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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The new ten dollar bill to have a woman on: June 19, 2015, 07:34:36 am
Whichever way it is, $100 bills aren't the rarest of the rare, like $2 bills.

Oh, that gives me another good idea: Bring back the two dollar bill... but put Sally Hemings's face on it instead of Thomas Jefferson's.
2  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The new ten dollar bill to have a woman on: June 18, 2015, 07:25:22 am
Maybe the new ten dollar bill's going to feature Alexander Hamilton and James Reynolds' wife?
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of death metal and black metal on: June 13, 2015, 07:59:38 am
Have a couple of links to what these genres sound like?

Death Metal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_cn9TVSi2o

Black Metal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPyOhP1GTRQ

I'll give you major props if you're able to sit through either.
4  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 29, 2015, 02:43:43 pm
I'm under the impression that Paul saw the Law itself as inherently just, but because of human shortcomings, he thought that it was destined to yield unsatisfactory results. Therefore, the best thing that a person could do would be to accept salvation though Jesus Christ, but as long as there are people who live in the flesh, they ought to be faithful to the Law.

Potentially relevant verses:

Quote from: Romans 11
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
5  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 29, 2015, 12:48:22 pm
I think an honest Gnostic would think that Paul was on the right track but that he hadn't gone far enough.

Which has been my contention all along.

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A mistaken Gnostic might interpret Paul as being in full agreement with emself. As for abandonment of the Mosaic Law, I suggest you reread Romans 7, especially verses 7 and 14. What Paul rejected was not the Law itself, but seeking after the Law as an end unto itself rather than as a tool given to Israel as a help unto finding the Way.

And yet...

Quote from: Galatians 3
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

These verses (and the verses that follow) make it clear how Paul saw the Law: As something that was intended to guard the faithful from sin until Christ was revealed. Now that that has happened, the Law has been outmoded.
6  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 29, 2015, 11:30:56 am
...it might seem like a distinction without a difference.

It does. I mean, why would Paul set up a dichotomy between flesh and spirit (or man and the divine) unless he thought that the interests of the two were in conflict? For instance, Paul explained his abandonment of Mosaic Law by writing that said Law was binding on those who lived in the flesh, and so was inapplicable to those who were dead to the flesh and alive in the spirit. Even if we were to read "the flesh" as "the way of man" and "the spirit" as "the way of God", that wouldn't change the fact that Paul belonged to a type of dualism that any Gnostic could appreciate.
7  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 29, 2015, 07:30:29 am
The impression I get from reading Paul is that he uses pneuma-sarx to frame his argument in a form easily digestible by his Greek speaking audience. Had he been writing in Chinese instead I think he'd have used yin-yang for the same purposes, tho it would be just as wrong to overidentify his views as aligning with a strict interpretation of Daoist philosophy. Paul is not Mani, nor is he a Gnostic. I'll grant that many Christians do take a strongly dualistic view of Paul's writings, but I don't agree. It's a mistake to read into Paul concepts that weren't fully developed until after him.

Don't these two sentences contradict one another?
8  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 28, 2015, 09:39:15 am
Adoptionism is hardly mainstream Christianity.

No, but I was under the impression that you were defending Pauline Christianity (specifically, from my accusation that it - and thus, mainstream Christianity - merely takes its dualism to a less extreme conclusion than Gnosticism does).
9  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 27, 2015, 02:20:06 pm
I'm not arguing that the resurrected Jesus was composed of spirit. What I'm arguing (or, more accurately, what I believe that Paul was arguing) is that the punishment for living in the flesh is death (which Jesus suffered, as he was spirit made flesh), but the reward for living in the spirit is life that overcomes death (as Jesus proved with his resurrection). You could argue that references to "the flesh" and "the spirit" are metaphorical, but it seems to me that the only reason that you would is if you were attempting to reconcile an attachment to mainstream Christianity with an aversion to dualism.
10  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 27, 2015, 11:14:25 am
The verses that I had in mind were Romans 7:14-25 (which makes a clear distinction between mind/spirit and body) and Galatians 5:19-21 (which lists a number of "deadly sins", not all of which are fleshly in nature, but which are all attributed to "the flesh").

