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Atheist Community of Austin
Homosexuality and atheism

It seems there is a growing trend in our society today to criticize people who do not agree with the lifestyles or orientations of people who claim to be homosexual. I read an article today where a lesbian was not given communion by a Catholic priest. This is not the first time I have read of an incident of this sort. What surprises me is that the lesbian is surprised by this. To me a lesbian expecting anything from the Catholic church is like a black person joining the KKK and asking for privileges. I am an atheist and I think homosexuality is ridiculous and it seems to me there is a growing trend in this country that refuses to address this issue with any intellectual rigor and substitute it with mindless tolerance. But if you speak out against it sans trying to stop people from committing homosexual acts you are a bigot and intolerant any ways. They often appeal to a naturalistic fallacy, "I was born that way". Why does no one ever think of the ethics of these actions. It seems to me atheists just jump on the band wagon accepting this ludicrous lifestyle, especially when it is in opposition to any religious dogma. I irony is that atheism in appealing to normative ethics and so-called objective science is itself becoming a dogmatism. We seem to be sacrificing logical and true critical thinking in this country for a mind numbing non-rigorous tolerance. If you want to stick your penis in the ass of another man then fine, but please do not refer to this as "natural".

What is your evidence for claiming it's unnatural? Here's some evidence otherwise:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

Clearly it occurs in nature, but that is appealing to the naturalistic fallacy. Therefore, if stating that homosexuality occurs in nature is all you have, that in itself does not mean much in an ethical argument. Non-human animals are not moral or ethically minded creatures, so please look up more info on Wikipedia to show your unwillingness to think about this without appealing to your known disgust of religion Don. Unfortunately, you will not bully me into your perspective with condescension or ridicule. Just out of curiosity, what makes corn holing another man in the ass natural? Psychopath killers are naturally without empathy and have a lust to kill, so does that mean it is warranted? It seems to me, especially in what I have read here and on your show that I already know you are for homosexuality, so I think there is very little evidence or argumentation that will sway your beliefs. Just remember this, I am an atheist, so treating me like you treat theists will not win your case.

I'm sorry. You made the claim that homosexuality is ridiculous and unethical, not unnatural.

I honestly have no idea where you're coming from. Same-sex love and sex is not inherently harmful, so why would anyone go out of their way to stop it?

Can you demonstrate harm?

It's pretty clear to me that what's motivating you is your sense of disgust. A lot of people have sexual hangups. That doesn't mean they have the right to meddle in the lives of others.

Hi Don.

Actually, he did reference is as unnatural, albeit indirectly:

Quote: but please do not refer to this as "natural"

Additionally, there is this, which also gives weight to the idea that he perceives it as 'unnatural' and that such is important to him:

Quote: They often appeal to a naturalistic fallacy, "I was born that way".

Although it's obvious that he doesn't understand what a naturalistic fallacy obviously refers to. He is saying that it's NOT TRUE that they are born that way, when a 'naturalistic fallacy' refers to the conceptual belief that "if it happens in nature, it is automatically good". So either he is being excessively unclear or outright obtuse, or he doesn't understand what a naturalistic fallacy refers to. I will default to benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, the larger picture here needs to be discussed. The OP vacillates between his outraged sense of 'don't call it natural' and his 'it doesn't matter what happens in nature'!

This is a common christian stance, so I'm a little surprised to see it come from someone claiming non-religion.

On a larger examination, there are simple reasons for homosexuality to happen in nature, and they include population control and even natural selection wherein individuals can still offer value to a 'community' (animal or human) without increasing the over-crowding.

From a pure 'nature' standpoint, there is value, even moral value in any type of predator choosing homosexuality. It prevents mass starvation until the time that the environment balances out from over-crowding. I suppose OP would much prefer to see starving children, than two gay men holding hands.

If he were a christian, I would joke that starving children are god's will, but homosexuality is as abominable as eating shrimp. Good thing he isn't.

Now, however, let's discuss the larger issue of 'natural'. It amuses me that people (like the OP) have such a strong sense of adherence to the 'natural'.

Yet he sits in a chair that never grew that way. He uses a computer that started out as sludge and rocks. Neither of these actions are natural in any way. I never see these discussions of 'it ain't natch-rul' coming from some dude squatting in the dirt and eating bugs. So let's please put aside the 'don't call it natural' business.

Because there are only TWO existing choices for 'natural' as far as EVERYTHING that humans do:

Either we can NOT determine morality and acceptability based upon nature because we are NOT natural creatures; OR

Whatever we do, be it sitting in a chair that didn't grow that way, or homosexuality, IS NATURAL FOR US because we are a NATURAL part of our world.

* * * * *

Now to speak to the idea of "we are not natural creature, so just because it happens in nature doesn't make it acceptable for us to do".

The huge difference between homosexuality and actual deviancies is that there is no actual harm to society done by two adults choosing their partners and having a loving, committed relationship. Regardless of their sex/gender.

Harm is done by the other things that many of these alarmists squeal that homosexuality is a 'gateway' for. Pedophilia is clearly harmful because a child cannot consent. Even if they say yes, they have not given informed consent, because they do not have the information! Nor would they understand it, if they did have it. Additionally, science has proven that children are in an ALTERED BRAIN STATE of predominantly ALPHA brainwaves until around age 16. Therefor, they are not in their right minds to make an informed decision, anyway.

However, homosexuality between two consenting adults, as has already been pointed out, actually has a basic benefit to society:

The prevention of mass starvation by a populace that is outgrowing its environment. Additionally, on a simpler level, if homosexual couples were to adopt from foster care, they would be fulfilling an even greater community positive.

We as humans have the ability to reason and to choose with informed consent, which animals cannot do. This is what most refer to when they consider us to be 'not natural' and outside of the laws governing nature.

Therefor, when considering homosexuality, we must consider whether it harms the whole of society. Which indeed, not only does it not harm it, it brings benefits and values, so long as it remains within the realm of consenting adults.

Thanks for the discussion.

This is more equivalent to a "moralistic fallacy", which is giving an ethical or moral attribute to something that just happens in nature. Like "lightening" strikes people dead because they were evil or why don't you just stop being gay.

I don't get the reason for the title "Homosexuality and atheism" since there is no connection. Many homosexual members of the clergy are openly gay -and probably most homosexuals are not atheists. Furthermore, I can't imagine why anyone would be so hung up on a subject like this? Things that don't effect me don't bother me - why does it bother you?

You seem to be fuming because most of the atheists didn't (lighted fagots) and jump on your witch hunting bandwagon.

Don,

IMHO, you are side-tracking the discussion. Animals doing it does not make this behavior desirable or beneficial for any species. We are not animals. Pooping on the neighbor's lawn may be called "natural" as well by your logic. Derek makes a valid point which I am trying to make as well. Why do atheists have to disagree with believers on everything and tolerate things they believe are wrong? Again, what's wrong with admitting your beliefs or defending a position based on internal conviction (a.k.a. faith)?

AG,

We are animals. We descended from the apes. If you disagree, perhaps you can tell me exactly where we broke from animals.

"Why do atheists have to disagree with believers on everything and tolerate things they believe are wrong?" Often, believers are creating harm in the world based on those beliefs.

I too do not think there is a clear justification for the homosexual lifestyle. Two of the same sex cannot bear children, therefore as far as appeals to nature is concerned, then I think this to be an important factor. So, other animals have been shown to have homosexual behavior. The only problem with that reasoning is that they are not ethical or moral beings. I am an agnostic atheist and I am not disgusted by homosexuality I just think it is not based on rationality. Don mistakes questioning the coherency of an act or belief with actively trying to squash it without giving it time or the ability to justify itself. It seems to me Don is guilty of the same hasty thinking that labels rational people as being intolerant or bigots. Notice that he makes the opposite claim but offers no evidence to the contrary, unless appeals to nature are to granted as evidence for ethical justification. Atheists who defend incoherency and inconsistency of people who espouse falsehoods as truth are really no different than people who are indifferent or relativistic. This to me is problematic for Don, because he is often criticizing Christians out of appeals to what he find disgusting. Of course Don is going to ask for a particular instance, because for some odd reason he is incapable of remembering what he has said or done on the show. I think people like Don are just lazy, cowards, or both. They bitch about religionists and their being unethical, yet they defend them when the chips are down. They are like the Dems who voted for Obama in 2008. They want change but want their messiah to do all the work. These atheists are like that. They use the work of others and find solace in appeals to ignorance. Their reasoning can be summed up as follows, " I have not heard it or understand it, therefore it is irrational or I do not have reason to believe it.

"Two of the same sex cannot bear children, therefore as far as appeals to nature is concerned, then I think this to be an important factor."

So you advocate that sterile couples should be barred from marriage?

Perhaps we should define "homosexual lifestyle". I consider it to be the lifestyle that homosexuals actually live. The gays I know contribute to society, keep houses, and have committed long-term relationships. Several posts on this thread reduced homosexuality to sex acts. By that "logic" same-sex relationships are the same as "doggie style" and anyone's revulsion to it is reason enough to sabotage relationships.

"Don mistakes questioning the coherency of an act or belief with actively trying to squash it without giving it time or the ability to justify itself." Bullshit. I asked questions.

"Atheists who defend incoherency and inconsistency of people who espouse falsehoods as truth are really no different than people who are indifferent or relativistic." My sock puppet friend has returned with all the ad hominem "arguments" of the other posts. Did you have a sex change? Someone on this thread might think that's immoral.

You know, I'm happy to have an honest conversation about any of my show topics or particular things I've said. Just raise a specific point and let's discuss it.

I did point out in the last show that the concept of heaven, hell, and the second coming all have elements of hedonism and sadism. Perhaps that's uncomfortable for some. I'm quoting Christians, often important ones.

"Therefore the elect shall go forth…to see the torments of the impious, seeing which they will not be grieved, but will be satiated with joy at the sight of the unutterable calamity of the impious ." Peter Lombard

"The door of mercy will be shut and all bowels of compassion denied, by God, who will laugh at their destruction; by angels and saints, who will rejoice when they see the vengeance' by their fellow-suffer the devil and the damned rejoicing over their misery." Bishop Newcomb

The quote about sex in the afterlife is from here: http://www.atheist-community.org/library/articles/read.php?id=754 C.S. Lewis is a well-respected apologist.

One point must be touched on because, though I kept silence, it would none the less be present in most readers' minds. The letter and spirit of scripture, and of all Christianity, forbid us to suppose that life in the New Creation will be a sexual life; and this reduces our imagination to the withering alternative either of bodies which are hardly recognisable as human bodies at all or else of a perpetual fast. As regards the fast, I think our present outlook might be like that of a small boy who, on being told that the sexual act was the highest bodily pleasure should immediately ask whether you ate chocolates at the same time. On receiving the answer 'No', he might regard absence of chocolates as the chief characteristic of sexuality. In vain would you tell him that the reason why lovers in their carnal raptures don't bother about chocolates is that they have something better to think of. The boy knows chocolate: he does not know the positive thing that excludes it. We are in the same position. We know the sexual life; we do not know, except in glimpses, the other thing which, in Heaven, will leave no room for it. Hence where fulness awaits us we anticipate fasting. In denying that sexual life, as we now understand it, makes any part of the final beatitude, it is not of course necessary to suppose that the distinction of sexes will disappear. What is no longer needed for biological purposes may be expected to survive for splendour. Sexuality is the instrument both of virginity and of conjugal virtue; neither men nor women will be asked to throw away weapons they have used victoriously. It is the beaten and the fugitives who throw away their swords. The conquerors sheathe theirs and retain them. 'Trans-sexual' would be a better word than 'sexless' for the heavenly life.

Pascal's wager, which theists often use to try to convince them of their religion, is all about maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.

I also made the point that one man's theology is equivalent to any other, as none of them has any evidence for their beliefs.

Don,

Why isn't your tolerance to homosexuality transferred to religious beliefs of others? Don't you think, it's inconsistent?

One possible explanation I expect from you is that religious beliefs are more harmful than homosexuality. However, I think, it's a baseless generalization.

"The gays I know contribute to society, keep houses, and have committed long-term relationships." I can say this about all Christians I know personally without exception. Persecuting all Christians, because some of them persecuted Jews is 'an eye for an eye' mentality which leaves everyone blind. Don't you think so?

AG,

You are right that I'm basing the decision on harm.

Isn't it ironic that Christians look at Matthew 27:25 'All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"' and use it as an excuse to kill Jews for 1400 years, none of whom killed Jesus, by the way. Yet when the situation is reversed and religious thinking (mindless following without evidence) is criticized, Christians try so hard to wash their hands of their past, now that they see the light of secular morality in one little area.

