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 Post subject: Re: Peace has been made!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:08 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
LAMystreaux wrote:
So would you like to see the thread opened back up so you could tell us how wrong and stupid we are for believing in God?

No, I think you already know.


LAMystreaux wrote:
Yes, God trumps all rights. Without Him, we are nothing anyway.

Pfft. You might be nothing without him, but I'm the exact same person with or without him. His existence is completely irrelevant to mine.


Ya know Kevin, I have a friend who said the same things you are saying....they lost everything they owned and now are homeless.

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 Post subject: Re: Peace has been made!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:46 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
Pfft. You might be nothing without him, but I'm the exact same person with or without him. His existence is completely irrelevant to mine.


Whether I'm right or wrong really will not matter in the end. If I am right in my beliefs, I will live for eternity with Him. If not, I will be dead and probably won't know either way. On the other hand, if you are wrong. . .well, you know.

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 Post subject: Re: Peace has been made!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:00 am 
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Malibu wrote:
Hostrauser wrote:
Pfft. You might be nothing without him, but I'm the exact same person with or without him. His existence is completely irrelevant to mine.


Ya know Kevin, I have a friend who said the same things you are saying....they lost everything they owned and now are homeless.

OMG 4WARD THIS EMAIL TO 50 PPL IN TEN MINUTES OR U WILL HAVE BAD LUCK FOR SEVEN YEARS!!!!!!!!!!


LAMystreaux wrote:
Hostrauser wrote:
Pfft. You might be nothing without him, but I'm the exact same person with or without him. His existence is completely irrelevant to mine.


Whether I'm right or wrong really will not matter in the end. If I am right in my beliefs, I will live for eternity with Him. If not, I will be dead and probably won't know either way. On the other hand, if you are wrong. . .well, you know.

I know, I know... I'll be forced to read this forum for all eternity with my posting privileges revoked. 8-)

Christians are often so concerned about their next life I wonder how fully they enjoy this one. Happiness is a cheap accomplishment when you set for yourself only a few prerequisites for accomplishing it.

Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.
-- Penn Jillette

If god exists and is fair and just, he will forgive me for using the free will and freedom of thought he gave me; if those are unforgivable offenses, then he is a god I would never willingly worship. Logical Integrity may have no place in the eternity of hell, but the only thing I can control is the me and now, so that is what I concern myself with.

Any deity worthy of worship, IMO, needs to be SUPERIOR to human beings and be ABOVE base human emotions. GRUDGES and VENGEANCE are base human emotions, and no deity that possesses those attributes is worthy of respect or worship.

If there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.
-- Bertrand Russell

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 Post subject: Re: Peace has been made!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 6:59 am 
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Hostrauser wrote:
Christians are often so concerned about their next life I wonder how fully they enjoy this one. Happiness is a cheap accomplishment when you set for yourself only a few prerequisites for accomplishing it.


Who are you to quantify what kind of happiness others are to achieve and enjoy?

In the end, happiness was not promised to any of us.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:22 am 
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Liberals always claim to be the ones that care about the poor and are the first to hand out "government money" for any cause that they deem important. But why is it the statistics show that the more liberal people become the less they donate to charities each year? Facts have shown that the poor white Christains in the deep south give more to charity than the rich New York liberals. Why is that? One interesting item I saw that no news service jumped on was that when the candidates released their tax returns it showed that even though Obama's income was about 10 times more than the Palin's income, the Palins gave far more to charities than the Obama's did.

How many volunteer emergency assistance foundations are there that are NOT sponsored by faith based groups? Where is the public assistance foundation sponsored by a coalition of atheist groups?

So Kevin, you can wish for a world without God, but you may not like it much if it actually comes to be!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:28 am 
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Bandmaster wrote:
Liberals always claim to be the ones that care about the poor and are the first to hand out "government money" for any cause that they deem important. But why is it the statistics show that the more liberal people become the less they donate to charities each year? Facts have shown that the poor white Christains in the deep south give more to charity than the rich New York liberals. Why is that? One interesting item I saw that no news service jumped on was that when the candidates released their tax returns it showed that even though Obama's income was about 10 times more than the Palin's income, the Palins gave far more to charities than the Obama's did.

How many volunteer emergency assistance foundations are there that are NOT sponsored by faith based groups? Where is the public assistance foundation sponsored by a coalition of atheist groups?

So Kevin, you can wish for a world without God, but you may not like it much if it actually comes to be!


I was watching an episode of "30 Days" last night with Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me) and he and his fiancee decided to live on minimum wage for a month and see if they could make it. They did make it, barely, but two things interesting in the episode were 1) they furnished their apartment with items they got for free from a local church (most churches do this kind of charity for their communities) and 2)On their first day of looking, they both found jobs. In fact, Spurlock found several jobs throughout the month and took his pick of the highest-paying. I found this to be pretty interesting considering how many feel there are not many jobs out there.

To get back to your point, no matter what one feels about the church in general, we should all be able to recognize how much good the church does for those in need.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:37 pm 
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All I can provide is reading material, as this issue (I feel) is too complex to be summed up in one or two sentences.

