Candidates’ Religious Hypocrisy Won’t Stand

The long road to political secularism in American politics.

It is fascinating to see how cautiously the candidates are approaching this issue in the run-up to November’s election. Everybody apparently thinks — probably rightly — that this is a race to be lost by a single fatal misstep, not won by a bold stroke. So nobody is going to come out in favor of secular values or visions, and secularists, like me, are not so foolish as to try to goad any candidate into acknowledging their sympathy for a secular world view if that could cost them the election. Of course, this tradition of mealy-mouthed lip service is something we should try to discredit and dismantle as soon as possible. But not sooner!

We are stuck, for the time being, with what I have called an engine of hypocrisy. Only when people who are not running for office and hence have nothing to lose in this regard have spoken candidly, and for some time, about the preposterousness of the avowals that are now obligatory for all candidates for higher office, can we hope to see candidates dare to follow suit. Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think. Bearing this in mind, we secular humanists should speak out early and often, not angrily but matter-of-factly, making it clear that we aren’t in the least bit impressed by the avowals of devotion on the part of ANY candidate, but we recognize their need to make those avowals.

The times will change. We can look forward to seeing candidates elected to high public office in the United States — as they already are in every civilized nation of Europe and many others as well — without having to mouth any religious formulae at all. The fact is that Americans have already become disillusioned by a President who says God tells him what to do, and would gladly trade him in for somebody who listens carefully to earthly advisers who are well-informed and rational.

Like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” our temporary and gingerly acquiescence in obligatory mouthings is NOT a policy with long-term stability, but we should try to live through it patiently to get to a better world. I don’t want my candidates to lie, but I also don’t want them to lose.

Image via Vox Efx.

Daniel C. Dennett
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  • Chris Everett

    Daniel Dennett says:Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.

  • Chris Everett

    Daniel Dennet says:Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.

  • Chris Everett

    Daniel Dennett says:Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.

  • Oort

    How do we know that a politician espousing very specific secular principles couldn’t win, have you ever seen any of them make the attempt?I have not. Maybe those who would be so inclined are unwilling to make the attempt because WE are keeping our mouths shut in order to get that half-promise from somebody who smells a little better than the other nuts.I disagree Professor, I don’t accept that keeping quiet is going to get us anywhere. We don’t need to jump and down and get red in the face the way you see the Dobsons and other such monsters when they make their demands. I could be talking out of both sides of my mouth though, I know that. There’s not one chance in hell that I would ever want to be a politician, the whole game sickens me. Whatever kind of narcissism is needed for a person to want to do that … maybe we’ll never get a representative because none of us want to do it ourselves.

  • Terra Gazelle

    oort,I have been a Congress watcher for 25 years…and believe me, if there were not those who tore theire hearts out every day for us, we would not be 200 years old. If I did not watch what was going on, and after a while did not learn the arcane workings, I would think the same…There is one man that stood and admitted to being an Atheist..Pete Stark, Democrate of Calif. And there is one Muslim in Congress…Keith Ellison,Democrate from Minnesota. We have a black man and a Woman running for office…times are changeing…but be aware of what is really going on, and not so willing to think the worse.

  • Oort

    we have a black man and we have a woman running for the president, both of them pandering to the religious types who demand that this be done. Sure, it’s great to have somebody besides an aging white guy in a stuffed suit, it says something remarkable about this election.But neither of these people have the ability or guts to say a thing to the religious that doesn’t sound like “I’m one of you” and “I’ll kiss your butt just the way you want”.If we keep asking so little of our candidates, that’s what we’re going to get – little.

  • Terra Gazelle

    oort,I am a liberal Dem. I am also very religious. One does not wipe out the other. It is just we see religion as a way to serve and the others see religion as a way to exclude. They are very different ways.The religious right has made religion into something ugly and bigoted…you want truth, but you want your truth. You are just as wrong as those who argue that we all have to follow their narrow views. Have you heard any of the candidates? Have you heard the differences? Maybe you need to put aside your bias and listen.terra

  • Oort

    I’m not asking them to forego their religion, if I had one myself trying to get someone to give up their religion would be against it.I said it in another thread today. Liberals prefer larger governments than the other side, that’s a fact of life. They seem to see the government as the solution to more problems than I myself am willing to endure.A larger government, already in the habit of telling us how to live (no smoking, no trans-fats, no hate-speech, no dodgeball or tag at recess … etc ad infinitum), already passing laws to support and enforce that, has too much power. If the religous take over the one party that seems to be resistant to their demands for control, we are doomed.We already can see how the religious have destroyed the conservatives, now they have their sites set on the liberals.When all is said and done, the progessive wing of the liberals are as moralistic and self-righteous and willing to suppress and oppress and repress those outside the “true faith” as the social conservatives are on the other side.Keep your religion out of my face and out of my government, I’ll have nothing more to say on the matter. Stick it in my face and in my government and you’re trying to steal my country from me. Do you expect me to endure that too?

  • Gaby

    As a non-religionist, yet believer of sorts, I have strong feelings about the general American public who seem to be obsessed with public figures’ beliefs. In my opinion that boils down to a religious test and as such is unconstitutional.I wish polititians would have the forthrightness to publically say exactly that, when asked about their personal faith. If they all stood firm, maybe Americans would get the drift.

  • BGone

    “As soon as possible. But not sooner” you say. No problem. Well, maybe a little one. The possible we do right away while the impossible takes a little longer…like say, convince a star athlete to change his under wear when he’s wearing his lucky dirty shorts.”Faith” is more addictive than tobacco, alcohol or marijuana ranking with main liners like heroine. The addicted cannot be cured, only the addiction arrested–put on hold. And any amount to talking common sense to the addicted is worthless.The only way to prevent it from destroying a society is to stop the addiction of children. Want to try to sell the idea that children should be kept out of churches the way they are kept out of bars?The best place to start is the university. That used to be where all revolutions began. Unfortunately, today the U is a trade school where the MBA delivers the 6 digit job. Amazing how so many state supported institutions of higher learning offer DD degrees.

  • Jihadist

    Daniel Dennett : “Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.”Say again? Say what? Does it means Dennett can’t afford to risk offending anyone and leave it to say, Christopher Hitchens, Ann Coulter, that Rush L something fellow, Pat Robertson et al?Anyway, being offensive is cheap and easy and free and anyone can afford to do it without risking anything as “anonymouses” in blogs – the blog shock jocks. Or is it the offensive-defensive brigade?

  • Mortifus

    Being offended is cheap and easy and free and anyone can do it without risk.Read what Dennett has said another time or two. He isn’t referring to the easy offenders, he is referring to the easily offended.One of the more common defenses put up by the believers when the beliefs are questioned is announcing how offended they are.We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.

  • Anonymous

    Consider the hypothesis (which anyway is overwhelmingly likely to be true) that the universe exists as a result of the play of natural laws alone. Late in the billions of years that the universe has existed,in one little corner of it, consciousness flickers into existence and over some millions of years grows into self awareness,and for some thousands of years more produces art, painting, philosophy, science, literature and music. It produces moments of great happiness and also great suffering; great kindness and love, and great cruelty. And then – because of a virus, or a collision with another planet, or because the aware beings are so stupid that they blow ourselves up – consciousness comes to an end and the universe reverts to being a neutral play of blind natural forces.Now imagine that the sum total of good that emerged from the relatively brief existence of consciousness in the universe’s history outweighed the sum total of the bad. That fact alone would make the whole history of the universe a good thing. But imagine if the sum total of evil outweighs the sum total of good. That would make the whole history of the universe a bad thing.This suggests a striking thought; that if we desire that the sum of good should outweigh the bad in the universe’s history, we each have a responsibility to make the universe a better place by increasing in it the sum of good. And there is no better place to start than with oneself and one’s local habitat in however small a way.A.C.Grayling.

  • Garyd

    1st anyone who thinks that the current crop of presidential candidates is the best this country has to offer is kidding themselves. And religion has nothing to do with it.On the left we have a woman who advertises 35 years of experience without bothering to explain exactly what that 35 years of experience entails. Such things as a health care boondoggle that was a colossal failure and deserved to be, first doormat for a womanizing a moral slug who appears seldom to have ever met a woman he wouldn’t sleep, and willing co conspirator in covering up those dalliances. And thats just the short list.And a man who has never previously run anything in his life and has so far run a campaign long on promises and short on real substance.On the right we have as nominee apparent a man who is a deluxe model freedom thief.

  • Mortifus

    Being offended by Ann Coulter? hah, that’s funny. She’s vile, that’s about all I think of when I hear her say anything, but to be offended by her is silly.I don’t care what your religion is or is not, I don’t care what your bathroom habits are either, and I don’t want to know about one any more than the other.For the most part I don’t even care if you breathe, but you seem to say the things you say in a sometimes interesting way.I basically call myself an apatheist, I don’t givashet if there are any gods or not. Atheism probably takes more work than Im willing to put into it. And religion itself just smells bad.

