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  1. #101
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
    You just repeated yourself, so I'll ask again:

    Why? Lay out for me how an atheist cannot logically believe in rights?
    You're misunderstanding me. They can believe in rights, but they have to resort to some sort of "religion." Let's say humanism. In humanism man is god. Man is the measure of all things. This is a philosophical position and not a secular position... even if it is called secular humanism.

    My point is that atheists are on the same footing as me when they push for social reform. We're both basing our opinions on personal philosophical beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
    My belief in certain inalienable rights is not based in a view of good or bad. It's quid pro quo. I believe in my fellow man's right to life because I wish to be guaranteed that right in return. I believe in a right to individual pursuit of happiness because I'm on that same pursuit, and as such I know that each pursuit is as unique as the person who pursues.
    I don't think you realize how many presuppositions you're making here.

    Where do these inalienable rights come from if they are not from God?
    how do you know we're all in this together?
    Certainly its a scientific conclusion that we are we are interdependent, but whether we place value in our life or anyone else's is outside the realm of science.
    Why do you value the golden rule?
    Why is happiness good? Just because it fires off the right synapses in your brain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
    So I, as a hypothetical atheist, believe that we should treat human beings as we wish to be treated, not because of scripture, but because we're all in this together. Belief in the absence of God, and therefore that this is all there is to it does not in any way make life easier, and does not inherently lead to a disregard for the sanctity of others. On the contrary, I would assume that it causes one to seek greater comfort and companionship from those around oneself, as there's nowhere else to turn.
    Again at the bottom of this is an unprovable presupposition that their is value to "we're all in this together."
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  2. #102
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    You're misunderstanding me. They can believe in rights, but they have to resort to some sort of "religion."
    Again, you repeat yourself.

    Why?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Let's say humanism. In humanism man is god.
    False. Humanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Humanism is a worldview and a moral philosophy that considers humans to be of primary importance. It is a perspective common to a wide range of ethical stances that attaches importance to human dignity, concerns, and capabilities, particularly rationality. Although the word has many senses, its current philosophical meaning comes into focus when contrasted to the supernatural or to appeals of higher authority.[1][2] Since the 19th century, humanism has been associated with an anti-clericalism inherited from the 18th-century Enlightenment philosophes. The term covers organized non-theistic religions, secular humanism, and a humanistic life stance.[3]
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Man is the measure of all things.
    Also false. It is enough to be human to deserve humane treatment. I don't need a God or philosophy to justify my behavior as a compassionate human being. Compassion is part of human nature, as is pansexuality in the grand scheme of humanity. Where human nature originated from is irrelevant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    This is a philosophical position and not a secular position... even if it is called secular humanism.
    Philosophical positions fall under the umbrella of secularism. Secularism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Secularism is the concept that government or other entities should exist separately from religion and/or religious beliefs.
    I see no mention of freedom from philosophical thought. Which is good, considering the foundations of our democracy rest in The Enlightenment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    My point is that atheists are on the same footing as me when they push for social reform. We're both basing our opinions on personal philosophical beliefs.
    Right. So why is it necessary that these personal philosophical beliefs come from God?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I don't think you realize how many presuppositions you're making here.

    Where do these inalienable rights come from if they are not from God?
    how do you know we're all in this together?
    Certainly its a scientific conclusion that we are we are interdependent, but whether we place value in our life or anyone else's is outside the realm of science.
    Why do you value the golden rule?
    Why is happiness good? Just because it fires off the right synapses in your brain?
    Perhaps you missed the part where I qualified my statements with "I believe?" I didn't presume to say where inalienable rights come from other than that I believe in them because I wish to be granted them in return.

    I don't know where inalienable rights come from.
    We're all in this together because we're all human beings. A sense of community is a very human thing.
    Yes, I know it's not scientific, thanks.
    I value the golden rule because I choose to.
    I see happiness as good because I enjoy being happy. So, yes. It is because it fires the right synapses in my brain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Again at the bottom of this is an unprovable presupposition that their is value to "we're all in this together."
    So that whole social justice aspect of Christianity is an aspect you choose to disregard?

    I think you're forgetting that you made the original assertion:
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I submit that the concept of anyone having a right to anything is not a secular concept, but must be based in a worldview that goes beyond the secular.
    You've yet to provide support for that statement.
    There is no such thing as separation from God.

