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Everything posted by blackbird

  1. Not talking about whether there is a god or not. You have to go back and read what we have been talking about today. It's not a debate about God. The main subject is atheism is hurting the west. AS part of that I have been explaining how the west has advanced far beyond the rest of the world because of it's Judeo-Christian culture. I can't repeat it all now. If interested you can scroll back a bit to see the jist of it.
  2. The book Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner. Chapter XVIII Intolerance-Bigotry-Persecution While some of this is not so evident since Vatican II in 1965 and in countries where RCC is in the minority, in some countries with high RC population there are still these three problems. You will notice countries with a high RC population have major problems as in Mexico, central and south America as I pointed out. Spain and Italy and eastern European countries. Their attitude toward non-Catholics has softened somewhat since Vatican II in the spirit of ecumenism. Instead of heretics, non RCs are called separated brethren. Some countries that are high percentage RC have huge problems, Haiti, Mexico. Cuba has the communist revolution and lost their fundamental rights. "Latin America is Christianity's most shocking failure" (P.42 The Westminster Press, Philadelphia; 1944) There is a world of difference between Roman Catholicism of Latin America and catholicism of Europe and North America. Europe had the Reformation and the reformed churches, protestant churches went to North America with the settler. The reformation ideas and enlightenment therefore spread through much of northern Europe and came to North America. But not to Latin America. Roman Catholic Spain in the 1400s, 1500s, sent their military and priests to Latin America to make slaves out of the native people and extort their gold and ship it to Spain. The Conquistadors. Latin America was fully exploited for what Spain could get out of it.
  3. I'm not sure what needs to proven. I am simply saying western civilization is far advanced in terms of prosperity, respect for individual human rights, existence of democratic institutions, fair judicial system, educational systems, health, and military strength. You will notice these successes are in the countries that most embraced the Reformation and Judeo-Christian culture and principles. These countries have the most respect for individual's rights, social systems to provide for those in need, those with health problems, etc. The rest of the world which were not built on these principles are struggling in poverty, revolutions, crime, barbaric religions practices, widespread murders, civil wars, etc. I think it is even fair to say that Roman Catholic countries have not advanced nearly as much as those countries where the reformation took place. Just look at Mexico with it's drug wars, reversion by many people to bizarre religion (Miurte) , central America, south America, all in poverty, drug crime, murder, and unstable political institutions. Italy, Spain, Greece and eastern European countries have not done that well either, although they are far better off than the third world countries.
  4. I don't think anyone would dispute the west is far more prosperous than Africa, the middle east, India, the Phillipines, central and south America. Does it need to be proven? Many of them live in hovels, have no cars, no supermarkets loaded with all the best food in the world, no highways, no rapid transit, no nice homes, or apartments. The examples are endless.
  5. I didn't say you should bow down to christianity. All I am saying is Judeo-Christian teachings influence society down through the ages to give us the freedom and compassionate, fair society we have today compared with the rest of the world. You are correct in saying religious control declined and gave us more freedom. But that was the Roman Catholic church control you are talking about. It ruled down through the ages as a kind of theocracy. The Reformation delivered us out of that. Then individual freedom developed with the existence of Protestant church in western Europe and Britain. Rome hated to see this happening. They lost control. They opposed learning, freedom of individuals to read the bible themselves and interpret it themselves. They burned some people at the stake for rebelling against the authority of Rome. But the enlightenment had arrived in the 16, 17, 18th centures and Rome tried but could not stop it. People began to respect the right of the individual to believe as he wished or not believe anything. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion all came about after the Reformation and enlightenment. Democratic parliaments developed and that idea spread to America with the Puritans and others.
