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Bashing other religions?

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Falling rain
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0 posted 06-17-2009 02:44 PM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain


Why do it? Doesn't it go against our faiths? If people were devoted to their faith won't they take the time to understand one another and just leave it at that? Let bygones be bygones? Thoughts anyone?    
moonbeam
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1 posted 06-17-2009 03:36 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Totally with you on this Zach.  

Anyone who says my religion is right and yours is wrong loses a good deal of credibility imho.
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2 posted 06-17-2009 04:50 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I only bristle at attempts of conversion.

*shrug*

I've said it before, but I'm willing to repeat myself *grinnin'*

Studies of comparative religion fascinate me, because I consider the bigger picture as like...a puzzle. So just as I try to put together a jigsaw puzzle, I do the same with the world's religions, both current and historical. I look for the similarities first.I find that this approach makes for friendlier discussions. Sadly, it's the proclamation of "one true" religion that bristles the emotions of folks.

I tend to think that what is true for one is not necessarily true for another.

I hope you find some understanding and comfort in that.
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3 posted 06-17-2009 09:03 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

It depends on your definition of bashing.

Telling someone their religion is wrong isn't, to my way of thinking, bashing them. For example, those who believe in faith healing to the extent they refuse medical treatment for themselves and their children won't ever get a silent nod of acceptance from me. I think that tenant of their religion is flat out wrong and I won't ever stop trying to convince them. Ditto religions that dehumanize women and children or condone the unnecessary taking of human life.

Tolerance should never mean standing by in silence while people are being hurt.
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4 posted 06-17-2009 09:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Someone once said that religious wars are fought by two groups trying to show who has the best imaginary friend.
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I don't think any religion is so onefold that the religion itself may be rightly called good or evil.  Religions are complexities, including many things of varying wisdom and stupidity.

Instead of trying to call a whole religion "good" or "evil", I think it is better to praise the wisdom where the wisdom is and speak against the problems where the problems are, but not without as much respect and sympathy as possible.  For which religion sets out to do wrongs and evils?  None that I know.  But rather the wrongs and evils are from confusion and misunderstanding rather than an evil intent.
 
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6 posted 06-18-2009 04:42 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
Telling someone their religion is wrong isn't, to my way of thinking, bashing them.

Stated like that it may not be "bashing", it merely makes the teller look rather foolish, especially if he or she is implying that they know what is right.

quote:
For example, those who believe in faith healing to the extent they refuse medical treatment for themselves and their children won't ever get a silent nod of acceptance from me. I think that tenant of their religion is flat out wrong and I won't ever stop trying to convince them.

Specificity adds to the credibility of the statement.  Thus rather than condemning a whole system or credo a teller who focusses on an apparent negative practical result of employing a belief looks rather less ridiculous imo.  Regrettably though, consistent and researched analysis in such instances is rare, practical examples of harm are often seized on as mere window dressing for wholesale condemnation based upon the mutually exclusive argument: "I'm right therefore you must be wrong".  

Leaving aside the "what is right and wrong", "what is hurt?" debate, I'll agree with you that systems of belief that advocate physically hitting, cutting or murdering people are probably not desirable.  Rather more difficult to condemn outright, mainly because of evidential difficulties, are those that impose mental chains or mental assassination.

Where I take strong issue with much mainstream opinion is in the area of presumption.  I don't agree that just because a majority in a culture believe a system is the way to go, it makes it "right".  You mention "faith healing" and "medical treatment".  A blanket condemnation of faith healing or any other form of alternative method of restoration in favour of conventional medicine is imv unsustainable.  I have no problem at all with you saying: "in that instance and that instance and that instance faith healing didn't work, so I have grave reservations and I intend to tell people they are wrong to use it based upon that evidence", I do however have a big problem with you saying: "conventional medicine is the only way and accordingly all other systems are wrong".

If an adult of clear mind wants to refuse conventional medical treatment for any reason whatsoever I think that's absolutely fine.

Children, dependants and those with mental difficulties are a different and much more difficult matter.  No time now.
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7 posted 06-18-2009 08:46 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Religions DO bash each other and that's a clear fact, which I consider pretty ridiculous. I think most of this bashing, though, comes from the religious leaders more than the rank and file, leaders who have their own criteria as far as stirring the pot for their own benefits.

