Freedom of religion means for all religions

December 23rd, 2013 at 8:43 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission voted on Thursday to ban new monuments on statehouse grounds until a court battle is settled with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is seeking the removal of the Ten Commandments, local media reported.

Commission officials were not immediately available for comment on Friday.

The Oklahoma branch of the ACLU this year sued to have the Old Testament monument removed, saying the state should not be in the business of legitimising and that the precedent could result in a spectacle of .

No decision has been reached in the case.

Socially conservative Christian groups fought for years to have the Ten Commandments displayed at the statehouse, and the monument went up in 2012.

I like the ten commandments. But they should be displayed at churches, not on government grounds.

Oklahoma has put a halt to new monuments at its Capitol after groups petitioned to have markers for Satan, a monkey god and a spaghetti monster erected near a large stone tablet inscribed with the Ten Commandments.

Heh. If the state allows monuments to one religion, then they find it hard to say no to others. Personally a statue of the spaghetti monster would be very cool!

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170 Responses to “Freedom of religion means for all religions”

  1. wat dabney (3,422 comments) says:

    I like the ten commandments

    What do you like about them? They are utterly stupid.

    Luckily, they are completely ignored by “Christians.”

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  2. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    I like the ten commandments.

    They are all basically the golden rule, a humanist idea that is far older than Christianity, and far from exclusive to Christianity.

    You wouldn’t think so listening to some people though!

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  3. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    “I like the ten commandments.”

    Really? So you’re opposed to Sunday trading? You believe in mandatory worship of a single “Christian” god, no room for pantheists or atheists in Farrar-world?

    [DPF: To clarify the ones about honour your parents, do not kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, covet]

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  4. tas (527 comments) says:

    A statue of satan would be fitting for a courthouse.

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  5. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    Personally a statue of the spaghetti monster would be very cool!

    How could you have a statue of something that no one knows what it looks like, and it’s not even proven that it exists?

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  6. SGA (510 comments) says:

    tas at 9:14 am

    A statue of satan would be fitting for a courthouse.

    Actually, tas, that was a typo. They meant Santa.

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  7. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    They can say no to other monuments as they are accountable to voters, subject only to not violating the constitution. It is not a conservative view that the monument is consistent with the US constitution. It is also the view of an atheist who happens to not hate religion and has basic reading comprehension skills.

    The founding fathers were generally very insightful in the way they crafted the Constitution to anticipate and block ways that people would try to pervert its intention. But the provision against Congress establishing a national religion just seems to have such a plain and obvious meaning that I think they would be genuinely very surprised to see it being used to prevent a state simply erecting a monument like this.

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  8. Alan (908 comments) says:

    This religion stuff is getting out of hand, it’s basically an excuse for people to do anything they want.

    I see over the weekend M&S in the UK have decided to allow checkout staff to refuse to serve anyone buying pork or booze if it offends their “faith”

    People can believe in whatever version of the “man in the sky / multi armed magic elephant” they wish, but don’t bring it into work or public life.

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  9. nasska (9,474 comments) says:

    ….”Personally a statue of the spaghetti monster would be very cool!”….

    Done! :)

    Ref: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bj0vdf9er93vqyz/fsm-statue.jpg

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  10. SGA (510 comments) says:

    Pete George at 9:18 am

    How could you have a statue of something that no one knows what it looks like…

    Well… I don’t know PG – not knowing what people/things looked like hasn’t really stopped several centuries of religious artwork, has it? You’d rather the Sistene Chapel was done in a Resenes matt alabaster?

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  11. David in Chch (503 comments) says:

    RRM: The Ten Commandments are NOT the Golden Rule. If you listened to Chris Hitchens and Sam Harris, then you might realise that there are many rules that are nothing like “Love your neighbour as you would yourself”. If we were to replace the ten commandments with the Golden Rule, then maybe the world would be a better place.

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  12. redqueen (342 comments) says:

    Will certainly be entertaining if that goes through…’In God, and Spaghetti Monsters, we trust’ :)

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  13. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    SGA – I’ve had a guided tour through the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and it was fascinating to be shown the change in style and depiction of religious images over centuries.

    In the beginning Man created God; and in the image of Man created he him.

    The religious images evolved with the changing images of Man.

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  14. OneTrack (1,953 comments) says:

    “see over the weekend M&S in the UK have decided to allow checkout staff to refuse to serve anyone buying pork or booze if it offends their “faith””

    Two questions:

    Are they going to have signs above each checkout listing what will be acceptable?
    What happens when ALL the checkouts have the “Restricted Products Only” flag up?

    The UK is history.

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  15. SGA (510 comments) says:

    [DPF: To clarify the ones about honour your parents, do not kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, covet]

    That is, the ones that the majority of functioning societies tend to apply to “in-group” members.

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  16. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    I can live with atheists, can atheists live with Christianity?

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  17. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    We all have to live with a variety of atheists and Christanities and other belief systems. It’s how we do it that matters.

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  18. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    The Uk is not history yet but it is at a turning point.There are reasons to believe it will survive.

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  19. eszett (2,264 comments) says:

    [DPF: To clarify the ones about honour your parents, do not kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, covet]

    I guess the point is that you, like every other rational human being, made a moral judgement on the validity of those socalled commandments and dismiss those that do not make sense or are not moral at all.

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  20. Longknives (4,039 comments) says:

    God is there anything worse than sneering, know-it-all, Atheists bombarding you with their theories?
    Give it a rest guys- worship Hitchens if you want but please don’t try to force your belief systems on all of us…

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  21. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    But the provision against Congress establishing a national religion just seems to have such a plain and obvious meaning that I think they would be genuinely very surprised to see it being used to prevent a state simply erecting a monument like this.

    Hang on – you think the people who wrote a clause prohibiting the establishment of a state religion would be surprised if it prevented a particular religion’s proclamations being displayed at a government building? It’s theoretically possible that they intended freedom of religion to apply only at the federal level, but at that point we’re way beyond any “plain and obvious meaning” for the clause.

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  22. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    I can live with atheists, can atheists live with Christianity?

    Let’s see how well you can live with atheists when they put up proclamations outside public buildings commanding you not to believe in God, before we go making comparisons.

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  23. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    “I can live with atheists, can atheists live with Christianity”.
    I wrote that because in encounters with atheists [whom a good proportion are actually agnostics] I have found an uncomfortableness/irritableness by some of them when the slightest mention of anything spiritual e.g. the word belief/believe is mentioned. No wonder some of them are at war.

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  24. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    I prefer the lead definition of religion in my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

    … a bond between man and the gods…

    I’m agnostic, but suspect some of those who want to dilute Christianity’s influence in our society are:

    Either trying to further undermine our Western heritage;

    Or are multiculturalists who believe brain-eating cults from Papua New Guinea are perfectly equal with the world’s old established religions;

    Or are from the lunatic ultra-libertarian fringe and think “anything goes” should be the national motto.

    After established religions, next to go would be the concept of “evil”. Make that relative and you abandon the Golden Rule of most major religions (on the lines: do unto others as you would have done unto yourself) and the notion of conscience dies, and we have chaos.

    I think NZ would be more boring without Christianity’s Ten Commandments. Who would have cared about or highlighted the seedy side-life of Bonker Brown, for example?

    Remember one example of an anti-Christian organisation that tried to develop it’s own religion and codes was the SS. Not all atheists are kind uncles.

    Good thread topic for Christmas week – anything’s better than talking about cricket!

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  25. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    The basic flaw in DF’s argument is the Liberal notion of nations, peoples and cultures being a blank slate. But this is not true. Heritage and history work in defining who a given people are, and cannot be erased no matter how much Liberals/Cultural Marxists want to.

    The Ten Commandments have been displayed on court houses in the USA since the Revolution at least. Thus, it is part of heritage of the American people, and that alone means it should be respected. The ACLU is a Cultural Marxist group dedicated to the destruction of America’s cultural and religious history, so no surprise that, once again, they are playing their games.

    A statue or monument violates nothing and violates no individuals freedom of religion. This has nothing to do with the Constitution on that grounds alone, but as importantly, the Constitution does not even say what Liberals/Cultural Marxists claim, but even if it did, the idea that an inanimate object violates anyone’s freedom is so absurd that only Liberals would be stupid enough to think it does.

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  26. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    “God is there anything worse than sneering, know-it-all, Atheists bombarding you with their theories?”

    Yes. Allowing them to vote.

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  27. nasska (9,474 comments) says:

    Gulag1917

    I can only speak for myself but I’m generally comfortable & non irritated around people who believe in whatever they will. Where we part company is that the Godnutters can’t seem to stop themselves from evangelising & poking their long pointed noses into the way their fellow citizens conduct their lives.

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  28. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    “like every other rational human being”

    Public Service Translation: “Rational human being” as it is used by many on this blog actually means irrational Liberal.

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  29. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    “the Godnutters can’t seem to stop themselves from evangelising & poking their long pointed noses into the way their fellow citizens conduct their lives.”

    Like your doing on this blog? Or advocating Liberal policies that poke your “long” nose into other peoples lives?

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

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  30. eszett (2,264 comments) says:

    A statue or monument violates nothing and violates no individuals freedom of religion.

    No, it just violates the US constitution if it’s on public property.

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  31. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    There is an over-evangelising e.g. cannot state a case and leave the subject alone by some members of the Christian community and that is because of flawed theology and leadership. Then there is the militant atheist v Christianity and militant Christian v atheism vicious circle where nobody wins.

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  32. WineOh (428 comments) says:

    Oh yes, those terrible atheists poking their noses into everyone’s business. All the time I have to contend with well dressed young men knocking on my door, giving me copies of Hitchins and Dawkins, telling me with great fervour that I’m not going to hell. They’ve been trying to convert me for two millennia to their freakish cultist ways. Their brand is the right one, and all the other variations on the theme are wrong. We should enact laws that enforce religious freedoms for all, except for those godless whack-jobs.

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  33. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    “No, it just violates the US constitution if it’s on public property.”

    Actually, no, it really does not. I’ll give you a hint. The words “separation of church and state” are not in the Constitution.

    The establishment clause only prevents the federal government (it does not apply to State governments) establishing an actual official state denomination, as England and Scandinavian countries have. A statue or monument does not do this, except in the fevered, irrational imaginations of hyper-paranoid Liberals.

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  34. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    The groups above are at war with mainstream Christianity not representative of it.

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  35. SGA (510 comments) says:

    ShawnLH at 10:31 am

    Heritage and history work in defining who a given people are …

    True, but against this backdrop cultures and societies still change over time – always have. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, someways for the good, someways for the worse. Even Dicken’s England would seem a very odd place to us now, and that’s not that long ago.

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  36. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    The answer to this issue is really quite simple and obvious, or at least it should be to supposedly “free market” advocates like DPF.

