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 The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited. 
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QB Coach - Brian Callahan
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
Pablo, your statistics are absolutely telling about how badly CHURCHIANITY has failed this culture. Your main line religions, all of them, have done a very good job of selling God, but have NOT done as well in the personal relationship aspect. Rules and rituals do not promote a relationship, nor do they really encourage those who practice them. The rules and rituals provide the "structure" but the relationship is in the DNA, and love of the body. God is Spiritual, and Relational.
As for your statistics, I have no doubt that you could bury me in charts and graphs. But it would be just like watching the history channels religious programming, where they bring "scholars" and "academics" from prestigious Liberal colleges to extrapolate on the Bible, and Jesus. As a Blood Bought Born Again Christian, they really make me sick. The minute they open their mouths and begin to vomit their "knowledge" the first thing I hear is pharisaical statements, and hyperbole. It's all conjecture based upon what they "believe" to have happened, instead of stating what Scripture (recorded from 1st hand witnesses and more) has to say. You have your beliefs and I have mine, regardless of yours, you cannot, and will not keep me from praying for the lot of you. The results are left to God, but the work of caring you us mine. So make yourselves comfortable, it looks like it's going to be a long ride.

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January 21st, 2016, 2:04 pm
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
Pablo wrote:
Why? Only two possible answers - your God isn't real or your God doesn't answer prayers. I know you will simply ignore this fact.


I think it is far easier for mankind to dismiss God than it is to believe in Him. People want proof. They want verification. That's understandable. In the engineering world, we have a saying, "In God we trust. All others must bring supporting data."

Let me ask Pablo. When your children ask you for things, is your answer always 'Yes'? When your children are of age to make their own decisions, will you always be there to ensure they make the right ones? Or will you advocate allowing them to make mistakes, so they might (and I emphasize MIGHT) learn from them?

If God provided everything, if He answered every prayer, if He allowed no mistakes, no failures.....we'd all be slaves. You would be no different than a plantation slave, who is told exactly what they will do, what they will wear, what they will eat, etc., etc. Any entity that holds that much power, and chooses to utilize it in every aspect is nothing more than a tyrant, even if it would seem that tyrant is taking care of you.

People are allowed a choice. People are allowed their freedom to make decisions, bad and good. And though you love your kids Pablo, you know that a by product of that love is to watch them fail. And as they grow older, those failures could have devastating results. Their decisions could negatively impact the rest of their lives. And though you may try to prevent some of it, it doesn't mean you'll be successful all the time. Too much oversight and your children will lash out at you. They will call you controlling, a spy, nosy, a busy-body, and some other choice things. You know you are just trying to protect them. They don't see it that way.

Now, I know that for some this will mean nothing. God, afterall, is all powerful and can make everything perfect, all the time. But I think of movies like Bruce Almighty, and The Matrix, and even an episode of The Twilight Zone. In all of those, there was a common theme. If things are too perfect, mankind actually suffers as much as if things are like they are right now. Wars are not an act of God. Famine, plagues, and other disasters can all be traced back to things done by man. One could say natural disasters are an act of God, and how could a loving God destroy things like that? Fair question. Ever gotten angry and punched a wall? Busted something? Kicked something? Sometimes you have to get your kids attention, and to do so means taking drastic measures. I'm not saying that's what is happening, but it's one theory. With God taking a reduced importance in the lives of human beings, one could think He is sending some messages.

You and I have shared messages on this before Pablo. As a reminder, let me tell you that though I am Christian (meaning that I believe in Christ and wish to follow in His ways and teachings), I do not believe that the Bible is God's word. For me, the Bible was far too impacted by the machinations of politicians and zealous religious people to not have been altered to their agenda rather than God's agenda. Of course there is the issue of dead languages, questionable translation of languages and interpretations. But we have discussed that previously. I hope you recall that.

What I'm trying to say is that while you continue to push the idea that there is no God, and that those of us who believe in Him are wasting our time, it is our time to waste. Many will pray for you. I can honestly say that I won't. Not because I don't like you, and not because I don't believe in the power of it. But because your choices are yours to make. And I don't think that it is my, or anyone elses, business to try and change that, in any way. But if they want to, just remember that they do it out of respect, if not love.

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February 10th, 2016, 10:15 pm
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
m2karateman wrote:
Pablo wrote:
Why? Only two possible answers - your God isn't real or your God doesn't answer prayers. I know you will simply ignore this fact.


I think it is far easier for mankind to dismiss God than it is to believe in Him. People want proof. They want verification. That's understandable. In the engineering world, we have a saying, "In God we trust. All others must bring supporting data."

Let me ask Pablo. When your children ask you for things, is your answer always 'Yes'? When your children are of age to make their own decisions, will you always be there to ensure they make the right ones? Or will you advocate allowing them to make mistakes, so they might (and I emphasize MIGHT) learn from them?

If God provided everything, if He answered every prayer, if He allowed no mistakes, no failures.....we'd all be slaves. You would be no different than a plantation slave, who is told exactly what they will do, what they will wear, what they will eat, etc., etc. Any entity that holds that much power, and chooses to utilize it in every aspect is nothing more than a tyrant, even if it would seem that tyrant is taking care of you.

People are allowed a choice. People are allowed their freedom to make decisions, bad and good. And though you love your kids Pablo, you know that a by product of that love is to watch them fail. And as they grow older, those failures could have devastating results. Their decisions could negatively impact the rest of their lives. And though you may try to prevent some of it, it doesn't mean you'll be successful all the time. Too much oversight and your children will lash out at you. They will call you controlling, a spy, nosy, a busy-body, and some other choice things. You know you are just trying to protect them. They don't see it that way.

Now, I know that for some this will mean nothing. God, afterall, is all powerful and can make everything perfect, all the time. But I think of movies like Bruce Almighty, and The Matrix, and even an episode of The Twilight Zone. In all of those, there was a common theme. If things are too perfect, mankind actually suffers as much as if things are like they are right now. Wars are not an act of God. Famine, plagues, and other disasters can all be traced back to things done by man. One could say natural disasters are an act of God, and how could a loving God destroy things like that? Fair question. Ever gotten angry and punched a wall? Busted something? Kicked something? Sometimes you have to get your kids attention, and to do so means taking drastic measures. I'm not saying that's what is happening, but it's one theory. With God taking a reduced importance in the lives of human beings, one could think He is sending some messages.

You and I have shared messages on this before Pablo. As a reminder, let me tell you that though I am Christian (meaning that I believe in Christ and wish to follow in His ways and teachings), I do not believe that the Bible is God's word. For me, the Bible was far too impacted by the machinations of politicians and zealous religious people to not have been altered to their agenda rather than God's agenda. Of course there is the issue of dead languages, questionable translation of languages and interpretations. But we have discussed that previously. I hope you recall that.

