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Unread 01-01-2008, 02:49 PM   #76
PJL
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Ummm...Christians are responsible for the largest genocide since the Holocaust. During the Serbian-Bosnian War, Christian Serbs began a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Bosnian Muslims, wiping out over 200,000 of them and dislocating millions of others. Christian terrorism was also a major problem in Ireland for most of the 20th century. Muslim extremist terrorist acts are simply on a rise now because of Western presence in the Middle East. The point is, no religion is inherently more or less violent than any other. Religions attach themselves to other types of political struggles, which have not been present in predominantly Christian countries since the 90s, which is what really causes religious extremists to engage in such activity. And TJ, that was a pretty poor attempt at deflection from the issue at hand - whether religion should play a part in presidential politics; just because Christian fundamentalism doesn't represent a violent threat (right now) doesn't mean they don't present a real threat to our secular government, since their positions are beyond reason or tolerance.


Last edited by PJL; 01-01-2008 at 03:02 PM..
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Unread 01-01-2008, 04:50 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kapplera
Your posts have generally been pretty rational. I hope you are not suggesting that because a historical event is not mentioned in a book that the occurence of the event disproves the book.
Absolutely not, I am however suggesting that there are plenty of inconsistencies in the bible, and if you are going to take it literally like Mike seems to, you need to acknowledge these. Am I supposed to believe we have all descended form the same two people? I am not a Christian theologian but is it accurate to say that Adam supposedly named all animals and that basically all animals present today were present when Adam and Eve were around?

Now on to Mike's weak arguments on evolution and the age of the earth. There is a consensus within the scientific community that the earth is around 4.55 billion years old. This consensus has been brought about through modern radiometric dating techniques. The simplest way to describe radiometric dating to anyone that doesn't know what it is would go something like this. Basically you look at the amount of naturally occurring radioactive isotopes comparing it to decay products using known decay rates. This can be used to determine the age of many things from rocks and other geological and archaeological materials. Using known half lives you can determine the age of the material in question. This is a very unstable science and takes a great scientist to perform accurately and get an accurate result. I will give you that it is not a perfect science, however the oldest material found was discovered to be 3.9 billion years old. You can choose to toss out this discovery if you want but the bottom line is we have the knowledge to accurately test ages in this way. If we are that wrong about the age of the earth, then I find it hard to believe that we could harness the power of nuclear fission in the 40's.

I really don't feel like getting into the evolution thing for the millionth time on here but I will keep it short and sweet. Evolution is a theory, theories are the single most important thing in science, they are a combination of facts, laws and hypotheses that have been tested and retested 10's to 100's of times. Evolution has been put on the chopping block by creationists tons of times and it has always survived, evolutionary and genetic biology have only added volumes of information to Darwin's simple observations. Modern science instead of disproving the ideas of natural selection and evolution have only reinforced them. You can always find scientists who disagree with widely agreed upon ideas but the funny thing is when you get to the cream of the crop scientist-wise, the best of the best, the brightest minds in the fields they study they normally agree with scientific consensus, that's what makes it consensus you know.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 05:02 PM   #78
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don't forget that a signifiant portion if not the majority of science and math is entirely based on theories, does this mean that all that is being taught is wrong?

evolution in and of itself is not a theory, we know it happens, evolution as an explanation for why we exist is the theory.

even if we throw out carbon dating and just go by what we know scientifically... it all corresponds to knowing that we are much much older then the bible says and the world is infinitely older then the bible says

but let's not turn this into bible thrashing, the topic is whether religion should be separate of church and state.

Some good quotes -
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government." - Thomas Jefferson

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony
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Unread 01-01-2008, 05:03 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJL
just because Christian fundamentalism doesn't represent a violent threat (right now) doesn't mean they don't present a real threat to our secular government, since their positions are beyond reason or tolerance.
I think this gets at the root of the actual question at hand. There are 3 parts to this equation. Firstly we have and have to have a secular government, we can't have a declared national religion (not that anyone is suggesting that) but we also can't have an implied national religion. Secondly we have a Christian majority, and thirdly we have politicians who are Christian or who belong to a sub sect of Christianity that pander to the religious right and let religion influence policy.

