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Old 10th Mar 2014, 22:32   #181
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Couple of different things going on here that I think should be recognized as separate.

What religion offers, and what science can not, as least if you're doing it right, is certainty. A holy book can say that "Marriage is between a man and a women" and people can choose to believe that and believe that it has always been this way and will never change. Religion offers a concrete view of the world that science cannot and that is very comforting.

Science, if you're doing it right, cannot make these kind of concrete statements. Good science says "we think the earth goes around the sun based on these experiments, but there is always the possibility we could be wrong." To choose to believe in science is to accept never being certain about anything, and to accept it's limits in answering many questions. In most sciences the best understanding of truth we have changes all the time, mostly in the details, but also in the big stuff sometimes. Science also frequently cannot give concrete answers to real world problems. To pick a random one, "Is it safe to build a house here?" Science can say "well, there is a 0.3% probability that it will burn down each year, and a 0.05% chance of it being destroyed in an earthquake, etc, etc. You're still making a guess about what will happen, just a slightly more informed one.

So, that's the certainty issue. Religion offers it, science doesn't, and if you need to feel certain than you are probably better off choosing religion. Many people can't handle uncertainty and complexity, they need a simple, concrete model of how the universe works in order to function and they're never going to get that from science. That doesn't make them bad or ignorant people, just ones who have different needs from a belief system.

The other issue is one of identity, and this long predates human socirty as we know it today. People need to fewel that they are a part of something. The human self is way way too nebulous to be defined on it's own, but rather is defined by what it's similar to. In human interaction we need these shortcuts to figuring out what the other person is like because if we had to start from scratch every time we met someone we would never get anywhere.

People form their identities, both external and internal, by what they associate with. This may be family (I am so-and-so's son), nationality (I am British), employment (I'm a student), or other association (I'm an Arsenal fan). Each of these statements tells you something about the person that you can use as the basis for further interaction and, to some extent, make judgments about them.

We tend to deride these identifications without understanding the role they play for people or recognizing that we have our own ways of identifying ourselves. It's literally a case of "we all do it" and yes many people still pass judgment on others for it.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 23:14   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walle View Post
I think our societies and cultures have sufficiently demonstrated that the definition of marriage is a union between a man and a woman, Nexxo, that it is an intrinsic part of the fabric of our cultures too, furthermore, that it has been the definition for the past (insert amount) of years. And as I said: The homosexuals are imposing themselves onto an institution whose values and beliefs they do not share. Afterwards they proceed to complain when the peoples whose values and beliefs they do not share react negatively to them imposing themselves onto said institution, that is to say: marriage.

I don't have any issues with a legal framework that would give homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples who are married, that's not the issue at hand here.
Let's rewind about 100 years. Great Grandad Walle is sitting at his writing desk, quill in hand, composing his contribution to a debate about women's right to vote.

Quote:
I think our societies and cultures have sufficiently demonstrated that the definition of voting is a practice undertaken by men, that it is an intrinsic part of the fabric of our cultures too, furthermore, that it has been the definition for the past (insert amount) of years. And as I said: The women are imposing themselves onto an institution whose values and beliefs they do not share. Afterwards they proceed to complain when the peoples whose values and beliefs they do not share react negatively to them imposing themselves onto said institution, that is to say: voting.

I don't have any issues with a legal framework that would give women the same rights as men to contribute to elections, but let's just not call it voting. History has defined 'voting' as something done by a man.
Indeed, you can extend the right to vote example to other groups, seeing as it often started out as quite an exclusive (e.g. white aristocrats in Britain) activity.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 23:16   #183
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Nicely put.

@Cthippo:

Chorus: "We are! We are all individuals!"

Lone voice: "I'm not"...


We are tribal beings. Moreover we are reared as children so we are also attached beings. As such we have a strong need to be part of a family and group (and indeed, pecking order: we want an alpha to follow. Now consider what are the qualities of an alpha male or female). We define ourselves in relation to these other people and position ourselves in the hierarchy.

We also classify others as 'like us' --part of the same tribe-- or 'unlike us'; part of another tribe which potentially competes with ours for resources in the same ecological niche. Where did you think that "foreigners stealing our jobs and taken our women" mentality came from? The tribal lines can be drawn anywhere. Often group allegiances are hierarchically nested and can overlap in all sorts of ways.

