The Raving Theist

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Ask a Stupid Question

June 13, 2006 | 70 Comments

Like religion, separation of church and state is a topic as poorly understood by the poll-givers as it is by the poll-takers. According to this article, “Church and State Separation Splits Americans.” That conclusion is based on CBS News poll which included the following questions and results:

(1) In general, do you think that teaching the Bible in a public school does or does not violate the Constitution and the separation of church and state?

Does violate 46%

Does not violate 46%

(2) Do you think public schools should or should not be allowed to teach the Bible as a piece of literature, in classes like English or Social Studies?

Should 64%

Should not 29%

The article correctly notes that the controversy originated with the early 1960’s Supreme Court decisions which forbade Bible readings but permitted teaching the scriptures as literature. The ban on readings — i.e., compulsory sectarian prayers — caused national outrage and was widely perceived as throwing God out of the schools. Given this context, the poll questions are flawed for a number of reasons.

First, neither question addresses the issue of reading or reciting from the Bible as a form of prayer or worship. Instead, both frame the issue as one of “teaching” the Bible. And the first question asks about teaching it “in general,” as if the question could be meaningfully answered without knowing whether the scriptures were being taught as fact or fiction. Insofar as the question is framed as a constitutional one, that is the central distinction — teaching that the Bible is the literal or inspired word of God is establishing religion, whereas an examination of its literary merits, cautiously approached, may be permissible.

The mere fact that the first question is framed in constitutional terms is another problem. Bible prayer is plainly unconstitutional, but the question isn’t meant to elicit a confirmation of that dry legal conclusion. It’s really asking whether church/state separation should be ignored, whether God should be restored to the classroom. That agenda is confirmed by a third poll question quoted by the article, “[w]ould you like to see religious and spiritual values have more influence in the schools than they do now?”

Also note that the second question isn’t ditches the issue of constitutionality in favor of asking whether the Bible “should or should not” be taught in a particular way. What Americans are “split” over, as the headline suggests, is not whether church/state separation is constitutionally required. Rather, the debate is over whether it should be respected at all.

Comments

70 Responses to “Ask a Stupid Question”

  1. Thorngod
    June 13th, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

    The 64% affirmative on question 2 reflects the opinions of atheists, freethinkers and most mainstream Christians. Of the dissenters, most are fundamentalists who want Christian prayer and religious Bible teaching in schools. They, of course, are very much opposed to the Bible being taught as mere literature or as the annals of semi-primitive tribes. The split vote on question one merely reflects the depth of ignorance among the American public about their Constitution and the political and moral considerations on which it was formulated.

  2. Mookie
    June 13th, 2006 @ 2:20 pm

    I think most people believe the Bible should be taught for some of the better memes. (Please don’t bother pointing out that there are more detrimental than good memes.) Of course, you can look in many religious texts and pick out some of the ideas that still have application in today’s context, but this doesn’t mean the story that wraps around the meme ought to be passed on as truth or fact. Why waste time with the legends of one culture, when you can gather the good memes contained within myths from all cultures and put them together? The secret hope is that, by the end of their schooling, children will have been exposed to stories from all over, and will see that they are fiction used to impart some gem of a meme, and will reject any and all claims to the supernatural as old, ignorant, and close-minded superstitions. The other product would be those who were pantheists, which I guess is still a step above the fundie nutters.

  3. Dave
    June 13th, 2006 @ 5:45 pm

    It is a sad but well known fact that many americans are not very educated on history, geography, or even in their chosen religion.

    I admit that my own geography skills leave something to be desired, but when it comes to knowing and understanding the constitution and the role that it plays in our country, I am no slouch by any means. I chose to be an atheist, coming from a christian upbringing, because of the overwhelming evidence contradicting the bible.

    We, as a people – not just atheists, need to make education one of our highest prioritys. Only then will this tide of closed mindedness start to turn back and recede from whence it came.

    Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. — George Santayana
    – peace

  4. Chris Treborn
    June 13th, 2006 @ 6:48 pm

    The American education system is among the best in the world Dave. I realize that we “need to make education one of our highest prioritys” and as you have indicated, that seems to be true in your country as well.

  5. Dave
    June 13th, 2006 @ 10:45 pm

    Uninformed as usual Chris. Don’t pretend that you know me, OK.

    I was speaking of closed minded folks that do not see the value of the seperation of chuch and state guarantee we have in the 1st amendment.

    What if there were a huge push for Buddist or Jewish teachings in our high schools. I’d bet every christian of all variants would be screaming for the enforcement of that amendment. It protects all of us both great and small from the encroachment of forced religion of any kind.

    We do indeed have some of the best schools in the world, however many of them are not high schools.
    – peace

  6. IA_
    June 13th, 2006 @ 10:48 pm

    Get rid of public schools and the controversy will become moot.

  7. Chris Treborn
    June 13th, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

    Dave, I would not pretend to know you, any more than I would pretend to be a homosexual. Americans are among the most educated people in the world, asshole.

  8. bernarda
    June 14th, 2006 @ 2:58 am

    If Chris T is a product of American schools, he is living proof of the contrary of what he asserts, “The American education system is among the best in the world Dave.”

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0923110.html

    American students are at best mediocre.

    Chris t, “Americans are among the most educated people in the world, asshole.”

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/roper2006/

    Putting xtian superstition in schools is not going to make Americans more educated. It is primarily because Americans are so uneducated that they act like such ignorant jerkoffs like ChrisT.

  9. physics teacher
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:09 am

    Take it from someone who works at a highschool, our kids are poorly educated compaired with those kids from overseas. its very very sad. lets thank those nut jods from P.A. that had ID put into there schools and removed Evolution. I wish those ID nuts would stay the hell away from our Science Hospitals and just prey to get better. when the shit hits the fan those losers aways turn back to science to save there sick asses.

  10. Erik
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:54 am

    It is also illustrative that some of the most educated populations — in northern Europe and Japan, for example — are educated for the most part in systems that do not have religious instruction. It is also illustrative that some of the worst performing states of the US are in the South; i.e., the area of the country with the highest percentage of religious population. So at best you could say that religious instrution and overall education are not correlative at all; what you definitely cannot say with any justification is that religious instruction is instrumental in overall education.

  11. diogenes
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:54 am

    Even if you get all of your schools without religion, your people still will be religious. Why? Simply because the main conveyor belt of religious ideas is home. Who is there the main personage? Mom. Compel women to take two courses of science and maybe the situation will be better. Moms will be in a quandary: Will she teach little john the world is 6000 years old or 4 billion years?

    But I don’t think that even this measure will be totally successful. Japan and Western Europe still have 50-60% of believers in an environment favorable to disbelief and I don’t discount that this could be reversed, see Poland. There is something in the humankind which resists giving up the Myths. I don’t know what it is.

    Once upon a time there was no school, and it came to pass that religion had a very strong grip in the “soul” of the people. (Diogenes 4:23)

  12. beepbeepitsme
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:58 am

    The question would be: “What literary merits?”

  13. Darius
    June 14th, 2006 @ 9:07 am

    I always wonder why Christian ardor for teaching religion in the schools isn’t reflected in pushing for more study of the Book of Tao and the Bhagava Gita. So curious…

  14. Sarah
    June 14th, 2006 @ 11:59 am

    Lies, damn lies, and polls I guess ;-)

    I’ll be sure to look at any poll by CBS with a weary eye from now on, thanks for the article.

    SubversiveMinds has a article this week for all us heathens.
    A Message from god

    FUNNY!

  15. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

    “Take it from someone who works at a highschool, our kids are poorly educated compaired with those kids from overseas. ”

    compaired?
    Those kids? Which ones are you referring to?
    What do you do in this high school, clean the toilets?
    What an asshole.

