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Old 12-16-2011, 02:27 PM   #16391
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Sexual orientation is not a choice.
I hate to take things out of context and comment on them, but I don't believe this applies ubiquitously. I believe that some people do make that choice (bi-sexual for example) to engage in that lifestyle. I agree that it's not always a choice but think that it varies by person. Furthermore, that would make it more of a sin (in biblical terms) if it was choice and people still should keep their opinions of how other should live their life to themselves. You're right though, people profess to be uber-christian and can't quote a single verse. That's like claiming to be a Linux enthusiast and having no clue what Unix even is. How do you profess a belief with no knowledge of it's source or evidence to support its validity?
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Old 12-16-2011, 02:49 PM   #16392
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I hate to take things out of context and comment on them, but I don't believe this applies ubiquitously. I believe that some people do make that choice (bi-sexual for example) to engage in that lifestyle. I agree that it's not always a choice but think that it varies by person.
I don't think you understand how being bisexual works. It isn't a choice of being attracted to either men or women, it's being attracted to both at the same time. Yes, it IS a choice to act on those desires, but having them is not optional.


By the way, I really hate that word, "lifestyle." What does that even mean in this context? Most people in same-sex relationships have pretty much the same "lifestyle" as straight people. It's really not the right word here, and I'm pretty sure it was chosen to be divisive.


Either way, even if it was a choice (which it isn't), it shouldn't matter to anyone. It's not hurting anybody else, which, I think, is what you've been trying to say.


Wow. It feels weird discussing this on the internet for some reason.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:05 PM   #16393
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I don't think you understand how being bisexual works. It isn't a choice of being attracted to either men or women, it's being attracted to both at the same time. Yes, it IS a choice to act on those desires, but having them is not optional.
I'll agree to that.

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By the way, I really hate that word, "lifestyle." What does that even mean in this context? Most people in same-sex relationships have pretty much the same "lifestyle" as straight people. It's really not the right word here, and I'm pretty sure it was chosen to be divisive.
Maybe I indeed chose the wrong word...


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Either way, even if it was a choice (which it isn't), it shouldn't matter to anyone. It's not hurting anybody else, which, I think, is what you've been trying to say.
Pretty much, yes.

People who stand to gain politically/financially from a group of followers typically profess to be of the same belief system as the majority of the target population, find a common enemy, and then attack that common enemy regardless of their moral obligation as a leader of people. If you can get people to hate someone else because they stand to do any sort of harm to the target population, a large percentage of the target population will erroneously put their trust and support in said person. It's simple psychology. When I took my psychology class and we covered a similar theory, I used this exact tactic with a group of people I didn't fit in with to see if I could gain their trust and it worked so freaking well it was sad. I simply introduced myself, said some very cliche things that would apply to them, then found a common enemy (some random person) and made comments about how they were more or less different in a bad way. I was immediately accepted. People need to wake up and smell the propaganda.
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:17 PM   #16394
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I also think I should clarify what I said earlier: I'm not technically gay. I am ,however, generally lumped in with gays by pretty much everyone, so I think it's okay for me to speak on their behalf in these situations.
What...? This makes absolutely no sense.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:06 PM   #16395
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err... yeah, It does.

This is probably not the smartest thing to admit to random strangers online, but whatever, I've already basically said it. I'm trans. The point I was trying to make before is that the people like Rick Perry/supporters lack the sophistication to recognize the difference. To them, a queer is a queer (I've actually been told that before, lol.) Whatever laws they make regulating what gay people can and cannot do will ultimately be applied to me. I also have the issue of no matter who I date, I'm always going to be identified as gay by at least some people. If I date guys, people think I'm just in some sort of hardcore denial about my sexuality, if I date girls, anyone who doesn't know my past will assume I'm gay. Heck, even if I'm not dating anybody, it's just assumed. So yeah, I think I know exactly where they're coming from.

Make sense now? *braces for uncomfortable questions*

Edit for clarification: Please, do ask questions. It's usually better to not leave things to peoples' imaginations in this situation. Please try to be respectful though.



Unrelated: Slowkeys is annoying. I keep managing to turn it on somehow, despite having all the shortcuts disabled and the delay set to 0.0 seconds. Who was this program set up for anyway?
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:56 AM   #16396
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[...]Christians [...] keep getting caught up on that one verse [...] and ignore absolutely everything else.
Fixt

I've been to many many churches. I've personally read the bible from start to finish. With those "two powers combined!", I see a lot of problems in many 'faithful' individuals/leaders/organizations.

In my experience of attending different churches, I've found on thing to be common. They pick and choose what they want the bible to say. Preachers will take parts of a verse (they go so far as to read half of it knowing full well that the other half contradicts their message) and preach to it. You know, I could honestly live with people lying about what God's message is, I really could. What I absolutely can't stand is blind faith. People who won't take the two seconds to actually read the Bible, you know... that book they claim to live their lives by? and question their own beliefs. I really don't want to get on a religious tangent as it's not just religion. People believe whatever the hell someone else will tell them.

