from sklearn.datasets import fetch_20newsgroups
categories = ["alt.atheism", "talk.religion.misc"]
data = fetch_20newsgroups(categories=categories)
data
Downloading 20news dataset. This may take a few minutes.
Downloading dataset from https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/5975967 (14 MB)





{'data': ['From: mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate)\nSubject: Benediktine Metaphysics\nLines: 24\n\nBenedikt Rosenau writes, with great authority:\n\n>     IF IT IS CONTRADICTORY IT CANNOT EXIST.\n\n"Contradictory" is a property of language.  If I correct this to\n\n\n      THINGS DEFINED BY CONTRADICTORY LANGUAGE DO NOT EXIST\n\nI will object to definitions as reality.  If you then amend it to\n\n      THINGS DESCRIBED BY CONTRADICTORY LANGUAGE DO NOT EXIST\n\nthen we\'ve come to something which is plainly false.  Failures in\ndescription are merely failures in description.\n\n(I\'m not an objectivist, remember.)\n\n\n-- \nC. Wingate        + "The peace of God, it is no peace,\n                  +    but strife closed in the sod.\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu +  Yet, brothers, pray for but one thing:\ntove!mangoe       +    the marv\'lous peace of God."\n',
  'Subject: Re: There must be a creator! (Maybe)\nFrom: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 24\n\nIn article <16BA1E927.DRPORTER@SUVM.SYR.EDU>, DRPORTER@SUVM.SYR.EDU (Brad Porter) writes:\n>\n>   Science is wonderful at answering most of our questions.  I\'m not the type\n>to question scientific findings very often, but...  Personally, I find the\n>theory of evolution to be unfathomable.  Could humans, a highly evolved,\n>complex organism that thinks, learns, and develops truly be an organism\n>that resulted from random genetic mutations and natural selection?\n\n[...stuff deleted...]\n\nComputers are an excellent example...of evolution without "a" creator.\nWe did not "create" computers.  We did not create the sand that goes\ninto the silicon that goes into the integrated circuits that go into\nprocessor board.  We took these things and put them together in an\ninteresting way. Just like plants "create" oxygen using light through \nphotosynthesis.  It\'s a much bigger leap to talk about something that\ncreated "everything" from nothing.  I find it unfathomable to resort\nto believing in a creator when a much simpler alternative exists: we\nsimply are incapable of understanding our beginnings -- if there even\nwere beginnings at all.  And that\'s ok with me.  The present keeps me\nperfectly busy.\n\n-jim halat\n\n',
  'From: MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats Andtbacka)\nSubject: Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nIn-Reply-To: jaeger@buphy.bu.edu\'s message of 5 Apr 93 16:49:14 GMT\nOrganization: Unorganized Usenet Postings UnInc.\nX-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.24\nLines: 24\n\nIn <114127@bu.edu> jaeger@buphy.bu.edu writes:\n\n[deletia]\n\n> I don\'t understand the point of this petty sarcasm. It is a basic \n> principle of Islam that if one is born muslim or one says "I testify\n> that there is no god but God and Mohammad is a prophet of God" that,\n> so long as one does not explicitly reject Islam by word then one _must_\n> be considered muslim by all muslims. So the phenomenon you\'re attempting\n> to make into a general rule or psychology is a direct odds with basic\n> Islamic principles. If you want to attack Islam you could do better than\n> than to argue against something that Islam explicitly contradicts.\n\n      In the deletions somewhere, it mentioned something about chopping\noff of hands being a punishment for theft in Saudi Arabia. Assuming this\nis so (I wouldn\'t know), and assuming it is done by people fitting your\nrequirement for "muslim" (which I find highly likely), then would you\nplease try to convince Bobby Mozumder that muslims chop people\'s hands\noff?\n\n      Come back when you\'ve succeeded.\n\n-- \n  Disclaimer?   "It\'s great to be young and insane!"\n',
  'From: royc@rbdc.wsnc.org (Roy Crabtree)\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nOrganization: Red Barn Data Center\nLines: 50\n\nIn article <1qvv7u$kc1@morrow.stanford.edu> salem@pangea.Stanford.EDU (Bruce Salem) writes:\n...\n>\tI think that the consensus will become that FBI/ATF muffed it,\n>not merely because they walked into an ambush on Feb 28, and Koresh\n>got his prophesy today, against their stated intentions, but because\n>they played right into polarizing the situation and not diffusing\n>it.\n>\n>\tKoresh had set up all the conditions of a classic cult\n>confrontation and had stated publically what the outcome would become.\n\n\tBefore or after his kids were shot?\n\n>The government upped the ante and parcipitated the conclusion today.\n>It does seem that the fires were set from within the compound by the\n>members of the group and not caused by the CS gas or the way it was\n>delivered. Let the subsequent investigation shed light on that. Suppose\n\n\tThen why make the comment?\n\n>that the government had used pyrotechnics and started the fire. The\n>Dividians still had the decision to stay or leave. They never intended\n\n\tAs did the Jews against the Nazis in WW II:  do what I say or die.\n\n>to leave.\n>\n>>The building burns, almost everyone dies.  It probably doesn\'t bother\n>>you much, but it bothers many other people.....most of whom dont believe\n>>particularly in Koresh or his message.\n\n\n\tALl humans, I hope.\n\n>\n>\tYes, the finger pointing has begun.\n>\n>>\tFour ATF agents and 90 branch Davidians are now dead because of\n>>crazy tactics on the part of the ATF and FBI.\n>\n>\tYeah, they blew it. They were being too "rational" in a\n>situation that was not your ordianry criminal game. They haven\'t learned\n>that much from Jonestown, or The Move House, or the SLA shootout.\n\n\tOr perhaps they have:  kill first, blame the dead ones,\n\tdestroy all the evidence.\n\n>\n\nroyc\n',
  'Subject: Re: "Imaginary" Friends - Info and Experiences\nFrom: patb@bnr.co.uk (Patrick Brosnan)\nOrganization: BNR Europe, New Southgate, London.\nNNTP-Posting-Host: bnsgs195.bnr.co.uk\nLines: 21\n\nIn article <1993Apr2.041929.24320@mnemosyne.cs.du.edu> kditto@nyx.cs.du.edu (Kimborly Ditto) writes:\n>\n>Concerniong this thread...\n>\n>Has anyone ever seen "Drop Dead Fred" ??  THis movie seems to tipify the\n>"imaginary friend" theme rather well.  I LOVED the movie, as i had an\n>imaginary friend when i was a kid and it borught back great memories.  \n>\n>Seriously, if you have a chance, see "Drop Dead Fred".  It\'ll make ya\n>think.  especially the end.\n>\n>Blessings!\n>--Kim\n>\n\n\n-- \nPatrick Brosnan.  <patb@bnr.co.uk> || ...!mcsun!ukc!stc!patb\nNorthern Telecomm, Oakleigh Rd South, London N11 1HB. \nPhone : +44 81 945 2135 or +44 81 945 4000 x2135\n"Oh, Flash, I love you - but we\'ve only got 14 hours to save the universe."\n',
  ' howland.reston.ans.net!europa.eng.gtefsd.com!uunet!mcsun!Germany.EU.net!news.dfn.de!tubsibr!dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de!I3150101\nSubject: Re: Gospel Dating\nFrom: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 35\n\nIn article <66015@mimsy.umd.edu>\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n \n(Deletion)\n>I cannot see any evidence for the V. B. which the cynics in this group would\n>ever accept.  As for the second, it is the foundation of the religion.\n>Anyone who claims to have seen the risen Jesus (back in the 40 day period)\n>is a believer, and therefore is discounted by those in this group; since\n>these are all ancients anyway, one again to choose to dismiss the whole\n>thing.  The third is as much a metaphysical relationship as anything else--\n>even those who agree to it have argued at length over what it *means*, so\n>again I don\'t see how evidence is possible.\n>\n \nNo cookies, Charlie. The claims that Jesus have been seen are discredited\nas extraordinary claims that don\'t match their evidence. In this case, it\nis for one that the gospels cannot even agree if it was Jesus who has been\nseen. Further, there are zillions of other spook stories, and one would\nhardly consider others even in a religious context to be some evidence of\na resurrection.\n \nThere have been more elaborate arguments made, but it looks as if they have\nnot passed your post filtering.\n \n \n>I thus interpret the "extraordinary claims" claim as a statement that the\n>speaker will not accept *any* evidence on the matter.\n \nIt is no evidence in the strict meaning. If there was actual evidence it would\nprobably be part of it, but the says nothing about the claims.\n \n \nCharlie, I have seen Invisible Pink Unicorns!\nBy your standards we have evidence for IPUs now.\n   Benedikt\n',
  'From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: Americans and Evolution\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 67\n\nIn article <1pq47tINN8lp@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>\nbobs@thnext.mit.edu (Robert Singleton) writes:\n \n(Deletion)\n>\n>I will argue that your latter statement, "I believe that no gods exist"\n>does rest upon faith - that is, if you are making a POSITIVE statement\n>that "no gods exist" (strong atheism) rather than merely saying I don\'t\n>know and therefore don\'t believe in them and don\'t NOT believe in then\n>(weak atheism). Once again, to not believe in God is different than saying\n>I BELIEVE that God does not exist. I still maintain the position, even\n>after reading the FAQs, that strong atheism requires faith.\n>\n \nNo it in the way it is usually used. In my view, you are saying here that\ndriving a car requires faith that the car drives.\n \nFor me it is a conclusion, and I have no more faith in it than I have in the\npremises and the argument used.\n \n \n>But first let me say the following.\n>We might have a language problem here - in regards to "faith" and\n>"existence". I, as a Christian, maintain that God does not exist.\n>To exist means to have being in space and time. God does not HAVE\n>being - God IS Being. Kierkegaard once said that God does not\n>exist, He is eternal. With this said, I feel it\'s rather pointless\n>to debate the so called "existence" of God - and that is not what\n>I\'m doing here. I believe that God is the source and ground of\n>being. When you say that "god does not exist", I also accept this\n>statement - but we obviously mean two different things by it. However,\n>in what follows I will use the phrase "the existence of God" in it\'s\n>\'usual sense\' - and this is the sense that I think you are using it.\n>I would like a clarification upon what you mean by "the existence of\n>God".\n>\n \nNo, that\'s a word game. The term god is used in a different way usually.\nWhen you use a different definition it is your thing, but until it is\ncommonly accepted you would have to say the way I define god is ... and\nthat does not exist, it is existence itself, so I say it does not exist.\n \nInterestingly, there are those who say that "existence exists" is one of\nthe indubitable statements possible.\n \nFurther, saying god is existence is either a waste of time, existence is\nalready used and there is no need to replace it by god, or you are implying\nmore with it, in which case your definition and your argument so far\nare incomplete, making it a fallacy.\n \n \n(Deletion)\n>One can never prove that God does or does not exist. When you say\n>that you believe God does not exist, and that this is an opinion\n>"based upon observation", I will have to ask "what observtions are\n>you refering to?" There are NO observations - pro or con - that\n>are valid here in establishing a POSITIVE belief.\n(Deletion)\n \nWhere does that follow? Aren\'t observations based on the assumption\nthat something exists?\n \nAnd wouldn\'t you say there is a level of definition that the assumption\n"god is" is meaningful. If not, I would reject that concept anyway.\n \nSo, where is your evidence for that "god is" is meaningful at some level?\n   Benedikt\n',
  "From: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 45\n\nIn article <1r3qab$o1v@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O'Dwyer) writes:\n>In article <930421.102525.9Y9.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk> mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n>#frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O'Dwyer) writes:\n>#> In article <930420.100544.6n0.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk> mathew\n>#> <mathew@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n>#> #This is complete nonsense.  Relativism means saying that there is no absolut\n>#> #standard of morality; it does NOT mean saying that all standards of morality\n>#> #are equally good.\n>#> \n>#> Presumably this means that some moral systems are better than others?\n>#> How so?  How do you manage this without an objective frame of reference?\n>#\n\nEither Frank O'Dwyer or mathew said:\n\n[...stiff deleted...]\n\n>#Which goes faster, a bullet or a snail?  How come you can answer that when\n>#Einstein proved that there isn't an objective frame of reference?\n\n[...stiff deleted...]\n\nSpeed is a quantifiable measure resulting from a set of methods that\nwill result in the same value measured no matter the reference.  A \nbullet with zero velocity sitting on a table on a train moving 60mph\nwill be moving at a speed of\n\n        (a) 0mph to someone on the train.\n        (b) 60mph to someone stationary next to the train.\n\nThe reference frame makes the speed relative.  But what's interesting\nhere is that every person on the train will see a stationary bullet.\nEvery person off, a bullet moving 60mph.  \n\nI know of no train where all the people on it, every time it is\nfilled, will see a moral problem in exactly the same way.\n\n-- \n jim halat         halat@bear.com     \nbear-stearns       --whatever doesn't kill you will only serve to annoy you--\n   nyc             i speak only for myself\n\n\n\n\n",
  'From: healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy)\nSubject: Re: Requests\nLines: 53\nOrganization: Walla Walla College\nLines: 53\n\nIn article <11857@vice.ICO.TEK.COM> bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine) writes:\n>From: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine)\n>Subject: Re: Requests\n>Date: 19 Apr 93 18:25:08 GMT\n>In article <C5qLLG.4BC@mailer.cc.fsu.edu> mayne@cs.fsu.edu writes:\n>>\n(excess stuff deleted...)\n\n    \n>  However, it seems that a local church elder has been getting\n>  revelations from god about a devastating quake scheduled to level\n>  the area on May 3rd.  He has independent corroboration from\n>  several friends, who apparently have had similar revelations.  The\n>  5.7 quake was, in fact, in response to a request from the lot of\n>  them seeking a sign from god on the veracity of their visions.\n>\n>  None of this would be terribly interesting, except for the amount\n>  of stir it has created in the area.  Many, many people are taking\n>  these claims very seriously.  There are some making plans to be\n>  out of the are on the target date.  My local religious radio\n>  station devoted 4 hours of discussion on the topic.  \n>\n>  I even called up during one of the live broadcasts to tell the\n>  host that he would have a full account of my conversion on May\n>  4th, provided my family and I survived the devastation and ruin\n>  that will invariably follow the quake.\n>\n>/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n>\n>Bob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n>\n>They said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\n>and sank Manhattan out at sea.\n>\n>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n\nI know of a similar incident about 3 years ago.  A climatologist( Ithink \nthat was his profession) named Iben Browning predicted that an earthquake \nwould hit the New Madrid fault on Dec.3.  Some schools in Missouri that were \non the fault line actually cancelled school for the day.  Many people \nevacuated New Madrid and other towns in teh are.  I wouldn\'t be suprised if \nthere were more journalists in the area than residents.  Of course, teh \nearthquake never occured.  HOw do I know about his?  I used to live in \nSouthern Illinois and the lican middle school was built directly on the \nfault line.  No we still had school... We laughed at the poor idiots who \nbelieved the prediction. :):):):)\n\nBob, if you\'re wanting an excuse to convert to Christianity, you gonna have \nto look elsewhere.\n\nTammy "No Trim" Healy\n\n\n',
  'From: ingles@engin.umich.edu (Ray Ingles)\nSubject: Re: There must be a creator! (Maybe)\nOrganization: University of Michigan Engineering, Ann Arbor\nLines: 51\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: syndicoot.engin.umich.edu\n\nIn article <1993Apr2.144909.806@batman.bmd.trw.com> jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com writes:\n>In article <1993Apr2.165032.3356@bradford.ac.uk>, L.Newnham@bradford.ac.uk (Leonard Newnham) writes:\n[deletions]\n>>...Argument from incredulity has not been considered a valid form of\n>> reasoning since medieval times.\n[deletions]\n>Interesting that you should mention that "Argument from incredulity has\n>not been considered a valid form of reasoning since medieval times."  I\n>quite agree.  Why then, do some atheists here engage in it?  More than\n>a few times I have read posts where the atheists posting state that\n>they \'cannot see how a gracious and loving God can allow such evil and\n>suffering to occur as we see on the earth.\'  Simply because they cannot\n>envision it, it must not be true.  If this is not an argument from\n>incredulity, I don\'t know what is!\n\n As you have presented it, it is indeed an argument from incredulity.\nHowever, from what I have seen, it is not often presented in this manner.\nIt is usually presented more in the form, "And *besides*, I cannot see...\n...nor have I ever been offered a convincing explanation."\n Moreover, it is not unreasonable to ask for an explanation for such\nphenomena. That theism does not provide a convincing explanation is not\nan argument in theism\'s favor. Especially when different theisms offer \ndifferent explanations, and even different adherents of what is purportedly\nthe same theism give different explanations...\n\n>                                    God has far more complex motivations\n>and reasons for action or non-action than to simply "fix" evil whenever\n>and however it occurs, or even *before* it occurs.  And yet, it is this\n>very same argument from incredulity which ranks high among reasons\n>why atheists (in general) reject God and in particular the Christian God.\n\n Not im my experience. In my experience, the most common reason is the\nlack of evidence in theism\'s favor. You mileage may vary. :->\n\n>This seems to be the universal bane of human reasoning and rationality, \n>to wit, that it is far easier to see the logical fallacy or inept reasoning \n>on the part of one\'s opponents than it is to see it in oneself.\n\n Oh, heck, I\'ll be snide this once. :-> It\'s also fairly easy to attack\narguments that are not made. (I.e. \'strawmen\'.)\n\n>As one Man of Wisdom put it, take the log out of your own eye before you \n>try to remove the splinter from your neighbor\'s eye.\n\n Sage advice indeed.\n\n Sincerely,\n\n Raymond Ingles                       ingles@engin.umich.edu\n\n "An apple every eight hours keeps three doctors away." - B. Kliban\n',
  'Subject: Re: [lds] Rick\'s reply\nFrom: <LIBRBA@BYUVM.BITNET>\nOrganization: Brigham Young University\nLines: 95\n\nIn article <C5KDzK.497@acsu.buffalo.edu>, psyrobtw@ubvmsd.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert\nWeiss) says:\n>     Just briefly, on something that you mentioned in passing. You refer to\n>     differing interpretations of "create," and say that many Christians may\n>     not agree. So what? That is really irrelevant. We do not base our faith\n>     on how many people think one way or another, do we? The bottom line is\n>     truth, regardless of popularity of opinions.\n\n   I\'m sorry, I thought we were discussing heresy.  I assumed that heresy\nmeant a departure from orthodoxy, in which case generally accepted belief is\nindeed an important issue.  In this case, the definition of the word "create"\nis of great importance, since creation is the issue being discussed.\n\n>\n>     Also, I find it rather strange that in trying to persuade that created\n>     and eternally existent are equivalent, you say "granted the Mormon\n>     belief..." You can\'t grant your conclusion and then expect the point to\n>     have been addressed. In order to reply to the issue, you have to address\n>     and answer the point that was raised, and not just jump to the\n>     conclusion that you grant.\n\n  I should have said "given the Mormon belief."  If you disagree with the\nMormon belief that creation is more a function of organization of eternally\nexistent substance than one of ex nihilo creation, then that is the important\npoint.\n\n>     The Bible states that Lucifer was created.  The Bible states that Jesus\n>     is the creator of all. The contradiction that we have is that the LDS\n>     belief is that Jesus and Lucifer were the same.\n\n  Correction: you interpret the Bible to mean something very specific by\nsuch terms.\n\n>     The Mormon belief is that all are children of God. Literally. There is\n>     nothing symbolic about it. This however, contradicts what the Bible\n>     says. The Bible teaches that not everyone is a child of God:\n>\n   It always cracks me up when anti-Mormons presume to tell Mormons what they\nbelieve.  Mormons do, in fact, believe that all people, including Christ and\nLucifer, are children of God in the sense that we were all created (or\norganized or whatever) by Him.  We also believe that being "offspring" of\nGod has a symbolic sense when applied to being spiritually "born again" of\nHim.  Thus the same word can be used to convey different meanings.  This is\nhow language works, Robert, and it\'s why making someone an offender for a\nword is dangerous.\n\n\n>     This is really a red herring. It doesn\'t address any issue raised, but\n>     rather, it seeks to obfuscate. The fact that some groups try to read\n>     something into the Bible, doesn\'t change what the Bible teaches. For\n<...>\n>     We first look to the Bible to see what it teaches. To discount, or not\n>     even address, what the Bible teaches because there are some groups that\n>     have differing views is self-defeating. To see what the Bible teaches,\n>     you have to look at the Bible.\n\n   On the contrary, Robert, it is not a red herring at all to show that those\nwho rely wholly on the Bible cannot seem to agree on what it says.  You say\nthat one must simply "look at the Bible" to see what it teaches, but centuries\nof people doing just that have sho0wn that no one is really sure what it says.\nAre we to believe that you are the only one who really understands the\nscriptures?\n\n>     I find this rather curious. When I mentioned that the Mormon belief is\n>     that Jesus needed to be saved, I put forward some quotes from the late\n>     apostle, Bruce McConkie. The curious part is that no one addressed the\n>     issue of `Jesus needing to be saved.\' Rick comes the closest with his "I\n>     have my own conclusions" to addressing the point.\n\n  Let me clarify this one more time.  You did not refer to the Mormon belief\nthat Jesus needed to be saved, but rather to McConkie\'s belief in same.  We\nkeep trying to point out to you that Bruce McConkie is not the source of\nMormon doctrine, and you keep ignoring it. (see below)\n\n>\n>     Most of the other replies have instead hop-scotched to the issue of\n>     Bruce McConkie and whether his views were \'official doctrine.\' I don\'t\n>     think that it matters if McConkie\'s views were canon. That is not the\n>     issue.  Were McConkie\'s writings indicative of Mormon belief on this\n>     subject is the real issue. The indication from Rick is that they may\n>     certainly be.\n\n  On the contrary, Robert, if you are quoting McConkie\'s words as Mormon\ncanon then the question of whether they are canon or not is of *great*\nimportance.  The fact is that they are not.  Whether or not they indicate\ngeneral Mormon belief would only be ascertainable by interviewing a large\nnumber of Mormons.\n>\n>\n>=============================\n>Robert Weiss\n>psyrobtw@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu\n--\nRick Anderson  librba@BYUVM.BITNET\n\n',
  'From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: islamic authority over women\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 21\n\nIn article <1993Apr19.120352.1574@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au>,\ndarice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) wrote:\n>> The problem with your argument is that you do not _know_ who is a _real_\n> believer and who may be "faking it".  This is something known only by\n> the person him/herself (and God).  Your assumption that anyone who\n> _claims_ to be a "believer" _is_ a "believer" is not necessarily true.\n\nSo that still leaves the door totally open for Khomeini, Hussein\net rest. They could still be considered true Muslims, and you can\'t\njudge them, because this is something between God and the person.\n\nYou have to apply your rule as well with atheists/agnostics, you\ndon\'t know their belief, this is something between them and God.\n\nSo why the hoopla about Khomeini not being a real Muslim, and the\nhoopla about atheists being not real human beings?\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n',
  "From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: islamic authority over women\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL9]\nLines: 37\n\nBenedikt Rosenau (I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de) wrote:\n\n: When the object of their belief is said to be perfect and make the believers\n: act in a certain way and we observe that they don't, we have a contradiction.\n: Something defined contradictorily cannot exist. That what the believe in does\n: not exist. Secondly, there are better explanations for why they believe than\n: the existence of the object of their belief.\n:  \n:  \n: Have you read the FAQ already?\n:    Benedikt\n\nBenedikt,\n\nI can't recall anyone claiming that God -makes- anyone act a particlar\nway, I think that you're attempting to manufacture a contradiction.\nGod is said to require certain behavior, but the only compulsion is\nthe believer's sense of duty. A standard of conduct does exist, but we\nare free to ignore it or misunderstand it or distort it in whatever\nways we find convenient, but our response to God's edicts can in no\nway be used to question God's existence. The behavior of believers is\na completely separate question from that of God's existence; there is\nnothing contradictory here.\n\nTo say that something defined contadictorily cannot exist, is really\nasking too much; you would have existence depend on grammar. All you\ncan really say is that something is poorly defined, but that in itself\nis insufficient to decide anything (other than confusion of course).\n\nYour point that there are better reasons for the phenomenon of belief\nthan the object of belief may lead to a rat's nest of unnecessary\ncomplexity. I think I know what you're implying, but I'd like to see\nyour version of this better alternative just the same.\n\nBill\n\n\n",
  'From: darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice)\nSubject: Re: Islam And Scientific Predictions (was Re: Genocide is Caused by Atheism)\nOrganization: Monash University, Melb., Australia.\nLines: 60\n\nIn <CINDY.93Apr18124333@solan10.solan.unit.no> cindy@solan10.solan.unit.no (Cynthia Kandolf) writes:\n\n>Various quotes deleted in the interest of saving a little bit of\n>bandwidth, but i will copy the Koran quote:\n>>>>"AND IT IS HE (GOD ALMIGHTY) WHO CREATED THE NIGHT AND THE\n>>>>DAY, AND THE SUN AND THE EARTH:  ALL (THE CELETIAL BODIES)\n>>>>SWIM ALONG, EACH IN ITS ROUNDED COURSE."  (Holy Quran 21:33)\n\n>As it has been pointed out, this quote makes no claim about what\n>orbits what.  The idea that something orbited something had been held\n>as true for many years before the Koran was written, so the fact that\n>it says something orbits something is hardly surprising insight.  My\n>concern is with the word "rounded". \n\n>There are two interpretations of this word:\n>1. It means in a circle.  This is wrong, although many believed it to\n>be true at the time the Koran was written.  In other words, it is not\n>describing our neighborhood of the universe as it really exists, but\n>as it was thought to be at the time.  This has implications which i\n>hope are obvious to everyone.\n>2. It means "in a rounded shape", which could include elipses (the\n>geometrical form which most nearly describes the orbits of the\n>planets).  This is also not a great insight.  Look at the shapes you\n>see in nature.  Very few of them even approach a square or rectangle;\n>those are human-created shapes.  Everything in nature is rounded to\n>some degree.  Even the flat-earthers don\'t try to claim Earth is a\n>rectangle.  Children who draw imaginary animals seldom give them\n>rectangular bodies.  We seem to instinctively recognize that nature\n>produces rounded shapes; hence, the assumption that the orbits of the\n>planets would be round hardly takes divine inspiration.\n\nIt is good to remember that every translation is to some extent an\ninterpretation, so (as you point out below) one must really go back to\nthe original Arabic.  Regarding the verses relevant to nature, I prefer\nto use Dr. Maurice Bucaille\'s translations (in his book, "The Bible, the\nQur\'an and Science") for in general his translations are more literal.\n \nMaurice Bucaille translates the portion of the verse you are addressing\nas \n\n"...Each one is travelling with an orbit in its own motion."\n\n(Also note that "the celestial bodies" in the first translation quoted\nby you above is the translator\'s interpolation -- it is not existent in\nthe original Arabic, which is why it is included in brackets.) \n\n>Perhaps someone who can read the original Arabic can eliminate one of\n>these interpretations; at any rate, neither one of them is exactly\n>impressive.\n\nYou\'re right, what the verses _do_ contain isn\'t all that remarkable.\n\nHowever, Dr. Bucaille (a surgeon, that\'s how he\'s a "Dr.") thinks it is\nsignificant that the above verse contains no geocentric ideas, even\nthough geocentrism was all the rage up until the 17th century (?) or so.\n(And this goes for the rest of the Qur\'an as well, which has about 750\nverses or so regarding nature, I think I remember reading once.)\n\n Fred Rice\n darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au   \n',
  'From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: IF ONLY HE KNEW\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 20\n\nprudenti@juncol.juniata.edu wrote:\n\n: Upon arriving at home, Joseph probably took advantage of Mary...had his way\n: with her so to speak.  Of course, word of this couldn\'t get around so Mary,\n: being the highly-religious follower that she was decided "Hey, I\'ll just say\n: that GOD impregnated me...no one will ever know!"\n: \n: Thus, seen as a trustworthy and honorable soul, she was believed...\n:     \n: And then came Jesus, the child born from violence.\n: \n: \n: \n\nDave,\n\nCan you explain the purpose of your post, I can\'t imagine what you\nmust have thougt it meant. \n\nBill\n',
  'From: b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu (stephen)\nSubject: Re: Comments on the Koresh 3-02 Transcript\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41    \nNntp-Posting-Host: utarlg.uta.edu\nOrganization: The University of Texas at Arlington\nLines: 102\n\nIn article <1993Apr14.200259.20419@microsoft.com>, \niank@microsoft.com (Ian Kennedy) writes...\n\n(stephen) wrote:\n>>Correction to my prior post, proper citation is:\n>>\n>>\tIsaiah 30:26 -- Moreover the light of the moon shall\n>>\t   be as the light of the sun, and the light of the \n>>\t   sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days,\n>>\t   in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of\n>>\t   his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.\n> \n>So we have to wait for the sun to nova?\n\nMore along the lines of Hebrews 12:25-29, I reckon...\n\n\tSee that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they\n\tescaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much \n\tmore shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that \n\tspeaks from heaven:\n\n\tWhose voice then shook the earth: but now he has promised,\n\tsaying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also\n\theaven.\n\n\tAnd this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of\n\tthose things that are shaken, as of things that are made,\n\tthat those things which cannot be shaken may remain.\n\n\tWherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, \n\tlet us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably \n\twith reverence and godly fear:\n\n\tFor our God is a consuming fire.\n\n\nOr 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-10...\n\n\tAnd to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord\n\tJesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,\n \tIn flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,\n\tand that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:\n\n\tWho shall be punished with everlasting destruction from \n\tthe presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;\n \tWhen he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be\n\tadmired in all them that believe (because our testimony \n\tamong you was believed) in that day. \n\n\nKinda gives Flaming a whole new meaning, I reckon. \n\n\t\t\t      - < > -\n\nThe impression I got from talking with Livingston was that the coming\nof the Lord, power-wise, is going to be something that those who are\nunprepared can\'t handle -- kinda like overloading a fuse -- due to \nguilt. Somehow it seems to also apply to the entire physical world as \nwe know it. LF suggests that God doesn\'t want that and has sent Koresh \nas a reminder. \n\nSeems that those who have been purified through salvation, or that those\nprotected by the Seals, will be the ones who survive. And no -- I don\'t \nhave a good idea yet what "being shielded by the seals" actually involves \nor how exactly it relates to salvation. (Other than it involves the\nmarriage of the Bridegroom and the Bride... for those of you Biblical\nwell versed.)\n\t\t\t     - < > -\n\nMe personally, I\'m totally 100% dependent on God through Christ, so \nif God wants me to understand, good. If not, also good. If God wants\nto save me, or dispose of me, that\'s great either way. Being born in\nthe Spirit, means being part of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 2), so\nwho and what I was, matters little. * What\'s important is loving GOD *\n\nCome Nova, Nuke, or Apocalypse -- who cares? Satan might even be able \nto pull off a pretty convincing fake. Big deal. Not worth fearing or \nworrying about though, not before:\n\n\n\t\t   -* The Greater Glory of GOD *-\n \t\n\nMaybe Koresh is right, maybe he isn\'t, and it should be interesting to \nsee the new message (or prophecy). The tour of the Bible I\'ve taken in \nstudying the passages he points to in the 3-02 text, has been most re-\nwarding. But the test of prophecy is still the fruit it bears -- which \nis not yet clear. \n\nMuch much more important is "Charity" -- which by definition *is* --\n\n\t                   Love for GOD\n\n(I hope Dear Reader, you\'ve taken all this as an expression of faith, \n and not a statement of mere fact. Seems many folks get real upset at \n reminders. ;-)\n\n   |\n-- J -- \n   |\n   | stephen\n\n',
  'From: alizard@tweekco.uucp (A.Lizard)\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: Tweek-Com Systems BBS, Moraga, CA (510) 631-0615\nLines: 32\n\nalamut@netcom.com (Max Delysid (y!)) writes:\n\n> In article <1qppef$i5b@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony\n> >\n> >     Name just three *really* competing Rosicrucian Orders. I have\n> >probably spent more time than you doing the same. \n> >\n> >     None of them are spin-offs from O.T.O. The opposite may be the\n> >case. \n> \n> Can we assume from this statement that you are >unequivocally< saying that\n> AMORC is not a spin off of OTO? .. and that in fact, OTO may well be a spin\n> off of AMORC??\n> i would be quite interested in hearing what evidence you have to support this\n> claim. \n> \n> \n\nWell, there is a fair amount of evidence floating around that indicates\nthat OTO has been around since at least the late 1800s, long before\nCrowley ever heard of it, how long has AMORC been around? (yes, I know\nthat they claim to have existed as an organization clear into prehistory,\nbut I doubt that they have any organizational paperwork\nas a non-profit that can be carbon-dated to 20,000 BC)\n                                             A.Lizard\n\n-------------------------------------------------------------------\nA.Lizard Internet Addresses:\nalizard%tweekco%boo@PacBell.COM        (preferred)\nPacBell.COM!boo!tweekco!alizard (bang path for above)\nalizard@gentoo.com (backup)\nPGP2.2 public key available on request\n',
  'From: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nSubject: The Magi of Matthew was The Jewish Discomfort With Jesus\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as \'guest\'.\nLines: 238\n\nIn article <1746.2BD37A66@paranet.FIDONET.ORG> \nBill.Carlson@p0.f18.n104.z1.FIDONET.ORG (Bill Carlson) writes:\n> Since everywhere I look, Zoroaster is suggested as being a probable\n> descendant of Daniel; suppose you prove he wasn\'t.\n\nRef: Encyclopedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade\n\nMAGI: \n\n[Sneak Preview: Later still, eschatology and apocalyptics were a fertile meeting\n ground for Iranian and Judeo-Christian religions, as can be seen in the famous\n _Oracles of Hystaspes_, a work whose Iranian roots are undeniable and which\n most likely dates from the beginning of the Christian era, probably the\n second century CE (Widengren, 1968). The Zoroastrian doctrine of the Savior of\n the Future (Saoshyant) was the basis for the story of the coming of the Magi\n to Bethlehem in the _Gospel of Matthew_ (2:1-12).]\n\n  The Old Persian word magu, rendered in Greek by magos, is of uncertain \netymology. It may originally have meant "member of the tribe," as in the\nAvestan compound mogu-tbish ("hostile to a member of the tribe"). This meaning\nwould have been further resticted, among the Medes, to "member of the priestly\ntribe" and perhaps to "priest" (Benveniste, 1938; Boyce, 1982). The term is\nprobably of Median origin, given that Herodotus mentions the "Magoi" as one of\nthe six tribes of the Medes.\n  For a variety of reasons we can consider the Magi to have been members of a\npriestly tribe of Median origin in western Iran. Among the Persians, they were\nresponsible for liturgical functions, as well as for maintaining their\nknowledge of the holy and the occult. Most likely, the supremacy of the Median\npriesthood in western Iran became established during the time of the Median\nmonarchy that dominated the Persians from the end of the eighth century\nthrough the first half of the sixth century BCE until the revolt of Cyrus the\nGreat (550 BCE). The Persians were indebted to the Medes for their political\nand civil institutions as well. Even if hypotheses have been advanced\nconcerning the existence of Magi of Persian origin in the Achaemenid period\n(Boyce, 1982), we must still maintain that they were of Median origin. This is\ndemonstrated by the eposide of the revolt of Gaumata the Magian, mentioned by\nDarius I (522-486 BCE) in the inscription at Bisutun (Iran), as well as by\nGreek sources. Indeed, Herodotus insists on the idea of the usurpatory power of\nthe Medes against the Persians through the conspiracy of the Magi.\n  The fact that the Magi may have been members of a tribe that handed down the\nsacerdotal arts in a hereditary fashion naturally did not exclude the\npossibility that some of them undertook secular prefessions. This seems to be\nattested by the Elamite tablets at Persepolis.\n  There is a theses, put forth by Giuseppe Messina, that denies that the Magi\nare members of an ethnic group by suggesting that they are simply members of\nthe priesthood - a priesthood of purely Zoroastrian origin. This thesis is\nuntenable; on the other hand, the hypothesis that their name is related to the\nAvestan term magavan, derived from the Gathic maga (Vedic, magha, "gift"), is\nnot without foundation (Mole, 1963). The meaning of maga can probably be found,\nin conformity with the Pahlavi tradition, within the context of the concept of\npurity, or separation of the "mixture" of the two opposed principles of spirit\nand matter. The maga, which has been erroneously interpreted as "chorus," from\nthe root mangh, which is said to mean "sing the magic song" (Nyberg, 1966) and\nhas been rendered simply by an expression like unio mystica, seems to be an\necstatic condition that opens the mind to spiritual vision. In any case, though\nthere may be a relation between the Old Persian term magu and the Avestan terms\nmagavan and maga, we must maintain a clear distinction between the Magi and the\nAvestan priesthood. The Avesta ignores the Median or Old Persian term, despite\na recent hypothesis proposed by H.W. Bailey; Old Persian inscriptions ignore\nthe Avestan term for "priest," athravan (Vedic, athravan), even if this is \nperhaps present in an Achaeminid setting in the Elamite tablets of Persepolis \n(Gershevitch, 1964).\n  The term magu has been present in Zoroastrianism throughout its history; the\nPahlavi terms mogh-mard and mobad represent its continuation. The latter in\nparticular derives from an older form, magupati ("head of the Magi"). During\nthe Sasanid period (third to seventh centuries CE), which saw the formation of\na hierarchically organized church, the title mobadan mobad ("the high priest of\nhigh priests") came to be used to designate the summit of the ecclesiastical\nhierarchy.\n  The Magi practiced consanguineous marriage, or khvaetvadatha (Av.; Pahl.,\nkhwedodah). They also performed a characteristic funeral rite: the exposure of\nthe corpse to animals and vultures to remove the flesh and thereby cleanse it.\nThe corpse was not supposed to decompose, lest it be contaminated by the demons\nof putrefaction. This practice later became typical of the entire Zoroastrian\ncommunity and led to the rise of a complex funeral ritual in Iran and among the\nParsis in India. Stone towers, known as dakhmas, were built especially for this\nrite. During the time of Herodotus the practice of exposure of the corpse was\nin vogue only among the Magi; the Persians generally sprinkled the corpse with\nwax, then buried it. The practice was widespread, however, among the peoples\nof Central Asia.\n  The Magi were the technicians of and experts on worship: it was impossible to\noffer sacrifices without the presence of a Magus. During the performance of a\nritual sacrifice, the Magus sang of the theogony (the Magi were possibly the\ncustodians of a tradition of sacred poetry, but we know nothing about the\nrelationship of this tradition to the various parts of the Avesta) and was\ncalled upon to interpret dreams and to divine the future. The Magi were also\nknown for the practice of killing harmful, or "Ahrimanical," animals (khrafstra)\nsuch as snakes and ants. They dressed in the Median style, wearing pants,\ntunics, and coats with sleeves. They wore a characteristic head covering of\nfelt (Gr. tiara) with strips on the sides that could be used to cover the nose\nand mouth during rituals to avoid contaminating consecrated objects with their\nbreath (Boyce, 1982). The color of these caps, in conformity with a tradition\nthat is probably of Indo-European origin, according to Georges Dumezil, was\nthat of the priesthood: white.\n  In all likelihood, during the Achaemenid period the Magi were not in\npossession of a well-defined body of doctrine, and it is probable that they\ngradually adopted Zoroastrianism; they were most likely a clergy consisting of\nprofessional priests who were not tied to a rigid orthodoxy but were naturally\ninclined to eclecticism and syncretism. Nonetheless, they must have been\njealous guardians of the patrimony of Zorastrian traditions. By virtue of this\nthey were the educators of the royal princes. The wisest of them was responsible\nfor teaching the prince the "magic of Zarathushtra, son of Horomazes" and thus\nthe "cult of the gods." Magi who excelled in other virtues were entrusted with\nthe education of the prince so that he would learn to be just, courageous, and\nmaster of himself.\n  During the Achaemenid period the Magi maintained a position of great\ninfluence, although they were certainly subordinate to the emperor. Despite\nseveral dramatic events such as the massacre they suffered after the death of\nGaumata the Magian - in which, according to Herodotus (who calls himself\nSmerdis), the Persians killed a large number of Magi to avenge the usurpation -\nthe Magi nevertheless managed to maintain their influence at court in Media,\nin Persia, and in the various regions of the empire where they were stationed\nas a consequence of the Persian civilian and military administration.\n  No priesthood of antiquity was more famous than that of the Magi. They were\nrenowned as followers of Zarathushtra (Zoroaster); as the teachers of some of\nthe greatest Greek thinkers (Pythagoras, Democritus, Plato); as the wise men\nwho arrived, guided by a star, at the manger of the newborn savior in\nBethlehem; and as the propagators of a cult of the sun in India. But they were\nalso known as the Chaldeans, the priesthood of Babylon, known for its occultism;\nthis was perhaps the reason that the term magos had a pejorative sense in Greek,\nlike "goes," "expert in the magic arts" (Bidez and Cumont, 1938). Indeed, the\nChaldeans were experts in all types of magical arts, especially astrology, and\nhad a reputation for wisdom as well as knowledge.\n  To understand the reasons for such various and sometimes discordant views, it\nis necessary to distinguish between the Magi of Iran proper and the so-called\nwestern Magi, who were later hellenized. In the Achaemenid period both must\nhave been at least in part Zoroastrian, but the western Magi (those of the\nIranian diaspora in Asia Minor, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Armenia), who came in\ncontact with diverse religious traditions, must have, sooner or later and in\nvarying degrees, been influenced by syncretic concepts.\n  The Greeks were familiar with both kinds of Magi and, depending on their\nvarying concerns, would emphasize one or the other aspect of them. Classical\nhistorians and geographers, including Herodotus and Strabo, document their\ncustoms, while the philosophers dwell above all on their doctrines: dualism,\nbelief in the hereafter, Magian cosmology and cosmogony, and their theology\nand eschatology. Those sources most interested in the doctrines of the Magi\neven speak of Zarathushtra as a Magus. In doing so they are repeating what the\nMagi themselves said from the Median and Achaemenid periods, when they adopted\nZoroastrianism. At that time they embraced Zarathushtra as one of their own and\nplaced themselves under his venerable name.\n  Zoroastrianism had already undergone several profound transformations in the\neastern community by the time of the Acheamenids and was already adapting those\nelements of the archaic religion that refused to die. It has been said quite\noften, in an attempt to characterize the precise role of the Magi in the\nZoroastrian tradition, that the Vendidad (from vi-daevo-data, "the law-abjuring\ndaivas"), part of the Avesta, should be attributed to them. (This collection of\ntexts from various periods is primarily concerned with purificatory rules and\npractices.) Nonetheless, the hypothesis is hardly plausible, since the first\nchapter of the Vendidad - a list of sixteen lands created by Ahura Mazda, the\nsupreme god of Zoroastrianism, but contaminated by an attack by Ahriman (Pahl.;\nGathic-Avestan, Angra Mainyu), the other supreme god and the ultimate source of\nall evil and suffering - does not mention western Iran, Persia, or Media (the\nland of Ragha mentioned in the text cannot be Median Raghiana). Furthermore, it\nhas been noted (Gershevitch, 1964) that if the authors had been Magi the\nabsence of any reference to western Iranian institutions, including their own\npriesthood, would be very strange.\n  The Magi were above all the means by which the Zoroastrian tradition and the\ncorpus of the Avesta have been transmitted to us, from the second half of the\nfirst millennium BCE on. This has been their principal merit. We can attribute\ndirectly to the Magi the new formulation that Iranian dualism assumed, known to\nus especially from Greek sources and, in part, from the Pahlavi literature of\nthe ninth and tenth centuries CE. According to this formulation, the two poles\nof the dualism are no longer, as in the Gathas, Spenta Mainyu ("beneficent\nspirit") and Angra Mainyu ("hostile spirit") but Ahura Mazda himself and Angra\nMainyu (Gershevitch, 1964). [See Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu.] This trans-\nformation was of immense consequence for the historical development of Zoro-\nastrianism and was most likely determined by the contact of the Magi with the\nMesopotamian religious world. In this new dualism - which was that later known\nto the Greeks (Aristotle, Eudemus of Rhodes, Theopompus, and others) - we can\nsee the affirmation of a new current of thought within Zoroastrianism, to which\nwe give the name Zurvanism. [See Zurvanism.]\n  Thanks to their adherence to Zoroastrianism, the Magi played an enormously\nimportant role in the transmission of Zarathushtra\'s treachings, as well as in\nthe definition of the new forms that these would assume historically. Their\nnatural propensity to eclecticism and syncretism also helped the diffusion of\nZoroastrian ideas in the communities of the Iranian diaspora. The Greeks began\nto study their doctrines and to take an interest in them (Xanthus of Lydia,\nHermodorus, Aristotle, Theopompus, Hermippus, Dinon), even writing treatises\non the Persian religion, of which only the titles and a few fragments have\nsurvived. In the Hellenistic period, the Magi were seen as a secular school of\nwisdom, and writings on magic, astrology, and alchemy were lent the authority\nof such prestigious names as Zarathushtra, Ostanes, and Hystaspes, forming an\nabundant apocryphal literature. (Bidez and Cumont, 1938).\n  Later still, eschatology and apocalyptics were a fertile meeting\nground for Iranian and Judeo-Christian religions, as can be seen in the famous\n_Oracles of Hystaspes_, a work whose Iranian roots are undeniable and which\nmost likely dates from the beginning of the Christian era, probably the\nsecond century CE (Widengren, 1968). The Zoroastrian doctrine of the Savior of\nthe Future (Saoshyant) was the basis for the story of the coming of the Magi\nto Bethlehem in the _Gospel of Matthew_ (2:1-12). [See Saoshyant.]\n  The Sasanid period saw the Magi once again play a determining role in the\nreligious history of Iran. Concerned to win back the western Magi (de Menasce,\n1956), and eager to consolidate Zoroastrianism as the national religion of\nIran, the priests of Iranian sanctuaries in Media and Persia were able to\nestablish a true state church, strongly hierarchical and endowed with an\northodoxy based on the formation of a canon of scriptures. The leading figures\nin the development of a state religion and of Zoroastrian orthodoxy were Tosar\nand Kerder, the persecutors of Mani in the third century.\n\nSAOSHYANT:\n  The Avestan term saoshyant ("future benefactor"; MPers., soshans) designates\nthe savior of the world, who will arrive at a future time to redeem humankind.\nThe concept of the future savior is one of the fundamental notions of Zoro-\nastrianism, together with that of dualism; it appears as early as in the Gathas.\nZarathushtra (Zoroaster), as the prophet of the religion, is himself a Sao-\nshyant, one who performs his works for the Frashokereti, the end of the present\nstate of the world, when existence will be "rehabilitated" and "made splendid."\n[See Frashokereti]\n  Later Zoroastrian doctrine developed this notion into a true eschatological\nmyth and expanded the number of Saoshyants from one to three. All the saviors\nare born from the seed of Zarathushtra, which is preserved through the ages in\nLake Kansaoya (identified with present-day Lake Helmand, in Seistan, Iran),\nprotected by 99,999 fravashis, or guardian spirits. The greatest of the awaited\nSaoshyants, the victorious Astvatereta ("he who embodies truth"), the son of\nthe Vispataurvairi ("she who conquers all"), is the third, who will make\nexistence splendid; he appears in Yashts 19. Upon his arrival humankind will\nno longer be subject to old age, death, or corruption, and will be granted\nunlimited power. At that time the dead will be resurrected, and the living will\nbe immortal and indestructable. Brandishing the weapon with which he kills the\npowerful enemies of the world of truth (that is, the world of the spirit, and\nof asha), Astvatereta will look upon the whole of corporeal existence and\nrender it imperishable. He and his comrades will engage in a great battle with\nthe forces of evil, which will be destroyed.\n  The name Astvatereta is clearly the result of theological speculation\n(Kellens, 1974), as are those of his two brothers, Ukhshyatereta, "he who makes\ntruth grow," and Ukhshyatnemah, "he who makes reverence grow"; the names of the\nthree virgins (Yashts 13) who are impregnated with the seed of Zarathushtra\nwhen they bathe in Lake Kansaoya and give birth to the Saoshyants, are equally\nspeculative. Each of these Saoshyants will arrive at the beginning of a\nmillennium, initiating a new age and a new cycle of existence; Astvatereta will\nappear in the third and final millennium to save mankind.\n  The doctrine of the future savior had already taken shape in the Archaemenid\nperiod (sixth to fourth century BCE). It was not, perhaps the principal element\nin the formation of the messianic idea, but it was certainly a determining\nfactor, one that enjoyed great success in the Hellenistic period beyond the\nconfines of the Iranian world. A similar concept, that of the future Buddha,\nMaitreya, was most likely indebted to it, and Christian messianism can trace\nits roots to the same source.\n',
  'From: cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike Cobb)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: University of Illinois at Urbana\nLines: 47\n\nIn <lsran6INN14a@exodus.Eng.Sun.COM> emarsh@hernes-sun.Eng.Sun.COM (Eric \nMarsh) writes:\n\n>In article <C5HqxJ.JDG@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> lis450bw@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu (lis450 \nStudent) writes:\n>>Hmmmm.  Define objective morality.  Well, depends upon who you talk to.\n>>Some say it means you can\'t have your hair over your ears, and others say\n>>it means Stryper is acceptable.  _I_ would say that general principles\n>>of objective morality would be listed in one or two places.\n\n>>Ten Commandments\n\n>>Sayings of Jesus\n\n>>the first depends on whether you trust the Bible, \n\n>>the second depends on both whether you think Jesus is God, and whether\n>>  you think we have accurate copies of the NT.\n\n>Gong!\n\n>Take a moment and look at what you just wrote. First you defined\n>an "objective" morality and then you qualified this "objective" morality\n>with subjective justifications. Do you see the error in this?\n\n>Sorry, you have just disqualified yourself, but please play again.\n\n>>MAC\n>>\n\n>eric\n\nHuh?  Please explain.  Is there a problem because I based my morality on \nsomething that COULD be wrong?  Gosh, there\'s a heck of a lot of stuff that I \nbelieve that COULD be wrong, and that comes from sources that COULD be wrong. \nWhat do you base your belief on atheism on?  Your knowledge and reasoning? \nCOuldn\'t that be wrong?\n\nMAC\n--\n****************************************************************\n                                                    Michael A. Cobb\n "...and I won\'t raise taxes on the middle     University of Illinois\n    class to pay for my programs."                 Champaign-Urbana\n          -Bill Clinton 3rd Debate             cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu\n                                              \nWith new taxes and spending cuts we\'ll still have 310 billion dollar deficits.\n',
  'Subject: Re: Albert Sabin\nFrom: rfox@charlie.usd.edu (Rich Fox, Univ of South Dakota)\nReply-To: rfox@charlie.usd.edu\nOrganization: The University of South Dakota Computer Science Dept.\nNntp-Posting-Host: charlie\nLines: 112\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.231515.19982@rambo.atlanta.dg.com>, wpr@atlanta.dg.com (Bill Rawlins) writes:\n>In article <C5FtJt.885@sunfish.usd.edu>, rfox@charlie.usd.edu (Rich Fox, Univ of South Dakota) writes:\n>|> In article <1993Apr10.213547.17644@rambo.atlanta.dg.com>, wpr@atlanta.dg.com (Bill Rawlins) writes:\n>|> \n>|> [earlier dialogue deleted]\n>|> \n>|> >|> Perhaps you should read it and stop advancing the Bible as evidence relating \n>|> >|> to questions of science.  \n>|> \n>|> [it = _Did Jesus exist?_ by G. A. Wells]\n>|> \n>|> >     There is a great fallacy in your statement. The question of origins is\n>|> >     based on more than science alone.  \n>|> \n>|> Nope, no fallacy.  Yep, science is best in determining how; religions handle\n>|> why and who.\n>\n>        The problem is that most scientists exclude the possibility of the\n>        supernatural in the question of origins.  Is this is a fair premise?\n\nNot entirely.  Its not a premise, its a conclusion.  Second, that scientists\n(for the most part) exlude the possibility is not a problem, its a necessity. \nScientists are empircists, not theologians.\n\n>        I utterly reject the hypothesis that science is the highest form of\n>        truth.\n\nSo do scientists, and long before you did.  Clearly you have a deep and \nfundamental misunderstanding of science.\n\n>|> \n>|> >     If you met a man who could walk on\n>|> >     water, raise people from the dead, claimed to be the Son of God, and\n>|> >     then referred to the inviolability of the scriptures, this would affect\n>|> >     your belief in the origin of man.  (I can expand on this.)  \n>|> \n>|> Nope, wouldn\'t affect my knowledge (not belief) of origins of anatomically\n>|> modern humans.  If that man could show me something better, I\'d change, even if \n>|> it was the biblical story in exact detail.  But then I would ask, "Why in the\n>|> world did your father endow us with intellect and reason, and then proceed to\n>|> fool us.  I mean, the bible says nothing about the human-like creatures that we\n>|> know exist.\n>\n>        Some of these so-called human-like creatures were apes.  Some were\n>        humans.  Some were fancifully reconstructed from fragments.\n\nAbsolutely and utterly false (except for some were AMHs). Lucy (Australopithecus\nafarensis, ca. 3 to 3.25 mya) is 40% complete, and about 80% taking into \nconsideration bilateral symmetry.  Lucy walked upright and bipedally, just \nlike humans, and the two share a remarkably similar dental pattern.  Her\ncranial morphology is unlike humans or modern apes.  There are hundreds of \nother specimens of this and other species, of which only some are *partially* \nreconstructed.  They exist Bill.  You can touch them, feel them, hold them.  \nBut forget hominids.  The earth, the universe, the cultural record all look and \ntest out as ancient indeed.  They are not reconstructions.  Has God has tricked\nus here too?  It won\'t go away, Bill.\n  \n\n>\n>|> \n>|> I doubt any of us will meet a man like this.  But, Bill, if your version of all\n>|> this is absolutely correct, I\'m still no worried about my salvation.  I\'ll\n>|> probaby make it (I don\'t steal, murder, covet, etc, and I like to help other\n>|> people).  All I did was use the reason and intellect your god provided. \n>|> He or she - benevolent and loving - will understand my dilemma, don\'t you\n>|> think? \n>           Good deeds do not justify a person in God\'s sight.\n>           An atonement (Jesus) is needed to atone for sin.\n\nSo *you* and other fundamentalists say.  What about the billions who don\'t \nsay so?  Beware of people who say they have the truth, Bill, and reconsider\neach time you think you do.\n\n>|> \n>|> >  Science and\n>|> >  the Bible are not in contradiction.  God can supercede the scientific\n>|> >  "laws" as man understands them.  Creation is a good example.  God has the\n>|> >  power to create something out of nothing, order out of chaos.\n>|> \n>|> Haven\'t been on t.o. long, but I have a feeling, Bill, that the veterans will\n>|> agree with you here.  No contradiciton, and god *can* do anything at will.  So,\n>|> what\'s the beef? (or more properly, "where\'s")\n>\n>     My point: God is the creator.  Look\'s like we agree.\n\nThat was not your point, Bill.  Your point above was God *has* the power ....\nScientists generally agree with that.  That\'s a far cry from saying God did.\nPlease attempt to understand your own posts.\n \n>|> \n>|> >    If the title of the book you mentioned has anything to do with the \n>|> >    substance of the book, it must be a real laugher.  Of course Jesus existed,\n>|> >    and there are volumes of evidence to back it up.  I can give many if you\n>|> >    are interested.\n>|> \n>|> Its not a laugher, Bill.  Its a scholarly book that many happen to disagree\n>|> with.  I am definitely (and seriously) interested in confirmation.  I know of\n>|> the bible, inferences therefrom (e.g., prophecies), apocrypha, the Koran and\n>|> others.  What I am interested is independent evidence.  Do you have any?  I\n>|> know of Josephus, but this is almost certainly an insertion.  Also I know of a\n>|> few Roman documents (e.g., Pliny), but these deal only with early Christians.\n>|> Do you have any independent evidence?  I am most interested.  Please Email or \n>|> post.  Thanks, and best regards.\n>\n>     I\'ll send you some info via e-mail.\n>     Regards, Bill.\n\nI have your info, and I have replied - several days ago.  Hope you have it.  \nSomehow your post above appeared at my server only today.\n\n\nRich Fox, Anthro, Usouthdakota\n',
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 13\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nmathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n\n>>>As for rape, surely there the burden of guilt is solely on the rapist?\n>>Unless you force someone to live with the rapist against his will, in which\n>>case part of the responsibility is yours.\n>I'm sorry, but I can't accept that.  Unless the rapist was hypnotized or\n>something, I view him as solely responsible for his actions.\n\nNot necessarily, especially if the rapist is known as such.  For instance,\nif you intentionally stick your finger into a loaded mousetrap and get\nsnapped, whose fault is it?\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: nrp@st-andrews.ac.uk (Norman R. Paterson)\nSubject: Re: Had to share this\nOrganization: St. Andrews University, Scotland.\nLines: 66\n\nIn article <1993Apr03.232325.23178@acme.gen.nz> kilroy@acme.gen.nz (earthbound misfit, I) writes:\n>bena@dec07.cs.monash.edu.au (Ben Aveling) writes:\n>\n>> Warning - if you are anything like a devout Christian this post is\n>> really going to offend and/or upset you.\n>\n>[...numerous Ctrl-Ls deleted...hehehe...]\n>\n>> I assume everyone here is familiar with the Christian `fish\' symbol.\n>> The one on the back of all those Volvos.\n>> The one that looks (something) like\n>>                __\n>>               /  \\/\n>>               \\__/\\\n>> \n>> Or perhaps more like () ?\n>>                      \'`\n>> \n>> Well, I found out this morning where it comes from ...\n>> \n>> It\'s been stolen from the pagans, like so much else ...\n>> \n>> (Last last chance to be blisfully ignorant ;-]\n>> \x0c\n>> Hmm, how can I put it.\n>> \n>> Well, it comes from, this ...\n>> \n>> \n>> \n>>                  __\n>>                  \\/\n>>                  ()\n>>              `__-\'`-__\'\n>> \n>> \n>> \n>> Sigh, I hate drawing with ascii chars.\n>> Still, I think you can work it out from there ...\n>\n>If you haven\'t, go read "Skinny Legs and All" by Tom Robbins. If he\'s even\n>50% accurate then most of the modern religions have been "appropriated".\n>It\'s also a great book.\n>\n>Followups to alt.atheism, whose readers are probably slightly more authorative\n>on this.\n>\n>\t\t\t\t\t\t- k\n>-- \n>Craig Harding            kilroy@acme.gen.nz             ACME BBS +64 6 3551342\n>"Jub\'er lbh pnyyvat n obmb?"\n\nCraig-\n\nI thought it was derived from a Greek acronym.  My Greek isn\'t up to much, but\nit goes something like this:\n\n\tJesus Christ, God => Iesus CHristos, THeos => Ichthos\n\nwhich is the Greek for "fish" (as in, eg "ichthysaurus").\n\nApologies for my dreadful Greek!  Perhaps someone will correct it.\n\nBy the way, what does your sig mean?\n\n-Norman\n',
  'From: m23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt)\nSubject: Re: Kind, loving, merciful and forgiving GOD!\nNntp-Posting-Host: mwunix.mitre.org\nOrganization: MITRE Corporation, McLean VA\nLines: 41\n\nIn article <8968@blue.cis.pitt.edu> joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin) writes:\n}m23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt) writes:\n}>joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin) writes:\n}>}m23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt) writes:\n}>}>}(a) out of context;\n}>}>Must have missed when you said this about these other "promises of god" that we keep\n}>}>getting subjected to.  Could you please explain why I am wrong and they are OK?\n}>}>Or an acknowledgement of public hypocrisy. Both or neither.\n}>}\n}>}So, according to you, Jim, the only way to criticize one person for\n}>}taking a quote out of context, without being a hypocrite, is to post a\n}>}response to *every* person on t.r.m who takes a quote out of context?\n}>\n}>Did I either ask or assert that?  Or is this your misaimed telepathy at work again?\n}\n}(1)  Stephen said you took a quote out of context\n}(2)  You noted that Stephen had not replied to some other t.r.m article\n}     (call it A) that took a quote out of context\n}(3)  But the lack of evidence for X does not constitute evidence for the\n}     lack of X  (a common creationist error)\n}(4)  So the fact that Stephen did not reply to A does not justify the\n}     conclusion that Stephen condoned taking quotes out of context in A\n\nExcellent.  Now under what conditions could such a conclusion be made, other\nthan a direct assertion by his part.  For instance, am I to assume that\nyou have no position on eating shit merely because you have not said\nyour position, or might a conclusion be made by observing that you do not.\n\n}(7)  I assumed you were being logical, and that the sentence that begins\n}     "Could you please explain ..." was not a nonsequitur, but was intended\n}     to follow from the sentence that preceded it.\n\n}Is that better Jim?   It\'s called an argument.  If you disagree with it,\n}explain why the argument is not sound.  (I admit that my assumption in (7)\n}may have been a bit hasty.)  If you agree with it, just say "yup."\n\nHave you, by chance, ever even heard of inductive logic?  You are not\ndemonstrating any familiarly with it (i.e. you are being insufficiently\nlogical).\n\n\n',
  "From: ednclark@kraken.itc.gu.edu.au (Jeffrey Clark)\nSubject: Re: Ancient islamic rituals\nNntp-Posting-Host: kraken.itc.gu.edu.au\nOrganization: ITC, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia\nLines: 27\n\ncfaehl@vesta.unm.edu (Chris Faehl) writes:\n\n>Why is it more reasonable than the trend towards obesity and the trend towards\n>depression? You can't just pick your two favorite trends, notice a correlation \n>in them, and make a sweeping statement of generality. I mean, you CAN, and \n>people HAVE, but that does not mean that it is a valid or reasonable thesis. \n>At best it's a gross oversimplification of the push-pull factors people \n>experience.  \n\nI agree, I reckon it's television and the increase in fundamentalism.. You\nthink its the increase in pre-marital sex... others thinks its because\npsychologists have taken over the criminal justice system and let violent\ncriminals con them into letting them out into the streets... others think\nit's the increase in designer drugs... others think it's a communist plot.\nBasically the social interactions of all the changing factors in our society\nare far too complicated for us to control. We just have to hold on to the\npanic handles and hope that we are heading for a soft landing. But one\nthings for sure, depression and the destruction of the nuclear family is not\ndue solely to sex out of marriage.\n\nJeff.\n\n>> \n>>  Fred Rice <-- a Muslim, giving his point of view.\n>>  darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au \n\n>cfaehl@vesta.unm.edu  \n",
  'From: pmoloney@maths.tcd.ie (Paul Moloney)\nSubject: Re: THE POPE IS JEWISH!\nOrganization: Somewhere in the Twentieth Century\nLines: 47\n\nwest@next02cville.wam.umd.edu (Stilgar) writes:\n\n>The pope is jewish.... I guess they\'re right, and I always thought that\n>the thing on his head was just a fancy hat, not a Jewish headpiece (I\n>don\'t remember the name).  It\'s all so clear now (clear as mud.)\n\nAs to what that headpiece is....\n\n(by chort@crl.nmsu.edu)\n\nSOURCE: AP NEWSWIRE\n\nThe Vatican, Home Of Genetic Misfits?\n\nMichael  A. Gillow, noted geneticist, has revealed  some unusual  data\nafter working undercover in  the Vatican for the past 18 years.   "The\nPopehat(tm) is actually an advanced bone spur.", reveals Gillow in his\ngroundshaking report. Gillow, who had  secretly  studied the innermost\nworkings of the Vatican since returning from Vietnam in a wheel chair,\nfirst approached the scientific community with his  theory in the late\n1950\'s.\n\n"The  whole hat  thing, that was just a cover  up. The  Vatican didn\'t\nwant the Catholic Community(tm) to realize  their  leader  was hefting\nnearly  8 kilograms of extraneous  bone  tissue on    the  top of  his\nskull.", notes Gillow in his report. "There are whole  laboratories in\nthe  Vatican  that experiment with tissue  transplants and bone marrow\nexperiments.  What started as a genetic fluke in the mid 1400\'s is now\nscientifically engineered and bred for. The whole bone transplant idea\nstarted  in  the  mid   sixties  inspired  by   doctor  Timothy  Leary\ntransplanting deer  bone cells into small white rats." Gillow is quick\nto point  out  the  assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II and the\ndisappearance of Dr.  Leary from the public eye.\n\n"When it becomes time to replace the pope", says Gillow, "The old pope\nand the replacement pope are  locked  in a padded  chamber. They  butt\nheads much  like  male yaks  fighting for dominance of the  herd.  The\nvictor emerges and has  earned the privilege of inseminating the choir\nboys."\n\n\nP.\n-- \n moorcockpratchettdenislearydelasoulu2iainmbanksneworderheathersbatmanpjorourke\nclive p a u l  m o l o n e y  Come, let us retract the foreskin of misconception\njames trinity college dublin  and apply the wire brush of enlightenment - GeoffM\n brownbladerunnersugarcubeselectronicblaylockpowersspikeleekatebushhamcornpizza \n',
  "From: bdunn@cco.caltech.edu (Brendan Dunn)\nSubject: Re: Amusing atheists and agnostics\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 8\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nThanks to whoever posted this wonderful parody of people who post without \nreading the FAQ!  I was laughing for a good 5 minutes.  Were there any \nparts of the FAQ that weren't mentioned?  I think there might have been one\nor two...\n\nPlease don't tell me this wasn't a joke.  I'm not ready to hear that yet...\n\nBrendan\n",
  'From: clavazzi@nyx.cs.du.edu (The_Doge)\nSubject: What we learned from the Waco wackos\nKeywords: prophet profit\nOrganization: Nyx, Public Access Unix @ U. of Denver Math/CS dept.\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 32\n\n\n\tThere are actually a few important things we can glean from this mess:\n1)\tWhen they start getting desperate for an answer to the question: "What\'s\nit all about. Mr. Natural?", pinkboys will buy darn near *anything*, which\nmeans:\n2)\tThere\'s still plenty of $$$$ to be made in the False Jesus business\nby enterprising SubGenii.  Just remember that:\n3)\tOnce you\'ve separated the pinks from their green, don\'t blow it all\non automatic weapons from Mexico.  Put it in a Swiss bank account.  Smile a\nlot.  Have your flunkies hand out flowers in airports.  The Con will just\nshrug you off as long as:\n4)\tYou never, never, NEVER start to believe your own bulldada!  If\n"David Koresh" hand\'t started swallowing his own "apocalypso now" crap, he\'d\nbe working crossword puzzles in the Bahamas today instead of contributing to\nthe mulch layer in Waco.  This is because:\n5)\tWhen you start shooting at cops, they\'re likely to shoot back.  And \nmost of \'em are better shots than you are.\n\n\tIn short:\n\t- P.T. Barnum was right \n\t\tand\n\t- Stupidity is self-correcting\nThus endeth the lesson.\n\n\t************************************************************\n\t*  \tThe_Doge of South St. Louis\t\t\t   *\n\t*\t\tDobbs-Approved Media Conspirator(tm)\t   *\n\t*\t"One Step Beyond"  -- Sundays, 3 to 5 pm\t   *\n\t*\t\t88.1 FM\t\tSt. Louis Community Radio  *\n\t*  "You\'ll pay to know what you *really* think!"           *\n\t*\t\t\t-- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs"\t\t   *\n\t************************************************************\n',
  'From: MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats Andtbacka)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Unorganized Usenet Postings UnInc.\nLines: 24\nIn-Reply-To: frank@D012S658.uucp\'s message of 15 Apr 1993 23:15:09 GMT\nX-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.24\n\nIn <1qkq9t$66n@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp writes:\n\n(Attempting to define \'objective morality\'):\n\n> I\'ll take a wild guess and say Freedom is objectively valuable.  I base\n> this on the assumption that if everyone in the world were deprived utterly\n> of their freedom (so that their every act was contrary to their volition),\n> almost all would want to complain.\n\n      So long as you keep that "almost" in there, freedom will be a\nmostly valuable thing, to most people. That is, I think you\'re really\nsaying, "a real big lot of people agree freedom is subjectively valuable\nto them". That\'s good, and a quite nice starting point for a moral\nsystem, but it\'s NOT UNIVERSAL, and thus not "objective".\n\n> Therefore I take it that to assert or\n> believe that "Freedom is not very valuable", when almost everyone can see\n> that it is, is every bit as absurd as to assert "it is not raining" on\n> a rainy day.\n\n      It isn\'t in Sahara.\n\n-- \n  Disclaimer?   "It\'s great to be young and insane!"\n',
  'From: pmy@vivaldi.acc.virginia.edu (Pete Yadlowsky)\nSubject: Re: Who\'s next?  Mormons and Jews?\nOrganization: University of Virginia\nLines: 17\n\nKen Arromdee writes\n\n>>Did they not know that these men were federal officers?\n\n>Do you know what a "no-knock search" is?\n\nYes, but tell me how you think your question answers my question. If\nthe BDs didn\'t know immediately that they were dealing with feds\n(uniform apparel, insignia), they must have figured it out in pretty\nshort order. Why did they keep fighting? They seemed awfully ready\nfor having been attacked "without warning". \n\n--\nPeter M. Yadlowsky              |  Wake! The sky is light!\nAcademic Computing Center       | Let us to the Net again...\nUniversity of Virginia          |    Companion keyboard.\npmy@Virginia.EDU                |                      - after Basho\n',
  "From: suopanki@stekt6.oulu.fi (Heikki T. Suopanki)\nSubject: Re: A visit from the Jehovah's Witnesses\nIn-Reply-To: jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com's message of 5 Apr 93 11:24:30 MST\nLines: 17\nReply-To: suopanki@stekt.oulu.fi\nOrganization: Unixverstas Olutensin, Finlandia\n\t<1993Apr3.183519.14721@proxima.alt.za>\n\t<1993Apr5.112430.825@batman.bmd.trw.com>\n\n>>>>> On 5 Apr 93 11:24:30 MST, jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com said:\n\n:> God is eternal.    [A = B]\n:> Jesus is God.      [C = A]\n:> Therefore, Jesus is eternal.  [C = B]\n\n:> This works both logically and mathematically.  God is of the set of\n:> things which are eternal.  Jesus is a subset of God.   Therefore\n:> Jesus belongs to the set of things which are eternal.\n\nEverything isn't always so logical....\n\nMercedes is a car.\nThat girl is Mercedes.\nTherefore, that girl is a car?\n\n-Heikki\n",
  "From: stevep@Cadence.COM (Steve Peterson)\nSubject: Re: Question on Sabbath question; Correction\nOrganization: Cadence Design Systems, Inc.\nLines: 13\n\n>> There are a few groups that continue to believe Christians have to\n>> worship on the Sabbath (Saturday).  The best-known are the Seventh-Day\n>> Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses.  They argue that Act 20:7 is not a\n>> regular worship service, but a special meeting to see Paul off, and\n>> that I Cor 16:2 doesn't explicitly say it's a regular worship service.\n\nJehovah's Witnesses do not believe that Christians are required to observe\nthe Sabbath, whether it is on Saturday or Sunday.  The Sabbath was part\nof a Covenent between God and the Israelites and is not required for\nChristians.\n\nSteve Peterson\n\n",
  'From: dan@Ingres.COM (a Rose arose)\nSubject: Re: Christian Extremist Kills Doctor\nOrganization: Representing my own views here only.\nX-Newsreader: Tin 1.1 PL3\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 97\n\nregard@hpsdde.sdd.hp.com (Adrienne Regard) writes:\n: In article <1993Mar30.001428.7648@pony.Ingres.COM> dan@Ingres.COM (a Rose arose) writes:\n: \n: Seriously, though, Griffen didn\'t save the lives of children, and he did\n: destroy the life of a man, so on the most superficial of levels, he\'s scum.\n: \n\nI almost agree, but Griffen is not scum.  Scum has no guilt or freedom to\nchoose anything.  Griffen does.  God did not make scum when he made Griffen.\nHe made a precious person and this person chose to do wrong.  The same goes\nfor Dr. Gunn.\n\n: But if you are to examine it more closely, Griffen would have preferred that\n: these children were born -- yet AFTER their birth, did Griffen have any \n: assistance to offer them?  Did Griffen intend to support them, educate them,\n: raise them up to be useful citizens?  Did he have any intent whatsoever\n: to help these children after birth?\n: \n\nHere\'s the real problem.  Americans have become so insensitive to the needs\nof others and so completely wrapped up in themselves that they cannot see\nstraight or think clearly enough to make even the slightest and most obvious\nmoral decisions based on reality.\n\nIf a man abandons a woman to care for their child on her own, he is not\nconsidered to be a very respectable or decent man by anyone.  This man has\nfled his responsibility, has behaved like a lazy coward, and has turned\naway from his responsibility to his wife and child.\n\nHowever, if a woman decides to kill her unborn child to release her burden,\nshe is not thought of in the same way.  When the man abandons, the woman\nsuffers but the child is free to grow up and live a happy and normal life.\nWhen the woman abandons, the child is diced or killed with saline or vacuumed\nout, and the man has no choice, and the man sometimes suffers so badly that\nhe wishes he could trade places with his child.\n\nThs root of this whole problem is selfishness--the arrogance that says, "My\nfeelings and desires are supreme and your well being is not worth dung."\nAnd when you come down to it, this is the substance of what hell is made of.\nIt\'s the reason a loving God can throw selfish people to the devil and his\ndemons for all of eternity.  Let any one of us unrepentant into heaven, and\nwe\'ll ruin it the first chance we get.\n\n: Now, I don\'t really know the answer to these questions, but I\'ve got a real\n: good guess.\n: \n\nAnd, it\'s probably right.\n\n: And I wouldn\'t call *that* \'benevolent\', either.\n: \n\nIt is a move in the right direction.  As it is now, we don\'t see our\nresponsibility because we kill it and get it out of sight.  The media\nbacks us completely.  Real responsibility does not sell.  The only\n"responsibility" that sells in the marketplace is that which is just\nenough to make us "feel responsible" without showing anything that\nmight show us our own true irresponsibility.  We want to "feel" like\ngood people, but we want nothing with *being* good people.  Just give\nme the freedom to say "I\'m good", and the rest of the world can burn.\nRape and kill my children and throw my parents to the places where\npoor old folks rot until they\'re dead.  I\'ll hate my brother and sister\nif I wish and I\'ll cheat on my wife or husband.  Screw the government,\nbecause it screws me, and don\'t talk to me about giving to the church\nbecause church people are all a bunch of money grubbing hypocrites.\nBut, I\'m a good person.  At least I admit what I do.  At least I love\nmyself and we all know that is the greatest love in the world--not that\na man lay down his life for his brother...That sounds too "christian".\n\nAt the root, this is the substance of what hell is made of.\n\nWe\'ve become a self indulgant, backslidden society no longer responsible\nto our children, to our parents, to our families, to our government, or\nto our God.  This is the root behind justification of every evil, of every\ncorruption in government, of every slanderous remark, of every lie, and\nof every murder.  Society cannot continue to live like this long.  it will\nhave to destroy itsself soon, and perhaps in the end, that will be the\nbiggest blessing this world can hope to see.\n\nWhy do people see so much evil in trying to turn this situation around?\n\n--\n-----------------------------------------------------------------------\n\t"I deplore the horrible crime of child murder...\n\t We want prevention, not merely punishment.\n\t We must reach the root of the evil...\n\t It is practiced by those whose inmost souls revolt\n\t from the dreadful deed...\n\t No mater what the motive, love of ease,\n\t\tor a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent,\n\t\tthe woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed...\n\t but oh! thrice guilty is he who drove her\n\t\tto the desperation which impelled her to the crime."\n\n\t\t- Susan B. Anthony,\n\t\t  The Revolution July 8, 1869\n\n',
  "From: Thyagi@cup.portal.com (Thyagi Morgoth NagaSiva)\nSubject: Re: O.T.O clarification\nOrganization: The Portal System (TM)\nDistribution: world\nLines: 48\n\n930420\n\nDo what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.\nThe word of Sin is Restriction.\n\n\nKent (sandvik@newton.apple.com) writes:\n\nSorry, the San Jose based Rosicrucian order is called A.M.O.R.C, \nI don't remember for the time being what the A.M. stand for\nbut O.R.C is Ordo Rosae Crucis, in other words latin for\nOrder of the Rose Cross. \n\n\nResponse:\n\nYes, very true.  The entire title is 'The Ancient and Mystical Order\n Rosae Crucis'.  They are located at 1342 Naglee Avenue, San Jose,\nCalifornia, 95191-0001, USA.\n\nThey are considered different and largely unrelated by a number of\nsources.  I've seen documentation which links them through the figure\nof H. Spencer Lewis.  Lewis was apparently involved with Reuss, who\nwas the O.H.O. of Ordo Templi Orientis for many years.  Apparently it\nis also true that Lewis had a charter to form an O.T.O. body and then\ncreated A.M.O.R.C. (as a subsidiary?  an interesting question).\n\n\nKent:\n\nOtherwise their headquarters in San Jose has a pretty decent\nmetaphysical bookstore, if any of you are interested in such books.\nAnd my son loves to run around in their Egyptian museum.\n\n\nResponse:\n\nIndeed, and diagonally across the street is another metaphysical\nbook store called 'Ram Metaphysical', wherein I've purchased some\nwonderful works by Crowley and others.  Ram Metaphysical Books,\n1749 Park Ave., San Jose, CA.  (408) 294-2651.\n\n\nInvoke me under my stars.  Love is the law, love under will.\n\nI am I!\n\nFrater (I) Nigris (DCLXVI) CCCXXXIII\n",
  "From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: Dear Mr. Theist\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 20\n\nPixie (dl2021@andy.bgsu.edu) wrote:\n\n:      For all the problems technology has caused, your types have made\n: things even worse.  Must we be reminded of the Inquisition, Operation\n: Rescue, the Ku Klux Klan, Posse Comitatus, the 700 Club, David Duke, Salem\n: Witch Trials, the Crusades, gay bashings, etc.\n:      PLUS virtually each and every single war, regardless of the level of\n: technology, has had theistic organizations cheering on the carnage\n: (chaplains, etc.), and claiming that god was in favor of the whole ordeal. \n: Don't forget to pray for our troops!\n:      \n\nThis is really tedious. Every bad thing that's ever happened is\nbecause the malefactors were under the influence of religion - does\nanyone -really- believe that. I've seen it so often it must be a\npretty general opinion in a.a, but I want to believe that atheists are\nreally not THAT dishonest. Please, stick to the facts and, having\naccomplished that, interpret them correctly.\n\nBill\n",
  'From:  (Rashid)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie (Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nNntp-Posting-Host: 47.252.4.179\nOrganization: NH\nLines: 31\n\nIn article <1993Apr14.121134.12187@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au>,\ndarice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) wrote:\n> \n> >In article <C5C7Cn.5GB@ra.nrl.navy.mil> khan@itd.itd.nrl.navy.mil (Umar Khan) writes:\nStuff deleted\n> >>What we should be demanding, is for Khomeini and his ilk to publicly\n> >>come clean and to show their proof that Islamic Law punishes\n> >>apostacy with death or that it tolerates any similar form of\n> >>coversion of freedom of conscience.\n\nAll five schools of law (to the best of my knowledge) support the\ndeath sentence for apostasy WHEN it is accompanied by open, persistent,\nand aggravated hostility to Islam. Otherwise\nI agree, there is no legal support for punishment of disbelief.\nThe Qur\'an makes it clear that belief is a matter of conscience. Public\nor private disavowal of Islam or conversion to another faith is not\npunishable (there are some jurists who have gone against this\ntrend and insisted that apostasy is punishable (even by death) - but\nhistorically they are the exception.\n\nCursing and Insulting the Prophets falls under the category of "Shatim".\n\n> \n> I just borrowed a book from the library on Khomeini\'s fatwa etc.\n>Lots of stuff deleted<\n> \n> And, according to the above analysis, it looks like Khomeini\'s offering\n> of a reward for Rushdie\'s death in fact constitutes a criminal act\n> according to Islamic law.\n\nPlease see my post under "Re: Yet more Rushdie (ISLAMIC LAW)".\n',
  "From: bcash@crchh410.NoSubdomain.NoDomain (Brian Cash)\nSubject: Re: I don't beleive in you either.\nNntp-Posting-Host: crchh410\nOrganization: BNR, Inc.\nLines: 9\n\nIn article <1993Apr13.213055.818@antioc.antioch.edu>, smauldin@antioc.antioch.edu writes:\n|> I stopped believing in you as well, long before the invention of technology.\n|> \n|> --GOD\n|> \n\nAhhh go back to alt.autotheism where you belong!\n\nBrian /-|-\\\n",
  'From: decay@cbnewsj.cb.att.com (dean.kaflowitz)\nSubject: Re: Spreading Christianity (Re: Christian Extremist Kills Doctor)\nOrganization: AT&T\nDistribution: na\nLines: 29\n\nIn article <C51puA.K2u@mailer.cc.fsu.edu>, dlecoint@garnet.acns.fsu.edu (Darius_Lecointe) writes:\n> "David R. Sacco" <dsav+@andrew.cmu.edu> writes:\n> >    Not to be too snide about it, but I think this Christianity must\n> >    be a very convenient religion, very maliable and suitable for\n> >    any occassion since it seems one can take it any way one wants\n> >    to go with it and follow whichever bits one pleases and\n> >    reinterpret the bits that don\'t match with one\'s desires.  It\n> >    is, in fact, so convenient that, were I capable of believing\n> >    in a god, I might consider going for some brand of Christianity.\n> >    The only difficulty left then, of course, is picking which sect\n> >    to join.  There are just so many.\n> >     \n> >    Dean Kaflowitz\n> > \n> > Yes, Christianity is convenient.  Following the teachings of Jesus\n> > Christ and the Ten Commandments is convenient.  Trying to love in a\n> > hateful world is convenient.  Turning the other cheek is convenient.  So\n> > convenient that it is burdensome at times.\n> \n> Some Christians take a 10% discount off the Ten Commandments.  Sunday\n> cannot be substituted for the Sabbath.\n\n\nMake that 20%.  Where did I see that poll recently about the\nvery religious and adultery?  Was it this newsgroup or alt.atheism\nor some other place?\n\nDean Kaflowitz\n\n',
  "From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: islamic authority over women\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL9]\nLines: 8\n\nKeith M. Ryan (kmr4@po.CWRU.edu) wrote:\n\n: \tNice cop out bill.\n\nI'm sure you're right, but I have no idea to what you refer. Would you\nmind explaining how I copped out?\n\nBill\n",
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 13\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nlivesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n\n>>Well, chimps must have some system.  They live in social groups\n>>as we do, so they must have some "laws" dictating undesired behavior.\n>So, why "must" they have such laws?\n\nThe quotation marks should enclose "laws," not "must."\n\nIf there were no such rules, even instinctive ones or unwritten ones,\netc., then surely some sort of random chance would lead a chimp society\ninto chaos.\n\nkeith\n',
  "From: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 17\n\nIn article <1qjbn0$na4@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O'Dwyer) writes:\n\n\n>Really?  You don't know what objective value is?  If I offered the people\n>of the U.S., collectively, $1 for all of the land in America, would that \n>sound like a good deal?  \n\nThat happens to be a subjective example that the people of the\nUS would happen to agree on.  Continue to move the price up; \nat some point a few people would accept then more then more until \nprobably all would accept at a high enough number.\n\nEndpoints of a subjective scale are not the given homes of \nobjective viewpoints.\n\n-jim halat\n\n",
  'From: mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie (Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nX-Newsreader: rusnews v1.01\nLines: 32\n\njaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n> Why would the Rushdie case be particularly legitimate? As I\'ve said\n> elsewhere on this issue, Rushdie\'s actions had effects in Islamic\n> countries so that it is not so simple to say that he didn\'t commit\n> a crime in an Islamic country.\n\nActually, it is simple.\n\nA person P has committed a crime C in country X if P was within the borders\nof X at the time when C was committed.  It doesn\'t matter if the physical\nmanifestation of C is outside X.\n\nFor instance, if I hack into NASA\'s Ames Research Lab and delete all their\nfiles, I have committed a crime in the United Kingdom.  If the US authorities\nwish to prosecute me under US law rather than UK law, they have no automatic\nright to do so.\n\nThis is why the net authorities in the US tried to put pressure on some sites\nin Holland.  Holland had no anti-cracking legislation, and so it was viewed\nas a "hacker haven" by some US system administrators.\n\nSimilarly, a company called Red Hot Television is broadcasting pornographic\nmaterial which can be received in Britain.  If they were broadcasting in\nBritain, they would be committing a crime.  But they are not, they are\nbroadcasting from Denmark, so the British Government is powerless to do\nanything about it, in spite of the apparent law-breaking.\n\nOf course, I\'m not a lawyer, so I could be wrong.  More confusingly, I could\nbe right in some countries but not in others...\n\n\nmathew\n',
  "From: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie (Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 33\n\nIn article <115288@bu.edu>, jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n>\n>He'd have to be precise about is rejection of God and his leaving Islam.\n>One is perfectly free to be muslim and to doubt and question the\n>existence of God, so long as one does not _reject_ God. I am sure that\n>Rushdie has be now made his atheism clear in front of a sufficient \n>number of proper witnesses. The question in regard to the legal issue\n>is his status at the time the crime was committed. \n\n\nI'd have to say that I have a problem with any organization, \nreligious or not, where the idea that _simple speech_ such\nas this is the basis for a crime.\n\n-jim halat                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n                                                                          \n",
  'From: mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!!\nOrganization: Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, B.C.\nLines: 99\n\n\nIn article <1r1ma9INNno7@owl.csrv.uidaho.edu>, lanph872@crow.csrv.uidaho.edu (Rob Lanphier) writes:\n|> Malcolm Lee (mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca) wrote:\n|> \n|> : Do you consider Neo-Nazis and white supremists to be Christian?  I\'d hardly\n|> : classify them as Christian.  Do they follow the teachings of Christ?  Love\n|> : one another.  Love your neighbour as yourself.  Love your enemies.  Is Jesus\n|> : Christ their Lord and Saviour?  By the persecution of Jews, they are violating\n|> : all the precepts of what Christ died for.  They are in direct violation of\n|> : the teachings of Christ.  Even Jesus who was crucified by the Jewish leaders\n|> : of that time, loved His enemies by asking the Father for forgiveness of their\n|> : sins.  I am a Christian and I bear no animosity towards Jews or any one else.\n|> : The enemy is Satan, not our fellow man.\n|> \n|> In Mark 16:16, Jesus is quoted as saying "Whoever believes and is baptized\n|> will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."  I\n|> consider most Neo-Nazis and White Supremisists to be Christians because:\n|> a)  They say they are\n|> b)  They feel it necessary to justify their actions with the Bible\n|> \n\nWhere does it say in the bible that Christians are supposed to persecute\nJews?  Isn\'t it love your enemies instead?  They may say they are "Christian"\nbut do their actions speak differently?  Do you believe what everyone tells\nyou?  I don\'t.  I came to believe in God by my own investigation and conclusions.\nAnd ultimately by my own choice.  Salvation, however, was granted only through\nthe grace of God.\n\n|> The Bible provides us with no clear definition of what a Christian is.  It\n|> tells us what a Christian *should* do, but then it goes on to say that as\n|> long as you believe, your sins will be forgiven.  \n\nTo be a Christian is to model oneself after Jesus Christ as implied by the\nvery name Christian.  If you say you believe in your head but do not feel in\nyour heart, what does that say of your belief?\n\n|> White Supremisists and\n|> Neo-Nazis may not be your brand of Christian, but by believing in Christ,\n|> they are Christian.\n|>\n\nWhite supremists and Neo-Nazis are NOT any brand of Christian.\n\n"If you hate your whom you can see then how can you love God whom you cannot\n see?"\n\nWhat does this belief entail?  Believing in Christ and having your sins\nforgiven in His name does NOT give a Christian a free licence to sin.  To\nrepent of a sin is to ask forgiveness of that sin and TRY NOT to do it\nagain.  I am a Christian, but if you lump me in with racists and accuse me\nof being such, then are you not pre-judging me?  BTW, I am of Chinese racial\nbackground and I know what it is to be part of a visible minority in this\ncountry.  I don\'t think that I would be favourably looked upon by these\nWhite supremist "Christians" as you call them.\n\nAnyone can say what they believe, but if they don\'t practice what they preach,\nthen their belief is false.  Do you concur?\n \n|> Now, for your original statement:\n|> : |> : What bothers me most is why people who have no religious affiliation \n|> : |> : continue to persecute Jews?  Why this hatred of Jews?  The majority of\n|> : |> : people who persecute Jews are NOT Christians (I can\'t speak for all \n|> : |> : Christians and there are bound to be a few who are on the anti-Semitism\n|> : |> : bandwagon.)\n|> \n|> You imply here that it is predominately atheists and agnostics who\n|> persecute Jews.  I am hard pressed to think of even an example of Jewish\n|> persecution in the hands of atheists/agnostics.\n\nNazis and racists in general are the ones that come to my immediate attention.\nWhat I believe is that such people may be using the bible to mask their racial\nintolerance and bigotry.  They can do as they do and hide behind Christianity\nbut I tell you that Jesus would have nothing to do with them.\n\n|> About the only one that\n|> comes to mind would be in the former Soviet Union, where many religious\n|> people suffered some sort of persecution (not to mention many\n|> atheist/agnostics who suffered persecution for believing the government\n|> sucked).\n|> \n\nNo arguement there.\n\n|>\n|> Rob Lanphier\n|> lanph872@uidaho.edu\n|> \n\nThe only point I\'m trying to make is that those who call themselves Christian\nmay not be Christian.  I ask that you draw your own conclusions by what they\ndo and what they say.  If they are not modelled after the example of Jesus\nChrist then they are NOT Christian.  If they have not repented of their sins\nand accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour then they are \nNOT Christian.  These are the only criteria to being a Christian.\n\nMay God be with you,\n\nMalcolm Lee   :)\n\n',
  'From: hudson@athena.cs.uga.edu (Paul Hudson Jr)\nSubject: Re: Part 1 and part 2  (re: Homosexuality)\nOrganization: University of Georgia, Athens\nLines: 80\n\nIn article <m0njXCg-0000VEC@juts.ccc.amdahl.com> rich.bellacera@amail.amdahl.com writes:\n\n>Perhaps you don\'t get it, and maybe you never will.  Many didn\'t get it in the\n>Middle Ages and the proclaimed God\'s will be done as they massacred thousands\n>in witch hunts and inquisitions.\n\nThere were many injustices in the middle ages.  And this is truely sad.\nI would hate to see a day when churches put people to death or torchured\nthem for practicing homosexuality, or any other crime.  The church is not\ncalled to take over the governments of the world.  It may be that homosexuals\ntreated cruelly today, but that does not mean that we should teach \nChristians to practice homosexual immorality.  Do you think that we should\nalso teach Christians to practice divination and channelling because\nthe witches in the middle ages were persecuted.\n\n\n>The major flaw in all this posturing is that in the end, the\n>final effect of posts like that of yours and Mr. Hudson is that YOU have a\n>"conditional" love for gays.  Condition:  Change and we\'ll love you. This is\n>sure strange coming from a group who claim that God has an "unconditional"\n>love, one that calls people "just as they are."\n\nAnd you accuse me of judging?  When did you look into my heart and see\nif I have love.  I have been writing that we should not teach Christians\nto practice homosexual immorality, and you pretend to have divine knowledge\nto look into my heart.  I can\'t say that I love homosexuals as I should-\nI can\'t say that I love my neighbor as I should either.  I don\'t know\nvery many homosexuals as it is.  \n\nBut Jesus loves homosexuals, just as He loves everyone else.  If His love\nwere conditional, I not know Him at all.  Yes.  We should show love to \nhomosexuals, but it is not love to encourage brothers in the church to \nstumble and continue in their sin.  That is a very damaging and dangerous \nthing.\n\n>The results of the passing amendment in\n>Colorado has created an organization who\'s posters are appearing all over\n>Colorado called "S.T.R.A.I.G.H.T." (I forget the whole definition off hand,\n>but the last part was Against Immoral Gross Homosexual Trash) and their motto\n>is "Working for a fag-free America" with an implicit advocation for violence.\n>\n>This is sick, and it seems to be what you and Mr. Hudson, and others are\n>embracing.\n\nThat is slander.   I could just as easily say  that NAMBLA has been able\nto implement legislation to make child molesting easier because of\nthe tearing down of societies morality due to people accepting homosexuality\nas normal, and that this is what you are embracing.  I do believe\nthat homosexual sex is immoral, that does not mean I endorse using violence\nagainst them.  There is a problem of hatred in the church.  But there\nis also the problem of what has been called "unsanctified mercy."\nMany in the conservative churches have seen the moral breakdown in \nthis country and the storm on the horizon, and have gotten militant in \nthe flesh.  This is truely sad.  Yet others in other churches have \nembraced immorality in society, and have pointed to the carnality in the\nconservative churches to justify their actions.  \n\n>Why don\'t we just stick to the positive and find ways to bring people\n>to Jesus istead of taking bullwhips and driving them away?\n\nCertainly we should not use a bullwhip to drive people from Jesus.\nBut we shouldn\'t water down the gospel to draw people in.  Jesus didn\'t\ngo out of His way to show only what might be considered positive aspects\nto draw people in.  He told one man to sell all He had.  He told\nanother not to say good bye to His family.  His words were hard at times.\nWe should present people with the cost of the tower before we allow them\nto begin construction.  many people have already been innoculated to the\ngospel.\n\nLink Hudson.\n\n\n\n\n>\n>Whatever\n>\n>Rich :-(\n\n\n',
  "Subject: Re: Americans and Evolution\nFrom: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 10\n\nIn article <j0=5l3=@rpi.edu>, johnsd2@jec322.its.rpi.edu (Dan Johnson) writes:\n>In article 143048IO30436@MAINE.MAINE.EDU, <IO30436@MAINE.MAINE.EDU> () writes:\n\nDan Johnson-\n\nYou don't know me, but take this hand anyway.  Bravo for GO(DS) = 0. \nBeautiful!  Simply beautiful!\n\n-jim halat\n\n",
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: Genocide is Caused by Atheism\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 38\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1qjf31$o7t@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n|> In article <1qimbe$sp@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> #In article <1qif1g$fp3@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n|> #|> In article <1qialf$p2m@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> #|> \n|> #|> I forget the origin of the quote, but "I gotta use words when I talk to\n|> #|> you".  An atheist is one who lacks belief in gods, yes?  If so, then\n|> #|> it\'s entirely plausible that an atheist could dig Lenin or Lennon to\n|> #|> such an extent that it might be considered "worship", and still be\n|> #|> an atheist.  Anything else seems to be Newspeak.\n|> #\n|> #Ask yourself the following question.   Would you regard an ardent\n|> #Nazi as a republican, simply because Germany no longer had a Kaiser?\n|> \n|> No, because that\'s based on false dichotomy.   There are more options\n|> than you present me.  \n\nAnd that, of course, is the point.   You can\'t simply divide the\nworld into atheists and non-atheists on the basis of god-belief.\n\nIf all you care about is belief in a supernatural deity, and\nhave nothing to say about behaviour, then belief in a supernatural\nbeing is your criterion.\n\nBut once you start talking about behaviour, then someone\'s suscept-\nibility to be led by bad people into doing bad things is what you \nare - I assume - worried about.\n\nAnd in that area, what you care about is whether someone is sceptical,\ncritical and autonomous on the one hand, or gullible, excitable and\neasily led on the other.\n\nI would say that a tendency to worship tyrants and ideologies indicates\nthat a person is easily led.   Whether they have a worship or belief \nin a supernatural hero rather than an earthly one seems to me to be\nbeside the point.\n\njon.\n',
  "From: susan_soric@upubs.uchicago.edu (Susan Soric)\nSubject: Wanted: Moltmann's God in Creation\nOrganization: Not important\nLines: 15\n\nI'm greatly in need of Jurgen\nMoltmann's book God in Creation:\nAn Ecological Doctrine of Creation.\n\nIf you have a copy you're willing to\npart with, I'd love to hear from you\nsoon.  You may call me at 312-702-\n8367 or e-mail me.\n\nThanks.\n\n==========================================================================================\nSusan Soric\nIndependent agent\nsusan_soric@upubs.uchicago.edu\n",
  'From: dic5340@hertz.njit.edu (David Charlap)\nSubject: Re: Who\'s next?  Mormons and Jews?\nOrganization: New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, N.J.\nLines: 22\nNntp-Posting-Host: hertz.njit.edu\n\nIn article <1r1i41$4t@transfer.stratus.com> cdt@sw.stratus.com (C. D. Tavares) writes:\n>\n>Just maybe you won\'t be home.  Then you can come home to something \n>like this:\n>\n>    "Well, it\'s been a rough month," begins Johnnie Lawmaster.  "I\n> just get laid off, and my divorce became final.  But I just wasn\'t\n> ready for what happened this particular Monday."\n\n[horror story about FBI ruining a guy\'s life for the hell of it omitted]\n\n>So if you don\'t want your tea party to be held in awkward silence, make\n>sure your lawyer isn\'t there, there\'s a good chap.\n\nSo, is this a real story or a work of fiction?  How about some\nsources?  When, where, and in what newspaper did you get all this\nfrom?  Or is it all hypothetical?\n-- \n+------------------------+------------------------------------+\n| David Charlap          | "Apple II forever" - Steve Wozniac |\n| dic5340@hertz.njit.edu | "I drank what?" - Socrates         |\n+------------------------+------------------------------------+\n',
  " uunet!olivea!sgigate!sgiblab!adagio.panasonic.com!nntp-server.caltech.edu!keith\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nFrom: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\nLines: 15\n\nbobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine) writes:\n\n>My personal objection is that I find capital punishment to be\n>cruel and unusual punishment under all circumstances.\n\nIt can be painless, so it isn't cruel.  And, it has occurred frequently\nsince the dawn of time, so it is hardly unusual.\n\n>I don't take issue with the numbers.  A single innocent life taken\n>is one too many.\n\nBut, innocents die due to many causes.  Why have you singled out\naccidental or false execution as the one to take issue with?\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss)\nSubject: [lds] Hal\'s reply\nOrganization: University at Buffalo\nLines: 38\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41\nNntp-Posting-Host: ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu\n\nIn article <C51nLs.7As@boi.hp.com>, hall@boi.hp.com (Hal Leifson) writes...\n\n[...Dr. England\'s story deleted, it was a nice read the first time \nthrough...]]\n\n>now lead the Church.  I, for one, do not wish to be labelled "Christian", if \n>those who profess themselves as Christians attack my beliefs because they are \n>intollerent (for example) of the way my religion may interpret Biblical \n>scriptures of the same source to have a different meaning and implication \n>than mainstream Christianity would give it. \n\n\tIt isn\'t so much a matter of \'interpretation\' of Bible texts \nthat sets Mormonism apart from orthodoxy as it is a matter of \n*fabrication*.\n\n\tAbout 20 years ago, _National Lampoon_ had some comic strips \nin them that were drawn by Neal Adams. They were called "Son o\' God" comics. \nIt was a parody of the Jesus in the Bible. In the comic, there were a \ngroup of thirteen Jewish kids from Brooklyn, and when one of them said \nthe magic word, he turned into "Son o\' God." He went from a myopic, \ncurly headed, yarmulke wearing boy to a replica of the stylizied \nportraits of Jesus --- with long flowing brown hair and gentile \nfeatures.\t\n\n\tNow, if someone were to profess faith in this NatLamp Jesus, \nand claim that they were a Christian because they believed in this \nNatLamp Jesus, we would have to say that this was fallacious since \nthis Jesus was a fabrication, and did not really exist.\n\n\tThis is the exact same thing that the LDS do when they claim \nthat they are Christian. They profess faith in Jesus, but the Jesus \nthat they profess to have faith in is as much a fabrication as the \nNatLamp Jesus was.\n\n\n=============================\nRobert Weiss\npsyrobtw@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu\n',
  "From: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nSubject: Re: Hitler - pagan or Christian? (Was: Martin Luther...)\n\t<93074.033230KEVXU@CUNYVM.BITNET> <9c9e02703ak901@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com>\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as 'guest'.\nLines: 10\n\nIn article <9c9e02703ak901@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com> \nczl30@DUTS.ccc.amdahl.com (Chris Lee) writes:\n>In article <93074.033230KEVXU@CUNYVM.BITNET> KEVXU@CUNYVM.BITNET writes:\n>>The Irish have their version of the swastica called St. Brigid's cross.\n>There's also the three-legged symbol of the Isle of Man.\n\nThe three-legged symbol is a bit different, there is a word for them but\nI can't recall it, tri something, trieskalon?, don't know. These have\nmore to do with the triple goddess in her three phases as reflected in\nfemales: girl-woman-crone.\n",
  'From: popec@brewich.hou.tx.us (Pope Charles)\nSubject: Re: Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Convention\nOrganization: The Brewers\' Witch BBS, +1 713 272 7350, Brewich.Hou.TX.US\nLines: 72\n\nlowell@locus.com (Lowell Morrison) writes:\n\n> In article <1qv82l$oj2@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony\n> >\n> >\n> >     With the Southern Baptist Convention convening this June to consider\n> >the charges that Freemasonry is incompatible with christianity, I thought\n> >the following quotes by Mr. James Holly, the Anti-Masonic Flag Carrier,\n> >would amuse you all...\n> >\n> >\n> >     The following passages are exact quotes from "The Southern \n> >Baptist Convention and Freemasonry" by James L. Holly, M.D., President\n> >of Mission and Ministry To Men, Inc., 550 N 10th St., Beaumont, TX \n> >77706. \n> > \n> <much drivel deleted>\n> >     "Jesus Christ never commanded toleration as a motive for His \n> >disciples, and toleration is the antithesis of the Christian message."\n> >Page 30. \n> > \n> >     "The central dynamic of the Freemason drive for world unity \n> >through fraternity, liberty and equality is toleration. This is seen \n> >in the writings of the \'great\' writers of Freemasonry". Page 31. \n> <more drivel deleted>\n> >     I hope you all had a good laugh! I know *I* did! <g>,\n> >\n> >\n> >Tony   \n> A Laugh?  Tony, this religeous bigot scares the shit out of me, and that\n> any one bothers to listen to him causes me to have grave doubts about the\n> future of just about anything.  Shades of the Branch Davidians, Jim Jones,\n> and Charlie Manson.\n> \n> --Uncle Wolf\n> --Member Highland Lodge 748 F&AM (Grand Lodge of California)\n> --Babtized a Southern Babtist\n> --And one who has beliefs beyond the teachings of either.\n> \n> > \n> > \n> \n> \n\n\nNot to worry.  The Masons have been demonized and harrassed by almost \nevery major Xian church there is.  For centuries now.  And still they \nstand.  They wil withstand the miserable Southern Boobtists, I am sure.\nThey may even pick up a little support as people start to listen to the \nBoobtists and realize that subtracting the obvious lies and claims of \nSatanism that the Masons sound pretty good by comparison.  One thing is \nknown.  A sizable proportion of Southern Babtists are Masons!  And the \nMasons have already fired back in their own magazines against the \nBoobtist Witch-hunt.\n  Since the Consrervatives have already been a divisive element with \ntheir war on Boobtist moderates and liberals, they may now start in on \ntheir Mason/Boobtist brothers and hasten their own downfall as more and \nmore Southern Boobtists realize their church can\'t stand being run by a \nhandful of clowns looking for holy civil wars and purity tests and drop \n\'em out of the leadership positions they have taken over.\n  So as far as I am concerned, the louder, ruder, and more outrageous \nan Anti-Masonic Crusade these old goats mount, the better.\n\nPop some pocorn and get a center row seat.  The circus is about to begin.\nAnd, Oh Look!  HERE COME THE CLOWNS!\n\n\nPope Charles    Slack!\n\n------------------\npopec@brewich.hou.tx.us (Pope Charles)\nOrigin: The Brewers\' Witch BBS -- Houston, TX -- +1 713 272 7350\n',
  'From: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine)\nSubject: Re: <<Pompous ass\nOrganization: Tektronix Inc., Beaverton, Or.\nLines: 20\n\nIn article <1ql6jiINN5df@gap.caltech.edu> keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n>\n>The "`little\' things" above were in reference to Germany, clearly.  People\n>said that there were similar things in Germany, but no one could name any.\n>They said that these were things that everyone should know, and that they\n>weren\'t going to waste their time repeating them.  Sounds to me like no one\n>knew, either.  I looked in some books, but to no avail.\n\n  If the Anne Frank exhibit makes it to your small little world,\n  take an afternoon to go see it.  \n\n\n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n\nBob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n\nThey said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\nand sank Manhattan out at sea.\n\n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n',
  "From: house@helios.usq.EDU.AU (ron house)\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nKeywords: Dan Bissell\nOrganization: University of Southern Queensland\nLines: 42\n\nbissda@saturn.wwc.edu (DAN LAWRENCE BISSELL) writes:\n\n>\tFirst I want to start right out and say that I'm a Christian.  It \n\nI _know_ I shouldn't get involved, but...   :-)\n\n[bit deleted]\n\n>\tThe book says that Jesus was either a liar, or he was crazy ( a \n>modern day Koresh) or he was actually who he said he was.\n>\tSome reasons why he wouldn't be a liar are as follows.  Who would \n>die for a lie?  Wouldn't people be able to tell if he was a liar?  People \n>gathered around him and kept doing it, many gathered from hearing or seeing \n>someone who was or had been healed.  Call me a fool, but I believe he did \n>heal people.  \n>\tNiether was he a lunatic.  Would more than an entire nation be drawn \n>to someone who was crazy.  Very doubtful, in fact rediculous.  For example \n>anyone who is drawn to David Koresh is obviously a fool, logical people see \n>this right away.\n>\tTherefore since he wasn't a liar or a lunatic, he must have been the \n>real thing.  \n\nRighto, DAN, try this one with your Cornflakes...\n\nThe book says that Muhammad was either a liar, or he was crazy ( a \nmodern day Mad Mahdi) or he was actually who he said he was.\nSome reasons why he wouldn't be a liar are as follows.  Who would \ndie for a lie?  Wouldn't people be able to tell if he was a liar?  People \ngathered around him and kept doing it, many gathered from hearing or seeing \nhow his son-in-law made the sun stand still.  Call me a fool, but I believe \nhe did make the sun stand still.  \nNiether was he a lunatic.  Would more than an entire nation be drawn \nto someone who was crazy.  Very doubtful, in fact rediculous.  For example \nanyone who is drawn to the Mad Mahdi is obviously a fool, logical people see \nthis right away.\nTherefore since he wasn't a liar or a lunatic, he must have been the \nreal thing.  \n\n--\n\nRon House.                 USQ\n(house@helios.usq.edu.au)  Toowoomba, Australia.\n",
  'From: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Tektronix Inc., Beaverton, Or.\nLines: 18\n\nIn article <C5Jxru.2t8@news.cso.uiuc.edu> cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike Cobb) writes:\n>What do you base your belief on atheism on?  Your knowledge and reasoning? \n>COuldn\'t that be wrong?\n>\n\n  Actually, my atheism is based on ignorance.  Ignorance of the\n  existence of any god.  Don\'t fall into the "atheists don\'t believe\n  because of their pride" mistake.\n\n\n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n\nBob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n\nThey said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\nand sank Manhattan out at sea.\n\n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n',
  'From: critus@cwis.unomaha.edu (Michael J. Abboud)\nSubject: Re: *** The list of Biblical contradictions\nOrganization: University of Nebraska at Omaha\n  When we speak of the Bible and its apparant contradictions, we would do well to remember the context in\n  If we are to accept this line of reason, remembering that it does not\n  As my study of the Christian Religion has progressed over the years, I have\n  It matters little to me, as a concession in either serves my purpose\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 6\n\ncritus\n\n\n\n\n  \n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Davidians and compassion\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 24\n\nIn article <C5sLAs.B68@blaze.cs.jhu.edu>, arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu\n(Ken Arromdee) wrote:\n> \n> In article <sandvik-190493200420@sandvik-kent.apple.com> sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n> >So we have this highly Christian religious order that put fire\n> >on their house, killing most of the people inside.\n> \n> We have no way to know that the cultists burned the house; it could have been\n> the BATF and FBI.  We only have the government's word for it, after all, and\n> people who started it by a no-knock search with concussion grenades are hardly\n> disinterested observers.\n\nThere's another point to be made. Those who have been inside burning\nhouses know that if they want to stay alive, it's better to run out\nfrom the building. We had one case where an FBI agent *had to \ndrag out a women* from the burning house, she run back in when\nshe saw the forces arriving. It is a good indication of the fanatical\nmind that the followers had -- including having they children burned\ninstead of saving these innocent victims of the instance.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'Subject: Re: Albert Sabin\nFrom: rfox@charlie.usd.edu (Rich Fox, Univ of South Dakota)\nReply-To: rfox@charlie.usd.edu\nOrganization: The University of South Dakota Computer Science Dept.\nNntp-Posting-Host: charlie\nLines: 91\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.012537.26867@nntpd2.cxo.dec.com>, sharpe@nmesis.enet.dec.com (System PRIVILEGED Account) writes:\n>\n>In article <C5FtJt.885@sunfish.usd.edu>, rfox@charlie.usd.edu (Rich Fox, Univ of South Dakota) writes:\n>|>\n>|>In article <1993Apr10.213547.17644@rambo.atlanta.dg.com>, wpr@atlanta.dg.com (Bill Rawlins) writes:\n>|>\n>|>[earlier dialogue deleted]\n>|>\n>|>>|> Perhaps you should read it and stop advancing the Bible as evidence relating \n>|>>|> to questions of science.  \n>|>\n>|>[it = _Did Jesus exist?_ by G. A. Wells]\n>|>\n>|>>     There is a great fallacy in your statement. The question of origins is\n>|>>     based on more than science alone.  \n>|>\n>|>Nope, no fallacy.  Yep, science is best in determining how; religions handle\n>|>why and who.\n>|>\n>\n>Rich, I am curious as to why you and others award custody of the baby to\n>theists and religion?\n\nI hope I didn\'t award custody, Rich.  I purposely used "handle" in order to \navoid doing so - i.e., that happens to be what religions do (of course there are\naberrations like "scientific" creationism).  I used "best" in part to indicate \nthat science currently has a time of it with why and who, so these domains are\nmostly ignored.  I also attempted to be brief, which no doubt confused the\nmatter.  As an aside, for science I should have written "how and when".  Nobody\nseems to argue over what.\n\n>Are they [theists, theologians] any better equiped to investigate the "who and \n>why" than magicians, astrologers, housewives [not being sexists], athiests or \n>agnostics.\n\nSeems to me that the answer would vary from individual to individual.  I\'m not\ntrying to be evasive on this, but from a societal perspective, religion works.\nOn the other hand, sometimes it is abused and misused, and many suffer, which\nyou know.  But the net result seems positive, this from the anthropological\nperspective on human affairs.  You might call me a neo-Fruedian insofar as I \nthink the masses can\'t get along without religion.  Not that generally they are \nincapable; they just don\'t, and for myriad reasons, but the main one seems to \nbe the promise of immortality.  Very seductive, that immortality.  Therefore \nit seems that theologians are better equipped than the others you mention for \ndispensing answers to "who and why".  I suggest that this holds regardless of \nthe "truth" in their answers to who and why simply because people believe.  \nIn the end, spiritual beliefs are just as "real" as scientific facts and \nexplanation (CAUTION TO SOME: DO NOT TAKE THIS OUT OF CONTEXT).  \n\n>Do you suggest that the "who and why" will forever be closed to scientific \n>investigation?\n\nNo.  In fact, I don\'t think it is closed now, at least for some individuals. \nIsn\'t there a group of theoretical physicists who argue that matter was \ncreated from nothing in a Big Bang singularity?  This approach might \npresuppose an absence of who and why, except that it seems it could be argued \nthat something had to be responsible for nothing?  Maybe that something doesn\'t\nhave to be supernatural, maybe just mechanistic.  But that\'s a tough one for\npeople today to grasp.  In any case, theory without empirical data is not \nexplanation, but then your question does not require data.  In other words, \nI agree that theorizing (within scientific parameters) is just as scientific \nas explaining.  So the answer is, who and why are not closed to scientists, but \nI sense that science in these realms is currently very inadequate.  Data will \nbe necessary for improvement, and that seems a long way off, if ever.  Pretty \nconvoluted here; I hope I\'ve made sense.  \n\n>It seems to me that 200 or so years ago, the question of the origin of life on\n>earth was not considered open to scientific enquiry.\n\nI agree generally.  But I prefer to put it this way - the *questions* of how, \nwhen, who and why were not open to inquiry.  During the Enlightenment, \nreason was reponsible for questioning the theological answers to how and when, \nand not, for the most part, who and why.  Science was thus born out of the \nnaturalists\' curiosity, eventually carting away the how and when while largely \nleaving behind the who and why.  The ignorant, the selfish, the intolerant, and\nthe arrogant, of course, still claim authority in all four domains.\n\n>|>Rich Fox, Anthro, Usouthdakota\n\n>Did like your discussion around AMHs, and I did figure out what AMH was from\n>your original post :-)\n\nMuch obliged.  Funny how facts tend to muddle things, isn\'t it?  Well, I am\nsure there are plenty of "scientific" creationist "rebuttals" out there \nsomewhere, even if they have to be created from nothing.\n\n[just for the record, again, AMH = anatomically modern humans] \n\nBest regards :-),\n\nRich Fox, Anthro, Usouthdakota\n',