    If you compare American students with european or asian countries you will find that they are among the best.
    I love the United States and I don’t take kindly to people who don’t know how to spell trying to rag on my country.

  16. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 12:21 pm

    “when the shit hits the fan those losers aways turn back to science to save there sick asses.”

    There sick asses? You have no concept of basic grammar do you asshole? If you really are a “physics teacher” then you are a good example of how “science” has become a tool for liberals rather than an objective study or reality. As Einstein said, without religon, science is lame.

  17. physics teacher
    June 14th, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

    “Take it from someone who works at a highschool, our kids are poorly educated compaired with those kids from overseas. ”

    compaired?
    Those kids? Which ones are you referring to?
    What do you do in this high school, clean the toilets?
    What an asshole.

    If you compare American students with european or asian countries you will find that they are among the best.
    I love the United States and I don’t take kindly to people who don’t know how to spell trying to rag on my country.

    First, I am dyslexic and I don’t give a shit if you don’t like my spilling. you clearly understand what I was saying so who fucking cares
    second, The kids I am talking about are foreigen exange students in my physics classes who almost allways do better the the kids from the usa.
    did you even look at the links provided by bernarda
    I bet you did not.
    here they are agian in case you what to that your fucking head out of the sand

    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0923110.html

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/roper2006/

    “I don’t take kindly to people who don’t know how to spell trying to rag on my country.”
    your intolerance is indicative of your ignorance
    I ask a student to spell if for my so you could unda stan

    Fags hate dogs
    that means you , you snivelling whiney little bitch.

  18. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 12:50 pm

    Physics teacher, if you are teaching exchange students then you must be, at best, a high school teacher. What’s wrong, couldn’t hack it in grad school? I don’t need some loser drop out telling me anything, especially, if he is mentally impaired and can’t even spell properly. Maybe your students are shit because you’re not a very good teacher. Did you think about that?

  19. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

    by the way physics loser, dyslexia doesn’t make you confuse there and their, that comes from pure ignorance

  20. physics teacher
    June 14th, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

    cris treborn or is it crist reborn, was that a spelling mistake or did you read the script for the butterfly effect?
    did you come up with that one yourself or did you steel it from some one who did think it up for themselves?
    tisk tisk, which one of the ten commandments did you brake
    I think it was # 7 if I can remember those wasted days at sundayschool. I had to go because my father was the pastor

    your intolerance is indicative of your ignorance
    your stupidity is indicative of belief system

  21. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    physice loser, you seem to be losing it. Stop and try to look at the words you are writing. Steel? Seriously. You come off as a nut job with your grade school grammar and spelling. If your father was a pastor you should know better. God bless you, asshole.

  22. physics teacher
    June 14th, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

    by the way physics loser, dyslexia doesn’t make you confuse there and their, that comes from pure ignorance
    crist regurgitated
    you seem to alot about Ignorane
    And by the way, I am getting my PHD in a year, Yes I want to school while I was teaching school
    Ha Ha Ha you are such a fool
    I don’t and just about everyone else don’t give two,to, too (whitch,wich,which one,won it is)shits about you not liking my spelling
    your funny

    your intolerance is indicative of your ignorance
    your stupidity is indicative of belief system

  23. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 1:08 pm

    Physics loser, I am getting a PhD in physics as well. And one in Mathematics.

    See how easy that was. It’s called making shit up. Someone with your minimal intelligence could never get a doctorate. It’s pathetic that you try to lie about it. You are like that sick idiot choobus who also claims to have a PhD in physics, but all he ever talks about is anal sex. Maybe you are choobus. Either way, you are an asshole.

  24. bernarda
    June 14th, 2006 @ 2:12 pm

    Well ChrisT, explain to us the physics of god’s asshole! You are a liar. You don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground.

    You didn’t even look at the statistics on the mediocre performance of American students that were posted twice. I have other test examples that show the same results.

    If you were a Phd candidate, that would show that America is even further up shit creek than one could imagine.