  3. #103
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I view homosexuality as something that is harmful, homosexual couples are not loving each other they are harming each other physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
    How?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Moreover, it is harmful to society because it undermines the basic family unit of a father and mother.
    So does divorce, which is legal. So do a lot of other things, tangible and intangible, legal and illegal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I find it strange that liberal journalists will spend one article writing about the increasing problem of fatherless children in urban areas and without a blink of an eye write another article praising a lesbian couple that is raising a child without a male authority in its life.
    This does not equate to the absence of male authority. There are uncles, grandfathers, godfathers, male teachers, male police officers, priests, etc., etc. When have fathers ever been the sole male authority in a child's upbringing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I don't think the state should endorse behavior that is fundamentally harmful to individuals and to society. For example I think we can all agree that that self-harm is bad for individuals and bad for society. Therefore no one would be in favor of a national self harm day in which the state celebrates a person's right to self-harm.
    You mean like St. Patrick's day, when many people engage in binge drinking?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I know that may be a very shocking and annoying analogy for many of you.
    Not shocking, I've heard it many times before, though with prettier, more intelligent framing. Annoying, yes. Very.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    But, hopefully you can see why based on my presuppositions I reach my conclusion that its ok to "force" my beliefs about homosexuality on other people.
    No. You fail. Explain to me how homosexual couples are hurting each other.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Ftr, I'm not a homophobe.
    *derisive snort*
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I have no problem being around homosexuals and I actually have a good friend who goes in and out of the lifestyle.
    You're so openminded and enlightened lolz.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I am absolutely opposed to making fun of or denigrating homosexuals in any way.
    denigrate |ˈdeniˌgrāt|
    verb [ trans. ]
    criticize unfairly; disparage : there is a tendency to denigrate the poor.

    Making blanket statements that homosexual couples are harming each other physically, emotionally and spiritually and are incapable of loving each other seems pretty disparaging to me. Does your "gay friend" know you feel this way?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I think they deserve an equal place in society, but do not deserve any special protections or privileges.
    Special protections or privileges such as?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I believe that it is irrelevant whether or not homosexuals are born with same-sex attraction. I can understand that people have same-sex attraction, but I don't think that justifies harmful homosexual behavior.
    What about the harmless homosexual behavior?
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I hold heterosexuals to the same high standard.
    Yeah it's not difficult to hold heterosexuals to the heterosexual standard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I don't believe in no fault divorce and I would seriously consider making adultery a crime.
    Allow me to suggest where you may find yourself right at home:

    Saudi Arabia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    There is no such thing as separation from God.

  4. #104
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    "Lifestyle"?

    ... That word seems to succinctly encapsulate exactly where someone is coming from, attitude and ideology-wise.

    A religion is no less of a chosen lifestyle, technically, and I think in many ways is more of one since it often dictates the trappings of a particular way one prefers to live, and religious groups tend to be their own private homogenous block parties.

    But I prefer to avoid the term, since it's typically dismissive in nature.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #105
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    "Lifestyle"?
    When someone uses that word while speaking about homosexuality, they don't know what they're talking about.

  6. #106
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    Humorous. First of all, people who have a problem with homosexuality on religious grounds often do not consider themselves 'Homophobes' because this heavily implies mindless derisive behavior. However, the fact of the matter is, it is possible for someone to have a problem with homosexuality on religious grounds and be a homophobe. See: Crusader fanatics.

    The thing is though, your entire argument for the thought that beefeater is homophobic is on the grounds that (Assuming he's a Christian) Christianity is crap. You two are at a deadlock. If you want to win a debate, bring someone down with their own logic, not your own. It's unfortunate that many people don't understand this essential rule of debates.

    Now, first point. I disagree with one of Beefeater's points as well: Emotionally. This isn't some form of masochism, they actually ENJOY it. It's a matter of free will, as is all sin. I also partially disagree with physically. I have seen no medical evidence that homosexuality causes STDs to be transmitted more easily than heterosexuality. I would, however, consider this a viable point to be used in a debate about the morality of bisexuality. (Way too many 'alities' here, it's starting to sound weird in my mind.)

    In response to the second point, while divorce is the absence of a relationship as husband and wife between the two parties, this does not undermine the traditional family model (And I don't mean the 50s-era model.) in the way that homosexuality does. In short, ending a relationship is one thing, providing a socially acceptable alternative to beginning the relationship is another. What would cause more harm, the assassination of one of Edison's parents before he was born via time-travel or the assassination of Edison after he does his life's work? (I know we don't have time travel, it's just a hypothetical example. I'm putting this here because of some ridiculous arguments that I've seen.)

