Public university hires leader in intelligent design

...in comparison to young Earth creationism.

You're not setting the bar very high there.

Comparing different types of Creationism with their compatibility to science is like comparing different types of blender with their compatibility to your groin. It's better to just keep them very far apart.

Edit: What typos?

OG_slinger wrote:

He can get a nice job at some barely accredited Christian college where he can teach bullsh*t to people who want to lap up even more bullsh*t.

I think there is one right here in Nampa, about 20-30 min away from BSU in fact. Every other block around here has a church or "classic" christian school. Door to door proselytizers are surprisingly rare in these parts however.

OG_slinger wrote:
Nomad wrote:

OG, I think The Conformist is more upset with your insulting rhetoric and tone than your atheistic views.

What about how insulted I feel having Christians trying to subvert the education of others by injecting their religion's purely fictional account of how the universe was created into classrooms? Or how upset I am because of Christians abusing the political process to enshrine their ancient system of morals into law and thereby forcing their beliefs on everyone?

Nomad wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:
complexmath wrote:

Interesting. I hadn't realized that "intelligent design" had recently been co-opted to represent creationism. The classical definition of ID, while still deist, tends to be fairly compatible with the theory of evolution--the watchmaker argument, for example.

Note... the intelligent design groups being discussed are not the "god as watchmaker" deist groups... they are quite literally, as shown upthread as "well they don't like creationism... let's try a name that sounds scientific while we continue to malign science". Kind of like a group lobbying for quad-trailer semi trucks being ok called "Share the Road" or an anti-EPA GOP group calling themselves Capitalist Environmentalists.

Wikipedia[/url]]Gonzalez was a regular contributor to Facts for Faith magazine produced by Reasons To Believe, an old earth creationist group.[4] In addition to his work for the Discovery Institute and International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, he is a researcher for the Biologic Institute, which is funded by the institute for research into intelligent design.[5]

Wikipedia[/url]]Old Earth creationism is an umbrella term for a number of types of creationism, including gap creationism, progressive creationism, and evolutionary creationism.[1] Old Earth creationism is typically more compatible with mainstream scientific thought on the issues of physics, chemistry, geology and the age of the Earth, in comparison to young Earth creationism.[2]

You conveniently left out the part of Gonzales being a fellow at the Discovery Institute, which is most definitely a young earth creationism organization. In fact, it's the biggest and most influential one. And it's one whose entire goal is "defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies" and replace science as we know it with "with a science consistent with Christian and theistic convictions." Gonzales is merely a tool in the Discovery Institute's infamous Wedge Strategy.

Gonzales' beliefs make him a terrible scientist because he automatically assumes god did everything. Instead of looking at the evidence and seeing where it leads, he's looking to the bible and torturing the evidence to fit the writings of ignorant Iron Age desert nomads. Actually, it's worse than that. He's torturing the evidence to fit his particular interpretation of the writings of ignorant Iron Age desert nomads.

Student deserve a better professor than one who cannot look beyond his religious beliefs. As I said before, he would be a perfect professor for any of the various ultra-religious Christian colleges and universities out there. Heck, Bob Jones University has astronomy classes and I'm quite sure BJU students would be very receptive to Gonzales' unique view of astronomy.

Discovery Institute website][/url]
Definition of Intelligent Design
What is intelligent design?

Intelligent design refers to a scientific research program as well as a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Through the study and analysis of a system's components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance, natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research is conducted by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act. Scientists then seek to find objects which have those same types of informational properties which we commonly know come from intelligence. Intelligent design has applied these scientific methods to detect design in irreducibly complex biological structures, the complex and specified information content in DNA, the life-sustaining physical architecture of the universe, and the geologically rapid origin of biological diversity in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion approximately 530 million years ago.
See New World Encyclopedia entry on intelligent design.