    Privatize everything. If their are no “public” spaces, then what people do with their own property is their own business.

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  37. Andrei (2,428 comments) says:

    Living proof of how dense progressives are and how they have been sucked in by Marxism without realizing it.

    It doesn’t matter if you are a believer or not but as a matter of HISTORICAL FACT western culture has been built on the Christian religion and its Judaic forbear.

    Our art, literature and laws reflect this, even our way of relating to our fellows is based upon our Judeo/Christian HERITAGE.

    Marxism’s goal to usher in utopia requires that the peoples heritage be forgotten, and a new culture replace it whereupon according to THEORY mankind will reach Nirvana. According to THEORY this should work but as we know everytime it has been tried anything but paradise has been the result, just the converse if fact.

    The current Duck Dynasty controversy in the USA illustrates this process in action, a mere reference to the Book of I Corinthians (a book the majority in the West would have had at least passing familiarity with a few generations ago) in a magazine interview has lead to progressive meltdown and outrage across that land. sigh

    And the Decalogue (Ten commandments) once familiar to all now have to be hidden away even though they provide the bullet points for how we should behave in a civilized society.

    Strange times in which we live

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  38. RichardX (288 comments) says:

    Longknives (3,555 comments) says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 10:08 am
    God is there anything worse than sneering, know-it-all, Atheists bombarding you with their theories?
    Give it a rest guys- worship Hitchens if you want but please don’t try to force your belief systems on all of us…

    As it has been explained on this blog before, atheism is the position that the burden of proof has not been met for the existence of god
    It is not a belief system not matter how fervently you believe it is

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  39. RichardX (288 comments) says:

    Andrei (2,210 comments) says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 11:15 am

    And the Decalogue (Ten commandments) once familiar to all now have to be hidden away even though they provide the bullet points for how we should behave in a civilized society.

    Tell me how the first & second commandments have any bearing on how we should behave in a civilized society

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  40. nasska (9,474 comments) says:

    If being an atheist is to have a belief system then being bald is a hair colour.

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  41. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    The thing is that America was founded as a Christian nation. When they talked about not establishing a particular religion, they were probably talking about Christian denominations. That is what the Danbury Baptists were worried about when they wrote their letter to Franklin.

    This “separation of church and state” is taken completely the wrong way by modern society. It originally meant that the state should not interfere with anyone’s practice of their religion – it is for the protection of people practising their faith. It is NOT supposed to mean that religion should have no part in anything to do with the state.

    The following link explains it well. (long paste, sorry…)

    [The] Baptists also expressed to Jefferson their grave concern over the entire concept of the First Amendment, including of its guarantee for “the free exercise of religion”:

    Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. . . . [T]herefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. [2]

    In short, the inclusion of protection for the “free exercise of religion” in the constitution suggested to the Danbury Baptists that the right of religious expression was government-given (thus alienable) rather than God-given (hence inalienable), and that therefore the government might someday attempt to regulate religious expression. This was a possibility to which they strenuously objected-unless, as they had explained, someone’s religious practice caused him to “work ill to his neighbor.”

    Jefferson understood their concern; it was also his own. In fact, he made numerous declarations about the constitutional inability of the federal government to regulate, restrict, or interfere with religious expression. For example:

    [N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution. Kentucky Resolution, 1798 [3]

    In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. Second Inaugural Address, 1805 [4]

    [O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808 [5]

    I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808 [6]

    Jefferson believed that the government was to be powerless to interfere with religious expressions for a very simple reason: he had long witnessed the unhealthy tendency of government to encroach upon the free exercise of religion. As he explained to Noah Webster:

    It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors . . . and which experience has nevertheless proved they [the government] will be constantly encroaching on if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious [effective] against wrong and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion. [7]

    Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination – a fact he made clear in a letter to fellow-signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush:

    [T]he clause of the Constitution which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes and they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly. [8]

    Jefferson had committed himself as President to pursuing the purpose of the First Amendment: preventing the “establishment of a particular form of Christianity” by the Episcopalians, Congregationalists, or any other denomination.

    Since this was Jefferson’s view concerning religious expression, in his short and polite reply to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802, he assured them that they need not fear; that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government. As he explained:

    Gentlemen, – The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association give me the highest satisfaction. . . . Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association assurances of my high respect and esteem. [9]

    Jefferson’s reference to “natural rights” invoked an important legal phrase which was part of the rhetoric of that day and which reaffirmed his belief that religious liberties were inalienable rights. While the phrase “natural rights” communicated much to people then, to most citizens today those words mean little.

    By definition, “natural rights” included “that which the Books of the Law and the Gospel do contain.” [10] That is, “natural rights” incorporated what God Himself had guaranteed to man in the Scriptures. Thus, when Jefferson assured the Baptists that by following their “natural rights” they would violate no social duty, he was affirming to them that the free exercise of religion was their inalienable God-given right and therefore was protected from federal regulation or interference.

    So clearly did Jefferson understand the Source of America’s inalienable rights that he even doubted whether America could survive if we ever lost that knowledge. He queried:

    And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? [11]

    Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the “fence” of the Webster letter and the “wall” of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions.

    http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=123

    It’s a bit different when you know the truth, ey? When everything is put in context, rather that the simple, “wall between Church and State” claim that is rattled off all the time and also taken out of context.

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  42. Rowan (1,726 comments) says:

    It would be nice if trolls like Kea and Big Blouse didn’t use KB as a place to express their bigoted self righteous views of religion in their various religous hate columns on KB. Everyone has freedom of choice when it comes to religion and judging others because they don’t share the same view as you is just pathetic.

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  43. Right of way is Way of Right (1,125 comments) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE8ooMBIyC8

    RIP George!

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  44. Fentex (656 comments) says:

    [DPF: To clarify the ones about honour your parents, do not kill, commit adultery, steal, lie, covet]

    The 10 particular commandments (as opposed to the other thousand odd in the Old and New Testaments) do not forbid killing or lying.

    They forbid murder by the laws of the tribes of Israel (for whom they were written) and so have no problem with quite a lot of fairly arbitrary killing, and bearing false witness, which is not a general proscription against lying.

    Half of them are narrow religious instruction and none (not even the sum) of them are the Golden Rule which people are often misinformed they reflect. The command from Jesus “love your neighbor as yourself” is essentially the Golden Rule but is located in the New Testament, which is a different kettle of fish to the Old Testament where the Ten Commandments are found.

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  45. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    Very good article at Canada Free Press today, making the point that without Biblical principles, what you’re left with ,basically, is socialism and Marxism. We are in a culture war.

    A. The West’s Biblical Foundations

    The current kulturkampf, or culture war, may seem fixated on the issues of rights of homosexuals and the definition of marriage, but it is actually much bigger. There is a colossal battle over the soul of the culture which will result in either the Bible, or humanistic Marxism, winning the day. This battle encompasses a myriad of topics, including feminism versus tradition, socialism versus capitalism, free speech, property rights versus redistribution, scientific integrity, honesty in journalism, ideology versus factual orientation, freedom of religion, and even notions about justice, love, truth and God.

    The history of the West is contingent upon Bible followers putting their ideas into practice for two millennia, according to Hugh Trevor-Roper in The Rise of Christian Europe. Trevor-Roper explains how the outline and history of Western Europe, and therefore the modern world, would be inconceivable without the Bible, church, and various followers. Other authors have richly illustrated this in such volumes as Stark’s The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success, Kelly’s The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World, Kennedy’s What if Jesus Had Never Been Born, and Schmidt’s How Christianity Changed the World, etc.

    B. Humanism’s Disasters

    The West’s 2,000 year commitment to Biblical standards, which while imperfectly applied, at least gave a north star to guide the culture, is now in desperate peril. Poised to take its place, already secured in many quadrants, are the standards of socialism, which totally defer to humanistic models. In other words, the Bible and its Ten Commandments which represent God’s law, are set aside and the standards of humanism takes its place. The trouble is that no humanistic, or pagan, or philosophical replacement for the Ten Commandments has ever been accepted. Therefore, within socialism and Marxism, any actions are acceptable, depending upon the situation as confirmed by P. H. Vigour’s A Guide to Marxism.

    The problem with Marxism is that it is an inherently unstable theory. This is partly because Karl Marx was much better at decrying capitalism than building his own system. And it also has to do with the fact that the ideas behind Marxism are simply illogical, contra-factual and childish.

    No society has ever achieved success using a socialism or communism. This is despite Lenin, Stalin and Mao all sacrificing their economies and populations trying to prove the theory true. After 150-200 million residents were murdered by their government in the name of communism, it was proved that Marxism, in any form, was entirely unworkable. And yet today, all Europe is infiltrated and corrupted by Marxism. And western democracy teeters on the brink of collapse as socialism makes its play. Yet given the unfortunate track record of Marxist attempts to run societies, it is certain that this will not last.

    Worth reading the whole thing – http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/60033

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  46. Fentex (656 comments) says:

    The establishment clause only prevents the federal government (it does not apply to State governments) establishing an actual official state denomination

    I like to imagine people find the U.S’s Constitution so interesting because they suspect we’ll have to write our own somtime shortly.

    For the curious though the quoted point is addressed by the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) of the U.S Constitution which asserts:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    The idea that Religious expression is forbidden by the establishment clause however is a mistake – what is forbidden is the advantaging of any religion over any other which is why the requests mentioned by DPF to have Satanic, Hindu and other religious expression as prominent as Christian in the public sphere are occurring.

    One suspects the intention is to make the point perhaps no religion should be given a place in public buildings of secular purpose so all may be respected equally.

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  47. Michael (880 comments) says:

    Christians can’t even agree on the Ten Commandments. Catholics and Lutherans have one set, Protestants have another.

    So for Prods, there is no Commandment against coveting your neighbour’s wife – unless you believe that your neighbour’s wife is his property, just like his ox and man servant.

    And for the left footers there is no Commandment against graven images, just false gods.

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  48. BlairM (2,265 comments) says:

    The ten commandments were an early example of law, the dispensation of which is the role of the court. It’s entirely appropriate that they be given a place of honour. People can choose to believe they advocate for one religion or the other (when they are in fact representative of Judaism, Christianity AND Islam), but it is not necessary to argue for them on religious grounds. There are plenty of good perfectly secular historical reasons for honouring the ten commandments in front of a courthouse.

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  49. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Admiral Motti: Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader. Your sad devotion to that ancient Jedi religion has not helped you conjure up the stolen data tapes, or given you enough clairvoyance to find the rebels’ hidden fortress…
    [Vader makes a pinching motion and Motti starts choking]
    Darth Vader: I find your lack of faith disturbing.
    Governor Tarkin: Enough of this! Vader, release him!
    Darth Vader: As you wish.

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  50. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    There are plenty of good perfectly secular historical reasons for honouring the ten commandments in front of a courthouse.

