:: I was hardly giving attitude to anyone.
:: It's a pale blue actually, blue is a socialist colour in Ireland.
You said he didn't like your hat - then you said you continue to wear it in class. That's tweaking him. Notice I didn't say tweaking the establishment is actually bad. I just said you shouldn't be suprised if he notices it and retaliates in kind. Human nature, you know.
:: Shifted from Church and State to evolutionary theories there Stuart. Keep on subject. Incidentally why do consider the theory of a big bang and christianity to be incompatable? Someone had to manage the big bang afterall.
Actually, I'm right on subject and you didn't read carefully. Many of the same people who deny the existence of God (any god), also speak moral absolutes against capitalism, meat eating, and animal testing. I need to hear the basis of one's morality if he is to engage in such resolute proclaimations. I find it very interesting when people suggest that humanity is a natural occurance and then make moral judgments.
If there is no ecclesiastical basis for morality, then operative morality is only the current consensus of any given culture. That consensus is usually expressed by law. When morality is subject to the dictates of popular opinion, right and wrong are vagueries that change with the ages causing the law to change with it. I have no problem with this until I start hearing a small minority (Marxists, greens, vegans, ...) begin to use morality as a tool (a hammer) to beat the majority into submission. It is an effective tool because it purely manipulates emotion but applies no reason.
If there is no God (any god), and therefore, no ecclesiastical, unchanging, unalterable standard of morality, there is no particular reason, other than a desire to be socially acceptable, why a man shouldn't do exactly as he pleases. The concept of moral absolutes, the language of absolutes, and the judgment that follows in a godless world is misguided and unfounded.
:: I do not believe science has anything to gain from discrediting beliefs that is a paranoid religious notion, what interests have the religious in disproving science? A spectre is haunting religion, the spectre of Gallileo.
I don't believe science, as a singular entity, has anything to gain by this either. Do you, however, suggest that certain scientists do not work to disparage belief? I'm not paranoid, Lark. I can actually read. Unfortunately, those scientist that do disparage belief are trying to revenge the excesses of close-minded theologians of not only today, but centuries back.
I actually encourage the next Gallileo. Belief didn't suffer one iota as a result of his findings. Only the dogma of those who would use religion to control people was affected.
::: Wanting to do right and organizing a society around principles is an amazing thing, really. The animal kingdom shows us only instinctual organization. Humans organize around a collective understanding of what is right and wrong. From organization to organization these ideas vary widely but there are basic values that all of them share. Murder, stealing, and lying for instance, is generally held as morally wrong regardless of ideology.
:: I think this is terrible and I hope it eventually dies out, I will respect no moral law or government other than that I determine myself, the only criminal or civil law I can accept are those designed to prevent anti or asocial behaviour and violence against the individual.
Then you validate my suspicion that you consider yourself the final arbiter of morality. But where is God in all of this, Lark? Is He simply going influence your mind your entire life in an expemporal manner or is His will written down somewhere, so as to be unchanging?
: What are you advocating a Taliban regime?
I'm not sure why Afghanistan has anything to do with my comments. I see you are misconstruing my point to suggest I support a Christian theocracy. I don't, you know.
:: That's a lot of nonsense Stuart what you are protraying here is a very westernised Christian view of morality and law, there are other examples globally of multi-deist or non-deist religious authorities and their law is purely man made.
You're not attempting to understand this, Lark. I'm not suggesting that my God should be the winner here (He'll win all by Himself if He's the only God). I'm saying that right and wrong are beliefs. Therefore, when concepts predicated upon beliefs (moral judgements of capitalism, meat eating, or animal testing) are presented by those in the minority who otherwise disparage belief, there is grave hypocracy.
::: The popular cry of separation of church and state is a specious, nay insidious argument that has as its goal the elimination of a belief in God.
:: Right Mr. would you like to live in Afghanistan, Libya, Isreal? Or do you want a 'Christian' version of these regimes? If you do you have ignored completely the bible, 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' and Jesus' frequent attacks on the association of the religious authorities with elites and government and all the consequental mammon and privilege that went with it.
Lark, I don't think we're talking about the same thing. In the U.S. there is a constant effort underway to eliminate references to Judeo-Christian values in public discourse. Perhaps in Britain this is not the case and you are considering this issue in a far more generic manner. Here, for instance, in some districts, a homosexual group can meet before or after school on a school campus as a club. That same priviledge is not afforded to those who would meet to offer prayer to the God of Abraham. There are specious cries of separation of chuch and state and a willingly activist judiciary generally buys into it.
Now, I completely agree that the Ten Commandments posted in a classroom violates the concept of a free society predicated on religious tolerance with no state influence or support of any particular religion. But the above example creates a caricature of this ideal. This results in the state twarting the free assembly and free speech of individuals - violating other major premises. The proper position of these schools should be to allow all to assemble or none.
This is only one example of this agenada in our culture. Our media often openly mocks belief in God. Some educators openly disparage parental religious indoctrination to their students. Some towns will not allow a nativity scene on public property but will allow pagan symbology. The Clintons mockingly hang condoms on the White House Christmas tree. A validictorian is not allowed to pray to God at a graduation. Attempts to link many societal ills to Judeo-Christian values are being presented here - on this board! You know this is true, Lark.
: :The U.S. Constitution does not prohibit the discussion of ecclesiastical matters in publicly funded discourses. Our constitution merely prohibits the formation of a state religion. It is painfully obvious to me what the founding fathers were worried about when they wrote the document. They didn't want this government to take an official position on the matter like Britain did. Freedom being venerated by every one of them (I am interested how this policy paralleled the biblical concept of free will), they codified the right of men to do as they see fit with respect to religious issues into law.
: Exactly a permanent divorce between Church and state. What we now need is a permanent divorce between morality, an individual affair, and law, a collective affair.
Can't do it unless you regulate legislatures to include only those who have no morality because their personal beiefs will always affect their work. Even if we only have amoral legislaters, polititians will still have to react to the will of people whose opinions are directly affected by their views of morality. It's impossible to seperate morality from law as you can clearly see. The only way to divorce morality and law is to stamp out morality.
:: But why stamp out belief in God? So man can be the arbiter of morality - and that's something that should be thought through by all who read this. Why does man, who intrinsically seeks to know the absolutes of good and evil wish also to arbitrate that standard?
: This stamping out beleif in God business is nonsense, it's the type of paranoid, siege mentality hoo ha that some people need to bolster their faith.
For some, that is true. For others, diligent and constant defense of freedom is the only method of securing it. The possibility of tyranny is nary a generation away - as any study of history will prove.
: : Does this prove the existence of a spiritual war, with God and Satan battling to influence the free will of man? Or does this prove that man is hopelessly trying to cope with his own intelligence?
: It proves that some people dispite their pusedo-opposition to totalitarianism actually favour their own variety of it.
You shouldn't have tried to turn me into a totalitarian, Lark. I don't advocate a Bible based theocrocracy. I'm stuck between thinking you're not reading carefully or that you really don't want to engage this subject. I'm under the impression that our general views could be quite similar on this issue except you merely wish to be contentious.