Take that how you want, but like PJL said this is a threat to governmental secularism, which I think most of us can agree, is needed.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 05:32 PM   #80
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Going to tackle a few of the posts at once here.

Yes, Christianity has a bad past, right now we dont force people to believe, and I believe the bible says not to force them. Simply put, intruduce people to God, and let them make up thier mind, God will work in his ways to them.

As far as scientists go on research of dating things. Where is the proof that it works. Please show me 100% froof that it works, you cant. All dating mechanisims are flawed. They can be very accurate in the last 100 years, but as you get to object getting older and older, its room for error grows. There is nothing on earth that we can say is definitly over 3000 years old, why? becasue thats the oldests objects we have in human history, so we cant 100% accuratly date past that because thier is no proof that anything is older than that because we have no records in history of us even being there. Now why is it science has a double standard? We can date things in the past, with out 100% proof its accurate, but when making scientific discoveries in the present, they have to be 100% accurate to claim a discovery? they are making science fiction science fact, because they have a need to make people believe the world is older, so you wont need to believe the bible. Now who pays for scientists in the secular world? The government. Now the same government that teaches evololution, and cannot mention creation as a good possibility, can in no way endorse or give grants to scientists who want to discover anything that is different than evolution. Most Christian scientists have to find other ways to get funds to examine anything that might lead to another possibility thats not evolution, how is that fair? Science is about discovery, and instead of scientists asking how did this happen, they go, how did this happen, and fit into evolution? Something else we have no proof of, and yet any discoveries in human history need to fit into it. As far as your figures on how many scientists say the world is billions of years old, let me remind you of how wrong millions of people can be. Millions of people..perhaps the whole world believed at one time the world was flat, and when Columbus went to proove him wrong, he was concidered a fool. Yet here we are today. I can go on and on about how in history when mainstream people and scientists believed something to be true, and some madman went and prooved them wrong.

So with that, although I believe the world is about 6000 years old, I cannot put it into textbooks, I cannot claim it to be 100% true, and I cannot ofrce you to believe it. But niether should you. Secular theory of age of the earth, and evolution should not be taught as scientific fact. Untill we can build a time machine(lets just pretend, lol) neither of us can proove we are right, so then why do we teach it?

No hard feelings in any of this, I am enjoying this, and hope other are to.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 05:37 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLS33
....Firstly we have and have to have a secular government, we can't have a declared national religion (not that anyone is suggesting that) but we also can't have an implied national religion. Secondly we have a Christian majority, and thirdly we have politicians who are Christian or who belong to a sub sect of Christianity that pander to the religious right and let religion influence policy.

Take that how you want, but like PJL said this is a threat to governmental secularism, which I think most of us can agree, is needed.
So is this not a type of predijuce? We can have a free country, and invite all religions to come and live here, but we will all need to be governed by aithiests? I dont think one reiligion should make all the rules, even though I believe Christianity is the only one that has it right, but I think if we are going to have free countries with freedom of speach, then then all should be invited into government.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 05:45 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cooper
As far as scientists go on research of dating things. Where is the proof that it works. Please show me 100% froof that it works, you cant. All dating mechanisims are flawed. They can be very accurate in the last 100 years, but as you get to object getting older and older, its room for error grows. There is nothing on earth that we can say is definitly over 3000 years old, why? becasue thats the oldests objects we have in human history,
mayan calenders, astronomy can be matched to certain dates, many ancient sites were set to line up with the moon and the stars at points that match up. or take geological events that happen every so often and compare to the current status, ice samples, layers of sediment, lake suigetsu japan - in spring algea blooms dies and skinks t the bottom, covered by dark algea in the winter, there are 45,000 layers, it takes thousands of years of below freezing temperatures to create permafrost 100 feet deep, there are depths of almost 1 mile, astronomy places the age of the galaxy in excess of 10,000 million years.... and so on we have MANY objects older then 3000 years, people just choose to dicredit carbon dating even though it works just becuase it interferes with their beliefs, half lives happen in a measurable amount of time, we know this, it works plus or minus 1 year per ever 100

