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Re: Death to Religion?

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  • proleus
    ... ... kills ... on ... To ... existence. ... who ... of ... it ... first ... Does smite from existance count as an sufficient definition for
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 12, 2003
      --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Ricky Barnes"
      <RickyBarnes1960@h...> wrote:
      > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00
      <no_reply@y...>
      > wrote:
      >
      > > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, asawood <no_reply@y...>
      > > wrote:
      > > > How can you kill something that is not alive?
      >
      > >
      > > By kill we mean get rid of. Thats something that can happen with
      > > things that aren't alive.
      >
      >
      > The concept of "kill" does not mean "to get rid of." When one
      kills
      > one does not negate the existence of that which has been killed. I
      > can shoot and kill a man or a rabbit yet they remain, albeit dead
      on
      > the ground. The man or the rabbit have not been "gotten rid of."
      To
      > kill or "cause death" is not that same as to "cause non-
      existence."
      > A stone is not alive and thus cannot be "caused to be dead." One
      > cannot kill that which does not have life.
      >
      > Because the original comment is made to the phrase "Death To
      > Religion", let me say this - the concept "religion" does not denote
      > an entity which has life in the biological sense, although those
      who
      > participate in religion can be said to be alive in that they have
      > biological life. One can kill or cause death to the participants
      of
      > a religion but one cannot cause death to the religion, however, it
      > might be said that if a religion has no participants or believers
      it
      > is "dead." The fact that a religion has no believers does not
      > negate the existence of that religion, however, without believers,
      > said religion would be irrelevant as would be its elimination as a
      > philosophy. There are plenty of "dead" philosophies that exist, at
      > least in so much that they are outlined in writing. "Death To
      > Religion" is really saying "Irrelevance To A Philosophy." The
      first
      > is of course more catchy.

      Does smite from existance count as an sufficient definition
      for "kill" or "death"?

      I should point out that if you were to erradicate all those that
      believe in a given religion, then it is dead in the sense that it is
      not practiced anymore, however, if you kill all those that are aware
      of a given religion and destory every shred of evidence that it ever
      existed, then you do succeed in eliminating it from existance. How
      can you prove something existed when there is no evidence to suggest
      such?
    • Ricky Barnes
      From: proleus Does smite from existance count as an sufficient definition for kill or death ? I should point out that if you were to erradicate all those
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 13, 2003
        From: proleus

        "Does smite from existance count as an sufficient definition
        for "kill" or "death"?

        I should point out that if you were to erradicate all those that
        believe in a given religion, then it is dead in the sense that it is
        not practiced anymore, however, if you kill all those that are aware
        of a given religion and destory every shred of evidence that it ever
        existed, then you do succeed in eliminating it from existance. How
        can you prove something existed when there is no evidence to suggest
        such?"


        I see what your saying, however, "smite from existence" is colloquially used to give the meaning of kill but is not an accurate definition of "to kill" or "death." To kill something is not necessarily to wipe it from existence and, as I indicated before, death doesn't erase existence, it is simply the cessation of life. If I shoot a rabbit and kill it, I cause its death, yet the rabbit still exists. I "smite" its life but I do not smite it from existence. If smite from existence is what you mean then that is what you should say rather than kill. Kill is an inadequate term for what you want to say. In the case of "Death To Religion", I understand that what is meant is "Smite Religion From Existence", however, a "dead" philosophy (in this case religion) is not a non-existent philosophy if someone somewhere still has knowledge of it at least as a concept.

        True, if you wipe out all traces of evidence that a religion ever existed (all documentation, and all those who know of it - not an easy thing to do) you've eliminated knowledge of it at least so far as others may be concerned, however, if you were the one who eliminated all evidence, knowledge of the religion, at least what's left, still resides with you as the eliminator so you'd have to commit suicide to destroy the last vestiges of knowledge of the religion thus eliminating the religion totally from existence. Not a happy prospect for the one who wants all knowledge of the religion expunged.

        I agree totally with your last sentence. It's the very essence of the atheist viewpoint. No evidence, no proof equals unsupported fantasy.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • bestonnet_00
        ... How to do exactly that (although I d recommend against it). 1: Find a nice big asteriod. 2: Attach engines to said asteriod. 3: Move said asteriod onto a
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 14, 2003
          --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Ricky Barnes" <RickyBarnes1960@h...> wrote:
          > True, if you wipe out all traces of evidence that a religion ever
          > existed (all documentation, and all those who know of it - not an
          > easy thing to do)

          How to do exactly that (although I'd recommend against it).
          1: Find a nice big asteriod.
          2: Attach engines to said asteriod.
          3: Move said asteriod onto a collision course with earth (much easier
          then it should be really).
          4: Let asteriod hit then wait a while for the dust to settle.
          5: While waiting build as many nuclear bombs as possible.
          6: When dust settles use nuclear bombs to destroy as much as
          possible. Cities, houses, everything you can target. You'll have
          a very long time with which to do so since there aren't likely to
          be many people left alive and those left won't be able to put up
          much of a fight.
          7: Drop another asteriod just to be sure you've got everyone, then
          wait and nuke anything left behind after the first strike.
          8: Hope there aren't any aliens close enough to be able to actually
          get radio signals (this looks to be very likely).
          9: Kill everyone who helped pull this off.
          10: Destroy all documentation of it.
          11: Commit suicide (optional).

          This would do a pretty good job of removing all evidence of religion
          from existance. For a bit of time there would still be evidence that
          something happened but it wouldn't take too long for the radiation
          levels to go down to the point at which no one would suspect nuclear
          weapons use (OK maybe it'd take a million years but that's nothing
          compared to the 13.7 billion year old universe, it's also nothing
          compared with how long it takes to develop sentience).

          I should also note that this would require whoever wants to eliminate religion to be the first to be able to move asteriods around otherwise there'll be humans in space that might survive a strike on the homeworld as well as the chance that someone will decide to move the asteriod away from earth. Moving asteriods around is a major undertaking.

          > you've eliminated knowledge of it at least so far as others may be
          > concerned, however, if you were the one who eliminated all evidence,
          > knowledge of the religion, at least what's left, still resides with
          > you as the eliminator so you'd have to commit suicide to destroy the
          > last vestiges of knowledge of the religion thus eliminating the
          > religion totally from existence. Not a happy prospect for the one
          > who wants all knowledge of the religion expunged.

          Personally I'd just keep living and not tell anyone about it, ever.

          Another possible option would be to edit your memory to remove all references to religion (it's harder then it sounds) since we might eventually get the technology to do that.

          Although I don't think all knowledge of religion should be eliminated. Afterall, those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

          Practise of religion I would like to see gone although I'd settle for making the theistic viewpoint the minority (unless proof actually appears for the existence of god(s)).
        • Don Tipton
          Hi All: (Tip) I m new to this site and although I m not particularly religious, don t belong to any man made church, or fall to my knees everytime a soubug or
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 25, 2003
            Hi All: (Tip)

            I'm new to this site and although I'm not particularly
            religious, don't belong to any man made church, or fall to my knees
            everytime a soubug or wolverine crosses my path, I don't mind if
            those who do continue to exist; they give me pause to consider the
            human mind and all its complexities.

            I'm 72 yrs old and will "buy it" soon, so I don';t give a whit
            about the oncoming juggernaught of non existence, one way or
            another. My former ocupation was in the US Military as an espionage
            agent, and I made two missions to Soviet Russia in 1965 and other
            commie nations later and earlier. The reason I am/was willing to
            continually kick their butts until they lost it in 1991, wasn't that
            they were athiests, but because the were/are "self declared" enemies
            of all non communist countries, and the biggist reason is they
            declared war on the USA, which I promised to defend with my life.