What I'm trying to say is that while you continue to push the idea that there is no God, and that those of us who believe in Him are wasting our time, it is our time to waste. Many will pray for you. I can honestly say that I won't. Not because I don't like you, and not because I don't believe in the power of it. But because your choices are yours to make. And I don't think that it is my, or anyone elses, business to try and change that, in any way. But if they want to, just remember that they do it out of respect, if not love.


Wow, M2K. You surprised me. Very good answer. Except for the bible part, I agree with your post.

As for the bible part: our current bible has been checked against the earliest manuscripts that are known about. The translations always come up as being accurate. Every time an older manuscript is found, they check the bible against it. Every single time so far, the current bible is found to be accurate.


February 11th, 2016, 1:14 am
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
WarEr4Christ wrote:
You've quoted Old Testament (known as the time of the law) which many non-believers use as their basis for argument because of the restrictive nature of the Law. But when Jesus was born, and started his ministry, He replaced the law, and after his death on the Cross, the Church Age started.


Can you please provide scriptural evidence to explain this? Jesus referenced the OT many times. Matthew 5:17 explicitly states "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets."

There are, of course, parts of the NT that explicitly counteract OT commandments. For example, Acts 10 seems to imply that Kosher dietary laws need not be followed by Christians. But unless you can cite specific passages that refute particular OT commandments, I would argue that the logical interpretation is to assume that the OT is still in effect.

Pablo wrote:
Looking at millennials there is a 15 point drop between 2007 and 2012, that is huge. You can see a slight drop with each successive generation before them with Gen X below Boomers below Silent. The children of millennials will be even stronger critical thinkers and belief systems will crumble further and move to the fringes of society where it belongs.


Sadly, religiosity has fallen in and out of favor many times over American history. For example, in the late 1800s, atheism was becoming fashionable and mainstream, with many popular artists and lecturers advocating for it and being received favorably by the public (Mark Twain, Ingersol, etc). But then WW1, and the communists revolution, etc swung the pendulum back in the other direction. I hope you're right, but I am not so optimistic as to believe religion is doomed.

BillySims wrote:
The world's economy is on the brink of utter catastrophe. Obama is feverishly importing his Muslim buddies into America as fast as he can so he can start a Muslim Holy War on American soil. BEFORE the elections in November. America will be embroiled in Civil War while the rest of the world collapses in economic ruin. Before everything is lost, Gog and Magog will have their day. And then AntiChrist will show up to " save the day". 2016 appears to be the year it all kicks off. More than anytime before now. This year looks to be the beginning of the end.


Lol. This reads like a sarcastic parody. If only you were joking.

m2karateman wrote:
I think it is far easier for mankind to dismiss God than it is to believe in Him. People want proof. They want verification. That's understandable. In the engineering world, we have a saying, "In God we trust. All others must bring supporting data."


I couldn't disagree more. People often say this, but it simply isn't true. Being atheist is hard -- being religious is easy.

Of course, there is no set belief structure for atheism, but there are some conclusions that I would argue are inevitable. For example, as an atheist I accept the fact that there's a lot of evil in the world that goes unpunished and will always go unpunished. That the universe is deeply unfair and will never be fair. That terrible things happen to otherwise good people for no particular reason and cause immense suffering. That I will never be reunited with my loved ones after death. That my life has no meaning beyond what I personally ascribe to it.

Being religious is in fact the ultimate act of narcissism and self indulgence. I'm so important! The creator of the universe cares about me! I'll get to spend eternity (just ponder the concept for a while) in paradise. That evil people will get what's coming to them eventually, and the good will be rewarded, etc. Sure, there's a religious code I'm supposed to follow, but as long as I eventually ask for forgiveness, I'll be forgiven. After all, people are imperfect and god understands. The reason why people are religious despite the fact there's absolutely no evidence for it is that it's such a pleasant fiction. It's intoxicating. It feels good to believe.

I don't fault people for being religious anymore, because I don't think it's a choice. I myself once tried to believe and just couldn't do it. Either you're a believer, or you're not. I envy believers wrapped up in their pleasant delusions, but I just can't lie to myself. I think it'd be good for humanity as a whole to throw off the shackles of religious belief, but for any particular individual, having faith is an advantage. I don't agree with most of what Marx wrote, but he was absolutely right about religion being the opiate of the masses.

m2karateman wrote:
If God provided everything, if He answered every prayer, if He allowed no mistakes, no failures.....we'd all be slaves. You would be no different than a plantation slave, who is told exactly what they will do, what they will wear, what they will eat, etc., etc. Any entity that holds that much power, and chooses to utilize it in every aspect is nothing more than a tyrant, even if it would seem that tyrant is taking care of you.

People are allowed a choice. People are allowed their freedom to make decisions, bad and good. And though you love your kids Pablo, you know that a by product of that love is to watch them fail. And as they grow older, those failures could have devastating results. Their decisions could negatively impact the rest of their lives. And though you may try to prevent some of it, it doesn't mean you'll be successful all the time. Too much oversight and your children will lash out at you. They will call you controlling, a spy, nosy, a busy-body, and some other choice things. You know you are just trying to protect them. They don't see it that way.

Now, I know that for some this will mean nothing. God, afterall, is all powerful and can make everything perfect, all the time. But I think of movies like Bruce Almighty, and The Matrix, and even an episode of The Twilight Zone. In all of those, there was a common theme. If things are too perfect, mankind actually suffers as much as if things are like they are right now. Wars are not an act of God. Famine, plagues, and other disasters can all be traced back to things done by man. One could say natural disasters are an act of God, and how could a loving God destroy things like that? Fair question. Ever gotten angry and punched a wall? Busted something? Kicked something? Sometimes you have to get your kids attention, and to do so means taking drastic measures. I'm not saying that's what is happening, but it's one theory. With God taking a reduced importance in the lives of human beings, one could think He is sending some messages.


Based on what we know about physics and biology, it's quite clear that free will doesn't actually exist. Our brains fool us into believing that it exists, but it does not. Again, this is a concept that's deeply troubling and hard to accept for many people, but it appears to be the case. Let's take you personally, M2K. I've never met you, but you seem like sort of a tougher guy. Probably not an bunghole, but I'm guessing you have a decent level of aggression. Now, if I was a neurosurgeon, I could cut your skull open and make some incisions to your hypothalamus, stitch you back up, and when you came to, you wouldn't have the same level of aggression. You might be angier, or a nicer guy. Your decision making would change. We don't know enough about the brain (yet) to pinpoint exactly what changes cause what, but we have a basic understanding of how particular parts of the brain influence your personality, and thus your decision-making process. The same is true for hormone levels -- when you take a male animal and remove their testicles, their level of testosterone drops, and their temperament changes. People commonly accept this for their pets -- ie, neutered animals are less temperamental. It's common knowledge, even.