The simple fact is that NO religion can be sure their religions is the only true one, unless they can show someone who has returned from the grave to verify it....and please don't say Jesus unless you can produce him. Religion is a belief....period.
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8 posted 06-18-2009 11:14 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Regrettably though, consistent and researched analysis in such instances is rare, practical examples of harm are often seized on as mere window dressing for wholesale condemnation based upon the mutually exclusive argument: "I'm right therefore you must be wrong".

Lack of specificity detracts from the credibility of statements, too.

quote:
Rather more difficult to condemn outright, mainly because of evidential difficulties, are those that impose mental chains or mental assassination.

You don't need evidence to condemn a practice or belief. Which shouldn't be confused with condemning a person.

quote:
A blanket condemnation of faith healing or any other form of alternative method of restoration in favour of conventional medicine is imv unsustainable.

And I would probably agree. Which is precisely why my earlier statement was worded as it was.

quote:
I do however have a big problem with you saying: "conventional medicine is the only way and accordingly all other systems are wrong".

Again, I would, too. I also have a big problem with people implying I said something I didn't.

For the record, I believe very strongly in the power of faith. I believe in the existence of supernatural healing. I believe in miracles.

I do not believe God sits around at our beck and call. Sometimes the miracle predates our prayer and has a scientific name. Like penicillin?

quote:
If an adult of clear mind wants to refuse conventional medical treatment for any reason whatsoever I think that's absolutely fine.

Explain to me, Moon, how that statement is any different from saying, "If an adult of clear mind wants to slit their wrists for any reason whatsoever I think that's absolutely fine."

quote:
Religion is a belief....period.

Everything is a belief, Mike. Everything.

And please don't say Adam Smith, Ayn Rand, or Sir Isaac Newton unless you can produce them?


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9 posted 06-18-2009 03:07 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
quote: Regrettably though, consistent and researched analysis in such instances is rare, practical examples of harm are often seized on as mere window dressing for wholesale condemnation based upon the mutually exclusive argument: "I'm right therefore you must be wrong".


Lack of specificity detracts from the credibility of statements, too.

Lol very droll Ron.  Of course you don't have to accept that statement as credible, it's an opinion based upon my personal observation.  The difference is that I am not claiming I am right.     
quote:
quote: Rather more difficult to condemn outright, mainly because of evidential difficulties, are those that impose mental chains or mental assassination.


You don't need evidence to condemn a practice or belief. Which shouldn't be confused with condemning a person.

No you don't.  But if you do so without it don't expect to be taken seriously.

quote:
quote: A blanket condemnation of faith healing or any other form of alternative method of restoration in favour of conventional medicine is imv unsustainable.

And I would probably agree. Which is precisely why my earlier statement was worded as it was.

Sorry Ron maybe I misunderstood I thought I heard you say that you rejected the element (tenant (sic) was the word you used) of faith healing that refused medical treatment.  That is kind of the point of faith healing isn't it?  aren't you effectively saying: "your method is wrong, you should be using conventional medicine?"
quote:
quote: I do however have a big problem with you saying: "conventional medicine is the only way and accordingly all other systems are wrong".

Again, I would, too. I also have a big problem with people implying I said something I didn't.


Yes, apologies wrong I see how you read it.  I had switched to a generic "you" without adequate signposts.  I didn't mean you personally, but "people" - I must stop doing that   .
quote:
    quote: If an adult of clear mind wants to refuse conventional medical treatment for any reason whatsoever I think that's absolutely fine.


Explain to me, Moon, how that statement is any different from saying, "If an adult of clear mind wants to slit their wrists for any reason whatsoever I think that's absolutely fine."


Well that reveals your mindset much better than anything else you wrote Ron  

Clearly you equate a refusal of conventional medicine with a death-wish.

I'm a million miles apart from you here, and I can't quite believe you have the audacity to imply that someone who refuses medical treatment is as good as slitting their wrists.  If only the record of medical science could justify such an implication!

Far from it unfortunately.  

The reason it's different is simple: if someone is going to slit their wrists then it's a pretty good bet that they will lose blood and eventually die, ergo they want to die.  A refusal of medical treatment in no way implies someone wishes to die.  Quite the reverse in some cases.  

And in the final analysis, which I know you will seek to extract from me so I might as well be frank now, I believe that, yes, it is the prerogative of every sane and capable adult to choose whether to accept medical assistance or not even if he/she is being advised by medical doctors that without it he/she is 100% likely to die more quickly than with.  Maybe you think that's tantamount to suicide?  I disagree.  If you don't believe what the medical doctor says then clearly it isn't suicide; if you do then it's more difficult, but I'd argue that there's a difference between "taking" your own life and "failing to save" your own life.