I've asked on the TV why did Christians stop? They stopped, largely, last century. It has to be the biggest theological event of the last 500 years or so, yet Christians seem barely aware that their "absolute morality from god" did a complete 180. Either it was wrong to kill before or wrong not to kill after. Which is it?

I'm curious about one thing. Did God give a gift of his son? Did Jesus die for your sins, as part of some sick sacrifice to Himself so that Christians can go to heaven, regardless of who they screw over? As long as they believe of course. Isn't that the teaching, that the sacrifice was part of God's grand plan? Yes. That's what they teach.

It would seem then, that killing Jews is nothing more than gratuitous lustful murder.

"An eye for an eye" would be to kill the same number of Christians. I'm not advocating it, but if that's your god's law, why not? Exodus 21:24. I do think all Christians should have their noses rubbed in the evils of their religion. Maybe a few of them will wonder if their perpetual orgasm is worth it. Those that have a potential to learn from mistakes are potential friends. You seem to be advocating not learning from mistakes, but Christians are very squirmish about admitting that the whole thing is an obvious fraud.

Back to harm. Christians continue to spread harm. It is this harm I continue to rail against.

There's an important distinction there, which is why it's not inconsistent. Even accepting such intolerance has been shown here, the point is that it's the religion in itself that causes the harm/makes the followers cause the harm. Homosexuals causing harm tend not to do that because of their sexuality, and certainly it's not their sexuality that is harmful inherently. That's a very relevant difference. To be fair, the comment about the gays contributing to society etc. suggests that distinction is not being made as such, but I think it really is.

Vincent, "religion itself causes harm / makes the followers cause the harm" - atheists repeat this statement over and over again. Is it backed up by data? I don't think, this statement has any basis other than the deep conviction of atheists. It's a faith statement, and it's strange to hear it from people who declare that they don't believe anything without evidence.

Don mentions this article which, supposedly, shows correlation between the level of religiosity and some social ills. I have stated my doubts about this article in this thread: 1. It's the only study of this kind. 2. The author seems to have a clear purpose. I question that the article is unbiased. The article has examples of discarding data that do not match the hypothesis. 3. Methods of data collection in different countries may have been vastly different. I'd like to see similar data across the 50 United States or even by US cities. It would be interesting to see such data. It might be easier to compile and may have many more data points.

I don't think the statement "religion causes harm" has any more truth in it than "sexuality causes rape". Sure, people who are not interested in sex, probably, are not interested in sexual violence. It doesn't mean, however, that they would not be interested in violence for other reasons. There is even data that male hormone increases aggressiveness. So? Would men be better off without testicles? On the other hand, most people would still agree that sexuality is one of the best human endowments. It does lead to some of the most beautiful things in the world as well as some of the worst.

AG,

The article I posted was peer reviewed. The data represents whole countries, not individuals. There was a follow up study on homicide rates, which refined the hypothesis (http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2006/2006-7.pdf). There have been other studies showing the relative health of secular countries, so I don't think this is a fluke. I do admit it's early research in a rather interesting area.

I think you can see religious harm in the aggregate behavior of, say Christians. Of all of the murderers of Jews, for example, how many have been Christians? I would wager that over 90% were (yes, I have no data to prove this). Christians hatred of Jews can be traced to one line in the Bible: Matthew 27:25: All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"

How many "witches" have been killed for Exodus 22:18? What an amazingly sad episode was the "burning times", all religiously based.

How many lives will be shortened by stem cell research bans and delays, based on religious ideals that blobs of cells that would otherwise die are unfit to benefit the living?

How many women have been turned into breeding machines to substitute for the fact that the Christian god is incapable of making new humans who will tithe to the parasite class, known as clergy?

How has Christianity solved the Priest Pedophile problem that it swept under the rug for decades?

How may mentally ill have been "helped" by the religious explanation that they were possessed by the devil?

We can discuss any of these at length and I can think of probably a dozen more. There's plenty of evidence of the claim that religious belief is harmful.

Don, This second article you quote is much better. I, actually, agree with it. Have you read the whole article? It, in fact, confirms my criticism of Paul's study (the previous article). I'll post my thoughts on the second article in another thread.

From: AG (Posted Mar 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm) AG said, "Don, Why isn't your tolerance to homosexuality transferred to religious beliefs of others? Don't you think, it's inconsistent?"

LINDA'S ANSWER: Frankly, we all know (and studies have proven) that there is more bigotry against atheists than any other group in America. Most of us know that atheists are the most hated minority group in America. I don't think tolerance for a persons views on God is the same thing as homosexuality. Nobody should continue to debate that with someone who obviously has no understanding of the subject to begin with. People are born homosexual (that is why it's natural) there is no "cause" but there are no natural born fanatics. Natural means without human intervention; it's part of nature, unlike "the seven from heaven" multiple births advertized as miracles! If artificial insemination is a "miracle" they were miracles.

I think you're doing the same thing here with homosexuality that you've been doing on Atheist Community of Austin (topic) Age of the Earth with science; you want someone to believe science is as silly as Creation and you want them to also believe that atheists are just as bigoted as fundies. You have failed miserably on both attempts. Atheists don't try to force themselves on people who are not interested, and they don't start hate campaigns against people that the Bible claims are an abomination unto the Lord!

AG said, "One possible explanation I expect from you is that religious beliefs are more harmful than homosexuality. However, I think, it's a baseless generalization."

LINDA'S ANSWER:You can't make anyone homosexual through conditioning, but fanaticism knows no boundaries, you start at birth and continue to brainwash from one generation to another. Just stop thinking and believe! What have you got to lose? All the knowledge we have acquired when we stopped letting religious fools tell us what to think.

AG said, "The gays I know contribute to society, keep houses, and have committed long-term relationships." I can say this about all Christians I know personally without exception. Persecuting all Christians, because some of them persecuted Jews is 'an eye for an eye' mentality which leaves everyone blind. Don't you think so?"

LINDA'S ANSWER: In Laramie, Wyoming on October 12, 1998 Matthew Shepard (a college freshman) was beaten and left hanging from a fence post to die. He died from the injuries sustained in the assault. Matthew was beaten to death because he was gay.

The Reverend Fred Phelps of "No Tears For Queers" petitioned the City Council of Casper, Wyoming to allow him to erect a monument celebrating Matthew's "burning in hell." They wanted the monument (a bronze plaque bearing the likeness of Matthew Shepard) to display the words "Entered Hell October 12, 1998 at age 21, in defiance of God's Warning." Anyone can deny that Phelps was the only hate monger of this ilk but it's simply not true; besides the fact that there is no instance of an atheist who was inspired to murder anyone because of what we don't believe. Beginning with Constantine, and under succeeding Christian emperors, there is a series of scores of laws, which the Christians procured to be enacted for the suppression and persecution to death of Pagans, heretics and Jews. These laws and edicts are to be found in the Codes of Theodosius and of Justinian, the two famous codifications of Roman Law. Most atheists know more about Christianity than almost any Christian, and what most Christians do know is false.

From: AG (Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm)

AG said, "Two of the same sex cannot bear children..." Isn't this a good argument FOR gay marriage? If someone is opposed to homosexuality, why would he want homosexuals to breed? And why would any heterosexual want to force a homosexual to marry him/her?"

LINDA'S ANSWER:Why don't you ask Ted Haggard?

AG said, "If homosexuality is not "God's design", it will eliminate itself if we leave it alone :). Why bother? Why do we, Christians, feel like our almighty Lord needs our protection or a "proof"? Where is faith?"

LINDA'S ANSWER: Does anyone see how dumb that is? Don't you think that heterosexuals would still have children that could be homosexuals and homosexuality doesn't prevent reproduction. It is not uncommon for homosexuals to marry heterosexuals and produce children. Being noncontributory to reproduction does not ensure that a genetic trait will disappear. Even fatal diseases caused by recessive alleles, such as sickle-cell anemia in its homozygous form, are not eliminated from the human gene pool. Homosexuality is not fatal, and homosexuals often reproduce.

Homosexuality is natural not Created; it occurs naturally like everything else in the universe (or any phenomenon) evolution is necessary for homosexuality to be natural, it must occur naturally without human or supernatural influence. There are homosexuals in every species of animal in nature; therefore homosexuality occurs naturally.

God will rid the earth of homosexuals; that's interesting since he hasn't rid the earth of things like war and terrible diseases. This idea is about as sound as any of your science theories. As Epicurus said, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Ahem... Linda, I, actually, support the right of homosexuals to marry... Could you, please, kindly explain the reason for your rant? You seem to vehemently disagree with something, and I'm trying to understand the point of disagreement, because I agree with almost everything you say (except for the tone).

AG said, "Could you, please, kindly explain the reason for your rant? You seem to vehemently disagree with something, and I'm trying to understand the point of disagreement, because I agree with almost everything you say (except for the tone)."

Because you can't refute it with evidence you say that you agree with what I wrote (you have done that before)! Let me clear this up for you; if you are in fact confused. When you make comments like, "Don, Why isn't your tolerance to homosexuality transferred to religious beliefs of others? Don't you think, it's inconsistent?" You are clearly equating being homosexual with embracing a religion. It's like believing being born Chinese is the same as a religious belief. People that are not trying to force their race or sexual orientation on anyone will usually not be treated with the same "intolerance" as members of a religious cult (that everyone knows) indoctrinates it's followers with the instructions to take the whole world for Beeeezus. That was the goal of Christianity from the get-go. There is more bigotry against atheists than any other group in America because of the fact that they don't believe in Beeeezus. Most of us know that atheists are the most hated minority group in America because of religious bigotry. Tolerance for a persons views on God is not the same thing as homosexuality, but it's very clear that it's not the atheists who are labeling people an abomination unto the Lord! Once any group starts vilifying and slandering people who (don't want to go to church) or disagree with them or that they just don't like - it's not intolerant to point out the errors in what they believe or their bigotry to them - it's not intolerance as you seem to think. People should read up on 'America's True History of Religious Tolerance' before they make claims about other people's intolerance: The idea that the United States has always been a bastion of religious freedom is reassuring--and utterly at odds with the historical record -By Kenneth C. Davis Smithsonian magazine, October 2010,

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Americas-True-History-of-Religious Tolerance.html#ixzz1wC0Hb3qq

Incidentally, let's be very clear about this atheists (and others) don't march with "No Tears For Beeezus" signs or go to funerals with "Your religion Sucks!" signs to celebrate the death of fanatics.

I wrote out (incidentally) instead of texting (BTW) because it's yokel-like, but it's probably helpful for those people that can't spell. I'm not a follower and that's one of the reasons I don't just believe something without evidence.

From: AG (Posted Mar 2, 2012 at 1:01 am) AG said, "Don, IMHO, you are side-tracking the discussion. Animals doing it does not make this behavior desirable or beneficial for any species. We are not animals. Pooping on the neighbor's lawn may be called "natural" as well by your logic. Derek makes a valid point which I am trying to make as well. Why do atheists have to disagree with believers on everything and tolerate things they believe are wrong? Again, what's wrong with admitting your beliefs or defending a position based on internal conviction (a.k.a. faith)?"

You're not enabling anyone to check your beliefs or your hand-wavy assertions or (nasty little remarks) by saying you agree with everything they say because it's clear that the logic isn't there in any of your assertions and I don't agree with you.

Homosexuality is natural not Created; it occurs naturally like everything else in the universe (or any phenomenon) evolution is necessary for homosexuality to be natural, it must occur naturally without human or supernatural influence. There are homosexuals in every species of animal in nature; therefore homosexuality occurs naturally.

AG said, "If homosexuality is not "God's design", it will eliminate itself if we leave it alone :). Why bother? Why do we, Christians, feel like our almighty Lord needs our protection or a "proof"? Where is faith?"

There is absolutely no room in your mind for the possibility that nothing was designed; since there is no evidence of design or proof why believe it? This is the actual reason you (and all apologists) feel the need try to discredit science since science disputes their beliefs.

If you don't believe that there is anything wrong with your logic you couldn't be agreeing with me. You don't seem to discern the difference in the objections that any of us are trying to make since you can't really come up with a rebuttal.

I don't think illustration like this helps you: AG said, "We are not animals. Pooping on the neighbor's lawn may be called "natural" as well by your logic. Derek makes a valid point which I am trying to make as well."

If you're trying to make the same point as Derek you're not impressing anyone that you are the one that is perfectly reasonable and tolerant - but I'm not.

Ahem... knock-knock... Linda, I, actually, support the right of homosexuals to marry...

From Linda: "Because you can't refute it with evidence you say that you agree with what I wrote (you have done that before)!"

