Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » LOTD

LOTD

Filed at 7:01 am under by dcobranchi

A two-fer in the Fayetteville Observer today. Back-to-back idiocy:

A word about prayer

I have never sent a letter to the editor before now. I would like to say to all of the people from other countries who are coming to the United States of America and bringing all of their gods with them that I do not care under what name they pray — Allah or Buddha or Satan or a rock, which is their privilege. I am tired of them trying to tell me who I can pray to.

If you are offended when I am praying in the name of Jesus, then I have no problem with you taking a one-way ticket back to where you came from. As far as the City Council of Fayetteville being ashamed to pray in the name of Jesus, just let me say that I am ashamed to tell people that this is my hometown because its leaders have no guts to stand up for that name that gives them breath today.

This country was built and founded on that name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. You cannot change that fact.

Mary Sue Edwards
Stedman

About the Bible and public schools

This is concerning the banning of Bible distribution in Cumberland County elementary schools. It is a sad state of affairs when in this age of babies killing babies (a step beyond babies having babies), that our wonderful Constitution, which guarantees us the right to freely practice our religion, can be grossly misinterpreted to keep our precious children from public access to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who only has a pure and holy love for these little ones, whose angels are constantly beholding the face of the Father God in heaven (Matthew 18:10).

Jeers for such a perverse decision. It is certainly our prayer that all people will realize the need to accept God and His Word.

Lloyd Martin Jr.
Parkton

Well, I’m convinced. The US really is a Christian nation, even though the Constitution doesn’t mention Christ once and even though the Treaty of Tripoli, which was ratified by the Senate in 1797, states explicitly “…the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion” and is, under the US Constitution, the “Supreme law of the land.” I’m saved!!!

Now all you heathens STFU. I’m heading over to our local school to force some of your kids to get religion, too.

77 Responses to “LOTD”


Comment by
JJ Ross
December 5th, 2007
at 12:11 pm

Maybe she was presuming to answer the question you asked God?
“I’m still waiting for God to get back to me on what his plan for me is. I asked him years ago, and he’s never responded.. .”


Comment by
don
December 5th, 2007
at 12:46 pm

“Maybe she was presuming to answer the question you asked God?

Awfully presumptuous of her to answer for god, don’t you think?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 12:53 pm

And people still think I’m a guy online, harumph!
The wine thing should be a dead giveaway (I like quiche too)

Quiche is very manly. Eggs, cheese and bacon! It goes great with a good ale. 🙂


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 12:59 pm

I think that the Bible says that if you had a regeneration experience (were born again), that you are saved and that onc eyou are savedm, you cannot lose your salvation. Therefore, if you at one time asked Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour and accepted His death on the cross as the propitiation of your sins, then I think that the Bible can be interpreted to mean that you are still a Christian and going to heaven. (Yippeee!!)

This would be a Baptist interpretation. Other protestant sects would disagree. Catholics would vehemently disagree.


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 5th, 2007
at 1:41 pm

Daryly posted “True in what sense of the word? That it contains much wisdom and is in many ways a good basis for leading a good life? Then, yes, I’d say that the Bible is true. If, OTOH, you mean that I believe that there is an afterlife, then no. I believe that when you are dead, you are dead.”

When I asked if you believed if the Bible was true, I meant as in “the Word of God”, the accurate depiction of His Story, the statements about heaven and hell being true about what happens to us when we die, the Bible as the inerrant, inspired, God breathed Absolute Truth about life, death, heaven and hell?

I hear you answering that question as being “No” essentially.

What do you base your sense of morality on? (This question actually goes out to anyone reading this and interested in responding.)

Mimi


Comment by
JJ Ross
December 5th, 2007
at 1:53 pm

All the books I’ve read (not just one) —


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 2:12 pm

Mimi,

I’ll answer your question by giving you a task. Re-read Ch. 1 of “Mere Christianity.” Lewis, who is a Christian apologist, argues that every society in history has developed a moral code. He believed that this proved the existence of God. I’d argue that it proves that a sense of “morality” occurs spontaneously among the higher social animals. Without such a moral code, society would be impossible.

So, you can say that morality “evolved.”


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 5th, 2007
at 3:31 pm

Morality evolved? From what? The mud? How can the concept of Right over Wrong have evolved? Isn’t evolution basied on the survival of the fittest? Isn’t survival of the fittest based on dog eat dog, the ends justify the means, whatever it takes to beat you or eat you.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 3:57 pm

This is really so simple, Mimi, that I shouldn’t even have to explain it. You’re thinking on an individual level. Think in terms of societies. Imagine two groups of people. One lives harmoniously with each other. The other fights, cheats, and murders. Which one has a better chance of survival over the long run?