    Count down to someone pointing to the ones that have absolutely no secular relevance in 3… 2..

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  51. Scott Chris (5,675 comments) says:

    Living proof of how dense progressives are and how they have been sucked in by Marxism without realizing it.

    Andrei, I’m a progressive in so far as I believe society is a work in progress. Marxism isn’t the goal – improvement is.

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  52. Scott Chris (5,675 comments) says:

    Count down to someone pointing to the ones that have absolutely no secular relevance in 3… 2..

    …..1

    Mind you, a monument composed of the ten commandments is quite a good illustration of how morality is relative to societal context. The graven image commandment seems to have gone completely out of fashion – well, for most Christians at least:

    You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

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  53. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Ignoring the fact that there are more than 10 commandments in the bible, these are the ones most people recognise:

    The complete bullshit ones:
    No other Gods (atheists just take this one step further)
    No idols (atheists just take this one step further)
    Dont use god’s name wrongly (invalidated by the first one, there is no god so there is no name to take in vain)
    Sundays are gods day (also invalidated by the first one)
    Honor your parents (not because it is right, but because you will live longer if you do, wtf?)

    The iffy ones, inasmuch as they dont seem to be hard and fast rules, more a set of guidelines or advice:
    Dont shag another mans wife (notice how there isnt a rule about shagging a wife’s husband?)
    Dont be jealous

    The ones endorsed in all other codes ever created, before and after the Christian 10, and without which something would not be recognised as a moral code:
    Dont kill people
    Dont lie
    Dont steal

    ACLU shouldnt try to get the 10 commandments removed from in front of courthouses. They should just remove the specific commandments that can’t be enforced within that courthouse.

    Here are what I reckon would be in the atheists 10 commandments:
    1. Dont kill people. (This can extend to abortion, you dont have to believe in god to be against abortion)
    2. Dont steal.
    3. Dont lie.
    4. Dont rape.
    5. Dont molest. (Sure it basically repeats the one above about ‘no raping’ but unfortunately some “people”/clergy need the extra reminder)
    6. Dont kidnap.
    7. Dont assault. (Notice how the Christian 10 commandments allows you to beat someone close to death, as long as they arent your parents?)
    8. Dont neglect your children.
    9. Dont torment living creatures.
    10. Dont abuse your power.

    Now, does ANYONE object to any of those items?

    By my reckoning you would have to knock out at least 7 to have the Christian 10 Commandments at least draw even.

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  54. WineOh (428 comments) says:

    Kimble, you could shorten all of those into one commandment “don’t be an asshole”

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  55. Michael (880 comments) says:

    @Kimble. I know you won’t follow the first of these, but this is what Jesus commanded Christians to do:

    1. Love God, and worship him.
    2. Love your neighbour (defined as everyone, including your enemies).

    And to illustrate this, Jesus then tells the story of the man beaten by robbers and ignored by holy people heading to religious ceremonies. Instead it was the Samartan (the enemy of the Israelites) who stopped and took him to an inn to recover, paying all the expenses.

    So that is it – Christians actually have only two commandments because Jesus explained the nine others in three words. (For comparison Jews have 613 commandments.)

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  56. radvad (620 comments) says:

    But but but…….a blank space on the rule would be promoting atheism. After all they believe in nothing.

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  57. gump (1,228 comments) says:

    @Andrei

    “And the Decalogue (Ten commandments) once familiar to all now have to be hidden away even though they provide the bullet points for how we should behave in a civilized society.”

    ——————-

    I’m pretty sure that civilized societies prohibit rape and incest (neither of which are mentioned within the ten commandments).

    It’s pretty shocking that the ancient Hebrews considered “do not take the Lord’s name in vain” to be more important than “do not commit rape”.

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  58. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    Kimble, actually, the don’t kill commandment is not as simple as you think. Lots of pagan peoples practiced human sacrifice and saw nothing wrong with it. In fact, I remember a reply on the Internet Infidels forum by A.S.A Jones (formerly of the ex.atheist.com website which seems to have gone now), answering an atheist as to why murder should be seen as wrong.

    I will post here for your elucidation.

    Atheist: As an example, many people consider “thou shalt not kill” to be a good commandment, but are completely unable to rationalise why they think that. Can you answer this question? “God said so” may be a valid reason why you should obey – at least assuming God is real – but is there any other reason at all why this should considered to be a good commandment?

    A.S.A Jones (aka “Hired Gun”): There is no other reason why this should be considered to be a good commandment. None. Zilch. Try to logical prove that killing is morally wrong. You will fail. Other than the reality of a god who declares killing to be morally wrong, there is no logically compelling reason for us to believe it is wrong.

    Atheist Oddly, if you do answer this question, you’ll have to do so by justifying a moral value without reference to God, which you’ve claimed you can’t do. (Before you get offended, I actually suspect you can answer this question – which is pretty much my point. If you have to, prove me wrong by saying you still don’t know why murder is wrong, but I do hope you’re a better person than that.)

    A.S.A Jones (aka “Hired Gun”) Oh my! No, you have certainly mistaken me for someone else. I really have no other reason to logically believe that murder is wrong. I could be honest and say that it emotionally upsets me, but I always choose reason over my emotions. If our lives have no inherent purpose or value, we are only kidding ourselves when we establish the facade of morality.

    Go ahead. Logically prove to me that murder is wrong.

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  59. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    What is disturbing about this is not the article itself, but David Farrar’s blatant Cultural Marxism.

    Americans supposedly have to erase their own cultural, religious and historical heritage and practices in order to make way for the Frankfurt School’s notion of multiculturalism.

    From Mao to Pol Pot to DPF, its always Year Zero.

    Peel away the thin (very thin) covering of “less government, more freedom” and the mainstream right in NZ is no different from the Left, in all its forms.

    This is instructive, as it helps expose the fraud of democracy and the illusion of choice of presents.

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  60. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Broadly, but not entirely, I would go along with Andrei in his 11.15 post that:

    Western culture has been built on the Christian religion and its Judaic forbear …

    It would be prudent to add, IMHO, the huge intellectual contribution to Western culture of Ancient Greece, the contribution of the pre-Christian Roman empire, and contributions from contacts with other civilisations such as India and the Middle East (mathematics) and China (gunpowder, printing, and a hundred other useful technologies.

    However, I think Andrei is right: Christianity has indeed broadly underpinned Western civilisation. It’s also enduring. Look at its return in Russia since Russia scrapped its Marxist doctrine.

    Meanwhile Scott Chris posted at 12.29:

    … a monument composed of the ten commandments is quite a good illustration of how morality is relative to societal context.

    What sort of moral relativist are you, Scott Chris? For example do you think a culture that celebrates eating the brains of one’s enemies is as worthy as Western culture? (Ignoring for a second the degenerative disease this practice causes).

    From Wikipedia, comes this explanation of types of moral relativism (so it has splits and reformations and differences like a mainstream religion):

    Moral relativism may be any of several philosophical positions concerned with the differences in moral judgments across different people and cultures. Descriptive moral relativism holds only that some people do in fact disagree about what is moral; meta-ethical moral relativism holds that in such disagreements, nobody is objectively right or wrong; and normative moral relativism holds that because nobody is right or wrong, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when we disagree about the morality of it.

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  61. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Kimble, actually, the don’t kill commandment is not as simple as you think.

    Few of them are simple. But if you must have some simple guidelines then these work far more often than not.

    Did you want to argue that my list of 10 is worse than the Christian 10?

    Logically prove to me that murder is wrong.

    This could be done in any number of ways, but they all require some underlying assumption. Whether it be the assumption that societal cohesion is worthwhile, or that the goal of all living creatures is to survive long enough to reproduce, there has to be something to compare the alternative to. Unfortunately, moral absolutes do not exist. But that doesnt mean that “morals” dont exist.

    (A.S.A Jones would also have to agree that there is no logical reason to not immediately commit suicide.)

    A belief in God doesnt mean that absolute morality exists. It merely means that the believers pre-existing moral beliefs are given an “absolute morality” fig leaf.

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  62. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Descriptive moral relativism holds only that some people do in fact disagree about what is moral; meta-ethical moral relativism holds that in such disagreements, nobody is objectively right or wrong; and normative moral relativism holds that because nobody is right or wrong, we ought to tolerate the behavior of others even when we disagree about the morality of it.

    These arent splits or reformations and is nothing at all like religion.

    Descriptive moral relativism is observably correct.
    Meta-ethical moral relativism is a statement about descriptive morality and is logically correct.
    Normative moral relativism describes the opinion of a very small proportion of the group but is used ad nauseam as a straw man by moral absolutists.

    Perhaps you can explain how a moral relativist could possibly argue that we ought to behave in a certain (moral) way simply because morals are relative?

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  63. iMP (2,147 comments) says:

    So, we’ll have to rename “Christchurch” i guess, and parliamentary “ministers” and drop the Head of the Anglican Church as our head of state.

    This ‘no religion in the secular space’ crap is just BS. Religion and the church have always been infused in public life. This is not what “separation of church and state” means, a complete urban misnomer.

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  64. Rowan (1,726 comments) says:

    Kimble
    Your 10 commandments are basic morality that most people would follow whether or not they have a religous faith or not.
    For the christian obviously these come from the bible.
    Where do these values come for an non believer?

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  65. iMP (2,147 comments) says:

    I think Mall musak should be another THOU SHALT NOT…

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  66. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    If my list is better than the 10 Commandments, that is it is more widely accepted as correct, and is more comprehensive in describing/prohibiting bad things, does that make me more moral than God?

    Wouldnt the person who doesnt lie or steal be considered more moral* than the person who steals but doesnt lie?

    *(by someone who believes that both lying and stealing are morally wrong)

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  67. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Where do these values come for an non believer?

    They exist so must come from somewhere*. At this point the Christian’s stance usually becomes, well the atheist ISN’T moral. But reality makes a lie of that. You don’t have to be a Christian to be a good person. That’s an established fact.**

    So that makes the better question, if they exist without the bible, are they really in the bible?

    *(A guideline that exists in our human experience, but which breaks down at the Big Bang, before some religi-troll decides to go down that path).

    **(To disappear down the rabbit hole a little bit, this is also where the Christian will usually try to redefine “good” to only include people who believe in God.

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  68. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    So that is it – Christians actually have only two commandments because Jesus explained the nine others in three words. (For comparison Jews have 613 commandments.)

    Someone should rewrite the bulk of the bible then, because there is a LOT of wasted text.

    This rule you ascribe to Jesus is merely the Golden Rule. It pops up so often in the times pre-dating Jesus that you have to assume it also massively pre-dates the first known instance.

    http://www.atheistcartoons.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/thegoldenrule.jpg

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  69. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    From Kimble’s post at 1.27:

    …Unfortunately, moral absolutes do not exist …

    Let’s put aside the religious approach for a moment. I think Immanuel Kant, the great East Prussian philosopher who was the son of a humble saddler of Scots descent, went close to negating that statement.