  6. There are thousands of different denominations and yes many different interpretations of the bible. But there is general agreement by large sements of christianity on certain basic teachings in the bible. These basic teachings are in confessions such as the Apostles Creed developed in the early centuries based on clear teachings in the bible. These have not changed. The Reformation discovered that the established church (Roman Catholic) had departed from the historic apostolic faith and that is why they rejected the Roman church. Men like Martin Luther (who were RC priests before), John Calvin in Geneva, and John Knox in Scotland were among the leaders of the Reformation and a desire to return to the apostolic faith as taught by Jesus in the bible. Nobody is suggesting there should be a theological dictatorship as in some Islamic republics where you have an Ayatolah. That would not be good because humans are often fallible and wrong. That was tried by the Holy Roman Empire and did not work well for people.
  7. I don't think Conrad is advocating any kind theocracy or a government theorcracy. I don't advocate that either. The danger of a theocracy is often everyone has a different interpretation of the bible. That has been tried in the 1500 or 1600s in Geneva and was found to be too strict and harsh in some ways. The best system is what we have. We elect a government. It's not perfect but it is the best system in the world. What Black is emphasizing is while there are many reasonable or good atheists, atheism is itself a destructive kind of ideology that goes against the best principles of our western civilization. It has serious dangers in it as well.
  8. Then can you explain why the western countries that have a nominal christianity or Judeo-Christian culture are far ahead of the rest of the world in terms of respect of individual rights freedoms, and more prosperity for the average person than the rest of the non-christian world? Asia, India, the Middle east Muslim Countries, and much of Africa are in poverty, undeveloped and do not have social programs and respect for human rights that the west has. They have religion in the third world countries but their religion does not teach them the same principles that Judeo-Christianity has taught the west. How can you explain that?
  9. You missed the point. The reason women and others receive rights in western civilization is because the attitude of compassion and fairness is a Judeo-Christian principle in the west. That is why we have democracy, a judicial system with juries, appeal processes, social services, etc. Go to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, Iran, and most others countries, you will not find these rights. It is the attitude of people in western countries whether you recognize it or not is influenced by Judeo-Christian thinking. This attitude in the west developed over centuries. Australia, New Zealand, western Europe, Canada, and the United States are built on Judeo-Christian principles and thinking. I am not saying they follow the bible in every law that is made. I hope you understand it is the general belief in a fair and compassionate socieity that developed over centuries that did not develop in many third world countries. This did not happen by accident. Many non-western countries women are still treated as chattel and way down the totem pole. They have no rights and are more like slaves. Must remain covered and are subject to absolute control by their husband. There are places where they do all the had work, work the farmland, etc. while the men sit around.
  10. Sure you can find many individuals with serious faults and shortcomings such as what you pointed out. But we are speaking about the broad picture of western civilization which has advanced gradually as a Judeio-Christian civilization. The fact women have more rights and you are correct they did have to fight for them. However, they were accepted by parliaments as reasonable improvements to our democratic system. Same as our social welfare system. These were accepted as as necessary part of a compassionate society. If you want to get a better understanding, you have to look at the overall picture. Other countries that do not have the western Judeo-Christian culture, did not create the prosperous, generous society that we have in the west. Even Roman Catholicism in many countries held people back and they are today suiffering with major problems. The Reformation in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries was followed by an Enlightenment. This led to more freedom and respect for the individual. The right to own private property developed and society moved away from the feudal system. This created individual initiative. That led to economic development and investment, growth of the economy, etc. Where there was no Reformation and enlightenment, many countries remained in dark superstitious religions. Central and South America, Africa, etc remained backward and undeveloped.
