Colorado State Representative and Wacko Televangelist Gordon Klingenschmitt Says That Brutal Attack on a Pregnant Woman Is “The Curse of God upon America” (VIDEO)

Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt

Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt

By Elaine Magliaro

Last November, I wrote a post about Gordon Klingenschmitt, a far-right Christian zealot and anti-gay televangelist also known as “Dr. Chaps,” who had been “swept into office” in Colorado with just under 70% of the vote. Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain who now represents the state’s 15th House district, supposedly performed an on-air exorcism of President Obama.

Well, the wacko televangelist made the news again recently after he claimed that the gruesome attack on a pregnant Colorado woman named Michele Wilkins may have been God’s punishment for our legal abortion laws. Wilkins, who was seven-months pregnant, had been “lured to the home of a Longmont woman advertising baby clothes for sale on Craigslist.”

Instead of selling baby clothes to Wilkins, “police said 34-year-old Dynel Lane stabbed the 26-year-old pregnant woman and ‘removed’ the fetus from her body. Lane then went to a hospital, where she claimed she had had miscarriage.

Reuters:

The episode began when police responded to a report of a stabbing at a home in the town of Longmont, 30 miles (48 km) north of Denver, Police Commander Jeff Satur said in a statement.

When officers arrived at the house, they heard a woman crying for help and found her beaten and stabbed in the stomach.

Wilkins underwent surgery at a local hospital and is expected to recover. According to police, Lane showed up at the hospital some time later “with the dead baby claiming she had suffered a miscarriage and when police made the connection, they took her into custody.”

Right Wing Watch (RWW) reported that Klingenschmitt attributed the attack on Wilkins “to God’s curse upon America for the sin of legal abortion.”

RWW (3/25/2015):

On his “Pray In Jesus Name” program today, Klingenschmitt discussed the story and tied it to a passage from Hosea in which God curses the people of Samaria for their rebellion by declaring that “their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”

“I wonder if there is prophetic significance to America today in that scripture,” he said. “This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb and part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our pregnant women are ripped open”

RWW News: Klingenschmitt Says Brutal Attack Upon Pregnant Woman Is ‘The Curse Of God Upon America’

NOTE: Klingenschmitt is near the top of my “Batshit Crazy Politicians” list.

SOURCES

Colorado Republican says brutal attack on pregnant woman could be God’s punishment for legal abortion (Raw Story)

The Sixteenth Post in the “Oh My Achin’ Head” Series: Anti-Gay Televangelist Who Once Performed an On-air Exorcism of President Obama Elected to Colorado House of Representatives (Flowers for Socrates)

Female Victim Of Brutal Attack Rejects Colorado Republican’s Donation (Crooks and Liars)
http://crooksandliars.com/2015/03/female-victim-brutal-attack-rejects

Klingenschmitt: Brutal Attack Upon Pregnant Woman Is ‘The Curse Of God Upon America’ (Right Wing Watch)

Pregnant Colorado woman attacked, baby cut from womb: police (Reuters)

 

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105 Responses to Colorado State Representative and Wacko Televangelist Gordon Klingenschmitt Says That Brutal Attack on a Pregnant Woman Is “The Curse of God upon America” (VIDEO)

  1. po says:

    When we talk about a clash of civilization, these are the people we should refer to.
    The only thing that stops them from seeking to implement their religious ideals upon the country, is strong laws and public condemnation that puts them on the defensive.
    Once they gain enough political and mediatic capital (and based on the increasing prominence of their political allies, such as Ted Cruz, and the unholy alliance that it will cause with the established media such as Fox news, it is soon to come), they will seek to enforce their views upon the rest of us.

  2. bigfatmike says:

    “Well, the wacko televangelist made the news again recently after he claimed that the gruesome attack on a pregnant Colorado woman named Michele Wilkins may have been God’s punishment for our legal abortion laws”

    Well, sure that makes sense. Nothing communicates opposition to abortion like ripping a baby out of its mother’s body.

  3. blouise17 says:

    Crazies appeal to crazies … all 70% of ’em

  4. gbk says:

    “When we talk about a clash of civilization, these are the people we should refer to.” — po

    It is a clash of monotheistic thought, po; very little to do with civilization.

    Is anyone surprised that three monotheistic beliefs have been warring since their historically lineal adoption.

    Mono — singular, as in only one.

    The root of this thought encourages supremacy over others; it is a poisoned perspective.

  5. It should be noted that the first recorded monotheist, the Pharaoh Akhenaten, asserted his version of monotheism – worship of the sun disk god Aten – as a power play over the many temple priests of Egypt to reduce their very Earthly power in the Upper and Lower Kingdoms. There has even been speculation that Atenism blended with Semetic religions was the taproot of Judaism and consequently the two other major Abrahamic religions that are Christianity and Islam. There is one other thing that should be noted.

    History tells us things didn’t end well for Akhenaten. In the end, he and the other few Aten worshiping Pharaohs to follow were all excised from the from the official list of Pharaohs and their images and names destroyed on monuments. That? To the Egyptians was not just a huge insult but a way of killing them in the afterlife.

    There is some real truth in gbk’s observation. To use a famous movie line, “there can be only one” will always lead to conflict. One is a number of dominance theologically and philosophically speaking.

  6. po says:

    I skipped the idea to which I was responding, GBK.
    The media and our pols have been adamant on stating the difference between “us” in the West and “them” in the east, as in we are civilized and they are barbaric, and using the term “clash of civilizations” to neatly frame that idea.
    My idea is that location and culture is not the issue, fundamentalism is, which leads to extremism. Hence, whether the fundamentalist is here or there, the essence of what they call for and its practice are one and the same.
    But, yeah, all of it finds its root and growth medium in that monotheistic thought x3.
    However, religion is not the plant, it is solely the growth medium. Every plant will grow just as well as the soil it finds itself in, and the water that …well, waters it.

  7. gbk says:

    Po,

    “My idea is that location and culture is not the issue, fundamentalism is, which leads to extremism. Hence, whether the fundamentalist is here or there, the essence of what they call for and its practice are one and the same.”

    You miss the broader perspective. Monotheism is fundamentalism, the very word “monotheism” exposes this.

    “However, religion is not the plant, it is solely the growth medium.”

    Spare me your simplistic metaphors.

  8. gbk says:

    Posted long ago and far away, with minor edits:

    —————————————————————————

    Countries Move To Adopt New Laws Allowing The Prosecution Of People Insulting Religion In Other Countries

    In a sharp turn of events beginning in 1096 A.D. and culminating in the twenty-first century, the western world is exasperated at not being able to continually extract Near Eastern wealth while relying on the easy profits for their standard of living.

    “This is bullshit,” claimed noted foreign policy expert William Kristol. “These people wouldn’t have a pot to piss in without us invading their countries. Yes, I know they invented pottery back in the Sumacrian [sic] days; but this is today, you can find a pot anywhere now! These people have been resting on their laurels for much to long.”

    When asked of the current rife between East and West, Donald Kagan, a Yale professor of ancient Greek history stated, “[w]ell, they messed up didn’t they? I mean how seriously can you take the claim of a prophet being lifted, on a horse, into heaven? Early Christian history is much simpler as many people were crucified, it was normal at the time. Do you know anybody that has a horse? Do you know how much a horse can weigh?”

    Francis Fukuyama, the author of “The End Of History And The Last Man” refused to offer any opinion.

    “Don’t they see that we are trying to help them,” asked Cullman Pall, the Chairman of the Joint Chief’s Of Staff?

    “Our goal, well, not the staff’s goal, but our goal as a country, well actually, the goal of our government, well actually, the goal of American finance, is to establish global free trade with the currency of trade being the dollar.”

    When asked for clarification of this statement, Cullman Pall stated:

    “There was a time where each country had it’s own currency. It was a pain in the ass. You would spend hours exchanging your currency when travelling. The first thing you would do after getting off a plane would be to exchange your dollars for cheesy francs, and then for Naz- um, sorry, German marks. And if you wanted to go to a country with lira as a currency — good luck.”

    “This current cultural clash has been way overblown,” noted Robert Kagan, a scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, co-founder and signatory of the Project For The New American Century, a fellow at the Brookings Institute and the American Enterprise Institute along with his brother, Frederick, and son of Yale emeritus Donald Kagan.

  9. po says:

    No, GBK,I certainly did not miss the broader perspective.
    You see, the issue is that those who speak of religion wholesale are the ones missing the broader picture. They speak of it from the point of view of one who thinks to know what religion is while being fully ignorant of much of it, and end up offering the “simplistic” perspectives.
    For example, here you speak of monotheism, focusing on the mono, singular, yes…but singular what? The error you make, and it is made both by those who speak from outside a faith and many speaking from whence, is to think of that mono as one god in each religion vying for supremacy over the others. That is fallacious and is dismissed effectively the moment you accept the premise that those 3 gods are actually one and the same God.
    That is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer. Your reaction to religion, your view of it, is therefore fundamentalist in nature.

    It is apparent to me that you view the gods of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as different one from the other, and it is perhaps true that most Jews and Christians would refuse to morph their god with the Muslim god, however, Islam, on the other hand, clearly asserts itself as a continuation of the previous revealed religions, the Quran as a continuation of the messages of the Torah and the Bible, and Prophet Muhamad as another prophet in the lineage of Moses and Jesus.
    In that sense, the focus on monotheism is not that there is one god for each faith, rather it is on the oneness of God, as in, all the gods there are, as defined by different groups, and all of their expressions, whether in its singular expression (each separate creature, sky, rain, human being, wind…) or in its communal expression (creation), each is a piece of the whole that is God. Therefore, one who sees God as the whole, will ever refuse to parcel Him for to parcel Him is to lose sight of Him. That simple.
    If you ever listen to the spiritually learned (as opposed to the scholars), the mystics in every faith, including Buddhism, they all say the same thing, that everything/everyone is an expression of the same God, therefore moving much beyond the idea of divine supremacy or competition. They would all speak of the unicity of God, which ceases to exist the moment we speak of different gods, let alone of supremacy among them.
    I did not mean to challenge your intellect with overly simplistic metaphors…speaking of the divine, as speaking of love, is usually either overly simplistic or overly obscure.
    https://www.linktv.org/programs/lunch-with-bokara-heart-of-islam
    http://www.cemproductions.org/globalspirit/the-mystical-experience/

  10. gbk says:

    Po,

    You contradict yourself:

    “For example, here you speak of monotheism, focusing on the mono, singular, yes…but singular what?”

    Singular god, po. Are you that dense?

    “The error you make, and it is made both by those who speak from outside a faith and many speaking from whence, is to think of that mono as one god in each religion vying for supremacy over the others. That is fallacious and is dismissed effectively the moment you accept the premise that those 3 gods are actually one and the same God.”

    I make no error, po; not on this thread.

    But, what a fucking surprise! I am overwhelmed by this new insight of yours, after accepting the [your] premise. I never connected the dots before, I am stunned that the three Abrahamic traditions in the world today are historically related..

    “That is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    And this is the rub. In simple terms, I’m pissed that the monotheistic thought of three major religions continually pulls the world into strife and warfare.

    You bandy all the soil/plant allegories you want; but I remain convinced that monotheism is one of the worst concepts of human thought.

  11. gbk says:

    “I did not mean to challenge your intellect with overly simplistic metaphors…speaking of the divine, as speaking of love, is usually either overly simplistic or overly obscure.” — po

    This is exactly what you mean to do, po.

    I’ve never encountered “obscure” love. It’s possible that this a fault of mine, but I think it more likely that this is a verbal connotation that you think gives weight to your lack of life experiences without realizing it exposes your lack of said.

  12. gbk says:

    “That is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.” — po

    I’ll leave it at that.

  13. gbk says:

    Po,

    I guess I couldn’t leave it at that:

    “My idea is that location and culture is not the issue, fundamentalism is, which leads to extremism. Hence, whether the fundamentalist is here or there, the essence of what they call for and its practice are one and the same.” — po

    My [your] idea . . .!!

    Do you think millennium of human experience can be so easily summarized as, “here or there” . . . ?

    “. . . the essence of what they call for and its practice are one and the same.”

    Who are “they”? And what do they call for, given it’s one and the same? Oh, I see, it’s the fundamentalist!

    You speak in the circles reminiscent of an adolescent with much to learn. Verboseness does not equate to observation and understanding, though you implicitly argue this.

  14. gbk says:

    Po,

    “If you ever listen to the spiritually learned (as opposed to the scholars), the mystics in every faith, including Buddhism, they all say the same thing, that everything/everyone is an expression of the same God, therefore moving much beyond the idea of divine supremacy or competition.”

    By definition you don’t consider me “spiritually learned.” That’s o.k.; you could not be more wrong.

    Who are the “spiritually learned” as opposed to the scholars? Do you have any names beyond the historic? Can I send them some money?

    I like how you include Buddhism, which despite the corruption of many, many centuries is a philosophy, not a religion. You would know this if you studied its path from Hinduism (a very complicated subject, with a multitude of variants summarized only by a familiar name for your convenience), then to Janism, only to arrive at the perspective that there is no god, and if there was we are on our own anyway.