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 5th, 2007
at 4:19 pm

Execellent question with an obvious answer. I am quite sure that the society who cheats, murders the leaders and sages, steals food, plunders the others resources, abuses the environment (cuz you can always move on to another place thathasn’t been raped yet), abuses the prople who are weaker (ie slaves) and not as smart, etc etc will ultimately be the group who survives. (this is if and only if there was no God to Judge and punish and reward).

As long as I could get the other group first, I win. Look at what happens on the TV show “Survivor” as a microcosm of how society really works. (I actually never watch it but know enough about the basic concepts to use it to make the point.)

You don;t think that EVIL is basically triumphing on earth now or do you think the world is basically a good, safe place where morality is winning?

Mimi


Comment by
COD
December 5th, 2007
at 4:41 pm

How sad it must be to go through life believing yourself incapable of moral behavior without the threat of punishment from above.


Comment by
JJ Ross
December 5th, 2007
at 5:09 pm

If one doesn’t have CS Lewis handy at home (I do, good reference Daryl) then go to npr.org this evening and listen to this interview on the scientific metaphysics of baboons, how stressed the mommas are when the lions (not evil, just natural predators) threaten their band and grooming partners and most especially family.

They measured cortisol in the poop to prove it. Better living through chemistry — and almost literally from mud, if not quite! 😉


Comment by
JJ Ross
December 5th, 2007
at 5:14 pm

Hmmm, Cortisol in the Poop — think I could get a bestselling unschooler’s parenting guide out of that title?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 5:54 pm

I am quite sure that the society who cheats, murders the leaders and sages, steals food, plunders the others resources, abuses the environment (cuz you can always move on to another place thathasn’t been raped yet), abuses the prople who are weaker (ie slaves) and not as smart, etc etc will ultimately be the group who survives.

Remind me never to walk down a dark alley with you. Let’s try again, shall we? Imagine two societies NOT IN CONTACT WITH ONE ANOTHER. One lives harmoniously with each other. The other fights, cheats, and murders. Which one has a better chance of survival over the long run?


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 5th, 2007
at 5:55 pm

Whether you characterize a baboons behvaiour as “evil” or “predatory”, when they eat the smaller, slower animal their prey is still dead.

Moral behavior is not attained even where there is a very clear threat of punishment from above. I choose a moral path because I believe that God cares about my choices and that the Code He has given us to live by demands adherence to those principles. However, outside of any Absolute Truth or the existdence of a Supreme Being who is involved in our lives, I cannot see what the basis for morality would be.

Mimi


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 5th, 2007
at 6:00 pm

“Remind me never to walk down a dark alley with you.”

LOL. This was a scenario with the presumption that there was no God and only some sort of “evolving morality” which somehow pushes people to better and better behaviour and acts of goodness.

Since I believe God cares about our choices and has given us a specific set of rules to live by, I try to live it and therefore I would probably want to hold your hand during a walk through a dark alley and probably ask you to join me in a rousing chorus of Amazing Grace.

Mimi


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 6:17 pm

So, if you some day lose your faith (it happens, you know) can we expect to see your picture on the wall at the post office?

I personally don’t see a necessity for a belief in God to be positively correlated with moral behavior. I know lots of people who believe in God, some of whom would even consider themselves to be good Christians, to be evil. (In fact, one resides in the WH) I also know many people who believe in their fellow man, who daily work as hard as any missionary in the field to make the world a better, more fair, more loving place.

Should I conclude that a belief in God (or being a professed Christian) causes someone (the President say) to do evil things?


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 5th, 2007
at 6:25 pm

Ofcourse, the choice to behave “morally” is not dependent on a belief in God. HOWEVER, what I am trying to figure out from you is WHERE that morality comes from if you do not believe in Absolute Truth handed down by a Divine Being. What or who determines what is right and wrong? What if my actions are right for me (such as eating the last squirrel on a deserted island) and wrong for you and in a world without God or Absolute Truths, then most people would do what is right for themselves. SO, what is YOUR morality based on? Daryl’s Code?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 6:32 pm

Yes, Daryl’s Code. I do what is right in my own eyes.


