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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Are you looking for answers from only those who identify as
    Christians, or from the general public?
    • Both. I expect to get different answers from everyone.
      • I see. OK, here I go then:

        Any faith-based belief system is the triumph of wishful thinking
        over rational consideration of reality.
        • Hiya mary.poppins.

          That's a popular opinion held by many intellectuals (as I did for 15 years). Keep in mind though, that fine peeps such as Donald Knuth and our very own Larry Wall hold strongly to such "wishful thinking".

          It's sad that the anti-evolution flat-earth Scopes and Gallileo Trials type stuff gets all the attention. There's no shortage of rational, thinking, extremely intelligent men and women for whom faith is a major part of their lives.
          • I am aware that wishful thinking can be very appealing to
            even very intelligent people. Just because one is able to
            think, does not imply that one wants to think.

            Here's definition #2 from the American Heritage Dictionary,
            of faith:

                  Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material
                  evidence.

            It's that definition of faith that I was referring to in my
            comment about "faith-based belief systems".

            When supernatural beings start showing up in verifiable
            ways, then I'll
            • Are you asserting that Wall and Knuth, for example, don't want to think?   That could easily be seen as pretentious and vain, eh.

              And what college philosophy professor taught you to think like him?   Er, I mean "think for yourself"?   ;^)

              On the other hand, phat props to ya for the respectful way you asked about Muskrat's intended audience before sharing your thoughts.

              • > Are you asserting that Wall and Knuth, for example, don't
                > want to think?

                Apparently, they don't want to think about everything.

                > That could easily be seen as pretentious and vain, eh.

                Appeals to authority *really* don't have any effect on me.

                > And what college philosophy professor taught you to think
                > like him? Er, I mean "think for yourself"? ;^)

                Yeah, whatever, I didn't take any philosophy in college.
                I've been a rationalist type for as long as I can remember.
                You know, asking the paren
                • Hmmm... not sure what authority it sounded like I was appealing to, but I assure you none was intended.

                  And I offer my apologies for (incorrectly) assuming the bit about a college philosophy course.   My bad.   Although I do share your rationalist mindset.

                  In your readings on history, do you recall any mention of impetus from numerous Christians in:
                  • bringing about the abolition of slavery in the US
                  • working for widespread literacy in the west, when such was unheard of
                  • racial equality in the US in the mid 20th century
                  • establishment of manymany hospitals before such were common
                  • the US war of indpendance

                  The substantial and key involvement of Christians in these may not have mention in your high school or college history texts, but dig a bit deeper and you'll find that they're true.   And if Christianity were a matter of doing more good than harm, one could easily compile a list of bad'uns like the crusades, Spanish inquisition, Scopes monkey trial, etc etc.   But a good/bad ledger isn't what being a Christian is about, and that's not my point, yo.   Look back through history and you'll find authoritarian totalitarian regimes all over the religious/atheistic map.   Recent notables include Stalinist Russia, Cambodia, North Korea, communist China.   Not much faith-base in those extreme examples.

                  Of course, some Christian groups are indeed (wrongly) authoritarian, and I share your disdain for such.   As did Jesus himself with the hypocritical local politico-religious leaders of his time.   He was so distressed and angry with them that he compared them with a den of snakes, and said that they were worse than murderers and thieves.

                  In any event, I respect your thoughts and opinions, and your right to express them.   My own experiences and research have led me to different conclusions, but that's cool.