    The fact that millions of people began adulating Siddhārtha Gautama five-hundred years after his death to the present speaks to the weakness of most people, not to their strengths.

    But you carry on with your triad of monotheism, ignoring the vast history of human experience.

  15. gbk says:

    I’ll just put this out there one more time:

    “That is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.” — po

  16. gbk says:

    Po,

    I don’t want your fundamentalist perspective afflicting me, as either a believer or not.

    If you think the secularism gained from the 15th century to now will be so cavalierly tossed aside then you have a lot to learn.

  17. Mike Spindell says:

    “There has even been speculation that Atenism blended with Semetic religions was the taproot of Judaism and consequently the two other major Abrahamic religions that are Christianity and Islam. There is one other thing that should be noted.”

    Gene,

    Freud in “Moses and Monotheism” speculated just that and posited that the Jews who left Egypt were really the followers of the displaced Pharaoh Aten. Who knew?

  18. Mike Spindell says:

    “If you ever listen to the spiritually learned (as opposed to the scholars), the mystics in every faith, including Buddhism, they all say the same thing, that everything/everyone is an expression of the same God, therefore moving much beyond the idea of divine supremacy or competition. They would all speak of the unity of God, which ceases to exist the moment we speak of different gods, let alone of supremacy among them.” – Po

    “And this is the rub. In simple terms, I’m pissed that the monotheistic thought of three major religions continually pulls the world into strife and warfare.” – gbk

    I’m sorry to come late to this argument, but it certainly it is an intriguing one. Especially from my perspective that the elements of it are really about deism and atheism. Deism in this case being conveniently defined as someone who is of religious faith (I’m a Deist but not that kind) and atheism as someone who has no religious belief. I think you are both missing each others points, as you strive to assert arguments that are imbued with your own personal belief systems.

    In Po’s case he is a person with religious belief, who yet understands the nuance that religious faith is much too often hijacked by blind fundamentalism, which apes the form of the religious philosophy without understanding the substance

    From gbk’s perspective his use of monotheism is a stand-in for religious belief of which I would assume he has none.

    Now from my perspective each of your viewpoints avoids, or misses, the key issue of why religious strife has plagued the world for millennia. That issue is that religious strife NEVER has anything to do with Religious philosophy. Humans war on other humans for reason of power and money. However, in order to get large amounts of ones’ society to risk, or lose their lives, for an ego driven cause, the particular society as a whole must be convinced that their struggle is for a “higher” purpose. The “higher” purpose is the scam and usually is divided into two propagandist modalities. Religion is the first because for many their individual religious belief has been their vehicle for salvation and justification of their modest existence. Since it goes directly to the heart of any humans need to feel good about themselves, it becomes a powerful motivator in the hands of religious leaders, who are usually surrogates for heads of state. The other “higher” purpose scam is of course the jingoistic belief that “my country, ethnicity………is better than yours. This is a far less powerful motivator, but as we see has worked well in America.

    Quoted by gbk above:

    “When asked of the current rife between East and West, Donald Kagan, a Yale professor of ancient Greek history stated, “[w]ell, they messed up didn’t they? I mean how seriously can you take the claim of a prophet being lifted, on a horse, into heaven? Early Christian history is much simpler as many people were crucified, it was normal at the time. Do you know anybody that has a horse? Do you know how much a horse can weigh?”

    Well this just shows how a supposedly learned persons prejudice can cause them to completely misunderstand the subject they’ve studied all their lives. This “Professor” of Greek history is so blinded by his own prejudice that he doesn’t even get the “history” right. In the former case with Islam he mixes what is obviously myth & metaphor with belief. To dismiss Islam’s depth by conflating it with the obvious myth that Mohammed ascended to heaven on a horse shows a really ignorant understanding of Islamic thought that is stupidly arrogant and bigoted. You will note that he disingenuously makes Christianity into a less complex belief by making its central metaphor Jesus’ crucifixion, with the intent to show tat Christianity is a better though out system representative of the triumph of the “European” mind.

    As the rest of gbk’s comment goes on we get down to the real reason behind American involvement in the ME and of course it is basically all about the money. Religious differences are merely the window dressing and that is my real point.

    Is religion bad per se? My belief is that life is a frightening proposition for all of us humans. It makes life easier for some to grasp at the straws of religion to allow them some sense that their lives are not being led in vain. In framing it that way I’m expressing my own prejudice in the matter because I do face life without any religious belief to comfort me. That I’ve been able to do that even through much travail and illness only says that I’ve developed my own belief structures that give me comfort against the inevitability of my future non-existence. I refuse to say that those who have absorbed themselves in religious belief are somehow deluded. In this random insanity of human life and human society whatever gets you through the night is fine with me as long as you don’t start trying to imposes your predilections on me, in order to bolster your own shaky belief system, or with the idea of “saving” me.

    Now while I’m closer to an atheistic viewpoint in my own belief some of today’s prominent atheists like Sam Harris, or the “selfish gene” guy annoy me. Their arguments are puerile in that they take the superficial view of religion by conflating founding myths with abiding philosophies. The “golden rule” was first articulated by Confucius about 600BCE. He was amidst a China being destroyed by constant warfare and tried to develop a system that might end conflict. One hundred years later Buddha espoused the same idea also as a means of ending human warfare. The Jewish Pharisees also believed that as did one of their disciples Jesus. Mohammed’s vision also arose out of a time and place that was engaged in constant skirmish. The base idea from all of these Prophets was developing a system to keep people from constantly killing each other. The fact is that these five religious/philosophic traditions (Confucionism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam) came from an effort to stop the constant warfare.

    As for the myth that we were taught growing up about Monotheism being a different concept developed by the Abramic religions, that is superficial nonsense. Every religious tradition basically posits one God, though it might use many Gods to exemplify the idea. See Socrates, Plato and Aristotle for instance. Although I’m not religious and see no need to be, I won’t cast aspersions on those who are that use religion to comfort them through life. However, I damn those who would try to foist their beliefs on me.

  19. po says:

    Mike does a very good job bridging the canyons between GBK and me, and indeed he is right that we are speaking from our respective sides, as I am on the defensive and GBK is on the attack, which means that whatever discussion there is, happens with much yelling across the no mans’ land between the two armies.
    I have however, made the point continuously here and elsewhere that religion is merely a cloak. it is that which colors and creates the fervor that argues and justifies whatever violence and inhumane acts we inflict upon others.
    To see religion as the lone such enabler is to be blind to the world we live in. Justice, democracy, freedom, all are philosophical ideas that, like religion, can act as the argument and justification for inflicting inhumanity upon others. Many liberal atheists, especially those inspired by or affiliated with the new atheists support, aggressively support waging war in other countries in order to force democracy or freedom upon them. To all of them, the collateral damage of millions dying is worth it, same as it worth to the suicide bomber that a dozen, a hundred innocent people die for his cause.
    Hence my mention of fundamentalism, both for the believer and the non-believer. Ultimately, whether one is fundamental in the name of religion, or in the name of freedom, it is still fundamentalism.
    To get back to your points, GBk:
    Singular god, po. Are you that dense?
    Did you read what came after the question? Which was rhetorical by the way. Here it is: The error you make, and it is made both by those who speak from outside a faith and many speaking from whence, is to think of that mono as one god in each religion vying for supremacy over the others. That is fallacious and is dismissed effectively the moment you accept the premise that those 3 gods are actually one and the same God.

    You see, GBK, the moment you stop seeing 3 different monotheistic religions, and instead see one monotheistic religion with 3 different parts/arms/leanings, your whole argument falls to pieces. However, you cannot see religion that way because, yes, you are not spiritually learned. Prove me wrong.
    Unfortunately, you are not the only one to live by that fallacy. When Sam Harris et al, make the point that religion is evil, and when Christian pastors tell their flocks about the evil of Islam, or Imams and scholars attack Christians and Jews for their faith….all of them do the same, pitting one god against the others in that competition for that political power that is at the core of every single conflict between 2 people.

  20. po says:

    gbk says:
    March 29, 2015 at 3:30 am
    Po,
    “Do you think millennium of human experience can be so easily summarized as, “here or there” . . . ?”
    You must have missed my original point that those who argue for a clash of civilizations, see the world between (us) the West, and them (anyone else, especially the Middle east.) SO yes, it is an overly simplistic view that they subscribe to, which I am arguing against, not for.

    “. . . the essence of what they call for and its practice are one and the same.”

    “You speak in the circles reminiscent of an adolescent with much to learn. Verboseness does not equate to observation and understanding, though you implicitly argue this.”

    Perhaps the issue is less the speaker and more the reader… 🙂 I believe a second reading, a calmer reading of what I wrote would offer the insights you missed the first time.

    “Who are the “spiritually learned” as opposed to the scholars? Do you have any names beyond the historic? Can I send them some money?”

    No need, though I would take the money… the links I offered above feature some spiritually learned people, who are simply ones who follow a mystical path, the spirit of the faith beyond the book and the letter. Sufi Islam is one of those, and it believes that since everything is an expression of the divine, to harm anything is to negate that divinity. .

    “I like how you include Buddhism, which despite the corruption of many, many centuries is a philosophy, not a religion. You would know this if you studied its path from Hinduism (a very complicated subject, with a multitude of variants summarized only by a familiar name for your convenience), then to Janism, only to arrive at the perspective that there is no god, and if there was we are on our own anyway.”

    What is religion and what is philosophy? I tease the followers of Richard dawkins that he is prophet of their religion, which is aggressive atheism. He provides the books, the guidance, his twitter site is their church, where they seek him out and he offers them approval or condemnation and from which their glean their gems to use against religion. He does speeches attended by the flock.
    If one has a philosophy, a book, a guide that unite them into a group that seeks to meet in the celebration of their non-faith…I argue that the non-belief in God becomes their god.
    By they way, Buddhism is a religion

    Finally, let me offer this quote from Noam Chomsky, another childish, inexperienced, verbose writer…

    March 11, 2012
    Noam Chomsky on the “New Atheism” 19
    by Keith Preston • Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy, Left and Right, Religion and Philosophy
    Noam takes on the atheist fundamentalists.

    As an atheist myself, I’ve found these “new atheist” writers to be an embarrassment. First, none of the prominent ones are genuine religious scholars, historians of religion, or cultural anthropologists who can, for instance, examine the cultural, historical, literary, or linguistic contexts in which the varying parts of the Bible were written to provide an explanation of why fundamentalist biblical literalists are, well, mistaken and ignorant. There are plenty of genuine scholars of religion whose work examines religious beliefs and sacred texts within their proper framework, such as Robert Price, John Loftus, Daniel Barker, Hector Avalos, Bart Ehrman, and D.M. Murdoch. These are the skeptics who are worth paying attention to.

    Second, they typically conflate atheism with stereotypical liberal or radical left-wing politics when there’s no inherent relationship whatsoever. See Machiavelli, Hobbes, Hume, Nietzsche, and Mencken.

    Third, like the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair, they come across as narrow-minded and ill-informed bigots whose only purpose is to antagonize religious people.

  21. po says:

    Oops, here is the link I was supposed to attach. Where Noam Chomsky call the New atheists religious fanatics. http://disinfo.com/2012/08/noam-chomsky-calls-christopher-hitchens-and-sam-harris-religious-fanatics/

  22. Juris says:

    This representative is batshit crazy. That I know. Whether his religion is the cause of his batshit craziness (gbk vs. po?), I do not know. Mike, gbk, and po – thank you for the enlightenment after reading your comments.

    This type of story I expect out of my home state of Missouri. Colorado? Say it ain’t so!

  23. pete says:

    “I tease the followers of Richard dawkins that he is prophet of their religion, which is aggressive atheism.”
    ============================

    I’ve heard them called “antitheists”, it seems to fit.

  24. po says:

    t certainly does, Pete, but aggressive atheists seem to work better for the purpose, which is to get under their skin.
    As a follow up to the earlier conversation, just returned from spending 6 hours at my bother’s house, 5 of which were spent discussing spirituality with brother’s friend, a Russian Jew who stepped down as the American head of the 3rd largest medical diagnostic company worldwide to pursue buddhist spirituality and painting.
    We exchanged insights into what we learned, and deep into it, he marveled at the fact that we had yet to mention any dogma or tenet of any specific religion. Instead, we spoke of practical, logical methods for spiritual pursuits based on his logical, scientific mind (he has a PHD in chemistry and biology) and my intuitive, mystical experience.
    We needed not mention either God or prophets, it was sufficient to us all that we spoke the same language based on our shared awareness of our similarities.

  25. gbk says:

    “You see, the issue is that those who speak of religion wholesale are the ones missing the broader picture.” — po

    But, what is “religion wholesale,” you know, “the ones missing the broader picture”? Is only your perspective sanguine?
    ————————————————————————–
    Mike S. said:

    “Quoted by gbk above:
    When asked of the current rife between East and West, Donald Kagan, a Yale professor of ancient Greek history stated, “[w]ell, they messed up didn’t they? I mean how seriously can you take the claim of a prophet being lifted, on a horse, into heaven? Early Christian history is much simpler as many people were crucified, it was normal at the time. Do you know anybody that has a horse? Do you know how much a horse can weigh?”

