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Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:30 pm
by Matt Z
"I won't force my morals on someone else." - hoosegow

I feel that way about most things, but there are exceptions. For example, I'm pretty tollerant of other peoples religious beliefs. However, I have a major problem with people denying their children medical care for religious reasons.

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:30 am
by Ironman
There are certain things like that, that are nothing short of abuse/neglect.

I don't consider it forcing morals, so much as I consider it stopping brainwashed parents from forcing their strange morals on their kids. Especially when it could kill them.

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:26 pm
by hoosegow
Wow. Not to turn this into a religious debate, but I tenatively, not passionately, have to disagree with you.

In my convoluted logic I propose this. In the Christian faith, the devil doesn't have to get us to worship him to win. If he gets you to worship or have faith in anything else other than God he wins. If you place your faith in the medical profession, then the devil wins.

Thought two. The bible teaches us to place our lives and faith into God's hands. (Conversely, it teaches physician, heal thyself.) So if a child dies, that is God's will. Also the innocence of a child will get the child into Heaven. Sometimes I think it would have been better for me to have died when I was a child before I could discover sin and guilt. Christians ought to celebrate when any Christian dies (or any devout practicioner should celebrate when another devout practicioner of their faith dies) because they are now with the Father.

I just don't think we should judge. We don't understand it, but because we don't understand it, should we judge it? Should we try to stop those kids who jump off of that tower with vines tied around their legs? What about other rights of passage? Should genetalia mutilation be considered child abuse when the child has no say in the matter? Before you answer that, isn't that what we do when we circumcise? That might be considered neglect and abuse in some cultures.

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:37 am
by Ironman
There is not one shred of evidence showing god exists. And plenty reason to doubt. How do you know that you know what god wants or anything about him? How do you know which religion is right? Why is zeus silly, but god real? Why is Jonestown a silly cult with people killing themselves, but Christian scientists letting their child die god's will?

If someone interferes and keeps the child alive, how is that not gods will?

Now of course if you are just going by the bible, not saying it is true or not, then you are absolutely right. The parents are indeed right. They don't need to do anything but prey and let god decide. There is nothing in there against doctors. But there is every reason to believe you need nothing but god. However it is still a terrible thing to do as the bible is obviously rubbish written by bronze age goat herders and passed down in the worlds biggest game of telephone.

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:32 am
by KPj
I actually agree with Ironman on religion. 100%.

However, I think that for the majority of religious 'people', it's more of a coping mechanism. They cope with life by believing there's more to it 'afterwards'. It justifies their actions, or lack of actions, and it explains their wrong doings. Some people just need that security. I think that's fine. I mean, no one really knows why we're all here, or how we got here, or whatever. On one side, people who are religious are technically choosing to believe a certain theory. On the other, people like me choose to believe none of them. I'm not sure if either view is 'better' than the other.

My Step mum was raised a strict catholic, but 'lost faith' about 15 years ago. She said that she didn't lose faith in 'god', but that she lost faith in 'the church of Rome'. I think she just enjoyed the long lie on a Sunday too much.

My mums family were strict Protestants. The step mum and the moms family regions are actually what the religious divide in Glasgow is all about (this isn't near as bad as it used to be). They oppose each other. Think about John Smeato - wasn't phased at all LOL. A Scottish comedian, Franky Boyle, was talking about that, and said, "who do these al qaeda guys think they are bringing a religious war to Glasgow. We're 300 years ahead of them - they don't even have a football team yet" - just thought I would add that, I thought it was funny.

My dads an entrepreneur, pure and simple. Religion doesn't come in to it. Ask my dad about religion and he'll just shrug. So i've erm, always been able to have an objective opinion on things...


Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:09 pm
by Ryan A
Well KPj I would have to disagree with your use of the word theory.

The problem with religion is it is a very bad theory as it can not predict anything. Scientific theories have utility in that they accurately describe something we already know occurs and they tell us about other stuff we have yet to observe.

That makes one better than the other.

There is a difference between being tolerant and being a fool. For each person, they weigh their factors and decide where being tolerant turns into being a fool. I am certain I draw the line sooner than most and am probably more skeptical about any religious attitude.

I don't want to be someone who stands by and lets people of different "culture" simply justify themselves through the culture banner.

Science tells us some impressive things that while not always true at least have some evidence supporting the conclusions. I think it is my duty as a scientist to then act a certain way and convince others to act the same way.

In fact, some of my utmost respect goes out to the religious people who believe something and try to share with other people. Preaching is exactly what the world needs. If you are not willing to back what you believe then your belief is hollow, and it is probably a pretty bad one. If people "preach" or discuss and get things out in the open, then society as a whole can evaluate what is the best choice.

This is all predicated on the fact that people are intelligent and can make good decisions which is a non trivial question, in which case, you should let the scientists rule the world. That last part was a joke...

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:10 pm
by Matt Z
"Thought two. The bible teaches us to place our lives and faith into God's hands. (Conversely, it teaches physician, heal thyself.) So if a child dies, that is God's will." - hoosegow

This is just one of many biblical interpretations. One could just as well argue that modern medicine is a gift from God.

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:33 pm
by Matt Z
"Should genetalia mutilation be considered child abuse when the child has no say in the matter? Before you answer that, isn't that what we do when we circumcise? That might be considered neglect and abuse in some cultures." - hoosegow

If you're refering to female circumcision, then yes it is child abuse and shouldn't be tolerated anywhere. Meanwhile, there's a vast difference between female circumcision and male circumcision, which does little or no harm (although even male circumcision has become controvesial in recent years).