  'From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: A visit from the Jehovah\'s Witnesses\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 114\n\nIn article <1993Apr5.091139.823@batman.bmd.trw.com>\njbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com writes:\n \n>> Didn\'t you say Lucifer was created with a perfect nature?\n>\n>Yes.\n>\n \nDefine perfect then.\n \n \n>> I think you\n>> are playing the usual game here, make sweeping statements like omni-,\n>> holy, or perfect, and don\'t note that they mean exactly what they say.\n>> And that says that you must not use this terms when it leads to\n>> contradictions.\n>\n>I\'m not trying to play games here.  But I understand how it might seem\n>that way especially when one is coming from a completely different point\n>of view such as atheism.\n>\n \nTake your foot out of your mouth, I wondered about that already when I\nwas a Catholic Christian. The fact that the contradiction is unresolvable\nis one of the reasons why I am an atheist.\n \nBelieve me, I believed similar sentences for a long time. But that shows\nthe power of religion and not anything about its claims.\n \n \n>>>Now God could have prevented Lucifer\'s fall by taking away his ability\n>>>to choose between moral alternatives (worship God or worship himself),\n>>>but that would mean that God was in error to have make Lucifer or any\n>>>being with free will in the first place.\n>>\n>> Exactly. God allows evil, an evil if there ever was one.\n>>\n>\n>Now that\'s an opinion, or at best a premise.  But from my point of view,\n>it is not a premise which is necessary true, specifically, that it is\n>an evil to allow evil to occur.\n>\n \nIt follows from a definition of evil as ordinarily used. Letting evil\nhappen or allowing evil to take place, in this place even causing evil,\nis another evil.\n \n \n>> But could you give a definition of free will? Especially in the\n>> presence of an omniscient being?\n>>\n>"Will" is "self-determination".  In other words, God created conscious\n>beings who have the ability to choose between moral choices independently\n>of God.  All "will", therefore, is "free will".\n>\n \nThe omniscient attribute of god will know what the creatures will do even\nbefore the omnipotent has created them. There is no choice left. All is known,\nthe course of events is fixed.\n \nNot even for the omniscient itself, to extend an argument by James Tims.\n \n \n>>>If God is omniscient, then\n>>>clearly, creating beings with free moral choice is a greater good than\n>>>the emergence of ungodliness (evil/sin) since He created them knowing\n>>>the outcome in advance.\n>>\n>> Why is it the greater good to allow evil with the knowledge that it\n>> will happen? Why not make a unipolar system with the possibility of\n>> doing good or not doing good, but that does not necessarily imply\n>> doing evil. It is logically possible, but your god has not done it.\n>\n>I do not know that such is logically possible.  If God restrains a\n>free being\'s choice to choose to do evil and simply do "not good",\n>then can it be said that the being truly has a free moral choice?\n>And if "good" is defined as loving and obeying God, and avoiding\n>those behaviors which God prohibits, then how can you say that one\n>who is "not good" is not evil as well?  Like I said, I am not sure\n>that doing "not good" without doing evil is logically possible.\n \nAnd when I am not omnipotent, how can I have free will? You have said\nsomething about choices and the scenario gives them. Therefore we have\nwhat you define as free will.\n \nImagine the following. I can do good to other beings, but I cannot harm them.\nEasily implemented by making everyone appreciate being the object of good\ndeeds, but don\'t make them long for them, so they can not feel the absence\nof good as evil.\n \nBut whose case am I arguing? It is conceivable, so the omnipotent can do it.\nOr it would not be omnipotent. If you want logically consistent as well, you\nhave to give up the pet idea of an omnipotent first.\n \n(Deletion)\n>\n>Perhaps it is weak, in a way.  If I were just speculating about the\n>ubiquitous pink unicorns, then there would be no basis for such\n>speculation.  But this idea of God didn\'t just fall on me out of the\n>blue :), or while reading science fiction or fantasy.  (I know that\n>some will disagree)  :)  The Bible describes a God who is omniscient,\n>and nevertheless created beings with free moral choice, from which\n>the definitional logic follows.  But that\'s not all there is to it.\n>There seems to be (at least in my mind) a certain amount of evidence\n>which indicates that God exists and that the Biblical description\n>of Him may be a fair one.  It is that evidence which bolsters the\n>argument in my view.\n \nThat the bible describes an omniscient and omnipotent god destroys\nthe credibility of the bible, nothing less.\n \nAnd a lot of people would be interested in evidence for a god,\nunfortunately, there can\'t be any with these definitions.\n   Benedikt\n',
  'From: joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin)\nSubject: Re: Language and agreement\nOrganization: Intelligent Systems Program\nLines: 59\n\nI responded to Jim\'s other articles today, but I see that I neglected\nto respond to this one.  I wouldn\'t want him to think me a hypocrite\nfor not responding to *every* stupid article on t.r.m.\n\nm23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt) writes:\n>From my handy dictionary:\n[dictionary definitions of "not" "disagree" and "agree" deleted]\n>Please operationally differentiate between "not disagree" and "agree".\n\nOh, but I\'m weary of trying to wade through Jim\'s repertoire of \nred herrings and smoke screens.\n\nLet\'s see what we get when we run all four articles posted by Jim today\nthrough the \'discord\' filter (a Markov chain program that Steve Lamont\nwas kind enough to send me):\n\n\tTaking action? A white geese be held\n\tas an accomplice to be held as\n\ta decision upon the door\n\tA black and white goose waddles past\n\tthe eyes of the door. \n\tHits it with the confidence interval for \n\tthat individual is held responsible \n\tfor that, that individual \n\tmay be held as a \n\tgetaway car may be held \n\tas an uncountably large number \n\tof the driver of something \n\tand agree.\n\n\tA black goose \n\twaddles past the person imprisoned?\n\n\tWhite goose waddles past the \n\tconfidence interval for the population \n\tof geese be axed, \n\tfine.\n\tAnd white goose \n\twaddles past the door.\n\nDoes running Jim\'s articles through \'discord\' make them more\ncoherent?  Less coherent?\n\nOr has \'discord\' turned Jim\'s articles into an angst-ridden poem\nabout making choices in a world filled with uncertainty, yet being\nheld responsible for the choices we make?  Do the geese symbolize\nan inner frustration with ambiguity, a desire that everything be\nblack and white, with no shades of gray?  Does the "getaway car"\ntell us that to try to renounce the existential nature of our\nbeing is not to "get away" from responsibility for our actions,\nbut rather to take the role of the passive accomplice, the\n"driver" of the getaway car, as it were?  Does the juxtaposition\nof man and machine, car and driver, reveal a subtext: an internal\nconflict between determinism and moral responsibility?\n\nOr am I reading too much into a collaboration between Jim and\na random number generator?\n\ndj\n',
  'From: MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats Andtbacka)\nSubject: Re: YOU WILL ALL GO TO HELL!!!\nIn-Reply-To: <JSN104@psuvm.psu.edu>\'s message of Fri, 16 Apr 1993 15:50:02 EDT\nOrganization: Unorganized Usenet Postings UnInc.\nX-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.24\nLines: 12\n\nIn <93106.155002JSN104@psuvm.psu.edu> <JSN104@psuvm.psu.edu> writes:\n\n      Who cares what the fellow wrote anyway? I mean, it came from\nPSUVM, so how could it possibly have been of any importance?\n\n=====\n\n(disperse smileys until no longer offended)\n\n\n-- \n  Disclaimer?   "It\'s great to be young and insane!"\n',
  'From: kevin@rotag.mi.org (Kevin Darcy)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Who, me???\nLines: 15\n\nIn article <pww-180493195323@spac-at1-59.rice.edu> pww@spacsun.rice.edu (Peter Walker) writes:\n>In article <1993Apr18.210407.10208@rotag.mi.org>, kevin@rotag.mi.org (Kevin\n>Darcy) wrote:\n>> The phenomenologist Husserl, for one, considered Intentionality to be the\n>> primary ontological "stuff" from which all other ontology was built --\n>> perceptions, consciousness, thoughts, etc. Frank is by no means alone in\n>> seeing intentionality (or "values", as he puts it) underlying all human\n>> experience, even the so-called "objective" experiences, such as \n>> measurements of the natural world, or the output of your DES chip.\n>\n>And others of us see it as intellectual masturbation.\n\nI\'ll defer to your greater firsthand knowledge in such matters.\n\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t- Kevin\n',
  "From: Patrick C Leger <pl1u+@andrew.cmu.edu>\nSubject: It's all Mary's fault!\nOrganization: Sophomore, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA\nLines: 23\nNNTP-Posting-Host: po5.andrew.cmu.edu\n\nYou know, it just occurred to me today that this whole Christian thing\ncan be blamed solely on Mary.\n\nSo, she's married to Joseph.  She gets knocked up.  What do you think\nol' Joe will do if he finds she's been getting around?  So Mary comes up\nwith this ridiculous story about God making her pregnant.  Actually, it\ncan't be all THAT ridiculous, considering the number of people that\nbelieve it.  Anyway, she never tells anyone the truth, and even tells\npoor little Jesus that he's hot shit, the Son of God.  Everyone else\ntells him this too, since they've bought Mary's story.  So, what does\nMary actually turn out to be?  An adultress and a liar, and the cause of\nmankind's greatest folly...\n\nJust my recently-minted two cents.\n\nChris\n\n----------------------\nChris Leger\nSophomore, Carnegie Mellon Computer Engineering\nRemember...if you don't like what somebody is saying, you can always\nignore them!\n\n",
  'From: jburrill@boi.hp.com (Jim Burrill)\nSubject: Question about Islamic view   \nOrganization: Idaho River Country, The Salmon, Payette, Clearwater, Boise, Selway, Priest.\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1.8 PL6]\nLines: 8\n\nA question regarding the Islamic view towards homosexuality came up in a\ndiscussion group that I participate in, and I\'d like to ask the question here,\n\n"What is the Islamic view towards homosexuality?"             \n\nJim Burrill\njburrill@boi.hp.com\n\n',
  'From: jcopelan@nyx.cs.du.edu (The One and Only)\nSubject: Re: Where are they now?\nOrganization: Salvation Army Draft Board\nLines: 31\n\nIn article <1ql0d3$5vo@dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM> geoff@East.Sun.COM writes:\n>Your posting provoked me into checking my save file for memorable\n>posts. The first I captured was by Ken Arromdee on 19 Feb 1990, on the\n>subject "Re: atheist too?". That was article #473 here; your question\n>was article #53766, which is an average of about 48 articles a day for\n>the last three years. As others have noted, the current posting rate is\n>such that my kill file is depressing large...... Among the posting I\n>saved in the early days were articles from the following notables:\n>\n>>From: loren@sunlight.llnl.gov (Loren Petrich)\n>>From: jchrist@nazareth.israel.rel (Jesus Christ of Nazareth)\n>>From: mrc@Tomobiki-Cho.CAC.Washington.EDU (Mark Crispin)\n>>From: perry@apollo.HP.COM (Jim Perry)\n>>From: lippard@uavax0.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard)\n>>From: minsky@media.mit.edu (Marvin Minsky)\n>\n>An interesting bunch.... I wonder where #2 is?\n\nDidn\'t you hear?  His address has changed.  He can be reached at the \nfollowing address:\n\ndkoresh@branch.davidian.compound.waco.tx.us\n\nI think he was last seen posting to alt.messianic.\n\nJim\n--\nIf God is dead and the actor plays his part                    | -- Sting,\nHis words of fear will find their way to a place in your heart | History\nWithout the voice of reason every faith is its own curse       | Will Teach Us\nWithout freedom from the past things can only get worse        | Nothing\n',
  'From: brian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615)\nSubject: Re: 14 Apr 93   God\'s Promise in 1 John 1: 7\nOrganization: Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, Tucson AZ.\nLines: 16\n\nIn article <bskendigC5I9yH.ICp@netcom.com> bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig) writes:\n\n>If you can explain to me why the death of Jesus was a *good* thing,\n>then I would be very glad to hear it, and you might even convert me.\n>Be warned, however, that I\'ve heard all the most common arguments\n>before, and they just don\'t convince me.\n\nBe warned, it is not my job to convert you.  That is the job of\nthe Holy Spirit.  And I, frankly, make a lousy one.  I am only\nhere to testify.  Your conversion is between you and God.  I am\n"out of the loop".  If you decide to follow Jesus, of which I\nindeed would be estatic, then all the glory be to God.\n\n-------------\nBrian Ceccarelli\nbrian@gamma1.lpl.arizona.edu\n',
  'From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: Second Law (was: Albert Sabin)\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 20\n\nJoel Hanes (jjh00@diag.amdahl.com) wrote:\n\n: Mr Connor\'s assertion that "more complex" == later in paleontology\n: is simply incorrect.  Many lineages are known in which whole\n: structures are lost -- for example, snakes have lost their legs.\n: Cave fish have lost their eyes.  Some species have almost completely\n: lost their males.  Kiwis are descended from birds with functional\n: wings.\n\nJoel,\n\nThe statements I made were illustrative of the inescapably\nanthrpomorphic quality of any desciption of an evolutionary process.\nThere is no way evolution can be described or explained in terms other\nthan teleological, that is my whole point. Even those who have reason\nto believe they understand evolution (biologists for instance) tend to\npersonify nature and I can\'t help but wonder if it\'s because of the\nlimits of the language or the nature of nature.\n\nBill\n',
  'Subject: Re: "lds" Rick\'s reply\nFrom: <ISSCCK@BYUVM.BITNET>\nOrganization: Brigham Young University\nLines: 159\n\n\nRobert Weiss (psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu) writes:\n\n#Rick Anderson replied to my letter with...\n#\n#ra> In article <C5ELp2.L0C@acsu.buffalo.edu>,\n#ra> psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss) says:\n#ra>\n\n(...)\n\n# Just briefly, on something that you mentioned in passing. You refer to\n# differing interpretations of "create," and say that many Christians may\n# not agree. So what? That is really irrelevant. We do not base our faith\n# on how many people think one way or another, do we? The bottom line is\n# truth, regardless of popularity of opinions.\n\nIt may be "irrelevant" to you and *your* personal beliefs (or should I say\n"bias"?), but it is relevant to me and many others.  You\'re right, "the\nbottom line IS truth," independant from you or anyone else.  Since you\nproclaim "truths" as a self-proclaimed appointee, may I ask you by what\nauthority you do this?  Because "it says so in the Bible?"  --Does the\nBible "say so," or is it YOU, or someone else, who interprets whether a\nscripture or doctrine conforms to your particular liking or "disapproval"?\n\nExcuse moi, but your line of "truths" haven\'t moved me one bit to persuade\nme that my beliefs are erroneous.  Of all the "preachers" of "truth" on\nthis net, you have struck me as a self-righteous member of the wrecking\ncrew, with no positive message to me or any other Latter-day Saint...\nBTW, this entire discussion reminds me a lot of the things said by Jesus\nto the pharisees: "ye hypocrite(s) . . . ye preach about me with your lips,\nbut your hearts are far removed from me..."\n\n# Also, I find it rather strange that in trying to persuade that created\n# and eternally existent are equivalent, you say "granted the Mormon\n# belief..." You can\'t grant your conclusion and then expect the point to\n# have been addressed. In order to reply to the issue, you have to address\n# and answer the point that was raised, and not just jump to the\n# conclusion that you grant.\n\nSophistry.  Look who\'s talking: "jumping to conclusions?"  You wouldn\'t do\nthat yourself, right?  All YOU address is your own convictions, regardless\nwhether we come up with any Biblical scriptures which supports our points\nof view, because you reject such interpretations without any consideration\nwhatsoever.\n\n#\n# The Bible states that Lucifer was created.  The Bible states that Jesus\n# is the creator of all. The contradiction that we have is that the LDS\n# belief is that Jesus and Lucifer were the same.\n\nA beautiful example of disinformation and a deliberate misrepresentation\nof lds doctrine.  The former KGB would have loved to employ you.\nJesus and lucifer are not "the same," silly, and you know it.\n\n(...)\n\n# The Mormon belief is that all are children of God. Literally. There is\n# nothing symbolic about it. This however, contradicts what the Bible\n# says. The Bible teaches that not everyone is a child of God:\n\nCorrection: it may contradict would YOU think the Bible says.  The Bible\nindeed does teach that not all are children of God in the sense that they\n"belong to" or follow God in His footsteps.  Satan and his followers have\nrebelled against God, and are not "children (=followers/redeemed) of God,"\nbut it doesn\'t mean that they were not once created by God, but chose to\nseparate themselves from those who chose to follow God and His plan of\nsalvation.\n\n#\n#        The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the\n#        kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked "one";\n#        (Matthew 13:38)\n\nSo?  --This illustrates nicely what I just said: the children of the\nkingdom are those who have remained valiant in their testimony of Jesus\n(and have shown "works of repentance, etc.), and the children of the\nwicked one are those who rebelled against God and the lamb.  The issue\nof satan\'s spirit-origin (and of those who followed him) has not been\naddressed in this and other verses you copied from your Bible.  You\npurposefully obscured the subject by swamping your "right" with non-\nrelated scriptures.\n\n(...lots of nice scriptures deleted (NOT Robert W. copyrighted) though...)\n\n#ra> > We are told that, "And this is life eternal, that they might know\n#ra> > thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."\n#ra> > (John 17:3). Life eternal is to know the only true God. Yet the\n#ra> > doctrines of the LDS that I have mentioned portray a vastly\n#ra> > different Jesus, a Jesus that cannot be reconciled with the Jesus of\n#ra> > the Bible. They are so far removed from each other that to proclaim\n\nCorrection: "my" Jesus is indeed different than your Jesus, and CAN be\nreconciled with the Jesus in the Bible.  --Not your interpretation of Him,\nI concur, but I honestly couldn\'t care less.\n\n#ra> > one as being true denies the other from being true. According to the\n#ra> > Bible, eternal life is dependent on knowing the only true God, and\n#ra> > not the construct of imagination.\n\nIn this single posting of yours, I\'ve seen more "constructs of imagination"\nthan in all of the pro-lds mails combined I have read so far in this news\ngroup.  First get your lds-facts straight before you dare preaching to us\nabout "the only true God," whom you interpret according to your own likes\nand dislikes, but whose image I cannot reconcile with what I know about\nHim myself.  I guess your grandiose self-image does not allow for other\nfaiths, believing in the divinity of Jesus Christ, but in a different\nway or fashion than your own.  Not that it really matters, the mission\nand progress of the lds church will go on, boldly and nobly, and no mob\nor opponent can stop the work from progressing, until it has visited\nevery continent, swept every clime, and sounded in every ear.\n\n#  This is really a red herring. It doesn\'t address any issue raised, but\n#  rather, it seeks to obfuscate. The fact that some groups try to read\n#  something into the Bible, doesn\'t change what the Bible teaches.\n\nSigh.  "What the Bible teaches"?  Or: "what the bible teaches according to\nRobert Weiss and co.?"  I respect the former, I reject the latter without\nthe remotest feeling that I have rejected Jesus.  On the contrary.  And by\nthe way, I do respect your interpretations of the Bible, I even grant you\nbeing a Christian (following your own image of Him), as much as I am a\nChristian (following my own image of Him in my heart).\n\n(...)\n\n#  Most of the other replies have instead hop-scotched to the issue of\n#  Bruce McConkie and whether his views were \'official doctrine.\' I don\'t\n#  think that it matters if McConkie\'s views were canon. That is not the\n#  issue.  Were McConkie\'s writings indicative of Mormon belief on this\n#  subject is the real issue. The indication from Rick is that they may\n#  certainly be.\n\nThe issue is, of course, that you love to use anything to either mis-\nrepresent or ridicule the lds church.  The issue of "official doctrine"\nis obviously very important.  McConkie\'s views have been controversial\n(e.g. "The Seven Deadly Heresies" has made me a heretic!  ;-) at best,\nor erroneous at worst ("blacks not to receive the priesthood in this\ndispensation").  I respect him as someone who has made his valuable\ncontribution to the church, but I personally do NOT rely on his personal\ninterpretations (his book "Mormon Doctrine" is oftentimes referred to\nas "McConkie\'s Bible" in mormon circles) on mormon doctrine.  I rather\nlook to official (doctrinal) sources, and... to Hugh Nibley\'s books!\n(The last comment is an lds-insider reference.)  Summarizing: McConkie\nwas a wise man who contributed undoubtedly far more to the kingdom of\nGod than I have, but whose views are by no means dogma or accepted\ndoctrine, some of it clearly belongs to personal interpretation and\nspeculation.  But having said this, I find McConkie (even in his most\nbiased and speculative moments) far more thought-provoking than the\ntrash coming from your proverbial pen.  I\'m somewhat appalled that I have\nallowed myself to sink as low as you in this posting...\n\n=============================\nRobert Weiss\npsyrobtw@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu\n\n\nCasper C. Knies              isscck@byuvm.bitnet\nBrigham Young University     isscck@vm.byu.edu\nUCS Computer Facilities\n',
  "Organization: City University of New York\nFrom: <A54SI@CUNYVM.BITNET>\nSubject: Re: Merlin, Mithras and Magick\nDistribution: world\n <JOSHUA.93Apr19183833@bailey.cpac.washington.edu>\n <Pegasus-200493113800@fp1-dialin-1.uoregon.edu>\n <JOSHUA.93Apr20190924@bailey.cpac.washington.edu>\nLines: 38\n\n\nWhat an exciting thread (finally!)\n\nMitra is Sanskrit for Friend, as such He started out as an avatar of Lord Visnu\n mentioned first in the Vedas. Later he seems to have risen to chief prominence\n worshipped by the Persians. Associated with the Sun but NOT the Sun, he is\n the lord of contract honor and obedience, therefore naturally worshipped by\n soldiers. He was ordered by the Sun to slay the bull of heaven and He reluct-\n antly agreed because of His obligation...the blood of that bull spilled and\n grew all earth life...then Mitra and the Sun sat down to eat.\n\nWorship of Lord Mitra ended in Persia with the ascension of the Zoroastrians.\n\nHundreds of years later He was rediscovered and thrown into the Official Roman\n Pantheon (tm) for some semi-tricky reason, I forget why. But all references of\n Him ended abruptly when He was stricken from same, so apparently His worship\n was some sort of vehicle for advancement in the bureaucracy, like membership\n in the Communist Party was in the Soviet Bloc. The sociology of religion in\n ancient times is fascinating!\n\nOh, His B-day was 25 Dec. Ahem.\n\nI am not sure if the mystery cult really lasted after His was booted from the\n Roman Imperial God Roster or what. It contained mostly soldiers, with 7 levels\n of initiation. They worshipped underground in caverns in pews. The bull horns\n in those temples were for scaring away or impaling evil spirits, I'm not sure\n that they had Mithraic significance or not.\n\nI don't know that the ritual meal was of a cannibalistic nature as is the\n Christian masses. But eating deities goes way back to Old Kingdom Egypt.\n\nSomeone mentioned bullfighting. Did Mithraists sacrifice bulls? I forget. More\n likely, for a religious source, might be the shower of bull's blood enjoyed\n by the worshippers of Cybele on the Day of Blood? Cybele worship extended all\n throughout even up to France bigtime.\n-------\nCHARLES HOPE   A54SI@CUNYVM   A54SI@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU\nGOVERNMENT BY REPORTERS...MEDIA-OCRACY.\n",
  'From: hudson@athena.cs.uga.edu (Paul Hudson Jr)\nSubject: Re: Religion and homosexuality\nKeywords: being liberal\nOrganization: University of Georgia, Athens\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 18\n\nIn article <1993Apr5.182411.7621@midway.uchicago.edu> dsoconne@midway.uchicago.edu writes:\n>First of all as far as I know, only male homosexuality is explicitly\n>mentioned in the bibles, so you\'re off the hook there,\n\nActually, there is one condemnation of lesbian acts in the Bible, Romans\n1:26.\n\nI think. In\n>any event, there are *plenty* of people in many denominations who\n>do not consider a person\'s sexual identification of gay/lesbian/bisexual\n>as an "immoral lifestyle choice"\n\nThere are plenty who don\'t read the Bible.\nOr pray for that matter.\n\nLink Hudson.\n\n\n',
  'From: mikec@sail.LABS.TEK.COM (Micheal Cranford)\nSubject: Re: *** The list of Biblical contradictions\nDistribution: usa\nOrganization: Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton,  OR.\nLines: 37\n\nJim Brown wrote :\n\n[ deleted ]\n>I feel that those who use the KJV as a basis for arguing Biblical \n>contradictions are either being intellectually dishonest (purposefully\n>wanting to show the Bible in the worst light possible), or they are\n>being mentally lazy and are taking the easy way out.  Either way, they\n>leave the theist the option of countering with, "Well, that\'s just the\n>KJV, that\'s not what my XXX version says."\n[ deleted ]\n\n  Unfortunately, it\'s not that simple.  The KJV is preferred by the majority\nof fundamentalists (at least here).  The second part of your argument fails\nas well, since that statement can be used against any version (not just the\nKJV).\n\n[ deleted ]\n>I\'ve based my argument on one of the best modern translations\n>available which is based on the work of the leading Biblical scholars."\n[ deleted ]\n\n  I would not find this statement to be very useful since it is an appeal\nto authority and the opposition will just claim that their authorities are\n"better".  A second tact that local creationists have used is to reply "but\nthose scholars are atheists and cannot be believed" (they will also use this\nphrase to describe any theologians that they don\'t agree with).\n\n[ deleted ]\n>>>/GEN 30:39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth\n>>>/cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.\n[ deleted ]\n\n  The verse being discussed clearly claims that sympathetic magic works (i.e.\nplacing stripped sticks in the cattle breeding grounds causes stripped and\nspotted calves to be born) and should be attacked on that basis (no biologist\nhas ever observed this claimed correlation).\n\n',
  "From: psyrobtw@ubvmsd.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss)\nSubject: 18 Apr 93   God's Promise in Philippians 4:9\nOrganization: University at Buffalo\nLines: 8\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41\nNntp-Posting-Host: ubvmsd.cc.buffalo.edu\n\n\n\tThose things,\n\twhich ye have both learned, and received,\n\tand heard, and seen in me,\n\tdo:\n\tand the God of peace shall be with you.\n\n\tPhilippians 4:9\n",
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: "Cruel" (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 23\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nkmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n\n>>They spent quite a bit of time on the wording of the Constitution.  They\n>>picked words whose meanings implied the intent.  We have already looked\n>>in the dictionary to define the word.  Isn\'t this sufficient?\n>We only need to ask the question: what did the founding fathers \n>consider cruel and unusual punishment?\n\n>Hanging? Hanging there slowing being strangled would be very \n>painful, both physically and psychologicall, I imagine.\n\nWell, most hangings are very quick and, I imagine, painless.\n\n>Firing squad ? [ note: not a clean way to die back in those \n>days ], etc. \n>All would be considered cruel under your definition.\n>All were allowed under the constitution by the founding fathers.\n\nAnd, hangings and firing squads are allowed today, too.  And, if these\nthings were not considered cruel, then surely a medical execution\n(painless) would not be, either.\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: jmeritt@mental.mitre.org\nSubject: God\'s promise to the righteous\nOrganization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway\nLines: 3\nNNTP-Posting-Host: cs.utexas.edu\n\nPs.92:12: "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree."\n\nIsa.57:1: "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart."\n',
  'From: ray@netcom.com (Ray Fischer)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Netcom. San Jose, California\nLines: 91\n\nfrank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes ...\n> ray@netcom.com (Ray Fischer) writes:\n>#frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes ...\n>#>Plus questions for you:  why do subjectivists/relativists/nihilists get so \n>#>het up about the idea that relativism is *better* than objectivism? \n>#\n>#To the degree that relativism is a more accurate decription of the\n>#truth than is objectivism, it provides more power and ability to\n>#control events.\n>\n>I think you lose the right to talk about THE truth once you say values are\n>relative.   Accuracy is a value judgement, too.  It so happens I agree with \n>the substance of what you say below, but it\'s clear to me that at least \n>*some* values are objective.  Truth is better than falsehood, peace is\n>better than war, education is better than ignorance.  We know these things,\n>if we know anything.\n\nWhile I\'ll agree that these are generally held to be "good things", I\nquestion whether they come very close to being objective values.\nEspecially considering that at one time or another each has been\nviewed as being undesirable.  I doubt you could even come up with\nanything that could be said to be universally "good" or "bad".\n\nAnd when I referred to "the truth" I was using the term\nhypothetically, realizing full well that there may not even be such a\nthing.\n\n>#Assuming, for the moment, that morals _are_ relative, then two\n>#relativists can recognize that neither has a lock on the absolute\n>#truth and they can proceed to negotiate a workable compromise that\n>#produces the desired results.\n>\n>No they cannot, because they acknowledge up front that THE desired\n>results do not exist.  That, after all, is the meaning of compromise.\n>\n>Plus some problems: If the relativists have no values in common, compromise \n>is impossible - what happens then?    Who, if anyone, is right?  What happens \n>if one relativist has a value "Never compromise?".  A value "plant bombs in \n>crowded shopping areas"?  After all, if morals are relative, these values \n>cannot *meaningfully* be said to be incorrect.\n\nTrue enough.  But they cannot be said to be anything more than\npersonal morals.  One thing notably lacking in most extremists is any\nsense of _personal_ accountability - the justification for any\nsocially unacceptable behaviour is invariably some "higher authority"\n(aka, absolute moral truth).\n\n>#Assuming that there is an absolute morality, two disagreeing \n>#objectivists can either be both wrong or just one of them right; there\n>#is no room for compromise.  Once you beleive in absolute morals,\n>#you must accept that you are amoral or that everyone who disagrees\n>#with you is amoral.\n>\n>Untrue.  One can accept that one does not know the whole truth.  Part\n>of the objective truth about morality may well be that flexibility is\n>better than rigidity, compromise is better than believing you have a lock\n>on morals, etc.  In the same way, I can believe in an objective reality\n>without claiming to know the mechanism for quantum collapse, or who shot\n>JFK.\n\nAn objective truth that says one cannot know the objective truth?\nInteresting notion.   :-)\n\nCertainly one can have as one\'s morals a belief that compromise is\ngood.  But to compromise on the absolute truth is not something most\npeople do very successfully.  I suppose one could hold compromise as\nbeing an absolute moral, but then what happens when someone else\ninsists on no compromise?  How do you compromise on compromising?\n\n>#Given a choice between a peaceful compromise or endless contention,\n>#I\'d say that compromise seems to be "better".\n>\n>And I would agree.   But it\'s bloody to pointless to speak of it if it\'s\n>merely a matter of taste.  Is your liking for peace any better founded\n>than someone else\'s liking for ice-cream?  I\'m looking for a way to say\n>"yes" to that question, and relativism isn\'t it.\n\nAlmost invariably when considering the relative value of one thing\nover another, be it morals or consequences, people only consider those\naspects which justify a desired action or belief.  In justifying a\ncommitement to peace I might argue that it lets people live long &\nhealthy and peaceful lives.  While that much may well be true, it is\nincomplete in ignoring the benefits of war - killing off the most\nagressive member of society, trimming down the population, stimulating\nproduction.  The equation is always more complex than presented.\nTo characterize relative morals as merely following one\'s own\nconscience / desires is to unduly simplify it.\n\n-- \nRay Fischer                   "Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth\nray@netcom.com                 than lies."  -- Friedrich Nietzsche\n',
  'From: acooper@mac.cc.macalstr.edu\nSubject: Re: thoughts on christians\nOrganization: Macalester College\nLines: 94\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.050750.3893@nuscc.nus.sg>, cmtan@iss.nus.sg (Tan Chade Meng - dan) writes:\n> sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n> : In article <1q338l$cva@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu>, gsu0033@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu (Eric\n> : Molas) wrote:\n> : > Christianity is an infectious cult.  The reasons it flourishes are \n> : > because 1) it gives people without hope or driven purpose in life\n> : > a safety blanked to hide behind.  "Oh wow..all i have to do is \n> : > follow this christian moral standard and I get eternal happiness."\n> : \n> : I agree that in many cases primitive emotional feelings based on\n> : \'haha, you won\'t laugh in hell\' mentalities makes certain religions\n> : very attractive for certain personalities.\n> \n> I agree with both of u, but I would like to make a small point.  Xtianity, &\n> other dogmatic religions, not only attract people without hope etc but\n> also attract "average" people as well.  I believe that Xtainity, thru\n> its escapist doctrines & absolutist attitudes, provides great psychological \n> shelter from day-to-day frustrations, unhappiness & fear of uncertainty \n> & unknown etc.\n>\n\nThis is a good point, but I think "average" people do not take up Christianity\nso much out of fear or escapism, but, quite simply, as a way to improve their\nsocial life, or to get more involved with American culture, if they are kids of\nimmigrants for example.  Since it is the overwhelming major religion in the\nWestern World (in some form or other), it is simply the choice people take if\nthey are bored and want to do something new with their lives, but not somethong\nTOO new, or TOO out of the ordinary.  Seems a little weak, but as long as it\ndoesn\'t hurt anybody...\n \n> The Buddha had something to say about the attractiveness of religions:\n> \n>    "When driven by fear, man worships sacred mountains, sacred stones, \n> \tand sacred trees." \n> \n> However, the Buddha also said,\n> \n> \t"If somebody finds peace in any religion, let him be".\n> \n> \n\nThese are good quotes, and I agree with both of them, but let\'s make sure to\nalter the scond one so that includes something like "...let him be, as long as\nhe is not preventing others from finding their peace." or something like that. \n(Of course, I suppose, if someone were REALLY "at peace", there would be no\nneed for inflicting evangelism)\n\n\n> Personally, I feel that since religion have such a poweful\n> psychological effect, we should let theists be.  But the problem is that\n> religions cause enormous harm to non-believers and to humanity as a whole\n> (holy wars, inquisitions, inter-religious hatred, impedence of science\n> & intellectual progress, us-&-them attitudes etc etc.  Need I say more?).\n> I really don\'t know what we can do about them.  Any comments?\n> \nWell, it is a sure thing we will have to live with them all our lives.  Their\npopularity seems to come and go.  I remember when I first entered High School,\nI was an atheist (always had been) and so were about 7 of my friends.  At this\ntime, 5 of those 7 have converted, always to Christianity (they were all also\nimmigrants from Taiwan, or sons of immigrants, hence my earlier gross\ngeneralization).  Christianity seems a lot more popular to people now than it\never has before (since I\'ve been noticing).  Maybe it is just my perceptions\nthat are chagning.  Who knows?\nI for one am perfectly willing to live and let live with them, so long as we\nhave some set of abstract rights/agreements on how we should treat each other:\nI have no desire to be hurt by them or their notions.  For all the well-put\narguments on this usenet, it never does any good.  Argumentation does not\nreally seem to apply to Christians (or even some atheists)- it must simply be a\nstep the person takes naturally, almost, "instinctively"...\n\n\nbest regards,\n\n********************************************************************************\n* Adam John Cooper\t\t"Verily, often have I laughed at the weaklings *\n*\t\t\t\t   who thought themselves good simply because  *\n* acooper@macalstr.edu\t\t\t\tthey had no claws."\t       *\n********************************************************************************\n>\n--\n> \n> The UnEnlightened One\n> ------------------+--------------------------------------------------------\n>                   | "Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be \n> Tan Chade Meng    | expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it\n> Singapore         | transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology;\n> cmtan@iss.nus.sg  | it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is\n>                   | based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience\n>                   | of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful\n>                   | unity"     --  Einstein\n> ------------------+--------------------------------------------------------\n> \n> \n> \n',
  'From: bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig)\nSubject: Re: 14 Apr 93   God\'s Promise in 1 John 1: 7\nOrganization: Starfleet Headquarters: San Francisco\nLines: 47\n\nbrian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615) writes:\n>\n>Brian Kendig contorts . . .\n>\n>>\tIt can not be a light which cleanses\n>>\tif it is tainted with the blood\n>>\tof an innocent man.\n>\n>. . . now showing how Brian Kendig is in the dark of the \n>most fundamental basic of the Old Testament.  Concepts like\n>santification and Lev. 17:11 must be foreign to you.  Too bad\n>you are not interested in understanding.  Too bad you prefer\n>blurting folly even to your own shame.\n\n  Lev 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given\n  it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is\n  the blood that makes atonement for the soul.\n\nThe Old Testament was very big on the "eye for an eye" business.  It\nmakes sense that Leviticus would support physical injury to "repay"\nmoral wrongdoing.\n\nI know about sanctification.  I\'ve been taught all about it in Sunday\nschool, catechism class, and theology classes.  But even after all\nthat, I still can\'t accept it.  Maybe I\'m still not understanding it,\nor maybe I\'m just understanding it all too well.\n\nFrom the bottom of my heart I know that the punishment of an innocent\nman is wrong.  I\'ve tried repeatedly over the course of several years\nto accept it, but I just can\'t.  If this means that I can\'t accept the\npremise that a god who would allow this is \'perfectly good\', then so\nbe it.\n\n>     What ignorance you can show us next?  I guess I\'ll wait\n>till tomorrow.\n\nIf you can explain to me why the death of Jesus was a *good* thing,\nthen I would be very glad to hear it, and you might even convert me.\nBe warned, however, that I\'ve heard all the most common arguments\nbefore, and they just don\'t convince me.\n\n-- \n_/_/_/  Brian Kendig                             Je ne suis fait comme aucun\n/_/_/  bskendig@netcom.com                de ceux que j\'ai vus; j\'ose croire\n_/_/                            n\'etre fait comme aucun de ceux qui existent.\n  /  The meaning of life     Si je ne vaux pas mieux, au moins je suis autre.\n /    is that it ends.                                           -- Rousseau\n',
  'From: deane@binah.cc.brandeis.edu (David Matthew Deane)\nSubject: Re: Flaming Nazis\nReply-To: deane@binah.cc.brandeis.edu\nOrganization: Brandeis University\nLines: 94\n\nIn article <1qsami$3h7@access.digex.net>, dickeney@access.digex.com (Dick Eney)\nwrites:\n>The trouble with trying to find out the truth is that Roehm and his\n>buddies were ACCUSED OF being flaming faggots, one of the pretexts for the\n>Night of Long Knives in which Roehm and most of the SA wing of the NSDAP\n>were purged. \n\nStop! Hold it! You have a few problems here. Official history says that \nthe first accusations of homosexuality in the SA came from OUTSIDE of the Nazi \nparty, long BEFORE the Nazis ever came to power. So this objection is a red\nherring, even if established history is wrong on this point. Moreover, none of \nthe histories I\'ve read ever made mention of Hitler or anyone else ever using \nhomosexuality as a pretext for purging Roehm. A point I saw reiterated was that\nHitler and the party covered up these accusations. If you are going to accuse\nofficial history of being a fabrication, you should at least get your facts\nright. The pretext for purging Roehm was that he was planning to use the SA in\na coup against Hitler. Nowhere is there mention of using allegations of\nhomosexuality as a pretext for the purge, nor as a justification afterwards (it\nis possible that the histories I\'ve read have not mentioned this, but I doubt\nit - would it be in Hitler\'s best interest to admit to the world that his\nformer right hand man was a homosexual?). \n\nAnyway, as I said before, it is always possible that I have missed references \nto the Nazis making use of charges of homosexuality against the SA after the \nnight of the long knives - but this does not prove that they were false. Even \nthe Nazis could tell the truth when it was to their advantage. In any case, \nthis does not deal with accusations of homosexuality in the SA during the \n1920\'s.\n\n>Since the accusers thereafter controlled the records,\n>anything bearing on the subject -- true or not -- has to be considered\n>tainted evidence. \n\nAh, yes. I forgot this was being posted to alt.conspiracy. I can smell the\nparanoia from here. Since the Nazis never officially charged Roehm with \nhomosexuality (at least, not according to what I\'ve read), I\'d like to know \nwhat tainted "evidence" you are talking about. Since the accusations were made \nby persons outside of the Nazi party, long before it came to power, and those \naccusations were common knowledge to journalists and others in Germany in the \n1920\'s and 30\'s, just how would it be possible for the Nazis to go back in \ntime and plant "tainted" evidence? How exactly does one doctor newspapers \nwhich were circulated around the world, without the discrepancies being \nobvious? What actual incidences of Nazi doctoring evidence on this matter\ndo you know about? And what about the testimony of people who were involved in \nthese matters, some of whom were not Nazis? And what is the point of making a \nfalse accusation of homosexuality if you do not publicize it? Since the point \nhere seems to be to discredit established history, then the burden of proof \nfalls on the revisionist. The revisionists had better do their homework \nbefore making accusations. Otherwise they simply look like conspiracy nuts.\n\n>The available data suggest that Roehm and his crowd,\n>the SA -- Sturmabteilung, "Storm Troopers" -- left the world a better\n>place when they departed, \n\nThis is just about the *only* thing we agree on. \n\nI suspect that the notion that there might have been bad people - Roehm and \nhis SA buddies - who were homosexuals must disturb some people. The feeling\nseems to be that if a nasty individual is accused of homosexuality, that this\nmust be an attempt to bash homosexuals. This fear - often justified - is what\nlies behind this distrust of official history, or so it seems to me. But this\nis not a good justification for trashing accepted accounts of this subject. If \nyou really think that historians are so incompetent, why don\'t you write them \nand ask where they got their sources on this subject, if you can\'t tell from \ntheir footnotes? I\'m a graduate student in history. Writing to professors and\ntracking down sources is old hat. But my time is limited and this is not my\nspecialty - and neither you nor anyone else have said anything that would\ncast one shred of doubt on existing evidence. I\'m not going to waste my time\ntrying to debunk someone\'s paranoia. Do the research yourself.\n\n>but concrete particulars are still no more than\n>more or less shrewd guesses.  \n>-- Diccon Frankborn\n\nGiven that you already consider all evidence "tainted", what on earth would\nconstitute concrete particulars? And since when have concrete particulars been\nconsidered "shrewd guesses"?\n\nI suggest that those who do not trust popular historians (Irving et al) -\nhistorians writing for a popular audience do not, as a rule, provide copious \nfootnotes - should try instead reading academic historians, who usually \nprovide footnotes to all their sources in immmense detail. This is the place \nto start looking. Assuming that one really wants to know the truth.\n\nI\'ll bet the folks on alt.pagan are tired of this subject already. My\napologies - we seem to have gone off on a bit of a tangent. I forget which gods\nare responsible for keeping strings within appropriate newsgroup subject\nboundaries...\n                                                                       \n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\nDavid Matthew Deane (deane@binah.cc.brandeis.edu)\n"...Be in me as the eternal moods of the bleak wind...Let the Gods speak softly\nof us in days hereafter..." (Ezra Pound)\n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie (Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nDistribution: world,public\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 19\n\nIn article <115437@bu.edu>, jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) wrote:\n> As I have stated on a parallel thread, I am not an anarchist, nor is\n> Islam anarchist. Therefore the UK should have control over itself. \n> However, this does not change the fact that it is possible for citizens\n> of the UK residing within the UK to be in violation of Islamic law.\n\nThis is an interesting notion -- and one I'm scared of. In my\ncase I'm a Finnish citizen, I live in USA, and I have to conform\nto the US laws. However, the Finnish government is not actively\nchecking out what I'm doing in this country, in other words checking\nout if I conform to the Finnish laws.\n\nHowever, Islamic law seems to be a 'curse' that is following you\neverywhere in the world. Shades of 1984, eh?\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 23\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1qkq9t$66n@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n|> \n|> I\'ll take a wild guess and say Freedom is objectively valuable.  I base\n|> this on the assumption that if everyone in the world were deprived utterly\n|> of their freedom (so that their every act was contrary to their volition),\n|> almost all would want to complain.  Therefore I take it that to assert or\n|> believe that "Freedom is not very valuable", when almost everyone can see\n|> that it is, is every bit as absurd as to assert "it is not raining" on\n|> a rainy day.  I take this to be a candidate for an objective value, and it\n|> it is a necessary condition for objective morality that objective values\n|> such as this exist.\n\nMy own personal and highly subjective opinion is that freedom\nis a good thing.\n\nHowever, when I here people assert that the only "true" freedom\nis in following the words of this and that Messiah, I realise\nthat people don\'t even agree on the meaning of the word.\n\nWhat does it mean to say that word X represents an objective\nvalue when word X has no objective meaning?\n\njon.\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 31\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1qm069$fm8@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n|> In article <1qkndq$k@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> #In article <1qjbn0$na4@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n|> #|> In article <kmr4.1571.734847050@po.CWRU.edu> kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n|> #|> #\tYou have only pushed back the undefined meaning. You must now define \n|> #|> #what "objective values" are.\n|> #|> \n|> #|> Really?  You don\'t know what objective value is?  If I offered the people\n|> #|> of the U.S., collectively, $1 for all of the land in America, would that \n|> #|> sound like a good deal?  \n|> #\n|> #You mean that if you can find a ridiculous price, the rest of\n|> #us are supposed to conclude that an objectively correct price\n|> #exists?\n|> \n|> I said nothing about the price.  I asked if the deal was good.  It isn\'t.\n\nSo it was a complete non-sequitur, is that it?     How does coming\nup with a derisory deal tell us anything about the existence of\n"objective" values.\n\nYou\'re asking us to accept that the deal you offered would be turned\ndown, and we believe that, not because we appeal to objective values\nbut becasue we know, or think we know, something about people.\n\nAll the people we know exhibit *subjective* values that would lead\nthem to reject a deal of $1 for all of the land in America.\n\nGreat.   Now, so what?\n\njon. \n',
  'From: dpw@sei.cmu.edu (David Wood)\nSubject: Re: And Another THing:\nIn-Reply-To: mangoe@cs.umd.edu\'s message of 3 Apr 93 00:46:07 GMT\nOrganization: Software Engineering Institute\nLines: 39\n\n\n\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n\n>Keith Ryan writes:\n>>\n>>You will ignore any criticism of your logic, or any possible incongruenties\n>>in your stance?  You will not answer any questions on the validity of any\n>>opinion and/or facts you state?\n\n>When I have to start saying "that\'s not what I said", and the response is\n>"did so!", there\'s no reason to continue.  If someone is not going to argue\n>with MY version of MY position, then they cannot be argued with.\n\nBut of course YOUR version of YOUR position has been included in the\nCharley Challenges, so your claim above is a flat-out lie.  Further,\nonly last week you claimed that you "might not" answer the Challenges\nbecause you were turned off by "included text".  So which is it, do\nyou want your context included in my articles or not?  Come to think\nof it, this contradiction has the makings of a new entry in the next\nChallenges post.\n\nBy the way, I\'ve kept every bloody thing that you\'ve written related\nto this thread, and will be only too pleased to re-post any of it to\nback my position.  You seem to have forgotten that you leave an\nelectronic paper trail on the net.\n\n>>This is the usual theist approach.  No matter how many times a certain\n>>argument has been disproven, shown to be non-applicable or non-sequitur;\n>>they keep cropping up- time after time.\n\n>Speaking of non-sequiturs, this has little to do with what I just said.  And\n>have some sauce for the goose: some of the "disproof" is fallacies repeated\n>over and over (such as the "law of nature" argument someone posted recently).\n\nNow, now, let\'s not change the subject.  Wouldn\'t it be best to finish\nup the thread in question before you begin new ones?\n\n--Dave Wood\n',
  " zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!usc!elroy.jpl.nasa.gov!nntp-server.caltech.edu!juliet.caltech.edu!lmh\nSubject: Re: Americans and Evolution\nFrom: lmh@juliet.caltech.edu (Henling, Lawrence M.)\nDistribution: world,local\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology\nNNTP-Posting-Host: juliet.caltech.edu\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41\nLines: 18\n\nIn article <1APR199313404295@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu<, lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard) writes...\n<In article <31MAR199321091163@juliet.caltech.edu<, lmh@juliet.caltech.edu (Henling, Lawrence M.) writes...\n<<Atheism (Greek 'a' not + 'theos' god)  Belief that there is no god.\n<<Agnosticism (Greek 'a' not + ~ 'gnostein ?' know) Belief that it is\n<<  not possible to determine if there is a god.\n\n<No.  Agnosticism as you have here defined it is a positive belief--a\n<belief that it is not possible to determine the existence of any gods.\n<That's a belief I'm inclined to reject.  You have also defined atheism\n<here as a positive belief--that there is no god.  A fairly large number\n<of atheists on alt.atheism reject this definition, instead holding that\n<atheism is simply the absence of belief in a god.  Michael Martin, in\n<_Atheism: A Philosophical Justification_, distinguishes strong atheism\n\n My mistake. I will have to get a newer dictionary and read the \nfollow up line.\n\nlarry henling   lmh@shakes.caltech.edu\n",
  ' cs.utexas.edu!uunet!olivea!sgigate!sgiblab!adagio.panasonic.com!nntp-server.caltech.edu!bdunn\nSubject: Re: The wrong and the right.\nFrom: bdunn@cco.caltech.edu (Brendan Dunn)\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\nLines: 25\n\nIn article <93090.141001E62763@TRMETU.BITNET> <E62763@TRMETU.BITNET> writes:\n>Hi.I\'m a Turkish guy who had tried atheism,satenism and buddism at some instant\n>s of hislife.Finally I decided on Islambecause of many facts which I intend to\n> write here.From my point of view,you atheists are people who has dropped to a\n>deep,dark well and thinking the only reality is the dusty walls of the well.But\n> if you had looked a little bit upward you would see the blue skies.You\'dsee t\n>he truth but you close your eyes.Allah is the only GOD and Mohammed is his mess\n> ager.now,let\'s generate some entropy in means of theology and thermodynamics.W\n>hat\'s your point of view to the problem of the \'\'FIRST KISS\'\'?That is,the first\n> spark which was generated for the formation of the universe.Has it formed by i\n>tself?You are bothering yourselves with the Big Bang but where is the first spa\n>rk?Please think a bit.Think and return to the only reality of the universe:ISLA\n>M|\n\nUh oh.  This looks a bit too much like Bobby\'s "Atheism Is False" stuff.  Are\nwe really going to have to go through this again?  Maybe the universe is\ncyclical!  :)  :(\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n--Brendan Dunn\n',
  'From: perry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry)\nSubject: Re: Is Morality Constant (was Re: Biblical Rape)\nOrganization: Decision Support Inc.\nLines: 51\nNNTP-Posting-Host: dsi.dsinc.com\n\nThis (frayed) thread has turned into a patented alt.atheism 5-on-1\nping-pong game, and I don\'t have any strong disagreement, so I\'ll try\nto stick to the one thing I don\'t quite follow about the argument:\n\nIt seems to me that there is a contradiction in arguing that the Bible\nwas "enlightened for its times" (i.e. closer to what we would consider\nmorally good based on our standards and past experience) on the one\nhand [I hope this summarizes this argument adequately], and on the\nother hand:\n\nIn article <1993Apr03.001125.23294@watson.ibm.com> strom@Watson.Ibm.Com (Rob Strom) writes:\n}In article <1phpe1INN8g6@dsi.dsinc.com>, perry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry) writes:\n\n}|> }Disclaimer:  I\'m speaking from the Jewish perspective,\n}|> }where "the Bible" means what many call the Old Testament,\n}|> }and where the interpretation is not necessarily the\n}|> }raw text, but instead the court cases, commentaries\n}|> }and traditions passed down through Jewish communities.\n}|> \n}|> This seems the crux to me: if you judge the Bible according to a long\n}|> line of traditions and interpretations coming down to the current day,\n}|> rather than on its own merits as a cultural artifact, then of course\n}|> it will correspond more closely with more contemporary values.\n}\n}But if that\'s how the Bible is actually being used today,\n}shouldn\'t that be how we should judge it?  If most people\n}use scissors to cut paper, shouldn\'t Consumer\'s Reports\n}test scissors for paper-cutting ability, even though\n}scissors may have been designed originally to cut cloth?\n\nThat\'s possibly a good way to judge the use of the Bible in teaching\nJewish morality today, but it hardly seems fair to claim that this\nhighly-interpreted version is what was "enlightened for its times".\nTo (attempt to) extend the analogy, this is like saying that the\noriginal scissor-makers were unusually advanced at paper-cutting for\ntheir times, even though they only ever cut cloth, and had never even\nheard of paper.\n\nI\'m not arguing that the Bible is "disgusting", though some of the\nhistory depicted in it is, by modern standards.  However, history is\nfull of similar abuses, and I don\'t think the Biblical accounts are\nworse than their contemporaries--or possibly ours.  On the other hand,\nI don\'t know of any reason to think the history described in the Bible\nshows *less* abuse than their contemporaries, or ours.  That complex\nand benign moral traditions have evolved based on particular mythic\ninterpretations of that history is interesting, but I still don\'t\nthink it fair to take that long tradition of interpretation and use it\nto attack condemnation of the original history.\n-- \nJim Perry   perry@dsinc.com   Decision Support, Inc., Matthews NC\nThese are my opinions.  For a nominal fee, they can be yours.\n',
  'From: a137490@lehtori.cc.tut.fi (Aario Sami)\nSubject: Re: note to Bobby M.\nOrganization: Tampere University of Technology, Computing Centre\nLines: 14\nDistribution: sfnet\nNNTP-Posting-Host: cc.tut.fi\n\nIn <1993Apr10.191100.16094@ultb.isc.rit.edu> snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu (S.N. Mozumder ) writes:\n\n>Insults about the atheistic genocide was totally unintentional.  Under\n>atheism, anything can happen, good or bad, including genocide.\n\nAnd you know why this is? Because you\'ve conveniently _defined_ a theist as\nsomeone who can do no wrong, and you\'ve _defined_ people who do wrong as\natheists. The above statement is circular (not to mention bigoting), and,\nas such, has no value.\n-- \nSami Aario         |  "Can you see or measure an atom? Yet you can explode\na137490@cc.tut.fi  |   one. Sunlight is comprised of many atoms."\n-------------------\'  "Your stupid minds! Stupid, stupid!"\nEros in "Plan 9 From Outer Space"     DISCLAIMER: I don\'t agree with Eros.\n',
  "From: mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!!\nOrganization: Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, B.C.\nLines: 29\n\n\nIn article <sandvik-150493181533@sandvik-kent.apple.com>, sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n|> In article <1993Apr15.200231.10206@ra.royalroads.ca>,\n|> mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n|> > These laws written for the Israelites, God's chosen people whom God had\n|> > expressly set apart from the rest of the world.  The Israelites were a\n|> > direct witness to God's existence.  To disobey God after KNOWing that God\n|> > is real would be an outright denial of God and therefore immediately punishable.\n|> > Remember, these laws were written for a different time and applied only to \n|> > God's chosen people.  But Jesus has changed all of that.  We are living in the\n|> > age of grace.  Sin is no longer immediately punishable by death.  There is\n|> > repentance and there is salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  And not just\n|> > for a few chosen people.  Salvation is available to everyone, Jew and Gentile\n|> > alike.\n|> \n|> Jews won't agree with you, Malcolm.\n|> \n|> Cheers,\n|> Kent\n|> ---\n|> sandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n\nA lot of people won't agree with me.  That's their right and I respect that.\nHowever, to the point, Jews are also covered by the saving grace of Jesus\nChrist.  There are Jews who have become Christians.\n\nThis brings up another question I still have to ponder:  why is there so \nmuch anti-Semitism?  Why do people hate Jews?  I don't hate Jews.  I consider\nthem to be like anyone else, sinners we all are.\n",
  'Subject: Re: Request for Support\nFrom: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\nLines: 16\n\nIn article <1993Apr5.095148.5730@sei.cmu.edu> dpw@sei.cmu.edu (David Wood) writes:\n\n>2. If you must respond to one of his articles, include within it\n>something similar to the following:\n>\n>    "Please answer the questions posed to you in the Charley Challenges."\n\n\tAgreed.\n\n--\n\n\n       "Satan and the Angels do not have freewill.  \n        They do what god tells them to do. "\n\n        S.N. Mozumder (snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu) \n',
  'From: lpzsml@unicorn.nott.ac.uk (Steve Lang)\nSubject: Re: Objective Values \'v\' Scientific Accuracy (was Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is)\nOrganization: Nottingham University\nLines: 38\n\nIn article <C5J718.Jzv@dcs.ed.ac.uk>, tk@dcs.ed.ac.uk (Tommy Kelly) wrote:\n> In article <1qjahh$mrs@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n> \n> >Science ("the real world") has its basis in values, not the other way round, \n> >as you would wish it.  \n> \n> You must be using \'values\' to mean something different from the way I\n> see it used normally.\n> \n> And you are certainly using \'Science\' like that if you equate it to\n> "the real world".\n> \n> Science is the recognition of patterns in our perceptions of the Universe\n> and the making of qualitative and quantitative predictions concerning\n> those perceptions.\n\nScience is the process of modeling the real world based on commonly agreed\ninterpretations of our observations (perceptions).\n\n> It has nothing to do with values as far as I can see.\n> Values are ... well they are what I value.\n> They are what I would have rather than not have - what I would experience\n> rather than not, and so on.\n\nValues can also refer to meaning.  For example in computer science the\nvalue of 1 is TRUE, and 0 is FALSE.  Science is based on commonly agreed\nvalues (interpretation of observations), although science can result in a\nreinterpretation of these values.\n\n> Objective values are a set of values which the proposer believes are\n> applicable to everyone.\n\nThe values underlaying science are not objective since they have never been\nfully agreed, and the change with time.  The values of Newtonian physic are\ncertainly different to those of Quantum Mechanics.\n\nSteve Lang\nSLANG->SLING->SLINK->SLICK->SLACK->SHACK->SHANK->THANK->THINK->THICK\n',
  "From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: Allah Akbar and Praise the Lord.\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 15\n\nMaddi Hausmann (madhaus@netcom.com) wrote:\n: \n: And thank the Lord that Bill Connor has returned to set\n: us straight!  Now I know I can die happy when my Lexus\n: SE400 wipes out on that rain-slick curve in 1997.  The\n: rest of you had best straighten up, because your time \n: is even more limited.  Most of you are going in the Flu\n: of 1994.\n\nMaddi,\n\nYou know you're glad to have me visit ...\nBut I won't stay long this time, just shopping around.\n\nBill\n",
  'From: ingles@engin.umich.edu (Ray Ingles)\nSubject: Re: Benediktine Metaphysics\nOrganization: University of Michigan Engineering, Ann Arbor\nLines: 45\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: agar.engin.umich.edu\n\nIn article <66019@mimsy.umd.edu> mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n>Benedikt Rosenau writes, with great authority:\n>\n>>     IF IT IS CONTRADICTORY IT CANNOT EXIST.\n>\n>"Contradictory" is a property of language.  If I correct this to\n>\n>      THINGS DEFINED BY CONTRADICTORY LANGUAGE DO NOT EXIST\n>\n>I will object to definitions as reality.  If you then amend it to\n>\n>      THINGS DESCRIBED BY CONTRADICTORY LANGUAGE DO NOT EXIST\n>\n>then we\'ve come to something which is plainly false.  Failures in\n>description are merely failures in description.\n\n How about this description: "An object that is, at one time, both a\nEuclidean square and a Euclidean circle"? I hold that no object satisfying\nthis description could exist. The description is inconsistent, and hence\ndescribes an object that could not exist.\n Now, suppose someone pointed to a bicycle, and said, "That object is,\nat one time, both a Euclidean square and a Euclidean circle." This does\nnot mean that the bicycle does not exist, it measn that the description\nwas incorrectly applied.\n \n The atheist says, "The descriptions of God that I have been presented with\nare contradictory, and hence describe something that cannot exist."\n Now, your position (so far as I can gather) is that God exists, but the\ndescriptions atheists have been presented with are simply bad descriptions\nof It.\n This is roughly analogous to someone who has never seen a bicycle, and,\nwhen they ask for a description from people who claim to have seen one,\nare told that it is a "Euclidean circle-square". Can they be blamed for\ndoubting rather strongly that this \'bicycle\' exists at all?\n\n>(I\'m not an objectivist, remember.)\n\n No kidding. :->\n\n Sincerely,\n\n Ray Ingles               ingles@engin.umich.edu\n\n "The meek can *have* the Earth. The rest of us are going to the\nstars!" - Robert A. Heinlein\n',
  'From: 9051467f@levels.unisa.edu.au (The Desert Brat)\nSubject: Victims of various \'Good Fight\'s\nOrganization: Cured, discharged\nLines: 30\n\nIn article <9454@tekig7.PEN.TEK.COM>, naren@tekig1.PEN.TEK.COM (Naren Bala) writes:\n\n> LIST OF KILLINGS IN THE NAME OF RELIGION \n> 1. Iran-Iraq War: 1,000,000\n> 2. Civil War in Sudan: 1,000,000\n> 3, Riots in India-Pakistan in 1947: 1,000,000\n> 4. Massacares in Bangladesh in 1971: 1,000,000\n> 5. Inquistions in America in 1500s: x million (x=??)\n> 6. Crusades: ??\n\n7. Massacre of Jews in WWII: 6.3 million\n8. Massacre of other \'inferior races\' in WWII: 10 million\n9. Communist purges: 20-30 million? [Socialism is more or less a religion]\n10. Catholics V Protestants : quite a few I\'d imagine\n11. Recent goings on in Bombay/Iodia (sp?) area: ??\n12. Disease introduced to Brazilian * oher S.Am. tribes: x million\n\n> -- Naren\n\nThe Desert Brat\n-- \nJohn J McVey, Elc&Eltnc Eng, Whyalla, Uni S Australia,    ________\n9051467f@levels.unisa.edu.au      T.S.A.K.C.            \\/Darwin o\\\nFor replies, mail to whjjm@wh.whyalla.unisa.edu.au      /\\________/\nDisclaimer: Unisa hates my opinions.                       bb  bb\n+------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------+\n|"It doesn\'t make a rainbow any less beautiful that we | "God\'s name is smack  |\n|understand the refractive mechanisms that chance to   | for some."            |\n|produce it." - Jim Perry, perry@dsinc.com             |    - Alice In Chains  |\n+------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------+\n',
  'From: geb@cs.pitt.edu (Gordon Banks)\nSubject: Re: [lds] Gordon\'s Objections\nReply-To: geb@cs.pitt.edu (Gordon Banks)\nOrganization: Univ. of Pittsburgh Computer Science\nLines: 38\n\nIn article <C5rp8K.Kw2@acsu.buffalo.edu> psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss) writes:\n>Gordon Banks quoted and added...\n>\n>gb> In article <C53L1s.D61@acsu.buffalo.edu>\n>gb>  psyrobtw@ubvmsd.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss) writes:\n>gb>\n>gb> >The Mormon Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer. That Jesus is God\n>gb> >the Father\'s first born spirit child. That Jesus was begotten on earth\n>gb> >through natural means, not by the Holy Ghost. That He sweat His blood\n>gb> >for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. That His blood cannot\n>gb> >cleanse from all sin. That He is now among many millions of other\n>gb> >gods. That Jesus is Jehovah and the Father is Elohim (in the OT\n>gb> >Jehovah and Elohim are the same). That He needed to be saved.\n>gb>\n\n\nIt is true that Mormons believe that all spirits (including Jesus,\nLucifer, Robert Weiss) are in the same family.  It does not mean\nthat Jesus was created, but rather that Lucifer and Robert Weiss\nwere not.  I agree that this is a "heresy".  So what?  \nThe sweating of blood in Gethsemene is\nnot a basic Mormon doctrine.  Jesus did not perform the atonement\nin Getheseme alone, as some anti-Mormons are trying to teach.  \nAs far as the "unpardonable sin" whatever that is, it is Biblical,\nand not specifically Mormon.  It is also called the sin against\nthe Holy Ghost.  Most Bible scholars (other than conservative\nones) do not believe Jehovah and Elohim were always the same.\nI\'m sure you\'ve heard of the J and the E texts?  I don\'t\nknow what you mean by "That He needed to be saved".  Jesus?\nJehovah?  Elohim?  In Mormon doctrine, Jesus was sinless,\nand thus did not "need to be saved".  \n\n\n-- \n----------------------------------------------------------------------------\nGordon Banks  N3JXP      | "Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and\ngeb@cadre.dsl.pitt.edu   |  it is shameful to surrender it too soon." \n----------------------------------------------------------------------------\n',
  "From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: thoughts on christians\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL9]\nLines: 17\n\nEd McCreary (edm@twisto.compaq.com) wrote:\n: >>>>> On 16 Apr 93 05:10:18 GMT, bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine) said:\n\n: RB> In article <ofnWyG600WB699voA=@andrew.cmu.edu> pl1u+@andrew.cmu.edu (Patrick C Leger) writes:\n: >EVER HEAR OF\n: >BAPTISM AT BIRTH?  If that isn't preying on the young, I don't know what\n: >is...\n: >\n: RB>   \n: RB>   No, that's praying on the young.  Preying on the young comes\n: RB>   later, when the bright eyed little altar boy finds out what the\n: RB>   priest really wears under that chasible.\n\nDoes this statement further the atheist cause in some way, surely it's\nnot intended as wit ...\n\nBill\n",
  'From: bcash@crchh410.NoSubdomain.NoDomain (Brian Cash)\nSubject: Re: New Member\nNntp-Posting-Host: crchh410\nOrganization: BNR, Inc.\nLines: 47\n\nIn article <C5HIEw.7s1@portal.hq.videocart.com>, dfuller@portal.hq.videocart.com (Dave Fuller) writes:\n|>   Hello. I just started reading this group today, and I think I am going\n|> to be a large participant in its daily postings. I liked the section of\n|> the FAQ about constructing logical arguments - well done. I am an atheist,\n|> but I do not try to turn other people into atheists. I only try to figure\n|> why people believe the way they do - I don\'t much care if they have a \n|> different view than I do. When it comes down to it . . . I could be wrong.\n|> I am willing to admit the possibility - something religious followers \n|> dont seem to have the capability to do.\n\nWelcome aboard!\n\n|> \n|>   I notice alot of posts from Bobby. Why does anybody ever respond to \n|> his posts ? He always falls back on the same argument:\n\n(I think you just answered your own question, there)\n\n|> \n|> "If the religion is followed it will cause no bad"\n|> \n|>   He is right. Just because an event was explained by a human to have been\n|> done "in the name of religion", does not mean that it actually followed\n|> the religion. He will always point to the "ideal" and say that it wasn\'t\n|> followed so it can\'t be the reason for the event. There really is no way\n|> to argue with him, so why bother. Sure, you may get upset because his \n|> answer is blind and not supported factually - but he will win every time\n|> with his little argument. I don\'t think there will be any postings from\n|> me in direct response to one of his.\n\nMost responses were against his postings that spouted the fact that\nall atheists are fools/evil for not seeing how peachy Islam is.\nI would leave the pro/con arguments of Islam to Fred Rice, who is more\nlevel headed and seems to know more on the subject, anyway.\n\n|> \n|>   Happy to be aboard !\n\nHow did you know I was going to welcome you abord?!?\n\n|> \n|> Dave Fuller\n|> dfuller@portal.hq.videocart.com\n|> \n|> \n\nBrian /-|-\\\n',
  "From: ba@mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu (B.A. Davis-Howe)\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: University of Illinois at Urbana\nLines: 13\n\n\nON the subject of how many competing RC orders there are, let me point out the\nGolden Dawn is only the *outer* order of that tradition.  The inner order is\nthe Roseae Rubeae et Aurae Crucis.  That's Ruby Rose and Gold Cross, in rough\ntranslation.  The G.'.D.'. is a Rosicrucian order, as are all derivative\ngroups.  Of course, real Rosicrucians never admit to being Rosicrucian.\n\nEnjoy the journey!\n                      --Br'anArthur\n                                      Queer, Peculiar, and Wyrd! :-)\n\n******************************************************************************\nClosed minds don't want to know.        --JJObermark\n",
  "From: jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nOrganization: Boston University Physics Department\nLines: 23\n\nIn article <1993Apr10.124753.25195@bradford.ac.uk> L.Newnham@bradford.ac.uk (Leonard Newnham) writes:\n\n>Gregg Jaeger (jaeger@buphy.bu.edu) wrote:\n\n>>Well, it seemed slightly incongruous to find the Union Jack flying\n>>at City Hall in Belfast. \n\n>May I ask why?  It's there not because the British want it there (NI\n>is just one big expensive problem), it's there because that is\n>what the majority of the population of NI want.  Is there some\n>problem with that?\n\nThe majority of those who can open their mouths in public perhaps.\nThere seems quite alot of incentive for the British to have control\nof NI, like using the North Channel and Irish Sea as a waste dump (I was\nappalled at the dumping I saw in the harbor in Belfast). It is my\nunderstanding that quite alot of radioactivity enters the water --\nit'd be quite a problem if NI got its independence from Britain and\nthen stopped accepting the waste. Are you suggesting that British\nindustry isn't making profit off the situation as well?\n\n\nGregg\n",
  'From: "David R. Sacco" <dsav+@andrew.cmu.edu>\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Misc. student, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA\nLines: 8\n\t<1qh49m$mg9@kyle.eitech.com>\nNNTP-Posting-Host: po5.andrew.cmu.edu\nIn-Reply-To: <1qh49m$mg9@kyle.eitech.com>\n\nAfter tons of mail, could we move this discussion to alt.religion?\n=============================================================\n--There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke. (Bob Dylan)\n--"If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn\'t be a human\nbeing, you\'d be a game show host." (taken from the movie "Heathers.")\n--Lecture (LEK chur) - process by which the notes of the professor\nbecome the notes of the student without passing through the minds of\neither.\n',
  'From: bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig)\nSubject: Re: Is it good that Jesus died?\nOrganization: Starfleet Headquarters: San Francisco\nLines: 111\n\nbrian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615) writes:\n>\n>They do not want to know it or be exposed to light \n>because their own evil deeds will be uncovered.  And so by their\n>own choice, they will remain in darkness.  Sort of like bugs under\n>a rock.  However, some people, but not many, will not like the\n>darkness.  Sometimes it gets too cold and too dark to be\n>comfortable.  These people will crawl out from under the rock,\n>and although blinded at first, will get accustomed to the light\n>and enjoy its warm.  And after a while, by virtue of the light,\n>they will see the depths of their own shortcomings AND how to correct them. \n>And also, they will see that there is much much more to this world\n>than just the narrow little experiences under the rock.  They will \n>discover that life under a rock was incredibly yukky and that\n>life with the Light of the World, is great.  So great, that they\n>will want to tell all their friends about it.\n\nAnd I maintain:\n\nSome people do not want to enter into the light and the knowledge that\nthey alone are their own masters, because they fear it; they are too\nafraid of having to face the world on their own terms.  And so, by\ntheir own choice, they will remain in darkness, sort of like bugs\nunder a rock.  However, some people, but not many, will not like the\ndarkness.  Sometimes it gets too cold and too dark to be comfortable.\nThese people will crawl out from under the rock, and, although blinded\nat first, will get accustomed to the light and enjoy its warmth.  And,\nafter a while, now that they can see things for what they really are,\nthey will also see the heights which they can reach, and the places\nthey can go, and they will learn to choose their own paths through the\nworld, and they will learn from their mistakes and revel in their\nsuccesses.\n\nThey will see that there is much much more to the world than just the\nnarrow experiences under the rock.  They will discover that life under\na rock was incredibly yucky, and that life on their own terms is great\n-- so great that they will want to tell everyone else about it.\n\nDo you see my point?  I think you\'re the one under the rock, and I\'m\ngetting a great tan out here in the sunlight.  My life has improved\nimmesurably since I abandoned theism -- come and join me!  It will be\na difficult trip at first, until you build up your muscles for the\nlong hike, but it\'s well worth it!\n\n>Not all people hate light Kent. We all have an adversion to it to some\n>extent.  But Brian Kendig who has been replying to this thread certainly likes\n>darkness.  Brian K. enjoys stating false concepts and false pressumptions\n>about the God of the Bible.  Without checking his own presumptions,\n>he compares my God with Odin or Zeus.\n\nLook, you just practically equated Odin and Zeus?  They\'re as much\ndifferent as your god is from them...\n\nDon\'t you see?  I\'m not going to accept ANYTHING that I can\'t witness\nwith my own eyes or experience with my own senses, especially not\nsomething as mega-powerful as what you\'re trying to get me to accept.\nSurely if you believe in it this strongly, you must have a good\n*reason* to, don\'t you?\n\n>Withough checking his own\n>presumption, he thinks hell is the equivalent of non-existence.\n\nWhen did I say that?  I say that I would rather CEASE EXISTING instead\nof being subject to the whims of a deity, but that if the deity\ndecided to toss me into the fiery pits because of who I am, then so be it.\n\n>Do you enjoy darkness?  Most people will honestly admit "yes".  Most people\n>are fond of their sexual sins, their hording of money, their\n>selfishness, and not to mention, their Biblical ignorance.\n\nNope -- most people are Christian.  Most people are fond of feeling\nthat they are imperfect, of believing that the world is an undesirable\nplace, of reciting magical mystical prayers to make the world nice and\nholy again, of doing just as their priests tell them, like good little\nsheep.  You enjoy darkness, and you\'re proud of it.\n\nYou may know the Bible well -- but have you read any of the Koran?  Or\nZen writings?  Or Hare Krishna literature?  If you haven\'t, then how\ncan you say you have an open mind?\n\n>Sin is fun!  Let\'s\n>admit it.  But a life of sin leads to trouble and death in this\n>life, and hell in the next.\n\nNope.  You make decisions, enjoy your successes, and accept your\nfailures; then you die.  If you are content with the life you\'ve led\nas you reflect back on it in your final moments, then you\'ve led a\ngood life.\n\n>Come out from under the rock.  \n\nPlease do.\n\n>    "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,\n>    that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal\n>    life."\n\nI\'m sorry, I don\'t feel that sacrificing Jesus was something any god\nI\'d worship would do, unless the sacrifice was only temporary, in\nwhich case it\'s not really all that important.\n\nForget the Bible for a minute.  Forget quoting verses, forget about\nwho said what about this or that.  *Show me.*  Picture just you and me\nand a wide open hilltop, and convince me that you\'re right.\n\n-- \n_/_/_/  Brian Kendig                             Je ne suis fait comme aucun\n/_/_/  bskendig@netcom.com                de ceux que j\'ai vus; j\'ose croire\n_/_/                            n\'etre fait comme aucun de ceux qui existent.\n  /  The meaning of life     Si je ne vaux pas mieux, au moins je suis autre.\n /    is that it ends.                                           -- Rousseau\n',
  'From: cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike Cobb)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: University of Illinois at Urbana\nLines: 39\n\nIn <11825@vice.ICO.TEK.COM> bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine) writes:\n\n>In article <C5Jxru.2t8@news.cso.uiuc.edu> cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike \nCobb) writes:\n>>What do you base your belief on atheism on?  Your knowledge and reasoning? \n>>COuldn\'t that be wrong?\n>>\n\n>  Actually, my atheism is based on ignorance.  Ignorance of the\n>  existence of any god.  Don\'t fall into the "atheists don\'t believe\n>  because of their pride" mistake.\n\nHow do you know it\'s based on ignorance, couldn\'t that be wrong? Why would it\nbe wrong \nto fall into the trap that you mentioned? \n\nAlso, if I may, what the heck where we talking about and why didn\'t I keep \nsome comments on there to see what the line of thoughts were?\n\nMAC\n \n\n\n>/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n\n>Bob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n\n>They said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\n>and sank Manhattan out at sea.\n\n>^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n--\n****************************************************************\n                                                    Michael A. Cobb\n "...and I won\'t raise taxes on the middle     University of Illinois\n    class to pay for my programs."                 Champaign-Urbana\n          -Bill Clinton 3rd Debate             cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu\n                                              \nWith new taxes and spending cuts we\'ll still have 310 billion dollar deficits.\n',
  "From: kv07@IASTATE.EDU (Warren Vonroeschlaub)\nSubject: Re: Albert Sabin\nReply-To: kv07@IASTATE.EDU (Warren Vonroeschlaub)\nOrganization: Ministry of Silly Walks\nLines: 30\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.225657.17804@rambo.atlanta.dg.com>, wpr@atlanta.dg.com\n(Bill Rawlins) writes:\n>       Since you have referred to the Messiah, I assume you are referring\n>        to the New Testament.  Please detail your complaints or e-mail if\n>        you don't want to post.  First-century Greek is well-known and\n>        well-understood.  Have you considered Josephus, the Jewish Historian,\n>        who also wrote of Jesus?  In addition, the four gospel accounts\n>        are very much in harmony.  \n\n  Bill, I find it rather remarkable that you managed to zero in on what is\nprobably the weakest evidence.\n\n  What is probably the most convincing is the anti-Christian literature put out\nby the Jewish councils in the second century.  There are enormous quantities of\ndetailed arguments against Christianity, many of the arguments still being used\ntoday.  Despite volumes of tracts attacking Christianity, not one denies the\nexistance of Jesus, only of his activities.\n\n  I find this considerably more compelling than Josephus or the harmony of the\ngospels (especially considering that Matthew and Luke probably used Mark as a\nsource).\n\n |  __L__\n-|-  ___  Warren Kurt vonRoeschlaub\n |  | o | kv07@iastate.edu\n |/ `---' Iowa State University\n/|   ___  Math Department\n |  |___| 400 Carver Hall\n |  |___| Ames, IA  50011\n J  _____\n",
  "From: gpalo@digi.lonestar.org (Gerry Palo)\nSubject: Re: Ignorance is BLISS, was Is it good that Jesus died?\nOrganization: DSC Communications Corp, Plano, TX\nLines: 20\n\nIn article <sandvik-180493131125@sandvik-kent.apple.com> sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n>In article <f1682Ap@quack.kfu.com>, pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\n>wrote:\n>> In article <sandvik-170493104859@sandvik-kent.apple.com> \n>> sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n>> >Ignorance is not bliss!\n> \n>> Ignorance is STRENGTH!\n>> Help spread the TRUTH of IGNORANCE!\n>\n>Huh, if ignorance is strength, then I won't distribute this piece\n>of information if I want to follow your advice (contradiction above).\n>\n>\n>Cheers,\n>Kent\n>---\n>sandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n\nHe was quoting Big Brother from Orwell's 1984.\n",
  'Organization: Penn State University\nFrom: <JSN104@psuvm.psu.edu>\nSubject: YOU WILL ALL GO TO HELL!!!\nLines: 2\n\nYOU BLASHEPHEMERS!!! YOU WILL ALL GO TO HELL FOR NOT BELIEVING IN GOD!!!!  BE\nPREPARED FOR YOUR ETERNAL DAMNATION!!!\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: Objective morality (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 24\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1ql7utINN5sg@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n|> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> >I want to know how this omniscient being is going to perform\n|> >the feat of "definitely" terming actions right or wrong.\n|> \n|> If you were omniscient, you\'d know who exactly did what, and with what\n|> purpose in mind.  Then, with a particular goal in mind, you sould be\n|> able to methodically judge whether or not this action was in accordance\n|> with the general goal.\n\nBut now you are contradicting yourself in a pretty massive way,\nand I don\'t think you\'ve even noticed.\n\nIn another part of this thread, you\'ve been telling us that the\n"goal" of a natural morality is what animals do to survive.\n\nBut suppose that your omniscient being told you that the long\nterm survival of humanity requires us to exterminate some \nother species, either terrestrial or alien.\n\nDoes that make it moral to do so?\n\njon. \n',
  'From: ray@netcom.com (Ray Fischer)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Netcom. San Jose, California\nLines: 25\n\nfrank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes ...\n>Plus questions for you:  why do subjectivists/relativists/nihilists get so \n>het up about the idea that relativism is *better* than objectivism? \n\nTo the degree that relativism is a more accurate decription of the\ntruth than is objectivism, it provides more power and ability to\ncontrol events.\n\nAssuming, for the moment, that morals _are_ relative, then two\nrelativists can recognize that neither has a lock on the absolute\ntruth and they can proceed to negotiate a workable compromise that\nproduces the desired results.\n\nAssuming that there is an absolute morality, two disagreeing \nobjectivists can either be both wrong or just one of them right; there\nis no room for compromise.  Once you beleive in absolute morals,\nyou must accept that you are amoral or that everyone who disagrees\nwith you is amoral.\n\nGiven a choice between a peaceful compromise or endless contention,\nI\'d say that compromise seems to be "better".\n\n-- \nRay Fischer                   "Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth\nray@netcom.com                 than lies."  -- Friedrich Nietzsche\n',
  'From: david@terminus.ericsson.se (David Bold)\nSubject: Re: Question for those with popular morality\nReply-To: david@terminus.ericsson.se\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Camtec Electronics (Ericsson), Leicester, England\nLines: 50\nNntp-Posting-Host: bangkok\n\nPaul Hudson Jr (hudson@athena.cs.uga.edu) writes:\n\n>I was not directly going to come up with a moral argument for the  existence\n>of God.  Rather, I was trying to show the absurdity of atheistic materialist\n>relatavists trying to embrace some common moral system as though it were\n>absolute.  Man knows in his heart that there is right and wrong.  We have\n>all inherited this knowledge.  \n\nNo matter how "absurd" it is to suggest that a common moral system created by\nmankind is absolute, it is not contrary to reason to suggest that a common\nmoral system created by mankind is sensible. In fact, for the Bible to be of\nany use to mankind as a moral code, it must be interpreted by mankind and a\nworkable moral system created for everyday use.\n\nThe Jewish Talmud is the result of centuries of Biblical scholars analysing\nevery word of the Torah to understand the morality behind it. The Children of\nIsrael were given a very strict set of Moral, Civil, Judicial and Ceremonial\nLaws to follow and yet this was clearly not enough to cover every instance\nof moral dilemma in their Society. For a Christian, the situation is no better.\n\nIt seems to me that the only code of morality that we have from the Judeo-\nChristian God is that which is contained in the Bible (which we can see from\nthe diverse opinions in the Christian newsgroups is not clear). There may well\nbe an absolute morality defined by the Judeo-Christian God for mankind to\nfollow but it seems that we only have a subset simply because the concept was\nwritten down by man.\n\nThis leads to the problem of defining morality for our society. If we take the\ndivine Morality then we have a code of practice which may be interpreted in many\ndifferent ways (as an example, consider the immolation of heretics in the\nfifteenth century and the interpretation of the Bible which allows a man to do\nthat to another man under the precept to administer Justice). If we take an\nagnostic Morality then we have a code of practice that can be modified to suit\nsociety (with all the danger that this implies). Alternatively, we could take\nthe basis of the Judeo-Christian morality and interpret/extend this to create\nand justify a code of morality which suits the society we live in and enables\nthe people to live Righteously (as many Christian and Non-Christian philosophers\nhave done).\n\nWhatever the driving force behind the definition of morality for our society, I\nthink the important aspect is the result.\n\nDavid.\n\n---\nOn religion:\n\n"Oh, where is the sea?", the fishes cried,\nAs they swam its clearness through.\n\n',
  'Organization: Penn State University\nFrom: <MVS104@psuvm.psu.edu>\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nDistribution: world\n <1pan4f$b6j@fido.asd.sgi.com> <1q0fngINNahu@gap.caltech.edu>\n <C5C9FA.6zH@acsu.buffalo.edu> <1qabe7INNaff@gap.caltech.edu>\n <1993Apr15.150938.975@news.wesleyan.edu>\nLines: 11\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.150938.975@news.wesleyan.edu>, SSAUYET@eagle.wesleyan.edu\n(SCOTT D. SAUYET) says:\n\n>Are these his final words?  (And how many here would find that\n>appropriate?)  Or is it just that finals got in the way?\n\n>Keep your fingers crossed!\n\nWhy should I keep my fingers crossed? I doubt it would do anything. :)\n\nMartin Schulte\n',
  'From: agr00@ccc.amdahl.com (Anthony G Rose)\nSubject: Re: Info about New Age!\nReply-To: agr00@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com (Anthony G Rose)\nOrganization: Amdahl Corporation, Sunnyvale CA\nLines: 12\n\nIn article <1qvnu9$a8a@geraldo.cc.utexas.edu> hawk@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu writes:\n>Greetings!  Could anybody here give me any information about New Age religion?\n>About the history, the teachings, ...???  Or may be suggestions what books I \n>should read in order to get those info?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.\n\n\nContact:   WATCHMAN FELLOWSHIP\n           P.O. Box 171194\n           Holladay, UT 84117-1194\n\nAsk for their book:  The New Age and Space Age Heresies\n                     The New Age In Our Schools\n',
  'Subject: Re: Catholic Lit-Crit of a.s.s.\nFrom: NUNNALLY@acs.harding.edu (John Nunnally)\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Harding University, Searcy, AR\nNntp-Posting-Host: acs.harding.edu\nX-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.24In-Reply-To: dlphknob@camelot.bradley.edu\'s message of 16 Apr 93 18:57:20 GMTLines: 45\nLines: 45\n\nIn <dlphknob.734986640@camelot> dlphknob@camelot.bradley.edu writes:\n\n> In <1993Apr14.101241.476@mtechca.maintech.com> foster@mtechca.maintech.com writes:\n> \n> >I am surprised and saddened. I would expect this kind of behavior\n> >from the Evangelical Born-Again Gospel-Thumping In-Your-Face We\'re-\n> >The-Only-True-Christian Protestants, but I have always thought \n> >that Catholics behaved better than this.\n> >                                   Please do not stoop to the\n> >level of the E B-A G-T I-Y-F W-T-O-T-C Protestants, who think\n> >that the best way to witness is to be strident, intrusive, loud,\n> >insulting and overbearingly self-righteous.\n> \n> (Pleading mode on)\n> \n> Please!  I\'m begging you!  Quit confusing religious groups, and stop\n> making generalizations!  I\'m a Protestant!  I\'m an evangelical!  I don\'t\n> believe that my way is the only way!  I\'m not a "creation scientist"!  I\n> don\'t think that homosexuals should be hung by their toenails!  \n> \n> If you want to discuss bible thumpers, you would be better off singling\n> out (and making obtuse generalizations about) Fundamentalists.  If you\n> compared the actions of Presbyterians or Methodists with those of Southern \n> Baptists, you would think that they were different religions!\n> \n[Sarcasm on]\nBe sure we pick on the "correct groups" here.  "Bible thumpers",\n"fundamentalists", and Southern Baptists *deserve* our hasty generalizations\nand prejudicial statements.  Just don\'t pick on the Presbyterians\nand the Methodists!\n[Sarcasm off] \n> Please, prejudice is about thinking that all people of a group are the\n> same, so please don\'t write off all Protestants or all evangelicals!\n> \n> (Pleading mode off.)\n> \n> God.......I wish I could get ahold of all the Thomas Stories......\n> --\n> \t"Fbzr enval jvagre Fhaqnlf jura gurer\'f n yvggyr oberqbz, lbh fubhyq\n> nyjnlf pneel n tha.  Abg gb fubbg lbhefrys, ohg gb xabj rknpgyl gung lbh\'er \n> nyjnlf znxvat n pubvpr."\n> \t\t\t--Yvan Jregzhyyre\n> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=\n>         Jemaleddin Sasha David Cole IV - Chief of Knobbery Research\n>                         dlphknob@camelot.bradley.edu\n',
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: >>>>>>Pompous ass\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 14\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nlivesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n\n>>>How long does it [the motto] have to stay around before it becomes the\n>>>default?  ...  Where's the cutoff point? \n>>I don't know where the exact cutoff is, but it is at least after a few\n>>years, and surely after 40 years.\n>Why does the notion of default not take into account changes\n>in population makeup?     \n\nSpecifically, which changes are you talking about?  Are you arguing\nthat the motto is interpreted as offensive by a larger portion of the\npopulation now than 40 years ago?\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 49\nNNTP-Posting-Host: lloyd.caltech.edu\n\nkcochran@nyx.cs.du.edu (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran) writes:\n\n>>Natural morality may specifically be thought of as a code of ethics that\n>>a certain species has developed in order to survive.\n>Wait.  Are we talking about ethics or morals here?\n\nIs the distinction important?\n\n>>We see this countless\n>>times in the animal kingdom, and such a "natural" system is the basis for\n>>our own system as well.\n>Huh?\n\nWell, our moral system seems to mimic the natural one, in a number of ways.\n\n>>In order for humans to thrive, we seem to need\n>>to live in groups,\n>Here\'s your problem.  "we *SEEM* to need".  What\'s wrong with the highlighted\n>word?\n\nI don\'t know.  What is wrong?  Is it possible for humans to survive for\na long time in the wild?  Yes, it\'s possible, but it is difficult.  Humans\nare a social animal, and that is a cause of our success.\n\n>>and in order for a group to function effectively, it\n>>needs some sort of ethical code.\n>This statement is not correct.\n\nIsn\'t it?  Why don\'t you think so?\n\n>>And, by pointing out that a species\' conduct serves to propogate itself,\n>>I am not trying to give you your tautology, but I am trying to show that\n>>such are examples of moral systems with a goal.  Propogation of the species\n>>is a goal of a natural system of morality.\n>So anybody who lives in a monagamous relationship is not moral?  After all,\n>in order to ensure propogation of the species, every man should impregnate\n>as many women as possible.\n\nNo.  As noted earlier, lack of mating (such as abstinence or homosexuality)\nisn\'t really destructive to the system.  It is a worst neutral.\n\n>For that matter, in herds of horses, only the dominate stallion mates.  When\n>he dies/is killed/whatever, the new dominate stallion is the only one who\n>mates.  These seems to be a case of your "natural system of morality" trying\n>to shoot itself in the figurative foot.\n\nAgain, the mating practices are something to be reexamined...\n\nkeith\n',
  "From: kv07@IASTATE.EDU (Warren Vonroeschlaub)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nReply-To: kv07@IASTATE.EDU (Warren Vonroeschlaub)\nOrganization: Ministry of Silly Walks\nLines: 28\n\nIn article <C5L184.Jo9@news.cso.uiuc.edu>, cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike Cobb)\nwrites:\n>In <1qlapk$d7v@morrow.stanford.edu> salem@pangea.Stanford.EDU (Bruce Salem) \n>writes:\n>>In article <C5JrDE.M4z@news.cso.uiuc.edu> cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike \n>Cobb) writes:\n>>>Theory of Creationism: MY theistic view of the theory of creationism, (there\n>>>are many others) is stated in Genesis 1.  In the beginning God created\n>>>the heavens and the earth.\n>\n>> Wonderful, now try alittle imaginative thinking!\n>\n>Huh? Imaginative thinking? What did that have to do with what I said? Would it\n>have been better if I said the world has existed forever and never was created\n>and has an endless supply of energy and there was spontaneous generation of \n>life from non-life?  WOuld that make me all-wise, and knowing, and\nimaginative?\n\n  No, but at least it would be a theory.\n\n |  __L__\n-|-  ___  Warren Kurt vonRoeschlaub\n |  | o | kv07@iastate.edu\n |/ `---' Iowa State University\n/|   ___  Math Department\n |  |___| 400 Carver Hall\n |  |___| Ames, IA  50011\n J  _____\n",
  'From: timmbake@mcl.ucsb.edu (Bake Timmons)\nSubject: Re: Amusing atheists and agnostics\nLines: 29\n\n\nRobert Knowles writes:\n\n>>\n>>My my, there _are_ a few atheists with time on their hands.  :)\n>>\n>>OK, first I apologize.  I didn\'t bother reading the FAQ first and so fired an\n>>imprecise flame.  That was inexcusable.\n>>\n\n>How about the nickname Bake "Flamethrower" Timmons?\n\nSure, but Robert "Koresh-Fetesh" (sic) Knowles seems good, too.  :) \n>\n>You weren\'t at the Koresh compound around noon today by any chance, were you?\n>\n>Remember, Koresh "dried" for your sins.\n>\n>And pass that beef jerky.  Umm Umm.\n\nThough I wasn\'t there, at least I can rely on you now to keep me posted on what\nwhat he\'s doing.\n\nHave you any other fetishes besides those for beef jerky and David Koresh? \n--\nBake Timmons, III\n\n-- "...there\'s nothing higher, stronger, more wholesome and more useful in life\nthan some good memory..." -- Alyosha in Brothers Karamazov (Dostoevsky)\n',
  'From: jburrill@boi.hp.com (Jim Burrill)\nSubject: Re: Is it good that Jesus died?\nOrganization: Idaho River Country, The Salmon, Payette, Clearwater, Boise, Selway, Priest\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1.8 PL6]\nLines: 35\n\nBrian Kendig (bskendig@netcom.com) wrote:\n: \n: Can you please point to something, anything, that proves to me that\n: the universe cannot possibly be explained without accepting as a fact\n: the existence of a god in precisely the way your holy book describes?\n: \n: Can you please convince me that your religion is more than a very\n: cleverly-constructed fable, and that it does indeed have some bearing\n: on my own personal day-to-day life?\n\nWould you consider the word of an eye-witness (Peter) to testify to the\nevents surrounding Jesus\' life?\n\n\n 2Pe 1 16 ¶ We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you\n about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were \n eyewitnesses of his majesty.\n\n 2Pe 1 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the\n voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom \n I love; with him I am well pleased."¹\n\n 2Pe 1 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we\n were with him on the sacred mountain.\n\n 2Pe 1 19 ¶ And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and\n you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark\n place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.\n\nThis is a documented testimony. Perhaps further research on your part is\nwarranted before making more statements. There is considerably more to study\nin Peters\' two books of testimony regarding the Messiah. It is well worth \nyour time, Mr. Brian.\n\nJim Burrill\n',
  'From: chrisb@seachg.com (Chris Blask)\nSubject: Re: A silly question on x-tianity\nReply-To: chrisb@seachg.com (Chris Blask)\nOrganization: Sea Change Corporation, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada\nLines: 44\n\nwerdna@cco.caltech.edu (Andrew Tong) writes:\n>mccullou@snake2.cs.wisc.edu (Mark McCullough) writes:\n>\n>>Question 2: This attitude god character seems awfully egotistical\n>>and proud.  But Christianity tells people to be humble.  What\'s the deal?\n>\n>Well, God pretty much has a right to be "egotistical and proud."  I\n>mean, he created _you_, doesn\'t he have the right to be proud of such\n>a job?\n>\n>Of course, people don\'t have much of a right to be proud.  What have\n>they accomplished that can match God\'s accomplishments, anyways?  How\n>do their abilities compare with those of God\'s.  We\'re an "imbecile\n>worm of the earth," to quote Pascal.\n\nGrumblegrumble...   \n\n>If you were God, and you created a universe, wouldn\'t you be just a\n>little irked if some self-organizing cell globules on a tiny planet\n>started thinking they were as great and awesome as you?\n\nunfortunately the logic falls apart quick: all-perfect > insulted or\nthreatened by the actions of a lesser creature > actually by offspring >\n???????????????????\n\nHow/why shuold any all-powerful all-perfect feel either proud or offended?\nAnything capable of being aware of the relationship of every aspect of every \nparticle in the universe during every moment of time simultaneously should\nbe able to understand the cause of every action of every \'cell globule\' on\neach tniy planet...\n\n>Well, actually, now that I think of it, it seems kinda odd that God\n>would care at all about the Earth.  OK, so it was a bad example. But\n>the amazing fact is that He does care, apparently, and that he was\n>willing to make some grand sacrifices to ensure our happiness.\n\n"All-powerful, Owner Of Everything in the Universe Makes Great Sacrifices"\nmakes a great headline but it doesn\'t make any sense.  What did he\nsacrifice?  Where did it go that he couldn\'t get it back?  If he gave\nsomething up, who\'d he give it up to?\n\n-chris\n\n[you guys have fun, I\'m agoin\' to Key West!!]\n',
  "From: nelson_p@apollo.hp.com (Peter Nelson)\nSubject: Re: Biblical Backing of Koresh's 3-02 Tape (Cites enclosed)\nNntp-Posting-Host: c.ch.apollo.hp.com\nOrganization: Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Chelmsford, MA\nLines: 26\n\nIn article <1993Apr21.093914.1@woods.ulowell.edu> cotera@woods.ulowell.edu writes:\n>In article <1r17j9$5ie@sbctri.sbc.com>, netd@susie.sbc.com () writes:\n>> In article <20APR199301460499@utarlg.uta.edu> b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu (stephen) writes:\n>>>For those who think David Koresh didn't have a solid structure,\n>>>or sound Biblical backing for his hour long tape broadcast,\n>> \n>> I don't think anyone really cares about the solid structure of his\n>> sermon.  It's the deaths he's responsible for that concern most people.\n>\n>I assume you have evidence that he was responsible for the deaths?\n> \n>> Koresh was a nut, okay?  \n>\n>Again, I'd like to see some evidence.\n\n  Nut or not, he was clearly a liar.  He said he would surrender after\n  local radio stations broadcast his message, but he didn't.  Then he\n  said he would surrender after Passover, but he didn't.\n\n  None of which excuses the gross incompetence and disregard for the\n  safety of the children displayed by the feds.   As someone else\n  pointed out, if it had been Chelsea Clinton in there you would \n  probably have seen more restraint.\n\n\n---peter\n",
  'Subject: Re: Albert Sabin\nFrom: rfox@charlie.usd.edu (Rich Fox, Univ of South Dakota)\nReply-To: rfox@charlie.usd.edu\n <1993Apr7.073926.9874@engage.pko.dec.com> \n <1993Apr10.213547.17644@rambo.atlanta.dg.com> \n <1993Apr11.162936.18734@zeus.franklin.edu>,<1993Apr15.225657.17804@rambo.atlanta.dg.com>\nOrganization: The University of South Dakota Computer Science Dept.\nNntp-Posting-Host: charlie\nLines: 71\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.225657.17804@rambo.atlanta.dg.com>, wpr@atlanta.dg.com (Bill Rawlins) writes:\n>|> >|> \n>|> However, one highly biased account (as well as possibly internally \n>|> inconsistent) written over 2 mellenia ago, in a dead language, by fanatic\n>|> devotees of the creature in question which is not supported by other more \n>|> objective sources and isnt  even accepted by those who\'s messiah this creature \n>|> was supposed to be, doesn\'t convince me in the slightest, especially when many\n>|> of the current day devotees appear brainwashed into believing this pile of \n>|> guano...\n>\n>       Since you have referred to the Messiah, I assume you are referring\n>        to the New Testament.  Please detail your complaints or e-mail if\n>        you don\'t want to post.  First-century Greek is well-known and\n>        well-understood.  Have you considered Josephus, the Jewish Historian,\n>        who also wrote of Jesus?  In addition, the four gospel accounts\n>        are very much in harmony.  \n\nBill, I have taken the time to explain that biblical scholars consider the\nJosephus reference to be an early Christian insert.  By biblical scholar I mean\nan expert who, in the course of his or her research, is willing to let the\nchips fall where they may.  This excludes literalists, who may otherwise be\ndefined as biblical apologists.  They find what they want to find.  They are\nnot trustworthy by scholarly standards (and others).\n\nWhy an insert?  Read it - I have, a number of times.  The passage is glaringly\nout of context, and Josephus, a superb writer, had no such problem elsewhere \nin his work.  The passage has *nothing* to do with the subject matter in which \nit lies.  It suddenly appears and then just as quickly disappears.\n\nUntil you can demonstrate how and why the scholarly community is wrong about\nthe Josephus insert, your "proof" is meaningless and it should not be repeated\nhere.  What\'s more, even if Josephus happened to be legitimate, it would "prove"\nnothing.  Scholars speak of the "weight of evidence."  Far more independent\nevidence would be required to validate your claim.  Until forthcoming, your\nbelief is based on faith.  That\'s OK, but you exceed your rights when you pass\nfaith off as fact.\n\nAs for the gospels, there are parallels, but there are also glaring\ninconsistencies and contradictions.  Shouldn\'t a perfect canon be perfect? \nShouldn\'t there be absolutely no room for debate?  I suggest you read _Gospel \nFictions_ by Randel Helms, and _The Unauthorized Version_ by Robin Fox (for \nHerb Huston, no known kinship or familial relationship, but we do indeed share \nan evolutionary ancestry).\n\nThe fact that there are inconsistencies, gaps and contradictions does not deny\nyour position.  On the other hand, neither do the gospels "prove" your faith. \nIndependent evidence is necessary, and I know of none (which we have already\ndiscussed, and so far you have not provided any).  Until then, its faith. \nMoreover, you have committed a fundamental error in logic.  You have attempted\nto "prove" your claim with that which you want to prove.  Its no different than\nsaying "I am right because I say so."  \n\nYour logic is full of circles.  It reminds me a bit of the 1910 Presbyterian \nGeneral Assembly.  The assembly defined five fundamentals (this is where\n"fundamentalist" came from) of orthodox Protestant Christianity, to wit: 1)\nJesus performed miracles, 2) Jesus was born of a virgin, 3) Jesus was bodily\nresurrected, 4) Jesus\' crucifixion atoned for human sin, and - here is the\nclincher - 5) the bible is the inerrant word of God.  Presbyterians construe\n"inerrant" broadly as spritually inerrant.  Fundamentalists take the\nfirst four as literally true, and then validate them with a literally inerrant\nbible, which contains the first four, and which is the only thing known to \ncontain the first four.  \n\nSmoke and mirrors and wands and hand waving if ever there was!\n\nIts faith, Bill.  You don\'t have any more or better truths than anyone else. \nWhatever works for you.  Just don\'t foist it on others. \n\nRegards,\n\nRich Fox, Anthro, Usouthdakota\n',
  'From: dewey@risc.sps.mot.com (Dewey Henize)\nSubject: Re: sci.skeptic.religion (Was: Why ALT.atheism?)\nOrganization: Motorola, Inc. -- Austin,TX\nLines: 33\nNNTP-Posting-Host: thug.sps.mot.com\n\nIn article <93103.071613J5J@psuvm.psu.edu> John A. Johnson <J5J@psuvm.psu.edu> writes:\n>\n>Standard groups (sci, soc, talk) must conform to stricter rules when being\n>established and must show a certain volume of postings or else they will\n>cease to exist.  These groups also reach more sites on USENET than alt\n>groups.  I already posted my opinion to mathew\'s suggestion, which was that\n>alt.atheism is on the verge of having too many garbage postings from\n>fundies, and "elevating" its status to a standard group (and consequently,\n>the volume of such postings) could make it unreadable.\n\nI tend to agree.  I came here when it first started and watched it grow\nfrom the roots on talk.religion.misc.  It seemed to take a while for enough\natheists to come forward to get past the "Let\'s trash Xians" and such.\nNow there\'s a stable core, and frankly there\'s a feeling that this is\n_our_ group.\n\nIf we go mainstream, we\'re going to be in a lot more places.  And every\nfucking fundy loonie freshman will be dumping on us to find Jeesus! and\nwarn us that we\'re all going to Hell.\n\nWant to see what we\'ll get?  Go real alt.fan.brother-jed and imagine that\nthose imbecilic tirades will be here.  All the time.  Every other post.\n\nI\'m being selfish.  I find I really learn a lot here and the S/N isn\'t too\nbad.  The Browns and the Boobys are a distraction, but they are few enough\nthat they even bring in some of the leavening needed to offset them.  But\nI greatly fear that mainstreaming would basically put us at the swamping\nlevel of the Conners of the world.\n\nRegards,\nDew\n-- \nDewey Henize Sys/Net admin RISC hardware (512) 891-8637 pager 928-7447 x 9637\n',
  'From: house@helios.usq.EDU.AU (ron house)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: University of Southern Queensland\nLines: 21\n\njudi@wam.umd.edu (Jay T Stein -- objectively subjective) writes:\n\n>Question:  Is there any effective difference between:\n\n>"Objective values exist, and there is disagreement over what they are"\n\n>and\n\n>"Values are subjective?"\n\n>I don\'t see any.\n\nThe first means that some aspect of reality contains objective values.\nThe second means that values are a reference to some preference of the\nindividual.  In the first case, it is possible that some future discovery\nmight invalidate certain views re what objective values are.\n\n--\n\nRon House.                 USQ\n(house@helios.usq.edu.au)  Toowoomba, Australia.\n',
  'From: mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee)\nSubject: Re: Who\'s next?  Mormons and Jews?\nOrganization: Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, B.C.\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 21\n\n\nIn article <9601@blue.cis.pitt.edu>, rjl+@pitt.edu (Richard J. Loether) writes:\n|> \n|> Yes, of course, as in Matthew 10:34-35 "Do not suppose that I have come to \n|> bring peace to the earth; it is not peace I have come to bring but a sword..."\n|> :\n\nRemember the armor of God?  The sword that Christians wield is the\nWord of God, the Bible.\n\nGod be with you,\n\nMalcolm Lee  :)\n\n\n|> RJL\n|> -- \n|> Rich Loether          Snail mail: University of Pittsburgh     The Ideas:\n|> EMail: rjl+@pitt.edu              Computing and Info Services      Mine,\n|> Voice: (412) 624-6429             600 Epsilon Drive                   all\n|> FAX  : (412) 624-6426             Pittsburgh, PA 15238                  Mine.\n',
  ' cs.utexas.edu!geraldo.cc.utexas.edu!portal.austin.ibm.com!awdprime.austin.ibm.com!zazen\nSubject: Re: Radical Agnostic... NOT!\nFrom: zazen@austin.ibm.com (E. H. Welbon)\nOrganization: Brownian Motion Inc.\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL9]\nLines: 34\n\nThe One and Only (jcopelan@nyx.cs.du.edu) wrote:\n: In article <dl2021-310393180711@m249-66.bgsu.edu> dl2021@andy.bgsu.edu (Pixie) writes:\n: [first post I\'ve seen from the ol\' Bug-Zoo (BGSU)]\n: >     There is no means that i can possibly think of to prove beyond doubt\n: >that a god does not exist (but if anyone has one, by all means, tell me\n: >what it is).  Therefore, lacking this ability of absolute proof, being an\n: >atheist becomes an act of faith in and of itself, and this I cannot accept.\n: > I accept nothing on blind faith.\n\n: Invisible Pink Flying Unicorns!  Need I say more?\n\nThere is also the question of what is meant by "atheist".  A familiar\nexample of the importance of the meaning of the word is as follows.\n\nThe two statements following ARE consistent:\n\n(1) I do not believe that you are wearing lilac socks\n(2) I do not believe that you are are not wearing lilac socks\n\nThe two statements following are NOT consistent:\n\n(3) I do believe that you are wearing lilac socks\n(4) I do believe that you are are not wearing lilac socks\n\nStatements (1) and (2) require no faith, they make no presumptions about\nthe nature of reality.  Statements (3) and (4) require belief.  Many\natheists (myself included) take the following position:\n\n(5) I do not believe that there is a god.\n(6) I do not believe that there is not a god.\n\nThat is , I harbor no beliefs at all, there is no good evidence\nfor god existing or not.  Some folks call this agnosticism.  It does not\nsuffer from "blind faith" at all.  I think of it as "Don\'t worry, be happy".\n',
  'From: Nanci Ann Miller <nm0w+@andrew.cmu.edu>\nSubject: Re: It\'s all Mary\'s fault!\nOrganization: Sponsored account, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA\nLines: 28\n\t<C5KEqu.4xo@portal.hq.videocart.com>\nNNTP-Posting-Host: po5.andrew.cmu.edu\nIn-Reply-To: <C5KEqu.4xo@portal.hq.videocart.com>\n\ndfuller@portal.hq.videocart.com (Dave Fuller) writes:\n>   Nice attempt Chris . . . verrry close.\n> \n>   You missed the conspiracy by 1 step. Joseph knew who knocked her up.\n> He couldn\'t let it be known that somebody ELSE got ol\' Mary prego. That\n> wouldn\'t do well for his popularity in the local circles. So what \n> happened is that she was feeling guilty, he was feeling embarrassed, and\n> THEY decided to improve both of their images on what could have otherwise\n> been the downfall for both. Clever indeed. Come to think of it . . . I\n> have gained a new respect for the couple. Maybe Joseph and Mary should\n> receive all of the praise being paid to jesus.\n\nLucky for them that the baby didn\'t have any obvious deformities!  I could\njust see it now: Mary gets pregnant out of wedlock so to save face she and\nJoseph say that it was God that got her pregnant and then the baby turns\nout to be deformed, or even worse, stillborn!  They\'d have a lot of\nexplaining to do.... :-)\n\n> Dave "Buckminster" Fuller\n> How is that one \'o keeper of the nicknames ?\n\nNanci\n.........................................................................\nIf you know (and are SURE of) the author of this quote, please send me\nemail (nm0w+@andrew.cmu.edu):\nLife does not cease to be funny when people die, any more than it ceases to\nbe serious when people laugh.\n\n',
  'From: clavazzi@nyx.cs.du.edu (The_Doge)\nSubject: Re: Davidians and compassion\nX-Disclaimer: Nyx is a public access Unix system run by the University\n\tof Denver for the Denver community.  The University has neither\n\tcontrol over nor responsibility for the opinions of users.\nOrganization: Nyx, Public Access Unix at U. of Denver Math/CS dept.\nLines: 24\n\nIn article <C5sLAs.B68@blaze.cs.jhu.edu> arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee) writes:\n>In article <sandvik-190493200420@sandvik-kent.apple.com> sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n>>So we have this highly Christian religious order that put fire\n>>on their house, killing most of the people inside.\n>\n>We have no way to know that the cultists burned the house; it could have been\n>the BATF and FBI.  We only have the government\'s word for it, after all, and\n>people who started it by a no-knock search with concussion grenades are hardly\n>disinterested observers.\n>--\n\tNor, to point out the obvious, are the deluded, siege-mentality\nfollowers of a religious nut-case who thought he was Jesus Christ or possibly\nThe Big Guy.\n\tPersonally, much as I regard the BATF and FBI as ConDupes, I\'ll take\ntheir word over a bunch of silly pinks who were stoopid enough to lock\nthemselves up with a goofball like "David Koresh" in a makeshift arsenal.\n\t************************************************************\n\t*  \tThe_Doge of South St. Louis\t\t\t   *\n\t*\t\tDobbs-Approved Media Conspirator(tm)\t   *\n\t*\t"One Step Beyond"  -- Sundays, 3 to 5 pm\t   *\n\t*\t\t88.1 FM\t\tSt. Louis Community Radio  *\n\t*  "You\'ll pay to know what you *really* think!"           *\n\t*\t\t\t-- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs"\t\t   *\n\t************************************************************\n',
  'From: joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin)\nSubject: Re: Silence is concurance\nDistribution: usa\nOrganization: Intelligent Systems Program\nLines: 80\n\nFor those missing the context of this thrilling discussion between\nJim and I, Jim wrote the following to me in e-mail after I pointed out\nthat he (Jim) had taken a quote out of context:\n>In t.r.m. Robert Weiss writes [a promise from Psalm 9:10]\n>Gee, since you wouldn\'t be at all hypocritical, you must be really\n>busy arguing against these out-of-context extracted translations!\n\nHe directed a similar accusation of hypocrisy, again based on a lack of\nresponse to an article by Robert Weiss, toward Stephen.\n\nI pointed out that I did, in fact, agree that both Robert Weiss and\nJim Meritt took quotes out of context.  Hence, I find it difficult to\nunderstand why Jim thinks I am a hypocrite.  Needless to say, I don\'t\nhave time to reply to *every* article on t.r.m. that takes a quote\nout of context.  \n\nI asked Jim the following:\n>}So, according to you, Jim, the only way to criticize one person for\n>}taking a quote out of context, without being a hypocrite, is to post a\n>}response to *every* person on t.r.m who takes a quote out of context?\n\nJim replied by saying \n>Did I either ask or assert that?\n\nBut today we find four articles from Jim, one of which has the subject\n"Silence is concurrence":  \n\nm23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt) writes:\n>Is it not the case that, in the eyes of the law, when someone is aware of\n>something and has the capability of taking action and does not, that individual\n>may be held responsible for that action?\n\nWhich is, of course, a complete red herring.  Taking quotes out of\ncontext isn\'t a crime.  I don\'t have time to read every article on\nt.r.m., and I\'m certainly under no obligation to reply to them all.\n\nDoes "silence is concurrence" imply that Jim thinks that because I\ndidn\'t respond to Weiss\' articles I must condone Weiss\' taking quotes\nout of context?  Jim doesn\'t want to give a direct answer to this\nquestion; read what he has written and decide for yourself.\n\n\nBut back to the context of my conversation with Jim.  Jim\'s next \ngambit was to claim that he was using inductive logic when he\nconcluded that I was being a hypocrite.  I challenged him to provide\nthe details of that logic that led him to an incorrect conclusion.\nToday we find another obscure article (posting it twice didn\'t help\nmake it more clear, Jim), titled "Inductive Logic":\n\n>Scenario:\n>A white goose waddles past the door\n>A white goose waddles past the door\n>A white goose waddles past the door\n>...( repeat an uncountably large number of times)...\n>A black goose waddles past the door.  An individual hits it with an axe.\n>\n>1. Given that the population of geese is uncountably large, and the size of the\n>   confidence interval for the decision is undetermined, under what conditions\n>   could a decision upon the behavior of the individual towards white geese\n>   be made?\n>\n>2. If ONLY black geese are observed to be axed, is it not a valid question \n>   to be concerned with the different behavior between black and white geese?\n\nMore red herrings.  Could Jim mean that he has read an uncountably large\nnumber of my articles?  Could Jim mean that because I "axed" his articles,\nbut not Weiss\' articles, he wants to conclude inductively ...\nWell, I can\'t see where he is going with this.\n\nBut I can help him with his induction.  I\'ve written roughly 80\narticles since January.  The vast majority of them are discussions with\nFrank DeCenso and other inerrantists, where I take the position that\nthey are making bad arguments.  Some are discussions with Jim Meritt\nwhere I take the position that he is making bad arguments (a straw man\nargument earlier, and taking quotes out of context more recently.)\n\nThink hard about this Jim.  See the pattern?  Think harder.  Run it\nthrough your induction engine and see what pops out.  \n\ndj\n',