  25. Rob
    June 14th, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

    Chris T, are you sure you are a Christian? The evidence so far, from what I gathered from your various posts, show that you haven’t become a better person for being a Christian. I think, that by posing as a dumb-ass Christian full of prejudice and scorn, you are steering people away from Christianity.

    Thanks for coming here, and may you continue to keep hordes of unbelievers away from the temptations of religion! Hallelujah!

  26. Dave
    June 14th, 2006 @ 3:02 pm

    I agree! I have officially changed my mind! We need more confused christians here.
    Chris, you are welcome here any time. It is only with your help and your confused, closed minded, outbursts that we will someday rid ourselves of fictional religions. Thanks for helping the cause BROTHER!
    Dave
    BTW:maybe there is a God, and he has demonstrated his sense of humor by creating you for our enjoyment. (naaa… it’s just evolution getting it wrong, again.)

  27. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 3:35 pm

    Dave, you have nothing original to say so you should probably just shut up. God created you, for some reason, and that means he must have a plan in which assholes are necessary.

  28. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

    “Dave, you have nothing original to say so you should probably just shut up”

    Hey Chris: You have, so far as I can see, never added anything to a conversation. Maybe you should take your own advice?

  29. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 4:23 pm

    Snap, don’t you have homework to be getting on with? You are too dumb to understand what I bring to the table, and your willful ignorance is only amplified by your devotion to the cult of atheism.

  30. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

    Chris, you are a fervant retard. You were completely pwned in the thread about Phelps, your ideology is as thin as oil upon water. Why is Homosexuality evil? What makes it evil? Just cause god says it? That was the best you could provide. You bring nothing to this table, you are a waste of precious life.

    Enjoy your delusions, that are both unsupported by your own admission and completely illogical and irrational by any other measure.

  31. Tenspace
    June 14th, 2006 @ 4:56 pm
  32. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

    And before you get all ‘high and mighty’ on me about my youth and spelling, I am aware that it was fervent.

  33. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

    tenspace, snap asshole, all you godless idiots, why don’t you stop pretending you are so superior and take a look at what we are trying to tell you. Are you that sure of yourselves that you risk eternal damnation? If so you are brave or stupid, or both. Ignorance may be bliss, but when the car you didn’t know about hits you the bliss goes away. Think about that assholes.

  34. bUCKET__
    June 14th, 2006 @ 5:34 pm

    oh noes it teh pasca lreborn

  35. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

    “Ignorance may be bliss”

    You talking about yourself there chris? Cause, we are the ones that have evidence for what we believe in. You, on the other hand, only have faith. You expect us to take you seriously?

    Not only that, but your idea of heaven and hell are completely illogical, why would I want to spend eternity with the likes of you, given the extremely improbably chance that you are right? I would much rather spend eternity in hell with hordes of other people, than in heaven with such an uncaring, irrational god who only wants people who follow for blind faith, like yourself.

    You ask us to think! That’s why we’re in this situation you tool! You think for a change, you poor illogical man. A man trapped in his own delusions. Ignorance sure is bliss isn’t it Chrissy?

  36. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

    Snappy, why are you so angry? Maybe I hit a raw nerve. You choose not to learn about the bible because you need your atheism. It is like a special club where your arrogance makes you feel superior to everyone of faith, even though you avoid actually thinking about the reasons why people do believe in God. As an atheist you automatically consider yourself to be superior, and all theists are treated as though they were drooling idiots. It’s rather pitiful that you need this atheism as a mental prop to bolster your lack of confidence in yourself. LEarning about the ways of God has the opposite effect: it empowers you so that you can face the harsh realities of the world and make some sense out of it all, as horrible as it may sometimes be. You prefer to simply scoff ad BILLIONS of people because you “just know” you are right. This extreme arrogance is not justifiable at all.

  37. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 6:54 pm

    I’ll ignore the arrogance, and the illogical suppositions posited, and address the one question I found.

