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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 02:44 PM

What is unfaithfulness and how does it relate to the Newtown tragedy?

I have maintained that human unfaithfulness bears significant responsibility for the Newtown tragedy. Fundamentalists, and those who are not at all religious but assume the same things as the fundies do, hold that faithfulness has to do with doctrines. The fundies see it positively. Many non-religious see it negatively, and insist that all religion holds doctrine as the key to faithfulness.

To the contrary, faithfulness has little to do with doctrinal belief. It has to do with action toward the earth and all its creatures. The basic attributes of faithfulness are to recognize the ethical norms dealing with how we relate to one another. It is about human action, not doctrine. Kant said it best when he described his religion as paying attention to “the starry heavens above and the moral law within.” This moral law is written into the heart of human relationships.

All major religions have some variation of the golden rule, “Do unto others …” When we harm others, or allow them to be harmed, that is unfaithfulness. So in this instance we have perpetuated an inhuman unfaithful culture of violence. To treat anyone or to support anything that treats anyone as less than human, or as worthless is to be unfaithful to the moral code at the heart of the universe.

Specifically:
Our trust in war as the epitome of a violent culture.

The ubiquity of lessons of destruction and killing in the video games and other outlets which bathe our youngsters—and all the rest of us--in violence, and which sees any other person as less than worthwhile.

The dependence on weapons to solve human problems, and a failure to fight the manufacturer, sale or use of these weapons when they are specifically designed to destroy other humans.

The failure in our national budgets to address the critical needs of the mentally ill.

Any religious system which condemns to hell anyone not holding certain doctrines—the ultimate in projected human violence.

In short, there is a moral law written into the universe that both religion and non-religion can recognize as what to is right and good. Religion simply has sought ways to codify that moral law—but those of no religion are often just as aware as the most pious religionist. To violate that code which lies at the heart of life, is to be unfaithful.
To the extent our culture has violated that moral law ls to share responsibility for the Newtown tragedy.

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Reply What is unfaithfulness and how does it relate to the Newtown tragedy? (Original post)
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 OP
cleanhippie Dec 2012 #1
trotsky Dec 2012 #2
fleur-de-lisa Dec 2012 #3
okasha Dec 2012 #4
Goblinmonger Dec 2012 #5
humblebum Dec 2012 #6
Goblinmonger Dec 2012 #11
Leontius Dec 2012 #7
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #15
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 #22
Goblinmonger Dec 2012 #24
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 #25
trotsky Dec 2012 #26
beam me up scottie Dec 2012 #27
trotsky Dec 2012 #31
beam me up scottie Dec 2012 #32
skepticscott Dec 2012 #33
beam me up scottie Dec 2012 #34
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 #35
beam me up scottie Dec 2012 #37
trotsky Dec 2012 #40
humblebum Dec 2012 #42
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 #38
beam me up scottie Dec 2012 #39
skepticscott Dec 2012 #41
humblebum Dec 2012 #12
Goblinmonger Dec 2012 #14
humblebum Dec 2012 #16
Goblinmonger Dec 2012 #17
humblebum Dec 2012 #18
cleanhippie Dec 2012 #19
humblebum Dec 2012 #20
cleanhippie Dec 2012 #21
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 #23
tama Dec 2012 #44
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 #29
Thats my opinion Dec 2012 #36
beam me up scottie Dec 2012 #8
mr blur Dec 2012 #9
skepticscott Dec 2012 #10
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #13
okasha Dec 2012 #28
WCGreen Dec 2012 #30
tama Dec 2012 #43
okasha Dec 2012 #45

Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 02:53 PM

1. Translation: Hopefully my word salad will obscure what I actually said and gloss over similarities

Between me and my evangelical counterparts.




Fail. And still despicable.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:13 PM

2. IOW, it's "unfaithfulness" to what YOU believe your god's wishes are.

Same as what Mike Huckabee thinks. There is no "moral law written into the universe" - and as long as someone like you (or Huckabee) insists there is, we will continue to disagree and you and he will continue to get on your soapboxes and preach to the rest of us that all our problems come from not doing what you think god wants us to.

Two sides of the same despicable coin, as someone you know has said.

IMHO, we need to put "god" aside and recognize that no one has the inside path on a "moral law," that we as human beings have to figure this out for ourselves.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:21 PM

3. You lost me at . . .

"I have maintained that human unfaithfulness bears significant responsibility for the Newtown tragedy".

I really tried to read the rest of your gobbledy-gook, but it gave me a headache.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 03:51 PM

4. I agree with you about the culture of violence.

I team-teach an ESL class two nights a week. (My co-teacher is Jewish; I'm pagan; we meet in an evangelical church that doesn't care what we are. Oh, horrors!) A couple days ago, before breaking for the holidays when our parent org shuts down, we showed the old 1950's version of White Christmas because it has a simple plot and fairly easy vocabulary.