On this forum, we've had a lot of religious debates on whether God exists, how life came about, the validity of holy books, etc. While I don't share your beliefs, I do share my oppositions absolute disgust of religion. It's not about God, it's not about moral fiber... it's about money and power through manipulation and fear.
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:39 AM   #16397
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I had a long, in-depth post typed up in response, but I accidentally deleted it. I don't feel like doing that again, so I'll just summarize.

The problem isn't really blind faith. I've run into very few people of any religion, who, as adults, will believe absolutely anything they are told. People generally pick up their ideological/religious beliefs as children/teenagers, then they are, for the most part, set for life. (I won't really get into my feelings on indoctrination here, just know that I strongly oppose it.) What normally happens is people will agree with anything that fits their preconceived notions. If it doesn't, they will examine it more critically, or in the case of religion, typically outright ignore it.

I had this discussion with my hardcore Catholic father a while back, and he proved my point beautifully. He was going on about how people should follow the bible, etc. and I asked about the bad parts. He said he needed to know specifically what I was talking about. So I got out my bible app and started reading him the "bad verses." He had no problem whatsoever with completely ignoring them. They were either mistranslations, out of context, or somehow modified to say the opposite of the "true Christian message." I then read a few of the more popular "good verses" and asked what he thought about them, how many of them were translation errors/corruptions/out of context, and he wouldn't even entertain the idea of it. Even after all this, I'm pretty sure the idea didn't get through at all. He most likely still thinks I was attacking his religion by reading the bible.


I, personally, cannot wrap my head around this belief. If the bible really is so corrupted by evil ideas, why would anyone base their life around it? There's no way to tell what is genuine and what isn't. They could very easily be worshipping Satan without knowing it (note: By Satan, I mean in the classic sense, the inherent evil in humanity, not necessarily the deity ). Heck, the whole thing could be supporting the "bad guy", with all the good parts being the forgeries, and nobody would even know it. I'm not saying this is the case (though God does commit a large number of detestable acts, mostly in the Old Testament) but the idea should at least occur to people.

Regarding your last statement, I mostly agree. There are some religions that haven't been corrupted yet, and that really are helping the people (Unitarianism, certain sects of Buddhism,etc.), but these are a small minority. Generally what happens is they start off decent and become corrupt as they gain power/age. Though I don't totally agree with it, the recent secularist movement seems to be slowly changing that as people recognize what's going on. It's still going to take a few generations to get past the current systems though.



This thread needs a bit of a change of pace. Anyone going anywhere neat over Christmas? I'm probably going to Colorado with my dad. No idea where in Colorado though.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:30 AM   #16398
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The problem isn't really blind faith. I've run into very few people of any religion, who, as adults, will believe absolutely anything they are told.
Allow me to expand on my definition of Blind faith.
Here's a hypothetical situation: John Doe, without prior exposure to religion, goes to church one day and learns that if he gives a cookie to a homeless person once a day, he will go to heaven. He's been told of the wonders heaven holds and all that good stuff. John continues to go to church and learns of hell, sin, the devil and so on. John get's baptized due to his new found faith in God and desire to be 'saved.' John lives a Christian lifestyle according to what his preacher tells him.

Why does John believe this in the first place? Humans naturally fear that which they cannot control or do not understand. Death is something nobody knows for sure what happens afterwards or when that time will come. The thought of heaven (Only promised in the Bible to 12,000 people of each of the 12 tribes of Israel [Book of Revelation Ch. 7]) when offered hell as the alternative (Hell isn't even cut and dry anywhere in the bible and the closest thing to a hellish demise is the lake of fire, which in the bible, fire always [to me] meant complete destruction) has been wildly misused and lied about to give people a sense of comfort and something to hope for and fear at the same time. The belief in two polar opposite outcomes do two things: Heaven calms a very fundamental fear that we're all exposed to at a very young age while Hell keeps us coming back each Sunday so we can pay our God tax, say a hail mary and be saved once again. My definition and example of blind faith here is in reference to belief without proper research and deciphering the teachings and content of the bible on your own.

Random example: Ask any Christian if the God of the Bible would encourage you to read the Quran and 99 out of 100 would say absolutely not... if they had read their own book, however, they may find that Jesus encouraged doubting or testing their faith in God to strengthen it. What better way to test your faith than explore others? A stretch? A little. But at least I've done my own personal 'fact checking' (I realize the Bible cannot be considered a book of fact but you get my usage) and found my faith through the book itself and not some professed messenger of God.


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People generally pick up their ideological/religious beliefs as children/teenagers, then they are, for the most part, set for life. (I won't really get into my feelings on indoctrination here, just know that I strongly oppose it.) What normally happens is people will agree with anything that fits their preconceived notions. If it doesn't, they will examine it more critically, or in the case of religion, typically outright ignore it.
We're all given our perception of the world from birth to adulthood. I'll agree that "generally" you're correct, but the belief in God is not genetic, therefore the mind has the ability to change that perception based on life events and experiences. A parent who loses a child at a young age has a strong tendency to either increase their faith in God (believing their child has gone to heaven with God) or completely remove that belief from their makeup entirely (questioning how their God could allow that to happen).