And why is this unreasonable?.. Oh, and thank you for cleaning up my thoughts for me. Now I cannot find anything at all... I wasn't equating homosexuality with religion. I was drawing analogies between the attitude towards homosexuality and attitude towards religion with tolerance as common theme. You are free to put any sense in my words, just make sure you realize that once you do that, you deal with your own interpretation. And if I say that your interpretation is incorrect, may be you could ask me to make myself more clear instead of forcing your interpretation of my own words onto me. That, of course, if you respect your opponents and are interested in what they say. And if you don't respect me and not interested in what I say (which is not my problem), then it is a puzzle to me why you bother to post long rants in reply to my posts.

With all due respect...

Who's there? This really is a joke!

LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: Don't try to knock over the chess pieces and call it a stalemate again! You can try to blame everyone else for your foolishness as long as you want to (but when it comes right down to it) it is right there in black and white in your exact words that were copied. Nothing was rewritten or misinterpreted it was just answered (so if the rebuttal was wrong) you should point out why it's wrong and you're not. Nobody misquoted what you or anyone else said (or just didn't copy it) so that they could put their own spin on it - this is another instance of trying to turn things around. Like who's really the bigot?

LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: You told us the reason you don't have a problem with homosexuals marrying. You may support the rights of homosexuals to marry (because it's god's way of eliminating them) but none of my rebuttals stated that anyone opposed the "rights" of homosexuals to marry. This is a ruse (to avoid the fact that you don't have a rebuttal to the actual issues that were raised) or you would present it instead of a lot of bilge.

AG said, "If homosexuality is not "God's design", it will eliminate itself if we leave it alone :). Why bother? Why do we, Christians, feel like our almighty Lord needs our protection or a "proof"? Where is faith?"

LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: Clearly this doesn't indicate the knowledge that most homosexuals have heterosexual parents? Marriage wouldn't effect the numbers of homosexuals in the population (or rid the world of them) it's a mutation or a variation on a theme. You may not want to own up to the import of these statements but it's right there in black and white for anyone to read and it's very clear what was being said. It's based on biblical bigotry, homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord. Let's recap the entire episode: It has to start with Don's answer to Derek because it comes into play later on:

From: Derek (Posted Mar 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm) (the relevant part) Derek said, "But if you speak out against it sans trying to stop people from committing homosexual acts you are a bigot and intolerant any ways. They often appeal to a naturalistic fallacy, "I was born that way". Why does no one ever think of the ethics of these actions. It seems to me atheists just jump on the band wagon accepting this ludicrous lifestyle, especially when it is in opposition to any religious dogma." From: Don Baker (Posted Mar 1, 2012 at 7:41 pm) "What is your evidence for claiming it's unnatural? Here's some evidence otherwise: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals"

From: Derek (Posted Mar 1, 2012 at 8:41 pm) "Clearly it occurs in nature, but that is appealing to the naturalistic fallacy. Therefore, if stating that homosexuality occurs in nature is all you have, that in itself does not mean much in an ethical argument. Non-human animals are not moral or ethically minded creatures, so please look up more info on Wikipedia to show your unwillingness to think about this without appealing to your known disgust of religion Don. Unfortunately, you will not bully me into your perspective with condescension or ridicule. Just out of curiosity, what makes corn holing another man in the ass natural? Psychopath killers are naturally without empathy and have a lust to kill, so does that mean it is warranted? It seems to me, especially in what I have read here and on your show that I already know you are for homosexuality, so I think there is very little evidence or argumentation that will sway your beliefs. Just remember this, I am an atheist, so treating me like you treat theists will not win your case."

From: Don Baker (Posted Mar 3, 2012 at 9:07 am) "I'm sorry. You made the claim that homosexuality is ridiculous and unethical, not unnatural. I honestly have no idea where you're coming from. Same-sex love and sex is not inherently harmful, so why would anyone go out of their way to stop it? Can you demonstrate harm? It's pretty clear to me that what's motivating you is your sense of disgust. A lot of people have sexual hangups. That doesn't mean they have the right to meddle in the lives of others."

From: AG (Posted Mar 2, 2012 at 1:01 am) "Don, IMHO, you are side-tracking the discussion. Animals doing it does not make this behavior desirable or beneficial for any species. We are not animals. Pooping on the neighbor's lawn may be called "natural" as well by your logic. Derek makes a valid point which I am trying to make as well. Why do atheists have to disagree with believers on everything and tolerate things they believe are wrong? Again, what's wrong with admitting your beliefs or defending a position based on internal conviction (a.k.a. faith)?"

From: Don Baker (Posted Mar 3, 2012 at 9:10 am) "AG, We are animals. We descended from the apes. If you disagree, perhaps you can tell me exactly where we broke from animals. "Why do atheists have to disagree with believers on everything and tolerate things they believe are wrong?" Often, believers are creating harm in the world based on those beliefs."

From: AG (Posted Mar 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm) "Don, Why isn't your tolerance to homosexuality transferred to religious beliefs of others? Don't you think, it's inconsistent? One possible explanation I expect from you is that religious beliefs are more harmful than homosexuality. However, I think, it's a baseless generalization. "The gays I know contribute to society, keep houses, and have committed long-term relationships." I can say this about all Christians I know personally without exception. Persecuting all Christians, because some of them persecuted Jews is 'an eye for an eye' mentality which leaves everyone blind. Don't you think so?"

LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: I don't think anyone is just intolerant to the "religious beliefs" of others (who mind their own business and keep their beliefs to themselves) however, do you think homosexuals can change the way they were born? People's attitudes are not the same concerning these two issues (unless they think homosexuals can be heterosexual at will) that's the reason - you dig? That's what you need to answer. I posted (an exact copy) of what you said and it sure does make the dumb statement comparing intolerance toward homosexuals with intolerance toward religious beliefs. You can say it's not (after the fact) since I pointed out how dumb it is! It doesn't matter to me that you don't like being shown up for a jerk; anyway everyone already knew it.

From: AG (Posted Mar 2, 2012 at 1:01 am) AG said, "Don, IMHO, you are side-tracking the discussion. Animals doing it does not make this behavior desirable or beneficial for any species. We are not animals."

LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: This reply was in response to the statement homosexuality can be found throughout the animal species, which demonstrates that it occurs naturally in nature (it's not about marriage) this is your stupidity over what natural means. AG said, "Animals doing it does not make this behavior desirable or beneficial for any species."

LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: Since scientists have found a correlation in an increase in homosexual births during times of overpopulation you just might be wrong. Deny away! Your comment "Animals doing it does not make this behavior desirable or beneficial for any species." That speaks volumes about your intolerance and bigotry. You need to tell us why "Animals doing it does not make this behavior desirable or beneficial for any species" if some people are homosexuals - got any ideas? And you need to tell us how someone else being a homosexual has any effect on us what-so-ever!

AG "Pooping on the neighbor's lawn may be called "natural" as well by your logic. Derek makes a valid point which I am trying to make as well."

Derek said, "Clearly it occurs in nature, but that is appealing to the naturalistic fallacy. Therefore, if stating that homosexuality occurs in nature is all you have, that in itself does not mean much in an ethical argument. Non-human animals are not moral or ethically minded creatures, so please look up more info on Wikipedia to show your unwillingness to think about this without appealing to your known disgust of religion Don. Unfortunately, you will not bully me into your perspective with condescension or ridicule. Just out of curiosity, what makes corn holing another man in the ass natural? Psychopath killers are naturally without empathy and have a lust to kill, so does that mean it is warranted? It seems to me, especially in what I have read here and on your show that I already know you are for homosexuality, so I think there is very little evidence or argumentation that will sway your beliefs. Just remember this, I am an atheist, so treating me like you treat theists will not win your case."

LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: If this is the point you're also trying to make you need to prove that we are not part a branch of the animal species as Don pointed out (and this isn't about marriage) it's crude little remarks or (ignorant insulting miserable attempts) at degrading a minority and people who don't agree with you. And (since you agree with what Derek is saying) please tell us how someone can be "FOR" homosexuality" when it would occur in nature whether anyone likes it or not? It occurs naturally.

AG said, "Why do atheists have to disagree with believers on everything and tolerate things they believe are wrong? Again, what's wrong with admitting your beliefs or defending a position based on internal conviction (a.k.a. Faith)?" LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: Alas, when the sewage is up around the ankles the toilet is broken; it's not a stalemate! It would take pages and pages just to bring you up to speed, so, suffice to say you can't reverse your remarks by saying you support gay marriage, the story is all there in black and white which made a big impression on me!

Incidentally, I answered your last reply under topic "Age of Earth" that you posted after you said you were not going to reply anymore because it was a stalemate; we all know it wasn't, so why don't you just answer it?

From Linda: "AG said, "If homosexuality is not "God's design", it will eliminate itself if we leave it alone :). Why bother? Why do we, Christians, feel like our almighty Lord needs our protection or a "proof"? Where is faith?"

LINDA'S COMMENT NOW: Clearly this doesn't indicate the knowledge that most homosexuals have heterosexual parents? Marriage wouldn't effect the numbers of homosexuals in the population (or rid the world of them) it's a mutation or a variation on a theme."

You take my words seriously, don't you? I thought a ":)" might give out the tone of that post. :) :)

AG said, "You take my words seriously, don't you? I thought a ":)" might give out the tone of that post. :) :)"

Oh! You were F-ing kidding? Was there a smiley face after all those ignorant remarks? I guess you think a couple of :) :) gets you off the hook.

A remark intended to shut someone down like, "I wasn't serious (don't you know what a smiley face means or don't you have a sense of humor?") after they addressed the fact that your remarks were vicious and dumb is nothing but an overbearing rube's attempt to use emotional manipulation to win an argument (pure and simple) punctuating your remarks with smiley faces doesn't cover up the ignorance and bigotry :)

We have already been through this many times (whenever I told you that you were wrong) you inform me that you are an expert, or you were just kidding, or you already knew it!

You didn't answer any of my rebuttals because you can't, and if any of this makes you mad your reactions are unwarranted, because I was just joking:)

I'm not mad at all. This forum is useful for me. E.g. I realized that I was wrong when I thought that growing up in a country makes me an expert in its history and I should be able to tell you anything about Stalin with any authority. There was a sense of pride in what I wrote there. That was special pleading. I admit. I shouldn't have done it. Besides, painting atheists black does not make Christians white.

Do you ever acknowledge your mistakes? I know, I know. That's so typical of Christians. Confess their sins, repent, and do them right away, because "Jesus paid it all". Bigotry all around.

Now, what can I say to such lesson in humility, except agree with you in a proud attempt to win an argument?

Mary Jennings said, "I too do not think there is a clear justification for the homosexual lifestyle. Two of the same sex cannot bear children, therefore as far as appeals to nature is concerned, then I think this to be an important factor."

I read an article by an evolutionary biologist who said that homosexuality rises in times of overpopulation.

Mary Jennings said, "So, other animals have been shown to have homosexual behavior. The only problem with that reasoning is that they are not ethical or moral beings. I am an agnostic atheist and I am not disgusted by homosexuality I just think it is not based on rationality."

We are animals - atheists know that - we evolved from an ape like creature.

These are excerpts from: The New York Times "Scientist Finds the Beginnings of Morality in Primate Behavior" By Nicholas Wade - Published: March 20, 2007

Some animals are surprisingly sensitive to the plight of others. Chimpanzees, who cannot swim, have drowned in zoo moats trying to save others. Given the chance to get food by pulling a chain that would also deliver an electric shock to a companion, rhesus monkeys will starve themselves for several days.

Biologists argue that these and other social behaviors are the precursors of human morality. They further believe that if morality grew out of behavioral rules shaped by evolution, it is for biologists, not philosophers or theologians, to say what these rules are. etc.

In another recent book, "Primates and Philosophers," the primatologist Frans de Waal defends against philosopher critics his view that the roots of morality can be seen in the social behavior of monkeys and apes.

Dr. de Waal, who is director of the Living Links Center at Emory University, argues that all social animals have had to constrain or alter their behavior in various ways for group living to be worthwhile. These constraints, evident in monkeys and even more so in chimpanzees, are part of human inheritance, too, and in his view form the set of behaviors from which human morality has been shaped.

Consolation was universal among the great apes but generally absent from monkeys - among macaques, mothers will not even reassure an injured infant. To console another, Dr. de Waal argues requires empathy and a level of self-awareness that only apes and humans seem to possess. And consideration of empathy quickly led him to explore the conditions for morality.

Though human morality may end in notions of rights and justice and fine ethical distinctions, it begins, Dr. de Waal says, in concern for others and the understanding of social rules as to how they should be treated. At this lower level, primatologists have shown, there is what they consider to be a sizable overlap between the behavior of people and other social primates.

