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Thats my opinion Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:10 PM
Original message
responses to my bits
I have been overwhelmed by the number of responses to my three posts. As i have gone through them, I have already responded to a quite a few, but the volume is beyond me. In the next days I will try and summarize what I have been hearing and take a crack at answering.

First, I am curious why a sturdy handful seem to despise anything that has to do with religion and theology, and use their frequent comments for no other purpose than to attack the notion that religion and/or theology have anything to say. It would be like vegans deeply involved in a forum about how to cook pot roast, or flat-earthers commenting on the dangers of space travel. They must just be very angry about something in their history. I doubt it that is a theological problem. There are all sorts of fundamentalists--religious and non-religious, but they have one thing in common. They believe they have total control of the truth and must therefore spend their time attacking those with a broader perspective. I no longer listen or respond to religious fundamentalists--just suggest they get a life. Now I know why this forum is said to include the nastiest collection of commentators in all of DU.

But there are a series of good questions and sound arguments many others have offered and they deserve a response. Among them is the persistent notion that theology and ethics have no relationship to each other. I suggest that theology is simple mental gymnastics unless its is somehow connected to society and to the rest of life. Try telling ML King that what he believed had nothing to do with segregation--or that Dietrich Bonhoeffer saw no relationship between the terror of the Nazi regime and what the confessing underground church in Germany had to be about. The argument offered in these responses suggests that science has nothing to do with what scientists are about or the meaning of what goes on in a laboratory.

That's enough for now.
thats my opinion
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Since I had no idea what your "bits" might be,
I searched to find your earlier threads. What occurs to me is that you aren't addressing the issues raised in those threads, but are, instead, starting new threads that dimly reference the old ones. Without specifics, it's very difficult to know what you mean.

Here's my suggestion: Make an actual statement in a thread, wait for responses, then engage in a dialog with those who respond. The way you're approaching this so far is to tell us that you have ideas, but not what those I ideas are. Then, when people reply within the thread you began, you are silent. Later, you start a new thread that says how people ignored your earlier thread and that you will, at some time, have something to say about the earlier threads.

On DU, threads are pretty much self-contained. Issues raised in a thread are normally dealt with in that thread. New issues? New thread.

This hodgepodge approach you are taking will not get the discussion you claim to desire, I'm afraid.

There's really nothing in your post in this thread to reply to.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, go figure.
You act like a pompous ass and make callous, bigoted comments about non-believers, and people get all huffy. Who woulda thunk it?
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Thats my opinion Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. pompous ass bigoted comments?
Please quote back to me what I have said like that.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 06:11 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. skepticscott did below in post #16. n/t
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I'm guessing that he
Edited on Sat May-07-11 07:12 AM by skepticscott
has me on ignore, virtually, if not actually. For all his claims to want thoughtful discussion, he seems incapable of it.

And can the "tone argument" be long in coming?
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Oh, I'm of the opinion that he sincerely wants thoughtful discussion.
However, he defines "thoughtful discussion" as "people agreeing with how right I am."
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Exactly
As opposed to discussion involving thought.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. This was the most telling statement in your post:
"Now I know why this forum is said to include the nastiest collection of commentators in all of DU."

Goodness me. It's a wonder you post at all, you know. That's not going to encourage polite conversation at all, you know...
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. A trifecta!
Edited on Fri May-06-11 03:36 PM by darkstar3
1. "It would be like vegans deeply involved in a forum about how to cook pot roast, or flat-earthers commenting on the dangers of space travel. They must just be very angry about something in their history."

Not only do you completely ignore the fact that religion forces its way into many aspects of American life whether it is welcome or not, you engage here in two old memes rolled together: "Shut up, atheist" and "Atheists must just hate God|Religion|faith." With each post you show more that you are ignorant of any thought processes happening in the brains of those who don't think just like you do.

2. "There are all sorts of fundamentalists--religious and non-religious..."

No, there really aren't. How can a person be a fundamentalist if they have no fundamental documents, creeds, or beliefs? A non-religious fundamentalist is an oxymoron. And don't bother with the "what about fundamentalist vegans?!" tripe, because that's simply another oxymoron. Fundamentalist is a term that can only accurately describe someone who adheres to a strict interpretation of a foundational religious text or creed.