Is intelligent design the same as creationism?
No. The theory of intelligent design is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the "apparent design" in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism typically starts with a religious text and tries to see how the findings of science can be reconciled to it. Intelligent design starts with the empirical evidence of nature and seeks to ascertain what inferences can be drawn from that evidence. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design does not claim that modern biology can identify whether the intelligent cause detected through science is supernatural.
Honest critics of intelligent design acknowledge the difference between intelligent design and creationism. University of Wisconsin historian of science Ronald Numbers is critical of intelligent design, yet according to the Associated Press, he "agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID [intelligent design] movement." Why, then, do some Darwinists keep trying to conflate intelligent design with creationism? According to Dr. Numbers, it is because they think such claims are "the easiest way to discredit intelligent design." In other words, the charge that intelligent design is "creationism" is a rhetorical strategy on the part of Darwinists who wish to delegitimize design theory without actually addressing the merits of its case.

Is intelligent design a scientific theory?
Yes. The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.

Is intelligent design a scientific theory?
Yes. The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed

No.

OG_slinger wrote:
Nomad wrote:

OG, I think The Conformist is more upset with your insulting rhetoric and tone than your atheistic views.

What about how insulted I feel having Christians trying to subvert the education of others by injecting their religion's purely fictional account of how the universe was created into classrooms? Or how upset I am because of Christians abusing the political process to enshrine their ancient system of morals into law and thereby forcing their beliefs on everyone?

I think you're going a bit overboard lumping in every Christian into your biased stereotype of "a" Christian. Do you also hate all businesses since some pollute or try and abuse the political process? What about everyone who works in financial institutions? Oh, and how about every country that spawns terrorists or far-right wing groups!

You have no idea what this person is like nor can you point to any evidence that calls into question their teaching skills. He's not doing research - he's just doing some basic introductory courses. Are you afraid he's going to slip in the middle of a lecture about how the CMB is actually the devil's fart that he left to confuse us?

As long as he is able to effectively teach the material in an unbiased fashion, who cares what his beliefs are.

NathanialG wrote:
Is intelligent design a scientific theory?
Yes. The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed

No.

Yeah, that's not science. It's a bunch of fallacious bullsh*t dressed up in a cheap science costume. They're begging the question:
A) Complex things can't possibly evolve on their own
B) This eyeball is really super complex you guys
C) Therefore, the eyeball was designed by God

The problem is they never proved A. They just wave their hands and make up phrases like "irreducible complexity", which is fancy fake science-talk for "this is complicated and I can't be bothered to figure it out." In fact A isn't just unproven, it's flat-out wrong: we already have a pretty good understanding of how various complex structures evolved. Are their gaps in that understanding? Sure. But those gaps need to be filled with more science, not God.

Duoae wrote:

I think you're going a bit overboard lumping in every Christian into your biased stereotype of "a" Christian. Do you also hate all businesses since some pollute or try and abuse the political process? What about everyone who works in financial institutions? Oh, and how about every country that spawns terrorists or far-right wing groups!

You have no idea what this person is like nor can you point to any evidence that calls into question their teaching skills. He's not doing research - he's just doing some basic introductory courses. Are you afraid he's going to slip in the middle of a lecture about how the CMB is actually the devil's fart that he left to confuse us?

How many threads do we have in P&C that essentially boil down to Christians purposefully trying to hurt others in the name of their god? We have the monster Gay Marriage thread, which, at its core, is all about Christians throwing a collective hissy fit over two dudes doing it. We have the Conservative War on Women, which, at its core, is about Christian politicians (politicians elected by all those supposedly good Christians) trying to forcefully impose their morals on women. We have multiple threads dealing with feminism, rape culture, gender, sexuality and all things related to how Christianity has, over the centuries, turned women into second class citizens and continues to try to keep them subservient to men, just like their bible tells them to.

Now you can try to argue that you're one of the good Christians who don't think that way, but that doesn't change the fact that there are enough Christians who think gay marriage will cause the end of America, that women should be forced to carry a fetus to term as punishment for having sex, and more to elect and reelect politicians who are squandering time and resources trying to legislate their religion. Hell, North Carolina's fine Christian representatives just snuck an anti-abortion law through the House the other day by hiding it in an update to safety regulations for motorcycles.