            Now I bounce my little grandspon Alexander, (7yrs old) on my knee,
            buy him ice cream cones and write books about the middleast and
            Spying. In my espionage activities inside the USSR I encountered a
            puzzling thing; why did the Soviets take Sunday Off? (I will post a
            photo-book cover in the pictures section, so you know what I write
            about mostly)

            I stood on the roof of the KGB Spy Academy in Minsk (the region of
            Belarus) and everyone, (except three military men) were gone
            elsewhere, including the young 200 young trainees that lived there
            during the week. We shot two of the three men in the "deeproom" and
            made the other one talk about where the records were kept. I made
            the old babushka mopping the floors downstairs, drink a half gallon
            of vodka before we left. She was out of it, because I don't kill
            women or children - unless they have a grenade in their hands.

            Although my big issue is to protect America, safeguard my wife and
            family, and make sure my grandchildren have a place to rest their
            heads at the end of their workday, I do find interesting, this issue
            of where MORALITY, GOOD, BAD and EVIL comes from and their
            historical descriptions. I tend to think that MORALITY comes from an
            inner desire to be faithful & constant to one's personally held
            beliefs about what is best. I think that Evil is "An Intended
            Injury", by anyone and that GOOD is that which we consider to be
            beneavolent towards us, and BAD is an unhappy interlude in our
            lives.

            What think you brothers and sisters, Best regards to all..

            Tip



















            --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00 <no_reply@y...>
            wrote:
            > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Ricky Barnes"
            <RickyBarnes1960@h...> wrote:
            > > True, if you wipe out all traces of evidence that a religion
            ever
            > > existed (all documentation, and all those who know of it - not
            an
            > > easy thing to do)
            >
            > How to do exactly that (although I'd recommend against it).
            > 1: Find a nice big asteriod.
            > 2: Attach engines to said asteriod.
            > 3: Move said asteriod onto a collision course with earth (much
            easier
            > then it should be really).
            > 4: Let asteriod hit then wait a while for the dust to settle.
            > 5: While waiting build as many nuclear bombs as possible.
            > 6: When dust settles use nuclear bombs to destroy as much as
            > possible. Cities, houses, everything you can target. You'll
            have
            > a very long time with which to do so since there aren't likely
            to
            > be many people left alive and those left won't be able to put
            up
            > much of a fight.
            > 7: Drop another asteriod just to be sure you've got everyone,
            then
            > wait and nuke anything left behind after the first strike.
            > 8: Hope there aren't any aliens close enough to be able to
            actually
            > get radio signals (this looks to be very likely).
            > 9: Kill everyone who helped pull this off.
            > 10: Destroy all documentation of it.
            > 11: Commit suicide (optional).
            >
            > This would do a pretty good job of removing all evidence of
            religion
            > from existance. For a bit of time there would still be evidence
            that
            > something happened but it wouldn't take too long for the radiation
            > levels to go down to the point at which no one would suspect
            nuclear
            > weapons use (OK maybe it'd take a million years but that's nothing
            > compared to the 13.7 billion year old universe, it's also nothing
            > compared with how long it takes to develop sentience).
            >
            > I should also note that this would require whoever wants to
            eliminate religion to be the first to be able to move asteriods
            around otherwise there'll be humans in space that might survive a
            strike on the homeworld as well as the chance that someone will
            decide to move the asteriod away from earth. Moving asteriods
            around is a major undertaking.
            >
            > > you've eliminated knowledge of it at least so far as others may
            be
            > > concerned, however, if you were the one who eliminated all
            evidence,
            > > knowledge of the religion, at least what's left, still resides
            with
            > > you as the eliminator so you'd have to commit suicide to destroy
            the
            > > last vestiges of knowledge of the religion thus eliminating the
            > > religion totally from existence. Not a happy prospect for the
            one
            > > who wants all knowledge of the religion expunged.
            >
            > Personally I'd just keep living and not tell anyone about it, ever.
            >
            > Another possible option would be to edit your memory to remove all
            references to religion (it's harder then it sounds) since we might
            eventually get the technology to do that.
            >
            > Although I don't think all knowledge of religion should be
            eliminated. Afterall, those who forget history are condemned to
            repeat it.
            >
            > Practise of religion I would like to see gone although I'd settle
            for making the theistic viewpoint the minority (unless proof
            actually appears for the existence of god(s)).
          • Don Tipton
            Hi All: (Tip) It is an interesting thing to see all the posts about religion and those opposed to the very existence of any faith, religious, philosophical or
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 30, 2003
              Hi All: (Tip)

              It is an interesting thing to see all the posts about
              religion and those opposed to the very existence of any faith,
              religious, philosophical or cultic. As one who studied religions
              associated with historic events, it is my opinion that there is
              reason enough to discuss the aspects of religion without so much
              rancor. The reason we don't discuss the aspects of atheism is that
              there is only one view to espouse, "We don't believe in a god,or
              gods, miricals and or a spiritual existence at all".

              Although my view is not as an atheist, I don't believe in
              miracles either, nor the existence of many gods, (polytheism) and my
              view is that god probably isn't too concerned with the human
              failings of being PRAISED, ADORED, or even LISTENED TO, by mortals.
              These are all human traits, and ascribing them as God's traits, is
              called "Anthropomorphism", or saying that god has the character of
              men. If that be true, we are all doomed!

              Religious infidelity is prevalent in every man made faith there
              is, including baleful lies, murder, hate, and deceptions of
              monumental proportions. Be that as it may, I still believe in the
              creation theory and simply say that "We are in a schoolroom, to
              learn good from bad, the real differences and to learn the
              consequences of our acts on earth.

              Why should god put his finger on the earth to mitigate the bitter,
              heart rendering, and wisdom provoking, lessons we learn here? Wisdom
              is defined as "The Correct use of information". If we survive these
              lesssons in mortality, without losing our humanity, there may be
              something positive left when we pass on.

              Best regards to all,


              Don Tipton





              --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, proleus <no_reply@y...>
              wrote:
              > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "Ricky Barnes"
              > <RickyBarnes1960@h...> wrote:
              > > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, bestonnet_00
              > <no_reply@y...>
              > > wrote:
              > >
              > > > --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, asawood
              <no_reply@y...>
              > > > wrote:
              > > > > How can you kill something that is not alive?
              > >
              > > >
              > > > By kill we mean get rid of. Thats something that can happen
              with
              > > > things that aren't alive.
              > >
              > >
              > > The concept of "kill" does not mean "to get rid of." When one
              > kills
              > > one does not negate the existence of that which has been
              killed. I
              > > can shoot and kill a man or a rabbit yet they remain, albeit
              dead
              > on
              > > the ground. The man or the rabbit have not been "gotten rid
              of."
              > To
              > > kill or "cause death" is not that same as to "cause non-
              > existence."
              > > A stone is not alive and thus cannot be "caused to be dead."
              One
              > > cannot kill that which does not have life.
              > >
              > > Because the original comment is made to the phrase "Death To
              > > Religion", let me say this - the concept "religion" does not
              denote
              > > an entity which has life in the biological sense, although those
              > who
              > > participate in religion can be said to be alive in that they
              have
              > > biological life. One can kill or cause death to the
              participants
              > of
              > > a religion but one cannot cause death to the religion, however,
              it
              > > might be said that if a religion has no participants or
              believers
              > it
              > > is "dead." The fact that a religion has no believers does not
              > > negate the existence of that religion, however, without
              believers,
              > > said religion would be irrelevant as would be its elimination as
              a
              > > philosophy. There are plenty of "dead" philosophies that exist,
              at
              > > least in so much that they are outlined in writing. "Death To
              > > Religion" is really saying "Irrelevance To A Philosophy." The
              > first
              > > is of course more catchy.
              >
              > Does smite from existance count as an sufficient definition
              > for "kill" or "death"?
              >
              > I should point out that if you were to erradicate all those that
              > believe in a given religion, then it is dead in the sense that it
              is
              > not practiced anymore, however, if you kill all those that are
              aware
              > of a given religion and destory every shred of evidence that it
              ever
              > existed, then you do succeed in eliminating it from existance. How
              > can you prove something existed when there is no evidence to
              suggest
              > such?
            • mctempedocles
              Hey Don, I m new here, too. Just joined, although I ve been reading the messages for some time. It s been quite a while since I ve been in a group. The one
              Message 6 of 19 , Apr 8 10:40 PM
                Hey Don,