3. Your entire last paragraph, which uses an appeal to authority fallacy and a false equivalency to state that theology is inextricably tied with ethics. Fallacies do not make cases.
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xfundy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
5. Trolling for "proof" you're being "persecuted"?
You expect everyone to agree with you that there's an invisible man in the sky, donkeys and snakes can talk, and the act of one person eating an apple makes us all guilty.

And then you get huffy when people from the real world respond.

You're getting what you came for, so why complain?
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Thats my opinion Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Hardly
If you read anything I have said where did you get the idea that I have an invisible man in the sky, donkeys and snakes that can talk, and the act of one person eating an apple that makes all of us guilty? Don't try and stuff me into an old mold that I have nothing to do with.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #14
22. Leave the mold stuffing to you?
Because you are a master at it.
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laconicsax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
6. Stop. Just stop.
Rather than posting new OPs to make vague generalized statements that allegedly address responses to your previous posts and lamenting the fact that you have so many responses to read, respond to comments directly in the threads you start.

Your first post about "thoughtful discussion" is laughable since it is now obvious that (unless you change your methods) you have no interest in "thoughtful discussion."

Respond to comments in the threads you start rather than starting new threads to avoid what is said.
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edhopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. You completely misunderstand
Yes many religious people and theologians deal with ethics and get their ethical view from their religion.
But there is an ongoing suggestion that religion is necessary for ethics. We of the No Faith community strongly disagree.
Further we say that religion and God are not necessary for a ethical or moral code.
If you do not understand that, you just don't get the debate.
As far as why we are mad at times for what people do in the name of religion. No it's not some personal history. How about half the things the GOP tries to ram down our throats, from abortion restrictions to prayer in school to creationism are all based on their religious beliefs. How about 9/11 or the bombing of abortion clinics. Since we don't consider the basis of these religions to be legitimate (i.e. there is no God) we do not suffer their actions lightly.
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Thats my opinion Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. we agree on most things that really matter
It may surprise you to know that I agree with everything you said in your last paragraph. My guess is that on matters that really count there are few things I and this series of responders don't agree about. These are the things I write about every Wednesday in newspapers and other electronic outlets. These columns are published under editorials in DU every Wednesday afternoon, and if you will have a look at them you would probably say, "right on." Try looking at the one published this very Wednesday--and let me know what you think. The castigation to which I am subject in this forum is the result of my contention that there is a religious basis for what I write and believe, even if the newspaper columns are not worded in theological language. I've paid my dues as a political and social radical. Among other things, I was cited by the grand jury as a co-conspirator in the Chicago 8 situation. No one has to accept my contention that ethics and religion have a positive relationship. If you come to similar social conclusions via other avenues, I can only applaud your process. I do not criticize atheists or even Marxists. I only ask that they recognize that there are vast numbers of us with a religious motivation who come out just where you all do.
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Thats my opinion Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. this Wednesday's column
In case you all can't find it, here is my column for this week.
ARE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BEING FOOLED?(5/6)

One of the inherent problems for all of us who engage in trying to interpret the signs of the time, is the temptation to think we know more about a highly technical subject than we do. No matter how much research I think I do, often I realize that I have made only the slightest scratch on the surface of what I need to know. I am reminded that for every complex problem there is a simple solution---which is probably wrong! For some time I ended these columns with the tag, but thats just my opinion, indicating a hesitancy to pontificate. But that line got misinterpreted so I ceased using it.

One of the areas about which I have too little knowledge is the whole field of economics. I am currently doing a study on money, and at this point Im not even sure how it ought to be defined. Is it credit, debt, official pieces of paper or metal objects, conch shells, wooden sticks, tulip bulbs? Who decides what money is or how to judge its value? Is there anything behind the paper I have in my wallet other than my faith in the government?

There are a few things, however, which are beginning to come clear. It is increasingly obvious that in this nation the control of wealth is gushing toward the top. Money is being redistributed all rightthose who have it are getting more and those who dont have it are getting less. Consider the following statistics reported by the Federal Reservethe private big bank controlled Corporation which decides how much money is in circulation.

The wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own over one-third of the nations wealth, and their share grows every year. The poorest 50% own just about 2% of the nations wealthand their share declines every year. The wealthiest 1% therefore own a bigger piece of the pie than the poorest 90%. These elite folks also own two-thirds of the nations business assets. The wealthiest 5% own 94% of the value of the nations bonds and 80% of the nations stocks.

