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A Politics tag?

Wheezer

Every so often, I will start reading and enjoying a story, then, instead of just telling the story, the author starts infusing his or her own particular political beliefs & opinions into the story in a very heavy-handed manner. Sometimes, it's my side of the political fence, sometimes the other side. Both viewpoints annoy me when it starts to interfere with the story. I've pretty much abandoned GMW and her BTFH website for this reason. There are a few stories languishing in my reading queue with the last few chapters unread for this reason. If there was a Politics tag, and authors would honestly mark their stories, I could then decide if I wanted to invest my time.

Ernest Bywater

Yes there is, in the Other tags section at the bottom of the list, the definition on the SoL definitions page, is:

Politics - Stories with political atmosphere or events

I've used it a few times, but, like all tags, you can't force the authors to use it or tag any story properly.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
ustourist

@Wheezer

The problem arises when you try to define at what point it interferes with the story. Presumably the author would be of the opinion that it doesn't, and they are the ones who set the tags.
It would potentially require stories like "A Fresh Start" to show the politics tag, which would probably have turned some readers off but the story avoided any overt political stance - though I seem to recall his blog commenting on emails being received about his (fictional character's) politics.
Could that tag also be considered applicable to "Island Mine", which dealt with a left wing university policy and then a generally incompetent government, or Ernest's Berant stories, which all involve governance and politics of a country to a degree? In my opinion they don't interfere with the story, but others may not take the same view.
Any time a story involves government or public administration at any level it will have a political element and a particular slant as required for the story. Defining where politics start or end is an almost impossible line and having that tag would probably lose more readers than the annoyed few who decided it wasn't their view of politics.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

The problem arises when you try to define at what point it interferes with the story. Presumably the author would be of the opinion that it doesn't, and they are the ones who set the tags.


whether the politics interferes with the story or not, if there is a significant political aspect in the story, it should be tagged as such.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

I would tend to agree with you that a tag should be used regardless if the subject is included, but Wheezer made the point that it annoys him when it starts to interfere with the story, which is why I responded on those lines.
Since I used your stories as an example earlier, I will include them again. Personally I don't think the Berant stories need a politics tag, but I can imagine strong arguments being made by some that "the Day of Blood" has a political slant and a tag should be included, purely because of the stance they take nationalistically or politically. Overall, I think a politics tag - if used - could drive readers away from stories unnecessarily and just cause friction rather than be informative.

PS: I am not being critical of that particular story at all. Just the opposite. I think so far it ranks higher than the others based on that country.

Dominion's Son
Updated:

@Wheezer


Sometimes, it's my side of the political fence, sometimes the other side.


And sometimes it's floating somewhere over the fence.

Politics isn't a major part of the story itself, but the world I built for my Dominion Chronicle story has a distinctly libertarian flair.

You're one dimensional view of politics does not encompass me.

Dominions Son

@ustourist

I would tend to agree with you that a tag should be used regardless if the subject is included, but Wheezer made the point that it annoys him when it starts to interfere with the story


But is it interfering with the story, or is it part of the story and it's just interfering with Wheezer's enjoyment of the story.

Replies:   Wheezer
Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

PS: I am not being critical of that particular story at all. Just the opposite. I think so far it ranks higher than the others based on that country.


In the stories where I use the Politics flag it's because the politics are a part of the story or the plot. I don't use the tag it indicate I'm injecting my politics into the story, and it shouldn't be used as such. However, if you are injecting a lot of politics into the story I would expect the politics to be a significant part of the plot or story and the tag included for that reason.

In Farmer's Life the later part of the story is about the main character's political career, thus it has a Politics flag as that's part of the story. The same with a some other stories of mine, the politics are important to the plot or story - not what I'm pushing.

Wheezer

@Dominions Son

But is it interfering with the story, or is it part of the story and it's just interfering with Wheezer's enjoyment of the story.


I thought I made it clear that it is when the author's political viewpoint interferes with MY enjoyment of an otherwise interesting story. Usually, the author's personal political views do not start slipping into the story until several chapters in. Stories involving political events are not necessarily at issue. It is the overt heavy-handed promotion of a particular political or social viewpoint in a story that really does not need it that annoys me.

Ernest Bywater

@Wheezer

overt heavy-handed promotion of a particular political or social viewpoint in a story that really does not need it that annoys me.


In short, the insertion of politics in a way that doesn't help or advance the story or plot in any reasonable or worthwhile way. That doesn't need a Politics tag, it needs a Rant tag because I've seen the same issue with rants on other matters in stories as well.

Replies:   Wheezer
jean.tite
Updated:

@Wheezer

Tags relate the subject matter, not the quality of it. You have a problem with preachiness and lecturing; politics is just a common vehicle for those things.

Authors like Lazlo Zalezac, Jay Cantrell, and a number of others have been guilty of writing a: MC says this is how the world should be, a side character disagrees, MC wins and SC loses harshly, "Now see why I know best?" It's lazy character design, makes too many assumptions (the reader is dumb, events are wrapped up with a tight bow, etc.) and the MC will win 99 times out of 100 anyway.

Here's a completely biased and unfounded assumption. A lot of writers are older males that incorporate their life experiences into their work. They're righting wrongs, correcting mistakes, or writing what "should have been", an ideal outcome in their mind.

The big thing is they don't have an editor breathing down their neck saying "keep it neutral, you're alienating readers (read customers) by getting political." Writing here is, for the most part, whatever you want it to be. This still happens in the mainstream though - look at Animal Farm, a well known Soviet allegory. Hell, Star Trek is notoriously preachy.

What solves your problem is, most likely, a revamp of the reviews system. It's not very active right now and that's where someone would say "this guy sure hates (insert stereotype)." Also, sometimes you're just going to drop a story - for different reasons. I've dropped stories because there was so much sex it got boring, there were too many characters to even follow, or because something happened that I didn't agree with/disliked. On a site like this you're much more likely to find something you think is bad.

Replies:   Dominions Son  Jim S
Dominions Son

@jean.tite

This still happens in the mainstream though - look at Animal Farm, a well known Soviet allegory.


With stories like Animal Farm, Star Trek, and Avatar, yes they are preachy, but that isn't the authors political views leaking through into the story. It's deliberate. The politics is very much part of the story, the preaching is the point of the story.

Replies:   jean.tite
Jim S

@jean.tite

What solves your problem is, most likely, a revamp of the reviews system. It's not very active right now and that's where someone would say "this guy sure hates (insert stereotype)."

I think this nails it. I would suggest to Wheezer that, if he isn't already involved, to become a Reviewer and share his insights on such stories. This is something I try to do, when warranted, with my reviews. The art here involves doing it objectively, especially if you disagree with said politics. But sharing your insights with other readers will go a long way to improving SOL, something I believe worth doing.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I've used it a few times, but, like all tags, you can't force the authors to use it or tag any story properly.

I've never seen the "Politics" tag as referencing politics, but stories which deal with politics (i.e. stories about politicians).

Oddly, the stories which most frequently get targeted for politics, focus on the fictional character's politics, rather than the author's interjecting their own views on the story. All authors write about subjects they know, so they'll tend to write about what interests them (i.e. social justice, family values, social welfare or individual's independence from government intervention), but I've never seen this as a negative. Instead, it's another voice. I wouldn't appreciate a war story where the characters started espousing gun control regulation, simply because it isn't consistent with the characters--irregardless of how I feel about gun control. As long as the character's are consistent, I could care less if the character's views parallel the authors. In fact, I welcome such views, as it provides a personal insight into such views--which broadens everyone's perspective by making political feelings personal (i.e. we can see how those issues impact their lives, rather than how it defines their acceptance into their political lives).

Despite being an atheist myself, I enjoyed the Movie "War Room", even though it ended with a 'let's go out and convert the world to Christianity' ending, because it put me into the heads of the evangelical movement more efficiently than an anti-evangelical track would.

That's why I read fiction, to open myself to alternate experiences so I can better understand the world--especially those aspects of the world I can't easily access. I don't read fiction simply so it'll echo everything I already believe.