I'm sure that you will admit you're wrong about animals. Your views are very obvious from what you write. Humans are a special creation - unlike animals.

Mary Jennings said, "Don mistakes questioning the coherency of an act or belief with actively trying to squash it without giving it time or the ability to justify itself. It seems to me Don is guilty of the same hasty thinking that labels rational people as being intolerant or bigots."

Rational people wouldn't spend one minute telling other people how to live, what sex they should be, and where to stick it.

Mary Jennings said, "Notice that he makes the opposite claim but offers no evidence to the contrary, unless appeals to nature are to granted as evidence for ethical justification. Atheists who defend incoherency and inconsistency of people who espouse falsehoods as truth are really no different than people who are indifferent or relativistic."

I gave you proof that what you were saying was false with expert's opinions. Where is your proof?

Mary Jennings said, "This to me is problematic for Don, because he is often criticizing Christians out of appeals to what he find disgusting. Of course Don is going to ask for a particular instance, because for some odd reason he is incapable of remembering what he has said or done on the show. I think people like Don are just lazy, cowards, or both."

If Don is a lazy coward he isn't the only one. If Don has said all of that on his show, why don't you give us the number of that show, then we can hear it for ourselves.

Mary Jennings said, "They bitch about religionists and their being unethical, yet they defend them when the chips are down. They are like the Dems who voted for Obama in 2008. They want change but want their messiah to do all the work. These atheists are like that. They use the work of others and find solace in appeals to ignorance. Their reasoning can be summed up as follows, " I have not heard it or understand it, therefore it is irrational or I do not have reason to believe it."

Atheists could defend anyone, but I don't know why the atheists need to defend religionists. Also, atheists don't make appeals. This doesn't sound like anything an atheist would say. It sounds like the typical Christian hogwash. "None so blind as those that will not see." Etc.

"Given the chance to get food by pulling a chain that would also deliver an electric shock to a companion, rhesus monkeys will starve themselves for several days."

I find it even more sensational that scientists would starve one living creature and deliver an electric shock to another to prove that these creatures are moral. I can accept the morality of this study only on a condition that the scientist would fast during the whole experiment and wear an electrode from the chain.

"Some animals are surprisingly sensitive to the plight of others."

Indeed. Unlike some people.

"They [biologists] further believe that if morality grew out of behavioral rules shaped by evolution, it is for biologists [themselves], not philosophers or theologians, to say what these rules are. etc."

Yes, the moral rules must come from the very people who establish them by torturing animals! They are the only ones who qualify.

AG said, "Given the chance to get food by pulling a chain that would also deliver an electric shock to a companion, rhesus monkeys will starve themselves for several days." I find it even more sensational that scientists would starve one living creature and deliver an electric shock to another to prove that these creatures are moral. I can accept the morality of this study only on a condition that the scientist would fast during the whole experiment and wear an electrode from the chain.

Remember when you told Don, "IMHO, you are side-tracking the discussion." Now who's sidestepping the issue? It's obvious this isn't going to be about what the test proves - it's about wicked scientists! Especially since you've been writing (on other threads) about how animals just don't have the morals or compassion of humanity. These tests prove all that's wrong.

You decided that maybe this can be about how cruel scientists are to animals because it's sure not going to be about all the animals that men were ordered by the Lord to slaughtered as a sacrifices to Him. (BTW) The shocks the monkeys received were not lethal.

I guess the Lord decided it was more humane to torture and kill his only begotten man/god son for the sins of the whole world, "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness". The Old and New Testament, nobody can die for your sins. Ezekiel 18:20

The Milgram experiments in the early 1960's were studies that proved the spineless character or (lack of a moral compass) of people under the influence of a powerful authority figure. The subjects willingly delivered (what they thought were) shocks above 150 volts by using nothing more than the verbal order of an authority figure. The subjects continued to torture and cause (what they thought was) great pain and suffering to fellow human being. The subjects were willing to deliver these painful electric shocks to other human beings for no reason other than they were ordered to do so by an authority figure. These studies proved that most people will "do as they are told" by an authority figure no matter how wrong it was. Only a small percent of them wouldn't torture fellow human beings.

OOPS! It looks like the monkey's morality surpassed the humans.

Some psychologists thought that the test was somehow flawed because they didn't think human beings could be so gullible or cruel. The study was repeated over and over, which ended any debate about the accuracy of the test, the test was correct. Humans will torture and even kill fellow human beings when ordered to do so by an authority figure. This study was important because it shows most human beings are willing to blindly obey an authority figure even when it makes no sense to do so. The study shows the huge problems involved with programming people instead of teaching them to be independent thinkers. Programming people to obey an authority figure (no matter what) is dangerous.

AG said, "Some animals are surprisingly sensitive to the plight of others." Indeed. Unlike some people.

People like the Pastor Phelps who shows very little grace or compassion for others. And he really isn't all that different from most fundies - he's just more open about his hate.

AG said, "They [biologists] further believe that if morality grew out of behavioral rules shaped by evolution, it is for biologists [themselves], not philosophers or theologians, to say what these rules are. etc."

I'm sure you want to save us from the horrors of those awful psychologists and biologists. They actually don't believe creation is science. How about saving people from an all-powerful authority figure (that will let them live forever) but if they don't follow orders (just believe) they will burn in hell forever.

AG said, "Yes, the moral rules must come from the very people who establish them by torturing animals! They are the only ones who qualify."

No, we should get our moral compass from something that tells us to bludgeon a thousand men to death with the jawbone of an ass (Exodus 21:1-11) or from a God that allows slavery, including selling your own daughter as a sex slave. People trusting an authority figure (master) could lead to the trial of Galileo, or another Hitler.

"What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church? A lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them." Martin Luther

People have been indoctrinated with the idea that they should trust authority (powerful figures) because these powerful people make the rules, make up the religions and gods. Constantine a man who murdered his son and boiled his wife alive, was made Emperor of the Roman Empire. He said he saw in the sky a picture of the cross and the words "In this sign thou shalt conquer." He did, however, use Christianity and the sign of the cross to conquer his enemies, just as his alleged vision suggested. However, the Emperor never converted to Christianity, he worshipped the Greek god Apollo and Sol Invictus, and remained Pontifex Maximus of the Pagan Church until he died. He only used Christianity as a tool to achieve political domination.

"The most heinous and the cruelest crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives." Gandhi

Linda, my argument is not about "wicked scientists" and "God exists" is not my message here. I also agree that a lot of stuff in the Bible is disturbing. Why - is out of scope here.

What I'm trying to say is that atheism is not free of the evils atheists accuse religion of. "The Milgram experiments in the early 1960's were studies that proved the spineless character or (lack of a moral compass) of people under the influence of a powerful authority figure." Again, why was it necessary to do these experiments and repeat them a few times? By the way, the importance of having a "moral compass" and keeping it under pressure of authorities is well described in Daniel 3. Most people when given a choice between being burnt in a furnace and killing another human (leave alone bowing to an idol) would chose the second. The story of how they survived the furnace may be doubtful to an atheist, but the message is still valid.

Now you are quoting Gandhi (deeply religious) to prove an atheistic point. Can't you see that these statements apply to believers and atheists alike?

"Given the chance to get food by pulling a chain that would also deliver an electric shock to a companion, rhesus monkeys will starve themselves for several days."

This behavior may have a much simpler explanation if the companion was a 200-pound gorilla. Do you have a reference to this research?

I told you that "These are excerpts from: The New York Times "Scientist Finds the Beginnings of Morality in Primate Behavior" By Nicholas Wade - Published: March 20, 2007"

"Two of the same sex cannot bear children..."

Isn't this a good argument FOR gay marriage? If someone is opposed to homosexuality, why would he want homosexuals to breed? And why would any heterosexual want to force a homosexual to marry him/her?

If homosexuality is not "God's design", it will eliminate itself if we leave it alone :). Why bother? Why do we, Christians, feel like our almighty Lord needs our protection or a "proof"? Where is faith?

Derek said:

"I am an atheist and I think homosexuality is ridiculous and it seems to me there is a growing trend in this country that refuses to address this issue with any intellectual rigor and substitute it with mindless tolerance. But if you speak out against it sans trying to stop people from committing homosexual acts you are a bigot and intolerant any ways. They often appeal to a naturalistic fallacy, "I was born that way". Why does no one ever think of the ethics of these actions."

Christians believe in "thought crimes" but atheists do not. Think what you want. Think that homosexuality is worthy only of ridicule. <!shrug> Okay. Seems rather pointless but whatever. But when you speak out and actively try to stop *consenting adults* from acting on their perfectly legal homosexual urges because you don't like the thought of people enjoying sex in a way that you don't personally approve, this makes you an intolerant, bigoted asshole. And you seem to think that it's ethical to do so because, well, they're gay and you're not and...well, they're doing "icky" things to each other and that's got to be unethical. That's your argument.

Okay, for the sake of discussion, say that I don't like the thought of consenting adult heterosexuals engaging in oral sexual practices. I find the very idea to be unethical, blatantly non-reproductive acts of pure pleasure, horrible for our society, and I want to stop anyone from doing this abomination of an activity for their own good because I think it's icky. I don't think that heterosexuals that do this behavior should teach our children or work in the public sector or be a politician or even serve our food. It's just an awful thing and I won't have it around me. Bllleecchh! Disgusting. Ewwww. Get it away from me.

What's the difference in your homo position and my hetero one? Aren't we both STICKING OUR FUCKING NOSES IN PLACES THEY DON'T BELONG? Consenting adults having homo sex or oral sex or anal or whatever don't affect you or I in the slightest. What they are doing is enjoying sex--maybe in a way that you don't personally approve of but still that's not their fault. Get over yourself and leave people alone to enjoy their lives as they see fit.

What other ethical position is there?

OK. Good. I'm free to enjoy sex the way I like.

Now, why exactly I shouldn't believe whatever I like to believe?

"Christians believe in "thought crimes" but atheists do not." You just said it, didn't you?

I think, if you and Don want to be consistent, you have to attack the immoral actions, but not the beliefs themselves. Christianity, just like homosexuality, is not inherently immoral. I don't see how you can defend one and attack the other. Isn't that what Christians do?

I don't attack anyone. I use my free speech rights to point out the flaws.

Beliefs lead to action. False beliefs lead to harmful actions, especially when believed by large numbers.

If my beliefs do not harm anyone and I have enough internal checks and balances to make sure this does not happen, why exactly I should not believe whatever I like to believe?

Of course you have the right to believe what you want. When someone enters a forum and wants to defend his/her believes, they should be subject to free inquiry and be adopted or rejected by the group based on whether those ideas pass muster. In this way, incorrect beliefs are hopefully abandoned.

I don't know you well enough to know whether your beliefs harm anyone. But, let's say you vote in elections and you choose a candidate based on their advertised religious convictions. Suppose a vast number of other Christians do the same. Suppose, then that candidate goes on use this "mandate" to make decisions while in office that promote his beliefs or cause harm. I can give examples like prohibition, defending slavery, Don't ask, don't tell, defense of marriage act, foreign policy concerning Israel, etc.

This article: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.pdf shows how religious belief correlates with various social ills. I believe this is more than correlation -- that it's causation. I gave my reasoning for this in episode 597 of the Atheist Experience (video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taaDB3Gd71s).

So if someone professes to be a Christian, and can't answer my "purpose of Jesus" question, above. I can only conclude that they value their beliefs over the harm it causes others.

"This article: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.pdf shows how religious belief correlates with various social ills. I believe this is more than correlation -- that it's causation."

Don, I've seen this article. I disagree that belief in God is the cause of social ills. At least, there must be other causes, because crime, violence, teen pregnancies, abortions, divorces, etc. are present among atheists.

I may agree that fanaticism causes violence. But fanaticism is not always religious. "fanaticism -- wildly excessive or irrational devotion, dedication, or enthusiasm" (World English Dictionary) IMHO, people can be excessively devoted to science or atheism as well. Consider the violence between soccer fans in Europe. It is very similar to gang violence in the U.S. and everywhere. It has to do with self-awareness. People tend to associate themselves with groups of other people (soccer team fans, gangs, church members, family clans, ethnic groups, race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) and alienate themselves from everyone else who do not share whatever attribute of their own identity. This causes "class struggle", "occupy movements", "atheists vs. theists", "anti-immigration movements", and other nonsense.

