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Student and Teacher Conversation!!





prantikbordoloi
An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty.

He asks one of his new students to stand and .....

Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.

Prof: Is God good?
Student: Sure.

Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Student: Yes.

Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm? (Student is silent.)

Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fellow. Is God good?
Student: Yes.

Prof: Is Satan good?
Student: No.

Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Student: From...God...

Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student: Yes.

Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student: Yes.

Prof: So who created evil?
Student does not answer.

Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student: Yes, sir.

Prof: So, who created them?
Student has no answer.

Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.

Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.

Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.

Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student: Yes.

Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.

Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.

Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Prof: Yes.

Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Prof: Yes.

Student: No sir. There isn't.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a
word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)

Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?

Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light....But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?

Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.

To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir? (The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)

Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class is in uproar.)

Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.)

Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.

Student: That is it sir... The link between man & god is FAITH. That
is all that keeps things moving & alive.

this is a true story, and the student was none other than.........Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the present president of India

Any opinions!!

--Prantik
Kaneda
Funny, last time I heard this story - don't remember where, but I actually think it was here - the young man was Albert Einstein. Didn't believe that back then, either. It bears all marks of being fiction, and the argument of "evil as the absense of good" is not new (or sound). Neither is putting science at the same level as religion in terms of teaching "unproven truths".

Seeing as there are several different versions on the net (also different length-wise, point-wise, etc. - but always being about an "atheist professor" and including the "evil as absense of good" argumjent, I'd say it's an urban legend, which lives on because it serves several purposes - positive affirmation in the form of a young man teaching his somewhat arrogant professor a lesson + letting the very icon of modern science (Einstein) show the shortcomings of science, and provide the same flawed "logic" that Christians have used for centuries to get back at the logic of science.

Such a fictional story is not really not needed, though, since Einstein already was a religious man (albeit his beliefs were very different from this "young man"'s), and has probably had plenty of discussions like this which were much more profound.

EDIT: Just checked on snopes.com, and sure enough, they agree. Smile
harry088
APJ ROCKS MEN!!

He is kool composed God...
Gieter
What's my opinion on the subject? Another stupid attempt to try to prove the existence to God. You may prove God to a real atheist, he still wouldn't be convinced, and he wouldn't start believing either. Those texts are a waste of time in my opinion.

The student isn't correct either. He really can see the professor's brains if he wants, he can feel them, taste them, when he takes him out. Seeing evolution? There are cockroaches in the very radioactive area of Tsjernobyl, they adapted to the situation because cockroaches can reproduce very fast.

The students confuses things (like concepts of Good and Evil and heat and cold), and makes false conclusions. Not very convincing in my opinion.
Panrac
One word about "evil as the absence of good". It's definitely not new; it comes from Socrates.
And I don't think we should call it an argument it is rather a definition or explanation.

And one more thing, because I'm really bored whit that kind of "arguments", it has been stated long time ago that science doesn’t operate with any real proof (like mathematics), but that doesn’t proof anything.
Gieter
Panrac wrote:
One word about "evil as the absence of good". It's definitely not new; it comes from Socrates.
And I don't think we should call it an argument it is rather a definition or explanation.

And one more thing, because I'm really bored whit that kind of "arguments", it has been stated long time ago that science doesn’t operate with any real proof (like mathematics), but that doesn’t proof anything.


I totally agree with you.
A well-used pattern by believers:
"Thing x, proved by science, isn't that all correct." Then, they conclude that science on itself isn't correct, thus religion is the way to go. Really logical. Rolling Eyes
veeleec
Question:

If I am standing in front of you eating an orange, will you be able to tell me how the orange I am eating will taste is the orange sour or sweet? Remember, you are not eating the orange I am eating the orange.

Therefore, how can a non-Christian tell a believing Christian they (the non-Christian) does not believe in God when they have never experienced God?
liljp617
veeleec wrote:
Question:

If I am standing in front of you eating an orange, will you be able to tell me how the orange I am eating will taste is the orange sour or sweet? Remember, you are not eating the orange I am eating the orange.

Therefore, how can a non-Christian tell a believing Christian they (the non-Christian) does not believe in God when they have never experienced God?


Try again.
Klaw 2
veeleec wrote:
Question:

If I am standing in front of you eating an orange, will you be able to tell me how the orange I am eating will taste is the orange sour or sweet? Remember, you are not eating the orange I am eating the orange.

Therefore, how can a non-Christian tell a believing Christian they (the non-Christian) does not believe in God when they have never experienced God?


Wheter it is sweet or sour is not clear for the other but it may vary, if you have a spoon full of sugar first the orange will be as sour as hell.
But you can't see it unless it is so sour the other will get a sour face Very Happy.
But what does it has to do wheter god exists or not?
But I don't get the conclusion:
You never have experienced god, so you can't tell a christian that he doesn't exist
When you have experienced god, so you can't tell a christian that he does exist unless you want to lie.
Try again..
Afaceinthematrix
I would have to say that the student (as well as the professor... in other words, the author) is ignorant when it comes to evolution. Have we ever observed evolution? Of course we have! Evolution is observed in many things such as viruses and flies.

He can also see, feel, touch, etc. the professor's brain if he really wants to. It doesn't matter how much you want to use your five senses on God, it will never happen.

Even though you said this was a true story, I highly doubt that it is. It seems fictional.

P.S. Use quote tags next time.
Indi
prantikbordoloi wrote:
this is a true story, and the student was none other than.........Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the present president of India

Any opinions!!

My opinion: If this is true, APJ had a shitty professor of philosophy. i've taught first year philosophy students who were better philosophers.

Let's take a closer look, hm?
prantikbordoloi wrote:
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Prof: Yes.

False.

There is no such thing as heat. There is only energy. We interpret lots of energy (in some cases) as heat, and only a little bit of energy as cold. Neither heat nor cold actually exist. So if you want to base this "evil is the absence of good" argument on physical analogies... try again. The same thing goes for light, dark and photons.

Naturally since someone posts this silly "evil is the absence of good" argument every other month - complete with the completely lame argument between an atheist teacher and a bright, earnest theist student (whether the student is Einstein or APJ) - it's already been beat to death in a dozen different ways. Here's my personal favourite from among my own responses - where i try to turn the argument on its head and make it "good is the absence of evil":
Indi wrote:
Here's something to try. Why is darkness the absence of light and not vice versa (or why is cold the absence of heat and not vice versa)? The answer is because light is just what we call the effect of photons, and taking photons away leaves us with darkness - that is, when there is something there (photons/electromagnetic energy/whatever), we have light, and when there is nothing there we have darkness. (The same goes for heat and cold - heat is what we call the kinetic energy of particles in a substance, and if you take away the kinetic energy, you take away the heat and get cold.) If we had a room, and we took away the light without adding anything else, we'd have darkness. If we had a dark room and we "took away the darkness" without adding anything else, we wouldn't have light.