                I'm new here, too. Just joined, although I've been reading the
                messages for some time. It's been quite a while since I've been in a
                group. The one I was active in a few years back petered out and then
                so did my computer. I'm working now on my daughter's computer, and
                if she moves out I'll be up a creek. Anyhow, it's nice to be on a
                group where at least someone is older than me! I'm only 51. Just a
                kid, huh?

                You say in your post, >>I do find interesting, this issue
                of where MORALITY, GOOD, BAD and EVIL comes from and their
                historical descriptions. I tend to think that MORALITY comes from an
                inner desire to be faithful & constant to one's personally held
                beliefs about what is best.<< I just wanted to make few
                comments/questions to stimulate conversation.

                Do you feel that morality is private or public? The philosopher
                Sidney Hook said that a man in isolation is neither moral nor
                immoral; that morality arises out of the consequences of social
                interactions. This would seem to say, paraphrasing you, that
                morality comes from an inner desire to be faithful and constant to
                publicly or generally held beliefs about what is best. From this
                point of view, morality is strictly behavioral. Would you agree with
                this point of view?

                Or . . . would you say that morality is a private thing, a
                mental construction or mindset? If a man covets his neighbor's wife
                and yet does not act on his desire or allow it to interfere in any of
                his actions, is he nevertheless immoral? If so, then who is the
                judge of his morality? Only the man himself. From this point of
                view, is there actual morality going on, or is it no more than a
                daydream?


                Hope I'm not being too stupid,
                Maurice
              • mctempedocles
                Hey Ricky, I just signed on to the list, but I ve been reading the posts for some time. Something you said caught my attention: To kill something is not
                Message 7 of 19 , Apr 8 11:49 PM
                  Hey Ricky,

                  I just signed on to the list, but I've been reading the posts
                  for some time. Something you said caught my attention: >>To kill
                  something is not necessarily to wipe it from existence and, as I
                  indicated before, death doesn't erase existence, it is simply the
                  cessation of life. If I shoot a rabbit and kill it, I cause its
                  death, yet the rabbit still exists. I "smite" its life but I do not
                  smite it from existence.<<

                  I realize you were discussing the phrase "death to religion,"
                  but aren't you being overly pedantic? What does it mean to say
                  something exists? "I am," "you are," "he, she, or it is" are nothing
                  more than incomplete sentences; they really have no semantic
                  content. To say the rabbit exists is just another incomplete
                  sentence. But to say the rabbit exists dead is quite different from
                  saying that it exists alive. When I kill the rabbit, it is still
                  meaningless to say it exists, but it is now true to say it exists
                  dead. Just so, it is meaningless to say "God exists" as believers
                  are so fond of touting as a meaningful phrase.

                  Also, anything can be dead. It is not necessary for it to have
                  ever been alive. There are dead ends, dead heats, dead zones, and so
                  forth. "Dead" does not strictly equate to "not alive." It just
                  generally means unproductive. "God is dead" simply means the god
                  concept has become unproductive. We know that god concepts and
                  religions are not only unproductive, but counterproductive. That's a
                  good enough reason to wish death to religion.


                  Elmer Fudd,
                  Maurice
                • Don Tipton
                  Hi Maurice & Rick & All: Thanks for your post, I m impressed with your abilities to be clear, innovative and logical. To answer your query, I think a personal
                  Message 8 of 19 , Apr 9 2:29 AM
                    Hi Maurice & Rick & All:
                    Thanks for your post, I'm impressed with your abilities to be clear, innovative and logical. To answer your query, I think a personal morality can be said to be Personal Standards of conduct that advertise to all within sight or hearing, that "You" are the type of person that will always behave in a set manner, because of your morality. (standards)
                    I think that Public Morality is mostly Cultural or Traditional - Group Behavior- and this behavioral attitude of a people such as with Great Britain, or the USA or say Brazil will demonstrate the Morality of the population at large, and this Group Morality may say for instance, "We are a nation of Laws", and not men.
                    Having said that, I must hasten to add that the enumerated laws must be addendum to the proclamation that "We have Group or cultural and traditional morality, in a general sense.
                    My descriptions Evil & Good, I suspect is attached to the fact that I am an ole coot, and we tend to be a bit historical because that's the only thing we who are old, have left- i.e., "memories, of what our dads and Moms beat our butts for". I do agree with your post that Morality is behaviorally inspired. I attended a college class at Marysville California and the professor was an Indian Woman, a grandmother whose husband was the commander of Beal Air Force Base. She used to bring this apperition to class for shock treatment, I suspect. He was a short, thick, air force colonel that had one ethic, "Smoke Cigar, and blow the smoke into the air, then tell joke."
                    The professor whose name slips my mind now, said: "At any one time we are all of the things that ever happened to us!" Profound eh? As to who is the judge of morality, I would guess that is left to those who survive and read and comment, as we are doing for a limited time only.
                    Best regards my friend,
                    Tip

                    mctempedocles <mctempedocles@...> wrote:Hey Don,

                    I'm new here, too. Just joined, although I've been reading the
                    messages for some time. It's been quite a while since I've been in a
                    group. The one I was active in a few years back petered out and then
                    so did my computer. I'm working now on my daughter's computer, and
                    if she moves out I'll be up a creek. Anyhow, it's nice to be on a
                    group where at least someone is older than me! I'm only 51. Just a
                    kid, huh?

                    You say in your post, >>I do find interesting, this issue
                    of where MORALITY, GOOD, BAD and EVIL comes from and their
                    historical descriptions. I tend to think that MORALITY comes from an
                    inner desire to be faithful & constant to one's personally held
                    beliefs about what is best.<< I just wanted to make few
                    comments/questions to stimulate conversation.

                    Do you feel that morality is private or public? The philosopher
                    Sidney Hook said that a man in isolation is neither moral nor
                    immoral; that morality arises out of the consequences of social
                    interactions. This would seem to say, paraphrasing you, that
                    morality comes from an inner desire to be faithful and constant to
                    publicly or generally held beliefs about what is best. From this
                    point of view, morality is strictly behavioral. Would you agree with
                    this point of view?

                    Or . . . would you say that morality is a private thing, a
                    mental construction or mindset? If a man covets his neighbor's wife
                    and yet does not act on his desire or allow it to interfere in any of
                    his actions, is he nevertheless immoral? If so, then who is the
                    judge of his morality? Only the man himself. From this point of
                    view, is there actual morality going on, or is it no more than a
                    daydream?