    First, this from Wikipedia summarises Kant’s moral philosophy’s central point far better than I can:

    …With regard to morality, Kant argued that the source of the good lies not in anything outside the human subject, either in nature or given by God, but rather is only the good will itself. A good will is one that acts from duty in accordance with the universal moral law that the autonomous human being freely gives itself. This law obliges one to treat humanity – understood as rational agency, and represented through oneself as well as others – as an end in itself rather than (merely) as means to other ends the individual might hold. This necessitates practical self-reflection in which we universalize our reasons.

    Second, Professor H.B. Acton, in Kant’s Moral Philosophy says Kant argued:

    … people should only adopt as rules of living for themselves rules that they can will should always be followed by everyone…

    A good place for an anti-relativist to start from.

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  70. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    “They exist so must come from somewhere*. At this point the Christian’s stance usually becomes, well the atheist ISN’T moral.”

    That’s not really the case. Nor is it the case that Christians believe that moral principles exist only within Scripture. Natural Law has always been a part of the Christian understanding of morality, and Scripture itself says the moral law is written in the hearts of all people, thus nobody is without excuse.

    In fact, one of the themes in Christ’s preaching and stories was how often the very people who were supposed to immoral, pagans, Romans, prostitutes, tax collectors, often display a better grasp of morality than the super-religious.

    This is one of the reasons I just do not bother with debating religion and/or Christianity on the internet, and on this blog in particular. I just end up spending vast amounts of time wading through people’s utter ignorance of what Christianity actually teaches.

    People who constantly invoke “reason” but then display complete ignorance about the subject they are debating are like puppies who have not yet been taught to piss and shit outside.

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  71. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    I mean, if people want to critique Christianity, is it really asking too much that they read at least a smattering of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin first?

    I mean I take the trouble of reading Marx, Marcuse, Dawkins and Hitchens, vomit making though they are.

    But then hardcore anti-Christianity and Atheism is really just a mindless cult.

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  72. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    in accordance with the universal moral law that the autonomous human being freely gives itself

    … people should only adopt as rules of living for themselves rules that they can will should always be followed by everyone…

    It is moral if everyone is doing? How is that not relative morality?

    … a monument composed of the ten commandments is quite a good illustration of how morality is relative to societal context.

    Is Scott Chris also a moral absolutist?

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  73. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    If you paid attention ShawnLH you would have noticed I was addressing the argument that Christians get their values from the bible, ‘obviously’.

    If you want to whine about religious ignorance, then talk to your fellow traveler Rowan.

    In fact, one of the themes in Christ’s preaching and stories was how often the very people who were supposed to immoral, pagans, Romans, prostitutes, tax collectors, often display a better grasp of morality than the super-religious.

    And yet when Dawkins and Hitchens point out exactly the same thing, you are induced to vomit.

    But then hardcore anti-Christianity and Atheism is really just a mindless cult.

    And basing your life on faith in a deity is totally not an embrace of mindlessness.

    Atheists usually know more about religion than the religious. There is no hard-core Atheism. You can’t super-not-believe in God.

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  74. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Kimble at 2.15 posts: “It is moral if everyone is doing? How is that not relative morality?”

    I crib this from one Robin Schumacher on a Christianity web site:

    Summing up the relative moral philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, it does not exist.”

    From that, it seems to me that relative morality is light years away from Kant’s position.

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  75. Dean Papa (614 comments) says:

    Poetic Naturalism by Sean Carroll,

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  76. Scott Chris (5,675 comments) says:

    For example do you think a culture that celebrates eating the brains of one’s enemies is as worthy as Western culture?

    I’m more of a consequentialist in respect to my own morality but when it comes to judging a particular culture’s practice one can only really be fair by comparing that practice to that culture’s own moral code – in which case eating the brains of your enemy for one particular culture is no better or worse than, say, ransoming your enemy is for another.

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  77. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    “You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, it does not exist.”

    Kant argued that the source of the good lies not in anything outside the human subject

    You have your way, I have my way.

    The universal law Kant talked about was one that obliges a person to treat humanity as if it exists for its own sake rather than as means to the ends the individual might hold. Translated that means that the world isnt there just for you. This is something which breaks down when dealing with narcissistic personalities, so is relative. In any case it doesnt argue that there is any ‘right way’.

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  78. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    I mean, if people want to critique Christianity, is it really asking too much that they read at least a smattering of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin first?

    Rabbi Jonathan Sacks touched on this very thing in a column for The Spectator earlier in the year –

    Whatever happened to the intellectual depth of the serious atheists, the forcefulness of Hobbes, the passion of Spinoza, the wit of Voltaire, the world-shattering profundity of Nietzsche? Where is there the remotest sense that they have grappled with the real issues, which have nothing to do with science and the literal meaning of scripture and everything to do with the meaningfulness or otherwise of human life, the existence or non-existence of an objective moral order, the truth or falsity of the idea of human freedom, and the ability or inability of society to survive without the rituals, narratives and shared practices that create and sustain the social bond?

    A significant area of intellectual discourse — the human condition sub specie aeternitatis — has been dumbed down to the level of a school debating society. Does it matter? Should we not simply accept that just as there are some people who are tone deaf and others who have no sense of humour, so there are some who simply do not understand what is going on in the Book of Psalms, who lack a sense of transcendence or the miracle of being, who fail to understand what it might be to see human life as a drama of love and forgiveness or be moved to pray in penitence or thanksgiving? Some people get religion; others don’t. Why not leave it at that?

    Fair enough, perhaps. But not, I submit, for readers of The Spectator, because religion has social, cultural and political consequences, and you cannot expect the foundations of western civilisation to crumble and leave the rest of the building intact. That is what the greatest of all atheists, Nietzsche, understood with terrifying clarity and what his -latter-day successors fail to grasp at all.

    Time and again in his later writings he tells us that losing Christian faith will mean abandoning Christian morality. No more ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’; instead the will to power. No more ‘Thou shalt not’; instead people would live by the law of nature, the strong dominating or eliminating the weak. ‘An act of injury, violence, exploitation or destruction cannot be “unjust” as such, because life functions essentially in an injurious, violent, exploitative and destructive manner.’ Nietzsche was not an anti-Semite, but there are passages in his writing that come close to justifying a Holocaust.

    This had nothing to do with him personally and everything to do with the logic of Europe losing its Christian ethic. Already in 1843, a year before Nietzsche was born, Heinrich Heine wrote, ‘A drama will be enacted in Germany compared to which the French Revolution will seem like a harmless idyll. Christianity restrained the martial ardour of the Germans for a time but it did not destroy it; once the restraining talisman is shattered, savagery will rise again… the mad fury of the berserk, of which Nordic poets sing and speak.’ Nietzsche and Heine were making the same point. Lose the Judeo-Christian sanctity of life and there will be nothing to contain the evil men do when given the chance and the provocation.

    Richard Dawkins, whom I respect, partly understands this. He has said often that Darwinism is a science, not an ethic. Turn natural selection into a code of conduct and you get disaster. But if asked where we get our morality from, if not from science or religion, the new atheists start to stammer. They tend to argue that ethics is obvious, which it isn’t, or natural, which it manifestly isn’t either, and end up vaguely hinting that this isn’t their problem. Let someone else worry about it.

    [...]

    In one respect the new atheists are right. The threat to western freedom in the 21st century is not from fascism or communism but from a religious fundamentalism combining hatred of the other, the pursuit of power and contempt for human rights. But the idea that this can be defeated by individualism and relativism is naive almost beyond belief. Humanity has been here before. The precursors of today’s scientific atheists were Epicurus in third-century BCE Greece and Lucretius in first-century Rome. These were two great civilisations on the brink of decline. Having lost their faith, they were no match for what Bertrand Russell calls ‘nations less civilised than themselves but not so destitute of social cohesion’. The barbarians win. They always do.

    The new barbarians are the fundamentalists who seek to impose a single truth on a plural world. Though many of them claim to be religious, they are actually devotees of the will to power. Defeating them will take the strongest possible defence of freedom, and strong societies are always moral societies. That does not mean that they need be religious. It is just that, in the words of historian Will Durant, ‘There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion.’

    I have no desire to convert others to my religious beliefs. Jews don’t do that sort of thing. Nor do I believe that you have to be religious to be moral. But Durant’s point is the challenge of our time. I have not yet found a secular ethic capable of sustaining in the long run a society of strong communities and families on the one hand, altruism, virtue, self-restraint, honour, obligation and trust on the other. A century after a civilisation loses its soul it loses its freedom also. That should concern all of us, believers and non-believers alike.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8932301/atheism-has-failed-only-religion-can-fight-the-barbarians/

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  79. OneTrack (1,953 comments) says:

    gulag1917 – “I have found an uncomfortableness/irritableness by some of them when the slightest mention of anything spiritual”

    What you mean is anything christian. As soon as Gaia gets mentionef, or the powhiri starts, suddenly it is all very quiet and respectful.

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  80. OneTrack (1,953 comments) says:

    fentex – “I like to imagine people find the U.S’s Constitution so interesting because they suspect we’ll have to write our own somtime shortly”

    I suspect that I am not going to have any say in “our” constitution.

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  81. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    but when it comes to judging a particular culture’s practice one can only really be fair by comparing that practice to that culture’s own moral code

    And that is your moral position. Mine is that it is fair to use your own culture’s morals to compare to a particular culture’s practice. I can accept that they may be acting morally in their group, but I am still free enough to say that their group’s morals are wrong. I also accept that they would view my culture and morals as wrong.

    Morals describe how “I” think “we” should act. So it relies on what one considers “we” to be. Scott Chris thinks that any other culture is sufficiently not “we” to be excluded from his moral rules.

    If pressed, Scott, I am sure you would say that cannibalism is worse than ransom in your culture. And that a culture that embraces cannibalism is inferior to one that does not, IF that was presented as a change in YOUR culture.

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  82. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    ‘There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully avoiding immoral life with the aid of religion.’

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  83. Fletch (5,716 comments) says:

    Kimble, that is rubbish, and you know it.
    Complete falsity.
    Any fool can take a wise saying and replace parts to turn it into what he wants, but what you’ve done doesn’t even make sense.

    You’re just being silly now.

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  84. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    What you mean is anything christian. As soon as Gaia gets mentionef, or the powhiri starts, suddenly it is all very quiet and respectful.

    The religion you abandoned holds a special place in your heart. Most western atheists were formerly christians.

    Perhaps you miss the eye-rolls when gaia gets mentioned. But one thing is probably true, you dont meet very many former gaia-worshipping atheists. Most atheists have generally rejected religion in adult hood. Most gaia-worshipper joined the religion in adult-hood.