So what if we define evil things as whatever causes suffering, pain and misery and good things as whatever causes happiness, pleasure and contentment? What if we had a person who was suffering just a little (normal suffering, day-to-day life suffering, not like they're being tortured or anything), and we took away all evil without adding any good? Even though we didn't actually add anything, wouldn't they be happy to be no longer suffering? Without adding any good, taking away evil created good. Now what if we went the other way and took a person that was just a little happy (not in bliss or anything, just day-to-day, average person contentment), and took away all good without adding any evil? They may no longer have whatever was causing them happiness, but without something extra to cause them misery, they won't actually be upset. (Think of it this way, if you were being pricked with needles, wouldn't you be happy if it stopped? On the other hand, if you were getting a nice massage and it stopped, would you say you were suffering suddenly?)

From that, it would seem at least possible that evil is the thing that actually exists, and that good is simply what you have when you have no evil.


prantikbordoloi wrote:
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one.

This bit is new... and riddled with fallacies. It's hard to even know where to begin.

First, there is the obvious weirdness of the student decrying duality while using it to justify his or her beliefs in the previous bit with heat and cold.

Second, nothing the professor has said or done implies God is finite.

Third, the professor did not characterize God as measurable. The only thing he said that came close is that God doesn't exist according to science (and the writer screwed that up too - science does not say God doesn't exist, science just says you can't say he does).

Fourth, science can so "explain a thought" - depending on what is meant by that bizarrely vague statement. In fact, several branches of science explain thoughts in several different ways.

Fifth, science does not need to see either electricity or magnetism (which are technically the same thing) - or fully understand them - to know they exist. You don't need to see gravity, or be able to explain it, to know that it exists. And science does understand electromagnetism extremely well. It understands them far better than any religious person "understands" their god.

And there are several more items of nonsense in that bit... but i think the point is made.

prantikbordoloi wrote:
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain? (The class breaks out into laughter.)

Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.

The professor is an idiot. You don't need to take his brain on faith. Every human body we have dissected has had a brain, and we've seen millions of them throughout the ages. There are textbooks of credible evidence for brains in human bodies. No one that has seen a human body has ever made a credible claim that there was no brain in it. So it is logical to assume that the next human body we see will have a brain in it before we even look inside it. That doesn't take faith. That's just simple, rational inductive reasoning.

To put it another way: if you have a thousand identical boxes in a room, and you open 999 of them in random order and find a red ball in every single one of them... do you really need faith to believe that you'll find a red ball in the next one? Come on. -_-

prantikbordoloi wrote:
Student: That is it sir... The link between man & god is FAITH. That
is all that keeps things moving & alive.

Faith keeps things moving and alive? Religious nonsense.

veeleec wrote:
Question:

If I am standing in front of you eating an orange, will you be able to tell me how the orange I am eating will taste is the orange sour or sweet? Remember, you are not eating the orange I am eating the orange.

Therefore, how can a non-Christian tell a believing Christian they (the non-Christian) does not believe in God when they have never experienced God?

Answer:

Your question is nonsensical.

First, most non-Christians don't tell Christians that Christians don't believe in God. That's absurd. If the Christian says they believe in God, then most non-Christians assume they actually do... after all, why would they lie? The non-Christians may think the belief is foolish or misguided, but why would they deny the Christians have it?

The few non-Christians that do tell Christians that Christians don't believe in God don't need to feel the belief to make that judgement. They can make the judgement by listening to how Christians describe God. If what they describe is internally contradictory, then it means that the Christian really hasn't thought about it... and if they really haven't thought about it, then they can't really believe it.

Second, your opening metaphor is perfectly exemplary of how silly the Christian position is. Observe:

So there you are, the believer, enjoying your orange, while i, the non-believer, stand by with no orange... and you stand there mocking me for not knowing what the orange tastes like, telling me how sad it is that i don't know, pointing out that i'm ignorant of what the orange is really like. You keep promising me that if i ever get an orange, it will change my life and open my eyes, yadda yadda, etc. etc.

So why don't you just take your flipping hand, put a piece of the orange in it, extend it in my direction, and let me taste it!?!?!

Seriously, atheists aren't asking for all that much! Just a little taste of the "truth" will be all it takes to convert the vast majority of us.

Instead, for all my life, all i've heard is people insisting they have oranges, and that these oranges just awesome, and that we're so sad and pathetic because we don't have them, but whenever i ask for a piece... all i get is vapour. You know, the first few hundred times, i really did believe that maybe they had something, and maybe i just didn't get it. But no more. You got something? Show it. Otherwise, i'm going to go on assuming you got nothing. Because after all the years of hearing how much people gain by believing in God, i have yet to see any evidence of it.
liljp617
I believe this thread is over.
fpwebs
Wow, it was really interesting reading this thread. I'm athiest and what not, but I thought it was ironic how the topic of the situation got turned around. I would just like to say first: owned. At first the teacher made a good point by stating his values on the subject of God, but it all got turned around when the boy made a good arguement. This topic proves that there are always two sides of every story since there are always two people in the arguement invloved. Both of these individuals have a good point and much evidence to prove each one and both can argue very well. Good topic. thanks.
Indi
fpwebs wrote:
Wow, it was really interesting reading this thread. I'm athiest and what not, but I thought it was ironic how the topic of the situation got turned around. I would just like to say first: owned. At first the teacher made a good point by stating his values on the subject of God, but it all got turned around when the boy made a good arguement. This topic proves that there are always two sides of every story since there are always two people in the arguement invloved. Both of these individuals have a good point and much evidence to prove each one and both can argue very well. Good topic. thanks.

You think the teacher and student made good arguments? From where i'm sitting, neither one put forward anything resembling a good argument.

The teacher's arguments were downright stupid - i mean really bad - until he hit on the problem of evil. But rather than develop a good argument based on that, he went back into stupid again with the whole "have you ever seen God" thing.

Then the student came along with an argument that is entirely a series of faulty analogies.

