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> Conservatism, Is it basically just stupidity?
Rick
post May 15, 2007, 11:06 AM
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A 2003 study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin found that conservatism can be explained as a set of beliefs and behaviors that result from a psyche controlled by fear, aggression, closed-minded dogmatism, and intolerance of ambiguity, compounded by mental rigidity and decreased cognitive complexity [dumbness]. --Robert Weitzel

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/14/1190/
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Technologist
post May 15, 2007, 03:34 PM
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Dumb? Hhmm, not always. I do not believe there is a direct correspondence between conservativism and idiocy. I have a blue collar uncle who is a labor democrat and I could make all of the same observations about his psychology that this study makes about conservatives.

I have always found the subject of Neo-conservativism fascinating, not because I am a neo-con but because they are secularists who are logically consistent from within their conceptual framework. To really understand the driving force behind conservatism in America, one must familiarize oneself with its philosophical underpinnings (see, Leo Strauss, Allan Bloom, Irving Kristol, Henry Kissinger,Ears)

Anyone who considers Kissinger a simpleton has obviously never read any of his published works. The man could best be classified as an "evil genius". Of course, the problem with conservatism is its restrictive framework which looks at the world in terms of zero-sum games when the world actually operates by "non-zero sum" logic. Things like "the law of unintended consequences" and reciprocal altruism are discredited by the conservative, while naked aggression is championed. I would also say tht at the end of the day, a great deal of their philosophical misguidedness can be viewed as a form of the naturalistic fallacy...

Quite simply, there are superior world views to conservatism, and there are strategies for redirecting the competitive aspect of human psychology towards more productive pursuits.

"It is not us versus them, it is us versus ourselves." ~ Technologist
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Rick
post May 16, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Choosing to believe the 19th century fallacies while ignoring modern insights could be considered a form of stupidity. Aside from the "intellectual" leaders of neo-conservatism (pseudo-conservatism?), the ranting right wingers I hear don't sound very smart to me.

The current leader of the conservatives, George Bush, is arguably a simpleton.
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Technologist
post May 16, 2007, 03:42 PM
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Well again, correlation does not neccesarily equal causation. (although I agree with you that GWB is a meat head)

If you're listening to talking heads, fascist radio or political leaders then of course they're going to sound simplistic. They're goal is to communicate and spread their message effectively, and that can only be accomplished by catering to the lowest common denominator.

The clandestine behind-the scenes-action of the conservative movement is more sophisticated (and much less religious). This is not to say that their approach is remotely adequate, but to think of them as simpletons is to underestimate your opponent. They are driven by a Machiavellian might-makes-right philosophy, and the US' growing military-technological prowess only feeds into their hubris. When it comes to the conservative "intelligencia" it is their moral/ethical framework which is deficient, not their intellect (yet I will admit that those possessing the highest intellect can critically evaluate their moral framework, so that is a strike against seemingly intelligent conservatives). If we aren't vigilant they will take us all down with them.

You want to know what a neo-con's wet dream is? *Link: AI Soldiers*
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Rick
post May 17, 2007, 10:12 AM
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QUOTE(Technologist @ May 16, 2007, 04:42 PM) *
... to think of them as simpletons is to underestimate your opponent. They are driven by a Machiavellian might-makes-right philosophy, and the US' growing military-technological prowess only feeds into their hubris. ... If we aren't vigilant they will take us all down with them.

Fully agreed. Not many people make the connection that being insufficiently aware of our true place in life isn't fully smart. "Clever" (as my wife would say) might be a more suitable word for the state of the neo-con or corporatist theorizer. It implies cold (Machiavellian) calculation for short term (non-global) gain.

I don't want to appear pedantic with my phrase "true place in life" (because the religious know-nothings do just that). What I mean is having an understanding of our ethical responsibilities that flows from adequate knowledge of the human condition. I think Kant had a good grasp of ethical responsibility.
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xanadu
post May 19, 2007, 01:17 PM
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I would agree that Bush is an idiot but he is not really a conservative either, except when it comes to religious dogma like stem cell funding, abortion or the like. Religious conservatism is a separate category and can be looked at as a sort of disease.