Culture is just a way to create and maintain tribal cohesion and order, and differentiation from other tribes. Language, religion, custom and dress are just manifestations of that.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 09:52   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Yeah, walle has quoted Spec and eddie_dane in his sig, but I don't think he has actually thought about it.
I haven't argued taking freedom of speech or rights away from any group so I don't think you actually thought about that before hitting "post".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayinblack
Some of us seek to learn and grow, and don't find it contradictory to our faith. Some of us even embrace science, recognizing that it doesn't answer the same questions as faith at all.
Well a catholic priest came up with the Big Bang theory and the founder of genetics was a monk, there need not be an intrinsic problem, or conflict, between religion or science. Many scientists today claim to be religious, if that includes religious values or only the spiritual aspect of it I don't know, a mix would be my guess.

@Nexxo
You also stole my football analogy at page 9 not cool man.

Yeah, I do have to leave again sorry, work is calling.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 10:03   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walle View Post
I haven't argued taking freedom of speech or rights away from any group so I don't think you actually thought about that before hitting "post".
ORLY? Think it over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walle View Post
Well a catholic priest came up with the Big Bang theory and the founder of genetics was a monk, there need not be an intrinsic problem, or conflict, between religion or science. Many scientists today claim to be religious, if that includes religious values or only the spiritual aspect of it I don't know, a mix would be my guess.
And a vicar wrote a most interesting book on natural selection. Although he worried a bit about how the church would receive it. In fact, in Victorian times it was quite usual for the clergy to engage in scientific studies. Science was viewed as a way of getting closer to God through understanding His creation.

Quote:
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You also stole my football analogy at page 9 not cool man.
I think you'll find I was there first. I have posted a lot on tribal dynamics in the past.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 10:04   #186
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Originally Posted by walle View Post
I haven't argued taking freedom of speech or rights away from any group so I don't think you actually thought about that before hitting "post".
Technically not, you're "arguing" that we shouldn't give identical rights to a minority, despite being unable or unwilling to provide any evidence why not.

"Because marriage is a union between a man and a woman" is not an argument, it is a statement.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 10:39   #187
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walle is talking about denying a group certain rights, including freedom of expression (calling their formal relationship bond a "marriage").

As far as I can tell he perceives gay people getting married as an adulteration of the definition of marriage and hence contributing to an erosion of the 'fabric of our culture' by changing its societal norms and values. It's fascist prattle, of course, of the same kind rolled out by an insecure Joe Public every time they smell an Indian takeaway or spot someone wearing a turban.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 11:04   #188
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 12:14   #189
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I heard somewhere that if you repeatedly mention that you should be working it should be interpreted as an admission that you are dodging the crux of the matter and are trying to make us all think you have all the answers but you're just too busy to write to a fuller response.

No doubt Walle's fuller response will come at some point. I'm sure of it. I've got faith. How long 'til you retire Walle?
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 12:28   #190
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 12:56   #191
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Quote:
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Think of religion as a lens. People use it to find focus to who they were already.
Nexxo - are you a prophet?
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 13:38   #192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
Think of religion as a lens. People use it to find focus to who they were already.
Nexxo - are you a prophet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102011149?q=homosexuality&p=par

The awards ceremony erupts into a frenzy when two popular actresses greet each other with a passionate kiss! Onlookers gasp in shock, then cheer in support. Gays call it a triumph. Skeptics call it a publicity stunt. Video clips of the kiss will be aired repeatedly on TV newscasts—and elicit millions of hits on the Internet—for days to come.


AS ILLUSTRATED in the above scenario, few events create more media buzz than when a celebrity hints at or comes out as being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Some people praise such ones for their courage; others condemn them for their debauchery. Between the two viewpoints, many see homosexuality as nothing more than an alternative lifestyle. “When I was in school,” says Daniel, 21, “even straight kids felt that if you had a problem with the idea of homosexuality, you were prejudiced and judgmental.”


Attitudes about homosexuality may differ from one generation to another or from one land to another. But Christians aren’t “carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching.” (Ephesians 4:14) Instead, they adhere to the Bible’s view.


What is the Bible’s view of homosexuality? And if you live by the Bible’s moral code, how can you respond to those who label you prejudiced, judgmental, or even homophobic? Consider the following questions or statements and possible responses.


“What does the Bible say about homosexuality?”


“The Bible makes it clear that God designed sex to be engaged in only between a male and a female and only within the arrangement of marriage. (Genesis 1:27, 28; Leviticus 18:22; Proverbs 5:18, 19) When the Bible condemns fornication, it is referring to both homosexual and illicit heterosexual conduct.”*—Galatians 5:19-21.


“What’s your view of homosexuality?”


“I don’t hate homosexuals, but I can’t approve of their conduct.”


Remember: If you’re guided by the Bible’s moral code, then that is your lifestyle choice, and you have a right to it. (Joshua 24:15) Don’t feel ashamed of your view.—Psalm 119:46.