Seriously, this is not a good discussion, on any level. As has been pointed out, it's not true and was someone's invention... and it was clearly written by someone who has no clue about structuring a good philosophical argument. It's really, really bad. It's on the level of a political debate, not a serious academic debate in philosophy or anything else.

i don't really care what side of the debate you side with, but don't walk away from this thinking it was anything even close to a coherent and intelligent debate on the topic. This is not philosophy, this is no better than a Jack Chick tract.
Afaceinthematrix
Indi wrote:
fpwebs wrote:
Wow, it was really interesting reading this thread. I'm athiest and what not, but I thought it was ironic how the topic of the situation got turned around. I would just like to say first: owned. At first the teacher made a good point by stating his values on the subject of God, but it all got turned around when the boy made a good arguement. This topic proves that there are always two sides of every story since there are always two people in the arguement invloved. Both of these individuals have a good point and much evidence to prove each one and both can argue very well. Good topic. thanks.

You think the teacher and student made good arguments? From where i'm sitting, neither one put forward anything resembling a good argument.

The teacher's arguments were downright stupid - i mean really bad - until he hit on the problem of evil. But rather than develop a good argument based on that, he went back into stupid again with the whole "have you ever seen God" thing.

Then the student came along with an argument that is entirely a series of faulty analogies.

Seriously, this is not a good discussion, on any level. As has been pointed out, it's not true and was someone's invention... and it was clearly written by someone who has no clue about structuring a good philosophical argument. It's really, really bad. It's on the level of a political debate, not a serious academic debate in philosophy or anything else.

i don't really care what side of the debate you side with, but don't walk away from this thinking it was anything even close to a coherent and intelligent debate on the topic. This is not philosophy, this is no better than a Jack Chick tract.


That's why Creationists are a bunch of liars. It's obvious that some Creationist wrote this story intending to make the atheist look bad (even though they also made the Creationist look bad) and then tried to pass this as a true story so that the mind-washed masses will think that atheism is stupid. What a dishonest tactic!
andreijang
actually. it's very true. it's just that, we grown-ups are too close minded to realize that all we need is actually faith. I'm neither on creationists nor on atheist's side. Both tells there story in their different points of view. In fact, to be honest, the creation story, believe it or not is just a myth. It's just an explanation of WHY God created mankind.. while evolution states HOW mankind came to be. I believe, when you were young, you guys also used to believe that the creation story was also true, admit it or not you did.. didn't you? I know that there are times when we seem to blame God on everything bad that had happened to us. We tend to clamor on what we asked from him yet we did not receive it. Guess what, God granted your prayers actually, it's just that, our Faith is too weak to BELIEVE that it's actually there.
Bikerman
a) If all you need is faith then I would like to meet you and conduct some tests into your metabolic system - it must be amazing and something unknown to present science.
b) If the creation myth explains WHY God created man then I missed it. Can you point me to the right bit in Genesis?
c) I believed all sorts of nonsense when I was a child, when I grew to be a man I put aside childish things...
{I'm sure someone said something similar once Smile )
d) The idea that God grants everyone's prayers, but that some aren't faithful enough to see it is a real hoot - a new mix of the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy, the 'Appeal to consequences of Belief' fallacy, and the 'Begging the question'.
If for no other reason, that makes it unsustainable.
Indi
To further add to Bikerman's list:

e)
andreijang wrote:
actually. it's very true.

Actually, no, it's not. It's a lie. That story was around long before APJ, and another version of the same story - this one with Einstein - actually appears elsewhere on these very forums. It's a classic lie, repeated over and over with just the names changed.

f)
andreijang wrote:
Both tells there story in their different points of view.

Actually, no. Since the story is fiction, it is obviously not an account of two different points of view - it is a single point of view (the writer's), where he uses one of the two as a straw man for a point of view he disagrees with. Given the nature of the story, i think it's pretty clear which side is being portrayed wrongly.

If you want to understand an atheist point of view, talk to an atheist. Don't read a theist screed with an atheist villain character in it and think you've gained some insight.

g)
andreijang wrote:
I know that there are times when we seem to blame God on everything bad that had happened to us.

You mean like the Great Flood (the story of Noah)? The slaughter of the firstborn in Egypt (the story of Moses)? My, how horrible we are for blaming those mass murders on God.



-------------------
and this one's just for me.
andreijang wrote:
I believe, when you were young, you guys also used to believe that the creation story was also true, admit it or not you did.. didn't you?

No, i really didn't. i learned the creation story - along with a half-dozen other creation myths - when i was young. But they were always myths, as far as i was concerned. If you had asked me at 8 years old whether i believed in the creation myth, i would have been quite frankly baffled, and asked you who in their right mind could possibly believe such a ridiculous story was true. (It wasn't until around then or shortly after that i realized that some people really do believe Biblical and other religious stories are literally true. It never even occurred to me before then that anyone would.)
jwwhit007
Look up apologetics. Ravi zacharias, cs Lewis, etc they have again and again proven that Christianity exist. You debate because you can't physical see it. But you don't question things we cant explain. Where did the sense right and wrong come from? If energy isn't created or destroyed how does a child's heart beat start. So on and so on.... I'm done but if some one does reply I most likely won't check to rebuttle
busaboss
When I first read this conversation, I was amazed how the student defend his own stand in the topic and proved to his professor that he has a point. I believe in God just like the child. No matter how much explaining a person can do there will be still some people who will not be convinced and that is the way life really is. All people have many differences and different opinions but what's really important is we should learn to respect each other even though we don't fully understand it. After all, its our own belief so why bother debating about it. We should live the way we want to and believe to the things that we know is true. Very Happy
GuidanceReader
I find the discussion in the comments after the original post much more enlightening and interesting than the discussion between the professor and his student.... Thanks!
Hello_World
I just wanted to highlight that 'looking' at evolution and at the professors brain is not really the way to prove such a thing exists. Just sayin'.

Also, that if that student is the president of India, then I guess India is in trouble!
loremar
The professor's questions was okay until he asked about the 5 senses. The student was just right about refuting his flawed logic. And also probably why most theists likes to argue that science is about faith because there are many things about science that we couldn't directly perceive through our 5 senses.
Of course this is not true. Albert Einstein knows this fact by himself. You don't necessarily need the 5 senses.
Indi
By a flukey coincidence, this was posted in my social network yesterday:



Quote:
A liberal muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor was teaching a class on Karl Marx.
'Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship Marx and accept that he was the most highly-evolved being that the world has ever known, even greater than Jesus Christ"

At this moment, a brave, patriotic, pro-life Navy SEAL champion who had served 1500 tours of duty and understood the necessity of war and fully supported all military decision made by the United States stood up and held up a rock.

"How old is this rock?"

The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied "4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian"

"Wrong. It's been 5,000 years since God created it, If it was 4.6 billion years old and evolution, as you say, is real... then it should be an animal now."

