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(Politico)   Considering Barney Frank was openly gay while serving, but waited until he retired to "come out" as an atheist, the standard for unelectability is no longer being caught in bed with a live man but a dead god   (politico.com) divider line 179
    More: Interesting, Pete Stark, safe seat  
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1978 clicks; posted to Politics » on 14 Dec 2013 at 11:18 PM (17 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-14 07:23:23 PM
Subby is a madman
 
2013-12-14 08:15:29 PM
Subby is wanting a fight on multiple fronts.
 
2013-12-14 08:30:16 PM
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.
 
2013-12-14 08:40:02 PM
Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?

img.fark.net
 
2013-12-14 08:43:40 PM

George Babbitt: Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?


The Catholic Jewish Black Women?
 
2013-12-14 08:53:34 PM
As a liberal Catholic democrat, I'd vote for an atheist over a conservative Catholic or any conservative Christian any day.
 
2013-12-14 09:00:40 PM
icons.iconarchive.com
The Lord of Murder shall perish.
But in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny.
Chaos will be sown from their passage. So sayeth the wise Alaundo.
 
2013-12-14 09:02:08 PM
Well there is Kyrsten Sinema:
she's the first openly bisexual member of Congress ( and first ironman triathlon finisher btw) and given that she was raised Conservative Mormon and now lists "none" as her religion, I think it may be safe to assume she's atheist
 
2013-12-14 09:05:26 PM
It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.
 
2013-12-14 09:09:29 PM

Magorn: Kyrsten Sinema


freakoutnation.com
 
2013-12-14 09:12:43 PM

doglover: Magorn: Kyrsten Sinema

[freakoutnation.com image 301x251]


I would.
 
2013-12-14 09:13:31 PM
I'm also not sure I get the point of the article. Atheists are among the most vocal advocates of leaving religion out of politics (and rightfully so). His problem is that atheists in government are leading by example and keeping their religious beliefs private?

Wouldn't we be better off if all politicians following Barney Frank rather than acting like the Evangelicals who feel the need to loudly proclaim their beliefs?
 
2013-12-14 09:14:31 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.


But still 6% of the country wouldn't vote for a Catholic, which I find amusing. As I posted in yesterday's atheist thread, atheists need better PR people than the anti-theists that get all the news coverage.
 
2013-12-14 09:17:16 PM

dr_blasto: doglover: Magorn: Kyrsten Sinema

[freakoutnation.com image 301x251]

I would.


I don't think any voters made it to her religion. They just heard bisexual and saw that.
 
2013-12-14 09:26:31 PM
Who cares? While we quibble over this, the rich keep kicking our ass. They're onto buying their 4th vacation house and we're on our 3rd lien for a 2 bedroom fixer upper with mold problems
 
2013-12-14 09:28:17 PM

Doktor_Zhivago: Subby is a madman

mikeray: Subby is wanting a fight on multiple fronts.


subby is doc zhiv, starting a land war in asia?
 
2013-12-14 09:36:53 PM

NewportBarGuy: George Babbitt: Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?

The Catholic Jewish Black Women?


NVM, I failed to read narrow parameter of the graph only speaking to Presidents.
 
2013-12-14 09:47:47 PM
Religion is pretty much like politics. When people's dominant social systems gets threatened, well, some people will die for the cause. They are afeared that the election of atheists would result in the collapse of social order because of how important religion is for our culture. Religion is far more important to many people than gay marriage. That's their loyalty and they will fight teeth and nail to ensure that their belief system survives and/or returns to domination.
 
2013-12-14 09:49:45 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: I'm also not sure I get the point of the article. Atheists are among the most vocal advocates of leaving religion out of politics (and rightfully so). His problem is that atheists in government are leading by example and keeping their religious beliefs private?

Wouldn't we be better off if all politicians following Barney Frank rather than acting like the Evangelicals who feel the need to loudly proclaim their beliefs?


I'm all for the separation of church and state, and abhor legislation that is based on religion, but I can see where people would have a problem with an athiest President.

An agnostic would be more palatable, but the activist fringe of atheists rub a lot of people the wrong way.  If he (or she) left it at not pushing legislation based on religion, and vetoing bills that were based on religious morality I'd be fine with it.  On the other hand, if there was suddenly a crusade to remove 'In God We Trust' from out money, 'One Nation Under God' from the pledge, and Ten Commandments and other religion-based monuments and signage from government property and schools, I'd have an issue.