Belief in dualism is pretty much essential for Pauline Christianity to make any sense. Otherwise, what was the point of Jesus's death? To compensate for humanity's sins? Not only is that illogical, I find little indication that Paul believed that. What I do find is the belief that man's flesh is naturally inclined to depravity, and anyone who lives according to his flesh will die as a result. However, what Jesus's physical death and spiritual resurrection offers is a model of transcendence, and it's that model that Christians must imitate if they want to gain everlasting life.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Was Bill Clinton the best President since Ike? on: May 26, 2015, 07:54:26 pm
(On the other hand isn't the Frankfurt School the subject of some sort of right-wing conspiracy theory?)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School#Conspiracy_theory

FWIW, the only time that I've heard this conspiracy peddled directly was on a weekly televangelist program that my father watches. Apparently, the host of said program has spoken at my house before.

My mother says that he's an anti-Semite.
12  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 26, 2015, 12:18:16 pm
Because the idea that creation is inherently flawed is depressing

Though not inconsistent with personal observation and its logical inferences.

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and the idea that a supreme goodness would not have been able to undo the demiurge's creation before it even got a chance to cause trouble is illogical.

As as is the idea that God, who turns free will off and on at other points in The Bible, wouldn't be able to prevent The Fall.
 
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Nor is the idea that the body is inherently flawed what I would call a logical conclusion.
 

In that case, you have as big a bone to pick with Pauline Christianity as with Gnosticism.

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And last but not least, Pauline Christianity gets a bad rap thanks to the Deutero-Pauline epistles rather than anything Paul himself had a hand in writing or causing to be written.

Which of Paul's epistles do you consider questionable? Because the flesh is condemned in Romans and Galatians, too.
13  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: did Jesus go to Jerusalem intending to die? on: May 26, 2015, 09:02:51 am
Some believe Jesus the body was created by the demiurge because the demiurge became aware of the Father's intention to send spiritual Christ to redeem mankind.
Ugh. Gnosticism. One of the most depressing and illogical philosophies ever thought of.

Why? Because it takes mind/body dualism to its logical conclusion? In that case, Gnostic Christianity is more logical than Pauline Christianity, not less.
14  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Jeffersonian vs. Hamiltonian Economics on: May 17, 2015, 02:57:03 pm
What I find interesting is the link between "Jeffersonian economics" and westward expansion/Indian removal.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of a Different Kind of Dude Fest on: May 17, 2015, 09:54:29 am
That involves a color. Not gender.

It involves a color that's associated with gender.
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of a Different Kind of Dude Fest on: May 16, 2015, 03:37:03 pm
Would any metal band ever challenge concepts of masculinity?

One of Boris' most well-known albums is named "Pink", which also happens to be the most prominent color on that album's cover. How many hardcore bands can say that?

Obviously not hardcore but: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunny_Day_Real_Estate_(album)

If I'd brought up Sunbather, that would have been a valid response. However, what I'm asking for is a well-known punk/hardcore/post-hardcore album named "pink".

Come on, man. If you can't beat metal on this, you'd might as well just concede that it's more progressive on the topic of gender.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of a Different Kind of Dude Fest on: May 16, 2015, 03:24:16 pm
Would any metal band ever challenge concepts of masculinity?

One of Boris' most well-known albums is named "Pink", which also happens to be the most prominent color on that album's cover. How many hardcore bands can say that?
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Joe Republic Bureau of Funny Post Archival on: May 11, 2015, 07:25:14 am
Quote
What Mississippi looked like in 2012:

White: 59% of electorate @ 11% Democrat = 6.5
Black: 37% of electorate @ 95% Democrat = 35.1
Other: 4% of electorate @ 60% Democrat = 2.4

Democrats = 44% of the vote

Quote
What a (likely) winning 2024 scenario for Democrats would look like in Mississippi:

White: 55% of electorate @ 20% Democrat = 11
Black: 40% of electorate @ 90% Democrat = 36
Other: 5% of electorate @ 60% Democrat = 3

Democrats = 50% of the vote

Why would whites vote MORE Dem??? When the trend is the other way. If whites in MS fear losing power, they will vote GOP at close to 90% not 80%.

Also in state races and for US Senate the GOP has gotten up to 35% of the black vote.