  "From: caldwell@facman.ohsu.edu (Larry Caldwell)\nSubject: Re: SUNDAY! THE DAY OF OUR LORD!\nOrganization: Oregon Health Sciences University\nLines: 14\nNntp-Posting-Host: facman\n\npharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey) writes:\n\t>dlecoint@garnet.acns.fsu.edu (Darius_Lecointe) writes:\n>>Exactly.  Sunday worship is in honor or the *SUN*, not the *SON* of God.\n>\n>Same thing, isn't it? It's pronounced the same? What other heavenly\n>beings are resurrected? The moon? That would by lunacy, at least to a\n>sunday worshiper.\n\nI have heard that the sabbath was originally determined by the phases of\nthe moon, and had elements of moon worship.  Early stuff, Egyptian in nature.\n\n-- \n-- Larry Caldwell  caldwell@ohsu.edu  CompuServe 72210,2273\nOregon Health Sciences University.  (503) 494-2232\n",
  'From: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is oxymoronic\nKeywords: ... and blessed are aluminium siding salesman ...\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as \'guest\'.\n\t<1qkna8$k@fido.asd.sgi.com> \n\t<930416.140529.9M1.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk>\nLines: 19\n\nIn article <930416.140529.9M1.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk> \nmathew@mantis.co.uk (mathew) writes:\n>livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n>>Not, of course, The Greatest Salesman in the World. That was Jesus, wasn\'t it?\n>No, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs.\n\nDefinitely, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, numero uno, top dog, not one can touch, not\none can knock Bob out of the box. Bob kills me mon! Everyday!\n\nBut close El Segundo (el subliminal) is the infamous Paul (birthname Saul) the\nEvangeline who became famous as a result of his numerous trampoline act \ntours of the eastern Mediterranean.\n\nJesus on the other hand was duped, a pawn of the Con, fell pray to the\nHolywood Paradox (ain\'t nothing but a sign in the hills!). Like many\nAfro-Asians, Jesus found the earth all too pink! And to think that after\nhis death, the Con changed him into a tall blond Holywood sun god! And I \ndo mean that in the kindest way possums! Now Jesus does gigs with Hendrix, \nJoplin, Morrison, Lennon, Marley, Tosh, etc. Mostly ska beat jah-know!\n',
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 12\nNNTP-Posting-Host: lloyd.caltech.edu\n\ndace@shrike.und.ac.za (Roy Dace) writes:\n\n>Keith Allan Schneider (keith@cco.caltech.edu) wrote:\n\n>Some soldiers are dependent on religion, for a number of purposes.\n>And some are no doubt dependent on cocaine, yet I don't see the military paying\n>for coca fields.\n\nWhile religion certainly has some benefits in a combat situation, what are\nthe benefits of cocaine?\n\nkeith\n",
  "From: ednclark@kraken.itc.gu.edu.au (Jeffrey Clark)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nNntp-Posting-Host: kraken.itc.gu.edu.au\nOrganization: ITC, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia\nLines: 31\n\nkeith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n\n>mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n\n>>>Perhaps we shouldn't imprision people if we could watch them closely\n>>>instead.  The cost would probably be similar, especially if we just\n>>>implanted some sort of electronic device.\n>>Why wait until they commit the crime?  Why not implant such devices in\n>>potential criminals like Communists and atheists?\n\n>Sorry, I don't follow your reasoning.  You are proposing to punish people\n>*before* they commit a crime?  What justification do you have for this?\n\nNo, Mathew is proposing a public defence mechanism, not treating the\nelectronic device as an impropriety on the wearer. What he is saying is that\nthe next step beyond what you propose is the permanent bugging of potential\ncriminals.  This may not, on the surface, sound like a bad thing, but who\ndefines what a potential criminal is? If the government of the day decides\nthat being a member of an opposition party makes you a potential criminal\nthen openly defying the government becomes a lethal practice, this is not\nconducive to a free society.\n\nMathew is saying that implanting electronic surveillance devices upon people\nis an impropriety upon that person, regardless of what type of crime or\nwhat chance of recidivism there is. Basically you see the criminal justice\nsystem as a punishment for the offender and possibly, therefore, a deterrant\nto future offenders. Mathew sees it, most probably, as a means of\nrehabilitation for the offender. So he was being cynical at you, okay?\n\nJeff.\n\n",
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 8\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nmathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n\n>As for rape, surely there the burden of guilt is solely on the rapist?\n\nNot so.  If you are thrown into a cage with a tiger and get mauled, do you\nblame the tiger?\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nOrganization: Boston University Physics Department\nLines: 46\n\nIn article <1qla0g$afp@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n>In article <115565@bu.edu>, jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n\n>|> >I hope an Islamic Bank is something other than BCCI, which\n>|> >ripped off so many small depositors among the Muslim\n>|> >community in the Uk and elsewhere.\n\n>|> Grow up, childish propagandist.\n\n>Gregg, I\'m really sorry if having it pointed out that in practice\n>things aren\'t quite the wonderful utopia you folks seem to claim\n>them to be upsets you..\n\nYou have done no such thing.\n\n\n>BBCI was an example of an Islamically owned and operated bank -\n>what will someone bet me they weren\'t "real" Islamic owners and\n>operators?\n\nAn Islamic bank is a bank which operates according to the rules\nof Islam in regard to banking. This is done explicitly by the\nbank. This was not the case with BCCI.\n\n>And why did these naive depositors put their life savings into\n>BCCI rather than the nasty interest-motivated western bank down\n>the street?   \n\nThis is crap. BCCI was motivated by the same motives as other\ninternational banks, with perhaps an emphasis on dealing with\noutlaws and the intelligence services of various governments.\n\n>So please don\'t try to con us into thinking that it will all \n>work out right next time.\n\nBack to childish propaganda again. You really ought to get a life\nrather than wasting bandwith on such empty typing. There are thousands\nof Islamic banks operating throughout the world which no-one ever hears\nabout. If you want to talk about corrupted banks we can talk about\nall the people who\'ve been robbed by American banks. \n\n\nGregg\n\n\n\n',
  'From: markp@elvis.wri.com (Mark Pundurs)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nNntp-Posting-Host: elvis.wri.com\nOrganization: Wolfram Research, Inc.\nLines: 27\n\nIn <930415.112243.8v6.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk> mathew@mantis.co.uk (mathew) writes:\n\n>There\'s no objective physics; Einstein and Bohr have told us that.\n\nSpeaking as one who knows relativity and quantum mechanics, I say: \nBullshit.\n\n>There\'s no objective reality.  LSD should be sufficient to prove that.\n\nSpeaking as one who has taken LSD, I say: \nBullshit.\n\n>> One wonders just what people who ask such questions understand by the term \n>> "objective", if anything.\n\n>I consider it to be a useful fiction; an abstract ideal we can strive\n>towards.  Like an ideal gas or a light inextensible string, it doesn\'t\n>actually exist; but we can talk about things as if they were like it, and not\n>be too far wrong.\n\nHow could striving toward an ideal be in any way useful, if the ideal \nhad no objective existence?\n--\nMark Pundurs\n\nany resemblance between my opinions and those \nof Wolfram Research, Inc. is purely coincidental\n',
  'From: madhaus@netcom.com (Maddi Hausmann)\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nKeywords: Dan Bissell\nOrganization: Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things\nLines: 28\n\n1.  Did you read the FAQs?\n\n2.  If NO, Read the FAQs.\n\n3.  IF YES, you wouldn\'t have posted such drivel.  The "Lord, Liar\n    or Lunatic" argument is a false trilemma.  Even if you disprove\n    Liar and Lunatic (which you haven\'t), you have not eliminated\n    the other possibilities, such as Mistaken, Misdirected, or\n    Misunderstood.  You have arbitrarily set up three and only\n    three possibilities without considering others.\n\n4.  Read a good book on rhetoric and critical thinking.  If\n    you think the "Lord, Liar, or Lunatic" discussion is an\n    example of a good argument, you are in need of learning.\n\n5.  Read the FAQs again, especially "Constructing a Logical\n    Argument."\n\nIgnore these instructions at your peril.  Disobeying them\nleaves you open for righteous flaming.\n\n\n-- \nMaddi Hausmann                       madhaus@netcom.com\nCentigram Communications Corp        San Jose California  408/428-3553\n\nKids, please don\'t try this at home.  Remember, I post professionally.\n\n',
  'From: madhaus@netcom.com (Maddi Hausmann)\nSubject: Re: Amusing atheists and agnostics\nOrganization: Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things\nLines: 40\n\ntimmbake@mcl.ucsb.edu (Bake Timmons) writes: >\n\n>OK, you have disproved one thing, but you failed to "nail" me.\n>\n>See, nowhere in my post did I claim that something _must_ be believed in.  Here\n>are the three possibilities:\n>\n>\t1) God exists. \n>\t2) God does not exist.\n>\t3) I don\'t know.\n>\n>My attack was on strong atheism, (2).  Since I am (3), I guess by what you said\n>below that makes me a weak atheist.\n  [snip]\n>First of all, you seem to be a reasonable guy.  Why not try to be more honest\n>and include my sentence afterwards that \n\nHonest, it just ended like that, I swear!  \n\nHmmmm...I recognize the warning signs...alternating polite and\nrude...coming into newsgroup with huge chip on shoulder...calls\npeople names and then makes nice...whirrr...click...whirrr\n\n"Clam" Bake Timmons = Bill "Shit Stirrer Connor"\n\nQ.E.D.\n\nWhirr click whirr...Frank O\'Dwyer might also be contained\nin that shell...pop stack to determine...whirr...click..whirr\n\n"Killfile" Keith Allen Schneider = Frank "Closet Theist" O\'Dwyer =\n\nthe mind reels.  Maybe they\'re all Bobby Mozumder.\n\n-- \nMaddi Hausmann                       madhaus@netcom.com\nCentigram Communications Corp        San Jose California  408/428-3553\n\nKids, please don\'t try this at home.  Remember, I post professionally.\n\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 31\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <115565@bu.edu>, jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n|> In article <1qi3l5$jkj@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> >I hope an Islamic Bank is something other than BCCI, which\n|> >ripped off so many small depositors among the Muslim\n|> >community in the Uk and elsewhere.\n|> \n|> >jon.\n|> \n|> Grow up, childish propagandist.\n\nGregg, I\'m really sorry if having it pointed out that in practice\nthings aren\'t quite the wonderful utopia you folks seem to claim\nthem to be upsets you, but exactly who is being childish here is \nopen to question.\n\nBBCI was an example of an Islamically owned and operated bank -\nwhat will someone bet me they weren\'t "real" Islamic owners and\noperators? - and yet it actually turned out to be a long-running\nand quite ruthless operation to steal money from small and often\nquite naive depositors.\n\nAnd why did these naive depositors put their life savings into\nBCCI rather than the nasty interest-motivated western bank down\nthe street?   Could it be that they believed an Islamically owned \nand operated bank couldn\'t possibly cheat them? \n\nSo please don\'t try to con us into thinking that it will all \nwork out right next time.\n\njon.\n',
  "From: b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu (stephen)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!!\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41    \nNntp-Posting-Host: utarlg.uta.edu\nOrganization: The University of Texas at Arlington\nLines: 29\n\nIn article <sandvik-150493181533@sandvik-kent.apple.com>, \nsandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes...\n\n>In article <1993Apr15.200231.10206@ra.royalroads.ca>,\n>mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n>> These laws written for the Israelites...\n\n>> Remember, these laws were written for a different time and applied\n>> only to God's chosen people.  But Jesus has changed all of that.  We\n>> are living in the age of grace.  Sin is no longer immediately punishable\n>> by death.  There is repentance and there is salvation through our\n>> Lord Jesus Christ.  And not just for a few chosen people.  Salvation\n>> is available to everyone, Jew and Gentile alike. \n>\n>Jews won't agree with you, Malcolm.\n\nWhich Jews KS? \n\n(ex. as a people, as a language, religiously, politically, or...) \n\nDo you mean those Jews who are God's chosen?\n\n{And Malcolm, please, if you will, set your word wrap at 75 or less \nto avoid clutter?}\n\n   |\n-- J --\n   |\n   | stephen\n",
  'From: spl@pitstop.ucsd.edu (Steve Lamont)\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nOrganization: University of Calif., San Diego/Microscopy and Imaging Resource\nLines: 24\nNNTP-Posting-Host: pitstop.ucsd.edu\n\nIn article <C5stEL.K0E@boi.hp.com> dianem@boi.hp.com (Diane Mathews) writes:\n>>Dear Brother Bill,\n>>\n>>One way or another -- so much for patience. Too bad you couldn\'t just \n>>wait. Was the prospect of God\'s Message just too much to take?\n>\n>  So do you want the president to specifically order each and every activity\n>of the FBI, or what?  And how willing are you to blame Reagan and Bush,\n>directly, for the incidents that took place in the War on Drugs in their\n>administration?  Are you going to blame Bush for the fact that Weaver\'s wife,\n>infant, son were killed?  It happened while he was president.\n\n... or consider the thousands in Central America killed by those brave\nCIA/NSC sponsored "Freedom Fighters."\n\nThus far, Slick Willie is a piker.\n\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\tspl\n\n-- \nSteve Lamont, SciViGuy -- (619) 534-7968 -- spl@szechuan.ucsd.edu\nSan Diego Microscopy and Imaging Resource/UC San Diego/La Jolla, CA 92093-0608\n"My other car is a car, too."\n                 - Bumper strip seen on I-805\n',
  'From: smithw@col.hp.com (Walter Smith)\nSubject: Re: Part 1 and part 2  (re: Homosexuality)\nOrganization: Colorado Springs IT Center\nLines: 51\nNNTP-Posting-Host: fajita19.cs.itc.hp.com\n\nrich.bellacera@amail.amdahl.com writes:\n> \n> The results of the passing amendment in\n> Colorado has created an organization who\'s posters are appearing all over\n> Colorado called "S.T.R.A.I.G.H.T." (I forget the whole definition off hand,\n> but the last part was Against Immoral Gross Homosexual Trash) and their motto\n> is "Working for a fag-free America" with an implicit advocation for violence.\n\nI live in Colorado, and have never heard of such a group.  Obviously claims \nthat their posters are appearing "all over Colorado" are a tad overdone... \n\n> This is sick, and it seems to be what you and Mr. Hudson, and others are\n> embracing.\n\nHardly.  Saying that homosexuality is a sin is a far cry from \n"Working for a fag-free America".  Saying that I wouldn\'t want \na homosexual babysitting for my kids doesnt mean I endorse \n"Against Immoral Gross Homosexual Trash".  \n\n> We Christians have a LOOOOOOOOOONG tradition of coersion and oppression\n> towards those we feel don\'t \'measure up\',\n\nAnd now we have homosexual advocates telling us that if we don\'t teach \nour kids that homosexuality is natural and a perfectly acceptable \nalternative lifestyle, then they will have it done for us.  No, thanks. \n\n> The Gospel I believe is not so negative, rather it seeks ways to "include"\n> people. \n\nAbsolutely.  And the message is always, "go and sin no more".  Not, \nGo and do whatever "feels good". \n\nOne question, at the start of your post, you wrote:\n\n> I know many gays and I will NOT turn my back on them or their right to be free\n> form discrimination...I may have lost face with the greater Christian\n> community for the unpopularity of my beliefs, but so did the abolitionists\n> against the oppression of African-Americans.  Many were even killed and\n> treated as runaway slaves for being "nigger-lovers" and such.  I guess I\'ve\n> decided the challenge is worth it.\n\nThis sounds real nice, but struck me as a little odd.  You\'re \npresenting yourself as if you were a straight Xian, who is sticking\nhis neck out and taking on the challenge of speaking out in support \nof gays in the church.  But I was under the impression that you\nyourself are gay.  That\'s all well and fine, but presenting yourself \nas sticking out your neck to help "repressed others" seems a bit \nuntruthful under the circumstances.... \n\nWalter\n\n',
  'From: healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy)\nSubject: Re: Studies on Book of Mormon\nLines: 31\nOrganization: Walla Walla College\nLines: 31\n\nIn article <735023059snx@enkidu.mic.cl> agrino@enkidu.mic.cl (Andres Grino Brandt) writes:\n>From: agrino@enkidu.mic.cl (Andres Grino Brandt)\n>Subject: Studies on Book of Mormon\n>Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1993 14:15:33 CST\n>Hi!\n>\n>I don\'t know much about Mormons, and I want to know about serious independent\n>studies about the Book of Mormon.\n>\n>I don\'t buy the \'official\' story about the gold original taken to heaven,\n>but haven\'t read the Book of Mormon by myself (I have to much work learning\n>Biblical Hebrew), I will appreciate any comment about the results of study\n>in style, vocabulary, place-names, internal consistency, and so on.\n>\n>For example: There is evidence for one-writer or multiple writers?\n>There are some mention about events, places, or historical persons later\n>discovered by archeologist?\n>\n>Yours in Collen\n>\n>Andres Grino Brandt               Casilla 14801 - Santiago 21\n>agrino@enkidu.mic.cl                        Chile\n>\n>No hay mas realidad que la realidad, y la razon es su profeta\nI don\'t think the Book of Mormon was supposedly translated from Biblical \nHebrew.  I\'ve read that "prophet Joseph Smith" traslated the gold tablets \nfrom some sort of Egyptian-ish language.  \nFormer Mormons, PLEASE post.\n\nTammy "no trim" Healy\n\n',
  'From: jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com\nSubject: Re: Origins of the bible.\nLines: 56\n\nIn article <1993Apr19.141112.15018@cs.nott.ac.uk>, eczcaw@mips.nott.ac.uk (A.Wainwright) writes:\n> Hi,\n> \n> I have been having an argument about the origins of the bible lately with\n> a theist acquaintance.  He stated that thousands of bibles were discovered\n> at a certain point in time which were syllable-perfect.  This therefore\n> meant that there must have been one copy at a certain time; the time quoted\n> by my acquaintace was approximately 50 years after the death of Jesus.\n\nHi Adda,\n\nMost Bible scholars agree that there was one copy of each book at a certain\ntime -- the time when the author wrote it.  Unfortunately, like all works\nfrom this time period and earlier, all that exists today are copies. \n\n> \n> Cutting all of the crap out of the way (ie god wrote it) could anyone answer\n> the following:\n> \n> 1.  How old is the oldest surviving copy of the new testament?\n\nThere are parts of books, scraps really, that date from around the\nmid second century (A.D. 130+).  There are some complete books, letters,\netc. from the middle third century.  The first complete collection of\nthe New Testament dates from the early 4th century (A.D. 325).  Throughout\nthis period are writings of various early church fathers/leaders who\nquoted various scriptures in their writings.\n\n> 2.  Is there any truth in my acquaintance\'s statements?\n\nIf you mean that someone discovered thousands of "Bibles" which were all\nperfect copies dating from the last part of the 1st century...No!\n\nIf you mean that there are thousands of early manuscripts (within the\ndates given above, but not letter perfect) and that the most probable\ntext can be reconstructed from these documents and that the earliest\noriginal autographs (now lost) probably were written starting sometime\nshortly after A.D. 50, then yes.\n\n> 3.  From who/where did the bible originate?\n\nFrom the original authors.  We call them Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter,\nPaul, James, and one other not identified.\n\n> 4.  How long is a piece of string? ;-)\n\nAs long as you make it.\n\n> \n> Adda\n> \n> -- \n\nRegards,\n\nJim B.\n',
  'From: kcochran@nyx.cs.du.edu (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nX-Disclaimer: Nyx is a public access Unix system run by the University\n\tof Denver for the Denver community.  The University has neither\n\tcontrol over nor responsibility for the opinions of users.\nOrganization: Nyx, Public Access Unix at U. of Denver Math/CS dept.\nLines: 66\n\nIn article <1ql06qINN2kf@gap.caltech.edu> keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n>kcochran@nyx.cs.du.edu (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran) writes:\n>>Schneider\n>>>Natural morality may specifically be thought of as a code of ethics that\n>>>a certain species has developed in order to survive.\n>>Wait.  Are we talking about ethics or morals here?\n>\n>Is the distinction important?\n\nYes.\n\n>>>We see this countless\n>>>times in the animal kingdom, and such a "natural" system is the basis for\n>>>our own system as well.\n>>Huh?\n>\n>Well, our moral system seems to mimic the natural one, in a number of ways.\n\nPlease describe these "number of ways" in detail.  Then explain the any\ncontradictions that may arise.\n\n>>>In order for humans to thrive, we seem to need\n>>>to live in groups,\n>>Here\'s your problem.  "we *SEEM* to need".  What\'s wrong with the highlighted\n>>word?\n>\n>I don\'t know.  What is wrong?  Is it possible for humans to survive for\n>a long time in the wild?  Yes, it\'s possible, but it is difficult.  Humans\n>are a social animal, and that is a cause of our success.\n\nDefine "difficult".\n\n>>>and in order for a group to function effectively, it\n>>>needs some sort of ethical code.\n>>This statement is not correct.\n>\n>Isn\'t it?  Why don\'t you think so?\n\nExplain the laws in America stating that you have to drive on the right-\nhand side of the road.\n\n>>>And, by pointing out that a species\' conduct serves to propogate itself,\n>>>I am not trying to give you your tautology, but I am trying to show that\n>>>such are examples of moral systems with a goal.  Propogation of the species\n>>>is a goal of a natural system of morality.\n>>So anybody who lives in a monagamous relationship is not moral?  After all,\n>>in order to ensure propogation of the species, every man should impregnate\n>>as many women as possible.\n>\n>No.  As noted earlier, lack of mating (such as abstinence or homosexuality)\n>isn\'t really destructive to the system.  It is a worst neutral.\n\nSo if every member of the species was homosexual, this wouldn\'t be destructive\nto the survival of the species?\n\n>>For that matter, in herds of horses, only the dominate stallion mates.  When\n>>he dies/is killed/whatever, the new dominate stallion is the only one who\n>>mates.  These seems to be a case of your "natural system of morality" trying\n>>to shoot itself in the figurative foot.\n>\n>Again, the mating practices are something to be reexamined...\n\nThe whole "theory" needs to be reexamined...\n--\n=kcochran@nyx.cs.du.edu | B(0-4) c- d- e++ f- g++ k(+) m r(-) s++(+) t | TSAKC=\n=My thoughts, my posts, my ideas, my responsibility, my beer, my pizza.  OK???=\n',
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nLines: 23\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <1993Apr16.173720.19151@scic.intel.com> sbradley@scic.intel.com (Seth J. Bradley) writes:\n\n>In article <C5L14I.JJ3@news.cso.uiuc.edu> cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike Cobb) writes:\n>>Why isn\'t this falsifiable? I.E. There is no God, the world has existed forever\n>>and had no starting point. ?\n>\n>How does one falsify God\'s existance?  This, again, is a belief, not a scien-\n>tific premise.  The original thread referred specifically to "scientific\n>creationism".  This means whatever theory or theories you propose must be\n>able to be judged by the scientific method.  This is in contrast to\n>purely philosophical arguments.\n\n\tIf given a definite definition of "God", it is sometimes possible to \nfalsify the existance of that God. \n\tBut, when one refuses to give an immutable definition, one can not.\n\n--- \n\n        " Whatever promises that have been made can than be broken. "\n\n        John Laws, a man without the honor to keep his given word.\n\n\n',
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: >>>>>>Pompous ass\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 9\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nkmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n\n>>Then why do people keep asking the same questions over and over?\n>Because you rarely ever answer them.\n\nNope, I've answered each question posed, and most were answered multiple\ntimes.\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: Pegasus@aaa.uoregon.edu (Pegasus)\nSubject: Re: Merlin, Mithras and Magick\nOrganization: the Polyhedron Group\nLines: 21\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: fp1-dialin-1.uoregon.edu\n\nIn article <JOSHUA.93Apr19183833@bailey.cpac.washington.edu>,\njoshua@cpac.washington.edu (Joshua Geller) wrote:\n> \n> \n> In article <Pegasus-150493132018@fp1-dialin-4.uoregon.edu> \n> Pegasus@aaa.uoregon.edu (LaurieEWBrandt) writes:\n> \nLEWB>> Lets add to those percentages 13-15% for the Orphaic docterians\nbrought LEWB>>to the group by Paul/Saul who was a high ranking initiate. On\nthe LEWB>>development of Orphaic Mysteries, see Jane Harrisons .Prolegomena\nto the LEWB>>study of Greek religion. Cambridge U Press 1922. and you can\neasly draw LEWB>>your own conclusions.\n \njosh> perhaps you can quote just a bit of her argument?\n\nLove to,but I must do it a bit later My copy of Harrison in packed, but the\nlast chapter as best as I can rember deals with Orphic mysteries and their\nviews of women though she does not come out and say it it is strongly\nimplyed that the Christian view was drawn heavly from the Orphic and other\nMajor cults of the time.\nPegasus\n',
  'From: frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer)\nSubject: Re: Societally acceptable behavior\nOrganization: Siemens-Nixdorf AG\nLines: 87\nNNTP-Posting-Host: d012s658.ap.mchp.sni.de\n\nIn article <C5r9At.Asv@news.cso.uiuc.edu> cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike Cobb) writes:\n#In <1qvabj$g1j@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) \n#writes:\n#\n#>In article <C5qGM3.DL8@news.cso.uiuc.edu> cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike \n#Cobb) writes:\n#\n#Am I making a wrong assumption for the basis of morals?  Where do they come \n#from?  The question came from the idea that I heard that morals come from\n#whatever is societally mandated.\n\nIt\'s only one aspect of morality.  Societal morality is necessarily\nvery crude and broad-brush stuff which attempts to deal with what\nis necessary to keep that society going  - and often it\'s a little\nover-enthusiastic about doing so.  Individual morality is a different\nthing, it often includes societal mores (or society is in trouble),\nbut is stronger.  For example, some people are vegetarian, though eating\nmeat may be perfectly legal.\n\n#\n#>#Merely a question for the basis of morality\n#>#\n#>#Moral/Ethical behavior = _Societally_ _acceptable_ _behavior_.\n#>#\n#>#1)Who is society\n#\n#>Depends on the society.\n#\n#Doesn\'t help.  Is the point irrelevant?\n\nNo.  Often the answer is "we are".  But if society is those who make\nthe rules, that\'s a different question.  If society is who should\nmake the rules, that\'s yet another.  I don\'t claim to have the answers, either,\nbut I don\'t think we do it very well in Ireland, and I like some things\nabout the US system, at least in principle.\n\n#\n#>#2)How do "they" define what is acceptable?\n#\n#>Depends.\n#On....  Again, this comes from a certain question (see above).\n\nWell, ideally they don\'t, but if they must they should do it by consensus, IMO.\n#\n#>#3)How do we keep from a "whatever is legal is what is "moral" "position?\n#\n#>By adopting a default position that people\'s moral decisions\n#>are none of society\'s business,\n#\n#So how can we put people in jail? How can we condemn other societies?\n\nBecause sometimes that\'s necessary.  The hard trick is to recognise when\nit is, and equally importantly, when it isn\'t.\n\n# and only interfering when it\'s truly\n#>necessary.\n#\n#Why would it be necessary?  What right do we have to interfere?\n\nIMO, it isn\'t often that interference (i.e. jail, and force of various\nkinds and degrees) is both necessary and effective.  Where you derive \nthe right to interfere is a difficult question - it\'s a sort of\nliar\'s paradox: "force is necessary for freedom".   One possible justification\nis that people who wish to take away freedom shouldn\'t object if\ntheir own freedom is taken away - the paradox doesn\'t arise if\nwe don\'t actively wish to take way anyone\'s freedom.\n#\n#  The introduction of permissible interference causes the problem\n#>that it can be either too much or too little - but most people seem\n#>to agree that some level of interference is necessary.\n#\n#They see the need for a "justice" system.  How can we even define that term?\n\nOnly by consensus, I guess.\n\n#  Thus you\n#>get a situation where "The law often allows what honour forbids", which I\'ve\n#>come to believe is as it should be.  \n#\n#I admit I don\'t understand that statement.\n\nWhat I mean is that, while thus-and-such may be legal, thus-and-such may\nalso be seen as immoral.   The law lets you do it, but you don\'t let yourself\ndo it.  Eating meat, for example.\n-- \nFrank O\'Dwyer                                  \'I\'m not hatching That\'\nodwyer@sse.ie                                  from "Hens",  by Evelyn Conlon\n',
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 11\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\narromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee) writes:\n\n>>The motto originated in the Star-Spangled Banner.  Tell me that this has\n>>something to do with atheists.\n>The motto _on_coins_ originated as a McCarthyite smear which equated atheism\n>with Communism and called both unamerican.\n\nNo it didn't.  The motto has been on various coins since the Civil War.\nIt was just required to be on *all* currency in the 50's.\n\nkeith\n",
  'Subject: Re: Feminism and Islam, again\nFrom: kmagnacca@eagle.wesleyan.edu\nOrganization: Wesleyan University\nNntp-Posting-Host: wesleyan.edu\nLines: 30\n\nIn article <1993Apr14.030334.8650@ultb.isc.rit.edu>, snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu (S.N. Mozumder ) writes:\n> In article <1993Apr11.145519.1@eagle.wesleyan.edu> kmagnacca@eagle.wesleyan.edu writes:\n>>\n>>There\'s a way around that via the hadith, which state that silence is\n>>taken to mean "yes" and that women may not speak before a judge, who\n>>must conduct the marriage.\n> \n> Actaully, that\'s a false hadith, because it contradicts verses in the\n> Quran, that says women may testify- speak before a judge.\n> \n> Hadiths are declared false when they contradict the Quran.  Hadiths\n> weren\'t written during the revelation or during the life of the prophet,\n> and so may contain errors.\n\nSo the only way you can tell a false hadith from a true one is\nif it contradicts the Quran?  What if it relates to something\nthat isn\'t explicitly spelled out in the Quran?\n\nAlso, the Quran wasn\'t written down during the life of Muhammed\neither.  It wasn\'t long after, but 20 years or so is still long\nenough to shift a few verses around.\n\nKarl\n -----------------------------------------------------------------------------\n| "Lastly, I come to China in the hope      | "All you touch and all you see  |\n| of fulfilling a lifelong ambition -       | Is all your life will ever be." |\n| dropping acid on the Great Wall."  --Duke |                 --Pink Floyd    |\n|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|\n|         A Lie is still a Lie even if 3.8 billion people believe it.         |\n -----------------------------------------------------------------------------\n',
  'From: bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig)\nSubject: Is it good that Jesus died?\nOrganization: Starfleet Headquarters: San Francisco\nLines: 114\n\nbrian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615) writes:\n>Brian Kendig writes:\n>\n>>If you can explain to me why the death of Jesus was a *good* thing,\n>>then I would be very glad to hear it, and you might even convert me.\n>>Be warned, however, that I\'ve heard all the most common arguments\n>>before, and they just don\'t convince me.\n>\n>Ask Jesus himself.  He himself said why in John 12:23-32.  It\n>isn\'t a mystery to anyone and there certainly is no need for\n>a persuasive argument.   Read Jesus\'s own reply to your\n>question.\n\nJohn 12:24-26: "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat\nfalls onto the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it\nproduces much grain.\n  "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in\nthis world will keep it for eternal life.\n  "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My\nservant will be also.  If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor."\n\nWhy would I want an eternal life if I hate this one?\n\nIf we were created by a deity, why would that deity not wish us to\nenjoy what he has given us?\n\nWhy would I want to live forever?  The challenge in my life is that I\nwill die, and that I must give my life the meaning I wish it to have\nbefore that happens.  My time is here and will someday pass; I will be\ncontent to live on in the memories of my friends, and once they too\nare dead, then I will no longer have any reason to exist.\n\nIn short: even if your deity *does* exist, that doesn\'t automatically\nmean that I would worship it.  I am content to live my own life, and\nfend for myself, so when I die, I can be proud of the fact that no\nmatter where I end up, it will be because of *my* actions and *my* choices.\n\nIf your god decides to toss me into a flaming pit for this, then so be\nit.  I would much rather just cease to exist.  But if your god wants\nmy respect and my obedience, then it had better earn these; and if it\ndoes, then they will be very strong and true.\n\n>Jesus gives more reasons in John 16:7.  But one obvious reason\n>why Jesus died, (and as with everything else, it has nothing do with\n>his punishment) was that he could rise to life again--so that\n>we would "stop doubting and believe" (John 21:27).  The fact\n>that Jesus rose from the dead is my hope that I too will rise\n>from the dead.  It is an obvious point.  Do not overlook it.\n>Without this obvious point, I would have no hope\n>and my faith would be vanity.\n\nJesus wasn\'t the only one who rose from the dead -- I think it was\nOsiris who did the same, as well as a few characters from Greek or\nNorse legend, if memory serves.\n\nBut still: WHY would I want to rise from the dead?  Why do *you* want to?\n\n>Why did Jesus suffer in his death?  Again, ask Jesus.  Jesus\n>says why in John 15:18-25.   That\'s no mystery either.  "The\n>world hates him without reason."  It is a direct proclamation\n>of how far we humans botch things up and thus, how much we\n>need a Saviour.\n\nIf your god wants to win my devotion, then it knows what it can do --\nprovide some way for me to believe without having to resort to blind\nfaith that could be applied equally well to any religion.\n\n>And why can\'t you, Brian K., accept this?  How can you?  "The\n>world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows\n>him."  (John 14:17).\n\nThat\'s precisely it.  I neither see nor know Zeus either, nor Odin.\nShall I offer them the same devotion I offer Jesus?\n\n>The animosity and the lack of knowledge\n>that comes out in your twistings of Robert\'s daily verses is\n>very convincing testimony of the truth of John 14:17 and 16:25.\n\nYou\'ve got to understand my point-of-view: I see Christians spouting\nBible verse all the time as if it were some sort of magic spell that\nwill level all opposition.  Truth is, it\'s not.  Robert has never\ndemonstrated that he actually understands what the verses imply; he\njust rattles them off day by day.  Some brazenly fly in the face of\ncommon sense and reality, and I point these out where I can.\n\nBut even more than that, even when Christians *do* try to explain the\nverses in their own words, they do so from a Christian point of view,\nwhich is that every human being would want to be a Christian if only\nhe or she understood the Christian message properly, and then all\nstrife and suffering on the earth would end.  Here\'s the problem with\nthat: substitute "Moslem" or "Buddhist" or "Satanist" instead of\n"Christian", and it means the same thing.\n\nChristanity is a very nice belief set around a very nice book.  But if\nyou want to make me believe that it has any bearing on the REAL WORLD,\nyou\'ve got some convincing to do.\n\n>I pray and hope that I do blurt out such animosity and lack of\n>knowledge. I am not perfect either.  But regardless of that, I thank\n>God that Jesus revealed himself to me, without whom I\'d also be\n>bumbling about blindly though arrogantly slandering the very\n>Person who created me and who loves me.\n\nAnd in my opinion, you\'re bumbling about blindly making up entities\nwhere there aren\'t any, and depriving yourself of a true understanding\nand enjoyment of your life.  As long as you keep your beliefs to\nyourself, I\'ll keep my beliefs to myself -- but as soon as you start\nwaving them around, expect me to toss in my opinions, too.\n-- \n_/_/_/  Brian Kendig                             Je ne suis fait comme aucun\n/_/_/  bskendig@netcom.com                de ceux que j\'ai vus; j\'ose croire\n_/_/                            n\'etre fait comme aucun de ceux qui existent.\n  /  The meaning of life     Si je ne vaux pas mieux, au moins je suis autre.\n /    is that it ends.                                           -- Rousseau\n',
  'Subject: Fluids vs Liquids\nFrom: mikec@sail.LABS.TEK.COM (Micheal Cranford)\nOrganization: Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton,  OR.\nLines: 18\n\nwest@next02.wam.umd.edu (Brian West) writes:\n[ deleted ]\n>A similar analogy can be made with glass. For those of you who don\'t \n>know, glass is a liquid (go ask your science teacher) and DOES flow.\n[ deleted ]\n\n  If your science teacher tells you glass is a liquid, try to get a different\nscience teacher B^).  Glass is a supercooled fluid, it is not a liquid (except\nat very high temperatures).  The definition of liquid includes "readily takes\nthe form of its container".  Let\'s try to be more accurate here.  We don\'t want\npeople to think we\'re creationists now do we?\n\n\n  UUCP:  uunet!tektronix!sail!mikec  or                  M.Cranford\n         uunet!tektronix!sail.labs.tek.com!mikec         Principal Troll\n  ARPA:  mikec%sail.LABS.TEK.COM@RELAY.CS.NET            Resident Skeptic\n  CSNet: mikec@sail.LABS.TEK.COM                         TekLabs, Tektronix\n\n',
  'X-Mailer: TMail version 1.17R\nFrom: "D. C. Sessions" <dcs@witsend.tnet.com>\nOrganization: Nobody but me -- really\nSubject: Re: Is THOU SHALT NOT KILL ever applied in the Bible?\nDistribution: world\nLines: 15\n\nIn <1pdj4bINNrtr@crcnis1.unl.edu>, e_p@unl.edu (edgar pearlstein)  wrote:\n#     Are there any places in the Bible where the commandment "Thou \n#     shalt not kill" is specifically applied?  That is, where someone \n#     refrained from killing because he remembered the commandment.\n\n  No, for the excellent reason that there IS no such commandment.\n\n  Aside from that, please note that the Abrahamic literary tradition\n  is strong on narrative, light on dialog, and virtually nonexistent\n  w/r/t introspection.\n\n--- D. C. Sessions                            Speaking for myself ---\n--- Note new network address:                dcs@witsend.tnet.com ---\n--- Author (and everything else!) of TMail  (DOS mail/news shell) ---\n',
  "From: mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!!\nOrganization: Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, B.C.\nLines: 39\n\n\nIn article <sandvik-190493200858@sandvik-kent.apple.com>, sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n|> In article <1993Apr19.165717.25790@ra.royalroads.ca>,\n|> mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n|> > \n|> > It is true what you stated above:  Jesus' saving grace is available to\n|> > everyone, not just Jews.  In other words, everyone can have salvation but\n|> > not everyone will.  This option is now open to people other than just\n|> > Jews.  Of course, if the Jews don't accept the deity of Christ, I would\n|> > hardly expect them to accept anything that Christ said.  But I don't feel\n|> > any animosity towards them.  Even though they persecuted Jesus and his\n|> > disciples and eventually crucified Him, I bear them no ill will.  If anything,\n|> > I feel pity for them.  Jesus had to die to pay the price for our sins and\n|> > so the Jews were merely fulfilling prophesy.  Jesus knew He had to die even\n|> > before He began His ministry.  That demonstrates the great depth of His love\n|> > for us.\n|> \n|> Jesus certainly demonstrated the great depth of his love for the\n|> children who died today at the Davidian complex.\n|> \n|> Sorry, but the events today made me even more negative concering\n|> organized religion.\n|> \n\nI understand and sympathize with your pain.  What happened in Waco was a very\nsad tradgedy.  Don't take it out on us Christians though.  The Branch\nDavidians were not an organized religion.  They were a cult led by a ego-maniac\ncult leader.  The Christian faith stands only on the shoulders of one man,\nthe Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus Christ.   BTW, David Koresh was NOT\nJesus Christ as he claimed.\n\nGod be with you,\n\nMalcolm Lee  :)\n\n|> Cheers,\n|> Kent\n|> ---\n|> sandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: edm@twisto.compaq.com (Ed McCreary)\nSubject: Re: thoughts on christians\nIn-Reply-To: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM\'s message of 16 Apr 93 05: 10:18 GMT\nOrganization: Compaq Computer Corp\nLines: 26\n\n>>>>> On 16 Apr 93 05:10:18 GMT, bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine) said:\n\nRB> In article <ofnWyG600WB699voA=@andrew.cmu.edu> pl1u+@andrew.cmu.edu (Patrick C Leger) writes:\n>EVER HEAR OF\n>BAPTISM AT BIRTH?  If that isn\'t preying on the young, I don\'t know what\n>is...\n>\nRB>   \nRB>   No, that\'s praying on the young.  Preying on the young comes\nRB>   later, when the bright eyed little altar boy finds out what the\nRB>   priest really wears under that chasible.\n\nThe same thing Scotsmen where under there kilt.\n\nI\'ll never forget the day when I was about tweleve and accidently\nwalked in on a roomfull of priests sitting around in their underware\ndrinking beer and watching football.  \n\nKind of changed my opinion a bit.  They didn\'t seem so menacing after\nthat.\n\n\n--\nEd McCreary                                               ,__o\nedm@twisto.compaq.com                                   _-\\_<, \n"If it were not for laughter, there would be no Tao."  (*)/\'(*)\n',
  'From: asiivo@cs.joensuu.fi (Antti Siivonen)\nSubject: Re: Part 1 and part 2 (re: Homosexuality)\nOrganization: University of Joensuu\nLines: 9\n\n\tLong time, no see.\n\n\t\t\tAndreas\n\n-- \n\n\t\tAndreas - Siperian Sirri   Siberian Stint\n\n\tNo ITU, love, evolution.           Tuusniemi ! Siis imein suut !\n',
  'Subject: Re: "Imaginary" Friends - Dragons & Mice\nFrom: martini@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Sheilagh M.B.E. O\'Hare)\nOrganization: The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas\nNNTP-Posting-Host: tigger.cc.utexas.edu\nLines: 17\n\nHe sounds really cute, Morte!  Kinds like _pete\'s dragon_, maybe smaller,\nmaybe a different species.. winge\'d?  (shakespear wing-ED)\n\nI\'ve always hat a horde of mice to turn to for fun & sort of that kind of\nmouse in Cinderella (walt disney).  I grew up sort of as an only child,\npart time.. my siblings were 10-8-6 years older than me, so i was pretty\ncommonly a different sort of charater in their games (read: non speaking\nhot cocoa-goffer, stand in (still silent) bad guy/good guy/etc), so my\nmice were playmates, more than advisors.\n\nCould curt, or whomever has a good list of books please post such list,\nin all sorts of fields, like jungian, condensed buddist/etc philosophies,\nmultiple personailty disorders, or good fiction that has well worked\nimaginary friends?\n\nthanks,\nsheilagh, wanting a bunch of library catalouge topics to search thru\n',
  'From: lucio@proxima.alt.za (Lucio de Re)\nSubject: Re: atheist?\nReply-To: lucio@proxima.Alt.ZA\nOrganization: MegaByte Digital Telecommunications\nLines: 33\n\nTony Lezard <tony@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n\n>My opinion is that the strong atheist position requires too much\n>belief for me to be comfortable with. Any strong atheists out there\n>care to comment? As far as I can tell, strong atheists are far\n>outnumbered on alt.atheism by weak atheists.\n\nAt the cost of repudiating the FAQ, I think too much is made of the\nstrong vs weak atheism issue, although in the context of alt.atheism,\nwhere we\'re continually attacked on the basis that strong atheists\n"believe" in the non-existence of god, I think the separation is a\nvalid one.\n\nTo cover my arse, what I\'m trying to say is that there is an\ninfinitely grey area between weak and strong, as well as between\nstrong and the unattainable mathematical atheism (I wish!).  Whereas I\n_logically_ can only support the weak atheist position, in effect I am\na strong atheist (and wish I could be a mathematical one).  To\njustify my strong atheist position I believe I need only show that\nthe evidence presented in favour of any of the gods under scrutiny\nis faulty.\n\nIf I read the FAQ correctly, no argument for the existence of god\n(generic, as represented by mainstream theologians) has ever been\nfound to be unassailable.  To me this is adequate evidence that the\n_real_god_ is undefinable (or at least no definition has yet been\nfound to be watertight), which in turn I accept as sufficient to\nbase a disbelief in each and every conceivable god.\n\nI\'m a little fuzzy on the edges, though, so opinions are welcome\n(but perhaps we should change the thread subject).\n-- \nLucio de Re (lucio@proxima.Alt.ZA) - tab stops at four.\n',
  'From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: Is Morality Constant (was Re: Biblical Rape)\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 65\n\nJim Perry (perry@dsinc.com) wrote:\n\n: }Xenophobia, both *de facto* and *de jure* as implemented\n: }in legal systems, is widespread, while the Bible,\n: }although not 100% egalitarian, specifically preaches\n: }kindness to the stranger, and emphasizes in the Book\n: }of Ruth, that a foreigner can join the nation and\n: }give rise to one of the great heroes of the nation.\n: \n: Clearly better than the alternative, but as an American what strikes\n: me as strange about this story is that it should have even been\n: considered an issue.\n\nJim,\n\nThere are a couple of things about your post and others in this thread\nthat are a little confusing. An atheist is one for whom all things can\nbe understood as processes of nature - exclusively. There is no need\nfor any recourse to Divnity to describe or explain anything. There is\nno purpose or direction for any event beyond those required by\nphysics, chemistry, biology, etc.; everything is random, nothing is\ndetermnined.\nThis would also have to include human intelligence of course and all\nits products. There is nothing requiring that life evolve or that it\nacquire intelligence, it\'s just a happy accident. For an atheist, no\nevent can be preferred to another or be said to have more or less\nvalue than another in any naturalistic sense, and no thought -about-\nan event can have value. \nThe products of our intelligence are acquired from our environment,\nfrom teaching, training, observation and experience and are only\nsignificant to the individual mind wherein they reside. These mental\nprocesses and the images they produce for us are just electrical\nactivity and nothing more; content is of no consequence. The human\nmind is as much a response to natural forces as water running down a\nhill.\nHow then can an atheist judge value? What is the basis for criticizing\nthe values ennumerated in the Bible or the purposes imputed to God? On\nwhat grounds can the the behavior of the reliogious be condemned? It\nseems that, in judging the values that motivate others to action, you\nhave to have some standard against which conduct is measured, but what\nin nature can serve that purpose? What law of nature can you invoke to\nestablish your values.\nSince every event is entirely and exclusively a physical event, what\ndifference could it possibly make what -anyone- does, religious or\notherwise, there can be no -meaning- or gradation of value. The only\nway an atheist can object to -any- behaviour is to admit that the\nobjection is entirely subjective and that he(she) just doesn\'t like it\n- that\'s it. Any value judgement must be prefaced by the disclaimer\nthat it is nothing more than a matter of personal opinion and carries\nno weight in any "absolute" sense.\nThat you don\'t like what God told people to do says nothing about God\nor God\'s commands, it says only that there was an electrical event in your\nnervous system that created an emotional state that your mind coupled\nwith a pre-existing thought-set to form that reaction. That your\nobjections -seem- well founded is due to the way you\'ve been\nconditioned; there is no "truth" content. The whole of your\nintellectual landscape is an illusion, a virtual reality.\nI didn\'t make these rules, it\'s inherent in naturalistic atheism and\nto be consistent, you have to accept the non-significance of any human\nthought, even your own. All of this being so, you have excluded\nyourself from any discussion of values, right, wrong, goood, evil,\netc. and cannot participate. Your opinion about the Bible can have no\nweight whatsoever.\n\nBill\n',
  "From: jmeritt@mental.mitre.org\nSubject: God's promise of Peace\nOrganization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway\nLines: 6\nNNTP-Posting-Host: cs.utexas.edu\n\nPSA 145:9  The LORD is good to all: and his  tender  mercies  are\nover all his works.\n\nJER 13:14  And I will dash them one against another, even the fa-\nthers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor\nspare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.\n",
  'From: mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Alt.Atheism FAQ: Overview for New Readers\nSummary: Hi.  Please read this before you post.\nKeywords: FAQ, atheism\nExpires: Thu, 20 May 1993 10:52:53 GMT\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nSupersedes: <19930413094109@mantis.co.uk>\nLines: 145\n\nArchive-name: atheism/overview\nAlt-atheism-archive-name: overview\nLast-modified: 5 April 1993\nVersion: 1.2\n\n                                   Overview\n\nWelcome to alt.atheism and alt.atheism.moderated.\n\nThis is the first in a series of regular postings aimed at new readers of the\nnewsgroups.\n\nMany groups of a \'controversial\' nature have noticed that new readers often\ncome up with the same questions, mis-statements or misconceptions and post\nthem to the net.  In addition, people often request information which has\nbeen posted time and time again.  In order to try and cut down on this, the\nalt.atheism groups have a series of five regular postings under the following\ntitles:\n\n   1.  Alt.Atheism FAQ: Overview for New Readers\n   2.  Alt.Atheism FAQ: Introduction to Atheism\n   3.  Alt.Atheism FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)\n   4.  Alt.Atheism FAQ: Constructing a Logical Argument\n   5.  Alt.Atheism FAQ: Atheist Resources\n\nThis is article number 1.  Please read numbers 2 and 3 before posting.  The\nothers are entirely optional.\n\nIf you are new to Usenet, you may also find it helpful to read the newsgroup\nnews.announce.newusers.  The articles titled "A Primer on How to Work With\nthe Usenet Community", "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet"\nand "Hints on writing style for Usenet" are particularly relevant.  Questions\nconcerning how news works are best asked in news.newusers.questions.\n\nIf you are unable to find any of the articles listed above, see the "Finding\nStuff" section below.\n\n\n                                   Credits\n\nThese files could not have been written without the assistance of the many\nreaders of alt.atheism and alt.atheism.moderated.  In particular, I\'d like to\nthank the following people:\n\nkck+@cs.cmu.edu (Karl Kluge)\nperry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry)\nNETOPRWA@ncsuvm.cc.ncsu.edu (Wayne Aiken)\nchpetk@gdr.bath.ac.uk (Toby Kelsey)\njkp@cs.HUT.FI (Jyrki Kuoppala)\ngeoff.arnold@East.Sun.COM (Geoff Arnold)\ntorkel@sics.se (Torkel Franzen)\nkmldorf@utdallas.edu (George Kimeldorf)\nroe2@quads.uchicago.edu (Greg Roelofs)\narromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee)\nmadhaus@netcom.com (Maddi Hausmann)\nJ5J@psuvm.psu.edu (John A. Johnson)\ndgraham@bmers30.bnr.ca (Douglas Graham)\nmayne@open.cs.fsu.edu (William Mayne)\najr@bigbird.hri.com (Andy Rosen)\nstoesser@ira.uka.de (Achim Stoesser)\nbosullvn@unix1.tcd.ie (Bryan O\'Sullivan)\nlippard@ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard)\ns1b3832@rigel.tamu.edu (S. Baum)\nydobyns@phoenix.princeton.edu (York H. Dobyns)\nschroede@sdsc.edu (Wayne Schroeder)\nbaldwin@csservera.usna.navy.mil (J.D. Baldwin)\nD_NIBBY@unhh.unh.edu (Dana Nibby)\ndempsey@Kodak.COM (Richard C. Dempsey)\njmunch@hertz,elee.calpoly.edu (John David Munch)\npdc@dcs.ed.ac.uk (Paul Crowley)\nrz@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Richard Zach)\ntycchow@math.mit.edu (Tim Chow)\nsimon@dcs.warwick.ac.uk (Simon Clippingdale)\n\n...and countless others I\'ve forgotten.\n\nThese articles are free.  Truly free.  You may copy them and distribute them\nto anyone you wish.  However, please send any changes or corrections to the\nauthor, and please do not re-post copies of the articles to alt.atheism; it\ndoes nobody any good to have multiple versions of the same document floating\naround the network.\n\n\n                                Finding Stuff\n\nAll of the FAQ files *should* be somewhere on your news system.  Here are\nsome suggestions on what to do if you can\'t find them:\n\n1. Check the newsgroup alt.atheism.  Look for subject lines starting with\n   "Alt.Atheism FAQ:".\n\n2. Check the newsgroup news.answers for the same subject lines.\n\n   If you don\'t find anything in steps 1 or 2, your news system isn\'t set up\n   correctly, and you may wish to tell your system administrator about the\n   problem.\n\n3. If you have anonymous FTP access, connect to rtfm.mit.edu [18.172.1.27].\n   Go to the directory /pub/usenet/alt.atheism, and you\'ll find the latest\n   versions of the FAQ files there.\n\n   FTP is a a way of copying files between networked computers.  If you\n   need help in using or getting started with FTP, send e-mail to\n   mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with\n\n      send usenet/news.answers/ftp-list/faq\n\n   in the body.\n\n4. There are other sites which also carry news.answers postings.  The article\n   "Introduction to the news.answers newsgroup" carries a list of these\n   sites; the article is posted regularly to news.answers.\n\n5. If you don\'t have FTP, send mail to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu\n   consisting of the following lines:\n\n      send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources\n      send usenet/alt.atheism/faq\n      send usenet/alt.atheism/introduction\n      send usenet/alt.atheism/logic\n      send usenet/alt.atheism/resources\n\n5. (Penultimate resort)  Send mail to mail-server@mantis.co.uk consisting of\n   the following lines:\n\n      send atheism/faq/faq.txt\n      send atheism/faq/logic.txt\n      send atheism/faq/intro.txt\n      send atheism/faq/resource.txt\n\n   and our poor overworked modems will try and send you a copy of the files.\n   There\'s other stuff, too; interesting commands to try are "help" and\n   "send atheism/index".\n\n6. (Last resort)  Mail mathew@mantis.co.uk, or post an article to the\n   newsgroup asking how you can get the FAQ files.  You should only do this\n   if you\'ve tried the above methods and they\'ve failed; it\'s not nice to\n   clutter the newsgroup or people\'s mailboxes with requests for files.\n   it\'s better than posting without reading the FAQ, though!  For instance,\n   people whose email addresses get mangled in transit and who don\'t have \n   FTP will probably need assistance obtaining the FAQ files.\n\n\nmathew\nÿ\n',
  'From: ins559n@aurora.cc.monash.edu.au (Andrew Bulhak)\nSubject: Re: 666 - MARK OF THE BEAST - NEED INFO\nOrganization: Monash University\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 14\n\n (U28698@uicvm.uic.edu) wrote:\n: Marian CATHOLIC high school, outside of chicago:\n: \n: 666 south ASHLAND avenue.\n: \nActually, Satanism is technically inverted Catholicism.\n\n\n+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+\n|  Andrew Bulhak\t     | :plonk: n. The sound of Richard Depew        |\n|  acb@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au |   hitting the ground after being             | \n|  Monash Uni, Clayton,      |   defenestrated by a posse of angry Usenet   |\n|  Victoria, Australia       |   posters.                                   |\n+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+\n',
  'From: joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin)\nSubject: Re: Food For Thought On Tyre\nOrganization: Intelligent Systems Program\nLines: 113\n\nking@ctron.com (John E. King) writes:\n>Not exactly.  The prophesy clearly implies that people would\n>still be living in the area, but by the same token it would\n>never be "rebuilt".  Obviously , if people are still there they\n>would live in houses, correct?  Their "nets" implies a fishing\n>village.  This is exactly what it has become -- a far cry from\n>its original position of stature .\n\nLooking at [1] we find that during Roman times "Tyre vied with Sidon\nfor first place in the intellectual life of the period"; that Tyre was\nthe seat of a Christian bishop, eventually with 14 dioceses under it;\nthat "the most magnificent church of its kind in all Phoenecia" was the\nbasilica built in Tyre ca. 314; that Tyre was well known for its\nexports of glassware, wine, white marble, and dyed cloth; that Tyre,\nalong with other seaports, "provided outlets for South Arabian, Indian\nand even Chinese trade"; that Tyre had to accomodate its growing\npopulation by "following a perpendicular, rather than horizontal, line\nof growth" (because it was running out of land to build on); that Tyre\nestablished colonies of its own.  None of this sounds like a "small\nfishing village" by any stretch of the imagination.\n\nCenturies later, under the Abbasids, Tyre had "opulent and flourishing\nbazaars" and buildings of 5-6 stories.  During this period, Tyre was\n"noted for its export of sugar, beads, and, as of old, glassware."\nDuring the Crusades, Tyre was the second-most flourishing city held\nby Franks.  (There is a lot more, but I got tired of writing.)\n\nIn [2] we read the following description of modern Lebanon: "other\n*major cities* in Lebanon include Tripoli, Sidon, Tyre, Baalbek and\nZahlah."  [my emphasis]  This source also discusses the impact of\nthe Lebanese Civil War, and the Israeli military actions (1978, 1982)\non the trading ports of Tyre and Sidon.  It notes that after Israel\'s\nwithdrawel in 1984, "Tyre appeared to enjoy a revival of its local\neconomy."\n\nIf Tyre is such an insignificant little fishing village at present,\nwhy is it always called a city (or, above, a "major city")?  Why\ndoes it show up on all the maps?   When population figures for cities\nin Lebanon are given, why is Tyre always one of the cities on the\nlist (even if the list is only a dozen cities long)?\n\n[1] Philip K. Hitti, _Lebanon in History: From the earliest times to\nthe present_, NY, St. Martins, 1967.  \n\n[2] Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, _Lebanon: a\ncountry study_, edited by Thomas Collelo, 1989.\n\n>>In the early 1980\'s Tyre had over 22,000 people.\n>\n>So far I\'ve seen stated figurers ranging from 15,000 to 22,000.\n>Let\'s assume the latter one is correct.  By modern standards\n>we are talking about a one-horse town.\n\nA one-horse town?  Sounds like a lot of work for one horse.\n(Anyway, Tyre is connected by roads to the mainland.  They\nmay even use cars these days. :-) \n\nThe 1991 Encyclopedia Britannica says "Pop. (1982 est.) 23,000."  \nMost other references give figures in the 14-17 thousand range.\n(One atlas gives the population of Tyre as 60,000; the same\nsource give comparatively high figures for Sidon and Beirut, also,\nso I doubt that it is a typo.  Perhaps these were figures for\nthe cities and their surrounding areas.)  I don\'t doubt that the\npopulation of Tyre has fluctuated over the last few decades.  In\nparticular, the 1982 Israeli military action hurt Tyre quite a bit.   \n\n>> After Alex the G it fell once more in the 1200\'s, I believe.  What\n>>other times did it fall that you were thinking of? \n>\n>To Egypt (250 bce); to the Seleucids (198 bce); Rome (63 bce); after\n>Rome it fell to various Arab contingents until 1124 ce when it was\n>captured in the Crusades;  it was then recaptured again by the Muslims\n>in 1291 ce and subsequently pillaged; then the French, Turks, British,\n>and today, Lebanon.\n\nI thought you were talking about times that Tyre was destroyed.\nDon\'t most, if not all, of these apply not just to Tyre but to \nthe other cities in the area?  Sidon, for example?  Can you make\na case for Tyre having been singled out?\n\n>>Well, it recovered enough to have a thriving commerce in the dye\n>>"Tyrian purple" in Roman times. \n>\n>This is correct, but they were under Roman domination, and the \n>majority of the created wealth was siphoned off.  The prophesy\n>hold true.\n\nThey had a good deal of autonomy under the Seleucids. From [2]:\nTyre "receiv[ed] the rights [of autonomy] from Antiochus Ephiphanes\nand from 125 BC onward enjoy[ed] complete autonomy. She started a\nlarge series of coins, occasionally in gold ..."\n\nThe descriptions of Tyre under the Romans don\'t seem to fit\nyour characterization, either.  And under the Abbasids it seems\nto have been allowed to flourish.  I still think you are stretching\nwhen you try to describe Tyre as having been nothing but a small\nfishing village.\n\n>Who is Josh McDowell.\n\nA Christian apologist whose standards of scholarship are quite low.\nHe happens to quote the same source you quote (Nina Jidejian,\n_Tyre through the Ages_, Beirut, Dar El-Mashreq Publishers, 1969).\nThe same sentence, in fact.  He defends the fulfillment of the\nprophecy using the same argument you are using, an argument that\nI haven\'t seen in print anywhere else, which is why I jumped to\nthe conclusion that you were quoting Josh.\n\n(I tried to find the Jidejian book, but it isn\'t listed in Books\nin Print.  Can you tell me more about it? Her descriptions are so\nmuch at odds with everything else I\'ve read; I\'m curious to know why.)\n\ndj\n',
  "From: mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee)\nSubject: Re: Davidians and compassion\nOrganization: Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, B.C.\nLines: 34\n\n\nIn article <sandvik-200493000159@sandvik-kent.apple.com>, sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n|> In article <93Apr20.011634edt.47719@neat.cs.toronto.edu>,\n|> cbo@cs.toronto.edu (Calvin Bruce Ostrum) wrote:\n|> > In article <sandvik-190493200420@sandvik-kent.apple.com>\n|> >    sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n|> > | I have a hard time just now understanding that Christianity\n|> > | knows about the word compassion. Christians, do you think \n|> > | the actions today would produce a good picture of your \n|> > | religion?\n|> > Clearly all people considering themselves Christians are all alike,\n|> > and support one another in everything they do.  In particular, it\n|> > follows that they certainly will support all the actions of any\n|> > other person calling himself a Christian...  NOT.\n|> \n|> I see, there are Christians, and there are Christians. No wonder\n|> the Christian world is in shambles, you can't even agree who\n|> is a rightful one and a wrong one.\n|> \n\nIf one does not follow the teachings of Christ, he is NOT Christian.  \nToo easy?  \n\n|> Please, I would like to hear your comments about a supposed\n|> Christian leader that makes sure that children are burnt to\n|> death.\n|> \n\nWould you say all Muslims are like Saddam Hussein?  I wouldn't make\nsuch a blanket judgement, why do you?\n\n|> Kent\n|> ---\n|> sandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate)\nSubject: Re: Yeah, Right\nLines: 30\n\nBenedikt Rosenau writes:\n\n>And what about that revelation thing, Charley?\n\nIf you\'re talking about this intellectual engagement of revelation, well,\nit\'s obviously a risk one takes.\n\n>Many people say that the concept of metaphysical and religious knowledge\n>is contradictive.\n\nI\'m not an objectivist, so I\'m not particularly impressed with problems of\nconceptualization.  The problem in this case is at least as bad as that of\ntrying to explain quantum mechanics and relativity in the terms of ordinary\nexperience.  One can get some rough understanding, but the language is, from\nthe perspective of ordinary phenomena, inconsistent, and from the\nperspective of what\'s being described, rather inexact (to be charitable).\n\nAn analogous situation (supposedly) obtains in metaphysics; the problem is\nthat the "better" descriptive language is not available.\n\n>And in case it holds reliable information, can you show how you establish\n>that?\n\nThis word "reliable" is essentially meaningless in the context-- unless you\ncan show how reliability can be determined.\n-- \nC. Wingate        + "The peace of God, it is no peace,\n                  +    but strife closed in the sod.\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu +  Yet, brothers, pray for but one thing:\ntove!mangoe       +    the marv\'lous peace of God."\n',
  'From: Steve_Mullins@vos.stratus.com\nSubject: Re: Bible Quiz\nOrganization: Stratus Computer, Marlboro Ma.\nLines: 20\nNNTP-Posting-Host: m72.eng.stratus.com\n\n\nIn article <1993Apr16.130430.1@ccsua.ctstateu.edu> kellyb@ccsua.ctstateu.edu wrote: \n>In article <kmr4.1563.734805744@po.CWRU.edu>, kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n>>    Only when the Sun starts to orbit the Earth will I accept the Bible. \n>> \n>     Since when does atheism mean trashing other religions?There must be a God\n                                            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n>     of inbreeding to which you are his only son.\n\n\na) I think that he has a rather witty .sig file.  It sums up a great\n   deal of atheistic thought (IMO) in one simple sentence.\nb) Atheism isn\'t an "other religion".\n\n\nsm\n=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=\nSteve_Mullins@vos.stratus.com    () "If a man empties his purse into his\nMy opinions <> Stratus\' opinions ()   head, no one can take it from him\n------------------------------   ()   ---------------Benjamin Franklin\n',
  "From: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 34\n\nIn article <1qjd3o$nlv@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O'Dwyer) writes:\n>Firstly, science has its basis in values, not the other way round.\n>So you better explain what objective atoms are, and how we get them\n>from subjective values, before we go any further.\n\n\nAtoms are not objective.  They aren't even real.  What scientists call\nan atom is nothing more than a mathematical model that describes \ncertain physical, observable properties of our surroundings.  All\nof which is subjective.  \n\nWhat is objective, though, is the approach a scientist \ntakes in discussing his model and his observations.  There\nis no objective science.  But there is an objective approach\nwhich is subjectively selected by the scientist.  Objective\nin this case means a specified, unchanging set of rules that\nhe and his colleagues use to discuss their science.\n\nThis is in contrast to your Objective Morality.  There may be an\nobjective approach to subjectively discuss your beliefs on\nmorality.  But there exists no objective morality.\n\nAlso, science deals with how we can discuss our observations of \nthe physical world around us.  In that the method of discussion\nis objective ( not the science; not the discussion itself ).\n\nScience makes no claims to know the whys or even the hows sometimes\nof what we can observe.  It simply gives us a way to discuss our\nsurroundings in a meaningful, consistent way.\n\nI think it was Neils Bohr who said (to paraphrase) Science is what\nwe can _say_ about the physical world.\n\n-jim halat\n",
  "From: system@kalki33.lakes.trenton.sc.us (Kalki Dasa)\nSubject: Bhagavad-Gita 2.44\nOrganization: Kalki's Infoline BBS, Aiken, SC, USA\nLines: 42\n\n                                TEXT 44\n\n                       bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam\n                           tayapahrta-cetasam\n                        vyavasayatmika buddhih\n                          samadhau na vidhiyate\n  \nbhoga--to material enjoyment; aisvarya--and opulence; prasaktanam--for\nthose who are attached; taya--by such things;\napahrta-cetasam--bewildered in mind; vyavasaya-atmika--fixed in\ndetermination; buddhih--devotional service to the Lord; samadhau--in\nthe controlled mind; na--never; vidhiyate--does take place.\n    \n                              TRANSLATION\n\n\tIn the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and\nmaterial opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute\ndetermination for devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take\nplace.\n  \n                                PURPORT\n\n\tSamadhi means ``fixed mind.'' The Vedic dictionary, the Nirukti,\nsays, samyag adhiyate 'sminn atma-tattva-yathatmyam: ``When the mind is\nfixed for understanding the self, it is said to be in samadhi.''\nSamadhi is never possible for persons interested in material sense\nenjoyment, nor for those who are bewildered by such temporary things.\nThey are more or less condemned by the process of material energy.\n\nBhagavad-Gita As It Is\nBooks of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami\n\n\n       ---------------------------------------------------------\n      |                Don't forget to chant:                   |\n      |                                                         |\n      |  Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare   |\n      |       Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare          |\n      |                                                         |\n      |    Kalki's Infoline BBS Aiken, South Carolina, USA      |\n      |          (system@kalki33.lakes.trenton.sc.us)           |\n       ---------------------------------------------------------\n",
  "From: rm03@ic.ac.uk (Mr R. Mellish)\nSubject: Re: university violating separation of church/state?\nOrganization: Imperial College\nLines: 33\nNntp-Posting-Host: 129.31.80.14\n\nIn article <199304041750.AA17104@kepler.unh.edu> dmn@kepler.unh.edu (...until kings become philosophers or philosophers become kings) writes:\n>\n>\n>\n>     Recently, RAs have been ordered (and none have resisted or cared about\n>it apparently) to post a religious flyer entitled _The Soul Scroll: Thoughts\n>on religion, spirituality, and matters of the soul_ on the inside of bathroom\n>stall doors. (at my school, the University of New Hampshire) It is some sort\n>of newsletter assembled by a Hall Director somewhere on campus.\n[most of post deleted]\n>\n>  Please respond as soon as possible. I'd like these religious postings to\n>stop, NOW! \n>\n>  \n>Thanks,\n>\n>  Dana\n>\n>       \n>        \nThere is an easy way out....\nPost the flyers on the stall doors, but add at the bottom, in nice large\ncapitals,\n\n      EMERGENCY TOILET PAPER\n\n:)\n\n-- \n------              Robert Mellish, FOG, IC, UK                  ------\n Email: r.mellish@ic.ac.uk   Net: rm03@sg1.cc.ic.ac.uk    IRC:  HobNob\n------     and also the mrs joyful prize for rafia work.         ------\n",
  'From: west@next02cville.wam.umd.edu (Stilgar)\nSubject: Re: Gospel Dating\nNntp-Posting-Host: next15csc.wam.umd.edu\nReply-To: west@next02.wam.umd.edu\nOrganization: Workstations at Maryland, University of Maryland, College Park\nLines: 35\n\nIn article <kmr4.1433.734039535@po.CWRU.edu> kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M.  \nRyan) writes:\n> In article <1993Apr5.163050.13308@wam.umd.edu>  \nwest@next02cville.wam.umd.edu (Stilgar) writes:\n> >In article <kmr4.1422.733983061@po.CWRU.edu> kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M.  \n> >Ryan) writes:\n> >> In article <1993Apr5.025924.11361@wam.umd.edu>  \n> >west@next02cville.wam.umd.edu (Stilgar) writes:\n> >> \n> >> >THE ILLIAD IS THE UNDISPUTED WORD OF GOD(tm)    *prove me wrong*\n> >> \n> >> \tI dispute it.\n> >> \n> >> \tErgo: by counter-example: you are proven wrong.\n> >\n> >\tI dispute your counter-example\n> >\n> >\tErgo: by counter-counter-example: you are wrong and\n> >\tI am right so nanny-nanny-boo-boo TBBBBBBBTTTTTTHHHHH\n> \n> \tNo. The premis stated that it was undisputed. \n> \n\nFine... THE ILLIAD IS THE WORD OF GOD(tm)  (disputed or not, it is)\n\nDispute that.  It won\'t matter.  Prove me wrong.\n\nBrian West\n--\nTHIS IS NOT A SIG FILE            *    -"To the Earth, we have been\nTHIS IS NOT A SIG FILE            *     here but for the blink of an\nOK, SO IT\'S A SIG FILE            *     eye, if we were gone tomorrow, \nposted by west@wam.umd.edu        *     we would not be missed."-  \nwho doesn\'t care who knows it.    *        (Jurassic Park) \n** DICLAIMER: I said this, I meant this, nobody made me do it.**\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: 14 Apr 93   God's Promise in 1 John 1: 7\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <RN652B5w165w@tweekco.uucp>, alizard@tweekco.uucp (A.Lizard)\nwrote:\n> Judging from postings I've read all over Usenet and on non-Usenet\n> BBs conferences, Barney is DEFINITELY an endangered species. Especially\n> if he runs into me in a dark alley.\n\nPlease, please don't make Barney to a modern martyr/saviour mythical\nfigure. I detest this being, and if humans will create a religion in his\nname, then life will be unbearable :-).\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  "From: peavler@fingal.plk.af.mil (Ninja Gourmet)\nSubject: Scarlet Horse of Babylon (was Daemons)\x1b\nOrganization: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM\nLines: 20\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: fingal.plk.af.mil\nKeywords: dead horse, Horse of Babylon\n\nIn article <1qilgnINNrko@lynx.unm.edu>, blowfish@leo.unm.edu (rON.) writes:\n|> Its easy...\n|> 667 >is< the neighbor of the beast (at 666)-\n|> the beast lives at the end of a cul-de-sac.\n|> r.\n\nI noticed this dead horse in your Keywords line. Is this the famous scarlet horse\nof Babylon that the Beast (that's 666 for you illuminatti) rides on in those\nwonderful mediaeval manuscripts. If so, I fear your announcement that the old\ngirl is dead may be premature. I bet $20 on her to place in the 6th race at The\nDowns last Sunday, and she slid in a bad fifth. So she is not dead. She is just\ncomatose. (like god that way, I suppose).\n\nNinja Gourmet\nWill fight for food.\x1b \n\n-- \nJim Peavler\t\t\tMy opinions do not exist.\npeavler@plk.af.mil\t\tThat is why they are called\nAlbuquerque, NM\t\t\t\tMY opinions.\n",
  'From: rwd4f@poe.acc.Virginia.EDU (Rob Dobson)\nSubject: Re: That Kill by Sword, Must be Killed by Sword\nOrganization: University of Virginia\nLines: 18\n\nIn article <sandvik-190493201048@sandvik-kent.apple.com> sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n>\n>So are you happy now when 70+ people, including innocent kids,\n>died today?\n\nNo, and Im especially unhappy that these 70+ people died in an assault\non private property with government armored vehicles.\n\nI am also unhappy (or actually, very suspicious) that the FBI was dismissing\nout of hand any chances that they might have accidentally set the blaze \nthemselves. I mean, I guess we are just supposed to believe that\nramming modified tanks into the walls of a building and injecting\ntoxic gases into the building are just routine procedures, no WAY\nanything could go wrong.\n\n\n--\nLegalize Freedom\n',
  'From: royc@rbdc.wsnc.org (Roy Crabtree)\nSubject: Re: That Kill by Sword, Must be Killed by Sword\nOrganization: Red Barn Data Center\nLines: 191\n\nIn article <sandvik-210493014635@sandvik-kent.apple.com> sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n>In article <C5tCz8.4z9@rbdc.wsnc.org>, royc@rbdc.wsnc.org (Roy Crabtree)\n>wrote:\n>> In article <20APR199306173611@utarlg.uta.edu> b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu (stephen) writes:\n>> >In article <sandvik-190493201048@sandvik-kent.apple.com>, \n>> >sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes...\n>> ...\n>> >>So are you happy now when 70+ people, including innocent kids,\n>> >>died today?\n>> \n>> \tIt\'s amazing how everyone automatically blames one side or the other.\n>> \tOne thing for sure:  Koresh will have no chance to defend himself\n>> \tagainst the statements (lacking in fact or COurt sponsored verification)\n>> \tmade  by agents who participated in the situation that killed him.\n>\n>Frankly speaking I don\'t care who started this whole show. I just \n>feel sad about the children that were trapped, and had to die\n>for a case that didn\'t have any reason whatsoever. All Mr. \n>Koresh could have done would have been to release these 19\n>children. \n\n\tCOuld he?  And the first three that died, when guns ablazing in came\n\tthe BATF and FBI?\n\n\tI imagine I would have some trouble giving up my children to\n\tsomeone who had just shot -- what -- two of them?\n\n\tNB:  It takes two sets of guns in a situation like this.\n\n>\n>Yes, I put the blame on Koresh and similar fanatical religious\n>leaders that think more about their cause than about keeping\n\n\tFanatical:  those whowill not tolerate another\'s way of life\n\tReligious:  Based on emotional, internal, or otherwise\n\t\tlacking in commonly defined _scientific_ basis,\n\t\tincluding legal ones, such as this old saw:\n\n\t\t\tInnocent untilproven guilty\n\n\t\tnot\n\t\t\tInnocent until presumed guilty\n\n\tWho is the fanatic?  Note who is dead; this usually bespeaks\n\ta fair bit for the idea that the OTHER side also had lethal\n\tweapons, used fatally.\n\n\t\tThey are dead:  the children.\n\t\t\tAt best Koresh was an asshole and the government\n\t\t\tcriminally negligent in its hadni\\ling of the case.\n\n\t\t\tAt worst, Koresh and his followers were\n\t\t\t\tinnocent\n\t\t\t\tnot brainwashed\n\t\t\t\tguilty of illegal arms possession\n\t\t\t\t\t(as yet unproven)\n\t\t\t\tand murderedd\n\t\t\t\talong with 25 children\n\t\t\tThey cannot speak for themselves\n\t\t\tMembers of the (surviving, alive, and not burned\n\t\t\t\tto death) BATF/FBI can, and are\n\t\t\t\tinappropriately\n\t\t\t\tto the public eye\n\t\t\t\toutside the bounds of their legal authorities\n\t\t\t\t\tread the charter:\n\t\t\t\t\tthe Constitution specifies that\n\t\t\t\t\tthe COURTS convict, while the\n\t\t\t\t\tenforcement arm INVESTIGATES,\n\t\t\t\t\tand that the evidence involved\n\t\t\t\t\tshuld not be disseminated in a\n\t\t\t\t\tway to harm or injure a party\n\t\t\t\t\tinvolved prior to that action;\n\t\t\t\t\tits called slander or libel\n\t\t\t\t\t(even where factually true butthen\n\t\t\t\t\tdistoted or disseminated with intent\n\t\t\t\t\tto harm\n\t\t\t\tfor the purpose of covering their butts\n\n\t\t\tbecause the bottom line is:\n\t\t\t\tthey SAID they wanted the kids to get out\n\t\t\t\t\talive\n\t\t\t\tand theFBI, the BATF, Ms. Reno, the Prez,\n\t\t\t\t\tand EVERYBODY ELSE IN THIS\n\n\t\t\t\t\t\tSICK\n\t\t\t\t\t\tSELFSERVING\n\t\t\t\t\t\tGROUP OF UPRIGHT ANIMALS\n\t\t\t\t\tthat used to be a freedom loving\n\t\t\t\t\tpeaceful country called\n\n\t\t\t\t\t\tAmerica:  look up the name,\n\t\t\t\t\t\tit might surprise you\n\t\t\t\thas turned the "point the finger of blame"\n\t\t\t\ton the OTHER guy.\n\t\t\t\n\t\t\t\tand LET THOSE KIDS DIE.\n\n\t\t\t\tNote well:  they lived 51 days; they only\n\t\t\t\tdied when attacked by outside force.\n\n\t\t\tSPock\'s World, Diane Duane:\n\n\t\t\t\tThe spear in the heart of another\n\t\t\t\tis the spear in your own ....\n\n\t\tALL of us are responsible.\n\n\t\tIam; you are.  The question is not whether, but how:\n\n\t\t\tGuess what:  you get to make up your own mind\n\t\t\ton that.\n\n>children out from the war zone. I\'m not ashamed of this statement.\n\n\tWho created the war zone?  You should be ashamed of bypassing that.\n\tIt\'s the same damned (Literally) comment made by the folks in\n\tthe former Yugoslavia to justify Ethnic Cleansing:\n\n\t\t"Gee, they had the guns, all they had to do was surrender".\n\n>\n>To justify other means does not eliminate the fact that children\n>died for a cause that they should not have been part of. \n\n\tWhose "cause" did they die for?  The one where they lived,\n\tpeacibly, to all known purposes (until proven in COurt,\n\tfolks!), or the Cuase of Righteous Government SafeGuarding \n\tThe Freedom Of The CHildren\n\n\t\tWho are now dead.\n\n\n\tAgainI say:\n\n\t\tI do NOT know who did what\n\t\tI was NOT there.\n\t\tThe FBI leaders show moral SICKness trying to\n\t\t\tconvict in the press ahead of schedule\n\t\tAnd you should look over your shoulder,\n\n\t\tbecuase if there is anything my ruminations that\n\t\tactually  sets onto real fact of what happened\n\n\t\t\tand I do not know that; I am defending\n\t\t\tpeople who ahving been burned to death cannot\n\t\t\tspeak for themselves\n\n\t\tyou may, in 22-5 years, find that the concept in our\n\t\tCourt system  has gone from\n\n\t\t\tDue Processss\n\n\t\tto\n\n\t\t\tDue Profit\n\n\t\tand the BATF come to collect their fair share of the tax\n\t\ton the value of your house if you rented it for income\n\n\t\t\twhich is going down now, folks.\n\t\t\tRead Bankruptcy 1995\n\t\t\t\tIts accurate in figures\n\t\t\t\tand it bypasses the greedy\n\t\t\t\t\tbusinessman and\n\t\t\t\t\tmankers who have\n\t\t\t\ttaken profit from the corruption\n\t\t\t\tof our govbernment.\n\n\t\t\tLook to where the money went, folks.\n\n\t\t\tYou  got $10 for medicare that paid a doctor for\n\t\t\t$00.50 worth of medicine.\n\n\t\t\t\tThis is the customaryprofitmargin\n\t\t\t\tto businessmen for goernment entitlements.\n\n\tWho wll own the land of the cult now?  Note well:  it WAS nonproift,\n\treligious, and nontaxable.  Large tract of land .... hmmm.\n\n\tUse your brains, folks:  it happened Germany, and it can happen\n\there.\n\t\t\t4.3 trillion (admitted) and counting....\n>\n>Kent\n\nroyc.\n\n>---\n>sandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n\n\n',
  'From: mimir@stein.u.washington.edu (Grendel Grettisson)\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: The Friends of Loki Society\nLines: 27\nNNTP-Posting-Host: stein.u.washington.edu\n\nIn article <1qsqar$n8m@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea) writes:\n>\n>In a previous article, ba@mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu (B.A. Davis-Howe) says:\n>\n>>\n>>ON the subject of how many competing RC orders there are, let me point out the\n>>Golden Dawn is only the *outer* order of that tradition.  The inner order is\n>>the Roseae Rubeae et Aurae Crucis.  \n>>\n>\n>\tJust wondering, do you mean the "Lectorium Rosicrucianum"?\n>Warning: There is no point in arguing who\'s "legit" and who\'s not. *WHICH*\n>Golden Dawn are you talking about?\n\n Which Golden Dawn? How about the original from 100 years ago?\n\n>\tJust for the sake of argument, (reflecting NO affiliation)\n>I am going to say that the TRUE Rosicrucian Order is the Fraternitas\n>Rosae Crucis in Quakertown, Penn.,\n>\n>\tAny takers? :-)\n\n No. No Rosicrucian would ever admit or deny being such.\n\nWassail,\nGrendel Grettisson\n\n',
  'From: rich.bellacera@amail.amdahl.com\nSubject: Part 1 and part 2  (re: Homosexuality)\nLines: 114\nReturn-Path: <amail.amdahl.com!rich.bellacera@juts.ccc.amdahl.com>\n\nTony-\n\nI read your post, it was nothing new, I had seen much the same in other\ntypical"Christian" anti-gay sentimental literature.  Gay people are and will\ncon- tinue to be persecuted as long as such propaganda petpetuates.  You may\nbe unaware of all the statistica "findings" concerning African-Americans that\nhave been published and used by various groups to re-enforce their own bias\nagainst African-Americans.  We usually think of the KKK in these instances,\nbut there are many other groups.  Of course, the vast majority of the public\nscoff at such findings and documents today, but that was not always the case.\nFortunately African-Americans had "whites" who supported their \'cause\' and\npublic sentiment was eventually (if not entirely) turned around.  There was\neven a Civil War, and anti-negro sentiment increased.  In fact, until laws\nwere put in place to protect the inalienable rights of Blacks it was pretty\nmuch legal to discriminate against them.\n\nI know many gays and I will NOT turn my back on them or their right to be free\nform discrimination.  You may think that I have been deceived or something,\nthat is your perogative.  My church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)\nopenly affirms the rights of oppressed people of all segments of society,\nincluding gays.  We believe the Gospel message of preaching to all creation\nand making disciples.  We believe in the Lord\'s great commandment to Love,\nand we beleive in standing up for the oppressed, even if it is not popular\nto do so.  I really like my church for last reason the most.  I can find a\nchurch almost anywhere in the valley that stands for the Gospel and believes\nin the commandment of Love (though I\'m hard-pressed to find many who actually\nsho Love), but not many are willing to champion the oppressed, especially\nwithin their own community.  I may have lost face with the greater Christian\ncommunity for the unpopularity of my beliefs, but so did the abolitionists\nagainst the oppression of African-Americans.  Many were even killed and\ntreated as runaway slaves for being "nigger-lovers" and such.  I guess I\'ve\ndecided the challenge is worth it.\n\nIn my talks with gay men and women I have heard tragic story after tragic\nstory centering around failed marriages, wives and husbands who are straight\nwho have been hurt in the process, etc.  Funny thing is, I don\'t know of one\ncase where the parents, ex-wives, or even children have continued to reject\ntheir gay family member (son, daughter, ex-husband, father, etc.) after they\nbegan to take part in some form of support group, like PFLAG.\n\nI\'m apalled by the legislation which passed in Colorado, and am equally out0\nraged that such slimey people as Louis Sheldon (from the Tradition Values\nCoalition) have been actively working in the Christian underground to garner\nsupport within several (8 I believe) states this coming November for more\noppressive legisation against gays.\n\nPerhaps you don\'t get it, and maybe you never will.  Many didn\'t get it in the\nMiddle Ages and the proclaimed God\'s will be done as they massacred thousands\nin witch hunts and inquisitions.\n\nThe message that comes through, loud and clear, by proponents against gay\nrights and against gays in general, is that there is a strong dislike, even\nhatred for gays, whether you want to call it such or not (it doesn\'t change\nthe results).  The major flaw in all this posturing is that in the end, the\nfinal effect of posts like that of yours and Mr. Hudson is that YOU have a\n"conditional" love for gays.  Condition:  Change and we\'ll love you. This is\nsure strange coming from a group who claim that God has an "unconditional"\nlove, one that calls people "just as they are."  Sure there are things that\nwill \'naturally\' change, and habits (like alcoholism, wife beating, etc.) that\nneed to be changed through some sort of therapy.  But then there are things\nlike left-handedness, etc. that no amount of beating it out of people, is\ngoing to result in anything more than an outward conforminty to "other\npeople\'s expectations." In the process this coerced conformity causes many\npeople a great deal of harm, especially when it is caused by people who have\nnothing more to gain from it that to become even more puffed up about their\nown sense of pseuper-spirituality.\n\nThis is sad, but I thoroughly believe that one day it will change.  It may be\nunpopular to cry for justice and equality when the basis has to do with\nsomething very personal like \'sexuality\' (a taboo subject even today), but I\nfirmly believe in the rights of individuals to be free from impose regulation\non thier bedrooms.  It\'s funny that most straight people have successfully\nremoved restrictive and oppressive legislation against invasive legislation,\nbut we like to maintain this little chestnut of repression...as though it\nhelps us maintain a sense of superiority over at least one segment of society.\nGay people are not criminals.\n\nAnother interesting thing happened recently.  A very prominent charismatic\nchurch in the Silicon Valley (here) had two of it\'s pastors arrested for self-\nadmitted charges of pederasty (men having sex with boys).  This had apparently\nbeen going on for some time (a couple years?), but since the charges were\nvoluntary, and the church worked closely with the police, so I imagine that\nwas how they managed to downplay it in the media.  How could such a thing\nhappen when the church, itself, has an ex-gay ministry?  One of my friends\nrecently told me he was "approached" by someone who is going through the\nreparitive therapy there, and he was thoroughly convinced that the request for\ndinner was not an invitation to attend the ministry.\n\nThese are difficult times we live in, but providing hostile environments and\ncreating and perpetuating an atmosphere that breed hate and violence is not\nthe call of the Christian community.  The results of the passing amendment in\nColorado has created an organization who\'s posters are appearing all over\nColorado called "S.T.R.A.I.G.H.T." (I forget the whole definition off hand,\nbut the last part was Against Immoral Gross Homosexual Trash) and their motto\nis "Working for a fag-free America" with an implicit advocation for violence.\n\nThis is sick, and it seems to be what you and Mr. Hudson, and others are\nembracing.\n\nWe Christians have a LOOOOOOOOOONG tradition of coersion and oppression\ntowards those we feel don\'t \'measure up\', and constant beratement from\norganizations like The Christian Research Institute, while they do have a good\npurpose also, their major work seems to be finding new and better ways of\nexcluding people.\n\nThe Gospel I believe is not so negative, rather it seeks ways to "include"\npeople.  I have several of Dr. Martin\'s books and find them quite helpful,\nespecially concerning \'cults.\' But it seems that CRI, has become a cult unto\nitself.  Why don\'t we just stick to the positive and find ways to bring people\nto Jesus istead of taking bullwhips and driving them away?\n\nWhatever\n\nRich :-(\n',
  "From: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nSubject: Ignorance is BLISS, was Is it good that Jesus died?\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as 'guest'.\n\t<1993Apr17.010734.23670@organpipe.uug.arizona.edu> \n\t<sandvik-170493104859@sandvik-kent.apple.com>\nLines: 7\n\nIn article <sandvik-170493104859@sandvik-kent.apple.com> \nsandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n>Ignorance is not bliss!\n\nIgnorance is STRENGTH!\n\nHelp spread the TRUTH of IGNORANCE!\n",
  'From: dfuller@portal.hq.videocart.com (Dave Fuller)\nSubject: Re: Death Penalty (was Re: Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: VideOcart Inc.\nX-Newsreader: Tin 1.1 PL3\nLines: 23\n\n: >> The death penalty was conceived as a deterrent to crime,  but the legal\n: >> shenanigans that have been added (automatic appeals, lengthy court\n: >> battles, etc.) have relegated that purpose to a very small part of what\n: >> it should be.  Hence the question is,  do we instate the death penalty as\n: >> it was meant to be, and see if that deters crime, or do we get rid of\n: >> it entirely?\n\n  I doubt the death penalty was supposed to be a "deterrent" to crime. If so,\nwhy doesn\'t every crime carry a death penalty ? That would be effictive\nwouldn\'t it ???\n\n  The death penalty is a punishment, much like a $50 fine for speeding is\na punishment. Anyway, somebody with murder on the mind doesn\'t much care\nabout the consequences. I think another problem is that people dont think\nthey will get caught. If I wanted to kill another person, I wouldn\'t \ncare what the penalty was if I didn\'t think I would get caught.\n\n  If it was to be strictly a deterrent, it should have been more along \nthe lines of torture.\n\nDave Fuller\ndfuller@portal.hq.videocart.com\n\n',
  'From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: Gospel Dating\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 16\n\nKeith M. Ryan (kmr4@po.CWRU.edu) wrote:\n: \n: \tWild and fanciful claims require greater evidence. If you state that \n: one of the books in your room is blue, I certainly do not need as much \n: evidence to believe than if you were to claim that there is a two headed \n: leapard in your bed. [ and I don\'t mean a male lover in a leotard! ]\n\nKeith, \n\nIf the issue is, "What is Truth" then the consequences of whatever\nproposition argued is irrelevent. If the issue is, "What are the consequences\nif such and such -is- True", then Truth is irrelevent. Which is it to\nbe?\n\n\nBill\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Objective Values 'v' Scientific Accuracy (was Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is)\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 17\n\nIn article <930419.122738.5s2.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk>, mathew\n<mathew@mantis.co.uk> wrote:\n> \n> lpzsml@unicorn.nott.ac.uk (Steve Lang) writes:\n> > Values can also refer to meaning.  For example in computer science the\n> > value of 1 is TRUE, and 0 is FALSE.\n> \n> Not in Lisp.\n\nTrue, all you need to define is one statement that defined one\npolarity, and all the other states are considered the other\npolarity. Then again what is the meaning of nil, false or true :-) ?\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: bdunn@cco.caltech.edu (Brendan Dunn)\nSubject: Re: YOU WILL ALL GO TO HELL!!!\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 28\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nIn article <93108.155839PTS102@psuvm.psu.edu> <PTS102@psuvm.psu.edu> writes:\n[Pitt vs. Penn State controversy deleted]\n>\n>Bringing this back to alt.atheism relevance:  So the guy says we\'re going to\n>Hell.  That isn\'t sufficient cause to bitch to the system operator.  At worst,\n>it\'s bad etiquette.  (Unless you really believe that someone is using his\n>account without his knowledge/permission, which is actually against the law.)\n>-----\n>Patrick Saxton          "Pitt is a second-rate school in a second-rate city."\n>pts102@PSUVM.psu.edu                                         - anon\n>pts@ecl.psu.edu         ob.atheism:  "In Batman we Trust"\n>\n\nNo.  It wouldn\'t be sufficient cause to bitch to the system operator if this\nwas just some guy saying that atheists are going to hell.  The point was \nthat recently many messages were posted from that address.  Each of these\nmessages was posted to a different newsgroup, with the apparent intent of\nprovoking the readers of that particular group.  This, along with the fact\nthat these posts were written in all-caps, makes these posts suspect.\nWhoever is using this account is using it irresponsibly.  If it is the\nintended user, they should consider appropriate action.  If it is someone\nelse-- which seems a possibility, then this is also reason to report it.\n\tWe get many posts in the flavor of the one that started this thread.\nIt is only because I have seen posts on other groups by this user that I\nam considering action.\n\nBrendan\n\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Davidians and compassion\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 29\n\nIn article <1993Apr20.143400.569@ra.royalroads.ca>, mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca\n(Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n> Do you judge all Christians by the acts of those who would call\n> themselves Christian and yet are not?  The BD's contradicted scripture\n> in their actions.  They were NOT Christian.  Simple as that.  Perhaps\n> you have read too much into what the media has portrayed.  Ask any\n> true-believing Christian and you will find that they will deny any\n> association with the BD's.  Even the 7th Day Adventists have denied any\n> further ties with this cult, which was what they were.\n\nWell, if they were Satanists, or followers of an obscure religion,\nthen I would be sure that Christians would in unison condemn and \nmake this to a show case. But when we are dealing with a fanatical\nRevelation preacher that kills ultimately everyone, including the\ninnocent children, then it seems that we are dealing with Christians \nand christians (note the spelling).\n \n> Do you judge all Muslims by the acts committed by Saddam Hussein, a \n> supposedly devout Muslim?  I don't.  Saddam is just a dictator using\n> the religious beliefs of his people to further his own ends.\n\nAnd does not this show the dangers with religion -- in order \nword a mind virus that will make mothers capable of letting\ntheir small children burn to ashes while they scream?\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: Islam And Scientific Predictions (was Re: Genocide is Caused by Atheism)\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nLines: 14\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <1993Apr19.231641.21652@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au> darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) writes:\n\n>The positive aspect of this verse noted by Dr. Maurice Bucaille is that\n>while geocentrism was the commonly accepted notion at the time (and for\n>a long time afterwards), there is no notion of geocentrism in this verse\n>(or anywhere in the Qur\'an).\n\n\tThere is no notion of heliocentric, or even galacticentric either.\n\n\n\n--------------------------------------------------------------------------------\n\t\t\n\t\t"My sole intention was learning to fly."\n',
  'Subject: Re: ALT.SEX.STORIES under Literary Critical Analy\nFrom: NUNNALLY@acs.harding.edu (John Nunnally)\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Harding University, Searcy, AR\nNntp-Posting-Host: acs.harding.edu\nX-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.24In-Reply-To: sandvik@newton.apple.com\'s message of Sun, 18 Apr 1993 00:06:17 GMTLines: 28\nLines: 28\n\nIn <sandvik-170493170457@sandvik-kent.apple.com> sandvik@newton.apple.com writes:\n\n> In article <1qevbh$h7v@agate.berkeley.edu>, dzkriz@ocf.berkeley.edu (Dennis\n> Kriz) wrote:\n> > I\'m going to try to do something here, that perhaps many would\n> > not have thought even possible.  I want to begin the process of\n> > initiating a literary critical study of the pornography posted on\n> > alt.sex.stories, to identify the major themes and motifs present\n> > in the stories posted there -- opening up then the possibility of\n> > an objective moral evaluation of the material present there.  \n> \n> Dennis, I\'m astounded. I didn\'t know you were interested to even\n> study such filth as alt.sex.stories provide...\n> \n> Cheers,\n> Kent\n> ---\n> sandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n\n"Finally, brethern, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is\nright, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,\nif there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your\nmind dwell on these things."  Phil. 4:8.\n\nMore cheers,\nJohn\nNunnally@acs.Harding.edu\n\n',
  "From: matmcinn@nuscc.nus.sg (Matthew MacIntyre at the National University of Senegal)\nSubject: Re: Gilligan's island, den of iniquity\nOrganization: National University of Singapore\nX-Newsreader: Tin 1.1 PL4\nLines: 21\n\nbeb@pt.com (Bruce Buck) writes:\n: In article <1993Apr13.011033.23123@nuscc.nus.sg> matmcinn@nuscc.nus.sg (Matthew MacIntyre at the National University of Senegal) writes:\n: >: >> Gilligan = Sloth\n: >: >> Skipper = Anger\n: >: >> Thurston Howell III = Greed\n: >: >> Lovey Howell = Gluttony\n: >: >> Ginger = Lust\n: >: >> Professor = Pride\n: >: >> Mary Ann = Envy\n: >\n: >Assorted Monkeys= Secular Humanism\n: \n: Assorted Headhunters - Godless, Heathen Savagery\n: Russian Agent who looks like Gilligan - Godless Communism\n: Japanese Sailor - Godless Barbarism\n: Walter Pigeon - Godless Bird Turd\n: The Mosquitos (Bingo, Bango, Bongo, Irving) - Godless Rock'n'Roll\n: Harold Heckuba (Phil Silvers) - Hollywood Hedonism\n: John McGiver - Butterfly flicking\n: Tonga, the Fake Apeman - Deceit, Lust\n: Eva Grubb - Deceit, lust\n",
  'From: Thyagi@cup.portal.com (Thyagi Morgoth NagaSiva)\nSubject: Re: OTO, the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars\nOrganization: The Portal System (TM)\nDistribution: world\n  <1993Apr14.130150.28931@lynx.dac.northeastern.edu> <79615@cup.portal.com>\n  <1qn5rn$q7p@csugrad.cs.vt.edu>\nLines: 144\n\n930418\n\nDo what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. [Honestly.]\nThe word of Sin is Restriction. [Would I kid you?]\n\n\nDoes one man\'s words encompass the majestic vision of thousands\nof individuals?  Quoting a man is not the same as quoting the\nOrder.  Taken out of context, words can be interpreted much\ndifferently than had one applied them within the confines of\ntheir original expression.\n\nI think this is the case regarding Hymenaeus Beta, Frater Superior \nof the Order to which I belong.  When he included that bit\nfrom Merlinus X\' he did us all a service.  He showed us the extremes\nto which Order members have been known to go in their fervor.\nI have little knowledge regarding Reuss\' background, but surely\nhe was an unusual man, and he was an important force in the Order \nfor many years.\n\nYet as people change so do Orders change, and while we look back\nso carefully at the dirty laundry of O.T.O. remember that this is\nonly the surface skim and that many perspectives are now encompassed\nwhich extend beyond any one individual.  I hope to show that there\nwas and is much room for a difference of opinion within the Order\nitself, perhaps by testing the limits myself.\n\n\nLet us examine this issue a bit more closely....\n\n"In 1895, Karl Kellner (1850-1905), a wealthy Austrian industrialist\nand paper chemist, as well as a high-grade Mason, founded the Ordo\nTempli Orientis.  Kellner had traveled widely in the East, where he\nmet three adepts who instructed him specific magical practices.  \nKellner\'s efforts to develop the Order were later assisted by Franz\nHartmann, Heinrich Klein and Theodore Reuss, who had worked together\nprior to joining the O.T.O.  The Order was first proclaimed in 1902\nin Reuss\'s Masonic publication, \'Oriflamme\'.  On Kellner\'s death,\nReuss succeeded him as Outer Head [O.H.O.].  The \'Jubilee\' edition of\nthe \'Oriflamme\', published in 1912, announced that the Order taught\nsecret of sexual magic.\n \n"Theodore Reuss was an interesting character.  Born June 28, 1855 in\nAugsburg, he entered Masonry in 1876.  He was a singer, journalist and\npossibly a spy for the Prussian political police, infiltrating the Socialist\nLeague founded by Karl Marx\'s daughter and her husband.  Reuss was\nlater associated with William Wynn Westcott, a leader of the Golden\nDawn, who later introduced him to John Yarker.  Yarker chartered Reuss to\nfound the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim in Germany.  After several\nattempts to concretize various Masonic Rites, Reuss settled on the\ndevelopment of the O.T.O.\n\n"The Order experienced reasonably steady growth under Reuss\' leadership.\nFor example, he chartered Papus in France, Rudolph Steiner in Berlin\nand H. Spencer Lewis in the USA.  In 1912, the historic meeting between\nReuss and Crowley occurred.  Crowley wrote that Reuss came to him and\naccused him of revealing Order secrets.  When Crowley looked at it afresh,\nthe initiated interpretation of sexual magick unfolded itself to him for\nthe first time.  Reuss appointed Crowley as Supreme and Holy King of all\nthe English speaking world, and it was this authorization that he invoked\nwhen publishing the material of the Equinox.\n\n"Reuss resigned as Outer Head of the Order in 1922 after suffering a\nstroke and named Crowley his successor.  All was well until 1925 when\n_The Book of the Law_ was translated into German.  There was a break\nin the continuity of the Order.  Manyk members split with the new O.H.O.\nover the book, which Crowley was actively promulgating through the Order.\nHe had earlier revise dthe Order rituals at Reuss\'s request, deeply\ninfusing the doctrines of the New Aeon revelation."\n\n_An Introduction to the History of the O.T.O._, by Ad Veritatem IX\'\n\nWithin _Equinox III:10_, Edited by \n  Hymenaeus Beta, Frater Superior, Rex Summus Sanctissimus,\n    Caliph of the United States of America,\n      Published by Samuel Weiser, 1990.\n\n\n\nThere are many possible reasons that our Frater Superior included this\nmaterial in _Equinox III:10_.  And this is the real point, is it not?\nWhy did he wish to publish such things about the history of his own\norganization?  Does he represent a dogmatic threat to the principle\nof Thelema?  Or is he exercising his True Will and putting forth very\ncomplex pictures with no easy answers?  A picture which leaves room\nfor very many interpretations.\n\nIt is quite easy for me to see, for example, that all of O.T.O. derived\nout of the dribble of faltering Masonry, purchased by clever hucksters\nwith an ounce of courage and some writing ability to aid them.  And I\ncan take that all the way down to our present Caliph, whose feeble\nsupport of the \'Law of Thelema\' is laughable at best.\n\nWould I be thrown out of the Order for speaking in this way?  \nWill I?  \nI think not.\nWhy?  Because my Frater will see it as a perspective, an interjection\nI am using as an example.  My illustration shows that we may express things\nin the context of a larger work and the true significance of this may be\nquite difficult to apprehend at first.\n\nSo it may be with OTO and Merlinus X\'.  Please look O.T.O. more carefully.\nI do not support Reuss\'s words myself, as I am not qualified to assess\nthem, and I am critical of their pomposity.  If I who am a member of\nthe Order take such a stand and am allowed to continue doing so, then\nwhat can this say about the health of the Order?  Does it mean that\nthe Order has \'gone soft\' and abandoned its moral principles?  Or\ndoes it mean that it is strong in its ability to let the will of\nuniversal kinship arise on its own, not shackled by some dogmatic\nrequirement?  How shall we resolve these two possibilities?\n\n\nI find a high calibre of individual associated with Ordo Templi Orientis.\nThey are often quite intelligent and sometimes very well versed in arcane\nor usual information.  They are quite often artists and geniuses.  \nHaving met some 20 longstanding members in the SF Bay Area (many who are or\nwere very heavily involved with the Order), I can vouch for the integrity\nof the organization as it stands.\n\nI have sometimes questioned the policy of Hymenaeus Beta.  In these moments \nI followed my intuition, and I\'ve found little to stop me from requesting\na Second initiation from a different O.T.O. body.  I\'m happily participating\nin social groups (Feasts or Initiations) and have come to know the Gnostic\nMass well enough for my tastes.\n \n\nThis doesn\'t make me an authority on Order politics and explanations, however.\nI can only hypothesize and relay to you what I understand based on my\nlimited contact with other members.\n\nI urge you not to take the words of Merlinus X too far.  There are many\nways to interpret words, and many people who have become involved with\nthe Order feel very strongly about the sanctity of personal freedom\nand the preservation of individual vision.\n\nI welcome other comment on this issue and will be writing more in response\nto other posts in this thread.\n\n\nInvoke me under my stars.  Love is the law, love under will.\n\nI am I!\n\nFrater (I) Nigris (DCLXVI) CCCXXXIII\n',
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nLines: 20\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <115686@bu.edu> jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n\n>No, I say religious law applies to those who are categorized as\n>belonging to the religion when event being judged applies. This\n\n\n\tWho does the categorizing?\n\n\t\n---  \n\n  " I\'d Cheat on Hillary Too."\n\n   John Laws\n   Local GOP Reprehensitive\n   Extolling "Traditional Family Values."\n\n\n\n\n',
  'From: acooper@mac.cc.macalstr.edu\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nOrganization: Macalester College\nLines: 100\n\nIn article <bissda.4.734849678@saturn.wwc.edu>, bissda@saturn.wwc.edu (DAN LAWRENCE BISSELL) writes:\n> \tFirst I want to start right out and say that I\'m a Christian.  It \n\nThat\'s okay:  it\'s what all the rest of them who come on here say...\n\n> makes sense to be one.  Have any of you read Tony Campollo\'s book- liar, \n> lunatic, or the real thing?  (I might be a little off on the title, but he \n> writes the book.  Anyway he was part of an effort to destroy Christianity, \n> in the process he became a Christian himself.\n\nThis isn\'t the guy who was a lawyer was he?  Could you give more info on this\nguy (never mind- I\'m sure there will be PLENTY of responses to this post, and\nit will appear there)\n\n> \tThe arguements he uses I am summing up.  The book is about whether \n> Jesus was God or not.  I know many of you don\'t believe, but listen to a \n> different perspective for we all have something to gain by listening to what \n> others have to say.\n\nThis is true.  Make sure it is true for ALL cases.\n  \n> \tThe book says that Jesus was either a liar, or he was crazy ( a\n\nWhy not both?  ;)\n \n> modern day Koresh) or he was actually who he said he was.\n> \tSome reasons why he wouldn\'t be a liar are as follows.  Who would \n> die for a lie?  Wouldn\'t people be able to tell if he was a liar?  \n\nWhy not die for a lie?  If you were poverty stricken and alunatic, sounds\nperfecetly reasoable to me.  As to whether the societal dregs he had for\nfollowers would be able to tell if he was a liar or not, not necessarily.\nEven if he died for what he believed in, this still makes him completely\nselfish.  Like us all.  So what\'s the difference.\n\n\nPeople \n> gathered around him and kept doing it, many gathered from hearing or seeing \n> someone who was or had been healed.  Call me a fool, but I believe he did \n> heal people.  \n\nThere is no historical proof of this (see earlier threads).  Besides, he (or at\nleast his name), have been the cause of enough deaths to make up for whatever\nhealing he gave.\n\n\n> \tNiether was he a lunatic.  Would more than an entire nation be drawn \n> to someone who was crazy.  \n\nSIEG HEIL!!\n\n\n>Very doubtful, in fact rediculous.  For example \n> anyone who is drawn to David Koresh is obviously a fool, logical people see \n> this right away.\n>\n\nWho is David Koresh?  I am curious.\n\n \tTherefore since he wasn\'t a liar or a lunatic, he must have been the \n> real thing.  \n\nHow does this follow?  Your definition of lunatic (and "disproof" thereof seem\nrather... uhhh.. SHAKY)\n\n> \tSome other things to note.  He fulfilled loads of prophecies in \n> the psalms, Isaiah and elsewhere in 24 hrs alone.  This in his betrayal \n> and Crucifixion.  I don\'t have my Bible with me at this moment, next time I \n> write I will use it.\n\nGood idea.\n\n> \tI don\'t think most people understand what a Christian is.  It \n> is certainly not what I see a lot in churches. \n\nNaturally, those or not TRUE Christians, right?  ;)\n\n> Rather I think it \n> should be a way of life, and a total sacrafice of everything for God\'s \n> sake.  He loved us enough to die and save us so we should do the \n> same.  Hey we can\'t do it, God himself inspires us to turn our lives \n> over to him.  That\'s tuff and most people don\'t want to do it, to be a \n> real Christian would be something for the strong to persevere at.  But \n> just like weight lifting or guitar playing, drums, whatever it takes \n> time.  We don\'t rush it in one day, Christianity is your whole life.  \n> It is not going to church once a week, or helping poor people once in \n> a while.  We box everything into time units.  Such as work at this \n> time, sports, Tv, social life.  God is above these boxes and should be \n> carried with us into all these boxes that we have created for \n> ourselves.  \t  \n\n\nSomeone else handle this, I don\'t know if it\'s worth it... *sigh*\n\n\n********************************************************************************\n* Adam John Cooper\t\t"Verily, often have I laughed at the weaklings *\n*\t\t\t\t   who thought themselves good simply because  *\n* acooper@macalstr.edu\t\t\t\tthey had no claws."\t       *\n********************************************************************************\n',
  'From: irfan@davinci.ece.wisc.edu (Irfan Alan)\nSubject: A TREATISE ON THE MIRACLES OF MUHAMMAD SAW, PART-1\nOrganization: Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison; Electrical & Computer Engineering\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 81\n\nDROPLET VOL 1, No 11, Part 1\n\nA  D R O P L E T\nFrom The Vast Ocean Of The Miraculous Qur\'an\n\nTranslations from the Arabic and Turkish Writings of \nBediuzzaman Said Nursi, The Risale-i Noor\n\nVOL 1, No 11, Part 1\n------------------------------------------------------------------\n\n\n   \t\t NINETEENTH LETTER  \n\n\t\t MU\'JIZAT-I AHMEDIYE RISALESI \n(A TREATISE ON THE MIRACLES OF MUHAMMAD SAW)       \n(SAW: PEACE AND BLESSINGS BE UPON HIM)\n\nIn His Name (ALLAH) , Be He (ALLAH) Glorified!\nThere is Nothing But Glorifies His (ALLAH\'s) Praise.\n\nIn The Name Of  Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful\n\n   "He is who has sent His Messenger with\nguidance and the religion of truth  to make it\nsupreme over all religion:  and sufficient is Allah\nas a Witness.  Muhammad is the Messenger of\nAllah, and those who are with him are firm\nagainst the unbelievers and merciful among\neach other.  You will see them bowing and\nprostrating  themselves, seeking Allah\'s grace\nand His pleasure.  Their mark is on their face\nthe sing of prostrafion; this is their similitude in\nthe Torah and Indgil." [the Our\'an 48:28-29]\n\n   Since the Nineteenth and Thirhy-first Words\nconcerning the mission of Muhammad (SAW) prove his\nprophethood with decisive evidences, we assign the\nverification of that subject to those Words.\n   As a supplement to them, we will merely show here\nin Nineteen Signs, some  of the flashes of that great\ntruth.\n\n   FIRST SIGN:  The Owner and Master of this universe\ndoes everything with knowledge, disposes every affair\nwith wisdom, directs everything all-seeingly, treats\neverything all-knowingly, and arranges in everything with\nHis will and wisdom such causes, purposes and uses that\nare apparent to us.  Since the One who creates knows,\nsurely the One who knows will speak, since He will\nspeak, surely He will speak to those who have\nconsciousness, thought, and speech.  Since He will speak\nto those who have thought, surely He will speak to\nhumankind, whose make-up and awareness are more\ncomprehensive of all conscious beings.  Since He will\nspeak to humankind, surely He will speak to the most\nperfect of mankind and those most worthy of address and\nhighest in morality, and who are qualified to guide\nhumanity; then He will certainly speak to Muhammad (SAW), \nwho, as friend and foe alike testify, is of the highest \ncharacter and morality, and who is obeyed by one fifth\nof humanity, to whose spiritual rule half of the globe has\nsubmitted, with the radiance of whose light has been\nillumined the future of mankind for thirteen centuries, to\nwhom the believers, the luminous segment of humanity,\nrenew their oath of allegiance five times a day, for\nwhose happiness and peace they pray, for whom they call\ndown Allah\'s blessings and bear admiration and love in\ntheir hearts.\n\n   Certainly, He will speak to Muhammad (SAW),\nand Indeed He has done so;  He will make him the\nMessenger, and Indeed He has done so; He will make\nhim the guide for the rest of humanity, and Indeed He\nhas done so.\n\n-----------------------------------------------------------------\nTo be continued In$a Allah.\nYour Br. Irfan in Islam.\n\n\n',
  'From: jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: Boston University Physics Department\nLines: 31\n\nIn article <2BCC892B.21864@ics.uci.edu> bvickers@ics.uci.edu (Brett J. Vickers) writes:\n\n>In article <115290@bu.edu> jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n\n>>Well, seeing as you are not muslim the sort of fatwa issued by Khomeini\n>>would not be relevant to you. I can understand your fear of persecution\n>>and I share it even more than you (being muslim), however Rushdie\'s\n>>behavior was not completely excusable.\n\n>Why should a fatwa issued by Khomeini be relevant to anyone who\n>doesn\'t live in Iran?\n\nIssued by Khomeini it shouldn\'t be relevant to anyone. But issued\nby an honest and learned scholar of Islam it would be relevant to\nany muslim as it would be contrary to Islamic law which all muslims\nare required to respect.\n\n>  Who is it that decides whether Rushdie\'s behavior is excusable? \n\nAnyone sufficiently well versed in Islamic law and capable of reasoning,\nif you are talking about a weak sense of "excuse." It depends on what \nsense of "excuse" you have in mind.\n\n\n> And who cares if you think it is inexcusable?\n\nOnly someone who thinks my opinion is important, obviously.\nObviously you don\'t care, nor do I care that you don\'t care.\n\n\nGregg\n',
  'From: sieferme@stein.u.washington.edu (Eric Sieferman)\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nOrganization: University of Washington, Seattle\nLines: 75\nNNTP-Posting-Host: stein.u.washington.edu\nKeywords: Dan Bissell\n\nIn article <bissda.4.734849678@saturn.wwc.edu> bissda@saturn.wwc.edu (DAN LAWRENCE BISSELL) writes:\n\nIt appears that Walla Walla College will fill the same role in alt.atheist\nthat Allegheny College fills in alt.fan.dan-quayle.\n\n>\tFirst I want to start right out and say that I\'m a Christian.  It \n>makes sense to be one.  Have any of you read Tony Campollo\'s book- liar, \n>lunatic, or the real thing?  (I might be a little off on the title, but he \n>writes the book.  Anyway he was part of an effort to destroy Christianity, \n>in the process he became a Christian himself.\n\nConverts to xtianity have this tendency to excessively darken their\npre-xtian past, frequently falsely.  Anyone who embarks on an\neffort to "destroy" xtianity is suffering from deep megalomania, a\ndefect which is not cured by religious conversion.\n\n>\tThe arguements he uses I am summing up.  The book is about whether \n>Jesus was God or not.  I know many of you don\'t believe, but listen to a \n>different perspective for we all have something to gain by listening to what \n>others have to say.  \n\nDifferent perspective?  DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE??  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!\n\n>\tThe book says that Jesus was either a liar, or he was crazy ( a \n>modern day Koresh) or he was actually who he said he was.\n\n(sigh!)  Perhaps Big J was just mistaken about some of his claims.\nPerhaps he was normally insightful, but had a few off days.  Perhaps\nmany (most?) of the statements attributed to Jesus were not made by\nhim, but were put into his mouth by later authors.  Other possibilities\nabound.  Surely, someone seriously examining this question could\ncome up with a decent list of possible alternatives, unless the task\nis not serious examination of the question (much less "destroying"\nxtianity) but rather religious salesmanship.\n\n>\tSome reasons why he wouldn\'t be a liar are as follows.  Who would \n>die for a lie?\n\nHow many Germans died for Nazism?  How many Russians died in the name\nof the proletarian dictatorship?  How many Americans died to make the\nworld safe for "democracy".  What a silly question!\n\n>Wouldn\'t people be able to tell if he was a liar?  People \n>gathered around him and kept doing it, many gathered from hearing or seeing \n>someone who was or had been healed.  Call me a fool, but I believe he did \n>heal people.  \n\nIs everyone who performs a healing = God?\n\n>\tNiether was he a lunatic.  Would more than an entire nation be drawn \n>to someone who was crazy.\n\nIt\'s probably hard to "draw" an entire nation to you unless you \nare crazy.\n\n>Very doubtful, in fact rediculous.  For example \n>anyone who is drawn to David Koresh is obviously a fool, logical people see \n>this right away.\n>\tTherefore since he wasn\'t a liar or a lunatic, he must have been the \n>real thing.  \n\nAnyone who is convinced by this laughable logic deserves\nto be a xtian.\n\n>\tSome other things to note.  He fulfilled loads of prophecies in \n>the psalms, Isaiah and elsewhere in 24 hrs alone.  This in his betrayal \n>and Crucifixion.  I don\'t have my Bible with me at this moment, next time I \n>write I will use it.\n\nDon\'t bother.  Many of the "prophecies" were "fulfilled" only in the\neyes of xtian apologists, who distort the meaning of Isaiah and\nother OT books.\n\n\n\n',