Sometimes it's better to let sleeping dogs lie than to stir the pot, and if something has been around long enough, even if it wouldn't necessarily be appropriate to put up today, I'd rather see tradition and historical value win out.
 
2013-12-14 09:55:49 PM

Magorn: Well there is Kyrsten Sinema:
she's the first openly bisexual member of Congress ( and first ironman triathlon finisher btw) and given that she was raised Conservative Mormon and now lists "none" as her religion, I think it may be safe to assume she's atheist


Covered on the 3rd page of the story; probably correct to infer she's in the category, but she refuses to publicly self-identify as such, saying "I don't like labels". She might be willing to put up with being called a "None", but anything more than that is unlikely.
 
2013-12-14 10:01:27 PM
I would say.  The smell of rotting god-flesh must be intolerable.  Like, Bog of Eternal Stench bad.  Imagine that in your bed.  O.o
 
2013-12-14 10:03:49 PM

George Babbitt: Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?

[img.fark.net image 850x505]


Oooh, look at us homer-seckshuals...about the same level as Catholics in 1937!  FABULOUS
 
2013-12-14 10:15:24 PM

xanadian: George Babbitt: Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?

[img.fark.net image 850x505]

Oooh, look at us homer-seckshuals...about the same level as Catholics in 1937!  FABULOUS


img.fark.net
 
2013-12-14 10:15:37 PM
I think it's very simple to explain, actually. It has nothing to do with God and everything to do with accountability.

Americans distrust politicians. I guess a lot of people still think that someone who has the fear of God in them won't rob them blind. They sure as hell don't usually answer to the courts, so maybe people think a fear of godlike vengeance will keep them in line.

It's the only explanation for the GOP Christian Values crap when they don't espouse any of that in their politics. But if he believes in a wizard? "Here, take my checkbook!"
 
2013-12-14 10:52:30 PM

cynicalminion: xanadian: George Babbitt: Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?

[img.fark.net image 850x505]

Oooh, look at us homer-seckshuals...about the same level as Catholics in 1937!  FABULOUS

[img.fark.net image 500x438]


well considering a Catholic was a major party candidate for president in 1936,  that's not too bad
 
2013-12-14 10:55:33 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.


I don't believe in God. I didn't "choose" that any more than I chose to not believe 2+2=5. Neither of those make sense to me. I could "choose" to pretend I believed in God and go to church and enjoy the community and the men's group and the ski trips and the picnics and whatnot. But I couldn't simply "choose" to change my mind and believe in God. I'd liken it to Santa Claus. Once you know he's not real, you can pretend you still believe in him, but you don't. That's God for me.
 
2013-12-14 11:17:24 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.

I don't believe in God. I didn't "choose" that any more than I chose to not believe 2+2=5. Neither of those make sense to me. I could "choose" to pretend I believed in God and go to church and enjoy the community and the men's group and the ski trips and the picnics and whatnot. But I couldn't simply "choose" to change my mind and believe in God. I'd liken it to Santa Claus. Once you know he's not real, you can pretend you still believe in him, but you don't. That's God for me.


Well, really, you did choose.  Belief or non-belief in a higher power isn't something you're born with like your race.

Faith is a choice.  There's no hard scientific proof that a higher power exists, but some people choose to believe that there is one (or more) and some choose not to.  You chose hard science over faith, others go the other way.

Digging a little bit deeper, there's no proof that a higher power does not exist, just as there is none that one does.  There's an overwhelming amount of evidence that creationists are wrong, but that speaks more to the Bible, and other religious works, being written by man and based on oral histories from more primitive times than whether or not a higher power exists.
 
2013-12-14 11:24:27 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.

I don't believe in God. I didn't "choose" that any more than I chose to not believe 2+2=5. Neither of those make sense to me. I could "choose" to pretend I believed in God and go to church and enjoy the community and the men's group and the ski trips and the picnics and whatnot. But I couldn't simply "choose" to change my mind and believe in God. I'd liken it to Santa Claus. Once you know he's not real, you can pretend you still believe in him, but you don't. That's God for me.


Here's a mindfark: that sentiment prevented Newton from being the greatest scientist of all time. He never challenge the basis of knowledge: religion. If you can't challenge the status quo then you can't progress. For all we know mathematics 1000 years from now will be as solid as alchemy. You must never, ever be close minded.
 
2013-12-14 11:26:04 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Three Crooked Squirrels: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.