    A powhiri isnt religious. It is a ceremony. The fact you cant tell the difference shows just what you know about religion.

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  85. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Really? Name me one enduring society that stayed perfectly moral with the aid of religion?

    Also tell me about all the societies that EXISTED without religion?

    Religion of some sort is ubiquitous among unenlightened human culture. Of course previous societies had religion. That is a historical artifact, not a revelation of some unique feature of religion.

    Religion: historically the best way to control humans.

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  86. chiz (1,090 comments) says:

    ShawnLH:

    I mean, if people want to critique Christianity, is it really asking too much that they read at least a smattering of Augustine, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin first?

    Why? Plato debunked the argument that morality comes from God and, despite many ongoing efforts, theologians have yet to debunk him. The NT isn’t historically true. So what do Augustine etc add?

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  87. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Kimble (2.43) argues that Kant’s position “breaks down” when dealing with narcissistic personalities, so is relative.

    Narcissists don’t slot into Christian morality or any other morality but their own, Kimble. They are of course cultural relativists.

    Kant, however, was not. His system, which seems to me to rest ultimately on a widespread use of the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you), attempts to justify a non-relative moral system.

    It doesn’t embrace narcissists, or the insane, or the mentally handicapped, but a minimum rationality is expected for conformity to all morality systems isn’t it?

    Guilty but insane, mentally unfit to stand trial, too young to be tried … there are many practical cases of exemption from the judgment of morality systems. That doesn’t make those systems relative.

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  88. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    Even in Law 101 students are versed in the 10 Comms ,if only from an historical point of view to illustrate the concept of written law.In the context of our history,culture and tradition the 10 Commandments do have a place outside,inside or near Couthouses or even Parliaments or State buildings.

    The problem with the ACLU is not that they are defending the Constitution ,they are trying to erase any and all references or Christian context from American history.

    A good example is their attack on the small cross in the California seal.It was there to represent the Spanish missions that helped found the very state itself going back some 500 years.They succeeded.

    The ACLU are worse than the North Koreans.

    Finally to all the idiots here who say the Constitution has nothing to do with Christianity ,please note it was dated as follows…..”in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven”.

    Next they’ll want to take Christ out of Christmas.

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  89. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Narcissists don’t slot into Christian morality or any other morality but their own, Kimble. They are of course cultural relativists.

    So you are a Descriptive moral relativist.

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  90. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Even in Law 101 students are versed in the 10 Comms ,if only from an historical point of view to illustrate the concept of written law.

    So they are taught about the 10 Commandments because, hey, those are also some rules that were written down? You could replace them in the curriculum with literally any other set of rules then.

    The ACLU are worse than the North Koreans.

    Yeah whatever Gareth.

    please note it was dated as follows…..”in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven”.

    I sometimes use the term B.C., does that make me a Christian too? If not, then wouldnt that make you an idiot for thinking the date format on the document means anything at all?

    Answers: No and Yes respectively.

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  91. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Scott Chris posted at 2.43:

    eating the brains of your enemy for one particular culture is no better or worse than, say, ransoming your enemy is for another.

    C’mon!

    Eating your enemies, as by the Fore tribes of Eastern Highlands and lowlands Provinces of Papua New Guinea gives the eaters kuru, a fatal brain disease.

    In the last big outbreak, kuru (laughing sickness) was eight to nine times more prevalent in women and children than in men at its peak. Men ate the choice cuts of victims. Women and children ate the rest of the bodies, including the brains, which were the most dangerous part.

    Compare that culture’s practice of treating prisoners with, say, British treatment of German POWs at the end of the World War 2, sending many home with a new suit, allowing 24,00 to stay in Britain, including Bert Trautman, who became a famous goal keeper for Manchester City.

    So cultures are equal are they?

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  92. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Kimble at 3.15 labels me a descriptive moral relativist.

    As I pointed out in an earlier post: descriptive moral relativism holds only that some people do in fact disagree about what is moral.

    That is so broad it encompasses everyone who has an opinion on morality, everyone who posts in this thread, and is thus pretty much meaningless. It certainly doesn’t mean we agree with you on moral relativity, Kimble.

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  93. wikiriwhis business (3,276 comments) says:

    ‘Really? Name me one enduring society that stayed perfectly moral with the aid of religion?’

    Easiest q in the world to answer.

    Western nations were built and grew on traditional Judeo/Christian morality based on the ten commandments.

    This is why they have prospered when Muslim countries haven’t and Islamists race to flee their own impoverished nations to the west.

    With the slow Marxist/Keysnian slope to devalue morals and currency, the west is being guided tot he same direction as
    nations of Islam. Bankrupt financially, morally and spiritually until the world falls into such a decline as pre war that humanity will welcome whosoever the UN offers. And that person and his system will be anti wholesome.

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  94. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    So nobody objects to my new list of 10 Commandments?

    Nobody wants to argue that the Christian set is superior to this?

    So nobody would object if this superior moral code replaced the 10 Commandments?

    Keep in mind that if you do, you need to explain why you embrace the celebration of an inferior moral code, and how that can possibly be a moral position.

    Failure to do this will mean that defending the 10 Commandments is therefore an IMMORAL act.

    Maybe you also need to consider what would happen if Scientology took the 10 Commandments and added one more about child molestation. So basically, your rules plus another one I would hope you would agree with.

    Perhaps the immediate, guttural, reflexive rejection of that hypothetical set of 11 Commandments that just occurred in your brain will make you realise that morality has nothing to do with your position on the 10C, and that you are merely cheer-leading your own team.

    Here are what I reckon would be in the atheists 10 commandments:
    1. Dont kill people. (This can extend to abortion, you dont have to believe in god to be against abortion)
    2. Dont steal.
    3. Dont lie.
    4. Dont rape.
    5. Dont molest. (Sure it basically repeats the one above about ‘no raping’ but unfortunately some “people”/clergy need the extra reminder)
    6. Dont kidnap.
    7. Dont assault. (Notice how the Christian 10 commandments allows you to beat someone close to death, as long as they arent your parents?)
    8. Dont neglect your children.
    9. Dont torment living creatures.
    10. Dont abuse your power.

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  95. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    This is why they have prospered when Muslim countries haven’t and Islamists race to flee their own impoverished nations to the west.

    Islam is a religion.

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  96. Dean Papa (614 comments) says:

    11. Do not use people as private property or slaves (Hitchen’s #2).

    would have saved a lot of bother if this had been one of the original commandments. Why wasn’t it?

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  97. RichardX (288 comments) says:

    This is one of the reasons I just do not bother with debating religion and/or Christianity on the internet, and on this blog in particular. I just end up spending vast amounts of time wading through people’s utter ignorance of what Christianity actually teaches.

    Which version of christianity are you referring to?

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  98. RichardX (288 comments) says:

    Fletch (5,286 comments) says:
    December 23rd, 2013 at 2:58 pm
    Kimble, that is rubbish, and you know it.
    Complete falsity.

    You’re just being silly now.

    If all else fails you could resort to reasoned argument

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  99. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    Western nations were built and grew on traditional Judeo/Christian morality based on the ten commandments.

    This is why they have prospered when Muslim countries haven’t and Islamists race to flee their own impoverished nations to the west.

    No doubt this will come as a terrible shock, but Islamic morality is also based on the ten commandments.

    Where do these values come for an non believer?

    Well, there’s this thing called evolution, which made us social animals – most of what we call morality is the kind of thing you’d expect to evolve among self-aware critters that gain evolutionary advantage from living together in relatively orderly social groups. It also made us smart enough to be able to feel empathy, which is the ability to imagine how you would feel if a thing happening to someone else were happening to you, and draw conclusions from it. If you’re wondering how we could possibly have developed that ‘golden rule’ moral without the instruction of some awesomely powerful supernatural entity, look no further.

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  100. wikiriwhis business (3,276 comments) says:

    ‘Islamic morality is also based on the ten commandments.’

    ‘Islamic morality is also based on slaying the infidel and Shariah law. They do not comprehend the law Ye shall not kill.

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  101. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Kimble’s own version of the Ten Commandments (in his 3.43 post) wouldn’t do even for a colony of wombles.

    It’s an insight into the mind of a confused, PC, moral relativist.

    For example, Kimble’s:

    8. Dont neglect your children.
    9. Dont torment living creatures.
    10. Dont abuse your power.

    What is anywhere universal about the word or judgment “neglect”. Some of Kimble’s relativists would consider non-performance of genital mutilation of young girls to be neglect. Contrast that with Western views.

    “Don’t torment living creatures”. Vague. To vegans one thing, to meat eaters another. What do dog owners do? Feed their mutts on cornflakes? A flaky commandment suitable only for extremist animal-rights nutters who don’t want people even to keep pets.

    “Don’t abuse your power”. So vague and indefinite as to be meaningless.

    This reinforces the view that most moral relativists, like most multiculturalists, are a bunch of bumbling, unpractical, politically correct, craven ditherers who would lead the world into chaos.

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  102. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    kimble @320

    I don’t care what you use ,AD,BC etc

    The point is “our Lord” is used in the Constitution.That is the context of this post and argument……not you or your facile opinions and uses.

    The point is the ACLU want to erase all trace of Christian symbolism and context from American govt and they can’t as it’s there in the beginning and end……Alpha and Omega ,like Christ Himself.

    We hold that all men were CREATED equal……Genesis.

    And here in Aotearoa……our flag…..three saints.
    God Save the Queen, God Defend New Zealand.

    Christmas is Christian.Easter is too. Public stat holydays, our history,culture and traditions.

    Best of luck with your culture war.

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  103. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Jack5 supports neglecting children, torturing baby animals, and is a fan of totalitarianism.

    You’re not? Then how vague are 8, 9, and 10 really?

    Oh NO! My simplistic commandments are a little vague? There may be some instances when breaching one is the moral thing to do? Some people will interpret it differently?

    The Christian 10C suffer from all of these problems. My list is STILL far superior to the 10 Commandments. If you are truly moral you would reject the Christian 10 commandments and embrace my more moral set.

    These simple guidelines arent supposed to be universal laws to be obeyed to the (very few) letters. Thats a fundamentalists view. Thats a religious view. Thats YOUR mindset.

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  104. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Kimble posted at 4.58:

    My list is STILL far superior to the 10 Commandments.

    Have a bit more confidence in yourself Kimble. Don’t hide your light under a bushel.

    I suggest you start by giving a walking-on-water demonstration at the most popular beach near you.

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  105. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    kowtow you are grasping at straws. That was the standard way of referring to the date at the time. And it wasnt even in the text that was approved by the members of the constitutional convention.

    You have to withdraw it as evidence that the US Constitution is a religious document, and never use that line again.

