This is another one of my long-winded responses to a commenter that seemed like it deserved its own entry. Larry showed up and responded to an entry I wrote awhile back titled America’s Education Evangelist. The response deals with religion, the Ten Commandments and benign Communistic dictatorships so if you don’t have any interests in such things then you may want to skip this one.
With an infinite amount of time, what is it the human race would become?
Hard to say, but then what difference does this make in relation to the rest of your comment?
I Believe in God, the creator. I am an intelligent man and carefully looked at both views and came to my decision.
That’s all fine and good, but it doesn’t say a whole lot other than you believe in a god and feel you’re intelligent. Lack of intelligence isn’t a prerequisite for faith in the idea of god(s), though it certainly helps. Lots of otherwise intelligent people have believed in all manner of ridiculous ideas over the years and plenty of highly intelligent people still fall for scams and swindles. Having a high intelligence is of no use if you don’t have good thinking skills to go along with it. But again, what does this have to do with the rest of your comment?
The ACLU fought to have the Ten Commandments removed; what is it that is so wrong with writings that merely state Do not stealӔ?
Let’s clarify this a bit: The ACLU has fought to have displays of the Ten Commandments removed from government buildings where they do not belong, such as schools or court houses. The ACLU has taken no action against any churches that display the Decalogue on their walls whether inside or outside, nor from any private home or business. As long as the place where the Decalogue is displayed is not government property then there is nothing to complain about. In many cases that have been brought up a simple resolution would have been to move a monument from the lawn in front of a court house some 30 odd feet to the lawn of a private business or a church across the street or to the side of the court house in question. The display would then be legal, being on private and not public property, and still relatively close to its old position in front of the court house yet this is not good enough for the people opposed to moving the monument. They’ll insist that they’re not trying to have it appear as though government is trying to promote Christian precepts over all others, but yet this exceedingly simple solution is unacceptable which just reveals their dishonesty.
Let’s address your question posed above: “what is it that is so wrong with writings that merely state Do not stealӔ?” In and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with that particular Commandment. But that isn’t all that the Ten Commandments proclaim despite your implication. Depending on whether you’re talking about the Protestant, Catholic or Hebrew version, the Commandments say quite a bit more. Along with the admonishment that “thou shalt not” steal and kill, two commandments which the law agrees with, we also find a proclamation declaring that thou shalt have no other gods before me, not make graven images, not take God’s name in vain, keep the Sabbath holy, honor your parents, not commit adultery, not bear false witness nor covet anything belonging to your neighbors. Three of those are clearly religious in nature and specific to a particular religion (no other God, God’s name, Sabbath), four of them are good advice, but not illegal under the law (adultery, lying, honoring parents, and coveting), and one of them seems to contradict the idea of making a monument containing the Ten Commandments in the first place (graven images). Outside of the two that are reflected in the law, what is accomplished by the rest of these items being posted on a court house wall other than violating the establishment clause?
The common argument is that they serve as a reminder of what could be considered positive behavior for society as a whole and that by removing them we risk making things worse, but the truth is that many of these monuments have been in place for decades and yet most people consider American society to have gone downhill during that time. Clearly the presence of said monuments isn’t doing much good at getting people to follow the values advertised upon them so even if it were legal to post the commandments on government buildings there isn’t any evidence that they actually help improve society. Hanging a plaque that advertises the values you’d like to see reflected in society isn’t going to do a damn bit of good if people, as parents, aren’t teaching their kids those values in the home. Teaching your kids good values, however, is a lot more work than putting up Decalogues all over the place.
So let’s reverse the question and ask what good comes from putting the commandments on display in and on government buildings?
If the entire world lived by the teachings of Jesus Christ, what terrible atrocities would be committed?
Considering that Christians can’t even agree on just what, exactly, the Bible says I can imagine all manner of atrocities being possible. I’m willing to bet that if you tried to specify (which you didn’t) just what “the teachings of Jesus Christ” are that there would be plenty of other Christians who would step up and challenge your interpretations without any help from us godless heathens at all. As I recall at least one of the crusades of old involved the Catholics versus the Protestants and made for quite a bit of good old fashioned Christian on Christian violence. How can you expect the world to live by the teachings of Jesus Christ when no one can agree on just what they supposedly are?
Things would be good, nothing more and nothing less.
So says you, but if history is anything to go by I’d say your conclusion is flawed.
You wont like this statement but҅ I personally favor a dictatorship with me in charge; I could handle the job. I am pro life, Im against capital punishment and I believe we are all equal regardless of anything.
Castro, Stalin and others did pretty well at it. I’m sure you couldn’t do any worse. Funny thing about dictators, they all seem to think they can handle the job and be completely fair with everyone they rule over. I bet if you asked all of the dictators in the world if they felt they handle the job well and were good at it they’d all say “absolutely!” I’m sure you’d be just as fair and impartial as those guys are.
The resources of the world need to be evenly distributed; if all capital were fairly divided we would all be very comfortable, what more do we need.
Communism, which is what you’re extolling the virtues of here, has been tried and has failed for the most part. Those countries that still work under that system are hardly the examples of Utopia such a wonderfully progressive idea would seem to make possible. Many are slowly moving toward more democratic systems. Part of the problem is human nature. If working hard gains you no more reward than the guy who slacks off then why should anyone bust their ass? The only place where Communism seems to work well is with insects such as ants and bees and it’s a very successful method of survival for them. Doesn’t work well with humans, though.
The current ways of America and the world permit people like Bill Gates to exist simultaneously with starving homeless children, this is wrong, period.
Why is it wrong? I can see possibly arguing that it’s unfair or tragic, but wrong? The Gates Foundation donates billions of dollars every year to provide help to underprivileged people in various countries around the world. Help these people might not receive if the Gates Foundation didn’t exist because Bill Gates wasn’t a multi-billionaire.
Still, I’d love to hear your ideas on how your benign dictatorship would make all of these problems go away and make the world a place of unending goodness.
Earlier I spoke with a gentleman who personally seen thousands of families living in a dump, eating food thrown away by the nearby resorts and making mig-shift shelters from card board boxes discarded by the casinos. As for homosexual marriages, let those people go and set up their podiums and loudspeakers in those same dumps and preach how their rights are being infringed upon.
So your argument is that homosexuals don’t have any reason to bitch about being denied the rights that heterosexuals have as long as someplace in the world there are people starving? How, exactly, are these two issues related?