I don't believe in God. I didn't "choose" that any more than I chose to not believe 2+2=5. Neither of those make sense to me. I could "choose" to pretend I believed in God and go to church and enjoy the community and the men's group and the ski trips and the picnics and whatnot. But I couldn't simply "choose" to change my mind and believe in God. I'd liken it to Santa Claus. Once you know he's not real, you can pretend you still believe in him, but you don't. That's God for me.

Well, really, you did choose.  Belief or non-belief in a higher power isn't something you're born with like your race.

Faith is a choice.  There's no hard scientific proof that a higher power exists, but some people choose to believe that there is one (or more) and some choose not to.  You chose hard science over faith, others go the other way.

Digging a little bit deeper, there's no proof that a higher power does not exist, just as there is none that one does.  There's an overwhelming amount of evidence that creationists are wrong, but that speaks more to the Bible, and other religious works, being written by man and based on oral histories from more primitive times than whether or not a higher power exists.


You are simply wrong. I don't believe in God. I simply don't. I can't "choose" to believe in a God tomorrow. I can pretend to. And I suspect a lot of people do. But I can't choose to believe in something I simply don't believe in.

You might be able to choose faith, as you imply in your post. But the opposite is not true for me. I lack faith. I can't just turn it on whenever I want.
 
2013-12-14 11:29:18 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: TuteTibiImperes: Three Crooked Squirrels: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.

I don't believe in God. I didn't "choose" that any more than I chose to not believe 2+2=5. Neither of those make sense to me. I could "choose" to pretend I believed in God and go to church and enjoy the community and the men's group and the ski trips and the picnics and whatnot. But I couldn't simply "choose" to change my mind and believe in God. I'd liken it to Santa Claus. Once you know he's not real, you can pretend you still believe in him, but you don't. That's God for me.

Well, really, you did choose.  Belief or non-belief in a higher power isn't something you're born with like your race.

Faith is a choice.  There's no hard scientific proof that a higher power exists, but some people choose to believe that there is one (or more) and some choose not to.  You chose hard science over faith, others go the other way.

Digging a little bit deeper, there's no proof that a higher power does not exist, just as there is none that one does.  There's an overwhelming amount of evidence that creationists are wrong, but that speaks more to the Bible, and other religious works, being written by man and based on oral histories from more primitive times than whether or not a higher power exists.

You are simply wrong. I don't believe in God. I simply don't. I can't "choose" to believe in a God tomorrow. I can pretend to. And I suspect a lot of people do. But I can't choose to believe in something I simply don't believe in.

You might be able to choose faith, a ...


You're non belief is still a matter of choice.  Perhaps it doesn't feel that way due to how you think based on your life experiences thus far, but it's still a choice.

Then again, sure, I could be wrong, maybe there's something genetic about being able to believe in the unprovable, but I haven't seen any studies on it.
 
2013-12-14 11:32:24 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Three Crooked Squirrels: TuteTibiImperes: Three Crooked Squirrels: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.

I don't believe in God. I didn't "choose" that any more than I chose to not believe 2+2=5. Neither of those make sense to me. I could "choose" to pretend I believed in God and go to church and enjoy the community and the men's group and the ski trips and the picnics and whatnot. But I couldn't simply "choose" to change my mind and believe in God. I'd liken it to Santa Claus. Once you know he's not real, you can pretend you still believe in him, but you don't. That's God for me.

Well, really, you did choose.  Belief or non-belief in a higher power isn't something you're born with like your race.

Faith is a choice.  There's no hard scientific proof that a higher power exists, but some people choose to believe that there is one (or more) and some choose not to.  You chose hard science over faith, others go the other way.

Digging a little bit deeper, there's no proof that a higher power does not exist, just as there is none that one does.  There's an overwhelming amount of evidence that creationists are wrong, but that speaks more to the Bible, and other religious works, being written by man and based on oral histories from more primitive times than whether or not a higher power exists.

You are simply wrong. I don't believe in God. I simply don't. I can't "choose" to believe in a God tomorrow. I can pretend to. And I suspect a lot of people do. But I can't choose to believe in something I simply don't believe in.

You might be able to choose faith, a ...

You're non belief is still a matter of choice.  Perhaps it doesn't feel that way due to how you think based on your life experiences thus far, but it's still a choice.

Then again, sure, I could be wrong, maybe there's something genetic about being able to believe in the unprovable, but I haven't seen any studies on it.