The Professor was visibly shaken and dropped his copy of Origin of the Species.He stormed out of the room crying those liberal crocodile tears.

The students applauded and all registered Republican that day and accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. An eagle named "Small Government" flew into the room and perched atop the American Flag and shed a tear on the chalk board. The pledge of allegiance was read several times, and God himself showed up and enacted a flat tax rate across the country.

The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He died of the gay plague AIDS and was tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity.
Afaceinthematrix
Wow Indi... That would almost be more appropriate for my topic on Arguments From Emotion. Where in the Hell do I even start?

At this moment, a brave, patriotic, pro-life Navy SEAL champion who had served 1500 tours of duty and understood the necessity of war and fully supported all military decision made by the United States stood up and held up a rock.

So of course the Christian will be this brave, patriotic, PRO-LIFE, etc.... I have family in the Bible Belt (Oklahoma) in the U.S. and have, unfortunately, spent quite a bit of time there (many summers as a child). I can tell you that this is EXACTLY the way that they see an ideal American. EXACTLY. They are Bush-lovin' Afghanistan-hatin' war-lovin' good Americans. To push it even further:

Quote:
The students applauded and all registered Republican that day and accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. An eagle named "Small Government" flew into the room and perched atop the American Flag and shed a tear on the chalk board. The pledge of allegiance was read several times, and God himself showed up and enacted a flat tax rate across the country.


Ah... that's just how America should be because we hate "dis socialist commi un-America no birth certificate NoBama." I mean, I can't give them too much slack for this because I don't like Obama and I am for smaller government but that's because I'm a libertarian - they just want America to be just like the Middle East except Christian (forced Christianity among all good Americans and if you're not a Christian then you're not an American!). Oh yeah, and they all want a flat tax rate (10%) because if 10% is good enough for Jesus (tithing) then it's good enough for Uncle Sam.

Quote:
The Professor was visibly shaken and dropped his copy of Origin of the Species.He stormed out of the room crying those liberal crocodile tears.


The key word is simply LIBERAL. They are all convinced that liberals are destroying this country!

Quote:
The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied "4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian"


That is my favorite part because who would ever say that? No professor would be that much of a dick.

Quote:
The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He died of the gay plague AIDS and was tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity.


That is just the most hateful and ignorant thing that I have read in a while. I'm sad now. I must stop on this one. Although before that part I did find it quite fun albeit depressing.
Ankhanu
Matrix: What Indi posted was a satirical exaggeration of the spirit of the original story... it's not serious. It serves to highlight its absurdity and base message.
Afaceinthematrix
Ankhanu wrote:
Matrix: What Indi posted was a satirical exaggeration of the spirit of the original story... it's not serious. It serves to highlight its absurdity and base message.


I know that. But it doesn't make me any less mad or annoyed because it really isn't that far off of what the norm is. That's why I began analyzing it with laughter. But then I got to, "The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He died of the gay plague AIDS and was tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity." and realized how often I have heard things like that said that are serious which is why I began to get extremely angry. The author wouldn't have said that line if it wasn't for the fact that this is a serious thought and opinion among many people in the bible belt.
Indi
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Wow Indi... That would almost be more appropriate for my topic on Arguments From Emotion.

Heh, yeah, if it wasn't complete bullshit. It's not really an argument from emotion, though - it's not really an argument from anything. (Neither is the original story.) It's just an obnoxious parable. If anything, it's a half-ass argument from authority, where the authority is imaginary (because Einstein never would have made the argument - as for APJ, who knows and who cares?).

Ultimately, though, these stories aren't really trying to argue anything. It's just mental masturbation for believers.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
At this moment, a brave, patriotic, pro-life Navy SEAL champion who had served 1500 tours of duty and understood the necessity of war and fully supported all military decision made by the United States stood up and held up a rock.

So of course the Christian will be this brave, patriotic, PRO-LIFE, etc....

i thought all those added details were hilarious. ^_^; And, actually, cuttingly clever, too, from the point of view of the satire. You see, the original story wants to make use of Einstein's (and i'll use Einstein rather than APJ because, really, ****** APJ - but the same argument applies to APJ) legacy to give authoritative weight to his "outsmarting" of the prof.

But think about that for a second. What was Einstein's legacy? It was leaps and bounds forward in the field of PHYSICS... not philosophy, and not theology.

In other words, Einstein's genius... is completely irrelevant to the point! If you step back and think about it, it's like saying: "This is an awesome recipe for cake, because Einstein came up with it!" Or: "This is an awesome way to do a backflip, because Einstein came up with it!"

So the writer of this parody goes into all kinds of (absurd) details about the speaker's military history and political standing... that is all ultimately pointless bullshit. ^_^; It's ingenious! It's subtly and wryly highlighting the ultimate conceit of the whole myth: that it really doesn't matter what the ****** Einstein says, it's just cool cause Einstein's the one who said it. That whole "argument" between the prof and student is meaningless - none of the actual "points" made (were there really any) matter. All that matters is Einstein won, Einstein's cool, and Einstein agrees with what the reader (assuming a sympathetic reader) believes. (Or in the satirical case, the student won, the student was a badass SEAL which is cool, and the student agrees with the reader.)

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Quote:
The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied "4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian"


That is my favorite part because who would ever say that? No professor would be that much of a dick.

Oh, dude, my favourite part, hands down:

If this rock was 4.6 billion years old, and evolution - as you say - is real... then it should be an animal now!

Tell me that's not the most awesome argument you've heard in a while! Dude, i am so going to use this line at parties. i might even make a placard saying that to take to some freethinker demonstration.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Ankhanu wrote:
Matrix: What Indi posted was a satirical exaggeration of the spirit of the original story... it's not serious. It serves to highlight its absurdity and base message.


I know that. But it doesn't make me any less mad or annoyed because it really isn't that far off of what the norm is. That's why I began analyzing it with laughter. But then I got to, "The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He died of the gay plague AIDS and was tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity." and realized how often I have heard things like that said that are serious which is why I began to get extremely angry. The author wouldn't have said that line if it wasn't for the fact that this is a serious thought and opinion among many people in the bible belt.

Actually, i really do agree with you. i wish it had ended at the flat tax rate. Had i been copy-pasting, rather than passing on an image, i would have stopped it there. i find that last bit rather mean-spirited. And yes, Ankhanu, i also know that the writer of the bit wasn't mean-spirited, and that he was just channeling the zeitgeist of the modern radical Christian movement but... damn. Afaceinthematrix is right: the author put that in because so many people do think that way. And as a Canadian atheist, who so rarely faces that kind of naked hatred directly, it really upsets me to be reminded of it, even in jest.