But, for those with an 'us against the rest of the world' mentality, I can see why they'd be pissed to encounter a differing view of the world.

Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

Overall, I think a politics tag - if used - could drive readers away from stories unnecessarily and just cause friction rather than be informative.

Often, when I hear complaints about 'politics in stories', it sounds more like they desire 'liberal'/'conservative' tags, rather than a more generic 'politics' tag. I get the feeling they feel torn out of a story when they encounter a particular view they (the reader) disapproves of, rather than the interjection of politics in general.

Again, I've always seen the "Politics" tag as referencing stories that deal with politics. However, if select readers consider any opposing views as a squick, then clearly labeling the character's viewpoint would make sense. However, as USTourist mentions, that would likely reduce readership across the board, limiting readers' experiences rather than exposing them to how other people view the world. In the politically divisive world we find ourselves in, I'd rather we had more voices, even those we dislike, rather than less exposure.

The secret to winning political arguments isn't burying your head in the sand (that's more the racists' and history deniers' viewpoint), instead, if you want to counter an argument, you need to understand its appeal, and then attempt to undermine that perspective (possibly attacking whether it works or is justified or not).

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

Stories involving political events are not necessarily at issue. It is the overt heavy-handed promotion of a particular political or social viewpoint in a story that really does not need it that annoys me.

Gah! This view galls me, not because I don't think it's not a legitimate view, but because it seems misguided.

I got a lot of flak when I made a reference to a minor character misinterpreting news reports on FOX News (a not uncommon response). However, my most political story was about aliens, which has never been attacked for politics. I wrote those stories because I was fed up with the disfunctional U.S. government after the two U.S. government shut downs, where nothing was accomplished.

The stories focus on what happens when government doesn't work, and what the long-time repercussions of that perspective might be. However, I hope the story appeals to both U.S. political parties, as it reflects a general distrust of politics, rather than presenting a particular political viewpoint. The object of the story wasn't to convert anyone to accept my viewpoint, but to get the politicians to get off their butts and do their jobs, rather than refusing to resolve issues.

Thus I have trouble accepting that labeling stories as 'political' will work. The truly political stories aren't seen as political, and those which aren't political will be attacked as such, simply because they specify particular buzz-words. (i.e. It's often not about the views of the author, but about the reader's personal triggers.)

The greatest political fiction throughout history are the very stories which don't focus on politics, instead they avoid political labels and take a hands-off approach, showing the individuals, and their views, as personal choices, made for personal reasons.

"Uncle Tom's Cabin", or even "Toy Sawyer", didn't succeed because they ranted against one political party, but because they allowed both sides to experience the personal lives of a select group of individuals, and that information informed a majority of previously uninformed people. Thus, stories that interject politics are rarely truly political. Instead, like Ernest says, they're either personal rants, or they're trying to capture how a particular fictional character thinks, regardless of how the author personally feels about a subject.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I wrote those stories because I was fed up with the disfunctional U.S. government after the two U.S. government shut downs, where nothing was accomplished.


I have a different view of that. As to the shutdowns, nothing catastrophic happened either. and as far as nothing being accomplished goes, the less our government does the better off we are anyway.

richardshagrin

Politics is a compound word, poli from the Greek for many, and ticks for blood sucking insects.

Replies:   red61544
jean.tite

@Dominions Son

The main example that came to my head was a sci-fi series that, supposedly, became literally preachy about Christianity later on. I haven't read the series and can't even remember the author's name so I thought it was disingenuous to use and picked something I was more familiar with.

Honestly the stories on here are much more similar to those examples anyway, in that they don't necessarily become a clear rant or essay. It's more heavy handed than allegory and I don't see much symbolism but honestly, I read SOL for entertainment value and I'm not analyzing it as literature.

I also have less of a problem with the political stuff than the OP. You have to suspend disbelief when reading a story, especially in a sexual context (12 inch dongs and free love everybody!) Things that kick me out are the obviously unfactual or oblivious, usually in the context of law or money - where everything is in congruence with the heroes and anti to whoever opposes them. I have to say, "Yeah, that's dumb," and keep reading.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@jean.tite

Honestly the stories on here are much more similar to those examples anyway, in that they don't necessarily become a clear rant or essay. It's more heavy handed than allegory and I don't see much symbolism but honestly, I read SOL for entertainment value and I'm not analyzing it as literature.

That's not because they're more opinionated, it's because amateur editor's won't pull the author's leash, telling him he's getting carried away. Nor are the author's here experienced enough to phrase such topics subtly. Generally, only content editors will question actual content, and few here can afford that kind of intensive review. And with amateur authors, you gets what you pay for.

That said, I'm still cautious about labeling stories "Political" if the story doesn't involve politics, and I certainly wouldn't if the issue was religion and not political!

red61544

@richardshagrin

Richard, I liked your post and it's too damned true. It's impossible to write a believable story unless politics plays a part. I paid $30,000 for a car; politics tells me where and how fast I can drive it and how much I have to pay to fuel it. I have an expensive home and politics tells me how much I have to pay in property taxes to live in it, how high my grass can be before I'm fined for it, and how much I must pay for a permit before I improve it. Politics and its result - government - enters into every aspect of our life. If an author wants to throw in a few digs at politics and politicians, he has a right to do it. Hell, without politics to make fun of, we would have no late night television to entertain insomniacs.

Replies:   cave jug
Wheezer

@Ernest Bywater

In short, the insertion of politics in a way that doesn't help or advance the story or plot in any reasonable or worthwhile way. That doesn't need a Politics tag, it needs a Rant tag because I've seen the same issue with rants on other matters in stories as well.


Earnest is correct. A "Rant" tag is what I should have asked for. I do not like being preached at - whether politics, religion, environmental issues, relationships, etc.

Replies:   ustourist  cave jug
ustourist

@Wheezer

That I can agree with wholeheartedly, though how many people view their opinions as a rant, rather than a sane and logical aspect worthy of inclusion?
Surely it is only other people who rant and hold extreme or irrational views. :D

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

That I can agree with wholeheartedly, though how many people view their opinions as a rant, rather than a sane and logical aspect worthy of inclusion?
Surely it is only other people who rant and hold extreme or irrational views.

That's why authors need more than simple proof readers, who point out typos, but editors and beta-readers who'll ask "Just what the hell are you doing, and please, cut it out!"

cave jug

@Wheezer

By the same token, how would you feel about religious overtones? And why would any tag be an issue? There are posted to baby-sit the sensitive.
Silly, really, a story is what is important, not how any of us "feel" about an issue.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
cave jug

@red61544

Hear, hear!

cave jug

@Wheezer

Well, by rejecting someone's rant outright, you are missing out on many different points of view. Unless you think of yourself as perfect and in no need to improve.

God did it three times, first Talmud (Torah), Then the Bible and lastly Qur'an!

And still can not get it right!

So, I suggest, open your mind!

Ernest Bywater

@cave jug

God did it three times, first Talmud (Torah), Then the Bible and lastly Qur'an!


No God did it only once, then a bunch of people tried a rewrite for their own purposes, and the people are still at the rewrites.

Replies:   graybyrd  cave jug
graybyrd
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

So who was it that God did it "once" with, before the Zoroastrians ?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

So who was it that God did


He said, "Let there be light," ... and the power company has been in total control ever since.

Crumbly Writer

@cave jug

By the same token, how would you feel about religious overtones? And why would any tag be an issue? There are posted to baby-sit the sensitive.
Silly, really, a story is what is important, not how any of us "feel" about an issue.

I agree--to a point. Story tags are to flag issues with a story, but what we're discussing isn't a story issue, it's a writer's issue, and it's a personal opinion about the writer's perceived values and opinions. As such, it's dangerous trying to dictate how to 'flag' such values so others can avoid them.

We all run into opinions and obnoxious people every day, but we don't run them out of their jobs if they do a good job. If the story works, it'll work even with the rant. If not, then you simply avoid the author's postings in the future. I'm not sure a new tag will make any difference. As I said, it's really more of an issue between an author and his beta-readers, who should tell an author when they step over the line and need to tone his approach down.