What about liberal extremists? Many of them are as brain dead as Bush is. All they want to do is give a handout to certain groups and tax the rich into oblivion. I would go along with it if it worked but it never has worked. If we could just tax the rich to death and the rest of us get a free ride, I'd say lets do it. But it's been tried over and over and the results have always been miserable. The poor get poorer and the rich flee or get put in prison. Take the soviet union, n. korea or cuba as recent examples. Where do you want to live, there or here?
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Culture
post May 21, 2007, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 15, 2007, 11:06 AM) *

A 2003 study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin found that conservatism can be explained as a set of beliefs and behaviors that result from a psyche controlled by fear, aggression, closed-minded dogmatism, and intolerance of ambiguity, compounded by mental rigidity and decreased cognitive complexity [dumbness]. --Robert Weitzel

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/05/14/1190/


Conservative does not mean 'to conserve' in the political sense and 'liberal' does not mean 'to be open to change' in the political sense. These definitions are the Webster dictionary versions, not the political science versions. But back to the topic, what disturbs me about conservatism is that according to traditional conservatism a person's morality should be regulated by the government.

Let's see how their political ideologies fit into the public notion of what conservative and liberal mean. Republicans mostly claim to be conservative, but what does this mean? First off they are against 'big government' (and one would argue that they are for 'big business') and believe that people can manage themselves. This is a classical liberalist view. There are also republicans who believe that gay marriage, abortion rights, etc are to be curbed, because they believe in so called traditional values such as the man-women household, a religious belief that no fetus/baby should be killed, etc. In short, republicans mix the liberal ideology with the conservative ideology.

Examining democrats, we can see that they hold the modern liberalist view along with elements of libertarianism. This is why many people think that liberals are those who seek change, because they think that illegal drugs, illegal prostitution etc are changes, open minded and 'liberal.' The truth is that it used to be the opposite, people were allowed to do any drug they wanted and prostitution wasn't illegal, what they're really doing is going back to the status quo, and upholding the view that humans can govern themselves.

Democrats also split with republicans on their view that governments should intervene on equality issues and economic issues. They believe that the government should regulate, subsidize certain aspects of our economy in order for it to stay 'alive.' The know that a group of people's freedom must be curbed in order so they don't oppress another group of people. Democrats believe that we shouldn't all be left to our own devices, but that we shouldn't have the government completely tell us what is right and what is wrong. They believe we, as people, are mostly rational, but some people's greed and lack of sensitivity must have sanctions. In short, democrats are modern liberals and libertarians.

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xanadu
post May 21, 2007, 10:48 AM
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"what disturbs me about conservatism is that according to traditional conservatism a person's morality should be regulated by the government."

That hit the nail on the head as far as the neanderthal type of conservatives we have today. Bush would definitely be one of those. What gives anyone the right to tell people what they can or can't do in the privacy of their homes? If someone wants to take drugs or even poison, it's their right. About the only place I can see government having a role is when it's highly addictive and dangerous drugs like meth. If it causes the users to commit lots of crime and harm others, then it's no longer a case of someone harming only themselves. It has become a public problem.

I think that should be the litmus test. I see no problem with gay marriage, another pet peeve of the low brow conservatives. What business is it of mine or anyone's if a woman wants an abortion? Likewise, smoking pot is no one's business except the one who wishes to smoke.

As for being in favor of small government, that's a laugh. Todays' conservatives and liberals both want huge government. The only difference is the republicans want to pay for it with deficit spending and the demos want to tax us to death. Both strategies lead to disaster. The demos are in favor of meddling in people's private lives too. They are just a little bit less obnoxious about it. Their obsession with giving handouts to the usual suspects is what turns me off to them.
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Rick
post May 21, 2007, 01:18 PM
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QUOTE(xanadu @ May 21, 2007, 11:48 AM) *
... Their obsession with giving handouts to the usual suspects is what turns me off to them.

Which "usual suspects" and how much to each group?

The Republican give-aways to big oil, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc. are the ones that ought to be investigated.
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xanadu
post May 22, 2007, 12:13 PM
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QUOTE
The Republican give-aways to big oil, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc. are the ones that ought to be investigated.