    Mike’s response:

    Well this just shows how a supposedly learned persons prejudice can cause them to completely misunderstand the subject they’ve studied all their lives. This “Professor” of Greek history is so blinded by his own prejudice that he doesn’t even get the “history” right. In the former case with Islam he mixes what is obviously myth & metaphor with belief. To dismiss Islam’s depth by conflating it with the obvious myth that Mohammed ascended to heaven on a horse shows a really ignorant understanding of Islamic thought that is stupidly arrogant and bigoted. You will note that he disingenuously makes Christianity into a less complex belief by making its central metaphor Jesus’ crucifixion, with the intent to show tat Christianity is a better though out system representative of the triumph of the “European” mind.

    ————-

    You need to take a break, Mike.

    The, “when asked of the current rife between East and West . . . ” was satire I posted years ago on RIL. I thought you would recognize it; apparently not.

    ————————————————————————–

    “Mike does a very good job bridging the canyons between GBK and me, and indeed he is right that we are speaking from our respective sides, as I am on the defensive and GBK is on the attack, which means that whatever discussion there is, happens with much yelling across the no mans’ land between the two armies.” — po

    Mike didn’t do shit in this thread; he blew his credibility as shown right above. Oh, yes poor Po is on the defensive. All I can say to you, Po, is that your writing suggests antagonism; with words such as “on the attack,” and, “yelling across the no mans’ land between the two armies.”

    I think your phrase of, “between the two armies,” is a very telling.

    I never mentioned armies; actually, if you recall, I only took issue with your statement of, “that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    Which brings us full circle. Fuck your monotheism, and Mike’s too. You both are so blinded you respond without reading — this is all I need to know.

  26. gbk says:

    “By they way, Buddhism is a religion” — po

    Your ignorance shows, po.

  27. gbk says:

    Po,

    I disdain your assumption of, “that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    This is bullshit! I have no cause nor reason to carry your torch forward. The assumption of your fundamentalist perspective afflicting the non-believer as well as the believer is yet to be tested.

  28. gbk says:

    “From gbk’s perspective his use of monotheism is a stand-in for religious belief of which I would assume he has none.” — Mike S.

    Monotheism/stand-in/none. This is quite funny, as I’m not the one using monotheism to perpetuate my ideals — this medal goes to you and po. What exactly, Mike are you attempting to express?

    Why is my use of the word monotheism a “stand-in” for no religious beliefs?

    Your arrogance, and to use your favorite phrase of pre-judgement, is annoying; as you never apply it to yourself.

  29. gbk says:

    “American involvement in the ME and of course it is basically all about the money. Religious differences are merely the window dressing and that is my real point.” — Mike S.

    Well, at least we agree on something. Whether this was your “real point” is questionable as this “point” contained only twenty-eight words while your other responses were much more verbose.

  30. Mike Spindell says:

    “The root of this thought encourages supremacy over others; it is a poisoned perspective.”
    1st comment to Po

    “Spare me your simplistic metaphors.”
    3rd comment to Po

    “Singular god, po. Are you that dense?”
    Another comment to Po

    “I’ve never encountered “obscure” love. It’s possible that this a fault of mine, but I think it more likely that this is a verbal connotation that you think gives weight to your lack of life experiences without realizing it exposes your lack of said.”

    Now I could go on further with this but initially I’ve proven the point that GBK certainly responds angrily and with invective when he hears about anyone talking of religion. If we were to judge gbk, by this thread alone I think the upshot would be that gbk prefers to insult rather than discuss, or even argue. In my observation people usually do this when they are so invested in a particular belief, or lack of same, that they lack the tolerance to read anything that might counter said belief.

    Now, rather than defending Po, who is quite capable, let me get on to the bug up gbk’s ass in referring to me. Let me begin this in kind with gbk by saying: “Fuck You gbk and the high horse you rode in on”. Now having responded to gbk in exactly the same childish fashion, which characterizes his comments on this thread, let us parse some of his critiques is a more rational manner, to which perhaps he might be capable of a more logical argument than attack and/or dismissal.

    “You need to take a break, Mike.
    The, “when asked of the current rife between East and West . . . ” was satire I posted years ago on RIL. I thought you would recognize it; apparently not.”

    You know gbk I’ve written exactly 252 posts at FFS since January 2014. At RIL I wrote perhaps 150. As far as comments go I am usually the third or fourth most prolific commenter at FFS and at RIL I was usually in the top 5. Beyond that at both places I usually read each and every comment on all treads as they were made. So is your ego so great that you would expect that I would remember what you wrote about 1.5 years ago and especially that it was satire? Obviously it is.

    The 3/29 12:15am comment you made only had the reference that it was old. Here it is and here is my response to it:

    “When asked of the current rife between East and West, Donald Kagan, a Yale professor of ancient Greek history stated, “[w]ell, they messed up didn’t they? I mean how seriously can you take the claim of a prophet being lifted, on a horse, into heaven? Early Christian history is much….etc.”

    And here was what I wrote referring to that comment and talking about Kagan who I know is an idiot and could well have said this. “Well this just shows how a supposedly learned persons prejudice can cause them to completely misunderstand the subject they’ve studied all their lives. This “Professor” of Greek history is so blinded by his own prejudice that he doesn’t even get the “history” right. In the former case with Islam he mixes what is obviously myth & metaphor with belief. To dismiss Islam’s depth by conflating it with the obvious myth that Mohammed ascended to heaven on a horse shows a really ignorant understanding of Islamic thought that is stupidly arrogant and bigoted. You will note that he disingenuously makes Christianity into a less complex belief by making its central metaphor Jesus’ crucifixion, with the intent to show tat Christianity is a better though out system representative of the triumph of the “European” mind.”

    That was in the context of a much larger comment and this particular point was not directed at you, nor could one rationally think it was, except perhaps for someone who happens to be irrational on the subject of monotheism. But keeping with the anger that apparently seethes within you, gbk, you responded like this:

    “Mike didn’t do shit in this thread; he blew his credibility as shown right above. Oh, yes poor Po is on the defensive. All I can say to you, Po, is that your writing suggests antagonism; with words such as “on the attack,” and, “yelling across the no mans’ land between the two armies.”

    Besides not proving that I did anything to “blow my credibilty”, you also are projecting onto Po the very antagonism which has characterized ALL of your comments on this thread. You are the antagonist here gbk by any fair reading of your comments. Your credibility is the one that should be questioned.

    “Why is my use of the word monotheism a “stand-in” for no religious beliefs?
    Your arrogance, and to use your favorite phrase of pre-judgement, is annoying; as you never apply it to yourself.”

    gbk, I often apply it to myself and have done so many times. I use “pre-judgment” for very specific reasons, but you really can’t seem to catch the nuances and frankly I’m too angry at you to bother to explain.

    And finally get to what is arguably the most silly and infuriating of your angry ripostes:

    “American involvement in the ME and of course it is basically all about the money. Religious differences are merely the window dressing and that is my real point.” — Mike S.

    Well, at least we agree on something. Whether this was your “real point” is questionable as this “point” contained only twenty-eight words while your other responses were much more verbose.”
    gbk”

    So gbk you would assume I’m familiar with an obscure comment you wrote 1.5 years ago, yet you still seem unfamiliar with the perhaps tens of thousands of words over many posts I’ve written specifically about religion, fundamentalism, the ME and mythology through the years both here and at RIL. My religious views have been clarified and re-clarified through the years and you damn well either know them (whether you agree or not with them), or your ability to read should be in question. If you don’t understand that your anger was way over the top on this thread then I’m sorry for your lack of introspective capability.

  31. gbk says:

    Mike,

    “Now I could go on further with this but initially I’ve proven the point that GBK certainly responds angrily and with invective when he hears about anyone talking of religion.”

    You’ve proven nothing, Mike; except your wont for me to be the irrational person when, “anyone talks of religion.”

    As if the secularists haven’t been exasperated for millennia while you monotheists pretend to sort it out amongst yourselves — all the while dragging billions of people into your “enlightenment.”

    A case in point is the extremely weak arguments of po, as follows:

    “You see, GBK, the moment you stop seeing 3 different monotheistic religions, and instead see one monotheistic religion with 3 different parts/arms/leanings, your whole argument falls to pieces. However, you cannot see religion that way because, yes, you are not spiritually learned. Prove me wrong.”

    Po is an idiot given: “the moment you stop seeing 3 different monotheistic religions, and instead see one monotheistic religion with 3 different parts/arms/leanings . . .”

    Po didn’t even notice that this was my argument; and then sullies the field with, “3 different parts/arms/leanings . . .”

    Then he offers this: “. . . yes, you are not spiritually learned. Prove me wrong.”

    It’s impossible, in my experience, to “prove” a monotheist wrong. This is simply because they use “their book” as a point of reference while refusing to consider external perspectives.

    It is a waste of time; it is an exercise in recursion that they do not see. Very few, including you, can argue from the perspective of humanity without lapsing into your, shall I quote you, “pre-judgments.”

    I hope for the day when monotheism is seen as an aberration of thought; a day when all concerns are given equal weight.

    “So gbk you would assume I’m familiar with an obscure comment you wrote 1.5 years ago, yet you still seem unfamiliar with the perhaps tens of thousands of words over many posts I’ve written specifically about religion, fundamentalism, the ME and mythology through the years both here and at RIL.”

    I assume nothing, Mike. Take that for what it’s worth. I’ve read every word you’ve written for many years; hence this response.

  32. po says:

    GBK says:
    All I can say to you, Po, is that your writing suggests antagonism; with words such as “on the attack,” and, “yelling across the no mans’ land between the two armies.”
    I think your phrase of, “between the two armies,” is a very telling.
    I never mentioned armies; actually, if you recall, I only took issue with your statement of, “that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”
    Which brings us full circle. Fuck your monotheism, and Mike’s too. You both are so blinded you respond without reading — this is all I need to know.
    ——————————–
    Po’s response:

    Gbk, it would be apparent to anyone reading us that you responded quite aggressively to my first post (and each one thereon) . So when I said armies, and no man’s land, and suggested we were entrenched into our respective compounds waging war, it was actually a goodwill gesture. How? Well,rather than pointing the finger at you the aggressor, I took on part of the blame, made myself partially responsible for the tone of the conversation, thereby electing Mike as the centrally located figure between us, an arbiter of some sort, which is generally sufficient to lessen the tension.
    That failed…obviously!

    Regarding buddhism being a religion, I know current and ex-Buddhists, one of whom calls it a religion, while another other calls it “not exactly a religion, but more than just a philosophy.” Your move!
    ——————————————————————-
    GBK says:
    I disdain your assumption of, “that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”
    This is bullshit! I have no cause nor reason to carry your torch forward. The assumption of your fundamentalist perspective afflicting the non-believer as well as the believer is yet to be tested.
    —————-
    Po responds:
    What test is needed? We all know what a fundamentalist does! Why he does it matters little in terms of what he does. it matters little to us that terrorists blow people up because of their religion or because of politics, at the end of the day, whatever spurs them results in the same act. Same for anyone killing an abortion doctor, or a governor passing a law that allows for discrimination against gays and lesbians…or Sam Harris advocating for the invasion of Iraq in the name of freedom. The philosophy behind it is a fundamentalist one, and when put into action, becomes an extremist act.
    Are you saying that no atheist can be a fundamentalist?
    ——————————————–

    GBK says:
    A case in point is the extremely weak arguments of po, as follows:
    “You see, GBK, the moment you stop seeing 3 different monotheistic religions, and instead see one monotheistic religion with 3 different parts/arms/leanings, your whole argument falls to pieces. However, you cannot see religion that way because, yes, you are not spiritually learned. Prove me wrong.”
    Po is an idiot given: “the moment you stop seeing 3 different monotheistic religions, and instead see one monotheistic religion with 3 different parts/arms/leanings . . .”
    Po didn’t even notice that this was my argument; and then sullies the field with, “3 different parts/arms/leanings . . .”
    Then he offers this: “. . . yes, you are not spiritually learned. Prove me wrong.”
    It’s impossible, in my experience, to “prove” a monotheist wrong. This is simply because they use “their book” as a point of reference while refusing to consider external perspectives.
    It is a waste of time; it is an exercise in recursion that they do not see. Very few, including you, can argue from the perspective of humanity without lapsing into your, shall I quote you, “pre-judgments.”
    I hope for the day when monotheism is seen as an aberration of thought; a day when all concerns are given equal weight.