  • Jihadist

    Hello Mortifus:) Ummm…. So you think Ann Coulter is vile, eh?Some Americans do get offended by what she said for this and that statement of hers. Bully for you for not being offended by her and to think being offended by her is silly.I have no idea what an “apatheist” is. Sounds too close to apartheid and apartheist. By the way, in Malay language “tidak apa” means “don’t care” or “never mind” depending on the context of usage. There is a Manglish version where “tidak apatheism” is a negative to characterise slovenly indifference or apathy. Anyway, all the best to you and “apatheism”, which I take to mean an adherent of “apathy” of all beliefs and non-belief/atheism from how you describe yourself as an apatheist. Good creative choice of term actually:) Apatheist of the world unite!

  • Mortifus

    Passion is overrated, but as one of the more commonly pursued delusions it is usually harmless.

  • Jihadist

    Mortifus, thanks for the advise. Will try to get anti-hemorrhoids preventive medication or post-hemorrhoids curative ones.Life without passion is like chili con carne without chilis.

  • Arminius

    Hi, Jihadist,Oh (expletive deleted), my last post seems to have been censored because I called Ann Coulter a forbidden name. I’ll try again.First, your comment: “Life without passion is like chili con carne without chilis.”Yes, exactly. Life is to be celebrated and enjoyed, with harm to none. Anything else is monastic.Next, Ann Coulter. Are you aware that that (expletive deleted) is on public record as saying that all of Islam should be forced to convert to Christianity? Also, that (expletive deleted) called me, a veteran, a traitor because I am liberal. She called my church a non-church because it is progressive. Am I mad as hell? Yes. Is that irrational, and should I laugh instead? Of course. But I am having trouble with it.Arminius

  • Daniel in the Lion’s Den

    Dear JihadistI also did not know what “apatheist” meant. I probably would not have even bothered do think about it, had it not been for your quesioning.So I took another look, and EUREKA! It came to me. He was making a joke; it is a made up word from “apathy + deism = apatheism.”I think it means, is indifferent to the God question.It is sort of like the Frisbeetarians: they believe that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof, and no one can get it down.

  • loco_moco

    That’s if you lived a good life. If you were a bad person, the wind catches your soul and sends it back in a boomerang curve, then the neighbor’s dog grabs it in his mouth and goes under the bushes to chew on it awhile.

  • Mama Bear

    “Those of us who can afford to do so should risk offending all for whom taking offense is a habit and a fine defense against having to think.”Actually, I understand this. There are many places in the U.S. where taking a risk and offending the habitually offended can cost you a job, security, community, and home. You’ve got to be strong in more than spirit and thought to take on some of those people. In many cases, you have to literally be financially able to “afford” to tick off the religious right.

  • M. Stratas

    Hypocrisy among politicians is a given especially among Republicans whose mantra of “family values” slide ever so smoothly from their mouths. Haggard, that guy with the wide stance, that guy from Louisiana who patronized the DC Madam’s girls, Gingrich, that guy from Florida who flirted with underage interns, the names escape me but their immoral and unethical acts do not. All Republicans who chastise and berate the Democrats in some virtual contest for virtues. Using “God” has been most effective for the Republicans obviously from Bush to every tom dick & harry Republicans. It is disgusting how America has degenerated under Bush and the Republicans.

  • jim h

    Let’s all start talking publicly about how “fact based solutions” are better than “faith based solutions”.

  • captmustang

    This tirade provess ignorant pinheads can have PHD after their name.

  • iron sharpens iron

    Agathodemon, “CCNL – I suspect that there is no one left in the known universe that isn’t aware of your passion to get the Jihadist to do something – perhaps singlehandedly reform Islam. We get the picture. Why not move on to another passion. I really do appreciate your point of view, but it is becoming almost as tiresone as Jovetz’ [or however he spells it] incoherent eclatian rants. You seem intelligent – why not just give it a rest.I’m sorry did you just tell CCNL to subliminally shut up? Yes you did. Not only did you tell him/her to shut up but also your condescending tones rang out loud and clear calling their belief about Islam practices unworthy to take note of.How self-righteous you are. Since when do you or any other commentary’s religious posts have to “give it a rest” because “you” are tired of hearing it. And then advise them to “move onto another passion. By what merit do you think that you are the “know all” of what another person should do?? I am not tired of hearing them, their arguments are substantially correct, even if in nature only. Meaning the things they address are issues that greater then 75% of humanity can benefit from if a change occurs and the issues that they address cease. You don’t need to be anyone of a certain religious belief to appreciate the need for change in the areas CCNL addresses but just a human being that wishes the betterment of human practices. What CCNL is saying is not rocket science; it is common sense regarding humanities well being, plain and simple.

  • Daniel E. Teodoru

    Dr. Daniel Dennet most perceptively seems to point to a really clear hypocricy and license for unethical deception in presidential candidates. “THE PRESIDENCY” seems to be so “holy” and mysterious a thing– as if, once you are “Mr/Ms President,” you cease to be the scumbag you were on Jan. 19th so that, as of your Jan 20th inauguration, you are now free from the judgements on which we mere mortals rely to judge eachother and ourselves. Bill Clinton as an ex-President, for example, seems to be above judgement as an utter scumbag for the way he used race to cripple Obama in his campaign for Hillary. Though himself not a racist, he takes the same “noblesse oblige” attitude that necessity trumps all other ethics at that level, so it is holy at all levels, for he is en route to a higher purpose of social justice under President Hillary: BS!Similarly, the slimy neocon foppishness of Leon Wieseltier– so typical of the COMMENTARY/NEW REPUBLIC crowd– in his video interview on this site, claiming that if you want to understand anti-Semitism you must look at the Christians, never at the Jews, disregards that (a) the Jews came into the Christian World on their own because they were well received, becoming adviser to kings and rich merchants, so no matter how small a part, their behavior contributed to anti-Semitism, producing some reactive aspect to generate the drift from positive to negaitve and evil anti-Semitism; (b) his claim that to look in any way to the Jews for a part of the reason for anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism itself, bespeaks the Leninist sophystry from which he and his fellow neocons eminate– these same neocons who have for a long tme made a living trading on hate for Islam. Most Jews, most Christians, most Islamics look to themselves in trying to cope with why others hate them because, above all else, it is themselves that they can most effectively act upon, not to blame. I never saw this sacrosanct presidency nor this immunity to self-blame Semitism, neither in Europe nor in Israel. except during the last awful century all over the world, when the individual and his moral responsiblity were abrogated. The concequence of this was chaos followed by totalitarianism. Lastly, evil knows no barriers. We must, therefore, see it in both victims and perpetrators. Otherwise, the victim eventually becomes perpetrator when himself the top dog, repeating in utter self-righteousness the crimes of which he now is victim. Israel is a perfect example. Some of my Jewish fellow East Europeans– Ashkanazis sick of how they were abused, tortured and killed– left East Europe to treat Palestinians exactly as they were treated by their fellow East Europeans (they even stole the children of Mizrahi Mideast Jews in order to make of them their own Ashkenazis children that they could not, for whatever the reason, procreate).We must always begin– as Dennett so clearly writes in his books– with INTROSPECTION because there-in are both most our answers as to the whys and our solution as to the hows to any problem that clearly result from “it takes two to tango.” But “ME” is the one I control while “YOU” is the one I can at best only influence– but influence only once I become fully cognizant and in control of me.

  • Daniel E. Teodoru

    Dr. Daniel Dennet most perceptively seems to point to a really clear hypocricy and license for unethical deception in presidential candidates. “THE PRESIDENCY” seems to be so “holy” and mysterious a thing– as if, once you are “Mr/Ms President,” you cease to be the scumbag you were on Jan. 19th so that, as of your Jan 20th inauguration, you are now free from the judgements on which we mere mortals rely to judge eachother and ourselves. Bill Clinton as an ex-President, for example, seems to be above judgement as an utter scumbag for the way he used race to cripple Obama in his campaign for Hillary. Though himself not a racist, he takes the same “noblesse oblige” attitude that necessity trumps all other ethics at that level, so it is holy at all levels, for he is en route to a higher purpose of social justice under President Hillary: BS!Similarly, the slimy neocon foppishness of Leon Wieseltier– so typical of the COMMENTARY/NEW REPUBLIC crowd– in his video interview on this site, claiming that if you want to understand anti-Semitism you must look at the Christians, never at the Jews, disregards that (a) the Jews came into the Christian World on their own because they were well received, becoming adviser to kings and rich merchants, so no matter how small a part, their behavior contributed to anti-Semitism, producing some reactive aspect to generate the drift from positive to negaitve and evil anti-Semitism; (b) his claim that to look in any way to the Jews for a part of the reason for anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism itself, bespeaks the Leninist sophystry from which he and his fellow neocons eminate– these same neocons who have for a long tme made a living trading on hate for Islam. Most Jews, most Christians, most Islamics look to themselves in trying to cope with why others hate them because, above all else, it is themselves that they can most effectively act upon, not to blame. I never saw this sacrosanct presidency nor this immunity to self-blame Semitism, neither in Europe nor in Israel. except during the last awful century all over the world, when the individual and his moral responsiblity were abrogated. The concequence of this was chaos followed by totalitarianism. Lastly, evil knows no barriers. We must, therefore, see it in both victims and perpetrators. Otherwise, the victim eventually becomes perpetrator when himself the top dog, repeating in utter self-righteousness the crimes of which he now is victim. Israel is a perfect example. Some of my Jewish fellow East Europeans– Ashkanazis sick of how they were abused, tortured and killed– left East Europe to treat Palestinians exactly as they were treated by their fellow East Europeans (they even stole the children of Mizrahi Mideast Jews in order to make of them their own Ashkenazis children that they could not, for whatever the reason, procreate).We must always begin– as Dennett so clearly writes in his books– with INTROSPECTION because there-in are both most our answers as to the whys and our solution as to the hows to any problem that clearly result from “it takes two to tango.” But “ME” is the one I control while “YOU” is the one I can at best only influence– but influence only once I become fully cognizant and in control of me.