What I don't hear is a peep out of the supposedly good Christians in response to this behavior. So if you don't want me and the growing numbers of religiously unaffiliated folks to lump you in with your knuckle-dragging bible cousins you'd be best served by either forcefully dragging them into the 21st century or making it exceptionally clear they aren't real Christians.

As for Gonzales he was fired from his previous job at Iowa State because he couldn't cut it academically. That's enough to keep him from being hired. The fact he's a creationist is just another (rather large) reason not to hire him.

Gonzales had already made it clear that he can't keep his religion out of his research so I have absolutely no reason to believe that he won't be able to keep his religion out of his classroom. Like I said before, I'm sure there are many Christian colleges out there who would love to have him on staff. But he doesn't belong in a real university.

@Nomad: Quoting Discovery Institute web copy isn't going to sway me. I've watched the organization since the mid-90s and know exactly what they are and what they're trying to do. Science threatens their faith so they'd rather tear down the world around them than adjust their beliefs to account for what we've learned over the centuries. It's both sad and pathetic and something I consider a threat to our modern society.

Nomad wrote:

~Discover Institute promotional propaganda~

Dude, normally I at least support your posts as being well-reasoned and intelligent, but given the court case cited above where the Discovery Institute was clearly exposed as being nothing other than a rebranding of young-earth creationism trying to pass itself off as something else, quoting their promotional materials where they try to pass themselves off as not being precisely that is... well, it doesn't refute anything.

It kinda reads like the science of ghost hunting. How do you control for an intelligent designer?

OG_slinger wrote:

What I don't hear is a peep out of the supposedly good Christians in response to this behavior.

Considering I am the one that started the monster gay marriage thread, I am not sure that your statement holds true as I have been pretty harsh on those that share my faith who are opposed to marriage equality.

Phoenix Rev wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

What I don't hear is a peep out of the supposedly good Christians in response to this behavior.

Considering I am the one that started the monster gay marriage thread, I am not sure that your statement holds true as I have been pretty harsh on those that share my faith who are opposed to marriage equality.

To be honest, I don't understand how you can reconcile your faith with all the things that have been done against you and Rubb Ed in its name. You're a better man than I, Gunga Din.

And this inability to understand that doesn't lead you to... wonder if maybe your model of the situation has some flaws in it?

OG_slinger wrote:

How many threads do we have in P&C that essentially boil down to Christians purposefully trying to hurt others in the name of their god? We have the monster Gay Marriage thread, which, at its core, is all about Christians throwing a collective hissy fit over two dudes doing it. We have the Conservative War on Women, which, at its core, is about Christian politicians (politicians elected by all those supposedly good Christians) trying to forcefully impose their morals on women. We have multiple threads dealing with feminism, rape culture, gender, sexuality and all things related to how Christianity has, over the centuries, turned women into second class citizens and continues to try to keep them subservient to men, just like their bible tells them to.

Now you can try to argue that you're one of the good Christians who don't think that way, but that doesn't change the fact that there are enough Christians who think gay marriage will cause the end of America, that women should be forced to carry a fetus to term as punishment for having sex, and more to elect and reelect politicians who are squandering time and resources trying to legislate their religion. Hell, North Carolina's fine Christian representatives just snuck an anti-abortion law through the House the other day by hiding it in an update to safety regulations for motorcycles.

What I don't hear is a peep out of the supposedly good Christians in response to this behavior. So if you don't want me and the growing numbers of religiously unaffiliated folks to lump you in with your knuckle-dragging bible cousins you'd be best served by either forcefully dragging them into the 21st century or making it exceptionally clear they aren't real Christians.

OG you holding such a harsh outlook on all Christians is no better than the very crimes you accuse these so called "Christians" of committing. You're lumping all of us into the same mold, when it couldn't be further from the truth. You do know there are a LOT of denominations of Christianity right? Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Nazarene etc., and in every one of those groups there are different people within them that feel differently about all those subjects you listed. We struggle within ourselves to try and spread what we feel is right, and unfortunately there are those who taint the very beliefs we hold. I realize there are horrible horrible people out there, and yes among them are Christians, but holding this chip on your shoulder for all of us isn't going to help you or your message any. There are some really exceptional Christians out there that fight to make sure the name "Christian" isn't tarnished. But the unfortunate thing is that the loud Christians seem to be the ones who are heard the most because it's a better story, and easier to hate on someone than to love. A lot of us are really good people OG, you just need to give us a chance.