That said, tags aren't just to find stories you like, but to avoid the ones you hate/despise. While I don't discount your supposedly 'silly' tags, I just can't see how they can be applied appropriately in this case.

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer

That said, tags aren't just to find stories you like, but to avoid the ones you hate/despise. While I don't discount your supposedly 'silly' tags, I just can't see how they can be applied appropriately in this case.

I agree. Such a tag COULD be used to advance the case of either of the main US/UK parties which is what is not intended. By contrast there is "A Fresh Start" where the main character becomes POTUS - highly political and demanding of a "political" tag but no case for any party is advanced.

I follow a site for "old boys" from the school I attended and one poster is h i g h l y political in all he writes - bl**dy annoying.

There would be a risk of Elephants versus Rhinocerouses (or whatever they are) which we foreigners don't want to know about so at the least:

No, no "political" tag please. If rlfj can do it others should be able to do it.

Replies:   richardshagrin
Wheezer

Ok folks, my original tag was just wishful thinking. I don't expect Lazeez to even consider adding a politics or rant tag. As was pointed out, writers usually are not even aware that they are starting to rant about their pet issue, so would either not think to use the tag, or would deliberately ignore it. I'll just do what I've been doing. When the author's pet issue starts to get under my skin to the point where it interferes with my enjoyment of the story, I'll simply quit reading.

richardshagrin
Updated:

@sejintenej

The Go Pee party uses the Elephant as a symbol. Which represents their system of government. When elephants make love there is a lot of trumpeting around at a high level and it takes 22 months for anything to happen. (Elephant gestation is about 22 months.)

The Democrap Party uses the donkey as its symbol. In many places the donkey is called an ass.

In the land of Re there are two major parties, the Re-Publicans mostly tavern owners (publicans) and other small businessmen who support regulation for all businesses and people except those that affect them unfavorably, like high taxes. Publicans favor restricting sales of alcoholic beverages through a system of licensing, that makes competitors unable to enter into business unless they buy the license from another publican. Somewhat like Taxicab medallions in some major cities. They may talk free trade but support restrictions that favor themselves.

The other major party in the Land of Re is the Re-diculous Party. Its an amalgam of Populous elements and people who want to control Dicks and how they are used. GLBT elements want fewer or no restrictions on Dick use than Publicans. Some film makers support the same ideas. So add Dic(k) to (Pop)ulous and you get Diculous. No wonder their symbol is an Ass.

Somewhere in here I want to quote Margaret Truman telling her friends it took her years to get Harry to call it manure. But I can say it. Political parties are bullshit.

Replies:   sejintenej  bondsman
sejintenej

@richardshagrin

Somewhere in here I want to quote Margaret Truman telling her friends it took her years to get Harry to call it manure. But I can say it. Political parties are bullshit.

IMHO your entire post demands a CLAP symbol (not a nasty disease but congratulatory - Lazeez please note)

cave jug

@Ernest Bywater

Oh Ernest, you took a bait! My assertion was aimed at you, because you can not help yourself.
God did it only once! You are a fool, my friend. For thousands and thousands of years, humans were inventing gods, but you believe that your god is the true one and ALL the others are false.

It does not bother you, your god did not give his message to the Chinese, who, by that time had a thriving civilization, could red and write, had the knowledge of astronomy, not astrology, have known human anatomy, have known chemistry and medicine.

No, your god said to himself, lets go to the desert, to the most barbaric place of goat herders, unwashed and illiterate and present ourselves as, what?
A BURNING FUCKING BUSH! That is such an original idea and an ever lasting image.

Sure thing, you can believe anything you like, it does not make it so. But if you subscribe to the above, you are embarrassing yourself.

You know nothing of history, philosophy or any other matter whatsoever.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
bondsman

@richardshagrin


Somewhere in here I want to quote Margaret Truman telling her friends it took her years to get Harry to call it manure


richard, I think you got the person wrong, more likely it was Bess who said that. She was Harry's wife, Margaret was the piano playing and singing daughter.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@bondsman

You are right. I read a part of Margaret's biography of her father, and her name stuck in my head. The wife was Bess, the daughter was Margaret. I guess I have achieved the minimum number of mistakes I make for today. I don't know the maximum number, but I suspect it is very large.

Replies:   graybyrd
Ernest Bywater

@cave jug


You know nothing of history, philosophy or any other matter whatsoever.


In my last post you seem to take an objection to, I simply pointed out all the changes you went on about in the previous post of yours were changes made by power hungry men out to BS people into doing things for them. But you seem to take that as a sermon.

From your various rants, I suspect I know a damn sight more about history, philosophy, and almost anything else than you do, except idiocy and stupidity - you've got me beat there, by a long shot.

Go back over the posts, I used the word God, but never mentioned any specific God yet you do - which shows your bigotry.

As to Burning Bushes - last I heard there were millions of USA citizens who'd love to burn a Bush or two, most are named George.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lazeez now locks this thread, due to your last post. Wouldn't worry me, either way.

Replies:   cave jug
cave jug
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

You would like thread to be locked, would you not?

I am one of those who will not back out of a fight with a religious fanatic of any kind. You, religious, have ruled this planet for to long, with great zeal a fervor.

The time has come to be on a receiving end and get ready! Because this is just a beginning. We will not let you forget the past and millions who had to die for the certainty that have been forced upon them by "gods" of one kind or the other.

You can squirm as much as you like, and reinvent your faith, I am not buying and you do not get out scott free.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@cave jug


You would like thread to be locked, would you not?


As I said, it doesn't bother me one way or another. You're the one deliberately trying to provoke a flame war by tossing BS into the wind. Sadly, for you, the winds is blowing your direction so you're getting covered with your own rubbish.

A comment is made, I provide a general fit hat of truth, and you now claim a tight fit and scream abuse and bigotry. It's clear the problem is all in your mind, so have it how you will. I don't care about it, or you. Never have.

edit to add: at no point have I said anything about faith or tried to promote any religious view. I simply pointed out the distortions you claim were amde by God were made by the people grabbing more power for themselves. How you turn that into a sermon is beyond me.

Replies:   cave jug  Dominions Son
cave jug

@Ernest Bywater

Do not back paddle. You sad god did it once (gave instructions in a book)I did not.
First, there never was an evidence that there was one, and even if there was a god, of so many before the current version, why there is so mush confusion among you and yours. Why can't you get it right?

That is way asserted that he had a go three times. and that is a fact, not an invention. It seems you do not know that and yet claim some high education of one kind or another. Or you are just a Catholic. Taking the instructions in a tablet form.

Yes, I rant, but that is my right and a privilege.

So wear it. You do have a "knowledge" of something that other do not. However you want to package it, you are a religious turd, I do not suffer those.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

I simply pointed out the distortions you claim were amde by God were made by the people grabbing more power for themselves.


Your comment and the way you worded it implies that you believe that God, in some form exists.

Cave jug is clearly an anti-theist, not an atheist.

As an anti-theist, he can not accept the fact that someone, anyone believes in any form of god, and he will actively preach against it as much as any evangelistic believer will preach their beliefs.

Ignore him, replying in any form only gives him an excuse to continue preaching his un-religion.

Jim S

Whenever I hear arguments regarding religion or the lack thereof, my mind harkens back to a quote of Robert Heinlein, to wit:

"There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon you will know. So why fret about it?"

To which I would add, why argue about it?

Crumbly Writer

@cave jug

You would like thread to be locked, would you not?

I am one of those who will not back out of a fight with a religious fanatic of any kind. You, religious, have ruled this planet for to long, with great zeal a fervor.

Cave jug, I'm afraid you're way off base in this regard. Ernest is hardly a religious fanatic. He was simply making a point about how the corruptions in religion are human based, rather than resulting from the original teachings. Your over reaction to his single posting does nothing more than mark you as a fanatic anti-religious reactionary.

There aren't a lot of overly religious people here (at least those who wear their religions on their sleeves, but someone who wears their atheism like a chip on their shoulder, daring anyone to make a comment, are no less offensive than those who wish to restrict everyone's rights because of their personal rights: both extremes are more inclined to alienate people than resolve issues.