    That paragraph, GBK, summarizes quite effectively all the problems with the arguments you have advanced.
    1- Your resorting to name-calling as argument, proving my point of your being the aggressor.
    2- Your claiming an argument you did not make: yours was “Is anyone surprised that three monotheistic beliefs have been warring since their historically lineal adoption.
    Mono — singular, as in only one.
    The root of this thought encourages supremacy over others; it is a poisoned perspective.
    and suggests inherent proxy competition between 3 individual deities. Which I accepted as legitimate point (that drives both intra-religious strife and atheist to religious antipathy), but an ignorant/superficial point however, for those who know their faith, know that there is no such competition. You see those 3 religions as the triad of Apple/ Linux/ Windows, while I see it as, for example, WIndows Nt, Xp and 8.1.
    3-Your refusal to take on an intellectual challenge WHILE using such challenge as further proof to support your stance WHILE dismissing the challenger as unable to legitimately address your response to his challenge because YOU decided it is so. I disproved that point preemptively with ,my story of that religious discussion I had with the Buddhist where we quoted neither book nor prophet, and spoke only of our experiences and our reality.
    How do you know that my book is my point of reference? And it is to some extent, however, how do you know how far that point of reference goes? How do know what role it plays in life?
    4- Your concluding with the fallacy that informs your stance and emotional response, thereby proving exactly what was said about the fundamentalist value of your stance.

  33. gbk says:

    Po,

    Again, I’ll state my thesis as it concerns your contributions to this thread:

    One cannot argue with a monotheist as every thought presented to them is filtered through their narrow perceptions that justify their thought in which they attempt to blend the secular arguments presented as being of their own thought and a pretension of accommodation.

    It is a waste of time.

    Carry on.

  34. gbk says:

    Po,

    A case in point:

    “You see those 3 religions as the triad of Apple/ Linux/ Windows, while I see it as, for example, WIndows Nt, Xp and 8.1.”

    You have no idea of what your talking about if you see my perspective as one of a choice of operating systems.

    I would suggest you read your last post — rest on it a while — and then honestly ask who is being antagonistic.

    Your verboseness concerning nothing of consequence (given your last post) exposes your own assurances of being right.

    How can I argue with such lucid thought?

  35. gbk says:

    Po,

    Let’s parse your screed of April 4, 2015 at 12:48 am, shall we:

    “Gbk, it would be apparent to anyone reading us that you responded quite aggressively to my first post (and each one thereon) . So when I said armies, and no man’s land, and suggested we were entrenched into our respective compounds waging war, it was actually a goodwill gesture.”

    Armies; no man’s land; entrenched into our respective compounds . . . these words were actually a goodwill gesture? Are you serious? This is ludicrous. Your words suggest war and strife; yet you ask me to believe that I’m the antagonistic one for pointing this out.

    “Regarding buddhism being a religion, I know current and ex-Buddhists, one of whom calls it a religion, while another other calls it “not exactly a religion, but more than just a philosophy.” Your move!”

    Read more, while keeping historical context. What can I say?

    This next one is a little complicated due to your writing, but here it goes:
    ——————————————————————-
    GBK says:
    I disdain your assumption of, “that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”
    This is bullshit! I have no cause nor reason to carry your torch forward. The assumption of your fundamentalist perspective afflicting the non-believer as well as the believer is yet to be tested.
    —————-
    Po responds:
    What test is needed? We all know what a fundamentalist does! Why he does it matters little in terms of what he does. it matters little to us that terrorists blow people up because of their religion or because of politics, at the end of the day, whatever spurs them results in the same act. Same for anyone killing an abortion doctor, or a governor passing a law that allows for discrimination against gays and lesbians…or Sam Harris advocating for the invasion of Iraq in the name of freedom. The philosophy behind it is a fundamentalist one, and when put into action, becomes an extremist act.
    ————————————————————————

    “What test is needed?”

    I mentioned no test — I stated that the tribulations of monotheists put upon the unabiding hoi polloi are yet to be tested in these times. Can you discern the distinction?

    “We all know what a fundamentalist does!”

    Do we? I don’t; I question this, and would note that this statement is my impetus for even responding; and this is only due to your continuation of theme as quoted below:

    “Why he does it matters little in terms of what he does. it matters little to us that terrorists blow people up because of their religion or because of politics, at the end of the day, whatever spurs them results in the same act. Same for anyone killing an abortion doctor, or a governor passing a law that allows for discrimination against gays and lesbians…or Sam Harris advocating for the invasion of Iraq in the name of freedom. The philosophy behind it is a fundamentalist one, and when put into action, becomes an extremist act.”

    Thanks for pointing this out; your perception is impressive.

    “Are you saying that no atheist can be a fundamentalist?”

    I have no idea; I guess you’d have to talk to them all as it’s like herding cats.

    ” 3-Your refusal to take on an intellectual challenge WHILE using such challenge as further proof to support your stance WHILE dismissing the challenger as unable to legitimately address your response to his challenge because YOU decided it is so. I disproved that point preemptively with ,my story of that religious discussion I had with the Buddhist where we quoted neither book nor prophet, and spoke only of our experiences and our reality.”

    This is true, I’m a really lazy atheist motherfucker. I hate intellectual challenges, they bore me to tears.

    “How do you know that my book is my point of reference? And it is to some extent, however, how do you know how far that point of reference goes? How do know what role it plays in life?”

    Well, should I not anticipate your admission of, “[h]ow do you know that my book is my point of reference? And it is to some extent . . .”

    First of all you refer to it as “my book.” Is that not enough?

    I really don’t care what you call it; but I would hope you find compassion somewhere in there.

  36. gbk says:

    Po,

    “I disproved that point preemptively . . .”

    What an open mind you have!

  37. gbk says:

    Mike,

    “As for the myth that we were taught growing up about Monotheism being a different concept developed by the Abramic religions, that is superficial nonsense.”

    Superficial? Are you sure about that? What is your historical time frame?

    Understand that I hold polytheism, henothesim, et al., in no greater esteem; not that this would matter.

    If you would stop claiming that Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome, I might take your historical outlook more seriously. But you’re off by two emperors.

    Yes, we all know Constantine sequestered the seven Sees of Christianity in Nicea, thank you, for his own purpose of bringing about a resolution of claims.

    Constantine, however, failed at this endeavor with the result being Christianity being allowed to exist amongst the various other religious sects of the time; and more importantly the various interpretations amongst the original Sees.

    However, ignoring Diocletian, it was Theodosius I that actually made the Roman version of Christianity (as opposed to the other Sees) the official religion of Rome.

    I only mention this as you have many times over the years. Brush up, then we’ll talk about superficiality.

  38. gbk says:

    Po,

    “4- Your concluding with the fallacy that informs your stance and emotional response, thereby proving exactly what was said about the fundamentalist value of your stance.”

    You assume a fallacy for your own purposes. But, even given this, does your proposed sentence quoted above make any sense — ignoring strange loops, that is?

    Sorry to bore everyone, but I’m mirroring 50TB of data right now, and I don’t trust a few drives; so I’m up late, waiting for red lights.

  39. gbk says:

    Po,

    “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    Quoted, lest we not forget my original umbrage. Fuck your fundamentalist perspective that, “afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    Expect push back with this perspective, Po.

  40. gbk says:

    Mike,

    “Now I could go on further with this but initially I’ve proven the point that GBK certainly responds angrily and with invective when he hears about anyone talking of religion.”

    Go for it; dig deep, as you will have to, to “prove” this. Sorry I’ve called your bluff maybe two times over the years; but you expend many words for little effect.

  41. gbk says:

    Just to reset the clock on this thread:

  42. Mike Spindell says:

    “If you would stop claiming that Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome, I might take your historical outlook more seriously. But you’re off by two emperors..

    Well perhaps as you put it I take liberties with history, or perhaps it’s just the fact that this particular medium doesn’t lend itself to complex historical discussions given the relative brevity that it necessitates. However, in Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” abridged by D. M. L. Low (the only copy I have in the house) Volume One, Chapter 16, p.291.

    “His fortunate son [Constantine], from the first moment of his accession declaring himself the protector of the protector of the church, at length deserved the appellation of the first Emperor who publicly professed and established the Christian religion. The motives of his conversion, as they may variously be deduced from benevolence, from policy, from conviction, or from remorse and the progress of the revolution, which, under his powerful influence and his sons, rendered Christianity the reigning religion of the Roman Empire, will form a very interesting and important chapter in the third volume of this book. At present it may be sufficient to observe that every victory of Constantine was productive of some relief or benefit to the church.”

    What annoys me most about your smug assertions on this thread gbk is your convictions that somehow I’m somehow merely a superficial blowhard who wiki’s everything I write and in your unvarying conviction of your own superior knowledge as in:

    “I only mention this as you have many times over the years. Brush up, then we’ll talk about superficiality.”

    I’ve read Gibbon, have you? Yes I know about what Gibbon calls the “Pagan Counter Revolution” under Julian and I’m well aware of the entire history via Gibbon and many, many other sources.. Nevertheless,it was Constantine and the Council of Nicaea that created what we know as modern Christianity because from it the basic doctrines emerged.

    How much detail should go into each post I write, or comment I make? People through the years have always said of me that I’m too wordy. Here at FFS, as was true back at RIL my posts tend to be longer than the other posters. Why is this so? Well first of all as I’ve admitted many times I’m but a mediocre writer at best, with barely passable grammar, a tendency to use archaic phrasing, a talent for cliche and a complete lack of the simple elegance of real writing talent. However, I am a very, very intelligent person whose knowledge in many fields, such as history, is extensive. I am so widely read in the fields that interest me that I’ve synthesized what I’ve learned through the years due to the shear impossibility of exact memory. My nature is to use that synthesis to develop my own ideas and views, which are predominantly unique to me. I offer them here not as someone speaking from above, merely as Mike Spindell, a real person who through the years has revealed much more of himself than anyone who has written on FFS, or on RIL. I’m not some anonymous combination of letters, who speaks with authority behind the barrier of of a screen name. And yes I’m aware that some regulars here actually know you, but I’m not one of them and frankly I have no desire to be one of them, based on the vitriol you’ve spewed on this thread.

    “Go for it; dig deep, as you will have to, to “prove” this. Sorry I’ve called your bluff maybe two times over the years; but you expend many words for little effect.”

    Does “calling my bluff maybe two times” connote that you’ve treated poor, superficial me kindly? Schmuck, I don’t bluff. There is a basis and content to everything I write and yet unlike you in all your comments, I actually have the humility to admit when someone has proven me wrong on an issue and have done so unequivocally many, many times. You see unlike you gbk, smugly secure in your knowledge due to an inability to be self aware, I am self aware and I have no problem in reassessing myself and my actions with brutal honesty.

    My critique of you on this thread stands, revealed by the evidence of your own nastiness in your comments and by your use of that nastiness in place of actually making valid points. Whether it is from deficits in your reading ability, your own pre-judgments, or simply the logs in your eyes I don’t really care, but the fact is you’ve mis-represented my position and contemptuously dismissed others views, via the distortion of your own particular prejudices.

  43. po says:

    GBK says:
    1-One cannot argue with a monotheist as every thought presented to them is filtered through their narrow perceptions that justify their thought in which they attempt to blend the secular arguments presented as being of their own thought and a pretension of accommodation.
    It is a waste of time.

    Uhh? Verbosity?
    You seem to know quite well what is in my head! Are you saying that the mere belief in a deity turns anyone (the billions of believers across the globe) into this caricature?
    You should, yes, read more, but also get out more and speak to more people. I have yet to meet 2 monotheists who view their monotheism the same way. One of my siblings believes in God but does not practice any ritual in support. Another practices, with the belief that God has a direct and detailed presence in every single thing, while another practices assiduously, with the belief that God is distanced from us and acts through proxies. Some believers I know believe the books to be literal, while others see them as metaphorical. Some support gay marriage, while others don’t. Some believe in evolution, others don’t. Every single one of them however, believes essentially and fundamentally in individual freedom.
    Additionally, none of us goes through the day discussing monotheism, a Book or our faith. To make the computer metaphor again, faith (I assume by monotheism as used above you really just mean faith or religion) is not the operating system you think it is, rather, it is merely a virus protection software. Some have it on continuously doing livescan, using much resources and power, while others have it turned off , and the majority of believers have it in between, using it selectively with some functions enabled or disabled based on their level of faith and assiduousness in practice.

  44. po says:

    2-GBK says:
    A case in point:
    “You see those 3 religions as the triad of Apple/ Linux/ Windows, while I see it as, for example, WIndows Nt, Xp and 8.1.”
    You have no idea of what your talking about if you see my perspective as one of a choice of operating systems.
    I would suggest you read your last post — rest on it a while — and then honestly ask who is being antagonistic.
    Your verboseness concerning nothing of consequence (given your last post) exposes your own assurances of being right.
    How can I argue with such lucid thought?

    Okay, I certainly would stand corrected. Rather than attack my perspective, offer yours. Show me how wrong I am in my comparison to operating systems.

    How am I being antagonistic? Merely by using the terms armies and no man’s land?It was obviously a metaphor serving to highlight the fact that religious discussion, or discussions about religion tends to create those extremes of thought (not that it needs to), but there was levity to them, especially in the use of no man’s land which is used ironically as that place where you don’t want to go lest you get blown up.. I almost used the word tree house, then tree forts to further enhance the idea of levity. I did not for fear of being too silly. Wish I had, then my goodwill gesture would have been appreciated as such…I hope.