It gets worse. Forbes Magazine reported that from 1994-1997 the wealth of the 400 richest Americans grew by an average of $940 million each, for an increase of $1.3 million every day for every person in this elite group! In 2010 25 hedge fund operators pocketed a total of $22 billion on which they paid the absurd tax rate of 15%. John Paulson earned $4.5 billion---without producing a thing! Much of this gain can be accounted for by the Bush tax reduction for the very rich. How did they earn this money? By living in and benefiting from America. And now Congressman Ryan and the Republicans want to make these cuts permanent. Furthermore the Ryan plan to reduce the national debt includes doing away with all inheritance taxes while even further lowering the tax rates on the wealthy and eliminating taxes on capital gains, most of which are held by Americas plutocracy.

You dont need to be a PhD in economics or a rocket scientist to realize that the corporate power which controls American politics has designed the program to further enrich the rich at the expense of the poor. And it is increasingly clear to anyone who looks at the Ryan proposals that the real purpose is not just to reduce the debt and erase yearly deficits, but also to gut the safety net which guarantees some level of protection for the left out. What is under attack is education, health care, Medicare, and eventually Social Security.

I am continually amazed that the American people not lucky or sufficiently gifted to be part of that one percent, including most Tea Party advocates, are not outraged. How is it they have been fooled into believing that the creation of an American plutocracy at the expense of everyone else is just fine? Sooner or later I believe the average Joe and Jane will realize how badly they have been fooled. When that happens my guess is there will be a massive political explosion which may not even be a good thing for the plutocrats.
Charles Bayer





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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Your agenda seems quite clear now
Edited on Fri May-06-11 05:29 PM by skepticscott
if there was ever any doubt. Make warm and fuzzy with anyone who seems to think as you do, while avoiding any substantive engagement with anyone who criticizes your position or questions the truth of your assertions. Not to mention grossly mischaracterizing that criticism, to the point of blatant intellectual dishonesty.

Add to that, shilling for your own column, with topics inappropriate to this forum.
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edhopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I have no doubt that
politically you agree with most here. Else why be on DU.
But here in the R/T forum we take for granted that most are liberal politically and agree on issues of policy.
But many of us non-believers have very little regard for God or religion. And we are here to challenge those ideas. That is not to say we don't believe in freedom of Religion and will stand with all against the Republican horde.
But we come here specifically to debate religion and God and we if we don't accept your ideas, be prepared to have at it.
I am sure you are a fine person and hope you realize that most of us are attacking what you are saying, not you as a person.
(some do go over the top, but that is the internet for you.)
We know there are many good people of faith, we just don't think their belief correlates to any truth.
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Thats my opinion Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #11
24. Thanks
Yours is a rational posting. If you read though the responses to my postings I doubt if you can claim hat these are not personal attacks. I am perfectly willing and able to deal with serious discussion. I'm not certain there is much of it here. But I am nor about to give up--yet.
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Spare us
you've avoided responding in any substantive way to essentially every post pointing out flaws in your arguments. You seem to dismiss every response that doesn't make you feel good as a "personal attack". Is that what you call "serious discussion"?
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Bullshit.
"The castigation to which (you are) subject in this forum" is a direct result of your insensitive and bigoted comments concerning non-believers, as well as your overall behavior, acting as if non-believers certainly have no place in a Religion/Theology forum. Quit portraying yourself as an innocent martyr. You have INSULTED people directly and indirectly - why are you surprised at the backlash?
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Thats my opinion Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. Essential?
Religion is not essential to ethical thought and action. Many of the people with the highest ethical sensitivities have no relationship to religion. But some of us do. Allow it.
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. And yet you said
and I quote, "None of us would want to live in a society without some sort of an ethical sensitivity based on solid religious faith."

Tell us again why you or anything you say should be taken seriously. You can't even keep your own stories straight.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. "Allow it."
Has someone forbidden you from being religious and ethical?
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:23 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. To bad that's not what you said everywhere else.
We could call off the atheist holy war on you.
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westerebus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Call off the atheist * un * holy war on you.
There. I fixed it for you. ;)
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