Agreed. The republicans are crooked as hell. That does not mean the demos are honest and looking out for your best interests. Far from it.

Which "usual suspects"? The demos have a grab bag of bad ideas. The fact that most of them have never worked does not discourage them in the slightest. The so called "justice" dept sues businesses who have not met their quota of minorities. Not all minorities, just the special ones who get special attention. They add new ones to the list from time to time. We all know about the quotas for blacks and women. Then there are the quotas for the handicapped. That sounds like a good cause but it has become a cash cow for greedy lawyers. They sue if an establishment does not have enough wheelchair ramps, special handicapped bathrooms, etc etc. A small business like most restaurants can not afford the thousands of dollars in additional expenses mandated. When sued, many small firms go out of business.

There are many other examples, I've hardly scratched the surface. And the repubs are behind a lot of them too.
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Rick
post May 22, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Affirmative action law is complex, but last I heard, quotas were still not part of it. Can you cite an example of a lawsuit for not meeting a quota?

Access for handicapped people has allowed many otherwise shut-ins to participate in society. Can you name some firms that have gone out of business due to requirements for ramps, etc.? It seems to me that a typical restaurant owner with a yacht, a summer home, and a new Mercedes can spend a few thousand dollars complying with the same law all his competitors comply with.
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Technologist
post May 22, 2007, 01:17 PM
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1. I find "legacy" to be a much more insidious form of affirmative action.

2. Affirmative action is suboptimal because it addresses the problem of social inequality too late. A higher reallocation of funding to public schooling (prek-12) is what is needed. Anyone who thinks that legalized segregation isn't still a fact of life in the US is living in a dream world.
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Rick
post May 22, 2007, 01:30 PM
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Affirmative action is far from perfect, but it beats the good old boy system of laissez-faire. I agree that we need to fully fund public education. There is nothing more important than investing in our future through education.
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Jellybean2
post May 23, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Consertivism... in the Christian world: Simply taking a stand on standards that God has clearly defined in His Word... so basically if God says it is wrong... it is wrong and we will not change our minds....
I am a consertive christian...and i am also open minded..i love hearing peoples opinions and hearing what they believe... if it isn't clearly defined as right or wrong in the scripture i will be accepting towards it... i find that to be conservitive you have to be strong.. it is easy to be liberal and accept every whim and thought that comes to the board... it takes alot more to listen to the idea or concept.. and weigh it out whether it is morally or ethically right or wrong..then choose to stand for or against it.
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Rick
post May 23, 2007, 09:32 AM
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QUOTE(Jellybean2 @ May 23, 2007, 08:42 AM) *
... listen to the idea or concept.. and weigh it out whether it is morally or ethically right or wrong..then choose to stand for or against it.

That sounds like reason, not conservatism.
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Jellybean2
post May 23, 2007, 09:40 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 23, 2007, 01:32 PM) *

QUOTE(Jellybean2 @ May 23, 2007, 08:42 AM) *
... listen to the idea or concept.. and weigh it out whether it is morally or ethically right or wrong..then choose to stand for or against it.

That sounds like reason, not conservatism.


you use reason in conservatism.....
you know the guidlines of what is right and the law of God is concerning certain things.
but things that are not clearly defined in Scripture you DO have to use reasoning. You need to have a logical reason why you don't agree with someone.
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Rick
post May 23, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Do you think the proscriptions and commands of Leviticus are "true?"
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Jellybean2
post May 23, 2007, 10:02 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 23, 2007, 01:53 PM) *

Do you think the proscriptions and commands of Leviticus are "true?"


yes they are very true.. it was the Law that God gave to Moses and the children of Israel to keep and try to maintain a clean sinless nation. Of course they failed miserable.
When Christ came, He fufilled the law. So now, to get forgivness of sins, we no longer have to sacrifice animals. Christ was the final sacrifice to cover our sins. We are under grace.
Now, the Law is the "schoolmaster" that brings us to Christ.
To know you are a sinner you must 1st realize you transgress the law of God... and to realize that ....we have the law. James 2:10] For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. So when we trangress the law we realize there is no hope right? Well, with Christ sacrifice we then turn to Him, repenting of our transgressions and accept His free gift.
Galatians 3:11] But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.[22] But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
[23] But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
[24] Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
[25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
[26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
So yes.. smile.gif i do believe in the Leviticus
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Rick
post May 23, 2007, 10:40 AM
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QUOTE(Jellybean2 @ May 23, 2007, 11:02 AM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ May 23, 2007, 01:53 PM) *

Do you think the proscriptions and commands of Leviticus are "true?"


yes they are very true..