  45. po says:

    Gbk says:
    po said:“Regarding buddhism being a religion, I know current and ex-Buddhists, one of whom calls it a religion, while another other calls it “not exactly a religion, but more than just a philosophy.” Your move!”
    Read more, while keeping historical context. What can I say?

    Obviously, gbk, we all know enough about historical Buddhism to claim that it is not a religion.
    But, really, practically…?
    What is religion?
    Does Buddhism fit or not?
    To quote wiki:
    Gautama Buddha rejected the existence of a creator deity,[1][2] refused to endorse many views on creation[3] and stated that questions on the origin of the world are not ultimately useful for ending suffering.[4][5]
    Buddhism, instead, emphasizes the system of causal relationships underlying the universe (pratītyasamutpāda or Dependent Origination) which constitute the natural order (dhamma) and source of enlightenment. No dependence of phenomena on a supernatural reality is asserted in order to explain the behaviour of matter. According to the doctrine of the Buddha, a human being must study nature (dhamma vicaya) in order to attain personal wisdom (prajna) regarding the nature of things (dharma). In Buddhism, the sole aim of spiritual practice is the complete alleviation of stress in samsara,[6][7] which is called nirvana.
    Some teachers tell students beginning Buddhist meditation that the notion of divinity is not incompatible with Buddhism,[8] and at least one Buddhist scholar has indicated that describing Buddhism as nontheistic may be overly simplistic;[9] but many traditional theist beliefs are considered to pose a hindrance to the attainment of nirvana,[10] the highest goal of Buddhist practice.[11]
    Despite this apparent nontheism, Buddhists consider veneration of the worthy ones[12] very important,[13] although the two main traditions of Buddhism differ mildly in their reverential attitudes. While Theravada Buddhists view the Buddha as a human being who attained nirvana or Buddhahood, through human efforts,[14] some Mahayana Buddhists consider him an embodiment of the cosmic Dharmakaya, born for the benefit of others.[15] In addition, some Mahayana Buddhists worship their chief Bodhisattva, Avalokiteshvara,[16] and hope to embody him.[17]
    Some Buddhists accept the existence of beings in higher realms (see Buddhist cosmology), known as devas, but they, like humans, are said to be suffering in samsara,[18] and are not necessarily wiser than us. In fact, the Buddha is often portrayed as a teacher of the gods,[19] and superior to them.[20] Despite this there are believed to be enlightened devas.[21]

    And from http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma3/budgod.html
    There is also nothing in the teachings of the Buddha that suggest how to find God or worship the god’s of India, although the Buddha himself was a theist (believed in gods), his teachings are non-theistic.
    The Buddha was more concerned with the human condition: Birth, Sickness, Old age, and Death. The Buddhist path is about coming to a place of acceptance with these painful aspects of life, and not suffering through them.
    Please be clear on this point… The Buddha is not thought of as a god in Buddhism and is not prayed to. He is looked up to and respected as a great teacher, in the same way we respect Abraham Lincoln as a great president.
    He was a human bing who found his perfection in Nirvana. Because of his Nirvana, the Buddha was perfectly moral, perfectly ethical, and ended his suffering forever.
    Does that mean that every Buddhist in the world is an atheist?
    No!!! I have met a lot of Buddhists who believe in God. I have met a lot of Buddhists who don’t believe in God… And a lot of Buddhists just don’t know.
    All three points of view are OK if you’re Buddhist because the end of suffering is more important than God in Buddhism.
    Sometimes a student will ask me how everything in this world got started… “If you don’t have God in Buddhism then who or what caused the universe?”
    When the Buddha was asked how the world started, he kept silent. In the religion of Buddhism we don’t have a first cause, instead we have a never ending circle of birth and death. In this world and in all worlds, there are many beginnings and ends. The model of life used in Buddhism has no starting place… It just keeps going and going.
    Now having said that… If you’re a Buddhist it’s OK to believe God was the first cause… It really doesn’t go against the teachings of the Buddha, his focus was on suffering… It’s also OK to believe science has the answer… Like the big bang theory, etc… Some Buddhist’s don’t even care how it all started, and that’s fine too. Knowing how the world started is not going to end your suffering, it’s just going to give you more stuff to think about.

    I hope you can see that God is not what Buddhism is about… Suffering is… And if you want to believe in God, as some Buddhists do, I suppose it’s OK. But, Buddhist’s don’t believe God can end suffering. Only the teaching’s of the Buddha can help us end suffering through wisdom and the activity of compassion.
    In his whole life and in all his teachings the Buddha never said anything about the One God of the desert.
    Some variations of Buddhism express a philosophical belief in an eternal Buddha: a representation of omnipresent enlightenment and a symbol of the true nature of the universe. The primordial aspect that interconnects every part of the universe is the clear light of the eternal Buddha, where everything timelessly arises and dissolves.[22][23][24]

  46. gbk says:

    Mike S,

    To answer your question re: Gibbon, I had read all six by ninth grade. This is not to brag; but is more a reflection of my living in the areas of Gibbon’s concern at a young age, my obsession with history given this fact, and my insatiable curiosity with such subjects at that time.

    Gibbon’s work struck me then as a typical British outlook on history — essentially written from the armchair of one not impacted by nor experienced enough in cultural minutiae to consider anything but the ruling class — with Gibbon, of course, assuming his own membership, however meager.

    Gibbon’s history is a glorified history. One that speaks to the grandeur of power, yet with enough avoidance of messy details so that the broad arc of triumph is not sullied by the foundations coercively laid by millions of people we do not know the names of.

    This is my memory of Gibbon’s work. Maybe I should read it again; I just might, as it has been some forty years.

    If I might suggest, without appearing smug, that you should read Michael Parenti’s, “Assassination Of Julius Caesar.” It’s a small, well-researched book that presents what is now referred to as a “revisionist” perspective of some important years encompassed by Gibbon’s tome.

  47. gbk says:

    And just so no one forgets why I even commented on this thread in the first place:

    “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    I don’t agree with this perspective. I refuse to have my life defined by, “a fundamentalist perspective.”

  48. gbk says:

    Mike S.

    “. . . I’m somehow merely a superficial blowhard who wiki’s everything I write.”

    I’ve never thought that about you, Mike.

    “. . . your [addressed to gbk] unvarying conviction of your own superior knowledge.”

    I don’t claim superior knowledge, Mike, and my convictions are far from unvarying — I modify them daily. I just laugh at the simple fact that history only holds sway for three, maybe four generations before the same mistakes are made again.

    I think a lot of that perspective has to do with the top-down view of how history is taught, e.g. Gibbon. As if nothing would exist without the brilliant vision of historical political “leaders.” They are the bane of progress; though there are some exceptions, most have been drug kicking and screaming into new paradigms.

    This is not so different a perspective from what I believe yours is given your writings.

  49. Mike Spindell says:

    “To answer your question re: Gibbon, I had read all six by ninth grade. This is not to brag; but is more a reflection of my living in the areas of Gibbon’s concern at a young age, my obsession with history given this fact, and my insatiable curiosity with such subjects at that time.”

    gbk,

    “All 6?”
    “Not to brag”?

    Well unfortunately, provincial, little me has only been outside of the U.S. once and that was a week in Bermuda at 22. Yes I have spent time in Canada, but of course that isn’t the “Continent”. I’ve simply never had the financial wherewithal to travel anywhere I can’t drive to. My father unfortunately was a car salesman who dropped out of school in the 9th grade, though he did introduce me to Camus and foreign cinema. As a convicted felon, his travel options were rather limited. So my background was rather humble, but my curiosity as always been insatiable.

    “If I might suggest, without appearing smug, that you should read Michael Parenti’s, “Assassination Of Julius Caesar.” It’s a small, well-researched book that presents what is now referred to as a “revisionist” perspective of some important years encompassed by Gibbon’s tome.”

    Actually, gbk it does appears quite smug to me. I’m 70 years old. I’ve stated that I’m widely read, especially in history. I’ve also stated that my reading scores were at a college level in the 6th grade. Do you suggest a pissing contest as to which of us is more widely read? Not my style. And seriously, my view of history is not only revisionist, but quite radical, though not defined by any particularly political point of view. However, there are always smug new historians coming along to make a name for themselves by taking down the “old timers” in the field. One has to read ALL historians with their personal perspective and a healthy wariness. In my surmises, based on many, many readings, the Council of Nicaea and those that shortly followed were Christianity’s defining organizational moments. It was Constantine that convoked the Council, ergo my oft mentioned statements regarding him.

    Now gbk, if all this appears to you as the writing of someone who you’ve pissed off, then it would serve my intent in writing it. In every comment on this thread except your last one, my reading has been one of antagonism, smugness and a misplaced sense of superiority. I find that annoying. I really like that people disagree with me, but I don’t like being patronized, since I don’t allow that ego centric attitude in myself. We are all struggling together on the wheel of karma trying to make sense of the confusion that is life.

  50. gbk says:

    Mike S.,

    Your response is why I comment infrequently.

    My original post in this thread was to Po, given this statement, “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    My point, in response to Po’s statement, was that I’m frustrated with monotheistic mythology impacting many who do not subscribe.

    You found fault with this and entered the fray.

    “All 6?”
    “Not to brag”?

    It was not bragging. It was sharing some facts of my life that I share with few due to your direct question of: “I’ve read Gibbon, have you?” I merely answered your question.

    I’m sorry you don’t like my answer and view the same as bragging. I can’t help with this perspective you hold; it is not my concern.

    I could tell you of how in the fifth grade I was singled out and given reading tests; and how I was off the charts in speed, vocabulary, and comprehension; and how I was the only student in an advanced reading curriculum that encompassed many classic texts, for many years.

    But it really doesn’t matter to me, as I tossed it all away a long time ago due to lack of relevance given current affairs; and quite honestly, always feeling out of place when attempting to talk with others beyond the superficial.

    Do you think the billions of secular humans owe some allegiance to the three monotheistic traditions that have warred amongst themselves for roughly two millennia, and their continuation of this peculiar tradition?

    I don’t.

    Again, Po’s statement of, “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer,” upset me; actually it really pissed me off.

    I have no obligation to perpetuate the continual angst of monotheistic traditions.

  51. gbk says:

    Mike S.,
    ———————————————————–
    “If I might suggest, without appearing smug, that you should read Michael Parenti’s, ‘Assassination Of Julius Caesar.’ It’s a small, well-researched book that presents what is now referred to as a “revisionist” perspective of some important years encompassed by Gibbon’s tome.” (gbk)
    ———————————————————–
    “Actually, gbk it does appears quite smug to me. I’m 70 years old. I’ve stated that I’m widely read, especially in history. I’ve also stated that my reading scores were at a college level in the 6th grade. Do you suggest a pissing contest as to which of us is more widely read? Not my style.” (Mike S.)
    ———————————————————–
    But it is your style, Mike; otherwise why enter this thread upon my mention of monotheistic traditions in response to Po’s lame statement quoted many times above.

    One book suggested appears smug to you? Amazing!!

    I have no desire to enter a “pissing contest,” Mike. However, I would like to hear your opinion concerning Po’s statement of, “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    It would be nice to know your thoughts given Po’s statement, though.

  52. gbk says:

    Mike S.,

    “Well unfortunately, provincial, little me has only been outside of the U.S. once and that was a week in Bermuda at 22. Yes I have spent time in Canada, but of course that isn’t the “Continent”. I’ve simply never had the financial wherewithal to travel anywhere I can’t drive to. My father unfortunately was a car salesman who dropped out of school in the 9th grade, though he did introduce me to Camus and foreign cinema. As a convicted felon, his travel options were rather limited. So my background was rather humble, but my curiosity as always been insatiable.”

    Why do you put words into my mouth? I’ve never referred to you as provincial and I’ve never insulted your background.

    The fact that I lived and grew up in the places I did does not give special qualities to me — it was my father’s decision to live this life — I was there due to his decisions.

    What I did with being in this part of the world, though, does speak to my insatiable curiosity. I took advantage of it; I knew, even at an early age, that it was a unique opportunity in life to learn.

    Don’t begrudge me this.

  53. po says:

    GBK, what is it exactly about that quote that bothers you so?
    Just to break it down, the “that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective…” agreed with your view of the fundamentalist nature of 3 monotheist faiths competing for supremacy.
    So I am assuming your issue is with the second part of that sentence, the suggestion that one might not subscribe to any monotheist thought yet still hold a fundamentalist perspective.
    In response to that, you could have gone a few different ways, arguing perhaps that atheism is not prone to fundamentalism, or that fundamentalism is by nature a religious disease, or going into detail, historically or theologically, on why being a monotheist makes one a de facto fundamentalist…or simply break down your argument further beyond taking offense to what i said.
    Instead, you used snark as argument, quoting and dismissing my arguments without offering anything in support of the ones you forgot to make.
    Again, my argument is quite simple :), and it says that fundamentalism, though originally attributed wholly to the realm of religion, is instead a human disease that expresses itself through any intellectual/philosophic thought to which the human being subjugates his full emotional “system”.
    Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to. That, as history shows us, afflicts the believer as well as the non-believer.