More generally, there are certain personality traits that seem to be inherited. They've done studies on identical twins raised apart and found that they similar preferences for a wide variety of things -- careers, etc. As well as similar intelligence levels and temperament. Upbringing also seems to play a role. Obviously, you don't choose your genetic makeup or your upbringing.


February 11th, 2016, 8:08 am
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
Blueskies wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
I think it is far easier for mankind to dismiss God than it is to believe in Him. People want proof. They want verification. That's understandable. In the engineering world, we have a saying, "In God we trust. All others must bring supporting data."


I couldn't disagree more. People often say this, but it simply isn't true. Being atheist is hard -- being religious is easy.

Of course, there is no set belief structure for atheism, but there are some conclusions that I would argue are inevitable. For example, as an atheist I accept the fact that there's a lot of evil in the world that goes unpunished and will always go unpunished. That the universe is deeply unfair and will never be fair. That terrible things happen to otherwise good people for no particular reason and cause immense suffering. That I will never be reunited with my loved ones after death. That my life has no meaning beyond what I personally ascribe to it.

Being religious is in fact the ultimate act of narcissism and self indulgence. I'm so important! The creator of the universe cares about me! I'll get to spend eternity (just ponder the concept for a while) in paradise. That evil people will get what's coming to them eventually, and the good will be rewarded, etc. Sure, there's a religious code I'm supposed to follow, but as long as I eventually ask for forgiveness, I'll be forgiven. After all, people are imperfect and god understands. The reason why people are religious despite the fact there's absolutely no evidence for it is that it's such a pleasant fiction. It's intoxicating. It feels good to believe.

I don't fault people for being religious anymore, because I don't think it's a choice. I myself once tried to believe and just couldn't do it. Either you're a believer, or you're not. I envy believers wrapped up in their pleasant delusions, but I just can't lie to myself. I think it'd be good for humanity as a whole to throw off the shackles of religious belief, but for any particular individual, having faith is an advantage. I don't agree with most of what Marx wrote, but he was absolutely right about religion being the opiate of the masses.


Well, to start with you are largely generalizing about people believing in God, and why they believe. It depends on what religion, if any, you hold as being truth. Some Christian religions don't believe that everyone will end up in paradise. Some feel most will end up in Hell. Yet despite that, people still cling to that religious belief, and their belief in God and Christ. I've seen entirely too much in the world that cannot be explained to simply dismiss the existence of a higher force. And the existence of Jesus Christ is beyond refute. Now, whether He was the Son of God or not is absolutely something that can be argued. But modern claims against numerous writings of people who were around and that time and saw Him work His miracles, even those who were not His disciples or followers, as being the workings of some sort of mass hallucinations are certainly more far fetched in my eyes than His being the Son of God. It's all a personal belief. You claim there is no evidence of a divine power. I claim there is no evidence that He doesn't exist. People point to the Big Bang Theory and Evolution as evidence. First off, both are a theoretical hypothesis. There is no reason why creation cannot exist with both. Take the Big Bang theory. Astrophysicists will claim the universe is billions of years old, and they have proof. Fine. That refutes the statements of the Bible, not the existence of God. The Big Bang theory states that the universe was, at the beginning, a large empty void except for one small tightly packed ball of matter that suddenly exploded with more energy than we could possibly imagine. So, where did the void and the matter come from? What caused the explosion? Nothing explains those beginnings.

I could go on and on, but I won't. You don't believe. I'm fine with that. But to state that being an atheist is harder than being a Christian, particularly in these times and in this country, is highly debatable.

Blueskies wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
If God provided everything, if He answered every prayer, if He allowed no mistakes, no failures.....we'd all be slaves. You would be no different than a plantation slave, who is told exactly what they will do, what they will wear, what they will eat, etc., etc. Any entity that holds that much power, and chooses to utilize it in every aspect is nothing more than a tyrant, even if it would seem that tyrant is taking care of you.

People are allowed a choice. People are allowed their freedom to make decisions, bad and good. And though you love your kids Pablo, you know that a by product of that love is to watch them fail. And as they grow older, those failures could have devastating results. Their decisions could negatively impact the rest of their lives. And though you may try to prevent some of it, it doesn't mean you'll be successful all the time. Too much oversight and your children will lash out at you. They will call you controlling, a spy, nosy, a busy-body, and some other choice things. You know you are just trying to protect them. They don't see it that way.

Now, I know that for some this will mean nothing. God, afterall, is all powerful and can make everything perfect, all the time. But I think of movies like Bruce Almighty, and The Matrix, and even an episode of The Twilight Zone. In all of those, there was a common theme. If things are too perfect, mankind actually suffers as much as if things are like they are right now. Wars are not an act of God. Famine, plagues, and other disasters can all be traced back to things done by man. One could say natural disasters are an act of God, and how could a loving God destroy things like that? Fair question. Ever gotten angry and punched a wall? Busted something? Kicked something? Sometimes you have to get your kids attention, and to do so means taking drastic measures. I'm not saying that's what is happening, but it's one theory. With God taking a reduced importance in the lives of human beings, one could think He is sending some messages.


Based on what we know about physics and biology, it's quite clear that free will doesn't actually exist. Our brains fool us into believing that it exists, but it does not. Again, this is a concept that's deeply troubling and hard to accept for many people, but it appears to be the case. Let's take you personally, M2K. I've never met you, but you seem like sort of a tougher guy. Probably not an bunghole, but I'm guessing you have a decent level of aggression. Now, if I was a neurosurgeon, I could cut your skull open and make some incisions to your hypothalamus, stitch you back up, and when you came to, you wouldn't have the same level of aggression. You might be angier, or a nicer guy. Your decision making would change. We don't know enough about the brain (yet) to pinpoint exactly what changes cause what, but we have a basic understanding of how particular parts of the brain influence your personality, and thus your decision-making process. The same is true for hormone levels -- when you take a male animal and remove their testicles, their level of testosterone drops, and their temperament changes. People commonly accept this for their pets -- ie, neutered animals are less temperamental. It's common knowledge, even.

More generally, there are certain personality traits that seem to be inherited. They've done studies on identical twins raised apart and found that they similar preferences for a wide variety of things -- careers, etc. As well as similar intelligence levels and temperament. Upbringing also seems to play a role. Obviously, you don't choose your genetic makeup or your upbringing.