    Why, oh fair and noble Chris, do people believe in god?

  38. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:00 pm

    If you put a jar of pickles in your fridge and then go watch TV do you believe that it is still there? Of course you do, even though you can’t see it. The amazing world we live in is that jar and it is all around us all the time, and we can see the work of god in flowers and snowflakes and everything else. How can you NOT believe in god? It’s retarded. It’s like not believing in your own parents. Your own existance is proof that such a belief is wrong. If you can’t understand this simple truth then there’s no hope for you.

  39. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:08 pm

    Thank you for admitting that you have no reason to believe in god and only do so out of ignorance. But whatever you need to get through life Chrissy, I know your mentally weak and can’t face reality without some sort of filter.

  40. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

    not sure how you got that conclusion snappy, but I suppise as an atheist you are used to drawing false conclusions from data. Good luck with that.

  41. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:34 pm

    You admitted that the only reason you believe in a god is because you can’t think of a world without it. And that, now I’m actually ‘suppising’, Is only because you grew up in a household/community that raised you to be religious.

    You are very good at dodges like that. kudos. Have fun in your delusions Chrissy boy.

  42. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

    God bless you asshole

  43. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:51 pm

    Your god doesn’t exist, so I’m not too worried.

  44. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 7:55 pm

    either way, you still seem to be an asshole!

  45. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

    Given that you are an asshole yourself, I ‘suppise’ you should know.

  46. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

    If you want to talk about grammar let me just say that ” I know your mentally weak”.

  47. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:07 pm

    ‘If you want to talk about grammar, let me just say that “I know your mentally weak.”‘

    Nice try.

  48. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

    And you obviously missed my point about bringing up ‘suppise’. I mean you did make such a big deal about spelling with the teacher earlier.

    Not that you listen to yourself of course.

  49. Dave
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

    You have to give the man credit for one thing. He takes his lumps and keeps on coming.

    Chris,
    I offer to you a challenge. Give me a passage, any passage, from the bible that you feel proves the existance of God. And be sure to include why you think it is compelling. I’ll read it and then tell you why I doubt it’s truthfulness. Fair enough?

    I’ll even give you one to read for yourself that seems to show a miracle in progress (1st Kings 18:21-39), but I could duplicate it in my back yard with a little slight of hand, secretly replacing the “water” with a clear and odorless oil, and dressing up some chunks of wood to look like stones*. Notice that no water was poured onto the 1st altar for the offering to “Baal”; water was only poured on the offering to the “Lord”.
    *(actually I think that the stones were an embellishment by the author of the story, but it would be just as easy to fake as long as no one but Elijah picked any of the stones up.)
    Did “Elijah the prophet” get a miracle, or was he just better at making fires?

    -enjoy! :-)

  50. Chris Treborn
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:52 pm

    Any passage you read in the bible proves the existance of God. Why? Because you use your eyes to read it, and eyes can’t be made by “evolution”. Even Darwin acknowledged that. The eye is too amazing to be anything other than designed by god. So, if you can see, god exists. And if you can’t see, he still exists becase I can see.

  51. Snap Crafter
    June 14th, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

    Holy fucking god, there is no way you are that stupid. Darwin never acknowledged any such thing, go read it for yourself. Don’t just quote some bible site about it. The eye can and is explained by evolution you ignorant fool.

  52. Dave
    June 14th, 2006 @ 9:13 pm

    What you are refering to is “irreducible complexity”:
    (excerped from wikipedia.org)
    An irreducibly complex system is defined as one that could not function if it were any simpler, and therefore could not possibly have been formed by successive additions to a precursor system with the same functionality. Irreducible complexity is viewed as pseudoscience by many in the scientific community.

    The concept was popularized by Lehigh University biochemist and Fellow of the Discovery Institute Michael Behe in his 1996 book Darwin’s Black Box, wherein Behe argued that there are biochemical systems which are “irreducibly complex” because he saw no way in which these systems could be broken down into smaller functioning systems.

