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[links] Link salad mends your robbing ways - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-09-14 05:36
Subject: [links] Link salad mends your robbing ways
Security: Public
Tags:culture, healthcare, links, personal, photos, politics, religion, science, trains
Coming Through: 1905 — Mmmm, trains.

Testing, the Chinese Way — (Via willyumtx.)

Family win $1.5 million in autism-vaccine payout — If you read this story carefully, there seems to be a legitimate thread of science in it given that a rare genetic disorder is involved, but the anti-vaxers are going to run hard with this as if it were applicable across the general population.

Anthropology and Changing Myths vs. "Eternal" Scripture — Ah, Truth as an absolute. So much of the world would be so much more peaceful if people could let of that conviction. (Via lt260.)

Challenge to Hate Crimes Act Dismissed — Once again with that weird idea some conservatives hold that being limited in their expressions of bigotry and discrimination is itself a form of bigotry and discrimination.

Tom Ross, Delaware GOP Chair, Threatened With 'Bullet In The Head' — Once more we hear the reasonable, measured tones of conservative rhetoric at work.

Newt Gingrich Is So Off, He's Not Even Wrong — This story in regard to Gingrich's bizarre remarks about Obama's alleged African socialism. Of course, the headline is generally applicable, along the lines of "Sun rises in east." More on this from Ta-Nehisi Coates, examining the underlying assumptions.

Intolerance — Park51 and Islam in America, as we betray our own values.

The Talibanization of AmericaViewed from Pakistan, the rise of U.S. Islamophobia looks depressingly familiar. Another wonderful gift from your Republican Party and the American conservative movement.

?otD: Have you been taught how to play Monopoly and how to sing in the rain?




9/14/2010
Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (Kalimpura)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.0 (solid)
This morning's weigh-in: 251.2
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 2/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently reading: Worldshaker by Richard Harland

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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-09-14 15:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So far as I can tell, most hate crime legislation provides additional penalties for attacks, vandalism, etc., based on intent. Unless these pastors etc. are out assaulting people they disapprove of, they're not terribly likely to be affected. This is akin to the deeply specious conservative argument against gay marriage on the grounds that churches would be forced to perform those marriages they disagree with.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2010-09-14 15:23 (UTC)
Subject: Anthropology / eternal scripture
anthroslug talks about stories changing to meet new needs. That's what preaching is, an attempt to apply the power of the myth to current situations. I would argue that the supposed inflexibility of the text is a virtue, not a fault, in that it's always there to remind us of first principles. But this only works if one also allows the importance of faithful interpretation, in the study or the pulpit or in publications.

I would quibble with your further statement about eternal truth. There's a big difference between saying the stories change and saying the truth changes. I'm guessing you're thinking about the harm done by, e.g., claiming Creationism as eternal truth, is that right? If so, I'd say Creationism is an interpretation of a story about the truth--and claims that is eternal truth are simply false!

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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-09-14 15:40 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Anthropology / eternal scripture
If so, I'd say Creationism is an interpretation of a story about the truth--and claims that is eternal truth are simply false!

But looking at it from the outside (ie, as an atheist), how do I discern a difference between the falsity of a Creationist claim and the truth of some other claim? To me, the most cogent argument against absolute truth in any religious tradition is the apparently universal tendency of religions to schism.
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Bryan Thomas Schmidt
User: Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Date: 2010-09-15 09:39 (UTC)
Subject: Freedom of Speech & Discrimination
Once again with that weird idea some conservatives hold that being limited in their expressions of bigotry and discrimination is itself a form of bigotry and discrimination.

Jay,

I agree that some of the rhetoric coming from conservatives these days is disturbing and inappropriate. But the people who mostly complain about being discriminated against and bigotry are people like me. The people make the comments are extremists, not the core people in the party, but we all get lumped in together, and that is discrimination. People have insulted me, etc. for what goes on. I am not a hateful person. I have gay friends. I don't believe in bombing abortion clinics. I don't believe in the Muslim community center being stopped. I have written many times about this stuff on my blog and criticized conservative friends on the others side of this, yet I get treated just as they do, and it's ridiculous. The Dems are cultivating a culture of hate also, and the fact they fail to see and acknowledge it is indicative of a sickness in our culture just as those extreme comments on the right are.

