The problem with stuff like the 10 commandments in front of a court house, is that stuff like that is very prone to actually being taken seriously by some.
Some imagery on old pots in museums or restaurants is one thing.
Making a rather bold insinuation that a COURT OF LAW may be somehow operating under Biblical authority, is something completely different.
So I take it that you have no problem with the 10 commandments being posted in a public park then? After all, I doubt the no littering signs are operating under the 10 commandments. And on the reverse, I doubt you are one of those liberal Muslim apologists who say it's okay for a Sharia court to operate in the UK.
Fine if they don't, but anyone putting something like that in front of a court house should be aware of the implications of it, and leave it as a form of provocation at best.
When the Bible and Christian imagery have become mere "cultural artifacts" in our society, then there would be no problem.
But there you are wrong, my friend. Regardless of one's adoption of the religions themselves, our values today have been shaped by a Judeo-Christian cultural heritage. If the majority of this nation's founders and citizens had been Hindus or Muslims, do you believe the same ideals would be represented in our society? Certainly many similarities would exist, but there would be vast differences in the evolution of our present culture vs. this hypothetical one. Our laws today, whether you like it or not, have been influenced by the 10 Ccommandments.
As for respect - there is no need at all to personally abuse people for their beliefs, BUT: if someone finds a belief stupid, they should be free to say so. It'd be a no-go in a friendly table debate among friends, but shouldn't be a taboo on an open discussion forum.
I don't see why "offense" should be something one should care greatly about when making statements. I simply don't.
If an insult is aimed at some acquaintance or loved one, fine, I can see that - but we also have a tendency to attach our egos to idols, authority figures or worldviews and get hurt whenever someone "insults" them, and I don't see any reason to show regard for that.
I believe my first post said it was okay to criticize another's religion. Just be respectful. Simply saying, "Baptists are crazy, overzealous, Bible-thumping bigots" is not appropriate. However, if one feels this way about Baptists, they need simply state, "I disagree with the overly-literal interpretations of the Bible utilized by Baptists, in addition to their rigid mindset and intolerance of others' ideas." See the difference?
The way I see it, religious people either think they have valid reasons to adhere to their beliefs, or they consciously believe in something they know is completely ridiculous on a rational basis.
The first group should be laughing at the ridicule; the second can still say "talk to the hand; the face realizes that".
The third group that tends to make stupid arguments and show complete ignorance of rationality or (common) knowledge, doesn't deserve much extra respect for their views imo.
Haven't seen any of those on here, though... or, there was a guy who PMed me to stop saying "god damn" on his thread because it was blasphemous... so if he comes here... LOL.
I'm glad you have a way you see it. That's the value of opinions, and opinions are the reason I established this thread. However, you oversimplify, and as our discussion was headed in the politics thread, you tend to disregard many of my valid arguments and beat other items to a pulp. Let me finally reiterate my view from there without going into greater depth at this point:
There are multiple ways to view the universe, not just the skeptic's way. While science leads to greater understanding of how it all workds, it is not the only way to appreciate the world. Take art. What is beautiful for one may be hideous to another. To the one who finds the art beautiful, that is his or her truth, and all scientific studies could not disprove that person's understanding of what makes something beautiful.
Take illness. Scientific studies have allowed physicians to treat and cure countless afflictions. But when a doctor asks, "On a scale of 1 to 10, how much pain are you in?" are they requiring scientific evidence to back it up? If their screenings find nothing physically wrong with the person, or at least nothing that should warrant a severe pain, do they tell the patient, "You're just delusional; you're not really in that much pain"? Of course not.
Our understanding of intuition is quite limited. Even barring any supernatural reasons, when someone receives intuition later proved correct, how do we react? "It's pure coincidence," you might say. Or were they perceiving details and reasoning them out without conscious effort? We may not be able to scientifically prove how they came to that conclusion, but that does not necessarily prove the conclusion as coincidental.
Occam's razor suggests that we accept theories that require the fewest assumptions. Nevertheless, when we accept a theory as likely truth, we do not simply discard all other theories. There are competing theories to define the "Theory of Everything." I am not the one to tell which makes the fewest assumptions, but let it be said that there are certainly stronger and weaker theories. Yet, in the end, we may find that one of the less popular theories is closer to the truth.
The same can be said of religion. Assumptions are made, and it relies on subjetive data for the seeker to arrive at his or her conclusions. But just like art, abstract concepts, illness, intuition, and so many other things out there, simply lacking evidence to prove it true does not make something false. And just like so many things, there is more than one way to test for truth. It simply is the case that not all things are as easily demonstrated to the rest of the world.
Now twooffour, we have had a tendency to butt heads. I probably will ignore your future posts simply for the sake of keeping the peace and preserving a thread that I feel deserves a place here. But if you are to proudly assert how insensitive he is to the rest of the world, don't be so dang sensitive when anyone makes a lighthearted jab or disagrees with you. You sure get worked up over little things, even when meant in good fun and even if only directed at what you believe as opposed to you personally. Lighten up.
The beauty of opinions is that they are varied. Just because you can state your opinion with passion and many words does not make it correct. But if you want people to listen, persuasion is a far more powerful tool than verbally clubbing us as if you were an arctic seal poacher. And respecting other's opinions though you disagree might earn you a little respect in return.
Hope to hear more from you, but like I said, I will probably not reply. No offense. It's not like I hate your guts. I just don't want another brilliant thread of mine locked by Big Mama.