combined with that radiocarben dating matches up with the above events where applicable
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Unread 01-01-2008, 05:55 PM   #83
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In order for something to be taught in a science class it needs to reach a scientific consensus through peer review. You seem to think creationism should get to skip the scientific process and just be taught in science class. Creationism has no science to it, it only belongs in a theology class.

The double standard is creationist believe they should be able to provide no scientific evidence and have that information put on the same level as actual science.

You do realize millions of people believe in Christ, what if they are the ones who believe the earth is flat?

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Unread 01-01-2008, 06:23 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cooper
So is this not a type of predijuce? We can have a free country, and invite all religions to come and live here, but we will all need to be governed by aithiests? I dont think one reiligion should make all the rules, even though I believe Christianity is the only one that has it right, but I think if we are going to have free countries with freedom of speach, then then all should be invited into government.
Neutrality towards religion isn't prejudicial. The Lemon test, which is currently how the Supreme Court measures the Constitutionality of religiously-oriented statues requires that a statute or governmental action may neither promote or inhibit religion, and that the government and religion cannot become entangled with one another as a result of the act. It also requires that any act must have some secular purpose. Note that this does not say solely secular, but must have some secular purpose. The only fair system to all those groups that come to our communal table is to treat all religions fairly, whether in the minority or majority; the fairest approach to this is religious neutrality. All religions are invited to government, with the understanding that the federal, state, and local governments are not tools by which they are able to implement their religious beliefs as overarching social policy.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 06:26 PM   #85
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Religions provide their followers rules, principles, and beliefs for living their lives.

People make decisions based upon their rules, principles, and beliefs, some of which are provided by religion, some of which are not.
  • A fundamentalist may get nearly 100% of their rules, principles, and beliefs from their religion.
  • A moderate may get 50% from their religion, and 50% from themselves.
  • An atheist may get 100% from themselves.
We need to stop caring where someone's rules, principles, and beliefs come from, and start focusing on what those rules, principles, and beliefs are.

Vote for the Atheist|Agnostic|Christian|Catholic|Muslim|Jewish| Buddhist|Hindu|Jain|Sikh Republican|Democrat|Libertarian|Independent whose rules, principles, and beliefs most match yours in the areas you find critical. Ask yourself whether you put your management hierarchy at your job under the same scrutiny that you do elected officials. Is your boss Christian? Is his/her boss Jewish? Is the CEO Muslim? Most don't know. Certainly not to the degree of their elected officials. And yet most people are happier with their management than their government.

When a person has the option to choose, or participate in choosing something, it often leads to obsession. For example, if I gave you a $500 GPS, you would be thrilled and show it off to your friends. But if I gave you $500 to buy a GPS, most people would spend hours doing research to get the absolute best GPS possible for that money. And it is more likely you will become frustrated by the second scenario than the first. We get to choose our elected officials, so we obsess about that decision. We don't get to choose our management (usually), so we don't give it as much thought.

The greatest and most unique characteristic God and/or evolution gave to the human race is the contradiction of a brain that functions entirely on pattern-matching and a desire to be unique. We make our decisions of others by pattern-matching, and our decisions about ourselves by uniqueness (which, in itself, is merely inversing or interpolating between patterns).