Maybe you can explain to me how I can "choose" to believe in God, because I don't know how to make that choice. Not sarcasm, but if you think I can choose that belief, tell me how I could do it. It'd make life a lot easier.
 
2013-12-14 11:40:00 PM
God isn't dead.  He never existed.
 
2013-12-14 11:40:08 PM

George Babbitt: Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?

[img.fark.net image 850x505]


I don't, am I missing something?
 
2013-12-14 11:40:59 PM
Just went to the wiki page on Atheists in law and politics for the US.

Kirsten Sinema is listed there alongside Barney Frank and Pete Stark..

Oddly enough so is Jesse Ventura and even more oddly S E Cupp.
 
2013-12-14 11:42:20 PM

Philbb: George Babbitt: Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?

[img.fark.net image 850x505]

I don't, am I missing something?


I think Kyle may have gone missing again. Have you seen him?
 
2013-12-14 11:42:28 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: TuteTibiImperes: Three Crooked Squirrels: TuteTibiImperes: Three Crooked Squirrels: Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.

I don't believe in God. I didn't "choose" that any more than I chose to not believe 2+2=5. Neither of those make sense to me. I could "choose" to pretend I believed in God and go to church and enjoy the community and the men's group and the ski trips and the picnics and whatnot. But I couldn't simply "choose" to change my mind and believe in God. I'd liken it to Santa Claus. Once you know he's not real, you can pretend you still believe in him, but you don't. That's God for me.

Well, really, you did choose.  Belief or non-belief in a higher power isn't something you're born with like your race.

Faith is a choice.  There's no hard scientific proof that a higher power exists, but some people choose to believe that there is one (or more) and some choose not to.  You chose hard science over faith, others go the other way.

Digging a little bit deeper, there's no proof that a higher power does not exist, just as there is none that one does.  There's an overwhelming amount of evidence that creationists are wrong, but that speaks more to the Bible, and other religious works, being written by man and based on oral histories from more primitive times than whether or not a higher power exists.

You are simply wrong. I don't believe in God. I simply don't. I can't "choose" to believe in a God tomorrow. I can pretend to. And I suspect a lot of people do. But I can't choose to believe in something I simply don't believe in.

You might be able to choose faith, a ...

You're non belief is still a matter of choice.  Perhaps it doesn't feel that way due to how you think based on your life experiences thus far, but it's still a choice.

Then again, sure, I could be wrong, maybe there's something genetic about being able to believe in the unprovable, but I haven't seen any studies on it.

Maybe you can explain to me how I can "choose" to believe in God, because I don't know how to make that choice. Not sarcasm, but if you think I can choose that belief, tell me how I could do it. It'd make life a lot easier.


Just decide to, with out any argument or facts. Say "there is no proof, and that doesn't matter at all, there doesn't need to be."

I'd guess.
 
2013-12-14 11:42:59 PM

Philbb: George Babbitt: Anybody see a group here that is not underrepresented, but rather overrepresented?

[img.fark.net image 850x505]

I don't, am I missing something?


Yeah, the rest of the Farkin thead!
 
2013-12-14 11:44:11 PM

cman: Here's a mindfark: that sentiment prevented Newton from being the greatest scientist of all time. He never challenge the basis of knowledge: religion.


Where, exactly, did Newton limit himself based on religious beliefs?
 
2013-12-14 11:45:29 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Maybe you can explain to me how I can "choose" to believe in God, because I don't know how to make that choice. Not sarcasm, but if you think I can choose that belief, tell me how I could do it. It'd make life a lot easier.


I don't know you or how you think, so that's a tough call.  How do you believe in anything that isn't proven or disproven?

For me it comes down to life and sentience.  With the huge variety in thought processes, tastes, and actions amongst people there has to be more going on than just electrical signals in the brain.  Perception, thought, and sense of self feel like they should transcend the purely biological.

To me that means that there's more going on than we understand, and that there's a force beyond the pure biology.  That doesn't mean that I take the Bible, Torah, or Koran literally, or that I believe that God sits on a throne in the clouds and that when I die I'll get wings and harp, but at the same time I don't believe that death means my consciousness will simply blink out forever.

The problem is that there's no way to know for sure what happens or what lies beyond.  There's no turning back once you're gone for good, so all we're left with is conjecture.  I also believe that there are other intelligent civilizations in space and that FTL travel is something we'll eventually achieve.  There's no proof of any of that, but there's no proof that it isn't true either.

You just have to make the choice to say that you don't know everything, and that lack of evidence for something isn't the same as evidence against something.
 