Are you aware that your words could possibly be construed as a death threat? Leviticus requires believers to kill blasphemers and other parts of the bible require the killing of apostates.
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Jellybean2
post May 23, 2007, 10:51 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 23, 2007, 02:40 PM) *

QUOTE(Jellybean2 @ May 23, 2007, 11:02 AM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ May 23, 2007, 01:53 PM) *

Do you think the proscriptions and commands of Leviticus are "true?"


yes they are very true..

Are you aware that your words could possibly be construed as a death threat? Leviticus requires believers to kill blasphemers and other parts of the bible require the killing of apostates.



did you not read the rest of my post? we aren't under the law.. i believe i explained that ....Re-read and then repost smile.gif

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Rick
post May 23, 2007, 10:58 AM
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So when Jerry Falwell said that homosexuality is wrong because the Bible prohibits it, he was lying?
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Jellybean2
post May 23, 2007, 11:00 AM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 23, 2007, 02:58 PM) *

So when Jerry Falwell said that homosexuality is wrong because the Bible prohibits it, he was lying?


No he was right.... Romans Chapter 1 (KJV)
speaks of homosexuality.
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Rick
post May 23, 2007, 11:09 AM
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So you are under the law for Romans but not under the law for Leviticus. I guess Paul knew what he was talking about.

I just searched Romans 1 for homosexuality and couldn't find it. Can you be a bit more specific?
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xanadu
post May 23, 2007, 11:51 AM
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QUOTE(Rick)
Affirmative action law is complex, but last I heard, quotas were still not part of it. Can you cite an example of a lawsuit for not meeting a quota?


We don't have quotas anymore, they are illegal. What we have are "guidelines, targets" and so on. They are exactly the same things as quotas and yes, they sue very often because of that. I see it in the paper all the time. But no more "quotas". This is another good example of "new speak" that was predicted in the book 1984.

QUOTE
Access for handicapped people has allowed many otherwise shut-ins to participate in society. Can you name some firms that have gone out of business due to requirements for ramps, etc.? It seems to me that a typical restaurant owner with a yacht, a summer home, and a new Mercedes can spend a few thousand dollars complying with the same law all his competitors comply with.


That sounds very wonderful. I think if someone came up and asked anyone if they were in favor of helping the handicapped, they would reply "yes". A better reply would be "what exactly do you mean?" Too many tojan horses are brought in under a good sounding slogan or cause. The republicans use "save the children" all the time to take away our rights.

Do I have a list of the names of all business owners shut down by onerous government regulations? No, but it happens a lot, list or no list. I thought this part was especially funny:

"It seems to me that a typical restaurant owner with a yacht, a summer home, and a new Mercedes can spend a few thousand dollars complying with the same law all his competitors comply with."

LOL! yeah, all business owners are rich. You wouldn't happen to be an extreme leftist would you? Just a wild guess. Small business owners for the most part are hard working people who saved and scrimped for years to be able to open that 5 table diner. By working 12 hours a day they manage to pay the bills and support themselves. A few even are able to put a little money in the bank. Then some guy comes along and sues under the ADA because they don't have special wheelchair accessed stalls in the bathroom. Or because they don't have enough such stalls, maybe they only have one. And they have to have special ramps built to a certain code, etc etc. If the guy wins he can collect monetary damages. People make a fortune going around the country looking for spots to sue. They are the ones with the yachts, country homes and so on. They and their greedy scumbag lawyers.

It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to comply with bureaucratic regulations under the ADA not to mentions all the other regulations govt places on small business. Not having thousands of dollars to throw at a lawyer to fight the suit, about all they can do is shut down. Even then, they often get hit with a judgement and are forced into bankruptcy.