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  106. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Have a bit more confidence in yourself Kimble. Don’t hide your light under a bushel.

    I suggest you start by giving a walking-on-water demonstration at the most popular beach near you.

    And there it is. You have conceded.

    You can’t publicly admit that my list is BETTER than the 10C, so you say nothing at all.

    But my list is obviously superior.

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  107. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Kimble at 5.12 on the Ten Commandments

    …my list is obviously superior…

    Nine psychiatrists in ten would pronounce Kimble as a sufferer of delusions of grandeur.

    Perhaps you are not taking your medication, Kimble? (I’m trying to be kind, not to ridicule you, with this question.)

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  108. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    You have already conceded.

    Perhaps you can explain why the 10C is better than mine when it doesnt include pretty serious stuff we all consider to be bad.

    You keep writing words and saying nothing because you cant come up with any reason why my list is worse than yours. Other than some appeal to “divine authority” I suspect.

    Is it because my list doesnt have a “Sabbath”, that it doesnt have a restriction on a belief in any god, or that it doesnt tacitly permit male infidelity?

    Which of these is so precious to you?

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  109. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    Wizard of New Zealand – Feminists
    [reveals a definite pattern of "belief" amongst some antagonists]

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  110. chiz (1,090 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business:

    Western nations were built and grew on traditional Judeo/Christian morality based on the ten commandments.

    This is why they have prospered when Muslim countries haven’t and Islamists race to flee their own impoverished nations to the west.

    What does morality have to with the relative prosperity of the west compared to most muslim countries? There have been serious arguments by economists that religion might be a factor – that Islam proscribes interest, and that Christianity doesn’t specify how inheritance inheritance works when someone dies – but I’m not aware of any argument that bigger claims about morality, such as the ten commandments, have any bearing.

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  111. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    Kimble

    Exactly where did I state the US constitution was a Christian document. You’re a troll.Making things up.

    Its context is Christian.

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  112. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    It was a Christian work ethic [thrift and educations etc} which included the 10 commandments that helped the West prosper.

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  113. nasska (9,474 comments) says:

    The west didn’t emerge from the Dark Ages until the stranglehold the RC church held over education & government was broken. Islamic nations are totally dominated by their religious leaders & are still heading backwards by comparison.

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  114. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    Why is it that the antagonists of Christianity remain stuck in the Old Testament and do not understand the New Testament especially the Pauline epistles which explains the law in detail? Christianity goes further than any 10 C alternative suggested above because it includes the thoughts and the words as well as the deed.

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  115. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Its context is Christian.

    If the ink was made in India would you also claim its context was Hindu?

    You claimed that everyone was an idiot because the date said “Lord”, and now you say it is just about the context? Thats chickenshit.

    The fact that the word Lord appears on it is an accident. It proves nothing. It is indicative of nothing more than the date system is based on the supposed birth year of a cult leader, and the language at the time reflected that.

    The Constitution allows freedom of religion. Something the 10 Commandments do not.

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  116. nasska (9,474 comments) says:

    Gulag

    I think I can explain. The OT is basically a history of what eventually became the Jewish nation. As such it records the deeds & mores of a relatively primitive bloodthirsty group of desert dwellers. The NT is a record of the coming of God in the form of Jesus & promotes benevolence, forgiveness & love.

    If the religious were to relegate the OT to an historical status atheists wouldn’t have much ammo. Instead it suits the hierarchies of the churches to keep everyone in line by playing the cruel, vengeful God against the loving, hippie Jesus game. Nothing will change as it is in the interests of religious leaders to keep things complicated.

    All religion, regardless of deities or creeds, is a racket which provides a power base for those who rise through the ranks of the organisation….it differs little from empires created on the back of money, arms & politics.

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  117. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Why is it that the antagonists of Christianity remain stuck in the Old Testament…

    NO! You dont get to have it both ways. You can’t have some Christians claiming that the West was founded on the 10 Commandments and then some other Christians claiming that it is people who refute that claim that are stuck in the Old Testament without BOTH your stupid positions being negated!

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  118. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    “antagonists of Christianity ” you cannot be in Christianity and be an antagonist it was directed to the people outside Christianity. There are 2 billion Christians in the world therefore various views of history and not all of them are historians me included.

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  119. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    nasska
    pretty good answer except for the last paragraph.

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  120. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    Have a bit more confidence in yourself Kimble. Don’t hide your light under a bushel.

    What’s noteworthy in this is not that the ten commandments are so excellent that Kimble must have delusions of grandeur to propose a superior set of ten (they’re not excellent – the video from Hitchens posted at the start of the thread demonstrates that conclusively). It’s more that the ten commandments is so crap that an intelligent person writing on a blog comments thread doesn’t even break a philosophical sweat coming up with a superior set of ten. Posting these crap commandments for public view at a justice building is as laughable as posting the writings of a cargo-cultist at the Treasury building would be.

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  121. CharlieBrown (784 comments) says:

    I’m totally opposed to the measure of removing the ten commandments from the court house. Not so much on religious grounds but on honouring history. Like it or not, most western countries have a strong foundation set in Judeo-Christian principals. Why do we have Easter and Christmas as public holidays still if we want to remove all religion from public life. To say that Buddhism, Islam or any other religion has had such an equivalent affect on our countries is absurd. I’m against enforcing non-trading days and actually basing any laws to honour religious rules, but to completely remove relics and traditions from our public buildings is to destroy a part of our history, culture and identity.

    Will the ACLU push to remove all use of the latin language from the public life, as it is not treating every language equal?

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  122. wat dabney (3,422 comments) says:

    Why is it that the antagonists of Christianity remain stuck in the Old Testament and do not understand the New Testament

    And why do antagonists of Nazism and Communism always harp on about the atrocities?

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  123. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt at 7.47

    Do we have another poster not taking his medication? Delusions of grandeur all round this thread today.

    Psycho Milt posts:

    It’s more that the ten commandments is so crap that an intelligent person writing on a blog comments thread doesn’t even break a philosophical sweat coming up with a superior set of ten.

    Every second atheist wants to start his own religion. Modest guys.

    How about giving us references for some of your “philosophical sweat”, Pscyho Milt. Let’s hear your replacement for the Ten Commandments. Even if it’s miles better be much better than those of the lightweight, Kimble, I suspect it will still be trite junk.

    And what’s your reply to the popular veterans’ saying, “there are no atheists in foxholes”.

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  124. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    The Dark Ages weren’t dark.

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  125. wat dabney (3,422 comments) says:

    Every second atheist wants to start his own religion. Modest guys.

    You are confusing morality with a belief in magic pixies.

    They are not the same thing at all.

    And here’s a clue: when your imaginary magic pixie is supposed to have drowned essentially everyone in the entire world it means it’s an evil pixie.

    Bad, bad pixie!

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  126. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Re Wat Dabney’s 8.39:

    You, and the two atheists posting recently above, incorrectly assume that everyone who defends the Ten Commandments believes in the supernatural.

    To think you can leap from blogging to replacing one of the world’s great codes of morality suggests a degree of delusions of grandeur.

    This condition is also known as megalomania or narcissistic personality disorder, and sadly frequently accompanies schizophrenia.

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  127. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    Let’s hear your replacement for the Ten Commandments.

    Seems a bit superfluous, since no-one’s come up with a good case against Kimble’s one.

    And what’s your reply to the popular veterans’ saying, “there are no atheists in foxholes”.

    That, even if it were true (and it would be a profound insult to atheist combat veterans to suggest that it were), the idea that people form religious beliefs due to fear of death isn’t exactly a persuasive argument for the truth of religious belief.

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  128. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    You, and the two atheists posting recently above, incorrectly assume that everyone who defends the Ten Commandments believes in the supernatural.

    It seems a reasonable assumption that anyone who considers injunctions to:
    1. Accept one god and have no others;
    2. Make no images;
    3. Keep one day of the week ‘holy’;
    to constitute a “great code of morality” must inevitably be a believer in the supernatural – otherwise 30% of the code is irrelevant.

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  129. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    What rubbish, Psycho Milt (8.58)

    Kimble’s raving has already been lampooned, as in the last three of the tablets from His Great Self:

    8. Don’t neglect your children.
    9. Don’t torment living creatures.
    10. Don’t abuse your power.

    Who will agree what the “neglect” is? “Don’t torment living creatures” is for the stark mad ultra fanatics of animal rights, and “don’t abuse your power” means everything and nothing.

    Kimble suffers from delusions of grandeur.

    Know a lot of atheist combat veterans, do you Psycho Milt? Maybe they were in the Pay Corps.

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  130. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    Who will agree what “take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” means? Or “keep the sabbath day holy?” Let alone “make unto thee any graven image.”

    And are you really, seriously telling us that not tormenting animals is the preserve of fanatical animal rights activists? I hope you don’t have any pets…

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  131. wat dabney (3,422 comments) says:

    Jack5

    You, and the two atheists posting recently above, incorrectly assume that everyone who defends the Ten Commandments believes in the supernatural.

    No, you don’t understand.

    The point is that these commandments should be judged on their merits, whereas a “Christian” must maintain that they are inherently moral, worthy and significant: in short that they must be followed blindly.

    But that’s only half of it. Just as significant is the question of whether these really are the ten most important moral rules that could ever be prescribed for humanity. It seems to me that Hitchens’ brief stab at his own version (in the video above) is infinately superior. In fact I’m sure most people could produce a more worthy set.

    The last point is that all the bluster and the insults of the fake “Christians” posting here is the faux anger of the person caught out in a lie. Because, as we all know, none of you makes the slightest attempt to adhere to these stupid commandments which you defend so passionately.

    Let’s turn it around: who here lives their life by these commandments?

    Who keeps the Sabbath? (a capital offense, remember.)

    Hands up?

    No. Didn’t think so.

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  132. nasska (9,474 comments) says:

    If Moses hadn’t realised his mistake there may not have been Ten Commandments. :)

    Ref: https://www.dropbox.com/s/o18rj0t7ixejbyh/burningbush.jpg

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  133. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    Know a lot of atheist combat veterans, do you Psycho Milt?

    I know very few combat veterans at all, and generally don’t enquire as to their religious beliefs. You, on the other hand, can apparently consider the millions of men who served in combat in the second world war alone, and decide on their behalf that not one of them was an atheist, which is not merely astonishingly presumptuous but statistically unlikely to the highest degree.

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  134. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt at 9.26 asked:

    And are you really, seriously telling us that not tormenting animals is the preserve of fanatical animal rights activists?

    It logically means the end of meat eating unless people are to dine on carrion from stock that die of old age.
    It means the end of most farming. Tailing sheep, shearing, taking calves from cows, trapping or poisoning possums would all be barred under this loose and stupid rule. The animal rightists would interpret it as meaning you can’t keep pets.

    Are little atheists all vegans?