“Shouldn’t Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation?”


“Absolutely. The Bible says: ‘Honor men of all sorts’ or, as Today’s English Version renders it, ‘Respect everyone.’ (1 Peter 2:17) Therefore, Christians are not homophobic. They show kindness to all people, including those who are gay.”—Matthew 7:12.


“Doesn’t your view of homosexuality encourage prejudice against gays?”


“Not at all. I reject homosexual conduct, not people.”


You could add: “To make a comparison, I also choose not to smoke. In fact, I find the very idea of it repugnant. But suppose you’re a smoker and you feel differently. I wouldn’t be prejudiced against you for your view, just as I’m sure you wouldn’t be prejudiced against me for my view—am I right? The same principle applies to our differing views of homosexuality.”


“Didn’t Jesus preach tolerance? If so, shouldn’t Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality?”


“Jesus didn’t encourage his followers to accept any and all lifestyles. Rather, he taught that the way to salvation is open to ‘everyone exercising faith in him.’ (John 3:16) Exercising faith in Jesus includes conforming to God’s moral code, which forbids certain types of conduct—including homosexuality.”—Romans 1:26, 27.


“Homosexuals can’t change their orientation; they’re born that way.”


“The Bible doesn’t comment on the biology of homosexuals, although it acknowledges that some traits are deeply ingrained. (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5) Even if some are oriented toward the same sex, the Bible tells Christians to shun homosexual acts.”


Suggestion: Rather than get ensnared in a debate about the cause of homosexual desires, emphasize that the Bible prohibits homosexual conduct. To make a comparison, you could say: “You know, many claim that violent behavior can have a genetic root and that as a result, some people are predisposed to it. (Proverbs 29:22) What if that was true? As you might know, the Bible condemns fits of anger. (Psalm 37:8; Ephesians 4:31) Is that standard unfair just because some may be inclined toward violence?”


“How could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality? That sounds cruel.”


“Such reasoning is based on the flawed notion that humans must act on their sexual impulses. The Bible dignifies humans by assuring them that they can choose not to act on their improper sexual urges if they truly want to.”—Colossians 3:5.


“Even if you’re not gay, you should change your view of homosexuality.”


“Suppose I didn’t approve of gambling but you did. Would it be reasonable for you to insist that I change my view, simply because millions of people choose to gamble?”


Remember this: Homosexuals, along with most people, have some ethical code that causes them to deplore certain things—perhaps fraud, injustice, or war. The Bible prohibits those behaviors; it also draws the line at certain types of sexual conduct, including homosexuality.—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10.


The Bible is not unreasonable, nor does it promote prejudice. It simply directs those with homosexual urges to do the same thing that is required of those with an opposite-sex attraction—to “flee from fornication.”—1 Corinthians 6:18.


The fact is, millions of heterosexuals who wish to conform to the Bible’s standards employ self-control despite any temptations they might face. Their number includes many who are single with little prospect of marriage and many who are married to a disabled partner who is unable to function sexually. They are able to live happily without fulfilling their sexual urges. Those with homosexual inclinations can do the same if they truly want to please God.—Deuteronomy 30:19.


READ MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC IN VOLUME 2, CHAPTER 28


IN OUR NEXT CHAPTER

Some girls believe that having sex with their boyfriend will deepen their relationship with him. Not likely! Find out why.


[Footnote]


The Bible term “fornication” refers not only to intercourse but also to such acts as masturbating another person or engaging in oral sex or anal sex.


KEY SCRIPTURE


“Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”—Colossians 3:5.


TIP


While the conduct of others might distress you, avoid a self-righteous tone. Really, they have the freedom to choose what they want to believe—just as you do.


DID YOU KNOW . . . ?


Some first-century Christians who had engaged in homosexual acts in the past were able to change their unclean ways and be “washed clean” in God’s sight.—1 Corinthians 6:9-11.


ACTION PLAN!


If someone says that the Bible’s view of homosexuality is out-of-date, I will say ․․․․․


To make it clear that I disapprove of homosexual conduct, not the people themselves, I will say ․․․․․


What I would like to ask my parent(s) about this subject is ․․․․․


WHAT DO YOU THINK?


● Why does God have the right to impose moral laws on humans?


● How do you benefit from adhering to the Bible’s moral laws?


[Blurb on page 170]


“A boy at school thought I was horrible for rejecting his lifestyle. But when I explained that I was not rejecting him as a person—and when he realized that it wasn’t just homosexuality but all forms of immorality that I disagree with—he began to respect me and even defend me when others raised objections.”—Aubrey


[Box on page 168]


What About Bisexuality?