    In the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, Behe testified under oath that irreducible complexity did not rule out known evolutionary mechanisms, and that there existed no peer-reviewed articles supporting his argument that certain complex molecular structures are “irreducibly complex.” The result of the trial was the ruling that “intelligent design is not science and is essentially religious in nature.”

    -next

  53. ek
    June 14th, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

    Wow. Shi Treborn is brilliant.

    There must be a god because we (who created the concept of god) exist. Grammar and spelling are extremely important, unless he’s the one butchering the language. Einstein and Darwin said things that they themselves didn’t believe. Oh, and before I forget, our students are the brightest in the world, so bright that they can’t even understand studies that show that they are, in fact, poorly educated.

    Liberals use science as a tool…yes that is true. A tool for understanding the world and ourselves instead of killing our planet and pretending that we are born evil and need a lie to improve. But you forgot one thing. Conservatives, (some) christians, and most anyone willing to think also use science. Science is basically just testing things…learning from mistakes and using the mind to figure shit out. If you really believe science is a liberal conspiracy, or an atheist ploy, stay the hell out of our hospitals and away from our scientifically designed technology. Stop using that evil keyboard, magical computer and that satanic monitor you post your drivel from. Hop on your horse and buggy and leave the thinking to those capable of doing so.

  54. Dave
    June 14th, 2006 @ 10:23 pm

    And what is the one thing that keeps scientific “beliefs” from becoming a religion? (creationists will often claim that evolution or science is a religion.)

    The scientist, when presented with compelling eveidence, will admit he was wrong and change his beliefs to include the new information.
    (this is true for many atheists as well)

    Let’s see a Christian fundamentalist do that!

  55. Interested Atheist
    June 15th, 2006 @ 2:21 am

    chris, I’m afraid you really are wrong about the eye. There is a quote from Darwin that creationists often use in which he says that the eye is seemingly perplexing. This, however, is just a rhetorical flourish; if you go on to read the rest of the paragraph, you see he is actually able to explain it.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part8.html

  56. physics teacher
    June 15th, 2006 @ 7:09 am

    crissy t
    “not sure how you got that conclusion snappy, but I suppise as an atheist you are used to drawing false conclusions from data. Good luck with that. ”

    What a fucking hypocrite, Learn to spell your self
    Ha Ha Ha
    ass bless you, you fucking doghole
    If you don’t beleave my anout getting my PHD would you like me to send you my 150+ page disertation/thesis
    what is your email, I don’t what to waste space here

  57. JUST_ANOTHER_PRIMATE
    June 15th, 2006 @ 7:57 am

    Chris Treborn said:
    Any passage you read in the bible proves the existance of God.

    When I read the bible, especially the OT, it is quite obvious that it was written by the point of view of a desperate group of people wanting to “one up” their oppressors (and everyone else for that matter). The plagues, the battles etc … a whole bunch of “we are better than you” baloney.
    ———————————————————————————-
    And this whole discussion began to disintegrate with Mr Treeborn’s ranting and name calling. I know it’s gotta be tough being the only believer amongst a bunch of heathens … but he does himself and christians in general no good what so ever if he can’t even begin to debate in a sensible manner.

  58. jahrta
    June 15th, 2006 @ 9:03 am

    There can be no debate with these people. They are so woefully lacking in the basic tools of reasoned discussion and insight as to make any attempt an exercise in frustration for those who would extend to them the benefit of the doubt. We have seen this with Francis, Redwine, Salty, Jiminy, Word_Sword, and a veritable cornucopia of various and sundry asshats,, each more bafflingly ignorant than the last.

    Why should we expect anything new or interesting from this pile of solidified vomit?

  59. conleythorn
    June 15th, 2006 @ 9:12 am

    Now as I was saying before my fans hit all this shit. . . .
    . . . .
    Chris, in Post 36, you use the phrase “learn about the Bible….”
    Most intellectual atheists learn about the Bible. Fundamentalists only learn the Bible, not ABOUT it. That is a distinction you should give some thought to. And as several other posters have already indicated, you need to inquire into sources other than fundiscience for your facts on evolution and other subjects.

