Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying? 
Author Message
 Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying?

Quote:

> Well, as a Christian, I have learned that God gave me a brain, and He
> expects me to use it.  I have the Bible, which tells me how to use it, and
> it doesn't justify evil.

The problem is, is that even if there were a God, and even if the
Bible was literally his writing, word for word, its still up to us
mortals to interpret what it has to say.  Some people (like yourself,
I'm guessing) have a relatively quiescent interpretation, and are able
to lead relatively decent lives.  Unfortunately, there are many other
people (the majority, IMO) who have very different interpretations,
some of which are quite frightening.  But all of you guys, no matter
what kind of interpretation you have, have one thing in common: you
can self-righteously justify your behavior (whether that be feeding
the poor, blowing up {*filter*} clinics, helping old ladies across the
road, tying {*filter*}s to fences and bludgeoning them with pistols,
offering shelters for homeless people, or simply just torturing and
killing heretics) by pointing to the Bible and saying that your
behavior is "God's Will".  So whatever kind of behavior you exhibit,
good or evil, any of it can be justified by picking up your handy
Bible and applying your favorite interpretation.

Quote:
> the child, no matter how bad the child has been.  Of course a person without
> a religion, is like a child with no parent.  There really is no reason to be
> good.  The child him or her self in effect becomes god.  I kind of wonder
> where you get the idea that a person with no religious beliefs should want
> to be good.  As far as I know, all concept of trying to be good, comes
> from one religion or another.

No, the concept of trying to be good comes from people wanting to lead
the best life possible (and for other people to also have the best
life possible), and implementing that by behaving towards others in
the appropriate fashion, and hoping they reciprocate.

Religion just made that desire stronger by stating "You WILL be good
or you will suffer eternally."  So religious people, when they are
good, are good not because they are genuinely nice people, but because
they are scared.

Atheists, on the other hand, when they are good, are good because they
are genuinely nice people.  I have a lot more respect for that.  Not
that I succeed in being good all the time, but I try.

Quote:
> It is certainly true that as a Christian, I am under much greater temptation to
> sin
> than non Christians, since Satan will spend all of his time trying to get me
> to sin.  He has no reason to waste excess time on non-believers, since they
> are already largely under his control.

I would much rather be in Christian Hell than in Christian Heaven,
where I would have to spend eternity with a bunch of self-righteous
scumbags that are all fauning over His Holiness.  Luckily, though, I
won't be going to either place.

And no, I'm not a minion of Satan.  Satanists are just Christians that
have decided to be on the side of "evil" rather than the side of
"good".  Its still just as silly.

Quote:
> country heaven on earth.  I find it interesting that you keep trying to say
> that God makes people do irrational things.  I don't believe that.  People
> certainly do irrational things, perhaps in the name of God, but that
> doesn't mean God is making them do those things.  You see God's will
> is revealed to us in the Bible, and it does not include any verses that
> tell us to do irrational things.

Well, obviously since God does not exist, he couldn't possibly be
making them do those things.  But in their twisted minds, they *think*
God wants them to do those things, and with their interpretation of
the Bible, they have "proof" that they are following "God's Will".
You can use the Bible to justify *anything*, given an appropriate set
of interpretations--and people have, for centuries.

Quote:
> >   on the other hand, people who think they are good _because_ they are
> >   Christians are likely to commit unspeakable evils in the name of their
> >   religion because they are no longer fully responsible for their actions:

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ listen to Erik, he knows whats up.

Quote:
> I am a Christian, and I don't think I am good.  I know I am not, because I
> compare myself with Jesus, who is God incarnate, and in that comparison,
> I fall far short of being good.  In fact, it is not possible for me to be good
> on my own at all.  All I can hope to do, is listen for God's prompting, and
> hope to be sensitive enough to hear and obey when God speaks to me.
> To you this probably sounds irrational, but when I get a feeling that I should
> do something, I evaluate that feeling against what God teaches in His word
> the Bible, and If it is in agreement with the Bible, then I can have confidence
> that it is from God.  If it isn't, then I need to ignore it, because it is a
> feeling
> or thought that is coming from either my own willful, selfish, sinful mind,
> or it is coming from somewhere even worse.

Well, the rest of mankind is lucky that you do not have a twisted
outlook on life.  You need to realize that some of the worst
sociopaths we have ever encountered would probably have said the exact
same thing that you have said, in the above paragraph.

Quote:
> I am not exempt form ethical considerations, God is ethical. It may not
> always be possible to understand why God allows things to happen on
> this earth, but God is completely consistent.