Well said, Conformist. I basically said the same thing in response to some anti-atheist nastiness my mom posted on Facebook last night.

Hypatian wrote:

And this inability to understand that doesn't lead you to... wonder if maybe your model of the situation has some flaws in it?

When the state and federal legislatures are full of people acting like Phoenix Rev I'll reconsider my model. Until then I would say that my model is a much more accurate representation of modern day Christianity in America. It might be unpleasant to admit that reality, but the quadrupling of downright nasty anti-abortion laws introduced in recent years would say differently.

The Conformist wrote:

OG you holding such a harsh outlook on all Christians is no better than the very crimes you accuse these so called "Christians" of committing. You're lumping all of us into the same mold, when it couldn't be further from the truth. You do know there are a LOT of denominations of Christianity right? Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Nazarene etc., and in every one of those groups there are different people within them that feel differently about all those subjects you listed. We struggle within ourselves to try and spread what we feel is right, and unfortunately there are those who taint the very beliefs we hold. I realize there are horrible horrible people out there, and yes among them are Christians, but holding this chip on your shoulder for all of us isn't going to help you or your message any. There are some really exceptional Christians out there that fight to make sure the name "Christian" isn't tarnished. But the unfortunate thing is that the loud Christians seem to be the ones who are heard the most because it's a better story, and easier to hate on someone than to love. A lot of us are really good people OG, you just need to give us a chance.

If Christians would simply keep their faith to themselves we wouldn't have a problem.

Unfortunately, the largest sect of Christianity here in America believe that it is their highest calling to try to convert everyone they meet. Add in the Catholics (the second largest sect) on issues like abortion and you have a majority of Americans who, to some degree or another, want to--feel it's their duty to--legislate their brand of morality and impose it on everyone else.

That's a big problem for what should be a secular government and society.

What you should consider is that the loud Christians are likely the majority. They're the voices we hear the most because they say the things most Christians want to hear. Their voices are the loudest because millions of Christians have given them money to build media networks, fund think tanks, elect politicians, and more. That's something that isn't a fluke. It's something that's taken 30+ years of hard work and lots of money--all donated by fine church-going folks--to achieve.

Seriously. Do you think that a "good" Christian candidate could get elected today? Someone who was for investing in social programs and giving to the poor? Someone who was about turning the other cheek rather invading other countries? Someone who was about forgiving a criminal for stealing rather than locking them up for life?

Of course they couldn't get elected. They'd be absolutely destroyed by a conservative Christian candidate who talked about cutting social programs, outlawing abortion, and getting tough on crime. I would love to see to Christian candidates fighting it out in public over which one of them was the most loving and forgiving, but that's never going to happen. And that's how big of gap there is between your idealized version of Christianity and reality of Christianity in America today.

But that's your religion's PR problem, not mine. It's your job to go out of your way to convince me that Christianity can be a force of good. But before you can do that, you all have some internal housecleaning to do. But considering there's some 40,000 different denominations of Christianity I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen. Instead, people will continue to insist they're one of the good ones and either ignore or somehow excuse all the crappy things their fellow Christians do.

Fresh outta the Dick Cheney school of winning hearts and minds..

Seriously. Do you think that a "good" Christian candidate could get elected today? Someone who was for investing in social programs and giving to the poor? Someone who was about turning the other cheek rather invading other countries? Someone who was about forgiving a criminal for stealing rather than locking them up for life?

I thought that was Obama? (well maybe except for the turning the other cheek bit...)

OG_slinger wrote:

If Christians would simply keep their faith to themselves we wouldn't have a problem.

