what?) can't tell us what's right or wrong, only what certain groups of people BELIEVE is right or wrong.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 12:53 PM

In what way should 'social scientist' be an oxymoron?

They can tell much more, they can tell how the beliefs relate to other areas of belief and from that predict with some accuracy the moral convictions of some persons that has not been surveyed, they can tell about conditions under which moral behaviour is more or less probable,...

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: mousethief
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 01:09 PM

It was a joke, son, a joke. Scientists being sometimes persons who have awkward social skills.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Feb 01 - 04:57 PM

"How does one research morality?"

well, one reads MANY opinions, both famous ones and plain ideas in the general literature. Then one tries to discern whether and to what extent those ideas are practiced in society; and throughout it all, one examines one's own belief system to see if it follows any of the common threads and whether it it comfortable, internally consistant and subject to practical scrutiny.

Of course, this process is seldom 'done' like this, and IF done, would move back & forth between 'research' and subjectivity....but it should be possible to apply studies and information to one's own situation to aid in decisions in life.

I did something like this...I didn't do it in one short, coherent burst of **research**, but I added up studies in comparative religion, psychology, physics, astronomy, philosophy, political science, sociology,...etc....plus my own experiences, and developed a view of morality.

Like Kant, I think it can be argued that some moral principles can be derived logically, and because I see so much variation in principles derived from various forms of authority, I don't feel that I can base my moral principles directly on any of them.

Therefore, I see a problem with the statement.."What is right or wrong doesn't admit of scientific discovery or explanation. It's a function of a society's religious and other BELIEFS." ...If an entire society believes it is 'right' to execute heretics, or circumcise women, or expose witches by dunking them in the river, I will have to disagree. These are INHUMANE acts based on flawed attitudes and superstition, and an educational system which allows members of a society to examine them critically and openly will eventually erode such insanity. The problem is, insanity which is more circumspect and less obviously harmful gets protected and/or ignored.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST,Anally Intentive
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 12:29 AM

But there's nothing like a decent bit of bum, all the same.

Yaw haw!


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 02:23 PM

there goes the neighborhood.......


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: GUEST,re: Dr Laura ..do as I say not as I did
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 04:56 PM

There used be a page on the internet of Dr Laura posing for a Porno picture, she sued and sued and sued to have that and the Porno Mag who first published it silenced.

Apparently, she used be Catholic but converted to Jewish, and I suppose like lots of other Bimbos out there this like her Porno escapade was due to her appeptite for money.

I shudder to think what she might have done in Berlin 1940?, lots of Bimbos in those days were faithfull Party Followers. I feel genuine pain for the Synagoge to which she lends her support, as I do for the unfortunate community where she dwells.

BTW Did you ever notice that she always refers to Children as MY son, MY daughter. It is typical of prevaricators that they trip themselves up and she is no exception.


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Subject: RE: BS: major religions-homophobia II
From: Amos
Date: 01 Mar 01 - 09:49 PM

Morality as a cultural code can only be researched through comparative anthropology. Anything in a cultural code of rules may have genuine value contributing to the well being of individuals or the group, or it may not. Lots of cultural morals (or is it morays) have no basis other than persistance -- they are opinions insitututionalized. Some are things that once meant better survival and no have no bearing due to advances, for example, in hygeine or food-handling practices. Many are just bizarre and arbitrary, their context and meaning having long since disappeared from view; all that is left is the superstition, yet folks will hold on to them harder than a terrier on a rat.

Researching actual ethics, meaning how one recognizes right action, best value for life, is another question altogether. It seems to be an inherent quality of life to greater or lesser degree. A sense of justice, similarly, although it may be colored by local practices, seems to be almost innate. Kid slearn very very early to protest unfairness, even when it doesn't involve them directly. There's a rich field of discovery for you. But you'd have to get your arms around the difference between the two things first. Make a helluva thesis!

A


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