                    Hope I'm not being too stupid,
                    Maurice



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                  • Maurice Temples
                    Hey Don, Are you here in the States someplace? I m in Darnell Archey s hometown. I posted at 1:00am, more or less, and when I got up at 5:30am your reply was
                    Message 9 of 19 , Apr 13 6:53 AM
                      Hey Don,

                      Are you here in the States someplace? I'm in Darnell Archey's hometown. I posted at 1:00am, more or less, and when I got up at 5:30am your reply was in my inbox. I used to be able to make such lightning replies, but no more. I work about 75 hours a week, so it's easy for me to run behind in discussions. I'm glad you found my writing to be clear. Writing is a bit of a hobby for me, so writing clearly is important to me. It's unfortunate, don't you think, that in this day and age the writing of the common man has nothing of the flair of the common man's writing a hundred and fifty or two hundred years ago. As for me, I'm impressed to be talking to a retired spy. (At least, I assume you're retired.) Your background is so different from anyone else I have known; you should have some unique insights.
                      I think most people, even some atheists and freethinkers, assume there is some absolute morality. This means that there is no difference between public and private morality. It means that men are moral or immoral to the extent they have discovered the absolute morality. And that means it is somehow our fault if we fail to discover the absolute morality. This view parallels the ancient view of language: that words were given down by the Divine replete with their individual meanings, and it was man's failing if he didn't discover those meanings. We now know that this is not the case, that *we* give words their changeable meanings and use them according to their effects. But consider a man in private, such as a man stranded alone on an island. How can he be either moral or immoral? It seems to me he can only judge effectiveness or ineffectiveness, not moral right or wrong.
                      Here's the problem: since most people, particularly believers, still labor under the absolute morality fallacy they believe (quoting you) >>that the enumerated laws must be addendum to the proclamation that "We have Group or cultural and traditional morality<<. This drives men to theocracy. Even in the United States the church continuously tries to control the state. Why 9-11 didn't reawaken men to the great dangers of combining church and state and make them run far and fast from religion is beyond me. Our nation was founded by men awake to those dangers and ever since has had to battle daily against men still blind to those dangers.

                      One last thought, looking on the bright side: what your professor said, >>"At any one time we are all of the things that ever happened to us!"<< I take to mean not the sum of all things, but the *exponent* of all things. That is, if 4 things have happened to us, we are 4 to the 4th power; if a million things have happened to us, we a million to the millionth power. And, we are all this plus one more thing: the potential to be more.

                      Best regards,
                      Maurice



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                    • Don Tipton
                      Hi Maurice: Tip Once again I m impressed with your post, and some of Rick s stufff too, he s an ex-spook too. Yes I live in Fredericksburg,
                      Message 10 of 19 , Apr 13 2:28 PM
                        Hi Maurice: Tip Once again I'm impressed with your post, and some of Rick's stufff too, he's an ex-spook too. Yes I live in Fredericksburg, VA. - < 1809 Meadow Dr., Fredericksburg, VA. 22405. (540) 368-0283 meddt70@... > If you or Rick are in this neighborhood, drop by and say howdy to a couple of ole coots, me n' Grandma Aileen, my very best friend. We are here in Virginia taking care of our grandson Alexander who is seven years old. We moved from our N. California home on the ocean to Virginia to help our youngest daughter who was medicalled out of the paratroopers after 7 yrs jumping out of planes. Now bounce Alex on my knee, buy him ice cream cones, write books about ancient history of the middleast and Spying. We'd love to have you for dinner, coffee or a glass of Old Crow. (bourbon, in teeny glasses) Best regards, Tip

                        Maurice Temples <mctempedocles@...> wrote:
                        Hey Don,

                        Are you here in the States someplace? I'm in Darnell Archey's hometown. I posted at 1:00am, more or less, and when I got up at 5:30am your reply was in my inbox. I used to be able to make such lightning replies, but no more. I work about 75 hours a week, so it's easy for me to run behind in discussions. I'm glad you found my writing to be clear. Writing is a bit of a hobby for me, so writing clearly is important to me. It's unfortunate, don't you think, that in this day and age the writing of the common man has nothing of the flair of the common man's writing a hundred and fifty or two hundred years ago. As for me, I'm impressed to be talking to a retired spy. (At least, I assume you're retired.) Your background is so different from anyone else I have known; you should have some unique insights.
                        I think most people, even some atheists and freethinkers, assume there is some absolute morality. This means that there is no difference between public and private morality. It means that men are moral or immoral to the extent they have discovered the absolute morality. And that means it is somehow our fault if we fail to discover the absolute morality. This view parallels the ancient view of language: that words were given down by the Divine replete with their individual meanings, and it was man's failing if he didn't discover those meanings. We now know that this is not the case, that *we* give words their changeable meanings and use them according to their effects. But consider a man in private, such as a man stranded alone on an island. How can he be either moral or immoral? It seems to me he can only judge effectiveness or ineffectiveness, not moral right or wrong.
                        Here's the problem: since most people, particularly believers, still labor under the absolute morality fallacy they believe (quoting you) >>that the enumerated laws must be addendum to the proclamation that "We have Group or cultural and traditional morality<<. This drives men to theocracy. Even in the United States the church continuously tries to control the state. Why 9-11 didn't reawaken men to the great dangers of combining church and state and make them run far and fast from religion is beyond me. Our nation was founded by men awake to those dangers and ever since has had to battle daily against men still blind to those dangers.

                        One last thought, looking on the bright side: what your professor said, >>"At any one time we are all of the things that ever happened to us!"<< I take to mean not the sum of all things, but the *exponent* of all things. That is, if 4 things have happened to us, we are 4 to the 4th power; if a million things have happened to us, we a million to the millionth power. And, we are all this plus one more thing: the potential to be more.

                        Best regards,
                        Maurice



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                      • Ricky Barnes
                        ... Hi Maurice, Boy, I was beginning to think this group was dead. There certainly hasn t been much activity of late. At any rate, I d like to respond to the
                        Message 11 of 19 , Apr 15 1:35 PM
                          --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "mctempedocles"
                          <mctempedocles@y...> wrote:

                          > Do you feel that morality is private
                          > or public? The philosopher Sidney Hook
                          > said that a man in isolation is neither
                          > moral nor immoral; that morality arises
                          > out of the consequences of social
                          > interactions.


                          Hi Maurice,

                          Boy, I was beginning to think this group was dead. There certainly
                          hasn't been much activity of late.

                          At any rate, I'd like to respond to the above because I think the
                          point is vital.

                          Morality exists in any philosophy whether that philosophy is
                          explicit or implicit, i.e. whether the individual who has the
                          philosophy is aware that he has a philosophy or simply follows a set
                          of beliefs detached from any formal philosophical structure (most
                          people fall into this category).

                          A moral code or a system of ethics is simply a set of value
                          judgments one uses to guide one's actions. There isn't really a
                          public and private distinction because a value guides only
                          individual action. Certainly a value held by many can be very
                          public and a value held by one individual that guides action that
                          affects many other individuals can be said to be public, however, a
                          value can only guide the actions of an individual even if the action
                          or actions of many individuals are guided by the same value at the
                          same time. I say this specific thing because we shouldn't be
                          distracted by the fact that, say, the United States government is
                          guided in its action in Iraq by a set of values. It is true,
                          however, a group, in this case the group "United States government",
                          does not have existence in and of itself. A group is a collection
                          of individuals and it is they that have true existence and it is
                          they who are capable of action and it is only they that can have a
                          set of values that guide their individual actions. Values guide an
                          individual in individual action whether that action affects only
                          that individual or affects many other individuals as in the case of
                          the President of the United States.