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 5th, 2007
at 7:41 pm

And, as you so aptly pointed out, that would make you a fool. But I mean this in love, Daryl—smiley, smiley, smiley icon—if I could find the way to post it here…

Mimi


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 8:14 pm

The fool reference was intentional. I told you I’ve read it twice:

Prov 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

1:31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
December 5th, 2007
at 8:16 pm

BTW, just type the emoticon : – ) the normal way (no spaces). The software will convert it automagically. 🙂


Comment by
don
December 6th, 2007
at 12:38 am

Mimi wrote: “what I am trying to figure out from you is WHERE that morality comes from if you do not believe in Absolute Truth handed down by a Divine Being.”

Let’s look at it from a couple different points of view.

First, Daryl already addressed this, but I’ll try to expand on it a little, so maybe you can get the gist of it. When looking at it from an evolutionary perspective, you need to think in terms of societies, or at the level of the whole human race, rather than on an individual basis. A society where people can get along and work cooperatively is going to survive much easier than a society where everyone only looks out for themselves. Over millions of years, these beneficial trait s essentially became hardwired into us. Similar to the way you can breed certain traits in animals, the environment bred these traits into us. Please also understand that the idea of “survival of the fittest”, as you present it, is a misrepresentation of evolutionary principles. Evolution is not a “dog eat dog” concept. Survival of the fittest in its truest sense simply means that the members of a species that are most suited to their environment will survive, while those less suited to the environment will not.

Now, to look at your question of where morality comes from on a more personal, individual level. There are a variety of ways we develop a sense of morality. Some of it comes from the way we are raised, and the values our parents and other role models encourage in us. Part of it comes from the laws that we collectively set in our society. Part of it is because we know that treating others well can also be beneficial for us. For some of us, a large part of it comes from our ability to think rationally. And part of it comes from our emotions. Some examples: I don’t believe in god, but I would never cheat on my wife because I love her and would not want to cause her pain. I wouldn’t beat my children because I love them and wouldn’t want to hurt them. I might help my neighbor start his car because if I were in that situation, I would want someone to help me. Belief in a divine being is not necessary for any of this.


Comment by
JJ Ross
December 6th, 2007
at 11:51 am

Don makes a great point. Love. Back in my Methodist youth, I reconciled my churchgoing and hymn-singing with the then-common shorthand, “God is Love.” But Christianity has become polarized to extremes just as the political parties have done, I guess, so there’s no middle ground for folks like me any more. And the fundamentalisy extreme of a personified literal God as Puppetmaster and Commander in Chief leaves me cold.

And punishment as love, therefore god as punishment? No way for me to make anything moral of that.


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 6th, 2007
at 3:27 pm

Don wrote “Survival of the fittest in its truest sense simply means that the members of a species that are most suited to their environment will survive, while those less suited to the environment will not.”

Given this defijnition, don’t you think that those “most suited to their environment will be, for the most part, the strongest, healthiest, fastest, biggest, smartest so that they can out run, kill more prey faster, live longer betwen meals, build their habitats faster, figure out ways to outdo their competition, etc because we live in a world where there is not always enough to go around.

In this setting, I do not see how a morality of cooperation and collaboration and love and peave prevails. Back to my orignal point-how can you honestly as intellgent, thinking people, really buy into the idea that morality as we know it to mean love, peace and understanding would even survive to be around today, let alone prevail without Absolute Truth?

Mimi


Comment by
Mimi Rothschild
December 6th, 2007
at 3:43 pm

“Don also wrote “Now, to look at your question of where morality comes from on a more personal, individual level. There are a variety of ways we develop a sense of morality. Some of it comes from the way we are raised, and the values our parents and other role models encourage in us. Part of it comes from the laws that we collectively set in our society.”

If my values come from my parents, what happens when I have no parents? Where did their parents get morality from? And where did the first person on earth get it from? To go all the way back further begs the question “where does Morality come from?” I don’t see any legitimate source of morality without the existence of Absolute Truth.

What you have been describing is relative morality, I believe, which is morals based on culture values, so you can have a oeriod of time in history where the systematic murder of unborn people is legal or the genocide of the Jews, etc. When morality is relative, then people or society (society is just a larger group of people) making up the rules as they go along. This is a dangerous slippery slope which leads to the Holocaust and all of society’s nightmares.

Mimi Rothschild


Comment by
COD
December 6th, 2007
at 3:55 pm

Mimi just invoked Godwin’s Law. Daryl and Don win.