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Polemics


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Initial post: Jun 4, 2012 8:22:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 8:31:13 AM PDT
Polemics is the art of controversy. How well does the Forum live up
to this art in terms of elegance and civility? Why do you think religion
stirs up strong feelings and how important is the way we express
them on the Forum? Politeness rules on this thread, please.
Your reply to Shelley-Christine's post:
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Posted on Jun 4, 2012 1:11:26 PM PDT
Kevin Derby says:
It is easier to fool people then to convince them that they have been fooled. -Mark Twain

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 9:19:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 4, 2012 9:24:08 PM PDT
What you have put here doesn't fit the thread. You could put it on "Top 100 Quotes - 2nd Series".

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 4:01:51 AM PDT
Good question. It's like the student graduates the Zen class when the master strikes the student and the student strikes the master back without hesitation. To translate: I can afford to be civil to other religionists(including Scientism-ists) at the point when I become at one with my religion- the one that I had to create for myself [in order to survive]. At that point, what do I care if someone calls me or my religion(which are now one and the same) foolish. I did what I had to do to survive(i.e. be a man and LIVE unhesiitatingly and uncompromisingly by my religion), and not even God can come down and say I got it wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 5:49:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 5, 2012 5:59:26 AM PDT
Clarissa - "How well does the Forum live up to this art in terms of elegance and civility?"

People are people. Some are civil, some are acrimonious because they feel strongly, and some are gratuitously abusive.

"Why do you think religion stirs up strong feelings "

Religion is immune from disconfirmation by empirical reality. Meaning, it can never be proved wrong. If a belief concerning an empirical fact is shown wrong, we can't really get upset--reality is reality, so deal with it. But with religion, there is nothing to intrude on your beliefs other than those annoying people who keep disagreeing with you. It's bound to feel like a personal attack.

"how important is the way we express them on the Forum? "

I feel that civility is always important. If I think that interaction with someone is pointless, I just put them on ignore. But I don't think rancor, or trolls, are restricted to religion. Sure, we all *say* that politics and religion are what brings out the jerk in people. But I've seen people be rude, arrogant, pushy, condescending, etc over just about everything I've seen discussed.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:16:10 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'Remember it was not too long ago, that showing an ankle in public or not covering your head was sinful. People who saw an ankle or an uncovered head might indeed be offended and feel scandalized. But that doesn't make it immoral or wrong, simply offensive to them and THEIR sensibilities.'

- Serene,
on the thread titled "Religion May Become Extinct in Nine Nations"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:16:57 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
-------------------------------------------------
While communists and libertarians would probably bitterly disagree on just about everything, pure communism and pure libertarianism suffer the same fatal flaw which causes both to fail in practice -- they presume rational actors. Unfortunately, humans often DON'T act rationally. A workable system can't presume something that won't really happen. Doing so leads to the Gilded Age with libertarianism, or the USSR and its collapse with communism.

Thus far, the societies with the highest quality of life seem to be those which practice a blended capitalist/socialist economy with high degrees of social and personal liberty. As it so often happens, the answer seems to be not at the extremes, but rather in the middle.
-------------------------------------------------

- seraphimblade,
on the thread titled "Religion May Become Extinct in Nine Nations"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:17:50 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'We need understanding and compassion for all points of view. Radical fanaticism needs to end if we are to survive. Man was given free will and should not impose it on others. We all have to find our own Tao or Way.'

- Judy Bell,
on the thread titled "Where exactly, is Heaven?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:18:19 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'The world would be a much better place without all the anger. Remember, it is always better to be kind than to be right!'

- M. Jasso,
on the thread titled "I can (sort of) prove to YOU that YOUR god does not exist."

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:19:18 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
-------------------------------------------------
The state of the religion before the Enlightenment had more to do with Empire and its continuation than with actual belief and conviction. Before Constantine, Christianity was, if not enlightened, at least a matter of deep conviction rather than enforcement. There is no conflict between the religion of Jesus and Paul and the revelations of the Enlightenment. This has been established thoroughly by people of conviction and scholarly exactitude. It is not that there is no supernatural belief and language and principle in early Christianity, but rather that there is an essence that can be expressed without the supernatural language.

Remember that everyone then believed in various shades of what we would call the supernatural. Galileo's bread and butter was teaching astrology to doctors, so that they could figure out the influences of the stars on their patients and treatments. The real question when examining those old stories is what is the meaning that they thought the supposed supernatural events conveyed. What, in particular, is conveyed about the nature of our deepest values, of what is sacred, of what holds transcendant claim to our loyalties and aspirations?
-------------------------------------------------

- Harry Marks,
on the thread titled "Where exactly, is Heaven?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:19:51 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'But the missionary experience is not without value: to learn to be civil to people who don't like what you are doing, and consider you crazy to be doing it, can be a considerable asset -- particularly if you go into sales.'

- Robert A. Saunders,
on the thread titled "What is your impression of Mormon missionaries?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:20:17 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
--------------------------------------------------------
I like the Eastern European looking blue suits and usually matching { though occasionally red, black or brown } ties, and those nifty circa 1950's John Glenn haircuts.