As far as freedom of speech goes, people have a right to say what they want in this country. It's a core value. The KKK and Nazi party have a right to protest and put out their b.s. The same law that protects their right, protects your right to say what you want as you do in books, blogs, etc. If you take away the rights of one person, yours could one day be taken away, because it weakens the law. There has always been a lot of nasty, offensive stuff out there. And yes, that is people abusing their freedoms by not considering others, but that's the way it works, and changing the law would restrict everyone, not just some people.

Respectfully,
Bryan T. Schmidt
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Bryan Thomas Schmidt
User: Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Date: 2010-09-15 09:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A far as the religious thing goes, the article is full of distortions.

The Bible (inclusive of the Torah or Old Testament and the New Testament) and the Koran are both large, sprawling, and internally inconsistent. Churches and mosques choose to ignore certain passages, emphasize others, and downplay yet others. Religious authorities and interested writers of all of these religions produce volumes explaining why some religious passages allegedly means something very different from what they actually say. This is really an attempt to make a more rigid written mythology flex in the way that earlier mythologies did, even if people deny that this is what they are doing.


I went to seminary and have a Masters in Theology. I take scriptural interpretation very seriously. I have studied them in their original languages, and the above statement is not true. Scholars who study the scriptures in their original languages, along with the social economic details of when they were written and cultural understandings of the day are pretty consistent in their interpretations of the Bible. The ones explaining things differently are the mainline churches who are more liberal, feel good oriented and want to change the traditional understandings to suit their desire to accommodate gays, abortion, etc.

I am as sorry as anyone that my religion and scriptures have been used to hurt and abuse people. I am sorry that these interpretations are often presented without the love Christ evidenced when He walked the Earth. I try never to do that myself. And I object when I hear others do it. But let's not let the fact that you are an athiest led to belief in half-truths here. Most people are genuinely trying to understand the scriptures as best they can. The scriptures are complicated and full of scriptures with confusing older phrasing and verbage and which often can be applied in different meanings to events in your life each time you read them.

As far as absolute truth, that's what the bible says it is. When you examine the scrolls all the way down to the oldest, the consistency is greater than any other ancient tome. The closest to having the number of copies of original texts to the bible is Homer's Odyssey, and the percentage of agreement between scrolls, etc. is far lower. That's a scientific fact, well studied and well reported. I understand you believe it's myth. I would expect to given your beliefs. And I understand that you don't agree with absolute truth as many Christians have presented it. And you also know that I respect you and your opinions, even when I don't agree with them, but sometimes it can be taken too far. The statements and links made sound hateful and discriminatory and not respectful. Which is unfortunate, and frankly, not reflective of the kind, caring person I know you to be.

Bryan T. Schmidt
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-09-15 13:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
If I may ask a possibly difficult question respectfully, how do you judge the Bible's truth as compared to other religious traditions that claim truth? What makes the Bible's claims more valid than the Bhagavad Gita or the Egyptian Book of the Dead or the Quran or any other revealed scripture?
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Bryan Thomas Schmidt
User: Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Date: 2010-09-15 15:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Again, the accuracy of translations is a factor. But this claim is mostly based on biblical teaching that the way to salvation is through faith in Christ alone. Which to you may be subjective but to Christians eliminates any other path.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-09-15 17:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So what you're saying is, essentially, "It's true because I believe it's true." Looking from the outside, I have never seen how Biblical claims of truth are any more, or less, testable, than the claims of truth from any other spiritual system.

After all, as an atheist, I believe in only one less god than you do as a monotheist. We have a great deal in common in that view.
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Bryan Thomas Schmidt
User: Bryan Thomas Schmidt
Date: 2010-09-16 05:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Here's a better answer from some papers in seminary.

Truth that is defined as being absolute, possesses the following qualities.
• Truth is discovered not invented
• Truth is transcultural: it can be conveyed across different cultures.
• Truth is unchanging: it can be conveyed across time.
• Beliefs cannot change a truth statement no matter how sincere one may be
• Truth is unaffected by the attitude of the one professing it
• All Truths are absolute
• Truth is knowable
In order for truth to be absolute and holding these qualities, it must be grounded in a source that is personal, unchanging, and sovereign over all creation.

Yes, I believe all of these are true and have seen them in action. I don't expect you to believe it but that's the answer.
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