A very hazy line there. It is our duty as Americans to speak up and be the voice for what we want as a country. Unfortunately/Fortunately a lot of Christians wants stem from their religious views. Whether we agree or not, it is their right as Americans to speak up.

OG_slinger wrote:

Unfortunately, the largest sect of Christianity here in America believe that it is their highest calling to try to convert everyone they meet. Add in the Catholics (the second largest sect) on issues like abortion and you have a majority of Americans who, to some degree or another, want to--feel it's their duty to--legislate their brand of morality and impose it on everyone else.

The same can be said for those for abortion though, no matter what view or standpoint you have you are (whether intending or not) imposing your views and beliefs on another group of people.

OG_slinger wrote:

That's a big problem for what should be a secular government and society.

I don't disagree.

OG_slinger wrote:

What you should consider is that the loud Christians are likely the majority. They're the voices we hear the most because they say the things most Christians want to hear. Their voices are the loudest because millions of Christians have given them money to build media networks, fund think tanks, elect politicians, and more. That's something that isn't a fluke. It's something that's taken 30+ years of hard work and lots of money--all donated by fine church-going folks--to achieve.

Ya know it can be difficult for a Christian sometimes (well myself anyways) when it comes to voting, or supporting (or not supporting)a business with my money because I agree/disagree with their views. It's difficult because there are groups of Christians (or political candidates) that for the most part, I share their views. However I am often conflicted in certain circumstances where I like a candidate until they start spouting anti-gay nonsense, or perhaps another candidate is against abortions completely. So here I am stuck, I don't want to vote for the opposing party because I really can't see eye to eye with most of their views, but I can't vote for the one I have the most in common with because I think a few of his/hers views are radical. So I sit and just not vote at all, or pick the lesser of two evils.

OG_slinger wrote:

Seriously. Do you think that a "good" Christian candidate could get elected today? Someone who was for investing in social programs and giving to the poor? Someone who was about turning the other cheek rather invading other countries? Someone who was about forgiving a criminal for stealing rather than locking them up for life?

Your definition of a good Christian candidate is different from perhaps mine or many others, and there are just too many variables within each problem to find someone who shares ALL of those good qualities. For instance I believe we should give to the poor, but it should have limits/investigations so that there aren't those out there that will take advantage of the system. I believe that war should be avoided if at all possible, but when someone is being taken advantage of and when there are people dying, sometimes you have to fight to protect those you love. I believe that all crime should be punished, but more reasonable punishment than just "life for stealing" needs to be implemented.

OG_slinger wrote:

Of course they couldn't get elected. They'd be absolutely destroyed by a conservative Christian candidate who talked about cutting social programs, outlawing abortion, and getting tough on crime. I would love to see to Christian candidates fighting it out in public over which one of them was the most loving and forgiving, but that's never going to happen. And that's how big of gap there is between your idealized version of Christianity and reality of Christianity in America today.

I don't really disagree with this statement either.

OG_slinger wrote:

But that's your religion's PR problem, not mine. It's your job to go out of your way to convince me that Christianity can be a force of good. But before you can do that, you all have some internal housecleaning to do. But considering there's some 40,000 different denominations of Christianity I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen. Instead, people will continue to insist they're one of the good ones and either ignore or somehow excuse all the crappy things their fellow Christians do.

That's the beauty of this country, it isn't my job to go out of my way to convince you of anything. You're free to feel whatever you like, you can hate my guts if that pleases you, it really makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. And I'm really not going out of my way for anything really, it's not some chore for me to sit here at my desk and politely ignore some of the insulting things you throw at my faith. I'm just doing this because I feel bad, I feel bad that so many Christians have caused people like you to feel this way. I see a world of people who despise Christians and it really scares me because we aren't all horrible people, but we erode away due to the wave of awfulness that is the "vocal Christian".

Discovery Institute website][/url]
Is intelligent design a scientific theory?
Yes. The scientific method is commonly described as a four-step process involving observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent agents produce complex and specified information (CSI). Design theorists hypothesize that if a natural object was designed, it will contain high levels of CSI. Scientists then perform experimental tests upon natural objects to determine if they contain complex and specified information. One easily testable form of CSI is irreducible complexity, which can be discovered by experimentally reverse-engineering biological structures to see if they require all of their parts to function. When ID researchers find irreducible complexity in biology, they conclude that such structures were designed.

