[eDebate] My nerves grow thin...

Donald Bryson anabaptist
Thu Apr 10 14:54:44 CDT 2008

I think that eDebate is a fine tool that is all too often exploited by some people in this community.  The extremists in the community can blurt out or speak on whatever it is they want to force everyone to believe and we're usually captive audiences because we hope that something constructive may come out of it.  


I, for one, want to talk about topic papers.  Or better yet, how can we help get more people (read age or ethnicity) involved debate.  Instead, I have to sort through some people's garbage to find the good things about this community.


Korcok has set out on his war on religion.  Well, I figured that since I'm the only person in the community who, I don't know, has some experience in religion (i.e. coursework and published work), I thought I'd say something to this demagoguery of ignorance.  


Korcok says:

John states: "I believe in the God of the Old Testament and the New. They are one and the same." 

This is pretty ambiguous. There is a multitude of religious commitments which fit within this statement, ranging from Orthodox Catholicism to Evangelical Protestantism to Liberation Theology to a Generalized Christianity. Not all of these assemblages of beliefs commit to belief in nonexistent entities, at least not explicitly. Many do. I won't address your particular beliefs since I still don't know what they are


John was stating his beliefs, not making an argument.  In other words, he was clarifying his position for you.and then you go and insult him, just like you said you wouldn't do.  Classy.



Next Korcok says:

I hope you reject any beliefs that contradict the facts as best we can discern them. One such example is the Age of the Earth. A literal interpretation of the Bible concludes that Creation and the Earth are about 6,000 years old. That is the result of adding up the ages of the lineage, plainly stated, of Jesus. The scientific evidence is that the Earth is about 4.54 billion years old and the universe is 13.73 billion years. I hope you side with science and not with the divine text? Heliocentrism, evolution, the Noachian Flood, the origins of life and of humans are other examples in this vein. 

Very many Americans side with literal interpretations of the Bible rather than with science. The National Academy of Sciences reported in 2006 that fully 1/4 of Americans believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth. You read that right. They believe in what their Holy text says, that the Earth is fixed and unmoving in the center of the all creation. Science thought it won this one 400 years ago in the time of Galileo, but religious institutions make religious beliefs stick no matter the facts. And it isn't just that Americans are scientifically illiterate by nature. A large part of that is because of religion


1)      You're an idiot.

2)      No link: Okay ? of all Americans are stupid and don't know that the Earth revolves around the Sun.  And?  You extrapolate out of thin air that the believe this due to religion. As a religious scholar, or dear Michael, please show me where in the Bible it says anything about the Earth revolving around the Sun?  It's true that this was once a part of Catholic dogma, but it wasn't based on Scripture.it was extrapolation, out of thin air almost.

3)      Yes, the literal interpretation of the age of the Earth dating from Adam and Eve being thrown out of the Garden of Eden to present day is about 6,000 years.  Here's your problem: Adam and Eve lived on Earth before they were thrown out of Eden (read your Bible young Mike).  How long were they in Eden before being cast out?  That's right.you spoke before you thought.  I'm sure Dr. Warner will forgive you.



Then Korcok says:

The portions of science in friction with specific religious commitments are also undermined by religious belief. The National Science Foundation has known for years that Americans score miserably in tests about knowledge of evolution and universal origins. They point out in their Science and Engineering Indicators 2008 that: 
"In international comparisons, U.S. scores on two science knowledge questions are significantly lower than those in almost all other countries where the questions have been asked. Americans were less likely to answer true to the following scientific knowledge questions: "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals" and "the universe began with a huge explosion."


Korcock, please read your own evidence.  This "card" doesn't even have the word "religion" in it.  In fact, neither does the source that follows this one that you use.  C'mon!




He goes on to say:

The oppressive part is more about institutions than it is about individuals. The less important part, for me, is that religious belief gets translated into oppressive social policies. 

The Bible, in both the Old and the New Testament, for example, calls homosexuality a sin punishable by death. Very many people read that and translate it into social policy which makes millions miserable.


1)      Non-unique: So did fascism, which also rejected religion in its logical conclusion.

2)      The Chinese (Communists) don't look too favorably on it either.

3)      People kill and are violent and oppressive because of ideals just as much as they are for religion.  You're not making fair arguments Korcok and you have bad evidence.  Try again.



For one last try, Korcok says:


More importantly, from my perspective, is that religious belief makes you complicit in foundational oppressions and dominations. Whether in patriarchal family structures or in community relationships where leaders are the anointed of the God or in global religious institutions of massive wealth and privilege aggrandized by exploiting the poor.


1)      Non-unique: matriarchal family structures come out of religious beliefs too.

2)      Nazi Blood Rite: leaders were anointed with the blood of people killed in the Beer Hall Putzch.  This wasn't religious, this was a belief system..a political belief system.  Where is religion in that?


3)      Mother Theresa: Aren't there plenty of religious people in the world who help people in need?  How are you helping the poor Mike?  Join the Peace Corps.



Donald Bryson
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