To start... in Saudi Arabia you find Muslim charities, in SE Asia you find Buddhist charities, and in America you find Christian charities. Why are you surprised that in a country where an overwhelming amount of the population is Christian (75-80%) that an overwhelming amount of the charities are Christian?

There ARE atheist charities (for example), but most atheist charities have trouble with funding for the very reason listed above: we're simply outnumbered, and the minority atheist population can't even begin to donate as much as the Christian population (even if we gave 100% of our paychecks).

The government plays a big role, too, and most charities (even religious-based charities) get large government grants. Christianity also has the benefit of getting tax-free land and other perks atheists do not enjoy. Much easier setting up a Christian soup kitchen than an atheist soup kitchen: thanks to government favoritism, the Christian soup kitchen would have operating costs a mere fraction of the non-religious soup kitchen.

Your statement also assumes that MONEY is the only way to give to charity. From Big Brothers/Big Sisters to breast cancer research, I know my wife and I give a lot of TIME AND money to charity organizations.

Then, of course... motive. Some Christian charities are for anyone and everyone, especially in the United States. But how many have "strings" attached? You must join a church, read the bible, etc. This is especially prevalent with religious charities in third world countries, where the "gift" of charity is only distributed with the acceptance of god.

Quote:
Concerning Christian Charity
by Dr. Tim Gorski, Pastor
The North Texas Church of Freethought

Christian apologists often insist that their religion promotes extraordinary generosity and altruism. As proof, they point to Christian-sponsored hospitals, clinics, schools, colleges, homeless shelters, halfway houses, and other educational and charitable organizations. “And where are the atheist hospitals?” they tauntingly ask. “We don’t see any atheist programs to help the poor and needy,” they jeer.

But these claims are far weaker than they may appear. In Muslim countries, for example, there are Muslim schools and charities. In countries dominated by Buddhists we see Buddhist institutions. Even in Cuba, there are schools, hospitals, and public aid organizations, a fact that is frequently pointed to by apologists for Castro. So why should it be thought unusual that, where Christians are to be found in great numbers, there also are to be found Christian-sponsored charitable organizations?

Then there is the history of Christianity in the West. As recently as a few hundred years ago, it was dangerous, if not fatal, to so much as openly doubt Christian theological doctrines. That is the practical form that “Christian love” and “Christian charity” has taken for the overwhelming part of its history. Its ferocity was only moderated by the innovative principle of state-church separation, a principle still denied and denounced by the most energetic of Christian zealots. How, then, can special merit be accorded to Christianity? What is so singularly virtuous about doing what others are forcibly prevented from doing? And how honest and principled is it, given these circumstances, for Christians to claim exceptional virtue for themselves while disparaging their historical victims?

Even today, unbelievers are relentlessly reviled by many Christian leaders. Consider the following recent statements by U.S. leaders:

* “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.” [Vice-President George Bush]

* “The fact that we have freedom of religion doesn’t mean we need to try to have freedom from religion.” [President William Jefferson Clinton]

* “Radicals and atheists are destroying families.” [First Lady Hillary Rodham-Clinton]

Given the context of Christians’ past and current treatment of those with contrary religious opinions, it is outrageous for anyone to point to Christian educational and charitable organizations as “proof” that Christianity excels at promoting compassion and humanitarianism. Those who make such fraudulent claims are like those who said, a century ago and more, that the absence of blacks and women in political office or other positions of responsibility “proved” that they lacked the character and intellect to vote or pursue professional careers. Then, as now, faith-blinded Christian apologists who are unwilling or unable to think excel in circular reasoning and question-begging, not in generosity or human feeling.

If Christianity were so spectacularly marked by the urge to give to others without asking anything in return, Christian institutions would have done far more than they have. As it is, almost all religious hospitals, clinics, schools, and colleges charge and collect fees that are the same as, or very little different than, similar non-religious organizations. Those associated with religious groups may receive modest or token subsidies, either in the form of cash from generous believers (and unbelievers!) or in the form of free labor provided by an order of monks, nuns, priests, and other volunteers. But the secular organizations engaged in the same activities manage not only to survive without such help but pay taxes to the state and dividends to their shareholders as well. A reasonable person would conclude that the religiously-affiliated schools and hospitals, far from being praiseworthy examples of altruism, are, in fact, inefficient and wasteful of money and resources.

Of course, shelters for the homeless and battered women, food banks, soup kitchens, and the like do not charge fees. They survive, almost without exception, on a variety of grants. Most often, these are government grants. But this is no less true of organizations affiliated with religious groups as with those that are not. Catholic Charities, for example, gets the majority of its funding from taxpayers. Charitable organizations also rely on the United Way and other funding sources that draw on society generally rather than on adherents of any specific religion. Even the bell-ringing Salvation Army “Santas” rely on the ordinary generosity of people generally, and not just on that of theologically-correct Christians. Meanwhile, just as in the case of schools and hospitals, these religious-affiliated charitable organizations enjoy special advantages. Virtually all of them own land and other untaxed properties. In many cases, they enjoy streams of income from these assets as well as other unrelated activities, all of which are also untaxed. This represents a large subsidy from Christians and non-Christians alike, even for those religious organizations that do not receive outright grant monies from the taxpayers.