  • Henry James

    What, Sboyd, and MustangWhat asks for an example of a country that has thrived in the way i describe.What, go to the article i cited, from a respected journal, and based largely on data from the UN 2005 report on Human Development.The “Godless” countries that are MUCH healthier than the God-Fearing USA are, as I noted, Holland, Japan, Germany, France, Sweden, and EVERY other “developed country” that is economically advanced as the US is.Take Abortion and teen pregnancy, something Falwell screamed about for years. Turns out the evangelical south does worse than the rest of the US on these, and the US does FAR worse than the other countries i mentioned.Look at the Facts is you want to know the TRUTH.SBOYD: the facts I cited (but did NOT make up myself) TOTALLY CONTRADICT your claims, which are based on prejudices of your own but on NO DATA.Mustang: An empty and idiotic response. Make a point.

  • agathodemon

    iron sharpens iron:Ouch – right through the heart. I don’t feel I have the right to tell anyone to shut up, that’s your twist on my comment. I said that I understand his point – and I do. Originally, I looked forward to reading his posts, lately they have become increasingly shrill in regard to Jihadist. After a time, I believe that no one is listening. As for the end of your comment – where did that come from? I did not say anything about Islam except in regard to Jihadist. I think that all religion has the potential for harm and right now none more than Islam.

  • Betty

    Iron sharpens Iron writes”What Dennett is proposing is a “facade” which gives voters a false impression of what a prospective candidate’s position is on a given issue.Not a good way to weigh whether or not I want this particular person in office.”Ok Iron-Man.I am an atheist who is the best qualified person to be president, and would do the most for the country if I were elected.BUT, I don’t believe in God.What should I do?The constitution says there shall be “no religious test” for the presidency.In other words, it is none of the country’s business what I believe about God.So if I DO NOT trumpet or discuss my Atheism, a private matter, I am “putting on a facade” or giving a false impression?What would you suggest I do? NOt run?

  • JBE

    Dude – Seriously – Are you sleeping?Fundamentalists overlook hypocrisy all the time. Case in point – George Bush says “protect America” and then outs a CIA agent… but the religious fundamentalists still love him! Ted Haggerty is a multi-millionaire, but asks his fundamentalist parishoners (who he has let down with his personal actions creating his own moral hypocrisy) to send him money so he can go back to school.. and they did!?!Fundamentalists Muslims killing other muslims in violation of the Koran – and then bragging about it as a recruiting tactic!Moderate muslims refusing to denounce the fundamentalist’s un-muslim actions because they are afraid of the black eye on Islam?Fundamentalist Jews (and their descendants)in Israel who, after survivng the holocost, openly support the occupation and harrassment of another race and fight the peace process their government is persuing!?!Religious fundamentalism of any stripe is the embodiment of hypocrisy today.

  • agathodemon

    LOYALSYS:

  • MattInAberdeen

    I just stumbled on this blog, and I wonder, is this the same Dan Dennett who wrote the piece about the unimagined preposterousness of zombies? Good work, Dan Dennett! I always knew that there were no zombies. Now, if there are no gods either, then certainly ordinary politicians are no gods. They put their trousers or pants suits on one leg at a time, just as I do. And in that case, what gives George Romney the right to tell everyone in Massachusetts that they’ve gotta buy health insurance whether they want it or not? Or Hillary Clinton the right to do the same for everyone in America? I’d rather have a zombie in the White House. At least, the zombie wouldn’t be trying to impose some sort of utopian vision on me and my family. Again, good work on the zombies, Dan Dennett!

  • Paganplace

    Being no fan of obligatory public piety, I think it’s important to point out that Obama and Clinton certainly have every right to present themselves as moderate-to-liberal Christians, cause that’s what they *are.* McCain has certainly been pandering to the Religious Right, and if anything, Huckabee, apart from throwing out code words for the Left behind crowd and all, is actually a lot more scary-radical than he presents himself: it doesn’t take much digging to see he has little to no grounding in anything but some pretty off-the-wall views of the world, and deep, longstanding, and serious ties to some pretty scary Dominionist groups, such things as I think most Christians would balk at associating with, if they knew.

  • E Favorite

    Henry James — Haha – Even your typos – “Bodless Developed Countries”- have more literary flair than mine: “not to much to hope for.”

  • CJ

    The Chinaman is not the ISSUE, man!!! This agression man – this will not STAND !!!

  • Mike

    Whew, thank goodness we got the views of an athiest here. I mean, what would “OnFaith” be without a majority of the posts coming from folks who despise religion, right?

  • nat turner

    Amen

  • Henry James

    MikeThanks for the substantive comment.BTW, I, and many other atheists, don’t “despise” religion. That is mindless generalization.with all due respectHenry

  • SCHMOOZEALERT

    >>religionist’s dictionary has this as its definition of the word “angry” – Mr. Mark,Could you provide us all with the name of the dictionary of whence you speak?

  • Terra Gazelle

    Hey Paganplace…It seems that if you are Democrate you are “pandering” if you talk about your faith. Since when did Democrate equal atheist? We are a party with large welcomeing arms…and we do not own any god..(but welcome them all) ; )Heck I even know some Pagans that are republican..amazing isn’t it?terra

  • iron sharpens iron

    Betty wrote, “The constitution says there shall be “no religious test” for the presidency.In other words, it is none of the country’s business what I believe about God.So if I DO NOT trumpet or discuss my Atheism, a private matter, I am “putting on a facade” or giving a false impression?What would you suggest I do? NOt run? You answered your own questions, “The constitution says there shall be “no religious test” for the presidency.In other words, it is none of the country’s business what I believe about God.”Have the people dictated to the candidate that they should/must reveals their beliefs in God? Or have the candidates chosen to use it as a levering tool?It is a personal decision whether to disclose your belief in God to voters. However, if you live by the constitution then adhere to what you believe in and accept the consequences of your decision knowing that at lead you were truthful. Keep in mind that most Atheist have some level of belief in something which might prevail itself to appeasing the question in the voters mind. Sometimes, more often then not, it is all in how you word a subject matter. In other words, I might say that I have nothing against Christians that drink alcohol but at the same time a very conservative Christian hears me say it is okay for Christians to be drunk. Drinking and drunkenness are closely related in the mind of a conservative Christian, more so then non-Christians, just a thought.

  • Anonymous

    agathodemon, “Ouch – right through the heart”……nice touch.”As for the end of your comment – where did that come from? I did not say anything about Islam except in regard to Jihadist. I think that all religion has the potential for harm and right now none more than Islam.”Truly stated, all religion does have potential for harm.

  • Garyd

    Give me a break The politically correct crowd is largely secularist in nature not Religious. Not only are you being snide you are ignoring the obvious.

  • Betty

    GaryI don’t know what “politically correct” means. It means NOTHING to me. Be specific about positions, so we can have SOME hope of understanding what you are talking about.As it is you seem to be merely spouting epithets.

  • E Favorite

    Here’s my hope: Someday relatively soon, a very popular and successful second term president, announces his/her atheism, making it clear that it existed before taking office and was hidden out of concern that it would be perceived as disqualifying. The President is coming out now to fulfill a desire to be honest with the American people and to demonstrate that atheism is not antithetical to morality and patriotism. This beloved president asks the American people to honor our secular democracy by being as tolerant of people of no faith they are of people of different faiths. That’s not to much to hope for, is it?

  • Mortifus

    “The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.”Find that quote for yourself, that’s what the internet is useful for isn’t it?And GaryD, the “I know you are but what am I” defense only marks you as a child.Any programmers out there?

  • Paganplace

    Hi, Terra. “Heck I even know some Pagans that are republican..amazing isn’t it?”Well, at times it is, not cause of the fact that some have some ‘conservative positions’ but more cause they don’t understand it’s like being a working-class Log Cabin Republican… Perspective problem. :) Those few Republican Pagans too often are all about more libertarian-kinds of rights that they actually expect somehow to be included in if the Religious Right holds sway. :)

  • tom

    Sure is fun to watch all you clowns call each other names in the name of your respective “religions!”

  • Henry James

    TomYou Mewling Methodist heap of parrot droppings!!What speakest thou of????