D.S.'s summary of your position seems apt. The majority of atheists are extremely circumspect about browbeating others about their own non-belief, so I seriously doubt you can be classified as such. You seem to be seething in anger over others inability to accept your insistences as the ultimate word of law. Hell, even if Ernest was a born-again Evangelical, I'd back him in this fight over you, since you're the one crossing so far over the line!

Replies:   Dominions Son  cave jug
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

D.S.'s summary of your position seems apt.


And yet you go and ignore my advice to just ignore him.

graybyrd

@richardshagrin

The wife was Bess, the daughter was Margaret.


Correct. I was alive and reading the news when they were in the White House. As I recall the story, Pres. Truman was giving a group a tour of the famed rose garden. Daughter Margaret came rushing in to their residence and implored her mother, Bess, to please "Do something about father! One of the reporters asked him what made the roses grow so well, and father said he'd told the gardeners to 'use plenty of manure!'

"Mother, that simply won't do! He's the President!"

Bess replied, "Leave him alone, dear. It's taken me years to get him to call it manure."

President Harry was famously known as a down-to-earth, common man of uncommon integrity and ability. His service as a Captain of an artillery unit in World War I was exceptional. This later gave him the 'bracing' in his backbone to stand nose-to-nose with General Douglas McArthur during the disastrous Korean 'police action' when the American Caeser as McArthur fancied himself, wanted to risk plunging the U.S. into all-out war with China. Harry fired McArthur, who then went on to whinge at West Point in his oft-quoted "Old Soldiers" speech (they never die, they just fade, fade away).

Most people don't recall that Harry single-handedly cut war-profiteering corporations off at the knees while working for President Roosevelt in the opening years of World War II. Wish we had him today!

History is fun; sadly, we ignore it, so we keep repeating it. (It's an old, old homily, but it's true.)

Replies:   richardshagrin
cave jug

@Crumbly Writer

Thank you CW for clarifying my thoughts. But no, I am anti-theist and anybody who declares for god IS my enemy. I do not give a flying fuck about any-body's faith, as soon is declared in public in any shape or form I WILL ABUSE him.

And all I need to do is use their book and their past history of bloody behavior among themselves or in relation to the brave ones who dared to oppose and have been destroyed for it.
Enough of the bullying be the religion and religious.

I do wear my rage as a huge chip on my shoulder as Ernest put it and very proud of it. There are simply not enough of us to drive these impotent, sexually frustrated , limp dick, driveling and senile, old farts back into the sand-storm of the desert and the place of their fantasy creation. If they only kept the myth and their rituals at their homes, I could not give a fuck.

But no. I have to hear about it, see what and where the head of pedophile ring went today how many kissed his hand, I have to put up with their interference in my daily life, who, where and how to love someone, what to eat and when and how often to "thank" their creator for being alive and above ALL, respect their faith!

No, fuck that.

Avery rant of mine, as Ernest puts it, start with a simple but loud and very authoritative statement by a believer.". god did this or god did that,,,"

My simple question is "How the fuck do you know that and I do not?

No amount of reasoning and logical debate makes a difference. Till then, I will resort to insults, ridicule using their own sacred texts and drivel in it.

Any of you gets offended in the crossfire, bad luck. I am offended by history of religion and the present deeds and machinations of theirs to stay relevant. I am offended daily, passing by dozen a of churches, mosks and synagogues.
I am offended that by the very possibility of my children being blown up in a club or a party or simply being near a bomb planted by a believer.

And All of you pray to the same god, who, surprise, surprise, does not give a fuck.

Ernest Bywater

@cave jug

I suggest you go back and review how this started, and what was said by who before go start raving at people. Let's go back and look at what was aid by who - time stamps may be different due to location dating.

The first mention of God is by cavejug -

cave jug
21/3/2016, 3:25:28 PM

@Wheezer

Well, by rejecting someone's rant outright, you are missing out on many different points of view. Unless you think of yourself as perfect and in no need to improve.

God did it three times, first Talmud (Torah), Then the Bible and lastly Qur'an!

And still can not get it right!

So, I suggest, open your mind!


To which I respond with:

Ernest Bywater
21/3/2016, 5:11:35 PM

@cave jug

God did it three times, first Talmud (Torah), Then the Bible and lastly Qur'an!

No God did it only once, then a bunch of people tried a rewrite for their own purposes, and the people are still at the rewrites.


I'll skip GB's comment about the Zoroastrians and my joke about the power company. And move on to the rant and attack built out of totally thin air.

cave jug
22/3/2016, 8:39:03 AM

@Ernest Bywater

Oh Ernest, you took a bait! My assertion was aimed at you, because you can not help yourself.
God did it only once! You are a fool, my friend. For thousands and thousands of years, humans were inventing gods, but you believe that your god is the true one and ALL the others are false.

It does not bother you, your god did not give his message to the Chinese, who, by that time had a thriving civilization, could red and write, had the knowledge of astronomy, not astrology, have known human anatomy, have known chemistry and medicine.

No, your god said to himself, lets go to the desert, to the most barbaric place of goat herders, unwashed and illiterate and present ourselves as, what?
A BURNING FUCKING BUSH! That is such an original idea and an ever lasting image.

Sure thing, you can believe anything you like, it does not make it so. But if you subscribe to the above, you are embarrassing yourself.

You know nothing of history, philosophy or any other matter whatsoever.


So we have cave jug introducing God into the discussion and then going off at anyone else who says anything about God, despite it not being a statement of any attempted religious intent or instruction, just a statement about human behaviour, and maintained that same view all along.

It's clear, to me, there's only one fanatic in the room and he's seriously deranged.

I suggest this side-line of discussion be dropped or we'll have Lazeez in here locking the thread on us.

Replies:   graybyrd  cave jug
graybyrd
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


I suggest this side-line of discussion be dropped or we'll have Lazeez in here locking the thread on us.


Before Lazeez locks us out, may I pass along the situation of two fleas arguing with each other in the thick of the forest around them:

"I don't care what you say, Fred ... There's no way in hell that I'm accepting your insane notions of something called Dog!"

richardshagrin

@graybyrd

So many good presidents started out as Vice President and then got promoted not by election but by demise of the incumbent. In addition to Truman, Teddy Roosevelt who the bosses of the Republican party had placed in the Vice Presidency to get him out of the way (Governor of New York) and wound up with a trust buster and founder of national parks. Coolidge was an above average President, perhaps because he was a man of few words. It isn't always perfect. LBJ had strengths, but Vietnam proved he was not nearly the President Kennedy would have been. Cuba taught Kennedy not to invade other countries. Advisors, yes, Ike had them there, my dad was there in 1958/59 as an artillery Col. advising a Vietnamese division. There is a big difference between advisors and troops in the field.

On balance we have been damn lucky with our Vices.

cave jug

@Ernest Bywater

Thank you for the clarification Ernest. I will go along and agree, I am a fanatic, against any god or gods and the credulous who subscribe to the idea of it, ONLY, if and when brought out in public. What and how, with whom, how often and in what position you warship your deity, I could not give a flying fuck. Get that?

Now, it is Lazees prerogative to leave this open or close it. I control what I can and you clearly wish for the closure.

To clarify, I mentioned god and his three attempts which are there for all to see (Torah, Bible, Qur'an) and you said " it was only once. Who is bigoted and tribal in that respect?
Is your version of his supposed text more valid then theirs? Ask a Jew if your Jesus is a Mesiah? You should know the answer.

You can be asured of one thing, Ernest, I am VERY familiar with all three books of faith. We can have this shootout till cows come home and beyond.
Keep your god and your credulity at home, do not put it out for me to ridicule it. You have had your crusades, inquisitions a burning of infidels. Nowadays, I have lot to fight against Islam, I do not need your drivel to deal with.

You have a nice day and long and healthy life. I mean it, Ernest.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@cave jug

To clarify, I mentioned god and his three attempts which are there for all to see (Torah, Bible, Qur'an) and you said " it was only once.