  'From: healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy)\nSubject: Re: ISLAM: a clearer view\nLines: 25\nOrganization: Walla Walla College\nLines: 25\n\nIn article <16BAFC876.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de> I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau) writes:\n>From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\n>Subject: Re: ISLAM: a clearer view\n>Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1993 13:15:18 GMT\n>In article <healta.60.734567658@saturn.wwc.edu>\n>healta@saturn.wwc.edu (TAMMY R HEALY) writes:\n> \n>>>Sorry, it is generally accepted that the rise of the inquisition is\n>>>the reason why torture was introduced outside the Romanic countries\n>>>at the end of the Middle Ages. In other words, the Holy Mother Church\n>>>which is lead infallibly by the Holy Ghost has spread it.\n>>\n>>The Roman Catholic Church claims to be lead by the "infallable" pope.\n>>That\'s why she (the RC Church) has done so many wicked things to Xtians and\n>>non-believers alike.\n> \n> \n>The rationale that the pope speaking ex cathedra is infallible is based\n>on the claim above. The dogma about the pope is of Jesuitic origin and\n>has not been been accepted before the mid of the last century.\n>   Benedikt\n\nYou\'re right.  Thanks for enlightening me.\n\nTammy\n',
  "From: xcpslf@oryx.com (stephen l favor)\nSubject: Re: Biblical Backing of Koresh's 3-02 Tape (Cites enclosed)\nOrganization: Oryx Energy\nLines: 7\nNNTP-Posting-Host: what.oryx.com\nX-Newsreader: Tin 1.1 PL5\n\n: Seems to me Koresh is yet another messenger that got killed\n: for the message he carried. (Which says nothing about the \n: character of the messenger.) I reckon we'll have to find out\n: the rest the hard way.\n: \n\nKoresh was killed because he wanted lots of illegal guns.\n",
  'From: mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nX-Newsreader: rusnews v1.01\nLines: 22\n\nkmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n> ( I am almost sure that Zyklon-B is immediate and painless method of \n> death. If not, insert soem other form. )\n> \n>         And, ethnic and minority groups have been killed, mutilated and \n> exterminated through out history, so I guess it was not unusual.\n> \n>         So, you would agree that the holocost would be allowed under the US \n> Constitution?  [ in so far, the punishment. I doubt they recieved what would \n> be considered a "fair" trial by US standards.\n\nDon\'t be so sure.  Look what happened to Japanese citizens in the US during\nWorld War II.  If you\'re prepared to say "Let\'s round these people up and\nstick them in a concentration camp without trial", it\'s only a short step to\ngassing them without trial.  After all, it seems that the Nazis originally\nonly intended to imprison the Jews; the Final Solution was dreamt up partly\nbecause they couldn\'t afford to run the camps because of the devastation\ncaused by Goering\'s Total War.  Those who weren\'t gassed generally died of\nmalnutrition or disease.\n\n\nmathew\n',
  "From: ednclark@kraken.itc.gu.edu.au (Jeffrey Clark)\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nKeywords: Dan Bissell\nNntp-Posting-Host: kraken.itc.gu.edu.au\nOrganization: ITC, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia\nLines: 70\n\nbissda@saturn.wwc.edu (DAN LAWRENCE BISSELL) writes:\n\n>\tThe book says that Jesus was either a liar, or he was crazy ( a \n>modern day Koresh) or he was actually who he said he was.\n\nOr he was just convinced by religious fantasies of the time that he was the\nMessiah, or he was just some rebel leader that an organisation of Jews built\ninto Godhood for the purpose off throwing of the yoke of Roman oppression,\nor.......\n\n>\tSome reasons why he wouldn't be a liar are as follows.  Who would \n>die for a lie? \n\nAre the Moslem fanatics who strap bombs to their backs and driving into\nJewish embassies dying for the truth (hint: they think they are)? Were the\nNAZI soldiers in WWII dying for the truth? \n\nPeople die for lies all the time.\n\n\n>Wouldn't people be able to tell if he was a liar?  People \n\nWas Hitler a liar? How about Napoleon, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan? We spend\nmillions of dollars a year trying to find techniques to detect lying? So the\nanswer is no, they wouldn't be able to tell if he was a liar if he only lied\nabout some things.\n\n>gathered around him and kept doing it, many gathered from hearing or seeing \n>someone who was or had been healed.  Call me a fool, but I believe he did \n>heal people.  \n\nWhy do you think he healed people, because the Bible says so? But if God\ndoesn't exist (the other possibility) then the Bible is not divinely\ninspired and one can't use it as a piece of evidence, as it was written by\nunbiased observers.\n\n>\tNiether was he a lunatic.  Would more than an entire nation be drawn \n>to someone who was crazy.  Very doubtful, in fact rediculous.  For example \n\nWere Hitler or Mussolini lunatics? How about Genghis Khan, Jim Jones...\nthere are thousands of examples through history of people being drawn to\nlunatics.\n\n>anyone who is drawn to David Koresh is obviously a fool, logical people see \n>this right away.\n>\tTherefore since he wasn't a liar or a lunatic, he must have been the \n>real thing.  \n\nSo we obviously cannot rule out liar or lunatic not to mention all the other\npossibilities not given in this triad.\n\n>\tSome other things to note.  He fulfilled loads of prophecies in \n>the psalms, Isaiah and elsewhere in 24 hrs alone.  This in his betrayal \n\nPossibly self-fulfilling prophecy (ie he was aware what he should do in\norder to fulfil these prophecies), possibly selective diting on behalf of\nthose keepers of the holy bible for a thousand years or so before the\ngeneral; public had access. possibly also that the text is written in such\nriddles (like Nostradamus) that anything that happens can be twisted to fit\nthe words of raving fictional 'prophecy'.\n\n>and Crucifixion.  I don't have my Bible with me at this moment, next time I \n>write I will use it.\n             [stuff about how hard it is to be a christian deleted]\n\nI severely recommend you reconsider the reasons you are a christian, they\nare very unconvincing to an unbiased observer.\n\nJeff.\n\n",
  "Organization: Penn State University\nFrom: <SEC108@psuvm.psu.edu>\nSubject: Why the bible?\nLines: 38\n\n      One thing I think is interesting about alt.athiesm is the fact that\nwithout bible-thumpers and their ilk this would be a much duller newsgroup.\nIt almost needs the deluded masses to write silly things for athiests to\ntear apart. Oh well, that little tidbit aside here is what I really wanted\nwrite about.\n\n      How can anyone believe in such a sorry document as the bible? If you\nwant to be religious aren't there more plausable books out there? Seriously,\nthe bible was written by multiple authors who repeatedly contradict each\nother. One minute it tells you to kill your kid if he talks back and the next\nit says not to kill at all. I think that if xtians really want to follow a\ndeity they should pick one that can be consistent, unlike the last one they\ninvented.\n\n      For people who say Jesus was the son of god, didn't god say not to\nEVER put ANYONE else before him? Looks like you did just that. Didn't god\nsay not to make any symbols or idols? What are crosses then? Don't you think\nthat if you do in fact believe in the bible that you are rather far off track?\n\nWas Jesus illiterate? Why didn't he write anything? Anyone know?\n\n      I honestly hope that people who believe in the bible understand that\nit is just one of the religious texts out there and that it is one of the\npoorer quality ones to boot. The only reason xtianity escaped the middle east\nis because a certain roman who's wine was poisoned with lead made all of rome\nxtian after a bad dream.\n\n      If this posting keeps one person, just ONE person, from standing on a\nstreetcorner and telling people they are going to hell I will be happy.\n\n\n\n\n\n*** Only hatred and snap judgements can guide your robots through life. ***\n***                                    Dr. Clayton Forester             ***\n***                                       Mad Scientist                 ***\n\n",
  "From: psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss)\nSubject: [lds] Thief goes to Paradise; Kermit goes off tangent\nOrganization: University at Buffalo\nLines: 65\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41\nNntp-Posting-Host: ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu\n\n\nKermit Tensmeyer quoted from a few sources and then wrote something.\nI will attempt to construct a facsimile of what was previously said, and \nthen address Kermit's offering.\n\nJohn Redelfs originally wrote...\n\n  jr> I learned that a man cannot frustrate justice by repenting on his\n  jr> death bed because repentance is more than a feeling of remorse.  It\n  jr> requires faith in Christ proven by following him, by keeping his\n  jr> commandments.  Such cannot be accomplished on ones deathbed.\n\nTom Albrecht responded...\n\n  ta> So Jesus must have lied to the thief on the cross.\n\nJohn Redelfs wrote back that...\n\n  jr> Paradise and salvation are not the same thing.  Salvation is better.\n  jr> Refer to John 14:2.\n\nI responded to John that...\n\n  rw>    I don't see the effort to equate salvation with paradise.\n  rw>\n  rw>    Rather, I see implied the fact that only those who are saved\n  rw> may enter paradise.\n\nTo which Kermit wrote...\n\nkt> Incomplete reference:\nkt>\nkt> See also the discussion: Did Jesus go into Hell in the BibleStudy group\nkt> for the arguments that Paradise and Hell(sheol) are places after death\nkt> The discussion (no LDS were involved as far as I could see) argued using\nkt> standard Christian argument from the Bible that pretty much support the\nkt> LDS position.\nkt>\nkt>    Christ went to paridise after his death and burial.\nkt>\nkt>    He taught the prisoners and freed them from Darkness.\nkt>\nkt>    When he was resurrected, he had not yet ascended to his father.\nkt>\nkt> The arguement centered around what was or wasn't the proper biblical\nkt> terms for those places.\n\n     I respond.\n\n     The question that was raised was not if Jesus went to infernal Paradise\n     before entering into heaven. No one has made a point for or against \n     that issue, nor have they compared the LDS position against orthodox\n     belief. The infernal paradise is held to be Abraham's bosom (Luke 16), \n     the place of the righteous dead in sheol (equivalent to hades).\n\n     The point that was raised by John was that someone could not repent\n     on their death bed. Tom Albrecht pointed to a Biblical example that was\n     contradictory to what John's position put forward. The thief on the \n     cross was promised by Christ to be with Him in Paradise, the abode of \n     the righteous dead. John's position possibly needs to be reworked.\n     Kermit needs to address the topic at hand.\n\n=============================\nRobert Weiss\npsyrobtw@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu\n",
  'From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: Yeah, Right\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 54\n\nIn article <66014@mimsy.umd.edu>\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n \n>>And what about that revelation thing, Charley?\n>\n>If you\'re talking about this intellectual engagement of revelation, well,\n>it\'s obviously a risk one takes.\n>\n \nI see, it is not rational, but it is intellectual. Does madness qualify\nas intellectual engagement, too?\n \n \n>>Many people say that the concept of metaphysical and religious knowledge\n>>is contradictive.\n>\n>I\'m not an objectivist, so I\'m not particularly impressed with problems of\n>conceptualization.  The problem in this case is at least as bad as that of\n>trying to explain quantum mechanics and relativity in the terms of ordinary\n>experience.  One can get some rough understanding, but the language is, from\n>the perspective of ordinary phenomena, inconsistent, and from the\n>perspective of what\'s being described, rather inexact (to be charitable).\n>\n \nExactly why science uses mathematics. QM representation in natural language\nis not supposed to replace the elaborate representation in mathematical\nterminology. Nor is it supposed to be the truth, as opposed to the\nrepresentation of gods or religions in ordinary language. Admittedly,\nnot  every religion says so, but a fancy side effect of their inept\nrepresentations are the eternal hassles between religions.\n \nAnd QM allows for making experiments that will lead to results that will\nbe agreed upon as being similar. Show me something similar in religion.\n \n \n>An analogous situation (supposedly) obtains in metaphysics; the problem is\n>that the "better" descriptive language is not available.\n>\n \nWith the effect that the models presented are useless. And one can argue\nthat the other way around, namely that the only reason metaphysics still\nflourish is because it makes no statements that can be verified or falsified -\nshowing that it is bogus.\n \n \n>>And in case it holds reliable information, can you show how you establish\n>>that?\n>\n>This word "reliable" is essentially meaningless in the context-- unless you\n>can show how reliability can be determined.\n \nHaven\'t you read the many posts about what reliability is and how it can\nbe acheived respectively determined?\n   Benedikt\n',
  'From: dsoconne@quads.uchicago.edu (Daniel S OConnell)\nSubject: Re: Religion and homosexuality\nKeywords: being liberal\nReply-To: dsoconne@midway.uchicago.edu\nOrganization: University of Chicago\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 32\n\n> magarret@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (COMPUTER DUDETTE) writes:\n\n>I just recently realized that I am bisexual, and also just recently returned to\n>religion, and have a good friend who has pointed out to me that homosexuality\n>is a sin in the bible.  Well, I don\'t see how it could be considered a sin,\n\nFirst of all as far as I know, only male homosexuality is explicitly\nmentioned in the bibles, so you\'re off the hook there, I think. In\nany event, there are *plenty* of people in many denominations who\ndo not consider a person\'s sexual identification of gay/lesbian/bisexual\nas an "immoral lifestyle choice"\n\n>Also, I have always been a somewhat liberal feminist, and am pro-choice, and it\n>seems that being pro-choice and being religious don\'t mix either.  I am told\n\nThis is another misconception. You are not being told the whole story.\n\nMy former minister is a lesbian, and I know personally and\nprofessionally several openly gay and lesbian ministers. I am\na Unitarian-Universalist and like most others in my denomination,\nam pro-choice. You needn\'t go looking to the Unitarian Universalists\n(which is a liberal religion) for acceptance of your sexual\nidentification and pro-choice views, however; there are many of us\nwho believe in spirituality AND freedom of conscience.\n\nGood Luck on your journey!\n\n-- \nDaniel O\'Connell\nMeadville/Lombard Theological School\nUniversity of Chicago Divinity School\n<dsoconne@uchicago.edu>\n',
  "From: mayne@pipe.cs.fsu.edu (William Mayne)\nSubject: Re: *** The list of Biblical contradictions\nOrganization: Florida State University Computer Science Department\nReply-To: mayne@cs.fsu.edu\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <7912@blue.cis.pitt.edu> joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin) writes:\n>[Many good points deleted. Anyone who missed it should see the original.]\n>Lists like this that just toss a bunch of quotes together to\n>make a bible verse salad just don't cut it.  Those of us who\n>want to argue against inerrancy should find this sort of thing\n>as embarassing as the fundies should find Josh McDowell.\n\nTrue, except that I've known few fundies who had enough sense to\nbe embarrassed by Josh McDowell.\n\n(Okay, maybe a cheap shot. But I'm in that kind of mood.)\n\nBill Mayne\n\n",
  "From: simon@dcs.warwick.ac.uk (Simon Clippingdale)\nSubject: Re: note to Bobby M., again\nNntp-Posting-Host: nin\nOrganization: Department of Computer Science, Warwick University, England\nLines: 30\n\nIn article <1993Apr13.213527.3706@ultb.isc.rit.edu> snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu (S.N. Mozumder ) writes:\n\n> How about people who are not religous?  Take the inner city.  There are\n> many people that care little for religion.  Lot of crime.  Lot of\n> murder.  This is the other end- lack of religion- that allows wrong to\n> happen.\n\nI lived in Tokyo for a year and a half, and one of the many reasons why\nI intend to go back indefinitely is the freedom one enjoys when one can\nwalk anywhere (and I mean *anywhere*) at any time of day or night and not\nfeel uneasy, even if one's from an ethnic minority as I was.\n\nClues for Bobby (why do I bother?): (i) Tokyo is a city, and inner Tokyo\nis an inner city; (ii) there is a negligible level of violent crime, and\na street murder will be a lead item on *national* TV news; (iii) the\npopulation is almost universally atheistic.\n\nNext time I go for a stroll around Beirut at night, I'll let you know how\nit compares.\n\n> Bobby Mozumder\n\nCheers\n\nSimon\n-- \nSimon Clippingdale                simon@dcs.warwick.ac.uk\nDepartment of Computer Science    Tel (+44) 203 523296\nUniversity of Warwick             FAX (+44) 203 525714\nCoventry CV4 7AL, U.K.\n",
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 20\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nlivesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n\n>Perhaps the chimps that failed to evolve cooperative behaviour\n>died out, and we are left with the ones that did evolve such\n>behaviour, entirely by chance.\n\nThat's the entire point!\n\n>Are you going to proclaim a natural morality every time an\n>organism evolves cooperative behaviour?\n\nYes!\n\nNatural morality is a morality that developed naturally.\n\n>What about the natural morality of bee dance?\n\nHuh?\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: mccullou@snake2.cs.wisc.edu (Mark McCullough)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: University of Wisconsin, Madison -- Computer Sciences Dept.\nLines: 109\n\n\nMy turn to jump in! :)\n\nIn article <1pi8h5INNq40@gap.caltech.edu> keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n>(reference line trimmed)\n>\n>livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n>\n>[...]\n>\n>>There is a good deal more confusion here.   You started off with the \n>>assertion that there was some "objective" morality, and as you admit\n>>here, you finished up with a recursive definition.   Murder is \n>>"objectively" immoral, but eactly what is murder and what is not itself\n>>requires an appeal to morality.\n>\n\nI think you mean circular, not recursive, but that is semantics.\nRecursiveness has no problems, it is just horribly inefficient (just ask\nany assembly programmer.)\n\n>Yes.\n>\n>>Now you have switch targets a little, but only a little.   Now you are\n>>asking what is the "goal"?   What do you mean by "goal?".   Are you\n>>suggesting that there is some "objective" "goal" out there somewhere,\n>>and we form our morals to achieve it?\n>\n>Well, for example, the goal of "natural" morality is the survival and\n>propogation of the species.  Another example of a moral system is\n>presented within the Declaration of Independence, which states that we\n>should be guaranteed life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  You see,\n>to have a moral system, we must define the purpose of the system.  That is,\n>we shall be moral unto what end?\n\nThe oft-quoted line that says people should be guaranteed life, liberty\nand the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights, is a complete lie\nand deception, as the very authors of that line were in the process of\nproving.  Liberty is never free, it is always purchased at some cost, \nalmost always at the cost to another.  Whos liberty is more inalienable?\nSimilarly for right of life.  When one person must die if he is to save\nanother, or even a group of others, whos life is more inalienable?  \nThat leads into the classic question of the value of the death penalty, \nespecially for serial killers.  Whos life and liberty is more valuable,\nthe serial killer, or the victim?  According to that beautiful line,\nthose two rights should be completely inviolate, that is, noone should be\nable to remove them.  This _includes_ government.  Admittedly the serial\nkiller has restricted some people\'s life and/or liberty, but is not his\nown life/liberty inviolate also?  According to the declaration of independence,\nit is.\n\n>>>Murder is certainly a violation of the golden rule.  And, I thought I had\n>>>defined murder as an intentional killing of a non-murderer, against his will.\n\nOooh, I like that.  It means that killing an infant is not murder because\nit cannot be against its will.  Reason, an infant has no will as such.\n\nSimilarly for people who are brain dead (easier to see), in a coma, etc.\n\nAlso, under current law, accidental killing is still murder.  How will you\ninclude that?\n\n>>>And you responded to this by asking whether or not the execution of an\n>>>innocent person under our system of capital punishment was a murder or not.\n>>>I fail to see what this has to do with anything.  I never claimed that our\n>>>system of morality was an objective one.\n>>I thought that was your very first claim.   That there was\n>>some kind of "objective" morality, and that an example of that was\n>>that murder is wrong.   If you don\'t want to claim that any more,\n>>that\'s fine.\n\nThe only real golden rule in life is, he who has the gold, makes the\nrules.  I.e. Might Makes Right.  That is survival.  Now what is wrong\nwith that?\n\n>Well, murder violates the golen rule, which is certainly a pillar of most\n>every moral system.  However, I am not assuming that our current system\n>and the manner of its implementation are objectively moral.  I think that\n>it is a very good approximation, but we can\'t be perfect.\n\nIf you mean the golden rule as I stated, yes, almost every system as\nimplemented has used that in reality.  Sorry, I don\'t deal as much in\nfiction, as I do in reality.  \n\n>>And by the way, you don\'t seem to understand the difference between\n>>"arbitrary" and "objective".   If Keith Schneider "defines" murder\n>>to be this that and the other, that\'s arbitrary.   Jon Livesey may\n>>still say "Well, according to my personal system of morality, all\n>>killing of humans against their will is murder, and wrong, and what\n>>the legal definition of murder may be in the USA, Kuweit, Saudi\n>>Arabia, or the PRC may be matters not a whit to me".\n\nWELCOME TO OZLAND!!!!!!! :)\n\nWhat is NOT arbitrary?  If you can find some part of society, some societal\nrules, morals, etc. that are not arbitrary, please tell me.  I don\'t think\nthere are any.\n\n>Well, "objective" would assume a system based on clear and fundamental\n>concepts, while "arbitary" implies no clear line of reasoning.\n>\n>keith\nSounds like euphemisms to me.  The difference seems to be, that objective\nis some reasoning that I like, while arbitrary is some reasoning that\nI don\'t like OR don\'t understand. \n\nM^2\n\n\n',
  'From: porta@wam.umd.edu (David Palmer)\nSubject: Re: 14 Apr 93   God\'s Promise in 1 John 1: 7\nNntp-Posting-Host: rac3.wam.umd.edu\nOrganization: University of Maryland, College Park\nLines: 23\n\nIn article <1qknu0INNbhv@shelley.u.washington.edu> sieferme@stein.u.washington.edu (Eric Sieferman) writes:\n>In article <f1VMPxk@quack.kfu.com> pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey) writes:\n>>In article <bskendigC5H4o3.D5p@netcom.com> \n>>\n>>Human blood sacrifice! Martyrdom of an innocent virgin! "Nailed" to a\n>>wooden pole! What is this obsession with male menstruation?\n>\n>Christian:  washed in the blood of the lamb.\n>Mithraist:  washed in the blood of the bull.\n>\n>If anyone in .netland is in the process of devising a new religion,\n>do not use the lamb or the bull, because they have already been\n>reserved.  Please choose another animal, preferably one not\n>on the Endangered Species List.  \n>\n>\n\nHow about Cockroaches?\n-- \n***************************** porta@wam.umd.edu ****************************\n\tWhat for you say you monkey when you have little fluffy tail\nlike rabbit, rabbit! \n                  Tazmanian Devil \n',
  'From: darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nOrganization: Monash University, Melb., Australia.\nLines: 131\n\nIn <2942956021.3.p00261@psilink.com> "Robert Knowles" <p00261@psilink.com> writes:\n\n>>DATE:   Sat, 3 Apr 1993 10:00:39 GMT\n>>FROM:   Fred Rice <darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au>\n>>\n>>In <1p8ivt$cfj@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n>>\n>>>Should we British go around blowing up skyscrapers next?\n>>\n>>I don\'t know if you are doing so, but it seems you are implying \n>>(1) that the person accused of blowing up the WTC in NY actually did it,\n>>and\n>>(2) that Islamic teachings have something to do with blowing up the WTC.\n>>\n>>[WTC = World Trade Centre, which was the building that was blown up, I\n>>think.]\n>>\n>>Okay... to make some comments...\n>>\n>>(1) The person has only been accused -- innocent until proven guilty,\n>>remember?  Secondly, there seem to be some holes in his accusation that\n>>I read about.  For instance, if they guy used that particular van to\n>>blow up the building, and then to go back and claim his deposit back\n>>afterwards, he must be incredibly stupid.  \n\n>Perhaps Salamen was one of those "uneducated" Muslims we hear so much about.\n\n>>Nevertheless, he was\n>>apparently smart enough to put together a very sophisticated bomb.  It\n>>doesn\'t seem to fit together, somehow.  \n\n>Actually, Salameh was not the ONLY person involved.  The other fellow was\n>a chemical engineer working for Allied Signal who had specifically studied\n>explosive devices in school (believe it or not - we actually allow radical\n>Muslim types to study things like this in our universities - so much for\n>the price of freedom)\n\nFrom what I read, the other fellow told Salameh how to put it together\nover the phone.  The bomb was supposedly some sort of sophisticated\ntype, so to put a (I assume complicated) sophisticated bomb together\nfrom instructions _over the phone_ (!) one must need some brains I would\nexpect.\n\n>>Despite this, there have\n>>already been many attacks and threats against mosques and Muslims in the\n>>United States as a consequence of his accusation, I have read.\n>>\n\n>O.K., now please tell us where this is happening.  I live in the U.S. and\n>I have heard very little about these mosque attacks.  There are many mosques\n>in Houston, Texas and I would like to know what is going on so I can verify\n>this.  Or is the Great Jewish Media Conspiracy keeping us from knowing about\n>this in the U.S.  We heard about the mosque attacks during the Desert Storm\n>venture, so why is it so quiet now?  Maybe it is localized to New Jersey?\n\nI read this in an article in "The Australian Muslim Times", the\nnewspaper (weekly) of the Australian Muslim community.  \n\nIf this is true, perhaps one of the Muslims based in North America (if\nthey see this posting) can elaborate.\n\n>>(2) Islamic teachings teach against harming the innocent.  In the Qur\'an\n>>it explicitly teaches against harming innocents even in times of war.\n>>The blowing up of the WTC and harming innocents is therefore in blatant\n>>contradiction to Islamic teachings.\n\n>This means absolutely nothing.  Plenty of people commit violence while \n>following what they think are valid religious principles.  I have seen\n>people post many things here from the Koran which could be "misinterpreted"\n>(if that is the explanation you wish to use) by an "uneducated" Muslim to\n>allow them to harm idolators and unbelievers.  The first thing every Muslim\n>says is that no Muslim could have done that because Islam teaches against\n>harming innocents.  And we are supposed to take you WORD that it NEVER\n>happens.   What do you think is the consequence?  Does Allah strike them\n>down before the "alleged" violence occurs?  Of course not.  Muslims commit\n>the violent act and then everyone hides behind verses in the Koran.  We\'re\n>pretty hip to that trick.  And I even doubt that it will come up in the\n>trials.  \n\n>"My defense is that I am Muslim and Islam teaches me not to harm the innocent.\n>Therefore, the people who were killed must not have been innocent.  Sure we\n>set off the bomb, your honor, but you must remember, sir, I am a Muslim.\n>Allah is all-powerful.  Allah would not have allowed this.  Are you insulting\n>my religion?"\n\n>Great defense, eh?\n\n>Just admit that there are some incredibly stupid, violent Muslims in the \n>world and stop hiding from that fact.  It does no one any good to deny it.\n>It only makes the more reasonable Muslims look like they are protecting the\n>bad ones.  Can you see that?\n\nI don\'t deny this fact.\n\nThe thrust of my argument here is that \n\n(a) Salameh is, according to US law, innocent as he has not been found\nguilty in a court of law.  As his guilt has not been established, it is\nwrong for people to make postings based on this assumption.\n\n(b) Islam teaches us _not_ to harm innocents.  If Muslims -- who perhaps\nhave not realized that Islam teaches this -- perform such actions, it is\n_not_ _because_ of the teachings of Islam, but rather _in spite of_ and\n_in contradiction to_ the  teachings of Islam.  This is an important \ndistinction.\n\nI should clarify what Muslims usually mean when they say "Muslim".  In\ngeneral, anyone who calls themselves a "Muslim" and does not do or \noutwardly profess\nsomething in clear contradiction with the essential teachings of Islam\nis considered to be a Muslim.  Thus, one who might do things contrary to\nIslam (through ignorance, for example) does not suddenly _not_ become a\nMuslim.  If one knowingly transgresses Islamic teachings and essential\nprinciples, though, then one does leave Islam.\n\nThe term "Muslim" is to be contrasted with "Mu\'min", which means "true\nbeliever".  However, whether a Muslim is in reality a Mu\'min is\nsomething known only by God (and perhaps that person himself).  So you\nwill not find the term Mu\'min used very much by Muslims in alt.atheism,\nbecause it is not known to anybody (except myself and God), whether I,\nfor example, am a "true believer" or not.  For example, I could just be\nputting on a show here, and in reality believe something opposite to\nwhat I write here, without anyone knowing.  Thus, when we say "Muslims"\nwe mean all those who outwardly profess to follow Islam, whether in\npractice they might, in ignorance, transgress Islamic teachings.  By\n"Muslim" we do not necessarily mean "Mu\'min", or "true believer" in\nIslam.\n\n Fred Rice\n darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au   \n\n',
  'From: a137490@lehtori.cc.tut.fi (Aario Sami)\nSubject: Re: Genocide is Caused by Atheism\nOrganization: Tampere University of Technology, Computing Centre\nLines: 16\nDistribution: sfnet\nNNTP-Posting-Host: cc.tut.fi\n\nIn <kmr4.1466.734160929@po.CWRU.edu> kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n     \n>     "Wait. You just said that humans are rarely reasonable. Doesn\'t that\n>      contradict atheism, where everything is explained through logic and\n>      reason? This is THE contradiction in atheism that proves it false."\n>           --- Bobby Mozumder proving the existence of Allah, #2\n\nDoes anybody have Bobby\'s post in which he said something like "I don\'t\nknow why there are more men than women in islamic countries. Maybe it\'s\natheists killing the female children"? It\'s my personal favorite!\n\n-- \nSami Aario         |  "Can you see or measure an atom? Yet you can explode\na137490@cc.tut.fi  |   one. Sunlight is comprised of many atoms."\n-------------------\'  "Your stupid minds! Stupid, stupid!"\nEros in "Plan 9 From Outer Space"     DISCLAIMER: I don\'t agree with Eros.\n',
  "From: pmoloney@maths.tcd.ie (Paul Moloney)\nSubject: Re: Biblical Backing of Koresh's 3-02 Tape (Cites enclosed)\nOrganization: Somewhere in the Twentieth Century\nLines: 20\n\ncotera@woods.ulowell.edu writes:\n\n>Once again, where's your proof? Suicide is considered a sin by Branch\n>Davidians.  Also, Koresh said over and over again that he was not going to\n>commit suicide.  Furthermore, all the cult experts said that he was not\n>suicidal.  David Thibedeau (sp?), one of the cult members, said that the fire\n>was started when one of the tanks spraying the tear gas into the facilities\n>knocked over a lantern.\n\nIn two places at once? Bit of a coincidence, that.\n\nWhatever the faults the FBI had, the fact is that responsibility\nfor those deaths lies with Koresh.\n\nP.\n-- \n moorcockpratchettdenislearydelasoulu2iainmbanksneworderheathersbatmanpjorourke\nclive p a u l  m o l o n e y  Come, let us retract the foreskin of misconception\njames trinity college dublin  and apply the wire brush of enlightenment - GeoffM\n brownbladerunnersugarcubeselectronicblaylockpowersspikeleekatebushhamcornpizza \n",
  'From: jcopelan@nyx.cs.du.edu (The One and Only)\nSubject: Re: New Member\nOrganization: Salvation Army Draft Board\nLines: 28\n\nIn article <C5HIEw.7s1@portal.hq.videocart.com> dfuller@portal.hq.videocart.com (Dave Fuller) writes:\n>\n>  Hello. I just started reading this group today, and I think I am going\n>to be a large participant in its daily postings. I liked the section of\n>the FAQ about constructing logical arguments - well done. I am an atheist,\n>but I do not try to turn other people into atheists. I only try to figure\n>why people believe the way they do - I don\'t much care if they have a \n>different view than I do. When it comes down to it . . . I could be wrong.\n>I am willing to admit the possibility - something religious followers \n>dont seem to have the capability to do.\n>\n>  Happy to be aboard !\n>\n>Dave Fuller\n>dfuller@portal.hq.videocart.com\n\nWelcome.  I am the official keeper of the list of nicknames that people\nare known by on alt.atheism (didn\'t know we had such a list, did you).\nYour have been awarded the nickname of "Buckminster."  So the next time\nyou post an article, sign with your nickname like so:\nDave "Buckminster" Fuller.  Thanks again.\n\nJim "Humor means never having to say you\'re sorry" Copeland\n--\nIf God is dead and the actor plays his part                    | -- Sting,\nHis words of fear will find their way to a place in your heart | History\nWithout the voice of reason every faith is its own curse       | Will Teach Us\nWithout freedom from the past things can only get worse        | Nothing\n',
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nLines: 26\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <1qkq9t$66n@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n\n>I\'ll take a wild guess and say Freedom is objectively valuable.  I base\n>this on the assumption that if everyone in the world were deprived utterly\n>of their freedom (so that their every act was contrary to their volition),\n>almost all would want to complain.  Therefore I take it that to assert or\n>believe that "Freedom is not very valuable", when almost everyone can see\n>that it is, is every bit as absurd as to assert "it is not raining" on\n>a rainy day.  I take this to be a candidate for an objective value, and it\n>it is a necessary condition for objective morality that objective values\n>such as this exist.\n\n\tYou have only shown that a vast majority ( if not all ) would\nagree to this. However, there is nothing against a subjective majority.\n\n\tIn any event, I must challenge your assertion. I know many \nsocieties- heck, many US citizens- willing to trade freedom for "security".\n\n\n--- \n\n        " Whatever promises that have been made can than be broken. "\n\n        John Laws, a man without the honor to keep his given word.\n\n\n',
  "From: psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss)\nSubject: 15 Apr 93   God's Promise in John 1:12\nOrganization: University at Buffalo\nLines: 8\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41\nNntp-Posting-Host: ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu\n\n\n\n\tBut as many as received him,\n\tto them gave he power\n\tto become the sons of God,\n\teven to them that believe on his name:\n\n\tJohn 1:12\n",
  'From: kellyb@ccsua.ctstateu.edu\nSubject: Re: Bible Quiz\nLines: 12\nNntp-Posting-Host: ccsua.ctstateu.edu\nOrganization: Yale University, Department of Computer Science, New Haven, CT\n\nIn article <kmr4.1563.734805744@po.CWRU.edu>, kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n> In article <1qgbmt$c4f@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> cr866@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Frank D. Kirschner) writes:\n> \n>> ---\n> \n>    Only when the Sun starts to orbit the Earth will I accept the Bible. \n>         \n> \n     Since when does atheism mean trashing other religions?There must be a God\n     of inbreeding to which you are his only son.\n\n                                                  Pope John Paul\n',
  'From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Societal basis for morality\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 18\n\nIn article <C5prv8.5nI@news.cso.uiuc.edu>, cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike\nCobb) wrote:\n> we have to expect others to follow our notion of societally mandated morality?\n> Pardon the extremism, but couldn\'t I murder your "brother" and say that I was \n> exercising my rights as I saw them, was doing what felt good, didn\'t want\n> anyone forcing their morality on me, or I don\'t follow your "morality" ?\n\nGood statement! Should we apply empirical measurements to define exact\nsocial morals? Should morals be based on social rules? On ancient\nreligious doctrines? It seems there will *NEVER* be a common and single\ndenominator for defining morals, and as such defining absolute\nand objective morals is doomed to fail as long as humans have \nthis incredible talent of creative thinking.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n',
  'Subject: Re: Is Morality Constant (was Re: Biblical Rape)\nFrom: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\nLines: 28\n\nIn article <C4w5pv.JxD@darkside.osrhe.uoknor.edu> bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner) writes:\n\n>There are a couple of things about your post and others in this thread\n>that are a little confusing. An atheist is one for whom all things can\n>be understood as processes of nature - exclusively. There is no need\n>for any recourse to Divnity to describe or explain anything. There is\n>no purpose or direction for any event beyond those required by\n>physics, chemistry, biology, etc.; everything is random, nothing is\n>determnined.\n\n\tThis posts contains too many fallacies to respond too.\n\n\t1) The abolishment of divinity requires the elimination of \nfreewill. \n\n\tYou have not shown this. You have not even attempted to. However,\nthe existance of an Omniscience being does eliminate freewill in mortals.*\n\n\t* Posted over five months ago. No one has been able to refute it, \nnor give any reasonable reasons against it.\n\n--\n\n\n       "Satan and the Angels do not have freewill.  \n        They do what god tells them to do. "\n\n        S.N. Mozumder (snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu) \n',
  'Subject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nFrom: kmagnacca@eagle.wesleyan.edu\nOrganization: Wesleyan University\nNntp-Posting-Host: wesleyan.edu\nLines: 28\n\nIn article <115621@bu.edu>, jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n> In article <1993Apr15.135650.28926@st-andrews.ac.uk> nrp@st-andrews.ac.uk (Norman R. Paterson) writes:\n> \n>>I don\'t think you\'re right about Germany.  My daughter was born there and\n>>I don\'t think she has any German rights eg to vote or live there (beyond the\n>>rights of all EC citizens).  She is a British citizen by virtue of\n>>her parentage, but that\'s not "full" citizenship.  For example, I don\'t think\n>>her children could be British by virtue of her in the same way.\n> \n> I am fairly sure that she could obtain citizenship by making an\n> application for it. It might require immigration to Germany, but\n> I am almost certain that once applied for citizenship is inevitable\n> in this case.\n\nNope, Germany has extremely restrictive citizenship laws.  The \nethnic Germans who have lived in Russia for over 100 years \nautomatically become citizens if they move to Germany, but the\nTurks who are now in their third generation in Germany can\'t.\nIt\'s not a very good example to show citizenship without descent.\n\nKarl\n -----------------------------------------------------------------------------\n| "Lastly, I come to China in the hope      | "All you touch and all you see  |\n| of fulfilling a lifelong ambition -       | Is all your life will ever be." |\n| dropping acid on the Great Wall."  --Duke |                 --Pink Floyd    |\n|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|\n|         A Lie is still a Lie even if 3.8 billion people believe it.         |\n -----------------------------------------------------------------------------\n',
  'From: "Robert Knowles" <p00261@psilink.com>\nSubject: Re: The nonexistance of Atheists?!\nIn-Reply-To: <1993Apr15.192037.1@eagle.wesleyan.edu>\nNntp-Posting-Host: 127.0.0.1\nOrganization: Kupajava, East of Krakatoa\nX-Mailer: PSILink-DOS (3.3)\nLines: 26\n\n>DATE:   15 Apr 93 19:20:37 EDT\n>FROM:   kmagnacca@eagle.wesleyan.edu\n>\n>In article <bskendigC5JCwx.Jzn@netcom.com>, bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig) writes:\n>>\n>> [s.c.a quotes deleted]\n>> \n>> It really looks like these people have no idea at all of what it means\n>> to be atheist.  There are more Bobby Mozumder clones in the world than\n>> I thought...\n>\n>Well, that explains some things; I posted on soc.religion.islam\n>with an attached quote by Bobby to the effect that all atheists\n>are lying evil scum, and asked if it was a commonly-held idea\n>among muslims.  I got no response.  Asking about the unknown,\n>I guess...\n\nYou should have tried one of the soc.culture groups in the Middle East\nor South Asia area (they are a little more open than the Islam channel).  \nI think someone defined atheists as polytheists cuz they say we think the \nworld created itself (or something like that) so each particle is a God \nwhich created the other Gods.  The soc.culture.african is also nice for \nsome contrasting viewpoints on the benevolence of religion.  Especially \nwhen Sudan is mentioned.\n\n\n',
  "From: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie (Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 37\n\nIn article <30121@ursa.bear.com>, halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat) writes:\n>In article <115288@bu.edu>, jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n>>\n>>He'd have to be precise about is rejection of God and his leaving Islam.\n>>One is perfectly free to be muslim and to doubt and question the\n>>existence of God, so long as one does not _reject_ God. I am sure that\n>>Rushdie has be now made his atheism clear in front of a sufficient \n>>number of proper witnesses. The question in regard to the legal issue\n>>is his status at the time the crime was committed. \n>\n\nI'll also add that it is impossible to actually tell when one\n_rejects_ god.  Therefore, you choose to punish only those who\n_talk_ about it.  \n\n>\n>-jim halat                             \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n",
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <<Pompous ass\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 28\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\narromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee) writes:\n\n>>Look, I\'m not the one that made those Nazi comparisons.  Other people\n>>compared what the religious people are doing now to Nazi Germany.  They\n>>have said that it started out with little things (but no one really knew\n>>about any of these "little" things, strangely enough) and grew to bigger\n>>things.  They said that the motto is but one of the little things \n>You just contradicted yourself.  The motto is one of those little things that\n>nobody has bothered mentiopning to you, huh?\n\nThe "`little\' things" above were in reference to Germany, clearly.  People\nsaid that there were similar things in Germany, but no one could name any.\nThey said that these were things that everyone should know, and that they\nweren\'t going to waste their time repeating them.  Sounds to me like no one\nknew, either.  I looked in some books, but to no avail.\n\n>>that is\n>>going to pave the way for other "intrusions."  Of course, if the motto\n>>hasn\'t caused problems in its 40 year history, then I doubt it is going to...\n>It *has* caused problems.  You just ignore every instance when someone\n>describes one to you.\n\nIt has *caused* problems?  Again, no one has shown that things were better\nbefore the motto, or that they\'d likely be better after.  I don\'t think\nthe motto initiates any sort of harassment.  Harassment will occur whether\nor not the motto is present.\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: dpw@sei.cmu.edu (David Wood)\nSubject: Re: Gospel Dating\nIn-Reply-To: mangoe@cs.umd.edu\'s message of 4 Apr 93 10:56:03 GMT\nOrganization: Software Engineering Institute\nLines: 33\n\n\n\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n\n>>David Wood writes:\n>>\n>>    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."\n>\n>More seriously, this is just a high-falutin\' way of saying "I don\'t believe\n>what you\'re saying".\n\nAre you making a meta-argument here?  In any case, you are wrong.  \nThink of those invisible pink unicorns.\n\n>Also, the existence if Jesus is not an extradinary claim.  \n\nI was responding to the "historical accuracy... of Biblical claims",\nof which the existence of Jesus is only one, and one that was not even\nmentioned in my post.\n\n>You may want to\n>complain that the miracles attributed to him do constitute such claims (and\n>I won\'t argue otherwise), but that is a different issue.\n\nWrong.  That was exactly the issue.  Go back and read the context\nincluded within my post, and you\'ll see what I mean.\n\nNow that I\'ve done you the kindness of responding to your questions,\nplease do the same for me.  Answer the Charley Challenges.  Your claim\nthat they are of the "did not!/ did so!" variety is a dishonest dodge\nthat I feel certain fools only one person.\n\n--Dave Wood\n',
  'From: alamut@netcom.com (Max Delysid (y!))\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: Longinus Software & Garden ov Delights\nLines: 27\n\nIn article <1qppef$i5b@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea) writes:\n>\n>     Name just three *really* competing Rosicrucian Orders. I have\n>probably spent more time than you doing the same. \n>\n>     None of them are spin-offs from O.T.O. The opposite may be the\n>case. \n\nCan we assume from this statement that you are >unequivocally< saying that\nAMORC is not a spin off of OTO? .. and that in fact, OTO may well be a spin\noff of AMORC??\ni would be quite interested in hearing what evidence you have to support this\nclaim. \n\n>Study Harder,\n\nStudy Smarter, not Harder! :-)\n\n\n\n-- \n--->|<-------------------------------------------------------------------------\n<---|--->  More. More of Everything. More of Everything for Everybody.\n  <-|-> "Real total war has become information war, it is being fought now..."\n<---|---> !MaX! Delysid - alamut@netcom.com - ALamutBBS 415.431.7541 1:125/51\n--->|<-------------------------------------------------------------------------\n\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!!\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 20\n\nIn article <1993Apr20.143754.643@ra.royalroads.ca>, mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca\n(Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n> I understand and sympathize with your pain.  What happened in Waco was a very\n> sad tradgedy.  Don't take it out on us Christians though.  The Branch\n> Davidians were not an organized religion.  They were a cult led by a ego-maniac\n> cult leader.  The Christian faith stands only on the shoulders of one man,\n> the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, Jesus Christ.   BTW, David Koresh was NOT\n> Jesus Christ as he claimed.\n\nThe interesting notion is that (I watched TV tonight) Koresh never\nclaimed officially to be Jesus Christ. His believers hoped that \nhe would be, but he never took this standpoint himself.\n\nHe was more interested in breaking the seven seals of Revelation,\nand make sure that Armageddon would start. Well it did, and 19\nchildren died, and no God saved them.\n\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <<Pompous ass\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 21\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nAndrew Newell <TAN102@psuvm.psu.edu> writes:\n\n>>>Sure, they may fall back on other things, but this is one they\n>>>should not have available to use.\n>>It is worse than others?\n>Worse?  Maybe not, but it is definately a violation of the\n>rules the US govt. supposedly follows.\n\nOh?\n\n>>>For the motto to be legitimate, it would have to read:\n>>>   "In god, gods, or godlessness we trust"\n>>Would you approve of such a motto?\n>No.  ...not unless the only way to get rid of the current one\n>was to change it to such as that.\n\nWhat is wrong with *this* motto, now?  If you wouldn\'t approve of\neven that one, I am beginning to think that you just have something\nagainst mottos in general.  What do you think of "E plurbis unum?"\n\nkeith\n',
  "From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: Gospel Dating\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 22\n\nJim Perry (perry@dsinc.com) wrote:\n\n: The Bible says there is a God; if that is true then our atheism is\n: mistaken.  What of it?  Seems pretty obvious to me.  Socrates said\n: there were many gods; if that is true then your monotheism (and our\n: atheism) is mistaken, even if Socrates never existed.\n\n\nJim,\n\nI think you must have come in late. The discussion (on my part at\nleast) began with Benedikt's questioning of the historical acuuracy of\nthe NT. I was making the point that, if the same standards are used to\nvalidate secular history that are used here to discredit NT history,\nthen virtually nothing is known of the first century.\n\nYou seem to be saying that the Bible -cannot- be true because it\nspeaks of the existence of God as it it were a fact. Your objection\nhas nothing to do with history, it is merely another statement of\natheism.\n\nBill\n",
  'From: rjl+@pitt.edu (Richard J. Loether)\nSubject: Re: Who\'s next?  Mormons and Jews?\nDistribution: usa\nOrganization: University of Pittsburgh\nLines: 38\n\nIn article <1r1et6INNh8p@ctron-news.ctron.com> king@ctron.com (John E. King) writes:\n:\n: pmy@vivaldi.acc.Virginia.EDU (Pete Yadlowsky) writes:\n:\n:::Didn\'t Christ tell his disciples to arm them selves, shortly \n:::before his crusifiction? (I believe the exact quote was along the\n:::lines of, "If you have [something] sell it and buy a sword.")\n:\n::This from a guy who preached love, deference of power to God and\n::renunciation of worldly life in exchange for a life of the spirit? If\n::Jesus did in fact command his disciples to arm themselves, I would\n::take that as yet another reason to reject Christian doctrine, for\n::whatever it\'s worth.\n\nLike most religions, the doctrine has good and bad in it.  I would \ncertainly reject the current implementations of the doctrine.\n:\n:No.  The above is a classic example of taking a scripture out of context.\n:It\'s taken from Luke 22:36.  But note vs 37; "For I tell you that this\n:which is written must be accomplished in me, namely, \'and he will be reckoned\n:with lawless ones\'...".  He then stated that two swords were enough\n:for the group to carry to be counted as lawless.  \n\nSo having more than the politically correct number of weapons was\ncause to be arresed and killed even then, huh?\n\n:Jesus\' overiding message was one of peace (turn other cheek; live by \n:sword die by sword; etc).\n\nYes, of course, as in Matthew 10:34-35 "Do not suppose that I have come to \nbring peace to the earth; it is not peace I have come to bring but a sword..."\n:\nRJL\n-- \nRich Loether          Snail mail: University of Pittsburgh     The Ideas:\nEMail: rjl+@pitt.edu              Computing and Info Services      Mine,\nVoice: (412) 624-6429             600 Epsilon Drive                   all\nFAX  : (412) 624-6426             Pittsburgh, PA 15238                  Mine.\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 31\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1qlfd4INN935@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n|> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> >>Well, chimps must have some system.  They live in social groups\n|> >>as we do, so they must have some "laws" dictating undesired behavior.\n|> >\n|> >So, why "must" they have such laws?\n|> \n|> The quotation marks should enclose "laws," not "must."\n\nOh, Your Highness?   And exactly why "should" the quotation\nmarks enclose "laws," not "must."\n\nIn case you didn\'t notice, it\'s the function of the "must"\nthat I wish to ironicise.\n\n|> \n|> If there were no such rules, even instinctive ones or unwritten ones,\n|> etc., then surely some sort of random chance would lead a chimp society\n|> into chaos.\n\nPerhaps the chimps that failed to evolve cooperative behaviour\ndied out, and we are left with the ones that did evolve such\nbehaviour, entirely by chance.\n\nAre you going to proclaim a natural morality every time an\norganism evolves cooperative behaviour?\n\nWhat about the natural morality of bee dance?\n\njon.\n',
  'From: ednclark@kraken.itc.gu.edu.au (Jeffrey Clark)\nSubject: Re: A Little Too Satanic\nNntp-Posting-Host: kraken.itc.gu.edu.au\nOrganization: ITC, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia\nLines: 33\n\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n\n>Nanci Ann Miller writes:\n\n>>My favorite reply to the "you are being too literal-minded" complaint is\n>>that if the bible is really inspired by God and if it is really THAT\n>>important to him, then he would make damn certain all the translators and\n>>scribes and people interpreting and copying it were getting it right,\n>>literally.  If not, then why should I put ANY merit at all in something\n>>that has been corrupted over and over and over by man even if it was\n>>originally inspired by God?\n\n>The "corrupted over and over" theory is pretty weak.  Comparison of the\n>current hebrew text with old versions and translations shows that the text\n>has in fact changed very little over a space of some two millennia.  This\n>shouldn\'t be all that suprising; people who believe in a text in this manner\n>are likely to makes some pains to make good copies.\n>-- \nDo you honestly hold to that tripe Charley? For a start there are enough\ncurrent versions of the Bible to make comparisons to show that what you write\nabove is utter garbage. Witness JW, Mormon, Catholic, Anglican, and Greek\nOrthodox Bibles. But to really convince you I\'d have to take you to a good\nold library. In our local library we had a 1804 King James which I compared\nto a brand new, hot of God\'s tongue Good News Bible. Genesis was almost\nunrecognisable, many of the discrepencies between the four gospels had been\nedited from the Good News Bible. In fact the God of Good News was a much\nmore congenial fellow I must say. \n\nIf you like I\'ll get the 1804 King James out again and actually give you\nsome quotes. At least the headings haven\'t changed much.\n\nJeff.\n\n',
  'From: smithw@col.hp.com (Walter Smith)\nSubject: Re: Part 1 and part 2  (re: Homosexuality)\nOrganization: Colorado Springs IT Center\nLines: 23\nNNTP-Posting-Host: fajita19.cs.itc.hp.com\n\nhudson@athena.cs.uga.edu (Paul Hudson Jr) writes:\n> In article <m0njXCg-0000VEC@juts.ccc.amdahl.com> rich.bellacera@amail.amdahl.com writes:\n> \n> >Why don\'t we just stick to the positive and find ways to bring people\n> >to Jesus istead of taking bullwhips and driving them away?\n> \n> Certainly we should not use a bullwhip to drive people from Jesus.\n> But we shouldn\'t water down the gospel to draw people in. \n\nVery well put.  And, in the case of someone who calls himself a Christian\nbrother yet continues in his sin (and claims that his sin is not a sin at \nall, but perfectly acceptable), what should be done?  Should Christians \njust ignore a sinful lifestyle in order to not offend the person?  By \nreaffirming that the lifestyle is sinful according to the Bible, are \nthey using "a bullwhip to drive people from Jesus"? \n\nFrankly, I find the occurance of a homosexual Christian attempting to \npass himself off as a \'straight\' Christian in order to have other \nChristians accept his chastisement better a *lot* more serious than \npeople reaffirming that the Bible teaches homosexuality is a sin.  \n\nWalter\n\n',
  'From: alizard@tweekco.uucp (A.Lizard)\nSubject: Re: OTO, the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars\nOrganization: Tweek-Com Systems BBS, Moraga, CA (510) 631-0615\nLines: 18\n\nThyagi@cup.portal.com (Thyagi Morgoth NagaSiva) writes:\n\n> "This organization is known at the present time as the Ancient\n> Order of Oriental Templars.  Ordo Templi Orientis.  Otherwise:\n> The Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.\n> \nDoes this organization have an official e-mail address these\ndays? (an address for any of the SF Bay Area Lodges, e.g. Thelema\nwould do.)\n                                      93...\n                                       A.Lizard\n\n-------------------------------------------------------------------\nA.Lizard Internet Addresses:\nalizard%tweekco%boo@PacBell.COM        (preferred)\nPacBell.COM!boo!tweekco!alizard (bang path for above)\nalizard@gentoo.com (backup)\nPGP2.2 public key available on request\n',
  'From: Nanci Ann Miller <nm0w+@andrew.cmu.edu>\nSubject: Re: Concerning God\'s Morality (long)\nOrganization: Sponsored account, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA\nLines: 56\n\t<1993Apr5.084042.822@batman.bmd.trw.com>\nNNTP-Posting-Host: po5.andrew.cmu.edu\nIn-Reply-To: <1993Apr5.084042.822@batman.bmd.trw.com>\n\n\njbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com writes:\n> > Sorry, but there are no supernatural\n> > forces necessary to create a pathogen.  You are saying, "Since\n> > diseases are bad, the bad entity must have created it."  So\n> > what would you say about acid rain, meteors falling from the\n> > sky, volcanoes, earthquakes, and other QUOTE UNQUOTE "Acts\n> > of God?" \n> \n> I would say that they are not "acts of God" but natural\n> occurrences.\n\nIt amazes me that you have the audacity to say that human creation was not\nthe result of the natural process of evolution (but rather an "act of God")\nand then in the same post say that these other processes (volcanos et al.)\nare natural occurrences.  Who gave YOU the right to choose what things are\nnatural processes and what are direct acts of God?  How do you know that\nGod doesn\'t cause each and every natural disaster with a specific purpose\nin mind?  It would certainly go along with the sadistic nature I\'ve seen in\nthe bible.\n\n> >>Even if Satan had nothing to do with the original inception of\n> >>disease, evolution by random chance would have produced them since\n> >>humanity forsook God\'s protection.  If we choose to live apart from\n> >>God\'s law (humanity collectively), then it should come as no surprise\n> >>that there are adverse consequences to our (collective) action.  One\n> >>of these is that we are left to deal with disease and disorders which\n> >>inevitably result in an entropic universe.\n> > \n> > May I ask, where is this \'collective\' bullcrap coming from? \n>\n> By "collective" I was referring to the idea that God works with\n> humanity on two levels, individually and collectively.  If mankind\n> as a whole decides to undertake a certain action (the majority of\n> mankind), then God will allow the consequences of that action to\n> affect mankind as a whole.\n\nAdam & Eve (TWO PEOPLE), even tho they had the honor (or so you christians\nclaim) of being the first two, definitely do NOT represent a majority in\nthe billions and trillions (probably more) of people that have come after\nthem.  Perhaps they were the majority then, but *I* (and YOU) weren\'t\naround to vote, and perhaps we might have voted differently about what to\ndo with that tree.  But your god never asked us.  He just assumes that if\nyou have two bad people then they ALL must be bad.  Hmm.  Sounds like the\nsame kind of false generalization that I see many of the theists posting\nhere resorting to.  So THAT\'s where they get it... shoulda known.\n\n> Jim B.\n\nNanci\n\n.........................................................................\nIf you know (and are SURE of) the author of this quote, please send me\nemail (nm0w+@andrew.cmu.edu):\nLying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.\n\n',
  "Subject: CHRISTIAN DEVIL REVEALED!\nFrom: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as 'guest'.\nLines: 56\n\n>For a while I was puzzled by the the concept of Adam and Eve coming to\n>know good and evil.  This is how I resolved it.  Within God's universe\n>each action evokes an equal and opposite reaction.  There can be no good\n>without evil as an opposite.  So the issue is not what you do but to whom\n>you give your allegiance.  That is why, even in this sinful state, when we\n>perform an evil act while we are submitted to God He does not place that\n>sinful act to our account (Rom 4:8) In the same vein you can perform all \n>the good deeds in the book, if your life is not under God's control you are \n>still sinning (see Rom 14:23).\n\nNow, take a good look at at, an tell me man, there is no Christian\nDevil? There is, is real, is a virus, a meme, infecting and possessing\nthe good people and keep 'em from becoming human beings with emphasis on\nthe being! Is not a matter of good people an evil people, is all good\npeople see, but some good people vexed of the Christian Devil. An it\ncan't be burn out or lynch out or rape out. Only wise up let I rise up.\nChristian Devil is real man, how else can you explain five hundred years\nof history, even more? Can only be explained by Christians invoke\nChristian Devil.\n\nyou keep on knocking but you can't come in, i got to understand you've\nbeen living in sin, but walk right in and sit right down, i'll keep\non loving you, i'll play the clown, but bend down low, let i tell you\nwhat i know yah\n\ni've been 'buked brothers and i've been stoned, woe, woe, woe, now i'm\nhung by a tree in the the ganging on a few, woe, woe, woe, it doesn't\nmatter who the man is who lives the life he loves, it doesn't matter\nwhat the man does or the honest life he loves, i want somewhere, i want\nsomewhere, hallelujah, hallelujah, somewhere to lay my head, woe is me\n\nonly ska beat in 'eaven man\n\nstiff necked fools, you think you're cool, to deny me for simplicity, yes\nyou have gone, for so long with your love for vanity now, yes you have\ngot the wrong interpretation mixed up with vain imagination, so take jah\nsun and jah moon and jah rain and jah stars, and forever yes erase your\nfantasy, yeah, the lips of the righteous teach many, but fools die for\nwant of wisdom, the rich man's wealth is in his city, the righteous\nwealth is in his holy place, so take jah sun and jah moon and jah rain\nand jah stars, and forever yes erase your fantasy, destruction of the\npoor is in their poverty, destruction of the soul is vanity, yeah, but i\ndon't want to rule ya, i don't want to fool ya, i don't want to school\nya, things you, you might never know about, yes you have got the wrong\ninterpretation mixed up with vain, vain imagination, stiff necked fools,\nyou think you're cool, to deny me for, oh simplicity\n\nlove to see, when yah move in the rhythm, love to see when you're\ndancing from within, it gives great joy to feel such sweet togetherness,\neveryone's doing and they're doing their best, it remind i of the days\nin jericho, when we trodden down jericho wall, these are the days when\nwe'll trod true babylon, gonna trod until babylon fall\n\nthen I saw the angel with the seven seals saying, babylon throne going down\n\nwe weeping and we wailing tonight\n",
  'From: royc@rbdc.wsnc.org (Roy Crabtree)\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nOrganization: Red Barn Data Center\nLines: 26\n\nIn article <C5s9CK.2Bt@apollo.hp.com> nelson_p@apollo.hp.com (Peter Nelson) writes:\n>  who would be alive today if they had been released back when we were\n\n\tThe word "released" is loaded:  until convicted in CXOurt,\n\tmy children are my own.\n\n\tWHen the Feds use this type of loaded logic, you cannot win:\n\t\t1)  we accuse you\n\t\t2) we shoot a couple of your kids\n\t\t3)  we blame you for those shots\n\t\t4) we harrass you for 51 days\n\t\t5) we tell you to come out or die\n\t\t6) we gas you\n\t\t7) you burn to death\n\t\t8)  we blame you (prior to trial) for all of it\n>  debating this a few weeks ago.\n>\n>\n>---peter\n>\n>\n>\n>\n>\n\n\n',
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: Morality? (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 52\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nlivesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n\n>>>Explain to me\n>>>how instinctive acts can be moral acts, and I am happy to listen.\n>>For example, if it were instinctive not to murder...\n>Then not murdering would have no moral significance, since there\n>would be nothing voluntary about it.\n\nSee, there you go again, saying that a moral act is only significant\nif it is "voluntary."  Why do you think this?\n\nAnd anyway, humans have the ability to disregard some of their instincts.\n\n>>So, only intelligent beings can be moral, even if the bahavior of other\n>>beings mimics theirs?\n>You are starting to get the point.  Mimicry is not necessarily the \n>same as the action being imitated.  A Parrot saying "Pretty Polly" \n>isn\'t necessarily commenting on the pulchritude of Polly.\n\nYou are attaching too many things to the term "moral," I think.\nLet\'s try this:  is it "good" that animals of the same species\ndon\'t kill each other.  Or, do you think this is right? \n\nOr do you think that animals are machines, and that nothing they do\nis either right nor wrong?\n\n\n>>Animals of the same species could kill each other arbitarily, but \n>>they don\'t.\n>They do.  I and other posters have given you many examples of exactly\n>this, but you seem to have a very short memory.\n\nThose weren\'t arbitrary killings.  They were slayings related to some sort\nof mating ritual or whatnot.\n\n>>Are you trying to say that this isn\'t an act of morality because\n>>most animals aren\'t intelligent enough to think like we do?\n>I\'m saying:\n>\t"There must be the possibility that the organism - it\'s not \n>\tjust people we are talking about - can consider alternatives."\n>It\'s right there in the posting you are replying to.\n\nYes it was, but I still don\'t understand your distinctions.  What\ndo you mean by "consider?"  Can a small child be moral?  How about\na gorilla?  A dolphin?  A platypus?  Where is the line drawn?  Does\nthe being need to be self aware?\n\nWhat *do* you call the mechanism which seems to prevent animals of\nthe same species from (arbitrarily) killing each other?  Don\'t\nyou find the fact that they don\'t at all significant?\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: ingles@engin.umich.edu (Ray Ingles)\nSubject: Evo. & Homosexuality (Was Re: Princeton etc.)\nArticle-I.D.: srvr1.1psosqINN3gg\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: University of Michigan Engineering, Ann Arbor\nLines: 51\nNNTP-Posting-Host: wormwood.engin.umich.edu\n\n\n Sorry, Bill, I had to clear this up. There may be good evolutionary\narguments against homosexuality, but these don\'t qualify.\n\nIn article <C4vwn0.JF5@darkside.osrhe.uoknor.edu> bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner) writes:\n>C.Wainwright (eczcaw@mips.nott.ac.uk) wrote:\n[deletions]\n>: |> It would seem odd if homosexuality had any evolutionary function\n[deletions]\n>: So *every* time a man has sex with a woman they intend to produce children?\n>: Hmm...no wonder the world is overpopulated.  Obviously you keep to the\n>: Monty Python song:  "Every sperm is sacred".  And if, as *you* say, it has\n>: a purpose as a means to limit population growth then it is, by your own \n>: arguement, natural.\n>\n>Consider the context, I\'m talking about an evolutionary function. One\n>of the most basic requirements of evolution is that members of a\n>species procreate, those who don\'t have no purpose in that context.\n\n Oh? I guess all those social insects (e.g. ants, bees, etc.) which\nhave one breeding queen and a whole passel of sterile workers are on\nthe way out, huh?\n \n>: These days is just ain\'t true!  People can decide whether or not to have \n>: children and when.  Soon they will be able to choose it\'s sex &c (but that\'s \n>: another arguement...) so it\'s more of a "lifestyle" decision.  Again by\n>: your arguement, since homosexuals can not (or choose not) to reproduce they\n>: must be akin to people who decide to have sex but not children.  Both are \n>: as "unnatural" as each other.\n>\n>Yet another non-sequitur. Sex is an evolutionary function that exists\n>for procreation, that it is also recreation is incidental. That\n>homosexuals don\'t procreate means that sex is -only- recreation and\n>nothing more; they serve no -evolutionary- purpose.\n\n I refer you to the bonobos, a species of primate as closeley related to\nhumans as chimpanzees (that is, very closely). They have sex all the\ntime, homosexual as well as heterosexual. When the group finds food, they\nhave sex. Before the go to sleep at night, they have sex. After they\nescape from or fight off prdators, they have sex. Sex serves a very important\nsocial function above and beyond reproduction in this species. A species\nclosely related to humans. There is some indication that sex performs\na social function in humans, as well, but even if not, this shows that\nsuch a function is not *impossible*.\n\n Sincerely,\n\n Ray Ingles               ingles@engin.umich.edu\n\n "The meek can *have* the Earth. The rest of us are going to the\nstars!" - Robert A. Heinlein\n',
  'From: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!! (NOT!)\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as \'guest\'.\n\t<sandvik-150493181533@sandvik-kent.apple.com> \n\t<1993Apr16.181605.15072@ra.royalroads.ca> \n\t<sandvik-160493205451@sandvik-kent.apple.com>\nLines: 28\n\nIn article <sandvik-160493205451@sandvik-kent.apple.com> \nsandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n>In article <1993Apr16.181605.15072@ra.royalroads.ca>,\n>mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n>> This brings up another question I still have to ponder:  why is there so \n>> much anti-Semitism?  Why do people hate Jews?  I don\'t hate Jews.  I consider\n>> them to be like anyone else, sinners we all are.\n>I don\'t know, I don\'t care about ethnical rights and wrongs myself,\n>but it\'s evident that Christians consider Jews no longer to be the \n>sole selected group of God\'s people -- while Jews consider this to\n>be the case.\n\nChristian anti-Semitism comes from the obvious fact that the Jews should\nknow the Hebrew Scriptures better than anyone else, yet they did not\nconvert to Christianity en mass, thus rejecting "Christian Love."\n\n>No wonder this caused anti-Semitism. One might even\n>wonder that if Christianity didn\'t do this separation, would anti-Semitism\n>have even started?\n\nI don\'t see why not. Where are the rest of the tribal people? What\nhappened to the tribes of the Americas? Culture is seen as different and\nundesirable in the West, particular in the US with its failed "melting\npot concept." Most tribes have been hunted to extinction, the Hebrew\ntribe is one of the few survivers from the Neolithic. Of course it\nbecomes difficult at times to separate Christianity from the Western\nexperience, so perhaps you are right, perhaps it would have been a better \nworld if the cultural experiment in Christianity never happened.\n',
  'Organization: Penn State University\nFrom: Andrew Newell <TAN102@psuvm.psu.edu>\nSubject: Re: free moral agency\nDistribution: na\n <C5pxqs.LM5@darkside.osrhe.uoknor.edu>\nLines: 119\n\nIn article <C5pxqs.LM5@darkside.osrhe.uoknor.edu>, bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill\nConner) says:\n>\n>dean.kaflowitz (decay@cbnewsj.cb.att.com) wrote:\n>\n>: Now, what I am interested in is the original notion you were discussing\n>: on moral free agency.  That is, how can a god punish a person for\n>: not believing in him when that person is only following his or her\n>: nature and it is not possible for that person to deny what his or\n>: her reason tells him or her, which is that there is no god?\n>\n>I think you\'re letting atheist mythology confuse you on the issue of\n\n(WEBSTER:  myth:  "a traditional or legendary story...\n           ...a belief...whose truth is accepted uncritically.")\n\nHow does that qualify?\nIndeed, it\'s almost oxymoronic...a rather amusing instance.\nI\'ve found that most atheists hold almost no atheist-views as\n"accepted uncritically," especially the few that are legend.\nMany are trying to explain basic truths, as myths do, but\nthey don\'t meet the other criterions.\nAlso...\n\n>Divine justice. According to the most fundamental doctrines of\n>Christianity, When the first man sinned, he was at that time the\n\nYou accuse him of referencing mythology, then you procede to\nlaunch your own xtian mythology.  (This time meeting all the\nrequirements of myth.)\n\n>salvation. The idea of punishment is based on the proposition that\n>everyone knows (instinctively?) that God exists, is their creator and\n\nAh, but not everyone "knows" that god exists.  So you have\na fallacy.\n\n>There\'s nothing terribly difficult in all this and is well known to\n>any reasonably Biblically literate Christian. The only controversy is\n\nAnd that makes it true?  Holding with the Bible rules out controversy?\nRead the FAQ.  If you\'ve read it, you missed something, so re-read.\n(Not a bad suggestion for anyone...I re-read it just before this.)\n\n>with those who pretend not to know what is being said and what it\n>means. When atheists claim that they do -not- know if God exists and\n>don\'t know what He wants, they contradict the Bible which clearly says\n>that -everyone- knows. The authority of the Bible is its claim to be\n\n...should I repeat what I wrote above for the sake of getting\nit across?  You may trust the Bible, but your trusting it doesn\'t\nmake it any more credible to me.\n\nIf the Bible says that everyone knows, that\'s clearly reason\nto doubt the Bible, because not everyone "knows" your alleged\ngod\'s alleged existance.\n\n>refuted while the species-wide condemnation is justified. Those that\n>claim that there is no evidence for the existence of God or that His will is\n>unknown, must deliberately ignore the Bible; the ignorance itself is\n>no excuse.\n\n1) No, they don\'t have to ignore the Bible.  The Bible is far\nfrom universally accepted.  The Bible is NOT a proof of god;\nit is only a proof that some people have thought that there\nwas a god.  (Or does it prove even that?  They might have been\nwriting it as series of fiction short-stories.  As in the\ncase of Dionetics.)  Assuming the writers believed it, the\nonly thing it could possibly prove is that they believed it.\nAnd that\'s ignoring the problem of whether or not all the\ninterpretations and Biblical-philosophers were correct.\n\n2) There are people who have truly never heard of the Bible.\n\n3) Again, read the FAQ.\n\n>freedom. You are free to ignore God in the same way you are free to\n>ignore gravity and the consequences are inevitable and well known\n>in both cases. That an atheist can\'t accept the evidence means only\n\nBzzt...wrong answer!\nGravity is directly THERE.  It doesn\'t stop exerting a direct and\nrationally undeniable influence if you ignore it.  God, on the\nother hand, doesn\'t generally show up in the supermarket, except\non the tabloids.  God doesn\'t exert a rationally undeniable influence.\nGravity is obvious; gods aren\'t.\n\n>Secondly, human reason is very comforatble with the concept of God, so\n>much so that it is, in itself, intrinsic to our nature. Human reason\n>always comes back to the question of God, in every generation and in\n\nNo, human reason hasn\'t always come back to the existance of\n"God"; it has usually come back to the existance of "god".\nIn other words, it doesn\'t generally come back to the xtian\ngod, it comes back to whether there is any god.  And, in much\nof oriental philosophic history, it generally doesn\'t pop up as\nthe idea of a god so much as the question of what natural forces\nare and which ones are out there.  From a world-wide view,\nhuman nature just makes us wonder how the universe came to\nbe and/or what force(s) are currently in control.  A natural\ntendancy to believe in "God" only exists in religious wishful\nthinking.\n\n>I said all this to make the point that Christianity is eminently\n>reasonable, that Divine justice is just and human nature is much\n>different than what atheists think it is. Whether you agree or not\n\nXtianity is no more reasonable than most other religions, and\nit\'s reasonableness certainly doesn\'t merit eminence.\nDivine justice...well, it only seems just to those who already\nbelieve in the divinity.\nFirst, not all atheists believe the same things about human\nnature. Second, whether most atheists are correct or not,\nYOU certainly are not correct on human nature.  You are, at\nthe least, basing your views on a completely eurocentric\napproach.  Try looking at the outside world as well when\nyou attempt to sum up all of humanity.\n\nAndrew\n',
  'From: kevin@rotag.mi.org (Kevin Darcy)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is \nOrganization: Who, me???\nLines: 15\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.010329.23133@mnemosyne.cs.du.edu> kcochran@nyx.cs.du.edu (Keith "Justified And Ancient" Cochran) writes:\n>[Followups set out of talk.abortion...]\n>\n>In article <C5Fuo2.FF8@news.cso.uiuc.edu> cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike Cobb) writes:\n>>Am I reading this thread wrong or is this just another bemoaning of the fact\n>>that Christianity has a code of objective morality?\n>\n>Please define this "objective morality".\n>\n>While you\'re at it, please state the theory of creationism.\n\nStill searching for an irrelevant issue in which to mire a pro-lifer, I see.\nSlimy tactic.\n\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t- Kevin\n',
  "From: agrino@enkidu.mic.cl (Andres Grino Brandt)\nSubject: Studies on Book of Mormon\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Orden del Lobo Estepario\nReply-To: agrino@enkidu.mic.cl\nLines: 20\n\nHi!\n\nI don't know much about Mormons, and I want to know about serious independent\nstudies about the Book of Mormon.\n\nI don't buy the 'official' story about the gold original taken to heaven,\nbut haven't read the Book of Mormon by myself (I have to much work learning\nBiblical Hebrew), I will appreciate any comment about the results of study\nin style, vocabulary, place-names, internal consistency, and so on.\n\nFor example: There is evidence for one-writer or multiple writers?\nThere are some mention about events, places, or historical persons later\ndiscovered by archeologist?\n\nYours in Collen\n\nAndres Grino Brandt               Casilla 14801 - Santiago 21\nagrino@enkidu.mic.cl                        Chile\n\nNo hay mas realidad que la realidad, y la razon es su profeta\n",
  "From: hudson@athena.cs.uga.edu (Paul Hudson Jr)\nSubject: Re: Question for those with popular morality\nOrganization: University of Georgia, Athens\nLines: 11\n\nIn article <1993Apr5.165709.4347@midway.uchicago.edu> dsoconne@midway.uchicago.edu writes:\n>>But there is a base of true absolute morality that we can stand on.\n>\n>Note that if the majority of people remain unconvinced, this idea\n>probably isn't worth very much in a pragmatic sense.\n\nMaybe not to you.  But to those who stand on this base, He is \nprecious.\n\nLink\n\n",
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 15\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <930404.111651.1K0.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk>, mathew@mantis.co.uk (mathew) writes:\n|> In article <1993Apr2.065230.18676@blaze.cs.jhu.edu>\n|> arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee) writes:\n|> >The "automobile system" kills non-driving passengers, not to mention\n|> >pedestrians.  You need not drive or even use a car to be killed by one.\n|> \n|> Indeed, and it kills far more than a system of public transport would.  I am\n|> therefore entirely in favour of banning private cars and replacing them with\n|> trains, buses, taxis, bicycles, and so on.\n\nSeconded.   I cycle to work each day, and if we could just get\nthose damned cars and their cretinous drivers off the road, it\nwould be a lot more fun.\n\njon.\n',
  'From: hudson@athena.cs.uga.edu (Paul Hudson Jr)\nSubject: Re: *** The list of Biblical contradictions\nOrganization: University of Georgia, Athens\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <bskendigC51CqB.K0r@netcom.com> bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig) writes:\n\n>Specifically: when I bring up the fact that Genesis contains two\n>contradictory creation stories, I usually get blank stares or flat\n>denials.  I\'ve never had a fundamentalist acknowledge that there are\n>indeed two different accounts of creation.\n\nThat is because two creation stories is one of the worst examples of \na difficulty with the Bible.  "were formed" can also be translated "had been\nformed" in chapter two without any problems.  So the text does not demand\nthat there are two creation stories.  \n\nLink Hudson.\n\n',
  'From: rich.bellacera@amail.amdahl.com\nSubject: "Ex-Gays?" (follow-up)\nLines: 53\nReturn-Path: <amail.amdahl.com!rich.bellacera@juts.ccc.amdahl.com>\n\nI would like to apologize for the typos in the previous post.\n\nIn retrospect I would also like to quote another source: Douglas C.\nHaldeman from his 1991 book _Homosexuality_\n\nTHERAPY INEFFECTIVE\n\nRecently the founders of yet another prominent "ex-gay" ministry, Exodus\nInternational, denounced their conversion therapy procedures as ineffective.\nMichael Busse and Gary Cooper, cofounders of Exodus International and lovers\nfor 13 years, were involved with the organization from 1976 to 1979.  The\nprogram was described by these men as "ineffective . . . not one person was\nhealed."  They stated that the program often exacerbated already prominent\nfeelings of guilt and personal failure among the counselees; many were\ndriven to suicidal thoughts as a result of the failed "reparative therapy."\n\nThe previous article quoted in the last posting is from THE ADVOCATE, June\n30, 1992 called "The Ex-Ex-Gay" by Robert Pela.\n\nSome personal thoughts:\n\nIt is of no great astonishment that there is a concerted effort by a major\nportion of the Church to control and mandate change of a minority among\nits ranks.  This was the momentum behind the Spanish Inquisition, only all\nthey required was a confession of faith (after much torture) and then, to\nsave their souls they would dispatch them to heaven through death.  Even\nlater, the Bible was used vigorously to defend slavery, oppression and\nsegragation of African-Americans, even to the justification of lynchings.\nToday\'s scholars are just a bit more slick in their approach.  The tool is\nstill coersion, but now it is mostly by means of brainwashing and mind\ncontrol, convincing people that they should see themselves as less than\nGod sees them, then maintaining a cultic hold on them until it is felt\nthier mind-conditioning is complete.  Sure, no one is "physically" forced\nto stay in this "reparative therapy" but sheer social pressure is enough for\nmany to keep themselves in this new found bondage of self-hate.\n\nAs an abolitionist I advocate the abolishment of oppression and persecution\nagainst gays in all facets of civil life.  A person should be judged by\nthe contibution, or non-contribution to the society in which they live,\nnot by some high-brow standard of conformity imposed by those who haven\';t\na clue what is in their heart.\n\nFor those who seek more information about Gays and groups that accept them\nplease contact your nearest chapter of PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians\nAnd Gays) who will be more than happy to assist you.  This is a group of\npeople comprised of Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals, their parents and friends\nwho have formed a support group for help and understanding.  Try talking to\na parent of a gay son or daughter and learn some "first-hand" real life and\nloving understanding.  God\'s love and understanding for Gay people is no\nless abundant.\n\nThank you.\nPAX\n',
  'From: david@terminus.ericsson.se (David Bold)\nSubject: Re: Question for those with popular morality\nReply-To: david@terminus.ericsson.se\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Camtec Electronics (Ericsson), Leicester, England\nLines: 89\nNntp-Posting-Host: bangkok\n\nIn article Fo2@murdoch.acc.Virginia.EDU, pmy@vivaldi.acc.virginia.edu (Pete Yadlowsky) writes:\n\n<Moral Driver distinctions deleted>\n\n>>In this case, the Driver does not evolve but simply Is. There would\n>>probably not be any manifestation in an infant  because the Moral\n>>Code has not been learnt yet (ie. the object upon which the Driver\n>>acts upon). \n>\n>Without manifestation, though, how can the Driver be detected? For\n>all purposes it seems not to exist until Moral Coding begins.\n>Actually, I agree with your notion of a Driver, except that I think\n>it\'s not moral but pre- (and super-)moral. It is, as I mentioned\n>earlier in this thread, a primal sense of connection, a pre- and\n>post-natal umbilical the awareness of which is expressed in a\n>partial, fragmented way that accomodates (and forms, in return) the\n>language and customs of a given culture. This halting, pidgin-english\n>expression is, I think, what we come to call \'morality\'. \n\nCompare the Driver to an urge such as Jealousy, where there is an urge\nand an "object". The jealousy does not technically exist until the object\nis apparent. However, the capacity to be jealous is presumably still there\neven though it is not detectable.\n\nYour description of the Unbilical took me three passes to understand (!) but\nI get the gist and I have to tentatively agree. I think our two definitions\ncan sit side by side without too much trouble, though. I haven\'t attempted to\ndefine the reason behind the Moral Driver (only hinted through the essence of\neach Moral). Your definition hints that animals are also capable of a\nsimilar morality - Simians have a similar Social Order to ourselves and it is\neasy to anthropomorphize with these animals. Is this possible or have I\nmisunderstood?\n\n>\n>>>>If my suggestion holds true then this is the area where work must be\n>>>>carried out to prevent a moral deterioration of Society,\n>\n>>>What kind of work, exactly?\n>\n>>Well, here you have asked the BIG question. [...]\n>>I have a slight suspicion that you were hoping I would say\n>>something really contentious in this reply (from your final question).\n>\n>No, not at all. I was just wondering if you subscribed to some\n>particular school of psycho-social thought and rehabilitation, and if\n>perhaps you had a plan. I\'d have been interested to hear it. \n>\n\nMy p.s. thoughts falls roughly in line with John Stuart Mill and\nhis writings on Utilitarianism. I have no particular plan (except to do\nmy bit - personal ethics AND social work). My opinion (for what it is worth)\nis that the Authority for each Moral must be increased somehow, and that this\nwill probably take several generations to be effective. I don\'t think that the\nlist of Morals has changed for Society significantly, though . The Authority element\nmay come from our authority figures and roles models (see Eric Berne and his\ntransactional analysis work [+ Mavis Klein] for references) and this is what\ngives rise to a deterioration of moral standards in the long term.\n\nI\'ve had some more thoughts on my definitions:\n\nI\'ve was thinking that I should add Moral Character to the list of definitions\nin order to get a dynamic version of the Moral Nature (ie. the interplay of\nthe Moral Code and associated Authorities). A suitable analogy might be a\ngraphic equaliser on a HiFi system - the Moral Nature being the set of\nfrequencies and the chosen \'amplitudes\', and the Moral Character being the\nspectrum over time.\n\nConscience is a little more difficult because I can\'t define it as the\nreasoning of a person between actions in the context of his Moral Nature\nbecause Conscience seems to cut in most of the time unbidden and often\nunwanted. I think Conscience is manifest when a decision is made at a given\ntime which compromises one\'s Moral Nature. My Conscience fits in more with\nFreud\'s SuperEgo (plus the Moral Driver) with the stimulous being the\nurges or Freud\'s Id. The reasoning that I mentioned before is Freud\'s Ego,\nI suppose. If the Moral Driver is part of the Id then the reason why\nConscience cuts in unbidden is partially explained. The question is "what\nprovides the stimulous to activate the Moral driver?". I think I need some\nmore time with this one.\n\nThat\'s about it for now!\n\nDavid.\n\n---\nOn religion:\n\n"Oh, where is the sea?", the fishes cried,\nAs they swam its clearness through.\n\n',
  'From: Tony Lezard <tony@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Re: atheist?\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nLines: 50\n\nI3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau) writes:\n\n> In article <ii1i2B1w165w@mantis.co.uk>\n> Tony Lezard <tony@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n>  \n> (Deletion)\n> >\n> >My opinion is that the strong atheist position requires too much\n> >belief for me to be comfortable with. Any strong atheists out there\n> >care to comment? \n>[...]\n> Humans just come up with the idea of a spiritual parent. It is one\n> of the artifacts of human thought. The evidence for that is quite\n> overwhelming. And the information content of the conceived is vanishing.\n>  \n> In other words, if there were gods, they would hardly make sense, and\n> it is possible to explain the phenomenon of religion without gods.\n>  \n> The concept is useless, and I don\'t have to introduce new assumptions\n> in order to show that.\n>  \n> No leap of faith required for me. Your mileage may vary.\n\nYes I fully agree with that, but is it "I don\'t believe gods exist", or\n"I believe no gods exist"? As MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats Andtbacka)\npointed out, it all hinges on what you take the word "believe" to mean.\n\nUnfortunately this is bound up in the definitions of strong and weak\natheism, at least according to the FAQ:\n\n# Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of God.\n# Some atheists go further, and believe that God does not exist.  The former is\n# often referred to as the "weak atheist" position, and the latter as "strong\n# atheism".\n# \n# It is important to note the difference between these two positions.  "Weak\n# atheism" is simple scepticism; disbelief in the existence of God.  "Strong\n# atheism" is a positive belief that God does not exist.  Please do not\n# fall into the trap of assuming that all atheists are "strong atheists".\n\n(From mathew\'s "An Introduction to Atheism" version 1.2 last modified 5-Apr-93)\n\nShould the FAQ be clarified to try to pin down this notion of "belief"?\nCan it?\n\n-- \nTony Lezard IS tony@mantis.co.uk OR tony%mantis.co.uk@uknet.ac.uk OR things\nlike tony%uk.co.mantis@uk.ac.nsfnet-relay OR (last resort) arl10@phx.cam.ac.uk\nPGP 2.2 public key available on request.\n\n',
  "From: merlyn@digibd.digibd.com (Merlyn LeRoy)\nSubject: Re: 14 Apr 93 God's Promise in 1 John 1: 7\nNntp-Posting-Host: digibd.digibd.com\nOrganization: DigiBoard, Incorporated, Eden Prairie,MN\nLines: 13\n\nbrian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615) writes:\n>In article <bskendigC5Ku3C.6Dx@netcom.com> bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig) writes:\n>>I've asked your god several times with all my heart to come to me...\n\n>Brian K., I am pleased with your honesty.  And to be honest as well, I\n>believe you have not asked my god to come to you.  Why do I say this?\n\nBecause that would contradict your religious beliefs; therefore,\nyou feel more comfortable simply accusing his sincerity, so you will\nnot have to critically examine your religious beliefs.\n\n---\nMerlyn LeRoy\n",
  'From: parys@ccsua.ctstateu.edu\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nKeywords: Success\nLines: 140\nNntp-Posting-Host: ccsua.ctstateu.edu\nOrganization: Yale University, Department of Computer Science, New Haven, CT\n\nI told some friends of mine two weeks ago that Koresh was dead.  The FBI and\nthe BATF could not let a man like that live.  He was a testimonial to their\nstupidity and lies.    \n\nNow before everyone gets crazy with me, let me say that Koresh was crazy as \na bed bug, but out government was crazier...and they lied to us.\n\nThey told us compound had been under survaillance for quite some time.  Yet, \nwhoever was watching the place failed to see that Koresh went jogging and into\ntown on a regular basis.  Everyone in the area claimed to have seen him and \nwondered why they didn\'t pick him up then.  There are two possible answers.\nFirst, they didn\'t see him.  What kind of survaillance is that?  Second, they\ndidn\'t care.  They wanted a confrontation.  They wanted publicity and they got\nit.\n\nAfter the first battle, they told us that they did not know he knew they were\ncoming.  They also said it would have been foolish to go in knowing that.\nWell, we know now that they intercepted the informants call and went in anyway.\n\nDid they explore all of the possibilities for ending the seige?  According to\nthem they did, but according to the Hartford Courant, the woman that raised\nKoresh (His Grandmother) was not allowed to go in and see him.                 \n The FBI agent who she spoke with was Bob Ricks and according to the paper he\nsaid:\n\n"A lot of people think if you just talk to them logically they will come out.\nHis grandmother raised Vernon Howell; (Koresh\'s Real name)  she didn\'t raise\nDavid Koresh."\n\nSomeone who raises you and loves you does not speak to you strickly on a\nlogical level.  There is also an emotional level on which they can reach you.\n\nHere\'s another one.  All during this operation the FBI has been claiming that\nthey feared a mass suicide and that is one of the reasons that something must\nbe done.  Now they claim they never thought he would do it?\n\nI knew they were going to do something when they started talking about how\nmuch money this was costing.  That was the start of the "Justification" part\npart of the plan.  That\'s when I knew it would come soon.\n\nBut, back to the plan.  It is considered "Cruel and Unusal Punishment" to\nexecute criminals in the minds of many people, but look at what\'s acceptable.\n\nThey knew the parents (adults) had gas masks.  They did not know, or were not\nsure, if the children had them.  So the plan was to pour the gas into the \ncompound.  The mothers, seeing what the gas was doing to their children were\nsupposed to run out and that would only leave the men to deal with.\n\nI spent two years in the army and like everyother veteran I went through CBR\n(Chemical, Biological Radiological) warfare training.  Part of that training\nis going into a room filled with the same stuff that the children were\nsubjected to.  To make the stuff really interesting the gas also has a chemical \nagent that irritates the skin.  You think its on fire.\n\nI have no doubts the children would become hysterical.  Its not the kind of\nthing you never want to do again.  This was the plan, the final solution.\n\nWe waited 444 days for our hostages to come home from Iran.  We gave these\npeople 51 days.  \n\nI stated on several occasions that there was absolutely nothing in this whole\nthing that the government could point to as a success.  Well, FBI agent Ricks\nchanged my mind.  Again a newclip from the Hartford Courant:\n\n"And while expressing regret at the loss of life, he suggested that the\noperation had been at least a modified success because not a single federal\nshot had been fired and not a single federal agent had been hurt."\n\nIt took 17 dead children to get us that new definition of success.\n\nOne more thought.  The government claimed that they believed he had automatic\nweapons on the premises. \n                                                      \n        HE HAD A LICENSE FOR THE 50 CALIBER MACHINE GUN!\n\nTHEY KNEW DAMN WELL HE HAD ONE. THEY ALSO KNEW HE HAD IT LEGALLY!\n\nStill, without the element of surprise they sent in agents to get him.\nFor all of this my President takes full responsibility.  What a guy!\nI hope he gets it.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIn article <exuptr.1431.0@exu.ericsson.se>, exuptr@exu.ericsson.se (Patrick Taylor, The Sounding Board) writes:\n> In article <11974@prijat.cs.uofs.edu> bill@triangle.cs.uofs.edu (Bill Gunshannon) writes:\n> \n>>Before you go absolving the BATF & FBI of all blame in this incident, you should\n>>probably be aware of two important facts.\n>>1.  There is no such thing as non-toxic tear gas.  Tear gas is non-breathable\n>>    remaining in it\'s presence will cause nausea and vomiting, followed eventually\n>>    by siezures and death.  Did the FBI know the physical health of all the people\n>>    they exposed??  Any potential heart problems among the B-D\'s??\n> \n> No doubt it is dangerous stuff when concentrated.\n> \n>>2.  Have you ever seen a tear gas canister??  Tear gas is produced by burning a\n>>    chemical in the can.  The fumes produced are tear gas.  The canister has a \n>>    warning printed on the side of it.  "Contact with flamable material can result\n>>    in fire."  Now, how many of these canisters did they throw inside a building \n>>    they admited was a fire-trap??\n> \n> None.  They used non-incindiary methods, which means they produced the gas \n> outside the building and pumped it in via the tanks.\n> \n> ---\n>  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------\n>  ---------Visit the SOUNDING BOARD BBS +1 214 596 2915, a Wildcat! BBS-------\n> \n>  ObDis: All opinions are specifically disclaimed. No one is responsible.\n> \n>     Patrick Taylor, Ericsson Network Systems  THX-1138\n>     exuptr@exu.ericsson.se                    "Don\'t let the .se fool you"\n',
  'From: kevin@rotag.mi.org (Kevin Darcy)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Who, me???\nLines: 41\n\nIn article <1qme79$c0k@kyle.eitech.com> ekr@kyle.eitech.com (Eric Rescorla) writes:\n>In article <1qm36b$gn2@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n>>In article <1qktj3$bn9@squick.eitech.com> ekr@squick.eitech.com (Eric Rescorla) writes:\n>>#In article <1qkn1t$59l@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n>\n>>#Like I said before, DES works whether I value my privacy or\n>>#not.\n>>\n>>O.K., which DES?  The abstract function DES? that stops working in any \n>>important sense if no-one cares for the importance of truth, mathematics, \n>>meaning, information, etc.  A DES chip or DES s/w?  That stops working in any \n>>important sense if no-one values science, objective reality, etc.   DES\n>>does not work in a value vacuum.  Nothing else does, either.\n>\n>This is just truth by blatant assertion. Your "in any important sense"\n>seem to be just weasel words. Imagine that I have a box which\n>accepts 16 bytes and uses the first 8 to ECB the second 8.\n>It still does a perfect job of DESing, whether or not any input\n>is being made at the time--whether or not anyone values mathematics..\n\nIf no-one looks at the results, or acknowledges their correctness, in what\nmeaningful sense can the chip be said to "work"?? Does flibozity exist?\nBy "flibozity", I mean a particular, extremely complex configuration of \nphysical phenomena, which no-one, absolutely NO-ONE cares about in the \nslightest. Does it exist, Eric?\n\nGetting back to the question of whether the DES chip "works", doesn\'t "work" \nmean something like "achieving the desired/expected effect"? Note the way \nintentionality subtly underlies that definition. Even if we take the \ndefinition as "expected", instead of "desired", can you deny that conformance \nto expectations is itself a value of sorts, namely the scientific values of \naccuracy-of-prediction and reproducibility-of-results?\n\nThe phenomenologist Husserl, for one, considered Intentionality to be the\nprimary ontological "stuff" from which all other ontology was built --\nperceptions, consciousness, thoughts, etc. Frank is by no means alone in\nseeing intentionality (or "values", as he puts it) underlying all human\nexperience, even the so-called "objective" experiences, such as \nmeasurements of the natural world, or the output of your DES chip.\n\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t- Kevin\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: islamic genocide\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 21\n\n> O.K., so pick former Yugoslavia instead and say their problems are caused\n> by communism, it doesn't really matter.  But I guess religious leaders are\n> calling for an end to that, too, so it can't be religiously motivated.  This\n> despite the fact that the Christians carve crosses in dead Muslims chests.\n> Maybe they just want land.  Maybe its something else they want.  Maybe the\n> cross carvings are just accidental.  I don't know.  Just looks suspicious.\n\nMost likely the tragic situation in Bosnia is a combination of ethnical\nand religious motives, where religion is just one attribute that separates\nthe groups from each other.\n\nBut I must agree that the sad saga in Bosnia is a terrible example\nof a case where religion is not helping, instead it is used as a weapon\nagainst other humans. And my sympathies are mostly on the Bosnian side,\nit looks like the Serbs are the oppressors, willing to use even\nChristianity as a weapon against their former friends.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  "From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: Jews can't hide from keith@cco.\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 16\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1993Apr3.153552.4334@mac.cc.macalstr.edu>, acooper@mac.cc.macalstr.edu writes:\n|> In article <1pint5$1l4@fido.asd.sgi.com>, livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes\n>\n> Well, Germany was hardly the ONLY country to discriminate against the \n> Jews, although it has the worst reputation because it did the best job \n> of expressing a general European dislike of them.  This should not turn \n> into a debate on antisemitism, but you should also point out that Luther's\n>  antiSemitism was based on religious grounds, while Hitler's was on racial \n> grounds, and Wagnmer's on aesthetic grounds.  Just blanketing the whole \n> group is poor analysis, even if they all are bigots.\n\nI find these to be intriguing remarks.   Could you give us a bit\nmore explanation here?   For example, which religion is anti-semitic,\nand which aesthetic?\n\njon.\n",
  'From: "Robert Knowles" <p00261@psilink.com>\nSubject: Re: Suggestion for "resources" FAQ\nIn-Reply-To: <C5qKDy.40D@liverpool.ac.uk>\nNntp-Posting-Host: 127.0.0.1\nOrganization: Kupajava, East of Krakatoa\nX-Mailer: PSILink-DOS (3.3)\nLines: 34\n\n>DATE:   Mon, 19 Apr 1993 15:01:10 GMT\n>FROM:   Bruce Stephens <bruce@liverpool.ac.uk>\n>\n>I think a good book summarizing and comparing religions would be good.\n>\n>I confess I don\'t know of any---indeed that\'s why I checked the FAQ to see\n>if it had one---but I\'m sure some alert reader does.\n>\n>I think the list of books suffers far too much from being Christian based;\n>I agree that most of the traffic is of this nature (although a few Islamic\n>references might be good) but I still think an overview would be nice.\n\nOne book I have which presents a fairly unbiased account of many religions\nis called _Man\'s Religions_ by John B. Noss.  It was a textbook in a class\nI had on comparative religion or some such thing.  It has some decent\nbibliographies on each chapter as a jumping off point for further reading.\n\nIt doesn\'t "compare" religions directly but describes each one individually\nand notes a few similarities.  But nothing I have read in it could be even\nremotely described as preachy or Christian based.  In fact, Christianity\nmercifully consumes only 90 or so of its nearly 600 pages.  The book is\ndivided according to major regions of the world where the biggies began \n(India, East Asia, Near East).  There is nothing about New World religions\nfrom the Aztecs, Mayas, Incas, etc.  Just the stuff people kill each\nother over nowadays.  And a few of the older religions snuffed out along\nthe way.  \n\nIf you like the old stuff, then a couple of books called "The Ancient Near\nEast" by James B. Pritchard are pretty cool.  Got the Epic of Gilgamesh,\nCode of Hammurabi, all the stuff from way back when men were gods and gods\nwere men.  Essential reading for anyone who wishes to make up their own\nreligion and make it sound real good.\n\n\n',
  'From: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 43\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.071814.27960@wam.umd.edu>, judi@wam.umd.edu (Jay T Stein -- objectively subjective) writes:\n>> = <1qhn7m$a95@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer)\n>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=\n>[culled from a discussion on Christianity and objective morals]\n>\n>Question:  Is there any effective difference between:\n>\n>"Objective values exist, and there is disagreement over what they are"\n>\n>and\n>\n>"Values are subjective?"\n>\n>I don\'t see any.\n>\n\n\n\nIs there any difference in saying \n\n"Absolute Truth exists, but some people think its a lie"\n\nand\n\n"Truth is relative" ?\n\nI think there is:  in both examples, the first statement is a\nfundamental disagreement between at least two people; the \nsecond statement is agreed upon by all.\n\nTo put it another way, someone who says objective values exist\ndoes not agree that values are subjective.\n\n-jim halat\n\n                                                                           \n                                                                           \n                                                                           \n                                                                           \n                                                                           \n                                                                           \n                                                                           \n                                                                           \n',
  'From: brian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615)\nSubject: To Rob Lanphier\nOrganization: Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, Tucson AZ.\nLines: 82\n\nDear Rob,\n\n>When I read Brian K.\'s postings, I find someone who is honestly seeking\n>the truth.  When I read your response here, I see condescension.  When you\n>reply to a post, reply to the post you quote.  This statement undermines\n>any good points you might have had (it was enough to make me stop reading).\n\nSometimes I do come across condesending, and I am sorry I come across that\nway at times.  Thank you for the reproach, I really do appreciate it.  I\'ll\ntry to get better.\n\nRob, at the same time, I have also learned that some people respond to the gentle\napproach while others respond only at a harsh rebuke.  Brian K., so far,\nonly responds to the latter.  And I am glad he responds at all.   In both\ncases of approach,  my intention is to be loving.  I am making no excuse\nfor myself if I am coming across condesending.  I apologize for that.\n\nRob, sometimes Brian K. comes across as honest. I know this.  But Brian K. \nvasillates back and forth.  One post looks honest; the next is\nan excuse.  Now he wants me to explain the universe in 50 words or less.  \nI think Brian Kendig is really trying but he is too comfortable with\nhis set of excuses.  \n\nI just want Brian K. to be honest with himself.  If he really wants\nto know, he will ask questions and stop asserting irrelevant excuses\nwhich have nothing to do with my God.   I wish Brian would read the\nBible for himself and come to his own decisions without being\nsidetracked with the temptation to mock God.\n\nFrom my perspective Rob, when I look at Brian Kendig, I see a man\nstanding out in the middle of a highway.  Off into the distance I \nsee a Mack truck heading right for him, but Brian K. is faced away\nfrom the oncoming truck.  He doesn\'t see it.   Here\'s is how I see\nthe dialog:\n\n\nMe:  "Brian K, please step aside before you get run over." \n\nBK:  "There is no truck."\n\nMe:  "Turn around at look."\n\nBK:  "No."\n\nMe:  "Look!  You will be healthier if you do take a look at\n     the oncoming truck."\n\nBK:  "No. Explain to me why trucks exist."\n\nMe:  "Turn around or you will run over."\n\nBK:  "No. I won\'t because I like hiking and tomorrow is Tuesday."\n\nMe:  "You blind fool!  Why do you choose ignorance? You have nothing\n      to lose if you look.  But if do not look, you will certainly lose your life."\n      I do not want to see you squashed all over the road.\n\nBK:  "It is my life to lose.  I rather not look.\n      Besides, a truck running over me will not harm me."\n      And by the way, I really have an open mind."\n\n\nSo is my motivation to belittle Brian, or to love Brian the best I know how?   \n\nI do not wish to single Brian Kendig out.  Because millions if not\nbillions of people fall into the same category.  Perhaps all people\nfall have fallen into this category at one time in their lives.  I have.\nI can now see the truck behind Brian.\n\nMy hope is that Brian will look and will see the ramifications of the\ntruck coming towards him.  My hope is that Brian will want to step out\nof the way.  My fear, though,  is that Brian will instead choose to glue himself\nto the middle of the highway, where he will certainly get run over.  But if\nhe so chooses, he so chooses, and there is nothing I can do beyond that\nto change his mind.   For it is his choice.   But at this very moment,\nBrian hasn\'t gotten even that far.  He is still at the point where he\ndoes not want to look.  Sure he moves his eyeball to appease me, but his\nhead will not turn around to see the entire picture.  So far he is\nsatisfied with his glimpse of the mountains off in the distance. \n\nThank you again Rob for your reproach.  I really do appreciate it.  (My\nwife tells me the same thing at times.)   :-)   I will try to do better.\n',
  'From: perry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: Decision Support Inc.\nLines: 72\nNNTP-Posting-Host: bozo.dsinc.com\n\nI apologize for the long delay in getting a response to this posted.\nI\'ve been working reduced hours the past couple of weeks because I had\na son born (the day after Umar\'s article was posted, btw).  I did\nrespond within a couple of days, but it turns out that a a\ncoincidental news software rearrangement caused postings from this\nsite to silently disappear rather than going out into the world.  This\nis a revision of that original response.\n\nIn article <C52q47.7Ct@ra.nrl.navy.mil> khan@itd.itd.nrl.navy.mil (Umar Khan) writes:\n>In article <1ps98fINNm2u@dsi.dsinc.com> perry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry) writes:\n>>Only a functional illiterate with absolutely no conception of the\n>>nature of the novel could think such a thing.\n\n[this was in response to the claim that "Rushdie made false statements\nabout the life of Mohammed", with the disclaimer "(fiction, I know,\nbut where is the line between fact and fiction?) - I stand by this\ndistinction between fiction and "false statements"]\n\n>>However, it\'s not for his writing in _The Satanic Verses_, but for\n>>what people have accepted as a propagandistic version of what is\n>>contained in that book.  I have yet to find *one single muslim* who\n>>has convinced me that they have read the book.  Some have initially\n>>claimed to have done so, but none has shown more knowledge of the book\n>>than a superficial Newsweek story might impart, and all have made\n>>factual misstatements about events in the book.\n>\n>You keep saying things like this.  Then, you accuse people like me of\n>making ad hominem arguments.  I repeat, as I have said in previous\n>postings on AA: I *have* read TSV from cover to cover\n\nI had not seen that claim, or I might have been less sweeping.  You\nhave made what I consider factual misstatements about events in the\nbook, which I have raised in the past, in the "ISLAM: a clearer view"\nthread as well as the root of the "Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]"\nthread.  My statement was not that you had not read the book, but that\nyou had not convinced me that you [inter alia] had.  As I said before,\nif you want to defend your position, then produce evidence, and\nrespond to the evidence I have posted; so far you have not.  Of\ncourse, my statement was not directly aimed at you, but broadly at a\nnumber of Muslim posters who have repeated propaganda about the book,\nindicating that they haven\'t read it, and narrowly at Gregg Jaeger,\nwho subsequently admitted that he hadn\'t in fact read the book,\nvindicating my skepticism in at least that one case.\n\nSo far, the only things I have to go on regarding your own case are a)\nthe statements you made concerning the book in the "a clearer view"\nposting, which I have challenged (not interpretation, but statements\nof fact, for instance "Rushdie depicts the women of the most\nrespected family in all of Islam as whores"), and b) your claim (which\nI had not seen before this) that you have indeed read it cover to\ncover.  I am willing to try to resolve this down to a disagreement on\ncritical interpretation, but you\'ll have to support your end, by\nresponding to my criticism.  I have no doubt as to the ability of a\nparticular Muslim to go through this book with a highlighter finding\npassages to take personal offense at, but you have upheld the view\nthat "TSV *is* intended as an attack on Islam and upon Muslims".  This\nview must be defended by more than mere assertion, if you want anyone\nto take it seriously.\n\n>I am trying very hard to be amicable and rational.  \n\nAnd I appreciate it, but welcome to the club.  I am defending my\nhonest opinion that this book should not be construed as a calculated\n(or otherwise) insulting attack on Islam, and the parallel opinion\nthat most of the criticism of the book I have seen is baseless\npropaganda.  I have supported my statements and critical\ninterpretationa with in-context quotes from the book and Rushdie\'s\nessays, which is more than my correspondents have done.  Of course,\nyou are more than welcome to do so.\n-- \nJim Perry   perry@dsinc.com   Decision Support, Inc., Matthews NC\nThese are my opinions.  For a nominal fee, they can be yours.\n',
  ' sgiblab!adagio.panasonic.com!nntp-server.caltech.edu!keith\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nFrom: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\n <1p6rgcINNhfb@gap.caltech.edu> <1p88fi$4vv@fido.asd.sgi.com> \n <1p9bseINNi6o@gap.caltech.edu> <1pamva$b6j@fido.asd.sgi.com> <1pcq4pINNqp1@gap.caltech.edu> <30071@ursa.bear.com>\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\nLines: 22\n\nhalat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat) writes:\n\n>>I think an objective morality does exist, but that most flavors of morality\n>>are only approximations to it.  Once again, a natural or objective morality\n>>is fairly easily defined, as long as you have a goal in mind--that is, what\n>>is the purpose of this morality.\n>Maybe I\'m not quite getting what you mean by this, but I think objective \n>morality is an oxymoron.  By definition, it seems, any _goal_ oriented \n>issue like this is subjective by nature.  I don\'t get how you\'re using\n>the word objective.\n\nBut, the goal need not be a subjective one.  For instance, the goal of\nnatural morality is the propogation of a species, perhaps.  It wasn\'t\nreally until the more intelligent animals came along that some revisions\nto this were necessary.  Intelligent animals have different needs than\nthe others, and hence a morality suited to them must be a bit more\ncomplicated than "the law of the jungle."  I don\'t think that\nself-actualization is so subjective as you might think.  And, by\nobjectivity, I am assuming that the ideals of any such system could be\ncarried out completely.\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: anthropo@carina.unm.edu (Dominick V. Zurlo)\nSubject: Re: [soc.motss, et al.] "Princeton axes matching funds for Boy Scouts"\nOrganization: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque\nLines: 30\nNNTP-Posting-Host: carina.unm.edu\n\nIn article <1993Apr5.011255.7295@cbnewsl.cb.att.com> stank@cbnewsl.cb.att.com (Stan Krieger) writes:\n>Now can we please use rec.scouting for the purpose for which it was\n>established?  Clearly we netnews voters decided that we did not want to\n>provide a scouting newsgroup to give fringe groups a forum for their\n>anti-societal political views.\n\nOk, this is the only thing I will comment on from Stan at this time...\npart of this forum we call rec.scouting is for policy discussions and\nrelated topics.  This is a policy discussion, and involves related \ntopics.  this is not a "fringe" group discussion.  obviously, it \nengenders strong feelings from all sides of the issues at hand. \nWether a particular view is anti-societal or not is your opinion, \nand yours alone, don\'t try to make it seem otherwise. \nIf you do not wish to engage in this discussion, use a kill file. \nIf you wish to continue in this discussion, please do so, knowing \nfull well the implications that apply.\nI know for myself that I plan on continuing with the discussion when \ni have the wish to have input.  I for one am tired of people trying to \nsay that this is not a matter significant for this group!  It is, and \nquite so. Especially for those of us who feel the impact more closely.\n\n\n****************************************************************\n*  Dominick V. Zurlo              *    "If the world\'s an      *\n*  WWW                            *    oyster, why am I        *\n*  Eagle Scout \'87                *    allergic to Mollusks?"  *\n*  blacklisted \'88                *                            *\n****************************************************************\n\n\n',
  "Subject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nFrom: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine)\nOrganization: Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton,  OR.\nLines: 47\n\nIn article <1993Apr3.212139.14076@blaze.cs.jhu.edu> arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu (Ken Arromdee) writes:\n>In article <1pj9bs$d4j@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n>>I would say that one innocent person killed is in some sense\n>>as bad as many.   We certainly feel that way when we punish\n>>someone for a single murder.\n>>Now if we reform system X, by reducing the number of deaths\n>>by one, we produce system XX.    I'd say we should not go back\n>>to system X, even though by doing so we would re-introduce only \n>>a single extra death.\n>\n>Bob seems to think that one is as bad as many in a sense somewhat stronger than\n>the one you indicate.\n>--\n\n  Yes, I do.  \n\n  My argument is that the sole purpose of the death penalty is to\n  kill people.  That is it's primary (and I would argue only)\n  purpose.  To continue to kill people by a practice that has\n  almost no utility, especially when you know you will be killing\n  innocents, is unconscionable.\n\n  At the very least, the existence of the prison system and our\n  transportation system are based on their merits to society, not\n  their detriments.  We are willing to accept a few lost innocent\n  lives because there is an overwhelming benefit to the continued\n  existence of these systems.  One has to stretch the evidence and\n  the arguments to make the same claim for capital punishment.\n\n  Just in case I wasn't clear again:  We maintain a capital\n  punsihment system that kills innocent people and provides us with\n  no net positive gain.  Why?\n\n  Were you to pin me in a corner and ask, I would have to respond\n  that I don't belief the state should have the right to take life\n  at all.  But I won't open that debate, as it seems others are\n  tiring of this thread on a.a anyway.\n\n\n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n\nBob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n\nThey said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\nand sank Manhattan out at sea.\n\n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n",
  "From: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nSubject: Re: The nonexistance of Atheists?!\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 38\n\n>In article <kutluk.734797558@ccl.umist.ac.uk> kutluk@ccl.umist.ac.uk (Kutluk Ozguven) writes:\n>>Atheists are not\n>>mentioned in the Quran because from a Quranic point of view, and a\n>>minute's reasoning, one can see that there is no such thing.\n\n\nI guess that's why scientists probably aren't mentioned either.  Or\nstock brokers.  Or television repairmen.  \n\nIt's precious to know just how deep the brainwashing from childhood\n( that it takes to progress a religion ) cleans away a very substantial\npart of the reasoning neurons.\n\nBut don't mind me;  I don't exist.\n\n-jim halat\n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n                                                                            \n\n",
  'From: mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Re: A visit from the Jehovah\'s Witnesses\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nX-Newsreader: rusnews v1.01\nLines: 37\n\nsuopanki@stekt.oulu.fi writes:\n> On 5 Apr 93 11:24:30 MST, jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com said:\n> :> God is eternal.    [A = B]\n> :> Jesus is God.      [C = A]\n> :> Therefore, Jesus is eternal.  [C = B]\n> \n> :> This works both logically and mathematically.  God is of the set of\n> :> things which are eternal.  Jesus is a subset of God.   Therefore\n> :> Jesus belongs to the set of things which are eternal.\n> \n> Everything isn\'t always so logical....\n> \n> Mercedes is a car.\n> That girl is Mercedes.\n> Therefore, that girl is a car?\n\nUnfortunately your phrasing is ambiguous.  Re-writing more carefully, we have\n(at least) two possibilities.  The first:\n\nThings called "Mercedes" are cars\nThat girl is called "Mercedes"\nTherefore that girl is a car\n\nThat is entirely valid as a piece of logical deduction.  It is not sound,\nbecause the first statement is false.  Similarly, I would hold that Jim\'s\nexample is valid but not sound.\n\nAnother possible interpretation of what you wrote is:\n\nThere exists at least one car called "Mercedes"\nThat girl is called "Mercedes"\nTherefore that girl is a car\n\n-- which isn\'t valid.\n\n\nmathew\n',