Now I suppose we're going to have the assisted suicide debate.  
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10 posted 06-18-2009 06:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Everything is a belief? Ok, i'll grant that but some beliefs are based on fact and some aren't. Some start out as pure beliefs and become substantiated by facts. Some remain beliefs only through lack of fact. The fact that the planets revolve around the sun began as a belief and was subsequently supported by fact. The fact that the Earth was flat was a belief, non-supported by fact, which vanished when facts proved differently....although i dare say that, if one looks hard enough, one may find a group that still believes the Earth is really flat.   (which will not change the facts).

Religion is a belief supported by faith. Are there facts that support a superior force, being, or God? Good question. I thought about that in the hospital recently. When the doctors told me that my intestine was punctured, my thought was, "Oh, no! That means the contents of the intestines have spilled out to infect other things!". The docs then told me that, at the instant of puncture, the white cells rushed to the area to form a  kind of bubble around the puncture area to contain it. I remember thinking what an amazing thing that was, how incredible that the human body had that knowledge and ability to do that. I found myself thinking that, with such incredible intricasies of the human body imbedded, one had to conclude that it was created by some form of intelligent grand design. How does one view the body any other way?

Believing in some divine creator, though, does not necessarily mean that it resembles anything organized religions portray. The religions base those portrayals on faith only. Is there a Heaven that the Christians portray where you can go (but only if you accept Jesus as your Savior?) Are there 74 virgins waiting? Is there a hell? Is God watching your every move? Does He hear your prayers or is it the power of positive thinking that makes the difference? Are there pearly gates? None of these things are supported by facts so how can the religions claim that their beliefs are the only true ones?

As I said, I don't think the rank and file have a problem. It has traditionally been the religious leaders who have instigated the hatred or disdain between religious groups. They do it to build memberships, to recruit people to fight (as is being done now) or for expansion, like the original crusades, or for power and profit, like the inquisitions and witch trials. The "bashing" comes from the top. Those who follow it are just pawns..

my humble opinion....


btw, Ron, Ayn Rand was produced many times. I would venture to say more people saw her than Jesus
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quote:
No you don't. But if you do so (condemn a practice or belief) without it don't expect to be taken seriously.

I condemn anyone (or anything) that would blow up the planet Earth. I have no evidence that would be a bad thing, but I suspect most people would take my condemnation seriously and probably agree with me, too.

Killing is wrong. Stealing is wrong. Slavery, in the field or in the family, is wrong. I don't generally offer evidence to support such condemnations, though I suppose if someone had to ask me WHY killing was wrong, I could probably come up with a few thoughts.

Whether someone takes my opinions seriously is their problem, not mine.

quote:
Well that reveals your mindset much better than anything else you wrote Ron
Clearly you equate a refusal of conventional medicine with a death-wish.

No, Rob, I'm sorry but I think you're keying on the wrong part of the quote and question. My emphasis was not on equating the two choices so much as on "for any reason whatsoever." The implication you gave me was that a person could do anything they want as long it is their choice and directly hurts no one else. My point was that personal freedom still has limits.

Nonetheless, my problem is not with the person who refuses treatment for themselves. My problem is with the ones who impose those standards on their family.

In either case, however, I feel no obligation to remain silent when I am convinced they are wrong. There is absolutely nothing disrespectful in telling someone you believe they are wrong.

You just told me I was wrong, after all, when my fat fingers typed tenant instead of tenet and neither my spellcheck nor my proofing caught the error. Were you being disrespectful? Or extremely helpful? I prefer to see it in the latter light.  

quote:
Everything is a belief? Ok, i'll grant that but some beliefs are based on fact and some aren't. ... The fact that the planets revolve around the sun began as a belief and was subsequently supported by fact.

I haven't seen any planets revolve around the sun, Mike. Have you? How can we agree something is a fact if neither of us has ever experienced it?

Perhaps you'd like to offer me a fact that isn't based on our shared faith in science?  

quote:
btw, Ron, Ayn Rand was produced many times. I would venture to say more people saw her than Jesus

Are you really going to base your belief on a numerical comparison, Mike? How many people would have had to "see" Jesus for you to accept him as an historical figure?

Just out of curiosity, Mike, do you think Ayn Rand was seen by more people than Santa Claus?    

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12 posted 06-18-2009 07:05 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Why do it?


Why not?