  • Anonymous

    “That’s because the religionist’s dictionary has this as its definition of the word “angry” – “a) the motivation behind presenting cogent, well-rounded arguments against beliefs in the fantastic and the supernatural; b) the refusal of non-believers in the supernatural to accept ‘because I said so’ as a legitimate answer.””Yeah… as a “religionist” (jeez where did they dig up that term?) Always count on a militant atheist to claim to know exactly the inner thought processes of believers. Ha! And they call us delusional!

  • agathodemon

    Ah, GaryD we meet again. “The habitually offended are not generally Christians in general they are secularists who seem to be offended by almost anything.”Do you have any facts to support such a sweeping generalization? I know many secularists who are not offended by a large number of things that seem to offend Christians. CCNL – I suspect that there is no one left in the known universe that isn’t aware of your passion to get the Jihadist to do something – perhaps singlehandedly reform Islam. We get the picture. Why not move on to another passion. I really do appreciate your point of view, but it is becoming almost as tiresone as Jovetz’ [or however he spells it] incoherent eclatian rants. You seem intelligent – why not just give it a rest.

  • Mortifus

    Well, you are delusional. If the militant atheists are delusional as well this has no bearing on your state of delusion.Is this how your argument works, how your assertions work? If you can label your opponents delusional it frees you from admitting your own delusion?As if you know what an atheist really is anyway, wow – you certainly give yourself permission to know what they think and feel.

  • agathodemon

    Anon: “Always count on a militant atheist to claim to know exactly the inner thought processes of believers. Ha! And they call us delusional!”We are all atheists [including you], it’s just those who believe in one less god than you do seem to offend the true believers.

  • TRUTH

    Consider: the legacy of ‘freethinkers’, especially over the past 4-5 decades has promoted so much freedom, for instance, in sexual behavior that we see broken marriages and homes, STD’s and AIDS so much more exponentially common. Therefore, free-thinking, in and of itself, has also brought punishment upon mankind.Enlightenment?I dont think so.

  • STDS

    The highest rates of divorce, teenage pregnancy, and stds are seen in the bible belt south. Tell us again how the freethinkers are responsible for this?

  • agathodemon

    Truth:”Consider: the legacy of ‘freethinkers’, especially over the past 4-5 decades has promoted so much freedom, for instance, in sexual behavior that we see broken marriages and homes, STD’s and AIDS so much more exponentially common.”Just for the record, a recent poll

  • loyalsys

    The difficulty with excluding religion from politics is that our whole system of laws and high moral aspirations is based on commandments drawn up in the name of a supernatural being. Secular humanists embrace these rules but deny any religion that insists that something supernatural is out there and has to be placated.Yet something is going on around us other than evolution based on fortunate accidents. Certainly politicians should not promote one organized religion over another, but there is nothing wrong with a candidate’s stating a belief in God. After all, an inspiring leader like Abe Lincoln asked God’s help in healing the nation after the Civil War.

  • agathodemon

    LOYALSYS:Actually, it is not. The laws of the US are secular in origin. It is tiresome that so many people trot out this statement as if it were true. Just look at the first commandment from the Decalogue – this conflicts directly with the First Amendment. How can these ever be reconciled? And should the sins of the fathers be extended to the 3rd and 4th Generations of those who break the commandments? And before you claim the Bible as a moral resource, please read it – not just the good bits, but all the nasty bits wherein god either does really, really nasty things, or commands his believers to do them in his name. I do not want that kind of morality and ethics to be the law of any land in which I live.

  • TRUTH

    >>The highest rates of divorce, teenage pregnancy, and stds are seen in the bible belt south.Actually, it was more rampant in the area of California we moved from. Your statement makes no point.If you dont think ‘freethinking’ (allowing people like Hefner, Flynt and the like to do their thing, and theyre only the tip of the iceberg..fill in the rest yourself) hasnt only affected those who are unbelievers, but, as well, has also affected those who do believe in God, you may wish to take your head out of the sand. There are so many ‘freedoms’ that freethinkers, secularist, whatever you want to call them have pushed on our society…it affects all. For the mere fact that no human being, believer or not, is perfect…it is elementary that there are behaviors and ways of life so delusionally presented as ‘right’ that are actually tearing up our society faster than any religion could even think of. Agathodemon, you are the one who is sadly mistaken.

  • agathodemon

    Truth:I am willing to be shown that I am mistaken. How about some statistics – something beyond personal feelings and anecdotal impressions. A simple comment that you believe me to be mistaken is worthless. I provided some data to back up my claim. I think it’s interesting that you blame the secularists for corrupting the religious. And just what would you suggest we do to “correct” the secularist effect on society?

  • Garyd

    The habitually offended are not generally Christians in general they are secularists who seem to be offended by almost anything.

  • STDS

    guess I’m going to double-post here, sorry about that. Let me put the statistics right here in the post itself.Top ten states ranked by rate (per 100,000) of reported STD cases: United States, 2006:Primary and secondary syphilis – in descending order: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Nevada, Maryland, California, Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico, Florida.Chlamydia – Alaska, Mississippi, South Carolina, New Mexico, Alabama, Hawaii, Georgia, Delaware, Tennessee, IllinoisGonnorhea – Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Delaware, Missouri, Ohio, TennesseeLooks like that old time religion isn’t doing such a hot job at keeping your pecker safe in the south, is it?

  • intcamd1

    Religion is the opiate of man, and unfortunately most Americans, and most people of this planet for that matter, are deeply addicted fools. Knowing that there are a zillion galaxies out there and potentially a gazillion wonderful and undiscovered life forms out there, it is beyond belief that most of this planet’s citizens (well, of the human kind anyway) choose to profess their ever lasting allegiance to gods of their own figment and then try to annhilate other people that don’t aver the same degree of allegiance to the gods of their imagination.

  • JoeT

    E Fav: a more likely scenario is a candidate who says the minimum required, following Dennett’s rule, to manage to get elected, manages to govern just fine for 8 years without his or her religion being mentioned or even apparently relevant to anything he or she does or says for those 8 years. Next election cycle, no one is the first to bring it up, so no one does. then we just all forget the subject, like the rest of the civilized world has. I must be dreaming.

  • JoeT

    E Fav: a more likely scenario is a candidate who says the minimum required, following Dennett’s rule, to manage to get elected, manages to govern just fine for 8 years without his or her religion being mentioned or even apparently relevant to anything he or she does or says for those 8 years. Next election cycle, no one is the first to bring it up, so no one does. then we just all forget the subject, like the rest of the civilized world has. I must be dreaming.

  • STDS

    Hey Putz, read the whole thing, let me highlight the appropriate preamble: ****And how are you painting all freethinkers with the same brush like that, shall I try it?*** Ok, all you religious types are David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Osama Bin Laden. All of you want to kill everybody who isn’t like you, brining the world into a period of such darkness that it will never recover.What unbelievable gall, what an urepentant putz.

  • agathodemon

    Sorry about the bad link. Apparently you can only get there by following the same path that I followed. The main link is:

  • Henry James

    “Truth” does not Speak TruthExpanding comparisons beyond the Sorry State of STDS in the Evangelical South (as opposed to groups with a higher edicational level, BTW)If we compreUS has FAR HIGHER There is barely a measure of social health/morality that the US comes even close to these other countries on.Inevitable Conclusion: Godlessness DOES NOT lead to social collapse. If anything, it correlates with social health.google “gregory paul journal of religion and society ” for more detail.Caution: Religious belief may be hazardous to your health, and the health of your neighbors/children

  • Henry James

    Footnote to my post aboveDirect quote from the G Paul article I noted:”In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 1-9). The most theistic prosperous democracy, the U.S., is exceptional, but not in the manner Franklin predicted. The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developed democracies, sometimes spectacularly so, and almost always scores poorly. The view of the U.S. as a “shining city on the hill” to the rest of the world is falsified when it comes to basic measures of societal health.”

  • Craig

    Truth said: “…For the mere fact that no human being, believer or not, is perfect…it is elementary that there are behaviors and ways of life so delusionally presented as ‘right’ that are actually tearing up our society faster than any religion could even think of.”.Be careful not to confuse what you find distasteful with what is morally wrong. Also note the following distinction on the subject of Hefner, Flynt, whoever – the question of whether their actions are “wrong” is not being argued. The argument of whether their actions are “wrong for everyone, no matter what you personally believe” is being argued. You obviously do not think these people are living moral lives. That’s ok! You are not, however, forced to buy their products, or live as they do. By the same token, people who do not see a particular religion as being “right” are not forced to be faithful to that religion.Pray for us if you’d like. That’s ok! Hope we’ll come around to your way of thinking. That’s ok, too! Force us to live as you do?…that’s a problem.

  • LOYALSYS

    AgathodemonI didn’t say the ten commandments came directly from God. In fact, the evidence is they were secular in origin, just like our laws. And I happen to think an all-powerful God was invoked in the first commandment just to scare people into conformance. But there is nothing wrong with believing that the impulse to keep from beating up on your fellow man came from something other than mindless evolution. Accidental chemistry may have resulted in the ability of molecules to reproduce but what made reproduction such a virtue that parents are willing to sacrifice themselves for their children. Where did love and charity come from? Without these impulses, the strong would just kill off the weaker in order to grab all the planet’s resources for their own sustenance and enrichment. No, something good is going on. Humans are becoming more aware of how they are damaging the earth, and someday soon, I believe, disagreements will give way to mutual respect and cooperation in families, communities, and amongst nations. i don’t know where this impulse comes from but if politicians choose to give credit to their Gods that’s okay with me.