  "From: cjhs@minster.york.ac.uk\nSubject: Re: free moral agency\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Department of Computer Science, University of York, England\nLines: 11\n\n: Are you saying that their was a physical Adam and Eve, and that all\n: humans are direct decendents of only these two human beings.?  Then who\n: were Cain and Able's wives?  Couldn't be their sisters, because A&E\n: didn't have daughters.  Were they non-humans?\n\nGenesis 5:4\n\nand the days of Adam after he begat Seth were eight hundred years, and\nhe begat sons and daughters:\n\nFelicitations -- Chris Ho-Stuart\n",
  'From: jimh@carson.u.washington.edu (James Hogan)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nKeywords: slander calumny\nOrganization: University of Washington, Seattle\nLines: 60\nNNTP-Posting-Host: carson.u.washington.edu\n\nIn article <1993Apr16.222525.16024@bnr.ca> (Rashid) writes:\n>In article <1993Apr16.171722.159590@zeus.calpoly.edu>,\n>jmunch@hertz.elee.calpoly.edu (John Munch) wrote:\n>> \n>> In article <1993Apr15.212943.15118@bnr.ca> (Rashid) writes:\n>> >P.S. I\'m not sure about this but I think the charge of "shatim" also\n>> >applies to Rushdie and may be encompassed under the umbrella\n>> >of the "fasad" ruling.\n>> \n>> Please define the words "shatim" and "fasad" before you use them again.\n>\n>My apologies. "Shatim", I believe, refers to slandering or spreading\n>slander and lies about the Prophets(a.s) - any of the Prophets.\n\nBasically, any prophet I\'ve ever dealt with has either been busy \nhawking stolen merchandise or selling swampland house lots in \nFlorida.  Then you hear all the stories of sexual abuse by prophets\nand how the families of victims were paid to keep quiet about it.\n\n>It\'s a kind of willful caulmny and "cursing" that\'s indicated by the\n>word. This is the best explanation I can come up with off the top\n>of my head - I\'ll try and look up a more technical definition when I\n>have the time.\n\nNever mind that, but let me tell you about this Chevelle I bought \nfrom this dude (you guessed it, a prophet) named Mohammed.  I\'ve\ngot the car for like two days when the tranny kicks, then Manny, \nmy mechanic, tells me it was loaded with sawdust!  Take a guess\nwhether "Mohammed" was anywhere to be found.  I don\'t think so.\n\n>\n>"Fasad" is a little more difficult to describe. Again, this is not\n>a technical definition - I\'ll try and get that later. Literally,\n\nOh, Mohammed!\n\n>the word "fasad" means mischief. But it\'s a mischief on the order of\n>magnitude indicated by the word "corruption". It\'s when someone who\n>is doing something wrong to begin with, seeks to escalate the hurt,\n\nYeah, you, Mohammed!\n\n>disorder, concern, harm etc. (the mischief) initially caused by their \n>actions. The "wrong" is specifically related to attacks against\n>"God and His Messenger" and mischief, corruption, disorder etc.\n\nYou slimy mass of pond scum!\n\n>resulting from that. The attack need not be a physical attack and there\n>are different levels of penalty proscribed, depending on the extent\n>of the mischief and whether the person or persons sought to \n>"make hay" of the situation. The severest punishment is death.\n\nYeah, right!  You\'re the one should be watching your butt.  You and\nyour buddy Allah.  The stereo he sold me croaked after two days.\nYour ass is grass!\n\nJim\n\nYeah, that\'s right, Jim.\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: Morality? (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 93\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1qlettINN8oi@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n|> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> >>>Explain to me\n|> >>>how instinctive acts can be moral acts, and I am happy to listen.\n|> >>For example, if it were instinctive not to murder...\n|> >\n|> >Then not murdering would have no moral significance, since there\n|> >would be nothing voluntary about it.\n|> \n|> See, there you go again, saying that a moral act is only significant\n|> if it is "voluntary."  Why do you think this?\n\nIf you force me to do something, am I morally responsible for it?\n\n|> \n|> And anyway, humans have the ability to disregard some of their instincts.\n\nWell, make up your mind.    Is it to be "instinctive not to murder"\nor not?\n\n|> \n|> >>So, only intelligent beings can be moral, even if the bahavior of other\n|> >>beings mimics theirs?\n|> >\n|> >You are starting to get the point.  Mimicry is not necessarily the \n|> >same as the action being imitated.  A Parrot saying "Pretty Polly" \n|> >isn\'t necessarily commenting on the pulchritude of Polly.\n|> \n|> You are attaching too many things to the term "moral," I think.\n|> Let\'s try this:  is it "good" that animals of the same species\n|> don\'t kill each other.  Or, do you think this is right? \n\nIt\'s not even correct.    Animals of the same species do kill\none another.\n\n|> \n|> Or do you think that animals are machines, and that nothing they do\n|> is either right nor wrong?\n\nSigh.   I wonder how many times we have been round this loop.\n\nI think that instinctive bahaviour has no moral significance.\nI am quite prepared to believe that higher animals, such as\nprimates, have the beginnings of a moral sense, since they seem\nto exhibit self-awareness.\n\n|> \n|> \n|> >>Animals of the same species could kill each other arbitarily, but \n|> >>they don\'t.\n|> >\n|> >They do.  I and other posters have given you many examples of exactly\n|> >this, but you seem to have a very short memory.\n|> \n|> Those weren\'t arbitrary killings.  They were slayings related to some \n|> sort of mating ritual or whatnot.\n\nSo what?     Are you trying to say that some killing in animals\nhas a moral significance and some does not?   Is this your\nnatural morality>\n\n\n|> \n|> >>Are you trying to say that this isn\'t an act of morality because\n|> >>most animals aren\'t intelligent enough to think like we do?\n|> >\n|> >I\'m saying:\n|> >\t"There must be the possibility that the organism - it\'s not \n|> >\tjust people we are talking about - can consider alternatives."\n|> >\n|> >It\'s right there in the posting you are replying to.\n|> \n|> Yes it was, but I still don\'t understand your distinctions.  What\n|> do you mean by "consider?"  Can a small child be moral?  How about\n|> a gorilla?  A dolphin?  A platypus?  Where is the line drawn?  Does\n|> the being need to be self aware?\n\nAre you blind?   What do you think that this sentence means?\n\n\t"There must be the possibility that the organism - it\'s not \n\tjust people we are talking about - can consider alternatives."\n\nWhat would that imply?\n\n|> \n|> What *do* you call the mechanism which seems to prevent animals of\n|> the same species from (arbitrarily) killing each other?  Don\'t\n|> you find the fact that they don\'t at all significant?\n\nI find the fact that they do to be significant. \n\njon.\n',
  'From: ingles@engin.umich.edu (Ray Ingles)\nSubject: Re: Yeah, Right\nOrganization: University of Michigan Engineering, Ann Arbor\nLines: 49\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: agar.engin.umich.edu\n\nIn article <66014@mimsy.umd.edu> mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n>Benedikt Rosenau writes:\n>\n>>And what about that revelation thing, Charley?\n>\n>If you\'re talking about this intellectual engagement of revelation, well,\n>it\'s obviously a risk one takes.\n\n Ah, now here is the core question. Let me suggest a scenario.\n\n We will grant that a God exists, and uses revelation to communicate\nwith humans. (Said revelation taking the form (paraphrased from your\nown words) \'This infinitely powerful deity grabs some poor schmuck,\nmakes him take dictation, and then hides away for a few hundred years\'.)\n Now, there exists a human who has not personally experienced a\nrevelation. This person observes that not only do these revelations seem\nto contain elements that contradict rather strongly aspects of the\nobserved world (which is all this person has ever seen), but there are\nmany mutually contradictory claims of revelation.\n\n Now, based on this, can this person be blamed for concluding, absent\na personal revelation of their own, that there is almost certainly\nnothing to this \'revelation\' thing?\n\n>I\'m not an objectivist, so I\'m not particularly impressed with problems of\n>conceptualization.  The problem in this case is at least as bad as that of\n>trying to explain quantum mechanics and relativity in the terms of ordinary\n>experience.  One can get some rough understanding, but the language is, from\n>the perspective of ordinary phenomena, inconsistent, and from the\n>perspective of what\'s being described, rather inexact (to be charitable).\n>\n>An analogous situation (supposedly) obtains in metaphysics; the problem is\n>that the "better" descriptive language is not available.\n\n Absent this better language, and absent observations in support of the\nclaims of revelation, can one be blamed for doubting the whole thing?\n\n Here is what I am driving at: I have thought a long time about this. I\nhave come to the honest conclusion that if there is a deity, it is\nnothing like the ones proposed by any religion that I am familiar with.\n Now, if there does happen to be, say, a Christian God, will I be held\naccountable for such an honest mistake?\n\n Sincerely,\n\n Ray Ingles               ingles@engin.umich.edu\n\n "The meek can *have* the Earth. The rest of us are going to the\nstars!" - Robert A. Heinlein\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Food For Thought On Tyre\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 62\n\nI was curious to check out how many San Jose Mercury News mentioned\nTyre (1990-92). Here's the outcome from the research (condenced versions,\ncopyright San Jose Mercury news):\n\n---\n  Bombings in the two largest cities in southern Lebanon killed 11 people\nand \nwounded 80 others. A car bomb blew up in Tyre, killing 10 people and\nwounding \n75. A man was killed and five others seriously wounded in an explosion in \nNabatiye.\n---\n  An Israeli navy patrol boat attacked and sank a rubber guerrilla boat off\n\nsouthern Lebanon early today, killing the two men aboard, the army command \nsaid.\n  \n     It said in a communique that a Dvora patrol boat opened fire on the \nmotorized rubber dinghy north of Tyre after identifying it as hostile. The\narmy \nsaid no one on the Israeli boat was injured. The affiliation of the slain \nguerrillas was not immediately known.\n---\n  Rival factions of the guerrilla group led by terrorist mastermind Abu\nNidal \nbattled Sunday in Tyre, Lebanon, with machine guns and rocket-propelled \ngrenades, killing at least four people and wounding 15, police said.\n---\n Lebanon's mainstream Shiite Muslim militia said Thursday that it had \nuncovered a network of tunnels in a southern Lebanese village where it said\npro-\nIranian kidnappers had held Western hostages.\n  \n     Officials of the militia, Amal, led local journalists through the\ncatacomb-\nlike alleys and showed them two cells with iron doors at the village, \nKawthariyet al Siyad, near Tyre, the ancient port city, about 40 miles\nsouth of \nBeirut.\n  \n     The officials said they were certain that U.S. Marine Lt. Col. William\nR. \nHiggins was detained there shortly after he was seized by gunmen on a road \noutside Tyre in February 1988.\n--------------\n...anyway, I counted 20 articles during these 3 years of reporting. I also\nfound out the possible reason why the numbers for the inhabitants of the\ncity is defined between 14000 and 24000. It seems that Tyre is one of the\nplaces\nwhere people from Libanon flee to during more extensive bombings, so\nthere's\na constant flow of refugees entering and leaving Tyre (articles mentioned\nthousands of people entering and leaving this place).\n\nI counted 0 articles for my home town, Kristinestad, so from now I will\nconsider this place to be a fishing village :-).\n\nCheers,\nKent\n\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: jmunch@hertz.elee.calpoly.edu (John Munch)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nOrganization: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo\nLines: 11\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.212943.15118@bnr.ca> (Rashid) writes:\n>P.S. I\'m not sure about this but I think the charge of "shatim" also\n>applies to Rushdie and may be encompassed under the umbrella\n>of the "fasad" ruling.\n\nPlease define the words "shatim" and "fasad" before you use them again.\n\n/---- John David Munch ------------------ jmunch@hertz.elee.calpoly.edu ----\\\n|...." the heart can change, be full of hate, or love. If people are allowed|\n|to base their lives through their hearts, anything can happen. A dangerous |\n|situation, in my opinion." -Bobby Mozumder describing problems with atheism|\n',
  'From: frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Siemens-Nixdorf AG\nLines: 28\nNNTP-Posting-Host: d012s658.ap.mchp.sni.de\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.125245.12872@abo.fi> MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats Andtbacka) writes:\n|In <1qie61$fkt@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp writes:\n|> In article <30114@ursa.bear.com> halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat) writes:\n|\n|> #I\'m one of those people who does not know what the word objective means \n|> #when put next to the word morality.  I assume its an idiom and cannot\n|> #be defined by its separate terms.\n|> #\n|> #Give it a try.\n|> \n|> Objective morality is morality built from objective values.\n|\n|      "And these objective values are ... ?"\n|Please be specific, and more importantly, motivate.\n\nI\'ll take a wild guess and say Freedom is objectively valuable.  I base\nthis on the assumption that if everyone in the world were deprived utterly\nof their freedom (so that their every act was contrary to their volition),\nalmost all would want to complain.  Therefore I take it that to assert or\nbelieve that "Freedom is not very valuable", when almost everyone can see\nthat it is, is every bit as absurd as to assert "it is not raining" on\na rainy day.  I take this to be a candidate for an objective value, and it\nit is a necessary condition for objective morality that objective values\nsuch as this exist.\n\n-- \nFrank O\'Dwyer                                  \'I\'m not hatching That\'\nodwyer@sse.ie                                  from "Hens",  by Evelyn Conlon\n',
  'From: Thyagi@cup.portal.com (Thyagi Morgoth NagaSiva)\nSubject: OTO, the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars\nOrganization: The Portal System (TM)\nDistribution: world\n  <1993Apr14.130150.28931@lynx.dac.northeastern.edu>\nLines: 68\n\n93!04.16 e.v.  After the Glorious Eve of Taxation\n\nDo what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.\nThe word of Sin is Restriction.\n\n\n"To all whom it may concern -\n\n...\n\n"It is known only to a few that there exists an external visible\norganization of such men and women, who having themselves found\nthe path to real self-knowledge, and who, having travelled the\nburning sands, are willing to give the benefit of their experience,\nand to act as spiritual guides to those who are willing to be\nguided.\n\n"While numberless societies, associations, orders, groups etc.\nhave been founded during the last thirty years in all parts of\nthe civilised world, all following some line of occult study,\nyet there is but ONE ancient organization of genuine Mystics\nwhich shows the seeker after truth a Royal Road to discover\nThe Lost Mysteries of Antiquity, and to the Unveiling of the\nOne Hermetic Truth.\n\n"This organization is known at the present time as the Ancient\nOrder of Oriental Templars.  Ordo Templi Orientis.  Otherwise:\nThe Hermetic Brotherhood of Light.\n\n"It is a Modern School of Magic.  And, like the ancient schools\nof magic, it derived its knowledge from the East.  This Knowledge\nwas never its possessors.[sic] It was recorded in symbol, parable \nand allegory, requiring a Key for its interpretation....\n\n"This key can be placed within the reach of all those who... apply\nfor membership to the Oriental Templars (O.T.O.). \n\n"The O.T.O.... is a body of Initiates in whose hands are\nconcentrated the secret knowledge of all Oriental Orders and of all\nexisting Masonic Degrees....\n\n"The O.T.O., although an Academia Masonica, is not a Masonic Body,\nso far as the Craft degrees are concerned in the sense in which that\nexpression is usually understood in England, and therefore in no way\nconflicts with or infringes the just priveleges of the United Lodge\nof England.  English Master Masons in good standing, by arrangement,\non affiliation, are admitted at reduced charges.  Members of the IX\ndegree become part-proprietors of the Estates and Goods of the Order.\nFor further information see the publications of the O.T.O., and the\nsynopsis of the degrees of the O.T.O."\n\n\'Constitution of the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars,\n Ordo Templi Orientis\', \n\nby Frater Superior Merlin Peregrinus X Degree, \nPast Grand Master Albert Karl Theodor Reuss\n\n\nTaken from _Equinox III: 10_, \nEdited by Frater Superior Rex Summus Sanctissimus,\nUnited States Caliph of Ordo Templi Orientis\n\n\nInvoke me under my stars.  Love is the law, love under will.\n\nI am I!\n\nFrater (I) Nigris (DCLXVI) (CCCXXXIII) \n',
  'From: keegan@acm.rpi.edu (James G. Keegan Jr.)\nSubject: Re: Spreading Christianity (Re: Christian Extremist Kills Doctor)\nNntp-Posting-Host: hermes.acm.rpi.edu\nReply-To: keegan@hermes.acm.rpi.edu\nOrganization: T.S.A.K.C.\nLines: 15\n\nnyikos@math.scarolina.edu (Peter Nyikos) writes:\n\n->I addressed most of the key issues in this very long (284 lines) post\n->by Dean Kaflowitz in two posts yesterday.  The first was made into the\n->title post of a new thread, "Is Dean Kaflowitz terminally irony-impaired?"\n->and the second, more serious one appeared along the thread\n->"A Chaney Post, and a Challenge, reissued and revised"\n\nif you\'re so insecure about people reading your posts\nthat you feel the need to write new posts announcing\nwhat you wrote in old, posts, why bother? accept it\nPHoney, you\'re a laughingstock.\n\n\n\n',
  'From: rana@rintintin.Colorado.EDU (Nabeel Ahmad Rana)\nSubject: Re: New newsgroup: soc.religion.islam.ahmadiyya?\nNntp-Posting-Host: rintintin.colorado.edu\nOrganization: University of Colorado, Boulder\nLines: 68\n\n\nMr. Esam Abdel-Rahem writes:\n\n>I urge you all to vote NO to the formation of the news group \'\'AHMADYA.ISLAM\'\'.\n>If they want to have their own group, the word ISLAM shouldnot be attached to \n>the name of such group. We don\'t consider them as Muslims.\n\n\nDr. Tahir Ijaz comments on Esam Abdel-Rahem\'s statement:\n\n>But the problem is We consider ourself to be Muslims, even though you don\'t.\n>Luckily, faith is determined by what one believes and is a personal matter.\n>You cannot declare the faith of someone else.\n\n\nMr. Jawad Ali then comments on Tahir Ijaz\'s statement:\n\n>You are not considering the consequences of your argument.  The converse\n>would be that the problem is that Muslims dont consider Ahmadies to be\n>Muslims.  Who one considers to be one\'s co-believer is also a personal\n>matter.  It would be just as wrong to tell the Muslims who should be\n>included in their self-defination.\n\n\nThe argument by Jawad Ali is funny, He writes:\n"The converse would be that the problem is that Muslims dont consider\nAhmadies to be Muslims"\n\nWhich is a wrong statement. In the light of Dr. Ijaz\'s statement, the\nabove statement should be corrected:\n".......................................is that (some) non-Ahmadi Muslims\ndon\'t consider Ahmadi-Muslims as Muslims"\n\nSo, the problem does not get solved:-) Who is a muslims and who is not?\nHumans cannot decide. Humans may not declare others faiths. Its that \nsimple. I don\'t understand, why the mere use of the word "ISLAM" is\nbecomming such a big issue. I have seen numorous postings on the net\non this subject, and all they say, "No, NO, you cannot use ISLAM as \nthe name of your newsgroup". ?? \n\nI haven\'t seen a single posting stating what right do they have in declaring\nthe name of other\'s faiths? Who gives them this authority? Quran? or\nHadith? or something else? I want to know this! \n\nJust a small reminder to all my Muslim Brothers, Did _EVER_ the \nHoly Prophet of Islam (Muhammad PBUH), say to anyone who called\nhimself a Muslim:\n\nNo, You are not a Muslim ! ???????\n\nNEVER! I challenge all my Muslim brothers to produce a single \nsuch evidence from the history of Islam!\n\nHence, if the Prophet Muhammad could never do that to anyone, how\ncould the Muslims, Mullahs or even Governments of today do\nit to anyone. Do you consider yourself above the Holy Prophet \nMuhammad (PBUH) ?? \n\n\nSincerely,\nNabeel.\n\n\n-- \n||\\\\  ||         //\\\\     ||\\\\         *******************    (Note: \n|| \\\\ ||        //==\\\\    ||//         * LOVE FOR ALL    *     views    \n||  \\\\||abeel  //    \\\\.  ||\\\\ana      * HATRED FOR NONE *      are \n[e-mail: rana@rintintin.colorado.edu]  *******************     mine) \n',
  'From: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nSubject: Christians above the Law? was Clarification of personal position\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as \'guest\'.\nLines: 24\n\nIn article <C5MuIw.AqC@mailer.cc.fsu.edu> \ndlecoint@garnet.acns.fsu.edu (Darius_Lecointe) writes:\n>... other good stuff deleted ...\n>You can worship every day of the week.  The issue is not whether\n>Christians are at fault for going to church on Sunday or for not going to\n>church on Saturday.  Attending a church service does not mean you have\n>recognized the holiness of that day (my apologies to  Paul Hudson).  The\n>question is "On what authority do we proclaim that the requirements of the\n              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n>fourth commandment are no longer relevant to modern Christians?"  Please\n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n>note that the commandment does not command you to go to church, only to\n>keep it holy unto the Lord by refraining from doing on it what only serves\n>to give you pleasure and satisfaction.\n\nWhen are we going to hear a Christian answer to this question? \n\nIn paraphrase: \n\nOn what or whose authority do Christians proclaim that they\nare above the Law and above the Prophets (7 major and 12 minor) and not \naccountable to the Ten Commandments of which Jesus clearly spoke His opinion \nin Matthew 5:14-19? What is the source of this pseudo-doctrine? Who is\nthe pseudo-teacher? Who is the Great Deceiver?\n',
  "From: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nSubject: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (USA)\nLines: 22\nReply-To: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nNNTP-Posting-Host: hela.ins.cwru.edu\n\n\nKent:\n\n     You say that\n\n>There are about 4-10 competing Rosicrucian orders existing today,\n                      ^^^^^^^^^\n>most of them are spin-offs from OTO and other competing organizations\n>from the 19th century France/Germany. Maybe I should write an article\n                        Please don't!  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n>about all this, I spent some time investigating these organizations\n>and their conceptual world view systems.\n\n     Name just three *really* competing Rosicrucian Orders. I have\nprobably spent more time than you doing the same. \n\n     None of them are spin-offs from O.T.O. The opposite may be the\ncase. \n\nStudy Harder,\n\nTony\n",
  'From: darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice)\nSubject: Re: Ancient islamic rituals\nOrganization: Monash University, Melb., Australia.\nLines: 72\n\nIn <1pkqe2INN54n@lynx.unm.edu> cfaehl@vesta.unm.edu (Chris Faehl) writes:\n\n>In article <1993Apr3.081052.11292@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au>, darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) writes:\n>[deleted, to get to the point:]\n>> \n>> Therefore, in a nutshell, my opinion is that pre-marital sex makes the\n>> likelihood of extra-marital sex more probable.  Furthermore,\n>> in my opinion, extra-marital sex helps break down partnerships and leads\n>> to greater divorce rates.  This in turn, in my opinion, creates trauma\n>> and a less stable environment for children, who are then, in my opinion,\n>> more likely to grow up with psychological problems such as depression,\n>> etc.  And thus, sex outside of marriage is, in the long run, harmful to\n>> society.\n\n>I think that you are drawing links where there are none - having sex before\n>marriage has nothing to do with adultery once committed into marriage. The\n>issue as I see it is more of how committed you are to not foisting pain on\n>your spouse, and how confident you are about yourself. \n>\tIn addition, what someone does within their marriage is their own \n>business, not mine, and not yours. I have witnessed strong relationships\n>that incorporate extra-marital sex. \n>\tI would agree with your assertion about children - children should not  be witness to such confusing relationships - if adultery is stressful to \n>adults, which I assume it in general is, how can we expect children to \n>understand it?\n>> \n>> Where is the evidence for my opinions?  At the moment, there are just\n>> generalities I can cite.  For example, I read that in the 20th century,\n>> the percentage of youth (and people in general) who suffer from\n>> depression has been steadily climbing in Western societies (probably\n>> what I was reading referred particularly to the USA).  Similarly, one\n>> can detect a trend towards greater occurrence of sex outside of marriage\n>> in this century in Western societies -- particularly with the "sexual\n>> revolution" of the 60\'s, but even before that I think (otherwise the\n>> "sexual revolution" of the 60\'s would not have been possible),\n>> particularly with the gradual weakening of Christianity and consequently\n>> Christian moral teachings against sex outside of marriage.  I propose\n>> that these two trends -- greater level of general depression in society\n>> (and other psychological problems) and greater sexual promiscuity -- are\n>> linked, with the latter being a prime cause of the former.  I cannot\n>> provide any evidence beyond this at this stage, but the whole thesis\n>> seems very reasonable to me and I request that people ponder upon it.\n\n>Why is it more reasonable than the trend towards obesity and the trend towards\n>depression? You can\'t just pick your two favorite trends, notice a correlation \n>in them, and make a sweeping statement of generality. I mean, you CAN, and \n>people HAVE, but that does not mean that it is a valid or reasonable thesis. \n>At best it\'s a gross oversimplification of the push-pull factors people \n>experience.  \n\nMy argument is mainly a proposal of what I think is a plausible argument\nagainst extra-marital sex -- one which I personally believe has some\ntruth.  My main purpose for posting it here is to show that a\n_plausible_ argument can be made against extra-marital sex.  At this\nstage I am not saying that this particular viewpoint is proven or\nanything like that, just that it is plausible.  To try to convince you\nall of this particular point of view, I would probably have to do a lot\nof work researching what has been done in this field, etc., in order to\ngather further evidence, which I simply do not have time to do now.  \n\nAlso note that I said that I think extra-marital sex is "a prime cause"\n(in my opinion) of the generally greater levels of psychological\nproblems, especially depression, in Western societies.  I am not saying\nit is "the prime cause" or "the only cause", just "a prime cause" --\ni.e. one of the significant contributions to this trend.  I think when\nyou say you think my view is simplistic, you have forgotten this -- I\nadmit that there are probably other factors, but I do think that\nextra-marital sex (and, IMO, subsequent destabilization of the family)\nis a significant factor in the rise in psychological problems like\ndepression in Western society this century.\n \n Fred Rice\n darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au   \n',
  'From: acooper@mac.cc.macalstr.edu\nSubject: Idle questions for fellow atheists\nOrganization: Macalester College\nLines: 26\n\n\nI wonder how many atheists out there care to speculate on the face of the world\nif atheists were the majority rather than the minority group of the population. \nIt is rather a ridiculous question in some ways, I know, but my newsreader is\ndown so I am not getting any new postings for a bit, so I figure I might as\nwell post something new myself.\n\nAlso, how many atheists out there would actually take the stance and accor a\nhigher value to their way of thinking over the theistic way of thinking.  The\ntypical selfish argument would be that both lines of thinking evolved from the\nsame inherent motivation, so one is not, intrinsically, different from the\nother, qualitatively.  But then again a measuring stick must be drawn\nsomewhere, and if we cannot assign value to a system of beliefs at its core,\nthan the only other alternative is to apply it to its periphery; ie, how it\nexpresses its own selfishness.\n\nIdle thoughts...\n\n\nAdam\n\n********************************************************************************\n* Adam John Cooper\t\t"Verily, often have I laughed at the weaklings *\n*\t\t\t\t   who thought themselves good simply because  *\n* acooper@macalstr.edu\t\t\t\tthey had no claws."\t       *\n********************************************************************************\n',
  'Subject: Re: A visit from the Jehovah\'s Witnesses (good grief!)\nFrom: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <66018@mimsy.umd.edu> mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n\n>The amount of energy being spent on ONE LOUSY SYLLOGISM says volumes for the\n>true position of reason in this group.\n\n\tI agree, we spend too much energy on the nonexistance of God.\n\n--\n\n\n       "Satan and the Angels do not have freewill.  \n        They do what god tells them to do. "\n\n        S.N. Mozumder (snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu) \n',
  'From: paul@actrix.co.at (Paul Gillingwater)\nSubject: Re: Merlin, Mithras and Magick\nOrganization: Home Office in Vienna, Austria\nX-Newsreader: rusnews v1.01\nLines: 28\n\nkosinski@us.oracle.com (Kevin Osinski) writes:\n\n> I recall reading in Michael (?) Rutherford\'s novel "Sarum" a scene in\n> which the son of a Roman nobleman living in Britain takes part in a\n> secret ceremony involving a bull.  He stands naked in a pit covered\n> with some sort of scaffolding while assistants coax a bull to stand on\n> the scaffolding.  They then fatally stab the bull, which douses the\n> worshipper in the pit with blood.  This is supposedly some sort of\n> rite of passage for members of the bull cult.  I wonder if this is\n> related to the Mithras cult?\n\nYes, this is certainly one of the traditional ideas about the Mithraic\ncult (although not the only one.)  It had many elements that seem\nto have been borrowed by Catholicism (e.g. the Mass, communion, the\nsharing of a sacred meal, consecration of bread and wine, etc.)\n\nFor quite an amusing novel that uses this same idea, check out:\n\nThe Covenant of the Flame\nby David Morrell.\n\nIt has some quite interesting occult bits, and lots of killing.\nI won\'t spoil it by revealing the ending, but I will say that it\nis relevant to Mithraism.\n--\npaul@actrix.co.at (Paul Gillingwater)\nHome Office in Vienna, Austria\n** If you read news with rn or trn, ask me about EEP! the .newsrc editor!\n',
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie (Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nLines: 19\nDistribution: world,public\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <115847@bu.edu> jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n\n>Well, in 1984 one was not allowed to leave the domain of authority. One\n>_is_ free to leave Islam. If one regards Islamic law as a curse one\n>should consider leaving Islam.\n\n\tThe only way out seems to be death.\n\n---  \n\n  " I\'d Cheat on Hillary Too."\n\n   John Laws\n   Local GOP Reprehensitive\n   Extolling "Traditional Family Values."\n\n\n\n\n',
  'Nntp-Posting-Host: dougn.byu.edu\nLines: 24\nFrom: $stephan@sasb.byu.edu (Stephan Fassmann)\nSubject: Re: [lds] Are the Mormons the True Church?\nOrganization: BYU\n\nIn article <C5rr9M.LJ7@acsu.buffalo.edu> psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss) writes:\n>From: psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss)\n>Subject: [lds] Are the Mormons the True Church?\n>Date: 20 Apr 93 06:29:00 GMT\n>\n>            IS THE MORMON CHURCH CHRIST\'S TRUE CHURCH?\n>\n[...lots of stuff about intellectual errors deleted...]\n\nThis is cute, but I see no statement telling me why your church is the true \nchurch. I do presume that you know or at least believe that yours is true. \nAttempting to ream my faith without replacing it with something "better" is \na real good way to loose a person completely from Christ.\n\nThis is the greatest reason I see that these attacks are not motivated by \nlove. They only seek to destroy there is no building or replacing of belief. \nThis is not something Christ did. He guided and instructed He didn\'t \nseek to destroy the faith He found, He redirected it. \n\nThis is what I see when people say they "love" <insert favorite group here>. \nAnd I have to laugh at the irony. \n\nPlease excuse the scarcasm but it was nice to say it. \nOh, BTW Robert don\'t take this personally, your post was merely convinent.\n',
  "From: joshua@cpac.washington.edu (Joshua Geller)\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: Institute for the Study of Ancient Science\nLines: 29\nDistribution: world\n\t<sandvik-170493104312@sandvik-kent.apple.com>\n\t<1qppef$i5b@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>\nNNTP-Posting-Host: bailey.cpac.washington.edu\nIn-reply-to: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu's message of 17 Apr 1993 20:31:11 GMT\n\n\nIn article <1qppef$i5b@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu \n(Tony Alicea) writes:\n\n>   Kent:\n\n>\tYou say that\n\n>   >There are about 4-10 competing Rosicrucian orders existing today,\n\t\t\t  ^^^^^^^^^\n>   >most of them are spin-offs from OTO and other competing organizations\n>   >from the 19th century France/Germany. Maybe I should write an article\n>\t\t\t    Please don't!  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n\nhuh? it might be interesting. he is relating the story as I have heard\nit, btw.\n\n>   >about all this, I spent some time investigating these organizations\n>   >and their conceptual world view systems.\n\n>\tName just three *really* competing Rosicrucian Orders. I have\n>   probably spent more time than you doing the same. \n\n>\tNone of them are spin-offs from O.T.O. The opposite may be the\n>   case. \n\nhuh? care to back that up?\n\njosh\n",
  'From: edmahood@infoserv.com (Ed Mahood, Jr.)\nSubject: Re: Greek myth and the Bible\nOrganization: Writer\nLines: 28\nX-Mailer: TMail version 1.13\n\nIn <Pegasus-130393124328@fp1-dialin-7.uoregon.edu>, Pegasus@AAA.UOregon.EDU (Laurie EWBrandt)  wrote:\n> \n> [irrelevant inserts from previous postings deleted]\n> \n> A definiation from a text book used as part of an introductory course in\n> social anthorpology "The term myth designates traditionally based, dramatic\n> narratives on themes that emphasize the nature of humankind\'s relationship\n> to nature and to the supernatural. ...  legends are ususally defined as\n> tales concerning other times and places that do not give the same extensive\n> emphasis to supernatural themes. Legends, more often than myths, are retold\n> purely as entertainment." from Peter B. Hammand\'s .An introduction to\n> Cutural and Social Anthropology. second ed Macmillion page 387. This makes\n> the Bible a Fibber Magee\'s closet, over stuffed with a little bit of every\n> thing gleened by a wandering people.\n> Pegasus \n\n     Now doesn\'t this sound a lot like the "colorful (or otherwise) story \n     from antiquity that somehow tries to (or does) explain natural pheno-\n     mena"?  I think I hear what you\'re saying, but I\'m not convinced that\n     I know what you mean.  The possibility exists that what _looks_ like\n     "myth" on the surface may be after all much more than "just" a story.\n     \n      \n\n     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *\n\n     ed mahood, jr.  < edmahood@infoserv.com >\n',
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: Keith Schneider - Stealth Poster?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 19\nNNTP-Posting-Host: lloyd.caltech.edu\n\nmam@mouse.cmhnet.org (Mike McAngus) writes:\n\n>Let me see if I understand what you are saying.  In order to talk \n>knowledgeably about religion, Atheists must first have been so immersed \n>in a religion that only the rare individual could have left.  \n\nNo, you don't understand.  I said that I don't think people can discuss\nthe subjective merits of religion objectively.  This should be obvious.\nPeople here have said that everyone would be better off without religion,\nbut this almost certainly isn't true.\n\n>>But really, are you threatened by the motto, or by the people that use it?\n>The motto is a tool.  Let's try to take away the tool.\n\nBut, guns and axes are tools, both of which have been used for murder.\nShould both be taken away?  That is to say, I don't think motto misuse\nwarrants its removal.  At least not in this case.\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: alizard@tweekco.uucp (A.Lizard)\nSubject: Re: 14 Apr 93   God\'s Promise in 1 John 1: 7\nOrganization: Tweek-Com Systems BBS, Moraga, CA (510) 631-0615\nLines: 20\n\nstarowl@rahul.net (Michael D. Adams) writes:\n> : If anyone in .netland is in the process of devising a new religion,\n> : do not use the lamb or the bull, because they have already been\n> : reserved.  Please choose another animal, preferably one not\n> : on the Endangered Species List.  \n> \n> How about "washed in the blood of Barney the Dinosaur"?  :)\n\nJudging from postings I\'ve read all over Usenet and on non-Usenet\nBBs conferences, Barney is DEFINITELY an endangered species. Especially\nif he runs into me in a dark alley.\n                                   \n                                            A.Lizard\n\n-------------------------------------------------------------------\nA.Lizard Internet Addresses:\nalizard%tweekco%boo@PacBell.COM        (preferred)\nPacBell.COM!boo!tweekco!alizard (bang path for above)\nalizard@gentoo.com (backup)\nPGP2.2 public key available on request\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Objective morality (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <1qlf7gINN8sn@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith\nAllan Schneider) wrote:\n> Which type of morality are you talking about?  In a natural sense, it\n> is not at all immoral to harm another species (as long as it doesn't\n> adversely affect your own, I guess).\n\nHehehe, so you say, but this objective morality somehere tells you \nthat this is not the case, and you don't know all the rules of such\ntranscendental game systems...\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: skinner@sp94.csrd.uiuc.edu (Gregg Skinner)\nSubject: Re: Davidians and compassion\nReply-To: g-skinner@uiuc.edu\nOrganization: UIUC Center for Supercomputing Research and Development\nLines: 26\n\nsandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n\n>In article <1993Apr20.143400.569@ra.royalroads.ca>, mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca\n>(Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n>> Do you judge all Christians by the acts of those who would call\n>> themselves Christian and yet are not?  The BD\'s contradicted scripture\n>> in their actions.  They were NOT Christian.  Simple as that.  Perhaps\n>> you have read too much into what the media has portrayed.  Ask any\n>> true-believing Christian and you will find that they will deny any\n>> association with the BD\'s.  Even the 7th Day Adventists have denied any\n>> further ties with this cult, which was what they were.\n\n>Well, if they were Satanists, or followers of an obscure religion,\n>then I would be sure that Christians would in unison condemn and \n>make this to a show case.\n\nYou might be sure, but you would also be wrong.\n\n>And does not this show the dangers with religion -- in order \n>word a mind virus that will make mothers capable of letting\n>their small children burn to ashes while they scream?\n\nI suspect the answer to this question is the same as the answer to,\n"Do not the actions of the likes of Stalin show the dangers of\natheism?"\n\n',
  'From: mls@panix.com (Michael Siemon)\nSubject: hating the sin but not the sinner?\nOrganization: PANIX Public Access Unix, NYC\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 26\n\nWhat are the consequences of the homophobic ranting of the\nself-righteous?  Well, I just noted this on another group,\nand thought I\'d pass it along.  The context is talk.origins,\nand a report of yet another "debate" that was nothing but an\nattempt at mindless bullying and factless assertion by a\nstandard-issue Creationist.  The writer reflects that the\nbehavior reported reminds him of some Christian groups he has\nknown.  I believe that the writer is a (non-homosexual) Christian:\n\n+\tThere is a very effective technique used to promote\n+\tunit cohesion among the Soldiers of the Lord.  It is\n+\tcalled "witnessing"...  I\'ve seen this process used well\n+\tand poorly; the near devil worship I mention was a group \n+\t... that was using the witnessing to get people lathered\n+\tup to go kill homosexuals or at least terrorize them off \n+\tcampus as it was clearly God\'s will that they do so.\n\nI have deleted the specifics of the location, as I do not\nbelieve it characteristic of the place (a state in which I\nspent my formative first 10 years), though it *does* have,\nunfortunately, a subpopulation that this remark fits to a tee.\n-- \nMichael L. Siemon\t\tI say "You are gods, sons of the\nmls@panix.com\t\t\tMost High, all of you; nevertheless\n    - or -\t\t\tyou shall die like men, and fall\nmls@ulysses.att..com\t\tlike any prince."   Psalm 82:6-7\n',
  "From: decay@cbnewsj.cb.att.com (dean.kaflowitz)\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nOrganization: AT&T\nDistribution: na\nLines: 13\n\nIn article <EDM.93Apr15104322@gocart.twisto.compaq.com>, edm@twisto.compaq.com (Ed McCreary) writes:\n> >>>>> On Thu, 15 Apr 1993 04:54:38 GMT, bissda@saturn.wwc.edu (DAN LAWRENCE BISSELL) said:\n> \n> DLB> \tFirst I want to start right out and say that I'm a Christian.  It \n> DLB> makes sense to be one.  Have any of you read Tony Campollo's book- liar, \n> DLB>lunatic, or the real thing?  (I might be a little off on the title, but he \n> DLB>writes the book.  Anyway he was part of an effort to destroy Christianity, \n> DLB> in the process he became a Christian himself.\n> \n> Here we go again...\n\nJust the friendly folks at Christian Central, come to save you.\n\n",
  'From: darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice)\nSubject: Re: Islam & Dress Code for women\nOrganization: Monash University, Melb., Australia.\nLines: 120\n\nIn <16BA7103C3.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de> I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau) writes:\n\n>In article <1993Apr5.091258.11830@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au>\n>darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) writes:\n> \n>(Deletion)\n>>>>Of course people say what they think to be the religion, and that this\n>>>>is not exactly the same coming from different people within the\n>>>>religion.  There is nothing with there existing different perspectives\n>>>>within the religion -- perhaps one can say that they tend to converge on\n>>>>the truth.\n>>\n>>>My point is that they are doing a lot of harm on the way in the meantime.\n>>>\n>>>And that they converge is counterfactual, religions appear to split and\n>>>diverge. Even when there might be a \'True Religion\' at the core, the layers\n>>>above determine what happens in practise, and they are quite inhumane\n>>>usually.\n>>>\n> \n>What you post then is supposed to be an answer, but I don\'t see what is has\n>got to do with what I say.\n> \n>I will repeat it. Religions as are harm people. And religions don\'t\n>converge, they split. Giving more to disagree upon. And there is a lot\n>of disagreement to whom one should be tolerant or if one should be\n>tolerant at all.\n\nIdeologies also split, giving more to disagree upon, and may also lead\nto intolerance.  So do you also oppose all ideologies?\n\nI don\'t think your argument is an argument against religion at all, but\njust points out the weaknesses of human nature.\n\n>(Big deletion)\n>>(2) Do women have souls in Islam?\n>>\n>>People have said here that some Muslims say that women do not have\n>>souls.  I must admit I have never heard of such a view being held by\n>>Muslims of any era.  I have heard of some Christians of some eras\n>>holding this viewpoint, but not Muslims.  Are you sure you might not be\n>>confusing Christian history with Islamic history?\n> \n>Yes, it is supposed to have been a predominant view in the Turkish\n>Caliphate.\n\nI would like a reference if you have got one, for this is news to me.\n\n>>Anyhow, that women are the spiritual equals of men can be clearly shown\n>>from many verses of the Qur\'an.  For example, the Qur\'an says:\n>>\n>>"For Muslim men and women, --\n>>for believing men and women,\n>>for devout men and women,\n>>for true men and women,\n>>for men and women who are patient and constant,\n>>for men and women who humble themselves,\n>>for men and women who give in charity,\n>>for men and women who fast (and deny themselves),\n>>for men and women who guard their chastity,\n>>and for men and women who engage much in God\'s praise --\n>>For them has God prepared forgiveness and a great reward."\n>>\n>>[Qur\'an 33:35, Abdullah Yusuf Ali\'s translation]\n>>\n>>There are other quotes too, but I think the above quote shows that men\n>>and women are spiritual equals (and thus, that women have souls just as\n>>men do) very clearly.\n>>\n> \n>No, it does not. It implies that they have souls, but it does not say they\n>have souls. And it is not given that the quote above is given a high\n>priority in all interpretations.\n\nOne must approach the Qur\'an with intelligence.  Any thinking approach\nto the Qur\'an cannot but interpret the above verse and others like it\nthat women and men are spiritual equals.\n\nI think that the above verse does clearly imply that women have\nsouls.  Does it make any sense for something without a soul to be\nforgiven?  Or to have a great reward (understood to be in the\nafter-life)?  I think the usual answer would be no -- in which case, the\npart saying "For them has God prepared forgiveness and a great reward"\nsays they have souls.  \n\n(If it makes sense to say that things without souls can be forgiven, then \nI have no idea _what_ a soul is.)\n\nAs for your saying that the quote above may not be given a high priority\nin all interpretations, any thinking approach to the Qur\'an has to give\nall verses of the Qur\'an equal priority.  That is because, according to\nMuslim belief, the _whole_ Qur\'an is the revelation of God -- in fact,\ndenying the truth of any part of the Qur\'an is sufficient to be\nconsidered a disbeliever in Islam.\n\n>Quite similar to you other post, even when the Quran does not encourage\n>slavery, it is not justified to say that iit forbids or puts an end to\n>slavery. It is a non sequitur.\n\nLook, any approach to the Qur\'an must be done with intelligence and\nthought.  It is in this fashion that one can try to understand the\nQuran\'s message.  In a book of finite length, it cannot explicitly\nanswer every question you want to put to it, but through its teachings\nit can guide you.  I think, however, that women are the spiritual equals\nof men is clearly and unambiguously implied in the above verse, and that\nsince women can clearly be "forgiven" and "rewarded" they _must_ have\nsouls (from the above verse).\n\nLet\'s try to understand what the Qur\'an is trying to teach, rather than\ntry to see how many ways it can be misinterpreted by ignoring this\npassage or that passage.  The misinterpretations of the Qur\'an based on\nignoring this verse or that verse are infinite, but the interpretations \nfully consistent are more limited.  Let\'s try to discuss these\ninterpretations consistent with the text rather than how people can\nignore this bit or that bit, for that is just showing how people can try\nto twist Islam for their own ends -- something I do not deny -- but\nprovides no reflection on the true teachings of Islam whatsoever.\n\n Fred Rice\n darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au   \n',
  'From: healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy)\nSubject: Cannanite genocide in the Bible\nLines: 6\nOrganization: Walla Walla College\nLines: 6\n\nexcuse me for my ignorance. But I remember reading once that the \nBiblical tribe known as the Philistines still exists...they are the modern \nday Palestinians.\nAnyone out there with more info, please post it!!!\n\nTammy\n',
  "From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: Who Says the Apostles Were Tortured?\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 17\n\nIn article <1qiu97INNpq6@srvr1.engin.umich.edu>\ningles@engin.umich.edu (Ray Ingles) writes:\n \n>\n> As evidence for the Resurrection, it is often claimed that the Disciples\n>were tortured to death for their beliefs and still did not renounce\n>their claim that Jesus had come back from the dead.\n> Now, I skimmed Acts and such, and I found a reference to this happening\n>to Stephen, but no others. Where does this apparently very widely held\n>belief come from? Is there any evidence outside the Bible? Is there any\n>evidence *in* the Bible? I sure haven't found any...\n>\n \nEarly authors and legends. The most important sources can be found in the\nMartyriologia of the Catholic Church. Makes the Grimms look like exact\nscience.\n   Benedikt\n",
  'From: kilroy@gboro.rowan.edu (Dr Nancy\'s Sweetie)\nSubject: Re: Food For Thought On Tyre\nSummary: Another Inerrantist rewrites the Bible.\nKeywords: Scripture, implication, prophesy, `Woof!\'\nOrganization: Rowan College of New Jersey\nDisclaimer: Brandy the WonderDog hopes his doghouse will be rebuilt.\nLines: 93\n\n\nThere has been a lot of discussion about Tyre.  In sum, Ezekiel prophesied\nthat the place would be mashed and never rebuilt; as there are a lot of\npeople living there, it would appear that Ezekiel was not literally correct.\n\nThis doesn\'t bother me at all, because I understand the language Ezekiel used\ndifferently than do so-called Biblical literalists.  For example, it sometimes\nhappens that someone says "My grandson is the cutest baby!" and then turns\naround and sees the granddaughter and says "Oh!  Isn\'t she the cutest thing!?"\n\nThis person is not literally claiming to have lined up all the babies in the\nworld according to cuteness and discovered his own grandchildren tied for\nfirst.  Rather, he is trying to express his emotions using words that are very\nobject-oriented.  Because this example is one that is common to many people,\nnobody misunderstands the intent of the statements; the Bible, however, is\noften at the mercy of people who assume that everything within must be exactly\nliterally true.  For those people, the existence of Tyre is a problem; for me,\nit is not.\n\n\nTurning to the latest person trying to defend Ezekiel, we read this from\nJohn E King:\n\n> The prophesy clearly implies that people would still be living in the\n> area[.]\n\nNo, it implies nothing of the kind.  If you had nothing but the prophecy from\nEzekiel, and you were told you interpret it literally, you would never say\n"Oh, he means that there will be houses and businesses and plants and stuff\nlike that."  You would read "I will make you a bare rock" and "You will never\nbe rebuilt", and you\'d conclude that Tyre would be a bare rock.  The only way\nto get from `fishing nets\' to `houses and buildings and a medium-large\npopulation\' is if you KNOW that all that latter stuff is there.\n\nIn other words, your answer means that Ezekiel misled everybody who read the\nprophecy at the time it was written.  There is no way that, given a literal\nreading, they could read this passage and conclude "medium-size city".\n\nYou seem to feel that "Never be rebuilt" means "be rebuilt" -- maybe so, but\nit is hardly a `clear implication\'.\n\n\nMr King also writes:\n\n> So far I\'ve seen stated figurers ranging from 15,000 to 22,000.\n> Let\'s assume the latter one is correct.  By modern standards\n> we are talking about a one-horse town.\n\nWell, no.  That\'s only a bit less than the population of Annapolis, where I\'m\nfrom.  You know, the Naval Acadamy, the state capital, George Washington\nresigned his commission in the statehouse?  Annapolis may not be New York, but\nit\'s at least a two-horse town.\n\nBut supposing 22,000 people is a "small town" -- it\'s still 22,000 people\nMORE than Ezekiel predicted.\n\n\nAnd you\'ve said nothing about the other problem.  In chapter 26, Ezekiel\npredicts that Nebuchadnezzar will will destroy Tyre and loot all their\nvaluables.  However, Nebuchadnezzar did NOT destroy Tyre, and in chapter 29\nEzekiel even quotes God as saying "he and his army got no reward from the\ncampaign he led against Tyre."\n\nLet\'s ignore Alexander for a moment, and just pay attention to chapter 26.\nEzekiel says N. would destroy Tyre, and N. did NOT destroy Tyre.  Ezekiel says\nthat N. would plunder their valuables, but N. did NOT plunder their valuables.\n\nRegardless of what you think about Tyre _now_, the fact is that N. died before\nthe place was destroyed.  Ezekiel said N. was going to do it, and N. did not.\n\n *\n\nThis post is, of course, pointless.  Inerrantists have an amazing ability\nto rewrite the Bible as needed to fit whatever they want it to say.\n\nFor example, I expect Mr King to respond to the comments about Ezekiel 26\nby pulling some "clear implications" out of hat.\n\nWhen Ezekiel said that N. would "demolish your towers", that clearly implied\nthat the walls would still be standing so people would know where the towers\nused to be.  And when Ezekiel said that N. would "demolish your fine houses\nand throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea", that clearly implied\nthat N. would never set foot on the island.  And when Ezekiel wrote that N.\nwould "build a ramp up to your walls", that clearly implies that N. would\nspend 13 years stomping around on the mainland and never get close to the\nwalls.\n\nSee?  A few "clear implications" that are totally contrary to the text, and\nyou can reconcile anything you want.\n\n\nDarren F Provine / kilroy@gboro.rowan.edu\n"[Do] You know why I\'m the enabler?  Because you demand it!" -- Cliff Claven\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Davidians and compassion\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 26\n\nSo we have this highly Christian religious order that put fire\non their house, killing most of the people inside.\n\nI'm not that annoyed about the adults, they knew supposedly what\nthey were doing, and it's their own actions.\n\nWhat I mostly are angry about is the fact that the people inside,\nincluding mothers, let the children suffer and die during awful\nconditions.\n\nIf this is considered religious following to the end, I'm proud\nthat I don't follow such fanatical and non-compassionate religions.\n\nYou might want to die for whatever purpose, but please spare\nthe innocent young ones that has nothing to do with this all.\n\nI have a hard time just now understanding that Christianity\nknows about the word compassion. Christians, do you think \nthe actions today would produce a good picture of your \nreligion?\n\n\nKent\n\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Alt.Atheism FAQ: Constructing a Logical Argument\nSummary: Includes a list of logical fallacies\nKeywords: FAQ, atheism, argument, fallacies, logic\nExpires: Thu, 20 May 1993 10:52:14 GMT\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nSupersedes: <19930322114724@mantis.co.uk>\nLines: 632\n\nArchive-name: atheism/logic\nAlt-atheism-archive-name: logic\nLast-modified: 5 April 1993\nVersion: 1.4\n\n                       Constructing a Logical Argument\n\nAlthough there is much argument on Usenet, the general quality of argument\nfound is poor.  This article attempts to provide a gentle introduction to\nlogic, in the hope of improving the general level of debate.\n\nLogic is the science of reasoning, proof, thinking, or inference [Concise\nOED].  Logic allows us to analyze a piece of reasoning and determine whether\nit is correct or not (valid or invalid).  Of course, one does not need to\nstudy logic in order to reason correctly; nevertheless, a little basic\nknowledge of logic is often helpful when constructing or analyzing an\nargument.\n\nNote that no claim is being made here about whether logic is universally\napplicable.  The matter is very much open for debate.  This document merely\nexplains how to use logic, given that you have already decided that logic is\nthe right tool for the job.\n\nPropositions (or statements) are the building blocks of a logical argument. A\nproposition is a statement which is either true or false; for example, "It is\nraining" or "Today is Tuesday".  Propositions may be either asserted (said to\nbe true) or denied (said to be false).  Note that this is a technical meaning\nof "deny", not the everyday meaning.\n\nThe proposition is the meaning of the statement, not the particular\narrangement of words used to express it.  So "God exists" and "There exists a\nGod" both express the same proposition.\n\nAn argument is, to quote the Monty Python sketch, "a connected series of\nstatements to establish a definite proposition".  An argument consists of\nthree stages.\n\nFirst of all, the propositions which are necessary for the argument to\ncontinue are stated.  These are called the premises of the argument.  They\nare the evidence or reasons for accepting the argument and its conclusions. \n\nPremises (or assertions) are often indicated by phrases such as "because",\n"since", "obviously" and so on.  (The phrase "obviously" is often viewed with\nsuspicion, as it can be used to intimidate others into accepting suspicious\npremises.  If something doesn\'t seem obvious to you, don\'t be afraid to\nquestion it.  You can always say "Oh, yes, you\'re right, it is obvious" when\nyou\'ve heard the explanation.)\n\nNext, the premises are used to derive further propositions by a process known\nas inference.  In inference, one proposition is arrived at on the basis of\none or more other propositions already accepted.  There are various forms of\nvalid inference.\n\nThe propositions arrived at by inference may then be used in further\ninference.  Inference is often denoted by phrases such as "implies that" or\n"therefore".\n\nFinally, we arrive at the conclusion of the argument -- the proposition which\nis affirmed on the basis of the premises and inference.  Conclusions are often\nindicated by phrases such as "therefore", "it follows that", "we conclude"\nand so on.  The conclusion is often stated as the final stage of inference.\n\nFor example:\n\nEvery event has a cause (premise)\nThe universe has a beginning (premise)\nAll beginnings involve an event (premise)\nThis implies that the beginning of the universe involved an event (inference)\nTherefore the universe has a cause (inference and conclusion)\n\nNote that the conclusion of one argument might be a premise in another\nargument.  A proposition can only be called a premise or a conclusion with\nrespect to a particular argument; the terms do not make sense in isolation.\n\nSometimes an argument will not follow the order given above; for example,\nthe conclusions might be stated first and the premises stated \nafterwards in support of the conclusion.  This is perfectly valid, if \nsometimes a little confusing.\n\nRecognizing an argument is much harder than recognizing premises or\nconclusions.  Many people shower their writing with assertions without ever\nproducing anything which one might reasonably describe as an argument.  Some\nstatements look like arguments, but are not.  For example:\n\n"If the Bible is accurate, Jesus must either have been insane, an evil liar,\n or the Son of God."\n\nThis is not an argument, it is a conditional statement.  It does not assert\nthe premises which are necessary to support what appears to be its \nconclusion.  (It also suffers from a number of other logical flaws, but we\'ll\ncome to those later.)\n\nAnother example:\n\n"God created you; therefore do your duty to God."\n\nThe phrase "do your duty to God" is not a proposition, since it is neither\ntrue nor false.  Therefore it is not a conclusion, and the sentence is not an\nargument.\n\nFinally, causality is important.  Consider a statement of the form "A because\nB".  If we\'re interested in establishing A and B is offered as evidence, the\nstatement is an argument.  If we\'re trying to establish the truth of B, then\nit is not an argument, it is an explanation.\n\nFor example:\n\n"There must be something wrong with the engine of my car, because it will not\n start." -- This is an argument.\n\n"My car will not start because there is something wrong with the engine."\n -- This is an explanation.\n\nThere are two traditional types of argument, deductive and inductive.  A\ndeductive argument is one which provides conclusive proof of its conclusions\n-- that is, an argument where if the premises are true, the conclusion must\nalso be true.  A deductive argument is either valid or invalid.  A valid\nargument is defined as one where if the premises are true, then the\nconclusion is true.\n\nAn inductive argument is one where the premises provide some evidence for the\ntruth of the conclusion.  Inductive arguments are not valid or invalid;\nhowever, we can talk about whether they are better or worse than other\narguments, and about how probable their premises are.\n\nThere are forms of argument in ordinary language which are neither deductive\nnor inductive.  However, we will concentrate for the moment on deductive\narguments, as they are often viewed as the most rigorous and convincing.\n\nIt is important to note that the fact that a deductive argument is valid does\nnot imply that its conclusion holds.  This is because of the slightly \ncounter-intuitive nature of implication, which we must now consider more\ncarefully.\n\nObviously a valid argument can consist of true propositions.  However, an\nargument may be entirely valid even if it contains only false propositions. \nFor example:\n\n   All insects have wings (premise)\n   Woodlice are insects (premise)\n   Therefore woodlice have wings (conclusion)\n\nHere, the conclusion is not true because the argument\'s premises are false. \nIf the argument\'s premises were true, however, the conclusion would be true. \nThe argument is thus entirely valid.\n\nMore subtly, we can reach a true conclusion from one or more false premises,\nas in:\n\n   All fish live in the sea (premise)\n   Dolphins are fish (premise)\n   Therefore dolphins live in the sea (conclusion)\n\nHowever, the one thing we cannot do is reach a false conclusion through valid\ninference from true premises.  We can therefore draw up a "truth table" for\nimplication.\n\nThe symbol "=>" denotes implication; "A" is the premise, "B" the conclusion. \n"T" and "F" represent true and false respectively.\n\nPremise Conclusion Inference\n   A        B        A=>B\n----------------------------\n   F        F         T      If the premises are false and the inference\n   F        T         T      valid, the conclusion can be true or false.\n\n   T        F         F      If the premises are true and the conclusion\n                             false, the inference must be invalid.\n\n   T        T         T      If the premises are true and the inference valid,\n                             the conclusion must be true.\n\nA sound argument is a valid argument whose premises are true.  A sound \nargument therefore arrives at a true conclusion.  Be careful not to confuse\nvalid arguments with sound arguments.\n\nTo delve further into the structure of logical arguments would require\nlengthy discussion of linguistics and philosophy.  It is simpler and probably\nmore useful to summarize the major pitfalls to be avoided when constructing\nan argument.  These pitfalls are known as fallacies.\n\nIn everyday English the term "fallacy" is used to refer to mistaken beliefs\nas well as to the faulty reasoning that leads to those beliefs.  This is fair\nenough, but in logic the term is generally used to refer to a form of\ntechnically incorrect argument, especially if the argument appears valid or\nconvincing.\n\nSo for the purposes of this discussion, we define a fallacy as a logical\nargument which appears to be correct, but which can be seen to be incorrect\nwhen examined more closely.  By studying fallacies we aim to avoid being\nmisled by them.  The following list of fallacies is not intended to be\nexhaustive.\n\nARGUMENTUM AD BACULUM (APPEAL TO FORCE)\n\nThe Appeal to Force is committed when the arguer resorts to force or the\nthreat of force in order to try and push the acceptance of a conclusion.  It\nis often used by politicians, and can be summarized as "might makes right". \nThe force threatened need not be a direct threat from the arguer.\n\nFor example:\n"... Thus there is ample proof of the truth of the Bible.  All those who\nrefuse to accept that truth will burn in Hell."\n\nARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM\n\nArgumentum ad hominem is literally "argument directed at the man".\n\nThe Abusive variety of Argumentum ad Hominem occurs when, instead of trying\nto disprove the truth of an assertion, the arguer attacks the person or\npeople making the assertion.  This is invalid because the truth of an\nassertion does not depend upon the goodness of those asserting it.\n\nFor example:\n"Atheism is an evil philosophy.  It is practised by Communists and murderers."\n\nSometimes in a court of law doubt is cast upon the testimony of a witness by \nshowing, for example, that he is a known perjurer.  This is a valid way of\nreducing the credibility of the testimony given by the witness, and not\nargumentum ad hominem; however, it does not demonstrate that the witness\'s\ntestimony is false.  To conclude otherwise is to fall victim of the\nArgumentum ad Ignorantiam (see elsewhere in this list).\n\nThe circumstantial form of Argumentum ad Hominem is committed when a person\nargues that his opponent ought to accept the truth of an assertion because of\nthe opponent\'s particular circumstances.\n\nFor example:\n"It is perfectly acceptable to kill animals for food.  How can you argue\notherwise when you\'re quite happy to wear leather shoes?"\n\nThis is an abusive charge of inconsistency, used as an excuse for dismissing\nthe opponent\'s argument.\n\nThis fallacy can also be used as a means of rejecting a conclusion.  For \nexample:\n\n"Of course you would argue that positive discrimination is a bad thing. \nYou\'re white."\n\nThis particular form of Argumentum ad Hominem, when one alleges that one\'s\nadversary is rationalizing a conclusion formed from selfish interests, is\nalso known as "poisoning the well".\n\nARGUMENTUM AD IGNORANTIUM\n\nArgumentum ad ignorantium means "argument from ignorance".  This fallacy\noccurs whenever it is argued that something must be true simply because it\nhas not been proved false.  Or, equivalently, when it is argued that\nsomething must be false because it has not been proved true.  (Note that this\nis not the same as assuming that something is false until it has been proved\ntrue, a basic scientific principle.)\n\nExamples:\n"Of course the Bible is true.  Nobody can prove otherwise."\n\n"Of course telepathy and other psychic phenomena do not exist.  Nobody has\nshown any proof that they are real."\n\nNote that this fallacy does not apply in a court of law, where one is\ngenerally assumed innocent until proven guilty.\n\nAlso, in scientific investigation if it is known that an event would produce\ncertain evidence of its having occurred, the absence of such evidence can \nvalidly be used to infer that the event did not occur.  For example:\n\n"A flood as described in the Bible would require an enormous volume of water\nto be present on the earth.  The earth does not have a tenth as much water,\neven if we count that which is frozen into ice at the poles.  Therefore no\nsuch flood occurred."\n\nIn science, we can validly assume from lack of evidence that something has\nnot occurred.  We cannot conclude with certainty that it has not occurred,\nhowever.\n\nARGUMENTUM AD MISERICORDIAM\n\nThis is the Appeal to Pity, also known as Special Pleading.  The fallacy is \ncommitted when the arguer appeals to pity for the sake of getting a \nconclusion accepted.  For example:\n\n"I did not murder my mother and father with an axe.  Please don\'t find me\nguilty; I\'m suffering enough through being an orphan."\n\nARGUMENTUM AD POPULUM\n\nThis is known as Appealing to the Gallery, or Appealing to the People.  To\ncommit this fallacy is to attempt to win acceptance of an assertion by\nappealing to a large group of people.  This form of fallacy is often\ncharacterized by emotive language.  For example:\n\n"Pornography must be banned.  It is violence against women."\n\n"The Bible must be true.  Millions of people know that it is.  Are you trying\nto tell them that they are all mistaken fools?"\n\nARGUMENTUM AD NUMERAM\n\nThis fallacy is closely related to the argumentum ad populum.  It consists of\nasserting that the more people who support or believe a proposition, the more\nlikely it is that that proposition is correct.\n\nARGUMENTUM AD VERECUNDIAM\n\nThe Appeal to Authority uses the admiration of the famous to try and win\nsupport for an assertion.  For example:\n\n"Isaac Newton was a genius and he believed in God."\n\nThis line of argument is not always completely bogus; for example, reference\nto an admitted authority in a particular field may be relevant to a\ndiscussion of that subject.  For example, we can distinguish quite clearly\nbetween:\n\n"Stephen Hawking has concluded that black holes give off radiation"\nand\n"John Searle has concluded that it is impossible to build an intelligent\n computer"\n\nHawking is a physicist, and so we can reasonably expect his opinions on black\nhole radiation to be informed.  Searle is a linguist, so it is questionable \nwhether he is well-qualified to speak on the subject of machine intelligence.\n\nTHE FALLACY OF ACCIDENT\n\nThe Fallacy of Accident is committed when a general rule is applied to a\nparticular case whose "accidental" circumstances mean that the rule is\ninapplicable.  It is the error made when one goes from the general to the\nspecific.  For example:\n\n"Christians generally dislike atheists.  You are a Christian, so you must\ndislike atheists."\n\nThis fallacy is often committed by moralists and legalists who try to decide\nevery moral and legal question by mechanically applying general rules.\n\nCONVERSE ACCIDENT / HASTY GENERALIZATION\n\nThis fallacy is the reverse of the fallacy of accident.  It occurs when one\nforms a general rule by examining only a few specific cases which are not\nrepresentative of all possible cases.\n\nFor example:\n"Jim Bakker was an insincere Christian.  Therefore all Christians are\ninsincere."\n\nSWEEPING GENERALIZATION / DICTO SIMPLICITER\n\nA sweeping generalization occurs when a general rule is applied to a\nparticular situation in which the features of that particular situation\nrender the rule inapplicable.  A sweeping generalization is the opposite of a\nhasty generalization.\n\nNON CAUSA PRO CAUSA / POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC\n\nThese are known as False Cause fallacies.\n\nThe fallacy of Non Causa Pro Causa occurs when one identifies something as the\ncause of an event but it has not actually been shown to be the cause.  For \nexample:\n\n"I took an aspirin and prayed to God, and my headache disappeared.  So God\ncured me of the headache."\n\nThe fallacy of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc occurs when something is assumed to\nbe the cause of an event merely because it happened before the event.  For \nexample:\n\n"The Soviet Union collapsed after taking up atheism.  Therefore we must avoid\natheism for the same reasons."\n\nCUM HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC\n\nThis fallacy is similar to post hoc ergo propter hoc.  It asserts that\nbecause two events occur together, they must be causally related, and leaves\nno room for other factors that may be the cause(s) of the events.\n\nPETITIO PRINCIPII\n\nThis fallacy occurs when the premises are at least as questionable as the\nconclusion reached.\n\nCIRCULUS IN DEMONSTRANDO\n\nThis fallacy occurs when one assumes as a premise the conclusion which one\nwishes to reach.  Often, the proposition will be rephrased so that the\nfallacy appears to be a valid argument.  For example:\n\n"Homosexuals must not be allowed to hold government office.  Hence any\ngovernment official who is revealed to be a homosexual will lose his job. \nTherefore homosexuals will do anything to hide their secret, and will be open\nto blackmail.  Therefore homosexuals cannot be allowed to hold government\noffice."\n\nNote that the argument is entirely circular; the premise is the same as the \nconclusion.  An argument like the above has actually been cited as the reason\nfor the British Secret Services\' official ban on homosexual employees. \nAnother example is the classic:\n\n"We know that God exists because the Bible tells us so.  And we know that the\nBible is true because it is the word of God."\n\nCOMPLEX QUESTION / FALLACY OF INTERROGATION\n\nThis is the Fallacy of Presupposition.  One example is the classic loaded \nquestion:\n\n"Have you stopped beating your wife?"\n\nThe question presupposes a definite answer to another question which has not\neven been asked.  This trick is often used by lawyers in cross-examination,\nwhen they ask questions like:\n\n"Where did you hide the money you stole?"\n\nSimilarly, politicians often ask loaded questions such as:\n\n"How long will this EC interference in our affairs be allowed to continue?"\nor\n"Does the Chancellor plan two more years of ruinous privatization?"\n\nIGNORATIO ELENCHI\n\nThe fallacy of Irrelevant Conclusion consists of claiming that an argument \nsupports a particular conclusion when it is actually logically nothing to do\nwith that conclusion.\n\nFor example, a Christian may begin by saying that he will argue that the\nteachings of Christianity are undoubtably true.  If he then argues at length\nthat Christianity is of great help to many people, no matter how well he\nargues he will not have shown that Christian teachings are true.\n\nSadly, such fallacious arguments are often successful because they arouse\nemotions which cause others to view the supposed conclusion in a more\nfavourable light.\n\nEQUIVOCATION\n\nEquivocation occurs when a key word is used with two or more different\nmeanings in the same argument.  For example:\n\n"What could be more affordable than free software?  But to make sure that it\nremains free, that users can do what they like with it, we must place a\nlicense on it to make sure that will always be freely redistributable."\n\nAMPHIBOLY\n\nAmphiboly occurs when the premises used in an argument are ambiguous because\nof careless or ungrammatical phrasing.\n\nACCENT\n\nAccent is another form of fallacy through shifting meaning.  In this case,\nthe meaning is changed by altering which parts of a statement are\nemphasized.  For example, consider:\n\n"We should not speak ILL of our friends"\nand\n"We should not speak ill of our FRIENDS"\n\nFALLACIES OF COMPOSITION\n\nOne fallacy of composition is to conclude that a property shared by the parts\nof something must apply to the whole.  For example:\n\n"The bicycle is made entirely of low mass components, and is therefore very \nlightweight."\n\nThe other fallacy of composition is to conclude that a property of a number\nof individual items is shared by a collection of those items.  For example:\n\n"A car uses less petrol and causes less pollution than a bus.  Therefore cars\nare less environmentally damaging than buses."\n\nFALLACY OF DIVISION\n\nThe fallacy of division is the opposite of the fallacy of composition.  Like\nits opposite, it exists in two varieties.  The first is to assume that a\nproperty of some thing must apply to its parts.  For example:\n\n"You are studying at a rich college.  Therefore you must be rich."\n\nThe other is to assume that a property of a collection of items is shared by\neach item.  For example:\n\n"Ants can destroy a tree.  Therefore this ant can destroy a tree."\n\nTHE SLIPPERY SLOPE ARGUMENT\n\nThis argument states that should one event occur, so will other harmful\nevents.  There is no proof made that the harmful events are caused by the\nfirst event.\n\nFor example:\n"If we legalize marijuana, then we would have to legalize crack and heroin\nand we\'ll have a nation full of drug-addicts on welfare.  Therefore we cannot\nlegalize marijuana."\n\n"A IS BASED ON B" FALLACIES / "IS A TYPE OF" FALLACIES\n\nThese fallacies occur when one attempts to argue that things are in some way\nsimilar without actually specifying in what way they are similar.\n\nExamples:\n"Isn\'t history based upon faith?  If so, then isn\'t the Bible also a form of\nhistory?"\n\n"Islam is based on faith, Christianity is based on faith, so isn\'t Islam a\nform of Christianity?"\n\n"Cats are a form of animal based on carbon chemistry, dogs are a form of\nanimal based on carbon chemistry, so aren\'t dogs a form of cat?"\n\nAFFIRMATION OF THE CONSEQUENT\n\nThis fallacy is an argument of the form "A implies B, B is true, therefore A\nis true".  To understand why it is a fallacy, examine the truth table for\nimplication given earlier.\n\nDENIAL OF THE ANTECEDENT\n\nThis fallacy is an argument of the form "A implies B, A is false, therefore B\nis false".  Again, the truth table for implication makes it clear why this is\na fallacy.\n\nNote that this fallacy is different from Non Causa Pro Causa; the latter has\nthe form "A implies B, A is false, therefore B is false", where A does NOT in\nfact imply B at all.  Here, the problem is not that the implication is\ninvalid; rather it is that the falseness of A does not allow us to deduce\nanything about B.\n\nCONVERTING A CONDITIONAL\n\nThis fallacy is an argument of the form "If A then B, therefore if B then A".\n\nARGUMENTUM AD ANTIQUITAM\n\nThis is the fallacy of asserting that something is right or good simply\nbecause it is old, or because "that\'s the way it\'s always been."\n\nARGUMENTUM AD NOVITAM\n\nThis is the opposite of the argumentum ad antiquitam; it is the fallacy of\nasserting that something is more correct simply because it is new or newer\nthan something else.\n\nARGUMENTUM AD CRUMENAM\n\nThe fallacy of believing that money is a criterion of correctness; that those\nwith more money are more likely to be right.\n\nARGUMENTUM AD LAZARUM\n\nThe fallacy of assuming that because someone is poor he or she is sounder or\nmore virtuous than one who is wealthier.  This fallacy is the opposite of the\nargumentum ad crumenam.\n\nARGUMENTUM AD NAUSEAM\n\nThis is the incorrect belief that an assertion is more likely to be true the\nmore often it is heard.  An "argumentum ad nauseum" is one that employs\nconstant repetition in asserting something.\n\nBIFURCATION\n\nAlso referred to as the "black and white" fallacy, bifurcation occurs when\none presents a situation as having only two alternatives, where in fact other\nalternatives exist or can exist.\n\nPLURIUM INTERROGATIONUM / MANY QUESTIONS\n\nThis fallacy occurs when a questioner demands a simple answer to a complex\nquestion.\n\nNON SEQUITUR\n\nA non-sequitur is an argument where the conclusion is drawn from premises\nwhich are not logically connected with it.\n\nRED HERRING\n\nThis fallacy is committed when irrelevant material is introduced to the issue\nbeing discussed, so that everyone\'s attention is diverted away from the\npoints being made, towards a different conclusion.\n\nREIFICATION / HYPOSTATIZATION\n\nReification occurs when an abstract concept is treated as a concrete thing.\n\nSHIFTING THE BURDEN OF PROOF\n\nThe burden of proof is always on the person making an assertion or\nproposition.  Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of argumentum ad\nignorantium, is the fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who\ndenies or questions the assertion being made.  The source of the fallacy is\nthe assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise.\n\nSTRAW MAN\n\nThe straw man fallacy is to misrepresent someone else\'s position so that it\ncan be attacked more easily, then to knock down that misrepresented position,\nthen to conclude that the original position has been demolished.  It is a\nfallacy because it fails to deal with the actual arguments that have been\nmade.\n\nTHE EXTENDED ANALOGY\n\nThe fallacy of the Extended Analogy often occurs when some suggested general\nrule is being argued over.  The fallacy is to assume that mentioning two \ndifferent situations, in an argument about a general rule, constitutes a \nclaim that those situations are analogous to each other.\n\nThis fallacy is best explained using a real example from a debate about \nanti-cryptography legislation:\n\n"I believe it is always wrong to oppose the law by breaking it."\n\n"Such a position is odious: it implies that you would not have supported\n Martin Luther King."\n\n"Are you saying that cryptography legislation is as important as the\n struggle for Black liberation?  How dare you!"\n\nTU QUOQUE\n\nThis is the famous "you too" fallacy.  It occurs when an action is argued to\nbe acceptable because the other party has performed it.  For instance:\n\n"You\'re just being randomly abusive."\n"So?  You\'ve been abusive too."\n\nÿ\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: A Little Too Satanic\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 16\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <66486@mimsy.umd.edu>, mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n|> Jeff West writes:\n|> \n|> >You claimed that people that took the time to translate the bible would\n|> >also take the time to get it right.  But here in less than a couple\n|> >generations you\'ve been given ample proof (agreed to by yourself above)\n|> >that the "new" versions "tends to be out of step with other modern\n|> >translations."\n|> \n|> What I said was that people took time to *copy* *the* *text* correctly.\n|> Translations present completely different issues.\n\nSo why do I read in the papers that the Qumram texts had "different\nversions" of some OT texts.   Did I misunderstand?\n\njon. \n',
  'From: simon@dcs.warwick.ac.uk (Simon Clippingdale)\nSubject: Re: islamic authority over women\nNntp-Posting-Host: nin\nOrganization: Department of Computer Science, Warwick University, England\nLines: 49\n\nIn article <1993Apr5.023044.19580@ultb.isc.rit.edu> snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu (S.N. Mozumder ) writes:\n\n> One thing that relates is among Navy men that get tatoos that say "Mom",\n> because of the love of their mom.  It makes for more virile men.\n> Compare that with how homos are raised.  Do a study and you will get my\n> point.\n\nOh, Bobby. You\'re priceless. Did I ever tell you that?\n\nMy policy with Bobby\'s posts, should anyone give a damn, is to flick\nthrough the thread at high speed, searching for posts of Bobby\'s which\nhave generated a whole pile of followups, then go in and extract the\nhilarious quote inevitably present for .sig purposes. Works for me.\n\nFor the guy who said he\'s just arrived, and asked whether Bobby\'s for real,\nyou betcha. Welcome to alt.atheism, and rest assured that it gets worse.\nI have a few pearls of wisdom from Bobby which I reproduce below. Is anyone\n(Keith?) keeping a big file of such stuff?\n\n     "In Allah\'s infinite wisdom, the universe was created from nothing,\n        just by saying "Be", and it became. Therefore Allah exists."\n           --- Bobby Mozumder proving the existence of Allah, #1\n\n     "Wait. You just said that humans are rarely reasonable. Doesn\'t that\n      contradict atheism, where everything is explained through logic and\n      reason? This is THE contradiction in atheism that proves it false."\n           --- Bobby Mozumder proving the existence of Allah, #2\n\n              "Plus, to the believer, it would be contradictory\n                    to the Quran for Allah not to exist."\n           --- Bobby Mozumder proving the existence of Allah, #3\n\nand now\n\n   "One thing that relates is among Navy men that get tatoos that say "Mom",\n    because of the love of their mom. It makes for more virile men. Compare\n    that with how homos are raised.  Do a study and you will get my point."\n         -- Bobby Mozumder being Islamically Rigorous on alt.atheism\n\nMmmmm. Quality *and* quantity from the New Voice of Islam (pbuh).\n\nCheers\n\nSimon\n-- \nSimon Clippingdale                simon@dcs.warwick.ac.uk\nDepartment of Computer Science    Tel (+44) 203 523296\nUniversity of Warwick             FAX (+44) 203 525714\nCoventry CV4 7AL, U.K.\n',
  'From: mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate)\nSubject: Re: Gospel Dating\nLines: 48\n\n>So then, you require the same amount of evidence to believe that I \n>a) own a pair of bluejeans and b) have superhuman powers?\n\nWell, I could use the argument that some here use about "nature" and claim\nthat you cannot have superhuman powers because you are a human; superhuman\npowers are beyond what a human has, and since you are a human, any powers\nyou have are not beyond those of a human.  Hence, you cannot have superhuman\npowers.  Sound good to you?\n\nAnyway, to the evidence question: it depends on the context.  In this group,\nsince you are posting from a american college site, I\'m willing to take it\nas given that you have a pair of blue jeans.  And, assuming there is some\ncoherency in your position, I will take it as a given that you do not have\nsuperhuman powers.  Arguments are evidence in themselves, in some respects.\n\n>When you say the "existence of [ sic ] Jesus", I assume that you \n>mean just the man, without any special powers, etc.\n\nYep.\n\n>Many will agree that it is very possible that a man called Jesus DID \n>in fact live. In fact, I am willing to agree that there was some man named \n>Jesus. I have no reason to believe that there wasn\'t ever a man.\n\nGood.\n\n>However, most of the claims ARE extradinary: eg virgin birth \n>[ virgin in the sense of not having any sexual intercourse ], resurection, \n>Son of God, etc. THOSE claims require extra evidence.\n\n"Extra" evidence?  Why don\'t we start with evidence at all?\n\nI cannot see any evidence for the V. B. which the cynics in this group would\never accept.  As for the second, it is the foundation of the religion.\nAnyone who claims to have seen the risen Jesus (back in the 40 day period)\nis a believer, and therefore is discounted by those in this group; since\nthese are all ancients anyway, one again to choose to dismiss the whole\nthing.  The third is as much a metaphysical relationship as anything else--\neven those who agree to it have argued at length over what it *means*, so\nagain I don\'t see how evidence is possible.\n\nI thus interpret the "extraordinary claims" claim as a statement that the\nspeaker will not accept *any* evidence on the matter.\n-- \nC. Wingate        + "The peace of God, it is no peace,\n                  +    but strife closed in the sod.\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu +  Yet, brothers, pray for but one thing:\ntove!mangoe       +    the marv\'lous peace of God."\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: Morality? (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 47\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1ql667INN54a@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n|> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> >I don\'t expect the lion to know, or not know anything of the kind.\n|> >In fact, I don\'t have any evidence that lions ever consider such \n|> >issues.\n|> >And that, of course, is why I don\'t think you can assign moral\n|> >significance to the instinctive behaviour of lions.\n|> \n|> What I\'ve been saying is that moral behavior is likely the null behavior.\n|> That is, it doesn\'t take much work to be moral, but it certainly does to\n|> be immoral (in some cases).\n\nThat\'s the craziest thing I ever heard.   Are you serious?\n\n\t"it doesn\'t take much work to be moral?"\n\n|> Also, I\'ve said that morality is a remnant of evolution.  \n\nReally?   And that\'s why people discuss morality on a daily basis?\nBecause it\'s a kind of evolutionary hangover, like your little toe?\n\n|> Our moral system is based on concepts well practiced in the animal \n|> kingdom.\n\nThis must be some novel use of the phrase "based on" with which I\nam not sufficiently familiar.    What do you mean by "based on" and \nwhat is the significance of it for your argument?\n\n|> \n|> >>So you are basically saying that you think a "moral" is an undefinable\n|> >>term, and that "moral systems" don\'t exist?  If we can\'t agree on a\n|> >>definition of these terms, then how can we hope to discuss them?\n|> >\n|> >No, it\'s perfectly clear that I am saying that I know what a moral\n|> >is in *my* system, but that I can\'t speak for other people.\n|> \n|> But, this doesn\'t get us anywhere.  Your particular beliefs are irrelevant\n|> unless you can share them or discuss them...\n\nWell, we can.   What would you like to know about my particular moral\nbeliefs?\n\nIf you raise a topic I\'ve never considered, I\'ll be quite happy to \ninvent a moral belief out of thin air.\n\njon.\n',
  'From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: New Member\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 20\n\nIn article <C5HIEw.7s1@portal.hq.videocart.com>,\ndfuller@portal.hq.videocart.com (Dave Fuller) wrote:\n>   He is right. Just because an event was explained by a human to have been\n> done "in the name of religion", does not mean that it actually followed\n> the religion. He will always point to the "ideal" and say that it wasn\'t\n> followed so it can\'t be the reason for the event. There really is no way\n> to argue with him, so why bother. Sure, you may get upset because his \n> answer is blind and not supported factually - but he will win every time\n> with his little argument. I don\'t think there will be any postings from\n> me in direct response to one of his.\n\nHey! Glad to have some serious and constructive contributors in this\nnewsgroup. I agree 100% on the statement above, you might argue with\nBobby for eons, and he still does not get it, so the best thing is\nto spare your mental resources to discuss more interesting issues.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!!\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 19\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.200231.10206@ra.royalroads.ca>,\nmlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n> These laws written for the Israelites, God's chosen people whom God had\n> expressly set apart from the rest of the world.  The Israelites were a\n> direct witness to God's existence.  To disobey God after KNOWing that God\n> is real would be an outright denial of God and therefore immediately punishable.\n> Remember, these laws were written for a different time and applied only to \n> God's chosen people.  But Jesus has changed all of that.  We are living in the\n> age of grace.  Sin is no longer immediately punishable by death.  There is\n> repentance and there is salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  And not just\n> for a few chosen people.  Salvation is available to everyone, Jew and Gentile\n> alike.\n\nJews won't agree with you, Malcolm.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: psyrobtw@ubvmsd.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss)\nSubject: [lds] Rick\'s reply\nOrganization: University at Buffalo\nLines: 201\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41\nNntp-Posting-Host: ubvmsd.cc.buffalo.edu\n\nRick Anderson replied to my letter with...\n\nra> In article <C5ELp2.L0C@acsu.buffalo.edu>,\nra> psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss) says:\nra>\nra> >     Well, Jason, it\'s heretical in a few ways. The first point is that\nra> >     this equates Lucifer and Jesus as being the same type of being.\nra> >     However, Lucifer is a created being: "Thou [wast] perfect in thy\nra> >     ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in\nra> >     thee." (Ezekiel 28:15). While Jesus is uncreated, and the Creator of\nra> >     all things: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with\nra> >     God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.\nra> >     All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made\nra> >     that was made." (John 1:1-3) "And he is before all things, and by\nra> >     him all things consist." (Colossians 1:17)\nra>\nra>    Your inference from the Ezekiel and John passages that Lucifer was\nra> "created" and that Jesus was not depends on a particular interpetation of\nra> the word "create" -- one with which many Christians may not agree.\nra> Granted the Mormon belief that all of God\'s children (including Christ\nra> and Lucifer) are eternally existent intelligences which were "organized"\nra> into spirit children by God, the term "creation" can apply equally well\nra> to both of those passages.\n\n     Just briefly, on something that you mentioned in passing. You refer to\n     differing interpretations of "create," and say that many Christians may\n     not agree. So what? That is really irrelevant. We do not base our faith\n     on how many people think one way or another, do we? The bottom line is\n     truth, regardless of popularity of opinions.\n\n     Also, I find it rather strange that in trying to persuade that created\n     and eternally existent are equivalent, you say "granted the Mormon\n     belief..." You can\'t grant your conclusion and then expect the point to\n     have been addressed. In order to reply to the issue, you have to address\n     and answer the point that was raised, and not just jump to the\n     conclusion that you grant.\n\n     The Bible states that Lucifer was created.  The Bible states that Jesus\n     is the creator of all. The contradiction that we have is that the LDS\n     belief is that Jesus and Lucifer were the same.\n\nra> >     Your point that we all are brothers of Jesus and Lucifer is also\nra> >     heretical, since we are not innately brothers and sisters of Christ.\nra> >     We are adopted, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage\nra> >     again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby\nra> >     we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15); and not the natural children\nra> >     of God. It is only through faith that we even enter the family of\nra> >     God; "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."\nra> >     (Galatians 3:26). And it is only through the manifestation of this\nra> >     faith in receiving Jesus that we are become the sons of God.  "But\nra> >     as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of\nra> >     God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not\nra> >     of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but\nra> >     of God." (John 1:12-13)\nra>\nra>    Has it occured to you, Robert, that being "born of" someone or being\nra> of that person (or Person)\'s "family" may be a symbolic term in the New\nra> Testament?  Mormons believe that we are "adopted" into the House of\nra> Israel through baptism and faith in Christ, although some have expressed\nra> belief that this does evince a physical change in our bodies.\n\n     The Mormon belief is that all are children of God. Literally. There is\n     nothing symbolic about it. This however, contradicts what the Bible\n     says. The Bible teaches that not everyone is a child of God:\n\n          The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the \n          kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];\n          (Matthew 13:38)\n\n          I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which \n          ye have seen with your father. (John 8:38)\n\n          Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not \n          born of fornication; we have one Father, [even] God.  Jesus said \n          unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I \n          proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he \n          sent me.  Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye \n          cannot hear my word.  Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the \n          lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the \n          beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in \n          him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a \n          liar, and the father of it. (John 8:41-44)\n\n          And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, [thou] child of \n          the devil, [thou] enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease \n          to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10)\n\n          Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this \n          world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit \n          that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (Ephesians 2:2)\n\n          In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the \n          devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he \n          that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:10)\n\n     One becomes a child of God...\n\n          But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the\n          sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)\n\n          Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that\n          we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us\n          not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God,\n          and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when\n          he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he\n          is. (1 John 3:1-2)\n\n     ...when he is born again through faith in Jesus Christ:\n\n          Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of\n          the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)\n\n          Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus\n          Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,\n          (Ephesians 1:5)\n\n          Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should\n          be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18)\n\n          For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of\n          God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear;\n          but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba,\n          Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we\n          are the children of God: (Romans 8:14-16)\n\n          Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one\n          that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (1 John 4:7)\n\n          Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and\n          every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is\n          begotten of him. (1 John 5:1)\n\n          For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.\n          (Galatians 3:26)\n\nra> >     We are told that, "And this is life eternal, that they might know\nra> >     thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."\nra> >     (John 17:3). Life eternal is to know the only true God. Yet the\nra> >     doctrines of the LDS that I have mentioned portray a vastly\nra> >     different Jesus, a Jesus that cannot be reconciled with the Jesus of\nra> >     the Bible. They are so far removed from each other that to proclaim\nra> >     one as being true denies the other from being true. According to the\nra> >     Bible, eternal life is dependent on knowing the only true God, and\nra> >     not the construct of imagination.\nra>\nra>\nra>    Robert, with all due respect, who died and left you Chief Arbiter of\nra> Correct Biblical Interpretation?  I don\'t mean to be snotty about this,\nra> but the fact is that the Bible is so differently interpreted by different\nra> groups of Biblical scholars (what do you think of the Jehovah\'s\nra> Witnesses, for example?) that to make reference to the "Jesus of the\nra> Bible" is simply ridiculous.  Whose "Jesus of the Bible" do you mean?\n\n     This is really a red herring. It doesn\'t address any issue raised, but \n     rather, it seeks to obfuscate. The fact that some groups try to read \n     something into the Bible, doesn\'t change what the Bible teaches. For \n     example, the fact that the Jehovah\'s Witnesses deny the Deity of Christ \n     does not alter what the Bible teaches [ "Looking for that blessed hope,\n     and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus\n     Christ;" (Titus 2:13),"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus\n     Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through\n     the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:" (2 Peter 1:1)] \n     on the Deity of Christ.\n\n     We first look to the Bible to see what it teaches. To discount, or not \n     even address, what the Bible teaches because there are some groups that \n     have differing views is self-defeating. To see what the Bible teaches, \n     you have to look at the Bible.\n\nra> >     "Our Lord\'s mortality was essential to his own salvation" (_The\nra> >     Promised Messiah_, p. 456), "He had to work out his own salvation by\nra> >     doing the will of the Father in all things" (ibid., p.54), "he had\nra> >     to be baptized to gain admission to the celestial kingdom" (_Mormon\nra> >     Doctrine_, p.71).\nra>\nra>    Welcome to the wonderful world of Mormon paradoctrine, Robert.  The\nra> above books are by the late Bruce R. McConkie, a former general authority\nra> of the LDS Church.  Those books were not published by the Church, nor do\nra> they constitute "offical doctrine."  They consist of his opinions.  Now,\nra> does that mean that what he says is not true?  Not at all; I\'ll have to\nra> think about the idea of Christ\'s personal salvation before I come to any\nra> conclusions myself.  The conclusions I come to may seem "heretical" to\nra> you, but I\'m prepared to accept that.\n\n     I find this rather curious. When I mentioned that the Mormon belief is\n     that Jesus needed to be saved, I put forward some quotes from the late\n     apostle, Bruce McConkie. The curious part is that no one addressed the\n     issue of `Jesus needing to be saved.\' Rick comes the closest with his "I\n     have my own conclusions" to addressing the point.\n\n     Most of the other replies have instead hop-scotched to the issue of\n     Bruce McConkie and whether his views were \'official doctrine.\' I don\'t\n     think that it matters if McConkie\'s views were canon. That is not the\n     issue.  Were McConkie\'s writings indicative of Mormon belief on this\n     subject is the real issue. The indication from Rick is that they may \n     certainly be.\n\n\n=============================\nRobert Weiss\npsyrobtw@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu\n',
  'From: tph@susie.sbc.com (Timothy P. Henrion)\nSubject: Re: Biblical Backing of Koresh\'s 3-02 Tape (Cites enclosed)\nOrganization: /usr/lib/news/organization\nLines: 32\nNNTP-Posting-Host: susie.sbc.com\n\nIn article <1993Apr21.093914.1@woods.ulowell.edu> cotera@woods.ulowell.edu writes:\n>In article <1r17j9$5ie@sbctri.sbc.com>, netd@susie.sbc.com () writes:\n>> In article <20APR199301460499@utarlg.uta.edu> b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu (stephen) writes:\n>>>For those who think David Koresh didn\'t have a solid structure,\n>>>or sound Biblical backing for his hour long tape broadcast,\n>> \n>> I don\'t think anyone really cares about the solid structure of his\n>> sermon.  It\'s the deaths he\'s responsible for that concern most people.\n>\n>I assume you have evidence that he was responsible for the deaths?\n\nOnly my common sense.  The fire was caused by either Koresh and his\nfollowers or by the FBI/ATF/CIA/KGB/and maybe the Harper Valley PTA.  Since\nyou are throwing around the evidence arguement, I\'ll throw it back.  Can\nyou prove any government agency did it?  (Please don\'t resort to "they \ncovered it up so that proves they did it" or any wild theories about how\nthe government agencies intentionally started the fire.  The key words\nare proof and evidence.)\nproves they did it"\n\n>\n>> All that "thou shalt not kill" stuff.\n>\n>I\'d like to point out that the Bible says "Do not commit murder." The NKJ\n>translation mistranslates.  Self-defense was never considered murder.  The\n\nPlease explain how Koresh was defending himself from those children who\nburned.  \n\n-- \n  Tim Henrion              Southwestern Bell Technology Resources\n  thenrion@sbctri.sbc.com       \n',
  'From: 9051467f@levels.unisa.edu.au (The Desert Brat)\nSubject: Re: Keith Schneider - Stealth Poster?\nOrganization: Cured, discharged\nLines: 24\n\nIn article <1pa0f4INNpit@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n\n> But really, are you threatened by the motto, or by the people that use it?\n\nEvery time somone writes something and says it is merely describing the norm,\nit is infact re-inforcing that norm upon those programmed not to think for\nthemselves. The motto is dangerous in itself, it tells the world that every\n*true* American is god-fearing, and puts down those who do not fear gods. It\ndoesn\'t need anyone to make it dangerous, it does a good job itself by just\nexisting on your currency.\n\n> keith\n\nThe Desert Brat\n-- \nJohn J McVey, Elc&Eltnc Eng, Whyalla, Uni S Australia,    ________\n9051467f@levels.unisa.edu.au      T.S.A.K.C.            \\/Darwin o\\\nFor replies, mail to whjjm@wh.whyalla.unisa.edu.au      /\\________/\nDisclaimer: Unisa hates my opinions.                       bb  bb\n+------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------+\n|"It doesn\'t make a rainbow any less beautiful that we | "God\'s name is smack  |\n|understand the refractive mechanisms that chance to   | for some."            |\n|produce it." - Jim Perry, perry@dsinc.com             |    - Alice In Chains  |\n+------------------------------------------------------+-----------------------+\n',
  'From: bobsarv@microsoft.com (Bob Sarver)\nSubject: Re: JUDAS, CRUCIFIXION, TYRE, Etc...\nOrganization: Microsoft Corp.\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 32\n\n\n\n/(Frank DeCenso)\n/>\n/>I need to prioritize things in my life, and this board is not all that important\n/>to me.  \n\nOf course it is.  It forms a very big part of your self-respect.  You come onto \nthe board, thinking you\'re some sort of apologeticist for your faith, and you\nroutinely get roasted over a grill for stupid theories and unfounded assumptions.\n\n\n\n\n/(Frank DeCenso)\n/This board will have\n/>to wait until (if ever) I can organize my life to fit it in.  I tried dropping\n/>out, but Sieferman coerced me to come back.  He won\'t this time.\n\nI doubt that Sieferman has anything to do with you dropping out.  \n\nIt\'s probably closer to the truth to say that you don\'t have the cards to \nplay in this game (because you insist on playing from a losing hand), and you\'re\nfinally realizing it.  You will lurk on the board, and keep \nquiet for a while, looking for an area where you are *certain* that you \nare correct, and then we\'ll see you pop back in again.  Of course, you then\nwill say that you have merely returned because your life is now "in order".\n\nBut we\'ll know better.\n\n\n\n',
  "Subject: Re: Biblical Backing of Koresh's 3-02 Tape (Cites enclosed)\nFrom: kmcvay@oneb.almanac.bc.ca (Ken Mcvay)\nOrganization: The Old Frog's Almanac\nLines: 20\n\nIn article <20APR199301460499@utarlg.uta.edu> b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu (stephen) writes:\n\n>Seems to me Koresh is yet another messenger that got killed\n>for the message he carried. (Which says nothing about the \n\nSeems to be, barring evidence to the contrary, that Koresh was simply\nanother deranged fanatic who thought it neccessary to take a whole bunch of\nfolks with him, children and all, to satisfy his delusional mania. Jim\nJones, circa 1993.\n\n>In the mean time, we sure learned a lot about evil and corruption.\n>Are you surprised things have gotten that rotten?\n\nNope - fruitcakes like Koresh have been demonstrating such evil corruption\nfor centuries.\n-- \nThe Old Frog's Almanac - A Salute to That Old Frog Hisse'f, Ryugen Fisher \n     (604) 245-3205 (v32) (604) 245-4366 (2400x4) SCO XENIX 2.3.2 GT \n  Ladysmith, British Columbia, CANADA. Serving Central Vancouver Island  \nwith public access UseNet and Internet Mail - home to the Holocaust Almanac\n",
  'From: joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin)\nSubject: Apology to Jim Meritt (Was: Silence is concurance)\nDistribution: usa\nOrganization: Intelligent Systems Program\nLines: 39\n\nm23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt) writes:\n>}So stop dodging the question.  What is hypocritical about my\n>}criticizing bad arguments, given that I do this both when I agree\n>}with the conclusion and when I disagree with the conclusion?  \n>\n>You are the one who has claimed to possess the fruits of precognition,\n>telepathy, and telempathy.  Divine it yourself.\n\nAnother dodge.  Oh well.  I\'m no match for your amazing repertoire\nof red herrings and smoke screens.  \n\nYou asked for an apology.  I\'m not going to apologize for pointing out\nthat your straw-man argument was a straw-man argument.  Nor for saying\nthat your list of "bible contradictions" shows such low standards of\nscholarship that it should be an embarrassment to anti-inerrantists,\njust as Josh McDowell should be an embarrassment to the fundies.  Nor\nfor objecting various times to your taking quotes out of context.  Nor\nfor pointing out that "they do it too" is not an excuse. Nor for calling\nyour red herrings and smoke screens what they are.\n\nI\'m still not sure why you think I\'m a hypocrite.  It\'s true that I\nhaven\'t responded to any of Robert Weiss\' articles, which may be due in\npart to the fact that I almost never read his articles.  But I have\nresponded to both you and Frank DeCenso (a fundie/inerrantist.)  Both\nyou and Frank have taken quotes out of context, and I\'ve objected to\nboth of you doing so.  I\'ve criticized bad arguments both when they\nwere yours and I agreed with the conclusion (that the Bible is not\ninerrant), and when they were Frank\'s and I disagreed with the\nconclusion.  I\'ve criticized both you and Frank for evading questions,\nand for trying to "explain me away" without addressing the objections\nI raise (you by accusing me of being hypocritical and irrational, Frank\nby accusing me of being motivated by a desire to attack the Bible.) I\ndon\'t see that any of this is hypocritical, nor do I apologize for it.\n\nI do apologize, however, for having offended you in any other way.\n\nHappy now?\n\ndj\n',
  'From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Disillusioned Protestant Finds Christ\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 23\n\nIn article <C5KxDD.K4J@boi.hp.com>, jburrill@boi.hp.com (Jim Burrill)\nwrote:\n> If Jesus never taught the concept of the Trinity, how do you deal with the \n> following:   \n> \n>    Mat 28 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven\n>    and on earth has been given to me.\n> \n>    Mat 28 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing\n>    them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,\n> \n>    Mat 28 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.\n>    And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." \n\nJim, please, that\'s a lame explanation of the trinity that Jesus provides\nabove. Baptizing people in the name of three things != trinity. If\nthis is the case, then I\'m wrong, I assumed that trinity implies that\nGod is three entities, and yet the same.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!!\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 25\n\nIn article <1993Apr19.165717.25790@ra.royalroads.ca>,\nmlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee) wrote:\n> \n> It is true what you stated above:  Jesus' saving grace is available to\n> everyone, not just Jews.  In other words, everyone can have salvation but\n> not everyone will.  This option is now open to people other than just\n> Jews.  Of course, if the Jews don't accept the deity of Christ, I would\n> hardly expect them to accept anything that Christ said.  But I don't feel\n> any animosity towards them.  Even though they persecuted Jesus and his\n> disciples and eventually crucified Him, I bear them no ill will.  If anything,\n> I feel pity for them.  Jesus had to die to pay the price for our sins and\n> so the Jews were merely fulfilling prophesy.  Jesus knew He had to die even\n> before He began His ministry.  That demonstrates the great depth of His love\n> for us.\n\nJesus certainly demonstrated the great depth of his love for the\nchildren who died today at the Davidian complex.\n\nSorry, but the events today made me even more negative concering\norganized religion.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  "From: russpj@microsoft.com (Russ Paul-Jones)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is \nOrganization: Microsoft Corporation\nLines: 17\n\nIn article <1993Apr16.193723.19050@asl.dl.nec.com> duffy@aslss02.asl.dl.nec.com (Joseph Duffy) writes:\n>\n>How does one falsify any origin theory? For example, are a forever existing\n>universe or abiogenesis strictly falsifiable?\n\nThe same way that any theory is proven false.  You examine the predicitions\nthat the theory makes, and try to observe them.  If you don't, or if you\nobserve things that the theory predicts wouldn't happen, then you have some \nevidence against the theory.  If the theory can't be modified to \nincorporate the new observations, then you say that it is false.\n\nFor example, people used to believe that the earth had been created\n10,000 years ago.  But, as evidence showed that predictions from this \ntheory were not true, it was abandoned.\n\n-Russ Paul-Jones\nrusspj@microsoft.com\n",
  'From: m23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt)\nSubject: Re: Silence is concurance\nNntp-Posting-Host: mwunix.mitre.org\nOrganization: MITRE Corporation, McLean VA\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 76\n\nIn article <9157@blue.cis.pitt.edu> joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin) writes:\n}For those missing the context of this thrilling discussion between\n}Jim and I, Jim wrote the following to me in e-mail after I pointed out\n\nHate to shatter your self image of perfection that  you appear to hold, but\nyour language is wrong: Jim and me.\n\n}I pointed out that I did, in fact, agree that both Robert Weiss and\n}Jim Meritt took quotes out of context.  Hence, I find it difficult to\n}understand why Jim thinks I am a hypocrite.  Needless to say, I don\'t\n}have time to reply to *every* article on t.r.m. that takes a quote\n}out of context.  \n\nOf course not - just the ones you disagree with.  Q.E.D.\n\n}>}So, according to you, Jim, the only way to criticize one person for\n}>}taking a quote out of context, without being a hypocrite, is to post a\n}>}response to *every* person on t.r.m who takes a quote out of context?\n}\n}Jim replied by saying \n}>Did I either ask or assert that?\n}\n}But today we find four articles from Jim, one of which has the subject\n\nSo?  As of then, and pointing out a specific instance.  Wrongo again.\n\n}>Is it not the case that, in the eyes of the law, when someone is aware of\n}>something and has the capability of taking action and does not, that individual\n}>may be held responsible for that action?\n}\n}Which is, of course, a complete red herring.  Taking quotes out of\n}context isn\'t a crime.  I don\'t have time to read every article on\n}t.r.m., and I\'m certainly under no obligation to reply to them all.\n\nSo?  Check the newsgroups?\n\n}Does "silence is concurrence" imply that Jim thinks that because I\n}didn\'t respond to Weiss\' articles I must condone Weiss\' taking quotes\n}out of context?  Jim doesn\'t want to give a direct answer to this\n}question; read what he has written and decide for yourself.\n\nTelepathy again?  You claim to know what I "want".\n\n}But back to the context of my conversation with Jim.  Jim\'s next \n}gambit was to claim that he was using inductive logic when he\n}concluded that I was being a hypocrite.  I challenged him to provide\n}the details of that logic that led him to an incorrect conclusion.\n\nNo.  YOu asked specifically what was wrong with yours.\n\n}Today we find another obscure article (posting it twice didn\'t help\n\nMaybe to the ignorant.  I accept your classification.\n\n}More red herrings.  Could Jim mean that he has read an uncountably large\n}number of my articles?  \n\nDo you know what "uncountably large" means?  It does not appear so.\n\n}Could Jim mean that because I "axed" his articles,\n}but not Weiss\' articles, he wants to conclude inductively ...\n}Well, I can\'t see where he is going with this.\n\nI am not suprised.\n\n}But I can help him with his induction.  I\'ve written roughly 80\n\nThat does not appear to be the case.  The appearance of your "Argument"\nis more like that Captain Kirk would have gotten from Mr. Spock - written\nby a stagehand at Paramount.\n\n}Think hard about this Jim.  See the pattern?  Think harder.  Run it\n}through your induction engine and see what pops out.  \n\nOf course.  You appear arrogant.  So?  I already had figured that out.\n\n',
  "From: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (USA)\nLines: 18\nReply-To: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nNNTP-Posting-Host: hela.ins.cwru.edu\n\n\nIn a previous article, cdcolvin@rahul.net (Christopher D. Colvin) says:\n\n>I worked at AMORC when I was in HS.\n\nOK: So you were a naive teen.\n\n>He [HS Lewis] dates back to the 20's. \n\n\tWrong: 1915 and if you do your homework, 1909.\nBut he was born LAST century (1883).\n\n>\n>Right now AMORC is embroiled in some internal political turmoil. \n\nNo it isn't. \n\n\n",
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 14\nNNTP-Posting-Host: lloyd.caltech.edu\n\nsandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n\n>So how do you then explain sudden violent behavior of human beings?\n>Your theory would state that the more the human is detached from \n>primitive behavior, the more violent and non-moralistic the human\n>becomes (please correct me if my understanding was wrong). So\n>you have this bifurcation point where a madman is killing people\n>from the roof of a campus. Could you explain how your 'theory'\n>explains such a situation?\n\nMadmen are mad.  Do we try to explain the output from a broken computer?\nI think not.\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: jmeritt@mental.mitre.org\nSubject: By the sword...\nOrganization: UTexas Mail-to-News Gateway\nLines: 13\nNNTP-Posting-Host: cs.utexas.edu\n\nDeuteronmy 20:13\nAnd when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite\nevery male thereof with the edge of the sword\n\nJoshua 6:21\nAnd they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, bith man and women,\nyoung and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.\n\nJoshua 10:32\nAnd the Lord delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the\nsecond day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that\nwere therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah\n\n',