Best. I can't wait til they expand ID to cover things other than biology.... I don't understand how cell phones work. Now, I could do some actual research/experimentation/etc and discover it on my own, or I could even read the research that's already been done and papers describing how they work. But hell, it's really complex, so I'm just gonna conclude that God takes care of it.

I've always had a hard time understanding Rubik's Cubes. Maybe God made those too.

The Conformist wrote:

The same can be said for those for abortion though, no matter what view or standpoint you have you are (whether intending or not) imposing your views and beliefs on another group of people.

Uhh, I've never met anyone pro-choice who ever advocated forcing a woman to have an abortion she didn't want.

As I understand it, God or whatever intelligent force, acts like an animal breeder. But always to get the exact intended consequences. And many analogies are drawn to botany and animal husbandry(been playing a lot of Civ lately). But unlike human endeavors, the higher intelligence always gets a perfect result. So while man made the totally bad ass Rhodesian Ridgeback, whose little mohawk is an accident of the breeding, the design of the American Opossum is perfect.

IMAGE(http://bunkblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/RR6.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.aaanimalcontrol.com/gallery/opossum021.jpg)

Thanks a lot god.

Oh, it was Ball State that did this? It'll probably be good for enrollment. Sigh.

I find the whole" intelligent" design bs as moronic as anti vaxing or Holocaust denying, but as just as I would have no issue with a crystal sucker teaching economics, I guess I shouldn't get too worked up over a boneheaded creationist teaching astronomy so long as his teaching of the subject passes intellectual rigor.

Like I said though, should he bring that snake oil into class though, he should be tossed on his ass.

KingGorilla wrote:

As I understand it, God or whatever intelligent force, acts like an animal breeder. But always to get the exact intended consequences. And many analogies are drawn to botany and animal husbandry(been playing a lot of Civ lately). But unlike human endeavors, the higher intelligence always gets a perfect result. So while man made the totally bad ass Rhodesian Ridgeback, whose little mohawk is an accident of the breeding, the design of the American Opossum is perfect.

IMAGE(http://bunkblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/RR6.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.aaanimalcontrol.com/gallery/opossum021.jpg)

Thanks a lot Obama

Ftfy

fangblackbone wrote:

I thought that was Obama? (well maybe except for the turning the other cheek bit...)

I'm sure the percentage of Christians who think Obama is a Muslim would be terribly depressing if I could be bothered to Google it.

The Conformist wrote:

A very hazy line there. It is our duty as Americans to speak up and be the voice for what we want as a country. Unfortunately/Fortunately a lot of Christians wants stem from their religious views. Whether we agree or not, it is their right as Americans to speak up.

But it's absolutely not their right to use the state to impose their beliefs on everyone else. That not a hazy line at all.

You've chosen to believe. I've chosen not to. My personal choice is never going to affect you in the slightest way. Bad Christian books and movies aside, atheists and non-believers are never going to ban religion and round up believers and put them in concentration camps. In short, we're never going to try to force our worldview on you.

Unfortunately, I don't see the same from Christians. It still comes across that I should just simply accept that your religious beliefs somehow require that you to meddle in my life and the broader society and that's just the way it is.

The Conformist wrote:

The same can be said for those for abortion though, no matter what view or standpoint you have you are (whether intending or not) imposing your views and beliefs on another group of people.

How? How is simply allowing abortions for people who want to have them imposing views and beliefs on others?

Look, it's really simple. If you're against abortions, don't have one. That's it. No one is ever going to force you to have one.

If you're *really* against abortions then start a charity. Raise a boatload of money and pay mothers to carry to term. And then pay for the care of that child through college. What you shouldn't be doing is taking the moral shortcut and just banning abortions.