  • WHAT?

    >>Inevitable Conclusion: Godlessness DOES NOT lead to social collapse. If anything, it correlates with social health.Henry James:Give us an example of a society, country, etc that thrived in social health in the manner you speak

  • Paganplace

    Vie:”Paganplace & TerraTrue enough, perhaps, I think but it’s pretty moot when the Republican party will but such extreme pressure on politicians who depend on it, …look at how McCain is being treated for *not* voting in lockstep with the Religious Right every single time, despite his well-known courtship of their vote: I fear our co-religionists who expect the Republican party to stand up for Pagans or people of any non-Abrahamic belief are sorely mistaken. The very language that party uses is exclusionary of us, and often downright hostile, so I have trouble seeing the appeal, despite the fact that some of the Republican *rhetoric* may appeal, …in terms of ‘small government’ self-reliance and personal responsibility, the only problem is the actual way the party works is by being beholden to people who would have the government make… and enforce ‘moral’ choices for individuals, which morals to be enforced are based in a religious segment which says it’s a ‘sin’ for us to even practice our faith, and are constantly trying to turn every election, if not local government assembly, into a religious test to even be represented. So I think it’s misguided. You vote Republican, you get the whole party, and the part’s still beholden to the Religious Right. Forgive the inevitable hyperbole, but it’s a bit like Jews voting Nazi cause they like the tax policy. The idea that Hillary and Obama are ‘pandering to religion’ by referring to their faith as moderate Christians may be a concession to obligatory public piety, but accusations that it’s ‘pandering’ to represent themselves as the moderate Christians they are is entirely based in the accusation by Republicans that ‘liberals’ are innately *impious.*In Huckabee’s case, the media has about totally failed to do its job in informing folks just how moderate Huckabee *isn’t,* …he’s a radical with deep ties to some very scary Dominionist groups, and in McCain’s, well, as I said, he’s taken some radical Christianist positions in order to pursue office, but is still experiencing the relentless and extreme pressures to fall into line with such radicals on policy: a lot of the ‘symbolic’ gestures that don’t cost a lot, like repressing Pagans and enforcing ‘Christian’ personal choices on everybody are things one can expect he might well go ahead and do. Come right down to it, a commitment to diversity and individual religious freedom are something someone in our faith simply can’t afford to vote against, if you asked me. Pagan experiences during the Bush administration, where it became almost political suicide for our government to protect our rights against various repressions, (…even a decent burial for our war-dead by the ‘Support our troops’ administration took years and years of struggle,) should demonstrate that well enough.Just like Romney’s election promises not to mess with gay rights in Massachusetts despite his religion went right out the window when he needed party backing for a presidential bid. You vote Republican, you get the whole party, like it or not, is unfortunately how it works.

  • Betty

    Gee whiz, thanks Gary.Believe it or not, I am familiar with the term. I was being somewhat ironic. Sorry. Won’t make that mistake again.I was interested in WHICH particular incident reflected political correctness, and you have answered my question. Thank you so much.You speak of the MSNBC reporter who was suspended because he said that I thought the “politically correct” crowd was also the group that was destroying the moral fabric of our country.In the part of the rural south where I come from, accusing a young woman of p*mping on national television is NOT a strengthening gesture as far as the moral fabric of our country goes.Maybe you got things in reverse in your example Gary?

  • purplemartin

    To get back to an on-topic comment, I have to agree with Mr. Dennett. The particular flavor of invisible-friend-with-superpowers doesn’t matter… every candidate understands he or she must profess some supernatural belief as a prerequisite for running for office. I’m fairly certain a healthy percentage of political officeholders don’t actually hold the religious beliefs they profess, but understand that’s the price of being in the arena.From a personal point of view (and I understand it’s a minority point of view), only if they’ve convinced me they really do believe–and would make governing decisions based on that belief (i.e., Huckabee)–are they unqualified to hold office.

  • Paganplace

    “The particular flavor of invisible-friend-with-superpowers doesn’t matter… every candidate understands he or she must profess some supernatural belief as a prerequisite for running for office.”You might find, if you didn’t have the same low opinion of all religions, Purple, that in fact, the particular flavor *does* matter, (try getting ‘faith-based inititative’ money if you’re a non-Christian group trying to help make up for the cuts to social services that funded this initiative,) especially once people becoming elected on religious credentials becomes truly accepted… You get a ‘Christian or Muslim nation,’ then the squabbles for religious-based power only start getting more specific, …when you can call it a Christian nation, it’s between the Catholics and Protestants, exclude the Catholics and call it a Protestant nation, then it’s between one segment or another of Protestants… It never ends. Theocratic promises of harmony and stability are false ones, and that’s why America isn’t supposed to indulge that. Right now the Republicans may claim to speak for all religious (they don’t,) but trust me, they’ve already excluded a whole lot of us with ‘different flavors of supernatural friends.’They use the term ‘political correctness’ to trivialize our real human rights, even, while trying to enforce their own *religious correctness* upon our common government. Personally, I don’t think it’s off-topic to point out that a blanket condemnation of ‘politicians’ glosses over some very important differences in what’s behind the obligatory religious references.

  • purplemartin

    Betty, nice, thoughtful answer to GaryD. Some of the words may have had too many syllables but he should be able to puzzle it out.Have you noticed that ‘Political Correctness’ is often a matter of context? for example, when GaryD tells racist or sexist jokes in his circle, he being absolutely PC. Nearly every time I’ve heard the statement, “I hate PC,” it is someone being completely PC within his or her own environment.

  • purplemartin

    paganplace…it’s the 2nd part of my statement that more important: “…only if they’ve convinced me they really do believe–and would make governing decisions based on that belief (i.e., Huckabee)–are they unqualified to hold office.” I agree with you completely that those who tend to the fundamentalist point of view are far more likely to cause serious and long-lasting damage to society…and at the moment, that’s more likely to be a Republican.I am, however, appreciative and grateful for the contributions of most religions through the ages (examples, I’m a choral singer so I appreciate that the Catholic Church sponsored most of the great choral music for nearly a thousand years…I’m an engineer so I appreciate the advances of Islamic states in mathematics and the observational sciences through those centuries the churches of Europe were actively repressing science). I am grateful of the friendship of many religionists I know (mostly but not exclusively Christian…because I live in America–Colorado Springs in fact–I’m much more likely to encounter Christians). I respect their moral character but that doesn’t mean I have to respect their non-rational belief in myth, any more than I have to respect their belief in say, Astrology or 9/11 conspiracy theory.If some religion does turn to be, against all odds, the only eternal truth (literally–there are so many religions, numerical odds of any single one being the only true one, are very low), I hope its either the Wiccans or the Mormons…because in their afterlife, I’ll be greatly surprised–but not eternally tortured.

  • Betty

    GaryDo you consider it “politically correct”

  • garyd

    Betty that would be no. Rather political correctness is the peculiarly leftist concept that everyone has the right to not be offended. It is in short antithetical to free speech and common sense.

  • Paganplace

    GaryD:”Betty that would be no. Rather political correctness is the peculiarly leftist concept that everyone has the right to not be offended. It is in short antithetical to free speech and common sense.”No, that’s how imaginary ‘Political Correctness’ is defined when right-wingers (who get ‘offended’ on any occasion right-wing Christianity is *not* exclusively invoked and bowed to,) want to claim their being ‘oppressed’ when someone tells them they’re being ignorant and hateful and uncivil. :)

  • purplemartin

    paganplace, OK, I can handle that. If, in the fullness of time, we end up meeting in the Summerlands, can I buy you a beer? I’ll be the skinny guy with the short gray beard wandering around with a bemused look on his face and saying, “wow…didn’t see that one coming.”

  • Viejita del oeste

    Paganplace & Terra

  • aaron on the androscoggin

    Nice clear short piece by Dennett. Unfortunately I think he has it right. And those of us who believe that a secular approach is what we need in the long run have to be more vocal about our prespective if we can take the heat. I spent many years trying to be invisible on the topic of religion, but have started in the last few years to be more vocal about my atheistic philosophy – partly because my position in my workplace and in the community is secure and I don’t have to worry about fallout.

  • Viejita del oeste

    Terra, this amused me. “…never has the Democratic party been one of selfishness and division. We are individualistic..and that has been our down fall…no lock step for the Dems.”I’m glad this has been your experience in your chosen party affiliation. Either you’re exceptionally lucky, or you project your own integrity and open-mindedness on an organization that may or may not deserve it. It has not been my experience at all, whether with the socialists, the democrats, or (obviously) the republicans. There is always a faction preaching party unity over personal choice or individual freedom. Which is why I stay registered in the party whose original philosophy appeals to me most, but vote for whomever I please.

