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Old 10-10-2011, 09:40 PM
 
604 posts, read 637,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
Seeing as you keep misunderstanding what iolatry is: yes, it is your opinion, and a bad one at that.

Idolatry.
"Worship of idols.
Extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone"

Wrong?




I never intended to debate religion here, just why there is lack of tolerance towards religion.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:40 PM
 
9,341 posts, read 24,680,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
Again - from the definition given in the Torah: worshipping a man is not idolatry. Or do I need to quote Exodus yet again?!
Second Mitzvah (Commandment) Prohibition of Improper Worship:
This category is derived from Ex. 20:3-6, beginning, "You shall not have other gods..." It encompasses within it the prohibition against the worship of other gods as well as the prohibition of improper forms of worship of the one true G-d, such as worshiping G-d through an idol.


Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
I understand that later Judaism came up with more teachings and traditions and interpretations, but this does not make the laws of the Torah any less relevant.
In addition to the Torah (Five Books of Moses) there is the "Oral Torah," a tradition explaining what the Biblical scriptures mean and how to interpret them and apply the 613 Mitzvot (Commandments) .

Traditional Judaism holds that G-d taught the Oral Torah to Moishe (Moses), and Moishe taught it to others, and so forth.

This tradition was maintained in oral form only until about the 2d century C.E., when the oral law was compiled and written down in a document called the Mishnah.

Over the next few centuries, additional commentaries elaborating on the Mishnah were written down in Yerushalyim (Jerusalem) and Babylon. These additional commentaries are known as the Gemara. The Gemara and the Mishnah together are known as the Talmud. This was completed in the 5th century C.E.


For more info:
Judaism 101: The Talmud
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,038,211 times
Reputation: 4273
To some people the cross is a symbol of their religious belief and I suspect that the people who erected the cross on the water tower meant it simply as that. Here's the problem:

First and foremost, the cross stands atop a city water tower, paid for by tax dollars of members of either that town, that district/county or perhaps even by the state. When things are taken into consideration, such as the maintenance, upkeep, etc... I doubt that the town pays 100% for the water tower. Surely, there is some element of that water tower that is coming from state or perhaps even federal funds. Considering that I work in Tennessee and, by proxy, some of my money goes to the state sales tax when I purchase things in Tennessee, I would like not to think that money is going towards something I completely disagree with.

Christianity has tried to weasel itself into politics for over two-thousand years. When any part of government rests on its laurels while this happens, it makes the fatal mistake of inviting all elements of that religion into its hold. People like to scream and yell that we're being too pompous and arrogant in our discretion of suing to have the cross taken down. But, I ask this:

What particular faction, denomination, or sub-belief system is that cross meant to represent? Is it the brand of Christianity that says "Hi, now brown cow. You are welcome to join me in the love and festivities despite anything you personally believe." Or is it a branch of Christianity that swears up and down that unless you believe in the precise version of Christianity they do, that you will find yourself cast into a lake of fire to wriggle under torture from the celestial dictator at all costs?

My experience with Christianity, especially in the South, is that those most repugnantly forward enough to throw something so gaudy and pretentious atop a water tower (or other public display) are injecting a piece of their religion for less than honorable reasons. Those reasons so often have a way of being intricately linked to a version of Christianity that commands nothing less than utter adoration and adulation for the omnipotent security camera in the sky.

Perhaps a better question to ask would be precisely who erected the cross and under what pretenses it was erected. I sincerely do think it was not with completely unselfish purposes - as nothing in religion ever seems to be. What if it was the Westboro Baptist Church who erected the cross? After all, they do call themselves Christians and if every other denomination can do that, so can they. So, would we be proud to have our tax dollars going to a water tower that displays a symbol put forth by the Westboro Baptist Church? What about a neo-Nazi group such as the KKK who often put great emphasis on having Christian faith? Should they be allowed to erect crosses on our water towers simply because it's "No big deal."?

But, if we take it to that extreme then surely there must be some criterion for erecting crosses on water towers. I mean, surely a group not as hateful as the WBC or the KKK would display far less sinister reasons. That is, of course, unless you really wanted to boil down various denominations into the things they operate against. In some form or fashion, that cross could go up on a water tower to represent a hatred for homosexuals, science, people who get abortions, women, other religions, and those of no religion. It also represents, might I add, the very same symbol as those who've made it common practice to rape and torture little children. Essentially, there is nary a denomination of Christianity that does not profess a hatred, a condemnation, or a dislike for some group of people or some ideas.