    And about the third point cited, that's not exactly the point. The point here is, that people are unwilling to see it as a deviation (In spite of the fact that biology states that it is.) and thus, are unwilling to look for causes as opposed to just leaving at, "It's inherent, we can't help it."

    Fourth, I partially agree with Brendan here. You gave him no reason to believe that homosexuality was equivalent with self-harm. However, the way that people celebrate St. Patrick's Day is entirely up to them. (Side note to the 5th quote, not the most effective picture there.) 6th point, Objectivity is one thing, but once a belief is forced upon another, it ceases to be belief and becomes oppression. 7th point, see above. 8th point, "Some of my best friends are <insert group here>" isn't that great of a defense. However, given Beef's apparent lack of experience in debates, I would assume that he's being honest. Furthermore, mockery has no place in a civil debate. (Yes, I know that sounded like I'm wearing a monocle or something.)

    9th point, see above, you're using your logic to try to convince him, that'll never work. 10th point, you definitions of 'Special protections and privileges' are obviously different. Brendan views it as something that would give anyone whom engages in homosexual behavior an advantage over those who do not. Beef, apparently views it as same-sex marriage, and similar sanctions. (I'm using second person because I assume both people will be reading this.)

    11th Point, Actually, this is relevant, Beefeater. If it were to be proved that it's a matter of genetics, then a good deal of arguments against homosexuality will go out the window. Furthermore, Beef, not the best choice of words. It implies that there is, in fact, harmless homosexual behavior something that I believe we can agree upon the nonresistance of. 12th Point, that retort actually implies that you believe that this is a matter of behavior, and not inherent quality. I'm sorry if I've misinterpreted, but please try to be more clear in the future (Not trying to sound smug.) Furthermore, adultery as a crime does NOT mean that we're going to start executing or mutilating people. Seriously, insults and mockery don't help your case.

    I'm going to take a break now, that was long. (I realize that I made an obvious statement.)
    INTP,
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  7. #107
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Good contribution, IM, it should spur on further conversation.

    (Note: I added some carriage returns to help it read more easily to people, I hope that's okay. It was kinda easy to get lost in the middle of the Big Block O' Text before... and your points deserved better.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #108
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    No, I doubt it is convincing. But, I challenge the Idea that "because the bible says so" is somehow equal to theocracy. I support laws against murder first and foremost on the basis that that it is a societal sin condemned by God.
    And that's entirely sufficient for a personal belief... one that may indeed affect how you vote. "Because the Bible says so" is not, however, a sufficient justification for a law of a religiously neutral government. There are plenty of ethical, non-explicitly religious arguments to prohibit murder, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I think your concept of the priesthood of all believers is a bit misinformed, but I won't get into that.
    Well, different protestant denominations interpret it in different ways. I'd just as soon not go into it, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I don't expect other people to be content when my views are imposed upon them regardless of whether they're on religious grounds. Nonetheless, If I can get a constitutional bill I support based on my view of the bible passed by congress and signed by the president... well that's that. It's not fundamentally unfair.
    Are you saying that a law whose only arguments were religious couldn't be challenged on the establishment clause? Even so, would you see it as fair to people of other faiths, who might believe in their faith as strongly as you do in yours? If Muslims were in the majority, and passed laws based only on the Koran would you really shrug and say "fair is fair?"

    I get the feeling you are fundamentally against living in a pluralistic society with a secular government, and don't really see how the reciprocity of religious tolerance benefits both believers and non-believers alike. It almost sounds like you'd rather have a "winner take all" system, where a religious majority can dictate laws free of constraint. Is that what you mean? Or do you really feel like we already live under such a system and the non-Christians are calling the shots unrestrained?

    On a related note, would you then be for the government taking care of the poor and healing the sick, since those are directly line with Jesus's teachings? Should we use "Don't store up treasures here on earth" as justification for taxing the rich? I suspect you would be against such enforced piety (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Religious tolerance is a separate issue from policy motivation.
    Based on the establishment clause, the Supreme Court has held that a law must have a secular purpose and that purpose must be its primary effect. So while individual motivation is open, laws in the U.S. must have a secular purpose and be defensible as such. Perhaps you disagree with the rulings, but it does seem like a reasonable way of not legally favoring any one religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Gay marriage is strictly an equal protection clause issue. The establishment clause does not come into play... I'm pretty sure you can read any court opinion on same-sex marriage and they're not going to bring up the establishment clause.
    I agree the establishment clause hasn't come into effect for gay marriage and I wasn't arguing that it had (or should). I was just arguing that religious-only arguments for laws won't take one very far beyond personal belief.