Now the 50's had their problems: institutionalized racism, misogyny, homophobia and American exceptionalism among them. But what struck me forcibly was that in this film there were:

no car chases tearing up the city/landscape;
no blood, in spite of the first few minutes' being set in a war zone;
no explicit violence at all;
no "enhanced" surround-sound with the bang-bang;
no f-words or derogatory language toward women;
no dancing indistinguishable from writhing in pain.

Somehow we all managed to enjoy it anyway.


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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:04 PM

5. You never cease to amaze me.

So when it is pointed out to you that you said a really shitty thing, you think your best approach is to start a DIFFERENT thread (rather than address your problem on the original clusterfuck) and say that those who saw your bigotry are actually just as bad a Huckabee.

Giant. Fucking. Fail.

And there is no moral law written into the universe. The universe could give fuck all about us.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:48 PM

6. Prove it. nt

 

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Response to humblebum (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:08 AM

11. I'm not the one making a positive claim

that the universe has written in it some code. My statement is the null hypothesis. That does not need to be proven.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 04:56 PM

7. Is there a moral law written inside of man?

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Response to Leontius (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:57 AM

15. Yes, of a basic sort.

Most people would be horrified at the thought of wantonly killing children. Most people would not be able to do what this man did. Most people would suffer agonies of remorse if they were responsible, even by accident, for serious harm to a child. People who do not have this basic moral law are described as 'psychopaths' and are a danger to society.

No doubt we have evolved to have these basic reactions. If most people went around killing children, unrestrained by conscience, then the human race would not have survived to this point.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:36 PM

22. So there is no moral law written into anything?.

We have heard here over and over again that outside of religion those who come to the same moral conclusions as the religiously motivated do, is because they just know what is right and what is wrong--that love is better than hate, justice better than injustice, taking care of the needy better than abandoning them. How do they come to this conclusion? It is self-evident; that there is something about reality which is deeply engrained in these notions. Perhaps this is best evidenced in the words, "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.... And then the author goes on to say this comes from the way God "the creator" endowed reality. If there is no self-evident goodness--or evil, and there is no meaning in anything, then the only law is the law of the jungle.

The Newtown tragedy is not God's doing, but because we violated the ethical lmperative, which is rooted in the meaning of existence.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:39 PM

24. There are some evolutionary reasons for altruism

But when you start talking about a moral code being written into something, you are, de facto, indicating a creator who did that. That is not the case. If there was a moral code written into humans or the universe, then there wouldn't be so much debate about what is moral.

And I guess I hate to be the existentialist in the group, but, yeah, there is no meaning to anything. We are all just here doing our best. That's enough for me. It's not for others.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:13 PM

25. Here we come on our deepest disagreement.

I choose to believe that life has meaning? How do I justify that conclusion? Existentially! It is simply the way that I experience reality. You may be correct, and nothing has any meaning, purpose or worth. I just don't choose to live my life with that presupposition. If that were my basis for existence I would have nothing to say, nothing to write about, nothing to defend. So I come down with Camus--my model of an existentialist and with Kant, my model of a theist..

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:40 PM

26. We evolved as a group-oriented species.

We aren't solitary hunters. We form family and tribal groups naturally. Thanks to millions of years of evolution as a social species, we have some pretty good ideas about which actions benefit the group, and which do not. Are these ideas "rooted in the meaning of existence?" Absolutely not. In order for you to prove this, you'd have to find a feral child - a human with no concept of what it means to be in a group of other humans, and quiz them on morality. Good luck with that - you've got quite a challenge ahead of you!

Those of us who don't believe a god dictated morals to humans understand that we probably have some genes that steer us toward altruistic and cooperative behavior, but that the bulk of what we call morality comes from growing up in a society of fellow humans. We learn about group dynamics. We experience what it's like to hurt others, and to be hurt by others. We come to realize that society will work best for us when we work within its framework, and follow its rules.

There have been lawbreakers from the beginning of time - there are always going to be some who believe they can get away with a certain act, or that the cost of complying with the rules is too steep. I invite you to open your own bible and read the story of Cain and Abel. There's a guy who had to know damn well that your god would know what he did, and punish him severely, but he did it anyway. So much for your belief that the "ethical imperative" is "rooted in the meaning of existence."

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:59 PM

27. "The Newtown tragedy is not God's doing, but because we violated the ethical lmperative"

So again you absolve God who could have prevented this massacre and blame us because we "violated" some fictional "ethical Imperative".

If your god can but refuses to prevent little children from being mowed down by a maniac surely he's violating the same ethical imperative?

What kind of god looks the other way when kids are being slaughtered?