Even likeable Thad Cochran last year didn't get 35%. And Republicans maxed out with white vote. Very slowly, but more and more whites will adapt to the idea that elected Black (most likely)  Democrat as Senator (or Governor, for that matter) is far from being "apocalypsis". They already adapted to large number of Blacks not only voting, but sitting in Legislature... It will take considerable time (that's why i think about 2040-45), but it WILL happen.. If Thomas Pickens Brady would be resurrected now, only 40 years after death - he would, probably, be so amazed about what happened in his beloved Mississippi, that he wouldn't have any non-profane words for it...))))

Trent Lott use to get 35%. But the GOP doesnt need that much to win every election. 15-20% will do.

Source?

I guess if you dont like the stat you can demand the source. But people quote numbers here all the time and no one asks for a source. So your demand is arbitrary and capricious. Lott use to get 35% of the black vote and if you dont like it tough
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Texas: two gunmen shot dead after opening fire at Mohammed cartoon contest on: May 05, 2015, 10:25:01 am


This is part of a bas-relief sculpture at the US Supreme Court.  The person who created it probably had no idea about the taboo among muslims and it's in the context of other historical figures. 

Is this offensive because it depicts Mohammed?  No.

If all contemporary depictions of Muhammad were as respectful as the one on the Supreme Court, I wouldn't feel inclined to criticize those who were responsible for them.

Quote
What is the purpose of that taboo anyway?  Is it to protect the feelings of Muslims?  No.  It's to prevent people worshiping Mohammed as a God figure or an idol.  That is the purpose behind the taboo, it's a religious purpose, within the Muslim religion.  So, this taboo should only be observed by Muslims and everyone else is free to depict Mohammed as they want. 

Non-Muslims don't need to follow Muslim customs, Non-Jews don't need to follow Jewish customs and non-Christians don't need to follow Christian customs.

I've already stated that it's not the failure to adhere to Islamic standards that offends people, but failing to adhere to Islamic standards in such a way as to deliberately offend Muslims.

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If people stopped caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad just to be offensive, these attacks would go away, too.

This is exactly the attitude I can't get on board with.  What does it say that using violence gets people to be sensitive to your concerns and gets people to censor themselves?

It's rewarding violence, rewarding censorship and chilling free speech. 

What if Muslims just nicely said, "we want everyone to obey our customs about depicting certain religious figures.  Please remove the sculpture of Mohammed from the Supreme Court and don't show pictures of the Sistine Chapel ceiling on TV."  People would ignore them.  But, start setting fire to embassies and assassinating people and people start paying attention. 

That's why people should keep doing these cartoons.  You don't reward violence or attacks on our basic freedoms with obedience.  When someone attacks your freedom of speech or uses violence, that's the last person you should meekly acquiesce to.  Is depicting Mohammed important by itself?  Of course not.  But, freedom to say whatever you want about religion is incredibly important.  Religious bullying of free speech is never acceptable.   

This establishes a precedent, we complain and use violence, you comply.  Today it's depictions of Mohammed, tomorrow it's criticizing the religion of Islam or their religious figures.  And, some people might say, "oh, who cares?  Just don't say anything negative about Islam, is it that hard to be nice to them and observe their customs?"  That's the free speech case for these cartoons.

My claim isn't that we should cave in to terrorists so that they'll stop terrorizing us. My claim is that if certain people showed basic respect for other people's beliefs, there would be less terrorism. Is that trade off really so objectionable?
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Texas: two gunmen shot dead after opening fire at Mohammed cartoon contest on: May 05, 2015, 08:18:59 am
Sure, you don't want to unnecessarily offend someone.  But, the purpose of defending free expression is a just cause for offending people.

Caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad is unnecessarily offensive. There are ways to express solidarity with the murdered Charlie Hebdo artists that don't involve offending people.

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The people Muslims should criticize are the people using violence and threatening people, and the groups like CAIR that try to bully people into accepting Islam's taboos.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/07/muslims-respond-charlie-hebdo_n_6429710.html

Quote
If Muslims didn't react to these cartoons at all, they would go away because there would be no point.

If people stopped caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad just to be offensive, these attacks would go away, too.

Quote
I don't think that's how public discourse should work.  It easier for everyone to just realize that not everyone has the same favorite team, favorite God or the same customs and taboos.  If people don't observe your taboos, it's not a slap in the face to you, they're just different.  Part of living in a civil society is tolerating free expression, even when you don't like it.  Part of living in a civil society is having a thick skin and tolerating different beliefs and opinions.