Have you heard of Jessica Ahlquist? In 2010, Ahlquist, then 15 years old, went to her school board's meetings, and created a Facebook group, to get her public school to remove the following banner on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment:


Even though the district was in dire financial straits, and even though the ACLU was threatening to sue, the board refused.

The ACLU asked Ahlquist to be the plaintiff in a Supreme Court challenge. She was 16 at the time. They won, and the school district was ordered to remove the banner and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

End of story, right? School board was violating Constitution, wasted taxpayer money in lawsuit, lost, but all is good, right? Not so.

You see, for the last two years, Jessica Ahlquist - now 17 - has been the target of a huge, extended campaign of hate and threats. And we're talking nasty threats - death threats, rape threats and worse. One of the state representatives even went public and called her an "evil little thing". And not just threats to her... threats to her whole family, including her little sister. She has had to go around under police escort. Let's take a look at some of this Christian love, unedited, directly from Ahlquist:


Ain't that nice, eh? "Tell your little ****** sister to watch her back." Wow. And this: "You're nothing more than a sex-toy of a slut." She's 17. Wow.

And by the way, while i know you like to believe this kind of shit is Bible belt stuff, Afaceinthematrix, i'd like to direct you to the line: "Get the ****** out of RI you bitchin ******." RI. Rhode Island. That's where all this shit is going down.

Even though i take an active role in fighting it every day, i don't really like being reminded that this kind of ignorance and hate is out there. But i have to suck it up and face it, if i'm going to be any help overcoming it.

But i can laugh when i find something funny enough to laugh at. And this whole student-prof conversation thing has given me a chuckle. Why? Well, you see... the believers version has a college student smugly outsmarting a single idiot professor in a single debate that the professor seemed bound and determined to give the student every single talking point in. And to make this stupid lie seem even remotely impressive, they have to plant names of great people in it - great people who never even agreed with the talking points made to begin with. It's all a lie, and it's still a pathetic, miserable failure. On the other hand, the nonbelievers version has a 15 year-old student from Rhode Island facing down her teachers, her school board, a horde of hateful Christians, and even a state representative... and she ****** won. And we didn't even have to make that story up.

Reality is so much more awesome than religious bullshit, isn't it?
Afaceinthematrix
Indi wrote:

Have you heard of Jessica Ahlquist? In 2010, Ahlquist, then 15 years old, went to her school board's meetings, and created a Facebook group, to get her public school to remove the following banner on the grounds that it violated the First Amendment:


Even though the district was in dire financial straits, and even though the ACLU was threatening to sue, the board refused.


I had not heard of this case and it is quite sickening. For starters, the school district could have made a few minor changes to their prayer and everyone could have been happy. They could have crossed out "Amen" and "Our Heavenly Father" and then at the top changed "School Prayer" to "School Goal" or something so that it read something like:

Our goal is to encourage students to desire to do their best each day, grow mentally and morally as well as physically, to be kind and helpful to their classmates and teachers, to be honest with themselves as well as others, help them be good at sports and smile when they lose as well as win, and to help each student always conduct themselves so as to bring credit to Canston High School West.

That essentially says the same exact thing with a few minor changes but it would have been totally legal and would not have bothered anyone.

Quote:

The ACLU asked Ahlquist to be the plaintiff in a Supreme Court challenge. She was 16 at the time. They won, and the school district was ordered to remove the banner and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

End of story, right? School board was violating Constitution, wasted taxpayer money in lawsuit, lost, but all is good, right? Not so.

You see, for the last two years, Jessica Ahlquist - now 17 - has been the target of a huge, extended campaign of hate and threats. And we're talking nasty threats - death threats, rape threats and worse. One of the state representatives even went public and called her an "evil little thing". And not just threats to her... threats to her whole family, including her little sister. She has had to go around under police escort. Let's take a look at some of this Christian love, unedited, directly from Ahlquist:


Ain't that nice, eh? "Tell your little ****** sister to watch her back." Wow. And this: "You're nothing more than a sex-toy of a slut." She's 17. Wow.

And by the way, while i know you like to believe this kind of shit is Bible belt stuff, Afaceinthematrix, i'd like to direct you to the line: "Get the ****** out of RI you bitchin ******." RI. Rhode Island. That's where all this shit is going down.


It's absolutely terrible and it doesn't surprise me too much that it happened in the bible belt. The U.S. overall is a very religious and discriminatory nation. Even very liberal California voted in 2008 to keep gay marriage banned (which should not have been put in an election; it should have just been passed because despite what the opinion of the majority of the voting population, it isn't their decision to take away the rights of other people). However, this happens more in the bible belt but it isn't off limits anywhere. I would just expect more of it to come from the bible belt area.

Quote:
Even though i take an active role in fighting it every day, i don't really like being reminded that this kind of ignorance and hate is out there. But i have to suck it up and face it, if i'm going to be any help overcoming it.


I try to take some active role in fighting against this religious intolerance but I more often try to fight against religious based laws (I'm not gay but I'd happily get involved in a gay organization that is around to fight for their legal right to marry).

Quote:
But i can laugh when i find something funny enough to laugh at. And this whole student-prof conversation thing has given me a chuckle. Why? Well, you see... the believers version has a college student smugly outsmarting a single idiot professor in a single debate that the professor seemed bound and determined to give the student every single talking point in. And to make this stupid lie seem even remotely impressive, they have to plant names of great people in it - great people who never even agreed with the talking points made to begin with. It's all a lie, and it's still a pathetic, miserable failure. On the other hand, the nonbelievers version has a 15 year-old student from Rhode Island facing down her teachers, her school board, a horde of hateful Christians, and even a state representative... and she ****** won. And we didn't even have to make that story up.

Reality is so much more awesome than religious bullshit, isn't it?


Yes. It is. I agree!
catscratches
Indi wrote:
"This is an awesome way to do a backflip, because Einstein came up with it!"
This sounds like a perfectly sound line of reasoning to me. Einstein doing backflips does sound awesome. (Also, I am now imagining Marie and Pierre Curie riding motocross bikes in a vert ramp.)

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Quote:
The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied "4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian"


That is my favorite part because who would ever say that? No professor would be that much of a dick.
I also love how he smirks "quite Jewishly" while being a muslim.

Speaking of antisemitism, when I quickly glanced upon the picture of the prayer banner, I saw the logo as this:
(minus the swastika)
... and consequently the banner got quite a bit of a darker undertone.
Indi
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I had not heard of this case and it is quite sickening.

