Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In reply: My Right to Damn Myself to Hell for Placing My Faith in My Chosen Scripture, Rather Than Yours

(...or waste my time by believing in those fairy-stories, at all....)

Revised and extended reply to several comments from "danieltumser" at the post, Video: Glenn Beck’s Liberty University Commencement Address-
The Right Scoop
(I offer no Beck content, here or there... For the most part, I don't take him or his conspiracy theories seriously enough to even write about... I hope the kids dug his speech, but I also hope they're smart enough to find and separate the tiny grains of truth from all the useless, fact-deficient chaff...):

Having had a very similar conversation with the same gentleman, I just wanted to say your replies were first-rate. While I'm more of a left-lib--and a believer, taboot--I'm good with America being a theistically pluralistic place, where every individual is free to practice whatever their faith or lack of it compels them (barring the obviously illegal and immoral, of course.) I'm even good with those who have beliefs other than my own trying to persuade me to believe as they do--I think it's healthy to exchange ideas and ideals with folks who ain't like you, whether it be religiously or politically or socially--but I have little patience with the openly intolerant. Those who start sentences with "(All) Christians are..." or "(All) Muslims need to..." or "(All) atheists hate..." (and stated or not, that "all" is ever-present and pretty obvious, besides) tend to be exhibiting their own intolerance of (and sometimes, bigotry toward) those not like them.

The fact is, most of us think we're on the one true path to enlightenment--and that everyone not walking our path... well... isn't--but I don't go in much for the folks who cannot help but point out that everyone who isn't of their particular faith (or lack of it) is heading for the flaming fires, or just wasting their time here on Earth, or whatever... Whether or not one's faith in G-d, the gods, or the scientific method teaches that that's true is kinda besides the point... Here in America anyway, all those idiots, heathens, and believers in fairy-tales have the God-given/natural right to put all their love and faith and trust in the wrong scriptures or set of beliefs. As far as I'm concerned, anyway, THAT'S what this country was in part founded on; my right to worship (or not) as I choose, and your right to worship (or not) as you choose.

(And to think I only stepped in because Greywolfe used the phrase "american nihilist" in one of his replies...)

The particular danieltumser comment that prompted the response above:

Oh, you want to ignore all the points I made and dive into quote mining? The fallacious tactic perfected by fundamentalist apologetics in matters of science? Okay.

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion. . ." The Treaty of Tripoli, written under George Washington, ratified under John Adams

"Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, and the full establishment of it, and in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government and Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against. . .and in a government of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion of the subject. Every new and successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together." James Madison

"It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law, was right and necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; and that the only question to be decided was which was the true religion. The example of HOlland proved that a toleration of sects, dissenting from the established sect, was safe and even useful. The example of the Colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all Sects might be safely and advantageously put on a footing of equal and entire freedom. . .We are teaching the world the great truth that governments do better without Kings and Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of government." James Madison

"The purpose of seperation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." - James Madison

"The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?" - John Adams

"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity." - John Adams

". . . Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist." - Benjamin Franklin

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye to reason." - Ben Franklin

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." - Ben Franklin

I also have pages of research done from a recent term paper on Thomas Jefferson's secularization of the four Gospels in "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" including multiple letter excerpts to friends and colleagues on the subject thoroughly demonstrating that was no more a Christian than he was an Epicurean (reference, letter to William Short) and that is in the philosophic sense, not in the magical or metaphysical.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not found this nation. Nor does it have federal authority.

I've already responded to your false assumption that I am a flat out nihilist, if you insist continuing operating under that impression then you either suffer from a misapprehension or are arguing in bad faith, thinking that for some reason I am insincere at best.

If that's the case, please do tell, inform me what kind of nihilist I am, I'm dying to know, please tell me all about myself, I doubt you could sound any more cocksure and condescending if you tried.

My stance on the un-evidenced metaphysical requires no justification, it is a lack of any positive claim. It's potentially even a null hypothesis depending on how one would define the agnostic parts of disbelief. It is in fact your positive claims pertaining to the supernatural that require justification for a rational acceptance.

I can't resist, how do you justify your lack of belief in Zeus?
How do you justify your lack of belief in Odin?
How do you Justify your lack of belief in Minerva?
How do you Justify your lack of belief in Krishna?
How do you justify your lack of belief in the sun god Ra?
How do you justify your lack of belief in Ahura Mazda?
How do you justify your lack of belief in pixies, faeries, elves, leprechauns or Santa Claus?

None of those are faiths, like you assert I hold, they are lack of faith, but please put words in my mouth again.

Only one of my quotes really has any relevance in the legal context at all, and it is the binding Treaty of Tripoli, written under Washington and signed under Adams.

Only one of your quotations likewise has any relevance, though oddly it is directly contrary to the Establishment clause by Oliver Ellsworth, was it written as the prevailing opinion of a supreme court case while he was Chief Justice, or was it his personal opinion as a private citizen outside of his decisions as a judge? If the latter is the case, you could have cited Patrick Henry as well, one of many framers of the constitution who attempted to push your god into the wording and was rejected outright, and it would have as little meaning.

We could quote mine the founders all day and night, but it's still fallacious, what matters is the Constitution and the fact that Christianity is not the religion of the United States (government). We're a nation of (mostly) Christians, a nation founded by (mostly) Christians, but not a nation founded on Christianity.

One can be both religious in his personal beliefs, and secular in matters of governance, such was the case of our Founders, and is demanded of our judges. Neutral stance in conflicts of religion outside legal matters.

You also seem to be operating under the continued assumption that I have a political ideology greatly different from yourself. If you are a free market capitalist in favor of greatly limited government, which only draws authority from the consent of the governed, leaving private individuals alone save for when citizens engage in abuses against others, then you and I would be in agreement.

I've said it before and I feel I'll have to say it again, merely asserting something doesn't make it true, that goes for your god and for aspects of my character or ideology.


ex DLB said...

Very nice job by Mr. Tumser. Hadn't seen the ironically named Greywolfe in awhile. He seems to see things in only black and white, no? I see he picked up the habit of cawing "nihilist" from Donald.

Went over to vote for your friend, but I believe she had already won that round.

Where do you find the Japanese spammers?

repsac3 said...

Greywolfe is a true believer, but unlike Don, he's a more or less pleasant person to be around. (Well, for a bigot...) Good observation as regards the lack of greyness in his world view. Odd, that.

Yep, my friend Barrie did win the first round of that wheels and heels thing... You'll have more opportunities to vote for her coming up, when she's in the runoff with the other semi-finalists... (Pretty dang hot in the first place, and moreso when you realize that she ain't in her 20s... or her 30s, anymore...)

As for the spammers, they're imported, natch... Just more ferriners doing the work real Americans won't do, anymore...

(What *I* don't understand, is why google/blogger has no means of reporting these asses... If someone sets up a spam blog--and I have no clue what a spam blog is or does, but I'd think the solution would be not to visit it, anymore--you can report 'em, but when some idiot comes to yours and pollutes your comment stream with bullshit in a foreign tongue, there's no means of reporting that... It's not as though they don't have blogger accounts... ...so I just don't understand why there's no means of dealing with that. I mean, I'd imagine that if they were providing links to child porn or bomb-making instructions--and they may be... I never follow my Japanese spammers' links--google/blogger would have some means of removing their access, but if their offense is selling something on someone else's blogspot blog without permission, there's no recourse from the company... Go figure...)

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