    As well as suffering from delusions of grandeur, Kimble is an intellectual light weight.

    Wat Dabney asks who lives by the Ten Commandments?

    I ask who in their right mind would want to live by Kimble’s deluded commandments? Well I suppose, vegans and vegetarians, those who want ultra rights for animals, and the army of jurists who would spend centuries trying to make sense of Kimble’s ravings.

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  135. SPC (4,609 comments) says:

    It can be argued that the 10 Commandments were adopted by the covenant nation to declare

    1. they were a sovereign nation under God (recently Hittite kings in Anatolia had taken to declaring an order of rule for their reign upon their coronation – doing justice, this was possibly inspired by the Hammurabi Law Code) with a dominion on Earth in Canaan.
    2. there was really no other god apart from one that made Creation and nothing made on Earth could represent one who made all of creation
    3. no name was necessary for the one and only God, for it was to be known as the one and only God.

    These just describe what the God faith of the covenant nation was. In the beginning their King was God, so this was necessarily part of their nation’s order of rule.

    4. Having a sabbath day of rest, simply is a way of recognising a continuing relationship between an eternal God and a mortal mankind across all of the species many generations

    5. thus God remained like a King and father across all generations across these weeks of times of mankind.

    The second five commandments refer to how humankind should co-exist.

    6. Live like brothers, but not like Cain and Abel – do not kill your brother.

    7. Do not lie with one’s brothers wife, then he does not have to ….

    8. Do not steal his stuff

    9. Do not commit false witness

    10. Do not attempt to kill, or attempt to commit adultery, or attempt to steal or attempt to commit false witness – for failure to be a successful criminal does not make one innocent in the eyes of law enforcement. Coveting leads to the breaking of law, so learn the way of cosmic peace and do not covet – call it the way of love for others, or the way of selflessness, but it sums up the law of those of God faith and is the example they are to set to others.

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  136. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    On atheists in foxholes, Psycho Milt again uses the fraudulent argumentive technique of extending an argument then hammering the extension.

    Rightly or wrongly millions of Western soldiers who have been through extreme duress have obtained solace and help from Christians and Christian beliefs.

    Of course there were many atheists in the Red Army and especially in the Waffen SS, both notable for their uncivilised conduct and ruthless treatment of civilians. They were great advertisements for the benefits of atheism, weren’t they?

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  137. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    Of course there were many atheists in the Red Army and especially in the Waffen SS…

    But they never dug any foxholes, right? That would certainly explain their high casualty rates…

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  138. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    It can be argued that the 10 Commandments were adopted by the covenant nation to declare etc…

    And it’s a reasonable argument. What’s not obvious is what relevance they have out of that context – the intuitive answer is “not much.”

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  139. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Or, Psycho Milt (9.54 post), perhaps they were Kimble-ites observing his ninth commandment: don’t torment living creatures.

    Those foxes needed the holes more than the Ivans and Fritzes.

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  140. SPC (4,609 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt, the Christian nations also believe that they are nations under God (see the declaration of independence) and the Christian faith is in an inheritance in the kingdom of God. Christians also believe Jesus to be risen into the kingdom of God and to have been claimant to the covenant nation throne of David- thus the confusion caused by claims made by his followers that he was of son of God status.

    I personally see his testimony that other men were also able to call God father, as essentially to the effect that the throne of David was for someone who was a son of the covenant nation God faith, and that other men also had this faith and could call God father too. But of course the wider gospel was that this was true for all of mankind.

    Whether one wants to buy into the whole Christian religious package is quite another story and for others – atheists – the issue is whether there is a Creator God. Well not one that is known, that is the whole point about free will, evidence that God exists would limit or end free will. So if God created mankind to have free will human dominion on Earth, then atheists serve God’s purpose by doubting his existence – especially in humbling an arrogant church that falsely preaches an awful God intent on murdering humans and burning them in hell (the false prophecy of advent believed in by most American Christians, Ameri cains as I call them, who want their God to murder others to satisfy their own murderous hearts).

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  141. SGA (510 comments) says:

    Jack5 at 10:02 pm

    And what’s your reply to the popular veterans’ saying, “there are no atheists in foxholes”.

    That it’s a “saying”, nothing more or nothing less – the generality of which to real life is anyone’s guess. But I’ve seen a few non-religious people close to me face death (all cancer), and none of them appeared to have any last minute “epiphanies”. In some cases people might, I’m sure.

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  142. Dean Papa (614 comments) says:

    Over 50 percent of the Waffen-SS were Catholics, and about 25 percent of them confessing Catholics. Not that that proves anything, but the inference that atheists are more prone to commit atrocities is a pretty weak one to even attempt to make.

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  143. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    What does it say about your religion when even a ‘light weight’ like me can come up with a moral code that is universally recognised as superior to the 10 Commandments of your cult?

    I ask who in their right mind would want to live by Kimble’s deluded commandments?

    Torment means to inflict great physical pain or mental anguish. So while I am not against the humane slaughter of food stock, I am against sticking fireworks in the ears of kittens. It doesnt seem that you can say the same thing. While I dont gain any pleasure from hurting dumb creatures, you must find great pleasure in setting fire to rabbits.

    Delusions of grandeur? Hardly. It doesnt take much effort at all to produce something better than what has to be one of the shittiest “moral codes” in the history of humanity. Even you believe the 10C to be shite. Thats why you arent defending them.

    In any case, that is obviously the best you can come up with to criticise a single of the 10 Commandments I pissed out on a whim in less than a minute. Pretty weak.

    You’d expect more from a someone who declared you to be an intellectual light-weight.

    Well you would. If that person wasn’t a known hypocrite.

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  144. Dean Papa (614 comments) says:

    In fact people with schizophrenia are more likely to become obsessed with religion or cults, while the narcissist tends to become the leader of the religious movement or cult.

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  145. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Well not one that is known, that is the whole point about free will, evidence that God exists would limit or end free will.

    The whole “freewill” excuse is funny. It reminds me of the people who tie themselves in knots imagining a massively more complex universe of brand new detail simply to force an alignment between the original Star Wars trilogy and that hack George Lucas’ pathetic prequels.

    “Well the only way it makes sense for there to be only two Sith Lords and not a whole army to match the Jedi is if there is a ‘Rule of Two’, so there MUST be a rule of two!”

    Nothing mentioned in the prequels, certainly nothing in the original three, but now it is part of the accepted lore because the entire story wouldnt make sense otherwise. Thats your “freewill” ret-con, right there.

    The only way your religion can possibly come close to making even a tiny bit of sense is if there is a free-will clause. Your ancestral religious leaders wanted to keep people under their control so they invented it. And now you want your religion to make sense, so you believe the free-will clause exists. Just like North Koreans want to believe that their Dear Departed Dear Leader is divine so force themselves to also believe he once scored 11 hole-in-ones in a single round of golf.

    Just like the apologists for the prequels had to spend years explaining the minute and otherwise pointless details that were necessarily IMPLIED by that bearded jack-sock’s flawed narrative, your apologists have spent CENTURIES trying to bring coherence to christianity!

    Thats what the commenter above was complaining about atheists not knowing; all the minute details invented by christian ‘intellectuals’ over the centuries.

    So no, I will not spend the next two years reading a giant pile of fan-fiction. I have come to terms with reality and accept the first three films for what they are. Shit.

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  146. SPC (4,609 comments) says:

    The concept of natural law as values held in common by humanity has changed in recent times.

    Once it was expressed in a certain way in Romans Chapter 1 where natural law was posed as the way of those of Creator God faith – presumably to associate those of values in society as like those who were Christians, those posing Christians as those in accord with natural law and the values of community.

    Paul the writer described those in accord with natural law as heterosexual, and those not in accord with natural law was worthy of death. His God was a god of procreation, or evolutionary bio-determinism – survival of the fittest, the heterosexual.

    Whereas today our natural law is to hold that all humans are equal before God, regardless of race, religious faith, political creed, gender, marital status, employment status (working class slave or oligarch technocrat) or sexuality – and leave it to another, not us, to judge each other over such matters.

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  147. SPC (4,609 comments) says:

    Kimble,

    The free will aspect is brought up in the book of Genesis, there the bible writers created the exit clause when the Creator God faith myth was built.

    It was admitted that men could not know God, but men would claim to have knowledge of God anyway, on this the bible religion was then built.

    In some ways Jesus was deconstructing the myth to bring people back to the beginning – the myth was built in service to the forming of a covenant nation.

    PS I am neither Jewish or Christian, more deist. Someone who appreciates that the bible is the word of men about their God faith not revelation from God to man, is no longer a theist.

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  148. Gulag1917 (425 comments) says:

    Famous atheists
    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870—1924): Marxist revolutionary and leader of the Bolsheviks. Lenin considered atheist and anti-religious propaganda to be essential to promoting communism.
    Nikita Khrushchev (1894–1971): Soviet General Secretary, 1953–1964.
    Joseph Stalin (1878-1953): General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953.
    Leon Trotsky (1879–1940): Marxist theorist.
    Pol Pot (1925–1998): birthname Saloth Sar, dictator of Cambodia
    Mao Zedong (1893–1976): Chinese military and political leader, who led the Communist Party of China to victory in the Chinese Civil War, and was the leader of the People’s Republic of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Under his leadership, China officially became an atheist state.

    62.9 million in the Soviet Union
    32.9 million in the PRC while in power, plus an additional 3.5 million killed by the communist Chinese before taking control
    2 million in Cambodia
    1.7 million in Vietnam
    1.5 million post-WWII Poland
    1 million in Tito’s Yugoslavia
    plus a suspected 1.6 million in North Korea
    Approximately 103 million people killed to make a system work.

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  149. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…

    And “thy” is…?

    Acts 13:48
    Romans 8:29-30
    2 Timothy 1:9
    Ephesians 1:4-5
    2 Thessalonians 2:11-13
    Jude 4
    Romans 9:11-22
    Jeremiah 10:23

    Also Genesis 6:5, here God basically says that the human heart is continually evil.

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  150. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Well done gulag, but not a single word about why atheism was required for those atrocities.

    And all destroyed when I point out:

    The slaughter of the pagans, the Crusades, the murder of ‘heretics”, “Witches”, and Jews, not to mention natives in too many countries to list. And those are just the people killed for religious reasons. There are multitudes more who were killed for other more mundane reasons. Holy crap, have you ever heard of Leopold II from Belgium? He would slot in at #3 on your list.

    The point being… people kill people. Believing in God hasnt stopped it before, it wont stop it now.

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  151. Dean Papa (614 comments) says:

    hey, don’t forget Hitler in that list of famous atheists!!

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  152. RichardX (288 comments) says:

    Gulag1917 (326 comments) says:
    December 24th, 2013 at 1:21 am

    Approximately 103 million people killed to make a system work.

    How is atheism a system?