                          Every human action presupposes a value behind it. Think about it:
                          when you go to rent a movie and you choose one movie over another -
                          why? You obviously saw more value in the one you chose than the one
                          you didn't. When you choose to have sugar in your coffee rather
                          than not have sugar in your coffee you are expressing a value
                          through action. When you go to buy a book or several books you
                          choose the ones you do because they are of more value to you than
                          they ones you did not choose. You come to this group at Yahoo as
                          opposed to another because this one has some value to you as opposed
                          to the other. Many people call these preferences or interests and,
                          indeed, they are preferences or interests but they are preferences
                          or interests for a reason - because you value your happiness versus
                          unhappiness, you value your own comfort versus discomfort, you value
                          sugar versus no sugar, you value a comedy versus a love story, you
                          value a novel or something non-fiction, you value discussion about
                          eliminating religion from society versus discussion about chronic
                          depression. Value can be about trivial matters or values can be
                          about very serious matters such as "Do I kill or not kill?", "Do I
                          steal or not steal?" "Do I give my last dollar to the beggar on the
                          street or do I use that dollar to feed my family or myself?" "Do I
                          worship a god or do I not worship a god?" "Do I go to work or not
                          go to work?" and so on.

                          What about a castaway on a deserted island? Does he need a moral
                          code to guide his actions? Yes - desperately! A man on a deserted
                          island doesn't need a system of values that include values relating
                          to other people because there are none, however, he definitely needs
                          a system of values that tell him what is good and what is bad for
                          his own survival, assuming of course that he values his own life -
                          that is value number one. All of his actions or inactions will be a
                          result of the set of values he chooses either explicitly or
                          implicitly. If the castaway values his life then his other values
                          will all be in the interest of preserving that life. If the
                          castaway values death then all of his other values will be in the
                          interest of attaining his own demise. All of his actions will be
                          guided by his set of values, his morality, from the most important
                          value "I value my own life." to the most trivial "I value washing my
                          face."


                          > From this point of view, morality is
                          > strictly behavioral. Would you agree
                          > with this point of view?


                          Yes, morality involves behavior, i.e. a value guides action.


                          > If a man covets his neighbor's wife
                          > and yet does not act on his desire or
                          > allow it to interfere in any of his
                          > actions, is he nevertheless immoral?


                          Value relates to choices and actions. If the man makes no other
                          choices or commits no actions based on the value he sees in the
                          neighbor's wife then the value has no effect. The man's inaction is
                          not guided by the value he sees in the neighbor's wife, but rather
                          by some other value such as the value he sees in the neighbor's
                          feelings or, if he's married, the value he sees in his wife's
                          feelings, or any number of other values he might hold.

                          The "coveting" in itself is not immoral but any choices he makes or
                          actions he takes as a result of that "coveting" can be moral or
                          immoral in relation to his other values or in relation to the values
                          of others.


                          > If so, then who is the judge of
                          > his morality?


                          Reality is the final judge of any morality. If the man covets his
                          neighbor's wife and his own morality says it's okay to act on that,
                          his morality is denying or evading the fact that to act on his
                          coveting will cause harm of some kind to the neighbor. A morality
                          that obtains value at the expense of others is immoral because it
                          denies or evades the truth or reality of the neighbor's own life.


                          > Only the man himself.


                          Nope. A proper morality is not one that says "What is good for me
                          is what is good." A proper morality is not relative or subjective.
                          A proper morality is one that is objective, i.e. one that recognizes
                          all of reality, not just your part of it.


                          > From this point of view, is there
                          > actual morality going on, or is it
                          > no more than a daydream?


                          Oh, I see what you'r getting at now. No, there is morality taking
                          place because the neighbor DECIDED not to act on his covetous
                          feelings. He chose not to act because he holds some other value
                          that supercedes the value he sees in his neighbor's wife.

                          Remember, a value guides either a choice or an action.

                          Rick
                        • Ricky Barnes
                          ... Oh, I guess I missed the rule that says I can t be pedantic if I feel like it. Aren t you being a little pedantic yourself? ... No. I am. You are.
                          Message 12 of 19 , Apr 15 2:55 PM
                            --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, "mctempedocles"
                            <mctempedocles@y...> wrote:

                            > I realize you were discussing the phrase
                            > "death to religion," but aren't you
                            > being overly pedantic?


                            Oh, I guess I missed the rule that says I can't be pedantic if I
                            feel like it. Aren't you being a little pedantic yourself?


                            > What does it mean to say something
                            > exists? "I am," "you are," "he, she,
                            > or it is" are nothing more than
                            > incomplete sentences;


                            No. "I am." "You are." "He is." are all complete sentences. They
                            have a subject and a predicate. They are simple sentences to be
                            sure but they are nonetheless complete in that they have all that is
                            needed to be complete sentences. If you're going to be pedantic you
                            should as a minimum know what it is you're talking about.


                            > they really have no semantic content.


                            Semantics is the study of meaning, thus even a single word is
                            semantic in so far as it has meaning. Sentences, even simple ones
                            ADD meaning to the simple meaning of the individual words contained
                            in them. If I say "she" I mean whatever it is "she" refers to. I
                            make no statement about "she." If I say "She is." I mean that
                            whatever "she" refers to has existence right now as opposed to in
                            the past or in the future which would be "She was." or "She will
                            be." respectively. I can even form conditionals such as "She would
                            have been." or "She will have been." If I say "She is home." I mean
                            whatever "she" refers to exists right now at a place called "home."


                            > To say the rabbit exists is just another
                            > incomplete sentence.


                            No. To say "The rabbit exists." is a complete sentence (subject and
                            predicate).


                            > But to say the rabbit exists dead is
                            > quite different from saying that it
                            > exists alive.


                            Yes, of course it's different. They are two different statements.


                            > When I kill the rabbit, it is still
                            > meaningless to say it exists,


                            No, not meaningless at all. Even if I just said "Rabbit." there is
                            meaning contained in the word itself. To say "Rabbit." and to
                            say "The rabbit exists." are two different meanings but they are
                            both meanings and are thus both semantic. "Rabbit." is not a
                            sentence, however, "The rabbit exists." is a sentence. All three of
                            these are complete sentences and all three have different meaning:

                            "The rabbit exists."

                            "A rabbit exists."

                            "Rabbit exists."


                            > but it is now true to say it exists
                            > dead.


                            It is meaningful to say "The rabbit exists." and it is meaningful to
                            say "The rabbit exists dead." Both have meaning but each has a
                            different meaning. Both are semantic in that both have meaning.


                            > Just so, it is meaningless to say
                            > "God exists" as believers are so
                            > fond of touting as a meaningful
                            > phrase.


                            "God exists." does have meaning because both the word "god"
                            and "exists" have individual meaning and put together we get another
                            meaning in so far as the words relating to one another in the
                            sentence give us a new meaning. Again, "God exists." speaks
                            volumes. Whether "god" refers to something real or imaginary is
                            another matter. The sentence still has meaning though. If I
                            say "Mickey Mouse exists." aren't I saying something? I am saying
                            that I exist, I am alive, I have a mind, I am able to use language,
                            I know english, I am aware that there is a concept "Mickey Mouse"
                            that represents a set of characteristics and that concept is such
                            that it is part of what we call "that which exists", I have a
                            computer, I am able to use that computer, I am able to type the
                            message "Mickey Mouse exists." and send it to you, etc. The
                            sentence is simple but it is a complete sentence and it is full of
                            explicit and implicit meaning.


                            > Also, anything can be dead.
                            > It is not necessary for it to
                            > have ever been alive.


                            Don't mistake "dead" for the meaning "inanimate." When we were
                            using the term "dead" we were talking about something that has life
                            in so far as those who practice religion have life. In the
                            phrase "Death to religion" it is not to mean "let's make religion
                            inanimate". It is to mean "Let's wipe religion from the face of the
                            planet." My comments about "death" were in response to that. To
                            cause death is not necessarily to wipe from existence. To make
                            inanimate is not necessarily to wipe from existence either.