  11. The ten commandments have had an influence on laws of society in the several thousand years because most of them are considered as eternal commandments applicable to all ages. As an example, Sunday as a day of rest is something that originated from our Judeo-Christian culture. The other 613 commandments are not considered as applicable to christians or anyone today. They were directed to the people of Israel at that particular time in history over 2000 years ago. The western world was governed by the Holy Roman Empire for much of the past 1700 years. Many countries were not democracies until recent centuries. But the ideas in the bible such as thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, not defraud another person, are well established in the Judeo-Christian world. The ideas of loving thy neighbour, treating slaves with fairness was a bible principle going back thousands of years. Democracy evolved gradually. The ideas of fairness as in the judicial system, the ideas of clemency, mercy, and giving people another chanced. These are christian principles. You find these principles in western or Jude-Christian countries more so than other countries that were often barbaric. For example in some place in central and south America, human sacrifice was part of their system. This was not the case in Judeo-Christian civilization. Neither did Judeio-Christian civilization practice cannibalism which was a practice in some heathen tribes in jungles. While there have been many wars and bad things that happened in history in the west as well and things were far from perfect, the principles that we have today did evolve to an unknown extent from Judeo-Christian teachings. Mjulitple wives were also common in many non-christian parts of the world. Christian women are treated with respect. Non-christian countries can still be terrible places for women. In the case of divorce for instance, women in North America have many rights and laws provide for them. This might not be true in third world non-christian nations. Even our social services such as welfare is generous compared with non-christian nations where there might be nothing. You have to look at all spheres of life to see what influence of Judeo-Christian civiliation. You have to admit the Judeo-Christian nations are far more prosperous and stable than countries in other parts of world. They have coup de tat to overthrow governments, they have dictatorships, and the a lot of people live in poverty in these non christian countries.
  12. He may have been a nominal follower of his religion for part of his life. I think he has come back to it in more recent times. But I am not a fan of Romanism. However I can agree with much of what he said about these other matters affecting civilization. I wouldn't classify him as a fraudster. He was charged with five charges, Four of them were withdrawn and he was convicted of a lesser one. He completed his time in prison. He is not a fraudster. He is an exceptional journalist. He appears on the Vision channel occasionally, and write newspaper articles. He wrote a large book (possibly while in prison) on the 250 year History of the United States. Took me quite a while to read it but it was very good. Mr. Black has a vast knowledge. I don't think he has the thinking or character of a fraudster as you portray him. He paid his time and turned himself around long ago. Leftists will differ because their usual attack is if they don't like his political views is to attack the messenger. I dismiss that as evading the substance. I am not advocating Conrad's religion, which I strongly disagree with. But I agree with his diagnosis of society. Logic and reason has never been a good guide of society or morality because everyone has a different idea of what that should mean.
  13. This is a followup to a topic Conrad Black wrote recently about the threat to civilization represented by atheism. He responds to his critics and detractors. http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/conrad-black-i-put-this-as-simply-as-possible-many-atheists-are-excellent-but-atheism-itself-is-hurting-the-west In part he says: " I did not suggest that the probable existence of a supernatural intelligence required anyone to plunge into religious practice or worship of any kind. That is a matter of taste and people should do what works for them and avoid what doesn’t. I did not imply for an instant that those who deny the probability of a supernatural intelligence, whom I defined for these purposes as atheists, were incapable of being honest and decent people. Of course, in our society, most people, including most atheists, are reasonably honest and decent and get through their lives without horrible outbursts of sociopathic behaviour. I did write that those atheists who purport to espouse the Judeo-Christian life without admitting the probability of some supernatural force are essentially enjoying the benefits of Judeo-Christian civilization while denying even the least onerous definition of its basic tenets. Thus do schism and hypocrisy raise their hoary heads. As atheists renounce the roots of our civilization, they are troublesome passengers, and are apt to be less integral defenders of the West in time of challenge. They often dissent so uniformly and strenuously from any theistic notions that they have effectively established a third force that enjoys the society Judeo-Christianity has created while despising Judeo-Christianity and also purporting, generally, to despise the succession of dangerous adversaries that have threatened Judeo-Christianity, including Nazism, international Communism, and radical Islam. " My own immediate thought is that atheism creates a kind of vacuum leaving one in a weakened state intellectually and more vulnerable to ideologies or false religions which basically are a threat to civilization as we know it.
  14. The Heritage Minister completely ignored Terry Mileski's question on CBC's Power & Politics program to define Islamophobia and whether legitimate criticism of Islam is Islamophobia.
