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Gender: Male
Hometown: MN
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 18,418

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The free will argument is nonsense anyway

Here's the Christian idea:

1) God gives us the power to do as he says, thereby pleasing him
2) NONE of us live up to the standard ("For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God.."
3) He reasons that INFINITE punishment is the proper response
4) He gets us out of that predicament by arranging to get himself killed (temporarily)
5) IF you believe that, then he lets you off the hook

There are all kinds of things to criticize there, but here's the one no one ever seems to mention:

If "free will" actually meant that we could ever have pleased him without the whole cross drama, then some of us would.

That's the way it works: If there are currently 2 billion believers trying to please god -- and if it's possible to do so -- then at least a few of them don't really need the crucifixion to get them into heaven. When the bible says "ALL have sinned and come short..." it's a flashing neon sign: "THIS WHOLE THING IS A LIE. YOU'VE BEEN TAKEN!"

Think of it this way, if I built a cylindrical wall 30 feet high with no doors, no way to climb, drains so that the rainwater wouldn't eventually let you swim to the top, etc.

If I then air-lifted you into it and took away the rope, I could say, "You have free will; jump over the wall and escape any time you want. If you CHOOSE not to jump the 30ft wall, that's YOUR fault."

I'd be a devil, not a god. I'd be a monster.

Free will means nothing if you CAN'T fulfill whatever requirements are set upon you.

A whole lot of people have tried VERY HARD to exercise their "free will" and please god over the centuries; the bible assures us that none of them ever had a chance.


The story says

That a perfect God -- who, by most accounts could see the future -- made all people in a way that he could never accept.

Setting aside this craziness, this perfect, loving God decided that all of them should be tortured FOREVER after death for what they could not possibly help. (Don't tell me about free will; if that was real, SOME would make it without salvation.)

Then he arranged to get himself tortured and killed (why?) and then erased all evidence that he was here (save word-of-mouth) and lets people off the hook based on whether they believe THAT story.

No apologies. No softening.

There is NO EXCUSE for believing that.


"not everyone is a damn criminal"

Remember that this country is under the influence of Christianity, which blatantly states that everyone is so guilty that they should be tortured forever.


No exceptions.

It views 'salvation' as a special favor that God does for those he likes even though they still deserve eternal punishment. But if you've got friends in high places you get out of it!

Does that sound anything like our current government and law enforcement?

It should.

I used to wonder that too, but ...

There's no such thing as "more than they can spend".

When they're finished buying houses and yachts, they buy ...

Politicians, and so eventually ...

Whole governments with their resources, armies, and legislatures, so they can rewrite the laws and finally go back to buying ...


That's the wrong question to ask, in my view.

The first female speaker of the house promised not to go after Bush's war criminals.

The first black president keeps trying to sign all national sovereignty over to the multi-national corps.

Condoleezza Rice is both black and female; was she the right person for her job?

Let glass ceilings break when they break.

Pick the best candidate available at any given time.

This is too important for symbolism.

Balance is NEVER the aspiration

Nor should it be.

Getting to the truth is what matters.

The truth is never 'balanced'. It always says, "this is true; that is not."

'Balanced' is what the mighty steno-pool of the fourth estate calls its non-reporting.

They might manipulate office holders ... or they might select them

They might tell the left, "pick a card, any card..." and then hold out two possibilities both of which appeal to Democrats and both of whom really harbor neocon values.

One might be a woman, one might be a minority.

One might tip their hand on the campaign trail divulging where their real sympathies lie while the other might stick to a much better script until actually in office.

They might have anti-complaint memes ready and waiting before the office-holder even has a chance to do anything. Belittling, scoffing memes about ponies.

They might, for all intents and purposes, have canceled real elections in America without our even noticing.

There is absolutely no such thing as a secret body of law in a democracy.

Where the people rule (that's what democracy means), the people make and know the laws.

Let that sink in.

There is absolutely no such thing as a secret body of law in a democracy.

See this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023142617

"the next four years kind of make me nervous" -- and the four after that are terrifying

If Americans had a chance to see what life was like under real Democrats -- those who stand up for everyone and not just the rich...

If we could stop worrying about our safety net being ripped away...

If we could stop worrying about whether we can actually afford health insurance...

If our civil rights weren't constantly under attack from both sides...

Then, we might relax, enjoy life, and make something of our time here.

I think the US would gravitate toward that if they ever saw it happening.

I think the Dems would be in the majority for a long time.

BUT: We won't see what a real Democratic (and democratic) world is like because the D party has been transforming into the R party's admiring little brother.

So the public will just keep flipping back and forth between the two.

So the next president will probably be an R.

And few will be able to tell the difference.

"Why assume conspiracy when incompetence will do?"

Because conspiracy is far more likely to be true in this case.

The accumulation of wealth is a competitive game. The winners are those who play the game best.

They didn't all fail upward, they won because they were good at what they were doing.

The notion that they'd work together -- however temporarily -- to achieve more of what they want takes no stretch of the imagination at all. It fits Occam quite well.

Whereas, the notion that a bunch of incompetents somehow accumulated all the nation's power and wealth takes some serious explaining.

So... Yes to Occam; no to your conclusion.
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