                            Now who's being pedantic?


                            > There are dead ends, dead heats,
                            > dead zones, and so forth.


                            Yes, all different uses of "dead" with slightly different meanings.
                            A very large dictionary gives over forty-two different meanings
                            for "dead." Combined with other words "dead" gains any number of
                            other meanings.


                            > "Dead" does not strictly equate
                            > to "not alive."


                            True, but I never claimed otherwise. "Dead", however, never equates
                            to "wiped from existence."


                            > It just generally means unproductive.


                            No, the very first meaning given in a dictionary, the first meaning
                            usually means it is the most common or general meaning, is:

                            DEAD, adj., 1. no longer living; deprived of life


                            > "God is dead" simply means the god
                            > concept has become unproductive.


                            You might say that depending on the meaning you wish to convey,
                            however, "God is dead." generally means "No one believes in God
                            anymore."


                            > We know that god concepts and religions
                            > are not only unproductive, but
                            > counterproductive. That's a good
                            > enough reason to wish death to religion.


                            "God" concepts and religions are most definitely productive but that
                            productiveness is counterproductive to those who don't appreciate
                            the productive nature of religion or of "God" concepts.


                            You shouldn't really accuse someone of being pedantic and then turn
                            around and become guilty of being pedantic yourself. Of course, you
                            can if you want, and so can I.

                            Rick
                          • Ricky Barnes
                            ... It s all to true that most moralities held by the individuals of the world are not based on absolutes. If there were a morality based strictly on
                            Message 13 of 19 , Apr 15 5:15 PM
                              --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, Maurice Temples
                              <mctempedocles@y...> wrote:

                              > I think most people, even some atheists
                              > and freethinkers, assume there is some
                              > absolute morality.


                              It's all to true that most moralities held by the individuals of the
                              world are not based on absolutes. If there were a morality based
                              strictly on absolutes (i.e. the facts of reality) it would be
                              objective. Unfortunately, subjective whim has crept into just about
                              every morality you can name.

                              There is one system of ethics that IS based on the absolutes of
                              reality and IS therefore objective. That system of ethics belongs
                              to the philosophy of objectivism.


                              > This means that there is no difference
                              > between public and private morality.


                              Correct. There is no distinction between public and private
                              morality. Morality is a set of values that guide individual choice
                              and individual action. A group cannot choose or act because a group
                              does not exist apart from its individual members. It is the
                              individual members that hold the value and it is the individual
                              members that choose or take action according to that value. The
                              same value or set of values can be held by many individuals and be
                              considered a "public" value, however, the "public" cannot choose or
                              take action based on that value or set of values. Only the
                              individuals of the "public" can choose or take action. The same is
                              true of a value or set of values held by only one individual. This
                              might be called a "private" morality in so far as it is morality of
                              one, however, the effect is the same. It is an individual holding a
                              value or set of values making individual choice or taking individual
                              action.


                              > It means that men are moral or immoral
                              > to the extent they have discovered the
                              > absolute morality. And that means it
                              > is somehow our fault if we fail to
                              > discover the absolute morality.


                              If you do not discover an absolute morality, or you deny or evade
                              the same, who's fault is it? Who holds the responsibility for your
                              personal guide to choice or action (i.e. your morality)? There IS
                              an absolute morality, an objective one based on the facts of
                              reality. Nobody owns it or has a monopoly over it. It is a
                              morality available to anyone who discovers it. The fact that most
                              moralities are subjective doesn't mean that an objective or absolute
                              morality can't exist. It CAN exist and DOES exist. If you fail to
                              discover it, who's fault is your failure? Someone else? On what
                              basis? If you don't value the need of your own life to think until
                              you discover the absolute truth then you deny the reality of that
                              life and are guilty of a subjective morality. Existence is an
                              absolute. Man's life is an absolute. Man's consciousness is an
                              absolute. Man's need to think to preserve his life is an absolute.
                              Everything follows from there.


                              > This view parallels the ancient view
                              > of language: that words were given
                              > down by the Divine replete with their
                              > individual meanings, and it was man's
                              > failing if he didn't discover those
                              > meanings.


                              No, there's no parallel at all. An absolute morality exists and it
                              isn't handed down by something "Divine." An absolute morality is
                              one whose set of values are formed from the absolute facts of
                              reality. Absolute reality or existence is the source, not
                              subjective fantasy. Because you are a member of reality or
                              existence you have no choice but to discover exactly what values FIT
                              with the facts of that reality or existence and which values DON'T
                              FIT with the facts of that reality or existence. Once you've
                              discovered which values are objective and absolute and which values
                              are subjective and relative you have a choice: either form values
                              based on what you've discovered about absolute reality or form
                              values based on subjective fantasy. The first is much more
                              conducive to human life than the second. Whatever choice you make
                              is your responsibility. Discovery is your responsibility, not
                              someone else's.


                              > We now know that this is not the case, that
                              > *we* give words their changeable meanings
                              > and use them according to their effects.


                              True. Language is a human invention, not a divine gift.


                              > But consider a man in private, such as
                              > a man stranded alone on an island. How
                              > can he be either moral or immoral? It
                              > seems to me he can only judge
                              > effectiveness or ineffectiveness, not
                              > moral right or wrong.


                              It is a man alone on an island who needs morality the most.
                              Morality, or a system of values guiding choices and actions, is
                              needed for anything possessing life. Life depends on choices and
                              action for continued existence, inanimate matter does not. Even an
                              animal has a set of values that guide it in decision and action. Do
                              I protect my young or allow the next predator to take them? Do I
                              hunt for food or do I sleep all day? Do I chase the gazelle into
                              the river or stay dry on shore? Do I go near the crocodile-filled
                              river's edge or stay safely back? Do I build a nest here or there?
                              Do I seek shelter from rain or stay exposed? Do I mate with this
                              bear or that bear? Everything with life has to take action(s) to
                              preserve that life and all of that is based on a value or set of
                              values. The source of an animal's values tends to be instinct, the
                              source of man's values is his ability to reason. Certainly,
                              lifeforms exhibit the capacity to make choices or take action in
                              varying degrees of complexity, however, every form of life has to
                              take action to preserve its life and that entails values. Man is
                              certainly the most complex of lifeforms on the planet and to man
                              belongs the largest set of choices that have to be made and the
                              largest set of actions that have to be taken to preserve his life.
                              Man is in most need of morality than any other lifeform on earth. A
                              man alone on a deserted island MUST have a set of values that guide
                              his choices and his actions. Without a set of values, a morality,
                              all that is left to him is to lay down and die because he won't have
                              anything to tell him what he is supposed to do to preserve his life,
                              if he even values that.


                              > Here's the problem: since most people,
                              > particularly believers, still labor
                              > under the absolute morality fallacy
                              > they believe


                              Absolute morality is not a fallacy. An absolute morality exists
                              because reality exists and man exists and man must make choices and
                              take action to preserve his existence. Reality is absolute. Man is
                              an absolute. Man's life is an absolute. Man's need to think is an
                              absolute. Man's need to take action to preserve his life is an
                              absolute. A morality based on these absolutes would be an absolute
                              and objective morality.

                              The theist morality is NOT absolute or objective. Theist morality
                              is subjective and relative, but they try to enforce it as though it
                              were an absolute. It is not. The only relation theist morality has
                              to reality is that absolute people created it and they attempt to
                              enforce on people who ARE an absolute. It is precisely that it is a
                              subjective relativistic morality trying to fit an objective absolute
                              reality that makes the theist morality such a failure.