  15. While that is true in principle, in reality in Canada, there are limits to freedom of expression. Another thing to consider, how far one is willing to agree to freedom of expression may depend on who's ox is being gored. I have found in reality, people are in favour of freedom of expression if they agree with what's being said, but are not as enthusiastic about freedom of expression if their point of view is being attacked. I have seen this often debates involving moral issues. When someone with a religious viewpoint speaks, he is often dismissed or rebuked for daring to raise anything from a religious viewpoint. It seems freedom of speech only applies to certain points of view.
  16. Yes a forum can do what it wants. But this forum has guidelines and how they are interpreted depends on the moderator's interpretation. There is no such thing as unlimited freedom to offend or unlimited freedom of speech. A country such as Canada has laws which limit freedom of speech in certain ways. I might not agree with them and think they are too strict, but evidently they do exist. A forum has it's own separate rules which may actually be more strict than government's laws. A forum is like a private organization and the moderators can decide to ban someone for breaking the rules, possibly when they think there is more than one breach of the guidelines. Technically, according to government laws, there is a certain flexibility in causing offense to someone, but a forum is likely to e more restrictive in that regard. Each case is different and it would have to be weighed on it's own.
  17. I have to agree with Altai on this. Freedom of speech is limited. There are certain laws that restrict it. We must also remember a forum sets it's own rules which can mean there are limits to speech. We cannot insult other people. The question of offending is a complicated question. It depends on a number of things. We have to be careful when making a point that the point if expressed in a way that causes the least offense. If the purpose is to simply offend someone, then that would be wrong.
  18. Whatever your country chooses, I hope it will work out well for you. Only your country can decide what is best for you. Today is Easter and the sun shining this morning. This is a very important day in the christian calender that we personally are celebrating with church this morning and a special dinner later today. Good day!
  19. This article on National Post shows people are divided over what religious practices public schools in B.C. should. The think the School Act says public schools should be secular but some school boards have been negligent in following that law to the letter. Quote Unquote I am opposed to native smudging ceremonies being permitted in public schools. Also oppose so-called "meditation" being allowed. Mediation is supported by the Dalaii Lama group, which is Budhist. Meditation is Budhist or Hindu. I disagree with those that claim it is benign. It is a religious exercise the can I believe move students to forms of budhism or hinduism which is rampant in America. I believe there is a connection between radical environmentalism and eastern religions. There is also a connection between radical environmentalism and smudging ceremonies because native religion has historically been animism. That is a belief that there is spirit or god(s) in all of nature and the material world, animals, bird, fish, plants, and all of creation. This false belief means mother earth must be worshipped and it is elevated above everything else. So I don't want to see religious practices in schools that would somehow lend itself to these beliefs that would harm our political-social structure and place undue emphasis on things at the expense of the growth of the economy and a normal society.
  20. Mulling over this M103 and the new committee to examine Islamophobia. Seems the introduction of this motion and subsequent debates and newspaper articles has generated more opposition to what they are doing than if they had left it alone in the first place. Some things are better left alone. Government cannot tinker with fundamental freedoms without expecting a backlash. Since they brought the motion into parliament, there have been more debates, large protests, thousands of letters and E-mails sent to members of parliament, and talk shows on TV and radio.
  21. Excellent information. We should remind people the word Islamophobia could be defined by breaking it down into it's constituent parts, ie, Islam and phobia. According to the Compact Oxford Canadian Dictionary, a phobia is an abnormal fear. Also an aversion to something. If one has a fear of Islam, it may be justified and therefore not necessarily an abnormal fear. I'm not sure how one would define an abnormal fear. In any case, in a country which has freedom of religion and freedom of expression, I doubt that Islamophobia could be put in law. How does one outlaw a fear of an ideology or religion in a country where everyone is free to believe in what they wish? It's absurd.
  22. Yes, OK. I just read it again. I like the idea of information exchange. I agree.
  23. The situation with NK is a grave concern. I don't recall anything like this in the last 50 years or more. I am praying that there will be no war or military action and that all countries involved will show utmost restraint. NK also needs to stop working toward having nuclear missiles.
  24. The police or whatever they were that did the job for United would still be under contract. I don't think United can escape some responsibility. Guess a judge will decide.
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