For example:
  • - "I will vote for this Republican/Democrat because he is like other Republicans/Democrats that I respects" yet "I am a unique Republican/Democrat who is not like every other person in my party."
  • - "I will buy this band's album because they are classic rock and I like other classic rock bands" yet "My band sounds like nothing else in the industry, we cannot be labeled."
  • - "I will send my child to this private/public school because other children that have attended that school have been successful" yet "My child is a unique individual unlike any other child I've met, and my definition of success is different than other people I know."
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Unread 01-01-2008, 06:39 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cooper
they are making science fiction science fact, because they have a need to make people believe the world is older, so you wont need to believe the bible. Now who pays for scientists in the secular world? The government. Now the same government that teaches evololution, and cannot mention creation as a good possibility, can in no way endorse or give grants to scientists who want to discover anything that is different than evolution. Most Christian scientists have to find other ways to get funds to examine anything that might lead to another possibility thats not evolution, how is that fair?
Government research funds a very small minority of scientists in the USA, the great majority work for private and public companies. I'm not saying these companies would be willing to let their scientists work on creationism vs. evolution (mine certainly wouldn't), just that the assertion that all research is done by the government is not even remotely true.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 07:07 PM   #87
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No establishment of a state religion period! "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquistion".
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Unread 01-01-2008, 08:05 PM   #88
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Such smart people here, I like this, making great conversation.

I am not suggesting we teach creationism, as yes, outside the Bible we do not have 100% fact that it is true, but it is the same for evolution, we do not have 100% proof it is true, yet we teach it. All I suggest that if we are going to offer theories, offer a few theories, but dont go teaching theory as fact

As far as all the dating of the earth through all those means, all great examples, but in human history we have no idea what the earth has gone through in its years past the 3000 years we have recorded history of. You can count all the polin you want, how do we know climate didnt change that brought more polin one year, or as I have seen in here at home, trees have bloomed more than once in one spring, due to odd weather, the trees got confused, blooming, dropping them, and blooming again later in the spring. Past 3000 years, we dont know what kind of weather changes could have accoured because we were not there. lets go to your layers of sedament theory, which is the biggets flop ever used to provide us age of the earth, never mind what I said about finding trees and Dinosaurs mixed in the layers, but lets use fact to proove the theory wrong. see the earths layers get denser the farther down you go right? some say thats from gravity and compression, which is a good answer, but lets say about 4000 years ago we had a huge flood like the bible says, which many ancient tribes, and other religions have stories and records of bad flooding. Now as water settles, and all the rocks, sand, and debri settle from this, you end up with an earth much simular that we have now. Huge areas with erosion, like the grand canyon, and settlement will happen with the heayest rocks in the bottom, clay next, and sand on top, see a pattern here? mix a jar full of water, sand and rocks, and tell me how it settle's? Perhaps even lots of light polin colected in a few concentrated areas? Or during earths re-growing of plants after a flood, little plants grow first, such as weeds and little plants that create polin, which could count for a huge amount of extra polin over a few years. throwing the polin count out of wack

Forgot earlier to comment on the dinosaur issue. yes the bible not once mentions the dinosaurs, but if you read the old testamnet, it does mention a few times the word Dragons. Now I forget when these big creatures were given the word dinosaur, but it was well after the bible was written. I am not conferming, but is it not possible they were talking about the same creatures?

Maybe I am wrong on funding from the government, but do they not govern it and give aproval to what can be brought to the public on many things. Lets not forget peer pressure, who wants to say the world is round, when we all know its flat....oops, already happened.

As a final point, someone once asked me. Do I think I know everything? No, Do I think mankind knows everything? No Is it possible mankind knows half of everything? I am going to take a huge leap and say sure. Between all humans, we know half of everything, I think we can all agree on that. Is it then possible that God exists, with everything the bible say in the half we dont know? Could there be more out there that we dont see or hear? Its a fact, even the smartest people around use less than 15% of thier brain. Whats the rest for?
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Unread 01-01-2008, 08:15 PM   #89
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It isn't a fact that humans only use 10-20% of their brain. That is a myth.
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Unread 01-01-2008, 08:19 PM   #90
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I am corrected, I looked it up, must have been in the half of everything I didnt know, lol
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