In every sphere of life, from sport to politics, it’s considered reasonable to voice your disagreement when someone offers an opinion that you don’t agree with. Religion has traditionally been exempt from this rule, religion is considered off limits – why is that?

A group of nut jobs fly a couple of planes into two buildings in the name of religion, praising Allah and claiming their place in heaven, a cornerstone of their religious beliefs, and we’re supposed to say nothing?

Dawkins saw the irony, the elephant in the room that everyone seems unable to see or are too polite to mention.

My last vestige of "hands off religion" respect disappeared in the smoke and choking dust of September 11th 2001, followed by the "National Day of Prayer," when prelates and pastors did their tremulous Martin Luther King impersonations and urged people of mutually incompatible faiths to hold hands, united in homage to the very force that caused the problem in the first place.

-- Richard Dawkins, The Devil's Chaplain (2004)


Let bygones be bygones?

Not this atheist, if I see an elephant I'm reserving the right to leap up and down shouting "Pachyderm".


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In which case, you should certainly start jumping up and down right now, Grinch.

If there was anything that 911 and the Iraqi invasion had in common it was that both gave lip service to their respective religions, while neither had anything at all to do with faith.


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The dipsticks who hijacked the planes had faith, the low life religious teachers who brainwashed them into believing the claptrap about virgins and heaven had faith and the hypocritical religious leaders calling for unity all claim to have faith.

You could argue that it’s misplaced, some darker shadow of true religious faith, but the fact remains that their faith is a derivative, a consequence, of religion – in the same way that refusing medical care is a consequence of faith. Without religion acts of religious barbarity and religious stupidity can’t exist.

I see a bunch of pachyderms Ron, some are harmlessly milling around the empty waterhole but some of the young bulls in must look pretty darn dangerous. You could claim that they aren’t staying true to their elephant roots, that they’re a darker shadow of the general elephant population but you can’t argue that they aren’t elephants.

.
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15 posted 06-18-2009 08:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I haven't seen any planets revolve around the sun, Mike. Have you? How can we agree something is a fact if neither of us has ever experienced it?

Oh, please, Ron. Don't go down that path. You are much too intelligent for that. No, I haven't seen the planets revolve. I haven't seen blood pass through my heart, either. I've never watched an atom split nor seen nutrients being extracted by my body from the food I eat. I've never seen hydrogen mix with oxygen to form water. I never saw a dinosaur or a knight. I did not see DaVince pait the ceiling of the sistine chapel. If you are going to base facts on only what you yourself have seen, I don't envy you your outlook on life.

Just out of curiosity, Mike, do you think Ayn Rand was seen by more people than Santa Claus?

Yes, although I believe the number of people who have seen Santa is equal to those who have seen Jesus.
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.


“But listen carefully to the utterances of Mr Ahmadinejad -  and there is another dimension, a religious messianism that, some suspect, is giving the Iranian leader a dangerous sense of divine mission”


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/150781   8/Divine-mission-driving-Irans-new-leader.html


“Mahdaviat means "belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi."”


http://www.danielpipes.org/3258/the-mystical-menace-of-mahmoud-ahmadinejad


Despite years of having, through the media, experienced "suicide bombers”
we still seem incapable of comprehending the fact of  those willing to die killing others for their faith.
.
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quote:
Without religion acts of religious barbarity and religious stupidity can’t exist.

Without religion, Grinch, acts of barbarity and stupidity would just get blamed on something else.

Men mostly do what they want to do, then look for ways to justify it. Those who truly act out of a conviction, I think, are extremely rare. Sure, you can blame 911 on religion. You can just as easily blame it on the color of their skin or their gender, two other commonalities. I don't believe any of the easy answer are the right ones, though.

quote:
If you are going to base facts on only what you yourself have seen, I don't envy you your outlook on life.

But isn't that exactly what you were suggesting we do when you said, "... and please don't say Jesus unless you can produce him?"

The greater question, Mike, is why do you privilege Newton over Moses or Copernicus over John the Baptist? The fact that you are absolutely convinced that your faith in science is deserved doesn't mean that it's not still faith.


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quote:
Without religion acts of religious barbarity and religious stupidity can’t exist.


I agree with Ron's answer.  But also add that such a thing may be said about many an other thing that is generally meant to enhance and help life: it may be turned up so down into a harm.  The same fire that is meant to be a torch and lead people through the dark may also be used to burn down people's houses.  Would you suggest that the torch is the problem instead of the harmbringing manners of using the torch?