Perhaps the water tower with a cross on it should be meant as the top of a dunce cap in a state that held the Scopes Monkey Trial? After all, it is something like 85% of Americans who hold a belief in Christianity who also doubt evolution and 49% of whom think the Earth is only 6000 years old. So, maybe the cross should simply stand for a complete and utter attempt at misinformation and discrediting of everything that modern knowledge is built upon? How fitting in a state ranked so consistently low in education rankings.

Maybe, though, just maybe the cross is meant simply to be denomination-free and only that one should take what they get out of a single book upon which all of Christianity is based. Of course, that would mean the town government is saying that Christianity (of any denomination and belief) is the "preferred" religion over any of the others. That's surely a very fair thing to do until the ignorant, backwoods town in Tennessee realizes that people exist outside their single-shaded color spectrum and socio-economic status of white people with a belief in the Christian deity.

But, if it were up to me, I think the cross should remain standing atop the water tower with one, single caveat. It should have emblazoned upon it a stamp of approval from the Westboro Baptist Church and any local KKK organizations. This way, all ideas from within the Christian community have equal representation and any other denomination or vocal Christian group could do the same thing. Ah, it would be so nice and refreshing to see the local church in this hick town of Tennessee to make nice with a group like the Westboro Baptist Church so that we could all watch their prominent, gaudy, and ridiculous display of faith with a sign that says "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:18 AM
 
7,811 posts, read 5,059,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
It appears that you have been smitten with modern political correctness, and so much so that you seem to feel that everything is equal, and should be accorded an equal amount of respect. This is just plain wishful thinking.

Give one good reason WHY we should respect everyone's ideas equally, please.
I am afraid you have created a position for me I do not hold and then attacked it. I do not identify with the strawman you have erected at all.

I think CERTAIN ideas should be treated equally yes, not ALL.

For example I do not think religious ideas should be tolerated AT ALL at this time given they are all entirely unsubstantiated in any way and are so indistinguishable for simple lies.

However what I was doing was not comparing ALL ideas, but comparing ALL ideas within a certain context... religion... and the fact is the existence of Thor and the existence of Yahweh for example have each got exactly the same amount of evidence going for and against them. That is: None.

As such THESE ideas should be afforded equal respect and tolerance as the other as there is nothing to distinguish between them unlike the idea you gave in your 5 step Random example above where there is very much a basis for distinguishing between the ideas. So the analogy you make does not hold.

What bothers me in THAT context therefore is the idea that one should be afforded more respect solely on the basis that is has more people subscribing to it. Ideas that are equally grounded in reality should not be treated differently simply because one has more subscribers.

As an example of this I retold a point made by a man better than I. If you think saying latin at your pancakes turns them into elvis people will call you insane. If you think saying latin at crackers turns them into Jesus people will call you catholic. If you really can see no problem with that, given the claims are pretty much identical, then I have a lot more work to do on this thread that I thought.

Yet in terms of evidence, argument, and grounding in reality the two ideas are identical. There is no more reason to think crackers become magical in the presence of latin and not pancakes. Not one. Why would we therefore afford respect to one idea and not the other? Again: Simply because of numbers.
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:33 AM
 
3,488 posts, read 3,148,042 times
Reputation: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kings Ranger View Post
Idolatry.
"Worship of idols.
Extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone"

Wrong?




I never intended to debate religion here, just why there is lack of tolerance towards religion.
Well - the definition you provide may apply to modern ages, when the concept of "idol" has vastly expanded (for instance, pop stars are teen idols) - but when a person is coming from Judaism (Walter) and applying his religion's prohibition against idolatry against Christianity, I must use the definition provided by his religion, which stems back to the Torah.

Your definition may fit today, but it is not at all the original intent of the Bible's prohibitions against it. See? Another problem I'm running into is that he is expanding his definition into new ones brought about by rabbinic tradition, up to 1500 years later than the original law concerning idols..
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:48 AM
 
3,488 posts, read 3,148,042 times
Reputation: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Greenspan View Post
Second Mitzvah (Commandment) Prohibition of Improper Worship:
This category is derived from Ex. 20:3-6, beginning, "You shall not have other gods..." It encompasses within it the prohibition against the worship of other gods as well as the prohibition of improper forms of worship of the one true G-d, such as worshiping G-d through an idol.