You've contradicted yourself. You said based on what we know about physics and biology, free will doesn't exist. But then you state that we don't know enough about the brain to pinpoint what changes cause what. Sorry, but by saying free will doesn't exist, you are giving a free pass to anyone and everyone who ever commits a crime. It's not their fault, right? It's not their choice, right? Simply because you can alter the chemicals in a persons brain, or destroy a portion of their brain, doesn't mean that they aren't capable of making choices. I agree that your genetic makeup is going to play a large role in a persons behavior, as will the environment they are raised in, circumstances they face, lessons learned, etc. But that doesn't mean they don't have the freedom to choose at any given moment. Faced with an identical situation at two different times, I might choose to do two different things, strictly based on my feelings at the time. People do have free will. They do have the capability to make decisions, good and bad, rational and irrational. By stating that free will doesn't exist, you are claiming that the jails are full of innocent people, and that there is no such thing as a guilty human being.

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February 11th, 2016, 10:18 pm
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
BillySims wrote:
Wow, M2K. You surprised me. Very good answer. Except for the bible part, I agree with your post.

As for the bible part: our current bible has been checked against the earliest manuscripts that are known about. The translations always come up as being accurate. Every time an older manuscript is found, they check the bible against it. Every single time so far, the current bible is found to be accurate.


I understand your point Billy, and I respect your beliefs. However, I know that certain words in certain languages simply do not accurately translate into any other language. My wife speaks fluent Greek. There are a number of words that people use in place of Greek words, but they are not the same. Now do that with numerous languages. The original meaning is easily lost. Also, certain words used in ancient times have a far different meaning than they do in current times. And if one thing holds true, language translation and the science thereof is as fluid as any other science. As more and more ancient texts and writings are uncovered, certain words and phrases are found to be inaccurate.

Also, remember that the Bible is made up of passages of selected manuscripts. Some are included, some are left out. The people making those choices were politicians, high ranking religious leaders, etc. They were human. And humans, even the most holy, will often have an agenda that doesn't parallel the wishes of God. And more often than not, the ones in power are even worse.

I don't believe for a second that the world is only about 6000 years old. Or that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. I am not ridiculing those who choose to believe in the Bible, word for word. I am simply stating my viewpoints, my beliefs.

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February 11th, 2016, 10:29 pm
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
m2karateman wrote:
Pablo wrote:
Why? Only two possible answers - your God isn't real or your God doesn't answer prayers. I know you will simply ignore this fact.


I think it is far easier for mankind to dismiss God than it is to believe in Him. People want proof. They want verification. That's understandable. In the engineering world, we have a saying, "In God we trust. All others must bring supporting data."

Let me ask Pablo. When your children ask you for things, is your answer always 'Yes'? When your children are of age to make their own decisions, will you always be there to ensure they make the right ones? Or will you advocate allowing them to make mistakes, so they might (and I emphasize MIGHT) learn from them?

If God provided everything, if He answered every prayer, if He allowed no mistakes, no failures.....we'd all be slaves. You would be no different than a plantation slave, who is told exactly what they will do, what they will wear, what they will eat, etc., etc. Any entity that holds that much power, and chooses to utilize it in every aspect is nothing more than a tyrant, even if it would seem that tyrant is taking care of you.

People are allowed a choice. People are allowed their freedom to make decisions, bad and good. And though you love your kids Pablo, you know that a by product of that love is to watch them fail. And as they grow older, those failures could have devastating results. Their decisions could negatively impact the rest of their lives. And though you may try to prevent some of it, it doesn't mean you'll be successful all the time. Too much oversight and your children will lash out at you. They will call you controlling, a spy, nosy, a busy-body, and some other choice things. You know you are just trying to protect them. They don't see it that way.

Now, I know that for some this will mean nothing. God, afterall, is all powerful and can make everything perfect, all the time. But I think of movies like Bruce Almighty, and The Matrix, and even an episode of The Twilight Zone. In all of those, there was a common theme. If things are too perfect, mankind actually suffers as much as if things are like they are right now. Wars are not an act of God. Famine, plagues, and other disasters can all be traced back to things done by man. One could say natural disasters are an act of God, and how could a loving God destroy things like that? Fair question. Ever gotten angry and punched a wall? Busted something? Kicked something? Sometimes you have to get your kids attention, and to do so means taking drastic measures. I'm not saying that's what is happening, but it's one theory. With God taking a reduced importance in the lives of human beings, one could think He is sending some messages.

You and I have shared messages on this before Pablo. As a reminder, let me tell you that though I am Christian (meaning that I believe in Christ and wish to follow in His ways and teachings), I do not believe that the Bible is God's word. For me, the Bible was far too impacted by the machinations of politicians and zealous religious people to not have been altered to their agenda rather than God's agenda. Of course there is the issue of dead languages, questionable translation of languages and interpretations. But we have discussed that previously. I hope you recall that.

What I'm trying to say is that while you continue to push the idea that there is no God, and that those of us who believe in Him are wasting our time, it is our time to waste. Many will pray for you. I can honestly say that I won't. Not because I don't like you, and not because I don't believe in the power of it. But because your choices are yours to make. And I don't think that it is my, or anyone elses, business to try and change that, in any way. But if they want to, just remember that they do it out of respect, if not love.


You are correct M2K, it is your time to do with as you choose. Also, I respect your belief as an individual - primarily because you don't "blindly" follow and instead have put a strong amount of thought behind your beliefs. While Christian, you still follow your own path by dismissing (at least in part) the Bible as God's word. You are also open to using logic in your beliefs which many don't (including atheist). I'm in complete agreement about the Big Bang and God, they are not mutually exclusive in any way, shape or form. You are also 100% correct on translations.

BTW - I consider myself Agnostic as I don't have the answer. There may indeed be a "supreme being", that said I don't consider any current beliefs to be the real answer. The true concept of God, if "he" does indeed exist, may still be beyond man's ability to fully comprehend and who am I to shut out that possibility. I'm convinced Jesus was not "the son of God" based on the evidence as I've weighed it, the same holds true for every other God I've looked into. But those Gods being false, to me, does not mutual exclude the possibility that a "God" (probably in a much different sense than we have ever looked at) exists.