    That being said, gay marriage falls more under equal protection because people have argued against it on the grounds of "maintaining a good environment for children" and "protecting marriage" (despite a paucity of empirical evidence of any negative effects). Those are secular reasons (no matter how religiously motivated) and so can be addressed on those terms.

    Were it argued only "because the Bible said so," then the anti-establishment clause could come into play.

  9. #109
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    IM- you really think I'm that bad of a debater?

    Thanks for the lesson... although quotations would have made it easier to follow.

    The thing is while I'm arguing with Seymore, Brendan, Jennifer et. al. They're not my audience. I know I'm not going to convince them. But, I might just happen to convince the younger christians viewing the sight. Grant it many of my posts are probably too long and boring for many, if any to follow along... but I'll learn.

    Also, I tend to stick to theological arguments cuz that's what I'm comfortable arguing. Honestly, I don't know that much about the actual societal impacts. Public policy isn't really my thing... I've only gained interest in the last year. You might not like the polcy arguments I did make, but if you've argued this topic with conservative christians you know I've actually been reserved in the claims I'm willing to make. The thing is... I'm kinda busy and unless somehow I find the time to sort through all the bias research on both sides or somehow find a organization, not focus on the family, that has reliable research I'm gonna have a hard time maintaining that side of the argument.

    So yeah. I guess in summation. I do not have public policy arguments right now that are convincing enough for anyone that is informed and deeply in favor of same-sex marriage.

    So the only leg I have to stand on, at this point, is theological. Or as anyone opposed to my view would put it "the bible says so." I'm not ashamed of that. Frankly I can't think of a better reason to support or oppose something other than the "bible says so."

    It seems likely that same-sex marriage will win out at least in new england and the west coast. If obama gets a second term then there is a substantial chance same-sex marriage will be a constitutional right. So in 50 years we'll see what happens. I don't know if I'll be here, no not the rapture silly, I think I'd like to be in China... I have sense that's where all the action is going to be... if it isn't already.

    Brendan- we're going in circles. If I have failed to communicate the gist of my argument at this point... than I don't know If I'm going to in the near future.

    What I'm trying to do is work within the framework of presuppositional apologetics to point out that the atheist and the Christian bases all their beliefs on unprovable presuppositions. So when we make societal arguments we're both starting from the same place. Instead the mistaken idea that atheists build on provable science and Christians build on unprovable faith. You can read more about it here.

    Jaguar- Lifestyle can have a positive connotation... remember robin leach!
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  10. #110

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    I've said before that I'm loath to post in the threads on these topics, people getting angry too easily and its touch paper material really, what I will say is that there's a lot of baggage being brought into them.

    If someone disagrees with you dont assume that they are mad, bad and ignorant, less so label them that way, you're closing down conversation and making communication impossible from the get go.

    All you're left with then is a war of words, maybe your own or your adversary will sharpen up your own or their own arguments but so far as any shared understanding or mutual respect or even a friendly dialogue goes its become impossible.

    Which lets face it is the best you can expect from an online forum, I've yet to hear of anyones views and opinions on mundanities or banalities let along political hot topics being swayed one way or another as a result of an exchange online with a random stranger.

    Also a little uderstanding/comprehension wouldnt go a miss, there is much greater diversity and disparity within supposedly homogenous groups than anyone is suggesting here, the result is pretty damn disparaging with people of one opinion being villified and everyone of the contrary view being valourised.

    Perhaps the spectre of the Chrisian Right, something which is abscent from the UK's cultural scene, is heavily haunting this thread, which I think was largely rhetorical in the first place and set up to disparage, dismiss and condemn rather than as an honest attempt to solicit the views of people opposed to same sex "marriages". The point is that there's all sort of prejudice, if you're a right on, PC, gay friendly member of the forum and believe that gay friendliness can be legislated it doesnt mean that you're free from prejudice of your own, think about it.

    The labellings an annoyance but I think it stirs up a sense of grievance which isnt contained to the single thread, which winds up seeping out and showing up randomly elsewhere before you know it, grudge city. If you feel your not just posting back and forth but crossing swords, really crossing swords, attempting to get people to shut up, then I dont know how you shake that next time you cross paths with them on a different topic entirely. Before you know it if they like choclate you get the feeling you prefer vanilla, what's more you're going to damn well let them know about it.

    There's a lot of other stuff being deployed in these threads too, condescention, making mock, the whole gummit of ridicule and what have you but I've not got the energy nor inclination, not because I'm a coward or evading the better argument or anything else, I'm not playing a win-lose rhetorical sparring match in any of the threads here.

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