  54. gbk says:

    Po,

    “GBK, what is it exactly about that quote that bothers you so?”

    Because it assumes much.

    The primary assumption is that “non-believers” should be subjected to the same strife that “fundamentalist” bring upon themselves. This is stated in such a cavalier way that it is easy to read it and yet misses the fact that this does not have to be so. You state it as a forgone conclusion — I disagree.

    You end your current post with much the same: “[t]hat, as history shows us, afflicts the believer as well as the non-believer.”

    Yet, your paragraphs above this are devoid of any actual information that might sway one’s mind, and much like Mike, accuse me of snark/smugness — of essentially harboring a different opinion.

    Then you talk of emotional balance, as if I’m off kilter.

    Then you attempt to pretend to be peaceful with such following words of wisdom:

    “Again, my argument is quite simple :), and it says that fundamentalism, though originally attributed wholly to the realm of religion, is instead a human disease that expresses itself through any intellectual/philosophic thought to which the human being subjugates his full emotional “system”.

    This is not what you said earlier, not even close. So now you try to conflate any system of societal forbearance with religious fundamentalism?

    What a joke of an argument!!

    How, pray tell, should, “the human being subjugate[s] his full emotional “system”?

    What kind of question is this? Are you the new Deepak? What is an “emotional ‘system’?”

    I think you’re a fool, Po. You accept the strife of religious conflict as normal and question the sanity of others outside this sphere of thought.

  55. gbk says:

    Po,

    “In response to that, you could have gone a few different ways, arguing perhaps that atheism is not prone to fundamentalism, or that fundamentalism is by nature a religious disease, or going into detail, historically or theologically, on why being a monotheist makes one a de facto fundamentalist…or simply break down your argument further beyond taking offense to what i said.”

    Oh, I get it now, Po. I could have “gone in directions” that would have been comfortable with you; positions of only slight disagreement, with some possible venning of agreement.

    But I didn’t, did I? Sorry about that.

  56. gbk says:

    Po,

    Let’s go through your post of April 8, 11:01, and pick a few words to ponder:

    Fundamentalist — you’re all over the map with this word. Do you have a definition?

    Supremacy — your choice of word coinciding with “fundamentalist.” What a surprise.

    Subjugate — in respect to, “his full emotional ‘system’.” I’ll leave the “his” alone for now.

    Sacrifice — Do you mean this in the traditional meaning of sacrifice, or is your meaning more nuanced?

  57. gbk says:

    Po,

    Fundamentalist; supremacy; subjugate; sacrifice.

    Do you see a pattern?

    “Obviously, gbk, we all know enough about historical Buddhism to claim that it is not a religion.”

    Really? I thought this was counter to your claim until I encouraged you to read more; now you offer this as if it is common knowledge that you held.

    Think twice, speak once, Po.

  58. gbk says:

    Po,

    “Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.”

    What does this mean, Po?

    Can you focus your writing so that mere mortals can grasp your meaning? Or shall it always remain the gibberish it seems?

    “. . . quoting and dismissing my arguments without offering anything in support of the ones you forgot to make.”

    What arguments did I forget to make, Po? I’m sure there are many, but it is your obligation to point them out, is it not my obligation to “remember” them.

    Do you have your script ready, checking off the boxes, getting flustered when people don’t swallow your banal generic allegories?

    I can’t help you with this.

  59. gbk says:

    Po,

    “. . . quoting and dismissing my arguments without offering anything in support of the ones you forgot to make.”

    I’m not sure how one could support arguments they forgot to make.

    Maybe you can explain this audacious statement with some thought; maybe post your response a week from now, because that’s about the time I’ll stop laughing.

    Does this very confusing statement come from your expectations of what my arguments should be? Because your wording is actually specific in a sick sense:

    “. . . in support of the ones you forgot to make.”

    What “ones”? The “ones” you were expecting? The “ones” you are practiced with? What “ones,” Po?

    List them; the forgotten “ones,” I will gladly respond to myself in regards to the arguments I forgot after I know what they are.

  60. bron98 says:

    That was very interesting. Especially in light of what is going on in Yemen, well the entire middle east for that matter.

    A bunch of fundamentalists at war with each other for their personal interpretation. If we leave them alone there will be no one left.

  61. “If we leave them alone there will be no one left.”

    This is the strategy we’ve taken with parts of Africa, but the ME has a consideration that Africa doesn’t and that is critical resources like oil and rare earth minerals. If that wasn’t in play, I’m sure we’d be ignoring them because industry, not wise well thought out foreign policy thinking, drives the decision to meddle and go to war.

  62. gbk says:

    Po,

    “Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.”

    Ignoring your continual reference to the masculine (his, he, him . . .), I think I’ve decoded your statement above and expressed it below with an algebraic form.

    Let me know if this captures the spirit of your statement:

    ((His(mine))(emotional balance)) =
    (He Deems(Sacrifice((Them(they))(emotional+religious+physical+financial)balance)))

    Note how the equation is sparse on the left of the equal sign and heavy on the right. Much like your sentence.

    Do you not think it peculiar that on one side you speak to “emotional balance” and on the other all but the kitchen sink is tossed in?

    Now, of course, this all could have been avoided if you would have used the word, “a” instead of “the” in your sentence of, “[a]ny cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to . . .”

    But you didn’t.

  63. gbk says:

    Po,

    And, of course, use of the word ‘their’ in your, “. . . sacrificing his emotional balance to . . .”
    screed might go a long way towards convincing me that you are not the fundamentalist prick that you seem to be.

  64. gbk says:

    Po,

    “I have however, made the point continuously here and elsewhere that religion is merely a cloak.”

    Ignoring the dagger, as is your predilection.

    “That is fallacious and is dismissed effectively the moment you accept the premise that those 3 gods are actually one and the same God.”

    I refuse this premise. Not the historical premise, mind you, that the latter two monotheistic religions point to in justifying their authenticity; but the fact that the three monotheistic traditions cannot find common ground within your claim. My refusal is based on historical observation, not wishful thinking.

    “Therefore, one who sees God as the whole, will ever refuse to parcel Him for to parcel Him is to lose sight of Him. That simple.”

    I had no idea how simple it could be, and it appears many others agree for reasons removed from my own.

    Maybe you should preach this simplicity in Jewish synagogues; Catholic churches; Orthodox churches; the hundreds of Protestant offspring, and in Islamic mosques.

    I’m sure they will all agree with your insight of simplicity; I’m sure they will laugh at the ignorance of their teachings, once exposed, given your astute summation of god as the whole.

    Maybe you should read up on pantheism, Po. This is essentially what your suggesting, expecting the thought to bind all monotheistic traditions. But you refuse to acknowledge that the schism between monotheistic traditions exist for many reasons of thought, and let’s not forget the blood spilled. None that I agree with, but they are historically there.

    And if you do read up on pantheism, and recognize your “whole” of god dribble, then you should ask yourself why you even need the concept of god?

  65. po says:

    GBK
    I chose not to reply to your previous volleys of posts because I was being charitable, and you were being repetitive. So far it has gone like this: I say something, you respond to it with your subjectively sensitive interpretation of what I said, attack me for saying it, still fail to offer anything of substance countering it.
    Hope this time around you will actually offer an argument to support your protestations.
    I’ll respond directly without quoting you, otherwise we’ll be here all night.
    ————————————————————
    1- I do not assume that non-believers should be subjected to the same strife that “fundamentalists” bring upon themselves, I could not care less. I don’t assume anyone should be subjected to anything. I am thinking beyond religion, am thinking about what is inherent to humanity, and were you paying attention, you would have realized that it is my sole argument, that the roots of fundamentalism are found in human beings, and that therefore to limit them solely to religion is to be blind to what characterizes humanity. Fundamentalism is a state of mind, and that state of mind expresses itself in any area of society where competition arises, including religion.

    2- You cannot force me to make the statements you want me to make so you can prove your case that I am necessarily fundamentalist simply because I am religious. When I said emotional balance, I meant any person’s emotional balance, I am NOT suggesting you are off kilter…your decorticating my words for hidden meaning makes that case for me.
    What do you know of Buddhism other than it isn’t a religion? To subjugate one’s emotional system is at the core of mysticism, it is to get ahold of one self through introspection/meditation and self-denying to the point that one no longer is slave to one’s emotions. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose…or nothing left to fear…or nothing left to desire…and when one fears no longer, wants no longer and holds no longer, one has subjugated one’s emotional “system”. That is found in EVERY religion or spiritual thought.

    3- By suggesting the ways you could have gone in response to my arguments, I am not boxing you in, I am opening you up:) I am dropping crumbs to show you some of the ways you could have better argued your case…I care little how you do it and what you say, just give me something in response.

    4- “Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to. ”
    I used sacrifice to suggest the idea of offering something of value in exchange of something perceived of greater value, which is, for better or worse, at the core of the relationship between the Creator and the created. This hinted too at the starting point of the development of the monotheistic religions when Abraham subjugated his emotional balance by readying to sacrifice his son to his God.
    The essence of fundamentalism is the willingness to offer others in sacrifice to one’s higher being. We no longer sacrifice virgins and lives to the gods, but we do still want to sacrifice people’s freedom, which is the next best thing. It is not sufficient for the religious fundamentalists that they sacrifice themselves, it is a necessity that they also sacrifice others. In the macro, it is not sufficient for fundamentalists of any stripe that they sacrifice themselves to what matters most to them (democracy, freedom,capitalism, science…), it is a necessity they sacrifice others.

    5- Re Buddhism being a religion…or not, don’t quote me out of context. I started with the claim it is a religion, offered quotes from learned Buddhists that go both ways, shared my Buddhist friends views that go both ways, meanwhile acknowledging that the generally accepted view of Buddhism is that it is not a religion WHILE concluding that it is a religion based on what makes a religion a religion. I am still waiting for your argument that I am wrong.

    6- By “…the arguments you forgot to make” , if I must break it down, I mean all the many arguments you could have made to support your views, some I have hinted at, others I hoped you would come to yourself. Since you did not make them, and since I know you are quite intelligent, I was being charitable extending the possibility that rather that being unable to make those arguments, you simply forgot to. It was also a slicker dig at you.

    7- If we must go there…I use he, his, him for it is easier than writing he’she,them, or one… I suspect everyone here knows that by him, his, he, it covers both genders.
    Thanks for the suggestions, but I used “the” not randomly. Using “a” instead of “the” would have conveyed the idea but not the emotion attached to it. “A” is random and impersonal, “the” is particular, familiar and suggests some measure of familiarity. “the” addresses the same person we have been discussing prior, who by now is no longer a stranger. “A” would have pushed him/her/them out.

    8- I acknowledged your point that the inter-religious strife is a reality, but also made the case that rather than it being a structural defect of religion, it is a collateral of ignorance. My argument is that the more learned the religious is, the less monotheistic competition he suffers. Similarly, the more religiously learned the non-religious critic is, the less monotheistic competition he should suggest.
    If your argument is merely historical (one dimensional) while mine brings in the religious/spiritual (2 dimensional) perspective, how do you dare tell me that I am wrong?
    I do not need to preach this simplicity in the mosque, the same Quran all mosques use does convey the message quite clearly that there is only one God and that this God is also the god of the Christians and the Jews. If the faithful fail to heed that message, it is on them, not on the book.
    What I am saying is different from pantheism. God is distinct from His creation, for IF He is encompassed by that which He created, then He too is a creation. Everything ORIGINATES from Him, and therefore is, ESSENTIALLY, indiscernible from Him. The spiritually enlightened, whether through inspiration, religion or common sense,although aware of race and gender, age and occupation, do not distinguish between men and women, children and adults, the rich and the poor because they are continuously aware of the essential nature of creation, which is divine.

    Now what will you do, I wonder, ask me to explain what you don’t understand or attack me for not understanding it?

  66. po says:

    Just saw this, the whole thing is worth reading, but this part caught my attention…considering the topic:http://www.salon.com/2015/04/10/anne_lamott_shares_all_that_she_knows_everyone_is_screwed_up_broken_clingy_and_scared/
    “11. Faith: Paul Tillich said the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. If I could say one thing to our little Tea Party friends, it would be this. Fundamentalism, in all its forms, is 90% of the reason the world is so terrifying. Three percent is the existence of snakes. The love of our incredible dogs and cats is the closest most of us will come, on this side of eternity, to knowing the direct love of God, although cats can be so bitter, which is not the god part: the crazy Love is. Also, “Figure it out” is not a good slogan.”

    The outer face of fundamentalism is certainty, to be certain of what God wants or that He wants nothing…

  67. gbk says:

    “GBK
    I chose not to reply to your previous volleys of posts because I was being charitable, and you were being repetitive. So far it has gone like this: I say something, you respond to it with your subjectively sensitive interpretation of what I said, attack me for saying it, still fail to offer anything of substance countering it.”