This is why Buddhism has the concept of "anatta" or "soul-lessness" and teaches to consciously detach our identity from everything. This is very similar to the prohibition of idolatry in Abrahamic religions. "Love God above all" and "Do not create an idol" is a teaching to detach our identity from everything specific - family, wealth, career, etc., because these things can be "taken away" leading to the loss of our identity and psychological problems stemming from our self-awareness. Prayer and meditation are nothing else but an exercise in self-awareness. When people "talk to God", they talk to themselves, to their own consciousness. Same result for more money is achieved by talking to a psychoanalytic.

With that said, I would agree with you that false beliefs cause harm. I would define "false beliefs" as inadequate understanding of "what things are", their identity and true nature. I use the word "things" in a very wide sense that includes people, ourselves, natural phenomena, or anything else we can reflect in our mind.

I don't want to put science, logic, reason, or evidence on the pedestal. They are merely tools to evaluate my beliefs which remain what they are - beliefs, evidence or not. I wouldn't put religion with rituals, rules, holy texts, etc. on that pedestal either, like many Christians do. It is the same act of idolatry forbidden by the second commandment.

Do I need to abandon faith in God? Why? If I adequately understand what it is - a faith without any reason in an entity that cannot be found in physical universe. It is not useless. I use it as a psychological tool to detach my self-identity from everything else and get rid myself of worry and undue anxiety, hate, anger, bitterness, and many other harmful emotions. I don't know if I made myself clear, but I would not call my faith irrational. I cannot make you believe in God if logic and evidence is the only way to convince you. If I thought otherwise, it would be a false belief. Therefore, I don't feel any burden to prove anything to you.

This view is very relevant to the topic of this thread. I think, dislike of homosexuals have the same origin. I think, dislike of Christians or other religions has the same origin either. People feel threat to their own identity from the very existence of "other" people who are "different" from them. People don't like when other people touch their identities in a disrespectful way. This can include a physical touch, comments about physical appearance, name, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, political views, etc. I don't like listening to atheistic shows, because they are full of disrespect and ridicule. You may have good causes, but it grieves me that your efforts are doomed and only cause more hostility.

What I read in this and other similar forums, what I read in the newspapers, and what I read in the Bible, very much agrees with my "theory". I don't need separate definitions for "knowledge" and "beliefs". Most moral principles naturally follow from my self-awareness and ability to identify myself with other people. So, my intellectual and moral integrity, requirement for evidence and "Occam's Razor" principle are all in line.

Does it make me less of a Christian? I don't think so. Regarding your question of "purpose of Jesus": Multiple allegories come to mind in connection with it. First of all, it's a story how religious fanatics can kill a person who teach tolerance, forgiveness, and non-violence. This point was proven by many historic assassinations - Mahatma Gandhi, MLK, and others. Regarding the sacrifice: There is no love without sacrifice. When we love ourselves, we sacrifice others, when we love others, we sacrifice ourselves. The story of crucifixion is a rather extreme illustration of the nature of love. One can see it as a gruesome human sacrifice to satisfy perverted lustful selfishness. It's all in the eye of the beholder, much like the rest of the Bible. There is no reason to debate this. Again, I cannot change your perception without your permission.

AG,

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Nobody is claiming that religious belief is the sole cause of social ills. The article is about a correlation between religious beliefs and increased social ills. I was saying that I feel sure that increase is caused by religious belief. Take, for example, the increase in homicide. If most of the members in a society think that human bodies are nothing but "soul traps" whose ultimate purpose is to release their contents so that a perpetual orgasm can be begun, then I submit that society would place less of a value on human life than, say, a society that thinks that death is the end of ones' existence.

The article does blow away the myth that religious societies are better. That was my point. You would think that if there were a god that wanted everyone to believe in him, that societies that did so would have some sort of benefit. Perhaps the Christian god has a perverse sense of humor, or He doesn't exist.

"Love God above all" and "Do not create an idol" is an oxymoron. Until there is evidence that a god exists, "God" is nothing more than an idol. There's another scientific paper that shows that a person's concept of what their god wants is best explained by their own opinion. This means that god is effectively a personalized sock puppet. I can look up the article, if you promise to read it. (It's a little hard to find with a search.)

AG said: "Do I need to abandon faith in God? Why? If I adequately understand what it is - a faith without any reason in an entity that cannot be found in physical universe. It is not useless. I use it as a psychological tool to detach my self-identity from everything else and get rid myself of worry and undue anxiety, hate, anger, bitterness, and many other harmful emotions. I don't know if I made myself clear, but I would not call my faith irrational. I cannot make you believe in God if logic and evidence is the only way to convince you. If I thought otherwise, it would be a false belief. Therefore, I don't feel any burden to prove anything to you."

How could I distinguish what you're doing from a mind game that you're playing with yourself? It seems that Buddhists practice meditation to detach, yet they don't believe in the Christian god.

I do agree that people feel threatened by differences. Religions and national movements tend to amplify those differences as a means of dividing us and them -> good and bad. Christianity seems to have a strong message about power. Those who feel powerless can join, where they can bask in the power of some omnipotent god. Religious leaders act as middlemen, stirring up hatred in the gullible and raising their own power through the vilification of enemies. Gays are easy targets because those who are not in the closet are in the business of manufacturing new believers. Similarly, women who are considering aborting potential believers are also villains. (If only prayer worked and God could make new followers, Christians wouldn't have to persecute these people.)

AG said: "I don't like listening to atheistic shows, because they are full of disrespect and ridicule. You may have good causes, but it grieves me that your efforts are doomed and only cause more hostility."

I think many atheists feel that bad ideas deserve challenge and potentially derision. We expect the same in kind. We challenge each other, as well. There are no sacred cows that haven't been made into hamburger. Together, we can pitch the bad ones and be left with the good ones. I realize this process is painful to those who base their lives on wishful thinking.

On the purpose of Jesus. The whole "original sin" idea is a giant crock of shit. At best, is a mechanism where the religion breaks your leg so they can sell you a crutch. God supposedly sent Jesus to die to fix his mistake of putting Adam and Eve (with no knowledge) in the same pen as his magical tree. The "sacrifice" is supposedly necessary because someone other than God made up a rule that he was duty bound to follow. Blood had to be spilled, though nobody can explain why? An omnipotent god, who can manufacture a new "son", reverse time, whatever, so what sacrifice did he make? Some people are convinced that Jesus is the same as God, which really makes the whole thing a giant muddle. Then, this "sacrifice" is supposed to cleanse the world of sin, or at least the believers. But what has changed? Has childbirth been made easy in women who are "saved"? No. You get twisted theology like: "Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world." And at the end of the day, the Bible is still a reason to kill Jews (for sport) even though the gullible supposedly get their perpetual orgasm out of the deal. I can look at the objective harm this twisted doctrine has caused and say it is probably the worst human creation ever made. I don't see a reason to try to "change my mind" to ignore this harm. The goal here is to stop the harm, not excuse it.

Don,

I have watched a part of your video and seen the article. I would say, your skepticism is quite selective. I don't see much correlation in the plots for homicide and life expectancy. Also, note how the authors discard contradicting data: "The especially low [homicide] rates in the more Catholic European states are statistical noise due to yearly fluctuations incidental to this sample, and are not consistently present in other similar tabulations (Barcley and Tavares)." - page 6. I agree that the plots seem to show correlation between religiosity and teen pregnancies and infant mortality. But is that a causal relationship? We cannot conclude this from the data, and your arguments in the show are mere speculations. I don't see how your statement that religions devalue human life is better than the statement that homosexuality is immoral. There is equally no basis for both statements.

I do agree with you that mindless following of a cult is a bad idea. I can also agree that religions encourage such mindless following and tend to be dogmatic. I disagree, however, that belief in God is inherently wrong or harmful.

"The article does blow away the myth that religious societies are better. That was my point."

This is as much as we can say from the article and can be explained with the reasoning about dogmatic thinking and mindless cult following. I don't think you can go deeper than that without committing the same fallacies that you accuse believers of.

""Love God above all" and "Do not create an idol" is an oxymoron."

Your statement is only true if you view "God" and "idol" as identical concepts. I don't view these concepts as identical. It is possible to "worship" an abstract concept, such as "absolute truth", without attaching the label of "absolute truth" to anything specific. Once that happens, we create an idol. This may happen if we get too materialistic and require specific definitions for everything.

"There's another scientific paper that shows that a person's concept of what their god wants is best explained by their own opinion. This means that god is effectively a personalized sock puppet. I can look up the article, if you promise to read it. (It's a little hard to find with a search.)"

I've seen it: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2009/11/30/study-believers-inferences-about-god-s-beliefs-are-uniquely-egocentric

This is explainable. I think, belief in God originates in our self-consciousness. It starts from the question "Who am I?" and "Why do I exist?" and then extends to the question "Why does the universe exist?" I would say, the article just proves the point that when people "talk to God", they are really trying to get in touch with their own consciousness by means of prayer, meditation, etc. I don't see anything harmful in such practice, and it does not prove that God does not exist.

"How could I distinguish what you're doing from a mind game that you're playing with yourself?"

Do you need to? Why does it matter to you what's in my head as long as my words and actions are acceptable?

It seems to me that most of the undue anxiety around religion, homosexuality, and other "vital" issues is political. It's about control and power, not about truth. "Divide et impera". It would be best if everyone focused on their own morality and refrained from judgment (leave it to God, speaking in Christian terms). This means understanding the harm WE do rather than pointing at others. To me, the "power" message of Christianity is that our "power struggles" are ridiculous. You may call it "basking in the power of the omnipotent God".

AG opined:

"OK. Good. I'm free to enjoy sex the way I like."

Exactly. Consenting adults and all that. How non-christianesque of you. Please, as a fairly reasonable christian, could you get the word out to your less reasonable brethren? After you get them in line, could you talk to the other Abrahamic types? It's the 21st century and this shit needs to end.

"Now, why exactly I shouldn't believe whatever I like to believe?"

AG, I've been nothing but consistent on this. Believe what you want--there are a lot of people that worship NASCAR and believe it's the best thing since chariot races while eating sliced bread. <!shrug> I couldn't care less. Of course if they want to discuss their passion as if it's an absolute, I might have to enter the fray. Same with Christianity. Try to argue the merits and I might be prompted to rebut. But the moment you act on your beliefs as if they were the ultimate truth then we got problems.

"I think, if you and Don want to be consistent, you have to attack the immoral actions, but not the beliefs themselves. Christianity, just like homosexuality, is not inherently immoral. I don't see how you can defend one and attack the other. Isn't that what Christians do?"

You know, my wife is a Christian. I know. I've asked her about her beliefs and what being a christian meant to her and she wasn't able to say anything except that it gave her comfort. She didn't want to hear about the old testament or any questions I had or what Jesus said and didn't say about subjects like homosexuality or abortion or slavery and whether Paul's ideas about salvation meshed with Jesus. Nope. It just gives her comfort. And that's just fine. If you want to be someone who says, "it just gives me comfort" then we're done. But if you want to discuss your religion as if what it means to you it should mean to everyone then somebody, me, for instance, might take exception. Or worse, if someone wants to try to dictate policy and actions based upon their bronze/iron age fictitious "truth" then the shit will hit the fan. I have to deal with christianity influencing laws and government regulations on a daily basis and I have had enough. I won't take a dump in your church, you don't take a crap on my civil liberties. I would just like people to think. I just want people to be willing to look at their beliefs with a critical, objective as possible, eye. Be willing to give up ideas that are shown to be untenable, unreasonable, illogical, and potentially harmful is all I want. Logic, science, reason, oh my.

That's it. Smoke if you got 'em.

"Please, as a fairly reasonable christian, could you get the word out to your less reasonable brethren? After you get them in line, could you talk to the other Abrahamic types? It's the 21st century and this shit needs to end."

If Bible is true, Christ was the one who tried to get the message through about the harm of dogmatic religious fanaticism. He ended up on the cross and his own name is associated with religious dogmatism now. The wheel of history has made a 360. Why would I be more successful than Christ?

"Believe what you want--there are a lot of people that worship NASCAR and believe it's the best thing since chariot races while eating sliced bread. I couldn't care less."

May be, until you see something like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rhgdLCAX6g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI0XEK5oyio

Looks familiar? Any link between soccer wars and religion? Very much so. It's the same mindless fanaticism. It's worship. But it's not worship of God, it's worship of something else, an "idol". Just like people can take pride in their humility, people can also create an idol from their religion. Everything in this world goes in circles turning upside down and right side up again.

I don't think that killing of Jews is caused by religion any more than gang rape is caused by human sexuality. One might view it that way, but what's in common between the two is lust and lack of self-control. These two will screw up a devout atheist any time. No religion required.

"I have to deal with christianity influencing laws and government regulations on a daily basis and I have had enough."