Oh, don't feel too bad for Ahlquist. She's being tormented, yes, but she's also being celebrated. Currently there's a big push to get her nominated for the Presidential Citizen's Medal. (You might want to get in on that, since you're American.) She's also been a major speaker at dozens of atheist conferences and events, like the Reason Rally. And, let's face it - at 17 she's already demonstrated what an awesome, strong person she is... she's gonna go far, man.

Not that that makes it worth the treatment she's been getting, but i think it shows that yes, while there is a metric ****** of evil in the world... somehow there's still always more good. It just has to fight a little harder.

Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I try to take some active role in fighting against this religious intolerance but I more often try to fight against religious based laws (I'm not gay but I'd happily get involved in a gay organization that is around to fight for their legal right to marry).

Yeah, that's one of my pet battles too. Mind you, we've had a lot more progress here than you have, but still... it's been a hell of a fight. The worst part was just after we'd finally gotten gay marriage legalized... we got a conservative government, who, naturally, immediately tried to destroy the law. But damn did Canada ever speak out when that happened - they shut the conservative plan down so badly that Harper is still wary of reopening the debate.

So, here, we've more or less moved on to the next fight: transgender issues.

catscratches wrote:
Indi wrote:
"This is an awesome way to do a backflip, because Einstein came up with it!"
This sounds like a perfectly sound line of reasoning to me. Einstein doing backflips does sound awesome.

Now i've got that image in my head of Einstein doing rhythmic gymnastics.

catscratches wrote:
Speaking of antisemitism, when I quickly glanced upon the picture of the prayer banner, I saw the logo as this:
(minus the swastika)
... and consequently the banner got quite a bit of a darker undertone.

Ouch.

Mind you, i've always drawn parallels between that imagery and the US fetish for eagles. Replace that there swastika with a star, and...?
Afaceinthematrix
Indi wrote:

Oh, don't feel too bad for Ahlquist. She's being tormented, yes, but she's also being celebrated. Currently there's a big push to get her nominated for the Presidential Citizen's Medal. (You might want to get in on that, since you're American.) She's also been a major speaker at dozens of atheist conferences and events, like the Reason Rally. And, let's face it - at 17 she's already demonstrated what an awesome, strong person she is... she's gonna go far, man.

Not that that makes it worth the treatment she's been getting, but i think it shows that yes, while there is a metric ****** of evil in the world... somehow there's still always more good. It just has to fight a little harder.


I probably will nominate her. But I was actually talking to my friend yesterday about the benefits that she has been receiving. Apparently she received a rather nice scholarship. So given that money is no longer an issue when choosing a university, and her experience that will allow her to right a hell of an admission essay, she has a nice array of options for choosing a school. So really, she just needs to finish up this last little bit of high school, persevere the bullying and other shit for this little while, and then she can get the hell away from all of that and get the hell away from that community!
Indi
Well, yes, she got a "scholarship". ^_^;

What really happened is that the religious haters started raising funds for a smear campaign against her, and to finance the court fight, so atheists got together and started raising funds... by selling "evil little thing" T-shirts. ^_^;



When the case was won, the leftover money was given as a scholarship to Ahlquist.

So it's not so much that she's "benefiting" from the whole mess... more like her supporters are turning the shit being flung at her into something good.
Indi
Update: that image i posted is making the rounds now. But someone has added a hilarious footnote.

Apparently, the ex-SEAL... was also Einstein. ^_^;

Now this parody has transcended into the sublime. ^_^;
c'tair
I cringe every time I see that dialog brought up somewhere by someone.

But Indi, I salute you for making me laugh almost into tears this morning with your parody Smile .
Indi
i can't take credit for it - either version! i just happened to spot them. ^_^;
c'tair
Indi wrote:
i can't take credit for it - either version! i just happened to spot them. ^_^;


Well, at let me credit you for bringing this to my attention. Smile
butwhyumadtho
Indi pretty much did my work, it is undeniable this whole 'cute' story was obviously written solely by one person with strong bias towards creationism. Stop being so gullible and attracted by sweet fairy tales and break down the facts,use your mind to rationally determine the truth by identifying the deceptive nature of each and every religion or cult. They are ALL the same. This whole thread is riddled with cancer.
catscratches
Indi wrote:

Mind you, i've always drawn parallels between that imagery and the US fetish for eagles. Replace that there swastika with a star, and...?
It's not just the eagle. It's just as much the prayer itself. It goes on about morals and honesty but never once does it talk about having a good time, feeling at home or getting positive experiences. It's like they treat the pupils as clay to be molded into obedient, complacent workers. It doesn't mention creativity or imagination. The last sentence really sums it up: "Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West."

They might as well replace it with: "Be Faithful, Be Pure, Be American!"


My high school's motto was only a single sentence, and even that managed to sneak actually enjoying your time there into it: [name of high school] gives you knowledge, competence and positive experiences for the future. (Not that I was particularly wild about that motto either.) Yes, I know: I'm getting far too worked up over such a thing. There's no way a single banner or motto can represent the environment of an entire school.
Indi
catscratches wrote:
It's not just the eagle. It's just as much the prayer itself. It goes on about morals and honesty but never once does it talk about having a good time, feeling at home or getting positive experiences. It's like they treat the pupils as clay to be molded into obedient, complacent workers. It doesn't mention creativity or imagination. The last sentence really sums it up: "Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West."

They might as well replace it with: "Be Faithful, Be Pure, Be American!"

Eh, i don't think it's particularly a failure to not mention those things in the banner. Bear in mind, this prayer is supposed to be something that students recite (not literally, but in concept), not something that the school promises. It's a bunch of stuff students are asking help on, in order to be better students; it's not the someone telling the students what they need to do, or what they should expect. It's more like a pledge* the students make than a school motto.

(*Although, in a real pledge, the student would be asserting responsibility to do these things on their own, not pleading to a sky daddy for help.)

And in that sense, it's perfectly natural to pledge to bring credit to the school. It's really a promise you're making, not that the school is making, or suggesting you should make. You should want to bring credit to the school, not because you're a good little brownshirt, but because the school is giving you something (education), and you want to give something back (credit)... by using that education well and being a person who can bring credit to the school. And given that, why would you pledge to the school that you'll have a good time, feel or home or have positive experiences? i mean, i'm sure the school would be happy if you did, but why would you pledge to the school that you would? Those are things that you would be doing for yourself, not the school.

i think you're reading it wrong. It's not a list of commands for the student, or even ideals the student should live up to. It's not "be faithful". It's a list of promises the student is making to the school: "i will be faithful, to return with honour the debt i owe for the education you've given me." To paraphrase Kennedy: ask not what your school can do for, ask what you can do for your school.