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:45 PM

31. That's such an excellent question that I can say without doubt you will never get an answer.

No theist is going to touch it with a 20 foot pole. If you, or I, or just about any human being had been in a position to stop that massacre, we would have followed our "ethical imperative" and done it. Because we are moral beings and care about our fellow humans.

But their god didn't. Fuck, he could have poofed a nail into existence on the road and given the murderer a flat tire as he was heading to the school. Or caused his gun to jam. Simple. Easy. I'm sure if we sat down and looked at all the little things that could have gone wrong, and interrupted the killer's routine, we could find a few dozen insignificant, virtually undetectable "miracles" that could have been performed to prevent the carnage.

But nope. "Free will" is as close to an answer we'll hear.

What about the free will of everyone who didn't choose to be killed that day?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:36 PM

32. We'll probably get another thread now.

The closest thing to an answer so far is that God doesn't "micromanage".


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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:43 PM

33. But he does seem to have time

to count the hairs on our heads, and catch all those sparrows falling, and deflect all those field goals

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 07:53 PM

34. Not to mention all the time he spends watching people masturbate.

I imagine that's quite time consuming.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:14 PM

35. trotsky, you should realize by now

that while I engage and will continue to do so with many persons here who disagree heartily with--see my many responses in this and recent posts of mine, I no longer will ever demean this conversation with about six of you who just want to slash, burn and dehumanize. And you will increasingly find that others are taking the same approach to these conversations. The notion that we only respond to those who agree with me is absurd--just read our dialogues. You might just quit trying to bait us.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:27 PM

37. I asked an honest question.

Several of them, actually, and you haven't answered one.

Answering the question would "demean the conversation" ?

And repeating the question that you won't answer means I "just want to slash, burn and dehumanize" ?

Quite a pity party you've got going there.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #35)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:11 AM

40. What I realize by now is that you don't tolerate dissent from your proclamations.

You truly expect to just sermonize to a captive audience and receive nothing but praise. We are simply asking questions and challenging your assertions - yet this is so unfamiliar to you and your ivory tower pontifications, you think it's "slash and burn."

Newsflash: other people in this world don't swallow your dogma. If you don't want to hear from others who disagree (and clearly you don't), stay in one of the many protected groups for believers on DU.

Answer bmus's question about why your god doesn't have to follow the same "moral imperative" you claim we should. I challenge you to answer that one.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #40)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 11:56 AM

42. "...I realize by now is that you don't tolerate dissent..." Yes,

 

your radical atheistic POV is so very tolerant of contrary opinions. LOL

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Response to Leontius (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:31 PM

38. Kant thought so. So did Plato, Camus and a hosts of others.

When there seems to be at least very wide, if not universal agreement that there is the good, the just and the charitable, and on the other hand, the wrong, the vengeful and the destructive, and most people in the world live by that imbedded ethic. How do you make the case that there is no imbedded value, truth, or beauty? My evidence is existential--experience. What is your's?

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #38)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:45 PM

39. The christian church has been dictating what is good and evil for thousands of years.

When there seems to be at least very wide, if not universal agreement that there is the good, the just and the charitable, and on the other hand, the wrong, the vengeful and the destructive, and most people in the world live by that imbedded ethic.


How do you explain all the horrible things that were done in God's name by people who lived "by that imbedded ethic"?

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Response to beam me up scottie (Reply #39)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:30 AM

41. Those people weren't "real" Christians

Last edited Thu Dec 20, 2012, 06:18 PM - Edit history (1)

They are lumped under the NTS convenience of "Christianists". Or otherwise classified as not "truly" religious.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:45 AM

12. Um? Actually you are.

 

When you claim, "There is ..." there's no equivocation. You did not say I doubt that there is or that there probably isn't. You said, "...there is no moral law written into the universe. The universe could give fuck all about us."

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Response to humblebum (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:56 AM

14. So if TMO said

"There are pink unicorns living in my arm pit" and I said "No there aren't," you are saying that I am the one with the burden of proof. Sweet baby Jesus, you really have no clue about burden of proof do you? TMO claimed that there is a CODE WRITTEN INTO the universe. I said bullshit--just like my coffee cup next to me doesn't fucking care how my day is going, the universe also just is. That's the null hypothesis. He's the one with the burden of proof.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:22 AM

16. But that is not what we are talking about is it?

 

Both POV's on a moral code are affirmative statements without equivocation. Each demands proof, otherwise both are nothing more than opinion.

If we are both drinking out of the same soft drink and I say it tastes good and you say no it doesn't taste good, who is right? By what measure is there proof?