Well, after reading the post "bitterness towards Christians", I realized that you, guys, probably, have a completely different experience with Christians than I. I live in the Northwest. Over here, Christians are not as radical. May be, if I lived in the South, I would feel the same way as you. Good luck. I support what you are trying to achieve, but I think, ridicule and disrespect will repel people more than attract. I bet, even many atheists do not like this attitude.

From: AG replying to Mark Loy:

"Please, as a fairly reasonable christian, could you get the word out to your less reasonable brethren? After you get them in line, could you talk to the other Abrahamic types? It's the 21st century and this shit needs to end."

(AG) If Bible is true, Christ was the one who tried to get the message through about the harm of dogmatic religious fanaticism. He ended up on the cross and his own name is associated with religious dogmatism now. The wheel of history has made a 360. Why would I be more successful than Christ?

You know, this is rather fascinating. You're a christian and you believe the Bible to be true and, I would assume, you believe that Jesus was God, is God--an omnipotent, omniscient, perfect entity--yet you are stating that Jesus tried to do something and failed. Failed so profoundly that he gets associated with the very thing that he was against. Let's be clear, an omnipotent being fails to do something that he wants to do. That's got to be a candidate for the best oxymoron of all time--omnipotent failure. I've always personally liked hot ice cream and military intelligence but I think you've got a winner. Me, yeah, I believe that Jesus failed in many, many ways. But I don't think I've heard a christian ever say that god failed. They make excuses and they apologetically squirm to come up with explanations why he failed as a prophet etc. But this, refreshing. Unless you're gonna say that he is only partly omnipotent. Yeah, right. Like women can be a little bit pregnant--you either are or you aren't. There are no degrees of omni-things.

So, Jesus failed. Or, maybe he didn't fail at all. Maybe he, being omnipotent, got exactly the result he wanted. Just like God wanted Adam and Eve to rebel else they would never have left the fucking garden and began working to conquer the planet and acquire all the knowledge about the universe there is. Hey, you're the guys that say he's all-powerful and all-knowing. He had to know what would happen and he had to want exactly that else he isn't. Again, I don't believe any of this shit but you christians, you're your own oxymorons.

So Jesus didn't fail. God didn't fail. This, everything, is exactly what he/they wanted. Kinda makes you rethink original sin, don't it? This means that my least favorite book in the entire Old Testament might just be THE most important book in the entire Bible. That's what kind of God he is and you Christians need to rethink your position on a lot of shit. Maybe god had to act like a prick to get us motivated, and motivation is why he did it all. That's why he didn't blame us and make one of us die on a cross but instead made "himself" pay for our supposed transgressions.

If you reexamine the entire bible with this idea in mind then you get to the parts about jewish laws and such and you can see that god had an ulterior motive--keep us moving forward with radical incentives and punishments and insipid ideas that we were supposed to outgrow, move beyond, become more ethical and moral while striving to be the best we could be.

In that regard, yep we ditched that bullshit about god condoning slavery. Check. We ditched the idea that we couldn't work on the Sabbath else we be killed. Check. We could eat pork. Mostly, check. We could eat shellfish. Again, check. Women could speak in church. Check. Women's rights equivalent to men's. Mostly check. Etc. etc., ad infinitum, e pluribus unum, god save the queen!

We, then, are doing what God actually wanted cause that's what we're doing and god is omni-everything and that's the way it is so...QED.

Hehe. I didn't say Jesus failed. I said, he ended up on the cross. That was his way of winning. Another oxymoron, I know. The game is not over yet. "He laughs best who laughs last". (I think, I just cleverly weaseled my way out - you can't beat that).

And yes, I've always said, the idea of God is self-refuting. If you read about "self-refuting ideas" on Wikipedia (I know, Linda hates Wikipedia), it says: "These ideas are often used as axioms, which are definitions taken to be true (tautological assumptions), and cannot be used to test themselves, for doing so would lead to only two consequences: consistency (circular reasoning) or exception (self contradiction)." Self-refuting ideas are not necessarily false, but always have problems with logic. "Life through death" is another concept which is difficult to embrace through logic.

I think, you are getting it. The nonsense in the Bible has a way of making sense at the end :) We keep discovering what we are NOT supposed to do through doing it (collecting evidence, to put it in scientific terms). Is there a better way to figure this out? It does look like the whole point is to grow up and be able to live without "the daddy" taking care of us.

Anyway, this is off-topic.

From: AG "Hehe. I didn't say Jesus failed. I said, he ended up on the cross. That was his way of winning. Another oxymoron, I know. The game is not over yet. "He laughs best who laughs last". (I think, I just cleverly weaseled my way out - you can't beat that)."

Actually you said he tried. Tried does not mean succeeded. You then asked if I thought you could be more successful than Jesus. Again, this implies that Jesus did not succeed in doing something. And all of this is in consideration of what you believe--that the bible is true.

You then go on and say, "The nonsense of the Bible has a way of making sense at the end." Nonsense? How, and why, can you think something that contains nonsense is true?

Really, AG, you seem to be a new age kind of Christian. You and my wife would certainly get along. She is a "feels good" Christian who doesn't accept much of the Bible at all. You're a "nonsense" Bible believer who seems to be able to both accept the bible as truth and decry it as sort of bullshit.

Mark,

One of the messages I get from the NT is that when you turn moral and religious rules into dogma, you end up sinning (committing atrocities in the extreme). I am not sure if there is a better way to make this point than getting killed by the very people to whom the message was intended. By killing Jesus, people proved him right in this respect. In this sense, Jesus "succeeded" to make his point, but people failed to see it. This is what I meant.

I see it ironic that now atheists are trying to make the same point to Christians, aren't you? The irony is that you completely reject the NT which, essentially, contains your message, remove Jesus from pedestal, put science, logic, reason, and what not on that pedestal and think that your message is somehow better or will have more success. At the same time, I see a lot of dogmatic thinking in atheist arguments against religion. "Everything must have evidence" is one of atheistic dogmas. Atheists claim that it's "self-evident". I thought that "everything must have evidence" implies that nothing is self-evident. If I challenge this statement before atheists, I often get back furious reaction, ridicule, and sometimes worse, just like if I challenge Christians dogmas before Christians. Declaration of Independence contains words "we hold these truths self-evident" and atheists are OK with that. Paradox? If you think, atheism is free of nonsense, think again.

The way I see it relevant to this thread is that while criticizing irrational intolerance to homosexuals, atheists show similar irrational intolerance towards belief in God (which, I claim, is different from religion with all rituals, practices, etc.)

BTW, how come you don't see nonsense in the phrase "e pluribus unum" (out of many, one)? It's also a self-refuting statement which I mentioned above.

From AG:

"At the same time, I see a lot of dogmatic thinking in atheist arguments against religion. "Everything must have evidence" is one of atheistic dogmas. Atheists claim that it's "self-evident". I thought that "everything must have evidence" implies that nothing is self-evident. If I challenge this statement before atheists, I often get back furious reaction, ridicule, and sometimes worse, just like if I challenge Christians dogmas before Christians. Declaration of Independence contains words "we hold these truths self-evident" and atheists are OK with that. Paradox? If you think, atheism is free of nonsense, think again".

Atheism is a lack of belief in god or gods. Of course if we are discussing specific god or gods then an atheist can provide reasons that they don't believe in that particular example. The thing is all people don't believe in most god or gods. Is it dogmatic when you, a christian, provide reasons why you don't believe in Vishnu? And when it comes to your belief in Christianity you want to simply shrug your shoulders regarding support but instead focus on esoteric arguments against reason and logic and science, proclaiming that their flaws are as intrinsically bad as theistic flaws. But science and logic provide useful tools for determining whether something is actually true. Religion can only appeal to subjective arguments of spiritual awareness and thus have no capacity to address truth, at all. You say you believe in the bible as truth but if an atheist shows/explains why they can't accept it as such you cry dogmatism.

AG said:

"The way I see it relevant to this thread is that while criticizing irrational intolerance to homosexuals, atheists show similar irrational intolerance towards belief in God (which, I claim, is different from religion with all rituals, practices, etc.)

BTW, how come you don't see nonsense in the phrase "e pluribus unum" (out of many, one)? It's also a self-refuting statement which I mentioned above."

Atheists never show irrational intolerance toward beliefs in god--we just hold all god beliefs with equal insistence on the burden of proof. I equate all god beliefs the same--thor, vishnu, zeus, and the trinity are all subject to the same criteria for acceptance. None of them are present, today. Showing that they were present in the past is difficult, if not impossible. Absent gods are...well, absent and they are all subject to the same scrutiny. And none of them have shown me evidence that they exist. Period.

But homosexuals do exist. Railing on them without any logically consistent support, especially those arguments based upon non-evidential deity religious dogma, is deplorable.

As to the e pluribus unum thing--it is demonstrably true that out of many separate states we have one central governing body, one nation, as it were. Each of us, as well has many separate cells forming one body. Out of mean separate books you end up with one library. Etc. etc.

Mark,

I don't feel like I have to defend my beliefs or "prove" anything to you. If my beliefs do not make sense to you, what business of mine is it?

I completely understand why you can't accept belief in God. You rely on logic too much. You reject everything that does not comply with the logic rules you imposed on yourself, much like religious people reject everything that does not comply with religious rules they impose on themselves. You, probably, don't see the similarity, because of your "blind faith" in logic.

Enough said. If you don't see my point or disagree, nothing I can say will change it.

Mark,

Regarding "omnipotence" and "partial pregnancy". You are right, "omni" things (universal concepts) often lead to a paradox for a simple reason that they contain themselves. There is a classical Russel's paradox about a list of lists which do not contain themselves. Does such list contain itself? There is a related classical paradox about a barber who shaves those and only those men in town who don't shave themselves. Who shaves the barber? There is another classical Epimenides paradox saying "all Cretans are liars" where Epimenides himself is a Cretan. As you see, references to "self" and "omni" things that include themselves often lead to a paradox, such as beliefs about beliefs, knowledge about knowledge, logical reasoning about logic and scientific research about science. Therefore, you are right that "omni" ideas are self-refuting in a sense that they cannot be tested by applying these ideas on themselves. As the Wikipedia article states, doing so will result either in consistency or in a contradiction.

E.g. absolute truth (a universal "omni-" concept) is self-refuting. "This statement is always true" is absolute truth applied to itself. If it's true, it's true. If it's false, it's false. "It is what it is". Such statement is self-consistent. On the other hand, statement "this statement is always false" is self-contradicting: if it's true, it's false; and if it's false, it's true. I would say, the Biblical "I AM WHO I AM" guy is very much like the absolute truth concept. So, although you do point out a valid paradox, it's not self-contradicting.

So, "oxymoron" is not a good word for this paradox. What I said wasn't "partially omnipotent" and what I said does not necessarily construe a failure. I find this true about most of the Bible stories. We rush with labels just because we did not give enough thought to what is said.

From: AG Mark,

Regarding "omnipotence" and "partial pregnancy". You are right, "omni" things (universal concepts) often lead to a paradox for a simple reason that they contain themselves. There is a classical Russel's paradox about a list of lists which do not contain themselves. Does such list contain itself? There is a related classical paradox about a barber who shaves those and only those men in town who don't shave themselves. Who shaves the barber? There is another classical Epimenides paradox saying "all Cretans are liars" where Epimenides himself is a Cretan. As you see, references to "self" and "omni" things that include themselves often lead to a paradox, such as beliefs about beliefs, knowledge about knowledge, logical reasoning about logic and scientific research about science. Therefore, you are right that "omni" ideas are self-refuting in a sense that they cannot be tested by applying these ideas on themselves. As the Wikipedia article states, doing so will result either in consistency or in a contradiction.

The thing is when you find something that is logically impossible it should be an immediate red flag that prompts you to question its accuracy. When I heard that the Christian God was omnipotent and omniscient I realized that these two are mutually exclusive. You would agree because you stated several problems with the concepts. For me this would have been another data point against Christianity. You seem to just shrug your shoulders and say that it doesn't really matter. It's like how Christians will say that their god is all-loving all the while believing the atrocities in the old testament committed by this "loving" god are absolutely true and consistent.

And then there's the trinity concept. The Father and Jesus and the Holy Ghost are all God, co-eternal, co-equal, all-omni everything and then some. But when people point out that Jesus didn't know something or failed in doing something and this makes him very much not omni-anything, you guys fall all over yourselves re-defining what omnipotent actually means. You can't do that. Words mean something. And Jesus, he talks about a hierarchy where God, the Father is supreme. And he prays to God the Father. And he says that the only unforgivable sin is dissing the Holy Ghost--not the Father or the Son but only the Holy Ghost.