Correct I said it was only the once, because whatever the original source of the Torah, it was from that document later people derived the book used as the Christian Bible and the book used as the Muslim Qur'an - which is the point I was making. The later version were human derived variation with changes they made to suit themselves - and not handed down from 'on high' in any way. And, it's likely the Torah is derived, in a similar way, from an earlier document we've no public record of today - thus making it harder to ascertain the source of the original.

Replies:   awnlee jawking  cave jug
awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater


Correct I said it was only the once


I know I shouldn't but...

Whether you believe in one or more Gods or not is your own business, but I didn't automatically assume from your original post that you did.

In another existence I frequently discuss 'God' but, for example, in the context of whether She plays dice with the universe and how good She is at it. There's no presumption from any of us about the actual existence of a God.

AJ

Replies:   The Slim Rhino
The Slim Rhino

@awnlee jawking

There are two things that are basically begging for the 1-bombers to come out of the wood-work - politics and religion.

Make your character a frothing-at-the-mouth Christian fundamentalist zealot or turn your story into one large ad for the Trump campaign and you're going to get the scores from hell.

An author with a bit of common sense would post a notice at the start of the chapter, warning people that his characters have strong political or religious views, but I don't think that's what the politics tag is meant for.

Another one is nationalism. There's no tag for it, but it's rampant among many stories. There's a not too unknown story that's currently at Book ten with an extremely nationalistic character. There are no tags for it. The author must decide himself (or herself) if (s)he wants to post something like that.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@The Slim Rhino

There are two things that are basically begging for the 1-bombers to come out of the wood-work - politics and religion.

Make your character a frothing-at-the-mouth Christian fundamentalist zealot or turn your story into one large ad for the Trump campaign and you're going to get the scores from hell.

An author with a bit of common sense would post a notice at the start of the chapter, warning people that his characters have strong political or religious views, but I don't think that's what the politics tag is meant for.

I agree with Slim (I've always wanted a chance to say that, since watching old black-and-white detective movies in my childhood). Political and religious rants are better handled by in-story warnings (ideally at the start of specific chapters) so readers can avoid those sections if it bothers them. It probably won't avoid the one-bombs, but it'll probably make the story easier to read for your loyal fans who might not agree with your every belief. But no, a story tag wouldn't serve the same purpose.

Adding more fuel to the fire (or is that "more gas to the flames"?), my earlier comment about was focused on the anti-theist perspective. Many people view anti-theists in the same vein as vegetarians who won't shut up whenever someone mentions grabbing a meal. People get annoyed at the venom expressed over simple comments not intended to offend.

As a long-term atheist myself, it's long been an issue, as most people react poorly to atheists based on the rantings of a few individual anti-theists. The problem is, the majority of people associate such rantings with atheists without realizing just how prevalent genuine atheists are in modern culture since they rarely make a point of being obnoxious about it. (My church, the Unitarian/Universalists, consist of 30% atheists, clearly not a majority of the population by any count, but more than most people expect.)

I'm not saying cave_jug don't have valid points, but he's misdirecting them by attacking the non-religious for making comment about religion, but who aren't espousing religion. A large swath of the sectarian population considers these views as offensive as the proselytizing evangelicals.

Replies:   Dominions Son  cave jug
cave jug

@Ernest Bywater

Thank you Ernest. That is, if I may and remember correctly, called "an infinite regression".
The very next, logical, question is this. How the fuck can you, a mammal just like the rest of us, KNOW that, and we do not?
The history of progression of religion is very well understood, explained and documented. I fail to "see" how all knowing, all seeing, all loving god can be so incompetent to fuck up such an important message to his flock, so much so, that You and I are having an argument and trade abuse from time to time?
What am I missing at my old age of 66?

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Many people view anti-theists in the same vein as vegetarians who won't shut up whenever someone mentions grabbing a meal.


Or the way other Christians view Jehovah's Witnesses.

Dominions Son

@cave jug

What am I missing at my old age of 66?


The fact that the message has been in the hands of men with their own agendas for thousands of years?

Replies:   cave jug
cave jug
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Thank you CW, for remarks on my ranting. I do it, I am not ashamed of it nor I apologizes for it either. I have lost many family members to the zealots of religion, I have studied the history of deeds and work of people of god, and spent 8.5 years of my precious life, preparing to preach the drivel people a fed with from a pulpit.

The extant of studies of Torah, Bible and Qur'an I had to do, remember and regurgitate, you can not possibly imagine.

I will always attack anybody who declared for god, in public. I am repulsed at the very idea of deity so incompetent, uncaring, and lazy, to clarify the mess religion keeps us in.

If I was god, my text book would be perfect! If god was there, first there would be one book, and I would have expected clear instructions, that it was right and I would be able to follow it.

If on the other hand there is no god, I would expect to see more then one book, all disagreeing with each other, many places edited and modified over time parts of them uplifting others very depressing, useful and wise on one part, then violent and destructive, bigoted and racist in the other, and clearly written by man..

It is a cop-out, religion is perfect, it is men who fuck it up! I disagree, those who have vested interests to keep us ignorant and superstitious ARE allowed to rule.

Only our ignorance and love of "Pascal's wager" gives them relevance and strenght.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
cave jug

@Dominions Son

What message Son? And if there is one (message), why is it so convoluted and misunderstood?
If I presume that you are a Christian, how come there is a thousand offshoots of the same book and the message?
Where is the lazy bastard, why does he (she) not clarify the message?

Is he(she) still resting after six days of hard work? It is very easy for me, man created gods always have been, always will be, it is..." humanities favorite toy", Christopher Hitchens said.

These are easy and logical questions.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@cave jug

What message Son? And if there is one (message), why is it so convoluted and misunderstood?


I am not your son.

As to why the message is so convoluted and misunderstood. Have you never played the game telephone?

You can't get even a simple sentence to pass around a circle of half a dozen people without any distortion.

The message has been passed through millions of people over thousands of years.

That you imagine that there must be some way to flawlessly reconstruct the original message regardless of whether the source was god or men is delusional.

Where is the lazy bastard, why does he (she) not clarify the message?


Lazy? She has an entire universe to run and you expect her to spend all her time babysitting one little planet?

These are easy and logical questions.


There are no easy questions when it comes to ancient history and events that happened thousands of years ago.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  cave jug
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

There are no easy questions when it comes to ancient history and events that happened thousands of years ago.


Note: This is a comment on this statement and nothing to do with the topic that's the source of it.

Within a few years of John F Kennedy's assassination people started arguing about what did and didn't happen. And it was recorded on film from a few angles as it happened.

Within a few years of the Apollo 11 moonwalk people started arguing about what did or didn't happen, despite much of it being filmed and witnessed at the time.

Get 10 witnesses to a major crime and you'll have a minimum of 10 descriptions of those involved and will be lucky if any two seem to apply to the same person.

Considering the above, what happened in the Napoleonic Wars is highly disputed, and as things go further back in time the reliability of the records and reports of events become more and more difficult to verify or confirm in any way.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

Considering the above, what happened in the Napoleonic Wars is highly disputed, and as things go further back in time the reliability of the records and reports of events become more and more difficult to verify or confirm in any way.


Exactly my point.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@cave jug


Thank you CW, for remarks on my ranting. I do it, I am not ashamed of it nor I apologizes for it either. I have lost many family members to the zealots of religion, I have studied the history of deeds and work of people of god, and spent 8.5 years of my precious life, preparing to preach the drivel people a fed with from a pulpit.


As I said (sorry, intimated), I'm not arguing about your points, which I see as valid. My only objection is with your approach, which I see as being counter productive.

Just as vegetarians rarely convince meat eaters to follow their personal lifestyle choice, venting to everyone about minor slip-ups is unlikely to sway anyone.

I've followed a similar tactic with regards to gay and transgender rights. I'm familiar with the culture through my exposure to it via my older brother, who was a recognized leader in the movement for many years. Instead, I take a very low-key approach to it.

I describe my approach to "Push/Pull". While the gay rights activists push for equal protection, I attempt to pull others forward through a less intensive approach. By including gay and transgenered characters in my stories, just as I do other minorities, I hope to open the eyes of those unlikely to relent thru brute force.