Both are based upon personal opinion. If any proof is to be drawn, then, it would necessarily be based upon any prevailing consensus of what constitutes good taste.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:31 AM

17. No they are not.

TMO is saying there is a moral code written into the universe. That is a positive claim. I am saying that the null hypothesis is true--that there isn't a moral code written in. I don't have to prove the null hypothesis. I'm assuming you have done no quantitative research in your life. I'm not saying that to be a dick, just trying to figure out why you are having such a hard time figuring out why you don't get the concept.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:53 AM

18. Actually "quantitative research" applies to that which can be quantified. Pink unicorns can be

 

quantified. Morals cannot. Any quantification of morals would then necessarily be based upon numerical opinion. Unicorns are tangible. Morals are not.

I understand the concept fully, and I understand the limitations, too. Try counting sadness, or happiness, or naming the perfect color, or morals.

You are confusing quantitative research with qualitative, and even your null hypothesis is based upon an intangible and cannot be quantified, except by consensus.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:55 AM

19. STOP. FEEDING. THE. TROLLS.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:01 AM

20. It is quite obvious that you are talking to yourself. I do

 

hope you and you have a productive conversation.

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Response to humblebum (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:14 AM

21. Hey, that food was for someone else.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:38 PM

23. see my #22 nt

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:04 AM

44. Depends

 

If you a) start from the reductionistic position and assume there is final theory that can explain and generate everything and all and b) accept the phenomenological evidence of ethical behavior and expectations at least in human relations c) based on Golden/Silver Rule, then the phenomenological evidence of Golden/Silver Rule must be somehow somewhere written in the generative reductionistic final theory.

Of course any of the three presumptions can be denied, but if they are not, reductionistic science comes to same conclusion as OP.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:08 PM

29. Go back and look at my 22 and 25 nt

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:18 PM

36. We have experiences with quesstions of value--even universal values--

we do not with pink unicorns.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:51 PM

8. Obfuscation:

Obfuscation (or beclouding) is the hiding of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, wilfully ambiguous, and harder to interpret

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obfuscation


In a thread titled "What does religion say about the Newtown tragedy?" you posted the following statement:

It is human unfaithfulness and violence that is the cause


Huckabee said the Newtown massacre happened because we took God out of school, you said it happened because humans were unfaithful.

No matter how many threads you start claiming you weren't referring to biblical unfaithfulness, you still blamed people who don't have faith, just like Huckabee.

He's a wizard at obfuscating too, just check out his last performance on The Daily Show.


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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 07:14 PM

9. The Universe doesn't care about you, me or anyone else. Nor does it demand that you believe in it,

love it, worship it, obey it or hide behind stories about it. There is no "moral law written into the universe".

This is the second time you've taken this sickening tragedy and tried to use it to push your waffle and explain events in accordance with the rigid dogma to which you desperately cling.

To treat anyone or to support anything that treats anyone as less than human, or as worthless is to be unfaithful to the moral code at the heart of the universe.


Do you really not see how ridiculous this is? It's grand-sounding waffle that lets you assume a wisdom and insight into life that you obviously don't have.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:31 AM

10. Yet another Sermon from the Mount

that we're all just supposed to STFU and swallow whole, with no criticism or dissension allowed, and certainly no discussion and debate of real issues on your part.

Are you ever going to come down from the ivory tower that you and your "progressive" "theologian" cronies inhabit and answer the hard questions in the real world, Charles? Or are you just going to run away and start a new thread every time the heat gets turned up on your endless nonsense? If you think you're convincing or fooling anyone here, you're very badly deluded.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:48 AM

13. This was an action against all human morality, of any religion or none

While many crimes can be attributed to poor values in society - if a society encourages 'legal' corruption, greed, dishonesty and aggressiveness, it cannot be surprised if some people take these beyond the limits of the law - I am not sure that you can blame the whole culture for this person's violence. In any culture, there will be people who are psychopaths, or sick in a way that is taken out on others. Norway has a great social culture in my opinion; nevertheless it had an Anders Breivik.

It is true that when it's easier to get hold of a gun than of access to mental healthcare, these nightmares will happen more frequently.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:08 PM

28. This part of your post should have a rec of its own:

It is true that when it's easier to get hold of a gun than of access to mental healthcare, these nightmares will happen more frequently

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:00 PM

30. The children that were killed were, what I hope we would all agree, are innocents and

therefor not targets by any organized religion I know about.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:51 AM

43. The usual attack squad

 

to use terminology from the OP is acting very "unfaithfully" in this thread as elsewhere - ie. not according to the Golden/Silver rule. No doubt they have their rationalizations for their irrational behavior, so forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.

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Response to tama (Reply #43)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:36 PM

45. Exactly.

I think they do know what they are doing, however, and that's to avoid having to engage with someone who's a professional actually trained in progressive theology. Highjacking a thread is a classic maneuver that usually comes down to "We don't know enough to address the subject, but we don't like the person who's posting."

Their own loss.

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