When my children ask for things I don't always say yes, HOWEVER, I always answer be it yes or no. If there is a God, it is clear by every conceivable measurement, he doesn't answer back - yes or no. You mentioned if he "answered every prayer", but the truth is he never answers prayers. Sure, in the craziness of all the lives on the planet the unexpected happens. Believers will attribute this to "God" and their prayers being answered. But these anomalies (or miracles as some might classify them), occur evenly across all belief systems (including not believers) - that is evidence of "zero" impact of prayer in any particular God. Sorry, it just is. Again, that doesn't mean God doesn't exist but to me it does mean he doesn't exist in the way man would have you believe. The impact of prayer is the exact same whether it is to God, Allah, Zeus or fill in the blank. Zero. I can never quite comprehend how believers can't seem to grasp the rather simple absolute truth of this fact. God if he does exist might listen, but we know he doesn't act - without question. I'll reiterate, the fact that he doesn't act also doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

Again M2K, I respect your belief system - I truly do. The way you describe things shows a lot of free thinking mixed into your beliefs. There is rational behind it. Honestly what scares me are the many who have no rational behind their beliefs, the inability to think, is what can cause those to act on behalf of their God (whoever he may be) in a very irrational manner.

Personally, I'm living my life like I only have a limited time here. I'd love to be pleasantly surprised when I die with "bonus" time (again, my version of a God if he existed would not grant passage into his kingdom based upon his worship but rather on how one treated fellow humans while here). I can honestly say this has had a glorious impact on my outlook on life from a personal standpoint. I feel "blessed" every day with my family, my family, friends (including Lions fans on this board) and within my career. My outlook serves as a guide as to how I approach things in a very positive manner. I'm sure others beliefs guide them in equally beneficial ways.

To each his own, so long as it doesn't encroach on others and bless you all...

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February 12th, 2016, 2:28 am
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
m2karateman wrote:
I'm fine with that. But to state that being an atheist is harder than being a Christian, particularly in these times and in this country, is highly debatable.


Let's debate it. Please expand on this.

m2karateman wrote:
You've contradicted yourself. You said based on what we know about physics and biology, free will doesn't exist. But then you state that we don't know enough about the brain to pinpoint what changes cause what. Sorry, but by saying free will doesn't exist, you are giving a free pass to anyone and everyone who ever commits a crime. It's not their fault, right? It's not their choice, right? Simply because you can alter the chemicals in a persons brain, or destroy a portion of their brain, doesn't mean that they aren't capable of making choices. I agree that your genetic makeup is going to play a large role in a persons behavior, as will the environment they are raised in, circumstances they face, lessons learned, etc. But that doesn't mean they don't have the freedom to choose at any given moment. Faced with an identical situation at two different times, I might choose to do two different things, strictly based on my feelings at the time. People do have free will. They do have the capability to make decisions, good and bad, rational and irrational. By stating that free will doesn't exist, you are claiming that the jails are full of innocent people, and that there is no such thing as a guilty human being.


Yes, our criminal justice system should be rethought. That said, it doesn't mean we just empty out the jails tomorrow.

The human brain is the most complex machine that we've discovered so far. But it's a machine, like any other -- put in some inputs, get some outputs. The brain is constructed by our genetics, but is shaped by our experiences. Say you work in a store, and you and your coworker are stealing. The owner of the store discovers that you've been stealing. He turns you over to the police, and they put you in jail. Your coworker finds out about this, and the experience of him finding out remaps his brain makeup, changing how he thinks. He stops stealing because he doesn't want to go to jail like you. Essentially, although you were in a sort of cosmic sense "innocent" (you could not have done anything other than steal) your punishment serves a valid purpose.

We have no evidence of free will beyond our basic intuition about it. But humans have plenty of intuitions that are wrong. We don't know enough about the brain yet to conclusively rule out the existence of free will, but we have pretty compelling evidence to suggest that it doesn't exist.

There have been people throughout history that suffered from specific brain disorders that had obvious, major effects on their behavior. Charles Whitman is a fascinating case study. He was a former US Marine that killed 16 people, including his wife and mother. Before he did it, he kept a journal, where he talked about how he loved them both deeply, and didn't actually want to kill them, but struggled with headaches and irrational thoughts. Before he went on the rampage, he specifically wrote in his diary that they should autopsy him to see if there was any medical reason for his actions. They did. As it turns out, he had a large brain tumor that was pressing on his amygdala, the region of the brain that's thought to govern the fight-or-flight response.

Was Charles Whitman "innocent"? Depends on your definition, I suppose. But given his circumstances, it doesn't seem like he could've done anything different. The more we learn about the brain, the more it seems like we're all like that to some extent. Perhaps that's what Jesus meant when he said "forgive them, for they know not what they do."


February 12th, 2016, 10:51 am
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
Blueskies wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
I'm fine with that. But to state that being an atheist is harder than being a Christian, particularly in these times and in this country, is highly debatable.


Let's debate it. Please expand on this.


The belief in God has waned in this country. Many things having to do with Christianity are now considered wrong or flat out illegal. Christian business owners who choose to speak out against anti-Christian things like abortion, homosexuality and other such things are ostracized or bad mouthed in the media. How many businesses are getting flamed because of their choice to be atheistic? How often do you hear of an 'atheist' hate group?

When it comes down to it, atheistic outlook has permeated many parts of daily lives. Prayer in school, for instance. A child in some schools is not allowed to pray, even on their own. Churches of all kinds were once considered sacred places, even if it was not Christian. Nobody attacked churches, synagogues, Islamic temples, etc. Now, people not only attack them, but they target them. Public schools barely touch on the subject of Christianity, but are now starting to push more and more the teachings of Islam. The theory of Creationism is no longer discussed, but has been replaced by the Theory of Evolution. The idea of both existing independent of one another is not even a thought.

There have been numerous studies that have shown the number of Christians in the US and around the world have declined, yet the number of people who don't believe in God, and don't believe in Christ being the son of God has increased.

Public buildings have been stripped of symbols that have been there for over a century. Manger scenes and statues can't be put up at Christmas. Some are even vandalized on private property. Bibles are burnt, stomped on, ripped up, etc.

And before the mention of the separation of church and state comes up, let me explain that it had nothing to do with any of this. The separation of church as state was about not allowing the government to create a religion, or force the citizens of the country to worship at a particular religion, like the Church of England under King George at the time of the Revolution. A manger scene, a sculpture of the Ten Commandments on door in a courthouse, or a Bible sitting on the desk of a judge, is NOT forcing anyone to worship as a Christian any more than having a picture of Adolph Hitler over the desk of a district attorney is forcing you to be a Nazi. Christmas is no longer about Christ. Easter is no longer about Christ. Businesses tell their employees to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, because some fool wants to look for something to be upset about, and uses the word Christmas as an excuse to be an aszhole.

Even on this forum there are those who freely speak about their Christian beliefs, and they get flamed by some people (not necessarily you), saying that they are stupid for believing in God. They are insulted, they are belittled, and they are made to feel foolish.