  • B-man

    I believe he comes across as mild only because it is so difficult to decipher the hard bigotry contained in his ramblings.Here’s more on his sham-cult:Church of the New Song: Prison ProfileCONS was Founded by inmates at Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Georgia. The Church of the New Song gained full status as a religion in 1974 by the Supreme Court of the United States.According to the Associated Press, the prison group has no formal headquarters, and false notions that the gang has a base of operations in Bluffs, Illinois should not be confused with the uncongregated religion of the same name. It was founded in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, but has since spread to Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, where it gained religious sanction by the state at about the same time the US Supreme Court recognized it as a religion.The Church of the New Song has allegedly participated in voodoo rituals in prison, apparently tolerated by prison authorities as long as the Church respect the wishes of the prison and refain from laying curses on the warden. Their religion is based on “Eclatarianism,” the belief in a pervasive, harmonizing spirit called the Eclat, an inanimate and ultimate power similar to the Christian God.In 1997 a group of Church of the New Song inmates in Iowa, led by George Goff, led an unsuccessful appeal to a three-judge panel arguing that prison officials were discriminating against inmates who were being locked in administrative segregation without access to the food trays from a church-sponsored “Celebration of Life” banquet. Apparently, the panel discovered through several informants that the Church was simply a “sham religion that exist[ed] only in the prison context” (22 February 2005 The Des Moines Register).Iowa state authorities were at the time seeking to strip the Church’s formal status as a religion, granted to the Church in 1974. Lawyers attested that the religion was nothing but a security threat group intent on planning and preparing criminal acts, including assaults, behind prison walls. State lawyers and correctional officials filed court papers that allege the gang is primarily a white-supremacist group involved in threats, coercion, and violence, and posing a serious threat to correctional employees and other inmates. They have also alleged that the Church participates in “attempted murder, assault, drug trafficking and extortion” (2 April 2004 Associated Press)

  • Horsesense

    “The habitually offended are not generally Christians in general they are secularists who seem to be offended by almost anything.”Gee, that sounds like something I’ve heard before… Oh yeah – it sounds like a creationist announcing that the theory of evolution is “flawed science”. What next? The corresponding question to “if people are descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” ?FTR, I generally rate Muslims as more easily offended than your garden variety Christian. And Isamic extremists certainly more so than the most rabid Christian evangelists. I don’t remember any riots, for example, over Jesus cartoons. But curiously, Christians are the Protected Ones when it comes to offense in this society. Not sure I share Dennet’s optimism that this too shall pass. A precipitous population crash may have to be in the offing first.

  • Moody

    All possible kind of questions asked by non muslims about Islam answered on below web site:

  • Concerned the Christian Now Liberated

    Moody, Moody, Moody,Hmmm, checking your referenced site:( questions asked by non-Muslims who know something about Islam)”1. QUR’AN IS THE HANDIWORK OF MUHAMMAD AND NOT THE WORD OF GOD ?Is it not true that Qur’an is the handiwork of Muhammad and not the work of God ? Answer:Under Construction “What kind of Answer is that?????The rest of the answers are negated by the fact that the Mo never received anything from allah because allah’s messenger, Gabe, the pretty thingie, is a fictional character borrowed from the superstitious ancients. Then there are the facts that Mo was illiterate and the historical verification that the koran’s “few” militaristic passages were used as the reasons for the pludering and pillaging lands of non-believers.Your attempt to obfuscate the flaws in the founder and foundations of Islam simply reinforces the words of that famous quote.”NO ONE IS SAFE, UNTIL THE KORAN IS DEFLAWED!!!!”

  • Henry James

    Viejitayour usual wise and humane post here. i think Pagan and Terra understand and agree with you, as do i.One hundred and twenty years after I was born, my semi-home state of Massachusetts elected republican Ed Brooke senator, a lovely and good man. and the Saltonstalls and Hatches were most responsible and dedicated public servant republicans, as Senator Chafee from Rhode Island continues to be.

  • Moody

    PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF ALLAH (SWT)TO AN ATHEISTNormally, when I meet an atheist, the first thing I like to do is to congratulate him and say, ” My special congratulations to you”, because most of the people who believe in God are doing blind belief – he is a Christian, because his father is a Christian; he is a Hindu, because his father is a Hindu; the majority of the people in the world are blindly following the religion of their fathers. An atheist, on the other hand, even though he may belong to a religious family, uses his intellect to deny the existence of God; what ever concept or qualities of God he may have learnt in his religion may not seem to be logical to him. My Muslim brothers may question me, “Zakir, why are you congratulating an atheist?” The reason that I am congratulating an atheist is because he agrees with the first part of the Shahada i.e. the Islamic Creed, ‘La ilaaha’ – meaning ‘there is no God’. So half my job is already done; now the only part left is ‘il lallah’ i.e. ‘BUT ALLAH’ which I shall do Insha Allah. With others (who are not atheists) I have to first remove from their minds the wrong concept of God they may have and then put the correct concept of one true God.LOGICAL CONCEPT OF GOD My first question to the atheist will be: “What is the definition of God?” For a person to say there is no God, he should know what is the meaning of God. If I hold a book and say that ‘this is a pen’, for the opposite person to say, ‘it is not a pen’, he should know what is the definition of a pen, even if he does not know nor is able to recognise or identify the object I am holding in my hand. For him to say this is not a pen, he should at least know what a pen means. Similarly for an atheist to say ‘there is no God’, he should at least know the concept of God. His concept of God would be derived from the surroundings in which he lives. The god that a large number of people worship has got human qualities – therefore he does not believe in such a god. Similarly a Muslim too does not and should not believe in such false gods.If a non-Muslim believes that Islam is a merciless religion with something to do with terrorism; a religion which does not give rights to women; a religion which contradicts science; in his limited sense that non-Muslim is correct to reject such Islam. The problem is he has a wrong picture of Islam. Even I reject such a false picture of Islam, but at the same time, it becomes my duty as a Muslim to present the correct picture of Islam to that non-Muslim i.e. Islam is a merciful religion, it gives equal rights to the women, it is not incompatible with logic, reason and science; if I present the correct facts about Islam, that non-Muslim may Inshallah accept Islam.Similarly the atheist rejects the false gods and the duty of every Muslim is to present the correct concept of God which he shall Insha Allah not refuse. (You may refer to my article, ‘Concept of God in Islam’, for more details)QUR’AN AND MODERN SCIENCE The methods of proving the existence of God with usage of the material provided in the ‘Concept of God in Islam’ to an atheist may satisfy some but not all. Many atheists demand a scientific proof for the existence of God. I agree that today is the age of science and technology. Let us use scientific knowledge to kill two birds with one stone, i.e. to prove the existence of God and simultaneously prove that the Qur’an is a revelation of God.If a new object or a machine, which no one in the world has ever seen or heard of before, is shown to an atheist or any person and then a question is asked, ” Who is the first person who will be able to provide details of the mechanism of this unknown object? After little bit of thinking, he will reply, ‘the creator of that object.’ Some may say ‘the producer’ while others may say ‘the manufacturer.’ What ever answer the person gives, keep it in your mind, the answer will always be either the creator, the producer, the manufacturer or some what of the same meaning, i.e. the person who has made it or created it. Don’t grapple with words, whatever answer he gives, the meaning will be same, therefore accept it.SCIENTIFIC FACTS MENTIONED IN THE QUR’AN: for details on this subject please refer to my book, ‘THE QUR’AN AND MODERN SCIENCE – COMPATIBLE OR INCOMPATIBLE?THEORY OF PROBABILITY In mathematics there is a theory known as ‘Theory of Probability’. If you have two options, out of which one is right, and one is wrong, the chances that you will chose the right one is half, i.e. one out of the two will be correct. You have 50% chances of being correct. Similarly if you toss a coin the chances that your guess will be correct is 50% (1 out of 2) i.e. 1/2. If you toss a coin the second time, the chances that you will be correct in the second toss is again 50% i.e. half. But the chances that you will be correct in both the tosses is half multiplied by half (1/2 x 1/2) which is equal to 1/4 i.e. 50% of 50% which is equal to 25%. If you toss a coin the third time, chances that you will be correct all three times is (1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2) that is 1/8 or 50% of 50% of 50% that is 12½%.A dice has got six sides. If you throw a dice and guess any number between 1 to 6, the chances that your guess will be correct is 1/6. If you throw the dice the second time, the chances that your guess will be correct in both the throws is (1/6 x 1/6) which is equal to 1/36. If you throw the dice the third time, the chances that all your three guesses are correct is (1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6) is equal to 1/216 that is less than 0.5 %.Let us apply this theory of probability to the Qur’an, and assume that a person has guessed all the information that is mentioned in the Qur’an which was unknown at that time. Let us discuss the probability of all the guesses being simultaneously correct.At the time when the Qur’an was revealed, people thought the world was flat, there are several other options for the shape of the earth. It could be triangular, it could be quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, spherical, etc. Lets assume there are about 30 different options for the shape of the earth. The Qur’an rightly says it is spherical, if it was a guess the chances of the guess being correct is 1/30.The light of the moon can be its own light or a reflected light. The Qur’an rightly says it is a reflected light. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/2 and the probability that both the guesses i.e the earth is spherical and the light of the moon is reflected light is 1/30 x 1/2 = 1/60.Further, the Qur’an also mentions every living thing is made of water. Every living thing can be made up of either wood, stone, copper, aluminum, steel, silver, gold, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, oil, water, cement, concrete, etc. The options are say about 10,000. The Qur’an rightly says that everything is made up of water. If it is a guess, the chances that it will be correct is 1/10,000 and the probability of all the three guesses i.e. the earth is spherical, light of moon is reflected light and everything is created from water being correct is 1/30 x 1/2 x 1/10,000 = 1/60,000 which is equal to about .0017%. The Qur’an speaks about hundreds of things that were not known to men at the time of its revelation. Only in three options the result is .0017%. I leave it upto you, to work out the probability if all the hundreds of the unknown facts were guesses, the chances of all of them being correct guesses simultaneously and there being not a single wrong guess. It is beyond human capacity to make all correct guesses without a single mistake, which itself is sufficient to prove to a logical person that the origin of the Qur’an is Divine.CREATOR IS THE AUTHOR OF THE QUR’AN The only logical answer to the question as to who could have mentioned all these scientific facts 1400 years ago before they were discovered, is exactly the same answer initially given by the atheist or any person, to the question who will be the first person who will be able to tell the mechanism of the unknown object. It is the ‘CREATOR’, the producer, the Manufacturer of the whole universe and its contents. In the English language He is ‘God’, or more appropriate in the Arabic language, ‘ALLAH’. QUR’AN IS A BOOK OF SIGNS AND NOT SCIENCE Let me remind you that the Qur’an is not a book of Science, ‘S-C-I-E-N-C-E’ but a book of Signs ‘S-I-G-N-S’ i.e. a book of ayaats. The Qur’an contains more than 6,000 ayaats, i.e. ‘signs’, out of which more than a thousand speak about Science. I am not trying to prove that the Qur’an is the word of God using scientific knowledge as a yard stick because any yardstick is supposed to be more superior than what is being checked or verified. For us Muslims the Qur’an is the Furqan i.e. criteria to judge right from wrong and the ultimate yardstick which is more superior to scientific knowledge.But for an educated man who is an atheist, scientific knowledge is the ultimate test which he believes in. We do know that science many a times takes ‘U’ turns, therefore I have restricted the examples only to scientific facts which have sufficient proof and evidence and not scientific theories based on assumptions. Using the ultimate yardstick of the atheist, I am trying to prove to him that the Qur’an is the word of God and it contains the scientific knowledge which is his yardstick which was discovered recently, while the Qur’an was revealed 1400 year ago. At the end of the discussion, we both come to the same conclusion that God though superior to science, is not incompatible with it.SCIENCE IS ELIMINATING MODELS OF GOD BUT NOT GOD Francis Bacon, the famous philosopher, has rightly said that a little knowledge of science makes man an atheist, but an in-depth study of science makes him a believer in God. Scientists today are eliminating models of God, but they are not eliminating God. If you translate this into Arabic, it is La illaha illal la, There is no god, (god with a small ‘g’ that is fake god) but God (with a capital ‘G’).Surah Fussilat:”Soon We will show them our signs in the (farthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that thy Lord doth witness all things?”[Al-Quran 41:53] All possible kind of questions asked by non muslims about Islam answered on below web site:

  • THINKBACK

    I was amazed at the earlier posts attacking “freethinkers” – what other kind of thinking is there? Do you believe that following the doctrines of the religion that you happen to be born into as thinking?

  • Terra Gazelle

    Vie,The libertarians that I know are just greedy, selfish repubs. Oh sure they are liberal in social issues…but try to get healthcare or a decent education…they are too busy saying that if you can afford it fine, but “not with my money”. I am a breath away from being 60, and never has the Democractic party been one of selfishness and division. We are individualistic..and that has been our down fall…no lock step for the Dems.I liked Chaffee…he is a good man…he just happens to be in a party that is not worthy of him.I can not say who I will vote for(legal clergy) other then that I would be happy to…but I can say that with the standards of my faith, it is not the republican party, or the libertarian that is a republican.terra

  • Ba’al

    Maybe John McCain will cause the end of this incomprehensible pandering to the worst elements of American religion. He will pander to the whack-os, and as with all of his pandering, it will be completely unconvincing and at odds with hours and hours of his previous statements. Interestingly, he is demonstrably the least religious of the three candidates still standing (I exclude Radical Cleric Mike Huckabee). But he will try to convince people that he is the the One True standard bearer of the Religious Right. A few more months of that and everybody will have had enough and maybe our political discourse will be cleansed.I just regained my senses. No it won’t.

  • Adam Daoud

    Boring.

  • B-man

    Paganplace:Well said. This is not the forum for pages and pages of gibberish-filled, bigoted rants. And no, I don’t go under any other moniker than B-man either.

  • Paganplace

    If he stops… he doesn’t have to go away. :)

  • John Stephens

    Tres bon, Monsieur le Dennett.As a Christian, what I find passing strange is that candidates seemingly think that these avowals serve some purpose. Who are they pandering to? The so-called Christians they apparently have in mind must be some of the dumbest, most ignorant “Christians” on the planet.All of the candidates are perfectly willing to wage war and kill anyone who opposes the American Empire. National security is the catch phrase for warmongers. “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”Jesus never killed anyone, neither did he advocate killing anyone, nor did he sanction killing anyone. He laid down his life rather than kill and commanded his disciples to follow his example.What strange beasts, these murdering, warmongering “Christians” are.I really don’t understand this country. When I was a young man on the barricades during the antiwar movement against the Vietnam War, I figured everything would change when the old fossils died off and we came of age. Nope! Same old dope.

  • Garyd

    Okay Pagan in case you are interested the term was borrowed from Mao’s little red book. The Feminist movement majored in it with such mind blowing bits of flotsam as personhole covers and Womyn’s studies (their spelling not mine). The list by the way is virtually endless. And they aren’t alone. Betty we have ‘pimp my ride’, A sports talk guy who refers to himself as the pimp in a box because his primary job in life is actually selling advertising. That by the way is the primary job of nearly everyone in TV and Radio and increasingly in the movies. And lets not forget the leftist tool got it backwards Chelsea was selling momma to the American people not the other way around. No I don’t particularly care for the way the term is currently used but given how things are done these days pitching a major fit and suspending him is a gross over reaction. The Clinton’s, of course, loved it. Leave it to those people to never miss an opportunity for some free advertising even if they have to make a mountain out of a mole hill to do it.

  • Neal:

    John Stephens: “Jesus never killed anyone, neither did he advocate killing anyone, nor did he sanction killing anyone. He laid down his life rather than kill and commanded his disciples to follow his example.”If Jesus was the divine Son of God, an indivisible part of the Trinity and existing from before the beginning of time; isn’t he also responsible for the Great Flood, various territorial wars, wrathful cleansings and righteous annihilations attributed to the God of the Old Testament?Thanks

  • John Stephens

    NEAL:Yes, in a manner of speaking. The God spoken of in the Old Testament was actually the Son of God, who created all creation, appeared as an angel at times, came to Abraham as Melchizedek, the King of Salem, and talked with Moses in the tent of Shiloh.The Old Testament was a time of wars and retribution, judges and prophets.The New Testament superceded the Old and was a time of love and forgiveness.One might think of them as the carrot and the stick.I don’t pretend to understand all of the Old Testament, nor why tribal laws held sway. I do know that even the Hebrews couldn’t deal with a God who appeared as a tornado of fire, swallowed people whole in the earth, shook mountains, and visited the earth with plagues of Biblical proportion. The Old Testament laws seem archaic and one might say barbaric, but they all had spiritual meaning having nothing to do with the ostensible purpose.One thing difficult for Christians, and perhaps impossible for everyone else, is to accept the fact that God will do what God will do. It is not for us to judge Him, but to endeavor to understand. Paul explained it as a potter creating pots for his own purposes. Some he might use for noble purposes, some for mundane purposes, and some he may destroy as he will. I think that is the greatest stumbling block for many — to just accept that God is justified doing whatever he does by virtue of the fact that he is God. I do understand Jesus coming in peace, starting his ministry by making 90 gallons of wine at a party, healing afflicted persons by the thousands, and making atonement between God and man that we can receive the free gift of eternal life.One manifestation of God was awesome and frightening. Another was totally approachable and endearing. Some folks won’t have it either way.

  • Neal:

    John Stephens:Thanks for your response.Contrary to your previous assertion that “Jesus never killed anyone”, it would seem then that Jesus, as an eternally indivisible part of the Trinity, not only killed a great many people, but apparently killed some people just because he could.While some may chalk up these apparent contradictions to the inscrutable nature of God, I see them, purely and simply, as the product of human invention. And while there’s nothing wrong with inventing hypotheses in an attempt to explain the unexplained, I steadfastly object to politicians, or anyone else, using these particular untestable hypotheses to control my behavior or, in regards to the article’s topic, to shape our government. Thanks

  • naahbob

    Protestations of religious guidance by evangelicals in pursuit of power to dictate conduct and morals is actually a denial of Jesus Christ. USING the name of Jesus as a shield to disarm opponents they damage his Gospel and advance their own creed.