                              > (quoting you) >>that the enumerated laws
                              > must be addendum to the proclamation that
                              > "We have Group or cultural and traditional
                              > morality<<. This drives men to theocracy.
                              > Even in the United States the church
                              > continuously tries to control the state.
                              > Why 9-11 didn't reawaken men to the great
                              > dangers of combining church and state and
                              > make them run far and fast from religion
                              > is beyond me.


                              Well it's not so much the "church" trying to control the "state" as
                              it is theist individuals trying to dictate to other theist or non-
                              theist individuals.

                              9-11 didn't make people run from religion because the 90% of
                              americans who believe in a "God" see it as "Our religion versus
                              their religion." Both parties see themselves as righteous, but both
                              parties are deluded. Only those of us who insist that reason is the
                              only path to knowledge and reality is the ultimate source of
                              morality that are righteous, however, we are in the minority. I
                              don't have to run from religion. I'm not in it to begin with.
                              Many if not most of those who believe in a "God" believe that
                              religion has a definitely place in the state, some states more than
                              others. Some theists believe there should be a separation. For us
                              who do not believe in a "God" in general have no religion so it's a
                              non-issue for us. We don't have a need for religion so obviously we
                              see no need for religion to have anything to do with the state.


                              > Our nation was founded by men awake to
                              > those dangers and ever since has had
                              > to battle daily against men still blind
                              > to those dangers.


                              All too true.


                              > One last thought, looking on the bright
                              > side: what your professor said,
                              > >"At any one time we are all of the
                              > things that ever happened to us!"<<
                              > I take to mean not the sum of all things,
                              > but the *exponent* of all things. That
                              > is, if 4 things have happened to us, we
                              > are 4 to the 4th power; if a million
                              > things have happened to us, we a million
                              > to the millionth power. And, we are all
                              > this plus one more thing: the potential
                              > to be more.


                              That is a WONDERFUL way of looking at a human being. We are not
                              JUST our experiences, we our experiences AND what we do with those
                              experiences, namely our knowledge, our values, our choices and our
                              actions. This is similar to some of the views of R. Buckminster
                              Fuller.

                              Rick
                            • Ricky Barnes
                              ... your post, and some of Rick s stufff too, he s an ex-spook too. Yes I live in Fredericksburg, VA. -
                              Message 14 of 19 , Apr 15 5:42 PM
                                --- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, Don Tipton
                                <gizzard2003@y...> wrote:
                                > Hi Maurice: Tip Once again I'm impressed with
                                your post, and some of Rick's stufff too, he's an ex-spook too. Yes
                                I live in Fredericksburg, VA. - < 1809 Meadow Dr., Fredericksburg,
                                VA. 22405. (540) 368-0283 meddt70@h... > If you or Rick are
                                in this neighborhood, drop by and say howdy to a couple of ole
                                coots, me n' Grandma Aileen, my very best friend. We are here in
                                Virginia taking care of our grandson Alexander who is seven years
                                old. We moved from our N. California home on the ocean to Virginia
                                to help our youngest daughter who was medicalled out of the
                                paratroopers after 7 yrs jumping out of planes. Now bounce Alex on
                                my knee, buy him ice cream cones, write books about ancient history
                                of the middleast and Spying. We'd love to have you for dinner,
                                coffee or a glass of Old Crow. (bourbon, in teeny glasses) Best
                                regards, Tip



                                What a wonderful offer Tip! If I'm ever that way I'll certainly
                                give you a visit. I suspect we'd have a lot to talk about. My
                                experience and Ph.D. is in Slavic linguistics which includes some
                                time professionally in Russia and parts of eastern europe. I'm
                                afraid my middle east experience is limited to my experiences in
                                Desert Storm and a high school senior trip to Tunisia. In Desert
                                Storm I mostly sat in a comms van listening to the Russians and a
                                few others in my skivvies (man, was it ever hot! - but it was a dry
                                heat. LOL)

                                Hope you and yours are well.

                                Rick
                              • Don Tipton
                                Hi Ricky: Tip Come on ad visit my friend, the ole crow, coffee & supper awqaits. Even our black cat Spirit will great you, and our German
                                Message 15 of 19 , Apr 16 3:09 AM
                                  Hi Ricky: Tip Come on ad visit my friend, the ole crow, coffee & supper awqaits. Even our black cat "Spirit" will great you, and our German Rottwiler will pee on the floor if you pet her in the living room. Its amazing how much she wiggles when someone pets her. Best regards, Tip

                                  Ricky Barnes <RickyBarnes1960@...> wrote:--- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, Don Tipton
                                  <gizzard2003@y...> wrote:
                                  > Hi Maurice: Tip Once again I'm impressed with
                                  your post, and some of Rick's stufff too, he's an ex-spook too. Yes
                                  I live in Fredericksburg, VA. - < 1809 Meadow Dr., Fredericksburg,
                                  VA. 22405. (540) 368-0283 meddt70@h... > If you or Rick are
                                  in this neighborhood, drop by and say howdy to a couple of ole
                                  coots, me n' Grandma Aileen, my very best friend. We are here in
                                  Virginia taking care of our grandson Alexander who is seven years
                                  old. We moved from our N. California home on the ocean to Virginia
                                  to help our youngest daughter who was medicalled out of the
                                  paratroopers after 7 yrs jumping out of planes. Now bounce Alex on
                                  my knee, buy him ice cream cones, write books about ancient history
                                  of the middleast and Spying. We'd love to have you for dinner,
                                  coffee or a glass of Old Crow. (bourbon, in teeny glasses) Best
                                  regards, Tip



                                  What a wonderful offer Tip! If I'm ever that way I'll certainly
                                  give you a visit. I suspect we'd have a lot to talk about. My
                                  experience and Ph.D. is in Slavic linguistics which includes some
                                  time professionally in Russia and parts of eastern europe. I'm
                                  afraid my middle east experience is limited to my experiences in
                                  Desert Storm and a high school senior trip to Tunisia. In Desert
                                  Storm I mostly sat in a comms van listening to the Russians and a
                                  few others in my skivvies (man, was it ever hot! - but it was a dry
                                  heat. LOL)

                                  Hope you and yours are well.

                                  Rick



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                                • Don Tipton
                                  Hi Rick: Tip I m impressed with your depth of thought on this subject and otherwise. What do you think of a person - a Leader of others at any
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Apr 16 3:36 AM
                                    Hi Rick: Tip I'm impressed with your depth of thought on this subject and otherwise. What do you think of a person - a Leader of others at any level - having a concept of some moral view, and he or she is capable of transferring that morality to his group of constituents, to make his form of morality, the group's essential belief too? Are those who subscribe to a leader's morality ahead of the individual's personal view, obviating the ethic "To thy ownself be true?" i.e. Political Parties, ect. Best regards, Tip

                                    Ricky Barnes <RickyBarnes1960@...> wrote:--- In deathtoreligion@yahoogroups.com, Maurice Temples
                                    <mctempedocles@y...> wrote:

                                    > I think most people, even some atheists
                                    > and freethinkers, assume there is some
                                    > absolute morality.


                                    It's all to true that most moralities held by the individuals of the
                                    world are not based on absolutes. If there were a morality based
                                    strictly on absolutes (i.e. the facts of reality) it would be
                                    objective. Unfortunately, subjective whim has crept into just about
                                    every morality you can name.

                                    There is one system of ethics that IS based on the absolutes of
                                    reality and IS therefore objective. That system of ethics belongs
                                    to the philosophy of objectivism.


                                    > This means that there is no difference
                                    > between public and private morality.