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  153. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    Dean Papa posted at 11.03 last night:

    Over 50 percent of the Waffen-SS were Catholics, and about 25 percent of them confessing Catholics.

    In trying to pin the brutality and crimes of the SS on Christianity, you are talking through your arse, Dean Papa. In Heinz Hohne’s authoritative study of the SS, The Order of the Death’s Head, the author details the SS’s links with occultism, and observes that it created a cult of “ancestors and Germanic tribes”. SS members were barred from having church marriages. Instead they had civil services followed by SS wedding ceremonies.

    Hohne writes:

    All Himmler’s rules for married life were designed to divorce his SS men from the Christian church.

    Hohne notes that in 1937, the SS expelled 307 members for ignoring the ban on having Christian marriages. He also records:

    …no priest was allowed to be present at an SS christening or death-bed…

    The SS banned observance of Christmas which is in winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but because SS men’s wives missed the celebration, Himmler introduced a Feast of Midsummer.

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  154. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Er, the fundie drones here do realise that the US definition of “religious liberty” also involves
    (a) the Santeria religion’s right to mutilate small animals in the name of theirs, according to the US Supreme Court?*
    (b) rustic inbred Southern Appalachian Pentecostal Holiness fundamentalists who handle poisonous reptiles and drink strychnine, in the hope that god will save them (current death toll: 105)?
    (c) the ceremonial ingestion of the hallucinogenic mushroom Peyote within some Native American religious ceremonies (at least this one is a reputable historically verified religious rite)…?**

    *Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U.S. 520 (1993)
    ** Peyote Way Church of God v. Thornburgh, (5th Cir. 1991)

    Be very careful what you wish for, it may actually come to pass! ;)

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  155. Dean Papa (614 comments) says:

    Jack, what you are describing does indeed seem to be a cult. And what sort of people are susceptible to joining a cult? How about those who would believe in imaginary supernatural beings, for a start? A credulous population is easily manipulated!

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  156. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    In trying to pin the brutality and crimes of the SS on Christianity, you are talking through your arse, Dean Papa.

    So one religious dickhead claims that the Nazis were atheists, some reasonable person points out their christianity but says “Not that that proves anything, but the inference that atheists are more prone to commit atrocities is a pretty weak one to even attempt to make”, and another religious dickhead screams about him “trying to pin the brutality and crimes of the SS on Christianity”!

    Religious people suck, and this is why. They lash out at other people, then when someone answers back they whine about being attacked! The worst oppressors in human history are the loudest to whine about being “oppressed”.

    Is that what your god teaches you? How to be a dishonest, hypocritical dickhead?

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  157. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt opines:

    “No doubt this will come as a terrible shock, but Islamic morality is also based on the ten commandments.”

    No doubt this will come as a shock, but no, it’s not. Islam is not based on the Ten Commandments. Islam rejects the Old Testament as a Jewish corruption.

    Once again the ignorance of anti-Christian nutters is exposed.

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  158. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    Kimble:

    “And yet when Dawkins and Hitchens point out exactly the same thing, you are induced to vomit.”

    No, I’m indused to vomit because of their utter ignorance of the subject and use of cartoon strawman arguments, much like what we see on this blog.

    “And basing your life on faith in a deity is totally not an embrace of mindlessness.”

    No. And I base my faith on Jesus first. Everything else follows from him.

    “Atheists usually know more about religion than the religious. There is no hard-core Atheism. You can’t super-not-believe in God.”

    Atheism is a religion, like secularism, like Liberalism. And the posts on this blog are proof that members of the Atheist cult have no clue about Christianity.

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  159. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    Oh dear, Kimble again:

    “Religious people suck, and this is why.”

    No, human beings suck.

    “They lash out at other people”

    Like your doing?

    “then when someone answers back they whine about being attacked!”

    Like your doing?

    “The worst oppressors in human history are the loudest to whine about being “oppressed”.”

    Like your doing?

    Oh, and the SS were neo-Pagans, the KGB were Communists, the instigators of the French Terror were anti-Christian advocates of “Reason”, and yes, the inquisition was Christian.

    What this proves is that ALL human beings do terrible things, and are capable of terrible things, and religion or “non-religion” makes zero difference to that.

    The Bible has an answer to that. We use our God-given freedom to do evil. ALL of us. None is without guilt.

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  160. ShawnLH (1,826 comments) says:

    All human beings are religious, by nature. It is impossible not to be religious, just as it is impossible not to breath.

    The proof of this is can be found simply by listening to the words people use, especially value laden words.

    For example, “I don’t believe in God and have no religion, but I BELIEVE in gay rights because all people should be EQUAL, and treating people equally is GOOD.”

    So we have in that statement: 1. Belief. 2. A metaphysical (religious) concept that cannot be deduced using the five senses, to wit, EQUALITY. And 3. A belief in GOODNESS, also a metaphysical concept that cannot be deduced with the five senses.

    So, whenever someone claims they are an atheist, or have no religious beliefs, and then uses value laden metaphysical concepts to communicate their value system, they are totally contradicting themselves.

    This is why when Secular Liberals say that Christians should leave their religion at home when it comes to politics, as DPF has done on more than one occasion, then we are dealing with a monumental level of hypocrisy, double standards, and a profound lack of self-awareness.

    By now, and….MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!! :)

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  161. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    All human beings are religious, by nature. It is impossible not to be religious, just as it is impossible not to breath.

    That’s an absurd claim (as is the whole comment from ShawnLH).

    “I believe” has nothing exclusive to do with religion. It’s possible to believe many things while not believing in a god or anything religious.

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  162. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    Unfortunately, history is also full of examples of what happens when religion and the state provide each others with alibis for their respective inhumanity. We get negligence when it comes to government investigation of Catholic clergy pedophilia (in Australia). We get legitimisation of barbaric acts of ethnic cleansing and genocide (Serbian Orthodoxy and Serbia’s depradations in Bosnia, Kosovo and Croatia)- or in Rwanda, for that matter. Or al Qaeda’s butchery of Shia Muslims, or the Iraqi Sadr Army’s similar pogroms against Sunni Muslims, or the ties between white Baptist fundamentalists and white supremacists in the pre-sixties Southern United States.

    The lesson is this. Religious sectarian alibis for state public policy and government ideology are a step away from barbaric attacks on those judged outside the parameters of moral community, whether ethnic minorities, women, lesbians or gay men or people of the “wrong” religious faith. No matter what the religion, or alternative civic philosophy- it is equally reprehensible when atheist tyranny forbids legitimate exercise of diverse religious freedoms of belief, conscience, worship, assembly, doctrine and speech, and broad but not absolute freedom of religious practise. Incidentally, as you’ll notice, there are Islamist examples in this context. I could have mentioned Nigeria, but both Christian and Muslim sectarians have blood on their hands there.

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  163. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    What this proves is that ALL human beings do terrible things, and are capable of terrible things, and religion or “non-religion” makes zero difference to that.

    Which was OUR FUCKING POINT YOU IDIOT!! It was said more than once so you have no fucking excuse for missing it. YOUR religious brothers made the claim that atheism was linked to mass murder, and WE pointed out that that was BULLSHIT! We dont need you parroting our position back at us. Tell your idiot god-bothering fuck-tarded mates to stop LYING!

    Its another reason why religious people suck. They lie all the time. You assholes claim to have found the source of all morality, and yet you are some of the most immoral people out there! What use is your stupid religion if you all ignore one of the important teachings in not bearing false witness?

    No. And I base my faith on Jesus first. Everything else follows from him.

    Faith is the very definition of mindlessness. It doesnt matter what you have based your faith on. It is a belief that is not based on proof. If evidence doesnt matter in forming your opinion, then it doesnt matter how your opinion was formed. There is no difference between believing something on faith and believing i

    Atheism is a religion, like secularism, like Liberalism.

    The reason you think this is that your brain is so addled by non-sensical religious claptrap that it is now incapable of considering anything outside of the religion paradigm. Thats why you think that everyone is religious because they use the words “believe” and “good”. You simply cannot imagine how those words could possibly be non-religious. “OH! You BELIEVE that this cheesecake is as GOOD as or EQUAL to that other one, do you?!?! That makes you religious!”

    Your mind has been so tainted by religion that you see it everywhere simply because it is the only way you interpret the world. You cannot deal with what atheism really is (the rejection of a belief in God, nothing more). The only way you can comprehend it is pretending it is a religion. You have a mental disorder.

    If atheism is a religion then so is the non-belief in unicorns, fairies, and gnomes.

    You call atheism a religion, but you can’t name a single thing atheist have to have in common other than a non-belief in God. Name one other rule of atheism. Atheism doesnt provide a philosophy to live by. It is merely the rejection of one source of that philosophy; deities.

    Are you ready to declare the moral superiority of my list of 10 Bad Things People Shouldnt Do over your 10 Commandments? Why not? Do you think there are things on my list that people could do and still be considered moral?

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  164. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    By Jove. What very,very long posts they have on this thread. If I was an anal retentive I would consider commenting here! :)

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  165. Jack5 (4,211 comments) says:

    C’mon Kimble, no need to throw your teddy bear out of the cot.

    Just take your medication and all will be okay.

    And yes, mummy will pin your Ten Commandments on the wall, next to your Hobbit drawings. Daddy will get them carved in stone for you next week.

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  166. Psycho Milt (1,974 comments) says:

    No doubt this will come as a shock, but no, it’s not. Islam is not based on the Ten Commandments. Islam rejects the Old Testament as a Jewish corruption.

    Once again the ignorance of anti-Christian nutters is exposed.

    You might want to start getting your info elsewhere than your own religion’s propaganda. A Christian talking about Islam is on a par with a Bolshevik talking about fascism.

    As it happens, exactly like Christianity, Islam regards the blather in the Old Testament as accurate, but regards its own later blather as superseding it. They hold Moses’ idiotic tablets as some kind of divine proclamations, exactly the same as you do.

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  167. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    Are you passing stools OK then Psycho? :)

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  168. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Jack5 stop embarrassing yourself.

    Admit that the omission of rape and child molestation from the original commandments was deliberate.

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  169. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    Milt is right about Islam. Moses is a prophet in their religion too, and the commandments he brought down are recognised as being divine. Of course they have more commandments than just the 10, but each of the christian 10 are there too.

    Maybe you christians should try reading the Quran.

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  170. Fentex (656 comments) says:

    Atheism doesn’t provide a philosophy to live by.

    But as a logical consequence it does imply one.

    If you consciously acknowledge no exterior source of protection and organization and, presumably, the need to form a civil society with other people, the implication is we must adopt a common philosophy formed from what we all share.

    There’s a lot of fertile ground that thinking leads to on morality but it all pretty much ends up that based on empathy (and personally I think Rawl’s related Veil Of Ignorance) we should work from the Golden Rule.

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