    Jeez, Po; I had no idea you were being charitable, especially with regards to my, “subjectively sensitive interpretations.” Maybe you could expound on what exactly you mean by this?

    If you see no substance, subjective or otherwise, then I suggest you join the club of Nullus Materia where you will find many pandering adherents.

    “Hope this time around you will actually offer an argument to support your protestations.”

    I offered arguments, “the other time[s] around.” Your lack of acknowledgement of this does not place a burden on me, nor does it make my perspective “protestations,” which is a unique way to summarize my opinions as of being antagonistic discourse — as if all is settled and I’m merely protesting what is presumed settled.

    My perspective is very simple, if you would choose to consider it: monotheism is a mistake of human thought.

    Did you miss this the first time around while attacking my, “subjectively sensitive interpretations”?

    My “subjectively sensitive interpretations” are based on historical acts and current inclinations of monotheistic traditions with much more powerful weapons than swords in their hands.

    Yet you view this as me attacking? Are my words harsh; yes; are they unfounded; no.

    “By suggesting the ways you could have gone in response to my arguments, I am not boxing you in, I am opening you up:)”

    I never claimed you were boxing me in; I would also suggest that you are not “opening me up.” What unsubstantiated arrogance you exhibit.

    “We no longer sacrifice virgins and lives to the gods, but we do still want to sacrifice people’s freedom, which is the next best thing.”

    The next best thing? And who is “we”? And why would this “we” want to sacrifice people’s freedom?

    Additionally, your, “[w]e no longer sacrifice . . . lives to the gods . . .” seems to be untrue. This “seems” to be exactly what is occurring throughout the world. Who is “we” again?

    “Re Buddhism being a religion…or not, don’t quote me out of context. I started with the claim it is a religion, offered quotes from learned Buddhists that go both ways, shared my Buddhist friends views that go both ways, meanwhile acknowledging that the generally accepted view of Buddhism is that it is not a religion WHILE concluding that it is a religion based on what makes a religion a religion. I am still waiting for your argument that I am wrong.”

    I never quoted you out of context; much like I won’t right now:

    “. . . the generally accepted view of Buddhism is that it is not a religion WHILE concluding that it is a religion based on what makes a religion a religion.”

    How definitive!! I’m shocked at the simplicity I missed.

    I don’t know what to say to this exceptional argument; except, of course, to present your definitive statement as a question — “what makes a religion a religion”?

    I thought you knew. You pretend to know, you seem to have all the boundaries defined — your words are so confident; how can you not know?

    ” By ‘…the arguments you forgot to make’ , if I must break it down, I mean all the many arguments you could have made to support your views, some I have hinted at, others I hoped you would come to yourself.”

    I know what you meant, Po; which is why I’m still laughing. I need no hints nor hope from you.

    This is a blog, Po; not a history class nor political science class that I am obliged to teach. If you have arguments — make them. Make them with facts and not your waterfall of deliberately obtuse conjectures.

    “Now what will you do, I wonder, ask me to explain what you don’t understand or attack me for not understanding it?”

    You’re a hoot, Po!! I’ve not asked for your help in anything and never will as my tolerance for surrogate knowledge is very low. Your explanations are too circular — they reek of ignorance and the self-assuredness that follows. They are clearly the parroting of others.

  68. gbk says:

    “The outer face of fundamentalism is certainty, to be certain of what God wants or that He wants nothing…” — Po

    When you can express something beyond your ending ellipse — when you can finish your thought — then post it. It’s not easy, is it?

    When your fractured sentence is whole, and undisguised by tides of verbiage, then I’m sure we’ll find common ground.

    Good luck.

    Peace

  69. po says:

    At the basic level, GBK, we are saying the same thing…you just don’t know it yet. You planted the tree, it is blocking your view, and now you are unable to see the forest behind it…and in front of it…and at the side of it…and around it.
    If that arboreal metaphor mystifies you…let me double down on it: every religion is a tree that is part of a forest. Sometimes the tree sees itself as the forest but that does not make it so. For some of those animals and birds living in that tree for whom the tree provides every need, that tree might as well be the forest. For those animals and birds who require things from different trees, that tree cannot be more than just a tree, for they know of the forest.
    Assalamu Aleykum

  70. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read or who has said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.” – Buddha

  71. po says:

    “And follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge. Surely the hearing and sight and the heart, all of these will be asked about it.” 17:36 Quran.

    “And if thou obey most of the inhabitants of the earth, they will mislead thee far from the way of God: They follow naught but an opinion, and they do but guess.” 6:116

  72. bron98 says:

    gbk:

    those last couple of posts were some of the best writing I have ever read. Very powerful.

    Bravo!

  73. gbk says:

    Po;

    “At the basic level, GBK, we are saying the same thing…you just don’t know it yet.”

    We are not saying the same thing, Po. I don’t speak of trees, forests, and lack of sight given these tired and worn out metaphors.

    So your claim of, “we are saying the same thing…you [to gbk] just don’t know it yet,” is a claim that I vehemently disagree with.

    Am I to understand, given your statements, that I just don’t know what I think; that my thoughts are illusory while yours are not?

  74. po says:

    Here we ago again, another round!

    gbk, you said that monotheism is fundamentally a competition for supremacy.
    I said, true, BUT only at its most basic level (tree), as seen by those within and without, too myopic to discern any farther.
    For those can see beyond however, the nature of monotheism is NOT competition, it is complementary(forest).
    By “you don’t know it yet”, I am suggesting you lack the wisdom to see that. The “yet” is a suggestion and hope that you would will one day grow to see it.

    .

  75. gbk says:

    Po;

    You should quote others accurately. It’s not so difficult given that this is a small thread.

    “gbk, you said that monotheism is fundamentally a competition for supremacy.”

    That’s not what I said, Po. I said: monotheism is a mistake of human thought. I would hope you could discern the distinction between your claim and what I wrote:

    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2015/03/28/colorado-state-representative-and-wacko-televangelist-gordon-klingenschmitt-says-that-brutal-attack-on-a-pregnant-woman-is-the-curse-of-god-upon-america-video/#comment-37818

    Save noting the historical existence of, I’ve said little of the, “competition of supremacy” that you seem so eager to argue; yet I did point out your predilection to this perspective here:

    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2015/03/28/colorado-state-representative-and-wacko-televangelist-gordon-klingenschmitt-says-that-brutal-attack-on-a-pregnant-woman-is-the-curse-of-god-upon-america-video/#comment-37240

    “I said, true, BUT only at its most basic level (tree), as seen by those within and without, too myopic to discern any farther. . . . By you don’t know it yet, I am suggesting you lack the wisdom to see that. The ‘yet’ is a suggestion and hope that you would will one day grow to see it.”

    See what, Po — your incessant yet changing meaning of “it”? You have much to read, Po. There are many who came before you and argued with sophistication that you show no capability of ever attaining. By this I don’t mean this blog, my reference is much more historical.

    “You planted the tree, it is blocking your view, and now you are unable to see the forest behind it…and in front of it…and at the side of it…and around it.
    If that arboreal metaphor mystifies you…let me double down on it: every religion is a tree that is part of a forest. Sometimes the tree sees itself as the forest but that does not make it so. For some of those animals and birds living in that tree for whom the tree provides every need, that tree might as well be the forest. For those animals and birds who require things from different trees, that tree cannot be more than just a tree, for they know of the forest.”

    It’s like grade school all over again!

  76. po says:

    gBK said:
    It is a clash of monotheistic thought, po; very little to do with civilization.

    Is anyone surprised that three monotheistic beliefs have been warring since their historically lineal adoption.

    Mono — singular, as in only one. The root of this thought encourages supremacy over others; it is a poisoned perspective.

    And this is the rub. In simple terms, I’m pissed that the monotheistic thought of three major religions continually pulls the world into strife and warfare.
    ——————————————
    Po said: “gbk, you said that monotheism is fundamentally a competition for supremacy.”

    GBK replied:That’s not what I said, Po. I said: monotheism is a mistake of human thought. I would hope you could discern the distinction between your claim and what I wrote:
    ============================
    The consequence, in your view gbk, of monotheism being a poisoned perspective or mistake of human thought is found in what it causes/leads to, competition for supremacy among the three monotheistic religions. Monotheism is a poisoned thought ONLY in that it results in a detrimental or negative effect. Without the negative effect, you would not refer to it as poisoned. So based on your own words, we have this sequence:
    A- Monotheism, a thought/state of being that makes each Abrahamic religion deem itself worthier than the others.
    B- Such thought/state of mind leads to active competition thereby “continuously pulling the world into strife and warfare” and “…warring since their historically lineal adoption.”
    C- Hence the conclusion that monotheism is a poisoned perspective.

    Based on the above, I have not misquoted you or misstated your point, the crux of your argument is B, for without it you have no conclusion (C).

    I do not understand your point about “it”, what are you saying?

  77. gbk says:

    I’ll be back, Po — on this very thread.

    Your questions will not go unanswered. I’m busy with life right now, but I hope to find a break from said where I can address your illusions.

    BTW, if you want to enter the logical realm in support of your arguments, I would suggest A, B, C is not the way to go about it.

  78. gbk says:

    Po,

    “Based on the above, I have not misquoted you or misstated your point . . .”

    Actually you have, Po. You have paraphrased my arguments beyond your means.

    You have possibly understood one perspective of mine, namely: [quoting you] “of monotheism being a poisoned perspective or mistake of human thought is found in what it causes/leads to . . .”

    The rest of your sentence is not mine to claim, though the “causes/leads to” phrase captures some essence of my argument.

    You might want to read about deductive vs. inductive argumentation in the meantime.

  79. po says:

    Look, gbk, you may right, I may have misunderstood you to some extent. I replied based on my understanding of what you said. If indeed that is the case, then let’s just leave at that until next time.
    Another day, another topic.

  80. gbk says:

    Po,

    “. . . I may have misunderstood you to some extent.”

    Some extent? Your tomes of paragraphs concluding that I will eventually come around to your thought due to my lack of “understanding” is simply a misunderstanding of yours?

    It strikes me more as a claim, Po.

    “I replied based on my understanding of what you said.”

    Is this the same understanding that you, “. . . may have misunderstood”?

    I don’t believe this for a second. Your replies were adolescent zealotry, no matter your age.

    “Another day, another topic.”

    Your topics appear not to change, Po; though the days certainly do.

  81. po says:

    gbk, do you know what an olive branch looks like? Do you realize I was suggesting that perhaps I may have misunderstood you?

  82. po says:

    Which suggests that perhaps I might have been wrong? A little bit? Though I am sure I wasn’t, but for the sake of goodwill I was willing to be wrong? A little bit?

  83. gbk says:

    Po,

    In response to your query of your copious use of the pronoun “it”, here is a very current quote from you, which also encompasses my lack of wisdom:

    “By ‘you don’t know it yet’, I am suggesting you lack the wisdom to see that. The ‘yet’ is a suggestion and hope that you would will one day grow to see it.”

    How audacious, Po!!

  84. gbk says:

    Po,

    I do know what an olive branch looks like, Po. I have five olive trees. I also have the life experience to know when they are offered insincerely.

    Your argument has not changed, which is fine.

    You just want this thread to go away. It might, time will tell.

  85. po says:

    My grandpa said that an olive branch does NOT need presenting on a carpet of sincerity. He says to take it whenever it is offered. He said it is only when it is offered that it embodies peace…otherwise it is just a branch from a tree.

  86. gbk says:

    Po,

    I didn’t ask for a carpet of sincerity, Po, for the olive branch you offered.

    As far as, “taking it whenever it is offered,” (does this mean without the carpet), this is a fool’s game, as I’m sure you well know.

    This is a ploy of distraction, of attempting to make me look like a hardcore asshole; when really, all one needs to do is read your statements in this thread, such as:

    “Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.”

    and:

    “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    and:

    “So when I said armies, and no man’s land, and suggested we were entrenched into our respective compounds waging war, it was actually a goodwill gesture.”

    and:

    “We no longer sacrifice virgins and lives to the gods, but we do still want to sacrifice people’s freedom, which is the next best thing.”

    There are many more of your musings that exhibit your thoughts, so I am not persuaded by your virtual olive branch as it lacks sincerity and is counter to your tomes on this thread.

  87. po says:

    gbk, let’s assume I am insincere in extending an olive branch…what is the worse that can come out of it?
    I have no intent or time to try to turn you into an asshole. far from it. WE both have made many points yet still disagree at the end… How do you suggest we resolve this standoff (non-militarized stand-off I mean)?
    And I realize that you may have misunderstood that comment “We no longer sacrifice virgins and lives to the gods, but we do still want to sacrifice people’s freedom, which is the next best thing.”
    The WE refers to humanity in general, and the “next best thing” is said in the perspective of that same humanity that sacrifice’s people’s freedom. I don’t sacrifice virgins, nor do I sacrifice people’s freedoms.