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I got out my bible app and started reading him the "bad verses." He had no problem whatsoever with completely ignoring them. They were either mistranslations, out of context, or somehow modified to say the opposite of the "true Christian message." I then read a few of the more popular "good verses" and asked what he thought about them, how many of them were translation errors/corruptions/out of context, and he wouldn't even entertain the idea of it. Even after all this, I'm pretty sure the idea didn't get through at all. He most likely still thinks I was attacking his religion by reading the bible.
The bible has a very interesting timeline. If you take a look at the doings of God from start to finish, you find that 'terrible' things that were done went from a high frequency, to a low frequency. The best explanation I could ever come up with was that God learned as time went on that humans simply could not please a perfect God. The punishments for wrong doing went from wiping out villages to 'wearing the scarlet letter'. People make the argument that God should be able to see the future if God truly is omnipotent, and maybe he has and this is all part of the plan, but I think that with our gift of free will, he gave up that luxury. He's learning as a deity as we progress as a species. The bible is quite deplorable if you look only at the bad, but reading into the teachings of Christ and the meaning of his death (not the 'pay for our sins' part), you find a sort of transition from "DO WHAT THE **** I TELL YOU OR DIE" God to a "Look, you're gonna make mistakes, just keep trying" God.

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I, personally, cannot wrap my head around this belief. If the bible really is so corrupted by evil ideas, why would anyone base their life around it? There's no way to tell what is genuine and what isn't. They could very easily be worshipping Satan without knowing it (note: By Satan, I mean in the classic sense, the inherent evil in humanity, not necessarily the deity ). Heck, the whole thing could be supporting the "bad guy", with all the good parts being the forgeries, and nobody would even know it. I'm not saying this is the case (though God does commit a large number of detestable acts, mostly in the Old Testament) but the idea should at least occur to people.
While I've never thought of it that way... you could be right. I'm not closed minded enough to think that I'm right in my belief of a man made document, influenced by a seemingly absent yet loving all powerful being. I realize that my personal faith is quite the stretch.

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become corrupt as they gain power
Exactly.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:03 AM   #16399
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I pretty much agree with everything you just said there. Also, I found this explanation very interesting:

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The bible has a very interesting timeline. If you take a look at the doings of God from start to finish, you find that 'terrible' things that were done went from a high frequency, to a low frequency. The best explanation I could ever come up with was that God learned as time went on that humans simply could not please a perfect God. The punishments for wrong doing went from wiping out villages to 'wearing the scarlet letter'. People make the argument that God should be able to see the future if God truly is omnipotent, and maybe he has and this is all part of the plan, but I think that with our gift of free will, he gave up that luxury. He's learning as a deity as we progress as a species. The bible is quite deplorable if you look only at the bad, but reading into the teachings of Christ and the meaning of his death (not the 'pay for our sins' part), you find a sort of transition from "DO WHAT THE **** I TELL YOU OR DIE" God to a "Look, you're gonna make mistakes, just keep trying" God.
My interpretation was always somewhat different. Looking at the texts of all major religions, they always seem to reflect the general sense of morality that was prevalent at their time of writing. I've always assumed that the people writing the religious texts did so in a way that the people could relate to. Say they don't like a certain tribe. What better way to spread the message than by saying that God also hates this tribe? The same goes for general ideas as well. If it's generally considered a good thing to vanquish your enemies, why would anyone want to worship a god that lets its enemies continue to live? It makes it appear weak, and it makes it harder for people to understand.

As the culture in the area improved, religions evolved to match. This is why religions from more advanced societies tend to be more progressive. For example, think of Buddhism. The areas where it originated were arguably the most advanced of the time. The teachings are generally nonviolent, and aimed towards understanding of the world. Contrast this with, say, Islam. The areas where it is practiced are only just now getting around to modernizing. The religion clearly shows that.

The exact same thing has been going on with Christianity, and it continues to this day at a fairly alarming rate. The only problem is that the texts are now static. They cannot be rewritten to reflect changes in thinking. Instead, people and churches just began to ignore the writings and modifying their idea of the religion to match what they want it to be. I remember the first time this hit me. I was reading a history book, probably in sixth or seventh grade, and it had pictures of people protesting using religious signs where the message is that God hates blacks or God hates women. A few days later, I saw a picture of Westboro Baptist with their "God hates fags" signs, and I had the sudden realization that God hates whomever we hate. It doesn't even matter if the bible justifies it or not, because their religion no longer follows the bible. The only time it's ever used is as justification for an idea. If it contradicts that idea, it's no big deal because it's no longer law, it's just a guideline.
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:02 PM   #16400
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As the culture in the area improved, religions evolved to match. This is why religions from more advanced societies tend to be more progressive.
Mormons: Your argument is invalid

Note: The Mormon religion, now Church of Ladder Day Saints has come a ways, but some of the fundamental beliefs are just odd. I'm not trying to bash the religion, but for being a fairly new religion founded in a somewhat modern society... yea.
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