  60. HappyNat
    June 15th, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    So Chris is just praising a jar of pickles? Or is praising a jar of pickles just as effective and prasing his god?

    I like pickles, fwiw.

  61. Facehammer
    June 15th, 2006 @ 11:38 am

    Oh man, what a trainwreck. A couple of days without internet, and what do I come back to?

    Chris, you’re so unbearably shit it’s unbelievable. What is wrong with you? Even your crummy country’s woeful education system must have struggled to churn out someone as unendingly think as you. How is it possible for someone in this supposedly enlightened age to be so hopelessly and gleefully ignorant? Oh yeah, I know – you live in the good old US of A, where such things are encouraged. If you don’t like it, why don’t you move to Russia?

    Come on, people. You can do better than this. How hard can it be to put someone so completely lacking in wit and humour in their place?

    And that myspace page is hilariously poor. But then, it is myspace.

  62. Tommykey
    June 15th, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    test

  63. Tommykey
    June 15th, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

    Christ Treborn’s comment above reminded me of when I was taking a philosophy class in college. The professor was discussing Pascal’s wager, the ontological argument etc. and why he did not believe that god existed. A student next to me turned to me and asked “what about the Ten Commandments?” I was like “what does that prove? Anybody could have written that.” If I recall, he just shrugged.

    I was once a devout Catholic. I went to church every Sunday and read the Bible from start to finish three times in a row. After so familiarizing myself with the Bible, it struck me that the God of the Old Testament was a cruel and despotic entity. Reading the Gospels in the New Testament, I wondered just why was it that the Jews of Jerusalem should have believed that Jesus was divine? Reading the texts of other religions like the Dhammapadda and the Bhagavad-Gita, I realized that certain moral truths were universal and that if cultures that were never exposed to the Bible could develop them, then the Bible was no more special than they were. I came to the logical conclusion that the god of the Bible was not a real entity, no more real than Zeus, Apollo or Vishnu, and from there I became an atheist.

    I certainly don’t feel any worse for being an atheist, and in fact I am a lot happier now than when I was a Christian. But that’s just me of course.

  64. Thorngod
    June 17th, 2006 @ 7:26 pm

    An item on network news a few nights back featured a good samaritan who had spotted a wrecked car and had stopped and rescued a young boy from the wreckage. In the televised interview, the rescuer, a normal-looking, articulate, seemingly intelligent fellow, revealed that he had recently been saved from death himself by bypass surgery, and he then expressed the conviction that God had saved his life so he could be there to save the life of the child! Religious “logic” is a very strange and wondrously mirthful thing!

  65. allonym
    June 18th, 2006 @ 10:47 am

    I can be a stickler for grammar and spelling at times, so on that limited basis I sympathize with Chris in his comments to “physics teacher”. However, I’m also not ignorant of the fact that one can be very gifted at mathematics and still be a deplorable speller, so I’m inclined to give a stranger on the Internet the benefit of the doubt when he claims to be a physics teacher, even when his sentence composition and spelling leave something to be desired. I lose nothing in giving up that little bit of trust, and I gain nothing in assuming a lie I cannot prove. ChrisT could learn from that, I think.

    Now I’m going to use a time-honored tool to point to the folly of some of Chris’s reasoning (not that he will likely ever get the message): turning the tables. Reconstruction of an earlier post by Chris:

    [Chris Treborn], why are you so angry? Maybe [us atheists have] hit a raw nerve. You choose not to learn about the [folly of the] bible because you need your [religion]. It is like a special club where your arrogance makes you feel superior to everyone [without] faith, even though you avoid actually thinking about the reasons why people [don’t] believe in God. As [a Christian] you automatically consider yourself to be superior, and all [atheists] are treated as though they were drooling idiots. It’s rather pitiful that you need this [religion] as a mental prop to bolster your lack of confidence in yourself. LEarning about the ways of [logic, reason and science] has the opposite effect: it empowers you so that you can face the harsh realities of the world and make some sense out of it all, as horrible as it may sometimes be. You prefer to simply scoff ad(sic)…people because you “just know” you are right. This extreme arrogance is not justifiable at all.