  • Concerned the Christian Now Liberated

    Finally the truth of it all. Hopefully the Presidential candidates will see the light of Reality i.e. Once again as a counter to the milleniums of religious mumbo jumbo thumping:1. Abraham founder/father of three major religions was probably an embellishment of the lives of three different men or a mythical character as was Moses, the “Tablet-Man” who talked to burning bushes and made much magic in Egypt. 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have relegated Abraham to the myth pile along with most if not all the OT. 2. Jesus, the illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter possibly suffering from hallucinations, has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects. The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics. For added “pizzazz”, Catholic/Christian theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the “pew people” to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the “filicider”. 3. Mohammed, an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added “angels” and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers. This agenda continues as shown by the assassination of Bhutto, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, and the Filipino “koranics”.And who funds these acts of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni “Wannabees” of Saudi Arabia.4. Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley et al, founders of Christian-based religions, also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingy talking flying fictional thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – “Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’.”The caste/laborer system and cow worship are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism.” 6. Buddhism- “Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow.”Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circumstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother’s womb. Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

  • Anonymous

    OOOPPPssThat [above post] was meant for another web site. Thanka shame!

    Vote: E*C*L*A*T*i*O*N Party 20012/13! Thanks!

  • Chris Everett

    Moody,Your probability argument is akin to this:”I have a book that says that the order of the letters of the English alphabet is abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz. It also says there is no god.”Now, probability theory says that the probability of my book’s alphabetical ordering being correct is 1 in 2^26, or 1 in 67,108,864. And yet it is. Astounding! With that kind of demonstrated accuracy I can reasonable conclude that the book isn’t guesswork, but TRUE KNOWLEDGE, so I can reasonably conclude that it is correct about there being no god.You ask for reason. Would you be so kind as to further defend your understanding of probability, or you assertion that there’s something divine about the Koran referring to a round Earth when the Earth was known to be round for at least a thousand years prior to the Koran’s compilation?My hostility towards your post is justified by your post’s dishonesty.

  • B-man

    CCNL:Regarding Buddhism — although you are correct that many fanciful stories arose about Siddhartha Guatama, and cultural influences later propogated many “Buddhist” dieties, his own words and teachings deal exclusively with examining the cause of human suffering, and the way to reduce suffering by understanding the workings of the mind.Buddhism in its purist form is completely atheistic–it is essentially the science of the mind.

  • Anonymous

    CCNL -You say you’re hopeful for an afterlife – unless you gain control of your own mind you have no hope of control over the afterlife and any future life that you may experience. Get over your religious obsession and start working on your own fate.Finding fault with various religions has no impact on your own destiny whatsover. You’re wasting your time and even worse, wasting everyone else’s time. This will come back to haunt you and don’t doubt it.

  • Chris Everett

    My bad! I can’t believe I mad such a stupid mistake. It’s not 1 in 2^26, it’s 1 in 26 factorial or approximately 1 in 403291461000000000000000000. That’s even stronger proof of the nonexistence of god!

  • Chris Everett

    MOODY,I know you’re a fanatic and there’s no reason to argue with you, but you last post is one of the most ridiculous, ignorant things I’ve ever read! It’s wrong on every count! I especially liked the probability discussions – you obviously don’t know a thing about probability, and I can say that with a certainty of 100% (not the 50% that you think it should be).Your understanding of science is equally pathetic. You say “The Qur’an speaks about hundreds of things that were not known to men at the time of its revelation.” One example you give is the round Earth. Don’t you know that the ancient Egyptians knew the Earth was round? Didn’t you know that the Greek scientist Eratosthenes accurately measured the circumference of the Earth in the third century BC? That’s many centuries before Islam even existed. Ditto with moonlight – it’s been known to be reflected light since antiquity. Haven’t you ever heard of Ptolmey?If I sound harsh it’s because you should know better than to post this kind of rubbish. It is yet again another example of BAD FAITH from someone OF FAITH. You are trying to deceive people into belief. That, my friend, is evil.Face it – you believe BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE. Pure and simple. You find it cathartic and meaningful to be a part of your religious community. If you were able to articulate the value of Islam from this perspective you would be worthy of respect. But you can’t, or you won’t, so you aren’t.If all this comes as a shock, if you actually believe the arguments in your post, then you are being deceived by those you trust most. Learn a little about probability and you’ll soon see that you’ve been lied to. Learn a little about the history of science and you’ll soon see that you’ve been lied to. Learn to think logically and you’ll soon see that you;re being lied to. Open your mind, and maybe your heart will follow.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Anon,The Truth sometimes hurts. It is time to give up your years of religious brainwashing. There are five step programs for this if you are interested.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    B-man,Buddha’s words and teachings were “Passed down by oral tradition, the Tripitaka, the collection of teachings attributed to Gautama by the Theravada, was committed to writing about 400 years later. “Scholars are increasingly reluctant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha’s life and teachings.”[3]NT exegetes get very concerned about the validity of Jesus’ words and teachings if there is only a twenty to thirty year gap between Jesus’ life and what was written about them so a 400 year differential would put “buddha’s” writings and teachings in a very skeptical region i.e. probably a collection of all the wisdom sayings from the geographical region since writing was introduced there.

  • 4th watch

    Mr. Dennett, not so fast.

  • B-man

    His desperate attempts to draw attention to himself above are quite hilarious, and pathetic.

  • Chris Everett

    Moody,Like what? Give me the top five.

  • Chris Everett

    Oh, and Moody,Keep in mind that I understand data mining – anyone can cherry pick the few correct statements from the mass of incorrect or incoherent statements, so for every one incorrect statement in the Koran I would expect at least several correct statements, none of which could have been knowable at the time of authorship by non-supernatural means.I’ll need some assistance (CCNL? A. Kafir?). The only thing I know about the Koran is that it’s fake.

  • John Stephens

    NEAL:I appreciate your continued polite civility despite our differences, although I do agree with your sentiments regarding the mix of religion and politics which generally makes a mess of both.If you happen upon my postings elsewhere, you will discover that I take so-called Christian leaders to task.Here’s some major differences between them and me, which helps explain why I never go to church.First of all, I do not subscribe to the doctrine of the Trinity. Secondly, one musn’t confuse Jesus with the Son of God, even though they are essentially one and the same. This is like splitting frog hairs, I know.The familial Biblical references are probably the best way for man to wrap his head around the relationships, but they are not literal. God the Father, Jesus the Son, brothers and sisters in Christ, the mother church. [You might note that there is not a single familial adjective ascribed to the Holy Spirit anywhere in the Bible.] The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are sort of like the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and the Spirit of Liberty. That’s the best description I can give it. Two manifestations of God with a common Spirit. Also, Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit, so if the Holy Spirit were a separate entity from God, then God is maybe Jesus’s uncle, not father.The closest comparison I can get to the Trinity is water, which at certain temperatures can exist in three states concurrently: solid, liquid, and gas.God is a Spirit. When He manifested himself as a material or finite being, He was the Son of God, who was neither created nor born, but always with God and always was God [Read the opening passage of John, if you feel so inclined]. Sort of like a bucket of sea water, which has exactly the same constitution as the sea, but is not the entire ocean by any means. Since they ebb and flow with one another, perhaps a better illustration would be a bucket of air, which isn’t the entire atmosphere.The Son of God took upon himself the mantle of flesh (which he, as the creator of all that is created, created himself) and indwelled the body of a man named Jesus. Jesus referred to himself alternately as the Son of Man and the Son of God. The Son of Man had to learn just like we do, and it wasn’t until the end of his life that he came to a perfect understanding of the dichotomy. That’s why Jesus said, “The things concerning me have an end.” There is no end to God. Likewise proving his humanity, he begged off crucifixion three times. He was no demi-god or superman. It wasn’t until after he rose from the dead and ascended to heaven that he became a whole new creature.So, as I tried to answer to your previous question, the Son of God, God Manifest, was the actor in the Old Testament.This is all very simplified, and does not speak to further mysteries. There are seven spirits of God, who is a Spirit, who is Holy, who is therefore a Holy Spirit.Truth is, nobody will have a perfect understanding until he or she sees God and therefore has the mind of God.I sometimes imagine that if I ever get there, the first thing I will say is, “Well, duh!”

  • G Wesley

    Implicit in Dr. Dennett’s proposal on a lesser scale is acquiescence and on a grander scale agreement with those candidates who would make religious proclamations [whether or not they really believe them on a personal level] merely for the purpose of getting elected. Dr. Dennett’s approach is “turning a blind eye” for the sake and hope of a better future? The religious did not take such an approach in their achievements over the past quarter century. Part of their success stemmed from making their demands public and organizing their political pogroms. Even though I have great respect for Dr. Dennett and his accomplishments, I cannot accept his proposal in this instance.