2013-12-14 11:48:19 PM
"That leaves at least 15 million Americans without any elected officials to represent their point of view. "

Why would you need to politicians to "represent" atheism, exactly?

The problem is that any particular religion is represented. Not when the lack of religion isn't.
 
2013-12-14 11:55:38 PM

Lsherm: cman: Here's a mindfark: that sentiment prevented Newton from being the greatest scientist of all time. He never challenge the basis of knowledge: religion.

Where, exactly, did Newton limit himself based on religious beliefs?


Google Neil deGrasse Tyson and Newton. On my tablet now so can't paste a good URL for you. He explains the whole thing.
 
2013-12-14 11:56:10 PM

TuteTibiImperes: You're non belief is still a matter of choice.  Perhaps it doesn't feel that way due to how you think based on your life experiences thus far, but it's still a choice.


I actually "chose" to be a Christian in my youth. For a whole slew of reasons, I wanted very badly to have faith in the existence of God, but I simply could not. Try as I might, I couldn't do it. I felt a little bit like I imagine a gay person who tries to will him- or herself to be straight for the sake of fitting in might feel. It was awful. I finally accepted that no matter how much I might want to believe in God, I simply didn't.

Then again, sure, I could be wrong, maybe there's something genetic about being able to believe in the unprovable, but I haven't seen any studies on it.

If you are implying that something is either genetic or is a matter of choice, I'm going to throw a flag for false dichotomy.
 
2013-12-14 11:58:06 PM

cman: Lsherm: cman: Here's a mindfark: that sentiment prevented Newton from being the greatest scientist of all time. He never challenge the basis of knowledge: religion.

Where, exactly, did Newton limit himself based on religious beliefs?

Google Neil deGrasse Tyson and Newton. On my tablet now so can't paste a good URL for you. He explains the whole thing.


Neil deGrasse Tyson on inelegant design, sorry. Its almost 10 minutes long speech he gave about it.
 
2013-12-14 11:58:40 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels:  I don't believe in God. I simply don't. I can't "choose" to believe in a God tomorrow. I can pretend to. And I suspect a lot of people do. But I can't choose to believe in something I simply don't believe ...


They don't believe either.  Not really.  They just pretend to believe.  They get nervous whenever anyone goes public about their lack it of belief.  They react harshly to *show* the others how devout, shocked and appalled they are by your lack of belief... but deep down they know they are just pretending... and the funny-sad thing is that those  others are all doing the same thing.  The only ones that actually believe are more than one standard deviation south of 100.
 
2013-12-14 11:58:59 PM

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: It's sort of odd to compare whether people would vote for an atheist versus a black person. Being an atheist is a choice people make, unlike being black. Same goes for being GLBT, ethnically Jewish, or a woman. The only real comparison on that chart is between atheists and Catholics, and, surprise, Americans, who identify overwhelmingly as Christian (78%) are more willing to vote for someone from the largest denomination of their religion than atheists.


That wasn't the question.  The question was, "would you vote for x", not a comparative between x and y.  This shows that out of the people sampled, a certain percentage think that being black or Jewish or Catholic or atheist or whatever affects your ability to govern in their interests.

I'd love to see that poll with "Born rich", "Born poor", "Primarily funded by [insert unpopular business here]", "Cowboys fan", "Yankees fan"... other things people really care about.  I think the results would be fun.
 
2013-12-15 12:00:11 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Ten Commandments and other religion-based monuments and signage from government property and schools, I'd have an issue.


So you're okay with Jewish and Islamic monuments in public schools?
 
2013-12-15 12:00:29 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Three Crooked Squirrels: Maybe you can explain to me how I can "choose" to believe in God, because I don't know how to make that choice. Not sarcasm, but if you think I can choose that belief, tell me how I could do it. It'd make life a lot easier.

I don't know you or how you think, so that's a tough call.  How do you believe in anything that isn't proven or disproven?

For me it comes down to life and sentience.  With the huge variety in thought processes, tastes, and actions amongst people there has to be more going on than just electrical signals in the brain.  Perception, thought, and sense of self feel like they should transcend the purely biological.

To me that means that there's more going on than we understand, and that there's a force beyond the pure biology.  That doesn't mean that I take the Bible, Torah, or Koran literally, or that I believe that God sits on a throne in the clouds and that when I die I'll get wings and harp, but at the same time I don't believe that death means my consciousness will simply blink out forever.