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19 posted 06-18-2009 10:34 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The greater question, Mike, is why do you privilege Newton over Moses or Copernicus over John the Baptist?

Well, to begin with, we know that Newton and Copernicus existed as more than characters in a book.
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We do? I never met either Newton or Copernicus, Mike. Nor have I ever met anyone who met them. Are you asking me to accept their existence on faith?

I think you continue to miss my point, Mike. Your reliance on authority, whether scientific or historical, is no less faith based than a Christian's reliance on authority. You believe Newton and Copernicus existed because someone told you they existed. Someone you apparently trusted. There's nothing wrong with that, either. But when you doggedly insist your authorities are right, you're doing exactly what you accuse religion of doing.

That, of course, is the paradox of faith. When you are absolutely convinced you are right, it's very difficult to image the possibility of being wrong. Faith turns beliefs into . . . facts.


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quote:
Whether someone takes my opinions seriously is their problem, not mine.


Which means that you tell faith healers they are wrong simply for your own amusement rather than with any serious or genuine attempt to make them see that they are wrong?
quote:
Nonetheless, my problem is not with the person who refuses treatment for themselves. My problem is with the ones who impose those standards on their family.

I have to admit I didn't pick that up before from what you said.  As you see from above I specifically excluded children and dependants (mental or physical) from what I was saying.  I'd agree with you that this is a whole different ball game - a very difficult ball game.  It introduces the whole issue of who is best qualified to decide what is best for someone who can't make decisions for themselves.  I admit I am undecided.  Probably I am undecided because I can't apply my usual broad brush approach satisfactorily.  I suspect there is no acceptable "general rule", it may be that the only approach is a case by case basis.
quote:
In either case, however, I feel no obligation to remain silent when I am convinced they are wrong. There is absolutely nothing disrespectful in telling someone you believe they are wrong.

You just told me I was wrong, after all, when my fat fingers typed tenant instead of tenet and neither my spellcheck nor my proofing caught the error. Were you being disrespectful? Or extremely helpful? I prefer to see it in the latter light.

Yes you are right.

As for tenet.  FYI   as a measure of the respect I have for you and your use of language I spent about 20 minutes in several different dictionaries and reference books including my old leather bound 19C copy of Websters making absolutely sure that "tenant" was wrong!  Then I spent another 10 minutes fretting over whether I could resist the smug (sic).  In the end my evil nasty side won.     
quote:
We do? I never met either Newton or Copernicus, Mike. Nor have I ever met anyone who met them. Are you asking me to accept their existence on faith?

I think you continue to miss my point, Mike. Your reliance on authority, whether scientific or historical, is no less faith based than a Christian's reliance on authority. You believe Newton and Copernicus existed because someone told you they existed. Someone you apparently trusted. There's nothing wrong with that, either. But when you doggedly insist your authorities are right, you're doing exactly what you accuse religion of doing.

That, of course, is the paradox of faith. When you are absolutely convinced you are right, it's very difficult to image the possibility of being wrong. Faith turns beliefs into . . . facts.

At least we agree completely on the important things.  
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We do? I never met either Newton or Copernicus, Mike. Nor have I ever met anyone who met them. Are you asking me to accept their existence on faith?

Wow...that's about all I can say to that. You win, Ron. I cannot assume that anyone who died before I was born ever existed. Their graves could be hoaxes. Their scientific papers could be forgeries. Their published works could have been created by Sir Francis Bacon...if indeed HE ever existed.

There is a wealth of circumstantial evidence that these people existed. Is there any that Moses, John the Baptist, Judas, Jesus or any of the cast of thousands did, with the exception of the fact they are mentioned in the Bible, written by unknown authors?

You see a comparison between the two? Then bless you, my son.

BTW, not having met you, I can't really be certain YOU exist.

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23 posted 06-19-2009 10:10 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
BTW, not having met you, I can't really be certain YOU exist.

Heh, Mike you worked it out at last!  It's a dastardly female plot dreamt up by Nan, Kit and Sharon at Niagara - the site is owned and controlled by a cuddly erudite bot in a baseball cap.
Ron
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24 posted 06-19-2009 12:52 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Wow...that's about all I can say to that. You win, Ron. I cannot assume that anyone who died before I was born ever existed.

Of course you can, Mike.

What you probably shouldn't do, however, is use that ad hoc argument that anyone who died before you were born couldn't exist because you can't see them. Newton, Copernicus, Robin Hood, and King Arthur should all be approached with exactly the same skepticism and willingness to examine the evidence.
 
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