If that's not difficult, then tell me what is.

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February 13th, 2016, 2:43 pm
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
Pablo, the "absolute truth" as you call it, that prayer has zero impact is not absolute at all. Prayer is a hope. It's a faith in something that might happen. If that were a non impacting thing, then explain the placebo effect? Why is it every test for medication requires it? Because that faith and hope can lead to the problem vanishing even if the patients are given sugar pills. It's not just positive thoughts.

Atheism usually gets attacked when they try to deny that they are a religion. Agnosticism is not knowing, but since Atheists believe, they have their own faith, and as such are hypocrites when they try to smear religion. But just because people are more apt to call anyone, regardless of subject, on bullshit, they find themselves in the crosshairs from time to time. And of course the media will blow it up to be something bigger than it is. Just like islamaphobia. You'd think hate crimes were through the roof against them, but it's still 6 to 1 worldwide with antisemitism compared to anti islamic crimes. And m2k is right. The number of attacks on both Judaism and Christianity are so commonplace, the media doesn't bother to report it anymore, so it's always going to look like it's not happening to those that aren't witness to it or take the time to look beyond google.

As to fate vs free will, this debate has been going on forever too. From the author of Beowulf putting christianity on top of an old norse tale to push free will, to all the stories of King Arthur that still hinted at the 3 fates from Greek Mythology mixed with the choices of man.. Our choices are forever influenced by things we have no choice in, so the question of fate or free will is forever tainted. Again, we have a faith that one or the other is the dominant force in our lives, but we might never know. Doubt is present, but doubt doesn't diminish faith. It will only strengthen it if the faith is true.


February 13th, 2016, 5:21 pm
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
m2karateman wrote:
Christian business owners who choose to speak out against anti-Christian things like abortion, homosexuality and other such things are ostracized or bad mouthed in the media.


I think one example you might cite would be Chick fil A. Their management's opposition to gay marriage was widely discussed in the media. Did it destroy their business? No. On the contrary, their business became more popular than ever before.

A counter example might be JC Penney, whose embrace of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson a few years ago sparked a wave of backlash and boycotts because of her status as an open lesbian. JCP sales plunged (though there were other factors at play).

I agree with you that people who advocate socially conservative viewpoints will be demonized by others who don't agree and many members of the media. But you see that with every viewpoint across all demographics -- The Dixie Chicks destroy their career by speaking out against GWB's foreign policy, etc. That's not an anti-Christian agenda, but rather the nature of human beings that hold different opinions.

m2karateman wrote:
Now, people not only attack them, but they target them.


According to the FBI, Jews face the most religiously-motivated hate crimes of any religion in this country, with 625 incidents in 2013. Then Muslims, with 135. Only 105 hate crimes were committed against Christians in this country in 2013, with the majority of those against Catholics (the bulk of them, therefore, were likely Christian protestants targeting their fellow Christians). Given the sheer number of Christians in this country -- tens of millions -- the odds that a Christian in the US will face violence for being a Christian is effectively 0%. And even then, it'd likely be one Christian sect attacking another.

m2karateman wrote:
Public schools barely touch on the subject of Christianity, but are now starting to push more and more the teachings of Islam.


Many public high schools offer an optional The Bible as History course. I do not know of a single such course on the Qaran.

m2karateman wrote:
The theory of Creationism is no longer discussed, but has been replaced by the Theory of Evolution. The idea of both existing independent of one another is not even a thought.


There is no evidence for creationism. There is more evidence for evolution than germ theory. It underpins all of modern biology, and by extension, modern medicine. The idea of teaching creationism or even mentioning it in schools runs counter to the very idea of the scientific method -- creationism cannot be falsified, and is therefore not scientific. Most educated Christians accept Evolution as a fact, as does the Pope, the leader of the Church of England, etc.

m2karateman wrote:
Public buildings have been stripped of symbols that have been there for over a century. Manger scenes and statues can't be put up at Christmas. Some are even vandalized on private property. Bibles are burnt, stomped on, ripped up, etc.


What exactly is your point here? No one is preventing you from putting a manger up on your property. There's no rash of vandalism against manger scenes. I've seen a few bibles burnt at rock concerts in my day, but I also see a bible in the majority of the hotels I stay at.


m2karateman wrote:
And before the mention of the separation of church and state comes up, let me explain that it had nothing to do with any of this. The separation of church as state was about not allowing the government to create a religion, or force the citizens of the country to worship at a particular religion, like the Church of England under King George at the time of the Revolution. A manger scene, a sculpture of the Ten Commandments on door in a courthouse, or a Bible sitting on the desk of a judge, is NOT forcing anyone to worship as a Christian any more than having a picture of Adolph Hitler over the desk of a district attorney is forcing you to be a Nazi.


And before you mention the right to bear arms, let me explain that the second amendment had nothing to do with average Americans owning semi-automatic guns. The second amendment was about allowing individual states to raise and maintain militias. That was to ensure that the federal government stayed in check. Also, in the days of King George and the revolution, the only guns available were slow-firing and highly inaccurate muskets. The second amendment was not about letting Joe Sixpack have a machine gun in his bedroom.

(I don't agree with that, but you see my point? The first amendment clearly states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.)

m2karateman wrote:
Christmas is no longer about Christ. Easter is no longer about Christ.


Well, if you know your history, you'd know that neither holiday was originally Christian. The Christmas holiday grew out of a series of Pagan winter solstice festivals, most famously Saturnalia. Where do you think the Christmas tree came from? Seems a little weird, doesn't it? Same for Easter. The bunnies, the eggs, the very name. A bit odd. Easter was a German earth god. Thousands of years ago, the Catholic church co-opted these holidays to help spread Christianity among the Pagan Europeans. Most biblical scholars don't think Jesus was born in December at all.

m2karateman wrote:
Businesses tell their employees to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, because some fool wants to look for something to be upset about, and uses the word Christmas as an excuse to be an aszhole.


You're being contradictory here. On the one hand, you complain about private businesses losing their right to discriminate, but then simultaneously bemoan when private businesses tell their employees what to say. So which is it? If I'm a business owner and I don't celebrate Christmas -- say because I'm an atheist, or a jew, or a muslim or maybe I belong to a Christian sect that doesn't celebrate it -- I can't tell my employees what to do?

Or are you just complaining about people whining and being offended? In that case, I'd say you're whining a whole lot more. Oh noes! They can't put a manger up on the lawn of the state capital! Not like there's not a million manger scenes on the lawns of homes and churches across the country. Oh noes! The principal doesn't lead a prayer every morning at public school (even though Jesus was very explicit in condemning such things, Matthew 6:5).

