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  1. #1 Rel: Moral discussion offshoot. 
    Senior Member MrsSmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    If it wasn't for religion, we would not be fighting two wars right now.[/COLOR]
    That's probably true...because we'd have killed each other off long ago without the civilizing influence of religion.


    {Not trying to mess up the thread, AA, but beliefs are one thing, rewriting history is another.}
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Ape Articulate_Ape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    That's probably true...because we'd have killed each other off long ago without the civilizing influence of religion.


    {Not trying to mess up the thread, AA, but beliefs are one thing, rewriting history is another.}
    Discussion is fine, Mrs. Smith. I think your assertion is a little hard to prove since we will probably never know. However, I would say the case hampshirebrit makes regarding the negative impact the big 3 religions have had materially throughout there respective histories is pretty well known.
    "The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    That's probably true...because we'd have killed each other off long ago without the civilizing influence of religion.
    It's only that apocalyptic weaponry has not yet fallen into messianic hands that humanity has not yet self terminated. It looks like that will soon change, very soon.

    Take religion out of the equation and most of the current wars would become territorial disputes, i.e. soluble by locking the protagonists in a room with only some chairs, a table, a map and some crayons to keep them company until they come to terms.

    Add religion to conflict and you have war without end. Add nukes to religious conflict and the war will end, and humanity will end the same day.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member The Night Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    It's only that apocalyptic weaponry has not yet fallen into messianic hands that humanity has not yet self terminated. It looks like that will soon change, very soon.

    Take religion out of the equation and most of the current wars would become territorial disputes, i.e. soluble by locking the protagonists in a room with only some chairs, a table, a map and some crayons to keep them company until they come to terms.

    Add religion to conflict and you have war without end. Add nukes to religious conflict and the war will end, and humanity will end the same day.
    One of the best posts ever!
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    It's only that apocalyptic weaponry has not yet fallen into messianic hands that humanity has not yet self terminated. It looks like that will soon change, very soon.

    Take religion out of the equation and most of the current wars would become territorial disputes, i.e. soluble by locking the protagonists in a room with only some chairs, a table, a map and some crayons to keep them company until they come to terms.

    Add religion to conflict and you have war without end. Add nukes to religious conflict and the war will end, and humanity will end the same day.
    This is true. Does anyone think that Osama bin Ladin would hesitate to nuke cities if he had the capability? Would his theism hold him back?
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflight View Post
    This is true. Does anyone think that Osama bin Ladin would hesitate to nuke cities if he had the capability? Would his theism hold him back?
    It hasn't held him back from killing tens of thousands of fellow Muslims.
    In most sports, cold-cocking an opposing player repeatedly in the face with a series of gigantic Slovakian uppercuts would get you a multi-game suspension without pay.

    In hockey, it means you have to sit in the penalty box for five minutes.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member MrsSmith's Avatar
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    http://www.amazon.com/Christianity-C..._bxgy_b_text_b

    Because I've pointed out all the multitude of good done by Christians historically quite a few times already, and have also repeatedly pointed out the current support of everything from food pantries to pregnancy centers to disaster kitchens to missions that build homes, orphanages, schools and hospitals...seriously, you've all heard it over and over and over. So this time, I'm just copy/pasting, because this guy said it quite well in this book review. (TNO - "The Non-learning One" and Hamp...I know I've recommended getting an education before. I'm recommending it again. You both are too smart to keep sounding so stupid.)

    By William Muehlenberg (Melbourne Australia) - See all my reviews
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME)
    In this well-documented volume of over 400 pages, Schmidt marshals the evidence for the transforming power of the Christian faith. He shows how Jesus has the power to transform men, who in turn are able to transform society. And on every level, that is exactly what has happened. Several specific examples can be mentioned.

    In spite the claims of some today that Christianity oppresses women, the historical record shows just the opposite. Women were oppressed in almost every culture prior to the coming of Christianity. By elevating sexual morality, and by conferring upon women a much higher status, the Christian religion revolutionised the place and prestige of women.

    The way Jesus treated women was in stark contrast to the surrounding culture. In Roman law a man's wife and children were little more than slaves, often treated like animals. Women had no property rights and faced severe social restrictions. Jesus of course changed all that. The way he treated the Samaritan woman was one remarkable example. And this was not lost on the early disciples. We know from the New Testament documents that many women exercised various leadership roles in the early church. Indeed, during this period Christian women actually outnumbered Christian men.

    Admittedly there were some anomalies later in the church's history, when chauvinistic and anti-feminine views were allowed to re-enter parts of the church. But such aberrations must not detract from the truly revolutionary elevation of the status of women achieved by Christianity.