The problem is that there's no way to know for sure what happens or what lies beyond.  There's no turning back once you're gone for good, so all we're left with is conjecture.  I also believe that there are other intelligent civilizations in space and that FTL travel is something we'll eventually achieve.  There's no proof of any of that, but there's no proof that it isn't true either.

You just have to make the choice to say that you don't know everything, and that lack of evidence for something isn't the same as evidence against something.


Ok, but I don't know if aliens exist either. I have no real evidence for or against their existence. (I'm talking about somewhere out in the universe, not pyramid-building visitors).

I acknowledge that there may be aliens out there, but I don't "believe" in aliens. Similarly, I can't say that God doesn't exist. That's a rather silly position to take. But lacking evidence doesn't present any reason to actively believe that one does either. Maybe there is a deity, maybe there isn't, but I don't "believe" in one and trying to force myself to feels like self-deception.

I'm not choosing to disbelieve in a god, I just am not convinced of the existence of one in the way that I am, for instance, convinced that South Dakota exists. I can't choose to believe in god under current circumstances any more than I could choose to disbelieve in the existence of South Dakota.

I'm not going to deny the existence of God either, but that falls into the same vein as my not denying the existence of alien life.

(Incidentally, absence of evidence can, in fact, be evidence of absence under various circumstances).
 
2013-12-15 12:03:17 AM

TuteTibiImperes: You're non belief is still a matter of choice.  Perhaps it doesn't feel that way due to how you think based on your life experiences thus far, but it's still a choice.


So prove it to us.

Stop believing in God. Right now.
 
2013-12-15 12:05:41 AM

TuteTibiImperes: Three Crooked Squirrels: Maybe you can explain to me how I can "choose" to believe in God, because I don't know how to make that choice. Not sarcasm, but if you think I can choose that belief, tell me how I could do it. It'd make life a lot easier.

I don't know you or how you think, so that's a tough call.  How do you believe in anything that isn't proven or disproven?

For me it comes down to life and sentience.  With the huge variety in thought processes, tastes, and actions amongst people there has to be more going on than just electrical signals in the brain.  Perception, thought, and sense of self feel like they should transcend the purely biological.

To me that means that there's more going on than we understand, and that there's a force beyond the pure biology.  That doesn't mean that I take the Bible, Torah, or Koran literally, or that I believe that God sits on a throne in the clouds and that when I die I'll get wings and harp, but at the same time I don't believe that death means my consciousness will simply blink out forever.

The problem is that there's no way to know for sure what happens or what lies beyond.  There's no turning back once you're gone for good, so all we're left with is conjecture.  I also believe that there are other intelligent civilizations in space and that FTL travel is something we'll eventually achieve.  There's no proof of any of that, but there's no proof that it isn't true either.

You just have to make the choice to say that you don't know everything, and that lack of evidence for something isn't the same as evidence against something.


What you just typed is an explanation of why you have faith. It in no way explains how a person without faith can "choose" to believe in something he doesn't believe in.
 
2013-12-15 12:10:13 AM

BMulligan: TuteTibiImperes: You're non belief is still a matter of choice.  Perhaps it doesn't feel that way due to how you think based on your life experiences thus far, but it's still a choice.

I actually "chose" to be a Christian in my youth. For a whole slew of reasons, I wanted very badly to have faith in the existence of God, but I simply could not. Try as I might, I couldn't do it. I felt a little bit like I imagine a gay person who tries to will him- or herself to be straight for the sake of fitting in might feel. It was awful. I finally accepted that no matter how much I might want to believe in God, I simply didn't.

Then again, sure, I could be wrong, maybe there's something genetic about being able to believe in the unprovable, but I haven't seen any studies on it.

If you are implying that something is either genetic or is a matter of choice, I'm going to throw a flag for false dichotomy.


It has to be either willful, learned behavior, or innate, there's no other way about it.  If it's willful or learned behavior it comes down to choice, if it's innate, that boils down to it being somewhere in your genetic code.

The My Little Pony Killer: TuteTibiImperes: Ten Commandments and other religion-based monuments and signage from government property and schools, I'd have an issue.

So you're okay with Jewish and Islamic monuments in public schools?


Sure, why not?  Let's throw some Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Zoroastrian, and other world religion stuff up too for good measure.  I'm not saying that Christianity has everything right, or that any religion does.  Religions and the books and rituals that define them are the works of man in an attempt to understand what lies beyond, and I'm all for exploring all of it in the name of cultural diversity.
 
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