  'Subject: Re: Biblical Rape\nFrom: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\n <1p387f$jh3@fido.asd.sgi.com> <1993Mar29.010116.18203@watson.ibm.com> \n <16BA0D964.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de> \n <1993Apr01.184110.33851@watson.ibm.com> \n <16BA4ADAC.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de> \n <1993Apr03.012536.18323@watson.ibm.com> <16BA6C534.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de> <1993Apr04.225107.39364@watson.ibm.com>\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 154\n\nIn article <1993Apr04.225107.39364@watson.ibm.com>\nstrom@Watson.Ibm.Com (Rob Strom) writes:\n \n(Deletion)\n>\n>The thread "Biblical Rape" was initiated by David O Hunt.\n>Here is his posting:\n>In article <8feu_KO00XsF0kpc5p@andrew.cmu.edu>, David O Hunt <bluelobster+@CMU.EDU> writes:\n>|> I\'m pretty sure I\'ve seen biblical rules for when it\'s allowable to rape\n>|> prisoners, what the codes are about that, etc.  Could some more\n>|> knowledgable soul than I please let me know some references?\n>\n>He asked a very narrow question, and I gave a very narrow answer.\n>\n \nYes, sorry. I have got that wrong. My apology.\n \n \n(Deletion)\n \n>No. David Hunt\'s post didn\'t mention a god, nor did my response.\n>You were the first to bring up the idea of the Bible being "given\n>by god".  Most Jews don\'t believe this in any literal sense.\n>\n \nSo? No fun, but I must have met the minority then.\nAnd "given by god" refers to any action whereby a god\ngod causes or better effects something.\n \n \nRob, I am not intimate with Jewish theology, but I understand\nthat you are a Messianic Jew. Correct me if I am wrong, but\nit appears that the views of Messianic Jews on metaphysics\nis different to that of the majority of Jews. While Jewish\ntheology overall is quite distinct from the Christianic god\nviews, I have heard that it is possible for Jews to attribute\nevil to their god, an no-no for Christians, the Bible is\nstill seen as effect of the interaction of some god with man.\n \n \n(Deletion)\n>No.  I thought we agreed that though Jews disagree,\n>there are a set of core beliefs that they do agree upon,\n>one of which is that the commandments are accessible\n>and written in the language of the time, and another\n>of which is that there must be a legal system to update them.\n>\n \nThe context was metaphysics, even when the process of adapting\nthe commandments is not transcendent, the justification of the\nprocess lie in metaphysic specualtion. I wonder how you break\nout of the shackles of having metaphysics in your system.\n \n \n(Deletion)\n>Could you explain this with respect to the original commandments\n>being discussed --- that is, the commandment that says if\n>you feel like raping a woman prisoner, you should instead\n>wait and marry her?  What about "the way this commandment\n>is given" invalidates it?\n>\n \nIs is in a book that commands to commit genocide among other\nreprehensible deeds. The context is repulsive, and it is\nfoul play, IMO, to invoke some relatively enlightened passages\nas an example for the content of the whole book.\n \n \n(Big deletion)\n>|>\n>|> The point is that I see that there is a necessary connection\n>|> between the theology you use and the interpretation of the Bible.\n>|>\n>\n>Only very loosely.  My interpretation of the Bible is\n>based on a long tradition of Jewish scholars interpreting\n>the Bible.  Theology doesn\'t really enter into it ---\n>there are Jewish atheists who interpret the laws of\n>charity essentially the same way I do.\n>\n \nNo, not the interpretation of some laws, but the interpretation of\nthe bible. As in the example that Sodom and Gomorrha mean argue\nwith god. The whole idea that it is metaphorically and yet allows\nyou to argue with a god (whatever that means, that alone is a theo-\nlogic question) is proof of a theology used.\n \n \n>|> >You pose another metaphysical riddle!\n>|>\n>|> No, you do.\n>|>\n>\n>Well, you wrote this:\n>|> Fine. So we have some major spirit with neither absolute power\n>|> nor absolute knowledge. And, as it appears, limited means or will\n>|> to communicate with us. Some form of spiritual big friend.\n>|> Do you admit that using god in this context is somewhat unusual?\n>|>\n>|> Am I right in the assumption that it cannot have created the\n>|> universe as well? And that the passages in the Bible referring\n>|> to that or its omnipotence are crap?\n>\n>That\'s what I meant by the "riddle".\n>\n \nIt is an important question in the light of what for instance the\npassage witrh Sodom and Gomorrha means. Either there is some connection\nbetween the text, the fact that it exists, and your interpretation of\nit, or it is purely arbitrary.. Further, the question is why is has\none to carry the burden of Biblical texts when one could simply write\nother books that convey the message better. You might answer that one\ncan\'t becuase  some peculiar Biblical information might be lost, but\nthat holds true of every other book, and the question remains why has\nthe Bible still a special place? Can\'t it be replaced somehow? Is it\nok to bargain the dangerous content of the Bible against some other\nmessage that is included as well?\n \n \n(Deletion)\n>|> Do you see the danger in doing so? Especially with the metaphers used\n>|> in the Bible?\n>\n>I think the danger of doing so is less than either the\n>danger of having a frozen system of laws, or having no laws.\n>\n \nSorry, but there are worse systems does not say anything about if\none could not have a better system.\n \n(Deletion)\n>If we\n>read two stories about the importance of helping the poor,\n>and in one God is a spirit, and in the other God has a body,\n>which is more important, helping the poor, or resolving\n>the contradiction about the corporeal nature of God?\n>\n \nIf we read two stories in the Bible, one that god commands people\nto kill children for being idolaters and another where god kills\nchildren directly, what is more important to resolve, the message that\nchildren are to be killed or if it has  to be done by god?\n \n \nAnd the argument you have given is a fallacy, while it may not be important\nin the context you have given to find out if god is corporeal or not, it\ncan be crucial in other questions. Religious believers resolve contradictions\nwith that they choose one of the possibilities given in an arbitrary way,\nand have the advantage of being able to attribute their decision to some\ngod.\n \nOne cannot resolve questions by the statement do what is good when what\nis good depends on the question.\n   Benedikt\n',
  'From: b.liddicott@ic.ac.uk\nSubject: Re: He has risen!\nOrganization: Imperial College Parapsychology Group\nLines: 8\nNNTP-Posting-Host: cs.utexas.edu\n\n\n\nJust to remark that I have heard that David Koresh has risen from \nthe dead.  I dont know if it is true or not, but this is what I have\nbeen told.  What do you guys think?\n\nBen L.\n\n',
  'Subject: Re: Christian Daemons? [Biblical Demons, the u\nFrom: stigaard@mhd.moorhead.msus.edu\nReply-To: stigaard@mhd.moorhead.msus.edu\nOrganization: Moorhead State University, Moorhead, MN\nNntp-Posting-Host: 134.29.97.2\nLines: 23\n\n>>>667\n>>>the neighbor of the beast\n>>\n>>No, 667 is across the street from the beast.  664 and 668 are the\n>>neighbors of the beast.\n>\n>I think some people are still not clear on this:\n>667 is *not* the neighbor of the beast, but, rather, across the\n>street. It is, in fact, 668 which is the neighbor of the beast.\n\nno, sheesh, didn\'t you know 666 is the beast\'s apartment?  667 is across the\nhall from the beast, and is his neighbor along with the rest of the 6th floor.\n\n>Justin (still trying to figure out what this has to do with alt.discordia)\n\nThis doesn\'t seem discordant to you?\n\n-----------------------     ----------------------     -----------------------\n\t-Paul W. Stigaard, Lokean Discordian Libertarian\n  !XOA!\t\tinternet:  stigaard@mhd1.moorhead.msus.edu\n (fnord)       Episkopos and Chair, Moorhead State University Campus Discordians\n\t\tRectal neufotomist at large\n     "If I left a quote here, someone would think it meant something."\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: Moraltiy? (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 63\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1ql8ekINN635@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n|> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> >>>>What if I act morally for no particular reason?  Then am I moral?  What\n|> >>>>if morality is instinctive, as in most animals?\n|> >>>\n|> >>>Saying that morality is instinctive in animals is an attempt to \n|> >>>assume your conclusion.\n|> >>\n|> >>Which conclusion?\n|> >\n|> >You conclusion - correct me if I err - that the behaviour which is\n|> >instinctive in animals is a "natural" moral system.\n|> \n|> See, we are disagreeing on the definition of moral here.  Earlier, you said\n|> that it must be a conscious act.  By your definition, no instinctive\n|> behavior pattern could be an act of morality.  You are trying to apply\n|> human terms to non-humans.\n\nPardon me?   *I* am trying to apply human terms to non-humans?\n\nI think there must be some confusion here.   I\'m the guy who is\nsaying that if animal behaviour is instinctive then it does *not*\nhave any moral sugnificance.   How does refusing to apply human\nterms to animals get turned into applying human terms?\n\n|> I think that even if someone is not conscious of an alternative, \n|> this does not prevent his behavior from being moral.\n\nI\'m sure you do think this, if you say so.   How about trying to\nconvince me?\n\n|> \n|> >>You don\'t think that morality is a behavior pattern?  What is human\n|> >>morality?  A moral action is one that is consistent with a given\n|> >>pattern.  That is, we enforce a certain behavior as moral.\n|> >\n|> >You keep getting this backwards.  *You* are trying to show that\n|> >the behaviour pattern is a morality.  Whether morality is a behavior \n|> >pattern is irrelevant, since there can be behavior pattern, for\n|> >example the motions of the planets, that most (all?) people would\n|> >not call a morality.\n|> \n|> I try to show it, but by your definition, it can\'t be shown.\n\nI\'ve offered, four times, I think, to accept your definition if\nyou allow me to ascribe moral significence to the orbital motion\nof the planets.\n\n|> \n|> And, morality can be thought of a large class of princples.  It could be\n|> defined in terms of many things--the laws of physics if you wish.  However,\n|> it seems silly to talk of a "moral" planet because it obeys the laws of\n|> phyics.  It is less silly to talk about animals, as they have at least\n|> some free will.\n\nAh, the law of "silly" and "less silly".   what Mr Livesey finds \nintuitive is "silly" but what Mr Schneider finds intuitive is "less \nsilly".\n\nNow that\'s a devastating argument, isn\'t it.\n\njon.\n',
  'From: cocoa@netcom.com\nSubject: Re: Jewish history question\nOrganization: Netcom - Online Communication Services (408 241-9760 guest)\nLines: 60\n\nIn article <1993Apr10.195513.17991@csi.uottawa.ca> misrael@csi.uottawa.ca (Mark Israel) writes:\n>In article <cocoaC5797E.43y@netcom.com>, cocoa@netcom.com (little \'e\') writes:\n>\n[deleted]\n>> Here tis.  Someone just told me that the Old Testament books were translated\n>> into Greek a long time ago\n>\n>   Yes, that\'s a famous version called The Septuagint.  It was a translation\n>made by Greek Jews.\n>\n>> and that the originals were destroyed in a fire soon afterward.\n>\n>   I don\'t know what you\'re referring to here.  When the Jersusalem Temple was\n>destroyed, some manuscripts may have been lost, but I think our extant Hebrew\n>manuscripts are as good as our Greek ones.  I don\'t know about any "originals".\n\nThe person who was telling me about the Septuagint version said that the Greeks\nhad a wonderful library in Alexandria that was full of manuscripts/scrolls\nand that it was burned soon after the Septuagint version was translated \n(perhaps to conceal some changes in the different versions, or perhaps just\nas part of the typical burning of valuable things that occurs during changes\nin power groups, he/I dunno).\n\n>> So, I was just wondering, since I imagine some Jewish people somewhere must \n>> have had copies of the earlier Hebrew versions, is the Hebrew version of the \n>> Old Testament very different from the Greek derived version?\n\n>   No.  There are a few famous discrepancies (Isaiah\'s prophecy about a "young\n>woman" was changed into a "virgin", which was how the New Testament writers\n>read it), but not many.\n\nWell, perhaps this is the answer then.\n\n[deleted]\n>   If you go to a Jewish bookstore, you\'ll get a Bible translated by Jews, so\n>there will be some differences in interpretation, but the text they\'re \n>translating *from* is basically the same.\n>\n>   If you want to read "the original", you can buy an Interlinear Bible.  That\n>contains the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament, with an English\n>translation written underneath each word.\n>\n>   If you want a Bible with a possibly-more-original basic text, you can try\n>to find a Samaritan bible.  (Good luck!  I\'ve never seen one.)  The Samaritans \n>(no, not the Good Samaritans) have their own version of the 5 Books of Moses.\n>They claim the Jewish bible was altered by Ezra.\n\nThanks for the tips.  Now I just have to find someone to teach me Samaritan :)\n\nJust me,\n\nlittle \'e\'\n\n(so, is a "good Samaritan hard to find?" or "is a hard... " Oh, finish this\nyourself.)\n\n-- \n*  *  *    Chocolatier at Arms, and Castle Wetware Liason            *  *  *\n*  *  *    e-mail: cocoa@netcom.com   -    voicemail: 415-337-4940   *  *  *\n\n',
  'From: mas@Cadence.COM (Masud Khan)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: Cadence Design Systems, Inc.\nLines: 48\n\nIn article <16BAFA9D9.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de> I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau) writes:\n> \n> \n>Yes, but, fortunately, religions have been replaced by systems\n>that value Human Rights higher.\n\nSecular laws seem to value criminal life more than the victims life,\nIslam places the rights of society and every member in it above \nthe rights of the individual, this is what I call true human rights.\n\n> \n>By the way, do you actually support the claim of precedence of Islamic\n>Law? In case you do, what about the laws of other religions?\n\nAs a Muslim living in a non-Muslim land I am bound by the laws of the land\nI live in, but I do not disregard Islamic Law it still remains a part of my \nlife. If the laws of a land conflict with my religion to such an extent\nthat I am prevented from being allowed to practise my religion then I must \nleave the land. So in a way Islamic law does take precendence over secular law\nbut we are instructed to follow the laws of the land that we live in too.\n\nIn an Islamic state (one ruled by a Khaliphate) religions other than Islam\nare allowed to rule by their own religious laws provided they don\'t affect\nthe genral population and don\'t come into direct conflict with state \nlaws, Dhimmis (non-Muslim population) are exempt from most Islamic laws\non religion, such as fighting in a Jihad, giving Zakat (alms giving)\netc but are given the benefit of these two acts such as Military\nprotection and if they are poor they will receive Zakat.\n\n> \n>If not, what has it got to do with Rushdie? And has anyone reliable\n>information if he hadn\'t left Islam according to Islamic law?\n>Or is the burden of proof on him?\n>   Benedikt\n\nAfter the Fatwa didn\'t Rushdie re-affirm his faith in Islam, didn\'t\nhe go thru\' a very public "conversion" to Islam? If so he is binding\nhimself to Islamic Laws. He has to publicly renounce in his belief in Islam\nso the burden is on him.\n\nMas\n\n\n-- \nC I T I Z E N  +-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-+\n_____   _____  | C A D E N C E  D E S I G N  S Y S T E M S  Inc. |\n     \\_/       | Masud Ahmed Khan mas@cadence.com All My Opinions|\n_____/ \\_____  +-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-+\n',
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: Objective morality (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 74\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nlivesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n\n>I want to know how this omniscient being is going to perform\n>the feat of "definitely" terming actions right or wrong.\n\nIf you were omniscient, you\'d know who exactly did what, and with what\npurpose in mind.  Then, with a particular goal in mind, you sould be\nable to methodically judge whether or not this action was in accordance\nwith the general goal.\n\n>>>I don\'t think you\'ve show the existence of *any* objective moral system.\n>>They exist, but in practice, they are difficult to perfectly emulate.\n>>I mean, you understand the concept of an objective system, right?\n>I thought you were explaining it to us.   I certainly don\'t\n>understand what you are explaining.\n\nIn an objective system, there are known goals.  Then, actions are judged\nas either being compatible with these goals, or not.  Simple.  The problem\nwith most systems in current practice is that the goals differ.  That is,\nthe goals of each society are different.\n\nNote that an objective system is not necessarily an inherent one.\n\n>>The concept of innocence is dependent on whether certain actions are\n>>"right" or "wrong," and this depends on the moral system.  But, if\n>>we have an objective system, then someone can be deemed innocent or\n>>not quite easily by an omniscient person.  Anyway, I think I cleared\n>>up the recursive definition of "murder," because no one is complaining\n>>about it.\n>I don\'t think it solves anything to speculate where we would be\n>if we *did* have an objective moral system.  The question is\n>still whether you can even say what one is.\n\nI\'ve said it many, many times.\n\n>And for what it\'s worth, I don\'t think you cleared up *anything*\n>concerning murder.\n\nWhich part do you have a problem with?\n\n>>>What do you mean by "harmed?"  Is it harm if you have to spend\n>>>your existence metabolising food for another species?\n>>Oh, most moral systems would be considered only within a species.  It\n>>is okay for us to enslave other animals, right?  But not humans...\n>>Of course, ideally, perhaps we wouldn\'t even have to bother any other\n>>animals...\n>One the first point, it\'s wrong to enslave humans according to my\n>persoanl moral system.  On the second point, I\'m a vegetarian.\n\nBut, we can enslave the animals, right?  But just not kill them?  Or\nare you a vegetarian for health reasons?\n\n>So, are you a vegetarian?\n\nNo.  I fail to see how my *personal* views are relevant, anyway.\n\n>Is it wrong to eat animals in your personal moral system?\n\nOf course not.  It seems perfectly valid to kill members of other species\nfor food.  It might be nice, though, if the other animals were not made\nto suffer.  For instance, a cow in a field lives out its life just about\nthe same way it would in the wild.  They seem happy enough.  However,\nthe veal youngsters aren\'t treated very well.\n\n>How about an "objective" moral system?\n\nI don\'t know.  What is the goal of this particular system?  There is no\ninherent system.\n\n>How about a "natural" moral system.\n\nNope.  Again, it seems okay to kill other species for food.\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: kilroy@gboro.rowan.edu (Dr Nancy\'s Sweetie)\nSubject: Re: Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Convention\nSummary: Update on events.\nKeywords: update, report, `Woof!\'\nOrganization: Rowan College of New Jersey\nDisclaimer: Sometime tonight, Brandy the WonderDog will turn 11 years old.\n            You can e-mail your presents (he likes rawhide chewy toys) to\n            the address above.\nLines: 73\n\n\nThere were some recent developments in the dispute about Masonry among\nSouthern Baptists.  I posted a summary over in bit.listserv.christia, and\nI suppose that it might be useful here.  Note that I do not necessarily\nagree or disagree with any of what follows: I present it as information.\n\n *\n\nFor a short summary:  a Southern Baptist named Larry Holly wrote a book\nclaiming that Freemasonry is a religion incompatible with Christianity.\n(Mr Holly\'s father rejects Christianity, and Mr Holly blames that on the\nMasons.)\n\nThe SBC\'s Home Missions Board includes an interfaith witness department,\nwhich studies other religions and how to teach them about Christ.  A few\nyears ago, they were ordered to produce a report on Masonry: they concluded\nthat it was not a religion, and therefore was outside their speciality.\nHowever, Mr Holly led a movement of people who oppose Masonry, and\nlast year the Convention again ordered the HMB to study Masonry.  (I got the\nfeeling that they were saying "You got the wrong answer last time, try to\ndo better and get the answer we want.")\n\nAnyway, there\'s been a bit of infighting and some inappropriate actions, but\nthe dust has settled and the report is in.  Nobody is entirely happy with it,\nbut everybody seems willing to live with it.  Both sides are saying things\nsuch as: "This was the best we were going to get in the current environment."\n\nThe report commends the Masons for the charity work they do, such as the\nhospitals and burn centers they operate, as well as efforts to help the\nelderly and prevent drug abuse.  The report acknowledges that many well-\nknown Christians are and have been Masons, and notes that many teachings\nof Masonry are "supportive of Christian faith and practice".  Examples of\nthe latter include belief in God, emphases on honesty and integrity, and\nthat some Masonic lodges incorporate explicit Christian beliefs.\n\nOn the other hand, they note that some aspects of Masonry are incompatible\nwith Southern Baptist principles.  These included the use of titles which some\npeople consider sacrilegious, the taking of certain oaths (even though they\nare not meant seriously), the "undeniably pagan and/or occultic" writings of\nsome Masonic leaders, the implication in some Masonic writings that salvation\ncan be achieved by good works, and the racial discrimination practiced by many\nMasonic lodges.  (I note with some chagrin that Baptist churches as a whole\naren\'t really in a place to speak on this last point.)\n\n\nThe report concludes that Masonry is not a religion, and says that membership\nshould not be endorsed or censured, but left to the discretion of individuals.\nThis was in part because there is variation among different Masonic Lodges,\nand while one may include elements strongly against Christianity, another may\nnot.  Many Southern Baptists have strong convictions about the priesthood of\nthe believer and the autonomy of the local church, and this history probably\ninfluenced how the report came out.\n\n *\n\nThe information above was gleaned from "The Religious Herald", a publication\nof the Baptist General Association of Virginia, and "Baptists Today", which\ndoes not have any direct links to a religious organisation.  (Autonomy is a\nbig issue among some Baptists.  8-)\n\nBecause I have neither the report itself, nor whatever Masonic documents are\nrelevant to these issues, none of the above comes with a guarantee.  Your\nmileage may vary.  Void where prohibited.\n\n\nDarren F Provine / kilroy@gboro.rowan.edu\n\nMilton:  "We use only the finest baby frogs, dew picked and flown from Iraq,\n          cleansed in finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and then\n          sealed in a succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream milk\n          chocolate envelope and lovingly frosted with glucose."\n\nPraline: "That\'s as may be, it\'s still a frog."\n',
  ' zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!wupost!uunet!olivea!sgigate!odin!fido!solntze.wpd.sgi.com!livesey\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nFrom: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\n <1p6rgcINNhfb@gap.caltech.edu> <1p88fi$4vv@fido.asd.sgi.com> \n <1993Mar30.051246.29911@blaze.cs.jhu.edu> <1p8nd7$e9f@fido.asd.sgi.com> <1pa0stINNpqa@gap.caltech.edu> <1pan4f$b6j@fido.asd.sgi.com>\nOrganization: sgi\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\nLines: 20\n\nIn article <1pieg7INNs09@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n|> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> >Now along comes Mr Keith Schneider and says "Here is an "objective\n|> >moral system".  And then I start to ask him about the definitions\n|> >that this "objective" system depends on, and, predictably, the whole\n|> >thing falls apart.\n|> \n|> It only falls apart if you attempt to apply it.  This doesn\'t mean that\n|> an objective system can\'t exist.  It just means that one cannot be\n|> implemented.\n\nIt\'s not the fact that it can\'t exist that bothers me.   It\'s \nthe fact that you don\'t seem to be able to define it.\n\nIf I wanted to hear about indefinable things that might in\nprinciple exist as long as you don\'t think about them too\ncarefully, I could ask a religious person, now couldn\'t I?\n\njon.\n',
  "From: chrisb@seachg.com (Chris Blask)\nSubject: Re: islamic authority over women\nReply-To: chrisb@seachg.com (Chris Blask)\nOrganization: Me, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada\nLines: 78\n\nsnm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu (S.N. Mozumder ) writes:\n>In article <1993Apr7.163445.1203@wam.umd.edu> west@next02.wam.umd.edu writes:\n>>> >> And belief causes far more horrors.\n>>> >> Crusades, \n>>> >> the emasculation and internment of Native Americans,  \n>>> >> the killing of various tribes in South America.\n>>> >-the Inquisition\n>>> >-the Counter-reformation and the wars that followed\n>>> >-the Salem witch trials\n>>> >-the European witch hunts\n>>> >-the holy wars of the middle east\n>>> >-the colonization/destruction of Africa\n>>> >-the wars between Christianity and Islam (post crusade)\n>>> >-the genocide (biblical) of the Canaanites and Philistines\n>>> >-Aryian invasion of India\n>>> >-the attempted genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany\n>>> >-the current missionary assaults on tribes in Africa\n>>> \n>>> I think all the horrors you mentioned are due to *lack* of people\n>>> following religion.\n.d.\n>By lack of people following religion I also include fanatics- people\n>that don't know what they are following.\n.d.\n>So how do you know that you were right?\n>Why are you trying to shove down my throat that religion causes horrors.\n>It really covers yourself- something false to save yourself.\n>\n>Peace,\n>\n>Bobby Mozumder\n>\nI just thought of another one, in the Bible, so it's definately not because\nof *lack* of religion.  The Book of Esther (which I read the other day for\nother reasons) describes the origin of Pur'im, a Jewish celbration of joy\nand peace.  The long and short of the story is that 75,000 people were\nkilled when people were tripping over all of the peacefull solutions \nlying about (you couldn't swing a sacred cow without slammin into a nice,\npeaceful solution.)  'Course Joshua and the jawbone of an ass spring to\nmind...\n\nI agree with Bobby this far: religion as it is used to kill large numbers\nof people is usually not used in the form or manner that it was originally\nintended for.\n\nThat doesn't reduce the number of deaths directly caused by religion, it is\njust a minor observation of the fact that there is almost nothing pure in\nthe Universe.  The very act of honestly attempting to find true meaning in\nreligious teaching has many times inspired hatred and led to war.  Many\npeople have been led by religious leaders more involved in their own\nstomache-contentsthan in any absolute truth, and have therefore been driven to\nkill by their leaders.\n\nThe point is that there are many things involved in religion that often\nlead to war.  Whether these things are a part of religion, an unpleasant\nside effect or (as Bobby would have it) the result of people switching\nbetween Religion and Atheism spontaneously, the results are the same.  \n\n@Religious groups have long been involved in the majority of the bloodiest\nparts of Man's history.@\n\nAtheists, on the other hand (preen,preen) are typically not an ideological\nsocial caste, nor are they driven to organize and spread their beliefs.\nThe overuse of Nazism and Stalinism just show how true this is:  Two groups\nwith very clear and specific ideologies using religious persecution to\nfurther their means.  Anyone who cannot see the obvious - namely that these\nwere groups founded for reasons *entirely* their own, who used religious\npersecution not because of any belief system but because it made them more\npowerfull - is trying too hard.  Basically, Bobby uses these examples\nbecause there are so few wars that were *not* *specifically* fought over\nreligion that he does not have many choices.\n\nWell, I'm off to Key West where the only flames are heating the bottom of\nlittle silver butter-dishes.\n\n-ciao\n\n-chris blask\n",
  'From: edm@twisto.compaq.com (Ed McCreary)\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nIn-Reply-To: healta@saturn.wwc.edu\'s message of Fri, 16 Apr 1993 02: 51:29 GMT\nOrganization: Compaq Computer Corp\n\t<healta.145.734928689@saturn.wwc.edu>\nLines: 47\n\n>>>>> On Fri, 16 Apr 1993 02:51:29 GMT, healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy) said:\nTRH> I hope you\'re not going to flame him.  Please give him the same coutesy you\'\nTRH> ve given me.\n\nBut you have been courteous and therefore received courtesy in return.  This\nperson instead has posted one of the worst arguments I have ever seen\nmade from the pro-Christian people.  I\'ve known several Jesuits who would\nlaugh in his face if he presented such an argument to them.\n\nLet\'s ignore the fact that it\'s not a true trilemma for the moment (nice\nword Maddi, original or is it a real word?) and concentrate on the\nliar, lunatic part.\n\nThe argument claims that no one would follow a liar, let alone thousands\nof people.  Look at L. Ron Hubbard.  Now, he was probably not all there,\nbut I think he was mostly a liar and a con-artist.  But look at how many\nthousands of people follow Dianetics and Scientology.  I think the \nBaker\'s and Swaggert along with several other televangelists lie all\nthe time, but look at the number of follower they have.\n\nAs for lunatics, the best example is Hitler.  He was obviously insane,\nhis advisors certainly thought so.  Yet he had a whole country entralled\nand came close to ruling all of Europe.  How many Germans gave their lives\nfor him?  To this day he has his followers.\n\nI\'m just amazed that people still try to use this argument.  It\'s just\nso obviously *wrong*.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n--\nEd McCreary                                               ,__o\nedm@twisto.compaq.com                                   _-\\_<, \n"If it were not for laughter, there would be no Tao."  (*)/\'(*)\n',
  'From: darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice)\nSubject: Re: Ancient islamic rituals\nOrganization: Monash University, Melb., Australia.\nLines: 29\n\nIn <ednclark.734054731@kraken> ednclark@kraken.itc.gu.edu.au (Jeffrey Clark) writes:\n\n>cfaehl@vesta.unm.edu (Chris Faehl) writes:\n\n>>Why is it more reasonable than the trend towards obesity and the trend towards\n>>depression? You can\'t just pick your two favorite trends, notice a correlation \n>>in them, and make a sweeping statement of generality. I mean, you CAN, and \n>>people HAVE, but that does not mean that it is a valid or reasonable thesis. \n>>At best it\'s a gross oversimplification of the push-pull factors people \n>>experience.  \n\n[...]\n>Basically the social interactions of all the changing factors in our society\n>are far too complicated for us to control. We just have to hold on to the\n>panic handles and hope that we are heading for a soft landing. But one\n>things for sure, depression and the destruction of the nuclear family is not\n>due solely to sex out of marriage.\n\nNote that I _never_ said that depression and the destruction of the\nnuclear family is due _solely_ to extra-marital sex.  I specifically\nsaid that it was "a prime cause" of this, not "the prime cause" or "the\nonly cause" of this -- I recognize that there are probably other factors\ntoo, but I think that extra-marital sex and subsequent destabilization\nof the family is probably a significant factor to the rise in\npsychological problems, including depression, in the West in the 20th\ncentury.\n\n Fred Rice\n darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au   \n',
  'From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: atheist?\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 38\n\nIn article <ePVk2B3w165w@mantis.co.uk>\nTony Lezard <tony@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n \n(Deletion)\n>> In other words, if there were gods, they would hardly make sense, and\n>> it is possible to explain the phenomenon of religion without gods.\n>>\n>> The concept is useless, and I don\'t have to introduce new assumptions\n>> in order to show that.\n>\n>Yes I fully agree with that, but is it "I don\'t believe gods exist", or\n>"I believe no gods exist"? As MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats Andtbacka)\n>pointed out, it all hinges on what you take the word "believe" to mean.\n>\n \nFor me, it is a "I believe no gods exist" and a "I don\'t believe gods exist".\n \nIn other words, I think that statements like gods are or somehow interfere\nwith this world are false or meaningless. In Ontology, one can fairly\nconclude that when "A exist" is meaningless A does not exist. Under the\nPragmatic definition of truth, "A exists" is meaningless makes A exist\neven logically false.\n \nA problem with such statements is that one can\'t disprove a subjective god\nby definition, and there might be cases where a subjective god would even\nmake sense. The trouble with most god definitions is that they include\nsome form of objective existence with the consequence of the gods affecting\nall. Believers derive from it a right to interfere with the life of others.\n \n \n(Deletion)\n>\n>Should the FAQ be clarified to try to pin down this notion of "belief"?\n>Can it?\n>\n \nHonestly, I don\'t see the problem.\n   Benedikt\n',
  'From: edm@twisto.compaq.com (Ed McCreary)\nSubject: Re: KORESH IS GOD!\nIn-Reply-To: mathew\'s message of Fri, 16 Apr 1993 14: 15:20 +0100\nOrganization: Compaq Computer Corp\n\t<930416.141520.7h1.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk>\nLines: 12\n\n>>>>> On Fri, 16 Apr 1993 14:15:20 +0100, mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk> said:\n\nm> The latest news seems to be that Koresh will give himself up once he\'s\nm> finished writing a sequel to the Bible.\n\nAlso, it\'s the 16th now.  Can the Feds get him on tax evasion?  I don\'t\nremember hearing about him running to the Post Office last night.\n\n--\nEd McCreary                                               ,__o\nedm@twisto.compaq.com                                   _-\\_<, \n"If it were not for laughter, there would be no Tao."  (*)/\'(*)\n',
  "From: cdcolvin@rahul.net (Christopher D. Colvin)\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nNntp-Posting-Host: bolero\nOrganization: a2i network\nLines: 26\n\nIn article <1qvibv$b75@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony \nAlicea) writes:\n>\n>In a previous article, cdcolvin@rahul.net (Christopher D. Colvin) says:\n>\n>>I worked at AMORC when I was in HS.\n>\n>OK: So you were a naive teen.\n>\n>>He [HS Lewis] dates back to the 20's. \n>\n>Wrong: 1915 and if you do your homework, 1909.\n>But he was born LAST century (1883).\n>\n>>\n>>Right now AMORC is embroiled in some internal political turmoil. \n>\n>No it isn't. \n>\n>\n\nI guess the San Jose Mercury news is wrong then, and if so, why is the DA \ninvolved? \n \n-- \nChristopher D. Colvin <cdcolvin@rahul.net>\n",
  'From: "Robert Knowles" <p00261@psilink.com>\nSubject: Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nIn-Reply-To: <1pqfic$9s2@fido.asd.sgi.com>\nNntp-Posting-Host: 127.0.0.1\nOrganization: Kupajava, East of Krakatoa\nX-Mailer: PSILink-DOS (3.3)\nLines: 32\n\n>DATE:   5 Apr 1993 23:32:28 GMT\n>FROM:   Jon Livesey <livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com>\n>\n>In article <114127@bu.edu>, jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n>|> \n>|> I don\'t understand the point of this petty sarcasm. It is a basic \n>|> principle of Islam that if one is born muslim or one says "I testify\n>|> that there is no god but God and Mohammad is a prophet of God" that,\n>|> so long as one does not explicitly reject Islam by word then one _must_\n>|> be considered muslim by all muslims. So the phenomenon you\'re attempting\n>|> to make into a general rule or psychology is a direct odds with basic\n>|> Islamic principles. If you want to attack Islam you could do better than\n>|> than to argue against something that Islam explicitly contradicts.\n>\n>Then Mr Mozumder is incorrect when he says that when committing\n>bad acts, people temporarily become atheists?\n>\n>jon.\n\nOf course B.M. is not incorrect.  He is defending Islam.  When defending\nIslam against infidels you can say anything and no one will dare criticize\nyou.  But when an atheist uses the same argument he is using "petty sarcasm".  So\nB.M. can have his "temporary atheists" whenever he needs them and all the\n"temporary atheists" can later say that they were always good Muslims because\nthey never explicitly rejected Islam.  \n\nTemporary atheism, temporary Islam, temporary marriage.  None of it sticks.  \nA teflon religion.  How convenient.  And so easy to clean up after.  But \nthen, what would you expect from a bunch of people who can\'t even agree on \nthe phases of the moon?\n\n\n',
  "From: dgraham@bmers30.bnr.ca (Douglas Graham)\nSubject: Re: Jews can't hide from keith@cco.\nOrganization: Bell-Northern Research, Ottawa, Canada\nLines: 40\n\nIn article <1pqdor$9s2@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n>In article <1993Apr3.071823.13253@bmerh85.bnr.ca>, dgraham@bmers30.bnr.ca (Douglas Graham) writes:\n>The poster casually trashed two thousand years of Jewish history, and \n>Ken replied that there had previously been people like him in Germany.\n\nI think the problem here is that I pretty much ignored the part\nabout the Jews sightseeing for 2000 years, thinking instead that\nthe important part of what the original poster said was the bit\nabout killing Palestinians.  In retrospect, I can see how the\nsightseeing thing would be offensive to many.  I originally saw\nit just as poetic license, but it's understandable that others\nmight see it differently.  I still think that Ken came on a bit\nstrong though.  I also think that your advice to Masud Khan:\n\n  #Before you argue with someone like Mr Arromdee, it's a good idea to\n  #do a little homework, or at least think.\n\nwas unnecessary.\n\n>That's right.   There have been.    There have also been people who\n>were formally Nazis.   But the Nazi party would have gone nowhere\n>without the active and tacit support of the ordinary man in the\n>street who behaved as though casual anti-semitism was perfectly\n>acceptable.\n>\n>Now what exactly don't you understand about what I wrote, and why\n>don't you see what it has to do with the matter at hand?\n\nThroughout all your articles in this thread there is the tacit\nassumption that the original poster was exhibiting casual\nanti-semitism.  If I agreed with that, then maybe your speech\non why this is bad might have been relevant.  But I think you're\nreading a lot into one flip sentence.  While probably not\ntrue in this case, too often the charge of anti-semitism gets\nthrown around in order to stifle legitimate criticism of the\nstate of Israel.\n\nAnyway, I'd rather be somewhere else, so I'm outta this thread.\n--\nDoug Graham         dgraham@bnr.ca         My opinions are my own.\n",
  'From: cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu (Mike Cobb)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: University of Illinois at Urbana\nLines: 36\n\nIn <kmr4.1576.734879396@po.CWRU.edu> kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n\n>In article <1qj9gq$mg7@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank \nO\'Dwyer) writes:\n\n>>Is good logic *better* than bad?  Is good science better than bad?  \n\n> By definition.\n\n\n> great - good - okay - bad - horrible\n\n>    << better\n>       worse >>\n\n\n> Good is defined as being better than bad.\n\n>---\nHow do we come up with this setup?  Is this subjective, if enough people agreed\nwe could switch the order?  Isn\'t this defining one unknown thing by another? \nThat is, good is that which is better than bad, and bad is that which is worse\nthan good?  Circular?\n\nMAC\n>   Only when the Sun starts to orbit the Earth will I accept the Bible. \n>        \n\n--\n****************************************************************\n                                                    Michael A. Cobb\n "...and I won\'t raise taxes on the middle     University of Illinois\n    class to pay for my programs."                 Champaign-Urbana\n          -Bill Clinton 3rd Debate             cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu\n                                              \nWith new taxes and spending cuts we\'ll still have 310 billion dollar deficits.\n',
  "From: psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss)\nSubject: 21 Apr 93   God's Promise in 2 Chronicles 15:2\nOrganization: University at Buffalo\nLines: 10\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41\nNntp-Posting-Host: ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu\n\n\n\tAnd he went out to meet Asa,\n\tAnd said unto him,\n\tHear ye me, Asa,\n\tAnd all Judah and Benjamin;\n\tThe LORD is with you, while ye be with him;\n\tand if ye seek him, he will be found of you;\n\tbut if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.\n\n\t2 Chronicles 15:2\n",
  'From: rjk@world.std.com (Robert J. Kolker)\nSubject: Odds and Ends\nKeywords: Cheap shots a Christianity\nOrganization: The World Public Access UNIX, Brookline, MA\nLines: 46\n\nJust a few cheap shots a Christianity:\n\nRiddle: What is the shortest street in Jerusalem?\nAnswer: The Street of the Righteous Poles.\n\nLimrick:\n\nThere was an archeologist Thostle\nWho found an amazing fossil\nBy the way it was bent\nAnd the knot it the end\n\'twas the penis of Paul the Apostle.\n\nJingle:\nChristianity hits the spot\nTwelve Apostles thats a lot\nJesus Christ and a Virgin too\nChristianity\'s the faith for you\n(with apologies to Pepsi Cola and its famous jingle)\n\nRiddle:\nHow many Christians does it take to save a light bulb.\nAnswer: None, only Jesus can save.\n\nAphorism:\nJesus Saves\nMoses Invests\n\nProof that Jesus was Jewish:\n1. He lived at home till he was 33\n2. He went into his fathers business\n3. He thought he mother was a virgin\n4. His mother thought he was God.\n\nQED.\n\nSo long you all\n\nBob Kolker\n"I would rather spend eternity in Hell with interesting people \nthan eternity in Heaven with Christians"\n\n\n-- \n"If you can\'t love the Constitution, then at least hate the Government"\n\n',
  'From: jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger)\nSubject: Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nOrganization: Boston University Physics Department\nLines: 117\n\nIn article <16BB112949.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de> I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau) writes:\n>In article <115287@bu.edu> jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n\n \n>>>>>A brutal system filtered through "leniency" is not lenient.\n\n\n>>>>Huh?\n\n\n>>>How do you rate public floggings or floggings at all? Chopping off the\n>>>hands, heads, or other body  parts? What about stoning?\n\n\n>>I don\'t have a problem with floggings, particularly, when the offenders\n>>have been given a chance to change their behavior before floggings are\n>>given. I do have a problem with maiming in general, by whatever means.\n>>In my opinion no-one who has not maimed another should be maimed. In\n>>the case of rape the victim _is_ maimed, physically and emotionally,\n>>so I wouldn\'t have a problem with maiming rapists. Obviously I wouldn\'t\n>>have a problem with maiming murderers either.\n\n\n>May I ask if you had the same opinion before you became a Muslim?\n\n\n\nSure. Yes, I did. You see I don\'t think that rape and murder should\nbe dealt with lightly. You, being so interested in leniency for\nleniency\'s sake, apparently think that people should simply be\ntold the "did a _bad_ thing."\n\n\n>And what about the simple chance of misjudgements?\n\nMisjudgments should be avoided as much as possible.\nI suspect that it\'s pretty unlikely that, given my requirement\nof repeated offenses, that misjudgments are very likely.\n\n \n>>>>>>"Orient" is not a place having a single character. Your ignorance\n>>>>>>exposes itself nicely here.\n\n\n>>>>>Read carefully, I have not said all the Orient shows primitive machism.\n\n\n>>>>Well then, why not use more specific words than "Orient"? Probably\n>>>>because in your mind there is no need to (it\'s all the same).\n\n\n>>>Because it contains sufficient information. While more detail is possible,\n>>>it is not necessary.\n\n\n>>And Europe shows civilized bullshit. This is bullshit. Time to put out\n>>or shut up. You\'ve substantiated nothing and are blabbering on like\n>>"Islamists" who talk about the West as the "Great Satan." You\'re both\n>>guilty of stupidities.\n\n\n>I just love to compare such lines to the common plea of your fellow believers\n>not to call each others names. In this case, to substantiate it: The Quran\n>allows that one beATs one\'s wife into submission. \n\n\nReally? Care to give chapter and verse? We could discuss it.\n\n\n>Primitive Machism refers to\n>that. (I have misspelt that before, my fault).\n \n\nAgain, not all of the Orient follows the Qur\'an. So you\'ll have to do\nbetter than that.\n\n\nSorry, you haven\'t "put out" enough.\n\n \n>>>Islam expresses extramarital sex. Extramarital sex is a subset of sex. It is\n>>>suppressedin Islam. That marial sexis  allowed or encouraged in Islam, as\n>>>it is in many branches of Christianity, too, misses the point.\n\n>>>Read the part about the urge for sex again. Religions that run around telling\n>>>people how to have sex are not my piece of cake for two reasons: Suppressing\n>>>a strong urge needs  strong measures, and it is not their business anyway.\n\n>>Believe what you wish. I thought you were trying to make an argument.\n>>All I am reading are opinions.\n \n>It is an argument. That you doubt the validity of the premises does not change\n>it. If you want to criticize it, do so. Time for you to put up or shut up.\n\n\n\nThis is an argument for why _you_ don\'t like religions that suppress\nsex. A such it\'s an irrelevant argument.\n\nIf you\'d like to generalize it to an objective statement then \nfine. My response is then: you have given no reason for your statement\nthat sex is not the business of religion (one of your "arguments").\n\nThe urge for sex in adolescents is not so strong that any overly strong\nmeasures are required to suppress it. If the urge to have sex is so\nstrong in an adult then that adult can make a commensurate effort to\nfind a marriage partner.\n\n\n\nGregg\n\n\n\n\n\n\n',
  "From: brian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615)\nSubject: Re: Biblical Backing of Koresh's 3-02 Tape (Cites enclosed)\nOrganization: Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, Tucson AZ.\nLines: 8\n\nIn article <20APR199301460499@utarlg.uta.edu> b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu (stephen) writes:\n>For those who think David Koresh didn't have a solid structure,\n>or sound Biblical backing for his hour long tape broadcast,\n>I've enclosed a partial list of the sources he cites or quotes\n>he exactly used. As a Christian sermon, it's pretty good, if not \n>inspired.\n\nDavid Koresh was born in Bethlehem ehh?\n",
  'From: brian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615)\nSubject: Re: Is it good that Jesus died?\nOrganization: Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, Tucson AZ.\nLines: 110\n\nJesus:\n\n>     "This is the verdict:  Light has come into the world, but\n>     men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds\n>     are evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will\n>     not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be \n>     exposed."\n\nKent Sandvik says:\n\n>It seems we are dealing with a black-and-white interpretation.\n>Brian, are you subtly accusing me of evil things because I never\n>saw the light? However, this is even more confusing because\n>I even admit that I don\'t like the situation where I\'m not \n>informed.\n\nBlack and white.  A spade is a spade.  There is no hidden\nagenda behind this, so stop trying to look for one.   It is an\neasy and as straight forward as it reads.\n\nKent, I am not accusing you of evil things.  Jesus is accusing you.\nAnd it is not only you that He is accusing.  He is accusing everyone.\nMe, you and everyone in the world is guilty.  Whether one\nsees the light or does not seen the light has nothing to do with \nwhether we do evil things.  We do them regardless.  \n\nJesus uses the word "men".  I am included.  Jesus is not soloing you out.\nJesus is making a general statement about out the sad state of man.\nChristians are not immuned from doing evil things.  A Christian \nis just a person in whom the Holy Spirit indwells.  A Christian \ncan see the evil he is doing--because his evil has been brought\nout into the light.  Jesus is not saying that just because evil has been\nexposed, that the Christian will stop doing evil.  If you haven\'t\nseen Jesus\'s light, your evil deeds simply haven\'t been\nexposed to the His light.  You may shed some light on your\nown.  Your human spirit shines at perhaps 1 candela.  But the\nHoly Spirit shines at a Megacandela.  The Holy Spirit can\nshine light into places inside us where we didn\'t even know\nexisted. \n\nSo do you see Jesus\'s point?  Christians are not perfect.  Nonchristians\nare not perfect.  Nonchristians do not want to come into the\nLight of Jesus because they will see all the problems in their lives,\nand they will not like the sight.  It is an ugly thing to see how far\nwe have fallen from Jesus\'s perspective.  Do you think you want to\nknow how really ignorant you are?  Do you think Brian Kendig wants\nto know?  Do you think I want to know?  Ego verses the truth,\nwhich do you choose?\n\n>I\'m watching the news about a man who saw the light, and made\n>sure that the 19 children burned to death as part of his insight\n>into the light. I don\'t think the world is that simple. And if \n>you act in such ways when you are enlighted, then I\'m a happy\n>man and I pray I will never receive such \'light\'.\n\nAnd I watched Koresh too, an imposter who thought he saw the light, \nwho made sure that the 19 children burned to death, sadly, as part\nof his delusion.  It is even sadder that the people who\ndied with him chose to die with them, and that ignorance was\ntheir downfall to death. \n\nAnd Kent, don\'t you bury yourself underneath a rock with an\nexcuse like bringing up Koresh--as if Koresh actually had truth in him.\nDavid Koresh was no light and no excuse for\nyou to stay away from the real Jesus Christ.  David Koresh, who\nclaimed to be Jesus, was a fraud.  It was obvious.  David Koresh\nwas born in America. Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  Koresh wasn\'t\neven a good imposter having missed an obvious point as that.\n\nJesus warned of such imposters in the end-times.  David\nKoresh wasn\'t anything new to Jesus.  Jesus told us to be\naware of imposters 2000 years ago.  \n\nSo the next time an imposter makes a scene and claims to\nbe Jesus.  Ask the obvious.  Where were you born?  Was your\nmother\'s name Mary?  If the Branch Davidians asked that\nsimple question, they would have labeled Koresh a liar\nright from the start.  The wouldn\'t have followed Koresh.\nThey wouldn\'t have died.  But look what happened.  Their\nignorance cost them their lives.  Their choice to be ignorant\ncost them a lot.\n\nKent, since you studied the Bible under Lutheranism, do you\nnot remember what tactic Satan used to try to tempt Jesus?  \nDid not Satan quote the Bible out of context?  Do you\nremember what tactic the serpent of Genesis used to tempt\nEve?  Did he not misquote God?  What Satan used on Eve and succeeded, \nwas the same ploy he tried on Jesus.  But in Jesus\'s case,\nJesus rebuked Satan back with the Bible _in_ context.  It\ndidn\'t work with Jesus.  \n\nDoes what Satan did to Eve in the Garden and what Satan\ntried to do with Jesus in the desert remind you of what\nKoresh did to his followers?  Who did Koresh emulate?\nWho was Koresh\'s teacher?  Koresh did to his followers what\nSatan did to Eve.  Did not Koresh kill his followersr?  Did\nnot Satan cause Adam and Eve to die as well?  Did not\nthe cult followers believe Koresh even though they knew\nthe real Christ was born in Bethlehem?   Did not Eve\nchoose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and\nevil despite knowing that it would cause her death?  God\nheld them all responsible--deceiver and the rebeller.  None \nof them had an excuse.  \n\nAs opposed to the Branch Davidians, we have a second chance.\nFollow Jesus and he will escort us to the path of eternal life.\nDon\'t follow Jesus, and you stand condemned already, for like\nthe Branch Davidian complex, your house is already on fire.\nSatan, Adam and Eve have already set it ablaze.   It is just\na slow burn, but it is burning nevertheless.\n',
  'From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Genocide is Caused by Atheism\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 27\n\nIn article <1qjfnv$ogt@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank\nO\'Dwyer) wrote:\n> (1) Does the term "hero-worship" mean anything to you?  \n\nYes, worshipping Jesus as the super-saver is indeed hero-worshipping\nof the grand scale. Worshipping Lenin that will make life pleasant\nfor the working people is, eh, somehow similar, or what.\n \n> (2) I understand that gods are defined to be supernatural, not merely\n>     superhuman.\nThe notion of Lenin was on the borderline of supernatural insights\ninto how to change the world, he wasn\'t a communist God, but he was\nthe man who gave presents to kids during Christmas.\n \n> #Actually, I agree. Things are always relative, and you can\'t have \n> #a direct mapping between a movement and a cause. However, the notion\n> #that communist Russia was somewhat the typical atheist country is \n> #only something that Robertson, Tilton et rest would believe in.\n> \n> Those atheists were not True Unbelievers, huh?   :-)\n\nDon\'t know what they were, but they were fanatics indeed.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n',
  "From: pmy@vivaldi.acc.virginia.edu (Pete Yadlowsky)\nSubject: Re: Who's next?  Mormons and Jews?\nOrganization: University of Virginia\nLines: 19\n\nCOCHRANE,JAMES SHAPLEIGH writes\n\n>it wouldn't be the first time a group has committed suicide to avoid the \n>shame of capture and persecution.\n\nThis group killed itself to fulfill its interpretation of prophecy\nand to book a suite in Paradise, taking innocent kids along for the\nride. I hardly think the feds were motivated by persecution. If they\nwere, all Koresh would have had to do was surrender quietly to the\nauthorities, without firing a shot, to get the American people behind\nhim and put the feds in the hot seat. But no, God told him to play\nthe tough guy. There's great strength in yielding, but few appreciate\nthis. \n\n--\nPeter M. Yadlowsky              |  Wake! The sky is light!\nAcademic Computing Center       | Let us to the Net again...\nUniversity of Virginia          |    Companion keyboard.\npmy@Virginia.EDU                |                      - after Basho\n",
  'Subject: Re: Death Penalty (was Re: Political Atheists?)\nFrom: SSAUYET@eagle.wesleyan.edu (SCOTT D. SAUYET)\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Wesleyan University\nNntp-Posting-Host: wesleyan.edu\nX-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.20In-Reply-To: jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com\'s message of 16 Apr 93 16:37:29 MSTLines: 34\nLines: 34\n\njbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com writes:   >\n  ( in <1993Apr16.163729.867@batman.bmd.trw.com> )\n  ( responding to Dave "First With Official A.A Nickname" Fuller )\n \n[ ... ]\n> The death penalty IS a deterrent, Dave.  The person executed will never\n> commit a crime again.  Guaranteed.      [ ... ]\n\nThat means that it is an effective anti-recidivism measure.  It does\nnot say that it deters an individual from committing a capital crime\nin the first place.\n\nThe true question is whether the threat of death is likely to actually\nstop one from murdering.  (Or commiting treason -- are there any other\ncapital crimes anywhere in the USA?)  That is, if there were no death\npenalty, would its introduction deter a would-be criminal from\ncommitting her/his crime?  I doubt it.\n\nThis is only the first step.  Even if it were a strong deterrent\n(short of being a complete deterrent) I would reject it.  For what\nabout the case of the innocent executed?\n\nAnd even if we could eliminate this possibility, I would reject the\ndeath penalty as immoral. This makes me something of a radical on\nthe issue, although I think there are many opponents of captial\npunishment who agree with me, but who find the innocent executed the\nstrongest argument to make.\n\nI would, if magically placed in charge, facilitate state-aided suicide\nfor criminals who have life-sentences.  This could be a replacement\nfor capital punishment.  Those who don\'t want to live the rest of\ntheir lives in jail would always have this option.\n\n -- Scott Sauyet                 ssauyet@eagle.wesleyan.edu\n',
  'From: timmbake@mcl.ucsb.edu (Bake Timmons)\nSubject: Re: Amusing atheists and anarchists\nLines: 117\n\nmccullou@whipple.cs.wisc.edu writes:\n\n>My turn\n>I went back and reread your post.  All you did is attack atheism, and\n>say that agnosticism wasn\'t as funny as atheism.  Nowhere does that\n>imply that you are agnostic, or weak atheist.  As most people who post\n>such inflammatory remarks are theists, it was a reasonable assumption.\n\nSorry, you\'re right.  I did not clearly state it.\n\n>>Rule *2:  Condescending to the population at large (i.e., theists) will not\n>>win many people to your faith anytime soon.  It only ruins your credibility.\n\n>How am I being condescending to the population at large?  I am stating\n>something that happened to be true for a long time, I couldn\'t believe\n>that people actually believed in this god idea.  It was an alien concept\n>to me.  I am not trying to win people to my faith as you put it.  I have\n>no faith.  Religion was a non issue when I had the attitude above because\n>it never even occurred to me to believe.  Atheist by default I guess you\n>could say.\n\nThe most common form of condescending is the rational versus irrational\nattitude.  Once one has accepted the _assumption_ that there is no god(s),\nand then consider other faiths to be irrational simply because their\nassumption(s) contradict your assumption, then I would say there\'s a\nlack of consistency here.\n\nNow I know you\'ll get on me about faith.  If the _positive_ belief that God\ndoes not exist were a closed, logical argument, why do so many rational\npeople have problems with that "logic"?\n\nBut you, probably like me, seem to be a soft atheist.  Sorry for the flamage.\n\n>The line about atheists haveing something up their sleeves is what seemed\n>to imply that.  Sorry, been reading too much on the CLIPPER project lately,\n>and the paranoia over there may have seeped in some.\n\n;)  What is the CLIPPER project BTW?\n\n>>Rule #4:  Don\'t mix apples with oranges.  How can you say that the\n>>extermination by the Mongols was worse than Stalin?  Khan conquered >people\n>>unsympathetic to his cause.  That was atrocious.  But Stalin killed >millions of\n>>his own people who loved and worshipped _him_ and his atheist state!!  >>How can\n>>anyone be worse than that?\n\n>Many rulers have done similar things in the past, only Stalin did it\n>when there was plenty of documentation to afix the blame on him.  The\n>evidence is that some of the early European rulers ruled with an iron\n>fist much like Stalin\'s.  You threw in numbers, and I am sick of hearing\n>about Stalin as an example because the example doesn\'t apply.  You\n>managed to get me angry with your post because it appeared to attack\n>all forms of atheism.\n\nIt might have appeared to attack atheism in general, but its point was\nthat mass killing happens for all sorts of reasons.  People will hate who\nthey will and will wave whatever flag to justify it, be it cross or\nhammer&sickle.  The Stalin example _is_ important not only because it\'s\nstill a widely unappreciated era that people want to forget but also\nbecause people really did love him and his ideas, even after all that he\nhad wrought.\n\n>The evidence I am referring to is more a lack of evidence than negative\n>evidence.  Say I claim there are no pink crows.  I have never seen\n>a pink crow, but that doesn\'t mean it couldn\'t exist.  But, this person\n>here claims that there are pink crows, even though he admits he hasn\'t\n>been able to capture one or get a photo, or find one with me etc.\n>In a sense that is evidence to not believe in the existence of pink crows.\n>That is what I am saying when I look at the evidence.  I look at the\n>suppossed evidence for a deity, show how it is flawed, and doesn\'t show\n>what theists want it to show, and go on.\n\nFirst, all the pink crows/unicorns/elves arguments in the world will not\nsway most people, for they simply do not accept the analogy.  Why?\n\nOne of the big reasons is that many, many people want something\nbeyond this life.  You can pretend that they don\'t want this, but I for\none can accept it and even want it myself sometimes.\n\nAnd there is nothing unique in this example of why people want a God.\nCan love as a truth be proven, logically?\n\n>>themselves, namely, a god or gods.  So in principle it\'s hard to see how\n>>theists are necessarily arrogant.\n\n>Makes no sense to me.  They seem arrogant to make such a claim to me.\n>But my previous refutation still stands, and I believe there may be\n>another one on the net.\n\nJohn the Baptist boasted of Jesus to many people.  I find it hard to see\nhow that behavior is arrogant at all.  Many Christians I know also boast\nin this way, but I still do not necessarily see it as arrogance.  Of course,\nI do know arrogant Christians, doctors, and teachers as well.  Technically,\nyou might consider the person who originally made a given claim to be arrogant,\nJesus, for instance.\n\n>Are you talking about all atheism or just strong atheism?  If you are\n>talking about weak atheism which I believe in, then I refuse such a claim.\n>Atheism is a lack of belief.  I used good ol\' Occam\'s Razor to make the\n>final rejection of a deity, in that, as I see things, even if I\n>present the hypothesises in an equal fasion, I find the theist argument\n>not plausible.\n\nI speak against strong atheism.  I also often find that the evidence\nsupporting a faith is very subjective, just as, say, the evidence supporting\nlove as truth is subjective.\n\n>I believe I answered that.  I apologize for the (as you stated) incorrect\n>assumption on your theism, but I saw nothing to indicate that you\n>were an agnostic, only that you were just another newbie Christian\n>on the net trying to get some cheap shots in.\n\nNo apology necessary.  :)\n--\nBake Timmons, III\n\n-- "...there\'s nothing higher, stronger, more wholesome and more useful in life\nthan some good memory..." -- Alyosha in Brothers Karamazov (Dostoevsky)\n',
  "From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: Bill Conner:\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL9]\nLines: 6\n\n\nCould you explain what any of this pertains to? Is this a position\nstatement on something or typing practice? And why are you using my\nname, do you think this relates to anything I've said and if so, what.\n\nBill\n",
  'From: ekr@kyle.eitech.com (Eric Rescorla)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: EIT\nLines: 29\nNNTP-Posting-Host: kyle.eitech.com\n\nIn article <1qjd3o$nlv@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n>In article <sandvik-140493230024@sandvik-kent.apple.com# sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n>#In article <1qie61$fkt@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank\n>#O\'Dwyer) wrote:\n>#> Objective morality is morality built from objective values.\n>#\n>#You now pushed down the defintion of objectivity into realm of\n>#objective values. So you need to explain that as well, as well\n>#as the objective sub-parts, the objective atoms, quarks...\n>Firstly, science has its basis in values, not the other way round.\nYou keep saying that. I do not think it means what you think it\nmeans.\nPerhaps you should explain what you think "science has it\'s basis\nin values" means. The reason why people DO science is that\nthey value it\'s results. That does not mean that science has\nit\'s basis in values. Any more than DES stops working if I stop\nvaluing my privacy.\n\n>So you better explain what objective atoms are, and how we get them\n>from subjective values, before we go any further.\nSee above.\n\n-Ekr\n\n\n-- \nEric Rescorla                                     ekr@eitech.com\n             Would you buy used code from this man?\n        \n',
  "From: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nSubject: The fact of the theory\nReply-To: halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat)\nLines: 74\n\nIn article <C5u6p5.5nx@usenet.ucs.indiana.edu>, adpeters@sunflower.bio.indiana.edu (Andy Peters) writes:\n\n[...stuff deleted...]\n\nAndy-- I think we do agree, given your clarification of how we were \neach using the terms fact and theory.  I'll only add that I\nthink perhaps I feel more strongly about separating them,\nthough your usage is quite valid.\n\n>Note that the fact of evolution is still a theory.  In other words, it\n>could, theoretically, still be falsified and rejected.  But since it's\n>so predictive, and so consistently supported by evidence, it seems\n>pointless to explicitly try to falsify it anymore.\n\nI'll add here that any falsification or rejection does not in any way\nreduce its current usefulness.  So long as it accurately predicts or \ndescribes things we can observe.\n\nNot to be a pain in the ass, but is there any reason you don't\njust say _the theory of evolution_ rather than the _fact of evolution\nis still a theory_.  I'm asking because this whole thread got started\nbecause I was bothered by a post that referred to _the fact of evolution_,\nbasically leaving off the phrase _is still a theory_.  Without a \nclarification, like the one you just gave, just saying _the fact of\nevolution_ has a very different meaning to me.\n>\n>[description of atomic theory, and alternative theories of gravity, deleted]\n>>Both are very useful models that \n>>have no religious overtones or requirements of faith, unless of course you \n>>want to demand that it is a factual physical entity described exactly \n>>the way the theory now formulated talks about it.\n>\n>Here is where you fail to make an important distinction.  You have\n>shoehorned the _facts_ of the _existence_ of gravity and atoms and\n>evolution into one category with the _theories_ which have been\n>proposed to explain the _mechanisms_.  The existence of these things\n>is so predictive as to be considered fact.  The mechanisms, on the\n>other hand, are still worth discussing.  \n\nI'm not sure I agree here.  Again, it may be because I feel stronger\nabout separating terms.  I was trying to say that the _theories_\nproposed to explain the _mechanisms_ and the _mechanisms_ themselves\nare the only realities here.  It is the existence of mechanisms, not \nthe things themselves, that are so predictive as to be considered \nfact (as you would say).  There aren't really little planetary particle \nsystems called atoms out there.  Or I should say, and more to my original \npoint, it would be a leap of faith to say there are, because we observe only \nthe mechanisms.  There is no need to _believe_ there are _actually_\natoms out there as we have decided to think about them.  It's enough\nto discuss the mechanisms.  At any rate, I'm not sure I am being \nany clearer than before, but I thought it was worth a shot.\n\nThe bottom line, though, is I think we agree on two fundamental ideas:\n\n   1. --evolution is a theory supported by observational evidence (my way)\n      --the fact of evolution is a theory supported by observational\n        evidence (your way)\n\n   2. --creation is just an opinion.  If a theist wants to call it\n        a theory then he can.  I won't:  it has no supporting evidence \n\tand it neither predicts nor supports any observations that can\n        be made.  With no mechanisms to talk about, there really isn't\n\tmuch to say.\n\nDo you agree?\n\n-- \n jim halat         halat@bear.com     \nbear-stearns       --whatever doesn't kill you will only serve to annoy you--\n   nyc             i speak only for myself\n\n\n\n\n",
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: Burden of Proof\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nLines: 41\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <1993Apr21.182030.888@batman.bmd.trw.com> jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com writes:\n>Actually, both are positive arguments.  ("Positive" may not be the best\n>description here due to possible misunderstanding, but it\'s the term you\n>used.)  Positive arguments/assertions can be both affirmative (i.e. God \n>exists) and negative (i.e. God does not exist).  Both carry an equal \n>burden of proof because they are both asserting that a certain idea\n>is true.  The default condition, in the absence of a preponderance of\n>evidence either way, is that the proposition or assertion is undecidable.\n>And the person who takes the undecidable position and says that he/she\n>simply disbelieves that the proposition is true, is the only one who\n>holds no burden of proof.  This is why the so-called "weak atheist"\n>position is virtually unassailable -- not because it stands on a firm\n>foundation of logical argument, but because it\'s proponents simply\n>disbelieve in the existence of God(s) and therefore they hold no burden\n>of proof.  When you don\'t assert anything, you don\'t have to prove\n>anything.  That\'s where weak atheism draws its strength.  But its\n>strength is also its Achilles\' heel.  Without assertions/axioms, one\n>has no foundation upon which to build.  As a philosophy, it\'s virtually\n>worthless.  IMO, of course.\n\n\tSo, if I were to assert that there are no thousand year old \ninvisible pink unicorns* residing in my walls, I need to support this with \nevidence? I think the _lack_ of evidence shall suffice.\n\n\n\t* Who happen to like listening to satanic messages found in playing \nBeethoven\'s 45th symphony backwards.\n---\n\n        "FBI officials said cult leader David Koresh may have \n         forced followers to remain as flames closed in. Koresh\'s \n         armed guard may have injected as many as 24 children with \n         poison to quiet them."\n\n        -\n        \n        "And God saw everything he had made, and, behold, in was very \n         good."\n\n         Genesis 1:31\n\n',
  ' howland.reston.ans.net!europa.eng.gtefsd.com!fs7.ece.cmu.edu!news.sei.cmu.edu!dpw\nSubject: Periodic Post of Charley Challenges, #3, with additions\nFrom: dpw@sei.cmu.edu (David Wood)\nOrganization: Software Engineering Institute\nLines: 250\n\n\n\nNew in this version:  challenge #5, plus an addendum summarizing\nCharley\'s responses to-date..\n-----------------------------------------\n\n*** This is a posting made periodically in an attempt to encourage\n*** Charley Wingate to address direct challenges to his evidently \n*** specious claims.  I\'ll continue to re-post periodically until\n*** he answers them, publicly indicates that he won\'t answer them,\n*** stops posting to alt.atheism, the alt.atheism community tells\n*** me to stop, or I get totally bored.  I apologize for the \n*** somewhat juvenile nature of this approach, but I\'m at a loss\n*** to figure out another way to crack his intransigence and \n*** seeming intellectual dishonesty.\n***\n*** This is re-post #3.\n\n\nCharley,\n\nI can\'t help but notice that you have still failed to provide answers\nto substantive questions that have been raised in response to your\nprevious posts.  I submit that you don\'t answer them because you\ncannot answer them without running afoul of your own logic, and I once\nagain challenge you to prove me wrong.  To make the task as easy for\nyou as possible, I\'ll present concise re-statements of some of the\nquestions that you have failed to answer, in the hope that you may\naddress them one at a time for all to see.\n\nShould you fail to answer again within a reasonable time period, I\nwill re-post this article, with suitable additions and deletions, at\nsuch time that I notice a post by you on another topic.  I will repeat\nthis procedure until you either address the outstanding challenges or\nyou cease to post to this newsgroup.\n\nI would like to apologize in advance if you have answered any of these\nquestions previously and your answer missed my notice.  If you can be\nkind enough to re-post or e-mail such articles, I will be only too\npleased to publicly rescind the challenge in question, and remove it\nfrom this list.\n\nNow, to the questions...\n\n1. After claiming that all atheists fit into neat psychological\npatterns that you proposed, then semi-retracting that claim by stating\nthat you weren\'t referring to *all* atheists, I asked you to name some\natheists who you feel don\'t fit your patterns, to show that you indeed\nwere not referring to all atheists that you are aware of.  You failed\nto do so.  Please do so now.\n\nQuestion: Can you name any a.a posters who do not fit into your\nstereotype?\n\nHere is the context for the question:\n\n>>> This is not true for everyone on this board, and you are out of line\n>>> in assuming that it is.\n>>\n>>YOU, however, deleted the text further along where I said that I didn\'t mean\n>>to imply that everybody\'s experience was along the same lines.  \n>\n>Whether or not you *mean* to make such implications, you do so\n>repeatedly.  \n>\n>Allow me to approach the issue from another viewpoint: can you name\n>those atheists that you\'ve come across who *do not* fit into the\n>patterns that you theorize?\n\n\n2. You have taken umbrage to statements to the effect that "senses and\nreason are all we have to go by", and when pressed, you have implied\nthat we have an alternative called revelation.  I have repeatedly\nasked you to explain what revelation is and how one can both\nexperience and interpret revelation without doing so via our senses\nand reason.  You failed to do so.  Please do so now.\n\nQuestion: Can you explain what is revelation and how one can\nexperience and interpret it without using senses and inherent\nreasoning?\n\nHere is the context for the question:\n\n>>Revelation is not reason, and if we DO have revelation, then\n>>reasoning is NOT all we have.\n\n>First, show me that revelation exists.  Second, if revelation is not\n>perceived through the senses, how exactly is it perceived?  According\n>to my Webster\'s, revelation is "an act of revealing or communicating\n>divine truth."  Now, tell me how such a thing can be revealed/\n>communicated other than via the senses?  Tell me how you can interpret\n>this revelation other than with reason, that is, using your brain to\n>interpret what you are sensing.  When I say there is no way for a\n>human being to interface with the universe other than via the senses as\n>interpreted by reason (your brain), it is because this is the simple\n>truth.  If you have another mechanism of interface, by all means,\n>share it with us.\n\nthen later...\n\n>>>You CANNOT escape the fact that our entire interface with the universe is\n>>>our senses and our reason, period.\n>>\n>>Again, this is indefensible.  \n>\n>No, it is simple truth.  I challenge you to show me otherwise.\n\nthen later...\n\n>>Few mystics will agree to this assertion, and the common defense of\n>>redefining "senses" to absorb (for instance) mystical experiences is\n>>begs the question of whether some senses are better than others.\n>\n>I allow you the broadest definition of senses, to make things easier\n>for you.  Now, show me that "mystical experiences" exist.  Remember,\n>you aren\'t allowed to go by testimony of others (e.g., mystics), since\n>you have dismissed my testimony as unreliable - you know, tainted by\n>my own bias.  Further, once these mystical thingies are absorbed, show\n>me evidence that a human can recognize and respond to them short of\n>interpretation via that person\'s reasoning capabilities.\n>\n>I challenge you to show me these things.  If you cannot do so, you\n>might as well give up the fight.\n\nthen later...\n\n>Let me reiterate, you have NOT explained your interpretation of your\n>experiences, so it is not possible for me to have attacked them.  In\n>point of fact, I specifically challenged you to explain this\n>revelation stuff that you were talking about, and I note for the\n>record that you appear to have declined my challenge.\n>\n>*What* is it?  *How* is it sensed?  *How* is it interpreted?  And\n>*how* does this sensing and interpretation occur without the conduit\n>of our senses and reasoning abilities?  You have answered none of\n>these questions that go straight to the heart of your claims.  If you\n>can\'t answer them, your claims are entirely specious.\n\n\n3.  You have stated that all claims to dispassionate analysis made by\na.a posters are unverifiable and fantastical.  I asked you to identify\none such claim that I have made.  You have failed to do so.  Please do\nso now.\n\nQuestion: Have I made any claims at all that are unverifiable and\nfantastical?  If so, please repeat them.\n\nHere is the context for the question:\n\n\n>>I must thank David Wood a most sensitive and intelligent (if wrong :-))\n>>posting.  \n\nthen later...\n\n>>Likewise, the reference to "unverifiable, fantastical\n>>claims" represents fairly accurately my reaction to all of the claims to\n>>dispassionate analysis that are repeated in this group.\n>\n>Give me your address and I\'ll be pleased to send you a dictionary.\n>Failing that, can you name ONE claim that I have made that is in any\n>sense unverifiable or fantastical?  I demand that you retract this\n>statement if you cannot offer up evidence.  If you follow your usual\n>pattern of ignoring the challenge, then you are simply an asshole.\n\n\n4.  First you dismissed claims by atheists that they became atheists as\na result of reason, then later you stated that if one accepted the\n"axioms" of reason that one couldn\'t help but become atheist.  I asked\nyou to explain the contradiction.  Your only response was a statement\nthat the question was incoherent, an opinion not shared by others that\nI have asked, be they atheist or theist.  You have failed to answer\nthe question.  Please do so now.\n\nQuestion: Do you retract your claim that a.a posters have not become\natheists as a result of reason, despite their testimony to that\neffect?  If you don\'t retract that claim, do you retract the\nsubsequent claim that acceptance of the axioms of reason inevitably\nresult in atheism?\n\nHere is the context for the question:\n\n[First quote]\n>>...we have here a bunch of people who claim that their position is\n>>based on reason... it is up to atheists to prove it to me...\n>\n>then,\n>\n[Second quote]\n>>...but I do not see how one can accept these axioms and not end up with\n>>an atheistic point of view.\n\n\n5.  First, you claimed that you would (probably) not answer these\nChallenges because they contained too much in the way of "included\ntext" from previous posts.  Later, you implied that you wouldn\'t\nrespond because I was putting words in your mouth.  Please clarify\nthis seeming contradiction.\n\nQuestion:  Do you prefer to respond to Challenges that include context\nfrom your own posts, or that I paraphrase your positions in order to\navoid "included text"?\n\nHere is the context for the question:\n\nFirst you said:\n\n>>My ordinary rules are that I don\'t read articles over over 150 lines\n>>or articles in which there is nothing but included text on the first\n>>screen.  THese are not rules of morality, but practicality.\n\nthen later...\n\n>>If someone is not going to argue with MY version of MY position, then\n>>they cannot be argued with.\n\n\nAs usual, your responses are awaited with anticipation.\n\n--Dave Wood\n\n\np.s., For the record, below is a compilation of Charley\'s responses to\nthese challenges to date.\n\n3/18/93\n>>This makes no sense to me at all; it gives the appearance either of utter\n>>incoherence, or of answering some question of Mr. Wood\'s imagination.\n\n3/31/93 (#1)\n>>Mr. Wood, I do not subscribe to the opinion that a gauntlet thrown down on\n>>the net requires any response whatsoever.  At some point I might read and\n>>respond to your article, and then again, I might not.  My ordinary rules are\n>>that I don\'t read articles over over 150 lines or articles in which there is\n>>nothing but included text on the first screen.  THese are not rules of\n>>morality, but practicality.\n\n3/31/93 (#2)\n>>I left out something else I don\'t respond to.\n>>...\n>>Utmost on my list of things to avoid are arguments about the arguments\n>>(meta-arguments, as some call them).\n\n4/3/93\n>>When I have to start saying "that\'s not what I said", and the response is\n>>"did so!", there\'s no reason to continue.  If someone is not going to argue\n>>with MY version of MY position, then they cannot be argued with.\n\n\n\n',
  "From: bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig)\nSubject: Re: Is it good that Jesus died?\nOrganization: Starfleet Headquarters: San Francisco\nLines: 42\n\njburrill@boi.hp.com (Jim Burrill) writes:\n>Brian Kendig (bskendig@netcom.com) wrote:\n>: \n>: Can you please point to something, anything, that proves to me that\n>: the universe cannot possibly be explained without accepting as a fact\n>: the existence of a god in precisely the way your holy book describes?\n>: \n>: Can you please convince me that your religion is more than a very\n>: cleverly-constructed fable, and that it does indeed have some bearing\n>: on my own personal day-to-day life?\n>\n>Would you consider the word of an eye-witness (Peter) to testify to the\n>events surrounding Jesus' life?\n\nNo.  There are two problems here:\n\n(1) Peter died two millenia ago.  The original letters he wrote have\nlong since decayed into dust.  If he were alive today and I could\nquestion him, then this might lend credibility to your claims (but\nprobably not much, because after all, I've heard people claim with all\nsincerity that they've spoken with Elvis recently).  But after his\ndeath, Peter's writings were transcribed by monks for centuries, and I\nfind it hard to believe that one of them somewhere didn't decide to\nchange the wording of something to make it (in his opinion) a little\neasier to understand.\n\n(2) Even if Peter did witness the miracles of Jesus two millenia ago,\nthat doesn't mean that your deity is what the Bible says it is (God\nmight just be Satan, trying to convince everyone that he's a nice\nguy), or even that your deity is still alive and active in the world\ntoday.\n\nNice try, but it just isn't enough to convince me, especially since\nyour wild claims about your deity seem to fly in the face of the way\nI've observed the world to work.  Please find something more compelling.\n\n-- \n_/_/_/  Brian Kendig                             Je ne suis fait comme aucun\n/_/_/  bskendig@netcom.com                de ceux que j'ai vus; j'ose croire\n_/_/                            n'etre fait comme aucun de ceux qui existent.\n  /  The meaning of life     Si je ne vaux pas mieux, au moins je suis autre.\n /    is that it ends.                                           -- Rousseau\n",
  'From: Nanci Ann Miller <nm0w+@andrew.cmu.edu>\nSubject: Re: Genocide is Caused by Atheism\nOrganization: Sponsored account, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA\nLines: 27\nNNTP-Posting-Host: andrew.cmu.edu\nIn-Reply-To: <1993Apr5.020504.19326@ultb.isc.rit.edu>\n\nsnm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu (S.N. Mozumder ) writes:\n> More horrible deaths resulted from atheism than anything else.\n\nThere are definitely quite a few horrible deaths as the result of both\natheists AND theists.  I\'m sure Bobby can list quite a few for the atheist\nside but fails to recognize that the theists are equally proficient at\ngenocide.  Perhaps, since I\'m a bit weak on history, somone here would like\nto give a list of wars caused/led by theists?  I can think of a few (Hitler\nclaimed to be a Christian for example) but a more complete list would\nprobably be more effective in showing Bobby just how absurd his statement\nis.\n\n> Peace,\n\nOn a side note, I notice you always sign your posts "Peace".  Perhaps you\nshould take your own advice and leave the atheists in peace with their\nbeliefs?\n\n> Bobby Mozumder\n\nNanci\n\n.........................................................................\nIf you know (and are SURE of) the author of this quote, please send me\nemail (nm0w+@andrew.cmu.edu):\nLying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.\n\n',
  'From: pmoloney@maths.tcd.ie (Paul Moloney)\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nKeywords: Dan Bissell\nOrganization: Somewhere in the Twentieth Century\nLines: 14\n\nbissda@saturn.wwc.edu (DAN LAWRENCE BISSELL) writes:\n\n>\tNiether was he a lunatic.  Would more than an entire nation be drawn \n>to someone who was crazy.\n\nFind an encyclopedia. Volume H. Now look up Hitler, Adolf. He had\nmany more people than just Germans enamoured with him.\n\nP.\n-- \n moorcockpratchettdenislearydelasoulu2iainmbanksneworderheathersbatmanpjorourke\nclive p a u l  m o l o n e y  Come, let us retract the foreskin of misconception\njames trinity college dublin  and apply the wire brush of enlightenment - GeoffM\n brownbladerunnersugarcubeselectronicblaylockpowersspikeleekatebushhamcornpizza \n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Davidians and compassion\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 27\n\nIn article <C5sLAs.B68@blaze.cs.jhu.edu>, arromdee@jyusenkyou.cs.jhu.edu\n(Ken Arromdee) wrote:\n> \n> In article <sandvik-190493200420@sandvik-kent.apple.com> sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n> >So we have this highly Christian religious order that put fire\n> >on their house, killing most of the people inside.\n> \n> We have no way to know that the cultists burned the house; it could have been\n> the BATF and FBI.  We only have the government's word for it, after all, and\n> people who started it by a no-knock search with concussion grenades are hardly\n> disinterested observers.\n\nWell, looking at the videos it seems that this fire started in various\nplaces at the same time, which would indicate that this was a planned\naction. I'm sure FBI and BATF didn't *deliberately* start a possible\nfire, having a sniper kill Korresh would have been a far easier \nmethod. Looking at the careful operation, and use of tear gas\nthat as I know don't start fires, it is less likely that this \nwas the case.\n\nSorry, but my bets are on fanatical people keen to start\nArmageddon -- theirs.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: lucio@proxima.alt.za (Lucio de Re)\nSubject: A fundamental contradiction (was: A visit from JWs)\nReply-To: lucio@proxima.Alt.ZA\nOrganization: MegaByte Digital Telecommunications\nLines: 35\n\njbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com writes:\n\n>"Will" is "self-determination".  In other words, God created conscious\n>beings who have the ability to choose between moral choices independently\n>of God.  All "will", therefore, is "free will".\n\nThe above is probably not the most representative paragraph, but I\nthought I\'d hop on, anyway...\n\nWhat strikes me as self-contradicting in the fable of Lucifer\'s\nfall - which, by the way, I seem to recall to be more speculation\nthan based on biblical text, but my ex RCism may be showing - is\nthat, as Benedikt pointed out, Lucifer had perfect nature, yet he\nhad the free will to "choose" evil.  But where did that choice come\nfrom?\n\nWe know from Genesis that Eve was offered an opportunity to sin by a\ntempter which many assume was Satan, but how did Lucifer discover,\ninvent, create, call the action what you will, something that God\nhad not given origin to?\n\nAlso, where in the Bible is there mention of Lucifer\'s free will?\nWe make a big fuss about mankind having free will, but it strikes me\nas being an after-the-fact rationalisation, and in fact, like\nsalvation, not one that all Christians believe in identically.\n\nAt least in my mind, salvation and free will are very tightly\ncoupled, but then my theology was Roman Catholic...\n\nStill, how do theologian explain Lucifer\'s fall?  If Lucifer had\nperfect nature (did man?) how could he fall?  How could he execute an\nact that (a) contradicted his nature and (b) in effect cause evil to\nexist for the first time?\n-- \nLucio de Re (lucio@proxima.Alt.ZA) - tab stops at four.\n',
  'Organization: Penn State University\nFrom: <DGS4@psuvm.psu.edu>\nSubject: Re: ABORTION and private health coverage -- letters regarding\n <sandvik-140493233557@sandvik-kent.apple.com> <1qk73q$3fj@agate.berkeley.edu>\n <syt5br_@rpi.edu> <nyikos.735335582@milo.math.scarolina.edu>\nLines: 41\n\nIn article <nyikos.735335582@milo.math.scarolina.edu>, nyikos@math.scarolina.edu\n(Peter Nyikos) says:\n>\n>In <syt5br_@rpi.edu> rocker@acm.rpi.edu (rocker) writes:\n>\n>>In <1qk73q$3fj@agate.berkeley.edu> dzkriz@ocf.berkeley.edu (Dennis Kriz)\n>writes:\n>\n>>>If one is paying for a PRIVATE health insurance plan and DOES NOT WANT\n>>>"abortion coverage" there is NO reason for that person to be COMPLELLED\n>>>to pay for it.  (Just as one should not be compelled to pay for lipposuction\n>>>coverage if ONE doesn\'t WANT that kind of coverage).\n>\n>>You appear to be stunningly ignorant of the underlying concept of health\n>>insurance.\n>\n>Are you any less stunningly ignorant?  Have you ever heard of life\n>insurance premiums some companies give in which nonsmokers are charged\n>much smaller premiums than smokers?\n>\n>Not to mention auto insurance being much cheaper for women under 25 than\n>for men under 25, because women on the average drive more carefully\n>than most men--in fact, almost as carefully as I did before I was 25.\n\nAs many people have mentioned, there is no reason why insurers could not\noffer a contract without abortion services for a different premium.\nThe problem is that there is no guarantee that this premium would be\nlower for those who chose this type of contract.  Although you are\nremoving one service, that may have feedbacks into other types of covered\ncare which results in a net increase in actuarial costs.\n\nFor an illustrative example in the opposite direction, it may be possible\nto ADD services to an insurance contract and REDUCE the premium.  If you\nadd preventative services and this reduces acute care use, then the total\npremium may fall.\n\nThese words and thoughts are my own. * I am not bound to swear\n**      **      **       **          * allegiance to the word of any\n  **  **  **  **  **  **             * master. Where the storm carries\n    **      **      **               * me, I put into port and make\nD. Shea, PSU                         * myself at home.\n',
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: ? (was Re: "Cruel" (was Re: <Political Atheists?))\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 13\nDistribution: world,public\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\nKeywords: Time for a consistency check, bub.\n\nsdoe@nmsu.edu (Stephen Doe) writes:\n\n>>Of course, if at some later time we think that the death penalty\n>>*is* cruel or unusual, it will be outlawed.  But at the present,\n>>most people don\'t seem to think this way.\n>*This* from the same fellow who speaks of an "objective" or "natural"\n>morality.  I suppose that if the majority decides slavery is OK, then\n>it is no longer immoral?\n\nI did not claim that our system was objective.\n\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (USA)\nLines: 22\nReply-To: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nNNTP-Posting-Host: hela.ins.cwru.edu\n\n\nIn a previous article, ba@mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu (B.A. Davis-Howe) says:\n\n>\n>ON the subject of how many competing RC orders there are, let me point out the\n>Golden Dawn is only the *outer* order of that tradition.  The inner order is\n>the Roseae Rubeae et Aurae Crucis.  \n>\n\n\tJust wondering, do you mean the "Lectorium Rosicrucianum"?\nWarning: There is no point in arguing who\'s "legit" and who\'s not. *WHICH*\nGolden Dawn are you talking about?\n\n\tJust for the sake of argument, (reflecting NO affiliation)\nI am going to say that the TRUE Rosicrucian Order is the Fraternitas\nRosae Crucis in Quakertown, Penn.,\n\n\tAny takers? :-)\n\nFraternally,\n\nTony\n',
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Slavery (was Re: Why is sex only allowed in marriage: ...)\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 16\n\nIn article <1993Apr14.132813.16343@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au>,\ndarice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) wrote:\n> Anyhow, on the basis of the apparent success of Islamic banks, it seems\n> to me that the statement that a zero-interest economy cannot survive in\n> today's world may be a bit premature.\n\nI'm sure zero-intested economical systems survive on a small-scale,\nco-ops is not an Islamic invention, and we have co-operatives working\nall around the world. However such systems don't stand the corruption\nof a large scale operation. Actually, nothing could handle human\ngreed, IMHO. Not even Allah :-).\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  "From: thyat@sdf.lonestar.org (Tom Hyatt)\nSubject: Re: That Kill by Sword, Must be Killed by Sword\nOrganization: sdf public access Unix, Dallas TX 214/436-3281\nLines: 39\n\nIn article <19APR199310484591@utarlg.uta.edu> b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu (stephen) writes:\n>Now that chemical-warfare and the use of juggernauts have been\n>used against innocents -- so likewise are those involved subject\n>to their own judgments. The same goes for those who lead others \n>into captivity -- whether behind strands of barbed-wire, or webs \n>of deceit.\n>\n\nYeah. Innocents. People who hoard $250K worth of high-caliber automatic weapons\nand kill law-enforcement agents really fit the bill here. The only innocents\nwere the 20+ children who were prevented from leaving a burning building by\ntheir self-appointed messiah-following parents. A burning STARTED by the \nDavidians.\n\n\n>Such is the patience and faith of the saints.\n>\n>So let them continue -- for the one-who-rewards them according\n>to what their works shall be -- comes quickly. \n>\n>The evidence continues to mount, which all seems to follow \n>step-by-step quite logically to me. \n>\n>   |\n>-- J --\n>   |\n>   | stephen\n>\n\nIs this subject line a veiled threat against U.S. Government agents or possibly\nExecutive office leadership (i.e. Clinton)? I've considered you a bit of a loon,\nbefore, Stephen, I guess this pretty much confirms it. \n\nNice religion you have there.  The only ones who should be killed are those who\ndon't agree with us. Sheesh.\n\n\n-- \n--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tom Hyatt                                  I'm a diehard Saints fan, so i've    thyat@sdf.lonestar.org                     suffered quite enough, thank you!    Arlington, TX                                                                                                                                                    Help! I'm being repressed!  -M.Python                                          -------------------------------\n\n-------------------------------------------------\n",
  'From: trajan@cwis.unomaha.edu (Stephen McIntyre)\nSubject: Re: The Problem of Satan (used to be: islamic authority over women)\nOrganization: University of Nebraska at Omaha\nLines: 103\n\nIn article <1993Apr5.165233.1007@news.unomaha.edu> trajan@cwis.unomaha.edu \n     (Stephen McIntyre) writes:\n\n> Of course, Bobby then states that Satan has no free will, that\n>    he does as God wants him to.  This brings up a host of\n>    paradoxes:  is God therefore evil; do I have free will\n>    or is God directing me also; if God is evil, which part\n>    of his infinite self is good and which is evil; etc.?\n\n> I would like for once a solid answer, not a run-about.\n\n# I hope I gave you a fairly solid answer to this one: I simply don\'t agree\n# with the embodied version of a Satan who is a separate creation or a force.\n# I wrote:\n\n>> The belief to which I ascribe is that evil is not a creation;\n>> rather, it is "the absence of good."  This fits with all the\n>> logic about things having dual use: e.g., a knife can be used\n>> to sculpt and it can be used to kill.  Like entropy, evil is\n>> seen in this view as neither force nor entity.  Satan is,\n>> therefore, metaphorical.  In fact, there are several verses\n>> of the Holy Qur\'an which appear to support this view and several\n>> Traditions as well.\n>\n>> For example, there is a Tradition that food should never be left open\n>> on a shelf or table overnight, lest "Satan" enter it.  It appears\n>> that this is a reference to as yet undiscovered germs; thus, the\n>> evil effect of spoiled food is described as "Satan."\n\n>But there are many examples of Satan personified.  Which am I\n>     to believe?\n\n# And there are quite physical descriptions of Heaven and Hell in the\n# Holy Qur\'an, the Bible, etc.  There have been times in the spiritual\n# and intellectual evolution of the modern human when these physical\n# descriptions of Heaven, Hell, and Satan were taken quite literally\n# and that *worked* for the time.  As I mentioned in the Tradition\n# cited above, for example, it was sufficient in the absence of a theory\n# about germs and disease spread by worms to simply describe the "evil"\n# which was passed to a consumer of spoiled food as "satanic."\n\n     Which begs the question: if Satan in this case is\n     metaphorical, how can you be certain Allah is not\n     the same way?\n\n# The bottom line here, however, is that describing a spiritual plane\n# in human language is something like describing "color" to a person\n# who has been blind from birth.  You may want to read the book\n# FLATLAND (if you haven\'t already) or THE DRAGON\'S EGG.  The first\n# is intended as a light hearted description of a mathematical con-\n# cept...\n\n[some deleted for space saving]\n\n# When language fails because it cannot be used to adequately describe\n# another dimension which cannot be experienced by the speakers, then\n# such conventions as metaphor, allegory, and the like come to be\n# necessary.  The "unseen" is described in terms which have reference`\n# and meaning for the reader/listener.  But, like all models, a compro-\n# mise must be made when speaking metaphorically: clarity and directness\n# of meaning, equivalence of perception, and the like are all\n# crippled.  But what else can you do?\n\n     This is why I asked the above.  How would you then\n     know God exists as a spirit or being rather than\n     just being metaphorical?  I mean, it\'s okay to say\n     "well, Satan is just metaphorical," but then you\n     have to justify this belief AND justify that God is\n     not some metaphor for something else.\n\n     I say this because there are many, many instances of\n     Satan described as a being (such as the tormentor in \n     the Old Testament book of Job, or the temptor in the\n     New Testament Gospels).  In the same way, God too is\n     described as a being (or spirit.)  How am I to know\n     one is metaphorical and not the other.\n\n     Further, belief in God isn\'t a bar to evil.  Let\'s\n     consider the case of Satanists: even if Satan were\n     metaphorical, the Satanist would have to believe\n     in God to justify this belief.  Again, we have a \n     case where someone does believe in God, but by\n     religious standards, they are "evil."  If Bobby\n     does see this, let him address this question also.\n\n[deleted some more on "metaphor"]\n\n>> Obviously more philosophizing on this issue is possible, but I\'m\n>> not sure that the readers of this newsgroup would want to delve\n>> into religious interpretation further.  However, if anyone wishes\n>> to discuss this, I\'m certainly willing (either off line - e-mail - or\n>> on line - posting).\n\nStephen\n\n    _/_/_/_/  _/_/_/_/   _/       _/    * Atheist\n   _/        _/    _/   _/ _/ _/ _/     * Libertarian\n  _/_/_/_/  _/_/_/_/   _/   _/  _/      * Pro-individuality\n       _/  _/     _/  _/       _/       * Pro-responsibility\n_/_/_/_/  _/      _/ _/       _/ Jr.    * and all that jazz...\n\n\n-- \n',
  'From: brian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615)\nSubject: Re: 14 Apr 93   God\'s Promise in 1 John 1: 7\nOrganization: Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, Tucson AZ.\nLines: 66\n\nBrian Kendig writes:\n\n>  Lev 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given\n>  it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is\n>  the blood that makes atonement for the soul.\n>\n>The Old Testament was very big on the "eye for an eye" business.  It\n>makes sense that Leviticus would support physical injury to "repay"\n>moral wrongdoing.\n\nBrian K., guess what?  You missed the point.  On a scale from cold to\nhot, you are at 0 degrees Kelvin.\n\n>I know about sanctification.  I\'ve been taught all about it in Sunday\n>school, catechism class, and theology classes.  But even after all\n>that, I still can\'t accept it.  Maybe I\'m still not understanding it,\n>or maybe I\'m just understanding it all too well.\n\nThen as you understand it, what is it?\n\n>From the bottom of my heart I know that the punishment of an innocent\n>man is wrong.\n\nYes.  I agree with that.  But what does that have to do with Jesus?\nPunishment you say?  Jesus did not regard his death as punishment. \n\n>I\'ve tried repeatedly over the course of several years\n>to accept it, but I just can\'t. \n\nGood.  I wouldn\'t either--not the way you understand it.  \n\n>If you can explain to me why the death of Jesus was a *good* thing,\n>then I would be very glad to hear it, and you might even convert me.\n>Be warned, however, that I\'ve heard all the most common arguments\n>before, and they just don\'t convince me.\n\nAsk Jesus himself.  He himself said why in John 12:23-32.  It\nisn\'t a mystery to anyone and there certainly is no need for\na persuasive argument.   Read Jesus\'s own reply to your\nquestion.\n\nJesus gives more reasons in John 16:7.  But one obvious reason\nwhy Jesus died, (and as with everything else, it has nothing do with\nhis punishment) was that he could rise to life again--so that\nwe would "stop doubting and believe" (John 21:27).  The fact\nthat Jesus rose from the dead is my hope that I too will rise\nfrom the dead.  It is an obvious point.  Do not overlook it.\nWithout this obvious point, I would have no hope\nand my faith would be vanity.\n\nWhy did Jesus suffer in his death?  Again, ask Jesus.  Jesus\nsays why in John 15:18-25.   That\'s no mystery either.  "The\nworld hates him without reason."  It is a direct proclamation\nof how far we humans botch things up and thus, how much we\nneed a Saviour.\n\nAnd why can\'t you, Brian K., accept this?  How can you?  "The\nworld cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows\nhim."  (John 14:17).   The animosity and the lack of knowledge\nthat comes out in your twistings of Robert\'s daily verses is\nvery convincing testimony of the truth of John 14:17 and 16:25.\nI pray and hope that I do blurt out such animosity and lack of\nknowledge. I am not perfect either.  But regardless of that, I thank\nGod that Jesus revealed himself to me, without whom I\'d also be\nbumbling about blindly though arrogantly slandering the very\nPerson who created me and who loves me.\n',
  "Subject: Re: Don't more innocents die without the death penalty?\nFrom: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine)\nOrganization: Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton,  OR.\nLines: 26\n\nIn article <2942881697.0.p00168@psilink.com> p00168@psilink.com (James F. Tims) writes:\n>\n>By maintaining classes D and E, even in prison, it seems as if we \n>place more innocent people at a higher risk of an unjust death than \n>we would if the state executed classes D and E with an occasional error.\n>\n\n  I answer from the position that we would indeed place these people\n  in prison for life.\n\n  That depends not only on their predisposition towards murder, but\n  also in their success rate at escape and therefore their ability\n  to commit the same crimes again.\n\n  In other words, if lifetime imprisonment doesn't work, perhaps\n  it's not because we're not executing these people, but because\n  we're not being careful enough about how we lock them up.\n\n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n\nBob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n\nThey said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\nand sank Manhattan out at sea.\n\n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n",
  'From: mathew@mantis.co.uk (mathew)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is oxymoronic?\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nLines: 32\nX-Newsreader: rusnews v1.01\n\nforgach@noao.edu (Suzanne Forgach) writes:\n> From article <1qcq3f$r05@fido.asd.sgi.com>, by livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com \n> (Jon Livesey):\n> > If there is a Western ethic against infanticide, why\n> > are so many children dying all over the world?\n> \n> The majority of the world isn\'t "Western".\n\nSuperficially a good answer, but it isn\'t that simple.  An awful lot of the\nstarvation and poverty in the world is directly caused by the economic\npolicies of the Western countries, as well as by the diet of the typical\nWesterner.  For instance, some third-world countries with terrible\nmalnutrition problems export all the soya they can produce -- so that it can\nbe fed to cattle in the US, to make tender juicy steaks and burgers.  They\nhave to do this to get money to pay the interest on the crippling bank loans\nwe encouraged them to take out.  Fund-raising for Ethiopia is a truly bizarre\nidea; instead, we ought to stop bleeding them for every penny they\'ve got.\n\nPerhaps it\'s more accurate to say that there\'s a Western ethic against\nWestern infanticide.  All the evidence suggests that so long as the children\nare dying in the Third World, we couldn\'t give a shit.  And that goes for the\nsupposed "Pro-Life" movement, too.  They could save far more lives by\nfighting against Third World debt than they will by fighting against\nabortion.  Hell, if they\'re only interested in fetuses, they could save more\nof those by fighting for human rights in China.\n\nAnd besides, Suzanne\'s answer implies that non-Western countries lack this\nethic against infanticide.  Apart from China, with its policy of mandatory\nforced abortion in Tibet, I don\'t believe this to be the case.\n\n\nmathew\n',
  'Subject: Re: Who\'s next? Mormons and Jews?\nFrom: "Casper C. Knies" <ISSCCK@BYUVM.BITNET>\nOrganization: Brigham Young University\nLines: 148\n\n\nIsaac Kuo (saackuo@spam.berkeley.edu) writes:\n\n#In article <93109.231733ISSCCK@BYUVM.BITNET> "Casper C. Knies" <ISSCCK@BYUVM#.B\n#>Gedaliah Friedenberg (friedenb@maple.egr.msu.edu) writes:\n#>As a Latter-day Saint, I found John\'s statement *not at all* ludicrous...\n#>\n#>Please allow me to explain myself.  In 1838, the governor of Missouri,\n#>governor Boggs, issued his so-called "Mormon extermination order."  The\n#>only crime ("illegal activity") the Latter-day Saints had committed, was\n#>their religious affiliation, their anti-slave stance (Missouri still\n#>allowed slave practices), and their growing numbers/influence in Missouri.\n#>\n#>I guess the Mormons "got what they deserved," because they refused to bow\n#>to the will of (corrupt and evil) secular authorities. This "disobedience"\n#>brought upon them persecution, murder, and finally forced expulsion from\n#>their lands and settlements...\n#\n#It is significant to remember that these secular positions were held by\n#"average" people, and that at the time, almost all Americans were pretty\n#homogeonously Christian. It was largely the mainstream Christian\'s disgust\n#at such practices as polygamy which resulted in their irrational hatred.\n\nTrue, but that is exactly the "problem": the Mormon extermination order\nwas issued not just by a Christian, it was ALLOWED under the Constitution\nof the United States, which was instituted precisely to prevent incidents\nlike this "order" from occurring in the first place...  As I indicated in\nan earlier posting, your "irrational hatred" is clearly evidenced by\nindividuals like Robert Weiss (who could have been Gov. Boggs\' Lieutenant;\nhe would have fitted right in, drewling et al), and seems a modern-day\noccurrence, based on results (slander, persecution, misrepresentation,\nlies, denying Mormons representation in their own user group, etc. etc.\n\nIn intent and purpose, what really has changed?\n\n#The situation is not entirely different today.  Many irrational feelings\n#and beliefs are justified through religion.  I don\'t think most of them\n#are started because of religion, but religion certainly helps justify and\n#perpetuate prejudices and practices by providing a neat justification\n#which discourages critical thought.\n\nTrue, as evidenced by numerous examples, as I am sure you\'re aware.\n\n#>In any regard, Mormon history alone indicates that secular authorities (and\n#>I don\'t even discuss how Uthan\'s were suckered into allowing part of their\n#>lands in becoming nerve-gas and atomic bomb testing grounds...) is far from\n#>being trusted or righteous.  Have things really changed for the better?  I\n#>may be a born cynic, but I have NO reason whatsoever that such has been the\n#>case. In the early 1980s, I believe, the late President Kimball (lds church\n#>leader) strongly protested federal attempts to locate the MX-"Peace Keeper"\n#>missile maze from being built in Utah (yet another "inspired" decision from\n#secular authorities).  Fortunately, his opposition was influential enough\n#for the feds to back off.\n#\n#Do you mean that the "secular authorities" are some continuous group of\n#people with the common and uninterrupted goal of harrassing/eradicating the\n#Mormons?  Do you honestly believe that the main reason for using Utah for\n#nuclear testing etc.. was to "get them thar Mormons"?  And what about the\n#majority of Uthan\'s who aren\'t Mormons?  You seem to be searching for enemy\n ^^^^^^^^\n(Correction: the majority of Utahn\'s ARE Mormon (60-70% I believe, up to a\n 100% in many cities and settlements throughout the Western states.)\n\n#conspiracies.  It is paranoid to believe that everything that affects you\n#badly must have been done primarily for that purpose.\n\nWhat I mean is that secular authorities are to be watched, as we believe\nthat Satan has been given some power and dominion over the earth to divert\ntruth, judgment, and justice.  In addition, we believe that the adversary\nhas power to influence the unjust and idolatrous (greed for money would be\na good example) in order to bring about persecution, war, oppression, and\nevil combinations.  As an intelligent being, don\'t you suppose that the\ndestroyer would yield his influence foremost on those with political power?\n\nAs far as Utah is concerned, what I pointed out were some horrible examples\nof environmental nightmares imposed upon by secular authorities, which have\nbrought death, disease, (i.e. the "downwinders") and environmental contami-\nnation.  I am hardly "paranoid," I am just not "expecting" too much from a\nsecular government that may not share our values and faith, and which indeed\n(as Gov. Boggs et al.) may be out to harm and destroy us.  As a matter of\nfact, prophecies in my church indicate that in future years, (global)\npersecution against Mormons will so increase in intensity and scope, that\n(paraphrasing) "all those who wish to escape persecution and murder must\nflee to Zion."  Zion (the "pure in heart") will be re-established in those\ndays, and it AIN\'T our current secular authorities who will rule over it...\n\n#>...  David Koresh did NOT pose a great\n#>threat to the federal authorities or the security of this nation, and with\n#>John, I too wonder who or what\'s next...\n#\n#I personally feel that we should try to stop anyone who is a threat to the\n#life of even one person.  Sure, he did not pose a threat to the security of\n#this nation.  But he did pose a threat to the lives of his followers.  That\n#much is definite.\n\nHmmm.  "definite" by whom?  --Until such has been established beyond reason-\nable doubt, this alleged "threat" may have been less than the "threat"\nimposed upon him and his followers by the BATF and FBI...\n\n#>Who killed who?  What constitutional right did the ATF officers have to\n#>invade upon private land and to force themselves into the compound?\n#>What REALLY caused the "murder" of the little children?  Could it be that\n#>the ATF/FBI presence has any bearing upon the events?  How would you\n#>interpret the Mt. Masada events?  --Blame the Jews?  (What the heck did\n#>the Romans do there anyway?  What business did the ATF/FBI has in Waco,\n#>Texas???)  The Branch Davidians NEVER posed any threat to society.\n#\n#This is like asking who REALLY caused the deaths of the Israeli Olympic\n#team in 1976?  In that case, the police botched the job as well.  But to\n#lay a heavier burden on them than the terrorists would be a terrible\n#mistake.  I think the same sort of reasoning applies in this case.\n#Certainly, if David Koresh chose any peaceful option, the ATF and FBI\n#would have complied.  The responsibility is more his than the authorities.\n\nCome now, at issue is in how much the authorities escalated an otherwise\npeaceful stand-off: "let\'s get it over with, and "force" David Koresh to\ncome out???"  --By gassing them???  Were they naive, or what?  They played\nright into the hands of an apocalyptic-thinking individual (he had prepared\nhis people for this eventuality for years), and not *one* firetruck or plan\nwas in place to deal with this scenario???  I feel that the authorities\nhad "some" responsibility to protect their own citizens, even if they were\nreligious zealots, and guilty of ... not paying a $200 gun license???\n(Has the BATF become an extension of the local tax-collectors?)\n\n#>David Koresh, no doubt, will be described as the "evil" guy (by the\n#>executioners), while the actions of all those "valiant and brave" officers\n#\n#Characterizing the ATF/FBI as executioners is inaccurate and unfair.  In\n#order to be an executioner, the least one must have done is have the intent\n#to kill.\n\nQue?? --Intrusion into private property with semi\'s, loaded with life\nammunition, isn\'t that implicit "intent (or at least "prepared") to kill"?\nI ask you, would the BATF warrant stand up in a civil court of justice?\nI do not mind if criminals (such as dangerous drug lords) are brought to\njustice, but escalating events to the point of allowing to, if not compli-\ncity with, the destruction of a people?\n\n#--\n#*Isaac Kuo (isaackuo@math.berkeley.edu)                   *        _____\n#*"How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing.* ______//_o_\\\\__\n#* For us, it is a mundane and functional item.  For you,  *(==(/___________\n#* the basis of an entire culture!" Manfred von Richtofen  * \\==\\/         \\\n\n\nCasper C. Knies              isscck@byuvm.bitnet\nBrigham Young University     isscck@vm.byu.edu\nUCS Computer Facilities\n',
  "From: mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee)\nSubject: Re: A KIND and LOVING God!!\nOrganization: Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, B.C.\nLines: 38\n\n\nIn article <9304141620.AA01443@dangermouse.mitre.org>, jmeritt@mental.mitre.org writes:\n|> Leviticus 21:9\n|> And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the\n|> whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.\n|> \n|> Deuteronomy 22:20-21\n|> ...and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: then they shall\n|> bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of the\n|> city shall stone her with stones that she die...\n|> \n|> Deuteronomy  22:22\n|> If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall\n|> both of them die...\n|> \n|> Deuteronomy 22:23-24\n|> If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto a husband, and a man find her\n|> in the city, and lie with her; then ye shall bring them both out unto the\n|> gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die...\n|> \n|> Deuteronomy 22:25\n|> BUT if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her,\n|> and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.\n\nThese laws written for the Israelites, God's chosen people whom God had\nexpressly set apart from the rest of the world.  The Israelites were a\ndirect witness to God's existence.  To disobey God after KNOWing that God\nis real would be an outright denial of God and therefore immediately punishable.\nRemember, these laws were written for a different time and applied only to \nGod's chosen people.  But Jesus has changed all of that.  We are living in the\nage of grace.  Sin is no longer immediately punishable by death.  There is\nrepentance and there is salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  And not just\nfor a few chosen people.  Salvation is available to everyone, Jew and Gentile\nalike.\n\nGod be with you,\n\nMalcolm Lee  :)\n",
  'From: jeffj@yang.earlham.edu (ChaOs)\nSubject: Re: ALT.SEX.STORIES under Literary Critical Analysis :-)\nOrganization: Honest Bob\'s Used Toaster Emporium\nLines: 196\n\nIn article <1qevbh$h7v@agate.berkeley.edu>, dzkriz@ocf.berkeley.edu (Dennis Kriz) writes:\n> Hi all,\n> \n> I\'m going to try to do something here, that perhaps many would\n> not have thought even possible.  I want to begin the process of\n> initiating a literary critical study of the pornography posted on\n> alt.sex.stories, to identify the major themes and motifs present\n> in the stories posted there -- opening up then the possibility of\n> an objective moral evaluation of the material present there.  \n\nFirst off, let me congratulate you for not posting a flame about "You sick\nperverts, you are immoral, you are all going to hell.", which seems to be the\nusual "religious" post found on the alt.sex.* hierarchy.  Hopefully, you won\'t\nget flamed, either.\n\nYou will, however, be argued with.  I personally think that your project is\nbuilt on unsteady ground.\n\nFirst, I do not believe that there is any way to find an "objective morality". \nMorality and value are inherently subjective - they represent the beliefs of a\nperson or a group of people.  They can be widely held, perhaps even\noverwhelmingly held, but they are never and _can_ never be objective.\n\n> Assumptions:\n> \n> (1) A Christian bedrock assumption that all that is True, comes\n> Truly from God. \n> \n> (2) Regarding alt.sex.stories.  While perhaps even from an\n> objective standpoint, the majority of its material is indeed\n> repugnant (you come to this conclusion quite quickly when you\n> start thinking about analyzing its material like this), some of\n> it reflects some fairly profound needs in people as well as some\n> truths -- and deserve to be pointed out.\n\nSecond, I do not accept the assumptions that you make here.  If, as you say,\nyou are trying to be objective, then why accept a morality to begin with by\nusing the Christian Bible?  You\'re defeating your own purpose by doing so.\n \n> In the long run, the advantage of making such a literary/moral\n> analysis is that it will save band-width between Christians and\n> non mutually flaming each other about the moral acceptability of\n> the stuff on these (pornographic) groups.\n\nThird, call me a pessimist, but you won\'t stop the flamage.  There will always\nbe people who pop upin alt.sex.* to tell us how sick and twisted and evil we\nall are.  Just out of curiosity, do alt.sex readers show up unprovoked in the\nreligion groups to tell you all that you are narrow-minded, censoring,\noverbearing totalitarianists?\n \n> Basically, there should not be a dissonance between a "Christian"\n> morality and a "non-Christian" one.  Either there is value in a\n> particular work, or there is not whether one is a Christian or\n> not.\n\nHm.  Let me provide an example.  Four people get together over dinner, to\ndiscuss morality: you, me, a rather conservative Moslem, and a sociopath.  I\nstart off by saying that I think it\'s immoral to force people to have sex with\nyou.  You agree, but also say that it is immoral to have sex with someone of\nyour own gender.  (Just a note: I really don\'t know your views on\nhomosexuality, I am just using this as a common view of morality for the\npurposes of this example.)  The Moslem says that it is immoral for women to\nhave their faces uncovered.\n\nThe sociopath, who has become bored, kills all three of us and eats us, but\nfeels no guilt because he has done nothing wrong morally in his own mind. \n                                                                         \n> In support for the first assumption:\n> \n> The Christian scriptures say this:\n\n\t(Evidence deleted)\n\nI\'m not going to accept your evidence for this.  You ask us to accept "The Word\nof God" that everything good comes from God.  This is only a valid argument for\na person who shares your beliefs.\n\nStill, I must say that cataloging the major themes and motifs in erotica could\nbe interesting for other reasons than yours, so good luck with this next part.\n\n>                                                                        \n>              **************************************\n> \n> NOW THEN what are some of the major themes/motifs in the\n> pornographic literature on places like alt.sex.stories?  These\n> are some that I\'ve been able to identify.  Please add/comment on\n> them.\n> \n> \n> Motif #1 -- THE MALE-CINDERELLA.  \n> \n> In so many of the stories there is expressed a feeling of\n> alienation and worthlessness on the part of the writer or\n> otherwise protagonist of the story with regard to the object (the\n> other person) of his/her desire. Often a story involves a\n> protagonist who (on the surface) is quite average (but underneath\n> usually has an enormous dick), who desires to in some way to gain\n> access (in a definitely sexual way) to the other person who\n> he/she confesses is far more desireable than he/she is and who\n> indeed seems "to walk between the rain-drops."   \n\nHmmm...do I detect just a wee bit of condescence here?\n                                                      \n> \n> Motif #2 -- A CELEBRATION OF (INDEED PREOCCUPATION WITH) BEAUTY.\n                                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n\t\t\t\tnot very objective. \n\n> The vast majority of pornographic literature deals with beauty,\n> be it innocence (somehow about to be lost), grace, or simply\n> physical beauty.  And generally, most people Christian or non\n> will say that beauty is good. \n\nOne could construe this to mean that beautiful people are better, or "more\ngood" than non-beautiful people.  I would hope that people relize that this is\nnot necessarily true.\n                     \n> \n> Motif #3 -- ONE\'S DICK IS ONE\'S INSTRUMENT OF REDEMPTION.  \n                    ^^^^\n      Might I suggest the word "penis"? It seems more in line with the tone of\nyour post. \n          \n>      Blessed are those who are well-hung, for they shall get\n>      laid. -- from what would thus be a revised Matthew 5 :-).\n> \n\nBravo!  I respect you and your sense of humor, sir. \n\n> \n> Motif #4 -- SEX AS AN EXPRESSION OF SINCERE GIVING.  \n>                                                  \n> There is, often enough, a clear desire on the part of the\n> protagonist, to give (definitely sexual) pleasure to the object\n> (person) of his/her desires.\n                                                 \nYes, and this theme is usually what the better stories are about.  However,\nthey are not always selfish - I could point to examples in the work of Elf\nSternberg, for example.\n\n> \n> Motif #5 -- ALT.SEX.STORIES DESCRIBES A SEX WHICH IS COMPLETELY\n> REMOVED FROM THE REALM OF "TRANSMITTING LIFE"  \n> \n> So removed is sex from its procreative dimension on\n> alt.sex.stories, that one begins to wonder why sex even involves\n> ejaculation, as in the context described in pornography it serves\n> then no real purpose.  \n\nIt serves the same purpose as it does in pornographic movies: it affirms the\nvirility of the male involved, as well as assuring the reader that he (the\ncharacter) has orgasmed.                      \n\n> The Whole Picture [TM] is probably very well described by the\n> Catholic teaching on this: Of the husband and wife, in an act of\n> total mutual self-giving in the sexual union, cooperating with\n> God in opening themselves up for the transmission of new life\n> (cf. Humane Vitae).  \n\nYour Whole Picture [TM] unfortunately only applies to people who accept your\nchurch.\n         \nIn addition, if sex is for procreation, then\n\n1)\tWhy did God make it pleasurable, so that people would want to do it,\nrather than building it in as instinct?\n2)\tWhy did God make it fallible?  Not every sexual encounter results in\npregnancy, even among Catholics.  Does this mean that they have sinned?\n \n> In any case alt.sex.stories and the Catholic teaching will\n> probably not see eye to eye on this for a long time.\n \nGranted.\n\n> \n> Motif #6 -- SEX USED AS AN INSTRUMENT VIOLENCE, POWER AND\n> HUMILIATION.  \n>                                   \n> Why pornography seems to tend in that direction, I really do not\n> know.  Probably volumes could be written on the relationships\n> between sex and power/humiliation.  But this probably gives good\n> reason why traditionally Judeo-Christianity has been so negative\n> with regard to sexuality -- it seems to tend to a great moral\n> morass. \n\nPornography would not tend in those directions if there were not a demand for\nit.  Many people have violent fantasies that they would never act out in real\nlife, but will think about and read about and mull over.\n\nLater,\n\t\t\t\t\t\tJeff                                   \n\n-- \nJeffJ@yang.earlham.edu - Official generic .sig.  Under 4 lines, under 80\ncolumns, no Amiga checks, no witty quotes, no maps of Australia, no asterisks,\nno ASCII art, no disclaimers or anti-flame requests, and one spelling errer. \n',