(Incidentally, that's not actually an eagle in the prayer banner. (The eagle i was referring to was the one in the Nazi logo.) It's some old iconography about education: the lamp being the light of knowledge, the wings are the wings that knowledge helps you take flight with (and there's also the "spreading your wings" imagery regarding the students blossoming from children to educated adults), the book is obvious, and it's all rising above the mountains aka overcoming obstacles.)

catscratches wrote:
My high school's motto was only a single sentence, and even that managed to sneak actually enjoying your time there into it: [name of high school] gives you knowledge, competence and positive experiences for the future. (Not that I was particularly wild about that motto either.) Yes, I know: I'm getting far too worked up over such a thing. There's no way a single banner or motto can represent the environment of an entire school.

Now i'm gonna give you a laugh.

i never really went to high school - skipped it. i did a few months at a high school in Ontario, but i never really went, and i can't remember the motto there. i did, however, spend several years at Harrison College.

At the top of the page here, you'll see what the upper years' uniforms look like. Note the tie.

So picture this. Indi, walking around in that uniform, wearing what is essentially a Harry Potter tie (and i looked like Harry, too - glasses, scar and all (though the scar isn't a lightning bolt, just a gash)), reciting the school motto: In Deo Fides.

English translation?

"Trust in God".
catscratches
You're perfectly right and I doubt I would have found any issue with it had I not at first have misseen the logo on my first glance, putting me in a very contrarian and negative mindset.

I'm not sure why you'd put a pledge in the form of a prayer but prayers have never made much sense to me in the first place, so...
sushiwasabikimchi
Quote:
Even though the district was in dire financial straits, and even though the ACLU was threatening to sue, the board refused.

The ACLU asked Ahlquist to be the plaintiff in a Supreme Court challenge. She was 16 at the time. They won, and the school district was ordered to remove the banner and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

End of story, right? School board was violating Constitution, wasted taxpayer money in lawsuit, lost, but all is good, right? Not so.

You see, for the last two years, Jessica Ahlquist - now 17 - has been the target of a huge, extended campaign of hate and threats. And we're talking nasty threats - death threats, rape threats and worse. One of the state representatives even went public and called her an "evil little thing". And not just threats to her... threats to her whole family, including her little sister. She has had to go around under police escort. Let's take a look at some of this Christian love, unedited, directly from Ahlquist:


You say it violates the Constitution for the School to have that sign? Well, the Constitution never says "Freedom FROM religion," its says people have the "Freedom OF Religion." Unsurprisingly since most of our founding fathers were religious.

Also, the Constitution says the government must not favor a religion, but it does not say a school can't favor a religion. If she had a problem with that school, she should have left, since the school obviously clashes with her views.

And arguably, you can say Jessica is violating the Constitution by trying to take religious freedom away from the School.

Finally, you shouldn't judge "Christians" based on the Alquist case. After all, real Christians would never do such things as to threaten people with death or rape..etc. I just hate how people classify all Christians within one category based on the actions of a few people who act claiming to be Christian. Thats similar to racial profiling. If you hung around the Christians I know, you wouldn't have these kind of opinions. They are the nicest people ever and they are the most popular people in School as well.

Every religion is going to have bad people, but that doesn't mean you can profile everyone who believes that religion.

Should I go out on Google and find a situation where an Atheist murdered someone and say that all atheists are psychopath killers?

Just meet some real Christians before accusing all Christians of being evil.
Indi
sushiwasabikimchi wrote:
You say it violates the Constitution for the School to have that sign?

Me and the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, yes.

sushiwasabikimchi wrote:
Well, the Constitution never says "Freedom FROM religion," its says people have the "Freedom OF Religion."

You know, blindly repeating slogans and talking points is not a sign of high intelligence. You need to take the time to understand what you're saying, otherwise you might as well be farting in a megaphone for all the good you're doing.

First of all, for the record, the Constitution doesn't say people have the "freedom of religion". You might want to read the document before lipping off about what it says.

In fact - and really, for a Canadian to be educating you about the Constitution... hm - the Constitution itself says nothing about religion except that there should be no religious tests for office. That's literally it. Now, in the amendments - specifically, the Bill of Rights - there is one additional mention of religion. Normally i wouldn't be pedantic, and, would say sure, let's just call the whole thing the "Constitution"... but even then, it doesn't say what you think it says. It does NOT say people have the "freedom of religion". If you'd like a document that actually says that, you'd have to turn to a more civilized document. But, since we're stuck dealing with the US Constitution....

What the First Amendment actually says is that: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". And since all federal institutions have to abide by the Constitution as if they were under the thumb of Congress (which they are), that means that no federal institution can do anything that establishes a religion, or prevents people from exercising their religion. And, by extension to states - which have to have state constitutions that jibe with the federal one - and to state institutions... like public schools *rimshot*... they also can't do anything that establishes are religion, or prevents people from exercising their beliefs.

Which brings us to today's lesson: why the Constitution DOES guarantee freedom from religion. The Constitution is quite clear that - even though intermediaries - the government CANNOT do anything which establishes a religion... including putting up crosses in public buildings or Ten Commandments monuments or... here it comes... prayer banners. In other words, when you enter a public space (meaning, a government controlled space - i'm using "public" in the "of the people" sense, not in the "not hidden behind closed doors" sense), you are guaranteed, by the Constitution, freedom from religion.

However!

It turns out you are NOT guaranteed freedom of religion. In point of fact, you are only granted freedom to exercise your religious beliefs if they are not "in violation of social duties or subversive of good order". In other words, no, you're not free to exercise your religious beliefs any way you please. If they are too disruptive to society, you can be stopped. Don't believe me? Try claiming that you're Rastafarian, and smoke up a joint in front of a cop. You'll see how much freedom of religion you have.

So, the hard reality is that conservative religious slogans rarely have any real relationship with reality. It turns out that the Constitution does guarantee you freedom from religion... but it does not guarantee you freedom of religion.

Again, you should really study your Constitution a bit harder before lipping off about it.

sushiwasabikimchi wrote:
Unsurprisingly since most of our founding fathers were religious.

Most of the founding fathers were "religious", but in their own quirky way (which doesn't exist anymore; there's nothing comparable today), and they were quite openly hostile to organized religion (which, of course, do still exist today). They were also... not idiots. They had seen first hand what kinds of hell get raised when you tangle religion and government, so they explicitly and consciously designed their new government to keep the religious crap out. (That's also why they were so determined to prevent government from meddling in religion. They'd see the consequences of mixing god and politics.)