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:08 pm
by hoosegow
I respect your belief in not to believe and I was only using the Christian religion as my example because it is the only one I know. I also understand your doubt that there is no God. I was an athiest for years, but I have no problem with saying I am a Christian.

To get back to my original arguement, who are we to judge whether one religious belief is right or wrong? If there is no God and there is ultimately no right or wrong other than what society has forced upon us, then why does any death matter. Is not the death of one child, six million Jews, or two million Cambodians inconsequential? If we are truthfully nothing more than animals, why can't we live like animals? Why can't we kill and take what we want?

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:24 pm
by Matt Z
"However it is still a terrible thing to do as the bible is obviously rubbish written by bronze age goat herders and passed down in the worlds biggest game of telephone." - Ironman

I think you're going a bit too far. Just because you don't believe in something doesn't make it rubbish.

For example, I don't believe in Ganesha, or any of the other Hindu gods. The beliefs/teachings/practices of Hinduism differ vastly from my own faith, but I wouldn't refer to the Hindu texts as rubbish. That would be insulting to Hindus and ignorant, since the Hindu religion is something I don't know very much about.

Likewise, religious texts have tremendous historical, sociological and philasophical value.

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:39 pm
by Ryan A
If are not in a place to judge what is right and wrong, then who is going to?

Death matters because people make it matter. So unless you believe that people have no meaning without god, then it seems like death should matter since people exist.

Humans are the closest things to gods this planet currently has and if they do not take the responsibility of creating morality, then morality will not exist. I haven't seen a 21st century version of the ten commandments descend onto any mountains lately, so I take it upon myself to decide for myself what is right and wrong.

Something to think about hoosegow, every time you cite god, you are judging. You are deciding that according to you and many other people, god is some kind of authority. Since most monotheistic deities have a monopoly on what is right and wrong, you are basically saying what is right and wrong by endorsing Christianity, Islam or Judaism. The only difference it seems between you and me, is that you want to have a middle man who is all powerful, to whom you can say "we do not understand your divine intentions" whenever something happens in your life that you can not explain.

If the last part is getting a bit too personal I apologize, but I am lacking the vocabulary at the moment to express my concern that there are humans that find no meaning without something inhuman.

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 5:42 am
by Ironman
Well I think Ryan answered the norals without god issue very well, so I don't need to repeat that.

Matt, ok, rubbish is subjective, so I should probably leave that off. However it was handed down by word of mouth and then written and copied by hand a bunch of times and translated and retranslated. There is also nothing in there that was not known before the 3rd century when the whole thing was put together for the first time. Plus there are so many others who say they have the truth too as well as many other messiahs who came before Jesus and were nearly identical. So I'm very skeptical.

Ryan, on your previous post I think "hypothesis" is the word you were looking for. Of course a hypothesis usually starts with an observation so maybe it's not even that. As for preaching, it might be ok, but I am pretty wary. It seems like that usually involves brainwashing people into doing bad things.

Hoosegow, I don't have a belief to not believe I just don't have any faith. I simply don't believe. It's the same way you feel about lepricons, unicorns and dragons.

As for circumcision, it is bad and it is genital mutilation no matter what. Saying female circumcision is worse then male, is crazy. That's like your friend saying he has colon cancer and you just reply, "Oh, well pancreatic caner is much worse."

The foreskin or prepuce is not a useless part anyway. The glans or head of the penis is meant to be internal. The prepuce also contains the most sensitive nerve endings. It also aids in the mechanics of an sexual contact with the penis. During sexual intercourse it helps the gliding motion in the vagina to be smoother. It also protects the glans from rubbing on clothing and keeps it from drying out and becoming calloused. This slight callousing can cause decreased sensation in some circumcised men. In some men it is extreme enough that they have some sexual dysfunction. Circumcisions are sometimes tight and cause uncomfortable tugging when erect. It may pull the skin very taught to where it can be a little painful and some minor bleeding may happen. Plus it is a procedure that is not needed and painful to a baby. It also has it risks. There have been some that were botched or some rare unforeseen complications. It is also a costly procedure that could be omitted. It's original purpose outside the ritual jewish mutilation is to deter boys from masturbating. All that other nonsense about cleanliness and such was brought up later and there is no proof that any of it is true.

There are even those who choose to stretch out what foreskin they have left over a period of a couple years, in order to get glans coverage again. You can't get back what was removed, but you can regain sensitivity in what you have left.

So I say leave poor defenseless boys alone. Don't cut off part of their body when they can't even say no.

I'm going to go further off the point and mention the appendix and the tonsils aren't exactly useless either. Some things may be less important than others, but everything has a function. I've heard recently tonsils are actually quite important to the immune system and doctors don't take them out unless they absolutely must now. Or so I have heard from several people with young children.

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:05 pm
by ironmaiden708
Oh, well pancreatic caner is much worse."
Actually pancreatic cancer is much worse.

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:38 am
by Ironman
ironmaiden708 wrote:
Oh, well pancreatic caner is much worse."
Actually pancreatic cancer is much worse.
Yea, I know that. That's why it's a good example. Because female circumcision is worse than male. People Always say female is worse whenever someone mentions circumcision. I was just saying it is like telling your friend who brings up his colon cancer that pancreatic is worse. That would not be a very nice response.

I was just trying to point out that the existence of more extreme genital mutilation does not make milder genital mutilation ok. Just like the existence of bacterial meningitis does not make viral a big party. The fact that people are raped does not make grabbing some ladies ass ok, unless of course she likes that. :) The fact that you know about people who have been kicked in the crotch is not going to make you happy about getting punched in the face.

Do you see where I'm going that?

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:55 am
by ironmaiden708