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 12\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nlivesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n\n>Now along comes Mr Keith Schneider and says "Here is an "objective\n>moral system".  And then I start to ask him about the definitions\n>that this "objective" system depends on, and, predictably, the whole\n>thing falls apart.\n\nIt only falls apart if you attempt to apply it.  This doesn\'t mean that\nan objective system can\'t exist.  It just means that one cannot be\nimplemented.\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: karner@austin.ibm.com (F. Karner)\nSubject: Re: Jews can\'t hide from keith@cco.\nOriginator: frank@karner.austin.ibm.com\nOrganization: IBM Advanced Workstation Division\nLines: 50\n\n\nIn article <1pj2b6$aaa@fido.asd.sgi.com>, livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n> In article <1993Apr3.033446.10669@bmerh85.bnr.ca>, dgraham@bmers30.bnr.ca (Douglas Graham) writes:\n> |> In article <1pint5$1l4@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n> |> >\n> |> Deletions...\n> |> Er, Jon, what Ken said was:\n> |> \n> |>   There have previously been people like you in your country.  Unfortunately,\n> |>                              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n> |>   most Jews did not survive.\n> |> \n> |> That sure sounds to me like Ken is accusing the guy of being a Nazi.\n> \n> Hitler and the Nazis didn\'t spring fully formed from the forehead\n> of Athena.   They didn\'t invent anti-semitism.   They built on a \n> foundation of anti-semitism that was already present in Germany.   \n> This foundation of anti-semitism was laid down, not by the Nazis, \n> but by the people I listed, and also by hundreds of years of unthinking, \n> knee-jerk bigotry, on the part of perfectly ordinary people, and, of\n> course, their pastors and priests.\n> \n> What we have to worry about today is not whether some Hollywood\n> Hitler in a black uniform is going to come striding onto the German\n> stage in one unprepared step, but whether those same bedrock foundations\n> of anti-semitism are being laid down, little by little, in Germany,\n> as we speak.\n> \n> And if so, they will be laid down, not by Hitlers and Himmlers, who\n> will come later, but by "people like" the poster in question.   The\n> people who think that casual anti-semitism is acceptable, or even fun.\n>                       ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n> \nDeletions...\n> I did.     Now may I suggest, with the greatest possible respect, that\n> you go read some history?\n> \n> jon.\n\nSo, you consider the german poster\'s remark anti-semitic?  Perhaps you\nimply that anyone in Germany who doesn\'t agree with israely policy in a\nnazi?  Pray tell, how does it even qualify as "casual anti-semitism"? \nIf the term doesn\'t apply, why then bring it up?\n\nYour own bigotry is shining through.  \n-- \n\n         DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this posting are mine\n            solely and do not represent my employer in any way.\n       F. A. Karner AIX Technical Support | karner@austin.vnet.ibm.com\n',
  'Subject: Re: Christians above the Law? was Clarification of pe\nFrom: NUNNALLY@acs.harding.edu (John Nunnally)\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Harding University, Searcy, AR\nNntp-Posting-Host: acs.harding.edu\nX-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.24In-Reply-To: pharvey@quack.kfu.com\'s message of 18 Apr 1993 18:31:38 UTCLines: 87\nLines: 87\n\n> When are we going to hear a Christian answer to this question? \n> \n> In paraphrase: \n> \n> On what or whose authority do Christians proclaim that they\n> are above the Law and above the Prophets (7 major and 12 minor) and not \n> accountable to the Ten Commandments of which Jesus clearly spoke His opinion \n> in Matthew 5:14-19? What is the source of this pseudo-doctrine? Who is\n> the pseudo-teacher? Who is the Great Deceiver?\n\nOK, here\'s at least one Christian\'s answer:\n\nJesus was a JEW, not a Christian.  In this context Matthew 5:14-19 makes\nsense.  Matt 5:17 "Do not think that I [Jesus] came to abolish the Law or\nthe Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill."  Jesus lived\nunder the Jewish law.  However, He was the culmination of the promises\nof the Prophets.  He came to *fulfill* the prophecies and fully obey\nGod\'s purposes.\n\nVerse 18 says "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass\naway, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law,\nuntil all is accomplished."  The key to this verse IMHO is the last \nphrase.  Jesus, as the fulfillment of the law, "accomplished" what the \nLaw was supposed to accomplish.  \n\nVerse 19:  "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments,\nand so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;\nbut whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the\nkingdom of heaven."  Taken in the context of Jesus teaching Jewish \npeople about living lives under the law, this makes sense.\n\nIn general, it appears that Jesus is responding to some criticism he \nmust have received about "doing away with the Law."  That was not \nJesus\' intent at all.  He had come to earth to live the Law as it \nshould be lived and fulfill the promises made by God to his \npeople all the way back to Eve [Gen 3:15-The serpent will bruise your \nheel, but *He* will bruise his head.]  Jesus appeared to be "doing \naway with the Law" because he did not honor the traditions of men as \nequal to the Law of God.  He regularly locked horns with the religious \nleaders of the day because he would not conform to *their* rules, only \nGod\'s Law.\n\nIn the Matthew passage Jesus is defending his dedication to the Law \nand defending himself against his accusors.  Almost the entire Sermon \non the Mount (Matt. 5-7) is dedicated to helping the Jewish people \nunderstand the true intent of the Law, sweeping away the clutter which \nhad been introduced by the Pharasees and their traditions.\n\nIn Galatians 3:23-26, Paul describes the relationship of Jesus to the \nLaw in this way:\n\n[23] But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being \nshut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.  [24] Therefore \nthe Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be \njustified by faith.  [25]  But now that faith has come, we are no \nlonger under a tutor.  [26] For you are all sons of God through faith \nin Christ Jesus.\n\nI believe this says that after Christ was revealed, the Law had \nserved it\'s purpose, i.e. "our tutor to lead us to Christ," and\nnow, "we are no longer under a tutor."  The law has been "fulfilled" \nas Christ said he would do.\n\nGod, the author of the old Law, and the Christ/Man, Jesus, are the same\npersonality.  Therefore, the old Law and the new Testament (the "last\nwill and testament" of Jesus) are based on the same moral principles. \nIt makes sense that many of the principles in the old Law are\nre-expressed in Christianity. \n\nOn the other hand, now that the Law has fulfilled it\'s purpose and \nChristians relate to God through Christ, not the Law, it also makes \nsense that new practices and new symbolisms were established to \nrepresent the "mysteries" of this new relationship.  i.e. Baptism \nrepresenting Christ\'s death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-8),\nThe Lord\'s supper as a memorial to His sacrifice (I Cor. 11:26), and\nSunday as a day of worship commemorating His resurrection (Matt 28:1ff,\nActs 20:7)\n\nOK, That\'s one Christian\'s explanation.  I don\'t claim to have all\nthese issues completely settled even in my own mind and I welcome\nother Christians to offer other alternatives.\n\nPlease excuse the long posting.  Thanks for your interest if you have read \nthis far...\n\nJohn Nunnally\nNunnally@acs.Harding.edu\n',
  'From: jmd@cube.handheld.com (Jim De Arras)\nSubject: Re: Who\'s next?  Mormons and Jews?\nOrganization: Hand Held Products, Inc.\nLines: 78\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: dale.handheld.com\n\nIn article <1qvh8n$gf4@msuinfo.cl.msu.edu> friedenb@maple.egr.msu.edu (Gedaliah  \nFriedenberg) writes:\n> In article <1qvfik$6rf@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu>, cj195@cleveland.Freenet.Edu  \n(John W. Redelfs) writes:\n> |> \n> |> Now that Big Brother has rubbed out one minority religion in Waco, who is\n> |> next?  The Mormons or Jews?\n> \n> Give me a break.  If the Mormons fortified Utah and armed it to the teeth,\n> and were involved in illegal activity, then they deserve whatever they get.\n> \n\nWhere were you brought up?  In the former USSR?  Is Innocent until proven  \nguilty by a jury of your peers, NOT Dan Rather, dead in this country?  Seems  \nso.  Is tax evasion, the only charge brought against the BDs, punishable by  \ndeath in this country, now?\n\n\n> You are making a ludicrous suggestion.\n> \nNot really.  You are a blind idiot.\n\n> |> We used to live in a country where everyone enjoyed the free exercise of\n> |> their rights to worship and bear arms.  Now we don\'t.\n> \n> Does that include the right to murder little children?  How about killing\n> ATF officers?  I do not know much about the gun laws in Texas, but \n> Koresh\'s folks claimed to have grenades, grenade launchers, and rocket\n> launchers.  I am not sure that the NRA feels that this falls under \n> "right to bear arms."\n\n"Not sure", yet you condem them to death for it?  If the BATF had stayed home,  \nall would be alive, now.  So who murdered who?\n>  \n> |> Of course, to Jews and Mormons this is just a broken record.  It has\n> |> happened before.\n> \n> Please explain.  I do not remember Jews or Mormons (as a group) overtly \n> breaking a judicious (a.k.a. non-Nazi) law and being punished for it.\n>  \nYou have a short memory.\n\n> |> I\'ll bet all you cult haters are happy now, right?  Just hope you\'re not  \nnext.\n> \n> Followups to /dev/null  \n> \n> Alternative followups set to talk.religion.misc\n> \n\nSleep well, tonite, heartless idiot.  Sleep the sleep of the simple-minded.\n\nI shall weep for my country, myself.\n\n>  \n> |> ------------ John W. Redelfs, cj195@cleveland.freenet.edu -------------\n> |> --------- All my opinions are tentative pending further data. ---------\n>  \n> Gedaliah Friedenberg\n> -=-Department of Mechanical Engineering\n> -=-Department of Metallurgy, Mechanics and Materials Science\n> -=-Michigan State University\n> \n> \n>                    \n\nI\'m short of patience tonite, but rabid dogs deserve and get better treatment  \nthan the BDs got.\n\nJim\n--\njmd@handheld.com\n-------------------------------------------------------------------------------\n"I\'m always rethinking that.  There\'s never been a day when I haven\'t rethought  \nthat.  But I can\'t do that by myself."  Bill Clinton  6 April 93\n"If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed  \nin my country, I never would lay down my arms,-never--never--never!"\nWILLIAM PITT, EARL OF CHATHAM 1708-1778 18 Nov. 1777\n',
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: "Cruel" (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (USA)\nLines: 35\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <1qnpa6INN8av@gap.caltech.edu> keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n>>Hanging? Hanging there slowing being strangled would be very \n>>painful, both physically and psychologicall, I imagine.\n>\n>Well, most hangings are very quick and, I imagine, painless.\n\n\tI think this is a misnomer.\n\n>\n>>Firing squad ? [ note: not a clean way to die back in those \n>>days ], etc. \n>>All would be considered cruel under your definition.\n>>All were allowed under the constitution by the founding fathers.\n>\n>And, hangings and firing squads are allowed today, too.  And, if these\n>things were not considered cruel, then surely a medical execution\n>(painless) would not be, either.\n\n\tBut, this just shows then that painful execution is not considered \n"cruel" and unusual punishment. This shows that "cruel" as used in the \nconstitution does NOT refer to whether or not the punishment causes physical \npain.\n\tRather, it must be a different meaning.\n\n---  \n\n  " I\'d Cheat on Hillary Too."\n\n   John Laws\n   Local GOP Reprehensitive\n   Extolling "Traditional Family Values."\n\n\n\n\n',
  "From: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine)\nSubject: Re: Morality? (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: Tektronix Inc., Beaverton, Or.\nLines: 15\n\nIn article <1ql667INN54a@gap.caltech.edu> keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n>\n>What I've been saying is that moral behavior is likely the null behavior.\n\n  Do I smell .sig material here?\n\n\n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n\nBob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n\nThey said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\nand sank Manhattan out at sea.\n\n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n",
  'From: perry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry)\nSubject: Re: [soc.motss, et al.] "Princeton axes matching funds for Boy Scouts"\nArticle-I.D.: dsi.1pq6skINNhi4\nDistribution: usa\nOrganization: Decision Support Inc.\nLines: 28\nNNTP-Posting-Host: dsi.dsinc.com\n\nIn article <1993Apr3.221101.25314@midway.uchicago.edu> shou@midway.uchicago.edu writes:\n>In article <1pi0dhINN8ub@dsi.dsinc.com> perry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry) writes:\n>>Bigots never concede that their bigotry is irrational; it\n>>is other people who determine that by examining their arguments.\n>[...]\n>No!  I  expected it! You\'ve set yourself up a wonderful little\n>world where a bigot is whomever you say it is.  This is very \n>comfortable for you--imagine, never having to entertain an\n>argument against your belief system.  Simply accuse the person\n>making of being a bigot.  \n\nWell, this particular thread of vituperation slopped its venom over\ninto alt.atheism, where we spend most of our time entertaining\narguments against our belief system, without resorting to accusing\nothers of bigotry.  It\'s somewhat ironic that our exposure to bigotry\nhappens in this instance to have originated in rec.scouting, since I\nalways understood scouting to teach tolerance and diversity.  I\nunderstand bigotry to be irrational prejudice against other people who\nhappen to be of a different race, religion, ethnic background, sex, or\nother inconsequential characteristics.  All the evidence I\'ve seen\nindicates that sexual orientation and lack of belief in gods are\nexactly such inconsequential characteristics.  Thus, pending further\nevidence, I conclude that those who show prejudice against such people\nare bigots, and organizations that exclude such people are\ndiscriminatory.\n-- \nJim Perry   perry@dsinc.com   Decision Support, Inc., Matthews NC\nThese are my opinions.  For a nominal fee, they can be yours.\n',
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: Keith Schneider - Stealth Poster?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 26\nNNTP-Posting-Host: lloyd.caltech.edu\n\ncmtan@iss.nus.sg (Tan Chade Meng - dan) writes:\n\n>I somewhat agree with u.  However, what it comes to (theist) religion, \n>it\'s a different matter.  That\'s because religion is like a drug, once u\n>use it, it\'s very difficult to get out of it.  That\'s because in\n>order to experience a religion, u necessarily have to have blind faith,\n>and once u have the blind faith, it\'s very diffcult for you to reason\n>yourself back to atheism again.\n>Therefore, it\'s unreasonable to ask people to try religion in order to\n>judge it.  It\'s like asking people to "try dying to find out what\n>death is like".\n\nWell now, we can\'t judge death until we are dead right?  So, why should\nwe judge religion without having experienced it?  People have said that\nreligion is bad by any account, and that it is in no way useful, etc.,\nbut I don\'t totally agree with this.  Of course, we cannot really say\nhow the religious folk would act had they not been exposed to religion,\nbut some people at least seemed to be helped in some ways by it.\n\nSo basically, we can not judge whether religion is the right route for\na given individual, or even for a general population.  We can say that\nit is not best for us personally (at least, you can choose not to use\nreligion--might be hard to try to find out its benefits, as you state\nabove).\n\nkeith\n',
  'Subject: Re: Death Penalty (was Re: Political Athei\nFrom: sham@cs.arizona.edu (Shamim Zvonko Mohamed)\nOrganization: U of Arizona CS Dept, Tucson\nLines: 29\n\nIn article <1993Apr19.151120.14068@abo.fi> MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats Andtbacka) writes:\n>In <930419.125145.9O3.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk> mathew writes:\n>> I wonder if Noam Chomsky is reading this?\n>\n>      I could be wrong, but is he actually talking about outright\n>_government_ control of the media, aka censorship?\n>\n>      If he doesn\'t, any quick one-stop-shopping reference to his works\n>that\'ll tell me, in short, what he _does_ argue for?\n\n"Manufacturing Consent," a film about the media. You alternative movie source\nmay have this; or to book it in your local alternative theatre, contact:\n\nFILMS TRANSIT * INTERNATIONAL SALES\nJan Rofekamp\n402 Notre Dame E.\nMontreal, Quebec\nCanada H2Y 1C8\nTel (514) 844-3358 * Fax (514) 844-7298\nTelex 5560074 Filmtransmtl\n\n(US readers: call Zeitgeist Films at 212 274 1989.)\n\n-s\n--\n  Shamim Mohamed / {uunet,noao,cmcl2..}!arizona!shamim / shamim@cs.arizona.edu\n  "Take this cross and garlic; here\'s a Mezuzah if he\'s Jewish; a page of the\n    Koran if he\'s a Muslim; and if he\'s a Zen Buddhist, you\'re on your own."\n   Member of the League for Programming Freedom - write to lpf@uunet.uu.net\n',
  'From: rh@smds.com (Richard Harter)\nSubject: Re: Rawlins debunks creationism\nReply-To: rh@ishmael.UUCP (Richard Harter)\nOrganization: Software Maintenance & Development Systems, Inc.\nLines: 79\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.223844.16453@rambo.atlanta.dg.com> wpr@atlanta.dg.com (Bill Rawlins) writes:\n\n>    We are talking about origins, not merely science.   Science cannot\n>    explain origins.  For a person to exclude anything but science from\n>    the issue of origins is to say that there is no higher truth\n>    than science.  This is a false premise.  By the way, I enjoy science.\n>    It is truly a wonder observing God\'s creation.  Macroevolution is\n>    a mixture of 15 percent science and 85 percent religion [guaranteed\n>    within three percent error :) ]\n\nLet us explore this interesting paragraph point by point, sentence by\nsentence.\n\n\n1) We are talking about origins, not merely science.\n\nOrigins of what?  Are we speaking of the origins of life, the human\nspecies, the universe, physical law, biological diversity or what?\n\n2) Science cannot explain origins.\n\nThis is a false statement unless it is carefully qualified.  It depends\non what origins we are talking about.\n\n3) For a person to exclude anything but science from the issue of origins\nis to say that there is no higher truth than science.\n\nAgain, this is a false statement.  To begin with, the notion of "higher\ntruth" is distinctly dubious.  Many people believe that there are ways\nto ascertain truth that are not in the repetoire of science; they even\nbelieve that there are ways that are more reliable and certain.  Many\nbelieve that there are truths that cannot be expressed using the language\nof science.  Let it be so.  These truths are neither "higher" or \n"lower"; they are simply true.\n\nMore to the point, restricting one\'s discussion of origins to science\ndoes not reject other sources of knowledge; it simply restricts the\nscope of discussion.\n\n4) This is a false premise.\n\nIf this is intended as asserting that the previous sentence was false\nthen (4) is actually true.  However the context identifies it as another\nfalse [or at least theologically unsound] statement.\n\n5) By the way, I enjoy science.\n\nOn the evidence Mr. Rawlins lacks sufficient understanding of science\nto enjoy science in any meaningful sense.  One might just as well say\nthat one enjoys literature written in a language that one cannot read.\nHowever one cannot mark this sentence as false -- to follow the analogy,\nperhaps he likes the pretty shapes of the letters.\n\n6) It is truly a wonder observing God\'s creation.\n\nLet us not quibble; count this one as true.\n\n7) Macroevolution is a mixture of 15 percent science and 85 percent\nreligion [guaranteed within three percent error :) ]\n\nStill another false statement.  However one can make it come out true\nwith the following contextual modification:\n\n"Macroevolution, as misunderstood by Rawline, is a mixture of 15 percent\nof what Rawlins erroneously thinks of as science, and 85 percent of\nwhat Rawlins erroneously thinks of as religion."\n\n-----\n\nIt is distinctly noticeable that Mr. Rawlins fails miserably to touch\non truth except when he reports personally on what he feels.  [I do\nhim the justice of assuming that he is not misinforming us as to his\npersonal reactions.]  One can account for this by the hypothesis that\nhe has an idiosyncratic and personal concept of truth.\n-- \nRichard Harter: SMDS Inc.  Net address: rh@smds.com Phone: 508-369-7398 \nUS Mail: SMDS Inc., PO Box 555, Concord MA 01742.    Fax: 508-369-8272\nIn the fields of Hell where the grass grows high\nAre the graves of dreams allowed to die.\n',
  'From: timmbake@mcl.ucsb.edu (Bake Timmons)\nSubject: Re: Amusing atheists and agnostics\nLines: 76\n\n\nChris Faehl writes:\n\n> >Many atheists do not mock the concept of a god, they are shocked that\n> >so many theists have fallen to such a low level that they actually\n> >believe in a god.  You accuse all atheists of being part of a conspiracy,\n> >again without evidence.\n>\n>> Rule *2:  Condescending to the population at large (i.e., theists) will >not\n>> win many people to your faith anytime soon.  It only ruins your credibility.\n\n>Fallacy #1: Atheism is a faith. Lo! I hear the FAQ beckoning once again...\n>[wonderful Rule #3 deleted - you\'re correct, you didn\'t say anything >about\n>a conspiracy]\n\nCorrection: _hard_ atheism is a faith.\n\n>> Rule #4:  Don\'t mix apples with oranges.  How can you say that the\n>> extermination by the Mongols was worse than Stalin?  Khan conquered people\n>> unsympathetic to his cause. That was atrocious. But Stalin killed millions of\n>> his own people who loved and worshipped _him_ and his atheist state!!  How can\n>> anyone be worse than that?\n\n>I will not explain this to you again: Stalin did nothing in the name of\n>atheism. Whethe he was or was not an atheist is irrelevant.\n\nGet a grip, man.  The Stalin example was brought up not as an\nindictment of atheism, but merely as another example of how people will\nkill others under any name that\'s fit for the occasion.\n\n>> Rule #6:  If you rely on evidence, state it.  We\'re waiting.\n\n>As opposed to relying on a bunch of black ink on some crumbling old paper...\n>Atheism has to prove nothing to you or anyone else. It is the burden of\n>dogmatic religious bullshit to provide their \'evidence\'. Which \'we\'\n>might you be referring to, and how long are you going to wait?\n\nSo hard atheism has nothing to prove?  Then how does it justify that\nGod does not exist?  I know, there\'s the FAQ, etc.  But guess what -- if\nthose justifications were so compelling why aren\'t people flocking to\n_hard_ atheism?  They\'re not, and they won\'t.  I for one will discourage\npeople from hard atheism by pointing out those very sources as reliable\nstatements on hard atheism.\n\nSecond, what makes you think I\'m defending any given religion?  I\'m merely\nrecognizing hard atheism for what it is, a faith.\n\nAnd yes, by "we" I am referring to every reader of the post.  Where is the\nevidence that the poster stated that he relied upon?\n>\n>> Oh yes, though I\'m not a theist, I can say safely that *by definition* many\n>> theists are not arrogant, since they boast about something _outside_\n>> themselves, namely, a god or gods.  So in principle it\'s hard to see how\n>> theists are necessarily arrogant.\n\n>Because they say, "Such-and-such is absolutely unalterably True, because\n         ^^^^\n>my dogma says it is True." I am not prepared to issue blanket statements\n>indicting all theists of arrogance as you are wont to do with atheists.\n\nBzzt!  By virtue of your innocent little pronoun, "they", you\'ve just issued\na blanket statement.  At least I will apologize by qualifying my original\nstatement with "hard atheist" in place of atheist.  Would you call John the\nBaptist arrogant, who boasted of one greater than he?  That\'s what many\nChristians do today.  How is that _in itself_ arrogant?\n>\n>> I\'m not worthy!\n>Only seriously misinformed.\nWith your sophisticated put-down of "they", the theists, _your_ serious\nmisinformation shines through.\n\n--\nBake Timmons, III\n\n-- "...there\'s nothing higher, stronger, more wholesome and more useful in life\nthan some good memory..." -- Alyosha in Brothers Karamazov (Dostoevsky)\n',
  'From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Nicknames\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 21\n\nIn article <1993Apr18.231914.143616@zeus.calpoly.edu>,\njmunch@hertz.elee.calpoly.edu (John Munch) wrote:\n> >Mathew "FAQ" can\'t remember his last name\n> >Keith "Lie Tally .sig" Ryan\n> >Kent "Finn-tastic" Sandvick\n> >Cindy "Popsicle Toes" Kandolf\n> >Jim "Face .sig" Tims\n> >Simon "Clip-that-theist" Clippendale\n> >Umar "Reasonable" Khan\n> >Rob "Argue with G-d" Strom\n> >Dave "Buckminster" Fuller\n> >Maddi "Never a useful post" Hausmann\n> \n> Hey, what about an affectionate nickname for me?\n\nYou could take my wrongly spelled surname :-).\n\nCheers,\nKent Sandvik\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n',
  'From: healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy)\nSubject: Re: free moral agency and Jeff Clark\nLines: 47\nOrganization: Walla Walla College\nLines: 47\n\nIn article <16BB112DFC.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de> I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau) writes:\n>From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\n>Subject: Re: free moral agency and Jeff Clark\n>Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1993 20:28:27 GMT\n>In article <healta.136.734813153@saturn.wwc.edu>\n>healta@saturn.wwc.edu (TAMMY R HEALY) writes:\n> \n>(Deletion)\n>>You also said,"Why did millions suffer for what Adam and Ee did?  Seems a\n>>pretty sick way of going about creating a universe..."\n>>\n>>I\'m gonna respond by giving a small theology lesson--forgive me, I used\n>>to be a theology major.\n>>First of all, I believe that this planet is involved in a cosmic struggle--\n>>"the Great Controversy betweed Christ and Satan" (i borrowed a book title).\n>>God has to consider the interests of the entire universe when making\n>>decisions.\n>(Deletion)\n> \n>An universe it has created. By the way, can you tell me why it is less\n>tyrannic to let one of one\'s own creatures do what it likes to others?\n>By your definitions, your god has created Satan with full knowledge what\n>would happen - including every choice of Satan.\n> \n>Can you explain us what Free Will is, and how it goes along with omniscience?\n>Didn\'t your god know everything that would happen even before it created the\n>world? Why is it concerned about being a tyrant when noone would care if\n>everything was fine for them? That the whole idea comes from the possibility\n>to abuse power, something your god introduced according to your description?\n> \n> \n>By the way, are you sure that you have read the FAQ? Especially the part\n>about preaching?\n>   Benedikt\n\nI don\'t feel that I\'m preaching. I\'m just trying to answer people\'s \nquestions and talking about my religion, my beliefs.\nWhen it comes to what I post, I don\'t do it with the intent of converting \nanyone.  I don\'t expect for the atheists in this newsgroup to take what I \nsay with a grain of salt if they so wish.\nI just state what I beleve, they ask me how I believeit and why and we all \ngo on. \nIf that\'s preaching, then I\'m soory and I\'ll get off the soapbox.\n\nTammy\n\n  \n',
  "From: nancyo@fraser.sfu.ca (Nancy Patricia O'Connor)\nSubject: Re: Amusing atheists and agnostics\nOrganization: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada\nLines: 11\n\ntimmbake@mcl.ucsb.edu (Bake Timmons) writes:\n\n>Rule #4:  Don't mix apples with oranges.  How can you say that the\n>extermination by the Mongols was worse than Stalin?  Khan conquered people\n>unsympathetic to his cause.  That was atrocious.  But Stalin killed millions of\n>his own people who loved and worshipped _him_ and his atheist state!!  How can\n>anyone be worse than that?\n\nYou're right.  And David Koresh claimed to be a Christian.\n\n\n",
  'From: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nSubject: Re: Christians above the Law? was Clarification of personal position\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as \'guest\'.\n\t<1993Apr19.131102.7843@rchland.ibm.com>\nLines: 41\n\nIn article <1993Apr19.131102.7843@rchland.ibm.com> \nxzz0280@rchland.vnet.ibm.com (R. J. Traff) writes:\n>|> In article <C5MuIw.AqC@mailer.cc.fsu.edu> \n>|> dlecoint@garnet.acns.fsu.edu (Darius_Lecointe) writes:\n>|> >question is "On what authority do we proclaim that the requirements of the\n>|>               ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n>|> >fourth commandment are no longer relevant to modern Christians?"  Please\n>|> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n>I don\'t believe most Christians believe they are *above* the Law.  However,\n>we are not saved by adherence to the Law.  The Law exists to tell us what\n>is sinful.  We all sin.\n\nHence we are "all" above the Law where "all" in this case refers to\nChristians.\n\n>Jews believe that their sins are atoned for with\n>blood sacrifice of animals as described in the Old Testament.\n\nWhen was the last time you heard about a Jewish animal sacrifice?\n\n>Christians \n>believe that their sins are atoned for by the blood sacrifice of Jesus.\n\nThe blood sacrifice of an innocent man?\n\n>This does not make the Law \'irrelevant\'.\n\nThen why don\'t Christians follow it, why don\'t they even follow their\nown Ten Commandments?\n\n>Breaking the Law *is* sinful,\n>and we are to avoid sinful ways, but sinning, by itself, does not jeopardize\n>salvation.\n\nSo, in short; Hitler is in heaven and Gandhi is in Hell?\n\n>Note that I\'m not a theologian.  But this is the gist of several\n>sermons I\'ve heard lately and some Bible studies I\'ve been through.  \n\nDid you ever wonder if someone, perhaps a great deceiver, was pulling\nyour leg?\n',
  'From: pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)\nSubject: Re: An invisible God!\nOrganization: The Duck Pond public unix: +1 408 249 9630, log in as \'guest\'.\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <1993Apr17.152833.7811@maths.tcd.ie> \npmoloney@maths.tcd.ie (Paul Moloney) writes:\n>jmeritt@mental.MITRE.ORG (Jim Meritt - System Admin) writes:\n>> God CAN be seen:\n>>        "And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts."\n>Wot? God\'s a mooner? \n\nSuch lunacy!\n\n>(Gee, maybe there\'s something in this Christianity thing after all -\n>maybe God is John Belushi from "Animal House")\n\nThe SuperNatural One wants to have a personal relationship with you.\nJHVH-1, come quick!\n',
  "From: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nSubject: Re: Rosicrucian Order(s) ?!\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (USA)\nLines: 21\nReply-To: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nNNTP-Posting-Host: hela.ins.cwru.edu\n\n\nIn a previous article, alamut@netcom.com (Max Delysid y!)) says:\n\n>\n>Can we assume from this statement that you are >unequivocally< saying that\n>AMORC is not a spin off of OTO? \n\nAbsolutely. Lewis didn't care for the 1921 O.T.O. charter from Reuss. He had\nin mind something completely diferent. Crowley and Lewis were very\ndifferent persons, as you probably know.\n\n>.. and that in fact, OTO may well be a spin\n>off of AMORC??\n\nNo. My overstatement, sorry :-)\n\n>>Study Harder,\n>Study Smarter, not Harder! :-)\n>\nI ALWAYS DO.\n\n",
  'From: mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nX-Newsreader: rusnews v1.01\nLines: 13\n\nfrank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n> In article <1993Apr15.125245.12872@abo.fi> MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats\n> Andtbacka) writes:\n> |      "And these objective values are ... ?"\n> |Please be specific, and more importantly, motivate.\n> \n> I\'ll take a wild guess and say Freedom is objectively valuable.\n\nYes, but whose freedom?  The world in general doesn\'t seem to value the\nfreedom of Tibetans, for example.\n\n\nmathew\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: <<Pompous ass\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 20\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <1qlef4INN8dn@gap.caltech.edu>, keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n|> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> [...]\n|> >>The "`little\' things" above were in reference to Germany, clearly.  People\n|> >>said that there were similar things in Germany, but no one could name any.\n|> >That\'s not true.  I gave you two examples.  One was the rather\n|> >pevasive anti-semitism in German Christianity well before Hitler\n|> >arrived.  The other was the system of social ranks that were used\n|> >in Imperail Germany and Austria to distinguish Jews from the rest \n|> >of the population.\n|> \n|> These don\'t seem like "little things" to me.  At least, they are orders\n|> worse than the motto.  Do you think that the motto is a "little thing"\n|> that will lead to worse things?\n\nYou don\'t think these are little things because with twenty-twenty\nhindsight, you know what they led to.\n\njon.\n',
  'From: mathew@mantis.co.uk (mathew)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nLines: 31\nX-Newsreader: rusnews v1.01\n\nfrank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n> In article <1qg8bu$kl5@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon\n> Livesey) writes:\n> #And this "objective morality" is........?\n> \n> And here, children, we have a person playing the "objective morality doesn\'t \n> exist, show me one" game.  You can play this with just about anything:\n> \n> And this "objective medicine" is.....?\n> And this "objective physics" is.....?\n> And this "objective reality" is.....?\n\nPrecisely.\n\nThere\'s no objective medicine; some people get marvellous results from\nalternative therapy, others only respond to traditional medicine.\n\nThere\'s no objective physics; Einstein and Bohr have told us that.\n\nThere\'s no objective reality.  LSD should be sufficient to prove that.\n\n> One wonders just what people who ask such questions understand by the term \n> "objective", if anything.\n\nI consider it to be a useful fiction; an abstract ideal we can strive\ntowards.  Like an ideal gas or a light inextensible string, it doesn\'t\nactually exist; but we can talk about things as if they were like it, and not\nbe too far wrong.\n\n\nmathew\n',
  'From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: free moral agency and Jeff Clark\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 30\n\nIn article <healta.136.734813153@saturn.wwc.edu>\nhealta@saturn.wwc.edu (TAMMY R HEALY) writes:\n \n(Deletion)\n>You also said,"Why did millions suffer for what Adam and Ee did?  Seems a\n>pretty sick way of going about creating a universe..."\n>\n>I\'m gonna respond by giving a small theology lesson--forgive me, I used\n>to be a theology major.\n>First of all, I believe that this planet is involved in a cosmic struggle--\n>"the Great Controversy betweed Christ and Satan" (i borrowed a book title).\n>God has to consider the interests of the entire universe when making\n>decisions.\n(Deletion)\n \nAn universe it has created. By the way, can you tell me why it is less\ntyrannic to let one of one\'s own creatures do what it likes to others?\nBy your definitions, your god has created Satan with full knowledge what\nwould happen - including every choice of Satan.\n \nCan you explain us what Free Will is, and how it goes along with omniscience?\nDidn\'t your god know everything that would happen even before it created the\nworld? Why is it concerned about being a tyrant when noone would care if\neverything was fine for them? That the whole idea comes from the possibility\nto abuse power, something your god introduced according to your description?\n \n \nBy the way, are you sure that you have read the FAQ? Especially the part\nabout preaching?\n   Benedikt\n',
  'From: mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nX-Newsreader: rusnews v1.01\nLines: 19\n\nkeith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider) writes:\n>mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n>>As for rape, surely there the burden of guilt is solely on the rapist?\n> \n> Not so.  If you are thrown into a cage with a tiger and get mauled, do you\n> blame the tiger?\n\nAs far as I know, tigers are not sentient.  If I were pushed into a pool with\nsome dolphins and they attacked me, I might be inclined to blame the dolphins\nrather than the person doing the pushing, as (a) dolphins are not usually\naggressive and (b) they seem to have well-developed brains and a capacity for\nabstract thought.\n\nAs a matter of fact, tigers rarely attack humans unless the human provokes\nthem.  Of course, if they are in a cage which is far too small, that might\ncount as provocation...\n\n\nmathew\n',
  'Subject: Re: Gospel Dating\nFrom: p00261@psilink.com (Robert Knowles)\nOrganization: Kupajava, East of Krakatoa\nIn-Reply-To: <1993Apr5.163050.13308@wam.umd.edu>\nNntp-Posting-Host: 127.0.0.1\nX-Mailer: PSILink-DOS (3.3)\nLines: 22\n\n>DATE:   Mon, 5 Apr 1993 16:30:50 GMT\n>FROM:   Stilgar <west@next02cville.wam.umd.edu>\n>\n>In article <kmr4.1422.733983061@po.CWRU.edu> kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M.  \n>Ryan) writes:\n>> In article <1993Apr5.025924.11361@wam.umd.edu>  \n>west@next02cville.wam.umd.edu (Stilgar) writes:\n>> \n>> >THE ILLIAD IS THE UNDISPUTED WORD OF GOD(tm)    *prove me wrong*\n>> \n>> \tI dispute it.\n>> \n>> \tErgo: by counter-example: you are proven wrong.\n>\n>\tI dispute your counter-example\n>\n>\tErgo: by counter-counter-example: you are wrong and\n>\tI am right so nanny-nanny-boo-boo TBBBBBBBTTTTTTHHHHH\n>\t\t\t8^p\n>\n\nThis looks like a serious case of temporary Islam. \n',
  'From: mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate)\nSubject: Re: Motto Mania\nLines: 33\n\nmathew writes:\n\n>I prefer Mark-Jason Dominus\'s suggestion that the motto should be changed to\n>"Mind your own fucking business".\n\nIn this era of AIDS, isn\'t someone\'s fucking *everyone\'s* interest?  (semi\n:-))\n\nI propose "We have no motto."\n\nRecently in the glorious state of Maryland (the only state whose state song\nrefers to Abraham Lincoln as a tyrant), people have gotten all wound up over\nthe state motto (which we inherited from the Calverts):\n\n    "Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine"\n\nwhich, if you read Italian, says,\n\n    "Manly deeds, womanly words"\n\nor something to that effect.  In the state which not so long ago had four\nwomen out of seven representatives, this represents a problem.  The official\nsolution was to change the translation, so now it means:\n\n    "Strong deeds, gentle words"\n\nMy personal suggestion was changing it to "walk softly and carry a big\nstick."\n-- \nC. Wingate        + "The peace of God, it is no peace,\n                  +    but strife closed in the sod.\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu +  Yet, brothers, pray for but one thing:\ntove!mangoe       +    the marv\'lous peace of God."\n',
  'From: rwd4f@poe.acc.Virginia.EDU (Rob Dobson)\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nOrganization: University of Virginia\nLines: 18\n\nIn article <visser.735284180@convex.convex.com> visser@convex.com (Lance Visser) writes:\n\n>\tPlease get an explaination of exactly what this "non-toxic" tear\n>gas was and what the delivery system was.  I refuse to believe any \n>explaination provided by the FBI/ATF without lots of facts.\n>\n>\tI do not believe that there is such a thing as "non-toxic" tear\n>gas.\n>\n\nYou are correct. See today\'s (4/21) Washington Post. The gas the\nFBI used is most certainly fatal in high concentrations. Of course,\nnon-toxic tear gas is an oxymoron; the whole point of tear gas is\nthat it is toxic, and its toxic effects cause people to seek\nfresh air.\n\n--\nLegalize Freedom\n',
  'From: f_gautjw@ccsvax.sfasu.edu\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nOrganization: Stephen F. Austin State University\nLines: 24\n\nIn article <1993Apr21.164554.1@ccsua.ctstateu.edu>, parys@ccsua.ctstateu.edu writes:\n> I told some friends of mine two weeks ago that Koresh was dead.  The FBI and\n> the BATF could not let a man like that live.  He was a testimonial to their\n> stupidity and lies.    \n> \n\t[...deleted...]\n\nUnfortunately, I think you\'ve got it figured pretty well.  I also ask\nmyself the question "Why did they plan for so many months.  Why was\nthis so important to them?  What was the government really up to?\nWhy did they seal the warrant?  Were they after Koresh or were they after      \nthe first and second amendments, among others?\n\n> \n> We waited 444 days for our hostages to come home from Iran.  We gave these\n> people 51 days.  \n> \n-- \n *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *\n Joe Gaut                    |   In the super-state, it really does not\n <f_gautjw@ccsvax.sfasu.edu> |   matter at all what actually happened.\n     Remember the Alamo      |   Truth is what the government chooses to \n       Remember Waco         |   tell you.  Justice is what it wants to happen.\n                                        --Jim Garrison, New Orleans, La.\n',
  'From: jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com\nSubject: Re: Death Penalty / Gulf War (long)\nLines: 346\n\nIn article <930420.105805.0x8.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk>, mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n> jbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com writes:\n>>In article <930419.115707.6f2.rusnews.w165w@mantis.co.uk>, mathew\n>><mathew@mantis.co.uk> writes:\n>>> Which "liberal news media" are we talking about?\n>> \n>> Western news in general, but in particular the American "mass media":\n>> CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.  The general tone of the news during the whole\n>> war was one of "those poor, poor Iraqis" along with "look how precisely\n>> this cruise missile blew this building to bits".\n> \n> Most odd.  Over here there was very little about the suffering of the Iraqi\n> civilians until towards the end of the war; and then it was confined to the\n> few remaining quality newspapers.\n\nTrue.  At first, the news media seemed entranced by all the new gizmos\nthe military was using, not to mention the taped video transmissions from\nthe missiles as they zeroed in on their targets.  But later, and especially\nafter the bunker full of civilians was hit, they changed their tone.  It\nseemed to me that they didn\'t have the stomach for the reality of war,\nthat innocent people really do die and are maimed in warfare.  It\'s like\nthey were only pro-Gulf-War as long as it was "nice and clean" (smart\nmissiles dropping in on military HQs), but not when pictures of dead,\ndying, and maimed civilians started cropping up.  What naive hypocrites!\n\n> \n>>>> How about all the innocent people who died in blanket-bombing in WW2?\n>>>> I don\'t hear you bemoaning them!\n\n[ discussion about blanket-bombing and A-bombs deleted.]\n>>> \n>> All things considered, the fire-bombings and the atomic bomb were\n>> essential (and therefore justified) in bringing the war to a quick\n                            ^^^^^^^^^\n>> end to avoid even greater allied losses.\n\nI should have said here "militarily justified".  It seems from your\ncomments below that you understood this as meaning "morally justified".\nI apologize.\n\n> \n> What about the evidence that America knew Japan was about to surrender after\n> Hiroshima but *before* Nagasaki?  Is that another lie peddled by the liberal\n> media conspiracy?\n\nI have often wondered about this.  I\'ve always thought that the first bomb\nshould have been dropped on Japan\'s island fortress of Truk.  A good,\ninpenatrable military target.  The second bomb could\'ve been held back\nfor use on an industrial center if need be.  But I digress.\n\nYes, I have heard that we found evidence (after the war, BTW) that Japan\nwas seriously considering surrender after the first bomb.  Unfortunately,\nthe military junta won out over the moderates and rejected the US\'s\nulimatum.  Therefore the second bomb was dropped.  Most unfortunate, IMO.\n\n> \n>> I, for one, don\'t regret it.\n> \n> Nuke a Jap for Jesus!\n> \n\nI don\'t regret the fact that sometimes military decisions have to be made\nwhich affect the lives of innocent people.  But I do regret the \ncircumstances which make those decisions necessary, and I regret the\nsuffering caused by those decisions.  \n\n[...]\n\n>>> Why all the fuss about Kuwait and not East Timor, Bosnia, or even Tibet?\n>>> If Iraq is so bad, why were we still selling them stuff a couple of weeks\n>>> before we started bombing?\n>> \n>> I make no claim or effort to justify the misguided foreign policy of the\n>> West before the war.  It is evident that the West, especially America,\n>> misjudged Hussein drastically.  But once Hussein invaded Kuwait and \n>> threatened to militarily corner a significant portion of the world\'s\n>> oil supply, he had to be stopped.\n> \n> Oh, I see.  So we can overlook his using chemical weapons on thousands of\n> people, but if he threatens your right to drive a huge gas-guzzling car,\n> well, the man\'s gotta go.\n\nActually, it was the fact that both situations existed that prompted US\nand allied action.  If some back-water country took over some other\nback-water country, we probably wouldn\'t intervene.  Not that we don\'t\ncare, but we can\'t be the world\'s policman.  Or if a coup had occured\nin Kuwait (instead of an invasion), then we still wouldn\'t have acted\nbecause there would not have been the imminent danger perceived to\nSaudi Arabia.  But the combination of the two, an unprovoked invasion\nby a genocidal tyrant AND the potential danger to the West\'s oil \ninterests, caused us to take action.\n\n> \n> [ I\'ve moved a paragraph from here to later on ]\n> \n\n[...]\n>> \n>> If we hadn\'t intervened, allowing Hussein to keep Kuwait, then it would\n>> have been appeasement.\n> \n> Right.  But did you ever hear anyone advocate such a course of action?  Or\n> are you just setting up a strawman?\n> \n\nI\'m not setting up a strawman at all.  If you want to argue against the\nwar, then the only logical alternative was to allow Hussein to keep\nKuwait.  Diplomatic alternatives, including sanctions, were ineffective.\n\n>>>>                                                           I guess we\n>>>> shouldn\'t have fought WW2 either -- just think of all those innocent\n>>>> German civilians killed in Dresden and Hamburg.\n>>> \n>>> Yes, do.  Germans are human too, you know.\n>> \n>> Sure.  What was truly unfortunate was that they followed Hitler in\n>> his grandiose quest for a "Thousand Year Reich".  The consequences\n>> stemmed from that.\n> \n> Translation: "They were asking for it".\n> \nWell, in a sense, yes.  They probably had no idea of what end Hitler\nwould lead their nation to.\n\n> But what about those who didn\'t support Hitler\'s dreams of conquest?  It\'s\n> not as if they democratically voted for all his policies.  The NSDAP got 43%\n> in the elections of 1933, and that was the last chance the German people got\n> to vote on the matter.\n\nThey suffered along with the rest.  Why does this bother you so much?\nThe world is full of evil, and circumstances are not perfect.  Many\ninnocents suffer due to the wrongful actions of others.  It it regretable,\nbut that\'s The-Way-It-Is.  There are no perfect solutions.\n\n[...]\n>>> \n>>> I look forward to hearing your incisive comments about East Timor and\n>>> Tibet.\n>>\n>> What should I say about them?  Anything in particular?\n> \n> The people of East Timor are still being killed by a dictatorship that\n> invaded their country.  Hell, even Western journalists have been killed.  All\n> this was happening before the Gulf War.  Why didn\'t we send in the bombers to\n> East Timor?  Why aren\'t we sending in the bombers NOW?\n\nProbably because we\'re not the saviors of the world.  We can\'t police each\nand every country that decides to self-destruct or invade another.  Nor\nare we in a strategic position to get relief to Tibet, East Timor, or\nsome other places.\n> \n> [ Here\'s that paragraph I moved ]\n> \n>>> What\'s your intent?  To sound like a Loving Christian?  Well, you aren\'t\n>>> doing a very good job of it.\n>> \n>> Well, it\'s not very "loving" to allow a Hussein or a Hitler to gobble up\n>> nearby countries and keep them.  Or to allow them to continue with mass\n>> slaughter of certain peoples under their dominion.  So, I\'d have to\n>> say yes, stopping Hussein was the most "loving" thing to do for the\n>> most people involved once he set his mind on military conquest.\n> \n> The Chinese government has a policy of mandatory abortion and sterilization\n> of Tibetans.  Tibetan people are rounded up, tortured, and executed.  Amnesty\n> International recently reported that torture is still widespread in China.\n> \n> Why aren\'t we stopping them?  In fact, why are we actively sucking up to them\n> by trading freely with them?\n\nTell me how we could stop them and I\'ll support it.  I, for one, do not\nagree with the present US policy of "sucking up to them" as you put it.\nI agree that it is deplorable.\n\n> \n>>>> And as for poor, poor Rodney King!  Did you ever stop and think *why*\n>>>> the jury in the first trial brought back a verdict of "not guilty"?\n>>> \n>>> Yes.  Amongst the things I thought were "Hmm, there\'s an awful lot of white\n>>> people in that jury."\n>> \n>> So?  It was the *policemen* on trial not Rodney King!!\n> \n> Erm, surely it\'s irrelevant who\'s on trial?  Juries are supposed to represent\n> a cross-section of the population.\n\nAre they?  Or are they supposed to reflect the population of the locale\nwhere the trial is held?  (Normally this is where the crime is committed\nunless one party or the other can convince the judge a change of venue\nis in order.)  I\'m not an expert on California law, or even US law, but\nit seems that this is the way the system is set up.  You can criticize\nthe system, but let\'s not have unfounded allegations of racial \nprejudice thrown around.\n\n> \n>> And under American law they deserved a jury of *their* peers!\n> \n> You are saying that black people are not the peers of white people?\n\nNo, not at all.  The point is that the fact that there were no blacks\non the first jury and that Rodney King is black is totally irrelevant.\n\n> \n>> This point (of allegedly racial motivations) is really shallow.\n> \n> This idea of people only being tried before a jury of people just like them\n> is really stupid.  Should the Nuremburg trials have had a jury entirely made\n> up of Nazis?\n\nGermans, perhaps.  "Peers" doesn\'t mean "those who do the same thing",\nlike having murderers judge murderers.  It means "having people from\nthe same station in life", presumably because they are in a better\nposition to understand the defendent\'s motivation(s).\n\n> \n>>>> Those who have been foaming at the mouth for the blood of those\n>>>> policemen certainly have looked no further than the video tape.\n>>>> But the jury looked at *all* the evidence, evidence which you and I\n>>>> have not seen.\n>>> \n>>> When I see a bunch of policemen beating someone who\'s lying defenceless on\n>>> the ground, it\'s rather hard to imagine what this other evidence might have\n>>> been.\n>> \n>> So?  It\'s "hard to imagine"?  So when has Argument from Incredulity\n>> gained acceptance from the revered author of "Constructing a Logical\n>> Argument"?\n> \n> We\'re not talking about a logical argument.  We\'re talking about a court of\n> law.  As the FAQ points out, some fallacious arguments are not viewed as\n> fallacies in a court of law.\n\nOK, granted.  However, you are using this reasoning as part of *your*\nlogical argument in this discussion.  This is not a court of law.\n\n> \n>> If the facts as the news commentators presented them are true, then\n>> I feel the "not guilty" verdict was a reasonable one.\n> \n> Were you not talking earlier about the bias of the liberal media conspiracy?\n> \nThe media is not totally monolithic.  Even though there is a prevailing\nliberal bias, programs such as the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour try to give\na balanced and fair reporting of the news.  There are even conservative\nsources out there if you know where to look.  (Hurrah for Rush!)\n\nBTW, I never used the word "conspiracy".  I don\'t accept (without *far*\nmore evidence) theories that there is some all-pervading liberal\nconspiracy attempting to take over all news sources.\n\n>>> "Thou shalt not kill... unless thou hast a pretty good reason for killing,\n>>>  in which case thou shalt kill, and also kill anyone who gets in the way,\n>>>  as unfortunately it cannot be helped."\n>>>                                  -- Jim Brown Bible for Loving Christians\n>> \n>> Thanks mathew, I like the quote.  Pretty funny actually.  (I\'m a \n>> Monty Python fan, you know.  Kind of seems in that vein.)\n>> \n>> Of course, oversimplifying any moral argument can make it seem\n>> contradictory.  But then, you know that already.\n> \n> Ha ha, only serious.\n> \n> I, an atheist, am arguing against killing innocent people.\n> \n> You, a supposed Christian, are arguing that it\'s OK to kill innocent people\n> so long as you get some guilty ones as well.\n\nHardly.  I didn\'t say that it\'s a Good Thing [tm] to kill innocent people\nif the end is just.  Unfortunately, we don\'t live in a perfect world and\nthere are no perfect solutions.  If one is going to  resist tyranny, then\ninnocent people on both sides are going to suffer and die.  I didn\'t say\nit is OK -- it is unfortunate, but sometimes necessary.\n\n> \n> I, a moral relativist, am arguing that saturation bombing of German cities at\n> the end of World War II was (as far as I can see) an evil and unnecessary act.\n\nI would agree that it was evil in the sense that it caused much pain\nand suffering.  I\'m not so sure that it was unnecessary as you say.  That\nconclusion can only be arrived at by evaluating all the factors involved.\nAnd perhaps it *was* unnecessary as (let\'s say) we now know.  That doesn\'t\nmean that those who had to make the decision to bomb didn\'t see it as\nbeing necessary.  Rarely can one have full known of the consequences of\nan action before making a decision.  At the time it may have seemed\nnecessary enough to go ahead with it.\n\nBut don\'t assume that I feel the bombing was *morally* justified -- I\ndon\'t!  I just don\'t condemn those who had to make a difficult\ndecision under difficult circumstances.\n\n> \n> You, having criticised moral relativism in the past, are now arguing that I am\n> in no position to judge the morality of allied actions at the end of the\n> War.  \n\nYou certainly are not in such a position if you are a moral relativist.\nI, as an absolutist, am in a position to judge, but I defer judgment.\n\n> You are arguing that the actions need to be assessed in the particular\n> context of the time, and that they might have been moral then but not moral\n> now.\n\nWrong.  They were neither moral then nor now.  They seemed necessary to\nthose making the decisions to bring a quick end to the war.  I simply\nrefuse to condemn them for their decision.\n> \n> Where\'s your Christian love?  Where\'s your absolute morality?  Oh, how quick\n> you are to discard them when it suits you.  As Ivan Stang would say, "Jesus\n> would puke!"\n\nOne day I will stand before Jesus and give account of every word and action;\neven this discourse in this forum.  I understand the full ramifications of\nthat, and I am prepared to do so.  I don\'t believe that you can make the\nsame claim.\n\n> \n> mathew\n\nAnd BTW, the reason I brought up the blanket-bombing in Germany was\nbecause you were bemoaning the Iraqi civilian casualties as being \n"so deplorable".  Yet blanket bombing was instituted because bombing\nwasn\'t accurate enough to hit industrial/military targets in a\ndecisive way by any other method at that time.  But in the Gulf War,\nprecision bombing was the norm.  So the point was, why make a big\nstink about the relatively few civilian casualties that resulted\n*in spite of* precision bombing, when so many more civilians\n(proportionately and quantitatively) died under the blanket bombing\nin WW2?  Even with precision bombing, mistakes happen and some\ncivilians suffer.  But less civilians suffered in this war than\nany other iany other in history!  Many Iraqi civilians went about their lives\nwith minimal interference from the allied air raids.  The stories\nof "hundreds of thousands" of Iraqi civilian dead is just plain bunk.\nYes, bunk.  The US lost 230,000 servicemen in WW2 over four years\nand the majority of them were directly involved in fighting!  But \nwe are expected to swallow that "hundreds of thousands" of \n*civilian* Iraqis died in a war lasting about 2 months!  And with \nthe Allies using the most precise bombs ever created at that!  \nWhat hogwash.  If "hundreds of thousands" of Iraqi civilians died, \nit was due to actions Hussein took on his own people, not due to \nthe Allied bombing.\n\nRegards,\n\nJim B.\n\n\n',
  'From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: Wholly Babble (Was Re: free moral agency)\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 10\n\nIn article <2944159064.5.p00261@psilink.com>\n"Robert Knowles" <p00261@psilink.com> writes:\n \n(Deletion)\n>Of course, there is also the\n>Book of the SubGenius and that whole collection of writings as well.\n \n \nDoes someone know a FTP site with it?\n   Benedikt\n',
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: Keith Schneider - Stealth Poster?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 12\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nsandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik) writes:\n\n>>To borrow from philosophy, you don't truly understand the color red\n>>until you have seen it.\n>Not true, even if you have experienced the color red you still might\n>have a different interpretation of it.\n\nBut, you wouldn't know what red *was*, and you certainly couldn't judge\nit subjectively.  And, objectivity is not applicable, since you are wanting\nto discuss the merits of red.\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: datepper@phoenix.Princeton.EDU (David Aaron Tepper)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOriginator: news@nimaster\nNntp-Posting-Host: phoenix.princeton.edu\nOrganization: Princeton University\nLines: 28\n\nIn article <30136@ursa.bear.com> halat@pooh.bears (Jim Halat) writes:\n>In article <1qjd3o$nlv@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de>, frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n>>Firstly, science has its basis in values, not the other way round.\n>>So you better explain what objective atoms are, and how we get them\n>>from subjective values, before we go any further.\n>\n>Atoms are not objective.  They aren\'t even real.  What scientists call\n>an atom is nothing more than a mathematical model that describes \n>certain physical, observable properties of our surroundings.  All\n>of which is subjective.  \n\n[rest deleted...]\n\nYou were a liberal arts major, weren\'tcha?\n\nGuess you never saw that photo of the smallest logo in the world--\n"IBM" made with noble gas atoms (krypton? xenon? I forget the\nspecifics).\n\nAtoms, trees, electrons are all independently observable and\nverifiable. Morals aren\'t. See the difference?\n\nTep\n-- \nMen who love brown tend to be warm and deep, sensitive to the needs and\ndesires of their partners. Sex is a 24 hour a day thing. Snuggling by\nthe fire, walking in the rain or catching snowflakes on their tongue is\na real turn-on to a lover of brown. (thanx becka!)\n',
  'From: royc@rbdc.wsnc.org (Roy Crabtree)\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nOrganization: Red Barn Data Center\nLines: 49\n\nIn article <C5tByD.6zD@dscomsa.desy.de> hallam@zeus02.desy.de writes:\n...\n>Hang on you missed the point entirely, they are protesting the lack of\n>water because it DEPRIVED Koresh of his CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to prove\n>his DIVINITY by WALKING on it.\n\n\tYou can tell, folks, when the man has run out of reason:\n\tattack the man\'s beliefs (in legal terminology, argument\n\tad hominem:  attack the man, not what he did that has yet to\n\tbe proven illegal)>\n\n>\n>\n>|>>and the FBI/ATF go blasting holes into the builing and firing gas munitions.\n>|>\n>|>They used a tank to knock a hole in the wall, and they released\n>|>non-toxic, non-flammable tear gas into the building.\n>\n>You can tell that the gas did not burn because dispite the fact that\n\n\n\tWRONGo.  Remember the fire movie a couple of years ago?\n\t"Backdraft"?  The scene in the factory with propane gas\n\tcoming out of pipes and gasoline all over the floor,\n\twith a 750 degree flame front overhead?\n\n\t\tNote that it did not flash all at once?\n\n\tFires ignite and burn unpredictably.\n\tGases (like tear gas) mix and distribute unevenly.\n\t\tAnd flash unevenly.\n\n\tYou are not a fire analyst.  You cannnot tell.\n\t\t(NB:  Neither am I.  And I cannot tell\n\t\tNor is the FBI spokesman\n\t\tNor is Reno\n\t\tMaybe we all should shut up and get a\n\t\t\tforensics analysis first.\n\n>the building was full of it there was no flash of gas flame.\n\n\tYes,. there was a flash:  in one room, just pumped full of it.,\n\n>\n>\n>\n>Phill Hallam-Baker\n\nroyc\n',
  "From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie (Re: An Anecdote about Islam\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 19\n\nIn article <115846@bu.edu>\njaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n \n(Deletion)\n>Certainly. It is a central aspect of Islam to show mercy and to give\n>those who've done wrong (even presuming Rushdie _did_ violate Islamic\n>Law) and committed crimes. This was the basis for my posts regarding\n>leniency which seemed not to have penetrated Benedikt's skull.\n \nYou have demanded harsh punishments of several crimes. Repeating\noffenders have slipped in only as justification of harsh punishment at\nall. Typically religious doublespeak. Whenever you have contradictory\nstatements you choose the possibility that suits your current argument.\n \nIt is disgusting that someone with ideas that would make Theodore KKKaldis\nfeel cozy can go along under the protection of religion.\n \nGregg, tell us, would you kill idolaters?\n   Benedikt\n",
  "From: markbr%radian@natinst.com (mark)\nSubject: Re: Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Convention\nNntp-Posting-Host: zippy.radian.com\nOrganization: n.o.y.b\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <1qv82l$oj2@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea) writes:\n>     With the Southern Baptist Convention convening this June to consider\n>the charges that Freemasonry is incompatible with christianity, I thought\n>the following quotes by Mr. James Holly, the Anti-Masonic Flag Carrier,\n>would amuse you all...\n<MUNCH!>\n>     I hope you all had a good laugh! I know *I* did! <g>,\n\nIt would be funny if it wasn't so damn *NASTY*; and as non-xian as I am, \nit's hard to believe that someone is pushing black is white and freedom\nis slavery so blatantly.\n\n\tmark\n\n",
  'From: Nanci Ann Miller <nm0w+@andrew.cmu.edu>\nSubject: Re: New Member\nOrganization: Sponsored account, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA\nLines: 16\n\t<1993Apr16.015931.12153@mnemosyne.cs.du.edu>\nNNTP-Posting-Host: andrew.cmu.edu\nIn-Reply-To: <1993Apr16.015931.12153@mnemosyne.cs.du.edu>\n\njcopelan@nyx.cs.du.edu (The One and Only) writes:\n> Welcome.  I am the official keeper of the list of nicknames that people\n> are known by on alt.atheism (didn\'t know we had such a list, did you).\n> Your have been awarded the nickname of "Buckminster."  So the next time\n> you post an article, sign with your nickname like so:\n> Dave "Buckminster" Fuller.  Thanks again.\n> \n> Jim "Humor means never having to say you\'re sorry" Copeland\n\nOf course, the list has to agree with the nickname laws laid down by the\nGIPU almost 2000 years ago (you know... the 9 of them that were written on\nthe iron tablets that melted once and had to be reinscribed?).  Since I am\na prophet of the GIPU I decree that you should post the whole list of\nnicknames for the frequent posters here!\n\nNanci\n',
  'From: acooper@mac.cc.macalstr.edu\nSubject: Re: Where are they now?\nOrganization: Macalester College\nLines: 38\n\nIn article <1qi156INNf9n@senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU>, tcbruno@athena.mit.edu (Tom Bruno) writes:\n> \n> Wow.  Leave your terminal for a few months and everyone you remember goes\n> away-- how depressing.  Actually, there are a few familiar faces out there,\n> counting Bob and Kent, but I don\'t seem to recognize anyone else.  Has anyone\n> heard from Graham Matthews recently, or has he gotten his degree and sailed\n> for Greener Pastures (tm)?  \n> \n> Which brings me to the point of my posting.  How many people out there have \n> been around alt.atheism since 1990?  I\'ve done my damnedest to stay on top of\n> the newsgroup, but when you fall behind, you REALLY fall behind (it\'s still not\n> as bad as rec.arts.startrek used to be, but I digress).  Has anyone tried to\n> keep up with the deluge?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Also-- does anyone\n> keep track of where the more infamous posters to alt.atheism end up, once they\n> leave the newsgroup?  Just curious, I guess.\n> \n> cheers,\n> tom bruno\n\n\nI am one of those people who always willl have unlimited stores of unfounded\nrespect for people who have been on newsgroups/mailing lists longer than I\nhave, so you certainly have my sympathy Tom.  I have only been semi-regularly\nposting (it is TOUGHto keep up) since this February, but I have been reading\nand following the threads since last August: my school\'s newsreader was down\nfor months and our incompetent computing services never bothered to find a new\nfeed site, so it wasn\'t accepting outgoing postings.  I don\'t think anyone\nkeeps track of where other posters go: it\'s that old love \'em and leave \'em\nInternet for you again...\n\n\nbest regards,\n\n********************************************************************************\n* Adam John Cooper\t\t"Verily, often have I laughed at the weaklings *\n*\t\t\t\t   who thought themselves good simply because  *\n* acooper@macalstr.edu\t\t\t\tthey had no claws."\t       *\n********************************************************************************\n',
  'From: chrisb@tafe.sa.edu.au (Chris BELL)\nSubject: Re: Don\'t more innocents die without the death penalty?\nOrganization: South Australian Regional Academic and Research Network\nLines: 19\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: baarnie.tafe.sa.edu.au\n\n"James F. Tims" <p00168@psilink.com> writes:\n\n>By maintaining classes D and E, even in prison, it seems as if we \n>place more innocent people at a higher risk of an unjust death than \n>we would if the state executed classes D and E with an occasional error.\n\nI would rather be at a higher risk of being killed than actually killed by\n                              ^^^^                      ^^^^^^^^\nmistake.  Though I do agree with the concept that the type D and E murderers\nare a massive waste of space and resources I don\'t agree with the concept:\n\n\tkilling is wrong\n\tif you kill we will punish you\n\tour punishment will be to kill you.\n\nSeems to be lacking in consistency.\n\n--\n"I know" is nothing more than "I believe" with pretentions.\n',
  'From: perry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: Decision Support Inc.\nLines: 80\nNNTP-Posting-Host: dsi.dsinc.com\n\n(References: deleted to move this to a new thread)\n\nIn article <114133@bu.edu> jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n>In article <1phkf7INN86p@dsi.dsinc.com> perry@dsinc.com (Jim Perry) writes:\n\n>>}Rushdie is, however, as I understand, a muslim.\n>>}The fact that he\'s a British citizen does not preclude his being muslim.\n>\n>>Rushdie was an atheist (to use local terminology, not to put words in\n>>his mouth) at the time of writing TSV and at the time of the fatwa in\n>>February 1989.[...]\n>\n>Well, if he was born muslim (I am fairly certain he was) then he _is_ \n>muslim until he explicitly renounces Islam. So far as I know he has never\n>explicitly renounced Islam, though he may have been in extreme doubt\n>about the existence of God. Being muslim is a legal as well as\n>intellectual issue, according to Islam.\n\n"To put it as simply as possible: *I am not a Muslim*.[...] I do not\n accept the charge of apostacy, because I have never in my adult life\n affirmed any belief, and what one has not affirmed one can not be\n said to have apostasized from.  The Islam I know states clearly that\n \'there can be no coercion in matters of religion\'.  The many Muslims\n I respect would be horrified by the idea that they belong to their\n faith *purely by virtue of birth*, and that a person who freely chose\n not to be a Muslim could therefore be put to death."\n    \t    \t    \t    \tSalman Rushdie, "In Good Faith", 1990\n\n"God, Satan, Paradise, and Hell all vanished one day in my fifteenth\n year, when I quite abruptly lost my faith.  [...]and afterwards, to\n prove my new-found atheism, I bought myself a rather tasteless ham\n sandwich, and so partook for the first time of the forbidden flesh of\n the swine.  No thunderbolt arrived to strike me down. [...] From that\n day to this I have thought of myself as a wholly seculat person."\n    \t    \t    \t    \tSalman Rushdie, "In God We Trust", 1985\n \n>>[I] think the Rushdie affair has discredited Islam more in my eyes than\n>>Khomeini -- I know there are fanatics and fringe elements in all\n>>religions, but even apparently "moderate" Muslims have participated or\n>>refused to distance themselves from the witch-hunt against Rushdie.\n>\n>Yes, I think this is true, but there Khomenei\'s motivations are quite\n>irrelevant to the issue. The fact of the matter is that Rushdie made\n>false statements (fiction, I know, but where is the line between fact\n>and fiction?) about the life of Mohammad. \n\nOnly a functional illiterate with absolutely no conception of the\nnature of the novel could think such a thing.  I\'ll accept it\n(reluctantly) from mobs in Pakistan, but not from you.  What is\npresented in the fictional dream of a demented character cannot by the\nwildest stretch of the imagination be considered a reflection on the\nactual Mohammad.  What\'s worse, the novel doesn\'t present the\nMahound/Mohammed character in any worse light than secular histories\nof Islam; in particular, there is no "lewd" misrepresentation of his\nlife or that of his wives.\n\n>That is why\n>few people rush to his defense -- he\'s considered an absolute fool for \n>his writings in _The Satanic Verses_. \n\nDon\'t hold back; he\'s considered an apostate and a blasphemer.\nHowever, it\'s not for his writing in _The Satanic Verses_, but for\nwhat people have accepted as a propagandistic version of what is\ncontained in that book.  I have yet to find *one single muslim* who\nhas convinced me that they have read the book.  Some have initially\nclaimed to have done so, but none has shown more knowledge of the book\nthan a superficial Newsweek story might impart, and all have made\nfactual misstatements about events in the book.\n\n>If you wish to understand the\n>reasons behind this as well has the origin of the concept of "the\n>satanic verses" [...] see the\n>Penguin paperback by Rafiq Zakariyah called _Mohammad and the Quran_.\n\nI\'ll keep an eye out for it.  I have a counter-proposal: I suggest\nthat you see the Viking hardcover by Salman Rushdie called _The\nSatanic Verses_.  Perhaps then you\'ll understand.\n-- \nJim Perry   perry@dsinc.com   Decision Support, Inc., Matthews NC\nThese are my opinions.  For a nominal fee, they can be yours.\n',
  "From: mmm@cup.portal.com (Mark Robert Thorson)\nSubject: Re: scientology???\nOrganization: The Portal System (TM)\nLines: 8\n\n> i need some brief information on scientology (or applientology as frank zappa\n> would call it) anyone have the time to send me some info on ol' l.ron and the b\n> asics of what scientology is all about would be appreciated---p.s.i am not inte\n> rested in any propaganda\n\nI've taken the liberty of passing your name and address to your local org\n(Scientology office).  They'll be contacting you in a few days.  I also\nthrew in a small contribution, so they'd know you're serious.    :-)\n",
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: ALT.SEX.STORIES under Literary Critical Analysis :-)\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 16\n\nIn article <1qevbh$h7v@agate.berkeley.edu>, dzkriz@ocf.berkeley.edu (Dennis\nKriz) wrote:\n> I'm going to try to do something here, that perhaps many would\n> not have thought even possible.  I want to begin the process of\n> initiating a literary critical study of the pornography posted on\n> alt.sex.stories, to identify the major themes and motifs present\n> in the stories posted there -- opening up then the possibility of\n> an objective moral evaluation of the material present there.  \n\nDennis, I'm astounded. I didn't know you were interested to even\nstudy such filth as alt.sex.stories provide...\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nOrganization: Boston University Physics Department\nLines: 50\n\nIn article <1993Apr10.123858.25059@bradford.ac.uk> L.Newnham@bradford.ac.uk (Leonard Newnham) writes:\n\n>Gregg Jaeger (jaeger@buphy.bu.edu) wrote:\n\n>> Khomenei was a jerk and so were plenty of \n>>British "leaders", so what? \n\n>>THE QUR\'AN is the basis of judgement. Khomenei was clearly a heretic\n>>by the standards of the Qur\'an. End of story.\n\n>Could you be a little more specific as to exactly why Khomanei was a\n>heretic and a jerk as judged by the Koran.  I have no liking for the\n>guy, but as far as I know he has done nothing contrary to the teachings\n>of the Koran, or at least so I\'m told by several Iranian research\n>students that I share an office with.\n\n>It is easy and convenient for you to denounce him.  But I have the \n>feeling that your views are not as clear cut and widely accepted as you\n>suggest.\n\nI have made this clear elsewhere but will do so again. Khomeini put a \nprice on the head of someone in another country, this makes him a jerk\nas well as an international outlaw. Khomeini advocates the view that\nthere was a series of twelve Islamic leaders (the Twelve Imams) who\nare free of error or sin. This makes him a heretic. In the Qur\'an \nMuhammad is chastised for error directly by God; the Qur\'an says that\nMuhammad is the greatest example of proper Islamic behavior; thus\nno muslim is free from error. \n\n\n>As usual there seems to be almost as many Islamic viewpoints as there\n>are Muslims.  \n\nPerhaps it seems so to you, but this is hardly the case. There is\nwidespread agreement about matters of Islam. There certainly are\nmany viewpoints on issues which are not particularly Islamic in\nand of themselves, but this is so for any large group of people\nunder the same name. \n\n>It all comes back to the Koran being so imprecise in its wording.\n\nThe Qur\'an is not particularly imprecise in wording, though it is true\nthat several interpretations are possible in the interpretations of\nmany words. However, as an entire text the Qur\'an makes its meanings\nprecise enough for intelligent people free from power lust to come\nto agreement about them. \n\n\n\nGregg\n',
  "From: cfairman@leland.Stanford.EDU (Carolyn Jean Fairman)\nSubject: Re: *** The list of Biblical contradictions\nOrganization: DSG, Stanford University, CA 94305, USA\nLines: 26\n\njoslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin) writes:\n\n>Someone writes:\n>>I found a list of Biblical contradictions and cleaned it up a bit,\n>>but now I'd like some help with it.\n\n>I'm curious to know what purpose people think these lists serve.\n\nIt's about time.  Why do atheists spend so much time paying attention\nto the bible, anyway?\n\nFace it, there are better things to do with your life!  I used to\nchuckle and snort over the silliness in that book and the absurdity\nof people believing in it as truth, etc.  Why do we spend so little\ntime on the Mayan religion, or the Native Americans?  Heck, the Native\nAmericans have signifigantly more interesting myths.  Also, what\nabout the Egyptians.\n\nI think we pay so much attention to Christianity because we accept\nit as a _religion_ and not a mythology, which I find more accurate.\n\n\nI try to be tolerant.  It gets very hard when someone places a book\nunder my nose and tells me it's special.  It's not.\n\nCarolyn\n",
  'From: darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice)\nSubject: Re: islamic genocide\nOrganization: Monash University, Melb., Australia.\nLines: 49\n\nIn <2943927496.1.p00261@psilink.com> "Robert Knowles" <p00261@psilink.com> writes:\n\n>>DATE:   14 Apr 1993 23:52:11 GMT\n>>FROM:   Frank O\'Dwyer <frank@D012S658.uucp>\n>>\n>>In article <1993Apr14.102810.6059@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au> darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) writes:\n>>\n>>Just borrowing your post, Mr. Rice...\n>>\n>>#In <2943656910.0.p00261@psilink.com> "Robert Knowles" <p00261@psilink.com> writes:\n>>#>Are you sure that democracy is the driving force behind\n>>#>the massacres in East Timor?  It is certainly odd that so many of the worlds\n>>#>massacres occur along religious lines, independently of any claims to a\n>>#>democratic form of government.  Are Ireland and Northern Ireland considered\n>>#>democracies?  Would you attribute their problems to democracy even though\n>>#>they are democracies?  Which motivates them more, religion or democracy?\n>>\n>>Mr. Rice was pointing out a fallacy in the assertion that Islam is evil\n>>because some of those who claim to follow it are evil, not asserting that \n>>democracy causes massacres, as I read it.  \n\n>That is right, he was.  And I was pointing out that his use of Indonesians\n>killing the East Timorese as a result of _democracy_ was a bit weak because\n>democracy is not much of a motivation for doing much of anything in Indonesia\n>from what I remember.  East Timor was a former Portguese territory which was\n>forcibly annexed by Indonesia.  Last I heard over 10,000 Indonesians have\n>died trying to keep East Timor a part of Indonesia.  Being a former \n>Portuguese colony, there is a strong Catholic influence in East Timor as I\n>recall.  So it seems a bit odd that yet again we have another war being\n>fought between people who just "happen" to have different religions.  Purely\n>coincidental, I guess.  But then the real motivation is to get the vote out\n>and make democracy work in Indonesia.\n\nI pointed out the secession movement in Aceh which has also been\nbrutally dealt with in the past by the Indonesian government.  The\nharshly with all secessionist movements.\nthe evidence, it appears to me that the Indonesian government has dealt\nvery harshly with all secession movements.\n\nI know that the head of the Indonesian armed forces for a very long time\nwas Benny Murdani -- a "Christian".  Indonesia has been heavy handed in\nEast Timor for a long time , even when Murdani was head of the armed\nforces.  The people who make up the\nIndonesian government are in general motivated by national interests,\nnot religious ones.\n\n Fred Rice\n darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au   \n\n',
  'From: jluther@cs.umr.edu (John W. Luther)\nSubject: Re: Freemasonry and the Southern Baptist Convention\nNntp-Posting-Host: mcs213c.cs.umr.edu\nOrganization: University of Missouri - Rolla, Rolla, MO\nLines: 80\n\nIn article <1qv82l$oj2@usenet.INS.CWRU.Edu> ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea) writes:\n>\n>\n>     With the Southern Baptist Convention convening this June to consider\n>the charges that Freemasonry is incompatible with christianity, I thought\n>the following quotes by Mr. James Holly, the Anti-Masonic Flag Carrier,\n>would amuse you all...\n>\n>\n>     The following passages are exact quotes from "The Southern \n>Baptist Convention and Freemasonry" by James L. Holly, M.D., President\n>of Mission and Ministry To Men, Inc., 550 N 10th St., Beaumont, TX \n>77706. \n> \n>     The inside cover of the book states: "Mission & Ministry to Men, \n>Inc. hereby grants permission for the reproduction of part or all of \n>this booklet with two provisions: one, the material is not changed and\n>two, the source is identified." I have followed these provisions. \n>  \n>     "Freemasonry is one of the allies of the Devil" Page iv. \n> \n>     "The issue here is not moderate or conservative, the issue is God\n>and the Devil" Page vi." \n> \n>     "It is worthwhile to remember that the formulators of public \n>school education in America were Freemasons" Page 29. \n> \n>     "Jesus Christ never commanded toleration as a motive for His \n>disciples, and toleration is the antithesis of the Christian message."\n>Page 30. \n> \n>     "The central dynamic of the Freemason drive for world unity \n>through fraternity, liberty and equality is toleration. This is seen \n>in the writings of the \'great\' writers of Freemasonry". Page 31. \n> \n>     "He [Jesus Christ] established the most sectarian of all possible \n>faiths." Page 37. \n> \n>     "For narrowness and sectarianism, there is no equal to the Lord \n>Jesus Christ". Page 40. \n> \n>     "What seems so right in the interest of toleration and its \n>cousins-liberty, equality and fraternity-is actually one of the \n>subtlest lies of the \'father of lies.\'" Page 40. \n> \n>     "The Southern Baptist Convention has many churches which were \n>founded in the Lodge and which have corner stones dedicated by the \n>Lodge. Each of these churches should hold public ceremonies of \n>repentance and of praying the blood and the Name of the Lord Jesus \n>Christ over the church and renouncing the oaths taken at the \n>dedication of the church and/or building." Page 53-54.  \n> \n>\n>     I hope you all had a good laugh! I know *I* did! <g>,\n>\n>\nTony   \n\nI appreciate the narrow-mindedness of the view expressed in\nthe text you quoted.  I also appreciate your being amused\nby such determined ignorance.  Without taking anything away\nfrom your mirth, I want to say that these views sadden me.\nI can only hope that that sort of narrow-mindedness will\ndie with the generations that have promoted it.  Teach \nyour children well.\n\n<wet blanket mode off>\n\nPax.\n\nJohn\n> \n> \n\n\n-- \n* John W. Luther                        |   Anybody who mistakes my *\n* jluther@cs.umr.edu   <-Best for Email |   opinions for UMR\'s just *\n* 71140.313@compuserve.com  <-$$$$$!    |   doesn\'t know UMR.       *\n********************************************************************\n',
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: >>>>>>Pompous ass\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 226\nNNTP-Posting-Host: lloyd.caltech.edu\n\n<MVS104@psuvm.psu.edu> writes:\n\n>>Many people would probably think (especially if the fanatics propogandized\n>>this) that this was a conflict between the atheists and the religious.\n>>Many would get the impression that we were trying to outlaw religion, if\n>>we contintue to try to remove all things with a religious reference.\n>That\'s not what the people I\'ve asked think. Perhaps you would be right\n>if you said the fundamentalists would think this way; after all, they think\n>they are being oppressed when they are not allowed to oppress. However,\n>you have not shown where you get this idea that \'many\' people would\n>\'probably\' think it\'s atheism vs. religion, winner take all. As far as I can\n>tell, it is your groundless prediction that this will happen.\n\nBut you haven\'t taken into the account of propoganda.  Remember, if you\nasked Germans before WWII if the Jews shoudl be slaughtered, they would\nprobably answer no, but, after the propoganda machine rolled through, at\nleast some were able to tolerate it.\n\nYou see, it only takes a small group of fanatics to whip up a general\nfrenzy.\n\n>>THe propoganda machines have been in gear over a number of issues, including\n>>abortion and gays...  look at some of the things that have happened.\n>Well, so far they have passed one amendment, which is currently under\n>intense scrutiny, and they have failed to outlaw abortion, which is their\n>prime goal on that issue. Yep, they seem sooo effective. Sure.\n\nWell, they haven\'t managed to outlaw abortion due to the possible objectivity\nof the courts.  But, they have managed to create quite a few problems for\npeople that wanted to have an abortion.  They could create similar problems\nfor us.  And, it could be worse.  They can try to stop abortions by blocking\nclinics, etc., but imagine what they\'d have to do to stop atheism.\n\n>>>>Besides, the margin of error is very large when you only talk to two people.\n>>>Better than your one, that is, your opinion. Also, I have branched\n>>>out and the informal survey is up over half a dozen now.\n>>And, what have they said?  Were you questions unbiased?\n>Keith, you would claim that my questions are biased the minute I posted\n>them, because the answers agreed with me. Everyone I have asked about\n>the possible removal of the motto (the christian portion) has expressed\n>regret about its loss, because they like it. However, when it is pointed\n>out to them that a new motto will not be in the works, none have expressed\n>the desire to rape, murder, pillage, etc., which you have basically claimed.\n\nSo, you are able to convince them individually, but could you convince a\nwhole room of them?  A whole nation?\n\n>As for the atheist portion (I know some around here), they have all\n>expressed disgust with the motto. Some noted being harassed by christians\n>who used the motto to try to seem justified. And all would see it gone.\n\nYes, I\'d be glad if it were gone to.  I\'ve never supported it.  However,\nI think that it is a minor problem that can be easily ignored, contrasted\nwith what *could* happen (an what may be likely).\n\n>>Which Christians designed the motto?  Does the motto say anything about\n>>Jesus?  Why do you think that it refers *only* to Christians?\n>Christians wrote it; christians think that their religion is right, and\n>all others are wrong; therefore, why would they \'include\' other religions\n>in the realm of being correct? I doubt that any other religions were meant\n>to be included.\n\nWell, I am not clear on the religious convictions of Francis Scott Key (the\nmotto can be attributed to him), but it is at least clear that he believed\nin a god.  And, surely there are a few Christians that think as you say,\nbut I don\'t think that most do.  Do you think that all Christians actively\ndespise other religions?  Most that I have met haven\'t and don\'t do so.\n\n>>>No christian\n>>>that I have queried thinks it means anything but them, and only them.\n>>Why not ask some people of other faiths?\n>Sorry, I would, but christianity is just so awfully popular around here.\n>Suppose you could ask a few people?\n\nWell, I have asked a Hindu, Moselem, and a few Jews, and all of them think\nthat it is applicable to them.  Of course, I can\'t say that these people\n(just some that I know pretty well) are accurate representations of their\nfaiths.\n\n>>It is always a good idea to assume that there were dissenting views on any\n>>given issue.  You are assuming that all the views were the same, and nothing\n>>leads to this conclusion.\n>Without evidence to the contrary, I doubt that there were dissenting\n>opinions. You claim there were. Provide some evidence for your assertion.\n\nWell, I\'d really like to, and I\'ve tried, but I really don\'t know where to\nget access to _Congressional Records_ from the 1950\'s.  Can anyone help\nout here?\n\n>Comparing christians to Nazis? Interesting.\n\nOnly in the sense that neither can probably convinced to change their beliefs.\n\n>>>>No, again, the motto on the money doesn\'t cost you anything extra.  However,\n>>>>if you abolished the motto, we\'d all have to pay to have all the dies and\n>>>>plates redone.\n>>>Like people paid before to get them changed to have the motto on them.\n>>You now need to show that there is a good reason to change everything again.\n\n>... Also, I doubt that they use th3\n>same plates for more than a year\'s printing; this would make it easy\n>to remove the motto (simply make next year\'s plates without it). Your\n>claim, evidently, is that they will have to pay extra somewhere.\n>Provide some evidence for this assertion.\n\nSo, are you saying that they redesign the plates each year?\n\nAnyway, your whole argument (conveniently deleted I see) was that the motto\nsomehow costs us all a lot of money.  This is just not correct.\n\n>>The ones I read didn\'t mention anything about Jesus.  I think the issue was\n>>concerning the distinction between religion and not.\n>How could it be between religious and not religious? The motto\n>refers to god; it is a religious motto. The question is whether or\n>not it is only christian. You say it is more. I doubt this. Provide\n>some evidence for this assertion.\n\nThat is to say, the religion of this country, and the non-religion of\nthe USSR.  That was what most of those quotes were about, and some included\nall atheists, in general, as well.  I don\'t think that any of the quotes\n(although I seem to have lost them) mentioned anything at all about Jesus.\nThey advocated religion over non-religion.  A specific religion was not\nmentioned.\n\n>>You have missed this point.  I said that the motto didn\'t say anything\n>>about anyone in particular.  That is, the motto doesn\'t imply anything\n>>about *your* particular beliefs.  It doesn\'t say that everyone trusts\n>>in some form of god, only that the nation on the whole does.\n>We have been through this before. It\'s obvious it does not include me;\n>this much is beyond doubt. Your claim, again, is that the motto refers\n>to more than christians. Based on the facts that christianity says all\n>other religions are wrong, and because it seems that the motto was\n>written by christians, I doubt your claim.\n\nSo, you are saying that all Christians must believe that all other religions\nshould be outlawed, just because they think they are wrong?  That\'s silly.\nI think the Flat-Earthers are wrong, but I don\'t advocate their banishment.\n\n>[...]  Based on this idea I doubt that any additional expense would\n>even be incurred by removing the motto. Provide some evidence for your\n>claim that it would.\n\nI think that any such cost would be insignificant.  I mentioned the slight\ncost because you said that the motto was costing us a lot of money by\nbeing on our currency.\n\n>Disregarding the digression of the other motto...If it is used for\n>harassment, and no other purpose has been found for it, why should\n>it not be removed?\n\nWell, mottos in general don\'t really have purposes...  I don\'t think it\nshould be removed because I think the benefit would be outweighed by the\nconsequences.\n\n>>And do you know what the vote was?  Were there other opinions?  Do you\n>>think that the main reason the motto was required by law was to bother\n>>atheists?  Do you think that this is what the majority of congress at\n>>the time had in mind?  If you do, then show why.\n>Again, it is the opinion of the people who put it there that I am\n>concerned with.\n\nThen you should be concerned with the opinion of the entire congress.\n\n>Again, it is not necessary that the complete majority\n>shared the purpose of confronting \'godless Communism\' with this motto.\n\nWhy not?  It is the majority that put it there.\n\n>>The general public probably does not know about the anti-atheist intent\n>>of a few people in the 50\'s either.\n>I daresay more people remember the 50\'s than the time when Key wrote\n>the anthem.\n\nBut do they remember the debate surrounding the motto?  Do they remember\nthat some people intended it to be a message against atheists?  Why don\'t\nyou include this in your little survey that you were conducting?\n\n[...]\n>You claim here that scientists would believe someone\'s claims. I doubt\n>this. Provide evidence for your assertion.\n\nWhat?  Should I ask some scientists the probability that something Einstein\nsaid about relativity is worthy?  I mean, if Einstein said it, there\'s a\ngood chance that it was right (at least at the time).\n\n>As for the courts, the\n>method scientists use can be applied. I need not agree with the court\n>by default because of a \'good record.\'\n\nYou need not agree with them all of the time, but you would certainly think\nthat their decisions would be good evidence in favor of some point.\n\n>>What?  But you said you didn\'t agree with the court because they "allowed\n>>Congress to attempt to make an amendment prohibiting flag burning."  If\n>>you don\'t realize that something like this is external to the realm of\n>>the court\'s power, then how can I be confident that you know *anything*\n>>about the court\'s powers?  I mean, if you don\'t know how the court works,\n>>how can you participate in a discussion of the court?\n>A judge can go to speak before Congress. And still you ignore the\n>abortion gag rule, as you make your claims on abortion.\n\nNo, I think that it would be clearly inappropriate for a Supreme Court\nJustice to testify before Congress during the consideration of a\nConstitutional Amendment.\n\nAnd, in order for the Court to rule on something, a case usually must be\npresented.\n\n>>Mushrooms, flowers, trees, buildings, signs, whatever...  the analogy is\n>>the same.  Just because something that I might find offensive is present\n>>doesn\'t mean that my rights are being violated.\n>We are talking about something put there by people, Keith...not\n>a mushroom. No one caused that mushroom to exist, unless you\'re\n>finding things offensive in a mushroom farm.\n\nYes, some mushrooms can be planted.  And, I don\'t appreciate mushrooms on\nmy pizza, either.\n\n>This is not the case\n>with the motto. And you\'re ignoring the harassment which is the\n>only known result of the motto, and you\'re ignoring that somewhere\n>along the line people were forced to put the motto there.\n\nWho was forced to put the motto there?  What do you mean?\n\nkeith\n',
  "From: jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nOrganization: Boston University Physics Department\nLines: 57\n\nIn article <1993Apr15.215833.15970@bnr.ca> (Rashid) writes:\n\n\n>> What about the Twelve Imams, who he considered incapable of error\n>> or sin? Khomeini supports this view of the Twelve Imans. This is\n>> heresy for the very reasons I gave above. \n\n\n>I would be happy to discuss the  issue of the 12 Imams with you, although\n>my preference would be to move the discussion to another\n>newsgroup.  I feel a philosophy or religion group would be more \n>appropriate. \n\n\nI think many reading this group would also benefit by knowing how\ndeviant the view _as I've articulated it above_ (which may not be\nthe true view of Khomeini) is from the basic principles of Islam. \nSo that the non-muslim readers of this group will see how far from \nthe simple basics of Islam such views are on the face of them. And \nif they are _not_ in contradiction with the basics of Islam, how \nsubtle such issues are and how it seems sects exist in Islam while \nthey are explicitly proscribed by the Qur'an.\n\n\n>The topic is deeply embedded in the world view of Islam and the\n>esoteric teachings of the Prophet (S.A.). Heresy does not enter\n>into it at all except for those who see Islam only as an exoteric\n>religion that is only nominally (if at all) concerned with the metaphysical\n>substance of man's being and nature.\n\n\nIn my opinion considering any human being as having a substance\nor metaphysical fundamentally different from that of any other human\nbeing _is_ a heretical notion and one proscribed by Islam. \n\n\n>From your posts, you seem fairly well versed in Sunni thought. You\n>should seek to know Shi'ite thought through knowledgeable \n>Shi'ite authors as well - at least that much respect is due before the\n>charge of heresy is levelled.\n\n\nAbsolutely! I would be interested in discussing this privately and\nI am interested in hearing how one might try to make the concept of\nerror-free and sinless human beings philosophically consistent with\nthe teachings of the Qur'an. However, _prima facie_ such attemptsa\nare highly susceptible to degenerating into monkery, explicitly\nproscribed by the Qur'an.\n\n\n>As salaam a-laikum\n\nAlaikum Wassalam\n\n\nGregg\n\n",
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: That Kill by Sword, Must be Killed by Sword\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 18\n\nIn article <20APR199306173611@utarlg.uta.edu>, b645zaw@utarlg.uta.edu\n(stephen) wrote:\n> tional as that is for so many). One direct benefit is being able to \n> keep things in perspective, KS.\n> \n> Such as who hurts more -- the ones who died, or the loved ones who \n> are left? Besides the lessons. It's also time for many to grieve.\n> Including those who've lost their faith in others, or in God.\n> \n> I'm learning to be patient, and let things heal. God willing.\n\nChristians through ages have had to learn to be patient. I do think\nit's time to face the reality. The events during the last 52 two\ndays showed what the world is really like.\n\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate)\nSubject: Re: A Little Too Satanic\nOrganization: U of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, Coll. Pk., MD 20742\nLines: 43\n\nJon Livesey writes:\n\n>So why do I read in the papers that the Qumram texts had "different\n>versions" of some OT texts.   Did I misunderstand?\n\nReading newspapers to learn about this kind of stuff is not the best idea in\nthe world.  Newspaper reporters are notoriously ignorant on the subject of\nreligion, and are prone to exaggeration in the interests of having a "real"\nstory (that is, a bigger headline).\n\nLet\'s back up to 1935.  At this point, we have the Masoretic text, the\nvarious targums (translations/commentaries in aramaic, etc.), and the\nSeptuagint, the ancient greek translation.  The Masoretic text is the\nstandard Jewish text and essentially does not vary.  In some places it has\nobvious corruptions, all of which are copied faithfully from copy to copy.\nThese passages in the past were interpreted by reference to the targums and\nto the Septuagint.\n\nNow, the septuagint differs from the masoretic text in two particulars:\nfirst, it includes additional texts, and second, in some passages there are\nvariant readings from the masoretic text (in addition to "fixing"/predating\nthe various corrupted passages).  It must be emphasized that, to the best of\nmy knowledge, these variations are only signifcant to bible scholars, and\nhave little theological import.\n\nThe dead sea scroll materials add to this an ancient *copy* of almost all of\nIsaiah and fragments of various sizes of almost all other OT books.  There\nis also an abundance of other material, but as far as I know, there is no\nsign there of any hebrew antecdent to the apocrypha (the extra texts in the\nseptuagint).  As far as analysis has proceeded, there are also variations\nbetween the DSS texts and the masoretic versions.  These tend to reflect the\nseptuagint, where the latter isn\'t obviously in error.  Again, though, the\ndifferences (thus far) are not significant theologically.  There is this big\nexpectation that there are great theological surprises lurking in the\nmaterial, but so far this hasn\'t happened.\n\nThe DSS *are* important because there is almost no textual tradition in the\nOT, unlike for the NT.\n-- \nC. Wingate        + "The peace of God, it is no peace,\n                  +    but strife closed in the sod.\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu +  Yet, brothers, pray for but one thing:\ntove!mangoe       +    the marv\'lous peace of God."\n',
  'From: mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate)\nSubject: Re: Origins of the bible.\nOrganization: U of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, Coll. Pk., MD 20742\nLines: 14\n\nAdda Wainwright writes:\n\n>He stated that thousands of bibles were discovered at a certain point in\n>time which were syllable-perfect.  This therefore meant that there must have\n>been one copy at a certain time; the time quoted by my acquaintance was\n>approximately 50 years after the death of Jesus.\n\nThis is, as far as I know, complete nonsense.  The codification of the bible\nas we have it now came very much later.\n-- \nC. Wingate        + "The peace of God, it is no peace,\n                  +    but strife closed in the sod.\nmangoe@cs.umd.edu +  Yet, brothers, pray for but one thing:\ntove!mangoe       +    the marv\'lous peace of God."\n',
  "From: V2110A@VM.TEMPLE.EDU (Richard Hoenes)\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nOrganization: Temple University\nLines: 31\nNntp-Posting-Host: vm.temple.edu\nX-Newsreader: NNR/VM S_1.3.2\n\nIn article <cjkC5sy5G.Ko4@netcom.com>\ncjk@netcom.com writes:\n \n>This was obviously a lot different than the ordinary FBI adventure.\n>\n>I believe that the Federal officers had a conflict of interests here.\n>\n>Throught out the whole affair, it seamed to me that they were chiefly\n>concerned with saving face rather than saving lifes.  Its true that\n>The BD were resisting arrest and that they should have surrendered\n>when they first realized that these where federal officers.  But they\n>didn`t.\n \nI'm not sure what you mean by 'saving face' unless you are confusing\nthe FBI with the BATF who are the ones who were in charge of the\noriginal search warrant.\n \n>But when they didn`t, the FBI should not have treated as a hostage\n>situation, it wasn't.\n>\n>I think  more discussions, possible independant negotiators, and\n>family intervention should have been used.\n>\nIndependant Negotiators? What was there to negotiate? Any sort of plea\nbargin has to be brought to the court, the negotiators can't negotiate\ncharges or sentences. FBI negotitators did make a deal for the\nDividians to come out. Koresh showed he was not negotiating in good\nfaith and there is no reason to believe independent negotiators\nwould have done any better.\n \nRichard\n",
  'From: rnapier@csugrad.cs.vt.edu (Rob Napier)\nSubject: Re: OTO, the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars\nOrganization: Virginia Tech Computer Science Dept, Blacksburg, VA\nLines: 21\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: csugrad.cs.vt.edu\n\nIn article <79615@cup.portal.com> Thyagi@cup.portal.com (Thyagi Morgoth NagaSiva) writes:\n>\n>\n>"To all whom it may concern -\n>\n[constitution sacrificed to the bandwidth gods]\n\nim glad i finally have heard exactly what the OTO is all about.  i finally\nknow that i can stop looking, content i the knowlege that im not interested.\nit\'s tough enough listening to all the religions who refer to themselves as\n"the One Truth".  How can i possibly accept it from a magical order?  "We have\nall the Answers and will give them to those who join us (and pay dues)?"\nScary.  Besides, answers are easy.  Questions!  now that\'s another story...\n\nrintaw\n\n-- \n|------------------------------------------------------------------------------\n| Rob Napier - Virginia Tech | There is no gravity, the earth sucks.          |\n| rnapier@csugrad.cs.vt.edu  | All in all I\'m just another Schitz In The Hall |\n|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|\n',
  'From: nyeda@cnsvax.uwec.edu (David Nye)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: University of Wisconsin Eau Claire\nLines: 38\n\n[reply to frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer)]\n \n>>I\'m one of those people who does not know what the word objective means\n>>when put next to the word morality.  I assume its an idiom and cannot\n>>be defined by its separate terms.\n \n>>Give it a try.\n \n>Objective morality is morality built from objective values.\n \nFrom A Dictionary of Philosophy, by Anthony Flew:\n \n"Objectivism:  The belief that there are certain moral truths that would\nremain true whatever anyone or everyone thought or desired.  For\ninstance, \'No one should ever deliberately inflict pain on another\nsimply to take pleasure in his suffering\' might be thought of as a\nplausible example.  Even in a world of sadists who all rejected it, the\ncontention remains true, just as \'5 + 7 = 12\' remains correct even if\nthere is no one left to count.  The problem for the objectivist is to\ndetermine the status of moral truths and the method by which they can be\nestablished.  If we accept that such judgements are not reports of what\nis but only relate to what ought to be (see naturalistic fallacy) then\nthey cannot be proved by any facts about the nature of the world.  Nor\ncan they be analytic, since this would involve lack of action-guiding\ncontent;  \'One ought always to do the right thing\' is plainly true in\nvirtue of the vords involved but it is unhelpful as a practical guide to\naction (see analytic and synthetic).  At this point the objectivist may\ntalk of \'self-evident truths\', but can he deny the subjectivist\'s claim\nthat self-evidence is in the mind of the beholder?  If not, what is left\nof the claim that some moral judgements are true?  THe subjectivist may\nwell feel that all that remains is that there are some moral judgements\nwith which he would wish to associate himself.  To hold a moral opinion\nis, he suggests, not to know something to be true but to have\npreferences regarding human activity."\n \nDavid Nye (nyeda@cnsvax.uwec.edu).  Midelfort Clinic, Eau Claire WI\nThis is patently absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher\nmust learn not to be frightened by absurdities. -- Bertrand Russell\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: Jews can\'t hide from keith@cco.\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 16\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <C51DAq.2Fqs@austin.ibm.com>, karner@austin.ibm.com (F. Karner) writes:\n>\n> So, you consider the german poster\'s remark anti-semitic? \n\nWhen someone says:\n\n\t"So after 1000 years of sightseeing and roaming around its \n\tok to come back, kill Palastinians, and get their land back, \n\tright?"\n\nYes, that\'s casual antisemitism.    I can think of plenty of ways\nto criticize Israeli policy without insulting Jews or Jewish history.\n\nCan\'t you?\n\njon \n',
  'From: m23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt)\nSubject: See? ( was Re: Apology to Jim Meritt (Was: Silence is concurance)\nNntp-Posting-Host: mwunix.mitre.org\nOrganization: MITRE Corporation, McLean VA\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 45\n\nIn article <9473@blue.cis.pitt.edu> joslin@pogo.isp.pitt.edu (David Joslin) writes:\n}m23364@mwunix.mitre.org (James Meritt) writes:\n}>}So stop dodging the question.  What is hypocritical about my\n}>}criticizing bad arguments, given that I do this both when I agree\n}>}with the conclusion and when I disagree with the conclusion?  \n}>\n}>You are the one who has claimed to possess the fruits of precognition,\n}>telepathy, and telempathy.  Divine it yourself.\n}\n}Another dodge.  Oh well.  I\'m no match for your amazing repertoire\n}of red herrings and smoke screens.  \n}\n}You asked for an apology.  I\'m not going to apologize for pointing out\n}that your straw-man argument was a straw-man argument.  Nor for saying\n}that your list of "bible contradictions" shows such low standards of\n}scholarship that it should be an embarrassment to anti-inerrantists,\n}just as Josh McDowell should be an embarrassment to the fundies.  Nor\n}for objecting various times to your taking quotes out of context.  Nor\n}for pointing out that "they do it too" is not an excuse. Nor for calling\n}your red herrings and smoke screens what they are.\n\nHow about the following inaccurate, unsubstantiated accusations:\nIn 8257@blue.cis.pitt.edu\n>Jim has been threatening\n\t- but no "threat" produced \n>once he realized that\n\t- display of telepathy\n>threatening to quote me\n\t- in spite of no "threat" produced, nor forecast ever happening (precognition?)\n>responding Jim\'s threat to quote me\n\t- in spite of claimed threat never being given\n>Jim, preparing to...\n\t- in spite of it never happening.  telepathy or precognition?\n>Jim again, still mystified\n\t- unsubstantiated and untrue.  more telepathy?  Or maybe telempathy?\n>Jim, still scandalized\n\t- unsubstantiated again.  Seems to be a habit...\n\nHaving more trouble with reality, it appears.  Why get bothered with the facts when\nyou appear to have the products of paranatural divination methods?\n\n\n*yawn*\n\n\n',
  'From: kempmp@phoenix.oulu.fi (Petri Pihko)\nSubject: Re: Concerning God\'s Morality (long)\nOrganization: University of Oulu, Finland\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 215\n\nThis kind of argument cries for a comment...\n\njbrown@batman.bmd.trw.com wrote:\n: In article <1993Apr3.095220.24632@leland.Stanford.EDU>, galahad@leland.Stanford.EDU (Scott Compton) writes:\n\nJim, you originally wrote:\n \n: >>...God did not create\n: >>disease nor is He responsible for the maladies of newborns.\n: > \n: >>What God did create was life according to a protein code which is\n: >>mutable and can evolve.  Without delving into a deep discussion of\n: >>creationism vs evolutionism, God created the original genetic code\n: >>perfect and without flaw. \n: >  ~~~~~~~     ~~~~~~~ ~~~~\n\nDo you have any evidence for this? If the code was once perfect, and\nhas degraded ever since, we _should_ have some evidence in favour\nof this statement, shouldn\'t we?\n\nPerhaps the biggest "imperfection" of the code is that it is full\nof non-coding regions, introns, which are so called because they\nintervene with the coding regions (exons). An impressive amount of\nevidence suggests that introns are of very ancient origin; it is\nlikely that early exons represented early protein domains.\n\nIs the number of introns decreasing or increasing? It appears that\nintron loss can occur, and species with common ancestry usually\nhave quite similar exon-intron structure in their genes. \n\nOn the other hand, the possibility that introns have been inserted\nlater, presents several logical difficulties. Introns are removed\nby a splicing mechanism - this would have to be present, but unused,\nif introns are inserted. Moreover, intron insertion would have\nrequired _precise_ targeting - random insertion would not be tolerated,\nsince sequences for intron removal (self-splicing of mRNA) are\nconserved. Besides, transposition of a sequence usually leaves a\ntrace - long terminal repeats and target - site duplications, and\nthese are not found in or near intron sequences. \n\nI seriously recommend reading textbooks on molecular biology and\ngenetics before posting "theological arguments" like this. \nTry Watson\'s Molecular Biology of the Gene or Darnell, Lodish\n& Baltimore\'s Molecular Biology of the Cell for starters.\n\n: Remember, the question was posed in a theological context (Why does\n: God cause disease in newborns?), and my answer is likewise from a\n: theological perspective -- my own.  It is no less valid than a purely\n: scientific perspective, just different.\n\nScientific perspective is supported by the evidence, whereas \ntheological perspectives often fail to fulfil this criterion.\n \n: I think you misread my meaning.  I said God made the genetic code perfect,\n: but that doesn\'t mean it\'s perfect now.  It has certainly evolved since.\n\nFor the worse? Would you please cite a few references that support\nyour assertion? Your assertion is less valid than the scientific\nperspective, unless you support it by some evidence.\n\nIn fact, it has been claimed that parasites and diseases are perhaps\nmore important than we\'ve thought - for instance, sex might\nhave evolved as defence against parasites. (This view is supported by\ncomputer simulations of evolution, eg Tierra.) \n \n: Perhaps.  I thought it was higher energy rays like X-rays, gamma\n: rays, and cosmic rays that caused most of the damage.\n\nIn fact, it is thermal energy that does most of the damage, although\nit is usually mild and easily fixed by enzymatic action. \n\n: Actually, neither of us "knows" what the atmosphere was like at the\n: time when God created life.  According to my recollection, most\n: biologists do not claim that life began 4 billion years ago -- after\n: all, that would only be a half billion years or so after the earth\n: was created.  It would still be too primitive to support life.  I\n: seem to remember a figure more like 2.5 to 3 billion years ago for\n: the origination of life on earth.  Anyone with a better estimate?\n\nI\'d replace "created" with "formed", since there is no need to \ninvoke any creator if the Earth can be formed without one.\nMost recent estimates of the age of the Earth range between 4.6 - 4.8\nbillion years, and earliest signs of life (not true fossils, but\norganic, stromatolite-like layers) date back to 3.5 billion years.\nThis would leave more than billion years for the first cells to\nevolve.\n\nI\'m sorry I can\'t give any references, this is based on the course\non evolutionary biochemistry I attended here. \n\n: >>dominion, it was no great feat for Satan to genetically engineer\n: >>diseases, both bacterial/viral and genetic.  Although the forces of\n: >>natural selection tend to improve the survivability of species, the\n: >>degeneration of the genetic code tends to more than offset this.  \n\nAgain, do you _want_ this be true, or do you have any evidence for\nthis supposed "degeneration"? \n\nI can understand Scott\'s reaction:\n\n: > Excuse me, but this is so far-fetched that I know you must be\n: > jesting.  Do you know what pathogens are?  Do you know what \n: > Point Mutations are?  Do you know that EVERYTHING CAN COME\n: > ABOUT SPONTANEOUSLY?!!!!!  \n: \n: In response to your last statement, no, and neither do you.\n: You may very well believe that and accept it as fact, but you\n: cannot *know* that.\n\nI hope you don\'t forget this: We have _evidence_ that suggests \neverything can come about spontaneously. Do you have evidence against\nthis conclusion? In science, one does not have to _believe_ in \nanything. It is a healthy sign to doubt and disbelieve. But the \nright path to walk is to take a look at the evidence if you do so,\nand not to present one\'s own conclusions prior to this. \n\nTheology does not use this method. Therefore, I seriously doubt\nit could ever come to right conclusions.\n\n: >>Human DNA, being more "complex", tends to accumulate errors adversely\n: >>affecting our well-being and ability to fight off disease, while the \n: >>simpler DNA of bacteria and viruses tend to become more efficient in \n: >>causing infection and disease.  It is a bad combination.  Hence\n: >>we have newborns that suffer from genetic, viral, and bacterial\n: >>diseases/disorders.\n\nYou are supposing a purpose, not a valid move. Bacteria and viruses\ndo not exist to cause disease. They are just another manifests of\na general principle of evolution - only replication saves replicators\nfrom degradiation. We are just an efficient method for our DNA to \nsurvive and replicate. The less efficient methods didn\'t make it \nto the present. \n\nAnd for the last time.  Please present some evidence for your claim that\nhuman DNA is degrading through evolutionary processes. Some people have\nclaimed that the opposite is true - we have suppressed our selection,\nand thus are bound to degrade. I haven\'t seen much evidence for either\nclaim.\n \n: But then I ask, So?  Where is this relevant to my discussion in\n: answering John\'s question of why?  Why are there genetic diseases,\n: and why are there so many bacterial and viral diseases which require\n: babies to develop antibodies.  Is it God\'s fault? (the original\n: question) -- I say no, it is not.\n\nOf course, nothing "evil" is god\'s fault.  But your explanation does\nnot work, it fails miserably.\n \n: You may be right.  But the fact is that you don\'t know that\n: Satan is not responsible, and neither do I.\n: \n: Suppose that a powerful, evil being like Satan exists.  Would it\n: be inconceivable that he might be responsible for many of the ills\n: that affect mankind?  I don\'t think so.\n\nHe could have done a much better Job. (Pun intended.) The problem is,\nit seems no Satan is necessary to explain any diseases, they are\njust as inevitable as any product of evolution.\n\n: Did I say that?  Where?  Seems to me like another bad inference.\n: Actually what you\'ve done is to oversimplify what I said to the\n: point that your summary of my words takes on a new context.  I\n: never said that people are "meant" (presumably by God) "to be\n: punished by getting diseases".  Why I did say is that free moral\n: choices have attendent consequences.  If mankind chooses to reject\n: God, as people have done since the beginning, then they should not\n: expect God to protect them from adverse events in an entropic\n: universe.\n\nI am not expecting this. If god exists, I expect him to leave us alone.\nI would also like to hear why do you believe your choices are indeed\nfree. This is an interesting philosophical question, and the answer\nis not as clear-cut as it seems to be.\n\nWhat consequences would you expect from rejecting Allah?\n  \n: Oh, I admit it\'s not perfect (yet).  But I\'m working on it.  :)\n\nA good library or a bookstore is a good starting point.\n\n: What does this have to do with the price of tea in China, or the\n: question to which I provided an answer?  Biology and Genetics are\n: fine subjects and important scientific endeavors.  But they explain\n: *how* God created and set up life processes.  They don\'t explain\n: the why behind creation, life, or its subsequent evolution.\n\nWhy is there a "why behind"? And your proposition was something\nthat is not supported by the evidence. This is why we recommend\nthese books.\n\nIs there any need to invoke any why behind, a prime mover? Evidence\nfor this? If the whole universe can come into existence without\nany intervention, as recent cosmological theories (Hawking et al)\nsuggest, why do people still insist on this?\n \n: Thanks Scotty, for your fine and sagely advice.  But I am\n: not highly motivated to learn all the nitty-gritty details\n: of biology and genetics, although I\'m sure I\'d find it a\n: fascinating subject.  For I realize that the details do\n: not change the Big Picture, that God created life in the\n: beginning with the ability to change and adapt to its\n: environment.\n\nI\'m sorry, but they do. There is no evidence for your big picture,\nand no need to create anything that is capable of adaptation.\nIt can come into existence without a Supreme Being.\n\nTry reading P.W. Atkins\' Creation Revisited (Freeman, 1992).\n\nPetri\n--\n ___. .\'*\'\'.*        Petri Pihko    kem-pmp@          Mathematics is the Truth.\n!___.\'* \'.\'*\' \' .    Pihatie 15 C    finou.oulu.fi    Physics is the Rule of\n       \' *\' .* \'*    SF-90650 OULU  kempmp@           the Game.\n          *\'  *  .*  FINLAND         phoenix.oulu.fi  -> Chemistry is The Game.\n',
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: Death Penalty (was Re: Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nLines: 28\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <1993Apr17.225127.25062@daffy.cs.wisc.edu> mccullou@snake2.cs.wisc.edu (Mark McCullough) writes:\n>You exagerate to the point of libel.  I gave only unpopular reasons\n>deliberately.  Or do you think that we should have let Iraq absorb Kuwait?\n>I could make the tired old 1939 Poland comparison, but I think you\'ve\n>heard it.  But the principle aplies, never play a Chamberlain and\n>roll over to another country being invaded.  That only invites further \n>invasions.\n\n\tPerhaps we ought not to have supported a known genocidist?\n\tProvided him with weapon systems, tactical support, technology,\netc.\n\n\tWe made Suddam Hussein.\n\n\tWhat did Bush call him? Oh yes, an ally and a freind.\n\n\n---  \n\n  " I\'d Cheat on Hillary Too."\n\n   John Laws\n   Local GOP Reprehensitive\n   Extolling "Traditional Family Values."\n\n\n\n\n',
  'From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: Moraltiy? (was Re: <Political Atheists?)\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 34\nNNTP-Posting-Host: punisher.caltech.edu\n\nlivesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n\n>>>>What if I act morally for no particular reason?  Then am I moral?  What\n>>>>if morality is instinctive, as in most animals?\n>>>Saying that morality is instinctive in animals is an attempt to \n>>>assume your conclusion.\n>>Which conclusion?\n>You conclusion - correct me if I err - that the behaviour which is\n>instinctive in animals is a "natural" moral system.\n\nSee, we are disagreeing on the definition of moral here.  Earlier, you said\nthat it must be a conscious act.  By your definition, no instinctive\nbehavior pattern could be an act of morality.  You are trying to apply\nhuman terms to non-humans.  I think that even if someone is not conscious\nof an alternative, this does not prevent his behavior from being moral.\n\n>>You don\'t think that morality is a behavior pattern?  What is human\n>>morality?  A moral action is one that is consistent with a given\n>>pattern.  That is, we enforce a certain behavior as moral.\n>You keep getting this backwards.  *You* are trying to show that\n>the behaviour pattern is a morality.  Whether morality is a behavior \n>pattern is irrelevant, since there can be behavior pattern, for\n>example the motions of the planets, that most (all?) people would\n>not call a morality.\n\nI try to show it, but by your definition, it can\'t be shown.\n\nAnd, morality can be thought of a large class of princples.  It could be\ndefined in terms of many things--the laws of physics if you wish.  However,\nit seems silly to talk of a "moral" planet because it obeys the laws of\nphyics.  It is less silly to talk about animals, as they have at least\nsome free will.\n\nkeith\n',