The whole foundation of the God of Christianity is a muddled up mess of contradictions and logical inconsistencies and yet Christians sort of apologetically stumble on, oblivious to how utterly insipid they look in doing so.

Some Christian somewhere should say, "the trinity concept doesn't work so we need to reform this into something that is as logically consistent as possible." They should also say, "our description of God is illogical, limiting, and completely indefensible and we should re-think it."

Or, more to my liking, get rid of the entire thing if it is in such bad shape--which you would have to admit, it is.

"The thing is when you find something that is logically impossible it should be an immediate red flag that prompts you to question its accuracy."

It depends on where we are and what we try to achieve. In science - yes, logic rules. In art, for example, - no. Logic and accuracy or whether things exist does not matter at all. Imagination is not bound by logic or anything else. In personal relations, decisions are often made based on emotions, with no logic involved whatsoever.

I wonder, what do you think of, say, Salvador Dali's paintings with melted clocks and elephants on thin mile-high legs? What's depicted is not logical and cannot exist. Why do people pay millions for some of these paintings? Where is logic here?

Positively, logic is over-rated. I think, logic is not the primary way of reasoning. I don't think, people are born with ability to logical reasoning. I believe, our thinking is based on associations, not on logic. I have not researched the literature, but I would expect to find some research on the topic. Using association, people may look at electric charges, conclude that "opposites attract" and transfer this conclusion to relations between men and women. I would say, this is how Bible makes sense to me (if this makes any sense to you).

Ah, here we go:

http://www.grandin.com/references/thinking.animals.html

"A horse trainer once said to me, "Animals don't think, they just make associations." I responded to that by saying, "If making associations is not thinking, then I would have to conclude that I do not think." People with autism and animals both think by making visual associations. These associations are like snapshots of events and tend to be very specific. For example, a horse might fear bearded men when it sees one in the barn, but bearded men might be tolerated in the riding arena. In this situation the horse may only fear bearded men in the barn because he may have had a bad past experience in the barn with a bearded man."

If you are so critical of how other people think, why don't you apply your criticism to your own thinking?

From: AG "The thing is when you find something that is logically impossible it should be an immediate red flag that prompts you to question its accuracy."

It depends on where we are and what we try to achieve. In science - yes, logic rules. In art, for example, - no. Logic and accuracy or whether things exist does not matter at all. Imagination is not bound by logic or anything else. In personal relations, decisions are often made based on emotions, with no logic involved whatsoever.

I wonder, what do you think of, say, Salvador Dali's paintings with melted clocks and elephants on thin mile-high legs? What's depicted is not logical and cannot exist. Why do people pay millions for some of these paintings? Where is logic here?

There is a truism that says there is no accounting for taste. And I've addressed this many times before--my comments about NASCAR, for example. Some people actually like brussel sprouts or licorice or jazz and no amount of "logic" can explain this or denounce it. It is what it is--very subjective statements about the appeal of various stimuli based upon the on criteria of enjoyment. And on topic we have sexual preference--you can't argue against it in any meaningful way hence the entire reason for objecting to the author of this thread. So I don't see where you would try to say I don't understand topics out of the realm of logical discourse. And I've included this in the concept of god. If you believe what you believe based upon wholly subjective experience/taste then I got no problem. Whatever floats your boat. But if anyone wants to tell me that the only vegetable worth it's salt is brussel sprouts and that I don't believe in that fact then I'm gonna be tortured for eternity then...we got problems. Arguing illogical things trying to use logic is ludicrous. You seem to be a rather reasonable christian fellow, more of a "radical" christian than most, and I don't have a fault with your ideas as long as you don't try to announce that they are universal truths and try to persuade me, or others of that statement and try to influence behaviors based upon facts not in evidence then we're fine.

As to Dali, some I like some I don't. All are thought provoking, though.

AG said: Positively, logic is over-rated. I think, logic is not the primary way of reasoning. I don't think, people are born with ability to logical reasoning. I believe, our thinking is based on associations, not on logic. I have not researched the literature, but I would expect to find some research on the topic. Using association, people may look at electric charges, conclude that "opposites attract" and transfer this conclusion to relations between men and women. I would say, this is how Bible makes sense to me (if this makes any sense to you).

Why would you think that associations aren't logical? If I see lightening and then hear thunder I would associate the latter with the first. Logically this would be: If lightening, then thunder. Therefore lightening causes thunder. All associations are logical statements. Of course observations can lead to wrong conclusions--see the entire association argument between vaccines and autism, for example.

The bible might make sense to you based upon associations with your life and that's fine. You would probably make the logical argument from your observations that because jesus then salvation and through salvation is peace. Nice. I'm glad for you. You and my wife are kindred spirits. But you have to realize that this might not be the correct conclusion nor would it be the conclusion based upon association that other people would reach. When religion oversteps personal association and commitment and enters the realm of religion superseding all observational association, then we have the potential for oppression, suppression, and domineering social agendas. That is something for which I will not accept.

AG wrote:

If you are so critical of how other people think, why don't you apply your criticism to your own thinking?

I am quite critical of my own thinking, thank your very much. It is quite important to me to believe based upon critical analysis of the subject. Any subject that is of interest to me. Religion is interesting to me and I examine my beliefs regularly. I can understand why believing in a supreme being is seductive. I can understand why believing in an ultimate purpose to your life is appealing. I can understand wanting to not die. I can understand wanting to feel significant in a universe that is so large as to make entire galaxies insignificant. I get it. People are aware of their own mortality. Someone reads an ancient text and it strikes a chord and they find themselves quite enamored with the potential as well as what the text says about man and his relationship with something perfect, beautiful, transcendent, everlasting and steadfast. They don't care about logic. They don't care about reason. They like how the words make them feel. And that's enough for them.

But that's not enough for me. My thinking process doesn't allow me to believe even though doing so would be nice. It is much, much easier to be a christian in America than be an atheist. Most of the people I work with, socialize with, in my family, are christian. The thinking process of others is always on my mind. How can these people believe in an all-loving god while reading the bible as fact? Do they understand the problems inherent in omnipotence and omniscience? Do they realize that when they accept communion they're practicing ritualistic cannibalism? Why did God need a blood sacrifice to forgive sins? How do they reconcile these things with their faith? Why did their god give three different messages? Is it all about feeling good regardless of cognitive dissonance?

So, to be clear, if you're a feel good christian then game over. Your thought processes allow this and mine don't. You probably apply scientific vigor to most of your decisions in your life but are perfectly free to not use it in regard to your religious beliefs in much the same way you don't apply scientific rigor to music or art or turnip greens. I'm fine with that. I'm sorry if you thought otherwise.

Mark, I'm glad we understand each other. Understanding is hard to come by these days, especially understanding between a believer and an atheist on an atheist forum. It's amusing to be called a "radical Christian" by an atheist as a compliment :).

I'm very well aware of the inconsistencies you mention. I find them thought-provoking. I've learned a lot about history, religion, culture, and other topics trying to understand the meaning of some obscure Bible verse and peeling off layers of translation nuances, historical and cultural contexts. Analyzing atheistic arguments and getting over a few insults in atheistic forums taught me a few things about ethics of argument, logic, philosophy, and science. All in all, I would say, Christianity had a very positive effect on me.

I think, believers could enjoy a conversation with atheists if believers stop insisting that atheists "repent and believe" and atheists stop extorting the "evidence" from unsuspecting believers.

This discussion was the best, so far. I find a lot of analogies between sex, religion, and atheism. We all can enjoy the intercourse as long as we don't turn it into rape.

Derek said, "To me a lesbian expecting anything from the Catholic church is like a black person joining the KKK and asking for privileges."

Just ask Ted Haggard!

Derek said, "I am an atheist and I think homosexuality is ridiculous and it seems to me there is a growing trend in this country that refuses to address this issue with any intellectual rigor and substitute it with mindless tolerance."

What the hell is mindless tolerance? What's the antithesis? Homosexual should be put to death like the right wing fundies inspired and supported in Africa!

Derek said, "But if you speak out against it sans trying to stop people from committing homosexual acts you are a bigot and intolerant any ways.

I can't imagine why anyone would think that you are a bigot, intolerant or a homophobe masquerading as an atheist in order to escape criticism.

"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point." - Friederich Nietzsche

Derek said, "They often appeal to a naturalistic fallacy, "I was born that way". Why does no one ever think of the ethics of these actions. It seems to me atheists just jump on the band wagon accepting this ludicrous lifestyle, especially when it is in opposition to any religious dogma.

Atheists just jump on the bandwagon because it's in opposition to religious dogma. You mean being homosexual? There a probably more homosexual believers in god than those that don't.

Derek said, "We seem to be sacrificing logical and true critical thinking in this country for a mind numbing non-rigorous tolerance."

Paleeze, tell me you're 12 then I'll excuse your stupidity!

Derek said, "If you want to stick your penis in the ass of another man then fine, but please do not refer to this as "natural".

These are the kinds of things that led to the Salem Witch Trials. Just designate some group inferior, blame everything that goes wrong on them, and light the fagots. What has this got to do with any atheist issue?

Linda, whenever I read a response from you I think ridicule is your answer to reason.

Couldn't you come up with a better name? Pick one that isn't already being used and start another fascinating discussion!

You need reasoning to argue with idiots?

No Linda, I am not twelve. My twelve year old daughter can at least spell please correctly. I am curious, are able to respond to any one on this forum with out appealing top ridicule? I am atheist, but I doubt that you are considering how dogmatic and intolerant you seem are perceived when responding to others on this forum. Why don't you go back and read what i said. All I am asking is a question about the ethicality and the mindless bandwagon attitude that I have come across with atheists on the issue. You seem to be one of these drones whom just repeat the party line.

Derek said:

"Why don't you go back and read what i said. All I am asking is a question about the ethicality and the mindless bandwagon attitude that I have come across with atheists on the issue. You seem to be one of these drones whom just repeat the party line."

I think I addressed your ethicality question in my reply to you, which you haven't commented upon. But let me summarize: there is nothing ethically wrong with any sexual activity between two consenting adults. Whatever floats your boat, as it were.

Atheists, as a general rule, are quite intelligent, logically rational individuals and will probably come to a conclusion similar to the one I've espoused. That isn't bandwagoning as much as it's just logical.

But look, you're the one who says that there are some ethical problems with homosexuality, so why don't you expound on them. Regale us with the horrors of homosexual intercourse, clinically, of course. Bring us around to your reasoning for decrying the practice and your intention to eradicate it from humanity, all for the benefit of same. Show us why homosexual sex play is inherently more unethical than heterosexual sex play.

The ball is in your court.

Derek,

I'm so glad that there is a twelve year old who can tell you how to spell please. Maybe the twelve year old can explain to you what a homophobe is.

Just a random pieces of advice, while bashing minority groups give the "I'm an atheist and you can't insult me" a rest?

First we must define that which is and is not moral in order to assess something as immoral. So what moral system are you using to determine that homosexuality is immoral?

That seems like a very important point that seems to have slipped your mind. How do you expect to garner agreement without making an argument to support your claim?

In fact, your position is very much like the theists who would like us to support our supposed atheistic claim. Default position for every action is amoral. You must make an argument that something is moral or immoral.

"But if you speak out against it sans trying to stop people from committing homosexual acts you are a bigot and intolerant any ways."

I wouldn't say bigot because I don't know how you really feel, but you certaintly appear to be ignorant. How is homosexuality immoral or unethical, as oppose heterosexuality? Gay sex doesn't affect anyone, other than the people involved; and it's not in anyway harmful to society.

For you to single this paticular sexual orientation out of many and calling it unethical, for no apparent or justified reason, may be way those who oppose homosexuality are thought of as bigots.

You are right Michael, I am ignorant, thus the question that was asked. I am sorry that asking questions that I think deserve rational answers to have brought out sentiment instead of reason. Heterosexuality is able to bring forth offspring so that the species is able to survive. I do not care if you want to have sex with another man, but I do care about answering questions that I think people do not want to answer truthfully so not to hurt peoples feelings. You claim gay sex does not affect anyone-- are you sure? If you think that I am picking on homosexuals, then I guess your claim that I am a bigot is unreasonable. How about before responding next time you carefully consider why you believe homosexuality is okay or beneficial to society. Again, I am not out to stop people from loving one another, but question how a behavior that seems illogical is able to be warranted by atheists.

"You claim gay sex does not affect anyone-- are you sure?"

Yes, I'm sure. Would you mind telling how it affects people other than those involved in the sexual activities.

"Heterosexuality is able to bring forth offspring so that the species is able to survive."

Is this your only objection to homosexuality? You do know that there is an overpopulation problem at the moment; but even if there was a shortage of children. that still wouldn't make homosexuality wrong somehow.