It's no accident that there's absolutely no mention of God in the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. What, you think they just forgot to put it in? There are mentions of God and a "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence, but the God reference refers specifically to "Nature's God" along with the "Laws of Nature", and it only mentions it in passing in the preamble - before the "We hold these truths to be self-evident" part - as one of the things that entitle people to their rights. Of course, right after the "all men are created equal", it mentions a Creator as endowing them with rights. But that's literally it. Other than that, the only mentions of religion in all three documents are negative - saying that no religious test can be used for office, and that no laws can be passed establishing religion (or preventing the free exercise, but, as i've already explained, that's been more or less curtailed). And of course, there's not a single "Jesus" or "Christian"-anything, anywhere.

sushiwasabikimchi wrote:
Also, the Constitution says the government must not favor a religion, but it does not say a school can't favor a religion.

Clever bit of lawyering there, Johnnie Cochran... well, except for the fact that it was a public school. In other words, it was the government, or at least an office of it. The school was government property, and all the teachers government employees.

sushiwasabikimchi wrote:
If she had a problem with that school, she should have left, since the school obviously clashes with her views.

See, the school didn't clash with her views, it clashed with American standards. And, that's why it got busted in court. When we're talking about someone who's breaking the law, we don't normally say the thief's views "clashed" with those of the person who reported them for stealing. We say one of them was breaking the law, and the other was a good citizen for reporting the crime and bringing the perpetrator to justice. In this case, the school was breaking the law, and Ahlquist was a good citizen for reporting the crime and bringing them to justice.

And i really can't imagine why you'd want to tell the person reporting a crime in progress "if you don't like it, leave". Are you sure you're on the side of the good guys here?

sushiwasabikimchi wrote:
And arguably, you can say Jessica is violating the Constitution by trying to take religious freedom away from the School.

You could say a lot of things if you don't care about sounding crazy. ^_^;

sushiwasabikimchi wrote:
Finally, you shouldn't judge "Christians" based on the Alquist case. After all, real Christians would never do such things as to threaten people with death or rape..etc. I just hate how people classify all Christians within one category based on the actions of a few people who act claiming to be Christian. Thats similar to racial profiling. If you hung around the Christians I know, you wouldn't have these kind of opinions. They are the nicest people ever and they are the most popular people in School as well.

Every religion is going to have bad people, but that doesn't mean you can profile everyone who believes that religion.

Should I go out on Google and find a situation where an Atheist murdered someone and say that all atheists are psychopath killers?

Just meet some real Christians before accusing all Christians of being evil.

You know, i hear that shit all the time - about how the nasty Christians aren't real Christians, and how "real" Christians are teddy bears who just love everyone. Aside from the fact that that's a particularly transparent "no true Scotsman" fallacy, it's simply not true. i've been writing articles and stuff about atheism and philosophy for years, and anyone else who regularly writes criticism of religion will back me up here, those letters Ahlquist got are pretty much par for the course. Hell, on these very forums, i've been called a host of horrible things, and even told i deserve to be killed. i had a friend i used to share the account with, but she was driven away by the nasty hatred she got from a small group of people, who called her all kinds of things ranging from bitch to saying she should have been aborted. i'm actually often quite shocked at how nasty the response to something innocuous can get: a few months ago, i "tweeted" (not actually on Twitter, on a private network) a response to someone's comment that they would help victims of a tragedy by sending their "hopes, prayers and dreams"; my response was something like "i will help by sending actual help: food, medical supplies and cash."... i was flooded with responses by furious Christians who called me ignorant and hateful for making light of their offers of prayers, including several that said i deserved to suffer so that i would learn the value of people praying for me.

Whenever Christians are polled, the nasties are not in the minority. (But that's true for any religion.) Yes, yes, i hear people telling me, over and over again, that most Christians are sweetie-pies... but then i see the reality of the surveys. i see shit like: because i don't believe in a god, i'm trusted less than a rapist. (Yes, that's actually a real result from an experiment.)

And just to put the cherry on top, i hear the testimonials from real ex-Christians, who suffered terrible treatment when they came out to their Christian friends and families, from people like Damon Fowler (he pointed out prayer at graduation would be illegal, parents threw him out of the house when he came out as an atheist, teacher publicly smack-talked him in the press), to the people who tell their stories at No Longer Quivering. Hell, just recently, i read one woman's story about how her family staged an 'intervention' to cure her of her atheist activism.

i know you sincerely believe that most Christians are generally good people, and it's just a small group that are really ignorant and nasty. There's no clearer way to say this: you're wrong. The facts are simply not on your side, and just because you want to believe something, doesn't make it true. The hard truth is that, in America at least, most Christians at least passively discriminate against non-Christians - especially atheists - but very large groups of them actively discriminate.

i'm sure if i hung around the Christians you know, they'd be as sweet as honey to me, too... until i said i was an atheist. (Or gay, or liberal, or whatever.) At that point, i would surely get at least the patronizing "i'll pray for you", but i'd lay odds on getting a "you'll burn in hell" or "God will deal with you later".

Incidentally, the reason racial profiling is stupid and wrong is because it's using stereotypes, not hard data. For example, presuming a brown person is more likely to be a terrorist is mathematically stupid - that logic is based on simple racism, not on hard data. The reason Christians are presumed to be a hostile and aggressive group is not based on stereotypes, but on hard numbers. For example, most Christians think atheists are enemies of America - that's not a stereotype, that's a statistical fact, seen in a couple different surveys.

You probably could find an atheist psycho killer or two, but you would be an idiot to generalize to all atheists based on one or two fringe cases. On the other hand, if you did survey after survey, finding out that anywhere from 50-70% of atheists are psycho killers, then you'd have a case. i could easily find a Christian psycho killer or two - Paul Hill and Dennis (BTK) Rader spring to mind - but i wouldn't accuse all Christians of being psycho killers because i'm not an idiot.

And for the record, i've met plenty of Christians - they're not exactly scarce - and some have been nice to me, others have been terrible. But i wouldn't judge all Christians based on just the few i know - and i can't believe you would. What i judge Christians as a group on is the evidence of them as a group - survey data and such. See, i don't "accuse all Christians of being evil", i just repeat the data: most Christians react badly when their beliefs are questions are challenged, and most Christians are quite intolerant of those they don't agree with (gays, atheists and so on). The numbers don't lie.
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