The businesses who are able to comply with the ever changing regulations and feel-good laws passed by idiots in power, have to pay for all that somehow. Who do you think pays for it, the rich people? Nope, think again. You pay for, that's right, you. Next time you gripe about $36 for lunch for two at a moderate priced restaurant or $3 gas or the high price of housing etc, be sure to thank the bureaucrats in power. They and the scumbag lawyers are the ones to thank for the skyrocketing cost of living.
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Rick
post May 23, 2007, 12:07 PM
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I know many business owners with yachts and summer homes. Of course they complain about the high costs of paying their workers fairly, of providing a safe working environment, etc. That's why they're rich.

Frivolous lawsuits are dealt with routinely by competent counter-lawyers. When you need a good lawyer, you need one bad. Judges these days are inclined to impose sanctions on scam artists, so honest businessmen should have nothing to fear from the dishonest scam artist.
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Jellybean2
post May 23, 2007, 12:37 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 23, 2007, 03:09 PM) *

So you are under the law for Romans but not under the law for Leviticus. I guess Paul knew what he was talking about.

I just searched Romans 1 for homosexuality and couldn't find it. Can you be a bit more specific?


Remember you asked for the Biblical truth....

Romans Chapter 1]
18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
[19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
[20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
[21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
[22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
[23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
[24] Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
[25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
[26] For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
[27] And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
[28] And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
[29] Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
[30] Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
[31] Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
[32] Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

it is very self explanitory.. very straightfoward
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Rick
post May 23, 2007, 02:00 PM
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It seems extremely vague to me. And even if it were an explicit prohibition against same sex sodomy and fellatio, Paul was a man who came from a very prudish culture. His standards do not apply today. People are free to think for themselves and act as they please so long as they do not harm others without their informed consent.
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xanadu
post May 23, 2007, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE(Rick)
I know many business owners with yachts and summer homes. Of course they complain about the high costs of paying their workers fairly, of providing a safe working environment, etc. That's why they're rich.


Rick, no one said there were no rich people. I said it was silly to say that all business owners, even small business owners like those who run a little restaurant, are rich. Who do you think it is that pays those high salaries you want them to pay? That's a question you keep ducking.

QUOTE(Rick)
Frivolous lawsuits are dealt with routinely by competent counter-lawyers. When you need a good lawyer, you need one bad. Judges these days are inclined to impose sanctions on scam artists, so honest businessmen should have nothing to fear from the dishonest scam artist.


I wish it was that way. Unfortunately, wishes have little to do with reality. In the usa, frivolous lawsuits are as common as fleas on a dog. Many of them result in a settlement just to make it go away. You can spend $5,000 on lawyer fees to defend against it or give them $2,000 to leave. There is also a 1 in 100 chance that a jury will side with the plaintiff and against you. Which would you do, settle under those circumstances or fight it? Who do you think pays the cost of all those lawsuits, the frivolous ones as well as the ones allowed by the ADA and other bad legislation. Don't keep ducking that question.

Jelly, what has the bible to do with things today? Are we to still stone adulterers and all the other backwards things said in the bible?
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Rick
post May 23, 2007, 02:44 PM
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QUOTE(xanadu @ May 23, 2007, 03:35 PM) *
... That's a question you keep ducking.

Businesses pass on all expenses to consumers, of course. However, with the lawsuit issue, we have the danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Powerful corporations are lobbying Congress to make it more difficult for people who are injured by negligent or incompetent businesses to sue for damages. A balance can be found where obviously frivolous lawsuits can be filtered out yet legitimate torts can be prosecuted. That's the definition of justice.
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xanadu
post May 23, 2007, 03:01 PM
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Rick, I'm glad you realize that all costs are passed on to the consumer. That's you and me. That includes the high salaries you want everyone to be paid. What good does it do to raise the minimum wage if productivity does not go up? Instead of getting $6 an hour and paying $30 for a bag of groceries, he gets $7 an hour and pays $35 for the same bag of groceries. After a little while he realizes he has gotten nowhere so he demands yet another rise in the minimum wage. If it didn't work the first time or any time, maybe it'll work the next time? Nope, it never has worked and never will. But the democrats keep at it even though they know very well it won't work. It keeps people like you happy.

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