"How about before responding next time you carefully consider why you believe homosexuality is okay or beneficial to society."

I don't think homosexuality is beneficial to society, but it's not harmful to society eighter. Homosexuality is just a sexual orientation.

"but question how a behavior that seems illogical is able to be warranted by atheists."

Again, how is homosexuality an illogical "behavior" as oppose to heterosexuality or asexuality?

"If you think that I am picking on homosexuals, then I guess your claim that I am a bigot is unreasonable."

The reason I think you're a bigot for your opinions on homosexuals is because your objection to homosexuality is that they can't have children. But asexuals or people with infertility can't have kids eighter, yet you apparently "forget" to mention them.

Reading all the arguments to accept homosexual marriages, I don't see a single one that cannot be applied to polygamy. It's natural (occurs in animal world), not inherently harmful to society (consenting adults, etc.). Except for having several mothers-in-law, I could point out quite a few benefits of having multiple wives/husbands.

Does it mean that if polygamy shows up on a ballot one day, atheists would support it? If not, why not?

And why is polygamy prohibited in most civilized societies? I cannot come up with any reasons that cannot be refuted by logic.

I support polygamy, aslong all of the participants are consenting adults.

"Does it mean that if polygamy shows up on a ballot one day, atheists would support it?"

I'm not sure how most atheists feel about polygamy.

"And why is polygamy prohibited in most civilized societies?"

Probably for religious reasons.

AG said: Reading all the arguments to accept homosexual marriages, I don't see a single one that cannot be applied to polygamy. It's natural (occurs in animal world), not inherently harmful to society (consenting adults, etc.). Except for having several mothers-in-law, I could point out quite a few benefits of having multiple wives/husbands.Does it mean that if polygamy shows up on a ballot one day, atheists would support it? If not, why not? And why is polygamy prohibited in most civilized societies? I cannot come up with any reasons that cannot be refuted by logic.

One of the original arguments for polygamy, at least in concept, was that women who had lost their husbands would benefit from being married into an existing union to gain the advantages of having a man around as well as the help from the other wife/wives in caring for her children. Of the concept is fraught with potential problems for a woman as she would lose some rights to property and the exclusiveness of the husband. Personally I can't find any real fault in the concept--as long as the wives are of legal age and consent to the relationship as well as have all legal rights to the property upon death or divorce. Of course I also want the concept to include multiple husbands, etc.

But I disagree that the concept of plural marriage is on par to the fight homosexuals want to be included in the concept of non-plural, legal loving relationships with all the benefits therein. And even if plural marriage issues could be addressed, and subsequently and sufficiently covered in a legally binding way and made available to the general populace, I don't foresee the majority, or even a large minority, of marriages becoming plural.

So if it is your purpose to try to shift the goalposts and or throw out a red-herring as a way to invalidate the argument that two consenting adults be allowed to enter into a loving, legal marriage bond, sorry to disappoint.

Let's legalize marriage for gays and then we can address the concept of plural unions. That would be an interesting debate and one that I would enjoy hearing about how the legal issues, not just the social issues, could be handled.

ML: "Of the concept is fraught with potential problems for a woman as she would lose some rights to property and the exclusiveness of the husband. Personally I can't find any real fault in the concept--as long as the wives are of legal age and consent to the relationship as well as have all legal rights to the property upon death or divorce. Of course I also want the concept to include multiple husbands, etc."

I can see a few more issues with plural marriages. I think, in plural marriage, favoritism and unhealthy rivalry between same-sex spouses and their children would be hard to avoid. Sibling rivalry in monogamous marriages can get bad enough. I believe, in polygamous marriages, sibling rivalry will be fueled and amplified by spouse rivalry. This is very well illustrated in the Bible story of Joseph in Genesis (to use it as an illustration in literature only). I can see how these family problems can negatively affect the society.

It also seems to me that in polygamous marriage, it is impossible to maintain equal rights between the sexes. Obviously, the husband with multiple wives will be able to exercise a lot of power over his wives just with his ability to favor one wife over another. Same should be true for matriarchal arrangements. There is no balance of power in plural marriages. It seems to me that allowing polygamous marriages will revert the achievements of feminists by a few hundred years.

ML: "But I disagree that the concept of plural marriage is on par to the fight homosexuals want to be included in the concept of non-plural, legal loving relationships with all the benefits therein. And even if plural marriage issues could be addressed, and subsequently and sufficiently covered in a legally binding way and made available to the general populace, I don't foresee the majority, or even a large minority, of marriages becoming plural."

I agree that monogamous same-sex marriage is different from plural heterosexual marriage. My point, however, is that monogamous heterosexual marriage seems to be an established form of marriage for a long time now. The reason for it, I believe, is not as much a religious dogma, as practical psychological, economic, and social considerations. Even monogamous marriages which seem to be the most balanced of all arrangements are often unstable. This would be even more so for polygamous arrangements. I do not oppose same-sex people living together or enjoying their bodies in the ways they like while having same rights as heterosexual partners in terms of property, privacy, etc. However, I'm cautious about adding definitions to the institution of marriage. There is more than meets the eye here. There is a potential to muck up things we are not even aware of.

On the other hand, I agree with you that this is unlikely to be a huge issue since most people will naturally chose the most stable arrangement. As with all prohibitions, allowing something does not have to result in immediate abuse by most of the population, just as isolated cases of abuse do not warrant prohibition. There is, again, this delicate balance between freedom and control which is similar to the contradiction between omnipotence and omniscience, by the way (free will and determinism). Ideally, abuse of freedom should be prevented by by self-control. Prohibition rarely eliminates abuse. I believe that people who lack self-control cannot be free, because they surrender control over themselves to others or their own passions and desires. And if everyone exercises self-control, I'm sure, drugs, sex, alcohol, homosexuality, or religion, are not going to be a threat to anyone.

Why do we need marriage at all? It seems to me that marriage is nothing more than a moral and legal commitment. Raising children makes such commitment desirable. If people commit to a loving relationship, why do they need marriage? Just as when people commit to moral standards, why do they need religion with weird rituals, sacrifices, etc.? Wouldn't it be more consistent for atheists to support abolition of marriage than any particular form of it? There must be something in rituals that makes people stick to them. I personally favor internal rituals over external ones. Again, idea I borrowed from Christianity.

"So if it is your purpose to try to shift the goal posts and or throw out a red-herring as a way to invalidate the argument that two consenting adults be allowed to enter into a loving, legal marriage bond, sorry to disappoint."

Mark, it is not my goal to push any agendas here. I simply would like to test our logic for consistency by extending it to other situations. If our reasoning has merit, it should hold in other situations. So far, you and Michael seem to be consistent with yourself, but I'm afraid, your theory does not consider all data. I lean towards preserving the status-quo for reasons other than religion, but I do not view gay marriage (or religion) as a major threat to society. Our society and our brains are so screwed in other respects that gay marriages are not going to make things much worse that we would notice.

"Let's legalize marriage for gays and then we can address the concept of plural unions."

What not just address this issue now? I know there aren't that many people who would like to be involved in a polygamist marriage (They're a very small minority.), but it's still an issue of inequality that should be dealt with as soon as possible. In some instances, banning polygamy is even an issue of religous freedom.

Alright, let's try again. Derek: What argument do you have that homosexuality is immoral?

Without one, you are simply blowing smoke.

From: Antifides "Alright, let's try again. Derek: What argument do you have that homosexuality is immoral? Without one, you are simply blowing smoke."

I'd like to speak for Derek, here. I think I know from whence his atheistic homo-is-immoral stance cometh--shit and penises. Neal Degrass Tyson once said: it's bad design to put an entertainment complex in the middle of sewage treatment facility. The worst form of sewage is raw excrement. The best form of entertainment, for a man at least, is a raw penis. To mix these two is to taunt NDT. In other words, urinating on one of atheism's greatest spokespersons. Taunting NDT is fraught with hazards not the least of which is the potential to be ostracized by the atheist community and would be considered an immoral act of an atheist. Therefore, sticking your penis in some man's ass, potentially getting excrement on it is tantamount to pissing on NDT. Pissing on NDT should be frowned upon by any civilized society as immoral. Therefore, fucking a man in the ass should be frowned upon by all moral people.

I can't tell if you're joking or not, but just in case your aren't, penis's and vagina's also emit human excrement.

From: Michael Perez I can't tell if you're joking or not, but just in case your aren't, penis's and vagina's also emit human excrement.

I can't tell if you're joking, here 'cause for excrement to be emitted by anything but the anus, you've got some *seriously* munged up plumbing as in that might be the least of your worries.

So let's just throw that data point away, shall we?

And yes, I was joking--there is no argument that can be made that consenting adult homosexual sex play is immoral, other than the one I came up with, that is.

My apologies to Neal DeGrasse Tyson.

Sex is a very messy business.

From: Michael Perez Sex is a very messy business.

Only if you're doing it right.

Yes, only if you're doing it.

Just out of curiosity Mark, what argument do you have for homosexuality as being morally permissible? You cannot appeal to nature lest you commit a fallacy and you cannot appeal to history, because hell let's just jump off a cliff with the bandwagon. I assume you are a heterosexual, so would you mind if a man shoved his tube steak in your corn hole? If yes, why? Your ass hole was obviously designed to allow for a dick to enter it.

From: STFU&D!!! Just out of curiosity Mark, what argument do you have for homosexuality as being morally permissible?

Well, STFU&D, I could just as easily, and more significantly given this entire thread, ask you what argument you have that homosexuality is morally not permissible. But of course that would get us nowhere as the only argument you could have is undoubtably religiously based and that is utterly unacceptable and indefensible.

I believe that all forms of sexuality between consenting adults is morally neutral. It's like walking, eating, sleeping, playing tennis, and doing the dishes--all morally neutral activities. To make anything immoral you have to provide context to show harm or damages beyond those associated with everyday risks or potential injuries. After all sex, in and of itself, is not risk free--potential for diseases, pregnancy, physical damage, psychological injury, increased risks of some forms of cancer, etc., etc. As long as two (or more) consenting adults engage in a sexual activity that harms no one, affects no one but those in participation, and is well within the participants range of acceptable risk, I can find no fault and therefore classify the activity as a moral non-issue.

Once someone reaches the age of majority, granted an artificial standard but not an indefensible one, what you want to do for recreation, as long as it harms nobody else, within the defined "normal" risks, is up to that person and is none of my business.

Look, evolution explains sex as one method of passing on genetic information to offspring that provides an excellent mechanism for variation and therefore, genetic drift which is healthy for a species. Pleasure during the sex act evolved to provide an overriding incentive increasing the likelihood that procreation would occur. Some species, including man, engage in sex more for recreation and not, specifically, for procreation. A person of religious inclination has to ask if God didn't want people to engage in sex for fun then why not make it not pleasurable but a metabolic necessity else death. Or make it impossible accept for procreation. Or, if god didn't want homosexuals as he finds them "icky", why not make orgasm only possible when a man puts his penis in a vagina? That way love between same sex individuals could occur but sex would be moot. Or get rid of homosexuals altogether. Remember, without exception, all homosexuals are the product of heterosexual union. Why not just do away with the possibility and therefore problem avoided?

Or maybe we could finally, as a society, decide that a book--and therefore the god--that says that slavery is okay, human sacrifice is okay, finite crime equals infinite punishment is okay, and someone who is raped has to marry their rapist, all morally repugnant ideas that we have gotten beyond, maybe we can finally get beyond this homo bullshit too.

ShutTheFuckUp&Die said:

I assume you are a heterosexual, so would you mind if a man shoved his tube steak in your corn hole?

If a man were to do so it would be rape and therefore unacceptable. Although some hetero men enjoy it when their mates shove all manner of objects into their anus so...whatever floats your boat. I've never even been interested in anal sex with my wife as I can't see the point--she doesn't have a prostate so she isn't going to enjoy it and she already has a perfectly wonderful orifice for my consideration, anyway.

So, is that enough about my sex life or would you like some charts and graphs?

I think most here should realize what love is. Although sexual attraction is relevant, its certainly not the be all and end all. Otherwise most women would divorce their now ugly husband on the spot, or visaversa Quite obviously homosexuals have 'loving' relationships. The end.

By the way I hope your wife/gf is not involved in any body and face disfiguration ever, I mean how disgusting would it be to be with that, let alone have sexual relations with. Unless of course you love her? (possibly not)

Grow up kids, homosexuality has been around for thousands of years. Life still goes on normally.

Oh and another point, I don't go around drooling at the opposite sex all day. Pretty sure homosexuals have preferences as well. I'm a heterosexual and I happen to like asses (of the opposite sex) myself. Freaky I know!

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