Whatever else you say, silly comedies like "Will & Grace" had a huge impact, by showing everyday people that gays aren't frightening. True, the shows like that only reinforce offensive stereotypes, and rarely develop the characters beyond simply 2-dimensional cut outs, but they advance the movements tremendously by simple exposure of the positive aspects of the culture.

I see the same in our conflict of views. I understand your anger, but for everyone angry man shaking their fist at the world (like you), hopefully there are also hundreds working behind the scenes to subtly influence people (like me) in a less-objective manner.

That doesn't diminish the role of the agitator. Hell, most civil rights would never pass in the first place if it wasn't for people like you, railing against the unjust. But I also see how alienating such rantings become, polarizing positions rather than opening hearts.

And in the end, your position is the one which gets the credit, while mine garners little attention--by design. I'm not trying to make a point, simply nudge people's perceptions.

As far as having to learn and regurgitate religious teachings, I think you're missing the obvious. Virtually every atheist I know goes through that process. Hell, my father was a Christian minister in the military, a fairly conservative position. Just as my brother had to pull him into the 21st century on gay issues, I had to convince my entire family that I wasn't a little lost sheep, in need of saving.

A lot of time has passed since then, and I now have difficulty remembering enough scriptures to defend my positions anymore, but the struggle is hardly yours alone!

My favorite religious point, is that the book of "Revelations" has always seemed like an escape clause, stuck in the end of the bible allowing skeptics to use free will to escape the Bible's teaching. Rather than disproving the viewpoints of the religious, that view gives me greater clarity on how their religious views often blind them to the very teachings they espouse. That's given me a greater ability to forgive them their sins than you seem willing to.

As long as people don't attempt to shove their religion down my throat, I don't insist on shoving my non-religion down theirs. It's not a matter of not caring, instead it's a matter of selecting your battles. There are too many injustices to be cast aside as ineffective. Instead, I save my energy, and my outrage, for the truly overarching and egregious offenses, rather than screaming at every religious notice in the local newspaper.

Anyway, I think we've both ranted enough, especially since this discussion about the roles of atheism have no real basis in a discussion of a "political tag" on SOL. So I'll (once again try to) shut up now.

Replies:   cave jug
Crumbly Writer

Geez! It's no wonder I get so little writing done. I visit the site when I'm not being terribly productive, and next thing I know, the entire day is gone and I've achieve nothing of substance! :(

That's why I prefer discussions about writing and publishing, and which techniques produce the most benefits, rather than arguing about what's "Right and Wrong"!

transdelion

We create God in our own image.

When people espouse God, they are saying something about themselves.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@transdelion

Is espouse the right word? I think it has to do with taking a spouse, a wife or husband. Catholic Nuns were said to espouse god. I don't think that is the same thing as choosing a religion.

If I felt strongly that one religion was the one I wanted to follow, I don't think I would marry it.

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Is espouse the right word? I think it has to do with taking a spouse, a wife or husband. Catholic Nuns were said to espouse god. I don't think that is the same thing as choosing a religion.

es·pouse: /iˈspouz/
1. adopt or support a cause (a case, belief or way or life).
2. archaic marry.

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Catholic Nuns were said to espouse god.

It wasn't that way until a Pope, somewhere in the 6th to 8th centuries, declared it to be that way. Nuns and priests used to get married and have families, but the Pope wanted them concentrating on making more money for the church coffers for him, and issued an edict against marriage, and a later one issued and edict that the nuns were married to God.

BTW Both edicts are contrary to what is written in the Bible the Christians use.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

My understanding follows yours. Priests were married early in the church, it was Bishops who were supposed to be celibate. (On the authority of St. Paul, as I remember.)

The problem with religious being married is when they had children, they would want their possessions to transfer to the kids. That took them away from the church, who wanted them, for the glory of either god or the higher authorities in the church (take your choice.)

Of course the unmarried priests and higher level prelates like Cardinals and even Popes had mistresses who had children, and those children got their fair share of what their fathers controlled. But they meant well. Like the missionaries in the Hawaiian Islands who came to do good and did well.

awnlee jawking

@Dominions Son

It's scary how much the Wikipedia versions of events have become accepted as fact. Even relatively recent events can have incorrect versions cast in concrete because of Wikipedia's inherent bias towards the establishment view.

Whether you believe the events of the Christian Bible or not, if Wikipedia had been around two thousand odd years ago, Christianity would have been stillborn.

AJ

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Likely there would have been something else. I understand even today there are a few groups who revere John the Baptist as the messenger from God. If Constantine had not found political capital by supporting Christians, he might have supported the Roman Army that had deities that were not the traditional Roman Gods and Goddesses, headed by Jupiter (Zeus if you spoke Greek).

Proeliator by John Wales has details on the various competing religions and Constantine is a villain. Good story, even if you have little interest in religious issues. Perhaps Zoroastrianism would have swept the empire instead of Christianity. Which promptly broke into fragments with Roman Catholics in the West and Byzantine varieties in the East. Greek Orthodox, and other Orthodox schisms that all still have married priests.

sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

Get 10 witnesses to a major crime and you'll have a minimum of 10 descriptions of those involved and will be lucky if any two seem to apply to the same person.
Considering the above, what happened in the Napoleonic Wars is highly disputed, and as things go further back in time the reliability of the records and reports of events become more and more difficult to verify or confirm in any way.

Several elements here. Unless trained people do not notice things - I always had the greatest difficulties when questioned about motor accidents which I had witnessed and expected to be asked about.

As for wars, contests etc. it is the conqueror who writes the history and they write it from a highly biased side.

As for religion, there is stuff on the internet about the battles over women in Christianity - the men (probably biased because of Judaism norms) considered it extremely offensive (and demanded a stop) that women could approach the Christian altar or even touch the priests' vestments. If they are going to be like that are you surprised that they retained only a minority of the scripts about the life of Jesus, what He did, what He said.....even mention of His wife and daughter.

cave jug

@Dominions Son

Again, another variation of a delusional mind! Same question for you; How the fuck do YOU know of the original message, and so many of us do not know it or got it wrong?

Second, it is a "she"now, not a he, still incompetent to clarify the original message, obviously misunderstood by the earthlings.

Third, isn't he/she all seeing all knowing and able to set us on the "wright path", since most of us are on the wrong one?

As for calling you "son" I was to lazy to type first part of your name. I son of mine would not be taking the wisdom of the first century. He would be well and truly living in this reality, not with the magic of sandstorm myths.

Replies:   Dominions Son
cave jug
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Thank you CW, once again you went out of your way to clear few things for me. I must say though, once or twice you sound a bit patronizing and I'll take that part as you being a well mannered individual and a good person.

I have to tell you though I do not subscribe to niceties and civil behavior when it comes to religion. I have, outlined my reasons for it, there is no need for me to repeat any of them.

I do attack the idea, since I have no respect for "people of faith" which was the only way to address them, ridicule and scorn, because nine in ten believers DO NOT KNOW what they believe. The unfamiliarity of the doctrine most suscribe to is taken from the pulpit, not by their own effort.

At no point I suggested to anybody to change their stance, belief or whatnot. Religion is a favorite toy humanity has constructed for itself and it will never be rooted out, unless we get to therms with our inevitable death.

Personally, I do fear "dieing, the indignity of it, not death itself.

I rather like Epicurus quote,(341-271BCE) "Why should I fear death? If I am, then death is not. If death is, I am not. Why should I fear that which can not exist when I do?"

Cheers.

graybyrd
Updated:

Back to the OP: it's not reliable to depend on an author tagging their story as political or not, since many regard their viewpoint as the correct order of things, according to natural law & proper thinking; others regard the same as poison. 'Tis in the mind of the beast, I'd suppose.

Speaking of which, it's something of a marvel to sit here on this round rock with a gooey center, spinning around a nuclear furnace, pinned by laws of gravity, orbital mechanics & such; a 'lifeboat in space' carrying its burden of intelligent, self-aware life of endless form, constantly evolving and adapting; our brightest investigators yet unable to delve to the limits of atomic structure, nor probe to the infinite limits of the cosmos and beyond, or begin to answer "What does hold it all up? Where are the boundaries?