    Consider also the issue of health care. Prior to Christianity, the Greeks and Romans had little or no interest in the poor, the sick and the dying. But the early Christians, following the example of their master, ministered to the needs of the whole person. During the first three centuries of the church they could only care for the sick where they found them, as believers were then a persecuted people. Once the persecutions subsided, however, the institutonalisation of health care began in earnest.

    For example, the first ecumenical council at Nicea in 325 directed bishops to establish hospices in every city that had a cathedral. The first hospital was built by St Basil in Caesarea in 369. By the Middle Ages hospitals covered all of Europe and even beyond. In fact, "Christian hospitals were the world's first voluntary charitable institutions".

    Care for the mentally ill was also a Christian initiative. Nursing also sprang from Christian concerns for the sick, and many Christians have given their lives to such tasks. One thinks of Florence Nightingale, for example, and the formation of the Red Cross.

    Education, while important in Greek and Roman culture, really took off institutionally under the influence of Christianity. The early Greeks and Romans had no public libraries or educational institutions - it was Christianity that established these. As discipleship was important for the first believers (and those to follow), early formal education arose from Christian catechetical schools. Unique to Christian education was the teaching of both sexes.

    Also a Christian distinctive, individuals from all social and ethnic groups were included. There was no bias based on ethnicity or class. And the concept of public education first came from the Protestant Reformers. Moreover, the rise of the modern university is largely the result of Christian educational endeavours.

    As another example of the Christian influence, consider the issue of work and economic life. The Greeks and Romans had a very low view of manual labour, and so it was mainly the slaves and lower classes that were forced to toil with their hands. The non-slave population lived chiefly for personal pleasure. In these early cultures slaves usually greatly outnumbered freemen.

    Thus there was no such thing as the dignity of labour in these cultures, and economic freedom was only for a select few. The early church changed all this
    . Jesus of course was a carpenter's son. Paul was a tentmaker. And the early admonition, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" was taken seriously by the early believers. Thus work was seen as an honorable and God-given calling. Laziness and idleness were seen as sinful.

    The idea of labor as a calling, and the idea spoken by Jesus that the laborer is worthy of his wages, revolutionised the workplace. The dignity of labor, the value of hard work, and the sense of vocation, soon changed the surrounding society; the development of a middle class being one of the outcomes. The development of unions is another result. Indeed, the works of Weber and Tawney, among others, records the profound effect the Protestant Reformation has had on work and modern capitalism.

    Other impacts can be noted. The commandment against stealing of course redefined the concept of private property and property rights. And the protection of workers and workers' rights also flows directly from the biblical worldview. The early unionists were Christians, and concerns for social justice in the workplace and beyond derive from the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    Other great achievements might be mentioned. The Western political experience, including genuine democracy at all levels of society, equality, human rights and various freedoms, all stem from the Christian religion, along with its Hebrew forebear. The rise of modern science has been directly linked with the biblical understanding of the world. The many great achievements in art, literature and music also deserve mention. For example, how much poorer would the world be without the Christian artistry of da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Bach, Handel, Brahms, Dante, Milton, Bunyan, and countless others?

    The bottom line, as Schmidt notes, is that if Jesus Christ had never been born, to speak of Western civilisation would be incomprehensible. Indeed, there may never have been such a civilisation. The freedoms and benefits we enjoy in many modern cultures are directly due to the influence of this one man. Schmidt deserves an enormous amount of gratitude for this sterling collection of information and inspiration. Christians have made many mistakes. But they have also achieved many great things, all because of the one whom they follow.
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Ape Articulate_Ape's Avatar
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    I think you need to look a little further back in history.
    "The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsSmith View Post
    Because I've pointed out all the multitude of good done by Christians historically quite a few times already, and have also repeatedly pointed out the current support of everything from food pantries to pregnancy centers to disaster kitchens to missions that build homes, orphanages, schools and hospitals...seriously, you've all heard it over and over and over. So this time, I'm just copy/pasting, because this guy said it quite well in this book review. (TNO - "The Non-learning One" and Hamp...I know I've recommended getting an education before. I'm recommending it again. You both are too smart to keep sounding so stupid.)
    So are you defending religion in general or just Christianity? In your OP you simply said religion.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member MrsSmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflight View Post
    So are you defending religion in general or just Christianity? In your OP you simply said religion.
    I only defend Christianity. No other religion has done any comparable amount of good.
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    In actual dollars, President Obama’s $4.4 trillion in deficit spending in just three years is 37 percent higher than the previous record of $3.2 trillion (held by President George W. Bush) in deficit spending for an entire presidency. It’s no small feat to demolish an 8-year record in just 3 years.

    Under Obama’s own projections, interest payments on the debt are on course to triple from 2010 (his first budgetary year) to 2018, climbing from $196 billion to $685 billion annually.
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