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As for God deceiving us, mans belief that we are so important to Him that He would deceive us is equal to the amount of importance many religious extremists place on God putting man above all else. Man does not need to be deceived by God, but without God man is willingly deceived.
My opinion only, God loves us -but, we were only created to tend the Garden. We tried to make ourselves more important than that. I can't help but believe that religious extremists are as useless to "Elohim" as those that argue against His existence.
I'm not trying to preach here, just allowing knowledge of where I come from and some insight to my studies. And please don't take this post as any judgment on you or others, it's not. I do accept that my posts subject me to the judgment of those reading them.
Some of my Christian friends view Atheists as "angry" and often use terms like venomous or immoral. I'm glad most Atheists and most Theists aren't that vile and unsocial in their relations with each other!
Any "ad hominem" you would accuse me of would also have to be applied equally to yourself. Now personally I have not taken any of your statements as insulting if you feel insulted by any of my remarks, what can I say but sorry no insult intended!
As for case study of the Tea Party, again sorry, I am a spectator not a member (though someday I will most likely lend my support in someway). In regards to your comments on "evangelical fundamentalist", All Atheists and Theists seem to have conflicting ideas amongst themselves and in their own ranks. It appears to be common to all people. Yet that conflict seems to assist people in keeping people from becoming too extreme in one direction or another. "Cognitive dissonance" may be good to a certain level, I don't know just a thought.
As for secular decisions, the world is full of underpinnings from both Atheist and Theist input along with many other realms of thought and persuasion. But to blame all Atheist or all Theists for the decisions made by individuals in that mix is not reasonable. If reason is what you desire reason this particular issue with the secular school board personally or contact the Dept. of Education personally rather than commit Atheist support to an outside issue. I offer the same reasoning to any Christians wanting to throw support in. That said dialog amongst individuals on these outside issues is expected and hopefully productive.
Well, back to the garden. Enjoy the day! (You might even want to seize the day).
If you are any part Native American as I am you will know that warriors have often made monuments and as a Native American you also know the original natives had no belief in anyone owning the land. But if you wish to wet yourself go ahead. So please continue trolling (as you call it) here or go elsewhere as you wish.
I agree dialog is difficult and possibly impossible with some people, but if we hide behind the "let's agree to disagree" philosophy we will have a nicely compromised resentment. Resentments are what keeps Atheists and Theists from healthy dialog. Let's each strive personally to do a little better and if an agitator/interlocutor tries to stir things up call them down whether Atheist or Theist.
As for win/win lose/lose that allows the idea of only 2 participants. I am concerned there may be a 3rd element that is comfortable causing strife between Atheists and Theists. I am not talking about Agnostics so much as those that may claim a Faith or claim no Faith while actually just acting out--- Agitators would be the definition.
1) Do you think it is possible to teach someone who is angry with you not to be angry?
No! Anger is part of humanity and perhaps some of the animal world. But to teach each other not to display our anger inappropriately is not only possible I don't think we can be free thinkers and receivers of shared knowledge without that.
2) If there is anger present in a situation, is the best way of diffusing this anger the one that comes most naturally to us?
A) If I am at work and someone upsets me to the point that my 1st thought might be violent--- No! i must change my nature.
B) If I am being attacked by an intruder in my home---Yes! But I must be able to harness that anger which is again changing my nature!
Personally, I see too many people addressing Faith issues with meaningless anger. And I mean that for those that claim Faith and those that don't. "Anger, but sin not", is a bit of Scripture I try to hold to. That does not remove passionate dialog with spirited substance. By the way, I have seen other posts with Scripture so I hope it is acceptable if I use a small amount.
As for the grand apology, sounds like the same stuff that comes from political organizations when they want to white wash an issue. Sorry but they threw the staff member under the bus. Talk about cognitive dissonance.
This is not an attack on you Steve, and correct me as I'm sure you will but; your authoritative assumption that you answered all my questions followed by asking "what else would you like to go over again?" suggests a deep bedded arrogance probably perpetrated by low self esteem. I can tell your intelligence is mid level no genius traits showing and I see this a lot with Atheists and Agnostics. My question is; <<< Why not be esteemed without the arrogance? >>>
(o; I liked your little smiley man thought I'd share one to.