Christians represent 70% of the US population. Christians hold virtually all elected offices. Atheist children are regularly disowned by their families. There is widespread discrimination against atheists in many public spheres, notably the military. The tax code is biased towards believers. There is no anti-Christian bias in this country, the very idea is laughable.

njroar wrote:
Atheism usually gets attacked when they try to deny that they are a religion. Agnosticism is not knowing, but since Atheists believe, they have their own faith, and as such are hypocrites when they try to smear religion.


Nope. Belief is an active thing; lack of belief is not belief. For example, I doubt you believe in Thor, Zeus, Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy. Do you define your lack of belief in these beings as a belief in and of itself? Even if you want to play the semantic word game that lack of belief constitutes belief (in which case, everything is a belief and the very concept loses all meaning) atheism is certainly not a religion. There are no rituals, there are no dogmas, there are no set rules.

njroar wrote:
As to fate vs free will, this debate has been going on forever too.


The idea of a "self" or "soul" that exists and can pick and choose what to do independent of the rest of the universe would violate the laws of physics, at least as they're currently understood. That's certainly possible, but unlikely at this juncture. We haven't found it yet, and as we learn more about the brain and how different parts of it work, it's getting less likely that we'll find it.

Just think about your own thoughts for a while. Where do they come from? Try to pinpoint ideas you have -- how they originate, how they change. It's difficult -- almost impossibly so.


February 15th, 2016, 2:01 am
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
Blueskies wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
And before the mention of the separation of church and state comes up, let me explain that it had nothing to do with any of this. The separation of church as state was about not allowing the government to create a religion, or force the citizens of the country to worship at a particular religion, like the Church of England under King George at the time of the Revolution. A manger scene, a sculpture of the Ten Commandments on door in a courthouse, or a Bible sitting on the desk of a judge, is NOT forcing anyone to worship as a Christian any more than having a picture of Adolph Hitler over the desk of a district attorney is forcing you to be a Nazi.


And before you mention the right to bear arms, let me explain that the second amendment had nothing to do with average Americans owning semi-automatic guns. The second amendment was about allowing individual states to raise and maintain militias. That was to ensure that the federal government stayed in check. Also, in the days of King George and the revolution, the only guns available were slow-firing and highly inaccurate muskets. The second amendment was not about letting Joe Sixpack have a machine gun in his bedroom.

(I don't agree with that, but you see my point? The first amendment clearly states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.)


We can take this one to another topic. The Second Amendment was NOT about what the states were allowed to do, it is about what the People are allowed to do. In every other context in the Constitution, the term 'the People' is used to define INDIVIDUAL rights. The Second is about the rights of individuals to own and carry guns, not about the rights of the states to raise a militia. The Second Amendment was, and is, about the rights of the citizens of the United States to be able to protect themselves against anyone, including their own government. Whether that government be on the city, state or federal level. And there is ample evidence in the writings of various founders as to exactly what the amendment was about, why it was written the way it was, and why it was so highly regarded by them. Liberals tend to conveniently deny or ignore all of that.

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February 16th, 2016, 9:01 am
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
I am just Cherry picking here because I haven't read back through the entire thread.

2nd Amendment: Regardless of whether the 2nd was for state (militia formation) or Individual (protection) it Was written in a time where gun weaponry was very weak and crude. To imply that meant ANY type of gun is ridiculous as obviously the forefathers couldn't have known what would develop and when. Should i be able to own a rocket launcher? A Vulcan Cannon? A High Powered Military grade sniper rifle? An M16, a Handgun. I'm not saying yes or no to any of them explicitly IMO, and I am pretty sure the forefathers weren't implying "anything that could be considered "bearing arms". At some point Logic and the current government (with the guidance of the people) has to step in and start drawing lines. And to me the lines are pretty damn clear and common sense. We all have the right to self defense and to protect our property. A Handgun, hunting Rifle and a few other firearms fit that category perfectly. NOBODY needs an M16, Uzi, RPG, Ak47, etc to defend their home. Using the 2nd Amendment written hundred of years ago as a blanket statement to explain having 30 guns in your basement because your a gun hobbyist who likes the adrenaline feeling of shooting things (I've gone shooting and it was fudge fun)... is just plain ridiculous to the rest of us.

Religion in Government: I don't care if a Judge has a Bible on his Desk., but thats a lot different than making me swear on a bible to tellt he whole truth. Its even logically idiotic to assume that even if that Oath were binding to actual christians... why would it be binding to someone who doesnt believe in your god. That and many other instances similar in our current government structure need to change.


February 16th, 2016, 12:09 pm
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
m2karateman wrote:
We can take this one to another topic. The Second Amendment was NOT about what the states were allowed to do, it is about what the People are allowed to do. In every other context in the Constitution, the term 'the People' is used to define INDIVIDUAL rights. The Second is about the rights of individuals to own and carry guns, not about the rights of the states to raise a militia. The Second Amendment was, and is, about the rights of the citizens of the United States to be able to protect themselves against anyone, including their own government. Whether that government be on the city, state or federal level. And there is ample evidence in the writings of various founders as to exactly what the amendment was about, why it was written the way it was, and why it was so highly regarded by them. Liberals tend to conveniently deny or ignore all of that.


I don't want to argue this. I think you're missing my point entirely.

I'm in favor of the right to bear arms on an individual level. I think the second amendment guarantees it. But not everyone does. Some think the second amendment is really about protecting the rights of individual states to have well-regulated militias. It's called the Collective Rights theory and there's evidence for it -- notably, the second amendment includes a fair amount of context, explicitly referring to States and militias. It could've been written to simply say, "The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed." It wasn't.

My point is that the constitution should be interpreted as literally as possible, and in a manner that's biased in favor of the people. There were a lot of pro-liberty people in the 1700s that argued against the bill of rights on the grounds that, over time, it would come to be seen as the end-all list of rights. They didn't want that. So they included the ninth amendment, which specifically states that just because a right isn't clearly mentioned in the Constitution, doesn't mean that American citizens don't have it. Unfortunately, the ninth amendment has mostly been forgotten. (Conservatives often forget about it when they try to argue against Roe vs Wade on the grounds that the "Constitution doesn't guarantee your right to privacy." This is a terrible argument no one should ever make. If it must be opposed, abortion should be opposed on the grounds that it robs another being's right to life.)

If you want to start dancing around and saying things like, "well, this right is not being interpreted properly, you need to look at the context and the framer's intent and what was going on in history, etc." you open yourself up to all manner of terrible arguments. There was no Internet, social media, or the 24/7 news cycle when the Constitution was written. The framers could've never foreseen these developments. Can the government wipe away digital free speech rights on such grounds? The fourth amendment gives us security in our "papers" -- but increasingly, "papers" are being replaced by digital records. Does that mean we lose our privacy if it's not actual paper?