And I don't care if you're uncomfortable with your taxes going to groups like Planned Parenthood. I'm uncomfortable that my so much of my taxes goes to the military and really hate that my taxes are used to fund stupid stuff like abstinence-only education. But I do it because I'm a citizen. It's the whole render unto Ceasar bit.

The Conformist wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

That's a big problem for what should be a secular government and society.

I don't disagree.

And that scares me.

The Conformist wrote:

Ya know it can be difficult for a Christian sometimes (well myself anyways) when it comes to voting, or supporting (or not supporting)a business with my money because I agree/disagree with their views. It's difficult because there are groups of Christians (or political candidates) that for the most part, I share their views. However I am often conflicted in certain circumstances where I like a candidate until they start spouting anti-gay nonsense, or perhaps another candidate is against abortions completely. So here I am stuck, I don't want to vote for the opposing party because I really can't see eye to eye with most of their views, but I can't vote for the one I have the most in common with because I think a few of his/hers views are radical. So I sit and just not vote at all, or pick the lesser of two evils.

Again, I have to ask why there are so many Christians that spout nonsense or have radical views? What does that say about Christianity in America today?

The Conformist wrote:

Your definition of a good Christian candidate is different from perhaps mine or many others, and there are just too many variables within each problem to find someone who shares ALL of those good qualities. For instance I believe we should give to the poor, but it should have limits/investigations so that there aren't those out there that will take advantage of the system. I believe that war should be avoided if at all possible, but when someone is being taken advantage of and when there are people dying, sometimes you have to fight to protect those you love. I believe that all crime should be punished, but more reasonable punishment than just "life for stealing" needs to be implemented.

The most Christian president I've seen in my lifetime has been President Carter. I honestly respect the man because he actually walks the walk. And yet when I hear my conservative Christian co-workers talk about him you'd think they were describing the devil himself. That's a tremendous disconnect.

The Conformist wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

Of course they couldn't get elected. They'd be absolutely destroyed by a conservative Christian candidate who talked about cutting social programs, outlawing abortion, and getting tough on crime. I would love to see to Christian candidates fighting it out in public over which one of them was the most loving and forgiving, but that's never going to happen. And that's how big of gap there is between your idealized version of Christianity and reality of Christianity in America today.

I don't really disagree with this statement either.

Again, that's truly disturbing from my perspective.

The Conformist wrote:

That's the beauty of this country, it isn't my job to go out of my way to convince you of anything. You're free to feel whatever you like, you can hate my guts if that pleases you, it really makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. And I'm really not going out of my way for anything really, it's not some chore for me to sit here at my desk and politely ignore some of the insulting things you throw at my faith. I'm just doing this because I feel bad, I feel bad that so many Christians have caused people like you to feel this way. I see a world of people who despise Christians and it really scares me because we aren't all horrible people, but we erode away due to the wave of awfulness that is the "vocal Christian".

To paraphrase a popular Christian saying: I don't hate the person, I hate the religion.

Where you see a world where everyone despises Christians, I see a world of Christians who want to do everything in their power to impose their increasingly radical beliefs on everyone else. Unfortunately, you guys have the numbers and votes to do it. And that terrifies me because history has repeatedly shown that very bad things happen when religion and politics travel in the same cart.

If you honestly don't want people to think that way about Christianity then you really do have to convince me and others like me that "vocal Christians" aren't real Christians. A great way to start would be to stop electing them.

OG_slinger wrote:

atheists and non-believers are never going to ban religion and round up believers and put them in concentration camps. In short, we're never going to try to force our worldview on you.

Well, to be fair, we probably won't ever resort to concentration camps, but I do think we're trying to force some aspects of our world view on them. For instance, when we tell fundies (whether in school or out) that young earth creationism is false, or tell them that homosexuality is neither wrong nor sinful - I do kind of see that as a form of proselytization, especially given that the pressure that is increasingly being brought to bear on people or organizations that resist these teachings. I'm not saying it's a bad thing that we do this - the fewer people who believe fundy/Biblical lies, the better - but I won't pretend that we're entirely innocent of it, even if it's not anywhere near the scale that is used by evangelical Christians and social conservatives.