Oh yeah, sending bears to maul little kids because they were laughing
at one of his holy men.  Real ethical.  God is such a nice guy; no
wonder there are so many Christians.

Quote:
> Let me ask you a question.  If you were God, and as a non Christian,
> you might as well be.  Do you always do what is right?  Are you always
> happy with what you do?  Is there ever a time when you say to yourself,
> "why did I do or say that?"  or maybe you say to yourself,  "that was a stupid
> thing to do".  So tell me God (that's you), why did you do or say those
> things?  And, why do you even bother thinking thoughts that tell you
> that you are less than perfect?  If we are each God, where did the concept
> of imperfection come from .  If we have a concept of imperfection, then
> it has to come from somewhere.  maybe it comes from the fact that there
> really is a God, and we really are sinners.

Actually, we *are* each god, in the sense that we are each the highest
power in our own lives.  But that doesn't mean we are perfect or
immortal or supernatural or any of that other mumbo-jumbo; simply that
we cannot "pass the buck" and fail to be responsible.  We each hold
the final, ultimate responsibility for our lives, and we have noone to
answer to but ourselves, in the end.  You are god too; even though you
attempt to subscribe to a Higher Power, you are deluding yourself.
There is no God, but there are billions of gods.

The concept of imperfection comes from comparison with perfection.
There are many cases of perfection to reason about without resorting
to fairy tales about super-beings.  Think about the circle.  We can
reason all day long about perfect circles--for mathematically there is
such a thing--and we can compare it to all the imperfect circles we
see in the real world.  Similarly, we can see all the imperfection in
humans, and daydream about a "perfect person" (God), but unfortunately
there isn't any such thing.

"'Sin' is causing unnecessary harm to other people.  Harming
yourself is not sinful, just stupid." - Robert A. Heinlein

I don't think we are all sinners; but if Christians want to feel like
they are sinners, I won't argue: Christians have been the cause of
most of the darkest moments in our history, and have caused more harm
to human civilization in general than anything else.  *Every* page of
your Christian heritage is written in {*filter*}.

END OF LINE



Mon, 28 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying?

Yeesh.  This junk is SO far off topic it's sick.  Can it, okay?  This can
be carried out PERFECTLY well on the appropriate NGs (I wouldn't mind if
this topic wasn't causing such a flamewar).

--
-William "Billy" Tanksley



Mon, 28 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying?


Quote:
> Do you support driving on the highway even though knowing that
> innocent people *will* be killed?

No.  Cars are stupid.

        Gavin E. Gleason

--
"Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon."
        -Alan Perlis



Mon, 28 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying?


Quote:
> Just as there are those who assume that Christianity implies
goodness,
> there are some who assume that goodness implies Christianity.
I once
> stopped to help a stranded car that turned out to be driven by
a nun.
> The passengers were three other nuns and a priest. When I got
them
> going, the driver thanked me and said I was a good Christian.
I assured
> her that I acceped that as a complement, but that her criteria
needed
> revising: I am Jewish. (I didn't have the heart to tell her
also that
> I'm an atheist.) I had to tell her again that I wasn't
insulted, and
> appologized for having flustered her. She curtsied and fled.
As I put my
> tools away, the priest came to me and thanked me again, saying
that I
> had given them all much more than roadside help. These weren't
stupid
> people; I can only assume that sanctimony creates blindness
which the
> blind don't always like.

Is it a contradiction to be Jewish and Christian? You seem to
imply that. But then how can one be Jewish and an atheist?

If being Christian means holding to a certain set of beliefs (as
it has traditionally been defined), and if being Jewish means
holding to another (and to some extent contradictory) set of
beliefs, then one cannot be a Christian and at the same time
Jewish. But one cannot be Jewish and an atheist either.

But if being Jewish means being descended from Jewish forebears
(perhaps going as far back as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) then one
certainly can be a Jewish Christian. And one can also be a
Jewish atheist.

Bruce



Tue, 29 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying?


Quote:


> When the death penalty is used there is no going back. The
knowledge
> that innocent people *will* be put to death if such a penalty
exists
> means that I could never support it.

Do you support driving on the highway even though knowing that
innocent people *will* be killed?


Tue, 29 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying?
On Thu, 12 Aug 1999 23:28:32 GMT, Bruce McFarling

Quote:


>>I can only assume that sanctimony creates blindness which the
>>blind don't always like.