Their youthful eyes are often startlingly lucid - probably due to inadequate caffeine, alcohol and tobacco consumption.
--------------------------------------------------------

- Redcrowdog,
on the thread titled "What is your impression of Mormon missionaries?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:20:58 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'Islam, too, is adapting to modernity more than the Islamists would have us believe. The political force behind Islamist movements everywhere is not traditionalism, but care for the common person, a lesson that concerned Western governments would do well to learn.'

- Harry Marks,
on the thread titled "Where exactly, is Heaven?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:22:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 8, 2012 6:25:19 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
The aforegoing quotes from a few threads on this forum all strike me as good examples of both lucidity and civility in discussing matters that can become acrimonious and cloudy, in the hands of lesser writers.

All the best,

'prob

.
P.S. There are more examples, of course.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:25:00 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'Once one accepts that we're here on a small planet with nobody to read our minds from on high, the nature of one's relationship with others changes drastically.'

- Daniel G. Schaeffer,
on the thread titled "Where exactly, is Heaven?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:26:05 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'Ataturk's secularization was a wrenching change which, by forcing things from the top down, traumatized Turkish society. It was only accepted because Turkey had been defeated militarily, and that is the political situation of Islam. They all have to decide how much of outside ways to accept, under circumstances in which outside ways represent the enemy. No culture can manage this calmly - imagine if China proves to be a much more dynamic culture than the West, and in 100 years we are having to decide whether to have our children learn Chinese, the world language, and go away to study proper behavior and acceptance of authority from the dominant culture.'

- Harry Marks,
on the thread titled "Where exactly, is Heaven?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:26:45 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'Islam is adapting, and has adapted in the past. To a large extent the conflict with the West and the tension with modernity have slowed this, because it is no longer purely internal, but I would maintain it is a stronger force than fundamentalism. Time will tell, of course, but for every Egypt which appears to contradict it, there is a Tunisia that appears to bear it out. The changes which have come to the West have their own logic and reason, and would be powerful in any society. Most important of these is the importance of education to a modern economy. Ultimately, any force trying to resist that will be crushed.'

- Harry Marks,
on the thread titled "Where exactly, is Heaven?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:27:49 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'No map is ever truly finished, simply because you cannot write down all the truth of the world on a sheet of paper.'

- Richard Fortey,
in his book Earth: An Intimate History
(HarperCollins, 2004), p. 170

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:28:27 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'It may well be that we do eventually earn our way off the wheel of rebirth, but those who do so probably do so because they have come to a full realization of Oneness and not because they want to escape from the misery of life. At that point, they don't see the misery of their own life: They see only opportunities to help others.'

- Paul Whitmore,
on the thread titled "Meditation"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:28:52 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'I prefer to think of myself as one who lives lives on the physical plane because that is my job. So I am not trying to escape anything, but just trying to make this world better and better.'

- Paul Whitmore,
on the thread titled "Meditation"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:29:55 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
--------------------------------------------------
I think that the reason why religion and particularly Christianity is failing in Europe is because you Euros made religion boring and morbid by turning it into a state-run institution. Any time the state gets involved in running things, it becomes a gray and glacially-paced bureaucratic web.

Religion is vital to the American fabric. I'm happy to belong to a nation that is comprised primarily of good and decent people who believe in something bigger than themselves; this we Americans do while still standing up for the right for all to worship or not worship as they please.
--------------------------------------------------

- Joe Anthony,
on the thread titled "Yay for fundamentalism. Give me that old time religion."

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:31:02 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'We all live on the same tiny little planet in a big universe: it is our only home, and we are all a part of the same family.'

- S. Schoby,
on the thread titled "Religion May Become Extinct in Nine Nations"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:32:08 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
----------------------------------------------
My impression is that as our science and knowledge accretes, many things that might have seemed possible in the past no longer seem so at present. For instance, the Bible alludes to many situations that now appear to be ridiculously incoherent, like the sun standing still, or pi being equal to 3. At one time, these ideas wouldn't have entailed any obvious logical impossibilities under the conceptual systems then imagined. But these 'possibilities' are no longer to be considered viable contenders. Scientific progress may make a whole bunch of things possible as technological feats--but the tradeoff is that there are now fewer *logical* possibilities. Yes, now we can fly at supersonic speeds, even though many people thought it was impossible... But No, we *cannot* fly faster than c. This limitation is not because of some historical coincidence, or because we just aren't broad-minded enough! It is because these 'velocities' don't exist, in the first place.
----------------------------------------------

- Randall R Young,
on the thread titled "Does time exist?"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:34:30 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
'Good English syntax is uncommon. You need to use a little imagination to figure out what people are trying to express.'

- D. Thomas,
on the thread titled "Religion May Become Extinct in Nine Nations"

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 6:35:16 PM PDT
'probabilist says:
"Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings; that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide."

(attributed to the Buddha)
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  51
Initial post:  Jun 4, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 10, 2012

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