It is arguable whether such subsidies are a good value for the benefits received, even if they were not unconstitutional violations of state/church separation. But they are subsidies nonetheless. It is an abuse of the facts, of reason, and of the spirit in which these subsidies are given for anyone to claim that the success of the recipient organizations demonstrate the superiority of the religions with which they are affiliated. More importantly, it illustrates the wisdom of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which was intended to prevent this diversion of public funds to the support of religious proselytization.

This brings us to the most disturbing feature of religious “charities.” For they are not motivated primarily by a compassionate desire to alleviate human suffering or the generous inclination to advance the cause of human happiness. This was well shown by many of the pronouncements of one of the most celebrated of Christian charitable leaders, the late, but still revered “Mother Theresa,” who said: “I think it is very good when people suffer. To me, that is like the kiss of Jesus...” The same fundamental indifference both to human suffering and happiness is at the root of Christian groups’ opposition not only to abortion but also to birth control and assisted reproductive technologies. Nowhere is this better shown than when religious charities are forced to choose between humanitarianism and their own theological teachings. Holy spirits beat flesh and blood human beings every time.

Thus the chief motivation for Christian “charity” is not love of humanity at all. It is love of Christian dogmas and doctrines. For Christian teachings do not hold that good works are good in themselves. Rather, good works merely serve to show the inward theological correctness that Christians believe is necessary to win entry into heaven and escape damnation. Good works are merely the “signs and wonders” that prove Christianity’s divine authority. Most of all, good works are the bait to lure potential converts and the cost of being “saved.” All of which demonstrates not that the Christian religion is morally superior, but that it is morally bankrupt.

Meanwhile, it turns out that there are secular schools, hospitals, clinics, homeless shelters, and other charities that do without Christian theology and Christian “morals.” In fact, there are two varieties of them. There are those sponsored by various government agencies. And there are the previously mentioned private organizations, both non-profit and for-profit. Both public and private secular institutions have been far more successful at alleviating human suffering and promoting human happiness than any religion has ever been.

It is true, of course, that the funds extracted from taxpayers to pay for many of these secular programs are collected under threat of civil and criminal law. For this reason, it is often said that no moral credit ought to be imputed for the work they do. Yet religious organizations also depend on monies collected through taxation. Nor do they ever tire in seeking a greater share of it. It cannot be more praiseworthy for Christian charitable groups to spend these funds than for the government or a private secular organization to spend them. In fact, the opposite is the case. For the charitable Christian groups’ interest is primarily in advancing the Christian religion with humanitarianism a distant secondary goal. In addition, however unworthy the tool of taxation may be, traditional Christian methods of collecting money, property, and treasure are far worse. The power of the state, after all, is obviously limited. But Christians claim that those who do not cooperate with them will suffer eternal torture in hellfire.

Not long ago, Christians enthusiastically delivered those who failed to cooperate to earthly flames well in advance of the alleged hellfire. But this is not what most of us today think of as generosity, charity, and loving-kindness.


Bolded emphasis mine.

Feel free to also read:
http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2006/12/liberals-conservatives-charity-and.html

Lastly, it's interesting to point out that the three of the four largest philanthropists in American history (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Andrew Carnegie) have been atheists or agnostics.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:07 pm 
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I remember laying in the hospital thanking God for allowing me to live, looking at the blood transfusion dripping in my arm. I really didn't care who gave blood or why they did it. I was just glad to get it..............Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:22 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
Then, of course... motive. Some Christian charities are for anyone and everyone, especially in the United States. But how many have "strings" attached? You must join a church, read the bible, etc. This is especially prevalent with religious charities in third world countries, where the "gift" of charity is only distributed with the acceptance of god.


Christians are commanded to share the Good News, so to speak. So, of course we use this kind of outreach to tell people about Christ. I don't know of any that won't give whatever is being given without acceptance of God as Savior. Now, I know many that give out reading material in the form of a pamphlet or a small bible along with the gift, but none that require a commitment beyond that. I am sure there are some, but I would think it is the exception to the rule, rather than the rule.

Regardless of motive, Christians, on the whole, give.

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 Post subject: The greatest philanthropist of all time...
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:40 pm 
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The Widow's Offering
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

cwbjr67--Getting the last word in 13% of the time :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Peace has been made!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
cwbjr67 wrote:
Those involved in the locked thread made peace BEFORE it was locked! People can work things out! Chris (aka Chadwick) was wonderfully gracious, and he gives me hope that civil discussion does work despite the occasional--and rather minor--flare up. 8-)

From what I saw the last two pages, GCMystreaux and Malibu agreed that their "one true god" was more important that individual human rights. This was not two opposite sides coming to an agreement. You and chadwick settled a disagreement about the PHRASING of one post, not the underlying issue.

So no, I'd say peace wasn't made, and I stand by the last comment I made in that thread.


You are unaware of the private messages we sent each other. Please don't make a judgment without knowing all the information, Kevin.

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