  'From: jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: Boston University Physics Department\nLines: 27\n\nIn article <1qlb7oINN684@shelley.u.washington.edu> \njimh@carson.u.washington.edu (James Hogan) writes:\n\n\n>20:52 P.S.T.  I come to my senses and accept the all-knowing\n>wisdom and power of the Quran and Allah.  Not only that, but Allah \n>himself drops by to congratulate me on my wise choice. Allah rolls a\n>few bones and we get down.  Then Allah gets out the Crisco, bends \n>over, and invites me to take a spin around the block.  Wow.\n\n\n>20:56 P.S.T.  I realize that maybe Allah is looking for more of a \n>commitment than I\'m ready for, so I say "Man, I\'ve got some\n>programming to do.  Gotta go.  I\'ll call you."\n\n\n>20:59 P.S.T   Thinking it over, I renounce Islam.\n\nWhat loyalty!\n\nJim, it seems you\'ve been reading a little too much Russell Hoban\nlately. As Hemingway said, my imitators always imitate the _bad_\naspects of my writing. Hoban would, no doubt, say the same here.\n\n\n\nGregg\n',
  "From: bobsarv@microsoft.com (Bob Sarver)\nSubject: Re: Question for those with popular morality\nOrganization: Microsoft Corp.\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 57\n\n\n(hudson)\n>/These people hurt their own bodies.  Why can't they hurt other peoples bodies\n>/too?  \n>\n(me)\n>Because other people might not *want* to be hurt, Hudson.  And hurting\n>them against their will is a violation of choice.\n\n/(hudson)\n/So. Why is someone elses will such a big deal if morality is all relative.\n\n\nI don't believe I ever said that morality was all relative.\n\nWhat I said was that I can make my mind up on my own, thank you, and that \nyou don't have the right to tell others what to think.\n\nI think that you will find that in most moral systems, there is \na respect for human life and the dignity of the person.  It is all the\nstuff besides these points that forms the core of the disagreement between \nprimitive moral absolutists like yourself and the rest of us.\n\n\n\n/(hudson)\n/Maybe (the insane lover of pain might reason) if other people experienced\n/enough pain, they might learn to enjoy it, too.  \n\nFine.  There is still the clinical definition of crazy.  And this also\ninvolves a violation of free will, because the insane lover of your\nlittle example would be inflicting pain on a non-willing subject.\n\nTry again.\n\n\n\n\n(hudson)\n>/You have to have other premises to derive this.  \n>\n(me)\n>No, you don't.  That is a patently false statement.\n\n/(hudson)\n/You have to have some sort of premise about choice or self-awareness.\n\n\nNo, you do not.  I demonstrated to you the example of the football\nteam which doesn't require premises about freedom of choice or \nsentience/self-awareness.  \n\nAs I said, you are wrong, and you don't seem to know much about moral \nsystems.  If I were you, I would take David Bold's suggestion and do some \nreading on the subject before you try preaching about it.\n\n\n",
  "From: mwilson@ncratl.AtlantaGA.NCR.COM (Mark Wilson)\nSubject: Re: A Message for you Mr. President: How do you know what happened?\nOrganization: NCR Engineering and Manufacturing Atlanta -- Atlanta, GA\nLines: 58\n\nIn <C5sqyA.F7v@noose.ecn.purdue.edu> tbrent@bank.ecn.purdue.edu (Timothy J Brent) writes:\n\n|Probably not.  But then, I don't pack heavy weaponry with intent to use it.\n\nPlease cite your evidence that he was intending to use it.\n\n|You don't really think he should have been allowed to keep that stuff do \n|you?\n\nWhy not?\n\n|If so, tell me where you live so I can be sure to steer well clear.\n\nCheck the sig.\n\n|The public also has rights, and they should be placed above those of the\n|individual.\n\nSociety does not have rights only individuals have rights.\n\n|Go ahead, call me a commie,\n\nOK, your a commie.\n\n|but you'd be singing a different\n|tune if I exercised my right to rape your daughter.\n\nYou think you have a right to rape anyone? No wonder you don't care about\nthe rightws of others.\n\n|He broke the law,\n\nPlease indicate which law you feel Koresh broke, and when was he convicted of\nsaid crime.\n\n|he was a threat to society,\n\nSo you feel that owning guns makes him a threat to society. When are y ou\ngoing to start going after knives and baseball bats as well.\nOr do you feel that someone who spouts unpopular ideas is by definition a\nthreat to society.\n\n|they did there job - simple.\n\nIt is simple if you think that there job is to assualt civilians.\n\n|>\tSupport your First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth\n|>Amendment rights, lest they be taken away from you just as the FBI did\n|>to the Davidians. Think about it.\n\n|I'll support them all (except no. 2)\n\nIn other words you don't support any of them.\n-- \nMob rule isn't any prettier merely because the mob calls itself a government\nIt ain't charity if you are using someone else's money.\nWilson's theory of relativity: If you go back far enough, we're all related.\nMark.Wilson@AtlantaGA.NCR.com\n",
  'From: zxmkr08@studserv.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de (Cornelius Krasel)\nSubject: Re: The _real_ probability of abiogenesis (was Re: Albert Sabin)\nOrganization: InterNetNews at ZDV Uni-Tuebingen\nLines: 27\nNNTP-Posting-Host: studserv.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de\n\nIn <1qc6tiINNhie@ctron-news.ctron.com> king@ctron.com (John E. King) writes:\n\n>adpeters@sunflower.bio.indiana.edu (Andy Peters) writes:\n\n>>1) We\'re not just talking about proteins.  In fact, we shouldn\'t be\n>>talking about proteins at all, since (if I have to say this again I\'m\n>>goint to be really upset) *nobody*claims*that*proteins*appeared*de*\n>>*novo*\n>>the proteins did not form randomly.\n>> \n\n>Before I repond to 2.), Andy, please clarify 1.).  You state that\n>proteins did not form randomly.  That seems to be my point.  \n\nWell, I am not Andy, but if you had familiarized yourself with some of\nthe current theories/hypotheses about abiogenesis before posting :-), you\nwould be aware of the fact that none of them claims that proteins were\nassembled randomly from amino acids. It is current thinking that RNA-\nbased replicators came before proteinaceous enzymes, and that proteins\nwere assembled by some kind of primitive translation machinery.\n\nNow respond to 2. :-)\n--Cornelius.\n-- \n/* Cornelius Krasel, Department of Physiological Chemistry, U Tuebingen    */ \n/* email: krasel@studserv.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de                             */\n/* "People are DNA\'s way of making more DNA." (R. Dawkins / anonymous)     */\n',
  'Subject: Re: Contradictions\nFrom: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\nLines: 49\n\nIn article <C52oys.2CLJ@austin.ibm.com> yoder@austin.ibm.com (Stuart R. Yoder) writes:\n>: \n>: Then what would it have to do with "in the universe"?  You theists\n>: cannot understand that inside the universe and outside the universe\n>: are two different places.  Put God outside the universe and you\n>: subtract from it the ability to interact with the inside of the\n>: universe, put it inside the universe and you impose the rules of\n>: physics on it.\n>\n>1.  God is outside the universe.\n>2.  Things outside the universe do not have \'the ability to interact\n>    with the inside of the universe\'.\n>3.  Therefore God cannot interact inside the universe.\n>\n>(2) has no basis whatsoever.  You seem to have positive knowledge\n>about this.\n\n\t(2) is a corrallary of (1).\n\n\tThe negation of (2) would contridict (1).\n\n>\n>: Although we do not have a complete model of the physical rules\n>: governing the inside of the universe, we expect that there are no\n>: contradictory events likely to destroy the fabric of modern physics.\n>: On the other hand, your notion of an omnipotent, omniscient and\n>: infinitely benevolent god, is not subject to physical laws: you\n>: attempt to explain this away by describing it as being outside of\n>: them, beyond measurement.  To me, beyond measurement means it can\n>: have no measurable effect on reality, so it cannot interact: ergo,\n>: your god is IRRELEVANT.\n>\n>1.  God is beyond measure.\n>2.  Beyond measurement means it can have no measurable effect on\n>    reality.\n>3.  Therefore God cannot have a measurable effect on reality.\n>\n>(2) has no basis whatsoever.\n\n  (2) Is a corrallary of (1)\n\n  The negation of (2) would contradict (1).\n--\n\n\n       "Satan and the Angels do not have freewill.  \n        They do what god tells them to do. "\n\n        S.N. Mozumder (snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu) \n',
  "From: cfaehl@vesta.unm.edu (Chris Faehl)\nSubject: Re: some thoughts.\nOrganization: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque\nLines: 12\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: vesta.unm.edu\nKeywords: Dan Bissell\n\nIn article <healta.145.734928689@saturn.wwc.edu>, healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy) writes:\n[deletia wrt pathetic Jee-zus posting by Bissel] \n> I hope you're not going to flame him.  Please give him the same coutesy you'\n> ve given me.\n\nNO. He hasn't extended to US the courtesy you've shown us, so he don't get no\npie. Tammy, I respect your beliefs because you don't try to stamp them into\nmy being. I have scorn for posters whose sole purpose appears to be to\nevangelize.\n \n> \n> Tammy\n",
  'From: brian@lpl.arizona.edu (Brian Ceccarelli 602/621-9615)\nSubject: Re: 14 Apr 93   God\'s Promise in 1 John 1: 7\nOrganization: Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, Tucson AZ.\nLines: 89\n\nIn article <bskendigC5Ku3C.6Dx@netcom.com> bskendig@netcom.com (Brian Kendig) writes:\n\n>I\'ve asked your god several times with all my heart to come to me.  I\n>really wish I could believe in him, \'cos no matter how much confidence\n>I build up on my own, the universe *is* a big place, and it would be\n>so nice to know I have someone watching over me in it...\n\nBrian K., I am pleased with your honesty.  And to be honest as well, I\nbelieve you have not asked my god to come to you.  Why do I say this?\nBecause by the things you write on the net, and the manner with which\nyou write them, you show me that you made up your own god and are\nattempting to pass him off as the real thing.  I got news for you.\nYours doesn\'t at all sound like mine.  Your god doesn\'t come to you\nbecause your god doesn\'t exist.\n\n>I\'ve gone into this with an open mind.  I\'ve layed my beliefs aside\n>from time to time when I\'ve had doubt, and I\'ve prayed to see what\n>good that would do.  I don\'t see what more I can do to open myself to\n>your god, short of just deciding to believe for no good reason.  And\n>if I decide to believe for no good reason, why not believe in some\n>other god?  Zeus seems like a pretty cool candidate...\n\nI am sorry Brian, but when I read your postings, I do not see an open mind.\nWhat I do see is misunderstanding, lack of knowledge, arrogance and mockery.\n\n>Please tell me what more I can do while still remaining true to myself.\n\nBe true to yourself then.  Have an open mind.  And so end the mockery.  Gain \nknowledge of the real God.  Put your presumptions aside.  Read the\nBible and know that there is, truly is, a reason for everything and\nthere exists a God that has so much love for you that the depth of it goes beyond\nour shallow worldly experience.  A person who commits himself  \nto seeking God, will find God.  Jesus stands at your door and knocks.  But a\nperson who half-heartedly opens the Bible, or opens it with purpose to find \nsomething to mock, will find, learn and see nothing.  The only thing one\nwill gain with that attitude is folly.\n\nBe careful to not jump the gun, for at first glance, there are many passages\nin the Bible that will seem bizarre and absurd.  Be assured that even\nthough they seem alien at first, be confident that they are not.\nBe assured that beyond your present comprehension, there lies such\ndeep reasons that once you see them, you will indeed be satisfied. \nI will personally guarantee that one.  As Jesus put it, "You will never\nbe thirsty again.  Your cup will even flow over."\n\n\nFrom King Solomon (970 B.C. to 930 B.C.):\n\n    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;\n     to search out a matter is the glory of kings."\n\n\nJesus says in John 6:44 & 55:\n\n   "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him."\n\n\nAnd in John 3:16:\n\n   "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,\n   that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal\n   life."\n\n\nYou are included in "whosoever".  And I also pray that the Father is\ndrawing you, which it seems He is doing else you wouldn\'t be posting\nto talk.religion.misc.  Remember Brian, you could be a St. Paul in the\nmaking.  Paul not only mocked Christians as you do, but also had pleasure\nstoning them.  Yet God showed him mercy, saved him, and Paul became\non of the most celebrated men in the history of God\'s church.\n\nYou see Brian, I myself better be careful and not judge you, because\nyou could indeed be the next Paul.  For with the fervor that you attack\nChristians,  one day you might find yourself one, and like Paul,\nproclaim the good news of Jesus with that very same fervor or more.\n\nOr you could be the next Peter.  What Jesus said to Peter, Jesus would \nprobably say to you: "Satan would surely like to have you."  Why so?\nBecause Peter was hard-headed, cynical and demonstrated great\nmoments of stupidity, but once Peter committed himself to a task\nhe did with full heart.  Peter was the only apostle to have the\nfaith to walk on water as Jesus did.\n\nYou asked "Why not believe in Zeus?"  Zeus didn\'t offer eternal life.\nYou got nothing to gain by believing in Zeus.\n\n-------------------------------\nBrian Ceccarelli\nbrian@gamma1.lpl.arizona.edu\n',
  'From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\nSubject: Re: A visit from the Jehovah\'s Witnesses\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University\nLines: 48\nNNTP-Posting-Host: b64635.student.cwru.edu\n\nIn article <SUOPANKI.93Apr6024902@stekt6.oulu.fi> suopanki@stekt6.oulu.fi (Heikki T. Suopanki) writes:\n>:> God is eternal.    [A = B]\n>:> Jesus is God.      [C = A]\n>:> Therefore, Jesus is eternal.  [C = B]\n>\n>:> This works both logically and mathematically.  God is of the set of\n>:> things which are eternal.  Jesus is a subset of God.   Therefore\n>:> Jesus belongs to the set of things which are eternal.\n>\n>Everything isn\'t always so logical....\n>\n>Mercedes is a car.\n>That girl is Mercedes.\n>Therefore, that girl is a car?\n\n\tThis is not  strickly correct. Only by incorrect application of the \nrules of language, does it seem to work.\n\n\tThe Mercedes in the first premis, and the one in the second are NOT \nthe same Mercedes. \n\n\tIn your case, \n\n\tA = B\n\tC = D\n\t\n\tA and D are NOT equal. One is a name of a person, the other the\nname of a object. You can not simply extract a word without taking the \ncontext into account. \n\n\tOf course, your case doesn\'t imply that A = D.\n\n\tIn his case, A does equal D.\n\n\n\tTry again...\n\n---\n\n        "One thing that relates is among Navy men that get tatoos that \n        say "Mom", because of the love of their mom.  It makes for more \n        virile men."\n\n        Bobby Mozumder  ( snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu )\n        April 4, 1993\n\n        The one TRUE Muslim left in the world. \n\n',
  "From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 11\n\nIn article <1993Apr16.211458.1@eagle.wesleyan.edu>\nkmagnacca@eagle.wesleyan.edu writes:\n \n(deletion)\n>Nope, Germany has extremely restrictive citizenship laws.  The\n>ethnic Germans who have lived in Russia for over 100 years\n>automatically become citizens if they move to Germany, but the\n>Turks who are now in their third generation in Germany can't.\n \nThat's wrong. They can.\n   Benedikt\n",
  'From: I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau)\nSubject: Re: Biblical Rape\nOrganization: Technical University Braunschweig, Germany\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <1993Apr05.174537.14962@watson.ibm.com>\nstrom@Watson.Ibm.Com (Rob Strom) writes:\n \n>\n>In article <16BA7F16C.I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de>, I3150101@dbstu1.rz.tu-bs.de (Benedikt Rosenau) writes:\n>\n>I didn\'t have time to read the rest of the posting, but\n>I had to respond to this.\n>\n>I am absolutely NOT a "Messianic Jew".\n>\n \nAnother mistake. Sorry, I should have read alt.,messianic more carefully.\n   Benedikt\n',
  'From: pepke@dirac.scri.fsu.edu (Eric Pepke)\nSubject: Re: Societal basis for morality\nOrganization: Florida State University, but I don\'t speak for them\nLines: 13\n\nIn article <merlyn.735422443@digibd> merlyn@digibd.digibd.com (Merlyn LeRoy) writes:\n>Prayer in school is legal; what is illegal is telling children\n>what to pray, or not to pray.  Many people confuse "you can\'t\n>tell kids that they ought to pray now" with "kids aren\'t allowed\n>to pray", possibly because so few kids do so without being told.\n\nOr perhaps it\'s because they think that all governmental bodies should be in\nthe business of suppressing all beliefs other than their own, or else they\'re\nsome sort of Satanic Humanist Conspiracy.\n\nIt\'s the old "if you\'re not for us you\'re against us" bit.\n\n-EMP\n',
  'From: healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy)\nSubject: Re: note to Bobby M.\nLines: 52\nOrganization: Walla Walla College\nLines: 52\n\nIn article <1993Apr14.190904.21222@daffy.cs.wisc.edu> mccullou@snake2.cs.wisc.edu (Mark McCullough) writes:\n>From: mccullou@snake2.cs.wisc.edu (Mark McCullough)\n>Subject: Re: note to Bobby M.\n>Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1993 19:09:04 GMT\n>In article <1993Apr14.131548.15938@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au> darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) writes:\n>>In <madhausC5CKIp.21H@netcom.com> madhaus@netcom.com (Maddi Hausmann) writes:\n>>\n>>>Mark, how much do you *REALLY* know about vegetarian diets?\n>>>The problem is not "some" B-vitamins, it\'s balancing proteins.  \n>>>There is also one vitamin that cannot be obtained from non-animal\n>>>products, and this is only of concern to VEGANS, who eat no\n>>>meat, dairy, or eggs.  I believe it is B12, and it is the only\n>>>problem.  Supplements are available for vegans; yes, the B12\n>>>does come from animal by-products.  If you are on an ovo-lacto\n>>>vegetarian diet (eat dairy and eggs) this is not an issue.\n>\n>I didn\'t see the original posting, but...\n>Yes, I do know about vegetarian diets, considering that several of my\n>close friends are devout vegetarians, and have to take vitamin supplements.\n>B12 was one of the ones I was thinking of, it has been a long time since\n>I read the article I once saw talking about the special dietary needs\n>of vegetarians so I didn\'t quote full numbers.  (Considering how nice\n>this place is. ;)\n>\n>>B12 can also come from whole-grain rice, I understand.  Some brands here\n>>in Australia (and other places too, I\'m sure) get the B12 in the B12\n>>tablets from whole-grain rice.\n>\n>Are you sure those aren\'t an enriched type?  I know it is basically\n>rice and soybeans to get almost everything you need, but I hadn\'t heard\n>of any rice having B12.  \n>\n>>Just thought I\'d contribute on a different issue from the norm :)\n>\n>You should have contributed to the programming thread earlier. :)\n>\n>> Fred Rice\n>> darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au   \n>\n>M^2\n>\nIf one is a vegan (a vegetarian taht eats no animal products at at i.e eggs, \nmilk, cheese, etc., after about 3 years of a vegan diet, you need to start \ntaking B12 supplements because b12 is found only in animals.) Acutally our \nbodies make B12, I think, but our bodies use up our own B12 after 2 or 3 \nyears.  \nLacto-oveo vegetarians, like myself, still get B12 through milk products \nand eggs, so we don\'t need supplements.\nAnd If anyone knows more, PLEASE post it.  I\'m nearly contridicting myself \nwith the mish-mash of knowledge I\'ve gleaned.\n\nTammy\n',
  'From: mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee)\nSubject: Re: Davidians and compassion\nOrganization: Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, B.C.\nLines: 18\n\n\nIn article <f2dutxH@quack.kfu.com>, pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey) writes:\n|> In article <1993Apr20.144825.756@ra.royalroads.ca> \n|> mlee@post.RoyalRoads.ca (Malcolm Lee) writes:\n|> >If one does not follow the teachings of Christ, he is NOT Christian.  \n|> >Too easy?  \n|> \n|> That would exclude most self-proclaimed "Christians." \n|> Do you follow the Ten Commandments?\n\nAs a matter of fact, yes I do or at least I strive to.  I will not\nbe so proud as to boast that my faith is 100%.  I am still human\nand imperfect and therefore, liable to sin.  Thankfully, there is\nopportunity for repentence and forgiveness.\n\nGod be with you,\n\nMalcolm Lee  :)\n',
  "From: keith@cco.caltech.edu (Keith Allan Schneider)\nSubject: Re: <Political Atheists?\nOrganization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena\nLines: 14\nNNTP-Posting-Host: lloyd.caltech.edu\n\nbobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine) writes:\n\n>To show that the examples I and others\n>have provided are *not* counter examples of your supposed inherent\n>moral hypothesis, you have to successfully argue that\n>domestication removes or alters this morality.\n\nI think that domestication will change behavior to a large degree.\nDomesticated animals exhibit behaviors not found in the wild.  I\ndon't think that they can be viewed as good representatives of the\nwild animal kingdom, since they have been bred for thousands of years\nto produce certain behaviors, etc.\n\nkeith\n",
  'From: MANDTBACKA@FINABO.ABO.FI (Mats Andtbacka)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Unorganized Usenet Postings UnInc.\nLines: 51\nIn-Reply-To: cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu\'s message of Fri, 16 Apr 1993 15:32:04 GMT\nX-News-Reader: VMS NEWS 1.24\n\nIn <C5L1tG.K5q@news.cso.uiuc.edu> cobb@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu writes:\n\n> If some society came up with a good reason for why rape and murder are ok I \n> would be consistent with my position and hold that it was still wrong.  My \n> basis of morality is not on societal norms, or on current legalities.  My\n> basis is, surprise surprise, on both the Bible and on inherent moral\n> abhorrences,\n\n      AH! But what, exactly, is "inherently abhorrent" and WHY is it so?\nWhat you\'re saying is, in effect, "I think some things are repulsive,\nand I know a whole bunch of other people who agree with me, so they\nshould be deemed absolutely immoral now and forever, period".\n\n      Which in and of itself is nice enough; to some extent I agree with\nyou. But I do _not_ agree that things are \'inherently\' or \'absolutely\'\nimmoral; they are labeled \'immoral\' each for its own good reason, and if\nthe reason can even theoretically change, then so can the label.\n\n[...]\n> Yes, that\'s vague, and the only way I know off the top of my head to\n> defend it is to say that all humans are similarly made. Yes, that falls\n> into the trap of creation,\n\n      No it doesn\'t. Humans are to some extent similar, because we all\nbelong to the same species; that that species has evolved is another\nstory altogether. To a certain extent evolution can even lend credence\nto moral absolutism (of a flavour).\n\n[...]\n> My arguments are that it is better to exhibit trust, goodness, \n> love, respect, courage, and honesty in any society rather than deceipt,\n> hatred, disrespect, "cowardness", and dishonesty.\n\n      You\'re saying morality is what\'ll keep society alive and kicking.\nIt is, I think, up to a point; but societies are not all alike, and\nneither are their moralities.\n\n> No, I haven\'t been everywhere and \n> seen everyone, but, according to my thesis, I don\'t have to, since I hold that\n> we were all created similarly.\n\n      Similar != identical.\n\n> If that makes an unfalsifiable thesis, just say\n> so, and I\'ll both work out what I can and punt to fellow theists.\n\n      No, it\'s falsifiable through finding someoe who was "created\ndifferent", whatever that might be in the "real" world.\n\n-- \n  Disclaimer?   "It\'s great to be young and insane!"\n',
  'From: livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: sgi\nLines: 24\nNNTP-Posting-Host: solntze.wpd.sgi.com\n\nIn article <115468@bu.edu>, jaeger@buphy.bu.edu (Gregg Jaeger) writes:\n|> In article <1qg79g$kl5@fido.asd.sgi.com> livesey@solntze.wpd.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:\n|> \n|> >You are amazed that I find it difficult to grasp it when\n|> >people justify death-threats against Rushdie with the \n|> >claim "he was born Muslim?"\n|> \n|> This is empty rhetoric. I am amazed at your inability to understand what\n|> I am saying not that you find it difficult to "grasp it when people\n|> justify death-threats...". I find it amazing that your ability to\n|> consider abstract questions in isolation. You seem to believe in the\n|> falsity of principles by the consequence of their abuse. You must *hate*\n|> physics!\n\nYou\'re closer than you might imagine.   I certainly despised living\nunder the Soviet regime when it purported to organize society according\nto what they fondly imagined to be the "objective" conclusions of\nMarxist dialectic.\n\nBut I don\'t hate Physics so long as some clown doesn\'t start trying\nto control my life on the assumption that we are all interchangeable\natoms, rather than individual human beings.\n\njon. \n',
  "From: kempmp@phoenix.oulu.fi (Petri Pihko)\nSubject: Re: DID HE REALLY RISE???\nOrganization: University of Oulu, Finland\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL6]\nLines: 19\n\nI must correct the following in my previous posting:\n \n: If you are trying to be objective, you must also recognise that\n: \n: 1) the gospels are not independent sources, on the contrary, they\n: share much of the same material\n\nI should have been a bit more careful here - the gospels not only\ntell us about the same events, they usually use the same wordings.\nTextual analyses show that Matthew and Luke probably had a common\nsource, which may have influenced Mark, too.\n\nPetri\n\n--\n ___. .'*''.*        Petri Pihko    kem-pmp@          Mathematics is the Truth.\n!___.'* '.'*' ' .    Pihatie 15 C    finou.oulu.fi    Physics is the Rule of\n       ' *' .* '*    SF-90650 OULU  kempmp@           the Game.\n          *'  *  .*  FINLAND         phoenix.oulu.fi  -> Chemistry is The Game.\n",
  'From:  (Rashid)\nSubject: Re: Yet more Rushdie [Re: ISLAMIC LAW]\nNntp-Posting-Host: 47.252.4.179\nOrganization: NH\nLines: 76\n\nIn article <1993Apr14.131032.15644@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au>,\ndarice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) wrote:\n> \n> It is my understanding that it is generally agreed upon by the ulema\n> [Islamic scholars] that Islamic law applies only in an Islamic country,\n> of which the UK is not.  Furthermore, to take the law into one\'s own\n> hands is a criminal act, as these are matters for the state, not for\n> individuals.  Nevertheless, Khomeini offered a cash prize for people to\n> take the law into their own hands -- something which, to my\n> understanding, is against Islamic law.\n\nYes, this is also my understanding of the majority of Islamic laws.\nHowever, I believe there are also certain legal rulings which, in all\nfive schools of law (4 sunni and 1 jaffari), can be levelled against\nmuslim or non-muslims, both within and outside dar-al-islam. I do\nnot know if apostasy (when accompanied by active, persistent, and\nopen hostility to Islam) falls into this category of the law. I do know\nthat\nhistorically, apostasy has very rarely been punished at all, let alone\nby the death penalty.\n\nMy understanding is that Khomeini\'s ruling was not based on the\nlaw of apostasy (alone). It was well known that Rushdie was an apostate\nlong before he wrote the offending novel and certainly there is no\nprecedent in the Qur\'an, hadith, or in Islamic history for indiscriminantly\nlevelling death penalties for apostasy.\n\nI believe the charge levelled against Rushdie was that of "fasad". This\nruling applies both within and outside the domain of an\nIslamic state and it can be carried out by individuals. The reward was\nnot offered by Khomeini but by individuals within Iran.\n\n\n> Stuff deleted\n> Also, I think you are muddying the issue as you seem to assume that\n> Khomeini\'s fatwa was issued due to the _distribution_ of the book.  My\n> understanding is that Khomeini\'s fatwa was issued in response to the\n> _writing_ and _publishing_ of the book.  If my view is correct, then\n> your viewpoint that Rushdie was sentenced for a "crime in progress" is\n> incorrect.\n> \nI would concur that the thrust of the fatwa (from what I remember) was\nlevelled at the author and all those who assisted in the publication\nof the book. However, the charge of "fasad" can encompass a\nnumber of lesser charges. I remember that when diplomatic relations\nbroke off between Britain and Iran over the fatwa - Iran stressed that\nthe condemnation of the author, and the removal of the book from\ncirculation were two preliminary conditions for resolving the\n"crisis". But you are correct to point out that banning the book was not\nthe main thrust behind the fatwa. Islamic charges such as fasad are\nlevelled at people, not books.\n\nThe Rushdie situation was followed in Iran for several months before the\nissuance of the fatwa. Rushdie went on a media blitz,\npresenting himself as a lone knight guarding the sacred values of\nsecular democracy and mocking the foolish concerns of people\ncrazy enough to actually hold their religious beliefs as sacred. \nFanning the flames and milking the controversy to boost\nhis image and push the book, he was everywhere in the media. Then\nMuslim demonstrators in several countries were killed while\nprotesting against the book. Rushdie appeared momentarily\nconcerned, then climbed back on his media horse to once again\nattack the Muslims and defend his sacred rights. It was at this\npoint that the fatwa on "fasad" was issued.\n\nThe fatwa was levelled at the person of Rushdie - any actions of\nRushdie that feed the situation contribute to the legitimization of\nthe ruling. The book remains in circulation not by some independant\nwill of its own but by the will of the author and the publishers. The fatwa\nagainst the person of Rushdie encompasses his actions as well. The\ncrime was certainly a crime in progress (at many levels) and was being\nplayed out (and played up) in the the full view of the media.\n\nP.S. I\'m not sure about this but I think the charge of "shatim" also\napplies to Rushdie and may be encompassed under the umbrella\nof the "fasad" ruling.\n',
  "From: elw@mayo.edu\nSubject: Re: [lds] Gordon's question on the Nicene Creed\nReply-To: elw@jaguar.sky2\nOrganization: Mayo Foundation, Rochester MN. Campus\nLines: 11\n\n\nThe Nicene Creed\n\nWE BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.\nAnd in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried, and the third day rose again according to the Scriptur\n\n\n\n\n\nes, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father.  And he shall come again with glory to judge  both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.\n\nAnd we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets.  And we believe in one holy and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.\n\n\n",
  'From: mcelwre@cnsvax.uwec.edu\nSubject: THE DIVINE MASTERS\nOrganization: University of Wisconsin Eau Claire\nLines: 208\n\n          \n\n                             THE DIVINE MASTERS       \n      \n               Most Christians would agree, and correctly so, that \n          Jesus Christ was a Divine Master, and a projection of God \n          into the physical world, God Incarnate. \n          \n               But there are some very important related facts that \n          Christians are COMPLETELY IGNORANT of, as are followers of \n          most other world religions. \n           \n               First, Jesus Christ was NOT unique, John 3:16 NOTWITH-\n          STANDING.  There is ALWAYS at least one such Divine Master \n          (God Incarnate) PHYSICALLY ALIVE in this world AT ALL TIMES, \n          a continuous succession THROUGHOUT HISTORY, both before and \n          after the life of Jesus. \n    \n               The followers of some of these Masters founded the \n          world\'s major religions, usually PERVERTING the teachings of \n          their Master in the process.  Christians, for example, added \n          THREATS of "ETERNAL DAMNATION" in Hell, and DELETED the \n          teaching of REincarnation. \n       \n               Secondly, and more importantly, after a particular \n          Master physically dies and leaves this world, there is \n          NOTHING that He can do for ANYbody except for the relatively \n          few people that He INITIATED while He was still PHYSICALLY \n          alive.  (THAT IS SIMPLY THE WAY GOD SET THINGS UP IN THE \n          UNIVERSES.)                             \n\n               Therefore, all those Christians who worship Jesus, and \n          pray to Jesus, and expect Jesus to return and save them from \n          their sins, are only KIDDING THEMSELVES, and have allowed \n          themselves to be DUPED by a religion that was mostly \n          MANUFACTURED by the Romans. \n      \n               And emotional "feelings" are a TOTALLY DECEIVING \n          indicator for religious validity. \n    \n               These things are similarly true for followers of most \n          other major world religions, including Islam. \n     \n               Thirdly, the primary function of each Master is to tune \n          His Initiates into the "AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM" or "SOUND \n          CURRENT", (referred to as "THE WORD" in John 1:1-5, and as \n          "The River of Life" in Revelation 22:1), and to personally \n          guide each of them thru the upper levels of Heaven while they \n          are still connected to their living physical bodies by a \n          "silver cord". \n    \n               True Salvation, which completes a Soul\'s cycles of \n          REincarnation in the physical and psychic planes, is achieved \n          only by reaching at least the "SOUL PLANE", which is five \n          levels or universes above the physical universe, and this \n          canNOT be done without the help of a PHYSICALLY-Living Divine \n          Master. \n    \n               One such Divine Master alive today is an American, Sri \n          Harold Klemp, the Living "Eck" Master or "Mahanta" for the \n          "Eckankar" organization, now headquartered in Minneapolis, \n          (P.O. Box 27300;  zip 55427). \n    \n               Another Divine Master is Maharaj Gurinder Singh Ji, now \n          living in Punjab, India, and is associated with the "Sant \n          Mat" organization. \n      \n               One of the classic books on this subject is "THE PATH OF \n          THE MASTERS" (Radha Soami Books, P.O. Box 242, Gardena, CA  \n          90247), written in 1939 by Dr. Julian Johnson, a theologian \n          and surgeon who spent the last years of his life in India \n          studying under and closely observing the Sant Mat Master of \n          that time, Maharaj Sawan Singh Ji. \n    \n               Several of the Eckankar books, including some authored \n          by Sri Paul Twitchell or Sri Harold Klemp, can be found in \n          most public and university libraries and some book stores, or \n          obtained thru inter-library loan.  The book "ECKANKAR--THE \n          KEY TO SECRET WORLDS", by Sri Paul Twitchell, is ANOTHER \n          classic. \n    \n               Many Christians are likely to confuse the Masters with \n          the "Anti-Christ", which is or was to be a temporary world \n          dictator during the so-called "last days".  But the Masters \n          don\'t ever rule, even when asked or expected to do so as \n          Jesus was. \n    \n               People who continue following Christianity, Islam, or \n          other orthodox religions with a physically-DEAD Master, will \n          CONTINUE on their cycles of REincarnation, between the \n          Psychic Planes and this MISERABLE physical world, until they \n          finally accept Initiation from a PHYSICALLY-LIVING Divine \n          Master. \n    \n          \n    \n          RE-INCARNATION\n          \n               The book "HERE AND HEREAFTER", by Ruth Montgomery, \n          describes several kinds of evidence supporting REincarnation \n          as a FACT OF LIFE, including HYPNOTIC REGRESSIONS to past \n          lives [about 50% accurate; the subconscious mind sometimes \n          makes things up, especially with a bad hypnotist], \n          SPONTANEOUS RECALL (especially by young children, some of \n          whom can identify their most recent previous relatives, \n          homes, possessions, etc.), DREAM RECALL of past life experi-\n          ences, DEJA VU (familiarity with a far off land while travel-\n          ing there for the first time on vacation), the psychic read-\n          ings of the late EDGAR CAYCE, and EVEN SUPPORTING STATEMENTS \n          FROM THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE including Matthew 17:11-13 (John the \n          Baptist was the REINCARNATION of Elias.) and John 9:1-2 (How \n          can a person POSSIBLY sin before he is born, unless he LIVED \n          BEFORE?!).  [ ALWAYS use the "KING JAMES VERSION".  Later \n          versions are PER-VERSIONS! ] \n          \n               Strong INTERESTS, innate TALENTS, strong PHOBIAS, etc., \n          typically originate from a person\'s PAST LIVES.  For example, \n          a strong fear of swimming in or traveling over water usually \n          results from having DROWNED at the end of a PREVIOUS LIFE.  \n          And sometimes a person will take AN IMMEDIATE DISLIKE to \n          another person being met for the first time in THIS life, \n          because of a bad encounter with him during a PREVIOUS \n          INCARNATION. \n\n               The teaching of REincarnation also includes the LAW OF \n          KARMA (Galatians 6:7, Revelation 13:10, etc.).  People would \n          behave much better toward each other if they knew that their \n          actions in the present will surely be reaped by them in the \n          future, or in a FUTURE INCARNATION! \n\n\n\n          "2nd COMINGS"\n\n               If a Divine Master physically dies ("translates") \n          before a particular Initiate of His does, then when that \n          Initiate physically dies ("translates"), the Master will meet \n          him on the Astral level and take him directly to the Soul \n          Plane.  This is the ONE AND ONLY correct meaning of a 2nd \n          Coming.  It is an INDIVIDUAL experience, NOT something that \n          happens for everyone all at once.  People who are still \n          waiting for Jesus\' "2nd Coming" are WAITING IN VAIN. \n    \n          \n          \n          PLANES OF EXISTENCE\n\n               The physical universe is the LOWEST of at least a DOZEN \n          major levels of existence.  Above the Physical Plane is the \n          Astral Plane, the Causal Plane, the Mental Plane, the Etheric \n          Plane (often counted as the upper part of the Mental Plane), \n          the Soul Plane, and several higher Spiritual Planes.  The \n          Soul Plane is the FIRST TRUE HEAVEN, (counting upward from \n          the Physical).  The planes between (but NOT including) the \n          Physical and Soul Planes are called the Psychic Planes. \n    \n               It is likely that ESP, telepathy, astrological \n          influences, radionic effects, biological transmutations [See \n          the 1972 book with that title.], and other phenomena without \n          an apparent physical origin, result from INTERACTIONS between \n          the Psychic Planes and the Physical Plane. \n    \n               The major planes are also SUB-DIVIDED.  For example, a \n          sub-plane of the Astral Plane is called "Hades", and the \n          Christian Hell occupies a SMALL part of it, created there \n          LESS THAN 2000 YEARS AGO by the EARLY CATHOLIC CHURCH by some \n          kind of black magic or by simply teaching its existence in a \n          THREATENING manner.  The Christian "Heaven" is located \n          elsewhere on the Astral Plane.  Good Christians will go there \n          for a short while and then REincarnate back to Earth. \n          \n          \n          \n          SOUND CURRENT vs. BLIND FAITH\n\n               The Christian religion demands of its followers an \n          extraordinary amount of BLIND FAITH backed up by little more \n          than GOOD FEELING (which is TOTALLY DECEIVING). \n       \n               If a person is not HEARING some form of the "SOUND \n          CURRENT" ("THE WORD", "THE BANI", "THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM"), \n          then his cycles of REINCARNATION in this MISERABLE world WILL \n          CONTINUE. \n    \n               The "SOUND CURRENT" manifests differently for different \n          Initiates, and can sound like a rushing wind, ocean waves on \n          the sea shore, buzzing bees, higher-pitched buzzing sound, a \n          flute, various heavenly music, or other sounds.  In Eckankar, \n          Members start hearing it near the end of their first year as \n          a Member.  This and other experiences (such as "SOUL TRAVEL") \n          REPLACE blind faith. \n    \n\n\n               For more information, answers to your questions, etc., \n          please consult my CITED SOURCES (3 books, 2 addresses). \n\n\n\n               UN-altered REPRODUCTION and DISSEMINATION of this \n          IMPORTANT Information is ENCOURAGED. \n\n\n                                           Robert E. McElwaine\n                                           2nd Initiate in Eckankar,\n                                              (but not an agent thereof)\n\n         \n',
  'From: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine)\nSubject: Re: Genocide is Caused by Theism : Evidence?\nOrganization: Tektronix Inc., Beaverton, Or.\nLines: 26\n\nIn article <1qid04$fct@horus.ap.mchp.sni.de> frank@D012S658.uucp (Frank O\'Dwyer) writes:\n>\n>I don\'t see anything special about theism in general that makes it a \n>particular hazard (more so than say, stupidity, anarchy, or patriotism).   \n>Of course, it depends on the religion, but I see nothing about believing \n>in gods that in and of itself entails or even promotes xenophobia, genocide, \n>etc.  \n\n  If the emphasis is on the "in general", then of course you\'re\n  correct, since you haven\'t really said anything.  If we restrict\n  our observations to practiced religions, there are lots of\n  examples of god mandated genocide.  Just ask the Canaanites.  The\n  point is that if you believe in a god, and if you believe he has\n  ordered you to eliminate an entire race, you will likely make the\n  attempt.  After all, if it was OK in the past, it could surely be\n  OK in the present.\n\n\n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n\nBob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n\nThey said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\nand sank Manhattan out at sea.\n\n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n',
  'From: dlphknob@camelot.bradley.edu (Jemaleddin Cole)\nSubject: Re: Catholic Lit-Crit of a.s.s.\nNntp-Posting-Host: camelot.bradley.edu\nOrganization: The Society for the Preservation of Cruelty to Homophobes.\nLines: 37\n\nIn <1993Apr14.101241.476@mtechca.maintech.com> foster@mtechca.maintech.com writes:\n\n>I am surprised and saddened. I would expect this kind of behavior\n>from the Evangelical Born-Again Gospel-Thumping In-Your-Face We\'re-\n>The-Only-True-Christian Protestants, but I have always thought \n>that Catholics behaved better than this.\n>                                   Please do not stoop to the\n>level of the E B-A G-T I-Y-F W-T-O-T-C Protestants, who think\n>that the best way to witness is to be strident, intrusive, loud,\n>insulting and overbearingly self-righteous.\n\n(Pleading mode on)\n\nPlease!  I\'m begging you!  Quit confusing religious groups, and stop\nmaking generalizations!  I\'m a Protestant!  I\'m an evangelical!  I don\'t\nbelieve that my way is the only way!  I\'m not a "creation scientist"!  I\ndon\'t think that homosexuals should be hung by their toenails!  \n\nIf you want to discuss bible thumpers, you would be better off singling\nout (and making obtuse generalizations about) Fundamentalists.  If you\ncompared the actions of Presbyterians or Methodists with those of Southern \nBaptists, you would think that they were different religions!\n\nPlease, prejudice is about thinking that all people of a group are the\nsame, so please don\'t write off all Protestants or all evangelicals!\n\n(Pleading mode off.)\n\nGod.......I wish I could get ahold of all the Thomas Stories......\n--\n\t"Fbzr enval jvagre Fhaqnlf jura gurer\'f n yvggyr oberqbz, lbh fubhyq\nnyjnlf pneel n tha.  Abg gb fubbg lbhefrys, ohg gb xabj rknpgyl gung lbh\'er \nnyjnlf znxvat n pubvpr."\n\t\t\t--Yvan Jregzhyyre\n=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=\n        Jemaleddin Sasha David Cole IV - Chief of Knobbery Research\n                        dlphknob@camelot.bradley.edu\n',
  'Subject: A word of advice\nFrom: jcopelan@nyx.cs.du.edu (The One and Only)\nOrganization: Nyx, Public Access Unix at U. of Denver Math/CS dept.\nSummary: was Re: Yeah, Right\nLines: 14\n\nIn article <65882@mimsy.umd.edu> mangoe@cs.umd.edu (Charley Wingate) writes:\n>\n>I\'ve said enough times that there is no "alternative" that should think you\n>might have caught on by now.  And there is no "alternative", but the point\n>is, "rationality" isn\'t an alternative either.  The problems of metaphysical\n>and religious knowledge are unsolvable-- or I should say, humans cannot\n>solve them.\n\nHow does that saying go: Those who say it can\'t be done shouldn\'t interrupt\nthose who are doing it.\n\nJim\n--\nHave you washed your brain today?\n',
  'From: bcash@crchh410.NoSubdomain.NoDomain (Brian Cash)\nSubject: Re: free moral agency\nNntp-Posting-Host: crchh410\nOrganization: BNR, Inc.\nLines: 24\n\nIn article <house.734841689@helios>, house@helios.usq.EDU.AU (ron house) writes:\n|> marshall@csugrad.cs.vt.edu (Kevin Marshall) writes:\n|> \n|> >healta@saturn.wwc.edu (TAMMY R HEALY) writes:\n|> \n|> >>     you might think "oh yeah. then why didn\'t god destroy it in the bud \n|> >>before it got to the point it is now--with millions through the \n|> >>ages suffering along in life?"\n|> >>      the only answer i know is that satan made the claim that his way was \n|> >>better than God\'s.  God is allowing satan the chance to prove that his way \n|> >>is better than God\'s.  we all know what that has brought.     \n|> \n|> >Come on!  God is allowing the wishes of one individual to supercede the\n|> >well-being of billions?  I seriously doubt it.  Having read the Bible\n|> >twice, I never got the impression that God and Satan were working in some\n|> >sort of cooperative arrangement.\n|> \n|> Read the book of Job.\n|> \n\nOh, that was just a bet.\n\n\nBrian /-|-\\  \n',
  'From: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nSubject: Re: OTO, the Ancient Order of Oriental Templars\nOrganization: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH (USA)\nLines: 20\nReply-To: ch981@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Tony Alicea)\nNNTP-Posting-Host: hela.ins.cwru.edu\n\n\nIn a previous article, Thyagi@cup.portal.com (Thyagi Morgoth NagaSiva) says:\n\n>\n>"It is known only to a few that there exists an external visible\n>organization of such men and women, who having themselves found\n>the path to real self-knowledge, and who, having travelled the\n>burning sands, are willing to give the benefit of their experience,\n>and to act as spiritual guides to those who are willing to be\n>guided.\n>"While numberless societies, associations, orders, groups etc.\n>have been founded during the last thirty years in all parts of\n>the civilised world, all following some line of occult study,\n>yet there is but ONE ancient organization of genuine Mystics\n>\n\n\tUp to that point I thought you were talking about the\nRosicrucian Order... :-)  [No offense intended!]\n\nTony\n',
  'From: rich.bellacera@amail.amdahl.com\nSubject: "Ex-Gay"? (was: HOMOSEXUALITY Fact & Fiction)\nLines: 152\nReturn-Path: <amail.amdahl.com!rich.bellacera@juts.ccc.amdahl.com>\n\nTony-\n\nWhile I honestly believe you believe you are doing a "good thing" by posting\nthat piece of propaganda, I believe the more people believe that the more they\nwill feel justified in their blatant persecution of gay oriented people.  I\nhave seen the film called "The Gay Agenda" and along with my church we found\nit to be horrifying.  Not because of what was actually shown (cleaver use of\neditting can create any image one wants to portray), rather becaseu we are familia\nfamiliar with how widely it was actively distributed and how many naive people\nare actually believing the garbage found within it.  The truth is that neither\nyou nor I can fully speak for anyone who calls themself gay, but knowing as\nmany as I do and knowing their testimonies and witnessing thier faith and life\nI have to say that the report you posted is a very biased report, something\nobviously claimed against gays as well.  The truth is that unless YOU are\ninnately gay you cannot know what harm you are causing.  I speak as an\nabolitionist who supports affirming gay rights in our society.  I do not\nsupport wild sex or any other misrepresentations perpetrated by Christian\nFundamentalist extremists, but I know people who are not the sexual deviants\nyour report paints them to be.  It is no mistake that the APA removed\nhomosexuality from it\'s list of mental illnesses, it is also no mistake that\nthere are many Christians and homophobes who long to bring it back to the list.\nI do not feel threatened by gays, I don\'t understand why others are.\n\nThe following is an article concerning two of the more popular ex-gay min-\nistries:  Exodus International & Homosexuals Anonymous.\n\nTHE FOUNDER OF AN "EX-GAY" SUPPORT GROUP CHOOSES HOMO OVER HETERO\n\nby Robert Pela (from Gay oriented magazine ADVOCATE)\n\nIn December 1985, David Caligiuri received one of The Advocate\'s homophobia rewaa\nawards: the A Prayer A Day Keeps the Lust Away citation.  As director of FREE\nINDEED, a national ex-gay ministry, Caligiuri was singled out for offering\ndiscontented gays and lesbians "a way out of the homosexual death-style"\nthrough prayer.  "I\'d like to give the award back," Caligiuri now laughs, "I\'m\nno longer deserve it."\n  Caligiuri\'s eight year involvement with the national "ex-gay" movement peaked\nwith his founding of the Phoenix chapter of Homosexuals Anonymous (HA) as well\nas Free Indeed.  He has since abandoned his pulpit and now says that the ex-\ngay movement is a fruitless effort based on deception.  "There\'s no reality\nin it," he says, "I was selling a product, and my product was a lie."\n  Headed up by national ministries like Exodus International and Courage, the\norganizations of the ex-gay movement rely on the tenents of born-again\nChristianity to convince disatisfied homosexuals -- usually young gay men who\nare just coming out -- that they can shed their sexuality by suppressing their\nsexual urges and embracing Christianity.  "We offer support to people who are\nseeking to leave the sin of homosexuality," explains Bob Davies, director of\nExodus.  He ventures that "about 80% of those seeking to abandon their homo-\nsexuality are men."\n  "Anybody who is involved in the ex-gay ministry is misguided and is wasting\ntheir time," says Lisa Seeley, a former "redeemed lesbian" who worked with\nCaligiuri as HA and appeared with him on the Sally Jessy Raphael show.  "These\norganizations are for people who are spiritually and emotionally wounded."\n  "It\'s possible to change your identity or your behavior," says sex educator\nBrian McNaught, author of _On Being Gay_. "But it\'s really impossible to\nchange your orientation.  These people are no longer calling themselves gay,\nbut they continue to have same-sex erotic feelings."\n  Caligiuri says he founded Free Indeed after an ominous week in 1981 when all\nhell broke loose in his personal life.  A few days after his lover ended both\ntheir romance and their business partnership, Caligiuri was sexually assaulted\nby a man he picked up in a bar.  "I was really drunk," he recalls, "and I\nwent home with this guy.  He tied me up and raped me.  He left me tied up all\nnight, and the next morning he raped me again."\n  When Caligiuri was eventually freed by the attacker, he returned home to the\nhome he shared with his ex-lover.  "He had another man there with him,"\nCaligiuri recalls.  "I thought at this time, \'If this is what being gay is\nabout, I don\'t want to be this way anymore."\n  Caligiuri vowed that if he could find a way out, he would share his discovery\nwith others.  He organized an antigay contingent to demonstrate at Phoenix\'s\ngay pride parade in June 1985, and a few months later Free Indeed held its\nfirst public protest.  At a meeting to promote a gay civil rights ordinance,\nFree Indeed members loudly blasted gays, telling them ther were sinners headed\nfor hell.\n  Free Indeed began receiving about a hundred telephone calls a week, thanks\nin part to a deceptive listing in the local yellow pages.  "We were listed\nunder Lesbian and Gay Alternative Services," Caligiuri says, "so people\nthought we were a gay information switchboard.  People would call to find out\nwhere the local bars were, and we\'d preach to them about the sins of homo-\nsexuality."  Ruses like this are typical of the movement, Caligiuri says,\nadding, "They\'ll do anything to reach these people."\n  "David used to go on radio and say really stupid things," recalls Peter\nKelly, a counselor at Phoenix\'s Catholic diocese AIDS program, "like that\nhe knew he was gay when he started wearing pastel colors."\n  Caligiuri\'s family first found out about his ministry when they saw him on\nRaphael\'s syndicated talk show in 1985.  "They were relieved," he recalls.\n"They figured that if they had to have a gay person in the family, better\nthat I should be a \'reformed\' gay person."\n  But Caligiuri was hardly reformed.  "By the time I appeared on Sally\'s\nshow," "I\'d started having sex with men again.  Men would call our hotline\nand tell me about thier latest sin: sex with their pastor, sex with their\nfather.  I was horny all the time."\n  Unable to risk going to gay bars, where he might be recognized from his\nnumerous television appearances, Caligiuri says he "used to go to bookstores\nand get blowjobs."  When he wasn\'t working the bookstores, he was sleeping\nwith other "reformed" homosexuals.\n  "I didn\'t realize it at first, but a lot of the HA leaders were having sex\nwith one another," Caligiuri says.  "We\'d go to conferences in other cities,\nand we\'d be paired up in hotel rooms.  Everybody was sleeping with everybody\nelse."\n  By the time he appeared on \'AM Philadelphia\' television show in May 1988,\nCaligiuri was having anonymous sex a couple times a week.  When the show\'s\nhost asked him if he ever "acted on temptation," his answer was a lie.\n  Caligiuri\'s duplicity began to take it\'s toll on him, however.  He was\nsuffering from chrinic fatigue syndrome and candidiasis, a dibilitating\nyeast infection, and this led to his escape from the sect.  "I was too sick\nto go to church," he explains.  "The more time I spent away from those people\nthe more I began to feel like myself.  I began to remember who I used to be."\n  Late in 1991, Caligiuri turned Free Indeed phone lines over to a local\nchurch and closed the ministry\'s doors.  "I\'d convinced myself that there\nis no need in the world for ex-gay people," he says.\n  Today, Caligiuri, 31, is studying alternative spiritualities ("I\'m interest-\ned in belief systems that aren\'t judgemental."), considering romance ("But\nnot with a CHristian!"), and searching for a new project to devote himself to.\n"I feel compelled to commit myself to gay causes," he says.  "I want to\neventually stop feeling guilty about what I did and make up for the damage I\nmay have brought to our community."\n\n---end article---\n\nCaligiuri\'s tory is by no means unique and I have read several other articles\nof former leaders and founders of \'ex-gay\' ministries who have said very similar th\nsimilar things.  Fortuantely not all of them have left Christianity, but have\ncome to realize that God loves them despite the attitudes of others.  Some,\nlike Chris Glaser, director of the Presbyterian "Lazarus Project" of West\nHollywood Presbyterian Church have actually been working with the gay community\nto bring them into the sheepfold of Christ and encouraging real ethical values\nof sexuality within the sphere of being gay.  I have also, as I said talked and become\nand become close friends with many who once attended such groups as "Love In\nAction" and others, who either once claimed to have been "reformed" or who\nwere too honest with themselves to live a lie, no matter who was disappointed\nin them.  Some were even encouraged to marry as a way of "sealing" their\nnew heterosexuality, only to eventually start hitting the bars, bathhouses\nand bookstores, since these were usually activities under the concealment of\nnight and one-night-stands of promiscuous behavior meant no continuous "sin"\nthrough a committed relationship.  This is a horrible trap which the CHurch\nhas dumped on the backs of the truly gay oriented people, and the very inno-\ncent victims in these cases are the wives and children of such marriages.  Yet\nthe church insists that there are only two options they are willing to allow\ngay people: 1) heterosexuality or 2) celebacy.  This is sad.  What is also\nmrtifying, is in the cases of those who cannot suppress their desires and\nfear for thier sanity in such a mixed up confusion that the church forces on\nthem, they may even opt for \'suicide\' or surgical dampering of the brain\nfunctions.  In the past lobotomies and heavey drug suppressants were common-\nplace.  There are now becoming available more and more literature on the\nthreat of coercive Christianity toward gays, such as Sylvia Pennington\'s\n_"Ex-Gays?  There Are None_. and others.  There are also a great many fact\nbased books being written to help people trapped in this confusion such as\nMaury Johnston\'s _Gays Under Grace_, and Chris Glaser\'s _Come Hom!_.  I\nseriously recommend those for people seeking help for this persecution and\nself-acceptance.\n\nThank you.\n',
  'From: emarsh@hernes-sun.Eng.Sun.COM (Eric Marsh)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nOrganization: Sun\nLines: 14\nNNTP-Posting-Host: hernes-sun\n\nIn article <C5Hr14.Jxw@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> lis450bw@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu (lis450 Student) writes:\n>My definition of objective would be absolute, or fixed, rather than\n> \n>  subjective, or varying and changing.\n>\n\nLets see what the dictionary has to say:\n\nobjective adj. 1. As having to do with a material object as distinguished\nfrom a mental concept. 2. Having actual existance. 3.a. Uninfluenced\nby emotion or personal prejudice. b. Based on observable phenomenon.\n\neric\n\n',
  'From: vdp@mayo.edu (Vinayak Dutt)\nSubject: Re: Islamic Banks (was Re: Slavery\nReply-To: vdp@mayo.edu\nOrganization: Mayo Foundation/Mayo Graduate School :Rochester, MN\nLines: 39\n\nIn article 28833@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au,  darice@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Fred Rice) writes:\n#In <1993Apr14.143121.26376@bmw.mayo.edu> vdp@mayo.edu (Vinayak Dutt) writes:\n#>So instead of calling it interest on deposits, you call it *returns on investements*\n#>and instead of calling loans you call it *investing in business* (that is in other words\n#>floating stocks in your company). \n#\n#No, interest is different from a return on an investment.  For one\n#thing, a return on an investment has greater risk, and not a set return\n#(i.e. the amount of money you make can go up or down, or you might even\n#lose money).  The difference is, the risk of loss is shared by the\n#investor, rather than practically all the risk being taken by the\n#borrower when the borrower borrows from the bank.\n#\n\nBut is it different from stocks ?  If you wish to call an investor in stocks as\na banker, well then its your choice .....\n\n#>Relabeling does not make it interest free !!\n#\n#It is not just relabeling, as I have explained above.\n\nIt  *is* relabeling ...\nAlso its still not interest free. The investor is still taking some money ... as\ndividend on his investment ... ofcourse the investor (in islamic *banking*, its your\nso called *bank*)  is taking more risk than the usual bank, but its still getting some\nthing back in return .... \n\nAlso have you heard of junk bonds ???\n\n\n---Vinayak\n-------------------------------------------------------\n                                           vinayak dutt\n                                   e-mail: vdp@mayo.edu\n\n             standard disclaimers apply\n-------------------------------------------------------\n\n\n',
  'From: e_p@unl.edu (edgar pearlstein)\nSubject: Re: cults (who keeps them going ?)\nOrganization: University of Nebraska--Lincoln\t\nLines: 20\nDistribution: world\nNNTP-Posting-Host: unlinfo.unl.edu\n\nmuttiah@thistle.ecn.purdue.edu (Ranjan S Muttiah) writes:\n\n\n>Mr. Clinton said today that the horrible tragedy of the Waco fiasco\n>should remind those who join cults of the dangers of doing so.\n>Now, I began scratching my head thinking (a bad sign :-), "don\'t the \n>mainstream religions (in this case Christianity...or the 7th day \n>adventist in particular) just keep these guys going ? Isn\'t Mr. Clinton \n>condemning his own religion ? After all, isn\'t it a cult too ?"\n\n\nA good point.  What helps to keep such things going is the public\nattitude that one should have "faith""; that some authority from\non high should not be subjected to mere reason.  Couple this with a\nvariety of personality quirks, mojor and minor mental illnesses, and\nego of would-be leaders, and you get all the variety of cults and \nreligions that people subscribe to.\n\n\n.\n',
  'From: ray@engr.LaTech.edu (Bill Ray)\nSubject: Re: The Bible and Abortion\nOrganization: Louisiana Tech University\nLines: 38\nDistribution: world,local\nNNTP-Posting-Host: ee02.engr.latech.edu\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL8]\n\nJames J. Lippard (lippard@skyblu.ccit.arizona.edu) wrote:\n: Exodus 21:22-25:\n\n:        22 And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with\n:           child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further\n:           injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman\'s husband may\n:           demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide.\n:        23 But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint\n:           as a penalty life for life,\n:        24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,\n:        25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.\n\n: The most straightforward interpretation of these verses is that if\n: men in a fight strike a woman and cause her to miscarry, the penalty\n: is only a fine.  If, however, the woman is injured or dies, the\n: *lex talionis* doctrine of "an eye for an eye" applies.  This is the\n: Jewish interpretation, and is supported by Jewish commentaries on\n: these verses.\n:    This is quite an embarrassment for pro-lifer Christians, so there is\n: of course an alternate explanation.  The alternative interprets the\n: word "miscarriage" to mean "premature birth"--i.e., the child is born\n: alive--and "further injury" to mean injury to either the woman or\n: the fetus.  This is not a straightforward interpretation, it is not\n: (so far as I know) supported by any Jewish commentaries, and it does\n: not appeared to be supported by any other part of the Bible.\n\nWhat if any, historical reference do we have to abortion at this time?  Did\nthe ancient Jew have appropriate reference to understand abortion? (I am\ntruly asking, not making a point veiled as a question).  If there is \nlittle understanding of the medical procedure we know as abortion, it is\nnot surprising the Bible makes little reference to it, as it makes little\nreference to nuclear power and contamination.\n\nWhile your interpretation is a reasonable one, I see no reason to reject\nthe other out of hand.  The King Jimmy translation says "if there is no\nfurther mischief."  This does not necessarily imply to the woman.  I know\nif my wife we expecting and someone cause her to spontaneously abort, we\nwould feel that a life was truly taken, not simply a process halted.\n',
  'Subject: Re: islamic authority over women\nFrom: bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM (Robert Beauchaine)\nOrganization: Tektronix, Inc., Beaverton,  OR.\nLines: 46\n\nIn article <1993Apr5.023044.19580@ultb.isc.rit.edu) snm6394@ultb.isc.rit.edu (S.N. Mozumder ) writes:\n)\n)That\'s your mistake.  It would be better for the children if the mother\n)raised the child.\n)\n)One thing that relates is among Navy men that get tatoos that say "Mom",\n)because of the love of their mom.  It makes for more virile men.\n)Compare that with how homos are raised.  Do a study and you will get my\n)point.\n)\n)But in no way do you have a claim that it would be better if the men\n)stayed home and raised the child.  That is something false made up by\n)feminists that seek a status above men.  You do not recognize the fact\n)that men and women have natural differences.  Not just physically, but\n)mentally also.\n) [...]\n)Your logic.  I didn\'t say americans were the cause of worlds problems, I\n)said atheists.\n) [...]\n)Becuase they have no code of ethics to follow, which means that atheists\n)can do whatever they want which they feel is right.  Something totally\n)based on their feelings and those feelings cloud their rational\n)thinking.\n) [...]\n)Yeah.  I didn\'t say that all atheists are bad, but that they could be\n)bad or good, with nothing to define bad or good.\n)\n\n  Awright!  Bobby\'s back, in all of his shit-for-brains glory.  Just\n  when I thought he\'d turned the corner of progress, his Thorazine\n  prescription runs out.  \n\n  I\'d put him in my kill file, but man, this is good stuff.  I wish\n  I had his staying power.\n\n  Fortunately, I learned not to take him too seriously long,long,long\n  ago.\n\n/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\/\\ \n\nBob Beauchaine bobbe@vice.ICO.TEK.COM \n\nThey said that Queens could stay, they blew the Bronx away,\nand sank Manhattan out at sea.\n\n^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\n',
  "From: psyrobtw@ubvmsd.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss)\nSubject: [lds] Gordon's question on the Nicene Creed\nOrganization: University at Buffalo\nLines: 28\nNews-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41\nNntp-Posting-Host: ubvmsd.cc.buffalo.edu\n\nGordon Banks quoted and added...\n\ngb> In article <C50M5p.Eoz@acsu.buffalo.edu>\ngb> psyrobtw@ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu (Robert Weiss) writes:\ngb>\ngb> >\ngb> >  Christians have professed for more than 1660 years the Nicene\ngb> >Creed, a statement of beliefs drawn from the truths of Scripture\ngb> >that was officially accepted by a council of church bishops\ngb> >and leaders at Nicea in 325 A.D. Christians still recite\ngb> >this creed regularly in public worship.\ngb> >\ngb>\ngb> So prior to 325 AD there were no Christians?  Or all of them really\ngb> believed the Nicean creed even before it was formulated?  Do you\ngb> really believe such an absurdity?  I'm afraid you do.  \n\n     No.\n     I really don't. Honest.\n\n     The Nicene Creed, as I mentioned above, is a brief statement of\n     beliefs that are derived from Scripture. That this certain list\n     did not exist earlier does not indicate that the beliefs summarized \n     in in did not exist before the formula was derived.\n\n=============================\nRobert Weiss\npsyrobtw@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu\n",
  'From: stank@cbnewsl.cb.att.com (Stan Krieger)\nSubject: Re: [soc.motss, et al.] "Princeton axes matching funds for Boy Scouts"\nArticle-I.D.: cbnewsl.1993Apr6.041343.24997\nOrganization: Summit NJ\nLines: 39\n\nstudent writes:\n\n>Somewhere, roger colin shouse writes about "radical gay dogma."  Somewhere else\n>he claims not to claim to have a claim to knowing those he doesn\'t know.\n>There are at least twenty instances of this kind of muddleheaded fourth-\n>reich-sophistique shit in his postings.  Maybe more.  In fact I\'m not sure\n>the instances could be counted, because they reproduce like a virus the more\n>you consider his words.\n>\tMy question is this: what is the best response to weasels like\n>shouse and Stan Krieger?  Possibilities:\n>\t(a) study them dispassionately and figure out how they work, then\n>(1) remember what you\'ve learned so as to combat them when they or their clones\n>get into office\n>(2) contribute your insights to your favorite abnormal psych ward\n>\t(b) learn to overcome your repugnance for serial murder\n\nThis posting is totally uncalled for in rec.scouting.\n\nThe point has been raised and has been answered.  Roger and I have\nclearly stated our support of the BSA position on the issue;\nspecifically, that homosexual behavior constitutes a violation of\nthe Scout Oath (specifically, the promise to live "morally straight").\n\nThere is really nothing else to discuss.  Trying to cloud the issue\nwith comparisons to Blacks or other minorities is also meaningless\nbecause it\'s like comparing apples to oranges (i.e., people can\'t\ncontrol their race but they can control their behavior).\n\nWhat else is there to possibly discuss on rec.scouting on this issue?\nNobody, including BSA, is denying anybody the right to live and/or\nworship as they please or don\'t please,  but it doesn\'t mean that BSA\nis the big bad wolf for adhering to the recognized, positive, religious\nand moral standards on which our society has been established and on\nwhich it should continue to be based.\n-- \nStan Krieger                 All opinions, advice, or suggestions, even\nUNIX System Laboratories     if related to my employment, are my own.\nSummit, NJ\nsmk@usl.com\n',
  'From: donc@microsoft.com (Don Corbitt)\nSubject: Re: Christian Owned Organization list\nOrganization: Microsoft Corp.\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 28\n\nIn article <1993Apr16.232149.22105@organpipe.uug.arizona.edu> ece_0028@bigdog.engr.arizona.edu wrote:\n> Sorry, but Mormons aren\'t generally considered to be Christians.\n> >--\n> >=kcochran@nyx.cs.du.edu | B(0-4) c- d- e++ f- g++ k(+) m r(-) s++(+) t | TSAKC=\n> >=My thoughts, my posts, my ideas, my responsibility, my beer, my pizza.  OK???=\n> >="Do you have some pumps and a purse in this shade?  A perfume that whispers, =\n> >=\'please come back to me\'?  I\'m looking for something in Green."-Laurie Morgan=\n\nSorry, but it doesn\'t matter what _you_ think, I am a Christian, who happens to\nbelong to the LDS Church.  [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints].\n\nI don\'t usually read t.r.m.  It is truly informative to stop by, and see that there\nare still people in the world like those that forced my ancestors into the deserts\nof Utah, and then out of the country entirely.  (My grandmother was born in Mexico,\nwhere her family had moved to escape religious persecution in the US).  I\'m willing\nto admit that members of other churches are Christians, if they believe in Christ and\n(try to) follow his teachings, even though they have different interpretations of \nthe bible.  And yet these other churches often go out of their way to define whether\nor not I am considered to be Christian.  Could someone mail me a set of rules/beliefs\nthat must be followed to be a Christian?  Does this set of rules exclude other large\nbodies of believers?  \n\nI know, this is a waste of everyone\'s time, this has probably been discussed N times,\netc.  I guess I\'m more sensitive to this \'demonization\' after what went on in Texas.\n--\nDon Corbitt, donc@microsoft.com\nMail flames, post apologies.   Support short .sigs, three lines max.\n(I consider this a rebuttal, not a flame...)\n',
  'From: geoff@East.Sun.COM (Geoff Arnold @ Sun BOS - R.H. coast near the top)\nSubject: Re: Where are they now?\nOrganization: SunSelect\nLines: 22\nDistribution: world\nReply-To: geoff@East.Sun.COM\nNNTP-Posting-Host: poori.east.sun.com\n\nYour posting provoked me into checking my save file for memorable\nposts. The first I captured was by Ken Arromdee on 19 Feb 1990, on the\nsubject "Re: atheist too?". That was article #473 here; your question\nwas article #53766, which is an average of about 48 articles a day for\nthe last three years. As others have noted, the current posting rate is\nsuch that my kill file is depressing large...... Among the posting I\nsaved in the early days were articles from the following notables:\n\n>From: loren@sunlight.llnl.gov (Loren Petrich)\n>From: jchrist@nazareth.israel.rel (Jesus Christ of Nazareth)\n>From: mrc@Tomobiki-Cho.CAC.Washington.EDU (Mark Crispin)\n>From: perry@apollo.HP.COM (Jim Perry)\n>From: lippard@uavax0.ccit.arizona.edu (James J. Lippard)\n>From: minsky@media.mit.edu (Marvin Minsky)\n\nAn interesting bunch.... I wonder where #2 is?\n---\nGeoff Arnold, PC-NFS architect, Sun Select. (geoff.arnold@East.Sun.COM)\n--------------------------------------------------+-------------------\n"What if they made the whole thing up?            | "The Great Lie" by\n Four guys, two thousand years ago, over wine..." |    The Tear Garden\n\n',
  "From: system@kalki33.lakes.trenton.sc.us (Kalki Dasa)\nSubject: Bhagavad-Gita 2.45\nOrganization: Kalki's Infoline BBS, Aiken, SC, USA\nLines: 62\n\n                                TEXT 45\n\n                        trai-gunya-visaya veda\n                        nistrai-gunyo bhavarjuna\n                     nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho\n                          niryoga-ksema atmavan\n  \ntrai-gunya--pertaining to the three modes of material nature;\nvisayah--on the subject matter; vedah--Vedic literatures;\nnistrai-gunyah--transcendental to the three modes of material nature;\nbhava--be; arjuna--O Arjuna; nirdvandvah--without duality;\nnitya-sattva-sthah--in a pure state of spiritual existence;\nniryoga-ksemah--free from ideas of gain and protection;\natma-van--established in the self.\n    \n                              TRANSLATION\n\n The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material\nnature. O Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free\nfrom all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be\nestablished in the self.\n  \n                                PURPORT\n\n All material activities involve actions and reactions in the three\nmodes of material nature. They are meant for fruitive results, which\ncause bondage in the material world. The Vedas deal mostly with fruitive\nactivities to gradually elevate the general public from the field of\nsense gratification to a position on the transcendental plane. Arjuna,\nas a student and friend of Lord Krsna, is advised to raise himself to\nthe transcendental position of Vedanta philosophy where, in the\nbeginning, there is brahma-jijnasa, or questions on the supreme\ntranscendence. All the living entities who are in the material world are\nstruggling very hard for existence. For them the Lord, after creation of\nthe material world, gave the Vedic wisdom advising how to live and get\nrid of the material entanglement. When the activities for sense\ngratification, namely the karma-kanda chapter, are finished, then the\nchance for spiritual realization is offered in the form of the\nUpanisads, which are part of different Vedas, as the Bhagavad-gita is a\npart of the fifth Veda, namely the Mahabharata. The Upanisads mark the\nbeginning of transcendental life.\n\n As long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions in\nthe material modes. One has to learn tolerance in the face of dualities\nsuch as happiness and distress, or cold and warmth, and by tolerating\nsuch dualities become free from anxieties regarding gain and loss. This\ntranscendental position is achieved in full Krsna consciousness when one\nis fully dependent on the good will of Krsna.\n\nBhagavad-Gita As It is\nBooks of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami\n\n\n       ---------------------------------------------------------\n      |                Don't forget to chant:                   |\n      |                                                         |\n      |  Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare   |\n      |       Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare          |\n      |                                                         |\n      |    Kalki's Infoline BBS Aiken, South Carolina, USA      |\n      |          (system@kalki33.lakes.trenton.sc.us)           |\n       ---------------------------------------------------------\n",
  "From: sandvik@newton.apple.com (Kent Sandvik)\nSubject: Re: Clarification of personal position\nOrganization: Cookamunga Tourist Bureau\nLines: 21\n\nIn article <C5MuIw.AqC@mailer.cc.fsu.edu>, dlecoint@garnet.acns.fsu.edu\n(Darius_Lecointe) wrote:\n> I will repeat my position here.  Worshipping on Sunday has never been a\n> sin.  As a child I attended services on Saturday and Sunday--at the SDA\n> church and at the Pentecostal church across the street.  I might even go to a\n> Baptist church next week.  I worship God every day, and every Christian \n> should.  Even if we can prove that Christians should meet on Sunday (and\n> we can't) we can never prove that violation of the Sabbath is not a sin\n> any longer.  Nor can we prove that violation of Sunday is a sin.  We\n> cannot use the Sabbath commandment for that purpose.\n\nMy online Bible is on a CD, but I don't own a CD-ROM system for the\ntime being, so I can't search for the famous cite where Jesus explicitly\nstates that he didn't want to break existing (Jewish) laws. In other\nwords technically speaking Christians should use Saturday and not Sunday\nas their holy day, if they want to conform to the teachings of Jesus.\n\nCheers,\nKent\n---\nsandvik@newton.apple.com. ALink: KSAND -- Private activities on the net.\n",
  'From: caldwell@facman.ohsu.edu (Larry Caldwell)\nSubject: Re: Merlin, Mithras and Magick\nOrganization: Oregon Health Sciences University\nLines: 29\nNntp-Posting-Host: facman\n\nkosinski@us.oracle.com (Kevin Osinski) writes:\n\n>I recall reading in Michael (?) Rutherford\'s novel "Sarum" a scene in\n>which the son of a Roman nobleman living in Britain takes part in a\n>secret ceremony involving a bull.  He stands naked in a pit covered\n>with some sort of scaffolding while assistants coax a bull to stand on\n>the scaffolding.  They then fatally stab the bull, which douses the\n>worshipper in the pit with blood.  This is supposedly some sort of\n>rite of passage for members of the bull cult.  I wonder if this is\n>related to the Mithras cult?\n>\n>I don\'t know where Rutherford got his information for this chapter.\n>The book is historical fiction, and most of the general events which\n>take place are largely based on historical accounts.\n\nThere is a rite like this described in Joseph Campbell\'s\n_Occidental_Mythology_.  He also described levels of initiation, I think\n6?  I don\'t know where Campbell got his info, but I remember thinking he\nwas being a little eclectic.\n\n>I also wonder what if any connection there is between the ancient bull\n>cults and the current practice of bullfighting popular in some\n>Mediterranean cultures.\n\nQuite a bit.  If you haven\'t read Campbell, give him a try.  \n\n-- \n-- Larry Caldwell  caldwell@ohsu.edu  CompuServe 72210,2273\nOregon Health Sciences University.  (503) 494-2232\n',
  'From: bil@okcforum.osrhe.edu (Bill Conner)\nSubject: Re: After 2000 years, can we say that Christian Morality is\nNntp-Posting-Host: okcforum.osrhe.edu\nOrganization: Okcforum Unix Users Group\nX-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.1 PL9]\nLines: 54\n\n\n: In my mind, to say that science has its basis in values is a bit of a\n: reach. Science has its basis in observable fact. \n\nI\'d say that what one chooses to observe and how the observation is\ninterpreted and what significance it\'s given depends a great deal on\nthe values of the observer. Science is a human activity and as such,\nis subject to the same potential for distortion as any other human\nactivity. The myth that scientists are above moral influence or\nethical concern, that their knowledge can be abstacted whole and pure\nfrom nature untainted by the biases of the scientist, is nonsense.\n\nBill\n\n: If one is to argue for objective values (in a moral sense) then one must\n: first start by demonstrating that morality itself is objective. Considering\n: the meaning of the word "objective" I doubt that this will ever happen.\n\n: So, back to the original question:\n\n: And objective morality is.....?\n\nThis may be an unfortunate choice of words, almost self-contradictory.\nObjective in the sense used here means something immutable and\nabsolute while morality describes the behavior of some group of\npeople. The first term is all inclusive, the second is specific. The\nconcept supposedly described may have meaning however. \nIf there is a God as described by the Christians (for instance), then\nHe has existence apart from and independent of humankind; His\nexistence is outside of our frame of reference (reality). If this\nbeing declares a thing to be so, it is -necessarily- so since He has\ndefined Himself as omnipotent and, if His claims are to be believed,\nHe is at least omnipotent relative to us. God is intrinsically\nself-defined and all reality is whatever He says it is - in an\nobjective sense.\nIf God determines a standard of conduct, that standard is objective.\nIf human beings are held accountable for their conformance to that\nstandard while permitted to ignore it, they substitute a relative\nmorality or mode of conduct, giving the term morality a nebulous,\nmeaningless sense that can be argued about by those pretending to\nmisunderstand. The standard is objective and the conduct required to\nmeet that standard is therefore objectively determined.\nJust because it is convenient to pretend that the term morality is\ninfinitely malleable, doesn\'t mean that the objective standard itself\ndoesn\'t exist. Morality has come to mean little more than a cultural\nnorm, or the preferred conduct of "decent" people, making it seem\nsubjective, but it is derived from an absolute, objective, standard.\nIronically, this objective standard is in perfect accord with our true\nnature (according to Christianity at least), yet is condemned as being\ncontrary to human nre, oppressive and severe. This may be due as\n\nBill\nmuch to our amoral inclinations as to the standard itself, but like it\nor not, it\'s there.x\n',
  'From: mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\nSubject: Alt.Atheism FAQ: Introduction to Atheism\nSummary: Please read this file before posting to alt.atheism\nKeywords: FAQ, atheism\nExpires: Thu, 6 May 1993 12:22:45 GMT\nDistribution: world\nOrganization: Mantis Consultants, Cambridge. UK.\nSupersedes: <19930308134439@mantis.co.uk>\nLines: 646\n\nArchive-name: atheism/introduction\nAlt-atheism-archive-name: introduction\nLast-modified: 5 April 1993\nVersion: 1.2\n\n-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----\n\n                          An Introduction to Atheism\n                       by mathew <mathew@mantis.co.uk>\n\nThis article attempts to provide a general introduction to atheism.  Whilst I\nhave tried to be as neutral as possible regarding contentious issues, you\nshould always remember that this document represents only one viewpoint.  I\nwould encourage you to read widely and draw your own conclusions; some\nrelevant books are listed in a companion article.\n\nTo provide a sense of cohesion and progression, I have presented this article\nas an imaginary conversation between an atheist and a theist.  All the\nquestions asked by the imaginary theist are questions which have been cropped\nup repeatedly on alt.atheism since the newsgroup was created.  Some other\nfrequently asked questions are answered in a companion article.\n\nPlease note that this article is arguably slanted towards answering questions\nposed from a Christian viewpoint.  This is because the FAQ files reflect\nquestions which have actually been asked, and it is predominantly Christians\nwho proselytize on alt.atheism.\n\nSo when I talk of religion, I am talking primarily about religions such as\nChristianity, Judaism and Islam, which involve some sort of superhuman divine\nbeing.  Much of the discussion will apply to other religions, but some of it\nmay not.\n\n"What is atheism?"\n\nAtheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of God.\nSome atheists go further, and believe that God does not exist.  The former is\noften referred to as the "weak atheist" position, and the latter as "strong\natheism".\n\nIt is important to note the difference between these two positions.  "Weak\natheism" is simple scepticism; disbelief in the existence of God.  "Strong\natheism" is a positive belief that God does not exist.  Please do not\nfall into the trap of assuming that all atheists are "strong atheists".\n\nSome atheists believe in the non-existence of all Gods; others limit their\natheism to specific Gods, such as the Christian God, rather than making\nflat-out denials.\n\n"But isn\'t disbelieving in God the same thing as believing he doesn\'t exist?"\n\nDefinitely not.  Disbelief in a proposition means that one does not believe\nit to be true.  Not believing that something is true is not equivalent to\nbelieving that it is false; one may simply have no idea whether it is true or\nnot.  Which brings us to agnosticism.\n\n"What is agnosticism then?"\n\nThe term \'agnosticism\' was coined by Professor Huxley at a meeting of the\nMetaphysical Society in 1876.  He defined an agnostic as someone who\ndisclaimed ("strong") atheism and believed that the ultimate origin of things\nmust be some cause unknown and unknowable.\n\nThus an agnostic is someone who believes that we do not and cannot know for\nsure whether God exists.\n\nWords are slippery things, and language is inexact.  Beware of assuming that\nyou can work out someone\'s philosophical point of view simply from the fact\nthat she calls herself an atheist or an agnostic.  For example, many people\nuse agnosticism to mean "weak atheism", and use the word "atheism" only when\nreferring to "strong atheism".\n\nBeware also that because the word "atheist" has so many shades of meaning, it\nis very difficult to generalize about atheists.  About all you can say for\nsure is that atheists don\'t believe in God.  For example, it certainly isn\'t\nthe case that all atheists believe that science is the best way to find out\nabout the universe.\n\n"So what is the philosophical justification or basis for atheism?"\n\nThere are many philosophical justifications for atheism.  To find out why a\nparticular person chooses to be an atheist, it\'s best to ask her.\n\nMany atheists feel that the idea of God as presented by the major religions\nis essentially self-contradictory, and that it is logically impossible that\nsuch a God could exist.  Others are atheists through scepticism, because they\nsee no evidence that God exists.\n\n"But isn\'t it impossible to prove the non-existence of something?"\n\nThere are many counter-examples to such a statement.  For example, it is\nquite simple to prove that there does not exist a prime number larger than\nall other prime numbers.  Of course, this deals with well-defined objects\nobeying well-defined rules.  Whether Gods or universes are similarly\nwell-defined is a matter for debate.\n\nHowever, assuming for the moment that the existence of a God is not provably\nimpossible, there are still subtle reasons for assuming the non-existence of\nGod.  If we assume that something does not exist, it is always possible to\nshow that this assumption is invalid by finding a single counter-example.\n\nIf on the other hand we assume that something does exist, and if the thing in\nquestion is not provably impossible, showing that the assumption is invalid\nmay require an exhaustive search of all possible places where such a thing\nmight be found, to show that it isn\'t there.  Such an exhaustive search is\noften impractical or impossible.  There is no such problem with largest\nprimes, because we can prove that they don\'t exist.\n\nTherefore it is generally accepted that we must assume things do not exist\nunless we have evidence that they do.  Even theists follow this rule most of\nthe time; they don\'t believe in unicorns, even though they can\'t conclusively\nprove that no unicorns exist anywhere.\n\nTo assume that God exists is to make an assumption which probably cannot be\ntested.  We cannot make an exhaustive search of everywhere God might be to\nprove that he doesn\'t exist anywhere.  So the sceptical atheist assumes by\ndefault that God does not exist, since that is an assumption we can test.\n\nThose who profess strong atheism usually do not claim that no sort of God\nexists; instead, they generally restrict their claims so as to cover\nvarieties of God described by followers of various religions.  So whilst it\nmay be impossible to prove conclusively that no God exists, it may be\npossible to prove that (say) a God as described by a particular religious\nbook does not exist.  It may even be possible to prove that no God described\nby any present-day religion exists.\n\nIn practice, believing that no God described by any religion exists is very\nclose to believing that no God exists.  However, it is sufficiently different\nthat counter-arguments based on the impossibility of disproving every kind of\nGod are not really applicable.\n\n"But what if God is essentially non-detectable?"\n\nIf God interacts with our universe in any way, the effects of his interaction\nmust be measurable.  Hence his interaction with our universe must be\ndetectable.\n\nIf God is essentially non-detectable, it must therefore be the case that he\ndoes not interact with our universe in any way.  Many atheists would argue\nthat if God does not interact with our universe at all, it is of no\nimportance whether he exists or not.\n\nIf the Bible is to be believed, God was easily detectable by the Israelites.\nSurely he should still be detectable today?\n\nNote that I am not demanding that God interact in a scientifically\nverifiable, physical way.  It must surely be possible to perceive some\neffect caused by his presence, though; otherwise, how can I distinguish him\nfrom all the other things that don\'t exist?\n\n"OK, you may think there\'s a philosophical justification for atheism, but\n isn\'t it still a religious belief?"\n\nOne of the most common pastimes in philosophical discussion is "the\nredefinition game".  The cynical view of this game is as follows:\n\nPerson A begins by making a contentious statement.  When person B points out\nthat it can\'t be true, person A gradually re-defines the words he used in the\nstatement until he arrives at something person B is prepared to accept.  He\nthen records the statement, along with the fact that person B has agreed to\nit, and continues.  Eventually A uses the statement as an "agreed fact", but\nuses his original definitions of all the words in it rather than the obscure\nredefinitions originally needed to get B to agree to it.  Rather than be seen\nto be apparently inconsistent, B will tend to play along.\n\nThe point of this digression is that the answer to the question "Isn\'t\natheism a religious belief?" depends crucially upon what is meant by\n"religious".  "Religion" is generally characterized by belief in a superhuman\ncontrolling power -- especially in some sort of God -- and by faith and\nworship.\n\n[ It\'s worth pointing out in passing that some varieties of Buddhism are not\n  "religion" according to such a definition. ]\n\nAtheism is certainly not a belief in any sort of superhuman power, nor is it\ncategorized by worship in any meaningful sense.  Widening the definition of\n"religious" to encompass atheism tends to result in many other aspects of\nhuman behaviour suddenly becoming classed as "religious" as well -- such as\nscience, politics, and watching TV.\n\n"OK, so it\'s not a religion.  But surely belief in atheism (or science) is\n still just an act of faith, like religion is?"\n\nFirstly, it\'s not entirely clear that sceptical atheism is something one\nactually believes in.\n\nSecondly, it is necessary to adopt a number of core beliefs or assumptions to\nmake some sort of sense out of the sensory data we experience.  Most atheists\ntry to adopt as few core beliefs as possible; and even those are subject to\nquestioning if experience throws them into doubt.\n\nScience has a number of core assumptions.  For example, it is generally\nassumed that the laws of physics are the same for all observers.  These are\nthe sort of core assumptions atheists make.  If such basic ideas are called\n"acts of faith", then almost everything we know must be said to be based on\nacts of faith, and the term loses its meaning.\n\nFaith is more often used to refer to complete, certain belief in something.\nAccording to such a definition, atheism and science are certainly not acts of\nfaith.  Of course, individual atheists or scientists can be as dogmatic as\nreligious followers when claiming that something is "certain".  This is not a\ngeneral tendency, however; there are many atheists who would be reluctant to\nstate with certainty that the universe exists.\n\nFaith is also used to refer to belief without supporting evidence or proof.\nSceptical atheism certainly doesn\'t fit that definition, as sceptical atheism\nhas no beliefs.  Strong atheism is closer, but still doesn\'t really match, as\neven the most dogmatic atheist will tend to refer to experimental data (or\nthe lack of it) when asserting that God does not exist.\n\n"If atheism is not religious, surely it\'s anti-religious?"\n\nIt is an unfortunate human tendency to label everyone as either "for" or\n"against", "friend" or "enemy".  The truth is not so clear-cut.\n\nAtheism is the position that runs logically counter to theism; in that sense,\nit can be said to be "anti-religion".  However, when religious believers\nspeak of atheists being "anti-religious" they usually mean that the atheists\nhave some sort of antipathy or hatred towards theists.\n\nThis categorization of atheists as hostile towards religion is quite unfair.\nAtheist attitudes towards theists in fact cover a broad spectrum.\n\nMost atheists take a "live and let live" attitude.  Unless questioned, they\nwill not usually mention their atheism, except perhaps to close friends.  Of\ncourse, this may be in part because atheism is not "socially acceptable" in\nmany countries.\n\nA few atheists are quite anti-religious, and may even try to "convert" others\nwhen possible.  Historically, such anti-religious atheists have made little\nimpact on society outside the Eastern Bloc countries.\n\n(To digress slightly: the Soviet Union was originally dedicated to separation\nof church and state, just like the USA.  Soviet citizens were legally free to\nworship as they wished.  The institution of "state atheism" came about when\nStalin took control of the Soviet Union and tried to destroy the churches in\norder to gain complete power over the population.)\n\nSome atheists are quite vocal about their beliefs, but only where they see\nreligion encroaching on matters which are not its business -- for example,\nthe government of the USA.  Such individuals are usually concerned that\nchurch and state should remain separate.\n\n"But if you don\'t allow religion to have a say in the running of the state,\n surely that\'s the same as state atheism?"\n\nThe principle of the separation of church and state is that the state shall\nnot legislate concerning matters of religious belief.  In particular, it\nmeans not only that the state cannot promote one religion at the expense of\nanother, but also that it cannot promote any belief which is religious in\nnature.\n\nReligions can still have a say in discussion of purely secular matters.  For\nexample, religious believers have historically been responsible for\nencouraging many political reforms.  Even today, many organizations\ncampaigning for an increase in spending on foreign aid are founded as\nreligious campaigns.  So long as they campaign concerning secular matters,\nand so long as they do not discriminate on religious grounds, most atheists\nare quite happy to see them have their say.\n\n"What about prayer in schools? If there\'s no God, why do you care if people\n pray?"\n\nBecause people who do pray are voters and lawmakers, and tend to do things\nthat those who don\'t pray can\'t just ignore.  Also, Christian prayer in\nschools is intimidating to non-Christians, even if they are told that they\nneed not join in.  The diversity of religious and non-religious belief means\nthat it is impossible to formulate a meaningful prayer that will be\nacceptable to all those present at any public event.\n\nAlso, non-prayers tend to have friends and family who pray.  It is reasonable\nto care about friends and family wasting their time, even without other\nmotives.\n\n"You mentioned Christians who campaign for increased foreign aid.  What about\n atheists?  Why aren\'t there any atheist charities or hospitals?  Don\'t\n atheists object to the religious charities?"\n\nThere are many charities without religious purpose that atheists can\ncontribute to.  Some atheists contribute to religious charities as well, for\nthe sake of the practical good they do.  Some atheists even do voluntary work\nfor charities founded on a theistic basis.\n\nMost atheists seem to feel that atheism isn\'t worth shouting about in\nconnection with charity.  To them, atheism is just a simple, obvious everyday\nmatter, and so is charity.  Many feel that it\'s somewhat cheap, not to say\nself-righteous, to use simple charity as an excuse to plug a particular set\nof religious beliefs.\n\nTo "weak" atheists, building a hospital to say "I do not believe in God" is a\nrather strange idea; it\'s rather like holding a party to say "Today is not my\nbirthday".  Why the fuss?  Atheism is rarely evangelical.\n\n"You said atheism isn\'t anti-religious.  But is it perhaps a backlash against\n one\'s upbringing, a way of rebelling?"\n\nPerhaps it is, for some.  But many people have parents who do not attempt to\nforce any religious (or atheist) ideas upon them, and many of those people\nchoose to call themselves atheists.\n\nIt\'s also doubtless the case that some religious people chose religion as a\nbacklash against an atheist upbringing, as a way of being different.  On the\nother hand, many people choose religion as a way of conforming to the\nexpectations of others.\n\nOn the whole, we can\'t conclude much about whether atheism or religion are\nbacklash or conformism; although in general, people have a tendency to go\nalong with a group rather than act or think independently.\n\n"How do atheists differ from religious people?"\n\nThey don\'t believe in God.  That\'s all there is to it.\n\nAtheists may listen to heavy metal -- backwards, even -- or they may prefer a\nVerdi Requiem, even if they know the words.  They may wear Hawaiian shirts,\nthey may dress all in black, they may even wear orange robes.  (Many\nBuddhists lack a belief in any sort of God.)  Some atheists even carry a copy\nof the Bible around -- for arguing against, of course!\n\nWhoever you are, the chances are you have met several atheists without\nrealising it.  Atheists are usually unexceptional in behaviour and\nappearance.\n\n"Unexceptional? But aren\'t atheists less moral than religious people?"\n\nThat depends.  If you define morality as obedience to God, then of course\natheists are less moral as they don\'t obey any God.  But usually when one\ntalks of morality, one talks of what is acceptable ("right") and unacceptable\n("wrong") behaviour within society.\n\nHumans are social animals, and to be maximally successful they must\nco-operate with each other.  This is a good enough reason to discourage most\natheists from "anti-social" or "immoral" behaviour, purely for the purposes\nof self-preservation.\n\nMany atheists behave in a "moral" or "compassionate" way simply because they\nfeel a natural tendency to empathize with other humans.  So why do they care\nwhat happens to others?  They don\'t know, they simply are that way.\n\nNaturally, there are some people who behave "immorally" and try to use\natheism to justify their actions.  However, there are equally many people who\nbehave "immorally" and then try to use religious beliefs to justify their\nactions.  For example:\n\n  "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Jesus Christ\n   came into the world to save sinners...  But for that very reason, I was\n   shown mercy so that in me...  Jesus Christ might display His unlimited\n   patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive\n   eternal life.  Now to the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God,\n   be honor and glory forever and ever."\n\nThe above quote is from a statement made to the court on February 17th 1992\nby Jeffrey Dahmer, the notorious cannibal serial killer of Milwaukee,\nWisconsin.  It seems that for every atheist mass-murderer, there is a\nreligious mass-murderer.  But what of more trivial morality?\n\n   A survey conducted by the Roper Organization found that behavior\n   deteriorated after "born again" experiences.  While only 4% of respondents\n   said they had driven intoxicated before being "born again," 12% had done\n   so after conversion.  Similarly, 5% had used illegal drugs before\n   conversion, 9% after.  Two percent admitted to engaging in illicit sex\n   before salvation; 5% after.\n                                ["Freethought Today", September 1991, p. 12.]\n\nSo it seems that at best, religion does not have a monopoly on moral\nbehaviour.\n\n"Is there such a thing as atheist morality?"\n\nIf you mean "Is there such a thing as morality for atheists?", then the\nanswer is yes, as explained above.  Many atheists have ideas about morality\nwhich are at least as strong as those held by religious people.\n\nIf you mean "Does atheism have a characteristic moral code?", then the answer\nis no.  Atheism by itself does not imply anything much about how a person\nwill behave.  Most atheists follow many of the same "moral rules" as theists,\nbut for different reasons.  Atheists view morality as something created by\nhumans, according to the way humans feel the world \'ought\' to work, rather\nthan seeing it as a set of rules decreed by a supernatural being.\n\n"Then aren\'t atheists just theists who are denying God?"\n\nA study by the Freedom From Religion Foundation found that over 90% of the\natheists who responded became atheists because religion did not work for\nthem.  They had found that religious beliefs were fundamentally incompatible\nwith what they observed around them.\n\nAtheists are not unbelievers through ignorance or denial; they are\nunbelievers through choice.  The vast majority of them have spent time\nstudying one or more religions, sometimes in very great depth.  They have\nmade a careful and considered decision to reject religious beliefs.\n\nThis decision may, of course, be an inevitable consequence of that\nindividual\'s personality.  For a naturally sceptical person, the choice\nof atheism is often the only one that makes sense, and hence the only\nchoice that person can honestly make.\n\n"But don\'t atheists want to believe in God?"\n\nAtheists live their lives as though there is nobody watching over them.  Many\nof them have no desire to be watched over, no matter how good-natured the\n"Big Brother" figure might be.\n\nSome atheists would like to be able to believe in God -- but so what? Should\none believe things merely because one wants them to be true?  The risks of\nsuch an approach should be obvious.  Atheists often decide that wanting to\nbelieve something is not enough; there must be evidence for the belief.\n\n"But of course atheists see no evidence for the existence of God -- they are\n unwilling in their souls to see!"\n\nMany, if not most atheists were previously religious.  As has been explained\nabove, the vast majority have seriously considered the possibility that God\nexists.  Many atheists have spent time in prayer trying to reach God.\n\nOf course, it is true that some atheists lack an open mind; but assuming that\nall atheists are biased and insincere is offensive and closed-minded.\nComments such as "Of course God is there, you just aren\'t looking properly"\nare likely to be viewed as patronizing.\n\nCertainly, if you wish to engage in philosophical debate with atheists it is\nvital that you give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are\nbeing sincere if they say that they have searched for God.  If you are not\nwilling to believe that they are basically telling the truth, debate is\nfutile.\n\n"Isn\'t the whole of life completely pointless to an atheist?"\n\nMany atheists live a purposeful life.  They decide what they think gives\nmeaning to life, and they pursue those goals.  They try to make their lives\ncount, not by wishing for eternal life, but by having an influence on other\npeople who will live on.  For example, an atheist may dedicate his life to\npolitical reform, in the hope of leaving his mark on history.\n\nIt is a natural human tendency to look for "meaning" or "purpose" in random\nevents.  However, it is by no means obvious that "life" is the sort of thing\nthat has a "meaning".\n\nTo put it another way, not everything which looks like a question is actually\na sensible thing to ask.  Some atheists believe that asking "What is the\nmeaning of life?" is as silly as asking "What is the meaning of a cup of\ncoffee?".  They believe that life has no purpose or meaning, it just is.\n\n"So how do atheists find comfort in time of danger?"\n\nThere are many ways of obtaining comfort; from family, friends, or even pets.\nOr on a less spiritual level, from food or drink or TV.\n\nThat may sound rather an empty and vulnerable way to face danger, but so\nwhat?  Should individuals believe in things because they are comforting, or\nshould they face reality no matter how harsh it might be?\n\nIn the end, it\'s a decision for the individual concerned.  Most atheists are\nunable to believe something they would not otherwise believe merely because\nit makes them feel comfortable.  They put truth before comfort, and consider\nthat if searching for truth sometimes makes them feel unhappy, that\'s just\nhard luck.\n\n"Don\'t atheists worry that they might suddenly be shown to be wrong?"\n\nThe short answer is "No, do you?"\n\nMany atheists have been atheists for years.  They have encountered many\narguments and much supposed evidence for the existence of God, but they have\nfound all of it to be invalid or inconclusive.\n\nThousands of years of religious belief haven\'t resulted in any good proof of\nthe existence of God.  Atheists therefore tend to feel that they are unlikely\nto be proved wrong in the immediate future, and they stop worrying about it.\n\n"So why should theists question their beliefs? Don\'t the same arguments\n apply?"\n\nNo, because the beliefs being questioned are not similar.  Weak atheism is\nthe sceptical "default position" to take; it asserts nothing.  Strong atheism\nis a negative belief.  Theism is a very strong positive belief.\n\nAtheists sometimes also argue that theists should question their beliefs\nbecause of the very real harm they can cause -- not just to the believers,\nbut to everyone else.\n\n"What sort of harm?"\n\nReligion represents a huge financial and work burden on mankind.  It\'s not\njust a matter of religious believers wasting their money on church buildings;\nthink of all the time and effort spent building churches, praying, and so on.\nImagine how that effort could be better spent.\n\nMany theists believe in miracle healing.  There have been plenty of instances\nof ill people being "healed" by a priest, ceasing to take the medicines\nprescribed to them by doctors, and dying as a result.  Some theists have died\nbecause they have refused blood transfusions on religious grounds.\n\nIt is arguable that the Catholic Church\'s opposition to birth control -- and\ncondoms in particular -- is increasing the problem of overpopulation in many\nthird-world countries and contributing to the spread of AIDS world-wide.\n\nReligious believers have been known to murder their children rather than\nallow their children to become atheists or marry someone of a different\nreligion.\n\n"Those weren\'t REAL believers.  They just claimed to be believers as some\n sort of excuse."\n\nWhat makes a real believer?  There are so many One True Religions it\'s hard\nto tell.  Look at Christianity: there are many competing groups, all\nconvinced that they are the only true Christians.  Sometimes they even fight\nand kill each other.  How is an atheist supposed to decide who\'s a REAL\nChristian and who isn\'t, when even the major Christian churches like the\nCatholic Church and the Church of England can\'t decide amongst themselves?\n\nIn the end, most atheists take a pragmatic view, and decide that anyone who\ncalls himself a Christian, and uses Christian belief or dogma to justify his\nactions, should be considered a Christian.  Maybe some of those Christians\nare just perverting Christian teaching for their own ends -- but surely if\nthe Bible can be so readily used to support un-Christian acts it can\'t be\nmuch of a moral code? If the Bible is the word of God, why couldn\'t he have\nmade it less easy to misinterpret? And how do you know that your beliefs\naren\'t a perversion of what your God intended?\n\nIf there is no single unambiguous interpretation of the Bible, then why\nshould an atheist take one interpretation over another just on your say-so?\nSorry, but if someone claims that he believes in Jesus and that he murdered\nothers because Jesus and the Bible told him to do so, we must call him a\nChristian.\n\n"Obviously those extreme sorts of beliefs should be questioned.  But since\n nobody has ever proved that God does not exist, it must be very unlikely\n that more basic religious beliefs, shared by all faiths, are nonsense."\n\nThat does not hold, because as was pointed out at the start of this dialogue,\npositive assertions concerning the existence of entities are inherently much\nharder to disprove than negative ones.  Nobody has ever proved that unicorns\ndon\'t exist, but that doesn\'t make it unlikely that they are myths.\n\nIt is therefore much more valid to hold a negative assertion by default than\nit is to hold a positive assertion by default.  Of course, "weak" atheists\nwould argue that asserting nothing is better still.\n\n"Well, if atheism\'s so great, why are there so many theists?"\n\nUnfortunately, the popularity of a belief has little to do with how "correct"\nit is, or whether it "works"; consider how many people believe in astrology,\ngraphology, and other pseudo-sciences.\n\nMany atheists feel that it is simply a human weakness to want to believe in\ngods.  Certainly in many primitive human societies, religion allows the\npeople to deal with phenomena that they do not adequately understand.\n\nOf course, there\'s more to religion than that.  In the industrialized world,\nwe find people believing in religious explanations of phenomena even when\nthere are perfectly adequate natural explanations.  Religion may have started\nas a means of attempting to explain the world, but nowadays it serves other\npurposes as well.\n\n"But so many cultures have developed religions.  Surely that must say\n something?"\n\nNot really.  Most religions are only superficially similar; for example, it\'s\nworth remembering that religions such as Buddhism and Taoism lack any sort of\nconcept of God in the Christian sense.\n\nOf course, most religions are quick to denounce competing religions, so it\'s\nrather odd to use one religion to try and justify another.\n\n"What about all the famous scientists and philosophers who have concluded\n that God exists?"\n\nFor every scientist or philosopher who believes in a god, there is one who\ndoes not.  Besides, as has already been pointed out, the truth of a belief is\nnot determined by how many people believe it.  Also, it is important to\nrealize that atheists do not view famous scientists or philosophers in the\nsame way that theists view their religious leaders.\n\nA famous scientist is only human; she may be an expert in some fields, but\nwhen she talks about other matters her words carry no special weight.  Many\nrespected scientists have made themselves look foolish by speaking on\nsubjects which lie outside their fields of expertise.\n\n"So are you really saying that widespread belief in religion indicates\n nothing?"\n\nNot entirely.  It certainly indicates that the religion in question has\nproperties which have helped it so spread so far.\n\nThe theory of memetics talks of "memes" -- sets of ideas which can propagate\nthemselves between human minds, by analogy with genes.  Some atheists view\nreligions as sets of particularly successful parasitic memes, which spread by\nencouraging their hosts to convert others.  Some memes avoid destruction by\ndiscouraging believers from questioning doctrine, or by using peer pressure\nto keep one-time believers from admitting that they were mistaken.  Some\nreligious memes even encourage their hosts to destroy hosts controlled by\nother memes.\n\nOf course, in the memetic view there is no particular virtue associated with\nsuccessful propagation of a meme.  Religion is not a good thing because of\nthe number of people who believe it, any more than a disease is a good thing\nbecause of the number of people who have caught it.\n\n"Even if religion is not entirely true, at least it puts across important\n messages.  What are the fundamental messages of atheism?"\n\nThere are many important ideas atheists promote.  The following are just a\nfew of them; don\'t be surprised to see ideas which are also present in some\nreligions.\n\n   There is more to moral behaviour than mindlessly following rules.\n\n   Be especially sceptical of positive claims.\n\n   If you want your life to have some sort of meaning, it\'s up to you to\n   find it.\n\n   Search for what is true, even if it makes you uncomfortable.\n\n   Make the most of your life, as it\'s probably the only one you\'ll have.\n\n   It\'s no good relying on some external power to change you; you must change\n   yourself.\n\n   Just because something\'s popular doesn\'t mean it\'s good.\n\n   If you must assume something, assume something it\'s easy to test.\n\n   Don\'t believe things just because you want them to be true.\n\nand finally (and most importantly):\n\n   All beliefs should be open to question.\n\nThanks for taking the time to read this article.\n\n\nmathew\n\n-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----\nVersion: 2.2\n\niQCVAgUBK8AjRXzXN+VrOblFAQFSbwP+MHePY4g7ge8Mo5wpsivX+kHYYxMErFAO\n7ltVtMVTu66Nz6sBbPw9QkbjArbY/S2sZ9NF5htdii0R6SsEyPl0R6/9bV9okE/q\nnihqnzXE8pGvLt7tlez4EoeHZjXLEFrdEyPVayT54yQqGb4HARbOEHDcrTe2atmP\nq0Z4hSSPpAU=\n=q2V5\n-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----\n\nFor information about PGP 2.2, send mail to pgpinfo@mantis.co.uk.\nÿ\n',
  'From: clavazzi@nyx.cs.du.edu (The_Doge)\nSubject: What we can learn from the Waco wackos\nOrganization: Nyx, Public Access Unix @ U. of Denver Math/CS dept.\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 34\n\n\n\tThere are actually a few important things we can glean from this mess:\n1)\tWhen they start getting desperate for an answer to the question: "What\'s\nit all about. Mr. Natural?", pinkboys will buy darn near *anything*, which\nmeans:\n2)\tThere\'s still plenty of $$$$ to be made in the False Jesus business\nby enterprising SubGenii.  Just remember that:\n3)\tOnce you\'ve separated the pinks from their green, don\'t blow it all\non automatic weapons from Mexico.  Put it in a Swiss bank account.  Smile a\nlot.  Have your flunkies hand out flowers in airports.  The Con will just\nshrug you off as long as:\n4)\tYou never, never, NEVER start to believe your own bulldada!  If\n"David Koresh" hand\'t started swallowing his own "apocalypso now" crap, he\'d\nbe working crossword puzzles in the Bahamas today instead of contributing to\nthe mulch layer in Waco.  This is because:\n5)\tWhen you start shooting at cops, they\'re likely to shoot back.  And \nmost of \'em are better shots than you are.\n\n\tIn short:\n\t- P.T. Barnum was right \n\t\tand\n\t- Stupidity is self-correcting\nThus endeth the lesson.\n\n\t************************************************************\n\t*  \tThe_Doge of South St. Louis\t\t\t   *\n\t*\t\tDobbs-Approved Media Conspirator(tm)\t   *\n\t*\t"One Step Beyond"  -- Sundays, 3 to 5 pm\t   *\n\t*\t\t88.1 FM\t\tSt. Louis Community Radio  *\n\t*  "You\'ll pay to know what you *really* think!"           *\n\t*\t\t\t-- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs"\t\t   *\n\t************************************************************\n\n\n',
  'From: dewey@risc.sps.mot.com (Dewey Henize)\nSubject: Re: The Inimitable Rushdie\nOrganization: Motorola, Inc. -- Austin,TX\nLines: 43\nNNTP-Posting-Host: rtfm.sps.mot.com\n\n\nIs it just me, or has this part gotten beyond useful?\n\nGregg is not, as I understand his posts, giving any support to the bounty\non Rushdie\'s life.  If that\'s correct, end of one point...\n\nGregg is using the concept of legal in a way most Westerners don\'t accept.\nHis comments about Islamic Law I think make a great deal of sense to him,\nand are even making a _little_ sense to me now - if a person is a member\nof a group (religion or whatever) they bind themselves to follow the ways\nof the group within the bounds of what the group requires as a minimum.\nThe big bone of contention here that I\'m picking up is that in the West\nwe have secular governments that maintain, more or less, a level of control\nand of requirements outside the requirements of optional groups.  I think\nthe majority of us reading this thread are in tune (note - I didn\'t say\n"in agreement") with the idea that you are finally responsible to the\nsecular government,  and within that to the group or groups a person may\nhave chosen.\n\nWith that in mind, it not possible under secular law ("legally" as most\npeople would define the term) to hold a person to a particular group once\nthey decide to separate from it.  Only if the secular authorities agree\nthat there is a requirement of some sort (contractual, etc) is there\nany secular _enforcement_ allowed by a group to a group member or past\ngroup member.\n\nA religion can, and often does, believe in and require additional duties\nof a group member.  And it can enforce the fulfillment of those duties\nin many ways - ostracism is common for example.  But the limit comes when\nthe enforcement would impose unwanted and/or unaccepted onus on a person\n_in conflict with secular law_.\n\nThis is the difference.  In a theocracy, the requirements of the secular\nauthorities are, by definition, congruent with the religious authorities.\nOutside a theocracy, this is not _necessarily_ true.  Religious requirements\n_may_ coincide or may not.  Similiarly, religious consequences _may_ or\nmay not coincide with secular consequences (if any).\n\nRegards,\n\nDew\n-- \nDewey Henize Sys/Net admin RISC hardware (512) 891-8637 pager 928-7447 x 9637\n',
  "From: dmcgee@uluhe.soest.hawaii.edu (Don McGee)\nSubject: Federal Hearing\nOriginator: dmcgee@uluhe\nOrganization: School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology\nDistribution: usa\nLines: 10\n\n\nFact or rumor....?  Madalyn Murray O'Hare an atheist who eliminated the\nuse of the bible reading and prayer in public schools 15 years ago is now\ngoing to appear before the FCC with a petition to stop the reading of the\nGospel on the airways of America.  And she is also campaigning to remove\nChristmas programs, songs, etc from the public schools.  If it is true\nthen mail to Federal Communications Commission 1919 H Street Washington DC\n20054 expressing your opposition to her request.  Reference Petition number\n\n2493.\n",
  'From: healta@saturn.wwc.edu (Tammy R Healy)\nSubject: Re: who are we to judge, Bobby?\nLines: 31\nOrganization: Walla Walla College\nLines: 31\n\nIn article <kmr4.1572.734847158@po.CWRU.edu> kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan) writes:\n>From: kmr4@po.CWRU.edu (Keith M. Ryan)\n>Subject: Re: who are we to judge, Bobby?\n>Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1993 04:12:38 GMT\n>\n>(S.N. Mozumder ) writes:\n>>(TAMMY R HEALY) writes:\n>>>I would like to take the liberty to quote from a Christian writer named \n>>>Ellen G. White.  I hope that what she said will help you to edit your \n>>>remarks in this group in the future.\n>>>\n>>>"Do not set yourself as a standard.  Do not make your opinions, your views \n>>>of duty, your interpretations of scripture, a criterion for others and in \n>>>your heart condemn them if they do not come up to your ideal."\n>>>                         Thoughts Fromthe Mount of Blessing p. 124\n>>\n>>Point?\n>\n>\tPoint: you have taken it upon yourself to judge others; when only \n>God is the true judge.\n>\n>---\n>\n>   Only when the Sun starts to orbit the Earth will I accept the Bible. \n>        \n>\nI agree totally with you!  Amen!  You stated it better and in less world \nthan I did.\n\nTammy\n\n',
  'Organization: City University of New York\nFrom: <KEVXU@CUNYVM.BITNET>\nSubject:    re: ABORTION and private health insurance\nLines: 22\n\n>In <1qid8s$ik0@agate.berkeley.edu> dzkriz@ocf.berkeley.edu (Dennis Kriz)\nwrites:\n\n  >I recently have become aware that my health insurance includes\n  >coverage for abortion.  I strongly oppose abortion for reasons of\n  >conscience.  It disturbs me deeply to know that my premiums may\n  >be being used to pay for that which I sincerely believe is\n  >murder.  I would like to request that I be exempted from abortion\n  >coverage with my health premiums reduced accordingly.\n\nI share Dennis\'s outrage over a similar manner.  I have recently become aware\nthat my health insurance includes coverage for illness and injuries\nsuffered by Christians.  It disturbs me deeply to know that my premiums\nmay be used to pay for that which I sincerely believe is divine\npunishment for their sinful conduct.  In addition these folks are able to\navail thems