And in the midst of that great unknowing, untold multitudes of us came forth, lived, and died, all the while wondering? As far back as recorded history goes, the record tells of an endless quest for an answer: "What Creator brought about this Creation? And why?"

Thus a creature fated to live perhaps three score and ten will rise up in its arrogance and ignorance to proclaim its vain imaginings: "I say its all bullshit!"

Dominions Son
Updated:

@cave jug


How the fuck do YOU know of the original message, and so many of us do not know it or got it wrong?


There is a message now, and that message is known to be thousands of years old. Simple logic dictates that there must be an original, even if we don't know the source for sure or what exactly the original message was.


Second, it is a "she"now, not a he, still incompetent to clarify the original message, obviously misunderstood by the earthlings.


Actually, my personal conception of God is genderless, but using "it" seems disrespectful.


Third, isn't he/she all seeing all knowing and able to set us on the "wright path", since most of us are on the wrong one?


Able to? yes. However, like I said, he/she has a big universe to run and I don't claim to comprehend his/her motives or priorities.

Replies:   cave jug
cave jug
Updated:

@Dominions Son

Just on your last paragraph if I may. You have a personal conception of god.

Pulled it out of your arse, just now, or you were born with the ability to discern wheat from chaff?

Able to do it, but the size of universe is a stumbling block now? To all knowing, all seeing, omniscient and unimaginable power? Is that why we are in the dark last 2000 thousand years? Is that why we are being blown up by the parties of god, who, by any standard, BELIEVE, they have god on their side?

And instead raising the concern if nothing else, we cower in fear of spooking more of the fuckers.

Do you realize how silly and condescending is what you are saying?

And I love your modesty, "you can not comprehend the motives and priorities".

Somehow that explain something other then your repacking of Pascal's wager.

You've got to do better then that, I'm afraid.

All a non believer needs to do is pay attention what a religious mind manufacture in the course of any debate and show the futility and desperation some people have in dealing with the world around them.

Please take note of these?

"All I know is the extant of my own ignorance" -Socrates

"In the ordinary moral universe, the good will do the best they can, the bad will do the worst they can, but if you want to make good people do wicked things, you need religion."-Steven Weinberg

"Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum"

(To such heights of evil are man driven by religion) LUCRETIUS_ DE PARVM NATURA

"Is god wiling to prevent evil but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able but not willing, then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor wiling, then why call him god" - Epicurus

Replies:   Dominions Son  graybyrd
Crumbly Writer

I think we should all band together and request a special "anti-religion" tag, reserved exclusively for cave jug. 'D I have a feeling his posts would deserve it, given his vehemence.

Dominions Son
Updated:

@cave jug


Pulled it out of your arse, just now, or you were born with the ability to discern wheat from chaff?


No, it's my own conception based on the religious teachings I received, plus years of thinking about the issue.

Were you born without the capacity to reason or did you have it surgically removed?


Able to do it, but the size of universe is a stumbling block now? To all knowing, all seeing, omniscient and unimaginable power? Is that why we are in the dark last 2000 thousand years? Is that why we are being blown up by the parties of god, who, by any standard, BELIEVE, they have god on their side?


Not a stumbling block, but an issue of motives and priorities.


You've got to do better then that, I'm afraid.

All a non believer needs to do is pay attention what a religious mind manufacture in the course of any debate and show the futility and desperation some people have in dealing with the world around them.


And yet despite decades of trying, no one can explain how or why the universe exists without some form of God*

When you can provide an answer to the question: Why does something exists rather than nothing?

Then and only then, you might have something worth listening to on the topic of does God exist.

*Not talking specifically about the the Christian view of God but a creator in any form.

Replies:   Capt Zapp  cave jug
Capt Zapp

@Dominions Son

I would rather believe and be mistaken; simply ceasing to exist upon my death, than not believe and be mistaken and end up spending all of eternity in ANY religion's version of hell.

Dominions Son

@Capt Zapp

Ah, but if you believe and are mistaken, you may just cease to exist, or you may end up in a different religion's version of hell.

Crumbly Writer

@Capt Zapp

I would rather believe and be mistaken; simply ceasing to exist upon my death, than not believe and be mistaken and end up spending all of eternity in ANY religion's version of hell.

sigh! This is an ancient canard that Catholics routinely drag out anytime they're losing an argument, suggesting people accept Christianity out of fear of a vengeful god, rather than an actual belief in a deity. I've never bought it, and it's an empty threat.

I have no fear I'll spend an eternity in hell. The majority of theologians flatly reject the idea of both hell and a vengeful god--though that doesn't affect the majority of religious figures, since few know about their own religion.

I've always accepted that, when I die, I simply cease to exist. Even then, I'll only be remembered by a few individuals for a dozen years, at the most.

The strange thing about that, is that everyone I know who believes in eternal life have a harder time dealing with death than any atheist I've ever known!

Why is it that all Christians accept the idea of forgiveness and falling victim to sin--until the moment of death, at which point all free will ends and you'll suffer for all eternity for a single mistake which never impacted or hurt anyone? The logical fallacies simply boggle the mind.

** Flame off **

Sorry, but that's one of my flash points!

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

This is an ancient canard that Catholics routinely drag out anytime they're losing an argument, suggesting people accept Christianity out of fear of a vengeful god, rather than an actual belief in a deity. I've never bought it, and it's an empty threat.


If we take this any further we should move to a new thread.

However, I just want to point out if you base a person's Christianity by the doctrine they follow, then the most devout Roman Catholics aren't Christians because so much of the core doctrine is against what the Bible says.

If you wish to take this further, please open a new thread or email direct. I think we've had enough of it here.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
graybyrd

@cave jug

Pulled it out of your arse, just now, or you were born with the ability to discern wheat from chaff?


If you'll pause for a moment and reflect on your participation on this forum, you might realize that you are alienating anyone reading your rude commentary. Just what is it you are trying to achieve, if not just that?

Seems pointless to me, unless you're an intentional troll.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  cave jug
Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

Seems pointless to me, unless you're an intentional troll.


Please don't pick on the trolls, my son loved the show Trollies

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Ernest Bywater

Please don't pick on the trolls, my son loved the show Trollies


{sigh} Over on usenet, the expression is "Please! Don't feed the trolls!" Perhaps we need to post a big sign to that effect over the gate into this place.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

{sigh} Over on usenet, the expression is "Please! Don't feed the trolls!" Perhaps we need to post a big sign to that effect over the gate into this place.


Probably do need to. I'm aware of the Usenet usage - used to hang around a few places there before - been a while since I visited Calahan's Bar. However, with my previous post I was attempting to introduce some levity into the situation.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd

@Ernest Bywater

I was attempting to introduce some levity into the situation.


As well you did. We'll not be pickin' on your son's Fairyland trolls here, nosireebob, we shan't.

But to quote another old Radio/TV show, as far as invading forum trolls go, we tell 'em: "T'ain't funny, McGee!"

Wheezer

I started this thread. I'm a hard-core Atheist, and have been since my mid-teens. I border on anti-theist, which is reflected in my FB postings, but this is just plain embarrassing. It's like being caught up in the ranting and ravings of a mentally ill delusional homeless person you cannot escape from. :(

Replies:   cave jug
cave jug

@Dominions Son

Not long ago we lived on a FLAT planet,under a dome, in the CENTER of the universe, with little lights put up by a creator, for our amusement. We did not know where the sun went at night, nor we knew there were little bugs who were killing us, while we burned the village witch for it.

Lucky for us, we know better. And the fight was long, hard and bloody. Still is, hordes of sexually frustrated young Muslim man have been promised 72 virgins to blow up themselves, and kill few infidels. And god is watching. That was his master plan, still in action, with predicted and set outcome, right?

The fact is, we DO NOT KNOW how something came from nothing, it's the only theory at this point in time we have.It fits what LITTLE we know about the universe. There is no reason to assume god of any kind. Considering the age of the universe and the length of existence of our species and the knowledge painfully accumulated, a spit in the ocean of time if we are honest, it will be a long time before we get anywhere near an answer to THAT question.