By and large, Muslims accept that non-Muslims don't find anything particularly holy about the Prophet Muhammad. The contention here is not over that fact, but over the fact that certain people need to be actively disrespectful to him in order to feel edgy.

Quote
I'm not going to force Muslim women to dress in a western style, even though I find certain things like burquas are demeaning towards women.  I'm not going to be offended if a muslim refuses to try my home-brewed beer or my peach cobbler during Ramadan.  And, they should understand that if a non-Muslim draws Mohammed, it's not an attack on them personally.  It's that they just have different assumptions about religion and they should leave it at that.

The problem is that when non-Muslims draws Muhammad, it almost always is an attack on Muslims personally.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Texas: two gunmen shot dead after opening fire at Mohammed cartoon contest on: May 04, 2015, 07:11:20 pm
There is nothing offensive about the mere depiction of Mohammed.  I have to bring this up again.  Why is it offensive?  It clearly is not.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

There are things that offend other people but don't offend you, just as there are things that offend you but don't offend other people. If someone takes offense to something that you find innocuous, the best that you can do is learn why it offends them and attempt to explain why it shouldn't. If, however, you assert that the thing in question is inoffensive, you're implying that nobody actually takes offense to it, as that's the only objective threshold for determining offensiveness.

Another person's opinion is not an objective standard for what is appropriate.  It's the mutually agreed upon conventions of the community. 

We've agreed that racism is impolite and morally wrong.  We've agreed walking around naked is impolite and offensive.  We haven't agreed that depicting religious figures is offensive.  Simple as that.  The assumptions of specific religions aren't the customs of the entire community.  Muslims can't expect that their assumptions of their religion apply to the entire community.  It's any disrespect if you understand that most people don't care about Mohammed or revere him in any way.
 
I try to let my actions be dictated by my convictions, not by community standards. In this case, my conviction is to avoid unnecessarily offending people, and to urge others to do the same.

Also, your post inadvertently justifies the criminalization of Muhammad depictions in majority-Muslim countries.

Quote
Think of it this way, they sell shirts at Fenway Park that say "Yankees Suck."  I'm a Yankees fan,  but I realize that not everyone else likes my team.  Red Sox fans denigrating Derek Jeter or Micky Mantle might piss me off, but it's only annoying because I like the Yankees.  It's annoying, assuming you like the Yankees.  Just like Mohammed cartoons annoy people, assuming they're Muslim.

So, just as you would avoid denigrating the Red Sox because you dislike it when people do the same to your favored sports team, you should avoid denigrating Islam... except that the impetus in this case is even stronger, as the attachment that people have to religion is (presumably) far higher than the attachment that people have to sports.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Texas: two gunmen shot dead after opening fire at Mohammed cartoon contest on: May 04, 2015, 04:56:42 pm
There is nothing offensive about the mere depiction of Mohammed.  I have to bring this up again.  Why is it offensive?  It clearly is not.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

There are things that offend other people but don't offend you, just as there are things that offend you but don't offend other people. If someone takes offense to something that you find innocuous, the best that you can do is learn why it offends them and attempt to explain why it shouldn't. If, however, you assert that the thing in question is inoffensive, you're implying that nobody actually takes offense to it, as that's the only objective threshold for determining offensiveness.
23  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: How can anyone be sure their religion is correct? on: May 02, 2015, 09:59:53 am
It's not the same to have faith in academic institutions as it is to have faith in religion because, if you wanted, you could actually learn the ideas, formulas, proofs, and alternatives  and, much more importantly, try to prove them wrong. This potential puts it in an altogether different category than faith. You understand that you could understand, therefore you believe those that do understand already.

For the record, religion does have its own proofs.
24  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of Buddhist Modernism on: May 01, 2015, 04:22:37 pm
It doesn't sound bad in the abstract, but I'm not familiar enough with its major proponents or with its practical implications to be able to offer an informed vote.
25  General Discussion / History / Re: Argue pointlessly with Al about history and so on on: April 28, 2015, 10:47:24 am
Is it your understanding that the use of metal currency was uncommon in the day-to-day life of Medieval English peasants?
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