Trump

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Re: Trump

Postby spongebob » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:30 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:The argument you present is really a defence of oligarchy not of democracy. John Calvin mentions these three types of government then uses pretty much the same argument you use here for oligarchy and against monarchy, in spite of dedicating his book to the French king!


I don't understand. Why is his argument more supportive of oligarchy than democracy? Is it just a matter of the details in the definition or are you saying there's something there that specifically supports one over the other? And isn't democracy just a far more complex system than oligarchy, so some of the traits overlap?
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Trump

Postby spongebob » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:29 pm

KTR, I thought about your speech regarding religion and although I firmly believe that there are virtually no signs that religion's grasp on humanity is at all weakening, I do feel that there at least a few encouraging things to affirm.

One is that Christianity, the world's most popular religion, has evolved to a far more intellectual state than it was before the reformation. Protestantism is to thank for that, of course, but even so Protestantism has backslid quite a bit itself. Once welcoming of intellectual thought, in just the last half century it has become the refuge of the backward thinkers, purveyor of irrational fears and worst of all, a breeding ground for all sorts of ill will, such as hatred for people who are doing nothing more than trying to live a happy life as the people they are. I'm talking mostly about people of non-traditional sexual lifestyles and atheists. We seem to have become the witches of old. There are illuminating voices within Christianity but they are faint compared to those harsh voices of hatred. It's incumbent upon the people of Christianity to change this arc or else turn us all back to a second dark age.

Second is that I feel that atheists may be throwing gasoline on a fire by promoting things such as the end of religion or preaching that religion is a bad thing. Certainly among ourselves we can recount the negatives of religion, but when you do this in public, no matter what you say, no matter how well constructed your argument is, all Christians will hear is that atheists want to ban religion. That's all, nothing else. So I think we should consider a better approach. Of course I'm not advocating changing your stance on criticizing religion, just drawing a line at openly advocating its demise.

And finally, probably the biggest thing, is that one of religion's biggest problems is toleration of other religions. We atheists can help with that. We should be leaders, demonstrating how we have to tolerate all religions and learn to navigate them in order to survive in a religious world. Religious people see us as a threat, an opponent, even as dangerous. That needs to change. I'm certainly not a threat to any religious person, but I see it all the time in the way they speak, the way they vote, and what they believe about atheists and other religions. These are the true problems that lead to conflict, not the actual beliefs and practice of religion. I think the rise of homosexual acceptance demonstrates this. Many people now speak very comfortably about homosexuals who, just a decade ago, were flat out homophobic. I still know people who are homophobic and I always try to probe and ask questions to understand what motivates this. So often it's just irrational fears and people can often learn to overcome this.

Furthermore, I still don't believe its even wise to encourage people to give up religion en masse. Too many people just need that kind of structure and guidance in their lives. There are certainly non-religious forms of guidance but people in general are not conditioned to accept leadership like that; they seem to accept it much better in the form of supernatural intervention, so what are we going to do? Go against eons of evolution and culture? Much better to try and influence the system as it is if you ask me.
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Trump

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:25 pm

I thought people might find this interesting
https://www.change.org/p/donald-trump-a-declaration-by-american-evangelicals-concerning-donald-trump
Donald Trump's campaign is the most recent and extreme version of a history of racialized politics that has been pursued and about which white evangelicals, in particular, have been silent. The silence in previous times has set the environment for what we now see.
For this reason, we cannot ignore this bigotry, set it aside, just focus on other issues, or forget the things Mr. Trump has consistently said and done. No matter what other issues we also care about, we have to make it publicly clear that Mr. Trump’s racial and religious bigotry and treatment of women is morally unacceptable to us as evangelical Christians, as we attempt to model Jesus’ command to “love your neighbors as yourself.
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.
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