Although found among both genders, bisexuality seems to be increasingly common among girls. For some, it’s a matter of curiosity. Lisa, 26, says: “When you put something out there in movies, TV, and music that promotes girls kissing girls, teens will be tempted to try it—especially when they do not consider it to be wrong.”


For others, there seems to be a genuine attraction. “I met two bisexual girls at a party,” says Vicky, 13, “and later I found out from a friend that they liked me. Eventually I started texting one of the girls, and I started developing feelings for her.”


Have you ever felt the way Vicky did? Many would urge you simply to embrace your sexuality and come out as bisexual. However, you should be aware that same-sex attraction is often nothing more than a passing phase. That’s what Vicky found out. So did 16-year-old Lisette. She says: “Talking to my parents about my feelings made me feel better. Also, through my biology classes in school, I learned that during the adolescent years, hormone levels can fluctuate greatly. I truly think that if youths knew more about their bodies, they would understand that same-sex attraction can be temporary, and they wouldn’t feel the pressure to be gay.”


Even if your feelings seem more deep-rooted than a short-lived growing pain, realize that the Bible presents you with a reachable goal: You can choose not to act on wrong desires, no matter what they are.


[Picture on page 169]


When it comes to popular opinion, Christians have the courage to walk against the crowd
Btw, I'm only learning/studying, don't ask me owt as I'm just about getting the outside of a very large jigsaw puzzle.

I'm merely posting the above to possibly aid/further spark debate amongst previous posters.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 15:09   #193
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Umm.....Walle.....Not my quote. Does it really sound like something I would write? Really? You know you don't have much to say on a subject when you start misquoting people.

I mean really...."Some of us seek to learn and grow, and don't find it contradictory to our faith"

Sounds like a fundamental Atheist's words doesn't it?

A great man once said.....'I don't want to believe....I want to KNOW.'

I have zero faith. None, Nada, zip, diddlysquat. Faith is for lazy people who can't be bothered to find out the truth.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 15:29   #194
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Originally Posted by sonicgroove View Post
I have zero faith. None, Nada, zip, diddlysquat. Faith is for lazy people who can't be bothered to find out the truth.
So you don't believe anything you hear/read until you've tested it yourself?
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 15:43   #195
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Nexxo - are you a prophet?
No, I'm a psychologist. Some people may argue it's the same thing, but it really isn't supposed to be.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 16:43   #196
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No hidden stone tablets anywhere? :P
Not recently took note of your 2,000th year alive?
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:16   #197
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Kenco, thanks for taking a massive dump all over the thread with that one

Not sure I'm going to take you up on it other than this:
Quote:
When it comes to popular opinion, Christians have the courage to walk against the crowd
I think this is what you call marketing spin for the rapidly declining relevance of Christianity. Oh look, all the rats are leaving the sinking ship, this obviously makes the sinking ship that much cooler now...

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Originally Posted by sonicgroove View Post
Faith is for lazy people who can't be bothered to find out the truth.
That'd be where my sig comes in... (not the sex bit)
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 17:25   #198
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Originally Posted by Porkins' Wingman View Post
Kenco, thanks for taking a massive dump all over the thread with that one

Not sure I'm going to take you up on it other than this:

I think this is what you call marketing spin for the rapidly declining relevance of Christianity. Oh look, all the rats are leaving the sinking ship, this obviously makes the sinking ship that much cooler now...
I see what you mean. Christianity in all it's strains has a lot to answer for. I'd beg to differ on the 'becoming cooler' thought though, with the publicity regarding child sexual abuse.
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 18:30   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk View Post
No hidden stone tablets anywhere? :P
Not recently took note of your 2,000th year alive?
I know that the NHS IT infrastructure is a bit outdated, but I can assure you that it's not that bad. Although working there for 20 years makes me feel 2000 years old...
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Old 11th Mar 2014, 21:14   #200
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Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
I know that the NHS IT infrastructure is a bit outdated, but I can assure you that it's not that bad. Although working there for 20 years makes me feel 2000 years old...
I was thinking more along the lines of "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"

EDIT: And, with this thread winding down, I wonder if anyone learned anything from it. I have a better understanding of the fundamentalist religious opposition to homosexual marriage and and hold a few forum members in higher regard (Nexxo, Kayin, and, oddly enough, Walle for having the courage to keep repeating himself in the face of some unreasonably personal opposition).

I guess what i'm wondering is did anyone else have any useful take-aways from this excercise or are we all just wasting our time arguing on the internet?
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