                                    Correct. There is no distinction between public and private
                                    morality. Morality is a set of values that guide individual choice
                                    and individual action. A group cannot choose or act because a group
                                    does not exist apart from its individual members. It is the
                                    individual members that hold the value and it is the individual
                                    members that choose or take action according to that value. The
                                    same value or set of values can be held by many individuals and be
                                    considered a "public" value, however, the "public" cannot choose or
                                    take action based on that value or set of values. Only the
                                    individuals of the "public" can choose or take action. The same is
                                    true of a value or set of values held by only one individual. This
                                    might be called a "private" morality in so far as it is morality of
                                    one, however, the effect is the same. It is an individual holding a
                                    value or set of values making individual choice or taking individual
                                    action.


                                    > It means that men are moral or immoral
                                    > to the extent they have discovered the
                                    > absolute morality. And that means it
                                    > is somehow our fault if we fail to
                                    > discover the absolute morality.


                                    If you do not discover an absolute morality, or you deny or evade
                                    the same, who's fault is it? Who holds the responsibility for your
                                    personal guide to choice or action (i.e. your morality)? There IS
                                    an absolute morality, an objective one based on the facts of
                                    reality. Nobody owns it or has a monopoly over it. It is a
                                    morality available to anyone who discovers it. The fact that most
                                    moralities are subjective doesn't mean that an objective or absolute
                                    morality can't exist. It CAN exist and DOES exist. If you fail to
                                    discover it, who's fault is your failure? Someone else? On what
                                    basis? If you don't value the need of your own life to think until
                                    you discover the absolute truth then you deny the reality of that
                                    life and are guilty of a subjective morality. Existence is an
                                    absolute. Man's life is an absolute. Man's consciousness is an
                                    absolute. Man's need to think to preserve his life is an absolute.
                                    Everything follows from there.


                                    > This view parallels the ancient view
                                    > of language: that words were given
                                    > down by the Divine replete with their
                                    > individual meanings, and it was man's
                                    > failing if he didn't discover those
                                    > meanings.


                                    No, there's no parallel at all. An absolute morality exists and it
                                    isn't handed down by something "Divine." An absolute morality is
                                    one whose set of values are formed from the absolute facts of
                                    reality. Absolute reality or existence is the source, not
                                    subjective fantasy. Because you are a member of reality or
                                    existence you have no choice but to discover exactly what values FIT
                                    with the facts of that reality or existence and which values DON'T
                                    FIT with the facts of that reality or existence. Once you've
                                    discovered which values are objective and absolute and which values
                                    are subjective and relative you have a choice: either form values
                                    based on what you've discovered about absolute reality or form
                                    values based on subjective fantasy. The first is much more
                                    conducive to human life than the second. Whatever choice you make
                                    is your responsibility. Discovery is your responsibility, not
                                    someone else's.


                                    > We now know that this is not the case, that
                                    > *we* give words their changeable meanings
                                    > and use them according to their effects.


                                    True. Language is a human invention, not a divine gift.


                                    > But consider a man in private, such as
                                    > a man stranded alone on an island. How
                                    > can he be either moral or immoral? It
                                    > seems to me he can only judge
                                    > effectiveness or ineffectiveness, not
                                    > moral right or wrong.


                                    It is a man alone on an island who needs morality the most.
                                    Morality, or a system of values guiding choices and actions, is
                                    needed for anything possessing life. Life depends on choices and
                                    action for continued existence, inanimate matter does not. Even an
                                    animal has a set of values that guide it in decision and action. Do
                                    I protect my young or allow the next predator to take them? Do I
                                    hunt for food or do I sleep all day? Do I chase the gazelle into
                                    the river or stay dry on shore? Do I go near the crocodile-filled
                                    river's edge or stay safely back? Do I build a nest here or there?
                                    Do I seek shelter from rain or stay exposed? Do I mate with this
                                    bear or that bear? Everything with life has to take action(s) to
                                    preserve that life and all of that is based on a value or set of
                                    values. The source of an animal's values tends to be instinct, the
                                    source of man's values is his ability to reason. Certainly,
                                    lifeforms exhibit the capacity to make choices or take action in
                                    varying degrees of complexity, however, every form of life has to
                                    take action to preserve its life and that entails values. Man is
                                    certainly the most complex of lifeforms on the planet and to man
                                    belongs the largest set of choices that have to be made and the
                                    largest set of actions that have to be taken to preserve his life.
                                    Man is in most need of morality than any other lifeform on earth. A
                                    man alone on a deserted island MUST have a set of values that guide
                                    his choices and his actions. Without a set of values, a morality,
                                    all that is left to him is to lay down and die because he won't have
                                    anything to tell him what he is supposed to do to preserve his life,
                                    if he even values that.


                                    > Here's the problem: since most people,
                                    > particularly believers, still labor
                                    > under the absolute morality fallacy
                                    > they believe


                                    Absolute morality is not a fallacy. An absolute morality exists
                                    because reality exists and man exists and man must make choices and
                                    take action to preserve his existence. Reality is absolute. Man is
                                    an absolute. Man's life is an absolute. Man's need to think is an
                                    absolute. Man's need to take action to preserve his life is an
                                    absolute. A morality based on these absolutes would be an absolute
                                    and objective morality.

                                    The theist morality is NOT absolute or objective. Theist morality
                                    is subjective and relative, but they try to enforce it as though it
                                    were an absolute. It is not. The only relation theist morality has
                                    to reality is that absolute people created it and they attempt to
                                    enforce on people who ARE an absolute. It is precisely that it is a
                                    subjective relativistic morality trying to fit an objective absolute
                                    reality that makes the theist morality such a failure.


                                    > (quoting you) >>that the enumerated laws
                                    > must be addendum to the proclamation that
                                    > "We have Group or cultural and traditional
                                    > morality<<. This drives men to theocracy.
                                    > Even in the United States the church
                                    > continuously tries to control the state.
                                    > Why 9-11 didn't reawaken men to the great
                                    > dangers of combining church and state and
                                    > make them run far and fast from religion
                                    > is beyond me.


                                    Well it's not so much the "church" trying to control the "state" as
                                    it is theist individuals trying to dictate to other theist or non-
                                    theist individuals.

                                    9-11 didn't make people run from religion because the 90% of
                                    americans who believe in a "God" see it as "Our religion versus
                                    their religion." Both parties see themselves as righteous, but both
                                    parties are deluded. Only those of us who insist that reason is the
                                    only path to knowledge and reality is the ultimate source of
                                    morality that are righteous, however, we are in the minority. I
                                    don't have to run from religion. I'm not in it to begin with.
                                    Many if not most of those who believe in a "God" believe that
                                    religion has a definitely place in the state, some states more than
                                    others. Some theists believe there should be a separation. For us
                                    who do not believe in a "God" in general have no religion so it's a
                                    non-issue for us. We don't have a need for religion so obviously we
                                    see no need for religion to have anything to do with the state.


                                    > Our nation was founded by men awake to
                                    > those dangers and ever since has had
                                    > to battle daily against men still blind
                                    > to those dangers.


                                    All too true.


                                    > One last thought, looking on the bright
                                    > side: what your professor said,
                                    > >"At any one time we are all of the
                                    > things that ever happened to us!"<<
                                    > I take to mean not the sum of all things,
                                    > but the *exponent* of all things. That
                                    > is, if 4 things have happened to us, we
                                    > are 4 to the 4th power; if a million
                                    > things have happened to us, we a million
                                    > to the millionth power. And, we are all
                                    > this plus one more thing: the potential
                                    > to be more.


                                    That is a WONDERFUL way of looking at a human being. We are not
                                    JUST our experiences, we our experiences AND what we do with those
                                    experiences, namely our knowledge, our values, our choices and our
                                    actions. This is similar to some of the views of R. Buckminster
                                    Fuller.

                                    Rick



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