People have the right to practice their religion, but they also have the right to live under a secular and impartial government. Ironically, it's religious people that should want this more so than atheists.

Think about it. It may seem insane, but imagine a day, perhaps 50 or 100 years from now, when the majority of Americans are a different religion. Perhaps they're Muslims, or Hindu, or Mormon. Stranger things have happened in history. Imagine this majority of non-traditional Christians puts their religion into law, and compels all US citizens to obey. When you go to court, you're compelled to swear in on a Quran rather than a bible, you have to go pray in public 5 times a day, etc. Now, me as an atheist, would be bothered by this, but not to an existential extent. Fine, I put my hand on a different book of lies -- who cares? I pretend to pray for a few minutes. No biggie. A Christian would be freaking out, maybe fearing eternal damnation.

I heard a Christian make this argument about Trump's proposed ban on Muslims coming into the country -- and it made sense to me. If the President can ban Muslims from coming into the country, why couldn't a future leader bar Christians?


February 17th, 2016, 3:15 am
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Post Re: The War of Gog and Magog...Revisited.
Blueskies wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
We can take this one to another topic. The Second Amendment was NOT about what the states were allowed to do, it is about what the People are allowed to do. In every other context in the Constitution, the term 'the People' is used to define INDIVIDUAL rights. The Second is about the rights of individuals to own and carry guns, not about the rights of the states to raise a militia. The Second Amendment was, and is, about the rights of the citizens of the United States to be able to protect themselves against anyone, including their own government. Whether that government be on the city, state or federal level. And there is ample evidence in the writings of various founders as to exactly what the amendment was about, why it was written the way it was, and why it was so highly regarded by them. Liberals tend to conveniently deny or ignore all of that.


I don't want to argue this. I think you're missing my point entirely.

I'm in favor of the right to bear arms on an individual level. I think the second amendment guarantees it. But not everyone does. Some think the second amendment is really about protecting the rights of individual states to have well-regulated militias. It's called the Collective Rights theory and there's evidence for it -- notably, the second amendment includes a fair amount of context, explicitly referring to States and militias. It could've been written to simply say, "The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed." It wasn't.

My point is that the constitution should be interpreted as literally as possible, and in a manner that's biased in favor of the people. There were a lot of pro-liberty people in the 1700s that argued against the bill of rights on the grounds that, over time, it would come to be seen as the end-all list of rights. They didn't want that. So they included the ninth amendment, which specifically states that just because a right isn't clearly mentioned in the Constitution, doesn't mean that American citizens don't have it. Unfortunately, the ninth amendment has mostly been forgotten. (Conservatives often forget about it when they try to argue against Roe vs Wade on the grounds that the "Constitution doesn't guarantee your right to privacy." This is a terrible argument no one should ever make. If it must be opposed, abortion should be opposed on the grounds that it robs another being's right to life.)

If you want to start dancing around and saying things like, "well, this right is not being interpreted properly, you need to look at the context and the framer's intent and what was going on in history, etc." you open yourself up to all manner of terrible arguments. There was no Internet, social media, or the 24/7 news cycle when the Constitution was written. The framers could've never foreseen these developments. Can the government wipe away digital free speech rights on such grounds? The fourth amendment gives us security in our "papers" -- but increasingly, "papers" are being replaced by digital records. Does that mean we lose our privacy if it's not actual paper?

People have the right to practice their religion, but they also have the right to live under a secular and impartial government. Ironically, it's religious people that should want this more so than atheists.

Think about it. It may seem insane, but imagine a day, perhaps 50 or 100 years from now, when the majority of Americans are a different religion. Perhaps they're Muslims, or Hindu, or Mormon. Stranger things have happened in history. Imagine this majority of non-traditional Christians puts their religion into law, and compels all US citizens to obey. When you go to court, you're compelled to swear in on a Quran rather than a bible, you have to go pray in public 5 times a day, etc. Now, me as an atheist, would be bothered by this, but not to an existential extent. Fine, I put my hand on a different book of lies -- who cares? I pretend to pray for a few minutes. No biggie. A Christian would be freaking out, maybe fearing eternal damnation.

I heard a Christian make this argument about Trump's proposed ban on Muslims coming into the country -- and it made sense to me. If the President can ban Muslims from coming into the country, why couldn't a future leader bar Christians?



The militia argument has been around for a long time. It's easy to make it confusing because legal english and standard english put different emphasis on words and punctuation. The comma is a pause in standard english, where it's a break of clause in legal english. "The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed." is a separate and qualifying clause in the amendment, and if you read the federalist papers, it clearly explained that the people equals everyone. Much like "and" is more definitive in legal language. In standard english it's just an addition, where in legal language it's a hard line that BOTH must be true. So when "cruel and unusual punishment" is considered, it has to be both, not just one. Just because you can consider something cruel or unusual, it wouldn't be considered wrong unless both were true.

So when people say it should be around the original intent, I think it's about sticking to the original meaning of the text, not changing the meaning by trying to modernize the language aspect which then makes the meaning more vague. Even Scalia, who was a strict originalist said the 2nd amendment is an individual's right to self defense, but that didn't mean it wasn't without limits. He wasn't arguing for legalizing rocket launchers or fully automatic weapons, and I don't think anyone would argue that felons still have a right to own a firearm. The self defense aspect does open to the question to where does your right to self defense end, such as only in your home, or wherever you go, but that is where interpretation is completely valid. The ruling that it is a personal right, is firmly established.

As for religions, I think most forget that at the beginning of this nation, every state had it's own religious domination. There were more religions back then than there are now, since everything is rolled into Christianity instead of standing alone. The government shouldn't favor one over the other, but there's nothing saying the government can't or won't be influenced by religion. The only mention of "separation of church and state" in an official document is from Jefferson to an official in CT basically saying the same thing. The Constitution only gives the freedom to all, and the guarantee government won't interfere or favor one over the other. That's it.

There is no guarantee of immigration. The first duty of the government is to protect its citizens. If there's a threat, it's the duty of the government to protect its citizens first. So when Trump made the statement, it's goes against everything humanitarian in us, but it's every right of the government to do so, especially when both the CIA and FBI say it's impossible to vet that many incoming refugees. Pausing immigrants from a particular region immediately after attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, is something anyone in power would have as an option. We all want to help people, but it isn't always smart to do so. When religion mixes with certain ideologies, you can't ignore it.


February 17th, 2016, 9:50 am
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