>    No, it's just social reference groups.  People who have Bible
>drummed into them still keep forgetting that the Good Samaritan was
>someone of the `wrong' religious persuasion.

Very good point...  

It is entirely evident that lots of "demographic groups" contain
sanctimoniously blind people, certainly *most* of them, and possibly
even *all* of them.

That includes churches, school boards, and lots of other places.

One of the interesting points I heard come out of the recent arguments
in Kansas over the teaching of evolution (or lack thereof) was that
there were teaching situations where there was such pointed
disagreement over the issue that it didn't even make sense to *bother*
bringing evolution up as an issue.

If you have a situation where there's not going to be a sensible
teaching situation, what makes more sense?
a) Making the school into a battleground between people of varying
   theological beliefs? or
b) Dropping the issue which, quite frankly, isn't of fundamental
   importance to most of the rest of the things that could be taught,
   and spend time teaching less controversial matters?

Some battles simply aren't worth winning, as they wind up razing the
rest of the environment.

[Try and guess *my* stance from the above...]
--
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.



Tue, 29 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying?

Quote:

>Locking someone up for life is a waste of taxpayer money

The notion that a death penalty costs $0.25 for a couple of rounds of
ammunition or $5 for a piece of rope (or ... or ...) just isn't
representative of reality.

"Simply" locking up someone "for life" may in fact be *less* of a
waste of taxpayer money than pursuing a death sentence, with the
manifold sets of appeals and the pretty vast array of legal machinery
that tends to come into play.

That should not be interpreted to indicate that any of the
alternatives are "cheap;" there simply aren't *any* that are
economically cheap.

--> In a legal system with lots of appeals, anything nearing "death
    penalty" as a measure will involve *hefty* legal costs regardless
    of the outcome.

--> In a society with a legal system that eschews unimportant things
    like appeals or "looking at matters carefully," while it may
    become cheaper to execute people, the side-effect of "Oops - he
    wasn't guilty - Too Late!" costs a lot, and cheapens life in the
    society as a whole.

My tendancy would be to favor the death penalty for a small set of
Real Serious crimes, but if there are going to be vast costs
associated with running the appeals system, it makes it far less clear
that it is economically sensible.

And if it takes years to accomplish the death penalty, that is
anything but quick justice, which denies one of the purported
advantages.

No good answers to this...

<sometimes randomly selected .signatures are just *too* appropriate...>
--
Rules of the Evil Overlord #65. " If one of my dungeon guards begins
expressing concern over the conditions in the beautiful princess'
cell, I will immediately transfer him to a less people-oriented
position."



Tue, 29 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 Last rights. Was Re: Is LISP dying?

Quote:


>> Well, as a Christian, I have learned that God gave me a brain, and He
>> expects me to use it.  I have the Bible, which tells me how to use it, and
>> it doesn't justify evil.

>The problem is, is that even if there were a God, and even if the
>Bible was literally his writing, word for word, its still up to us
>mortals to interpret what it has to say.  Some people (like yourself,
>I'm guessing) have a relatively quiescent interpretation, and are able
>to lead relatively decent lives.  Unfortunately, there are many other
>people (the majority, IMO) who have very different interpretations,
>some of which are quite frightening.  But all of you guys, no matter
>what kind of interpretation you have, have one thing in common: you
>can self-righteously justify your behavior (whether that be feeding
>the poor, blowing up {*filter*} clinics, helping old ladies across the
>road, tying {*filter*}s to fences and bludgeoning them with pistols,
>offering shelters for homeless people, or simply just torturing and
>killing heretics) by pointing to the Bible and saying that your
>behavior is "God's Will".  So whatever kind of behavior you exhibit,
>good or evil, any of it can be justified by picking up your handy
>Bible and applying your favorite interpretation.

Entertainingly enough:

"All you guys, no matter what kind of interpretation you have, have
one thing in common: You can self-righteously justify your lumping of
all sorts of people, including {*filter*}ous criminals, loathsome thugs,
and others innocent of such characterization, all into one group."

The fact is that your interpretation of the characterization of the
categorization is arbitrary, every bit as much as the arbitrariness
that you project on others' interpretations.

If I were to suggest that it is legitimate to characterize all people
from the Middle East as "rag-headed terrorists" based on the fact that
the billion or so people in that region include some Rather {*filter*}
Thugs, I would be rightly lambasted for projecting the evils of a few
on the entire population.

But you apparently consider it Fair Enough for you to make the same
sorts of projections.
--
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.



Tue, 29 Jan 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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