In addition to the Torah (Five Books of Moses) there is the "Oral Torah," a tradition explaining what the Biblical scriptures mean and how to interpret them and apply the 613 Mitzvot (Commandments) .

Traditional Judaism holds that G-d taught the Oral Torah to Moishe (Moses), and Moishe taught it to others, and so forth.

This tradition was maintained in oral form only until about the 2d century C.E., when the oral law was compiled and written down in a document called the Mishnah.

Over the next few centuries, additional commentaries elaborating on the Mishnah were written down in Yerushalyim (Jerusalem) and Babylon. These additional commentaries are known as the Gemara. The Gemara and the Mishnah together are known as the Talmud. This was completed in the 5th century C.E.


For more info:
Judaism 101: The Talmud
Well, if we expand into the Babylonian Talmud - we'll never settle anything! Now we're entering interpretational wildernesses that never end.... we can start proving anything lol!
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:47 AM
 
5,463 posts, read 5,781,996 times
Reputation: 1803
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoppers View Post
And this involves creating graven images and worshipping them as deities HOW?
How does it matter, at least any more than having Christians objectively prove that they are commanded by god to display the cross in the first place? It's not like there was a rigorous scientific study before the built the thing - it was just a bunch of religious people who felt like it would be a good idea. No one who objects to it should be held to any higher standards.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 13,652,155 times
Reputation: 14764
I won't bother discussing whether the cross should stay or go, because that's obviously being well covered in this thread. But a quote by the mayor in the article caught my eye:

Quote:
“We don’t have people of that belief here..."
This is, to me, the epitome of the Christian South. To them atheists are some entirely foreign beings who have nothing to do with their town. The atheist is a West coast thing, or a North East thing, but it can't be a Southern thing! The South is far too good, wholesome, and righteous for there to be atheists living here! This is the attitude I saw over and over while I lived there.

Quote:
"...and if we do they’re not going to raise that kind of ruckus for the rest of the town."
Yeah, that's probably true, assuming they couldn't remain anonymous in doing so. They're probably afraid to let anyone in town know they're atheists!
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:51 AM
 
3,488 posts, read 3,148,042 times
Reputation: 738
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
How does it matter, at least any more than having Christians objectively prove that they are commanded by god to display the cross in the first place? It's not like there was a rigorous scientific study before the built the thing - it was just a bunch of religious people who felt like it would be a good idea. No one who objects to it should be held to any higher standards.
In all seriousness - I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Could you clarify?
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:53 AM
 
604 posts, read 637,753 times
Reputation: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nozzferrahhtoo View Post
It was derived from an amalgamation of posters on this thread, yourself included. The feeling I am getting is that more respect should be afforded to bigger groups. Because there are millions of Christians their testament to human execution should be erected. Because there might be 5 or 10 people who still think there is a Thor, they should not be so respected.

This is the issue. Respect is an equal opportunity thing. It is not proportional to the size of the group you want to afford it to.

Erecting such monuments to death really is a way of saying "This is a Christian town, the Christians have the power here, if you are not one of us you are in the minority and this statue/monument is here to remind you of that".

The idea of secularism and the wall of seperation is to not allow such displays of power by numbers. I respect people, not ideas. I do not respect these peoples religion. Nor should I be expected to. I respect the people and the people alone. However if the most intelligent people, who I respect with all my being, come up with stupid ideas.... I will respect them enough to tell them so.

I reject this often touted idea that questing the religion of people is a show of lack of respect. For two reasons. Firstly You can disrespect ideas without disrepsecting people. Secondly if you really respect people then you should be helping divest them of stupid ideas, not simply shutting up and letting them get on with it. I fight against religion BECAUSE of love and respect for my fellow man, not in spite of it.



I would agree with that, but I would hasten to point out that this is nothing to do with atheism, or religion. It is alas a trait of american culture that people go legal first and actually talk to each other later. I find shame in this and would like to see such a situation change. Legal culture in the US has become out of hand and somewhat embarrassing. From an outsiders perspective it is ludicrous.

Wow, that one pretty much answers my question and clears everything up for me...
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