  66. lucy
    June 19th, 2006 @ 1:13 am

    What are the odds that teaching the bible as fiction will be accepted?

  67. Thorngod
    June 19th, 2006 @ 5:49 am

    Stick to the Mega-state lottery, Lucy!

  68. physics teaher
    June 19th, 2006 @ 9:04 am

    allonym, I can’t wait for the days when forums like this will be audio or video so that my spelling won’t give people the wrong impression about me. I makes me alittle sad that I still get crap for it now, about 25 years after I was dignosed( I know its spelled wrong and I don’t care as long as you understand what I mean) with dyslexia. I had to goto speical schools I little buses in the grades 4-6, I was in speical ed classes up to the 10th grade, and I when to landmark
    http://www.landmarkschool.org/
    my reading and spelling was so bad the people at landmark were reluctant (sorry about the spelling agian)
    to put me into physics classes there.
    I get plenty of shit from the god nuts at my school
    I was interviewed by the school paper about ID and spoke my mind. I now get lots of evil looks from faculty who think I’m hell spawn.
    Anyway I get plenty of shit from them, I don’t need more shit from people I agree with about my spelling

  69. Thorngod
    June 20th, 2006 @ 11:57 pm

    Well, that’s about as lengthy a flurry of insults as I’ve ever seen hurled. Now for something a little different. (Since it’s my birthday, I’ll indulge myself–and perhaps amuse everyone but Chris T. Sorry, Chris, but you probably won’t appreciate this.)
    I collect religious anecdotes and testimonials; there’s no other category of human experience that’s more humorously inane. A few years ago, Kansas and Missouri were blessed with a veritable windfall of tornados. For several days, televised reports, including interviews with victims, blanketed CNN and other networks. The most curious scene was of a ranch style house with a car and a huge tree blown into the front of it. The car was on its side, wheels facing the camera, and the limb-shorn tree had been thrown root-end-first into the belly of the car. The TV reporter was interviewing the man of the house, and the homeowner, pointing at the wreckage, said he and his family would surely have all been killed if that tree had gone through the house. God, he testified, had known the tree was coming and had thrown the car against the house to stop the tree! I don’t like to laugh at a fellow’s misfortune, but Jesus Christ! How could I not. Now this guy was surely no idiot. He’s living in a decent house, so he must be holding down a decent job. That means he knows how to drive a car, knows how to multiply three by six, probably understands most of what he reads in a newspaper, and is probably a normal, sensible, logical-minded guy. Wouldn’t you think it would occur to him that if God could throw the car into his house to stop that tree, he could just as easily have stopped or diverted the tree! Holy shit! How is it that when people have need to explain something in religious terms, they abruptly forfeit their ability to reason! Astonishing! Unfathomable! -I think it was in the same report, and maybe by the same reporter, that a young mother was interviewed. She had a young child in her arms and she testified that her 3-year-old daughter had asked her why God had sent the tornado. “I told her,” she said, “that God didn’t cause the tornado; he just saved us from it.” Children can ask some penetrating questions–until they’ve learned what questions not to ask.

  70. allonym
    June 21st, 2006 @ 11:59 pm

    physics teacher said: “I don’t need more shit from people I agree with about my spelling”

    PT, did you think I was giving you shit? ‘Cause I thought I was sticking up for you! My main point was that I’d never dispute your claim to your profession based only on your spelling, or the way you put a sentence together. Language and mathematics are completely disparate skills; not everyone possesses both (I actually kind of suck at math!). That’s all I was saying – sorry if I wasn’t clear.

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