  88. gbk says:

    Po,

    I don’t see a “standoff.” Only an immature and defensive mind would see this on this thread.

    I just read your words, on this thread and others, which are very condescending in my opinion. I’ve only once commented to your other writings, which I see in the same light, as I suspected it would turn out much like this thread did.

    If you want to stop then just do so.

    I’ve disagreed with many people in my life, and they with me; but when someone states that my perspective will eventually come around to theirs after I, “understand,” and, “gain wisdom,” I see this as an insulting way to argue.

    You carry on, Po. I really don’t give a shit about your thoughts. The path you pretend to blaze has been worn barren by the plodding of many others over the millennia.

    • Mike Spindell says:

      “I don’t see a “standoff.” Only an immature and defensive mind would see this on this thread”

      gbk,

      In your hubris and your haughtiness you make a statement that is insupportable on its face, at least to me. You’re right on one thing there is no standoff. Po has destroyed your argument with logic, but also with something else that your writing on this thread has lacked……grace. And no don’t mis-understand in what I mean by grace there is no religious content in that, what I’m indicating is that he has dealt with you graciously, whereas your words in every comment have been vindictive, attacking and narrow. As I’ve read through this entire thread I’m struck by how angry this whole discussion makes you.

      I don’t know what in your life has made you so angry with religion, but I know in my life, coming from Orthodox, immigrant grandparents who raised a huge family, there is much in my life that made me see religion negatively. However, I was able through the years to begin to understand the difference between religious establishments and religious philosophy. As I’ve said many times before I neither believe in, nor disbelieve in whether there is a creative force guiding the Universe. Having actually been on the verge of imminent death more than a few times I never even prayed for my life because I simply don’t believe that prayers are heard or answered. That said there is some wisdom to be gleaned from most religious manuscripts because if you get past the fairy tales some interesting views on living can be found. Also I have known some deeply religious people who were wonderful human beings, who led exemplary lives. Your anger though as shown by this thread is deep-seated and contemptuous. There is something quite personal in that anger and it shows clearly.

      Po in asking for a truce wasn’t signaling to you his defeat, but that he came to realize that on this topic you are irrationally angry and are really unable to have a discussion without invective. Now judging from your work on this thread so far, I guess you now see me as having an “immature and defensive mind” and to that all I will respond is “know thyself” if that is at all possible for you, whenever religion becomes a topic.

  89. po says:

    However, I was able through the years to begin to understand the difference between religious establishments and religious philosophy. As I’ve said many times before I neither believe in, nor disbelieve in whether there is a creative force guiding the Universe. Having actually been on the verge of imminent death more than a few times I never even prayed for my life because I simply don’t believe that prayers are heard or answered. That said there is some wisdom to be gleaned from most religious manuscripts because if you get past the fairy tales some interesting views on living can be found. Also I have known some deeply religious people who were wonderful human beings, who led exemplary lives.

    Well said, as always! When knowledge meets awareness, we have this, wisdom.

  90. gbk says:

    Mike,

    “In your hubris and your haughtiness you make a statement that is insupportable on its face, at least to me. You’re right on one thing there is no standoff. Po has destroyed your argument with logic, but also with something else that your writing on this thread has lacked……grace. And no don’t mis-understand in what I mean by grace there is no religious content in that, what I’m indicating is that he has dealt with you graciously, whereas your words in every comment have been vindictive, attacking and narrow. As I’ve read through this entire thread I’m struck by how angry this whole discussion makes you. ”

    My hubris, and haughtiness. . . . insupportable on its face.

    “Po has destroyed your argument with logic . . .”

    Could you point this out, because I obviously missed it. Though it’s possible that your definition of “logic” encompasses your own “pre-judgments,” which seem to align with Po’s, for reasons previously discussed in this thread.

    “. . . but also with something else that your writing on this thread has lacked……grace.”

    Sure, Mike; Po’s graceful writings of:

    “Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.”

    and:

    “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    and:

    “So when I said armies, and no man’s land, and suggested we were entrenched into our respective compounds waging war, it was actually a goodwill gesture.”

    and:

    “We no longer sacrifice virgins and lives to the gods, but we do still want to sacrifice people’s freedom, which is the next best thing.”

    What grace! Oh yes, the words are smooth, but the meanings are not.

    Have you read and considered Po’s words; or do his words slip through due to commonalities of thought?

    Let’s just take this thought of Po’s as an example:

    “Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.”

    Have you, Mike, actually considered this thought from Po? Are you blind as to what is suggested?

  91. gbk says:

    “That said there is some wisdom to be gleaned from most religious manuscripts because if you get past the fairy tales some interesting views on living can be found.” — Mike S.

    I’ve never argued against this. However, when the fairy tales of differentiation impact billions of lives can it really be construed as wisdom?

  92. gbk says:

    Mike S.,

    “Po in asking for a truce wasn’t signaling to you his defeat, but that he came to realize that on this topic you are irrationally angry and are really unable to have a discussion without invective. Now judging from your work on this thread so far, I guess you now see me as having an “immature and defensive mind” and to that all I will respond is “know thyself” if that is at all possible for you, whenever religion becomes a topic.”

    Let’s break this down:

    “Po in asking for a truce wasn’t signaling to you his defeat . . .” And do you think my responses to Po assumed this? Read above in this thread, show me where I viewed Po’s “olive branch” as a victory.

    You can’t; the fact that you even see such a distinction is revealing. I specifically responded with the following:

    “As far as, ‘taking it whenever it is offered,’ (does this mean without the carpet), this is a fool’s game, as I’m sure you well know.
    “This is a ploy of distraction, of attempting to make me look like a hardcore asshole; when really, all one needs to do is read your statements in this thread . . .”

    Where is my irrational anger that keeps me from being, “really unable to have a discussion without invective”? Is this claim due to your fundamental disagreement of my lack of respect for monotheism — or from your self-assumed position of righteousness?

    “I guess you now see me as having an ‘immature and defensive mind . . .’” If you want to assume Po’s mantle I will not stop you; though, again, you put words in my mouth.

    “‘[K]now thyself’ if that is at all possible for you, whenever religion becomes a topic.”

    I do know myself, Mike; do you? You are very close in this thread to claiming morality springs from only your and other’s monotheistic perspective.

    I would suggest that you read these three comments from Po, in context in this thread, and then ask yourself if you agree with them:

    “Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.”

    and:
    “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”

    and:
    “So when I said armies, and no man’s land, and suggested we were entrenched into our respective compounds waging war, it was actually a goodwill gesture.”

    These words smell rotten to me.

  93. po says:

    GBK, It’s obvious to me that most of our disagreement is based on one single item, as to whether or not one can be fundamentalist WHILE atheist…or whether or not fundamentalism is to be found only in religion. The rest of it seems mere misunderstanding of my sentiments based on my choice of words. Why don’t you tell me your specific issues about those comments of mine you quoted and I’ll do my best to explain them.
    Meanwhile, let me start:

    1-“Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.”
    Agreeing with you that it defines many believers, BUT ALSO most human beings. Human beings tend to hold others to the extreme of their personal standards, so if they are fine with sacrificing themselves to their higher power, they tend to also be okay with sacrificing others to that same higher power, whatever it is.

    2- “. . . that is indeed a fundamentalist perspective, but one that nowadays afflicts the non-believer as well as the believer.”
    What is wrong with that statement? Are you saying that non-believers cannot be fundamentalists?

    3- “So when I said armies, and no man’s land, and suggested we were entrenched into our respective compounds waging war, it was actually a goodwill gesture.”
    In hindsight, I should not have used the words armies and no-man’s land. It did not evoke violence to me, just emotional argumentation and entrenchment into opposite camps. More like cold war than actual battle.
    I am hereby replacing armies and compounds with snowballs and treehouses.

    4- “We no longer sacrifice virgins and lives to the gods, but we do still want to sacrifice people’s freedom, which is the next best thing.”
    By we I meant humanity. Many passed civilizations used to sacrifice people, virgins or not, which we (humanity) no longer do, at least not the usual way of lives taken on a stone altar and the blood or the heart presented to idols. We (humanity) ceased offering blood sacrifices, however, we (humanity) now offer the most we (humanity) can get away with, which is other people’s freedoms.

    Finally, gbk, what exactly do you want?

  94. gbk says:

    “GBK, It’s obvious to me that most of our disagreement is based on one single item, as to whether or not one can be fundamentalist WHILE atheist…or whether or not fundamentalism is to be found only in religion.” — Po

    You are so wrong, Po. This is merely your backing out of prior claims; a feeble and unsustainable attempt to showcase an atheist as a fundamentalist.

    I have no problem with any mythology you bring to bear on your life; but do not expect me to accept the same when it bears on mine.

    This is all I want, Po.

  95. gbk says:

    “1-‘Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.’
    Agreeing with you that it defines many believers, BUT ALSO most human beings. Human beings tend to hold others to the extreme of their personal standards, so if they are fine with sacrificing themselves to their higher power, they tend to also be okay with sacrificing others to that same higher power, whatever it is.” — Po

    Your responses have now passed out of the realm of argumentation and entered the realm of zealotry.

    “Agreeing with you that it defines many believers, BUT ALSO most human beings.”

    What is “it” again; is “it” a presumption of perspective?

    This appears to be so, as you expend many words repeating yourself, assuming I did not understand the first time, but thank you for your clarification of:

    “Human beings tend to hold others to the extreme of their personal standards, so if they are fine with sacrificing themselves to their higher power, they tend to also be okay with sacrificing others to that same higher power, whatever it is.”

    Such deep thought! Such clarification of zealotry!!

    Thank you.

  96. gbk says:

    “Human beings tend to hold others to the extreme of their personal standards . . .” — Po

    So you say, Po; ignoring the many that haven’t over millennia, or decline to do so now. It’s sad that you view the world only through the microcosms of your own belief, expunging others with your trivial and circular arguments of self-justification.

    It’s a big world still, Po. You should maybe take this into consideration.

  97. gbk says:

    Po,

    As to your ever broadening definitions, such as the contrast you show in your own response over the course of mere days:
    ——————————————————————–
    “1-‘Any cause the person deems worthy of sacrificing his emotional balance to, is a cause he deems worthy of sacrificing other people’s emotional, religious, physical, financial balances to.’
    Agreeing with you that it defines many believers, BUT ALSO most human beings. Human beings tend to hold others to the extreme of their personal standards, so if they are fine with sacrificing themselves to their higher power, they tend to also be okay with sacrificing others to that same higher power, whatever it is.”

    https://flowersforsocrates.com/2015/03/28/colorado-state-representative-and-wacko-televangelist-gordon-klingenschmitt-says-that-brutal-attack-on-a-pregnant-woman-is-the-curse-of-god-upon-america-video/#comment-38828
    ————————————————————————

    It is most curious to me how you end your expansion of statement, that you claim is in agreement with mine, with, “. . . sacrificing others to that same higher power, whatever it is.” This does not read like your original statement in which you quoted yourself.

    I suspect the, “same higher power, whatever it is,” is a catchall, otherwise known as CYA, or, more along your thought, casting a wide net. This is due to the use of the word “same.” Massage your words as you will, but all you’ve done is double-down with the pretense of accommodation.

    It’s curious to me that you expend more words redefining your perspective for irrational simpletons like me — while saying the same thing — and then tack on a qualifier that you presume will go unnoticed.

  98. po says:

    “It’s a big world still, Po. You should maybe take this into consideration.”
    you are right, GBK, I will from now on.
    We good now?

  99. gbk says:

    I doubt it, Po; in all honesty.

    You’ve realized little in this exchange, yet shown your ability to whore out your words to escape their fate.

    It’s a conversation that you’re not capable of — it requires much more than the shifting of verbs and predicates.

    Not to worry, though, your secret is safe.

  100. po says:

    Grandpa used to say:Don’t go for the kill when debating someone, it is demeaning to you both, and you may miss the truth in what they say. Be gentle, be patient long enough, he’d say, and they will hang themselves.

    You’ve realized little in this exchange, yet shown your ability to whore out your words to escape their fate.
    It’s a conversation that you’re not capable of — it requires much more than the shifting of verbs and predicates.

    I couldn’t have said it better, gbk. Thank you for offering the exact words to describe your efforts. Saves me the need to be blunt and demeaning:)

  101. blouise says:

    Dogma is not now, never was then, and will not be, spirituality.

    Words were invented by the physical to describe the physical. That is why they fail to describe the spiritual. Parables are an attempt to explain the spiritual in physical terms.

    Dogma attempts to make the spiritual physical which is why it fails.

    I could posit that spirituality is as individual as a fingerprint and as self restraining in that one’s fingerprint can’t be given or grafted onto another. However, that is a physical explanation and, as always, falls short.

    I sense gbk knows this and that he is, quite simply, telling po to keep his fingerprint to himself.

  102. po says:

    If indeed gbk knows this, Blouise, and said it as you just did, I would have bowed before him and made him my spiritual guide 🙂
    Shame he didn’t !

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