You can be assured though, while on that journey, humanity will be challenged with millions of NEW questions, puzzles, obstacles to overcome, we can not possibly imagine now. There are no words we have to come up with for the inventions and technologies ahead of us.

That is why I rather read an article in Scientific American or similar publication, postulating and speculating about a new thought, a theory, a possibility instead reading the book of the myths created in a sandstorm of bronze age Palestine.

Replies:   Dominions Son
cave jug

@graybyrd

Closet Catholics were always uncomfortable if challenged by a non believer. It is not my goal nor intention to ingratiate to any of you. Why would I?
I am simply stating my outrage at the idea and credulity of the proposition. It does not say anywhere, I have to be nice to you!
Do not know you, I'm not related to you I'll never meet you, nor love you, never ask you for a loan or help to cross a street.

If however, I was looking at you while exchanging our thoughts and opinions, by the norms of social and civil behavior I would certainly extend you every courtesy.

I thank you for the patronizing thoughts though.

cave jug

@Wheezer

Apologies to you Wheezer for embarrassment I've created by challenging religion as a concept. My bad.
Cheers.

Ernest Bywater

The way this thread has gone lately, I hate to think how it'll go is someone mentions the Easter Bunny!

Dominions Son
Updated:

@cave jug


The fact is, we DO NOT KNOW how something came from nothing, it's the only theory at this point in time we have.It fits what LITTLE we know about the universe.


1. Actually, everything we know about physics says that can't happen, that you can't get something from nothing.

By the way, quantum vacuum isn't nothing, even the laws of physics themselves are something. To explain the universe without a creator, you have to how explain how and why those came to be as well.

2. The question asked wasn't just how but why. When you can speak to why there might be something to talk about.


And god is watching. That was his master plan, still in action, with predicted and set outcome, right?


Every religion on earth could be completely wrong and that still wouldn't invalidate the basic idea of a creator.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

If you wish to take this further, please open a new thread or email direct. I think we've had enough of it here.

Nope. I'm done. I was just objecting to that one, single argument. I wasn't making a point about religion in general. People can believe whatever they want, but using Jesus and God to inspire fear really irks me.

@Wheezer

I started this thread. I'm a hard-core Atheist, and have been since my mid-teens. I border on anti-theist, which is reflected in my FB postings, but this is just plain embarrassing.

And that was my earlier point. In most cases, few people realize who is, or is not, an atheist, because most of us don't walk around with a chip on our shoulder. We'll object if someone else tries to force religion down our throats, or even worse, tries to pass laws to force everyone to behave according to their personal beliefs, but otherwise we mostly keep to ourselves.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

tries to pass laws to force everyone to behave according to their personal beliefs


I believe that every law ever written was done so to force one groups views on another. And when they don't suit a new generation, they simply change them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Capt Zapp

I believe that every law ever written was done so to force one groups views on another. And when they don't suit a new generation, they simply change them.

That's a fairly pessimistic view of the world. Instead, most laws are an attempt to right wrongs and appeal to a common sense of right and wrong. When laws and politicians screw up, is when laws go beyond basic fairness are attempt to force specific groups to bow to the will of the majority.

There is an inherent antagonism between lawyers and support groups that often dictates how the languages are written (i.e. punitively), but I've never felt that government is inherently evil. What IS evil, is not standing up when injustice prevails.

Replies:   Capt Zapp
Capt Zapp
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


That's a fairly pessimistic view of the world.


You're right. It is pessimistic, however I believe it to be true.


Instead, most laws are an attempt to right wrongs and appeal to a common sense of right and wrong.


What defines 'right' and 'wrong'? They are both ideas created by group 'A' to force anyone not in group 'A' to comply with group 'A's' beliefs.

Edit to add:


What IS evil, is not standing up when injustice prevails.


And injustice is defined by group 'A'.

awnlee jawking

@Capt Zapp

As a SF writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about alternative models for civilisations and moral codes, whether they're incorporated by religion or not. I'm beginning to think it's impossible to come up with a moral code that's universally consistent and fair. Even the simple ten(ish) Commandments that Pharaoh Thutmoses came up with lead to all sorts of contradictary situations.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@Capt Zapp

What defines 'right' and 'wrong'? They are both ideas created by group 'A' to force anyone not in group 'A' to comply with group 'A's' beliefs.

...

And injustice is defined by group 'A'.

My problem with your position is that you can't throw the baby out with the bath water. If you dismiss all governance, and refuse to participate at all, then you become no better than the people forcing their will on everyone else!

Instead, I see governance as a process. A problem develops, people cobble together a response and it works ... for a time. But then it works less and less well, and the politicians began to waver, people lose their enthusiasm and everyone echoes the long-established but now meaningless buzz words.

However, that's because the old solutions no longer work. Instead of giving up on all government, we've got to work to change the existing status quo. Essentially, the current system is temporarily broken. It's takes a long time for everyone to realize it, but once they do, new solutions will be proposed, and we need to be ready to respond quickly.

I hate to throw these archaic terms around, but we're currently in a political paradigm shift, where the old political paradigm is completely dead and non-functional, yet everyone refuses to change. But that doesn't it'll never be resolved. I suspect the situation will resolve itself fairly quickly, at least in the U.S., and I'm certainly not the only one to believe this.

@awnlee

As a SF writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about alternative models for civilisations and moral codes, whether they're incorporated by religion or not.

That's where I'm coming from to, but my stories focus on the danger of doing nothing, and the need to shove those unable to move forward aside. Most of all, as bleak as my stories are, they always end with an optimistic view of the world, and way to move forward--both in my story's world, and way for the comparable RL world to change as well.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I hate to throw these archaic terms around, but we're currently in a political paradigm shift, where the old political paradigm is completely dead and non-functional, yet everyone refuses to change. But that doesn't it'll never be resolved.


It's not quite true that everyone refuse. While a majority are refusing to change, the problem is made even worse, by the fact that among those willing to change, there is strong disagreement over what needs to change and how.

Don't assume someone is unwilling to change, just because they think the change you want is a step in the wrong direction.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

It's not quite true that everyone refuse. While a majority are refusing to change, the problem is made even worse, by the fact that among those willing to change, there is strong disagreement over what needs to change and how.

True, but they've got to be willing to consider new ideas. At the moment, every new idea is being rejected out of hand, and those suggesting new ideas ridiculed and driven from the party. That's not a good way to discover solutions.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


At the moment, every new idea is being rejected out of hand


I disagree, they aren't being rejected out of hand. It's not that people think they won't work or can't be done.

The problem is that for every idea, someone thinks that if it can be done, if it does work, it will make things worse not better.

The problem is not just disagreement over how to improve things, it's that different groups have different, diametrically opposed, mutually exclusive ideas about what would constitute an improvement.

The disagreement isn't just over how to get there, it's over where to go.

ETA:

You are asking Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul to sit down and agree on how to move the country forward, when they don't even agree on what constitutes forward.

ETA2: There are only two possible outcomes from doing this.

1. Nothing gets done.

2. We get a muddled compromise that makes things different but is at best not an improvement.

transdelion

The ONLY problem I see with religion, non-religion, or ANY other belief system or approach to living, is when disrespect is shown by anyone for any other person whose variation of thinking differs from their own. It seems to me that most humans have an obsessive need to validate themselves by trying to force everyone else to think (or not think) the same way they do. The more conservative the person is, it seems, the more they insist everyone think the same way. Some people get to a belief in God by using rites and rituals, and others through deep introspection or another approach; some by the same and/or alternative methods are led away from belief in any god, and why not? No one knows what exactly is in another person and what drives them, and thus no one has the right to invalidate anything someone else believes or disbelieves unless that person is unreasonably harming or interfering with any one or thing outside of themselves (KEY WORD is unreasonably, here). I think it's more about taking personal responsibility for your actions rather than laying them at the feet of God, god, gods, ethics, moral systems, or any other cop out, and letting others do the same.

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